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Author Jeff Slate

Debbie Harry is a certifiable pop culture icon. As the frontperson for Blondie, the chart-topping New Wave group that grew out of New York City’s fabled CBGBs-fueled punk scene, she became known worldwide as not just one of the premier fashion and style symbol of her era, but one of the most arresting lead singers of late-1970s and early-80s, and certainly the premiere female artist of the fertile, post-punk musical landscape. Her new memoir, the no-holds-barred Face It, is both a love letter to her early days fighting for attention amongst the litany of bands trying to make it on…

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Duane Betts has a lot to live up to. So it’s no surprise that the son of Allman Brothers Band guitar legend Dickey Betts, who was named for one of the greatest guitar players of all-time, Duane Allman, started out his musical life as a drummer. “I took interest in the drums at a pretty early age,” Betts tells Rock Cellar. “Drums and guitars were around, but I remember picking up the guitar and it just seemed really too difficult for me at the time. So I wanted to play the drums, and my dad got me a drum set.”…

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Black Flag was one of the most important bands to come out of the L.A. punk scene of the early-1980s. The band pioneered hardcore, and eventually post-hardcore, under the guiding hand of guitarist and songwriter Greg Ginn, whose incendiary anti-authoritarian and nonconformist messages struck a chord with teens and twenty-somethings during the Reagan era. But it was Henry Rollins, the charismatic front man for the band during the heady days of the band’s greatest popularity, from 1981-1986, who became the poster child for their incendiary brand of hardcore punk. As chronicled in the new book More Fun In The New…

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D Generation were 90’s punk icons. But the band’s charismatic frontman, Jesse Malin, always seemed more than the run of the mill anarchist typically at the helm of the latter-day punk bands that littered the landscape of the late-20th century music scene. It’s been 20 years since the band essentially called it a day, and, not surprisingly, Malin has carved out a formidable career as a solo artist, embracing the singer-songwriter storytelling he loved as a youth, and joining forces on projects with everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Lucinda Williams. His new album, Sunset Kids, produced by Williams and featuring…

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“(Joan) Jett is always the coolest person in the room, and an inspiration to anyone who feels like an outsider or misfit,” the rock and roll firebrand’s biography reads on her Hall of Fame inductee page. It’s a great line, but it also sums up Joan Jett perfectly. Jett and her band the Blackhearts fused punk and glam with old school rock and roll — the kind that used to pepper the AM airwaves in the 1960s — making her a household name in the process. Jett had absorbed every Black Sabbath, Suzi Quatro, T. Rex, and New York Dolls…

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25 years after Oasis announced its arrival to the world, Noel and Liam Gallagher, Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs, Tony McCarroll, plus Creation Records head Alan McGee, DJ Gary Crowley and the Oasis Podcast host James Corcoran, tell the origin story of the band’s groundbreaking debut album. The Oasis formula — adding a large dash of the Sex Pistols and T. Rex to the obvious Beatles/Stones/Kinks influences — created a turbo-charged sound that’s as urgent today as it was in 1994, twenty-five years ago, when Definitely Maybe, Oasis’ debut album, hit record store shelves. Rock Cellar gathered together interviews with lead singer Liam…

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Writer/musician Jeff Slate remembers the late Jeff Buckley, whose landmark 1994 album Grace celebrated its 25th anniversary this week. Jeff Buckley was something truly special. Like so many others have said, I knew it the first time I saw him. Jeff was a newcomer to the New York City music scene in the early 1990s, when I was doing my own thing, playing the same clubs and chasing many of the same players and A&R guys. Well, I chased them. It was easier for Jeff. Sure, he struggled like the rest of us, but in many ways, everyone seemed to…

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Lukas Nelson’s 2018 was the sort of year that most musician’s can only dream of, and 2019 is shaping up to be even better for the front man of the roots rock band Promise of the Real. Last year saw Nelson back his dad on several great albums, tour incessantly to packed crowds with his band and as the backing band for Neil Young -– something the band has been doing regularly since 2014 — and helped bring the Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga remake of A Star Is Born to the silver screen. This year, as his band continues to tread…

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Peter Frampton has climbed the mountaintop a few times in his storied career. First, with Steve Marriott, as the young, charismatic guitar hero of their band Humble Pie; then as the multi-platinum selling solo artist when his album Frampton Comes Alive! was seemingly everywhere in the late 1970s; later as David Bowie’s foil on the icon’s 1987 Never Let Me Down (recently re-imagined) album and Glass Spider tour; and finally as the Grammy-winning elder statesman of rock. Frampton is out on a farewell tour right now – resulting from a diagnosis of IBM (inclusion body myositis), a progressive muscle disease…

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“What’s the Joker doing in the Met?” guitarist Steve Miller, who was instrumental in helping put the show together, joked after seeing the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new exhibition “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll,” which showcases some of the most iconic instruments in the history of rock and roll. “Well, the first time I saw the exhibit assembled together, and I walked through, I was stunned by the power and the elegance and the intelligence of this assembled collection of musicians and instruments. It’s really why we all love the Metropolitan Museum so much, and why they’re…

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