Here are a few more of 2016’s noteworthy stories involving veteran rock artists:
Led Zeppelin Wins “Stairway to Heaven” Copyright-Infringement Lawsuit
In June, a Los Angeles jury found Led Zeppelin‘s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page not guilty of stealing the opening of their band’s classic song, “Stairway to Heaven,” from the 1968 Spirit song, “Taurus.” Attorneys representing the estate of late Spirit frontman Randy California had sought to prove that Led Zeppelin’s members had plagiarized a guitar riff featured in “Taurus” and used it as the basis for the opening of “Stairway to Heaven,” but the jury decided that there was no “extrinsic similarity” between the two songs. Surviving Zeppelin members Page, Plant and John Paul Jones all testified at the trial.
The End Is Near for Black Sabbath
In January, Black Sabbath headed out on what the legendary heavy metal act promised would be its farewell tour, a trek dubbed simply The End. This year’s tour included two North American legs, running from January to February and August to September, but Sabbath also added a trio of U.S. shows in November. The band’s final scheduled stateside concert ever took place November 12 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The location seemed ironic, since frontman Ozzy Osbourne was banned from the city for 10 years after he allegedly relieved himself on the famous Alamo Centograph in 1982. The last dates on Black Sabbath’s The End tour are scheduled to take place in Europe in early 2017. The band will wrap things up with a pair of hometown concerts in its hometown of Birmingham, England, on February 2 and 4. Unfortunately, founding drummer Bill Ward‘s feud with his old mates has continued and he hasn’t taken part in any of the farewell gigs.
Sweet Diversions: Aerosmith Members Busy with Side Projects in 2016
Aerosmith took most of 2016 off, but the band’s members certainly didn’t remain idle. In July, frontman Steven Tyler released his long-in-the-works debut solo album, We’re All Somebody from Somewhere, a country-influenced collection of tunes he recorded in Nashville. Tyler supported the recorded with a tour dubbed the Out on a Limb trek. Guitarist Joe Perry spent part of the year touring with The Hollywood Vampires, his supergroup with Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp. Perry gave fans a scare in July when he became ill during a show in Wantagh, New York, and had to be hospitalized. Thankfully, he recovered and returned to finish the Vampires trek. Guitarist Brad Whitford teamed up with his old Whitford/St. Holmes collaborator, Ted Nugent band singer Derek St. Holmes, to release an album titled Reunion in June. Whitford/St. Holmes also toured as Whitesnake‘s opening act during the summer, as well as playing some headlining shows. Bassist Tom Hamilton joined the current lineup of Thin Lizzy to play a number of European festivals in June and July. Drummer Joey Kramer spent a lot of his time promoting his Rockin’ and Roastin’ coffee brand, which opened its flagship café in July in North Attleborough, Massachusetts. Aerosmith’s 2016 activities included a one-off U.S. performance on September 17 at the KAABOO Festival in Del Mar, California, and a fall Latin American tour running from late September to late October. The band already has announced plans for a 2017 European trek dubbed the Aero-Vederci Baby! tour, which Tyler and Perry have hinted may be the start of an extended farewell outing.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Members Heart, Cheap Trick and Joan Jett Hit the Road Together
One of the more interesting package tours of 2016 was the Rock Hall Three for All, a lengthy North American trek featuring a trio of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members — Heart, Cheap Trick and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. The tour got underway on July 14 in Clarkston, Michigan, and wound down September 23 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Prior to the trek, Heart teamed up with Jett & the Blackhearts for a series of Canadian shows in March called the Queens of Sheba tour.
Sounds Good! Beach Boys Celebrate 50th Anniversaries, Pen Memoirs
2016 marked the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beach Boys landmark album Pet Sounds and their groundbreaking and chart-topping single “Good Vibrations.” In honor of Pet Sounds, an expansive five-disc Collector’s Edition was released in June featuring alternate versions and mixes, outtakes, demos, unreleased live performances and more. In addition, Brian Wilson — joined by fellow former Beach Boys Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin — hit the road on a lengthy solo world tour showcasing a full performance of the album. In October, The Beach Boys released a vinyl EP featuring versions of “Good Vibrations.” The band’s current lineup, led by founding singer Mike Love, also saluted the single during its 2016 tour. Meanwhile, both Wilson and Love released memoirs this year — titled, respectively, I Am Brian Wilson and Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy — in which they opened up about their lives and the band’s turbulent history.
That’s Not All: Phil Collins Returns to Performing, Reissues Solo Catalog, Publishes Autobiography
In October, Phil Collins officially announced plans to return to performing after taking a long hiatus from the stage because of various health issues. The ex-Genesis singer/drummer announced a run of June 2017 dates in Europe dubbed the Not Dead Yet Live! tour, which includes a series of shows at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The trek was named after Collins’ new memoir, Not Dead Yet, which he published in late October. In the book, he shares stories about his years in Genesis and as a solo star, while also candidly discusses details about his three marriages, his health ailments and issues with alcohol abuse. It’s worth noting that in recent years, Phil has played a few benefit gigs for the Little Dreams Foundation, a charity he founded ex-wife Orianne, with whom he recently reconciled. In addition, he gave a special performance in August at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York City. Meanwhile, 2016 also saw Collins reissue expanded and remastered versions of his entire solo catalog.
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Source: Classic Rock News