2024 Classic Rock Forecast: Will These 24 Questions Be Answered?
2024 has the potential to be a very interesting year for classic rock's biggest stars. Here are 24 questions we hope will be answered in the next 12 months:
Was Power Trip the Start of an AC/DC Comeback?
When AC/DC's chaotic Rock or Bust tour concluded in September 2016, the band's future was very much in doubt. Drummer Phil Rudd was unable to join the tour for legal reasons, singer Brian Johnson was forced to step down partway through due to hearing problems and bassist Cliff Williams announced his retirement at the tour's conclusion. Although the trio all rejoined guitarists Angus and Stevie Young for 2020's excellent Power Up album, the band hadn't played a show in over seven years before appearing at the Power Trip festival in October of 2023. Rudd was unable to attend for unspecified reasons, but amidst rumors of the band's 2024 return to the road he was quoted as saying he was looking "forward to playing with them again in the future." The mayor of Munich, Germany unintentionally told a city council meeting that the group was set to play at the city's Olympic Stadium in June of 2024, but the band has yet to confirm this or any other dates.
Watch AC/DC Perform at Power Trip 2023
When Will Aerosmith Get Back in the Saddle?
On Sept. 2, 2023 Aerosmith kicked off their Peace Out farewell tour with a stunningly strong show in Philadelphia. Just nine days and two more shows later, they announced that singer Steven Tyler had suffered vocal cord damage that would require the band to postpone the tour for a month. A few weeks later it was announced that the tour would be pushed back to unspecified dates in 2024. In late December guitarist Joe Perry issued a less than reassuring update: "with any luck we will be back out late summer and fall of '24."
Watch Aerosmith Perform 'Dream On'
What's Next for Guns N' Roses?
It's hard to believe, but April 1, 2024 will be the eighth anniversary of Slash and Duff McKagan's return to Guns N' Roses. The band has toured the world extensively since that time, and released massive box sets focused on their Appetite for Destruction and Use Your Illusion eras. But they've only released four new songs during that time, and those were all re-worked versions of unreleased tracks from the Chinese Democracy sessions. Will this version of Guns N' Roses ever enter the studio to record a new album together? "I wanna go in and cut a whole brand new record at some point, probably sooner than later," Slash told Eddie Trunk in October 2022. But there's been no news since that time, and the guitarist is booked for a world tour with his solo band through April of 2024.
Hear Guns N' Roses Perform 'The General'
Is 2024 the Year We Finally Get a New ZZ Top Album?
When ZZ Top released their most recent studio album, La Futura, way back in 2012 Billy Gibbons revealed they already had enough material in the can for a follow-up. "If we wanted to we could put out another new record inside nine minutes," he declared, before noting that "things in ZZ Top world don't always follow real-world rules." While Gibbons has released three solo albums since that time, we're still waiting on a new ZZ Top album. In a July 2023 interview Gibbons said a new album is "coming to a boil," and that it will feature tracks recorded by bassist Dusty Hill prior to his 2021 death.
Watch ZZ Top Perform 'Chartreuse'
Will Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth Share the Stage?
When Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony and Joe Satriani announced their plan for a Van Halen-focused 2024 tour, the Red Rocker invited former VH alumni Alex Van Halen and David Lee Roth to join in. When Roth surprisingly declared, "I'm ready to go. Let's do this," Hagar made it clear he was only talking about a guest spot, not a full tour. That makes sense given how poorly the two got along during their 2002 co-headlining trek. But it would still be great to finally get to see these two pay tribute to Eddie Van Halen together.
What Will Kiss Do Now That They're Retired From Touring?
We've been told not to expect the digital avatars Kiss revealed at their last concert to spring into action until 2027, so the next logical question is: how will Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer spend 2024? It seems safe to assume we'll get some kind of live album and / or home video chronicling their End of the Road farewell tour. Will Stanley or Simmons relaunch their solo careers? Will Thayer or Singer join new bands, or start their own? Will there be new entries from the Off the Soundboard live bootleg series the group launched in 2021? Perhaps the happily retired Starchild will keep sending us tips on how to safely freeze and store our excess basil, or launch his own cooking show.
Will Richie Sambora Return to Bon Jovi?
Former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora has brought up the idea of reuniting with his former band several times in the past year. "It's time," he told People in November 2023. "People want to come see us play, and it's going to make everybody happy." Sambora left the band in 2013, but performed with them during their 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. An even more important question: When will Bon Jovi return to the road? The group hasn't performed live since early 2022, and on that tour there were numerous reports of frontman Jon Bon Jovi having serious vocal difficulties. The band has yet to announce any plans for 2024.
What's Next for Robert Plant?
Now that Robert Plant and Alison Krauss have seemingly concluded touring in support of their 2021 album Raise the Roof, it's time to wonder what the endlessly restless former Led Zeppelin singer will do next. One possibility could be recording or touring with Saving Grace, a five-piece band he's performed with on sporadic U.K. tours since 2019. The group's planned 2020 U.S. tour was scuttled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Saving Grace describe their acoustic-based material as “music inspired by the dreamscape of the Welsh Marches” with dynamics that range “from a whisper to a scream.”
Watch Robert Plant and Saving Grace Perform 'Gallows Pole'
Will Jimmy Page Make His Long-Awaited Comeback?
It has now been over 25 years since Jimmy Page released an album of new studio material. He's clearly been missed, as you can hear from the audience reaction to his surprise performance of Link Wray's "Rumble" at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony last November. In recent years the Led Zeppelin legend has hinted that he's working on new music, without offering any more detail. "Let's just say that I know what I'm going to do, without a shadow of a doubt," he explained in 2015. "I'm going to be playing guitar - that's absolutely, definitely."
Watch Jimmy Page Perform 'Rumble'
Will Ozzy Osbourne Return to the Stage?
New Year's Eve 2023 marked the five-year anniversary of Ozzy Osbourne's last full-length concert. He's endured a grueling and well-documented series of health problems and surgeries since that time, but has refused to give up on his dream of returning to the stage. He made two-song appearances at an NFL game and the Commonwealth Games last year, but longs for more. "I'm getting myself fit," he declared in September 2023. "I've done two albums fairly recently, but I want to do one more album and then go back on the road."
Watch Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi Perform 'Iron Man' and 'Paranoid'
Could We Get Another New Rolling Stones Album?
Make no mistake, we're being greedy here. After all in 2023 the Rolling Stones gave us their first all-original studio album in 18 years, Hackney Diamonds. And as you can see by our review, it was well worth the wait. They'll also be touring North America in 2024. But we can't stop thinking about producer Andrew Watt saying the band had more than enough good material left over for another record. "We had 28, 29 songs on the list," he explained. "My vote is for them to finish it. If they put the tongue up in the air, I know where to show up and I will be there."
Watch the Rolling Stones Perform 'Angry'
Which Rock Band Will Play Next at the Sphere?
U2 proved to be an excellent choice to open Las Vegas' technically advanced new Sphere, with both the band and the venue's innovative visual capabilities earning rave reviews. The Irish rockers still have two weekend stands at the Sphere left, and in November it was announced that Phish will take over in April for four concerts. So who will be third? Rumors have been swirling about Dead & Company, but nothing is confirmed yet.
Watch U2 Perform at the Sphere
Who's Retiring Next?
Goodbyes were a big part of the rock world last year, with Kiss, Elton John, Ted Nugent and Kenny Loggins among the artists who concluded farewell tours in 2023. Will other bands or solo stars announce their own final tours this year? Foreigner and the Eagles are among the bands who are currently in the midst of farewell tours without a publicly announced end date, so it's possible they will be saying their goodbyes well past 2024.
Watch Elton John's Last Farewell Yellow Brick Road Performance
Will Rush's Lee and Lifeson Perform Together Again?
This month marks four years since the death of Rush drummer Neil Peart, and in recent months his longtime bandmates Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have begun to publicly ponder working together again. When asked by CBS News' Sunday Morning show about the band's "next chapter," Lifeson responded: "It's difficult to figure out what the chapter is without [Peart], [but] it's just not in our D.N.A. to stop." Lee also broached the possibility of the duo working on new music together, although he was very careful with his words. "If I say anything about working with Alex, people run to the conclusion that Rush is starting up again,” the frontman told CTV Morning Live. “That is not the case. Yes, Alex and I like each other a lot, still. We hang around with each other a lot. And we both have a desire to try to write songs together. We don’t know whether that will bear fruit or not."
When Will We Get to Hear Motley Crue's New Songs?
Motley Crue had a tumultuous 2023, which included an acrimonious split with founding guitarist Mick Mars. Mars is set to release his debut solo album in 2024, and his former bandmates are also planning to debut new music. Apparently re-invigorated by the addition of new guitarist John 5, Motley Crue hit the studio with Dr. Feelgood producer Bob Rock to record three "amazing" new songs. Although they haven't announced how or when they will share the results of this session, drummer Tommy Lee revealed that one song is titled "Canceled," and will address the fact that the band has not (yet?) had to go through that particular reckoning.
Pearl Jam's 2024: New Album AND Tour?
In what appears to be one of the new year's most poorly kept secrets, Pearl Jam are widely expected to announce a 2024 tour shortly - in fact some dates are already being leaked by local news outlets. Guitarist Mike McCready also recently revealed that the band recorded a new album with producer du jour Andrew Watt. While he didn't share an album title or a release date, McCready promised that the followup to 2020's Gigaton would be "a lot heavier than you'd expect."
Will Soundgarden's Final Seven Songs Be Released?
Prior to his May 2017 death, Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell recorded seven new songs, some written alone and some with his bandmates. The surviving band members and the singer's estate have fought for control of those recordings ever since. In April 2023 they jointly announced a settlement, which they declared would "allow Soundgarden fans around the world to hear the final songs that the band and Chris were working on." However in November drummer Matt Cameron revealed that the musicians "were still in the middle of a dispute with the estate," and that he didn't expect the music to reach fans this year.
Will Iron Maiden Get Voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
Any decent heavy metal fan knows it's way beyond time that Iron Maiden get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Their continued exclusion is one of the most indefensible and easily correctable missteps in the organization's history. Frontman Bruce Dickinson could clearly care less. "I'm really happy we're not there and I would never want to be there. If we're ever inducted, I will refuse — they won't bloody be having my corpse in there," he declared in 2019. Regardless of his position, the Hall of Fame should give one of the genre's most influential and long-running bands their proper due.
Has Paul McCartney Joined the Andrew Watt Party?
It certainly seems as if Paul McCartney will be the next rock star to work with producer Andrew Watt, following Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop, Pearl Jam, Elton John and the Rolling Stones. In addition to playing bass on the Stones' Watt-produced Hackney Diamonds album, in December 2022 the former Beatle revealed he'd started working with Watt, although he didn't specify the scope or nature of the project. In December 2023 Watt revealed that duo had written at least one song together, joking that he woke "in a cold sweat" the night before their first meeting, realizing he needed to quickly track down some left-handed guitars.
What Treasures Will Emerge From Tom Petty's Vault Next?
It goes without saying that we'd trade it all in a heartbeat to have him back with us, but Tom Petty's estate has done a wonderful job sharing new treasures from his vaults since the superstar's 2017 death. So again being selfish, our only question is - how are they going to follow up 2020's fantastic expanded Wildflowers box set and 2022's Live at the Fillmore 1997 collection? We're clearing space on our shelves already!
Hear Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Perform 'Listen to Her Heart'
How is Elton John's New Album Going to 'Surprise the S---' Out of Us?
While inducting his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last November, Elton John revealed that the duo had just completed a new album "which is going to surprise the shit out of you." Just two days into the new year an unusual source, Who guitarist Pete Townshend, revealed that John had recorded a new album with acclaimed singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile. "They made a new album together in two weeks. He says it's one of the best things they've ever done." Random bonus thought: for all we know, John and Townshend could be talking about two different new albums.
Are U2 Really Ready to Rock Again?
In October of 2022 Bono revealed that U2 had shelved a planned album named Songs of Ascent, because he felt they needed to instead release "a noisy, uncompromising, unreasonable guitar album" first. The mild-mannered 2023 stand-alone single "Atomic City" didn't really fit that description, but guitarist the Edge told Mojo he's in agreement with his singer's plans. "I think the guitar is coming back. I really feel it. And I would like to be part of that. I'd like to be the vanguard of this resurgence of guitars."
Watch U2 Perform 'Atomic City'
Will Whitesnake Return in 2024?
After a variety of ailments forced Whitesnake off the road in mid-2022, frontman David Coverdale spent 2023 focused on healing, but insisted his band would eventually return to complete their farewell tour. He promises that the extended rehab time will ultimately be worth the wait. "When you announce something like a farewell tour, certainly, I want it to be the best shows I've ever done," he declared in April 2023. "I want them to be unforgettable for me and the crowd."
Is Fleetwood Mac Over?
The November 2022 death of Christine McVie may have marked the end of Fleetwood Mac. Although the group has endured through countless lineup changes and drama over their long career, in October 2023 Stevie Nicks declared she saw "no reason" to continue as a band without McVie. "Without her, what is it?" she told Vulture. "You know what I mean? She was like my soul mate, my musical soul mate and my best friend that I spent more time with than any of my other best friends outside of Fleetwood Mac." Earlier in the year drummer Mick Fleetwood had similar thoughts: "I think right now, I truly think the line in the sand has been drawn with the loss of Chris,” he explained during an interview at the Grammys (as relayed by the Los Angeles Times). “I’d say we’re done, but then we’ve all said that before. It’s sort of unthinkable right now.”
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Gallery Credit: Allison Rapp