Steel Panther ad ban, Travis Barker nude pic legal action plus Van Halen, Crue, Extreme, Priest and classic versus rock

By Andrew McDonald

Banned: Steel Panther artwork

Steel Panther’s latest album Balls Out has been deemed inappropriate by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority. The cover shows a reclining, scantily-clad woman holding two metal spheres on a string near her crotch. The band’s label Universal Island claim that the image was supposed to be so over the top that it would not be taken seriously, but ASA explain: “We considered that the main image on the poster was overtly sexual. In addition to this, the title was sexually suggestive and we considered the balls between her legs to be suggestive of male genitalia.” Adverts for the album cannot be displayed in this form again. (XFM)

Travis Barker of Blink 182 has taken legal action against a celebrity gossip website for posting nude photos of him. They were published as images of “an unknown musician” but Barker’s tattoos made him instantly recognisable to fans. The drummer’s attorney has served with notice to remove the pictures or face further action. (TMZ)

Van Halen’s new material appears to be recycled previous work. Fans have highlighted that several songs are based on the soundtrack of The Wild Life, which Eddie Van Halen composed, while recent single Tattoo has been likened to Down In Flames, a track from their seventies club days. Former singer Sammy Hagar recently said: “Ed and Dave didn’t actually write new songs. They took stuff from previous sessions.” (Blabbermouth)

Former Whitesnake and Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes has parted company with ex Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy. No reason has been given for the split, but Portnoy says he’ll recruit a replacement for the unidentified musical project. Mr Big’s Richie Kotzen has been named by some sources but he says: “Although we did throw some ideas around, neither of us decided to make any public announcements. I am a fan and I’m sure a collaboration would produce some interesting results.”

Motley Crue are to appear in an advert for the Kia Optima Limited car alongside supermodel Adriana Lima and martial arts fighter Chuck Liddell. Kia marketing boss Michael Sprague says: “It is the ultimate young man’s dream, but it’s not offensive to women either.”

Extreme will perform their breakthrough album Pornograffiti in full at three shows in Japan in April. They haven’t confirmed whether there will be any further performances, but it’s thought likely.

Metal fans and classical music fans have a lot in common, according to a survey carried out by Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University. A worldwide study of 36,000 followers concludes both groups are obsessive and dedicated when it comes to their music. Professor Adrian North explains: “There’s a sense of theatre which is common with both groups. For heavy metal bands it’s about putting on a show.” (Classic Rock)

Former Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing has unveiled plans to open a hotel on his estate in Shropshire, England. The development is set to include an indoor swimming pool, leisure spa and restaurant, and will become one with the golf enthusiast’s club that he opened in 2010. He reveals: “I’m optimistic we can start pushing through with the plans for development this year. I have spent most of my own personal fortune on this. It’s been hard work – but also rewarding and enjoyable to see it grow and grow.” (Shropshire Star)

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