Lee Kerslake, Drummer for Ozzy Osbourne + Uriah Heep, Dead at 73

Lee Kerslake, an English drummer who had performed with both Uriah Heep and Ozzy Osbourne, died on Saturday (Sept. 19) at the age of 73. Ultimate Classic Rock and TMZ each reported news of the death.

Last year, Kerslake revealed that he had been given months to live after battling cancer for several years. He stopped playing with Uriah Heep in 2018, four years after receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer, according to TMZ. Over the weekend, Heep confirmed Kerslake’s death on social media.

Kerslake was borne in Dorset, England, in 1947. Playing drums from a young age, he performed with several groups such as With the Gods, Head Machine and Toe Fat before joining up with Uriah Heep in 1971. With Heep, he recorded on the bulk of the group’s studio efforts from 1972’s Demons and Wizards to 1998’s Sonic Origami. An early-’80s stint as Ozzy’s drummer only brought Kerslake further recognition in the rock world.

“Lee was one of the kindest men on earth, as well as being a brother he was an incredible drummer, singer and song writer!” Uriah Heep guitarist Mick Box shared on Saturday. “He had a passion for life bar none and was much loved by the fans, as well as anyone who crossed his path!”

In January 2019, reports emerged that Osbourne had given the terminally-ill musician a pair of platinum plaques for Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, classic Ozzy albums to which Kerslake had contributed.

“I really wrote a nice letter to them and I hope they will come to terms with it and say yes,” Kerslake said of his initial request, which was ultimately granted by Osbourne. “A platinum certification on my wall for these albums would be fantastic and it would say I helped create those albums.”

Rockers We’ve Lost in 2020

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Report: Leaked AC/DC Pics Show Band With Brian Johnson, Phil Rudd

Does a group of leaked photos show AC/DC newly performing with classic members Brian Johnson on vocals and Phil Rudd on drums?

According to Ultimate Classic Rock, the photographs that appear to show a reunited AC/DC recently filming a music video were reportedly posted, then removed from the band’s official website earlier this week. See those images down toward the bottom of this post.

If legit, the pics are the best proof yet that the Australian rockers have professionally reconvened with Johnson, who left the band back in 2016, and Rudd, who parted ways with the group in 2015.

Since that time, of course, Guns N’ RosesAxl Rose replaced Johnson for AC/DC live performances. However, rumors have been building in the past couple of years that the band were getting both Johnson and Rudd back into the fold. Even Foo FightersDave Grohl weighed in on the issue in 2018.

Late last year, two other musicians confirmed that AC/DC were preparing a comeback with Johnson and Rudd in tow. According to one source, not only was a new AC/DC album in the works — but also a tour of the band’s native Australia with guitarist Angus Young joining Johnson and Rudd for the trek.

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Dave Mustaine: How I Forgave + Got Back With David Ellefson

Today, there’s no bad blood between Megadeth vets Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson. In 2004 though, that wasn’t the case as Ellefson attempted to sue his then ex-bandmate for the sum of $18.5 million. Ultimately, the two put it all behind them and in a new interview Mustaine explained how he forgave the bassist and welcomed him back into the band.

“I think forgiveness is a super-cool thing,” Mustaine told Fox Sports 910’s ‘Freak Nation’ (transcription via Blabbermouth) when discussing his new book, Rust in Peace: The Inside Story of the Megadeth Masterpiece, which is out now.

“When David Ellefson sued me for $18.5 [million], and the judge dismissed it [in January of 2005] and then made him pay a bunch of money on top of that, he got his ass handed to him in public,” described Mustaine, who admitted, “And I was really, really, really hurt by the things that he said about me. And I thought, ‘You know what? If I never see him again, I guess I’ll be okay.’ And I was sad, but I figured he was gone.”

Fate had different plans, however, as Mustaine recalled, “One day, I was flying home from Dallas, and the flight stopped in [Ellefson’s hometown of] Phoenix, and for some stupid reason, I called him up and I said, ‘Hey, you wanna have dinner?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ So we went out.”

From there, the intentions were pretty clear.

“The first thing he said was, ‘I wanna tell you, it was the stupidest thing I ever did suing you, and I wanna apologize.’ And I looked at him and I waited a beat, and I said, ‘Dave, I forgive you. I completely forgive you. I love you.’ And it was over like that,” the Megadeth frontman confessed.

It’s a life lesson Mustaine has carried with him and he urged others to consider it in their lives. “I think that that’s really something great that people should take with them today, anybody listening to this. There may be somebody you need to forgive or somebody you need to apologize to, but I’ll tell you what — it makes [you feel] a lot better at the end of the day,” the Megadeth leader affirmed.

Ellefson, who was a part of Megadeth from 1983 through 2002, officially rejoined the legendary thrash group in 2010. He even may sing on a ballad about all that past bad blood between him and Mustaine on Megadeth’s forthcoming record. Most recently, Mustaine compared the new material to the band’s first two albums.

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34 Years Ago: Megadeth Release ‘Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?’

As a founding member of Metallica and a major contributor to the band’s groundbreaking debut Kill ‘Em All, Dave Mustaine was clearly a gifted songwriter and a talented musician. However, his first effort to reach the top of the thrash metal hierarchy with his band Megadeth, 1985’s Killing Is My Business… And Business is Good, suffered from sub-par production and it lacked the stand-out hooks to catapult the band to stardom. Fifteen months later, on Sept. 19, 1986, Mustaine and his bandmates followed-up their debut with the exceptional, catchy and powerful riff-fest Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?

The band started working on two of Mustaine’s compositions, “Black Friday” and “Black Omen” as early as December 1985, but most of the heavy lifting for Peace Sells took place after Megadeth finished touring in support of Killing Is My Business. Again, Mustaine wrote all the songs and the caliber and quality of his new material was leaps and bounds above anything he had ever done.

“Megadeth was capable of extraordinary musicianship,” he wrote in his memoir Mustaine. “The twin guitar attacks on ‘The Conjuring,’ the great harmony line in ‘Peace Sells’ were achieved not only through careful composition, but through the camaraderie that comes when a band is really clicking.”

Megadeth, “The Conjuring”

That Megadeth clicked so well is amazing considering the physical condition all of its members were in. Guitarist Chris Poland and drummer Gar Samuelson were addicted to heroin and sometimes pawned the band’s equipment for money to score dope. Bassist David Ellefson and Mustaine weren’t in the throes of addiction, but they were heavy users. To a large extent, Mustaine and Ellefson started abusing narcotics because they were living in barely tolerable conditions and were basically penniless.

“I was living in a building called the complex, which is where all the bands used to rehearse,” Mustaine told me in 1999. “The place was by the meat packing plants and it was a dive. David Ellefson had found some unsuspecting victim to live with. This was the singer from Détente, [Dawn Crosby]. Dave and I went over to her house one time and the sink in her bathroom looked like the sink in a gas station – and the same with the toilet. And Dave would tell me nightmares of him being over there, and her making him sleep on the floor while she had sex with another girl.”

Megadeth was still under contract with indie label Combat Records when it started recording Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? at The Music Grinder Studios in Los Angeles on Feb. 15, 1986. Mustaine co-produced the album with Randy Burns, and the group exited the studio March 20. While the budget was scant, the albums sounded much fuller and more professional than the band’s debut. Before the album was released, Combat sold Megadeth’s contract to Capitol Records, which hired engineer Paul Lani to fix the recording flaws and give the record a crisper bite.

Mark Weiss, Getty Images

Clearly, songs like the chant-along “Wake Up Dead” and the barreling, graphically brutal “Good Mourning/Black Friday” were next level stuff, but the obvious standout was the title track. From the opening jaunty bass line to the contagious main riff, “Peace Sells” remains one of the most memorable numbers from the thrash era. The vocals were snarky, but political, proving the Mustaine had more than tales of decadence and mayhem in his lyrical arsenal, and the rhythmic shifts in the song gave it lasting impact.

Even MTV picked up on the appeal of “Peace Sells,” using the bass intro for its MTV News reports for nearly 10 years. Though Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying wasn’t as musically intricate as Megadeth’s tech-metal masterpiece 1990’s Rust in Peace, it featured more challenging rhythm and tempo shifts, and more guitar fills and better leads than most early speed metal and thrash releases. And the album cover blew away Killing, establishing the band’s mascot Vic Rattlehead as an iconic metal figure right up there with Iron Maiden’s Eddie the Head.

Megadeth, “Peace Sells” Music Video

Art for the album was rendered by Ed Repka, who also rendered classic covers for Death as well as model designs for the “Hellraiser” films. “The jacket art arose from a lunchtime conversation at a rib joint in New York, across the street from the United Nations,” wrote Mustaine. “I was there with our agent, Andy Summers, and we started brainstorming. By the end of that conversation we had come up with the idea of Vic standing in front of the UN, shortly after a nuclear holocaust, trying to sell property. That became the quintessential Peace Sells image.”

Megadeth toured extensively for Peace Sells and the album reached No. 76 on the Billboard album chart. After the tour, however, Mustaine fired Poland and Samuelson because their drug problem was impeding the forward progress of the band. Peace Sells was certified gold in November 1988, and went platinum four years later.

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, as well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Front book My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

See Where ‘Peace Sells’ Ranks Among Our Top 50 Thrash Albums of All Time

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Metal-Loving, Trans Satanist Won a Republican Sheriff Nomination

Get used to the name Aria DiMezzo, because she’s making the rounds in metal media after winning the Republican nomination for Cheshire County Sheriff in New Hampshire. Why is this news relevant? Because not only does she love metal and play in a band, but she’s also a transgender anarchist Satanist who used the election to prove a point about being an uninformed voter.

That’s right, the 32-year-old is not boasting about her success. Instead, she’s using it to show that people put too much faith into the political system without doing their own research on the candidates they elect into such positions.

DiMezzo first posted on the blog Aria for Sheriff back in June, announcing that she would be running against Eli Rivera for Cheshire County Sheriff with the slogan “Fuck the police.” “Aria is also from the south, where she has seen first-hand the dangers of bigotry, overt and subtle,” the introductory post reads.

A self-proclaimed libertarian anarchist, she ran unopposed and ended up winning the GOP nomination by receiving over 4,000 Republican votes. In her follow-up blog entry, which was posted Sept. 11, she explained how her victory shows how broken the system is, because she likely wouldn’t have won if more people knew who she was and what she stands for.

You could have easily looked at a sample ballot prior to the election, and you could have simply looked up the candidates in a search engine. By doing so, you, like the good citizen in Rindge, would probably have been appalled, and probably wouldn’t have voted for me. I wouldn’t have begrudged you for that. I was, after all, rather upfront about it. I went into it expecting that I would lose the primary to a write-in candidate, because I didn’t think that so many voters were just… completely and totally oblivious about who they are voting for.

Because the fact is that you didn’t bother. You trusted the system. You trusted the establishment. You trusted the party. You felt safe. You were sure that there must be some mechanisms in place to prevent from occurring exactly what just occurred. Your anger is misplaced if you direct it at me. Please listen. Your anger is with the system that has lied to you. Your anger is with the system that convinced you to believe in it, trust in it, and have faith in it, when it is completely and utterly broken.

More than 4,000 people went into the voting booth on September 8 this week, and they all filled in the circle by my name despite knowing absolutely nothing about the person they were nominating to the most powerful law enforcement position in the county. That’s a level of recklessness of which any decent human being should be ashamed.

DiMezzo elaborated further on her decision to run for the position.

I’m running for sheriff because I oppose that very system, and the sheriff has the most hands-on ability in Cheshire County to oppose that system. The system that let you down by allowing me–the freaking transsexual Satanist anarchist–be your sheriff candidate is the same system I’m attacking. I’m sorry, and I know it hurts to hear, but that system is a lie. The entire thing is a lie. It’s broken from beginning to end, and my existence as your sheriff candidate is merely how this reality was thrown into your face.

The nominee recently announced that Trivium‘s “The Heart From Your Hate” will be her campaign song. Also, check out a video of her band FUD covering Black Sabbath‘s “War Pigs” below.


FUD — “War Pigs” Black Sabbath Cover

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Ozzy Osbourne Hopes to Tour in 2022

Ozzy Osbourne‘s ‘No More Tours 2’ farewell run has been met with several obstacles. Multiple worldwide tour legs were postponed as the singer battled a litany of medical setbacks before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the touring industry. Despite all this, the 71-year-old legend has expressed hope to be back on the road in 2022.

Speaking with Rock Classics Radio on Apple Music Hits (audio below), the Prince of Darkness answered a handful of questions ahead of the 40th anniversary expanded edition reissue of his iconic debut solo record, Blizzard of Ozz.

When pressed for his perspective on the influence he’s wielded over half a century’s worth of music, the singer remained humble, confessing, “I never really thought about it. I’m just Ozzy. My wife calls me Ozzy. I’m just Ozzy. I’m just here.”

In the same question, Ozzy was also asked to share his thoughts on the ongoing pandemic, to which he continued, “I’m trying to recover so I can get… The only good thing about this pandemic [is that] I couldn’t work anyway [this year] because of my injuries.”

That’s when he looked ahead at when he could feasibly be back on the road.

“I’m hoping that I’ll be booking 2022, I think,” said the singer, who cast doubt on how feasible a return to touring will be over the next year as the coronavirus pandemic looms large. “To be honest with you, I don’t think it’s going to get ship shape until the end of next year,” forecasted Ozzy.

He elaborated, “I think this winter is going to be fucking bad. Because you’re going to have the flu. People are saying, ‘I’m not taking the flu shot.’ You know what? You can give me any fucking [inaudible], but I’m not going to be number one on that fucking new vaccine. I don’t want to be the first one to wake up with a set of fucking antlers in the morning. I’m the Prince of Fucking Darkness [inaudible] fucking brandy. Horns maybe.”

Listen to the interview clip below.

Ozzy Osbourne released Ordinary Man, his first solo album in 10 years, earlier this year and featured Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses) on bass and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) on drums. Slash (Guns N’ Roses) and Elton John also made guest appearances in addition to Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine).

A new Ozzy-branded Funko Pop! figure is on the way as well, this time with the singer modeling the same appearance as on the Ordinary Man album cover.

Ozzy Speaks With Rock Classics Radio on Apple Music Hits

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Chris Cornell’s Daughter Feels ‘Moral Obligation’ to Help People

In the age of social media and growing an individual “brand,” people can go one of two ways — use their following to advertise for companies and make money or spread awareness for the greater good. Chris Cornell‘s daughter, Lily Cornell Silver, is aware of her platform, and she feels a “moral obligation” to use it to help people.

Silver launched her online talk-series Mind Wide Open on July 20, which would’ve been her father’s 56th birthday. Created both in his honor and as a result of the global pandemic, Silver has had guests from mental health experts to Duff McKagan and Eddie Vedder join her for conversations on the topic.

Silver is aware that her relation to Cornell and close connections with members of bands such as Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains helps give her the upper hand when it comes to recruiting contenders for the show. She and one of Vedder’s daughters Olivia each have their own show now because of this.

“We were born with a platform handed to us on a silver platter, and it’s like, ‘how are we gonna use that?” Silver described to Loudwire Nights. “We both have talked about how we feel kind of like a moral obligation. How can I just sit here with this platform and use it to post bikini pics? We have to use this to spread some sort of awareness or share our knowledge.”

“[Mental health] resources and access to resources are so, so limited,” she continued. “So I wanted to create some sort of platform where it’s completely free, completely accessible, runs across multiple platforms, where I can have high-profile people like Ed or Duff, and have mental health professionals… be able to share the information and their wealth of knowledge in a way that allows anybody to access it.”

Listen to the full interview above.

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Machine Gun Kelly Signed 13K Albums With Wrong Artwork

2020 is the year of pop-punk for Machine Gun Kelly, and his new album Tickets to My Downfall will be out a week from today on Sept. 25. He hasn’t had the greatest luck with the artwork for the album, though. Upon revealing the new cover art, he admitted he accidentally signed 13,000 copies of the wrong one.

The musician shared the story behind how the new album art came about in a video clip on Twitter.

“Are you fucking kidding me, because I literally just signed 13,000 of these,” MGK said defeatedly while sitting at a table surrounded by seemingly endless stacks of albums. “Today, ladies and gentlemen — everything got fucked.”

Earlier this month, Kelly revealed that he was being forced to change the artwork he originally had picked out for Tickets to My Downfall because the drawing copied a photo his label didn’t own the rights to.

The day after his brutal realization that he had just put all of that effort into signing thousands of the wrong album, he decided to do an improv photoshoot in an empty pool with a guitar that has the album title written on it. The video shows snippets from behind-the-scenes of the shoot, and the final product is displayed at the end.

Watch below, and pre-order MGK’s new album here.

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Judas Priest’s Rob Halford Names His Single Biggest Influence

Judas Priest‘s Rob Halford has served as one of metal’s most influential figures of all time. But who is the Metal God’s biggest influence? The singer revealed that and more in a new interview with GQ ahead of the Sept. 29 release of his memoir, Confess.

Born in 1951, Rob Halford almost pre-dates rock ‘n’ roll’s existence and he was there to see this exciting new development unfold. The real rock awakening, though, came with the ascension of The Beatles and it’s one of the “Fab Four” in particular that the Priest frontman count’s as his ultimate influence.

John Lennon,” responded Halford to GQ when pressed about that one all-powerful musical figure in his life. “I’ve always been a big Beatles fan and always will be,” he continued, “and I just feel that what he was offering about striving for world peace was an incredibly moving and powerful thing to do. He was an ambassador for world peace. He wasn’t Gandhi – he had a different take on it – but, as far as what he was trying to achieve.”

Beyond advocating for peace, Lennon left an impact on Halford in other ways. “And add to that the incredible music he wrote with Paul McCartney, for me, musically and personally, in the way he conducted himself and the way he had that incredible indestructible self belief, he is a big one,” the Metal God beamed, adding, “He always had this great gift, this great oratory gift to engage people and explain his feelings. I’m sure he’d still be doing great music and making a difference today if he’d been able to.”

Keeping with the theme of celebrity, Halford also divulged his ideal candidate to play him in a theoretical movie about his life. Well, sort of… the selection may require a time machine. “I’d like it to be a Brit,” said Halford, narrowing down the list of potentials.

“If there was a young Gary Oldman that would be good,” he admitted, “but then with CGI you can do anything now, can’t you? He was mind-blowing as Winston Churchill and he’s just a national treasure, isn’t he? He could do the job I’m sure! All this wishful thinking is fun.”

Pre-order your copy of Confess here.

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Trump Administration Bans TikTok Downloads Beginning Sunday

The Trump administration just announced it will ban new downloads of TikTok and WeChat within the United States beginning Sunday, Sept. 20. The decision is reportedly based on concerns regarding data collection by ByteDance, the private Chinese company which developed the social networking service.

To comply with an executive order from President Trump, Tiktok recently sought to sell a minority interest to a buyer from the United States. After negotiations with Oracle fell through, the U.S. government moved forward with the TikTok ban, prohibiting app stores from offering the service as of Sept. 20.

However, if you’ve already downloaded TikTok, or plan to download it before Sunday, you’ll be able to use the app until Nov. 12. If a deal involving an American company isn’t made by that date, however, TikTok will essentially be banned entirely within the United States.

“At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a prepared statement.

“If there’s not a deal by Nov. 12 under the provisions of the old order, then TikTok would also be, for all practical purposes, shut down,” Ross added during an interview with Fox Business.

TikTok has approximately 100 million users in the United States, but claim they don’t store U.S. user data in China or give users’ data to the Beijing government. However, others claim that TikTok tracks its users to a greater extent than other popular social networking apps.

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Smashing Pumpkins Announce Double Album ‘Cyr’ + New Animated Show

After the debut of their new songs “Cyr” and “The Colour of Love” at the end of last month, Smashing Pumpkins have officially announced their double album Cyr and a new animated series titled In Ashes.

Cyr was produced by frontman Billy Corgan and will feature 20 songs. Founding members James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin joined Corgan in the making of the album, as well as guitarist Jeff Schroeder. The first two singles were synth, marking a whole new sound for the rockers. We’ll be able to determine whether the rest follows suit when it comes out on Nov. 27 via Sumerian Records.

Pre-order Cyr here now, and see the album art and full track listing below.

In addition to the album announcement, the Pumpkins have also shared the trailer for their upcoming animated series In Ashes. The first two episodes of the five-part show will be available Friday, Sept. 25, along with more new music from Cyr. Watch the trailer below.

Smashing Pumpkins – Cyr Album Artwork + Track Listing

Sumerian Records

01. “The Colour of Love”
02. “Confessions of a Dopamine Addict”
03. “Cyr”
04. “Dulcet In E”
05. “Wrath”
06. “Ramona”
07. “Anno Satana”
08. “Birch Grove”
09. “Wyttch”
10. “Starrcraft”
11. “Purple Blood”
12. “Save Your Tears”
13. “Telegenix”
14. “Black Forest, Black Hills”
15. “Adrennalynne”
16. “Haunted”
17. “The Hidden Sun”
18. “Schaudenfreud”
19. “Tyger, Tyger”
20. “Minerva”

Smashing Pumpkins – In Ashes Trailer

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Carcass’ New Song Is Death ‘N’ Roll Perfection

Carcass‘ new album Torn Arteries may not be coming out in 2020 as originally promised, but the band is at least serving up a four-track EP platter titled Despicable. With “The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue” already out, the shape-shifting death metal unit has now dished out “The Long and Winding Bier Road” as the follow-up in advance of the EP’s release.

“Well, the COVID situation has put the release of the new Carcass album on the backburner for the time being,” said bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker. “Given that we said there’d be new music in August, we thought it would be cool to have a stop-gap release and let you hear some of the tracks that never quite made the cut. Don’t say we never give you anything. Enjoy.”

“The Long and Winding Bier Road” draws parallels to Carcass’ divisive 1996 record, Swansong, which stood as their last until the comeback record Surgical Steel was released in 2013. This is the more rockin’ side of Carcass, though not without those choppy, staccato riffs that keep the band’s sound rooted in the extreme.

Listen to the new track below.

Despicable will be released Oct. 30 through Nuclear Blast. Pre-order your copy here.

Carcass, “The Long and Winding Bier Road”

Carcass, Despicable EP Artwork + Track Listing

Nuclear Blast

01. “The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue”
02. “The Long And Winding Bier Road”
03. “Under The Scalpel Blade” (album version)
04. “Slaughtered In Soho”

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