East Coast Rocker

Putting You in the Front Row

MusiCares Tom Petty Tribute Raises More than $8 Million in Night of Heavenly Music Stars

Musical Pals of Tom Petty Come Out to Honor Him as MusiCares Person of the Year


Tom Petty and pals helped raise more than $8 million as the he was celebrated as the MusiCares Person of the Year.

Each year, the MusiCares tribute a highlight of GRAMMY week, as it raises money for health needs of musicians and honors a major artist.

Gary Clark Jr. performed with the Foo Fighters - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Gary Clark Jr. performed with the Foo Fighters – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Red Carpet was packed with music stars ranging from Gary Clark Jr., to Jeff Lynne.

The night was dedicated to Petty with his songs performed  by veterans Don Henley Foo Fighters, Taj Mahal and George Strait as well as young bands The Head and The Heart, Cage The Elephant and The Lumineers.

The ladies did their part in honoring Petty as well with Lucinda Williams and Regina Spektor bringing some flash to the show.

Jackson Browne brought some emotions to the songs “The Waiting” and “Learning to Fly.”

Stevie Nicks sang a duet with Petty, their famous 1981 hit “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” as Petty said she was practically family.

Stevie Nicks called Tom Petty her BFFFF - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Stevie Nicks called Tom Petty her BFFFF – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Nicks told East Coast Rocker that Petty was her “BFFFFFFF” and how he penned at least one or two famous songs for her.

In accepting the honor, Petty recalled that Johnny Cash helped him, Mo Ostin rescued Petty’s song after MCA turned it down and he was the one to put out “Free Falling”

Petty said he was on his best behavior as his family was in the audience.

In a speech he made to the elegantly dressed audience of rock and roll fans, Petty recalled some stories of his mentors including Leon Russell and Johnny Cash.

He said Russell told him he had to “earn” the right to wear dark glasses at night.

“He said ‘s what the hell you doin with the dark glasses,'” Petty recalled.  “I don’t know it feels cool like Jimmy Keltner. He said, ‘Wearing sunglasses at night is an honor you earn. Lou adler had Johnny Rivers and the Mamas and Papas before he put them glasses on. Jack Nicholson made really shitty Boris Karloff movies before he put them glasses on. Well,” Petty said as he lifted his sunglasses to his face, “I’m putting my glasses on.”

Petty proudly wears sunglasses at night - Photo courtesy Libby Kaufman

Petty proudly wears sunglasses at night – Photo courtesy Libby Kaufman

Petty said he was fortunate enough to know the great Johnny Cash and loved his song “Big River.” He said young songwriters should listen to “Big River” about 60 times and “You’ll write something.”

Petty and the Heartbreakers made an album with Johnny Cash that won a GRAMMY for the best country record of the year “without being played once on a country station.”

“This morning I was looking through a box and a letter fell out, it was from John on my 50th birthday and it said Happy Birthday, you’re a good man to ride the river with.” That’s all I want to be is a good man to ride the river with and I’m gonna keep riding the river.”


Japandroids Drop Third Album, ‘Near To The Wild Heart Of Life,’ Band To Tour and Play Terminal 5


Japandroids’ third album, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, is out today. The album features some amazing tracks including “No Known Drink or Drug.”

The vinyl album is moving briskly with some stores selling out. We’re told by several stores to expect more units to be available on Thursday.


Near To The Wild Heart Of Life has been named one of the most anticipated albums of 2017.

The band released the first single, the album’s title track, in late 2016.

A pre-order for the album is up now at www.japandroids.com, with the option to buy the special 7-inch edition of the title track single featuring a b-side cover of Talking Heads’ “Love → Building on Fire.”

Japandroids will set out on a headlining tour beginning on February 13th, including shows at NYC’s Terminal 5 on February 23, as well as multiple nights in Toronto, Philadelphia, DC and Los Angeles. See all tour dates below and check their website for additional dates.

Japandroids on tour:
2/13 — Madison, WI — Majestic Theatre*
2/14 — Minneapolis, MN — First Avenue**
2/15 – Chicago, IL – Vic Theatre*
2/17 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Theatre* SOLD OUT
2/18 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Theatre*
2/20 – Boston, MA – Royale*
2/23 – New York, NY – Terminal 5*
2/24 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer* SOLD OUT
2/25 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer*
2/27 –  Washington, DC –  9:30 Club* SOLD OUT
2/28 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club*
3/01 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle*
3/03 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse*
3/04 – Birmingham, AL – Saturn*
3/05 – St Louis, MO – The Ready Room*
3/07 – Denver, CO – Gothic Theatre*
3/09 – Los Angeles, CA – Fonda Theatre*
3/10 – Los Angeles, CA – Fonda Theatre*
3/11 – San Diego, CA – Music Box*
3/13 – Santa Ana, CA -Observatory*
3/14 – San Francisco, CA – Fillmore*
3/17 – Portland, OR – Revolution Hall*
3/18 –  Seattle, WA –  Neptune*
3/20 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom*
4/18 –  Copenhagen, Denmark – Pumpehuset
4/19 – Hamburg, Germany – Uebel & Gefährlich
4/20 – Cologne, Germany – Gebaude 9
4/22 – Berlin, Germany – Columbia Theater
4/23 -Frankfurt, Germany – Zoom
4/24 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Melkweg
4/26 – Paris, France – La Maroquinerie
4/27 – Brussels, Belgium – The Rotonde / Botanique
4/28 – Birmingham, UK – o2 Institute Birmingham
4/30 – Glasgow, UK – The Garage
5/01 – Leeds, UK – Stylus
5/02 – Nottingham, UK – Rescue Rooms
5/04 – Manchester, UK – Gorilla
5/05 – Brighton, UK – Concorde 2
5/06 – London, UK – o2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
6/01-04 – Barcelona, SP – Primavera Sound
6/08-10 – Porto, PT – Primavera Sound
* with Craig Finn

Mike Snyder of Drum! Magazine Publishes List of The 10 Best Recorded Drum Sounds

Drummer Mike Snyder makes great picks for Best Recorded Drum Sounds list - Photo courtesy of Mike Snyder CaliforniaRocker.com

Drum expert Mike Snyder makes great picks for Best Recorded Drum Sounds list – Photo courtesy of Mike Snyder


Drum! magazine has published its list of The 10 Best Recorded Drum Sounds and the list will not shock music lovers, but there are one or two surprises in the mix.

In the big scheme of things, somehow drummers tend to be overlooked, yet they play a most critical role in the success of any band.

Mike Snyder — a most prolific drum professional in his own right — makes interesting selections to the list, including works of Ringo and Jeff Porcaro.

As new technology, drum machines and technology continue to influence sound, it’s interesting to see human interaction and success in the use of the new sounds.

Regardless, it’s still the human behind the skins that deserves the props.

After publishing his first drum set instruction book in 1983, at age 23, Mike went on to teach drum set at and write All About Electronic Percussion a top guide for electronic drums, in addition to dozens of feature articles for DRUM! Magazine.

The current issue of the mag features Korn’s Ray Luzier on the cover.

Check out DRUM! magazine’s great list of The 10 Best Recorded Drum Sounds.  And don’t be shocked to see some great old favorites along with some new additions to the roster of beat-keepers.

Click here to read the full story at DRUM!


Iggy Pop Collaborates with Danger Mouse on a Tune for TWC’s Matthew McConaughey Film, ‘Gold’


Iggy Pop and Danger Mouse have collaborated on a song for Gold, a Matthew McConaughey film to be released by TWC-Dimension in late January.

The new Iggy Pop-Danger Mouse song is not featured in the two-minute theatrical trailer to the film, instead the Styx song, “Renegade” is used.

Pop continues to creatively collaborate with a range of artists, most of them younger than the “Grandfather of Punk.”  It’s a good strategy, as more and more artists push to stay relevant in an industry that is ever more challenging financially for musicians.

Pop is coming off a successful worldwide tour with Josh Homme in support of Post Pop Depression.

See ‘Iggy Pop At The Greek’ in CaliforniaRocker.com

Gold features a bald-headed McConnaughey as a semi-sleazy financial trader who chases a scheme to get gold in the mountains of Indonesia. It’s slated for a late January release — buried between the holiday seasons. The trailer indicates a Christmas release.

The film’s director Stephen Gaghan and composer Daniel Pemberton also worked with Pop and Danger Mouse on the song.

McConaughey starred in the 2016 releases Free State of Jones, and as a voice character in the successful 3D animated film, Kubo and The Two Strings.

Malcolm McLaren’s Son Torches Rare Sex Pistols Record, He’s ‘Disgusted’ With Punk’s Evolution

Virgin Promo Pic - Denmark Street rehearsal room, London, March 1977 Photo: Janette Beckman

Virgin Promo Pic – Denmark Street rehearsal room, London, March 1977 Photo: Janette Beckman

Sex Pistols heir Joe Corre —  the son of legendary band manager Malcolm McLaren — burnt his original acetate of Anarchy in the UK on Tuesday evening after it failed to sell on eBay as an attempt to save it and raise money for charity. Rising to pressure from cultural critics who have slammed his plans to burn his £5 million collection, attempts were made to flog it on eBay rather than it facing the flames.

Sex Pistols on eBay

Over a week ago bidding started on ebay at £6,000 rising to a high of £62,500 on Sunday, Nov. 17 before Corre took it down for failing to reach the reserve price of £1,000,000.

Instead it went up in flames including the turntable he was playing it on. “It might be culturally significant to certain punk hangers on and freeloaders, but not to me anymore” he says. “The whole lot is going.”

Disgusted With Punk ‘Freeloaders’

Corre is disgusted with how punk has been appropriated by the commercial sector and the state. At 3:45 PM on Saturday, Nov. 26 at a secret central London location, Corre is torching everything he has collected, many of which belonged to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren.

Recently, the Sex Pistols‘ original bassist Glen Matlock said the punk rockers might reunite again. Matlock played bass in the band from 1975 to 1977. He left and was replaced by Sid Vicious. He was part of the group’s first reunion in 1996 and the brief reunions that followed in 2002, 2003, 2007 and 2008.

Check out the Sex Pistols official website here.

Video courtesy Universal Music Operations Ltd.

Highly Suspect Introduces New Album, ‘The Boy Who Died Wolf’ To Fans at Rockin’ Irving Plaza Show

Highly Suspect - File photo by Roberta

Highly Suspect – File photo by Roberta


From local Brooklyn bars to the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, Highly Suspect has spent the last seven years rocking out the crowds at more than 800 shows around the world.

The band has earned its appeal.

Highly Suspect, comprised of twin brothers Rich (bass, vocals) and Ryan Meyer (drums, vocals) and their best friend Johnny Stevens (guitar, vocals, synthesizer), played New York’s Irving Plaza as part of their country-wide tour.

‘Little One,’ ‘My Name is Human’

Highly Suspect brought the bluesy-hard rock that their amped-up fans have come to love and expect. The setlist included “Little One” and “My Name Is Human” two already-released singles off the band’s upcoming sophomore album, The Boy Who Died Wolf, which is set for release on Nov. 18.

Highly Suspect - File photo by Roberta for EastCoastRocker.com

Highly Suspect – File photo by Roberta for EastCoastRocker.com

And of course, they rocked the crowd with “Lydia,” “Claudeland,” “Bath Salts,” “Mom” and a number of other songs off their debut album Mister Asylum (released June 25, 2015). Concert-goers sang along with every song, adding to the electric atmosphere at the show.

After getting their start playing covers in their hometown of Cape Cod, Mass., Highly Suspect moved their classic rock sound to the music-drenched streets of New York. Over the years, they’ve polished and matured their sound, pumping out relatable lyrics that tell of personal experiences, anger and heartbreak.

Highly Suspect GRAMMY Nominations

Highly Suspect was nominated for two awards at the 2016 Grammys. “Lydia” received a nod for Best Rock Song, and Mister Asylum was up for Best Rock Album. There’s no doubt we’ll be hearing more from this trio, and we can’t wait to see where they’ll take their music next.

Highly Suspect is touring the United States through the end of November. For tickets and a list of Highly Suspect’s upcoming shows, visit Ticketmaster. You can find their music on Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, Amazon Music and Google Play.

Book About ‘New Barbarians’ Portrays Fatherly Ron Wood in a Different Light

new-barbariansBy PERRI FALLON

The close of the ’70s was a pivotal time for the Rolling Stones, with ten years of great albums and tours and intense decadence.

In 1979, and with the Stones off the road and having spare time, guitarist Ron Wood released a new solo album, Gimme Some Neck, and was putting together a band to play his songs and some classic blues and rock covers on a tour of the U.S.

He enlisted jazz bassist Stanley Clarke, former Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan, Stones confederate and saxophonist Bobby Keys, drummer Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste and on guitar, also with time on his hands, Keith Richards.

At the time no one knew how important this unsung side-project would be for the Stones, and especially for Richards, who was battling both a heroin addiction and the Canadian legal system following his infamous 1977 Toronto drug bust.

Keef and Ron - Photo by Nico7Martin

Keef and Ron – Photo by Nico7Martin

The timing of Wood enlisting Richards for his band could not have been better or more crucial to Richards, and ultimately to the Stones. The Barbarians’s importance and the band’s brief life is a largely untold saga in the Stones’ history and a new book, New Barbarians: Outlaws, Gunslingers and Guitars, offers a new look at it all.

You could say The Barbarians’ story began with Keith Richard’s infamous drug bust in Toronto in February 1977. Unlike his other brushes with the law due to drugs, this time it looked highly likely that Canadian authorities were going to put Richards in prison for a very long time – possibly for life. In the end, after nearly two years of legal limbo Keith was allowed to serve his sentence by enlisting both the Barbarians and the Stone into playing two charity shows in Oshawa Canada, on April 22, 1978.

The band became known for hard-edged music, but it also gained notoriety for events such as the riot at the New Barbarians’ first concert in Milwaukee-when the “special guests” did not appear during the show.

This and more wild, rollicking stories are included in New Barbarians: Outlaws, Gunslingers and Guitars, which features behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the band members as well as dirt about its famous tour, new in-depth interviews with band and crew members and more. In addition, there’s over 300 photos – the majority unpublished – as well as a 10-track CD with songs from the band’s 1979 U.S. tour.

Ron Wood - Photo by Catharine Anderson for East Coast Rocker

Ron Wood – Photo by Catharine Anderson

While the Barbarians helped pay Richard’s debt to society, the band and tour did more than that, according to author Chapman. “The Barbarians were more than a band for Ronnie to tour with – they were a sanctuary for Keith. In addition to the legal limbo he was also in the midst of kicking heroin.”

The band enabled Richards to avoid doing jail time doing what he loved to do, playing rock n’roll on stage. Richards seemed to find a true joy again in playing rock ‘n’ roll while he was in the Barbarians.  Indeed, as Keith once said, “the Barbarians saved my life.” The band, the music, and the shows were fun.  All that from a band that lasted about a year and who only played twenty gigs. Few bands, let alone side-projects, had such an impact and also had as much fun as the New Barbarians had.  The band’s history was short, but their legacy was long.


Rob Chapman spent twenty-five years on the label side of the music business, working with such notable artists as Warren Zevon, Robert Plant, and Billy Idol. A former radio show host, he’s particularly fond of blues and reggae. Rob lives with his wife Alyssa and daughters Izzy and Jade in Minneapolis.


Lady Gaga to Release Tribute Album to Her Aunt With ‘Joanne’ Third Week of October


Lady Gaga to release ‘Joanne’ on Oct. 21 – Photo courtesy Beats 1


Gaga broke the news about her new album, Joanne which will be released Oct. 21 in a phone call to Zane Lowe on Beats 1.

She said she was finishing up the album and it would be completed in the next 48 hourse. Joanne was recorded in tribute to her aunt, who died from lupus, she said.

About the title track?

“For me it’s like the real true heart and soul of the record,” she told the Apple Music broadcaster.  “I remember when Mark (Ronson) and I wrote it, we wrote that song and the decision ultimately to name the album Joanne, is tribute to my father’s sister who died when she was 19.

Lady Gaga with father Joe Germanotta - East Coast Rocker

Lady Gaga with father Joe Germanotta – Photo courtesy CapitolFM

Lady Gaga Built ‘Tough’

“He was younger than her and she was very sick with Lupus. The death of her in his family and in his life left a scar and a wound that never healed.

“As I returned to my home life and spending time with my friends and hanging out with my family and getting out the mainstream limelight for a minute what I realized it’s the experiences of our family and our challenges and our toughness who make us who we are,” Lady Gaga said.

“It’s everything about Joanne, which also happens to be my middle name, I was named after her. It’s the toughness of the pain that happened as a result of losing her that made us strong and made us who we are. She is the woman of my past who is helping me bring my honest woman self into the future.”

Lady Gaga - Photo by Marc E. for East Coast Rocker

Lady Gaga – Photo by Marc E.

Joanne’s Hand

Lady Gaga’s aunt’s handwriting is on the back of the album on on the inside there are notes written back and forth from Joanne to Gaga’s father, Joe Germanotta.  Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, grew up in an Italian-American family in Yonkers, N.Y.

Songs on the new album include “John Wayne” which Lady Gaga said is about her “Incessant need to run after wild men. Josh Homme’s guitar is out of control.”

There is also a cheeky tune, “Sinner’s Prayer” with Father John Misty.

Gaga told Lowe that the “Perfect Illusion” video is set to be released “very soon.”

Rick Wakeman, Trevor Rabin and Jon Anderson Reunite as ARW, Announce U.S. and European Tour


Yes Fans – Get Ready

Certainly, the most exciting news for long-time YES fans was the recent announcement that three of the group’s best known past members, singer Jon Anderson, guitarist Trevor Rabin, and keyboardist Rick Wakeman – ARW – have united and will be embarking on a world tour starting in early October and running through the spring of 2017.  And now, it is time to announce who will be joining the trio for the 2016 tour:

Lee is an award winning composer and producer, as well as being an in demand session musician. As a professional bass player, Lee has recorded, toured, and performed with a diverse roster of high profile artistes, including Jeff Lynne’s ELO, Take That, Steve Hackett and Rick Wakeman. “I have played with arguably the 3 greatest bass players ever, Chris Squire, John Entwistle, and Lee Pomeroy!” says Rick Wakeman.” And I can’t wait to play with him again!”

Louis Molino - Photo by

Louis Molino – Photo by

Louis is originally from Philadelphia, and is a Los Angeles-based studio and touring drummer. Lou was an original member of Cock Robin, who released their debut album on Columbia Records. He has worked with producers Bob Ezrin, Eddie Offord, Paul De Villiers, Trevor Horn, Steve Hillage and Ken Scott. He has recorded and/or toured with Trevor Rabin, Julian Lennon, Kim Mitchell, Kenny Loggins, Roger Hodgson, and The Tubes. Lou’s work can be heard on such films as Con Air, Tarzan, Armageddon, Training Day, Jack Frost, Glory Road, Bad Boys II, Gone in Sixty Seconds, G-Force and Max. His television credits include Zero Hour, Agent X and 12 Monkeys.

GARY CAMBRA (multi-instrumentalist)
For 20 years, Gary has been the keyboardist, guitarist, and producer for one of rock music’s most notorious acts, The Tubes. He has also toured and been a session musician for notable acts, such as Stephen Bishop and Jefferson Starship, and produced and helped in the development of many acts in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas. Gary has composed for film and TV on projects such as, Roseanne Barr’ Saturday Night Special on the FOX Network, The Playboy Channel, and films such as, The Blob (Paramount), Under The Gun, and The Peace Effort (PBS).

ARW - IMAGE - JON ANDERSON - CREDIT DEBORAH ANDERSON CREATIVEThe most successful prog rock group of all time, YES, was co-founded by Jon Anderson and the late Chris Squire in 1968 and went on to sell millions of units with releases such as Fragile, Close To The Edge, Tales From Topographic Oceans, Going For The One, 90125 and numerous live albums as well as embarking on several record-breaking world tours.

The worldwide ARW Tour is being produced by legendary concert promoter Larry Magid, who is considered an architect and leader of the modern concert business. With over 16,000 concerts to his credit and still counting, he has produced national and international tours for Yes, Richard Pryor, Bette Midler, Stevie Wonder, Robin Williams, Kristin Chenoweth, Earth Wind & Fire, Il Divo, The Allman Brothers Band, Patti LaBelle, Grover Washington Jr. and many others. In 1985 Larry Magid co-produced the American portion of Live Aid and in 2005 he was the producer of Live 8.

For tour information check out our graphic below or go to the ARW Website

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 8.29.26 PM



Monk Tamony Brings Back Tones of Activism with Vid at Overthrow Gym, Releases ‘Leaders’


NYC indie duo, Monk Tamony, officially released the next installment off their forthcoming self-titled debut EP, Monk Tamony. Listen to “Leaders” and check out the official music video here.

The official music video for “Leaders” was shot at Overthrow Gym on Bleecker Street in New York City. Overthrow Gym is inside of a building that was once the home base to prominent counterculture leaders. The Yippie party’s headquarters were based there, and Abbie Hoffman was a frequent visitor.

Inspired by social and political activism, Monk Tamony filmed the “Leaders” video on this year’s Super Tuesday.

The band notes, “As for the boxing motif, in connection with the current political climate, you can form your own opinion there!”

“Leaders” follows debut single, “Back Of The Building.”

Comprised of TJ Rosenthal (Vocals, Guitar) and Joe Zdaa (Drum, Vocals), the two-piece band produces super charged, hard-driving rock with unmistakable New York City attitude.

Zdaa and Rosenthal first met in 2002 at Dark Room, a discreetly hidden bar on Ludlow Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. “Joe was a bartender,” describes Rosenthal. “And I was a DJ and a regular patron. It was always a scene, and I’d go some nights just make sure I wasn’t missing anything.”

In the fall of 2015, Monk Tamony put the finishing touches on their debut EP. The dynamic duo has already garnered new fans along both coasts and while Zdaa and Rosenthal might call Monk Tamony a happy accident, it’s clear that they’re purposeful about their craft. Their EP is coming later this summer and will be available for purchase on vinyl.

“I can’t wait to see where the Monk Tamony story goes,” shares Rosenthal. “The fun part is not knowing. But, as long as we continue to make songs that mean something to us, we’ll continue to put them out there.”

EXCLUSIVE: Keith Levene Touts Screen on the Green Event, Talks The Clash, Punk Rock of Today

Founder of The Clash, PIL, Discusses Punk’s Evolution

Interview © 2016 IVOR LEVENE, Photos © MELANIE SMITH

Keith Levene - Photo © 2015 Melanie Smith

Keith Levene – Photo © 2015 Melanie Smith

I recently sat down for a long discussion of happenings past and present with the founder of The Clash and Public Image Ltd., Keith Levene.

Unless you’re more than a casual fan of the aforementioned bands, Keith is not going to be a familiar figure to you. He left The Clash prior to the band’s recording of their first album.  He founded PIL with John Lydon and then split with him after friction within the “company” but has kept his hands and his head in the punk culture since taking a break from the music scene.

If you’ve followed Keith on social media in the past few years, you’ve no doubt seen some slagging and Twitter-fighting between Keith and John Lydon over creative differences and PIL, and the haters who insist he was kicked out of The Clash for doing too many drugs.

Working from the present backwards, Keith is going to hold what can best be described as a kickstarter for punk this summer in London.  Entitled “Screen on the Green,” the event is going to be a retrospective of the last 40 years of punk,  but will also look forward and try to position itself as a catalyst for future generations of punks in music, art, and fashion.

Keith Levene wants to set the record straight, let you know that the spirit of punk is alive and well, and have you “pull your head out of your ass” when it comes to the history of his involvement in The Clash and PIL. (Part One of a Two-Part Interview, Read Part 2 at CaliforniaRocker.com)

I have questions about London 1976, the clash, PIL, punk, you, and everything.

KL: London 1976 is now Keith Levene 2016.  I never liked “London 1976.”  It was a good set of rails to run on, just to get the work out that came out of it, books and what have you.  It’s about now.  Screen on the Green is the 40th anniversary of the Clash, the Pistols, and the Buzzcocks playing at The Screen.  I stole the Steve Jobs thing:  “1984 won’t be like 1984,” and London 1976 won’t be like London 1976 because it’s Keith meets 2016.  When I did The Screen 40 years ago, it was a great show.  It was Bernard Rhodes, The Clash had just got together, the Buzzcocks, we all knew The Pistols.  It was a really great show.  It started at 12 and it was a quid to get in.  I can’t emulate that, but I can reflect what’s going on now.  I’m not going to turn up there now and do “The Clash show.”  My thing is “40 years of punk rock and we’re only at the beginning.”  I’m talking more about the spirit of punk rock than I am about punk rock.

Keith Levene - Photo © 2015 Melanie Smith

Keith Levene – Photo © 2015 Melanie Smith

How is it that punk still survives and just about every other form of rock is essentially dead?

I think the spirit is definitely alive.  I still hear the music, so the music is definitely alive.  Essentially rock is dead.  Corporations absorbed it and turned it into a commodity where it’s all about looks and zero talent.  40 years ago good music practically wrote itself.  There were more bands around than you could follow.  Today?  Nothing.

Everything has changed so much since then, but I think the basic premise is still the same. There are still some enemies out there, and they are very defined and focused.  At the time, we deconstructed a lot of stuff.  We weren’t responsible for so much stuff, but we were responsible for knowing when to act.  We were just kids, and now, the people who are left, they have much more responsibility, and they’re in a position to do something really good within the framework of the spirit of punk.

It’s a much scarier world today than it was in say 1976.

My thing is, here we are in this refined and upgraded world, and the ones who survived know what it’s like, and now’s the time for punk, more than ever…

What about the younger generation, do you think they feel the same way?

I haven’t solidified what I’m gonna do at The Screen (or wherever this event’s going to be, because there’s some clouds over some parts); I want to use young people, have them do their thing.  There’s certainly going to be a presence of me, and me playing, and playing some new stuff with young people.  I want the band to be called The London Power Station.  And who knows what will come out of it.  The whole idea of what was originally “London 1976” wasn’t just music.  It was music, art, design, and fashion.  I want to “bring something to the table.”

You know, just get it on.  And with a complete lean towards independence, just really do it yourself.  Based on the premise that the only fucking option you’ve got is to be a corporate robot.  There’s no fun any more, there’s no TOTP, There’s no fucking focus.  There’s a lot of people out there that are really interesting, and I just want to pool them.  We’re not a band, we’re not a company, we’re a collective, I just want to create a lot of potential.  The only poster they had up at the screen on the green when I went to talk to them was of this event that was four years ago.

Do you think this is going to spur something new?  The corporations have pretty much taken over and ruined what was once a great art form.

Yeah, no doubt.  I wrote a Clash tune and officially recorded it last year and it’s called “The Voice of Punk Rock.”  And yeah, the corporations have taken everything and sanitized it and ruined it.  The thing is though, just fuck that, I mean we’re never gonna take that down.  I just say fuck them, watch this, they haven’t ruined anything.  I just want a good event, to create some fucking avenues,

Do you think it will go further than just a good event?

Keith Levene - Photo © 2015 Melanie Smith

Keith Levene – Photo © 2015 Melanie Smith

It’s not like I think I’m gonna take over and be the Richard Branson of Punk, or the anti Simon Cowell, it could be this, it could be that, it’s just a question of pooling resources, I mean the outlook’s different these days, isn’t it?

Everything is very cynical these days.  You can’t make a record or really hit it big without looking perfect.

We know this, and it’s all fucking bollocks, but obviously you and I can both see past that, right?  I think the point of making a record today is “where the fuck can we focus them”?  These writers today really can’t write a fucking thing unless they’re told what to write.  Well, what the fuck’s going on?  It’s just stupid.  It’s the parity with 1976 that I’m trying to create; it’s the same job.

Have you been treated unfairly by the press?

Yeah, it’s fucking awful.  The stories that are out there are so warped.  They only mattered then and it’s really about now.

You’ve started an institute haven’t you, The 1976 Institute?

I really need to rename this shit, I was calling it “The Institute” but I don’t know what we’re going to call it at the moment.  The name really doesn’t matter.  It’s just kind of a legal problem for reasons I just cannot be bothered to go into.  It’s not going to be called “The Institute” although I really did like the name and it’ll be a drag if I can’t use it, but I don’t know what I’m gonna call it yet.

The thing we were going to put together was something educational with all these modules and master classes and it really just wasn’t my bag, I really wasn’t liking it.  So what I really wanna do is put an event together and really observe what’s going on.  I’m making this movie to go with it.  I’m going through this whole process and I’m filming a lot of it for a movie and I’m not going to decide on it until it gets closer to the event.

So the institute really should be a reflection of what we achieve at this event. If it comes together and it just ends up being a good gig and an OK movie then it turns into a really cool networking event.  I’m having all kinds of really good ideas, I’m even thinking of putting Wobble into this, for performance, just because he’s really good, and we’re really good together.  Like I said, I really haven’t decided what it’s going to be.  The idea is to pack as much potential into it as possible so something really good can come out of it.

What about helping new artists?  Helping them get gigs, record deals, things like that?

What I want instead is to have all the artists work together and figure it out. I don’t want to say, “Hey, this is how you should do it.” Unfortunately, a lot examples of how to do it aren’t available these days.  The only person I’ve seen that’s really made out in the corporate sector and got what he wanted is Nile Rogers.  He’s the only guy I’ve seen that’s excelled and really made the corporate thing work.

Interesting that you use Nile Rogers as an example.  He’s been up for nomination into the Rock Hall 10 times now I think, and has still yet to be inducted.  He’s one of the most underrated musicians of all time.  

He’s very cool about it.  He doesn’t really need the adulation; he just gets on with it.

He’s also partially responsible for the popularity of the entire Disco genre, and had his hands in a lot of funk.  

Yeah, he’s absolutely brilliant as both a producer and a musician.

That’s the kind of pull and power you absolutely need to make the corporate thing work.  You don’t need to do anything and people will just welcome you.

Keith Levene - Photo © 2015 Melanie Smith

Keith Levene – Photo © 2015 Melanie Smith

Let’s say you do put something really good together, some really good band.  How could you possibly keep them from being bought out by corporations?

That’s where the institute comes in, right.  I mean ultimately, it’s their own fucking choice.

Forty years ago, you didn’t have to worry about this sort of thing.  You didn’t have to worry about the corporations snapping up every new artist.  Or did you?  Back then you had greedy record companies doing the same thing, right?

At least back then, they let a lot more art in and they gave artists a lot more freedom.  Now they’ve got it all tied up because of money.  They’re such a bunch of fucking pricks you know.  And we all hate them, right?  But at least it gives you something to rub up against.  It doesn’t have to be anger, but there’s an energy.  So there’s no need to break the walls down, just create an alternative. It can be done, and it has to be done.  It’s 2016, it’s not 1976.

Has it reached critical mass yet?

I haven’t gotten all the youths I need yet, but I’m getting some really good results.  So I can’t say that much about it.

Read Part 2 of the Keith Levene interview at CaliforniaRocker.com 


Miles Davis Celebrated with Release of New Album Collection by Concord Music

Miles Davis - photo for EastCoastRocker.com

Photo by © Esmond Edwards/CTSIMAGES

By JOHN DALY – In advance of what would have been Miles Davis‘ 90th birthday, Prestige Records, a division of Concord Bicycle Music, will release The Complete Prestige 10-Inch LP Collection on May 13.

The collection is an 11-LP box set that commemorates the legendary trumpeter’s 10-inch recordings from 1951 to 1954.   The biopic Miles Ahead, starring Don Cheadle, was recently released.

The Complete Prestige 10-Inch LP Collection presents all 10 of the 10-inch LPs on which Davis appeared as a leader for Prestige Records, plus a bonus record featuring Davis as a guest artist with Lee Konitz. All recordings are remastered from the original analog master tapes and reproduced on 10-inch vinyl and include the original cover art and liner notes.

Also in the box is a 16-page booklet featuring rare photographs as well as a collectible print of a painting by Davis.

Miles Davis - Photo courtesy Concord Music for EastCoastRocker.com East Coast Rocker

Miles Davis – Photo courtesy Concord Music

The complete list of albums includes: Modern Jazz Trumpets (featuring Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Dorham and Fats Navarro); The New Sounds; Blue Period; Miles Davis Plays the Compositions of Al Cohn; Miles Davis Quartet; Miles Davis All Star Sextet; Miles Davis Quintet; Miles Davis with Sonny Rollins; Miles Davis All Stars, Vol. 1; Miles Davis All Stars, Vol. 2 and, as a bonus, Konitz’ The New Sounds, featuring Davis as a guest artist.

The box set was produced by Nick Phillips.

In addition to the vinyl box set, Concord is in the process of making Davis’ entire Prestige catalog of 12-inch albums available as 24-bit digital editions.

Each title has been restored from the original analog tapes by GRAMMY Award-winning mastering engineer Paul Blakemore. The campaign, which has been ongoing since February 2016, includes such albums as Dig, Walkin’, Cookin’, Relaxin’, Workin’, and Steamin’, among others.

Davis’ birthday is May 26.

‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot’ Still a Classic 30 Years After Its Release

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 11.45.32 PMBy JOHN DALY for EastCoastRocker.com – The 15-minute film Heavy Metal Parking Lot is a true classic 30 years after its release.

Yes it was shot on the East Coast and maybe that’s why it has that familiar flavor — summer days with your babe, tailgating at a Judas Priest concert.

But as with anything, it’s the personalities and the characters that made this movie a unique cultural study; the girl with the striped shirt, the guy with the striped shirt, the guy with the beer and mullet — wait, that could be any of the kids in the 1986 short flick.

On an important anniversary in the history of cool music movies, we’ve embedded the metal rock movie, Heavy Metal Parking Lot here for your viewing pleasure:

Heavy Metal Parking Lot from Jeff Krulik on Vimeo.

HMPL 25th Anniversary Animation by Brad D from Jeff Krulik on Vimeo.

The Who Hits 50! Tour Continues Going Strong Throughout East Coast

The Who Hits 50! Tour East Coast Rocker

The Who Hits 50! Tour makes 20 stops in the East – logo provided by AEG Live

By DONNA BALANCIA – The Who celebrate “The Big Five O” with a North American Tour that kicked off April 15 in Tampa and hits 20 locations in the East. 

The Who’s West Coast swing of The Who Hits 50! tour will return to the U.S. on May 15 in Seattle when the band returns from Canada dates.

Tickets are available at www.thewho.com.  The tour is presented by AEG Live.

Special VIP packages are available. As the show is sponsored by Citi, Citicard members can buy tickets. For more information on Citicard, go to www.citiprivatepass.com.

The Who released a greatest hits album collection, The Who Hits 50!,  through Geffen-Universal Music Enterprises.  The recording includes tunes from The Who’s early days, when the band was called The High Numbers, through today.

The Who has sold more than 100 million records since the band was formed in 1964.  Two of the original band members, Keith Moon and John Entwistle passed away.

The Who Hits 50! Tour:

The Who

Kendrick Lamar Sweeps GRAMMY Noms with 11, Taylor Swift and The Weeknd Each Take 7

Taylor Swift was nominated in seven categories for this year's GRAMMY Awards - Photo courtesy Getty Images

Taylor Swift was nominated in seven categories for this year’s GRAMMY Awards – Photo courtesy Getty Images

LOS ANGELES Kendrick Lamar has taken 11 GRAMMY nominations, followed by Taylor Swift and The Weeknd, who each earned seven, announced this morning.

Additionally, music producer-songwriter Max Martin receives six nominations and mastering engineer Tom Coyne, rapper Drake, and engineers/mixers Serban Ghenea and John Hanes each earned five nominations.

Final-round GRAMMY ballots will be mailed Dec. 16 and the award for excellence in music will be presented Monday, Feb. 15, 2016, live from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and broadcast on the CBS Television Network from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

In the Album Of The Year category, nominees range from the alternative and soulful rock of Alabama Shakes to Lamar’s jazz-infused rap, the country sounds of Chris Stapleton, the pop emergence of Swift, and the R and B style of The Weeknd.

Following is a sampling of nominations from the GRAMMY Awards’ 30 fields and 83 categories. For a complete nominations list, visit www.grammy.com. Congratulate nominees and catch exclusive videos and content on Facebook. Join @theGRAMMYs Twitter Moments conversation using #GRAMMYs.



Album Of The Year:

Sound & Color — Alabama Shakes

To Pimp A Butterfly — Kendrick Lamar

Traveller — Chris Stapleton

1989 — Taylor Swift

Beauty Behind The Madness — The Weeknd

Watch and share the Album Of The Year category roundup video


Record Of The Year:

“Really Love” — D’Angelo And The Vanguard

“Uptown Funk” — Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars

“Thinking Out Loud” — Ed Sheeran

“Blank Space” — Taylor Swift

“Can’t Feel My Face” — The Weeknd

Watch and share the Record Of The Year category roundup video


Song Of The Year:

“Alright” — Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears & Pharrell Williams, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)

“Blank Space” — Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)

“Girl Crush” — Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose, songwriters (Little Big Town)

“See You Again” — Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth & Cameron Thomaz, songwriters (Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth)

“Thinking Out Loud” — Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge, songwriters (Ed Sheeran)

Watch and share the Song Of The Year category roundup video


Best New Artist:

Courtney Barnett

James Bay

Sam Hunt

Tori Kelly

Meghan Trainor

Watch and share the Best New Artist category roundup video



Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:

“Ship To Wreck” — Florence + The Machine

“Sugar” — Maroon 5

“Uptown Funk” — Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars

“Bad Blood” — Taylor Swift Featuring Kendrick Lamar

“See You Again” — Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth



Best Dance Recording:

“We’re All We Need” — Above & Beyond Featuring Zoë Johnston

“Go” — The Chemical Brothers

“Never Catch Me” — Flying Lotus Featuring Kendrick Lamar

“Runaway (U & I)” — Galantis

“Where Are Ü Now” — Skrillex And Diplo With Justin Bieber



Best Rock Performance:

“Don’t Wanna Fight” — Alabama Shakes

“What Kind Of Man” — Florence + The Machine

“Something From Nothing” — Foo Fighters

“Ex’s & Oh’s” — Elle King

“Moaning Lisa Smile” — Wolf Alice



Best Alternative Music Album:

Sound & Color — Alabama Shakes

Vulnicura — Björk

The Waterfall — My Morning Jacket

Currents — Tame Impala

Star Wars — Wilco



Best Urban Contemporary Album:

Ego Death — The Internet

You Should Be Here — Kehlani

Blood — Lianne La Havas

Wildheart  — Miguel

Beauty Behind The Madness — The Weeknd



Best Rap Album:

2014 Forest Hills Drive — J. Cole

Compton — Dr. Dre

If Youre Reading This Its Too Late — Drake

To Pimp A Butterfly — Kendrick Lamar

The Pinkprint — Nicki Minaj



Best Country Album:

Montevallo — Sam Hunt

Pain Killer — Little Big Town

The Blade — Ashley Monroe

Pageant Material — Kacey Musgraves

Traveller — Chris Stapleton



Best Jazz Instrumental Album:

My Favorite Things — Joey Alexander

Breathless — Terence Blanchard Featuring The E-Collective

Covered: Recorded Live At Capitol Studios — Robert Glasper & The Robert Glasper Trio

Beautiful Life — Jimmy Greene

Past Present — John Scofield



Best Gospel Album:

Destined To Win (Live) — Karen Clark Sheard

Living It — Dorinda Clark-Cole

One Place Live — Tasha Cobbs

Covered: Alive Is Asia [Live] (Deluxe) — Israel & Newbreed

Life Music: Stage Two — Jonathan McReynolds



Best Contemporary Christian Music Album:

Whatever The Road — Jason Crabb

How Can It Be — Lauren Daigle

Saints And Sinners — Matt Maher

This Is Not A Test — Tobymac

Love Ran Red — Chris Tomlin



Best Latin Pop Album:

Terral — Pablo Alborán

Healer — Alex Cuba

A Quien Quiera Escuchar (Deluxe Edition) — Ricky Martin

Sirope — Alejandro Sanz

Algo Sucede — Julieta Venegas



Best Americana Album:

The Firewatcher’s Daughter — Brandi Carlile

The Traveling Kind — Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell

Something More Than Free — Jason Isbell

Mono — The Mavericks

The Phosphorescent Blues — Punch Brothers



Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling):

Blood On Snow (Jo Nesbø) — Patti Smith

Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, And Assorted Hijinks — Dick Cavett

A Full Life: Reflections At Ninety — Jimmy Carter

Patience And Sarah (Isabel Miller) — Janis Ian & Jean Smart

Yes Please — Amy Poehler (& Various Artists)



Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical:

Jeff Bhasker

Dave Cobb


Larry Klein

Blake Mills



Best Music Film:

Mr. Dynamite: The Rise Of James Brown — James Brown

Sonic Highways — Foo Fighters

What Happened, Miss Simone? — Nina Simone

The Wall — Roger Waters

Amy — Amy Winehouse

Round One Goes To Peter Hook in Pursuit of Royalties He Says are Owed him by New Order Bandmates

Peter Hook moves ahead with his suit against former New Order bandmates - Photo © 2014 Donna Balancia

Peter Hook moves ahead with his suit against former New Order bandmates – Photo © 2014 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA – Peter Hook has been given the green light in a British courtroom to move ahead with his lawsuit against former bandmates in New Order over royalties he says he’s owed.  The suit is expected to go to trial.

Hook, who these days leads the band Peter Hook and the Light, is suing ex-bandmates Bernard Sumner, Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris, according to the BBC.

The Joy Division co-founder says when his ex-partners set up a company in 2011, they did not inform him of financial decisions and he says he’s lost about $3.5 million.

While Sumner and company say Hook’s plight has been overdramatized, Hook says he is only getting 1.25 percent of New Order’s income and feels he’s due 12.5 percent.

Hook co-wrote many of the bands famous tunes, which he still plays when performing as Peter Hook and the Light.

The High Court ruled today that Hook would be permitted to move ahead to a full trial.

Hook’s lawyer, Mark Wyeth, said: “It was as though George Harrison and Ringo Starr had got together at George’s house one Friday nignt and had acted together to divest Paul McCartney of his shareholding in the Beatles, and didn’t tell Yoko about it either.”

In a statement, Hook said he was “delighted with the decision” made on his application to High Court in London, adding both sides are spending a lot in legal fees.

New Order members say there was never any dispute about the back catalogue and that Hook is seeking money the band has been making without him.  New Order’s new album, Music Complete is out now.

Gibson Launches 2016 Model Year With Party in Beverly Hills Featuring Robby Krieger, Los Lobos

Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos jams with Robby Krieger at Gibson launch party - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos jams with Robby Krieger at Gibson launch party – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA – Gibson announced its 2016 Model Year with a launch party in Beverly Hills featuring performances by Los Lobos and Robby Krieger.

Musicians, friends and celebs were on hand as Gibson USA — producer of such well known guitars as the Les Paul, SG, Flying V, Explorer and Firebird — announced its new 2016 Model Year.

Longtime Gibson musicians Los Lobos jammed with The Doors’ famed Krieger, while Brian Ray of Paul McCartney’s band and Dave Amato of REO Speedwagon enjoyed chatting and exchanging stories.

Dave Amato - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Dave Amato of REO Speedwagon – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Gibson has been busy lately.  The marketing and sales teams have been going non-stop, bringing the Gibson message — and the famous Gibson Bus — to Nashville, Miami and to L.A. to promote the new Traditional and High-Performance lines.  The company continues to work with musicians like Peter Frampton — and Amato — in developing signature lines and custom products.

“Gibson USA has always pushed the extremes of innovation to help ignite new inspiration for musicians everywhere, while continuing to honor the heritage of our classic, beloved designs that remain extremely vital, desirable and collectable,” said Gibson Brands CEO and Chairman Henry Juszkiewicz.

The Traditional models are built to the same specifications as the classic Gibson guitars that have powered decades of hits, but also take advantage of advances in production and engineering that result in superb playability, consistency and superior quality.

The High-Performance guitars invite a new addition to guitar collections, with infinitely customizable action adjustment, titanium hardware, an all-new “fast-access” neck heel for effortlessly reaching the neck’s highest notes, enhanced automatic tuning, new fortified aluminum case and multiple deluxe features that redefine the playing experience.

Gibson's high-performance line still keeps traditions musicians like. Photo for East Coast Rocker courtesy of Gibson.com

Gibson’s high-performance line still keeps traditions musicians like. Photo for East Coast Rocker courtesy of Gibson.com

All 2016 Models deliver the signature Gibson sound—tone with depth, resonance, purity, and sustain—thanks to superior tonewoods, pickups, materials, and handmade-in-the-USA craftsmanship. Gibson is known for its playability, with smooth deep-oiled fingerboard, and expert precision setup.

Gibson uses nitrocellulose finishes and more than 100 guitars in both highly-cherished Traditional and leading-edge High-Performance models all players can now connect with their unique passion and style.

For more information go to Gibson.com 

More photos and coverage at CaliforniaRocker.com

Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde Offends Women’s Victims Groups with Comments

Courtesy of BBC – Singer Chrissie Hynde has come under fire for allegedly suggesting it can be a woman’s fault if she is raped.

“You know if you don’t want to entice a rapist, don’t wear high heels so you can’t run from him,” she said, in an interview in the Sunday Times.

The Pretenders singer, 63, said she takes “full responsibility” after she was sexually assaulted aged 21 in Ohio.

“If I’m walking around in my underwear and I’m drunk. Who else’s fault can it be?” Hynde told Krissi Murison.

In her recently completed autobiography, Reckless, Hynde recounts how she was forced to perform sexual acts on members of an Ohio motorcycle gang who had promised to take her to a party, but instead took her to an abandoned house.

“Technically speaking, however you want to look at it, this was all my doing and I take full responsibility,” said the singer, who recalled being high on drugs at the time.


Slash, Vince Neil, Alice Cooper Rock and Raise $525 G for MSA Research

Slash, Vince Neil, Alice Cooper, East Coast Rocker, Photo with permission by Truscello

Slash, Vince Neil and Alice Cooper were among rockers at the Kerry Simon benefit in Vegas – Truscello/Wire Image

By DONNA BALANCIA — LAS VEGAS — Slash, Vince Neil and Alice Cooper were among top names from the music world who gathered this past week in Las Vegas to help raise money for MSA Research.

The Keep Memory Alive benefit was held on behalf of chef Kerry Simon, who has been battling the effects of the debilitating affliction Multiple System Atrophy since his diagnosis last year.

About 450 guests attended, raising nearly $525,000 towards MSA clinical care and research.

Others on hand were Sammy Hagar, Bill Murray, Todd Rundgren, Matt Sorum, J.D. Fortune, Lisa Loeb and Billy Duffy, all backed by the Las Vegas band, Sin City Sinners.