FOO FIGHTERS: Two Massive Tributes to Taylor
The two tribute concerts that Foo Fighters hosted for their late drummer Taylor Hawkins, who died on March 25th, were not only a salute to the late Foo Fighters drummer, but they also served as tributes to late members of two other major acts.
In London on September 3rd Wolfgang Van Halen came out to play guitar with Dave Grohl on bass, Josh Freese on drums and Justin Hawkins of The Darkness on vocals. They did blistering versions of Van Halen's "On Fire" and "Hot for Teacher," and Wolf played the solos just like his late father, Eddie Van Halen. On September 27th in Los Angeles they did “Hot for Teacher” and “Panama.”
The second tribute was to late Rush drummer Neil Peart. In London Dave Grohl and then Omar Hakim backed Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush on "2112 Part 1: Overture," "Working Man" and "YYZ." In L.A., Chad Smith played on "Working Man" and Danny Carey of Tool guested on "YYZ." It was the first time they had played those songs since Peart died in 2020
The Foos closed both shows with an all-star cast of drummers. In London they had Josh Freese, Travis Barker of Blink-182, Nandi Bushell, Rufus Taylor of The Darkness, Omar Hakim and Taylor's 16-year-old son Shane Hawkins. In Los Angeles they were joined by Matt Cameron of Pearl Jam, Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine, Pat Wilson of Weezer and Chad Smith. Proceeds from the show went to MusiCares and Music Support U.K.
GRAMMYS: Foo Fighters Big Rock Winners
The Grammys were originally set to take place on January 31st in Los Angeles, but ended getting moved to April 3rd in Las Vegas due to the outbreak of the Omicron variant.
Foo Fighters ended up the big rock winners, grabbing Best Rock Album for Medicine at Midnight, Best Rock Performance for "Making a Fire" and Best Rock Song for "Waiting on a War." No one from the band accepted their awards in the wake of Taylor Hawkins's death. Their career total is now 15 Grammys.
Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park won his first Grammy as a solo artist as his remix of "Passenger" by Deftones won Best Remixed Recording. And ex-Police drummer Stewart Copeland was a surprise winner for Best New Age Album for Divine Tides, his collaboration with Ricky Kej.
NEIL YOUNG: Ditches Spotify Because of Joe Rogan
On January 24th Neil Young announced that he wanted his music off of Spotify because he believed that podcaster Joe Rogan was spreading fake information about vaccines. On the 26th Young had his wish granted as most of his catalog was pulled off the streaming service.
Young’s Crazy Horse bandmate Nils Lofgren, Joni Mitchell, and Crosby, Stills and Nash also had their music pulled off in early February. But in July CSN’s music was back on. Graham Nash said it was because Spotify had “taken a positive step by adding a COVID content advisory to podcasts that include a conversation about COVID, directing listeners to a COVID information hub.”
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS: Two Big Albums in One Year
Red Hot Chili Peppers' reunion with guitarist John Frusciate led to the 12th and 13th albums of their career.
Unlimited Love came out on April 1st and debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200 on April 10th. It was the second number-one of the band's career -- the first coming almost 16 years ago with the double-disc Stadium Arcadium.
Return of the Dream Canteen was released on October 14th and landed at number-three on the Billboard 200 October 23rd. It was their ninth Top 5 album in a row, a streak that began 31 years ago when their fifth record, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, reached number-three.
AEROSMITH: Another Year of Setbacks
Aerosmith fans who'd hoped to see all five original members when they launched a Las Vegas residency in the summer ended up being disappointed for a couple of reasons
On March 25th the band announced that drummer Joey Kramer was going to sit out all their shows for the year "to focus his full attention on his family during these uncertain times." It became clearer why he took the leave of absence on June 22nd when Kramer’s wife, Linda, passed away at age 55 after a long undisclosed illness.
Then on May 24th Aerosmith announced that Steven Tyler had checked into rehab after a relapse while recovering from foot surgery. That forced the band to scrap all the summer residency shows.
After Tyler completed his rehab, the group finally returned to the stage -- with Kramer’s drum tech John Douglas -- for the first time since March 2020 on September 4th in Bangor, Maine. They also re-launched their Vegas residency on September 14th.
JACK WHITE: New Album, New Wife!
April 7th, 2022 is a day that Jack White will remember for a long time. First his solo album Fear of the Dawn came out. Then White and his band performed of the national anthem before his beloved Detroit Tigers' home opener at Comerica Park. And that night he proposed to his girlfriend, singer Olivia Jean, in the middle of performing The White Stripes' "Hotel Yorba" at Detroit's Masonic Temple Theater.
After the show was over, White and Jean were married by White's Third Man Records co-founder Ben Swank. Jack's mother and Olivia's father were in attendance, along with a packed house of surprised fans. Their respective bass players served as the best man and maid of honor.
The marriage is White's third after Meg White and Karen Elson.
KATE BUSH, METALLICA: The Power of Stranger Things
Kate Bush and Metallica each saw classic tracks hit new peaks because of their use in the fourth season of Stranger Things on Netflix.
On the June 18th Billboard Hot 100 chart, "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" made it to a new peak of number-four, far above its previous peak at number-30 in 1985. The song was used in multiple episodes of the series. The track set a new record for longest time from a title’s Hot 100 debut to its first week in the Top 10 -- 36 years, nine months and a week. "Hill" also set a record for longest time it took a non-holiday song to bow on the Hot 100 and then make the Top 5 -- 36 years, nine months and two weeks. The holiday song record is 61 years, two weeks by “Jingle Bell Rock” from Bobby Helms.
On the July 16th Billboard Hot 100 Metallica scored their first Top 40 hit in 14 years after “Master of Puppets” was used in season finale. "Master of Puppets" made it to number-40 on the Billboard Hot 100, their first time in the Top 40 since the Death Magnetic single "The Day That Never Comes" peaked at number-31 in 2008.
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE: Injury-Prone Reunion Tour
Rage Against the Machine finally got their reunion touring rolling after two years of pandemic delays, but it seems like they should have waited one more year.
On the second night of the tour, July 11th Chicago's United Center, singer Zack de le Rocha injured his leg four songs in and had to be helped off at the end of the night by crew members. De la Rocha performed the rest of the summer while seated.
On July 23rd guitarist Tom Morello became collateral damage of a security guard trying to tackle a stage crasher during a show in Toronto. During their final song, an intruder ran across the stage. A security attempting to tackle the fan instead crashed into Morello from behind and he went down. Zack de la Rocha had to stop the show while they waited for Morello to recover.
After the summer leg was over, Rage canceled their European dates due to de la Rocha's injury. And on October 4th they canceled their 2023 North American dates as de la Rocha revealed he had a severe tear in his left Achilles tendon, saying, “It's not simply a question of being able to perform again, but extends to basic functionality going forward.”
BLINK-182: Skiba Leaves, DeLonge Returns
The reunion of Tom DeLonge with Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker wasn’t announced until October 11th, but the signs were there for much of the summer.
On July 17th Matt Skiba responded to a fan comment on Instagram wondering if he was still in Blink by saying, “Your guess is as good as mine. Regardless, I am very proud of and thankful for my time with Blink-182. "
Skiba, who also plays in Alkaline Trio, joined Blink in 2015 as a replacement for Tom DeLonge in 2015 and played on the band’s last two albums, 2016’s California and 2019’s Nine.
On July 31st Tom DeLonge posted a photo of Blink in the ‘90s on his Instagram, with the caption just being the band's Instagram handle. After that post he updated his Instagram bio to say, "I make music -- Blink-182 and Angels and Airwaves."
Hoppus and Barker both denied there was anything in the works after those posts, and Hoppus later apologized for having to withhold the truth from fans. And on October 13th DeLonge credited Skiba for keeping Blink-182 going while he was out of the trio.
MARCUS MUMFORD: Revealed He Was Abused as a Child
Marcus Mumford revealed he was sexually abused when he was six years old.
Mumford told GQ magazine that the abuse and the trauma from it played a key role in the songs on (self-titled), his debut solo album, which was released on September 16th.
Mumford said, "Like lots of people -- and I’m learning more and more about this as we go and as I play it to people -- I was sexually abused as a child. Not by family and not in the church, which might be some people’s assumption. But I hadn’t told anyone about it for 30 years.”
The song "Cannibal" is about being abused, and that's how Mumford ended up telling his mother about the abuse. “She [said], ‘Can I ask what that song’s about?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s about the abuse thing.’ She was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ So once we get through the trauma of that moment for her, as a mother, hearing that and her wanting to protect and help and all that stuff, it’s objectively hilarious to tell your mom about your abuse in a song, of all things.”
MOTLEY CRUE: What’s Bigger Than a Stadium Tour? A Drummer’s Junk
Early on the morning of August 11th Tommy Lee of Motley Crue set the Internet on fire by posting a photo of his penis on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter while the band was on a break during The Stadium Tour. The post somehow stayed up on Instagram for six hours and Facebook for almost eight hours before being taken down. And it’s still up on Twitter.
Lee went on to blame the post on a bender, but turned the controversy into a business opportunity by launching an OnlyFans account on September 21st.
And on October 26th Mick Mars confirmed weeks of rumors that he was retiring from the road due to the effects of Ankylosing Spondylitis (A.S.), which he’s had for decades. The next day the Crue announced that John 5 would take over for Mars on the road.
BLACK KEYS, MICHELLE BRANCH: Split Gets Nasty, Then Nice
On August 11th Michelle Branch announced that she and Patrick Carney of The Black Keys were splitting after three years of marriage. That came after a tweet from Branch the night before (which she later deleted) claiming that Carney was cheating on her while she was home caring for their six-month-old daughter and four-year-old son.
The split also came after Branch was arrested for domestic violence by Nashville police in the early hours of August 11th. When police showed up at the couple’s home, Branch admitted she had slapped Carney in the face "one to two times." Two weeks later the charges were dropped.
Then on September 13th Carney and Branch put their divorce proceedings on hold for at least at least six months so they could try to reconcile.
JANE’S ADDICTION: A Reunion, and a COVID Battle
Jane's Addiction fans got a long-awaited reunion -- but one that they didn’t get see on the road.
On August 17th rumors started spreading that co-founder and bassist Eric Avery was back in the band because a clip that showed Avery and singer Perry Farrell in the studio together. Three days later Avery confirmed that he'd rejoined the band in the studio. Then Farrell revealed in an interview on September 2nd that Avery would be joining them on their tour opening for Smashing Pumpkins. Avery later revealed that the late Taylor Hawkins was the person who'd gotten him and Farrell to start talking and to bury the hatchet after more than a decade.
But when Jane’s hit the road on October 2nd Dave Navarro wasn’t on board. Navarro has been dealing with long COVID since late 2021, and said he wasn’t up for the rigors of touring yet. Troy Van Leeuwen filled in for the tour.
ARCADE FIRE: Butler Accused of Sexual Misconduct
Win Butler of Arcade Fire was accused by multiple people of sexual misconduct.
An article published by Pitchfork on August 27th told the stories of three women and one non-binary person who alleged that Butler behaved improperly. They detail the timeline of these relationships from the accusers' first encounter with Butler. In each case, the accusations are weaved together with Butler's version of events, with Butler insisting that all were consensual. An additional two people also described improprieties by Butler after one of the accusers alleged on Instagram in 2020 that Butler had been a sexual predator. He was in his 30s, while they all ranged in age from 18 to 23 years old at the time they met.
Butler said that he wanted to "clear the air" about his "life, poor judgment and mistakes." He admitted to having had consensual relationships outside his marriage to Regine Chassagne and insisted the "majority" of them were "short lived." He said his wife is aware of them and that their "marriage has, in the past, been more unconventional than some."
The fallout from the article was felt on the band’s tours, as Feist dropped off as opening act of Arcade Fire’s European run because of the allegations. Then Beck withdrew from opening the North American leg on October 14th without giving a reason.
On November 22nd another woman came forward and said that Butler was "emotionally abusive, manipulative, toxic and using his power dynamic to exploit my body at times that were convenient for him."
BILLIE EILISH: Adds Oscar to Awards Shelf
The 94th Academy Awards on March 27th will always be known for Will Smith’s slap of Chris Rock, but Billie Eilish will also remember it as the night she won her first Oscar. She and Finneas took home Best Original Song for “No Time to Die,” the title song of Daniel Craig’s last James Bond film. It was a long time coming, as “No Time to Die” was first released in February 2020 -- and then the movie’s release was delayed 18 months due to the pandemic.
MACHINE GUN KELLY: A Second #1
Machine Gun Kelly scored his second number-one album with Mainstream Sellout, as it topped the April 9th edition of the Billboard 200 with 93,000 equivalent album units. That was a bit down from his previous chart-topper, 2020’s Tickets to My Downfall, which moved 126,000 units in its debut week. Mainstream Sellout was the singer-rapper’s sixth Top 10 album.
ROCK HALL: Priest, Benatar, Eurythmics Go In
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2022 was inducted in a ceremony November 5th in Los Angeles. It had Judas Priest inducted by Alice Cooper, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo inducted by Sheryl Crow, and Eurythmics inducted by The Edge of U2.
Bruce Springsteen inducted Ahmet Ertegun Award recipient Jimmy Iovine, John Mellencamp inducted Ahmet Ertegun Award recipient Allen Grubman, and Lenny Kravitz inducted Lionel Richie. The night closed with Springsteen and Mellencamp teaming up for a tribute to the late Jerry Lee Lewis on a medley of "High School Confidential" and "Great Balls of Fire."
January 8th: Michael Lang, the creator and co-promoter of Woodstock, died from a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 77.
January 20th: Meat Loaf, the larger-than-life symbol of theatrical rock, died at age 74.
February 9th: Foreigner original guitarist, keyboardist and woodwind player Ian McDonald died from cancer. He was 75.
February 22nd: Mark Lanegan, whose memorable voice led the Screaming Trees to mainstream rock success in the early '90s and who was a member of Queens of the Stone Age, died at age 57.
March 6th: Mike Cross, founding guitarist of Sponge, died at age 57.
March 25th: Taylor Hawkins, drummer in the Foo Fighters, died at age 50.
May 1st: Drummer Ric Parnell passed away at age 70. He played under the names Mick and Ric Shrimpton in Spinal Tap and can be heard on the Toni Basil hit “Mickey.”
May 17th: Ricky Gardiner, the guitarist on David Bowie's Low and Iggy Pop's "The Passenger" and "Lust for Life," died of Parkinson's disease. He was 73.
May 26th: Depeche Mode keyboardist Andy Fletcher died of aortic dissection while at home. He was 60.
June 5th: Alec John Such, who played bass in Bon Jovi for the band's first decade, passed away of natural causes at age 70. Such was a founding member of Bon Jovi but left in 1994.
June 19th: Brett Tuggle, the keyboardist best known for playing in Rick Springfield and David Lee Roth’s bands and co-writing Roth’s Top 10 hit “Just Like Paradise,” died at age 70 from cancer. Tuggle also served as Fleetwood Mac’s touring keyboardist from 1997 to 2018.
July 5: Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton died at age 80.
October 28th: Rock and roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis -- "The Killer" -- died at his home in Memphis. He was 87.
November 8th: Former Nazareth singer Dan McCafferty died at the age of 76.