Dirt - Friday, Dec 29, 2017

My bud Jerry Cantrell, guitarist for Alice In Chains, as part of  this year’s edition of the Museum of Pop Culture’s Founders Award honoring the late-60′s rock band The Doors, joined the iconic rock band’s surviving guitarist Robby Krieger for a performance of “Love Her Madly.” The Dec 7 event also saw Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic bring out his accordion to perform “Light My Fire” with Robby and drummer John Densmore.

The Founders Award celebration is the signature event for MoPOP, formerly Seattle’s Experience Music Project, started in honor of Seattle native, the late Jimi Hendrix. It honors the life’s work of living legends while raising money for the institution’s education programs.

The Doors recently released a 50th-anniversary edition of their second album, Strange Days. (I remember buying that album!) Like the 50th-anniversary reissue of the band’s debut album that came out earlier this year, the Strange Days  re-release contains both the original mono and stereo mixes of the set on two CDs, while the original mono mix was made available on vinyl. There are no bonus tracks or unreleased material, but the package includes new liner notes and additional photos.

Meanwhile, Alice In Chains recently announced a headlining North American tour that will begin on Apr 28th in Boston and wrap up a dozen dates later on May 19th in Philadelphia. The quartet also recently started recording their sixth LP with Nick Raskulinecz at Studio X in Seattle — the first time the band has recorded in its hometown in years — and first since 2013′s The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here.

Speaking Of Alice In Chains, some rockers are coming together to help raise money for the fight against Multiple Sclerosis. Some of the items up for sale include a Signature Superhawk Guitar signed by all members of Alice In Chains. Estimated at a value of $5,000, it was played at the NFC Championship halftime show in 2015.

Another item is from ex-Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony who donated a Jack Daniels guitar, a laminate and a poster from Sammy Hagar’s Inner Circle tour signed by both he and Hagar. The package has an estimated value of $9,500.

One of the most unique items was offered by Marky Ramone of the Ramones, he’ll create a drum-head art piece and incorporate the winner’s name into the artwork.

The Rock Against MS Foundation online auction is in progress through Jan 4th. (Thanks The Pulse Of Radio.)

GIBSON Sues FUNKO Over Unauthorized Use Of Guitar Designs In METALLICA, KISS, GUNS N' ROSES Figures

Oh man, ya gotta be kidding me!  Gibson Guitars has filed suit against Funko over its use of Gibson-like guitar designs with their vinyl figures for various rock and metal icons. The guitar company filed suit against the toy manufacturer in a California federal court earlier this month, reportedly after Gibson says it unsuccessfully attempted to initiate a retroactive licensing deal for the inclusion of the designs with the figures.

Gibson stated in its complaint, “The misuse of the Gibson trademarks by Funko was intended to cause, has caused, and is likely to continue to cause consumer confusion, mistake or deception including the misleading of consumers into mistakenly believing that the defendant’s unauthorized products are made directly by Gibson . . . or Gibson has authorized or licensed the use by Funko of the Gibson trademarks for those products.

The suit alleges “repeated” unauthorized use of its company’s guitar designs in Funko figures, including those based on the likenesses of Guns N’ Roses guitarist SlashAce Frehley and Paul Stanley of Kiss, and Metallica‘s Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield – all former or current Gibson guitar clients.

Gibson, which has trademarked the shapes of a number of guitars, claims to have contacted Funko in October with an offer of entering into a retroactive licensing agreement, but those discussions were unsuccessful.  Headquartered in Everett, Washington, Funko designs, sources and distributes licensed pop culture products across multiple categories, including vinyl figures, action toys, plush, apparel, housewares and accessories.

Gibson is seeking injunctive and monetary relief and demands a jury trial on all issues. According to the company, trademarks for the guitars were all registered in the U.S. and that applications were pending for its own toy figures and toy model guitars. (Thanks The Pulse Of Radio.)

Stone Sour and some old lady

Poor Corey Taylor.  It’s in the news, so I will share it.  And I know this has been a personal rough time for the Stone Sour and Slipknot frontman, and now the word is out about his 10 month separation from his wife, Stephanie.  He told me back in May they had separated, and at the time, they were trying to work it out, but alas, it didn’t go that way.  Corey is so awesome, and I just hope he finds personal happiness sometime in the near future.   I am pretty sure he will.    All the best, my friend, all the best.

It’s a slow news day, so I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss this!

The videos above were found on the MetalSucks.net site. Is this a find or what?!?!

This is an extravagant light show set to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” coordinated and built by a fellow with way too much time on his hands named Chris Callahan. What’s more, in addition to the usual head-on house shot, Callahan recorded a video of the side of his home as well, which is done up with a guitar-playing snowman. Maybe hit play on both at the same and turn the volume off on one? I dunno, it’s a free internet, you do what you want with it. Enjoy!

Celebrating life today, The Offspring’s Dexter Holland is 52.

And lastly today,  this is my final Dirt column.  I’ve tended to Dirt for as long as we’ve had it on the website.  It always gave me a chance to share not only the daily rock news, but personal experiences with so many of these bands we’ve played over the years on hardDriveRadio.  As the producer for hardDrive and hardDrive XL since their respective inceptions (1996 and 2007, to be exact), I’ve had the ability to program the music and bring you the artists for these shows,  and have taken pride in every one that we helped to make a success.  I could name many, but I won’t.   It has been a pleasure doing my job and presenting these most excellent radio shows to you, and I do hope you’ve enjoyed listening to them.  Although in my heart, I don’t feel ready to retire, I do believe that old adage, “Go out on top” applies here.   I’m happy to say I’ve won several awards over the years as the programmer of hardDrive and hardDrive XL, as well as being named in the Rock Radio Hall Of Fame. I have no regrets except to say I always wished my shows would’ve been played in LA and NYC, but alas, we never had a rock station there with the good sense to try us out.

My appreciation goes out to my awesome associates, Zak Tranese, Paul Spagna aka Paulie Walnuts, Bill Powell, and to the guy I chose to be the host of hardDrive way back in 1996 when I had discovered his air check in a box filled with contenders for the job, Lou Brutus.  I also wanted to say thank you to those that were involved with hardDrive in the early days, Chris Gibbons (who now produces all the in-studio performances for Howard Stern), Mike LoBasso and Chris Caulfield.  We sure had some fun times! And more recently, thank you to Randy Hawke from WJJO in Madison for your programming savvy and funny one-liners!  I’m leaving the music programming in very capable hands!

I also want to say thanks to our many affiliates, including our international ones in Germany and Canada, for believing that a syndicated show could be a part of their daily/weekly programming.  I was always thrilled to hear we won in the time slots when ratings would be released.  It was heart-warming that my vision was being accepted by our listeners!

Funny, how a woman, of all people, and one of an age that clearly one wouldn’t think would be into hard rock, was producing shows like this.  I’d often get a kick out of fans scratching their heads when they’d see me at shows.   I was usually approached with questions like “What are you doing at this show? Do you like this band??” or “Are you (one of the band member’s) Mom?”   To which I would reply, “No, I’m their lawyer!”  That always shocked them!

Interestingly, hardDrive  is now the longest running syndicated rock radio show (that record is held by RockLine, which was on the air for a massive 33 years!)  hardDrive was a part of three different radio networks, starting with SW Networks, back in 1996 when the show was morphed from a more metal show we created back in 1994 called Pure Concrete.  My associate producer then was a guy named Don Kaye, who now is our rock/alternative editor at The Pulse Of Radio, so Don and I have worked together the longest over the years and I share his stories every day on the site.  Thanks Don! (And thanks Blabbermouth.net.  I’ll miss being in touch so frequently!)

I also want to say thank you to my associate and boss, Andy Denemark.   He came to the rescue when a previous syndicator was going to cancel the show back in 2001.  It was amazing that, without hesitation, he said yes!

I hope to be able to contribute to hardDriveRadio in the future.  God only knows in what capacity, but I hope I can give a hand when needed.  If you missed any of my interviews, you can watch or hear them on the hardDriveRadio YouTube Channel or the hardDrive DL podcasts.  If my column helped to bring the “rock” to your daily routine, that’s cool. I’m passing the baton over to Paulie Walnuts!    Meanwhile, I’ll be on the beach.  Thanks for reading.

HAPPY 2018!

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