ALTER BRIDGE has released the official lyric video for the song “Godspeed”. The track — described as an uplifting musical memorial for anyone who has lost someone — is taken from the band’s latest album, “Walk The Sky”, which was released in October via Napalm Records. According to a press release, the 14-track follow-up to 2016’s “The Last Hero” is a “complete career retrospective drawing upon elements from each of the band’s previous releases to create something new.”

ALTER BRIDGE is getting ready to launch the first 2020 leg of its  “Walk The Sky” tour. The band will play a kick-off show in Lake Charles, Louisiana at the Golden Nugget Casino on January 31 before jumping onboard ShipRocked as co-headliner alongside HALESTORM. Back on land, the band will make stops in Nashville, Tennesee; Indianapolis, Indiana; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Los Angeles, California, among others, before wrapping up on February 27 in Spokane, Washington. This leg will be just the beginning of what is shaping up to be a robust year of tour around the globe for ALTER BRIDGE. with more shows to be announced in the future.

Guitarist Mark Tremonti told Kerrang! magazine about “Walk The Sky”: “It’s kinda like a [revered horror maestro] John Carpenter movie — this old-school synth-wave kind of vibe. Somebody might hear the record and have no idea that was intended, but for a batch of songs, I tapped into some old loops that I either created or found randomly online, and worked with them in the background to inspire me to go in a different direction. I loved working like that. We challenge ourselves to not repeat ourselves and find new inspiration to add a different layer to what we do. It’s particularly challenging when you’ve had so many records, but when I showed Myles [Kennedy, vocals/guitar] what I was thinking, he absolutely loved it and was on board right away.”

As for how “Walk The Sky” compares to the rest of ALTER BRIDGE‘s discography, Mark said: “It’s hard to completely get away from who we are — the same four guys in the band — but everyone who’s heard the record says it has its own personality and doesn’t sound like any particular ALTER BRIDGE record. But that being said, it’s familiar ALTER BRIDGE territory, and Myles has said it’s kind of the answer to ‘AB III’. That was a very brooding and dark lyrical record, whereas this one is the yang to the yin of that. ‘AB III’ was kind of about a loss of faith and not believing. Myles was having a dark moment in that time and he wrote the majority of the lyrics. This is more of an enlightening, Zen kind of record. It’s not a preachy record by any means; it’s more of a free-spirited kind of thing.”

ALTER BRIDGE Releases ‘Godspeed’ Lyric Video

Former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim “Ripper” Owens has slammed the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame after the band’s latest snub.

The British heavy metal legends were on the ballot for Rock Hall induction this year, but failed to receive enough votes to make the class of 2020.

Having been eligible for induction since 1999, PRIEST was previously on the ballot for the 2018 class of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but was ultimately left out of the inductee list.

Current members Rob HalfordIan HillGlenn Tiptonand Scott Travis would have been inducted along with K.K. DowningLes Binks and late drummer Dave Holland.

Speaking to Meltdown of Detroit’s WRIF radio stationOwens stated about PRIEST‘s absence from the Rock Hall: “Here’s the one thing about JUDAS PRIEST. Somebody said one time, ‘Well, they’re trying to look for bands and musicians that are influential.’ Well, how can you be any more influential to music than JUDAS PRIEST? Dual guitars. Pretty much coined the phrase ‘heavy metal.’ The leather and studs and what they wore… It is horrible JUDAS PRIEST isn’t in and gets snubbed again, but, on the other hand, I won’t be going in with JUDAS PRIEST either, so it looks like I was kind of snubbed as well. I [was] in the band about 10 years, and I won’t be going in.”

Asked if he would still go to the Rock Hall ceremony if PRIEST was being inducted, Owens said: “Listen, I’m still friends with everybody. I would certainly hope I would be invited to go if they went into the Hall Of Fame. I can’t imagine they wouldn’t, but some of the decision making that happens wouldn’t shock me. Obviously, they’ve kind of erased my history anyways. It doesn’t change what I think. I’m totally friends with them. Amazing people, all of them — Rob included. It’s kind of like my college — JUDAS PRIEST was. But I would think I would be invited. I mean, it’s shocking that you can be [in a band] about 10 years and two studio records, up to that point, and not go.”

Owens also made negative comments about the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inducting rap and pop artists, saying that hip-hop acts do not belong in the institution.

“The problem is it should not be called the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame then, because they’re not putting rock and roll artists in; they’re putting musicians in,” Tim said. “And some of them, in my opinion, aren’t even really musicians. Just because you can rhyme a couple of words and mumble through something doesn’t make you a musician.

“It does open the gates up for JUDAS PRIEST making the Rap Hall Of Fame,” Owens joked. “So that’s probably a good thing nowadays. And I’m actually hoping I can get into the Football Hall Of Fame — the NFL Football Hall Of Fame — which I don’t play and never really have, but I do watch it, so I should probably be able to get in. That’s kind of how they look at it.

“It’s just named the wrong thing, isn’t it?” Tim added. “That’s the only thing. They should just change the name to the Music Hall Of Fame. … Rock and roll is a branding of rock and roll. Obviously, some country artists can go in, because they have some [rock] influences. Johnny Cash, I can see going in there, because old Johnny Cash was rockabilly, and he had some of that influence. And nowadays country will definitely get in, because they’re more rock and roll than country.”

Even though artists are eligible for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single, iconic hard rock and metal bands like PRIESTIRON MAIDEN and MOTÖRHEAD have yet to be recognized by the institution, which inducted GUNS N’ ROSES in that group’s first year of eligibility.

Rock Hall rules state that artists become eligible a quarter century after their first records were released, but the Hall also claims that other “criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock ‘n’ roll,” which is, of course, open to interpretation.

Eligible for induction since 1999, KISS didn’t get its first nomination until 2009, and was finally inducted in 2014.

DEEP PURPLE was eligible for the Rock Hall since 1993 but didn’t get inducted until 2016.

TIM ‘RIPPER’ OWENS Slams ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME Over JUDAS PRIEST’s Latest Snub

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Rock Bitch

Rockbitch were an expat, British, mostly female, metal band, who performed nude and incorporated sexual acts and Pagan rituals into their performances.Associated acts.

The band was originally formed (as Red Abyss) by bassist Amanda Smith-Skinner from the members of a free sex commune, where monogamy is outlawed. Musically, Red Abyss drew on jazz, funk and rock influences dominated by singer Julie’s Janis Joplin-influenced vocals. In time Red Abyss’s music became harder edged, drawing on punk and metal influences. As its line-up changed, this led to a name change to Rockbitch. Rockbitch was nearly ready to call it a day due to the apathy of male-dominated rock audiences.

At what was intended to be their last gig (at a biker festival) Rockbitch decided to put the wild sex of their home life into the stage act. They went down a storm and decided to continue touring in order to spread their pro-sex message. The most infamous part of their stage act was “The Golden Condom” contest. This involved throwing the so-called golden condom out into the audience. Whoever caught it (man or woman) was taken backstage for sex with one or more band members. The intention of this was to prove the band were not just an act and were ready to stand by their beliefs.

Rockbitch toured widely from the late ’90s until 2002, meeting increasing resistance from authorities, particularly English town councils who were constantly banning gigs. Large sections of their audience (particularly in England) tended to consist of drunken lads just wanting to see some nudity, with no interest in the message. However Rockbitch also began to attract a small following of men and women who seemingly understood the band’s message and had their lives changed forever. Outside the UK (particularly in Holland) they sometimes played to more sympathetic audiences. However, in Germany they suffered many censorship problems.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Herbert Butros Khaury, known also as Herbert Buckingham Khaury and known professionally as Tiny Tim, was an American singer, ukulele player, and musical archivist.

He had a hit with “Tip Toe Through the Tulips With Me” and guest-starred on shows like Laugh-In and The Tonight Show.

Born on April 12, 1932, Tiny Tim performed as a singer and guitar/ukulele player in 1960s Greenwich Village before making guest appearances on Laugh-In and The Ed Sullivan Show. Known for his distinctive falsetto, he had a hit with his remake of “Tip-Toe Through the Tulips With Me.” His wedding to his fiancée Miss Vicki on The Tonight Show also drew the most viewers in the show’s history. He died on November 30, 1996.

Eventually adopting the name Tiny Tim, from the Charles Dickens character, he began performing in clubs in the busy Greenwich Village music scene. He also played at talent shows and parties, often using different names. His parents tried to dissuade him from pursuing a career in music, but Tiny Tim was committed. An appearance in the movie You Are What You Eat (1968) led to Tim getting booked on Rowan and Martins Laugh In, a hugely popular television variety show.

His high-pitched, falsetto voice, ukulele playing and unusual appearance (Tim was over 6 feet tall and wore his dark, curly hair to his shoulders) surprised Dan Rowan; but Tiny Tim was a novelty hit. He appeared several more times on Laugh In and became a regular on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. Tiny Tim continued to record, tour and enjoy his celebrity status.

Tiny Tim first married, on the Tonight Show, in 1969, but he and his wife, Victoria Mae Budinger, mostly lived apart. They divorced after eight years and one child, daughter Victoria Tulip. Tiny Tim would go on to marry two more times, each time living separately from his wives.

Tiny Tim suffered a heart attack while appearing at a ukulele festival in Massachusetts in 1996. Released from the hospital after three weeks, he was warned to give up his touring and performing. Tiny Tim chose to pursue his art, however, and suffered a fatal heart attack in Minneapolis on November 30, 1996. He left the stage after performing “Tip-Toe Through the Tulips,” his signature song, and died an hour later.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Rhythm & Blues” Edition, where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Led Zeppelin, Since Ive Been Loving You, Album: Led Zeppelin III 1970

The Greatest Led Zeppelin Blues Song might be their most melancholy of all. Released in 1970 on their third record, “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” as so many blues songs do, tells the tale of a hard-working man and a up-to-no-good cheating woman who has caused him to “lose his worried mind.” Minus an intro lick borrowed from the Yardbirds’ song “New York City Blues,” it’s a wholly original composition that features some of the best guitar work Page ever laid down – as well as some of the most bombastic vocals Robert Plant was ever able to belt out. For the musicianship, the minor-key swing and the downright depressing content it is undoubtedly the best blues number in Zeppelin’s vast back catalog.A seven-and-a-half minute blues number with some electric piano played by Led Zeppelin bass player John Paul Jones, this was a live favorite for the band. They started working on the song during the sessions for Led Zeppelin II, but was bumped for “Whole Lotta Love.” By the time they recorded it for Led Zeppelin III, they had worked out the song in live performances, but according to Jimmy Page, it was still the hardest track to record for the album. The guitarist says they were getting very self-critical around this time.

Before this song was committed to tape, Led Zeppelin performed it at their famous January 9, 1970 concert at Royal Albert Hall in London. The show was filmed and recorded, but the keyboards didn’t make it into the mix on this track, so the song was not included on the 2003 DVD Led Zeppelin, which featured footage from the show.

This is a very difficult song to sing, and it showed off Robert Plant’s vocal range quite well. He said in a 2003 interview with Mojo: “The musical progression at the end of each verse – the chord choice – is not a natural place to go. And it’s that lift up there that’s so regal and so emotional. I don’t know whether that was born from the loins of JP or JPJ, but I know that when we reached that point in the song you could get a lump in the throat from being in the middle of it.”

This was recorded live in the studio with very little overdubbing. If you listen carefully, you can hear the squeak of John Bonham’s drum pedal.

Jimmy Page did his guitar solo in one take. Engineer Terry Manning called it “The best rock guitar solo of all time.”Plant used a sample from this on his solo track “White, Clean, and Neat.”

Just before their Physical Grafitti tour, Jimmy Page broke the tip of his left ring finger in a door-slamming incident. They went on with the tour but they had to drop this and “Dazed And Confused” from the set lists as he couldn’t play them until his finger healed.

The riff in the beginning is taken from “New York City Blues” by The Yardbirds – Jimmy Page was not a member of that band yet when the group wrote that song.

The track was recorded live (except for the vocals part and a few overdubs) at Island Studios in London. This features John Paul Jones on both bass pedal and organ. Interestingly, Jimmy Page’s famous solo was recorded in a studio in Memphis, whereas the whole album was recorded in Headley Grange and in Island Studios.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Rhythm & Blues” Edition, where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Billie Holiday, Strange Fruit Album: The Billie Holiday Story 1939

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of Billie Holiday. Although her voice was small and raspy, she interpreted songs from Tin Pan Alley with a rhythmic and melodic inventiveness that transformed the tunes into highly personal expressions.

She made her first recordings at the age of 18 in 1933 and her last in 1959 shortly before her death. In between those years she changed the art of jazz and pop singing. She influenced everyone from Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra to contemporary singers Madeleine Peyroux and Norah Jones.

Strange fruit was written by a white, Jewish schoolteacher and union activist from New York City named Abel Meeropol, who was outraged after seeing a photograph of a horrific lynching in a civil-rights magazine. The photo was a shot of two black men hanging from a tree after they had been lynched in Marion, Indiana on August 7, 1930. The two men are the “Strange Fruit.”

The original title was “Bitter Fruit,” and the song started as a poem Meeropol wrote. The poem was published in the January 1937 issue of a union publication called The New York Teacher. After putting music to it, the song was performed regularly at various left-wing gatherings. Meeropol’s wife and friends from the local teachers’ union would sing it, but it was also performed by a black vocalist named Laura Duncan, who once performed it at Madison Square Garden.

This was performed by a quartet of black singers during an antifascist fundraiser at a show put on by Robert Gordon, who was also working on the floor show at a club called Cafe Society. Billie Holiday had just quit Artie Shaw’s band and was the featured attraction at the club, and Gordon brought the song to her attention and suggested she sing it. Holiday played to an integrated audience at the Cafe Society, and her version popularized the song.

Meeropol made headlines when he adopted the orphan sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg after their parents were executed for treason in 1953. He also wrote the lyrics to the song “The House I Live In,” which was recorded by Frank Sinatra, as well as “Beloved Comrade,” which was often sung in tributes to Franklin Roosevelt, and “Apples, Peaches, and Cherries,” which was recorded by Peggy Lee. Meeropol died in 1986.

In 1971, Meeropol said, “I wrote ‘Strange Fruit’ because I hate lynching, I hate injustice, and I hate the people who perpetuate it.”

Victims of lynchings were people who were marginalized from society, and most were black men. They were lynched for a variety of reasons, often because they did something to upset a prominent member of the community, who would then organize a mob to track down and kill the victim. Many times, the victims broke no laws but were lynched out of jealousy, hatred or religious difference. In America, lynchings were more common in the South, but could happen anywhere.

In a lynching, people could be hanged, burned, dragged behind cars and killed in a number of different ways. Most lynchings were carried out by small, clandestine groups, but some were public spectacles. The one that inspired this song was in front of about 5,000 people in Marion, Indiana. Extra excursion cars were set up on trains so people could come to watch.In her autobiography, Holiday’s cover of this song made it more mainstream.

Meeropol often had other people put his poems to music, but with this he did it himself.

Columbia Records, Holiday’s label, refused to release this. She had to release it on Commodore Records, a much smaller label.

This was always the last song Holiday played at her concerts. It signaled that the show was over. (Thanks to Gode Davis, director of the film American Lynching for his help with these Songfacts. You can learn more about this song in David Margolick’s book Strange Fruit.

In 1999, Time magazine voted this the Song of the Century. When the song first came out it was denounced by the same magazine as “A piece of musical propaganda.”

Nona Hendryx would often perform this song, adding in parts of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech. Hendryx told us: “It’s a cathartic performance for me to do that song. It’s like healing, and healing’s what happens. And hopefully it can reach the ears and the minds and the hearts of people who are still feeling any bigotry, hatred, racism, to understand that this was a painful time in our history, in our past and in America. And that we need to move on from there.”

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Rhythm & Blues” edition, where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Aretha Franklin, Think. Album: Aretha Now 1968

Franklin wrote this with Teddy White, who was her husband and manager. In the song, Aretha sings about freedom and respect for women.

Jerry Wexler, who worked with Franklin on many of her hit songs, produced this track at the Atlantic Records recording studios in New York. Members of the Muscle Shoals rhythm section played at the session.

This song was released on May 2, 1968, less than a month after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4. Franklin’s family was close to King, and Aretha attended his funeral. The song’s insistent refrain of “freedom” evoked one of King’s famous quotes: “Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty we are free at last.”

Franklin performed this in the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers, starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. Her career was experiencing a lull at that point, so she was happy to get back into the public eye with the film. A few years later, she was back on top with her hits “Who’s Zoomin’ Who” and “Freeway of Love.”

The Blues Brothers themselves also recorded the song, which was released as the B-side of their 1989 UK single “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love.”

“Think” is one of Franklin’s most enduring songs, and one she often performed live. It was the sixth of her 20 #1 singles on the R&B chart.

Leading up to the 2018 midterm elections in America, Levi’s used this in a commercial encouraging people to vote. The spot mostly used the “freedom” part of the song.

Psychedelic Lunch