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Monday, February 20, 2017

A picture of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr recording together at Ringo's home studio was posted on Twitter by Starr on Feb. 19, and Starr's publicist has confirmed McCartney was there to contribute to Ringo's forthcoming album. "Thanks for coming over man and playing Great bass. I love you man peace and love," posted Ringo, who also posted a separate picture of himself, Paul and Joe Walsh with the comment, "And look out Joe W came out to play. What a day I'm having. Peace and love." The two surviving Beatles last recorded together for Ringo's Y Not album, released in 2010. Four days earlier on Feb. 15, Starr, McCartney, Walsh, Tom Hanks and Dave Grohl were spotted at at the Giorgio Baldi restaurant in Santa Monica, Calif. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 2/20/17...... In related news, a new song featuring Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Dirty Projectors and Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend with Dave Longstreth of the Dirty Projectors producing. McCartney previously teamed up with Kanye West for the collaborative song "FourFiveSeconds" which also featured Rihanna. The bridge of that song was written by Longstreth. - NME, 2/16/17...... The BeatlesElsewhere on the Fab Four front, the movie rights for The Beatle Who Vanished, a book by author Jim Berkenstadt about drummer Jimmie Nichol who once filled in for Ringo Starr on tour for 13 days in 1964 when Ringo became ill, have been secured by Alex Orbison and Ashley Hamilton's 449 Productions. Alex Orbison is the son of rock and roll legend Roy Orbison, for whom the Beatles once opened for on tour before they shot to fame. Berkenstadt's book, first published in 2013, included accounts of Nichol's time with the Beatles, his pre- and post-Beatles career and included many archival photos. After his short tenure in the Beatles, Jimmie Nicol stayed in the music business playing with many groups, including Peter & Gordon, but mostly obscure bands. He has since avoided the spotlight. Alex Orbison says he is also planning a film on his father's life. - Billboard, 2/15/17...... Tohme Tohme, the ex-manager of Michael Jackson, took the stand in a trial over the King of Pop's taxes on Feb. 16, and his testimony could foreshadow an ugly trial ahead in his own separate legal fight with Jackson's estate. Tohme was called as a witness by the IRS, presumably, to show that Jackson had business suitors in the time leading up to his death despite allegations of child molestation. Specifically, he said there had been prospects of a "Moonwalker" sports shoe deal with Nike and a Broadway musical based on Jackson's songs. The legal fight between Tohme and the Jackson estate dates back to 2012, when a pair of dueling lawsuits were filed. That trial is currently set for October and, if Tohme's time on the stand Thursday is any indication, there will likely be fireworks in the courtroom between Tohme and Jackson estate attorney Howard Weitzman, who pulled no punches during his cross examination of Tohme in the current trial. - The Hollywood Reporter, 2/17/17...... In other Michael Jackson news, the late singer's blockbuster 1982 album Thriller has just extended its reign as the highest certified album in U.S. history. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has certified the Quincy Jones-produced set at 33-times platinum in the U.S., and a plaque commemorating the milestone was presented at the home of Epic Records chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid over Grammy weekend earlier in February. The album was released through Sony Music Entertainment's Epic Records and spent 37 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 albums chart, and was the first album to generate a record seven Top 10 singles on the Hot 100 pop chart, including two No. 1s: "Billie Jean" (No. 1 for seven weeks) and "Beat It" (No. 1 for three weeks). In 2015, Thriller was named the biggest album of all time by a male artist on the Hot 200 chart, and the No. 3 title overall. Its closest competitor, the Eagles' Their Greatest Hits 1971-75, was last certified in 2006 with 29 million album units. Thriller has sold 105 million copies globally, according to Sony and the Jackson estate. - Billboard, 2/16/17...... Paul StanleyKiss has reached a new merchandising milestone. Over the last year, with the help of longtime merch partner Epic Rights, the band hit the 125 global licensing deal benchmark. Throughout its career, Kiss has sold some half a billion dollars retail value at stores and concerts, which helps back its claim to being the most merchandised band of all time. While Kiss trailblazed new merchandise and fan club territory in the mid-1970s with a torrent of t-shirts, patches, posters, lunch boxes and the formation of the Kiss Army, its latest wares now include Kiss emojis, mobile video games, moisturizing face masks, carbon fiber bikes and credit/debit cards. "We've had thousands of licensing partners over the years but my objective has never been to have bragging rights by accumulating volumes of licensing partners," says Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley. "Rather, it's been about using decades of successes as a spring board to elevate our position in terms of gaining higher stature affiliations." Stanley said original Kiss manager Bill Aucoin was the mastermind behind the Kiss merchandising juggernaut, and "We were snickered at by other bands until they saw the checks we were getting and all of a sudden they joined the parade." As for a Kiss reunion of the original members, including guitarist Ace Frehley, Stanley said: "I have no thoughts of re-visiting the past. With that said I am happy to enhance or do whatever i can for anyone who has helped put me where I am, but that doesn't include getting hitched again to somebody I unhitched from."- Billboard, 2/17/17...... Bob Dylan has released a cover of Frank Sinatra's "My One and Only Love" ahead of his latest album Triplicate, a 3-disc collection of 30 classic songs by American songwriters. Dylan has also released another Sinatra cover -- "I Could Have Told You" -- to promote the new record. Triplicate is due on Mar. 31, and Dylan will showcase songs from the album on his upcoming tour of the UK and Ireland, which gets underway on May 3 in Cardiff. He'll also be visiting Bournemouth (5/4), Nottingham (5/5), Glasgow (5/7), Liverpool (5/8), London (5/9) and Dublin (5/11). - New Musical Express, 2/18/17...... Surviving members of the Jefferson Starship participated in a protest at San Francisco City Hall on Feb. 16 over the city's decision to block a free concert in Golden Gate Park for the 50th anniversary of the "Summer of Love." "The best thing we ever did was to play for free in the park," said David Freiberg, a vocalist and bassist with the Jefferson Airplane and its spinoff, Jefferson Starship. "How can you celebrate the Summer of Love without that? It's impossible. I see no reason why we can't work this out." The June 4 show might still go on but it hit another major bureaucratic hurdle during the 3-hour public hearing on Feb. 16 over concerns about public safety. - AP, 2/16/17...... Mick JaggerBritish publisher/author John Blake has written an essay for the UK paper The Spectator in which he claims that three years ago he acquired a secret, 75,000-word memoir written by Mick Jagger in the 1980s. Jagger has so far refused to release a memoir, but Blake writes that "virtually nobody knows is that he already has." Blake reveals that the book shows a "quieter, more watchful Mick" and "it's delicious, heady stuff. Like reading Elvis Presley's diaries from the days before he grew fat and washed-up in Vegas." But Blake says that Jagger suddenly "wanted nothing further to do with this project... He never wanted to see it published." - Billboard, 2/17/17...... Pay cable channel HBO has acquired the U.S. television rights to the David Bowie documentary David Bowie: The Last Five Years, which chronicles the late rock icon's recording sessions for his final two albums, 2013's The Next Day and 2016's Blackstar, as well as the stage musical "Lazarus." The Last Five Years premiered on England's BBC2 in January and features rare archival Bowie images, recordings from the two albums' studio sessions and interview with a number of Bowie collaborators, including longtime producer Tony Visconti. HBO has not yet announced when The Last Five Years will air. - Billboard, 2/17/17...... Touring in Australia on Feb. 15, Bruce Springsteen invited a teenage fan onstage to perform "Growin' Up" with him at the Brisbane Entertainment Center. "You know it on guitar?" Springsteen asked young Nathan Testa. "Come on up." On Feb. 13, the singer held a private meeting with Australian Adam Brooker, a fan who has a severe intellectual disability and learned to speak through Springsteen's lyrics. - Billboard, 2/16/17...... In other news Down Under, the '70s hit "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band," adapted from John Williams's original Star Wars theme, has been named the country's favorite sex jam. Streaming giant Spotify.com compiled a list of Australia's Top 10 sex jams by scouring playlists with the word "sex" in their title, and "Cantina Band" led the list, followed by songs by Rhianna, Kings of Leon, The Weeknd and Frank Ocean. - NME, 2/17/17...... The Grateful Dead have announced they will release a 40th anniversay box set of their legendary performance at Cornell University's Barton Hall on May 8, 1977. May 1977: Get Shown the Light will be an 11-disc box set and be "the commercial debut" of the Cornell University performance, which is considered so legendary that a copy of the recording was placed in the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry in 2011. To be released by the band's official site Dead.net, the set also includes three previously unreleased recordings: Veterans' Memorial Coliseum, New Haven, Connecticut (May 5, 1977), Boston Garden, Boston (May 7, 1977) and Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, New York (May 9, 1977). "These four concerts have been the holy grail of wish-list releases both externally and internally for a long, long time," said David Lemieux, Grateful Dead archivist and the set's producer, in a statement. - Billboard, 2/16/17...... The twin daughters of Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley have been placed in the care of California's Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) after Lisa Marie claimed to have found indecent photos and videos of children on the computer of their father, Michael Lockwood. Finley and Harper Lockwood, eight, have reportedly been removed from the family home by social workers, and a trial date has been set for March to determine their future. Presley, 49, said of the discovery in the court papers: "I was shocked and horrified and sick to my stomach." She continued to reveal that police raided her former home with Lockwood and discovered 80 of his devices, but these have yet to be fully analyzed. "My understanding is that Tennessee law enforcement is also conducting an investigation related to the photos and videos that I discovered," she said in the documents. Presley and 55-year-old musician Lockwood married in 2006, with the singer filing for divorce last June, citing irreconcilable differences. Presley also claims her $300 million fortune left to her by her father's estate has gone, and she has been forced to move in with her actress daughter Riley Keough, although she still receives a $100,000 monthly allowance from the estate. - WENN.com, 2/17/17...... Just weeks after announcing he was planning to retire at the end of 2017, '70s teen heartthrob David Cassidy appeared to be heavily intoxicated at a concert at The Canyon Club in Agoura, Calif., on Feb. 18 where he slurred his words and struggled to stay on his feet. Footage captured by fans and shared by TMZ.com shows the former Partridge Family star rambling and toppling off the stage during his gig. Cassidy, 66, has battled with alcoholism in recent years, leading to arrest for DUI on several occasions, and according to one gossip columnist wrecked his car last September but managed to get it towed away without the police busting him again. Cassidy has live dates booked in for March and June, according to his website, though TMZ claims he said on stage that the Feb. 18 concert was his final show due to health reasons. - Billboard, 2/20/17...... Roger WatersFormer Pink Floyd principal Roger Waters said on Feb. 19 that he's considering performing his band's 1979 classic album The Wall at the US-Mexico border in a protest against U.S. Pres. Donald Trump. "The Wall is very relevant now with Mr Trump and all of this talk of building walls and creating as much enmity as possible between races and religions," Waters said, adding that the LP is "about how detrimental building walls can be on a personal level, but also on broader levels." Waters has also been protesting against Trump with his visuals for his live shows, which have included a flying pig that had the words "F--- Trump and his wall" emblazoned on it, as well as giant, super-imposed pictures of Trump with some members of the Ku Klux Klan. In 1990, Waters famously performed the album in Berlin to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall the previous year. Meanwhile, both Waters and fellow Pink Floyd member Nick Mason have appeared open to the band reuniting to play the U.K.'s Glastonbury Festival. The two appeared together on Feb. 16 at a press conference at the V&A museum in London, ahead of an exhibition focusing on the band which opens in May. Asked about the possibility of a Pink Floyd Glastonbury reunion with Dave Gilmour, Waters reportedly said to Mason: "The last I heard, David retired. You know David better than me." - New Musical Express, 2/20/17...... Clyde Stubblefield, a drummer for James Brown, died on Feb. 18 at a Madison, Wisc., hospital after a 10-year battle with kidney disease. He was 73. Stubblefield performed on several of Brown's classics in the 1960s and early 70s, including "Cold Sweat," ''Say It Loud -- I'm Black and I'm Proud," ''I've Got the Feelin'," and the album Sex Machine. But he was best known for a short solo on Brown's 1970 single, "Funky Drummer" which, according to Rolling Stone magazine, has been sampled on over 1,000 songs and served as the backbeat for countless hip-hop tracks, including Public Enemy's "Fight the Power," Dr. Dre's "Let Me Ride," LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" and Run-D.M.C.'s "Run's House." However his wife, Jody Hannon, said that her husband actually saw "very little" in royalties and never expected them. Stubblefield had lived in his wife's hometown of Madison, Wisc., since the early 1970s and had long been a fixture on the local music scene. - AP, 2/18/17...... Walter "Junie" Morrison, keyboardist and producer for funk band Ohio Players and producer/performer with George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic, has died. He was believed to be 62. After high school, Morrison started a stint with the Ohio Players, working as an arranger, producer and musical director for the band on such hits as "Pain," "Funky Worm" and "Ecstasy." He left the group in 1974 and became a key player in Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic from 1978-1980, contributing to such landmark albums as One Nation Under a Groove and Motor Booty Affair. - Billboard, 2/16/17...... Peter Skellern, the singer behind the 1972 U.K. hit "You're a Lady," passed away on Feb. 17 following a battle with brain cancer. He was 69. Following "You're A Lady," Skellern had another hit with "Love is the Sweetest Thing"' in 1978. In 1984, he formed a group called Oasis with Julian Lloyd Webber and Mary Hopkin, with their self-titled album earning them a silver record. Skellern, who became an ordained priest and a deacon, had revealed that he had an inoperable brain tumour last October. - New Musical Express, 2/17/17...... Irwin Stambler, author of the early pop music sourcebook The Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock and Soul, died on Feb. 10 in Los Angeles. He was 92. Mr. Stambler's pop encyclopedia, which was first published in 1974, went through several revisions, chronicled the professional and personal lives of everyone from Chuck Berry to The Zombies. In an age before the internet, it provided a convenient and entertainingly written set of mini-biographies. Mr. Stambler's son said his father often did his own research, interviewing musicians and attending concerts. - AP, 2/17/17...... Canadian radio legend Stuart McLean, best known as the host of CBC Radio's The Vinyl Café which was syndicated to some 80 U.S. public radio stations, died in Toronto on Feb. 15. He was 68. McLean began his radio career as a researcher for CBC Radio One's Cross Country Checkup, before getting into radio documentaries for the station's Sunday Morning. In 1994, he launched The Vinyl Café as a summer series, and the show became part of CBC's regular schedule in 1997 and the next year starting taking it on the road to theaters across Canada and into the U.S. - Billboard, 2/15/17.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Blondie has released a new psychedelic video for "Fun," the lead single off their upcoming album Pollinator. Directed by Beyoncé collaborator Dikyal Rimmasch, the video has a vibrant, intergalactic theme which Blondie guitarist Chris Stein says is necessary because "in these trying times, we need some fun... we're very serious about fun." Pollinator, the follow-up to Blondie's 2014 set Ghost of Download, hits stores May 5, and the band hits the road behind the new LP on July 5 in Saratoga, Calif. - New Musical Express, 2/15/17...... David BowieDavid Bowie swept the 2017 Grammy Awards on Feb. 12 in Los Angeles with five posthumous wins for his final album, Blackstar. The late singer was awarded in all four categories in which he'd been nominated -- Alternative Album and Best Engineered Album, for Blackstar, plus Best Rock Performance and Rock Song, for the title track. Additionally, Blackstar's graphic designer took home a Grammy for Best Recording Package. In all, Bowie racked up four times as many Grammys as he'd previously garnered in the entirety of his career. The five Grammys were also the first ever true "musical" Grammy wins for Bowie, having previously won just Best Video in 1985 and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. "I was very surprised to learn that he'd only won one Grammy, for a video -- that was shocking to me," said saxophonist Donny McCaslin, the jazz band leader who collaborated with Bowie on the sessions for the album. "I just feel this is such a deep record, regardless of my involvement in it, and I'm just so happy for his family and his fans. We're fans too, so this is really cool," he added. Bowie's son, Duncan Jones, recognized the achievement by sending a tweet of an old photo of himself hugging his dad, saying "So proud of you dad! Would hold you up forever." Meanwhile, the physical release of Bowie's No Plan EP featuring the final tracks he ever recorded for the "Lazarus" musical drops on Feb. 24 on CD, before a vinyl edition is released on Apr. 21. - Billboard/NME, 2/13/17...... In other '70s artist Grammy news, Willie Nelson took home a Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Grammy for his Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin album, while his fellow country legend Dolly Parton shared a Best Country/Duo Perdformance Grammy with Pentatonix for their collaboration on Parton's classic song "Jolene." A Best Music Film Grammy went to the Beatles for the Ron Howard documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years. Meanwhile, Carlos Santana has apologized for a diss of Beyoncé, who lost to Adele in several Grammy categories, by intimating that the "Lemonade" vocalist was "not a singer-singer" but more of a music model. Santana told a New Zealand newspaper that "I think that Adele won because she can sing sing... With all respect to our sister Beyoncé, Beyoncé is very beautiful to look at and it's more like modeling kind of music -- music to model a dress -- she's not a singer, singer, with all respect to her." After his comments drew a firestorm of reaction on Twitter, Santana took to Facebook to clarify his comments, saying he was taken out of context. "My intent was to congratulate Adele on her amazing night at the Grammies," he wrote. "My comment about Beyoncé was regretfully taken out of context. I have the utmost respect for her as an artist and a person. She deserves all the accolades that come her way." In still more Grammy-related news, Joni Mitchell made a rare public appearance on Feb. 11 at Clive Davis' annual Pre-Grammy Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, where she was escorted by writer and filmmaker Cameron Crowe. The attendance by the 73-year-old rock/folk icon at the star-studded gala was a big deal, given she suffered from a brain aneurysm in March 2015 and was found unconscious in her L.A. home. Mitchell's health has been a source of concern since, though in late June of that year, her attorney Rebecca J. Thyne said the artist was "expected to make a full recovery." Mitchell, who is now wheechair-bound, was honored at the Grammys with a tribute video and a performance by "Both Sides Now" folk singer Judy Collins. - Billboard, 2/12/17...... Tom PettyTom Petty was feted on Feb. 10 at a MusiCares' pre-Grammy dinner at the Los Angeles Convention Center by such fellow rock legends as Stevie Nicks, Don Henley, Jackson Browne, Randy Newman and the Foo Fighters, among others. "Twenty years ago, I would have been way too cynical to do this, but I'm 66 now," said Petty, who was named the 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year. Expressing gratitude to his band the Heartbreakers, Petty told the black-tie crowd, "We got together last week and rehearsed for this thing, and I realized I may actually be in one of the best two or three rock and roll bands there is." Performances included Newman ("Refugee"), Browne ("Learning to Fly"), Henley ("Free Fallin'") and ELO's Jeff Lynne ("I Won't Back Down"), with Petty himself and Stevie Nicks singing their big duet hit, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around." Recording Academy president Neil Portnow announcing that the evening had brought in more than $8.5 million for musicians in medical or financial need. - Billboard, 2/11/17...... An unreleased song recorded by Bruce Springsteen for the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone -- the first movie in the Harry Potter series -- but was never used appeared briefly on the streaming service SoundCloud.com on Feb. 10, but has since been removed. The ballad "I'll Stand By You Always" was recorded by the Boss in 2001 although it doen'st have any direct reference to Harry Potter, it includes sincere lyrics like, "We'll let the night come and do what it may, together we'll find the courage, we'll find faith/ Until you awake." Springsteen later told the BBC that the song was "very uncharacteristic of something I'd sing myself" and added that he still hopes to get it into a children's movie someday. - Billboard, 2/10/17...... Rick DerringerRick Derringer has been charged with carrying a loaded gun in his carryon bag on a Delta Air Lines flight from Mexico after he was stopped after landing in Atlanta. According to court records, a federal air marshal said that Derringer said he often flies with a gun in his carry-on and has never experienced any problems. Derringer's manager, Kenn Moutenot, said the "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo" singer thought he was permitted to have the gun because he has a permit to carry one, that he meant no harm and will work with the government to clear his name. - AP, 2/10/17...... A new Eric Clapton documentary entitled Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars will premiere on the pay cable channel Showtime in 2018 after being released theatrically this fall. The documentary, directed by Lili Fini Zanuck, is described as an unflinching and deeply personal journey into the life of Clapton will screen at domestic and international film festivals later this year, and be released theatrically in the U.S. and Canada this fall. "Despite the fact that (Clapton's) path is strewn with tragedies, addiction and loss, he never fails to regain his bearings and continue to serve what he holds dearest: his music," Zanuck said in a statement. - Billboard, 2/10/17...... '70s New Wave legends Devo have been given their own set of Web emojis, many of which reference memorable moments from videos for Devo hits like "Whip It" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" as well as other imagery unique to the band. Devo formed in 1973 and released debut album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! in 1978. Their last full-length LP Something for Everybody was released in 2010. - New Musical Express, 2/11/17...... Former Deep Purple vocalist Glenn Hughes will participate in a "Storytellers" event at London's historic Cafe de Paris from 12 noon to 4pm on Feb. 25. The event will included the airing of a new 60 minute documentary, featuring never-before-seen classic archival vision of Hughes from the 1970's. The screening will be followed by a 2 hour story telling session hosted by Nicky Horne where Hughes will delve into some of the great and even infamous events in his life to date. - Noble PR, 2/10/17...... Al JarreauLegendary jazz singer Al Jarreau passed away on Feb. 12, two weeks after being hospitalized due to exhaustion and later cancelling his 2017 tour. He was 76. A seven-time Grammy winner, Jarreau's biggest single was 1981's "We're in This Love Together," and he was featured on the all-star 1985 song "We Are the World." Jarreau also sang the theme to television's Moonlighting. A statement on Jarreau's website read in part, "His 2nd priority in life was music. There was no 3rd. His 1st priority, far ahead of the other, was healing or comforting anyone in need. Whether it was emotional pain, or physical discomfort, or any other cause of suffering, he needed to put our minds at ease and our hearts at rest. He needed to see a warm, affirming smile where there had not been one before. Song was just his tool for making that happen." The singer was surrounded by family and friends when he died in Los Angeles, his manager, Joe Gordon, told Ebony magazine. - Billboard, 2/12/17...... Sonny Geraci, the Cleveland-born pop singer who scored national hits as lead singer of The Outsiders in the 1960s and Climax in the 1970s, has died. He was 69, and had been in ill health since suffering a brain aneurysm in 2012. Geraci became the lead singer of The Starfires in 1964, who changed their name to The Outsiders and scored four singles on the U.S. pop charts during the late 1960s, including "Time Won't Let Me," "Girl in Love," "Help Me Girl" and "Respectable (What Kind of Girl Is This)," a remake of the Isley Brothers tune. After leaving The Outsiders in 1970, Geraci eventually formed Climax with Walter Nims, who had been a member of both The Starfires and The Outsiders. That group later scored a Top 3 single with "Precious and Few," written by Nims. Climax disbanded in 1975. Geraci left the music business in the early 1980s, but tried a comeback, under the pseudonym Peter Emmett, in 1983, releasing an unsuccessful album on MCA. Later, he played the oldies circuit, performed for a time with the Grass Roots and toured from 2007-2012 as Sonny Geraci and the Outsiders. - 2/6/17...... Steve Lang, a former bassist for the Canadian classic rock outfit April Wine, has died at the age of 67. No cause of death has been announced, though he had suffered from Parkinson's Disease. Lang joined April Wine in 1975 as a replacement for longtime bassist Jim Clench, and was first featured on 1976's The Whole World's Goin' Crazy. He went on to play on a total of seven April Wine albums over eight years. He split from the band in 1984, eventually going into the finance industry. "Steve played bass with [April Wine] for years and his musicianship was exceptional," April Wine band leader Myles Goodwin posted on Facebook. "My condolences go out to his family. He will sadly be missed by his friends and by fans everywhere." - 2/8/17.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Officials in San Francisco have denied a permit for a 50th anniversary "Summer of Love" concert that was to be held on June 4 in Golden Gate Park's Polo Field and headlined by surviving members of such legendary bands as Jefferson Airplane, Santana and Big Brother and the Holding Company. The "city by the bay" was at the center of the '60s counterculture movement, and the concert was expected to draw tens of thousands of people, but city officials have informed event promoter Boots Hughston that his request for a permit was being denied. In a sharply worded, 3-page letter, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department said that Hughston had made "numerous misrepresentations of material fact" that left them with deep concerns about safety and security measures for the concert. Hughston denied making any misrepresentations and called the letter a "character assassination," saying he has a flawless record as a concert promoter and had organized events at Golden Gate Park and elsewhere since the 1970s without any problems. Hughston said he plans to file an appeal against the permit denial and added he still hopes the event can take place. - AP, 2/9/17...... Geezer ButlerTony IommiOzzy OsbourneBlack Sabbath played their last ever show in their hometown of Birmingham, UK on Feb. 4 at Birmingham's NEC Arena. The heavy metal legends, who wrapped up their 81-date The End tour, played a 15-song set including "War Pigs," "Iron Man," "Children of the Grave," and bowed out with an encore of 1970's "Paranoid." Founding members Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler all participated in the The End tour, and in November 2016 Osbourne told Classic Rock magazine that he has no plans to retire from either recording or performing live. "It's not me that wants to retire, it's Black Sabbath," Osbourne said. "I'll be continuing my own musical thing. My wife is good at telling me partial information, but I know I'm not hanging my boots up for a while." On Feb. 6, Tony Iommi told Planet Rock that he would also quit touring, but he was "sure" Black Sabbath would continue as a band, and that he was open to releasing more music with Black Sabbath, although the band hasn't discussed it yet. - New Musical Express, 2/5/17...... In other Heavy Metal news, AC/DC guitarist Angus Young pranked his friends Guns N' Roses on Feb. 8 by dressing up as a member of airport security staff and ordering a search after Guns N' Roses touched down in Sydney ahead of five councerts in Australia. "Told we had to stay on plane last night in Sydney; 'airport security' wanted to do a check. We waited. It was Angus Young is an orange vest!," Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan tweeted. The bands have grown close over the past year as Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose has been filling in for AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson, who was forced to step down after being warned by doctors he could lose his hearing. Earlier in February, Johnson thanked a group of Swedish AC/DC fans for hosting an event raising funds for organisations searching for a cure for Alzheimer dementia, which has afflicted founding AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young. "I know Malcolm would be so proud of you," Johnson posted on the event's blog on Feb. 7. "I am and I want to thank you for doing this. We've tried to tell people about this awful disease, tried to get a cure for it. You guys are helping and I'm so proud of you." - NME, 2/7/17...... The estate of late rock icon Prince has granted Universal Music Group exclusive licensing rights to much of Prince's catalog of released and unreleased works. Under the deal, the estate is licensing the 25 albums Prince released under the NPG Records label between 1979 and 1995, plus UMG can now work with the estate on the artist's vault of career-spanning unreleased works. The agreement means UMG is now the home for much of Prince's recorded music, plus publishing rights and merchandising. - Billboard, 2/9/17...... Michael Jackson's mother Katherine Jackson has accused one of her nephews, Trent Lamar Jackson, of being an "abusive con man" who has been attempting to take control of her finances for years. The Jackson matriarch has obtained a restraining order against Trent Lamar Jackson, after accusing him of taking cash from her accounts, and a Los Angeles judge has ordered the man to stay away from his aunt and return all his house keys. Trent Lamar Jackson reportedly disappeared from the Jackson compound shortly before sheriff's deputies and her lawyer arrived to force him off her property, and Katherine says she now fears for her safety if he returns. Katherine Jackson is currently in London visiting her newest grandson, Eissa, who was born to her daughter Janet Jackson in January. - WENN.com, 2/9/17...... CherCher launched a residency at the Park Theater at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Feb. 8 after an illness forced her off the road for nearly three years. Cher's "Classic Cher" show featured the diva's hit singles, glamorous Bob Mackie-designed outfits, and her legendary sense of humor, as she joked about her breasts, her age, and her love of Dr. Pepper. The 90-minute show plays a series of dates at Park Theater in February and May, as well as at The Theater at MGM National Harbor outside Washington, D.C. in March, August and September. - Billboard, 2/9/17...... Interviewed by a Detroit TV station on Feb. 8, Aretha Franklin revealed that she plans on retiring at the end of 2017 after releasing a new album in September. "I must tell you, I am retiring this year," said Franklin. "I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now. I'll be pretty much satisfied, but I'm not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing. That wouldn't be good either," she added. Franklin, 74, added however that she will remain open to "some select things, many one a month, for six months out of the year." Franklin's new LP will be an ode to her hometown of Detroit, composed of original works and recorded in the Motor City, and feature songs produced by Stevie Wonder. - Billboard, 2/9/17...... Speaking of Stevie Wonder, the legendary Motown singer has joked to TMZ.com that he will "reveal the truth" about his sight later this year, and claims that he has "flown planes." Wonder was recently stopped by TMZ and asked whether he would ever star in a reality TV show. His response was that it would be "too invasive." The artist went on to claim that he has flown planes twice before and actually landed one. When the TMZ reporter then joked that Wonder might one day come out and say he can actually see, he said (most likely in jest): "This year, I will reveal the truth." - New Musical Express, 2/7/17...... Blondie announced on Feb. 8 that it will kick off a 22-city North American tour on July 5 at The Mountain Winery in Saratoga, Calif. Blondie's "Rage and Rapture Tour" will come on the heels of the band's new album, Pollinator, which hits stores on May 8. The tour will run through an Aug. 12 date at Southside Ballroom in Dallas, Tex., and the opener will be Garbage. - Billboard, 2/8/17...... Willie Nelson announced on Feb. 8 he was postponing two more concerts -- one in Arizona and one in New Mexico -- due to illness. According to his website, concerts at Desert Diamond Casino in Sahuarita, Ariz., on Feb. 10 and the Route 66 Casino in Albequerque on Feb. 11 will be rescheduled. Two days earlier, the 83-year-old Nelson postponed three concerts in California and one in Tucson, Arizona. In late January, he canceled two of his five shows in Las Vegas due to a cold. On Jan. 31, Nelson was seen at an event in Las Vegas to promote his new line of specialty cannabis and played three shows at the Venetian on Feb. 1, 3 and 4. Nelson is due to release his latest album, God's Problem Child, on Apr. 28. - Billboard, 2/8/17...... Bob Dylan has added three warm-up shows at intimate venues to his upcoming UK arena tour, which is set to kick off on May 3 at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena. Dylan will play a trio of shows at the London Palladium on Apr. 28, 29 and 30 ahead of the main jaunt. The tour will also see the rock icon visiting Bournemouth (5/4), Nottingham (5/5), Glasgow (5/7), Liverpool (5/8), London (5/9) and Dublin (5/11). - NME, 2/8/17...... Elton John, Quincy Jones, George Clinton and Sean Lennon will be among the artist-curators of a new vinyl record subscription service called Experience Vinyl. For under $30 a month, subscribers to the new service will receive one of the artist's favorite albums (not their own album) along with personalized commentary, the artist's top ten albums list, access to the Experience Vinyl store and various rewards. A portion of the sales wil go to the artist's charity of choice. The service's first curator, Elton John, has directed a portion of his sales be donated to The Elton John AIDS Foundation. Co-founder Brad Hammonds called Experience Vinyl "a different kind of subscription service and a dream for any vinyl lover... Who better to send you great music each month than artists themselves?" - Billboard, 2/8/17...... In related news, David Bowie's No Plan EP is set to be released on vinyl later in 2017. No Plan is the latest posthumous release from Bowie, who died in Jan. 2016, and features three songs from his Lazarus musical, as well as "Lazarus" from his final album Blackstar. The EP was released digitally on Jan. 8 -- Bowie's birthday -- and features recordings from Bowie's final ever recording sessions. CD versions of No Plan will drop on Feb. 24, before the vinyl edition is released on Apr. 21. A special edition vinyl, which is a dye-cut version that comes with an accompanying lightograph, will follow a month later on May 26. - NME, 2/6/17...... Steven_Van_ZandtSteven Van Zandt, the longtime guitarist in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, has been named the speaker for this year's graduation ceremony at Rutgers University. Van Zandt, who also appeared in an acting role in HBO's The Sopranos, will also receive an honorary doctor of fine arts at the May 14 ceremony in Newark. Van Zandt was born in Massachusetts but moved to New Jersey when he was seven. The musician was chosen after a selection process involving students, faculty and staff, and he follows in the footsteps of former US Pres. Barack Obama, who delivered the keynote address in 2016. - AP, 2/8/17...... As the 1992 film Wayne's World was screened in US cinemas on Feb. 8 to mark the Mike Myers and Dana Carvey comedy's 25th anniversary, Alice Cooper has reflected on the movie's "we're not worthy" scene which featured him. The scene sees Wayne and Garth meeting Cooper backstage, and when the Coop asks the pair to "hang out," they bow to their knees and say: "We're not worthy, we're not worthy, we're scum." "I think we did it in two takes," Cooper reflected. "They [Myers and Carvey] were doing everything they could to get me to break up. But they didn't realise my iron will, so I went right through that dialogue and I think I surprised them." Cooper also revealed that some fans still re-enact the scene during chance run-ins. "Airports is when everybody does, 'We're not worthy!' I always try to let them think it's the first time anybody's ever done that. And they're so clever," he said. - Billboard, 2/8/17...... The creators of the classic rock "mockumentary" This Is Spinal Tap have reunited to file a $400 million lawsuit against Vivendi SA for "engaging in anti-competitive and unfair business practices, as well as fraudulent accounting" in its management of movie, which has been voted the funniest comedy film of all time. Co-creators Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and director Rob Reiner have formally joined fellow co-creator Harry Shearer in the lawsuit, which was originally filed by Shearer in October 2016. The co-creators are claiming they have been denied "their rightful stake in the production's profits." Commenting on the lawsuit, Guest said: "The deliberate obfuscation by Vivendi and its subsidiaries is an outrage. It is vital that such behavior is challenged in the strongest way possible." Shearer said of his co-creators' decision to join: "Their participation will help demonstrate the opaque and misleading conduct at the heart of this case. We're even louder now." - NME, 2/8/17...... Elton John paid tribute to his late friend George Michael during an interview on the UK radio show Beats 1 on Feb. 6. "George was one of Britain's most brilliant songwriters" and "the kindest, most generous man," Elton said, adding he'll miss Michael's "humanity most of all." Michael died at his England home at age 53 on Christmas Day. - AP, 2/7/17...... StingFormer The Police frontman Sting was named one of the 2017 Polar Music Prize winners on Feb. 2 by Alfons Karabuda, chairman of the Prize committee. Sting and saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter will accept their Polar Music prizes from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden at a gala ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on June 15. The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by Stig "Stikkan" Anderson, the manager and music publisher of ABBA. A well-known lyricist, he also was the co-writer on many of their early hits. The prize was first presented in 1992. Previous winners of the Polar Music Prize include Elton John, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith. - Billboard, 2/7/17...... Music author and journalist Ritchie York, who penned books on such rock stars as Led Zeppelin, Van Morrison, and most recently John Lennon and Yoko Ono, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in his native Australia on Feb. 6. He was 73. Yorke, who was the senior music writer for Brisbane's Sunday Mail for 20 years until 2007, and also earlier served as Billboard's Canadian editor for a decade in the 1970s. His books include Led Zeppelin: The Definitive Biography, The Music: The Van Morrison Biography and The History of Rock 'n' Roll. - Billboard, 2/7/17...... "Professor" Irwin Corey, the wild-haired comedian and actor known for his improvisational riffs and nonsensical style who billed himself as "The World's Foremost Authority," died on Feb. 6 at his home in Manhattan. He was 102. Mr. Corey's dizzying mix of mock-intellectual circumlocutions, earnest political tirades and slapstick one-liners made him the king of comedic confusion and earned him the nickname "professor." "Did you hear about the guy who went to the druggist and wanted to get some cyanide?" one of his jokes went. "The guy takes a picture of his wife out of his wallet, and the druggist says, 'I'm sorry, I didn't know you had a prescription!'" Mr. Corey became a staple on television talk shows and in comedy clubs in the 1960s and 1970s, and his film career included working with Jackie Gleason and Woody Allen. He often wore sneakers, a skinny black tie, black tails and his hair was disheveled. It was never clear exactly what he was an authority on. Often he would begin his act with long-winded gobbledygook filled with sentences that followed their own logic before pausing and then saying, "What was the question again?" Mr. Corey's son, Richard, alled his father "original and one-of-a-kind, iconic." - AP, 2/7/17.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Bob Dylan announced on Jan. 31 that he'll be releasing a 3-disc studio album, Triplicate, on Mar. 31 that will feature 30 "brand-new recordings of classic American tunes." All three discs of Triplicate will be individually titled ('Til The Sun Goes Down, Devil Dolls and Comin' Home Late), and each album will include a thematically arranged 10-song sequence. Triplicate will be the artist's 38th album release, and the first ever triple-length set of his career. Produced by Jack Frost, Triplicate will feature such pop standards as "As Time Goes By," "Once Upon a Time," "The Best Is Yet to Come," "Stardust" and "Stormy Weather." - Billboard, 1/31/17...... Peter FramptonSteve MillerTwo classic rock legends, Steve Miller and Peter Frampton, have announced a coheadlining 30-city summer tour of North America that will get underway in Holmdel, N.J., on June 15 and wrap on Aug. 13 in Murphys, Calif. Major cities along the way include Toronto (6/20), Philadelphia (6/27), Salt Lake City (8/2), Las Vegas (8/8) and Los Angeles (8/11). Steve Miller expounded on his long history with Peter Frampton in a Jan. 31 statement: "Peter and I first met at Olympic studios in London in the late sixties when we were both just starting our recording career. He was a wonderful guitarist and songwriter then and he is even more so today. Over the years, we've played together in venues from theaters to football stadiums and everything in between.... I'm looking forward to a summer of great music, exceptional performances and fun. Peter is remarkable musician." - Billboard, 1/31/17...... High profile movie producer Michael De Luca (Captain Phillips, Moneyball, The Social Network) is working on a new, currently-untitled movie about the relationship between John Lennon and Yoko Ono, as well as their antiwar efforts. "The story will focus on ripe and relevant themes of love, courage and activism in the U.S. -- with the intention of inspiring today's youth to stand up for and have a clear vision for the world they want," De Luca said in a statement on Feb. 1. "I am also honored and privileged to be working with Yoko Ono, [writer] Anthony McCarten and [Immersive Pictures chief] Josh Bratman to tell the story of two amazing global icons." McCarten is the author behind The Theory of Everything and an upcoming Winston Churchill biopic starring Gary Oldman. During their 11-year marriage, John and Yoko collaborated on multiple creative projects, including what would become Lennon's final solo effort, 1980's Double Fantasy. In 2016, Yoko Ono reissued three of her albums from the 1970s, the start of a full reissue campaign of her music. - The Hollywood Reporter, 2/2/17...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney has unveiled a rare demo on the web featuring Elvis Costello called "Twenty Fine Fingers" as part of his ongoing Archive Collection. "Twenty Fine Fingers" is the first of nine demo tracks from the sessions for Macca's 1989 solo album, Flowers In the Dirt, that are set to be released in 2017. McCartney and Costello collaborated on four of Flowers In the Dirt's 12 tracks, with Costello credited as a featured artist on the song "You Want Her Too." While "Twenty Fine Fingers" has already featured on McCartney bootlegs since Flowers In the Dirt was released (incorrectly titled as "Twenty-Five Fingers"), this is the first time that the demo has been officially released by its creator. A deluxe reissue of Flowers In the Dirt is set to drop on Mar. 24, which will contain eight other McCartney/Costello demos in addition to "Twenty Fine Fingers." A super deluxe version will contain a bonus DVD, 64-page photo book, and many other extras. - New Musical Express, 2/1/17...... David CassidyIn a post on his official website on Feb. 1, David Cassidy said he's planning to retire by the end of 2017 after playing a Las Vegas show on Feb. 17 and his final West Coast concerts on Feb. 18 and Feb. 19. Cassidy, 66, said that "traveling and my arthritis" have made performing around the country difficult in recent years. "This is not a complete 'Good bye' but I'm planning on working much less," the one-time The Partridge Family teen heartthrob said. A spokeswoman for Cassidy says he will perform some East Coast dates in March as well. - AP, 2/1/17...... As he continues his tour Down Under with the E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen isn't letting up at all on US Pres. Donald Trump. During his show in Melbourne on Feb. 2 at AMMI Park, The Boss played a cover of The Orions' 1962 No. 4 pop single "Don't Hang Up" to mock an allegedly disastrous phone call between Pres. Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The unlikely cover of the doo-wop song, which features the lyrics "Don't hang up (no no)... Don't hang up like you always do/ I know you think our love is true/ I'll explain the facts to you, don't hang up," came after the Australian media spent the day obsessing over what has been described as a tense conversation between Trump and Turnbull on Jan. 29 when the two men reportedly clashed over the American president's controversial immigration policy. Meanwhile, on Feb. 2 E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt tweeted "Australia is, was, and always will be one of the USA's best friends and closest allies. Apologies for today's temporary embarrassment." The tweet came after Springsteen spoke out against Trump's immigration policy at a concert in Adelaide on Jan. 30. - Billboard, 2/2/17...... Organizers of 2017 Tribeca Film Festival announced on Feb. 2 that a new documentary about music mogul Clive Davis, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, will open the event this April. Based on Davis' bestselling 2013 autobiography, The Soundtrack of Our Lives explores Davis' life and historic career in the music industry, from his humble Brooklyn beginnings and brief stint as a lawyer to his development of major record labels (Columbia, Arista, J). Some of the top acts who Davis helmed during his career, including Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson and Earth, Wind & Fire, will perform after the doc's world premiere at New York's Radio City Music Hall on Apr. 19. The 16th Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, runs Apr. 19-30. - Billboard, 2/2/17...... Premium cable network Showtime has announced a new documentary about the Beach Boys' 1966 classic LP Pet Sounds will air on their network later this year. The Beach Boys: Making Pet Sounds will premiere on Showtime in April and feature interviews with BB principal Brian Wilson as well as members Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks. The documentary will also feature footage from the band's 1960s studio sessions as well as outtakes from recordings. Released in May 1966, the hugely influential Pet Sounds is considered one of pop music's greatest masterpieces. Meanwhile, Brian Wilson has announced a 50th anniversary Pet Sounds tour of the UK that will include the Kendal Calling and Camp Bestival festivals, as well as London's Eventim Apollo on Aug. 1 and Sheffield City Hall on Aug. 2. "I'm really happy to be able to come back to the UK and perform Pet Sounds yet again for all our fans," Wilson said in a statement. "The response from everyone has been amazing and that's why we decided to come back and play Pet Sounds for one last time." - New Musical Express, 2/4/17...... Debbie HarryBlondie released the first single, called "Fun," from their upcoming studio album, Pollinator, on Jan. 31. Blondie's core trio of vocalist Debbie Harry, guitarist Chris Stein and drummer Clem Burke are joined by Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio on "Fun," which features the uplifting chorus "You're my fun when I'm down/ You pick me up again, you pick me up again/ You're my fun too, much fun/ I get the feeling that you're changing my mind." Pollinator also features contributions from Joan Jett, Laurie Anderson, Johnny Marr and Nick Valensi of the Strokes, and was the final album recorded at the legendary New York studio The Magic Shop. The studio was the site of sessions for David Bowie's final album, Blackstar, and has since closed due to rising rent costs. Pollinator, the follow-up to Blondie's 2014 album Ghosts of Download, is due on May 5. - Billboard, 2/1/17...... Appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Feb. 1, actor Keanu Reeves recalled the time Alice Cooper once babysat for him. "I grew up in Toronto and I lived on this street called Hazelton and there was a recording studio (near) there called Nimbus 9 and my mother was in costume design, she was in rock 'n' roll, in the business, and they had friends and she had friends, and so Alice Cooper -- I'm told -- babysat me. I don't know how that could possibly happen, but it did... Supposedly." Reeves will appear in the upcoming film John Wick: Chapter 2, as well as an upcoming new Bill & Ted project. - WENN.com, 2/2/17...... In a new interview with People magazine, the late Mary Tyler Moore's husband Dr. S. Robert Levine opened up about how her death has left him devasted. "I can't believe she is gone," he said. "Mary was my life, my light, my love. The emptiness I feel without her with me is without bottom." Revealing how she had remained fiercely independent even as her health failed after a long-term battle with diabetes and heart and kidney troubles. "She was a force of nature who fiercely defended her autonomy even as her health was failing," he said. "Mary was fearless, determined, and wilful. If she felt strongly about something, or that there was truth to be told, she would do it, no matter the consequences." Dr. Levine added that "My sadness is only tempered by the remarkable outpouring of good wishes, tributes, and personal 'Mary stories' told, with heart, by those touched by her grace." The death certificate for Mary Tyler Moore, who passed on Jan. 25, noted she died of "cardiopulmonary arrest, with aspiration pneumonia, hypoxia, and diabetes mellitus also listed as contributing factors." - WENN.com, 2/1/17...... John WettonJohn Wetton, a prog rock legend who was the ex-bassist for King Crimson and frontman for the '80s group Asia, died on Jan. 31 after losing his battle with colon cancer. He was 67. Born on July 12, 1949, in Derby, England, Wetton sang and played with the likes of Family, Mogul Thrash, Uriah Heep, Roxy Music, Wishbone Ash and King Crimson, before he formed the prog supergroup UK in the 1970s, and later the acclaimed and successful Asia with Geoff Downes, Steve Howe and Carl Palmer. Wetton also enjoyed a successful solo career, and played with the likes of Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera, David Cross, Ayreon and District 97. Wetton joined King Crimson two years after the departure of Greg Lake who, also sadly, died last month. "With the passing of my good friend and musical collaborator, John Wetton, the world loses yet another musical giant," Carl Palmer posted on Facebook. "John was a gentle person who created some of the most lasting melodies and lyrics in modern popular music. As a musician, he was both brave and innovative, with a voice that took the music of ASIA to the top of the charts around the world," he added. Wetton is survived by his wife Lisa, son Dylan, brother Robert and mother Peggy. - NME, 1/31/17.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

According to an investigation of police records by the Miami Herald newspaper, the death of co-founding Allman Brothers Band member Butch Trucks was a suicide. The drummer, 69, reportedly shot himself in the head with a pistol inside his West Palm Beach condo as his wife of 25 years, Melinda, stood nearby. The records included a transcript of Melinda Trucks' call to police around 6 p.m. local time that was described as "hysterical," as she struggled to speak in complete sentences. Although Trucks was still breathing when police arrived, he passed away soon after. Police do not suspect foul play, and the results of an autopsy by the coroner's office will be released in a few weeks. - Billboard, 1/26/17...... Performing in Adelaide, Australia on Jan. 30, Bruce Springsteen spoke out against new US Pres. Donald Trump before launching into the song "American Land," which he described as an "immigrant song." "America is a nation of immigrants, and we find this anti-democratic and fundamentally un-American," Springsteen told the audience. Springsteen's words came after a federal judge in New York temporarily blocked an executive order by Pres. Trump on Jan. 28 that prevented individuals from seven countries with known terrorist ties from entering the U.S. Pres. Trump responded to the judge's action the next day on Facebook, saying his administration is "protecting our own citizens and border." - Billboard, 1/30/17...... Carole KingIn related news, Carole King has released an updated version of "One Small Voice," a song she first released more than three decades ago in support of the recent Women's March on Washington, D.C., in protest of Pres. Trump. In an essay on HuffingtonPost.com, King said: "It will take the strength and persistence of many small voices to overcome the lies of the loudest voice with our message of truth, dignity, and decency." "One Small Voice" tells the story of the Hans Christian Anderson classic "The Emperor's Clothes," and includes the lyrics "One small voice speaking with the values/ we were taught as children." King participated in her own women's march the same day in her small hometown of Stanely, Idaho. - Billboard, 1/26/17...... The Jacksons have announced they'll play a one-off UK show on June 18 at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, on June 18 as part of the venue's Nocturne concert series. The current Jacksons lineup is comprised of four founding members -- Jermain, Tito, Jackie and Marlon Jackson -- and the show will be the group's only UK headline performance in 2017. Kool and the Gang will be the opening act. - New Musical Express, 1/30/17...... In related news, Michael Jackson's 18-year-old daughter Paris Jackson will make her acting debut in 2017 on Fox's drama series Star, the network announced on Jan. 30. Star is set in the music industry and features Queen Latifah as a surrogate mom to aspiring young singers. A date for the episode with Paris Jackson wasn't announced. - AP, 1/30/17...... It is rumored that Prince's music will be widely released to streaming services by Grammy Night on Feb. 12 after a series of purple ads bearing the Spotify logo -- and only the Spotify logo -- appeared in New York's Union Square subway station on Jan. 30. While much of Prince's post-Warner Music catalog remains in varying degrees of legal limbo, the Warner catalog, as well as his music publishing, are reportedly on solid footing to be streamed in the near future. Reps for Spotify, Apple Music, Warner Music and the Prince estate have not confirmed the rumor. - Billboard, 1/30/17...... "Star Dust," a spellbinding David Bowie-inspired modern ballet, made its debut in New York at the Joyce Theater on Jan. 25 after debuting in Detroit in 2016. The production pairs familiar Bowie songs such as "Space Oddity" and "Rock N' Roll Suicide with modern dance. The program also includes the troupe of around 15 dancers in the Complexions Contemporary Ballet performing to "Changes," "Life on Mars?," "1984," "Modern Love" and "Young Americans," with an encore of "Let's Dance. The show is scheduled run through Feb. 5, 2017. - Billboard, 1/26/17...... Elton JohnA Broadway adaptation of the hit book and movie The Devil Wears Prada will feature music scored by Elton John and be written by legendary playwright Paul Rudnick. "Re-imagining The Devil Wears Prada for the musical theater is super exciting," Elton John said in a statement. "I'm a huge fan of both the book and the feature film, and a huge aficionado of the fashion world. I can't wait to sink my musical teeth into this hunk of popular culture." The Devil Wears Prada follows new graduate and aspiring journalist Andrea, as she tries to make her way working for an iconic fashion magazine under a cutthroat boss while maintaining her iconoclast identity. The blockbuster movie starred Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt. - Billboard, 1/26/17...... The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced on Jan. 27 that Neil Young will be inducting his frequent collaborator Pearl Jam into the Cleveland-based hall and museum during the 2017 RRHOF ceremony in New York on Apr. 7. Young and Pearl Jam memorably joined forces to play Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" at MTV's Video Music Awards in 1993, and Pearl Jam regularly covers the song on tour. Presenters for the other inductees, which include ELO, Journey, Tupac Shakur and Nile Rodgers, have yet to be announced. - AP, 1/27/17...... The headliners for the 2017 New Orleans Jazz Fest set for the Crescent City on Apr. 28-30 and May 4-7 will include Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Maroon 5 and Dave Matthews, organizers announced on Jan. 27. Also included in the more than 500 bands that will be performing are Kings of Leon, Alabama Shakes, Widespread Panic and Pitbull. - AP, 1/27/17...... Blondie have been added to the 2016 British Summer Time line-up, with the New York-based quartet supporting Phil Collins at the London show in Hyde Park on June 30. Also performing the same day will be Mike and the Mechanics and Starsailor. "The reaction from the British public has been overwhelming," said Phil Collins previously about the headline date. "I can't wait to play Hyde Park and see everyone there. I will be playing all of the songs that people love." - NME, 1/30/17...... Bob Dylan will be among the headliners and the fan-curated Firefly Festival this summer, which is set for Dover, Delaware on June 15-18. Weezer, Mars, The Shins and Kesha are also on the bill for the festival, which bills itself as the first to be "curated" by fans. - NME, 1/27/17...... Willie Nelson cancelled two shows at The Venetian resort in Las Vegas on Jan. 28 and 29 due to a "bad cold," according to his publicist. Nelson is still scheduled to play the remaining three shows, on Feb. 1, 3 and 4. The canceled shows have not been rescheduled. - AP, 1/26/17...... In a new interview with the London Times, Ozzy Osboure denied that he is a sex addict, despite a statement from a representative for Black Sabbath in 2016 that Osbourne was undergoing "intense therapy" for sex addiction. "I'm in a f---ing rock band, aren't I? There have always been groupies," Ozzy said. "I just got caught, didn't I? I don't think I'm a f---ing sex addict." The statement from Black Sabbath's rep was released following intense media speculation over Osbourne's 33-year marriage to Sharon Osbourne when the pair separated in May 2016. However, Osbourne later said that their marriage was "back on track again." - New Musical Express, 1/30/17...... Brad WhitfordAerosmith is promising some "surprises" for their upcoming final tour of the U.K. and Europe, after first announcing it in 2016 by saying it would be "one of the greatest rock n' roll shows ever seen." Guitarist Brad Whitford says the band would "like to do some more deep cuts" on their "Aerovederci Tour" and "we'll see how that goes, it's very hard to get everybody to agree on certain things. We've basically done the hit-parade our whole career, and there's a lot of really great deep tracks that have been neglected. It would be nice to bring some of that stuff out. I think people would appreciate that." The 17-city tour commences on May 17 in Tel Aviv, Israel, also hitting Moscow, Germany, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. It also includes a headline performance at the Download Festival in Donington, UK, on June 11. - NME, 1/30/17...... TV legend Mary Tyler Moore was laid to rest on Jan. 29 after a small, private ceremony in Connecticut, according to the local paper Connecticut Post. Ms. Moore, a resident of Greenwich, Conn., was buried at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Fairfield at around 11 a.m., and her service was attended by approximately 50 of her closest friends and family members. The only celebrity in the crowd was Bernadette Peters, her co-star in the 1990 TV movie The Last Best Year. Ms. Moore's gravesite is surrounded by 12 empty plots that the family reportedly purchased at $2,000 a pop to ensure her privacy. Outside the cemetery, a small tribute to Ms. Moore in the form of three homemade signs proclaiming "We Love You," "Mary!!!," and "Rest in Peace, Mary" hung on the main gate, along with a picture of the actress smiling. Ms. Moore passed away on Jan. 25 at age 80 after dealing with a series of health issues, including diabetes. - PageSix.com, 1/30/17...... Officials in Los Angeles say they have positively identified the man who raped and killed Karen Klaas, the ex-wife of Righteous Brothers singer Bill Medley in 1976. Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said on Jan. 30) that investigators blame Kenneth Eugene Troyer for the slaying. Karen Klaas was strangled with her pantyhose in her home in Jan. 1976 as she returned to her home in Hermosa Beach, and the 32-year-old died a few years later. McDonnell says investigators used a controversial DNA testing technique that allows investigators to search databases to identify likely relatives of suspects who may have committed the crime. A forensic sample collected at the crime scene found a familial match to identify a close male relative of Troyer's. - AP, 1/30/17...... Geoff Nicholls, a longtime keyboardist for Black Sabbath who joined the band in 1979 after the firing of Ozzy Osbourne, died on Jan. 28 following a battle with lung cancer. He was 68. Nicholls first appeared on Black Sabbath's 1980 album, Heaven and Hell, and five years later he was named an official member of the group. After appearing on nine Sabbath albums and touring regularly with the band, he left in 1996, after Osbourne returned. "I'm so saddened to hear the loss of one of my dearest and closest friends Geoff Nicholls," Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi wrote on Facebook on Jan. 28. "I will miss him dearly and he will live in my heart until we meet again. Rest in peace my dear friend." - Billboard, 1/28/17...... John HurtJohn Hurt, a legendary actor perhaps best known for his role in the 1978 film Midnight Express which earned him an Oscar nomination, died on Jan. 27, his publicist confirmed the following day. He was 77. Hurt's cause of death was not immediately disclosed, however he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015. Long a familiar face to moviegoers, Hurt's over 60-year career also included roles as wandmaker Garrick Olivander in the Harry Potter films, as the British dictator in V for Vendetta, and as the disturbed Harold "Ox" Oxley in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and the main character in Nineteen Eighty-Four. - NBCnews.com, 1/28/17...... Actor Mike Connors, best known as detective Joe Mannix on the 1967-1975 CBS crime drama Mannix, died on Jan. 26 in Tarzana, Calif. He was 91. In the 1950s, Mr. Connors appeared in the John Wayne film Island in the Sky and in Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments, and he also appeared in the early-'60s TV series Tightrope! and Today's F.B.I. in the early 1980s. He later played Colonel Hack Peters in Herman Wouk miniseries War and Remembrance. Mr. Connors, who had been recently diagnosed with leukemia, is survived by his wife Mary Lou, daughter Dena and granddaughter Cooper. "He was a wonderful father, a wonderful husband, a wonderful father-in-law and a wonderful friend," his son-in-law Mike Condon said. "He was always there for anyone in need."- Variety.com, 1/26/17.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Interviewed for an in-depth cover story in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Michael Jackson's daughter Paris Jackson says she still can't believe the world thought her late dad was a child molester, and that Michael would "cry to me at night" as he battled ongoing accusations of child abuse at his Neverland Ranch home in California. "Picture your parent crying to you about the world hating him for something he didn't do," said Paris, now a teenage model. "And for me, he was the only thing that mattered. To see my entire world in pain, I started to hate the world because of what they were doing to him. I'm like, 'How can people be so mean?'" Jackson's sensational 2005 trial ended with the members of the jury finding the King of Pop not guilty on all 14 charges against him. Paris also discusses her ongoing battles with cyberbullies, briefly mentions being sexually assaulted by "a complete stranger" at 14, and "multiple" suicide attempts stemming from her early teenage "depression and drug addiction" (she's now sober). Paris also insisted that Michael Jackson was her real father, that she "considers herself black" because her dad told her she was, and that her dad was somehow, murdered. "Absolutely," she said. "Because it's obvious. All arrows point to that.... all real fans and everybody in the family knows it. It was a setup." - WENN.com/jezebel.com, 1/24/17...... David BowieGreat Britain's Royal Mail announced on Jan. 25 it will be commemorating David Bowie with a limited-edition run of 10 postage stamps featuring covers of Bowie's albums and images from his tours. The stamps will feature art from such landmark albums as Hunky Dory, Aladdin Sane, Heroes, Let's Dance, Earthling and Bowie's final work, 2016's Blackstar, as well as four of his tours. Royal Mail will issue the stamps on Mar. 14, and pre-orders are being accepted. Royal Mail previously has honored the Beatles in 2010 and Pink Floyd in 2015. - Billboard, 1/26/17...... In other Bowie news, Sting stunned a "Celebrating David Bowie" concert at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles on Jan. 24 by making a surprise appearance to perform two songs from Bowie's Blackstar -- the title track toward the end of the 3-hour, 25 minute show, and "Lazarus," as one of the 4-song encores. The show featured a massive band comprised largely of alumni of Bowie's touring units, with celebrity lead vocalists including Perry Farrell, Bush's Gavin Rossdale and Def Leppard's Joe Elliott. The concert was part of a very limited five-city international Bowie tribute mini-tour. - Billboard, 1/25/17...... Queen with guest vocalist Adam Lambert have announced a 25-city arena summer tour of North America that will get underway on June 23 in Phoenix, Ariz. June dates also include Las Vegas (6/24), Los Angeles (6/26) and San Jose, Calif. (6/29). Major cities in July include Seattle (7/1), Denver (7/6), Chicago (7/13), Montreal (7/17), Detroit (7/20), Boston (7/25), Brooklyn (7/28), Philadelphia (7/30), and Washington D.C. (7/31), before three final dates in August -- Nashville, Tenn. (8/2), Dallas (8/4) and Houston (8/5). Tickets for the tour go on sale Feb. 3. - Billboard, 1/26/17...... A planned Janis Joplin biopic starring 5-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams has been scrapped, according to director Jean-Marc Valle. Valle, who also directed Dallas Buyers Club, says he's committed instead to the upcoming HBO series Big Little Lies. The movie, to have been called Get It While You Can, is not to be confused with another Joplin biopic starring Michelle Williams that is currently in production. That movie, Janis, is based on the biography Love, Janis by Joplin's sister, Laura Joplin, and uses Joplin's letters to family and friends to tell her story. Janis Joplin died in 1970 at the age of 27 from a heroin overdose after releasing only three albums; a posthumously released album, Pearl, was released just months after her death and featured one of her last hits, "Me and Bobby McGee." - Billboard, 1/25/17...... Fleetwood Mac announced on Jan. 25 that they will reissue their 1987 album Tango In the Night in a special deluxe 30th anniversary reissue with rare and unreleased tracks on Mar. 10. The reissue will arrive in three formats -- single CD, two CD and three CD, LP, and DVD -- and the expanded releases include 13 previously unheard recordings, rare B-sides and music videos. - NME, 1/25/17...... Ray Davies announced on Jan. 23 that he'll release his first solo album in 10 years, Americana, on Apr. 21 via Legacy Recordings. The LP's title is taken from Davies' 2013 memoir of the same name, and along with new songs, the album will also feature spoken-word passages from his memoir. Americana is the first of two volumes to be released by Davies in 2017, and the singer has also released it's lead single, "Poetry," which is backed by the alt-country band the Jayhawks. Davies was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in December. Americana will be his fifth solo effort, with his most recent being 2007's Working Man's Cafe. - NME, 6/23/17...... Rod StewartRod Stewart announced on Jan. 23 that he'll kick off a summer tour of mostly smaller cities in America with opener Cyndi Lauper on July 6 in Hollywood, Fla. Visiting such markets as Tampa, Tuscaloosa, Camden, Bangor, Wantagh, Bristow and Rochester, the tour also visits Cincinnati on Aug. 4 and Dallas on Aug. 11 before wrapping on Aug. 12 in Houston. Stewart released his last album, Another Country, in 2015, and is currently in the studio recording. Sir Rod was also present at the Scottish Cup Draw football match on Jan. 22, where he reportedly had a blast plucking a series of numbered balls out of a bin and participated in the time-honored tradition of setting up the match-ups for the fifth round of the tournament. - Billboard, 1/23/17...... Neil Diamond has announced a 50-song, three-disc career retrospective, The 50th Anniversary Collection, will drop on Mar. 31. Diamond, 75, oversaw the selection of the song on the set, which will hit stores on the 50th anniversary of his first hit, 1966's "Solitary Man." Diamond's major hits and key album tracks will be featured on the set, which drops just before he kicks off a huge 2017 world tour on Apr. 7 in Fresno, Calif., that will run through an Oct. 17 gig at London's O2 Arena. - Billboard, 1/24/17...... The iconic '60s group Jefferson Airplane and its '70s offshoot, Jefferson Starship, has signed a worldwide management deal with legacy management firm Jampol Artist Management, which also has such iconic acts as the Doors, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Muddy Waters and the Ramones on its roster. "I think it's fan-f---ing-tastic that we're working with JAM," said Jefferson Airplane frontwoman Grace Slick in a statement announcing the signing. Added co-founder Marty Balin: "The Airplane still flies! It was one of the greatest experiences I ever had. I am proud of the musical legacy Jefferson Airplane brings and I look forward to working with JAM." JAM, Inc. specializes in extending, promoting and diversifying offerings by legacy acts through documentary and feature film projects, stage productions, retail apparel and licensing campaigns, museum exhibitions, books and more. - Billboard, 1/23/17...... The iconic Whisky a Go Go marque from the legendary Sunset Strip club in Los Angeles was put up for auction on Jan. 25. The weathered 13-foot marquee, which says simply, "The Whisky," adorned the West Hollywood club in the '80s and '90s, and was replaced in 2004 with a new sign -- "Whisky a Go Go" -- that restored the full name used when the club opened in 1964. The marquee sold for nearly $35,000 in 2012, and it is expected the sign could fetch somewhere between $25,000 and $60,000. Over the years the Whisky a Go Go has played host to such acts as Led Zeppelin, the Doors, Janis Joplin, Frank Zappa, Van Halen and the Ramones, and it was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. - AP, 1/22/17...... Cher was among the Pres. Donald Trump protesters calling into MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews on Jan. 21, after the diva participated in the Women's March against Pres. Trump. "People from all over the world don't like him, don't trust him and they don't think he's a good person," Cher told host Chris Matthews. Cher responded to comments from some who might criticize the marchers as "sore losers" following their preferred candidate losing the election to Trump, despite receiving more of the popular vote. "You'd be disappointed if Mitt Romney won," said Cher. "Trump is a different thing altogether." The singer added that she "actually support (Trump's) people because they feel disenfranchised and through some sort of miracle they think he will fix their problems," and ended her conversation with a rallying cry: "His supporters always call us whiners, but we are going to kick their ass." - The Hollywood Reporter, 1/21/17...... In related news, Roger Waters has formally unveiled his latest set of anti-Trump live visuals in a new video in the wake of Pres. Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration. The Pink Floyd co-founder has inducted the visuals, which include a flying pig with the words "F--- Trump and his wall" emblazoned on it as well as superimposed pictures of the 45th president with some members of the Ku Klux Klan, into his live gigs during the past few months, including his high profile appearance at the Desert Trip festival in California in October. Now Waters has shared a new video for a Sept. 2016 performance of the 1977 Pink Floyd song "Pigs" in Mexico City on his Twitter and Facebook accounts, with the words "the resistance begins today" accompanying the newly-released footage. Meanwhile, Waters recently previewed new material from what will be his first new solo album in nearly 25 years. - New Musical Express, 1/22/17...... Crystal GayleCountry/pop crossover singer Crystal Gayle was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on Jan. 21, nearly 50 years after she first walked onto the stage to perform as a teenager. The honor was performed by Gayle's sister, country legend and longtime Opry member Loretta Lynn, at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Gayle is best known for her 1977 hit, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue," which is noted on her official website as the song that "opened the world's eyes to Crystal Gayle." - AP, 1/21/17...... UK rockers Status Quo have announced a series of new tour dates following the December death of Status Quo singer/guitarist Rick Parfitt. Surviving members Francis Rossi, Andrew Bown, John 'Rhino' Edwards, Leon Cave and Richie Malone will perform four shows in support of their recent album Aquostic II: That's A Fact!, including a concert at London's Royal Albert Hall. Other dates include Inverness (6/20), York (6/21) and Norwich (6/25). Status Quo has released over 100 singles -- many of which were penned by Parfitt -- and have sold over 100 million albums worldwide. - NME, 1/23/17...... Two of Prince's relatives who are likely to receive a share of the late rock icon's multimillion-dollar estate have accused the estate's special entertainment advisers of mismanaging an October Prince tribute concert and holding on to profits the estate was guaranteed to receive. Veteran entertainment attorneys L. Londell McMillan and Charles Koppelman have been employed by the estate as experts to help monetize Prince's entertainment assets, and have entered a number of licensing agreements on behalf of the estate. At a recent hearing, the judge said the estate would likely be dived between the six people listed on the initial filing with the court: sister Tyka Nelson and half-siblings Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson, John Nelson, Omarr Baker, and Alfred Jackson. The Official Prince Tribute-A Celebration of Life and Music concert was held on Oct. 13, 2016 in St. Paul, Minn. - Billboard, 1/26/17...... Bassist Pete Overend Watts, a founding member of Mott the Hoople, passed away on Jan. 22 after a battle with cancer. He was 69. Born in Yardley, Birmingham on May 13, 1947, Watts met drummer Dale Griffin at Ross Grammar School, and the pair played in local bands before moving to London in 1969 where, having formed a band called The Shakedown Sound, they came to the attention of producer Guy Stevens, who also auditioned and appointed Ian Hunter as their lead singer. Renamed Mott the Hoople, the band was a popular glam-rock group in the early '70s, with hits including "All the Way from Memphis," "Roll Away the Stone" and "All the Young Dudes." After Mott the Hoople disbanded in 1974, Watts went on to form the bands Mott and British Lions. "Overend was a warm, funny, intelligent, talented and hugely charismatic person who always had an entertaining story to tell," Mott the Hoople keyboardist Verden Allen posted on Facebook. "There are no words to explain how much he will be missed, and by so many that he was an inspiration to." - New Musical Express, 1/23/17...... Butch TrucksButch Trucks, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band who played drums alongside Jai "Jaimoe" Johnny Johanson throughout the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers' 46-year on-and-off history, died on Jan. 24 in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was 69. Born Claude Hudson Trucks in Jacksonville, Fla., Trucks first played in local bands and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, as well as in ensembles at Florida State University, where he studied. In a 2016 interview, Trucks said he "was a good drummer and didn't know it" when the late Duane Allman approached him to be in the band in 1968. "I was about to head back to school and get a degree in math and teach... when Duane knocked on my door with Jaimoe, and then the Allman Brothers happened," Trucks recalled. "Duane decided he wanted two drummers -- he told Jaimoe, 'If James Brown can have two drummers, so can I!' -- and Jaimoe kept telling me, 'Butch is your guy. Butch is the guy!'" Trucks is the uncle of Derek Trucks, who also played drums in a later incarnation of the ABB, and another nephew, Duane Trucks, is a member of Widespread Panic and Hard Working Americans. Trucks becomes the third member of the original Allmans to pass away: Duane Allman died after a 1971 motorcycle crash at the age of 24, and bassist Berry Oakley was killed in a similar accident at the same age less than 13 months later. Trucks and the other ABB members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. He is survived by his wife, Melinda, their four children and four grandchildren. "I'm heartbroken. I've lost another brother and it hurts beyond words. Butch and I knew each other since we were teenagers and we were bandmates for over 45 years," bandmate Gregg Allman said in a statement. "He was a great man and a great drummer and I'm going to miss him forever. Rest In Peace Brother Butch." - Billboard, 1/25/17...... Folk-rock singer-songwriter Maggie Roche, a member of the sister vocal trio The Roches, has died of cancer, according to an online statement posted by her sister Suzzy Roche on Jan. 21. She was 65. The Park Ridge, N.J. sisters caught the eye of Paul Simon while touring in the '70s, and Simon recruited them as backup singers for his hit 1973 album, There Goes Rhymin' Simon. The Roches released their debut album in 1975, also playing Greenwich Village folk venues, and in 1979 released their well-received album The Roches, the first of a dozen albums. The Roches' final studio album, Moonswept, was released in 2007. "Maggie was a brilliant songwriter, with a distinct unique perspective, all heart and soul," Suzzy Roche posted. - AP, 1/21/17...... Ronald "Bingo" Mundy, best known for his work with the doo-wop group The Marcels and their hit "Blue Moon," died of pneumonia on Jan. 20 at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. He was 76. "Blue Moon," which was reportedly recorded by the five-member Marcels in only two takes, is instantly recognizable for the bass vocals that begin the song -- "Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom." Mundy can be heard singing the background refrain of "Moon moon moon moon moon." The single hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1961. - AP, 1/24/17.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mary Tyler MooreMary Tyler Moore, the sparkling TV comedienne who revolutionized the medium with her classic Emmy-winning The Mary Tyler Moore Show after first rising to fame as housewife Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show, died on the morning of Jan. 25 in the company of friends and her longtime husband, cardiologist Robert Levine, after a long battle with diabetes. She was 80. One of the most beloved television actresses of the 20th century who first rose to fame, Ms. Moore was born on Dec. 29, 1936 in Brooklyn, N.Y. A leggy brunette dancer, her first TV job came after graduation from high school in 1955, when she played Happy Hotpoint, a dancing elf in an appliance commercial. That same year, the 18-year-old aspiring actress married 27-year-old cranberry-products salesman Dick Meeker as a ticket out of an uhappy household with a devoutly Catholic father and alcoholic mother, and the couple had a son named Richie a year later. After that show ended in 1966, a year later Ms. Moore played Julie Andrews' pal in the 1920s musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, but even bigger fame was waiting when CBS premiered The Mary Tyler Moore Show in Sept. 1970. Enjoying a seven-year run and earning multiple Emmy awards, the show's cast included Ms. Moore as WJM-TV producer Mary Richards and her newsroom friends, gruff news director Lou Grant (Ed Asner), unflappable newswriter Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod), blowhard anchorman Ted Baxter (Ted Knight), and flirty "Happy Homemaker" Sue Ann Nivens (Betty White). Neighbors in Richards' apartment building were Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper) and Phyllis Lindstrom (Cloris Leachman). Mary Tyler MooreThe final episode made history as it brought closure to the characters when they were all fired (except for Ted) and participated in a big group hug before Mary turned out the lights for the last time. The Mary Tyler Moore Show earned 29 Emmys by the time it signed off the air in 1977, a record wouldn't be broken until 2002, when Frasier won its 30th trophy. Ms. Moore's famous "hat toss" pose in the opening credits even earned its own statue on display at the Minneapolis Visitor Information center, the city where the series was set. Though the show spawned several spinoffs including Rhoda, Phyllis, and Lou Grant, further TV success eluded Ms. Moore (a variety show featuring David Letterman and Billy Crystal lasted briefly). But her next success came in a very different role as a cold mother coping with an unhappy family in the 1980 Robert Redford-directed bigscreen drama, Ordinary People. Ms. Moore earned rave reviews, as well as an Oscar nomination, for her performance that showed what Redford called "the dark side of Mary Tyler Moore." Ms. Moore then made several TV movies, including Heartsounds (1984), Finnegan Begin Again (1985), Gore Vidal's Lincoln, (1988) and Stolen Babies, a 1993 project for which she won another Emmy. Further attempts at sitcom glory in the mid-1980s, Mary in 1985 and Annie McGuire in 1988, were unsuccessful. In real life, Ms. Moore's story was more soap opera than sitcom, and after her first marriage to Meeker ended in 1961, she married NBC programmer Grant Tinker, and the two founded the successful MTM Enterprises in 1969. With that company, Tinker produced many memorable TV series through the years, including The Bob Newhart Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, Hill Street Blues, and St. Elsewhere. Mary Tyler MooreThe two seemed to be a happy Hollywood couple before announcing they were spitting in 1981 (MTM was sold in 1990), and Ms. Moore later said that Tinker was more a father figure than a husband. In 1983, she married Robert Levine, a cardiologist 18 years her junior, and a year later entered the Betty Ford clinic for what she called "a social drinking habit." She was also diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 33, and she was a longtime vegetarian and animal rights activist. Ms. Moore also coped with much tragedy in her personal life: the death of only son Richie at 24, in 1980 of a self-inflicted gunshot, and the death of her 21-year-old sister in 1978 from an overdose of drugs and alcohol. Through the years, Ms. Moore used her fame to help the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and, as a devoted animal lover, she served on the boards of several animal welfare organizations, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "Mary Tyler Moore must be counted, along with Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett, as one of the great comediennes of American television," TV historian Tim Brooks once said. In a 1990s interview, Ms. Moore recalled how she would sometimes watch old episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show or The Mary Tyler Moore Show when she had trouble sleeping. "Without any trouble at all, I'll lose myself in the episodes," she said. "It's been so long I can hardly remember what the plots were, so it's almost fresh to me. They're always so wise. They have a lesson, small ones and happy ones. They give you hope that there's a better future." - USA Today, 1/25/17.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A photo of an overweight man with a white beard attending Elvis Presley's annual birthday tribute event at Graceland in Memphis, Tenn., on Jan. 8 is being put forth by some loyal Elvis fans as proof that the King of Rock & Roll is still alive. The photo, which is being shared on the "Elvis Presley Is Alive" Facebook page, also shows security personnel "guarding" the King to protect his anonymity, the fans claim. Since Presley died on Aug. 16, 1977, at age 42, some fans have always insisted that he faked his own death so that he could live a more low-key life. - New Musical Express, 1/17/17...... In other Elvis-related news, a federal civil rights lawsuit was filed against the city of Memphis and Elvis Presley Enterprises, the owner of Graceland, on Jan. 18 by five African-Americans who claim they were discriminated against at a protest by a coalition associated with the Black Lives Matter movement during the annual Presley death vigil last August. The protest by The Coalition of Concerned Citizens coincided with a candlelight vigil at Graceland, which has been held every year on the Aug. 16 anniversary of his death. Protesters, most of them black, gathered on the street leading to Graceland, yelling slogans such as "black lives matter," and their protest came at a time when racial tensions were heightened nationally following the killings of black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota and the shootings of five Dallas police officers in retaliation. The lawsuit says officers blocked about 60 protesters from entering the permitted area where Presley's fans gathered on a public street, and officers allowed mostly white people who said they were going to the vigil to pass through. Elvis Presley Enterprises issued a statement the following day saying that their tourist attraction has a history of being inclusive. The plaintiffs are demanding a jury trial and unspecified damages. - AP, 1/19/17......Stevie NicksIn a new interview with London's Evening Standard paper, Stevie Nicks said she's reluctant to record and release new material because she feels "people aren't willing to pay for artists' work" in the Internet age. "I don't write as many songs anymore because with the Internet, the way that kids listen to music, all the streaming, and the fact that if they're very savvy, if they want to get it and not pay for it, they can," Nicks said, adding "It goes against the grain of our whole belief in, 'You write a song, you record it, and you put it out there and people should buy it'... We realise it's not our world anymore and the younger kids don't look at it like they're taking from us we don't have the impetus to write 20 songs because we know that unless you're under 20 you're not going to sell many records." Nicks' last solo album was 2011's In Your Dreams, while her band, Fleetwood Mac, last released an album in 2003. Nicks also said that Fleetwood Mac would prefer to tour rather than record new material: Would you rather spend a year in the studio or get back on the road? I think that the band would choose to tour." Meanwhile, Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie recently announced that they are working on a new album of duets to be released in May. - NME, 1/17/17...... Judas Priest will release a three-disc 30th anniversary set of their 1986 album Turbo on Feb. 3. The deluxe release features the original album remastered along with a Kansas City concert from May 22, 1986. Turbo reached No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 200 LP chart, which tied Screaming For Vengeance as Judas Priest's highest chart position at the time, and it launched the Mainstream Rock singles "Turbo Lover" and "Locked In." - Billboard, 1/19/17...... A breach of contract lawsuit by Thriller producer Quincy Jones against Sony Entertainment and MJJ Productions over posthumous Michael Jackson releases inched one step closer to trial on Jan. 18 after a judge denied a motion for summary judgment. The fight began in 2013 when Jones sued Sony Entertainment and MJJ Productions, a song company controlled by the King of Pop's estate, claiming master recordings he produced were wrongfully edited and remixed to deprive him of backend profit participation. The works at issue include the This Is It film and soundtrack album and the 25th anniversary edition of Bad. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael L. Stern denied a previous summary judgment motion from the defendants' attorneys in Feb. 2016, and the trial is currently set for Feb. 21. - The Hollywood Reporter, 1/19/17...... Currently on a tour of countries including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore, James Taylor emailed a clip to fans on his mailing list on Jan. 20 from French Polynesia bemoaning the end of Pres. Barack Obama's era and the new Donald Trump presidency. "Hi, it's James in French Polynesia on the last day of the Obama administration, and it feels like it's raining all over the world," says Taylor as he stands outside a grass hut in the rain. Taylor, a vocal critic of Trump, performed at Pres. Obama's first inauguration in 2009. Taylor's feelings about the new president are shared by Bruce Springsteen, who snubbed the controversial new president by delivering a 15-song acoustic concert at the White House on Jan. 19 as a final thank-you to Pres. Obama and his hard-working staff. Pres. Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and some 200-250 guests attended the concert at the East Room of the White House. The Boss was reportedly in a chatty mood as he talked politics between songs, and sang Obama's praises. As the show wrapped up, the president took the mic and thanked the performer. "He's been with us for some time now, performing his craft to show his support," Obama told his staff. Springsteen is so unimpressed with Donald Trump, even a Springsteen covers band has declined a request to play at an Inauguration night ceremony. The B Street Band withdrew from its scheduled Jan. 19 appearance at the Garden State Inaugural Ball in Washington, saying it decision is "based SOLELY on the respect and gratitude we have for Bruce and the E Street Band. - AP/Billboard, 1/20/17...... Tony OrlandoMeanwhile, Tony Orlando was among the entertainers performing at galas around Washington, D.C., on the night of Pres. Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20. The "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" singer performed at the Salute to Our Armed Services Ball, and invitation-only ball that is free for members and veterans of the armed services and their families. - AP, 1/17/17...... "Now the Time Has Come," a song featuring Ringo Starr that debuted in September 2016 for the annual International Day of Peace, is being made available as a free download for the first time. The song was created by Starr and producer Bruce Sugar and two versions are available to stream online: one by Ringo and friends Richard Page, Colin Hay and Billy Valentine, and another with Ringo and friends and Latin artist Fonseca. The song's lyrics include the line: "Now the time has come/Time has come for everyone/To lay down all your guns/And let the light of love shine on and on." Ringo has celebrated "peace and love" annually since 2008 on his July 7 birthday, and International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") is observed around the world each year on Sept. 21. It was established in 1981 by United Nations resolution 36/37 as a day devoted to "commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples." - Billboard, 1/19/17...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney filed suit in New York on Jan. 18 against Sony/ATV with the aim of getting a declaratory judgment that states he will soon regain his copyright ownership share of songs he created as a member of the Beatles. In what could become one of the most important legal battles in the music industry this decade, Sir Paul is looking to leverage the termination provisions of the Copyright Act, which was passed by Congress in 1976 and increased the period that works are under copyright protection, and in recognition of authors who had signed over their rights to publishers and studios without much bargaining power. The bill allowed such authors 35 years hence to reclaim rights in the latter stages of a copyright term, and artists such as Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Prince have used the mere threat of termination to negotiate new deals and better compensation arrangements. The lawsuit notes that McCartney has been serving and recording termination notices for nearly a decade. Represented by attorneys at Morrison & Foerster, he now expects to recover copyright interests as soon as Oct. 5, 2018. Sony/ATV issued a statement saying they "are disappointed that they have filed this lawsuit which we believe is both unnecessary and premature" and that they have "collaborated closely with both Sir Paul and the late John Lennon's Estate for decades to protect, preserve and promote the catalog's long-term value." - Billboard, 1/18/17...... George HarrisonThe estate of George Harrison announced on Jan. 17 that a box set of Harrison's vinyl albums will be released in Feb. 2017. George Harrison - The Vinyl Collection will feature the vinyl albums reproduced as they were originally released and in their original cover sleeves, and the albums were remastered from the original analog master tapes at Capitol Studios. The set will also include the two-LP set Live In Japan along with set exclusives of two 12" single picture discs of '80s hit singles "When We Was Fab" and "Got My Mind Set On You." The albums will also be available separately, though Harrison's 1970 triple-LP masterwork All Things Must Pass will be a limited-edition release, the estate said. - Billboard, 1/17/17...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, the drum kit used by the Beatles on "Love Me Do," their first No. 1 US single in 1964, will be auctioned by Nate D. Auctions on Jan. 26, with bidding beginning at $75,000 (£60,598). Ringo Starr did not play on that recording however, session musician Andy White filled in for Ringo in what was only Starr's second session with the band. The drum skin of the bass drum has White's name, the song title and The Beatles' logo on it, as well as drum maker Ludwig's name. - New Musical Express, 1/21/17...... The now-grown child actor who portrayed AntiChrist Damien Thorn in the 1976 horror flick The Omen received a suspended prison sentence on Jan. 13 for a road rage incident he was involved in last summer. Harvey Stephens, 46, was charged with two counts of actual bodily harm and one charge of criminal damage after being found guilty of attacking cyclists Mark Richardson and Alex Manley near Westerham, England. Stephens reportedly punched Richardson in the jaw during the roadside altercation, and manhandled Manley, knocking both off their bikes and hurling abuse at them. Stephens was sentenced to a total of 14 months in jail, suspended for two years. - WENN.com, 1/18/17...... Astronaut Eugene Cernan, commander of Apollo 17 and the last man to walk on the moon, died on Jan. 16 after an illness at age 82. Mr. Cernan, a Captain in the U.S. Navy, left his mark on the history of exploration by flying three times in space, twice to the moon. He also holds the distinction of being the second American to walk in space and the last human to leave his footprints on the lunar surface. - AP, 1/17/17...... Marilyn Petrone, a former executive with Dick Clark Productions and United Artists Music Group and who worked with such top acts as War, ELO, Shirley Bassey, Bobby Womack, Kenny Rogers, Paul Anka and Johnny Rivers, died at her Beverly Hills home on Jan. 18 from cancer. She was 82. Mrs. Petrone was married to the late Emiel Petrone, who was the senior vp of Phillips Corporate Alliance Group, which helped to launch the compact disc and DVD formats. - Billboard, 1/20/17...... Howard Kaufman, a veteran rock manager whose longtime management company H.K. Management worked with such top artists as Aerosmith, Stevie Nicks, Jimmy Buffett, Chicago, Lenny Kravitz and Def Leppard, died of as yet unnamed causes on Jan. 18. He was 79. In 1974, Kaufman teamed with Irving Azoff to form Front Line Management, which notably guided the careers of Buffett, the Eagles and Steely Dan, among others. The company disbanded in the early 1980s, around the time the Eagles began their long hiatus, but was resurrected by the pair in early 2005. The revamped Front Line experienced rapid growth and in 2008 was acquired by Ticketmaster, which named Azoff CEO. - Billboard, 1/19/17...... William Onyeabor, a highly influential funk musician who released eight acclaimed funk albums between 1977 and 1985 before embracing Christianity and distancing himself from his music, died at his home in Enugu, Nigeria, on Jan. 16. He was 70. Onyeabor's pioneering synth-funk tracks were rediscovered in recent years thanks to Luaka Bop's compilation album Who Is William Onyeabor? and Noisey's film about his career, Fantastic Man. - New Musical Express, 1/18/17.

Monday, January 16, 2017

David Bowie has scored two 2017 BRIT Awards nominations, in the British Male Solo Artist category and Mastercard British Album Of The Year category for Blackstar. The late Leonard Cohen also received a nod in the International Male Solo Artist category. Nominations for this year's awards were announced at a ceremony on Jan. 14. The BRITs, the U.K. recording industry's flagship awards ceremony, will be held Feb. 22 at London's O2 Arena. - Billboard, 1/16/17...... In other Bowie-related news, former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman revealed on BBC Radio 5 that he played piano on Bowie's 1971 Hunky Dory track "Oh! You Pretty Things," in addition to his previously credited contributions to the songs "Changes" and "Life on Mars?" That is me [playing]," Wakeman told host Danny Baker. "David wanted it to be very simple but if I remember rightly he kept cocking up the little riff. He did a few bits of it and I did the rest. He did the beginning." Wakeman also performed a piano rendition of "Life on Mars?" after Bowie's death in Jan. 2016. - New Musical Express, 1/16/17...... Christine McVieLindsey BuckinghamIn a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham said they are working on a new album of duets. "I've been sending Lindsey demos in their very raw form, and he's been doing his Lindsey magic on them, which I love," McVie said. "It made sense to me with what she had given me and what I done with it. But we still didn't know how it was going to play out in the studio," Lindsey Buckingham added. Although the duets album, which is expected to be released in May, will also feature Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie, it won't come under the Fleetwood Mac banner, but instead it is tentatively titled Buckingham McVie, a homage to the pre-FM Buckingham and Stevie Nicks collaboration, Buckingham Nicks. - NME, 1/13/17...... Elton John and Mariah Carey were paid $4.2 million to perform at a wedding at the LandMark hotel in London for the granddaughter of Russian billionaire Valery Kogan on the second weekend of January. Sir Elton kicked things off with an impressive 12 song set, and the reception lasted for a staggering 9 hours. Meanwhile, Elton has paid tribute to ex-Watford and England manager Graham Taylor, who died on Jan. 12 at age 72 of a probable heart attack. John was chairman of the Hertfordshire football club during Taylor's time as manager, and said he was "deeply saddened and shocked" by the news. "He was like a brother to me. We shared an unbreakable bond since we first met. We went on an incredible journey together and it will stay with me forever... We have become a leading English club because of his managerial wisdom and genius," Elton wrote in an Instagram post. - TMZ.com/New Musical Express, 1/12/17...... A New York coffeehouse where a young Bob Dylan played a couple of gigs almost 60 years ago has reopened after a $2 million renovation project. The low-ceilinged Caffe Lena was host to Dylan in 1961 and 1962 as he was making his way onto New York City's folk scene. "It's a legendary place," said Jeff Place, archivist for Smithsonian Folkways, the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution. "For singer-songwriters, playing there is like playing Carnegie Hall for classical musicians." Caffe Lena first opened in May 1960, and also saw early performances by such folk legends as Dave Van Ronk, Joan Baez, Don McClean and Arlo Guthrie, who was honorary chairman of the coffeehouse's fundraising campaign. - AP, 1/15/17...... Sky TV, a leading pay TV channel in the UK, has announced it will not air a controversial program about Michael Jackson after his daughter Paris said she was "incredibly offended" by the portrayal of the late music star. The episode was scheduled to be part of a series called Urban Myths and was set to air on Sky Arts. It focused on Jackson taking a road trip from New York to Los Angeles with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando after the 9/11 attacks, with Joseph Fiennes playing Jackson. In a statement, Sky said they "set out to take a light-hearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offense," and that "Joseph Fiennes fully supports our decision." On Jan. 12, Paris Jackson tweeted following a trailer for the episode, and said the images made her "want to vomit." A petition to boycott the episode had been signed by more than 20,000 people. - Billboard, 1/13/17...... Pink Floyd's Roger Waters has previewed music from his upcoming first solo album in 25 years, with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich at the helm. On Jan. 11 Waters posted a video of himself playing guitar in the studio with Godrich, as well as a photo of the pair together. The LP will be Waters' first solo effort since 1992's Amused to Death. - New Musical Express, 1/12/17...... Bob WeirFormer Grateful Dead member Bob Weir helped kick off the 11th MusicNOW Festival at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati on Jan. 12. Weir treated the audience to a rapturously received set of Dead classics, Bob Dylan covers and a dose of cowboy songs from his recent solo album, Blue Mountain. Weir's 21-song set opened with a take on Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece," then Son House's "Walkin' Blues" and Little Feat's "Easy To Slip." Encores included "Ki-Yi-Bossie," "Peggy-O" and "Ripple." The three-night event was founded by The National guitarist Bryce Dessner. - Billboard, 1/13/17..... Stevie Wonder serenaded outgoing First Lady Michelle Obama on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Jan. 11. Mrs. Obama was the guest of honor on the show that night, with the host bidding farewell to her husband's administration. Performing his 1969 classic "My Cherie Amour," Wonder changed the lyrics to honour Obama, calling it "My Michelle Amour." "I love you Michelle," Wonder said as he introduced the song. "I must tell you, I wrote this song but I changed the words a little." - NME, 1/12/17....... Two offspring of the Beatles -- Sean Lennon and Stella McCartney, got together on Jan. 10 at the Cotton Club in New York's Harlem. Stella, the daughter of Paul and Linda McCartney, was in New York for her pre-fall fashion show. On his Facebook page, Sean, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, made a comment on a picture from the show, "At @stellamccartney Cotton Club bash the other night. Was nice to see the familams." Stella has made a name for herself as one of the world's top fashion designers, and her famous dad has often attended her fashion shows. - Billboard, 1/13/17...... Legendary country singer Loretta Lynn will be the subject of a major exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville that is set to open Aug. 25. "I am so happy the Country Music Hall of Fame has asked me to be one of their main exhibits in 2017 gonna show off my 50-some-odd years in country music," Lynn said in a statement. "They best have a big space. I have a lot of stuff. I'm so proud to share my life, and music with the Hall of Fame. Y'all come see us," she added. Her exhibit, featuring personal artifacts and career memorabilia, will remain open through June 2018. Meanwhile, Willie Nelson says he thinks Loretta Lynn should try marijuana again, after she recently tried it for the first time at the age of 84 for her glaucoma but didn't like it. "She's got a lot of guts. She'll try anything. Maybe I should help her," Nelson said in a recent interview, Nelson, 83, has attached his name to a line of legal marijuana being sold in Colorado and Washington called "Willie's Reserve," after decades of personally advocating for the legalization of marijuana. - AP, 1/12/17...... Billy Joel performed his 37th Madison Square Garden Show on Jan. 11 since first launching the residency in 2014. Joel often asked the audience to dictate what he would perform, allowing them to choose between two possible songs. During the nearly three-hour show, Joel admitted that he often picks favorites from his discography based on his mood. Before launching into "Vienna" at the Garden, he said, "I just kind of said what came to the top of my head at the time -- the problem is they're different every day. Some days, I like some songs. Some days, I like other songs." - Billboard, 1/12/17...... Karen and Richard CarpenterCarpenters surviving member Richard Carpenter filed a lawsuit against Universal Music Group on Jan. 11 over digital royalties he contends are owed from the licencing of Carpenters songs for online services such as Apple's iTunes. The lawsuit seeks more than $2 million in royalties and is also being filed on behalf of the estate of his sister, Karen Carpenter, who died in 1983. The suit, which also names Universal subsidiary A&M Records, is one of a number of lawsuits filed after a 2010 appellate court ruled in a case involving Eminem's record label that music downloads from services such as iTunes should result in higher payments to artists. That ruling called for artists to receive substantially higher royalty payments for digital downloads of their music than they do when a physical recording is sold. Richard Carpenter says he has been unable to resolve the dispute without suing. "The Carpenters recordings are among the best sellers in the history of popular music and after 48 years continue to contribute a substantial amount to UMG/A&M's annual bottom line," he wrote in a statement. "It seems only fair that these companies account fairly to my sister's estate and to me." - AP, 1/11/17...... Author William Peter Blatty, the novelist and Oscar-winning screenwriter most famous for landmark 1973 horror film The Exorcist as well as the director of two films, The Ninth Configuration and The Exorcist III, has died at age 89. The Exorcist director William Friedkin announced the news on Twitter on Jan. 13: "William Peter Blatty, dear friend and brother who created The Exorcist passed away yesterday," Friedkin wrote. - Variety, 1/13/17...... Actor Tony Rosato, an alum of the sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live and SCTV, died on Jan. 10 of a suspected heart attack at his home in Toronto. He was 62. Born in Naples, Italy, in 1954, Rosato joined the Canadian comedy show SCTV in the late 1970s, playing, among other characters, drunk TV chef Marcello Sebastiani. He went on to join the cast of SNL in 1981, a year after producer Lorne Michaels took a break from the NBC show. His other TV credits include Night Heat, L.A. Law and Lonesome Dove. - Variety.com, 1/12/17...... Actor Dick Gautier, who starred on Broadway in the original production of "Bye, Bye Birdie" and then famously played Hymie the Robot on the '60s sitcom Get Smart, has died at age 85. Mr. Gautier died on Jan. 13 at an assisted living facility in Arcadia, Calif., after a long illness, his daughter Denise said. - The Hollywood Reporter, 1/14/17...... Alex "Magic Alex" Mardas, who was once dubbed The Beatles' technological guru, has died at age 74 in Greece. Mardas was reportedly found dead in his apartment of natural causes on Jan. 12, and reportedly had been dead for several days before his body was found. While most of Magic Alex's inventions for the Fab Four were failures or didn't deliver what he promised, some of his ideas were way before their time. Some of his ideas had foresight, like the phone that dialed by voice recognition and displayed the numbers of callers. But then there were others, like the electronic brooches that made noise and flashed in no particular order, an artificial sun that used laser beams, and the invisible curtain that used ultrasonic vibrations to "screen" the Beatles from their fans. "I invented a large number of electronic devices, none of which had anything to do with music of the business of the Beatles," Mardas told the New York Times in 2010. "It must be remembered that none of these had even been thought about by others at the time, although most of them are now in common use," citing an electronic camera and a "memory phone" among them." When The Beatles began Apple Corps in 1968, Mardas was hired to head Apple Electronics, and was also chosen to design lighting for the band's newly opened Apple Boutique and reportedly tried to help them buy a Greek island. A year later, he was pushed out by the band's new business manager Allen Klein after failing to properly put together a planned 78-track recording studio for them at Apple. - Billboard, 1/14/17...... A Bruce Springsteen cover band called B Street Band is drawing jeers on social media for agreeing to perform at pre-inauguaral event for President-elect Donald Trump in Washington on Jan. 19. The band has responded by saying its performance at the New Jersey State Society's gala -- not Trump's inaugural ball itself -- has actually been planned since 2013. "We got some flak from the others, but nothing like this," says B Street Band bandleader Willie Forte. "We made a commitment, and we're not political," and added his band has twice performed for the nonprofit group's galas to mark Democrat Pres. Barack Obama's inaugurals. Among those criticizing the band was a Democratic NJ state senator, who accused them of "profiting from Bruce, now they're abandoning the message in his music." Springsteen himself has called Trump a "flagrant, toxic narcissist" and questioned whether he's competent for the job. - AP, 1/16/17...... Marie OsmondIn related news, Marie Osmond told Yahoo Finance that she'd be willing to perform at Trump's inauguration, though she has not yet been asked. "I think when it comes to our country we need to unite. I think we should all support our president whether we're happy or sad. This is America," the 57-year-old "Paper Roses" singer said. Osmond has previously performed at multiple inaugurations, including Ronald Reagan's in 1981. - JustJared.com/Yahoo Finance, 1/10/17...... Tony Booth, the artist who created several posters for the Beatles in Liverpool in the early 1960s, died on Jan. 11 after a battle with cancer. He was 83. Mr. Booth made the iconic signs for the Fab Four and other Merseybeat bands in the 1960s, and in recent years, made replicas of the posters for fans and had written a book about them which his son hopes will be "part of his legacy." One of his last projects was to produce posters for The Cavern club's 60th anniversary, which it is celebrating throughout January 2017. - BBC.com, 1/12/17...... Tommy Allsup, a guitarist for Buddy Holly who lived nearly 58 additional years because he lost a coin flip to ride on the doomed flight of Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, died on Jan. 11. He was 85. Mr. Allsup would have been aboard the plane except that he flipped a coin with Valens for a seat on the plane. After Holly's death, Mr. Allsup finished the tour with Waylon Jennings, then moved to California and joined Liberty Records as a session guitarist. At the studio, he made a quick rise and began producing and working with such greats as Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, Willie Nelson and Bobby Vee. Paul McCartney once called Mr. Allsup "one of the finest guitar players in the world." - AP, 1/12/17...... Singer Buddy Greco, a jazz pianist, vocalist and Las Vegas mainstay who recorded more than 60 albums and had a hit with a version of "The Lady Is a Tramp," died on Jan. 10 in Las Vegas. He was 90. Born in South Philadelphia, Mr. Greco toured and recorded with famed bandleader Benny Goodman, performed on dozens of TV variety shows and was a popular act at The Desert Inn in Las Vegas. He often sat in with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. of The Rat Pack and collaborated with Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney, Lena Horne and many others. Mr. Greco signed with Sinatra's Reprise Records and in 1966, and hosted his own TV special in 1965. His other notable songs included "Around the World," "Girl Talk," "MacArthur Park" and "The More I See You." In Nov. 2016, a frail-looking Mr. Greco appeared at his induction into the Las Vegas Entertainment Hall of Fame. - AP, 1/11/17.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bruce Springsteen participated in a 90-minute Q&A session at Monmouth University in Long Branch, N.J., on Dec. 10, telling the audience of around 700 that "the right song can start a fire." "I tend to believe music is important to activism in the sense that it stirs passion, it stirs interest, it stirs curiosity, it moves you to question your own beliefs," the 67-year-old singer said. "It strikes straight to your emotions and it stirs you up inside. After you've heard it, I think it marinates inside of you, and ends up coming out in your own energy." Moderated by Grammy Museum executive director Robert Santelli, the conversation covered plenty of musical ground, from Springsteen's beginnings with Steel Mill, his creative process, future musical plans, and stories as told in his new memoir, Born to Run. Since 2011, Monmouth University -- an affiliate of the Grammy museum -- has served as the home of the Bruce Springsteen Special Collection, and is the official archival repository for Springsteen's written works, photographs, periodicals, and artifacts. The appearance came a few weeks before Springsteen and his E Street Band will hit the road for a month-and-a-half tour of Australia. - Billboard, 1/11/17...... Billy JoelBilly Joel appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Jan. 9 in New York, and among the highlights was when hos Stephen Colbert asked the Piano Man to name his five favorite songs from his career. Joel said he actually favors album tracks over the hit singles, naming off the following: "Vienna," "And So It Goes," "You May Be Right," "She's Right on Time" and "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant." Joel capped his appearance with a stirring performance of "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)." - Billboard, 1/10/17...... A special David Bowie tribute concert was held in Brixton, UK, on Jan. 8 to celebrate what would have been the late music icon's 70th birthday. Bowie's actor friend Gary Oldman curated the event, and the show also featured members of Bowie's old band including guitarists Adrian Belew and Earl Slick, pianist Mark Garson and bassist Gail Ann Dorsey -- who fronted a number of legendary tracks including "Space Oddity" and "Young Americans." The three-hour charity show also featured special guests including La Roux, Tom Chaplin, Simon Le Bon, members of Spandau Ballet and many more. The gig was the first in a series of events organized by Bowie's former bandmates, with others taking place on Jan. 10 at New York's Terminal 5, Jan. 25 at the Wiltern in Los Angeles, and Feb. 2 in Tokyo's Dome City Hall. On Jan. 8 a group of 130 Bowie fans also gathered at London's Olympic Studios for a group meditation to commemorate Bowie's birthday. The memorial was followed by a playback of Bowie's 1972 album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars and 1974's Diamond Dogs, which was recorded in the very same building. Meanwhile, a new EP of Bowie music to mark this birthday, and is available on Spotify.com. As well as the single "Lazarus," the No Plan EP also features tracks recorded for the acclaimed musical of the same name. - New Musical Express/Billboard, 1/9/17...... The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued the death certificate for Carrie Fisher, and it confirms that the Star Wars actress died of a heart attack, but added more investigation is needed to try to determine the underlying cause. Under "cause of death" it says "cardiac arrest/deferred." The "deferred" designation indicates that more investigation is needed by the county coroner, usually in the form of toxicology tests that can take several weeks to complete. Fisher suffered the heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles on Dec. 23. According to the certificate, she died at age 60 on Dec. 27 at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and lists "writer" as the occupation in which Fisher spent most of her life. Fisher's mother, legendary actress Debbie Reynolds, died the following day at another Los Angeles hospital, after having her own medical emergency while making memorial plans for her daughter. The pair were laid to rest on Jan. 6 at Hollywood Hills Cemetery, with Fisher's remains reportedly inside a porcelain urn in the shape of a large Prozac pill. Fisher's brother, Todd Fisher, said his sister bought the urn years ago and it was her favorite possession. "She loved it, and it was in her house, and Billie and I felt it was where she'd want to be," he said. Among the other stars buried at Hollywood Hills are Bette Davis, Lucille Ball, Dick Van Patten, Liberace and Florence Henderson. - AP, 1/10/17...... Mick JonesForeigner has announced it will mount a 40th anniversary tour on July 11 in Syracuse, N.Y., with longtime pals Cheap Trick and drummer Jason Bonham and his band as openers. Founding Foreigner member Mick Jones says that original Foreigner members Lou Gramm, Ian McDonald and Al Greenwood will be appearing on select dates. "They're not on the whole tour, but there will be some appearances," Jones says. "It's the right time to do this. I'm looking forward to that and we'll see how it goes, and I'm sure it'll go down well." Foreigner's extensive 2017 tour schedule includes U.S. dates which start on Jan. 30, 37 summer dates that run through Sept. 9 in Auburn, Wash., and a European tour that begins May 20 in Switzerland. A two-disc, 40-track anniversary compilation with some brand new material is also in the works, while Jones will be publishing his memoir, A Foreigner's Tale, due out this spring. Jones formed Foreigner during 1976 in New York, and the band released its debut album a year later. - Billboard, 1/8/17...... Stevie Wonder was honored on Jan. 7 at the 10th Annual Heaven Gala Celebration, which encourages screen professionals and entertainers to support and volunteer their time to programs such as hospitalized youth, homeless shelters and special needs centers. The evening featured such special guests as John Legend and Quincy Jones, and concluded with a moving performance by Wonder of such classic songs as "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life." - The Hollywood Reporter, 1/8/17...... Former UFO and Scorpions member Michael Schenker will release Michael Schenker Fest "Live" Tokyo, a new live recording and filmed concert, on Mar. 24. Filmed and recorded Tokyo International Forum on Aug. 24, 2016, the concert features guest appearances from some of the greatest rock vocalists who have worked with Schenker including M.S.G.'s Gary Barden and Graham Bonnet, and Robin McAuley of the McAuley Schenker Group. Says Schenker, "It's a miracle that after all these years, something like this took place with the original band members of M.S.G. Being able to go back to those days and celebrate the music is an exciting experience for us, as well as for old and new fans. To being able to re-experience, and for the new audience to get a feel of what it was like, is incredibly enjoyable." - Noble PR, 1/9/17...... Jimmy BuffettProducers of a new Jimmy Buffett-inspired musical announced on Jan. 6 that the show, called "Escape to Margaritaville," is eyeing a Broadway debut in the spring of 2018. After the production has its previously-announced world premiere at San Diego's La Jolla Playhouse on May 9-June 25, the show will make three additional tryout stops in New Orleans, Houston and Chicago. "Its always been a dream of mine to make it to Broadway!" said Buffett in a statement. "Escape to Margaritaville" tells the original story of a tropical island resort and its charming bartender-singer who falls for a beautiful, career-minded tourist. - The Hollywood Reporter, 1/6/17...... In a new interview with radio station Planet Rock, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi revealed that a lump recently found in his throat wasn't cancerous. Iommi, 68, said he received the good news on Christmas Day: "I had the treatment when I got back from [touring] South America. I went in for the throat [operation]. They found a lump at the back of my sinus, in the throat, and we had to have it checked in case it may have been cancerous. But it turns out it wasn't, which I found out on Christmas Day, which is brilliant." In November, it was rumoured that Black Sabbath might consider releasing new music in 2017. While Iommi has ruled out future touring for the band, the guitarist answered "maybe" when the notion of recording new Black Sabbath material was posed to him. - New Musical Express, 1/6/17...... In other Black Sabbath-related news, Ozzy Osbourne's daughter Kelly Osbourne has revealed in her forthcoming book, There Is No F---ing Secret: Letters From A Badass Bitch, that her dad once overdosed on pills while his wife and Kelly's mother Sharon Osbourne was fighting cancer because "he could not handle the thought of losing mum." "Dad was there in his boxers, and I watched him scoop his hands into a bowl of pills, swallow a handful of something, and then wash it down with vodka," Kelly recalls. She writes that later, during an ambulance journey, Ozzy "leaned over to put his hand out to see if mum was breathing. Then he passed out with his hand over her mouth The EMTs tried to pull him off, and dad, not knowing where he was or what he was doing, started to resist out of habit. They pulled over the ambulance and started to call the police." There Is No F---ing Secret is due in April. - NME, 1/9/17...... Glenn HughesFormer Deep Purple member Glenn Hughes says he's "thrilled to be coming over to tour the UK and Europe this month and February" for a tour that's set to kick off on Jan. 20 in Newcastle. "My band will now be a four piece. On guitar is Sren Andersen, on drums Pontus Engborg, and on keyboards Jay Boe," Hughes says. "Song selections will be a mix from my new album Resonate, and from my well of historic songs through the decades. This tour is all about ROCK and what it means to us all, including my band, and to my fans and friends," he added. Hughes' tour will also visit London (1/21), Bilston (1/23), Glasgow (1/24), Nottingham (1/26), Reading (1/29), Cambridge (1/30), and Leeds (2/1) before wrapping in Bristol on Feb. 2. Hughes is currently in the studio in LA recording a new studio album with rock supergroup Black Country Communion. - Noble PR, 1/6/17...... Buddy Bregman, an American conductor, arranger and composer who worked with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Ethel Merman and Bing Crosby, died on Jan. 7 in Los Angeles after a long battle with Alzheimers disease. He was 86. Mr. Bregman also served as Merman's personal arranger; produced TV specials/documentaries that featured Crosby, Judy Garland, Shirley Bassey and Mel Torme; worked as a producer on Jonathan Winters' CBS variety show; and directed several TV-movies. - AP, 1/9/17...... Eclectic columnist/critic/novelist Nat Hentoff died on Jan. 7 at the age of 91. His son, Tom Hentoff, said his father died from natural causes at his Manhattan apartment. Jazz was Mr. Hentoff's first love, but he was an early admirer of Bob Dylan, first hearing the then-unknown singer at a Greenwich Village club in 1961 and getting on well enough with him to write liner notes two years later for Dylan's landmark second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Mr. Hentoff also wrote a popular column for the Village Voice for 50 years, also authoring more than 25 books included works on jazz and the First Amendment. - AP, 1/8/17.

Friday, January 6, 2017

A bevy of A-list musicians including Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, Eddie Vedder and Jay Z are set to perform at Pres. Barack Obama's final White House party on Jan. 6 in Washington before the 44th president ends his term on Jan. 20. The final "grown up" party as the Obamas describe it will also include close friends and major donors, including Chance the Rapper, Bradley Cooper, JJ Abrams, David Letterman and George Lucas, with Usher and Samuel L. Jackson also rumoured. The news comes as Pres. Elect Donald Trump is reportedly struggling to book artists to perform at his upcoming inaugural ball, whose only name artist so far is 2010 America's Got Talent finalist Jackie Evancho, who is set to perform the US national anthem. - New Musical Express, 1/5/17...... Barbra Streisand participated in a Q&A session at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles on Jan. 5, ahead of the upcoming 59th Awards in February when the diva will be up for her ninth Grammy for her latest album Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway. "I was known on the block as the kid who had no father but had a good voice! That was my MO. I knew I had a good voice," Streisand told host Grammy Museum executive director Bob Santelli. It was the first 2017 event for the Grammy museum's annual public programmes series, with all proceeds going towards funding music programmes for underprivileged youth in L.A. - Billboard, 1/6/17...... Rick WakemanDuring a Q&A on his website on Jan. 4, former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman revealed he has had a change of heart and will be appearing with Yes for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Apr. 7 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. "I am very pleased to announce that as the Hall of Fame have now agreed to present Chris Squire's wife with a posthumous award acknowledging his massive contribution to YES, I have agreed to attend the Induction ceremony in New York to both stand proudly with my fellow band mates Jon (Anderson) and Trevor (Rabin) and also to watch Chris' wife Scottie collect this well deserved award on his behalf," Wakeman wrote. "Ialso hope that this move to acknowledge members of bands who sadly did not live to receive their own honour, means they can get them posthumously in the future." It should be noted that Squire was always included in Yes' induction, and deceased members of other bands have also been honored by the Rock Hall during past ceremonies. Wakeman, who has been in and out of Yes five times, has been touring since fall 2016 with Anderson and Rabin as AWR, and the trio are scheduled to begin a European tour on Mar. 12 in Wales and have plans for a new album. Wakeman has previously said he thought Yes should have disbanded after Squire's death in 2015, because "Chris was the only founding member, the only original member that stayed the entire time with that band, and I do think... it was time to go 'Let's give it a decent burial.'" The current incarnation of Yes includes longtime guitarist Steve Howe and drummer Alan White -- who will be inducted, along with Squire, Anderson, Wakeman, Rabin, Bill Bruford and Tony Kaye -- as well as keyboardist Geoff Downes, singer Jon Davison and bassist Billy Sherwood. Yes continues to record and tour, most recently playing entire albums during its shows. - Billboard, 1/5/17...... During a press conference at Dodger Stadium in L.A. on Jan. 5, Billy Joel annonced he will take over the ball field on May 13 for his first performance in Los Angeles since May 2014 when he played three nights at the Hollywood Bowl. The show will also be the only Southern California gig in 2017 for Joel, who already has four shows announced at New York's Madison Square Garden, continuing his monthly residency into its fourth year. The Piano Man will also play the first concert at the newly renovated Nassau Coliseum in his hometown of Long Island, with other dates in Orlando, New Orleans and Lincoln, Nebraska. In 2016, the 67-year-old musician performed 28 concerts at stadiums and arenas. - Billboard, 1/5/17...... David BowieA new David Bowie documentary entitled The Last Five Years that will air on BBC 2 on Jan. 7 alleges that Bowie didn't know he was dying while recording his final album Blackstar. Johan Renck, who directed Bowie's video Lazarus, claims that Bowie only discovered his cancer had become terminal when he was in the middle of filming the clip in November 2015. "David said: 'I just want to make it a simple performance video'," Renck recalls in the documentary. "I immediately said 'the song is called Lazarus, you should be in the bed'. To me it had to do with the biblical aspect of it it had nothing to do with him being ill." Renck added that he found out later as they were shooting the video that doctors were ending Bowie's treatments and that "his illness had won." Blackstar, recorded in early 2015, is widely regarded as Bowie's "parting gift" to fans, but these new claims contradict this intent. Meanwhile, tributes to Bowie on the first anniversary of his death and what would have been his 70th birthday on Jan. 8 include a concert at Brixton Academy featuring friend and actor Gary Oldman along with over 30 musicians that collaborated with Bowie throughout his career. Also on Jan. 8, a new David Bowie Musical Walking Tour of notable landmarks in his hometown of London will also launch that will take place on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The tour will include performances of some of his most iconic tracks, including "Starman," 'Heroes', "Life On Mars" and "Ashes To Ashes." "I hope people will come along and enjoy the experience together by singing some of his wonderful songs or just by soaking up the rich culture of Brixton, whether they are massive fans or just want to learn more about the great man and his home town," says tour founder Nick Stephenson. Stops along the tour include Bowie's childhood home in Brixton at 40 Stansfield Road, Stockwell Primary School and James Cochran's mural to the star -- which has become a place of pilgrimage for fans around the world. A new limited edition picture disc of Bowie's Low track "Sound and Vision" will drop on Feb. 10. - New Musical Express, 1/6/17...... Cher has been an outspoken advocate for the citizens of Flint, Mich., since that city suffered a crisis in its water supply in 2015, even donating thousands of bottles of water, and now the singer/actress is set to star in a new Lifetime movie about the incident. Cher will portray a Flint resident whose family is impacted by the water crisis, and the poor management that led to water poisoning as well as the human elements of the residents who suffered but were ignored by government officials. The movie was inspired by a Feb. 2016 cover story in Time magazine called "The Toxic Tap," by Josh Sanburn. In 1996, Cher starred in her first TV movie, HBO's If These Walls Could Talk, for which she scored a Golden Globe nomination. - The Hollywood Reporter, 1/5/17...... Elvis PresleyOn Jan. 5 Elvis Presley's hometown of Memphis began celebrating what would have been the king of rock & roll's 82nd birthday on Jan. 8 with a cake-cutting ceremony on the front lawn of Elvis' Graceland mansion. Also a total of 164 pieces of Elvis memorabilia have been consigned for an auction to be held on Jan. 7 at The Guest House at Graceland, where birthday celebration events are being held for the first time. Included in the auction are a gold and diamond lion head ring given to musician and guitarist Charlie Hodge, boxing gloves worn by Presley in the 1962 film Kid Galahad, and personal clothing. The Guest House at Graceland, a 450-room hotel that opened in October, is part of a $137 million expansion that is also to include an entertainment complex across the street from Graceland. Presley died in August 1977 at age 42. - AP, 1/5/17...... Bruce Springsteen will participate in a Q&A session in front of a live audience on Jan. 10 at the Pollak Theatre at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J. Grammy Museum executive director Robert Santelli, a New Jersey native, will moderate the event. Santelli, a former reporter, also edited Springsteen's 2001 book Songs and published Greetings from E Street: The Story of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Meanwhile, in a new interview with Marc Maron WTF.com podcast on Jan. 3, Springsteen said he feels a special "kind of fear" over Donald Trump's "competence as president." "I've felt disgust before, but never the kind of fear that you feel now," he said. "It's as simple as the fear of is someone simply competent enough to do this particular job? Forget about where they are ideologically. Do they simply have the pure competence to be put in the position of such responsibility?" Springsteen was also critical of Trump's choices for his incoming Cabinet, adding "that doesn't speak very well for what's coming up," and said he was concerned that the "worst aspects that (Trump) appealed to (could) come to fruition." - Billboard, 1/3/17...... Paul McCartney made a suprise New Year's Eve appearance with the Las Vegas band The Killers as they were performing in St. Barts for Russian billionaire and Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich McCartney played one of his old band's songs, "Helter Skelter," with The Killers, and on New Year's Day he posted a holiday message on his website, writing "Happy New Year's Day. May this year be a happy and peaceful one for you and your family and everyone around the world. Love Paul." On Dec. 31, Sir Paul has confirmed his first live dates in 2017 will be in Japan in April. - NME, 1/2/17...... In an interview with the UK paper The Creative Independent, former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne dismissed the idea of a Talking Heads reunion as something that would "probably be quite a number of steps backwards." "[A] Talking Heads reunion might be incredibly successful for a specific generation, or maybe for many generations. It would make me a lot of money and get a lot of attention," Bryne said. "It would also probably be quite a number of steps backwards as far as being perceived as someone who does a lot of different things. "For that reason, I feel like I have to sacrifice something, whether it's money or name recognition or whatever, in order to be able to do a little bit more of what I'd want to do. In other words, you can't have it all," he added. One of the iconic new wave bands, Talking Heads formed in New York City in 1975, and called it quits in Dec. 1991. The band briefly reunited for a short set to mark their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, but have not played together since. Meanwhile, Byrne is expected to debut a new musical based on the life of Joan of Arc in New York in the spring. - NME, 1/5/17...... As The Doors' classic eponymous 1967 debut marks its 50th anniversary in 2017, the band has announced it will reissue a deluxe special edition of the album with a 3-CD/LP package on Mar. 31. The Doors: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition includes remastered stereo and mono mixes of the album, a vinyl version of the mono mix and a live album of a performance at San Francisco's The Matrix from March 7, 1967 -- barely two months after its original release. It will come packaged in a 12x12 hardcover book featuring rare/previously unseen photos while the live album features eight tracks from the album including "Break On Through (To the Other Side)," "Light My Fire" and "The End." The reissue also marks the CD debut of the original mono mix, with the stereo mix available on CD for the first time in a decade. Meanwhile, on Jan. 4 the Los Angeles City council proclaimed the day "The Day of the Doors" during an event featuring founding Doors drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger, along with family members of the late frontman Jim Morrison and keyboardist Ray Manzarek. - NME, 1/4/17...... Charles MansonCharles Manson, the notorious cult leader who was found guilty of conspiracy to commit the murders of seven people including the Hollywood actress Sharon Tate in 1971, is reportedly "seriously ill" and has reportedly been transferred from California's Corcoran State Prison where he has been an inmate for 46 years to the hospital. A California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that the 82-year-old Manson is alive, but told the newspaper: "We do not disclose inmate movements for safety and security reasons." During his time as a cult leader, Manson espoused a theory called "Helter Skelter" which he took from the Beatles song of the same name. He believed "Helter Skelter" was an impending apocalyptic race war and the murders he and his followers carried out would help to trigger it. - NME, 1/4/17...... '70s artists Iggy Pop and Patti Smith are among the musicians slated to cameo in director Terrence Malick's upcoming film Song to Song, which is set it the fertile music scene of Austin, Tex. Due Mar. 17, Song to Song is described as a "modern love story about two entagled couples set against the Austin music scene who chase success through a rock 'n' roll landscape of seduction and betrayal." Its stars include Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling and Michael Fassbender. - Billboard, 1/5/17...... Several famous friends of late actresses Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds attended a memorial service held at the homes on Fisher and Reynolds in Los Angeles on Jan. 5. Meryl Streep, Penny Marshall, Jamie Lee Curtis and Ed Begley, Jr. were among those paying respects to Fisher and Reynolds. Reynolds died Dec. 28 at the age of 84, a day after Fisher died at the age of 60. Streep starred in the film, Postcards From the Edge, based on Fisher's 1987 semi-autobiographical novel of the same title. - AP, 1/6/17.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Producer/composer Brian Eno took to Facebook on Jan. 1 to share an extensive New Year's Day message, urging the public to push for equality. Eno described 2016 as a "pretty rough year" and questioned whether it is "the end -- not the beginning -- of a long decline." "The consensus among most of my friends seems to be that 2016 was a terrible year, and the beginning of a long decline into something we don't," he wrote. "This decline includes the transition from secure employment to precarious employment, the destruction of unions and the shrinkage of workers' rights, zero hour contracts, the dismantling of local government, a health service falling apart, an underfunded education system ruled by meaningless exam results and league tables, the increasingly acceptable stigmatisation of immigrants, knee-jerk nationalism, and the concentration of prejudice enabled by social media and the internet," he added. Eno than blamed the "huge wealth inequalities" for the decline of democracy and urged readers to "start something big." "It will involve engagement: not just tweets and likes and swipes, but thoughtful and creative social and political action too," he continued. "If we want social generosity, then we must pay our taxes and get rid of our tax havens. And if we want thoughtful politicians, we should stop supporting merely charismatic ones." Eno concluded that "inequality eats away at the heart of a society, breeding disdain, resentment, envy, suspicion, bullying, arrogance and callousness," before adding that "if we want any decent kind of future we have to push away from that, and I think we're starting to." - New Musical Express, 1/1/17...... Ray DaviesThe Kinks' frontman Ray Davies was made a knight by England's Queen Elizabeth II on the last day of 2016, making the Queen's 2017 New Years Honours list with actor Mark Rylance, comedian Ken Dodd, and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Davies, 72, told that BBC that he initially "felt a mixture of surprise, humility, joy and a bit embarrassed but after thinking about it, I accept this for my family and fans as well as everyone who has inspired me to write." Davies, who formed his legendary and influential British rock band with his brother Dave Davies in the early 1960s, joins the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Sir Mick Jagger and Sir Tom Jones who have received a knighthood. The Kinks disbanded in 1996, six years after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In Dec. 2015, Ray and Dave Davies performed together for the first time in 20 years, sparking rumors that the band might reunite. - Billboard, 12/31/16...... Elton John paid tribute to his good friend and 1985 Live Aid duet partner George Michael on Dec. 28 during his first of four scheduled New Year's concerts at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Appearing before a large photo of Michael projected above the stage, Sir Elton opened the show with "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me," which he originally recorded in 1974. Michael and John performed the ballad together at the Live Aid concert in 1985, and at Michael's Wembley Arena concert in 1991. The duet was recorded and released at the end of 1991, and became a No. 1 hit for the pair in 1992. Elton was among the many musicians and celebrities paying tribute to Michael on Twitter and other social media after the singer passed away at his home in Oxfordshire on Christmas day due to heart failure. "I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend - the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family, friends and all of his fans. @GeorgeMichael #RIP," John posted on Instagram the following day. Elton will also reportedly be performing at Michael's funeral, before the late pop star is buried next his mother Lesley in Highgate Cemetery. - Billboard, 12/29/16...... Neil Diamond has scored his 38th Top 10 hit on Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio airplay chart with his yuletide song "The Christmas Medley (Acoustic Christmas)." The track is from Diamond's recently-released album Acoustic Christmas, which has reached No. 6 on the Holiday Albums chart after being released eight weeks earlier. Diamond's last AC Top 10 was another Christmas song, "Cherry Cherry Christmas," which hit No. 4 on Jan. 2, 2010. Diamond now trails only Elton John with appearances on the AC chart, which originated on July 17, 1961. John has 39 appearances, followed by Diamond, Barbra Streisand (35), Elvis Presley (31), Dionne Warwick (29), and Barry Manilow (28). - Billboard, 12/28/16...... Debbie Reynolds and Carrie FisherHollywood is mourning the deaths of two iconic actresses, Carrie Fisher on Dec. 27 and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, one day later. Fisher, 60, died after suffering a heart attack during a flight from London to Los Angeles on Dec. 23. Paramedics removed her from the flight and rushed her to a nearby hospital, where the Star Wars star was treated for a heart attack. She later died in the hospital, reportedly never regaining consciousness. Fisher, the daughter of entertainers Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, started sharing the stage with her mother in a nightclub act at around age 12. She started but never finished high school, choosing instead to join the Broadway musical "Irene." She was 17 when she made her film debut opposite Warren Beatty in the 1975 sexual-revolution dramedy Shampoo, playing a tennis player who seduces her mother's hairdresser and lover. She went on to study at London's Central School of Speech and Drama but never graduated, and in 1977 beat out other actresses including Sissy Spacek for the role of Princess Leia in Star Wars. When she returned to the character three decades later for The Force Awakens, Fisher expressed anxiety about being a senior member of the cast, after having been away from the series for a generation. Fisher grappled with substance abuse and bipolar disorder during her time in the movies, which also took a toll on her overall health. Fisher starred in several underperforming films, such as Under the Rainbow, Garbo Talks and The Man With One Red Shoe. She went on to take smaller roles in Hannah and Her Sisters, The Burbs, When Harry Met Sally and Soap Dish, and over the past two decades, her screen roles were mostly cameos. Fisher then found acclaim as an author and screenwriter, and her darkly comic, semi-autobiographical 1987 novel Postcards From the Edge was a smash hit, telling the story of a recovering, drug-addicted actress and the love-hate relationship she has with her spotlight-stealing mother. Fisher adapted it into a screenplay for director Mike Nichols 1990 film, which starred Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine. Fisher's mother Debbie Reynolds, who was one of Hollywood's biggest stars in the 1950s and 1960s, passed away the day after Carrie's death, and some health experts have speculated it could have been the result of "Broken Heart Syndrome," in which a traumatic experience puts a strain on the heart. The 84-year-old film legend was rushed to the hospital on Dec. 28 after suffering a stroke, and died that night. Born Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso, Tex., the bubbly singer, dancer and actress began her film career after being spotted in a beauty pageant at the age of 16. She rose to fame after being picked to co-star with Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor in Singin' in the Rain, one of Hollywood's best-known musicals. Ms. Reynolds was also an entrepreneur, humanitarian and historian, and is survived by her son, Todd Fisher. - AP/The Hollywood Reporter, 12/28/16...... Allan Williams, the first manager of the Beatles who became known as "The Man Who Gave the Beatles Away" from the title of his gritty autobiography, died in Liverpool on Dec. 30. He was 86. In the early 1960s, Mr. Williams opened a coffee bar in Liverpool called The Jacaranda where he first met Beatles John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Stuart Sutcliffe, and personally drove the van to take the young band to Hamburg in 1960, where they gained the vital showbusiness experience that led to their emergence on the world stage. Mr. Williams helped the band get other gigs as well, including a short tour of Scotland with Johnny Gentle, but he and the Beatles got into a dispute after the group took on an extended engagement at the Top Ten Club in Hamburg and refused to pay Mr. Williams the commission he believed he was owed. The dispute was the beginning of the end of their association, and when the group returned to Liverpool, now with Pete Best as drummer, they came to the attention of Brian Epstein, who was running a local record shop. Epstein told Williams he was thinking of managing the Beatles. Mr. Williams told him about the commission dispute and how unpredictable they were. "Yes, yes, Allan you're right," Epstein told him, "but I feel here (tapping his chest) that together the Beatles and I could make something really big. So big that ..." Years later, Mr. Williams worked to get tapes of the Beatles recorded while they were playing at the Star-Club in Hamburg released. The Beatles later won a court case to have the tapes taken off the market. In more recent years, he met with groups of Beatles fans traveling through Liverpool. Beatles historians note that although Mr. Williams wasn't the person who could mold the band into the phenomenon they became, his decision to send them to Hamburg allowed them to transform themselves from a mediocre dance band into the tight, hard-rocking group that mesmerized the world. Williams' death marks the second passing in recent weeks of someone closely associated with the early days of the Beatles. Sam Leach, who booked many early Beatles shows, died Dec. 21 after a long illness. - Billboard, 12/30/16...... William ChristopherActor William Christopher, who played the unassuming U.S. Army chaplain, Father Mulcahy, struggling to bring spiritual comfort to an anarchic surgical unit during the Korean War on the long-running hit TV series M*A*S*H, on Dec. 31. He was 84. Mr. Christopher, who was diagnosed with cancer about 18 months ago, died in his bed at his home in Pasadena, Calif., according to his longtime New York-based agent, Robert Malcolm. His wife of nearly 60 years, Barbara Christopher, was with him at the time. Mr. Christopher landed his signature role of Father Francis Mulcahy on M*A*S*H after another actor played the part on the show's pilot episode. He went on to portray the soft-spoken priest assigned to the fictional 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital for the duration of the series, which ran from 1972 to 1983 on the CBS network and continued to air in syndication for decades after. Together with Alan Alda as Captain "Hawkeye" Pierce, Loretta Swit as Major Margaret "Hotlips" Houlihan and Jamie Farr as cross-dressing Corporal Maxwell Klinger, Mr. Christopher was among the only cast members to remain on the show for all 11 seasons. The 1983 finale of M*A*S*H drew 106 million viewers, making it the most-watched U.S. TV show to date. "I liked the character. I liked Father Mulcahy. The character is pretty real to me," Mr. Christopher told a North Carolina newspaper in 2011. Born on Oct. 20, 1932, in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Ill., Mr. Christopher moved to California and landed recurring roles on 1960s TV shows including The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle: USMC and Hogan's Heroes, and small roles in movies including 1968's With Six You Get Egg Roll in which he appeared with future M*A*S*H co-star Farr. In the 1990s, Farr and Mr. Christopher co-starred in a touring production of the play "The Odd Couple." Mr. Christopher married his wife, Barbara, in 1957. They had two children. He was active in the cause of autism awareness. He and his wife co-authored a book about raising an autistic son. - EW.com, 1/1/17.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A new video for a song called "We Are Not Afraid" that raises fund for victims of religious and political violence around the world has attracted the participation of the likes of Yoko Ono, Keith Richards, Robert Plant, Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro, Sting and Patti Smith, among others. Ono became the first to agree to participate after her photographer friend Bob Gruen, who snapped many iconic photos of her and John Lennon before Lennon's 1980 death, brought the project to Yoko's attention. "(Yoko) immediately offered to put together the long form 'We Are Not Afraid' video when told of our plan. And for that we are deeply grateful," said creator-organizer Steve Weitzman in a statement. Weitzman says the eight-minute video was expanded from its original planned four-minute length because so many celebrities, which also include Iggy Pop, Peter Gabriel, Jackson Browne, Chuck D, Joe Walsh, Bonnie Raitt, Debbie Harry, Dion and Elvis Costello, signed on. The video, which premiered in November, shows the stars holding signs with the song title and the music was written by Nigerian singer-songwriter Majek Fashek. It is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon and other major outlets, with proceeds going to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Human Rights Watch (HRW). Yoko Ono"It's a positive statement in a negative world," said Bob Gruen in a statement. "I hope it becomes something that inspires people around the world to do their own versions. You shouldn't go through life being afraid." Yoko Ono adds, "We're all together now!" More info can be found at the wearenotafraid.net website. - Billboard, 12/23/16...... The Beach Boys revealed on Dec. 22 that they have been asked to perform at President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration in January, but a spokesman for the band says they have not yet made a decision whether to appear. The iconic California pop band has performed at past presidential events for Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and First Lady Nancy Reagan once came to the defense of the band in the 1980s after then-Secretary of the Interior James Watts in April, 1983, opposed the Beach Boys and the Grass Roots from performing on the Washington Mall on the Fourth of July because they attracted an "undesirable element." The Beach Boys did play in Washington on July 4, 1984 after Mrs. Reagan personally invited them, and she became a close friend of the band. Meanwhile, Gene Simmons has reportedly "politely declined" an invitation for KISS to play at Trump's inauguration, according to TMZ.com. In a clip posted on the site, a TMZ reporter asks, "Gene, you're the rock'n'roll Donald Trump, will you play at the inauguration?" when Shannon Tweed, his wife, and their daughter Sophie, 'screamed out "No!" quickly and repeatedly.' Tweed then grabs Simmons' cheeks, and made him mouth "No." He then said "he's our president" and "people need to get over it."' The President-elect is understood to be having great difficulty booking acts to perform at his inauguration, and the line-up for his pre-inauguration "All-American Ball" is less than stellar, with Nashville singer/songwriter Beau Davidson, '80s cover band The Reagan Years, and The Mixx, who are billed as "the Mid-Atlantic's hottest Party Band!" In related news, actor Alec Baldwin, who lately often portrays Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, has offered to sing AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" at the inauguration. "I wanna perform at Trump's inauguration. I wanna sing HIGHWAY TO HELL," Baldwin tweeted on Dec. 23, also adding: "Inauguration Day means the beginning of the countdown to when he will be gone. And he will be gone." - Billboard/New Musical Express, 12/22/16...... Steven TylerOn Dec. 3, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler received the United Nations Humanitarian Award for his work with the non-profit organization Janie's Fund, which helps young women who are victims of abuse, and Tyler says he was "just flabbergasted" with the honor. "It's been a great two years, doing the country record, launching Janie's Fund and when I got offered this place for the U.N. Humanitarian," Tyler later said. "I usually don't wake up in the morning and think 'I'm Steven Tyler in Aerosmith.' I don't think of it like that, but it really was a beautiful end of this year. I was just flabbergasted." Tyler, who offered 100 percent of the proceeds from an auction of his prized Hennessey Venom GT sports car to Janie's Fund, accepted the award with an impassioned speech addressing global warming and climate change, and performed two Aerosmith songs, "Livin' on the Edge" and "Dream On," backed by a classical quartet. While some reports have suggested that Aerosmith may retire, Tyler has a different take. "The European tour is booked, locked and cocked and that's ready for next summer. And then we're coming back and we're doing the rest of the world," he says. He added that Aerosmith "has no right being as healthy as we are after what we've been through" and that we're "looking pretty damn good for what's going on." "Being away from each other is sometimes the healthiest thing we can do," Tyler said of his recent furlough from the band. "You know? I dare to say that being away from each other may have saved a few marriages on this planet," he says. - Billboard, 12/22/16...... Twitter accounts belonging to Bob Dylan and Sony Music were hacked on Dec. 26, with false reports of the death of Britney Spears. The first message came from the Sony Music Global Twitter account, which read "RIP @britneyspears #RIPBritney". It was quickly followed by a second, "britney spears is dead by accident! we will tell you more soon #RIPbritney". A similar tweet was soon posted from Bob Dylan's official Twitter account. The hacks reportedly came from OurMine, a hacker group advertising their security expertise who were also responsible for recent hacks of the Marvel and Netflix accounts. - NME, 12/27/16...... Actress/author Carrie Fisher, famous for her role in the 1977 Star Wars film and who recently appeared in a new installment of the sci-fi series, is in "stable condition" according to her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, after suffering a medical emergency on a flight between London and Los Angeles on Dec. 23. Fisher, 60, suffered a cardiac arrest on a flight between London and Los Angeles on Dec. 23, and was later admitted to a Los Angeles hospital in "critical condition." Reynolds tweeted on Dec. 25 that the family would share any updates on Fisher and thanked the public for its "prayers & good wishes." Fisher is also known for such books as Postcards from the Edge and Wishful Drinking. - AP, 12/26/16...... Rick ParfittGuitarist/singer Rick Parfitt of the veteran British rock band Status Quo died on Christmas Eve following complications from a shoulder injury he sustained in a fall. He was 68. "He died in hospital in Marbella, Spain as a result of a severe infection, having been admitted to hospital on Thursday evening following complications to a shoulder injury incurred by a previous fall," Parfitt's manager Simon Porter said in a statement. Parfitt was a member of Status Quo for nearly 50 years, spanning from 1967 until October of this year, when the guitarist announced his retirement from performing live after suffering a heart attack earlier in 2016. Formed as the Scorpions and then the Spectres by guitarist Francis Rossi and bassist Alan Lancaster in 1962, the band changed their name to the Status Quo in 1967 with the addition of Parfitt. The band released their debut LP Picturesque Matchstickable Messages From the Status Quo in 1968 which featured the psychedelic anthem and Top 10 Hot 100 single "Pictures of Matchstick Men." Parfitt recorded over 30 albums with Status Quo during his tenure in the band, including co-writing some of their biggest hits like "Whatever You Want," "Again and Again," "Rain" and "Living on an Island." The band also served as the opening band at the monumental Live Aid concert in 1985, performing three songs at London's Wembley Stadium. "We are truly devastated to have to announce that Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has passed away," Parfitt's family said in a statement. On Dec. 24, Queen guitarist Brian May tweeted: "Shocked and so sad to hear of the passing of Rick Parfitt. Hard to find words. You truly joyfully rocked our world. RIP dear buddy." - AP, 12/24/16...... Iconic 1980s pop singer George Michael, who began his career in the 80s singing in Wham! and went on to have a successful solo career in pop music, died at his home in Oxfordshire, U.K. on Dec. 25. He was 53. Michael, who sold more than 100 million albums over a career spanning four decades, had previously struggled with various forms of substance abuse. The circumstances of his death are not well known, however his publicist did issue this statement: "It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period. The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage." The London-born singer, whose birth name was Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, began his career in the '80s with Wham! before eventually going onto find more success as a solo artist. In July 2006, Michael was accused of anonymous public sex at London's Hampstead Heath, and he officially came out as gay in 2007. After many other scrapes with the law and the tabloids, he would become more reclusive as the years went on. In the U.S., he was seen in the TV series Eli Stone and performed on American Idol in 2008. He also released a new track that year called "December Song," via his website for free. He sold more than 100 million albums throughout his career and had been recently reported to be working on a new album with Naughty Boy. Michael's friend and collaborator Elton John is among the many musicians and celebrities offering their condolences : "I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend -- the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family and his fans." - Billboard/NME, 12/25/16.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

An a cappella version of Paul McCartney's yuletide ditty "Wonderful Christmastime" featuring the former Beatle himself was aired on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Dec. 20. With host Jimmy Fallon's house band The Roots providing backup vocals, lyrics from "Wonderful Christmastime" were delivered by Fallon, then animated versions of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and singer Tori Kelly before Macca appeared to finish the song, which was first released in 1979. McConaughey, Witherspoon, Johansson, MacFarlane and Kelly are all starring in the new animated film Sing. - New Musical Express, 12/21/16...... In other Beatles-related news, Yoko Ono will appear in the cast of director Wes Anderson's next film, an animated movie called Isle of Dogs about a group of dogs living on an island. Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johannson, Bryan Cranston and Edward Norton will also be providing vocal tracks for the film. Meanwhile, classic videos by Yoko's deceased husband John Lennon have been added to YouTube, just in time for Christmas. Solo songs by John including "Imagine," "Jealous Guy" and "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" are among the over 20 clips now streaming on the popular online video service for free. "Happy Holidays! love, yoko," wrote Ono as she shared the news on Twitter on Dec. 18. - Billboard/NME, 12/22/16...... In still more Beatles news, a French fan of the Fab Four has announced he will sell 15,000 items of Beatles memorabilia in hopes that it will pay for his retirement. Jacques Volcouve will put his collection of records, signed books, posters, autographs and figurines up for auction at the prestigious Drouot auction house in Paris on March 18, 2017. "The Beatlemania bug bit me and I was never cured of it," Volcouve told the paper The Observer. Volcouve says he has met Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr in person and claims to have met Yoko Ono. "I hope the sale will give me enough money to live on decently until I die, and my collection will have a new life with someone else," he said. - NME, 12/19/16...... Stevie WonderA one-block stretch of Detroit's Milwaukee Street was renamed Stevie Wonder Avenue on Dec. 21 in honor of the Motown legend. Attending the unveiling of the street sign in Detroit's New Center area, Wonder sang a bit of "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" before telling fans "I want all of us to walk down the street that leads us to a place of humanity, equality, of fairness and respect for each other." Referring to the recent presidential election in which President-elect Donald Trump suprisingly carried the blue-collar state of Michigan, Wonder said, "Don't let the color of the state define who you are. Don't let negativity say this is what you are. Don't let hatred and ignorance determine who you are... Be a part of fulfilling the promis ... to really make this city, this station, this nation a truly united people of the United States, of the world." After the ceremony, told reporters that he promises to stage one of his House Full of Toys holiday benefit concerts, which he's done during the past 21 years in Los Angeles, in Detroit for Christmas 2017. Meanwhile, Wonder and singer Ariana Grande appear in a new video for a song called "Faith" for the upcoming animated musical-comedy Sing, which was released on Dec. 21. - Billboard, 12/21/16...... A Minneapolis judge has ordered Prince divorce file opened in Jan. 2017 over the objections of Prince's ex-wife, Manuela Testolini. The Dec. 21 order says the records from the couple's 2006 divorce will be made public Jan. 13, as requested by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Testolini was the second wife of Prince, who died on Apr. 21 from an accidental overdose of fentanyl. - AP, 12/21/16...... James Taylor announced on Twitter on Dec. 21 that he will be canceling his February 2017 concert in Manila, Philippines, saying reports of summary executions of suspected drug offenders in the country without judicial proceedings are "deeply concerning and unacceptable." Taylor said he had been looking forward to performing in Manila and that it saddened him to cancel the concert. He then apologized to his Filipino fans and said all tickets sold for the Feb. 25 performance at Manila's Mall of Asia Arena would be fully refunded. Philippino president Rodrigo Duterte has overseen a crackdown on illegal drugs since he was elected in June 2016, which has left more than 6,000 people dead to the dismay of Western governments and human rights watchdogs. "Recent reports from the Philippines of summary executions of suspected offenders without trial or judicial process are deeply concerning and unacceptable to anyone who loves the rule of law," noted Taylor, who says his scheduled concerts in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand would not be affected. - AP, 12/21/16...... The site of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival in Bethel, N.Y., where some 400,000 music fans famously gathered on rolling farmland for three days of rock music in Aug. 1969 is among 26 properties that have been nominated to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the nominations on Dec. 20, and landing a place on the registers can help property owners and organizations secure preservation grants and historic rehabilitation tax credits from the state and federal governments. - AP, 12/21/16...... Alan WhiteThe Class of 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees were announced on Dec. 20, with first-time nominees Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, Joan Baez, Pearl Jam and Tupac Shakur joining three-time nominee Yes for induction into the Cleveland-based hall and museum next year. "It's totally exciting," says Yes drummer Alan White. "It's a great pleasure to be recognized for something you've been doing all your life and get recognition in the industry for the amount of work you've put in and to have done something that changed the course of history, I guess, over time," he added. Journey, who along with Yes and ELO have often been cited as Rock Hall snubs in previous years, topped the fan ballot conducted by the Rock Hall, with 250,758 votes. ELO, Pearl Jam and Yes were also in the top five and each received a vote added to the tally cast from more than 900 Rock Hall voters. Acts are eligible for the Rock Hall 25 years after the release of their first recording. Nile Rodgers, the frontman of 11-time nominee Chic, will also receive an Award for Musical Excellence at the 32nd annual RRHOF induction ceremony, which is set for Apr. 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Others on the ballot this year who were passed over included J. Geils Band, Steppenwolf, The Cars, MC5, The Zombies, Chaka Khan, Joe Tex, Janet Jackson, Jane's Addiction and Bad Brains. - Billboard, 12/20/16...... In more award news, Sly Stone, The Velvet Underground and Nina Simone are among the musical acts set to be honored at the 2017 Grammy Awards with a Special Merit Award. Gospel singer Shirley Caesar, jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal, country singer Charley Pride and the "Father of Country Music" Jimmie Rodgers will also be honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Grammy Special Merit Awards, which takes place during the pre-Grammy festivities in Feb. 2017. - New Musical Express, 12/20/16...... Independent music services company Kobalt has struck a deal to administer and provide publishing services for a vast majority of Elvis Presley's catalogue of more than 1,000 songs through a new administrative agreement with Authentic Brands Group (ABG) and Elvis Presley Enterprises, LLC. The arrangement takes effect on Jan. 1, 2017 and includes some of the "most desired tracks for film and TV trailers, soundtracks, and commercials," Kobalt said in a statement. Presley's music continues to establish new records and find new fans almost 40 years after his death, and 2017 should be another banner year for the King, as it is the 40th anniversary of the legendary singer's Aug. 16, 1977 death. - Billboard, 12/19/16...... Sole surviving Bee Gees member Barry Gibb has scrapped his 2017 "In The Now World" Tour of Australasia and canceled his appearance at the annual Byron Bay Bluesfest citing a "change in international commitments." Gibb had been scheduled to play eight arena, winery and festival shows, starting April 8 at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre and wrapping April 29 at Qudos Bank Arena (formerly Allphone Arena). Those dates won't be rescheduled and refunds will be made available for all ticket holders for Gibb's headline shows, according to a statement by Live Nation, the tour's producer. Gibb's shows were meant to be a sort of homecoming for the artist, whose British-born family got an early break in music after relocating to Redcliffe, north of Brisbane, in the late '50s. It was at the family home in Redcliffe where Gibb and his younger brothers Maurice and Robin Gibb signed their first record contract, and where the Bee Gees name was created. Gibb last performed Down Under for his 2013 Mythology Tour. - Billboard, 12/19/16...... Olivia Newton-JohnIn other Oz news, John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John's current Christmas single "Friends For Christmas" has risen to No. 1 in Australia, since first appearing on the chart five weeks ago. Farnham and Newton-John's last collaborative album, the live LP Two Strong Hearts, also reached the top spot on Australia's national albums chart for three weeks, giving the popular duet pair their second consecutive No. 1 in as many years. - Billboard, 12/18/16...... A UK air date for the David Bowie documentary The Last Five Years will apparently be on BBC Two on Jan. 7 at 9 pm GMT, three days short of the first anniversary of his death. The date was reported on Dec. 21 by the unofficial but renowned Bowie fan site David Bowie News, with the BBC set to confirm those details in the coming days. David Bowie: The Last Five Years will feature rare and unseen archive footage of the late artist, as well as unheard audio interviews and vocal takes -- including a previously never-before-heard a capella take of "Lazarus." Another Bowie programme, Bowie at the BBC, will air on BBC Four on Jan. 13 at 10 pm GMT. Meanwhile, a Bowie fan has found yet another new "secret" hidden on the artwork for the vinyl LP version of Bowie's final album, Blackstar. "What you have to do is bring the booklet to within about 10cm of a wall in a blackened room and shine a torch on the images that appear in the booklet (such as the stars, the man and woman, the 'Lazarus' title etc, etc,) and what you get is a range of fantastic coloured and 3D images," Bowie fan Chris Gray says. "The lyrics also appear 3D with red shadow colouring." - NME, 12/21/16...... Appearing on the BBC Four's "Desert Island Discs" programme on Dec. 18, Bruce Springsteen said his depression "still jumps up and bites me" sometimes. "It is something that has been a part of my life. It is usually OK, but like Churchill's 'black dog', it still jumps up and bites you in the arse sometimes," the New Jersey rocker noted. Springsteen added that his wife, Patti Scialfa, also helps him battle the condition, as does the right dose of medication. He says that Scialfa sometimes had to see a "freight train bearing down, loaded with nitroglycerin and running quickly out of track." Meanwhile, Springsteen has contributed vocals to guitarist Matt O'Ree's new album Brotherhood. O'Ree is known for his scorching blues guitar, with nods to such classic rock acts as Led Zeppelin, Cream and Black Sabbath. The album is available through O'Ree's website, mattoree.com. - NME/Billboard, 12/18/16...... '60s pop hitmakers The Turtles have lost their suit against Sirius XM radio after New York's highest court ruled on Dec. 20 that the owners of old music recordings can't make radio stations pay for their use. A company controlled by former Turtles Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan (a.k.a. Flo & Eddie) had sued Sirius, arguing its rights were violated when the satellite radio service plays its old songs including the No. 1 hit "Happy Together" without permission or compensation. Sirius countered it can play the songs without permission because they were made before 1972, when new federal copyright rules took effect. New York's Court of Appeals ruled that state common law doesn't recognize a "right of public performance" that would require radio stations to have permission to play records made before 1972. - AP, 12/20/16...... Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and New Order are set to be among the headliner the Tibet House 30th anniversary benefit show, which is set for Mar. 16 at New York City's Carnegie Hall. 2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the non-profit educational institution and cultural embassy Tibet House US. - NME, 12/16/16...... Zsa Zsa GaborLegendary Hollywood actress and socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor passed away on Dec. 18 at her home in Los Angeles. She was 99, just two months shy of her 100th birthday. While the stunning Hungarian-American's rise to fame was slow in her earliest years, by the 1950s and 60s, she had starred in dozens of films and television series and solidified her footing as a Hollywood actress, although she was mostly featured in supporting roles. After being crowned Miss Hungary in 1936, Ms. Gabor immigrated to the U.S. in 1941, and broke through in 1952 with roles in We're Not Married! and Molin Rouge, but over the years, she gained more notoriety for her many romances and was married a total of nine times, including a five year marriage to Conrad Hilton with whom she had her first and only child, Francesca Hilton. "I am a marvelous housekeeper: Every time I leave a man I keep his house," she once quipped. Along the way, she had affairs with several iconic men, including Frank Sinatra and John F. Kennedy. Her intriguing personal life was an early example of celebrities driving their stardom by simply being their larger-than-life selves. Ms. Gabor also experienced her own share of debilitating health concerns, beginning in 2002 when she was hospitalized in a coma after suffering a car crash in Los Angeles. Though she survived, she was left reliant on a wheel chair. Three years later, she had a stroke. Then in July 2010, she broke a hip and had it replaced, though complications from a blood transfusion brought her back to the hospital. In 2011, she devastatingly had to have her left leg amputated after a blood clot transformed into an infection. She is survived by her most recent husband, Frederick Prinz von Anhalt, with whom she shared her longest marriage to date. - E! Online, 12/18/16.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The biannual Rainforest Fund concert sponsored by Sting and his wife Trudie Styler was held at New York's Carnegie Hall on Dec. 13, with special guests Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Ronnie Spector and Darlene Love. Springsteen kick-started his set by emerging from the back of the hall and proclaiming "Ho, Ho, Ho! This is your Jersey Santa Claus! I just got in! I didn't think I was going to make it, the North wind is coming down and the temperature is dropping, and all I want for Christmas is... one of those." That would be co-host Sting, who Bruce proceeded to hug. He then strapped on a guitar, and launched into a rocking version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," leading the venue in a sing-along that capped off a stellar night of music that included Sting performing the Wham! new-wave holiday classic "Last Christmas" with the female backup singers. Taylor's set included the seasonal standard "River" by Joni Mitchell, "Winter Wonderland" and "Baby, It's Cold Outside." - Billboard, 12/15/16...... Bruce SpringsteenIn other Bruce Springsteen news, The Boss' 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible is up for grabs on eBay. The car -- famed for being the inspiration for as well as the very place where he wrote his signature songs "Born to Run," "Thunder Road" and "Backstreets" -- is up for auction courtesy of BlindedByTheLight.com, which was founded by fan and Springsteen historian Michael Crane. The current bid for the automobile is set at $350,000 -- which is $348,000 more than the Freehold, N.J. native originally paid. "In '70s New Jersey, the car was still a powerful image," Springsteen wrote of the vehicle. "That summer I bought my first set of wheels for $2,000. It was a '57 Chevy with dual, four-barrel carbs, a Hurst on the floor and orange flames spread across the hood." From Oct. 2008 to Jan. 2010, the Chevy was featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex in New York City. It was then moved to the main Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Oh., where it became part of the largest Bruce Springsteen exhibit ever. The electrical and mechanical systems have been overhauled and body and frame are untouched. BlindedByTheLight.com is also tossing in the original vehicle registration, temporary insurance card and Allstate insurance card issued in Springsteen's name and address. - Billboard, 12/13/16...... Diana Ross will be among the headliners of the 23rd annual 2017 Essence Festival, which is set for the Superdome in New Orleans on June 30-July 2, 2017. Also performing will be John Legend, Chaka Khan, Teyana Taylor and current Grammy nominees Lalah Hathaway, Solange and Ro James. Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks. - Billboard, 12/15/16...... AC/DC will release what is being billed as the "first official photo book of the band" from their recent "Rock or Bust" world tour in the summer of 2017. The book will feature photos from Ralph Larmann, who shot the group throughout their 17-month trek, and include facts, figures and tour memorabilia. It will be available in several different editions, including a "Leather And Metal" collectors version with a slipcase boasting a glowing AC/DC logo. - New Musical Express, 12/13/16...... The Doors have announced they will release a limited edition (18,000 copies) London Fog 1966 album featuring seven songs recorded during the group's residency at L.A.'s Sunset Strip club, before they moved shop to the Whiskey a Go Go. The songs include blues covers and early versions of "Strange Days" and "You Make Me Real." But it was at the London Fog venue where the group cut its teeth, and guitarist Robby Krieger says "this is the earliest stuff I've ever heard of the Doors... it's pretty cool." The Doors will be celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2017, and the band is gearing up to commemorate the golden anniversary of the group's classic first album, though the plans are still being finalized. "We've got some ideas; I can't give them way yet, but there will definitely be some cool stuff happening with the Doors," says Krieger, who's also planning to release a new solo album in the new year. - Billboard, 12/14/16...... Tina TurnerTina Turner will be the subject of a new musical bio being developed for the London stage to be directed by Phyllida Lloyd, who had earlier success with the ABBA jukebox musical "Mamma Mia!," a global blockbuster. Turner joined the creative and producing teams in London on Dec. 16 for a workshop presentation of the piece, for which no timeline has been announced. Adrienne Warren, a Tony nominee this year for "Shuffle Along," is playing Turner in the workshop. Turner, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and eight-time Grammy winner, was previously portrayed on the screen in the 1993 biopic What's Love Got to Do With It, starring Angela Bassett, which traced her difficult emergence from an abusive marriage to Ike Turner to her amazing comeback as a solo artist in the 1980s. - The Hollywood Reporter, 12/16/16...... Elton John announced on Dec. 12 that he's launching a competition to give young contemporary filmmakers a chance to create music videos for his 1970s hits that were released before music videos were popular. John and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin say they're launching the competition with YouTube in celebration of their 50th anniversary of collaboration together, and hope to give aspiring video creators the opportunity to make music videos for such John/Taupin standards as "Rocket Man," "Tiny Dancer" and "Bennie and the Jets." Entries for "Elton John: The Cut" open Jan. 9, 2017. The competition closes on Jan. 23 and creators must be at least 16. John, Taupin, a panel of YouTube creators and industry players will pick three winners, and music videos will premiere next summer. Winners will also receive $10,000 from YouTube. - Billboard, 12/13/16...... David Bowie has beaten the likes of Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen in a new poll to name the UK's favorite male musician. Conducted by CamRate, the poll asked 2,000 Brits to name their favourite male and female musicians as well as asking them to rank their favourite actors. Adele was named as the UK's top female musician in the same poll. In other David Bowie news, a special screening of the late rock icon's final Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars concert at London's Hammersmith Odeon will be staged at Hammersmith's Eventim Apollo for the first time since the concert took place over 40 years ago on July 3, 1973. The gig was Bowie's final Ziggy & the Spiders show. Further screenings of the film will take place across the UK from March 2, 2017. In January, a series of concerts marking Bowie's 70th birthday will be held in London, New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and Tokyo.- New Musical Express, 12/16/16..... Tom Petty has announced he and his Heartbreakers will play at London's Hyde Park next summer as part of British Summer Time, the band's only European tour date of 2017. The concert will take place on July 9 with Stevie Nicks and the Lumineers also on the bill. Petty and the Heartbreakers are celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2017, and the London gig will mark only the second time the band has visited the UK in 18 years. Petty announced a huge batch of 40th anniversary shows across the US on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in November. Petty posted a video saying he and the band were "pretty excited" about the London show, and "it will be a special gig for us." - NME, 12/13/16...... Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney revealed on Dec. 15 that his 1989 album Flowers in the Dirt will be reissued in the US on Mar. 24, 2017. The release will be the first under his new deal with Capitol Records, which was announced in August, and Capitol says the reissue was personally supervised by McCartney. It will include a wealth of previously unheard demos and be available in a 2-CD special edition, on vinyl over 2 LPs and a deluxe edition with 3 CDs and a DVD plus books. Digital downloads will be made available of all tracks. The deluxe edition will include the 13-track album remastered at Abbey Road Studios and two added discs with 18 bonus tracks of previously unreleased demos, both the original and 1988 demo versions done by McCartney and his co-writer of several songs on the album, Elvis Costello. "I hadn't listened to [the demos] in ages but when I did I knew we had to put them out," McCartney said in a statement. "We made a little tape of them and sent them to Elvis, who loved them too. We said we should put out an EP or something and now the moment's finally arrived," he added. - Billboard, 12/15/16...... Dolly Parton raised an estimated $9 million for victims of the recent wildfires in her East Tennessee homeland of Sevier County during a TV telethon dubbed "Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund" on Dec. 13. "I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the people who have donated from all over the country and to my friends who donated their time, their talent, and money for My People," said Parton. "The response has been so overwhelming that we haven't been able to count all of the donations yet; right now, in total, we have raised about 9 million dollars for the folks who lost everything in Sevier County." The wildfires, which are determined to have been set by two juveniles who are now in custody, spread under extremely dry conditions and took the lives of 14 people and displaced over 1,300 families since they began in late November. - Billboard, 12/15/16..... Barbra Streisand wrapped her "The Music The Mem'ries The Magic!" tour on Dec. 5, and with $10.7 million in ticket sales earned at concerts in four U.S. markets during November and December, it gives the diva the No. 1 slot on Billboard's latest Hot Tours recap. The sold out shows at arenas in Houston, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami were the only fall dates on the tour that hit nine North American cities during the summer in August. Rod Stewart came in second on the list, with $5,537,784 in ticket sales earned at four UK shows from Nov. 29 through Dec. 8. - Billboard, 12/14/16...... KISS rocked the finale of NBC's The Voice on Dec. 13, performing a rocking medley of songs including "Detroit Rock City" and "Rock and Roll All Nite" with newly-crowned Voice winner Sundance Head. American Idol Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert performed "Beth" and "Detroit Rock City" with the band, while Season 13 winner Caleb Johnson teamed with KISS for "Love Gun" and "Shout It Out Loud." Johnson also opened for KISS on tour this summer. - Billboard, 12/14/16...... Alice Cooper has announced he'll kick off a string of UK arena concerts at Leeds on Nov. 11, 2017. Returning to the UK for his first headline tour in five years, Cooper will also play Glasgow (11/12), Birmingham (11/14), and Manchester (11/15) before wrapping at London's SSE Arena, Wembley on Nov. 16. Opening acts include The Mission and The Tubes. - New Musical Express, 12/13/16...... Linda RonstadtA Linda Ronstadt tribute featuring her longtime friends and collaborators Don Henley, Jackson Browne, Aaron Neville and J.D. Souther was held on Dec. 11 at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Henley was a suprise guest for the night, and he closed the main set down with "Desperado," introducing it as "the first song I ever wrote with an extraordinary guy named Glenn Frey." Henley recalled the song "didn't get much love or attention when it was released on [the Eagles'] second album back in April of 1973. In fact, the executives at the record label freaked out: 'Oh God, they've made a fucking cowboy record.' And then Linda Ronstadt recorded the song and put it on her album Don't Cry Now that came out in September of 1973 and everything was different." "[Linda] not only knew what was a great song, she knew why it was a great song," said J.D. Souther while introducing his song "Faithless Love," which Ronstadt first recorded and made famous. He added she was "instrumental [in] incentivizing the careers of Lowell George and Warren Zevon and myself." Jackson Browne lauded Ronstadt's "incredible, uncanny ability to find songs and breathe new life into them." As proof, he sang Lowell George's "Willin'," which Ronstadt recorded in 1974, describing it as "one of the greatest songs anybody ever wrote." Proceeds from the event benefited the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. - Billboard, 12/12/16...... A 90th birthday celebration for crooner Tony Bennett that was held on Sept. 15 at New York City's Radio City Music Hall and featuring Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga will air on Dec. 20 at 9:00 p.m. EST on NBC. Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come also features video testimonials to the "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" singer from the likes of Clint Eastwood, Bonnie Raitt, Celine Dion, Keith Richards, Bette Midler, James Taylor, Carole King, Garth Brooks and Willie Nelson, among others. - Billboard, 12/13/16...... After 4,642 shows at Broadway's August Wilson Theatre, the Four Seasons musical "Jersey Boys" will hold its final performance on Jan. 15, 2017. "I'm not sad," Four Seasons leader Frankie Valli says. "I never dreamed it would last 11 years. The beauty about this whole situation is it's not over. It is now beginning to happen in other parts of the world." The Tony Award-winning musical based on the quartet's career and harmonies opened in 2005 and ranks as the 12th-longest running show in Broadway history. - AP, 12/13/16...... Neil Young's high-resolution listening device and a digital music store Pono has struggled to make a profit since its Jan. 2015 launch, and was taken offline in July after its provider, Omnifone, went into administration and was purchased by an unidentified buyer. But Young isn't ready to give up on Pono, and announced on a recent podcast that "we're setting up right now partnerships for a Pono hi-res streaming service, and when we get our streaming service up we're gonna re-emerge as a streaming service and a hi-res download offer." "We're pushing towards getting our presence in phones and being able to be part of large partnerships that will enable us to be able to share the sound of hi-res and have people experience the sound of hi-res in music, like they have in television," Young added. "That's what we do, that's our service: we provide the best that's available, full-resolution music, great-sounding music." - Billboard, 12/13/16...... Jimi HendrixA newly discovered rare plant found in Baja California, Mexico, has been named after guitar god Jimi Hendrix. Researchers have christened the plant Dudleya hendrixii, or "Hendrix's liveforever." Liveforevers are a kind of succulent with enormous life spans, and a former graduate student of San Diego State University reportedly discovered the plant while listening to Hendrix's song "Voodoo Child." While the plant is a liveforever with flowers that die in the summer and re-sprout in the fall, this plant is in peril, with its two-acre habitat threatened by farming, off-road vehicles and development. - AP, 12/15/16...... Mackenzie Phillips of One Day at a Time fame will be returning to a reboot of the '70s sitcom by streaming giant Netflix. But this time Phillips, who played rebellious eldest daughter Julie in the CBS original, will not be reprising her role. Instead, she will guest-star as Pam, a psychologist and leader of a female veterans' therapy group that Penelope (Justina Machado) reluctantly attends in a later episode. Phillips' casting marks a key reunion with Norman Lear, who also produced the original series and was forced to fire Phillips during the show's original run over Phillips' chronic substance abuse. - The Hollywood Reporter, 12/14/16...... Willie Joe Ligon of the gospel quartet Mighty Clouds of Joy passed away on Dec. 11 in Los Angeles. He was 74. The Mighty Clouds of Joy became one of the nation's top gospel quartets in the 1960s, winning three Grammy Awards, and in 1975 they innovated with "Mighty High," a disco-influenced song that crossed over onto the pop charts. While the church community looked askance at this bold new sound, youngsters were tearing up the club floors to the sound of "Mighty High." - 12/12/16...... Veteran record executive Bob Krasnow, former chairman of Elektra Records, founder of Blue Thumb Records, veteran executive and co-founder of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died on Dec. 11. He was born in 1935, though his exact age couldn't be confirmed. Mr. Krasnow is often hailed for bringing Elektra Records back to prominence after taking over as chairman in 1983, signing such acts as Metallica, Anita Baker, Motley Crue, 10,000 Maniacs, The Cure, The Pixies, The Sugarcubes and others. Mr. Krasnow served as president of Blue Thumb Records until 1974, when he became vice president/talent acquisition for Warner Bros. Records, a role he held until 1983 when he was elevated to chairman and CEO of Elektra/Asylum/Nonesuch Records (later known as Elektra Entertainment). - 12/13/16...... Actor Bernard Fox, best known for playing Dr. Bombay on the '60s sitcom Bewitched, died of heart failure at a Van Nuys, Calif., hospital on Dec. 13. He was 89. The Welsh-born actor had 30 film credits from 1956 to 2004, including two films around the sinking of RMS Titanic. Mr. Fox was in both the 1997 film Titanic as Colonel Archibald Gracie IV, and the earlier 1958 version A Night to Remember in an uncredited role as Frederick Fleet. His other dozens of TV credits include recurring/guest roles roles in Hogan's Heroes, Columbo, The Andy Griffith Show, Knight Rider, The Phantom Major, F Troop, M*A*S*H, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Perry Mason. - Deadline.com, 12/14/16...... Canadian actor Alan Thicke, best known for his role on the sitcom Growing Pains, died on Dec. 13 after suffering a heart attack while playing hockey with his son. He was 69. On Growing Pains, Thicke played Jason Seaver, a psychiatrist who works from home. Beginning in Sept. 1983, Thicke hosted a late night talk show called Thicke of the Night, produced by famed network programmer Fred Silverman. However, it proved to be no match for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and lasted just nine months. He most recently appeared on Netflix's Fuller House. - The Hollywood Reporter, 12/13/16.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Mick Jagger became a dad again for the eighth time on Dec. 8 when the 73-year-old Rolling Stones frontman's 30-year-old American ballet dancer girlfriend Melanie Hamrick gave birth to a baby boy, whose name has not been revealed. "Melanie Hamrick & Mick Jagger's son was born today in New York and they are both delighted," a rep for Jagger said. "Mick was at the hospital for the arrival. Mother and baby are doing well and we request that the media respect their privacy at this time." The couple began dating in 2014, and Hamrick's pregancy was announced in July. Jagger has seven other children -- four daughters and three sons -- aged 18 to 47 from previous relationships. Jagger, who also has five grandchildren, became a great-grandfather in 2014 when granddaughter Assisi Jackson gave birth to a baby girl. - E! Online, 12/8/16...... In other Rolling Stones news, the band has scored its record-extending 37th top 10 album on the Billboard Hot 200 LP chart with its latest effort, Blue & Lonesome. The album sold 123,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Dec. 8, according to Nielsen Music, with 120,000 of those in traditional album sales. The album's robust debut is notable both for being a covers set and for coming a decade after the Stones' last studio album, A Bigger Bang. The album has also bowed at No. 1 in Australia, opening at the top of the ARIA Albums Chart down under. - Billboard, 12/11/16...... Gary BrookerProcul Harum leader Gary Brooker will be among the headliners at the upcoming Winter Solstice holiday concert series with the Paul Winter Consort that will pay tribute to late Beatles producer Sir George Martin. The Paul Winter Consort's 37th Annual Winter Solstice will take place on Dec. 15, 16 and 17 at Manhattan's Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. Brooker and Winter have known each other since Procol Harum and the Consort played a bill together at Fillmore East in 1971. "I was a big fan of Procol Harum in the '60s," Winter said in a statement. "It was the only rock band I liked besides the Beatles. I've long loved Gary's bluesy voice since first hearing him sing 'Whiter Shade of Pale.'" Sir George Martin produced albums both by Brooker and Winter -- Brooker's first solo album No More Fear of Flying and the Consort's 1972 album Icarus which Sir George later called "the finest record I ever made." Brooker has also announced plans for a 50th anniversary tour in 2017 for Procul Harum, which released its self-titled debut in 1967 containing the classic "Whiter Shade of Pale." The song was a No. 1 hit in the U.K. and hit No. 5 on the Billboard singles chart in the U.S. "We thought we'll make a special effort to do something special," Brooker says of the 50th anniversary tour. "We're all still alive and kicking. And after all that time there's a lot of loyal people as well and there's a lot of younger people that we'd like to reach that like what we've done. They'll certainly like what we're going to do." - Billboard, 12/10/16...... The 2016 Nobel Prize ceremony took place in Stockholm, Sweden on Dec. 10, and while Bob Dylan was unable to attend the event to accept his Nobel Prize in literature win in person, he did write a speech that was read at the event by United States Ambassador to Sweden Azita Raji in Dylan's absence. Dylan was awarded the prize in October "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." Also on hand to pay tribute to Dylan was rock poetess Patti Smith, who needed two attempts to get through Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall." Smith forgot the lyrics in the second verse and had to pause to regain her composure. "I apologize. I'm sorry, I'm so nervous," she said, asking the orchestra to start over. The audience in Stockholm's Concert Hall, many dressed in formal attire, clapped to support Smith as she tried anew. She then finished the song, after briefly blanking out again in the third verse, with an emotional performance that left some in the crowd misty-eyed. - Billboard/AP,. 12/10/16...... Tom PettyForty years after Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their eponymous debut album in November 1976 and embarking on their first tour a month later, the band announced on Dec. 9 that it will celebrate the milestone in the spring of 2017 with a 35-date North American tour set to get underway on Apr. 20 at Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy Center. Petty and the band will visit several major American and Canadian cities, playing two-night stands at the Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Morrison, Col. on May 29 and May 30, and two nights at Milwaukee's Summerfest on July 5 and 6, before wrapping with two shows at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, N.Y. on July 26 and 27. Additional dates are expected to be announced later. Eagles member Joe Walsh will open for the band on many dates, and country star Chris Stapleton will be the opener at the Summerfest dates. - Billboard, 12/9/16...... Several former band members of David Bowie's have announced they'll perform in a Bowie memorial show on the ne-year anniversary of his death with a show at New York's Terminal 5 on Jan. 10. Mike Garson, Earl Slick, Adrian Belew, Mark Plati and Gail Ann Dorsey are among the musicians on tap for the event, titled "A Very Special David Bowie Concert With Bowie People Playing Bowie Music Bowie Style." The musicians have also announced additional Bowie tribute shows for London (Jan. 8, O2 Academy Brixton), Los Angeles (Jan. 25, The Wiltern), Sydney, Australia (Jan. 29, Sydney Opera House) and Tokyo (Feb. 2, Tokyo Dome City Hall). "To honour David Bowie's 70th birthday, Bowie band members, friends, and a massive ensemble of top recording & touring musicians from around the world are getting together for a one-time only series of global goodwill concerts, in aid of local charities, called Celebrating David Bowie," a statement reads. "The concerts, announced sporadically, all take place in cities that have a strong connection with David Bowie and his work. All feature a core two dozen musicians traveling plus many local, regional, and national musicians to create a sound like no other," it continued. - Billboard, 12/7/16...... As what has been described as the "tax trial of the century" -- a billion-dollar tax battle over the estate of Michael Jackson -- is set to begin in Feb. 2017, the co-executor of Jackson's estate, John Braca, and his former business manager, Michael Kane, have both been ordered to testify by U.S. Tax Court Judge Mark Holmes. The case is of special interest throughout the entertainment industry because it will be valuating Jackson's posthumous right to his likeness. The IRS has insisted it's worth more than $434 million due to a Cirque du Soleil tribute show, and post-death albums, video games and other lucrative memorials, while the estate's own valuation is just $2,105, arguing that what's important is the value when he died, when Jackson's commercial prospects were suffering from charges of child molestation and drug abuse, before executors worked their magic, and the King of Pop experienced a resurgence in popularity. - The Hollywood Reporter, 12/8/16...... A new short film interpreting Queen's classic 1975 hit "Bohemian Rhapsody" produced by Corridor Digital has surfaced online. Titled "Literal Bohemian Rhapsody," the clip chronicles the hit scene by scene with lyrics from the song. It sees a man confessing to his mother that he "just killed a man" before he has a showdown with a group of cops. Yes, his guns are called "thunderbolt" and "lightning" and the cops are named "Galileo" and "Figaro" and, sadly, the officers will not let him go. - NME, 12/9/16...... Original Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock is asking fans for help in locating three guitars that were recently stolen from his London home. Recently completing a solo tour of the UK, Matlock took to Facebook to seek help in finding three stolen guitars, which include a 1961 Ivory Fender Precision Bass, a Modern Mexican Black Precision Bass and a Blonde Guild D37 Acoustic. "Please keep an eye out for them," Matlock writes. "A substantial reward will be paid for information leading to their recovery." Matlock played bass in the legendary punk band from 1975 to 1977, when he left and was replaced by Sid Vicious. He was part of the group's first reunion in 1996 and the brief reunions that followed in 2002/2003 and 2007/2008. - NME, 12/12/16...... Yoko OnoYoko Ono marked the anniversary of death of her husband John Lennon on Dec. 8 by posting a powerful plea for gun control on her website. "Dear Friends," she wrote. "Every day, 91 Americans are killed with guns. We are turning this beautiful country into a War Zone. Together, let's bring back America, the green land of Peace. The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience. After 36 years, our son Sean and I still miss him." Yoko also posted a photo of John's blood-stained glasses to drive the point home. The couple's son, Sean Lennon, also posted a tribute in memory of his dad, as did the surviving Beatles and other figures from the music and arts world. - New Musical Express, 12/8/16...... In other Beatles-related news, a Twitter user named Chris Barker has refashioned the Fab Four's iconic Sgt. Pepper's album cover to honor the many music icons that have passed in 2016. Among the faces on "christhebarker"'s cover are: David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Sir George Martin, Leon Russell, Keith Emerson, Maurice White, Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer, Robert Vaughn and Gene Wilder. - Billboard, 12/9/16...... Actor Kirk Douglas celebrated his 100th birthday milestone at an intimate gathering of friends and family held at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Dec. 9. Flanked by Anne Douglas, his wife of over 62 years, his son Michael Douglas, his daughter-in-law Catherine Zeta-Jones and his grandchildren, Mr. Douglas listened to words from his loved ones as images from his many classic film credits such as Spartacus, Lust for Life, Paths of Glory and others played on a screen behind him. Michael Douglas kicked off the proceedings, saying that it's not just about age, but about the life he's lived and what he's accomplished. "One of the things that I find most incredible about dad is the third act of his life," said Michael Douglas. "After all he accomplished in his professional career and what he's given for his country, at the point in his life where he's faced adversity, losing a son, having a helicopter crash, having a stroke, and what he's accomplished in this third act in his life, I find quite extraordinary." Also in attendence were Mr. Douglas' Rabbi, along with comedian Don Rickles and movie producer Jeffrey Katzenberg. - AP, 12/10/16...... Recently deceased The Brady Bunch star Florence Henderson secretly battled serious heart issues before she died of a heart attack at age 82 on Nov. 24, according to her death certificate which has been obtained by TMZ.com. The certificate notes she suffered from heart disease for 10 years, and 5 years ago, she was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat. It also notes she was "in the entertainment industry for 64 years." - TMZ.com, 12/5/16...... In related news, former Brady Bunch daughter Susan Olsen has been fired from her job as an LA talk radio personality after she got into an online confrontation with openly gay actor Leon Acord-Whiting. LA Talk Radio announced on Dec. 9 that it "will not tolerate hateful speech" and that it "has severed ties" with Olsen. Acord-Whiting criticized the co-host of "Two Chicks Talkin' Politics" after he was a guest on the show, writing on Facebook that she "spreads outrageous misinformation & it is dangerous and unprofessional." Olsen, who played Cindy Brady on the TV show, posted on her Facebook page that Acord-Whiting blocked her "before I could even get one hit in." Acord-Whiting later posted a screenshot of a Facebook message he says Olsen sent to him. In the screenshot, Olsen appears to call the actor an offensive term for gay men. "And by now, your homophobic private message to me is being shared all over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So I don't have to say another word. The world is seeing your true colors," he wrote when sharing the message. - AP, 12/11/16...... John GlennFormer astronaut and U.S. senator John Glenn, a genuine American hero who was the last survivor of the original Mercury 7 program astronauts, died on Dec. 8 at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Oh. He was 95. Sen. Glenn, who had heart valve replacement surgery in 2014, was hospitalized "more than a week ago," according to Ohio State University spokesman Hank Wilson. Sen. Glenn piloted the Mercury space capsule, dubbed Friendship 7, and circled the planet three times in just under five hours on Feb. 20, 1962. Prior to his career as an astronaut, Sen. Glenn flew 149 missions during World War II and the Korean War and received multiple medals and decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross on six occasions. He resigned from the astronaut program in 1964 and pursued a career in politics, serving as a U.S. senator as a Democrat from Ohio between 1974 and 1999. He even ran unsuccessfully for president in 1984, and in 1988 at age 77, he became the oldest person to ever travel in space, as a payload specialist aboard the space shuttle Discovery for a nine-day mission in 1998. In 2011, he received a Congressional Gold Medal alongside Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. In 2012, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama. Earler in 2016, he attended a celebration that saw the renaming of Port Columbus Airport to John Glenn Columbus International Airport. Sen. Glenn joked that the only astronaut he was envious of was his fellow Ohioan: Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. "I've been very fortunate to have a lot of great experiences in my life and I'm thankful for them," he said in 2012. - AP, 12/8/16..... CNN will debut a Chicago documentary, Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago on Jan. 1 at 8:00 p.m. EST.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Greg LakeGreg Lake, the singer/guitarist/bassist in the famed '70s prog rock trio Emerson, Lake & Palmer, died on Dec. 6 of cancer, according to his manager. He was 69. "Yesterday, December 7th, I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer," Lake's manager Stewart Young posted on Facebook. Born in Bournemouth, UK, on Nov. 10, 1948, Lake was presented with his first guitar at age 12 and took lessons from a local tutor called Don Strike. Lake formed a close friendship with his fellow student guitarist Robert Fripp, and the pair formed King Crimson in 1969. Their debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King, set a standard for progressive rock with such elaborate tracks as "21st Century Schizoid Man," and was famously praised by Pete Townshend of the Who. Within a year however, Lake parted ways with King Crimson, refusing to work with the band after founding member Mike Giles quit. But he was featured on the band's critically-reviled second album, In The Wake Of Poseidon. Lake was then approached by keyboardist Keith Emerson, who had supported King Crimson on a North American tour, and needed a singer for a new band he was forming. Emerson, Lake and PalmerAfter recruiting drummer Carl Palmer of Atomic Rooster, ELP made their live debut at the Guildhall, Plymouth, in 1970, then established themselves with a well received performance at the Isle of Wight Festival. ELP's eccentric style combined heavy rock riffs with a classical influence, and the trio scored hit albums with Pictures at an Exhibition, Trilogy, and Brain Salad Surgery -- many of them produced by Lake himself. Their 1971 album Tarkus featured an opening track lasting more than 20 minutes, and was inspired by a fictional half-tank, half-armadillo creature that would appear on stage at gigs. The band's ambitious light shows and on-stage theatrics became the epitome of '70s rock excess, and later in the decade several punk acts cited ELP as one of the bands they were reacting against. But the band sold more than 48 million records worldwide, and Greg Lake continued to be an influential and popular touring musician even after ELP's heyday of the early-mid '70s. His death comes during the season when ELP's yuletide song "I Believe in Father Christmas" is often heard on rock radio. News of the passing of Lake, who is quoted on his website as saying "The greatest music is made for love, not for money," comes nine months after his longtime bandmate Keith Emerson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. - 12/8/16.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Dolly Parton announced on Dec. 6 that she will be hosting a Dec. 13 telethon in Nashville to raise money for her My People Fund, which benefits victims of the recent devastating wildfires in East Tennessee. "I know there are a lot of great events being planned to help the people of East Tennessee, however, I am planning a telethon to support the 'My People Fund' where 100% of the money will help those who lost their homes in the wildfire. I am planning on doing this on Dec. 13th in Nashville, Tennessee," Parton said in a statement. Dolly's My People Fund aims to provide $1,000 each month to families in Sevier County, the area where the country icon grew up and the location of her theme park, Dollywood. For donations, visit dollywoodfoundation.org. - Billboard, 12/6/16...... Stevie Nicks has added 20 new dates in the new year to her "24 Karat Gold Tour" with opening act The Pretenders. With the tour being met with "huge ticket demands" and receiving "stellar reviews" according to her reps, the legendary Fleetwood Mac singer will kick off the winter 2017 leg on Feb. 23 in Reno, Nev., also visiting such cities as Salt Lake City, San Diego, New Orleans, Raleigh, Orlando, Jacksonville, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Newark, N.J. before wrapping in Uniondale, N.Y. on Apr. 6. The tour is in support of Nicks' latest album 24 Karat Gold, which features new versions of works primarily written and demoed between 1969 and 1987 but never officially released. "It's been thrilling to get on stage each night and sing some of my early gems from early in my career along with getting the chance to sing the material from my last two albums," Nicks said in a statement. The current 2016 tour concludes on Dec. 18 at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. - Billboard, 12/6/16...... David BowieWhile David Bowie's final album Blackstar received three 2017 Grammy nominations in the rock categories when the 59th Annual Grammy Awards nominees were announced on Dec. 6, the late rock icon's swansong set was noticeably absent from the main four categories. Although the title track from Blackstar received Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance nominations and the album was nominated in the Best Alternative Album category, many expected the critical favorite and commercial success with an intriguing backstory to also have a lock for an Album of the Year nomination. Bowie didn't fare much better when the BBC Music Awards nominations were announced on Dec. 5, with Blackstar again being snubbed for Album of the Year, however Bowie was nominated for a British Artist of the Year prize at the upcoming Dec. 12 ceremony. Blackstar gave Bowie his first No. 1 in the U.S, his 10th chart-topper in his homeland and was a hit across the globe with fans and critics. Meanwhile, other 2017 Grammy Award nominees include the Ron Howard-directed Beatles tour documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week, for a Best Music Film nomination, and Paul McCartney's deluxe Tug of War reissue getting a Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package Grammy nod. Bob Dylan was nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, for Fallen Angels, and Dylan's The Cutting Edge: 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12 was nominated in the Best Historical Album category. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 12/6/16...... The Rolling Stones are on course to score an official UK number one album for the first week in December for their latest album, Blue & Lonesome. The album, the veteran rockers' first studio release in more than a decade, is way ahead of its nearest competition with almost 66,000 combined sales at the halfway stage of the midweek chart. The all-blues 12-track album was recorded in just three days at British Grove Studios in west London and sees the band return to "their roots and the passion for blues music." Should the album cross the finish line in first place, it'lll be the band's 12th No. 1 in the U.K. The Stones' last studio effort to reach the chart summit in their native country was Voodoo Lounge back in 1994, though a re-release of their 1972 album Exile On Main St also reached Number One in 2010. - NME, 12/5/16...... The Nobel Foundation announced on Dec. 5 that while Bob Dylan won't be attending the traditional Nobel Prize banquet on Dec. 10 in Stockholm, Sweden, the singer-songwriter has written a "speech of thanks" for the occasion that will be read aloud by a yet-to-be-decided person. Earlier in the day, Patti Smith is scheduled to perform Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" as a tribute to the 75-year-old musician. A spokeswoman for the foundation says Dylan's diploma and Nobel Prize medal will be handed over at a later date that hasn't been determined yet. - AP, 12/6/16...... Brian MayTaking to Twitter on Dec. 6, Queen guitarist Brian May gave fans an update about his health after the musician was forced to cancel an 11-date solo UK tour two months ago due to what he described as a "persistent illness." "Just want to say thanks, dear twitter folks -- for all your kind wishes. I'm still taking it relatively slowly, but getting stronger. Bri -- Dr. Brian May (@DrBrianMay)," he posted. In the fall, May said that he was "now at the point where I don't feel confident to perform the scheduled shows to the standard we all expect... I've been strongly advised to rest and heal, rather than go out and risk 'falling down on the job' out there, which would be a real tragedy." Queen with guest vocalist Adam Lambert completed their 2016 tour at the end of September, and May and Kerry Ellis are due to release a collaborative album in March. - NME, 12/6/16...... A Chicago-based design firm called New World Design Ltd. has announced plans to block out the word "Trump" from President-Elect Donald Trump's Trump Tower in the Windy City with four "golden pig balloons," a protest inspired by the cover artwork of Pink Floyd's 1977 album Animals. "Comprised of four gold colored balloon pigs tethered to buoys in the Chicago River, the folly is a design effort by NWD to provide visual relief to the citizens of Chicago by interrupting the view of the ostentatious Trump Tower Chicago sign," the company said in a statement on its website. "The design scheme follows rigorous rationale in providing layers of meaning while allowing for nuanced interpretations by viewers," it added. The protest follows former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters' use of a giant inflatable pig which flew over the crowd at the recent Desert Trip festival in October in Indio, Calif. On that occasion, the pig was printed with the phrases "F--k Trump and his wall" and "Ignorant, lying, racist, sexist." - Billboard, 12/5/16...... In a post on his Facebook page on Dec. 5, Neil Young questioned whether Pres. Barack Obama will stand up to the corporate interests pushing for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), following the Army Corps of Engineers' decision to look for an alternate route for the project. After DAPL issued a press release on Dec. 4 stating they remain "fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe" and that "nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way," Young asked what the president will do if DAPL does indeed move ahead despite the Army Corps' decree. "The question now is whether President Obama will send in law enforcement or the military to halt DAPL from drilling without a permit," Young wrote. "Otherwise, today's announcement will have no enforcement. It will be seen as another US and corporate ploy to send home water protectors, and thousands of veterans, now at Standing Rock Camp, where more than 10,000 are camped." - Billboard, 12/5/16...... The EaglesJames Taylor'70s artists The Eagles, James Taylor and Mavis Staples were among those feted by Pres. Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors show Dec. 4, 2016 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Eagles members Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit were first called for Kennedy Center recognition in 2015, but postponed their attendance in hopes that Frey, who by then was in a fierce battle with colitis, rheumatoid arthritis and pneumonia, would recover. Tragically, Frey passed away in January, and his wife Cindy and children were on hand to receive his honor. Frey's longtime friend and fellow Detroit native, Bob Seger, showed up to pay homage to the band and his 47-year friendship with Frey, noting his upcoming album features a song he wrote for Frey that carries the line, "When I think about you I always smile." Also honoring the Eagles were Kings of Leon, country star Vince Gill and Latin rocker Juanes, who performed "Take It Easy," "Peaceful Easy Feeling" and "Hotel California," respectively. James Taylor was honored by former president Bill Clinton, country/rock singer Darius Rucker, Sheryl Crow and Garth Brooks, while Bonnie Raitt and Andra Day paid tribute to Mavis Staples. The event was taped and will air on the CBS network on Dec. 27. - Billboard, 12/5/16...... Kraftwerk has added two more UK shows to their upcoming 2017 tour, due to heavy ticket demand. The German electro pioneers announced a rare and lengthy run of UK shows earlier in 2016, before tickets instantly sold out within minutes -- much to the frustration of fans. Now the band has added two more shows -- at Oxford on June 6 and Brighton New on June 7 -- to the trek, which kicks off in Dublin on June 2. Kraftwerk will wrap the 17-date tour with a three-night stand at London Royal Albert Hall on June 21, 22 and 23, and are rumoured to be among the headliners at the 2017 Glastonbury festival in June. - NME, 12/5/16.

Friday, December 2, 2016

As the Stevie Nicks with opening act The Pretenders fall tour hit New York City's Madison Square Garden on Dec. 1, Nicks warned the crowd that tonight's show is "not gonna be the same show that you're used to seeing," and promised "magical gothic things from my gothic trunk of secrets and mysteries." Nicks then delivered a set of little-heard rarities like "Starshine," a reject from her 1981 solo debut Bella Donna that eventually ended up on 2014's 24 Karat Gold - Songs From the Vault and "Crying in the Night," a Buckingham-Nicks-era favorite that Nicks rarely played live before this tour. The highlight was "Moonlight (A Vampire's Dream)," the dramatic power ballad whose recording reinvigorated Nicks' solo career earlier in this decade, and which she now calls "my favorite song I've ever written." Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde, who gushed about Nicks during her band's set and said it was "like being on tour with Elizabeth Taylor," was even invited on stage to sing Tom Petty's part in Nicks' breakout solo hit, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around." "I'm gonna marry her," Hynde quipped after the performance. "So don't get any ideas." Nicks encored with the Fleetwood Mac staples "Rhiannon" and "Landslide." - Billboard, 12/2/16...... On Nov. 28, Eric Clapton announced he'll play four shows in the US -- New York City's Madison Square Garden on Mar. 19 and Mar. 20 and The Forum in Los Angeles on Mar. 25 and Mar. 26 -- in 2017 that will be billed as "celebration of Clapton's 50 years in music." The dates seem to put hints of retirement to rest after the 71-year-old legendary guitarist revealed in June that nerve damage from his peripheral neuropathy has impacted on his ability to play guitar. Opening acts on the tour include Jimmie Vaughan and Guy Clark Jr., with former Joe Cocker sideman Chris Stainton among the musicians in Clapton's backing band. Tickets go on sale on Dec. 3. - New Musical Express, 11/28/16...... Neil DiamondShortly before participating in the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in NYC on Nov. 30, Neil Diamond told reporters that he'll leave "no song unsung" when he kicks off a 50 Year Anniversary World Tour in 2017. "Especially stuff from The Monkees," said Diamond, who wrote several several songs for the iconic '60s pop band including the No. 1 smash "I'm a Believer." The first leg of the tour gets underway in Fresno, Calif., on Apr. 7, then travels to cities including Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York, before wrapping in August. "We play all over the United States, North America, and then we will find other places to go," he said. Diamond promises to pull out all the stops on his tour, and that he still feels energized when performing for his fans. "They can expect me to give everything I possibly can. I will leave no stone unturned, and no song unsung," he said. - AP, 12/1/16...... KISS announced on Nov. 29 they'll be launching their KISSWORLD 2017 European arena tour on May 1 in Moscow. The glam-rock icons will also hit such cities as Helinksi, Stockholm, Oslo, Munich, Vienna, Frankfurt and Rotterdam before traveling to the UK for shows in Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester before the 15-city tour wraps at London's O2 on May 31. - NME, 11/29/16...... Rod Stewart has joined the lineup of headliners for the UK's 2017 Isle of Wight Festival, which takes place from June 8-11 at Seaclose Park, Newport. Billed as his only UK festival appearance in 2017, Stewart will top the festival bill on the final night of the festival. "I have been very lucky to have played many of the world's finest venues and festivals -- but never played the legendary IOW Festival. I am so excited to put that right. June can't come round soon enough," Stewart said in a statement. The festival originally ran between 1968 and 1970 before being revived in 2002, and recent headliners include Queen + Adam Lambert and Fleetwood Mac. - NME, 11/28/16...... James Taylor has announced a summer tour of four baseball parks for 2017, culminating in a date at Fenway Park, home of his beloved Boston Red Sox. Taylor and his band will open the tour on July 14 at Nationals Park in Washington. It continues July 17 at Wrigley Field in Chicago; July 29 at AT&T Park in San Francisco; and Aug. 11 at Fenway. It will be the third consecutive year Taylor has played Fenway, the venue where the Boston-born Taylor debuted his video for "Angels of Fenway," his ode to the redemptive spirit of baseball and a song featured on his 2015 album Before This World. Bonnie Raitt will open for Taylor at each show. - AP, 11/29/16...... Rush announced on its Facebook page on Nov. 30 that the band is donating the $40,000 award it's getting from the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, in honor of the late Tragically Hip frontman Downie. "Many families have been affected either directly or indirectly by this terrible disease. Through Gord's courageous efforts this cause is now getting the attention it desperately deserves. As a fellow musician and friend it's our turn to help support his efforts to fight Brain Cancer now," the post reads. Earlier in December, Canadian Music Week announced that Rush were the 2017 recipients of the Slaight award, which will be handed out in April; the award comes with a $40,000 prize earmarked for the charity of the recipient's choice. - Billboard, 12/1/16...... Dolly PartonCountry music legend Dolly Parton has established a fund to help victims of the recent spate of wildfires in the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, which is also home to her Dollywood theme park. Parton's My People Fund will provide $1,000 each month to families in Sevier County, Tenn., and in a new video the singer explained how she wanted to help get people "back on their feet" after the deadly natural disaster. "I've always believed charity begins at home and my home is some place special," she said. "That's why I've asked my Dollywood Companies -- including the Dollywood theme park, and DreamMore Resort; my dinner theater attractions including Dixie Stampede and Lumberjack Adventure; and my Dollywood Foundation -- to help me establish the My People Fund. We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires." Parton's theme park was also threatened by the fires. More info can be found at dollywoodfoundation.org. - Billboard, 11/30/16...... Pres. Barack Obama welcomed four of the recipients of the 2016 Nobel Prize to the White House in Washington on Nov. 30, and noticeably absent was Nobel winner Bob Dylan. "Unfortunately, for those of you wondering, Bob Dylan will not be at the White House today, so everybody can relax," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said during a press briefing. Earnest said Dylan didn't give a reason, but he noted that Dylan and the president had met previously and "the president enjoyed meeting him." In 2012, Pres. Obama presented the iconic rock star with a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature on Oct. 13 but won't be attending the prize ceremony, later announcing he may travel to Stockholm sometime in 2016 and give his Nobel Lecture then. - AP, 11/30/16...... A new court filing suggests that the late Prince's estate could be worth as much as $200 million, the first time a specific estimate has emerged publicly from court proceedings since the musician died from an overdose in April. Since Prince left no known will, the rock superstar's sister and five half-siblings are in line to inherit equal shares of the estate -- after taxes gobble up about half of it. Attorneys have avoided giving specific figures in public since then, but based on a court filing made public on Nov. 29, Bremer Trust puts the value of the estate at about $200 million, the AP has calculated. In 2016, Prince's estate took in $25 million and sold more albums than any other dead musician for a No. 5 spot on the list of top earning deceased celebrities. Prince's estate has until Jan. 21 to file federal and state estate tax returns. Meanwhile, a new Prince documentary entitled Prince: R U Listening? is reportedly in the works for a spring 2017 release. The film, directed by Find Your Groove's Michael Kirk, will chronicle Prince's rise to fame and will feature interviews with members of his band, as well as friends and admirers including Bono, Mick Jagger, Sheila E, Lenny Kravitz and Billy Idol. Prince's Minnesota estate-turned-museum, Paisley Park, is is also planning a "Celebration 2017" event in April, with guided tours of the late singer's home and performances from Prince's former bands. - AP, 11/30/16...... The Bee GeesThe Bee Gees announced on Dec. 29 that they've inked a long-term worldwide agreement with Capitol Records that will cover the legendary trio's entire catalog of recorded music -- all 22 studio albums -- plus various compilations, unreleased recordings and other projects. Several soundtracks are also part of the agreement, including the disco era-defining Saturday Night Fever. Capitol will begin working with Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), Barry Gibb and the estates of late members Robin and Maurice Gibb on numerous sales and marketing campaigns aimed at breathing new life into the brothers' catalog, which ranged from psychedelic pop to disco to soft rock. The group's most active years were spent on either Polydor or RSO, aside from a brief stint with Warner Bros. "The Bee Gees catalog is one of the most esteemed and important bodies of work in the history of recorded music, and we are brimming with ideas that will remind fans of its brilliance and further the band's legacy by introducing their music to new audiences," Capitol Music Group chairman and CEO Steve Barnett said. "All of us at the company are honored that The Bee Gees have chosen Capitol as their new home." - Billboard, 11/29/16...... Cher will be among the celebrities featured in This Climate, an upcoming documentary about the perils of climate change. The film, which also features Mark Ruffalo, Vivienne Westwood and Noam Chomsky, will be screened in festivals, events, and universities worldwide in early 2017 after November's United Nations Climate Change Conference and before the World Economic Forum in January, for optimal impact on global discussion. - Billboard, 11/30/16...... A new picture book inspired by John Lennon's 1971 world peace anthem "Imagine" is set for release on Sept. 21, 2017, the United Nations' International Day of Peace. Authorized by Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, the book will be released in partnership with Amnesty International, which will receive some of the proceeds. ith illustrations by Jean Jullien, the book will feature Lennon's lyrics as it tells of a young pigeon's mission to advocate for peace. - AP, 11/29/16...... In other Beatles-related news, a rare copy of the Fab Four's "White Album" originally owned by Ringo Starr has topped a list of the world's most valuable vinyl records. The LP sold at auction in 2015 for £730,876. The list, compiled by LoveAntiques.com, also includes recordings by the formative Beatles band The Quarrymen ("That'll Be The Day/In Spite Of All The Danger" - £100,000) at No. 2 and the Beatles' "Love Me Do" (£80,500) at No. 3. - NME, 11/29/16...... The Recording Academy has announced it will be adding 25 new musical works to its Grammy Hall of Fame, including David Bowie' "Changes," the Jackson 5's "ABC," Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock," Arlo Guthrie's "The City of New Orleans," Merle Haggard's Okie From Muskogee and the Beach Boys' "I Get Around." The selected singles and album recordings are all at least 25 years old to meet requirements for selection, and with this year's additions there will be 1,038 recordings in the Grammy Hall of Fame. - Billboard, 11/28/16...... Neil YoungNeil Young has penned an open letter to Pres. Barack Obama urging an "end to the violence" against the protestors at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota and South Dakota. "Standing together in prayer to protect water displays a deeply rooted awareness of life's interconnected nature, and of the intrinsic value and import of traditional ways," Young posted on his Facebook page on Nov. 28. "This growing movement stems from love, it is the most human instinct to protect that which we love." Despite the hundreds of people standing in solidarity and peacefully protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline, Young wrote that protesters are met with "violent aggression" from law enforcement. "Standing while being hit with water cannons, mace, tear gas, rubber bullets. Standing without weapons and praying, the water protectors endure human rights abuses in sub freezing temperatures," Young writes. "Thus, it is the ugliness of corporate America, seen around the world." The rocker later called upon the president "to step in and end the violence against the peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock immediately" before discussing President-elect Donald Trump, who he described as a "surprise president [who] claims he does not believe in climate science nor the threats it presents and his actions and words reflect that claim in tangible and dangerous ways." Trump also owns stock in the company laying the pipeline, and has called for its completion. - Billboard, 11/29/16...... The former wife of Phil Collins has told the UK paper Daily Mail that she will sue the former Genesis member after he slammed her with alleged inaccuracies in his new autobiography, Not Dead Yet. Andrea Bertorelli, Collins' first wife, took issue with what her ex shared about their five-year marriage, which ended in divorce in 1980, and blasted him for failing to remember even the simplest of details, like where they actually tied the knot. "Even the most basic facts have become distorted," she said. "For a number of years... I have variously been portrayed as a homewrecker, a gold-digger and a bad mother (in the media). The recent publication of Phil's autobiography Not Dead Yet is the final straw." It's not clear how much compensation Bertorelli is seeking from her ex, who is yet to comment on the lawsuit news. The former couple shares two adult children -- son Simon, a musician, and actress Joely, who was Bertorelli's daughter from a previous relationship. Collins adopted Joely as his own during their marriage. - WENN.com, 12/2/16...... Tony Award-winning character actor Fritz Weaver, who played a German Jewish doctor slain by the Nazis in the 1978 mini-series Holocaust and an increasingly unstable Air Force colonel in the 1964 film Fail Safe, died on Nov. 26 at his home in Manhattan. He was 90. The Pittsburgh-born Mr. Weaver won a Tony in 1970 for his role in Robert Marasco's drama "Child's Play," and also appeared in such TV series as The Twilight Zone, Playhouse 90, Mission: Impossible, Magnum, P.I., Matlock, Gunsmoke, Falcon Crest and Murder, She Wrote. His screen credits included Marathon Man (1976), Demon Seed (1977), Creepshow (1982) and The Thomas Crown Affair (1999). - AP, 11/28/16...... Al BrodaxAl Brodax, the producer and co-writer of the Beatles' iconic animated 1968 film Yellow Submarine, died on Nov. 24 in Danbury, Conn. He was 90. In 1960, Mr. Brodax created and headed the television/motion picture division of King Features Syndicate, writing and producing more than 500 episodes of Popeye, Krazy Kat, Barney Google and The Beatles' cartoon series. In 1968, he was producer and co-writer of Yellow Submarine, winning more than 30 awards including the New York Film Critics Circle Award in 1969. Mr. Brodax went on to become the animation supervisor for ABC, producing the shows Make a Wish and Animals, Animals, Animals. In later years, he was a consultant for Marvel Comics. - The New York Times, 11/28/16...... Joe Esposito, a close personal friend and longtime aide of Elvis Presley, died on Nov. 23 of natural causes in Calabasas, Calif. He was 78. Esposito met Presley in 1959 while both were serving in the Army. After they completed their service, Esposito became Presley's assistant in professional matters, from keeping his calendar to functioning as road manager when the King was on tour. Esposito was one of two best men at Presley's 1967 wedding to Priscilla Wagner and a pallbearer at his funeral in 1977. After Presley's death, Esposito worked as a road manager for other artists, including the Bee Gees and Michael Jackson. His daughter, Cindy Bahr, said that her father was suffering from dementia at the time of his death. - AP, 11/29/16...... TV mogul Grant Tinker, the former chairman and CEO of NBC and former husband of Mary Tyler Moore, died on Nov. 29 at age 90. In 1969, Mr. Tinker and his then-wife Moore launched MTM Enterprises, which became an indie powerhouse that produced such hits as Moore's Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, The Bob Newhart Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere. In 1981, he left MTM to become chairman and CEO of then-last-place network NBC. With Brandon Tartikoff as his entertainment president, Mr. Tinker spearheaded a ratings turnaround, with the network rising from last to first place on the strength of a slew of hit new series, including The Cosby Show, Family Ties, The Golden Girls, Cheers, Night Court and Hill Street Blues. He left NBC in 1986, following its acquisition by General Electric. - Deadline.com, 11/30/16.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Appearing at the Detroit Lions-Minnesota Vikings NFL matchup in her hometown of Detroit on Thanksgiving Day, Aretha Franklin delivered a generous 4 minute and 35 seconds long rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" prior to the start of the game, which may have been as much a topic at Thanksgiving dinner as the game itself. Her lengthy version of the national anthem then went viral on social media, with one Twitter user joking that "there was enough time to cook a turkey, eat and do the dishes" during the performance. Others opined that the 74-year-old "Queen of Soul" had earned the right to sing the anthem for as long as she wanted. The CBS production team even got in on the fun during the game by including Franklin in a time of possession graphic: "Time of possession battle is crucial. pic.twitter.com/EZVC53fVeD" -- NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) November 24, 2016. - AP, 11/26/16...... In related news, James Taylor tweeted a Thanksgiving message to his fans stressing the importance of gratitude on Nov. 24. "Sometimes we suffer setbacks. And if these reversals of fortune are deeply important to us, the loss can be a source of real grief. Recovery takes time and we should allow ourselves time to grieve. But what eventually seems to help most is to take a regular moment to give thanks. To whom we give it is a big question but just go ahead on and do it. Gratitude is the way to an improved attitude, dude," Taylor wrote in the post. The 68-year-old singer/songwriter then gets a little spacey in the message, speculating about the possibility that other distant worlds in the cosmos might support life. "Scientists tell us that it is likely, even inevitable, that there are other worlds in the cosmos which, like our own, would support life. But they are so rare and far apart that it's a long shot we'll ever be in touch... To have been born in human form and consciousness aboard this unbelievably beneficent planet is an incredible stroke of luck. Dig it..." - AP, 11/24/16...... Billy JoelAfter Bruce Springsteen made headlines earlier in November for being rescued by a group of biker veterans when his own motorcycle broke down on Allaire State Park in New Jersey on Veterans Day, Billy Joel revealed onstage during a Nov. 26 concert at Madison Square Garden that the faulty bike ridden by the Boss was, in fact, built in his own 20th Century Cycles shop in Oyster Bay, N.Y. "So he takes the bike out on Veteran's Day and it breaks down. It's all over national news: Bruce's Bike Breaks Down," the Piano Man told the audience. "So I'm reading this and thinking, Oh s--t, I hope it wasn't the bike I built for him. I called him, 'Bruce, what bike was the bike that broke down?' 'It was the one you made for me,'" Joel continued. Joel then said he apologized to the 67-year-old New Jersey rocker, to which Bruce responded, "Oh no, it's cool, dude." Perhaps to make amends, Joel covered Springsteen's classic "Born to Run" later in the show. Joel, 67, owns a custom motorcycle shop, 20th Century Cycles, in Oyster Bay, N.Y., and Springsteen is one of his clients. - The NY Daily News, 11/27/16...... Speaking of Bruce Springsteen, the musician has taped an appearance on the venerable BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs that will air during the third week of December. On Desert Island Discs, host Kirsty Young is joined each week by a guest who is asked to "name eight recordings, a book and a luxury item that they would take with them on a desert island." Springsteen said of his track choices that "this is the music that electrified me -- they galvanised me into changing my life in some way." First broadcast in 1942, Desert Island Discs has welcomed the likes of Tom Hanks, Bill Gates and Michael Bubl earlier in 2016. - New Musical Express, 11/24/16...... Stevie Wonder has announced that John Legend and Lionel Richie have been confirmed to perform at his annual House Full of Toys benefit concert, which is set for L.A. Live's Microsoft Theater on Dec. 9. Wonder launched House Full of Toys in 1996 at former Hollywood venue House of Blues. In subsequent years, the concert has been staged at The Forum in L.A. as well as the Microsoft. Concert proceeds benefit the We Are You Foundation, which assists children and families in need. For ticket information (patrons are also asked to bring an unwrapped toy), visit axs.com. Additional performers at this year's event will be announced shortly. - Billboard, 11/23/16...... Elton JohnAfter Anthony Scaramucci, an advisor to President-Elect Donald Trump, made a surprise announcement that Elton John would be playing the president-elect's January inauguration on the BBC programme HARDtalk on Nov. 23, a rep for Sir Elton unequivocally denied the same day that John will be playing the Washington D.C. event. Scaramucci said that John's performance would demonstrate the president-elect's "commitment to gay rights," commemorating what he referred to as "the first American president in U.S. history that enters the White House with a pro-gay rights stance." It is worth noting however that Trump's running mate, Vice-President Elect Mike Pence, has been strongly criticized by the LGBT community for his anti-gay positions as governor of the state of Indiana. - Billboard, 11/23/16....... In an interview with the London Times, David Bowie's saxophonist Donny McCaslin claims that Bowie was planning to make more music at the time of his death in January at age 69, two days after the release of his album Blackstar, a record which many fans believed was his final farewell. "It certainly didn't seem that it (Blackstar) would be his last record," McCaslin said. "He was going to start writing new music -- or maybe he had started; it wasn't quite clear -- but he was in the process of planning a new recording with us. I don't think Blackstar was this goodbye thing," he added. McCaslin also said Bowie was considering appearing on stage for the first time in a decade. "Clearly there wasn't going to be a Blackstar tour but he was going to sit in with us at (New York jazz club) the Village Vanguard," McCaslin said. "It would just have been him turning up unannounced after rehearsing during the day." Earlier in 2016, McCaslin and his band released their own album, Beyond Now, inspired by and dedicated to their former collaborator. The LP includes original tracks by McCaslin and a number of covers of songs by the likes of Deadmau5, Mutemath, The Chainsmokers and Bowie. - New Musical Express, 11/25/16...... Prolific TV actor Ron Glass, a veteran of such series as Barney Miller, Stakeout, Bureaucrat, Ms. Cop, Vigilante and The New Odd Couple, died at his home in Los Angeles on Nov. 15. He was 71. It is not yet clear if the star had been ill prior to his death, but there is speculation that he was suffering from respiratory problems. The news of Glass's death shocked members of California's Buddhist community, of which he was a prominent figure. Sharing the news on Facebook, one friend wrote: "My Buddhist Brother and Friend, Ron Glass passed last night. I had called him 11/15/16 to find out how is doing since it's been a few months since I had see him last and his nurse said he was not up to talking. I called back on 11/16/16 and said to the nurse: 'let him know that I love him and really care'." The Indiana-born performer also appeared on such series as Friends, Star Trek: Voyager, CSI, Rugrats, Rhythm & Blues and Murder, She Wrote. - The Mirror UK, 11/16/16...... Fidel CastroFidel Castro, the controversial revolutionary leader and former head of state of Cuba, died on Nov. 25 at the age of 90, according to Cuban state television. One of the world's longest-serving political leaders, Fidel Castro ruled Cuba for 49 years after playing a central role in the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s. He cut a divisive figure during his lifetime, transforming Cuba into the Western Hemisphere's first communist country and becoming a thorn in the side of the United States during the Cold War. Hailed by supporters as a hero who fought for socialist ideals by standing up to the U.S. and the world's other political giants, Fidel Castro was seen by critics as a ruthless dictator guilty of subjecting his people to countless human rights abuses, devastating Cuba's economy and forcing more than a million Cubans to flee the island. Considered by many Cubans to be a national hero, Castro in February 1959 was sworn in as prime minister of the island nation, after his group of revolutionaries finally succeeded in forcing the increasingly ruthless dictator General Fulgencio Batista to flee the country, after many attempts. While the international community criticized Castro's government for its brutal campaign of retribution against Batista supporters, the Cuban people were firmly on Castro's side. Hundreds of thousands of Cubans would gather and cheer as he delivered long, rousing speeches -- some of them lasting hours about the revolution (his longest on record in Cuba was 7 hours and 10 minutes). During the Cold War, Castro's Cuba proved especially influential in the politics of the day, after he revealed his belief in socialism and declared his allegiance to the USSR early on in his rule. After Russian missiles, placed in Cuba with Castro's consent, were spotted by an American spy plane in October 1962, the Soviets and the Americans engaged in tense negotiations, the world spun closer to nuclear war than at any other time before or since. Fortunately, however, the USSR -- to Castro's fury -- finally agreed to remove the missiles from Cuba, and the crisis was averted. Castro fell ill in 2006 with an undisclosed disease, and handed the reins of power to his brother Ral Castro. He officially resigned in 2008, after 49 years as Cuba's head of state. Castro was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on behalf of developing nations in 2001, and also spoke up against global warming and other environmental issues and was lauded by some for his environmentalism and green policies. - Huffington Post, 11/26/16.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Florence HendersonBeloved TV and stage actress Florence Henderson, best known as the ever cheerful matriarch of the iconic '70s series The Brady Bunch, died unexpectedly of heart failure on Nov. 24 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was 82. Born on Feb. 14, 1934 in Dale, Indiana, Ms. Henderson got her first big break on Broadway when she was just 18 after being cast in a lead role in the seminal musical "Oklahoma!" before moving on to productions of "The Sound of Music," "The King and I" and "South Pacific." But it was her role as Carol Brady in The Brady Bunch, the innocent sitcom about a blended family, that made her a household name. The series, which aired from 1969 to 1974, returned to television in various forms again and again, including The Brady Bunch Hour in 1977, The Brady Girls Get Married in 1981 (a pilot to the short-lived Brady Brides series) and The Bradys in 1990. It was also seen endlessly in reruns. Ms. Henderson also joined the cast of the 1995 spoof The Brady Bunch Movie, playing Grandma Brady opposite Cheers star Shelley Long as Carol. Her 50+ year career in show business also included a stint as the first female guest host on The Tonight Show, and the release of a cookbook based on the cooking series Country Kitchen. Throughout her career, Ms. Henderson was also known for her philanthropy work, supporting causes including City of Hope and the House Ear Institute (she experienced sudden hearing loss in 1965, and underwent corrective surgery in both ears). In 2010, she competed on Dancing with Stars and was the fifth competitor to be voted off that season. She made a surprise appearance on the show this September, dressed up in character as Mrs. Brady, and was reportedly backstage when her fellow Brady Bunch actress Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia Brady in the series, competed on Dancing With the Stars on Nov. 21. Ms. Henderson, who is survived by two daughters, two sons and five grandchildren, died surrounded by family and friends, her manager, Kayla Pressman, said in a statement on Nov. 24. "Florence Henderson was a dear friend for so very many years & in my heart forever. Love & hugs to her family. I'll miss u dearly #RIPFlorence," Maureen McCormick tweeted on Nov. 25. - USA Today/AP/Huffington Post, 11/25/16.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Pres. Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor, to 21 groundbreaking musicians, actors, athletes, technological professionals, and others including '70s artists Bruce Springsteen and Diana Ross during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Nov. 22. Prior to the ceremony, the White House appraised Bruce Springsteen's contribution to the nation by describing him as "a singer, songwriter, and bandleader (who) more than five decades ago... bought a guitar and learned how to make it talk." "Since then," the statement continued, "the stories he has told, in lyrics and epic live concert performances, have helped shape American music and have challenged us to realize the American dream." Other honorees include actors Robert De Niro, Robert Redford, Tom Hanks and Cicily Tyson, basketball greats Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and Michael Jordon, philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, comedian Ellen DeGeneres, Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels, broadcaster Vin Scully, and various scientists, educators and architects. Obama said the people receiving the medal all influenced him and his presidency in some way and "helped push America forward and inspired millions around the world." The Presidential Medal of Freedom recognizes especially meritorious contributions to the national interests of the United States, to its culture, or to other significant endeavors. - AP, 11/22/16...... Leonard Cohen"Hallelujah," perhaps the most well known song by late Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Leonard Cohen, has debuted on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart for the first time, at No. 59, following Cohen's death on Nov. 7. "Hallelujah" also entered Billboard's Digital Song Sales chart at No. 12 with 33,000 downloads sold in the week ending Nov. 17, according to Nielsen Music. It also drew 3.8 million U.S. streams in that period, a 279 percent increase. Cohen originally released the enduring anthem "Hallelujah" on his 1984 album Various Positions, and Jeff Buckley's 1994 cover of the song (itself inspired by a piano-led version by John Cale three years prior) and now considered by many to be the definitive take on the song, although it, too, wasn't a chart hit at the time and has yet to hit the Hot 100, although it has now appeared on the Digital Song Sales chart at No. 29. Cohen's most recent studio album, You Want It Darker, has also jumped from No. 48 to No. 7 on the Hot 200 albums chart, and his greatest hits album The Essential Leonard Cohen, has also debuted on the chart at No. 13 with 20,000 units and 11,000 albums sold. - Billboard, 11/21/16...... Released on Nov. 11, Pink Floyd's new massive 27-disc box set The Early Years 1965-1972 features unreleased outtakes and demos, TV appearances, seven hours of concert recordings, performances, interviews, over 20 unreleased songs, an updated version of their Zabriskie Point soundtrack and more. Fans have also discovered hidden tracks in the form of alternate mixes of the band's 1972 LP Meddle, inside the set's Blu-ray discs, although specialized software is needed in able to pull both the new stereo and 5.1 mixes of the album from the disc. The set charts the band's first seven years before their The Dark Side of the Moon commercial breakthrough, and also includes the song "Green Is The Colour," which was originally on their 1969 album Soundtrack From The Film More and recorded just after founding member Syd Barrett left the group. - NME, 11/19/16...... Sting was honored with an acheivement award during the American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 20. The former Police frontman also performed a medley of his hits during the show, starting with his recent single "Can't Stop Thinking About You" from his new album 57th and 9th and running through his Police-era classics "Message in a Bottle" and "Every Breath You Take." "American music lit the musical spark in my young mind," the 65-year-old Sting said while accepting his award. "This uniquely American experiment -- perhaps America's greatest and most influential export -- rock and roll." Sting has also notched his 11th solo Top 10 entry in the Billboard Hot 200 LP chart with 57th & 9th, at No. 9 with 28,000 units sold. Sting last hit the Hot 200 Top 10 with his 2010 album, Symphonicities. Meanwhile, Sting and Bruce Springsteen are slated to perform at the 2016 Rainforest Fund gala on Dec. 14 at New York's Carnegie Hall. - Billboard, 11/20/16...... Bruce SpringsteenSpeaking of Bruce Springsteen, the Boss has announced he'll be hitting the road for another round of book signings for his just released memoir, Born to Run. The New Jersey rocker will launch a one-week tour beginning Nov. 28 at Books-A-Million in Chicago for a book tour that will stretch through Ohio (Cincinatti, 11/29), continue to Denver (11/30) and Austin, Tex. (12/1), and wind down at 2nd & Charles in Kennesaw, Georgia, on Dec. 2. All books will be pre-signed, and fans will be able to snap a photo with the 67-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member. Tickets for all shows went on sale on Nov. 22 on the artist's Facebook Events page. Meanwhile, Springsteen has weighed in on the "Hamilton" Broadway show controversy in which the cast of show took to the stage after their Nov. 18 curtain call to address Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who attended the show. "We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us," cast member Brandon Victor Dixon. Springsteen and his wife Pattie Scialfa posed for a selfie on Nov. 20 in front of the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City where "Hamilton" is being presented, with Scialfa writing "looking for VP elect Pence #freedomofspeech." E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt -- while not disagreeing with the statement -- took to Twitter the next day to say the cast chose an "inappropriate" time to make their stand, and instead was "bullying" the politician. "You don't single out an audience member and embarrass him from the stage. A terrible precedent to set," Van Zandt posted. - Billboard, 11/20/16...... A terse letter written by John Lennon to Paul and Linda McCartney shortly after the breakup of the Beatles sold at auction for nearly $30,000 during a sale on Nov. 17 conducted by Boston-based RR Auction. RR says the letter is believed to have been written in 1971 in response to criticism Lennon received from Linda McCartney about his decision to not publicly announce his departure from the band. Filled with profanity and sometimes rambling, the letter reads "Do you really think most of today's art came about because of the Beatles? I don't believe you're that insane -- Paul -- do you believe that? When you stop believing it you might wake up!" - AP, 11/21/16...... Bob Dylan, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature on Oct. 13 but won't be attending the prize ceremony, will likely travel to Stockholm next year and might give his Nobel Lecture then, the Nobel Prize's Swedish Academy announced on Nov. 18. Dylan likely will give a concert in the Swedish capital, offering "a perfect opportunity to deliver his lecture," according to the academy. Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the academy, told a Swedish radio station that the Nobel Foundation's rules for laureate lectures are "flexible." Dylan can deliver his as "a written speech, a spontaneous discourse, a film" or another format of his choosing, said Danius. Dylan, 75, has said he cannot attend the Dec. 10 prize ceremony due to pre-existing commitments that, according to his Facebook page, are of a personal nature. Details about who will accept the award on Dylan's behalf are still unclear. - AP, 11/18/16...... Freddie MercuryQueen guitarist Brian May announced on his Facebook page that the mother of late Queen frontman, Jer Bulsara, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Nov. 13 at age 94. May called Mrs. Bulsera, who he says he had known for 50 years, "a warm and devoted mum to Freddie and, like Freddie, always had a strong twinkle in the eye." Bulsara and Mercury had a close relationship until his untimely death aged 45 from complications arising from AIDS. Speaking of her relationship with her "dear boy," she once told the UK paper The Telegraph: "I often told him I didn't like his clothes and dresses, and tried to get him to cut his hair, but he would explain it was something you have to do when you are in the pop world and gradually I learnt to accept it." Meanwhile, a new Freddie Mercury documentary, Who Wants to Live Forever, debuted on UK TV on the fourth weekend of November on Channel 5. The in-depth film explores Mercury's life from the summer of 1985 at the Live AID concert to the spring of 1987, when he was diagnosed with HIV. 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Mercury, who passed on Nov. 24, 1991. - New Musical Express, 11/19/16...... As the Rolling Stones prepare to release a new album of blues classics and deep cuts covers, Blue & Lonesone, on Dec. 2, frontman Mick Jagger says an album of new, original material that the band was originally working on when they veered off toward a blues album is still on the docket, but it could take a while. "I was working on it quite recently," Jagger told Billboard/ "We've got a long way to go, but I think it sounds really great and I'm looking forward to carrying on with that." Jagger says he hopes they might return to the new songs in 2017, and guitarist Ronnie Wood has also predicted they'll be back in the studio "next year." Keith Richards, however, was less definitive: "Well, man, you know, I'm not Nostradamus," he quipped. Blue & Lonesone will be the British rockers' first studio LP since 2005's A Bigger Bang. Meanwhile, Jagger reportedly left a huge tip for the staff at the upscale New York Chinese restaurant Philippe Chow when he and his entourage recently visited the eatery. According to TMZ.com, Jagger reportedly left a $500 tip for a $478 bill, as he and his friends ordered a hardy meal -- including lettuce wraps, tuna tartare, chicken satays and green prawns -- for starters. The party then moved onto an order of Mr. Cheng's Noodles and Peking duck, before finishing with Baked Alaska for dessert. Eyewitnesses say Jagger ate his meal quickly and was very polite to staff. - Billboard/WENN.com 11/17/16...... The Ford Motor Company and UAW-Ford have announced a $6 million investment towards a planned expansion of the Motown Museum in Detroit. "We are thrilled to play a role in the next chapter of a global music icon," said Joe Hinrichs, president, The Americas, Ford Motor Company. "The enhanced museum will not only upgrade the visitor experience, it also fits with our commitment to investing in the cultural heritage of Detroit and southeast Michigan." The Motown Museum is located in the Hitsville U.S.A. house where record company founder Berry Gordy launched his music empire in 1959. Scores of classic hits were created there before the label moved to California in 1972. Ford's donation is part of a $50 million upgrade that will create a new Ford-branded theater, space for interactive exhibits and a recording studio at the tourist attraction. - Billboard/AP, 11/18/16...... Smokey RobinsonIn related news, Motown icon Smokey Robinson was honored with the prestigious Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 16. "Gershwin music was always on in our house. So for me to be even mentioned in the same breath as the Gershwins is just unbelievable," Robinson said. Robinson also performed a soul-stirring concert at the DAR Constitution Hall, which was packed with some of the U.S.'s most powerful politicians. The event was taped and will air on PBS stations across the US on Feb. 10. - Billboard, 11/17/16...... Country songwriter Mentor Williams, best known for penning Dobie Gray's 1973 No. 5 smash "Drift Away," passed away from undisclosed causes on Nov. 16. He was 70. The brother of singer/songwriter/actor and ASCAP President Paul Williams, Mentor was also known for co-writing such tunes as Randy Travis and George Jones' "A Few Ole Country Boys" in 1990, and Alabama's 1984 hit "When We Make Love." His best-known song by far, however, was Gray's "Drift Away," which has been covered by everyone from Waylon Jennings to Rod Stewart, Michael Bolton, Ray Charles and Roy Orbison -- as well as Uncle Kracker, who returned the song to the Billboard Top 10 in 2003 with his No. 9-peaking, Gray-assisted cover. Williams, a longtime resident of Taos, NM, also worked with, recorded and produced a number of other artists, including Paul McCartney, Kim Carnes and his brother Paul, and served as a staff writer at Almo-Irving in the 1960s. He was also a producer for the A&M, MCA and Columbia Records labels, and had a romantic relationship with country singer Lynn Anderson from the 1980s until her death in 2015. "Mentor was a proud and grateful member (of ASCAP). He will be so missed," Paul Williams tweeted on Nov. 16. - Billboard, 11/17/16...... Canadian guitarist/songwriter Doug Edwards, a former guitarist with the bands Skylark and Chilliwak who penned Skylark's mega-hit "Wildflower," has died at his home in Vancouver after a long illness. He was 71. Born in Edmonton in 1946, Edwards moved to Victoria at age 15 and took up guitar and electric bass. He then moved to Vancouver and, within 18 months or so, was touring with the Fifth Dimension as their guitarist, appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show and opening for Frank Sinatra. In 1970, Edwards teamed with Dave Richardson, a Saanich police officer, to write "Wildflower," which became a gold record in Canada, went to No. 9 on the U.S. Billboard chart, and was covered by more than 75 artists from crooner Johnny Mathis to rapper Drake. "'Wildflower' is one of the most performed songs in the history of Canadian popular music," notes the website of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. "Wildflower" has also been used to treat female military personnel suffering from PTSD and sexual assault, and has been used to help suicidal addicts recover. Edwards, a session musician for six decades who underwent triple bypass heart surgery on Feb. 1 and then went into cancer treatment, also recorded or performed with Ann Mortifee and Olivia Newton-John, and on TV shows with Tom Jones, Paul Anka and Wolfman Jack.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Recent Nobel Prize for Literature honoree Bob Dylan has informed the Nobel Prize's Swedish Academy that "he wishes he could receive the prize personally, but other commitments make it unfortunately impossible," and that he won't be making the trip to Stockhom to pick up the prize in person on Dec. 10. Dylan, 75, was awarded the prize on Oct. 13 "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." Details on who will accept the award on Dylan's behalf are expected to be announced soon. Dylan at first was silent after the Nobel announcement but eventually said getting the award left him "speechless." - AP, 11/16/16...... Friends and former bandmates of David Bowie have announced they'll throw an all-star concert in memory of Bowie on what would have been his 70th birthday, Jan. 8, 2016. Set for the UK's Brixton Academy, the event will feature music by 30 musicians from throughout Bowie's career. Bowie friend and actor Gary Oldman will host the show, and it will be the first of a series of gigs around the world that will "take place in cities that have a strong connection with David Bowie and his work." The London gig will feature musicians who played on Bowie's final albums, The Next Day and Blackstar, along with former collaborators Mike Garson, Earl Slick and Adrian Belew, among others. - New Musical Express, 11/14/16...... Joni MitchellAs Joni Mitchell continues to recover from a brain aneurysm that left her unconscious in her L.A. home in March 2015, the legendary Canadian singer/songwriter made another public appearance on Nov. 7, her 73rd birthday, to celebrate the occasion with friends. Wearing red for her special day, a photo of Mitchell was posted to her Twitter account on Nov. 16. Although her condition was listed as life-threatening at the time, Mitchell's attorney Rebecca J. Thyne said the artist "has physical therapy each day and is expected to make a full recovery." Mitchell has kept a low profile since but was snapped out with friends at the Catalina Bar and Grill in late August. - Billboard, 11/16/16...... The exact details of singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen's death on Nov. 7 have emerged, with his manager Robert B. Kory issuing a statement saying Cohen's death was "sudden, unexpected and peaceful" as he died in his sleep after falling down in the middle of the night at his Los Angeles home. Kory's statement also said that Cohen died on Nov. 7 -- three days before his passing was made public. The "Hallelujah" singer, who was 82, had been in declining health for much of the year, though he revealed few details. Cohen, who is survived by two children and three grandchildren, was buried in Montreal in a small ceremony on Nov. 10, the same day his death was announced. A makeshift memorial to Cohen has appeared at New York City's famous Hotel Chelsea, which was immortalized by Cohen in his 1974 song "Chelsea Hotel #2," which he later revealed was about Janis Joplin. Fans have left flowers, handwritten notes and pictures outside the Chelsea in Cohen's memory. A memorial to Cohen in Los Angeles is being planned, according to his reps. - AP, 11/16/16...... In related news, Leon Russell's wife, Jan Bridges, released a statement on Nov. 13 stating the influential songwriter and performer died at his home in his sleep on Nov. 12. "We thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this very, very difficult time," she wrote. While Bridges did not specify his cause of death, she said, "My husband passed in his sleep in our Nashville home. He was recovering from heart surgery in July and looked forward to getting back on the road in January. We appreciate everyone's love and support." Elton John, who collaborated with Russell on the 2010 album The Union, tweeted that Russell was "a mentor, inspiration and so kind to me... I loved him and always will." Others tweeting in honor of Russell include Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), Charlie Daniels, Chaka Khan, Richard Marx, Whoopi Goldberg, Booker T. Jones an George Benson, whose cover of Russell's composition "This Masquerade" was a Top 10 hit in 1976. - Billboard, 11/13/16...... Bruce SpringsteenBruce Springsteen and Diana Ross will be among 21 people to be recognized by Pres. Barack Obama with a Presidental Medal of Freedom at the White House on Nov. 22. America's highest civilian honor, the medal will also be awarded to Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro, Cicely Tyson, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill and Melinda Gates, Lorne Michaels and sports broadcaster Vin Scully. - AP, 11/16/16...... In other Bruce Springsteen news, a group of good Samaritan bikers rescued The Boss on his own motorcycle after the bike broke down as he was travelling through Allaire State Park in New Jersey on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Members of the Freehold, N.J. American Legion Post 54 Legion Riders -- who represented Post 54 at the Veterans Day Ceremony in Holmdel for Veterans Day -- noticed a lonely rider on the side of the road calling out for help. After they pulled over, they recognized it was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, and gave him a ride to Mulligan's, a restaurant in Farmingdale, N.J., where the 67-year old rocker made a call for a pickup. After the guys went inside, sat down and had a few drinks, a grateful Springsteen threw in $100, told them to keep the change, posed for a few pictures and took their phone numbers, presumably for future rides, or a thank-you note with free concert tickets. - Billboard, 11/12/16...... Reacting to the surprise election of Donald Trump as the next president of the U.S., Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger told the Associated Press in a new interview that "Everyone outside the U.S. is kind of mystified... I'd say, that's the polite word." Also weighing in during the interview were Rolling Stones Ronnie Wood, who aid "There will be some changes made. Hopefully they're going to be good ones," Charlie Watts, who commented that "I don't think he's gonna be as radical as he was coming into it, so I think a lot of what he says is going to be tempered down. Because if it isn't, it's gonna be a hell of bloody ride for four years." Keith Richards, however, offered no opinion. "It's a blank spot to me, I'm telling you... I ain't going there," he said. The Stones are promoting their new exhibit that debuted at Industria in New York City on Nov. 12 after launching in London earlier in 2015. It includes colorful tour outfits, Jagger's lyric book, Keith Richards' 1963 diary, Watts' toy drum kit and various photographs, from posters to magazine covers. The group's first London apartment that the band mates shared in 1962, complete with dirty dishes, beer bottles and blues records placed throughout the flat, has also been recreated. The band is also preparing to release a new album of blues cover songs called Blue & Lonesome on Dec. 2.- Billboard, 11/15/16...... Two members of the '60s pop band The Turtles, Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan (a.k.a. Flo & Eddie), have settled a royalty lawsuit with SiriusXM radio on the eve before the trial was scheduled to begin. Pre-1972 sound recordings aren't protected by federal copyright. So, until recently, the owners of the rights to the songs weren't being compensated for hits played on digital channels like SiriusXM Radio's "'60s on 6." Details of the settlement were not announced, and a motion for preliminary approval of the deal will be filed in the next three weeks. - The Hollywood Reporter, 11/14/16...... Cable channel HBO has announced that a two-part, as-yet-untitled Elvis Presley documentary has just wrapped and will be debuting on their network at some future date. The three-hour doc from Sony Pictures Television will span from Presley's childhood through his final recording sessions at his Graceland Jungle Room studio in 1976. It is written by Alan Light and directed by Emmy/Grammy winner Thom Zimny, who has worked on multiple Bruce Springsteen documentary and video projects. The film is being produced with full participation of Presley's family estate and will include never-before-seen photos and footage. - Billboard, 11/14/16...... Joe PeryAerosmith has announced that it will launch what it is calling a "farewell" tour in Europe in the spring of 2017. The Hall of Famers, who recently completed a tour of South America, are calling the tour the Aero-Vederici Baby! Tour and will kick it off on May 17 in Tel Aviv, Israel and include 17 dates before wrapping up July 5 in Zurich, Switzerland. The tour includes headlining spots at the Sweden Rock Festival on June 8 and the U.K.'s Download Festival on June 11. Tickets go on sale Nov. 18, and the full itinerary is posted at the band's official web site. Aerosmith's members have been talking about a farewell tour for a year, and guitarist Joe Perry says "that's a little tough for me to wrap my head around." "I mean, we all know our age is creeping up on us, but, man, we've tried to follow the lead of the original blues guys and the early rockers and just keep playing 'til we drop, y'know?," he added. "We all have different feelings about it. I do have a feeling that there'll be a tour that we'll call the final tour -- but when will it end? That I can't say." No North American dates have been announced yet for next year. Aerosmith has announced no plans to release new music, but Perry says "Maybe once we start doing some shows again we'll get inspired and get everyone on the page to do that. We'll see." - Billboard, 11/14/16...... Veteran ska band The Specials have just played two shows in London in November, and have announced they'll play extra dates in Birmingham, Leeds and Hatfield in Hertfordshire in May 2017. In December 2015, The Specials' drummer John "Brad" Bradbury died at the age of 62. After joining the band in 1979, Bradbury had a top 10 hit with The Specials in 1984 -- "Free Nelson Mandela." The Coventry band then split, but reunited for a 2009 tour to celebrate their 30th anniversary. Bradbury had remained part of the group since then. - Billboard, 11/12/16...... A letter from John Lennon and Yoko Ono to Paul McCartney and wife Linda McCartney has been put up for auction to the highest bidder, with bidding expected to reach $20,000 (£16,000). The undated letter sees Lennon responding to prior correspondence from Linda which he says left him "wondering what middle aged cranky Beatle fan wrote it." Lennon writes in his letter: "I hope you realise what shit you and the rest of my 'kind and unselfish' friends laid on Yoko and me, since we've been together." Later in the letter, John goes on to say that doesn't "resent" his former Beatles bandmate but that he feels "sorry for him." He also wrongly predicts that the McCartneys' marriage would be over within two years. "It was likely written shortly before Lennon and Ono's departure for America," says RR Auction representative Robert Livingston. "The draft captures the intense rivalry between the two men in the months, and even years, surrounding the breakup of the Beatles." - New Musical Express, 11/14/16...... A gig by Kraftwerk in Buenos Aires that appeared to be a victim of the Argentinian capital's ban on electronic music events after six people died at the Time Warp festival will go ahead after all, the promoter announced on Nov. 14. Kraftwerk are scheduled to play at Buenos Aires' Luna Park Stadium on Nov. 23. Kraftwerk are also set to tour the UK in 2017. - NME, 11/14/16...... StingFormer The Police frontman Sting reopened the Bataclan venue in Paris on Nov. 12, a day shy of the anniversary of the Paris terror attacks that killed 90 music fans during an Eagles of Death Metal concert in 2015. "We've got two important things to do tonight," Sting said in French. "First, to remember and honor those who lost their lives in the attacks a year ago and to celebrate the life and the music of this historic venue." He then called for a minute of silence in their honor, and said "We shall not forget them, before launching into his 1988 song "Fragile," whose lyrics read: "Nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could." Sting then paid tribute to a list of musicians who have passed within the past year, including David Bowie, Prince, Glenn Frey, Lemmy Kilmister and Leonard Cohen. - Billboard, 11/12/16...... Actress Carrie Fisher, who co-starred in the iconic 1977 Star Wars film with Harrison Ford, has purportedly detailed that she had a three-month extramarital affair with Ford in her upcoming book, The Princess Diarist. Fisher reveals the two thespians were more than just friends while shooting Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope in 1976, when she first portrayed Princess Leia and Ford took on the role of Han Solo. An excerpt purportedly from the upcoming release began circulating online on Nov. 15, apparently suggesting Carrie, then 19, was left disappointed the first time she slept with her co-star. Fisher has since spoken out to dismiss the unfounded claims, telling People.com, "Any reports claiming I said Harrison was bad in bed are utterly false. Perhaps people should read the book before they write their stories." Fisher has also taken to Twitter to address the reports, insisting her book makes no mention of Harrison's lovemaking skills. "I would never talk about how someone was in any furniture - chair, bed, coffee table or otherwise," she joked. Fisher says she has no regrets about going public with her fling, even though it suggests Ford was unfaithful to his then-wife Mary Marquardt. Ford and his first wife MaryMarquardt filed for divorce in 1979. He went on to wed Melissa Mathison in 1983, and now he's married to actress Calista Flockhart. Fisther has only been married once - to singer Paul Simon from 1983 to 1984. Ford and Fisher both reprised their roles for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015. - WENN.com, 11/16/16.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Leon_RussellLeon Russell, the longhaired and long bearded pianist/guitarist/songwriter/bandleader who moved from playing countless recording sessions to making hits on his own, died on Nov. 12 in Nashville, Tenn. He was 74. The death of Russell, who had suffered significant health difficulties over the past five years, was announced on his website, which said that he had died in his sleep but gave no specific cause. One of the first of the supersessionmen, Russell played on recordings from whole host of artists from Jerry Lee Lewis through to The Crystals, Herb Alpert, The Byrds, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Delaney & Bonnie and the Rolling Stones. Born Claude Russell Bridges in Lawton, Oklahoma on Apr. 2, 1941, Russell grew up in Tulsa and studied classical piano from the age of three for 10 years, but then grew tired of the disciplines of formal music. At 14 he learned to play trumpet and put together his own band, lying about his age so that he could work in a Tulsa nightclub, where he played with Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks, which later evolved into The Band. Later, Jerry Lee Lewis took Russell's band on the road with him. In 1958 he moved to Los Angeles, and began to hustle gigs as a sideman on recording sessions -- something his instrumental versatility enabled him to do with relative ease. He met Ricky Nelson's guitarist James Burton, who taught him guitar, and worked in the studio with Dorsey Burnette, Glen Campbell, and others. Leon_RussellRussell worked on nearly all the Phil Spector hit productions -- from The Crystals' "He's a Rebel" to the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," as well as on isolated hits like The Byrds' "Mr. Tamborine Man," Herb Alpert's "A Taste of Honey" and Bob Lind's "Elusive Butterfly." After spending some time as an executive with a small record company named Viva, he quit the music business for two years in 1967 in order to build his own sophisticated home studio, and occasionally appeared with friends Delaney & Bonnie on the ABC TV dance show Shindig, and sometimes played sessions. In 1968, he and Marc Benno were signed by Mercury for the Smash label, and made the Asylum Choir album, which sold disappointingly. Russell then toured with Delaney & Bonnie, and teamed with English producer Denny Cordell to form Shelter Records, which signed J. J. Cale, and went to London where they laid down the tracks for Russell's debut solo album, Leon Russell. At the beginning of 1970, Russell put together the Mad Dogs and Englishmen all-star entourage to back Joe Cocker, who had cut Russell's composition "Delta Lady" at Russell's home studio, on Cocker's ambitious American tour. However as the film of the tour illustrates, the whole enterprise served to elevate Russell into the star attraction at the expense of Cocker. In August 1971, Russell was invited by George Harrison to be one of the many leading rock personalities to participate in the Concert for Bangla-Desh benefit show, which also featured Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton. Leon_RussellRussell's considerable stature in the rock world was also fortified when he was invited to work with and produce Dylan, although the resulting tracks, which include "Watching the River Flow" and "When I Paint My Masterpiece," were recorded when Dylan seemed to be creatively at a low ebb. Russell's solo career, however, continued apace, and throughout 1972 and 1973, he was enormously popular in the U.S. He developed a strong onstage personality with his long beard, wispy hair and beard, and familiar stove-pipe hat. His own albums usually employed superstar lineups, and were of variable quality, though after 1972's Carney and a 1973 triple live set recorded at California's Ontario Race Track both went gold, Russell's standing as a solo artist declined. Russell severed his associations with Shelter Records in 1976, and initiated a new label, Paradise Records, with his Wedding Album. The album celebrated his marriage to singer Mary McCreery, who had released a solo album on Shelter in 1973. In more recent years, Russell continued to record and tour, and in 2010 he collaborated with one of his old touring partners, Elton John, on an album called The Union. That same year, Russell underwent surgery for a brain fluid leak and was treated for heart failure. The following year, he was honored with the Award for Musical Excellence by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In July of this year, Russell suffered a heart attack, and was scheduled for further surgery, according to a news release from the historical society of Oklahoma, his home state. - 11/13/16.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

'70s artists Stevie Wonder and Yoko Ono are among the many celebrities reacting to the largely unexpected election victory of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on Nov. 8. On Nov. 11, Yoko tweeted an audio clip after Trump's win -- a response that was utterly Ono, singing an emotive shriek of agony with anxious grunting and utter distress. "Dear Friends, I would like to share this message with you as my response to @realDonaldTrump." "That's an awesome quote," you can hear someone saying on the recording afterwards. In an interview with Philly.com published the day of the election, blind R&B legend Wonder asked a reporter: "If you had an emergency situation and needed to go to the hospital, and you had to get there right away, would you want me driving your car?" he asked, to which the reporter replied "no" -- before he added: "Because I'm not an experienced driver, right?" The "Superstition" singer continued his brilliant, hilarious put-down of Trump: "So my belief is that Hillary [Clinton] is an experienced person of the government, and she has spent 30 years with a commitment. Not to mention that her parents taught her in a kinder way, to have respect and love for all people. That's the person I want to govern, to be the leader of this nation. This is not a reality show. This is life in reality. So I'm with her because I believe in where we are, and where we are going to go. I have always believed that America is great. We're just going to make it greater." - New Musical Express/Billboard, 11/8/16...... Joe ElliottDef Leppard has premiered a video for their 2015 eponymous Def Leppard LP track "Let's Go," the opening number from their upcoming live album/DVD And There Will Be A Next Time -- Live From Detroit. The concert is from the English rockers' stop at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, and the set is scheduled to hit stores on Feb. 10. There Will Be A Next Time features the group's entire 17-song set, including its medley of "Hysteria" and the late David Bowie's "Heroes." The set also comes with official music videos for "Let's Go," "Dangerous" and "Man Enough," as well as a lyric video for "Let's Go." Def Leppard will launch a pre-order site on PledgeMusic.com on Nov. 15 to give fans early access to select tracks and exclusive merchandise. Frontman Joe Elliott & co. will launch a tour in April 2017 that will last much of the year. - Billboard, 11/11/16...... Fans of David Bowie are seeking funding for a new statue in tribute to the rock icon to be erected in the town of Aylesbury, north of London. In 1971, Bowie debuted songs from his Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust albums at the Friars Club in Aylesbury, and he also referenced the rea's Market Square in the opening lines of the Ziggy track "Five Years." A Kickstarter campaign has been launched to finance the bronze statue designed by sculptor Andrew Sinclair, with organizers seeking £100,000 for the project. Fans have so far donated £26,420 to the cause. The statue would be complemented with a working soundsystem that would play a Bowie song every hour throughout the day and evening. In other Bowie news, a sale of Bowie's art collection conducted by Sotheby's in London smashed expectations, with a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat selling for more than 7 million pounds ($8.8 million). The first part of the two-day Bowie sale on Nov. 10 netted 24.3 million pounds ($30.3 million), more than double its upper pre-sale estimate. The top lot, Basquiat's "Air Power," sold for 7.1 million pounds ($8.8 million). Another, untitled Basquiat sold for 2.4 million pounds ($2.96 million). Bowie played Andy Warhol in Basquiat, director Julian Schnabel's 1996 biopic of the American artist. The sale, which includes 400 items in all, also includes pieces of furniture and design from Bowie's collection. - New Musical Express/AP, 11/8/16...... Phil Collins announced on Nov. 8 that he'll be one of the headliners at British Summer Time at Hyde Park in June 2017, part of his recently announced comeback solo tour. Collins had already announced a run of shows throughout Europe as part of his "Not Dead Yet" tour, and the Summer Time gig will be the biggest concert yet. "The reaction from the British public has been overwhelming," Collins said in a statement. "I can't wait to play Hyde Park and see everyone there. I will be playing all of the songs that people love." Collins' previously announced dates include five nights in London at Royal Albert Hall, two dates in Cologne, and two dates in Paris, all set for June 2017. - NME, 11/8/16...... Sting has announced he will headline a concert at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, which takes place on Dec. 2 at the Wynn hotel and casino in Las Vegas. Sting will perform both a classic hit from his catalog as well as a new song from his latest album 57th & 9th, which dropped on Nov. 11. Meanwhile, Sting is scheduled to reopen the Bataclan concert hall, the same Paris concert venue where the tragic terrorist attack took place in 2015, on Nov. 12. - Billboard, 11/10/16...... Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney has taken part in the Mannequin Challenge craze, the latest viral sensation that follows the Ice Bucket Challenge and the Harlem Shake. In it, people film themselves holding poses and staying completely motionless -- like mannequins. There's usually music playing in the background and a lot of the videos so far have been soundtracked by hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles." Now McCartney has joined in with his own version, also soundtracked by Sremmurd's track. "Love those Black Beatles," read a caption accompanying Macca's Mannequin Challenge video on Nov. 10. In the clip, Sir Paul stands by his grand piano, one hand tickling the ivories and the other reached out, seemingly in mid-song rapture. As the camera pans around him, you can probably guess which line from Sremmurd's current Top 10 hit blares out: "Black Beatle, bitch/ Me and Paul McCartney related!" - Billboard, 11/10/16...... Over 190 black & white photos from Elton John's personal photo collection have gone on display in "The Radical Eye," an exhibition which has opened at London's Tate Modern gallery. The photos usually adorn John's 18,000 square foot apartment in Atlanta, one of his several homes. John, who began buying photographs after he became sober in 1990, says collecting photos is a "a much healthier addiction," and his collection of 8,000 images is one of the largest troves of 20th-century photography in private hands. The photos on display were taken between 1915 and 1950, and include two dozen photos by surrealist Man Ray, including ones that usually hang above John's bed. The exhibition opened on Nov. 10, and will run through May 7. - AP, 11/10/16...... John Fogerty played an impromptu set that included the classic Creedence Clearwater Revival numbers "Proud Mary" and "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" after he completed his keynote Q&A session at the Billboard Touring Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Nov. 10. Earlier, Fogerty told the gathering of music execs that he was "scared to death of being a one-hit-wonder" when CCR started out. "After a while I started worrying about what was gonna happen after "Susie Q," Fogerty said of the 1968 cover hit. "It was a novelty and I knew it. I started to get busy staying up late and writing songs. I started strumming on the Rickenbacker and 'Proud Mary' came out." Fogerty, 71, also quipped that he dilegently practices his guitar playing, "because Brad Paisley is still better than me." Previous keynote Q&A's for the global touring business conference, now in its 13th year, have included conversations with Roger Waters, Gene Simmons and Chris Cornell. - Billboard, 11/11/16...... The slew of fellow musicians and celebrity admirers reacting to the recent death of revered singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen included several '70s musicians, including Charlie Daniels, Paul Stanley, Bette Midler and Carole King. "Rest in peace Buddy, I learned a lot about music from you," Charlie Daniels tweeted on Nov. 11, while Paul Stanley posted "RIP Leonard Cohen. A poet, songwriter and rogue till the end. Hallelujah." Bette Midler tweeted "Leonard Cohen has died. Another magical voice stilled," while Carole King simply posted "R.I.P. Leonard Cohen." Cohen, whose "Hallelujah" was one of the most covered songs in modern music history," passed away on Nov. 7 at age 82. - Billboard, 11/10/16...... Don HenleyIn a new interview with the Washington Post, Eagles co-founding member Don Henley has slammed the U.S. Copyright Office over the sudden replacement of Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante. In October, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced that Pallante would be removed from her position, a move that was met with dismay from many members of the music industry and creators' rights groups. "She was a champion of copyright and stood up for the creative community, which is one of the things that got her fired," Henley said of Pallante, before turning his attention to Hayden. "The Librarian wants free content, and the copyright office is there to protect creators of content. They are diametrically opposed ideologies... [Hayden] has a long track record of being an activist Librarian who is anti-copyright and a Librarian who worked at places funded by Google." In her position as Register, Pallante was seen as a generally fair and sympathetic figure when it came to expanding creators' rights, and advocated for updating many of the Copyright Office's tech-based policies. "There's a mindset that the digital giants have fostered that everything on the internet should be free," Henley told the Post. "When they say they want free and open access, that's code for, 'We want free content.'" Henley added that "you don't make any money from recording music anymore... The streaming services have wiped out that revenue stream." - Billboard, 11/10/16...... Kraftwerk could be forced to cancel a gig in Buenos Aires later in November due to a ban on electronic music events in the Argentinian city. In April, the city ruled to ban all electronic events after the deaths of six people at Time Warp festival. The local government said they would no longer approve permits for major electronic music festivals until a new law is introduced to prevent drug-related deaths at music events. The German electronic music pioneers had been scheduled to play Buenos Aires' Luna Park Stadium on Nov. 23. Kraftwerk have announced they'll tour the UK in 2017, and the band was also recently nominated for next year's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. - NME, 11/10/16...... Actor Robert Redford has announced he will retire from acting once he completes the two movie projects he is working on. Redford, 80, made the announcement in an interview with his grandson Dylan Redford for the Walker Art Center, where he will appear at an event on Nov. 12. "Once they're done then I'm going to say, 'OK, that's goodbye to all that,' and then just focus on directing," he said. Redford has two acting projects in the pipeline including a love story for older people called Our Souls at Night with Jane Fonda and a lighter piece with Casey Affleck and Sissy Spacek called The Old Man and the Gun. Redford adds he will turn his attention to painting as a creative outlet. "It's just me, just the way it used to be, and so going back to sketching - that's sort of where my head is right now... So, I'm thinking of moving in that direction and not acting as much," he said. The veteran actor first directed in 1980 with Ordinary People, which won him a Best Director Oscar, and he is also the founder the Sundance Institute, which helps independent filmmakers and runs the annual Sundance Film Festival. - WENN.com, 11/11/16...... Robert VaughnActor Robert Vaughn, the debonair, Oscar-nominated actor whose many film roles were eclipsed by his hugely popular turn in the iconic '60s TV spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E., died on Nov. 11 after a brief battle with acute leukemia, according to his manager, Matthew Sullivan. He was 83. Born Robert Francis Vaughn into a theatrical family Nov. 22, 1932, in New York City, Mr. Vaughn broke into show business "after a two month struggle" in 1956, and starred in his first movie, No Time to Be Young, in 1957 after he was discharged form the Army. He went on to appear in a number of movies and television shows, and earned an Oscar nomination in 1959 for his supporting role in The Young Philadelphians, in which he played a wounded war veteran accused of murder. He eventually landed a lead role as urbane superspy Napoleon Solo in NBC's The Man From U.N.C.L.E., which debuted in 1964. The show was an immediate hit, particularly with young people, and was part of an avalanche of secret agent shows (I Spy, Mission: Impossible, Secret Agent), spoofs (Get Smart), books (The Spy Who Came in From the Cold) and even songs (Johnny Rivers' "Secret Agent Man") inspired by the James Bond films. Mr. Vaughn's Napoleon Solo character was teamed with Scottish actor David McCallum's Illya Kuryakin, a soft-spoken, Russian-born agent, and the pair put aside Cold War differences for a greater good, worked together each week for the mysterious U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement) in combating the international crime syndicate THRUSH. After the show was canceled in early 1968 due to sagging ratings, Mr. Vaughn and McCallum reunited in 1983 for a TV movie, The Return of the Man From U.N.C.L.E. in which the super spies were lured out of retirement to save the world once more. Mr. Vaughn, a liberal Democrat, was also drawn to politics in several of the roles he chose, portraying US presidents Harry S. Truman, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt in various screen and stage projects. Mr. Vaughn also remained active in movies in his later career, usually in character roles in such films as The Venetian Affair, The Bridge at Remagen, Julius Caesar (the 1970 British version starring Charlton Heston), The Towering Inferno, S.O.B., Superman III and Delta Force. Mr. Vaughn is survived by his wife, Linda Staab Vaughn, their son Cassidy and daughter Caitlin. - AP, 11/11/16.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Leonard CohenCanadian poet/novelist/singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen, a highly influential recording artist whose literate, evocative material was covered by many artists including Judy Collins and Jeff Buckley, died at his home in Los Angeles on Nov. 7. He was 82. Born in Montreal on Sept. 21, 1934, to a middle class family with Judaic roots, Mr. Cohen began studying music and poetry at a young age, taking up the clarinet but later turning his attention to writing as he grew older. After attending McGill University, Mr. Cohen published his first book of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies, and his first novel, Beautiful Losers, in 1966, and began to set his poems to music. When Judy Collins recorded his song "Suzanne" that same year, his solo career began to take off, and Columbia Records signed him and released his debut album, The Songs of Leonard Cohen, the following year. Full of haunting compositions which were well suited to his lugubrious, flat vocals, The Songs of Leonard Cohen was well received, as was its follow-up, Songs From a Room, though it didn't have the impact of its predecessor. Mr. Cohen then embarked on a series of live appearances in the U.S. and Europe, and for his first European tour in 1970, he employed a backing group called The Army which included his future producer, Bob Johnston, who also produced Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel. A reserved, slightly academic figure who was reportedly dismayed by the adulation fostered by live appearances, Mr. Cohen lacked the necessary stimulus to be a rock star, and his singles did not chart in the U.S. His 1971 release, Songs of Love and Hate, was a typical sparse and haunting collection that ranks among the most emotionally intense of his 13 studio albums, and perfectly captured his dramatic blend of folk and pop. In the mid-'70s, Mr. Cohen became a practicing Buddhist and spent time between 1994-99 secluded at a monastery in Mount Baldy, Calif. Leonard CohenAfter the monastery years, Mr. Cohen's career was jump-started in 2001 when his backup singer Sharon Robinson released Ten New Songs, which was co-written by Mr. Cohen. In 2012, the masses finally began catching on with the release of his LP Old Ideas, which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart, and 2014's Popular Problems, which debuted at No. 15. Mr. Cohen began touring in earnest again in 2008, delivering generous, acclaimed shows that were chronicled on a series of concert albums and live videos. Mr. Cohen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 by Lou Reed, who lauded him as being mong the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters." Other honors include induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, four Juno awards, and a Grammy Lifetime Acheivement Award in 2010. He was also awarded several literary prizes and honorary university degrees, and was named a Companion of the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian award, in 2011. HIs romantic relationships included Marianne C. Stang (the subject of "So Long, Marianne"), artist Suzanne Elrod -- with whom he had son Adam and daughter Lorca but never married -- French photographer Dominque Issermann, and actress Rebecca De Mornay. Mr. Cohen's death was announced by his son and current producer, Adam Cohen, on Facebook on Nov. 10, who stated "We have lost one of music's most revered and prolific visionaries" and that his father "passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles with the knowledge that he had completed what he felt was one of his greatest records... He was writing up until his last moments with his unique brand of humor." A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. - Billboard, 11/10/16.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Bruce Springsteen is scheduled to perform at a final evening rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Independence Mall in Philadelphia on Nov. 7. Springsteen will appear along with fellow New Jerseyan and Clinton supporter Jon Bon Jovi as well as Pres. Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, former president Bill Clinton, and the Clintons' daughter, Chelsea. Springsteen has previously performed at presidential rallies for Pres. Obama in 2008 and 2012, and Sen. John Kerry in 2004. Springsteen has also been a frequent critic of Republican presidential contender Donald Trump, stating "he will not win" at a recent question and answer session promoting his new book, Born to Run, at New York City's Town Hall. - Billboard, 11/6/16...... Ted NugentMeanwhile, Ted Nugent campaigned on behalf of Donald Trump in his home state of Michigan, at Sterling Heights' Freedom Hill Amphitheater, on Nov. 6. "I've got your blue state right here. Black and blue," the veteran rocker and advocate for conservative causes said as he grabbed his crotch. "Each and every one of you have only 24 hours to convince the numb nuts that you know, that you can't vote for criminals, you can't vote for liars, you can't vote for scam artists," he added. Nugent, 67, also dropped an array of profanities as he warmed up the crowd in the traditionally Democratic state of Michigan. Nugent then performed "Fred Bear" and "Never Stop Believing for the crowd, shortly before Donald Trump took the stage and said "Unbelievable what's going on" to his supporters. Nugent has supported Trump since the New York businessman and celebrity first announced his campaign in 2015, telling a radio host "I'm a big fan of Donald Trump because I believe in bold, aggressive, unapologetic truth -- period" in August 2015. - Billboard, 11/7/16...... Former Creedence Clearwater Revival principal John Fogerty has been announced as the keynote speaker at the 13th annual Billboard Touring Conference, which takes place Nov. 9-10 at the SLS Beverly Hills Hotel. "John Fogerty is one of the most important popular music artists to emerge in the last 50 years, writing and performing songs that are interwoven into the very fabric of popular culture," said Ray Waddell of Billboard, who will be conducting a Q&A with Fogerty. "For many of us, Mr. Fogerty's voice and guitar provide a truly transformative American experience. I am thrilled to welcome him to the Billboard Touring Conference and fully expect to be entertained, surprised, and inspired in a compelling session," he added. The Billboard Touring Conference & Awards is taking place in L.A. for the first time after 12 years in New York. - Billboard, 11/7/16...... Director Jim Jarmusch describes his new Iggy Pop and the Stooges documentary Gimme Danger as a "love letter" to the 69-year-old Pop and his band. "I call it an essay, a love letter. I call it a blatant celebration of The Stooges," Jarmusch says. " I love all Stooges songs. [1970's] Fun House as an entire record is probably the greatest rock'n'roll record ever made. The lyrics to 'Gimme Danger', the song, are incredibly beautiful, dark and fantastic." Gimme Danger, an Amazon Studios/Magnolia Pictures production, is currently screening in select theaters, and can be pre-ordered for streaming at Amazon.com. - Billboard, 11/4/16...... RushRush will be honored with Canada's Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award during the 2017 Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards in Toronto on Apr. 20, 2017. Rush, comprised of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart, issued a statement saying they were "so incredibly honored" for the decoration, which recognizes outstanding Canadian artists who've contributed to social activism and supported humanitarian causes. "The depth of Allan and Gary Slaight's generosity, consideration and benevolence has no measure," the statement said. "We will strive to carry forward their spirit of charity and goodwill." Gary Slaight of Slaight Communications noted the band's tireless campaigning for people in need. "In recent years, the group has raised money for food banks, Casey House, the Kidney Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, AIDS research; the list goes on," he said. On Nov. 3, a new documentary of Rush's R40 Tour, Time Stand Still, premiered at selected cinemas in Canada and the US. The film will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on Nov. 18. Rush is also preparing to reissue their classic 1976 album 2112 as a special 40th anniversary edition this Christmas. 2112 - 40th will include rare live and previously unreleased material as well as covers from Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins, Alice in Chains, and others. A 2 CD/DVD edition will feature a newly remastered version of the album with the second disc featuring live outtakes, and the DVD will feature Rush's 1976 performance at the Capitol Theatre and a Q&A with Alex Lifeson. A 3 LP/2 CD/DVD "Super Deluxe" edition will also be available, with the first 1,000 preorders also featuring a limited edition 7-inch pressing of the album's first single, "The Twilight Zone." - Billboard/New Musical Express, 11/3/16...... Neil Young has previewed a new song called "Peace Trail" from his upcoming album of the same name. Originally set for a Dec. 2 release, Peace Trail has been pushed back for a Dec. 9 release. Meanwhile, Young has made his entire back catalogue available on the major streaming services again after removing them in the summer of 2015 because he was dissatisfied with the tracks' sound quality. "It's not because of the money, although my share (like all the other artists) was dramatically reduced by bad deals made without my consent" Young posted on Facebook at the time. "It's about sound quality. I don't need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution. I don't feel right allowing this to be sold to my fans. It's bad for my music." Young's albums were again made available for streaming on Spotify and Apple Music on Nov. 4. - Billboard, 11/4/16...... PrinceUniversal Music Publishing announced on Nov. 2 that it had acquired exclusive worldwide publishing rights for Prince's entire song catalog -- released and unreleased. "UMPG will work closely with the artist's estate to develop new creative outlets for his music," the statement said. Before his death, Prince and his staff managed his publishing catalog, with Peermusic handling back-office administration, after an earlier UMPG contract ended in 2013. Negotiations for the licensing rights to much of the prolific Prince's overall catalog, as well as to four decades' worth of unreleased material, are ongoing, according to longtime Prince associate L. Londell McMillan. Earlier in 2016 Prince's longtime label Warner Bros. announced that it had secured the rights to the first posthumous releases since the artist's death on Apr. 21, which include a deluxe edition of Purple Rain containing a full album of unreleased material, out early in 2017. - Billboard, 11/2/16...... Former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters has joined a growing network of UK artists, musicians, film makers, and others who are calling on Israel to withdraw their occupation of the West Bank. Waters has signed a petition requesting that the electronic duo Chemical Brothers cancel their upcoming performance in Tel Aviv on Nov. 12. More than 7,000 signatures were collected in petition against the performance, and so far the Chemical Brothers have made no plans to cancel. - Billboard, 11/2/16...... A new sign of giant red letters that proclaim "Long Live Rock" has just been unveiled in the plaza of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Oh. The sign will be formally dedicated on Nov. 10 as officials share details of a multimillion-dollar redesign expected to include the Hall of Fame and main exhibit spaces. Todd Mesek of the RRHOF says the sign adds another "iconic element" to the attraction, and visitors already have been spotted snapping photos with it. - AP, 11/5/16...... A David Bowie orchestral tribute that took place at the U.K.'s Glastonbury Festival earlier in 2016 has announced it will now embark on a short tour of the UK. The orchestra, conducted by Charles Hazlewood, performed composer Philip Glass' 1996 classical work "Heroes Symphony," based on Bowie's 1977 album "Heroes." The three performances will take place in Bristol (12/10), Nottingham (12/12) and Bexhill (12/14). Bowie was a fan of Philip Glass, citing him as an influence on his music. Meanwhile, the BBC recently announced a series of upcoming Bowie specials to mark the one year anniversary of his death, and a new "best of" compilation, Bowie Legacy, is due on Nov. 11. - New Musical Express, 11/3/16...... Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has hinted that Black Sabbath could be releasing new music after they wrap their "The End" farewell tour in early 2017. "As I said, I'll be doing some writing," Iommi told Ultimate Classic Rock magazine. "Maybe I'll be doing something with the guys, maybe in the studio, but no touring." Iommi added that he "loves the playing" but he "just can't travel anymore." Black Sabbath's final six gigs will take place in the UK in the winter of 2017, with the final two shows in their native Birmingham on Feb. 2 and 4. - NME, 11/4/16...... The alt rock band Foo Fighters, currently on hiatus, has announced it will reunite in 2017 to particpate in the ceremony honoring Tom Petty as MusiCares Person of the Year on Feb. 10, 2017. It will mark Foo Fighters' first performance since announcing their hiatus in Nov. 2015. The Foo Fighters will be joining previously announced artists Stevie Nicks, Don Henley, Jeff Lynne and Randy Newman at the Petty tribute. - Billboard, 11/4/16...... Meat LoafAppearing at the Q magazine awards in London on Nov. 2 to receive an honor, Meat Loaf revealed to the UK Press Association that he had emergency back surgery in October and was still "in pain" following the operation. "I'm just ready to sit down because four weeks ago I had spinal fusion," said Meat Loaf, whose real name is Marvin Lee Aday. "There was a cyst which was pinching nerves so I had emergency back surgery." Meat Loaf previously revealed that he was on a new diet and fitness regime following his collapse while performing at a concert in Edmonton, Alberta on June 16. The Bat Out of Hell singer previously collapsed on stage at a gig in London in 2003 and at a show in Pittsburgh during 2011.- NME, 11/3/16...... Bob Cranshaw, a veteran jazz bassist known for his hundreds of sessions with everyone from Tony Bennett to Oscar Peterson died on Nov. 2 after a battle with stage 4 cancer. He was 83. Born in Evanston, Ill., on Dec. 10, 1932, Mr. Cranshaw began his career back in the 1950s and his signature light touch on the upright and electric bass could be heard on a galaxy of recordings from some of the jazz and pop world's most popular artists, including George Benson, Coleman Hawkins, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Rod Stewart, Judy Collins and Buddy Rich. He also served as the session bassist for the iconic PBS children's programs Sesame Street and The Electric Company and played bass in the Saturday Night Live house band from 1975-80. According to the Jazz Foundation, Mr. Cranshaw played on a total of 3,000 recordings and also served as the musical director for The Dick Cavett Show, The Merv Griffin Show and The David Frost Show. - Billboard, 11/3/16.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

At the 10th Annual Stand Up for Heroes benefit at Madison Square Garden's The Theater on Nov. 1, Bruce Springsteen performed four acoustic numbers and held an auction to help raise money for veterans. After an acoustic version of "Working on the Highway" from Born in the USA, Springsteen told his first of four dirty jokes of the night -- about an elderly couple making love in an alley up against a fence that's "now electrified." After two songs from his 2007 LP Magic, "I'll Work for Your Love" and "Long Walk Home," he wrapped with his 1984 smash "Dancing in the Dark." The Boss also auctioned off a ride to a Freehold, N.J. drive-in in his 1967 Cadillac, a signed guitar, and "his mother's famed lasanga," all for $280,000. A separate auction of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle ridden by Springsteen fetched $150,000. Presented by the Bob Woodruff Foundation and The New York Comedy Festival, the event raised an estimated $1,400,000 for veterans and also featured comic performances by Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, Louis C.K. and Jim Gaffigan. - Billboard, 11/1/16...... Apple Computer's new iPhone update for their iOS 10.2 comes with brand new emojis of David Bowie's iconic Aladdin Sane makeup, complete with lightning bolt, flamboyant hair and even a very "Ziggy Stardust"-esque jump suit. Acting as a template for various emotions, users will be able to make the Bowie emoji shrug his shoulders, cross his fingers and even face palm. In fitting Bowie androgynous style, the emoji comes in both male and female form. Users can get the latest iPhone update at www.apple.com. Meanwhile, a new Bowie "best of" compilation, Bowie Legacy, hits stores on Nov. 11. - New Musical Express, 11/2/16...... Gregg AllmanGregg Allman announced on Nov. 2 that he's ready to mount a full winter 2017 tour after recovering from "serious health issues," which he later revealed as a case of pneumonia, and forced him to cancel several concerts earlier in 2016. Kicking off with two nights in Savannah, Ga., to celebrate New Year's Eve on Dec. 30 and 31, the blues-rock legend will tour throughout January before wrapping with a four-night stand at the Grand Opera House in his hometown of Macon, Ga. Before that trek begins, Allman will omplete a 10-night residency at City Winery in New York, starting on Nov. 6. On the last weekend of October, Allman and his band tuned-up for the upcoming tour with a slot at the Laid Back Festival in Atlanta and an acoustic set at Red Rocks in Colorado. - Billboard, 11/2/16...... James Taylor performed his classic "Carolina on My Mind," among other songs, at a campaign event for Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton on Nov. 2 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on the Michael Hooker Fields. Taylor, who grew up in Chapel Hill, N.C., campaigned with Pres. Barack Obama at the "Gt Out the Early Vote" public event to encourage North Carolina voters to vote early at "one-stop" early voting locations. - Billboard, 11/1/16...... Appearing on comedian Marc Maron's podcast "WTF with Marc Maron on Oct. 31, former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters described the rise of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as "like Hitler's." "It was insidious in Germany in the '30s when National Socialism came, Waters said. "And National Trumpism feels a bit less insidious, but it's just as dangerous." Waters added the conditions of post-World War I Germany and the United States now are not so dissimilar. "You have to have a population that feels defeated, like the Germans did after the Treaty of Versailles," he said. "So what you have in the States now is everybody's standard of living is falling, like a freefall, and also where the freedoms that are enshrined in your Constitution and in the Bill of Rights are being slowly eroded and taken away from you." At a concert in Mexico City in September, Waters called Trump an offensive name in Spanish, and at the Desert Trip festival in October, he called Trump "arrogant, lying, racist, sexist." - Billboard, 11/1/16...... Bob Dylan has finally formally accepted his recent award of the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature. The Swedish Academy's permanent secretary, Sara Danius, said that Dylan himself contacted them and said "of course" he would accept the prize. Danius told Sweden's TT news agency that Dylan called her on Oct. 25 and they spoke for about 15 minutes. "The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless," Dylan reportedly told Danius, who posted news of the conversation on Oct. 28 on the academy's website. "I appreciate the honor so much," Dylan added. In an interview with the UK paper The Telegraph posted on Oct. 28, Dylan was quoted as saying he "absolutely" wants to attend the Dec. 10 prize ceremony, "if it's at all possible." Dylan, 75, was awarded the prize on Oct. 13 "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition," and at first was silent after the announcement, prompting one member of the Swedish Academy to describe his silence as "impolite and arrogant." In 2000, Dylan collected the Polar Music Prize from Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf, also in Stockholm, and in 2012, he accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom in Washington, D.C., from Pres. Barack Obama. - AP, 10/29/16...... John LennonA man who bought a 45 rpm single of John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band's single "Cold Turkey" for $10 as part of a sale of used items found in an attic has made quite a discovery -- a draft of a letter Lennon wrote to Queen Elizabeth II in 1969 protesting the UK's involvement in foreign wars. In the letter, Lennon states that he is returning his honorary MBE (Member of the British Empire) medal that all the Beatles received in 1965 "in protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts." "Cold Turkey," released in December 1969, peaked at No. 14 on the U.K. charts, and No. 30 on the U.S. charts. Lennon signed the note, "John Lennon of Bag," playing on the term "bagism" he and Ono coined during their late-'60s peace campaign as a way to satirize prejudice and stereotyping. The letter is not, however, the actual letter that Lennon sent to the Queen. A memorabilia expert says the draft was never sent probably due to smudged ink. The buyer, who wishes to remain anonymous, has yet to announce if he plans to sell the letter, which has an estimated value of £60,000 ($72,000). - Billboard/CNN, 10/28/16...... In other Beatles-related news, a new Lego toy set based on the Fab Four's iconic Yellow Submarine movie went on sale on Nov. 1. In October, Lego fans and Beatles fans alike were sent into a frenzy when the new 550-piece Lego pack, which comes complete with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, along with the submarine itself and a miniature of Jeremy Hillary Boob from the animated 1968 movie, was announced. "The creation of the Yellow Submarine model was really my way of showing my affection for The Beatles, as well as trying to pay a small tribute to The Beatles phenomenon," said its sponsor, singer-songwriter Kevin Szeto. - New Musical Express, 11/1/16...... Iggy Pop has revealed to Entertainment Weekly magazine that he's returned to the recording studio for the first time since he released his latest LP, Post Pop Depression, in March. "I've made five recordings since then," Pop says, apparently implying that all the tracks are collaborations with other artists. "But they were all recordings not where I'm about, 'Hey, I've got something to say!' No, it was just, people called me up and said, 'Do you want to do a vocal with me, about this, under this circumstance?' More like guesting." Pop, 69, hinted in June that he may never make another proper solo album. "Another album would be a big undertaking from an old git like me!," he told a UK talk show host. Pop is currently making the rounds promoting Gimme Danger, a documentary about his band the Stooges directed by Jim Jarmusch. - NME, 10/31/16...... A new Rolling Stones exhibit entitled "MICK, KEITH, CHARLIE & RONNIE: ART + OBJECTS" opened on Nov. 3 at HG Contemporary Gallery in New York City. Featuring rare memorabilia and art created by or inspired by the band the 200-piece collection, amassed by a private collector and longtime friend of the iconic band, offers an intimate glimpse into the Stones' creative process and lifestyle. "The Stones aren't just musicians. They're immortal. They are the definition of rock 'n' roll... I love how (this exhibit) ties in visual art, musical art and fashion art all in one space," says Contemporary Gallery founder and director Philippe Hoerle-Guggenheim. Highlights include Mick Jagger's hand-written lyrics, a drawing co-created by Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards, and an original hand-painted "Bigger Bang" tongue guitar by Ronnie Wood -- the band's most accomplished visual artist. - Billboard, 10/28/16...... Arnel PinedaJourney keyboardist-guitarist Jonathan Cain says if the band should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 after being nominated in October, he hopes the band's current vocalist, Arnel Pineda will be able to go in with them. "That's wrong, y'know?," Cain said about Pineda not being included on the list of Journey members getting a nod (original Journey drummer Aynsley Dunbar, who played on Journey's first four albums, was also not nominated). "There is no Journey without Arnel right now," Cain continued. "He certainly has learned his stripes. He's been with us longer than any lead singer has consecutively stayed in the band. He's given us 10 years straight, not running off or doing this, doing that, just being The Guy. So that's worth something." Controveries over past and present members of other bands, including Kiss, Deep Purple and Chicago, not being inducted have also plagued the RRHOF in recent years. Cain says that should Journey be inducted, he and his bandmates will lobby for Pineda to also be inducted, be he isn't sure how effective it can be. "We have no control of it; It's just the politics of it all," Cain notes. "What are you gonna do? You're just gonna accept what's given you in this situation. But I think it's a significant oversight, for sure, and maybe they'll reconsider when they think about it." As for former frontman Steve Perry, who was nominated but has been mum about reuniting with the band for a possible induction, Cain says he'd be welcome. "I can't really speak for him in that regard, but certainly the door's always been open for him to join us any time he wants," Cain says. - Billboard, 10/28/16...... In a new interview to mark Halloween, Ozzy Osbourne revealed he thinks Black Sabbath' eponymous 1970 track is "the scariest song ever written." "When we started gigging way back when, as soon as we started playing this song's opening chords, young girls in the audience would fucking freak out," Osbourne told New Musical Express. "They thought we were Satan's f---ing friends or something." Osbourne added that "that's when the whole Prince of Darkness shit started... When people get excited about Halloween coming around each year, all I think is 'well, we used to have Halloween every f---ing night." Ozzy added that while Black Sabbath is retiring after a final gig in February 2017, he has no plans to retire personally. "I'll be continuing my own musical thing. My wife is good at telling me partial information, but I know I'm not hanging my boots up for a while," he said. - NME, 10/29/16...... In an interview with the London Times, the Who's Roger Daltrey says he thinks that rock is "dead" and that "rappers are the only people saying things that matter." "Most pop is meaningless and forgettable" the 72-year-old singer said of the current musical climate. "You watch these [new pop stars] and you can't remember a bloody thing," he added. - NME, 10/28/16...... Former Deep Purple singer Glenn Hughes announced on Nov. 1 that he's been forced to cancel his UK and European tour after co-headliner Living Colour booked a conflicting support slot on Alter Bridge's European tour. Hughes was planning on touring Europe in support of his upcoming solo album, Resonate. When word got to promoters that Living Colour were no longer planning to perform on the co-headline dates, they were forced to refund all tickets. "I am saddened and disappointed that I will not be able to perform for my UK and European fans as I had originally intended," Hughes says. "Unfortunately, an undermining manager got involved and in turn ruined what would have been an amazing tour. I can't wait to get back to the UK and Europe to bring the new songs of Resonate to my fans overseas," he added. All ticket holders of Hughes' UK and European tour will be offered refunds at the point of purchase and can call the venues for more information. - Noble PR, 11/1/16...... Freddie MercuryQueen will release On Air: The Complete BBC Sessions, a compilation of the band's six performances on BBC radio recorded between 1973 and 1977, on Nov. 4 in the UK and Nov. 11 in the US. The set includes the song "My Fairy King," which Queen first played on a 1973 John Peel live session for the BBC. "This was the first time we'd really seen Freddie [Mercury] working at his full capacity," Queen guitarist Brian May says. "He's virtually a self-taught pianist, and he was making vast strides at the time, although we didn't have a piano on stage at that point because it would have been impossible to fix up." Queen On Air is available as a 2-CD set and a 3-LP vinyl edition, plus a Deluxe 6-disc edition featuring a CD of live concert broadcasts and 3 CDs of radio interviews. - New Musical Express, 11/1/16...... John "Buck" Ormsby, the singer of the classic 1961 garage band hit "Louie Louie" by The Fabulous Wailers, died in Mexico on Oct. 29 following a fall while on a trip there. He was 75. "He was just getting ready to come home," said his longtime partner Pamela Ruznic from the couple's hometown of Tacoma, Wash. The Wailers had several members before bassist Ormsby arrived. But he, Robin Roberts and Kent Morrill formed the group that would in 1961 release their biggest hit, "Louie Louie," and become one of the premier American garage bands of the 1960s, appearing one time on American Bandstand. "Louie Louie" was originally recorded by R&B singer Richard Berry. Roberts came across the song while working in a Tacoma record shop in the late 1950s, and his band The Wailers gave it the distinctive arrangement it has had since, though a version by The Kingsmen is the most well-known. - 10/31/16...... Claude "Curly" Putnam, a prolific country music songwriter who penned some of the biggest songs in that genre's history, died at the age of 85 on Oct. 30 just outside Nashville, Tenn. Born on Nov. 20, 1930 in Princeton, Ala., Mr. Putnam scored his first major hit in 1965 with "Green, Green Grass of Home." Though originally a hit for Porter Wagoner, the song proved to be one of Mr. Putman's most lucrative copyrights, with recordings by Tom Jones, Elvis Presley, and Kenny Rogers. Mr. Putnam's other hits include "My Elusive Dreams" and the Tammy Wynette classic "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," which he co-wrote with Bobby Braddock. In 1980 Mr. Putnam's and Braddock's "He Stopped Loving Her Today" became a No. 1 country hit for George Jones, and is now regarded as the greatest country song in history. In addition to his talents as a tunesmith, Mr. Putman hit the country Top 30 in 1960 with "The Prison Song" and charted a pair of albums and singles for ABC in the 1960s. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1976. - Billboard, 10/30/16.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Oct. 25, Phil Collins performed his brooding early '80s hit "In the Air Tonight," with some help from the Tonight Show band The Roots. Collins, who was in New York to promote his new autobiography Not Dead Yet: The Memoir, also told Billboard that he has "a house full of anti-(Donald) Trump'ers." "Even my Matthew, at 11, he hates Trump," Collins says. "I just think Trump is an accident waiting to happen -- a big accident waiting to happen." Collins, who has also released a new compilation titled The Singles, recently announced his first full-fledged tour in 11 years, a nine-date European swing with shows in London, Paris and Cologne, Germany, with 14-year-old Nicholas slated to play drums, as he has noted he's coming off back surgery, his right foot isn't in tip-top shape, and he has a problem with a hand. Collins has also wrapped up a year's worth of reissues of deluxe editions of his entire catalog. - Billboard, 10/28/16...... Eric ClaptonIn 1992, Eric Clapton participated in MTV's Unplugged series of live telecasts, and his resulting album from that show became the best-selling entry in the entire Unplugged series, with 7.7. million copies sold. Now Clapton is being sued for crediting one of the songs from that performance, "Alberta," to the wrong blues singer. "Alberta" is Clapton's version of a famous 12-bar blues called "Corrine, Corrina," which dates back to the late 1920s and has long been credited to the artist Armenter "Bo Carter" Chatmon. A complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Nashville charges that Clapton credits the song to a more recognizeable blues legend Lead Belly and not to Chatmon. The complicating factor seems to have been that Lead Belly wrote a completely different song called "Alberta," and that for unknown reasons, Clapton attributed his version of "Corrine, Corrina" (in which he sings "Alberta, Alberta" instead of the original lyric) to Lead Belly. As a result of this case of mistaken song identity, Chatmon's estate says it has received no royalties related to Clapton's performance of it, and that the beneficiary of that misidentification has been Folkways Music, the publisher of Lead Belly's "Alberta." The lawsuit also states that Clapton correctly identified the song on his 2011 album Marsalis & Clapton Play the Blues, and that he and his co-defendants are fully aware that the Unplugged versions have been mislabeled all these years, with publishing royalties going to the wrong place. Chatmon's estate is seeking $5 million in damages, and the defendants have not responded to the lawsuit. - Billboard, 10/28/16...... Bob Dylan has scored his 68th entry in the Billboard Hot 200 album chart with his 2014 compilation The Essential Bob Dylan, which has once again appeared on the chart -- at No. 76 -- after news of Dylan's selection as the Nobel Prize winner in literature on Oct. 13. The LP is Dylan's second charting album in 2016, with his latest studio album, Fallen Angels, peaking at No. 7 in June. In the week ending Oct. 20, Dylan's total album sales grew 104 percent (to 19,000), while his on-demand audio and video streams jumped 53 percent (to 6.7 million). - Billboard, 10/28/16...... Neil Young has announced he'll release a new studio album, Peace Trail, on Dec. 2 via his longtime label Reprise Records. Young wrote and recorded the new album shortly after the release of his offbeat Earth live album, which was released in June. The 10-track Peace Trail was recorded at Rick Rubin's Shangri-La studios and, according to the label, is primarily acoustic. The album features veteran session men Jim Keltner on drums and Paul Bushnell on bass, with Young co-producing alongside John Hanlon. The album, which will be available on CD, cassette and download, is available for pre-order now through Young's website and his online music store PONOMusic. A vinyl edition will be released in January. - Billboard, 10/26/16...... Benny AnderssonABBA, along with Spice Girls music mogul Simon Fuller, announced on Oct. 26 that a new ABBA "live digital experience" will launch in 2018. "The aim is to create an original entertainment experience which will enable a new generation of fans to see, hear, and feel ABBA in a way previously unimagined," according to a press release. Although more details about exactly what the project will mean were not announced, it has been speculated that ABBA will appear as holograms, and Simon Fuller has reportedly been "quietly investing in virtual reality technologies and developing hyper-realistic digital humans in the field of entertainment." ABBA's Benny Andersson confirmed that he and his legendary Euro-pop band are participating in the creative development of the "digital experience," saying in the presser that ABBA is "inspired by the limitless possibilities of what the future holds and are loving being a part of creating something new and dramatic here... A time machine that captures the essence of who we were. And are." Although ABBA member Bjrn Ulvaeus said in 2015 that ABBA would never reform, earlier in 2016 all four members reunited for a special 50th anniversary performance, singing "The Way Old Friends Do" at a private party in a Stockholm hotel, and the band previously held brief reunions in 1986 and 1999. The four members also reunited for the opening of an ABBA-themed restaurant in Stockholm for the first time in eight years, however they did not perform. - New Musical Express, 10/26/16...... Paul McCartney debuted a new song called "In the Blink of an Eye" across iTunes' international stores on Oct. 28, in advance pre-order listing of the soundtrack for the forthcoming animated film Ethel & Ernest. From the song's 60-second preview, its sound is reminiscent of McCartney's "(I Want To) Come Home," which he wrote for the 2009 Robert De Niro film Everybody's Fine. The album's advance track listings features a number of songs by Carl Davis, who collaborated with McCartney on "Liverpool Oratorio." The Ethel & Ernest film is adapted from a graphic novel by Raymond Briggs (The Snowman) about the lives of two Londoners and starring Jim Broadbent and Brenda Blethlyn. - Billboard, 10/28/16...... In other Beatles-related news, Yoko Ono has honored a reference to her in an old The Simpsons episode. A new piece created by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson for an exhibition curated by Ono at the Reykjavik Art Museum has the exact title and content of "a single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man's hat," which was depicted in season five of The Simpsons when a Japanese conceptual artist who is clearly modelled on Ono pops into Mo's bar for a drink. Titled "YOKO ONO: ONE MORE STORY," the exhibition runs until Feb. 5. Meanwhile, three classic albums by Ono and featuring her late husband John Lennon are due to be reissued on Nov. 11. - New Musical Express, 10/26/16...... Bette Midler is keeping busy of late by appearing as Blake Shelton's mentor on NBC's The Voice; reissuing her platinum-certified debut album, The Divine Miss M; and starting rehearsals for her starring role in Jerry Zaks' upcoming Broadway revival of "Hello, Dolly!" The 70-year-old singer/actress says her experience on The Voice has been a lot of fun. "This show has a real sweetness at its core," she says. "It's not mean-spirited. And of course, Blake is a hoot!" Midler says her role in "Hello, Dolly!" has a "very steep learning curve" but "I must say it's great. I love to dance. Everyone should dance. The weight just falls right off you!" As for the reissue of The Divine Miss M, Midler says she asked the record company "not remaster this so that it's incomprehensible." "I want the same warm analog sound it had when we first put it out," she says. "I really love this record. I was so young -- barely 28 years old -- and I think you hear it in my voice. This young spirit and real joy at finding myself in such a fantastic situation." - Billboard, 10/27/16...... Stevie NicksStevie Nicks will deluxe editions of her first two albums, 1981's Bella Donna and 1983's The Wild Heart, on Nov. 18. "I've had so much fun reliving the making of Bella Donna and The Wild Heart while working on the liner notes and listening to all of the alternate versions and demo takes," Nicks said in the press release. "The liner notes are so much more than liner notes. They are like a little novel. I tried to make whoever reads this feel like they were there. I think...I succeeded...." Bella Donna includes unreleased versions of her hits "Edge of Seventeen" and "Leather and Lace" along with other rarities off various soundtracks such as "Blue Lamp" from Heavy Metal and "Sleeping Angel" from the Fast Times At Ridgemont High soundtrack. Additionally, recordings from a 1981 concert will be included on the album as well. As for The Wild Heart, hits such as "Stand Back" and "Nightbird" have been revitalized, as well as her Tom Petty collaboration, "I Will Run to You." - Billboard, 10/27/16...... An unnamed California woman has filed a new lawsuit against Michael Jackson, accusing the late King of Pop of molesting her three decades ago. In the suit, "Jane Doe" claims Jackson started abusing her in 1986 after inviting her and her mother inside the Jackson family compound in Encino, Calif., while they were star spotting. The woman claims Jackso fondled her genitals and kissed her mouth and body, and also alleges there was vaginal penetration. According to the documents, the abuse continued through puberty and when she turned 16, she claims Jackson started writing checks to keep her quiet. She says the first was for $2,500 and the biggest one - for $600,000 - came in 1993. She is suing Jackson for emotional distress and negligence, and did not specify why she waited 30 years to come forward with her claims. Jackson died in 2009 at age 50. WENN.com/TMZ.com, 10/25/16...... Exclusive vinyl releases by Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan will be released by Legacy Recordings for 2016's Record Store Black Friday, the label announced on Oct. 25. Hendrix's posthumous Morning Symphony Ideas, which first arrived in 2000, will be re-released an a limited edition 10-inch, translucent-yellow vinyl and features session recordings of "Jungle," and "Room Full of Mirrors." Dylan's Black Friday release will also feature live material, capturing his performance at the Royal Albert Hall from 1996. - Billboard, 10/25/16...... Elvis Presley is on track to make U.K. chart history with his new posthumous release The Wonder of You, the second collection of orchestral re-workings of Presley songs with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The album should make Presley the artist with the most U.K. No. 1 albums for any solo artist, with 13. Presley current holds 12 career No. 1s in the market, equal with Madonna. The Beatles own the record for the most No. 1's on the national chart with 15. - Billboard, 10/25/16...... Tom HaydenActivist and politician Tom Hayden, known for his radical antiwar protests and as a former husband of actress Jane Fonda, died on Oct. 23 at UCLA Medical Center in California after suffering stroke more than a year ago and battling complications from the illness. He was 76. Hayden, who started out as a journalist, was known for his radical activism in the 1960s and 70s, leading a major anti-Vietnam War Movement, and even traveling to Hanoi in Vietnam as part of the movement. He famously took part in protests outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, for which he was indicted on federal charges of conspiracy and incitement to riot as part of the "Chicago Seven." Hayden was convicted two years later, but the charge was overturned. The conservative nemesis then began a political career, and was elected to the California State Assembly in 1982. He then won a seat in the California Senate ten years later, a position he held for eight years. He also ran for Mayor of Los Angeles in 1997, but lost. Hayden, who penned and edited 19 books throughout his career, married Jane Fonda in 1973, just three days after she divorced her first husband. Fonda joined him on missions to Vietnam, and they had a son, Troy O'Donovan Garity, in July 1973. They also adopted teenager Mary Luana Williams in 1982, and the marriage ended in 1990. "He gave me context and strategy and a loving environment that helped me deepen my activism," Fonda told CNN's Larry King in 2005. Hayden married his second wife Barbara and they adopted a son in 2000. "A political giant and dear friend has passed," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted. "Tom Hayden fought harder for what he believed than just about anyone I have known." - Hollywoodlife.com, 10/24/16...... The city council in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen has voted unanimously to rezone the Paisley Park home and studio of late superstar Prince, meaning the complex can stay open as a museum for public tours on an ongoing basis. Paisley Park has taken tours on a temporary basis while concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety were reviewed. Following the vote, museum management have announced tickets are on sale for tour dates through December 2016, with visits resuming Oct. 28. Tours for 2017 are expected to go on sale by mid-November, according to a statement on the Paisley Park website. The museum on the estate is now being managed by Graceland Holdings, which runs Elvis Presley's Graceland attraction in Memphis, Tenn. The museum says it expects to draw 600,000 people each year. - Billboard, 10/24/16...... Bobby VeePop singer Bobby Vee, who enjoyed huge popularity and success in the 1960s with such hits as "Take Good Care of My Baby" (No. 1, 1961), died on Oct. 24 after a battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 73. Vee, a native of Fargo, North Dakota, launched his career in the late '50s after he famously filled in for his hero, Buddy Holly, after Holly died in a plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959 along with fellow musicians Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. After the news was announced, the organizers of the touring concert Holly was playing in tapped Vee and his new band The Shadows to fill in for the next show in Moorehead, Minn., and their subsequent performance launched Vee's career at the tender age of 15. Vee was also notable for giving Bob Dylan his first professional start in the music industry, by tapping him to play piano for a handful of dates with his band. Dylan paid tribute to Vee during a 2013 concert in St. Paul's, Minnesota, where he praised him as "the most beautiful person I've ever been on the stage with." Vee scored a total of 38 Billboard Top 100 hits and seven gold records in the US, and "Take Good of My Baby" went to No. 3 in the U.K. His other hits include "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes," "Come Back When You Grow Up," "Rubber Ball" and "Punish Her." Vee also performed on the same bill as the Rolling Stones during their first ever U.S. tour dates. The Beatles also cited Vee as an early influence, covering "Take Good of My Baby" during their January 1962 Decca demo sessions and inviting Vee on their U.K. television show, Ready Steady Go. Vee was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's in January 2011, and performed in public for the last time in June of that year. He moved to a memory care facility the month after his longtime wife Karen's death in 2015. - New Musical Express, 10/24/16.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Nominees for the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class, which include Electric Light Orchestra, Yes, J. Geils Band, Chaka Khan, Journey and Steppenwolf, have reacted to the announcement of their nomination by the Rock Hall on Oct. 18. "I'm very proud to see my ELO music getting this great recognition... It's a big honor to be nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame," Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra says, while Yes drummer Alan White notes that "After being nominated three times you tend to put it on the back burner a little bit," but he still believes that the recognition is "great." Peter Wolf of J. Geils Band, which has been nominated three times previously, says, "It's great to be recognized, but it's a drag to be disappointed. I hope that we make it in. That would be great." Grammy award-winning singer Chaka Khan tweeted that the "3rd time's a charm," after her nomination was announced, while Greg Rolie of Journey says "I have to admit the only thing I thought is it might not ever happen, because of whatever politics were involved. I just didn't know. But here we are now, so...we'll see." Steppenwolf frontman John Kay says, "Well, it's a surprise. I want to express my appreciation and say thank you to whoever found Steppenwolf's efforts worthy of a nomination. So thanks for throwing our hat in the ring and we'll see where it goes." - Billboard, 10/21/16...... Neil YoungNeil Young held his annual Bridge School Benefit Concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif., on Oct. 22, with such acts as Metallica, Roger Waters and Jim James of My Morning Jacket also participating. Young and Metallica jammed on a cover of "Mr. Soul," a 1967 tune by Young's former band, Buffalo Springfield. Young also performed a cover of Bob Dylan's "Forever Young" alongside Waters and James. Earlier in October, Young was joined onstage by Paul McCartney during his headline set on the second night of Desert Trip festival in Indio, Calif. Both McCartney and Young headlined the Oct. 8 show after Dylan and the Rolling Stones opened proceedings on Oct. 7. - New Musical Express, 10/23/16...... The scrutiny of Bob Dylan's reaction -- or lack thereof -- to recently being named winner of the 2016 Nobel prize in literature continues as his website has posted, then removed, "winner of the Nobel prize in literature." That single clause had been the only public recognition the musician offered the Nobel academy, which had unsuccessfully tried to contact him through his associates before announcing the award on Oct. 18. Since celebrity websites are usually run with limited input from their subjects, it's entirely possible Dylan never knew either that his site had made reference to the prize, or subsequently removed it. However it is less likely that Dylan's manager, Jeff Rosen, would be unaware. Some Dylan fans have suggested that the singer should refuse the Nobel prize because its Swedish founder, Alfred Nobel, was an armaments manufacturer, however an equally likely explanation is that Dylan, in typical form, is intentionally antagonizing the media and his fans. Asked at a press conference in 1965 whether he considered himself primarily a singer or a poet, he replied, "Oh, I think of myself more as a song and dance man, y'know." On Oct. 22, Nobel academy member Per Wastberg told a Swedish paper he thought Dylan's silence on the award "impolite and arrogant." "We have agreed not to lift a finger. The ball lies entirely on his half," Wastberg said. "You can speculate as much as you want but we don't." Even if Dylan decides not to accept the title of Nobel laureate, the Nobel academy do not acknowledge rejections and continue to list winners of its awards. Dylan has been invited to Stockholm to collect his prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf on Dec.10, but according to the Nobel Academy he has yet to confirm his attendance at the event. Other figures who have snubbed the Nobel academy in the past include Albert Einstein and Jean-Paul Sartre. - Jezebel.com/AP/NME, 10/21/16...... In other Bob Dylan news, the rock icon has become the oldest artist to chart on the youth-driven "Social 50" listing, which ranks the 50 most popular artists on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, SoundCloud, Wikipedia, Instagram, Tumblr and Vine. The 75-year-old rocker is also one of only a handful of soloists to reach the Social 50 chart over the age of 50 while still alive. Previous to Dylan, the over-50 Social 50 crowd included David Bowie (in 2013 -- three years before he died), Susan Boyle, Madonna, Juan Luis Guerra and "Weird Al" Yankovic. Artists appearing on the chart in 2016 after their deaths include Glenn Frey, Prince, Merle Haggard and Natalie Cole. - Billboard, 10/20/16...... Pete TownshendIn a new interview with the London Times, The Who guitarist Pete Townshend admitted live performing no longer appeals to him. "I'm such a boring f--ker... It means nothing to me," said Townshend, who performed with the Who at the recent Desert Trip Festival in California. "I would be a liar if I said, 'It was really fun, man. It was great!' It wasn't great. It was a gig. I did it and I got paid. The fact is, I don't really like performing. But I'm good at it. I'm lucky to be good at something. I could have worked in an abattoir," he added. - New Musical Express, 10/23/16...... Speaking of the Who, former Genesis drummer Phil Collins recently said during a webchat sponsored by the UK paper The Guardian that he would have left Genesis to become the Who's drummer after Keith Moon passed away if he had been asked. "Absolutely would have joined the Who. I would have left Genesis to join the Who," Collins said. "But they've got a great drummer now in Zak Starkey, he's fantastic. Someone with the balls that Keith Moon had." Collins, who announced a comeback tour on Oct. 17, has also said that he'll "never play (drums) the way I used to" and that he suffered a mysterious affliction on the Genesis reunion tour. "One night something happened. It just went. I tried everything -- bigger drumsticks and so on, but it just never came back," he said. - NME, 10/19/16...... During a live interview on BBC Radio 2, Bruce Springsteen revealed that he once wrote a song for the Harry Potter films, but for reasons that are unclear to him, it was never used. Springsteen said the song was titled "I'll Stand By You" and was a "pretty good song" he penned for his eldest son. "It was a big ballad that was very uncharacteristic of something I'd sing myself," the New Jersey rocker noted. "But it was something that I thought would have fit lovely; at some point I'd like to get it into a children's movie of some sort because it was a pretty lovely song." - Billboard, 10/20/16...... Former Commodores founding member and '80s solo superstar Lionel Richie launched a collection of home accessories on Oct. 20 in Los Angeles before an intimate group of friends and fans. "You're witnessing a duck out of water," Richie declared in the middle of Geary's Beverly Hills, which will sell the collection alongside brands Rosenthal and Kelly Wearstler. "You do your research, you find one idea and then two ideas and you realize -- yes, you might be onto something. So if we do this correctly, hopefully in the next 40 years ... I, too, can be Ralph," Richie quipped. Items include dinnerware sets, black onyx highball glasses, a crystal vase, and an "Endless Love" scented candle. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/21/16...... Attorneys representing the Beatles' Apple Corps filed a motion on Oct. 19 to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the company assigned to represent the intellectual property of 1965 Beatles Shea Stadium concert promoter Sid Bernstein after footage from the concert was included in the recent Ron Howard-directed film Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years. Bernstein's lawyers claim that Bernstein proposed the idea for the concert to Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, that the contract provided that Epstein's company had the right to film and record the performances, but that Bernstein "planned, managed and paid for virtually every aspect of the production." Apple Corps contends that its predecessor, Nems Enterprises (controlled at the time by Epstein), had the "sole and exclusive right" to film the concert, and that Bernstein just "observed the filming and recording," and that the lawsuit is "frivolous." - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/20/16...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney is backing a campaign to protect the dwindling number of grassroots music venues throughout the U.K. "I've been lucky enough to play in venues of all different shapes and sizes, from tiny clubs to massive stadiums all over the world," McCartney said in a statement on Oct. 19. "Without the grassroots clubs, pubs and music venues my career could have been very different," said the rock legend, who has pledged his support to the Music Venue Trust's #FIGHTBACK campaign. On Oct. 18, around 500 delegates attended the third annual Venues Day conference at London's Roundhouse venue, which saw executives from across the industry address some of the threats to Britain's once-thriving live scene. In London the problem is particularly acute, with such venues as the Marquee, Astoria, 12 Bar Club and Madame Jojos having closed since 2007. The 100 Club, which played host to early gigs by the Rolling Stones and Sex Pistols and saw McCartney play an intimate lunchtime gig in 2010, was only saved from extinction after signing a sponsorship deal with Converse in 2011. - Billboard, 10/19/16...... Carlos Santana says he's supportive of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his controversial choice to kneel during the National Anthem to protest police killings of black people. "I love it. I think he stepped up. I salute my brother because it takes a lot of balls to go against people who will say, 'Oh, you're not patriotic' and all that," Santana says. "So for [Kaepernick] to put one knee down and other people are copying him, I think it's wonderful," the Bay Area resident added. - Billboard, 10/20/16...... Donny OsmondAppearing on the U.K. TV show Loose Women on Oct. 20, Donny Osmond reminisced about his heady days as a teen heartthrob and revealed that "fans used to hide in my dressing room." "There have been times, yeah, there have been times when people have snuck into the dressing room and snuck into the shower," the 58-year-old Osmond said. "This one girl was banging on the door like crazy, I finally let her out but, I'm kidding! I'm kidding!," he joked the singer who has just had his Las Vegas show with sister Marie Osmond renewed for a ninth year. Donny went on to brush the incident off as "innocent" and noted how devoted he is to his wife Debbie, who the Mormon married in 1978, in the Salt Lake Temple at the tender age of 20." I am dedicated to my wife completely and always will be, but this is the loyalty of the fans who still follow me," he said. - WENN.com, 10/21/16...... The Rolling Stones were forced to cancel a concert scheduled for Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena on Oct. 19 after frontman Mick Jagger came down with a bad case of laryngitis. "I'm so sorry about the cancellation of Wednesday's show in Las Vegas, I've got bad laryngitis," Jagger posted on Twitter on Oct. 19. "I do apologise to everyone who bought tickets," he added. According to a statement issued by the band, their frontman has been advised by doctors to rest his voice. "We hope to have information about the possibility of rescheduling this date very soon," note reps for the band. The Stones recently headlined both weekends of Desert Trip at The Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif., earlier in October. Toward the end of their set on the second weekend, Jagger's voice noticeably cracked as he spoke between songs, which prompted a quip from the singer about the throat-wrackingly "dry and windy climate." - Billboard, 10/19/16...... In related news, Queen guitarist Brian May has cancelled a solo tour set for this December with his frequent touring partner Kerry Ellis due to a "persistent illness." "We're very sad today to announce the indefinite postponement of our 'candlelight' concert dates this coming December," May wrote on his website on Oct. 20. "This is a decision I've agonized over, but in the end it has become inevitable. I managed to complete the recent Queen and Adam Lambert dates in Asia but I have been increasingly battling with a persistent illness which is destroying my energy and my will." May added he hopes this step will "give all our team a chance to re-plan their time in December... Sincere apologies to all." - New Musical Express, 10/21/16...... On Oct. 18, New York's highest court heard oral arguments in a case pitting the owner of The Turtles' 1967 hit song "Happy Together" against Sirius XM Radio. The issue was whether the copyright holders of recordings made before 1972 have a common law right to make radio stations and others pay for their use. The suit was filed by Flo & Eddie Inc., a company controlled by two founding members of the band -- Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan -- that owns the rights to the recordings and claim they're entitled to royalties. Sirius argues it's not required to pay royalties for recordings made before the federal Copyright Act was changed in 1972 to establish limited protections for recordings. The case was referred to the Court of Appeals from a federal appeals court. - AP, 10/18/16...... Several Prince reissues and unreleased Prince material have been announced for the coming months, which include a greatest hits album, Prince 4Ever, on Nov. 22, a deluxe reissue of the 1984 classic Purple Rain in Apr. 2017, and a third album that contains previously unreleased Prince songs, rumoured to be the first of many, on a date to be announced. Prince's estate are reportedly unsure of what the vault contains as they have only begun the process of cataloging the recordings. - NME, 10/21/16...... Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page was spotted attending a London club show by the Kings of Leon on Oct. 18. Page, who has been seen at many of the band's gigs over the years, was seen standing in a private fenced-off enclosure by the mixing desk at the 229 Club in London. The Kings of Leon are in England promoting their new LP, WALLS. - NME, 10/19/16...... Former Deep Purple singer Glenn Hughes has premiered a new song called "Let It Shine" from his new solo album Resonate, which hits stores on Nov. 4 in the U.K. Hughes kicks off a UK tour behnd the new album on Nov. 8 in Leamington Spa, with openers Stone Broken. Resonate is Hughes' first solo album in over 8 years. - Nobel PR, 10/19/16...... Phil ChessVeteran record executive Phil Chess, co-founder of the legendary Chicago-based rhythm and blues label Chess Records which many credit with inventing rock 'n' roll, died on Oct. 19 at his home in Tuscon, Ariz. He was 95. Mr. Chess and his brother Leonard, both Polish immigrants, founded Chess Records in 1950 in Chicago and at first focused on blues and R&B, cutting songs by artists including Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon and Memphis Slim. A year after forming, Chess Records released what many consider to be the first rock single, "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston/Ike Turner and his Delta Cats. In 1955, the Chess brothers began a long a fruitful relationship with rock pioneer Chuck Berry, who recorded such classics as "Maybellene," "Roll Over Beethoven," "Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Johnny B. Goode" for the Chess offshoot, Checker Records. Chess or Checker was also home to guitar icon Bo Diddley, who cut his biggest singles with the label. The Chess brothers sold the label to General Recorded Tape (GRT) in 1969, for $6.5 million. Leonard died later that year, and Phil retired in 1972. - Billboard, 10/19/16...... Robert Bateman, the songwriter behind such Motown hits as "Please Mr. Postman" and "Playboy," died on Oct. 16 in Sherman Oaks, Calif., of a massive heart attack. He was 80. The deep-voiced Mr. Bateman, an Illinois native, had been among the first personnel enlisted at Berry Gordy Jr.'s fledgling Motown Records in 1959, initially working as a backing singer and engineer. He acquired Motown's first set of recording gear -- a tape machine discarded by Detroit radio station WJLB. His own group, the Satintones, recorded several singles for the label. With "Please Mr. Postman" -- which he cowrote and coproduced for The Marvelettes in 1961 -- Mr. Bateman helped give Motown its first No. 1 hit on the U.S. pop charts. The song was famously revived two years later by the Beatles for the group's second album. Mr. Bateman left Motown Records in 1963 but remained in the music industry, moving to New York to work at Capitol Records and produce material with artists such as Wilson Pickett. He was also present at the Woodstock festival in 1969, according to his nephew Tony Stovall. Mr. Bateman's last public appearance in Detroit came Aug. 21 in Dearborn, where he was inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame. - 10/16/16...... Robert "Big Sonny" Edwards of the R&B band The Intruders, best known for the chart-topping R&B single "Cowboys to Girls," died of a sudden heart attack at a Philadelphia hospital on Oct. 15. He was 74. The news of Edwards' death was announced on Oct. 18 by Philadelphia International Records co-founders Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. As one of the first acts signed to Gamble & Huff's fledgling Gamble label, The Intruders scored a string of R&B hits from the mid-'60s through the early '70s -- and simultaneously set the stage for the writing/production duo's pioneering Philly soul sound and the establishment of the legendary Philadelphia International label. The Philly-based Intruders' additional top 10 hits include "(Love Is Like a) Baseball Game," "When We Get Married," "I'll Always Love My Mama" and "I Wanna Know Your Name." - Billboard, 10/18/16.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bob Dylan being named as the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Nobel prize in literature on Oct. 18 has spawned a media frenzy, with columns written and debates sparked from several sources, but the iconic singer/songwriter has yet to chime in on the win himself. So on Oct. 17 the Swedish Academy -- responsible for choosing the Nobel Laureates in Literature -- announced it had stopped trying to contact him for his reaction to the announcement. "Right now we are doing nothing," Sara Danius, the Academy's permanent secretary, told Swedish radio. "I have called and sent emails to his closest collaborator and received very friendly replies. For now, that is certainly enough," she added. It is also unclear if the 75-year-old artist intends on showing up for the official ceremony, set for Dec. 10 and presided over by Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf, and give a speech the way most recipients generally do. "If he doesn't want to come, he won't come," Danius said. "It will be a big party in any case, and the honor belongs to him." Meanwhile, streams of Dylan's songs have reportedly increased by more than 500 percent globally on the streaming service Spotify.com after the announcement of prize. Dylan's most listened-to song after the announcement was "Like a Rolling Stone," which increased by 258%. Fellow musicians congratulating him on the honor include his Sony labelmate Bruce Springsteen, who described him on his official website as the "father of my country." "He planted a flag, wrote the songs, sang the words that were essential to the times, to the emotional and spiritual survival of so many young Americans at that moment," Springsteen posted. - Billboard, 10/17/16...... Jeff LynnePeter WolfSteve PerryJohn KayThe Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced a long list of 19 nominees for the 2017 induction class into the Cleveland-based hall and museum on Oct. 18. The impressively varied list includes Classic Rock stars Electric Light Orchestra, J. Geils Band, Journey, Steppenwolf, The Cars and Yes, along with Chaka Khan, Joan Baez, The Zombies, Kraftwerk, Joe Tex, MC5, Pearl Jam, Jane's Addiction, Janet Jackson, Depeche Mode, Bad Brains, Tupac Shakur and, of course, perennial nominees Chic, their eleventh nomination since 2003. The nominees where revealed by 2014 Rock and Roll HOF inductee and E Street Band member Steve Van Zandt and RRHOF Foundation CEO Joel Peresman live on SiriusXM's new all music talk channel Volume, during the "Feedback" morning show. To be eligible for nomination, the acts must have released their first recording no later than 1991 (i.e. 25 years after the release of their first commercially available record). As in previous years, fans can participate in the selection process by visiting rockhall.com to vote for who they believe deserves to be inducted. The top five artists on the fans ballot will be counted along with the other ballots to help choose the 2017 nominees; voting will be open through Dec. 5, with one ballot per day. The final list of inductees, chosen by an international voting body of more than 800 artists, historians and members of the music industry, will be announced in December, with the ceremony slated for New York's Barclay's Center in April 2017. - Billboard, 10/18/16...... Two of the three previously-unheard David Bowie songs that will appear on the official soundtrack album for Bowie's "Lazarus" musical were unveiled by the BBC on Oct. 18. The songs, which include "No Plan" and "When I Met You," were produced by longtime Bowie producer Tony Visconti and the band which contributed to Bowie's final LP, Blackstar. A third and final unreleased song -- "Killing a Little Time" -- has yet to be revealed. The "Lazarus" musical soundtrack hits stores on Oct. 21, and the "Lazarus" musical will make its London premiere Oct. 25 at King's Cross Theatre, with dates scheduled through Jan. 21, 2017. It first premiered in late 2015 in New York City. - Billboard,. 10/18/16...... Rock & Roll legend Chuck Berry celebrated his 90th birthday on Oct. 18, and has announced plans to release his first new album in 38 years via Dualtone Records in 2017. Simply titled Chuck, the album is comprised primarily of new and original songs written, recorded and produced by Berry. In making the announcement, Berry said the LP was "dedicated to my beloved Toddy," eferring to his wife of 68 years, Themetta Berry. "My darlin' I'm growing old! I've worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!" After a string of nearly two dozen albums on the Chess label released from the late 1950s through the mid-1970s, Berry's last album to date was 1979's Rock It on Atco Records. - Billboard, 10/18/16...... Phil CollinsAs rumoured, Phil Collins has officially announced plans to mount comeback concerts in 2017 in three European cities including London (at Royal Albert Hall on June 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9), Cologne (June 11 and 12), and Paris (June 18 and 19). He's also rumoured to be appearing at the 2017 Glastonbury festival. Speaking to reporters in London on Oct. 17, the 65-year-old former Genesis frontman said he initially retired to spend more time with his family but started to drink after his family split up. "I've changed my mind," he said of leaving the stage for good. "I'm living with my young kids. They want me to go out on the road and do my thing, and why not?" Collins, who first retired in 2002 but decided to tour again in 2007, also said he's not likely to play drums on tour, however he might try performing the introduction to "In the Air Tonight." Collins explained that his son Nicholas will be taking over drum duties on the upcoming tour. The Spotify.com streaming service reported that streams of Collins' song have nearly doubled since he announced his live comeback, with "You Can't Hurry Love," "In the Air Tonight," "Against All Odds," "You'll Be in My Heart" and "Another Day in Paradise" leading the pack. - AP/New Musical Express, 10/17/16...... The Zombies have announced the final tour dates for full album performances of their classic 1968 set Odessey & Oracle. The Zombies -- including founding members Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent -- will play 26 dates in North America in 2017, beginning on Mar. 17 in the Philadelphia suburb of Glenside and wrapping on Apr. 29 in Los Angeles. Additionally, the Zombies are releasing an album-sized (12" x 12") coffee table book in March 2017 featuring stories about making Odessey & Oracle, handwritten lyrics and artwork from Terry Quirk (who designed the LP's timeless cover art) and Vivienne Boucherat. - Billboard, 10/17/16...... Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has confirmed he is working on a new album with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Waters said he has spent the last year working on a new record, which will be the followup to his 1992 LP Amused to Death. "We've got some really good work in the can," Waters said. "Nigel's really good. He said to me, 'People always want to do these long records. How long was The Dark Side Of The Moon?' I said '38 minutes.'" Waters added that he's "also been falling in love, deeply in love... So the record is really about love -- which is what all of my records have been about." He added that he was "really happy" that his former Pink Floyd bandmates, Dave Gilmour and Nick Mason, recently "reunited" to release a joint statement, condemning Israeli forces over the detention of female activists sailing to Gaza. "It is an issue I care about deeply," he said. - New Musical Express, 10/13/16...... CherCher announced on Oct. 18 that she will call her 2017 tour "Classic Cher" and will begin the tour with a residency at the Park Theater at Monte Carlo on Feb. 8. After playing 9 shows at that venue through Feb. 25, the diva will then travel to Washington, DC to finish off the tour with three shows at The Theater at MGM National Harbor on March 17, 19 and 20. The opening act will be Bruno Mars, both in Las Vegas and Washington. - Billboard, 10/18/16...... Elton John performed at a private, star-studded fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Oct. 13 at the Los Angeles home of Casey and Laura Wasserman. Tickets for the event started at $33,400 and went as high as $100,000. John performed a strong set and was heard telling the crowd why he backs Clinton. "We need a humanitarian in the White House, not a barbarian," said Elton, who added that he loves all that Clinton stands for: "Equality, decency, kindness and respect." John also noted Hillary's efforts to combat the AIDS epidemic, saying "I've dedicated the past quarter century of my life to the fight against AIDS -- to advocating for the human rights of all people ... no matter who they are, who they love, or where they live. And Hillary has been doing this important work -- fighting for equality, for the rights of all people -- long before I was." Earlier in October, the 69-year-old John announced that he will soon publish a "no-holds-barred" autobiography, although a release date has yet to be confirmed. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/14/16...... Paul McCartney played a rare small club show on Oct. 13 at Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown Palace in Pioneertown, located near Joshua Tree in Yucca Valley in Southern California. A vegetarian buffet, befitting the vegetarian McCartney, was served, but there were no dinner reservations and no one was allowed to leave once inside. McCartney was in the area as one of the headliners of the Desert Trip festival earlier in the month, which took place at the site of the Coachella festival in Indio, Calif. - Billboard, 10/13/16...... In other Beatles-related news, the Lego toy company announced on Oct. 12 that it is teaming up with the Fab Four for a new "Yellow Submarine" toy set. Hitting stores on Nov. 1, the set will include four mini-figures of John, Paul, George and Ringo costumed in their Yellow Submarine outfits that can ride inside the model (the top of which comes off), plus over 550 Lego bricks. Adding to the play is a mini-figure of the Yellow Submarine movie character Jeremy Hillary Boob. The U.S. list price is $59.99. "The Yellow Submarine is bright, fun, and colorful, which also made it a good subject to translate into Lego form," says creator Kevin Szeto. - Billboard, 10/13/16...... Carole Bayer SagerSongwriter Carole Bayer Sager released her autobiography, They're Playing Our Song, on Oct. 18, in which she humorously revisits her life, from almost drowning when she was 2 months old to her very happy ending with third husband, former Warner Bros. CEO Bob Daly. Along the way, the beautiful Oscar- and Grammy-winning lyricist partnered both professionally and personally with collaborators Marvin Hamlisch and Burt Bacharach on hits such as "Midnight Blue," "When I Need You," "Nobody Does It Better," "Don't Cry Out Loud," "It's My Turn," "Heartlight," "Arthur's Theme," "That's What Friends Are For," and countless others. Sager, 69, also spills stories about writing with everyone from Bette Midler and Michael Jackson to Bob Dylan and Clint Eastwood. - Billboard, 10/17/16...... Chic featuring Nile Rodgers have announced that they're set to play a special one-off Christmas show in London, at Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith on Dec. 23. The event will be a charity show to raise money for Autism Rocks. Rodgers' first UK appearance since headlining FOLD Festival back in the summer, which he curated. - NME, 10/17/16...... Appearing on PBS' Austin City Limits series on Oct. 14, former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant performed Zeppelin's classic 1968 track "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You." The performance marked Plant's first time on the Austin City Limits stage for more than a decade, and he performed for a full hour with his band the Sensational Space Shifters. Other numbers included "Rainbow," "Turn It Up" and "Little Maggie." Meanwhile, Plant recently joined the "We Are Not Afraid" campaign, along with Keith Richards, Iggy Pop, Ringo Starr, Debbie Harry and Yoko Ono. "We Are Not Afraid" is a global campaign aimed at raising funds for the refugee crisis and victims of religious and political violence. - NME, 10/15/16.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Desert Trip Festival, a classic rock summit held at the site of the Coachella festival in Indio, Calif. and headlined by the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, The Who and Roger Waters over three nights, got underway on Oct. 7 with the Stones and Dylan playing the first night. "I'm not going to make any age jokes," Mick Jagger quipped as the Stones took the stage, adding "Welcome to the Palm Springs Retirement Home for Genteel Musicians." After referring to Dylan as the "opening act," which drew gasps from some in the pit, the Stones played a 19-song set that opened with "Start Me Up" and encored with "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." On Oct. 8, Day 2 of the fest welcomed Paul McCartney and Neil Young, with the former Beatle bringing out opening act Young for a three-song collab that had eyes wide and phones in the air. The two music legends traded vocals on "A Day in the Life," and instead of finishing the song with the usual orchestral climax, they transitioned into John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance," inviting the audience to chant along as peace signs flashed on the screen behind them. Grunge pioneer Young then jammed with McCartney on the Beatles' own scorcher, "Why Don't We Do It In the Road." On Oct. 9, the Who headlined Day 3 with Roger Waters. The Who's two-hour, 22-song set kicked off with "I Can't Explain" and encored with "Won't Get Fooled Again." "We were 1967's version of Adele or Lady Gaga or Rihanna or Bieber," Townshend joked as he introduced "I Can See For Miles," the Who's first US hit. "Roger and I are so glad to be out here at our age," Townshend also said. "And I couldn't do it without Roger." - Billboard, 10/8/16...... Bob DylanBob Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature on Oct. 13 for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." "Bob Dylan is a great poet in the English-speaking tradition," said Sara Danius, the Nobel Academy's permanent secretary and literature professor at Stockholm University. "If you look back, far back, 2,500 years or so, you discover Homer and Sappho and they wrote poetic texts that were meant to be listened to, that were meant to be performed, often with instruments -- and it's the same way with Bob Dylan." Danius' statement also praised the singer-songwriter's creative output over five decades, including his constant reinvention of himself, and as "a wonderful sampler, a very original sampler." Dylan being awarded the Nobel prize for literature for 2016 came as a surprise to many, as his odds of beating out such favorites as American novelist Philip Roth and Japanese author Haruki Murakami was given odds of 50/1 by the London bookies. The Nobel Committe's additional statement that Dylan had "recorded a large number of albums revolving around topics like the social conditions of man, religion, politics and love" and that his words have repeatedly been republished could be taken as seeking to forestall criticism of their decision. - CNN, 10/13/16...... Former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters announced he'll kick off a 40 date "Us + Them Tour" of North American arenas next year in Kansas City, Mo., on May 26. The tour, which includes two-night stands in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Boston and Toronto before wrapping on Oct. 28 in Vancouver, BC, is Rogers' first tour not themed around a specific Pink Floyd album since the early 2000s. It follows his three-year "The Wall" trek, which went down as the most successful tour by a solo artist in touring history. "The new show's going to be called 'Us + Them' because it's really specifically about the line from this 1973 song 'Us and Them' that goes 'With, without/And who'll deny that's what the fighting's all about,'" Rogers said in a statement. "Because the main message that I have to propagate, if I can, is embodied in the (concept) that the idea of perpetual war, which has been embraced by the neocons particularly in the United States of America, is an entirely wrong way for the human race to live," he added. Waters says he's currently in the process of recording a new solo album that he expects will be in fans' hands before the tour begins in May. He's been working in L.A. with producer Nigel Godrich of Radiohead collaborating fame. - Billboard, 10/13/16...... Officials in Nassau County, N.Y., have announced that Billy Joel will play the first concert at the newly renovated Nassau Coliseum on Long Island on Apr. 5, 2017. In Aug. 2015, Long Island native Joel played the last show at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum before its renovation, and has played the venue 32 times over the course of his career. - Billboard, 10/11/16...... Elton JohnElton John announced on Oct. 13 that he'll release his first ever memoir in 2019. "I'm not prone to being a nostalgic person," Sir Elton said in a statement. "I'm often accused of only looking forward to my next gig or creative project. It's come as quite a surprise how cathartic I am finding the process of writing my memoirs. As I look back, I realize what a crazy life I have had the extreme privilege of living." John said he's working with The Guardian critic Alexis Petridis on the autobiography, which will be published by Henry Holt & Company, a division of Macmillan, who won the rights in a bidding war with two other publishers. Elton's memoir will follow a string of acclaimed memoirs from other rock icons over the last decade, including Bob Dylan, Keith Richards and Patti Smith, among others. - Billboard, 10/13/16...... Over 100 pieces of furniture from David Bowie's private collection are set to be auctioned in November by Sotheby's. "The works produced by the historical avant-garde design collaborative Memphis Milano, led by Ettore Sottsass, could not have found a more receptive and tuned-in audience than David Bowie," said Ccile Verdier of Sotheby's. The auction takes place on Nov. 11, with two other "Bowie/Collector" auctions will focus on his collection of art, accompanied by an exhibition, taking place on Nov. 10 at Sotheby's. Meanwhile, the official script and song lyrics from Bowie's musical "Lazarus" will be released in a new book in November. The "Lazarus" musical will get its UK premiere on Oct. 25 at the Kings Cross Theatre in London, after first premiering in New York in late 2015. Bowie's final ever recordings will be heard when the official soundtrack album for the "Lazarus" musical is released on Oct. 21. - New Musical Express, 10/13/16...... Michael Jackson has once again topped the list of top-earning dead celebrities compiled by Forbes magazine, with his empire earning a staggering $825 million in the past year. Earlier in 2016, Sony bought Jackson's half of Sony/ATV Publishing for $750 million, giving the pop legend his highest payout to date. Other '70s artists making the 2016 highest-paid dead celebrities list include Elvis Presley ($27 million), Prince ($25 million), Bob Marley ($21 million), and John Lennon ($12 million). - Billboard, 10/12/16...... Recently interviewed for The New Yorker magazine, Leonard Cohen revealed that he feels he is ready to embrace the end of his life. "I am ready to die," Cohen said. "I hope it's not too uncomfortable. That's about it for me." Cohen, whose health has been declining in recent years, is gearing up for the release of his latest album You Want It Darker, and sings "I'm ready, my Lord," in the album's title track. The LP will be the follow-up to the 82-year-old Cohen's 2014 album, Popular Problems. - Billboard, 10/12/16...... The concert website eFestivals.com is reporting that Phil Collins is on the verge of announcing a massive string of UK comeback concerts, some 15 years after the former Genesis drummer played his last major solo shows. Collins could be considering headlining such major UK festivals as the Isle of Wight Festival and Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time at London's Hyde Park (Collins' live promoter John Giddings is also the organizer of the Isle of Wight Festival). Collins retired from playing live in 2002, citing injuries to his back and arms caused by years of playing drums. He went on a brief reunion tour with Genesis in 2007, but has since been absent from performing concerts. In Oct. 2015, he announced that he was coming out of retirement to play live shows, saying he'd love to take his sons Nicholas and Matthew "out on the road." On Oct. 20, Collins will release his autobiography, Not Dead Yet. - NME, 10/13/16...... Rod StewartJust call him "Sir Roderick David Stewart" -- Rod Stewart was made a Knights Batchelor by Prince William at Buckingham Palace in London on Oct. 11. Prince William paid homage to Stewart's Scottish heritage by wearing tartan-patterned pants and a jacket with military-style red and gold trim. The "Maggie May" singer received the honor for services to music and charity, and joins the likes of such previously knighted rock stars as Paul McCartney, Elton John, Mick Jagger and Tom Jones. - Billboard, 10/11/16...... '70s artists Sammy Hagar, Bette Midler and Joan Jett appeared as guest advisors on the NBC talent series The Voice on Oct. 10. "The more you are like yourself, and the way you sing, the way you play your instruments, the better chance you have of making it", Hagar advised Adam Levine's group of contestants. Midler assisted Blake Shelton's group, while Jett advised Miley Cyrus' group. - Billboard, 10/11/16...... A Linda Ronstadt tribute concert has been set for Dec. 11 at Los Angeles' Ace Hotel, with such artists as Jackson Browne, Maria Muldaur, Grace Potter, Sara Watkins and Dawes headlining. Ronstadt revealed to AARP magazine in Aug. 2013 that she was suffering with Parkinson's Disease, and all proceeds from the show will go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. In a statement, Maria Muldaur said she's known Ronstadt since 1966. "It is heart-wrenching to think that this mysterious ailment known as Parkinson's disease has robbed us of her gorgeous, enthralling voice, but I'm happy to report firsthand that it has done nothing to diminish her spirit and keen mind," Muldaur said. "I'm honored to participate in this celebration of Linda's music, which will benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's research to speed a cure for Parkinson's disease, which can't come a moment too soon," she added. - Billboard, 10/11/16...... Actress Michelle Williams is in early negotiations portray Janis Joplin in director Sean Durkin's long-in-the-works biopic centering on the famous female rock icon. The movie, titled Janis, is based on Love, Janis, which was penned by Joplin's sister, Laura Joplin. It uses Joplin's letters to family and friends to tell the story of a young woman rising from playing at coffeehouses to playing at Woodstock, dealing with sudden fame and celebrity while combating alcohol and heroin addiction all the while trying to keep her creativity. Janis is only one of several competing Joplin movie projects in development, as Hollywood has been trying to make a biopic on the late singer for at least two decades. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/10/16...... John Lennon will be getting his own comic book biography, as IDW Publishing unveiled a new graphic novel focusing on the former Beatle on the final day of 2016's New York Comic Con. The new book will adapt the 2010 novel by French author and screenwriter David Foenkinos, which retold Lennon's story through the framework of transcriptions of sessions between Lennon and an imaginary therapist. The story travels through Lennon's entire life, from childhood, worldwide fame and his solo career and marriage to artist Yoko Ono. - Billboard, 10/9/16...... JawsThe Boston Pops Orchestra has announced it will turn Steven Spielberg's classic 1975 shark thriller Jaws into a live concert presentation. "Jaws In Concert," which will feature an orchestra playing John Williams' iconic score as the film unspools, will have its world premiere at the Boston Pops Orchestra (which Williams famously helmed from 1980-1993) in the summer of 2017 with Keith Lockhart conducting. Though Williams is not composing any new music for the live concert presentation, there is approximately five minutes from the original music composed for the film that was not used, and that music will be restored specifically for the new live presentation. - Billboard, 10/11/16...... In other '70s-related movie news, the producers of Star Wars have been forced to pay $2 million after Harrison Ford's leg was "crushed" on the set of the latest Star Wars installment, The Force Awakens. Prosecutors in the UK compared the accident at Pinewood Studios, in which a hydraulic door on the iconic Millennium Falcon fell "millimetres from Ford's face" and crushed his leg like a "blunt-edged guillotine," to a "car collision that could have killed Ford when the 74-year-old actor broke his tibia and fibula. The Disney subsidiary Foodles Productions pleaded guilty to two criminal charges of failing to protect workers, and was fined £1.6million. - New Musical Express, 10/13/16...... Singer/songwriter/guitarist/bassist Don Ciccone, a former member of the Four Seasons, died on Oct. 8, according to a statement released by his daughter. He was 70. Ciccone, a New Jersey native, was a founding member of the 1960s band The Critters, who charted Billboard hits with "Mr. Dieingly Sad" and "Younger Girl," both written by Ciccone. After leaving The Critters and joining the U.S. Air Force during which he served in the Vietnam War, he was tapped by Frankie Vallie to join the Four Seasons, where he played guitar and bass. He also contributed lead vocals to songs including "Rhapsody" and their No. 1 hit, "December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)." After leaving the Four Seasons in 1981, he began touring with Tommy James & the Shondells as their bassist and musical director, remaining on until 1987. Later in life, he pursued a solo recording career, recording albums including "Lost & Found." He is survived by his wife, Stephanie, and his two children, Marli and D'Arcey - 10/10/16...... Joan Marie Johnson Faust, a founding member of the 1960s girl group The Dixie Cups, has died in New Orleans of congestive heart failure. She was 72. Faust, Barbara Ann Hawkins and her sister Rosa Lee Hawkins were the three original members of The Dixie Cups, who famously knocked the Beatles out of the top spot on hit parade in 1964 with their hit "Chapel of Love" and went on to become New Orleans music legends. - 10/6/16.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Cher has joined the chorus of protest against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump after a video recording from 2005 featuring Trump making vulgar comments about women was released on Oct. 7. Posting on Twitter, Cher said, "LADIES--WE R NOT DISPOSABLE BLOW UP DOLLS,4RICH MENS PLEASURE.I HAD SCARY EXPERIENCE W/RICH IMPORTANT FILM PROD.& I WAS CHER/? I WANTED JOB--." Cher, who has more than 3 million Twitter followers, has voiced her disapproval of Trump often in the past year, often calling him a "LYING CON MAN" and a "PUNK ASS." - Billboard, 10/7/16...... A David Bowie tribute event is being held in Carinda, Australia, on Oct. 8 and 9, where the star filmed his classic "Let's Dance" video. "Let's Dance Carinda" will feature a re-enactment of the famous clip and a Bowie covers act named Lady Stardust. A tiled wall that Bowie stands in front of in the clip still remains, and is called "the David Bowie wall." - New Musical Express, 10/4/16..... Mick JaggerKeith RichardsCharlie WattsRon WoodAfter teasing a potential new album for more than a year, the Rolling Stones announced on Oct. 5 that they'll end their longest-ever studio album drought on Dec. 2 with the release of Blue & Lonesome, a 12-track all-blues effort described in a press release as taking "the band back to their roots and the passion for blues music which has always been at the heart and soul of The Rolling Stones." Produced by Don Was and the "Glimmer Twins" (the longtime pseudonym used by Stones frontman Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards for their production work), the Stones' first all-blues album will be released by Interscope Records and is currently available for pre-order. Blue & Lonesome was reportedly recorded "spontaneously," with live studio playing and no overdubs by the band -- currently comprised of Jagger, Richards, drummer Charlie Watts and guitarist Ronnie Wood, as well as longtime touring sidemen Darryl Jones (bass), Chuck Leavell (keyboards) and Matt Clifford (keyboards). Eric Clapton also contributes fret work to two tracks on album after his old friends asked him to participate as he was recording his own album in an adjacent studio. As they announced the new LP, the Stones unveiled the blue-tinged remake of their iconic lips symbol by projecting them across several locations in London on the evening of Oct. 5, including Marble Arch and the Centre Point building. Meanwhile, two days earlier on Oct. 3 the Stones played a surprise set for 1,200 truckers in Las Vagas, Nev. Semi truck company Freightliner hired the band to play a surprise set at their annual customer appreciation dinner, which took place inside the Bellagio conference room. The Stones treated the crowd to renditions of "Start Me Up," "Wild Horses" and "Gimme Shelter" as well as a rare performance of "Mixed Emotions" from Steel Wheels, a song they haven't played in 25 years. - Billboard, 10/6/16...... The start of legendary producer Quincy Jones' lawsuit against Sony Music and MJJ Productions over royalties Jones claims he's owed from posthumously released Michael Jackson albums has been delayed after a court has ruled the two defendants can no longer share the same legal team. In September, Judge Michael Stern have Quincy Jones the green light to pursue damages claims related to payment from permanent digital downloads. Jones is essentially arguing that he was cheated out of his share of royalties because Sony was underpaying MJJ, a song company controlled by the late artist's estate. The payment of digital downloads is an area of continual conflict between artists and labels and has taken center stage in several major lawsuits in the past decade. Jones' legal fight with Sony began in 2013, when he sued both Sony and MJJ, claiming master recordings he produced were remixed after Jackson's death to avoid paying him backend profit participation. The trial had originally been scheduled for mid-October, and It remains to be seen exactly how long it will take for new attorneys to get up to speed and get a trial back on the books. A status conference is currently scheduled for November. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/7/16...... Roger Daltrey has again blasted a planned remake of the Who's 1979 Quadrophenia movie project, which will be made and set 35 years after the original film and star several of the original cast, including Phil Daniels. "It's just someone fishing to make some money," Daltrey told the UK paper The Daily Mirror. "It becomes a nonsense. The whole point of Quadrophenia was that it was a moment in time captured in a film... That moment in time is gone. It doesn't matter what those characters are doing now. It was about what we all went through at that age," he added. Ray Burdis, the director and writer of 1979's Quadrophenia, has defended the project, entitled To Be Someone, insisting it was not a sequel and was based on the novel by author Peter Meadows, who says his book was merely "inspired by" Quadrophenia. - NME, 10/7/16...... Barry GibbSole surviving Bee Gees member Barry Gibb recently premiered new songs from his new album In the Now before an intimate listening party of 25 at Miami's Hit Factory/Criterion Studios -- along with more than 20,000 Bee Gees fans watching online. Gibb and his 11-piece band worked through four new songs from the album, then pivoted to the Bee Gees catalog for their 1977 classic "How Deep Is Your Love." "This one's for mum," he says (his mom Barbara Gibb recently died at 95). In the Now drops on Oct. 7 via Columbia Records. - Billboard, 10/6/16...... The surviving members of the tension-plagued Pink Floyd have just "reunited" -- at least online -- to release a joint statement condemning Israeli forces over the detention of female activists sailing to Gaza. In a joint statement posted on the Pink Floyd Facebook page, David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Roger Waters say that "Pink Floyd reunites to stand with the Women of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla" and they fully support Women's Boat to Gaza, an activist group that sailed from Barcelona to Gaza last month and were arrested by the Israeli navy earlier in October. They are expected to be deported. - NME, 10/7/16...... Prince's Paisley Park estate in Minnesota was opened to the public for the first time on Oct. 6 since the singer's death in April. The thousands of fans who attended were given a surprise treat when it was revealed that Prince's remains were being kept in an urn within the studio -- the same place where the "Purple Rain" singer passed away in the spring. The remains are being held in an urn designed by Prince's sister and nephew, who teamed up with Foreverence, a company that has created custom burial urns for such recently deceased rock legends as Lemmy Kilmister and Scott Weiland. The urn is designed to resemble a miniature version of Paisley Park, and features signature Prince details, like his purple Yamaha piano and white doves. - Billboard, 10/7/16...... Appearing on the CBS late night talk show The Late Late Show With James Corden on Oct. 6, Stevie Nicks revealed she was inspired to write the "Moonlight (A Vampire's Dream)" from her 2011 album In Your Dreams after seeing the second Twilight movie New Moon. Nicks then said that she couldn't just release one single, and therefore crafted the entire album around the track. Nicks told Twilight star Taylor Lautner, who was also on the panel, that "If it hadn't been for your movies... I've since made two records -- In Your Dreams, and 24 Karat Gold -- I would never have never made those albums because I was so staunch in my belief that it was over." - Billboard, 10/7/16...... Jimmy Page's guitar solo on the classic 1971 Led Zeppelin track "Stairway to Heaven" has just been voted the greatest solo ever by Classic Rock magazine. "Stairway to Heaven" was recently the subject of a lawsuit which the band won after after a jury deemed that the band did not plagiarise Spirit's 1968 song "Taurus." Trustees for late Spirit member Randy California have filed an appeal against the original verdict, with their lawyer saying there are "many appealable issues" for him to build a case on. - New Musical Express, 10/6/16...... Bruce Springsteen has debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart for the week ending Oct. 15 with his new career retrospective Chapter and Verse. The album, which accompanies Springsteen's recently released autobiography, Born to Run, is Springsteen's fifth No. 1 on the chart (which began in 2006), with all five having debuted at the summit. Chapter and Verse features 18 songs spanning the New Jersey rocker's nearly 50-year career. Meanwhile, Springsteen has told Rolling Stone magazine that he admires San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protest, while acknowledging the difficulty of making political statements in sports. "I admire Kaepernick, but it's a very difficult field to be outspoken in," Springsteen said. As for the Black Lives Matter movement, he said it is a case of "chickens coming home to roost." "Black Lives Matter is a natural outgrowth and response to the injustices that have been occurring for a very long time in the United States," he told the magazine. - Billboard/Rolling Stone, 10/5/16...... Brian WilsonExcerpts from Brian Wilson's forthcoming autobiography I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir have been posted online at Google Books and include part of the first chapter entitled "Fear," in which the Beach Boys mastermind recalls his fear about going onstage in 2004 at London's Royal Festival Hall where he played the Beach Boys album Smile for the first time. In addition to the book project, which hits stores on Oct. 11 via Da Capo Press, Wilson is also planning to release a concert film called Brian Wilson & Friends. - New Musical Express, 10/7/16...... The Country Music Association announced on Oct. 4 that Dolly Parton will be received the 2016 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the upcoming 50th annual CMA awards on Nov. 2 in Nashville. Parton is a nine-time CMA winner, including Entertainer of the Year. Willie Nelson was the first recipient of the award, presented in 2012. It honors an artist who has achieved national and international fame through performances, philanthropy, humanitarian efforts and record sales, and previous recipients also include Kenny Rogers and Johnny Cash. The 2016 CMA awards will air on ABC on Nov. 2. - AP, 10/4/16...... There is now new hope that AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson could perform live with the band again "within six months" after hearing aid developers Asius have been in contact with the 68-year-old singer about letting him test a hearing aid prototype that could help protect his hearing in the live arena. "We need to know he can test it without further damaging his hearing. And I expect those tests will go very successfully," says Asius' Chief Scientist Stephen Ambrose. Ambrose adds the company intends to make it's technology available "at a price point that people can afford." Johnson was replaced by Guns 'n Roses frontman Axl Rose for the band's recent "Rock Or Bust" world tour. In other AC/DC-related news, a new book maintains that sharks like listening to heavy metal music and in particular, AC/DC. Matt Waller, a chartered boat operator in Southern Australia, says he first noticed in 2011 that sharks behaved in a much calmer manner when played heavy metal music. "I started going through my albums and AC/DC was something that really hit the mark. Their behaviour was more investigative, more inquisitive and a lot less aggressive," he writes. - NME, 10/5/16...... A New York City street situated at the at the intersection of 67th Avenue and 110th Street will officially be renamed Ramones Way after the iconic '70s punk band the Ramones on Oct. 23. The street's location marks the main entrance to Forest Hills High School, where all four original Ramones members -- Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy -- attended. In April, the Queens Museum opened an exhibit of Ramones memorabilia, and an expanded version of the exhibit will move to the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles later in October. - Billboard, 10/4/16...... Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has announced that he will be showcasing an art exhibition focused on neuroscience. According to a statement, "The Institute Presents: Neurosociety"is described as "an immersive theatrical experience" that will present the work of 15 cognitive neuroscience labs. Byrne co-created the exhibition with Mala Gaonkar. Speaking to The New York Times, Byrne said, "We won't be running these experiments like the labs do, but recreating some of their work in more entertaining or theatrical ways." The exhibition will open on October 28 and will run until May 31 at Pace Gallery in Menlo Park, Calif. - NME, 10/4/16...... Damian Marley, the youngest son of reggae legend Bob Marley, has announced that he will convert a prison into a cannabis factory. Marley has teamed up with the company Ocean Grown Extracts to turn California State prison into a growth space cultivating medical marijuana. "Many people sacrificed so much for the herb over the years who got locked up," says Marley. "If this [project] helps people and it's used for medicinal purposes and inspires people, it's a success." - Billboard, 10/4/16...... Rod TempertonRod Temperton, a legendary songwriter best known for penning some of Michael Jackson's biggest solo hits including "Thriller," "Rock With You" and "Off the Wall," died in London in early October after what a spokesperson described as a "brief aggressive battle with cancer." He was 66. Temperton's first break came as co-founder and keyboardist of the pioneering funk/disco band Heatwave, for whom he wrote a string of platinum singles including "Boogie Nights." Temperton left Heatwave in 1978 and began working with Quincy Jones on what would become Jackson's solo breakthrough album, 1979's Off the Wall, for which he also wrote the song "Burn This Disco Out." The collaboration continued on what would become Jackson's most iconic work, 1982's Thriller, for which he wrote the title track, as well as "Baby Be Mine" and "The Lady in My Life." His biggest Billboard Hot 100 hit, as a songwriter, came with "Baby, Come to Me," a 1983 hit by Patti Austin with James Ingram, which hit No. 1 for two weeks. His other compositions include "Hey Lover" by LL Cool J, "Sweet Freedom" by Micheal McDonald and "Stomp!" by the Brothers Johnson. Temperton and Jones were nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar in 1986 for the song "Miss Celie's Blues" from the movie The Color Purple. His passing was announced by Jon Platt, Chairman & CEO of Warner/Chappell: "Rod Temperton, British composer and musician, died last week at the age of 66 in London following a brief aggressive battle with cancer. His funeral was private. He was often referred to as The Invisible Man. He was the sole writer of multiple successful songs such as "Thriller", "Off The Wall", "Rock With You", "Give Me The Night", "Sweet Freedom", "Always & Forever" and "Boogie Nights" to name just a few. His family is devastated and request total privacy at this, the saddest of sad times." - Billboard, 10/4/16...... North Carolina concert promoter Marc Hubbard pleaded guilty on Oct. 4 to defrauding the University of Hawaii of $200,000 by promising to produce a Stevie Wonder fundraising concert that never happened. Hubbard pleaded guilty to wire fraud in federal court in Honolulu, saying he lied about his ability to secure Wonder for a concert. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors will recommend that Hubbard's sentence run concurrently with the sentence he receives for a similar case in Pennsylvania. Hubbard is scheduled to be sentenced in Pennsylvania later in October and in Hawaii on Feb. 16. - AP, 10/4/16.

Monday, October 3, 2016

After a David Bowie box set of mid-'70s recordings, Who Can I Be Now? 1974-76, dropped on Sept. 23, another posthumous Bowie release has been announced. Bowie Legacy is a collection of the rock icon's "finest singles" along with selections from his final album, Blackstar, plus a previously unreleased version of the classic 1971 single "Life On Mars?" mixed by its original producer Ken Scott. Bowie Legacy will be available on CD, vinyl and download in standard and deluxe formats. The CD and digital versions will be released on Nov. 11, before the double vinyl edition drops on Jan. 7, 2017 -- the week of the anniversary of his death. On Oct. 21, a 2-disc release of cast recordings from the Bowie-inspired and created musical "Lazarus" will hit stores and feature Bowie's final studio recordings ever -- "No Plan," "Killing A Little Time," and "When I Met You." - New Musical Express, 9/28/16...... David Lee RothAfter first experiencing a stalker problem in 1977, Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth has posted on his website that another (or possibly the same?) stalker is terrorizing him in recent weeks. Roth says the obsessed fan has called his phone early in the morning nearly 100 times in the past few months. "Help! I have a stalker. A very real one. 75 stalker phone calls in the last four months. All of them at 5:30 to 6 in the morning... Every now and then at 2 in the afternoon. Never on the weekend. The phone calls show up on my old phone but they don't show up on the phone bill." Roth added that this stalker is "particularly obsessed" and "knows a little about tech." "They can remove the number out of my phone when they want to," he posted. Roth says that he's called in "the professionals," who told him the calls are designed to terrify him and ruin his day. "It's exactly what happened to me during my first stalker experience in 1977 (and) the second time (is) even worse." "I was more afraid and more intimidated the second time around. It really threw me off in the way where you stop eating or you eat too much and you sleep all the time," he says. - WENN.com, 9/29/16...... Paul Simon participated in a Q&A at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles on Sept. 30. Simon, 74, says he's more determined to be full of surprises than ever in his advanced years. "I know how easy it is to become bored with popular music," he said. "Because I am bored to death of it. I know that applies to me as it applies to every other artist If you want people to listen, you really better make it interesting, because there are a lot of choices of things to do -- not only things to listen to." Hosted by veteran rock journalist David Wild, the Q&A was largely devoted to Simon's latest album, Stranger to Stranger, Simon's most critically acclaimed album since perhaps The Rhythm of the Saints. Simon went on to say that he felt it was Art Garfunkel's burgeoning movie career that broke up Simon & Garfunkel. "It was the movies that broke us up," Simon said. "We were separated for too long by two movies that Artie made. But no matter what, we couldn't have followed Bridge Over Troubled Water with a (similarly epic) album... It would have been like my first solo album anyway, because you have to go down and make it smaller and more rhythmic. And that would not be playing to Simon & Garfunkel's strength, which includes having a big ballad, which Artie can knock out of the park." But he also suggested his wandering interests in Jamaican and other world music would have eventually split the duo if Garfunkel's films hadn't: "I already wanted to go to a Jamaican rhythm ... I thought, if I want to get this, I've gotta go to Jamaica. That would not have been an easy argument to make to Artie... He wouldn't have liked that." Asked what he thinks constitutes a hit, he said: "I always say the song I wish I wrote: 'Silent Night.'" - Billboard, 10/2/16...... A new musical based on the life and music of reggae legend Bob Marley is coming to the UK in 2017. "One Love: The Bob Marley Musical" will feature some of Marley's most popular tracks, including "No Woman No Cry," "Exodus" and "Jamming." Premiering at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre on Mar. 10, the musical will run though Apr. 8. It is an updated version of director/writer Kwame Kwei-Armah's show "Marley," which he staged in Baltimore in 2015. - New Musical Express, 10/1/16...... Bob DylanA massive collection of mid-'60s Bob Dylan recordings is being planned for release this holiday season. The 1966 Live Recordings, a new box set with a whopping 36 discs that captures numerous shows Dylan played across the US, Europe and Australia, will drop Nov. 11. Adam Block of Legacy Recordings says the inspiration for the new box set came when his label was culling material from the 2015 mid-'60s Dylan compilation, The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12. "We were continually struck by how great his 1966 live recordings really are... the intensity of Bob's live performances and his fantastic delivery of these songs," Block noted. The vast majority of the recordings have never been released before, and Dylan's May 26 Royal Albert Hall show is also being released as a standalone album on Dec. 2. - Billboard, 9/30/16...... The new Ron Howard-directed Beatles documentary Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years has sold enough tickets in its first two weeks to warrant keeping it in cinemas for a third week. Eight Days a Week became available by streaming for home viewers on Hulu after its world premiere on Sept. 15. The film will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on Nov. 18. Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for the film industry site comScore, says the movie's popularity is "a testament to the inexhaustibly profound interest that exists by today's audiences in the Fab Four." The cumulative take for the film since its opening was $2,088,918, which Dergarabedian calls a success. "In the indie documentary world, $2 million is a lot of bucks at the box office," Dergarabedian says. Eight Days a Week was also the most profitable film in 48 of the top 50 theaters in its first week of release, according to its distributor, Richard Abramowitz of Abramorama. - Billboard, 10/2/16...... Ringo Starr has premiered a new version of his peace anthem "Now the Time Has Come" featuring Colombian superstar Fonseca, who sings a Spanish verse on the powerful track. The release follows a peace treaty signed in late September by Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos and the rebel group FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia). "Now the Time Has Come," written by the ex-Beatle and producer Bruce Sugar, was initially premiered in partnership with United Nations in celebration of the International Day of Peace. - Billboard, 9/30/16...... After a Philadelphia fifth-grader named Michael Fenerty skipped school for the chance to meet Bruce Springsteen at a book signing for Springsteen's new autobiography Born to Run on Sept. 27, Springsteen signed an absentee note for the boy to present to his school. The boy's father brought along a pre-typed note that Springsteen signed to excuse his son's absence, and Springsteen quipped to the boy that he would have to read the note first because that's how he got in trouble with his first music contract. The school's principal reportedly only received a photocopy of the note. - AP, 9/30/16...... Tom_PettyTom Petty has been named the 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year for his charitable work for the homeless, the MusiCares Foundation and the Recording Academy president and CEO Neil Portnow announced on Sept. 28. Petty will receive the honor at the annual MusiCares dinner and benefit concert in Los Angeles on Feb. 10, two days before the 59th annal Grammy Awards. Participants in the concert will be revealed at a later date. "I am so very pleased to be honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year. I have so much respect for this organization, which really does care about the people in our industry," Petty said in a statement. "I myself know many people who MusiCares has aided in desperate situations. Again, let me say this is a true honor." Petty, a three-time Grammy Award winner, and his wife Dana were given the Midnight Mission Award in May 2011. Midnight Mission offers emergency help and drug and alcohol assistance programs for the homeless in the Los Angeles area. - Billboard, 9/28/16...... During his first of three scheduled gigs in Mexico City on Sept. 27, Roger Waters lashed out at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump with a message projected on the stage behind him that called Trump an offensive name in Spanish. "We don't want a wall that separates us from our sister, our mother earth, or from each other," Waters also told the crowd. The former Pink Floyd member also criticized Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, blaming his administration for many of the thousands of people who have gone missing since Mexico's drug war began in 2006. "Mr. President ... Where are they? What happened to them?," Waters said. - AP, 9/29/16...... After Iggy Pop posed nude for a New York Academy of Art-organized class back in March, a collection of drawings from the event are set to go on display at the the Brooklyn Museum in November. "It was not about anything silly," Pop noted at the time. "It wasn't about my winkie, or anything. It was just a documentation of what's left of me," the 69-year-old former Stooges frontman noted. The drawings from the class will also be featured in a new art book, Iggy Pop Life Class, which carries the same name as the exhibition and will be released on Oct. 25. - NME, 9/28/16...... Sony Corp. announced on Sept. 30 that it has completed its acquisition of the Michael Jackson's estate share of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, giving it sole ownership of the music publishing powerhouse. The deal was first announced in March, but it took a while to close because the transaction had to be scrutinized by the EU Commission and because the Jackson estate needed to do some house cleaning in preparation for cashing out, sources say. In a press release, Sony said it had paid $750 million for the Jackson estate's 50% share in the company. Both Sony and the Jackson estate still have a stake in EMI Music Publishing, which is administered by EMI. The Jackson estate still has substantial interests in other music assets, including all of Jackson's master recordings as well as Mijac Music, the publishing company that owns all of the songs written by Jackson as well as songs by some of his favorite songwriters and artists that were acquired by Michael during his life. - Billboard, 9/30/16...... Hugh HefnerAfter the celebrity gossip site TMZ.com posted on Sept. 30 that police had rushed to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner's mansion in Los Angeles when several other news outlets received a tip that the 90-year-old Hefner had passed away, Hefner posted a message on Twitter later that night. "I wish the tabloids had informed me a little earlier in the week that I'm sick. I might have cancelled my weekend plans," he posted. A representative for Playboy Enterprises also confirmed that Hef "was fine." "It is no secret that over the past few years he has suffered with back pain that has made it a bit more challenging for him to get around, but at 90 years of age, he is enjoying his life and still very involved in the day-to-day activities of editing the magazine," the statement said. Rumors first began to swirl that Hefner's health was failing after a New York Post/Page Six report on Sept. 29 claimed the reclusive media mogul was "super sick" and had dropped to 90 pounds. Hefner -- who married third wife Crystal, 30, a former Playmate, in 2012 -- sold his famed Playboy Mansion for $100 million in August. The deal gave him the right to continue living there for the rest of his life. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/1/16...... Tom Jones will be returning as a coach for the UK version of The Voice in ITV's reboot of the show, along with new coaches Gavin Rossdale and Jennifer Hudson. Jones, Rossdale and Hudson will be joining long-standing coach Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas on the singing talent show, after ITV bought the rights to the show beginning in 2017. Earlier in 2016, Sir Tom famously told the BBC to "go f--- themselves" when he was replaced by Boy George without consulting him -- slamming them for what he said was "sub-standard behaviour." - New Musical Express, 9/29/16...... A crowdfunded statue of late Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister has been erected in his favorite bar in Hollywood -- the Rainbow Bar and Grill on the Sunset Strip. The crowdfunded effort to finance the statue was first announced in February, and a total of $23,000 was raised for a life-sized statue constructed by artist Travis Moore. Moore says the statue was modelled on a photograph taken by legendary rock photographer Robert John. Kilmister died in December 2015. - NME, 9/28/16...... Ozzy Osbourne's daughter Kelly Osbourne has settled a legal spat with an alleged former mistress of Ozzy's, hairdresser Michelle Pugh. Pugh had accused Kelly of "elder abuse" after it emerged she had conducted a four-year affair with rocker Ozzy behind his wife Sharon's back. The scandal rocked the Osbournes' marriage, led to a brief separation earlier in 2016, and resulted in Ozzy seeking therapy for sex addiction. Pugh claims she was targeted with abuse and became the victim of bullying after she was identified as the other woman in May. She initially filed papers in August, accusing Kelly of publicly disclosing "private facts" and causing "intentional infliction of emotional distress" to her on Twitter, but now her lawyer says the dispute has been "privately resolved." Sharon was asked about Kelly's actions on her TV show The Talk and she admitted she found Kelly's tweets about Pugh funny. She explained, "She loves her mom. She loves her dad so much... I'm always proud of my girl. What are you going to be mad (about)? She's an adult." - WENN.com 10/1/16...... Legendary guitarist Robin Trower launched a 13-date tour of the UK on Sept. 30 in Norwich. The "Bridge of Sighs" guitarist also visits Holmfirth (10/1), Manchester (10/6), Clitheroe (10/7), Chester (10/8), Gateshead (10/10), Glasgow (10/11), Stockton (10/12), Frome (10/14), Leamington (10/15), Exeter (10/16) and London (10/18) before wrapping in Brighton on Oct. 19. Trower is touring behind his 2016 release, Where You Are Going To, and the opening act on all dates is the Stevie Nimmo Band. - Noble PR, 9/30/16...... Warren BeattyIn a new interview with AARP magazine, actor Warren Beatty denies a claim by author Peter Biskind in his 2010 unauthorized Beatty biography that Beatty has bedded 12,775 women in his life. Although Bonnie and Clyde star once had a playboy reputation in the '60s and '70s, the 79-year-old Oscar winner told AARP it wouldn't have have been possible to reach that number. "Think about it, sleeping with 12,775 people? That would mean not just that there were multiple people a day, but that there was no repetition," he said. Beatty said while he may have been promiscuous in the past, he has never had an issue with any of his former lovers. "Look, I never misled anyone and... I'm a nice guy," he says. In 1992, the actor settled down after marrying actress Annette Bening, and the two have four children together. "I waited a long time to be married," he continues. "When you don't get married until you're 54... well, as (playwright) Arthur Miller said (in "Death of a Salesman"), 'It comes with the territory'." - WENN.com, 9/28/16...... Accomplished pop/country songwriter John D. Loudermilk, who penned The Raiders' 1971 No. 1 hit "Indian Reservation," passed away on Sept. 21 at the age of 82. Among Mr. Loudermilk's many other compositions that became big hits for a variety of artists are "Abilene" and "A Rose and a Baby Ruth" (George Hamilton IV), "Ebony Eyes" (The Everly Brothers), "Everything's Alright" (The Newbeats), "Norman" and "Paper Tiger" (Sue Thompson), "Talk Back Trembling Lips" (Johnny Tillotson), "Waterloo" (Stonewall Jackson) and "Tobacco Road" (The Nashville Teens)....... Conductor Neville Marriner, the founder of the London Orchestra, has died at 92. Mr. Marriner founded the Academy of St Martin in the Fields with the dream of creating a chamber ensemble, and started by having a group of friends gather to rehearse in his living room. The academy first performed at the London church on Trafalgar Square, which gave the ensemble its name, in 1959. The London Orchestra enjoys one of the largest discographies of any chamber orchestra worldwide. Mr. Marriner worked with orchestras around the world, and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1979 and a Knight Bachelor in 1985. In 2015, he was made a Companion of Honour for his services to music. - AP, 10/2/16.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bruce Springsteen held a book signing meet-and-greet at the Barnes & Noble in Freehold, N.J., on Sept. 27 for his new book Born to Run. Thousands of fans flocked to the location for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet the Boss and have their newly purchased book signed, which also guaranteed a spot in line for a selfie with the rock legend. Two-thousand tickets were sold through Eventbrite.com, but hundreds more showed up in the parking lot hoping for a picture and a glimpse of the hometown hero. "Hey, everybody! Let's get this started!," said Springsteen, who showed up around 10:20 a.m. dressed all in black with a leather jacket and motorcycle boots. The crowd then broke into an impromptu rendition of "Happy Birthday," as Springsteen, who turned 67 on Sept. 23, settled in for a marathon 5-hour book signing session -- one hour longer than his record four-hour concert. Springsteen's book tour continues at the Union Square Barnes & Noble on Sept. 28 in New York and at the Apple Store in SoHo. Meanwhile, in a new Rolling Stone interview, Springsteen branded Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as a "moron" who has the United States of America "under siege." Asked what he thinks about Trump's meteoric rise in the world of American politics, Springsteen said: "Well, you know, the republic is under siege by a moron, basically. The whole thing is tragic. Without overstating it, it's a tragedy for our democracy... The ideas he's moving to the mainstream are all very dangerous ideas -- white nationalism and the alt-right movement." The musician went on to endorse Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, saying: "I like Hillary. I think she would be a very, very good president." - Billboard/New Musical Express, 9/27/16...... The EaglesSpeaking to The Mirror paper on Sept. 26, Don Henley said the Eagles could fly again following Glenn Frey's untimely death in March -- if Frey's son, 22-year-old Deacon Frey -- joins the group. "At some point in the future, we might work our way round to [reuniting]," the Eagles co-founder said. "You know, Glenn has a son who can sing and play quite well. And one of the only things that would make sense to me is if it were his son," Henley added. Deacon Frey often joined his dad onstage before Glenn's death. Henley still performs songs during his solo concerts that were written with Frey, such as "Desperado," but out of respect for Glenn, Don says he doesn't do songs that Frey sang lead vocals on. "I don't think that would be quite right, even if I co-wrote them. I'm just not doing it," he said. If the Eagles should reunite with Deacon Frey, Henley also raised the possibility of longtime band friend Jackson Browne, who jammed with the band during the Glenn Frey tribute at the Grammys in February, also performing with them. "With Jackson, of course, we could do 'Take It Easy' and a couple other things," said Henley, "but the only way I would consider any kind of reunion, I think, would be with Glenn's son, Deacon," he said. Meanwhile, a life-size bronse statue of Frey has been installed in the "Standing on the Corner" Park in Winslow, Ariz., alongside a previously installed statue that many feel looks like Jackson Browne. Two morning radio personalities from Phoenix classic rock station KSLX -- Mark Devine and Paul "NeanderPaul" Marshall -- helped fund the $22,000 Frey statue, along with the Standing on the Corner Foundation and the City of Winslow. The unveiling took place during Winslow's annual "Standing on the Corner" music festival on the fourth weekend of September. "We thought a statue would be a great way to pay tribute to his everlasting impact on Arizona's history," said Marshall. Browne and Frey co-wrote the Eagles' song "Take It Easy" in 1972 that included the lyric "standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona." Shops around the Winslow park display Eagles tour posters and sell T-shirts, magnets and mugs depicting the hit song and its lyrics. - Billboard/AP, 9/27/16...... Speaking of the Eagles, Joe Walsh has just written and recorded a new song called "No Man's Land" about issues facing American military veterans of the current conflicts in the Middle East. "This is really a forgotten war over there," Walsh says. "There's not political candidate that has touched what we're doing over there. Nobody. It's not even talked about and it's not even in the media. Nowhere can you get a report on what's been going on or progress or even deaths or injuries or anything, and that's just not OK with me. And these guys are coming home either missing arms or legs or just completely shattered, mentally. And I see homeless vets and I go, 'That's not OK'." "No Man's Land" was recorded for a new documetary entitled Citizen Soldier, tells the story of the Oklahoma National Guard 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team -- aka The Thunderbirds -- who were deployed to Afghanistan during the latest surge. Walsh was introduced to the film by one of its co-directors, Christian Tureud, and immediately volunteered to write "No Man's Land" after viewing some of the footage. "So that's what I wrote the song about -- 'We're out here in nowhere land, and the only way home is my brothers and my god and me," Walsh notes. "And the people that we're fighting have a God, and our Gods don't agree.' I just wanted to tell their story the way I saw it in the film." - Billboard, 9/26/16...... Christine McVieFleetwood Mac vocalist/keyboardist Christine McVie has confirmed that Fleetwood Mac are working on a new album, and the band has already recorded seven tracks for it. "We cut seven songs in the studio already for the start of a brand-new studio album, which we did probably nearer two years ago," McVie told Rolling Stone. "We shelved that temporarily and then went on the road and did the tour. And now, actually, I think we're going back in, in October to try to finish it off. Stevie (Nicks) hasn't participated yet, but hope springs eternal. She's going on a solo tour at the moment." McVie added that she and Lindsey Buckingham have plenty of songs and there are "tons more in the bag that we have yet to record." "And they're fantastic," McVie adds. "So we're going to carry on and try to finish the record. And then maybe if Stevie doesn't want to be part of that then we can go out and just do some smaller concerts." Nicks has left the future of her participation in Fleetwood Mac uncertain, saying "It's like, do you want to take a chance of going in and setting up in a room for like a year [to record an album] and having a bunch of arguing people? And then not wanting to go on tour because you just spent a year arguing?" Fleetwood Mac's last studio album was 2003's Say You Will. Meanwhile, the band has just reissued its 1982 album, Mirage. which includes a three-CD and DVD set with a disc of B-sides, as well as a live collection culled from two nights at the LA Forum in Oct. 1982. - New Musical Express/Rolling Stone, 9/26/16...... Stevie Wonder is the latest celebrity to featured in PBS's animated Blank on Blank interview series. An animated Wonder discusess his childhood, his experience with racism, and his faith on the program installment that premiered on Sept. 27, just one day prior to the 40th anniversary release of his epic 18th studio album, Songs in the Keys of Life. Wonder says that after he grew up in a Pentecostal church, his decision to sing "worldy" music saw much criticism from his church members, but it wasn't enough to stop him from pursing his dreams. "If God didn't want me to sing it, he wouldn't have given me the talent to do it," he said. - Billboard, 9/27/16...... The Rolling Stones have announced they'll release Havana Moon, a concert of their 2016 show in Cuba, on CD, DVD and Blu-Ray on Nov. 11. A three LP vinyl set is also being released as is a special deluxe edition. Havana Moon was recently screened in cinemas for one night only, and is the band's official document of their historic outdoor Cuba show, which saw them perform to over 1.2 million fans in the Cuban capital, a place where rock concerts by foreign bands have long been prohibited. Havana Moon was directed by Paul Dugdale, who has previously made concert films for Adele and Coldplay. "The Cuba show was simply amazing," frontman Mick Jagger said as he announced the film earlier in the year. "It was an incredible moment; a huge sea of people for as far as the eye could see. You could feel the buzz of the enthusiasm from the crowd and that was for me the stand-out moment," he added. - NME, 9/27/16...... Kenny RogersKenny Rogers has told Billboard that he plans on retiring from music in 2017, and has no further plans to record or perform after the conclusion of his current tour. "I've done everything I set out to do," explained the 78-year-old Rogers, who began his music career back in 1958. "Every goal I've set, I've done that, and there's a point where you have to say, 'I've had my turn. Let someone else have it,' and that's kind of where I am. It's not that I dislike music; it's just that I can't keep doing this and do what I want to do, which is spend time with my family." Rogers also said he'd like to spend more time with his 12-year-old twins he has with his fifth wife, Wanda Miller. "My boys are playing football this year, and we went to watch a game and they were so excited about us being there, and that's the kind of thing that as a parent you want to be part of as much as you can," he said. Roger's now-farewell tour will conclude on Apr. 8, 2017 in Danville, Kentucky. He'll visit the UK and Ireland for the last time in November, including two dates at the London Palladium. - New Musical Express, 9/27/16...... Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone magazine, has announced he's selling a 49% stake in the magazine to BandLab, a digital music company owned by the son of Asian billionaire Kuok Khoon Hong. BandLab will run a new, Singapore-based international subsidiary that will focus on developing live events as well as looks for merchandising and hospitality opportunities in Asia. It will have no say in editorial content. Wenner's son and Rolling Stone digital manager, Gus Wenner, says they are hoping to take the Rolling Stone brand into "new and different areas and markets." "Long-term, my dad and myself recognize that in order to truly grow and truly transform the business," he said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. - The Hollywood Reporter/Bloomberg News, 9/25/16...... Paul Simon was among the headliners for the "Global Citizen: The World On Stage" charity event at Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 22 in New York City. Simon also presented the inaugural George Harrison Global Citizen award to Olivia and Dhani Harrison (George's widow and son, respectively). Also performing were such artists as Kesha, Tom Morello, Warren Haynes and Regina Spektor, among others. Several speakers also addressed various causes in dire need of help and support -- such as the refugee crisis, education, poverty, hunger, and gender equality. - Billboard, 9/23/16...... Olivia Newton-JohnNewly interviewed on the Australian version of the TV newsmagazine 60 Minutes, Olivia Newton-John said she's convinced her ex-lover Patrick McDermott is dead after he went missing during a fishing trip, despite reported sightings of him in Mexico. "It was very hard, he was lost at sea and nobody really knows what happened," said Newton-John ."It's human to wonder but, you know, those are the things in life you have to accept and let go. Because whenever you go through difficult times, there's always those concerns. I live on and of course questions come up, always, it's human," she added. Two detectives who attempted to track McDermott down believe he faked his own death to avoid a series of debts. The U.S. Coast Guard declared McDermott had "most likely drowned" when his boat disappeared off the coast of San Pedro, Calif., and Olivia says she chooses to agree with that. Newton-John, 68, dated cameraman McDermott on and off for nine years, following her divorce from Matt Lattanzi in 1995. She finally found love with John Easterling and the couple wed in 2008, three years after McDermott's disappearance. - WENN.com, 9/27/16...... The Beach Boys have announced they'll play two shows in the UK in 2017, at London's Royal Albert Hall on May 18 and 19. The concerts, which will not feature Brian Wilson, are so far the only Beach Boys concerts in the UK scheduled for 2017. The current BB line-up features Mike Love and Bruce Johnston, alongside "supporting musicians" John Cowsill, Tim Bonhomme, Randell Kirsch, Scott Totten and Love's son Christian Love. Al Jardine, a fellow member of the original line-up, left the band in 2012, the same time as Wilson. - NME, 9/27/16...... Kraftwerk have announced they'll kick off an 11-date tour of the UK in the summer of 2017 at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall on June 9. It will mark Kraftwerk's first full tour of Britain since 2004, and feature the band's 3D concerts, which they first played in 2013 at New York's Museum Of Modern Art and have since performed at art galleries around the world. The tour will wrap at London's Royal Albert Hall with two nights on June 21 and 22. - NME, 9/26/16...... Guitarist Joe Bonamassa has added three dates to this April 2017 UK concert tour -- in Edinburgh (4/18), Blackpool (4/22/) and Sheffield (4/24). The shows are in addition to Bonomassa's previously announced concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall on Apr. 20 and 21. Bonamassa's 2017 tour follows hot on the heels of his critically acclaimed "Salute To The British Blues Explosion" tour of 2016 that saw the American guitarist paying homage to the music of Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. - Noble PR, 9/26/16...... The Tubes have announced they'll embark on a 12-date UK tour this fall at London's Under the Bridge venue on Oct. 7. The San Francisco-based band's "Mondo Pulp Tour" will also hit such cities as Manchester (10/8), Bristol (10/11), Brighton (10/15), Southhampton (10/16) and Holmfirth (10/21) before wrapping in Glasgow on Oct. 22. "We're thrilled to be coming back to the country that started it all for us," says the Tubes frontman Fee Waybill. In 1977 The Tubes toured the UK, but many of their shows were banned due to British censorship. - Noble PR, 9/28/16...... Buckwheat Zydeco, an acclaimed accordion player who performed with the likes of Eric Clapton and U2 during an illustrious career in music, died on Sept. 24 from a battle with lung cancer. He was 68. Born Stanley Dural, Jr., the Lousiana-born Zydeco made his name performing with his band, Buckwheat Zydeco and Ils Sont Partis Band (though they later reverted to performing under Zydeco's name). Zydeco was invited by Clapton to open for him on his 1988 North American tour after earning rave reviews for his band's live shows. The year before, they'd signed to Island Records to release their first album on a major label, On A Night Like This. Zydeco released 25 albums across his career, while also collaborating with the likes of U2, Keith Richards and Paul Simon, often in the live arena. "I am grieving for my best friend and colleague of more than 30 years," his manager, Ted Fox, posted on Facebook. "Buck made everything and everyone he touched better and happier. RIP my dear friend, my brother." - NME, 9/26/16...... Arnold PalmerArnold Palmer, the telegenic golfer known as the king of the sport and whose immense popularity drew a legion of fans known as "Arnie's Army" and helped propel the game just as television was coming of age, died in Pittsburgh on the morning of Sept. 25. He was 87. Along his way to becoming one of the sport's best players, Mr. Palmer also became a successful businessman, philanthropist, trailblazing advertising spokesman, talented golf course designer and experienced aviator. "We are deeply saddened by the death of Arnold Palmer, golf's greatest ambassador, at age 87," the U.S. Golf Association said in a statement. "Arnold Palmer will always be a champion, in every sense of the word. He inspired generations to love golf by sharing his competitive spirit, displaying sportsmanship, caring for golfers and golf fans, and serving as a lifelong ambassador for the sport. Our stories of him not only fill the pages of golf's history books and the walls of the museum, but also our own personal golf memories. The game is indeed better because of him, and in so many ways, will never be the same." Mr. Palmer also left his stamp on developing some 225 courses throughout the world, and was the first golfer to surpass $1 million in earnings. Mr. Palmer's appeal was so wide that he even gave origin to the "Arnold Palmer," a mixture of iced tea and lemonade that was one of his favorite drinks and is now available in grocery stores. Mr. Palmer was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, and in 2012 he was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal. "The game has given so much to Arnold Palmer, but he has given back so much more," his close friend and fellow golfing legend Jack Nicklaus said. - USA Today, 9/26/16...... Grand Ole Opry star Jean Shepherd, one of country music's most colorful characters and beloved performers, died on Sept. 25 after an extended illness. She was 82. A fixture on the Opry stage for six decades, the Oklahoma-born and California-raised Ms. Shepard was also a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, where she was inducted as a member in 2011. She started her musical career playing in an all-female group called The Melody Ranch Girls, who caught the eyes and ears of Capitol Records superstar Hank Thompson, who helped her sign with the label. Her first single, "Crying Steel Guitar Waltz," failed to chart, but she would soon pair with Ferlin Husky for the million-selling "A Dear John Letter." The record was a hit, topping the charts. Her other hits include "Second Fiddle (To An Old Guitar)," "If Teardrops Were Silver," and "A Tear Dropped By." She made a classic of Bill Anderson's "Slippin' Away" in 1973, and hit the Country Top 40 for the last time with her cover of Anderson's "The Tip of My Fingers" in 1975, peaking at No. 16. Her autobiography, Down Through The Years, was released in 2014, and she marked an amazing six decades as an Opry member in November 2015. - Billboard, 9/25/16.

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News items appearing in Super Seventies RockSite!'s "Favorite Seventies Artists In The News" are compiled from numerous online and printed sources, including Yahoo News/AP, Yahoo News/Reuters, USA Today, E! Online, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard.com, Rolling Stone.com, New Musical Express, Undercover.com, Jam! Music, and Noble PR.






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