Rock News

Rock News

Rock News

With Christmas officially in the rearview, it’s time to sit back, relax and look back on the year that was. Even briefly looking back at 2023, we must say this year was kind of a weird, chaotic one.

This fun, whimsical list isn’t meant for recapping earth-shattering things. Oh, no…this list is meant for the leftfield things that seemed to happen for truly no reason whatsoever. Again, 2023 was far more random than any of us realize until you actually sit and think about it. We cannot stress this enough!

Before moving forward, we would like to make one thing clear: This list isn’t about looking back and saying, “Hey, do you remember that (insert celebrity here) died in 2023?” Sadly, we have a whole separate list just about notable celebrity deaths in 2023. While 2023 was whimsically unique, it was also pretty brutal. Many true icons and legends sadly left us.

A lot of strange things happened, as you’ll see in the list below. We saw country stars dabbling in rock, and in the process, showing that they were much cooler than we thought. We had rock stars sharing some very personal things, like confirming they’re on the dating apps and even a story about a notable rock star almost soiling themselves while shopping.

On top of all of that, we saw one notable figure in rock have a fall from grace that was equal parts shocking and laughable. Plus, there were unexpected and welcomed returns, both at festivals and during the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony.

Without further ado, here are 14 things that happened in the rock world in 2023 that you may have forgotten about. Repeat: This year was friggin’ weird! That being said, enjoy this trip down memory lane. Here’s hoping 2024 is just as random. It just makes life more interesting.

  • Carrie Underwood Leaned Into Rock.

    The country superstar let us know she was a rocker at heart in 2022, but she really let us know in 2023. Between opening for Guns N' Roses to hanging out with I Prevail, we can’t help but wonder if she’ll release some sort of rock album like Dolly Parton.

  • Pitchfork Defended Its Infamous Greta Van Fleet Review.

    When GVF released their 2018 debut LP Anthem of the Peaceful Army, Pitchfork rated the album a 1.6 out of 10. In 2023, the outlet isn’t the least bit sorry about the review. The topic is broached on the Pitchfork Review podcast and can be heard in the clip below. Pitchfork Editor-in-Chief Puja Patel and Reviews Editor Jeremy D. Larson discuss the outlet’s history of delivering 0.0 ratings on albums, including Liz Phair’s self-titled 2003 album, which has since been “rescored” with a 6.0 rating.

    Eventually, Patel says to Larson, “That said, our lowest score during my tenure was an album you also reviewed, which was Greta Van Fleet’s album, which clocked in at a 1.6 and then I think more recently Jack Harlow’s album, ‘Come Home the Kids Miss You’ got a 2.9 and I think both of those scores are exactly right.” Larson added, “No notes on those.” Larson went on to say, “Instagram just showed me a picture of two people front row at a Greta Van Fleet concert holding up a sign that said, ‘We teepeed Jeremy Larson’s house.’ Those are the low ones but I don’t think we lowballed any of them.”

  • Meg White Drumming Discourse Returns!

    In March, writer Lachlan Markay took Meg’s drumming to task in a tweet he soon deleted due to intense backlash. Markay shared a tweet about “Seven Nation Army” being considered “the best song of this century.” He wrote, in part, with his retweet, “The tragedy of the White Stripes is how great they would’ve been with a half decent drummer.”

    This led to a number of people coming out in defense of Meg, including Jack White. He took to social media sharing a photo of his former drummer/ex-wife along with a poem. The poem reads, in part:

    “To be born in another time,
    any era but our own would’ve been fine.
    100 years from now,
    1000 years from now,
    some other distant, different, time.
    one without demons, cowards and vampires out for blood,
    one with the positive inspiration to foster what is good.”

  • Flea Shares an Incredible TMI Story.

    Completely unprompted, Flea took to X in April to share an insane story about how he almost crapped his pants while shopping at Target. The whole story is below. Just read that, because our words won’t do it justic.

  • Soundgarden and Vicky Cornell Resolve Legal Issues, But Are Still At Odds.

    In April, Soundgarden and Vicky Cornell issued a joint statement agreeing to release the final recordings of Chris Cornell with the band. However, in November, drummer Matt Cameron told The Vinyl Guide podcast, “We’re still in the middle of a dispute with the estate. Everything is on hold right now.” As far as a timeline for the release of this music, Cameron said it likely won’t happen in 2024. However, he still remains hopeful for its eventual release.

  • Blink-182 Headlined Coachella.

    After performing a surprise set on April 14, blink-182 ended up headlining the second weekend of Coachella. The lineup change happened after rapper Frank Ocean dropped out of the festival. The reunited pop-punk band closed out the festival on April 23.

  • David Draiman Joined Tinder.

    Screenshots of the Disturbed frontman’s Tinder profile went viral on X in May. A fan with the handle @Th3Inquisitive1 retweeted the Tinder screenshots and tagged Draiman. He wrote, “Lol dude you see this?! I’m tagging you bc I believe it’s fake.” Draiman replied, “Not fake lol. It’s me.”

  • MTV News Ends.

    After layoffs from parent company Paramount Global, MTV News officially came to an end after 36 years in May. MTV News first began in 1987 with the show The Week in Rock. The program was hosted by Kurt Loder, which was one of the division’s most popular correspondents. MTV News had a number of notable correspondents in its 36-year run. Among them were John Norris, SuChin Pak, Sway Calloway, Serena Altschul, Chris Connelly, Tabitha Soren, Gideon Yago and more.

  • Fall Out Boy Releases Updated Version of 'We Didn't Start the Fire'.

    In June, Fall Out Boy released an updated version of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Their version highlights major events from 1989-2023.

  • Power Trip.

    In October, Power Trip took over the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. The lineup featured six major rock acts: Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Judas Priest, Metallica and Tool.

  • We Found Out Stephen King REALLY Loved 'Mambo No. 5'.

    In an interview with Rolling Stone published in September, King is asked about a rumor that he was a massive fan of the Lou Bega song “Mambo No. 5.” Without hesitation, King said he was. Apparently, he loved all of the various remixes of the track and the 1950 instrumental original by Dámaso Pérez Prado. Unfortunately, King’s wife, fellow author Tabitha King, was far from a fan of the song.

    ” … I played that thing until my wife just said, ‘One more time, and I’m going to f—ing leave you,'” said King.

  • Jann Wenner Goes Off the Deep End.

    In an interview with The New York Times published in September, Rolling Stone/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame co-founder Jann Wenner was pressed on why he didn’t highlight any Black people or any women in his book, The Masters. The book is a collection of interviews Wenner conducted with seven rock subjects. All seven subjects were white men.

    Wenner said, in part, “The people had to meet a couple criteria, but it was just kind of my personal interest and love of them. Insofar as the women, just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level.” Wenner went on to namecheck the likes of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. However, he stuck to his “articulate” reasoning even with these beloved and respected music icons.

    After the interview went viral, Wenner was removed from the Board of Directors of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

    Jann S. Wenner, Mick Jagger and Ahmet Ertegun at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame 19th Annual Induction Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel March 15, 2004 in New York City.

    Jann S. Wenner, Mick Jagger and Ahmet Ertegun at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame 19th Annual Induction Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel March 15, 2004 in New York City.

  • Lenny Kravitz Brings Back THAT Scarf!

    Lenny Kravitz ushered in Fall on September 23 in the most legendary way possible. The rocker/actor took advantage of the first day of Fall by sharing his first post on TikTok. In the process, he resurrected his notoriously massive scarf that went viral years ago. The clip shows Kravitz donning the scarf and walking through a park. He simply says while walking toward the camera, “Grab your big scarf. It’s the first day of Fall.”

  • Jimmy Page Makes Surprise Appearance at 2023 Rock Hall Ceremony.

    Jimmy Page and his surprise performance at the 2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in November was one of the best highlights of the show. Following the performance, the guitar icon took to social media to discuss what the performance meant to him.

    Page wrote, “I was asked to induct Link Wray into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; a guitarist, instrumentalist and songwriter that I’d admired from the very first taste of the ‘Rumble.'”

    He continued, “I first heard it when I was 14, roaring from a jukebox in my hometown of Epsom. As a guitar instrumental, the attitude of it was totally unique in its mystery, imagination and execution — it had a profound effect on me.”

    Page concluded, “Link Wray and ‘Rumble’ stand alone at the pinnacle in the world of instrumentals, and I was thrilled to stand on stage in New York with drummer Anton Fig and bassist Tim Givens at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last night to induct one of my heroes.”

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