December’s Biggest Classic Rock Stories: 2017 in Review
We closed out 2017 by learning who was going into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but also that the making of a long-delayed classic rock movie had hit yet another snag. But while a legend saw his daughter become a reality TV star, another got accused of sexual misconduct, and a versatile and prolific rock session musician faced a personal tragedy. read below to see the top stories of December 2017.
The Queen Movie Mess
Under the stewardship of director Bryan Singer, it seemed that Bohemian Rhapsody, the Queen biopic, was finally going to come to fruition. But then production was halted when Singer didn't return to the set following a vacation for Thanksgiving and was subsequently fired, with stories of stars Rami Malek and Tom Hollander unhappy with the director's behavior. In his defense, Singer said that he had asked for time off to care for a sick parent and was denied by the studio. He was replaced by Dexter Fletcher, who had previously been linked to the project. Days later, Singer was sued for sexual assault stemming from an incident in 2003.
Rock Hall Announces Class of 2018
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame revealed its Class of 2018, with Bon Jovi, the Moody Blues, Dire Straits, the Cars and Nina Simone making the grade, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe entering as an early influence. Bon Jovi, who will be joined by estranged guitarist Richie Sambora at April's ceremony, won the fan vote, and it's possible that the Cars will reunite for the event. Judas Priest singer Rob Halford read his rejection e-mail over the air during a radio interview, while members Paul Stanley and Sammy Hagar repeated issues they have with the Hall's electoral process.
Gene Simmons Accused of Sexual Assault
A month after being banned from Fox News for his behavior, of which he claimed that "somebody there apparently had the goods in for me," Gene Simmons was for sexual battery. The plaintiff, who is remaining anonymous, claims that the Kiss star placed her hand on his knee during an interview and that, during a group photo, Simmons touched her butt. Simmons responded with the following statement to Ultimate Classic Rock: "I intend to defend myself against any alleged charges you may have been reading about in the media. For the record, I did not assault the person making these accusations in the manner alleged in the complaint or harm her in any way. I am conferring with my lawyers with the aim of vigorously countering these allegations. And, I look forward to my day in court where the evidence will prove my innocence."
John Mellencamp's Daughter Becomes a 'Real Housewife'
Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave, the daughter of John Mellencamp and his second wife, Victoria Granucci, signed on for the eighth season of Bravo's hit reality series, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. The 36-year-old, who works as an "accountability coach and fitness influencer," said that her father's advice to her was, "You know, hun? If it's gonna make you happy, do it. But all I can tell you is, be yourself."
Simon Phillips' House Burns Down in Thomas Fire
The Ventura County, Calif., house owned by Simon Phillips, a veteran session jazz and rock drummer who has worked with the Who, Jeff Beck, Judas Priest, Joe Satriani and Toto, was burned to the ground during the Thomas Fire that swept through Southern California. At the time, Phillips was in New York, onstage with his band Protocol 4. A GoFundMe campaign was launched to help Phillips and his fiancee rebuild.