Ten Things We Learnt From The New Issue of Classic Rock

Classic Rock 210 is out now. Free are on the cover, accompanied by a 15-track CD featuring The Darkness, Joe Bonamassa, Beth Hart, Todd Rundgren, Gov’t Mule and many more. This is what the new issue taught us.

  1. If you bump into Steve Vai and there’s a bee in the vicinity, just keep on walking. Vai – who besides being a guitar virtuoso is an expert beekeeper – has an unholy obsession with the bulbous buzzing insectoids. “Nobody’s going to come near me when I’m with the bees,” he warns in our Heavy Load feature. 2. Don’t compare Nightwish to a budget-priced McDonald’s morsel. That would be the ultimate insult to the band’s mastermind, Tuomas Holopainen, who believes his band are the symphonic metal equivalent of lemon pickle baked sea bream with masala chips and tempered yoghurt mayonnaise. “There is this fast-food culture, consuming music like you would a one-dollar hamburger… Nightwish is fine dining,” Tuomas tells Polly Glass. 3. Rick Springfield is a wanker. Correction: was a wanker. “As a child I was insecure, I was always girl-obsessed but unbelievably shy. I had a problem with too much wanking,” he confides in our Stories Behind The Songs feature on Jessie’s Girl. 4. FM don’t mind being called dirty old men. The promo video for their latest single, Digging Up The Dirt, is full of of scantily clad young ladies. “It’s a sleazy song, it needed a sleazy video,” shrug the unrepentant veteran melodic rockers. 5. Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend are the Statler and Waldorf of 70s rock, judging by their bus-stop pensioner-style bickering at The Who’s London O2 Arena gig. (Daltrey: “You alright, Pete?” Townsend: “Oo gives a fuck?”) 6. The late Andy Fraser wasn’t a fan of Percy Plant. As the bassist says in our Free cover story: “We’d listen to Led Zeppelin and Robert would be screaming away and we’d be like: ‘Couldn’t he think of some lyrics?‘” 7. Dire Straits’ self-titled debut album cost just £12,500 to record. It went on to sell eight million within nine months of coming out. “Fuck me. What’s happening?” exclaimed their manager, Ed Bicknell. As well he might. 8. Van Halen are a sinking ship. Reviewing their Tokyo Dome Live In Concert album, Jon Hotten says it’s still a thrill to hear EVH’s “hot, chunky riffs”. However, “the vital snap has left” DLR and “one of rock’n’roll’s central partnerships now runs on half speed.” Women and children first… 9. Moody Blues bassist John Lodge doesn’t travel by spaceship anymore. In the 1970s Moodies fans propositioned Lodge to travel in their spaceship and conceive a new race, but “that doesn’t happen so much now,” he says ruefully. 10. Scott Weiland isn’t David Bowie. “I’m no David Bowie,” he says in our Q&A feature. Right, Scott. Yeah. We knew that.

If your newsagent isn’t selling issue 210 of Classic Rock, you can order it online.

Alternatively, you can download the Classic Rock magazine app from iTunes.

Classic Rock 210: Free! Van Halen! Faith No More!

Geoff Barton is a British journalist who founded the heavy metal magazine Kerrang! and was an editor of Sounds music magazine. He specialised in covering rock music and helped popularise the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) after using the term for the first time (after editor Alan Lewis coined it) in the May 1979 issue of Sounds.