Hello all! Sad news of the passing of the great leader, fighter of apartheid, South African leader Nelson Mandela. He was an inspirational hero for liberty and freedom. Spent 27 years in prison for the good of his country and left a legacy we can never forget….Forgot to mention the other day I spoke with Brent Smith from Shinedown on the hotLine. We talked about the year the band has had, the highlights, the accomplishments, and more. Brent also wanted to let fans know to check out Shinedown.com to check out their merch that is having deep discounts right now. Listen for Brent as Shinedown will be the Featured Artist of the Week on the XL the week of Jan 06-10…..Pulse of Radio reports Stone Temple Pilots have released a live video of the band performing the new song “Black Heart” off the group’s recently released EP, High Rise. The clip was filmed at the Hard Rock Live festival in Biloxi, MS (home of hardDrive station 97.9 ‘CPR) on Nov 1st and gives many fans the chance to see the band performing with new singer Chester Bennington, in case they did not get to see the group on Bennington’s debut tour with STP this fall. Bennington told us that STP fans have been won over by the new lineup after seeing them live: “People come in, they all have their judgment goggles on to a certain degree, and then they watch the show and they’re all chanting ‘STP’ and losing their minds and going out and being vocal about what they saw. They’re seeing that this is real and that this is legitimate, and what we’re doing, we’re doing with a lot of joy and we’re doing with a lot of emotion and passion, and we’re having fun, and we’re connecting with them in a way that I think they haven’t had a chance to do with STP in a very, very long time.”…It was my birthday yesterday, and my fellow Sagittarian friend Corey Taylor turns the big 4-0 on Sunday, Dec 08th! In addition to being a singer in two different bands, Taylor has also written two non-fiction books, has written comic book adaptations of Stone Sour‘s House Of Gold And Bones albums, has done solo musical and spoken-word performances, has launched a film production company and will make his acting debut in 2014. We asked Taylor how, at his advanced age — just joking — he manages to keep so many different projects going: “You know, the weird thing is, is that I get a lot done on the road. You know, I finished my book on the road. I was able to do the comic book adaptations on the road. I get a lot done in the weirdest times. Usually I only strike when the iron’s hot, so I’ll let the inspiration come to me when it needs to. So I don’t push anything, and I think that’s one of the keys for juggling several different projects. So for me, when I get the inspiration, that’s when I strike.” …Five Finger Death Punch was joined onstage last night (Dec 5th) at the LG Arena in Birmingham, England by Judas Priest singer Rob Halford for a rendition of “Lift Me Up.” Halford also appears on the studio version of the track, which was the initial single from the first volume of Five Finger’s recent two-album set, The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell. (Blabbermouth)…Nine Inch Nails has issued a compilation of 77 minutes of footage shot last month at the band’s Los Angeles show during its recently completed Tension 2013 tour. The full two-hour set featured a total of 28 songs. A Blu-ray, DVD and digital release filmed on the tour is tentatively set for release next April. Watch this. (Loudwire)…In This Moment has released the official music video for “Whore,” the third single from the band’s breakthrough 2012 album Blood. Singer Maria Brink said about the disturbing yet erotic clip, “I knew how amazing placing the visual arts to ‘Whore’ would be when we wrote it, and I have been waiting to release this video since we recorded the song . . . ‘Whore’ is a song that pushes boundaries, and I needed the video to do the same.” The track recently entered the Top 20 on the Active Rock radio chart. (Blabbermouth)….Other Sags celebrating birthdays this weekend: Today: Director/writer/producer Judd Apatow is 46, Don King is 80. Saturday, Tom Waits turns 64 and my former idol Larry Byrd will be 57, and Sunday, in 1980, John Lennon was killed in front of his apartment building, The Dakota on W. 72nd Street, by Mark David Chapman when the former Beatle returned home from recording his album and in 2004, another beloved musician, Dimebag Darrell Abbott, of Pantera and Damageplan, was shot point blank during a show in Columbus, OH at Al Rosa Villa nightclub by Nathan Gale, who was killed by a police officer. Gale also killed three other people including a Damageplan crew member. Rest in peace.