Barnes was never up for Bon’s job...
Former Cold Chisel singer Jimmy Barnes has finally laid a 32-year urban myth to bed by confirming he was never in the frame to replace Bon Scott in AC/DC.
The Australian band were rising through the ranks when their front-man died in February 1980. After deciding to keep the outfit going Malcolm and Angus Young settled on Brian Johnson for their new singer, released Back in Black later the same year and went on to become one of the biggest acts in the world.
But rumors have persisted that fellow Scotsman Barnes was among the candidates for Scott’s position. Now he says that was never the case.
He tells Classic Rock’s Dave Ling: “The whole thing was was a complete urban myth – I never even spoke to the guys about it.
“Bon was a good mate of mine. I used to go into the studio and watch them record. I knew Angus and Malcolm Young very well, and I was also acquainted with Harry Vanda and George Young.
“We were all very comfortable around one another – but the idea of me joining AC/DC was never discussed.
“It’s one of those subjects that’s been written about so many times that it’s become accepted as being true, when in fact it’s a complete figment of somebody’s imagination.”
Barnes replaced Scott in his previous group Fraternity in 1975 – which may be the source of the rumor. After six months he returned to Cold Chisel, who had formed in 1973, and remained with them until they split in 1983. At the height of their powers they were the biggest-selling act in Australia and Barnes had a reputation as a wild man, downing a bottle of vodka during each show.
(Fraternity around 1970 L - R; Bruce Howe, Mick Jurd, John Freeman, John Bisset, Bon Scott)
The reunited band released their ninth studio album, No Plans, last month. In July they’ll play three UK shows, their first visit in 30 years.
(Cold Chisel November 2011)
Walsh couldn’t work without vodka...
Eagles stalwart Joe Walsh admits it took him decades to complete new solo album Analog Man because he had to learn how to work without the aid of his “best friend” – vodka.
He says his new wife is to be thanked for providing the momentum to get back in the studio after he started on the road to recover around the time of the Eagles’ Hell Freezes Over reunion in 1994.
Walsh tells Rolling Stone: “I had to get sober. I was hitting bottom and I ran out of options – so I had to stop everything and rebuild Joe from the bottom up.
“I had to relearn how to do everything without vodka. That took a while. Vodka was my best friend for a while there.
“I just couldn't really go into the studio or around that kind of environment. Working on music when it started to get late, there were too many triggers.
“But I didn't disappear. I got married three and a half years ago to Marjorie. She’s really the part of me that was missing. I really found a partner. She said: ‘You ought to get off your ass and put this record together. By the way, here’s Jeff Lynne’s number.”
Walsh describes producer Lynne’s input as “invaluable,” explaining: “I get these great ideas and I get them started, but I can never finish them up because I have a new idea that I've got to go do. Jeff’s a real closer. He took me in a direction I would never have gone.”
Despite the album’s title, Walsh isn't arguing that analogue technology is better than digital. “I’m not some old fart who just come out of the woods,” he says. “This album I did with a hard drive and a mouse.”
But he adds: “I had to make some adjustments; we all did. There’s a whole new technology, but there’s also a whole new world that’s virtual and that doesn't really exist. We all spend more and more time in there and we get lost. Meanwhile, our bodies sit in chairs and wait for our minds to come back. I don’t know if it’s working for us – or if we’re working for it.
“I know that it ate the record business, and I know it ate radio and it ate intellectual property. I hope it doesn't eat me.”
See the best of Slash live in NYC...
Last night Slash streamed a live show from Irving Plaza in New York City
His band, featuring Myles Kennedy of Altar Bridge fame, is currently touring the US and will head for Europe in the coming weeks to support new album Apocalyptic Love, released this week in a collector’s Fan Pack edition of Classic Rock Magazine.
The guitarist recently paid tribute to his front-man, who guested on his first solo album before begin asked to tour then sing all lead vocals on the follow-up record. Slash said: “When I first met him and he did that Starlight song, I was like, ‘Whoa!’ From that moment on, when we started rehearsing for that tour, I thought, ‘This guy’s really great.’ That’s the only reason I got him to do that tour in the first place – I knew that he could handle the diversity of all that material.”
Even Metallica can’t afford to stop touring...
Industry downturn affects thrash giants too, says Kirk Hammett
Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett has revealed the music industry’s current woes has even affected them to the extent they can’t afford not to tour. He says: “The cycles of taking two years off don’t exist any more. We were able to do that because we had record royalties coming in consistently. Now you put out an album and you have a windfall maybe once or twice. But it’s not the way it used to be – a check every three months.” He says their merchandise takings paid for their new studio: “We basically take funds from wherever we can. This is a real luxury, but great things come out of this.” The band believe the best they’ll do at their Orion Music Festival in July is break even.
Kill Devil Hill, ‘a musical adventure trip’ featuring Vinny Appice and Rex Brown...
Kill Devil Hill is a new project featuring drummer Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Heaven And Hell, Dio), bassist Rex Brown (Pantera, Down), guitar slinger Mark Zavon and lead vocalist Dewey Bragg.
Rex Brown, bassist and erstwhile member of Pantera and Down, sees Kill Devil Hill as an extremely exciting addition to the rock and metal scene: “To me, this band is a musical adventure trip,” he reckons.
Kill Devil Hill’s self-titled debut album is in the stores on May 28. It’s being released via SPV/Steamhammer.
See what you reckon by checking out the video below...
Ellefson speaks up over thrash supergroup...
Megadeth bassist David Ellefson believes bandmate Dave Mustaine’s thrash supergroup suggestion is a great idea.
Last year Mustaine said there had been talk about the Megadeth pair working with Metallica’s James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich on an album.
That led to a recent comment from Hetfield, who said: “”I do see a lot of stuff in the press with him talking about jamming with us and making an album. All this other crazy stuff. I read it and say to myself, ‘Hold on. This is the Dave that we kind of wanted to forget about. You know, the big mouth that wants to just go-go-go.’”
Mustaine apologised and vowed never to discuss the topic again, adding: “I probably shouldn’t have said stuff like that.” But now Ellefson has spoken up instead.
The bassist tells MetalSerbia: “It would be fun to do it. I think Dave just threw that out as a kind of wish-list. I don’t know if it’s ever going to be a reality. But a lot of people got excited at the thought of it.
“If it would ever happen, absolutely I’d participate. I think it would be a blast.”
It’s not the first time Mustaine’s public comments have landed him in hot water – and although it doesn’t happen as often as it once did, it’s unlikely to be the last time.
Ellefson says: “Those are Dave’s feelings and opinions. Here in America, with our freedom of speech and liberties that we have, every one of us can voice their own opinion. He says those things because that’s how he feels about them. “Megadeth has always bee a band that’s about personal freedoms anyway. So for us to be able to say and do whatever we want – provided that it doesn't hurt other people – there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Meanwhile, Ellefson is set to narrate a documentary movie about the plight of US veterans struggling on or below the breadline after having served their country in armed conflict.
Entitled Shame On America, the film will be directed by Fran Strine and co-produced by Staind frontman Aaron Lewis.
The team say: “On any given night not far from your front door, there are upwards of 75,000 veterans trying to survive the brutal conditions of the streets.
“Shame On America tells the raw and tragic details of what life is like as an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran today. Many veterans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and among them are those whose lives have fallen apart and have become homeless as a result. Severe PTSD leaves these returning heroes on a downward spiral into their own personal hell.”