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Quick Takes: Rob Halford, Paul Stanley, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robert Plant, Heart

  • Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford revealed he successfully battled prostate cancer during the pandemic. He told Consequence, "I had my little cancer battle a year ago, which I got through and that’s in remission now, thank God. That happened while we were all locked down, so things happen for a reason as far as time sequence of events. I have nothing but gratitude to be at this point in my life, still doing what I love the most."
    • Halford talks about the illness in the new paperback edition of his 2020 autobiography, Confess, writing, "How did I feel? I felt a combination of shock, horror and, oddly, relief — at least now I know!. . . 'Am I going to die?' It was all I could think of. I know blokes who've died of prostate cancer. 'No, you’re not going to die, Rob,' said Dr. Ali." (Ultimate Classic Rock)

       

  • Paul Stanley shared the news of his longtime guitar tech Fran Stueber dying of Covid. On Sunday (October 17th), Stanley posted on social media: "My dear friend, buddy and guitar tech for 20 years, Fran Stueber died yesterday suddenly of Covid. Both on and offstage I depended on him for so much. My family loved him as did I. He was so proud of his wife and 3 boys as they were of him. I'm numb."

 

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith told Rolling Stone the band's first new album since 2016's The Getaway is almost done. Smith touched upon the return of guitarist John Frusciante, explaining, "Look, John hasn’t been in our group in 10 years. That’s a long time. So of course it’s going to sound different, but it’s gonna sound like the four of us because we do have this special chemistry together. It sounds like Red Hot Chili Peppers, but it’s different and new, and to me that’s great."
    • He added: "We really like it and we’re proud of it and it has to start there. If other people like it, great. If people compare it to this or (say) it doesn’t sound like that, we have no control over that. . .  We’re all really happy with the record." (Rolling Stone)

       

  • Despite gearing up for his upcoming album and road dates with Alison Krauss, Robert Plant performed over the weekend with his UK side band, Saving Grace. Plant, along with the group, which features vocalist Suzi Dian, were scheduled as the surprise closing act on Saturday (October 16th) at this year's Bewdley Festival at the Tree Tops Pavilion at West Midland Safari and Leisure Park. (The Kidderminster Shuttle)

     

  • Co-founding Heart guitarist Roger Fisher joined frontwoman Ann Wilson on stage last Saturday night (October 16th) at Seattle's Neptune Theatre to perform the 1978 Dog & Butterfly classic, "Mistral Wind." Fisher, who left the band in 1980 and had been romantically linked with guitarist Nancy Wilson, played on the band's first four albums and is best remembered for the cutting intro to Heart's signature 1977 track, "Barracuda."
    • Fisher last played with the Wilson sisters at the band's 2013 Rock Hall induction. (Blabbermouth)