Ripper on Priest, Slipknot’s future, plus Beatles, Korn, Maiden, Tull, Moody Blues, Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper, Fleetwood Mac and the Chilis

Ripper Owens with Judas Priest

Replacement: Ripper Owens with Judas Priest in 1996

Former Judas Priest singer Tim Ripper Owens hates the idea of the band touring without founding guitarist KK Downing – but admits it’s not his place to say.

Owens, who fronted Priest during Rob Halford’s absence between 1996 and 2003, says: “I can’t be the one to say, ‘It’s not the same without somebody.’ But it does stink that Ken’s not there.

“We did everything together – we and Glenn Tipton, Ian Hill and Scott Travis, we always did stuff together.

“I saw Ken recently. He’s excited and he’s enjoying his time off. I hope he’ll be back and he’ll get back at it. But the band are out there doing it and all the metal fans should go and support them.”

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Slipknot percussionist Clown Crahan has confirmed the band will tour the US next year – and believes they’ll make an album eventually.

They’re still reeling from the death of bassist Paul Gray in May last year, forcing them onto a year-long hiatus before they played a series of festival shows in Europe over the summer.

Crahan says: “Slipknot will be touring by next June. That does not mean things will not change. No album yet because it’s too soon, and there are no songs yet because the band needs to come together to write this next one. I cannot wait to feel the ideas – like choking on colour. Everything happens for a reason.”

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An Aston Martin DB5 once owned by Paul McCartney is expected to make £400,000 at auction in September. He bought the car in 1964 and had it customised with items including a record player.

Meanwhile, a signed copy of the Beatles’ single Please Please Me went for £9000 at a Liverpool auction, while a cap once owned by John Lennon made £3200.

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Korn’s experimental dubsteb album is to be called The Path to Totality and will be released on November 15, according to fan site Kornspace.com. Song titles include Burn the Obedient, Illuminati, Kill Mercy Within and Chaos Lives in Everything.

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Bruce Dickinson, Ian Anderson and Justin Hayward will perform a concert in Canterbury Cathedral on December 10 to raise funds for upkeep of the building.

Canterbury Rocks at Christmas will feature the Iron Maiden, Jethro Tull and Moody Blues frontmen after Anderson put on a successful show last year.

They’re aiming to help the cathedral reach its target of £3m per year.

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Alice Cooper guitarist Damon Johnson will replace Richard Fortus on Thin Lizzy’s upcoming US tour, as Fortus returns to Guns n’Roses for their next trek.

Johnson says: “The music of Lizzy is the biggest influence on my entire career. To be even a small footnote in the list of great guitarists who have been in the band is one of the highest accolades of my life.”

Orianthi Panagarism who previously played with Michael Jackson, will replace him in Cooper’s band.

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Fleetwood Mac aren’t currently working on a new album, but guitarist Lindsey Buckingham expects they’ll get to it soon.

He says: “We’ve nothing going on at all. Steve Nicks has been busy touring and I’m just about to release my new solo album and I have plans to tour on the back of that.

“I’d be surprised if we don’t make a new album at some point. I have eight or nine song ideas, some of which might fit in with Fleetwood Mac.”

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The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ new album I’m With You is the first rock release designed to deliver optimised quality via iTunes, says producer Rick Rubin. “We’re excited to work with iTunes to make an even better listening experience for fans,” he comments. “We can’t wait for everyone to hear it.” I’m With You is on release now.

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