“Billie Joe Armstrong’s public meltdown in September got more column inches than Uno, Dos and Tré combined. They deserved better, especially the rage, pop and sense of "99 Revolutions,” written in the aftermath of Occupy Oakland. A week before he ran off the rails in Las Vegas, Armstrong finished Green Day’s New York album-release gig at Irving Plaza with this incendiary device. It was the 40th song of the set, but he sang it with a face and voice alight with sustained fury and faith. I prefer to remember the end of his year this way.“

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are back – minus John Frusciante.

In the latest issue of Rolling Stone, available in Rolling Stone All Access and on newsstands on August 19th, the band reveals details to Senior Writer David Fricke about what it was like to return to the studio to record their new album I’m With You (out August 30) without their long-time guitarist. “I was afraid,” said bassist Flea. “I couldn’t imagine going out with someone else. It seemed done….It’s like missing a family member.”

Check out other thoughts from the RHCP on Anthony Kiedis’ fatherhood, what Flea is like as a college student, and more - plus our ranking of the band’s best videos and an exclusive video interview with Kiedis and Flea -  all on RollingStone.com.

–Eric Sundermann


For Rolling Stone Magazine, David Fricke asks Jimmy Page about working with Brian Jones. Censored From Our Minds

DF: You played on a rare solo project by Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones-his soundtrack to the 1967 film “A Degree of Murder”. How well did you know the Stones then? 

JP: I met Mick and Keith in the back of a van, going to a blues festival in Birmingham. I went because I really wanted to see John Lee Hooker. We ended up at a blues collector’s house who had the Howlin’ Wolf record with the rocking chair on the cover. It had just been imported. 
I didn’t know Mick and Keith as well as I knew Jeff (Beck). But I’d seen Brian at the Ealing Jazz Club. I saw him play bottleneck guitar. I was struggling with the Elmore James stuff. Suddenly, it clicked. It was in the tuning. He was doing it. 

DF: What state was Jones in at that session? It was only a couple of years before his death. 

JP: It might have been Stu who called me. Brian knew what he was doing. It was quite beautiful. Some of it was made up at the time; some of it was stuff I was augmenting with him. I was definitely playing with the violin bow. Brian had this guitar that had a volume pedal-he could get gunshots with it. There was a Mellotron there. He was moving forward with ideas. 

*Note: Bottom pictures weren’t taken during the mentioned recording sessions. Still, Brian Jones is seen with a mellotron and Jimmy Page with the violin bow.

Lorde may be a superstar, but she’s deep, man. [Though] I barely got to say two words to her [at the Rock Hall induction]. She flew from God knows where, and we rehearsed the song once. Then we walked onstage and did it. It was very Nirvana: one rehearsal and not a lot of communication.

Writer David Fricke and photographer Mark Seliger recall working alongside Kurt Cobain on Rolling Stone’s iconic cover stories.

“…At Sun Studio in Memphis Elvis Presley called to life what would soon be known as rock and roll with a voice that bore strains of the Grand Ole Opry and Beale Street, of country and the blues. At that moment, he ensured - instinctively, unknowingly - that pop music would never again be as simple as black and white”  - David Fricke, “Rolling Stone,” 1986


“In an era defined by the Seattle grind and gloom of Nirvana and Alice in Chains, songs like Armstrong’s teenage-runaway memoir, "Welcome to Paradise,” and the jubilantly vengeful “Having a Blast” combined classic-punk minimalism, Sixties pop pow and unflinching introspection, forged in the outsider ideals of the East Bay underground. Armstrong and Dirnt, childhood friends who began playing music together when they were 12, named Green Day after their fondness for spending days just sitting around smoking weed. “Dookie” was a tour van euphemism for diarrhea brought on by bad road chow; when asked about the name of the album, Armstrong replies, “It was a stoner thing.”

Feature story and six page spread on the making of Green Day’s “Dookie,” which turned 20 earlier this year, in this month’s issue of Rolling Stone. The story begins with a scene from their record release show at a club in San Fransisco, where the Dead Milkmen opened, and the bananas video for “Welcome to Paradise” was shot:

“At Slim’s, Green Day tore through the new songs with lunatic glee. The 500-person crowd’s reaction was immediate and a little scary, an unhinged euphoria of crowd-surfing and slam-dancing caught in a video for the single "Welcome to Paradise,” shot at the club that night. “People were genuinely bursting with energy,” Armstrong, now 42, recalls, “as if they wanted to be part of something but nobody knew what it was. We didn’t either.”“

Astute observers may have noticed that the ‘66 show we coupled with the post concerning the welcome reissue (on wax!) of Rare Cuts & Oddities also happened to be the first in David Fricke’s 20 favorite shows (we say favorite because, hey man, that’s really all these lists are, right?)  Anyway, this came out a month or two ago and we picked one up because it’s always fun to read new words on our old favorite band.

And!  We’ve been doing this here fuckyesgratefuldead thing for a long time now, and just posting random detritus that flashes across our brainpans is less satisfying, these days, than working around some loose unifying theme.  So the point we’re belaboring here is, why not dig on Fricke’s Picks for a while?  It’s a decent list, as good a primer as any, with enough classic faves and likewise enough curveballs to keep it interesting.  Plus, it’s raining (maybe), it’s Sunday (probably), and what do you have to do that’s better than listening to 3/18/67 - the Dead’s first-ever show at Winterland! - and dig the sweet sounds of a band in transition from a pizza parlor party barely-post-jug band (albeit a weird one) to the rough beginning rushes of a raging psychedelic behemoth?


Who Is Better At Ruining A Music Documentary, David Fricke Or Thurston Moore?

Have you watched a documentary regarding nearly any kind of music and David Fricke and/or Thurston Moore appear on the screen with a mostly unrelated or extra self-important opinion? Last night I was watching the Ken Burns movie about the Statue Of Liberty and half-expected Moore to chime in about going to the Mudd Club in the early 1980s.

Lest we forget, Henry “Officer Dobbs Lawrence Garfield” Rollins. He often shows up to compare any number of bands to his own personal rock & roll Vietnam and sometimes makes machine gun noises with his mouth. Although I have to give him points for being a Fall fanatic.

I think I’ve seen Thurston Moore tell the same three stories well over 65 times. But it’s David Fricke that makes we want to reach through the screen and throttle an image. Henry Rollins wants to decapitate you with his opinions. One of them has to go. WHICH WILL IT BE?


David Fricke talks about Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. He’s a senior writer for Rolling Stone, has over 10,000 albums in his New York apartment, and is ridiculously smart. How could he not be a cool person?