Fleetwood Mac have confirmed bassist John McVie is suffering from cancer.
The band have been forced to cancel their upcoming 14-date tour of Australia and New Zealand so the 67-year-old can undergo urgent treatment.
The news comes after they completed the European leg of their first world tour in four years, which saw former member and McVie’s ex-wife Christine rejoin them on stage as a guest.
The band say in a statement: “We are sorry not to be able to play these Australian and New Zealand dates.
“John McVie, one of the co-founding and original members of Fleetwood Mac, is scheduled to be in treatment for cancer during that period of time.
“We hope our Australia and New Zealand fans, as well as fans everywhere, will join is in wishing John and his family all the best.”
The tour leg was to begin in Sydney on November 10 and end in Auckland on December 7. No word has been given on the status of a show planned for Las Vegas on December 30.
During the summer Mac released their first new material in a decade, in the form of an EP entitled Extended Play. Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham recently said a full-length album could only be made if vocalist Stevie Nicks wanted to do it – and he could understand why she might not.
The re-release of classic album Rumours has been nominated at this year’s Classic Rock Roll of Honour awards, which takes place next month.
Lars Ulrich says Metallica have discussed making riffs left unused after each album recording session available for other bands to pick via an eBay-style website.
The drummer revealed the idea speaking to The National in Abu Dhabi where he also insists the legendary metallers are not avoiding making another record.
He says: “We have more riffs than we know what to do with. We talked about setting up a special riff thing, where maybe we could share some of these riffs with others, like an eBay kind of thing for leftover riffs. Some of them are actually quite decent, but we won’t be able to use all of them.”
(It’s not the first time a similar idea has been suggested: Classic Rock reported in February this year that Tony Iommi and Brian May had a similar project in the pipeline. May had visited Iommi’s studio and discovered a huge catalogue of unused material. “I thought it would be great to make a compilation out of them,” said the Queen guitarist. “The idea was to put all these riffs out in some form so people could build their own songs of them. You could make your own music with Tony Iommi on guitar.”)
Lars Ulrich, meanwhile, dismissed suggestions that Metallica were leaving too long between new albums.
“We’ll always make another record,” he said. “We’re certainly not avoiding making another record. We’ve been fiddling around a little bit when we have a week here, a week there, but we realized the other day that this (Through The Never) movie will take up realistically the next four or five months. But I hope we will get to another record when this movie is over.”
Ulrich also explains it is a love of the band which has helped fuel their longevity. He adds: “Somewhere along the line we learnt to get along and somewhere along the line we learnt we’d rather be in Metallica than not be in Metallica. I think we have tremendous respect for whatever it is Metallica means.
“I’ve never known anything else. This is the only band I’ve ever been in, since I was 17. So ultimately, you want it to survive, and you figure out what works, what doesn’t work, and what’s best for the band. Somewhere along, you just figure it out and you pray you have more good days than not.”
Words: Eric MacKinnon
Rock fans can realise their ultimate ambitions – and perform live with their heroes as The Music Hall of Fame confirms plans for a revolutionary new feature.
Set to open next year, the museum located in Camden, North London, will give fans the chance to ‘perform’ with fully interactive holograms of John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Freddy Mercury or Kurt Cobain.
In addition to being able to interact with the holograms, fans will be able to savour and treasure the moment via DVD footage of their performances.
A hologram live ‘appearance’ by rapper Tupac Shakur – during an appearance by Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre at the 2012 Coachella Festival – has acted as the catalyst for the innovative idea.
Project manager Lee Bennett tells the London Evening Standard: “You could be transported back to a specific moment of music or play with artists who are no longer alive, even playing back-to-back with a hologram.
“I was at Coachella watching Tupac and it blew people’s minds.”
Nirvana, Kiss, The Replacements, Yes and Deep Purple have each been nominated for next year’s Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.
The other nominations for the class of 2014 include Hall & Oates, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Peter Gabriel, LL Cool J, N.W.A., Link Wray, the Meters, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens and The Zombies. The top voted acts will be inducted in April at a ceremony in New York City.
2014 is the first year in which Nirvana have been eligible for entry with their debut single Love Buzz being released in 1988.
Once again the public will play a key role in deciding who will inducted into the Hall Of Fame as they vote alongside the artists, historians and music industry insiders of the Rock Hall voting body. From now until December 10, fans can vote on RollingStone.com for the nominees they’d like to see inducted. The top five acts will comprise a “fan’s ballot” that will count as one of the more than 600 ballots that determine the class of 2014.
Arthur Brown has vowed to enter a brand-new world of music with his a unique helmet which, he says, allows him to play instruments with just his thoughts.
He’ll debut his “psychosonic” thought control headgear at Hard Rock Hell in Wales next month, using it to perform material from his upcoming album, Zim Zam Zim.
Brown says: “The headgear will deal with triggering sounds by thought. It won’t just trigger sounds that are preset – it will create sounds in real time just like a theremin does, or as do the voices of a human choir.
“Then it will develop to include body energies; next will come the energy of feeling, then the sexual energies will be accessed. After that, the energies of the spirit and soul will become instigators of sound – and the whole human being will be used.”
The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown are currently running a Pledge Music campaign to fund the release of Zim Zam Zim. Pledge points start at £8 with additional offers including signed lyric sheet, a banquet and show, your name in a song, a day out with Brown and his own fire helmet.
The band tour the UK starting next week:
Oct 17: Swansea Garage
Oct 18: Birmingham Rainbow
Oct 19: Liverpool Kazimer
Oct 24: Kendal Brewery Arts Centre
Oct 25: Saltburn Spa Hotel
Oct 27: Aberdeen Moorings
Nov 28: Hard Rock Hell
May 08, 2014: London Camden Jazz Cafe
Coney Hatch guitarist and co-vocalist Carl Dixon will return to the UK for a brief set of acoustic shows later this month.
The Canadian’s visit includes a return to the scene of his band’s acclaimed 2011 performance at Firefest in Nottingham. This time he’ll perform at the event’s after-party shows at Rock City on October 18 and 19.
After that he’ll appear at the Railway, Bolton on October 20 and London’s 12 Bar Club on October 22.
Dixon says: “I’ll be playing a solid couple of hours’ worth, a mix of old and new Coney stuff, songs from my solo albums and some classic cover songs that I just enjoy singing.”
He’ll be selling copies of Coney Hatch’s most recent album Four, which was recently released via Frontiers Records. Classic Rock called it “a blinding return by the much-missed Canadians”.
The tenth Firefest takes place at Nottingham’s Rock City from October 18 to 20. The headliners are Canada’s Harem Scarem (performing their signature Mood Swings album), Hardline, and a Legends line-up that includes singer Eric Martin of Mr Big.
Almost 37,000 deaths in England could be prevented every year if people walked for just two-and-a-half hours every week, according to a new report.
A further 12,000 cases of people needing emergency hospital treatment for heart disease could be stopped and almost 7000 cases of breast cancer could be prevented.
The study, from the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support, also showed that just 150 minutes a week of moderate activity - such as cycling or fast walking - could prevent almost 5000 cases of bowel cancer and almost 295,000 cases of diabetes.
'People who stay active are less stressed, sleep better, have a 30 per cent lower risk of getting depressed and reduce their risk of developing dementia,' the report - Walking Works - said.
It added: 'Physical inactivity now rivals smoking as one of the nation's biggest health problems. Today it's responsible for 17 per cent of early deaths in the UK.
'Physical inactivity is the principle cause of a huge number of common health conditions including 10 per cent of heart disease cases, 13 per cent of type 2 diabetes cases, 18 per cent of colon (bowel) cancer cases and 17 per cent of breast cancer cases.
'But that's not all. Research reveals that being inactive increases your chances of developing cancer, heart disease or having a stroke by 25-30 per cent and can take three to five years off your life.'
Britain's National Health Service recommendations are for adults aged 19 to 64 to try and be active every day. This includes at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week.
The report comes after a study published last week found that postmenopausal women who walk for an hour a day can cut their chance of breast cancer by 14 per cent. Those who were more active cut the risk by 25 per cent.
In the last article we discussed the importance of building an effective online presence. In this follow-up article I will look at three essential marketing techniques for promoting your business online.
"If you build it, they might not come" is very true for a website. You need to spend as much time on promoting your website as you do building it. This may start with some initial search engine optimisation and signing up to online directories to ensure you are found on Google, but consider also adding a pay-per-click campaign to your strategy.
There are many advantages to a pay-per-click campaign: it brings in immediate results and gives you the ability to see which keywords are performing and tweak the campaign instantly to make it more effective.
Using the Google Keyword Tool, work out what keywords bring you traffic and those to use in your pay-per-click campaign. You can also use Wordstream, which gives you more information and I think is better than Google's keyword tool.
The key tip for getting value for money is to set a very restrictive budget. Don't set the budget that Google tells you to set. Set something you are comfortable with. Then, monitor your campaign closely to see if it brings the results you want.
While Google dominates advertising online with Google AdWords, it is not the only medium. Now you can advertise using pay-per-click campaigns in LinkedIn and Facebook. Both are more affordable than Adwords and might be a more relevant medium depending on your audience.
Email marketing is an important part of online marketing and often overlooked by small businesses. Customers need to be reminded you are out there, and email marketing is the way to do it. E-newsletters are not considered to bespam if a) they contain valuable information; and b) you always provide an opt-out or unsubscribe function.
To run an email marketing campaign you first need a list of contacts. You can start with your existing customers but often small businesses aren't in the habit of collecting names, emails, mobile numbers and so on. Note to self: it's time to start!
Include a form on the landing page of your website with an attractive offer that encourages people to sign up, and you will kick-start the lead-generation process.
Next, use a safe and secure email program such as Mailchimp to send out email marketing. Mailchimp offers great social sharing tools and analytics but there are many other tools out there, including some fully automated marketing software such as Infusionsoft or Hubspot. The important thing is make sure your email marketing campaign gets results by making the content stand out.
Social media marketing:
Social media marketing is the next level of online marketing for micro business owners. Many have started to play with Facebook, Twitter or blogging but without any real strategy. So how do you know which medium will work for you?
Facebook is more geared towards the consumer environment. Retail businesses can use it to make offers and run contests. Having said that it is a great engagement tool for local businesses to share content and build an online community.
Having a blog can position you as an authority in your industry and can gain you credibility amongst your peers and customers.
For service-based businesses, I find a blog combined with email marketing and a PR strategy very effective; while a Facebook, Twitter and social interaction strategy is more effective for a retail business.
The important thing in social media marketing is to monitor the conversation on every platform. This can be daunting for the micro business owner, so I suggest only engaging those tools you are going to manage and use every day and that are appropriate to your business. If your business is in human resources, for example, it is better to be committed to LinkedIn and leverage that as a forum rather than be on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Choose where your audience is and go there. I also recommend using social network monitoring tools such sproutsocial, which helps to track your brand on social media.
Rather than take on all of these techniques at once, start with one and do it well. The real measure of effective online marketing is whether your leads, contacts, new opportunities and returning customers increase.
-- Danielle MacInnis thinks like a customer and creates insightful, practical marketing strategies for small businesses.
Soundgarden haven’t made any plans to record another studio album – but they’re pretty sure it’s going to happen.
The band received acclaim for 2012 comeback record King Animal, and enjoyed the experience of touring with their first new release since 1996′s Down On The Upside.
They band are currently taking a break, with frontman Chris Cornell about to embark on a solo tour, bassist Ben Shepherd promoting a solo album, and drummer Matt Cameron busy with Pearl Jam’s upcoming Lightning Bolt.
But their thoughts are directed towards what might happen when they regroup for what will be their seventh full-length release.
Asked how their next set of songs might evolve, Cameron tells O2 Academy: “We have a way of writing and playing together – the evolution might have already happened. I think we’d like to make a record that’s more rock, that has more bite and more guitars.”
“We don’t have a plan, but we have a desire and interest in a new album,” guitarist Kim Thayill confirms.
And the Seattle outfit are enjoying touring more than they used to. “Touring nowadays seems a lot less stressful, more professional or something,” Shepherd says. “It’s a different vibe from what we used to do. There was always some outside pressure on the band back then. It was kinda of gnarly.”
Thayill thinks he knows why it’s changed: “Record companies aren’t as demanding – they don’t have the leverage they used to have.”
Meanwhile, Soundgarden are gearing up to re-release their earliest recordings. A collection due in November will include their debut EP Screaming Life, bonus tracks from its follow-up Fopp, and material first included on a Sub Pop compilation album. Thayill has previously said he’s working on a box set of rare tracks and B-sides.
Paul McCartney made a joke about banning people from using Facebook while they worked on his new video – but producers took it seriously even though they knew it was light-hearted.
The Sun reports that staff working on the promo at Abbey Road Studios were told they’d be fired if they used social networks, ate meat or took drugs – even though Macca’s original instructions were nothing more than a bit of fun.
The paper quotes an insider saying: “It was meant as a joke – but still, you’d be out on your war if you ignored the memo.
“Anyone found on Twitter or Facebook, or nibbling a ham sandwich would be ejected immediately.”
Macca himself will take to Twitter tomorrow for a live Q&A session with fans, ahead of the release of his album New on October 14.
Meanwhile, work has begun on a movie entitled The Fifth Beatle, which will be the first major production based on the life of manager Brian Epstein.
Oscar-winning producer Bruce Cohen has secured the rights to use original Fab Four material for the soundtrack. Scriptwriter Vivek J Tiwary, who’s been working on the project for years, says: “I’m confident that the next stage in telling Brian Epstein’s story is in extremely capable hands with Bruce. I’m elated to see The Fifth Beatle coming to life as a film under his guidance.”
Filming will start next year.
Financial markets are taking the partial shutdown of the US government in their stride in hope of a swift political breakthrough.
Australian shares ended Wednesday's trading session 0.2 per cent higher, while the Australian dollar was modestly lower at around 93.5 US cents.
US Congress failed to reach a compromise on its budget ahead of the US financial year-end on September 30, prompting the shut down that sent about 800,000 public servants home without pay and left only essential government services open.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Saul Eslake said, if the shutdown lasts a few days, there should be only a minor impact on the world's largest economy.
Longer than that and the consequences become more significant. If it extends to a couple of weeks it could reduce US growth in the December quarter by 0.5 per cent.
Any longer could wipe out all growth in the quarter.
The bigger concern will be if the US Congress doesn't agree to lift its debt ceiling by the middle of this month, risking default for the first time.
'If Congress isn't able to resolve this impasse before the US hits the debt ceiling, one of the possible consequences could be a fall in the US dollar and further unwelcome (upward) pressure on the Australian dollar,' Mr Eslake told ABC radio.
'The Reserve Bank clearly wants a lower exchange rate and is quite frustrated about its inability to fulfil that.'
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left the cash rate unchanged at 2.5 per cent at its monthly board meeting on Tuesday.
But RBA governor Glenn Stevens said a lower currency would assist in rebalancing growth in the economy.
Economists believe that after slashing the cash rate to an all-time low, the central bank will be reluctant to cut much further.
National Australia Bank has pushed back its expectation of a further rate reduction to February 2014, rather than next month.
But NAB still expects economic growth to slow to around two per cent by the end of the year, and well below trend at around three per cent.
This will put pressure on employment and with the new federal government shedding public servants the jobless rate could hit 6.75 per cent in the second half of 2014.
The rate was 5.8 per cent in August.
'With the big picture still unmoved, we continue to see a cut coming but right now there is no rush,' NAB group chief economist Alan Oster said in a note to clients.
The improvement seen in confidence, retail spending, manufacturing and house prices since the August interest rate cut failed to extend into August building approvals, which fell by a larger than expected 4.7 per cent.
Housing Industry Association chief economist Harley Dale said, while approvals are still trending higher, the recovery has been too slow and too narrow geographically.
'This has been the case for some time and the situation simply isn't changing,' Dr Dale said in a statement.
The roiling debate over the US government shutdown is extending to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as fed-up Americans turn to social media to register their disgust with federal lawmakers for shutting down the government.
Those posting pulled no punches, calling members of congress 'immature', 'stupid' and 'idiots' who need to 'grow up'. There were a few attaboys, too, by self-described red-state conservatives who cheered on the Republican leadership's unwavering stance against President Barack Obama's healthcare plan, even if it meant suddenly pulling the pay cheques of about 800,000 federal workers and threatening popular federal programs.
But mostly, tweeters said they couldn't understand why a compromise between the two sides seemed so elusive.
'(hash)DearCongress, You should not be getting paid. In fact, you all should be fired!' tweeted Bruce Swedal, a 46-year-old Denver real estate agent who says he is worried about what the shutdown might do to home sales if federally backed loans dry up.
The public outcry playing out on social media sites this week is a new twist.
During the last shutdown of government operations, in 1995, angry Americans would have had to look up their congressman's address and sit down and write an old-fashioned letter or email. But with the advent of Twitter, popular hashtags like (hash)governmentshutdown and the Today show's (hash)DearCongress let voters log their complaints to all 532 members of congress at once - provided they stay within the allotted 140 characters or less.
Voters also weighed in on the more humorous side of things, offering pick-up lines that federal workers could use in bars, some of which were advertising cheap drink specials throughout the day to those furloughed.
'The library is closing, mind if I check you out instead?' one person offered with the hashtag (hash)ShutdownPickupLines.
Added another tweeter: 'It's not like we have to go to work tomorrow.'
For their part, legislators used Facebook and Twitter to reiterate long-held talking points, further angering dissenting voters.
Republicans said Obama's healthcare program would be too catastrophic to allow, while Democrats accused Republicans of sending the government into a free fall to appease a small minority.
House Speaker John Boehner's post urging Senate Democrats to back down earned more than 13,000 'likes' on Facebook and an additional 13,000-plus comments from voters, either hailing the Ohio Republican as a hero or calling him everything from a 'crybaby' to a 'terrorist'.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi's Facebook post blaming Republicans for the shutdown earned fewer than 2200 'likes' and 1400 posts.
Meanwhile, federal programs used Twitter to announce that they would no longer be responding to tweets or other social media posts until the shutdown ends. Even the first lady, Michelle Obama, said her own personal tweets would be limited.
One Twitter account, which for two years has been providing detailed updates on NASA's Voyager 2 program, offered this less-than-comforting post before going dark: 'Due to government shutdown, we will not be posting or responding from this account. Farewell, humans. Sort it out yourselves.'
Swedal, the Denver real estate agent, said in a telephone interview that he doesn't think his tweets will make a difference. In the end, he says, politicians are likely to do whatever they want.
'But at least I feel better,' he said.