Darrell P. Finley
Kris R. Finley
(writer, assistant to the editor)
Meri Ballou
(writer, contributing editor)

Judas Priest Guitarist diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease:

    Ten years ago Glenn was diagnosed to have the onset of the early stages of Parkinson’s - from then until recently Glenn has lived his life as the great heavy metal guitar player he has always been, maintaining by his own definition a standard of quality and performance that is incredibly important.
    Right now Glenn is able to play and perform some of the Priest songs that are less challenging but due to the nature of Parkinson's progression he wants to let you all know that he won't be touring as such -   True to the metal spirit of 'the show must go on' Glenn has requested Andy Sneap (Sabbat, Hell) to fly the flag on stage for him.

    “I want everyone to know that it’s vital that the Judas Priest tour go ahead and that I am not leaving the band - it’s simply that my role has changed.  I don’t rule out the chance to go on stage as and when I feel able to blast out some Priest!  So at some point in the not too distant future I’m really looking forward to seeing all of our wonderful metal maniacs once again.” 
Rob, Richie, Ian and Scott have this to say: 
We have been privileged to witness Glenn’s determination and steadfast commitment over the years, showing his passion and self belief through the writing, recording and performing sessions with Priest - he is a true metal hero!    We are not surprised by Glenn’s insistence that we complete the Firepower tour and thank Andy for joining us to make Glenn’s wishes become real - as Glenn has said we also can’t wait to have him with us at any time any place on the road....
We love you Glenn!

The staff at Blast Magazine along with their families would like to extend their hearts to Glenn, and his family.  Along with Rob, Ritchie Ian and Scott the members of Judas Priest.




Pat Torpey founding member of Mr. Big Passes away:

Editor’s note: It saddens me to report this news:  The staff and families of Blast Magazine hearts go out to the Torpey and his bandmates.
    Pat Torpey, drummer and founding member of MR. BIG, passed away Wednesday, February 7 at the age of 64 from complications of Parkinson's disease. His family, bandmates and management request privacy at this very difficult time. Services are pending.


MR. BIG bassist Billy Sheehan said: "Pat Torpey has been my closest friend in music for over 30 years. He passed away yesterday from complications as a result of Parkinson's disease.

"Pat was one of the finest human beings I've ever had the privilege of knowing, and the honor of working with. All of us in MR. BIG had nothing but the highest respect and admiration for him. He is loved by anyone and everyone who ever met him. And surely one of the finest rock drummers the world has ever known.
"Please keep his sweet wife and wonderful son in your prayers."
"I love you, Pat. You made the world a better place. We will miss you. We will never forget you. Rest in peace, my brother."
Former MR. BIG guitarist Richie Kotzen stated: "So saddened to learn of the passing of my friend and former bandmate Pat Torpey. We spent years touring the world, making music, family holiday gatherings, and even remodeled a house together. Pat's sense of humor, wit, and smile lit up any room the moment he walked in.
"I am grateful and thankful to have had you as an incredibly important friend and influence in my life. You will be missed beyond words. With love and tears... Rest in peace, my friend."

    MR. BIG vocalist Eric Martin called Torpey "the strongest guy I know" in an interview with Total Rock last December. "He's such a strong personality, very smart, great rock n' roll drummer, and [Parkinson's disease] has taken apart his nervous system," he said. "Once in a while, he'll play a few songs with us. Our last tour, he played half the songs, and Matt [Starr] played the other half. On [the most recent European] tour, Matt plays the full drum kit, and then we call it a cocktail kit, but it's a percussive kit, and he's to the left of Matt and plays all the percussion and sings all the stuff. Spiritually, [Pat is] our driving force behind the band. Every time he goes, 'Oh, man, I don't know if I can do this,' I don't know about the rest of the guys, [but] if he bows out, I'm going to bow out with him."
In a 2017 interview with Rock Rebel magazine, Sheehan spoke about Torpey's battle with Parkinson's disease. He said: "Pat, unfortunately, ran into a bad situation, and as a band, we wanted to make sure that he knew that we were with him 100 percent. It's a tough thing for everybody, but Pat has demonstrated incredible courage and strength. He's inspiring to so many people all over the world. I get e-mails from people every day who maybe don't have the same affliction, but have something similar and Pat inspires them to get out of bed and get going and push back a little bit more. I think that's a wonderful thing in itself. The American military, the Navy Seals and their motto is 'No Man Left Behind.' So for the beginning of this, we adopted their motto to a rock band and [it was] 'No Man Left Behind'. A lot of bands are out there now and they don't have all the original members. Sad, sometimes you can't. People pass on and situations, but we really want it to be Paul, Eric, myself and Pat. Matt is incredible at helping out. I have to mention how awesome he is and how wonderful a job he's done to do Pat's parts the way they should be done. Really wonderful."

    Asked in a 2011 interview with what influenced him to pick up a pair of sticks and start drumming, Torpey said: "I was about 7 or 8 years old, and my family used to go to this local picnic event with a live polka band. I was able to sit behind them and look down on the drummer, right on the top of him, and so from that vantage point I could see what he was doing, and I thought, 'Wow, that looks like fun!' That was my first memory of when I can remember wanting to play the drums. I went to my mother and said, 'I wanna play the drums,' and she gave me that look that parents give you, you know the 'Oh, yeah, sure you do… you're 7 years old.' So from there I kind of held on to that dream. I'd fashioned some drum sticks from a couple of sticks out of the yard. I carved them and drew my name on them with a magic marker, you know, the kind of thing an aspiring kid would do.
MR. BIG — Torpey, Martin, Sheehan and guitarist Paul Gilbert — released its ninth original studio album, "Defying Gravity", last July.
MR. BIG, formed in 1988, produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres — be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock. Their hits included "Alive And Kicking", "Just Take My Heart" and the chart-topping ballad "To Be With You".
Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly gave Pat Torpey's age as 58.






L.A. GUNS: 'No Mercy' Performance Clip From 'Made In Milan' DVD And Blu-Ray:

    A video clip of L.A. GUNS performing the song "No Mercy" last year in Milan, Italy can be seen below. The track will be featured in the band's new CD, DVD and Blu-ray, ‘Made In Milan’, which will be released on March 23 via Frontiers Music Srl.
   After more than a decade apart, Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis reunited in 2016 under the L.A. GUNS banner and released arguably the most critically praised album of their catalog, "The Missing Peace".
   With a newfound energy and the enthusiasm of the then-imminent release of ‘The Missing Peace’, L.A. GUNS stormed onto the stage in Milan, Italy for the 2017 edition of the Frontiers Rock Festival and took absolutely no prisoners, packing the set front to back with stone-cold classics and soon-to-be classics.
‘Made In Milan’ track listing:
1.) “No Mercy”

2.) “Electric Gypsy”

3.) “Killing Machine”

4.) Bow Solo/”Over The Edge”

5.) “Sex Action”

6.) “Speed”

7.) “One More Reason”

8.) “Kiss My Love Goodbye”

9.) “Don't Look At Me That Way”

10.) “Malaria”

11.) “Never Enough”

12.) “Jelly Jam”

13.) “The Ballad Of Jayne”

14.) “Rip And Tear”
1.) “No Mercy”

2.) “Electric Gypsy”

3.) “Killing Machine”

4.) Bow Solo/”Over The Edge”

5.) “The Bitch Is Back”

6.) “Sex Action”

7.) “Speed”

8.) “One More Reason”

9.) “Kiss My Love Goodbye”

10.) “Don't Look At Me That Way”

11.) “Malaria”

12.) “Never Enough”

13.) “Jelly Jam”

14.) “The Ballad Of Jayne”

15.) “Rip And Tear”
    Prior to ‘The Missing Peace’, the last time Lewis and Guns joined forces was back in 2000 with legendary producer Andy Johns for the making of what would become ‘Waking The Dead’.
   Speaking with Express & Star, Tracii said: "With Phil and I in particular, we have a certain chemistry that's undeniable. And, you know, when you're at your loneliest, you wanna go home, right? So, we both felt like it was time to go home and be comfortable with that undeniable relationship that we have musically. I mean, right away, the first time we got back together and played, you know, it's so obvious, you can't deny it. At some point in your life, you can't deny what's real."
   Regarding the sound of the new L.A. GUNS material, Tracii said: "Phil's vocal style and his way of writing kind of offsets that balance of the heavy music, that's something that's possibly more mainstream or identifiable, so there's a lot of, you know, kind of typical sleazy L.A. GUNS, high-energy riff rock. There's a little bit of sloppy New Orleans, kind of sweaty, kind of bluesier stuff too. It's a big record."

   L.A. GUNS' present lineup is rounded out by Shane Fitzgibbon on drums and Johnny Martin on bass with Michael Grant on guitar as a touring member.
On the topic of the decision to use the L.A. GUNS moniker for the new album, Guns told LA Weekly: "When you put Phil and I together, that's the sound of L.A. GUNS. There's no way around that. As much as I love certain other [former] members of the band, it's hard to say what their contribution to the overall sound of the band was — but Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns, the band's gotta be L.A. GUNS. It can't be anything else."
Back in December 2016, Phil announced that he was leaving the L.A. GUNS version that included drummer Steve Riley.
L.A. GUNS 2018 is:
Phil Lewis - Vocals

Tracii Guns - Guitars

Johnny Martin - Bass

Michael Grant - Guitar

Shane Fitzgibbon - Drums




Listen To Title Track Of JUDAS PRIEST's New Album, 'Firepower':

    ‘Firepower’, the title track of the new album from British heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST, can be streamed below. Due on March 9 via Epic, the follow-up to 2014's "Redeemer Of Souls" was recorded by British producer Andy Sneap, the band's longtime collaborator Tom Allom and engineer Mike Exeter (Black Sabbath). The cover artwork for ‘Firepower’ was created by the Chilean/Italian digital artist and photographer Claudio Bergamin.
‘Firepower’ track listing:

1.)” Firepower”

2.)” Lightning Strike”

3.)” Evil Never Dies”

4.)” Never The Heroes”

5.)” Necromancer”

6.)” Children of the Sun”

7.)” Guardians”

8.)” Rising From Ruins”

9.)” Flame Thrower”

10.)” Spectre”

11.)” Traitors Gate”

12.)” No Surrender”

13.)” Lone Wolf”

14.)” Sea Of Red”
Judas Priest singer Rob Halford told U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine about the lyrical themes covered on "Firepower": "We're an open book. We can go anywhere, and that's my job, where the proverbial word 'challenge' comes into play. I'm looking for things around me in the real world and in the metal fantasy world, so I'm making political comment and comments on the environment, as metaphorically as I can.

"We've always tried to be a bit ambigious, so our fans can make up their own mind, but on this one, you know, we are talking about Mother Earth and places like 10 Downing Street [the headquarters of the government of the United Kingdom]," he continued. "But we've always found a balance in not making the message too intense, while showing that we're connected as a bunch of metalheads in the real world."
Halford also credited "the incredible work" of Sneap for making "Firepower" sound "as wonderful as it does." "We are aware of the elements that are important to PRIEST, that have been our anvil in everything we've done, but in working with Andy, who is such a sought-after, contemporary metal producer, he's been able to dial everything in and get an effect where what you hear coming out of the speaker sounds like a young, fresh metal band," he said. "I've always tried to keep up with what's going on in metal, and I really feel confident that this sound is as strong as it ever was."

    Halford stated about the album's first single, "Lightning Strike": "To me, the overall concept of this song is to use the element of a lightning strike to pull away and tear apart at an individual, at a body of people, maybe an organization, maybe an administration, that is kind of leading you, or leading us, into potentially a destructive place. You're kind of spinning that effect round, and you have the right to react and to do something about it. So that, in essence, is what this song is all about."
The North American leg of the ‘Firepower’ tour will kick off on March 13 in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania and will wrap on May 1 in San Antonio, Texas. Support on the trek will come from Saxon and Black Star Riders.


BLACK STONE CHERRY To Release 'Family Tree' Album In April; Listen To 'Burnin'' Single:

    Kentucky rockers Black Stone Cherry will release their new album, ‘Family Tree’, on April 20 via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group.

The official lyric video for the disc's first single, "Burnin'", can be seen below.


    ‘Family Tree’ is the much-anticipated follow up to 2016's ‘Kentucky’. As was the case on "Kentucky", the BLACK STONE CHERRY members opted to produce and track the new disc at David Barrick's Barrick Recording in Glasgow, Kentucky, the same studio where the four-piece recorded its eponymous debut. BLACK STONE CHERRY also chose to not over-rehearse upfront of the album sessions, instead preferring the immediacy and spontaneity of in-the-moment takes. The band also entrusted frontman Chris Robertson to mix the songs, which perfectly fit the loose, creative process that birthed ‘Family Tree’.
‘Family Tree’ boasts Black Stone Cherry's tried-and-true lucky number with its 13 songs, and like all Black Stone Cherry releases, features songwriting contributions from each member.
    Drummer John Fred Young says: "'Family Tree' showcases all of our collective musical influences and how we have taken those to create something that is truly our own unique Southern American rock 'n' roll sound."
Two special guests appear, one bringing the concept of family full circle. Chris's five-year-old son contributes backup vocals on the swaggering "You Got The Blues", while the other, revered jam-band musician Warren Haynes (GOV'T MULE) offers a guitar cameo and vocals on the delta stomp of "Dancing In The Rain". The band first met Warren 17 years ago as freshly signed youngsters on their first visit to New York City.

    The concept of family looms large in the world of BLACK STONE CHERRY's four band members. Young's father Richard and his uncle Fred are founding members of the Grammy Award-winning country rock 'n' roots band THE Kentucky Headhunters.
BLACK STONE CHERRY's four high school-aged friends — Young, plus frontman/guitarist Chris Robertson, guitarist Ben Wells and bassist Jon Lawhon — grew up honing their craft in the HEADHUNTERS' Practice House, an abandoned property on the Young family's farmland. John Fred says: "We grew up in THE KENTUCKY HEADHUNTERS' rehearsal space, looking up at posters of CREAM, LED ZEPPELIN, URIAH HEEP, THE [ROLLING] STONES MONTROSE, and THE FACES. We were like kids someone took in a time capsule and put in the woods."

Family Tree track listing:
01.)” Bad Habit
02.)” Burnin'
03.)” New Kinda Feelin
04.)” Carry Me On Down The Road
05.)” My Last Breath
06.)” Southern Fried Friday Night
07.)” Dancin' In The Rain (feat.)” Warren Haynes)””
08.)” Ain't Nobody
09.)” James Brown
10.)” You Got The Blues
11.)” I Need A Woman
12.)” Get Me Over You
13.)” Family Tree




DOKKEN's Classic Lineup To Release 'Return To The East Live (2016)' In April; Cover Artwork Unveiled:

    The reunited classic lineup of DOKKEN — guitarist George Lynch, vocalist Don Dokken, bassist Jeff Pilson and drummer "Wild" Mick Brown — will release a new CD, DVD and Blu-ray, "Return To The East Live (2016)", on April 20 via Frontiers Music Srl. The set will contain footage of the band's October 2016 performance at Japan's Loud Park festival, as well as a brand new studio track, titled "It's Just Another Day".
Lynch, Dokken, Pilson and Brown played one U.S. concert in September 2016 before embarking on a six-show Japanese run dubbed "Unleashed In The East". The trek marked the first time in 21 years DOKKEN's classic lineup had hit the road.

   Don recently told the "The Classic Metal Show" that he didn't know "why it took a freaking year" to complete the DVD. He said: "We had almost two hours of just backstage, goofing around, on the train, going to Osaka, Nagoya, on the train, having fun backstage, screwing around. That took forever to edit. So on the new live DVD, there's gonna a lot of bonus footage — a lot of just candid, messing around, having fun. 'Cause, you know, George and Jeff hadn't been in DOKKEN for over 20 years."
As for the musical direction of the new song, Don said that it is "very DOKKEN-sounding" and "very classic '80s" with "big harmonies. It's just like 'Paris Is Burning' meets 'In My Dreams'," he said. The track is the first new song to be recorded by the classic DOKKEN lineup since the 1997 Shadowlife album.
Don also talked about his current relationship with George and Jeff, both of whom he had previously traded verbal barbs with in the press. "I would say that I had some trepidation [about playing with them again], obviously," Dokken said. "We've been getting offers for years and years and years to do a reunion, quote-unquote, tour, and I said, 'Guys, I'm not interested. DOKKEN, to me, is Chris McCarvill, 'Wild' Mick Brown and Jon Levin, who's been in the band for 22 years. That's DOKKEN.' I don't see why I need to go back in time and do this. What's the point? If it's just for money, they know how I feel about that. And there's more to life than money. You can live in a mansion and drive a Ferrari and be miserable. And I said, 'I'm not interested.' So I had some trepidation. We only rehearsed with Jeff and George for three days when we did the South Dakota one show only in America, where we filmed. But they showed up, we rehearsed, went to Japan, we filmed the show, we did these huge arenas, sold out. And it was great. George and I shot the shit for hours and hours every day over sake and beer on the bullet trains and we talked about everything from politics to spirituality and it was all good. And Jeff is such an addict, he's almost maybe worse than me when it comes to music. I mean, every day, Jeff's on the bullet train looking at the footage from the night before and he's looking at this, he's looking at that. 'Check this out. How about that? This is a good shot.' He's mixing the songs, he's trying to figure out what's the best takes. So it was a band effort. That was nice."

    In January, DOKKEN filmed a video for "It's Just Another Day" with director Jamie Brown, who has previously worked with LYNCH MOB and KXM.