The final lineup for the second Rock Legends Cruise means more rock 'n roll history on the high seas. The first Rock Legends Cruise #1, which sailed last December on Liberty of the Seas, featured ZZ Top, George Thorogood and the Destroyers ("Bad to the Bone" and "I Drink Alone"), Johnny and Edgar Winter, and Steppenwolf with John Kay - among many others. With over 20 bands, you could find a dozen different ways to quantify it as the biggest rock 'n roll cruise in history. It certainly required the largest cruise ship ever fully chartered for a music cruise; Royal Caribbean's 155,000-ton, 4000-passenger Liberty of the Seas.
Now the lineup has been fully announced for Rock Legends II - and although different from the first cruise, it promises just as much punch as number one. The marquee will be different - even better in my personal opinion. Here are the bands that already confirmed on Rock Legends Cruise II:
Rock Legends Cruise II Bands
The following artists are making their first appearance on the upcoming Rock Legends Cruise sailing January, 10, 2013: Paul Rodgers - known as a founding member and lead singer of the bands Free and Bad Company, Paul Rodgers also took over for Freddy Mercury in the band Queen and has also toured with Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Paul McCartney, Jeff Beck and more. I was struggling see who will be playing in his backup band on this cruise until I finally got the manifest from the concert promoter. There were the names of the band he has actually been using pretty steadily since the late 1990s. The guitarist is Howard Leese who played with Heart for 22 years - and has already been touring with Paul Rodgers (sometimes using the name Bad Company, sometimes, just "Paul Rodgers") when they play. In addition, the band features Markus Wolfe (second guitar), Todd Ronning (bass) and Rick Fedyk (drums).
There are more "first time" acts - many of whom have never played on any cruise ship before. Foreigner is one of the most popular classic rock radio bands of all time with over 70-million record sales. Their hits include "Feels like the First Time," "Cold as Ice" and "I Want to Know What Love Is." That was just their first album; "Double Vision" and "Waiting for a Girl like You" followed.
Some of the other new acts that were added just before the full marquee was finalized include: Kansas whose hits include "Dust in the Wind," "Carry on My Wayward Son," made their name with their debut album in 1974.
The Atlanta Rhythm Section got its name because they were the best studio musicians working in the hit making Studio One in Atlanta in the 1970s. As a band they best known for their version of the song "Spooky," and classic tracks like "So Into You" and "Imaginary Lover", which they've perfected through dozens of years of performance on the road. But the group's current live show also includes some favorite songs from their peers like Steely Dan ("Hey Nineteen") and the Allman Brothers ("Midnight Rider"). One of my favorite bands; 38 Special, who sold more than 20-million records in the 1980s with the hit song "Hold on Loosely" will be one the cruise. They have played with other Southern Rock bands for the "Simple Man Cruise" which is now a yearly event featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd from Atlanta's Sixthman Productions.
Creedence Clearwater Revisited will be onboard as the new line up for the band responsible for the classic Creedence songs "Susie Q," "Lodi," "Proud Mary," "Down On The Corner," "Fortunate Son" and "Who'll Stop The Rain?" This band includes the original "Creedence" rhythm section of Stu Cook and Doug Cosmo along with singer/ guitarist John Tristao, lead guitarist Kurt Griffey who has recorded and toured with members of the Eagles, Foreigner, the Moody Blues, Wings, Lynyrd Skynryd, Santana, and Journey, and Steve Gunner who plays keyboard, acoustic guitar, percussion, harmonica and sings the high harmonies.
Randy Bachman and Fred Turner started Bachman Turner Overdrive in the 1970s. Randy started with "Guess Who" - the first Canadian band to ever have a Billboard chart number one hit with "American Woman." BTO sold over 30-million records including songs like "Takin' Care of Business," "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" and "Moonlight Rider." Bachman and Turner have just reunited after almost 20 years apart.
Blue Oyster Cult is credited with being at the forefront of true hard rock with hits like "Don't Fear the Reaper" and "I Love the Night." The original core duo of vocalist/lead guitar Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser, and vocalist/rhythm guitar Eric Bloom also has the longtime rhythm section of bassist Rudy Sarzo (ex Ozzy, Whitesnake, DIO), and drummer Jules Radino. Also new to the Rock Legends Cruise II lineup is Black Oak Arkansas - one of the truly original "Southern Rock" Bands.
Vintage Guitar Magazine just wrote up a long article about the Kentucky Headhunters, a band I knew little about, but I am now looking forward to seeing. Any band that grows up together and plays with the same lineup from their teen years to their mature adult years has the special magic it takes to really get a song going.
Bands Returning to the Rock Legends Cruise
Several more Southern Rock icons that were on the first Rock Legends cruise will return: the Marshall Tucker Band, Molly Hatchet, The Artimus Pyle Band;. Other great classic rock bands returning for the second cruise include Pat Travers, Foghat and Devon Allman's Honeytribe.
From seeing the first cruise I can say with full confidence that Foghat, Molly Hatchet, Pat Travers, Devon Allman and Whiskey Myers just plain kick butt when it comes to hard-driving rock 'n roll. Artimus Pyle will deliver some of the great Skynyrd hits he created and SwampDaWamp and Whiskey Myers are newer versions of bands in the same vein.Here is the complete lineup:
- Paul Rodgers
- Creedence Clearwater Revisited
- Kansas, Bachman & Turner
- 38 Special
- The Marshall Tucker Band
- Blue Oyster Cult
- Molly Hatchet
- Kentucky HeadHunters
- Atlanta Rhythm Section
- Pat Travers Band
- Melvin Seals & JGB
- The Artimus Pyle Band
- Black Oak Arkansas
- Royal Southern Brotherhood
- Devon Allmans Honeytribe, SwampDaWamp
- Whiskey Myers
- Citizens Band Radio
- The Blue Lords
How Good Can it Get?
Adding to the unlikely, Rock Legends Cruise #1 was meant to be a one-time event - a "charity ball" for the Native American Heritage Association where the plans just kept getting bigger and bigger. But its success took everyone by surprise, including those of us lucky enough to be onboard. It wasn't until the last night, when the four full days of non-stop rock 'n roll madness finally started to wind down, that we suddenly like a mass Woodstock realization that we all been a part of making rock 'n roll history. We had been too busy living the moment to see the big picture.
Billy Gibbons, lead guitarist and songwriter for ZZ Top, summed it up best during their last show on the final night when he said "I'm not really sure what has just happened here, so why don't we just turn the ship around and do it all again." That's what I would do - in fact what I plan to do - next January 10, 2013 when the Rock Legends Cruise II sails again. As a rock guitar player myself I was blown away by the bands on the first Rock Legends Cruise who are coming back; Devon Allman, Foghat, Molly Hatchet and Pat Travers, but I also believe that the new headliners for this cruise give it the promise to be even better than the first cruise - which is quite a feat.
Paul Rodgers is a huge talent; the voice of songs like "All Right Now," "Fire and Water," "Wishing Well," "Feel Like Making Love," Can't Get Enough" which are hits from his many own bands before he sang with (separately) Queen, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. The Creedence Clearwater Revisted is a sure-fire crowd pleaser with their good-time easy rock hits like "Susie Q," and "Proud River." And at sales of 90-million records Foreigner has hit songs that we still hear on the radio every day.
Take my advice; it is never too soon to book your cabin; I predict this one will sell out very quickly. I already have my reservations in place. I have said it before and will say it again; you just can't beat the combination of live music and a cruise. No distractions, no driving home; nothing but the pure, uninterrupted joy of sitting in small intimate theaters close enough to see every strum and bead of sweat by some of the best Rock 'n Roll bands in history. Go to Rock Legends Cruise for more information.
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