Tag: Metal

Ozzy Osbourne sued by Bob Daisley in unpaid royalties dispute

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The bassist/songwriter alleges Osbourne’s Blizzard Music ‘short-changed’ him in connection with hit song Crazy Train – a claim the company denies

Ozzy Osbourne sued by Bob Daisley in unpaid royalties dispute
Ozzy Osbourne performing in 2014. Photograph: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Ozzy Osbourne’s former bassist Bob Daisley has sued the musician and his company Blizzard Music Limited for unpaid royalties. The musician has accused Osbourne of withholding over $2m in unpaid royalties from the song Crazy Train.

Released in 1980, both Osbourne and Daisley are credited as the song’s writers along with late guitarist Randy Rhoads. According to documents released after the filing at a court in Nevada on 8 August, Daisley’s complaint alleges that an audit revealed Osbourne and Blizzard Music were “improperly deducting undisclosed fees before distributing royalties to Daisley and improperly withholding Daisley’s rightful share of royalties owed under the publishing agreements for the commercial exploitations of the songs”.

Ozzy Osbourne sued by Bob Daisley in unpaid royalties dispute
The Blizzard of Ozz lineup … from left, Randy Rhoads, Lee Kerslake, Ozzy Osbourne and Bob Daisley at Ridge Farm Studio, Surrey, in 1980. Photograph: Fin Costello/Redferns

Daisley performed with Osbourne on Blizzard of Ozz, the Black Sabbath singer’s first solo album in 1980, and was involved in 1981’s Diary of a Madman but was fired before its release. While Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake successfully sued for royalties and credit for their work on this album in 1986, allegations made in 2002 over alleged unpaid performance royalties were dismissed.

“While Mr Osbourne was benefiting from the songs co-authored by our client, the audit shows that he was systematically short-changing Mr Daisley,” said Daisley’s lawyer Alan Howard of the 2016 allegations. “Mr Daisley had no choice but to bring this action to secure his fair share of the proceeds those songs have generated.”

Osbourne has refuted the charges, and, in an email statement to Rolling Stone his representative said: “For the past 36 years, Mr Daisley has been receiving biannual royalty statements and checks from Blizzard Music, totalling in the millions of dollars, which have been routinely cashed.

“We understand that Mr Daisley is now in retirement and that these funds are his main source of income, so it is his right to be diligent with his money, but after 36 years, this is tantamount to harassment. We would have hoped that after 36 years that Mr Daisley would have lost his unhealthy personal obsession and resentment towards Mr Osbourne’s success. Blizzard Music and Mr Osbourne plan to vigorously defend these proceedings.”

Angus Young admits he doesn't know whether AC/DC will continue

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Rock group have lost four core members in the last two years, and their founding lead guitarist says he doesn’t know how he’ll feel when current tour ends

Angus Young admits he doesn't know whether AC/DC will continue
Angus Young of AC/DC performs at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles. Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Angus Young has admitted AC/DC’s future is uncertain. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Young – who formed the band in 1973 with his brother Malcolm – said he didn’t know how he would feel about playing with AC/DC once their current Rock or Bust tour finishes.

“At this point, I don’t know,” he said, when asked about his future. “We were committed to finishing the tour. Who knows what I’ll feel after? When you sign on and say, ‘I’m gonna do this and that,’ it’s always good to say at the end of it, ‘I’ve done all I said I would do.’”

AC/DC have been stricken by departing members over the past two years. In September 2014, it was announced that rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young had departed the group, owing to the onset of dementia. In November 2014, Angus told the Guardian that Malcolm had begun to show symptoms when the group recorded the Black Ice album in 2008, and that he had to relearn songs between shows on the subsequent tour: “It was hard work for him. He was relearning a lot of those songs that he knew backwards; the ones we were playing that night he’d be relearning,” Young said.

That was followed, in November 2014, by the loss of drummer Phil Rudd, when he was charged in New Zealand with attempting to procure a murder, threatening to kill and possession of illegal drugs. He later pleaded guilty to drugs charges and threatening to kill, and was sentenced to home detention.

Angus Young admits he doesn't know whether AC/DC will continue
AC/DC at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium in June … Angus Young, with Axl Rose on vocals. Photograph: Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage

In March this year the group announced that singer Brian Johnson was to stop touring immediately, on medical advice, for fear he would further irreparably damage his hearing. He was controversially replaced for the rest of the Rock or Bust tour by Axl Rose, of Guns N’ Roses.

Finally, in July, Cliff Williams – who has played bass with the group since 1977 – said he was “backing off of touring and recording” after the current tour was complete. Williams, who lives in Florida, as does Johnson, is the singer’s closest friend within the band.

AC/DC have 10 more dates of the Rock or Bust tour to play, starting on 27 August in Greenboro, North Carolina, and finishing on 20 September in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Time will tell if that turns out to be the last ever AC/DC show.

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Cult singer Ian Astbury apologises after telling festival crowd: 'All lives matter'

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Astbury thanks his critics for ‘enlightening me that this phrase is offensive’

Cult singer Ian Astbury apologises after telling festival crowd: 'All lives matter'
Foot in mouth … Ian Astbury on stage at RBC Bluesfest on Saturday. Photograph: Mark Horton/Getty Images

The Cult’s singer, Ian Astbury, has apologised for using a phrase that has been employed to belittle the Black Lives Matter movement, the Ottawa Citizen reports. While performing with the Cult at the RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa on 9 July, Astbury launched into a speech about the need to fight racism, environmental destruction and “dumbasses with guns”. He said of gun violence in the US: “It ain’t a race thing, it’s a people thing.” The phrase that caused offence, though, was: “All lives matter.”

All Lives Matter has become used as a counter to Black Lives Matter, despite the point of the latter being to point out that the disproportionate numbers of black people killed by police in the US suggests black lives are less valued. Many regard it as at best ignorant and at worst racist.

After the group’s performance, Astbury was called out for his remarks, with one person – who was then named in Astbury’s apology – writing: “#WhitePrivilegeMeans chanting ‘all lives matter’ at a music festival and not apologizing. Shame on you.”

Astbury tweeted from the Cult’s account: “I sincerely and deeply apologize to everyone I offended by using the phrase ‘all lives matter’ … I fully support #blacklivesmatter and wished to show my solidarity. So disheartened to know that I have offended people of color. Thank you for enlightening me that this phrase is offensive.”

Unfortunately, the apology had the effect of focussing the ire of Cult fans on those named in the tweet who had led the criticism of Astbury, and hundreds of tweets were aimed towards them, attacking them for being racist themselves or for being “SJWs”, or social justice warriors.

The Cult continued to stand by their apology, tweeting that “we must take responsibility at this time to recognise the importance of not marginalising black lives among all lives”, and addressing fans who had reacted angrily to those who had criticised the band: “To our fans: We will not condone racism or hate speech in ANY way on our socials. We have no problem deleting, banning, or reporting you.”

AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams says he is retiring

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Bass player who joined the band in 1978 says it is a ‘changed animal’ in the wake of the departure of other members

AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams says he is retiring
AC/DC pictured in 2014, with Cliff Williams, right, and the since departed Brian Johnson, left

AC/DC are set to lose another of their number – the fourth core member of the group in two years. Bassist Cliff Williams, who joined in 1978 has said that after the band’s Rock or Bust tour ends, “I’m backing off of touring and recording.”

Williams, 66, was talking to Gulfshore News, a Florida paper, in a feature about rock stars who live in southwest Florida. “It’s been what I’ve known for the past 40 years, but after this tour I’m backing off of touring and recording,” he said. “Losing Malcolm, the thing with Phil and now with Brian, it’s a changed animal. I feel in my gut it’s the right thing.”

The three members he referred to were founding guitarist Malcolm Young, whose departure was announced in September 2014, following the news that he was suffering from dementia and had not played on the Rock or Bust album; drummer Phil Rudd, whose time with the band came to an end in November 2014 after he faced criminal charges in New Zealand, for which he was sentenced to home detention; and singer Brian Johnson, who left earlier this year after doctors told him he faced irreversible hearing loss if he carried on touring.

Young and Rudd were replaced with Stevie Young – Malcolm’s nephew – and Chris Slade, while Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose has replaced Johnson for the rest of the Rock or Bust tour.

That means that of the five members who first played together on 1980’s Back in Black album, and last played on 2008’s Rock or Bust and its subsequent tour, which lasted until June 2010, only lead guitarist Angus Young will be left.

Johnson’s departure had particularly angered fans. On AC/DC messageboards the manner of his leaving – a terse statement on the band’s website – was questioned, and many wondered whether the band should continue without him, including the Guardian’s music editor. However, he was one of many to change their tune after Rose took his place in the group, with his performances winning rave reviews.

AC/DC’s publicist said the band had no comment on the story.

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Lightning strikes injure scores at Germany's Rock am Ring festival

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At least 71 people are injured and eight taken to hospital after severe electrical storms hit festival site near Frankfurt

Lightning strikes injure scores at Germany's Rock am Ring festival
Emergency services attend to the injured at the Rock am Ring festival. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

A rock music festival in Germany was halted for five hours after lightning strikes injured 71 people, and organisers urged more than 90,000 fans to seek shelter in cars and tents as another thunderstorm approached.

The sell-out Rock am Ring festival, now in its 31st year and with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Black Sabbath headlining this year, takes place at the airport in Mendig, near the Nürburgring motor racing track.

Festival organisers told a news conference that performances would resume after the storm blew over, and said they had warned about 92,500 participants to be prepared for bad weather before they arrived.

“We are not considering cancelling the festival,” said spokeswoman Katharina Wenisch.

A spokesman for the German Red Cross said 71 people were injured during the lightning strikes in the early hours of Saturday morning, including eight who were taken to hospital. Most were now in good condition, except one man who had to be resuscitated at the scene and remained in hospital, he said.

“The festival will continue as planned,” Marek Lieberberg, who runs the festival, told fans on the event website. He said the festival would continue to issue weather warnings on its site, Facebook and Twitter.

Organisers warned fans more severe thunderstorms were expected.

The event website had reported early on Saturday that at least 42 people were injured, eight seriously. The numbers rose as more fans reported injuries in the early hours, according to a police spokesman.

Thirty-three people were injured by lightning strikes at the festival last year, according to German media.

Wenisch said the festival had been sold out for months.