MAX Rock Report for Wednesday, December 11, 2013:
*With Def Leppard taking some time off before heading into the studio in February, guitarist Vivian Campbell is working on his second solo album.
He says, "I’m making a rock record (lots of guitar). I intend to sing –- however, I may ask a real singer to help out if I fail miserably at the demo stages."
Campbell's first solo release was 2005′s Two Sides of If.\
*‘CBS This Morning’ had a bit of egg on its face yesterday. The network’s morning show is facing criticism for its use of Toto‘s hit “Africa” in its coverage of Nelson Mandela’s funeral.
NPR’s TV critic Eric Deggans tweeted, “I love CBS This Morning, but couldn’t you end a segment on Mandela’s funeral with real African music instead of Toto’s Africa?” Mediaite snarked, “This song selection is reportedly the show’s worst since the funeral of Marie Curie, for which CBS’s bumper music was ‘She Blinded Me With Science.’”
*After months of delays, word is now circulating that Dexter Fletcher has been tapped to direct the Freddie Mercury biopic. Perhaps more importantly, Ben Whishaw will play Freddie Mercury, replacing Sacha Baron Cohen, who left over the summer.
Deadline is reporting that Fletcher, an actor-turned-director, will guide the film, which will chronicle Mercury’s life from the formation of Queen up to their performance at Live Aid on July 13, 1985. The movie has the involvement of the three surviving members of the band, who have been meeting with Fletcher to give him a feel for the story.
*SeaWorld’s long year of ugly public-relations setbacks just got even worse: Joan Jett has served the theme park with a cease and desist letter demanding that they stop using her music as part of one of their most popular attractions.
CNN reports that Jett sent her letter to SeaWorld CEO Jim Atchison in response to the park’s use of her signature song ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll’ to lead off its ‘Shamu Rocks!’ show. Apparently unaware that her song was part of the program, Jett wrote that she was “surprised and upset” to hear it in a YouTube clip, and found herself “sickened that my music was blasted without my permission at sound-sensitive marine mammals.”
“These intelligent and feeling creatures communicate by sonar and are driven crazy in the tiny tanks in which they are confined,” continues Jett’s letter. “If I don’t receive written confirmation that SeaWorld will cease and desist from using any Joan Jett & the Blackhearts music, I will be forced to take further action, and you’ll find me among the PETA protesters outside your parks.”
*Alice Cooper earned his fame by shocking and terrifying the parents of suburban middle-class youth, but just like anybody else, he’s got his own set of fears — and he revealed his biggest one during a recent interview with Vegas Rocks! magazine. You can see video above.
Backstage before his set at the benefit for the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy on Dec. 5, Cooper paused for a brief chat with Vegas Rocks! publisher Sally Steele, who asked Cooper to reveal his greatest fear. Without even pausing for thought, Cooper replied, “Needles.”
“I can’t do a blood test,” explained Cooper. “I can put my head in a guillotine, I can put a 20-foot boa constrictor around my — my show’s so dangerous, everybody gets stitches in my show. But a blood test, and I’m like — and it has nothing to do with the pain, it has everything to do with the idea of a needle going in your arm. To me that just doesn’t make any sense at all.”
Young has announced a handful of 2014 shows, starting in January with a series of benefit performances on behalf of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation relief fund, established to help Albertan natives fight the development of oil-sands reserves in the Canadian province. Young is scheduled to be joined by Diana Krall for the dates, four in all, starting on Jan. 12 in Toronto and concluding Jan. 19 in Calgary.
*Deep Purple will release the 40th Anniversary Edition deluxe box set of their 1972 album classic, "Machine Head," on TODAY and a new trailer has gone online to promThe new box set features five discs and will be accompanied with fully illustrated 60 page hardback booklet, housed in a luxury box.