It was 25 years ago this week that a judge ruled that British heavy metal legends Judas Priest were not liable for the deaths of two young men who cited the band's music as the reason they killed themselves.
In December 1985, 19-year-old James Vance watched his best friend Ray Belknap shoot himself to death with a .12 gauge shotgun in a churchyard outside Reno, Nevada. Then Vance pulled the trigger on himself. He survived but was severely disfigured. Vance later claimed his actions had been influenced by the music of Judas Priest, prompting his family to sue the band.
Singer Rob Halford commented to Rolling Stone, "It feels like it was just yesterday, because it's such a strong memory. I remember walking up the steps every day at the courthouse in Reno, and feeling the incredible fan support that we had every day. And then there was just the tension and the sadness in the courthouse, because at the heart of the matter were these two guys that lost their lives tragically. These two boys were massive Priest fans, and that made it even more heart-wrenching that this terrible combination of the night and the drugs and the booze and their state of mind turned into something quite terrible."
It looks like I'll be spending quite a bit of time at The Summit Music Hall this October as three of my personal favorite bands will be making tour stops in Denver.
THE DARKNESS - October 16
I recently reviewed the new Darkness CD, Last Of Our Kind and can't wait to hear the new tunes live in concert. GA tickets for their October 16 gig are $23 and can be purchased HERE.
GHOST - October 17
The excellent new Ghost album Meliora is in stores now and the band will perform at Summit Music Hall on October 17 with Purson opening the show. GA tickets are $27.60 and can be purchased HERE.
COLLECTIVE SOUL - October 30
Collective Soul bring their "See What You Started" Tour to Denver on October 30 and tickets can be purchased HERE. Collective Soul's new CD, See What You Started By Continuing, will be released October 2nd.
Summit Music Hall is located at 1902 Blake Street in downtown Denver.
Whitesnake guitarist Joel Hoekstra is ready to release a new side project called "Joel Hoekstra's 13". The lyric video for "Anymore" can now be seen below:
The new album Dying To Live features an all-star cast of rockers including Jeff Scott Soto (vocals), Russell Allen (vocals), Tony Franklin (bass), Vinny Appice (drums) and Derek Sherinian (keyboards) and will be available via Frontiers Music on October 16th.
Former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash has confirmed that he has rekindled his friendship with the band's lead singer Axl Rose.
Speaking to Aftonbladet TV in Sweden, the guitarist said of his restored friendship with Axl (see video below): "It was probably way overdue, you know. But it's…. you know, it's very cool at this point. You know, let some of that, sort of, negative… dispel some of that negative stuff that was going on for so long."
The guitarist recently told CBS News that he might even entertain a reunion of the original GNR lineup.
Slash says: "I got to be careful what I say there, I mean, if everybody wanted to do it and do it for the right reasons, I think the fans would love it. I think it might be fun at some point to try and do that. Never say never."
David Gilmour's new solo album Rattle That Lock will be released on September 18th and he's also confirming that Pink Floyd will not reunite in the coming years.
"I'm done with it. I've had 48 years in Pink Floyd – quite a few of those years at the beginning, with Roger (Waters)," he said in a cover story interview with Classic Rock magazine. "And those years in what is now considered to be our heyday were 95 percent musically fulfilling and joyous and full of fun and laughter. And I certainly don't want to let the other five percent color my view of what was a long and fantastic time together."
"But it has run its course, we are done – and it would be fakery to go back and do it again."
(Photo by Vincent Giraud)
Poison drummer Rikki Rockett says Poison could move forward without frontman Bret Michaels.
Rockett has recently been performing with his Poison bandmates Bobby Dall and C.C DeVille, with Brandon Gibbs from Devil City Angels on vocal duties.
He tells Sleaze Roxx: "We'd never call it Poison, but we did think it was good to offer the promoters a chance to work with the three of us with Brandon fronting the band. Is this something that we could do moving forward? I think we could."
Rockett reports he hasn't spoken to Michaels in months, and adds: "I just think that at this point in time he prefers to do his own thing. Bret has his own way of doing things and I'm getting the feeling that he'd prefer not to deal with the three of us if he can avoid it."