Guns N' Roses spin-off supergroup Kings Of Chaos are swelling their ranks by recruiting Steven Tyler and Zz Top star Billy Gibbons for upcoming dates in South Africa. The part-time collective, which features Matt Sorum, Duff McKagan and Gilby Clarke, has lined up two shows in Sun City and Cape Town in November and December (14), and the core trio is taking some big names.
The Kings of Chaos evolved out of the Rock 'N' Roll Allstars, an 11-piece outfit that included Gene Simmons and Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott.
The line-up for South Africa will also feature Cheap Trick's Robin Zander and Extreme star Nuno Bettencourt.
Sorum, who was also a member of McKagan and Slash's supergroup Velvet Revolver, recently told Blabbermouth.net that the Kings of Chaos could easily become a priority for him, stating, "I'm at that stage of my career where I haven't really got the energy to go and try and create a band. I mean, how many bands do I have in my back pocket? I'd rather just get a bunch of great guys together that everybody knows and go and play a bunch of shows to 60,000 people.
"Even Velvet Revolver, it took us 18 months to build that up, and we were on the road, like, 20-year-old kids... I don't really want to go on the road for 18 months anymore, which will basically kill you, unless you're doing hard drugs and I don't do hard drugs anymore, and I don't drink anymore, and the rest of it's just kind of boring.
"I'd rather go and do great festivals and do two or three-week tours - go out and just have a blast and then go home and then think about the next thing."
Fired frontman Scott Weiland recently joked about auditioning for the his own vacant spot in Velvet Revolver, leading fans to think the band was active again after six years, but bassist McKagan recently shot down the rumours, insisting there were no immediate plans to restart to hunt for a new singer.
Rocker Duff Mckagan has dismissed reports sparked by former bandmate Scott Weiland suggesting supergroup Velvet Revolver are on the hunt for a new singer again. The band McKagan formed with Slash and Matt Sorum has been largely inactive since the trio fired Weiland in 2008, but he had fans hoping for a reunion recently when he joked about joining the "cattle call" for a new frontman.
However, bassist McKagan tells VH1 Radio Network there are no plans to revive his old band.
He explains, "That band was so good and really started with all the right intentions and we wrote a lot of material near the end of that band. We kind of got really free musically and so we've got all this material and it's a really talented band.
"When it's the right time to happen again, it'll happen. I'm not aware that we're auditioning right now and I think I would be aware."
But McKagan is sure that Weiland will not be returning to front the group, adding, "That played itself out. That was a chapter in life, you know, not a defining moment, just a chapter, and I wish that guy the best of luck and I hope he's OK."
Velvet Revolver reunited with Weiland briefly for a set at a tribute concert for late songwriter John O'Brien in early 2012.
Police in Switzerland have confirmed blues legend Johnny Winter was found dead in his hotel room on Wednesday (16Jul14). News of the music legend's death broke on Thursday (17Jul14), and local officials have now revealed the 70 year old's body was discovered in a hotel just outside of Zurich.
The cause of death is unclear, but police do not suspect foul play. Officials have confirmed early indications suggest Winter suffered a medical emergency, and an autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death, according to Reuters.
Winter was on tour in Europe at the time of the tragedy, and was due to take his show to Canada on 23 July (14) before heading out on a major U.S. trek over the summer (14).
His passing has prompted tributes from stars including Motley Crue rocker Nikki Sixx and former Guns N' Roses member Matt Sorum, who writes in a post on Twitter.com, "I have just heard Johnny Winter has passed, I've just become close with (his brother) Edgar and am so sad for him and his family. They had plans to tour. RIP JW."
Former Guns N' Roses star Matt Sorum has taken aim at fellow rocker Ted Nugent for his pro-hunting remarks. Animal lover Sorum took offence to a photo he spotted of smiling Nugent standing next to a pre-teen boy who had just killed a groundhog, and took to Twitter.com to lash out at the Cat Scratch Fever hitmaker over the weekend (12Jul14).
The drummer wrote, "Hey @tednugent u are a sick individual, u are smiling too much for killing this animal. Something wrong w u (with you), poor kid."
Nugent has made a name for himself protecting the rights of hunters, insisting they are vital to manage wildlife.
In an interview earlier this year (14), he attacked animal-rights activists opposed to hunting and killing, calling them "numb-nuts".
Sorum is currently spearheading the International Fund For Animal Welfare's campaign for elephant conservation, and last month (Jun14) wrote an open letter to his fellow musicians urging them to support a new U.S. strategy for minimising America's role in global elephant poaching.
Rocker Deryck Whibley is overcoming his booze battle with the help of reformed hellraisers Iggy Pop and Tommy Lee. In May (14), the Sum 41 star revealed he had been hospitalised in an intensive care unit after his kidneys and liver collapsed following years of hard boozing.
He has now quit drinking and is determined to keep on a straight path, and he has revealed several fellow stars who have battled booze demons are helping him adjust to a life of sobriety.
Whibley tells Kerrang! magazine, "Now I'm sober, I don't get calls from certain people that I used to... the drinking friends. Now I'm the bum-out to them. Who wants to invite the sober guy to the party?
"Y'know who has been incredibly supportive? Iggy Pop. He had a lot of great advice; he's been through it all. We've been friends for years. Same for Tommy Lee from Motley Crue. He told me what to expect from people, that not everyone will understand. Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum from Guns N' Roses have been great too. We go out for coffee and talk about s**t."
Bobby Womack's friend and collaborator Damon Albarn has joined stars including Ronnie Wood, Justin Timberlake and Ronald Isley to pay tribute to the soul legend following his death on Friday (27Jun14). The music veteran, who had suffered from Alzheimer's disease and prostate cancer, passed away at the age of 70, but no further details were available as WENN went to press.
Womack's death sent the music world into mourning, prompting tributes from his famous friends and fans, including Blur star Albarn, who helped the music veteran achieve a career revival in recent years by collaborating with him on a Gorillaz track and inviting him on tour.
Albarn mourned his friend's loss in a post on Twitter.com, writing, "I will see my brother in church @RealBobbyWomack."
Rolling Stones star Ronnie Wood was among the first to pay tribute to Womack, tweeting, "I'm so sad to hear about my friend Bobby Womack - the man who could make you cry when he sang has brought tears to my eyes with his passing.
"My heart goes out to his family & friends and everyone who loved his music. Bobby you will be greatly missed."
The Rolling Stones recorded Womack's song It's All Over Now.
Pop star Justin Timberlake also marked the sad news by taking to Twitter to write, "One of THE BEST to ever do it. You've inspired so much out of me and will continue to do so... #RIPBobbyWomack," while CeeLo Green added, "RIP Bobby Womack... Heroes get remembered, but legends never die #RIPBobbyWomack."
Funk legend George Clinton offered up an online message to remember Womack, along with Anita Baker and Angie Stone and fellow soul icon Ronald Isley, of the Isley Brothers, who wrote, "I am sad to hear of the passing of my long time friend Bobby Womack. He was a special person with a special talent. I will truly miss him."
Rockers including Red Hot Chili Peppers star Flea, Matt Sorum and Gerard Way also joined the flood of tributes, along with stars from the hip-hop world, led by Wyclef Jean, OutKast's Big Boi, 50 Cent, Q-Tip and Public Enemy.
Womack was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, and his passing prompted a statement from organisation officials. The message reads, "Sad to learn that soul legend and 2009 Rock and Roll HOF Inductee Bobby Womack has passed away."
Punk icon Henry Rollins and Red Hot Chili Peppers star Flea have posted tributes to late The Stooges drummer Scott Asheton following his death on Saturday (15Mar14). Bandmate Iggy Pop led the salutes after revealing the sad news his pal had died on Facebook.com, stating Asheton was "a dear friend" and "a great artist", adding, "I have never heard anyone play the drums with more meaning".
And the tributes continued on Monday (17Mar14) as many of Asheton's famous fans woke up to the news of the 64 year old's passing.
Former Black Flag frontman Rollins chose to celebrate Asheton's life by playing The Stooges non-stop, tweeting, "Scott Asheton passed away. Stooges albums on full." And Flea added, "scott asheton rocked me as deeply as any musician ever. gave me such joy and freedom in my life R.I.P."
Other Twitter tributes came from former Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum, The Black Keys and The Charlatans' Tim Burgess, while actress/singer Juliette Lewis wrote, "Farewell to gentle blue eyed soul #ScottAsheton I had the pleasure to know and share the stage with. He's 4ever remembered not forgotten."
Alice Cooper has been hit by the charity supergig bug after kicking off 2014 in Hawaii onstage with Steven Tyler and Sammy Hagar - he is reteaming with the former Van Halen frontman for another fundraiser. Cooper and Hagar will perform with former Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver bandmates Slash and Matt Sorum in Las Vegas this week (beg24Feb14) as part of the Kerry Simon Says Fight MSA benefit.
Money raised at the gig will benefit sufferers of the neurological disorder known as multiple system atrophy.
The all-star charity rock gig will also feature Vince Neil and System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan, while actor Bill Murray will serve as host alongside celebrity chef Kerry Simon, who was diagnosed with MSA last year (13).
Cooper and Hagar were joined by Tyler, former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, Weird Al Yankovic and actors Tom Arnold and Keith Carradine for New Year's Eve (31Dec13) Maui Food Bank benefit in Hawaii.
Charlie Sheen, Susan Sarandon, Kirstie Alley and Juliette Lewis are among the stars who have called for an end to the annual slaughter of dolphins off the coast of Japan after the hunt kicked off again this week (beg20Jan14). Activists have long campaigned against the yearly cull of bottlenose dolphins, which are herded into Taiji Cove and speared by fishermen, and the barbaric practice was highlighted in Academy Award-winning 2009 film The Cove.
As the hunt got underway again on Monday (20Jan14), a number of stars took to Twitter.com to express their outrage.
Cheers star Alley pleaded with Japanese citizens to take a stand against the practice, writing, "The Japanese people need to stop the slaughter in Taiji... We can not bully them into stepping up. We can just bring it into their view."
Hollywood actress Sarandon called the cull "heartbreaking and infuriating" and Lewis urged fans to tweet their opposition, adding, "Stop this insanity... Tweet 4 dolphins."
Other stars to have spoken out against this year's (14) cull include Sheen, who threw his support behind the The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's campaign against the dolphin slaughter, as well as rocker Matt Sorum, Yoko Ono, William Shatner and illusionist David Blaine.
Former Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver stars SLASH, Duff Mckagan and Matt Sorum's new supergroup is planning a star-studded benefit in Hollywood next month (Nov13). The group, Kings of Chaos, will perform with guitar great Steve Stevens, Corey Taylor, Glenn Hughes and actors Juliette Lewis and Gary Dourdan onstage at the Avalon Hollywood on 18 November (13) to raise money and awareness for conservationist Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project, an international organisation dedicated to saving dolphins from slaughter and exploitation.
The concert, billed as Tokyo Celebrates The Dolphin, will be the group's only North American performance in 2013.
Organiser O'Barry tells WENN, "We'll add a few Japanese friends to our line-up and rock the socks off Tokyo. There isn't a better way to bring Westerners and Japanese people together than rock and roll and the world should also know about the wonderful relationship between Japanese people and dolphins in the Tokyo Islands."
Longtime O'Barry supporter Sorum adds, "I'm thrilled to bring a bunch of superstars together for a fun night with fans. The main thing is to keep creating awareness for the Dolphin Project and everyone involved."
Kings of Chaos made their Australian live debut in April (13) at the Stone Music Festival in Sydney and the group toured South and Central America last year (12) under the name Rock 'n' Roll Allstars.
The supergroup will embark on a new South American tour at the end of November.