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30 Years Ago: Heavy Metal Legends Convene for ‘Hear ’n Aid’ Sessions

On May 20 and 21, 1985, one of the greatest heavy metal summits of all time took place at Los Angeles’ A&M Records Studio for the creation of a charitable single, “Stars,” later issued by the project known as Hear ’n Aid. The cause was raising money for famine relief in Africa — as it had been for recent efforts undertaken by pop musicians, in both the U.K. (Band Aid) and the U.S. (USA for Africa), but that’s where the similarities ended and Hear ’n Aid stood alone.

But it was in fact 1984’s Band Aid that sowed the general seeds for Hear ’n Aid’s existence, along with a 48-hour radio telethon hosted by L.A. radio station KLOS, specifically, which happened to be attended by Dio members Vivian Campbell (guitar) and Jimmy Bain (bass), among many other stars. Together, the duo crafted a new song and asked their boss, Ronnie James Dio, to help with some lyrics and, before anyone could count to 11, heavy metal had an answer to Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and USA for Africa’s “We Are the World.”

Its name was “Stars,” and the roll call of hard rock and metal stars eager to lend their talents to those sessions was nothing short of astonishing. In common with those pop music efforts, “Stars” witnessed a string of leather-lunged singers trading lead vocals lines — namely Dio, Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, Blue Oyster Cult’s Eric Bloom, Quiet Riot’s Kevin DuBrow, Queensryche’s Geoff Tate, Y&T’s Dave Meniketti, Rough Cutt’s Paul Shortino and Dokken’s Don Dokken, as well as dozens more providing backup, including members of Motley Crue, Twisted Sister and W.A.S.P.

Distinct among all these musical charities of the time, “Stars” did its metal heritage proud by boasting an extended jaw-dropping guitar solo that collated fireworks of shredders like Yngwie Malmsteen, Dokken’s George Lynch, Craig Goldy, B.O.C.’s Buck Dharma Roeser, Twisted Sister’s Eddie Ojeda, Journey’s Neal Schon, Quiet Riot’s Carlos Cavazo, Night Ranger’s Brad Gillis and co-songwriter Campbell, who also contributed rhythm guitar parts, along with Iron Maiden’s Dave Murray and Adrian Smith, who flew in from their band’s massive World Slavery Tour to do their part with harmony parts.

Even Ted Nugent came down to sing backup — as did the members of spoof-metal band Spinal Tap to lend a few laughs to the otherwise dead serious circumstances.

Unfortunately, obtaining legal clearance for so many artists signed to so many different record labels proved a daunting task that would delay the music’s release for months. The Hear ’n Aid compilation LP finally arrived in stores in January 1986, packing recordings donated by major names such as Kiss, Rush, Motorhead, Accept, Y&T, Scorpions, the Jimi Hendrix estate and Dio.

By then, “Stars” had also been made available as both 7” and 12” singles (peaking at No. 26 in the U.K., No. 39 in the U.S.), and the entire historic event was eventually celebrated by a 48-minute documentary filled with interviews, outtakes and behind-the-scenes clips. And while some of those involved feared that the legal delays had diminished Hear ’n Aid’s impact, one could likewise argue that they also extended awareness for famine relief for a few more months, well into 1986.

In any case, the nearly $1 million raised by Hear ’n Aid speak for themselves, and the still-unmatched collection of heavy metal star power that came together during those two days in the name of a good cause.

 

The 10 Most Important Moments in Dio History

Read More: 30 Years Ago: Heavy Metal Legends Convene for ‘Hear ’n Aid’ Sessions | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/hear-n-aid-stars/?trackback=tsmclip

How QUIET RIOT’s FRANKIE BANALI Almost Ended Up In OZZY OSBOURNE’s Band

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How QUIET RIOT's FRANKIE BANALI Almost Ended Up In OZZY OSBOURNE's Band

A behind-the-scenes interview with QUIET RIOT drummer Frankie Banali filmed during his recent appearance on VH1 Classic‘s “That Metal Show” can be seen below.

Asked how well he knew late OZZY OSBOURNE and QUIET RIOT guitarist Randy Rhoads, Frankie said: “Not as well as people would assume that I knew Randy.”

He continued: “It was really funny, because I was a in a three-piece band called MONARCH, and it was all originals, and we were playing the same circuit — you know, the Starwood [in West Hollywood]. We actually played with QUIET RIOT a few times. And that band was a cross between LED ZEPPELIN and FREE; that kind of material. At one point, QUIET RIOT were thinking of getting rid of the drummer they had at the time. And so Rudy [Sarzo, QUIET RIOT bassist] had already known each other since 1972, so he wanted me to come down and audition. And I agreed — reluctantly I agreed — because Rudy and I were friends, and because QUIET RIOT were a great band, but, to me, QUIET RIOT was more of a pop band than what I was into. So I went down and played, and all sides agreed that maybe it’s not gonna work. But because of that, he was the one that told Kevin [DuBrow, QUIET RIOT singer] that he should get me in Kevin‘s new band after Randy left to go play with Ozzy. But when Randy went to audition for Ozzy, afterwards, he called me up and he goes, ‘Hey, Frankie.’ I said, ‘Randy?’ [He said], ‘Yeah. You wanna come and play with this guy Ozzy?’ And I said, ‘The guy from BLACK SABBATH?’ And he goes, ‘Yeah.’ And I said, ‘Okay. I don’t have a car.’ He goes, ‘I’ll pick you up.’ And we went down and we had some rehearsals, and it sounded great, and that was gonna be the band. But, ultimately, the label decided they were only gonna spend money on one guy, and the guy was Randy. But we kept in touch. He actually called me… I was in Germany doing a record for Tony Carey, who had just left Ritchie Blackmore‘s RAINBOW. And [Randy] called me up when he was in England doing the first Ozzy record. So we stayed in touch.”

“Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back”, the feature documentary on QUIET RIOT, screened this past Thursday, May 14 at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France.

The inspiring and surprisingly relatable documentary is an inside look at Frankie‘s road to recovery after losing his best friend Kevin DuBrow to a drug overdose in 2007 as he forges ahead to conquer his loss, regain his life and put the band back together.

The film begins in 2010, three years following the loss of Kevin DuBrow. Frankie Banali faces a crossroads in his life and finds himself talking to former QUIET RIOT bassist Rudy Sarzo who said, “If you don’t carry on the legacy of your friend, nobody else will.”

At times both utterly tragic and downright hilarious, like an outtake from “Spinal Tap”, the film follows Frankie‘s journey through the emotional feat of trying to fill the void left by his singer and best friend.

The 105-minute character-driven documentary looks beyond the guts and glory of the common getting-the-band-back-together tale. “Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back” reveals an unforgettable man who uses ambition, relentless determination and principle to navigate through the obstacles that attempt to control his fate.

Watch for cameos from Matt Sorum and Steven Adler (GUNS N’ ROSES), Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE), Dee Snider (TWISTED SISTER), Rudy Sarzo (QUIET RIOT, OZZY OSBOURNE), Dana Strum (SLAUGHTER), John 5 (MARILYN MANSON, ROB ZOMBIE) and Martha Quinn (original MTV VJ).

“When Frankie told me he was planning to meet with Kevin DuBrow‘s mother to get her blessing to go on with the band and find a new singer, I thought this would be an extraordinary story for a documentary,” explains director and producer Regina Russell.

Regina gained access to the private video and photo archives of the band. She followed Frankie for four years and interviewed many of the integral characters in the band’s history.

Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/how-quiet-riots-frankie-banali-almost-ended-up-in-ozzy-osbournes-band/#1l3iYgBH7IOXDbYw.99

Ronnie James Dio Remembered by Former Collaborators Five Years After His Death

Former collaborators from Black Sabbath, Elf, Rainbow and his namesake band joined in an emotional public memorial service held Saturday for Ronnie James Dio on the fifth anniversary of his death.

Vinny Appice, who worked with Dio both in Black Sabbath and the offshoot band Heaven and Hell, took part in a rendition of “Rainbow In The Dark” with former Dio band members Rowan Robertson, Rudy Sarzo and Scott Warren, among others. Dio Disciples, which features ex-Dio members Craig Goldy, Simon Wright and Warren, performed “Stargazer.”

Rock Feinstein of Elf joined figures with connections to Asia and Quiet Riot for “Mistreated,” which also featured Warren. Rainbow’s Jimmy Bain hooked up with Appice as well as members of Black Star Riders for “Stand Up and Shout.” Additional songs and performers, as well as video from the event, is below.

Great White, Rough Cutt and ex-Megadeth guitarist Chris Broderick were among the others who performed at the memorial, held at Los Angeles’ Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills. Dio died of stomach cancer on May 16, 2010, at age 67.

Watch Great White Perform ‘Heaven and Hell’ at the Ronnie James Dio Memorial

Watch Jimmy Bain, Carmine Appice and Others Perform ‘Stand Up and Shout’

Watch Lita Ford and Others Perform ‘Lisa’

Songs and performers from the Ronnie James Dio memorial:
“Lisa,” Lita Ford, Patrick Kennison, Marty O’Brien
“Heaven and Hell,” Great White
“Last in Line,” Great White featuring Lorraine Lewis
“Take Her,” Rough Cutt
“Mistreated,” John Payne, Rock Feinstein, Christian Martucci, Sean McNabb, Roy Mayorga and Scott Warren
“Rainbow in the Dark,” Gabbie Rae, Rowan Robertson, Rudy Sarzo, Vinny Appice and Scott Warren
“Sign of the Southern Cross,” Ann Boleyn, Craig Goldy, Sean McNabb, Simon Wright and Scott Warren
“Stargazer,” Dio Disciples
“Stand Up and Shout,” Ricky Warwick, Robbie Crane, Chris Broderick, Jimmy Bain and Vinny Appice

See Ronnie James Dio and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the ’80s

10 Most Important Moments in Dio’s History

Read More: Ronnie James Dio Remembered by Former Collaborators Five Years After His Death | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/ronnie-james-dio-fifth-anniversary-memorial/?trackback=tsmclip

RONNIE JAMES DIO’S Widow Is Resurrecting A 1980s Supergroup For Charity

Most of you reading this are probably too young to remember, but back in the 1980s rock stars loved getting together to record songs for charity. They didn’t love it as much as cocaine, but celebrity supergroups where probably a close second. The two most well-known of these were Band-Aid, a supergroup organized by Bob Geldof that raised money to fight hunger in Africa with “Do They Know It’s Christmas;” a song that portrayed the continent as a Mad Maxian hellspcape, and USA For Africa, which was led by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and also raised millions of dollars for famine relief in Africa with the (noticeably less bleak) song “We Are the World.” Each of these projects raised millions of dollars for their respective causes and had the added bonus of inspiring Vivian Campbell and Jimmie Bain of Dio to approach Ronnie James Dio with an idea for a heavy metal and hard rock version of these groups.

The three went to work writing a song that would eventually be called simply “Stars,” and on May 20th and 21st assembled a murderer’s row of heavy weight singers and guitarists to record the song at A & M Studios in Hollywood, California under the name Hear ‘n Aid. Among the participants were Dio himself, Rob Halford, Chris Holmes and Blackie Lawless (W.A.S.P.), Yngwie Malmsteen, Kevin DuBrow (Quiet Riot), Ted Nugent, Don Dokken (Dokken), Vince Neil (Mötley Crüe), and Geoff Tate (Queensrÿche). Dio intended for the song to be released as a single shortly after it was recorded, but some legal malarkey with the record labels involved held the release up until New Years Day of 1986 when “Stars” finally saw the light of day. Dio and company also released a making-off documentary to and a full album featuring some additional songs by artists like AcceptRush, and Motörhead to accompany the song. “Stars” peaked at #26 at the UK Singles chart in 1986, and, according to Ronnie James Dio, it raised $1 million that first year.

Now, nearly 30 years after the initial release of “Stars,” Dio’s widow Wendy has announced her intention to release the original song with loads of bonus material. On a recent interview with SiriusXM’s Eddie Trunk she said, “We are in talks right now with a couple of record labels to reissue Hear ‘n Aid, with the funds going to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund. She went on to say, “We have so much stuff that was never released before — behind-the-scenes stuff that was shot during the whole time. We have photos galore of everybody that was involved in it, and I think it’ll be fantastic. We just have to work on it. It may not come out this year, because I want everything to be perfect, as Ronnie would want it to be, but I am in talks about it, and that will be coming out, definitely.”

Additionally, Wendy stated that a new Hear ‘n Aid track will be recorded for charity, although she didn’t reveal the names of anyone involved. Just that the line-up would consist of current and classic artists and proceeds would go to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund and it probably wouldn’t be out this year due again to legal bullcrap with some record labels. Below you’ll find the video for the original version of “Stars.” Yeah it’s cheesy, but it’s also a lot of fun and it was for a good cause. Keep your eyes peeled for more news regarding the new incarnation of Hear ‘n Aid.

[h/t Blabbermouth]

Watch these Fan-filmed videos of Sixx: A.M. from Las Vegas!

Video: SIXX: A.M. Performs In Las Vegas

Fan-filmed video footage of SIXX: A.M., the band featuring MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx alongside guitarist DJ Ashba and vocalist James Michael, perfoming on April 10 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

SIXX: A.M. will continue its “Modern Vintage” tour, playing a limited number of dates all across North America throughout the end of April, several nights of which are already sold out. While on the road, the prolific band is also already in the process of writing music for its upcoming fourth full-length album, which is tentatively due in 2016.

Known as strong advocates of new music, the members of SIXX: A.M. consciously curated a global lineup for the current tour by bringing along special guests APOCALYPTICA from Finland and VAMPS from Japan to introduce their fans to some of the most exciting new rock music from around the world.

Sixx notes: “SIXX: A.M. has always been about new music and unique creative concepts ever since our first album and the book. We think globally as a band and can’t wait to play our music live all over the world next year so it only made sense to invite some of the best international rock bands out there to join us on our first headline tour and share the excitement we feel about new rock music with our audience.”

To round out its live lineup, SIXX: A.M. has added drummer Dustin Steinke of BLEEKER RIDGE into the mix for the tour, as well as backup singers Melissa Harding and Amber VanBuskirk. Ashba says: “We really wanted to create a great, over-the-top live experience on this tour like all the artists of the late ’60s and early ’70s did who influenced our music.

Dustin is an amazing drummer who fits in perfectly with James, Nikki and myself. Adding him, as well as singers Melissa and Amber, to our touring lineup really allows us to create the big-sounding show we had always envisioned for SIXX: A.M. live.”

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sixxamtour2015poster

Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/video-sixx-a-m-performs-in-las-vegas/#iziYUExlfDOmDEi2.99

SIXX: A.M. Kicks Off First-Ever Headlining Tour In San Francisco!

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Video: SIXX: A.M. Kicks Off First-Ever Headlining Tour In San Francisco

SIXX: A.M., the band featuring MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx alongside guitarist DJ Ashba and vocalist James Michael, kicked off its first-ever headline tour with a sold-out show at San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom Wednesday night (April 8).

Says Michael: “We have been looking forward to play a headlining tour as SIXX: A.M. for years, so it’s been tremendously exciting to even just start the tour, but to kick it off with a sold-out show and to such an extraordinary audience last night really made it a truly fantastic and memorable tour start and we can’t wait to see everybody out there at the upcoming shows over the next few weeks.”

Fan-filmed video footage of the San Francisco concert can be seen below.

SIXX: A.M. will continue its “Modern Vintage” tour, playing a limited number of dates all across North America throughout the end of April, several nights of which are already sold out. While on the road, the prolific band is also already in the process of writing music for its upcoming fourth full-length album, which is tentatively due in 2016.

Known as strong advocates of new music, the members of SIXX: A.M. consciously curated a global lineup for the current tour by bringing along special guests APOCALYPTICA from Finland and VAMPS from Japan to introduce their fans to some of the most exciting new rock music from around the world.

Sixx notes: “SIXX: A.M. has always been about new music and unique creative concepts ever since our first album and the book. We think globally as a band and can’t wait to play our music live all over the world next year so it only made sense to invite some of the best international rock bands out there to join us on our first headline tour and share the excitement we feel about new rock music with our audience.”

To round out its live lineup, SIXX: A.M. has added drummer Dustin Steinke of BLEEKER RIDGE into the mix for the tour, as well as backup singers Melissa Harding and Amber VanBuskirk. Ashba says: “We really wanted to create a great, over-the-top live experience on this tour like all the artists of the late ’60s and early ’70s did who influenced our music.

Dustin is an amazing drummer who fits in perfectly with James, Nikki and myself. Adding him, as well as singers Melissa and Amber, to our touring lineup really allows us to create the big-sounding show we had always envisioned for SIXX: A.M. live.”

image: http://assets.blabbermouth.net.s3.amazonaws.com/media/sixxamtour2015poster.jpg

sixxamtour2015poster
Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/video-sixx-a-m-kicks-off-first-ever-headlining-tour-in-san-francisco/#W9pyZm9VgBmmkZ9v.99