Brian May named the experience as one of his favorite memories involving the late and great Van Halen guitarist.
Brian May has recently recalled his “favorite memory” of Eddie Van Halen, which involved a Queen show, the late Van Halen guitar hero, a bottle of southern comfort, and (probably) one hell of a hangover.
Eight years his senior, Brian May first found out about Eddie Van Halen while he himself had already been an established artist, whereas Van Halen was on the brink of their massive breakthrough. In 2020, May recalled how he first saw Van Halen while they were opening for Black Sabbath during the 1978 “Never Say Die Tour!” (when Van Halen famously stole the show from the struggling Sabbath), and how he was “utterly blown away” by EVH’s playing.
In the following years, the two guitarists became great friends and even collaborated on a number of projects together. When asked to name his favorite memory of the late and great Eddie Van Halen in a new interview with Classic Rock, the Queen guitarist doesn’t name the exact time and date when it took place, but he does stress how it was also one of the rare times when he had “gotten out of control”
“I have a lot of favorite memories, but I do remember one time him coming to see us play. We went back to the hotel afterwards. He’d brought a bottle of his favorite drink with him, which I think was Southern Comfort. Anyway, he’s knocking it back, and so I started knocking it back, and I completely lost it.
“The next thing I remember I was on the floor in the bathroom, having fallen down and cracked my head on the wash basin. I don’t even remember going into the bathroom. It’s one of the few times in my life where I’ve gotten out of control.”
The good vibes between Brian May and Eddie Van Halen weren’t lacking even when the two were working together, as in August of 2021, May recalled the experience of working with EVH on his 1983 Star Fleet Project, where the two guitarists also swapped guitars for the fun of it:
“Star Fleet was an amazing moment in my life which I’ll never forget. It was wonderful just to be with Mr. Van Halen. There is a moment when you think, ‘Oh, I can’t even play when he’s playing!’ “The fireworks were so wonderful but also he loved just interacting. Most of it was done live and we just had a laugh, we were smiling all the time, working off each other.”
Credits: Ultimate Guitar
Edgar Winter has released a visualizer video for the song “Stranger”, which is the latest single from “Brother Johnny”, his all-star tribute album to his legendary brother Johnny Winter. The song features Michael McDonald (vocals), Joe Walsh (lead guitar), and Ringo Starr (drums) who join Edgar (on piano, mellotron, and synth), Tim Pierce (electric and acoustic guitar), Bob Glaub (bass) and Kenny Aronoff (on percussion).
Edgar said of the song, “I absolutely love this ballad, partly because it is so uncharacteristic of Johnny’s style and image. It is on the soft side, very melodic, and sensitive, displaying a vulnerability Johnny does not often reveal.” He said of the visualizer, “at first I couldn’t see any way of doing something meaningful with this song-that is, until I hit upon the idea of making my beautiful wife (Monique) the ‘pretty stranger’. Then the whole thing just seemed to fall miraculously into place.
“I should explain-I’ve always felt a sense of deep personal connection with this song. From the first time I heard the opening line ‘Hello pretty stranger’, something clicked in my mind that made me immediately think of my first meeting with Monique. She was so much the tantalizingly exotic stranger I thought I’d never have the chance to meet.
Absolutely gorgeous, sophisticated, mysterious, and unattainable-in short, totally out of my class. “But here’s the main thing. At the end of the song, the lyrics never actually say if these two newly met lovers are saying goodbye forever (making this only a one-night affair) or if this might be just the start of something much more.
“This point has always been a great part of the beauty and mystery of the whole song for me. The fact is-that we never know if the next perfect stranger we seemingly just happen to meet is entirely by chance, or rather might end up being that one special person we’re destined to spend the rest of our lives with. The latter is the story I choose to tell.
“This has always been my own secret and preferred interpretation. It makes the piece a beautiful love song, and just as possibly Monique’s and my own story as well. It transforms the song into something intimately personal, and so much more meaningful to me, to us both, and I think-for us all. Because its Johnny’s song featuring the guitar, and our being family (close as we all were) that makes him the obvious and perfect person to fill the guitar role, becoming the other main character in this visualizer.
“It never ceases to amaze me how many things have magically fallen into place during the course of this album and are still continuing to do so. And here is yet another example of that wondrous theme at work. So, sit back, open your heart, take a deep breath, and enjoy the touching and mysterious ‘Stranger’.”
Credits: Keavin Wiggins / www.antimusic.com
The clip comes from his second appearance on the BBC’s ‘In Concert’ series, when he was 23 years old. James Taylor’s official YouTube page has shared the latest archive performance selection by the great singer-songwriter. It delves back into his second appearance on the BBC’s In Concert series, broadcast in November 1971, when he was 23 years old.
The track is “Soldiers,” from his hugely popular album Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon. Taylor is accompanied on piano by his fellow breakthrough artist of the day, Carole King, as well as by Leland Sklar on bass and Russ Kunkel on drums. He begins by mentioning how short the track is, as indeed it is on the LP, but it retains its waltz-tempo charm, with some lovely piano detail by King.
“I thought it was half a tune, actually, when I started to write it, which was about four years ago,” he says, “but I never got anything else on it, so I guess it’s finished. Of course, I could be wrong…”
Roy Carr’s review for the New Musical Express of Taylor and King’s concert a few months earlier at the Royal Festival hall enthused: “From the outset you just can’t but help having a warm affinity for James Taylor. Seemingly all arms, legs and baggy trousers, Taylor shyly lopes on stage, almost like someone’s kid brother who aimlessly intruded upon a private discussion.”
Speaking to writer Keith Altham in Petticoat in October 1971, Taylor said of his gentle style: “I don’t think music needs to be so obvious and loud that it shatters and batters the ear drum and all other parts of the party. The only really good loud group I’ve heard was The Who – I did a concert with them in the States. I just believe that what I do is best taken in and consumed by the brain at an easy pace.”
Taylor’s 2022 tour with his All-Star Band arrives in Columbia, SC, on June 21, with shows until the end of July. He then appears on August 20 at the John Williams: The Tanglewood 90th Birthday Celebration, before starting his European tour on September 19 in Madrid.
Credits: By Paul Sexton
Def Leppard recently released the official music video for their latest single, “Fire It Up,” from the band’s new studio album Diamond Star Halos. The 15-track record was released last Friday. The “Fire It Up” video is available to watch on Def Leppard’s official YouTube channel.
Meanwhile, the rock band played “Take What You Want,” a song from the new album, “Rock of Ages,” the classic song from the 1983 album Pyromania, “Hysteria” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me” on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” program.
Diamond Star Halos Track list:
Credits: (Photo: Anton Corbijn) / RTTNews Staff Writer
Watch Steve Vai and Nile Rodgers help create the iconic ‘Halo 2’ theme
After being told to “just vibe”, Steve Vai improvised a solo that would feature on the main theme for ‘Halo 2’. A studio recording of guitarists Steve Vai and Nile Rodgers creating the now-iconic theme for Halo 2 has been shared by the series’ original composer, Marty O’Donnell.
Today (April 19), O’Donnell announced that a dispute regarding royalties for his work creating the Halo soundtrack has been “amicably resolved”. Along with the announcement, O’Donnell shared footage of Vai and Rodgers working together on their contribution to the main theme for Halo 2, which includes instrumentals from the pair.
Within the video’s 27-minute run-time, there are plenty of moments that detail how the pair came up with Halo 2‘s guitar-led theme – including Rodgers explaining that he wants to create something “really true” to the game’s original soundtrack. At 0:53, fans can spot Rodgers listening to the string-led portion of Halo 2‘s theme, before picking up his guitar and improvising a chord progression to play with the piece.
After Rodgers’ rhythm section drew praise from Vai, Rodgers joked that “I was doing something like this with [Eric Clapton], he sat there and went “okay, now what am I gonna play?” he said, “you’re covering all the harmony and all the rhythm, what am I supposed to do?” Around the 8:30 mark, a conversation between Vai and Rodgers shares a glimpse into the pair’s approach to collaborating on the Bungie project.
Rodgers tells Vai he wants it “to sound like you’re there with the orchestra” but doesn’t want to change the theme too much as “the original thing is so well-known”. When Vai tells Rodgers to “produce me, baby”, Rodgers instructs him to “just vibe, just groove on it for a minute” to see what he can come up with.
Remarkably, Vai’s improvisation – which begins at 9 minutes in the video – creates the solo that went on to be largely used in Halo 2‘s main theme, much to the approval of Rodgers. The footage was filmed while recording at Seattle’s Studio X, which has been used by artists ranging from Nirvana to Macklemore and Soundgarden.
– Credits: NME – Andy Brow
Eric Clapton and George Harrison were life-long friends. They shared the same love for music, and although they also shared the same love for a woman, nothing came between them. So, when George died of cancer in 2001, Clapton was beside himself. He had to do something to honor his friend, even if that meant doing something George would never have wanted.
Eric Clapton organized Concert for George in 2002.
After George died, Clapton wanted to do something to pay tribute to his life-long friend. So, he came up with Concert for George, a star-studded tribute concert. “It was [Clapton’s] idea,” George’s widow, Olivia, told Rolling Stone.
“He phoned me not long after George died and said, ‘I’d like to do something.’ Eric was a very deep friend of George’s, so I felt confident and relieved that it was Eric coming to me.”
“Olivia had given me this job of being musical director,” Clapton added, “to single out people for certain songs, and I found that really hard.
We were all quite protective of our relationships with George.” Fans and a vast group of George’s closest friends gathered on Nov. 29, 2002, exactly a year after George died, at London’s Royal Albert Hall for Concert for George. They filmed it and released it in theaters and on DVD a year later.
Among the performers were Clapton, Ravi Shankar, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Billy Preston, and Paul McCartney. George’s only son, Dhani, played acoustic guitar through most of the performance.
Shankar told the crowd that he believed George’s spirit was with them. However, George would have been uncomfortable with the tribute concert.
Eric Clapton said George Harrison wouldn’t have liked Concert for George
Clapton thought of what his friend would have said about the tribute concert during rehearsals. He realized George wouldn’t have wanted Concert for George. However, Clapton said he didn’t care what George would have thought.
He needed to grieve. “I thought that if he were here, he’d probably say, ‘Thanks very much Eric, but I don’t really want this,’” Clapton told the LA Times.
“I thought, ‘What would I say if he said that?’ “And I then thought, ‘Well I’m doing this for me, actually.’ And that’s more the truth of it; I needed to do it for him, but it was for me most of all because I needed to be able to express my grief in that kind of way.”
The guitarist found it hard to communicate his feelings to the ex-Beatle
After everything George and Clapton went through together, Clapton was never entirely able to show his friend his feelings.
“A lot of times during our relationship, I found it very difficult to communicate my feelings toward George my love for him as a musician and a brother and a friend because we skated around stuff. I was probably dealing with that, too, making amends.”
It was a little late, but Concert for George allowed Clapton to tell George how he felt about him finally. Clapton needed to show George, he loved him by celebrating George’s life.
Hopefully, Concert for George allowed Clapton to mourn George properly and to say all the things he never got to say to him.
Credits: Hannah Wigandt – Showbiz CheatSheet
Tyson Fury, who will take on fellow Brit Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium on 23rd April live on BT Sport Box Office, famously performed American Pie after defeating Deontay Wilder in Fury v Wilder II in 2020. The song has since become synonymous with the boxer who is not afraid to showcase his musical talent.
The latest iteration of the song sees McLean singing the verses to “American Pie”, perfectly articulating Tyson’s comeback story, before he’s joined in the chorus by the Gypsy King himself. The Morecambe-based fighter is no stranger to jumping on the mic, having previously appeared on Robbie Williams’ song “Bad Sharon” in 2019.
Ahead of Fury v Whyte the song will be aired on BT Sport to promote the fight and will be played in the stadium on fight night as 94,000 fans pack into Wembley stadium to witness the first all-British heavyweight world title fight for a generation.
In addition to celebrating Fury’s homecoming, the duet coincides with the 50th anniversary of American Pie – both the album and single – as well as the release of a children’s book, documentary about the pop culture impact of the song, and a world tour which will come to the UK and Europe starting in September 2022.
Fans will be able to watch all the build-up, undercard and the main event of Fury v Whyte exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office.
Don McLean is a Grammy award honoree, a Songwriter Hall of Fame member, a BBC Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and his smash hit “American Pie” resides in the Library of Congress National Recording Registry and was named a top 5 song of the 20th Century by the Recording Industry of America (RIAA).
Credits: Tim Peacock – Udiscovermusic.com