Last year Ozzy Osbourne made a special appearance to help KROQ-FM (106.7) celebrate the move of its annual Weenie Roast from the 18,000-seat Verizon Wireless Amphitheater to the huge Edison International Field in Anaheim.
Is Osbourne responsible this year for the show's return to the smaller site?
The concert has been booked for June 23-just a week before the June 30 stop of Osbourne's annual Ozzfest at the Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion in Devore. And that tour's roster features many acts that would likely be candidates for the KROQ event this year, including Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, Papa Roach, Linkin Park and Crazy Town, along with Black Sabath. In addition, a number of other acts likely to be on KROQ's wish list-Weezer, 311, Pennywise and Rancid-are playing L.A. as part of the Warped Tour's June 29 date at the Coliseum. While station program director Kevin Weatherly won't confirm details, he does say that the Weenie Roast is going back to a smaller venue.
"We did a stadium last year because we were able to secure some great bands and it was something we wanted to try," he says of the 2000 show, which had a powerhouse lineup that included Limp Bizkit, Korn, the Offspring, Moby and No Doubt in addition to Osbourne's special appearance. "It was great, but it also felt that in moving to a bigger venue it lost some intimacy.
"We just wanted to go back to the roots, showcasing up-and-coming bands along with veteran stars and make it more of a real festival atmosphere rather than just another big rock concert."
And while Weatherly won't divulge lineup plans, he says that fans should not rule out the inclusion of Ozzfest or Warped acts at the Weenie Roast. KROQ is co-sponsoring both of the other shows, and even another Osbourne cameo is potentially in the mix.
"We have great relationships with the people doing those shows, and it's fair to say there are artists playing both of those we would want to pursue for our show," he says.
Still, some in the Southern California concert world wonder if the timing of the show will make it difficult for KROQ to get a solid lineup and whether the market drain of all the other shows-plus the KIIS-FM (102.7) Wango Tango booked for Dodger Stadium on June 16-might have contributed to the KROQ decision to scale back. After all, it's boom time for the station, which in the latest monthly Arbitrend ratings report took over the No. 1 position in Los Angeles, the first English-language outlet to hold that slot in several years.
"These are all daylong events," says Gary Bongiovanni, editor in chief of concert business publication Pollstar. "While the audience is large for them, some people aren't going to feel like spending eight hours in the sun two or three times."
THE SKA CONNECTION: No Doubt's last album, "Return of Saturn," was made with a strict game plan overseen by producer Glen Ballard, who helped craft the band into a maturing, versatile pop-rock unit.
For its next album, though, the Orange County group is taking the opposite approach. It's in Jamaica working with the production team Sly & Robbie. But the attitude is as laid-back as the setting, says bassist Tony Kanal.
"We're just exploring, having fun," he says, noting that the band has also recorded with hip-hop combine the Neptunes and did a track with Dr. Dre, an outgrowth of singer Gwen Stefani's recent collaboration with rapper Eve.
"All this stuff is experimental," he says. "Some may be on the album, some may not."
The Jamaica sessions came after years of urging from Wayne Jobson ('Native" Wayne, a former KROQ reggae show host) and his brother Brian, who wanted the group to explore the roots and branches of the ska that has always been its musical starting point. The Jobsons are serving as executive producers of the sessions, and are hooking the band up with dancehall reggae duo Steelie & Cleevie this week for more recording.
"Return to Saturn" was so focused, and we spent two years on that," Kanal says. "We wanted to prove ourselves as songwriters and musicians. That gave us the confidence this time to say, 'Let's have some fun.' I want to make some music more groove-oriented. I'd be stoked to hear some of this stuff in dance clubs. We can do that stuff. The heart of our band is true rock 'n' roll, but there's so much more we can do after 14 years together."
PRAISE YOU: Having refashioned clips and samples of other people's songs into his hit collages, Fatboy Slim is paying the originators back with an album presenting the original recordings he used. "A Break From the Norm" (playing on Slim's real name, Norman Cook) will be released June 5 in the U.S. by Restless Records and features the recordings that were the raw material for "Praise You," 'Rockafella Skank," 'Gangsta Trippin' " and others. The diverse sources include Lulu, Joe Walsh and the James Gang and Stik E & the Hoodz.
In the liner notes, Cook sheepishly admits that part of the inspiration for the collection came when Camille Yarborough, whose "Praise You" is the prominent base of Slim's song of the same title, bemoaned Cook's comment that all he does is "nick bits from crap records from [flea market] boot sales."
Many of them, he now admits, have become favorites of his. However, of the songs missing from this collection, he writes that "the snippet that was sampled was frankly the only redeeming feature of the record."