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Author Jeff Slate

“(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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Slash is probably the last of the guitar heroes of the Golden Age of rock and roll. Following in the footsteps of the rock god’s who inspired him — Joe Perry, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton — he almost singlehandedly made the Gibson Les Paul cool again, after Guns N’ Roses broke through via MTV in the late-1980s. After the break-up of his band, and the death of Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland, which Slash co-founded after Guns N’ Roses imploded, Slash set out on a long and fruitful solo career. “It’s been a little bit crazy, but, you know, it’s…

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Larry “Ratso” Sloman has been a fixture on the New York City music scene since the 1970s. Along the way he was befriended by Bob Dylan, The Byrds’ Roger McGuinn, Nick Cave and many others. He was given his moniker “Ratso” by Joan Baez herself, chronicled Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue tour — which has been immortalized in a Martin Scorsese-directed film and 14-disc box set (and vinyl reissue package) — in his must-read, instant classic book On The Road with Bob Dylan. And, of course, he collaborated with the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis on his amazing memoir, and…

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This month, famed auction house Christie’s will auction more than 120 of rock and roll legend David Gilmour’s guitars. The David Gilmour Guitar Collection represents a remarkable, hand-picked group of instruments from the Pink Floyd guitarist’s personal guitar collection, including his infamous Fender Stratocaster -– dubbed the “Black Strat” –- as well as Fender Broadcasters, Esquires and Telecasters, the Martin 12-string he played on “Wish You Were Here,” Gilmour’s 1963 Gibson J-180 “Everly Brothers” acoustic, and a 1973 Rickenbacker 360-12 12-string electric guitar, among many others. The June 20th auction marks a rare opportunity for Pink Floyd fans, guitar aficionados, musicians…

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Stewart Copeland is always game for an intellectually-stimulating conversation. He’s proved it time and time again over the years, and roughly a year after he was featured on these pages as a Rock Cellar TV interview subject (conducted at his beautiful home studio in Southern California), Jeff Slate caught up with him about some exciting new releases in his world …  Stewart Copeland, the drummer for The Police, is one of those larger than life rock and roll personalities who lives up to his reputation. Known as whip smart, opinionated, and, of course, one of the most distinctive drummers to…

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