This week we start with the news that Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme has revealed to BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe that his band will return to the studio right after their Glastonbury Festival appearance in June. “We’re going to take our one last break that we would get for a month, and come back and do Glastonbury, then immediately jump in the studio,” he explained. He added, “Our record will be done by the end of the year. We have enough songs. We’re at a weird moment where we really don’t feel like we have anything to prove. We just want to play to the people that are into us and we want to play right at them.”
In addition to what has been quite a year of honours for ZZ Top who were one of the recipients of the 2011 Texas Medal of Arts (an award that spotlights and celebrates the creative excellence, exemplary talents and outstanding contributions by Texans in selected categories, ultimately saluting the best in Texas.) Now comes news that guitarist Billy Gibbons has been named the official Texas State Musician for 2012. “To say we’re proud to be named Texas State Musician for 2012 would be a complete understatement“, said Gibbons in a statement released Tuesday by ZZ Top’s longtime publicist Bob Merlis.
Finally this week some good news from the music community as fans mark the first anniversary of the passing of the legendary Ronnie James Dio. The Ronnie James Dio “Stand Up And Shout” Cancer Fund, which was founded in memory of the late singer who died in 2010, has raised over $450,000 for cancer research. Later this year, the fund will team up with auction house Christie’s for a guitar and bass auction in New York City, with all proceeds going to the fund. Almost 100 instruments have already been donated, including guitars from many superstars such as Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Aerosmith, Tony Iommi, Sting, Metallica, Slayer and Geddy Lee of Rush.
In March, Wendy Dio updated fans on some of the good work the fund is doing and the causes they are helping to support, thanks to your donations. “We just donated $100,000 to the T.J, Martell Foundation for Cancer, AIDS and Leukemia research and have pledged $100,000 for the next 3 years!!!!“, said Wendy. “We have also donated $117,000 to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Facility for Gastric Cancer, this is where Ronnie received most of his Chemo research. We have pledged $117,000 for the next 3 years. We donated $10,000 to the [Y&T bassist] Phil Kennemore Foundation and unfortunately he passed away on January 7th from Lung Cancer.”
You can help by donating to the “Stand Up And Shout” Cancer Fund through a link on Dio’s website here.