Welcome back to our two-part Halloween special on urban legends in rock! Last time we discussed someone who sold his soul to the devil, and now we’ll be discussing rock you’ve actually heard about. As rock gained traction and began dividing itself into separate genres, performers began using more and more gimmicks to stand out and get attention. Taking it one step further than earlier controversial stars like Elvis Presley, artists in the 1970s pushed the envelope with their names, their public persona, and their music itself.
KISS, whose name was rumored to be an acronym for Knights In Satan’s Service, caught a lot of heat from religious groups for the group’s suggestive lyrics and “demonic” face paint. The hue and cry from conservatives hasn’t hurt them in the slightest. In fact, KISS frontman Gene Simmons has used the band’s enduring popularity to fuel sales for everything from comic books to caskets. For the first issue of Marvel’s KISS comic books, the band members poured vials of their blood into the vats of red ink for printing – an act which was witnessed and signed by a notary public to ensure authenticity.
That issue still sells to collectors for around $400 depending on condition. Whether or not it’s worth it depends entirely on you! But if you’re a vampire, maybe look into a blood drive to get your fix or something.
Speaking of someone who’s probably swallowed more blood than the average person… When I say Ozzy Osbourne, what's the first thing you think of? Bats? Crazy Train? Maybe that time he wandered around the Alamo in Sharon’s dress?
He did bite the head off a bat after a fan threw the poor thing on the stage, but the bat bit back, and he had to be treated for rabies. Which is a shame, because foaming at the mouth would probably be the coolest stage trick ever. But almost a year before that, at a sales event for Columbia Records, Ozzy was supposed to release two doves as a peace offering.
Now, remember, this was back before Ozzy was a lovable mumbling TV Dad. This was full on Prince of Darkness Ozzy, fresh from being kicked out of Black Sabbath. So when a label employee was bothering him, Ozzy grabbed the doves, bit their heads off, and spat them at her. One after another. Just keeping up with The Osbournes, right? Yeah, not so much. This momentary lapse in judgment got him kicked out of the party – which was probably his goal the entire time.
We could write a book on urban legends in heavy metal alone (and we wouldn’t be the first), but we hope you've enjoyed the few here! Did we miss your favorite? Leave a comment and let us know!
Written by Ashton
Week two of Ticket Galaxy’s Throwback Thursday: First Concert series brings us Ashton and her first concert memories.
"My mom got tickets for 3 Doors Down (my favorite band) for me and my two best friends when we were 14. She realized when we got there that she had gotten pit tickets for three teenage girls and immediately made us stand at the very back so we didn’t get hurt. She spent the whole night in front of us like a bodyguard -- it was so embarrassing!” – Ashton
Check out "Here Without You" by 3 Doors Down below!
Written by Kristen
Since its inception, rock and roll has been the subject of rumors, misinformation, and propaganda ranging from the plausible (Stevie Nicks practices Wicca!) to the bizarre (Ozzy Osbourne is the actual Devil). With Halloween almost upon us, what better time to shine a flashlight under your chin and talk about some of the urban legends of rock? This is part one of a two part series about urban legends in the world of rock. And, like all good ghostbusters, we’ll be looking to see if there’s any truth to them at all.
One of the lasting stories about music is selling your soul to the devil to play well. Whether "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" or up to Boston, the pact remains the same: you'll be a famous, talented musician, and the devil will take you after so many years' time. This legend got started before rock and roll was even dreamt of, trickling down from the story of Faust, to virtuoso violinist Niccoló Paganini, and to Robert Johnson, one of the earliest cautionary tales of rock.
Robert Johnson was born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi in 1911, and started picking up instruments at an early age, although according to musicians who knew him, he was hopeless at the guitar. Desperate for greatness, he either summoned the Devil at the crossroads to give his soul in exchange for talent, or conjured him up in a graveyard. Either way, the stories differ about what happened next, but the result is the same.
Whether or not Satan took his guitar and tuned it for him before giving it back, made a more traditional contract with the young man, or Robert simply began to see the payoff from all of his practice, he became an incredibly talented musician. Part of his demonic benefits package included the clause that any woman who heard him play would desire him, no matter how virtuous she was or who she was married to.
While this was a great idea in theory, he should have pushed for some health insurance too. In 1938, he was flirting with a woman at a party when her jealous spouse gave him a poisoned bottle of whiskey. It’s not confirmed whether or not the woman heard him play, but it seems like her husband wasn’t taking any chances. Johnson died several days later at the young age of 27 (making him one of the earlier members of the 27 Club) and was buried in a mass grave for the poor. The tales about Johnson’s bargain grew taller in the decades after his death, and even now, almost eighty years after his demise, it’s still discussed in rock folklore.
Want to know more? Check out Crossroads: The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson by Tom Graves, Steve LaVere.
This concludes Part One! Let us know what you think in the comments, and come back next time for the thrilling conclusion!
Written by Ashton
Former Pink Floyd vocalist/bassist Roger Waters has announced a massive 43-date North American tour, kicking off May 26th at the Spirit Center in Kansas City, MO and concluding October 28th at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC.
In a press release, Waters stated that the content of the tour is “very secret,” but did add that it will include both older Pink Floyd material and new solo tracks:
“It’ll be a mixture of stuff from my long career, stuff from my years with Pink Floyd, some new things. Probably 75% of it will be old material and 25% will be new, but it will all be connected by a general theme. It will be a cool show. I promise you: It’ll be spectacular like all my shows have been.”
Waters is currently in the studio working on a new studio album with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. It will be his first solo outing since 1992’s Amused to Death.
Roger Waters on Tour:
5/26-Kansas City, MO @ Spirit Center
5/28-Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! Center
5/30-St. Louis, MO @ Scottrade Center
6/01-Tulsa, OK @ BOK Center
6/03-Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
6/07-San Jose, CA @ SAP Center at San Jose
6/12-Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 Center
6/14-Phoenix, AZ @ Gila River Arena
6/16-Las Vegas, NV @ T-Mobile Arena
6/20-Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center
6/21-Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center
6/24-Seattle, WA @ Tacoma Dome
7/03-Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
7/06-Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
7/11- Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena
7/13-Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena
7/16-Atlanta, GA @ Infinite Energy Arena
7/18-Greensboro, NC @ Greensboro Coliseum
7/20-Columbus, OH @ Nationwide Arena
7/22- Chicago, IL @ United Center
7/23- Chicago, IL @ United Center
7/26- St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
8/02-Detroit, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills
8/04-Washinton, DC @ Verizon Center
8/08-Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
8/09-Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
9/07-Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
9/11-Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
9/12-Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
9/15-Uniondale, NY @ The New Coliseum
9/16-Uniondale, NY @ The New Coliseum
9/19-Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena
9/27-Boston, MA @ TD Garden
9/28-Boston, MA @ TD Garden
10/02-Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
10/03-Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
10/06-Quebec City, QC @ Videotron Centre
10/10-Ottawa, ON @ Canadian Tire Centre
10/16-Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
10/17-Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
10/24-Edmonton, AB @ Rogers Place
10/28-Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena
Written by Eugene
Here at Ticket Galaxy, we're fans first and we enjoy going to live events just like you! Starting today and continuing over the next few weeks we’re throwing it back to Ticket Galaxy team member’s first concerts. We’re going to share stories and maybe a video or two to really let that nostalgia kick in. First up, is me!
“Tell me what you want, what you really, really, want” and I’ll tell you my first concert was the Spice Girls in 1998. Little 9 year old me was more than obsessed with the girl group and all of the “girl power” they brought with them. I had pigtails in my hair, my Spiceworld t-shirt on and it was perfect. Well, almost. This concert took place after Geri Hallowell, aka Ginger Spice, left the group so instead of five Spice Girls, there were only four. But everything comes full circle because as a freshmen in college, I got to see all five Spice Girls on the stage together as part of their reunion tour in 2008. And that was what I really, really, wanted.
Let's head back to 1998 and watch the Spice Girl's "Wannabe" video!
Written by Kristen
The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations were announced this morning by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame CEO, Joel Perseman and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt.
This year’s list includes an interesting mix from Janet Jackson to Kraftwerk to YES. Bands and artists are eligible to be nominated 25 years after the release of their first single or album. First time nominees include Pearl Jam, Journey and Tupac Shakur. Disco legends, Chic have been nominated for the 11th time.
The voting process will again include a “fan’s ballot” that will be comprised of the top five artists that receive the most votes from fans that go to www.rockhall.com/vote. Voting is already open and will remain until December 6th. This ballot plus the ballot of over 800 members of the music industry (including every living inductee) will be submitted and tallied with the induction ceremony set for April 2017 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The full list of nominees:
Electric Light Orchestra
J. Geils Band
Who do you think should get into the elite class of music? Tell us in the comment section.
Written by Kristen
Former Beach Boy Brian Wilson has expanded his Pet Sounds tour until 2017.
Wilson has added 37 new dates, starting on March 27th at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, FL and concluding at the Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara, CA. The tour, which is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Beach Boys’ iconic album, Pet Sounds, will see Wilson playing that album in full alongside former Beach Boys members Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin. Wilson will also play various other Beach Boys cuts and selections from his solo career.
Wilson has recently released a book, I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir, to coincide with the trek and plans on entering the studio in December to record a new studio album, the working title of which is Sensitive Music for Sensitive People.
Brian Wilson Tour Dates:
3/27 – Orlando, FL - Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
3/29 – New Orleans, LA – Saenger Theater
3/31- Durant, OK – Choctaw Casino
4/01- Mayetta, KS – Prairie Band Casino
4/02- Park City, KS – Hartman Arena
4/04- Fort Collins, CO – Lincoln Center
4/06- Boise, ID- BSU-Morrison Center for the Performing Arts
4/09- Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre
4/12- Edmonton, CA- Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
4/13- Calgary, CA- Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
4/15- Winnipeg, CA- Burton Cummings Theatre for the Performing Arts
4/17- Sioux City, IA – Orpheum Theatre
4/18- Des Moines, IA- Civic Center
4/19- Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater
4/21- Columbus, OH – Palace Theatre of Columbus
4/22- Northfield, OH – Hard Rock Live
4/23- Indianapolis, IN- Murat Theatre at Old National Centre
4/25 – Hershey, PA – Hershey Theatre
4/26- Albany, NY – Palace Theatre
4/28- Newark, NJ – New Jersey P.A.C.
4/29 – Boston, MA- Lynn Auditorium
4/30- Worcester, MA- Hanover Theatre
5/02- Wilkes Barre, PA –FM Kirby Center
5/03- Washington, DC- Lincoln Theatre
5/06- Knoxville, TN-Tennessee Theatre
5/07- Chattanooga, TN-Tivoli Theatre
5/09- Birmingham, AL- BJCC Concert Hall
5/12- Houston, TX- Revention Music Center
5/13- Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theater
5/16- Tulsa, OK – Brady Theatre
5/18- Albuquerque, NM – Kiva Auditorium
5/19- Tucson, AZ- Centennial Hall
5/20- Laughlin, NV- Harrah’s Laughlin
5/22- Phoenix, AZ- Celebrity Theatre
5/24- San Diego, CA-San Diego Civic Theatre
5/26- Los Angeles, CA- Pantages Theatre
5/28- Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Bowl
Written by Eugene
Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids hit Netflix on October 12th. The film, directed by Jonathan Demme and produced by Gary Goetman, takes us back to the final date of the 20/20 Experience World Tour at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Dressed impeccably in a tux, hair coiffed and a look in his eyes that says ‘let’s do this’, Justin Timberlake commands the stage, and the camera. Between his smoother than butter dance moves and his instantly recognizable croon, JT appears to be at the top of his game as he floats effortlessly on stage, which includes a catwalk that brings him to the back of the arena to visit fans not lucky enough to be front and center.
The docu-film starts by introducing the audience to the band members and back-up dancers, giving each player camera time to state what they do and where they are from. The film then jumps to moments before Justin and the Tennessee Kids take the stage as they pump each other up and say a prayer as a group. Since this is their 134th and final time, Justin makes a point of telling them all to “enjoy it, squeeze every drop of juice out of it”. There are shots of Justin waiting under the stage as the 20 second countdown begins and the crowd roars.
The 20/20 Experience World Tour was a colossal show, and easily lends itself to a theatrical experience rather than simply a concert which makes it a great fit for a docu-film. While on tour, Justin Timberlake performed for 3 hours with a 30 song set list. So it comes as no surprise that the films cuts some numbers, though one of those numbers is Justin’s hit “Cry Me a River”. The show is chock-full of dancing and Timberlake is, dare we say “N Sync” with his back-up dancers on every step. The 20/20 Experience World Tour is extremely visually stimulating as JT is accompanied by a laser light show that plays well on camera for those viewing at home.
The film gives plenty of camera time to the Tennessee Kids and also provides great shots of the crowd, panning to them as they light up the arena with their cell phones during the slow-jam “Until the End of Time”.
Timberlake does not miss a beat or show any signs of exhaustion as he performs mega-hit and show closer “SexyBack” and then “Mirrors” as his encore. The mega-star took small breaks from dancing to play the piano and guitar that only further illustrate his range as a performer. The 20/20 Experience World Tour was the biggest selling tour for a solo-artist in 2014 but Timberlake still appears sheepish and almost surprised that the crowd of 17,000 is more than happy to sing to him every time Justin turns the mic their way.
If you could not catch Justin Timberlake live as he traveled for The 20/20 Experience World Tour then be sure to catch the film as it is streaming only on Netflix. Check out the chill-inducing trailer below!
Written by Kristen
New Jersey rock band Bon Jovi has announced a North American tour in support of their forthcoming album, This House is Not for Sale.
The tour starts on February 8th at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina and concludes March 22nd at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. This will be Bon Jovi’s first United States run since 2013’s “Because We Can” tour.
This House is Not for Sale is due November 4th via Island Records. The new album, Bon Jovi’s thirteenth, will be their first without longtime lead guitarist Richie Sambora, who left the band in 2013.
Bon Jovi on Tour:
2/08-Greenville, SC @ Bon Secours Wellness Arena
2/10-Atlanta, GA @ Phillips Arena
2/12-Sunrise, FL @ BB&T Center
2/14-Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena
2/16-Birmingham, AL @ Legacy Arena at The BJCC
2/18-Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
2/19-St. Louis, MO @ Scottrade Center
2/21-Oklahoma City, OK @ Chesapeake Energy Arena
2/23-Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
2/25-Las Vegas, NV @ T-Mobile Arena
2/28-Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 Center
3/01- San Jose, CA @ SAP Center
3/04-Phoenix, AZ @ Talking Stick Resort Arena
3/05-San Diego, CA @ Viejas Arena
3/08-Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum
3/14-Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
3/16-Memphis, TN @ FedEx Forum
3/18-Columbus, OH @ Nationwide Arena
3/19-Cleveland, OH @ Quicken Loans Arena
3/22-Indianapolis, IN @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Written by Eugene
The Backstreet Boys have announced their “Larger Than Life” 18-date Las Vegas residency will begin in March 2017, splitting dates in June and ending on July 1st. Fans can expect to hear the songs they grew up on, like “Everybody”, “I Want it That Way” and the their show’s title song, “Larger Than Life”. Billboard quotes Brian Littrell as saying, “If you’ve ever been to a Backstreet Boys show… it’s going to be that on steroids".
The Backstreet Boys join a slew of pop stars who have set up shop on the Vegas strip. Beginning in 2013, Britney Spears has performed her residency “Piece of Me” 50 times per year with dates currently scheduled through May 2017. When Spears took her show to Vegas, it brought in a different audience than previous Las Vegas performers such as Celine Dion, Shania Twain, and Rod Stewart. Britney’s legions of millennial fans go to see her in droves. Spears’ number one hits include, “(Hit Me Baby) One More Time”, “Toxic” and “Womanizer” that all topped the charts from 1999 to 2009.
Since Britney, other contemporary pop acts have hit the strip. Mariah Carey’s “#1 to Infinity” inside the Colosseum at Caesars’ Palace began in May 2015 with dates periodically thoughout the past two years and is scheduled to conclude in May 2017. Jennifer Lopez’s “All I Have” opened in January 2016, sharing The AXIS inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino with Britney, and has broken the record for highest-grossing show when Lopez’s August 13, 2016 performance earned over $1 million in revenue. The AXIS is also where the Backstreet Boys will call home next year.
Other shows to see in Las Vegas are Olivia Newton-John, Donny & Marie Osmond, and Lionel Richie.
Written by Kristen
The Launchpad Blog is written and made possible by our team members at Ticket Galaxy. Each contributing writer shares their passion for the sports, music and entertainment industry.
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