Return of Rainbow’s ‘Backyard Bash’ brought classic metal back home to the Sunset Strip.
It’s been a hell of a wait but on Sept. 5, the Rainbow Bar and Grill welcomed back all the heavy metal you could handle with the triumphant return of its annual Backyard Bash, an all-day live concert event featuring national and local bands cranking out heavy metal hits in the parking lot behind the Roxy and Rainbow.
After having its spring events canceled twice and their fall event once, the Sept. 5 Backyard Back marked the first time the Rainbow is hosting a rock and roll party of this magnitude. And it did not disappoint.
Rockin’ new book For Those About to Rock teaches kids music history with some edgy fun.
If you respect and appreciate good music and great artists, then you may be feeling a bit indifferent about the trending videos on YouTube that feature millennials and Gen Zers sharing their reaction to first hearing classic songs by legendary artists like the Bee Gees and Motley Crue. Now, watching strangers react to music sounds about as interesting as playing Zeppelin records backwards hoping to hear Satan. However, the most surreal part of the whole “reaction video” trend is that some young people simply aren’t ashamed of their lack of basic music history.
Granted, being able to name the four original members of KISS without needing to check Wikipedia won’t land you a professorship at the local university. But by the time anyone reaches their teen years, you’d hope they’d have some semblance of how and why Bruce Springsteen and TheBeatles are just as important to American and world history as George Washington and Albert Einstein.
Considering how difficult it is just to get the American education system to provide a basic quality education, we’re not holding our breath. Fortunately, a new rockin’ new book has found a great solution. Author/rocker Kate Seldman‘s For Those About to Rock: A Kid’s Guide to 50 Legendary Musical Acts is a long overdue, gorgeously illustrated “text book” that highlights a rich musical education delivered in a fun and engaging presentation that would appeal to any young mind that loves learning.
Hollywood Roses Revisits Guns N’ Roses at Whisky, Feb. 14
Sure, on Valentine’s Day, you can always do the usual wine and roses thing with your better half.
However, we have a much better suggestion: the Night Train and Roses thing!
On February 14, toast the evening with some Night Train while getting your faces rocked off by the sounds of Hollywood hit-makers Guns N’ Roses at local faves Hollywood Roses‘ headlining gig at the world-famous Whisky A Go-Go!
The Whisky is located in the heart of the Strip’s Rock Row at 8901 Sunset Boulevard at Clark Street. Get more details and tickets for Hollywood Roses’ Valentine’s Day show here.
But don’t blame us if the date starts to feel a little uncomfortable should the band break out “Used to Love Her”!
SUNSET & CLARK: 10 OF THE HARDEST-ROCKIN’ THINGS WE’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2015!
1. GETTING POISON’D
Metal fans looking for nothin’ but a good time won’t have to wait too much longer now that Poison has announced that the Sunset Strip-launched legends will be hitting the road again next year.
“It looks like it will happen [in 2015],” Bret Michaels recently confirmed to Cleveland Scene. “It’s been a few years. We just want to put together the right package and show to celebrate with everyone.”
2. OZZY OSBOURNE’S RETURN TO TV
The legendary P.O.F.D. himself is returning to reality television for new episodes of The Osbournes, which will find Ozzy Osbourne and the fam — Kelly, Jack and Sharon — giving fans another peek into their lives a decade after the hit show ended its run on MTV. This time around, The Osbournes will include, according to Sharon Osbourne, eight new episodes and will debut on VH-1 in early 2015.
3. STEPHEN PEARCY GETTING ‘SMASH’-ED
Sunset Strip legend and former Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy is following up his recent headlining gig at the Whisky A Go Go with the release of his fourth scorching solo album, Smash, due out in early 2015.
4. CHRIS CORNELL, MIKE MCCREADY & DUFF MCKAGAN RELAUNCHING MAD SEASON
The Nineties supergroup Mad Season is reuniting — sort of — on January 30 in Seattle. Mad Season founding members Mike McCready of Pearl Jam and Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin will return with a revamped lineup that includes legendary Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver bassist Duff McKagan replacing late Walkabouts rocker John Baker, who passed away in 1999,and grunge god Chris Cornell taking the mic in place of Alice in Chains’ Layne Staley, who died in 2002.
The band, which is reportedly planning a new album, will be taking the stage with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra as part of SSO’s “Sonic Evolution” showcase. The once-in-a-lifetime concert will also feature works inspired by Nirvana and Pearl Jam, along with the world-premiere of McCready’s decidedly less grungy orchestral composition “Waking the Horizon.”
5. METALLICA DROPPING A NEW ALBUM…MAYBE
“I’m pretty convinced that 90% of the record is actually written; it’s just gotta be kind of assembled between all those riffs,” Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich revealed to Metal Zone last summer. “It’s just a matter of connecting this to this and sort of shaping it into a song. And so, I’m pretty psyched about that.”
In September, frontman James Hetfield (pictured) confirmed the long-awaited album’s progress, telling Pulse of Radio: “We’ve come up with enough material for a record, for sure…We just haven’t had the time to really focus on it and…start whittling at these masterpieces.”
Bassist Robert Trujillo, who previously reported that Death Magnetic producer Rick Rubin will also helm the new album, provided an update to RockCellar Magazine in early December.
“We’re just blueprinting everything right now,” said Truillo. “There are a lot of ideas, a lot of song bodies, you gotta go through the process. For me personally I’m really excited about what we’ve been able to jam out.”
The band has promised fans that they’ll be hearing Metallica’s tenth studio album by as early as 2015 and no later than 2016.
6. BULLETBOYS RETURNING TO SUNSET
L.A. metalheads BulletBoys are bringing the band’s awesome hard rock hits like “Smooth Up in Ya,” “Hard as a Rock,” the killer cover “For the Love of Money” and “Freakshow” to the Whisky A Go Go on March 19!
Frontman Marq Torien and most of the band’s founding lineup are still cranking out killer original rock jams, like the stellar “Symphony” from BB’s upcoming release Elefante. Get ticket details here.
7. SYSTEM OF A DOWN GETTING ‘SOUL’-FUL AT FORUM
SoCal superstars System of a Down are set to headline another hometown show in the new year, when they will rock Inglewood on April 6, bringing the band’s “Wake Up the Souls Tour” to the Forum.
8. ROCKING OUT TO A NEW KISS ALBUM
Iconic rock god Gene Simmons revealed to the Toronto Sun earlier this year that the world’s hardest-working rock band has its sights set on releasing new material very soon.
“I recently wrote a new song called ‘Your Wish is My Command,’ so the process has already started,” revealed Gene Simmons about the upcoming follow-up to 2012’s Monster.
9. MARILYN MANSON UNLEASHING ‘HELL’ ON EARTH
Shock rocker and antichrist superstar Marilyn Manson will be returning to the spotlight in 2015 to rock your face off with his ninth studio album, The Pale Emperor, which drops January 20. If the album’s kick-off single “Third Day of a Seven-Day Binge” is any indication of the weight of the new material, Pale Emperor is going to be stellar.
A day after the album drops, Manson will launch “The Hell Not Hallelujah Tour,” which snakes its way through the U.S. starting in Washington, D.C. on January 21 and ending in Vegas on February 14. The singer-songwriter will then head overseas to rock a few summer festivals. Unfortunately, Manson has not announced an L.A. date.
10. HEAVY METAL HITTING THE HIGH SEAS
Los Angeles bands Buckcherry (right) and Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society along with Limp Bizkit, P.O.D. and Filter lead a rockin’ roster of awesome acts that will be hitting the high seas February 2-6 as the star attractions of ShipRocked: The Ultimate Rock N’ Roll Cruise.
Sailing from Florida to the Bahamas and back, ShipRocked will also showcase the super-band Metal Allegiance, which includes current and former members of legendary metal bands Megadeth, Anthrax, Pantera, Testament and Dream Theatre.
SLASH AND MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS SET FOR THREE-NIGHT L.A. TOUR AT ICONIC ROCK CLUBS, SEPT. 23, 25 & 26
Legendary GN’R alum and Sunset Strip rock refugee Slash is heading back to West Hollywood and Rock Row in September to shred at three of the city’s most iconic rock clubs: Troubadour, Roxy and The Whisky A Go Go. The three-night mini-tour will have Slash reuniting with his SSMF 2010 guest artist, occasional studio collaborator and frequent touring mate, Myles Kennedy and his band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.
The band will first head over to Santa Monica Boulevard and Doheny and hit up the iconic Troubadour on September 23 for a headlining gig before cruising up to Sunset on September 25 to rock the Roxy. The party continues on September 26, when Slash and Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators take center stage at the world-famous Whisky A Go Go.
Get tickets and additional details here. See you at the shows!
WHISKY SERVES UP DOUBLE SHOT OF METAL WITH HOLLYWOOD ROSES & MOTLEY TOO
Sure, it’s been awhile since Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue played the Sunset Strip. But if you have enough Night TrainExpress and head to the Whisky A Go-Go tonight, you, like Bowling for Soup, may be able to drift back to 19, 19 1985!
Perhaps the the next best thing to a real Guns/Motley double-bill, local legends Hollywood Roses (right) and Motley Too (below) will be visiting the Whisky tonight to do a little dancing with Mr. Browntstone and shouting at the Devil while keeping the spirit of Sunset strip-launched heavy metal alive!
SoCal rockers Never Justified, who cite GN’R as a key influence, along with Foo Fighters, Zeppelin and Slash, are also on the bill and making the Saturday night event the band’s record release showcase for Never Justified’s debut EP.
Also set to hit the Whisky stage tonight, Sept. 14, is OC Bay, a local duo delivering original tunes and familiar covers. Get more deets here.
We were walking down Sunset this evening sulking from neglecting to get tickets to see metal gods Metallica play L.A. in May when we spotted the Whisky‘s marquee and two words made us feel better right away: Hollywood Roses, the best GN’R tribute band around will be rocking the Whisky ion February 9.
Then two more words smacked us upside the head: Bullet Boys – on February 15! That, naturally, was followed by another two words: Hell yeah!
The best of late ’80s/early ’90s metal is slicing its way right back to the Sunset Strip and to that we raise our Bic lighters high!
Fellow L.A. rock refugees James Hetfield and Metallica will also be playing L.A. soon, when the iconic band rightfully receives the Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award at rock mag Revolver‘s Golden Gods Awards Show at Downtown L.A.’s intimate-sized Club Nokia on May 2.
Also set to perform is Five Finger Death Punch, Dillinger Escape Plan and a bunch of other awesome bands. Tickets to this rockin’ once-in-a-lifetime event, unfortunately, are astronomical — plus, they’re general admission!
Catching Hollywood Roses and Bullet Boys at Whisky is definitely an awesome backup plan. Plus, with all the ca$h we’re saving by skipping the Golden Gods event, here’s all the other Sunset Strip shows we’ll be checkin’ out in the next couple of months:
We’re also lookin’ forward to checking out Buckcherry’s support act Cherri Bomb again at Viper Room. OK, we admit we initially cast them off as a Runaways knock off awhile back…but that was when we were drunk and before catching them live and seeing the ladies rock the hell outta the Strip at last summer’s SSMF. Check out some rockin’ anthems below from the band’s that will keep alive the Sunset Strip’s enviable rep as the global anchor of authentic kick-ass rock and roll.
SLASH TAKES TO TWITTER TO BLAST LINDSAY LOHAN ARREST REPORT
In what seems like a real-life B-rate Groundhog Day, fallen starlet Lindsay Lohan has been arrested again. But while LiLo’s arrest news is not surprising, it does come with a shocking twist — Slash has come to her defense!
The ex-Guns N’ Roses guitar god sent out a tweet last night calling Lohan’s newest arrest for hit and run in NYC as “being blown out of proportion.”
Although it’s a little unexpected that the hard rock icon would take a moment from his current Apocalyptic Love tour with Myles Kennedy to defend a former Disney starlet, it sort of makes sense given Slash’s awesome, inspiring story — revealed in his 2007 memoir Slash — of dealing with recovery from alcohol and drugs, and that LiLo was reportedly coming from his Hammerstein Ballroom show when the accident occurred.
The Velvet Revolver rocker’s compassionate reaction to the sordid situation and his defense for the trouble starlet also proves another thing: Slash rocks!
HERE’S A GREAT REASON TO CRANK UP SOME GN’R TODAY…
Guns N’ Roses‘Appetite for Destruction celebrates its 25th anniversary today! The band’s classic debut album was released on July 21, 1987 and has since gone platinum 30 times — and counting. The Sunset Strip rock refugees are immortalized on the wall of the Rainbow Bar & Grill, the band’s old haunt and setting of some of their best music videos, including “Don’t Cry,” “November Rain” and “You Could Be Mine.”
We’ve come across plenty of cool clips of Guns N’ Roses fans covering the L.A. band’s classics, but this one by Scottish singer-songwriter Sandi Thom is one of our current faves. Check out her awesome acoustic take on “November Rain.”
Last night, it felt like the Viper Room froze July 1987 in time. The GN’R tribute show was far superior to the show Axl Rose and his GN’R Part Deux gave at the Forum a few months back. The Room rocked with a great house band, the awesome Lonely Drunks Club Band(right) and six different singers from L.A.’s hottest local bands.
It was also very cool to spot members of our favorite L.A. band, Warner Drive, including frontman Jonny Law and bassist Elvis James, checking out the show.
In addition to the kick-ass Lonely Drunks Club Band, Brando’s Island(left) really stood out in the night’s multiband lineup and had the place groovin’ to a fantastic set of original tunes before frontman Brandon Wardell later grabbed the mic during the GN’R tribute for a couple more powerhouse performances.
Throughout the tight set of spot-on covers of classics like “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” Wardell and the various singers chatted between songs about how GN’R’s major label debut changed their lives, including one who said he was 10 when the album dropped! Another mentioned that he was 12 when Appetite debuted! Doh!
Despite how great all of the Axl imitators were, it’s doubtful anyone on stage can remember what Rose looked like before the Botox and cornrows.
But they all perfectly captured W.A.R.’s vocal inflections, held the mic the same way, whipped their hair back and forth like him and, of course, when the band did “Paradise City,” the ENTIRE ROOM broke into the serpentine dance. It was a very cool, fun Spinal Tap-like experience.
VIPER ROOM CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION
If you’re a fan of the original Guns N’ Roses — you know from the Appetite for Destruction/Sunset strip days, when they were awesome — then there is nowhere else to be tonight, July 20, than the Viper Room! The iconic club is hosting a multi-band lineup to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Appetite! Yep, it’s been 25 years since Axl and the guys launched their superstar career from the Sunset Strip.
Tonight’s Viper Room lineup includes Inside the Black, Coma, Brando’s Island and, performing Appetite in its entirety, the Lonely Drunks Club Band. Plus, there will be special surprise guests. We’re crossing our skull-ringed fingers that at least one of those guests is either Axl, Slash, Duff, Izzy or Steven! (OK, hell, we’d even be happy to see Matt and/or Dizzy. But please, no lame GN’R newbies!)
Guns N’ Roses’ full-length studio album debut actually dropped on July 21, 1987, but with the Lonely Drunks Club Band likely rocking past the midnight hour, it’s all good!
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and cover is a cheap-o $15 at the door. Tonight is gonna rock for sure.
And if you’re an L.A.-based diehard GN’R fan but don’t plan on being at the Viper Room tonight, well, you’re crazy, hey, hey. You know you’re crazy, oh my! You’re f**kin’ crazy, oh child. You know you’re crazy Ay,ay,ay,ay,ay,ay,ah,ah,ah,oooh, yeah!
JOE ELLIOT BLAMES DEF LEPPARD WANNABES FOR THE DEMISE OF HEAVY METAL’S POPULARITY IN THE AWESOME EIGHTIES
Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliot gives his theory on what led to the demise in popularity of heavy metal in the late ’80s/early ’90s in an interview with Vanity Fair.
“When Kurt Cobain came along and tried to kill off the ’80s, he wasn’t trying to kill off Def Leppard. He could have lived with Def Leppard. What he couldn’t deal with was the hundred of other sound-alikes. And that was the problem. And that’s why the ’80s imploded and started eating itself. There were bands that sounded like GN’R, bands that sounded like Bon Jovi, [and bands that sounded like us] — it was one of those three, copied maybe 20, 30 times. It was just a weaker version. And the novelty wore off pretty quick.”
SUNSET STRIP LANDMARK & EARLY GN’R HAUNT BECOMES RUBBLE
Iconic Sunset Strip landmark Tower Video, the timeless neon-lit hub of hipster activity that was the main spot to head to for concert tickets and music videos, has become a pile of rocks. Earlier this month crews began to deconstruct the famous spot that once employed a pre-rock star Axl Rose as its night manager and Guns N’ Roses bandmate Slash as a counter clerk.
In the fall of 2006, as Internet music piracy and iTunes began to claim their stake on the Net, Towers’ chain of music and video stores filed for bankruptcy after 46 years as the go-to place for discovering exciting new bands and picking up tickets to L.A.’s hottest shows.
Tower Video was located at 8844 Sunset at Larrabee, across the street from the defunct Tower Records. The split-level video store also served as a concert ticket venue, classical music annex and sold rock novelties. The store’s small back parking lot, where the photo on the left, of Tower Video rubble, was snapped, is the infamous location where Rose once challenged Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil to a fight over some trash talk. The incident sparked the singers’ well-publicized, longstanding feud.
R.I.P. Tower Video.
Check out what remains of the landmark location as it becomes rock and roll rubble.