In the January 2011 edition of Classic Rock, John Paul Jones tells of his plans for 2011. He is involved in an upcoming opera about the life and death of Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith.

"I'll be playing in the pit for some of the time, with the basses," Jones said, "and I'm also on stage playing with a jazz trio with Peter Erskine."

According to the Royal Opera House website, Anna Nicole is a world premiere on the fascinating subject of Anna Nicole Smith. A model for Playboy, marriage to an octogenarian billionaire, scandal, legal battles and early death – this is the real-life story that has inspired Mark-Anthony Turnage's new opera. Inevitably adult themes, strong language and sexually explicit content are part of this exciting work. Richard Jones directs this major new opera, with Antonio Pappano conducting a cast that has Eva-Maria Westbroek in the title role.

Anna Nicole is playing at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London, England on February 17, 21, 23 & 26 and April 1 & 4. To purchase tickets, go here.

Peter Erskine has played drums since the age of 4 and is known for his versatility and love of working in different musical contexts. He appears on over 500 albums and film scores, and has won 2 Grammy Awards plus an Honorary Doctorate from the Berklee School of Music. Over 30 albums have been released under his own name or as co-leader. He has played with the Stan Kenton and Maynard Ferguson big bands, Weather Report, Steps Ahead, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Diana Krall, Kenny Wheeler, The Brecker Brothers, The Yellowjackets, Pat Metheny & Gary Burton, John Scofield, et al, and has appeared as a soloist with the London, Los Angeles, BBC Symphony and Berlin Philharmonic orchestras. Peter has been voted "Best Jazz Drummer of the Year" ten times by the readers of the Modern Drummer magazine. Peter produces jazz recordings for his record label Fuzzy Music, and is an active author with several books to his credit: the latest titles include Time Awareness for All Musicians and Essential Drum Fills and Essential Drum Fills. Peter graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and studied at Indiana University under George Gaber. Peter is currently a full Professor of Practice, Jazz Studies and the Director of Drumset Studies at the University of Southern California.

There are no currently scheduled shows with John Paul Jones at this time, however hopefully there will be soon in 2011.

Classic Rock magazine - January 2011
Peter Erskine

 

American soul singer Bettye LaVette performed last night (Jan. 12) on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. She sang a cover of Led Zeppelin's All My Love from her 2010 album Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook with the Tonight Show Band.

Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook includes unique arrangements and performances of classic songs by The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Animals, Pink Floyd, and more.

LaVette opened for Robert Plant and the Band of Joy on his July 2010 American tour leg.


Thanks to Nech!
Spinner.com recently released a list of their 50 Greatest Guitar Riffs in Rock 'n' Roll. The only appearance by a song written by Led Zeppelin is Heartbreaker, which got the #4 slot.

Picking the best Jimmy Page riff is a lot like picking the best sexual position: You can make a convincing argument for most of them. Some involve more technique and manual dexterity (Black Dog), while others involve sheer power (Kashmir), but they all leave you tired and happy. We're going with Led Zeppelin's Heartbreaker because, well, we had to pick one, and it kicks copious amounts of ass.


The number one greatest guitar riff, according to Spinner, is (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones. You can view the entire list at Spinner.com.
Robert Plant has been nominated for the "British Male Solo Artist" category in the Brit Awards 2011. Other nominees in this category are Mark Ronson, Paul Weller, Plan B and Tinie Tempah.

This is the first time that Robert Plant has been nominated in the Brit Awards. The BRIT Awards 2011 will be held at The O2 in London on Tuesday 15th February and will be broadcast live on ITV1.

Robert Plant Nominated in Brit Awards 2011
Queens of the Stone Age mainman Josh Homme has revealed that he "died" during leg surgery last year -- but came back to life on the operating table.

Speaking to NME, Homme said that the operation hit complications and that he technically "died" before coming round again.

The Them Crooked Vultures ringleader was bed-ridden for three months post-surgery as he recuperated from the ordeal, getting the green light from doctors in mid-December to return to rock duties.

He said, "I had an operation and died and survived on the table. I had surgery on my leg and there were complications and I died on the table. I was in bed for three months."

As previously reported by Spinner, guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen has said that the upcoming Queens of the Stone Age album -- their first since 2007 -- will be blues influenced and will make people "shake some arse."

Homme told NME that the band is on the verge on a creative minefield at the moment as song ideas are getting readied for listening.

He added, "We're all just waiting to show each other all the ideas we've got. Everybody's trying to outdo each other with their iPod right now..."

From: SPINNER.COM
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April 24, 1969 - 2nd US Tour begins (1st as headliners) at the Fillmore West
April xx, 1970 - Robert comments about the violence in the audience near the end of the fifth tour
April 04, 1970 - Jimmy Page performs White Summer/Black Mountain Side on the Julie Felix BBC show
April 16, 1970 - Whole Lotta Love was certified Gold in the US after selling over a million copies. The single had peaked at No. 4 on the US singles chart. In the UK, Atlantic Records had expected to issue the edited version themselves, and pressed initial copies for release on December 5, 1969. However, band manager Peter Grant was adamant that the band maintain a "no-singles" approach to marketing their recorded music in the UK and he halted the release.
April xx, 1971 - Untitled is rumored to be released this month
April xx, 1972 - Recording sessions for Houses Of The Holy at Stargroves and Olympic studios
April xx, 1973 - Led Zeppelin rehearse their new stage show in preparation for their huge 1973 US Tour
April xx, 1974 - Swan Song concentrates its efforts on signing new acts
April xx, 1975 - Jimmy does some mixing at Electric Lady studios for TSRTS soundtrack
April 19, 1975 - 51,000 tickets sell in two hours for three nights at Earls Court, two added dates see another 34,000 tickets sold
April xx, 1976 - The band decide they will release their film to theaters
April 30, 1977 - Led Zeppelin breaks the record for the largest attendance for a single-act show in the Pontiac Silverdome with 76,229 in attendance
April xx, 1978 - The band hold a meeting, this time with Robert, to discuss Zeppelin’s future
April 03, 1979 - Page, Bonham and Plant jam with Bad Company again in Birmingham
April 27, 1980 - The band rehearses at Rainbow Theater for an upcoming European tour
April 26, 1988 - James Patrick Page III’s birthday. He is named after his father is the only son of Jimmy and Patricia Ecker. Jimmy spoke of his son saying: "He is wonderful. He has made a big difference to my life."
April 21, 1998 - Page and Plant released Walking Into Clarksdale.
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