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- Stoner doom legends Electric Wizard returned this year with Wizard Bloody Wizard . They're such a consistently great band, and the new album is no different.]]>
- Alice Cooper assembled his heaviest Christmas Pudding lineup yet -- with Slash, Ace Frehley, Rob Halford of Judas Priest, Edgar Winter and more. Alice Cooper performs along with his touring band at Alice Cooper's Christmas Pudding Fundraiser concert at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, Saturday, December 9, 2017.]]>
- The 16th edition of Alice Cooper 's star-studded annual Christmas Pudding fundraising concert takes place tomorrow , December 9, at the Celebrity Theatre in the shock rocker's hometown of Phoenix. Among the well-known musicians who will be joining Cooper at the event are Slash , ex- Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley , Judas Priest 's Rob Halford and Edgar Winter .]]>
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- "Dio Returns: The World Tour" — featuring Ronnie James Dio reuniting via hologram with his DIO bandmates — played its third show this past Saturday, December 9 at Progresja in Warsaw, Poland. The Ronnie hologram performed throughout the show, treating fans to an alternating setlist that featured songs such as "Rainbow In The Dark", "We Rock", "Neon Nights", "King Of Rock And Roll", "Man On The Silver Mountain", "Heaven And Hell", "Holy Diver" and more.
Fan-filmed video footage of the Warsaw concert can be seen below.
The "Dio Returns" tour features Ronnie's actual live vocals, with the DIO band playing live, consisting of Craig Goldy on guitar, Simon Wright on drums and Scott Warren on keyboards, along with Bjorn Englen on bass. Veteran metal vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens (JUDAS PRIEST) is also performing, with singer Oni Logan (LYNCH MOB) also joining on select dates.
"Dio Returns: The World Tour" will also make stops in Spain, Romania, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Belgium before the end of 2017.
Dates initially announced for Finland, Sweden and Norway are being rescheduled for a larger run through Scandinavia in 2018. The "Dio Returns" tour will also make stops throughout Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, United States, Venezuela and other countries, with more dates to be announced.
The hologram of Ronnie James Dio made its debut at last year's Wacken Open Air festival in Germany. The surprise appearance of the heavy metal icon during DIO DISCIPLES' set closed out the massive metal event which was attended by more than 75,000 fans.
In a recent post on the DIO DISCIPLES Facebook page, Goldy defended DIO DISCIPLES' decision to tour with Ronnie's hologram, calling it "a gift to the fans" which will be "given in the same spirit in which Ronnie gave."
He explained: "People don't remember, but Wendy [Dio, Ronnie's wife and manager] was a big part of how that whole 'Sacred Heart' stage set was built, put together and without hiking up the ticket prices too. Same thing for the 'Dream Evil' tour, with a giant metal spider that came down out of the rafters and I shot it with lasers out of my guitar and then wherever I pointed my guitar, an explosion would occur. It was magical days with magical people behind that magic. This hologram is just that."
According to Goldy, DIO DISCIPLES' performances with the Ronnie James Dio hologram will serve an opportunity for people who "never got to see Ronnie on stage with BLACK SABBATH and RAINBOW" to experience some of the original magic.
"This is something that is done in the name of love, honor, missing him and respect — nothing else," he said. "And that is the truth. People's opinion does not alter the truth. It only alters the perception of truth. So this hologram tour is meant to honor the man and his music in the same spirit in which that man gave to this world... so we now give. And people will be missing out on an incredible experience if they let bad comments make that decision for them."
Craig added that "Ronnie would approve of this hologram being done in the way it is being done. I'm sure that anyone who has worked as hard as he did, and has made as big of a worldwide impact as he did, would like their name and memory carried on by those people that he loved and surrounded himself with by choice."
Englen told "The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show" in October that "Dio Returns" will see him and his bandmates perform "quite a few songs with the hologram — probably, I would say, about half or maybe more than half. And then the rest of them are gonna be without the hologram, with 'Ripper' Owens and Oni Logan singing," he said. "So it's gonna be the DIO DISCIPLES. And the hologram is gonna be in the middle of the stage, but I don't wanna reveal too much. It's quite a large… it needs quite a bit of space onstage, so hopefully most of the venues are gonna be able to accommodate that, as far as the places that haven't been booked yet. But we're excited about it. It's gonna be great."
According to Englen, the tour will consist of shows "at theaters and large clubs. And as long as the stage is big, we can do it. It has to have a certain width," he explained.
Regarding what is involved in planning a tour like this, Englen said: "We have to do some choreography, as far as where to be and what song and all that stuff. All the music is live, and we obviously have to play to a click track — or Simon does — so that we're synced with Ronnie's vocals. Other than that, we play the songs like we normally play them. We've just gotta make sure the arrangements are the same, and they usually are — we haven't done many changes to the songs since the DIO days. So they're the same anyway."
Asked if he finds it "haunting" to perform with a Dio hologram, the bassist said: "You know, we're not really looking at it while we're playing. Looking at it after, I think it's just a nice thing. Some people wonder, 'Is it creepy?' or that kind of a thing. We're excited. We feel good about it. It's done really well, and it's with live vocals — you know, you get that live feel and everything — and they've done a really nice job as far as the content and the photography and all that stuff. I think a lot of people are gonna be — even the people that have been negative about it, or pessimistic — are gonna be positively surprised."
- The official lyric video for the song "Blame It On The Night" from JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE — which features ex-GREAT WHITE singer Jack Russell — can be seen below. The track is taken from JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE's debut album, "He Saw it Comin'", which was released on January 27 via Frontiers Music Srl.
Russell told Northwest Herald that "Blame It On The Night" was written about his wife, Heather Ann Russell. "Her father abused and molested her and all that kind of stuff," he said. "It's horrifying. I can't understand how that kind of stuff can happen. I felt I had to write a song about that because my wife goes through that stuff daily."
He previous said about the track: "Most of the material I have written in my life has been autobiographical, [but] this song is one of the exceptions. The song was written for and about my wife's childhood. Because of the subject and the feelings I have for my wife, this was a very difficult song to sing. But I believe that the topic is an important one to bring into the light and out of the shadows."
JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE features Russell alongside former GREAT WHITE bassist-turned-guitarist Tony Montana (as a guitar player and keyboardist), Dan McNay (MONTROSE) on bass, Robby Lochner (FIGHT) on guitar and Dicki Fliszar (BRUCE DICKINSON) on drums.
JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE is not to be confused with the current touring and recording version of GREAT WHITE, which features Mark Kendall, Scott Snyder (bass), Audie Desbrow (drums), Michael Lardie (guitar, keyboards) and Terry Ilous (lead vocals).
Russell, whose pyrotechnics ignited the deadly blaze on February 20, 2003 in Rhode Island, is working on a documentary about the infamous fire that killed a hundred people and injured hundreds more.
The fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick began in an overcrowded club when pyrotechnics from Russell's GREAT WHITE ignited illegal soundproofing foam lining the club's walls.
- Morgan Richards Interviews recently had a chat with DEEP PURPLE bassist Roger Glover. You can now listen to the question-and-answer session below.
Asked about DEEP PURPLE's ongoing "The Long Goodbye Tour", which has fueled speculation that the band is planning to retire from the road after travelling the globe countless times over the course of a nearly five-decade career, Glover said: "It was never set in stone in as much as we couldn't give you a date [as to when we would play our final show]. But we know we're gonna end sometime in the next year or the year after. Who knows? But in our age — we're in our 70s now… If it's one person, then you can know, but when there's five of you and you all have a mixed bag of health concerns and reasons and whatever… So we really don't know. But as long as we're enjoying it, we'll try and keep going, yeah. But when [the time to call it quits will] be? How long is a piece of string?"
Regarding whether there are plans for DEEP PURPLE to record and release more new material after the arrival of the band's latest album, 2017's "inFinite", Glover said: "We don't plan. We just let things happen. I'd love to do another album, but we haven't booked studio time or thought about it much. We'll get into next year before we even start thinking about that."
Roger also talked about DEEP PURPLE finally getting inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as part of the class of 2016 after being eligible for two decades. He said: "It's not that special to us. I mean, it's special that people support us, yes — we're very thankful for that. And lots of people — from METALLICA to Alice Cooper to RUSH, lots of people — wondered why we weren't in there. Actually, we didn't get it twice [after we were nominated for induction] before we got it, and what do you answer that with? Well, it's not that important to us. And now that we've got it, it's still not that important to us. It hasn't changed my life in any way except I got a gong and a free mug. But it's a bit of icing on the cake. A friend of mine, when he was getting an award like that, said, 'The real reward for what you do is getting onstage and playing. Every night, that's the reward.' Something like a recognition like [the Rock Hall induction], it's just a little bit of icing on the cake — that's all. It's not that important."
PURPLE drummer Ian Paice suffered a minor stroke in 2015, forcing him to miss the band's shows in Sweden and Denmark — the first time his medical condition prevented him from performing with the group.
The follow-up to 2013's "Now What?!", "inFinite" was tracked in February 2016 at a studio in Nashville, Tennessee and was once again helmed by Bob Ezrin, who has previously worked with KISS, PINK FLOYD, PETER GABRIEL, ALICE COOPER and KANSAS, among others.
DEEP PURPLE's first three lineups were inducted into the Rock Hall, including Paice, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, late keyboardist Jon Lord, and various singers and bassists — Rod Evans; Ian Gillan and Roger Glover; and David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes.
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