For a band that looked like it might be finished in 2008, Toto has planned a pretty busy 2014.
The group, which reunited for a series of live dates in 2010 after a two-year break in order to help raise funds for bassist Mike Porcaro’s medical care following his ALS diagnosis, has regained its artistic footing with a lineup that now includes founding members Steve Lukather, David Paich and Steve Porcaro, as well as former singer Joseph Williams, whose first stint with the band lasted from 1986-88.
Estranged Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has issued a warning to those who hope to make a career as musicians, telling them to read their contracts closely.
Ward bowed out of the planned Sabbath original line-up reunion in 2012 after he wasn’t offered a deal he felt was “signable” – describing it as one of the most difficult decisions he’s ever made.
He appeared at this weekend’s Bonzo Bash, held annually at the NAMM music show in California to commemorate Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. Accepting a lifetime achievement award, veteran drummer Ward said: “I stand for the students; I stand for all the kids learning to play drums. I stand for them in every single way. They have to look after their livelihood very carefully. They have to take care of it contractually very carefully. The drummer has to take care of himself.”
Historic heavyweights the Rolling Stones and Black Sabbath (as well as relative newcomers Muse and Gary Clark Jr.) were in contention for the Best Rock Song Award at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, but the trophy went to ‘Cut Me Some Slack’ by the nameless group featuring surviving Nirvana alum Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselik and Pat Smear with Paul McCartney.
Originally conceived for the soundtrack of the Grohl-directed documentary ‘Sound City,’ about a shuttered recording studio, the effusive rocker ‘Cut Me Some Slack’ gained wider recognition when the group performed the song on ‘Saturday Night Live.’
Hopefully, this big win will draw more attention to Grohl’s lovingly rendered documentary, which tells the story of the legendary studio where so many classic-rock stars — including McCartney, Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers — recorded some of the best albums ever made.
Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin each won an award at the Grammys’ annual Pre-Telecast Ceremony this evening. Which is something that probably should have happened in 1974, but whatever we’ll take it.
Sabbath won Best Metal Performance for the song ‘God is Dead?‘ from their 2013 Ozzy Osbourne-reunion album ‘13,’ beating out young whipper-snappers like Anthrax (who were covering an AC/DC song), Dream Theater and Killswitch Engage.
Led Zeppelin won Best Rock Album for ‘Celebration Day,’ a document of their one-off 2007 reunion concert which was released in late 2012. They beat Black Sabbath, Neil Young, David Bowie, Kings of Leon and (cough! shouldhavewon) Queens of the Stone Age for this award.
Continuing classic rock’s domination of the early awards, Paul McCartney racked up five Grammy Awards before the main show even started, including a Lifetime Achievement Award for the Beatles, a packaging award for a Wings live album, and various awards for his 2012 ‘Live Kisses’ collection.
The year 2014 is proving to be quite the eventful one for Nirvana considering it’s been 20 years since the band was active. The group will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year and now comes word that the late Kurt Cobain will be celebrated annually in his hometown of Aberdeen, Wash.
According to local station KXRO, the city’s mayor Bill Simpson and the city council announced that the late frontman’s Feb. 20 birthday will be celebrated each year as ‘Kurt Cobain Day.’
Black Label Society have just released the first song from their highly anticipated ‘Catacombs of the Black Vatican’ album, which is the 10th BLS studio disc. The track ‘My Dying Time’ (hear above) is up for your listening pleasure and can even be owned right now by pre-ordering ‘Catacombs of the Black Vatican’ via iTunes.
As for the themes to be explored in the new Black Label Society album, a video teaser was recently released by the band. “Face your fear. Accept your war. Destroy and conquer. Within the catacombs of the black vatican,” frontman Zakk Wylde recites. The short clip also features the words, “Strength,’ “Determination,” “Merciless” and “Forever.”