Today in headlines: Old rockers squabble, other old rockers reunite, still other old rockers sell out (again), Weird Al refuses to go viral and guess Who hates birthdays?
1 | Journey Into Madness
You can stop believing now. The ’70s rock holdouts have apparently fired founding bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith (who returned to the fold after their last drummer got caught up in some sort of drug-related domestic violence incident). According to court papers, the sacking stems from an ongoing legal dispute — Valory and Smith were allegedly trying to perpetrate a “corporate coup d’état” (yes, that’s a quote) to gain control of the band’s branding. Their whole affair has apparently “destroyed the chemistry, cohesion and rapport necessary for the band to play together… The actions taken by Smith and Valory shattered that trust … Schon and Cain have lost confidence in both of them and are not willing to perform with them again.” Cue the chorus of Separate Ways. And fingers crossed that surviving members Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain replace them with two malleable Filipino kids from the Internet — hey, it worked with Arnel Pineda.
2 | Genesis And Remuneration
Today in Reunions Nobody Asked For: Genesis members Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford plan to reunite this fall for their first performances in 13 years. Dubbed The Last Domino? Tour (note the clever use of the ass-covering question mark, so they can add dates down the line), the tour consists of 10 UK arena shows in November and December. Of course, since Collins can no longer play drums, his 18-year-old son Nicholas will fill in, because nothing says world-class performance like having your kid in the lineup. When asked why they were reuniting, Collins’ answer was truly awe-inspiring: “We all felt, ‘Why not?’ ” Well, that makes three of you — along with all the suckers who will undoubtedly shell out the equivalent of a year’s rent to sit through this sad, sorry spectacle.
3 | Face Dances
Add birthday cake to the growing list of treats to keep away from Roger Daltrey. The increasingly cranky vocalist for classic-rock codependents The Who is already notorious for lecturing concert-goers about smoking weed in his vicinity. Last weekend, when D-list rocker Sebastian Bach presented him with a surprise birthday cake during his performance on a Rock Legends Cruise, Daltrey smooshed the chocolate and cream affair into Bach’s puss after making some sort of cryptic comment about how “cakes and The Who are very dangerous.” Then again, maybe the 76-year-old rock icon had just realized he was performing on a cruise ship with the likes of Sebastian Bach. Hell, that would make anybody lash out. To quote your bandmate: You are forgiven.
4 | Shill ’Em All
Corporate-metal boardmembers Metallica have become the latest band to start a subscription service. The Metallica Vinyl Club — announced this morning online — will hawk rarities and demos on 7″ vinyl singles to fans who have more money then sense. “It’s been super exciting to see the resurgence of vinyl and how much enjoyment we all get collecting, exploring and connecting with other fans mining for lost treasures,” one of the band’s legions of minions wrote for them. “Those of us who love the look, feel and sonic warmth of vinyl are sorta in our little exclusive club, so with that in mind we thought it would be fun to start adding to our collections on a regular basis.” Or until they come up with some other way to make even more money. Hey, here’s an idea: How about slapping some sense into James Hetfield and writing some new fucking songs?
5 | Alpocalypse No
When ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic is the voice of reason, you know we’re in deep shit. But that is where we find ourselves today, after the corkscrew-maned, accordion-squeezing pop parodist took to Twitter to reject fan requests to record a coronavirus-themed version of The Knack classic My Sharona. “Yeah, no, sorry. Not gonna do My Corona.” Somewhere, a beer company executive is breathing a sigh of relief.