Classic Rock's 10 most-read news stories of 2018

News stories of the year 2018
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While 2018 might not have shared the visceral bleakness as 2016 (a year in which we lost David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Prince, Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, Leon Russell, Merle Haggard, George Martin, Rick Parfitt and Leonard Cohen), it certainly wasn't short of headlines.

It was a year in which we lost more great musicians, a year in which some bands announced last hurrahs – although, as The Scorpions have proved, these final forays into the live arena can last for years – and a year in which we came across some real oddities, from a piece of rock history being dug out of a wood in Massachusetts to, well, our first story. 

10. Man plays Van Halen's Eruption without actually learning it

In which YouTuber Kmac21 - perhaps most famous for his excellent When You Love The Beatles But Also Death Metal film – released a version of Eruption that differed significantly from any previously recorded. How? He hadn't bothered to learn it first. Over a million views suggest he was right not to.

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9. Kiss announce End Of The Road farewell world tour

The band made the announcement during their appearance on the season finale of America’s Got Talent, where they performed their classic track Detroit Rock City live. Speaking on the show, vocalist and guitarist Paul Stanley said: “This is going to be our last tour. It will be the most explosive, biggest show we’ve ever done." 

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8. Johnny Depp sing Bowie’s Heroes with The Hollywood Vampires 

Fan-shot footage from a Hollywood Vampires show at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Pennsylvania, with Johnny Depp taking over vocal duties for a cover of David Bowie’s classic 1977 track Heroes. Love him or loathe him, Depp remains serious box office, even filmed on a smartphone.

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7. Manowar's Karl Logan arrested - details emerge

Distressing news as Manowar guitarist Karl Logan was alleged to be in possession of graphic videos depicting girls between the ages of four and 12 years old “engaged in a variety of sexual acts with unidentified men.” Earlier, the band had issued a statement distancing themselves from the guitarist, vowing their final tour would go ahead without him. 

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6. Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven voted greatest guitar solo ever

Sometimes we make our own news, as Jimmy Page’s guitar solo on Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven was voted the greatest ever by Classic Rock magazine. His work on the 1971 track was voted no.1 by a panel of critics, bands and readers in an issue of Classic Rock magazine which featured the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos.

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5. Vince Neil reveals that Motley Crue are heading back to the studio

Motley Crue singer Vince Neil claimed in a tweet that the band were returning to the studio to record four new songs. "Exciting news!," exclaimed Neil. "I’ll be going back in recording studio in a few weeks with the boys to record 4 brand new Motley Crue tracks! Rock On!" The band later confirmed that the tracks would feature on the soundtrack of the band's upcoming bio-pic, The Dirt.

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4. Fan left red-faced after Red Hot Chili Peppers mix up

The story of a fan who thought he'd unearthed a Valentine’s bargain when he found tickets priced at £30 each to see Red Hot Chili Peppers in Belfast. He purchased tickets for himself and his girlfriend and booked return flights, but just a few days before the show last Saturday, he discovered he had in fact purchased tickets to see Scottish bagpipe ensemble Red Hot Chilli Pipers instead. Let's face it: we've all done it.

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3. Original Aerosmith tour van found buried in Massachusetts woods

Aerosmith's first tour van was been found abandoned in woods near Chesterfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, about 110 miles west of Boston. The 1964 International Harvester Metro van was tracked down by Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, the hosts of American Pickers, a reality television series shown on The History Channel. 

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2. Hungarian figure skater Ivett Toth rocks out to AC/DC

Hungarian figure skater Ivett Toth introduced some rock to the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Wearing a studded vest featuring an image of AC/DC guitarist Angus Young, she delivered her routine in the Ladies Short event to a medley of the band’s classic tracks Back In Black and Thunderstruck.

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1. Motorhead ex “Fast” Eddie Clarke dies

Former Motorhead guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke died at the age of 67. The news was confirmed in a post on Motorhead’s Facebook page, which read: “We are devastated to pass on the news we only just heard ourselves earlier tonight – Edward Allan Clarke, or as we all know and love him Fast Eddie Clarke – passed away peacefully yesterday."

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Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.