A lot of old-school music icons have made headlines lately: the death of Ike Turner, the collapse of Liza Minnelli, the house-flooding of Eddie Van Halen, the autopsy of Kevin DuBrow...and of course, the just-announced nominations for the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. All important stories, indeed, and we'll get to them in a minute. Because first we need to focus on one group of hall-of-famers who flat-out dominated the news this week: The Village People. JUST KIDDING!!! We merely wanted to see if you were paying attention. C'mon, it's obvious who we're talking about: LED FRICKIN' ZEPPELIN!
Yes, Page, Plant, Jones, and Bonham got the Led out on December 10, at a comeback concert that made all of the other reunions of 2007--the Police, Van Halen, Spice Girls, Smashing Pumpkins, Genesis--seem like that anti-climactic time when Kajagoogoo got back together on VH1's Bands Reunited. This gig to end all gigs was attended by 20,000 people from 50 different countries--including famous folks like Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Kate Moss, Pink, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, Marilyn Manson, Liam Gallagher of Oasis, Brian May of Queen, Lisa Marie and Priscilla Presley, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, Juliette Lewis...and last but not least, Naomi Campbell, whose cell phone was apparently stolen from her purse during the concert. (Given the supermodel's tendencies to use phones as weapons of mass destruction, maybe a security guard simply swiped her Blackberry to ensure the safety of Naomi's fellow concertgoers--but the culprit is still at large right now.) Anyhoo, it turned out that the song really did remain the same, since by all accounts Led Zeppelin were as fantastic as they were back in their '70s dancing days.
And Zep had barely finished their encore of "Rock 'N' Roll" when speculation began to run rampant regarding whether or not it'd be a long time since they'd rock 'n' roll again--specifically, regarding whether or not a full Zeppelin tour would follow in 2008. Rumors of Bonnaroo headlining slots and stints at London's Wembley Arena refuse to go away at the moment, but all we can say is if a full-fledged Zeppelin tour takes flight, it ain't gonna happen in May '08, because that's when Robert Plant's going on tour with Alison Krauss. Dang. Why couldn't have Plant just toured with Krauss during the downtime when Jimmy Page was nursing his broken finger?
All right, while we await confirmation that the Led Zep reunion was not a one-night-only affair, let's turn our attention to other stuff that happened this week. As we mentioned earlier, the nominees were recently annouced for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and there were a few surprises. Of course, people back in 1984 would've probably been surprised to learn Madonna was destined to get inducted--after all, back when she was rolling around on the floor in her underwear-as-outerwear, she hardly seemed like an artist with staying power. But over the past two decades Madge has come a long way, baby, and we say she definitely deserves this honor. As do her fellow nominees: folk legend Leonard Cohen, heartland rocker John Mellencamp, British Invasion vets the Dave Clark Five, and surf stars the Ventures.
Anyway, the REAL surprises are who didn't make the Rock Hall cut this year: Donna Summer, Chic, Afrika Bambaataa, and the Beastie Boys. Apparently the Rock Hall judges aren't big fans of disco or rap! And they probably also don't dig goth, garage punk, or techno, either, because influential, genre-defining acts like the Cure, the Stooges, and Kraftwerk didn't even make the shortlist of potential 2008 nominees. All we can say about this is...LAME! At this rate it seems like Kajagoogoo will get in before some more worthy contenders make it through.
And finally, on the subject of Rock Hall Of Fame inductees, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that Ike Turner--who entered the Rock Hall in 1991 with his ex-wife, Tina--died this week at age 76. But we don't know how much more we want to say after that. Yes, the man was a music pioneer (his "Rocket 88" is often cited as the first rock 'n' roll recording). But he was also a known wife-beater, if we are to believe Tina's account of their troubled 16-year marriage and/or the harrowing biopic What's Love Got To Do With It?...so to be honest, we have slightly mixed feelings about this latest celebrity death. Therefore we will take Tina Turner's high-road approach. (Her spokeswoman merely said: "Tina is aware that Ike passed away earlier today. She has not had any contact with him in 35 years. No further comment will be made.") Let's just allow Ike's six decades of music-making and ground-breaking to speak for itself.
All right, that's it for this week...but do come back next Friday for more amusing, confusing, and/or downright excitement-oozing music news.
THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 STORIES:
1) Led Zeppelin Flies Again - The rock 'n' roll reunion of 2007 takes place in London.
2) You Want Fame? Well, Fame Costs - The Rock Hall Of Fame nominees are announced...with some surprising snubs.
3) Ike Turner Dies - The controversial rock legend passes away. Tina Turner has no comment.
4) Liza With A Zzzzz - Liza Minnelli collapses onstage.
5) Britney's Courtroom Blackout - Ms. Spears fails to show for her custody-battle deposition.
6) Love, Janis - Janis Winehouse, aka Amy's mother, writes an open letter to the tabloids.
7) Running Water With The Devil - A burst pipe in Eddie Van Halen's home triggers a mudslide.
8) Kevin DuBrow's Metal Health Report Released - Turns out the Quiet Riot singer died of a cocaine overdose.
9) Shut Up And Rest - Doctors advise an exhausted Rihanna to cancel her U.K. shows.
10) Scott Stapp Not Going To His Own Prison - The former Creed singer is cleared on domestic battery charges.