Good morning Radicals! Looks like there’s music news to be had:
Former Slipknot guitarist Donnie Steele has spoken out in defense of band percussionist Chris Fehn, who sued the group last week over what he alleged was unfair compensation during his 20 years with the outfit. Slipknot officially fired Fehn on Monday (March 18th), although his ouster was reportedly in the works for several months.
Steele, a founding member of Slipknot, left before they recorded their first album. He returned for a brief period to play bass on tour from behind the stage following the death of bassist Paul Grayin 2010.
In a since-deleted Facebook post that was screen-captured and posted on the Slipknot Reddit page, Steele seemingly wrote about Fehn, “Lol! Don’t blame him . . . Nobody likes to get lied to and ripped off. I know first hand.”
He added, “And most, MOST of them can’t write. In the three years I toured with them, I actually spent more time in writing sessions and the studio then I did on the road. All done behind other members’ back. That’s how they roll.”
Slipknot said in the statement announcing Fehn’s dismissal, “Chris knows why he is no longer a part of Slipknot. We are disappointed that he chose to point fingers and manufacture claims, rather than doing what was necessary to continue to be a part of Slipknot.” Singer Corey Taylor wrote in a separate post that he and percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan, who Fehn singled out in his lawsuit, had been “wrongfully accused” by their former bandmate.
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich recently celebrated the 37th anniversary of the band’s first-ever concert by sharing the only photo he could find of the drum kit he used at the show, plus the setlist and his diary entry from that day.
The concert took place on March 14th, 1982 at Radio City in Anaheim, California, just months before Metallica made its recording debut on the first Metal Massacre compilation. The show featured the band’s then-lineup of James Hetfield on vocals, Dave Mustaine on guitar, Ron McGovney on bass and Ulrich on drums. The band played mostly covers and drew 75 people.
The set included only two original tunes — “Hit The Lights” and “Jump In The Fire” — and was filled out by cover versions of Savage‘s “Let It Loose,” Blitzkrieg‘s “Blitzkrieg,” Sweet Savage‘s “Killing Time” and four Diamond Head songs. At the time of the gig, Hetfield had not yet started playing rhythm guitar while singing.
Hetfield shared his memories of the gig with us a while back: ”First Metallica show was at Radio City in Anaheim. I remember the first song we played, Dave broke a string, and I was stranded up there. I was just singing, I wasn’t playing guitar back then, and I was so uncomfortable, I was like, ‘So, how’s it going…’ There were about 200 people. You know, your first gig, everyone shows up. Second gig, there’s about 20, you know (laughs).”
Ulrich wrote on Instagram, “37 years ago today, March 14 ’82, the ‘Tallica played our first live show ever at a joint called Radio City in Anaheim, California. As you can tell from the notes in my diary, it was my first gig ever and I was ‘very nervous.’(!)”
This incarnation of the band recorded several demos, including the legendary “No Life ‘Til Leather” and “Power Metal” tapes. McGovney was replaced by Cliff Burton by the end of 1982, while Mustaine was dismissed in April 1983 and replaced by Kirk Hammett.
Fozzy frontman Chris Jericho has defended Paul Stanley‘s vocal performance on Kiss‘ current “End Of The Road” tour, explaining that the veteran rock singer “has nothing to prove to anybody.”
Ever since Kiss launched its farewell trek in late January, there have been persistent online rumors about Stanley allegedly lip-syncing to pre-recorded vocals. The speculation stemmed from the fact that Stanley had been struggling to hit the high notes in many of the band’s classic songs for a number of years.
Appearing on the latest episode of the “Three Sides Of The Coin” podcast, Jericho said flatly that Stanley is “singing his ass off as much as he possibly can.” He added, “Paul Stanley has nothing to prove to anybody. He’s one of the greatest rock and roll singers of all time. I think that’s something that anybody would say. I would much rather have him use the technology that’s available to not sound like he’s hurting himself, which then makes me not enjoy the show as much.”
Jericho acknowledged that Kiss is most likely doing what many other artists have done, which is incorporate backing tracks and click tracks to their performances. He explained, “Paul is singing — he’s singing his ass off as much as he possibly can. But if it’s a rough time, they’re just sweetening it a bit . . . I’m not saying that’s what they’re doing, ’cause I’m not the sound mixer, but that’s my guess as to what’s happening.”
Fozzy has been touring in support of its seventh studio album, Judas, which has yielded a Top Five rock radio hit in the title track.
Finally, today would have been the 43rd birthday for Linkin Park‘s Chester Bennington. Lou Brutus will pay tribute to him tonight on hardDrive XL, so join him as we celebrate the legacy of an amazing singer, and an amazing human being.