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What Would Be Great In '08 .. (Axl mention)


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DATE: Jan. 4, 2008

SOURCE: Boston Herald

What would be great for ’08

Pop star resolutions we’d like to see

By Jed Gottlieb

We may want to quit smoking or lose 10 pounds or stop drunk-dialing our exes to apologize for lighting their cat on fire. But rock stars have bigger, bolder resolutions. After all, they’ve got CDs to sell, stadiums to fill, lurid headlines to generate. You’ve only got that feline pyromania to deal with.

Here are a few promises we’d like to see artists commit to in ’08.

“I will tour with Led Zeppelin.” - Robert Plant

Led Zeppelin, your time is gonna come. And it’s gonna come soon. Or so say the rumors. Last month, buzz began that the band was bound for Bonnaroo. But organizers of the Tennessee festival said it wasn’t happening. Now UK’s The Mirror has renewed the rumor after reporting Monday that Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and an unnamed drummer will headline the fest. If true, Plant will have a busy year. He already has tour plans with Alison Krauss.

“I’ll put as much effort into my rock ’n’ roll as I put into African debt relief.” - Bono

Bono’s a great guy with great intentions, but he’s also a rock god. Or at least he used to be. Since 2004’s “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb,” Bono’s spent more time doing charity work than singing rebel songs. Just this week he released a new T-shirt to benefit African farmers. But reunited with Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, who produced “The Joshua Tree,” Bono and company spent part of 2007 writing in Morocco and France and have promised a new record by the end of the year. U2 doesn’t have 2008 tour plans, but last May, during a visit to Boston to accept an honorary doctorate from Berklee, the Edge told the Herald the band would love to play Fenway.

“I won’t sleep in the same bed with young boys, dangle my kids off balconies or do anything to distract from what will surely be my last chance at a comeback.” - Michael Jackson

This year the King of Pop will likely get his last chance at a comeback. In February, MJ plans to release “Thriller 25,” a 25th anniversary edition of his top-selling album featuring guest spots by modern stars including will.i.am and Kanye West. Piggybacking on the publicity, Jackson intends to release an album of new material sometime this year.

If neither album catches fire, he has one final potential trick under his fedora. Brother Jermaine Jackson told the BBC Michael has committed to a Jackson Five reunion tour.

“I’ll burn whatever ‘Chinese Democracy’ masters tapes I have, pick up the phone and call Slash, Izzy, Duff and Steve.” - Axl Rose.

Yes, some of the bootlegs that surfaced last year are as good as anything since “Appetite for Destruction.” But after a 14-year wait, “Chinese Democracy” can only be a disappointment. Plus Axl needs to realize his band of hired guns are complete wankers and not Guns N’ Roses-worthy. Time to trash the masters, call the boys, rent a studio for two weeks and crank out whatever comes naturally.

“I won’t become rap’s Axl Rose.” - Dr. Dre

“Detox” is the hip-hop “Chinese Democracy.” Announced almost a decade ago, the album was supposed to be Dre’s bong-beat blasted swan song. But Dre just doesn’t want to sing. Chronically delayed and declared dead in 2004, “Detox” was rehabbed by Interscope and given a June 2008 release date. Skeptics abound, but Dre told fans at September’s MTV Video Music Awards that “‘Detox’ is coming.”

“I’ll regain my artistic Midas touch.” - Rick Rubin

During the late ’80s and ’90s, Rubin set the bar for hip-hop and thrash production and reinvented Red Hot Chili Peppers and Johnny Cash. Lately Rubin has been more hit and miss (calling Audioslave a miss is as polite as you can be in a family paper). This year he’s handling Metallica, Slipknot and Weezer’s rumored metal album.

“We will prove we’re not as lousy as our latest BMA performance.” - Extreme

Just because it’s been a long time since they rocked ’n’ rolled doesn’t mean they had to beat up on a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Communication Breakdown” during their performance at December’s Boston Music Awards. The Hub quartet’s planned reunion tour and album better be better than the three songs at the BMAs.

“I’ll continue to make amends with old band mates.” - Eddie Van Halen

You did it with Dave, not with Michael. Tell son Wolfgang Van Halen that you love him very much but he has to sit out the next leg of the tour; then call founding bassist Michael Anthony. If you act fast we can all see the definitive band lineup during Van Halen’s March run of New England shows.

“We’ll convince Bill Berry to come back or we’ll pack it in.” - R.E.M.

R.E.M.’s 14th studio album, “Accelerate,” will be out April 1. Die-hards have been thrilled with the new songs played during 2007 live dates. But Stipe and his band mates need to realize their curse before they overcome it. The music and sales have slid downhill since drummer Berry left the fold. Bring ’em back.

- jgottlieb@bostonherald.com


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