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Classic Rock Issue 321 (December 2023) Dolly Parton

Classic Rock Issue 321 (December 2023) Dolly Parton

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Classic Rock Issue 321 (December 2023) Dolly Parton

The Queen Of Country? On the cover of Classic Rock?! Hell yeah! Full disclosure: I’m a long-time Dolly Parton fan, but never in a million years did I think that we’d ever have the opportunity to legitimately put her on the cover of Classic Rock. But sometimes the world really does manage to surprise you.

Those who are partial to Ms Parton’s charms know all too well that she’s been a rock star all along, but this year she has gone one louder and firmly cemented her high-voltage rock’n’roll credentials.

A nomination for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame (an accolade she initially wanted to decline, as she didn’t feel she deserved it) began a series of events that resulted in her new album Rockstar. And her collaborators on its 30 (yes 30!) tracks truly read like a Who’s Who of rock’s great and good. Dolly (and some of those collaborators) tell us all about it.

It’s not just Dolly’s album that’s rock star-studded, though, elsewhere in this issue you’ll find Rush, Guns N’ Roses, The Struts, David Bowie and so much more.

- Sian Llewellyn


Dolly Parton - The Queen Of Country talks about her new rock album and the Who’s Who of rock royalty who appear on it, and looks back over her extraordinary life.

Geddy Lee - Ahead of the publication of his autobiography, he talks about some of the events and people who have helped shape his life.

The Struts - There have been wild nights, bad decisions, imposter syndrome and much more, but The Struts never stopped wanting to be the biggest and the best.

Duff McKagan - His new album might be a long way from the music he’s best known for, but he says it still reflects the punk rocker in him.

David Bowie - In 1970 he was a one-hit wonder. His album The Man Who Sold The World helped him recalibrate his sound and vision.

Brothers Osborne - Having weathered a few years of personal disclosures, their new album celebrates freedom and inclusiveness.

Guns N’ Roses - Thirty years ago, they released The Spaghetti Incident?, an album of covers. We take a look at the originals that fired up Axl and co.


The Dirt - Tony Iommi jams with Black Sabbath – The Ballet. Bruce Dickinson and Judas Priest release new albums in 2024. Welcome back The Wanton Bishops and Graveyard. Say hello to Green Lung and Michael Catton. Say goodbye to John Marshall, Kent Stax, Roger Whittaker, Ron Howden.

The Stories Behind The Songs: ZZ Top - Celebrating a real-life Texan brothel, the visiting of which Billy Gibbons says was in its day “a rite of passage”, after 50 years it’s still one of the band’s best-loved songs and a must-play at shows.

Q&A: Chris Shiflett - The Foo Fighters guitarist on his solo projects, his hair-metal history, and why surfing might hold the key to happiness.

Ever Meet Lemmy? The Gaslight Anthem - He was so nervous about playing with Bruce Springsteen that he thought he was going to throw up; there was “something otherworldly” about Mark Lanegan; meeting Tom Morello put him in a head spin; Jon Bon Jovi is “a real-life rock star, in the very best way”… He is The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon, and these are his stories.

The Hot List - We look at some of the essential new tracks you need to hear and the artists to have on your radar. This month they include REWS, Low Cut Connie , Dogma , Rose Tiger and more.

Reviews - Reviews New albums from The Struts, The Gaslight Anthem, Stray, The Cadillac Three, Van Morrison, Alabama 3, Foghat, Phil Manzanera & Andy Mackay, King Crimson. Reissues from Nirvana, Muse, Motörhead, Thunder, Bush, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, Whitesnake, Mötley Crüe, Christine McVie. DVDs, films and books on Queen, Geddy Lee, George Harrison, The Who, The Police, John Coghlan. Live reviews of AC/DC, Rival Sons, Muse, Glenn Hughes, Hawkwind.

Buyer’s Guide: Clutch - Since emerging from the DC scenes of punk, funk and go-go, the band have united the rock nation under their groove.

Live - We preview tours by The Almighty, Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons and Uli Jon Roth. Plus gig listings – who’s playing where and when.

The Soundtrack Of My Life: KK Downing - KK’s Priest guitarist KK Downing picks his records, artists and gigs of lasting significance.

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