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Robert Trujillo Reforms His Pre-Metallica Band Mass Mental? for Two Summer Shows

Image Courtesy Chris M. JuniorWhen Jason Newsted was still Metallica‘s bassist, he tried to get his Echobrain side project off the ground, but it was reportedly frowned upon by frontman James Hetfield.

There appears to be more freedom these days within the Metallica camp to pursue outside interests, as current bassist Robert Trujillo will be reviving his band Mass Mental? later this summer for two concerts.

Tickets for the first Mass Mental? show, taking place August 26 at the Whisky a Go Go in West Hollywood, California, are on sale now through TicketWeb.com.

The other concert is set for September 6 in Markneukirchen, Germany, as part of Warwick Open Day 2014.

Mass Mental? began as a Trujillo side project in the late 1990s, when he was still a member of Suicidal Tendencies. He became Metallica’s bassist after Newsted departed in 2001.


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Listen to Song from Eric Clapton’s Upcoming JJ Cale Tribute Album, “The Breeze,” Online Now

Bushbranch Records/Surfdog RecordsEric Clapton‘s star-studded JJ Cale tribute album The Breeze won’t be released until this Tuesday, but you can preview a couple of tracks from the collection now at different locations on the Internet.

GuitarWorld.com is hosting the exclusive premiere of “Train to Nowhere,” which features contributions from ex-Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler and longtime Cale bandmate Don White. The song is one that Cale, who died in July 2013 at the age of 74, had never recorded.

Billboard.com, meanwhile, is streaming “Don’t Wait,” which sees Clapton teaming up with John Mayer.

The album, whose full title is Eric Clapton & Friends: The Breeze, An Appreciation of JJ Cale, boasts renditions of 16 Cale compositions, and also features such other acclaimed music artists as Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, Derek Trucks, David Lindley and Albert Lee.

Cale was a longtime friend of and musical influence on Eric. He’s probably best known for writing the Clapton hits “After Midnight” and “Cocaine,” and he also teamed up with Slowhand for the 2006 collaborative album, The Road to Escondido.

Meanwhile, Clapton tells Billboard that he’s planning to record a number of additional unreleased and/or unfinished songs by JJ for inclusion on his own upcoming projects.

“I have to finish them. It would be wrong not to bring them to a finished point,” notes Eric. “So that’s the next thing. I’ve got time booked to finish those tracks and mix them, and then with [his widow] Christine‘s permission and [his manager Mike Kappus'] permission I’ll put them on albums…I’ll just include them in any other things I carry on doing.”


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Bob Geldof’s Daughter Died of Heroin Overdose, Inquest Rules

Alex Huckle/GC ImagesThe surprise death in April of Bob Geldof’s daughter, 25-year-old British TV presenter, model and journalist Peaches Geldof, was caused by a heroin overdose, a coroner has ruled.

According to the BBC, the inquest into Geldof’s death turned up extremely pure heroin in a bag inside her house, as well as syringes, burnt spoons, and a pair of knotted pantyhose — all evidence of drug use. A syringe was also found in a box next Geldof’s bed. The level of heroin in her body was in a “fatal range,” according to the pathologist, while puncture wounds were found on her elbows, wrists and thumbs. Codeine, methadone and morphine were also found in her body.

The BBC reports that the married mother of two had formerly been a heroin addict and had taken methadone, a heroin substitute, for two-and-a-half years prior to her death. Her husband, Tom Cohen, said that Peaches had started using heroin again in February, and had lied to him when she told him that she’d passed drug tests every week.

Peaches Geldof’s mother, TV personality Paula Yates and ex-wife of Bob Geldof, died of a heroin overdose at the age of 41, when Peaches was 11.


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2014 Rock’n'Blues Fest Tour to Continue in Homage to the Late Johnny Winter

Image Courtesy of Johnny WinterBefore his sudden death on July 16 while on tour in Zurich, Switzerland, blues guitar legend Johnny Winter had been scheduled to hit the road next week with his brother Edgar and other stars for a new edition of the annual Rock’n'Blues Fest tour. Now, Edgar Winter has announced that the trek will go ahead as planned, as a tribute to Johnny.

The third annual edition of the outing features a total of 12 dates, running from a July 31 show in Clarkston, Michigan, through an August 24 concert in Snoqualmie, Washington. The other acts on the Rock’n'Blues Fest — A Tribute to Johnny Winter tour lineup are Vanilla Fudge, ex-Rare Earth singer Peter Rivera and Savoy Brown‘s Kim Simmonds. In addition, Rick Derringer, who’s famously collaborated with both Johnny and Edgar Winter over the years, will be a special guest at the last two shows of the trek — August 23 in Las Vegas and the aforementioned Snoqualmie gig.

Fans who attend this year’s Rock’n'Blues Fest shows can expect the acts to perform a variety of songs that Johnny used to play, including such classics as “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo,” “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” and “Johnny B. Goode.”

Here is the full itinerary of the 2014 Rock’n'Blues Fest trek:

7/31 — Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre
8/1 — Westbury, NY, Theatre at Westbury
8/2 — Rockland, ME, Harbor Park
8/8 — Englewood, NJ, Bergen Performing Arts Center
8/10 — Waukegan, IL, Genesee Theatre
8/13 — Melbourne, FL, King Center for the Performing Arts
8/14 — Jacksonville, FL, Florida Theatre
8/15 — Fort Lauderdale, FL, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
8/16 — Clearwater, FL, Ruth Eckerd Hall
8/22 — Anaheim, CA, City National Civic of Anaheim
8/23 — Las Vegas, NV, The Cannery
8/24 — Snoqualmie, WA, Snoqualmie Casino


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Krist Novoselic Defends Eddie Vedder, Echoes Anti-War Sentiments

Image Courtesy of Jeffrey R. Staab/CBSKrist Novoselic has come to Eddie Vedder‘s defense after the Pearl Jam singer’s recent anti-war comments stirred up some controversy.

In a post on his official website, the former Nirvana bassist weighed in on the situation, writing, “Eddie has gotten some criticism over comments he made about the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis. That situation has been messed up for so long, it is no wonder that even mentioning it is toxic.”

Later in the post, Novoselic writes, “The people of Palestine and Israel deserve peace and prosperity…It is the knuckleheads on both sides that should be criticized and not the singer from a rock band. In addition, both sides need to make hard decisions about finding a settlement to the catastrophe that is Israel/ Palestine. Thanks Eddie, for sharing your feelings. I stand with you my friend!!!”

Vedder was first criticized for ranting onstage about war in general, because many interpreted his comments as being specifically about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. He then clarified his comments in an anti-war essay, posted on Pearl Jam’s website.

He wrote, “War hurts. It hurts no matter which sides the bombs are falling on. With all the global achievements in modern technology…do we really have to resign ourselves to the devastating reality that conflict will be resolved with bombs, murder and acts of barbarism?…We must be capable of resolving conflicts without bloodshed.” Vedder also insisted that he was optimistic about the chance that one day there will be peace.


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