Friday, October 31, 2008

Led Zeppelin to tour without Robert Plant?

The notion of Led Zeppelin without its legendary frontman Robert Plant seems unthinkable to many, but apparently not to the other surviving members of Led Zep. Billboard.com reports that Led Zep may tour with Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy if Plant will not come on board. Here's what the article says:

Kennedy has rehearsed with Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist John Paul Jones and drummer Jason Bonham on several occasions, according to sources in the know. In a recent BBC interview, Jones confirmed the band was planning to tour but didn't refer to Kennedy by name.

Although he was onboard for a one-off reunion in December 2007 in London, Plant has steadfastly declined to hit the road with Zeppelin. In late September, he issued a statement saying he has "no intention whatsoever of touring with anyone for at least the next two years," and also wished Page, Jones and Bonham "nothing but success with any future projects."


Hmmm. To my ears, Kennedy sounds like a second-generation Plant imitator. The vocalist whom Kennedy most closely resembles is Chris Cornell, who has always struck me as a Plant follower.

Replacing Plant in Led Zeppelin is a risky proposition at best. Considering the countless Plant clones who have popped up over the last four decades, a Led Zeppelin lineup with a somewhat-soundalike singer could end up sounding like just another rip-off band. (Anyone remember the 1993 Coverdale/Page project?). YouTube videos of Alter Bridge covering Kashmir and Rock and Roll suggest that a Kennedy-fronted lineup could work, but I for one would not be buying a ticket.

The article also says this:

There may be one unintended side effect should Kennedy bolt Alter Bridge, which has released an album each for Wind-Up and Universal. That band features the non-singing members of Creed, who split with frontman Scott Stapp in 2004. But sources indicate there would be big bucks in a Creed reunion tour and that the band may indeed rise again.


Uh oh.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dr Pepper is making good on their Guns N' Roses offer

Earlier this year, the people at the Dr Pepper soft drink company promised that if the new Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy was released before the end of 2008, everyone in America would get a free can of the soda. They probably felt safe making this bet, but as fate would have it, the much-delayed GNR album is scheduled for release on November 23rd of this year. So the beverage company is keeping its word. Here's how it will work: fans are asked to visit DrPepper.com on the November 23rd release date and register online to receive a coupon for a 20-oz. Dr Pepper redeemable wherever the drink is sold. Here's the catch: the coupon will only be available for 24 hours and will expire on February 28th.

By the way, if you haven't yet heard the first single, which is the album's title track, you can listen to it (legally) here:

http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003876302

It sounds half-interesting, but I hope it's not the best song on the album! See what you think.

"Original rapper" Rudy Ray Moore dies

Rudy Ray Moore, the raunchy '70's comedian, died this past Sunday, October 19th, from complications caused by diabetes. The Associated Press story says that Moore was 81, but some sources are saying he was born in 1937, which (if correct) would make him 71 at the time of his death. Surprisingly enough, the AP article states that his mother is still living! Moore is best remembered as the producer/star of Dolemite, a quite awful 1975 blaxploitation flick in which he played (I kid you not) a kung fu pimp.

Moore has been called "the original rapper", and he is probably as deserving of that title as anyone. The recorded history of rap music basically begins in 1979, but Moore was doing it at least four years before then, as this clip from Dolemite demonstrates. (Warning: profanity is contained therein).

One quote from the AP article is quite revealing:


Moore said he developed the (toasting) style, later a feature of rap music, by listening to men sitting outside joints "drinking beer and lying and talking (expletive)."


Okay! If nothing else, I want to thank the late Mr. Moore for finally explaining rap music to me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Alex Chilton "1970"

I've completed my 17th Spotlight Album Review. The subject is Alex Chilton's "1970", a solo album which was recorded during the title year by the former lead singer of the Box Tops and Big Star, but which was unreleased until 1996. The CD is out of print, but fans of any of Chilton's work are advised to search it out. It actually serves as the missing link between several phases of Chilton's strange career. Here is the review:

http://rarebird9.net/chilton.html