Quick Takes On Steven Tyler, Brian Wilson, AC/DC, Peter Frampton, And Styx
Steven Tyler and drugs have become the great "double act" of the past 25 years. He's either talking about doing them, talking about getting clean from them, falling off the wagon from them -- or simply bragging about them. The latest report of Tyler's drug use comes from the man himself who brushed off claims that he snorted $20 million of cocaine, telling Australia's 60 Minutes, "No, probably, realistically, five or six (million). But it doesn't matter. You also could say I snorted half of Peru, but, y'know, it's what we did." (Ultimate Classic Rock)
Back in 2011, Tyler published his autobiography, Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?, and told us that he mainly did so to show fans the softer side of the rock legend: "Being in a band with Aerosmith, you're kind of depicted as Peck's bad boy. They love the bad boys of Boston. Everybody's intrigued by the badness of it all. And I just thought, why not just share it with the world the way it really is, and tell them my feelings about my cat, and how addicted to Christmas time I am, and hearing my kids laugh -- I don't think they know that side. The press tends to put out the greasy, grimy, gopher guts side of Aerosmith."
Brian Wilson's bandleader Jeff Foskett first began touring with the Beach Boys in 1982 and was on hand when the band -- including Brian Wilson -- performed at 1985's legendary Live Aid concert in Philadelphia: "It was so cool. We did 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' and Brian and I were singing it together and they had Brian's picture up on the screen of that for the majority of the time and, it was so cool. We walked off that stage and somebody, y'know, had a cell phone -- which was fairly new in '85, I mean, they didn't really start happening till later in the '80s. And somebody called from Wembley backstage and said, 'The Beach Boys just destroyed Great Britain!' (Laughs) How cool is that? That was a really, really great gig."
AC/DC has had a beer named it. "AC/DC's Premium Lager Beer" has just arrived in Germany, where it "comes with a great beer-loving taste and is brewed in accordance with the rock 'n' roll manifesto of 1973 and the German purity law of 1516," according to a statement. The introduction of the beer follows the 2011 launch of a successful range of AC/DC wines. For more info, go to www.ACDC-Beer.com. (Blabbermouth)
Peter Frampton has announced the first show of this August's three-week road trek, dubbed Peter Frampton's Guitar Circus. The tour, which will feature deep catalogue cuts, instrumental selections, hits, and new music, will spotlight a guest guitarist, with B.B. King the first to sign on for the trek. The first date announced will feature King and is set for August 11th in Vienna, Virginia at Filene Center At Wolf Trap.
Frampton made his bones on the live circuit in the late '60s and early-'70s with Humble Pie, which he helped turn into one of the '70s hottest live acts. Upon leaving the band in 1971, he told us that there were no guarantees that he would have what it takes to make it on his own -- but chose to build his audience, first and foremost, as a live performer: "We just jumped on every tour we could. We did as many gigs as we felt like doing, really. It was in the days where it wasn't as prohibitive, obviously, financially to tour. So the way to do it -- I'd done it with Humble Pie, and was gonna do it again -- was to build a following by playing in front of as many people in the shortest space of time as I could."
Styx is the latest in a growing number of artists seeking compensation for the sale of digital downloads. The main argument from the artists is that in the past, they have split the profits with the label taking a large percentage against the cost of producing the physical product -- but with digital sales, the physical product has been eliminated. The artists are now seeking a standard 50/50 split, which is similar to how the money is divvied up when a recording is used in films or TV.
Vintage Vinyl News posted: "TMZ and the site Law360 have been the first to report of the action, saying that A&M Records has put together a 'phony business model' in order to 'avoid its royalty obligations' on digital products, including ringtones. They estimate that for every one dollar that the band was paid, they were actually owed between two and five dollars."
Styx co-founding guitarist James "J.Y." Young told us that during the band's heyday, A&M Records was the only label they wanted to record for: "They showed so much great sensitivity to so many great rock artists -- Peter Frampton, Joe Cocker, Styx, the Police, Supertramp, y'know, we loved recording for A&M Records. We took less money to be there. We just felt there was human beings operating there. It was . . . Their offices were on Charlie Chaplin's old film lot, it wasn't some giant black, steel and glass corporate Warner Brothers CBS (type label), what have you. This was a place where art was created and art was celebrated. And to be part of that was just phenomenal for us after our experience with being with a subsidiary of RCA Records -- they gave us a chance, I'm always grateful for that, but A&M was a unique and special place."
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