One of the great things about being in the music industry is that you get to change your name. If you got stuck with something dorky like Reginald Dwight or Robert Van Winkle, you can come up with some catchy pop tune of a name like Elton John or Vanilla Ice. The change doesn't have to be severe: Marvin Gay became Marvin Gaye, and even Keith Richards went by Keith Richard for a few albums just to make it sizzle a little more. So why are we hearing records from a guy named LANDON PIGG? Jesus, kid, you get to call yourself whatever you want. You could be Ramses Dude or Beowulf LaGrange or something, but you stick with Landon Pigg? It's an affront to culture. Some might say you're just being true to yourself and avoiding the show-biz glamour of an affected name, but to me it just betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.
Good news for fans of barrels, or more specifically the bottoms of them: JANIE HENDRIX (Jimi's sister) revealed in a chat with Gibson guitars that she's got enough material packed away to keep the Hendrix gravy train running for a good while yet. "We probably have another decade of music, including video. Every 12 to 18 months we'll continue to have new releases and Dagger official bootlegs." You may be wondering why she's talking to Gibson, since it's impossible to close your eyes and picture Jimi Hendrix without seeing a Fender in his hands. But it turns out he owned a couple of Flying V's, too, and that's enough to get Gibson plotting a whole line of signature models.
Ready to feel festive as fuck? BOB DYLAN, TORI AMOS, and ROB HALFORD are all set to release holiday albums this year — when I think Yuletide comfort, those are absolutely the first three names that pop up. The Halford one comes out on October 26, which just happens to be my birthday (hint-hint!).
Finally, an on-stage collapse in which I can take no evil delight: beloved grandfatherly genius LEONARD COHEN took a spill during a recent show in Spain. They're blaming food poisoning. The good news is, he's okay and the tour will go on — but if you need a hip or something, buddy, just ask.
I just read an interview with the BRAVERY (remember them?) in Billboard, and they had some carefully chosen words to describe their cohesive new album. It's "darker and angrier" than the previous ones; "it's also like the first record in that it's a party album. It's up-tempo, fun music. . . . There are slower, dreamy songs, and our bass player wrote a song that sounds like a '50s ballad or something." Can't wait to hear this dark, fun, up-tempo, slow masterpiece, fellas.
Sometimes a press release is just too good to be true:
Legendary drummerTOMMY LEEof rock band Mötley Crüe is one of three judges chosen to pick the best corporate rock band in the upcoming FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands presented by NAMM, the trade association of the international music products industry, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
The first music competition of its kind, the battle provides amateur, company-sponsored bands with the opportunity to step out of the conference room and celebrate their passion for making music.