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Dug Pinnick On LGBTQ Acceptance In The Hard Rock/Metal Community

For Gay Pride Month, Billboard asked artists about the reality of being out musicians in hard rock/metal and the state of LGBTQAI acceptance in the genre.

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Dug Pinnick, bassist-singer for progressive veterans King’s X and rock act KXM, has been publicly out since he declared his orientation in an interview with Christian publication Regeneration Quarterly in 1998. King’s X had been tagged a “Christian band” due to the band’s spiritual lyrics, a term the group disliked.

“I thought to myself, ‘This is a Christian magazine, and I am tired of being ridiculed,’ ” recounts Pinnick, 66, of why he came out during that conversation. “In the Christian world, they’re not too kosher on being gay, so I just thought, ‘Might as well come out and get it over with,’ ” he says with a laugh.

Despite Christian bookstores dropping the trio’s music after Pinnick’s confession, he, guitarist Ty Tabor and drummer Jerry Gaskill were relieved. In the wake of the interview, “the industry and fans treated me great,” says Pinnick. “No one gave me a problem at all. I’ve heard a couple comments the last couple years, like [on a] video or something, somebody says something really horrible about me, and I kind of dismiss it. But back in the day, there was hardly any talk about it, or if it was, they kept it from me.” He adds that many people expressed support for him, “especially [guitarist] Dimebag [Darrell Abbott] of Pantera. He came up and said, ‘Dude, you know I love you. I don’t care who you are. You’re Dug, and we love you.’”

But Pinnick was devastated when, during King’s X’s early days, its then-manager wanted to send Pinnick to a conversion camp. “Everyone around the band left,” except for Tabor and Gaskill, once they learned he was gay, including a guitarist who declared he could no longer be Pinnick’s roommate because “God told him he couldn’t sleep in the same house” with him. While being outed to his band had been Pinnick’s worst nightmare, “the greatest thing about it was when Ty and Jerry came and said, ‘Hey, we don’t care,’ ” he says. “And we’ve been a band for almost 40 years now. Those guys are my best friends, and I trust them more than anything in the world. They’ve never forsaken me or made me feel like I wasn’t a good guy.”

Read the full interview at Billboard.com.

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Nikki Sixx: Drug Addiction ‘Worked Until It Quit Working’

Motley Crue founder Nikki Sixx spoke about his drug addiction and how it influenced his creativity.

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During an appearance on the October 23 edition of MSNBC’s “The Beat With Ari Melber,” Motley Crue founder Nikki Sixx spoke about his drug addiction and how it influenced his creativity: “When I was coming up, so far as I know, there were no pill forms of heroin. If there were, I was never introduced to it — thank God. But a lot of people that are dealing with addiction right now, they’re dealing with it on a pain-pill level, and it’s being prescribed to them usually for a good reason — for dealing with pain itself. But then when they’re overprescribed and insurance companies are lax in following up on who’s getting these prescriptions filled and how many prescriptions can be filled at a time. I know CVS recently talked about only releasing one week worth of pain pills at a time so that people can’t abuse them and can’t also sell them to people who are… You know, they are in high demand, they’re very expensive, and when people can’t get these pills, they’re then going to the street. Then you’re dealing with needles and unregulated drugs, and you have a lot of overdoses there as well with the medications being prescribed.”

Sixx adds: “I was thinking about 1987 and how I was barely able to get an album done and a tour. And, actually, the tour was canceled — the last part of the tour. And in 2017, I’m able to do a radio show, write books, do photography, be a better husband, a father, and be part of these conversations that are happening. So I really think that sobriety gives you more energy and more creativity.”

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Ellefson Coffee Co. Releases Rock N’ Rose Blend For Cancer Awareness

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Ellefson Coffee Co., the premium coffee blend of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson, has announced the release of their latest seasonal coffee offering Rock N’ Rose, a smooth, satisfying light roast blend of premium Nicaraguan and Ethiopian coffees. Rock N’ Rose replaces She-Wolf as the light roast in the ECC lineup.

Said Ellefson Coffee founder David Ellefson, “We wanted to introduce a new roast to replace the recently retired She-Wolf, and with October being breast cancer awareness month, we thought it would be a great opportunity to pair up with an amazing charity like The Rose, and help to raise support for breast cancer awareness. It is a rich, full blend light roast, with some extra kick, that we are sure everyone is going to love.”

Rock N’ Rose joins the ECC roster alongside fan favorites like Roast In Peace, Kenya Thrash, and Urban Legend. Formed in 2016 by David Ellefson and Marketing/Operations director Thom Hazaert, Ellefson Coffee Company has quickly found strong footing in the Rock N’ Roll Coffee strata, becoming the official coffee of several major 2017 music festivals, featured in major music press, all while finding its way into retailers across America. And that list continues to grow.

Adds Ellefson, “After the huge reaction to our initial offering Roast In Peace, we have continued to add new blends, and explore new ways to meet the wants and needs of the ECC customer. As a huge coffee lover myself, I have been blessed to be able to travel the World, and explore the best coffee it has to offer. And we have brought that sort of international Rock N’ Roll attitude to Ellefson Coffee Co.”

Rock N’ Rose is available for a limited time from ellefsoncoffeeco.com, with a portion of the proceeds from each bag going to TheRose.org, a Houston, TX based breast cancer charity.

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Sully Erna, Mark Wahlberg Foundation Raise Awareness About Opioid Crisis

The powerful video features actual footage from parents who have lost their children to opioid addiction via overdose.

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Four-time Grammy-nominated, singer, songwriter and musician Sully Erna has partnered with the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and Recovery Centers of America to raise awareness about the growing opioid crisis in America. Sully and the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation have teamed up to create a brand new video featuring the song “Different Kind of Tears,” the first single off Erna’s current solo album Hometown Life, available now via BMG.

The raw and powerful video for “Different Kind Of Tears” – a song dedicated to teenage angst from the heartbreaking perspective of a parent – features actual footage from parents who have lost their children to opioid addiction via overdose.

The latest numbers published in the New York Times report that opioid deaths grew to over 60,000 nationwide in 2016 and they are projected to grow even higher in 2017. The Department of Health in Massachusetts alone reported statewide deaths caused by opioid overdoses topped 2,000 in 2016 for the first time, meaning each day an average of nearly six men and women inject, snort or take a drug and never wake up again.

This grim discovery inspired Sully to team up with Jim Wahlberg, Executive Director of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, who alongside Recovery Centers of America, is dedicated to protecting families and raising awareness to stop the opioid crisis one neighborhood at a time

“When Jim Wahlberg approached me to get involved with the Foundation to combat the out-of-control opioid epidemic sweeping this country, it was an easy decision,” explains singer-songwriter-musician Sully Erna. “Most of the charity work I have done is based around helping out inner-city kids to begin with–since I was that kid myself once–and especially since the opioid problem is now so severe in my hometown of Lawrence, Massachusetts. This song and video echo the feelings of struggle and loss people experience with this addiction and yearns to be heard.”

“This video addresses one of the most serious health issues facing our society today,” explains producer Jim Wahlberg, Executive Director of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. “Addiction touches every culture, every family and ultimately every one of us. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with a very talented musician on this important project.”

“Our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends and our families are being affected by the addiction epidemic,” said Rich Smith, Chief Marketing Officer of Recovery Centers of America. “With the goal of saving one million lives, we felt that it was a natural partnership for RCA to join Sully Erna and the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation to increase awareness of just how prevalent this epidemic has become and the resources for help, like RCA’s inpatient and outpatient facilities.”

According to data from a February 2017 report on opioid overdoses from the CDC, in 2015 there were over 22,000 deaths involving prescription opioids, equivalent to about 62 deaths per day. An increase from approximately 19,000 in 2014, a significant portion of the increase in deaths was due to deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, which includes fentanyl. Law enforcement agencies have reported recent increases in seizures of illegally-made (non-pharmaceutical) fentanyl. It is presumed that a large proportion of the increase in deaths is also due to illegally-made fentanyl. The CDC further discloses that prescription opioids continue to be involved in more overdose deaths than any other drug, and all the numbers are likely to underestimate the true toll given the large proportion of overdose deaths where the type of drug is not listed on the death certificate. The findings show that two distinct, but interconnected trends are driving America’s opioid overdose epidemic: a 15-year increase in deaths from prescription opioid overdoses, and a recent surge in illicit opioid overdoses driven mainly by heroin and illegally-made fentanyl, both trends continued in 2015.

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‘I’ve Reevaluated My Approach’: Ted Nugent Takes Bold Pivot

In response to the gunman opening fire on GOP congressmen in Alexandria, Virginia, Nugent said he wouldn’t engage in violent rhetoric anymore.

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photo TedNugent.com

Outspoken conservative rocker Ted Nugent made an announcement Thursday on WABC Radio’s “Curtis & Eboni” that sent shockwaves through the media. In response to the gunman opening fire on GOP congressmen in Alexandria, Virginia, Nugent said he wouldn’t engage in violent rhetoric anymore.

“I have reevaluated my approach,” Nugent said, giving credit to his wife Shemane for helping him reach this pivot point.

Having previously called President Obama a “sub-human mongrel” and asserted Clinton should suck on the end of his machine gun, Nugent described how he intends to handle future opportunities to slam those with whom he disagrees.

“I’m going to take a deep breath, and I’m going to back it down, and if it gets fiery, if it gets hateful, I’m going away,” he said. “I’m not going to engage in that kind of hateful rhetoric anymore.”

Lest anyone think this new approach implied he was abandoning his beliefs, Nugent doubled down on his conservative position.

“I have to clarify, we really are angry,” he said. “We don’t believe — we cannot believe — that people on the left don’t want secure borders. This is crazy to us!”

He went on to articulate the difference between passionate speech and violent rhetoric.

“I can still hold the ground and I can be feisty, I can be fiery, I can be passionate, but I will avoid anything that can be interpreted as condoning or referencing violence,” he said.

Declaring his commitment to Constitutional principles, Nugent promised not to back off the fight and increase his activism, as evidenced in his recent video rant on Facebook Live.

He concluded the interview with a challenge: “Here’s the battle cry for America — zero violence.”

Listen to the full interview below.

H/T: GlennBeck.com

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Gene Simmons On Israel, Trump’s Travel Ban And Terror Attacks

Gene Simmons was in Toronto to perform at a sold-out gala for Technion Canada, a fundraising arm of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.

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KISS frontman Gene Simmons, a.k.a. Chaim Witz, a.k.a. The Demon, a.k.a. Dr. Love, was in Toronto recently to perform at a sold-out gala for Technion Canada, a fundraising arm of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.

The Israeli-born rockstar, who has a history of being outspoken on controversial topics, including terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is also a philanthropist and advocate of a number of charities, such as Childfund International. During his Toronto visit, Simmons took time to stop by DANI-Toronto, which provides services to adults with physical and mental disabilities, to spend time with the participants and pose for pictures. During his sit-down interview with The CJN at the June 4 Technovation gala, Simmons responded to the spate of terrorist attacks in the West and spoke about his connection to his motherland.

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