By Agence France-Presse LOS ANGELES -- Lynyrd Skynyrd pianist Billy Powell, one of the longest-serving members of the 1970s supergroup, has died aged 56, the band announced on its website Wednesday. Powell, a survivor of the 1977 plane crash in Mississippi that claimed the lives of six people including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, died on Tuesday, the statement said without giving further details. "Beloved pianist for the Lynyrd Skynyrd Band, Billy Powell, passed away last night," the statement said. "The family and band request your respect and understanding during this difficult time. Thank you." According to celebrity news website TMZ.com, Powell died in the southeastern state of Florida. The Texas-born Powell worked as a roadie for Skynyrd during the group's early years before his keyboard skills were noticed by Van Zant during preparations for a concert. He appeared on the band's debut album and was part of the group's meteoric success through the next four years, a period which saw them produce classic rock anthems including "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird." Powell was seriously injured in the 1977 plane crash that decimated the group, killing Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines. Powell rejoined the group in 1987 for a tribute tour.
January 2009 Archives
A veritable smorgasbord of today’s hottest and up and coming Pinoy Rock Bands will be gathered together for one night only at the UP Diliman Sunken Garden--all for the price of 80 pesos only. “ROCKULTURA 2009” will showcase 40 of the best Pinoy Rock Bands from the wildly popular to the up and coming. Popular bands such as Sandwich, Pupil, Cambio, UrbanDud, 6cyclemind, Itchyworms and Slapshock are slated to perform together with up and coming bands such as Nyctinasty, Kelevra, and Urduja. According to the event organizers, the UP EMC2 Fraternity, “there has never been a better time than now to celebrate Pinoy Rock in one night. You can pass by to see one of the more popular bands today, or, if you are in an experimental mood and are looking for something different, there are also indie bands that will be performing.” Sounds good to me. “ROCKULTURA 2009” will be held this February 10, 2009, Tuesday at the UP Sunken Garden, as part of the traditional week-long UP Fair Activities. Gates open at 6 p.m. (Clarence Yu)
WHO says students and teachers cannot jam together? In fact, some have decided to form a band. Known as Jeez!, this band was formerly called “The Faculty of JLDDG.” It is composed of Reagan Maiquez, Giselle Hernandez, and Nicolo Masakayan --instructors from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), Paul Fonte, an alumnus of UPLB and Kit Manlangit, a UPLB Civil Engineering student. Maiquez started the band in September 2007 with Hernandez, Masakayan and Manlangit after being inspired by the song “Pero,” which Hernandez sang for him. “Pero,” which Maiquez wrote, immediately became the band’s first song. Every Friday, the band plays at Baan Thai, a Thai restaurant in Los Baños. But their performance during First Philo Night, a culminating class activity of Philosophy students in the university on September 20, 2007 was what they considered their first gig. After a year, the band was renamed Jeez! It was also in 2008 that Fonte joined the band who played the bass. Manlangit took the drums, Masakayan the lead guitar, Hernandez the vocals and Maiquez the other guitar. Maiquez, however, left the band this year. Hernandez and Masakayan says the Beatles and the Eraserheads inspire their music. This year, Jeez! is planning to cut an album under the tentative title, “Love, flirt with me, please.” The album will include seven songs: Pero, Takbo, Finally (Chinese Noodle Soup), Meatless Diet, Love is Evol, Idlip and Love Rains. Most of their songs tackle the different perspectives and stages of love, according to Fonte.
Marjorie Gorospe INQUIRER.net MARK this date, March 7, 2009. This is the date for the much-awaited second reunion concert of the Eraserheads --perhaps one of the most successful and revolutionary band in the history of original Pinoy music. According to the former members of the local rock band, the concert is tentatively named "Final Set" since it is considered to be a continuation of last year’s reunion concert, which was cut short when frontman Ely Buendia was rushed to the hospital, allowing the band to finish half of their intended set. But during Monday’s press conference, the former members stressed that the scheduled concert will be "different." “If I were to choose, I will call the concert group hug,” Buddy Zabala jokingly said, as he recalled how people were repeatedly chanting “group hug” during last year's concert. “I didn’t really hear it clearly at first but I guess it is because we’re so apart from each other on stage. It just so happen that the stage was so big for us,” Zabala added. Meanwhile, Buendia assured he is ready for the upcoming concert and promised that this time around, they would finish it. “My doctors will be on stand-by but I hope nothing bad will happen and we just want to finish the concert this time,” Buendia said. During Eraserheads press conference, the former members of the band were informed that they have Indian fans who loved their music. “Tell them, the feeling is mutual,” said Buendia with a big smile. For the older fans, however, the Eraserheads music has become timeless classics. According to guitarist Marcus Adoro, their music has stayed this way because of their “masa” appeal. Asked what they were feelng now that they will be together again for the second time, current Sandwich frontman and former E-heads drummer Raimund Marasigan said,“We’re excited to sing with the crowd once again and we promise to give them new renditions of [our songs].” The former E-heads members are planning to start rehearsing soon. There are still no specific details on how many songs will be played, and which of their remarkable songs will be included in this second reunion concert. But Zabala said they would likely sing more than 20 songs. MTV Philippines and Smart Communications will be supporting this concert, which is set on March 7, 2009 at SM Mall of Asia concert grounds.
WATCH INQUIRER.net assistant editor Erika Tapalla's interview with Filipino indie band Menaya for Soundtrip. Formed in 2005, Menaya makes a comeback with its second album after a three-year hiatus, Video taken by INQUIRER.net production specialist Rastle Lozano.
By Agence France-Presse CHICAGO -- Punk rock pioneer Ron Asheton, the guitarist for the Stooges, was found dead Tuesday in his Michigan home, police said. He was 60. Asheton was found on his living room couch after a friend who had not heard from him for several days asked police to check on him. It appeared as though he had been dead for several days and foul play is not suspected, said Ann Arbor police lieutenant Angella Abrams. "I am in shock. He was my best friend," Stooges lead singer Iggy Pop said in a statement on his website. Iggy Pop and his band members -- including Asheton's brother Scott -- remembered the guitarist as an "irreplaceable" friend, brother and musician. "For all that knew him behind the façade of Mr Cool & Quirky, he was a kind-hearted, genuine, warm person who always believed that people meant well even if they did not," they said in the statement. "As a musician Ron was The Guitar God, idol to follow and inspire others. That is how he will be remembered by people who had a great pleasure to work with him, learn from him and share good and bad times with him." Asheton was named number 29 among Rolling Stone's Top 100 Guitarists of All Time and the magazine credited him for writing "some of rock's most memorable riffs" including "No Fun," "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and "TV Eye." He formed the Stooges with Iggy Pop, bassist Dave Alexander and his brother Scott on drums in 1967 in Detroit. The band was known for its wild performances and helped kickstart the punk rock revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s. They released two albums -- "The Stooges" and "Fun House" -- before Asheton took over on bass guitar in 1973 for "Raw Power." Asheton went on to play with a number of different bands after the Stooges split in 1974, including Destroy All Monsters, New Race, Dark Carnival and the Powertrane. The Stooges reformed in 2003, playing several shows together and releasing a new album "The Weirdness" in 2007.