October 2015: Classic Rock Month in Review
Our October 2015 Classic Rock Month in Review begins with David Lee Roth doing the unthinkable: publicly praising Eddie Van Halen. We got good news from Black Sabbath in the form of more dates on their farewell tour, but also bad news in that there will be no final album from them. Glenn Danzig announced that he's not going to embark on any more major tours anymore, and there was a major health scare from Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Roger Waters took Bon Jovi to task for performing in Israel, while Tommy Lee had to sit out a pair of Motley Crue shows due to an injury. Finally, the world mourned a tragic fire at a Romanian club during a metal band's album release party. And although we said goodbye to Cory Wells of Three Dog Night and many others, we enjoyed a full slate of new releases that came our way.
At the last concert of Van Halen's tour, David Lee Roth made a rare display of affection for Eddie Van Halen. "The best years of my life," he said while standing next to the guitarist. "The high points of all my life — onstage with you, homeboy." But he quickly dropped the sincerity and mocked the stage gestures of Jon Bon Jovi and Bono.
After announcing their farewell tour the previous month, Black Sabbath revealed another four months worth of shows from June through September 2016. However, they also decided against going out with another new album, as they had originally suggested. And while they've said they're willing to bring Bill Ward back into the fold, there have been no discussions with their original drummer on the subject.
Glenn Danzig, who fronted the Misfits before becoming an unlikely alternative heartthrob in the '90s with his self-named group, decided to stop touring upon the conclusion of his tour at the end of October. But he didn't rule out the possibility of performing again at the occasional festival or an intimate gig. The news came the day after he and his security guards were accused of assaulting a fan who was taking pictures during a show. Don Henley, you're on the clock.
Gary Rossington, the lone original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd still in the band, suffered a very serious heart attack on October 8. This came 12 years after the 63-year-old guitarist underwent a quintuple bypass. To allow time for his recovery, Skynyrd canceled the entirety of their tour schedule for 2015.
A passionately vocal critic of the policies of Israel's government towards the Palestinians, Roger Waters took Bon Jovi to task for playing a concert in Tel Aviv. Waters penned an open letter to the band saying that, by refusing to cancel their concert, Bon Jovi was "taking a stand with the settler who burned the baby [...] with the sniper who killed the kid in the green shirt and the one who emptied his clip into the 13-year-old gril and the Minister of Justice who called for genocide."
Only two months before Motley Crue left the road for good, Tommy Lee had to pull out of a couple of shows due to tendonitis in his left wrist. Taking his place was Glen Sobel from opening act Alice Cooper's band while Lee stood on the sidelines and guided Sobel through the in-ear monitors. But Lee was well enough to play "Home Sweet Home" on the piano for the finale of both dates. A month later, Lee swore that he was "back to 100 percent" in time for their last-ever stretch of shows.
The Colectiv club in Bucharest, Romania, was the site of tragedy when, during an album release party by local metal band Goodbye to Gravity, pyrotechnics struck polystyrene that covered a pillar, setting the club ablaze within seconds. At least 45 people, including three members of the band, perished in the fire, which was eerily similar to the 2003 fire that killed 100 people at a Great White concert. The disaster added to the existing unrest in the country, and the increase in protests in Romania caused Prime Minister Victor Ponta to resign a week later.
As one of the singers in Three Dog Night, Cory Wells sang lead on several of their hits, including "Eli's Coming," "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)," "Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues)" and "Shambala." He died of an infection related to multiple myeloma on October 10. He was 74.
October was a big month for new studio efforts from classic rockers, with Def Leppard (Def Leppard), Rod Stewart (Another Country), Bryan Adams (Get Up), Queensryche (Human Condition) and Joe Jackson (Fast Forward) releasing albums. Major reissues included Paul McCartney (Tug of War and Pipes of Peace), Rush (Power Windows, Presto, Roll the Bones), Van Morrison (Astral Weeks and His Band and the Street Choir) and the Velvet Underground (Loaded).