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Scott Weiland, Former Stone Temple Pilots And Velvet Revolver Frontman Dies At 48

Scott Weiland

Scott Weiland, Former Stone Temple Pilots And Velvet Revolver Frontman Dies At 48

Scott Weiland, the former frontman of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, died in Minnesota on Thursday December 3, 2015. According to a statement on his Facebook page, he “passed away in his sleep while on a tour stop.”

According to the statement, Weiland died in Bloomington, Minn.on tour with his band, The Wildabouts. Other details, such as the cause of death, were not revealed, citing his family’s desire for privacy.

I personally got to see Scott perform only once, with Stone Temple Pilots at the Pershing Center in Lincoln, NE in 2010. I had heard lots of talk about how Weiland wasn’t very good live, and that he couldn’t hit the notes anymore. They couldn’t have been more wrong. I’ve seen a LOT of live shows in my time, and that STP show in 2010 was absolutely phenomenal! Weiland was perfect. He sang with such force and grace. The songs sounded very, very good, but he gave them a special flair live. It was truly one of the best shows I have even seen, and I’m happy that I got to see him in that light, and in all his glory. He will be missed….

Weiland, whose career was marked by both Grammy Awards and drug and alcohol abuse problems, was the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots, which had numerous hits in the 1990s, and of Velvet Revolver, a supergroup that paired him with former members of Guns N’ Roses.

At the time of his death, Weiland had been touring with his new band, The Wildabouts. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the band’s Thursday night show “was canceled nine days ago because of slow ticket sales.”

It was a far cry from the heights of Weiland’s career, when he became famous both for reeling off chart-topping rock songs and for his wide-ranging fashion sense — from shirtless to shirt-and-tie. Over his career, Weiland sold tens of millions of records worldwide.

His struggles with heroin and other drugs often derailed Weiland over the years, even as he kept performing. Visits to rehab and police stations were also a distraction from the singer’s powerful voice, a gravelly bass that he tamed to sing rock ballads such as Velvet Revolver’s “Fall to Pieces” — a song about a singer struggling with demons, and whose video includes the depiction of a seeming drug overdose.

In 2012, Weiland published a book called Not Dead & Not for Sale, in which he described being the victim of rape as a schoolboy, and in which he detailed his struggles with addiction.

From the prelude:

“Every time I try to catch up to my life, something stops me. Different people making claims on my life. Old friends telling me new friends aren’t true friends. All friends trying to convince me that I can’t survive without them.

“Then there are the pay-for-hire get-off-drugs professionals with their own methods and madness. They help, they hurt, they welcome me into their institutions … and, well, their madness.

“Welcome to my life.”

Portions of this article excerpted from this NPR article : Singer Scott Weiland Dies On Tour At Age 48

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May 12, 1963: Bob Dylan walks off the Ed Sullivan Show

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan walks off the Ed Sullivan Show

Performing on The Ed Sullivan Show might have helped launch the careers of Elvis Presley and the Beatles, but Bob Dylan took a different approach to fame: courting celebrity by not performing.

Dylan was slated to appear on the massively popular variety show on this day, May 12, in 1963 — a year before the Beatles. At the time, he was little known by mainstream audiences, although TIME had referred to him a year earlier as “a promising young hobo.”

“He dresses in sheepskin and a black corduroy Huck Finn cap, which covers only a small part of his long, tumbling hair,” TIME’s 1962 story attests. “[H]e delivers his songs in a studied nasal that has just the right clothespin-on-the-nose honesty to appeal to those who most deeply care.”

On Ed Sullivan, Dylan planned to put a spin on his clothespin-on-the-nose honesty with “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues,” a satirical song written from the perspective of a John Birch Society member who is so terrified of communist infiltration that he looks for Reds everywhere, including in his chimney, toilet and glove box.

Sullivan himself apparently had no problem with the song when Dylan auditioned it, but a CBS executive who heard it during dress rehearsal found it too controversial. Dylan was told he’d have to sing a different song or change the lyrics, which included, “Now Eisenhower, he’s a Russian spy/ Lincoln, Jefferson, and that Roosevelt guy/ To my knowledge there’s just one man/ That’s really a true American: George Lincoln Rockwell.” (Rockwell was the founder of the American Nazi Party.)

Dylan refused to change the song or pick another, and walked out instead.

It wasn’t the first time a musical act had been censored on Sullivan’s show. The Rolling Stones were told to change “Let’s Spend the Night Together” to “Let’s Spend Some Time Together” — and obliged. The Doors were told to change a line from “Light My Fire” from “Girl, we couldn’t get much higher” to “Girl, we couldn’t get much better.” Jim Morrison agreed to make the switch, but sang the original live, and the band was banned from the show.

The trouble didn’t end for Dylan when he left the Ed Sullivan set, however. CBS also owned his record label, Columbia Records, and when executives there heard that the song’s lyrics might be grounds for libel, they pulled it from his second album, according to Rolling Stone.

Even though he never got to play the song, Dylan still got some press from the non-appearance. He clearly occupied the moral high ground in the New York Times’ dispatch about the dustup, headlined “Satire on Birch Society Barred from Ed Sullivan’s TV Show.” And, per Rolling Stone, he bounced back from the crushing disappointment when someone told him, “Man, you got a lot of free publicity. A real underdog.”

From TIME magazine article

Here’s the song that Dylan was asked not to perform :

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Michael Jackson Left Us Five Years Ago Today

Michael Jackson
For his legions of fans, he was the Peter Pan of pop music: the little boy who refused to grow up. But on the verge of another attempted comeback, he is suddenly gone, this time for good.

Michael Jackson, whose quintessentially American tale of celebrity and excess took him from musical boy wonder to global pop superstar to sad figure haunted by lawsuits, paparazzi and failed plastic surgery, was pronounced dead on Thursday afternoon at U.C.L.A. Medical Center after arriving in a coma, a city official said. Mr. Jackson was 50, having spent 40 of those years in the public eye he loved.

The singer was rushed to the hospital, a six-minute drive from the rented Holmby Hills home in which he was living, shortly after noon by paramedics for the Los Angeles Fire Department. A hospital spokesman would not confirm reports of cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead at 2:26 pm.

As with Elvis Presley or the Beatles, it is impossible to calculate the full effect Mr. Jackson had on the world of music. At the height of his career, he was indisputably the biggest star in the world; he has sold more than 750 million albums. Radio stations across the country reacted to his death with marathon sessions of his songs. MTV, which grew successful in part as a result of Mr. Jackson’s groundbreaking videos, reprised its early days as a music channel by showing his biggest hits.

From his days as the youngest brother in the Jackson 5 to his solo career in the 1980s and early 1990s, Mr. Jackson was responsible for a string of hits like “I Want You Back,” “I’ll Be There” “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” “Billie Jean” and “Black or White” that exploited his high voice, infectious energy and ear for irresistible hooks.

As a solo performer, Mr. Jackson ushered in the age of pop as a global product — not to mention an age of spectacle and pop culture celebrity. He became more character than singer: his sequined glove, his whitened face, his moonwalk dance move became embedded in the cultural firmament.

His entertainment career hit high-water marks with the release of “Thriller,” from 1982, which has been certified 28 times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and with the “Victory” world tour that reunited him with his brothers in 1984.

But soon afterward, his career started a bizarre disintegration. His darkest moment undoubtedly came in 2003, when he was indicted on child molesting charges. A young cancer patient claimed the singer had befriended him and then groped him at his Neverland estate near Santa Barbara, Calif., but Mr. Jackson was acquitted on all charges.

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Jimmy Page, and his doppelganger, turn 70

Jimmy Page

The great Jimmy Page turns 70 today. I have no idea how old the Quaker Oats dude is, but is that resemblance uncanny, or what!?

So, here’s a (maybe-not-so) interesting factoid. OK, I do know how old the Quaker Oats dude is. He was the first trademark for a breakfast cereal ever, dating back to 1877, making him roughly 137 years old. That’s almost twice as old as Mr. Page..

Quaker Oats acquired the toy company Fisher-Price in 1969, the same year that the album Led Zeppelin was released, and merely a few days into their first US tour.

One of the coolest Fisher-Price toys (especially for aspiring musicians) was the record player, released in 1971.

Fisher-Price Record Player

And now, we come full circle, tying it all together, as a UK-based tinkerer named Frank Murphy has created new records for the device featuring Stairway to Heaven and the theme to Star Wars.

Have a listen to the Stairway to Heaven disc :

So is this all just pure coincidence?? I think NOT!! :)

What say you?

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Happy 51st to U2’s The Edge!

David Howell Evans, or The Edge as we all know him, turns 51 today!

The Edge has one of the most unique and recognizable guitar sounds out there today, thanks in no small part to his 60’s and 70’s era Vox AC30 amps, massive use of delay and reverb, and distinct playing style.

Take a listen to one of U2’s classics off the War album right HERE (yes, the video is reversed..??)

Enjoy!

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Billy Joel turns 63 today!

William Martin Joel, or Billy as we all know him, was born on May 9, 1949 making him 63 today!

Man, there’s so many great Billy Joel tunes it’s hard to pick one……ah, heck, just give the entire Glass Houses album a spin – which is where the picture comes from incidentally…..

Or – check out this sweet little vid from back when Billy was in his 30s :).

Happy Birthday Billy! You’re Still Rock & Roll!