Category: Reunions

David Lee Roth promises Van Halen to return, with monster trucks

David Lee Roth
Van Halen will be back, lead singer David Lee Roth promises, and when the band returns, it may be bringing along some extra heavy machinery.

In a video the band's posted (embedded below), it doesn't appear that Roth is using one of his colorful rock 'n' roll metaphors when he tells fans to expect a "super-sized monster-truck rally Van Halen tractor-pull sort-of-event" when the band eventually reschedules its 30-plus postponed tour dates. No clue as to what that means, but he says it will happen as "soon as the band learns to speak Australian."

"We're going to be bringing that back around through the United States," Roth says in the video, which he said was filmed in the woods just north of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The reformed '70s hard rock heavyweights will return home with a June 1 show at Staples Center, one of the dates that wasn't unexpectedly taken off the tour docket last week. 

Contrary to rumors that the famously volatile band isn't getting along, Roth said Van Halen is simply attempting to avoid exhaustion. "We bit off way more than we could chew, when it came to scheduling," Roth said. "The band is winning, but our schedule has been sidelined for unnecessary roughness."

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Chris Cornell muses on Soundgarden, 'Avengers' and 'Sesame Street'

It's been a decade and a half since Soundgarden released a wholly new song. A first song from the reunited act's recent recording session was unveiled this week, and the hard-rock vets had a little help getting the word out. Soundgarden attached itself to  Marvel super-hero vehicle "The Avengers," and leader Chris Cornell said aligning with the likes of Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk was something of a necessity. 

"In the grand scheme of things, the record business is completely different than it was when we last put out a record," Cornell told Pop & Hiss. That was the pre-Napster days of 1996, and the band's "Down on the Upside" was following its 1994 chart-topping blockbuster "Superunknown," an album that brought '70s-inspired metal ferocity and somber melodic intricacy to the grunge era. 

"In other words," Cornell said, "there needs to be some tie-in [today]. Without one, it’s great that you made a record and recorded a song, but no one’s going to hear it -- have a nice day. The problem, really, isn’t so much as finding a tie-in, but finding one you can get behind, where you can feel 100 percent comfortable that there is a partner." 

Linking with "The Avengers" was a simple decision for the band, Cornell said. Though Cornell is no comic geek, guitarist Kim Thayil is, said Cornell, who described his bandmate as someone who "knows every detail of every character and when they were conceived and what metamorphosis they went through."

For his part, Cornell said past Marvel films such as "Iron Man" rank as high with him as the works of digital animation house Pixar, as he praised the Robert Downey Jr. hit for its blend of comedy and action. "The Avengers" will be released May 4, and the soundtrack, dubbed "Avengers Assemble," will be released May 1.

"A lot of the other tie-ins that someone may propose to a band sitting in the room are not so great," Cornell said. "They don’t ring so well in your ears, especially if you’re a rock band that started as an indie band and you’ve been around for over 25 years. It takes some getting used to, some of these concepts, like you go out on and tour and they try to put a banner from a cellphone company somewhere near your stage.

"So this," continued Cornell, "was the best possible result of having a partnership. This is a movie that’s part of a series that we all like, and part of a history of Marvel that we all like."

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Hole reunites in New York following film screening

 Courtney Love reunited with '90s members of Hole in New York

This post as been updated. See details at the bottom.

Courtney Love reconnected with her former Hole band mates for the first time in 15 years on Friday in New York for a reunion performance in conjunction with a screening of drummer Patty Schemel’s documentary “Hit So Hard.”

Fans had been speculating whether Love would show up at the event, where guitarist Eric Erlandson and bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur were set to play with Schemel at Public Assembly concert hall in Brooklyn.

"Is there a lady still in the house that wants to join us for a song?" Auf der Maur asked. "You never know -- we never know." Love then appeared, asking for Erlandson's help in strapping on a guitar.

They played Hole’s “Miss World” and a tune by early Portland punk band the Wipers, “Over the Edge.” Video footage of the short reunion can be seen on YouTube.

The performance came at the end of a week in which Love entered the public spotlight again with a string of Tweets claiming that Dave Grohl had engaged in a physical relationship with Frances Bean Cobain, her daughter with Kurt Cobain. Grohl and Frances Bean quickly dismissed her posts, Grohl calling her remarks a “Twitter rant.” Over the weekend Love Tweeted an apology: "Bean, sorry I believed the gossip...Mommy loves you."

Love formed Hole in Los Angeles with Erlandson, Schemel and bassist Kristen Pfaff, who died at age 27 in 1994, after which Auf Der Maur joined the group.

Erlandson, Schemel and Auf Der Maur came together earlier this month for the release of Erlandson’s book “Letters to Kurt,” a memoir constructed as correspondence to Cobain, with whom he was friends.

One fan promptly posted a response to the reunion suggesting that Hole be booked for the 2013 lineup of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

[Update on April 17 at 12:14 p.m.: The documentary "Hit So Hard" will be screened in L.A. on Thursday, April 19, at the Vista Theater in Los Feliz and will be followed by a performance billed as "Eric and Patty Schemel and special guests." There's no official word on whether Courtney Love will join her former Hole band mates for this show. In addition, Erlandson will sign copies of "Letters to Kurt" at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, followed at 8 p.m. Monday, April 23, by "An evening of music/performance art and conversation with Eric Erlandson" with a "special guest TBA" at Largo at the Coronet Theater.]


Courtney Love addresses sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll

Inside Courtney Love's pretty, problematic NYC townhouse [PHOTOS]

Courtney Love 'should be banned from Twitter'--Frances Bean Cobain

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: Courtney Love during a 2010 performance in Hollywood with the newest edition of Hole. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times.

Guns N' Roses fans pen letter pushing for original lineup reunion

Axl Rose and SlashYesterday an email landed in the inbox from die-hard Guns N' Roses fan Chris Gehrt, who sent it to a number of media outlets in hopes of it reaching the eyeballs of one Axl Rose. Pushing for a reunion of the original members during the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland, which takes place April 14, Gehrt and other fans are admirably blunt in the missive. "This letter is for the original lineup of the band Guns N' Roses. Our reunion hopes are dwindling and nobody seems to be doing anything about it. Please post this or forward this letter on."

Here's the letter, in its entirety (with a cuss word excised and misspellings left intact).

Dear Guns N Roses,

On Saturday April 14th 2012 you will be inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. This gave a great hope to every GNR fan on the planet for a one time reunion show. Our one and only chance to see the original lineup on stage together again, if only for five minutes. Something we've been told for years would never happen. Rumors swirled, the band denied, and the fans prayed. It will always be okay because you never promised us anything.

With less than 2 weeks before the induction, the fans are watching as our reunion hopes start to disappear like Marty McFly's family in a polaroid picture. Each day it seems like there is some new story about how there has been no communication, nobody knows what is required of them, nobody's talking, and nobody really seems to care.

We care.

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Brit Awards: Blur returns and Adele raises her middle finger

Image: Adele and James Corden at the Brit Awards. Credit: Associated Press

Welcome home, Adele. Now please, step aside for Blur.

London's soulful singer, who won six Grammy Awards and performed for the first time earlier this month after undergoing vocal cord surgery, unexpectedly took top honors at the 2012 Brit Awards. Her "21" won album of the year, but her triumphant homecoming was cut short.

Immediately after declaring that she is "so, so proud to be British," host James Corden was forced to rush Adele off the stage to welcome a reunited Blur for a rousing, 10-plus-minute show-closing set. Yet even as Adele was asked to exit the stage, she still managed to get the last word. Adele shrugged and raised a middle finger as Corden turned the proceedings over the Blur.

"Nothing makes me prouder that coming home with six Grammys and then coming to the Brits and winning album of the year," Adele said during her acceptance speech. "I’m so, so proud to be British and to be flying our flag and I’m so proud to be in the room with all of you."

As Corden approached Adele, he apologized and said he "can't believe" he's about to cut off the superstar, who performed her "Rolling in the Deep" live in her native country for the first time since undergoing surgery in November. "You're gonna cut me off?" Adele remarked as he approached, and then added, before extending her finger, "Can I just say then, goodbye, and I’ll see you next time round, then." 

Multiple press outlets have quoted Adele as saying backstage that the gesture was meant "for the suits, not the fans." Regardless, consider Adele's chances of performing at the 2013 Super Bowl now slightly decreased. 

As far as the awards, the British equivalent of the Grammys named Adele the top British female solo artist, and bestowed the male prize upon wispy young singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. The latter was also crowned this year's breakthrough act, and American Lana Del Rey was awarded the trophy for international breakthrough act. 

But let's skip to the performance for which Adele's speech was cut short. Blur, who were recognized at the Brit Awards for outstanding contribution to music, performed five songs, "Girls & Boys," "Song 2," "Parklife," "Tender" and "This Is a Low." The mini-set was absent any Grammy-like shenanigans, as Blur wasn't forced to awkwardly join forces with any younger artists.

Instead, the set showcased the adventurous band's breadth throughout its decade-plus career, including the dance-club inflections of "Girls & Boys,"the gospel-tinged "Tender" and the anthemic rock 'n' roller "Song 2." After the jump, watch the band's performance of its acidic, upper-crust take down that is "Parklife" with actor/comedian Phil Daniels. No doubt it won't be on YouTube for long.

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Beach Boys to headline Hollywood Bowl

Beach Boys to headline Hollywood Bowl

The first Beach Boys live dates in years to feature core founding members Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine will include a headlining performance at the Hollywood Bowl. Tickets for the June 2 concert at the legendary venue will go on sale Feb. 26. 

The Beach Boys have reunited in celebration of the band's 50th anniversary. The tour will also include longtime members Bruce Johnston and David Marks. The latter was on the band's debut album, "Surfin' Safari." Tickets will range in price from $40.50 to $170.60, a total that includes additional fees. Starting Friday, there will be a pre-sale for those who hold American Express cards. 

Two members of the band's original lineup -- drummer Dennis Wilson and singer-guitarist Carl Wilson -- died in 1983 and 1998, respectively. Johnston joined the band in 1965 after Brian Wilson opted out of touring to focus on overseeing the group's recordings.

The surviving members of the Beach Boys reunited at this year's Grammy Awards, performing "Good Vibrations" with Maroon 5 and Foster the People. The band is also working on a new album, and the Hollywood Bowl date is one of more than 40 spring and summer performances. The 50th anniversary tour will launch from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on April 27.

VIP packages will also be available for many of the band's non-festival tour dates.  


Official version of Beach Boys' 'Smile' is released

Van Dyke Parks discusses 'Arrangements,' Skrillex collaboration

Grammys 2012: More Beach Boys, less Maroon 5, Foster the People

-- Todd Martens

Image: The Beach Boys perform at the Grammy Awards. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Surviving Beach Boys will reunite for Grammy Awards performance

The Beach Boys will reunite for 2012 Grammy Awards show
The surviving members of the Beach Boys will reunite for their first public performance in more than two decades Sunday at the 54th Grammy Awards ceremony at Staples Center.

Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks, who previously announced plans for a 2012 reunion tour to mark the Southern California group’s 50th anniversary, are slated to be joined by nominees Foster the People and Maroon 5 during the performance segment.

The Beach Boys have never won a Grammy, although Wilson picked up the rock instrumenal award in 2004 for the track “Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow” from “Brian Wilson Presents Smile,” his latter-day completion of the Beach Boys project that was shelved in 1967.

Grammy show producers had hoped to trumpet the Beach Boys’ performance in November when nominations were announced, but details had not been finalized at that point.

Two members of the band's original lineup -- drummer Dennis Wilson and singer-guitarist Carl Wilson -- died in 1983 and 1998, respectively. Johnston joined the band in 1965 after Brian Wilson opted out of touring to focus on overseeing the group's recordings.

Before Johnston came on board, Wilson had been replaced briefly on tour by a recording session guitarist who had worked on some of their recordings: Glen Campbell, who will appear Sunday to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy. Campbell is scheduled for his own performance with nominated country acts Blake Shelton and the Band Perry.

Other performers who have been added to Sunday’s show include the alt-country duo Civil Wars, jazz singer and pianist Diana Krall, funk musician Maceo Parker and rock singer-guitarist Joe Walsh. Previously announced performers include Adele, Paul McCartney, Rihanna, Tony Bennett, Bruce Spingsteen & the E Street Band, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift.

The show will air from 8 to 11:30 p.m. Sunday on CBS-TV.


Grammys: Is a Beach Boys reunion in the works?

Official version of Beach Boys' 'Smile' is released

The Beach Boys announce 50th anniversary reunion

-- Randy Lewis

Photo of the Beach Boys in 1963, from left: Dennis Wilson, David Marks, Carl Wilson, Mike Love and Brian Wilson. Credit: Pendleton Woolen Mills 1963.

L.A. ticket details released for Van Halen's comeback shows

Van Halen
Van Halen is back, asking deep questions and making up words. Take, for instance,  new single "Tattoo," as David Lee Roth asks, "Why is the crazy stuff we never say written in ink?" It's a wide-ranging rocker with nods to all aspects of the Van Halen fan base, with its old-fashioned guitar fills, images of fading ink, call-outs to stay-at-home mousewives who become tatted-up houswives (a "momshell," right?) and a final verse that references the working man. 

It could cost more than one of those "sexy dragon" tattoos Roth sings about in the band's comeback single (video below) to see Van Halen live, as tickets for the L.A.-area shows -- June 1 at Staples Center and June 12 at the Honda Center -- go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. via Tickets start at $29.50 and go up to $149.50, not including surcharges.

Multiple VIP packages will also be available, with prices in other cities ranging from $395 to $995. They include such perks as a pre-show party and backstage tour, among other Van Halen-branded goodies, and they are selling out. Those interested can seek out more information here, and VIP packages are on sale today to holders of American Express cards. 

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Critic's Notebook: At Coachella, a rebellious spirit

The booking of Pulp, with its ‘Common People' anti-1% screed, typifies Coachella '12. 

Critic's Notebook: At Coachella, a rebellious spirit

One of the great, universal rock anthems of the last two decades — Pulp's “Common People” — bypassed the U.S. when it exploded out of England in 1995. But if and when a reunited Pulp plays the song at this year's Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., its artful and catchy screed against the 1% couldn't be more timely.

At a moment when jobless kids are cracking open piggy banks and digging deep for a Coachella ticket to see 120-odd bands over one weekend at the Indio festival, Pulp seems the most relevant among veteran acts that also include Refused, Mazzy Star, At the Drive-In, Company Flow, Madness and Squeeze. But Pulp's arrival isn't the biggest name coming out of the desert's festival, which runs two consecutive weekends. This year's roster, which was announced Monday afternoon by promoter Goldenvoice, will feature Dr. Dre and Snoop, Radiohead and the Black Keys as headliners, while dozens of other acts will occupy the festival's five stages, including Grammy-nominated names such as Bon Iver, Florence and the Machine and David Guetta. An undercard includes dance, hip-hop and rock upstarts SBTRKT, M83, Azealia Banks and Feist.

Pulp's arrival at Coachella this year, however, typifies the festival, its ever-evolving and maturing aesthetic, and its place in the culture right now.

“Common People” is a lyrical conversation with a rich girl longing to slum it with the commoners. With bitterness in his voice, Pulp's Jarvis Cocker tells of her desire to “sing along with the common people,” then replies that she could never truly do that because inherited wealth blinds her to the realities of the paycheck-to-paycheck life. “You'll never get it right,” he sings, conjuring the spirit of both Ray Davies and Bob Dylan, “'cos when you're laid in bed at night/watching roaches climb the wall/if you call your dad, he could stop it all.”

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The Beach Boys announce 50th anniversary reunion


For years, there have been the Beach Boys, and there has been Brian Wilson, and the two rarely intersected. The pioneering SoCal pop group was so influential to pop that it was, and is, widely regarded as America's answer to the Beatles. But Wilson's involvement with the band waxed and waned over the decades, and more recently his role has been nonexistent while he resurrected such long-delayed projects as "Smile" (which the Beach Boys also revisited this year with the well received box set, "The Smile Sessions) and a solo album "That Lucky Old Sun."

Until now. The band confirmed speculation that all surviving members of the Beach Boys' mid-'60s lineup -- Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks -- will reunite for the band's 50th anniversary with a world tour and a new album on Capitol in 2012.

Wilson is producing the new album of originals, which is still being recorded. It will top a retrospective series that includes a new greatest-hits collection and a career-spanning box set, while the 50-date world tour (with dates to be announced) begins in April and includes a stop at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The Beach Boys remain the bestselling American band in the history of Neilsen/Soundscan for albums and singles. 


Official version of the Beach Boys' "Smile" is released

Grammys: Is a Beach Boys reunion in the works?

Album review: The Beach Boys' "The Smile Sessions"


-- August Brown


Photo: Brian Wilson performs the world premiere of "Smile," the lost Beach Boys album from 1966-67, at the Royal Festival Hall, on London's South Bank, Feb. 20, 2004. Credit: Graham Barclay / For the Los Angeles Times




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