by (@JordanRuntagh)

Hear An Exclusive Stream Of The Essential Richie Kotzen Disc 1, Including 3 Unreleased Tracks

The Essential Richie Kotzen doesn’t hit stores until September 2nd, but you don’t have to wait until then to hear new tracks from your favorite axe-man. VH1 has a sneak peek of Disc One from the double-disc greatest hits collection, which features three never-before-heard tracks. Crank the speakers on your Macbook, press play up above, and bust out that air guitar.

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by (@shakeyourbeauty)

Pretty Boys? Rock Stars in Truly Insane Makeup

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With schlock rock pioneers, Kiss, going on a forty-city tour this summer (a grueling schedule for aging Baby Boomers; hope they’re bringing Ben-Gay) — we realized that the band was celebrating a huge milestone in 2014. Forty years of wearing truly psychotic makeup. Sure, they weren’t the first to do it – - that title goes to that weasly-genius Alice Cooper — but the fact that they were four big, brawny New York dudes made up to look like clown demons was super-memorable. And they took it so seriously! Each member was painted in the style of a different character: Starchild (Paul Stanley), The Demon (Gene Simmons), Space Ace (Ace Frehley) and Catman (Peter Criss). Totally bonkers, but seventh grade boys adored their freaky looks. Next up? A slew of bands hit stages looking like ghouls crossed with drag queens.

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10 Power Ballads From The ’80s We Still Love

power-ballad-templateYou only hear them nowadays on late-night compilation commercials or as Muzak at the dentist’s office or at inebriated karaoke nights. Most of them are coated in a thick layer of Velveeta cheese and full of single entendres and metaphors so simple a three year old could have written them. But you know you love them. How can you not? Those “manly” hair bands slowing it down and showing a more sensitive side and often coming up with some of their catchiest and most-career defining hits. From Poison to Journey to Def Leppard, going the route of the power ballad was an absolute given in the 1980s if you were in a hard rock band. And yes, we do take responsibility for keeping these songs popular and the artist’s careers alive. We’ve even employed some of them! But it’s all out of love, just like the songs themselves. Here’s 10 Power Ballads We Just Can’t Stop Loving. And you can’t either. Admit it.

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by (@unclegrambo)

AMERICA’S HARD 100, FINALS EDITION: Vote To Determine The Greatest Hard Rock Song Of All-Time

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Well folks, you did it. Just under two weeks ago, VH1 Classic began releasing a series of viewer polls that would ultimately determine what songs would separate themselves from the pack in America’s Hard 100. Over one million (!!!) votes were cast by you, THE FANS, to determine which songs deserved to be at the top of our list of the best hard rock and heavy metal songs of all-time. We’ve sorted through the votes, analyzed the numbers, and now we need your help again in determining the FINAL RANKINGS of America’s Hard 100.

We have come up with a list of 15 songs here, 10 of which won their respective polls — a healthy round of applause for Dream Theater‘s “Pull Me Under,” Type O Negative‘s “Black No. 1,” Bon Jovi‘s “Living On A Prayer,” Cinderella‘s “Gypsy Road,” Dio‘s “Holy Diver,” Rush‘s “Limelight,” Poison‘s “Nothin’ But A Good Time,” Guns N’ Roses‘ “November Rain,” Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads’ “Crazy Train,” and Black Sabbath‘s “Paranoid”! — and 5 of which we’re deeming wildcards. Each of these wildcard songs — AC/DC‘s “Back In Black,” Accept‘s “Balls To The Wall,” Guns N’ Roses’ “Paradise City,” Megadeth‘s “Sweating Bullets,” and Poison’s “Talk Dirty To Me” — reaped more votes than all the other non-poll winning songs, and might have won their respective polls had they been placed among a different group of songs.

So, with that said, here are your final 15 songs. The same rules apply this time around; vote early and often for as many of these 15 as you think are deserving, and you can always click Return To Poll to vote again. The polls will close on Tuesday, October 2 at 4 p.m. ET, and you’ll be able to tune in to watch America’s Hard 100 on VH1 Classic in November to see the final results.

Without further ado, let the voting commence!

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by (@BHSmithNYC)

AMERICA’S HARD 100 – Vote To Determine The Greatest Hard Rock Song Of All-Time

Welcome to of the final VH1 Classic America’s Hard 100 Countdown Poll! Over the past 10 days we’ve asked YOU, the FANS to help us sort our list of essential hard rock and heavy metal tunes and the response has been incredible! Since this is the final list, we’ll be keeping it active for a few days to make sure we have enough time to record all your votes. And, due to popular demand, keep your eyes open for a one final poll featuring those songs which got the most votes for our all-time Top 10!

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can vote AS MANY TIMES and for AS MANY SONGS as you want, simply click on “Return To Poll” after your initial ballot and if your favorite songs or bands are missing from today’s list please check one of our earlier polls, which are all still open for voting, to see if you can find it.

Today Van Halen’s bad boy classic “Hot For Teacher” takes on Cliff-era Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls,”  “Wild Child” by nasty L.A. glam-masters W.A.S.P. and Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” among others.

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by (@BHSmithNYC)

AMERICA’S HARD 100, Day 7 – Vote To Determine The Greatest Hard Rock Song Of All-Time

It’s Day 7 of the VH1 Classic America’s Hard 100 Countdown Poll and we’ve got another batch of classic hard rock and heavy metal tunes that need sorting! We’ve put together a list of 100 essential rockers but we need you to vote on them to let us know where they should fall in the America’s Hard 100 Countdown when it airs this November.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can vote AS MANY TIMES and for AS MANY SONGS as you want, simply click on “Return To Poll” after your initial ballet. If your favorite hard rock jam is missing from today’s list please click on one of the previous days polls which are still open and keep checking back daily as we add new songs to new lists.

Today Nirvana’s grunge anthem “Smells Like Teen Spirit” goes up against Metallica’s breakthrough hit “Enter Sandman,” Zeppelin’s epic “Kashmir” and classic tunes by Van Halen, Def Leppard and more!

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VH1 Classic and Live Nation Present The “I’m With the Band” Sweepstakes

UPDATE! The sweepstakes is over. Thanks to all the participants!

There’s something special about a summer concert – driving to the arena with the windows down and the music blasting, psyched to see your favorite rock gods storm the stage. This year VH1 Classic and Live Nation want to give you that perfect concert experience – only this time you’re not in the crowd, you’re with the band!

Through the middle of August, we’re giving away tickets (including backstage access) to the summer’s biggest classic rock tours, including: Fleetwood Mac‘s Unleashed Hits Tour, Def Leppard with Poison & Cheap Trick, Aerosmith & ZZ Top and, Kid Rock & Lynyrd Skynyrd.

This sweepstakes is only open to subscribers of our VH1 Classic email alerts. You must sign up to become eligible.? Sign up here.

Next up is your last chance to win tickets to see Aerosmith and ZZ Top.

Enter to win by sending an email to us at win@vh1.com.

Please include your first and last name, telephone number and the email address used for the VH1 Classic newsletter subscription. You have until Noon ET on Wednesday, August 12.

Tour Dates and cities for the Aerosmith and ZZ Top tour are after the jump.

This could be the greatest rock ‘n’ roll summer of all time. So roll down those windows, turn up the volume, and sign up for our Classic newsletter to have a chance of winning the “I’m With the Band Sweepstakes.”

Read the Official Rules.? Sign up for VH1 Classic Email alerts.

For more tour dates and to buy tickets go to www.livenation.com.

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Def Leppard & Poison Unite: Tour Dates!

Where can you go this summer to hear “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” and “I Want You To Want Me” coming from one single stage? Plenty of places. Dates for 40-city North American romp that features Def Leppard, Poison, and Cheap Trick were just announced today. The action kicks off in Camden, New Jersey on June 23.

Def Leppard front man Joe Elliott is calling it the “rock tour of the summer,” and Poison singer Bret Michaels says each stop will be “a night of a 1000 hits.” Something tells us that there are tons of hard rock fans who are going to agree.

Live Nation produces the tour, and tickets go on sale March 6 at the Live Nation Website.

Make the jump to see all the specific cities and performance dates.

Watch a playlist of music videos that contains the best songs by Def Leppard, Poison, and Cheap Trick.

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Bret & Poison Hit the Road: Tour Dates

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Twenty-two years after the cat dragged ‘em in, Poison is heading back out. Led by our own Rock of Love wild man, the guys with the big hair and the hooky metal riffs are spending a big chunk of the fairest season cruising from city to city on a romp they’re calling the “Live, Raw & Uncut Summer Tour.” It’s sync’d up to a product, natch. A CD/DVD set with the same title hits the racks in June; this time ’round it’s all about the concert and the hits. Maybe Bret will be filming some of the action for the alleged big rock road show he’s been mentioning in interviews.

Make the jump to see if he’s stomping near you.

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How It Feels To Be Poison’d

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As previously noted, on Saturday, July 28, two of the writers of the VH1.com blog attended the Poison concert at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J. It was, in a phrase, nothing but a good time. Here’s Jonathan Durbin on the live Poison’d experience.

  • ?Look what New Jersey dragged in!? shouted Bret Michaels during the opening salvo of Poison?s headlining show in Holmdel, New Jersey. He shouted it to the tune of ?Look What the Cat Dragged In.? Which they were playing. Loudly. The band was backed by explosions of green flame and showers of fireworks. Michaels wore True Religion jeans and generally looked like he?d been shopping on Melrose Avenue in L.A. West Coast rock stars are so into showing everybody the stitching on their clothes. What?s up with that?
  • The video projections behind the band included graphics from the band?s new album sleeve, Poison?d (featuring a female mouth with green lipstick, suggestively tonguing the band?s logo). At other times, the video featured abstract computer-generated art that was somehow reminiscent of a trip through a very long ear canal. Also: Flames. Flames were very popular.
  • Three members of Poison wore Poison T-shirts. The other, bassist Bobby Dall, wore a Venture Bros. T-shirt, a promotional item for a show on the Cartoon Network?s Adult Swim.
  • Bobby?s affinity for cartoons didn?t stop the blonde behind me from digging her elbows into my back in a whole-hearted attempt to climb over me, past security and onto the stage where she could worship him properly.
  • Bret changed headgear frequently. He started with the bandanna look, graduated to the woven straw cowboy hat and moved from there to a black leather number. Interesting to note: The hat was the element of his style most frequently appropriated by female fans. The guys seemed more into singing along with the songs. Particular favorites were ?I Want Action? and ?Nothin? But a Good Time.? He dedicated the latter to New Jersey. Literally. He said, ?New Jersey, this is your song!? New Jersey seemed to agree.
  • New Jersey also agreed with ?Every Rose Has Its Thorn.? During the power-ballad-to-end-all power ballads, audience members held aloft lighters and cell phones, casting the entire arena in an oddly soothing blue-orange light.
  • Backstage, meanwhile, cascades of sparks spewed from the rafters for a waterfall effect. That was one of the pyrotechnic effects that Bret?s manager had warned us about. She had asked us not to wander around backstage because we might burn our faces off. We didn?t burn our faces off, but there were times where it came close.
  • There were other duck-and-cover moments backstage. Mainly they involved keeping fingers in our ears. The explosions were loud. At other times, I saw stage hands running away from guitarist C.C. DeVille, who had a full-length mirror back there to primp his hair. Run and hide, stage hands! C.C.?s loose!
  • Poison played from 9:30 until 11 p.m. They kept the energy unflaggingly high all evening, which was more than Ratt (who opened). Ratt were loud, but not high-energy. Also, Ratt sound like they?re Irish. Who knew?

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  • Post-show at Bret?s bus, a line of people maybe 25 deep had gathered to meet the man. There were a smattering of busty ladies, a few kids and some of Bret?s friends (like Tony, Bret?s tattoo artist — a wonderful guy). Only a few people were allowed on at a time. When we got onto the bus, we noted that the soundtrack Bret was using to entertain the crowd included songs by the Black Crowes and the Foo Fighters. It begged the question: What do rock stars listen to, exactly? Roadhouse rock, apparently.
  • Bret himself turned out to be a very generous and kind individual. He?s also Internet savvy. He?d been watching to see how many of his VSPOT clips from Rock of Love were in the top 10. How’s that for dedicated?

Click the shots taken during the show for larger versions:

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And, after the jump there’s one more tidbit…

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