Join our mailing list for the latest news

Latest Track

This feature is rendered via ajax

Latest News

Get into SB and you won't regret it”

comeherefloyd.com

Remembering Rock Music Legend Tom Petty 

Americans are remembering rock musician Tom Petty. 

Petty died on Monday after suffering a cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, California. He was 66 years old. 

Petty's family said he was taken to a hospital early Monday, but doctors could not help him. They said he died several hours later "surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends." 

Petty and his band finished their most recent tour just last week at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. 

In December, Petty told Rolling Stone magazine that he thought this would be the group's last performances together. He said, "It's very likely we'll keep playing, but will we take on 50 shows in one tour? I don't think so. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was thinking this might be the last big one." 

Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was a friend of Petty’s. They performed together over 20 years ago in a group called the Traveling Wilburys. 

In a statement to Rolling Stone magazine, Dylan said Petty’s death was “shocking, crushing news.” The rock star added “He was a great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him." 

Petty was born on October 20, 1950 in Florida. The New York Times newspaper reported that he had a difficult childhood and did not do well in school. 

Petty said he first wanted to become a rock and roll star after meeting Elvis Presley while Presley was in Florida filming a movie called “Follow That Dream.” 

Petty rose to fame in the 1970s with his band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. They were known for hits such as "American Girl," "Listen to Her Heart” and "You Got The group became members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. 

But alongside his success, Petty suffered from depression and turned to drugs. A 2015 biography told about his addiction to the drug heroin in the 1990s. 

Warren Zanes wrote the book “Petty: The Biography.” Zanes told The Washington Post that Petty “had had encounters with people who did heroin, and he hit a point in his life when he did not know what to do with the pain he was feeling.” 

Petty once told CNN, “Music, as far as I have seen in the world so far, is the only real magic that I know. There is something really honest and clean and pure and it touches you in your heart.” 

I’m Jonathan Evans. Jonathan Evans wrote this story for VOA Learning English based on reports from Reuters and VOANews.com. George Grow was the editor.

Kiss Pledge of Allegiance 

Kiss leads Pledge of Allegiance at Gretna Fest 

Updated on October 1, 2017 at 1:45 PM Posted on October 1, 2017 at 12:34 PM 

KISS performs at the 2017 Gretna Heritage Festival 

By Doug MacCash 

NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune 

The spectacular blizzard of confetti that fluttered down during "(I Wanna) Rock and Roll All Nite" had barely settled Saturday (Sept. 30) at the Gretna Heritage Festival when the Kiss concert took an unexpected turn toward the patriotic. 

"It's always cool to love your country," frontman Paul Stanley told the mostly appreciative audience. Joined by Gretna politicians, the singer-guitarist congratulated Army Major Steve Roberts for his 30-plus years of military service. 

"Some people believe that freedom is free," he said. But Kiss, Stanley said, appreciates military sacrifice. 

In an odd visual juxtaposition of symbols, Stanley, dressed in a glittering black, midriff-exposing costume that evokes rock 'n' roll abandon, led the crowd in a respectful recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Not everyone approved. One social media commenter said the show wouldn't go on without the Pledge, and that the action defied the spirit of rock.  

"KISS made everyone do the pledge of allegiance before they would do an encore," Bantam Foxes wrote. "That was the least rock and roll thing I've ever seen."  

The crowd that witnessed Kiss's patriotic flourish was enormous. Thousands of fans flooded the riverside meadow in front of the Gretna Fest main stage. Thousands more clustered on the sloping levee. A big video screen showed the concert to scores of folks seated beyond the levee near the old courthouse. 

Kiss disappointed no one. The two original members of the quartet, Stanley and basist Gene Simmons, are well into their 60s. There's certainly some gray lurking beneath their shocks of raven black hair, but both men played and postured with energy, passion and humor all the way from "Deuce" to "Detroit Rock City." Kiss may have been performing for 45 years, but the musicians were the opposite of blase about it.  

Kiss was the absolute perfect act for the Gretna Fest scene. Gretna Fest is a very big small-town carnival, with kettle corn, prize goldfish in little plastic bags, a Ferris wheel, lots of beer and lots of red, white, and blue. Kiss's unpretentious good time vibe fit like a foot in a well broken-in six-inch chrome platform boot. 

Unpretentiousness can be the key to America's heart. Stanley proudly announced that the band had been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But, he said, the truth was that the folks at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame actually hate Kiss. It was fan popularity alone that put them in the Cleveland museum, Stanley asserted victoriously.

On Saturday, Kiss left no rock 'n' roll stagecraft stone unturned. In the course of the 90-minute show the crowd witnessed the eruption of many, many fire pots, Roman candles and confetti cannons. Stanley playfully spit picks into the front row. Simmons allowed "blood" to spill grotesquely from his mouth. Stanley acrobatically held the guitar behind him and strummed between his legs. Simmons winkingly wagged his tongue ... and wagged his tongue ... and wagged his tongue. It was all lovably lurid.  

Simmons' tongue is an icon. All of Kiss is iconic. Admittedly that's an overused term, but in this band's case, it applies. Kiss is more than a band; it's a Gothic, nihilistic, libertine, unpredictably patriotic Americana touchstone. The band might not be as recognizable as Santa Claus, but it would give Ronald MacDonald a run for his money.