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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...... Speaking 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...... Fleetwood 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 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...... Newly 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. "WeÕre 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 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.
Friday, September 23, 2016
In an essay on The Huffington Post on Sept. 22, Barbra Streisand pulled no punches about her distaste, and distrust, of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. "When a politician ends almost every sentence with 'believe me'... don't! He's probably lying," Streisand wrote in the essay entitled "Facts Matter." Streisand also quoted PolitiFact.com's 71 percent rating of Trump's comments as "false," "mostly false" or "pants on fire" as proof, she believes, that "the majority of the time that Trump speaks, he is not telling the truth." In her 1,200-word essay, Streisand also asked if facts matter to Trump and if they don't. "This should be profoundly unacceptable to the American people. Our country and its stability is on the line. Facts do matter!" The longtime liberal advocate has also taken to mocking "The Donald" frequently onstage recently, singing a parody of Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns" earlier in September at an LGBT fundraiser for Clinton, twisting the lyrics to take swipes at the billionaire real estate mogul. "Is he that rich? Maybe he's poor/ Till he reveals his returns, who can be sure?" she sang to the crowd of 1,000 supporters. - Billboard, 9/22/16...... In related news, Gene Simmons' son Nick Simmons has often demonstrated he's no fan of his father's tendency for making offensive statements, and in a recent interview with TMZ.com the younger Simmons described his dad as the "Donald Trump of rock." "He's the f---ing Donald Trump of rock. I can't take it anymore," Nick said. His statement came after Gene's statement on Sept. 19 that it's "time for America to embrace police profiling as a means to prevent terrorist attacks. - Billboard, 9/20/16...... Bruce Springsteen celebrated his 67th birthday on Sept. 23 with the release of Chapter and Verse, the "audio companion" to Springsteen's upcoming memoir, Born to Run. Before forming the E Street Band, Springsteen ruled Jersey bars with his early bands, the Castiles, Still Mill and the Bruce Springsteen Band. The highlight of Chapter and Verse: the Castiles' "Baby I," a jangly garage-rock kiss-off howled by a 16-year-old Springsteen, who was already showing he had wit to spare ("I got someone new/ Someone better than you," he shouts). The set, compiled by Springsteen, also includes 13 other songs, from a 1972 demo of "Growin' Up" to 2012's "Wrecking Ball." Chapter and Verse is available as a single CD and a double LP, with bonus lyrics and rare photos. Born to Run hits stores on Sept. 27. The musician participated in an illuminating interview on CBS Sunday Morning on Sept. 18 to help promote the new releases, in which he opened up about his drive, his father, and his bouts with depression. "I'm conditioned to do it from many, many years of experience," he said of his recent marathon performances in East Rutherford, N.J., and Philadelphia. "Don't try it at home, kids." - Rolling Stone/Billboard, 9/22/16...... A previously-unreleased David Bowie album called The Gouster is included in the just released Bowie box set Who Can I Be Now? 1974-76, and The Gouster can currently be streamed in its entirety on Spotify.com. The 7-track The Gouster was recorded by Bowie in 1974, and served as the basis for material that would make up his 1975 studio album, Young Americans. Meanwhile, a digitally restored 40th anniversary version of the 1976 Bowie cult sci-fi film The Man Who Fell to Earth is currently being screened in UK cinemas now. Directed by Nicolas Roeg, the film stars Bowie as Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien who crash lands on Earth. Tony Richmond, the original cinematographer behind the film, says it's "wonderful to see it again.. They did a fabulous job." Studiocanal are releasing the film on DVD and Blu-ray on Oct. 10 with a special collector's edition to follow. The soundtrack will be re-released on Sept. 23. - New Musical Express, 9/23/16...... In other Bowie-related news, a memorial plaque dedicated to the late music icon in Berlin, Germany has been stolen just three weeks after its unveiling. The plaque -- which quoted the late musician's lyrics from his hit 'Heroes': "We can be heroes, just for one day" -- was unveiled by the city's mayor in August at his former home from 1976 to 1978. German media reports that the theft, along with vandalism, took place on Sept. 17 and that police are now investigating the crime. Fortunately, it is also reported that the company that produced the plaque had multiple prints made in the event of damage or theft. - NME, 9/20/16...... The Kinks will release a 10-disc mono vinyl box set, The Mono Collection, on Nov. 18. Containing tracks recorded from 1964 to 1969, the set brings together the British Invasion act's first 8 albums in mono, along with the bonus double Kinks compilation album The Kinks (a.k.a. 'The Black Album'). A hardcover 48-page book including never-before-seen photos and new interviews with Ray Davies, Dave Davies and Mick Avory is also included. The 2016 Kinks-based musical "Sunny Afternoon" which tells the story of the band and includes the title song, "Waterloo Sunset" and "You Really Got Me," among others, has garnered a new generation of fans for the band. - NME, 9/20/16...... A new Elvis Presley limited TV series based on rock critic Dave Marsh's 1982 book Elvis is in the works at Weinstein Television. TWC struck a deal with Presley's estate that grants it the rights to Presley's extensive musical catalog and will also allow the production to be the first ever to shoot in Presley's Graceland mansion. The production also will have access to Elvis' cars, clothes and other items. Presley's ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, will executive produce the eight-to-10 part series with Jerry Schilling, Harvey Weinstein and David Glasser. "I'm a big fan of Harvey Weinstein's independent films," Priscilla Presley said on Sept. 21 in a statement. "I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work with him on this show and tell the story of how Elvis changed the culture of music and initiated a revolution that changed the world." - The Hollywood Reporter, 9/22/16...... The Beatles have earned their 32nd Top 10 LP on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart with their latest release, Live at the Hollywood Bowl. Nielsen Music reports the album moved 36,000 equivalent album units for the week ending Sept. 15. Of that sum, 35,000 were in traditional album sales. Like its 1977 predecessor, The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl, the release features songs from the Fab Four's three Hollywood Bowl performances in 1964 and 1965. The 1977 album peaked at No. 2 and eventually fell out of print. Only three other acts -- the Rolling Stones (a record 36), Barbra Streisand (34) and Frank Sinatra (32) -- have scored at least 30 Top 10 albums. Meanwhile, the Beatles' Apple Corps. has just announced DVD release details of the new Ron Howard-directed Beatles touring documentary, Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years. The film will be available on Nov. 18 on DVD and Blu-ray on a single disc, as well as in a two-disc set with extra features and a 64-page booklet. Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years premiered in theaters and on Hulu on Sept. 16. - Billboard, 9/19/16...... In other Beatles-related news, Ringo Starr released a video and a new song called "Now the Time Has Come" on Sept. 2 in celebration of the U.N.'s International Day of Peace. "I worked on this record with peace and love," Starr said. "It was a joy to be part of this project." The song is part of the social media #HugForPeace campaign to promote a day of non-violence through the peaceful act of hugging, and was co-written by Starr and producer Bruce Sugar, with vocals including Starr's All-Starr Band member Richard Page. - Billboard, 9/22/16...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, a custom-made suit of John Lennon's made by the band's tailor, Douglas Millings, is expected to bring as much as $65,000 (£50,000) when it's put up for auction by rrauction.com on Sept. 26 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge. The suit, one of many made by Millings for the band between 1962 and 1966, was later donated by Lennon to Madame Tussauds, with the permission for the waxwork museum to use it on a future exhibit. Also auctioned on the same day will be a signed Beatles postcard -- which includes the rare signature of fill-in Beatles drummer Jimmie Nicol -- and signed receipts by George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Pete Best from the Star Club days. - NME, 9/22/16...... Hours after formally announcing his retirement on Sept. 20, AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams took his final bow as the band wrapped its Rock or Bust World Tour in Philadelphia. Williams capped off a nearly 40-year tenure with the famous Aussie rockers, with founding guitarist Angus Young and stand-in singer Axl Rose giving Williams props during their closing number, For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)." "Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Cliff Williams," Rose told the audience at the song's end. Then Young walked his longtime bandmate forward to the front of the stage to take one last bow. Earlier in the day, Williams, 66, announced he would be retiring in a video. "It's time for me to step out, that's all... It's just my time, I'm happy I just need family time, just chill out and not do this," he said. Williams joined AC/DC in 1977 as a replacement to original bassist Mark Evans. - Billboard, 9/21/16...... In a new interview with the British paper The Telegraph, Jimmy Page stated that Led Zeppelin "isn't done yet," and hinted that some new Zeppelin reissues could be on the way. "Led Zeppelin isn't done yet, quite clearly, because every year since 1968 there's been new fans," Page said. "The re-releases have more than doubled the amount of Led Zeppelin work out there. I wanted it done authoritatively, 'cause I was the one writing the stuff, I was the producer and mixer. I don't think it's any more weird than writing your autobiography," he added. Page also commented on why he thinks Led Zeppelin's music still stands today. "It was done with so much freedom and conviction by master musicians, that's why it has traveled over time," he said. "It was an extraordinary connection, the synergy within the band. There was an area of ESP between Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham and myself." Page's interview comes on the heels of the newly-expanded Zeppelin album The Complete BBC Sessions, which was released on Sept. 16. - New Musical Express, 9/20/16...... Neil Young has released a new video for his song "Indian Givers," which includes footage from the protests surrounding the construction of the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline. Young is also seen singing in his car during the video, with lyrics stating: "There's a battle raging on the sacred land/Our brothers and sisters have to take a stand/Against us now for what we all been doing/On the sacred land there's a battle brewing." In 2014, Young advocated against the Keystone XL pipeline with the song "Who's Gonna Stand Up?" on his Storytone album. He also hooked up with Willie Nelson that year for a concert in Nebraska against the expansion. - NME, 9/20/16...... A Prince tribute concert set for Oct. 13 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., has sold out immediately after tickets went on sale on Sept. 19. With tickets ranging from $19.99 to $152.50, the gig will be headlined by Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilera, Chaka Khan, John Mayer and Tori Kelly, among others. - AP, 9/19/16...... Magnolia Pictures will release Danny Says, a documentary that chronicles the life of rock and roll music industry exec Danny Fields who was responsible for managing such acts as Iggy and the Stooges, MC5 and the Ramones, on Sept. 30. Fields, an incredibly influential force in the music industry, also collaborated with the likes of Alice Cooper, The Doors and Lou Reed, among others, and in the film Alice Cooper says "Danny was in the middle of it all... guys like Danny are always sort of in the wings, but they're always the most effective people." Named after the Ramones song, Danny Says will arrive in theaters, On Demand, iTunes and Amazon Video on Sept. 30. - Billboard, 9/22/16...... Singer/songwriter John Prine releases a new album, For Better or Worse, on Sept. 30, a sequel of sorts to his 1999 Grammy-nominated duets disc In Spite Of Ourselves. The first single, "Fifteen Years Ago," is a cover of a No. 1 country hit in 1970 for Conway Twitty. "It's a really good story song, which I've always been a sucker for," Prine says. Prine's collaborator on the track is country singer Lee Ann Womack, and Prine says "getting her to do it made it all the better, because her voice is just pure country." Meanwhile, Prine, Tom Waits and Tom Waits' wife Kathleen Brennan will be honored for their songwriting at The Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Awards on Sept. 26 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. The award has been bestowed biennially since 2012 by the New England chapter of the writer's group PEN. Organizers say the award is typically given to artists who have contributed definitive works to the American music canon. Elvis Costello will be the master of ceremonies at this year's event. - Billboard/AP, 9/19/16...... Rights for the Rolling Stones concert documentary Ole! Ole! Ole!: A Trip Across Latin America have been obtained by the subscription VOD platform CraveTV. As part of the deal, CraveTV also acquired the Stones' companion concert film, The Rolling Stones Havana Moon, a film based on the mega group's Havana show. CraveTV will stream Ole! Ole! Ole! from Oct. 14, with Havana Moon to follow with a Jan. 2017 launch. Meanwhile, Keith Richards has confirmed to Rolling Stone that the Stones are deep into making their first album since 2005's A Bigger Bang. "It was fun -- always is!" he says, describing a recent London session where they cut several songs in only two days. Richards has said the album will have "a lot of Chicago blues," including material by Little Walter and Howlin' Wolf. Eric Clapton even played on a couple of songs, which Richards said felt "like old times down in Richmond [London]," where both acts played the Crawdaddy Club in the Sixties. - Billboard/Rolling Stone, 9/18/16...... Bob Weir hasn't released a true solo album since 1978, but jamming with the National (who recently released an extensive Grateful Dead tribute album) at Weir's TRI Studios made him want to give his solo career another shot. Members of the National back him on Blue Mountain, out Sept. 30, which revisits his obsession with cowboys (evident in classics like "Mexicali Blues"). Highlights on the album, co-written with Josh Ritter, include "Ki-Yi Bossie," a campfire singalong with Ramblin' Jack Elliott. - Rolling Stone, 9/22/16...... At 71, Van Morrison says he makes records to please one person: himself. "If it's not interesting, then I don't do it," he says. Keep Me Singing, his first LP of new songs in four years, includes a swing intrumental, a tribute to hero Bobby "Blue" Bland, who died in 2013, and "Too Late," a doo-wop tune about making the most of one's limited time ("It's too late to start over again/ Can't complain," Morrison howls). It's the perfect mission statement of a rock star in twilight, though the song was written years ago. "I came across it in a notebook and thought, 'What happened to this one?'" he says. Keep Me Singing drops on Sept. 30. - Rolling Stone, 9/22/16...... A representative for Monty Python star Terry Jones confirmed on Sept. 22 that the actor has been diagnosed with dementia, and is no longer able to give interviews. The 74-year-old British funnyman who, alongside Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, and Graham Chapman formed the iconic surreal comedy group, has been told by doctors he has primary progressive aphasia - a type of dementia affecting the brain's frontal lobe. It was recently announced that Jones would be honored with a lifetime achievement award at the upcoming British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards. Organizers are still hoping Jones will attend the event but it is thought he will be accompanied by a family representative and won't give a speech. - WENN.com, 9/23/16...... Actor Bill Murray of Saturday Night Live and Caddyshack fame has announced a new line of golf clothes. Murray's love of the Chicago Cubs baseball team reportedly served as the major inspiration behind the design of the new line -- despite the fact that the clothes have been designed to be worn on the golf course, rather than at the ballpark. The full line will go on sale on Murray's golf website, William Murray Golf, on Oct. 20. Murray is an avid golfer, often participating in celebrity golf tournaments. - NME, 9/22/16...... Jerry Corbetta, a legendary rock keyboardist best known for fronting the rock quartet Sugarloaf, has died at age 68. Formed in Denver, Sugarloaf charted two Billboard Top 10 hits in the '70s, including the No. 3 "Green-Eyed Lady" in 1970 and the No. 9 "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You" in 1975. Before founding Sugarloaf, Corbetta was connected to the Four Seasons for many years...... Actor James Westmoreland, known for appearing in such films as The Young Philadelphians, No Time for Sergeants and The Last Sunset, died on Sept. 14 in a hospital near his home in La Quinta, Calif. He was 80. Mr. Westmoreland also starred on the short-lived ABC Western series The Monroes In 1970, Mr. Westmoreland was married for 47 days to True Grit actress Kim Darby; they had known each other for about three weeks before they exchanged vows. - The Hollywood Reporter, 9/22/16...... Director Curtis Hanson, known for helming such films as Eminem's 2002 hip-hop drama 8 Mile as well as Losin' It, The River Wild, Wonder Boys and In Her Shoes, died on Sept. 20 of an apparent heart attack at his Hollywood Hills home. He was 71. Mr. Hanson also had screenwriting credits for such '70s films as The Dunwich Horror (1970), Sweet Kill (1972), The Silent Partner 1978, and The Little Dragons (1979). - The Hollywood Reporter, 9/20/16.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Bruce Springsteen posted a new video of himself reading from his forthcoming book Born to Run on Sept. 13. "Writing prose has its own set of rules," Springsteen says in the clip. "It connects up to your musical rules but you got to create the music without the music. You gotta create momentum purely on the page." Springsteen added that writing a book differs from writing a song in that the songwriter has less time to make his or her point in a few verses. Springsteen received a reported $10 million advance from Simon & Schuster for Born to Run, which is out Sept. 27, and some publishing insiders are questioning whether the book can earn back the hefty advance, which could be the highest payout ever for a music memoir (the publisher declined to confirm the amount). While Keith Richards' bestselling 2010 memoir Life sold one million copies in its first year and earned back much of Richards' reported $7 million advance, Springsteen's book will be more introspective than your typical sex-and-drugs rock memoir: The only drugs he discusses at length are antidepressants. Meanwhile, Springsteen and his E Street Band have announced a tour of Australia and New Zealand which is set to kick off in January. At a Sept. 11 concert in Pittsburgh, the Boss dedicated a song to a fan who gave him a copy of the US constitution amended to mock Donald Trump. "It does say 'F--- Trump' on the front of it. And this next song was his request," Springsteen said. He then played "Long Walk Home" from his 2007 album Magic. - Billboard/NME, 9/13/16...... Hundreds of Rush fans attended a new art park named after Rush singer/bassist Geddy Lee and Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson on Sept. 16 in Toronto, Canada. The fans withstood a driving rainstorm for the official opening of the Lee-Lifeson Art Park, which has a giant likeness of Lee and Lifeson in mosaic tile, and includes a small outdoor stage and amphitheatre for acoustic performances and permanent interactive sculpture installations. The park is located in the Toronto neighborhood of North York where Lee and Lifeson both grew up and formed Rush in 1971. "We're obviously thrilled and amazed that someone would want to do something like this and put our names on it, and we're really happy for the community that there's some investment arts and leisure for this neighborhood," said Lee. "This park will still be here weeks after we're gone," added Lifeson. The idea for the 7000 sq. metre art park originated with Councillor John Fillon in 2012, who also came onstage to say a few words. Toronto mayor John Tory also gave the pair the Key to the City. - Billboard, 9/17/16...... Ozzy Osbourne's family has purchased an auction lot of early Black Sabbath memorabilia that was scheduled to be sold by the Sheffield Auction Gallery to prevent the items from reaching private hands. The gallery had been due to sell the memorabilia from the earliest days of the band, 1968-73, on Sept. 30 with the items expected to fetch as much as £3,000, but a spokesman for the gallery confirmed on Sept. 16 that Ozzy's family pre-empted the auction by buying all the items. Discovered in the 1980s by a Black Sabbath fan living in the Docklands area of East London when his flat was being renovated, the items included postcards sent from on tour to Osbourne's mother Lillian at her home in Birmingham, early publicity photos, tour flyers and posters plus handwritten lyrics for songs including "Changing Phases," which eventually became the song "Solitude" from Black Sabbath's 1971 album Masters Of Reality. The spokesman added that there had been a "huge amount of pre-auction interest" in the items, and did not disclose how much Osbourne's family paid for the items. Black Sabbath continue on their farewell tour, with their final show scheduled in their hometown of Birmingham, UK on Feb. 4. Meanwhile, Ozzy Osbourne's wife Sharon Osbourne revealed on Sept. 13 during her talk show The View that she had a "complete and utter breakdown" which forced her to take an emergency leave from the show in May 2015. "I woke up in Cedars-Sinai Hospital and for probably three days I knew nothing. "I couldn't think, I couldn't talk, I could do nothing. My brain just shut down on me," admitted Osbourne, 63. At the time, Sharon's doctors reported that she suffered from "extreme exhaustion" and believed she returned to work too soon after being treated earlier in the year for pneumonia. Sharon credited group therapy for helping her mental state because "there were several people suffering with what I was suffering." - New Musical Express/People.com, 9/16/16...... The Who's Pete Townshend has launched a line of guitar replicas modelled on the one which he famously smashed on stage in 1976 during a Who gig at the Boston Garden. Townshend smashed his original Les Paul Gold Top Deluxe before 15,000 fans at the show, with its shattered remnants now on display at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. Guitar manufacturer Gibson is selling just 150 copies of the "Pete Townshend Gold Top '76," inspired by a guitar Townshend regularly played in the 1970s and manufactured using the same vintage techniques. The new model includes a reference to the incident, with a "Break Here" sticker placed on the back of the guitar next to its eighth fret, where Townshend smashed the original. - NME, 9/15/16...... A release date has been confirmed by BMG Music for a new Lou Reed box set of albums recorded by Reed between 1972 and 1982. Lou Reed - The RCA & Arista Album Collection, Vol. 1 will be released on Oct. 7 in the US and Nov. 18 in the UK, after being intitally announced back in May. The set will be comprised of six early Reed albums -- all of which were remasted by Reed himself shortly before his death in 2013 -- and include Transformer (1972), Berlin (1973), Rock n Roll Animal (1974), Coney Island Baby (1975), Street Hassle (1978) and The Blue Mask (1982). All LPs will be housed in sleeves with original artwork, and the collection includes a 30-page book featuring previously unseen photos and memorabilia from Reed's personal archives, as well as added liner notes. "Lou put his heart into remastering these records," his widow Laurie Anderson said in a press release." "They are not smoothed out... They leap out at you with their original energy." - NME, 9/14/16...... As his 1966 album Sunshine Superman celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016, pop legend Donovan performed at Carnegie's Zankel Hall in New York City on Sept. 15. Donovan, 70, revisited some of his less-heralded songs, including the the medieval "Guinevere" to the more modern "Jennifer Juniper." Donovan also shared the story of how he contributed key lyrics to the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" and recalled the time a pre-stoner Graham Nash chided him for smoking weed backstage. "I lived it, and I barely believe it myself," he frequently ended his stories. - Billboard, 9/16/16...... Hip-hop musician Skepta has beaten out David Bowie's Blackstar for the UK's Mercury Prize for his fourth album, Konnichiwa. Skepta beat out competition from London bookies' favourite Bowie, whose final album Blackstar was nominated for a posthumous win, as well as albums from artists including Anohni, Radiohead and Savages. Musician Jarvis Cocker, who was among this year's judging panel, said that Bowie would have approved of panel's decision. "We as a jury decided that if David Bowie was looking down on the Hammersmith Apollo tonight if he would want the 2016 prize to go to Skepta," he told the audience during the Mercury Prize ceremony at the Hammersmith Apollo in London on Sept. 15. Established in 1992 and open to acts from Britain and Ireland, the Mercury Prize often favors the eclectic and obscure over better-known performers. In other Bowie-related news, Bowie's son Duncan Jones has confirmed on Twitter that there is no truth to recent reports that his dad's ashes were scattered at the The Temple of Black Rock City in Nevada during the week-long Burning Man gathering earlier in September. "That Burning Man thing? What people will do & say for attention never ceases to amaze me. Not true. Kind of a gross claim as well. *sigh*" Jones wrote. "...We all know if dad DID want his ashes scattered in front of strangers, it would be at the Skegness Butlins. ;)," he added. Bowie's estate has also confirmed that the Burning Man report, in which Bowie's godchild had been granted permission from Bowie's widow Inman had granted permission for a portion of Bowie's ashes to be scattered during the event, was false. - NME, 9/12/16...... Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr attended the world premiere of director Ron Howard's new Beatles documentary Eight Days a Week. in London on Sept. 15. A day earlier, McCartney, Starr and Howard participated in a live Facebook chat, with McCartney saying "In the cinema, we're going to be able to hear ourselves. We couldn't hear ourselves when we were live. So much screaming going on." McCartney added that Howard was a natural choice as the film's director. "Ron was going to do it because we loved his work as a Hollywood director. And we liked him as Richie in Happy Days as well." Among the revelations in the film are that John Lennon's apology for his "Beatles are Greater than Jesus" remark "made him sort of a broken man" and that the Beatles refused to play to segregated audiences. Meanwhile, a lawsuit has emerged over footage from the Beatles' 1965 Shea Stadium concert that is used in the film. On Sept. 12, Sid Bernstein Presents, LLC -- a company representing the late businessman who promoted the group's 1965 concert at New York's Shea Stadium -- filed lawsuit against two Beatles-related companies, Apple Corps Ltd. and Subafilms Limited. The lawsuit contends Sid Bernstein Presents is the rightful owner of the Shea Stadium footage, and claims infringement also occurred two decades ago when the Shea Stadium footage appeared in the 1995 docu-series The Beatles Anthology. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, says Bernstein, who died in 2013 at 95, produced the concert and hired the Beatles and the supporting acts to perform. - Billboard, 9/15/16...... Sting has made his first appearance in 12 years on Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs radio airplay chart with "I Can't Stop Thinking About You," the lead single from his Nov. 11 album 57th & 9th. The song debuted at No. 19 on the chart for the week ending Sept. 24, making it the former Police frontman's first entry on that chart since his 2004 song "Stolen Car (Take Me Dancing)," which bowed at No. 19. 57th & 9th is Sting's first rock-focused set since 2003's Sacred Love. - Billboard, 9/16/16...... Keith Richards, Robert Plant, Iggy Pop, Yoko Ono and Ringo Starr are among 175 artists who have joined "We Are Not Afraid," a global campaign aimed at raising funds for the refugee crisis and victims of religious and political violence. "We Are Not Afraid" takes its name from a song by Nigerian singer Majek Fashek, and its video is directed by former 10cc member Kevin Godley and features Richards, Plant, Pop, Ono and Starr as well as Debbie Harry and Buddy Guy It will be released on Sept. 29. Proceeds from the single will be donated to Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC). - New Musical Express, 9/14/16...... Stevie Wonder has been added to the lineup of a Prince tribute show which is set for St. Paul, Minn., on Oct. 13. Prince's family and organizers have announced the event will be held at the smaller Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, after previously planning to hold it at the new NFL stadium in Prince's hometown of Minneapolis. The lineup also includes Christina Aguilera, Chaka Khan, John Mayer, Tori Kelly, Anita Baker, Doug E. Fresh, Luke James, Bilal and Mint Condition. Prince's inner circle will be represented by Morris Day & The Time, Judith Hill and Liv Warfield along with Prince's New Power Generation, led by Morris Hayes. Meanwhile, Prince's ex-wife Mayte Garcia has announced she will release an "intmate" memoir of her life with Prince called The Most Beautiful: My Life With Prince on Apr. 14, 2017, the one-year anniversary of Prince's death. - AP/Billboard, 9/15/16...... Songwriter Alan Cole filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in Pennsylvania federal court on Sept. 15 against late reggae legend Bob Marley's record company Tuff Gong Music. Cole claims he co-authored Marley's songs "War" and "Natty Dread," but just recently discovered he doesn't own the copyrights. In May, Cole hired a lawyer to help him transfer one half of his interest in "War" to the family of former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie. That lawyer discovered Tuff Gong Music holds the copyright as the "employer for hire." "[Cole] was led to believe that the songs were being copyrighted for him by the record company," states the complaint. "[Cole] was never employed by Tuff Gong Music." Cole is suing Tuff Gong and the Island Def Jam Group, a division of Universal Music and successor in interest to the copyright, and is asking the court to declare that the label infringed on his copyrights. - The Hollywood Reporter, 9/16/16...... Stevie Nicks performed Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" during the Sept. 14 episode of the TV series America's Got Talent. Grace VanderWaal, a 12-year-old finalist on the show, brought Nicks onstage after her performance, introducing her as "a true hero of inspiration." Nicks sang "Landslide" and told host Nick Cannon that young VanderWaal "has a bright future." - Billboard, 9/14/16...... A two-night tribute to Tom Petty dubbed Petty Fest was held at Hollywood's Fonda Theatre on Sept. 13 and 14. Described as a "40th anniversary celebration of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, performers included Norah Jones and comedian/actress Kristen Wiig, who dueted on Petty's pot-smoking-introvert anthem "You Don't Know How It Feels" and the more contemplative "Time to Move On." Jakob Dylan and Dhani Harrison reprised their fathers' roles in the Traveling Wilburys on "End of the Line," and the 30-song set was capped off with all the musicians covering Petty's "Free Fallin'." - Billboard, 9/14/16...... It has been revealed that guitarist Rick Parfitt of the British hard rock band Status Quo was declared clinically dead for several minutes when he suffered a heart attack after a gig in Turkey in June. Parfitt suffered a heart attack following the band's show at Expo 2016 in Antalya, Turkey, leading to him pulling out of the band's concerts for the rest of the year. Status Quo's manager Simon Porter says Parfitt is expected to make a full recovery, but might not be able to tour again as he wants to make his eight-year-old twin children Tommy and Lily his priority. "Rick may well have performed his last show with Quo, but no final decision will be made until next year. Regardless, it is his wish that the band continue to tour as planned and he will always be a part of Quo's numerous other off stage activities," Porter said. The collapse in June was Parfitt's fourth heart attack, after he had undergone a quadruple bypass following his first heart attack in 1997. Status Quo are continuing to tour with guest guitarists, and begin an 11-city UK tour on Dec. 8 in Nottingham. - NME, 9/15/16...... Brian Eno has launched a new interactive website to accompany his 2016 album The Ship. Eno describes the site as an "generative film" which explores the themes and music of the album, released in April on Warp Records. The project attempts to answer the question: "Does the machine intelligence produce a point of view independent of its makers or its viewers? Or are we -- human and machine -- ultimately co-creating new and unexpected meanings?" - NME, 9/15/16...... Actor James Stacy, best known for starring in the TV Western Laramie, died on Sept. 15 in Ventura, Calif. He was 79. Stacy's turbulent life included being married to actresses Connie Stevens and Kim Darby, becoming a double amputee after a motorcycle accident, and serving prison time for child molestation. Stacy's other TV credits included The Donna Reed Show, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Bonanza, Gunsmoke and Wiseguy. He also appeared as a wounded Vietnam vet in the film Just a Little Inconvenience opposite Barbara Hershey, hoping to encourage other amputees and persons with disabilities to fulfill their goals of living a full life. He was also nominated for an Emmy for a guest appearance on Cagney & Lacey. - Variety.com, 9/16/16.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Yusuf/Cat Stevens kicked off his 50th anniversary A Cat's Attic acoustic tour in Toronto, Canada on Sept. 12 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. Yusuf, 68, appeared onstage in front of a backdrop depicting a moonlit skyline with London's Big Ben, the locale of many of the autobiographical songs he performed. He played more than 30 songs from his career, beginning with "Where Do the Children Play?" from 1970's Tea for the Tillerman, and "If You Want to Sing Out Sing Out," which first appeared in the 1971 film Harold & Maude. Yusuf skipped the 27 years he got out of the music business -- when he almost drowned, called out to God, and began his conversion to Islam and lifelong service to education and humanitarianism -- and suggested to learn more about that you'll have to read his 2014 memoir because "it's too long a story." A portion of ticket sales from Yusuf's tour, which continues for 11 more dates and celebrates the 50 years since his first hit "I Love My Dog," will be donated to UNICEF and International Rescue Committee to help child refugees through his charity Small Kindness. - Billboard, 9/13/16...... Queen played Israel for the first time in 40 years in Tel Aviv on Sept. 12, longer than current Queen touring vocalist Adam Lambert has been alive. Wearing a skintight leather getup and Robocop sunglasses, Lambert stood at the fore alongside his much older bandmates, founding guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. Queen opened with the galloping "Seven Seas of Rhye," also including "Fat Bottom Girls," "Don't Stop Me Now," "Love of My Life," "Another One Bites the Dust" and "I Want it All" in the setlist. The band encored with "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" as confetti showered down. - Billboard, 9/13/16...... Former Michael Jackson choreographer Wade Robson has added new negligence claims against two companies formerly controlled by Jackson that he says fostered nearly a decade of sexual abuse. In the graphic new complaint filed on Sept. 12, Robson claims Jackson first sexually assaulted him when he was seven years old when his family was invited to stay at Neverland Ranch, where he slept in Jackson's bed while his family stayed in separate guest quarters. He describes sexual encounters ranging from French kissing to penetrative sex, and claims the abuse continued until he was 14, but became less frequent when he "began showing signs of puberty" and Jackson was "no longer as interested in him sexually." In July, Robson hired attorney Vince Finaldi to represent him in his trial against the Jackson estate, which is scheduled to get underway in March 2017. Finaldi seeks to add several negligence claims to the suit, arguing the MJJ companies "breached their duty to take reasonable protective measures to protect minor children in their charge." - The Hollywood Reporter, 9/13/16...... Stevie Nicks announced on Sept. 13 that she's planning to add a tribute to Prince to her upcoming 24K Gold Tour by performing their collaboration "Stand Back." Nicks says her 1983 hit single was inspired by her hearing Prince's "Little Red Corvette" on the radio during her honeymoon with Kim Anderson. Nicks said when she entered the studio to record the demo for "Stand Back," she called Prince and told him the story of how she wrote the song. Prince then came down to the studio and played synthesisers on the track, although he was initially uncredited. The two never performed the song together on-stage and Nicks previously said she was "heartbroken" that she missed the opportunity to do so when Prince died in April. Nicks also admitted the two disagreed on drug use, saying Prince "hated that I did drugs and that's probably why we didn't hang out more." Nicks will kick off her tour behind her 2014 album 24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault on Oct. 25 with opening act the Pretenders. - New Musical Express/AP, 9/13/16...... Jeff Lynne's ELO peformed three shows with an orchestra at the legendary Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles over the second weekend in September. The three Hollywood Bowl shows constitute three-fifths of ELO's entire American tour, with the final two dates to follow at Radio City Music Hall in New York on Sept. 16 and 18. The 18-song setlist is essentially the same as what Lynne has been doing overseas without symphonic accompaniment, focusing mainly on the run of hits that began in America with "Can't Get It Out of My Head" in 1974. - Billboard, 9/11/16...... Appearing on the Fox News program Fox & Friends on Sept. 12, Wayne Newton said he agrees with those who are not pleased with the current protest by NFL players who are not standing for the playing of the national athem, and said they can "get the hell out" of the country if they are that unhappy. "I think every American has the right to do or say whatever freedom offers us. However, during a national anthem is not a time or a place to show that kind of thing," the iconic Las Vegas performer and "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast" singer said. "I have no tolerance at all for it." San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick made headlines after he didn't stand for the national anthem during preseason games. Kaepernick told reporters it was his way of protesting the injustice against minorities, stemming from more videos surfacing of unarmed African-American men being shot by white police officers. - The Hollywood Reporter, 9/13/16...... Jimmy Page has joined the lineup of guests for the new BBC2 series Later With Jools Holland. The Led Zeppelin guitarist will appear on the first episode, which also features Sting, Kings of Leon, Jack White, M83 and Banks. Page won't be performing on the show, instead he will discuss the newly-expanded Zeppelin album The Complete BBC Sessions, which drops. Sept. 16. The new season of Later With Jools Holland will be broadcast on BBC2 on Sept. 13 with a half-hour live segment, before the full hour-long pre-recorded version debuts on Sept. 16. - New Musical Expresss, 9/8/16...... Bruce Springsteen will once again be among the headliners for the upcoming Stand Up for Heroes benefit show at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 1, as he has done every year since the charity series began 10 years ago. Presented by the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the New York Comedy Festival, Stand Up for Heroes mixes music, comedy and an auction, and raises funds to support injured service members and their families. Also on the bill for this year's edition are comedians Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Jim Gaffigan and Louis C.K.. The 2015 edition featuring Jon Stewart, Ray Romano and Seth Meyers raised $6.1 million and was the most successful year yet. - Billboard, 9/12/16...... In other Springsteen news, the Boss has announced he'll embark on a national book tour promoting his forthcoming biography, Born to Run, on Sept. 27 at the Barnes & Noble in Freehold, N.J. Springsteen will also visit various book stores and libraries in New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., San Francisco and New York City before concluding in Boston at the Harvard Coop on Oct. 10. Born to Run drops on Sept. 27, and a companion album, Born to Run: Chapter and Verse, is due out on Sept. 23. - Billboard, 9/12/16...... ZZ Top released a new live album, Live: Greatest Hits from Around the World, on Sept. 9, a collection that features concert cuts from 13 cities on three continents. "I can't remember who came up with the different cities on different tours [idea] for different songs, but we thought that was kind of a tasty idea, so here it is," says ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill. Hill adds that "playing live is the essence of what what we do." "I love recording and I love everything -- videos, everything like that -- but playing live is what does it for me. If we're off the road too long I start bugging all my friends; I've gotta find somebody to play for. So this was a fun project for me," Hill said. Hill adds the band is currently working on a ZZ Top documentary, with no release date yet determined. The group is also planning to release a new studio album to follow up 2012's Rick Rubin co-produced La Futura. - Billboard, 9/12/16...... The final recordings by David Bowie will be featured on a 2-disc release of cast recordings from the Bowie-inspired and created musical "Lazarus." Due Oct. 21, the first disc will include the New York cast versions of 18 Bowie songs -- all of which were recorded on Jan. 11, just hours after the icon died the previous night. The second disc will include Bowie's final studio recordings in the form of three previously unreleased songs -- "No Plan," "Killing A Little Time," and "When I Met You." Meanwhile, there are reports that Bowie's ashes have been scattered at The Temple of Black Rock City, the temporary community set up in Black Rock Desert for Burning Man in Nevada. According to sources close to Bowie, the late rock icon and his godchild "had long talks about Burning Man and what it stands for, and David loved the message behind it." Bowie was purportedly commemorated by 70 people at The Temple of Black Rock City, which was put up for attendees to pay respects to their loved ones and at the end of the week is burned to the ground. In more Bowie-related news, his widow Iman made her first public appearance since her husband's death in January on Sept. 7 at designer Tom Ford's New York Fashion Week show. Iman posted a picture of herself getting ready on Instagram with the caption "My first night out attending an event since last year!" The musician and Iman were married from 1992 until his death. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 9/12/16...... Taking the stage at the "LGBT for Hillary Clinton" event in New York on Sept. 9, Barbra Streisand sang rewritten lyrics for the Stephen Sondheim ballad "Send in the Clowns" to zing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. "Is he that rich? Maybe he's poor," Streisand sang. "Something's amiss, I don't approve. If he were running the free world, where would we move?" Streisand also praised Clinton, her longtime pal. "Hillary's kind, smart, that is clear," Streisand continued. "While she is giving us hope, Trump is selling us fear!" Later in the song, she blasted Trump as a "sad, vulgar clown." The tune was part of Streisand's intimate, seven-song set at the event, which was held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. In other Streisand news, the diva has been tapped to chair the New World Trade Center Arts Center in New York. Streisand will serve as board chair of the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center that will be dedicated to producing new works and serving as a public space, officials announced on Sept. 9. Located between One World Trade Center and the memorial plaza, the cube-shaped center will aim to both commemorate the Sept. 11 tragedy and reflect the vitality of New York City. The center also will be home to the Tribeca Film Festival. - The Huffington Post/AP, 9/11/16...... A musical based on the life and music of '70s disco queen Donna Summer is in the works. The project is being brought to Broadway by some of the talent behind hit shows like "Jersey Boys" and "Hamilton." A workshop of early parts of the show was staged in New York recently, with the part of Summer played by Ariana DeBose, who has previously appeared in both "Hamilton" and Broadway musical "Motown." Two more actors will portray Summer at different stages of her life: through childhood, superstardom during disco's heyday and in her later years. Summer, who was born in Boston in 1948, died in Naples, Florida in 2012 of lung cancer at age 63. - NME, 9/8/16...... In related news, Summer's producer Giorgio Moroder brought back the days of disco at an "I Feel Love" immersive event in Brooklyn on Sept. 8 and 9. "I grew up on their music and Donna Summer in South Africa," said original Village People cowboy Randy Jones. "It made me gay." Moroder took over the DJ booth at 11:30 p.m. and immediately went into Summer's orgiastic "Love to Love You Baby," followed by her dramatic "MacArthur Park," plus "Take My Breath Away," the 1986 Berlin song Moroder won an Oscar for co-writing. "Disco music is perfect," said Moroder between spins. "It's beautiful. I love it!" - Billboard, 9/10/16...... As a Ron Howard-directed movie about Beatlemania, Eight Days a Week: The Beatles Touring Years, premieres in theaters nationwide on Sept. 16, Howard, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartneyrecently participated in a press conference about the new film. Starr said he first met Howard in the '70s, "when he was a lad and I was a lad." Howard said Starr and Who drummer Keith Moon "wandered onto the Happy Days set... I'm not kidding. Everything stopped and the assistant director tried to keep rehearsal going, but [co-star] Henry Winkler and I said [to the AD], "Get the f-- out of here! We'll catch up later!" Eight Days a Week arrives in 80 theaters for one-night-only sneak peek on Sept. 15, followed by a full-week engagement in 50 theaters starting Sept. 16. A companion album, The Beatles: Live at the Hollywood Bowl, which captures the group's 1964 and 1965 performances at the legendary venue, dropped on Sept. 9. - Billboard, 9/9/16...... Folk-rock legend Donovan will become the third recipient of the John Lennon Real Love Award at the 36th annual John Lennon Tribute Concert to be held on Dec. 2 at Symphony Space in New York City, the event's non-profit sponsor Theatre Within announced on Sept. 8. Donovan, who accompanied the Beatles on a trip to India in 1968 and composed songs there, will perform a set of Beatles songs and his own at the concert and dedicate them to Lennon. Donovan's body of work speaks for itself. It's seminal and beloved by fans and fellow artists," Joe Raiola, executive producer and artistic director of Theatre Within's Annual John Lennon Tribute, says. "Donovan is a beautiful soul who was positively influenced by John," Lennon's widow Yoko Ono said in a statement. "I think it is lovely that Theatre Within is honoring him with the 'John Lennon Real Love Award' and that the Tribute continues to flourish." - Billboard, 9/8/16...... With its shag carpeting, Polynesian flair and indoor waterfall, the "Jungle Room" in Elvis Presley's Graceland den epitomized the kitsch excess of the King's declining years. It was also the unlikely birthplace of his final recordings, showcased in the new RCA/Legacy reissue Way Down in the Jungle. This is a chance to eavesdrop on a troubled icon pulling himself together for a final sprint. Obviously, there's some schlock (his version of Neil Sedaka's "Solitaire"). But when he glides through Johnny Ace's 1954 R&B classic "Pledging My Love," his innate Elvis-ness is as seductive as ever. - Rolling Stone, 9/8/16...... Wayne Kramer of the seminal Detroit-based punk band MC5 was among the headliners at the Prison Reform and the Jail Guitar Doors Benefit in Los Angeles on Sept. 9. "I'm a returned citizen," Kramer says, "I served a federal prison term." In 1974 the Detroit native was part of a drug sting, supposedly the result of his and his bandmates' connections to political activism the White Panther party, by the federal government, which resulted in a four-year prison term. Kramer says the prison term he received for procuring a pound-and-a-half of cocaine for an informant with a briefcase full of of $100 bills would have ended with a life sentence today. Also performing were Shooter Jennings, Marshall Crenshaw, Jill Sobule, Keith Morris and Don Was, among others. - Billboard, 9/9/16...... Rhino Records will reissue a 2-CD remastered version of Bette Midler's classic 1972 Grammy-winning debut album The Divine Miss M on Oct. 21. The special edition includes the remastered album, a bonus disc of singles, outtakes, demos and new liner notes written by Midler. A digital version will also be available, as well as a 1-LP vinyl format with the remastered original album (co-produced by Barry Manilow) and original album artwork. In addition to the top 40 hits "Do You Want to Dance" and "Friends" and the Top 10 hit "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," the second disc has nine additional tracks including the single mixes for "Friends" and "Chapel of Love" and a version of "Do You Want to Dance" mixed by album co-producer Joel Dorn. Midler has been tapped to serve as a mentor on the upcoming 11th season of NBC's The Voice. - Billboard, 9/9/16...... Former Saturday Night Live star Chevy Chase has reportedly entered rehab as an in-patient at Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center in Minnesota -- the same place his longtime pal Robin Williams was treated in 2014. A rep for Chase said the 72-year-old comidean is seeking a "tune-up" for an alcohol-related problem. In the 1980s, Chase checked into the Betty Ford Clinic in California, and Jan. 1995 was convicted of drunk driving in Beverly Hills. Chase is set to appear in two upcoming movies, Dog Years and The Christmas Apprentice, while he and his Vacation co-star Beverly D'Angelo are in talks to play retired characters who have to give up their comfortable lives and raise their grandchildren in a new TV comedy. - WENN.com, 9/6/16...... Ska pioneer and Jamaican music legend Prince Buster died in a Miami hospital on Sept. 8 after suffering a stroke. He was 78. Born Cecil Bustamante Campbell in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1938, Prince Buster became one of the island's most revered musicians, performing and producing popular ska bands in the 1960s including The Vikings and the Folkes Brothers. A prolific musician, he recorded thousands of records, including such hits as "Al Capone," and "Judge Dread." He helped ignite the ska movement in England and later helped carry it into the rocksteady era in the mid-1960s. During a ska revival in the late 1970s, a group of British musicians named their band Madness after one of his hit songs and also covered his song "One Step Beyond" in 1979. Prince Buster couldn't walk after a massive stroke in 2009, but he could still communicate and travel. - AP, 9/9/16.
Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016
Bruce Springsteen played his longest U.S. concert in history in Philadelphia on Sept. 7. At 4 hours and 4 minutes and 34 songs played, the show at Citizens Bank Park surpassed the previous U.S. record set only eight days earlier at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Aug. 30 (a 2012 set in Helsinki, Finland, still holds the world record at 4:06). Springsteen and his E Street Band treated the Philly crowd to an early 10-song set that focused primarily on his first two albums, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, and he also included his Academy Award-winning song, "The Streets of Philadelphia." Meanwhile, as he prepares to release his anxiously awaited autobiography Born to Run on Sept. 27, Springsteen has given a new interview to Vanity Fair magazine, opening up about his complex relationship with his late father, his own struggles with depression, and his next album, which he says is completely finished. - Billboard, 9/8/16...... A huge 26-by-15 foot iron sculpture created by Bob Dylan will be unveiled by the iconic singer/songwriter at the entrance of the new $1.3 billion MGM National Harbor resort casino in Prince's County, Maryland, when the casino opens later in 2016. Titled "Portal," the sculpture will be Dylan's first permanent piece to be displayed in a public space. Dylan reportedly fashioned the sculpture with hand-selected found objects, including farm equipment, kitchen utensils and tools. Creating sculptures out of pieces of iron and other metals has been one of Dylan's hobbies for the past 30 years, but only in 2013, at the Halcyon Gallery in London, did he exhibit his first metalwork, called "Moodswings," publicly. "I've been around iron all my life ever since I was a kid. I was born and raised in iron ore country -- where you could breathe it and smell it every day," Dylan said at the time. "And I've always worked with it in one form or another," he added. - New Musical Express, 9/7/16...... The first three of a planned 11-LP reissue series of all of Yoko Ono's albums will hit stores on Nov. 11 via Secretly Canadian and Chimera Music. Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins (1968), Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With Lions (1969), and Plastic Ono Band (1970) will all include bonus tracks and feature the original vinyl packaging with never-before-seen photos. The vinyl was re-mastered from the original tapes by mastering engineer Greg Calbi, who worked with John Lennon, and musician Sean Lennon, her son. The reissue series will also be available, for the first time ever, for digital download. - Billboard, 9/7/16...... A tribute concert to late blues icon B.B. King was held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sept. 1. "Icon: The Life and Legacy of B.B. King" featured performances from such diverse acts as Slash, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Keb' Mo', Jimmie Vaughan, Joe Bonamassa, Bobby Bland, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks. "B.B. gave me inspiration, friendship, advice and the stage," said Joe Bonamassa, who opened for King at the age of 8. "If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be standing here." Also sharing reflections via video were Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt and Buddy Guy. Proceeds from the event support the Grammy Foundation and Grammy Museum, two charitable organizations of The Recording Academy. - Billboard, 9/2/16...... Meat Loaf's classic 1977 rock opera Bat Out of Hell is being adapted into a musical for the U.K. stage, with previews set to begin on Feb. 17, 2017 at Manchester Opera House. Scripted by Jim Steinman, who also wrote all the songs on the LP, the storyline of "Bat Out of Hell: The Musical" is described in a press release as "a romantic adventure about rebellious youth and passionate love, set against the backdrop of a post-cataclysmic city adrift from the mainland." "Bat Out of Hell: The Musical" coincides with the 40th anniversary of the release of the 1977 album, and is being produced by David Sonenberg, Michael Cohl, Randy Lennox and Tony Smith. After its U.K. run it will eventually play Canada. Bat Out of Hell has been certified as selling 14 million copies in the U.S. by the R.I.A.A., and according to Neilsen Music, has sold an additional 5.2 million units since 1991. Although Meat Loaf is not directly involved in the new production, he praised his longtime collaborator Steinman. "He and I have been friends and worked together for over 40 years so it's incredible for me to see his dream of over 50 years finally come to fruition," Meat Loaf said. The singer's next LP, Braver Than We Are, hits stores in the U.S. on Sept. 16 and Sept. 9 in Europe. All the songs were written by Steinman. - Billboard, 9/6/16...... Queen guitarist Brian May, who is also an astrophysicist, has announced in a new video that an asteroid discovered in 1991 orbiting betwen Mars and Jupiter will be named after his late bandmate, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. "I'm happy to be able to announce that the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center has today designated Asteroid 17473, discovered 1991, in Freddie's name, timed to honor his 70th Birthday," May said. "Henceforth this object will be known as Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury." May says that you "need a pretty decent telescope" to see the heavenly body. "It's just a dot of light but it's a very special dot of light and maybe one day we'll get there," May said. - NME, 9/5/16...... Stevie Nicks announced on Sept. 6 that she'll kick off a new 27-date leg on her 24 Karat Gold Tour on Sept. 25 in Phoenix, Ariz. With opening act the Pretenders, Nicks will also visit Denver (9/27), Houston (9/29) and Dallas (9/30) in September. After taking October off, the tour picks up in Tampa, Fla., on Nov. 2 for shows in major U.S. and Canadian cities before wrapping on Dec. 18 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. Meanwhile, in a new interview with the New York TImes, the singer admitted that she regrets doing so many drugs during her career. "Yes, it (doing drugs) was a lot of fun between 1975 and 1990 - until it wasn't," Nicks recalled. "I walk onstage every night now and do a three-hour show with Fleetwood Mac, and I have a great time up there. I wish I had known that I actually had the energy to do this entire set totally sober and get just as excited. On one hand, that makes me feel great and on the other it makes me sad that I ever did my first line of coke," she added. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 9/6/16...... Former Deep Purple singer Glenn Hughes will release his twelfth solo album, Resonate, on Nov. 4 in the U.K. via Frontiers Music Srl. The album dovetails Hughes' UK and European tour with special guests Living Colour, which kicks off in the UK on Nov. 8 in Leamington Spa. Resonate is Hughes' first solo album in over 8 years and features his live solo band members, in addition to his longtime friend and drummer Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers. The new album will be available in two configurations: regular CD and Deluxe Edition including one bonus track and DVD. Vinyl release will be made available via the Frontiers' label partners Soulfood Music. - Noble PR 9/8/16...... Some diehard fans of Michael Jackson are claiming the singer is still alive after spotting what they believe to be the King of Pop in a selfie taken by his daughter, Paris Jackson, in May and posted on Instagram. In the photo, Paris is pictured sitting beside a pile of clothes on the passenger seat next to her. But now, some fans of Jackson maintain the clothes are the late singer in disguise. The rumours surrounding the photo have intensified after Jackson's 19-year-old son Prince Jackson recently wrote a poem in honour of his late father. Its lines include: "To many he is a king/To me a man/All he inspires/To lead a noble cause/Everyone is family, not a fan even while receiving thunderous applause." Jackson died in 2009, when Paris was 11. Taken while Paris was travelling around the Joshua Tree in California, the photo is captioned: "If you give a little love, you get a little love of your own." - NME, 9/5/16...... Barbra Streisand has earned her 11th No. 1 album on the Billbaord Hot 200 album chart with her latest release, Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway. The LP extends the diva's record for the most Billboard No. 1 albums among women artists, and ties her with Bruce Springsteen for the the third-most among all acts. Only the Beatles have more No. 1 albums in the U.S., with a record 19 chart-toppers. Released Aug. 26 through Columbia, Encore is an all-star collaborative affair, and pairs Streisand with a range of actors -- including Anne Hathaway, Daisy Ridley, Jamie Foxx and Melissa McCarthey -- to cover songs from Broadway. - Billboard, 9/4/16...... Country music legend Loretta Lynn has postponed shows after suffering injuries in a fall that will require minor surgery. In a statement posted on her website on Sept. 7, the 84-year-old singer/songwriter's injuries were described as not serious, but her doctors have advised her to stay off the road until she's made a full recovery. Lynn was forced to cancel a Labor Day weekend show at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., and three upcoming shows in September have been postponed. Lynn released her latest album, Full Circle, earlier in 2016, and she continues to tour regularly. - AP, 9/7/16...... Jerry Heller, known for being NWA's original manager and before that a successful tour promoter for such acts as Elton John, The Who and Kraftwerk, passed away at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, Calif. on Sept. 2 after suffering a heart attack. He was 75. In the '60s and '70s, Heller worked as an agent for numerous artists Marvin Gaye, ELO, Journey and Creedence Clearwater Revival, while also promoting the first US tours by Elton John, Kraftwerk and Pink Floyd. Heller later helped to accelerate the rise of NWA and the gangsta-rap movement as the group's original manager, and co-founded the highly influential Ruthless Records with group member Eazy-E. In 2015, Heller filed a defamation lawsuit last year over the way he was portrayed in the hit NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton. He was played by Paul Giamatti in the acclaimed film. In 2006, he published his autobiography, Ruthless: A Memoir, written with Gil Reavill. - NME, 9/3/16...... Veteran actor Hugh O'Brian, best known for starring in the long-running TV western The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, died of natural causes in his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sept. 5. He was 91. The ABC Western The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, in which the exceedingly handsome, muscular O'Brian starred as the title character, ran for 221 episodes from 1955-61. At the time he was one of television's great male sex symbols. In 1957, Mr. O'Brian was nominated for an Emmy for best continuing performance by an actor in a dramatic series for his work on the series. Mr. O'Brian also dedicated a great deal of his life to a charitable effort he created himself in 1958, the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Foundation, a nonprofit youth leadership development program for high schoolers. The organization sponsors 10,000 high school sophomores annually through leadership programs in all 50 states and 20 countries. He is survived by his wife, the former Virginia Barber, whom he married in 2006 at the age of 81. - Variety, 9/5/16...... Outspoken conservative activist Phyllis Schafly, who helped defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and founded the Eagle Forum political group, died on Sept. 5 at her St. Louis home after a battle with cancer. She was 92. Mrs. Schlafly rose to national attention in 1964 with her self-published book, A Choice Not an Echo, that became a manifesto for the far right. It chronicled the history of the Republican National Convention, sold three million copies and helped conservative Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater earn the 1964 GOP nomination. Although she earned master's and law degrees, she once said perhaps her greatest legacy was the ultraconservative Eagle Forum, which she founded in suburban St. Louis in 1972. - AP, 9/5/16.
Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016
Former AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has completed his eight months of home detention on threatening-to-kill charges in 2015, and in a new interview with the New Zealand Herald he says his recovery from recent heart attack is more important than returning to AC/DC. "I was just at home walking around at home, and I started feel, well just funny I had a strange pain in my chest," the 62-year-old musician said. "So my housekeeper took me to the hospital, when they hooked me up and did all these tests turned out I had a big heart attack... my artery was all blocked up, and they said I had to stay in and have an operation." After receiving treatment, Rudd is now out of the hospital and says he's "ready to rock." Although Rudd says he isn't exactly yearning to rejoin the band, he's leaving the door open. "If Angus [Young] wanted me to play then that is up to him," Rudd said. "But I don't really want to play with Axl Rose... I don't really rate him," he added. Instead, Rudd says he plans to spend time re-releasing and touring behind his 2014 solo album, Head Job, and teaching a drumming master class at Paul McCartney's Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. Meanwhile, the Rudd-less version of AC/DC continues its US tour through Sept. 20. - Billboard, 9/1/16...... The first UK home of late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury has been decorated with an English Heritage Blue Plaque in the singer's honor. Mercury's parents moved into the terrace house in Feltham, West London when they emigrated to the UK from Zanzibar in 1964. Mercury's sister Kasmira Cooke, who was on hand for the unveiling, said that "Secretly he would have been very proud and pleased too." Queen guitarist Brian May, also in attendance, said: "It was here that I first visited Freddie soon after we had met through a mutual friend. We spent most of the day appreciating and analysing in intimate detail the way that Jimi Hendrix had put his recordings together in the studio -- listening to Hendrix on vinyl played on Freddie's Dansette record player -- which had stereo speakers on opposite sides of the box!" The performer was also hailed by UK Secretary of State for Culture Karen Bradley, who called him a "global icon whose music touched the lives of millions of people around the world." Mercury, who passed away in 1991, would have celebrated his 70th birthday on Sept. 5. - New Musical Express, 9/1/16...... Barbra Streisand has hit the top of the charts in England for the seventh time in her 50-year career with her new duets album Encore - Movie Partners Sing Broadway. The diva previously reached the top in the UK with her A Star Is Born, Greatest Hits Vol . 2, Guilty, Love Songs, The Essential Barbra Streisand and, most recently, Love Is the Answer in 2009. Only Madonna, with 12 chart-toppers, has more UK No. 1 LPs than Streisand. - Billboard, 9/2/16...... The city council of Foxborough, Mass., has voted to extend the city's concert curfew by 15 minutes -- from 11:15 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. -- to accomodate the upcoming Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band show at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 14. A spokesman for the venue said Springsteen, who has been playing 3 1/2 to 4 -hour sets on his current "The River Tour," has played Gillette twice before with no issues. Foxborough is the last stop on the US leg of the tour, which began in January. Meanwhile, Springsteen and the band have played another marathon 4:01 concert in East Rutherford, N.J. on Aug. 30 which should become their longest ever US concert. The 34-song concert shattered records from shows at the same venue on Aug. 23 and Aug. 25. The record for the longest E Street Band show, 4 hours and 6 minutes, was set in 2012 in Helsinki, Finland. At the finale, Springsteen told the crowd that the three-night stand was the most fun the group ever had at the Meadowlands, and he concluded his 9 encores with "Jersey Girls" as the sky ignited with fireworks. - AP/Billboard, 9/2/16...... In more Springsteen-related news, the rocker has shared what he says was the hardest part of writing his autobiography, Born to Run, in a new video on his official website. "The hardest part was the third [part of the] book where you had to write about the present, because it's all people you are living with in your life today," he says. "That was the most challenging part. Stuff that was in the past, [it] just felt like you had a lot of freedom there." Born to Run is due Sept. 27. - Billboard, 9/1/16...... Beach Boys singer Mike Love's upcoming memoir includes detals of the band's brief relationship with cult leader Charles Manson in the late 1960s. Love reportedly writes that Manson and his followers moved in with bandmate Dennis Wilson in 1968, a little more than a year before Manson's cult killed seven people, including actress Sharon Tate. Love recalled one occasion when he was at the house with another Beach Boy, Bruce Johnston, when Manson handed out LSD and was "orchestrating sex partners" for some of his female followers. When Love tried to bow out of the situation Manson, according to Love, told him "you can't leave the group." Love's autobiography, Good VIbrations: My Life as a Beach Boy, is due Oct. 19. - AP, 9/1/16...... Original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has responded to Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne's recent claims that he contacted Ward about joining the band's farewell tour. Posting on Facebook on Sept. 1, Ward said that "Ozzy has never reached out since January 26/27 2012 when he called to see when I would be arriving in the UK to join rehearsals for the 13 CD. Since that last phone call, he has never reached out to me, and I have not reached out to him." Ward's post was in response to a new interview Ozzy did with Rolling Stone magazine, in which he was asked if he'd consider having Ward join the band for their final concerts ever in their hometown of Birmingham in Feb. 2017. "I don't know. Every time I reach out to Bill I get yelled at for something. If something can be worked out, great," Ozzy said. "[Touring drummer] Tommy [Clufetos] is doing a great job I'm sad that Bill never came through," he added. Ward, who left the band in 2012, has cited what he considers to be an unfair contract as a reason to stay away. "The contract was impossible to sign," Ward wrote in the Facebook note. "The group rhetoric of 2012, 2013 and throughout, was fault-finding, condemning and full of dishonest evaluations of me as a person, including my so-called health issues." Ward also said he got a "no" from a Black Sabbath rep in 2015 when he inquired about possibly rejoining for the farewell tour. Black Sabbath is currently on tour in North America as it heads towards its final two concerts in Birmingham on Feb. 2 and 4. In other Black Sabbath news, Ozzy Osbourne has told Rolling Stone that he thinks Adolf Hitler was gay. Ozzy, a World War II expert, believes the infamous dictator was hiding a sexual secret, which may have turned him mad. "I always thought he was gay," Osbourne said. "Back then, being gay was a criminal offense. When he would go to (vacation spot) Berchtesgaden, his cleaners would check to see if there were any stains on his blankets. And there never were any." - Billboard/WENN.com, 9/2/16...... A major Pink Floyd retrospective called "The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains" is set to run at the UK's historic Victoria and Albert Museum in West London's South Kensington district from May 13 to Oct. 1, 2017. Produced with the collaboration of the surviving Pink Floyd members, the retrospective will feature "never-before-seen classic Pink Floyd concert footage" and a "custom-designed laser light show," as well as over 350 artefacts including instruments, music technology, original designs, architectural drawings, handwritten lyrics and psychedelic prints and posters. Previously unseen material and set and construction pieces from stage performances including The Dark Side Of The Moon, The Wall and The Division Bell will also be presented. "It's an impressive and enduring British design story of creative success," said museum diretor Martin Roth. - New Musical Express, 8/31/16...... The Guinness World Records organization has certified Ringo Starr's copy of the Beatles' "White Album" as the "most expensive LP ever sold at auction." The Dec. 2015 sale of Starr's first-edition "White Album" copy with the catalog number 0000001 was sold by Julien's Auctions and went for a whopping $790,000. It had been kept in a vault in perfect condition by Starr for more than 35 years. The LP was sold as part of a three-day auction of items owned by the band's drummer and his wife, Barbara Bach, with proceeds going to his social welfare charity, the Lotus Foundation. The name of the buyer was not disclosed. The previous record holder in the category was an Elvis Presley acetate that sold for $305,000. The 2017 edition of the Guinness records also notes that David Bowie has earned a record for the most simultaneous entries on the UK album charts -- 19 albums in the UK Top 100 -- after his Jan. 2016 death. - Billboard, 9/1/16...... Such rock stars as Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi and Jimmy Buffett performed at an outdoor private fundraiser for Democratic presidential nominee Sec. Hillary Clinton in the Hamptons in Long Island, N.Y., on Aug. 30. McCartney performed "Jet," "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Lady Madonna," also leading Buffett and Bon Jovi in a rendition of "Hey Jude" to close the 75-minute show. "This is the first time I've paid to hear myself sing," McCartney told the crowd. McCartney also danced with Clinton, and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, also was in attendance. - Billboard, 8/31/16...... Several of Prince's closest friends and musical collaborators are planning a tribute to the late rock star. An Oct. 13 at the new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis will "feature members of the iconic Prince Family," including Morris Day and the Time, Sheila E., The Revolution and New Power Generation, according to a Minnesota State Arts Board newsletter. - AP, 8/31/16...... Guernsey's Auctions of Manhattan has announced it will conduct an auction of several of the late blues-rock great Johnny Winter's guitars, song notebooks and memorabilia on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at the Gibson Brands Showroom in New York. Guernsey reps say the items being put on the block include jewelry, scarves and hats -- "sweat stains and all" -- and "extremely rare" rock and blues posters and vintage photos. The collection is being sold for Winter's family. - AP, 9/1/16...... In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Sting says his forthcoming album 57th & 9th was inspired by the "immortal" David Bowie, as well as other recently deceased musicians including Prince, Lemmy Kilmister and actor Alan Rickman. "David Bowie went first, and then Lemmy, and then my friend Alan Rickman died, and then Prince. It all seemed to topple on top of each other. It was a strange time because you think that these people are immortal, but then suddenly they're like the rest of us, they die," Sting said. 57th & 9th, due Nov. 11, will be Sting's first solo album since 2013's The Last Ship. - NME, 8/30/16...... Dean Stuart Wetter, the 65-year-old husband of Heart singer Ann Wilson, has been charged with assault in an alleged attack on two relatives during the group's show in suburban Seattle. Court records reveal that two teens were watching a Heart show from backstage on Aug. 27 when they left to walk around. They were walking past the tour buses when they saw Ann Wilson's new tour bus and wanted to look inside. Wetter reportedly started yelling at the boys after they left the door open and allegedly punched one of them in the back of the head before grabbing him by the throat. When the other boy stepped in, Wetter allegedly also grabbed his throat. Wetter, who married Ann Wilson in 2015, has been charged with two counts of assault by Seattle authorities and is free on $10,000 bail. - AP, 9/1/16.
Monday, August 29, 2016
A three-person board announced on Aug. 29 that it had denied parole for Mark David Chapman, the convicted murderer of John Lennon. The board did not specify the reason for denying Chapman, 61, parole for the ninth time since he was found guilty of slaying Lennon in front of his and wife Yoko Ono's Dakota apartment building in New York City on Dec. 8, 1980, as the couple returned from a recording session. The parole board had reportedly received five letters recommending parole for Chapman in 2016, however, those writing the board requesting it deny parole for Chapman included Yoko Ono. In his last hearing two years ago, Chapman claimed to have found Jesus and said he was an "idiot" for killing Lennon. He added that he was "confused" and "needed a lot of attention at that time, and I took it out on him." - Billboard/New York Daily News, 8/29/16...... Mick Jagger has reportedly reached a five-figure monthly child support deal with his current lover, 29-year-old ballet dancer Melane Hamrick, whom the 72-year-old has been dating on-and-off for the last two years. Hamrick, who is due to give birth in December, announced she had unexpectedly became pregnant during the Rolling Stones' tour of South America earlier in 2016. The hefty payments are said to be around $15,000 a month until the child turns 18, meaning that Hamrick, who currently lives in New York, will bank an estimated total of $3.3 million. Jagger has also agreed to purchase a house for Hamrick and his latest child, which will be his eighth. - WENN.com, 8/29/16...... Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose joined AC/DC for the Aussie rockers' first night of their 10-date Rock Or Bust Tour on Aug. 27 in Greensboro, N.C. The show was highlighted by a performance of "Live Wire" from the band's 1975 album T.N.T., the first time the band have performed the track live since 1982. The tour will be AC/DC's last with Rose, who joins the dates fresh from Guns N' Roses' Not In This Lifetime tour. Rose was recruited after their long-time frontman Brian Johnson was advised against performing live by physicians after experiencing hearing problems. Johnson announced earlier this year that he had met with in-ear technology specialist Stephen Ambrose for treatment of his hearing loss, and says he hopes he can rejoin AC/DC at some future point. After dates in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (8/30), Atlanta (9/1), Cleveland, Oh. (9/6), Detroit (9/9), Buffalo, N.Y. (9/11), New York City (9/14) and Washington, D.C. (9/17), AC/DC will wrap the tour in Philadelphia on Sept. 20. - New Musical Express, 8/28/16...... Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are known for their marathon concerts, and now the band appears to have set a new stateside record on Aug. 23 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The band performed a 35-song, 3 hour and 52 minute set which the Springsteen fansite Backstreets.com reports is the Boss's longest U.S. show ever. However that concert is shorter than Springsteen's longest concert ever, a 4 hour and 6 minute show in Helinski, Finland, in 2012. Springsteen and his band are performing in seven U.S. cities, including East Rutherford, before wrapping the tour on Sept. 14. The band spent three months performing in Europe on their The River Tour 2016, which kicked off in January. - AP, 8/25/16...... Led Zeppelin has shared a previously unreleased track called "Sunshine Woman" to help promote their upcoming album The Complete BBC Sessions, which is due on Sept. 16. "Sunshine Woman," recorded in 1969, was recently unearthed and previously only available as a bootleg. It will be one of eight unheard recordings to feature on The Complete BBC Session, which is a remastered version of 1997's BBC Sessions, along with additional tracks. - NME, 8/25/16...... The Beach Boys will release all of their pre-Capitol Records recordings in a new 2-disc set, Becoming the Beach Boys, on Aug. 26 via Omnivore Records. Most prior budget label releases of the recordings did not use the master tapes and featured inferior sound quality, until the DCC Compact Classics release Lost & Found 1961-62 in 1991, but that release only contained a fraction of the sessions. Becoming the Beach Boys was produced with the full cooperation of the band and contains all of the available tapes plus studio chatter. The "classic line-up" of the band is featured on the recordings, which included brothers Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine. The CD also contains songs by Kenny and the Cadets, which included Brian and Carl Wilson, their mother Audree Wilson, Al Jardine and Val Poliuto. Liner notes were written by Jim Murphy, who authored a book also entitled Becoming the Beach Boys in 2015. - Billboard, 8/26/16...... Legendary pop music producer, instrumentalist and record label executive Herb Alpert has pledged $10.1 million to Los Angeles City College through his Herb Alpert Foundation. The college says it will be able to provide free tuition as well as private lessons to all its music majors for years to come as a result of the donation. "I love the idea that we can open the door to help students who are financially challenged to study at LACC, which is a beautiful college," the "Rise" trumpeter said. "If you haven't been there lately, the campus is alive and kicking, and there are a lot of great teachers and a lot of great energy there," he added. Meanwhile, Alpert is doing sessions with an orchestra at Hollywood's Capitol Studios for his first Christmas album in 48 years. - The Hollywood Reporter, 8/26/16...... Country/pop crossover superstar Dolly Parton is on track to score her first Billboard No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart in 25 years with her new LP Pure & Simple. The album is forecast to sell around 20,000 copies in the week ending Aug. 25, which will likely enable the set to debut at No. 1. Parton last topped that chart in 1991 with her Eagle When She Flies album, which was her sixth Country No. 1 LP. Released Aug. 19 on Dolly's own Dolly Records/RCA Nashville, Pure & Simple is the diva's 43rd studio album. - Billboard, 8/25/16...... The family of late funk/pop icon Prince announced on Aug. 25 that it will open Prince's Paisley Park estate in Minnesota to the public beginning in October. The property served as both a production studio and creative hub from 1985 to his death in April this year, and fans will be able to tour his video editing suite, rehearsal rooms and personal concert hall as well as see thousands of Prince artefacts including his concert wardrobe, awards, instruments, artwork, rare recordings and more. - New Musical Express, 8/25/16...... In related news, Kiss singer Gene Simmons has made further controversial comments about Prince's death, implying that the singer's death was "a choice." "I knew Prince and I knew [David] Bowie," Simmons said during an interview with radio station WNOR. "Bowie died from disease. Prince died from drugs, as did Michael Jackson. Drugs killed them, but it was a choice." Shortly after Prince's death, Simmons said Prince had died of a drug overdose, several weeks before the official cause of death was confirmed. In the latest interview, Simmons said that "people got upset" when he said that, "but that's why he died... Drugs are a selfish thing. This generation, and previous ones, believe that drugs use are a part of life, but I reject that. You play with fire, you're going to get burnt." Simmons and his fellow Kiss bandmate Paul Stanley have claimed that they have never consumed alcohol or taken drugs. - NME, 8/26/16..... In other Kiss-related news, comic book publisher Dynamite Entertainment has announced it will publish a new Kiss comic series -- simply titled KISS -- in October. The new comic book series, according to Simmons, will be a "love letter to the fans who've stayed with the band for that time -- as well as newcomers who've never read a Kiss comic before." Kiss made its first appearance in comic books in Howard the Duck No. 12 in 1977, and has been in other comics series from Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing and even Archie Comics through the years. - NME, 8/26/16...... Adam Wakeman, the keyboardist in Ozzy Osbourne's band since 2004, has said in a new interview that Osbourne wants to record a new solo album once the current Black Sabbath farewell tour is over. "Well [Black Sabbath are] finishing on February 4th, and then we'll see what happens with Ozzy after that," Wakeman said. "I mean, he wants to do another tour, he wants to do another album, but there's going to be a period of time when he needs a rest, so yeah, hopefully we'll be back out." Ozzy's last solo album was Scream in 2010, released three years before the last and final Black Sabbath LP, 13. - NME, 8/25/16...... George Clinton has announced he will release a new album on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder label. Clinton and Flying Lotus became fdriends with Clinton appeared on a collaboration by Flying Lotus and Kendrick Lamar. - Billboard, 8/24/16...... Former The Dukes of Hazard star John Schneider's home in Holden, Louisiana, has been flooded as a result of the recent floods that have devastated the state. Schneider says overflow from the Tickfaw River in August inundated all of his property, flooding his home with about 4 feet of water as well as another house in which his mother lives. Schneider says he's lost a lot of memorabilia and equipment but his situation is not unique. About 90% of the homes in the parish were flooded, according to Schneider, and that the response by friends and strangers has been "amazing." - AP, 8/27/16...... Rudy Van Gelder, a legendary jazz engineer who worked extensively in the 50s and 60s for labels such as Blue Note, Impulse and Prestige, died at his Englewood Cliffs home in New Jersey on Aug. 25. He was 91. Iconic jazz artists that Mr. Van Gelder worked for include John Coltrane -- on his seminal 1965 LP A Love Supreme -- Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis. - NME, 8/28/16...... Juan Gabriel, sometimes known as the "Latin Elvis," died on Aug. 28 after suffering a massive heart attack in Los Angeles as he was preparing to fly to El Paso, Tex., for another concert. He was 66. At the time of his death, Gabriel, already one of Latin music's biggest superstars, was arguably at the apex of his career, despite his age. He was in the midst of the U.S. leg of his MeXXico Es Todos Tour, a 22-city arena trek that had him playing on 360 stages to accommodate sold out crowds. The week before his death, his latest album, Vestido de Etiqueta: Por Eduardo Magallanes, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart. In the fall, Telemundo will begin airing a TV series based on his life. Gabriel leaves behind a legion of fans spread around the world, and on Aug. 28 he was the top-trending Twitter topic worldwide, outpacing even the MTV VMAs. He is survived by his four children. - Billboard, 8/28/16...... Beloved comedic actor Gene Wilder, who regularly stole the show in such comedy gems as The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Stir Crazy, died on Aug. 29 at his home in Stamford, Conn. The actor, 83, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease, according to his nephew Jordan Walker-Perlman. Born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee on June 11, 1933, Mr. Wilder began studying acting at the age of 12. After getting his B.A. from the U. of Iowa in 1955, Mr. Wilder enrolled in the Old Vic Theater school in Bristol, where he learned acting technique and fencing. After returning to the U.S., he taught fencing and did other odd jobs while studying with Herbert Berghof's HB Studio and at the Actors Studio under Lee Strasberg. Mr. Wilder made his feature film debut in 1967's Bonnie and Clyde and was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in Brooks' The Producers that same year. Mr. Wilder went on to star in the high profile Brooks films Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, for which he was also nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award with Brooks. He also dabbled in directing, helming four features, including The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother, The World's Greatest Lover, The Woman in Red and Haunted Honeymoon. He went on to form a successful on-screen partnership with fellow comedian Richard Pryor starring in Silver Streak, Stir Crazy, See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Another You together over the course of 15 years. In 1982, Mr. Wilder met his future wife, Saturday Night Live player Gilda Radner, as the two were filming the movie Hanky Panky. Radner would die of ovarian cancer, and Mr. Wilder's book Gilda's Disease: Sharing Personal Experiences and a Medical Perspective on Ovarian Cancer was a remembrance of his third wife. Mr. Wilder's other books included a 2005 biography, Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art, and also several novels with his most recent being 2013's Something to Remember You By. - Variety, 8/29/16...... Jeanne Martin, the second wife of Dean Martin, died on Aug. 24 after a battle with cancer at her Beverly Hills, Calif., home. She was 89. Ms. Martin married Dean in 1949 during the height of his fame, and the pair were one of Hollywood's most photographed couples. Matriarch of their large family, she gave birth to three of Dean's children while raising four more from his previous marriage. Their breakup in 1969 caused nearly as much distress to Martin's fans as his professional split with partner Jerry Lewis had in 1956. After their divorce was finalalized in 1972, Dean Martin was wed once more, to Catherine Hawn, a hair-salon receptionist, and legally adopted her daughter, Sasha, but that union ended in 1976. Jeanne Martin never remarried. The pair became reacquainted in 1987 when one of their sons, actor Dean Paul Martin, was killed at 35 while piloting a military jet. Jeanne and Dean remained on good terms until his death from respiratory failure on Christmas Day 1995. She is survived by son Craig Martin; daughters Gail Martin Downey, Deana Martin Griffeth and Gina Martin Romano. - The Hollywood Reporter, 8/25/16.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band paid homage to their home state of New Jersey with a marathon 35-song, nearly 4-hour concert at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on Aug. 23. Backed by a string section, the Boss's setlist included songs about growing up in the Garden State including "Sprit in the Night," "Growin' Up," "Wrecking Ball," "My Hometown," "Because the Night" and "Mansion on the Hill," also even getting into the holiday spirit with "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," a request taken from a sign in the audience. "It's the perfect summer song," the 66-year-old rocker quipped. He also told several tales, including one about his late dad prior to "Independence Day," and "Something in the Night," he told fans, was inspired by his playing bars until 3 a.m., then eating at a diner afterwards. Encores included "Jungleland," "Born to Run," "Dancing in the Dark," "Rosalita," "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out," "Shout" (with the singer donning a cape in an ode to James Brown), "Bobby Jean" and "Jersey Girl." The band is also set to play the venue on Aug. 25 and Aug. 30. - Billboard, 8/24/16...... Stumping for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Princetown, Mass., on Aug. 21, Cher told Clinton supporters that she believes the former Secretary of State is "genuine" and that "this chick is tougher than Chinese algebra." "I'm here for multiple reasons, but I'm here one out of love and one out of fear," Cher said. "Because I'm so frightened for what's going to happen to this particular community. I know there's going to be other people, other minorities that are going to be totally screwed as well, but I honestly fear for your safety." As for Sec. Clinton's opponent, Republican Donald Trump, Cher said "I just think he's a f---ing idiot." She added that Trump and his anti-LGBT running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, "will try to turn back every clock, they will try to take back every one of your rights." "I feel like, 'What happened to the '70s? We already fought this battle'," she said, adding that "Trump doesn't want to be president... he wants the adulation, he doesn't give a sh-- about the work." - Billboard, 8/23/16...... The city of Berlin, Germany, where David Bowie famously recorded his "Berlin trilogy" of Low, "Heroes" and Lodger, unveiled a plaque honoring the late musician on Aug. 22 at the building where he lived from 1976 to 1978. Mayor Michael Mueller recalled Bowie's "special relationship" with his city as he unveiled the plaque outside the house on a busy street in the city's Schoeneberg district -- currently home to a dental practice among other things and which has been turned into a makeshift Bowie shrine following news of the music icon's death in January at age 69. The plaque quotes the refrain from the latter's title track -- "We can be heroes, just for one day." - AP, 8/22/16...... '70s music superstars Neil Young, Meat Loaf and Olivia Newton-John will be among the guests on the new season of newsman Dan Rather's series The Big Interview, which airs on AXS TV. Young will be featured on the Sept. 13 episode of series at 8:00 p.m. EDT, discussing his new album, Earth, and topics including his childhood polio and his experience with the band Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Meat Loaf appears on the Sept. 20 episode, while Newton-John is the guest on Oct. 4. A marathon of past Big Interview shows will air starting at 8 a.m. EDT on Sept. 10, including Rather's conversations with Frankie Valli, Merle Haggard, Gene Simmons and Loretta Lynn. - AP, 8/22/16...... Joni Mitchell, who is on the mend after suffering a brain aneurysm some 17 months ago, made a rare and welcome public appearance at a Chick Corea concert at L.A.'s Catalina Bar and Grill on Aug. 20. Mitchell appeared to be relaxed as she posed for a photo with friends, and later posted it on her official website the following day. On Mar. 31, 2015, the iconic Canadian singer, then 71, was found unconscious in her L.A. home. Friends said her condition appeared to be "gravely serious," and that she was initially unable to speak. Updates on her life-threatening condition have been only occasional since. Three months after that incident, her attorney Rebecca J. Thyne said the artist "has physical therapy each day and is expected to make a full recovery" and by July, Mitchell had returned home to continue with her therapy. - Billboard, 8/21/16...... Aretha Franklin issued a statement on Aug. 22 saying she's cancelling several planned concerts to rest up. "Due to doctors' orders I will have to cancel a few concerts for the next month or so," she said. The performances include an Aug. 26 show at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts near Vienna, Virginia. The 74-year-old Queen of Soul, who was forced to cancel a show in Las Vegas in 2015 because of exhaustion, added she should be back on the road in November. - AP, 8/22/16...... Ringo Starr, helping to promote the upcoming Ron Howard-directed Beatles documentary Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years, has told Mojo magazine that the Beatles never intended to quit touring for good after calling it quits on live performing after their 1966 show at San Francisco's Candlestick Park. "The Beatles were never gone. And they could have come back," Starr said. Paul McCartney, who was also interviewed for the article, noted that "We got a bit conflicted, we got a bit fed up towards the end of it." Their only other live performance after that date included an impromptu concert on the rooftop of the Apple headquarters on Savile Row in 1969. Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years is scheduled for UK release on Sept. 15, and premieres in the US the following day. - New Musical Express, 8/24/16...... Grammy-winning songwriter and singer Burt Bacharach has announced he is cancelling two September concerts as he recovers from a broken arm. A spokesman for the 88-year-old Bacharach said the musician will skip scheduled performances on Sept. 3 in Curacao and Sept. 17 in Lancaster, Calif., and that he plans to resume his touring schedule in October. The publicist said she did not know how Bacharach broke his arm. - AP, 8/23/16...... Former Monkees and First National Band member Mike Nesmith has posted online that he plans on joining fellow surviving Monkees members Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork for one final 50th Anniversary Monkees show, at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles on Sept. 16. "The show is set for September 16th -- which I believe is almost a perfect match for the fifty year anniversary of the TV show," Nesmith wrote, adding that "I am bringing Gretsch, my beautiful, intelligent blonde to help me, and it looks like I'll make it once again." The Monkees musical sitcom premiered on NBC on Sept. 12, 1966, and ran for two seasons. Nesmith has previously performed with Dolenz and Jones on the Monkees 50th anniversary tour twice, via Skype in New York City on June 1, and on stage in Monterey, Calif., on Aug. 5. Nesmith added his upcoming solo projects for 2017 include a promotional tour for his upcoming book, Infinite Tuesday, and a solo concert tour. Meanwhile, Dolenz and Tork will take their Monkees 50th anniversary tour to Australia and New Zealand. - Billboard, 8/19/16...... Jazz harmonica player Jean "Toots" Theilemans, whose moody solos contributed to the soundtracks of such iconic films as Midnight Cowboy, The Getaway and Sugarland Express as well as in the theme song of Sesame Street, died in his sleep in a Belgian hospital on Aug. 22. He was 94. The Brussels-born Mr. Theilemans started playing the harmonica as a hobby and became interested in jazz during the German occupation. His first international breakthrough came in 1950 when he joined Benny Goodman on a European concert tour. After emigrating the the US in 1952, Mr. Theilemans joined Charlie Parker's All Stars, and also played with such pop music icons as Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Billy Joel. Mr. Thielemans, who also played guitar, was honored by Belgium's royal family in 2001, when King Albert II gave him the title of baron. He had been hospitalized in July after a fall, but had reportedly been in good spirits after an operation on his shoulder. "We have lost a great musician, a heartwarming personality. All my thoughts are with the family and friends of Toots Thielemans," Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel tweeted. - The Hollywood Reporter, 8/22/16.
Friday, August 19, 2016
After their first wave of vinyl reissues were released in June, Pink Floyd has announced a second batch of vinyl reissues of three of their 1970s albums -- Atom Heart Mother, Meddle and Obscured by Clouds -- will be released on heavyweight 180g vinyl on Sept. 23. The band previously announced that vinyl reissues of The Wall and The Division Bell will hit stores on Aug. 26, and all of Pink Floyd's albums are due to be reissued eventually. - New Musical Express, 8/18/16...... A three-finger hand gesture slyly given by Steven Tyler in the intro video to the Rock N' Roller Coaster at Florida's Disney Hollywood Studios has finally been removed -- some 17 years after the Disney people realized Tyler was pulling one over on them. The gesture, which is hardly wholesome and known as "the shocker," has now been digitally edited to have the Aerosmith frontman holding up four fingers instead. A few hours after learning Disney's action, Tyler responded to the news on social media with a somewhat different hand gesture, a four-letter word hat, and a mocking facial expression. A Disney spokesperson could not be reached for comment. - Billboard, 8/18/16...... Former Bee Gees legend Barry Gibb announced on Aug. 19 that he'll release his first solo album with new material, In the Now, on Oct. 7 via his new contract with Columbia Records. The album sees Gibb collaborating with his sons Stephen and Ashley Gibb, and the three along with other members of Gibb's band will perform never-before-heard material from the new LP before fans at the Hit Criteria studio in Miami, Fla., on Aug. 20 from 7:00 PM-8:30 PM EDT. The event, dubbed In the Now 360 - The Live Stream with Barry Gibb, will be streamed on YouTube using 360 technology, providing fans with a unique opportunity to catch an intimate glimpse of their rehearsal. The live stream can be viewed and the new album can be pre-ordered on BarryGibb.com. - Billboard, 8/19/16...... David Bowie's longtime producer Tony Visconti has revealed in a new essay for the UK music mag Uncut that Bowie once abandonded a planned remake of a Bruce Springsteen song after meeting with the Boss. Visconti writes Bowe planned to cover Springsteen's "It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City" during the sessions for what would eventually become Bowie's 1975 album Young Americans. "David took [Springsteen] into another room for a private chat," Visconti recalled. "By the time Bruce left, he was more pleasant and said his goodbyes to the rest of us. David and I never worked on 'Saint' after that, although it was finished or re-recorded eventually with someone else." Bowie's version of "Saint," which appears on Springsteen's 1973 debut album Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, eventually appeared on his 1989 box-set Sound + Vision. A new Bowie box set of mid-'70s recordings, Who Can I Be Now? 1974-76, will drop on Sept. 23. Other upcoming Bowie-related releases include the soundtrack of the late music icon's classic 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth. Featuring specially composed music by Japanese prog-rock musician Stomu Yamash'ta and John Philips (the main songwriter for '60s pop band The Mamas And The Papas), the LP uses recently rediscovered "lost" master tapes, and will be released on Sept. 9, the same day the film is reissued in cinemas. The vinyl and box set are due on Oct. 24, the same day the film is reissued on DVD. In still more Bowie news, his widow Inman posted a picture of the couple's daughter Alexandria on Aug. 15 to celebrate her 16th birthday. Alexandria "Lexi" Zahra Jones, the couple's only child, was born in Aug. 2000. "Happy sweet 16th birthday to my baby girl Lexi! Stay sweet "Classy with a hint of sassy," Inman tweeted. - NME, 8/19/16...... Bruce Springsteen posted the foreword of his forthcoming autobiography, Born to Run, on his official website on Aug. 16. The opening lines begin with a bit of embellishment, with the musician writing that he hails from a "boardwalk town," aka Asbury Park, New Jersey (Springsteen grew up inland in Freehold). "I come from a boardwalk town where almost everything is tinged with a bit of fraud," he writes. "So am I. By 20, no race-car-driving rebel, I was a guitar player on the streets of Asbury Park and already a member in good standing amongst those who 'lie' in service of the truth artists, with a small 'a.' But I held four clean aces. I had youth, almost a decade of hard-core bar band experience, a good group of homegrown musicians who were attuned to my performance style and a story to tell." The book, which is due on Sept. 27, will be accompanied by a new album Chapter and Verse. - Billboard, 8/16/16...... Iggy Pop will release an autobiography called Total Chaos on Nov. 17 via Third Man, the vinyl-obsessed record label headed by former White Stripes musician Jack White. Co-authored by Jeff Gold, Jon Savage and Johan Kugelberg, the book boasts that it will be "the first time [his] story has been told in Iggy's own words," and includes Pop's recollections about his days with the proto-punk band the Stooges from 1967-1973, and the Stooges revival in the early 2000s. The Stooges' last studio album, Ready to Die, was released in 2013, and earlier in 2016 Pop released his latest solo album, Post Pop Depression. - Billboard, 8/18/16...... As she campaigned in Cleveland, Oh., on Aug 17, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton stopped by the Quicken Loans Arena where Paul McCartney was soon to be performing and met with Sir Paul and his wife Nancy Shevell behind closed doors. No photos were taken during the meeting, but McCartney later posted a photo on his Twitter account of the two with the headline "She's With Me. pic.twitter.com/vHPMHMjFvV." After the pic was posted on Facebook, reactions ranged from "I love Paul's music but like him just a bit less now" to "Great pic! Rock on Sir Paul!" Meanwhile, Universal Music Group has announced that McCartney is returning to Capitol Records in a new worldwide recording agreement. Touted as a "historic deal," the contract will encompass McCartney's entire catalog of master recordings beginning with the 1970 McCartney album. It also marks a return to the label where he started his solo career. "This is genuinely exciting for me. Not only was Capitol my first U.S. record label, but the first record I ever bought was Gene Vincent's 'Be-Bop-A-Lula' on the Capitol label," McCartney said in a statement. Capitol/UMe will service McCartney's albums on his current label, Concord Records, beginning in July 2017. Capitol also revealed that the former Beatle is currently working on a new studio album. - Billboard,. 8/17/16...... In other Beatles-related news, Yoko Ono has named the four recipients of the 2016 Lennon Ono Grant For Peace, which will be presented in Reykjavik, Iceland on Oct. 9, what would have been John Lennon's 76th birthday. The winners are Chinese activist and artist Ai Weiwei, Inidian artist Anish Kapoor, Danish artist Olafur Eliasson and Hungarian poet and performance artist Catalan Ladik. The award, which is presented every two years, was founded in 2002. - New Musical Express, 8/17/16...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, Ringo Starr's rep confirmed on Aug. 15 that the famous drummer is now a great-grandfather, as his granddaughter, Tatia Starkey, and her partner, Adam Low, welcomed a son named Stone Zakomo Low on Aug. 14. Tatia is the daughter of Ringo's son, Zak Starkey, who is a drummer for the Who, and has also drummed in the past with his dad's All-Starr Band and Oasis. Tatia Starkey also has a musical career as a member of the band Belakiss. Ringo will kick off his latest All-Starr band tour in Sonqualmie, Wash., on Oct. 15. - Billboard, 8/16/16...... Barbra Streisand has previewed a duet of "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory with Seth MacFarlane that will be featured on Streisand's upcoming duets album Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway. "I've always loved the song 'Pure Imagination,'" Streisand says in a behind-the-scenes video. "I thought Seth MacFarlane would be great." Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway drops on Aug. 26. - Billboard, 8/17/16...... A deluxe reissue of Big Star's 1978 album Third featuring a whopping 69 tracks including original demos, rough mixes, early mixes, vocal takes and a cover of the Velvet Underground's "After Hours" is being planned for a fall release. Third was actually recorded in chaotic circumstances three years earlier in 1975 with the band disintegrating and the declining mental state of singer Alex Chilton, and by the time it was released, Big Star had already split. The release, called Complete Third, and an accompanying photo book that documents the band's entire career, will be released in October. - NME, 8/16/16...... Thousands of Elvis Presley fans made their way to the King of Rock & Roll's Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tenn., on Aug. 16 to hold their annual candlelight vigil, despite a heavy rainstorm. Police presence was reportedly heightened due to a nearby protest by activists supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. 2016 marks the 39th anniversary of Presley's death, and the fans walked slowly through Elvis's gravesite while holding candles. It was the culmination of Elvis Week, the annual celebration of his life and career. - AP, 8/16/16...... The Rolling Stone website has posted the full court transcript of Jimmy Page's testimony during the recent "Stairway To Heaven" plagiarism case. The transcript documents the Led Zeppelin guitarist's full questioning during the hearing in Los Angeles in June. Page and the rest of the band had been accused of stealing the band Spirit's song "Taurus" from 1968. The transcripts reveal that the trial contained some moments of humor, including Page's deadpan response of "Well yeah" to the question "you had a gift in being able to play the guitar, correct?" by the prosecutor. - NME, 8/15/16...... A Minnesota judge has given the administrator of Prince's estate the green light to sell six of the late artist's properties.Carver County Judge Kevin Eide gave the trust approval to list the properties, which include homes, vacant lots and buildings in Prince's hometown of Chanhassen, a suburb of Minneapolis. The list includes a commercial building estimated at $22 million and a 156-acre piece of land in Lakes Ann and Lucy valued at $13.7 million. Prince's home and recording studio Paisley Park is not among the 15 properties to be liquidated. - Billboard, 8/14/16...... Ozzy Osbourne's wife Sharon Osbourne weighed in on the recent announcement that Mick Jagger is set to become a dad for the eighth time with girlfriend Melanie Hamrick. Appearing on her TV show, The Talk, Osborne said: "The thing that gets me is that at 73 his face is so wrinkly. All I do is I think his genitalia must be so wrinkly... it must be hanging, wrinkly and grey," she shuddered in front of the audience. "I just couldn't think of anything worse. Because you look up and that is wrinkly and you look down and that is wrinkly, and that is like 'no'. He is 73. How much longer is he going to have anyway? Amazing - now he has got somebody to push him around in a wheelchair," she continued, adding that she's never found Jagger attractive. - WENN.com, 8/18/16...... Actor/comedian Jack Riley, best known for portraying Elliot Carlin on the 1972-77 CBS sitcom The Bob Newhart Show as well as appearing in several Mel Brooks films, died in Los Angeles on Aug. 19 after a battle with pneumonia and infection. He was 80. A native of Cleveland, Oh., Mr. Riley began his career as a regular on the 1962-63 ABC sitcom Occasional Wife, which was narrated by Vin Scully. He went on to guest on dozens of popular TV series including I Dream of Jeannie, Hogan's Heroes, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and The Partridge Family before landing what would become his signature role -- the neuroses-laden Elliot Carlin on The Bob Newhart Show, which starred Bob Newhart as a Chicago psychologist. Carlin appeared in nearly 50 episodes as a patient of Newhart's who had a persecution complex and constantly put himself down. He appeared in all six seasons of the show, which also starred Suzanne Pleshette and Marcia Wallace. During that show's run, Mr. Riley could also be seen in episodes of such series as M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Happy Days, Cannon, Columbo and Police Woman. In 1976, he played a Hollywood executive in Silent Movie, Mel Brooks' follow-up to Young Frankenstein, and later appeared in the Brooks films High Anxiety (1978), History of the World, Part I (1981) and Spaceballs. He continued to work steadily throughout the '80s and '90s and through the 2000s, with his later-career highlight as the voice of Stu Pickles, the father of Tommy and Dil on Rugrats. Mr. Riley appeared on more than 140 episodes of the animated series, reprising the role in the 1998-2003 film trilogy and several episodes of follow-up series All Growed Up! He is survived by his wife, Ginger Lawrence. - Deadline.com, 8/19/16...... Longtime political talk show host John McLaughlin, the host of The McLaughlin Group for 34 straight years, died on Aug. 16 at the age of 89. Known for his combative and irascible style, Mr. McLaughlin was a former left-leaning jesuit priest and teacher who lurched rightward and embarked on a Senate run in 1970 as a Republican. He became famous defending Richard Nixon during Watergate, telling CBS News that the president was "the greatest moral leader in the last third of this century." He compared the Watergate investigation to the Spanish Inquisition, insisted that Nixon hadn't committed any crimes, and likened the House Judiciary Committee to Lord of the Flies, according to a 2014 story in the Jesuit magazine America. "For 34 years, The McLaughlin Group informed millions of Americans," a post on the show's Facebook page reads. "Now he has said bye bye for the last time, to rejoin his beloved dog, Oliver, in heaven. He will always be remembered." - TheHill.com/CBS News, 8/16/16...... Veteran actor Fyvush Finkel, an Emmy Award winner best known to contemporary audiences for his roles on Picket Fences and Boston Public, died on Aug. 14 in his Manhattan home. He was 93. Mr. Finkel spent most of his early career on Gotham's Lower East Side performing in the Yiddish theater. His son, Ian, said his father had been suffering from heart problems. - Variety, 8/14/16.
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Stevie Nicks and Keith Richards will be among the contributors to rocker Sheryl Crow's next studio album. Crow, 54, made the announcement at the BlogHer16 conference in Los Angeles on Aug. 5, where she told the crowd that she has been free of breast cancer for 10 years after being first diagnosed with the disease in 2006. The 54-year-old Crow, who last released an album in 2013, added that she is in the process of recording a new album at her home studio in Nashville that is "inspired by the people who have inspired me since I was a kid." - Billboard, 8/12/16...... Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Leonard Cohen will release his 14th studio album in the fall via Sony. Titled You Want it Darker and produced by Cohen's son, Adam Cohen, and will be the follow-up to the 82-year-old artist's 2014 LP, Popular Problems. - Billboard, 8/12/16...... On Aug. 11 the Rolling Stones announced a comprehensive 15-disc box set of mono recordings of their 1960s ABKCO material. Due Sept. 30, The Rolling Stones in Mono features both the British and US releases of their albums from 1964's The Rolling Stones to 1969's Let It Bleed. All 186 of the songs the band recorded in mono will be featured, which includes their B-sides and non-album singles and EPs. The release will be available as 15 CDs, 16 vinyl LPs and digitally. The physical formats feature a 48-page book containing an essay by Rolling Stone's David Fricke and rare photographs of the Stones by rock photographer Terry O'Neill. - New Musical Express, 8/11/16...... In a new interview with the Australian media outlet WA Today, Alice Cooper cited current turbulent world events as the reason why it's "impossible" for a rock band to shock an audience. "I don't honestly believe that a rock band can shock an audience anymore," said Cooper, whose controversial stage antics in the '70s included guillotines, decapitated baby dolls and hanged mannequins. "With ISIS, with people shooting cops, with cops shooting blacks -- now CNN is so much more shocking than Rob Zombie or Marilyn Manson or Alice Cooper," he added. Cooper also said it was "easy to shock the audience in the '70s... because we were much more wholesome... Now, with the internet, it's literally impossible to shock an audience. I mean, somebody just killed 50 people in a gay bar. That shocks me." Earlier in 2016, Cooper launched a campaign to become both Prime Minister of the UK and President of the USA, with a campaign platform including "adding Lemmy [Kilmister] to Mt. Rushmore" and a "ban on taking selfies." - New Musical Express, 8/14/16...... As Elvis Week in Memphis, Tenn., approaches in the fourth week of August, officials at Elvis Presley's Graceland attraction have announced that a new 200,000-square-foot entertainment complex will be built across the street from the Graceland mansion. According to the Aug. 11 announcement, the new $45 million complex will include exhibits that highlight the late singer's life and career exploits in music and film. It will be part of a $137 million expansion that includes the construction of a $92 million hotel, The Guest House at Graceland. The hotel is scheduled to open on Oct. 27, and the new complex is set to be completed in the spring of 2017. In related news, Elvis's daughter Lisa Marie Presley has reportedly checked herself into a rehab center to tackle an addiction to prescription pills. Lisa Marie, 48, has struggled with substance abuse during her youth and is now receiving professional help at the luxury Hills Treatment Center in Los Angeles. "She's doing OK but needed to get this under control," a source close to Presley said. In July, Presley filed for a legal separation from her fourth husband, Michael Lockwood, to whom she has been married for 10 years. - AP/New Musical Express, 8/12/16...... Phil Collins has announced he will play his 1982 smash "In the Air Tonight" at the US Open tennis tournament on Aug. 29, during the event's opening ceremony. The song is particularly appropriate because it will also mark the first occasion where the Arthur Ashe Stadium's new retractable roof will be operational. The performance will Collins' second live performance since coming out of retirement in 2015. In March, Collins gave a seven-song set at a benefit concert in his current hometown of Miami. Collins is also prepping an autobiography which will be published in October. - NME, 8/12/16...... In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Paul McCartney compares the creative process of his "Only One" collaborator Kayne West to that of pop art icon Andy Warhol. "He's got a room full of guys working on riffs, and he walks around going, 'I like that one'," Sir Paul explained. "It reminded me of Andy Warhol, these artists who use students to paint their backgrounds and things. It's a well-used technique," he added. McCartney also said the two agreed that if their collaboration didn't feel right, they wouldn't tell anyone it happened. Of the sessions that also produced "All Day" and the Rihanna collaboration "FourFiveSeconds," he added, "I thought, 'I don't know how I'm going to fit into that, but let's see. Here goes nothing.'" In the same interview, Macca said that the Beatles were "threatened" back then as Yoko Ono was "sitting on the amps" as they recorded. "Most bands couldn't handle that. We handled it, but not amazingly well, because we were so tight," he said. When asked if he would ever tour with Ringo Starr, McCartney concluded, " I don't think either of us have ever thought why do it, or why not. It's just that our roads are parallel, with intersections and diversions. He's a great drummer, man. That's the thing about Ringo. He has a feel that nobody else has. As to going out on the road, it might be complicated." - Billboard/NME, 8/11/16...... Participating in the unveiling of a plaque at a UK cancer hospital, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi revealed that his cancer is in remission. Iommi has been receiving treatment at the Spire Specialist Care Centre, and Iommi unveiled the plaque which recognized the facility's high standard of patient care. "I can't thank them enough for what they have done for me and others like me," he said. In Jan. 2012, Iommi revealed that he had been diagnosed as being in the early stages of lymphoma, just a few months after Black Sabbath announced it was writing and recording its new studio album, 13. Iommi's condition reportedly forced the band to withdraw as a headliner for the 2012 Coachell festival, but it returned to the road in 2013-14. The band is currently on its farewell tour, which it announced in Sept. 2015, with their last U.S. show set for Nov. 12. In Feb. 2017, the members will play their last dates ever as Black Sabbath in their hometown of Birmingham, UK. - Billboard, 8/10/16...... Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens has announced a string of North American concerts this fall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his first hit single, "I Love My Dog," in 1966. Dubbed the "A Cat's Attic Tour," the run of intimate-sized venues kicks off Sept. 12 in Toronto, also visiting Philadelphia (9/15), Boston (9/17), New York's Beacon Theatre (9/19, 20), Washington, D.C. (9/22), New York's Global Citizen Festival in Central Park (9/24), Nashville (9/27), Chicago (9/30) and San Francisco (10/3) before winding up with a two-night stand on Oct. 6 and 7 at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. According to a press release, Yusuf's tour will feature "a night of songs, storytelling and goodwill." - Billboard, 8/11/16...... The UK's Rewind South festival will take place on Aug. 19-21 with such acts as Leo Sayer, Adam Ant, Rick Astley, Marc Almond and Andy Bell of Erasure, among others. The festival is celebrating its eighth year and will take place at Temple Island Meadows, Henley-on-Thames. - Noble PR, 8/11/16...... The manager of Ted Nugent's 340-acre ranch in Pulaski Township, Mich., has been charged with supplying a fatal heroin dose to an acquaintance of Nugent's named Jim Lawson, who lived in a house he rented from Nugent on the property until his death on Apr. 29. The property manager, Melissa Mullins, faces a court hearing on Aug. 16 to determine if there's enough evidence to send the case to trial. Lawson appeared in Surviving Nugent, a 2003 documentary on cable channel VH1, and after his death Ted Nugent posted a message on his Facebook page saying that "hearts are shattered" because of the death. - AP, 8/14/16...... Actor/director Robert Redford rescued a horse stranded by a freeway in New Zealand earlier in August as he was on his way to the set of the upcoming Disney movie Pete's Dragon. "There was a horse that was on the side of a freeway that we would all take to get to work and we noticed for 24 hours this horse continued to be there... There's no water, there's no hay and the horse looked like it was abused," Redford's co-star Bryce Dallas Howard noted on the TV show The Talk. "Bob saw this... and figured it out, went door to door; no one said, 'This is my horse', and he got folks to come in and bring the horse out and rescue it and now he's set up the horse for the rest of its life... He actually is the horse whisperer." Howard added that Redford was "an incredible, phenomenal human being... He would walk to work every day. He was so present with everyone. He's this wonderful man." - WENN.com, 8/9/16...... Folk singer/songwriter Glenn Yarbrough, a founding member of the folk trio The Limeliters and who later charted such solo hits as "Baby the Rain Must Fall," died on Aug. 11 at his home in Nashville, Tenn., after a bout with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, dementia and other health issues. He was 86. The Milwaukee-born Mr. Yarbrough sang and played guitar with fellow Limeliters members Lou Gottlieb and Alex Hassilev from 1959 and 1963. The group was known for such songs as "There's a Meetin' Here Tonight," "City of New Orleans," "A Dollar Down" and "Lonesome Traveler." After leaving the group in 1963 (though he often returned for reunion tours), Mr. Yarbrough had a solo career that spanned nearly 40 years, with his highest-charting success in 1965 with "Baby the Rain Must Fall," which was featured in the Steve McQueen and Lee Remick movie of the same name. It reached No. 2 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and No. 12 on the Hot 100 pop singles chart. Mr. Yarbrough was also a sailing enthusiast who, according to his daughter, "would sail until the money ran out; then he'd get back on the road to play some more shows." He continued this routine until he was 80. Though he suffered from dementia in the last years of his life, his daughter said her father remained a "warm happy man." - AP, 8/12/16...... Barbara Gibb, the mother of Bee Gees members Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb as well as Andy Gibb, died in Miami on Aug. 12. She was 95. Born in Manchester, England, Mrs. Gibb had lived in Miami for the past 20 years. With her late husband Hugh Gibb, she managed the Bee Gees early career. Sadly, Mrs. Gibb saw three of her five children (she also had a daughter named Lesley) pass away during her lifetime: Andy in 1988 at age 30 of a heart condition, Maurice in 2003 at age 53 due to complications of a twisted intestine, and Robin in 2012 at age 62 from liver and kidney failure after battling cancer. - Billboard, 8/13/16...... Veteran music industry manager David Enthoven, who helmed the careers of such '70s acts as T. Rex, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Roxy Music as well as contemporary singer Robbie Williams, as died at age 72. Enthoven was also the co-founder of the London-based management company ie:music, which he formed in 1992 with former Island Records executive Tim Clark. Williams was always its star client, but the pair also helped guide the careers of Sia and Bryan Ferry, with its current roster including Lily Allen, Lamar, Passenger and Will Young. - Billboard, 8/12/16...... British actor Kenny Baker, best known for portraying the Star Wars droid R2-D2, has died at age 81 after a long battle with a lung condition. Mr. Baker's family paid tribute to the diminutive 3 ft. 8 in. actor by issuing a statement saying he "brought happiness to a lot of people." Mr. Baker received a credit in the latest Star Wars film which came out in 2015. - The Daily Mail, 8/13/16.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Australian songwriter Bob Daisley has filed a lawsuit over $2 million in unpaid royalties he claims he is due as the co-writer of Ozzy Osbourne's 1980 song "Crazy Train." Osbourne, Daisley and Ozzy's late guitarist Randy Rhoads are credited with writing the song, but according to court documents filed in Nevada on Aug. 8, Daisley is seeking $2 million in unpaid royalties. The complaint alleges that "although royalties have been paid to Daisley over the years, an audit conducted in 2014 showed that Osbourne and his company had been improperly deducting undisclosed fees before distributing royalties to Daisley and improperly withholding Daisley's rightful share of royalties owed under the publishing agreements for the commercial exploitations of the songs." Daisley is a former bassist on Osbourne's band and also co-authored several of the songs on Ozzy's LP Blizzard of Ozz, which includes "Crazy Train," as well as songs on Osbourne's Diary of a Madman, Bark at the Moon, The Ultimate Sin and No Rest for the Wicked. Reps for Ozzy Osbourne responded to the lawsuit in a statement, saying "For the past 36 years Mr. Daisley has been receiving bi-annual royalty statements and checks" from Ozzy's Blizzard Music Limited, and that "several different auditing firms [hired by Mr. Daisley] found no discrepancies... He has previously filed lawsuits in the UK and the US and has lost on each occasion." - New Musical Express/Billboard, 8/9/16...... Styx will release a new live DVD called Live at the Orleans Arena Las Vegas on Sept. 2, the latest in a series of concert videos the band has released since its last album of new material, Cyclorama, dropped in 2003. Styx co-founder/guitarist James "J.Y." Young says the live DVD series suits the group better than a new studio album right now." "Look, we know what people want from us, and it's 'Come Sail Away' and 'Lady' and 'Light Up' and 'Too Much Time On My Hands' and...the hits," Young says. "We're doing great on the road now, better than ever, and we're getting a lot of young people too, which is really gratifying. So why put in all that time and money into making something [new] that people may or may not by when we can put out something we know they want and they'll really like." Young's bandmate, Tommy Shaw, adds that a video release is easier to keep control of than streaming. "Since radio has changed so much, this is something that's a little harder to lose control of," Shaw says. "It's more of our doing than something that's just out there streaming, and you don't know where it's playing, if it's playing, are you getting compensated for it. We shoot it. We edit it. We put it out and we know how many are sold. It really feels like ours," he added. Live at the Orleans Arena Las Vegas was filmed in July 2014, and is the most recent document of Styx in concert. "We haven't shot one since then," Shaw says. "I don't think we've held any back, either. But I'm sure we'll do more when we feel the time's right." As for new music from the band, Young says that "Touring has been the complete focus of this band since '99, but there needs to be a new record from us at some point. I just don't know when, but I think that's less than five years away." - Billboard, 8/9/16...... On Aug. 8 the judge in the Led Zeppelin - "Stairway to Heaven" royalty dispute trial ruled that the band has no right to recoup nearly $800,000 in legal fees because the lawsuit against them was not frivolous. Judge R. Gary Klausner rejected the arguments of lawyers for Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, who contended the suit was brought only to shake down the wealthy rock stars for money and that awarding defense costs would deter future old and meritless copyright claims. Klausner said he had found the suit had enough merit to go to trial and there was no evidence that the plaintiff, the estate of the late Randy California of the band Spirit, "harbored nefarious motives." - AP, 8/8/16...... '70s disco producer Giorgio Moroder's latest project is the soundtrack of a new USA Network series titled Queen of the South, a show about a woman on the run in the US after her drug-dealer boyfriend is murdered in Mexico. "I liked Queen of the South because it reminded me a bit of Scarface," Moroder says, adding that working with a 30 minute format is completely different from a feature length film. Moroder, whose movie scoring credits include the 1979 smash Midnight Express, will be performing on Sept. 8 and 9 at an "immersive musical experience" in Brooklyn named after one of his famous Donna Summer-sung hits, "I Feel Love." Queen of the South airs Thursdays on USA Network at 9:00 pm CST. - Billboard, 8/9/16...... A hologram of legendary late heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio closed out the Wacken Open Air festival in Germany on Aug. 6. Created by Eyellusion, the hologram was seen by 75,000 fans who attended the massive metal event, which featured such as Iron Maiden, Ministry, Testament, Bullet For My Valentine and the Ronnie James Dio spinoff group, Dio Disciples. Dio Disciples guitarist Craig Goldy says there plans to take the Ronnie James Dio hologram on tour in 2017. "We can't wait to bring this experience to even more of his fans and perhaps even a newer generation when we bring this incredible live experience on the road next year," he said. Dio died in 2010 at the age of 67 after a battle with stomach cancer. - Billboard, 8/7/16...... Former Deep Purple vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes kicked off his first ever U.S. solo tour on Aug. 9 in Annapolis, Maryland. "When I came back in the early '90s, I wasn't represented appropriately. I always had a career in Europe," Hughes says. "I just think when I got sober, I pretty much focused on the United Kingdom or Europe in general and the Far East. But it's very clear to me that the door is open in America. I love this country. I want to go back to where it all started for me, which is playing in clubs, a lot of people coming into this tiny little place, crammed to the hilt. I just want to go back and get that vibe," he added. Hughes will be releasing a new solo album in November through Frontiers Records. His U.S. tour wraps Sept. 3 in Los Angeles. - Billboard, 8/5/16...... Gregg Allman has canceled all his U.S. tour dates through mid-October as he battles "serious health issues," according to an Aug. 5 press release. The 68-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member is currently being treated by the Mayo Clinic, and no further details were given on his condition. The string of axed dates include an Aug. 12 performance at Scranton, Pennsylvania's Peach Music Festival, and conclude with an Oct. 16 gig in Clearwater, Fla. Allman has promised to return Oct. 29 for his own Laid Back Festival in Atlanta, with all shows after that on as scheduled. "I want to thank my fans and friends for supporting me while I rest up and focus on getting better and back on the road as soon as I can," Allman said in the statement. "I've been working hard with my band, my pride and joy, to play our music for everyone. We'll see y'all in October." Allman's health troubles in recent years include a battle with Hepatitis C, which he contracted through a tattoo needle decades earlier, and in 2010 he underwent liver transplant surgery. In 2011, he was forced to cancel tour dates over an upper respiratory condition, for which he eventually required lung surgery. Allman, whose last studio effort was 2011's Low Country Blues, has hinted he's working on a new album that he hopes to release in early 2017, a collaboration with producer Don Was. - Billboard, 8/5/16...... The soundtrack of the 1983 David Bowie-starred movie Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence will be reissued on Oct. 21 via Milan Records. Composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who won a BAFTA award for Best Film Music for his score, also starred alongside Bowie in the film, in which Bowie plays a British solider held captive in a Japanese prison camp during WW2. Bowie's character develops an intimate relationship with one of the guards, Captain Yonoi, played by Sakamoto. - New Musical Express, 8/8/15...... Singer/songwriter Jack Tempchin will release a new solo album, One More Song, on Sept. 2 through Blue Elan Records. One More Song is titled after one of the nine songs on the set, which has previously been recorded by former Eagles' bassist Randy Meisner and Kate Wolf and performed live by Jackson Browne and Linda Ronstadt. A re-recording of the Tempchin-penned song "Slow Dancing," a hit for Johnny Rivers, will also be included. - Billboard, 8/5/16...... Todd Rundgren will release a live multi-media extravaganza titled An Evening With Todd Rundgren - Live At The Ridgefield on Aug. 26. Available on CD, Vinyl, DVD, and Blu-ray, the album was recorded live at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, Conn. on Dec. 15, 2015, and includes some of the versatile artist's best known songs, including "Hello It's Me," "I Saw The Light" and "Bang The Drum." Also included are fan favorites that haven't been performed live in decades, including songs from Rundgren's eclectic Utopia and Nazz albums. - Noble PR, 8/5/16...... Singer/songwriter/guitarist Pat Upton, a former member of the band Spiral Starecase who wrote the band's iconic 1969 love song "More Today Than Yesterday," died on July 27. He was 75. "More Today Than Yesterday" was a No. 12 hit for the Sacramento, Calif.-based Spiral Starecase, and the year's No. 50 song. Upton once said that he wrote the song "by accident, in a motel room in Las Vegas" and "was thinking about Bobby Golsboro singing it." The song has been covered by artists such as Andy Williams, Sonny and Cher, Lena Horne, Patti Austin and Diana Ross, and is a popular wedding selection. Upton was also once a backup singer for Rick Nelson, and in 1983 he returned to his native Alabama to open P.J.'s Alley in Guntersville, Ala. The club was the last venue Rick Nelson performed in before a Dec. 31, 1985 plane crash in Texas claimed his life. Upton last saw Nelson that morning, before his plane took off from Guntersville Airport, and had a photograph taken with him then. - 7/28/16...... Legendary New Orleans jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain passed away on Aug. 6 after recently suffering a stroke and undergoing heart surgery. He was 86. In the 1950s, Mr. Fountain was the bandleader for Lawrence Welk's TV show but he left after two years to return to New Orleans. He would continue to make appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show. Mr. Fountain performed for four different U.S. presidents and in 1987 performed "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" at a Mass in New Orleans led by Pope John Paul II. - TheDailyBeast.com, 8/6/16...... Ricci Martin, the son of late singer Dean Martin, died at his home in Utah on Aug. 3 of as yet undiscosed causes. He was 62. Ricci Martin enjoyed a career as a musician, releasing a single titled "Stop, Look Around" in 1975, which featured on Beached, an album produced by Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys. Wilson later became a brother-in-law to Martin. Martin also performed with Desi Arnaz Jr. and Billy Hinsche in the 1990s, who were in a band called Dino, Desi and Billy with Martin's brother Dean Paul Martin. Ricci Martin stepped in following his brother's death in 1987 in a plane crash. More recently Ricci Martin had been performing tribute concerts to his father, and even published a book about growing up as part of the large Martin family, titled That's Amore. - NME 8/7/16...... Musician Gary S. Paxton, who was "Flip" in the pop act Skip & Flip, has died at the age of 77. Paxton also wrote and produced for several '60's acts including The Monkees.
Thursday, August 4, 2016
David Bowie's farewell 2016 album Blackstar has been nominated to win Britain's prestigious Mercury music prize. Since the Mercury Prize often favors eclectic and obscure performers over better-known ones, the rock icon's haunting Blackstar still may not be the overwhelming favorite, as it has to compete with releases by artists such as Laura Mvula, Bat For Lashes, Anohni, Jamie Woon and Michael Kiwanuka. The 2016 winner will be announced on Sept. 15. In other Bowie-related news, the late singer's good friend Iggy Pop paid tribute to Bowie on Aug. 2 during his BBC 6 Music radio show Iggy Confidiential by playing such tracks as "Boys Keep Swinging," "Diamond Dogs," "Paper Monsters" and "Under Pressure." "The way I chose them was from memory," Pop said of his song selection. "I took out a piece of paper and a pen and closed my eyes and just remembered what I liked at different times | I'm weighing things that are a little more low on the totem pole, but not obscure." Pop also discussed his memories of Bowie during the show, which is part of a larger BBC tribute to Bowie the same week. A Bowie tribute concert at Royal Albert Hall the first weekend in August is also planned featuring performances from John Cale, Amanda Palmer and Marc Almond, among others. - AP/New Musical Express, 8/4/16...... In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Ringo Starr revealed that he voted for Britain to leave the EU in the recent Brexit referendum because the EU is in a "shambles." "I voted for Brexit, because I thought the European Union was a great idea, but I didn't see it going anywhere lately," the Beatles legend said. "It's in shambles, and we're all stuck with people who want to make arrangements for their own country and don't think for the other countries. Britain should be out and get back on its own feet," Starr added. "And now Scotland wants to leave and Wales wants to leave. Then it will be Devon. God knows where it will end." Although his former bandmate Paul McCartney admitted in July that he didn't vote in the June Brexit poll because he was on tour at the time, Sir Paul told the Washington Post that he was leaning for Britain to remain in the EU: "I think I would have come down on the remain side because people like the Governor of the Bank of England, a lot of financial experts, were saying that." Starr also commented on the late arrival to streaming services by the Beatles, who only made their catalog widely available to stream in 2015: "We're just moving with the times. When we started with vinyl, and then CDs came out, that was good for us financially, because it wasn't in the contract. We had to go to CDs in the end. We were pretty late there. We were late to iTunes, too, but went there so you could buy the tracks. Streaming is huge now, so we're moving on. Who knows what's going to be next?" Ringo added that he doesn't stream music himself, but prefers to listen to the radio instead. "If I'm in the car, I usually listen to the radio, 88.5 Northridge [KCSN-FM, operated by California State University at Northridge]. I just love that channel, because it's such a mixed bag," he said. - New Musical Express, 8/4/16...... In a hearing on Aug. 4, lawyers for Prince's ex-wife Manuela Testolini argued that records from the couple's 2006 divorce should remain sealed. The Minneapolis Star Tribune has sought to have the couple's divorce records released publicly, but Testolini's attorneys objected, saying the records are tied to a private settlement. An attorney for the paper argued that "Prince's privacy died with him and that the court files are newsworthy, given Prince's death and the case surrounding his estate," which has an estimated value of $300 million or more. The judge ruled that he was taking the matter under advisement. Testolini was the second wife of Prince, who died on Apr. 21 from an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Meanwhile, on July 29 a Minnesota state judge barred 29 people who claim to be Prince's heirs -- including five alleged children, 11 alleged siblings and 13 people claiming more distant family relationships -- from seeking a share of the late pop superstar's multi-million dollar estate. However, Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide allowed a possible niece and grandniece to continue to pursue their claims, saying they may submit to genetic testing to prove a blood relationship, as will Prince's sister Tyka and three of Prince's half-siblings. - AP/Billboard, 8/4/16...... Cher has created an "I'm With Cher" campaign, a play on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's "I'm With Her" slogan, to celebrate her many hears of political advocacy. Cher has not been shy about weighing in on the 2016 campaign and her distaste for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (whose name she always accompanies with a toilet emoji) and her support for Clinton. Tweeting to her more than 3 million followers, Cher voices her disapproval of Trump daily, calling him (in all-caps, no less) a "LYING CON MAN" and a "PUNK ASS." Now Cher's series of tweets has inspired one fan to design posters, buttons and bumper stickers sporting the phrase "I'm With Cher" and some of the artist's greatest "down with Trump" tweets. Creator and designer Anna Niess says she has received so many requests to order the merchandise that they will now be available for purchase for Cher fans and Trump haters alike. Niess claims on the website that the "I'm With Cher" merchandise proceeds will benefit the organization Everytown for Gun Safety, "or an organization of Cher's choice." - Billboard, 8/2/16...... Prog-rock icons Kansas will release its first new album in 16 years, The Prelude Implicit, on Sept. 23, and Kansas drummer Phil Ehart says it will "start a new chapter in the book of Kansas." "The title of the album, The Prelude Implicit, means without a doubt this is a new musical beginning for the band," Ehart says. "This is the prelude, this is the beginning of a new musical expanse for us. The thing that [guitarist] Richard [Williams] and I realized is: it's the music, the Kansas music. If the band Kansas stops, then the music stops. Yeah, you can still listen to your CD and pop in a video or something, but it's a great live band, and the fans are not only coming, but they're coming more so now. We're enjoying a real resurgence of sorts, so it's something we want to continue." Kansas has recruited a new singer-keyboardist, Ronnie Platt, and also added former lighting director David Manion on keyboards and Zak Rizvi on second guitar. Ehart added that with the previous incarnation of the band, "it just wasn't meant to happen." "We discussed it. We talked about it, but the enthusiasm wasn't there with certain members. The new material wasn't being written. It didn't want to be written. But once the new personnel came on, boy, it happened overnight. It really ignited," he said. Kansas' 100-plus tour dates in 2016 include a fall run beginning on Sept. 30 in Pittsburgh during which the group will not only promote the new LP, but also play its 1976 breakthrough album Leftoverture in its entirety to celebrate the band's 40th anniversary. Ehart says he's confident there won't be another 16 years before the followup to The Prelude Implicit, as its record label Inside Out Music has already asked for a follow-up in early 2018. - Billboard, 8/4/16...... '70s/'80s hitmakers Kool & the Gang have charted their first Billboard hit in 10 years with "Sexy (Where'd You Get Yours)," which has debuted at No. 28 on the Adult R&B Songs roundup for the week ending Aug. 13. The single arrives as the group is currently in the midst of its Keepin' The Funk Alive U.S. Tour, which runs through the end of August. Kool & the Gang is comprised of veteran founding members, Ronald and Robert "Kool" Bell, Dennis Thomas and George Brown, along with new vocalist Walt Anderson. Kool & the Gang charted nine No. 1's on the charts in the 1970s and 1980s with hits like "Hollywood Swinging" (one week at No. 1 in 1974), "Ladies Night" (three weeks in 1979) and "Joanna" (two weeks in 1984). - Billboard, 8/3/16...... Content provider Netflix is working on an original animated series for kids based on the famed Jobete Music catalog of Motown hits from artists including Marvin Gaye, the Jackson 5, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, the Supremes, the Temptations and Stevie Wonder. With Smokey Robinson serving as executive music producer, the first season of the untitled project will feature songs covered by contemporary artists and will be released on Melodia/Motown Records to coincide with the as-yet-unannounced launch date of the show. "I am thrilled to be a part of this wonderful new series that will embrace the magic of Motown and present our songs to a whole new generation of fans and their families," says Robinson, who will curate the song choices and select cover artists. Netflix's Motown project follows the recent announcement of a Beatles-themed animated series for children, Beat Bugs, which features covers of Fab Four songs performed by artists including Jennifer Hudson, Pink, Sia, Rod Stewart and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. That series began streaming on Netflix on Aug. 3, with its soundtrack available the same day. - Billboard, 8/3/16...... People magazine is reporting that Ozzy Osbourne is currently undergoing "intense therapy" to overcome a sex addiction issue that he's been afflicted with for the past six years. In the same story, Ozzy's hair colorist Michelle Pugh said that Osbourne not only gave her "the greatest love of [her] life" but also "a very real relationship" and what felt like "an old-fashioned romance." She expressed doubt that Ozzy had a sex addiction and claimed they'd known each other professionally for a year before Ozzy "made the first move on her." Pugh has also filed a defamation lawsuit against Ozzy's daughter Kelly Osbourne over a series of tweets made by Kelly after rumors of the alleged affair between Ozzy and Pugh leaked out. In May, Ozzy's wife and longtime manager Sharon Osbourne kicked out of their house over what some outlets reported was an affair with Pugh. "I don't know where I'm going, who I'm going with," she admitted on CBS' The Talk, which she co-hosts. "And I just need time to think. And really think about myself, about what do I really want. Because I'm 63 years of age and I can't keep living like this." In July, Ozzy told Good Morning America that his marriage was "back on track." Meanwhile, Ozzy and Black Sabbath are in the midst of a worldwide farewell tour, with the next show set for Aug. 17 at Wantagh, NY's Jones Beach Theater. - Billboard, 8/3/16...... Elton John has given permission for guitarist Slash of Guns N' Roses fame to record a cover of his classic outer space-themed song "Rocket Man" for a Kickstarter.com campaign by motorcycle daredevil Eddie Braun, who plans to leap across the Snake River Canyon in Idaho on Sept. 17. Slash's version of "Rocket Man" will serve as the theme for Braun's dangerous stunt, which almost took the life of famed motorcycle stuntman Evel Knievel in Sept. 1978. Braun plans to jump the canon with the the help of a 10,000 horse-power rocket called the "Evel Spirit" which Braun says can go from 0 to 400mph in three seconds. Evel Knievel tried and failed in his attempt. Braun says he plans to live-stream his jump attempt, and fans can download Slash's "Rocket Man" after the action. - Billboard, 8/3/16.
Saturday, July 30, 2016
The family of late rock icon Prince issued a press release on July 28 announcing an offical Prince tribute concert will take place on Oct. 13 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. "We are excited for the opportunity to bring everyone together for the official family celebration of Prince's life, music and legacy, and there is no better place to do it than his hometown of Minneapolis," the statement read. "We are honored by the artists who will pay tribute and grateful to those that have worked so hard to make this celebration possible." Prince, who died on Apr. 21 of a drug overdose, has been honored by countless performers during their live shows in the past three months, and in May his songs "Nothing Compares 2 U" and "Purple Rain" were performed by Madonna and Stevie Wonder at the Billboard Music Awards. - AP, 7/29/16...... Carole King entertained delegates on the final day of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 28 with a performace of her classic "You've Got a Friend." Members of the audience were seen holding hands, smiling, singing and dancing together to King's 1971 hit, which was also popularized by James Taylor. "Hillary [Clinton]'s got so many friends and Bernie [Sanders] too and all of us together!," King said as she finished. - Billboard, 7/28/16...... A Lou Reed tribute concert at New York City's Lincoln Center called "The Bells: A Daylong Celebration of Lou Reed" took place on July 30. The free event took its name from the title track, "The Bells," from Reed's 1979 LP and was selected by Reed's widow, artist Laurie Anderson and his longtime producing partner Hal Wilner. Performers included members of Sonic Youth, fronted by such vocalists as David Hohansen of the New York Dolls, Lenny Kaye and Jon Spencer, among others. Reed died on Oct. 27, 2013 from liver disease at age 71. - New Musical Express, 7/28/16...... A massive 27-disc retrospective of early Pink Floyd recordings featuring unreleased demos, TV appearances and more than 20 unreleased songs called The Early Years 1965-1972 will hit stores on Nov. 11. Collected in 7 individual book-style packages, the set will bundle more than 15 hours of video, including rare BBC Sessions, live concert performances, interviews and three feature films: The Committee, More and La Valle (Obscured by Clouds). The previously unreleased tracks include 1967's "Vegetable Man" and "In the Beechwoods," which have been remixed for the release, as well as remixed and updated versions of the band's score for the film Zabriskie Point. A 2-CD set of highlights from the box set, The Early Years -- CRE/ATION, will be released on Nov. 11 as well through Pink Floyd Records. Each of the 7 packages will also be released separately in 2017 with the exception of the bonus disc CONTINU/ATION. - Billboard, 7/28/16...... Chapter and Verse, a musical companion piece to Bruce Springsteen's upcoming 500-page autobiography Born to Run, will drop on Sept 23. Featuring five previously unreleased songs, Chapter and Verse will reflect the themes and sections of Springsteen's Born to Run memoirs. Kicking off with two tracks from Springsteen's high school band The Castiles, its 18 tracks also include material from the Steel Mill and the Bruce Springsteen Band, winding its way through 2012's Wrecking Ball. The Born to Run book will arrive via Simon & Shuster in hardcover on Oct. 5. Springsteen and his E Street Band kick off the U.S. leg of their summer stadium tour with a three-night stand in East Rutherford, N.J., and conclude Sept. 14 in Foxborough, Mass. His anticipated new solo album, which manager Jon Landau says is a "very different kind of record," is expected in 2017. - Billboard, 7/28/16...... Rod Stewart has been added to the contributors of Beat Bugs, a new Netflix animated series that features Beatles songs covered by the likes of Eddie Vedder, Pink, Jennifer Hudson, Robbie Williams and the Lumineers, among others. Premiering in the U.S. on Nov. 18, season one of Beat Bugs will include Pink's version of "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," Robbie Williams with "Good Day Sunshine," Eddie Vedder singing "Magical Mystery Tour," and the Lumineers doing "Honey Pie." Stewart is set to cover "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" in season two. A 27-track two-disc soundtrack album for the first season will be released exclusively to Apple Music the day of the show's Aug. 3 premiere. - Billboard, 7/27/16...... In other Beatles-related news, George Harrison's widow Olivia Harrison says she and her 37-year-old son Dhani Harrison have talked about him finishing some unreleased tracks that her late husband left behind. "There are a lot of songs that are unfinished," Olivia said. "I think there's a project there. I just need time to get to it." Olivia, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono all attended the 10th anniversary of the Beatles musical Love by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas on July 14. Ono says she's also working on a project of approximately 10 songs of hers and John Lennon's that she had intended to get out by now, but she was temporarly halted by a bout with the flu (and briefly hospitalized in February). "That derailed the whole situation," she said. "Everything in my body is OK now, except I have a problem walking," she added. Meanwhile, a stamp collection that belonged to John Lennon is set to go on display at the Stampex exhibition in London between Sept. 14-17. Lennon, who began his stamp collection at age 10, collected stamps from letters received from New Zealand and America and defaced pictures of Queen Victoria and King George VI with moustaches. A classic car owned by John is also going up for auction at RM Sotheby's in London on Sept. 7. Lennon purchased the 1956 Austin Princess in Aug. 1971 and went on to use it the following year in a promotional film for his album Imagine, alongside wife Yoko Ono. The car's seats were replaced with five aeroplane seats, which are still in the car today. - Billboard/NME, 7/25/16...... An appeal has been filed over the recent Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven" verdict in which songwriting partners Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were cleared of accusations that they lifted a riff from an obscure 1968 instrumental by Randy California of Spirit for the intro to the classic rock anthem. The filing does not provide legal arguments for why the case should be reconsidered, but trust attorneys complained after the verdict that the judge did not allow jurors to hear the recording of Spirit's "Taurus." A hearing on the appeal is scheduled for Aug. 8. Attorneys for Zeppelin and the other defendants, including their record label, are seeking close to $800,000 in legal and other fees from the trust California, whose real name is Randy Wolfe, because it failed to win. - AP, 7/27/16...... The O'Jays have sent a cease and desist letter to the campaign of 2016 Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump after Republican congressman Rep. John Mica posted a new pro-Trump video using the group's classic "For the Love of Money" without the band's consent. Founding O'Jays members Eddie Levert and Walter Williams had decried the use of their 1972 hit "Love Train" just a few days earlier during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The letter, issued by the O'Jays' attorneys and sent to Rep. Mica and copied to Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort, reads in part "Your use of our clients' signature song, and utilizing the original recording, constitutes a patently false implication that Mr. Levert and Mr. Williams have endorsed you or your political agenda or Mr. Trump's agenda. Our clients unequivocally do not endorse you, your agenda nor your party's views or those of Mr. Trump. On the contrary, Mr. Levert and Mr. Williams have actively opposed these ideals [and] we hereby demand that you... immediately and permanently refrain from exploiting our clients' proprietary material." - Billboard, 7/27/16...... The first ever Outlaw Music Festival set for Montage Mountain Pavillion in Scranton, Penn. on Sept. 18 was announced on July 26 by Willie Nelson on July 26. In addition to Nelson, the concert will be headlined by Neil Young + Promise of the Real, Sheryl Crow, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Lee Ann Womack and Brothers Osborne. - Billboard, 7/26/16...... Steven Tyler's new country crossover LP We're All Somebody From Somewhere has nabbed the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart for the week ending Aug. 6. The album sold 17,000 copies in its first week (ending July 21), according to Nielsen Music, and bowed at No. 19 on Billboard's all-genre Hot 200 album chart the same week. Tyler kicked off his Out on a Limb tour behind the new album on July 2 at the Venetian Theatre in Las Vegas, and will hit 19 cities. The newly released title track is the album's third single, with "Love Is Your Name" and "Red, White & You," peaking at Nos. 19 and 29 on the Hot Country Songs roundup. - Billboard, 7/26/16...... The Gibson cherry sunburst electric guitar used by Elvis Presley during rehearsals for his legendary 1968 "comeback" special is among several Presley items set to be auctioned beginning on Aug. 13, during Graceland's "Elvis Presley Week." Presley's birth record, a black and gold outfit he performed in, an Indian ring, and a TCB necklace will also be auctioned. - NME, 7/26/16...... The Rolling Stones will screen their Mar. 25 free concert in Havana, Cuba, across the world this fall. Havana Moon: The Rolling Stones Live in Cuba includes the hits "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "Start Me Up," "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Brown Sugar." The film will be released in cinemas internationally on Sept. 23. - NME, 7/28/16...... A Florida man who could possibly be German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk's biggest fan has legally changed his name after the band. The man has posted a picture of his driver's license on his Flickr page with his name as "Kraftwerk," followed by his address. It is unclear what his real name is although his account web address lists the name David Sanborn. The man also posted a series of pictures wearing the band's iconic red shirt and black tie from their 1978 Man-Machine album as he goes shopping, driving, eating and gassing up his car. - NME 7/25/16...... Brian Wilson & Friends, a concert film of Brian Wilson's Dec. 12, 2014 concert for the PBS Soundstage concert series, is set to be released on Aug. 2. The concert featured appearances from Wilson's former Beach Boys bandmate Al Jardine, fun.'s Nate Ruess and country music star Kacey Musgraves. The concert originally aired in the U.S. on PBS throughout 2015, and was offered as exclusive DVD and Blu-ray sets as a premium gift for viewer contributions to the network's annual pledge drive. A CD version of the show will also be available for the first time and is to set to include bonus tracks, behind-the-scenes footage and guest artist interviews. Wilson is set to launch a book about his life, I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir, via Da Capo Press in October. - New Musical Express, 7/28/16...... The David Bowie co-written "Lazarus" musical is heading to London for a run this fall after premiering off Broadway just before the rock icon's death in January. Based on Walter Tevis' classic 1963 British sci-fi novel and considered Bowie's completion of Nicolas Roeg's 1976 film adaptation, "Lazarus" stars Michael C. Hall as a humanoid alien who came to Earth from his drought-stricken planet many years earlier. After amassing a fortune in business while attempting to build a rocket ship to take him home, he was experimented on by the government and finds himself living in depressed isolation, unable to leave or die. "Lazarus" is set to run in London from Oct. 22 through Jan. 22 at the Kings Cross Theatre. In other Bowie-related news, the band who backed the singer on his final album Blackstar have announced their own album inspired by and dedicated to their former collaborator. Saxophonist Donny McCaslin says he and his group, which includes guitarist Nate Wood, bassist Tim Lefebvre and drummer Mark Guiliana, will release the LP, titled Beyond Now, on Oct. 14 via Motma Music. The record includes original tracks by McCaslin and a number of covers of songs by the likes of Deadmau5, Mutemath, The Chainsmokers and Bowie. Meanwhile, Bowie's son Duncan Jones and his wife Rodene have welcomed their first child, and named baby boy after Duncan's late father. "Stenton David Jones. Born July 10th, exactly six months after his grandad made room for him. Love you both so," Duncan Jones posted on Twitter on July 29. Bowie, who passed away on Jan. 10, also has a daughter, Duncan Jones' half-sister, Alexandria, who is in her teens. Duncan Jones' mother is Bowie's first wife Angie, while Alexandria's mother is supermodel and businesswoman Iman, to whom Bowie was married from 1992 until his death.- Billboard/NME, 7/30/16...... Three of Michael Jackson's nephews -- Taj, TJ and Taryll Jackson -- have filed a $100 million libel suit against the celebrity gossip site RadarOnline.com over allegations that they were sexually abused by their uncle and accepted gifts to cover it up, stemming from purported documents from a 2003 raid of Jackson's Neverland Ranch. "Radar has built a business of publishing false, embarrassing and hurtful gossip for profit and its latest victims are the members of the band 3T, Taj, TJ and Taryll Jackson," according to the suit filed by Bert Fields on July 27. "Radar has tried to profit by launching a vicious and unrelenting attack on [Jackson] based on claims that, years ago, he was guilty of sexual abuse, even though, at the time, he was found 'not guilty' of that very charge," Fields writes. "Radar represents its 'reports' as 'new' and based on official 'Detective Reports.' Not only have those Detective Reports been available to the public for many years, Radar has misrepresented what the Reports say." In June, RadarOnline posted a series of stories claiming newly discovered documents show Jackson had been "stockpiling images of pornography, animal torture, S&M and gore in a bid to seduce innocent young boys." The site claims the documents came from Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department reports and quotes a "private investigator with direct knowledge of the raids" saying "the report cites Michael even used sexy photos of his own nephews, who were in the band 3T, in their underwear to excite young boys." The complaint also says the Jackson nephews demanded a correction of the libelous stories on July 5 and received a refusal from RadarOnline two days later. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/27/16...... Ozzy & Jack's World Detour, a new travel show starring Ozzy Osbourne and his son Jack Osbourne, premiered on the History Channel July 27. The series takes the father and son duo to historic sites around the U.S. and the U.K., including the Alamo in Texas, where in 1982 the Prince of Darkness famously relieved himself on the Alamo Cenotaph across the street. Ozzy, who resumes his Black Sabbath The End tour on Aug. 17 in Wantaugh, N.Y., has also provided a voiceover for an episode for Disney's animated series The 7D. He cameos in the episode titled "Bummer Vacation," premieres on July 30. The show, which sees the seven dwarfs from Snow White getting a modern update, also features Osbourne's wife Sharon and daughter Kelly. Appearing on ABC's Good Morning America on July 25 to promote his new projects, Ozzy declared his marriage to Sharon is "back on track again," after tabloid reports in May claimed the pair had had "mutually agreed" to split, with Ozzy moving out of their family home. It was suggested that the singer had an affair with a celebrity hair stylist. "You just, you make mistakes, and you learn by your mistakes, I think," Ozzy said. "It's just a bump in the road. Some days it's good, some days it's terrible, some days you just drift apart for a while. But you get back on the horse, you know," he added. - Billboard/NME, 7/30/16...... Veteran rock producer Sandy Pearlman, best known for producing nine albums for Blue Oyster Cult as well as the Dictators' Go Girl Crazy! and the Clash's first U.S. release Give 'Em Enough Rope, died on July 26 after a long struggle following a cerebral hemorrhage he suffered in Dec. 2015. He was 72. Pearlman, who is sometimes credited with coining the phrase "heavy metal" while working at the rock magazine Crawdaddy, also managed Blue Oyster Cult, The Dictators, Romeo Void, and, briefly, the Ronnie Dio-era Black Sabbath. He was president of 415 Records and vice president of pioneering 1990s online music service e-music. Pearlman's work producing, writing for and co-managing Blue Oyster Cult was immortalized in the legendary Saturday Night Live "More Cowbell" sketch, where Christopher Walken played a fictionalized version of the rock n' roll raconteur. - Billboard, 7/26/16...... Marni Nixon, a Hollywood voice double whose singing was heard in place of the leading actresses in such classic movie musicals as West Side Story, The King and I and My Fair Lady, died on July 24 of cancer in New York. She was 86. Ms. Nixon, who was initially uncredited for her work, early on resented the dubbing work but later came to terms with it. "I realized now that this was something that would outlive me. Something that would last," she wrote in her 2006 memoir, I Could Have Sung All Night. Ms. Nixon also appeared before the cameras in 1965, in a small role as a nun in The Sound of Music, and provided the singing voice of Grandmother Fa in the 1998 animated film Mulan. Ms. Nixon was the the ex-wife of Oscar-winning composer-conductor Ernest Gold, and the mother of late rock musician Andrew Gold, who arranged music for Linda Ronstadt and had a top 10 hit in 1977 with "Lonely Boy." He died in 2011. She also had two daughters with her first husband, Martha and Melani. - AP, 7/26/16.
Monday, July 25, 2016
The Beatles' Apple Corps' Ltd. and Universal Music Group announced on July 20 that the band's 1977 live LP of 1964 Hollywood Bowl performances will be released globally on CD for the first time ever on Sept. 9. Containing material from the legendary quartet's Hollywood Bowl concerts in Aug. 1964 and Aug. 1965, The Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl will also be available as a digital download the same day, and a 180-gram vinyl release will follow on Nov. 18. Intended as a companion release to director Ron Howard's new Beatles rockumentary Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years, the package will include all 13 tracks from the original vinyl release, plus four previously unreleased live tracks -- "You Can't Do That" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand" from the Aug. 1964 concert, and "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby" and "Baby's in Black" from the Aug. 1965 show -- along with a 24-page booklet with an essay by Rolling Stone contributor David Fricke. All tracks have been remixed from the original three track tapes by producer Giles Martin, the son of Sir George Martin who produced the original album and wrote in the original liner notes, and engineer Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios. The original Hollywood Bowl album debuted on the Billboard charts on May 21, 1977, and peaked at No. 2 in the UK and No. 1 in the UK. Although it was never released officially on CD, the album was heavily bootlegged. Ron Howard's new film, which premieres within a week after the album's release, concentrates on the group from the years 1962 to 1966 and will include footage of the "Boys" performance featured on the original Hollywood Bowl album. - Billboard, 7/20/16...... In other Beatles news, a long lost recording by Paul McCartney in his early Fab Four days has been discovered in tucked inside a paper bag in the attic of the family of British pop singer Cilla Black and is expected to fetch at least $20,000 when it's put up for auction on Aug. 27. The 7-inch 45 record has no artist listed, only the title "It's For You" and "Demo." In 1964, McCartney recorded a demo of the track to a Dick James demo disc, which was delivered to Black at the London Palladium, where she was performing. The whereabouts of the demo since then have been unknown until now. The official version of Black's "It's For You" cracked the Top 10 in the U.K., but only reached No. 79 in the States. A 20-second excerpt of the song can be heard at beatlesauction.co.uk, who is conducting the auction. - MeTV.com, 7/21/16...... The list of '70s Classic Rock and Soul musicians objecting to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump using their songs during his political events has exploded after the GOP convention in Cleveland, Oh., on July 18-21. George Harrison's estate, the Rolling Stones, Earth, Wind & Fire and The O'Jays have joined the likes of Queen, Paul Rodgers of Bad Company, Aerosmith, Neil Young and REM, among others, in protesting Trump's use of their music. After Harrison's Beatles classic "Here Comes the Sun" was played during the RNC convention on July 21, his estate tweeted "The unauthorized use of 'Here Comes the Sun' at the RNC is offensive & against the wishes of the George Harrison estate" the next day, wryly adding, "If it had been Beware of Darkness, then we MAY have approved it! #TrumpYourself," in reference to the track from his solo album, All Things Must Pass. Also on July 21, Trump and the Republicans ignored a previous request from the Rolling Stones to refrain from playing their music at the candidate's events. "The Rolling Stones do not endorse Donald Trump. You Can't Always Get What You Want was used without the band's permission," a rep for the band tweeted the next day. Earth, Wind & Fire slammed the Trump campaign on July 20 in a tweet after their hit "September" was played at the convention, tweeting "Another unauthorized use (September) at the Republican Convention, against our wishes." The O'Jays are also upset that their 1972 smash "Love Train" was used at the RNC event, with founding members Eddie Levert and Walter Williams issuing a statement saying "Our music, and most especially, 'Love Train' is about bringing people together, not building walls... I don't appreciate being associated with Mr. Trump and his usage of our music without permission." Finally, Queen have issued a second statement expressing their frustration against Donald Trump using their 1977 single 'We Are The Champions' at his rallies. Queen released another statement on July 20 stating they are "frustrated" at Trump's "repeated unauthorised use of the song ['We Are the Champions']." - Billboard/NME, 7/22/16...... A "lost" David Bowie album titled The Gouster that eventually became his hit 1975 LP Young Americans will be included in a planned second box set compiling the late singer's complete music. The tracklisting for The Gouster was to have been: "John, I'm Only Dancing (Again)," "Somebody Up There Likes Me," "It's Gonna Be Me," "Who Can I Be Now?," "Can You Hear Me," "Young Americans" and "Right" before Bowie decided to revamp the album and name it after Young Americans' title track, a reference to a dress code worn by Chicago teenagers in the 1960s. The Gouster will be included in Who Can I Be Now?, the second Bowie box set that follows the release of 2015's Five Years, which covered the years 1969 through 1973's Pin Ups. The new release will cover 1974-76, and feature a booklet written by Bowie producer Tony Visconti, who produced many of its recordings. - New Musical Express, 7/22/16...... The PonoMusic Store, Neil Young's high resolution digital music service, has gone offline following the recent acquisition of Omnifone, up until now PonoMusic's sole provider of hi-resolution audio downloads. The sale has forced Young's service to go dark until a new platform can be established, which will be 7digital, a London-based indie services platform. In a message posted to its website, Pono said the "process of transition is now well underway" and that it would take several weeks to complete. Young launched his PonoMusic Store in Jan. 2015 with a library of 2 million-plus songs with all the major labels. In an open letter in Aug. 2015, Young called Pono a "labor of love" and reiterated the company's mission to bring high-quality audio to fans -- "not some 21st century fake shallow Xerox facsimile, with all of the essence taken away and replaced by a thin exterior with no passionate core." - Billboard, 7/22/16...... Don McLean of "American Pie" fame has taken a plea in a domestic violence assault case against his estranged wife, Patrisha McLean, that dates back to January of 2016. McLean pleaded guilty to domestic violence in a Camden, Maine court on July 21, which will allow him to avoid jail time if he stays out of trouble for at least a year, however he was ordered to pay a $3,000 fine. A lawyer for Patrisha McLean said in March that his client was filing for divorce and that the legal papers cited "adultery, cruel and abusive treatment, and irreconcilable differences." The two had been married 30 years. Don McLean, whose original manuscript and notes to "American Pie" sold at auction for $1.2 million in 2015, initially pleaded not guilty to the charges. - AP, 7/22/16...... Britain's Official Charts Company has announced it's honoring Paul McCartney with its second "Official Record Breaker Award" as the most successful album act of all time in the U.K. The honor was given after Sir Paul hit the No. 1 album spot 22 times beginning from his time with the Beatles and continuing into his solo career. Macca's run of 15 UK number one albums with the Beatles began in 1963 with Please Please Me and With the Beatles, and his solo U.K. chart toppers began in 1971 with Ram. "Okay, you know how it really feels? It feels unbelievable, because when you write your songs you don't count how well they're doing," McCartney said in a statement. "I remember when Please, Please Me went to No. 1, that was our first No. 1 record, and it's a beautiful feeling to suddenly get this [award], I mean it's amazing." McCartney went on to thank the OCC, which is celebrating its 60th birthday in 2016, and "everyone who made it possible by buying the records, we love you too!" - Billboard, 7/22/16...... Debbie Harry of Blondie is collaborating with the iconic blue jeans manufacturer Levi's, and took the stage during a July 19 concert at New York's Bowery Ballroom in honor of Levi's new 505C jean, a style inspired by the Levi's 505s that Harry wore in a now-iconic image by photographer Richard Young from a 1978 performance in Tokyo. "Blue denim has always been truly American," said the 71-year-old singer, who performed hits like "Call Me," "Heart of Glass" and "Rapture" (including the rap) at the event. - Billboard, 7/20/16...... Bruce Springsteen's manager Jon Landau says Springsteen's next project will be a solo album, which he describes as "a very different kind" of Springsteen record. "All I can say is that there is a solo record -- and when I say solo record, I'm not talking about an acoustic record," he says. "It is, in fact, a very expansive record, a very rich record. It's one of Bruce's very creative efforts. Stay tuned, and we'll see exactly how that shapes up next year." Landau did not elaborate on a release date or supporting tour, only saying it's "premature to say much about it." "It's a wonderful record, and we'll see how the next year unfolds. We're terrible planners. You have people who know where they're playing 18 months from now and have all of next summer's festivals booked, and we just have a knack for not planning that far ahead. That's our way." Commenting on The Boss's current The River tour, Landau said: "This is a 67-year-old guy that's out there doing the best shows of his life, and people are coming." - Billboard, 7/21/16...... Joe Perry returned to performing with his new supergroup Hollywood Vampires at Weill Hall in Rohnert Park, Calif., on July 22 after having a health scare during a show in Brooklyn on July 10. The band, which also includes Alice Cooper Ian Hunter, Johnny Depp and Matt Sorum, has three additional dates scheduled with one in Oregon and two in California for the remainder of their tour. - Billboard, 7/21/16.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Actor/director/writer/producer Garry Marshall, a beloved figure in show business responsible for such TV hits as Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy as well as helming such bigscreen blockbusters as The Flamingo Kid, Beaches, Pretty Woman and The Princess Diaries, died on July 19 from complications of pneumonia following a stroke at a hospital in Burbank, Calif. He was 81. Born in the Bronx, N.Y., on Nov. 13, 1934, Mr. Marshall broke into showbiz in the late 1950s as a joke writer, eventually earning his way to becoming a writer on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar. In 1970, Mr. Marshall adapted his first TV hit, The Odd Couple, from the Neil Simon play with writing partner Jerry Belson. He went on to create the sitcoms Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley (which starred his sister, Penny Marshall) and Mork & Mindy (which introduced the world to Robin Williams). The following decade, Mr. Marshall turned his talents to feature films, finding his first hit with The Flamingo Kid in 1984, followed by Overboard (1987) and Beaches (1989). His 1990 film Pretty Woman propelled Julia Roberts to stardom, and 2001's The Princess Diaries made Anne Hathaway a household name. Then came the celebrity-filled, holiday-themed comedies: 2010's Valentine's Day, 2011's New Year's Eve and this year, Mother's Day. Mr. Marshall also had several memorable acting credits, starring in '90s films such as Soapdish and A League of Their Own and serving as micro-managing network president Stan Lansing on TV's Murphy Brown. More recently, he appeared on episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Bojack Horseman and Hot in Cleveland. He remained prolific even in his final years, having recently finished a rewrite of Pretty Woman for the Broadway-bound musical. "He loved telling stories, making people laugh, and playing softball, winning numerous championships," read a statement sent by his rep. "Even at age 81, he had a record this year of 6-1 pitching for his team." "Rest In Peace .. Thank you for my professional life. Thank you for your loyalty, friendship and generosity," Happy Days star Henry Winkler tweeted upon hearing the news of Mr. Marshall's passing. Mr. Marshall is survived by his wife of 53 years, nurse Barbara Sue Marshall; two sisters, Ronny Hallin and Penny Marshall; three children, Lori, a writer, Kathleen, a theater producer, and Scott, a film and TV director. - USA Today, 7/20/16.
The 2014 Fender Stratocaster played by Eric Clapton at his 70th birthday concert in 2015 is expected to raise more than $20,000 for charity when it goes under the hammer in a live auction in Dallas on July 23. Currently owned by Johnny Nicholas of the country group Asleep at the Wheel, the Clapton-autographed guitar was intended to benefit Nicholas's wife Brenda, but, sadly, she passed away from leukemia in June. All proceeds from the Dallas-based Heritage Auction will now go toward Leukemia research. - TMZ.com, 7/16/16...... After bowing out of Yes's 2016 European tour in the spring to undergo surgery to repair an injured disc in his lower back, drummer Alan White says the operation has had a "very positive result" and that he hopes to "be back in good form and ready to rejoin the Summer YES Tour in the near future." "I'm eager to be on the road with the band but also need to ensure my recovery is complete before doing so," White tweeted on July 18. Yes will kick off the American leg of the tour on July 25 in Lancaster, Penn., with drummer Jay Schellen (Hurricane, Asia, World Trade) filling in for White until he can recover. The tour is set to wrap on Sept. 18 in San Diego. - Billboard, 7/18/16...... Queen has issued a statement saying that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's use of their 1977 classic "We Are the Champions" during Day 1 of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 18 was "unauthorized" and "against our wishes." "An unauthorised use at the Republican Convention against our wishes," the band tweeted on July 19. Also on the same day, Queen's publishing company, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, weighed in: "Sony/ATV Music Publishing has never been asked by Mr. Trump, the Trump campaign or the Trump Organization for permission to use 'We are the Champions' by Queen. On behalf of the band, we are frustrated by the repeated unauthorized use of the song after a previous request to desist, which has obviously been ignored by Mr. Trump and his campaign." Sony/ATV went on to say that the band "does not want its music associated with any mainstream or political debate in any country," and that it does not want "We Are the Champions" "to be used as an endorsement of Mr. Trump and the political views of the Republican Party." "We trust, hope and expect that Mr. Trump and his campaign will respect these wishes moving forward," the statement concluded. In June, Queen guitarist Brian May had cautioned the Trump campaign to refrain from using the rousing ballad, saying "permission to use the track was neither sought nor given... We are taking advice on what steps we can take to ensure this use does not continue." - Billboard, 7/19/16...... In related news, the '60s pop band The Turtles is threatening to sue the Republicans for using its No. 1 1967 smash "Happy Together" as the GOP kicked off its convention earlier in the day. Turtles lead singer Howard Kaylan tweeted on July 18 that "We never approved this use... Now we call the laywers." In addition to Queen and The Turtles, several other musicians -- including Adele, Neil Young, the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and REM -- have refused to let the controversial politician use their music at his rallies. Meanwhile, cover of David Bowie's "Station to Station" by the house band at the convention, led by GE Smith of Saturday Night Live fame, has also raised eyebrows by some. The traditionally conservative audience was treated to the "Station to Station" lyric "It's not the side-effects of the cocaine / I'm thinking it must be love." - Billboard/New Musical Express, 7/19/16...... Paul McCartney was joined onstage by Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir during Macca's concert at Boston's Fenway Park on July 17 for jams of Wings' "Hi, Hi Hi" and the Beatles' classic "Helter Skelter." Weir's Dead & Company had just completed a two-night stand at the same venue, and Weir stuck around to perform with the Beatles legend for the first time ever. After the Boston gig, McCartney's One on One summer tour continued to Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Penn. - Billboard, 7/17/16...... In other McCartney news, a letter from Paul to the late Prince sold at auction for $14,822 on July 17. In the letter, McCartney greeted Prince as "Dear Princely person" and asked his fellow musician to help him set up the Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts. Sir Paul wrote that he was contacting "friends and all good people" asking for donations. He also told Prince: "One of these days you'll have to come and teach a class some moves!!" It is unknown if Prince made good on McCartney's request, as the vast majority of Prince's contributions to charity were made anonymously. Meanwhile, former Police frontman Sting has recorded a tribute to Prince as part of his first straight pop album in 17 years. Sting is putting the finishing touches on 57th & 9th, which will include "50,000," a ballad written the week Prince died in April. The album is named after the intersection in New York where Sting is recording 57th & 9th, which is produced by Sting's new manager, Martin Kierszenbaum. - NME, 7/19/16...... Alice Cooper says he's "tired of the rhetoric -- the mudslinging -- the media frenzy" going on in the current political scene in both the US and the UK, and is launching simultaneous campaigns to become both President and Prime Minister, respectively. On his just launched website aliceforprimeminister.com, the '70s shock-rocker outlines his manifesto, which includes "Getting Brian Johnson back in AC/DC, a snake in every pot, no more pencils no more books," and "adding Lemmy [Kilmister] to Mt Rushmore." Other amusing points include "a ban on talking during movies in theatres" and a "ban on taking selfies, except on a designated National Selfie Day." "He is asking his fellow Americans, his British friends and all those around the world who are disillusioned with their leaders, to join The Wild Party," according to a press release. "Alice Cooper is tackling the everyday concerns discussed among his fellow woman and man - the ordinary, decent hard working (and rocking) people he meets and entertains every day while performing nearly 100 concerts a year around the world." To accompany the campaign, the Coop has recorded a new version of his classic track "Elected," which originally came out in 1972. - New Musical Express, 7/15/16...... Diana Ross's summer tour hit the legendary Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on July 15, for her first L.A. performance in nearly three years. Descending from the ceiling of the Bowl stage on a swing while singing her smash single "I'm Coming Out," the Supremes legend then tore through a hits medley of "More Today Than Yesterday," "My World Is Empty Without You," "Baby Love," "Stop! In the Name of Love," "Come See About Me" and "You Can't Hurry Love." Ross also treated the crowd to a salute to the late Billie Holiday and the Holiday biopic Lady Sings the Blues in which she starred, performing "Don't Explain" and "Good Morning Heartache." Ross dedicated the latter tune to her former love and Motown label boss, Berry Gordy. She encored with a cover of Gloria Gaynor' "I Will Survive," "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)," and a reprise of "I Will Survive." Ross played a second show at the venue the following night. - Billboard, 7/16/16...... Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Heart, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and Cheap Trick kicked off their co-headlinging Rock Hall Three For All Tour at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in suburban Detroit on July 14. All three bands have a touring history together -- tour headliner Heart and Cheap Trick date back to the '70s, and Heart and Jett have hit the road together extensively during the past couple years. "We all know each other and like each other, so it's cool," Heart's Ann Wilson said. Though the three acts did not collaborate at all during their sets, they made a point of paying homage to their own heroes as well as showcasing their respective repertoires. Cheap Trick payed homage to The Move with "California Man," Joan Jett covered Sly & the Family Stone's "Everyday People," and Heart paid tribute to Led Zeppelin with covers of "Immigrant Song" and "Misty Mountain Hop." The tour runs through Sept. 23. - Billboard, 7/15/16...... Speaking of Led Zeppelin, the band has announced it will release The Complete BBC Sessions, a 33-track album featuring a song not heard since it was first broadcast on Auntie Beeb in 1969, on Sept. 16. The release features a 3-song session from March 1969 that was taped from AM radio in Europe who came forwrd with the recording and restored to releaseable quality by Zeppelin's Jimmy Page. Also included is the first broadcast version of "Stairway To Heaven," aired in April 1971 from BBC Paris Cinema in London's Regent Street, as well as the only performance of "Sunshine Woman," which the band never recorded. The first version of The BBC Sessions was released in 1997, but the new edition adds a disc of eight previously-unreleased songs as well as the rare "White Summer," previously only available on the 'Led Zeppelin' box-set. The other 24 songs have been remastered by Page and engineer John Davis. The album will be available as a 2-CD/4-LP standard edition, 3-CD/5-LP deluxe edition, digital download, and a deluxe box-set. - New Musical Express, 7/19/16...... In a new interview with the UK's Radio Times, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards vowed his iconic band will continue until their death, saying it's what the best bands do. "They're not really bands if they don't last; they're groups," Richards says. "We're a band and a real band sticks until it dies. These bands, they become big, but they're generational, just for their one decade. They literally go when their testosterone goes." In the same interview, the musician also said that the Stones "are still hoping to release their best music," 52 years after they released their self-titled debut LP in 1964. Richards also criticized the Beatles as live performers: "Musically, The Beatles had a lovely sound and great songs. But the live thing? They were never quite there." He added that he enjoyed being friends with the band, but that he "excommunicated" them when they fell under the influence of mystic leader Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1967. "They wanted somebody else to take them away. They didn't want to be God any more, so they plugged it all onto the Maharishi," he said. The Stones previously announced that they are continuing to work on their first studio album since 2005's A Bigger Bang, and have hinted it may be the first covers album of their 52-year career. - NME, 7/19/16...... Performing during a Kiss concert in Bozeman, Montana on July 16, Gene Simmons took a tumble onstage as the band closed its set with "Rock and Roll All Nite." After falling backwards, the 66-year-old Simmons was soon picked back up by security staff and didn't appear to be hurt. - NME, 7/18/16...... Steven Tyler's song "Hold On (Won't Let Go)" has been named the official song for the Professional Bull Riders, a Colorado-based bull riding organization, and the song will be used on CBS television broadcasts of live bull riding events. Tyler cut the song for his new debut solo album, We're All Somebody From Somewhere, and was so enamored with the results that he flew out to the Nevada desert to shoot the video for the CBS intro. Tyler has just kicked off a 19-city solo tour of the US titled the "The Steven Tyler... Out on a Limb Tour." - Billboard, 7/15/16...... Jeff Beck is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his solo career in 2016, with a new album called Loud Hailer, a new book titled BECK01, and a summer tour with one of his favorite fellow guitarists, Buddy Guy. Beck will formally celebrate his golden anniversary on Aug. 10 with a blowout show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, with Guy, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, and other special guests to be announced. His 11-song LP Loud Hailer features vocalist Rosie Bones and guitarist Carmen Vandenberg, and uses a decidedly different approach than his instrumental-dominated predecessors. "What it allowed me to do was become more of an accompanist, so not to do an album of guitar recitals," Beck says. In his book BECK01, Beck documents his dual love of music and vintage hot rods, which he rebuilds at home in England. "I don't like the idea of somebody hoisting their hobby on somebody, but when I thought about it I thought maybe there's enough people who're interested in seeing how they all came together," Beck says. Details about the book are available at www.jeffbeckbook.com. - Billboard, 7/15/16...... Alan Vega of the trailblazing electronic duo Suicide died in his sleep on July 16. He was 78. Born in Brooklyn in 1938, Vega formed Suicide with multi-instrumentalist Martin Rev in 1970. Inspired by a Stooges concert in New York in the early 1970s, Vega -- who had worked as an artist and sculptor for several years -- incorporated Stooges frontman Iggy Pop's confrontational, audience-baiting tactics into the group's act. Suicide's 1977 self-titled debut is widely considering one of the seminal albums of electronic music, and was hailed by such critics as Lester Bangs. Suicide was among the earliest users of synthesizers and drum machines, and the duo ushered in a new sound that would evolve and endure for decades. The group performed at such legendary NY music venues as CBCG and Max's Kansas City during the mid-'70s, alongside such artists as the Ramones and Blondie, and had been scheduled to headline California's Desert Daze festival in October. Bruce Springsteen paid tribute to Vega in a post on his Facebook page, calling him "one of the great revolutionary voices in rock and roll." - Billboard, 7/17/16...... Bonnie Brown, one of the three siblings of the country trio The Browns, died on July 16 in Little Rock, Ark., of complications of lung cancer. She was 77. With older siblings Jim Ed and Maxine Brown, The Browns helped define the Nashville sound of the 1950s and '60s. They were inducted in 2015 into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum after Jim Ed's death earlier that year. After scoring a No. 1 hit "The Three Bells," the group disbanded in 1968 as Jim Ed and Maxine pursued solo careers. All three reunited in the '80s and again in 2006 for a PBS special Country Pop Legends. Offstage, Bonnie Brown notably once broke up with a young Elvis Presley "because he was, she said, a lousy kisser." - AP, 7/16/16.
Friday, July 15, 2016
According to a report in the U.K. paper The Sun, Mick Jagger is about to become a dad for the eighth time, as his current girlfriend Melanie Hamrick is reportedly three months pregnant. Jagger, 72, and Hamrick, a 29-year-old ballet dancer, have been dating for the past two years. A source close to the couple says they're "surprised and happy" for the impending arrival, and that Mick isn't "fazed" by the news, even though he already has seven children with four other women, including four kids with his former longtime partner, supermodel/actress Jerry Hall. Jagger and Hamrick were first noticed together on a hotel balcony in Switzerland in June 2014, just three months after Jagger's fashion designer L'Wren Scott tragically committed suiced. In May, Jagger's Rolling Stones bandmate Ronnie Wood and his wife Sally Humphreys became the parents of twin girls. - WENN.com, 7/14/16...... Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry was hospitalized on July 10 after having a health scare as he was performing with the superband Hollywood Vampires during their performance at the Coney Island Ampitheater in Brooklyn. Perry, 65, was forced to leave the stage as the band performed a cover of Spirit's "I Got a Line on You." After the incident, fans and fellow artists tweeted their support for Perry, who is said to be in stable condition, including Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, who on July 13 said he is "really concerned" about his longtime bandmate. "It's starting to scare me a little bit," said Tyler. "I know they're putting out nothing, but he's recovering, he's really good, he fainted, exhaustion. But I know my brother. He's just about the only other guy that's as passionate about his art as I am," added Tyler, who is on the road promoting his new album We're All Somebody From Somewhere. Tyler also noted that he "knows how to maintain my career, my health" [but] "I don't think [Joe] knows how to... I think he's out there and someone's overbooking him." Perry is currently off the Hollywood Vampires tour, though a statement was released promising that he'll "rejoin his fellow Vampires on stage again soon." In addition to Perry, the Hollywood Vampires is comprised of Alice Cooper, Ian Hunter, Johnny Depp and Matt Sorum, and the band was forced to cancel a July 11 televised performance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. In other Aerosmith-related news, Steven Tyler's daughter, actress Liv Tyler, gave birth to her third child, a daughter named Lulu Rose, on July 9. Tyler is engaged to sports agent David Gardner, and the couple are also the parents of a one-year-old son, Sailor Gene. Tyler, 38, also has an 11-year-old son, Milo, from her marriage to British rocker Royston Langdon. - Billboard/WENN.com, 7/13/16...... Late soul superstar Marvin Gaye's three children have given their blessing to a planned documentary on Gaye called Marvin, What's Going On? that will focus on his 1971 classic LP What's Going On. "We would like to express our excitement about the upcoming documentary feature film about our father and the creation of his amazing 'What's Going On' album," Gaye's children -- Nona, Marvin III and Frankie Gaye -- told Variety in a statement. "We are proud that his relevance remains intact, and we look forward to being a part of this cinematic journey." The documentary, which is being developed by Noah Media Group and Greenlight, will be "the defining portrait of this visionary artist and his impeccable album," according to the documentary's producers. It is expected to begin shooting later in 2016 in Detroit, Los Angeles and Washington, and feature never-before-seen footage as well as interviews with Motown's "top stars." - Billboard, 7/14/16...... In addition to his groundbreaking musical talent, late rock icon David Bowie also had a keen eye for fine art and modern British classics, and he amassed a collection of more than 400 objects d'art over his lifetime. Now Sotherby's Fine Art Auctions has announced it will publicly display the Bowie-owned paintings by "many of the most important British artists of the 20th Century" in November before putting them under the hammer in a three-part sale. The "Bowie/Collector" collection will be exhibited from Nov. 1-10 at Sotherby's in London, with review exhibitions also to be held in New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. "Art was, seriously, the only thing I'd ever wanted to own," Bowie told the New York Times in 1998. "It can change the way that I feel in the mornings." Meanwhile, Bowie's final album Blackstar, which was release on Jan. 8 and only two days before his death, has been named the best selling vinyl LP of 2016 to date. According to the vinyl publication The Vinyl Factory, Blackstar has sold 57,000 copies on vinyl so far this year, ahead of Adele's latest effort 25, which has sold 36,000 vinyl copies. - Billboard/NME, 7/14/16...... Pink Floyd's David Gilmour played his first ever concert at the historic Pompeii Ampitheatre in Italy on July 10. The 2,600 strong crowd was treated to an audio visual spectacle featuring lasers, pyrotechnics and a setlist featuring songs from throughout Gilmour's career, including the Pink Floyd classics "The Great Gig in the Sky" and "One of These Days" as well as selections from his latest solo album, Rattle That Lock. The ancient Roman stone ampitheatre was famously buried in ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, and only uncovered after the Second World War. In 1971, Gilmour and the other members of Pink Floyd played there, with no audience present, for their 1972 concert film Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii. Gilmour's 2016 Rattle That Lock World Tour will continue in Italy, Germany, France and Belgium before wrapping with a five night stand at the Royal Albert Hall in London. - New Musical Express, 7/11/16...... An unexpected power cut during a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert in Paris on July 11 forced the New Jersey rocker to keep the crowd entertained by signing autographs and chatting with fans in close proximity to the stage, even joining his bandmates for an impromptu conga line. Once power was returned to the AccorHotels Arena after 20 minutes, The Boss launched into a rendition of his 1984 hit "Dancing in the Dark." The concert was the first of two gigs at the venue, with the band also performing there on July 13 before heading to Rome on July 16 to continue the European leg of his The River tour. - NME, 7/12/16...... Meat Loaf says he's signed up to a diet and fitness regime after he recently collapsed on stage during a gig in Canada. Meat Loaf, whose real name is Marvin Lee Aday, was playing a concert in Edmonton, Alberta when the incident occurred. He had previously cancelled shows in Moose Jaw and Calgary earlier in the week due to illness. "I'm okay. Weak. I've gotta go to physical therapy," Meat Loaf told Classic Rock magazine. "I had back surgery and knee surgery within the last two years, and the knee surgery failed, so I haven't been able to work out on tour." He added that he is now on a diet and has "lost getting close to 20 pounds now... So we're trying to watch out for my health and make it easier onstage." Meat Loaf says he plans to lose another 15 before he takes his tour to the U.K. behind his forthcoming album, Braver Than We Are. - New Musical Express, 7/11/16...... The lyrics of Stevie Wonder's song "As" were quoted by Dallas Police Chief David Brown during a memorial service for five Dallas police officers who were fatally shot by a deranged gunman on July 7. Chief Brown said, among other lyrics: "Just as hate knows love's the cure, you can rest your mind assure that I'll be loving you always." Brown received a long, loud standing ovation from those in attendance. The five who died were shot during a protest against the police killings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Nine officers and two civilians were injured in the attack. Three days later on July 10 during a concert in the UK in Hyde Park for the British Summertime Festival, Stevie Wonder urged his fans to choose "love over hate" and expressed dismay over the troubles in the world. Wonder played his 1976 Grammy-winning album Songs in the Key of Life during the show, and at the start he told fans he loved them all in these difficult times, and asked them to live in positivity. "The songs and the words that we talk about, those conditions still exist in the world and that hurts my heart," he said. The Motown icon played for over two hours to a sellout London crowd of 65,000 people, closing this year's British Summertime series. - AP, 7/12/16...... Stuart "Woody" Wood, the guitarist with the recently reunited Bay City Rollers, announced on July 9 on his Facebook page that his concert later that evening at Scotland's T in the Park Festival in Perthshire would be his last with the band. Wood, 59, reunited with orginal BCR vocalist Les McKeown and bassist Alan Longmuir in Dec. 2015, and the three were reportedly working on new music with manager John McLaughlin. "Hi All...just to say TITP is my last gig," Wood posted on his Facebook page. "Disappointed is an understatement but outwith my control. Details will follow in due course...love as always,Woody x." Wood later denied rumours that his exit was due to health problems or otherwise. Les McKeown is set to release a new collection of music, Les McKeown: The Lost Songs, on Aug. 22 through iTunes and will continue to tour throughout the year with his group. - Billboard, 7/10/16...... British pop star Cliff Richard is reportedly planning a comeback after recently being cleared of charges of historical sex offences by U.K. authorities. A source close to Richard said the musician is "going to release his new album this year now that he's cleared his name... He's had it on hold for years now throughout this ordeal." In June, the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that Richard would not face charges after their investigation, which began in 2014, yielded "insufficient evidence to prosecute." "I have always maintained my innocence, co-operated fully with the investigation, and cannot understand why it has taken so long to get to this point," Richard said at the time. - NME, 7/12/16...... Organizers of the Rewind 80s Festival have announced the lineup for the 2016 edition of the annual concert series. The three star-studded festivals will include headline performances from such '80s acts as Adam Ant, Rick Astley, ABC, Big Country, Leo Sayer, Thomas Dolby and The Beat at Rewind Scotland, which takes place from July 22-24. For Rewind North, which occurs on Aug. 5-7, headliners include Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey, UB40, Go West and Nik Kershaw. The Rewind South edition, taking place on Aug. 19-21, will feature Lloyd Cole, Rick Astley, Adam Ant, Marc Almond and Roland Gift, among others. - Noble PR, 7/12/16...... Chaka Khan released a statement on July 10 announcing that she and her sister, Yvonne Stevens, also known as Taka Boom, have both entered a drug rehabilitation program to battle their addictions to prescription drugs. Khan, 63, said the recent death of Prince motivated her to seek treatment and that said she has been battling an addiction to the same medication that led to Prince's untimely death on Apr. 21. "Unfortunately, I will miss concert appearances over the summer," she said. "However, it's vital that I put my health and well-being first. I know that I am disappointing some of my fans, but I also know they would want me to recover and be well and healthy." Khan said that she and her sister "agreed we would take this journey together and support each other through the recovery." The Grammy-winning Khan had one of her biggest hits with the Prince-penned song "I Feel For You," and the two were longtime friends. An autopsy found that Prince died of an overdose of fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller. - AP, 7/10/16...... The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced on July 12 that it was closing the books on the unsolved case of the '70s hijacker known as D.B. Cooper, reasoning that its crime-fighting resources would be better used elsewhere. The famous case began on Nov. 24, 1971, when when a dark-haired man who called himself Dan Cooper, dressed in a business suit and tie and believed to be in his mid-40s, boarded a Northwest Orient Airlines flight in Portland, Oregon, bound for Seattle. After take-off, the man handed a flight attendant a note claiming he had a bomb in his briefcase and opened it to show a mass of wires and red sticks, according to the FBI's account of the incident. The aircraft safely landed in Seattle, where the man freed 36 passengers in exchange for $200,000 in cash from the airline and four parachutes, but kept several crew members aboard as the plane took off again, ordered this time to fly to Mexico City. At some point during that flight, at an altitude of about 10,000 feet (1.9 miles), the man executed one of the most flamboyant getaways in criminal history, leaping out of the back of the plane into the night with a parachute and the ransom money. Whether Cooper survived the jump over a rugged, wooded landscape somewhere between Seattle and Reno, Nevada, has never been confirmed, and his true identity has never been established. The FBI said that evidence obtained during the course of the investigation "will now be preserved for historical purposes at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C." - Yahoo News, 7/12/16...... Oscar-winning director Michael Cimino, best known for the 1978 Vietnam war epic The Deer Hunter, died on July 2 at age 77. Preceding Apocalypse Now and Platoon, the acclaimed The Deer Hunter was one of the earliest big-budget studio films to earnestly grapple with the war in Vietnam and starred Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and John Savage as three steelworker best friends from blue-collar Pennsylvania who go off to Vietnam and are all indelibly scarred in their own ways. Cimino's 1980 film Heaven's Gate, on the other hand, was a $44 million financial flop that turned the hot writer-director into a bruised and buried scapegoat. - Entertainment Weekly, 7/10/16.
Sunday, July 10, 2016
On July 7 Paul McCartney posted a "throwback" photo of his Beatles bandmate Ringo Starr to Twitter to mark Ringo's 76th birthday on the same day. The photo, thought to be taken during the recording of McCartney's 1981 solo LP Tug of War, shows the pair together at AIR Studios in the Caribbean island of Montserrat. "Paul and @ringostarrmusic at AIR Studios, Montserrat. Photo by Linda McCartney #ThrowbackThursday #TBT pic.twitter.com/LBEuX7tjMn," the post reads. Meanwhile, a former Ludwig drum kit of Ringo's has sold at auction for $2.2 million at a Juliens Auction in Beverly Hills, Cal. The 1963 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl three-piece kit was used to record some of the Beatles' earliest tracks, including "Can't Buy Me Love," "She Loves You," "All My Loving" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand," with Starr playing the kit for more than 200 performances between May 1963 and Feb. 1964. A percentage of the sale of the kit, which was owned by Clive Edwards, will go to Ringo Starr's Lotus Children Foundation. - New Musical Express, 7/7/16...... In other Beatles-related news, John Lennon's copy of a 1977 document that ended the Beatles' stormy relationship with Allen Klein is being put up for sale through the company Moments In Time, with an asking price of $95,000. When the Beatles, solo artists at the time, decided not to renew Klein's contract with Apple Corps Ltd. in 1973, Klein promptly sued them for $19 million (roughly $75.3 million today). The settlement, dated Jan. 8, 1977, ruled that Apple had to pay Allen Klein and ABKCO just over $5 million (or roughly $19.8 million now) while Klein had to pay out a total of $800,000 (roughly $3.2 million now). The agreement said that it released Apple "from any liabiity whatsoever" related to the relationship of the Beatles and Klein. Paul McCartney, who never allowed himself to be represented by Klein as part of the Beatles, was not involved in the suit or the settlement but, according to his father-in-law Lee Eastman who represented him at the time, "was delighted to see his friends end this problem." The other three Beatles began their relationship with Klein on Jan. 28, 1969, at a meeting with Lennon and Yoko Ono at the Dorchester Hotel. McCartney's refusal to be associated with Klein became a major cause of friction between the Beatles, leading to their split in April 1970. - Billboard, 7/8/16...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, the traveling Beatles exhibit Ladies and Gentlemen: The Beatles! has opened at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live. The exhibit, which colorfully details the Fab Four's game-changing impact on pop culture and features more than 400 items of rare photos, clothing and tour artifacts, will be on display through Sept. 5. The exhibit will then travel to Little Rock, Ark., at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center. It first opened at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in 2014, also making stops at the Grammy Museum Mississippi, the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, and the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Okla. - Billboard, 7/7/16...... Movie studio SudioCanal has announced it is nearing completion of the restoration of the sci-fi classic The Man Who Fell to Earth, which stars David Bowie as a humanoid alien from a distant planet on a mission to take water back home, to mark the film's 40th anniversary. The 1976 Nicolas Roeg-directed movie, which is being restored in 4K and is arguably the late rocker's most iconic turn on the big screen, will also be released theatrically in the UK on Sept. 9 by Park Circus. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/7/16...... A US chart record for the most consecutive weeks for a Number One album and song in the charts that was set by Michael Jackson has been equalled by Toronto rapper Drake. Drake's Views and "Once Dance" have remained on the chart for seven consecutive weeks, with Jackson being the only other solo male artist to achieve that feat, with Thriller and "Billie Jean," in 1983. However Whitney Houston and the Beatles have both had longer runs in the US charts, each having simultaneous Number Ones in the album and singles charts for 12 consecutive weeks. - NME, 7/6/16...... Heart released its 16th album and first new release in four years, Beautiful Broken, on July 8 via Concord Records. Beautiful Broken features new songs written by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, and sees the siblings revisit some of their favorite catalog tracks in fresh recordings as well as a title track featuring guest vocals from James Hetfield of Metallica. "There is really a seventies feel to this record both in the sound, and the way we got to the emotional core of each song," Nancy Wilson said in a statement. "We picked songs that we always wanted to re-do, plus we've added three new tracks. On both new and old, we have the band playing together the way we used to. This is classic Heart." The LP features previously released songs that have been reworked, including "City's Burning," "Down on Me" and "Sweet Darlin'," and the title track was originally a bonus song on Heart's previous album, Fanatic, but the new version is an almost entirely new song with vocals and some new lyrics from Hetfield. "It blows the previous version [of "Beautiful Broken"] out of the water," Nancy Wilson says. "James just took the song on, and what he added was perfect with a bite and a rock accent." The LP was co-produced by Nancy and Heart bassist Dan Rothchild, who says his goal was to recapture the band's live feel in the studio. "On these classics, some of which had suffered from eighties-era over-editing-production-curse, we stripped the paint off and found the beauty underneath," he said. Four of Beautiful Broken's songs feature string arrangements from Paul Buckmaster, who has worked with Elton John and the Rolling Stones. Heart is currently on tour behind the new album with fellow Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members Joan Jett and Cheap Trick. - Billboard, 7/6/16...... Warner/Chappel Music, the publisher in the recent Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven" trial, is seeking nearly $800,000 in in attorneys' and expert witness fees after a June 16 opinion directed lower judges to consider awarding attorneys' fees to prevailing parties in copyright cases by examining factors like "frivolousness, motivation, objective unreasonableness, and the need in particular circumstances to advance considerations of compensation and deterrence." Warner/Chappel says it takes issue with the way the plaintiff, Michael Skidmore, "tried to tar 'Stairway to Heaven' and its authors, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant" and says it "successfully defended plaintiff's attempt to wipe 'Stairway to Heaven' off the map and, in doing so, defendants furthered the important copyright purpose of enriching the general public through access to creative works." A hearing on the request is scheduled for Aug. 8. - Billboard, 7/8/16...... It appears that AC/DC will be thinning its ranks once again with the announcement by bassist Cliff Williams that he plans to retire after the Aussie rockers' current Rock or Bust tour. Speaking to the Southwest Florida publication Gulfshore Life for a feature about rockers who live in the area, Williams, 66, said that being in AC/DC is "what I've known for the past 40 years, but after this tour I'm backing off of touring and recording." "Losing Malcolm, the thing with [drummer] Phil [Rudd, who had legal difficulties] and now with [singer] Brian [Johnson, who stepped aside this year due to hearing loss]", it's a changed animal. I feel in my gut it's the right thing." Williams' decision comes just after AC/DC played a string of European dates with Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose filling in for Johnson on the band's 2016 tour. Should Williams retire, it would leave guitarist Angus Young as the only original member of the group. - NME, 7/8/16...... Fleetwood Mac has announced it will give its lone 2016 live performance at the Los Angeles Dodgers' second annual Blue Diamond Gala at Dodgers Stadium on July 28. The band will close out the night with a set from centerfield, following a blue carpet entrance (in honor of the Dodger colors) and a ceremony honoring Vin Scully, the iconic Dodgers announcer who plans to retire at season's end. All proceeds from the evening, which will also include Dodgers players and coaches, will go towards the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, which benefits underprivileged local communities. In 2015, Fleetwood Mac wrapped its lengthy On With the Show Tour, which saw the reunion of its '70s "classic" lineup of Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. All five will perform at the Dodger gala. - Billboard, 7/5/16...... Former Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour has been made an honorary citizen of Pompeii, Italy, as his tour hits the city's Amphitheatre Of Pompeii on July 9. The venue is the oldest Roman amphitheatre in the world, and where Pink Floyd played an infamous concert in 1971, later showcased in the 1972 documentary Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii. Pompeii mayor Ferdinando Uliano bestowed the citizenship on Gilmour as he returned to the ancient city. Meanwhile, it has been announced that late founding Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett, whom Gilmour replaced in Pink Floyd, will be the subject of a series of events in his hometown of Cambridge later in 2016. An unreleased film about the musician made by Anthony Stern, a former school friend of Barrett's, titled Get All that Ant?, will be screened for the first time on Oct. 21 during the Cambridge Film Festival, while fans will be able to embark on Barrett-themed walking tours. Get All that Ant? is comprised of film footage, stills and archive footage produced during the '60s in Cambridge, London and San Francisco. Tickets for the fim screenings and the walking tours will be available from the Cambridge Live website. - New Musical Express, 7/7/16.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
With a rare live performance of the Simon & Garfunkel classic "Bridge Over Troubled Water," Paul Simon wrapped the US leg of his 2016 tour in his home borough of Queens, N.Y., on June 30. "I don't usually sing this song, but, well, we'll see," Simon said during his final encore. The song was particularly appropriate since the concert had been delayed by an hour due to heavy rain and tornado warnings earlier that morning. When the show eventually began, Simon told the crowd he'd try to slip a few extra songs in to compensate for the delay. In late June, Simon told the New York Times that "Showbiz doesn't hold any interest for me" and that he is considering retiring from music when his current tour, which hits Europe this fall, comes to an end. Stranger to Stranger, his new album, is the singer/songwriter's first No. 1 since 1990's Rhythm of the Saints. - New Musical Express, 7/3/16...... Speaking of concert firsts, David Gilmour has performed the 1971 Pink Floyd Meddle cut "One of These Days" for the first time in more than two decades. Playing a steel guitar, Gilmour tackled the space-rock classic, in which drummer Nick Mason says, "One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces" at the very end, during his European tour opener at Freedom Square in Wroclaw, Poland. Gilmour, who performed his first stage show of any kind in 10 years at the Hollywood Bowl on Mar. 24 as he opened a US tour, also treated fans to such Floyd standards as "Wish You Were Here", "Run Like Hell", "Time," "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and "Comfortably Numb," as well as "Dancing Right In Front Of Me" from his latest solo LP Rattle That Lock. When his tour hits Italy, Gilmour will play Pompeii, where he'll do two nights in the city where Pink Floyd taped their 1972 concert documentary, Live at Pompeii. - Billboard, 7/1/16...... In a new interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry denies that Aerosmith is splitting up after their next tour and that he never could imagine doing a "farewell tour." "At this point in our lives and career, maybe it is time to say 'OK, it's the end of this era -- but there's a new era on the horizon.' So I don't know if I'm comfortable saying 'final tour' and making a big deal out of it," Perry said, while noting that "If it was going to happen, we're closer to it than any other time in our insane career." Perry's comments come a week after frontman Steven Tyler told DJ Howard Stern that the next Aerosmith shows will be a farewell tour, commenting that: "We're doing a farewell tour, because it's time. We've never done that." Aerosmith is set to play the Kaaboo Festival in California on Sept. 16, before launching a 10-date tour of South America which wraps in Mexico City on Oct. 27. Tyler's new solo LP, We're All Somebody From Somewhere, hits stores on July 15. Perry is currently on tour with the supergroup Hollywood Vampires, which also features Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp. - New Musical Express, 7/4/16...... The UK's Official Charts Company has revealed that Queen's 1981 compilation Greatest Hits is the best-selling album of all time in Britain. The OCC reports the album has sold 6.1 million copies in Britain, and is the only album to sell more than 6 million on the isle. "What a great bit of news to wake up to," Queen's Brian May said of the achievement. "The most popular album? Well, I always thought the band showed promise, but this is beyond our boyhood dreams. Thanks, folks," he added. The album is followed by ABBA's 1992 compilation Gold: Greatest Hits (5.2 million), and the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (the best-selling non-compilation LP with 5.1 million). Other '70s artists making the Top 10 include Michael Jackson's Thriller at No. 6, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon at No. 7, and Dire Straits's Brothers in Arms at No. 8. Jackson's Bad and Queen's Greatest Hits II were good for the 9th and 10th spots. The 2016 chart is the 60th anniversary of the OCC chart, with the first being published in 1956 with Frank Sinatra's Songs for Swingin' Lovers grabbing the top slot. - NME, 7/5/16...... Attorney Francis Malofiy, who was on the losing side in the recent Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven" copyright trial, has been suspended from practicing law for flouting courtroom protocol during the trial. Malofiy had been subjected to repeated judicial scrutiny during the proceedings, and an appelate panel ruled on June 30 that Molofiy violated "various rules of conduct" in 2015 after he "tricked" unrepresented co-defendant William Guice into signing an affidavit without consulting a lawyer, and he won't be practicing law again until the fall. After the jury ruled in Led Zeppelin's favor in the six-day trial on June 23, Malifoy said he lost on a technicality and hinted at an appeal, however he won't be representing plaintiff Michael Skidmore should he decide to appeal the case soon. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/30/16...... A Ludwig drum kit used by the Beatles to record "Love Me Do" is being auctioned off, with a starting bid of $150,000. The kit was played by one time Beatles drummer Andy White as he briefly sat in for Ringo Starr during the recording of the track in 1962. White, a top session drummer who passed away on Nov. 11, 2015, at age 85, reflected on the recording session during a 2012 interview with the BBC. "From the drum sound I can tell that I was on (the album) Please Please Me, because it was a vastly different sound to Ringo's drum set at that time." This was before he got the Ludwig kit. "Each drummer gets an individual sound, first of all by the way they tune the drums and then by the way they play the drums," he added. The drum kit comes from the personal collection of Clive Edwards. - NME, 6/30/16...... Drummer Ginger Baker of Cream has undergone open heart surgery after being diagnosed with a heart condition in March. Baker, 76, suffered a fall at his home at that time and revealed he was due to face the surgery, adding he hoped to be able to carry on drummer. "There are two options for surgery. Depending on how strong my old lungs are, they may do both. The doctor says he's going to get me playing again," he said. Leda Baker, Ginger's daughter, said her dad is "on the road to recovery" and was able to have a conversation the day after his surgery. Baker founded Cream in 1966 with Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce, and the trio released four albums including the influential Disraeli Gears before splitting in 1968. The power trio reformed for four gigs at London's Royal Albert Hall in 2005, before Jack Bruce's death in 2014. Baker's 18 solo albums include his latest effort, 2014's Why. - NME, 7/5/16...... The National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress has named Motown legend Smokey Robinson as its next recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, which honors a living musician's lifetime achievement in promoting songs as a means to cultural understanding, inspiring new generations and entertaining audiences. "It gives me such joy and gratitude to be included among the past recipients of this most prestigious songwriting award," Robinson said in a statement. David S. Mao of the Library of Congress described Grammy winner Robinson as the "poet laureate of soul" and noted he was "a master at crafting lyrics that speak to the heart and soul, expressing ordinary themes in an extraordinary way... It is that quality in his music that makes him one of the greatest poetic songwriters of our time." Robinson, whose hits with The Miracles include "The Tracks of My Tears," "I Second That Emotion" and "The Tears of a Clown," will accept the award in Washington, D.C., in November. - Billboard, 7/5/16...... Debbie Rowe, the ex-wife of Michael Jackson and the mother of two of Jackson's oldest children, has reportedly been diagnosed with breast cancer. Rowe, 57, will undergo surgery in the near future to treat the disease, according to multiple reports. Jackson and Rowe were married from 1996 to 1999. Paris Jackson, one of the children, has been estranged from Rowe for over a year. - WENN.com, 7/4/16...... Lisa Marie Presley, who recently filed for a divorce from her fourth husband Michael Lockwood, has amended her filing to reflect a legal separation instead. The court documents have now been changed to legal separation, meaning, unlike divorce, the couple will still be legally married, but living separately. Presley and Lockwood, a music producer, tied the knot in Japan in Jan. 2006. Lisa Marie has requested full custody of the pair's seven-year-old twin daughters, Harper and Finley. - WENN.com, 7/1/16...... Bruce Springsteen has written a new forward for the audiobook edition of Ron Kovic's 1978 memoir Born on the Fourth of July, which like Springsteen's famous song "Born In the U.S.A." is a scathing takedown of American imperialism. Springsteen actually befriended author/Vietnam War veteran Kovic long before his book was made into a Tom Cruise film in 1989. The new audiobook edition, which hit stores July 4, features Springsteen's voice reading his new forward at the start. In February, Springsteen announced he will be releasing his own long awaited autobiography, told in "disarming candor," in the fall of 2016. - Billboard, 6/30/16...... Brad Rading, the co-founder and former bass player for the Five Man Electrical Band, passed away in late June after a battle with throat cancer at the age of 69. A professional musician since his teens, Rading was a longtime fixture on the Ottawa, Canada, music scene, and was a founding member of the Staccatos, who scored a handful of regional hit singles in the '60s before changing their name toward the end of the decade and re-emerging as the Five Man Electrical Band. The group's largest success came in 1971 when "Signs" peaked at No. 3 in the U.S. and earned a gold certification from the RIAA. But the band splintered just as it seemed it was poised to break through, with Rading and drummer Michael Belanger departing during the recording of 1973's Sweet Paradise LP. Singer Les Emmerson revived the band name in 1986, and continues to perform with a revamped lineup. "Brian was warm, friendly, thoughtful, helpful. He did a lot of things for a lot of people," said current Five Man Electrical Band guitarist Brian Sim. "He was one of the best bass players I've ever played with."...... Danny Davis, a veteran music executive who worked with Motown, Phil Spector's Philles Records and Neil Bogart's Casablanca Records during his career, died June 22 in Palm Desert, Calif. He was 87. As Senior VP at Motown, Mr. Davis oversaw promotion of recorded music and personal appearances for Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Smokey Robinson and many others. Later while at Casablanca he helped boost the careers of Donna Summer, the Village People and Kiss. He also once served as VP of Promotion with Columbia's Screen Gems Music. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/1/16...... Actress Noel Neill, best known as the first person to portray Lois Lane in a filmed adaptation of the Superman comics, diied on July 3 at her home in Tuscon, Ariz. She was 95. Ms. Neill's first turn as Clark Kent's love interest was in the 1948 movie Superman, opposite Kirk Alyn as the titular hero. Both she and Alyn reprised their roles for the 1950 film Atom Man vs. Superman. By the 1950s, she took Lois Lane to the small screen in the TV series Adventures of Superman starring George Reeves. Ms. Neill went on to have cameos in several Superman films, playing Lois Lane's mother in the 1978 Christopher Reeve-led Superman and 2006's Superman Returns with Brandon Routh. The Minnesota-born actress, who began her career as a singer in Bing Crosby's band, was memorialised in the real-life city of Metropolis, Ill., in 2010, where a bronze statue of Lois Lane stands. - WENN.com, 7/4/16.
Thursday, June 30, 2016
Speaking to The New York Times, Paul Simon says he's seriously considering retiring from performing and recording, just days after the 74-year-old scored his highest-ever chart debut as a solo artist with his new LP Stranger to Stranger. "It's an act of courage to let go," he said. "I am going to see what happens if I let go. Then I'm going to see, who am I? Or am I just this person that was defined by what I did? And if that's gone, if you have to make yourself, who are you?," he added. And while Simon is surely one of the most famous singer/songwriters of his generation, he told The Times that fame can be dangerous: "I've seen fame turn into absolute poison when I was a kid in the '60s. It killed Presley. It killed Lennon. It killed Michael Jackson. I've never known anyone to have gotten an enormous amount of fame who wasn't, at a minimum, confused by it and had a very hard time making decisions." Simon's 2016 summer tour is set to wrap with the second of two concerts on June 30 at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in Queens, the borough where Simon was raised and met a young Art Garfunkel, the other half of the Hall of Fame inducted vocal act Simon & Garfunkel. This fall, Simon will tour Europe beginning with an Oct. 17 show in Prague, Czech Republic, just four days before he turns 75. In 2017, he says he'll travel and drift, possibly with his wife Edie Brickell if her schedule allows. - Billboard, 6/30/16...... Surviving Bee Gees member Barry Gibb has signed a new recording deal with Columbia Records and will release his second solo album on the label this fall. "This is a dream come true for me," Gibb said in a statement. "It's a new chapter in my life. I always hoped one day that the Bee Gees would be with Columbia or indeed Sony so, it's a great joy for me to start again this way with such great people." Gibb, who returned to live performing in 2013-14 with his Mythology Tour behind a Bee Gees anthology release, has sold tens of millions of albums with his two late brothers Robin and Maurice Gibb as the Bee Gees, most of which were released through Polydor and Atco. "I will never forget my brothers, they will always be a part of everything I do," Gibb said also said in his statement. "Our dream came true." Barry Gibb also helped the UK band Coldplay close the Glastonbury 2016 festival on June 26 with a rendition of "Stayin' Alive." - Billboard, 6/29/16...... The London recording studio owned by Pink Floyd where the band laid down tracks for all of their 1977 album Animals as well as parts of 1979's The Wall is to be converted into flats. Britannia Row in Islington, housed in a Victorian warehouse, was owned by all four members of Pink Floyd, before drummer Nick Mason assumed full ownership after Roger Waters departed from the band. Eventually, Mason moved Britannia Row's recording equipment several miles away to Fulham before selling it to commercial building manager Consortia in the early 1990s. Consortia continued to rent the studio, with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant recording their 1998 LP Walking Into Clarksdale there (it can be seen in the video for that album's single "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It"), as well as other artists including Manic Street Preachers, Bjork, Richard Ashcroft and the Charlatans also recording there. The Islington Council has approved plans to turn two floors of the building into luxury rental space, but say they don't want the whole of the building to be given over to residential space. "We have lost a huge amount of small business space because developers can make much more money converting spaces into residential," one official said. - New Musical Express, 6/30/16...... In late June, the Beatles authorized a new Cirque Du Soleil video for "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" to mark the tenth anniversary of the Cirque Du Soleil Beatles show, "The Beatles Love." The show, which opened in 2006, has been hosted by the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas for 10 years now. The remix on the video is the "Love Version" of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and centers on string arrangements made by Beatles producer Sir George Martin for the Love album accompanying Cirque Du Soleil's show. Released in 2006, Love was among the final productions completed by Martin before his death in March 2016. First released in 1968 on the Beatles "White Album," While My Guitar Gently Weeps" features lead guitar from an uncredited Eric Clapton and was inspired by Harrison's interest in the Chinese philosophical book I Ching about the concept of fate and interconnectedness. - New Musical Express, 6/29/16...... In other Beatles-related news, a shirt soaked with the blood of John Lennon has sold at auction for $40,819. The white button down shirt was worn by concierge Jay Hastings as part of his uniform while he was on duty at The Dakota building in New York on Dec. 8, 1980, the fateful day the rock icon was assassinated by deranged fan Mark Chapman as he and wife Yoko Ono entered the porch of The Dakota to go up to their flat. According to Hastings, Lennon stumbled into the entranceway of his station after being shot twice in the back and twice in the shoulder, where Hastings covered Lennon with his suit jacket. In his attempt to aid the ailing star, some of Lennon's blood seeped into the shirt on its chest and sleeves. Hastings says he recently decided to sell the macabre item at auction, where it was expected to reach in the region of $9,216 in the June 25 Heritage Auctions sale. It eventually sold for a staggering $40,819, according to Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper. Garry Shrum of Heritage says that Hastings "kept this shirt all these years and never really spoke about it... It has just been sitting in a drawer for years and now he is getting older he felt it was time to sell it." Shrum also insists that Hastings isn't exploiting John Lennon's death: "He is telling the story of how he tried to help John Lennon in the last few minutes of his life." The auction sale also included a copy of the album Double Fantasy - which includes a handwritten message that reads: "To Jay, Love John Lennon Yoko Ono," as well as a 1978 Thanksgiving card from John and a 1980 typed letter from Yoko thanking the staff of the building for their help two weeks after the singer's death. The buyer of Hastings' collection has apparently chose to remain anonymous. Also sold in a Heritage auction in Beverly Hills is a small lock of David Bowie's hair that was clipped by Wendy Farrier in 1983 so it could be used for his waxwork at Madame Tussauds in London. Farrier had kept the lock of hair, which sold for around $18,500, in a frame for 33 years. - WENN.com/The Hollywood Reporter, 6/27/16...... The online auction site eBay is sponsoring a three-day auction event beginning on June 29 that includes 1,700 lots full of pop-culture memorabilia, including the ruffled silk shirt worn by the late Prince in his movie Purple Rain (starting bid: $3,000), and the motorcycle jacket he wore in the same movie (starting bid: $6,000). Bidding on the auction, which also includes items of clothing worn by such stars as Marilyn Monroe, Britney Spears and Daniel Craig, will take place through 11:00 a.m. PT July 1 on eBay. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/28/16...... Speaking of Prince, newly-revealed secret recordings made by Michael Jackson in an interview with a UK paper indicate that Jackson wasn't quite as chummy with Prince as he would have everyone believe as the two music mega-stars battled for chart supremacy in the 1980s. In the recently unveiled recording, made in 1988 with The Daily Mirror paper during the writing of Jackson's autobiography Moonwalker, the Gloved One makes clear his dislike for the Purple One. "I have proven myself since I was real little. It's not fair. He feels like I'm his opponent," Jackson told the interviewer. "I hope he changes because boy, he's gonna get hurt. He's the type that might commit suicide or something." Jackson also bristles at comparisons to Prince and himself in the secretly recorded conversation, shared for the first time by the Daily Mirror. "I don't like to be compared to Prince," he says, bluntly. The King of Pop then goes on to describe Prince as "one of the rudest people I have ever met," and says that he had been "mean and nasty to my family." The rivalry has also been confirmed by producer LA Reid, who revealed in his memoirs earlier in 2016 that one of Michael Jackson's hobbies "was laughing at videos of Prince making mistakes." - NME, 6/26/16...... Glenn Symmonds, a former drummer in Eddie Money's band, has added claims of sexual harassment to an age and disability wrongful termination lawsuit he first filed against Money in October 2015. Money says his First Amendment right to artistic expression trumps a claim from Symmonds that he was axed because of his age and disability, according to an anti-SLAPP motion to strike a portion of the complaint filed on June 29 in Los Angeles County Superior Court. For now, Money's attorneys are only addressing the initial complaint that Symmonds was illegally fired because of his age and complications of bladder cancer and a back injury. "Even though Symmonds' claim is frivolous, it raises serious First Amendment concerns," states the motion. "The performance of music is a fundamental First Amendment right. Eddie's choice of the members of his band furthers and is directly connected to this right." Money says the events resulting in the lawsuit were sparked by his decision to tour with his children for the summer of 2015, which he argues is protected artistic expression. The rocker intended to rehire the band after his family tour. Symmonds and his fiancee Tami Landrum responded with a "malicious and unwarranted attack" consisting of disparaging internet posts and threatening voicemails left for concert promoters, Money claims, and that's why the drummer wasn't rehired. Money has also turned to Facebook to tell his fans how he feels about the lawsuit. "Glenn Symmonds and his girlfriend are trying to damage my reputation not only as a professional entertainer, but as a husband and a father," the "Two Tickets to Paradise" singer writes. "Having something like that happen to you is like the Twilight Zone, so preposterous and downright evil." - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/29/16...... Cher has apologized for using a "bomb Emoji" in a tweet about the recent tragedy at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport in Instanbul, Turkey, on June 28. "In support of the victims of the attack that killed 41 people and wounded 239," Cher tweeted, then adding "WE ALL PRAY FOR INNOCENT PPL IN TURKEY AIPORT" along with a bomb emoji. Now, after receiving much backlash from her folowers for the emoji choice, Cher once again took to the service to apologize: "Been thinking about my Poorly Placed,Insensitively Timed 'bomb Emoji.' No ExcuseI'm Used 2 Using Emoji 2Help Say More Than 140 Letters.Sorry," she tweeted. The singer is known for using multiple emojis in her tweets and actively uses the social media site to share her thoughts to her more than 3 million followers on the current political climate around the world. - Billboard, 6/29/16...... Rod Stewart's current "Hits Tour" of Europe, which is nearing the end of his eight-week trek through 11 European countries, is doing big business on the continent, with sales from four events in Sweden, Poland and England totaling $6.7 million, earning the tour a slot among the 10 top-grossing tours of the week. Stewart's tour ranks second to only Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's summer European jaunt, who slotted higher due to ticket sales totaling $14.9 million from two stadium dates on his current "The River Tour." Stewart kicked off his tour on May 14 at Amsterdam's Ziggo Dome, and it will continue through July 9, wrapping with an appearance at the Cap Roig Festival staged at an outdoor site on the Mediterranean Sea near Calella, Spain. - Billboard, 6/29/16...... Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley has filed for divorce from her fourth husband, guitarist Michael Lockwood, after the two were wed for more than 10 years. According to court documents filed on June 24 in Los Angeles Superior Court, Presley has been separated from Lockwood since June 10 and cites irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split. Presley and Lockwood were wed in Jan. 2006, and have 7-year-old twin daughters together. Presley was previously married to Danny Keogh, Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage. - AP, 6/28/16...... In a recent interview with a country radio station, Charlie Daniels said the US "has enough gun control laws" and that "the laws we have now are not being enforced." "These guns laws are cosmetic... It's like taking cars away to stop car wrecks. It's the drunk drivers that are the problem. You'll clean it up by taking the bad drivers off of the road," added Daniels, who released his last album Live at Billy Bob's Texas, in Oct. of 2015. - Billboard, 6/28/16...... In other Southern Rock news, Lynyrd Skynyrd will be the subject of a new biopic written by the band's drummer Artimus Pyle. Named "Free Bird" after the band's biggest hit, the film will center around the 1977 plane crash that claimed the lives of their lead singer, Ronnie Van Zant, and their new guitarist Steve Gaines. Pyle co-wrote the script with the film's director, Jared Cohn, and filming is set to begin later in 2016. Pyle, who played with Skynyrd from 1974 until 1999, told Deadline.com: "The film's story, which is my story, is not just about the plane crash, but also about my personal relatonship with the genius that was Ronnie Van Zant. I loved him like a brother and still miss him to this day." Lynyrd Skynyrd still tours and are currently on a US run with Peter Frampton until September. - New Musical Express, 6/27/16...... Ozzy Osbourne, who will play his final series of concerts with Black Sabbath in the UK from Jan. 22 until Feb. 4, says he's disappointed Sabbath's final tour will be coming to an end and says he wanted to continue playing with the iconic heavy metal band. "It's not me that wants to retire, it's Black Sabbath," Osbourne says. "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." Osbourne added that he couldn't persuade guitarist Tony Iommi to continue the tour beyond its contracted 80 shows. "Tony wants to do 80 shows and we're doing 80 shows. It's good enough, but I wouldn't mind extending the tour for another few gigs. There's a lot of people who won't get to see us, but I don't think it's going to happen," he said. Sabbath wraps up its current European tour on July 12 and returns for a final run through North America on Aug. 17, with late-year dates in South America before next year's end run in the UK. - NME, 6/28/16...... Keith Richards has signed on to host his own weekend of shows on the UK's BBC Four television channel. Richards' Lost Weekend of shows will air in the fall, and the BBC says it's likely to include "documentaries, films and live performances." Richards will introduce both night's shows in excerpts directed by Julien Temple. Temple has also directed a new documentary about Richards, Keith Richards -- The Origin Of The Species. The hour-long show, which BBC2 will screen in July, sees Richards talk about his childhood in post-war Kent. - NME, 6/29/16...... A new Jimmy Buffett musical, "Escape to Margaritaville," will have its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse in the San Diego area, producers announced on June 27. The limited engagement will begin previews on May 16, 2017, ahead of its opening night on May 28, and will play through June 25. "Escape to Margaritaville" will feature both original songs and Buffett classics. It tells the story of a tropical island resort and its charming bartender-singer who falls for a beautiful, career-minded tourist. - Billboard, 6/27/16...... Fans attending a Billy Joel tribute band show in Huntington, N.Y., on June 24 were treated to a real surprise -- an appearance by the Piano Man himself. Joel was in the audience with this wife, Alexis Roderick, when he decided to join the band Big Shot for a three-song set, including covers of the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends," done Joe Cocker-style, the Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women, and one of Joel's own biggest hits, "You May Be Right," which was blended with Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll." Joel told the crowd that he lives "down the road" from Huntington's Paramount Theater and decided to catch the show. - AP, 6/25/16...... After being a big hit at this year's Glastonbury Festival, Jeff Lynne's ELO have announced a show at London's Wembley Stadium on June 24, 2017, which is also the Saturday of next year's Glastonbury festival. Officially billed in full as "Jeff Lynne's ELO" due to copyright issues over the name between Lynne and his former bandmates, the band's tour ended with a homecoming show in Birmingham on June 24 before their slot on June 26 in the traditional "legends" slot of Glatsonbury. In 2015, Lynne and his new band released Alone in the Universe, his first album under an ELO name since the group split in 1986. - NME, 6/27/16...... Rob Wasserman, a versatile, Grammy-winning bassist, composer and producer who worked with such major rock artists as Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, Neil Young, Rickie Lee Jones and Bob Weir, died on June 29 after a battle with undisclosed health complaints. He was 64. A classical trained violinist, Wasserman took up the upright bass at age 20, and began performing with the likes of Van Morrison and Oingo Boingo and before forming a band with David Grisman. "My great friend Rob Wasserman is facing a serious health struggle today," Bob Weir tweeted on June 29. "Please share the strength of our family with him and his family," he added. Wasserman's last album, the six-CD set Fall 1989: The Long Island Sound, with Jerry Garcia Band and Weir, dropped in Dec. 2013. - Billboard, 6/30/16...... Scotty Moore, the rockabilly guitarist who was teamed up with Elvis Presley by Sun Records producer Sam Phillips in 1954 to record "That's All Right (Mama)," died at his home in Nashville, Tenn., on June 28. He was 84. Alongside bassist Bill Black and drummer DJ Fontana, their backing band The Blue Moon Boys, Mr. Moore played on a string of Presley classics including "Jailhouse Rock," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Mystery Train" and "Hound Dog." Born near Gadsden, Tenn., in 1931, Mr. Moore learned guitar at an early age. He was a fan of jazz and country and was strongly influenced by Chet Atkins and Les Paul. After serving in the Navy during World War II, he settled in Memphis, working at a dry cleaning plant during the day and playing music after his shift was over. Phillips, who had not been impressed with Presley at first, had called in Moore and Black to work with the young singer. After appearing in four of Presley's films including Jailhouse Rock and GI Blues, Mr. Moore was fired by Phillips in 1964 for breaking his contract by releasing a solo album, The Guitar That Changed The World. He was reunited with Presley in 1968 for Elvis' famous "comeback special" on NBC, which saw Moore and Presley play Mr. Moore's trademark Gibson Super 400 guitar. Throughout his long career, Mr. Moore also played with the likes of Carl Perkins, Jeff Beck, Ringo Starr and Ronnie Wood. Keith Richards credits Mr. Moore as the musician who made him want to take up the guitar. "When I heard 'Heartbreak Hotel', I knew what I wanted to do in life. It was as plain as day," Richards once said. "All I wanted to do in life was to be able to play and sound like that. Everyone else wanted to be Elvis, but I wanted to be Scotty." Mr. Moore was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. - NME, 6/29/16...... Mack Rice, the composer of '60s hit "Mustang Sally" and co-writer of the Staple Singers' song "Respect Yourself," died in his Detroit home on June 27 of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 82. "Sir" Mack Rice was best known for writing "Mustang Sally," which he initially recorded but singer Wilson Pickett popularized. They had been in a group together called The Falcons, which recorded in Detroit. Mr. Rice was a songwriter for Memphis, Tennessee-based Stax Records and split his time between there and Detroit, where he moved from Mississippi as a teen. He wrote "Respect Yourself" with late R&B singer-songwriter Luther Ingram for the Staple Singers, which became Stax's biggest hit. According to his wife Laura, Mack wrote the song in about 15 minutes after talking with other musicians in the studio about the need for people to respect themselves in order to be respected by others. A tribute service has been scheduled for July 6 at Detroit's New Bethel Baptist Church. A funeral service is set for July 7. - AP, 6/28/16.
Saturday, June 25, 2016
After a week's worth of testimony and arguments, Led Zeppelin won the "Stairway to Heaven" lawsuit on June 23, in which the iconic heavy metal band was accused of copying the song's iconic guitar riff from Spirit's 1968 instrumental "Taurus." During the trial, Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant testified as well as Michael Skidmore, the Trustee of Spirit songwriter Randy Wolfe's estate, who demanded in his lawsuit a rewriting of rock n' eoll history. The jury also heard from a Spirit band member, musicologists and other witnesses and experts opining on such subjects as whether Led Zeppelin had heard "Taurus" before composing their popular song and whether the two songs were substantially similar. After less than a day's worth of deliberation, the eight-member jury decided in favor of Zeppelin and various subsidiaries of Warner Music, saying that although Page and Plant had indeed heard the song before penning "Stairway," there was no substantial similarity in the extrinsic elements of "Taurus" and "Stairway." The decision came after the jury took one last listen of both songs. After the verdict, Page and Plant put out a joint statement. "We are grateful for the jury's conscientious service and pleased that it has ruled in our favor, putting to rest questions about the origins of 'Stairway to Heaven' and confirming what we have known for 45 years," they said. "We appreciate our fans' support, and look forward to putting this legal matter behind us." Francis Malofiy, the attorney for the plaintiff, reacted to the decision by saying that he lost his case on "a technicality" and said he may appeal, but several legal experts say overturning the jury's verdict would be a steep climb. "I think it would be a waste of time and money," says music litigator William Hochberg. "I would suggest that they think long and hard about whether they really want to go forward with an appeal." - Billboard, 6/23/16...... After 46 years together as one of America's premier hard rock bands, Aerosmith have announced they're going on a "permanent vacation." Appearing on Howard Stern's radio show on June 24, frontman Steven Tyler confirmed that the band, which was founded in Boston in 1970, will embark on a farewell tour in 2017. "We're doing a farewell tour, but only because it's time," Tyler told Stern. "I love this band, I really do, and I want to squash every thought that anybody might have about this. Look, there's two bands that still have the original members, us and the Stones. I'm grateful for that," he added. Taken aback by the revelation, Stern made Tyler confirm that the band were indeed doing a farewell tour next year. "I think so, next year," the singer said. Asked whether guitarist Joe Perry is aware of Aerosmith's farewell plans, Tyler responded with a simple "Mmhmm." Tyler, meanwhile, is prepping for the release of his new Country music inspired album, We're All Somebody From Somewhere, which drops on July 15. Its title track was released as a single on June 24. Aerosmith's last studio LP, Music From Another Dimension, was released in 2012. - New Musical Express, 6/24/16...... Foghat is celebrating its 40th anniversary with Under the Influence, its first new album in six years, which hit stores on June 24. The LP includes a remake of the band's biggest hit, "Slow Ride," which Foghat drummer Roger Earl says is "kind of a nod and a tribute to (late Foghat guitarists) Rod Price and to Lonesome Dave (Peverett)." It just seemed like a good idea, and it was easy and fun to do. I love playing the song, even after all these years," said Earl, who is the sole original Foghat member left in the band's lineup. Under the Influence also features a contribution of former Savoy Brown leader Kim Simmonds. "Playing with Kim was a real thrill for me again," Earl notes. "He gave me my first job when I was 20, in Savoy Brown. We've met each other over the years and we've jammed together. It was like a full-circle thing for me." - Billboard, 6/23/16...... Sting and Peter Gabriel kicked off their "Rock, Paper, Scissors" summer co-headlining tour at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Oh., on June 21. After opening the evening with Gabriel's 1982 song "The Rhythm of the Heat" and Sting's 1993 hit "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You," the two convened in the middle of the stage. For more than three hours they traded numbers, sometimes sharing vocal duties and offering accompaniment, other times ceding the stage, and on a couple occasions covering each other's songs. Gabriel took a stab at Sting's first big solo hit, "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free," while Sting used the first bit of the 1973 Genesis tune "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight" as a lead-in to a powerful version of the Police chestnut "Message In a Bottle." The pair encored with their biggest individual hits, "Every Breath You Take" and "Sledgehammer." - Billboard, 6/22/16...... The Rolling Stones' "Exhibitionism" museum tour will make its United States debut at the West Village's Industria Superstudio this November, it was announced on June 21. So far, a specific date in November for the New York City debut has not been shared. "Exhibitionism" features instruments, clothing, artwork, film, photos and more, chronicling the Stones' journey since the early '60s. It opened at London's Saatchi Gallery in early April 2016. - Billboard, 6/21/16...... Reports have surfaced that Michael Jackson owned a disturbing photographic collection of child pornography and animal abuse that was allegedly discovered during a raid by authorities at his Neverland Ranch in California in 2003 as part of their investigation into his child molestation allegations. It has been speculated that Jackson used the materials, which included pictures of children's faces superimposed on adult bodies, to desensitize children for abuse. Other images, according to court documents obtained by RadarOnline.com, reportedly featured S&M and animal torture and gore. "We identified five different boys, who all made allegations of sexual abuse," said ormer Santa Barbara Senior Assistant District Attorney Ron Zonen. "There's not much question in my mind that Michael was guilty of child molestation," he added. On June 21, the Jackson estate issued a statement claiming the "content that appears to be obtained off the Internet or through unknown sources" is false, and that it was "no doubt timed to the [seventh] anniversary of Michael's passing." "Those who continue to shamelessly exploit Michael via sleazy internet 'click bait' ignore that he was acquitted by a jury in 2005 on every one of the 14 salacious charges brought against him in a failed witch hunt... Michael remains just as innocent of these smears in death as he was in life even though he isn't here to defend himself. Enough is enough," the statement went on. Jackson was acquitted of allegedly molesting then 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo in 2005. He died of cardiac arrest in 2009. - VanityFair.com, 6/23/16...... In other Jackson family news, the wife of Jermaine Jackson filed divorce papers on June 21, citing irreconcilable differences, and listed Nov. 28 as the date of separation. The couple's separation fell on the same day Jackson's wife, Halima Rashid, was arrested and booked on suspicion of corporal felony injury on a spouse after an incident at the couple's California home. In the divorce papers, Rashid is seeking spousal support. She and Jermaine have no children together. - WENN.com, 6/23/16...... In related news, Don McLean and his wife Patrisha finalized their divorce on June 20 and agreed to a $10 million settlement. A spokesman for McLean said that the "American Pie" singer "chose to ignore a premarital agreement" and provide the settlement. Patrisha McLean, an author and photographer, filed for divorce citing "adultery, cruel and abusive treatment, and irreconcilable differences" in legal papers. The couple, who have been married for about 30 years, have two adult children. In January, Don McLean was arrested in January in his hometown of Camden, Maine, on charges including domestic violence assault. He has pleaded not guilty. - AP, 6/21/16...... Frank Zappa's 8,000 square foot home in Los Angeles' Laurel Canyon neighborhood where the musician lived with his family from 1968 until his death in 1993 has been put on the market for $5.4 million. The 7-bedroom property at 7885 Woodrow Wilson Drive includes the fabled "Utility Muffin Research Kitchen" where Zappa recorded his jazz-rock albums and composed his symphonies, as well as "The Vault," a chamber beneath the house where Zappa stored thousands of hours of unreleased recordings, video and family artifacts. The sale of the property has been caught up in a dispute among Zappa's four children, who have been battling each other since their mother Gail Zappa died in 2015. - Billboard, 6/24/16...... '70s artists The Eagles, James Taylor and Mavis Staples will be among the 2016 Kennedy Center Honorees in Washington, D.C., this winter, the The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced on June 23. The recognition will be a bittersweet one for the Eagles, who were originally tapped for the honor in 2015, but were forced to postpone their appearance because of founding member Glenn Frey's failing health. Frey died in January, about a month after the honors gala. The Eagles issued a statement on June 24, saying "We accept this honor in memory of our comrade and fellow traveler, Eagles founder Glenn Frey... we always felt very fortunate that our music was embraced by people from all walks of life, all over the world." James Taylor, who attended the ceremony for his good friend Carole King in 2015, said that "the prospect of attending the Kennedy Center Honors again, this time as an honoree, is astonishing... I am deeply moved to be included in such august company." The honorees, which this year also include actor Al Pacino and Argentine pianist Martha Argerich, will be celebrated at a gala on Dec. 4, featuring performances and tributes from top entertainers. The show will be broadcast on Dec. 27 on CBS. - AP, 6/23/16...... In other Eagles-related news, Joe Walsh dedicated his entire concert to Glenn Frey as Walsh's "One Hell of a Night" summer tour hit Frey's hometown of Detroit on June 22. The show at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Independence Township, Mich., was the first visit by an Eagles member to Frey's hometown since Frey's death on Jan. 18. As he's done ever other night on the tour, Walsh played the Eagles' "Take It To The Limit," but instead of just dedicating the song to Frey, Walsh announced he was "dedicating the entire show...to my brother and my fellow bandmate." The song was accompanied by video screen footage of an eagle soaring in the sky and finished with a photo of the Eagles. Walsh also recognized Frey at the end of the show, adding a portion of "Heartache Tonight" to the encore and saying, "That's for you, Glenn." - Billboard, 6/23/16...... Paul Simon, who is in the midst of a two-month solo tour to support his new album Stranger to Stranger, took a break to discuss his new career-high ranking hit album and other topics including Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump with Billboard. "I'll say this about Trump: Anger is an addiction. We like it. The brain likes it. And now you've got a country full of addicts," Simon said. "And the media and certain politicians are the dealers. So everybody's angry all the time, and they're all juiced up. I'm not saying there's nothing to be angry about. What I'm saying is, you can't make a calm decision when somebody's got you in a rage. The political game has become very different now. A lot of people recognize it and are exploiting it," he added. - Billboard, 6/23/16...... Two David Bowie tribute concerts are set for Spain, on July 1 at Madrid's Real Jard-n Botnico Alfonso XIII and July 2 at Barcelona's Sala Razzmatazz. Over a dozen of Spain's most popular indie-rock artists will perform a set list of 21 Bowie covers, anchored by a band of several Bowie colaborators. All proceeds from the Bowie concerts will go to charity organizations. Meanwhile, thousands of Bowie fans celebrated the life of Bowie on June 23 at this year's Glastonbury Festival in the UK. The Pyramid Stage was decorated with a giant lightning bolt in tribute to the siinger, and fans paid tribute to the star further by singing his most famous hits. The performance was organised by a group who dubbed the event "GlastonBowie." - New Musical Express, 6/22/16...... Meat Loaf has announced he will release a new album titled Braver Than We Are on Sept. 16 that will feature 10 never-before-released compositions by Bat Out of Hell songwriter Jim Steinman. The album is the fourth release from Meat Loaf that features work solely written by Steinman. The singer has also shared a new song from the upcoming LP, "Going All the Way," which features additional vocals by Ellen Foley and Karla DeVito. On June 16, Meat Loaf was hospitalised after collapsing on stage during a gig in the Candian city of Edmonton, Alberta. He is now "stable and in good condition," according to his representative. - NME, 6/23/16...... Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has penned an impassioned pro-gun control essay on his official website, in reaction to the recent massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. "No matter what some of my friends seem to imply, I firmly believe we can have gun control and reduce gun violence in this country. Allow me to be optimistic. At this point, any cause for hope is worth considering," wrote Byrne, who made it clear that he's for gun control in the follow-up to a recent post urging Americans to vote. "I believe the situation in the U.S. is unacceptable; more controls are necessary, and there is proof that they can work. Just look at the data. There is a staggering split in U.S. gun deaths and gun deaths in a host of other countries," he added. "The public feeling is already there: Everyone should not have the right to risk everyone else's life and take away the freedom of others. We have countered these arguments before, from slavery to seat belts to smoking, and we can do it again. We're better than this," he said in closing. - Billboard, 6/22/16...... Bill Ham, the longtime manager for ZZ Top, died in his sleep on June 20. He was 79. Ham is heralded as an innovator in the music business and praised for his modest demeanor that preferred attention be focused on his artists rather than himself. Ham formed his Lone Wolf Management company in 1968 to manage the Texas-based psych rock group The Moving Sidewalks featuring future ZZ Top member Billy Gibbons. When that group disbanded, Ham continued his relationship with Gibbons' next project, ZZ Top. Throughout ZZ Top's career, Ham acted often as the group's producer and occasionally as a songwriting partner. Their long and fruitful business relationship ended in 2006. "We were saddened to hear of Bill Ham's passing. His early vision and continuing encouragement were invaluable; his efforts and energy will always remain deeply appreciated," the members of ZZ Top said in a statement after hearing of Ham's death. - Billboard, 6/22/16...... Bernie Worrell, a legendary Funk keyboardist with Parliament-Funkadelic, died on June 24 following a battle with lung cancer. He was 72. As part of Parliament-Funkadelic, Worrell's indelible keyboard skills -- including his pioneering use of Minimoog on songs like Parliament's "Flash Light" -- were a major influence on R&B in the '80s, hip-hop, new wave and early electronic music. He was also a regular contributor to the New Wave band Talking Heads in the 1980s, appearing on several of their albums and featuring in the classic documentary Stop Making Sense. In 1997, the Long Branch, N.J.-born Worrell was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by the late Prince alongside George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and 13 other members of Parliament-Funkadelic. - Billboard, 6/24/16...... Ralph Stanley, a bluegrass legend known for such songs as "The Lonesome River," "White Dove" and "Man of Constant Sorrow," died on June 23 at age 89. Mr. Stanley and his brother Carter Stanley formed the Stanley Brothers and their Clinch Mountain Boys in 1946. Mr. Stanley won a Grammy for best male country vocal performance in 2002, and despite health problems, he continued to record and tour into his 80s, often performing with his son Ralph Stanley II on guitar and his grandson Nathan on mandolin. - AP, 6/23/16...... Wayne Jackson, a trumpet player with the Memphis Horns, who performed on recordings by the likes of such artists as Otis Redding, Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond and U2, died on June 21. He was 74. Jackson formed the Memphis Horns with the late Andrew Love, a tenor saxophonist who died in 2012, and the duo played together on 52 No. 1 records and 83 gold and platinum records, according to Memphis-based Stax Records. His wife, Amy Jackson, said her husband received his first gold record in 1961 and his last in 2005. Their horn tracks can be heard on such classic songs as Redding's "Dock of the Bay," Franklin's "Respect," Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," Presley's "Suspicious Minds," Sam & Dave's "Soul Man," Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," Steve Winwood's "Roll With It," Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer," and U2's "Angel of Harlem." "He led an incredible life and he left an amazing music legacy," Amy Jackson said. - AP, 6/22/16...... Country artist Freddy Powers, who worked with Merle Haggard for several decades, died on June 21 at the age of 84, ending a long battle with Parkinson's disease. Freddy Powers and Haggard penned such chart-topping Country hits as "I Always Get Lucky With You," "A Friends in California," "Let's Chase Each Other Around the Room Tonight" and others. Powers also produced Willie Nelson's Grammy-winning, No. 1 Country album Somewhere Over the Rainbow from 1981. - Billboard, 6/22/16.
Monday, June 20, 2016
Moviemaker J.J. Abrams is teaming up with author/broadcaster Tavis Smiley to adapt the latter's new book, Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson's Last Days, into a TV series. Smiley's book, which hits stores on June 21, is described as a taut novelistic rendering of the final months in the life of Michael Jackson, examining his highs and lows as he endured the pressures of fame that made him socially fragile and almost unable to live. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions and Tavis Smiley TV & Film have yet to sign a network deal for the series yet, and are expected to shop it to broadcast, cable, premium cable and streaming services. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/20/16...... Posting on his Facebook page, musician/producer Brian Eno has urged his fellow British citizens to vote "remain" in the upcoming EU Referendum. "I have a lot of misgivings about the way the EU is run, but they don't make me want to ditch the whole idea," Eno explained. "I feel the EU is one of the only restraints on the kind of neo-liberal market fundamentalism that has seen inequality rising throughout the world. I feel that it has been a net force for good in promoting enlightened social and environmental agendas. It could and should be doing a better job at all these things, but to do any job at all it needs our support. The only good outcome of this referendum is that it might remind us what the original mission of the EU was, and might motivate us to actually make it happen," Eno added. "So...please vote. And please ask your friends to do the same." - NME, 6/19/16...... Rocker Meat Loaf was hospitalised on June 16 after collapsing on stage during a concert in Edmonton, Alberta. A video of the incident shows Meat Loaf dropping his mic and falling to the floor. As his band members walked over to help, the music eventually went silent, and the audience members were asked to vacate the Jubillee Auditorium venue. The 68-year-old Meat Loaf, whose real name is Marvin Lee Aday, had canceled two other concerts recently citing ill health. A hospital spokesman declined to provide an update on Meat Loaf's condition, citing patient privacy. - AP, 6/17/16...... Phil Collins announced on June 15 that he will publish his autobiography, entitled Not Dead Yet: The Memoir, in October 2016. Collins, 65, promises to "talk honestly" about his three failed marriages, his alcoholism and his ill health, as well as discuss the highs and lows of his long career as a member of Genesis and a superstar solo artist in the 1980s. "In many respects I've had a dream life," Collins said in a press release. "I've been incredibly lucky, but I've also worked extremely hard. I've collaborated with some of my heroes, written songs that people have liked, and wildly surpassed my initial hope to make a living as a drummer. Throughout, there have been lots of highs, and more than a few lows. I'm being completely honest about all of them, embarrassingly so in some cases. Some things might amuse people, some will surprise them. Horrify them, even." Collins announced that he was "no longer officially retired in Oct. 2015, and in March, he played his first solo gig in six years at a charity event in Miami. Collins' book will be published by Century publishers in hardback, audio and Ebook form on Oct. 20. - New Musical Express, 6/15/16...... Speaking of Genesis, former frontman Peter Gabriel released a new seven-minute song celebrating the late Muhammad Ali on June 16. In the track, titled "I'm Amazing," Gabriel sings "Look at me, look at me, can you see what I can do?" Gabriel sings. "'Cause I'm amazing." Posting on Facebook, Gabriel explained that he wrote the song a few years ago and it was, in part, "inspired by Muhammad Ali's life and struggles." "At the time of his death, when so many people are celebrating his life and thinking about all he achieved, it seemed the right time to release it," he wrote. - Billboard, 6/16/16...... Lawyers representing Led Zeppelin are asking the judge presiding over the "Stairway to Heaven" trial to halt the proceedings, arguing that Michael Skidmore, the trustee for the late Spirit guitarist Randy California, has failed to establish burden of proof during three days of testimony. "Although the parties' pre-trial filings identified what plaintiff Michael Skidmore needed to prove to establish his claims, Skidmore failed to prove required elements of his claims for direct, contributory and vicarious copyright infringement," Led Zeppelin's attorney Peter J. Anderson said in a statement. During the trial, Skidmore's attorney, Francis Malolfiy, played Spirit's "Taurus" alongside "Stairway To Heaven" and tried to ascertain that Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page had heard Spirit's track before writing the Led Zeppelin classic. Taking the stand, Page denied this, claiming he only first heard "Taurus" a few years ago. "Something like that would stick in my mind. It was totally alien to me," he said. However, Page did acknowledge that he owned three Spirit albums in his personal collection and that Led Zeppelin used a riff from another Spirit track in a medley played during their first tour in Scandinavia. Taking the stand on June 17, Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones said he never heard the band Spirit play, never met them and didn't own any of their albums. On June 15, former Spirit member Mark Andes shared his view that that riffs from both songs were the same. If Judge R. Gary Klausner gets past arguments of non-ownership of "Taurus," he will also have to decide whether there's enough evidence to let a jury decide whether Randy California's song has been infringed. - New Musical Express, 6/20/16...... Former Deep Purple and Rainbow guitarist Ritchie Blackmore played his first rock gig in 19 years on June 17 at Germany's Monsters Of Rock festival in Loreley, then the following evening another performance at Bietghiem-Bissingen. Since 1997, Blackmore has played traditional-style baroque folk music with his band Blackmore's Night, the duo he formed with his partner Candice Knight. Blackmore has rejected playing traditional venues to perform in small clubs. Performing under the name Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, his set was divided between six Deep Purple songs including "Smoke On The Water" and six by Journey, such as "Spotlight Kid"' as well as Journey's cover of Russ Ballard's "Since You Been Gone." Blackmore founded Deep Purple in 1968 with singer David Coverdale, before quitting in 1975 to form Rainbow. Blackmore rejected an invitation to rejoin Deep Purple in 2015 when the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. - NME, 6/20/16...... The '60s pop group The Turtles have announced they will release a career-spanning box set that will feature the band's six long-out-of-print albums this summer. Due on Aug. 19, The Complete Original Albums Collection will boast all the music the Turtles released between 1965 and 1970. Also, a 2-disc set of all the band's singles, All the Singles, will also be released featuring every White Whale label single and its b-side. The Turtles' legal battle over their pre-1972 recordings continues to wind its way through the courts, as the band wants a ruling whether copyright owners have exclusive performance rights over their pre-1972 tracks. - Billboard, 6/20/16...... Director Ron Howard's new Beatles documentary, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week -- The Touring Years, will debut on Sept. 17 on the streaming service Hulu.com, one day after it bows in select U.S. theaters, its producers have announced. The film -- made with cooperation from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison -- recounts the first part of the band's' career, 1962 through 1966. A world premiere is planned for Sept. 15 in London. Meanwhile, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which owns the rights to most Lennon/McCartney lyrics, has enlisted the global branding and licensing firm Epic Rights to help put the lyrics of some of the Beatles' most classic songs on everyday products. Potential licensing ventures include greeting cards ("Hey Jude"), door mats ("Hello Goodbye") or coffee ("A Day in the Life"). "We envision a broad licensed products campaign that encompasses everything from apparel, accessories and wall art to home electronics, gifts, stationery, and more," an executive with Epic Rights said. Sony/ATV owns the songs originally published by Lennon/McCartney's Northern Songs, which was purchased by Michael Jackson in 1985 and dissolved ten years later when Jackson merged his catalog with Sony Music. - Billboard, 6/20/16...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, Paul McCartney showed solidarity with the LGBT community following the recent mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., during a gig in Berlin on June 14. The Beatles legend came on stage draped in a rainbow flag and told the crowd: "We stand together with Orlando." Sir Paul's fellow rock music legend, Elton John, has also tweeted his condolences to the Orlando and LGBT community: "Our hearts go out to all the families and loved ones of those lost in Orlando," he posted. - New Musical Express, 6/15/16...... Steely Dan played a one-off symphonic charity gig with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at the famed venue in Los Angeles on June 18. A good number of the Donald Fagen and Walter Becker songs kicked off with a 15-to-30-second orchestral fanfare that let the audience get a touch of the baroque before the band's trademark hard soul kicked in. The duo also changed their normal set list to include six songs that have rarely or not at all been heard on their current tour, like "Night by Night" and "The Caves of Altamira." The 13-song show benefited the L.A. Philharmonic's high schooler-mentoring Composer Fellowship Program, raising $1.7 million for the charity. - Billboard, 6/19/16...... Bob Dylan's 2016 American tour hit Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium on June 16, after a few gigs further up the coast. For almost the first time in his 55-year career, Dylan has not altering the set list at all from night to night, with seven selections from his recent two albums of Frank Sinatra covers dominating the show along with nine original numbers from the year 2000 forward. Dylan's 20-song set included the encores "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Love Sick," with the latter being the only song that that sounds anything like contemporary rock as we know it. - Billboard, 6/18/16...... Jimmy Buffett paid tribute to two of Detroit's most famous recently fallen icons -- late Eagles member Glenn Frey and hockey great Gordie Howe, during a show at the DTE Energy Music Theatre on June 18. Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band played a version of the Eagles' "Take It Easy," posting a photo of Frey. He also included footage of Howe, the Detroit Red Wings hockey legend who died on June 10. - Billboard, 6/19/16...... Movie director Ray Burdis, who is helming a new Quadrophenia-inspired film To Be Someone, is defending his movie after being attacked by the Who. Burdis says he doesn't intend it to be a sequel to the Who's 1979 Quadrophenia film. "I totally agree that Quadrophenia is a classic, iconic film that should never be revisited," Burdis says. "If The Who management had actually read the script of To Be Someone, they would have realised it is not an attempt at a Quadrophenia sequel but a stand-alone film based on modern day Mod culture. It's a feel good, fun, fashion and music extravaganza... I have never stated that it was a sequel," he added. When the Who learned of Burdis' project, they issued a statement disassociating themselves from it and called it "totally ridiculous." Burdis did admit that he had hoped to cast Roger Daltrey in his film, but that doesn't appear to be in the cards. "I'm sorry that the Who's management feel affronted, as I would have loved Roger Daltrey to play a role, but there you go," he said. - New Musical Express, 6/20/16...... A lock of David Bowie's hair is to be auctioned off on June 25 by L.A.'s Heritage Auctions and is expected to sell for approximately £3,000. The hair snippet was kept by Wendy Farrier, who took a small chunk of Bowie's hair when he posed for his waxwork at Madame Tussauds in London in 1983. Farrier cut some of Bowie's hair for the waxwork's wig, but kept a small lock which is being sold off 33 years later. The hair is among several Bowie rarities being sold at the auction, with other items including a signed copy of his 1971 LP Hunky Dory, a signed drawing by the singer from 1996, and a gold disc of Bowie's 1983 album Let's Dance. Meanwhile, on June 19 Bowie's widow Iman posted a picture on Twitter of her late husband with their daughter to mark Father's Day. The photo shows Bowie holding the couple's daughter, Alexandria "Lexi" Zahra Jones, when she was a baby. "Happy Fathers Day #LexiLove," Iman tweeted. - NME, 6/20/16...... Blues rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa is set to be inducted into the Cavern Club's "Wall of Fame" on June 27 ahead of his gig at the U.K. venue later that evening. Bonamassa's free show at Liverpool's famous cellar club is a "thank you" to his British fans for the support they have shown him through his career. The show will pay homage to some of Bonamassa's musical inspirations including Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, the latter two of already whom also feature in the Cavern's "Wall of Fame." - Noble PR, 6/20/16...... British pop singer Cliff Richard says he is "thrilled" that authorities in the UK have announced that they will not pursue charges against him over allegations that he sexually abused four boys more than three decades ago. "After almost two years under police investigation I learnt today that they have finally closed their enquiries," Richard posted on June 16. "I have always maintained my innocence, co-operated fully with the investigation, and cannot understand why it has taken so long to get to this point! Nevertheless, I am obviously thrilled that the vile accusations and the resulting investigation have finally been brought to a close." Britain's Crown Prosecution Service announced that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute the 75-year-old Richard, who has never been arrested on the charges but twice voluntarily met officers from South Yorkshire Police after it launched an inquiry in 2014. "I have always maintained my innocence, co-operated fully with the investigation, and cannot understand why it has taken so long to get to this point," Richard added. Richard, who was often called "Britain's Elvis Presley" early in his career, has had 14 No. 1 singles in Britain, and is the only singer to have topped the UK singles chart in five consecutive decades, from the 50s to the 90s. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1995. - Reuters, 6/16/16...... Rick Parfitt, a member of the U.K. rock band Status Quo, was hospitalised in Antalya, Turkey on June 16 following a suspected heart attack. Status Quo had been performing at the city's Expo 2016 event before the incident. Parfitt underwent a quadruple heart bypass in 1997 and suffered a heart attack in 2011. The band's manager said no further comment will be made "until the completion of the next round of tests and assessments," and asked that "the family's privacy be respected at this difficult time." - NME, 6/16/16...... Actress Ronnie Claire Edwards, best known for her portrayal of Corabeth Godsey in the '70s series The Waltons, died on June 14. She was 83. Ms. Edwards made her debut in the third season of The Waltons as a as a mousy spinster who, after some persuasion from John Walton (Ralph Waite) and his wife Olivia (Michael Learned), hesitantly marries storekeeper Ike Godsey after his proposal following their first date. She appeared in over 100 episodes. - Variety, 6/16/16...... Ann Morgan Guilbert, known as the spirited neighbor Millie Helper in the classic '60s sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show, died on June 14 in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer. She was 87. Ms. Guilbert's decades-long career began in the 1950s as a featured performer and singer in the Billy Barnes Revues. After the Dick Van Dyke Show, she appeared in guest roles in several series including the premiere episode of Adam-12, The Andy Griffith Show, That Girl and Dragnet, among others. Her next big TV role came in the 1990s as Yetta Rosenberg opposite Fran Drescher in The Nanny. - Deadline.com, 6/15/16...... Janet Waldo, a voice-over actress who played sprightly teenagers for decades on several popular cartoon shows, most notably The Jetsons as Judy Jetson, died on June 12 at her home in Encino, Calif. She was 96. - The New York Times, 6/15/16.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Queen and their current guest vocalist Adam Lambert dedicted the band's 1986 song "Who Wants to Live Forever" to the victims of the recent mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., during their set at the U.K.'s Isle of Wight Festival in Newport, U.K. on June 12. "This song is dedicated to those who lost their lives last night in Orlando, Florida, and anyone who has been a victim of senseless violence or hatred," Lambert announced before Queen closed their headlining set with a moving and emotional performance of the song. Meanwhile, at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts festival in Manchester, Tenn., also on June 12, former Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir accepted the Les Paul Spirit Award early in the day before his current band Dead & Company played two sets that evening. Weir said he accepted the award with a "heavy heart" due to the Orlando massacre, and went on to draw a parallel between the radical belief of ISIS and those of homophobes. "It's the same hatred," said Weir. "They pull those hatreds out of different books but it's the same." - Billboard, 6/13/16...... Brian Wilson headlined Brooklyn, N.Y.'s Northside Festival on June 12, with the bulk of the show devoted to the Beach Boys's 1966 album Pet Sounds. Wilson reveled in the crowd's energy, joking around from behind his big white piano while sharing tidbits of background information on many of the songs before performing them. The crowd was understandably somber due to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history taking place less than 24 hours earlier and, for a music festival, surprisingly sober. - Billboard, 6/13/16...... The "Stairway to Heaven" trial, in which eight jurors will decide if Led Zeppelin ripped off the famous guitar riff in the 1971 rock classic from the Spirt song "Taurus," got underway on June 14 in Los Angeles. Both Robert Plant and Jimmy Page attended and faced the potential jurors during their selection, as seven of the first 14 were dismissed, including a self-admitted huge Zeppelin fan whose "love for these two guys" is "very strong." Attorneys Francis Malofiy, representing the Trustee who manages the estate of Spirit's Randy Wolfe, and Peter Anderson, representing Zeppelin, were pleased with the next set, and a final group of four men and four women was sworn in. In a trial that's literall been decades in the making and could rewrite rock history, each side will be allowed 10 hours to present their arguments and witnesses. In a pre-trial hearing the previous day, U.S. District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled that a musicologist in Zeppelin's camp will be heard from during testimony, despite a last-ditch effort by the plaintiff to have him tossed for a conflict of interest. They claimed that noted musicologist Lawrence Ferrara had previously been hired by their own publisher to evaluate the similarities between the two songs. - Billboard/The Hollywood Reporter, 6/14/16...... Beating expectations of an impressive No. 3 bow on Billboard's Hot 200 album chart with his new album Stranger to Stranger, Paul Simon's 13th studio album has debuted at No. 1 on the chart dated June 25. It marks the 74-year-old Simon's highest-ever debut and best rank since Graceland reached the same spot in 1987. As a solo artist, Simon has scored only one previous chart-topper: 1975's Still Crazy After All These Years. The album also opens as the top-selling album overall for the week, starting at No. 1 on the Top Album Sales chart. In 2011, his LP So Beautiful or So What debuted and peaked at No. 2. The album's first single, "Wristband," is currently No. 18 on the Adult Alternative Songs airplay chart. In the U.K., Stranger to Stranger also bowed at the top of the pops, making it Simon's first U.K. No. 1 studio album in 26 years (his The Rhythm of the Saints spent two weeks at No. 1 in the U.K. in 1990). - Billboard, 6/14/16...... Elton John has extended his record for the most appearances in the 55-year-old history of the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart as his new single "A Good Heart" has debuted at No. 30. The song, the second single from his February-released Wonderful Crazy Night album, marks Elton's 72nd entry on the ranking, with Barbra Streisand ranking second with 64 AC hits, and Neil Diamond coming in at third with 58 AC songs. John first charted on AC chart with the No. 9-peaking classic "Your Song," which bowed on the Dec. 26, 1970, survey. - Billboard, 6/13/16...... A new docu-drama on the making of the Rolling Stones' 1972 album Exile on Main Street based on author Robert Greenfield's book about the summer the band spent working on the album has begun pre-production. Casting is underway for the roles of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for the film, to be directed by Downton Abbey director Andy Goddard. An expected release date for the film is set for sometime this winter. - Billboard, 6/14/16...... Two albums of previously unreleased Frank Zappa music, Frank Zappa for President and The Crux of the Biscuit, will be released on July 15, becoming album numbers 39 and 40 of posthumous Zappa music released since his Dec. 4, 1993, death. Frank Zappa For President consists of music mainly composed on the Synclavier, which Zappa took up after learning in 1990 that he had terminal prostate cancer. He mainly wrote modern classical music for the rest of his life. "We know that Frank wanted to run for office at various times," reads a Universal Music press release. "In the spirit of the dramatic 2016 presidential election adventures comes a release that gives us a glimpse into what could have been." The Crux of the Biscuit was initially intended for release in 2014 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of his album Apostrophe(') and features music recorded during the same sessions. After the release of many albums after his death, a new deal was struck between his estate and Universal to take a fresh look at how best to compile his unreleased music. Zappa, one of rock music's most prolific artists, released 62 albums during his lifetime, beginning with his 1966 debut Freak Out! through 1993's The Yellow Shark. - New Muiscal Express, 6/14/16...... In a new interview with Classic Rock magazine, Eric Clapton revealed that he has been suffering from a nervous system disorder called peripheral neuropathy that has made it very difficult for him to play guitar. Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that can cause muscle weakness, as well as numbness in the hands and feet and a loss of coordination. "I've had quite a lot of pain over the last year. It started with lower back pain and turned into what they call peripheral neuropathy, which is where you feel like you have electric shocks going down your leg. And I've had to figure out how to deal with some other things from getting old," the 71-year-old three-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee said. But he added that due to his struggle with alcoholism and substance abuse, "I consider it a great thing to be alive at all." "By rights I should have kicked the bucket a long time ago. For some reason I was plucked from the jaws of hell and given another chance." Clapton's latest album, I Still Do, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart after being released May 20 via Clapton's own Bushbranch imprint. - Billboard, 6/13/16...... Paul McCartney has become the first person to test Facebook's new 360 degree photo app, which allows Facebook users to post photos taken "in the round." Sir Paul posted a photo of him on June 10 posing with the crowd from his gig at the Alberto Kempes Stadium in Cordoba, Argentina. The photo ties in with McCartney's 360 degree theme of his current "One On One" tour. He has released a series of 360 degree videos talking about songs from his new compilation Pure McCartney, which was released on June 10. McCartney promised "There'll be more to come" of his 360 degree photos. McCartney is touring in Europe until June 30, before the US leg of "One On One" starts in Milwaukee on July 8, ending in Cleveland on Aug. 18. - NME, 6/10/16...... David Bowie and current pop sensation Adele will be among those celebrated at a new exhibition at London's National Portrait Gallery. The exhibit spotlights past and present famous residents of south London from all walks of life, not only musicians but also a former footballer and gay rights campaigner. The exhibition, which is free, is open until Sept. 6. - New Musical Express, 6/9/16...... He's sometimes known as "Hot Rod," but now you can refer to him as "Sir Rod." Rod Stewart has been given knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II during her annual birthday honours list. Stewart, 71, was honored in Elizabeth's June 10 list "for services to music and charity," and will be able to call himself Sir Roderick David Stewart. Stewart reacted to the news saying he had "led a wonderful life" and a "tremendous career thanks to the generous support of the great British public... This monumental honour has topped it off and I couldn't ask for anything more." Later, Stewart tweeted a link to a BBC article confirming the news with the caption "A truly monumental honour." Britain's honors are bestowed by the monarch at New Year and on her official birthday in June. Recipients are selected by committees of civil servants from nominations made by the government and the public. In descending order, the main honors are knighthoods, CBE, OBE and MBE. Knights are addressed as "sir" or "dame," followed by their name. Recipients of the other honors have no title, but can put the letters after their names. - AP, 6/10/16...... Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, Lionel Richie and Chic were feted at the Songwriters Hall of Fame 47th Annual Induction and Awards ceremony at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York on June 9. Petty was inducted by former Byrds co-founder Roger McGuinn, to whom he is often compared. McGuinn recalled touring with Petty in the 1970s and writing with him. "He doesn't just write songs," McGuinn said. "He goes up and grabs them -- he flies up to the great wide open and catches and idea and freefalls back to earth." Petty delivered his brief acceptance speech in a slow, deadpan drawl: "I'm sorta the rock and roll white trash section of the show... Writing a song for a rock band -- you'd better bring a really good song, because they don't take it well if it's not. Many times I've gone back to the drawing board." Accepting his award, Elvis Costello called himself "the least commercially successful songwriter you have ever inducted" thanked Linda Ronstadt and her producer/manager Peter Asher for recording "Alison" in 1978, generating royalties that "kept the gas in my tour bus." As he was honored, Lionel Richie said, "I am humbled by the presence of greatness in this room... I am humbled by the fact that I am standing here holding any kind of award." The evening wrapped with Chic's Nile Rodgers leading the house band through "Le Freak," and finally joined by Sister Sledge for a rousing "We Are Family." - Billboard, 6/10/16...... The CBS television network has announced it is developing a scripted limited series about the kidnapping of millionaire heiress Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) in 1974. Should the Hearst project be ordered to series, it would explore the 19-month FBI/police search and capture of Hearst, who turned SLA sympathizer and changed her name to Tania, that captivated the nation and played out on the nightly news during the course of her trial. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/10/16...... Gordie Howe, the legendary National Hockey League player who shattered records, dropped gloves and threw elbows while helping the Detroit Red Wings win four NHL championships, died on June 10 of natural causes. He was 88. Known as "Mr. Hockey," Mr. Howe was a Canadian farm boy who developed his brute strength and incredible stamina on the Saskatchewan prairie, and could put his team ahead with a timely goal or even the score with his opponents with his elbows and fists. One of the most likeable superstars in any sport, Mr. Howe became the NHL's quintessential star during a career that lasted into his 50s. Mr. Howe helped guide the Red Wings to four NHL championships, and set NHL records with 801 goals and 1,850 points, a record that stood until Wayne Gretzky came along. "Unfortunately, we lost the greatest hockey player ever today," Gretzky tweeted after hearing of Mr. Howe's passing. "But more importantly the nicest man I have ever met," he added. - AP, 6/11/16...... Guitarist Henry McCullough, best known for his touring and recording work with Paul McCartney's Wings during the 1970s as well as also working with Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd, died on June 14 in Belfast after a long illness. He was 72. Born in Portstewart, Ireland in 1943, McCullough spent years playing blues, rock, pop and psychedelic bands in London -- touring in support of Jimi Hendrix and playing on Joe Cocker's breakthrough 1969 album With a Little Help From My Friends -- before getting tapped to join Wings for 1973's Red Rose Speedway LP. During sessions for that album he also made his way onto a Pink Floyd album when he waltzed to an adjacent studio and contributed a spoken word bit ("I don't know, I was really drunk at the time") to the Dark Side of the Moon track "Money." But it was his guitar work on the Wings track "My Love" that secured his place in rock history, as that song hit No. 1 on both sides of the Atlantic. "I was very sad to hear that Henry McCullough, our great Wings guitarist, passed away today," McCartney wrote in a blog post. "He was a pleasure to work with, a super-talented musician with a lovely sense of humour. The solo he played on 'My Love' was a classic that he made up on the spot in front of a live orchestra. Our deepest sympathies from my family to his." His fellow Irish singer and musician Van Morrison, with whom McCullough also worked with, said he was "very sorry" to hear about his death." I know he had some difficult times recently, but he will be remembered for his long and productive career in music... My thoughts are with his friends and family at this time," Morrison told BBC News. After his stint in Wings, McCullough signed to George Harrison's Dark Horse Records, through which he releaed his solo album, Mind Your Own Business. He then enjoyed a long and fruitful career as a session musician over the next two decades, sitting in with the likes of Roy Harper, Ronnie Lane, Eric Burdon, Marianne Faithfull and Spooky Tooth. His final albums include Belfast to Boston and Poor Man's Moon. - New Musical Express, 6/14/16.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Black Sabbath revealed its final ever tour dates on flyers handed out at the UK's Download Festival, which Black Sabbath will headline on June 11. The tour, a seven-city trek of the UK, will kick off in Manchester on Jan. 22, 2017, and then visit Glasgow (1/24), Leeds (1/26), and London's O2 for three shows (1/29-31), before wrappiing with a two nights in their hometown of Birmingham on Jan. 29 and Jan. 31. The tour is said to be the final leg of Sabbath's farewell tour "The End," which began in January 2016. "When we're home where we started, we always find it a bit nervewracking," guitarist Tony Iommi said in March. "But Birmingham means such a lot to us. It would be nice to think it could finish where it all started, in Birmingham." - New Musical Express, 6/9/16...... A new David Bowie-inspired ballet titled "Star Dust" will have its world premiere June 18 at Detroit's Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts. Commissioned during the early spring and announced in May, "Star Dust" will be about 35 minutes long and feature all 15 of New York's Complexion Contemporary Ballet dancers performing routines to several Bowie favorites such as "Space Oddity," "Changes," "Modern Love" and "Life on Mars?" - Billboard, 6/8/16...... Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has revealed details of his first ever solo album, a country-infuenced LP titled We're All Somebody From Somewhere. Hitting stores on July 15, the LP was co-produced by Tyler, T Bone Burnett, Dan Huff and others. Well-known Nashville songwriters Chris DeStefano, Rhett Akins, the Warren Brothers and Hillary Lindsay also contributed. Tyler gushed that the music "fell from a star" and that "I had nothing to do with this shit, it's just Nashville. There's something so magical about this town and me writing with all these people." Tyler also remarked how important a good melody is to him: "Country music still plays stuff with melody. I have a sorcerer's grasp of melody, I like to think. I'm a freak for that, so thank God they're still playing it in country." - Rolling Stone, 6/8/16...... The childhood home of Janis Joplin in Port Arthur, Tex., has been put up for sale with an asking price of $500,000. Joplin was a preschooler when her family moved into the nearly 1,500-square-foot house, which according to tax records has been appraised at only $52,500. The home has a Texas Historical Commission marker outside confirming she lived at the residence, and the seller hasn't been made public. Officials with the Museum of the Gulf Coast were contacted about acquiring the house before it went on the market this month, but declined. - AP, 6/7/16...... The beloved '60 pop band The Monkees have earned their highest-charting album since 1968 as their new LP Good Times, featuring all-new songs from such younger artists as Rivers Cuomo, Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller, debuted at No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart. The Monkees' first studio album since 1996 (and first recorded without the late Davy Jones, who died in 2012), Good Times sold 23,000 equivalent album units (22,000 in pure album sales) and commemorates the 50th anniversary of the group's formation in 1965 and the debut of its eponymous, Emmy Award-winning TV show in 1966. The three surviving Monkees (Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork) all appear on Good Times!, as does Jones on one track, via an archival recording. Also on the LP are recently completed songs that date back to the 1960s by some of the same writers who penned some of the group's biggest hits, including Neil Diamond, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. The Monkees last charted higher on the Billboard 200 back in 1968, when The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees peaked at No. 3. - Billboard, 6/9/16...... Queen guitarist Brian May posted a note on his personal website on June 8 blasting US Republican presidential hopeful Donald J. Trump's use of Queen's triumphant classic song "We Are the Champions" as Trump walked onstage after he swept the final Republican primaries the evening before. "I've had an avalanche of complaints - some of which you can see in our 'LETTERS' page - about Donald Trump using our 'We Are The Champions' track as his 'theme' song on USA TV," May wrote. "This is not an official Queen statement, but I can confirm that permission to use the track was neither sought nor given. We are taking advice on what steps we can take to ensure this use does not continue. Regardless of our views on Mr Trump's platform, it has always been against our policy to allow Queen music to be used as a political campaigning tool. Our music embodies our own dreams and beliefs, but it is for all who care to listen and enjoy." - Billboard, 6/9/16...... In other presidential campaign news, Barbra Streisand has weighed in on Hillary Clinton's historic achievement of becoming the first woman in history to become the presumptive nominee of a major American political party. "I feel a tremendous rush of pride because this is a woman who is more than qualified to be president," Streisand said in a statement. "Isn't it interesting how a barrier seems insurmountable -- until it comes down? I hope girls across the country are thinking, 'That could be me.' And like I said after the first woman got a best director Academy Award, it's about time!" - Billboard, 6/8/16...... Meanwhile, former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has expressed his general disgust with the state of the 2016 US presidential race, saying he's "saddened by the low level to which US politics has sunk." "We're better than this," writes Byrne, without ever naming any current or former candidates. "We are a country that, to the surprise of many, elected a black president In fact, folks turned out in droves to vote for (Barack) Obama. Citizens in many areas -- especially places with young, low-income, and minority populations -- got out to the polls and made themselves heard. We need to do this again." Byrne added that citizens can become involved by supporting organizations such as the Community Voters Project, whose staffers hit the pavement to register voters one-by-one, and Project Vote, a legal group that provides "advocacy, litigation, research, and technical assistance to promote voter registration laws." - Billboard, 6/6/2016...... The four original members of ABBA -- Agnetha Faltskog, Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstand and Bjorn Ulvaeus -- reunited on June 5 for a brief 50th anniversary performance a private party in a Stockholm hotel. According to Swedish newspaper Expressen, the party featured a performance from Faltskog and Lyngstad, who sang the ABBA song "The Way Old Friends Do." Ulvaeus and Andersson joined them on stage towards the end of the song, completing a brief reunion performance from the group. Afterward, Lyngstad was quoted as saying the reunion was "absolutely amazing" and "very nostalgic," while Andersson called it a "great night." The night marked 50 years to the day since the group's principal songwriters, Ulvaeus and Andersson, first met. In 2015, Ulvaeus said that ABBA will never reform. "We took a break in '82, and it was meant to be a break," he said. "It's still a break and will remain so. You'll never see us onstage again. We don't need the money, for one thing. Usually the reason bands have reunions is that one of them is destitute and the others want to help. Fortunately that has not happened to us." - New Musical Express, 6/6/16...... In a new video interview to promote his forthcoming compilation Pure McCartney, Paul McCartney discusses how he was in Bob Dylan's hotel room in the 1960s when he began having "a mystical experience." "I could feel myself climbing a spiral walkway as I was talking to Dylan. I felt like I was figuring it all out, the meaning of life." McCartney goes on to say that he then ordered Beatles roadie Mal Evans to write down the key to it all on a piece of paper. "Mal gave me the piece of paper the next day, and on it was written 'There are seven levels.' Well, there you go, the meaning of life|" Pure McCartney drops on June 10. The new video is the third instalment of McCartney's six-part documentary for the release. - New Musical Express, 6/8/16...... In other Beatles-related news, an Internet hacker broke into the Twitter account for George Harrison, run by his estate, on June 7. Harrison's account was hacked to change his bio information to "Hey George, follow @j5zlol when you see this and shoot me a DM. I'll help you secure your accounts :) I don't want to cause you any harm, bud". The Twitter account of @j5zlol (now suspended) then claimed to not know of Harrison's death, tweeting: "Well shit I hacked someone and I didn't even know they was dead.. my bad." The hack of Harrison's Twitter account was the latest in a series of similar hacks suffered by music stars recently, including Keith Richards, Tame Impala and Tenacious D. - NME, 6/8/16...... Paul Simon is on track to score his highest charting album in 29 years with his new studio effort Stranger to Stranger. The album may bow at No. 3 on the June 25-dated Billboard 200 with over 60,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending June 9. That would mark Simon's highest ranking set since Graceland peaked at No. 3 on Apr. 4, 1987. It would also mark Simon's highest debut ever, his previous highest debut being 2011's So Beautiful or So What, which bowed at No. 4. Meanwhile, on June 3 Simon broke the bad news of boxing champ Muhammad Ali's death that same day to fans during his gig in Los Angeles. "I'm sorry to tell you this in this way, but Muhammad Ali passed away," Simon told the crowd before delivering the final verse of his song, "The Boxer." "I am leaving, I am leaving, but the fighter still remains," he then sang with added poignancy. Simon also dedicated "The Sound Of Silence" to Ali during his encore. - Billboard, 6/8/16...... Cher filed a lawsuit on June 8 in Los Angeles County Superior Court against a financial management partnership she claims defrauded her out of more than $800,000 in investments that went belly-up. Cher's suit accuses SAIL Venture Partners and related firms of bundling her money into "risky and unsound" investments, and alleges SAIL's principals engaged in "malicious and fraudulent" behavior. The suit seeks financial restitution and punitive damages but didn't specify amounts. - AP, 6/8/16...... The Who is denying reports that the band has endorsed a sequel to Quadrophenia, the 1979 film based on its own rock opera set around the clashes between rival gangs in 1960s Brighton. Rumors of a Quadrophenia sequel emerned in late May, with reports in the U.K. press that it would pick up the story 37 years on from the first and feature several members of the original cast. But now Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and the band's manager Bill Curbishley, who produced the original film, have rejected any suggestions they are backing the new film. "Quadrophenia has an enduring appeal and will forever be the definitive mod film," Curbishley said in a statement on June 8. "Quadrophenia is a significant and influential film based on The Who's music, not some Carry On franchise. Any follow-up to this film could only be made by the authors of the original and would need to be worthy of the name. This karaoke sequel announced recently in the press would be totally ridiculous." He added that it was a "blatant attempt to cash in" on the original's popularity. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/8/16...... Yusuf Islam, the singer formerly known as Cat Stevens, has released a video for a new song he has written called "He Was Alone," which was inspired by child refugees. Islam appears in the video for the spare, emotional ballad playing the haunting electric organ accompaniment amid scenes of a child fending for himself after leaving his family behind. "He was alone, when he was 12 / Only his thoughts, which he kept to himself / He didn't have a place to play / A friend to call, or a word to say," Islam sings in the track that mixes the fear and desperation of child refugees with hopeful dreams of rainbows, white horses and a return home. The song is the first new music from Islam since his 2014 album Tell 'Em I'm Gone. Islam will perform at a concert at the Westminster Central Hall on June 14 in honor of the #YouAreNot Alone charity. - Billboard, 6/7/16...... Bruce Springsteen, who just wrapped his five-show swing through England and Ireland, has announced he will release live albums of every one of his recent European tour stops. One show a week will be available starting June 15, with each also receiving a broadcast on the Boss' SiriusXM E Street Radio channel. Fans can pre-order any of the shows as MP3s, lossless FLAC or ALAC, high-resolution 24 bit FLAC-HD or ALAC-HD and collectible three-CD sets. His "River Tour: Europe 2016" kicked off with a May 14 show in Barcelona and included stops in Lisbon, Madrid, Dublin and London. It will continue through a July 31 date in Zurich. - Billboard, 6/7/16...... Making his first public appearance since the death of his late wife Rose Woodward, Tom Jones broke down in tears during an intervew at the Hay Festival on June 5 as he recalled his love for his late wife. "I realized that she's always been very important to me, throughout my life, but I now realize she might have been the most important thing in my life - and she still is," he said, as tears came to his eyes. Jones, 75, was interviewed by CQ editor Dylan Jones about his six-decade career in the music industry at the thirty-year-old annual gathering of artists, writers and thinkers. - Billboard, 6/7/16.... Late Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious is at the center of a copyright suit against contemporary artist Richard Prince. Prince is being accused by photographer Dennis Morris of "causing significant advertising injury" to him over several photos Morris took of Sid Vicious that Prince incorporated and/or appropriated into two of his works. The case will center around the nebulous legal principle of "fair use," which allows for the use of copyrighted works under certain conditions. Fair use requires that a piece refer back to the original piece but furthers it artistically, or "adds value." Morris' suit was filed in California on June 9 and seeks damages and any profits that came from the use and sale of Prince's work. - Billboard, 6/9/16.
Friday, June 10, 2016
Carlos Santana and his wife/drummer Cindy Blackman are set to perform the "Star-Spangled Banner" to kick off Game 2 of the 2016 NBA Finals between Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Caveliers on June 5. The global rock star will perform the national anthem in the Warriors' hometown venue of Oracle Arena in Oakland. Blackman also joined her husband in performing the national anthem at the 2015 NBA Finals. - Billboard, 6/4/16...... With former Jackson 5 member Tito Jackson scoring his first solo hit, "Get It Baby," on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, all 9 Jackson family siblings have now placed a solo single on the Hot 100 chart. "Get It Baby," featuring Big Daddy Kane, debuted at No. 30 on the Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks chart dated June 11, and climbed to No. 26 on the Adult R&B Songs airplay chart in its second week. The Jackson siblings' solo chart runs date back to Oct. 30, 1971, when Michael Jackson's debut single, "Got to Be There," bowed at No. 89 on the Hot 100. Since then, Rebbie, Jackie, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy, Janet and now Tito Jackson have all scored hits on a Billboard songs chart. In other Jackson news, the Las Vegas mansion where Michael reportedly occasionally lived from 2007 until his death in 2009 is up for sale for $9.5 million. Known as the "Thriller Villa," the 1.7-acre compound with seven bedrooms and 12 full bathrooms is northwest of the famous Las Vegas Strip. In June 2009, Jackson was found dead at another rented home in California. - Billboard/AP, 6/3/16...... In an interview with London's The Evening Standard paper, David Bowie's producer Tony Visconti revealed that "great" unreleased Bowie music is likely to be released in the near future. "I think it's logical that, over the next few years, you're going to hear a lot of stuff that you haven't heard before. I'm in talks with his management and his label - there's going to be some great Bowie stuff coming out," Visconti said. But the producer added that he couldn't confirm the whereabouts of five additional songs he produced during the sessions of Bowie's final album Blackstar. "I haven't heard those songs yet. I might actually have to help his management company find them. I have an idea where he might have recorded them." Visconti said it was more likely initially that extra songs recorded during sessions for other Bowie albums would be released first. Bowie is known to have recorded many songs that were never officially released before his January 2016 death, including an entire album, Toy, recorded in 2001 in between his LPs Hours and Heathen. In July, a new BBC4 documentary The People's History of Pop will also feature unreased Bowie music. - New Musical Express, 6/3/16...... An Axl Rose-fronted AC/DC played its first ever gig at London's Olympic stadium on June 4 in a spectacular show which featured pyrotechnics, flames, fireworks and, of course, giant cannons. This time Rose was walking instead of sitting in the "throne" he borrowed from Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl after recently breaking his foot, wearing a boot which allowed him to move around freely as he rattled through AC/DC classics during the mammoth two hour and 10 minutes set. The band's encores included "Highway to Hell" before cannons appeared onstage for the finale on "For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)." The track ended with a short firework display. On June 1, AC/DC announced the rescheduled U.S. dates of their Rock or Bust Tour. The leg begins on Aug. 27 in Greensboro, N.C., also visiting Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Atlanta, Columbus, Oh., Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo, New York City, and Washington, D.C. before wrapping on Sept. 20 in Philadelphia. It will be the last dates with Rose on vocals. On June 4, the band's previous vocalist, Brian Johnson, said he had met with an in-ear technology specialist and is employing technology which absorbs harmful pneumatic pressures inside your ear canal and could help restore his hearing. "It works. It just totally works and you can't argue with that. I was really moved and amazed to be able to hear music again like I haven't heard for several years now," Johnson said in a statement. Johnson added he "can't wait for it to be miniaturised so I can use it in every situation from normal communication, going out to noisy restaurants, [and] performing live music onstage." - NME/Rolling Stone, 6/5/16...... Ringo Starr kicked off a 19-date U.S. tour with his All-Starr Band on June 3 in Syracuse, N.Y., and the legendary drummer says he's working on 8 songs as his home studio in Los Angeles for a new album release, the followup to 2015's Postcards From Paradise, hopefully in early 2017. Ringo says two were co-written with Toto and All-Starr Band guitarist Steve Lukather and will be finished during the upcoming tour. "We've got the tracks down; now we have to write the words," Starr says. "We know where it's going. We've got the idea. We've got the first verse of one of them. The second will be a ballad. We're gonna finish them while we're on the road." Another track, meanwhile, is a collaboration with Dave Stewart originally intended for a country album the two were hoping to finish in June before the All-Starr tour was scheduled. "We'll do the country album another time now. There's lots you can do," Ringo says. Meanwhile, Starr is gearing up for his 75th birthday celebration on July 7 -- with details to be announced -- as well as the 10th anniversary of the Cirque du Soleil LOVE show in Las Vegas and the fall 2016 premiere of Ron Howard's documentary about the Beatles' touring years in America. - Billboard, 6/2/16...... The Grateful Dead spinoff band Dead & Co. announced on June 2 that they will still perform their June 10 show in Charlotte, N.C., despite speaking out against that state's controversial anti-LGBT law. Instead of canceling the concert, Dead & Co. say they plan on donating $100,000 to the Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina. They will also host organizations fighting discrimination so concertgoers can learn more about the law and its impact. The band added that it will "assemble a 'Participation Row' social action area at the show, where we'll host local organizations fighting discrimination and national organizations dedicated to voter registration and protecting the planet." - Billboard, 6/2/16...... The death of Prince in his Minnesota home on the morning of Apr. 21 has been attributed to an opioid overdose, according to tests results seen by law enforcement officials. Since his death, it was widely reported that the 57-year-old musicians had been abusing painkillers, and that he had been scheduled to meet with an addiction specialist doctor on Apr. 22. The Carver County, Minn. Sheriff's Office opened a criminal investigation shortly after the singer's death. A search warrant was issued, but the documents were sealed, so details are unclear. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/2/16...... In a new interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Roger Daltrey slammed the practice of Internet streaming, saying "musicians are getting robbed every day." "You get paid for streaming, my ass," Daltrey said. "Musicians are getting robbed every day. And now it's creeping into film and television, everything now. You notice, the Internet is a slowly but surely destructive thing in all ways." The Who singer added that he's unconvinced that the Internet has improved people's lives: "Look up for a while. Live in the real world." Daltrey added that he's working on a solo record, but has no idea if he'd ever release it. As for a new the Who album, Daltrey said "We've talked about it, but it's not going to be easy... Why would I make a record? I would have to pay to make a record. There's no royalties so I can't see that ever happening. There's no record business. How do you get the money to make the records? I don't know. I'm certainly not going to pay money to give my music away free. I can't afford to do that. I've got other things I could waste the money on." The musician also noted that his battle with viral meningitis in 2015 "took quite a heavy toll on me physically... My legs aren't good. My feet aren't good. But I think being able to manage it with the adrenaline of the show, that's all the matters. It's two hours of losing myself and forgetting about my feet." - Rolling Stone, 6/2/16...... Tom Petty's side project Mudcrutch has released its sophomore effort, 2, and this one feels like more of a band effort than 2008's decades-delayed debut. All of the members get writing credit, and the songs tend to lean toward punchy Southern rock. But guitarist Tom Leadon's "The Other Side of the Moutnain" is a bluegrass benediction cut with psych-rock guitar charge. The album has debuted on Billboard's Top Rock album chart at No. 3 on its initial week of release, moving 32,000 units. Mudcrutch's 2008 self-titled debut album hit No. 2 on the same chart. - Rolling Stone/Billboard, 6/2/16...... Meanwhile, Eric Clapton's latest effort I Still Do has debuted at No. 1 on the Top Rock Albums chart dated June 11, with 44,000 copies sold. I Still Do is Clapton's 23rd solo studio album is his first No. 1 on Top Rock Albums since 2010's self-titled Clapton LP, which sold 47,000 in its first week. Right behind Slowhand on the chart is Bob Dylan, whose Fallen Angels bowed at No. 2 in its first week, with 42,000 sold. Fallen Angels is Dylan's 22nd top 10 LP, a tally begun with 1965's No. 6-peaking Bringing It All Back Home. - Billboard, 6/2/16...... Speaking of Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones have reportedly collaborated with the legendary guitarist on their new album. According to the UK tabloid The Sun, Clapton and the Stones recently ran into each other at a west London recording studio and have since recorded two songs together with producer Don Was. "Eric was in the next studio along so he came in to say hello. They ended up jamming and recorded two songs," a source is quoted as saying in the paper. "Don reckons it's the best thing he has ever done with the Stones." - New Musical Express, 6/2/16...... On June 3, Billy Joel dedicated his 1974 song "The Entertainer" to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during his show at Madison Square Garden, with a quip about how "entertaining" Trump has been over the past few months. Although many people took the Piano Man's dedication to Trump as a jab at the controversial politician, Trump himself apparently thought it was a compliment, tweeting on May 28: "Thank you @BillyJoel- many friends just told me you gave a very kind shoutout at MSG. Appreciate it- love your music!." In response, one fan tweeted that it "sounds like classic BillyJoel sarcasm. Democratic Gov. Cuomo is godfather to Billy's daughter." Reacting to the minor flurry of tweets about the nod to Trump, Joel emailed Time magazine on June 4 to play down the political nature of his actions. "I'm in the entertainment business. Donald Trump's campaign has been very entertaining. Aside from that, who cares about the political opinions of a piano player?" A spokesperson for Joel could not be reached for additional comment. - Billboard, 6/1/16...... A box set of Sex Pistols concerts from the 1970s entitled Live 76 will be released on Aug. 19 that includes the punk rockers' influential show at Manchester Free Trade Hall on June 4, 1976. The concert was attended by such musicians as future members of Joy Division, Morrisey and Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall. Other shows are from London, Burton-on-Trent and a concert at Chelmsford Prison. Available on CD and vinyl, the 40th anniversary Live 76 release will also feature photographs and a reproduction of The Sex Pistols' official press kit. The songs would go on to form the basis of The Sex Pistols' sole album Never Mind The Bollocks in 1977. - NME, 6/3/16...... The A&E/History Channel's remake of the classic 1977 TV miniseries Roots drew 5.3 million viewers on May 30, a somewhat modest debut in the face of stiff competition from NBA playoff basketball. However that number was enough to make Roots the most watched scripted miniseries premiere in the Nielsen ratings since 2013's Bonnie and Clyde. The original 8-part miniseries debuted on Jan. 23, 1977, and became among the top 20 highest rated telecasts of the decade.- Variety, 5/31/16...... Influential folk musician Dave Swarbrick, best known for his work as a violin player with Fairport Convention, died on June 2 in a UK hospital after a battle with emphysema. He was 75. Often referred to as "Swarb," Swarbrick began his music career in the 1950s as a guitarist in a Celtic folk band, before he went on to join Ian Campbell's group as a fiddle player. But it was his time with Fairport Convention that helped him to achieve international recognition, joining the band as a session musician in 1969 before becoming a fully-fledged member. He also worked with other luminaries of folk music, including Ewan McColl and Bert Jansch. In 2004, he underwent a double lung transplant, but still continued to play live after recovering from the operation. - NME, 6/3/16...... Boxing legend Muhammad Ali, the three-time heavyweight champion of the world and known as the most recognizable person on the planet, died on June 3 at a Phoenix, Ariz., hospital. He was 74. Born Cassius Clay in Louisville, Ky., on Jan. 17, 1942, Ali first entered the world spotlight when he captured a gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. At age 22 in Feb. 1964, he surprised the surly 7-to-1 favorite Sonny Liston in Miami to take the heavyweight title for the first time. "I shook up the world! I shook up the world," he shouted in the ring. Ali beat Liston again 15 months later in Lewiston, Maine. In April 1967, he was arrested in Houston after he refused induction into the U.S. Armed Forces. The New York State Athletic Commission quickly suspended his boxing license and stripped him of his title, and other state commissions followed suit. On June 28, 1971, the Supreme Court overturned Ali's conviction, and in his third fight since returning from suspension, he lost to Joe Frazier in a 15-round unanimous decision in March 1971 in New York's Madison Square Garden in "The Fight of the Century." After avenging that defeat in a non-title bout back at the Garden in January 1974, Ali fought "The Rumble in the Jungle" in Kinshasa, Zaire, with heavyweight champ George Foreman on Oct. 30, 1974, then met his old rival Frazier again in October 1975 in the Philippines for "The Thrilla in Manilla," with Ali prevailing when Frazier could not come off his stool for the 14th round. Both fighters were exhausted and struggling to survive. In September 1976, Ali beat Ken Norton in Yankee Stadium in New York in their third meeting, and seven months after a shocking loss to Leon Spinks, he avenged that defeat in New Orleans in September 1978 to become heavyweight champ for an unprecedented third time. Ali played himself in The Greatest, a 1977 Columbia film adapted from his autobiography, and in the late 1970s, he even voiced his own Saturday morning cartoon, I Am the Greatest!: The Adventures of Muhammad Ali, which saw his character jetting around the world fighting evil. Ali, named Sportsman of the Century by Sports Illustrated in 1999, was married four times, the last to the former Lonnie Williams, who survives him, as does his nine children: Maryum, Rasheda, Jamillah, Hana, Laila (a former boxer herself and reality TV star), Khaliah, Miya, Muhammad and Asaad. In his autobiography, Ali reflected on his legacy and how he would be judged. "When I'm gone, they'll just have to look at the records and look at my actions. Then it is up to the people to rank me where they want," he wrote. - Variety, 6/4/16.
Sunday, June 5, 2016
An official unveiling of a huge mural of David Bowie in Sarajevo, Bosnia took place on May 28 to pay tribute to Bowie's humanitarian work during the Bosnian war. Inscribed with the words "Fashion changes, but you'll always be my heroes" (a nod to the way Bosnia has changed since the 1992-95 conflict), the 13 meters (43 feet) high and 10.5 meters (34 feet) wide painting adorns a damaged university building in the capital, close to the infamous street once known as Sniper Alley. More than 300 people attended the unveiling, the brainchild of local musician Vedad Trbonja, as Bowie's "Space Oddity" played over loudspeakers. Bowie died at the age of 69 on Jan. 10. - Billboard, 5/31/16...... Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood and his third wife Sally Humphreys are the proud parents of two twin girls who were born on May 30. "We are delighted to announce the birth of their twins Gracie Jane (6lb) & Alice Rose (5.7lb). The girls arrived on 30 May at 10.30pm and all are doing brilliantly. The babies are perfect," read a statement released by 69-year-old Wood and 38-year-old Humphreys. Wood met Humpreys, a theatre producer, at the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane in London, where Wood was exhibiting his art. The twins are Wood's fifth and sixth children, who has a son with his first wife, ex-model Krissy Wood, and a daughter and one biological son and an adopted son from his second marriage to ex-wife Jo. - New Musical Express, 5/31/16...... As he performed in Moscow on May 30 before an enthusiastic crowd, Elton John says he regrets he didn't have the opportunity to meet with Russian president Vladimeir Putin during his current trip to Moscow, but said he's looking forward to meeting Putin in the future to discuss LGBT issues. John thanked Putin for inviting him to "discuss some serious issues in Russia, including LGBT and HIV and AIDS," expressing hope they could eventually meet. Elton has criticized a Russian law against gay "propaganda" and comments by Putin suggesting that "gay people prey on children." Putin had called John in Sept. 2015 to say he'd be willing to meet and talk about any issues that concern him, after Russian pranksters posing as Pres. Putin fooled John, prompting the musician to post an Instagram message thanking Putin for calling. - AP, 5/31/16...... As Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's The River tour rolled into Dublin, Ireland for two shows on the last weekend in May, fans were treated to a surprise as the American rocker jammed with Dublin's favorite son, U2's Bono, during the second show on a rendition of the Springsteen-Patti Smith songwriting collaboration "Because the Night." Bono's U2 and Springsteen have performed the song previously on more than one occasion, including a performance at MSG back in 2009 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Springsteen also made a guest appearance during the final show of U2's eight-night stand at New York's Madison Square Garden in July 2015. - Billboard, 5/30/16...... German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk have lost a court case against a German rapper named Moses Pelham who sampled a two-second drum sequence from Kraftwerk's 1977 song "Metal On Metal" for his 1997 song "Nur Mir," which Pelham wrote for fellow rapper Sabrina Setlur. Kraftwerk principal Ralf Hutter had first sued Pelham in 2012 over the song, whose title translates as "Only Me." Later a German court ruled that "Nur Mir" should be deleted, agreeing with Hutter that the repeated sample amounted to copyright infringement. However, Pelham took the case to Germany's court of appeal, which has now ruled that the song's impact on Kraftwerk should not supersede Pelham's "artistic freedom." "Metal On Metal" originally appeared on the 1977 album Trans-Europe Express by Kraftwerk, who have announced they'll perform all eight of their albums at a residency at the Norwegian Opera House in Oslo from Aug. 4-7, before embarking on a US tour in September. - NME, 5/31/16...... During his solo career years, Ozzy Osbourne once recorded a song titled "Crazy Train," and now the Black Sabbath frontman has a more sober tram in his English hometown of Birmingham named after him. During a ceremony in the central England city on May 26, Ozzy said his journey from his hometown to rocker to reality show star had been an "an incredible journey," but he'd never forgotten his Birmingham roots. "Once a Brummie, always a Brummie," he said. Osbourne, 67, then hopped aboard the Ozzy Osbourne Tram for its first journey to New Street Station. - AP, 5/26/16...... In a new interview with Britain's Q magazine, Paul McCartney said the popular alternative band Oasis' biggest mistake was once claiming they were "bigger than the Beatles." "Oasis were young, fresh and writing good tunes," McCartney told Q. "I thought the biggest mistake they made was when they said 'We're going to be bigger than The Beatles'. I thought 'So many people have said that, and it's the kiss of death.' Be bigger than the Beatles, but don't say it. The minute you say it, everything you do from then on is going to be looked at in the light of that statement." Oasis' Noel Gallagher, who made the claim in a 1996 MTV interview, later admitted he was "high" when he made the claim that the success of their Definitely Maybe and (What's the Story) Morning Glory albums meant that they were bigger than the Fab Four. McCartney also revealed during the interview that he regularly travels on London's the Tube subway and doesn't bother disguising himself. "The thing about the Underground is that nobody looks at anyone," he said. Macca releases his new compilation, Pure McCartney, on June 10. - NME, 5/31/16...... Late '70s/'80s New Wave faves The Tubes will launch a 12-city UK tour this fall beginning with a show at London's Under the Bridge on Oct. 7. "We're thrilled to be coming back to the country that started it all for us," says Tubes frontman Fee Waybill. "I embrace my British heritage; the beer and the fish and chips and the best rock and roll fans in the world. (Our) all-new Mondo Pulp Tour will be big fun," he added. Waybill says the San Francisco-based band will perform all its hits and fan favorites -- including "She's a Beauty," "Talk To Ya Later," "Sushi Girl" and "White Punks on Dope" -- during the tour, which will also visit Manchester, Bristol, Plymouth, Cardiff, Brighton, Southampton, Wolverhampton, Holmfirth, and Sage before wrapping in Glasgow on Oct. 22. - Noble PR, 5/27/16..... Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose, who is currently handling lead vocal duties for AC/DC on the Aussie rockers' summer tour, has reportedly said he wants to do more lead singing with AC/DC, but the band isn't sure if they want to keep him on. "He keeps saying, can he do more [shows]? But we don't really know at the end. This tour, which we were committed to doing, we want to finish it," AC/DC guitarist Angus Young told a German publication. After AC/DC wrap up the tour on June 4 in Manchester, UK, Guns N' Roses will kick off its "Not In This Lifetime" tour of North America on June 23. - NME, 5/27/16.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
A series of new U.K. postage stamps honoring Pink Floyd was announced by the Royal Mail on May 26. The limited edition, 10 stamp collection will pay tribute to the legendary prog rockers' 50 years as professional musicians. Due to go on sail at U.K. post offices on July 7, the stamps will feature classic Floyd album covers, including The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Atom Heart Mother, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Endless River, as well as concert photos. "We're celebrating Pink Floyd, one of the most influential and successful British bands of all time, with a superb range of stamps, limited edition souvenirs and gifts," declares Royal Mail, which says it "worked closely" with the band on its collection. Pre-orders for the stamps began on May 26 at the RoyalMail.com website. - Billboard, 5/26/16...... To commemorate what would have been jazz legend Miles Davis' 90th birthday on May 26, Sony/Legacy Recordings has collated data from more than 2,000 Wikipedia pages mentioning Davis for The Universe of Miles Davis, a new immersive, interactive website. Users can interact with the platform by scrolling down, hovering over images and utilizing the search bar within the infographic. Davis' birthday is further commemorated with a new album featuring reimagined reinterpretations of his music. Everything's Beautiful features contributions from such artists as Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu and former Davis band member, jazz guitarist John Scofield. - Billboard, 5/26/16...... A two-day tribute to Bob Dylan, who turned 75 on May 24, was held at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., on May 23 and 24. More than 30 artists, including Emmylou Harris, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Ann Wilson, Wynonna, Kesha and Boz Skaggs, performed Dylan tunes to mark the folk icon's diamond jubilee. Proceeds from the concerts went to aid Thistle Farms, a Nashville-based charity that helps women who've survived prostitution, trafficking and addiction. - Billboard, 4/12/16...... It appears Elton John won't be meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin this spring after all, due to a conflict in their schedules. In 2015, John fell victim to TV talk show pranksters who impersonated Russia's leader on the phone, an incident that led to John being officially invited to meet Putin the next time he performs in Russia, which will be May 30 in Moscow. However a spokesman for President Putin says that "this time, the meeting won't take place, unfortunately... Their schedules do not match up... But this does not mean that such a meeting won't take place next time." - New Musical Express, 5/26/16...... Bruce Springsteen was one of the first musicians featured on LiveXLive.com's new multi-channel digital network as it launched on May 21, ahead of its live streaming of all five days of the Rock in Rio Lisboa festival, which began on May 26 in Lisbon, Portugal. The Rock in Rio coverage marks the beginning of what LiveXLive hopes will position the company as "the ESPN of music events." The network, two years in the making, says it is working to secure more of music's biggest festivals, concerts and more. The company also plans to launch a mobile app later this year for on-the-go concert viewing. - Billboard, 5/25/16...... On May 25, the London Meltdown music festival announed that Robert Plant will not be able to perform his previously-scheduled June 19 Meltdown gig at Southbank Centre due to his participation in the upcoming "Stairway to Heaven" copyright case. Plant is expected to appear in a California court alongside former bandmates Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, which is now set to get underway on June 14. Since Plant will not be able to attend Meltdown, the fest canceled his "The Boat We're In" benefit performance for the British Red Cross and is refunding all tickets via their original payment methods. First held in 1993, Meltdown features a different musician curating its entire lineup annually. Plant is still set to perform a slew of European tour dates between July 1-Aug. 7, according to his website. - Billboard, 5/25/16...... In an interview with Reuters, Neil Young said that although he's opposed to much of what Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump stands for, he's no longer against Trump using his music on the campaign trail. "He actually got a license to use it," Young said. "I mean, he said he did and I believe him. So I got nothing against him. You know, once the music goes out, everybody can use it for anything." Young's about-face came almost a year after Trump inspired Young's ire by blasting "Rockin' in the Free World" at the June 2015 rally where he announced his candidacy. Young has came out in support of Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders, who he says is "the only one talking about the issues, about issues that matter to me, the issues on my mind." Although Young now lives in California, he is still a Canadian citizen, so he won't be voting in the 2016 election. Young's May 24 statement drew ridicule from his former Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bandmate David Crosby, who tweeted on May 25 that "Everybody makes mistakes sometimes. There's one." - Billboard/NME, 5/26/16...... Paul McCartney is set to appear in a new six-part virtual reality documentary to promote the new Macca compilation album Pure McCartney. Presented by the British Tourist Authority and the GREAT Britain campaign, PURE McCartney VR is directed by Grammy-winning director Tony Kaye and filmed in McCartney's home as the rock legend recounts memories and anecdotes related to various tracks ("Dance Tonight," "Coming Up," "My Valentine," "Mull of Kintyre" and "Early Days"), while sharing archived and never-before-seen footage. Each track will be released in the Jaunt VR App, which is available for iOS, Android, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Desktop 360. Meanwhile, a new Mastertapes interview conducted by the BBC's Radio4 with Sir Paul will be aired on the network on May 28, and the full filmed interview is live on the Radio 4 website. In it, McCartney reveals he was depressed after the Beatles broke up. "I was depressed. You would be. You were breaking from your lifelong friends. So I took to the bevvies [drinks]. I took to a wee dram. It was great at first, then suddenly I wasn't having a good time. I wanted to get back to square one, so I ended up forming Wings." - Billboard/NME, 5/24/16...... A 1968 David Bowie cover version of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" is just one of several Bowie rarities making their official premiere in an upcoming episode of BBC4's four-part doc, The People's History of Pop. It will also contain alternate versions of the Bowie standard "Space Oddity" and his 1967 single "The Laughing Gnome." "The program is still being made, but we can confirm that there will be some rare and special Bowie material in it," a BBC spokesperson said. The Bowie episode is the second installment in the series, which began in April. Meanwhile, a "rock opera-style" ballet interpreting the works of Bowie is currently in the works and is set to debut at the Music Hall in Detroit, Mich., on June 18. The Music Hall commissioned the ballet as part of a tribute to the late artist, and the night will also feature interpretations of the music of Metallica. - Billboard/NME, 5/23/16...... Rhino Records will release a three-CD/one-LP deluxe 40th anniversary collector's edition of the Ramones' 1977 self-titled debut album on July 29. Housed in an LP-sized box, the 40th anniversary edition has a remastered version of the album plus a new mono mix on the first disc. Also included in the set are demos and a live concert recorded at Los Angeles club The Roxy on Aug. 12, 1976. Other extras include an essay by album producer Chris Leon, plus photos by Roberta Bayley, whose portrait of band is featured on the cover of the sleeve. - New Musical Express, 5/23/16...... On May 24, the husband of actress Beth Howland, who played the ditsy, accident-prone waitress Vera Louise Gorman on the '70s/'80s sitcom Alice, revealed that she died on Dec. 31, 2015, after a battle with lung cancer. Her husband, actor Charles Kimbrough, said that he had refrained from announcing her death earlier in keeping with her wishes, and that she had not wanted a funeral or memorial service. She was 74. Howland was a modestly successful television actress when she was cast in the Alice series, which was based on the 1974 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Howland won the role, and for nine seasons, from 1976 to 1985, she kept television audiences amused with her wide-eyed, jumpy performances. Asked to describe her character, she told Knight Newspapers in 1979: "Insecure and vulnerable. Probably works the hardest of anybody in the diner. Very gullible, very innocent." Born on May 28, 1941 in Boston, Howland studied dance at the Hazel Boone Studio and, after graduating from high school at 16, headed to New York, where she landed a replacement role as Lady Beth in "Once Upon a Mattress" and a role as a dancer in "Bye Bye Birdie." After being cast as the wife of a character played by Bert Convy on an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, she moved to Los Angeles to work in television. She appeared on Love, American Style, Cannon, The Rookies and other shows before taking the role of Vera on Alice. She acted sporadically after Alice went off the air, with small guest roles on Eight Is Enough, Little House on the Prairie, Murder, She Wrote, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and The Tick. A documentary she co-produced in 1989, You Don't Have to Die about a 6-year-old boy's successful battle against cancer, won an Academy Award for best short-subject documentary. - The New York Times, 5/25/16.
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Aerosmith has squashed a rumor that they're open to performing with a new frontman that began when guitarist Brad Whitford was recently asked by a heavy metal fansite if the band would ever consider going "the AC/DC route" and tour with another vocalist besides Steven Tyler. In a statement released on May 20, the band said that "there's absolutely no truth to a story circulating that Aerosmith is looking for a new singer" and according to guitarist Joe Perry, "All five of us were just on the phone together talking about how excited we are to go to South America and Mexico City." Whitford had told Metal-Rules.com that "absolutely, we have considered it, but whether it will happen I don't know. I think it would be great," after previously saying in Nov. 2015 that the band felt a bit "abandoned" by Tyler's solo plans, which include recording a country-influenced solo album in Nashville. Aerosmith kicks off their South American tour in Bogota, Colombia, on Sept. 29, and winds it up Oct. 27 in Mexico City. - Billboard, 5/20/16...... On May 19, Frank Zappa's son Dweezil Zappa issued a multi-thousand-word rebuttal to his brother Ahmet Zappa's recent open letter to him on Facebook. In what he characterized as "a tedious undertaking," Dweezil countered Ahmet's assertions that he was uncommunicative and intransigent and that he created a false impression of the family's disagreements by giving an "incomplete, misleading story" to The New York Times, in an article published in April that quoted both brothers. The Zappa siblings -- Dweezil, Ahmet, Moon Zappa and Diva Zappa (but particularly Ahmet and Dweezil, who recorded two albums together) -- have been battling each other over the rights to Frank's vast catalog of songs since their mother, Gail Zappa, died in 2015. After Gail died in October, control of the trust passed to the two youngest Zappa siblings, Ahmet and Diva, who serve as the estate's trustees. Dweezil and Moon remain beneficiaries of the estate. Dweezil has complained that "although my father was Frank Zappa, I am not allowed to use the name on its own." Ahmet has countered that he "isn't standing in the way of Dweezil playing the music... He would just have to be in accordance with the family trust." - Billboard, 5/19/16...... The Rolling Stones have announced they're hooking up with St. Tropez-based men's swimwear manufacturer Vilebrequin for a collection of men's trunks to go on sale in June. Using a slew of images from the band's iconic discography -- created by artists including Andy Warhol, Robert Frank and David Bailey -- the swimwear includes the signature Moorea ($280), flat-waisted Merise ($295), and black T-shirt ($135) with the band's iconic tongue and lips logo. "The Rolling Stones' style has always been colorful, unconventional and fresh, all with an allure that is very inspiring for us," says Vilebrequin CEO Roland Herlory. - Billboard, 5/20/16...... Joe Jackson, the 87-year-old father of Michael Jackson and his siblings, was hospitalized on May 13 after becoming weak during a routine checkup with his doctor, but son Jermaine Jackson says his dad is doing much better now. "He's just tired, -- he's 87 -- and we're just trying to hold onto him as long as we can... My father's very strong. He's up there telling jokes. He's doing fine." - TMZ.com, 5/18/16...... A new Iggy Pop and the Stooges documentary titled Gimme Danger premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in France on May 19. Named after a song from one of Iggy and the Stooges most iconic albums, Raw Power, the documentary is being presented as part of Cannes' Midnight Screening series, meaning it's not in competition with other films. Speaking at a press conference, Pop admitted he "was on acid in more than several of the clips in the movie when I was young" but urged others to "just drop that s---." "For me, the best is a very good wine, but weed is OK for most people," he added. Gimme Danger, featuring never-before-seen footage and photographs, is directed by Jim Jarmusch, who has previously described it as "a love letter to possibly the greatest band in rock'n'roll history" more than a documentary. - New Musical Express, 5/19/16...... As his One on One Tour hit La Plata Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina on May 17, Paul McCartney fulfilled an unusual wish from a young female fan -- to play bass with him onstage. "This could be interesting... I didn't see this coming," Sir Paul told young 10-year-old Leila as his stagehands handed her a guitar. They then performed an impromptu duet of the Beatles' 1969 single "Get Back." "10-year-old Leila has wish granted, playing bass with Paul onstage in Buenos Aires #OneOnOne pic.twitter.com/4v2ymUgshY," a post on McCartney's Twitter account read on May 18. - Billboard, 5/18/16...... In other Beatles-related news, British Prime Minister David Cameron has been ridiculed after he appeared to recreate the Fab Four's iconic Abbey Road cover during a recent trip to the famous Abbey Road Studios in London. PM Cameron walked over the famous zebra crossing on May 20 with Labour MP Tessa Jowell before attending a meeting to discuss the cultural benefits of Britain staying in the European Union. But after posting a pic of the incident on Twitter with the caption "At Abbey Road with @TessaJowell as Remain campaigners and creative industries Come Together to say we're #StrongerIn," several Brits responded harshly. "What a prat. Beatles made that iconic and you just ruined it. Lennon and Harrison will be turning in their graves," one user replied, while another called him "an embarrassment to your office, your party, and your country." Cameron attended Abbey Road to meet famous members of the Creative Industries Federation -- including The Wire star Dominic West. "When it comes to creativity, British talent and expertise has made this country the envy of the world," he told those in attendance. "The results of Creative Industries Federation's survey are clear: we are better off in a reformed European Union than out on our own. To leave would be a leap in the dark," he added. - New Musical Express, 5/21/16...... Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has announced plans to turn the 15th century story of Joan of Arc's life into an off-Broadway musical. Posting on his official website, Byrne said: "Everyone certainly knows how it ends, which I like. Why has this story endured over centuries and been made into so many plays and movies? Because it's about someone -- a nobody, a teenage girl -- who inspired others to act, to overthrow their oppressors and take charge of their lives." Byrne says he's already written the music for the show, which is yet to be given an official title, and it's set to premiere in the spring of 2017 at New York City's Public Theater. Byrne previously produced the 2013 musical "Here Lives Love," a stage adaptation of an album he did with Fatboy Slim. - Billboard, 5/20/16...... On May 17, an attorney for the plaintiff in the upcoming "Stairway to Heaven" trial -- in which Led Zeppelin principals Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will be defending themselves for allegedly ripping off the 1968 Randy California of Spirit instrumental "Taurus" to create their iconic 1971 rock anthem -- brought a motion to compel the two musicians to attend the trial with the penalty for a no-show being a default and the jury being instructed to draw a negative inference from their failure to appear. According to the attorney, Francis Malofiy, Page and Plant's "refusal to specify if they will appear is causing havoc." In an email to Malofiy sent on May 6, lawyers representing Page and Plant wrote, "We have previously made it clear that Messrs. Page and Plant will attend the trial, but with them coming from England we cannot guarantee the day they will arrive." Malofiy has responded with claims the two "want to dictate the court's schedule, completely disregarding the difficulties in presenting multiple fact and expert witnesses in a narrow band of time of approximately six hours. The lack of common courtesy from defense counsel is, frankly, astonishing." At the trial, set for June 14, Malofiy will have 10 hours to mount a case that Led Zeppelin committed copyright infringement. Malofiy is also seeking an order that affirms he's entitled to use deposition testimony by Page and Plant over a potential objection. - Billboard, 5/18/16...... Three of ambient music pioneer Brian Eno's recent albums -- Drums Between the Bells (2011), Panic of Looking (2012) and LUX (2012) -- have been made available on all major streaming services for the first time, his record label announced on May 18. Eno's latest studio album, The Ship, was released on Apr. 29 and is his first ambient album to feature his voice. Eno has described the album as a "musical novel" loosely inspired by the story of the Titanic and World War I. The album ends with a cover of the Velvet Underground's "I'm Set Free." - Billboard, 5/19/16...... A remastered collection of 16 of Lou Reed's albums the late musician recorded for RCA Records and the RCA-distributed label Arista is due Oct. 7 in the U.S. Lou Reed - The RCA & Arista Album Collection includes the 14 studio albums Reed recorded for RCA and Arista between 1972 and 1986, from his self-titled album to 1986's Mistrial. It also includes the live albums Rock N Roll Animal and Lou Reed Live: Take No Prisoners. Reed had remastered the albums in the months before his October 2013 death after suffering from liver disease. Laurie Anderson, Reed's widow, will curate a tribute concert to her late husband, named "The Bells" after one of Reed's songs, on July 30 at New York's Lincoln Center. Live music, screenings of films related to the musician, lyric readings by artists and actors and an all-day broadcast of his music will be featured. - NME, 5/17/16...... An op-ed written by Barbra Streisand and Ronald Perelman for the Capitol Hill newsletter The Hill urges the U.S. Senate to pass a measure ensuring sex and gender equality in medical research. Streisand and Perelman argue that because sex is a biological variable that makes a difference in a number of deadly diseases (including lung cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's), now is the time to bring equity to medical research. "Women's bodies are different than men's, which can result in health differences," the pair write. "Yet for too long, women have been absent from or overlooked in clinical studies." Streisand and Perelman are also the co-founders of the Women's Heart Alliance. Also in The Hill, Elton John has taken North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to task for signing a bill that limits anti-discrimination policies for LGBT people. John wrote that the law is discriminatory and the state is wasting millions of dollars to defend it, and added what's worse is "Gov. McCrory signed the bill after saying he had never met a transgender person." Although McCrory took that statement back, John says he sent the clear message that the experiences of transgender people have no place in a debate about their rights. McCrory did not immediately respond to a request for comment. - Billboard/AP, 5/18/16...... Although AC/DC singer Brian Johnson has recently retired from fronting the famous hard rock band amid fears of a permanent hearing loss, he isn't completely inactive now. Johnson has contributed vocals to a track titled "Mr. Rock N' Roll" on the forthcoming LP from Saturday Night Live comedian Jim Breuer, Songs From the Garage. "To me, Brian is the most powerful voice in rock & roll," Breuer told Rolling Stone. "He is also the funniest and most generous man I have ever known. I am still in awe of how he recorded the song and forever thankful." Bruer's album is due out on May 27. - NME, 5/17/16...... Guy Clark, a legend in the Nashville country music songwriting scene, died in Nashville on May 17 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 74. Clark is credited as mentoring a number of country singers through several decades, and his songs were covered by the likes of Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris and others. His final album, My Favorite Picture of You, was released in 2013. It was inspired by a photograph of his late wife and fellow musician Susanna, who died of cancer in 2012. - NME, 5/18/16...... Legendary 60 Minutes correspondent Morely Safer, an Emmy-winning newsman who was one of the first reporters to convey the brutality of the Vietnam War to America's TV viewers, died on May 18. He was 84. Born in Toronto, Mr. Safer began his career as a newspaper reporter in Canada and England. He moved into broadcast journalism as a producer and correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. He first became a correspondent for CBS News in 1964, based in the London bureau. In 1965, he opened the CBS News bureau in Saigon, serving two tours in the Vietnam war. In 1967, he became CBS News' London bureau chief, covering Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He also returned to Vietnam to provide continuing coverage of the war. The airing of one of his reports on the CBS News with Walter Cronkite in which he accompanyied U.S. Marines on a military action into a complex of villages called Cam Ne was one of the first to document the unsettling details of Vietnam for U.S. audiences, marking a turning point in public opinion of the war. Mr. Safer was called a communist for undermining the war effort, and Pres. Lyndon Johnson's administration attempted to discredit him and the network. Mr. Safer joined 60 Minutes as a correspondent in Dec. 1970, following in the footsteps of Harry Reasoner. He remained with the program for the rest of his career, more than 40 years. Later in his career, Mr. Safer also appeared on TV shows and in films about journalism, playing himself on a 2003 episode of Murphy Brown, and in the 1990s, he provided narration to documentaries on PBS, including episodes of The American Experience and American Masters. Mr. Safer won his first News and Documentary Emmy in 1979 for "Teddy Kollek's Jerusalem," a profile of the mayor of Jerusalem. Mr. Safer, the 12-time winner of News and Documentary Emmys, including a lifetime achievement award in 2003, had announced his retirement just the previous week. He is survived by his wife, the former Jane Fearer, and a daughter. - AP, 5/19/16...... Actor Alan Young, who gamely played straight man to a talking horse for five years in the classic '60s sitcom Mr. Ed, died on May 19 at the Motion Picture and Television Home in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 96. On the series, which ran from 1961-66 on CBS, Mr. Young played architect Wilbur Post, who was married to Carol (played by Connie Hines, who died in 2009) and kept a horse, Mr. Ed, in their suburban stable. Mr. Ed, voiced by Allan "Rocky" Lane, would speak only to Wilbur, but given Mr. Ed's rather outlandish personality and the superbly mild affect of Young's Wilbur, just who owned whom could occasionally be a matter of debate. Mr. Young also voiced Scrooge McDuck and numerous other animated characters, as well as guesting on dozens of TV shows. - Variety, 5/19/16.
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Neil Young has released a 28-minute long version of "Love and Only Love," a song that will be featured on his upcoming live album EARTH. Originalliy appearing on his 1990 LP Ragged Glory, the new version is only being made available via the Tidal.com website, an interesting move from Young, who has previously released his entire back catalog on his competing streaming service Pono.com. EARTH is set to drop on June 17, and will also be available for streaming on Pono.com. - New Musical Express, 5/13/16...... The 1982 Fleetwood Mac album Mirage will be reissued as a deluxe expanded edition on July 19, the band announced on May 13. Outtakes, rarities, and live performances, including early versions of several album tracks, will be featured on the release, as will a previously unreleased cover of Fats Domino's "Blue Monday." Exclusive to the deluxe edition is a third DVD disc that has more than a dozen live performances recorded in Los Angeles during Fleetwood Mac s 1982 U.S. tour. - NME, 5/13/16...... Eric Clapton says his new album, I Still Do, was initially conceived "as an homage to a family member, an old auntie who passed away a couple of years ago." "She used to say that she (had) liked me as a little boy, 'and I still do.' But that ended up just being the title," says Clapton, who at age 71 admits that "a lot of pals around my age seem to be kicking off." Reflecting on the recent deaths of such rock stars as Glenn Frey, Maurice White, Paul Kantner and his fellow British legend, David Bowie, Clapton revealed he didn't know Bowie well -- "I only met him a few times, and we never worked together." Clapton says his version of the wistful standard "I'll Be Seeing You" on I Still Do was recorded to "say goodbye to all these people." The album has Clapton reuniting with renowed producer Glyn Johns, who teamed with him on the 1977 classic Slowhand. Clapton reunited with Johns -- also noted for his work with the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and the Who -- when they "met up a couple of years ago and realized that all this time had gone by," Clapton recalls. "We were having dinner and I said, 'We should do something again.'" For his part, Glyn Johns says, "my principle was to capture him playing (guitar) live as much as possible. Eric is probably the most inspirational player I've worked with. He's a very emotive player -- it goes straight from his heart to his fingers. His brain doesn't get in the way. And he's playing and singing as well as he ever did. In my view, actually, he's really developed as a singer." Clapton, who doesn't tour much these days, said he has had "some health issues going on in this year, some trouble with my hands and back," but he tries to stay fit, "to get away from sugar and wheat and preservatives. ...I suppose the way it works for me is that I try to keep my side of the street as clean as possible. I have a will, I stay current. And I try to pay a little attention to the legacy I'm leaving, you know?" - USA Today, 5/15/16...... Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone of the legendary '60s British Invasion band the Zombies performed an intimate show at New York City's Rough Trade venue on May 12. Best known for such hits as "Tell Her No," "She's Not There" and "Time of the Season," the latter from their acclaimed 1968 album Odessey And Oracle, the Zombies performed a tidy 30-minute set featuring their trademark electric pianos and harmonies. Argent and Blunstone also made room for a pair of recent cuts, "Edge Of The Rainbow" and "Moving On," both of which appeared on their 2015 album Still Got That Hunger. - Billboard, 5/12/16...... Thousands of CD and vinyl copies of the indie rock band Car Seat Headrest's new album Teens of Denial have been recalled after an unauthorized sample of the Ric Ocasek-penned the Cars song "Just What I Needed." According to a statement issued by the label, Matador Records, a license for the song in question, "Just What I Wanted/Not Just What I Needed," had been negotiated "in good faith months ago, only to be told last week that the publisher involved was not authorized to complete the license in the United States, and that Ric Ocasek preferred that his work not be included in the song." Ocasek, who has also served as a record producer and worked in major label A&R teams, has yet to comment on the matter. An updated version of the song has been cut to replace the original, and is now called "Not What I Needed," and physical copies of the album will be available in July. - Billboard, 5/13/16...... An actor who is set to appear in the 2017 Showtime reboot of the famous David Lynch-directed TV series Twin Peaks says that David Bowie was slated to appear in the new Twin Peaks before his untimely Jan. 2016 death. Henry Goaz, who will appear as Deputy Andy Brennan in the new show, says Bowie was set to make a cameo as Agent Phillip Jeffries, who he portrayed in the 1992 Twin Peaks film spinoff Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. An air date for the reboot, which will feature a massive cast of 217 actors including original stars Kyle MacLachlan and Sherilynn Fenn, has not been announced. - Billboard, 5/13/16...... In other Bowie news, the late singer's son, filmmaker Duncan Jones, said on May 11 that his late father influenced his film work. "My dad was obviously prolific in music, but he also acted and I think I had the most fun when we were on film sets... I think I got the (directing) bug back then," said Jones, who is best known for his films Moon and Source Code. "Because the musical gene did not express itself in the way one might have hoped, my main hobby with my dad was shooting little one-stop animations and I just always carried that interest in film," added Jones, whose latest directorial project is Warcraft, a cinematic adaptation of video game franchise World Of Warcraft. Warcraft stars Travis Fimmel and Dominic Cooper and is set to open on June 3 in the UK and on June 10 in North America. - New Musical Express, 5/13/16...... The final recording by late country music great Merle Haggard, "Kern River Blues," premiered on Willie Nelson's SiriusXM's Willie's Roadhouse channel, and was later made available to download on merlehaggard.com/music.html and iTunes. Penned by Haggard and featuring his son Ben Haggard on electric guitar, "Kern River Blues" is about the singer's memories of leaving Bakersfield in the late '70s, according to a post on Haggard's website. The track was recorded Feb. 9 at the singer's Hag Studios as he was battling with the pneumonia that would ultimately take his life on Apr. 6 at the age of 79. Haggard's family say they decided to release the song as a way of thanking everyone" for their "tremendous outpouring of love and prayers" for the artist, and that 10% of all gross proceeds from its sale will be donated to homeless charities. - Billboard, 5/12/16...... Alice Cooper has announced that he and the surviving members of the original Alice Cooper band -- guitarist Michael Bruce, bassist Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neal Smith -- are working together again on new music for the shock rocker's next album. "Neal Smith and Mike Bruce and I wrote five songs in Phoenix," Cooper said on May 11. "Dennis wrote four or five songs in Connecticut. You never know what's going to make it on an album, but I think we've got a lot of stuff that has a good chance of being there." Members of Cooper's current band are also contributing songs for the set, which has led to a welcome plethora of material. "I don't care where a song comes from; If it fits the idea, what the album's going to be, then we go with it," Cooper says. "We'll see which ones make the album." Cooper and his band formed in Phoenix in the mid-'60s and recorded seven albums together, starting out with Frank Zappa's Straight Records label, then moving to Warner Bros. for a string of hit albums and singles. The group broke up acrimoniously after 1973's Muscle of Love, with Bruce, Dunaway and Smith going on to form the short-lived Billion Dollar Babies band. Cooper, who is currently touring with his own band as well as with his side project the Hollywood Vampires, says there's no timetable when his next album will come out. - Billboard, 5/12/16...... The Rolling Stones have commented on the upcoming three-day Desert Trip concert extravaganza, which is set for Oct. 7-9 at the site of the Coachella festival in Indio, Calif., and will feature such acts as the Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and the Who. On the Friday night, it's going to be us and Bob Dylan, so there will be masses of musicians, actually masses of guests of all the musicians, and it's a fun time for everyone," Mick Jagger told Rolling Stone magazine on May 12. "How many trips can you take to the desert, man? The line-up is just amazing," added Keith Richards. "I can't believe we're all going to be stuck in this little town together. I mean, never have we ever all in the same place at the same time." Richards continued to say that he would love to work with Dylan: "I'd work with Bob any[where]. I'd work with Bob in hell or heaven. I love him." The pricey tickets for the festival, which is aimed at an older, more affluent audience, went on sale on May 11, and reportedly sold out in just three hours. 70,000 three-day tickets for each of the festival's two weekends are believed to have been sold, 140,000 tickets in total, although the promoters have yet to confirm the reports. - NME, 5/13/16...... In other festival news, Ozzy Osbourne and the band Slipknot are joining forces for a festival set for Sept. 24 and 25 at the San Manuel Amphitheater and Festival Grounds in San Bernardino, Calif. "Ozzfest Meets Knotfest" will feature more than 40 acts, with Ozzy's Black Sabbath headlining the Sept. 24 show, their last ever show in California. "We are here to create havoc and history. Let the madness begin," Osbourne said during a press conference in Hollywood on May 11. - NME, 5/12/16...... Barbra Streisand's longtime manager Marty Erlichman announced on May 16 that the legendary diva will embark on a 9 city North American tour in late summer behind her forthcoming studio album, Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway. Streisand, who hasn't toured since her 2012 "Back To Brooklyn" jaunt, launches the tour on Aug. 2 at L.A.'s Staples Center, followed by dates in San Jose (8/4), Las Vegas (8/6), Chicago (8/9), her hometown of Brooklyn (8/11, 13), Boston (8/16), Washington, D.C. (8/18) and Philadelphia (8/20) before wrapping in Toronto on Aug. 23. Streisand's 35th studio album, Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway sees the singer pairing with some of Hollywood's biggest stars to sing Broadway classics. The LP will be released after the tour is completed, but before the end of 2016, and those who purchase tickets online will receive a free CD copy of the album. Her last album, 2014's Partners, was another duets LP that rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. - Billboard, 5/16/16...... Journey has filed a lawsuit against the electronics company Monster Products after the company realized it couldn't pay Journey's $500,000 fee to perform at a company gathering. According to their attorney Howard King, Journey was booked in Oct. 2015 and cancelled only a month later once the company realised they couldn't afford to pay their hefty fee. Journey is suing the company to get their fee, as well as pre-judgment interest and the costs of the lawsuit. - New Musical Express, 5/15/16...... The alternative rock band Train, best known for their hit "Drops of Jupiter," has announced plans to cover Led Zeppelin's 1969 album Led Zeppelin II in its entirety for their next LP release. "They are so hard to record, especially when you are trying to get as close a version as you can to the original," says Train's Pat Monohan. "The mixes, the time that they put in, it's crazy how great they were as a band." - NME, 5/13/16...... Dionne Warwick told reporters at a Cannes Film Festival party on May 12 that Lady Gaga will be playing her "musical nemesis" Cilla Black in an upcoming biopic about Warwick titled Dionne. After Lady Gaga's film reps initially releaesed a statement saying that Gaga "is not attached and will not appear in this project," Warwick said it was "just a question of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing," and though Gaga's music reps knew about the deal, her film reps did not. Dionne is set to begin production later in 2016. - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/13/16...... The Fox TV network has announced it will produce a new drama based on the classic 1973 horror film The Exorcist. In the remake, two priests (Ben Daniels, Alfonso Herrera) try to solve a case of demonic possession. The series, which will air on Friday nights at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT in Fox's fall 2016 schedule, will also star Geena Davis. - USA Today, 5/16/16...... Tony Barrow, the longtime Beatles press officer who is credited with coining the term "Fab Four," died on May 14 at his home in Morecambe, England. He had turned 80 just three days prior. Mr. Barrow served as the Beatles' publicist during the legendary band's heyday, from 1962-1968, and worked with a string of Hall of Fame acts through his career. Mr. Barrow was born in the Liverpool suburb of Crosby in 1936, and joined the team at Decca Records as a teenager, writing liner notes for the label and contributing record reviews to the Liverpool Echo. In the early '60s, he was approaced by Beatles manager Brian Epstein to help lift the profile of the then-unsigned band. With Mr. Barrow's help, the band scored an audition for the Decca label, which famously passed on signing the future global superstars. But Brian Epstein recognized Mr. Barrow's talents and he hired the talented young writer away, reportedly with the offer of twice the salary he was earning with Decca. Mr. Barrow also wrote features for the fanzine Beatles Monthly, often using a pseudonym or attributed to members of the band, and he penned the liner notes for the first three Beatles albums. He also drew the cartoon featured in the sleeve notes for Magical Mystery Tour. After leaving the Beatles' employ in 1968 (a year after Epstein's death), Mr. Barrow established his own PR firm, where he worked with the likes of the Kinks, the Monkees and the Jackson Five. Mr. Barrow, who survived by his wife, Corrine, and their two sons, also authored a few books on his time with the Beatles, including Meet the Beatles and the memoir John, Paul, George, Ringo & Me - The Real Beatles Story. Posting on Twitter on May 15, Paul McCartney described Mr. Barrow as " a lovely guy who helped us in the early years of The Beatles. He was super professional, but always ready for a laugh... He will be missed but remembered by many of us." - Billboard, 5/15/16...... In other Beatles news, Paul McCartney and Elton John were among those paying their respects to late Beatles producer Sir George Martin at a memorial service in London on May 11. Over 600 mourners attended the service for Martin, dubbed the "fifth Beatle," at St. Martin In The Fields church in Trafalgar Square. McCartney delivered a eulogy praising Martin's impact on the Beatles' music, and James Bay and comedians Alexander Armstrong and Bernard Cribbins performed at the memorial. - New Musical Express, 5/12/16.
Monday, May 16, 2016
As a huge wildfire in Canada continues to devastate a large forest near the city of Fort McMurray and displace an estimated 80,000 families from their homes, James Taylor has announced he'll perform two concerts in Alberta in June, with proceeds from tickets to be donated to the Canadian Red Cross to help victims. "This is a major national catastrophe that's just impossible to ignore," Taylor says. "It's really a part of human nature to respond to things like this by wanting to lend a hand if you can. You'd like to feel as though people would be there for you if you were in a similar situation," he added. Taylor says the idea came from conversations with his Canadian manager Sam Feldman as he arrived for a 15-concert tour of Canadian cities over the next month. He said the two shows would raise "at least a quarter of a million, maybe a $100,000 more than that." The benefit concerts are set for Calgary on June 7 and Edmonton on June 8. - AP, 5/9/16...... Gene Simmons is apologizing for comments he made during a recent interview with Newsweek in which he blamed Prince for ending his own life with drugs and alcohol. "But how pathetic that he killed himself," Simmons told the media outlet. "Don't kid yourself, that's what he did. Slowly, I'll grant you... but that's what drugs and alcohol is: a slow death." Simmons also told Newsweek that he has never been "high or drunk in my life," with the exception of a "dentist's chair where they knock you out." "I can almost understand drinking or getting high if it made my schmeckel bigger, or made me smarter, but nothing happens," he said. After a swift and furious fallout from Prince fans as well as Simmons' own Kiss bandmate Paul Stanley, who described Simmons' remarks as "cold" and "clueless," Simmons took to Twitter to apologize for the outburst, blaming his "big mouth" and admitting he "didn't express myself properly." "I just got such sh-- from my family for my big mouth again. I apologize - I have a long history of getting very angry at what drugs do to the families/friends of the addicts. I get angry at drug users because of my experience being around them coming up in the rock scene," Simmons posted. He also placed some of the blame on reporters who he accused of "quote-mining things l've said in the past and applying it to new situations." "It doesn't make my past quotes any more tactful, but still -- be wary of click bait. The uglier they can make it seem, the more views they will get," he said. - Billboard, 5/11/16...... In related news, the Minnesota House of Representatives has introduced a new bill named the PRINCE Act (Personal Rights in Names Can Endure Act), which would protect usage of a deceased person's likeness -- including their name, image and voice -- for 50 years after the person's death. The May 9 legislation is intended to give extended control to the person's estate, and similar laws already exist in 17 US states. Hearings were set for May 10 and May 11, and the law must be passed within the next two weeks to come into action. Although Prince has no known children, it was recently reported that upwards of 700 people are claiming to be entitled to a share of his estate. Meanwhile, Prince's family members say they are planning an official memorial service "in the near future." In a statement, the family said that "since Prince influenced so many people that we feel inspired to celebrate his life and legacy in just the right way." Prince died on Apr. 21 at his Paisley Park home and recording complex in suburban Minneapolis, and the cause of death remains under investigation. - New Musical Express/AP, 5/10/16...... Ozzy Osbourne's wife Sharon Osbourne has responded to reports about an apparent tiff between her longtime rock star hubby that reportedly caused her to kick him out of their home amid rumors that he had cheated on her with celebrity hairdresser Michelle Pugh, or possibly relapsed back into substance abuse. On May 10 on the CBS morning show The Talk which she co-hosts, Sharon said that she had indeed kicked Ozzy out of the house, but right now "he's back and I'm out of the house." Sharon says although she is still on speaking terms with Ozzy, she hasn't yet decided on her next move. "I don't know where I'm going, who I'm going with," she later told US Weekly. "And I just need time to think. And really think about myself, about what do I really want because I'm 63 years of age and I can't keep living like this," she added. The previous day, Ozzy released a statement saying the disagreement with Sharon had nothing to do with a drug relapse, telling E! News that "I have been sober for three and a quarter years." Osbourne said he still plans to honor a public appearance on May 12, where he's promised a "very special announcement" alongside Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor. Ozzy and Sharon, who have been married almost 34 years, split previously in 2013 when Ozzy's drug and alcohol habits became too much for Sharon, though she took him back after he sought treatment. - Billboard, 5/10/16...... An original UK pressing of David Bowie 1969 self-titled second album (later renamed Space Oddity) has fetched $6,826 (£4,722) in a recent auction on the record collectors' website Discogs.com. "Finding a good copy of the first UK pressing of [Bowie's] album is no easy feat. Is it almost $7k difficult? Maybe not," reads an announcement on the website's blog. The post also noted that the buyer of the record was anonymous: "I'm not sure where this expensive record is going. I don't know who is looking after it now. But I hope, wherever it is, it's being treasured in whatever way the buyer finds appropriate." - NME, 5/11/16...... Journey guitarist Neal Schon says he'd have to give serious thought before participating in any Journey induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "After reading and talking to Steve Miller about what went on with him and how it was not a good experience, I don't really care right now one way or the other," Schon recently told Billboard. "I'd have to see what the situation is for real. I'm not about to pay money to anybody to get in anywhere. I would never do that. And at this point there's so many people in there that are not even rock 'n' roll, I don't really care about being in there at all." Miller, who was formally inducted during a ceremony in April, alleges that the organization only provided tickets for he and his wife, and wanted his band members to pay $10,000 a piece to watch the ceremony. "It's not going to make or break my life for who I've come as an artist or a person," Schon added. "I'm like an aspiring artist that needs to move forward and you don't move forward by settling in on what you've attained in your past. I think you're only as good as what you are right now." But Schon acknowledged that Journey is considered by some to be one of the RRHOF's greatest slights, and he would be eager to please the band's many fans. Schon says that [former Journey vocalist] Steve Perry has not wanted to do it until Perry releases his new solo record, which is supposed to come out later in 2016 and he's hearing that Journey is "supposed to get in this year." Meanwhile, Journey is prepping for the kickoff of a summer tour with the Doobie Brothers that gets underway on May 12. The band is also planning a symphonic album, building off a charity concert it performed on June 20, 2015, with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. As for a studio followup to its last album, 2011's Eclipse, Schon says "there's no reason to do it... Nothing is going on in records and you'll never sell any records and you won't get played on the radio.'" - Billboard, 5/9/16...... AC/DC performed with its new frontman Axl Rose for the first time on May 7 in Lisbon, Portugal. Kicking off with "Rock Or Bust," the Aussie headbangers plowed through a 22-song setlist that also included the first live performance of "Rock 'n' Roll Damnation" for 13 years and "Riff Raff," which hasn't been played since 1996. Axl Rose, who is recovering from a recent leg injury which also affected his planned Guns N' Roses reunion shows, performed seated on a "throne." The band currently has 12 European live dates booked in for May and June, including two UK shows in London on June 4 and Manchester on June 9. Rose will then rejoin Guns N' Roses for their "Not In This Lifetime" North American tour, which runs from June 23 - Aug. 22. - New Musical Express, 5/8/16...... Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band announced on May 9 that they'll be extending their summer The River tour into the fall. Eight additional dates in August and September, including East Rutherford, N.J. (8/23, 25), Chicago (8/28), Washington, D.C. (9/1), Virginia Beach, Va. (9/3), Philadelphia (9/7), and Pittsburgh (9/11) will be played, before the tour wraps on Sept. 14 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The band's recent 36 dates grossed $75,956,686, with 581,619 national ticket sales. Before then, it will play a string of European dates, which kick off May 14 in Barcelona. - Billboard, 5/9/16...... The Who vocalist Roger Daltrey announced on May 9 that the band plans to lauch a limited edition champagne to mark the band's 50th anniversary. The bubbly, entitled Champagne Cuve Roger Daltrey, will be available to purchase beginning in June for £95, with a percentage of the proceeds will go to Teen Cancer America, which was founded by the band. "I am very excited to have this opportunity to express my passion for champagne through this limited edition cuve. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do," Daltrey said. A limited-edition ice bucket, made by L'Orfvrerie d'Anjou, will also be made available. Like the bottle itself, the buckets are moulded and decorated with The Who bullseye as well as Daltrey's signature. The champagne ice bucket is available in ten colours in a limited edition, each of which is numbered and priced at £650. More information can be found at Eminent-life.com. - NME, 5/9/16...... Neil Young launched his new live album EARTH at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles on May 6 by channeling John Lennon. "Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream," Young told the audience before playing EARTH in its entirety. The tracks on the LP feature nature-inspired sounds, including bears, birds, crickets, bees, horses and cows, as well as city noises, such as car horns, which the Canadian singer/songwriter has described as "sounds of the earth." The album also includes recording's from Young's 2015 "The Monsanto Years" tour, as well as highlights from his extensive back catalog, with new musical overdubs added to the mixes. The album will hit stores on June 17 (in an Instagram post, Young said that it "does not fit on iTunes"), and fans will be able to stream the record on Young's streaming service Pono. - NME, 5/7/16...... After fans of The Doors marked up a scenic cave on the California coast with psychedelic graffiti, authorities have closed the cave indefinitely for cleanup. The trend began with a social media myth that late Doors frontman Jim Morrison wrote songs in Corral Canyon Cave in Malibu Creek State Park, and although the popular hiking spot always had some vandalism, it has recently spiraled out of control and the cave now looks almost tie-dyed with multicolored swirls inside and out. Doors lyrics such as "love me 2 times" and "try to set the night on fire" are scrawled on its walls. There also are declarations like "Use your third eye" and "Try LSD," along with more crude tags. "It exploded over last summer, and graffiti has been increasing ever since," California State Parks District Superintendent Craig Sap says. "People are posting pictures of the cave 30 or 40 times a day." The now-closed cave will be blasted with walnut shells, which will clean off the graffiti without damaging the rock walls. The cleanup will cost $40,000, and there's no word on when hikers can head back to it. Sap added that it is a misdemeanor to go to the cave, with a fine of nearly $400, and a felony to spray-paint on it. - AP, 5/6/16...... Evidence relating to claims of sex abuse by British pop singer Cliff Richard have reportedly been passed from police to prosecutors, according to the UK paper The Guardian. Richard, 75, had been interviewed "under caution" by authorities in 2014 following allegations of a sex crime involving a young boy in the 1980s, but he was not arrested or charged. The "Devil Woman" singer was then interviewed again in 2015 year by police investigating alleged sexual assaults. Richard has denied any wrongdoing, and described the allegations as "absurd and untrue." - NME, 5/10/16..... Scott Bennett, a keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist known for his work with Brian Wilson, was convicted of rape by instrumentation and sexual battery on Apr. 29 after a week-long trial at Rogers County District Court in Claremore, Okla. Bennett was found guilty of raping a then 21-year-old woman at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa in December 2014. Video footage described by the prosecutor as "very, very disturbing" was shown to the jury during the trial. The jury has recommended a two-year sentence for the sexual battery charge and three-year sentence for rape by instrumentation, and Bennett's attorney Shannon McMurray has said her client, who has denied sexual intercourse occurred, intends to appeal the conviction. Bennett has worked with Brian Wilson since 1998, touring live with the Beach Boys legend as well as co-writing and co-producing his solo albums. His latest recording credit was on Wilson's 2015 album No Pier Pressure. - NME, 5/9/16...... Blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa will perform a free "invitation only" concert at the legendary Cavern Club venue in Liverpool on June 27, as a "thank you" to all the fans that have helped his career grow from playing small clubs to sold-out arena tours worldwide. Bonamassa will pay homage to the music of such fellow guitar legends as Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page during an intimate concert in front of 300 people. He'll be previewing material that he will perform at five special concerts in the UK this July -- in Lancashire (7/2), Glasgow (7/3), Bristol (7/5), Greenwich (7/7) and Nottinghamshire (7/8). "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me," Bonamassa says. "I'm so excited to be performing the British Blues Explosion concerts for very first time at the Cavern Club, the same venue where the Beatles first played. It's the perfect venue for me to showcase the music of Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Page. I hope my fans will get a kick out of it as much as I do." - Noble PR, 5/9/16...... Veteran character actor William Schallert, best known as the dad on The Patty Duke Show, died on May 8 in Pacific Palisades, Calif. He was 93. A familar face to TV and movie fans across several generations, Mr. Schallert also appeared in such sitcoms and series as The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Leave It to Beaver, The Waltons, The Twilight Zone, The Wild Wild West, Get Smart and Hawaii Five-O. He also earned a spot in the Star Trek hall of fame for his role as Nilz Baris in the popular episode from the original series, "The Trouble with Tribbles." Mr. Schallert later turned up as Baris in the Deep Space Nine hour Trials and Tribble-ations, and then in another guest star role as Varani in the DS9 episode Sanctuary. But his role as patriarch Martin Lane on the popular 1960s sitcom The Patty Duke Show was among his most memorable, and it landed him on TV Guide's 2004 list of the 50 Greatest TV Dads. Born on July 6, 1922, Mr. Schallert began his career with film roles in the 1940s and worked fairly consistently through 2014, appearing in recent shows including 2 Broke Girls, Desperate Housewives, How I Met Your Mother and My Name is Earl. Most recently, he appeared on shows like True Blood, in which he played Mayor Norris. Mr. Schallert was the head of the Screen Actors Guild from 1979-1981, also establishing the committee for Performers with Disabilities during his time in office. He is survived by his wife Leah Waggner and their four children. - CNN, 5/9/16.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
The Rolling Stones released a statement on May 4 requesting presumtive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to stop playing their songs at his campaign events. In the statement, the band said they hadn't given Trump, who has played the likes of "Brown Sugar," "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and "Start Me Up" permission to use their music and requested "that they cease all use immediately." Other artists, including Neil Young, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, R.E.M. and Adele, have also objected to their music being played at Trump events. While Trump stopped using all of those artists' songs after the requests were made, politicians don't need an artist's permission to use their music at rallies as long as their party has a blanket license, which covers all of the music in the group's catalog. - New Musical Express, 5/4/16...... Speaking of Steven Tyler, the Aerosmith frontman wowed a sold-out crowd at Lincoln Center in New York on May 2 with a hit-packed set entitled "Steven Tyler... Out on a Limb." Two days later, Tyler announced the dates for his upcoming 19-city summer North American tour of the same name. The outing kicks off on July 2 with a show at the Venetian Theater in Las Vegas, also visiting such cities as Los Angeles (7/5), Seattle (7/8), Vancouver, B.C. (7/10), San Francisco (7/14), Phoenix (7/2), and Denver (7/23). The tour will wrap Sept. 13 at Toronto's Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. - Billboard, 5/4/16...... The Philly soul songwriting team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff are set to be honored on May 6 in Nashville, Tenn., as part of the National Museum of African American Music's "My Music Matters" Week celebration. At a gathering at Warner Music Nashville the previous evening, the duo described how they approached songwriting. "We'd just sit down every day and just talk and laugh," Kenny Gamble said. "And something might come up where we're looking at the news (and one of us would say), 'The world is so crazy, they need a love train.' Then we'd say, 'Uh oh! We got one!' So then we'd go to the piano and stomp it out." As the songwriting and production partners at Philadelphia International Records, Gamble and Huff are responsible for more than 800 mostly R&B cuts, including such classics as "Love Train," "Me and Mrs. Jones," "For the Love of Money" and "If You Don't Me By Now," and it has been estimated their music is played every 13.5 minutes somewhere in the world. - Billboard, 5/5/16...... Neil Young was among the headliners on the final day of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on May 1. As it had during much of the festival, rain bogged down much of day seven of the festival at Fair Grounds Race Course, with Young and his backing band Promise of the Real appearing at 3:15 p.m. After ten minutes of jamming out, Young played his first song, "F--kin' Up," from his 1990 LP Ragged Glory with Crazy Horse. Other numbers included the live favorites "Love and Only Love" and "Keep On Rockin' in the Free World" before the finale, "Powderfinger." Also appearing were Mavis Staples and the event's annual closing act, Trombone Shorty. - Billboard, 5/2/16...... The planned three-day fall concert extravaganza in Indio, Calif., featuring such acts as the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and the Who has been given a name, Desert Trip, and if it sells out as expected it could rake in a $50 million box-office gross. Set for Oct. 7-9 at the site of the Coachella festival, Desert Trip has a reported talent budget of over $35 million, with each day's show scheduled to start at sunset and feature a stadium-level set from each act. On the revenue side, reserved ticket prices for all three nights of the self-proclaimed "concert of the century" range from $699 to $1,599, and sources say there will be 30,000 reserved seats and 40,000 general-admission tickets, with the latter priced at $399. In early May, Dylan, McCartney, the Stones, the Who and Roger Waters all posted videos on their respective sites, making a cryptic reference to "October." The top headliners on the bill are guaranteed as much as $7 million each, with the possibility of a second weekend still being discussed. - Billboard, 5/5/16...... James Taylor helped commemorate the 125th anniversary of NYC's Carnegie Hall on May 5 by coheadlining a gala concert at the revered venue that also included performances by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman and singer/pianist Michael Feinstein. Taylor admitted he didn't remember his first Carnegie Hall gig some 40 years ago because "we celebrated...That's why I don't remember it that well," but it was "sort of cultural sign" that he had reached a certain level of stardom. The 68-year-old singer-songwriter sang the George Harrison-penned "Here Comes the Sun" accompanied by Yo-Yo Ma and paid tribute to Prince when he inserted "purple" before "rain" in "Shower the People." - Billboard, 5/6/16...... Sony/ATV, the current music publisher of the Beatles, has licensed a song by the Fab Four for use in China for the first time ever. The band's "Hey Jude" appears in Yesterday Once More, a coming-of-age film from noted Chinese director Yao Tingting. The nearly four-minute synch, which features the two Chinese leads singing the 1968 classic in English, commanded a six-figure sum, believed to be one of the highest fees ever paid for usage in China. Sony/ATV exec Esther Friedman noted that since the film is aimed at a younger demographic with its story of high school friends grappling with the complexities of first loves, it can help introduce the Beatles' music to a new audience. "That always plays into the decision," she adds. "It was a compelling reason to say yes to this one." - Billboard, 5/5/16...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney met two African American women who helped inspire his 1968 "The White Album" track "Blackbird" for the first time in Little Rock, Ark., where his One On One U.S. played on Apr. 30. Thelma Mothershed Wair, and her friend Elizabeth Eckford, were members of the "Little Rock Nine" who were enrolled at the previously all-white Little Rock Central High School in 1957 after the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education ruling declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional. The nine were initially prevented from entering the school when Arkansas' governor, Orval Faubus, called out the National Guard to block them before Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower sent federal troops to ensure they could attend classes. The students were credited with introducing a young McCartney to the civil rights struggle and inspiring the poignant lyrics to "Blackbird." "Incredible to meet two of the Little Rock Nine--pioneers of the civil rights movement and inspiration for Blackbird. pic.twitter.com/QrnOQnqrFX," McCartney posted on Twitter on May 1. As Paul's tour visited Minneapolis on May 4, the Beatles legend paid tribute to Prince by covering "Let's Go Crazy" in the late music icon's hometown. During the first gig of a two-night stand at the Target Center, Macca told the crowd, "Thank you Minneapolis, thank you Prince," after ripping off a double-time version of "Let's Go Crazy" in front of a projection of Prince's iconic love symbol. Earlier in the show McCartney announced he was dedicating the show to Prince and described spending New Year's Eve with the "Purple Rain" singer at a show in St. Barts. "I've been a fan of Prince's a long time, and I've been to many of his concerts in London," McCartney said. "But I was very lucky this New Year's Eve. He played a little show in a little club, and I happened to be there, so we saw the new year in together. It was beautiful. God bless you, Prince!" - Billboard, 5/2/16...... Meanwhile, Prince's 1984 song "Purple Rain" has topped Billboard's Hot Rock Songs chart for the week dated May 14 after his unexpected Apr. 21 passing. Other Prince songs also appear in the top 10, including "When Doves Cry" (No. 2), "Little Red Corvette" (No. 4), "Let's Go Crazy" (No. 5), "Darling Nikki" (No. 9) and his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony rendition of the Beatles's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (No. 10). Prince has also set a record on the Billboard charts by being the first act to concurrently chart five albums in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 200 since the list merged its previously separate mono and stereo albums charts into one overall list in 1963. The artist is found at Nos. 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 with The Very Best of Prince, Purple Rain, The Hits/The B-Sides, Ultimate and 1999, respectively. In total, Prince has a record 19 albums on the list. - Billboard, 5/5/16...... A new documentary based on music mogul Clive Davis's 2013 New York Times-bestselling memoir The Soundtrack of My Life will feature contributions from such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Pattie Smith and the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir. A sneak peak of Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives was presented in the form of a 10-minute reel of early footage from the film on Apr. 16 at New York's Cutting Room during a first-ever Arista Records reunion party of artists Davis had signed when he helmed the label. "It's very special to see because I didn't know who [would participate] in the film," Davis, 84, said at the event. - Billboard, 5/5/16...... Pink Floyd announced on May 6 that they will reissue their entire back catalog on vinyl this summer, starting in June with the first four full-length Floyd LPs (1967's The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, 1968's A Saucerful of Secrets, 1969's More soundtrack and the Ummagumma double album). These will be released on 180-gram vinyl on June 3, with the original packaging replicated for each release. The rest of the band's discography will be reissued at several intervals throughout 2016 on the band's own Pink Floyd Records, in association with Columbia Records. - New Musical Express, 5/6/16...... Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose appeared with members of AC/DC for the first time in a promotional video in advance of the group's debut show together in Lisbon, Portugal on May 7. Seated on high stools in a large rehearsal space/airplane hangar, the trio gave a very brief preview of their unlikely union in the 17-second clip. "Lisbon here we come," said AC/DC guitarist Angus Young. "You know we're really excited to be here in Portugal. We're here to give you a great rock show so we hope to see you all there." Rose sat silent as Young talked then, after an awkward pause, added "absolutely, we're very excited to be there." AC/DC's Cliff Williams then chimed in with, "we'll see you on Saturday!" The concert markes the first time Rose will take the stage with the Aussie hard rockers, standing in for singer Brian Johnson, who is sitting out the remainder of AC/DC's Rock or Bust world tour after doctors advised him against performing over fears that he could suffer permanent hearing loss. Current plans calls for Rose to play 12 European dates with AC/DC before the band returns to Australia to prep for its summer Not In This Lifetime stadium tour. Meanwhile, around 7,000 AC/DC fans in Belgium have reportedly requested a refund for an AC/DC concert in Werchter on May 16 due to being unhappy with Rose replacing the ailing Johnson in the band. The local newspaper De Standaard reported that 7,000 tickets were refunded for the gig and placed on sale again. - Billboard/NME, 5/5/16...... Organizers of the upcoming Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in England have announced they will erect a David Bowie/Alladin San-inspired lightning bolt over the Pyramid Stage as the fest takes place over the fourth weekend in June. This follows a previous announcement in February that an entire set of Bowie's 2000 Glastonbury set will be screened for the crowd, and fans are also planning a "mass singalong" to pay homage to Bowie. On June 25, an orchestral tribute to Bowie set to a light show is also planned. Plans are also in the works for a Glastonbury tribute to Prince. - Billboard, 5/5/16..... In other David Bowie news, fans are still uncovering hidden secrets in the singer's swan song LP, Blackstar, four months after its release. Under certain conditions, the black paper beneath the vinyl LP coverÕs cut-out star design alters to reveal a smattering of stars in a black sky, as if from an actual NASA photograph. Fans began to post their discovery on social media, and BowieÕs son, filmmaker Duncan Jones, shared it with the masses. - Billboard, 5/4/16...... Speaking at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles on May 3, Cher told the audience she thinks "our government can't find its ass with both hands, and a map and a GPS." But Cher, who is generally perceived as a liberal, acknowledged that she trusts government more than private business when it comes to water. "It was just, 'we need to make money. These people are poor, so we don't care'," Cher said in reference to the current water crisis in Flint, Mich. Cher, who tweeted in January that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is "a murderer who should be executed," said at the conference that those remarks may have "jumped the shark," and merely said that Gov. Snyder is "not part of the solution" while praising Flint mayor Karen Weaver, who was unable to attend the event due to a meeting with Pres. Barack Obama. - Billboard, 5/4/16...... A bluegrass version of the J. Geils Band classic "Love Stinks" is just one of the welcome surprises on former frontman Peter Wolf's latest solo LP, A Cure for Loneliness. A superbly rugged album that rambles through various strains of roots music, the set also has Wolf infusing it all with his own lanky-boned rock & roll spirit. Highlights include "It's Raining," an R&B ballad he wrote with the late Don Covay, and Wolf's rendition of the vintage Moe Bandy honky-tonk heartbreak lament "It Was Always So Easy to Find an Unhappy Woman," which hits the sweet spot where Nashville meets the Bronx. - Rolling Stone, 4/21/16...... An attorney for rock & roll legend Little Richard is denying recent rumors on the Internet that the 83-year-old singer is in poor health and "clinging to life." "I just spoke to him today," Little Richard's attorney William Sobel told Rolling Stone. "He said, 'You know, I want you to talk to [the press] because I'm really annoyed. This thing started on Facebook. Not only is my family not gathering around me because I'm ill, but I'm still singing. I don't perform like I used to, but I have my singing voice, I walk around, I had hip surgery a while ago but I'm healthy.'" Little Richard, who was inducted into the first ever Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, has taken a step back from the limelight recently and hasn't performed live in the past two years. Also, his friend Bootsy Collins had posted on Facebook that Richard was "not in the best of health" and that he "needs our love [and] understanding right now." - NME, 5/4/16...... Dolly Parton has announced she plans to renew her vows to husband Carl Dean on the couple's 50th wedding anniversary on May 30 in the kind of ceremony the two couldn't afford the first time around. As the story goes, Parton met Dean in a Wishy Washy Laundromat on the day that Parton moved to Nashville in 1964. The two were married in Ringgold, Ga., on May 30, 1966, with only Parton's mother as a witness. Although the couple have rarely been photographed together through the years, Parton always has maintained that the two have a good marriage and Dean is simply a private person with no interest in the spotlight. Dean ran his own asphalt paving business in Nashville and rarely attended Parton's public events. Parton, who turned 70 in January, plans to sell the photos of her "wearing a beautiful wedding dress" as part of a benefit for her charity, the Imagination Library, which gives books to children each month. - USA Today, 5/5/16...... The producers of Sesame Street have threatened to send a cease and desist letter to a company for featuring Bert and Ernie in STD awareness ads. Mately, which sells at-home kits for HIV and STD testing, featured the chummy duo in an ad campaign, and the Sesame Street makers say this is an unauthorized use of their famous puppets. The company responded saying it "got the message loud and clear" and has now removed all Bert and Ernie images from its site. "There was no intent to tarnish the Sesame Street brand," it said. Previously, Sesame Street has already had to clarify that Bert and Ernie are not gay and "do not have a sexual orientation." - Jezebel.com, 5/4/16.
Friday, May 6, 2016
Graham Nash has scored his highest charting solo album since 1974 with his new studio effort This Path Tonight. Debuting on the Billboard Hot 200 at No. 93, the LP is Nash's first solo studio album since 2002 and his highest charting since 1974's Wild Tales, which rose to No. 34. Bonnie Raitt's latest album, Dig in Deep, has bowed at No. 100 on the chart by selling 6,000 units in pure album sales, only 1,000 less than Nash's album. Other '70s artists on the album charts include Ace Frehley, whose Origins, Vol. 1 has risen to No. 23, and Marie Osmond with her new LP Music Is Medicine, which has hit No. 10 on the Top Country Albums chart. It's her first solo top 10 on the tally since 1974's In My Little Corner of the World peaked at No. 10 that year. - Billboard, 4/29/16...... A new Beatles exhibition dubbed "The Magical History Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition" began a 21-week run at The Henry Ford museum in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn on Apr. 30. Boasting 10,000 square feet of Fab Four memorabilia with more than 150 artifacts from the collection of Peter Miniaci & Associates, a Beatles memorabilia specialty firm, the exhibit interactive displays designed to give visitors a "unique approach" to the Beatles story, according to exhibit designer Geoffrey Curley. Although the exhibit hasn't been sanctioned by the Beatles and their Apple Corps., they're not standing in its way. "They basically, for all intents and purposes, said 'Good luck,'" said a rep for the St. Paul, Minn.-based Exhibits Development Group, which is producing the exhibit. The exhibit is set to run through Sept. 18, and is next slated for the Putnam Museum in Davenport, Iowa starting March 9, 2017. - Billboard, 4/29/16...... At an all-star concert celebrating International Jazz Day at the White House in Washington on Apr. 30, Aretha Franklin paid tribute to Prince by performing the rock/funk legend's "Purple Rain." "He was definitely an original and a one-of-a-kind. There was truly only one Prince. He put his stamp [on his sound]," said Franklin, who earlier kicked off the proceedings with a performance of "A Song For You." Also performing at the event were Sting and Herbie Hancock, among others. Meanwhile, investigators in Minnesota are looking into whether Prince died from an overdose and whether a doctor was prescribing him drugs in the weeks before he was found dead at his home in suburban Minneapolis on Apr. 21. Authorities are reportedly interested in whether a doctor was on a plane carrying Prince from his final concert in Atlanta to his home that made an emergency landing in Illinois on Apr. 15, less than a week before he died. Prince's plane made an emergency stop in Moline, in western Illinois, and he was found unconscious on the plane. Investigators are also looking into what kind of drugs were on the plane and at Prince's house in suburban Minneapolis, and they have also obtained a search warrant to collect evidence at Prince's Paisley Park estate. One official said investigators are looking at whether Prince overdosed on the plane and whether an overdose killed him, and at what kind of drugs were involved. One possibility is the powerful painkiller Percocet or something similar, the official said. As this occurs, the National Enquirer tabloid has published a story with an unidentified source who claims Prince had been suffering from AIDS before he died at age 57. The story claims Prince weighed just 80 lbs. by the time of his death, had been diagnosed with the crippling disease six months earlier, and had "preparing to die for a little while." "Doctors told Prince his blood count was unusually low and that his body temperature had dropped dangerously below the normal 98.6 degrees to 94 degrees," the source stated. "He was totally iron-deficient, very weak and often disoriented. He rarely ate and when he did, it all came right back up. His face was yellowish, the skin on his neck was hanging off and the tips of fingers were a brownish-yellow," the source added. Meanwhile on Apr. 26, Prince's sister Tyka Nelson filed papers at the Minnesota probate court that indicated Prince died without executing a will. With Prince's estate worth a reported $300 million by current estimates, tax experts say it could be paying up to half of that in taxes. Also on Apr. 26, AMC theaters announced Prince's 1984 film Purple Rain will be expanding into more than 200 of its theaters in the U.S. as a way of giving grieving fans continue to look for ways to celebrate his life and career. - New Musical Express/AP/The Daily Mail UK, 5/1/16...... Elvis Costello and the Impostors were among the headliners at New Orleans Jazz Fest on Apr. 28, the fourth day of the event. Costello and his band wasted no time getting into his greatest hits, kicking off with "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" and "Watching the Detectives," "Mystery Dance" and "Radio Radio." The second half of Costello's set was dedicated to his late friend and New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint, with performances of Toussaint's piano-driven "Ascension Day" and the Lee Dorsey-sung/Toussaint-penned classic "Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further?." - Billboard, 4/29/16...... A May 10 trial date has been set for a California jury to decide whether Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" unfairly borrowed from an instrumental track called "Taurus" by L.A. rockers Spirit that came three years before it. Apparently, lawyers representing Spirit are now willing to settle their case for the seemingly low price of one American dollar. The catch is, Zeppelin's Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, the co-writers of "Stairway to Heaven," would have to give songwriting credit to Spirit's Randy California, which would amount to much for than $1 towards the estate of the late California, who died in 1997. On April 25, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner decided the plaintiffs will not be able to present jurors with testimony involving Zeppelin's wealth and drug usage nor persuade them with evidence falling outside the original 1967 copyright of "Taurus." - Billboard, 4/27/16...... Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band wrapped the US leg of their The River tour on Apr. 25 at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. Attended by some 18,000 fans, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Springsteen and the band once again performed the 1980 double LP The River's 21 songs and 15 additional hits, which was, according to the Boss, the last time he and the band will perform The River from top to bottom. "Tonight this is going to be our last official performance of The River from start to finish... We're going to open up our set list overseas," Springsteen told the crowd. "We've had a great time performing this record for all of you. We hope you have enjoyed it in the United States. So let's go down to the River one more time and see what we find." The tour began on Jan. 16 in Pittsburgh. - Billboard, 4/26/16...... Bob Dylan has released a second track from his forthcoming second covers album of Frank Sinatra songs, Fallen Angels. "All the Way" follows "Melancholy Mood," which was unveiled in April. Fallen Angels, which also features the Sinatra standards "Young at Heart," "That Old Black Magic" and "Come Rain or Come Shine," drops on May 20. - NME, 4/29/16...... Elton John and Lady Gaga are partnering on a new line of exclusive fashion and accessories with a political bent called Love Bravery. According to a press release, Love Bravery will be "a high-spirited, limited-edition line of clothing and accessories that inspire compassion and combat prejudice" and will span several categories including shirts, sweats, outerwear, clutches, backpacks, scarves, beanies, keychains and pins. Sales will benefit the artists' respective charites, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Gaga's Born This Way Foundation. "I love the idea of fusing who you are on the inside -- your passions and dreams -- with what you wear on the outside," John said in the statement. - Billboard, 4/27/16...... On Apr. 29, Neil Young announced he will be releasing a new live album called EARTH that will feature recordings from his 2015 "The Monsanto Years" tour, along with the previously unreleased song "I Won't Quit." According to a press release, the album will also include highlights from Young's extensive discography, with new musical overdubs added to the mixes as well as a host of nature-inspired sounds including bears, birds, crickets, bees, horses, cows, and "sounds of the earth." Young will be playing the album in its entirety on May 6, ahead of its release on June 17, at the Natural History Museum Los Angeles County, as well as discussing the construction of the record. Meanwhile, Young's entire catalog -- 57 albums, including his 125-song Archives Volume I [1963 - 1972] set -- have been made available for streaming on the Tidal.com site. Tidal appears to have qualmed Young's well-known resistance to the inferior sound quality of streaming by offering a $19.99/month high-fidelity streaming option, which boasts better sound quality. But curiously, the catalog is also available via Tidal's standard (which it calls "premium") $9.99/month option, an about-face for the veteran rocker. In July 2015, Young posted on his website that "I don't need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution." - New Musical Express/Billboard, 4/29/16...... A life-size statue of late AC/DC frontman was unveiled over the UK bank holiday (Apr. 30-May 2) during the annual BonFest at the singer's Scottish hometown of Kirriemuir, Angus. A bronze statue honouring Scott was presented at the festival site after a two year-long crowdfunding campaign raised £45,000. The unveiling was led by former AC/DC bassist Mark Evans, who described it as "very emotional." "To have something like this that's been funded by the fans, the people that he held in his heart is just great. It's just fantastic, it's a really warming experience," he said. This was the tenth year of the BonFest, which also featured AC/DC tribute acts from around the world performing live. - New Musical Express, 4/29/16...... Debbie Harry of Blondie has joined the list of artists who are demanding changes to the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) in the U.S., which they say "threatens the continued viability of songwriters and recording artists to survive from the creation of music." On Dec. 31, the Copyright Office announced its intent to evaluate the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA, which -- to an extent -- protects internet service providers from third parties who illegally share content online. Other artists who are onboard demanding changes to the law include Billy Joel, Steven Tyler, Lionel Richie, Jon Bon Jovi, Pearl Jam, Katy Perry and Christina Aguilera. - Billboard, 4/25/16...... Tom Jones has spoken out for the first time since the death of his longtime wife Lady Melinda Rose Woodward, known as Linda, who passed away on Apr. 10. "A heartfelt Thank You to all who sent notes of their sympathy and support to me and my family over the last couple of weeks," the famous Welsh singer posted on his site. "So many beautiful and meaningful things were said, and reading these genuine and lovely messages has lifted us all. See you soon," he added. The pair married in 1957, both aged 16. Their only child, Mark, was born a month later. - NME, 4/28/16...... Canadian entrepreneur Philip Kives, the founder of the world-famous K-Tel brand and a pioneer of late-night television direct marketing, died of natural causes on Apr. 27 in Winnipeg, Canada. He was 87. With his products Veg-O-Matic, Dial-O-Matic, the Feather Touch Knife and the category-founding K-Tel music compilations, the Saskatchewan-born Mr. Kives virtually invented late night TV marketing after holding such jobs as taxi driver, short-order cook, and door-to-door salesman, even working as a "barker" on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. In the spring of 1962, Mr. Kives appeared on television for the first timing, presenting a live, late-night commercial selling teflon pans. Around four years later, he tried selling music on late night TV, selling compilations -- at that time a new format, and a new income stream for the record business. He started off with 25 Country Hits, following up with his first million-seller, 25 Polka Greats, according to his biography on the K-Tel website. In the late '60's Mr. Kives launched K-Tel and continued to sell both household appliances like the Miracle Brush, while beginning music compilation lines like Hooked On Classics. Along the way, the company built a large headquarters in Minneapolis, where it remained for many years. The site had a block named after it, K-Tel Drive, which is still there today. Sales grew from $23 million in 1971 to $178 million in 1981, according to his daughter Samantha Kives. "He had a profound effect on pop culture -- SNL and SCTV did skits on K-Tel." While K-tel initially began in the music business by putting together compilations of licensed hits and other music, it also began having original artists re-record their hits, but also bought the rights to some original versions of hits. Today, it has a catalog of 6,000 original hit recordings and re-recordings that are used to license for commercials and in movies. They are also available on most digital services too, with the company now run by Kives' children. Mr. Kives is survived by his wife, Ellie to whom he was married for 45 years; his children Samanta, Kelly and Danial; and three grandchildren. - Billboard, 4/29/16.
Sunday, May 1, 2016
On Apr. 21 Joe Walsh canceled a concert in Cleveland set for July 18 after learning that it had ties to the Republican National Convention as the GOP meets in the city to pick its presidential candidate. "It was my understanding that I was playing a concert which was a non-partisan event to benefit the families of American veterans on Monday, July 18 in Cleveland," Walsh posted on his website. "The admat I approved said this specifically. Today it was announced that this event is, in fact, a launch for the Republican National Convention. In addition, my name is to be used to raise sponsorship dollars for convention-related purposes. Therefore, I must humbly withdraw my participation in this event with apologies to any fans or veterans and their families that I might disappoint." Walsh, who launches a 25-date tour with Bad Company on May 12 in Dallas, added that he is "very concerned about the rampant vitriol, fear-mongering and bullying coming from the current Republican campaigns." "It is both isolationist and spiteful. I cannot in good conscience endorse the Republican party in any way. I will look at doing a veteran related benefit concert later this year," he added. - Billboard, 4/21/16...... The Midwest Medical Examiner's Office in Minneapolis, Minn., announced on Apr. 22 that it had completed an autopsy on Prince, who shockingly died the previous day at the age of 57, but the results will likely not be released for several weeks. Prince was found dead in his Chanhassen, Minn., compound, slumped unconscious in an elevator, and was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m. (11:07 EST), about 15 minutes after emergency personnel responded to a call for help. Medical personnel were unable to revive the Grammy-winning musical icon, who performed his final show at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta on April 14. He was then secretly cremated in an intimate ceremony at a nondescript funeral home in Minneapolis shortly after the autopsy was completed. Britain's The Daily Mail paper is reporting that Prince's longtime drug dealer, who asked to be named only as "Doctor D," said Prince had a "secret major drug addiction" and would spend up to $40,000 a time on six-month supplies of Dilaudid pills and Fentanyl patches -- both highly addictive opioid pain killers -- and according to sources Prince overdosed on the opiate Percocet. Doctor D said the musician regularly bought drugs from him between 1984 and 2008, and that Prince suffered crippling stage fright and could not get on stage and perform without the drugs -- but had a phobia of doctors so could not obtain a prescription legally. "He needed the drugs because he was so nervous -- he could be nervous in a room with just five people in it. He was scared to go out in public, he was scared to talk to people and didn't like to go on stage -- he had the worst case of stage fright I'd ever seen," the drug dealer added. On Apr. 23, Prince was remembered at a private memorial service held at his Paisley Park estate, with family, representatives and friends handing out purple hat boxes to well wishers and friends including Sheila E at the gates. Meanwhile, Prince's 1984 smash "Purple Rain" has returned to the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, as well as the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Five of his tracks also appear on the Hot Rock Songs chart. Prince also claims the Nos. 1 and 2 spots on the Billboard Hot 200 albums chart with his The Very Best of Prince and Purple Rain soundtrack, respectively. Also AMC Theatres has announced the Purple Rain film will play in 87 of its theaters across the US on Apr. 23 through Apr. 28. Musicians paying tribute to the legendary musician include Bruce Springsteen, who sang "Purple Rain" at a concert at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Apr. 23, and David Gilmour, who suprised the crowd during a London concert on Apr. 24 by mashing up "Comfortably Numb" with "Purple Rain." - Billboard/New Musical Express, 4/25/16...... Although Peter Frampton says he thinks recent controversial anti-LGBT laws that have been passed in Mississippi and North Carolina are "absurd," he is defending his decision to go ahead with scheduled concerts in those states, citing a need to honor his commitment to fans who have already purchased tickets. "Performing live has been one of the most important opportunities I've been given and I am lucky to share my music with so many of my amazing, loyal and diverse fans," Frampton said in a recent interview with Rolling Stone. "My band and I will uphold our commitment to play our scheduled shows there this summer and honor fans who have already purchased tickets and/or made travel plans." However Frampton says he has no intention of playing those two states in the future, unless they reconsider the laws. "We will not play again until these laws are changed... I will be making a donation in support of the rights and protections of the LGBTQ community." Frampton joins several other artists, including Gregg Allman and Jimmy Buffett, who have also chosen not to cancel their concerts, but are speaking out about the controversial laws. - Billboard, 4/22/16...... Kraftwerk has announced it will launch a new run of 3D concerts in the US this fall, beginning on Sept. 3 in North Bethesda, Maryland. In 2015, the German electronic pioneers played 12 dates of 3D shows in America in smaller markets like Portland, Calgary and Nashville. Kraftwerk will also be visiting Atlanta (9/3), Memphis (9/6), New Orleans (9/8), Dallas (9/10), San Antonio (9/12), Phoenix (9/15), and San Diego (9/16) before wrapping in Los Angeles on Sept. 18. The band is also set to headline the Movement Electronic Music Festival from May 28-30 in Detroit, Mich. - Billboard, 4/25/16...... Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire wrapped their joint Heart and Soul tour at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Apr. 18. The two acts. Speaking about Chicago's recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, frontman Robert Lamm joked to the crowd that "I have a feeling it's thanks to the Chicago-style voting: five people voting 37 million times." The most moving portion of the concert, though, was EW&F's tribute to the group's recently deceased founder Maurice White. As the band played "In the Marketplace (Interlude)," a picture of White was projected on the background. - Billboard, 4/21/16...... ZZ Top has put its North American tour on hold as bassist Dusty Hill recuperates from a fractured shoulder he sustained before an Apr. 14 show in Lubbock, Texas. Hill, according to a statement from the band, tripped on a dimly-lit step while walking to the stage for the show, and Hill says his doctors are "doing their best to get me back in the game as soon as possible." Since the injury, ZZ Top canceled its April 15 show in Shawnee, Okla. and will not be able to perform again until a May 28 festival date in Frisco, Tex. - Billboard, 4/20/16...... Legendary music producer Phil Spector, who is currently serving a 19 years to life sentence at the California Health Care Facility in Stockton, Calif., for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson, has allegedly filed for divorce from his wife Rachelle Short, amid reports that she is spending all of his estimated $35 million fortune. Spector, who will be 88 before he is eligible for parole, filed legal documents on Apr. 22 alleging that Short has been "spending like a mad woman," with a list of extravagant purchases that included a $350,000 airplane, an Aston Martin and a Ferrari. Short has also apparently treated herself to expensive plastic surgery and jewellery, as well as buying her mother two homes. In addition, Short has reportedly only given Spector a $300-a-month stipend during his time behind bars. Spector cited irreconcilable differences in the divorce papers, and also has requested that his daughter Nicole control his fortune. - WENN.com, 4/23/16...... A rare version of David Bowie's Hunky Dory album is expected to fetch £36,000 at auction when it goes up for sale in late April. The record in question is an acetate disc created after the album was mastered but before it was released to the public as a finished vinyl. It was used as the precursor for a limited run of 500 promotional copies of Bowie's 1971 fourth album. Versions of this white label record, which is known amongst collectors as the 'BOWPROMO' are themselves tremendously valuable, with one selling for around $10,000 on eBay in 2012. The acetate was owned by late Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson, who played with Bowie's backing band at the time, before being passed through family and friends until it arriving in the hands of its current owner, Dennis Graham, in 1973. "It's quite a funny story on how I came to own it," Graham says. "The record had been given to my neighbour as a gift from Mick Ronson's mum and he ended up giving it to me in exchange for a bottle of beer! I kept it for all these years and it's unbelievable to see how much it's now worth." - NME, 4/22/16...... The Who's Roger Daltrey has confirmed that the Who will definitely be playing an upcoming "mega festval" in Indio, Calif., this year between Oct. 7-9, along with such icons as Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Roger Waters and the Rolling Stones. "I think it's us and Roger Waters on the same day," Daltrey told Canada's Postmedia Network. "It's a fantastic idea for a festival. It's the greatest remains of our era." Daltrey also weighed in on the recent announcement that Guns 'N Roses singer Axl Rose will be joining the band to replace vocalist Brian Johnson on the the remainder of AC/DC's Rock or Bust World Tour after Johnson was forced to retire from performing music for good or face permanent hearing loss. "I mean, go and see karaoke with Axl Rose? Give me a break," Daltrey said. In another recent interview with the London Free Press, Daltrey said that he "really feels badly for Brian" and that "it must be heartbreaking for him after all the service he's given that band over the years." "I thought their farewell statement to the press and to Brian was fairly curt to say the least. I felt for him. That must have hurt," he added. Meanwhile, the singer of an AC/DC tribute band called Thunderstruck is claiming he was auditioned by AC/DC to be their new frontman. Thunderstruck's Lee Robinson recently told Blabbermouth that the band flew him into Atlanta during March to audition for them. He says AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams had found out about the tribute act after stumbling upon Youtube clips of their performances. - New Musial Express, 4/22/16...... '70s soul singer Billy Paul, best known for his No. 1 1972 single "Me and Mrs. Jones," died on Apr. 24 at his home in Blackwood, N.J., after what a statement described as a "serious medical condition." He was 82. Born Billy Paul Williams in Philadephia on Dec. 1, 1934, Mr. Paul began singing at an early age, even sharing a bill at Club Harlem in Philadelphia with Charlie Parker when he was only 16 years old, later saying he "learned in a week what would normally take two years to pick up" thanks to Parker. His recording of "Me and Mrs. Jones" topped the Hot 100 in late 1972, and it earned the singer a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male in 1973. The single was written by the hit Philly songwriting team of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, who also wrote and produced albums for Mr. Paul including Ebony Woman and Going East. Later in his career, Mr. Paul sued Gamble and Huff and other industry officials over unpaid royalties, and was awarded $500,000. Throughout his career, Mr. Paul released 15 albums, the most recent being 1988's Wide Open. His manager, Beverly Gay, said the musician had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and hospitalized during the previous week at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. A statement on his website called him a "pioneer of today's R&B music [who] will be truly missed." Gamble and Huff released a statement upon hearing of Mr. Paul's passing, calling "Me and Mrs. Jones" "one of the greatest love songs ever recorded" and their recording of the song with Mr. Paul "our proudest moment." "He was one of the greatest musicians ever to come out of Philadelphia," the duo added. - Billboard, 4/24/16...... Lonnie Mack, a veteran guitarist whose instrumental recordings influenced guitar players including Stevie Ray Vaughan, died in a Nashville, Tenn., hospital on Apr. 21 of natural causes. He was 74. Born Lonnie McIntosh in West Harrison, Indiana, Mack played sessions for record labels in Cincinnati with blues and R&B greats such as James Brown, Hank Ballard and Freddie King. Mack's 1963 recording of Chuck Berry's "Memphis" became a radio hit, and he followed that with "Wham!," which inspired the nickname "whammy bar" for the tremolo bar he had on his Gibson Flying V. - AP, 4/22/16.
Tuesday, April 22, 2016
Prince, a music icon who became known as one of the most flamboyant, controversial and influential artists of the 1980s and beyond, died on Apr. 21 of as yet undisclosed causes at his Paisley Park recording studio on his Chanhassen, Minn. estate. He was 57. Prince had reportedly been hospitalized on Apr. 14 when his private plane, enroute to Minnesota after concerts in Atlanta, Ga., was forced to make an emergency landing in Moline, Ill., where he was taken by ambulance to the hospital but discharged a few hours later and returned home by plane. His publicist later revealed that he had been suffering from "flu-like symptoms." The following day, Prince was spotted riding his bicycle around town and hosted an all-night dance party at Paisley Park, his last public appearance. Born Prince Rogers Nelson (his father, jazz pianist John Nelson, was a member of the Prince Roger Trio) on June 7, 1958, Prince was raised in Minneapolis and secured a long-term contract with Warner Bros. Records in the late 1970s. The promotional tour for his fifth studio album 1999 album, released in 1982, featured a special revue troupe, Prince and the Revolution, replacing his original backing band. His single "Little Red Corvette" gained significant airplay on MTV as he began work on the Purple Rain film, a glamourized autobiographical piece in which he would star. "When Doves Cry," from the soundtrack, became the first Prince song to top the US charts, and he followed up with two additional strong singles, "Let's Go Crazy" and "Purple Rain" (numbers 1 and 2 respectively), further establishing him as one of the premiere acts of the '80s. His later releases include the quasi-psychedelic Around the World in a Day (1985), Parade (1986), Sign 'O the Times (1987), Lovesexy (1988), Graffiti Bridge (1990), Diamonds and Pearls (1991) and the 1992 Love Symbol Album, which introduced the cryptic "symbol" that he would legally adapt as his name in the following year. After entering into a protracted legal battle with his record label, Warner Bros., Prince abandoned the special moniker in Sept. 1993, becoming "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince," for which he suffered widespread ridicule. After "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" in 1995 became his bestselling single in years, Prince sacked his New Power Generation band in 1996 and announced that he would not be touring, preferring to spend more time with his wife and new baby (who tragically died months after birth). Prince celebrated his release from his Warner Bros. contract with the sprawling Emancipation release, and another 4-CD set, Crystal Ball, was initially sold over the Internet before being released to distributors. In May 2000, Prince announced he had reverted back to his original moniker. Over his 35-plus-year career, Prince released 39 solo studio albums, and his influence stretches from pop to R&B to funk to hip-hop. The artist, a 7-time Grammy winner, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 (his first year of eligibility), and in 2007 he delivered an acclaimed Super Bowl half-time performance, hailed by some as the best Super Bowl performance ever. Pres. Barack Obama released a statement after hearing of the music icon's death, calling him "one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time [who] did it all." - Billboard, 4/21/16.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Howard Weitzman, the lead attorney for Michael Jackson's estate in the upcoming tax court battle in 2017 over how much money Jackson's estate owes the Internal Revenue Service in estate taxes, has spoken publicly for the first time about the case. Weitzman says both sides haven't exchanged much information so far and the IRS hasn't explained how its independent auditor determined its huge valuation against Jackson's estate, which could be worth more than $1 billion with interest and penalties. Some tax specialists even wonder if it could lead to criminal tax evasion charges, and the outcome of the case could impact celebrity estate planning for years to come. "This is the biggest estate tax case I've ever seen," says attorney and tax specialist Gary Wolfe. Jackson estate executors John Branca and John McClain have overseen a remarkable turnaround in the value of the estate after Jackson's 2009 death, with the 2009 documentary This Is It grossing $261 million, a Cirque du Soleil tribute show that packs in fans, and the release of posthumous Jackson albums, video games and other lucrative memorials. Weitzman says he estimates that Jackson earned no more than $50 million from the licensing of his name and image when the pop star was alive, even during the Thriller heyday. "It seems preposterous that the IRS would arrive at a value 10 times this amount," Weitzman says. "This is bizarre." - The Hollywood Reporter, 4/20/16...... An 18-disc box set of Jerry Lee Lewis' work at the legendary Sun Records in Memphis, Tenn., At Sun Records: The Collected Works, has been released by German-based Bear Family Records. "It's the first genuine attempt to chronicle absolutely everything that could be found of Jerry Lee Lewis at work, on his own account, in the Sun studios," says the set's co-producer Andrew McRae. Lewis recorded for the label between 1956 and 1963, cutting a total of 623 tracks for label. The set also included two 300-page books with many never before published photos of "The Killer." - Billboard, 4/19/16...... Tom Waits has penned a moving tribute to late country music great Merle Haggard in the new Rolling Stone magazine. "When I was a teenager I was listening to songs like they were books and studied them to learn how to write songs of my own. Who ever thought that something great could come out of Bakersfield? It made me feel a whole lot better about living in a place called National City," writes Waits, who grew up around San Diego, not far from where Haggard was born. "[Merle]'s voice was golden, writes Waits, and his songs were "lived in, broke in and filled with longing -- his last name will always be an adjective," Waits added. "Merle's songs are train-like... lonesome, well made and hard as hell. May they always keep moving." Meanwhile, Merle Haggard's life story, which began in a converted boxcar, included time in San Quentin prison and flourished into a Hall of Fame country music career, could become the subject of a new biopic. A script, named "Done It All" after one of the Hag's songs, has reportedly been completed by Cliff Hollingsworth, who wrote the screenplay for the Oscar-nominated James Braddock boxing biopic Cinderella Man. Haggard died in Palo Cedro, Calif. of pneumonia on Apr. 6, his 79th birthday. - Billboard, 4/20/16...... Classic rockers Boston have become the latest act to cancel concerts in North Carolina because of the state's new law on LGBT rights. "[The law] has the appearance of an oppressive discriminatory law against a small minority," Boston guitarist Tom Scholz posted on his Facebook page on Apr. 18. "And other aspects of the law arguably encourage bigotry," he added. Boston had been scheduled to play in Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh in early May. North Carolina's legislature recently overturned an ordinance by the city of Charlotte that would have allowed transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity, and blocked all other cities and counties from passing similar rules against discrimination. - AP, 4/18/16...... As his One on One Tour hit Seattle on Apr. 17, Paul McCartney brought out Seattle's own Krist Novoselic, formerly of Nirvana, to jam on the Beatles classic "Helter Skelter. Novoselic, who has performed with McCartney previously at the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy and on Saturday Night Live, also provided some backing vocals on the song. In other McCartney news, the origins of a "mysterious" house remix of McCartney's 1973 Wings track "Nineteen Hundred And Eighty-Five" have been revealed. A limited pressing of 300 white labels of the remix was made available on the Phonica Records website on Mar. 31 and soon sold out, with some copies fetching upwards of $400 on eBay. After McCartney's Twitter account linked to a web article about the remix, fans begin to speculate that it had been officially commissioned by the ex-Beatle, but now producers Timo Maas and James Teej have claimed the remix as their handiwork, explaining that they released it with McCartney's full approval. According to Billboard, Timo Maas said that he actually started work on the remix in 2009, but set it aside because he "never fully succeeded in working the parts to a point where I really felt the end result was worth passing along." After he and his parter Teej worked on the song again in 2015, Maas said the pair were happy enough with their remix to send it to McCartney for approval, and he "thought it was very cool" and gave them the green light to put it out. "That will forever be the biggest moment of my music career and words can't express how it felt to have him personally approve the remix," Mass said. - Billboard, 4/19/16...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, the Beatles U.S. chart records for the most number of weeks spent at No. 1 has been broken by singer Rhianna, whose recent hit "Work," featuring Drake, is currently top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts for the ninth week running, giving her an overall tally of 60 weeks' worth of No. 1 songs. That is one more week at the summit than the Beatles' overall total in America. - New Musical Express, 4/19/16...... The London Sunday Times has named Elton John as the most charitable British musician in 2015, with the Rocket Man handing out £26.8 million ($38 million) to charitable causes that year, with much of it benefiting Aids foundations on both sides of the Atlantic. Other '70s artists making the list included Ringo Starr, who raised and donated more than £6 million ($8.5 million) through an auction of Beatles memorabilia, at No. 6, and Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor, who each donated £1.1 million ($2.4 million) to charity. - Billboard, 4/19/16.............................................. Music from the late '80s/early '90s "supergroup" The Traveling Wilburys will finally be available for streaming for the first time in June under a new licensing agreement between the group and Concord Bicycle Music for both physical and digital reissues. The band -- composed of George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne -- formed in 1988 and released two albums on Warner Bros., 1988's Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 and 1990's Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3 (recorded after Orbison's death). Vol. 1 reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200, while Vol. 3 peaked at No. 11. Concord Bicycle Music will also rerelease the box set The Traveling Wilburys Collection, which was originally released by Rhino Records in 2007. The new Traveling Wilburys Collection, which includes Vol. 1 and Vol. 3, bonus tracks and a DVD, comes in several formats: a limited deluxe edition; a numbered 2-CD, 1-DVD box set; a 3 LP deluxe 180-gram vinyl box, a standard 2-CD set; a 1-DVD package; and as high-resolution downloads. Earlier in 2016, Concord Bicycle's publishing arm, Bicycle Music Company, entered into an exclusive worldwide agreement with the estate of George Harrison for his Harrisongs catalog, which includes much of his Beatles work, his solo material, and his contributions to the Traveling Wilburys' albums. - Billboard, 4/18/16...... Aretha Franklin says she's now "ready to sign" for a biopic deal that's been in development since at least 2011. The 74-year-old Queen of Soul, who made the announcement on Apr. 14 at her birthday party at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, says there's "very little left now [to negotiate], very little. They have given me creative control and that's all I wanted." Negotiations for a film have been in the works since at least 2011, when Franklin admitted she wanted Halle Berry to play her. Five years later, Jennifer Hudson is reportedly now set to play the legendary Memphis-born singer, who has won a staggering 18 Grammy Awards charted 77 songs on the US hit parade. Scott Bernstein, who produced the acclaimed NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton movie, will be working with Aretha on the movie. - AP, 4/18/16...... In a new interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Paul Simon revealed that he is "no longer on speaking terms" with Art Garfunkel. When asked whether the duo would ever play together again, Simon said: "No, out of the question. We don't even talk." Simon's remarks come after Garfunkel called him an "idiot" and a "jerk" in 2015 and said he "created a monster" when he became his friend in grade school. Simon also said he thinks the reason most people come to his concerts is they want to hear his 1998 hit "You Can Cal Me Al." "They wanna hear 'You Can Call Me Al,'" he says. "So I play it. It's not like I would pick out 'You Can Call Me Al' and play it because I really want to, but people like it so much that I'm like, 'Of course I'll do it.' I'll play 'Me and Julio [Down by the Schoolyard]' too, though I actually like 'Me and Julio.'" Simon will release his 13th solo album, Stranger to Stranger, on June 3. - NME, 4/19/16...... AC/DC announced on Apr. 16 that Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose will be handling lead vocal duties in the band for Brian Johnson, who had to bow out from touring due to hearing issues. "AC/DC band members would like to thank Brian Johnson for his contributions and dedication to the band throughout the years. We wish him all the best with his hearing issues and future ventures," the band said in a statement. "As much as we want this tour to end as it started, we understand, respect and support Brian's decision to stop touring and save his hearing. We are dedicated to fulfilling the remainder of our touring commitments to everyone that has supported us over the years, and are fortunate that Axl Rose has kindly offered his support to help us fulfill this commitment," they added. Rose reportedly met with Angus Young and other band members in Miami and Atlanta earlier in the year to discuss his joining the band, despite his commitments to Guns N' Roses' summer touring schedule. AC/DC is also considering having other singers, including Sebastion Back of Skid Row and Nic Cester of the Aussie band Jet, alternate with Rose when the band resumes its Rock or Bust European tour on May 7 in Lisbon, Portugal. The 12-date European tour leg is set to wrap June 12 in Aarhus, Denmark. - Billboard, 4/16/16...... A notebook used by Freddie Mercury towards the end of his life and containing the final Queen lyrics is set to be auctioned by Bonhams of London on June 29. The notebook includes Mercury's lyrics to "Too Much Love Will Kill You" and "The Show Must Go On," among other songs, and has an estimate price of £50,000-£70,000. Mercury and Queen recorded "The Show Must Go On" just six weeks before his untimely death at the age of 45 in Nov. 1991. "There are plenty of collectors out there who I'm sure would love to have this -- it's because it is so personal, he had it there with him for nearly three years. It gives you a really close connection," a Bonham's spokesman said. Meanwhile, a new survey has found that Freddie Mercury pushed his voice to its limits - and his vocal cords vibrated more and moved faster than his peers, even those of the powerful opera singer Luciano Pavarotti. A scholarly paper published in Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology studied 23 Queen songs as well as the Freddie Mercury: The Solo Collection boxset, and hypothesised that Mercury was actually a baritone singing as a tenor and that he showed instances of "subharmonic vibration," the phenomenon of "a sound production system driven to its limits." While Mercury's vocal range was deemed "normal for a healthy adult," the study showed that the singer's vocal cords vibrated more and moved faster than his peers, even more than that of Pavarotti. - NME, 4/20/16...... Former Kiss lead guitarist Ace Frehley was admitted to a Wilkes-Barre, Pa., hospital on Apr. 15 after playing a gig in the city earlier in the evening after complaining of exhaustion and dehydration. A message posted on Frehley's website the following day said he "reluctantly" agreed to cancel a sold-out show that evening in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Frehley, 64, said in March that he's "leaving the door open" to joining the original Kiss line-up, which he was a member of from 1973-1982, later rejoining in 1996 for a reunion tour and departing agan in 2002. Frehley said that while the idea "hasn't been discussed" (band principals Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have been quoted as saying "We'll never work with Ace again"), Frehley says "they also said that before the reunion tour in '96. So who knows?" "Who knows what the future will bring? If it did happen at some point... it'd be magical if it was handled right," he said. Meanwhile, shoulder surgery has prevented Paul Stanley from performing with Kiss during the band's headlining gig at the 23rd annual Race to Erase MS fundraising gala held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles on Apr. 15. "Tore my bicep tendon. Surgery reattached it with a screw and stitches to anchor in place. Not much I can do now!" Stanley wrote on Facebook and Twitter, before adding: "Thanks to my AMAZING doctor I WILL be great & ready to rock WAAAAYYYY before the tour!" Earlier in April, Kiss announced they'll begin a 5-date summer "Freedom to Rock" Tour of the U.S. on July 7 in Boise, Idaho. - AP/NME, 4/16/16...... It appears Bruce Springsteen's 24-year-old daughter Jessica Springsteen, a horse riding enthusiast, will not participating in the 2016 Olympics, as her name did not make the shortlist of the United States Equestrian Federation's top 10 riders to make the summer's Olympic team. Jessica represented the United States as an alternate rider in the 2012 Summer Olympics, and was the winner of the American Gold Cup in 2014 and a featured model as Gucci's equestrian ambassador. Earlier this year, her parents Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa hosted a fundraiser for the team, raising $1.5 million. - Billboard, 4/16/16...... Doris Roberts, a veteran character actress best known for her role as Marie Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond, died on Apr. 17 of as yet undisclosed causes. She was 90. Ms. Roberts was nominated for 11 Emmys, including seven for Raymond, winning four for her work on that series. She picked up her first Emmy in 1983 for a guest appearance on St. Elsewhere, making for a total of five wins overall. Her stage roles included "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" in 1969-71, and her movie appearances include Something Wild, Barefoot in the Park, Divorce American Style, No Way to Treat a Lady, The Honeymoon Killers and A Lovely Way to Die. During the '70s she guested on shows including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (as a faith healer), All in the Family, Rhoda, Soap, Alice and Barney Miller. Ms. Roberts was originally intended to play Vivian, the character ultimately portrayed by Rue McClanahan, on Maude, but the producers decided that her persona was too similar to that of series star Bea Arthur. Ms. Roberts is survived by her son Michael, from her first marriage, who was also her manager; and three grandchildren. - Variety, 4/18/16.
|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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