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Big Rig's ROCK Report 12.7.23

Clapton Auction Happens Friday 


There’s still time to get in on an epic Eric Clapton auction. Sixty-five lots in The Eric Clapton Crossroads 25th Anniversary Auction benefitting Crossroads Centre Antigua will go under the hammer Friday via Heritage Auctions. Items range from one-of-a-kind stage-played and signed guitars, to signed box sets, signed lyrics, rare limited edition posters from past Crossroads Guitar Festivals, plus many more treasures and experiences. 


The auction takes place at Heritage Auctions’ Dallas, Texas headquarters but bids can be placed by telephone, HERITAGELive!®, internet, fax, and mail. 


Geddy Lee Release Neil Peart Tribute Single, "Gone”  


Rush singer, bassist and keyboardist Geddy Lee has made no secret about his sadness at the 2020 death of drummer and friend Neil Peart. But now the rocker has shared a demo from his 2000 solo album “My Favorite Headache,” which discusses a tragedy Peart suffered while he was alive. “Gone” is a tribute to Selena Taylor, Peart’s daughter who died in a 1997 car crash. Jacqueline Taylor, Peart’s partner and Selena’s mother, died a year later. Lee said he originally “didn’t think it was appropriate to release it” but admitted it “lifted me up” to rediscover them. 


Guns N’ Roses Tease New Song 


Guns N’ Roses will be releasing a new song titled “The General” on Friday, Dec. 8. 

The band shared a brief preview on social media. “The General” serves as the B-side to “Perhaps,” which was released in August. GN’R gave “The General” a live debut on Nov. 2 when they performed the song at the show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. 


OZZY: Not Opposed to AI 


Ozzy Osbourne was asked on The Osbournes family podcast if he would be open to creating new music based on any riffs leftover from his late guitarist Randy Rhoads. “I haven’t considered it yet, but as far as me doing something like what the remaining Beatles did with the John Lennon thing [on 'Now and Then']… that was a partial song and they cleaned the track up. I don’t think I have anything left of Randy Rhoads.” 


And his wife Sharon backed him up, saying, "No, there's nothing left that was properly recorded." "There's just like a couple of silly cassettes floating around. A cassette from 40 years ago is not gonna be great." Rhoads would have turned 67 today (Wednesday). He was killed in a plane crash while on tour with Ozzy in 1982. He was 25. 


Jeff Ament Nearly Quit Pearl Jam During 'No Code' 


Jeff Ament has been part of Pearl Jam from the beginning - but he nearly quit the band a few years into their run. Ament says he thought about leaving while the band was recording its fourth album, No Code. He says he "wasn't super involved with that record on any level" - in fact he wasn't even told they were in the studio for three days. Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard formed Pearl Jam after previously playing together in Mother Love Bone 


ROBERT PLANT: Puts Vocal Stylings to Work 


Robert Plant has put his dulcet vocal tone to work this Christmas season, but not in song. 

He says, "Right now, world leaders are making important decisions at the 28th United Nations Climate Change conference being held through December 12th in Dubai that will affect the future of our planet. "That's why I'm joining the call for an equitable, net-zero emissions and Nature Positive world. “There’s still time to change the road you’re on.” With that he has voiced a PSA for the Nature Positive Initiative. 


JOHN LENNON: Christmas Campaign Is a Family Affair 


John Lennon's 1971 song, “Happy Christmas (War Is Over),” and subsequent billboard campaign, is now a full family affair as his and Yoko's son Sean has executive produced a new 11-minute animated short film based on the song, War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko. He tells The Hollywood Reporter that he "just felt like it deserved some kind of piece to help get it out there for another generation. "The only problem was that every music video idea seemed to trivialize it. It almost felt goofy, like a Hallmark kind of thing. What are we going to show, a family sitting around a fire? It needed an actual narrative.” The inspiration came from a story about the Christmas truce between British and German soldiers during World War I when opposing soldiers played soccer. 


Director Peter Jackson, who put together The Beatles' Get Back documentary and the video for their new song, "Now and Then," says, “Sean and I are friends and he was initially wanting some advice about his script. “I first heard from Sean a few weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, and it was clearly an important project for him. I remember telling him that an animated short film would take 12 to 14 months to make, and there was a very good chance the war in Ukraine will have resolved by the time it was finished. Here we are, and not only is the misery in Ukraine continuing with no end in sight, there’s now the war in Gaza.” 

And Sean adds, "For me, it’s very sad that my parents’ message of peace and love is still relevant to this day. It seems like such an old story. 

“Some people are very sensitive about this message of peace today. They feel like it’s a denial of peoples’ pain. And I am not criticizing anyone. I’m saying I really believe in resolving problems peacefully as a concept, even though it sounds very naive. It’s something I was raised to believe and I still believe it.” 


The film has a brief run in theaters this fall to qualify for Oscar contention. Producers are currently shopping for a distributor so no word on when it will be released. 


And in a related note, limited-edition acetates of the song have been donated to 50 charities, non-profits and care organizations for them to raise money for Peace and Love this holiday season. In a note accompanying each record, Sean Ono Lennon says: "Happy Holidays. To raise the spirit of Peace and Love this December, here is one of only 50 Limited-Edition acetates that have been hand-cut at Abbey Road. It’s yours – to sell, auction, raise money to help your charity or to fund your Xmas party – to GIVE PEACE A CHANCE and REMEMBER LOVE." Each one is stickered and numbered out of 50 and includes a machine-printed signature from Yoko Ono Lennon. 


Classic Christmas Songs Dominate Billboard Top 10 


The music world is buzzing over Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" hitting number one on the Billboard Hot 100, 65 years after it was released. However, the 1958 classic is only the third-oldest Christmas song in this week's top ten. Bobby Helms' 1957 hit "Jingle Bell Rock" is at number four, while "A Holly Jolly Christmas" by Burl Ives from 1951 checks in at number six. Also in the top ten is the 1963 song "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams at number ten. 


Reminder: The Bully From 'A Christmas Story' Was Also In The 'Hot For Teacher' Video 


Here's a fun fact you can share with your relatives the next time you watch A Christmas Story - one of the kids from the movie has a cameo in a Van Halen video. Actor Yano Anaya plays 'Grover Dill', the cackling sidekick of Christmas Story bully Scut Farkus. Shortly after the movie, he got cast as the young version of Michael Anthony in "Hot For Teacher". Anaya's acting career would stall out shortly after - but he did return for the 2022 sequel A Christmas Story Christmas. 


The Quickies


Geddy Lee brings the North American leg of his My Effin' Life in Conversation tour, based on his memoir, My Effin' Life, to a close tonight (Thursday) in his hometown of Toronto. It will be interesting to see who the guest interviewer will be. Odds on favorite is his Rush bandmate and best friend Alex Lifeson. Or, perhaps it could be his wife Nancy. Geddy will then bring the tour over to the UK starting Sunday in Wolverhampton, England. And, speaking of Lifeson, a week after unveiling a new line of amps with Mojotone, he has teamed with the company for the new "By-Tor" drive guitar pedal


Red Hot Chili Peppers have pulled out of playing the Almost Acoustic Christmas festival on Saturday at The Forum in Inglewood, California because "a band member was injured, preventing us from being able to perform for at least six weeks." The band will do a make-up show on March 2nd. 


The use of Tom Petty's "Love Is a Long Road" in the Grand Theft Auto 6 trailer has spurred a huge jump in the song's streaming. Spotify says that the track has seen an increase of 37,000% since the trailer dropped on Monday. 

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