Music News of the World: Hayden--the New Bob Dylan
NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS, THE SEX PISTOLS HAVE REFORMED Addicted To Noise editor Michael Goldberg reports: Nearly 20 years after they broke up, the Sex Pistols have reformed, and are expected to announce plans for a world tour at a press conference to be held in London on March 18. The reformed group will, in fact, be comprised of the original Pistols' lineup: singer/ranter Johnny Rotten (who you know these days as John Lydon), guitarist Steve Jones, bassist Glen Matlock and drummer Paul Cook. (Back in March of 1977, Matlock was fired and replaced by the late Sid Vicious.) All four members of the Pistols are expected to appear at the press conference, which should be quite a media spectacle. The group was added to booking agency ICM's published client list on February 9; they have just hired an American PR firm, MSO, to handle press in the U.S. According to one source, the group will begin with dates in Europe before mounting a major U.S. tour. The powers that be at Lollapalooza are currently discussing having the Pistols appear at a few festival tour dates this summer, although nothing has been finalized. WILL RANCID BE PART OF LOLLA '96? AND NEIL YOUNG? AND LOU REED? AND... Our spies tell us that the next Lollapalooza '96 announcement will be that Rancid is to be added to the main stage line-up. With Metallica, Soundgarden and the Ramones already confirmed, this summer's touring festival is shaping up to be quite the event. Now trip on this: The time slot before Soundgarden is expected to be what one of our sources calls "a floating guest spot." Lollapalooza organizers are hoping to have many of the following artists fill the slot: Waylon Jennings, Patti Smith, Johnny Cash, the Sex Pistols, Al Green, Ornette Coleman, Dr. Dre, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Neil Young, and Elvis Costello.CANADIAN FOLK-ROCK SENSATION HAYDEN SIGNS U.S. DEAL WITH OUTPOST RECORDS Addicted To Noise editor Michael Goldberg reports: After an intense bidding war that found executives from a host of major labels including Geffen, Epic, Interscope, Warner Bros., and Dreamworks one-upping each other for several months in an attempt to sign the brilliant folk-rock singer Hayden Desser, Hayden, 24, and his managers--William "Skinny" Tenn and Sandy Pandya--finally settled on the newly formed (by R.E.M. producer Scott Litt and his two partners, former Smashing Pumpkins manager Andy Gershon, and former Virgin Records A&R exec Mark Williams) Outpost Records. "It was hard to make the decision," said Hayden, calling from his managers' office in Toronto. "It was really hard. Hours and hours of deliberation and conversation. Over-analyzing and under-analyzing. It's cool we had so many good choices." "We're kind of over the moon about signing him," said Litt. "We're still kind of pinching ourselves. One of the most difficult offers for Hayden to turn down was from one of his idols, Neil Young, and Young's manager, Elliot Roberts. They wanted to sign him to their new label, Vapor Records. Hayden even got to visit Young at Young's ranch during the "courting" process. And how did Outpost manage to lure Hayden away from Young and company? "We had him down to Athens," laughed Litt, who has produced the last five R.E.M albums, during a phone interview. Hayden is one of the freshest artists to come along in some time. He could be described as a slacker Neil Young, or Beck with songs, or the latest in a long line of "new Dylans." But comparing him to other artists is really beside the point. Yes he plays an acoustic guitar. Yes he sings. And yes, he works in a genre that can, loosely, be described as folk-rock. But as with all real artists, what's interesting about Hayden is, of course, where the comparisons end, and where all the unique, idiosyncratic qualities begin. The way he stretches and drawls his words; the bassy. buzzy strum of his rhythm guitar; the off-hand conversational nature of his lyrics; the way he rhymes "warm in the sack" with "share with me my midnight snack." Check out "Bad As They Seem" RealAudio 28.8k from Everything I Long For. Outpost plans to re-release a remastered version of Hayden's mesmerizing self-produced debut album, Everything I Long For, sometime in May. The Outpost version of the original 16 song album will be two songs shorter. "Bunkbed" and "I Almost Cried" won't be on it, according to Tenn, "because Hayden was never completely happy with those two." (So if you want to hear all 16 songs, now is the time to get yourself a copy of the album, released on Hayden's own Hardwood Records.) "We really don't want to rush it, even though a lot of people would expect that to happen," said Litt. "Now that all the bidding wars are over, we're trying to focus on what this really is. And what this is is a really cool artist who wants to grow and develop. Aside from the 1000 industry people that know all about Hayden, there are a lot of people that don't. So doing the right kind of press, and playing the right venues, and working it at a smaller, ground level. Hayden's already recorded about half of his second album; he plans to upgrade his home studio (ten of the songs on Everything I Long For were recorded in Hayden's bedroom on a four-track cassette recorder), but in a relatively moderate way. "Hayden is going keep working the way he's been working," Tenn said. For Hayden, a guy who until a few months ago had never met a major label executive, suddenly being wined and dined by his idols, superstar producers (Litt), superstar managers/label heads (Roberts) and mega-record executives (Mo Ostin of Dreamworks) was a heady experience. "It's strange and kept me away from what I like to do the most and that's been a bit of a drag," admitted Hayden. "The only bonus is I was able to get a really artistically friendly deal because of the competition of it. "I've known a lot of Canadian bands who made American deals and not much attention was paid to them," he continued. "Not to say that won't happen to me. It took way too long to do something that doesn't interest me that much. Kept me away from my music. And it's created a stupid thing about expectations and what people hear about me before my album is even out. I hate that thing. I like to discover things. Not have 80 people talking about it. I don't buy things if there are big Rolling Stone or Spin articles about someone I'm hearing about for the first time. That's a negative thing." The phone went silent. After a long pause, Hayden said with some finality, "I'm just a fucking guy playing songs from Toronto."ATN ALBUM OF THE WEEK: FRANK ZAPPA'S THE LOST EPISODES Addicted To Noise editor Michael Goldberg writes: Though many of his post-Mothers of Invention recordings were dismissed by many rock critics as immature, I have never agreed with that collective opinion of Frank Zappa's work. Bitter, dark, intelligent and sarcastic, the late Frank Zappa (along with the Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground) popped the hippie balloon even before Charles Manson gave long hair and "free love" a really bad name. Released last week, The Lost Episodes is an album of previously unreleased material mostly drawn from between 1958 and 1972, assembled by Zappa during 1992 and 1993. It is a rather miraculous overview of a very strange career, especially when one considers that all of this stuff was considered dispensable by Zappa at the time it was recorded. Dispensable it is not. Weird? Strange? Freaky? Bizarre? Pick your adjective, any of those will work. Dig a late '50s recording with a female vocalist entitled "Lost In A Whirlpool," with lyrics that are in classic Zappa bad taste. An alternative version of "Anyway the Wind Blows" is simply a pop gem ('50s group vocals meet early '60s beat rock) that one would never expect from Zappa. The 71 minute, 25 second album contains 30 tracks. One, "Run Home Cues #3," is just 11 seconds in length; another, an extended take of "Sharleena," clocks in at 11 minutes, 54 seconds. For those unfamiliar with Frank Zappa, The Mothers of Invention's Freak Out is the album to start with before picking up The Lost Episodes. But if you're already a Zappa convert, your won't regret an album that, by the way, includes five appearances by the great Captain Beefheart.Off-The-(ATN) Wire: The lamest of the lame, REO Speedwagon, are now officially an indie band--they've signed to an indie label, and will tour this summer with Peter Frampton and Foreigner...Former MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer has released his second solo album, Dangerous Madness, on Epitaph and no less than Dave Marsh thinks it's a major work...Appearing on the UK TV show White Room on Feb. 24, Iggy Pop removed his transparent trousers, revealing his naked self before simulating a sex act with a female member of the audience. Oh that naughty little doggie... R.E.M. and producer Scott Litt have joined up in Seattle where work on the next R.E.M. album continues... Soundgarden have finished mastering their next album, which will be out in late May... Metallica will spend the next two months in New York mixing their next album...NOFX have incorporated blow up sheep sex dolls into their live show.