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2015 Rock Legends Cruise

Sometimes I'll hear a song on 99.5 The Mountain and say to myself, "I wonder what Blue Oyster Cult are up to these days?" Such is the case when Dan Mitchell played "Don't Fear The Reaper" so I dialed up the BOC website for a news update. Come to find out they are schedule to perform on the Rock Legends Cruise, a floating rock festival aboard Royal Caribbean International's Liberty of the Seas. The cruise departs February 19-23, 2015 from Fort Lauderdale, FL with five days on the water on the way to Nassau, Bahamas.

The bands booked for this unique music event are The Doobie Brothers, Alice Cooper, Paul Rodgers, .38 Special, The Marshall Tucker Band, Don Felder, WAR, Dave Mason's Traffic Jam, Blue Oyster Cult, Uriah Heep, The Outlaws, Molly Hatchet, Rik Emmett, The Edgar Winter Band, Ten Years After and Pat Travers Band among others.

That's a hell of a lineup - and each band performs three times, so you won't miss a chance to see any of the artists!

For more information, please visit the ROCK LEGENDS CRUISE website.

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Metallica To Stay Up Late Late

Stealing a page from the Foo Fighters playbook, Metallica will spend an entire week as the musical guests on late night TV when they appear on "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson".

Says the band: "We're excited to celebrate Craig Ferguson's final season on CBS as he has asked us to join him for an entire week of performances starting Monday, November 17th. We'll be playing every night that week and on the first night (Monday) we'll sit down with Craig to chat about all things "TALLICA."

Metallica have been busy behind the scenes writing and recording material for the long overdue follow up to 2008's Death Magnetic. In the mean time, the band will release a limited 12-inch vinyl single of the new song "The Lords Of Summer" on Record Store Day Black Friday, November 28th.

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Ozzy Announces Black Sabbath Will "Disband"

The Black Sabbath drama of the last few years may finally be coming to an end. In a recent interview, Ozzy Osbourne revealed that Black Sabbath will "disband" after completing the next album and tour, leaving him to focus on his solo career.

Ozzy released a greatest hits solo compilation, Memoirs Of A Madman, earlier this month. Asked why he's releasing the album now, Ozzy told The Times-Picayune, "A lot of people are asking me, with the success of the reformation of Black Sabbath, am I going to do any solo stuff anymore? The answer is yes. I am going to continue my solo stuff, but I can't do the two at the same time."

"I'm going to do one more Black Sabbath tour, one more Black Sabbath album, and then we're disbanding the name, I believe," Ozzy continued. "The only sad note about it is that (original drummer) Bill Ward didn't do the last tour, for reasons that I guess have something to do with financing or something. I don't know. It would be great for him to get it together and sort all the problems out for the next tour. It would be a great way for the four of us to end such a wonderful experience of being Black Sabbath, and what we achieved."

Ward was originally supposed to be part of the band's reunion in late 2011, but he went public with an attack on Sharon Osbourne (Ozzy's wife and manager) after he was presented with an "unsignable" contract. Here's a portion of Ward's comments:

"The contract is still unsignable and I am breaking my silence to divulge the reasons why. It's unsignable because Sharon Osbourne only wanted to give Geezer and I five percent each, along with 10 percent for Tony. Mind you, I am not on the dole and I don't need a few quid that badly. I have my honor and as an original member of Black Sabbath I deserve to be shown respect. I am ready at any moment to board a plane from California to Birmingham if a proper contract with no degrading stipulations exists, one in which I'd also get a proper twenty-five percent."

I'm not even the world's biggest Black Sabbath fan, but it would be nice to see all four original members finish what they started. It is true that Bill Ward underwent surgery last year for perforated diverticulitis, a gastrointestinal condition in which the walls of the intestine have become perforated. But I find Ozzy's "something to do with financing" comments a bit insulting considering Sharon runs the show and he's fully aware of the offer that was extended to Ward. It's a shame that the big business of rock and roll always seems to come down to money. If Ward is healthy enough for a tour, there's no reason why the band members shouldn't find a way to make the money work for everyone. We shall see…
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Are "Deluxe Edition" CD's Worth Your Dollars?

As we approach the 45th anniversary of Led Zeppelin IV, the Deluxe Edition of that classic album is in stores today (October 28th). Deluxe Edition albums are all the rage these days. You name a classic rock band and chances are they have recently re-packaged classic albums in "expanded" or "remastered" form. (KISS is releasing the 2-CD Deluxe Edition of Love Gun today as well, if you prefer Paul and Gene to Page and Plant.) Let's face it, Led Zeppelin aren't exactly rushing into the studio in the year 2014 to record new material, but die-hard collectors can scoop up alternate versions, demos and previously unreleased tracks.

In the case of Zeppelin, the Deluxe Edition will get you the remastered album, plus a second disc of companion audio comprised entirely of unreleased music related to that album. Better yet, the "Super Deluxe Edition" will get you a hard bound, 80-page book filled with rare and previously unseen photos and memorabilia.

So, are Deluxe Editions worth it? Well, that comes down to your personal level of interest in the band and if you like hearing b-sides, demos and alternate versions. I'm a Def Leppard freak, so I own all four of their DE CD's (Pyromania, Hysteria, Adrenalize and Slang). Typical Deluxe Edition CD's are in the $22 to $35 range which is at least double the price of a regular CD. I say go for it – they make for great Holiday gifts.

Check out "Rock and Roll (Alternate Mix)" and see if you can hear the difference -vs- the original studio version. HINT: They've placed more emphasis on the drums and put the guitar more in the background. Shocking when you consider that Jimmy Page personally remastered these tracks - usually the guitar player wants MORE guitars in the mix!

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Mini Concert Reviews

I caught two great concerts this past weekend - King Diamond and Warrant. Black metal legend King Diamond played the Paramount Theater on Friday and '80s melodic rockers Warrant performed at the Reserve Casino in Central City on Saturday.

Yes, I'm fully aware that King Diamond isn't in heavy rotation on 99.5 The Mountain. It's hard to get radio airplay with songs like "Evil" and "At The Graves," but King is an artist I simply had to cross off my concert bucket list. He's been off the scene for the last 4-5 years while recovering from triple bypass heart surgery, but the good news is his voice sounds better than ever. His band, led by guitarist Andy LaRocque, was as sharp as a tack and the stage production was equally as impressive. I shot a fair amount of video and edited the footage HERE.

Warrant played two back-to-back shows at the Lava Room in Central City on Saturday and I wanted to give a shout out to Randy at the Reserve Casino for taking me backstage to say hello to the band before the show. (I had a photo taken with some of the guys, but it came out rather dark so the photo you see above is from the Greeley Stampede in 2010.) his was the first time I've had the opportunity to see a show at the Lava Room and I was really impressed by the beautiful venue. Great sightlines and the sound was fantastic. The Reserve has been bringing in some great classic rock talent including Foghat, Atlanta Rhythm Section, L.A. Guns and Firefall and they also have April Wine scheduled for November 29 and Great White on December 27.

Simply put, Warrant rocked. The late Jani Lane is certainly missed as a fantastic frontman and main songwriter, but Robert Mason is a total professional and has a voice I would kill for. They opened with "D.R.F.S.R." (see video I recorded below) and played all the hits from their first two albums including "Cherry Pie," "I Saw Red" and "Heaven." Killer recent tracks like "Sex Ain't Love" and "Last Straw" sound like they could have been released in 1989, but the best track of the evening for my dollar was "Blind Faith," an underrated single off the Cherry Pie LP. The Lava Room is such an intimate venue, it allowed for an excited female fan to easily reach around and give Mason's back side a healthy squeeze. It was weird to see only a 60-minute show, but the band played again at 9pm and they had to clear the room to bring in a new audience.

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Jack Bruce 1943-2014

Jack Bruce has passed away at the age of 71, reportedly of liver disease.

"It is with great sadness that we, Jack's family, announce the passing of our beloved Jack: husband, father, granddad, and all round legend. The world of music will be a poorer place without him, but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts."

Born on May 14, 1943, Bruce began playing bass in his teens. Throughout the early '60s, Bruce played with John Mayall's Blues Breakers, Manfred Mann and a number of bands. In the late '60s, Bruce co-founded the supergroup Cream with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker. The bassist wrote most of the group's songs, including "I Feel Free" and "Sunshine Of Your Love".

Cream disbanded in late 1968, and Bruce embarked on a solo career, further cementing his status as one of the greatest bassists ever.
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Listen to Annie Lennox Cover "Georgia On My Mind"

Annie Lennox has just released an album of covers, Nostalgia (out now) and you can see the video for "Georgia on My Mind"—the 1930 Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell track, made famous by Ray Charles on his 1960 album The Genius Hits the Road.

"I'm intrigued as to whether 'Georgia' is about a person or an actual place. There seems to be an ambiguity encrypted in the song," said Lennox. "I get the sense that Ray Charles most likely sang it with a woman in mind, but, then again, he could have been singing about a place. It actually doesn't matter... it's just a really tender vibe!"

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Hall-O-Ween & Oates

Daryl Hall & John Oates have teamed up with Live Nation and Yahoo to live stream their Halloween night concert live from Daryl's House in Pawling, NY. This marks the public opening of Daryl's House, where "Live From Daryl's House" is filmed. Fans can tune in on October 31, 2014 at 7pm MT HERE. Fans will also have the freedom to stream the concert wherever they are through Yahoo Screen on iOS, Android, mobile Web, desktop, and Smart TV platforms including Apple TV, Roku, and Xbox 360.

Hall & Oates played a frantastic greatest hits show at 1st Bank Center this past March. Talk about giving the audience what they wanted - the entire set consisted of material released in 1984 or earlier! So count me in for Hall-O-Ween & Oates!

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5 Questions with Robert Mason of Warrant

Don't miss Warrant performing TWO shows this Saturday, October 25th at the Reserve Casino & Hotel in Central City, CO. (Tickets for the 7pm show can be purchased HERE and tickets for the 9pm show can be purchased HERE.) Lead singer Robert Mason was nice enough to answer my five questions to promote their shows, the most recent Warrant album Rockaholic and chat about what the future has in store for the band...

1 – What is the first album you ever bought with your own money?

There were two: The Kids are Alright by The Who and Hotel California by The Eagles.

2 – How did Warrant connect with you to replace the late Jani Lane? Had you crossed paths during your time with Cry of Love or Lynch Mob?

I bumped into Joey Allen at Rocklahoma in July 2008. We reminisced a bit, then spoke that night about the band's concerns regarding Jani. As their touring season continued, Joey and Jerry Dixon reached out to me. I came out to SoCal and ran through a few songs with the band on a subsequent weekend and it was "smiles all around." Two weeks later I got the call to do two days rehearsal in Burbank and my first show in Tucson in support of Alice Cooper… just after Labor Day in 2008. I continue to stay in touch with members of both Lynch Mob and Cry of Love!

3 - I appreciate how much new material Warrant performs off Rockaholic in concert. What's your favorite new tracks to sing live?

Firstly, THANKS! It's a huge privilege to have a Warrant CD that I had a hand in. I love performing the songs everyone knows by heart and that's still obviously a huge part of what we do. To answer your question, I personally like singing "Sex Ain't Love" and "Home" in our live set. The first is a straight up rock track and the second is a ballad that's pretty personal to me.

4 - Warrant's Rockaholic CD was released in 2011. Any new material being written/recorded?

We are always writing songs (I'm in Nashville on a "writing mission" as I type this) and we have a plan to put together another Warrant record when we feel the songs are all there. But today, we don't have a specific schedule or release date. Stay tuned!

5 - You'll be performing two shows this Saturday (10/25) at the Reserve Casino. How many times in your career have you done two shows in one night?

In my career? Thousands! HA-HA! I've played in cover bands in clubs from the time I began working as a musician. As for Warrant, I've never been asked to do that; it'll probably be a new experience! Knowing my personality, I'll likely compare the two sets ("Man, I think I did "Uncle Tom's Cabin" a little better the second time.")

Big thanks, Ken. Hope to see you at our show!

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The Mystery of Joe Perry's Lost Guitar

Joe Perry appeared on Conan this week to promote his new book, ROCKS: My Life in and out of Aerosmith. During the interview, he talked about selling a valuable 1959 Les Paul after he first left Aerosmith in 1980. In addition to Perry's autobiography, I'm seeing a lot of new rock and roll books in stores just in time for holiday shopping season. Tom Petty, Peter Gabriel, Scott Ian of Anthrax, Paul Stanley of KISS all have new books for you to add to your reading list. And lovely Lita Ford is now pre-promoting Living Like A Runaway: A Memoir, due in stores next April.

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