January 2015: Classic Rock Month in Review
We may only be one month into the new year, but we've already seen a handful of great stories. We've compiled our favorites into a handy January 2015 Classic Rock Month in Review. Below, you'll read about how classic rockers like Ted Nugent and Nikki Sixx have got involved with the Super Bowl and look back at some of the people we've lost. There were also some major stop-the-presses surprises involving David Lee Roth and Geezer Butler, and we finish by looking back at some of the new releases that we enjoyed in January 2015.
The lead-up to this year’s Super Bowl was full of classic rock. Four of the commercials that were previewed ahead of the game used some of our favorite artists: Ted Nugent, whose ‘Stranglehold’ was paired with model Charlotte McKinney to sell hamburgers; the Beatles’ ‘All You Need Is Love’ was used to boost tourism in Ecuador; Van Halen’s cover of Roy Orbison’s ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’ teamed up with actress Mindy Kaling for an insurance company; and Harry Chapin’s ‘Cats in the Cradle’ was poignantly featured in a car commercial. But it wasn’t just the advertisements. Before the NFC Championship between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks, a Milwaukee radio station refused to play any music by Seattle bands. Also, Seahawks fan Nikki Sixx threatened to perform naked if the New England Patriots won ... and they did. Will he follow through? Speaking of the Patriots, the DeflateGate scandal was reflected in two wonderfully juvenile parodies of AC/DC’s ‘Big Balls.’ And at the big game itself, Lenny Kravitz joined Katy Perry and some dancing sharks for a halftime show, presumably seen by Paul McCartney and Steven Tyler, who were spotted in the stands by cameras.
The biggest heroes of our childhood can’t escape the ravages of Father Time. This notion was made even more evident to us when David Lee Roth sat in with Foo Fighters at Dave Grohl’s birthday concert, and he removed his cap to reveal a completely shaved head. This ended years of speculation about his hairline — we can remember Howard Stern calling him “David Weave Roth” as far back as the late ‘80s.
Drummer Dallas Taylor died on Jan. 18 from complications from viral pneumonia and kidney disease. Taylor was best known for his work on Crosby, Stills & Nash’s groundbreaking debut, and often played with their various iterations, including Stephen Stills’ Manassas, but also worked with Paul Butterfield and Van Morrison. He spent the past 30 years of his life as a drug-addiction intervention specialist. He was 66.
Other People We Lost in January 2015: Jeff Golub, Irwin Steinberg, Liza Cozad-Lauser, Ray McFall, Curtis Lee, Tim Drummond, Bill Thompson, Kim Fowley, Michael 'Commander' Gehrke, Edgar Froese, Demis Roussos.
Billy Joel ushered in the New Year in style by bringing on AC/DC's Brian Johnson to sing ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ at the stroke of midnight in Orlando. It was the start of a good month for Joel. He was named, along with Robert Plant, as one of the headliners of this year’s Bonnaroo Festival and announced a year’s worth of concerts to go with his monthly residency at Madison Square Garden.
On Jan. 27, Geezer Butler was arrested following an incident that took place in a bar in Death Valley, Calif. According to a police statement, the Black Sabbath bassist was reported to have been part of “an argument that escalated into a physical confrontation — resulting in an individual being struck, and a broken window.” He was charged with was charged with misdemeanor assault, public intoxication and vandalism, and subsequently released.
The first month of 2015 saw the release of the Genesis documentary ’Sum of the Parts,’ the DVD of the Jimi Hendrix biopic ‘All Is by My Side’ and a slew of archival releases from such names as the Byrds, the Grateful Dead and Jackson Browne. But the biggest reissue came in the last week of January, when Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first six records were released on vinyl in a new boxed set.