Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2015: Stevie Ray Vaughn, Lou Reed, Green Day, Ringo Starr, and More

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has officially announced next year’s inductees: Lou Reed, Green Day, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Bill Withers and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band will all join the class of 2015. Ringo Starr will be given the Award For Musical Excellence and 1950s R&B group the ’5′ Royales will receive the Early Influence Award.

The induction ceremony will be held at Cleveland’s Public Hall on April 18th, 2015. Once again, the general public will be allowed to attend. Tickets go on sale this Thursday.

Artists are eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single. Green Day, whose debut EP, 1,000 Hours, came out in 1989, are entering the institution in their first year of eligibility. ‘I had to go for a walk when I heard the news,’ says Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong. ‘We’re in incredible company and I’m still trying to make sense of this. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has always held something special for me because my heroes were in there. This is a great time for us to sort of reflect and look back with gratitude.’

Jett is equally blown away by the news. ‘It’s surreal and very humbling,’ she says. ‘It’s a culmination of all you’ve dreamed about doing as a musician. I’ve always been hopeful [that I'd get in] because I think it’s an incredible acknowledgment. I’m very proud to be with all these great musicians. It’s going to take a few minutes to sink in before I see how I really feel about it.’ (

Starr was inducted as part of The Beatles in 1988, though his three other bandmates have since entered the Hall of Fame as solo artists. ‘This means recognition to me,’ he says. ‘And it means, finally, the four of us are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame even though we were the biggest pop group in the land. You know that won’t look funny in black and white.’
Withers, who has been largely absent from the music scene over the past three decades, was surprised when he heard the news. ‘I never thought it was some kind of entitlement or something,’ he says. ‘I just never felt that anyone owed me this. It’s something that’s nice that happened. I guess I’ll have to go buy a suit.’

He might even agree to a rare performance on the evening, but at the moment he’s far from sure about that. ‘There are some people that can sing in their later years and some of them that can’t,’ he says. ‘I don’t want to be on of those old guys that sounds like a gerbil trying to give birth to a hippopotamus. I’ve gotta see if I can’t conjure it up.’

Reed was inducted in 1996 as a member of the Velvet Underground, and he will be honored posthumously at the event for his solo work. Vaughan will also be inducted posthumously, though his backing band Double Trouble are also getting in. ‘Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s time together meant a lot to us,’ says the group’s drummer Chris Layton. ‘We treasured the fact that we found that common ground. Through that, with Stevie’s passing, our only hope was that maybe other people would enjoy it as much as we did and would hopefully find some kind of meaning it it for themselves. The induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is sort of evidence of that.’
The annual ceremony often ends with many of the night’s artists jamming together. ‘I’m not putting a band together,’ says Ringo. ‘But if Paul [McCartney] puts one together, I’ll do ‘With A Little Help From My Friends.’

Whether or not that happens, one of Jett’s signature songs would also sum up the evening quite nicely. ‘Playing ‘I Love Rock and Roll’ would be a lot of fun,’ she says. ‘It would speak to what a lot of us have dedicated our lives to, this music called rock & roll. I think it would be appropriate. I’ve always sort of kept that song away, but I think in this instance it would be a perfect instance to whip it out and have people do it.’

Rush to Reissue Classic Early Albums in Hi-Def Audio

Rush‘s first 14 albums are returning to vinyl in 2015 — and they’re getting hi-def audio upgrades too.

Universal Music, the label that currently owns recordings released by the band’s former Mercury imprint, has announced an ambitious, year-long reissue campaign for the band’s classic early records, starting with the Jan. 27 release of 1975′s ‘Fly by Night’ (which follows the 2014 reissue of the group’s self-titled debut) and continuing for the rest of the year. Each album will be released on vinyl with a download code; they’ll also be available in high-resolution Digital Audio editions in DSD (2.8mHz), 192khz / 24-bit, 96kHz / 24-bit.

Three of the albums — ‘Fly by Night,’ 1977′s ‘A Farewell to Kings’ and 1982′s ‘Signals’ — will also be available in Blu-Ray Pure Audio, offering 96kHz / 24-bit 5.1 surround sound and stereo versions. ‘Fly by Night’ is already available for pre-order.

Vintage Vinyl News offers the complete reissue schedule, which the band’s website refers to as ’12 Months of Rush’ and will see at least one album released every month — with two coming in March in July. Check out the full list below, and start saving your disposable income now.

Rush 2015 Reissues
January: ‘Fly by Night’
February: ‘Caress of Steel’
March: ’2112′
March: ‘All the World’s a Stage’
April: ‘A Farewell to Kings’
May: ‘Hemispheres’
June: ‘Permanent Waves’
July: ‘Moving Pictures’
July: ‘Exit … Stage Left’
August: ‘Signals’
September: ‘Grace Under Pressure’
October: ‘Power Windows’
November: ‘Hold Your Fire’
December: ‘A Show of Hands’

AC/DC’s ‘Rock or Bust’ Notches Top 5 Debut on U.S. Album Chart

2008′s ‘Black Ice’ will keep its special status as the only AC/DC album to debut at No. 1 on the U.S. charts — at least for now.
The first-week sales data for the band’s new ‘Rock or Bust‘ LP is coming in, and it looks like they moved roughly 172,000 copies in the States — good for a No. 3 debut on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart, behind Taylor Swift‘s ’1989′ and Pentatonix’s ‘That’s Christmas to Me.’ While nothing to sniff at, those numbers are well below the heights reached by ‘Black Ice,’ both in terms of chart placement as well as raw sales.
Released in October 2008, ‘Black Ice’ sold around 784,000 copies in the U.S. during its first week, which translates to a surprisingly steep drop for ‘Rock or Bust.’ Given the massive amounts of publicity surrounding the new record — including Malcolm Young‘s departure from the lineup due to health problems and Phil Rudd‘s shocking arrest for a list of alleged criminal activities — AC/DC’s label and management are sure to be on a mission to decipher the soft demand for the final product.
One silver lining here is that the band is still No. 1 in its home country: As Noise11 reports, ‘Rock or Bust’ debuted at the top of the charts in Australia. First-week returns from elsewhere in the world indicate that the album also hit No. 1 in Belgium, Canada, Finland, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland.

Metallica’s James Hetfield Discusses Fear and Turning 50 [VIDEO]

James Hetfield has triumphed over band turmoil, changing trends and even fire itself, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t afraid of anything. Take responsibility, for instance.
The Metallica frontman opened up on the subject during a recent interview with Road Recovery (which you can watch above), admitting, ‘I’ve been afraid of responsibility my whole life, not wanting to take responsibility for myself. I remember as a kid in school, there was a summer school for ‘gifted’ kids, which for me was weird already,’ he laughed. ‘Gifted? Yeah.’
Looking back on one particular project, he continued, ‘It was like, ‘You’re gonna make a film. OK, get into groups, then come together with an idea.’ Hetfield remembered that he contributed the lion’s share of the ideas for the project, but froze when it came time to step up. ‘Then they said, ‘Now choose your leader, who’s gonna be leading this group and be responsible for stuff.’ And I shrunk, man. I got scared … I bailed on it. I bailed, because I was afraid of responsibility. Afraid of failure, maybe. Afraid I didn’t know what I was really doing.’
It proved a formative experience; as Hetfield went on to point out, his behavior in that moment informs the way he’s dealt with a lot of things — including managing his sobriety. ‘That’s kind of what it’s like for me in recovery at times,’ he admitted. ‘Afraid to take on the responsibility of sponsees or something, or allowing myself to stand up, you know, and shine in that way.’
While not everyone can understand where Hetfield is coming from in terms of addiction and recovery, pretty much all of us can identify with what he talked about next. ‘Another fear of mine: turning 50. I’m supposed to know everything, sit down there and be a role model. Teach everybody all this stuff,’ he chuckled. ‘When you think you’re a role model, guess what? You’re not. If you’re trying to be a role model, you’re not. Being yourself and the best self you can be? Then maybe you’ll be a role model to someone.’

TRENT REZNOR NOMINATED FOR GOLDEN GLOBE

Trent Reznor and his scoring partner Atticus Ross are nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Score for David Fincher’s Gone Girl. Reznor and Ross have done a few scores together in the past like The Social Network and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Here’s a song from the Gone Girl soundtrack.

SLAYER RESCUES A FREEZING KITTEN

Slayer rules. A venue in Indianapolis posted this on their Facebook saying Slayer had adopted this freezing kitten from a homeless man offering it up for a dollar.

Slayer’s publicist shared this story:

“Last night Kerry [King] and some of the crew went to dinner at Kerry’s favorite steak house in Indy, St. Elmo’s Steak House. Afterwards, the assistant tour manager, Jess [Cortese] saw a homeless man on the street who offered up this little kitten for a dollar. The kitten apparently was freezing so Jess took it, slept with her in her bunk on the bus and went to the venue with her today, hanging out. One of the runners knew someone who wanted a kitten, so the little guy now has a new home where he or she currently is.”

CHECK OUT THIS 160-SONG MEGADETH MEDLEY

This guy does a 20-minute Megadeth medley playing snippets of all Megadeth songs in chronological order. He starts all the way back at Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good and ended with Super Collider. He doesn’t slip up once either. What a badass!