Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Today's Breaking Rock News

Breaking Rock News, or at least the website that allows me to post stories on Breaking Rock News, is not working this morning. So I will post the stories here, for reference sake. Here goes:

It turns out Brett Michaels was, indeed, hurt fairly badly by the descending set piece at the Tony awards on Sunday night. While the show's PR reps suggested that he had nothing more than a minor scrape following the accident, Michaels' reps now say that he suffered a broken nose and three stitches to his lip. Michaels has now lashed out through a representative, criticizing the Tonys and host Neil Patrick Harris, who they say acted inappropriately following the incident. Harris joked about doing shots with Michaels backstage during the telecast. Their statement reads in part, “Sunday morning at rehearsals, Bret was never informed that the descending set piece existed let alone would be moving into position as he was exiting the stage. I feel had this incident happened to Liza Minnelli, Dolly Parton or Elton John the Tonys would have at least issued a letter of concern. It is unfortunate that the show’s host made light of the situation without having any knowledge of the severity of Bret’s injuries. Comments that Mr. Harris was doing shots backstage with Mr. Michaels and that Bret was completely fine were untrue considering Bret never saw Mr. Harris prior to, during or after the Tonys but in fact was being attended to by medical personnel backstage.” Shortly after making the statement, Michaels had his "rock star" card revoked. Although it has been a suspended license since 1988.

Singer-songwriter Kenny Rankin, who played guitar on the 1965 Bob Dylan classic Bringing It All Back Home, has passed away from complications related to lung cancer. Rankin was a favourite of Johnny Carson, appearing on The Tonight Show more than 20 times. Carson wrote the liner notes for Rankin's album Mind Dusters. Rankin's solo career peaked in the mid-70s with the album The Kenny Rankin Album which was recorded with a 60-piece orchestra. Paul McCartney so liked his version of the Beatles' "Blackbird" that he asked Rankin to play his version at the ceremony where John Lennon and McCartney were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Rankin died June 7th at the age of 69.

The cast of Cherry Bomb has been filled out. Breaking Rock News previously reported that Twilight's Kristen Stewart had been cast as Joan Jett in the Runaways biopic, and War Of The Worlds' Dakota Fanning has been cast as 16-year-old singer Cherie Currie. Now the final piece is in place, as the part of Lita Ford will be played by Alessandra Torresani, and Stella Maeve (who appeared in a few Gossip Girl episodes) will play drummer Sandy West. Torresani is a 22 year old actress who has appeared mainly on television since the age of ten. The filming of the movie will begin next week, and it will be in theatres in 2010.

It worked! Anvil: The Story of Anvil has landed the Canadian band some work. The documentary, which hit theatres recently, depicts the band as a sort of real-life Spinal Tap, refusing to give up on the dream of rock and roll stardom. And now - it has all paid off. Anvil has been invited to open two shows, July 28th at Gillette Stadium in Boston and July 31st at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, for AC/DC. The dream lives on!

ZZ Top had the crowd rocking as they taped an episode of VH1 Storytellers on March 31st. It was a celebration of the band's 40th anniversary - ZZ Top hold the record for longest enduring line-up of all original members of any rock band. The episode they filmed is coming to the air soon, on June 27th, on VH1.

Spinal Tap are coming to late night TV. The "band" has been confirmed for the Conan O'Brien show for June 15th. They will be performing on the show, but there are not yet any further details about their appearance.

It was feared, going into the elections for the European Parliament, that incredibly low voter turnout would open the door for some bizarre parties and crazy fringe groups to get elected to a seat or two. Well, it has happened - following the European Union elections on Sunday, the Pirate Party now has a seat. The Pirates managed to get 7.1% of the Swedish vote, good enough for one of Sweden's 18 seats on the 785-seat European parliament. Why is this story in Breaking Rock News, you ask? Well, partly because it's awesome fun not to be reported everywhere. But also because the sole platform of Sweden's "Pirate Party" is the plan to abolish copyright laws in order to protect internet piracy for music and movies. So, internet piracy could be totally legal in Europe in the next few years. You know, if the Pirate delegate can convince 392 other elected officials.

A few years ago, seeing a jewel-encrusted Mr. Potato Head being sold for an exorbitant price, comedian Lewis Black was heard to remark "that's it! They have officially run out of things to jewel-encrust!" Breaking Rock News wonders what Mr. Black's take would be on this. Mr. Potato Head, always looking for a new promotional opportunity to remain relevant in today's video-game culture, has partnered with KISS. Yes, there will now be a series of KISS Mr. Potato Head dolls. They will have interchangeable parts, and all four members will be represented. You know, the Demon and the Spaceman and the Catman and the Starchild. We would like to say that KISS has officially run out of things upon which they can put their faces, but we know full well that this will never be the case.

Chickenfoot is not Van Halen. We all knew that, even though half of the supergroup is Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, formerly of Van Halen. When asked if the addition of Joe Satriani and Chad Allen helped avoid comparisons to his former band Anthony said "I really do. It wasn't like we reacted to what anyone else was saying or doing, it's just a group of gifted musicians getting together and doing what they love to do. It just so happens that those jam sessions lead us to some creative common ground. We're extremely proud of what we've done in our pasts musically but for the initial stages of the tour we are consciously staying away from doing any Van Halen, Chili Peppers or anything from Satch's amazing solo catalog. This project is all about a new band presenting new songs; what makes it even more exciting is the prospect of playing them live for the fans. On this little Club Circuit tour, we've been tearing through the entire album along with the bonus track "Bitten by the Wolf". For the encore we've been kicking around a couple of oldies that we thought people might like to hear, "Highway Star" by Deep Purple and "Bad Motor Scooter". While the latter is a tune Sammy wrote with Montrose it's the perfect song for him to strap on the guitar and slug it out a little with Satch on stage, it's been an absolute riot."

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