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Monday, October 14, 2019

As Halloween approaches, a lyric chart compiled by Billboard, the LyricFind Global Chart, shows internet surfers getting into the holiday spirit with a slew of spooky tunes topping the tally. Michael Jackson's "Thriller" leads the list, re-entering at No. 1. Originally a No. 4 Billboard Hot 100 hit in March 1984, the song reaches the LyricFind Global chart for a second time, having previously appeared at No. 20 in Nov. 2016. "Thriller" is followed by Aqua's "Halloween," with Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers' "Monster Mash," R. Dean Taylor's "There's a Ghost in My House" and Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell" rounding out the top five at Nos. 2 through 5, respectively. In all, 16 of the chart's 25 positions are occupied by songs that can be considered themed around Halloween. - Billboard,10/11/19...... Michael JacksonSpeaking of Michael Jackson, among the revelations in Elton John's upcoming biography Me is Elton describing the King of Pop as "mentally ill" and a "disturbing person" in his final years. Elton wrote that he first met the pop star when Michael was a teen, but it wasn't until Jackson's later years that John questioned "what prescription drugs he was being pumped full of." "He was genuinely mentally ill, a disturbing person to be around," John wrote. Revealing details of a time the two had lunch together in the 1990s, Elton said Jackson appeared sick and donned a face full of makeup and plaster. "The poor guy looked awful, really frail and ill," John revealed. The alarming lunch encounter grew worse when John recalled Jackson disappearing from the table "without a word." He was later found inside of the cottage of John's housekeeper "quietly playing games" with her 11-year-old son. "For whatever reason, he couldn't seem to cope with adult company at all," John wrote. Elton concluded that Jackson appeared to have "totally lost his marbles" in the 2000s. Me will hit bookstores on Oct. 15. - American Media Inc./Canoe.com, 10/11/19...... In other Michael Jackson news, it was announced on Oct. 10 that the upcoming Jackson bio-musical, "MJ the Musical," will make its bow on Broadway in the summer of 2020. The production -- previously titled "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," after the late King of Pop's 1979 hit -- will begin preview performances July 6 with an official opening set for Aug. 13 at the Neil Simon Theatre. In February, the producers of the show the Michael Jackson Estate and Columbia Live Stage) canceled its pre-Broadway engagement in Chicago, citing scheduling difficulties following this year's strike by Actors' Equity. Performances in the Windy City were originally set to kick off Oct. 29. "MJ the Musical" is still in development at studios in New York. A teaser for the musical has been shared on YouTube. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/10/19...... Dolly Parton celebrated 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry on Oct. 12 with two sold-out performances that were filmed as part of an upcoming Nov. 26 television special on NBC titled Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Grand Ole Opry. "The night that I actually became a member 50 years ago was one of the highlights of my whole life because it was a true dream of mine," Parton said during a press conference before the Opry performances. "You never know what's going to happen to you in your life. You never know if your dreams will come true." Parton, 73, has several other film and television projects on the horizon as well as numerous collaborations and co-hosting duties on the upcoming CMA Awards in November. Meanwhile, Dolly recently revealed to ELLE magazine that she's been sexually harassed with unwanted advances over her 50-year career. "I've certainly been harassed in my life. I've certainly had to put up with a lot of BS," she says. "I was always strong enough to walk away from it and not to have to fall under it. I was lucky that I was in a good country town, where the men in the business have wives, and sisters, and cousins, and children," she added. In more Dolly news, Parton's Dollywood theme park is being sued by the copyright owners of the famous theme song in the 1965 A Charlie Brown Christmas special. Los Angeles-based Lee Mendelson Film Productions, which owns the copyright to the song written by Lee Mendelson and Vince Guaraldi, charge the East Tennessee theme park has used the song without permission in live Christmas performances since 2007. They're asking for $150,000 for every time the song has been used, as well as seeking an injunction against Dollywood from playing their music. Dollywood declined to comment on pending litigation. - Billboard/AP/New Musical Express, 10/13/19...... Wayne Newton has sold his former home, Casa de Shenandoah near Las Vegas, for $5.56 million according to Clark County records. The 36-acre ranch sold for $5.56 million in July and in addition, a nearby commercial property that was home to a gift shop and theater was sold in September. Current owner ICSD purchased the properties in 2010 and transformed them into a tourist attraction. However, the tourist attraction closed three years later and was placed into Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Newton, who has been a Vegas staple for around 60 years, originally purchased the property in 1966. - AP, 10/13/19...... Eddie Van HalenEddie Van Halen is reportedly suffering from throat cancer which he believes he contracted after years of sucking on his metal guitar pick. Van Halen, 64, was diagnosed with cancer nearly 20 years ago and has been travelling between the United States and Germany for treatment, according to TMZ.com. He had a third of his tongue removed in 2000 and had reportedly been declared cancer free in 2002 but has now been to Germany to get radiation treatment over the last five years. Although the veteran rocker is a former "heavy smoker," he is said to blame holding the metal pick in his mouth while performing on stage for his diagnosis. A source told TMZ "for the most part it's worked to keep the disease in check" and he is "doing okay." In 2015, he told Billboard that "I used metal picks -- they're brass and copper which I always held in my mouth, in the exact place where I got the tongue cancer. Plus, I basically live in a recording studio that's filled with electromagnetic energy. So that's one theory. I mean, I was smoking and doing a lot of drugs and a lot of everything. But at the same time, my lungs are totally clear. This is just my own theory, but the doctors say it's possible." Van Halen's namesake band last performed in October 2015 at at L.A.'s Hollywood Bowl and there were rumors the band's classic lineup were set to perform for the first time since 1984. "Him and (brother) Alex [Van Halen] are sitting there laying back and they're waiting to see what happens next. I think they're on a hiatus," his friend Steve Lukather of Toto said in a podcast in Septmber. In 2012, Eddie underwent emergency surgery for a "severe bout of Diverticulitis" -- small pouches formed in the wall of the intestine that can cause a great deal of pain when inflamed or infected. As a result of his operation, the group postponed the Japan leg of their tour. - TheDailyMail.uk, 10/13/19...... Neil Young has just shared a trailer for his new documentary Mountaintop on YouTube. Mountaintop goes behind the scenes of the making of Colorado, Young's first album in seven years with Crazy Horse. Earlier in 2019, Young announced that he would be postponing the rest of his 2019 tour plans to focus on completing 15 unfinished film projects, one of which was a "making of" documentary filmed to tie into the release of Colorado. Young has said he believes the new project with Crazy Horse will be able to "stand alongside Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Rust Never Sleeps, Psychedelic Pill and all the others." He adds Colorado will "feature 10 new songs ranging from around 3 minutes to over 13 minutes." Besides CD and digital versions of the record, there will also be a double vinyl release comprising three sides of music and a 7" exclusive single not on the album. - New Musical Express, 10/12/19...... A list of the UK's best-selling albums of the past 50 years has been revealed to coincide with the country's National Album Day on Oct. 12. The results for the 1970s are as follows: Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970 and 1971); the TV-marketed compilation 12 Dynamic Hits (1972); Elton John - Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player (1973); The Carpenters - The Singles: 1969-1973 (1974); The Stylistics - The Best of The Stylistics (1975); ABBA - Greatest Hits (1976); ABBA - Arrival (1977); Saturday Night Fever - Soundtrack (1978); and Blondie - Parallel Lines (1979). - New Musical Express, 10/12/19...... A play inspired by Queen's classic 1975 album A Night at the Opera called "Q: A Night at The Kabuki" by Japanese theater troupe NODA MAP opened Tuesday (Oct. 8) in Tokyo. The play, written and directed by veteran playwright Hideki Noda, isn't about the rock legends themselves but a reworking of the Shakespearean tragedy "Romeo and Juliet." "Q: A Night at The Kabuki" came about after the publisher of Queen's catalog in Japan, Sony Music Publishing, approached the band about creating a play visualizing the world depicted in A Night at The Opera. All the album's 12 tracks are effectively featured in the production to enhance the understanding of the storyline, while the costumes juxtapose the styles of the band members when the album was first released and 12th century Japan. The play runs from Oct. 8-15 in Tokyo; Oct. 19-27 in Osaka; Oct. 31-Nov. 4 in Fukuoka; and returns to Tokyo from Nov. 9-Dec. 11. - Billboard, 10/11/19...... Diana RossDiana Ross has been confirmed for the "Legends Slot" during the 2020 Glastonbury Festival in the U.K., set for Michael Eavis' Worthy Farm next June. "I am delighted to say that one of the all-time greats, the wonderful Diana Ross, is coming to Glastonbury to play the Sunday legend slot on the Pyramid next year," Glastonbury co-organizer Emily Eavis tweeted on Oct. 10. "This is a dream come true," Ross responded the same day. "To all the fans across the world, this is my tribute to you. I'm coming to Glastonbury, with love," she added. Previous performers in the coveted "Legends Slot" include Dolly Parton, Jeff Lynne's E.L.O. and Lionel Richie. Other names linked to the 2020 festival include Elton John, Foals and Paul McCartney -- who recently claimed that Glastonbury was looking like a "distinct possibility." However two other acts that were rumoured to be considering a Glastonbury performance, Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin, have been ruled out of playing the festival in 2020 by organizers. - Billboard, 10/10/19...... In a new interview with BBC 6 Music, Ringo Starr has confirmed the Beatles' 1969 album Abbey Road was not meant to be the group's final album. Until recently, it was thought that the band went into recording the Abbey Road knowing it would be their last until a tape, uncovered by Beatles expert Mark Lewisohn, revealed that the band were discussing a follow up album. "We did do Abbey Road and we was like, 'Okay that's pretty good -- but none of us said, 'OK, that's the last time we'll ever play together'. Nobody said that. I never felt that," Starr said. "We'd made this record, and then we would go off and do whatever we wanted to do. And then Paul [McCartney] would call us and say, 'Hey, you want to go in the studio lads?' and we'd do another one. So it was not the end -- because in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make. So I never felt it was in stone," he added. "It's a revelation," Lewisohn told The Guardian about the tape. "The books have always told us that they knew Abbey Road was their last album and they wanted to go out on an artistic high," Lewisohn said. "But no -- they're discussing the next album. And you think that John [Lennon] is the one who wanted to break them up but, when you hear this, he isn't. Doesn't that rewrite pretty much everything we thought we knew?," he added. - NME, 10/11/19...... In other Beatles news, a recently unearthed interview has revealed that John Lennon's least favorite Beatles song was Rubber Soul's "Run For Your Life." "I never liked Run For Your Life, because it was a song I just knocked off," Lennon told Rolling Stone in a 1970 interview. "It was inspired from -- this is a very vague connection -- from (Elvis Presley's) Baby Let's Play House," Lennon said. "There was a line on it, I used to like specific lines from songs, so I wrote it around that ("I'd rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man") but I didn't think it was that important." - NME, 10/11/19...... The estate of Prince has blasted Pres. Donald Trump for playing Prince's hit "Purple Rain" during a rally in Minneapolis on Oct. 10 without consent, and even after promises it wouldn't ever happen. The president tried working the North Star State crowd with some hometown hits, and Prince's 1984 classic could clearly be heard playing from speakers during the early phases of the event. Soon after, the official Prince account on Twitter responded. "President Trump played Prince's 'Purple Rain' tonight at a campaign event in Minneapolis despite confirming a year ago that the campaign would not use Prince's music," the tweet reads. "The Prince Estate will never give permission to President Trump to use Prince's songs." The tweet also carried a photo of a letter confirming that, nearly one year ago to the day, the Trump campaign would "not use Prince's music in connection with its activities going forward" after previously using Prince songs during its rallies. During the rally, the president also got in jabs at such musicians as Bruce Springsteen, Beyoncé and Jay-Z. "I didn't need Beyonc and Jay-Z. I didn't need little Bruce Springsteen," Trump said of his 2016 election triumph. He went on to claim Springsteen would "do about two songs, then leave, and everyone leaves with him. And (Hillary Clinton is) still speaking in front of the same lousy crowd. Craziest thing I've ever seen." Springsteen, who is neither little in stature or in size (he's listed at 177cm tall), probably laughed off the insult. In an interview published in Esquire magazine in 2018, the veteran rocker said, ""[Trump] has no interest in uniting the country, really, and actually has an interest in doing the opposite and dividing us, which he does on an almost daily basis. So that's simply a crime against humanity, as far as I'm concerned. It's an awful, awful message to send out into the world if you're in that job and in that position. It's just an ugly, awful message." - Billboard, 10/11/19...... Ian AndersonFans of Jethro Tull will be in for a treat this fall as the classic English prog-rockers will be doing a little "living in the past." Tull frontman Ian Anderson says first up will be a four-CD, two-audio DVD expansion of Tull's 12th studio album Stormwatch. Stormwatch: 40th Anniversary Force 10 Edition will drop on Oct. 18 and feature an unreleased early version of "Dun Rungill," which the band has shared a video of on Soundcloud.com/rhino-uk. That will be followed in November by The Ballad of Jethro Tull, a sanctioned biography featuring more than 200 photos, many from Anderson's personal collection, and downloads of two new songs, "The Ballad of Jethro Tull" and "Marmion." "There is always new music afoot," Anderson says, "but these (archival) projects raise their heads with some regularity now. Twenty, 30 years ago, no major record company could be bothered with doing anything special with old catalog. It was just too much trouble. But now, in the harsh reality of the modern age and rapidly dwindling sales of physical production, anything they can do to make a small profit (is) for them, very important. And the fans are the ones who benefit. They get the result of all that work and effort, which they would never have gotten 20 or 30 years ago. So everybody's a winner." Anderson says some of the remembrances by Tull members John Evan and Dee Palmer in the new Ballad of Jethro Tull book were "amusing to read -- and they were quite funny. It was quite upbeat and good to read." Anderson says he and the current incarnation of Jethro Tull have already done some rehearsing for shows during 2020 -- which unfortunately won't include the U.S. after Anderson's visa expired during September. Plus, he adds, "I've played the USA so many times for so many years, and in many ways I'm feeling that I've run out of places to play. So I keep saying to my agent, 'Look, can we find something different to do? Different cities? Different venues?' Getting visas for me and the band and the crew is really a pain in the ass, so I'm not going to do that until I have enough in the way of some fresh challenges to justify all the hassle." In the meantime, the band will play other territories and continue to work on new music -- and perhaps the band's first new release since The Jethro Tull Christmas Album in 2003. - Billboard, 10/9/19...... In a post to Twitter on Oct. 9, Ozzy Osbourne said that he's been forced to cancel European tour dates that had been scheduled for January and February after suffering a "bad fall" early this year he "screwed up all the vertebrae" in his neck. The 70-year-old rocker added however he's recovering enough that he's keeping North American tour dates that start in May 2020 on the calendar. "I'm bored stiff being stuck in bed all day," said Ozzy, who had to cancel North American shows in 2019 because of health troubles. - Billboard, 10/9/19...... Aerosmith has been chosen as the MusiCares Person of the Year for 2020, the Grammys' Recording Academy has announced. The 30th anniversary gala and tribute will take place on Jan. 24, two days before the 62nd Grammy Awards take over the Staples Center in Los Angeles. As always, proceeds for the bash will go to MusiCares, which provides financial and other support for music people in times of need. Following a dinner, Aerosmith will be honored with a tribute concert featuring well-known musicians and other artists and, finally, the Person of the Year award presentation. Aerosmith has a long history of supporting charitable organizations, most notably frontman Steven Tyler's Janie's Fund initiative, which supports vulnerable girls and young women who have survived abuse and neglect. Aerosmith joins other recent MusiCares honorees, including Dolly Parton, Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty. They are only the second band to be chosen for the honor, following Fleetwood Mac. - Billboard, 10/4/19...... Judy CollinsFolk-rock legend Judy Collins will release a 10-song set of seasonal songs, Winter Stories, on Nov. 29. The album was recorded with Norwegian singer Jonas Fjeld and special guests Chatham County Line in Asheville, N.C. -- where Collins also created Come Rejoice! A Judy Collins Christmas 25 years ago. The set includes versions of Joni Mitchell's "The River" and Jimmy Webb's "Highwayman," as well as an epic, seven-minute treatment of Collins' own "The Blizzard." The LP continues a prolific stretch of work for Collins, including a lengthy tour with former boyfriend Stephen Stills to promote their 2017 set Everybody Knows. "I've got a lot to do and a lot on my plate and a lot of things I'm thinking about," Collins says. "I love what I do and it's a creative time, so...why not? As long as you're well and healthy and love what you do, as I do, there are a lot of opportunities that are going to come up." Collins is also preparing another album, Resistance and Beauty, for 2020 which features the topical "Dreamers," a song she began performing with Stills in 2018. "There's a song (on it) called 'The Grand Canyon,' which I think is maybe one of my best songs, and a song called 'Arizona'," Collins says. "Nature prevails in my songs, I think. I can't get away from it." - Billboard, 10/9/19...... Oscar nominated actor Robert Forster died on Oct. 12 aged 78 after losing a battle with brain cancer. The prolific actor amassed over 100 film and TV credits during his career, but scored his Academy Award nomination for his role as Max Cherry in Quentin Tarantino's 1997 film Jackie Brown. His last movie role was a reprisal of his Breaking Bad character, Ed, in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, which was released on Netflix the same day as his death. Forster made his movie debut opposite Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor in 1967's Reflections in a Golden Eye. He went on to have a celebrated career, which even included stints on Broadway, beginning in 1965 with "Mrs. Dally." He is survived by his children, Bobby, Elizabeth, Kate and Maeghen; his grandchildren, Tess, Liam, Jack and Olivia; and his longtime partner, Denise Grayson. - WENN/Canoe.com, 10/12/19.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Ginger BakerGinger Baker, drummer and co-founder of 1960s blues-rock supergroup Cream, died on Oct. 6, his family confirms. He was 80. Baker's death follows a 2016 fall in his home and subsequent open heart surgery after being diagnosed with a heart condition, and the news follows recent posts on his social media channels that he was hospitalized in "critically ill" condition. Baker was one-third of the 1960s power trio with guitarist Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce that mixed blues with sunshine-pop, hitting the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart with "Sunshine of Your Love" (No. 5) and "White Room" (No. 6) in 1968. The band split in 1968 and reunited in 2005 for a residency at the Royal Albert Hall, captured that year on the live album Royal Albert Hall London May 2-3-5-6, 2005. Despite existing for only two years, Cream sold over 35 million records over their lifespan. After Cream disbanded, Baker and Clapton started another blues-rock supergroup, Blind Faith, with bassist Ric Grech and Traffic guitarist Steve Winwood, in 1968. Blind Faith burned out even quicker than Cream, releasing a 1969 self-titled album and undergoing one tour before going their separate ways. In 1972, Baker released two solo albums, Ginger Baker at His Best and Stratavarious, in which he dabbled in jazz fusion and Afrobeat. Ginger BakerLate in life, Baker often appeared in the press as a lovable, irascible grouch, living in South Africa with his Zimbabwean wife, Kudzai, while treating his emphysema and degenerative spine condition. During Cream's brief reunion in 2005, he sang his oddball interlude "Pressed Rat and Warthog" (from 1968's Wheels of Fire) with ill-fitting socks falling down his legs and fought bitterly with Jack Bruce onstage. "It's a knife-edge thing for me and Ginger," Bruce was quoted as saying in Rolling Stone. "Nowadays, we're happily co-existing in different continents, although I was thinking of asking him to move. He's still a bit too close." Baker also contributed to Public Image Ltd.'s 1986 album Album and in 2009 published an autobiography, Hellraiser: The Autobiography of the World's Greatest Drummer. He stayed behind the kit until heart issues forced him to retire from performing in 2016. Even as his health seriously declined, Baker opted to spit in the face of death. "[It] is the final great adventure!. When I die, put me in a lead coffin and throw me out to sea!," he once said. Baker's son, Kofi Baker, released a statement following his father's death on Oct. 6. "The other day I had a beautiful visit with my dad... we talked about memories and music and he's happy that I'm keeping his legacy alive." Kofi, who is a drummer in his own band, admitted in the past that the pair endured a rocky relationship, but added "our relationship was mended and he was in a peaceful place. Thank you all for the kind messages and thoughts. I love my dad and will miss him always." - Billboard, 10/6/19.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Joni Mitchell's Joni 75: A Joni Mitchell Birthday Celebration (Live), Barbra Streisand's Walls, Elvis Costello & the Imposters' Look Now and Bryan Ferry and his Orchestra's Bitter-Sweet are among the nominees for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album when the 2020 Grammys are held next year. As of this year, the Grammys' Recording Academy expanded the category to also include "contemporary pop songs performed in traditional pop style" in addition to the usual albums made up of songs from the Great American Songbook as well as cabaret and musical theater-style songs. Joni Mitchell won the 2000 award in this category with her album Both Sides Now, and her salute album would be the second salute to her to win big in this category. Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters won the 2007 awards for album of the year and best contemporary jazz album. Mitchell received a lifetime achievement award from the Academy in 2002. - Billboard, 10/8/19...... Elton JohnThe UK's Daily Mail paper has obtained excerpts from Elton John's upcoming autobiography which include the Rocketman revealing that he was "24 hours from death" when he contracted an infection following surgery for prostate cancer in 2017. In the memoir, entitled Me, John says that he found out he had the disease following a routine medical checkup. The 72-year-old Elton explains that he made the decision not to undergo chemotherapy and instead had surgery to remove his prostate, which wouldn't see his visiting hospital "dozens of times" and interfere with his planned live shows. Although the procedure was a success, the singer contracted an infection which led to serious problems. "I was incredibly lucky -- although, I have to say, I didn't feel terribly lucky at the time," John wrote. "I lay awake all night, wondering if I was going to die. In the hospital, alone at the dead of night, I'd prayed: Please don't let me die, please let me see my kids again, please give me a little longer." Other revelations in the book include Elton hosting a dinner party where Sylvester Stallone and Richard Gere fought over Gere flirting with Princess Diana, and John once trying to give "scruffy" Bob Dylan a makeover after mistaking him for his gardener. Me hits bookstores on Oct. 15. - NME, 10/5/19...... Paul McCartney announced on Oct. 8 that he'll be releasing two new songs -- "Home Tonight" and "In A Hurry" -- for the 2019 Record Store Day on Black Friday, which falls on Nov. 22. Both tracks were recorded during McCartney's sessions for his 2018 album Egypt Station, and created with legendary producer Greg Kurstin. The limited edition vinyl will be available Nov. 29 as a 7-inch picture disc featuring album artwork based on the old-time parlour game "Exquisite Corpse." - Billboard, 10/8/19...... In other Beatles-related news, the Fab Four's former No. 1 album Abbey Road has returned to the Billboard Hot 200 album chart, from No. 71 to No. 3, after the album was reissued as a 50th anniversary deluxe release on Sept. 27. The release earned 81,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Oct. 3 (up 803%) with 70,000 of that sum in album sales (up 3,091%). Abbey Road was first released in the U.S. on Sept. 26, 1969 and spent 11 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 on the chart in late 1969 and early 1970. It first reached the top of the list dated Nov. 1, 1969, and it spent its final week at No. 1 on Jan. 24, 1970. Abbey Road's most recent rise is its first week in the top 10 since April 25, 1970 (when it ranked at No. 9) and its highest placing since March 14, 1970 (No. 3). The album has spent a total of 329 weeks on the Hot 200 chart (including the new chart week), which marks the most weeks on the chart for any studio album by the Beatles. Only the group's greatest hits set 1, released in 2000, has spent more time on the chart, with 388 weeks. Abbey Road is also the band's largest-selling studio album in the history of Nielsen Music, as it has sold 5.6 million copies in the U.S. since the firm began electronically tracking sales in 1991. For its 50th anniversary reissue, Abbey Road was freshly mixed and in a variety of formats, many coming with an array of previously unreleased recordings and demo tracks. It follows the previous Beatles reissues The Beatles (aka "The White Album") in 2018 and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in 2017. - Billboard, 10/6/19...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, lost footage of the band from 1965 has just been found in a bread bin in Wales. It sees the four Beatles joking around with the interviewer during an appearance in Cardiff, before breaking into a rendition of "There's No Business Like Show Business." Additional footage found, from 1967, shows the band talking about the spiritual figure Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and about their relationship to his readings. Speaking in response, John Lennon said: "Of course it's not a cult and if we didn't take it seriously we wouldn't be here." The film was found during the clearance of a house, and has been described as a "great find" by Paul Fairweather from Omega Auctions. "All four Beatles are in fine form throughout both of the Cardiff films, laughing and joking, while the interviewer tries to remain serious," Fairweather said. "The sound and image quality is fantastic. I expect these have never been seen since 1965." The footage has been valued at around £10,000. - New Musical Express, 10/6/19...... A concert film of Lionel Richie's acclaimed performance at the 2015 Glastonbury Festival will be screened in select cinemas around the globe for one night only on Nov. 19. Lionel Richie at Glastonbury will be prefaced by an exclusive introduction and personal reflections from Richie about a career journey that began in Tuskegee, Ala. and ultimately brought him to Glastonbury. "I'm so excited for the opportunity to share the 2015 Glastonbury Festival performance with fans across the globe," said Richie in a release announcing the event. "I'm honored to have played on such an iconic stage and the fans' energy that day truly made this show a memorable moment in my career." Tickets for the U.S. screenings of the film go on sale on Oct. 18 at FathomEvents.com, and a list of U.S. theater locations can also be found there. - Billboard, 10/8/19...... The Eagles announced on Oct. 8 that they will play their 1976 album Hotel California in its entirety, backed by an orchestra and choir, in six U.S. cities in early 2020. Starting in February, the Eagles will perform the classic album in Atlanta (2/7-8), New York (2/14-15), Dallas (2/29, 3/1), Houston (3/6-7), San Francisco (4/11-12) and Inglewood, Calif. (4/17-18). The Eagles first performed Hotel California in its entirety for the first time on Sept. 27 at MGM Grand Garden Arena, followed by a greatest hits set after a brief intermission. They repeated the evening on Sept. 28 and Oct. 5. - Billboard, 10/8/19...... Gary GlitterWarner Bros.' new The Joker movie, already having stirred up a fair amount of controversy for its nihilistic R-rated storyline in the wake of a mass shooting in a Colorado theater during premiere week of a previous Batman franchise movie, has come under more fire for using a track by convicted pedophile and '70s glam rock artist Gary Glitter on its soundtrack. The critical and commercial hit uses Glitter's 1972 hit "Rock and Roll Part 2" in a lengthy and pivotal scene, in which star Joaquin Phoenix dances down a long flight of stairs and transforms into the iconic character. Much of the anger on social media has centered on the fact that Glitter could be receiving royalties from Warner Bros. for using his song. "Gary Glitter gets royalties for Joker. They're literally paying a paedophile to use his music in a movie about the consequences of child abuse. I'm off the fence -- this movie is immoral bullshit," tweeted one critic, while another said the track choice was the "most morally questionable" aspect of the film. Glitter, 75, whose real is name Paul Gadd, enjoyed huge success in the 1970s and 1980s as a star of Britain's glam rock scene, but fell dramatically from grace in the late 1990s after being arrested for downloading child pornography. In 2015, he was found guilty of attempted rape, four counts of indecent assault and one count of having sex with a girl under the age of 13, and sentenced to 16 years in prison. However, one Twitter user pointed out that Joker wasn't the first film to use a Glitter track, "Rock n Roll" having been played on 2004's Meet the Fockers. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/7/19...... As a new biopic on screen legend Judy Garland hit U.S. theaters in late September, Barbra Streisand took to Twitter on Oct. 5 to pay tribute to the late star by posting YouTube clips of the pair singing "Happy Days Are Here Again" and "Get Happy" together back in 1963. "Such a special moment in my career," Streisand wrote. "She was incredible. Totally unique. Just been reminded this aired 56 years ago today on CBS." Streisand and Garland performed together during episode 9 of The Judy Garland Show, which was taped on Oct. 4, 1963, and then broadcast by CBS two days later. This duet paved the way for Streisand, who had just released her first album, to receive her first Emmy nomination, for outstanding performance in a variety or musical program or series, in 1964. - Billboard, 10/7/19...... ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus has praised young climate change activist Greta Thunberg in a new video, saying she has "superpowers." In a video message to Australia's SBS news, Ulvaeus described the intense young lady as a "populist nightmare" who "drives some people, mostly men, crazy, and I find it difficult to understand where that anger comes from." "How can you stoop so low as to criticise the looks of a child? A young girl," he added. "The reason is of course the lack of counter-arguments. ven if you don't think that everything Greta says or does is unquestionable, you have to admire her guts and her focus. It's a monumental achievement to create a global mass movement from scratch in such a short time." Earlier in 2019, Ulvaeus revealed that new ABBA music will be arriving this autumn, with a digital avatar ABBA tour also set to take place soon. - New Musical Express, 10/7/19...... Experimental pop musician Anna Nasty, who has been recording and performing as Olivia Neutron-John, has announced she will no longer use the punny moniker after a Sept. 28 show in New York after she received a cease-and-desist letter from Olivia Newton-John's legal team. Nasty said she received the letter in July, about two months after the release of her band's self-titled debut album, and "because I have very limited resources, I was unable to fight it." The Washington, D.C. area musician, who started recording as Olivia Neutron-John around 2013, says she's "going to take this as an opportunity to step back and reinvent." - New Musical Express, 10/8/19...... Peter FramptonPeter Frampton performed the finale of his 2019 farewell tour at The Forum in Los Angeles on Oct. 5. The 69-year-old Frampton announced in February that he's suffering from Inclusion-Body Myositis (IBM), a muscle disorder that causes inflammation, weakness and atrophy, and that he's retiring from live performing after his farewell tour. Billed as "Peter Frampton's Finale -- The Farewell Tour," the show saw Frampton making reference to his disease after night's final number, saying the "love and support of his fans would help him heal," but the show wasn't a bummer. Rather, it felt like a celebration with the singer/guitarist taking a joyful look back at his career, with several thousand people on hand to partake in the party. Dressed in jacket, T-shirt and jeans, Frampton looked lean and fit and it didn't appear that the disease has affected his ability to perform, as he was fine in voice and his guitar virtuosity remained intact for the two-hour set that opened with "Something's Happening" followed by such Frampton Comes Alive! tracks as "Lines on My Face," "Show Me the Way," "(I'll Give You) Money," "Baby, I Love Your Way" and "Do You Feel Like We Do." The show also included a mostly instrumental cover of Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" hit hard, following Frampton's intro that noted he once performed the song live with the late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell on vocals. Encores included "Four Day Creep," "I Don't Need No Doctor" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." - Billboard, 10/6/19...... In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Ric Ocasek's widow Paulina Porizkova remembers her last moments with the late Cars frontman. Porizkova, who found Ocasek in his home after his death, said that his recent surgery was not at all the cause behind his death. "I don't know how much I want to say about the surgery, but it was successful. He was recuperating really well," she says. "So his passing was a f---ing shock." She also spoke of bringing cookies home for the singer on the night before his death. "He said, OK, thanks, hon. I had some terrible cookies because I was in the mood for cookies, but I'll have your gooey cookies tomorrow. I think I'm going to bed early since I m feeling a little sore.' And that was the last time I saw him alive." Ocasek died on Sept. 15 aged 75. Porizkova also stated that she was baffled by the New York medical examiner's autopsy on Ocasek, which stated that Ocasek died of atherosclerosis. - New Musical Express, 10/6/19...... Sting has announced he'll release a new live album dubbed My Songs: Live recorded during his "My Songs World Tour" earlier in 2019. "This is my life in songs," Sting writes in the live album's insightful song-by-song liner notes. "Some of them reconstructed, some of them refitted, some of them reframed, and all of them with a contemporary focus." Sting's 2019 My Songs studio album featured updated sonics, dynamics and arrangements based on the way his songs have evolved for him over the years. Meanwhile, Sting will be performing his musical "The Last Ship" in five cities in 2020 starting Jan. 14 at Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre followed by runs in San Francisco, Washington D.C., St. Paul, Minn. and Detroit. - Billboard, 10/4/19...... Sony Music and the Michael Jackson estate announced on Oct. 4 that Jackson's This Is It album is getting a limited-edition 10th anniversary box set reissue. Only 1,000 numbered copies will be made of the set that is available for pre-order at the Jackson online store and will be released on Dec. 11. Each will include four LPs on translucent-blue vinyl, a 3-D Blu-Ray disc of the film, a 60-page coffee table book with two dozen previously unpublished pictures and an authentic lenticular concert ticket for the July 24, 2009, concert at O2 Arena in London that was never held because Jackson died 18 days before his comeback series of shows were scheduled to begin. Jackson's This Is It soundtrack came from the movie that captured his final concert rehearsals before his 2009 death. The film was released in theaters that October and had the highest global box office gross of any concert documentary. - AP, 10/4/19...... KISSAs part of a promotion by AirBnB, KISS and eight KISS fans will set sail on separate boats off the coast of southern Australia on Nov. 18 to perform for great white sharks, with the fans separated from them by a small submarine. While KISS stays above board on one vessel, the fans will be lowered beneath the surface of the water from a second boat into the viewing sub in an area known for shark activity. Using underwater speakers, KISS will begin playing, and the sound will be audible to the submerged fans and the sharks. "I was a little taken aback by it, but they explained that sharks are attracted to low frequencies and so they're attracted to rock 'n' roll," KISS singer/guitarist Paul Stanley told The Associated Press. "Since we're going to be in Australia, it gives a whole new meaning to doing a concert down under." The event will take place in the Indian Ocean off Port Lincoln, South Australia. KISS will be in full makeup and costumes for the performance, which will be at least four songs. "I'm not sure how much of us the sharks can take," Stanley said. "I'm hoping they know 'Rock And Roll All Nite.'" Proceeds will go to charity, according to AirBnB. Reservations can be made starting at 6 p.m. EDT on airbnb.com/KISS on Oct. 14. - AP, 10/3/19...... In advance of the Oct. 11 release of Freddie Mercury's Never Boring solo box set, Hollywood Records has shared a newly remixed, 4K video version of one of the late Queen singer's most legendarily over-the-top videos, re-created from the original raw footage shot during his blow-out 39th birthday party at the legendary Mrs Henderson transvestite club in Munich, Germany. The clip finds Mercury, decked out in harlequin tights and a gold-tasseled military jacket, playing host to a menagerie of pals living it up under the club's lights, grinning as his eyes eerily glow red, getting a champagne flute to the face and harmonizing on the song's scat-singing chorus amid a pile of queens. In other Queen-related news, the band's historic performance at Live Aid has been recreated in an upcoming episode of The Simpsons. Queen guitarist Brian May posted an image of Homer Simpson made over as Mercury to his Facebook page last night (October 4). Further plot details on the upcoming episode are not yet known. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 10/4/19...... Lynyrd Skynyrd founding member and longtime .38 Special bassist Larry Junstrom has died at age 70. Born Lawrence E. Junstrom in Pittsburgh on June 22, 1949, Junstrom was one of the founding members of Southern rock icons Skynyrd, joining the Jacksonville-Florida-bred band after singer Ronnie Van Zant, drummer Bob Burns and guitarists Gary Rossington and Allen Collins joined forces in 1964 as My Backyard` By 1969 they changed their name, releasing their debut album in 1973, Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd, which included such soon-to-be-classics as "Gimme Three Steps," "Simple Man" and one of the most enduring rock anthems of any era: "Free Bird." By the time the band broke out of Florida, though, Junstrom had been long gone, leaving in 1971 and replaced by Leon Wilkeson. He wasn't out of the spotlight long, though, hooking up with another all-time classic Southern band, the Donnie Van Zant-fronted .38 Special in 1976 and playing with that band for 38 years on 12 studio albums until 2014 and scoring such hits as "Hold on Loosely" and "Caught Up In You." Junstrom retried from .38 Special in 2014 following a hand injury that required surgery. Lynyrd Skynyrd paid homage to one of the band's co-founders on their website, writing, "Rest Easy, LJ, you will always be remembered as the big man, on the big bass with the even bigger heart!" - Billboard, 10/7/19...... Diahann CarrollPioneering African-American actress and singer Diahann Carroll, who made television history with her turns on Julia and Dynasty, died at her home in Los Angeles on Oct. 4 after a long bout with cancer. She was 84. Ms. Carroll was known as a Las Vegas and nightclub performer and for her performances on Broadway and in the Hollywood musicals "Carmen Jones" and "Porgy & Bess" when she was approached by an NBC executive to star as Julia Baker, a widowed nurse raising a young son, on the comedy Julia. Although Ms. Carroll initially didn't want to do the part because she "didn't think the show was going to work, "she eventually became the first African-American female to star in a non-stereotypical role in her own primetime network series. Julia, which premiered in September 1968, finished No. 7 in the ratings in the first of its three seasons, and Ms. Carroll received an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe for her work. After hosting a CBS summer replacement variety show in 1976, she retired from show business and moved to Oakland. Landing the role of Dominique, the half-sister of John Forsythe's Blake Carrington in Dynasty, in 1984 put her back on the map in Hollywood. More recently, Ms. Carroll had recurring roles on NBC's A Different World, ABC's Grey's Anatomy, and USA's White Collar. She also appeared in such films as Eve's Bayou (1997) and on stage as Norman Desmond in a musical version of Sunset Blvd. She was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2011. She was married four times, to Monte Kay, Freddie Glusman, Robert DeLeon and singer Vic Damone, from 1987 until their 1996 divorce. In addition to her daughter, producer-journalist Suzanne Kay, survivors include her grandchildren, August and Sydney. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/4/19...... Comedian Rip Taylor, known for his extremely flamboyant and enthusiastic personality as well as his penchant for showering people with confetti, died on Oct. 6 of as yet undisclosed causes. He was 84. Born in Washington, D.C. in 1935, Taylor briefly worked as a congressional page. During the Korean War, he joined up with the special services and worked to entertain troops, where he came up with a comedy routine that made him famous, and by the '60s he had become a regular player in the Catskills. Taylor's comedy then became a recurring feature on the The Ed Sullivan Show, though Sullivan himself only referred to Taylor as "The Crying Comedian" when he couldn't remember his name. His frequent TV appearances made Taylor an in-demand comedian, landing him high-profile gigs in Las Vegas in the '70s opening for performers like Frank Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds, Judy Garland, and The Kingston Trio. The '70s also saw him transition to the world of television, regularly appearing on Hollywood Squares, The Gong Show, and as a guest host on The Match Game. He played a genit on Sigmund And The Sea Monsters, popped up on The Brady Bunch Hour, and hosted a weird pageant parody series called The $1.98 Beauty Show. Taylor also did voice work in projects like Scooby Goes Hollywood, The Emperor's New School and Tom And Jerry: The Movie. He appeared in movies like Wayne's World 2, Chatterbox and Indecent Proposal (making a rare appearance without his usual toupee). Taylor also somehow became a fixture of the Jackass movies and made a post-credits cameo in Johnny Knoxville's Dukes Of Hazzard. Taylor is survived by his longtime partner, Robert Fortney. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/6/19.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Rod Stewart surprised a British couple with a serenade during their wedding in Las Vegas on Oct. 2 after they became stranded in the city when the British tour agency Thomas Cook abruptly announced its bankruptcy in late September. Sharon Cook and Andrew Aitchison of Liverpool and their 14 guests were left high and dry in Vegas until Delta Air Lines and Caesars Palace stepped in to throw them a party in the hotel's Venus Garden Chapel. At the end of the ceremony, Sir Rod surprised the pair with an acoustic version of his hist "Have I Told You Lately" accompanied by a string trio. Stewart then invited the whole gang to cap off the blessed event with a visit that night to his "Rod Stewart: The Hits" show at the Colosseum. "Thank you Rod you've absolutely made our dream wedding you absolute legend," Andy Aitchison tweeted after the wedding. - Billboard, 10/3/19...... On Oct. 3 Fleetwood Mac announced they'll close out their 2018-19 world tour with one last blowout gig at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Nov. 16. The band, with Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie joined by new members Mike Campbell and Neil Finn, kicked off the tour in October 2018 and have visited eight countries for over 80 shows. In a statement, Mick Fleetwood said, "Mike and Neil and the overall band chemistry really worked and let the band realize that this is the right combination to go forward with in Fleetwood Mac style. It's got the unmistakable Mac sound." - Billboard, 10/3/19...... Gene SimmonsKISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons is reportedlyr esting comfortably after undergoing surgery to remove kidney stones in late September. Tweeting on Oct. 1, Simmons' wife Shannon Tweed-Simmons wrote, "Well, now that the cats out of the bag, this is Gene's second of three procedures that will remove these large kidney stones so he can move on with Rockin' & Rollin'," she wrote and included a link to an Instagram shot of an ultrasound of what appeared to be one of the stones. KISS postponed a concert in Salt Lake City in September after Simmons said he had to fly home for an unspecified medical procedure, calling it "nothing serious... but it must be taken care of now." The gig was the final scheduled performance of the band's "End of the Road" world tour before they are slated to move begin an Australian leg in November. KISS also postponed shows in Los Angeles and Oakland last month due to "unforeseen scheduling issues," with the gigs re-scheduled, respectively. - Billboard, 10/3/19...... Reggae legend Bob Marley's former home in west London has been honored with a rare English Heritage blue plaque that was unveiled on Oct. 1 at 42 Oakley Street in Chelsea. The house was the headquarters of Marley and his The Wailers and Marley's primary address in 1977, during their recording of the Exodus album. The plaque was unveiled by Rastafarian writer Benjamin Zephaniah and broadcaster David Olusoga, who called Marley "a cultural icon who blazed a trail for other black artists." John Lennon, Freddie Mercury and Mozart are among the other cultural icons who have been honored with the blue plaque. Marley died in 1981 at the height of his fame. - AP, 10/3/19...... On Oct. 2 Elton John announced further European shows on his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" in 2020 that includes two additional nights at London's 02 Arena on Dec. 16 and 20. Sir Elton will also perform farewell gigs in Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Leeds before kicking off the European leg in London on Nov. 2. In a statement, John said, "...these UK shows will be incredibly special... The UK is home, and where my heart will always be... These homecoming shows will be very emotional, and a lot of fun." Elton first announced his 3-year farewell tour in 2018 after deciding to retire from touring, telling his fans that he wanted to focus on his family. He and husband David Furnish are parents to two young sons who are now at school age. John will perform more than 300 shows in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Australasia before its conclusion in 2021. - New Musical Express, 10/8/19...... The family of Cream drummer Ginger Baker is asking fans to keep the 80-year-old musician in their prayers after he was admitted to hospital in a critical condition on Sept. 25. "Ginger is holding his own & thank you for all your good wishes. He is receiving visits from close family & very special friends," the family tweeted. No further details about Baker's illness have been disclosed as of yet. In 2013, Baker announced that he suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease caused by smoking, and chronic back pain as a result of degenerative osteoarthritis. In July 2016, he underwent open-heart surgery after being diagnosed with a "major" heart condition. He suffered a fall at his home four months earlier, which forced him to cancel shows with his band Air Force 3. Baker founded Cream in 1966 with Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce, the trio released four albums including the influential Disraeli Gears before splitting in 1968. Baker and Clapton went on to play in Blind Faith with Steve Winwood of Traffic. - New Musical Express, 9/30/19...... Roger WatersOn Sept. 30, Roger Waters shared a trailer for his upcoming concert documentary Us + Them, which was filmed across four nights at Amsterdam's Ziggo Dome on the European leg of his 2017-18 "Us + Them" tour. In the trailer, Waters performs Pink Floyd's seminal track "Dogs" as a hologram of London's Battersea Power Station is seen floating in the middle of the crowd, a reference to the band's 1977 album Animals. As well as showcasing the titular album and its message of "human rights, liberty and love," the film also features songs from Waters' legendary Pink Floyd albums, including Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, Wish You Were Here and Waters' latest solo album, Is This The Life We Really Want? Us + Them was screened in select cinemas in the UK on Oct. 2, and another night of screenings is scheduled for Oct. 6. - NME, 9/30/19...... Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has tweeted out a message of support for his fellow rocker and friend James Hetfield of Metallica after Metallica recently announced that they will be postponing their Australian and New Zealand tour as Hetfield has re-entered substance abuse rehabilitation treatment. "My best out to James Hetfield," Iommi wrote on Twitter on Oct. 2 alongside a throwback photo of the duo. "You've done the right thing seeking help -- I'm thinking of you my friend and wishing you all the very best on your recovery. Looking forward to seeing you back at your best very soon. Your pal Tony," he added. - Billboard, 10/2/19...... Iggy Pop announced on Oct. 2 he will perform an exclusive London live show in November. The iconic punk rocker, who released his latest album Free in September, will make a one-off appearance as part of The EFG London Jazz Festival. Pop will perform his new record in its entirety at The Barbican Centre on Nov. 21, and it will be his only UK date of the year. On Oct. 1, Pop shared the official video for his new single, "Love's Missing," on YouTube. "Loves screaming/ So quietly and in pain/ Loves absent it's failing her once again/ Loves screaming," croons Pop in the track, his raw lyrics matched with close-up shots of him on the mic. Speaking about Free earlier in 2019, Pop described his 18th solo LP as "an album in which other artists speak for me, but I lend my voice." - New Musical Express, 10/2/19...... On Oct. 1, Barbra Streisand celebrated 57 years as an artist on the Columbia Records label by sharing a throwback picture on Instagram of the budding star, grinning ear to ear, signing her contract in 1962 while Columbia Records president Goddard Lieberson, her manager Marty Erlichman, and Columbia A&R man David Kapralik look on. The diva's 57th anniversary with Columbia easily makes her the label's longest-running continuous artist. Over the course of her storied career, Streisand has become the first artist to score a No. 1 album on the Billboard Hot 200 in six consecutive decades, as well as charting 11 albums to the top of the Hot 200, starting with People hitting No. 1 in 1964. - Billboard, 10/2/19...... Lou GrammForeigner announced on Oct. 1 that lead singer Lou Gramm has been forced to sit out the group's "Double Vision: Then & Now" tour due to serious medical issues. The band tweeted that 69-year-old Gramm was hosptialized in Rochester, N.Y., in late September with a "severe respiratory infection, dehydration and fatigue." Though he'd prepared for the 40th anniversary tour, a doctor reportedly told Gramm that he would be unable to perform on the shows. In a note to fans, he wrote, "I'm very disappointed about not being able to perform at the FOREIGNER Double Vision: Then & Now shows for all the fans. My doctor insists if I pushed myself to perform, I would be in big trouble. So doctor's orders, I ride the bench. Rock on." Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones added that "We will all miss Lou at our upcoming shows and we join all his family, friends, and fans in wishing him a speedy recovery." A spokesperson for the group noted that requests for refunds can be addressed at point of purchase before the concert date. The Mick Jones-led Foreigner announced the tour in September, which will feature the current lineup performing with the classic one to celebrate their 40th anniversary. Original members Gramm, drummer Dennis Elliott, guitarist Ian McDonald, keyboardist Al Greenwood and bassist Rick Wills are slated to take the stage with Jones and the current Foreigner lineup of guitarist Tom Gimbel, bassist Jeff Pilson, singer Kelly Hansen, keyboardist Michael Bluestein, guitarist Bruce Watson and drummer Chris Frazier. - Billboard, 10/2/19...... The Beatles' special 50th anniversary reissue of Abbey Road is on track to top the album chart in the U.K. after dropping on Sept. 27. Abbey Road is No. 1 on the midweek chart with a lead of 12,000 chart sales over the reigning chart-leader, Liam Gallagher's Why Me? Why Not, according to the Official Charts Company reports. Widely regarded as the Beatles' greatest LP, Abbey Road is the final studio album recorded by the Fab Four. - Billboard, 10/2/19...... The estate of Prince announced on Oct. 1 that it has new leadership and development partners for the late artist's famed Paisley Park complex located 30 minutes outside of Minneapolis in Chanhassen, Minn. Alan Seiffert will serve as executive director of Paisley Park, while entertainment development companies MR-ProFun and Mycotoo will come on board to "enhance the overall experience" for guests of the facility -- Prince's former home and recording studio in Minnesota, which is now a public museum. "Just as it was for Prince, Paisley Park is more than a building or place -- it is a creative laboratory, performance studio, and innovative space offering future generations the chance to create and share their work," Seiffert said in a statement. "I am honored to help bring Prince's vision to life." The 65,000 square-foot Paisley Park, where Prince recorded many of his most famous albums, opened to the public as a museum just months after Prince's death at the complex in April 2016. - Billboard, 10/1/19...... David Lee RothIn an interview with Detroit radio station WRIF on Oct. 1, Van Halen singer David Lee Roth said that Van Halen is "finished" and that his upcoming Las Vegas residency "is the next phase" of the band. "I've inherited the band de facto -- whatever that means," the 64-year-old singer said. "I think it means if you inherit it, carry this proudly. Van Halen isn't gonna be coming back in the fashion that you know." Roth went on to explain that he was now "the face of Van Halen" as he's "not sure what's happening with Ed (VH guitarist Eddie Van Halen)." Pressed on whether Eddie had been facing any health issues, Roth responded: "I hear all the same rumours that you do and it's not my place to guess." Earlier in 2019, fans speculated that Van Halen's rumoured reunion had been shelved due to Eddie's ill health. Van Halen haven't performed a live show since their appearance at Hollywood Bowl in October 2015. The date formed part of the band's extensive North American tour that summer. - New Musical Express, 10/1/19...... A trailer for the new 90-minute Johnny Cash documentary The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash was shared on YouTube on Oct. 1. The Gift was created with the full cooperation of the Cash estate and uses his legendary 1968 gig at Folsom Prison as a central motif for the deep dive into Cash's life. Directed by Emmy- and Grammy-winning filmmaker Thom Zimmy (Springsteen on Broadway), it has been given a Nov. 11 premiere date. - Billboard, 10/1/19...... Speaking of Bruce Springsteen, the NJ rocker has been nominated for a best music film Grammy at the upcoming 62nd annual Grammy Awards for his Springsteen on Broadway film. Springsteen won in this category in 2006 with Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run. Springsteen's 14-month run at the Walter Kerr Theatre in 2017-18 has proven to be an awards magnet. He received a special Tony Award prior to the Emmy nom. Also nominated in the same category is Bob Dylan, for his Martin Scorsese-directed concert film Rolling Thunder Revue. Scorsese also directed Dylan's No Direction Home, the 2005 winner in this category. - Billboard, 10/1/19...... Speaking with CBS morning host Gayle King recently, Olivia Newton-John talked being positive and staying present despite battling breast cancer for the third time. "...I need to enjoy my life," Newton-John said. "So, I'm going to eat a cookie if I want it. And I'm gonna have a cup of tea if I want it. And if I wanna have a little bit of wine, I'm gonna do that.' Because the joy of life and everyday living has to be a part of that healing process as well." Olivia was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 at the age of 43, and returned in 2013. In May, she revealed that her recent struggles with the disease had spread to her back. "It's almost like, I think I know what the statistics are. And if, and, but I put them away. But I'm gonna live longer than that. I've made that decision. And I don't buy into the statistics 'cause I think they can make you really nervous," she said. "It's a decision how you choose to feel about something. So, I've chosen that path," she continued in a positive light. "I'm happy. I'm lucky. I'm grateful. I have much to live for. And I intend to keep on livin' it." - Billboard, 9/30/19...... Debbie HarryIn her new memoir Face It, Blondie's Debbie Harry reveals that David Bowie once exposed his penis to her as a thank you for getting him cocaine. "One time David and Iggy (Pop) were looking for some blow," Harry writes. "Their connection in New York had suddenly died and they were out... After they did the blow, David pulled out his c---, as if I were the official c--- checker or something. Since I was in an all-male band, maybe they figured I really was the c--- -check lady." Harry writes she was not offended by Bowie exposing himself: "David's size was notorious, and he loved to pull it out with both men and women. It was so funny, adorable and sexy." Face It was published on Oct. 1 via Dey Street Books. - WENN/Canoe.com, 9/30/19...... Mott the Hoople announced on Sept. 30 they have been forced to cancel their upcoming fall "Mott the Hoople '74" reunion tour that was to feature original members frontman Ian Hunter, keyboardist Morgan Fischer and guitarist Ariel Bender due to Hunter's illness. "The group's singer and guitarist Ian Hunter has recently developed a severe case of tinnitus and has been advised by his doctors to discontinue performing until this condition subsides," according to a press release. The fall tour was set to kick off on Oct. 21 at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y. and run through Nov. 6 when they closed out the 11-date trek at The Moore Theatre in Seattle. The upcoming run followed the reunited group's dates earlier this year that kicked off in April. The eight-stop tour played Chicago, Detroit, Boston and closed out in New York on April 10. - Billboard, 9/30/19...... Blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa will return to the UK in April 2020 to perform six concerts. Dates include the Brighton Centre (Apr. 25), Edinburgh Playhouse (Apr. 27), Liverpool M&S Bank Arena (Apr. 28), Gateshead Sage (Apr. 30), Leeds First Direct Arena (May 1) and Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (May 2). Joe Bonamassawill release his new live album Live at The Sydney Opera House on Oct. 25 via Provogue/Mascot Label Group in the UK and Europe and J&R Adventures throughout North America. - Noble PR, 9/30/19.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Neil Young and Crazy Horse shared a "love letter from us to planet Earth" video on YouTube on Sept. 27 paired with messages of all the reasons why earth is such a sacred place. In April, Young and the band announced their new studio album Colorado would arrive in October and feature "10 new songs ranging from around 3 minutes to over 13 minutes." A documentary chronicling the making of Colorado will premiere in more than a hundred theaters worldwide the same week Colorado is released, Young wrote on his Neil Young Archives website in August. - New Musical Express, 9/29/19...... The EaglesThe Eagles performed their seminal 1976 platinum LP Hotel California in its entirety for the very first time on Sept. 27 during at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena. In an amusing nod to the album era, the Eagles opened the show with a mysterious, caped man striding across the stage and placing a Hotel California disc onto a turntable. When it came time to flip the album, a woman dressed in a cigarette girl costume came and did the honors. Also notable was the show being the first time the Eagles had played "Try and Love Again" since Randy Meisner, who sang lead on the track, left the band in 1977, and original Hotel California arranger/conductor Jim Ed Norman being on hand to lead a 46-piece orchestra and 22-member choir from UNLV. The show was the first of three that evening that also included a blazing greatest hits set that had the sold-out audience of 13,000 constantly on its feet. "We're going to take a 20-minute break, put our heads back together and play you everything we know," Eagles drummer/vocalist Don Henley told the audience after the Hotel California show. What followed was a 23-song set of solid hits (including guitarist Joe Walsh's solo and James Gang hits) with valuable contributions from the newest Eagles, Vince Gill and the late Glenn Frey's son, Deacon Frey. The two encores included "Rocky Mountain Way," "Desperado," "The Long Run," and the "Hotel California" reprise. - Billboard, 9/28/19...... Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr recently reunited at London's Abbey Road studios to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' classic 1969 album Abbey Road. McCartney and Starr attended a party at the studios in St John's Wood, North London with their respective wives, Nancy Shevell and Barbara Bach. Other guests included Nile Rodgers of Chic and Taron Egerton, the star of the recent Elton John biopic, Rocketman. On Sept. 26, an Abbey Road 50th anniversary release was released featuring a new mix by Giles Martin and 23 demos and alternative recordings of songs produced for Abbey Road. To mark the reissue, the Beatles recently released the first official video of one of the album's classic songs, "Here Comes The Sun." The new stereo mix of the George Harrison composition captures a gorgeous sunrise illuminating Abbey Road Studios' Studio Two, where the Fab Four recorded most of the legendary album. In related news, Alex Lacamoire, the musical director of the hit Broadway show "Hamilton," has shared a new video of himself playing the entire Abbey Road album in just 50 seconds. Lacamoire performed his condensed Abbey Road on a piano originally used by the Beatles, which is kept at Abbey Road Studios where they made the album in 1969. "Abbey Road is in my head. I just needed to make sure that the way I remembered these songs from when I was six-years-old is the way they are," Lacamoire told Rolling Stone. Lacamoire has previously played Billy Joel's 1977 album The Stranger in the same manner. - NME, 9/27/19...... In other Beatles-related news, Ringo Starr performed a rendition of the Beatles' classic "Yellow Submarine" with classroom instruments on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon with the show's house band, The Roots, on Sept. 24. Ringo also sang some of the Beatles' best-known songs, including "With a Little Help from My Friends." Ringo led from the top on vocals and playing a tiny three-piece drum kit while the late-night show's host, Jimmy Fallon, took duties on a Casio keyboard, wooden block and kazoo, as the Root's leader Questlove showed his talents on clappers and a shaker fashioned as a submarine. - Billboard, 9/25/19...... Billy JoelA new anthology TV series based on Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Billy Joel is in the works. MGM Television, the same studio behind the recent Elton John and Queen biopic movies, is teaming with Universal Music Publishing Group to bring Joel's music to life as a scripted "arc-thology" called Scenes From an Italian Restaurant. The show, which takes its title from Joel's favorite song from his sizable catalog, will see each episode based on lyrics of his hits and populated by characters from his songs, including "The Stranger," "Piano Man" and "Moving Out." The tracks will be reimagined and rearranged by Joel's music team -- with his input -- and take his tunes in new directions. Kevin Fox (Law & Order: SVU) is creating the series, which will be shopped to networks, and will exec produce alongside Joel and his longtime producing partner, Steve Cohen (with whom he collaborated on the Billy Joel: New York State of Mind documentary). - The Hollywood Reporter, 9/25/19..... After premiering in London at the Old Vic Theatre in July 2017, Irish playwright/director Conor McPherson's Bob Dylan-inspired musical, "Girl From The North Country," will return to New York at the Belasco Theater on Mar. 5, 2020, with preview shows kicking off on Feb. 7. After its successful Old Vic run, the show moved to London's West End, New York at The Public Theater and Toronto at the Royal Alexandra Theatre. Set in 1934 in Dylan's hometown of Duluth, Minn., the 20-song musical weaves songs from the rock bard's expansive catalog into a story about a family who runs a boardinghouse, which results in various characters coming in and out of their lives. Tickets are already on sale for the roughly eight-month show, which features Tony Award nominees Marc Kudisch and David Pittu along with Oscar-winning actress Mare Winningham, that concludes in Sept. 2020. - Billboard, 9/27/19...... Songs by Eddie Money and The Cars' Ric Ocasek continue to sell briskly following their deaths on Sept. 13 and Sept. 15, respectively. Money's 1986 top five hit "Take Me Home Tonight" entered the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart at No. 3 for the week ending Sept. 28, while The Cars' 1984 top five hit "Drive" (sung by bassist Benjamin Orr, who died in 2000), bowed at No. 6. Other songs charting by the two late artists include "Two Tickets To Paradise," "Shakin'," "Baby Hold On," "Just What I Needed" and "My Best Friend's Girl." - Billboard, 9/27/19...... Aerosmith were forced to cancel their Sept. 26 show of their "Deuces Are Wild" Las Vegas residency after frontman Steven Tyler lost his voice. "I lost my voice... but I can't talk about it," Tyler wrote in a tweet about the canceled gig. Tyler added that refunds for the gig will be available at the point of purchase. Accompanying the post was an amusing photo of Tyler pointing to a hand-scribbled "OUT OF ORDER" sign underneath his throat. - Billboard, 9/27/19...... In related news, the Who cut their Houston concert short on Sept. 25 after lead singer Roger Daltrey lost his voice midway through the show. The British rock legends were eight songs into the concert when Daltrey, 75, told the audience, "I think I should quit while I'm ahead." Lead guitarist Pete Townshend then apologized to the crowd, saying Daltrey "cannot speak now" and promised the crowd that the band would honor their tickets at a make-good concert still to be scheduled. The Who also postponed concerts on their "Moving On! Tour" scheduled for Sept. 27 in Dallas and Sept. 29 in Denver. - AP, 9/26/19...... On Sept. 25, Queen + Adam Lambert announced they'll bring their "Rhapsody Tour" to the UK in June 2020 after a successful run across North America this year. Kicking off with five shows at the London O2 Arena on June 2, 3, 5, 6 and 9, the band will play the Manchester Arena on June 11 and 12, the second Manchester show added after phenomenal demand. On Sept. 28, Queen and Adam Lambert were the headliners of a Global Citizen free concert in New York City's Central Park before 60,000 people. - New Musical Express, 9/25/19...... Sales of such iconic country music artists as Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Patsy Cline and Vince Gill have soared following the premiere of the 8-part Ken Burns-directed Country Music documentary series on PBS on Sept. 15. The Haggard/Nelson duet "Pancho and Lefty" sold 2,000 downloads in the day of the premiere of the episode in which it was featured (episode seven) and the following day (Sept. 23-24) vs. the previous two days (Sept. 21-22), a 700% gain, according to initial sales reports to Nielsen Music. Cline's Nelson-penned hit "Crazy" and Gill's "Go Rest High on That Mountain" also saw huge gains after their respective episodes were aired. As for the largest percentage gains, that distinction belongs to Kris Kristofferson's "Why Me," which moved 1,000 downloads in the day of the episode's airing and the day following alone (episode 6, Sept. 23-24), a 2,589% boost. - Billboard, 9/26/19...... Jeff LynneOn Sept. 26, Jeff Lynne announced his Jeff Lynne's ELO will release the follow-up to his 2015 album Alone In the Universe on Nov. 1 on Columbia Records. Entitled From Out of Nowhere, the 10-track LP's title will continue the ELO branding of a spaceship. "From Out of Nowhere -- that's exactly where it came from," Lynne said in a press release. "That's the first one I wrote for this album and it's kind of like that." Lynne says the title track, "From Out of Nowhere," is a song about hope and salvation, with Lynne often finding himself turning to a sense of optimism, a recurring theme on the album. "Everybody's got to have a bit of hope," he says. In the song, Lynne sings, "Let me go, let me fly/ To a place where I love/ Let me fly away and start again." Lynne played nearly every note on the album (guitars, bass, piano, drums, keyboards, vibes) as well as singing all the lead and harmony vocals, with some added percussion from engineer Steve Jay. - Billboard, 9/26/19...... A soundtrack album from Bruce Springsteen's Western Stars movie, Western Stars - Songs From the Film, will be released on Oct. 25, Columbia Records announced on Sept. 27. The 14-track LP will feature live performances of all the songs from the Western Stars album, as well as a cover of Glen Campbell's beloved 1975 single "Rhinestone Cowboy." The album was mixed by Bob Clearmountain and mastered by Bob Ludwig, the team behind Springsteen's Springsteen on Broadway album from his successful show of the same name. The Western Stars movie premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival earlier in 2019, with Springsteen performing the songs from his first studio album in five years backed by a band and full orchestra at Stone Hill Farm in Colts Neck, N.J. - Billboard, 9/27/19...... In other Springsteen-related news, E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt has announced he's been forced cancel most of his "Summer of Sorcery Tour" of North America due to sinusitis on doctor's orders. "I thought I could shake this sinusitis, but it doesn't seem to be going away," Van Zandt said in a statement on Instagram on Sept. 24. "I've never canceled shows before. I feel terrible about this, but my doctors are telling me there's just no way to continue right now. We were really looking forward to continuing this 90-show tour around the world. We want to thank the fans for all of their support. I really hope we can make up these dates someday somehow." The only two shows remaining are a Nov. 2 one in Boston and the Nov. 6 date in New York City. The New York show will be filmed for a future live DVD and album release. - Billboard, 9/24/19...... Patti Smith released her latest book, Year of the Monkey, on Sept. 24 via book publisher Knopf. "I would say this is my most informal book, and I like that," Smith says. "I mean, it has its formal passages, but it's really just, like, me. If anybody was wonderin' what I'm like, it's just what I'm like. When I was done, I wished it wasn't. [Laughs.] But I'll write another one." Unlike her 2010 book Just Kids, her memoir reflecting on her relationship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe and her life in New York in the '70s, or 2015's M Train, the most vivid scenes of Year of the Monkey aren't necessarily pulled from reality. "I live a lot in my imagination," Smith says. "It's a book written in real time merged with imagination, and that's how I maneuver the world. That's how I navigate all the difficult things we have to navigate. We lose the people we love, but we have to be receptive that they will be by our side. They will speak to us in certain ways." - Billboard, 9/25/19...... Jann Wenner, the Rolling Stone magazine co-founder and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation chairman, announced on Sept. 25 that he will be retiring as the RRHOF chairman in 2020. Taking over as chairman in the new year will be John Sykes, president of entertainment enterprises for iHeartMedia and a co-founder of MTV. "Jann Wenner is a cultural legend," Sykes said. "It's an honor to serve the foundation in this new capacity, and to build on Jann's legacy." Wenner, 73, will remain on the board of directors. Wenner produced the RRHOF's 25th anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden in 2009, which was headlined by U2, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder and Sting, and is credited with recruiting late famed architect I.M. Pei to create the RRHOF headquarters in Cleveland, Oh. - AP/Billboard, 9/25/19...... David BowieRobert FrippKing Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp has spoken about his ongoing dispute with David Bowie's estate over his contributions to the classic Bowie albums "Heroes" and Scary Monsters. Fripp famously leant his efforts to the seminal 1977 "Heroes" of the Berlin trilogy, performing the iconic sustained guitar part on the title track. Bowie then invited Fripp back to add his distinctive guitar sounds to 1980's Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) album. Posting on Facebook, Fripp claims that rules of "historic injustice" are blocking the recognition of his contributions to the records, where he argues he should be recognized under the modern term of "Featured Player." He is currently in dispute with Bowie's estate and the UK's PPL over the correct payment of royalties. "The dispute centres on the refusal of PPL and the David Bowie estate to acknowledge that RF's contribution to the "Heroes" and Scary Monsters albums is that of a Featured Player," wrote Fripp. "This accreditation as a Featured Player is supported by Brian Eno, Tony Visconti [and] David Bowie himself (although the terminology was not then in use), and the Court Of Public Opinion over four decades. Essentially, the DB Estate argues that RF's Featured Performer Status is not acknowledged by PPL rules; and PPL argues that as the DB Estate does not accept RF as a Featured Performer, RF is therefore not a Featured Player - and their rules confirm this. Anyone read Catch 22?," he continued. Fripp went on to slam the music industry itself as being run by "self-serving" individuals. "This, a microcosm in our larger societal turmoil, as a new paradigm seeks to be welcomed into our suffering world," he added. Meanwhile, a new version of Bowie's "Heroes" song recorded live at Earl's Court video has been released to mark the track's 42nd anniversary. - New Musical Express, 9/25/19...... A previously unreleased Aretha Franklin recording, "Big Band Holidays II," will be featured on a new Christmas album from The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Franklin performed the song as she played the piano at a 2015 holiday concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center; her performance of the classic, in both English and German, was a surprise. It will be featured on the Big Band Holidays II album, which is being digitally released on Oct. 25 and will be in stores on Nov. 8. Few songs have been released from Franklin since her death in August 2018. - AP, 9/24/19.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Lynyrd Skynyrd announced on Sept. 24 their concert film Last of The Street Survivors Farewell Tour will be coming to movie theaters for one night only on Nov. 7. Part of the southern rock legends' farewell tour, the film will include footage from the concert as well as interviews with the band. "We can't wait to share this amazing night and performance with the Skynyrd Nation, especially those that weren't able to be there that evening," Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington said in a statement. "The energy, passion and reaction to the music and band was something we will never forget." Tickets for the film, which features the band's 2018 hometown stadium performance at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., will go on sale Oct. 4 at FathomEvents.com and participating theater box offices. The farewell tour runs through October. Lynyrd Skynyrd recently postponed two of its August concert dates to October to allow Rossington to recover from health issues. - Billboard, 9/24/19...... Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney reacted to such topics as the recent BTS Beatles cover of "Hey Jude," his admiration of Elvis Presley, and his dreams about John Lennon during an appearance on CBS's The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Sept. 23. Host Stephen Colbert asked if Sir Paul was aware that K-pop megastars BTS had done their own Beatles homage on The Late Show earlier this year -- during which they sang an impromptu round of "Hey Jude" -- which Macca gave a hearty round of applause to as Colbert wondered 'what it was about the Beatles that transcends all language barriers?'" "Easy lyrics?" McCartney joked. After asking someone to get him the top 10 all time covers of "Yesterday," McCartney said his favorites included versions by Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and his favorite, Marvin Gaye. After Colbert asked if he still thinks of his songwriting partner John Lennon, Paul said he does "quite often... I dream about him. When you've had a relationship like that for so long, such a deep relationship, I love when people revisit you in your dreams," he said. "I often have band dreams. I have a lot of dreams about John." McCartney also plugged his new children's book Hey, Grandad!, which he said was inspired by his grandkids. Meanwhile in another new interview with BBC Newsnight, McCartney broke from his fellow former Beatle Ringo Starr's opinion about the controversial Brexit referendum. Paul said Brexit was "probably a mistake" and added he doesn't think "anyone quite knows what to do with" the U.K.'s scheduled withdrawal from the E.U. "I think it's a mess," he said, "and I will be glad when it's over." McCartney said that he didn't participate in the 2016 Brexit vote, where just over half of those voting (51.9%) supported the withdrawal. "I vote for someone I believe in, and so often, there's nobody I believe in," he said. The 77-year-old also explained that he disagreed with others in his generation who thought Brexit represented a return to "the old days." But he also expressed hope for the future: "I think we'll come through with it; I think we always do. I mean, I am old enough to remember garbage in the streets and people not being able to get buried because the gravediggers were on strike. I mean, that was a pretty rough time, and we came through it. So I think we will come through this." - Billboard/New Musical Express, 9/24/19...... In other Beatles-related news, the first ever music video for the Beatles' "Here Comes The Sun" is being shared on YouTube to celebrate the Abbey Road 50th anniversary release which hits stores on Sept. 26. In a nod to the beloved George Harrison-penned song's title, the video captures a gorgeous sunrise illuminating Abbey Road Studios' Studio Two, where the Fab Four recorded most of the legendary album. "The video's sun centerpiece was filmed as it was meticulously crafted on-set in Abbey Road's Studio Two," according to a press release. The video, which premieres on Sept. 26, also features photos from the Apple Corps archive, as well as footage shot by Linda McCartney and supplied by Paul. A trailer for the new video can be viewed on YouTube. Besides session recordings and demos, the Abbey Road reissue will feature new mixes of the 17 tracks by Giles Martin -- the son of late Beatles producer George Martin -- and engineer Sam Okell. Martin's remix of the Abbey Road opener "Come Together" can be streamed on Spotify.com. - New Musical Express, 9/24/19...... Members of an 11-judge panel at a Sept. 23 hearing before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said they are unsure if the copyright dispute over Led Zepplin's "Stairway To Heaven" requires a new trial. The panel harshly and consistently challenged a plaintiffs' attorney, Francis Malofiy, who argued that a new trial is justified and that jurors should be allowed to hear the recorded versions of the songs in the lawsuit that alleged Zeppelin's 1971 song was stolen from a 1968 song called "Taurus" by Spirit. The estate of the late Randy Wolfe of Spirit sued and lost at a 2016 trial that included testimony from Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant, but a three-judge 9th Circuit panel earlier in 2019 ordered a new trial and Led Zeppelin appealed to the larger group of judges. At issue is the classic introductory riff to "Stairway to Heaven," which leads into the opening lyrics. Malofiy told the court that Page, who wrote the riff, said he does not even read music, so it s ridiculous to merely consider the sheet music version of "Taurus." Led Zeppelin attorney Peter Anderson argued that Malofiy was trying to bring up an entirely new and irrelevant issue with talk of the sheet music and recording. "At no point in this case," Anderson said, "did the plaintiff ever take the position that the deposit copy was in error." The U.S. government also weighed in on the case, siding with Led Zeppelin. Government attorney Daniel Tenny said that the "Taurus" recording "could be considered under more recent copyright legislation, but under the 1909 law that applies, only the sheet music matters." - Billboard, 9/24/19...... In other Led Zeppelin news, Jimmy Page recently told the UK music mag Uncut that a Zeppelin biopic has been discussed by the band after the box office success of the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody and the Elton John biopic Rocketman. "We'll have to ask [Zeppelin frontman] Robert Plant if he'll play me. See how he gets on," Page said. "It's been discussed. There are always people trying to make money out of Led Zeppelin. In Siberia and LA there's probably a meeting going on right now," he added. However, Page remains sceptical that the project will ever get off the ground. "I'm too busy with real things to care about things that won't come off," he said. "What would I want to do a film for? Listen to the albums. It's all on there." But Page was more committed to his own tell-all autobiography. "I will definitely do an autobiography," he said. "Every six months brings new things for me to write about or comment about. I have a number of ways I plan to approach it. But I am determined that I'll write it first and then go to a publisher because I don't want to be held to a deadline." LZ fans can also look forward to a forthcoming documentary to mark the band's 50th anniversary. As well as including new interviews with Page, Plant and John Paul Jones, it's also set to feature previously unseen interviews with the late John Bonham. - New Musical Express, 9/20/19...... Former The Supremes member Mary Wilson became the first dancer eliminated from the competition on ABC's Dancing With The Stars on Sept. 23. After starting brightly the previous week with a foxtrot to The Supremes hit "Baby Love," Wilson worked some dancefloor magic to "Think" by Aretha Franklin. Each of the three judges, however, gave her just five votes apiece, for a total of 15 out of 30. - Billboard, 9/24/19...... Berry Gordy Jr.In other Motown-related news, Berry Gordy Jr., the founder of the Hitsville U.S.A. studios, announced his retirement during a Hitsville Honors ceremony on Sept. 22 at Orchestra Hall in his home town of Detroit, where he started Motown 60 years ago with an $800 loan from his family trust. Gordy, who turns 90 in November, made the surprise reveal during a good-naturedly rambling 35-and-a-half-minute speech that caused Lee Daniels, who presented a Motown Legacy Award to Berry, to put the weighty trophy he was holding on the floor after Gordy hit the half-hour mark. Gordy saved the "important announcement" until the end, telling the audience that "As I stand here I'm back where I started. I have come full circle, so it is only appropriate that... I should announce my retirement." After a response of laughter and then a warm ovation, Gordy -- who started the label in 1959 -- continued that, "For years I have dreamt about it, talked about it, threatened it and tried to do it. In fact, this has gone on for so many years that those trying to help me retire (have) retired themselves. It is time for me to spend my next 60 years reflection on how fortunate I am, how much I appreciate and love all of you and how wonderful my life has been, and will continue to be." Though Gordy sold Motown in 1988, he's remained active in creative and business concerns, including produced the Tony Award-nominated "Motown: The Musical" in 2013 and staying involved with management of the Jobete publishing catalog, now administered by Sony/ATV. Meanwhile on Sept. 22, a ceremonial groundbreaking to expand the Detroit Hitsville U.S.A. building was conducted during a weekend of events marking the company's 60th anniversary. Gordy recently announced plans to donate $4 million toward the project incorporating interactive exhibits, a performance theater and recording studios. - Billboard/AP, 9/23/19...... A guitar given to late blues guitar legend B.B. King for his 80th birthday sold for $280,000 at an auction of more than 550 items from King's estate in Los Angeles on Sept. 21. Julien's Auctions says King, who died in 2015 in Las Vegas at age 89, often used the black Gibson ES-345 prototype that was one of several guitars he called "Lucille." A spokeswoman for Juliens said that the buyer wants to remain anonymous. The auction house said the estate sale brought in $1.3 million. It included awards, photographs, King's passports, luggage, jewelry, clothing, audio equipment and other guitars. A ring that King wore in photos sold for $16,250. It is 18-karat gold and has "BB" encrusted with 22 diamonds, and its initial estimated value was $6,000 to $8,000. A collection of King's 78 rpm blues records sold for $51,200, after an estimated value of $500 to $700. - AP, 9/23/19...... A new version of the music video for David Bowie's 1977 song 'Heroes' has been released to mark the 42nd anniversary of the song's original release. Released as a single on Sept. 23, 1977, the song served as the title track for the late artist's acclaimed twelfth studio album, which was released the following month. The new 'Heroes' edit is made from footage from the filming of the original video to celebrate the song's latest anniversary, and the clip has subsequently been given the stamp of approval by Bowie's official Facebook page. "Thanks to the vast possibilities of modern digital editing, it was relatively easy to alter some of the cross cuts between the two camera angles, and moreover to correct or somewhat mask Bowie's lip-sync errors," said Nacho's Videos in a statement. - NME, 9/23/19...... Sammy Hagar has apologized for the cancellation of his upcoming "High Tide Beach Party & Car Show" in Huntington Beach, Calif., which has been canceled over permit issues, according to a notice on the festival's website. The music event, which had been scheduled for Sept. 28-29 at Huntington State Beach, was "denied the necessary permit" from California State Parks," the notice reads. "Unfortunately, there is no possibility to relocate the event." Ticket-holders will be issued a refund. The second annual event was to feature performances by Hagar and his current backing band the Circle, The Beach Boys, Vince Neil, Night Ranger, Blue Oyster Cult and Extreme. "I don't know exactly what happened," Hagar said in a Twitter video post apologizing for the cancellation. "The promoters and the city both put out press releases saying what happened. And I guess that's what happened. All I can say is I'm sorry. I'm more disappointed than anyone. I think all the fans know how much I care about them, how much I care about my parties and my music and everything that I do. But I'm gonna try to make it up." - Billboard, 9/22/19...... KISS, Iron Maiden and System Of A Down have been confirmed as headliners of the UK's 2020 Download Festival set for Donington Park between June 12-14. Each act taking top billing across the three days, with KISS kicking off the proceedings on June 12, before Iron Maiden and System Of A Down follow suit on June 13 and June 14 respectively. Other acts confirmed include the Deftones, The Offspring, KoRn, Of Mice and Men and Daughtry. "I've said it before, Download Festival audiences are the best. They are up for whatever is thrown at them," KISS bassist Gene Simmons said in a previous interview. "KISS is going to come fully prepared to rock their world in 2020 to say Thank you for always showing up for us," Simmons added. Tickets go on sale Sept. 25. - New Musical Express, 9/23/19...... Todd RundgrenMickey DolenzA tribute tour to the Beatles' 1968 album The Beatles (aka "The White Album") headed by Todd Rundgren and Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees kicked off on Sept. 21 in Atlantic City, N.J. "There was actually a very good relationship between (the Beatles) and us," says Dolenz, a member of the famed Hollywood Vampires "softball team/drinking club" which also included John Lennon and Ringo Starr. "I put that (relationship) down to the fact that the Beatles got it. They got what the Monkees was about, which was not a group but a TV show about a group that wanted to be the Monkees. They related to us as other creative people, not as another band -- the 'Prefab Four' or anything like that," he added. Rundgren acknowledges that, like many, he viewed the Monkees as "essentially a synthesized product" back in the '60s. But he's equally certain it won't have much bearing on the show, which will feature "The White Album" album in its entirety. "Whenever you get an opportunity to play classic music, you usually take it -- especially if you've spent a lot of your life being a Beatles fan," says Rundgren, who was part of the "A Walk Down Abbey Road" tour also produced by the New York-based Flower Power Concerts Inc. The pair's "It Was Fifty Years Ago Today" tour has two legs, a 17-city east coast run that wraps Oct. 20 and another week of 5 dates during December which wraps on Dec. 11 in Los Angeles. - Billboard, 9/20/19...... On Sept. 20 a judge ruled that the lawsuit brought against HBO by Michael Jackson's estate must be moved to arbitration, after the network aired controversial documentary Leaving Neverland earlier in the year. U.S. District Court Judge George H. Wu granted a request made by Jackson's estate that HBO must adhere to a 1992 arbitration agreement that stated the network could not make disparaging remarks about the singer or "do any act that may harm or disparage or cause to lower in esteem the reputation of [Jackson]." Leaving Neverland focuses on testimony by Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 41, who both claim that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children. In the wake of the film being shown, Jackson's songs were subsequently banned on numerous radio stations around the world. Meanwhile in other MJ news, the late King of Pop's estate has reportedly earned almost $2 billion since the singer's death a decade ago. New documents obtained by TheBlast.com reveal that the late singer's estate has pulled in $1.7 billion in profits since he died in 2009. In documents submitted to the Los Angeles County Court, the Jackson estate's executor and lawyers explain how they are garnering "significant revenues." In 2018, it was revealed that Jackson had topped the list of the highest paid dead celebrities for the sixth year in the row. - NME, 9/21/19...... A new posthumous album from Leonard Cohen, Thanks For The Dance, has been announced by Cohen's son Adam Cohen. Adam developed the new LP and says he wanted to fulfill his father's dying wish to complete the "bare musical sketches" that he left behind from his final album You Want It Darker. In doing so, Adam recruited the likes of Spanish guitarist Javier Mas, who accompanied Leonard on stage for the last eight years of touring. Thanks For The Dance will drop on Nov. 22. - NME, 9/20/19...... Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple has announced that Dead Sea Skulls and Piston will be his special guests on his upcoming "Glenn Hughes Performs Deep Purple Live" UK tour this November. The 10-date tour gets underway on Nov. 16 in Bexhill and wraps on Nov. 28 in Middlesbrough. "I'm excited to return to touring 'Classic Deep Purple Live'" in the UK in November 2019," says Hughes. "I first toured [it] in Australia and New Zealand last year and it went down a storm. Can't way to play the UK again." - Noble PR, 9/20/19...... Robert HunterRobert Hunter, the esteemed poet, writer and lyricist for the Grateful Dead, passed away at his home on the evening of Sept. 23 of as yet undisclosed causes. He was 78. After joining the Grateful Dead in 1967, Hunter wrote the lyrics for such classic Dead songs as "Dark Star," "Box of Rain" and "Touch of Gray." Born Robert Burns on June 23, 1941, in Arroyo Grande, Calif., Hunter was one of the key figures in the burgeoning West Coast psychedelic rock movement, and was already friends with the late GD frontman Jerry Garcia before he joined, with the two having met for the first time in 1961. His lyrics often read like mysical poetry, telling ambitious tales of mythical American figures -- miners, gamblers, pioneers -- searching for an elusive truth behind the mystery of life. Hunter was inducted along with the Grateful Dead into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, becoming the first ever non-performer of a band to be inducted as a band member. As well as releasing a number of solo records and poetry collections over the years, Hunter also worked with the likes of Elvis Costello, Bruce Hornsby and Bob Dylan. He memorably worked on songs for the Dylan albums Down in the Groove (1988), Together Through Life (2009) and Tempest (2012). Hunter is said to have died peacefuly with his wife Maureen holding his hand. "For his fans that have loved and supported him all these years, take comfort in knowing that his words are all around us, and in that way his is never truly gone. In this time of grief please celebrate him the way you all know how, by being together and listening to the music," Hunter's family said in a statement, which concluded with one of his most memorable lines from the Dead ballad "Ripple," "Let there be songs to fill the air." - Billboard, 9/24/19.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Cher was among the artists appearing on the two-hour season finale on America's Got Talent on Sept. 18. The diva was featured in an animated skit with Simon Cowell, and ran through a version of ABBA's "Waterloo." Inspirational singer Kodi Lee, who warmed hearts with an emotional piano cover of Donny Hathaway's "A Song For You," was named as the season 14 winner. - Billboard, 9/19/19...... Columbia/Legacy Records announced on Sept. 19 that a rare and infamous 1969 session in Nashville by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash will be featured on the 15th installment of Dylan's Bootleg Sessions series on Nov. 1. Travelin' Thru, 1967 - 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15 will showcase Dylan's two years spent in Music City and also feature unheard material from the recording sessions for Dylan's John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline and Self Portrait albums. To help promote the new release, two previews including "I Pity the Poor Immigrant (Take 4)" and "Tell Me That It Isn't True (Take 2)" were shared on YouTube. - New Musical Express, 9/19/19...... Brian MayA new play featuring a Japanese re-telling of Queen's classic 1975 album A Night At The Opera will open in Tokyo on Oct. 8. The experimental production, which flamboyant late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury would probably have loved, is from writer/director Hideki Noda of the independent NODA*MAP theater company. In a press release, Noda said he began working on the project two years ago "out of the desire to explore and bring the dramatic world of A Night at the Opera, which includes 'Bohemian Rhapsody', to life on stage in a theatrical setting." With the permission and support of the surviving members of the band, the production will feature all the songs from the album, which contains such classics as "I'm In Love With My Car," "You're My Best Friend," "Love of My Life" and, of course, "Bohemian Rhapsody." In a statement, Queen guitarist Brian May said the band is "thrilled and honoured that legendary playwright and director Hideki Noda has chosen to expand on the theatrical aspect of Queen's album A Night at The Opera and actually make it into a real live play." After its Tokyo run, the play will also visit Osaka and Kitakyushu, Japan. - Billboard, 9/19/19...... Robbie Robertson of The Band has contributed to a video of The Band's classic track "The Weight" sponsored by Playing For Change, a global nonprofit which helps provide music education to young people around the world. In the YouTube video, which leads with the words "Celebrating the 50th anniversary of a song that transcends time & space," Beatles drummer Ringo Starr is the first person on screen, sitting behind his kit with a cell phone in his hand, jokingly asking "What key is it in, Robbie? F demented?" Then Robertson, in another city, kicks off the song playing the opening lick on guitar from a Los Angeles park bench, before Marcus King comes in on guitar and vocals from Greenville, S.C. Throughout the course of the song, musicians participate from all over the world -- including Japan, Italy, Nepal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bahrain (interestingly, no Canada where Robertson was born) -- on instruments ranging from traditional guitar to sitar and oud. Robertson, who previewed the new video after the world premiere screening of his new documentary, Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band, at the Toronto International Film Festival, said, "the Playing For Change people and my son Sebastian, they just did it... I've seen others and they're fantastic." - Billboard, 9/18/19...... With his contribution to Post Malone's new hit "Take What You Want," Ozzy Osbourne has ended a record break between Top 10 songs on Billboard's Hot 100 pop chart. Osbourne's last appearance on the Hot 100 was a duet with Lita Ford, "Close My Eyes Forever," which hit number 8 in 1989. Now that Malone's hit has hit No. 8 on the chart, Osbourne has ended a 30 years and three months break between top 10 hits in the chart's archives. Coming in behind Ozzy are Dobie Gray, who hit in 1973 with "Drift Away" and in August 2003 with a remake of "Drift Away" with Uncle Kracker (30 years, two months and one week), and Paul McCartney, who charted "Spies Like Us" in 1986 before making the Top 10 again in 2015 with "FourFiveSeconds" featuring McCartney, Rihanna and Kayne West (29 years and two weeks). - Billboard, 9/16/19...... Elton JohnAfter completing 11 sold out shows in the same market this spring, Elton John has added seven new concert dates to his sold out "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour in New York and New Jersey. The new tour dates hit all four major arenas in the New York area with shows April 6-7 at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan; Apr. 10-11 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn; April 15 at Prudential Center in Newark; and Apr. 17-18 at NYCB LIVE's Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. John's tour kicked off to a sold-out crowd on Sept. 8, 2018, in Allentown, Penn., where he treated fans to such hits as "Bennie and the Jets," "Rocket Man," "Tiny Dancer," and "Philadelphia Freedom." Meanwhile, Elton is confirmed to play 40 combined dates in Australia and New Zealand this winter beginning with back-to-back shows at Perth's HBF Park on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. The 72-year-old rock legend is set to crisscross Oz playing a mix of arenas and open-air shows, including Mount Cotton, a town of less than 7,000 people in Queensland with chicken farms that's a koala conservation area. In other Elton-related news, it was announced on Sept. 18 that a musical adaptation of "The Devil Wears Prada" featuring music written by John will make its pre-Broadway world debut in Chicago on July 14, 2020 and play through Aug. 16, 2020. The musical will feature all-new music by John, whose Broadway bona fides include "The Lion King" and "Billy Elliot the Musical," and lyrics by singer-songwriter Shaina Taub. "The Devil Wears Prada" follows protagonist Andy, a young writer who starts a job at a prestigious publication in New York City under a "stylish yet terrifying boss." - Billboard/New Musical Express/Deadline.com, 9/18/19...... Michael Jackson's estate has responded to the recent Emmy Award win by the controversial Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland. "For a film that is a complete fiction to be honored in a nonfiction Emmy category is a complete farce," the estate told The Hollywood Reporter on Sept. 16. "Not one shred of proof supports this completely one-sided, so-called documentary which was made in secrecy and for which not one person outside of the two subjects and their families were interviewed." Leaving Neverland earned a total of five noms heading into the Sept. 15 Emmy Awards ceremony, including: outstanding directing for a documentary/nonfiction program; outstanding documentary or nonfiction special; outstanding picture editing for a nonfiction program; outstanding sound editing for a nonfiction program; and outstanding sound mixing for a nonfiction program. It won for best documentary or nonfiction special. After Leaving Neverland's debut in January at the Sundance Film Festival, Jackson's estate called the project "a tabloid character assassination" and insisted it "isn't a documentary," while his family called director Dan Reed and the pic's two accusers, James Safechuck and Wade Robson, "opportunists." The Jackson estate and and HBO are currently locked in a fierce legal battle over a contract that allegedly bars the company from disparaging MJ. - The Hollywood Reporter, 9/16/19...... The Cook Islands, a nation in the South Pacific, has released a pair of commemorative coins in honor of two classic AC/DC albums, For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) and Razor's Edge. 1981's For Those About To Rock is honored on a two dollar coin while 1990's The Razors Edge can be found on a ten dollar coin. Both feature a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the reverse side. Both coins are minted in .999 silver, the two dollar coin has a mintage of 5000 while the ten dollar coin has a mintage of 999. The coins are the third and fourth in a series released by Liechtenstein's CIT Coin Invest AG. - New Musical Express, 9/15/19...... Rod StewartAttending a fundraiser in Surrey, England on Sept. 14 for the Prostate Project and European Tour Foundation charities, Rod Stewart revealed he's been given an all clear from his doctors on his 2-year battle with cancer. "Two years ago I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. No one knows this, but I thought it was about time I told everybody," the 74-year-old Stewart said to whoops from the crowd. "I'm in the clear now because... I caught it early. But I have so many tests and things... Guys, you've got to really go to the doctor... finger up the bum, no harm done... I've worked for two years and just been happy and the good lord looked after me," he added. Former Faces bandmates Ron Wood and Kenney Jones supported Stewart at the event, where they jammed with him on some of Stewart's most beloved hits, including "Maggie May." - Billboard, 9/18/19...... The Rolling Stones announced on Sept. 19 they will release a live album and concert film entitled Bridges to Buenos Aires on Nov. 8. The release captures the band's triumphant show on Apr. 5, 1998 in the Argentinian capital on the band's Bridges to Babylon tour. The two-hour concert was the last of a five-night, sold-out run at Buenos Aires' River Plate Stadium. Bob Dylan, who had played an opening set, later returned to the stage to perform his composition "Like A Rolling Stone" with the band. Bridges to Buenos Aires comes just months after the Stones announced the release of Bridges to Bremen, which captures a stop in the German city on the same tour behind Bridges to Babylon. Like its Bremen counterpart, the Buenos Aires concert film was restored from original footage, and the audio remixed and remastered from live multi-track recordings. Bridges to Buenos Aires will be released in DVD, Blu-Ray and digital video formats, while the live album will be available on CD, limited-edition blue translucent triple vinyl and digital audio. - NME, 9/19/19...... Fans of the late Eddie Money have streamed his 1986 hit "Take Me Home Tonight" over three million times since his passing on Sept. 4 after a battle with stage 4 esophageal cancer. On-demand streams of the song, which features The Ronettes' Ronnie Spector providing backing vocals, increased by 349% in the U.S. to 3.1 million in the three days after his passing (Sept. 13-16) as compared to the three previous days, according to Nielsen Music. "Take Me Home Tonight" was Money's highest-charting single on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 4 on the Nov. 15, 1986-dated chart. The track additionally spent more time on the list than any other Eddie Money hit, racking up 23 weeks on the tally. The single also spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart. Money's entire catalog of songs also saw a 931% gain in on-demand streams on Sept. 13-16 versus Sept. 10-12. - Billboard, 9/17/19...... KISS bassist/singer Gene Simmons announced on Sept. 13 that the band's scheduled show at the USANA Amphitheatre in Salt Lake City the next evening would be postponed due to a medical emergency. "Apologies to the fans in Salt Lake City. We will come back and do the show at a later date," wrote Simmons of the show that was to be their final U.S. gig before the start of a November swing in Australia. "The truth is, I have to fly to LA to do a medical procedure. Nothing serious. But it must be taken care of now. Thank you for your good wishes. All is well." KISS is currently in the midst of its End of the Road world tour, which it says will likely be its final outing. KISS postponed shows in Oakland and Los Angeles earlier in September, moving the original Sept. 16 Oakland Arena date to March 6 and the Sept. 20 Staples Center date in Los Angeles to March 4 after what were described as "unforeseen scheduling issues." - Billboard, 9/16/19...... Ric OcasekIn related news, sales of The Cars' albums and songs have surged by 2,662% in the wake of the Sept. 15 death of the band's mastermind, Ric Ocasek. Nielsen Music reports The Cars' combined albums and songs sold 27,000 copies on Sept. 16 and in the late hours of Sept. 15 (following news of Ocasek's passing that evening). In the two previous days, The Cars' music and sold just 1,000. The bulk of the sales came via the band's Complete Greatest Hits album, which features 16 of the band's 18 Billboard Hot 100 hits. In terms of individual song sales, "Drive" was by far the act's biggest seller, with nearly 4,000 downloads sold. Rounding out their top five sellers: "Just What I Needed" (2,000), "Magic" (a little under 2,000), "My Best Friend's Girl" (a little under 2,000) and "You Might Think" (1,000). Ocasek's solo catalog of material also posted gains. Meanwhile, the New York City medical examiner revealed that Ocasek's death was due to heart disease, worsened by emphysema. The 75-year-old musician's wife, model/actress Paulina Porizkova, posted on Instagram that she went to bring him his Sunday morning coffee and "realized that during the night he had peacefully passed on." Porizkova said her husband had been "recuperating very well after surgery" and that their two sons were making sure he was comfortable. Porizkova, who announced she was separating from Ocasek in 2018, did not say what type of surgery Ocasek was recovering from. On Sept. 16, Porizkova thanked Cars fans for tokens left outside the couple's Manhattan home after his death. "Thank you... We appreciate the great outpouring of love," she wrote on Instagram alongside the photo of some flower bouquets, tiny metal race cars and candles left near the gate. The couple met in 1984 on the shoot for the Cars' "Drive" video shoot and and have two sons, Jonathan and Oliver, together. Also paying tribute to the late Cars frontman was Patti Smith, dedicated a performance of her 2012 song "Tarkovsy (The Second Stop Is Jupiter)" to Ocasek during her Sept. 17 concert in Detroit. - Billboard/AP, 9/18/19...... Steve Martin says his annual Bluegrass Award, which he and his wife Anne Stringfield dreamed up in 2010 after Martin noticed that some master musicians were still paying off their banjos, is in danger of disappearing due to the sheer number of qualified musicians as bluegrass music goes through a flowering. "It became very difficult to keep pace, even with all our great board members, of so many great players. In the '60s, when I was first learning, great players were rare," says Martin. "Now, if you listen to a bluegrass channel, you listen to the banjo player and go, 'Who's that?' And you've never even heard of him and they're playing incredibly sophisticated stuff I couldn't even pretend to do." Martin says he hopes some entity might take over administrating his Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, which comes with a $50,000 prize and a sculpture. The 2019 recipient was recently awarded to 19-year-old Victor Furtado of Boston, a student at the Berklee College of Music. - AP, 9/17/19...... Appearing on the British TV show Good Morning Britain on Sept. 16, Irish singer Sinead O'Connor claimed that Prince, who penned her seminal hit "Nothing Compares 2 U," once tried to "beat her up" and left a female band member with broken ribs. "Prince tried to beat me up," O'Connor said. "It was a very frightening experience. He summoned me to his house one night and I foolishly went alone. He was uncomfortable with the fact I wasn't a protege of his and that I'd just recorded the song." She added: "He was wanting me to be a protegé of his and ordered that I don't swear in my interviews. I told him where he could go and he went for me. He went upstairs and got a pillow and he had something hard in the pillow. I ran out of his house, hiding behind a tree. We meet on the highway in Malibu at five in the morning -- I'm spitting at him, he's trying to punch me. I had to go ring someone's doorbell, which my father always told me to do if I was in a situation like that." O'Connor also claimed that the late singer was "into some pretty dark drugs at the time" and said, "I'm not the only one he went at. One of the girls in his band was in the hospital with broken ribs at the time." - NME, 9/16/19...... Clive DavisA new documentary on the legendary music industry mogul Clive Davis, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, premiered on Netflix on Sept. 17. The film presents the visionary exec's five-decade career, during which he founded Arista Records and J Records, and shaped the careers of icons including Santana; Blood, Sweat & Tears; Chicago; Earth, Wind & Fire; Boz Scaggs; Billy Joel; Bruce Springsteen; Aretha Franklin; Aerosmith; Whitney Houston; Alicia Keys; and many more. In the film, Davis recalls the time he signed Janis Joplin to Columbia Records. "[Janis] came to my office privately. She graciously said that the mere signing of a contract in a corporate building was not adequate to represent our linkage. She wanted to commemorate it [by sleeping together]. I told her that it was a great compliment but would not be fitting to complicate our professional relationship." - Billboard, 9/17/19......Cokie Roberts, a legendary journalist who won countless awards, including three Emmys, throughout her decades-long career, died on Sept. 17 due to complications from breast cancer. She was 75. Ms. Roberts was perhaps best known as a commentator for ABC News, starting as a contributor for This Week with David Brinkley, and as the network's chief congressional analyst and anchor on This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts. Known for her savvy insight and analysis of politics, government and Washington D.C., Ms. Roberts continued to appear on This Week after George Stephanopoulos and Martha Raddatz took over hosting duties. Born in New Orleans, Ms. Roberts grew up surrounded by politics. Her father, Hale Boggs, was a longtime Democratic congressman from Louisiana who served as House majority leader. "I knew Congress in a way that nobody knew Congress," Ms. Roberts recalled in the TV Academy interview. "It was very.very helpful." Ms. Roberts started in radio as a foreign correspondent for CBS in Athens, Greece, and then moved to NPR to cover Capitol Hill in 1978. "Cokie Roberts will be dearly missed," said James Goldston, president of ABC News. "Cokie's kindness, generosity, sharp intellect and thoughtful take on the big issues of the day made ABC a better place and all of us better journalists." She is survived by her husband, fellow journalist Steven Roberts, her children, Lee and Rebecca and her six grandchildren. - Deadline.com, 9/17/19.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Ric OcasekSinger/guitarist/songwriter/producer Ric Ocasek, the frontman of the legendary New Wave band The Cars, died on Sept. 15 after being discovered unconscious and unresponsive in his Manhattan townhouse at around 4:14 p.m. EDT by his estranged supermodel wife, Paulina Porizkova. He was 75 and the primary cause of death is not yet known. Born Richard Otcasek on Mar. 23, 1949, in Baltimore, Md., Ocasek took up guitar at age 10 and immediately began to write songs. After dropping out of Antioch College and Bowling Green State University, he began making a living as a musician. He met future Cars bassist Benjamin Orr (who died in 2000) in Cleveland, Oh., where Orr worked as a studio producer and session musician. After working in various bands in the northeast, the pair settled in Cambridge, Mass., in the late Seventies. After recruiting guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes, and drummer David Robinson, the quintet had intensive rehearsals in Ocasek's basement and made some demo tapes, including "Just What I Needed," which became popular with locals after it was played on Boston radio station WBCN. The band was signed by Elektra Records and released their self-named debut album in 1978, and it became a milestone in the burgeoning New Wave scene. Recorded in just two weeks and immaculately produced by Roy Thomas Baker, the album spawned three hit singles -- "Just What I Needed" (#27, 1978), "My Best Friend's Girl" (#35, 1978) and "Good Times Roll" (#41, 1979) -- and went platinum, becoming such a persistent chart presence that the release of the band's second album, Candy-O, was delayed even though it was recorded in early 1979. Driven by Ocasek's artful pop songs, The Cars were the fastest, most consistently successful of all New Wave bands, with their first and second albums selling more than six million copies worldwide. After Candy-O, Ocasek then turned his attention to producing other artists, including Suicide's Alan Vega, Romeo Void and Bebe Buell. Ric OcasekThe Cars' 1981 album, Shake It Up, went platinum on the strength of the No. 4 title track and another hit, "Since You're Gone." In 1983, Ocasek released the first of his seven solo albums, Beatitude, and around this time also did production for Bad Brains. In 1984, The Cars staged a major comeback on the charts with their Heartbeat City LP, which launched four hit singles that year: "You Might Think" (#7), "Magic" (#12), "Drive" (#3) and "Hello Again" (#20). The video for the song starred model Porizkova, whom Ocasek would wed in 1989. The Cars would chart two more Top 20 hits in the Eighties -- "Tonight She Comes" (#7, 1985) and "You Are The Girl" (#17, 1987) -- however by the time of 1987's Door To Door album, the band began to unravel due to personal conflicts and called it quits. Ocasek would have a #15 solo hit, "Emotions In Motion," in 1986, but found his biggest post-Cars success as a producer, helming Weezer's landmark self-titled debut ("the Blue Album"). The proper lineup of The Cars (after once touring with Todd Rundgren fronting the band) would reunite for 2011's well-received Move Like This album. Ocasek released a book of poetry, Negative Theatre, in 1992, and in 2017 revealed he was working on an album that would compile "the best picks of the solo albums" as well as "another 10 or 15 songs that nobody's ever heard. Some are finished, some are demos. It's stuff I've always liked but never put it on things." Several of Ocasek's contemporaries, including Peter Frampton, Billy Idol and Bryan Adams, paid tribute to the late musician on Twitter upon learning of his death. "So sad. Such a great writer, singer, player, producer. My thoughts are with his family. Rest in peace," Frampton wrote. The band Weezer posted: "The Weezer family is devastated by the loss of our friend and mentor Ric Ocasek." - Billboard, The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock, 9/16/19.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

On Sept. 9 Bob Dylan announced an ambitious new string of 28 fall U.S. tour dates that will take him across the country, beginning on Oct. 11 at the UC Irvine Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif., and keeping him on the road through a Nov. 21 gig at the Met Philadelphia. He'll be visiting such major markets as Denver (10/17), Kansas City, Mo. (10/20), St. Louis (10/22), Milwaukee (10/26), Chicago (10/30) and Baltimore (11/12), also visiting several university auditoriums in college cities. Tickets for his fall tour went on sale Sept. 13. - Billboard,...... Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth has announced he'll kick off a Las Vegas mini-residency in 2020 at the House of Blues in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. He'll be performing Jan. 8, Jan. 10-11 and March 18, March 20-21, March 25 and March 27-28. "A weekend with me is interactive way beyond just music. It starts with the best food on Earth. The fellas smoke their three cigarettes for the year and we all stay up way past our bedtime!," Roth said in a statement. Roth will be joining a long list of artists with Vegas residencies that curently includes Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Bruno Mars, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson and Jennifer Lopez. - AP, 9/9/19...... Marvin GayeTo help celebrate Motown's 60th anniversary, on Sept. 13 the Detroit-based label released a video of Marvin Gaye performing his classic 1971 track "What's Going On," interweaved with vignettes of modern-day issues, such as the Flint water crisis, racial struggles with police, mass shootings, and lack of affordable insurance. "We wanted a place that resonates with the song and the history of Motown, while also remaining relevant to the sociopolitical issues in the music video," Leaf said of filming the clip in Flint, Mich. "It was very important for us to find real people that resonated with the stories, rather than casting actors." The 2019 "What's Going On" was directed by Savanah Leaf and is the first video from Universal Music Group's "Never Made" project, a series that creates content for songs that, surprisingly, never had a music video, which until now had included Gaye's early '70s observation on society's injustices. - Billboard, 9/13/19...... In other Motown-related news, Gladys Knight says in a new interview that her favorite Motown memory is "the sense of family as we became friends in the early days." "We had so much fun... Most of us lived in the same neighborhood, so on a Saturday we'd be barefootin' in our basement," she says. "Then we'd go to Martha [Reeves]'s house [of The Vandellas] down the street and start dancing again. Tammi Terrell; Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin and all of The Temptations lived right in back of us [laughs] We'd sing together and act crazy. It was family." Knight is currently touring the US, playing the Hollywood Bowl, Memphis and Cincinnati during the second week of September and will next visit Kansas City, Mo., San Antonio and Atlanta before wrapping in Brooklyn on Nov. 23 and Morristown, N.J. on Nov. 24. Her setlist includes salutes to her late dear friends Aretha Franklin ("A Natural Woman") and James Ingram ("One Hundred Ways"). - Billboard, 9/10/19...... Bruce Springsteen has once again signed on to be a major headliner at the upcoming 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes celebration at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. The Boss will be welcomed to the stage alongside comedians Jon Stewart, John Oliver, Ronny Chieng and Hasan Minhaj. The special event coincides with the nation's largest comedy festival (Nov. 4-10), with more than 200 comedians performing at 100 shows across New York. - Billboard, 9/9/19...... The estate of Prince and Warner Records announced on Sept. 10 that Prince's classic 1982 double-LP 1999 has been remastered for the very first time and expanded with 35 previously unreleased tracks for an upcoming 1999 Super Deluxe reissue. Released on Oct. 27, 1982, 1999 was Prince's first true crossover success, peaking at No. 7 on the the Billboard Hot 200 and featuring a raft of hit singles including "Little Red Corvette," "Delirious" and the title track. Both the CD and vinyl set will hit stores on Nov. 29. - Billboard, 9/10/19...... It's a "highway to hell": police in Montana have indulged in a creative way to move a bison blocking the road -- by blasting out AC/DC music. On Sept. 11, the Gallatin County Montana Sheriff's Office shared a picture of the road-blocking bison on their Facebook page, stating: "Being a deputy around West Yellowstone comes with unusual duties, including herding bison off the highway so no one gets hurt. When deputies respond to a bison on the road, they turn on lights and siren and encourage the animal to leave the road with an air horn. With a reluctant bison, they've been known to play AC/DC's 'Hell's Bells' over the speakers -- that usually seems to work." AC/DC recently marked the 40th anniversary of their classic 1979 album Highway to Hell on social media. - New Musical Express, 9/11/19...... Ringo StarrOn Sept. 13 Ringo Starr announced details of his 20th studio album, What's My Name, and posted a video of the album's title track on YouTube. Set for release on Oct. 25, What's My Name sees Starr working with a host of collaborators including Paul McCartney on a cover of the John Lennon-penned "Grow Old With Me" which originally appeared on his and Yoko Ono's Milk and Honey album. With Starr on vocals and McCartney on bass and backing vocals, the song was written by Lennon just a few years before his death. Ringo says the inspiration to record the song came to him when he ran into producer Jack Douglas, who produced Lennon and Ono's Double Fantasy album, among other classic recordings. "Jack asked if I ever heard 'The Bermuda Tapes', John's demos from that time, and I had never heard all this," Ringo says. "The idea that John was talking about me in that time before he died, well, I'm an emotional person. And I just loved this song. I sang it the best that I could. I do well up when I think of John this deeply. And I've done my best. We've done our best. The other good thing is that I really wanted Paul to play on it, and he said yes. Paul came over and he played bass and sings a little bit on this with me. So John's on it in a way. I'm on it and Paul's on it. It's not a publicity stunt. This is just what I wanted." - New Musical Express, 9/13/19...... In other Beatles-related news, renowned Beatleologist Mark Lewisohn recently gave the UK paper The Guardian access to a tape of a meeting held 50 years ago this September, which seemingly shows the Fab Four at loggerheads as John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison met at Apple headquarters in Savile Row. "It's a revelation," Lewisohn told the paper. "The books have always told us that they knew Abbey Road was their last album and they wanted to go out on an artistic high. But no -- they're discussing the next album. And you think that John is the one who wanted to break them up but, when you hear this, he isn't. Doesn't that rewrite pretty much everything we thought we knew?" The new revelation, including one in which McCartney criticizes Harrison's songwriting, will feature in "Hornsey Road," a new musical from Lewisohn which tracks the creation and recording of Abbey Road. - NME, 9/13/19...... Elswhere on the Fab Four front, the inspiration for the band's famous 1967 song "Strawberry Field Forever" is set to open as a tourist attraction. The song was inspired by a garden of a Salvation Army children's home in Liverpool, where John Lennon used to play growing up. Until now, fans were forced to look through red metal gates at the garden, without being able to access the location. But now Strawberry Field has announced that beginnign Sept. 14 the garden will be open to the public for the first time. According to the website, the site is now "home to an interactive visitor exhibition, community cafe, shop, calm garden spaces for spiritual reflection and -- at its heart -- a Steps to Work programme for young adults with learning disabilities and other barriers to employment." The Victorian house on the site was torn down in 1973, and replaced by a new building that was shut down in 2005. - NME, 9/11/19...... The B-52'sFred Schneider of the B-52's has confirmed that his band is "scheduled to do two more songs" soon to accompany "a deluxe package of all our records" that's expected out sometime during 2020. They're releasing deluxe this, deluxe that every year," Schneider says, "so we're planning to record two more songs." Schneider adds that Keith Strickland, who's retired from touring with the B-52's, will be writing the music for the songs, with Schneider, Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson adding lyrics. The B-52's are currently on a North American tour (with opening acts OMD and Berlin) celebrating the 40th anniversary of their first eponymous album. "We won't be doing any major tours anymore, but we'll be doing gigs and festivals and things like that," Schneider explains. The group does have a one-off show booked for Nov. 16 in Mexico City and will be part of the "80s Cruise" setting sail next March 8 from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Schneider says the B-52's "still kick ass" and "it's 40 years of friendship -- more, really -- and still going strong. We didn't know what we were doing back when we started and it just kind of snowballed. I'm ready to relax, a little, but we're not going to just stop cold." - Billboard, 9/10/19...... ABCKO Records announced on Sept. 11 that they will release a massive 50th anniversary Rolling Stones Let It Bleed box set on Nov. 1. The album has been remastered in stereo and mono on both super audio CD and vinyl, and the deluxe release will include a double A-side "Honky Tonk Women"/"You Can't Always Get What You Want" picture sleeve vinyl 7" mono single. Also included in the deluxe edition are three 12" x 12" hand-numbered replica-signed lithographs printed on embossed archival paper, and a full-color 23" x 23" poster with restored art from the original 1969 Decca Records package along with an 80-page hardcover book that includes an essay by Rolling Stone journalist David Fricke and never-before-seen photos by the band's tour photographer Ethan Russell. The label is also releasing the remastered stereo version of Let It Bleed as a stand-alone CD, vinyl LP, and digitally. - New Musical Express, 9/11/19...... Appearing on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live on Sept. 11, Ozzy Osbourne's wife Sharon Osbourne shared an update on her husband's health. "He's getting a lot better but it's been a very, very hard road," she told host Jimmy Kimmel. Ozzy had been forced to delay his farewell tour due to the flu (which led to pneumonia) as well as a fall that resulted in spinal surgery and two other major operations. Even so, Sharon says they're both keeping in good spirits about it. After she explained that Ozzy showed her an X-ray of his rod- and bolt-filled body, she joked, "No wonder they call him Iron Man, because I tell you -- he's got so much metal in his body, it's frightening." - Billboard, 9/12/19...... The WhoAfter performing a surprise 4-song set on the sixth story rooftop at the Pace Gallery's massive new Chelsea headquarters in New York City on Sept. 12, The Who announced they'll release their first album in 13 years in November. WHO (for those keeping track, this is the fifth Who studio album with 'who' in the title) will be released on Nov. 22 and according to an interview with frontman Roger Daltrey in July, "it's typical [Pete] Townshend." "He's still got the bite and that knack of creating songs with the earworm that climbs into you. How it fits in the modern market I don't know, but I don't care. I know inside me it's good stuff." WHO will include a studio version of "Ball and Chain," a classic Who rocker in the vein of Quadrophenia that references the U.S.'s controversial detention camp in Cuba: "Down in Guantanamo / we still got the ball and chain," Daltrey growls. "There's a long road to travel for justice to make its claim / so let's bring down the gavel / let the prisoner say his name." Daltrey and Townshend are joined on the album by drummer Zak Starkey and bassist Pino Palladino. The Who/Pace connection wasn't entirely random -- within the new gallery was the cover art to the band's new LP, courtesy of Sir Peter Blake, the renowned U.K. artist best known for crafting the cover imagery for the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with then-wife Jann Haworth. - Billboard, 9/13/19...... Neil Young and Crazy Horse shared a new song called "Rainbow of Colors" on Sept. 13 that will appear on their upcoming album Colorado "Rainbow of Colors" is a song about the USA and the whole world," Young says. "The idea of this song is that we all belong together. Separating us into races and colors is an old idea whose time has passed." Colorado will drop on Oct. 25 via Reprise Records. - NME, 9/14/19...... Sting has topped Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart for the week ending Sept. 14 with his "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free 2019." It is one of six songs produced by Dave Aude for Sting's My Songs release, which hit stores on May 24. "When Sting asked me to produce for My Songs, I asked if I could work on 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free,' as it's one of my all-time favorite Sting songs," Aude says. "It's the only one that I totally flipped on its head, and the result is pure dancefloor magic. I'm beyond proud." - Billboard, 9/12/19...... Blues guitar legend Joe Bonamassa will participate in the second annual "Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea Mediterranean II" cruise, which sets sail on Aug. 14 aboard the Norwegian Jade from Barcelona, Spain to Genoa, Italy and Cannes, France. The 6-day cruise will feature music across multiple stages, meet and Greets with artists from the lineup, and one-of-a-kind collaborative sets from blues legends. The specially curated schedule of events offers a variety of music-centric activities including an activity with Bonamassa. Tickets can be booked at BluesAliveAtSeaEurope.com. - Noble PR, 9/10/19...... Alice CooperHaving decided to do a "tip of the hat" to his hometown of Detroit, Alice Cooper has recorded a new vinyl EP of Detroit songs with some of the Motor City's most famous players including Bob Seger. Cooper's Breadcrumbs EP is a six-song set of mostly covers with a highlight being a high-octane rendition of Seger's 1966 single "East Side Story," a video of which has been shared on YouTube. "When people say, 'Well, what is your music?' I say it's Detroit rock -- we just put a different slant on it," says the shock rocker, a Detroit native who moved with his family to Phoenix when he was an adolescent. "At the bottom of it, all Alice Cooper records are Detroit, Chuck Berry, hard rock and then twisting it up into what we are lyrically and performance-wise. But you take the bottom of all those songs and they're all guitar-driven rock n' roll songs, which is what I associate as the Detroit sound. I wanted to use all Detroit players and songs either about Detroit or written by (Detroit musicians)." Cooper confessed that he wasn't familiar with Seger's version of "East Side Story," a regional hit for Seger and his band, but his producer Bob Ezrin saw a video of Seger performing it and went, "We could jazz that song up a little bit and turn it into something else.' It has a great story and I love the chord structure and everything to it. We just treated it a little more hard rock." Alice says he got a chance to tell Seger about the recording when he caught him in Arizona on his current Farewell tour. "I said, 'We're gonna do one of your songs,' and he probably thought I wanted to do one of the hits," Cooper recalls. "I told him 'East Side Story,' and he goes, 'What?!' I said, 'Yeah, we're gonna do that one.' I hope he likes it. I'm glad we gave it a second life." Cooper's Breadcrumbs EP, out Sept. 13, also includes covers of the MC5's "Sister Anne," Suzi Quatro's "Your Mama Won't Like Me" and Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels' "Devil With a Blue Dress On," as well as the new song "Go Man Go" and "Detroit City 2020," a remake of the track from his 2003 album The Eyes of Alice Cooper. The EP will also serve as an introduction to Cooper's next album, which will be all original but, he says, feature the Detroit flavor showcased on Breadcrumbs. "We knew we couldn't get to this new album until 2020, so (the EP) is kind of 'let's throw them some bread crumbs' and give everybody a feel of what it's going to be," explains Cooper, who's currently on tour in Europe. - Billboard, 9/9/19...... TV/movie legend Ed Asner will celebrate his upcoming 90th birthday by letting his famous friends rip into him at a celebrity roast and birthday party set for Nov. 3 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. The evening will benefit the new Ed Asner Family Center, dedicated to promoting mental health and serving special needs children and their families. Cloris Leachman, Mark Hamill, Lily Tomlin and Brad Garrett will be among the celebrities roasting Asner, with Nancy Sinatra and Steve Lukather of Toto set to perform. From his work as an actor, to fighting social injustice, to his fight for union workers everywhere, to making sure the underdog gets a fair shot and finally to his dedication to helping differently abled individuals and their families be the amazing people they are, my father has been there for everyone," said Asner's son Matthew Asner, who also serves as president of The Ed Asner Family Center. - WENN/Canoe.com, 9/14/19.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Eddie MoneyEddie Money, the '70s and '80s classic rock star who became rock radio's most relatable "everyman" with such top 40 hit singles as "Baby, Hold On," "Two Tickets to Paradise" and "Take Me Home Tonight," died on Sept. 4 after being diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer earlier in 2019. He was 70. Born Edward Mahoney in Brooklyn on Mar. 21, 1949, Money was the son of a New York City policeman who seemed destined to follow in his dad's footsteps when he attended the New York Police Academy. At night, however, he moonlighted as Eddie Money in a rock & roll band and decided he loved rock more than police work. Money quit the academy and moved to Berkeley, Calif., where he sang in Bay Area bars and became managed by local promoter Bill Graham, who negotiated a contract for the rough-voiced singer with Columbia Records. His self-titled debut LP was released in 1977 and spawned two Top 40 hits, "Baby, Hold On" and "Two Tickets to Paradise," which became his signature turnes and eventually were certified double-platinum by the RIAA. Money continued to release hit albums and singles for the next several years, including 1979's Life For the Taking and 1982's No Control, which followed his debut album to platinum status. After the latter LP he maintained a low profile for about three years as he worked to overcome a drug problem, but made a huge comeback in 1986 with "Take Me Home Tonight," which would become his biggest hit.The single -- which featured '60s pop legend Ronnie Spector and borrowed the iconic hook and drum beat from her own biggest smash with The Ronettes, "Be My Baby" -- peaked at No. 4 on the pop chart, while its striking black and white video established Money as an MTV star as well as a radio one, and he became a familiar face in the early days of MTV. He continued his chart success with such singles as "I Wanna Go Back" (No. 14, 1987), "Endless Nights" (No. 24, 1987) "Walk on Water" (No. 9, 1988) and "The Love in Your Eyes" (No. 24, 1989). His final top 20 entry came in 1990 with the greatest hits LP single "Peace in Our Time," and he faded from the mainstream with the rise of alternative rock in the '90s. Eddie MoneyNevertheless, Money remained a draw on the touring circuit, his songs continued to be heard on classic rock radio and also appeared in a variety of commercials, TV shows and movies -- with "Take Me Home Tonight" even providing the title of a 2011 retro comedy film set in 1988. Money's engaging presence made him a natural fit on reality TV, and he starred in the AXS cable channel family show Real Money in 2018, during which his recent health struggles were revealed. His final album, Brand New Day, had been scheduled for release this July, but delayed after the singer was forced to undergo a heart valve procedure earlier that month, which reportedly led to him developing pneumonia. "I missed the boat when it came to the big money," Money once said, perhaps referring to AOR giants in his field like Bruce Springsteen or john Mellencamp, but his attitude remained positive. "The kids aren't in jail, they're not in rehab, nobody's wrecked the car this week and there's still milk in the refrigerator," he said in a 2018 interview with Rolling Stone. "I'm having a good month." A statement from his family on Sept. 13 said that Money "passed away peacefully early this morning." It continued: "It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our loving husband and father. We cannot imagine our world without him. We are grateful that he will live on forever through his music." Among the fellow rock stars paying tribute to him on Twitter were Sammy Hagar ("He put up a good fight. And his songs will play on forever"), Paul Stanley ("I remember his first album which I LOVED. A fine singer through the years), and Rick Springfield ("So sad to hear our rock and roll brother Eddie Money passed away this morning. Love to your family and great memories of you Eddie"). - Billboard, Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock, 9/13/19.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, who plays a wealthy art dealer in the new movie The Burnt Orange Heresy, attended the Venice Film Festival on the first weekend of September to help promote the closing film from director Giuseppe Capotondi. Jagger, with actor Donald Sutherland who also appears in the film, quickly turned political when they were asked to comment on a peaceful demonstration about climate change and anti-immigration policies that overtook the red carpet earlier in the day. "I'm absolutely behind that," said Jagger of the protest. "I'm glad they're doing that because they're the ones who are going to inherit the planet." He then blasted U.S. Pres. Donald Trump for pulling out of the Paris Agreement. "We are in a very difficult situation at the moment, especially in the U.S., where all the environmental controls that were put in place -- that were just about adequate -- have been rolled back by the current administration so much that they are being wiped out," he said. "The U.S. should be the world leader in environmental control but now it has decided to go the other way," Jagger added. Jagger also talked about his role in the new movie. "I'm not really a collector. I throw things away," he said. "I buy things and then lose them. I'm a completely hopeless collector. I'm the complete opposite." - The Hollywood Reporter, 9/7/19...... Helen ReddyI Am Woman, a biopic of '70s Australian singer and women's rights pioneer Helen Reddy, had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 5. The principal cast ofI Am Woman is Tilda Cobham-Hervey as Reddy, Evan Peters as Reddy's manager and (now ex) second husband Jeff Wold, and Danielle Macdonald as trailblazing music journalist and Reddy's close friend Lilian Roxon. While director Unjoo Moon knew Reddy well, met Jeff Wold and had the "whole family involved" in the biopic, its star, 24-year-old Cobham-Hervey, chose not to meet Helen in preparation for the role. Hers is not the voice we hear in the film, but rather a combination of Reddy and Australian singer Chelsea Cullen. The soundtrack includes an original song, "Revolution," sung by Reddy's granddaughter Lily Donat and written and produced by Alex Hope (Alanis Morissette). Moon says that Reddy is endorsing his film "absolutely." "She really gave it her blessing. She really enjoyed it. And her whole family, 'cause obviously it includes a lot of them in the film," he says. Moon added his film is still in need of a distribution deal. Reddy, who scored 15 top 40 singles on the pop chart with her signature tune "I Am Woman" going all the way to No. 1, officially retired in 2002 but still performs periodically, most recently in Las Vegas in 2015. She also sang "I Am Woman" a cappella at the 2017 Women's March in Los Angeles. Moon says he's still looking for a distributor for I Am Woman. - Billboard, 9/6/19...... English New Wave singer Gary Numan, who scored a No. 9 single in the U.S. in 1979 with "Cars," has reflected on the 40th anniversary of his sole U.S. hit and top 20 album The Pleasure Principle from which the single was taken. "I'd been out to buy a bass guitar, because I wanted to learn to play bass guitar better... I thought it would be useful in the studio," Numan says. "Still living in my mum and dad's house, I came home from London, and having bought the guitar -- I've still got it, actually -- I took it out of the case, I put it on my lap, and I played [the first four notes of 'Cars']. And I thought, 'Oh, that sounds all right.' The very first thing! The very first four notes that I played when I picked the thing up, having not been a bass player, was f---ing 'Cars'! There is no way you can put that down to any kind of talent... That is just as lucky as you can get!" Numan added that it "took me 10 minutes to write that entire song, all the parts for it. I mean, there's only three... another 20 minutes to put the music to the lyrics, but I think I'd done the whole song in 30 minutes... It's the quickest song I ever wrote, and I'm still learning ridiculously well from it today, 40 years later. That's luck! So for me to ever feel that I was special would be ridiculous." Numan, who has scored more than a dozen top 20 singles in the U.K., says he still hopes to have another hit in the U.S. "Every time I make a record and I put out a single, I still think that there's a chance that it might do something. I'm amazed that I've got the credibility that I've got in the U.S., having only had one big single, really. I don't know how that happened or why that happened. It may be the begrudging recognition that I'm still trying... I'm extremely optimistic." - Billboard, 9/7/19...... It was announced on Sept. 4 that Elton John and his Rocketman doppelgänger Taron Egerton will perform together at a Rocketman concert at L.A.'s Greek Theatre on Oct. 17. The concert will feature the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra playing live-to-picture all the songs from the Paramount Pictures film -- scored by Matthew Margeson -- under the direction of principal conductor John Beal. The film's music producer Giles Martin will produce the music for the performance. "I'm thrilled to debut 'Rocketman: Live in Concert'," Sir Elton said in a statement. "I can think of no better city than Los Angeles to bring the magic of this movie to life and perform live with the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra. I can't wait for the audience to experience the film in a new and profound way." It is unclear what song or songs John and Egerton will perform. Public ticket sales begin Sept. 6 via the Greek Theatre and AXS.com and will be available from $44.50 to $230. When purchasing tickets, fans will also have the opportunity to preorder John's forthcoming autobiography, Me, which will be hit shelves from Macmillan on Oct. 15. - The Hollywood Reporter, 9/4/19...... Freddie MercuryA new box set of Freddie Mercury solo material was announced on Sept. 5, what would have been the late Queen frontman's 73rd birthday. Never Boring will be the first ever curated selection of Mercury's music as well as his spoken words and visuals. Consisting of three CDs with 32 tracks, a Blu-ray and DVD featuring 12 promo videos and a 10 3x10 3 hardback book, Never Boring provides fans with the chance to delve into the musician's work outside of Queen. Never Boring's titled comes from actor Rami Malek, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Mercury. "Freddie was extreme. He was absolute, he was all or nothing, he was always or never. Freddie Mercury was never boring," Malek once said. Never Boring will hit stores on Oct. 11. - New Musical Express, 9/5/19...... Details of a new David Bowie deluxe box set called Conversation Piece that tracks the rocker's development through 1968 and 1969 were announced on Sept. 5. Conversation Piece will bring together home demos, BBC radio sessions, studio recordings with John "Hutch" Hutchinson, and tracks from the experimental music and mime group Feathers. It will also feature 12 previously unreleased tracks and demos from that era alongside a new mix of the David Bowie (aka Space Oddity in the U.S.) album by long-time Bowie producer and collaborator Tony Visconti. The set will also include a 120-page hardback book featuring exclusive memorabilia from Ken Pitt, Bowie's former manager and the David Bowie Archive. A 2019 mix of "Space Oddity" will also be available separately and will come as a CD, standard digital, 96/24 digital, and vinyl release. - NME, 9/6/19...... Meanwhile, Bowie's sometime collaborator Iggy Pop has just released his 18th studio album, Free. Free arrived on digital music platforms on Sept. 6 and includes the previously released tunes "James Bond," "Sonali" and the title track. Free, the follow-up to Pop's 2016 LP Post Pop Depression, has been described by Iggy as having "virtually nothing in common sonically with its predecessor -- or with any other Iggy Pop album." - Billboard, 9/6/19...... A new mix of the Beatles' 1969 track "Oh! Darling" has been freshened up by producer Giles Martin for the 50th anniversary release of the Fab Four's Abbey Road album on Sept. 27 via Apple Corps/Capitol/UMe. Giles freshened up the sound of "Oh! Darling," which can be heard on YouTube, to make Paul McCartney's heartfelt vocals sound sharp as ever. The deluxe Abbey Road will contain 23 outtakes and demos, as well as 17 original songs, remixed by Giles from the original multi-track tapes recorded by his father, the band's longtime producer George Martin. "The Beatles recording journey had gone through many twists and turns, learning curves and thrilling rides," McCartney wrote in the foreword for the anniversary edition packages. "Here we were -- still wondering at the magic of it all." Additionally, Apple Corps unveiled another version of "Oh! Darling," an unreleased "Take 4" from the band's Abbey Road sessions, featuring a Hammond organ from Billy Preston. - Billboard, 9/6/19...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney says headlining the 50th anniversary Glastonbury Festival could be a "remote possibility" next year. Sir Paul is the English bookies' favourite to headline the 2020 Glastonbury fest, alongside the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Elton John, and on the BBC 2's Breakfast Show on Sept. 5 he did little to quell the speculation. "I mean people are saying that it would be good if I did it, so I'm starting to think about whether I can or whether it would be a good thing. My kids are saying 'Dad we've got to talk about Glastonbury' and I think I know what they mean," said McCartney, who previously topped the Glastonbury bill in 2005. "...It is a great festival and we played there quite a long time ago so, maybe it is time to go back, I don't know, I'd have to put a few things in place and try and do that but it's starting to become some sort of remote possibility... I mean it's definitely not fixed yet but people are starting to talk about it," he added. - New Musical Express, 9/5/19....... Director Ron Howard, who co-produced the new Robbie Robertson and The Band documentary Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band, has announced a worldwide distribution deal for the movie outside of Canada. "Magnolia is going to distribute the movie theatrically around the world. We've very excited about this collaboration and partnership," Howard announced at the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 6, where the film had its world premiere. Also attending the press conference was Howard's business and creative partner Brian Grazer, Once Were Brothers director Daniel Roher, and Robertson himself. Once Were Brothers is based on Robertson's 2016 memoir, Testimony, and covers the first three decades of his life. It was also executive produced by Martin Scorsese, who directed The Band's 1978 swan song concert doc The Last Waltz. - Billboard, 9/6/19...... Rob HalfordJudas Priest frontman Rob Halford has announced he'll be releasing a holiday-themed album, Celestial, on Oct. 18 via Legacy Recordings. Halford says the album blends holiday favorites with some of his new compositions. "[Heavy metal] can look pretty intimidating. And it is a very strong, powerful experience," Halford says. "But it comes at different levels. I think the music that we've made on Celestial, for example, gives a display of that. Metal maniacs -- as we call ourselves -- are just as ready for the holidays as everybody else. And what we've tried to do with this music is to reach out to as many of those metal dimensions as we possibly can." Celestial also taps into the holiday spirit by including Halford's family, with his brother on drums, his nephew on bass, his sister on bells, and the twin guitar tandem of Robert Jones and Jon Blakey. "[The holidays are] a beautiful thing as far as bringing families together," Halford adds. "So, what better way to celebrate it than with your family, friends... and music. You must have music at Christmas time." - Billboard, 9/6/19...... For the first time since 1986, vinyl records have outsold CDs, according to a mid-year report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The 2018 RIAA reported revealed that CD sales are dying three times as fast as vinyl sales are growing, and it's more of the same in this year's. Vinyl revenue grew by 12% in the second half of 2018 and first half of 2019, and CD rates barely changed. The report also revealed that, despite vinyl's growing popularity in relation to CD sales, it still accounts for a relatively small percentage of overall music purchasing, accounting for only 4% of overall revenues. Paid subscriptions to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, meanwhile, accounted for 62%. - New Musical Express, 9/7/19...... Valerie Harper's only child Cristina Cacciotti reportedly made a loving and funny speech about her mom's toughness during an emotional tribute to her mother on Aug. 30 at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles before her late mom was laid to rest. "I don't have balls, I have steel ovaries," Cristina remembered her mother saying. Rhoda director/producer James L. Brooks, actor Elliott Gould and actress Frances Fisher were some of the guests who came to pay their last respects. Harper suffered through years of health problems, including leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, lung cancer and brain cancer, and reportedly sunk $3 million into cancer treatments to try and stay alive, according to RadarOnline.com. Harper died at age 80 on Aug. 3. - American Media Inc./Canoe.com, 9/8/19...... Former James Bond star Sean Connery says he's recovering after riding out the recent Hurricane Dorian at his home in the Bahamas. Connery, 89, says he opted not to evacuate from his property on New Providence as the monster storm battered the islands and now admits he and his wife Marcheline are "lucky to be alive." "We are both fine," Connery told the UK's Daily Mail paper. "We were lucky compared to many others and the damage here was not great. We had been prepared for the storm, everything was ready in advance -- we weren't taking any chances and knew what to do," he added. Dorian, a Category 5 storm, levelled much of the Bahamas and claimed the lives of more than 20 people. - WENN/Canoe.com, 9/6/19...... Session guitarist Jimmy Johnson, the co-founder of Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and the guitarist of the studio's sessioning group The Muscle Shoals Swampers, died on Sept. 5 of as yet unannounced causes. He was 76. Johnson started out his career in the early '60s, working as a session guitarist at Rick Hall's FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala. There, he lent his guitar skills to records by acts such as Paul Simon, Rod Stewart and Lynyrd Skynyrd. He also went on to play sessions alongside soul and R&B icons such as Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Clarence Carter. Johnson later left FAME with the studio's other backup musicians Roger Hawkins, Barry Beckett and David Hood to establish the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, where they recorded albums by Levon Helm, Russell Smith and Delbert McClinton. In 1969, the Rolling Stones recorded part of theirSticky Fingers album at their studio. Johnson was credited as a recording engineer on three tracks on the LP, including "Wild Horses," "Brown Sugar" and "You Gotta Move." "Recording was in Jimmy's blood," a Facebook post by the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio read, adding that "Jimmy was a part of the family at the studio, often stopping by during tours. He was always happy to share a story about his sessions." - New Musical Express, 9/6/19...... Carol LynleyActress Carol Lynley, a former child model who had an intense film acting career mirroring the country's transformation from the modest Eisenhower era into the sexually frank 1960s, died of a heart attack on Sept. 3 at her home in Los Angeles. She was 77. Ms. Lynley may be best remembered as the nave, soft-spoken adolescent who becomes pregnant by her equally wide-eyed boyfriend, played by Brandon De Wilde, in the 1959 film Blue Denim. It was a role she had originated on Broadway the year before, when she was 16. The blond beauty then made at least a half-dozen Hollywood movies over the next eight years, but by the time she was in her mid-20s her star had faded, and she was never directly in the public eye again. Still, she did make a notable if brief comeback in 1972, when she turned up wearing hot pants and go-go boots in the disaster movie The Poseidon Adventure, singing (or at least lip-syncing) the Oscar-winning song "The Morning After." Born Carole Ann Jones in New York City on Feb. 13, 1942, Ms. Lynley made her film debut, The Light in the Forest, in 1958, followed by Blue Denim and Hound-Dog Man in 1959. Her portrayal of more knowing characters began in 1961 with Return to Peyton Place followed by Under the Yum-Yum Tree with Jack Lemmon in 1963. She was 23 when she posed discreetly nude in Playboy magazine and played the title role in Harlow (1965), a biographical film about the 1930s screen star and sex symbol Jean Harlow. That same year, she won positive reviews as a distraught young mother in Otto Preminger's London-set thriller Bunny Lake Is Missing, but neither critics nor fans responded to her in the same way as they had during her teenage years. Ms. Lynley was was a favorite guest star on television throughout the 1970s and among a handful of actors that Fantasy Island producers turned to multiple times a season, never playing the same character twice. She worked steadily till 1991, just doing a handful of things after. Her later projects included Vic (2006), a 30-minute short about an older actor, directed by Sage Stallone, a son of Sylvester Stallone, and A Light in the Forest (2002), in which she played the grandmother in a family-oriented fantasy. That film had no connection to Ms. Lynley's first movie, which had almost exactly the same title. Ms. Lynley was married from 1960 to 1964 to Michael Selsman, a film industry publicist, and they had a daughter, Jill, who survives her. She also had a long on-again, off-again relationship with the television host David Frost. - The New York Times, 9/6/19...... Cable channel HGTV will premiere A Very Brady Renovation on Sept. 9 at 8:00 p.m. EDT, where the original Brady Bunch kids take the real home in Los Angeles that served as the exterior for the series and remake the inside to match the famous set. - AP, 9/9/19.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Rollling Stones wrapped their No Filter Tour in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Aug. 30, nearly two years after the legendary rockers kicked it off in Hamburg, Germany. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood were said to have been in top form for the show that had to be moved up one day due to the threat of Hurricane Dorian, delivering a powerful show that included their bevy of hits including "Start Me Up," "Honky Tonk Woman" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want." After opening with their classics "Jumping Jack Flash" and "It's Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It)," the band tore through 20 songs, ending with an encore of "Gimme Shelter" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." The first leg of the No Filter Tour started on Sept. 9, 2017 with two shows in Germany and ended in France at the end of October of that year. The Stones remained in Europe for the second leg from May into July, and the tour became one of the most successful treks of 2017 and 2018. However in March 2019, the shocking news came that the North American leg, consisting of 17 shows, had to be postponed because Jagger had to undergo heart valve replacement surgery in April. Jagger, 76, promised the band would be back to make up all the dates after he recovered. In the end, the band, which has been together for 57 years, lived up to that promise. Meanwhile, it was revealed by The Telegraph music critic Neil McCormick on Aug. 28 that Keith Richards uses a motorized ashtray that sucks in ciggie smoke so as not to piss off Mick Jagger. "Today I learned that Keith Richards has a motorised ashtray that absorbs smoke, so his habit won't upset Mick Jagger backstage," McCormick tweeted. McCormick also posted that Richards uses a hotel bell to summon his guitar technician. Although Richards, 76, continues to smoke, he revealed in December 2018 that he'd given up alcohol. - TheDailyMail.uk/New Musical Express, 8/31/19...... Gerry BeckleyGerry Beckley of America has shared a video of a new ballad called "Calling" from his upcoming album, Five Mile Road, which drops on Sept. 20. "It's one of the closest to what I would consider one of my strengths, which is a ballad of that sort," Beckley says, noting that "Calling" is one of his favorites from the new set. "I'm really proud of the tune. It's a pretty simple theme, and I think I did a good job of getting it across. We spend a lot of time away from the ones we know and love. I think you'll find that elsewhere around the album, too." Five Mile Road is Beckley's sixth solo album and the follow-up to his 2016 set Carousel. Beckley co-produced it with Jeff Larson and wrote all the songs except for "Life Lessons," which he co-wrote with his frequent collaborator, actor/musician Billy Mumy. America released their last album, Lost & Found, in 2015, the Beckley and partner Dewey Bunnell's first album of original material in eight years. Beckley predicts that "with the right guidance there could easily be another one or two America projects in the future." But now, the group is focusing on its 50-year anniversary celebration it began in 2019, leading up to the actual golden anniversary of the band's formation, in London, in 2020. He says the group has a number of commemorative projects on tap -- ranging from the single disc Golden Hits that's already out to a couple of planned box sets -- as well as a biography that's been written by Jude Warne. America was recently profiled on CBS Sunday Morning and will be featured on Dan Rather's The Big Interview on Nov. 26. "The band is in great shape. The schedule's pretty full, and we thought rather than wait 'til the actual day, let's kick it off as being the 50th year... we like doing it this way. The challenge has been to spread everything throughout the year so they don't just stack up on each other." - Billboard, 9/4/19...... Ozzy Osbourne's wife Sharon Osbourne has lashed out at UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn amid claims that Corbyn has facilitated the rise of anti-Semitism in the Labour party. Osbourne, who is of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, told the UK paper The Sun, "Oh my God, I hate him so much.... I want to physically hurt this man. He is the most arrogant, ugly f---. I want to hurt him." Corbyn as always denied he is anti-Semitic. Osbourne's comments come ahead of her appearance on the TV program Who Do You Think You Are, which sees her investigating the experiences of her father Don Arden as a Jewish soldier for the British Army during World War II. - New Musical Express, 9/3/19...... Never one to shy away from controversy, Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters showed up at a pro-Julian Assange rally in London on Sept. 2 and joined protesters advocating for the Wikileaks founder's release from prison. "How do we put ourselves in the position of a Julian Assange in solitary confinement," Waters asked the crowd. "Or with that kid in Syria or Palestine or Rohingya, being blown to bits by these people in this building here?" A video of Waters' speech and a performance of the 1975 Pink Floyd hit "Wish You Were Here" has been posted on Bruce Springsteen's latest album YouTube. - Billboard, 9/3/19...... Rock photographer Jay Blakesberg will release Jerry Garcia: Secret Space of Dreams on Oct. 15, a fine art photography book featuring 139 photos of the late Grateful Dead singer/guitarist performing in shows from September 1978 through April 1995. The 208-page hardcover book's foreward was written by Grammy-winning singer/guitarist John Mayer, who is currently touring with the Dead spin-off group Dead & Company, replacing Garcia in the band. The book also features an introduction from journalist/musician/radio host and Grateful Dead historian David Gans, who delves into the mythology around Garcia, as well as an essay from the guitarist's daughter, Trixie. Garcia died in Aug. 1995 at age 53 of a heart attack. - Billboard, 9/4/19...... Robbie RobertsonA new Robbie Robertson and The Band documentary entitled Once Were Brothers has proved to be the hottest ticket at the Toronto International Film Festival, which is set to premiere the film at the gala's opening night on Sept. 5. Once Were Brothers, the first-ever Canadian documentary to win the coveted opening night spot, is directed by Canadian director Daniel Roher and presents the people, the era and the extraordinary music of The Band through present-day conversations with Robertson and various colleagues including Ronnie Hawkins, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Martin Scorsese and Eric Clapton. Robertson, 76, shows no signs of slowing down and much is made of his work ethic in the documentary. On Sept. 20, he'll release Sinematic, his first new solo effort in eight years. Robertson says Sinematic was influenced by the new The Band documentary and his work on Martin Scorsese's upcoming movie, The Irishman. Robertson added he's already working on another collaboration with Scorsese, the score for Killers of the Flower Moon. He's also preparing a special 50th anniversary re-release of The Band's eponymous 1970 debut album, and writing the second instalment of his memoir, Testimony. - WENN/Canoe.com, 9/4/19...... Neil Young and Crazy Horse have shared a video from a new song, "Milky Way," from their upcoming album Colorado and confirmed the new album will be released on Oct. 25 via Reprise Records. Colorado's 11 songs were recorded mostly live in a studio in the Rocky Mountains near Telluride, Col., and co-produced by Young and John Hanlon, with additional mixing at Rick Rubin's Shangri-La Studios in Malibu, Calif. The follow-up to Young and Crazy Horse's acclaimed 2012 set Psychedelic Pill, it will will be available in high-resolution audio through the Neil Young Archives (NYA) and come on a three-sided, double vinyl album with a bonus 7" vinyl single with two non-album tracks, the live solo "Rainbow of Colors" and "Truth Kills." Crazy Horse's current lineup features longtime bassist Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina and guitarist Nils Lofgren. Fans will be able to get a glimpse into the Colorado writing and recording process in the upcoming documentary Mountaintop Sessions, one of 15 films Young has announced are in the works. - Billboard, 8/30/19...... A volume of lyrics by Lou Reed called I'll Be Your Mirror has been updated and republished on Aug. 3 after several years out of print. Named after a song from the Velvet Underground's iconic 1967 album The Velvet Underground with Nico, I'll Be Your Mirror has been updated with lyrics from Reed's final album Lulu, his controversial collaboration with Metallica. It will also feature new introductions from Reed's widow Laurie Anderson, movie director Martin Scorsese and journalist James Atlas. Though Lulu was panned by critics at the time of its release, the avant-garde record was still praised by the likes of David Bowie, who called it Reed's "greatest work," Laurie Anderson revealed in a speech at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which Reed was inducted into in 2015. I'll Be Your Mirror will be published as an e-book, hardback trade edition and a limited edition. Only 250 copies of the latter will be printed, each priced at £100. Pre-orders begin Octo. 8 on publisher Faber & Faber's website. - New Musical Express, 9/4/19...... The companion film to Bruce Springsteen's latest album Western Stars has been given an Oct. 25 release date by Warner Bros. Pictures. The studio acquired the film, which marks Springsteen's directorial debut, following its world premiere at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. Springsteen partnered with long-time collaborator Thom Zimny on the documentary, which features archival footage and personal narration, in addition to Springsteen performing all 13 songs on Western Stars. The LP debuted at No. 2 in the U.S. and No. 1 in the U.K. and Australia. - Billboard, 9/4/19...... Elton JohnThe UK's Royal Mail announced on Sept. 9 it is honoring Elton John's half-century of contributions to music with an upcoming set of 12 UK postage stamps, including eight that honor the singer's classic albums. Among the records featured on the collection of commemoratives are his acclaimed 1972 breakthrough album Honky Chateau, as well as Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy and Made in England. Other stamps in the collection will feature images of John performing live throughout his five-decade career, from a 1973 show at the Hammersmith Odeon in London to a 2018 show at Madison Square Garden in New York. Sir Elton is only the second individual solo music artist to be featured on a set of stamps from the Royal Mail, following a 2017 edition honoring David Bowie. Images of the stamps can be viewed on Twitter, and can be purchased on the Royal Mail website. - Billboard, 9/3/19...... The Association of Independent Music Awards honored Blondie frontwoman Debby Harry with an Oustanding Contribution to Music award on Sept. 3. Now in its 20th year, the AOIMA honors leading independent artists, labels and industry figures. - Billboard, 9/4/19...... The Motown Museum announced on Sept. 4 that Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr. is donating $4 million toward a project to expand a museum housed in the Detroit building where he built his music empire. Gordy's gift coincides with Motown's 60th anniversary and is the largest individual donation to the project which was officially announced in 2016. "I'm excited about the future of Motown Museum and happy to support it," Gordy said in a statement about the 50,000 square-foot multi-media attraction. "Not only will the expanded museum entertain and tell the stories of talented and creative people who succeeded against all odds, but it will also inspire and create opportunity for people to explore their dreams the way I did mine. I couldn't be prouder to be a part of that." Gordy launched Motown in 1959 with an $800 loan from his family's Ber-Berry Co-op trust and moved the label to Los Angeles in 1972 before selling it in 1988. His late sister, Esther Gordy Edwards, founded the museum in the former "Hitsville U.S.A." headquarters on West Grand Boulevard in 1985. When Edwards died in 2011, Gordy -- who has previously donated properties, artifacts and money to the museum -- credited her with turning "the so-called trash left behind... into a phenomenal world-class monument at the spot where Hitsville started." Museum expansion plans include interactive exhibits, a performance theater, recording studios, an expanded retail area and meeting spaces. - AP, 9/4/19...... A new Beatles mural has been unveiled in the seaside resort of New Brighton, U.K., yards from the old Tower Ballroom where the band played on multiple occasions during the 60s. Opened to the public on Sept. 1, the historic work of art is situated in New Brighton s Victoria Quarter and has huge cultural, musical and historical significance, according to Explore Liverpool. The wall mural is located on Mason Street and sees the Beatles running towards the site of the old Tower Ballroom, where they played 27 times between 1961-1963. Unveiled as a symbol of hope, the mural comes one week after International Beatles Week, 50 years after The New Brighton Tower Ballroom burned down and 100 years after The New Brighton Tower was destroyed. - New Musical Express, 9/2/19...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney has revealed in a new interview with the London Times that one of his grandsons was recently mugged at knifepoint. McCartney, who didn't share which grandchild it was, said his grandson felt like "a coward" after it happened." "He was saying the worst thing was that he should have just thumped the guy; he came back and felt a coward," McCartney explained. "I said, 'No, no, no, no! The guy had a knife and you don't know, the guy might be able to use that knife'." Sir Paul then recalled an occasion during his childhood when he was mugged for his watch. "When I was a kid it was four guys and they nicked my watch," he admitted. "I was of a similar age. I just happened to be on my own, bigger kids came along and it was the same feeling. [I thought at the time] 'I have got to learn karate and be a black belt -- and then I'll get 'em!' It was the worst thing." - NME, 8/31/19...... Paul StanleyKISS singer/guitarist Paul Stanley has weighed in on the recent rash of mass shootings in the U.S. after the most recent attack in Odessa and Midland, Tex., by a man in his mid-30s using an AR-style rifle resulted in the deaths of seven people and the wounding of at least 22 more, including a 17-month-old baby girl. "We don't have more 'crazy' or 'mentally unstable' people in the US," Stanley tweeted on Sept. 1. "What we DO have are commonplace mass shootings with automatic and semi-automatic high powered firearms. THAT cannot be disputed. Tell me what we and our government must do. Prayers and sympathy are not enough." Stanley posted his thoughts over a picture of the aftermath of the most recent Texas shooting. A short time later, Stanley added some response to those who said the veteran rocker should mind his own business. "I DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER but am asking for everyone's thoughts. Anyone who thinks I should 'stay in my lane' should leave now," he wrote. "This is MY house. If you DO have opinions why shouldn't I? In this case I will leave up some of those dopey comments for your enjoyment. Not again." - Billboard, 9/2/19...... Cable channel HLN will premiere a new David Cassidy documentary, David Cassidy: How It Really Happened, on Sept. 8 at 9:00 p.m. EDT. The special delves into Cassidy's death in 2017 at age 67 from organ failure related to alcoholism. "He was happiest on stage. But happiness off stage was hard to find, and Cassidy was keeping gloomy secrets from everyone he loved. In the end, even his death was surrounded by mystery leaving his family, friends and fans with more questions than answers," the network said in a statement. - The Orlando Sentinel, 9/4/19...... Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont sponsored another 50th anniversary Woodstock tribute on Aug. 30 at the annual fair in Woodstock, Conn., which included a battle of the bands. Gov. Lamont, who says his parents would not let him attend the original 1969 festival in New York, spent $17,000 of his own money to finance the tribute. Gov. Lamont, wearing a tie-dyed T-shirt and dancing, served as a judge for the bands, who were required to play at least one song from the original Woodstock. The winner, a band called Last Licks, received $7,500. Gov. Lamont, a Democrat, was joined on stage by Republican state senator George Logan who played a Jimi Hendrix-style national anthem on his guitar, just as he had done at Gov. Lamont's inaugural ball in January. - AP, 9/1/19...... John Travolta's latest film, The Fanatic, has bombed at the U.S. box office in its opening weekend. The Fanatic, directed by Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, took in a paltry $3,153 on Aug. 30 from 52 cinemas, with final totals for the Labor Day weekend yet to be confirmed. The psychological thriller stars Travolta as Moose, an avid movie fan who becomes obsessed with fictional action hero Hunter Dunbar. When Moose is cheated out of his chance to meet Dunbar, Moose's actions take a increasingly terrifying turn. An official synopsis teases that Moose's fixation turns from "stalking to ambition of destroying the star's life." The movie is said to have been inspired by the real-life story of a fan that once stalked Durst. The Fanatic's poor showing marks the Saturday Night Fever star's fourth box office bomb in a row, according to The Hollywood Reporter. - NME, 9/3/19...... Crystal GayleCrystal Gayle will release her latest LP, You Don't Know Me, on Sept. 6 via BFD Records. The 15-song project will be the "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" singer's first album in 16 years and finds her teaming up with her sisters, Loretta Lynn and Peggy Sue, on a cover of Dolly Parton's "Put It Off Until Tomorrow." "I am honored that my sisters, Loretta Lynn and Peggy Sue, wanted to sing with me on my new album," Gayle says. "'Put It Off Until Tomorrow' is one of our favorites and it's a song that we have performed together many times in concert. Dolly Parton and Bill Owens -- Dolly's uncle -- wrote this song, and I love the original hit by Bill Phillips with Dolly singing harmony." A video for "Put It Off Until Tomorrow" can be viewed on YouTube. - Billboard, 9/4/19...... Late actor Marlon Brando, who was close friends with Michael Jackson and was interviewed by prosecutors when they investigated allegations of child molestation against Jackson in 1994, is quoted in a new podcast as saying that the King of Pop was once reduced to tears when Brando asked the singer about sexual abuse allegations. Recalling a conversation he'd had with Jackson at his Neverland Ranch, Brando told prosecutors: "I had asked him if he was a virgin and he just sort of laughed and giggled." He added that Jackson was uncomfortable with the "f-word" and too embarrassed to about his sex life. Details of Brando's conversation were revealed by podcast series "Telephone Stories: The Trials of Michael Jackson" after creator-producer Brandon Ogborn secured a transcript of a sworn statement and checked its authenticity with Los Angeles Superior Court judge Lauren Weis. Weis previously investigated Jackson during her 23-year stint as a prosecutor with the LA County district attorney. Brando also said that he continued to grill Jackson about the allegations of child abuse against him, which made the singer cry and admit that he hated his father. "With this mode of behavior that's been going on, I think it's pretty reasonable to conclude that he may have had something to do with kids," Brando said. "My impression was that he didn't want to answer because he was frightened to answer me." Jackson was not charged with molestation in 1994 but he went to trial in 2005 and was subsequently acquitted on all counts. - NME, 8/30/19.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Valerie HarperSitcom actress Valerie Harper, best known for playing the brash, Bronx-accented upstairs neighbor to Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) on The Mary Tyler Moore Show beginning in 1970 before starring in her own spinoff Rhoda four years later, died on Aug. 30 after being diagnosed with lung and brain cancer. She was 80. Born in Suffern, N.Y., in 1939, Ms. Harper attended Gotham's Young Professionals School in high school and studied ballet. She started in show business as a dancer/chorus girl on Broadway in 1959 in "Li'l Abner," and went on to perform in Broadway shows such as "Wildcat" and "Take Me Along" and at Radio City Music Hall. After being introduced to the Second City improv theater by her roommate, actress Arlene Golonka, Ms. Harper met Second City performer Dick Schaal, and then moved to Hollywood where she was called to audition for the part of the funny, imperfect Rhoda Morganstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. While Moore's "spunky" Mary Richards character was happily single (a rarity for the era), the Rhoda character was her opposite, an outspoken, wisecracking woman in her thirties who seemed desperate to find a husband. Rhoda's Jewish heritage was often emphasized in the series, and her fans were surprised to find out that Harper wasn't Jewish in real life. Ms. Harper's Rhoda character proved to be so popular that CBS spun off the series Rhoda, which ran from 1974-1978. Rhoda returned to New York to work as a window dresser with a more self-confident persona. Her whiny sister Brenda was played by Julie Kavner, and her husband for part of the series was played by David Groh. Ms. Harper's role as Rhoda Morgenstern garnered supporting actress Emmys in 1971, '72 and '73 and an Emmy nom in '74. The character started her own business decorating store windows and eventually split up with her husband Joe, finishing out the show as a divorcee who frequented singles bars. Valerie Harper"Even with all the feminism we had gone through, being married was equated with success," she once told the TV Academy. In 1986, Ms. Harper starred in the NBC series Valerie, but left after two years in a salary dispute. The series continued without her, with several name changes before finally becoming The Hogans, and she won a $1.4 million judgment against Lorimar Productions and 12.5% of the profits. Ms. Harper went on to guest on familiar series such as The Love Boat, Melrose Place, That '70s Show, Sex and the City, Hot in Cleveland and Desperate Housewives. On the big screen, Ms. Harper had roles in Freebie and the Bean (1974), Blame it on Rio, The Last Married Couple in America and, more recently, the horror pic Shiver. She ran for president of the Screen Actors Guild in 2001, but lost to Melissa Gilbert. Later in her career, she returned to the stage, portraying such figures as Golda Meir and Tallulah Bankhead, and won a Tony for the latter role in "Looped" in 2010. A vocal supporter of the women's movement, Ms. Harper campaigned to get the Equal Rights Amendment passed. Though she was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago, she continued working and competed on Dancing With the Stars in late 2013. Ms. Harper is survived by her second husband, Tony Cacciotti, and their adopted daughter, Christina. Christina tweeted the news of her mom's passing on Aug. 30: "My dad has asked me to pass on this message: 'My beautiful caring wife of nearly 40 years has passed away at 10:06am, after years of fighting cancer. She will never, ever be forgotten. Rest In Peace, mia Valeria. - Anthony.'" Ms. Harper's Mary Tyler Moore Show co-star Ed Asner told People that his friend was "a brilliant artist with a myriad of ideas on how to make the character more interesting; and was a fighter for those less fortunate." Later on Twitter, the 89-year-old posted the actress was "a beautiful woman, a wonderful actress, a great friend and with balls bigger than mine... Goodnight beautiful. I'll see you soon." - Variety, 8/30/19.

Friday, August 30, 2019

As Hurricane Dorian bears down on the Florida peninsula and forecast to grow into a deadly category 4 storm, the Rolling Stones announced on Aug. 29 they are moving up their Miami concert, originally set for Aug. 31, up one night to Aug. 30. "Due to the weather forecast, the Rolling Stones Hard Rock Stadium show scheduled for Sat Aug 31 has been moved to tomorrow night, Fri Aug 30. All tickets will be honored for the new date. There will be no opening act-doors will open at 6PM ET & the Stones will go on at 8:30PM ET," the band posted to twitter on Aug. 29. This is the second time a major storm has disrupted the Stones' touring plans. in July, the band delayed a show in New Orleans due to the threat of Hurricane Barry. - Billboard, 8/30/19...... Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders has recorded a jazzy version of the Kinks song "No Return" for her upcoming solo album, Valve Bone Woe. Hynde, who has a daughter named Natalie with Kinks frontman Ray Davies, says she "wasn't really familiar" with the deep cut that originally appeared on the band's 1967 album Something Else By the Kinks. She says the song was chosen by Valve Bone Woe producer Marius de Vries, whose arrangement builds on the Brazilian flavor of the Kinks' original. "I've been wanting to do stuff that's more Brazilian," Hynde says, "and some of that bled into this album." Valve Bone Woe, which drops Sept. 6, features a number of other jazzy covers including the Beach Boys' "Caroline, No," Frank Sinatra's "I'm a Fool to Want You," Nancy Wilson's "How Glad I Am," and Johnny Mathis' "Wild is the Wind." Hynde previewed her new album during concerts in Los Angeles in early July, and UK fans will be able to hear it on Sept. 14 at the BBC's Pomes in the Park and on Nov. 24 at the Royal Festival Hall. She's also working on the next Pretenders album for a 2020 release, along with extensive touring for the band. - Billboard, 8/28/19...... StingSpeaking of Brazil, longtime Amazonian rainforest advocate Sting has issued a dire warning about continued inaction on the fires in the area which are up 85% from last year alone. "Legend has it that the Emperor Nero 'fiddled while Rome burned.' While obviously bristling at the dubious factoid that such a stupid man could have been a musician, none of us, including me, can be complacent about the tragic dimensions of the disaster taking place in the Amazon as I write," Sting and his wife Trudie Styler posted on Facebook on Aug. 27. "Amazonia is on fire at an unprecedented rate - 80% up from last year and with 39% more deforestation - and the world is suddenly taking notice. Populist leaders citing nationalist agendas, or claiming that climate change and its handmaidens are a hoax, are guilty of much more than standing by and doing nothing. This is criminal negligence on a global scale," he added. Sting also appealed to the Brazilian government to change the policies and what he calls "nationalist rhetoric" that have opened up the rainforest to exploitation by farmers and ranchers who have been cutting down trees and burning land to clear it for commerical farming and raising cattle. "The President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has openly voiced that he is no friend to the indigenous people and now he is reneging on land treaties already signed, opening up new territories and dismantling the scientific and human rights organisations in Brazil to enable this," the former Police frontman posted. Sting ended his urgent plea by noting that the Rainforest Foundation Fund, which he founded back in 1987, has been working with indigenous peoples for three decades to protect their lands and rights, urging Bolsonaro to rethink his policies. "This is no time for fiddling; the world is burning." - Billboard, 8/28/19...... Van Morrison has announced he'll play five nights at the London Palladium next spring, from Mar. 20-25. The Celtic crooner is also preparing for a UK tour beginning this October, performing in Bournemouth, Cardiff, Oxford, and Nottingham with a stop at Brighton in early December. He'll then pick things up on New Year's Eve with three consecutive nights at Belfast's Stormont Hotel. The dates follow Morrison's two London shows at the Roundhouse as part of Inversions Festival. Morrison is also preparing for another residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. - New Musical Express, 8/27/19...... Yusuf/Cat Stevens has signed with the United Talent Agency for representation in all areas, it was announced on Aug. 27. Yusuf, whose fourth studio album Tea for the Tillerman will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020, is currently furthering his philanthropic efforts with the launch of the "Peace Train" project, named after his timeless anthem for hope. The initiative is focused on providing relief, medical aid, and education to individuals in need, as well as promoting harmony and respect amongst children of diverse backgrounds. Yusuf was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 and also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame earlier in 2019. He continues to be managed by Yoriyos Adamos at Catch Bull Management. - Billboard, 8/27/19...... Nick MasonOn Aug. 29, Pink Floyd announced details of a huge 16-disc box set covering their output from 1987 forward. The Later Years will feature over six hours of unreleased material among a host of other rarities, including concert footage, new mixes of classic tracks and other bonus material. One of the concerts included, a 1990 gig at Knebworth, will be available commercially for the first time. Also included on the 10 CD/6 Blu-ray set is a new version of prog-rock legends' 1987 album A Momentary Lapse of Reason featuring new drum tracks from Nick Mason. The Later Years will be in stores on Nov. 29. - New Musical Express, 8/29/19...... Michael Jackson's accusers have responded after comedian Dave Chappelle claimed that he doesn't believe their allegations of sexual assault by the pop star in his latest Netflix comedy special. On Aug. 26, Netflix began streaming Chapelle's latest Sticks & Stones show, which sees Chappelle talk about Jackson during a segment that focuses on "cancel culture." "This is the worst time ever to be a celebrity. You're gonna be finished. Everyone's doomed. Michael Jackson has been dead for 10 years, and this n----- has two new cases," Chapelle says, before urging his audience not to watch the Leaving Neverland documentary featuring allegations of sexual abuse from Jackson by James Safechuck and Wade Robson. Both Safechuck and Robson have now responded to Chappelle's ranting, with the former telling TMZ.com: "I'm heartbroken for all those children who look to see how they will be received when they finally find the courage to speak out about their sexual abuse. I just want to reach out to other survivors and let them know that we can't let this type of behaviour silence us. Together we are strong." Chappelle's manager then issued a statement defending the comic, saying "we're too blinded by woke outrage to notice what we're really doing to discourse." - NME, 8/27/19...... The estate of Prince announced it will take over management of the late rock star's Paisley Park studio complex near Minneapolis from its current management, Graceland Holdings. Graceland Holdings, which runs Elvis Presley's tourist attraction in Memphis, Tenn., had been operating Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minn. as a museum since October 2016. Prince's oldest sibling, Sharon Nelson, says the family will manage Paisley Park because the contract expires at the end of September. Nelson added the family is not unhappy with Graceland Holdings or making the decision because of economic reasons. Since their are differences of opinions among Prince's heirs, the estate's administrator, Comerica, will be making the final decisions on how to operate the landmark. In other Prince-related news, his half-brother Alfred Jackson was found dead by his half-brother Bruce Jackson -- who is not related to Prince -- on Aug. 29 at his Kansas City, Mo., home. The cause of death is currently unknown, but police believe that Alfred Jackson died of natural causes and that no foul play was involved. Jackson, a US Air Force veteran who served in Vietnam, was one of six heirs to Prince's estate. The estate, which has not been officially valued but is believed to be worth upwards of $200 million and has been tied up in legal proceedings since Prince's death in 2016. Prince died at age 57 of an accidental overdose of fentanyl at his Paisley Park complex on Apr. 21 of that year. AP/NME, 8/27/19...... Lionel RichieLionel Richie has debuted on Billboard's Artist 100 chart for the week ending Aug. 31 for the first time since the list's launch in 2014. The Artist 100 measures artist activity across key metrics of music consumption, blending album and track sales, radio airplay, streaming and social media fan interaction to provide a weekly multi-dimensional ranking of artist popularity. The former The Commodores member's reign on the list comes from the strength of his new live album Hello From Las Vegas, his sixth solo top 10 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart and first since 2012's Tuskegee, which spent two weeks at No. 1. - Billboard, 8/27/19...... John Travolta made another award ceremony faux pas on Aug. 26 when he mistakenly handed out an MTV VMA award for Video of the Year to drag queen Jade Jolie instead of pop sensation Taylor Swift. In footage posted on Twitter (pic.twitter.com/z8MsJtcp1V), Travolta is seen attempting to hand Jolie the trophy -- only for Jolie, who co-stars on RuPaul's Drag Race show, to kindly laugh off the error and give Travolta a side-hug. The Saturday Night Fever star, after doing a double take, laughed it off with the drag star. In Travolta's defense, Jolie bears a strong resemblance to the star and is even known for her extremely accurate impression. Travolta also famously butchered Idina Menzel's name at the Oscars earlier this year. - NME, 8/26/19...... New documents obtained by Vice magazine reveal that organizers of the ill-fated Woodstock 50 concert were hoping to book one of either Kacey Musgraves, Kings of Leon, The Black Crowes, or Beck for a headline appearance on the Saturday evening (Aug. 17) show. Joining the headlining roster on Aug. 16 would have been Miley Cyrus, with Imagine Dragons topping the bill on the final night, Aug. 19. Organiser Greg Peck told Vice that $23 million had been spent on securing talent alone, and explained there were currently no plans to attempt to regain these funds, with most coming from investors Dentsu Aegis. Invoices obtained showed that around $28,000 worth of the overdose-relieving drug Narcan had been purchased. Also, a list of "prohibited items" was revealed. In a statement announcing the cancellation of Woodstock 50 in July, co-founder Michael Lang said: "We are saddened that a series of unforeseen setbacks has made it impossible to put on the Festival we imagined with the great line-up we had booked and the social engagement we were anticipating. When we lost the Glen and then Vernon Downs we looked for a way to do some good rather than just cancel. We formed a collaboration with HeadCount to do a smaller event at the Merriweather Pavilion to raise funds for them to get out the vote and for certain NGOs involved in fighting climate change." - NME, 8/28/19...... Interviewed on the SiriusXM radio show "Ozzy's Boneyard" on Aug. 28, Ozzy Osbourne said "it's been one of the most f---ed up years of my life." "I broke my neck in January, I had pneumonia, I've had f---ing blood clots It's been an eventful year, to say the least... I have been in such pain this year," said Ozzy, who was was forced to postpone his tours in North America and Europe after a fall at his home in Los Angeles in February. Osbourne said he required neck surgery following his fall, which he said involved "cutting through all the nerves." He also added that he had been put on blood thinners due to blood clots in his legs. Osbourne's UK tour dates are now set to begin in Nottingham on Jan. 31, 2020, with the European leg following in February. - NME, 8/28/19...... Bryan FerryFormer Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry performed at Los Angeles' Greek Theater on Aug. 29 in a nearly sold-out show that dipped from Roxy's 1972 debut album through his solo LPs. At 73, Ferry is every bit as debonair as he was during Roxy Music's glam-rock '70s heyday, and he seldom spoke to the audience other than to say "thank you" and introduce 1978's "Can't Let Go" by saying he "wrote it in Canoga Park." Ferry's 23-song set contained seven songs from 1982's Avalon, Roxy Music's final studio album and its best seller in the U.S. Ferry's backing band is composed of musicians who have played with him for decades, including guitarist Chris Spedding, and others who are new additions, including guitarist Vanstiphout and saxophonist Jorja Chalmers. - Billboard, 8/30/19...... Iggy Pop has shared a video of his new single "Sonali" from his upcoming album Free. "Sonali" finds the punk rock icon intoning, "To park the car/ We must find parking/ On the freeway/ Stay in your lane" over dragging, jazzy beats and eerie keys. Pop has described his new album Free, which drops Sept. 6, as "an album in which other artists speak for me, but I lend my voice... I have lived my life thus far in the belief that (freedom) is all that is worth pursuing... not happiness or love necessarily, but the feeling of being free. So this album just kind of happened to me, and I let it happen." Meanwhile in an interview with The New Yorker, Iggy said he occasionally uses a cane to support his otherwise fit and healthy body. The 72-year-old rocker, known for parading his muscular body around the stage, said that he sometimes needs a cane because his "skeleton is my weak area" despite his muscles, including in his midsection, remaining quite firm. Elsewhere in the interview Pop addressed how reviled his band The Stooges were and the impact it had on him. "It's not a personal lack of confidence so much as an imposed one," Pop said. "For a long time, I wasn't doing that well on the industry side of things. There weren't that many people coming to shows--sometimes there were very few people. I'm more cat than dog when it comes to how comfortable I allow myself to get, let's put it that way. The phone rings; I get offered work. And, you know, there's always my Apple stock," he said, laughing. "I have taken pains to diversify outside of the music industry." - NME, 8/28/19.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

NASA has announced it has renamed a rock on Mars after the Rolling Stones after its InSight robotic lander recently captured a little stone rolling across the surface of the fourth planet from the sun. Actor Robert Downey Jr. took the stage at the band's Aug. 22 performance at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. (just a stone's throw from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory) to make the formal announcement. After the Stones came on, Mick Jagger took a moment between songs to tell the crowd that "NASA has given us something we have always dreamed of, our very own rock on Mars. I can't believe it. I want to bring it back on put it on our mantelpiece." - AP, 8/23/19...... Eddie MoneyOn Aug. 24, Eddie Money revealed on his AXS television series Real Money that he's currently battling stage 4 esophageal cancer. "I thought I was going in for a check-up and [the doctor] told me I have cancer," Money says in the video. "We found out that I had cancer and that it was stage 4 and that it was in my liver and my lymph nodes and a little bit in my stomach... It hit me really, really hard." The "Two Tickets to Paradise" singer's wife, Laurie, noted specifically that her husband has been diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer. "It's in his esophagus, it's in the top of his stomach -- it's where the tumor is -- and it's also spread to his liver," Laurie says. Earlier this summer, Money announced he was canceling his summer tour dates after developing pneumonia following a recent heart valve surgery, but according to Rolling Stone, the rocker still plans to tour later in 2019. "What I don't want to do is I don't want to keep the fact that I have cancer from everybody," he says. "It's not honest. I want to be honest with everybody. I want people to know that cancer [treatment] has come a long way and not everybody dies from cancer like they did in the Fifties and Sixties. Am I going to live a long time? Who knows? It's in God's hands." - Billboard, 8/24/19...... After being the subject of a Grammy salute special earlier in 2019, the legendary Motown record label is continuing to celebrate its 60th anniversary this year with the premiere of the new documentary Showtime with Hitsville: The Making of Motown which debuted on the Showtime network on Aug. 24. A Los Angeles premiere attended by Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder was held earlier in August, and on Aug. 23 members of Martha and the Vandella and the Funk Brothers attended a premiere at an invitation-only screening hosted by the Motown Museum in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak. "There's a good vibe to the film," says Funk Brothers guitarist Dennis Coffey. "Everyone involved told a good story about Berry [Gordy Jr.]'s vision and how it came to fruition." In addition to the Showtime run, Hitsville is accompanied by a soundtrack album, while a home video release is planned for the future. A Hitsville Honors concert featuring the Temptations, the Four Tops, Mary Wilson of the Supremes and Martha Reeves is also set for Sept. 21. - Billboard, 8/24/19...... Speaking of anniversaries, the next 50th anniversary event up in 2019 is Elvis Presley legendary "comeback concerts" at the Las Vegas' International Hotel in the summer 1969. From his invitation-only July 31 show to the Aug. 28 closing date, the King of Rock & Roll laid the groundwork for a Vegas comeback that cemented his near-mythological status in pop culture. In conjunction with the anniversary, Sony Legacy released a limited edition deluxe 11-disc box set, Live 1969, on Aug. 9. The release features 11 complete sets from the first of his many engagements at The International, several of which are released in full for the first time, with one show entirely unreleased. - Billboard, 8/23/19...... Ozzy OsbourneIn a new interview with Rolling Stone, Ozzy Osbourne revealed that he's been recording new music as he recovers from his recent neck surgery after a fall in his LA home in January caused him to "re-injure his back, neck and shoulders." The injury and subsequent surgery forced Ozzy to reschedule all of his 2019 live dates on the "No More Tours 2 Tour" for 2020. Osbourne said after the surgery he "was in agony beyond anything I ever experienced before in my life" and kept himself occupied by recording new music. The Black Sabbath frontman also said that he didn't think he could perform right now ("I'll go, 'Hello,' and that's it"), but he's "keeping his fingers crossed" to be fit for the first rescheduled tour date in January. Ozzy will kick off his 2020 UK and Ireland concerts on Jan. 31 at Nottingham's Motorpoint Arena, and wrap on Feb. 14 in Birmingham. Meanwhile, a new huge career-spanning vinyl box set from Ozzy entitled See You on the Other Side is due on Nov. 29. Featuring 16 albums across 24 vinyl records, the collection will feature B-sides, live albums and rarities in addition to all of Osborne's solo work to date. It will include all of Ozzy's solo work from 1980's Blizzard of Ozz to 2010's Scream. The concert LP's Live & Loud and Live at Budokan, as well the EPs, Mr Crowley and Just Say Ozzy, will also be included. - New Musical Express, 8/22/19...... Uriah Heep keyboardist Phil Lanzon has just released his second solo album, 48 Seconds, on Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records. The 10-song album mixes up many musical styles, including orchestra and big-band, while "Look at the Time" is the closest to Lanzon's work with Uriah Heep. 48 Seconds is the follow-up to Lanzon's impressive first solo LP, If You Think I'm Crazy!, and Lanzon also contributed to Uriah Heep's acclaimed 25th studio album Living the Dream which many fans consider to be the best of the group's 21st-century releases. 48 Seconds' title song tells the story of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and its aftermath, an event that has long fascinated Lanzon, and he says he hopes to perform it with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and a 60-piece choir on the anniversary of the event (April 18), possibly in 2020. "That's what I intend to do," he says. "I'd have to sling at least half an hour of music around that. It can't just be the one song. But that would be the highlight that pertains to that city." - Billboard, 8/23/19...... An all-female roster of artists have contributed to a new tribute album to hardcore troubadour Tom Waits. Come On Up The The House: Women Sing Waits will drop on Nov. 22 and feature a stellar cast of female singer/songwriters including Aimee Mann, Roseanne Cash, Patty Griffin and Corinne Bailey Rae, among others. The album will be available in a number of configurations, including a bundle with a limited-edition 180 gram white double vinyl. - Billboard, 8/23/19...... A new twist to the battle over Aretha Franklin's estate has developed after almost of $1 million in uncashed checks were discovered during an inventory of the Queen of Soul's possessions. Franklin had a check for $702,711.90 from Sound Exchange and Screen Writers Guild as well as uncashed checks to her publishing company, Springtime Publishing, from EMI, BMI, Carlin Music and Feel Good Films in the amount of $285,944.27. In total, $988,656.17 in uncashed checks were found. Franklin, who died on Aug. 16, 2018 at the age of 76, left behind four sons, Clarence, Edward, Teddy and Kecalf. Originally, no will was found and under Michigan law, her estate was set to be divided equally between her children. But nine months after her death, three handwritten wills -- two from 2010 and one from 2014 -- were found in her house. The discovery of the wills, if valid, would change the distribution of Franklin's assets. Each of the brothers have retained their own legal teams. The authencity of the found documents is under review by a handwriting expert. - Billboard, 8/21/19...... David ByrneFormer Talking Heads frontman David Byrne announced on Aug. 25 he's launching a new online magazine called "Reasons To Be Cheerful." "It often seems as if the world is going straight to hell," Byrne says. "I wake up in the morning, I look at the paper, and I say to myself, "Oh no!" Often I'm depressed for half the day. I imagine some of you feel the same. Recently, I realized this isn't helping. Nothing changes when you're numb. So, as a kind of remedy, and possibly as a kind of therapy, I started collecting good news. Not schmaltzy, feel-good news, but stuff that reminded me, 'Hey, there's positive stuff going on! People are solving problems and it's making a difference!' I began telling others about what I'd found." After the positive feedback Byrne says he received, he decided to "make the endeavor more formal" and assembled a team to commission stories from other writers and redesigned the website. In 2018, Byrne released his latest solo album, American Utopia, and launched a critically acclaimed tour behind the new LP. - New Musical Express, 8/25/19...... Michael Jackson's former manager Raymone Bain announced the establishment of the MJ Legacy Foundation during a press conference in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 22. Bain says the foundation will endeavor to "preserve, protect and defend his name while supporting the numerous organizations he supported during his life." "[Jackson] may no longer be with us, but through the foundation we're hoping he'll continue to live among us," she added. Bain also defended Jackson against the allegations of abuse which were made against the singer in the controversial Leaving Neverland film, which she labelled as "a biased, one-sided documentary." Meanwhile, cable channel HBO is calling for the Jackson estate's $100 million lawsuit against Leaving Neverland to be dismissed. In a motion for dismissal filed on Aug. 20, HBO claims that their documentary is protected under the First Amendment and California Code of Civil Procedure. "HBO's distribution of this documentary -- which recounts the personal stories of two individuals who describe in detail how, as young boys, they were sexually abused for years by Michael Jackson, arguably one of the world's most famous public figures -- constitutes protected activity under the First Amendment and California Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16," the motion reads. A hearing on the motion has been set for Sept. 19. - NME, 8/22/19...... David Bowie's live session for the VH1 Storytellers series is finally being released on vinyl, some 20 years after the original session. Bowie performed on the show on Aug. 23, 1999, and delivered a career-spanning setlist that also featured some lesser-known gems including "Can't Help Thinking About Me" and "Word on a Wing." VH1 Storytellers Live at Manhattan Center will include all of the songs from his live session, including four bonus tracks, and will hit stores on Oct. 11. - New Musical Express, 8/22/19...... The new ZZ Top documentary, That Little Ol' Band from Texas, had its world premiere on Aug. 13 at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. Relying mostly on interviews with the band and those intimately involved with their career, the documentary brings in the occasional star for brief commentary about their musical personality, including actor Billy Bob Thornton who says being at a ZZ concert "is like seeing Bugs Bunny in person." With the exception of a closing scene, the movie speaks to each band member -- Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard -- on his own, as if to guarantee equal time. The film mostly covers the band's beginnings and early history, and pretty much stops in the mid-1980s, when they rose to international stardom with the monster-selling Eliminator album. The 90-minute Sam Dunn-directed film will hit selected theaters across the U.S. in the fall. - The Hollywood Reporter, 8/21/19...... Herb AlpertPop instrumentalist and former record label head Herb Alpert will release his new solo album, Over the Rainbow, on Sept. 20. In addition to the Judy Garland title track, the album features Alpert's interpretations of such songs as Earth, Wind & Fire "Fantasy," Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," Barry Manilow's "Copacabana," Joe Cocker's Billy Preston cover "You Are So Beautiful," and Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World," among others. "I just pick a song that I like to play," the 84-year-old musician says. "When I hear a song that I think I can do in a way that's not been heard quite that way before, that excites me." Alpert continues to play live, with wife Lani Hall singing, as well as paint and sculpt -- with pieces at museums in Chicago and Jackson Hole, Wyo. He's also currently assisting in the making of a documentary about his life and career. - Billboard, 8/21/19...... A new Miles Davis documentary called Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool will make its theatrical debut on Aug. 23 at the Abramorama in New York City. The film celebrates the 60th anniversary of the late trumpeter's groundbreaking record Kind of Blue, which hit stores on Aug. 17, 1959. The documentary offers never-before-seen archived footage and photos provided by the Miles Davis Estate along with video interviews from contemporaries such as Quincy Jones and Carlos Santana as well as the sole remaining member of the Kind of Blue sextet, drummer Jimmy Cobb. - Billboard, 8/21/19...... Larry "The Mole" Taylor, a founding member of Canned Heat, passed away on Aug. 19. He was 77. The bassist for Canned Heat, Taylor was previously a session player on records by The Monkees and Jerry Lee Lewis. He also contributed to several Tom Waits albums, from Heartattack and Vine in 1980 through Bad as Me in 2011. Other contributions include albums by Albert King, Solomon Burke, Buddy Guy, Wanda Jackson, Tracy Chapman, Kim Wilson, Charlie Musselwhite, JJ Cale, Ry Cooder, John Lee Hooker and Boyce & Hart. - 8/20/19.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Warner Bros. Pictures announced on Aug. 19 that it has acquired the release rights to the Bruce Springsteen documentary Western Stars. The studio will release Western Stars, which is also the musician's directoral debut, in U.S. theaters this fall, following its world premiere at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. The documentary, which was co-directed by Thom Zimny, features archival footage and personal narration, as well as the New Jersey rocker performing all 13 songs on Western Stars, his first studio album in five years and on which he is backed by a band and a full orchestra in his historic nearly 100-year-old barn. The first official trailer for the film was released on Aug. 19. The Western Stars doc is slated for an October 2019 release, though an exact date has yet to be announced. It comes on the heels of another Springsteen-centric Warner Bros. film, Blinded by the Light, which hit theaters Aug. 16. - The Hollywood Reporter, 8/19/19...... Don CorneliusAfter Tony-nominated producer Matthew Weaver, who made his mark on Broadway with the "Rock of Ages" musical, acquired the stage rights to adapt Soul Train into a musical back in 2014, the production is eyeing an official 2021 debut in celebration of the iconic '70s TV dance show's 50th anniversary. The "Soul Train" musical will tell the personal story of late host Don Cornelius through more than 20 classic dance songs from the era as he crafts the famed show. Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson of The Roots, who is a four-time Grammy winner and author of Soul Train: The Music, Dance, and Style of a Generation, has signed on as an executive producer. Cornelius' son Tony Cornelius, CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker and Live Nation Urban president Shawn Gee will also executive produce the musical. Since its debut in 1971, Soul Train featured performances by R&B, pop, soul and hip-hop artists, in addition to occasional funk, jazz, disco and gospel performers, introducing new dance moves and styles on a weekly basis. The final episode was broadcast in 2006. In 2016, BET Networks acquired the Soul Train brand and is home to the annual Soul Train Awards, which honor the best in urban music and entertainment. BET also airs the period drama American Soul, based on the rise of Soul Train. The scripted original has been picked up for a second season by the network. - The Hollywood Reporter, 8/20/19...... The U.S. Department of Justice has sided with Led Zeppelin in a long-running copyright feud surrounding their iconic hit "Stairway To Heaven." The DOJ filed an amicus brief on Aug. 15 which supports the classic rock icons' claim that they didn't steal the "guitar line and melody" from an instrumental track called "Taurus" originally penned by late Spirit guitarist Randy California and which appeared on Spirit's 1968 debut album. The case was reopened when a San Francisco court subsequently ruled that an earlier trial should have heard the two songs, instead of having a jury making their ruling based on the musical score or sheet music which showed chords and scale. In its brief, the DOJ says that the initial trial judge was correct when he ruled that only the song's sheet music was subject to copyright protection, as the song itself was written before a 1972 law which protected sound recordings. They added that the contentious sections of the song are only worthy of protection if they sound identical. Earlier in August, Led Zeppelin's position was supported by such acts as Korn, Tool, Judas Priest, Linkin Park when they signed a brief in support of Led Zep. The case is scheduled to be re-heard in late September in San Francisco. - New Musical Express, 8/17/19...... David BowieJohnny FlynnDavid Bowie's son Duncan Jones has posted to Twitter the first photo of actor Johnny Flynn transformed into David Bowie for the upcoming Bowie biopic Stardust. In the first photo from production, Flynn is seen evoking a young Bowie as he sits in a diner while smoking a cigarette. As well as sporting shoulder-length blonde locks, Flynn wears a purple turtleneck jumper and black fedora. Stardust, announced earlier in 2019, sees Flynn portray Bowie as he heads to America in 1971 with struggling publicist Ron Oberman (Marc Maron), "only to be met with a world not yet ready for him." The trip reportedly inspired the creation of his famous Ziggy Stardust persona. Although Stardust is due in 2021, Jones and the rest of Bowie's family have distanced themselves entirely from the production. "Pretty certain nobody has been granted music rights for ANY biopic I would know," Jones previously posted on Twitter. "I'm not saying this movie is not happening. I honestly wouldn't know. I'm saying that as it stands, this movie won't have any of dad's music in it, & I can't imagine that changing. If you want to see a biopic without his music or the family's blessing, that's up to the audience," he added. An official release date for Stardust has not yet been announced. - New Musical Express, 8/20/19...... Paul Simon is supporting the efforts of environmentalists trying to reinvigorate a forest on the Hawaiian island of Maui by planting a tree during a ceremony on Aug. 16. According to a local paper, Simon visited Auwahi Forest Restoration Project with volunteers who are trying to revive plant life in the area and helped plant a lama tree, participating in chants with the group after a helicopter tour that he called "awe-inspiring" and "life-changing." Simon inserted the plant and a scroll into a hole before refilling the soil and speaking with group members. "To even sit with you guys and be in the same community is such a privilege," said Simon, a part-time resident of Maui. Simon also performed two environmental benefit concerts at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center earlier in the week that drew more than 8,000 attendees. He announced he plans to donate the proceeds to the Auwahi project and the Hawaii environmental group Kuaaina Ulu Auamo. - AP, 8/19/19...... Carlos Santana is among eight music acts just named to the inaugural Ambassadors Council for the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation, a nonprofit arm of the live entertainment/restaurant chain. The MFF offers free vocational training in the music industry to young people living in diverse and underserved communities. Each of the Ambassadors, which also includes Khalid, Benny Blanco, Martina McBride and the rock band Umphrey's McGee, will contribute to the cause by mentoring aspiring artists, speaking at educational workshops, donating funds from ticket sales and providing exclusive memorabilia for auction, among other things. - Billboard, 8/20/19...... Elvis PresleyFans of Elvis Presley made their annual pilgrimage to the late King of Rock & Roll's grave at his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tenn., during the third week of August to participate in a vigil commemorating his death 42 years ago. The vigil was the cornerstone of Elvis Week, as silent mourners filed slowly past his resting place and the graves of his parents and grandmother in the Meditation Garden a Graceland. The vigil started on the evening of Aug. 15 and runs throughout the night into Aug. 16. Presley died on Aug. 16, 1977, and his Graceland attraction draws about 500,000 visitors annually. On Aug. 9, RCA/Legacy released Live 1969, an 11-disc set featuring 11 full shows from his sold-out run at Las Vegas's International Hotel that year. - AP, 8/16/19...... In other Elvis news, the streaming platform Netflix has added Presley to its roster of animated series. On Aug. 16, it announced it has ordered an adult animated show called Agent King, which imagines Elvis trading his white jumpsuit for a jet pack as he's inducted into a secret government spy program to help battle dark forces that threaten the country he loves -- all while holding down his day job as the most famous rock 'n' roll star on the planet. Agent King comes from Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures TV and Authentic Brands Group. Presley's ex-wife Priscilla Presley and John Eddie will serve as co-creators and executive producers, and Archer veteran Mike Arnold will write and produce. "From the time Elvis was a young boy he always dreamed of being the superhero fighting crime and saving the world!" said Priscilla Presley, who was married to Elvis from 1967-73. "Agent King lets him do just that. My co-creator John Eddie and I are so excited to be working with Netflix and Sony Animation on this amazing project and getting the chance to show the world an Elvis they haven't seen before." - Billboard, 8/16/19...... Neil Young announced on his Archives website on Aug. 17 that "Rainbow of Colors," the first single from his upcoming album with Crazy Horse, will be released later in August. "Rainbow of Colors" will be featured on Colorado, Young's first new record with Crazy Horse since 2012's Psychedelic Pill. In the post, Young revealed that Colorado will arrive in October and feature "10 new songs ranging from around 3 minutes to over 13 minutes." Besides CD and digital versions of the record, there will also be a double vinyl release comprising three sides of music and a 7" exclusive single not on the album. Earlier in August, Young announced he was postponing all tour plans for the rest of the year to focus on a whopping 15 film projects including a documentary on the making of Colorado. - New Musical Express, 8/19/19...... Original Woodstock veteran Arlo Guthrie delivered a rendition of the iconic Bob Dylan anthem "The Times They Are a-Changin'" at the original site of the 1969 Woodstock festival on Aug. 15 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. Guthrie played an evening set atop the famous hill near the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, but said he also wanted to play at least one song near where the 1969 stage was located. Picking up a guitar, he sang the Dylan classic for a group of reporters gathered on the grass under the wilting afternoon sun. The Bethel Woods Center hosted a series of Woodstock events from Aug. 15 through Aug. 18, with concerts also by festival veterans like Carlos Santana and John Fogerty. "[Woodstock] was a great time," Guthrie told reporters, his long white hair flowing from a straw hat. "For me, the Woodstock festival was a celebratory end of an era. It was not the beginning of anything. It was the end of something, and it was an end of a very turbulent time that was also very wonderful." - AP, 8/16/19...... Elton JohnElton John is defending Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle over their use of private jets, confirming on Aug. 20 that he personally shelled out for a private flight so the Duke and Duchess of Sussex could "maintain a high level of much-needed protection." Elton defended the pair against what he called "relentless and untrue assassinations on their character," after the couple faced intense criticism in the British tabloids for reportedly travelling on four private jets in 11 days, despite being outspoken advocates on environmental issues. Posting on Twitter, John said he ensured the flight was carbon neutral by making an "appropriate contribution" to a carbon footprint fund. "I am deeply distressed by today's distorted and malicious account in the press surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's private stay at my home in Nice last week," he wrote. "Prince Harry's mother, Diana Princess Of Wales was one of my dearest friends. I feel a profound sense of obligation to protect Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana's untimely death," he added. Prince Harry has been vocal about the effects of environmental damage, writing on Instagram in July: "Only now are we starting to notice and understand the damage that we've been causing. With nearly 7.7 billion people inhabiting this Earth, every choice, every footprint, every action makes a difference." - New Musical Express, 8/20/19...... Motown legend Smokey Robinson participated in a "Soul Music Riff-Off" with Late Late Show host James Corden on the Aug. 14 episode of the CBS late night talk show. The segment opened with Corden sitting alone at his desk. He told the audience that he had recently watched Showtime's upcoming documentary Hitsville: The Making of Motown, which he praised. Corden then shared his controversial opinion that new soul music is better than the original stuff. "I'm talking Usher, Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill," Corden said. "I feel like new soul has a better sound." Smokey Robinson then walked onstage to challenge Corden's view. "I heard you've been telling people that modern soul music is better than classic soul music," said Robinson. "Classic soul music is my thing, man." Robinson soon challenged Corden to a classic soul vs. modern soul riff-off, with Corden performing Bruno Mars' "Finesse." Following the host's number, Robinson sang The Temptations' "Get Ready." The riff-off concluded with the two singing "My Girl" with the audience joining the singer, host and an a capella group. - The Hollywood Reporter, 8/15/19...... The Grateful Dead spinoff band Dead and Company have added a new string of fall tour dates on the East Coast, which will bring the legendary jam band to New York and Virginia in late October and November. The trek will kick off on Halloween (Oct. 31) with the first of two nights at Madison Square Garden in New York, followed by a Nov. 1 Madison Square Garden gig and then two nights at Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Va., on Nov. 8 and 9. Dead and Company is made up of Grateful Dead veterans guitarist/singer Bob Weir, drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, along with guitarist Oteil Burbridge, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and singer/guitarist John Mayer. - Billboard, 8/15/19...... Joe ElliottDef Leppard debuted its new 12-show residency at Planet Hollywood's Zappos Theater in Las Vegas on Aug. 14. Frontman Joe Elliott, who was performing his first gig since turning 60, said that "legacy artists and great music doesn't have an age on it anymore, it's like fine wine, it doesn't matter." "And these songs are now appealing to young kids," he added, noting that he consistently gets commentary on his Planet Rock radio show from teenage fans who have discovered Def Leppard by raiding their parents' record collections. Indeed, the Aug. 14 show was attended by a multi-gen audience, which ranged from teens to seniors, who rocked through the band's almost two-hour long set. It was filled with big moments, including two songs that the band has never played before in concert: "Let Me Be the One" from 2002's X album and "We Belong" from 2015's Def Leppard; as well as "Have You Ever Been," which they hadn't played in 25 years. "We dug deep into our catalog and we're going back [as recent as] the latest album," Elliott says. "And songs from High 'n' Dry that we don't play on a regular basis, songs from Pyromania that we haven't played in decades, and a couple of songs we've never played at all," he added. In addition to Elliott, Def Leppard's current lineup includes one-handed drummer Rick Allen and guitarists Phil Collen, Rick Savage and Vivian Campbell. - Billboard, 8/15/19...... Judas Priest's Glenn Tipton has thanked fans and his bandmates for helping to raise $150,000 for his Parkinson's disease foundation. Fans have purchased special T-shirts to support the cause, which Tipton launched in 2018 after announcing he had been battling the condition for a decade. "I'd like to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who bought The Glenn Tipton Parkinson's Foundation charity t-shirts throughout the various tour legs," Tipton wrote on Twitter. "I'd also like to thank [Judas Priest members] Rob, Ian, Richie, Scott and Andy -- the donations are building up nicely and that wouldn't have been possible without all the hard work from the guys in the band and the crew who went onstage every night and helped raise money for a great cause." Tipton says all proceeds from the foundation will benefit a pioneering new treatment called MR-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy, which helps Parkinson's sufferers control their tremors. - WENN/Canoe.com, 8/16/19...... During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Aug. 16, Happy Days star Henry Winkler recalled how he once saved a suicidal teenager with a phone call. Winkler says he was shooting an episode of Happy Days when an Illinois state trooper asked him to help talk an aspiring actor down from a high-rise ledge he was planning to jump from. "The phone rings and they say, 'Henry, it's a call for you,'" Winkler recalled. "I walked over to the phone and the man said 'I'm sorry to bother you. I have a 17-year-old kid on the ledge. And he is threatening to jump off and he will only talk to you.' I don't know where I got the nerve to take the phone and start talking to this kid. I said, 'OK, what is your name. OK, John, how old are you? You're 17, you're on the ledge, why do you want to jump?' 'I wanna be an actor.'" Thinking quickly, Winkler asked the desperate teen to will him his record collection, prompting the 17 year old to step off the ledge. "(I said), 'If you get off the ledge, let's talk about acting I was 27 when I got the Fonz, John. I think you've got 10 good years to keep trying. How 'bout that? Will you do that? OK. Can I get back to rehearsing? Thank you.'" Winkler said he knows the teen survived -- because he never got his record collection. - WENN/Canoe.com, 8/16/19...... Aretha FranklinIn tribute to the one year anniversary of the death of Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin on Aug. 16, 2018, the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation has created The Aretha Franklin Fund for Neuroendocrine Cancer Research, with the blessing of the family. "We wanted to create this fund so that those who wanted to honor Aretha's memory have a way to support the research," foundation CEO Gellerman said. Franklin, who was 76 years old, had pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer, which starts in the pancreas but is far different and much slower developing than the more common, aggressive type of pancreatic cancer known as adenocarcinoma. Franklin's kind is exceedingly rare: Neuroendocrine cancers comprise about 7% of cancers originating in the pancreas, according to the NTRF. Two of her doctors said the singing legend handled the diagnosis and treatment with grace -- and the grit to keep performing for years with a rare type of cancer. "As a person, she was extremely kind, she was respectful, she was funny -- she treated people like me and my team members as her friends," said Dr. Manisha Shah of Ohio State University. "There is no phone call that would end without her asking about us. Most of the time she would ask about us first. ... It's because who she was: She was really down-to-earth." Dr. Philip Agop Philip, a professor at Karmanos and Wayne State University, recalled how Aretha wanted to continue her life as normally -- and positively -- as possible. "She was full speed -- she wasn't even complaining," said Philip, who first saw Franklin in early 2011 and was her doctor of record at the time of her death. "That was different than what I expected... She never showed signs that she was close to thinking that she may give up... until the end, close to the end." - AP, 8/15/19...... Richard Gillis, a singer, songwriter and composer who worked for director Sam Peckinpah on the Western The Ballad of Cable Hogue, died on July 31 in Thousand Oaks, Calif., as a result of complications from a fall at his home in Toluca Lake. He was 80. For The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970), which featured an original score by Jerry Goldsmith, Mr. Gillis wrote music and/or lyrics for such songs as "Butterfly Mornings," "Tomorrow Is the Song I Sing" and "Wait for Me, Sunrise," performed by actors Stella Stevens and Jason Robards (both lip-synced in the Arizona-set, turn-of-the-century movie) and Mr. Gillis himself. Mr. Gillis also composed music, sang or acted in other films including Schlock (1973), directed by John Landis; A Boy and His Dog (1975); The Bees (1978); Demonoid (1980); and Pretty Woman (1990) and Frankie and Johnny (1991), both helmed by Garry Marshall. He also worked as an art director, set designer, prop master, etc. - The Hollywood Reporter, 8/15/19.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Peter FondaActor/producer/director and counterculture icon Peter Fonda, best known for his role in the seminal 1969 road movie Easy Rider, died on Aug. 16 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 79, and his official cause of death was listed as respiratory failure due to lung cancer. Born on Feb. 23, 1939, in New York City, Fonda was the son of acting legend Henry Fonda and the younger brother of Jane Fonda. He was drawn to acting while still a boy, and was only 10 years old when his mother died of suicide in a mental hospital. He scored his first success playing the lead in a school production of "Harvey" as a student at the University of Omaha and made his Broadway debut in 1961 in "Blood Sweat and Stanley Poole." At first he played nondescript "squares" in such films as Tammy and the Doctor and The Victors (both 1963) and Lilith and The Young Lovers (both 1964). In 1966, he began cultivating a motorbike-riding "hippie" rebel image in The Wild Angels, followed the next year by the psychedelic The Trip, which was directed by Roger Corman and written by Jack Nicholson. This culminated in the phenomenally successful Easy Rider, in which he also produced and co-wrote with Dennis Hopper and author Terry Southern, in 1969. The movie, directed by Hopper, shook up the Hollywood establishment, reaped more than $41 million at the box office with a budget of less than $400,000, and earned Fonda and his co-writers a best screenplay Oscar nomination. In his 1998 autobiography, Don't Tell Dad: A Memoir, Fonda said that he got the idea for Easy Rider while staring at a poster for The Wild Angels: "It would be about the Duke and Jeffrey Hunter looking for Natalie Wood. I would be the Duke and (Dennis) Hopper would be my Ward Bond; America would be our Natalie Wood." In 1971, Fonda directed his first film, The Hired Hand, a lyrical western in which he also starred. But the astonishing career that some predicted for Fonda in the wake of Easy Rider never came to pass, and he developed a reputation for being "difficult and drug-addled" on-set. Later films include The Last Movie also in 1971, which was directed by his Easy Rider co-star Dennis Hopper, Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974), Race With the Devil (1975), the Westworld sequel Futureworld (1976), Outlaw Blues (1977), and 1979's Wanda Nevada which he also directed and co-starred Henry Fonda and a young Brooke Shields. Peter FondaIn 1994, his career was rejuvenated when he was cast in John Carpenter's $50 million Escape From L.A. and given the third screen credit (before Cliff Robertson as the president). Total redemption came in 1997 when he played the lead in Victor Nunez's critically acclaimed indie Ulee's Gold, playing a Florida beekeeper who must tangle with some criminals to protect his family. Fonda received an Oscar nomination for best actor, and a classy profile in the New York Times. But the Oscar eluded him (it went to Jack Nicholson for a much showier performance in As Good as It Gets). More recently, Fonda played Mephistopheles in the Nicolas Cage vehicle Ghost Rider and a biker once again in the John Travolta-Tim Allen comedy Wild Hogs. He also had a supporting role as a bounty hunter in the 2007 remake 3:10 to Yuma, and reunited with Cage in the 2015 Louisiana political drama The Runner, in which Fonda played the younger actor's father. Fonda's family confirmed his passing in a statement that stated the actor passed away peacefully surrounded by his family. "While we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life. In honor of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom," the Fonda family said. Jane Fonda also released a separate statement, calling Peter "my sweet-hearted baby brother" and "the talker of the family." "I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days. He went out laughing," she wrote. In addition to his actress daughter Bridget Fonda and her husband, film composer Danny Elfman, survivors include Fonda's third wife Margaret (Parky) DeVogelaere, whom he married in 2011; and son Justin, a cameraman, from his marriage to first wife Susan Brewer (as is Bridget). - Variety/CBS.com, 8/16/19.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Bruce Springsteen has suprised his fans with the release of his full acoustic performance from Neil Young's inaugural Bridge School Benefit Concert in 1986. The show at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif., was Springsteen's first major gig since wrapping up the huge Born in the U.S.A. tour and his first acoustic set in more than a decade. The set is available on Springsteen's site, BruceSpringsteen.net, with $2 from each sale going to benefit The Bridge School, which employs creative approaches to education and alternative communication systems to help educate children with severe speech and physical impairments. - Billboard, 8/12/19...... WoodstockThe generation-defining 1969 Woodstock festival will be commemorated in the third weekend of August as up to 100,000 fans are expected to flock to the original site in Bethel Woods, N.Y., for a 50th anniversary celebration featuring such acts as John Fogerty, Ringo Starr and Carlos Santana. Original Woodstock veteran Arlo Guthrie is set to perform on Aug. 15 before an outdoor screening of the Woodstock documentary. Organizers hope avoid the overcrowding and chaos that occurred 50 years ago by requiring event tickets and travel passes to drive to the site about 80 miles (130 kilometers) northwest of New York City. Fans interested in visiting Woodstock without tickets or travel passes will still be able to do over the anniversary weekend, however their time at the location will be limited. A free shuttle bus service will take passengers to the site where they will have a maximum of 30 minutes to spend there before they are required to leave. The 1969 festival was held on a dairy farm in Bethel, upstate New York, which is now maintained by the Bethel Woods Centre for the Arts. The not-for-profit Bethel Woods center bought up the hillside and surrounding land in the late '90s, and constructed a Woodstock-and-'60s-themed museum which sits atop the fenced-in field. An outdoor amphitheater is located over the hill where Santana and Fogerty will play on separate nights. An estimated 400,000 people showed up for the event on Aug. 15-18, 1969. A competing 50th anniversary Woodstock concert promoted by original Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang was canceled in late July after months of setbacks, funding issues, artist defections and permitting issues. Meanwhile, Philadelphia radio station WXPN has announced plans to broadcast the full 1969 Woodstock festival exactly 50 years after it happened, over four days. At exactly 5:07 EDT on Aug. 15, WXPN, which airs on 88.5 FM public radio, will run through the entire original recording of 1969's Woodstock, featuring every performance, set breaks and stage announcements, from Richie Havens' opening acoustic set to Jimi Hendrix's blistering festival closer. "Woodstock -- As It Happened -- 50 Years On" is being dubbed a "full authentic musical account" of the classic festival, which featured the likes of Hendrix, The Who, The Grateful Dead, Joe Cocker and Janis Joplin. - AP/New Musical Express, 8/15/19...... Iggy Pop released a tongue-in-cheek video for his latest single "James Bond" on Aug. 14. The video centers on the punk rock veteran as he sings to the camera, his image clouded by light and shadow. Faith Vern, who sings on the track, also appears in the video. "I've never had more fun singing a lyric," Pop said of the song. "Faith's reading is so loaded, and Leron [Thomas]' production and trumpet along with the band swings like crazy." "James Bond" will be featured on Free, Iggy's 18th studio album that's due out Sept. 6 and the follow-up to his 2016 LP Post Pop Depression. - New Musical Express, 8/15/19...... Joe StrummerA wide-ranging 40th anniversary exhibit showcasing The Clash's landmark 1979 third album London Calling is scheduled to open at the Museum of London. "The Clash: London Calling" will open on Nov. 15 and feature draft lyrics from Clash frontman Joe Strummer's notebook, stage outfits, photos and films. The free show, which will run through spring 2020, will also feature the bass guitar that Paul Simonon famously smashed on stage at The Palladium in New York on Sept. 21, 1979, handwritten albums sequence notes from singer/guitarist Mick Jones, and drummer Topper Headon's drum sticks. "London Calling is The Clash's defining album, a rallying call for Londoners and people around the world," said the Museum of London's Beatrice Behlen in a statement. "The album's lyrics reflected contemporary concerns, many of which are still relevant today, as it moved away from traditional punk by adopting and reworking much wider musical influences." The museum has also shared a YouTube trailer for the exhibit. In conjuntion with the anniversary, Sony Music has announced the release of London Calling Scrapbook, a 120-page hardback collection of photos, hand-written lyrics, notes and previously unseen material. - Billboard, 8/14/19...... Lynyrd Skynyrd announced on Aug. 13 they are postponing to upcoming shows on their farewell "Last of the Street Survivors" tour to allow guitarist co-founding member Gary Rossington to recover from recent heart surgery. The band has pushed back its Aug. 16 performance at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and Aug. 17 show at Toyota Amphitheatre in Wheatland, Calif. In a statement, the band said Rossington had been experiencing fatigue and other symptoms related to a leaky heart valve and underwent a procedure on July 31 to repair the valve. Rossington is expected to make a full recovery and the band has rescheduled the Nevada and California events for Oct. 18 and 19, respectively. "We all appreciate the well wishes for Gary and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused," said Skynyrd lead vocalist Johnny Van Zant in a press release. "But he can't wait to come back and perform at 100% for the fans. We will see you all soon!" Bad Company will remain as special guest, co-headliner for the rescheduled Las Vegas date on Oct. 18. Tickets purchased for the original Aug. 16 and 17 dates will be honored for the rescheduled dates in October. The tour, which runs through October, will also include special guests Hank Williams Jr., Bad Company, ZZ Top and Cody Jinks at selected dates. - Billboard, 8/13/19...... Michael JacksonA new documentary defending Michael Jackson, Chase the Truth, was released the third week in August. The counter documentary, which features testimony from Jackson's former bodyguard Matt Fiddes and actor Mark Lester is an answer to the controversial 2018 documentary Leaving Neverland in which Wade Robson and James Safechuck claimed the King of Pop sexually abused them when they were children. "Acquitted in life, back on trial after death," reads the synopsis. "Michael Jackson: Chase The Truth takes an investigative look into the legal battles of the global superstar. Close friends, former staff and researchers paint an intimate portrait of Jackson's complicated world and put allegations of sexual abuse under the microscope." A trailer for Chase The Truth has also been made available on YouTube. Meanwhile, Wade Robson has spoken out on MTV's recent decision to keep their VMA Vanguard Award named after the late singer. "I don't personally need MTV to do one thing or the other, but as child abuse survivors all over the world watch to see whether society will support them or not if they have the courage to come forward, in that regard, it's an unfortunate choice," Robson told TheWrap.com. MTV began recognizing artists with the Video Vanguard Award in 1984 and named the honor after Jackson in 1991. Missy Elliott will become the first female rapper to receive the award at this year's show, on Aug. 26. - NME/Billboard, 8/15/19...... The Rolling Stones' longtime musical director, keyboardist Chuck Leavell, has released a cover of the Stones' "Tumbling Dice" along with an accompanying video on YouTube. The "Tumbling Dice" cover appears on Leavell's new album, Chuck Gets Big, with his backing band the Frankfurt Radio Big Band. "This (album) is really a celebration of the career," Leavell told Billboard, "so of course there's something from the Allman Brothers, something from Sea Level, something from the Stones, instrumentals from my own records, too. There are also a few of the songs I've just always loved playing -- like 'Georgia on My Mind,' 'cause Ray Charles is my true hero. It's just kind of a mishmash celebrating the career and hand-picking songs that I felt like people would appreciate." Leavell says the album is also an opportunity "to showcase my own voice." "I mean, I get to sing background with the Stones and did with The Allmans, [Eric] Clapton and [Dave] Gilmour, but I wanted to have the opportunity to showcase my voice -- not that I'm an incredible singer, but that was important to me. I'm very pleased with the way it worked out." Leavell -- who also guests on the Allman Betts Band's debut album Down to the River -- has five more dates left on the Stones' No Filter Tour, which wraps up Aug. 31 in Miami. - Billboard, 8/13/19...... Alice CooperAlice Cooper announced on Aug. 13 he'll launch a tour of Australia's five biggest cities in February 2020, beginning on Feb. 8 at Perth's RAC Arena. Other stops down under include Adelaide (2/11), Melbourne (2/14), Sydney (2/15) and Brisbane (2/18). Cooper's "Ol' Black Eyes Is Back" tour is currently in progress across North America, after which he'll begin a six-week tour of the U.K. and Europe, before returning to the United States for further dates in November. The "entirely new production" according to Alice incorporates a setting inside his Nightmare Castle, and features FrankenAlice, the new Billion Dollar Baby, and a setlist which includes many of his classic hits, deep album tracks, and new music. Meanwhile, The Coop continues to record and perform in his supergroup side project Hollywood Vampires, and will release a mini-album on vinyl, The Breadcrumbs, on Sept. 13 that's said to be a tribute to his Detroit rock origins. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Alice's Pretties For You, his very first album. "I'm a healthy young man at 71," he says. - Billboard, 8/13/19...... In other shock-rocker news, a new book by a science scholar claims that Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne is a genetic mutant. In his new book Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs and the Curious Forces that Make Us Who We Are, Indiana University School of Medicine genetic research professor Bill Sullivan employed a study by Gnome, a Massachusetts-based research company who studied Ozzy's DNA in 2010 to work out how he had managed to live so long despite his extensive alcohol and drug use. Sullivan concludes that "Ozzy is indeed a genetic mutant" who has managed to stay alive so song thanks to a "quirk in his DNA which has made him resilient to years of substance abuse." Osbourne will kick off a solo tour of the UK and Europe on Jan. 21 at Motorpoint Arena in Nottigham. He'll also visit Dublin (2/2), Manchester (2/5), Newcastle (2/7), London (2/10), Glasgow (2/12) and Birmingham (2/14). - New Musical Express, 8/13/19...... Barry Manilow and his husband/manager Garry Kief are reportedly "fighting horribly" because Manilow's Broadway run has gone awry and turned into a flop. According to a report on PageSix.com, the trouble began because the "Copacabana" singer wanted the run to be very short -- similar to Morrissey's 10-day blitz at the Lunt-Fontanne in May, which reportedly made $1.9 million -- perhaps even just a week long. But Kief, who married Manilow in 2014 after a 39-year relationship, purportedly pushed Manilow to do a months-long residency similar to Bruce Springsteen's triumphant Broadway stretch from last October to December. In the end, they split the difference and did the three-week run, also at the Lunt-Fontanne. But the scaled-down show is struggling to sell tickets and Manilow is now facing an "ocean of empty seats." "If he weren't his husband, Barry would have fired Garry by now," the source is quoted as saying. Making matters worse, Manilow could lose money on the run because he's on the hook for the cost of the production, while Kief gets a straight salary as executive producer and could end up making money on it. "It's terrible. Barry's up there at 76 years of age, and Garry's sitting in the back of the theater eating bonbons," the source said. - PageSix.com, 8/13/19...... Bob WeirPaul SimonDuring his performance at the Outside Lands festival at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on Aug. 11, Paul Simon surprised fans by inviting Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead onstage for a duet of Simon's "The Boxer." In 1967, Simon recalled, he was in SF and seeking out the Grateful Dead with the intent of inviting them to perform at the Monterrey Pop Festival. "I knocked on the door of the house, and Bob Weir opened the door," he said. "We've been friends ever since, but actually, this is our first duet." Although Simon no longer tours -- he wrapped his final tour in his native Queens, N.Y. back in September -- he hopped on the Outside Lands bill, and offered to donate his profits from the festival to the San Francisco Parks Alliance and nonprofit greening organization Friends of the Urban Forest. Simon's performance also included such hits as "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard," "Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes" and "You Can Call Me Al," along with such deep album tracks as "That Was Your Mother (Zydeco)" and "Obvious Child." He rounded out the set with "Still Crazy After All These Years," the Weir-featuring rendition of "The Boxer" and "American Tune," and Simon held Weir's hand before the rest of the band joined them for a bow center stage. - Billboard, 8/12/19...... As their co-headlining tour hit the Detroit area on Aug. 11, Santana and the Doobie Brothers joined forces to treat fans with a rendition of Bob Marley & the Wailers' "Exodus" -- because, Carlos Santana told the crowd, "we smoked some different kind of weed. Is it legal here yet?" (It is). The 17 total musicians combined for a long, heavily improvised take on the tune that worked in a bit of Marley's "Get Up, Stand Up," while Santana tossed solos to Doobies guitarists Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons, keyboardist Bill Payne and saxophonist Marc Russo. Santana also used the occasion to pay tribute to the late Aretha Franklin in her home town as the first anniversary of her death approaches on Aug. 16. Before "Black Magic Woman" he the told the Motor City crowd that Franklin is "our queen that ascended into another dimension. She's still here with us -- she just changed her zip code." Pointing out that England has its queen, he concluded that Franklin is "my queen, that's your queen." - Billboard, 8/12/19.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Having wrapped his 11-month "Freshen Up" tour on July 13 at L.A.'s Dodger Stadium on July 13 after 37 concerts, grossing $192.2 million and selling 928,252 tickets, Paul McCartney is now among the top 10 artists in the history of the Billboard Boxscore report. The tour began in Canada in Sept. 2018 and ended with a 16-show run across North America from May 23-13, with the former Beatle playing four shows in Japan, eight concerts in Europe, and five in South America. However the tour fell short of his 57 shows from 2016-17's "One on One Tour" and the 60 shows of 2013-15's "Out There Tour." Accordingly, his recent $129 million gross trails the $199 million and $196 million of those previous tours. Meanwhile, Sir Paul will be signing copies of his new picture book Hey Grandude! in London in September. It will be a rare book signing event for the music icon, during which he will read the story of Grandude -- "a super-cool Grandad who takes his grandchildren on a whirlwind magical mystery tour, from tropical seas to Alpine mountains, all before bedtime!" It will take place on Sept. 6 at the Piccadilly branch of London's Waterstones alongside the book's illustrator Kathryn Durst. Fans will have the chance to purchase one of a limited amount of tickets to attend the event with up to two children or grandchildren, it was announced on McCartney's website on Aug. 8. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 8/9/19...... The BeatlesIn other Beatles-related news, the group's Apple Corps Ltd. along with their record label Capitol/Ume announced on Aug. 8 that the 50th anniversary release date of the band's 1969 swansong LP Abbey Road will be celebrated on Sept. 26 with several Abbey Road releases featuring unreleased demos and special recordings. The packages include a super deluxe box set that includes 40 tracks on three CDs and one Blu-ray disc, while the Super Deluxe digital audio collection presents all 40 tracks for download purchase and streaming. The limited edition Deluxe vinyl box set features all 40 tracks from the Super Deluxe collection on three 180-gram vinyl LPs. The packages, which will be released on the anniversary date, will feature the album's 17 tracks newly mixed by producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell in stereo, high res stereo, 5.1 surround, and Dolby Atmos. Additionally, there will be 23 session recordings and demos, which are mostly unreleased. For more budget-minded fans, the 25th anniversary Abbey Road will also be available on single CD, MP3 music, and vinyl releases. Anniversary editions of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Beatles (White Album) were released in 2017 and 2018, respectively. - Billboard, 8/8/19...... In more Abbey Road news, hundreds of fans of the Fab Four gathered at a crosswalk in London's St. John's Wood neighborhood on Aug. 8 to recreate the album's iconic cover photo exactly 50 years after it was taken in 1969. Spectators snapped photos on cellphones and lookalikes from a Beatles cover band crossed the street in tribute to the original image, which was taken at 11:35 a.m. on Aug. 8, 1969, when Iain Macmillan photographed the quartet striding single-file across the black-and-white "zebra" crossing outside the Abbey Road Studios while a police officer stopped traffic. The spot remains a place of pilgrimage for Beatles fans from around the world. "Every hour of every day there are fans on the crossing," said Beatles tour guide Richard Porter, who organized the commemoration. "I've seen lots of different sights on the crossing, too, from couples having their wedding photos taken to people going across naked." - AP, 8/8/19...... Philadelphia's Music Alliance announced on Aug. 7 that a genre-spanning group of musicians including '70s stars The O'Jays and disco queen Evelyn "Champagne" King have been inducted into Philadelphia's Music Walk of Fame. The Class of 2019 inductees, which also includes the '80s group the Hooters and Universal Music Publishing Group head Jody Gerson, will be formally inducted on Oct. 22 during a gala at The Bellevue. - AP, 8/8/19...... Bruce SpringsteenBruce Springsteen made a surprise appearance at the premiere of the new Springsteen-themed movie Blinded By the Light on Aug. 8 at the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park, N.J. The Boss was flanked on the red carpet by his wife, Patti Scialfa, and the film's director, Gurinder Chanda and her family. He reportedly posed for photos, but didn't take questions. In the theater, he jammed on a handful of his classics including "Sherry Darling." Blinded by the Light, which tells the story of a British-Pakistani teenager in Margaret Thatcher's England who falls in love with Springsteen's music, will be in wide release across the U.S. on Aug. 16, and was released in the U.K. on Aug. 9. The Blinded By the Light soundtrack album is also currently available and features a previously unreleased song called "I'll Stand By You," which Springsteen originally wrote for a Harry Potter film, but was never used. "It's pretty good!" Springsteen said of the song in a 2016 interview, confirming that the track was written with the purpose of being used in the film franchise. "You'd have to ask them [why they didn't use it]," he said, describing the track as a "big ballad" that he wrote for his eldest son. "[It's] very uncharacteristic of something I'd sing myself. At some point I'd like to get it into a children's movie of some sort," he added. - Billboard, 8/8/19...... A spokesperson for Willie Nelson says the country music legend will return to the road in September, including his annual Farm Aid gig on Sept. 21, after he canceled some dates on his current Club Lick tour on Aug. 8, citing a "breathing problem." "To my fans, I'm sorry to cancel my tour, but I have a breathing problem that I need to have my doctor check out. I'll be back," Nelson, 86, posted to his social media accounts. Nelson's extensive summper tour is scheduled to wrap on Nov. 29 at the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, OK. In June 2018, Nelson canceled his performance at the Outlaw Music Festival due to illness, just months after scrapping several shows, citing the flu. In August 2017, he was also forced to cut a show short due to breathing difficulties. He has been the target of various online death hoaxes over the years, and addressed them in 2017 in a song called "Still Not Dead" on his God's Problem Child album. - Billboard, 8/8/19...... During a hearing on Aug. 6, an Oakland County, Mich. Probate Judge agreed to allow a handwriting expert to examine wills discovered in couch cushions after Aretha Franklin's death. A handwritten 2014 document shows Franklin apparently wanted her son, Kecalf Franklin, to handle her estate, which might be worth millions. After Franklin's death last August her heirs agreed to put the estate in the hands of Franklin's niece, Sabrina Owens, who is a university administrator. During the Aug. 6 hearing Judge Jennifer Callaghan also placed the administration of Franklin's estate under court supervision. - AP, 8/7/19...... A giant 7-meter sculpture of Tina Turner's head is set to be unveiled at the Dreamland vintage amusement park in Margate on Aug. 10. The fan art is being erected ahead of this year's Tina Turner Prize which comes to Margate's Turner Contemporary gallery from Sept. 28. The Tina Turner Prize is an open competition to find a new Tina Turner-themed work of art to adorn Dreamland's "Mural by The Sea" billboard. It even contains a karaoke booth so fans of the iconic singer, who turns 80 this year, can belt out her famous hits. The sculpture was commissioned by the artists Cool Shit who previously made a giant version of Lionel Richie's head in 2013. - New Musical Express, 8/7/19...... John Travolta'70s star John Travolta is featured in a video for the new single by American rapper Pitbull titled "3 To Tango". The video, for the most part, shows a bald man watching three beautiful women dance for him while he sips on an alcoholic drink. Some in-between scenes show a group of women, wearing black and red lingerie, doing a sultry dance routine. Although there were hints that the man was Pitbull, viewers were surprised at the end to see it was Travolta all along. Adding some extra spice to the clip, Travolta shows off his tango moves with each of the ladies before signing off with Pitbull's signature saying, "dale!" - Billboard, 8/5/19...... The Osmonds singer Jimmy Osmonds is unlikely ever to be able to perform live again after suffering a stroke on stage in Birmingham, U.K. in Dec. 2018, according to his brother Merrill Osmond. "I think live performances are off the cards. They're off the cards, brother," Merrill told a U.K. news outlet on Aug. 6. He added that Jimmy was currently only well enough to see his close family. "He doesn't want to meet with anybody. The rest of the time, it's basically family and all the space he needs to get better.... he's asked us to not to get into details... he just needs to have his life and live it the way he wants," Merrill added. Jimmy, 56, was the youngest member of The Osmonds and was appearing in "Captain Hook" at the Birmingham Hippodrome when he was taken ill. - NME, 8/6/19...... The state of California Franchise Tax Board has filed a $400K tax lien against Elvis Presley's 51-year-old daughter, Lisa Marie Presley. Lisa Marie allegedly owes the money from the years 2016 and 2017. Lisa Marie and her ex-husband, Michael Lockwood, have been fighting over post-nuptial agreements, spousal supports and custody of their twin daughters, Harper and Finley, both 10. In March, a psychologist was appointed by the court to evaluate Lisa's daughters amid the bitter divorce war. Lisa Marie has been fighting for full custody of the girls. The tax lien is likely to add more pressure to the mother of four, who also shares daughter Riley, 30, and son Benjamin, 26, with Danny Keough. Earlier in 2019, sources told the website RadarOnline.com that Lisa's friends were worried sick over her drug use. "It is a miracle Lisa Marie is still alive," one pal told the source. She has reportedly battled addictions to cocaine, prescription pills and booze, court documents released in 2019 claimed the mother of four was "paranoid and hallucinatory" after abusing cocaine. The court filings also revealed that Lisa Marie's ex claimed to the Los Angeles Department Children and Family Services that the troubled singer popped "up to 80 opiate pills a day." After authorities began to investigate Lisa Marie's drug habits, she checked herself into rehab in an attempt to clean up her life. "She finally realized that she was killing herself, and decided that she didn't want to end up like her dad," a source said. - American Media/Canoe.com/RadarOnline, 8/9/19...... Michael Jackson's nephew TJ Jackson has been handed guardianship of the late pop star's youngest son, Prince Michael "Blanket" Jackson, until he turns 18 in February 2020. TJ Jackson, who has shared guardianship of Blanket since 2012, has been granted an extension, which will leave him in charge of his cousin's welfare for the rest of his childhood. According to court documents, TJ filed updated Letters of Guardianship documents, and the agreement automatically ends when Blanket turns 18, "is adopted, marries, becomes emancipated by a court order, enters into active military duty, or dies." TJ has also been given "full legal and physical custody" of his cousin after previously sharing it with the boy's grandmother, Katherine Jackson. Blanket Jackson was 7 years old when his father died in 2009. - WENN/Canoe.com, 8/7/19...... Wayne NewtonWayne Newton is being sued by a Las Vegas woman who claims a pet monkey bit and injured her daughter during a visit to Newton's former mansion, Casa de Shenandoah, in 2017. Jocelyne Urena filed a civil negligence complaint in Nevada state court on Aug. 7, seeking at least $15,000 in damages on behalf of her daughter, Genevieve. The suit alleges the monkey attacked Genevieve without provocation during a visit to Newton's lavish 40-acre property southeast of the Las Vegas Strip where Newton lived with his family for more than 40 years before moving to another home in 2013. The Newtons sold the compound featuring several homes, gardens, pools, and exotic animals in 2010 to investors under the name CSD LLC who opened a tourist attraction and museum. The company also is named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Newton's wife, Kathleen McCrone Newton, said that a family business entity broke ties with Casa de Shenandoah in July 2017, three months before the lawsuit alleges the girl was injured. "We are not a party and have no idea what happened in October 2017," she said. - AP, 8/8/19...... Nicky Wonder, longtime guitarist for Brian Wilson and one of the founding members of the Wondermints, has died, aged 59. Born Nick Walusko on May 22, 1960, Wonder formed the Wondermints with another admirer of Wilson's work, Darian Sahanaja, in 1992. The band released five albums, including their self-titled debut album in 1995, and their final LP, 2009's Kaleidoscopin': Exploring Prisms of the Past. "Today is a sad sad day," Brian Wilson wrote in a statement posted to his website on Aug. 7. "It is with my deepest regret to tell you that our beloved Nicky Wonder passed away last night in his sleep. We are in a state of shock as you can imagine. But we are going to honor him with tonight's show." Wilson finished his statement by adding: "Our hearts go out to his wife Susan and his entire family, friends and fans. We love you Nicky." - New Musical Express, 8/8/19...... Henri Belolo, a co-creator of the Village People, died on Aug. 3 of as yet undisclosed causes. He was 82. The French music producer helped shape disco music, penning hits for the Village People that were featured in several films, Broadway, commercials, and more. Born in Casablanca, Morocco in 1936, Mr. Belolo worked as a DJ/producer and moved to the U.S. in 1973, where he met fellow Moroccan producer Jacques Morali. He and Morali teamed up to produce the Ritchie Family's "Brazil" in 1975, which soon grew to be a hit and led the partnership between the two producers to carry on into the next decade. Together, they shaped the world of disco, hitting up night clubs and eventually forming the six-member group, Village People, in 1978. The group was wildly progressive, embracing gay culture with fantasy characters, costumes, and a free-spirited approach to music. The characters included a construction worker, police officer, cowboy, Indian, biker and soldier. Mr. Belolo became a strong ally for his partner Morali, who was gay and passed away from AIDs complications in 1991. "We extend our deepest sympathies to Henri's family... Henri will live on in our hearts and minds forever," Scorpio Music, the French record label founded by Mr. Belolo, said in a statement. A private funeral for Mr. Belolo was already held in France and a public memorial service will be announced soon. - Billboard, 8/7/19.

Monday, August 5, 2019

After the failure of a last gasp effort to stage the Woodstock 50 festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md., organizers of the event announced on July 31 that the festival is officially over. "We are saddened that a series of unforeseen setbacks has made it impossible to put on the Festival we imagined with the great line-up we had booked and the social engagement we were anticipating," said Michael Lang, co-founder of Woodstock, in a statement. "When we lost the [Watkins] Glen and then Vernon Downs we looked for a way to do some good rather than just cancel. We formed a collaboration with HeadCount to do a smaller event at the Merriweather Pavilion to raise funds for them to get out the vote and for certain NGOs involved in fighting climate change." Lang continued: "We released all the talent so any involvement on their part would be voluntary.... We thank the artists, fans and partners who stood by us even in the face of adversity. My thoughts turn to Bethel and its celebration of our 50th Anniversary to reinforce the values of compassion, human dignity and the beauty of our differences embraced by Woodstock." In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine the day after the announcement, Lang expanded on those statements, citing its choice of investor as the main issue. "We just frankly picked the wrong partner in Dentsu," he said. "They didn't really understand the business. When the agreement went at the last minute of just being a backer to a co-producer, they had input into everything that we did." Lang added that working with an investor that wasn't in the business of music festivals had a detrimental effect in terms of delivering an event in a certain timeframe. "It just pretty much went off the rails from the beginning. [Dentsu] weren't cognizant of the timeframe for how these things have to get done and how much work has to get done.... Then when [Dentsu] pulled the plug, everything sort of stopped. The government agencies stopped. Everything stopped for six weeks. We were still focused on putting it together. We got new funding. But we ran out of time there as well," he said. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 7/31/19...... Barbra StreisandIn her first concert at New York's Madison Square Garden since 2006, Barbra Streisand took aim at Pres. Donald Trump durng her Aug. 3 show at the famed venue with a revamped version of the Steven Sonheim-composed song "Send In the Clowns." Her lyrics called on the president to release his hidden tax returns and questioned his deal-making skill, wrapping with a final verse that labeled him a "fraudulent twit" and stopped just short of saying he's "full of shit" (she let the audience shout out the final word -- "I can't say it," she insisted). "Some people say I talk too much about politics. Well, I'm a New Yorker and we have big mouths," the diva said. Streisand also gave a shout out to former president Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, both in attendance. "Over the last 50 years, one president has balanced the budget and left us with a surplus," she noted of the former. Of the latter, she said, "Needless to say, three years ago I was greatly hoping to sing at your inauguration." In her first encore, she covered a much less divisive offering, the 1965 Jackie DeShannon hit "What the World Needs Now Is Love," which is also featured on her latest album of covers, Walls. Lauding the crowd for singing along in tune, she also marveled at the beauty of MSG lighting up with waving lights from hundreds of cell phones in the air. - Billboard, 8/4/19...... An ultra-rare Prince album named The Versace Experience (Prelude 2 Gold) will be amoung three new albums released by late funk/rock icon on Sept. 13. Versace Experience previously only available as a numbered cassette, and given out to people who attended the Versace display at Paris Fashion Week in July 1995. Also being reissued are Chaos And Disorder and Emancipation. 1996's Chaos And Disorder was the final album of new music Prince released as part of his contract with Warner. It has long been unavailable, with Prince having previously refused to reissue it.Emancipation includes four cover versions of Joan Osbourne's then-current hit "One Of Us"; Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me"; and the soul classics "Betcha By Golly Wow" and "La La La Means I Love You." The reissues come alongside the first releases of Prince's previously-unheard music. Released in June, Originals is a 15-track album featuring Prince's original versions of songs he gave to other artists, including the Bangles' "Manic Monday" and Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2U." - NME, 8/2/19...... Founding The Byrds members David Crosby and Roger McGuinn cleared up some tension with a series of tweets on Aug. 3. In Remember My Name, the new Cameron Crowe-directed documentary about Crosby's life and music, Crosby mentioned that McGuinn as one of the people who "really dislike" him (along with his former collaborators Neil Young and Graham Nash). After seeing the movie which premiered on July 19, McGuinn reached out to Crosby on Aug. 3, saying he doesn't feel that way toward him at all. Crosby then responded to McGuinn quickly, who took positive development and ran with it by going so far as to suggesting he and McGuinn team up on stage in the future. Remember My Name is currently in select cinemas across the U.S. - Billboard, 8/3/19...... As Queen's popularity soars in Japan on the strength of the hit biopic Bohemian Rhapsody and the band set to visit the country on its 2020 Queen + Adam Lambert world tour, a grand display of thousands of fireworks are scheduled to light up the sky of the Land of the Rising Sun in November. "Queen Super Fireworks: Yozora no Rhapsody" will feature 13,000 fireworks synchronized to the band's iconic catalog, a mesmerizing hour-long extravaganza to be held for the first time in the world. The has given its nod of approval for the use of its music in the display, with original members Brian May and Roger Taylor sharing their excitement in a statement on Aug. 3. "Japan is a special place for Queen," May said. "We are very excited to hear that the Japanese traditional fireworks will light up the sky with our music. In 2020, we will be coming back to Japan for a tour, so it's great that there are many opportunities for the fans to enjoy our music. I wish I can be there to see it!" The display is set for Nov. 3 in Osaka; Nov. 16 in Urayasu, Chiba; and Nov. 30 in Miyazaki, Japan. - Billboard, 8/3/19...... Ringo StarrRingo Starr kicked off his latest All-Starr Band tour on Aug. 1 at Caesars Windsor on the south shore of the Detroit River. It was Ringo's 15th outing with his band since launching his first ASB tour on July 23, 1989. The 2019 lineup includes guitarist Steve Lukather and keyboardist Gregg Rolie, who shined on hits by their former bands, Toto and Santana, respectively. Colin Hay and Hamish Stuart also were given a showcase with hits from their former bands, Men at Work and Average White Band. Ringo kept the peace signs flashing and a smile on his face as he ran through the Beatles's cover of Carl Perkins' "Matchbox" and his first solo hit, "It Don't Come Easy." "Yellow Submarine" was its usual singalong favorite, while "Photograph," "Act Naturally" and "With a Little Help From My Friends" sent the crowd home on a high note. "I never sit and think, 'Oh, man, we'll be doing this in 30 years...' It's not a thought you have," Ringo told Billboard prior to the show. "But it's still going and it's still popular and I'm still having fun and I love playing, so I've got all the reasons I need to do it year after year. It worked 30 years ago, and it's still working today," he added. The ASB will tour throughout August and wrap on Sept. 1 the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Starr's fall will be busy as well. He'll be publishing a third photo book, Another Day in the Life, and he'll be finishing up his next album, the follow up to 2017's Give More Love, with guest appearances by Joe Walsh and Paul McCartney. - Billboard, 8/2/19...... The Rolling Stones' "No Filter Tour" hit MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Aug. 1 for the 10th stop on the rescheduled tour after Mick Jagger's recovery from heart surgery earlier in 2019. Jagger, 76, seemed no worse for the wear as he pranced, peacocked and gesticulated with as much flair as he's brought to any show in recent memory. The setlist included a marathon "Midnight Rambler" with effortlessly nasty guitar licks from Keith Richards and a stripped-down section of country-tinged classics like "Sweet Virginia" and "Dead Flowers." The evening's "by request" song (one of four that fans could vote for online) turned out to be the psych-pop gem "She's a Rainbow," a song that SetList.fm says the band has only played 18 times in concert. Jagger quipped that the song was chosen "because it's been in loads of commercials lately -- that's how it works!" - Billboard, 8/2/19...... Neil Young made a surprise announcement on his Neil Young Archives website on July 31 that he will postpone a planned 2019 tour with his backing band Crazy Horse in support of their upcoming album Colorado so he can work on a whopping 15 career-spanning film projects. A post titled "Archives Film Projects Take Precedent" announced that Young "will be devoting the rest of this year to Shakey Pictures projects that deserve our focused attention to complete and deliver at their highest level... bringing you all of the footage Shakey Pictures has collected through the years is a pleasure to us. We are combing through and completing." The full list of films was not made available, and none of the projects has received an official release date yet, though Archives teased that they will be screened at the Hearse Theater on the Archives site. The projects include seven Crazy Horse-related documentaries and eight solo-focused films. Young is still expected to perform on Sept. 14 at the "Harvest Moon -- A Gathering" benefit show in Lake Hughes, Calif. and at Farm Aid in East Troy, Wisc. on Sept. 21. - Billboard, 8/2/19...... Warner Bros. has given an Oct. 1, 2021, release date to the untitled Elvis Presley biopic directed by Baz Lurhrmann. The studio says the drama will "delve into [the] complex dynamic between Elvis (played by Austin Butler) and Col. Tom Parker (played by Tom Hanks) from Presley's rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and the loss of innocence in America." - The Hollywood Reporter, 8/2/19...... Mark LindsayMark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders says he's "just really grateful" that he and his former band are prominently featured in the new Quentin Tarantino movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. "I'm, obviously, extremely honored that he would include three of our songs," says Lindsay, who once roomed with music producer Terry Melcher in the same house where actress Sharon Tate, her unborn child, and four other adults would be slain at the residence on Aug. 9, 1969 by members of the Charles Manson cult. "I'm a big fan of Tarantino's. It's a good feeling and I've been getting a lot of calls about it." The Raiders' "Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon," as well as "Hungry" and "Good Thing," are included in Tarantino's film, which blends fact and fiction about the era, with the latter song grimly tied to the tragedy of the Manson murders. "We wrote 'Good Thing' under the beam where the rope was apparently thrown over Sharon and Jay [Sebring]'s necks.... that was the last place that I could ever think something bad could have happened," he said. Lindsay remembered that after the murders, "everybody was locking their doors, hiring bodyguards and getting guard dogs. It just changed the atmosphere overnight." Lindsay also reflected on the sad time when his band's namesake, with whom he had a falling out with in 1975, passed away in 2014. "When I heard Paul had gotten a brain tumor I reassessed our relationship," says Lindsay, who revealed last fall that he had a pacemaker installed. "I called him and said, 'Let's sit down and have a beer or a cup of coffee,' but it never came together. I wanted to talk about how great it was that our dreams became much more magnified than we ever thought they could be and celebrate our luck." - Billboard, 8/1/19...... An excerpt from Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry's upcoming memoir Face It has been acquired by the British paper The Sun and reveals a harrowing incident. Harry, 74, has written that she was a New York resident who had been living with her boyfriend and bandmate Chris Stein when a thief broke into their home in search of valuables. He then proceeded to undress her and rape her. "He piled up the guitars and Chris's camera and then he untied my hands and told me to take off my pants," Harry recalled. But she added that "the stolen guitars hurt me more." Details on when the sexual assault occurred have not yet been disclosed but are likely in Face It, which will also touch on her experience with bisexuality and heroin use. Harry told the paper that parts of her life were funny and warm and others chilling "to the bone." She says she discovered by writing the book that she had led "a very full life." Face It will arrive on Oct. 1 via Dey Street Books. - American Media Inc./Canoe.com, 8/3/19...... A nine-part podcast showcasing country music icon Dolly Parton will launch in the fall. Dolly Parton's America will be run by Jad Abumrad, a former Nashville resident and co-host of the Radiolab series. An official launch date will be announced at a later date. Parton is set to star in the upcoming Hallmark film Christmas at Dollywood as well as select episodes of Heartstrings, an anthology series coming to Netflix based around her songs. - Billboard, 8/2/19...... David BowieThe classic 1976 sci-fi film The Man Who Fell To Earth starring David Bowie as an alien posing as a human in an attempt to save his home planet is being turned into a TV series, it was announced on Aug. 2. A cast for the new show, which is being adapted by CBS All Access, has not yet been announced but Alex Kurtzman who has previously worked on Star Trek, and Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married) are slated as writers, executive producers, and co-showrunners. Kurtzman, who says the series will explore "the next chapter" of alien Thomas Jerome Newton's story, is also set to direct. "Some strings will connect to both the novel and the film but if you haven't seen the film or haven't read the novel, it's fine," Kurtzman said. "You'll get to have an experience that's entirely singular. If you have, you'll have the benefit of understanding the history of the world that both of those things set up." "We loved the emotional moments in the book and we loved the visual spectacle of the movie," Lumet added. "We're taking it forward." - New Musical Express, 8/2/19...... Foreigner has announced it will join the long list of legacy rock acts bringing their music to a Las Vegas residency. The band has signed on for 10 dates at The Venetian Theatre, inside The Venetian Resort, starting in January 2020. Foreigner's current lineup includes founding member and guitarist Mick Jones, longtime multi-instrumentalist Thom Gimbel, lead singer Kelly Hansen, bassist Jeff Pilson, keyboardist Michael Bluestein, guitarist Bruce Watson, and drummer Chris Frazier. The dates include Jan. 24, 25, 29 and 31; Feb. 1; and Apr. 17, 18, 22, 24 and 25. Foreigner plays around 110 shows every year and just came back from a European tour. - Billboard, 8/1/19...... After successful live appearances all over the world, lately opening for KISS, and the invitation to tour with the legendary Scorpions this summer, German hard rockers The New Roses released the music video for their second single, "Glory Road," on Aug. 1. The single is taken from their fourth studio album, Nothing But Wild, which was released the following day. "On Nothing But Wild, we fully concentrated on catchy songs with big melodies," says singer Timmy Rough. "Our goal was to record a strong and energetic Rock'n'Roll album without any frills and fillers. Simply true, simply loud, simply wild!" - Noble PR, 8/1/19...... Ian Gibbons, a former keyboardist for The Kinks, died on Aug. 1 at his home in England of as yet undisclosed causes. He was 67. Gibbons was a member of The Kinks from 1979-1996, joining the bnd after they merged into the pop mainstream. He stayed with the group for 10 years, while also working alongside the likes of Dr. Feelgood and The Kursaal Flyers. He rejoined The Kinks in 1993 and remained in the band until their split in 1996. In 2008, he joined the Kast Off Kinks, a group comprised of former band members Mick Avory, Jim Rodford, John Dalton, John Gosling and Dave Clarke. To simply say Ian will be missed would be an understatement," Kinks frontman Ray Davies said in a statement. "My first thoughts are for his family and loved ones." - NME, 8/2/19...... D.A. PennebakerLegendary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, best known for directing films on such rock stars as Bob Dylan, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, David Bowie as well as the concert film Montery Pop, died on Aug. 1 of natural causes. He was 94. In 1965, Mr. Pennebaker joined Dylan on his final acoustic tour in England, filming the much celebrated documentary Don't Look Back. Released in 1967, the film is often considered one of the greatest music documentaries of the past 60 years, as well as an early example of cinema verit filmmaking. Mr. Pennebaker also filmed Bowie for his final concert with the Spiders From Mars at the London Hammersmith Odeon, 1973's Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. Born Donn Alan Pennebaker on July 15, 1925, he had his start as a filmmaker in 1953 when he filmed his first short Daybreak Express, which offered a vivid look into the daily routine of commuters in New York City. He was later nominated for an Oscar for his work on The War Room, a documentary that chronicled the minds behind Pres. Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. In 2013, Mr. Pennebaker received a Lifetime Achievement Oscar for his filmography of over 65+ years. - New Musical Express, 8/4/19.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A British accountant has just released a new book, Hunky Dory (Who Knew?), in which he reveals that Mick Jagger was already planning a pension fund when he was in his mid-20s. Lawrence Myers, who served as the Rolling Stones frontman's accountant, described Jagger as a "very bright" client who studied at the London School of Economics and was fascinated by business, and even once considered a career in insurance. "We started chatting, started talking about pensions," Myers recalls in the book. "[Mick] said, 'after all, Lawrence, I'm not going to be singing rock 'n' roll when I'm 60.' We roared. It was just a ridiculous thought that a young man would be singing rock 'n' roll when he was 60. Needless to say, he carried on beyond 60 and he reated his own pension." Jagger, now 76 and showing no signs of stopping despite a recent heart surgery, has amassed a fortune estimated to be £260 million. - DailyMail.co.uk, 7/28/19...... Rick WakemanAlan WhiteSteve HoweProg-rockers Yes, who just wrapped up their summer "Royal Affair Tour," will release a concert album, Yes 50 Live, on Aug. 2. The 2-disc release features 13 tracks recorded during the band's 2018 50th anniversary tour, including a Philadelphia reunion show that featured 10 Yes members, past and present. Although guitarist Steve Howe, the group's longest-serving member in the current line-up, says he's "not one to revel in nostalgia," he says the past couple of years have given him a bit of pause to appreciate the group's enduring legacy and longevity." There's something about it that connects with certain people, and with certain other people it won't," Howe says. "But the people who get it understand, and they keep coming back." Drummer Alan White, a Yes member since 1972, adds that, "It seems kind of unrealistic in a sense, like, 'Wow, how did we reach this milestone?' It's kind of hard to look at it, and I would never really have anticipated this 47 years ago, but there it is, you know?" In June, the band released an online documentary, Yes 50: Yesterday Today, Tomorrow, and Howe says he expects the band to tour in 2020, but he's less definitive about a follow-up to the group's last studio album, 2014's Heaven & Earth. "Well, we'll see -- that is the most honest and best answer I can give," he says. "We certainly still write music. I have a new solo album in progress, so I'm obviously writing. But to get the right team writing together (for Yes) is something we hope for. So let's put it this way -- I hope so." Meanwhile, keyboardist Rick Wakeman, who toured in a different incarnation of Yes with Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin in 2016 and 2017, will be mounting his first North American solo tour in 13 years starting Sept. 21 in Annapolis, Md., and is also recording a Christmas album of solo piano holiday songs called Christmas Portraits for a fall release." I think we'll thoroughly enjoy another (tour) and then I think we can sort of proudly close the lid on it, very happy in our belief that we've done it proud," he says. - Billboard, 7/31/19...... In a new interview with the UK paper The Mirror, Paul McCartney revealed he sometimes has trouble remembering how to play some Beatles songs as the Fab Four's back catalogue now dates back some 55 years. "I have to re-learn everything," the 77-year-old Sir Paul says. "I've written an awful lot, you can't retain them all. We go in rehearsal and I'm, 'Oh yeah, that's how it goes.'" Macca, who has worked on over 1,000 songs, added that he believes most of them have stood the test of time when asked if he thinks his songs are "pretty good." "I do, I really do," he said. "Some of the old songs you say, 'Oh, that's clever, I wouldn't have done that'. It's exciting to think that still works. We were a little rock and roll group from Liverpool, it just kept going." McCartney also made headlines recently when he hinted that he may release an album of outtakes in the future after amassing "millions" of them during studio recordings, and music legend is also currently working on his first musical -- an adaptation of the classic Christmas movie It's A Wonderful Life. - New Musical Express, 7/31/19...... Don Henley'70s artists Don Henley of the Eagles and Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire are among a group of artists banding together to form the Music Artists Coalition (MAC), a new organization established to advocate for and protect artists' rights. "Artists decide their musical fate every time they write a song or step on stage. Their true fate -- the ability to protect their music -- is being decided by others... bureaucrats, government legislators, and the powerful digital gatekeepers," longtime artists' rights advocate Don Henley said in a statement. "We are forming the Music Artists Coalition to ensure that there is an organization whose sole mission is to protect the rights of music artists -- performers and songwriters." A main goal of the coalition will be to educate and give artists, songwriters and other creators a voice in the many issues that determine how they are compensated in the complex digital landscape. Also onboard are Dave Matthews, Meghan Trainor and a number of high level artists managers including Irving Azoff, Coran Capshaw and John Silva. - Billboard, 7/29/19...... Elton John, whose struggles with addiction were laid out extensively in his recent biopic Rocketman, took to Twitter on July 29 to celebrate 29 years of sobriety, a battle he began back in 1990. "29 years ago today, I was a broken man," Elton's tweet begins. "I finally summoned up the courage to say 3 words that would change my life: 'I need help.' Thank you to all the selfless people who have helped me on my journey through sobriety. I am eternally grateful," he added. In June, Elton was awarded the Legion d'Honneur, France's highest civilian award. French President Emmanuel Macron called the superstar a "melodic genius", and praised his efforts at representing the LGBT+ community. - NME, 7/29/19...... A new documentary on the original Woodstock festival, Woodstock: Three Days that Defined a Generation, will debut on many PBS stations across the country on Aug. 6 as part of the network's American Experience series. Joel Rosenman, one of the producers of the 1969 festival, called the event a "lesson in community" during a screening of the new Barack Goodman-directed documentary during the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour on July 30, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. "Adversity itself is not what gets in the way of community," Rosenman said. "In fact, from Barack's film I saw clearly that adversity can create a community." Rosenman said he isn't involved in a planned 50th anniversary concert, other than licensing the use of the Woodstock name. Meanwhile, if Woodstock 50 actually takes place fans will now be able to attend the event free of charge, according to reports. According to TMZ.com, all the artists booked for the event have been released from their contract, and organizer Michael Lang will be giving tickets away for free. Attendees will be encouraged to donate to their favorite charities, but a vast majority of tickets will be available free of charge. Instructions on how to obtain tickets will reportedly be announced soon. On July 26, it was revealed that Jay-Z and John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival had both pulled out of Woodstock 50, with the Raconteurs, Miley Cyrus and Santana also canceling their appearances. Woodstock 50 organizers are now trying to book new artists for a possible event at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Although the Woodstock 50 event may be bust, on July 30 a U.S. District Judge ruled that the Woodstock music festival name's can be licensed to create a marijuana brand marking the 50th anniversary of the famed gathering. Judge Paul Gardephe rejected a claim that the deal would infringe on the name of another company, Woodstock Roots. Woodstock Ventures, which produced the 1969 Woodstock festival, and Woodstock Roots sued each other in 2018, with Woodstock Ventures arguing recreational marijuana falls within its "natural zone of expansion" under federal trademark law. It is working on a deal with a major marijuana dispensary. - AP/Billboard/NME, 7/31/19...... William KingAs The Commodores celebrate their 50th (actually 52nd) anniversary in 2019, the group says what it wants most is to make some new music. William "Wak" King, the sole founding member left in the lineup, says he is working on some fresh Commodores tracks. "It's very exciting right now. Everybody's kinda pumped," King says. "It's taken awhile to get everybody in the frame of mind to get back in the studio, but we've been cutting four tracks and we want to get them completed and figure out what to do with them." King blames the long gap between Commodores' releases -- its last album, No Tricks, came out during 1993 -- on the success the group has on the road. "We've been working a bunch lately within the last number of years," he explains. "And when everyone comes back home again they're tired and they just want to rest and not see each other for a while. And just when you're getting a little comfortable you get a phone call that we need to push the tour dates up a bit and get back on the road. We've had to make time to get in the studio." King has a wish list of producers he'd like to work with, including Usher, and he's open to the idea of letting them guide what the new material will sound like. While he's planning the future, King and Commodores veterans Walter "Clyde" Orange (since 1972) and James Dean "J.D." Nicholas (since 1984) stay on the road celebrating the group's august past. Founded at Tuskegee University, the group signed with Motown during 1972 and opened for the Jackson 5, and along the way scored four platinum albums, a Grammy Award and 10 top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 along with a Vocal Group Hall of Fame induction. Tuskegee, whose Commodore Museum housed the group's former rehearsal and recording studio, held a Commodores Day back in March, when the trio also received the keys to the city of Montgomery, Ala. - Billboard, 7/29/19...... German electronic pop pioneers Kraftwerk have won a long-running legal battle over their song "Metal On Metal." The 20-year case surrounds the sampling of the track, which appears on their 1997 album Trans Europe Express, by hip-hop producers Moses Pelham and Martin Haas in a 1999 Sabrina Setlur track, "Nur Mir (Only Me)." On July 30, the European Court of Justice ruled that any sample taken from an existing recording cannot be used without the permission of the original producer. Kraftwerk's Ralf Htter and Florian Schneider-Esleben are credited as producers on "Metal On Metal." - New Musical Express, 7/30/19...... Fresh evidence on Brian Jones' murder will be presented in a new Netflix documentary on the death of founding Rolling Stones guitarist called Who Killed Christopher Robin? Jones died 50 years ago, when he was found dead in the swimming pool of his home at Cotchford Farm in Sussex. Now, Jones' manager Tom Keylock has claimed the guitarist was "out of his mind" on the night of his death on July 3, 1969. Keylock makes the claim in a previously-unseen interview which will be shown in a new Netflix documentary about the conspiracy theories surrounding Jones' death. Keylock was interviewed by investigative journalist Terry Rawlings, whose book Who Killed Christopher Robin? is the basis for the Netflix documentary. Its title is a reference to Cotchford Farm having been the inspiration for author AA Milne when he created the Winnie The Pooh character. Rawlings interviewed Keylock in 2009, but his interview has remained unseen until now. Jones' death was reopened by Sussex Police in 2009, following further fresh evidence from investigative journalist Scott Jones. But the 2009 report concluded that Jones' death would not be reopened. Sussex Police said: "There is no new evidence to suggest that the coroner's original verdict of 'death by misadventure' is incorrect." Netflix has not yet announced a transmission date for Who Killed Christopher Robin? - NME, 7/29/19...... Jonathan_CainJourney has added four December shows on Dec. 27, 28, 30 and 31 to its previously announced nine October shows at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. "We don't usually play a New Year's Eve show," keyboardist Jonathan Cain told Billboard. "How quick the [other] shows sold sealed the idea and this year it made sense for all of us." Cain and founding Journey members Neal Schon and Ross Valory will be joined by newer Journey members Arnel Pineda and Steve Smith for their first ever residency at the legendary Caesars Palace venue. Journey's 2018 co-headlining tour with Def Leppard was the band's most successful, landing them in the top 10 year-end touring chart with more than 1 million tickets sold, and Cain says the band is "looking forward to getting back out there... We built a really good machine that travels well, and has lasted." - Billboard, 7/29/19...... Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley has reportedly inked a million-dollar deal to pen a book which will include "shocking" revelations about her late ex, Michael Jackson. Presley, 51, was married to Jackson from 1994 to 1996, and is said to be ready to tell all about her life with the King of Pop in a bombshell tome which she has reportedly sold to Gallery Books for a sum of between $3-4 million. "(The book) promises shocking revelations about Michael Jackson and a completely new understanding of (Lisa's father) Elvis," according to a source quoted in The New York Post. Lisa Marie has never commented on the continuing rumors of child abuse by Jackson, and it is unclear if she plans on doing so in the book, however she is likely to also touch on her other marriages to Danny Keough, Nicolas Cage and Michael Lockwood, as well as her former addiction to painkillers. - WENN/Canoe.com, 7/31/19.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Columbia Records has announced the release of a soundtrack album to accompany the new highly anticipated Quentin Tarantino movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood featuring such classic rock and pop acts as Neil Diamond, The Bob Seger System, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Deep Purple, Simon & Garfunkel and Paul Revere & The Raiders. The 76-minute Once Upon a Time in Hollywood soundtrack, personally curated by Tarantino himself, also includes vintage radio advertisements between some songs to create a true ambience of late 1960's Los Angeles, where the film is set. The film, starring Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie, follows the tale of a TV star and his stunt double as they work their way through the industry. In addition to CD, the album will also be available on vinyl and digitally across all platforms on the movie's day of release, July 26. - Billboard, 7/25/19...... Blondie has added the catchy Lil Nas X tune "Old Town Road" to their own set list. The smash hit, featuring Billie Ray Cyrus, is currently at its 16th week atop the Billboard Hot 100, tying the record for the most time at No. 1 in the chart's six-decade history. Blondie's Debbie Harry can be seen giving the song a sultry female rock vocal twist in a newly posted YouTube video. Blondie is currently in the midst of a co-headlining tour with Elvis Costello and the Imposters. - Billboard, 7/24/19...... ZZ TopAs ZZ Top prepares to celebrate their 50th anniversary as a band with a North American tour in August, the band shared a trailer for the upcoming ZZ Top documentary, That Little Ol' Band from Texas, on July 25. It features snippets of interviews from ZZ members Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard and Dusty Hill, including actor Billy Bob Thornton saying: "They're unique, they're eccentric. When you would see them onstage, it was like seeing Bugs Bunny in person." That Little Ol' Band from Texas, which will have its world premiere on Aug. 13 at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood before hitting select theaters this fall, also includes never-before-seen footage and a performance at the oldest dance hall in Texas that was shot for the documentary. - Billboard, 7/25/19...... Refusing to throw in the towel after multiple setbacks, organizers of the Woodstock 50 concert have now relocated the festival to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbus, Maryland, some 350 miles south of the latest planned venue in Vernon, N.Y., but none of the artists from the original line up have been confirmed to perform at the new venue and organizers have released all the artists from their contracts. John Fogerty, whose Creedence Clearwater Revival played at the legendary 1969 Woodstock, and rap superstar Jay-Z had already reportedly pulled out of the Aug. 16-18 festival before reps for the festival including Michael Lang emailed the bands' talent agents and informed them that they would not try to enforce performance contracts for the event. Woodstock 50 organizers are now trying to book new artists for a possible event at Maryland's Merriweather Post Pavilion. "We made a deal quickly contingent on [Lang] putting a show together and dealing with the fact that we have a show booked on one of those dates," says Merriweather venue operator Seth Hurwitz. "So now I'm just a venue waiting to see if the promoter with the hold is going to confirm." John Fogerty has announced he will perform at a competing Woodstock anniversary festival at Woodstock's original site in Bethel, N.Y., on the same weekend in a smaller anniversary event not connected to Woodstock 50. The rock legend had appeared in March alongside Lang to announce that he and Jay-Z, Dead & Company and the Killers would perform at Woodstock 50. - Billboard/AP, 7/26/19...... Bette Midler has come under for one of her latest tweets in which she shared a photo from one of Pres. Donald Trump's recent rallies which included a handful of African-American men in the background, with the singer/actress adding in the caption: "Look, there are African American men in this shot! How much did he pay them to be 'blackground'? (sic)." The post didn't sit well in the Twitterverse, with many fans calling out Midler for being "racist" and "really sick" for suggesting black Trump supporters couldn't make their own political choices. "She thinks black men cannot think for themselves but are willing to be bribed," wrote one user, while another tweeted, "She is the definition of a racist." The feud between Trump, 72, and frequent Trump critic Midler, 73, heated up earlier this year when the president labelled the star a "washed up psycho" after she apologized for a previous statement she had erroneously attributed to Trump. - WENN/Canoe.com, 7/26/19...... While John Travolta is one of the most recognized actors in the industry today, the Saturday Night Fever star will take an opposite tack when he plays an obsessed fan in the upcoming Fred Durst-directed film, The Fanatic. In a just released trailer, Travolta is shown in the role of Moose, a mega-fan of action star Hunter Dunbar, played by Devon Sawa. On his hunt to get an autograph, Moose finds the star's address from a paparazzi photographer. After Hunter warns Moose to never come to his house again, Travolta's character rages into a series of terrifying stalker behavior, including breaking into Hunter's house and tying him to the bed. The Fanatic hits theaters in the U.S. on Aug. 30. - Billboard, 7/25/19...... The estate of Prince has shared a video for a new posthumous Prince release called "Holly Rock." The uptempo, synth-heavy jam was originally recorded at Los Angeles' Sunset Sound studios in April 1985, the same week Prince recorded his 1986 No. 1 hit "Kiss." Prince originally had given Sheila E. sole writing and producer credit, but the rock/funk icon actually co-wrote the song with her and produced the track himself. Originally recorded for the soundtrack to the 1985 film Krush Groove, "Holly Rock" has not appeared on a Prince-related album until the recently released Originals. This is the first time the song has been made available digitally. - Billboard, 7/25/19...... Elton JohnElton John hosted his inaugural "Midsummer Night's Dream Party" on July 24 in Antibes, France, with his husband David Furnish to raise funds for the Elton John Aids Foundation. Sir Elton said he's traditionally thrown a party during Wimbledon week at his home in Windsor, but was on tour this year, so decided to move the fete to France. "We thought a lot of people we know are here on holiday and it would be nice to invite our local friends. It's always great to mix things up and surprise people," he said. Also on hand was Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, who took to the stage to play the band's hits "Something Just Like This," "Yellow" and "Viva la Vida" in a relaxed set before joining John for duets of Elton's own "Rocketman" and "I'm Still Standing." John Lennon's son Julian Lennon was also among the celebrities present, and it was Julian's first time seeing John perform live, despite the fact the two are neighbors on the Cote d'Azur. "We have a lot of the same friends and we bump into each other, but I'm busy, he's busy," Lennon said. "I don't know why but it's just never happened so far," he added. But the two have also discussed the idea of a musical collaboration. "We have talked about it so maybe that will happen this year," Julian said. In an auction fundraiser, guests paid $90,000 for tickets to John's annual Oscar party, and Elton himself bid $280,000 on a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II to add to his art collection. The evening overall raised $6.1 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which is earmarked for testing and treatment programs in Kenya. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/25/19...... In a new interview on his official website, Paul McCartney has hinted that he may release an album of outtakes in the future after amassing "millions" of them during studio recordings. Sir Paul described the outtakes as a "treasure trove" of material taken from various ab-libbed sound checks and rehearsals. "Thankfully our stuff is captured because these days you can record just about anything that moves!," Macca noted. "It's a little treasure trove. And one day we will have to put together an album, or something, with a selection of these songs that we've gathered. Because they are from all around the world!" - New Musical Express, 7/24/19...... The Rolling Stones have unveiled a limited-edition line of merchandise intended to coincide with the second half of the band's "No Filter" world tour. Robbie Owens-Russo, global vp creative director of the Universal Music Group's Bravado, worked alongside creative director Sarah Andelman and also designed the installation for the collection, which is centered around two giant pieces with the Stones' tongue-and-lip motifs, one in the colors of the American flag. "The tongue is almost like the Nike of the music industry," says Owens-Russo. "It is this iconic thing that doesn't even need the word Rolling Stones next to it." Indeed, the original John Pasche design has resonated far and wide since 1969, when it was created for the band. The items, which just hit shelves at Bergdorf Goodman's in New York, coincide with the band's New Jersey dates in early August. The collection will next travel to Los Angeles, where it will be available at Maxfield during the band's August stops at the Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara and the Rosebowl in Pasadena; then it will head to Miami, where the tour wraps on Aug. 31. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/24/19...... In other Rolling Stones news, Mick Jagger is set to make his silver screen comeback in The Burnt Orange Heresy, a new art heist thriller by Italian director Giuseppe Capotondi, that will premiere at the upcoming Venice Film Festival. An adaptation of American novelist Charles Willeford's book of the same title, the film stars Jagger opposite Donald Sutherland, Claes Bang and Elizabeth Debicki. Jagger plays Joseph Cassidy, a wealthy art collector who recruits a couple (Bang and Debicki) to steal a piece of artwork from a famous artist (Sutherland). Described as an "erotic neo-noir thriller," the movie will close out the 11-day Venice Film Festival on Sept. 7. It was filmed prior to Jagger's heart operation in April, when he underwent a heart valve replacement surgery after doctors told him he could not perform, forcing the postponement of the band's North American tour. - NME, 7/23/19...... John Paul JonesFormer Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, who has had stints in Them Crooked Vultures and performed with the likes of Seasick Steve and Butthole Surfers, is set to make his live return with a new band called Sons of Chipotle. Jones will be playing piano and electronics, with Finnish musician Anssi Karttunen on cello and electronics. "It is incredibly rare to find two of the finest musicians in the world performing in such an intimate setting for what will be a series of remarkable concerts," wrote Jones on his website. "Both musicians are known to be curious minds, always ready to learn and to discover. When they improvise, borders disappear, they are free to migrate beyond prejudices, across continents. They'll be joined by guest musicians Otomo Yoshihide of Ground Zero and Jim O'Rourke of Sonic Youth. They'll be making their debut with a series of gigs in Japan in early September, beginning with the Pit Inn in Shinjuku on Sept. 3 and 5. - NME, 7/24/19...... On July 22 Alice Cooper announced he'll release a six-song EP drawn from recent sessions with his longtime producer Bob Ezrin called Breadcrumbs. It will feature covers of Bob Seger's "East Side Story," the MC5's "Sister Anne," Suzi Quatro's "Your Mama Won't Like Me" and Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels' "Devil With a Blue Dress On," plus a rework of "Detroit City" from 2003's The Eyes of Alice Cooper album titled "Detroit City 2020," and a new song co-written with MC5's Wayne Kramer, "Go Man Go." Cooper says he started recording the songs, which pay homage to his Motor City hometown, in Detroit during March and continued in Los Angeles. The EP will be released digitally and on limited 10-inch vinyl. No release date or title have been announced for Cooper's next full-length album, which will be the follow-up to his 2017 set Paranormal, but Alice says that he and Ezrin have finished seven songs so far and will be doing more during August after he wraps up a summer North American tour with Halestorm and Motionless In White. Meanwhile, Cooper also released another album, Rise, in June, with the Hollywood Vampires, his all-star band with Johnny Depp and Aerosmith's Joe Perry. - Billboard, 7/22/19...... On July 23 Bruce Springsteen announced that a companion film to his recent hit album Western Stars will premiere in September. Springsteen revealed earlier in July that a Western Stars movie, directed by Thom Zimny and Springsteen himself, is on the way. Speaking to SiriusXM's Dave Marsh and Jim Rotolo on July 10, Springsteen said that the film consisted mostly of a live performance of the album. "We made a film of the 'Western Stars' album, where I play the record from start to finish along with some other things," he said. "We knew we weren't going to tour, so I was looking for a way to get some of the music live to the audience." The Western Stars film will receive its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from Sept. 5-15. "The incomparable Bruce Springsteen performs his critically acclaimed latest album and muses on life, rock, and the American dream, in this intimate and personal concert film co-directed by Thom Zimny and Springsteen himself," a premise for the 83-minute film states. The exact premiere date has yet to be confirmed. - New Musical Express, 7/23/19......Queen hit The Forum in Los Angeles on July 19 and 20 for two nights on its "The Rhapsody Tour," their first since the release of the Oscar-winning Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Alongside original members Brian May and Roger Taylor, current Queen frontman Adam Lambert delivered a 30-song set on the opening night with a dramatic flair all his own while still taking time to celebrate Mercury's legacy. After a hearty intro including "Keep Yourself Alive" and "Killer Queen," Lambert took a moment to address the "pink elephant in the room," as he put it. "I am not Freddie Mercury. I f---ing know, because there will only be one Freddie Mercury. There's no replacing him," Lambert said. "All I'm here to do tonight is celebrate Freddie and carry the torch for Freddie. And I hope I'm making him proud." The crowd cheered their approval, and Lambert launched into "Don't Stop Me Now" with immense energy. "Bohemian Rhapsody" was an obvious high point before a "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions" encore, with both Lambert and May sporting ridiculous outfits (an all-silver get up and an iridescent space-suit, respectively). As the iconic music video played in the background, the entire audience rocked out with the band until the song's dramatic finish. QueenMeanwhile, Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" video has officially surpassed one billion views on YouTube. Originally released in promotion of the band's single in 1975, it is the first pre-1990s music video to reach that milestone on the streaming platform, according to YouTube. To celebrate, the band released a newly remastered HD version of the "Bohemian Rhapsody" video on its YouTube channel on July 22. In partnership with YouTube Music, Universal Music Group and Hollywood Records, Queen is also launching its "You Are the Champions" project, which gives fans the opportunity to take part in three new user-generated videos. - Billboard, 7/21/19...... In related news, a new video for David Bowie's iconic "Space Oddity" premiered at a NASA event at the Kennedy Center in Washington on July 20 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. The event also marked the golden anniversary of the song that chronicles the outer space adventures of star-crossed astronaut "Major Tom." The stunning visual directed by Tim Pope mixes footage of a red-haired Bowie performing the song at his 50th birthday concert at New York's Madison Square Garden in 1997 along with footage shot by Edouard Lock for the backdrop screen on the singer's 1990 "Sound & Vision" tour. The accompanying audio is a new mix of the song created by Bowie's longtime producer, Tony Visconti. The new audio mix was released on July 12 as part of a 50th anniversary double 7" box set. - Billboard, 7/22/19...... In a new interview with Variety, Sylvester Stallone says he's "furious" that he has such a small financial stake in the Rocky film franchise. While negotiating the contract for the original 1976 Rocky, which he wrote and starred in, Stallone says he lost out on equity in the entire franchise, which would have made him a part-owner of all features in the series. "I have zero ownership of Rocky," he says. "Every word, every syllable, every grammatical error (in the contract) was all my fault. It was shocking that it never came to be, but I was told, 'Hey, you got paid, so what are you complaining about?' I was furious." Stallone said he's never been able to forgive himself for the lack of business savvy and naivete he had at the start of his career, but he adds, "You don't want to ruffle the feathers of the golden goose." His remarks have been met with criticism by some of his Rocky colleagues, with one anonymous associate telling Variety that Stallone has earned tens of millions in profit from his work in franchise installments as writer, star and producer over the years. "He made money from every angle, and still does, so I don't know what he's complaining about," his colleague stated. The original Rocky film cost roughly $1 million to make and has grossed global net profits of $225 million to date. - WENN/Canoe.com, 7/24/19...... Art Neville, a member of one of New Orleans' storied musical families, The Neville Brothers, and a founding member of the groundbreaking funk band The Meters, died on July 22 at his home in New Orleans. He was 81. His cause of death was not immediately available but Mr. Neville had battled a number of health issues including complications from back surgery. Mr. Neville was the voice of the iconic Carnival season anthem "Mardi Gras Mambo," which he recorded at 17 in 1954 with the group The Hawketts at a local radio station. After returning from a stint in the Navy, he recorded a number of songs that became late 1950s and '60s R&B classics, including "Cha Dooky Do" and "All These Things." Born Arthur Lanon Neville on Dec. 17, 1937, in New Orleans, La., Mr. Neville founded his family's eponymous band in 1976 with three of his brothers, Aaron, Cyril and late sibling Charles Neville, who died in 2018. Over the course of five-plus decades, the Neville family became the north star of the New Orleans funk scene, spinning off a series of related family bands and shepherding a long list of future funk stalwarts into the mainstream, including bassist George Porter Jr., drummer Joseph "Zihaboo" Modeliste, and guitarist Leo Nocentelli. In 1968, Art, Aaron and Cyril joined four New Orleans musicians to form The Meters, an American funk band often cited by other bands as a musical influence. Mr. Neville, known as "Poppa Funk," announced his retirement from music in December 2018, thanking fans for "all the wonderful years of support and for letting us share our music with the world." - AP/Billboard, 7/22/19...... Valerie HarperAs '70s TV icon Valerie Harper continues to struggle with cancer, her devoted husband of 32 years, actor Tony Cacciotti (The Longest Yard), says he refuses to put her in hospice care. On July 23, Cacciotti wrote an emotional Facebook message about his wife's health and their current situation. "I have been told by doctors to put Val in Hospice care and I can't (because of our 40 years of shared commitment to each other) and I won't because of the amazing good deeds she has graced us with while she's been here on earth," he wrote. Harper, best known for her award-winning role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and her starring spinoff series Rhoda, was diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis in 2013, four years after she beat lung cancer. At the time, doctors predicted she only had three months to live. "We will continue going forward as long as the powers above allow us, I will do my very best in making Val as comfortable as possible," wrote Cacciotti. "There are two special ANGELS on this planet masquerading as humans who live and work together, that have made it possible to have all of Val's needs taken care of." Harper, 79, has continued to receive chemotherapy treatments throughout her years-long health battle. "For those of you who have been in this position, you will totally understand that 'it's hard letting go.' So as long as I'm able and capable, I'll be where I belong right beside her," continued Cacciotti. "Many, many thanks for your outpouring of kindness and support." Cacciotti and Harper's good friend Deanna started a GoFundMe for the Valerie actress in mid-July and raised over $66,100. The page, however, has since been shut down, as members of the entertainment industry have stepped in to help pay for Harper's medical expenses. - RadarOnline.com/Canoe.com, 7/24/19......Bob Frank, the Memphis folk singer-songwriter who developed a cult following after his 1972 self-titled debut album, has died at the age of 75. "LITA is incredibly bummed to hear that Bob Frank passed away yesterday," tweeted record label Light In The Attic. "In 2014 we reissued Bob's 1972 album and loved working with him. He took elements of Dylan, Johnny Cash, Ian Tyson and filtered it through a pot-smoked haze infused with Bob's friend, Jim Dickinson. RIP, Bob." Frank was a Vietnam veteran who moved to Nashville and became a songwriter for the Tree music publishing company after the war. His debut album, originally released by Vanguard Records, received positive reviews but wasn't a commercial success; it eventually became a rare collector's item before being reissued decades later. In 2001, he reemerged after decades away from music with a series of new albums on his own label, Bowstring Records. His most recent album, Dancing In Dallas, was released in 2018. - Billboard, 7/22/19...... Actor David Hedison, best known for his starring role in the popular 1960s adventure series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, died on July 18 in Los Angeles. He was 92. Mr. Hedison also appeared in Off Broadway productions by Clifford Odets and in the original version of the 1958 horror sci-fi classic The Fly with Vincent Price. He also starred in the spy TV series Five Fingers, and over the next few years had roles in Perry Mason, The Saint and the feature film The Greatest Story Ever Told. Though many other TV roles in such series as Dynasty, The Colbys, Fantasy Island and soap operas as Another World and The Young and the Restless would follow, it was his performance as the heroic, handsome Capt. Lee B. Crane in producer Irwin Allen's submarine-set 1964-68 Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea that secured his place in the collective memory of the Baby Boomer generation. "He was adored by so many, all of whom benefitted from his warm and generous heart," said his family in a statement. "Our dad brought joy and humor wherever he went and did so with great style." - Deadline.com, 7/22/19...... Dutch film actor Rutger Hauer, who specialized in menacing roles, including a memorable turn as a murderous android in Blade Runner opposite Harrison Ford, died on July 19 at his home in the Netherlands. He was 75. Hauer's roles included a terrorist in Nighthawks with Sylvester Stallone, Cardinal Roark in Sin City and playing an evil corporate executive in Batman Begins. He was in the big-budget 1985 fantasy Ladyhawke, portrayed a menacing hitchhiker who's picked up by a murderer in the Mojave Desert in The Hitcher and won a supporting-actor Golden Globe award in 1988 for Escape from Sobibor. Early in his career, Hauer spent five years with a small troupe bringing theater to rural Holland. He made his film debut in the saucy Turkish Delight, nominated for an Oscar as best foreign language film of 1973. Gene Simmons, the KISS bassist who starred opposite Hauer in Wanted: Dead or Alive, described his former co-star as "always a gentleman, kind and compassionate."- AP, 7/24/19.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Rod Stewart has voiced his support for "my mate" A$AP Rocky following the Harlem rapper's recent arrest and incarceration in Sweden. Rocky, along with two members of his entourage, were arrested in Stockholm on July 2 ollowing a performance at the Smash music festival, will apparently be held for two weeks as Swedish authorities investigate the case. It's since been claimed that Rocky has been held in "inhumane conditions" while in prison, with the case prompting an outpouring of support from artists including Tyga and Tyler, the Creator. Rocky has also now received a message of support from Stewart, who said he was "dismayed" at Rocky's alleged "mistreatment at the hands of Swedish police." "I'm dismayed at the reports of mistreatment of my mate @asvpxrocky at the hands of Swedish police. Let's have #JusticeForRocky!," Stewart posted on Twitter on July 17. Stewart and Rocky first met after Rocky sampled Stewart's vocals from "In a Broken Dream," which he recorded with the band Python Lee Jackson in the early 1970s. The sample was used on Rocky's 2015 album At. Long. Last. ASAP, and Stewart received a feature credit on the track "Everyday" as a result. - New Musical Express, 7/17/19..... Tom JohnstonTom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers says the band has been recording in the studio with producer John Shanks, who has worked with the likes of Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow and the Goo Goo Dolls, for a 5-song EP that the Doobies plan to release sometime in 2020. "We got these done and everybody's pretty excited about them," Johnston told Billboard. "It's rock n' roll, basically. There's one that's kind of a ballad, but the rest of them are rock, with a little modern edge to it. It's totally different from anything we've ever done before... things I've never tried before vocally, musically. Everything is kind of different from what you expect to hear from normal Doobies, but it's still recognizable. It's a cross-matching of the two things -- (Shanks') input, which is strong, and ours," he added. The band has yet to give the new EP a name or set a release date, however it would be the group's first studio release since 2014's collaborative Southbound album and its first set of original material since 2010's World Gone Crazy. Meanwhile, the Doobies are on the road with Santana this summer, then mount a solo tour in the fall. It will include a stop at the Masonic Auditorium in the band's native San Francisco on Sept. 12 where it will perform their classic LP's Toulouse Street and The Captain and Me in their entirety, as it did in 2018 at New York's Beacon Theatre. - Billboard, 7/18/19...... A new wide-ranging exhibit of 150 rare Bruce Springsteen items will go on display at the Monmouth County Historical Association in Freehold, N.J. on Sept. 29. According to a press release, the "Springsteen: His Hometown" exhibit will provide a "comprehensive look of how Monmouth County, NJ has been thematically woven into Bruce Springsteen's music and art throughout his career." Items include the original color poster from Springsteen's Freehold-bred first band, The Castiles, a personal scrapbook made by the singer's mother, as well as her 1943 high school yearbook and the 1801 document signed by the Revolutionary War patriot and direct ancestor John Springsteen. Springsteen was born in Freehold, and the unveiling of the show will coincide with the city's centennial celebration. The pieces in the exhibit will come from both the Monmouth County Historical Association and the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University. Proceeds from the exhibit will benefit the Monmouth County Historical Association. - Billboard, 7/17/19...... A new, previously unreleased version of the Freddie Mercury song "Time Waits For No One" will be released on July 26. The single, which has been produced by Mercury's long-time friend Dave Clark of the 60's band The Dave Clark Five, was originally shared online in June and is described as showing Mercury "at his most compelling... a completely stripped-down performance, accompanied by just a piano [and] showcasing one of music s most beloved and show-stopping voices." "Time Waits For No One" is a previously unreleased version of "Time," which was recorded in 1986 for Mercury s concept album and musical of the same name. The single will be available on a vinyl picture disc and CD. - New Musical Express, 7/19/19...... John FogertyCreedence Clearwater Revival's performance at the 1969 Woodstock festival has been glaringly absent from all music and video documents about the legendary festival including the Oscar-winning documentary in 1970, but now the band plans to correct that with the upcoming Creedence Clearwater Revival - Live at Woodstock release, which hits stores on Aug. 2. "We weren't in the movie on purpose," CCR frontman John Fogerty says. "Nobody really understood what the movie would be. The track they wanted to use was 'Bad Moon Rising'; I just didn't feel it was our best work. At that point in time Creedence was the No. 1 band in the world. I felt like, 'Why go backwards?'" But Fogerty says he changed his position over time. "Maybe around the late '80s I began to think that, historically, it is what it is. It doesn't matter if it's well done or not well done, it became more a fact of history. Therefore nobody was hurt by it. It was just history." Three CCR tracks -- "Green River," "Bad Moon Rising" and "I Put a Spell On You" -- first appeared on the 2009 box set Woodstock 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur's Farm and are reprised on the recent June 2019 release Woodstock Back to the Garden -- 50th Anniversary Experience. CCR's Live at Woodstock features the group's entire 11-song set, including lengthy rendition of "Keep on Chooglin'" and "Suzie Q" along with its signature tune, "Proud Mary," of which it has shared a YouTube video. "I thought we played good, and in some cases I thought we played great (at Woodstock)," recalls bassist Stu Cook, whose Creedence Clearwater Revisited with drummer Doug Clifford is in the midst of a farewell tour. "Just like any show it has its highs and lows from a performer's point of view, most of which the audience has no clue about. I thought we played a journeyman's set that had some real high points. It's a shame we weren't in the film, but that was not my decision. It wasn't really supported by the other guys in the band." Fogerty adds that the festival is "a remarkable event to look back on now -- fondly, of course," while Cook says he feels "the event was about the audience and not the artists... the bands were almost the Muzak of a mysterious event that happened." - Billboard, 7/18/19...... Four years after forming, the Grateful Dead spinoff band Dead & Company have topped the Billboard Hot Tours chart with their summer tour grossing $40.9 million and selling 486,917 tickets for their biggest tour yet. The band's June 14-15 engagement at Chicago's Wrigley Field grossed $7.1 million and sold 72,851 tickets, improving on their 2017 performance at the same venue when it grossed $6.4 million. The tour featured a fair mix of amphitheaters and stadiums, playing six stadium shows and 13 dates in amphitheaters. Meanwhile, Billy Joel was No. 5 in the Hot Tours recap, grossing $6,575,093, while Paul McCartney's tour grossed $4,915,772, good for the No. 7 spot. Veteran acts are also discovering farewell tours can be very lucrative. Elton John has the highest-grossing tour at the 2019 midyear mark, according to Billboard Boxscore, so far the most successful in a wave of farewell outings from such acts as Paul Simon, Slayer, KISS, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bob Seger. - Billboard, 7/18/19...... Mick JonesA new Foreigner concert documentary entitled Double Vision: Then and Now premiered on the digital cable channels AT&T AUDIENCE Network (Channel 239), DIRECTV Ultra 4k (104 and 105), AT&T U-verse (1114) on July 19, and is curently streaming on DIRECTV NOW and the DIRECTV App. The film, whose trailer is currently being shared on YouTube, documents the classic rockers' two nights at the Soaring Eagle Casino Resort in Mount Pleasant, Mich., on Oct. 6 and 7, 2017, when four members of the original band -- founder Mick Jones, frontman Lou Gramm, multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald and drummer Dennis Elliott) along with second bassist Rick Wills -- performed together for the first time since the early '80s, as part of the group's 40th anniversary celebration. In conjunction with Foreigner's current lineup, the troupe played a five-song mini-set, then joined its successors for a two-song encore. The reunion has been repeated a few times since and will happen again four more times this October. Mick Jones says the documentary has "been a little while in the making, but the production of it, obviously, and a lot of paints went into it." "I'm very happy with the result," he says. "I think it captures the vibe of when the two lineups played together. We had a lot of fun. I think we captured that, and it's nice for it to be documented in this way." Jones added that he'd "like I'd like to put some new Foreigner material out, definitely." "I'm not sure about doing an album these days, but we'll see. (Lou Gramm) and I have been working on ProTools in the hotel rooms and stuff like that. So it's cooking." - Billboard, 7/18/19...... Iggy Pop announced on July 18 that he will release Free, the follow-up to his 2016 album Post Pop Depression, on Sept. 6 via Loma Vista Recordings. In a press release, Pop described Free as having "virtually nothing in common sonically with its predecessor -- or with any other Iggy Pop album." A collaboration with jazz trumpeter Leron Thomas, Pop says Free is "uniquely somber and contemplative... in which other artists speak for me, but I lend my voice." Pop has also shared the eerie title track for the new 10-track release on YouTube. - Billboard, 7/18/19...... The Doors have announced they will release a special 50th anniversary edition of their 1969 album The Soft Parade. The 3-disc special edition, which is set for release on Oct. 18, will also include 12 never-before-released songs as well as some "stripped down" versions of some of the album's classic tracks. The Soft Parade entered the Top 10 upon its release, and features the hit single "Touch Me." The album split listeners on release thanks to the varied brass and string arrangements on the tracks. Now, the special edition will strip-back some of these tracks, including "Touch Me," "Tell All The People," "Wishful Sinful," "Runnin' Blue," and "Who Scared You" so listeners can hear them in a simpler form. - NME, 7/19/19...... In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Dave Davies of the Kinks says he and brother Ray Davies have been digging for songs for possible inclusion for the upcoming 50th anniversary of the band's 1969 album Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire), which is due in October. "Some we recorded but never used," Dave said of things they found in the archive. "Others don't have finished vocals or they need other embellishments." "The songs are really just in demo form now," he continued, noting that he and Ray are recording some new songs while also finishing and re-recording the old ones. "But good demos. Ray is still dissecting various other material we might use. The intention is to get the work out, but it's not a done deal." - Billboard, 7/17/19...... Verdine WhiteOn July 18 '70s pop/soul hitmakers Earth, Wind & Fire became the first R&B group in history to receive the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors, and just the fourth group overall to receive this acknowledgement, following three rock groups: The Who in 2008, Led Zeppelin in 2012, and the Eagles in 2016. The Kennedy Center Honors tend to go to individuals. As a result, they have generally chosen to honor lead singers and/or principal songwriters from groups, rather than the groups themselves. Maurice White, the lead songwriter for EWF, died in 2016. The Kennedy Center Honors program doesn't give posthumous awards, which led to them recognizing the group. Maurice's brother Verdine White, the group's longtime bassist, said he was proud of how their songs have become part of the soundtrack of American music. "We're part of the culture. We're part of people's lives," he said. "The music makes people happy. When you come to a show you leave happier than when you came." This year's other honorees include Linda Ronstadt, (who in 2019 released her first ever live album Live in Hollywood), classical conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, actress Sally Field and Sesame Street, the first TV show to be honored. The recipients will be honored during a gala 42nd annual ceremony on Dec. 7. The event will be taped for broadcast on PBS on Dec. 15. For the third straight year, the attendance of Pres. Donald Trump seems likely to be a subject of speculation in advance of the event. Pres. Trump has skipped the past two celebrations. The first time, multiple recipients threatened to boycott the event if he attended. The Kennedy Center's president, Deborah Rutter, said it was too early to tell whether Trump or first lady Melania Trump would attend. "They are always invited," she said. "He is the president of the United States of America, and it would be good to have these extraordinary individuals acknowledged by the president." - Billboard/AP, 7/18/19...... Paul McCartney has signed on to write his first ever stage musical, an adaptation of the classic 1946 movie It's a Wonderful Life. The ex-Beatle is collaborating with "Billy Elliot" playwright Lee Hall, who also wrote the screenplay for the Elton John biopic Rocketman, as well as Broadway producer Bill Kenwright. Sir Paul said he'd never considered writing a musical, but after meeting Kenwright and Hall three years ago, "I found myself thinking this could be interesting and fun." Lee Hall said McCartney's "wit, emotional honesty and melodic brilliance brings a whole new depth and breadth to the classic tale." Producers say they are aiming for a 2020 launch for the show. Its dates and venue have not been released. - AP, 7/17/19...... AC/DC has returned to social media after a prolonged silence to mark the upcoming 40th anniversary of their classic 1979 album Highway to Hell. AC/DC's Facebook account had been inactive ever since announcing the death of founding member Malcolm Young on Nov. 18, 2017. Now the band has posted an emotional tribute to Young on its Facebook page. "With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band," the band posted on July 15. The band also announced they would be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Highway to Hell throughout July. A similar clip was also posted to their Twitter account on July 16, their first post since they paid tribute to Chuck Berry following his death in March 2017. The new posts will only fuel fan speculation that the Aussie rockers are reconvening to record a follow-up to their last LP, 2014's Rock or Bust. - New Musical Express, 7/17/19...... WoodstockBarring the intervention of some kind of miracle, it appears there will be no Woodstock 50 concert at the Vernon Downs racetrack and casino in upstate New York in August 2019 after the Vernon town council voted unanimously on July 16 to uphold its permit application denial. Organizers released a statement after the decision, thanking everyone who supported them in recent weeks as it pushed to have the anniversary event moved to the upstate race track. "Woodstock 50 is disappointed that the Town of Vernon has passed up the opportunity to hold the historic 50th Anniversary Festival by denying our robust and thoughtful proposal," the statement said. "We regret that those in Vernon who supported Woodstock have been deprived of the once-in-a-lifetime chance to be part of the rebirth of a cultural peace movement that changed the world in 1969 and is what the world needs now. We want to thank the artists who stood by us. We are grateful for the support of Vernon Downs and its generous owner Jeffrey Gural." Also after the decision, Virgin Produced, who has been advising with the Woodstock 50 team, "officially concluded its consulting role with respect to the company and the proposed festival," according to a statement from Virgin Produced's publicist. The Woodstock 50 event had been originally planned for Aug. 16 to 18 at Watkins Glen International racetrack, but those plans also fell through. An estimated 65,000 people were expected to attend. - PageSix.com, 7/17/19...... A California judge has told the parties in the Michael Jackson estate/HBO lawsuit to deliver a briefing on whether a bid to force HBO to settle the case in arbitration violates the First Amendment. Jackson's estate filed suit against HBO in February, days before the Leaving Neverland documentary, which detailed allegations from Wade Robson and James Safechuck, premiered on HBO. The estate claims the film is a violation of a non-disparagement clause in a 1992 contract that once gave HBO the right to air a first-ever televised concert after the release of Jackson's album Dangerous, however instead of a judge determining that issue the estate to compel arbitration pursuant to that same contract. Once that happens, an arbitrator would look at the contract and the documentary and settle the dispute. In his decision on July 19, U.S. District Court Judge George H. Wu said, "While the Court agrees that attempting to enforce an arbitration agreement in a contract that includes a non-disparagement clause through the filing of a lawsuit does not initially suggest the presence of state action, the initiation of the litigation itself can trigger First Amendment concerns." A hearing to consider those concerns is now set for Sept. 16. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/19/19...... Meanwhile, Prince's estate has won a $7 million judgement against a record label it claims is bootlegging the star's music. Court documents reveal that the estate sued Eye Records in Aug. 2018, claiming it was a "bootleg label dedicated to Prince," for allegedly releasing 18 Prince compilations since his death. These included live performances and unreleased tracks, and were allegedly released without the sufficient rights. The label used the online store newlovesigne.com to sell the music, according to the lawsuit. Prince's estate had requested $2 million per trademark violation, but they have now been awarded $7 million. - TMZ.com/NME, 6/20/19.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

In an interview with the New York paper Poughkeepsie Journal on July 16, Woodstock 50 co-organizer Michael Lang said the anniversary concert may not happen this year, but he remains optimistic. "If it doesn't work this year, it doesn't work this year. We've tried everything we can. We've done our best. We'll continue to do our best until we find out one way or the other whether it's going to happen," Lang said. Lang and the other organizers recently applied for a permit to hold the event in the combined race track and casino "racino" at Vernon Downs in upstate New York, east of Syracuse, but the event was recently denied a permit. The Town of Vernon's planning board is set to hear an appeal on the evening of July 16, exactly a month before the festival would begin. Oneida County, N.Y. Administrator Anthony Picente Jr., was previously quoted as saying: "We could have done this with a year or 16 months advance [planning], but to do it in three to six weeks is really a near impossibility from a public safety and health standpoint. As someone who was here for 1999 [Woodstock], some names have changed but it's largely the same situation." - New Musical Express/Billboard, 7/16/19...... Neil YoungThree years after playing his final Bridge School Benefit concert in 2016, Neil Young has announced he'll be headlining a new charity show called the Harvest Moon Benefit concert on Sept. 14 at the Painted Turtle Camp, about an hour north of Los Angeles. Performances by Young, Father John Misty and Norah Jones will be set against the backdrop of the Los Angeles National Forest, with fans siting on a grassy hillside just a stones throw from the picturesque Lake Hughes. Harvest Moon will also raise money for the Painted Turtle, a non-profit providing children living with serious medical conditions a traditional camp experience, free of charge. From 1986-2016, Young's Bridge School Benefit concert series at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, Calif., hosted more than 100 artists annually, including Paul McCartney, Elton John and Metallica to provide free education to children with severe speech and physical impediments. More info can be found at the HarvestMoonGathering.com website. - Billboard, 7/16/19...... In other Neil Young news, Young and his fellow iconic folk/rock superstar Bob Dylan shared a stage for the first time in 25 years when they performed together on the final show of their co-headlining Never Ending Tour at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny, Ireland on July 14. To mark the occasion of the tour's final show, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers performed "Will The Circle Be Unbroken," a traditional hymn with origins dating back to the early 1900s. It's reportedly just the second time they've played this song together since 1975, when they joined forces at the SNACK Benefit at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. And it marked the first time they've performed together in a quarter century, the last time in 1994 at New York's Roseland Ballroom. Their tour also played London's Hyde Park on July 13, but there was no special duet that night. - Billboard, 7/15/19...... Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen will be competing for an Emmy award this year after the 71st annual Emmy Awards were announced on July 16. The McCartney and CBS The Late Show host James Cordon were nominated in the Best Variety Special, Pre-Recorded category for Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool, while Springsteen's Springsteen on Broadway and specials by Beyoncé, Wanda Sykes and Hannah Gadsby were nominated in the same category. Two previous Carpool Karaoke specials won in this category in 2016-17. Veteran music producer T Bone Burnett, who has won 13 Grammys and an Oscar, is also vying to win his first Emmy for the HBO's series True Detective, in the Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series category. The 2019 Emmy Awards will be presented Sept. 22 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and telecast live on the Fox network. - Billboard, 7/16/19...... Sharon Osbourne has explained her hubby Ozzy Osbourne's absence from Black Sabbath's Lifetime Achievement Grammy win in May, when Osbourne's Sabbath bandmates Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward were present to accept the award, but there was no sign of Ozzy. "I was just so pissed off at the Grammys this year because they gave them a Lifetime Achievement Award, but wouldn't give it to them on the TV show that we all know as the Grammy Awards," Osbourne told the syndicated show Celebrity Access. "They did it at a separate ceremony which goes out on another network later on. I wouldn't let Ozzy go because I just thought it was shocking what they did to them. So I wouldn't let Ozzy go," she added. Sharon went on to describe the spin-off event as "some pissy f---ing ceremony" and argued that the group should have been recognized at the main Grammys show, which took place back in February. "So not to put them on the proper show, it was like, 'How dare you?' I was so angry. I just thought, 'F--- you. I am not going to give you the honour of having Ozzy at your sh---y ceremony.'" At the time, many fans suspected Ozzy's no-show was down to his recent health issues -- with the star being forced to postpone a number of shows earlier in 2019. - NME, 7/16/19...... The Rolling Stones were forced to postpone their concert in New Orleans, La., on July 14 to the following evening after Hurricane Barry wreaked havoc on the gulf coast the same weekend. "Due to the weather we're moving Sunday's Superdome show to Monday. Hang onto your tickets, they will be honored on July 15. We're here with you -- we'll get through this together," the band posted on Twitter. Dates for the Stones' No Filter tour were already postponed in the past, due to Mick Jagger, 75, who recently had a heart procedure. All 17 of the previously announced dates were moved around and rebooted for a June 21 launch in Chicago. Luckily, all tickets sold were honored for the rescheduled dates. - Billboard, 7/12/19...... Paul McCartneyRingo StarrJoe WalshPaul McCartney got by with a little help from his friend Ringo Starr on the final night of his "Freshen Up" US tour in at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on July 13 when the former Beatle brought out his old band's drummer to keep the beat on extended versions of the "White Album" classic "Helter Skelter" and "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)." The reunited pair could be seen hugging and mouthing the words "I love you man" to one another, with Ringo throwing his drum sticks into the crowd after performing the two classic Beatles tracks. As Starr left the stage, the crowd at the LA Dodgers stadium chanted his "peace and love" phrase in unison. Sir Paul also introduced Eagles star Joe Walsh to jam on guitar as part of a nostalgic climatic rendition of the Abbey Road closer "The End." The epic three-hour show featured 32 songs from the legendary 77-year-old's Beatles and solo repertoire, plus encores of "Birthday," "Sgt. Pepper's," "Helter Skelter," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight," and "The End." McCartney was driven by his excellent tour band, which includes Rusty Anderson on guitar, Brian Ray on bass, Paul Wickens on keyboard and percussion, and crowd pleaser Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums. - New Musical Express/Billboard, 7/14/19...... In other Beatles-related news, it has been revealed that the new Beatles-themed movie Yesterday nearly featured cameos from all of the Fab Four, instead of only John Lennon. During an appearance on the "Empire" podcast, writer Richard Curtis and director Danny Boyle revealed they had originally intended to feature all four members of the band. "When [Jack] first goes to Liverpool, I'd written a long scene where he just goes to a pub and he bumps into George [Harrison] and Ringo [Starr]," Curtis said. "It was, I hope, a sweet scene, and they were just two delightful, oldish men who'd once been in a band together -- music enthusiasts who had never got any further." Curtis continued to explain that Paul McCartney would have appeared at the end of the film. "[Jack] was going to move to the Isle of Wight, to a cottage, and you were going to hear outside his window someone saying, 'Vera, Chuck, Dave!'" Curtis explained. "There were going to be three dogs and Paul was going to be walking them." Explaining why only Lennon made it into the final cut, the screenwriter said: "It was the scene that had the most meaning, and was in some ways the pivotal scene of the film." In the movie, singer-songwriter Jack (played by Himesh Patel) wakes up to discover the Beatles never existed and he is the only person with any knowledge of their music. After attempting to remind the world of the group, he begins to play their songs as his own and achieves huge success. - NME, 7/12/19...... Jackson Browne made a suprise appearance during Gaby Moreno's headlining performance at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival on July 12. As the evening drew to a close, Moreno told the crowd that her new album, Spangled, a collaboration with famed Los Angeles songwriter and producer Van Dyke Parks, would arrive Oct. 4 and that she'd just released the album's first single, "Across the Borderline," a song written in the early '80s by Ry Cooder, John Hiatt and Jim Dickinson. "I sing it as a duet with Jackson Browne," she said. "And guess what? Jackson Browne is here tonight, you guys! And we're going to sing it for all of you." Browne, bearded but still boyish at 70, walked onstage, gave Moreno a hug and recalled playing at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival a decade earlier before the pair performed the timely refugee-themed song "Across the Borderline." - Billboard, 7/13/19...... In an Instagram post on July 15, Queen guitarist Brian May insisted that late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury would have approved of Queen's latest frontman Adam Lambert and that Queen would never tour with a "Freddie Mercury impersonator." "And here is the Modern Marvel without whom, for sure, Queen would not be out here delivering at the top level. ADAM LAMBERT is only now beginning to be recognised by the greater public as the true phenomenon that he is," wrote May. "Gifted with a voice in a billion, for himself he is a passionate and unyielding perfectionist. Gifted to us, he is the reason that we are still alive as a functioning rock band. And still able to take on new challenges. Plus he's nice. That's a big deal when you're a touring family. Freddie would approve, big time." - NME, 7/15/19...... Austin ButlerElvis PresleyAfter an intense search that included such high profile names as Harry Styles and Ansel Elgort, the producers of an upcoming Elvis Presley biopic have selected Austin Butler (TV's The Carrie Diaries and Arrow) to portray the King of Rock & Roll in the new project from Warner Bros. The movie, to be directed by Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet, The Great Gatsby), is described as focusing on Elvis's rise and zenith, with a major aspect being his relationship with Col. Tom Parker. Tom Hanks is set to play Parker, the manager who controlled every aspect of Elvis' life. Luhrmann is also co-producing the feature with wife Catherine Martin. The two have been developing the project since the director wrapped up The Great Gatsby. "I knew I couldn't make this film if the casting wasn't absolutely right, and we searched thoroughly for an actor with the ability to evoke the singular natural movement and vocal qualities of this peerless star, but also the inner vulnerability of the artist," said Luhrmann in a statement. "Throughout the casting process, it was an honor for me to encounter such a vast array of talent. I had heard about Austin Butler from his stand-out role opposite Denzel Washington in 'The Iceman Cometh' on Broadway, and through a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world's most iconic musical figures." Austin Butler will also be seen in this summer's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood from director Quentin Tarantino. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/15/19...... Jerry Lawson, the original lead singer of the a cappella group The Persuasions, died on July 10 "after a long illness" at a hospice in Phoenix. He was 75 years old. Lawson co-founded the group in Brooklyn in 1962. Six years later, they signed a record deal with Frank Zappa's Straight Records label and released their debut album Acapella in 1970. They released 24 more albums before Lawson left in 2002, although a further three records featuring his voice were released after his departure. Lawson released his first and only solo album Just A Mortal Man in 2015. After quitting The Persuasions, he had moved to Arizona and begun working with disabled adults. A documentary about Lawson was already in the works before his death and is expected to be released later in 2019. Rod Stewart is among those who have paid tribute to the late singer. "After working together at the Hurricane Katrina Benefit Concert, I admired the undeniable depth in Jerry's big voice," he said in a statement. "A true soul singer." - New Musical Express, 7/12/19.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

During a Rolling Stones concert at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on July 7, Mick Jagger got in a jab at Pres. Donald Trump for Trump's recent July 4 gaffe in which he said "our army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over airports, it did everything it had to do" during the Revolutionary War." "In fact, the president made a very good point in his speech the other night," Jagger told the crowd. "He said, 'If only the British had held on to the airports, the whole thing might have gone very differently for us.'" Jagger's jab came as the legendary group is in the midst of its rescheduled North American "No Filter" tour, which was postponed earlier this year after Jagger underwent a heart procedure. It is the latest back-and-forth between the group and Trump, following several requests from the band that he stop using their music at his political rallies. - Billboard, 7/9/19...... In related news, Kiss bassist/singer Gene Simmons says he thinks Donald Trump becoming the 45th President of the US has forever changed politics. Appearing on the UK's Good Morning Britain TV show on July 9, Simmons said that "politics has forever changed... whether you like it or not, this president has changed it." "I understand this thing," Simmons said of Trump's public spats. "It's a New York streetfighter. If you say, 'What are you looking at? You're looking at me?' Politics are over. Now this guy is just saying, 'I don't care what my guys are saying. Did you just say something bad about me? I'm coming after you.'" Simmons, who appeared on Trump's Celebrity Apprentice TV series in 2008, reportedly "politely declined" the chance to play at Trump's inauguration in 2016. - New Musical Express, 7/10/19...... Roger WatersOn July 10 former Pink Floyd principal Roger Waters announced a new Us + Them concert film which will be screened in select cinemas in the UK on Oct. 2 and Oct. 6. Waters wrapped his mammoth tour in Dec. 2018, performing for over two million people across 150 shows which spanned 18 months. The Us + Them film is co-directed by Waters and Sean Evans, who directed Waters' 2014 film Roger Waters: The Wall. Us + Them is comprised of footage from the four nights Waters and his band played at Amsterdam's Ziggo Dome in June 2018, the film will also showcase the "state-of-the-art visual production and breath-taking sound" from the tour. - New Musical Express, 7/10/19...... Stage times for Bob Dylan and Neil Young's headlining sets at the Hyde Park Festival in London were announced on July 11. Young will be taking the main Great Oak stage on July 12 at 6 p.m. GMT, while Dylan will follow at 8:30 p.m. GMT. 65,000 people are expected to attend the mammoth event, which will also feature performances from the Doors, Sam Fender, Cat Power and Laura Marling Meanwhile, Young treated fans to a rare performance of his 1974 track "On the Beach" during a concert in Antwerp, Belgium on July 9. It was the first time Young had performed the track live in over 16 years, and the first time since the '70s that he performed it while backed by a full band. He also played a series of some of his biggest hits during the gig, including "Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)" and "Rockin' In The Free World" alongside the likes of "Mansion On The Hill" and "F---in' Up." - New Musical Express, 7/11/19...... Aerosmith was featured in the History Channel series American Pickers on July 8 as hosts Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz spotted the band's old tour van, a 1964 International Harvester Metro, on a property in Massachusetts. In the episode, Wolfe and Fritz drive the van to Las Vegas to show the legendary rock band their former travelling haunt. "I have some of my fondest memories in this van," Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer said in the episode, which is now available to watch online. Aerosmith are currently in the midst of their "Deuces Are Wild" residency in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry said in a new interview with Consequence of Sound that Aerosmith will be recording a new album "when the time is right." "I had just finished working on my last solo album [before the new Hollywood Vampires album], so I had been in the studio for the three or four months before we started on the Vampires record," Perry said. "So I was already rolling in the studio. It doesn't take much to get me going -- I love to record. So, when the time is right, Aerosmith will come around to do another record." Perry also weighed in on Aerosmith's Vegas residency. "We started talking about [the residency] a year ago, so it was a big production. So far, it seems to be working. I'm pretty surprised, if you wanna know the truth." - Billboard, 7/9/19...... Willie Nelson announced on July 9 his 34th annual Farm Aid benefit concert will be staged on Sept. 21 at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin. Bonnie Raitt, Margo Price and Tanya Tucker will be headlining along Willie and his fellow Farm Aid co-founders, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews. LiveNation.com will place tickets for Farm Aid 2019 on sale at 10 a.m. CT on July 12. A limited number of pre-sale tickets will be available at 10 a.m. CT on July 10 at FarmAid.org/festival. Farm Aid, the longest-running concert for a cause, was first staged by Nelson and his fellow musicians at a time when a wave of foreclosures were pushing family farmers off their land. Since 1985, Farm Aid has raised $53 million for programs to benefit family farmers and to support a family farm-centered food system in the U.S. - Billboard, 7/9/19...... Michael LangThe beleaguered Woodstock 50 festival co-organized by original Woodstock promoter Michael Lang could be about to make its last stand as they appeal a denial by an inspector in Vernon, N.Y. of their application to stage the festival. On July 11, organizers refiled their application for a temporary event permit after city officials denied the permit without comment or opportunity, other than saying it was "incomplete and filed too late." According to one source, local laws in Vernon say the application needed to be filed 120 days before the start of the event, which would mean it was due on Apr. 18 when Woodstock 50 was still a sketchy idea but still had its original financial backers, a venue in Watkins Glen New York and Superfly as a producer. Lang has been instructed by the team now trying to pull off the event to stop making statements to the press and city officials. Vernon Downs is the second location Woodstock 50 has tried to secure as a venue. Its original venue, Watkins Glen International, rescinded the event's permit application on June 10 with less than 70 days to go. That followed a number of setbacks for the festival, which started in late April when its investor Dentsu pulled out from the festival and then Lang and Peck lost a string of court hearings aimed at retaining the financer's promised funds. - Billboard, 7/10/19...... David Crosby's new biopic, David Crosby: Remember My Name' Is a Bittersweet, hits theaters on July 19, but don't expect to see new footage of Crosby's closest collaborators in the film. All of Crosby's Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bandmates appear in individual archival audio and video footage to comment on him. As of 2000, Neil Young wants nothing to do with him because of a misunderstanding gone awry. Graham Nash matter-of-factly tells Paul Shaffer in a 2018 interview that his 40-year friendship with Crosby is over for good, and Stephen Stills is never heard from. Crosby reveals with palpable twinges of hurt that none of his former bandmates want to talk to him, and the feelings will never change. "Music is the only thing I have to offer," Crosby says in the documentary. He's bothered by the present, haunted by the past. He doesn't have an answer as to why he made it to old age and many of his contemporaries did not. "Time is the final currency," he muses. "How do you spend it?" So Crosby continues to grind it out on the road with backup musicians half his age, tweets like a millennial and recently completed a new album. Cocaine has been replaced by prescription medication that he must take in nondescript hotel rooms. End or no, you have to admire that Crosby's still determined to teach the children well. - Billboard, 7/10/19...... Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson recreated their A Star Is Born magic at the British Summer Time Hyde Park festival on July 7 in London when they duetted on their 1976 tear-jerker "Lost Inside of You." After a performance of fan favorite "Evergreen" from the film, Streisand called out Kristofferson, who she said was "one of my favorite leading men," adding, "Here's a song that we sang together in the movie, right... I love this song." After planting a kiss on Kristofferson's cheek, Streisand walked him across the stage and launched into the ballad as she held his hand in front of the sold-out crowd of 65,000-plus. Kristofferson also appeared on the day's bill, along with Roxy Music singer and solo star Bryan Ferry. Streisand also brought out Lionel Richie, who joined her for a run through their 2014 duet on "The Way We Were." - Billboard, 7/8/19...... David BowieThe Mattel toy company announced on July 11 that their iconic Barbie doll will honor David Bowie's legacy with a new collectible Bowie Barbie doll. Dubbed "Barbie as Bowie," the doll is dressed as the late superstar's extraterrestrial glam-rock alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, complete with his iconic striped metallic "space suit" and platform red boots. The dramatic look is topped off with Ziggy's signature fiery-red hairdo and astral sphere forehead icon. The doll was created by Mattel in partnership with the 2019 The David Bowie Archive under license to Perryscope Productions LLC/Epic Rights. The doll retails for $50 and can be purchased on Mattel's website or at retailers nationwide starting now. Its July 11 release marks the 50th anniversary of the UK release of Bowie's "Space Oddity" single, from the singer's eponymous 1969 album. A 7-inch EP box set is also being released to mark the single's 50th anniversary. It also includes a double-sided poster featuring an original "Space Oddity" print advertisement, and a Ray Stevenson shot of Bowie taken on stage at the Save Rave '69 concert at the London Palladium on Nov. 30, 1969, the backdrop of which features a NASA astronaut. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 7/11/19...... Bruce Springsteen called in to SiriusXM's Springsteen radio channel E Street Radio on July 10 to chat with hosts Dave Marsh and Jim Rotolo about his new top 10 album, Western Stars. During the interview, Springsteen revealed that he shot a concert film where he performs the album in its entirety. "We knew we weren't going to tour," Springsteen said. "So I was looking for a way to get some of the music live to an audience and so we figured that was the best way to do it. We're looking forward to getting it to the fans when we can." The Boss also said he's pleased with fans' reaction to his latest studio set. "I really didn't know quite know what kind of response it was going to get. But just walking around and talking to fans on the street and seeing how the record was received was very exciting. It made us look how for we can further that experience for the fans without going out and playing live right now because I'm still working on some other things." A release date for the film has not been announced. - Billboard, 7/10/19...... Auction house Kruse GWS Auctions announced on July 10 that three of Elvis Presley's vehicles will be put up for sale on Aug. 31 as part of its Artifacts of Hollywood auction. The vehicles include a white-on-white 1973 Lincoln Continental stretch limo which the King drom many times around his hometown of Memphis, Tenn.I t features an old-school TV and other amenities. There are photos showing Presley driving the car he was in when he stopped at a car accident in Memphis in 1976. Elvis's 1976 Harley Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide motorcycle was the last motorcycle he ever purchased. He transported it from California to Memphis and sold it 90 days before he died in 1977 at age 42. The Harley has been on display at the Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo, S.D., since the late 1980's. The third Presley vehicle is one of three GMC pickups that Presley purchased in 1967 for his Circle G Ranch in Mississippi. Two years later, his father, Vernon Presley, sold them back to the same dealership, the auction house said. It has undergone a total restoration. - AP, 7/10/19...... Jackson BrowneJackson Browne has teamed up with Leslie Mendelson for a new song called "A Human Touch" that appears in the end credits of 5B, a new documentary about the San Francisco General Hospital AIDS ward during the early '80s and how nurses and doctors there learned how to best treat patients during the burgeoning epidemic. Browne says "A Human Touch" was "an assignment offered to me that I didn't want to take." But now he says he's glad he did. "It was an interesting thing to collaborate on a subject like this," explains Browne, who first met with Mendelson and her regular collaborator Steve McEwan last December. "In very few cases and very few times have I gotten into a discussion with anybody about a line and what it's supposed to mean. Some of these songs can be indistinct in their meaning. We really got into every line and nearly every word in depth to make sure it was what we wanted to say and convey in the song, because (5B) is such a human movie and really shows the courage and humanity of these nurses and the hospital staff and the population of people who were just suddenly struck by this epidemic and were devastated by it." Meanwhile, a new "A Human Touch" video has been released that intersperses scenes from the movie with Browne and Mendelson performing the song in Santa Fe, N.M., while Browne was visiting one of his sons and his family there. Browne, who's back on the road in August including three dates at the Venetian in Las Vegas, says he's hoping to write more with Mendelson and McEwan in the future. - Billboard, 7/9/19...... The very first managment contract signed by the Beatles on Jan. 24, 1962, has sold for $347,875 at a Sotheby's auction benefitting the Ernest Hecht Charitable Foundation. The document was signed by principal members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and original drummer Pete Best for the services of manager Brian Epstein. The contract guaranteed Epstein -- who died of a drug overdose in Aug. 1967 -- a 10% fee that would rise to 15% if the band's income exceeded $150 a week; McCartney had negotiated the fee down from 20%. "This contract was a transformative document not only for The Beatles, but also for the 1960s and popular culture of the time," said Sotheby's Books and Manuscripts specialist Gabriel Heaton. In other Beatles-related news, five of the Fab Four's songs have re-entered the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart for the week ending July 13 following the theatrical release of the Beatles-themed movie Yesterday, which premiered on June 28 and features many of the band's iconic tracks. The songs include "Here Comes the Sun," "Let It Be," "Hey Jude" and "Come Together." Yesterday actor Himesh Patel version of "Yesterday" from the film has also bowed on the chart at No. 37. - Billboard, 7/10/19...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, Paul McCartney's fashion designer daughter Stella McCartney has drawn directly on the Beatles' musical messages of peace, love and understanding for her fall 2019 menswear and pre-fall 2019 womenswear collections. On July 8, Stella released an 85-piece "All Together Now" collection of apparel and accessories for men, women and children. Her website refers to the collection as "a fun, uplifting and hopeful statement of unity at a time when it feels more important than ever." The line, ranging from $295 to $6,840, features the film s psychedelic graphics including yellow submarines and Lucy (in the sky with diamonds, natch) as well as song lyrics such as "All You Need Is Love" on a sweater and "All Together Now" embroidered on a jean jacket. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/9/19...... Steve MillerSteve Miller has shared an alternate version of his 1977 hit "Swingtown" as he prepares to release his upcoming rarities box set Welcome to the Vault on Oct. 11. Vastly different than the kinetic, Teflon-slick to 20 single from his 1977 set Book of Dreams, this "Swingtown" starts with a ringing, psychedelic intro before going into a gentle chug that takes the track into its familiar melody. But throughout its three and a half minutes the song takes a few curves and left turns, almost as if Miller is tossing ideas on the proverbial wall and seeing what sticks. "I remember (co-writer) Chris McCarty had a basic idea for the song, and it was quite different -- quite a different intro," Miller says. "You can hear there's sort of a musical prelude and then it goes into 'Swingtown.' And then as we were working on it, it was the era of the two-minute-and-30-second single and it had to be made for radio and there were always limitations. So I took what we had and edited and pared it down. It's interesting to compare the two... I've listened to it a lot and I really like the intro to (the alternative track). I'm glad we're getting that out there for people to hear." The alternate "Swingtown" will also appear on the Vault box set, along with 37 other previously unreleased rarities on the three-CD/DVD collection, including more studio and live material as well as five previously unheard Miller songs dating back to the late '60s. Miller and his band are currently on the road all summer, and he says he has another album in the works as well -- a compilation of live collaborations with Peter Frampton from tours the two did together during 2017 and 2018. - Billboard, 7/11/19...... As the Grateful Dead spinoff band Dead & Company wrapped their summer tour on July 6 in Colorado, the band have announced the dates for their upcoming "Playing in the Sand" destination event. CID Presents will host the event from Jan. 16-19 at Moon Palace in Cancun, Mexico. The group will play three nights on the sand for the third annual event. Dead & Company consists of former Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, along with John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti. - Billboard, 7/9/19...... On July 6 The Who played their first show at London's Wembley Stadium since their 1985 Live Aid performance, bringing out Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder and debuting a new song. Vedder joined the Who for the Quadrophenia track "The Punk and The Godfather," with frontman Roger Daltrey telling the crowd, "He's going to share this song with me because he knows where it came from." The pair also shared a laugh before the song when Daltrey asked "What one were you? You were also the one with the stutter?" and Vedder responded, "No, I'm still the punk." The band also performed a new song called "Hero Ground Zero." - Billboard, 7/7/19...... Dolly Parton will star in a new yuletide Hallmark Channel film this Christmas entitled Christmas at Dollywood. In the movie, the Grammy-winning country singer will be featured alongside Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years, Project Mc), who plays the role of Rachel Lewis, a Broadway producer and single mother who has learned that investors have mismanaged the funds for her upcoming show into bankruptcy. Rachel then hears of an opportunity to produce a show for the 20th anniversary of the Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival at Dollywood and returns to her home of Tennessee with her nine-year-old daughter, Amy, to work on the event. "I grew up watching Dolly Parton on TV," McKellar says. "I love her. She is everything. I got to meet her -- she is charismatic and gorgeous and lovely, and she's the best person ever. I'm so excited that I get to work with her." Filming begins in Tennessee in August and McKellar promises the project will include "a lot of really fun Dolly surprises." - Billboard, 7/11/19...... Stevie WonderDuring a concert at London's BST Festival on July 6, Stevie Wonder took a moment to reveal that he's taking a break from performing to undergo a kidney transplant this September. "I'm all good, I'm all good, all good, I have a donor and it's all good," the Motown legend assured fans after informing them of the upcoming surgery. "I want you to know, I came here to give you my love and thank you for your love. You ain't got to hear no rumors. I told you what's up. I am good. I love you and God bless you." Wonder, 69, said he'll be performing three more shows before going on hiatus to receive the procedure. - Billboard, 7/6/19...... Rock & roll pioneer Dave Bartholomew was laid to rest at a New Orleans funeral on July 8 after passing away at age 100 on June 23 at a suburban New Orleans hospital. Along with Fats Domino, Bartholomew co-wrote and produced such Domino classics as "Ain't That a Shame," "I'm Walkin'" and "Let the Four Winds Blow." Bartholomew was a trumpet player since childhood and a bandleader and arranger before World War II. He befriended Domino in the late 1940s and they collaborated on dozens of hits that captured Domino s good-natured appeal, made him one of rock s earliest stars and made New Orleans a popular music center. - AP, 7/8/19...... James Henke, the first curator at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died on July 8 after a long battle with dementia. He was 65. Henke joined the Rock Hall before the groundbreaking on the repository of musical treasures designed by famed architect I.M. Pei had even taken place, following a 16-year run at Rolling Stone magazine, where he was credited with helping to write landmark stories on everyone from U2 -- penning the first major profile of the group in the U.S. before the release of their 1981 debut, Boy -- to Bruce Springsteen and The Clash. "Jim was a friend for many years and I owe him for his stewardship of the Rolling Stone music section for many years and then taking the responsibility of helping to found the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame," Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner said in a statement. "He will be missed by all of us." - Billboard, 7/9/19...... Legendary actor Rip Torn passed away on July 9 at his home in Lakeville, Conn. He was 88. Mr. Torn won an Emmy for his portrayal of the deliciously devious producer Artie on HBO's The Larry Sanders Show and is also known for his work on Broadway, being a Tony-nominated actor who appeared on the Great White Way ten times. He is survived by his wife Amy Wright, their daughter Katie Torn, and his daughter with former wife and actress Geraldine Page, Angelica Page. - JustJared.com, 7/9/19...... Robert Rackstraw, the lead suspect in the notorious 1971 DB Cooper airplane hijacking case, passed away from natural causes on July 9 at age 75. A man -- dubbed DB Cooper by the FBI -- hijacked a plane in 1971, demanded $200k as it was still at the airport and then parachuted from it with the cash. The FBI first considered Rackstraw as a suspect seven years after the hijacking in 1978, with investigators saying so many things about him seemed to match with Cooper. An unexpected breakthrough came in 2018 when cold case expert and author Thomas J. Colbert identified Rackstraw, a military vet with a murky past riddled by murder accusations and con-artistry, as the man responsible for the crime, citing a decades-worth of research as evidence. The FBI had closed the investigation in 2016 saying Cooper most likely died of exposure in the woods after the daring escape. - DailyMail.co.uk, 7/9/19.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Various Michael Jackson fan clubs including the Michael Jackson Community, the MJ Street and On the Line have filed a defamation suit in France against the two alleged victims of abuse featured in the 2018 documentary Leaving Neverland. Unlike in America, under French law defamation laws extend beyond death. The groups are seeking symbolic damages of 1 euro from each man on the grounds that they are "sullying" the late pop superstar's "image." The groups' lawyer, Emmanuel Ludot said: "In France you cannot sully the image of the dead. There's moral and emotional suffering. And when there's suffering, there's compensation. It's very simple." He also compared the men's allegations to a "genuine lynching." A joint documentary from the BBC's Channel 4 and HBO, Leaving Neverland detailed allegations of child abuse from James Safechuck and Wade Robson against Jackson, all of which have been denied by Jackson's family. - New Musical Express, 7/5/19...... Roger DaltreyIn a new interview with Billboard, The Who's Roger Daltrey says he expects that age will claim his voice in the next few years. "Obviously within the next five years I think my voice will go. Age will get it in the end." But, Datrey adds, "It's still there at the moment," and says he plans on getting the most out of with the time he has left. In June, Daltrey released a live album from his tour performing the Who's iconic rock opera Tommy with symphony orchestras, after releasing his first new solo album (As Long As I Have You) in 26 years in 2018 and publishing a memoir (Thanks a Lot, Mr. Kibblewhite). As the iconic 1969 Woodstock festival approaches its 50th anniversary, Daltrey also reminisced about the Who's performance. "Once we got to 'See Me, Feel Me' it was sunrise and the sun just peeked itself over the horizon," he recalls. "You couldn't have planned it better. It was just magical." Daltrey also talked about the Who's new studio album, which has no title or release date yet. "It's turning out really much better than I ever thought it could be," he says. He reports there are nine tracks "that are absolutely fabulous," some of which will also be orchestrated, and he expects the group to add one or two more songs before it's finished. The Who's summer "Moving On!" tour schedule includes a huge show at London's Wembley Stadium on July 6, backed by a symphony orchestra and with special guests Kaiser Chiefs, Eddie Vedder, Imelda May and Connor Selby. The show comes only a day after Pete Townshend confirmed the death of the band's long-term guitar technician, Alan Rogan. Townshend described Rogan as "my guitar tech, friend, saviour and good buddy... (he) was an essential and hugely respected member of the Who crew for many years and will be sorely missed." Rogan, who also did guitar maintenance for Aerosmith, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards, has been described as "the greatest guitar tech of all time." - Billboard/NME, 7/3/19...... An official in Oneida County, N.Y., where the Woodstock 50 festival is scheduled to be held on Aug. 16-18 released a statement on July 2 saying hosting the festival "could pose a significant challenge." County Executive Anthony Picente says preparing for the health and safety of residents and concert goers with the event just over a month away will be challenging. "With the event just a little over a month away, we have been asked to prepare in just days what has failed to get done in over a year of negotiations and preparations at the previous location," Picente noted. "With such a short time frame, the logistical hurdles to ensure the public health and safety of the concertgoers and the surrounding community could pose a significant challenge. In light of the hundreds of thousands that turned out for the original 1969 festival our first and foremost concern is for the safety and welfare of Oneida County residents," he added. The Woodstock 50 festival has faced a series of setbacks, including the losses of a financial partner, a production company and original site, Watkins Glen International. A mass gathering permit application for the Vernon Downs harness track and casino in Vernon, N.Y., was recently filed after operators of the original festival site pulled out in June. - AP, 7/2/19...... Smokey RobinsonMotown legend Smokey Robinson recently traveled to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., to entertain its young patients. In a heartwarming new video, posted on Instagram, Robinson teaches patients Calvin, Cassidy and Alana the Temptations' "Get Ready." They sing the tune and clap their hands to the beat, and even delve into a small side-chat about how Smokey got his unique name. Robinson's visit was part of his participation in the "Music Gives to St. Jude Kids" initiative, which aims to inspire bands, their fans and the music industry as a whole to raise awareness for St. Jude. "It means the world to me to be able to spend time with these amazing kids and experience the joy that music brings to their faces," said Robinson in a press statement. "There is magic in song and the ability to harness that magic to help heal your mind and body is truly a gift. I am honored to share my love for music with these brave children and in turn, share that experience with the world through this video." - Billboard, 7/2/19...... On July 2, producers of an upcoming Elvis Presley biopic to be directed by Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet, The Great Gatsby) revealed that a group of rising stars including Harry Styles, Miles Teller, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ansel Elgort and Austin Butler have tested to portray the late King of Rock 'n' Roll in the film. Styles seems to be the most obvious musical choice, with two wildly successful projects under his belt with One Direction and his just-starting solo career. Though his only venture into acting thus far has been in Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, it was quite a prestigious start and critics say his performance was solid. In March, it was revealed that Tom Hanks, who counts Elvis as one of his musical heroes, is in talks to play Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Production on the movie is expected to begin later in 2019. - Billboard, 7/2/19...... Gilbert O'SullivanIrish-born and English-reared singer Gilbert O'Sullivan of "Alone Again, Naturally" fame will be returning to live performing in the U.S. for the first time in 43 years on July 9 and 10 with two gigs at Manhattan's City Winery and Philadelphia's World Cafe Live, respectively. O'Sullivan says he hopes it's the beginning of righting a wrong decision made by his management back in the mid-'70s. "After having three million-sellers I was ready for my first tour of America, so the decision that my manager at the time had to make -- and I had nothing to do with it -- was should I go and do my own shows and play big venues in Europe or come to America and support the Moody Blues?" O'Sullivan says his management opted to instead put him out as a headliner in all territories, which -- despite a successful performance at New York's Carnegie Hall -- proved to be "a wonderful disaster" in the U.S., where the tour was eventually aborted due to low ticket sales. "Just because you sell millions of records it doesn't guarantee bums on seats," he says. "I wasn't involved enough, but obviously looking back at this it was the wrong decision to send me out there without having the experience of doing support. So that's the story." After some career ups and downs, O'Sullivan returned to active live performing during the mid-00s and has been releasing music steadily, including a well-received 2018 self-titled effort, produced by Ethan Johns. He played some shows to introduce that release in an "intimate and up close and personal" duo format with guitarist Bill Shanley -- which is how O'Sullivan says he's electing to play his upcoming U.S. shows. O'Sullivan has more European dates set up during the remainder of 2019, as well as a plan to return to the U.S. next spring. "I mean, it's a guy who hasn't been there in so many years. They don't know what it's going to be like," he notes. "So they were very wary; We had to work really hard to even get this. So if we go down well and the reaction is good, we could be doing quite a few more dates covering the country. I'd certainly like that." - Billboard, 7/2/19...... Robert Plant performed the Led Zeppelin classic "Immigrant Song" for the first time in 23 years during his headlining set at the Secret Solstice festival in Iceland on June 29. Plant last performed the song on Feb. 9, 1996 during a tour with Jimmy Page. "We went to Iceland, and it made you think of Vikings and big ships. And bang, there it was -- ' Immigrant Song!'," Plant said of the 1970 tune at the time. "We come from the land of the ice and snow/From the midnight sun, where the hot springs flow," the lyrics fittingly read. "Immigrant Song" was the lead single from Zeppelin's 1970 LP, Led Zeppelin III. - Billboard, 7/1/19...... In related news, the Rolling Stones performed their cover of Don Covay & The Goodtimers song "Mercy Mercy" for the first time in 50 years during their concert at Landover, Maryland on July 3. "It's a long time ago, so we're going to try to remember it," frontman Mick Jagger told the audience before launching into the song. The last time the Stones played "Mercy Mercy"' was at their Hyde Park show on July 6, 1969, days after the death of guitarist Brian Jones. Brian JonesMeanwhile, as the 50th anniversary of the death of Jones came on July 3, Jones' daughter Barbara Marion told the UK's Sky News she thinks her father could have been murdered. Describing his death as a "bit of a mystery, Marion said: "I think he was murdered and I think the police did not investigate it the way they should have. I would love to have them reopen [the case] and to get some answers." In 1969, a coroner recorded the death of the co-founding Stones member, who was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool at Cotchford Farm in East Sussex, as a result of "misadventure." In March of this year, Sussex Police said: "From time to time over the past 49 years Sussex Police have also received messages or reports from journalists and other individuals about the death. Each is considered on its individual merits and reviewed wherever appropriate. No such report has been received since 2010 and no new evidence has emerged to suggest that the coroner's original verdict of 'death by misadventure' was incorrect. The case has not been reopened and there are no plans for that to happen." - New Musical Express, 7/5/19...... A copyright court case over Ed Sheeran allegedly copying Marvin Gaye's iconic 1973 single "Let's Get It On" has reportedly been delayed until 2020. In 1918, The family of Ed Townshend who co-wrote the song with Gaye, filed suit against the "Shape of You" singer for allegedly lifting variety of musical elements -- including melody, harmony, and rhythmic components -- for his 2014 single, "Thinking Out Loud." A request by Sheeran to dismiss the lawsuit was later rejected by District Judge Louis Stanton in Manhattan, who argued there are "substantial similarities between several of the two works' musical elements". He also referenced performances of Sheeran "seamlessly transitioning between [the songs]" to support the reasoning for the suit. Now, it's been reported that the case could be delayed until next year. According to Law360 magazine, Standon joked for those involved to "take the summer off!" while a similar copyright case between Led Zeppelin and Spirit over "Stairway to Heaven" has been resolved. The publication states that all parties will then be summoned by the US District Judge in New York. Sheeran is reportedly being sued for a $100m (£76.4m) over his alleged use of the track. - NME, 7/3/19...... City officials in Philadephia honored hometown girl Patti LaBelle during a ceremony on July 2 by renaming a street between Locust and Spruce Streets "Patti LaBelle Way." LaBelle, sometimes referred to as "The Godmother of Soul," was on hand to make remarks during the ceremony. Labelle's former group of the same name scored a No. 1 hit in 1975 with "Lady Marmalade," and she also had a successful solo career with hits like "You Are My Friend" and "New Attitude." LaBelle is the winner of two Grammy Awards and has appeared in her own cooking show, Patti LaBelle's Place. She has also launched a successful pie and cake business, with her deserts available at Walmart. - AP, 7/2/19...... Linda McCartneyAs a Linda McCartney photo retrospective exhibition prepares to open in Glasgow later this summer, Paul McCartney remembered his first wife during an interview with the BBC on July 5. "Both my mum and Linda died of breast cancer. We had no idea what my mum had died of because no-one talked about it. She just died." Sir Paul continued: "The worse thing about that was everyone was very stoic, everyone kept a stiff upper lip and then one evening you'd hear my dad crying in the next room. It was tragic because we'd never heard him cry. It was a quiet private kind of grief." Macca said he "cried for about a year, on and off." "You expect to see them walk in, this person you love, because you are so used to them," he said. "I cried a lot. It was almost embarrassing except it seemed the only thing to do." Paul also spoke of Linda's photography: "When she came to Britain and we got to together the greatest thing about it was we both wanted to be free. We did what we wanted and she took pictures of it all." Linda McCartney died after a battle with breast cancer on Apr. 17, 1998, at age 56. - New Musical Express, 7/5/19...... Comic Arte Johnson, best known for the hilarous characters he created for the 1960 comedy series Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, died on July 3 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of heart failure following a three-year battle with bladder and prostate cancer, his family announced. He was 90. The 5-foot-4 Mr. Johnson, a master of ad libs, double-talk and dialects who once said he was content to be a "second banana," cracked up Laugh-In audiences with his portrayal of Wolfgang, a former German storm trooper who muttered "Verry interesting" to the most cracked proposals (or, "Verry interesting -- but stupid"). Mr. Johnson said he got the idea for the character while watching Errol Flynn and Ronald Reagan battle the Nazis in the 1942 movie Desperate Journey. Mr. Johnson had a repertoire of more than 60 comic characters, including Piotr Rosmenko, an Eastern European song-and-dance man; Rabbi Shankar, an addled Indian guru; and a man in a yellow raincoat who could not help falling off his tricycle. Mr. Johnson came to Los Angeles in 1955 as a singer and appeared on such shows as Make Room for Daddy, Sally, The Twilight Zone, The Red Skelton Hour, The Andy Griffith Show and McHale's Navy and in the films Miracle in the Rain (1956), The Subterraneans (1960), The Third Day (1965) -- as a neurotic killer -- and The President's Analyst (1967). His versatile vocal creations led to work in scores of commercials over the years. Producer George Schlatter was impressed with his humorous characterizations and impersonations and asked Johnson to try out for Laugh-In, which debuted in September 1968. In the 1970s for NBC, Johnson headlined his own special, Verry Interesting; starred in the telefilm Call Holme, a comedy mystery that utilized his propensity for disguises and accents; and served as master of ceremonies for the quiz show Knockout. In 1968, Johnson married a German woman, Gisela, and picked up a love of needlepoint from her. She survives him, as does his brother. Donations in his name can be made to Actors & Others for Animals. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/3/19...... Alfred E. NeumanIt has been revealed that Mad magazine, the irreverent and highly influential satirical comic that gave the world Alfred E. Neuman, will effectively cease publication some time later in 2019, after 67 years in existence. According to sources, Mad will no longer be sold on newsstands after the August issue, and will only be available through comic book shops as well as mailed to subscribers. After the September issue, there will no longer be new content save for the end-of-year specials. Beginning with the October issue, the magazine will only feature previously published content -- classic and best-of nostalgic fare -- from its massive vault of material from the past 67 years. DC, however, will continue to publish Mad books and special collections. The venerable humor magazine was founded in 1952 by a group of editors led by Harvey Kurtzman. Although it began as a comic book, bimonthly issues were published and became the norm for the satirical content. Mad, with it's always memorable covers featuring the gap-toothed Alfred E. Neuman, has been highly influential for successive generations of comedians, artists, writers and performers. The news of Mad's closure has already led to reaction on social media, with a host of comedy heavyweights sharing their sorrow, how the mag influenced them and their favorite bits over the years. "I am profoundly sad to hear that after 67 years, Mad Magazine is ceasing publication," tweeted pop music satirist Weird Al Yankovic. "I can't begin to describe the impact it had on me as a young kid it's pretty much the reason I turned out weird. Goodbye to one of the all-time greatest American institutions. #ThanksMAD." DC Entertainment, the publishers of Mad, declined to comment. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/3/19...... Auto industry legend Lee Iacocca, best remembered as the man who was the driving force behind the Ford Mustang and as Chrysler CEO who managed to save the company from near-certain destruction in the early 1980s, died on July 2 at his home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, Calif. He was 94. Mr. Iacocca also was likely the only auto executive to have a best-selling autobiography, and was the driving force behind the modern rebirth of the minivan while at Chrysler. He had his share of controversy as well, getting fired from his position as president of Ford as the result of the fallout from the Ford Pinto's exploding fuel tank scandal, the risks of which Ford (and Iacocca) were aware of before the car went to market. Outside of the automotive business, Mr. Iacocca was appointed by Pres. Ronald Reagan to head the foundation to raise funds for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty, and founded the Olivio company, which makes olive oil-derived food products and donates all the profits to diabetes research. He also appeared on an episode of Miami Vice, as a park commissioner. - Jalopnik.com, 7/2/19.

Monday, July 1, 2019

It has been revealed that Mick Jagger has to be within feet of a doctor when on stage just weeks after having heart surgery, and indeed the Rolling Stones frontman has a cardiologist waiting in the wings at every Stones concert "just in case." Sir Mick, 75, returned to live performing on June 21 in Chicago as the Stones kicked off the latest leg of their No Filter in the U.S. after the band was forced to postpone its North American concerts after it was disclosed that Jagger needed life-saving heart valve replacement surgery in April. However, insurance requirements mean a heart specialist now has to be within feet of the singer every time he is on stage. "There has always been a doctor on tour with the band -- that's a requirement of any major tour, particularly given the ages of the band members," according to one source. "But now Mick has undergone heart surgery, there is a cardiologist there too, just for him. The insurance company demands it just in case anything happens," he added. Jagger has reportedly resumed his gruelling fitness regime, which includes working out for two hours a day with a trainer, and even has his own gym set up in a suite next to his hotel room. He also travels with a private chef who cooks him organic food. The source added: "Mick has always eaten clean but he's on a low-sodium diet because of his issues. He takes a handfuls of vitamins every day and has never looked or sounded better." On June 29, the Stones performed a Canada Day show at Burl's Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte, about 90 minutes north of Toronto. "Hello Canada. Happy Canada Day, everybody," Jagger told his audience of around 60,000 after the band performed two opening songs ,"Street Fighting Man" and "Let's Spend The Night Together" (Canada Day is officially July 1), before launching into "Tumbling Dice." It would be the first of many Canadian references he would make during the two-hour set. The band's two-song encore consisted of Mick's vocal duet with Sasha Allen on "Gimme Shelter," while closer "Satisfaction" capped the show with a fireworks display. - DailyMail.co.uk/Billboard, 6/29/19...... Neil DiamondOn July 1, a new biographical Broadway musical telling the life story of Neil Diamond was announced by producers Ken Davenport and Bob Gaudio. The as yet untitled musical, directed by Michael Mayer, will consist of the veteran singer's greatest hits and is based on a book by writer Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody, The Theory of Everything). The musical will follow Diamond's journey throughout his life, from poor kid in Brooklyn to one of the greatest showmen in rock 'n' roll history. In a statement, Diamond said he's "always loved Broadway." "The inspiration for many of my early songs came from shows like 'West Side Story', 'My Fair Lady' and 'Fiddler on the Roof', so it seems only fitting to bring my songs to The Great White Way. I'm honored and excited to be working with this great team," he noted. Additional details will be announced soon. - Billboard, 7/1/19...... As the new Cameron Crowe-produced David Crosby documentary David Crosby: Remember My Name prepares to hit U.S. theaters on July 19, Crosby says he hopes the film will serve as "an apology" to fans for the mistakes he's made throughout his life. "It's a very difficult film for me, playing a flawed human being, highly imperfect -- sometimes an asshole," Crosby says. "Lots of mistakes. If you are trying to look at me as a whole picture, you can't leave that stuff out, because otherwise it's like cooking the meat and no salt." Crosby and Crowe have known each other since 1974, when then writer Crowe interviewed the rock superstar for a Rolling Stone magazine profile. Like most "Croz"'s friends and close observers, Crowe says he held little hope for a long run for the musician. "I ran into him probably four or five times between '78 and '93, where I really thought it would be the last time," Crowe says. "He felt a bit like an empty shell. I would see him at one of those [local school] events and he gave you this look like, 'Travel safely, my friend.' You go, oh, shoot, kiss it goodbye. Then a year later, he's back." The 95-minute picture debuted to a strong reception at the Sundance Film Festival earlier in 2019 and was quickly picked up by Sony Pictures Classics for release. - Billboard, 7/1/19...... A GoFundMe campaign has been launched by fans of Lynyrd Skynyrd to erect two Mississippi Blues Trail markers to commemorate the 1977 plane crash that killed three members of the legendary Southern rock band, their road managers and two pilots. According to a local paper, the markers will be unveiled in October, 42 years after the tragic accident -- one near the crash site in Gillsburg and the other at Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center in McComb, where survivors were treated. Mississippian Skynyrd fan Mike Rounsaville, who is organizing the campaign, says his GoFundMe page has already reached $10,000 in donations. The Florida-based band is touring Europe and the U.S. in 2019. - AP, 6/29/19...... In related news, Yusuf/Cat Stevens is among the musicians participating in a crowdfunding campaign to help restore and preserve late singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone's childhood home in Tryon, N.C. The clapboard pier and beam house, which has been designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, helped inspire some of Simone's most powerful work, including the songs "Mississippi Goddam" and "Four Women." The National Trust is also taking the Simone crowdfunding campaign on the road, bringing it to the 25th annual Essence Festival in New Orleans (July 5-7). - Billboard, 7/1/19...... Bette Midler reacted to Pres. Donald Trump's recent tweet calling the singer a "washed-up psycho" on June 4 during a performance before a raucous crowd at the Javits Center in New York during her headlining set at New York's World Pride main event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riot. Midler joked that she was surprised she was even invited after Trump's harsh lambasting on Twitter. "Just two weeks ago, I was a washed-up psycho," she quipped. "Happily, I have recovered completely, and there's something that I learned from my president's lunatic attack," she added, before dropping into her beloved hit "Friends." "I am not alone," Midler sang. "When he tweets me and derides me/ As he sits there on the throne/ At one thirty in the f---ing morning/ What is he doing?... he had just had dinner with the queen. He doesn't drink, but of course he is 73, so I'm sure he had to pee all night long. There he is sitting on the throne, got nothing better to do but call me a 'washed-up psycho.'" In June, Midler tweeted an apology for a previous statement she had erroneously attributed to Trump. "I apologize; this quote turns out to be a fake from way back in '15-16. Don't know how I missed it, but it sounds SO much like him that I believed it was true!" the singer-actress wrote. - Billboard, 7/1/19...... Sharon OsbourneOzzy OsbourneMeanwhile, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne are blasting Pres. Trump's use of Ozzy's solo hit "Crazy Train" in a Twitter post about the recent Democratic presidential debate on June 27. Trump tweeted a doctored video that marries Osbourne's 1980 single with footage of a technical glitch that occurred at last night's Democratic primary debate in an effort to mock the participants. The video culminates with footage of Trump on a stage before ending with a plug for Trump's 2020 campaign. "Based on this morning's unauthorized use of Ozzy Osbourne's 'Crazy Train,' we are sending notice to the Trump campaign (or any other campaigns) that they are forbidden from using any of Ozzy Osbourne's music in political ads or in any political campaigns," said Sharon -- who notably appeared on Season 9 of Trump's NBC series The Celebrity Apprentice -- in a statement on behalf of her husband. "Ozzy's music cannot be used for any means without approvals. In the meantime, I have a suggestion for Mr. Trump -- perhaps he should reach out to some of his musician friends. Maybe Kayne West ('Gold Digger'), Kid Rock ('I Am the Bullgod') or Ted Nugent ('Stranglehold') will allow use of their music." Previously, such major rock stars as Queen, Neil Young, Aerosmith and R.E.M. have protested the president's use of their songs at Trump events. - Billboard, 6/27/19...... In other Black Sabbath-related news, the band's Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler admitted that they "don't listen to modern heavy metal" during the opening of a new Black Sabbath exhibition in their hometown of Birmingham, UK on June 26. "I don't particularly [listen to modern metal," said Butler. "The Beatles, The Stones and The Kinks, that's my kind of music." "I tend to listen to the more older stuff really. More the classic stuff than the newer stuff because I relate to that more," Iommi added. The "Home Of Metal: Black Sabbath at 50" exhibition, will celebrate how the West Midlands band pioneered heavy metal before it spread across the globe. While Sabbath played their last gig in 2017, Ozzy Osbourne recently admitted he's hoping for one last gig with ousted drummer Bill Ward. - New Musical Express, 6/27/19...... In other Heavy Metal news, the University of Newcastle in Australia has just announced a scholarship for a PhD student to study "Heavy Metal Geographies." The scholarship is worth $27,596AUD (£15,256), and would allow the successful applicant to research "the social geography of heavy metal culture." For the metal degree, the course description reads: "While unique scenes have evolved across the globe, the bulk of Heavy Metal's bands have originated within countries in the northern latitudes. "Australia is uniquely positioned within this global evolution, owing to its historical connection to the United Kingdom and shared cultural affinities with its colonial originator. While remote from the geographical heart of Heavy Metal culture, Australia has developed its own unique and passionate approach, producing a number of high profile bands." - NME, 6/27/19...... During his second show in Las Vegas on his "Freshen Up Tour" on June 28, Paul McCartney brought out another famous rocker, Steven Tyler, to scream through what is probably the fiercest rocker in the Beatles' canon, "Helter Skelter." Tyler -- who's back in Vegas for his "Deuces Are Wild" residency with Aerosmith -- spent his night off enjoying the music of Macca. Before he hopped onstage to belt out "Helter Skelter" with McCartney, Tyler broadcast his joy to his followers through his Instagram account as he sang along with the chorus of "Hey Jude" from backstage. The Aerosmith frontman was clearly thrilled to be in the company of one of his own favorite musicians, and even brought his own trademark, scarf-draped microphone to the T-Mobile Arena for their standout moment in the deafening "Helter Skelter" encore. McCartney's "Freshen Up Tour" picks up again in Vancouver on July 6. Aerosmith will roll through their Vegas run of "Deuces Are Wild" dates through July 9 before they take their residency on an East Coast tour, which kicks off Aug. 8 in National Harbor, M.D. - Billboad, 6/29/19...... After Elton John released an open letter to Russian president Vladimir Putin on Instagram on June 28 saying he "strongly disagrees with your view that pursuing policies that embrace multicultural and sexual diversity are obsolete in our societies," Putin is denying that Russia is hostile toward the LGBT community and said that British singer Elton John was wrong to make such claims. "[Elton John] is mistaken," Putin was quoted as saying by the Russian state-run news agency TASS on June 29. "We [in Russia] have a very neutral attitude to members of the LGBT community. We have a law, for which we've been slammed, a law banning propaganda of homosexuality among minors." According to Putin, the law just aims to make sure children are "left alone" until they've grown up, and then they can make decisions regarding their sexuality. In further remarks, Putin complemented John. "I respect him very much, he is a genial musician, he comes to Russia and we are happy to listen to him sing," he said. John's remarks referred to the fact that the recent Elton biopic Rocketman was censored in Russia, with scenes depicting gay sex and drug consumption being cut. However the Russian culture ministry, which is in charge of issuing permissions for movies to be released, stressed that it didn't request any changes, and that the cuts were made voluntarily by the local distributor. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/1/19...... Mike LoveThe Beach Boys singer Mike Love announced on June 28 that he'll be releasing a new solo album on July 19 entitled 12 Sides of Summer, and has also released a new song from the LP, "California Beach." Describing the song, Love says is about "That mythical place out west; the California I've been blessed to call home has provided a lifetime of inspiration. California Beach, in reality is not one, but many wonderful places that have held an allure beckoning so many for countless years. This song has been living in my head for a long time and finally, 'California Beach' has come to life just in time for summer." Love's fourth solo outing, 12 Sides of Summer will be made up of original tracks, updated versions of Beach Boys songs ("Surfin'," "Surfin' Safari" and the Hanson-featured "It's OK") and other covers (including the Ramones' "Rockaway Beach," the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun," ABBA's "On and On and On," Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues," and the Dave Clark Five's "Over and Over"). - New Musical Express, 6/28/19...... Cher took to Twitter on June 28 on the anniversary of the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, to celebrate gay pride. "Can't Believe It's 50 YRS SINCE STONEWALL," Cher wrote. "Don't Have Anything Witty Or Smart 2 Say..actually I'm in tears writing this. U HAVE FOUGHT SO LONG,BEEN SO STRONG,IM BEAMING WITH PRIDE. WE HAVE HAD EACH OTHERS BACKS SINCE I WAS 9.WE WILL CONTINUE 2 WALK THE ROAD 2GETHER." - Billboard, 6/28/19...... Queen has captured the top two spots on the just published Top Selling Vinyl Albums for the first six months of 2019, from Nielsen Music. The top-selling vinyl LP of 2019 thus far is Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack with 61,000 copies sold. The band also has the second-biggest selling vinyl set of the year, as its Greatest Hits package has shifted 49,000. Other '70s artists making the top 10 in vinyl sales include the Beatles (Abbey Road, 33,000), Pink Floyd (32,000), Bob Marley and the Wailers (Legend, 30,000), Fleetwood Mac (Rumours, 29,000), and Michael Jackson (Thriller, 29,000). Queen has sold more albums in North America than any other artist in the first half of 2019, as music featured in high profile Queen movies and television shows sent streaming and downloads of their music soaring. The band sold more than 731,000 albums -- more than any other artist -- as well as the most digital songs with more than 1.3 million downloads, Nielsen said. - Billboard, 6/28/19...... It has been revealed that the new owner of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour's legendary "Black Strat" guitar used on such classic Floyd tracks as "Comfortably Numb" and "Money" is Jim Irsay, the owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts NFL team whose net worth stands at over $2 billion (£1.58b). "I just f----ing love Pink Floyd, man, I cannot deny it," Irsay told Rolling Stone magazine. Irsay contributed nearly a quarter of the $21.5 million total raised by the auction of Gilmour's guitars, dropping $3,975,000 (£3.13m) on the Black Strat and, in doing so, setting the world record for the most expensive guitar sold at auction. Irsay, through a proxy, also successfully bid for the Black Strat's flight case ($175,000, or £138,125) and another six-string, the 1969 Martin D-35 that was used on "Wish You Were Here" ($1,095,000, or £864,272). After the Martin acoustic guitar was sold for $900,000 (£710,388) -- its final price includes additional fees -- Irsay knew "that it would be a record-breaking auction," he told Rolling Stone. "It was really off-kilter. I was like, wow. Why on Earth and how on Earth? But Floyd internationally is a powerful thing." - NME, 6/28/19...... Chic mastermind Nile Rodgers is set to receive the coveted Artist's Artist Award at the U.K.'s Artists and Managers Awards on Nov. 14 at the Bloomsbury Big Top in central London. "I've been very lucky to receive recognition for my achievements throughout my career but this is very special," Rodgers says in a statement. "To be selected as 'The Artist's Artist' by some of my favorite artists is truly special. To receive that recognition from a panel as diverse as Annie Lennox, Nick Mason from Pink Floyd [and] Ed O' Brien from Radiohead... is very, very meaningful to me and will make for a special night in my life at the Artist & Managers Awards." Rodgers is also curator of this year's Meltdown Festival on London's Southbank. - Billboard, 6/27/19...... Brian JohnsonJoe WalshOn June 24, Eagles member Joe Walsh revealed in a mysterious post on his Instagram account that he and AC/DC singer Brian Johnson have been doing some recording in the studio. Walsh posted a photo of the pair together, along with a caption reading: "Great day making music today with my old pal Brian in London. We nailed it! Love ya man!" Walsh didn't give any further details about the collaboration, but it follows the pair making an impromptu song for Johnson's TV series A Life On The Road, in which the singer discusses the careers of several musicians, including Walsh. In their episode, Walsh talked about his career in the Eagles and his early band the James Gang. It has been speculated that the pair will record a studio version of their song from A Life On The Road, and that they have since been writing new music together. - New Musical Express, 6/27/19...... The Allman Brothers Band spinoff group the Allman Betts Band released their debut album, Down to the River, on June 28 via BMG Records. Down To The River was recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Muscle Shoals, Ala., and was produced by Grammy Award-winning boardman Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price, John Prine and Elvis Presley). Peter Levin (Gregg Allman's Hammond B3 player) and Chuck Leavell (former ABB keyboardist and current Rolling Stones keyboardist) make special appearances on the record. The Allman Betts Band is comprised of Devon Allman, Duane Betts, Berry Duane Oakley, Johnny Stachela, John Ginty, R Scott Bryan and John Lum. The band kicked off their world tour on March 27 at Brooklyn Bowl in NYC then went on to sell out twelve of their first eighteen shows on the first leg of their 200-show world tour. - Noble PR, 6/28/19...... Sitcom actor Max Wright, best known as family patriarch Willie Tanner on the 1980s series ALF, died on June 27 after a long battle with cancer. He was 75. Wright appeared on the puppet-driven sitcom which ran for four seasons on NBC, also appearing in such shows as Cheers, Buffalo Bill, Misfits of Science and Norm, among others. His film credits included All That Jazz, Reds, The Sting II, Soul Man and The Shadow. He is survived by two children and his wife, Linda Ybarrondo, passed in 2017. - Deadline.com, 6/27/19.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Although the Cher-based Broadway musical "The Cher Show" recently won Tony Awards for lead actress Stephanie J. Block and costume designer Bob Mackie, the bio-musical has fallen short of commercial expectations and is scheduled to play its final show on Aug. 18 at the Neil Simon Theatre, following a run of 34 previews and 296 regular performances. Produced by Cher, Flody Suarez and Jeffrey Seller, for whom it was the follow-up project to the smash show "Hamilton," "The Cher Show" opened Dec. 3 to mixed reviews and has been slipping at the box office after doing $1 million-plus a week in its first three months. The show stars Block, Teal Wicks and Broadway newcomer Micaela Diamond as Cher at three points in her life, with Jarrod Spector as Cher's first husband Sonny Bono. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/26/19...... Alice CooperAlice Cooper is denying reports that he has a "death pact" with his longtime wife Sheryl Goddard after telling the U.K. paper The Mirror that they've agreed there is no way they can live without each other. Explaining the pact, he said: "We've made a pact -- there is no way of surviving without each other. I couldn't live without her. We always said there will never be a time when one of us will be mourning the other. She dances better now than she did in 1975. You would think people would want to get away from the wives but she is my best friend. And there is no way of surviving without each other." However, now Alice says what he really meant is that it's more of a "life pact" with his wife of 43 years instead. "What I was meaning was that because we're almost always together, at home and on the road, that if something did happen to either of us, we'd most likely be together at the time. But neither of us has a suicide pact. We have a life pact. And, besides, I'm booked through 2028, so..." Cooper, 71, first met Goddard, 61, in 1975 when she began dancing in his stage shows, and the couple have two daughters and one son together. He says they've "never cheated" on each other in their 43 years of marriage. Cooper is currently on tour with his "supergroup" side project, the Hollywood Vampires. - New Musical Express, 6/24/19...... After the animal rights organization PETA released some shocking footage of muscular dystrophy experiments on dogs at Texas A&M University, Paul McCartney is urging the university to end the mistreatment. In the experiments, golden retrievers are bred to have a crippling form of muscular dystrophy that leaves them struggling to walk, swallow and breathe. "The video footage of golden retrievers in your university's dog laboratory is heartbreaking," Sir Paul wrote in a letter on June 26, according to a PETA press release. "I have had dogs since I was a boy and loved them all dearly, including Martha, who was my companion for about 15 years and about whom I wrote the song 'Martha My Dear.' Please do the right thing by ending the suffering of dogs in TAMU's muscular dystrophy laboratory and switching to modern research methods instead." McCartney has been a longtime animal supporter, as a meat-free dieter who has teamed up with PETA multiple times in the past. - Billboard, 6/26/19...... In other Beatles-related news, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which handles the Fab Four's catalog, is hoping the music of the Beatles resonates with the listeners of today as the new Beatles-themed movie Yesterday opens in U.S. theaters on June 28. "Our goal is that the new generation understands it and other films [and] other bands want to use the Beatles' music," says Sony/ATV marketing exec Brian Monaco. "It's a pretty healthy business for the Beatles in general. So will it get bigger? We don't know, but there's a hope there." Sony/ATV cleared 17 Beatles song copyrights for the Danny Boyle-directed fantasy that imagines what would happen if a lone singer/songwriter, played by Himesh Patel, was the only person who knew the Beatles had existed and claimed the Fab Four's songs for his own. The number is the most Beatles songs Sony/ATV has ever licensed for a non-documentary, feature film. Yesterday includes only one master usage -- the Beatles recording of "Hey Jude" that plays over the end credits. The movie follows Sony/ATV licensing "Help" for a Google commercial this spring, as well as clearing several Beatles' tracks for Netflix's children's series Beat Bugs. Capitol Records, which controls the Beatles' masters, released the Yesterday soundtrack to the film June 21. - Billboard, 6/26/19...... '70s artists George Clinton and Gloria Gaynor are among the musicians receiving the National Museum of African American Music's Rhapsody & Rhythm Award on June 27 in Nashville, Tenn. "The Rhapsody & Rhythm honorees span the breadth of African-American music, representing disco, hip-hop and funk," said NMAAM President and CEO H. Beecher Hicks III in a release announcing the gala. "Their artistry is innovative and influential, carrying an impact that can still be felt today." Meanwhile, actor Samuel L. Jackson has reportedly been cast as George Clinton in an upcoming biopic of disco music pioneer and Casablanca Records founder Neil Bogart. The film, entitled Spinning Gold, will see Jackson play funk legend Clinton, while D.L. Hughley rock out as Clinton's funk brother, bassist Bootsy Collins. The role of Bogart will be played by Broadway's Jeremy Jordan. Production is set to begin in Montreal on July 16. - Billboard/NME, 6/26/19...... Michael JacksonOn June 25 the estate of Michael Jackson released a statement on the tenth anniversary of the superstar entertainer's untimely death. "Ten years ago today, the world lost a gifted artist and extraordinary humanitarian," the statement begins. "The entire global community joined in grieving during a powerful and emotional memorial service witnessed by more people than had ever viewed a live event before. United in grief, the world wept not only at the loss of an artistic genius but at the void left by the loss of a father, son and brother," the statement continues. "A decade later, Michael Jackson is still with us, his influence embedded in dance, fashion, art and music of the moment. He is more important than ever. But the true measure of Michael was his giving to others which came in many forms." Jackson died June 25, 2009 of acute Propofol intoxication at age 50. At the time of his death, he had been prepping for his comeback concert residency "This Is It" at London's O2 Arena. Meanwhile, organizers of the controversial "Michael Jackson Is Innocent" campaign also commemorated the late music icon on the 10th anniversary of his death with billboards across Europe. Organizers have arranged for several electronic billboards to appear in London, Rotterdam and Dublin to commemorate the anniversary of Jackson's passing. They come from the same organizers at the website MJInnocent.com who in March purchased advertising space across London, including on buses and bus shelters, in the wake of the controversial documentary Leaving Neverland. that detailed allegations of child abuse against the star, allegations which have been denied by Jackson's family. - Billboard/NME, 6/25/19...... On June 25 Elton John shared footage of his 2019 Cannes Film Festival performance, along with the digitally remastered video for his 1983 hit "I'm Still Standing." The performance video was filmed at the Rocketman premiere afterparty, while the music video was shot 36 years earlier in the same spot: Carlton Beach, Cannes. The original footage for the "I'm Still Standing" promo was nearly lost after the director, Russell Mulcahy, fell off of a pier with his camera while filming. Re-scanned from the original negative and reconstructed entirely from scratch, "I'm Still Standing" is now visible in ultra-clear 4K. John's final tour, the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, concludes in 2020. Meanwhile, Elton is the latest recipient of France's highest award, the Legion of Honor. On June 21, John joined a call by French President Emmanuel Macron to fund AIDS research and treatment. John spoke alongside Macron before thousands of people packed into the presidential Elysee Palace courtyard for an event of the annual Fete de la Musique. John was clearly moved at receiving France's highest award, pinned on him by Macron in a private ceremony, attended by the singer's husband David Furnish and their two children, among some 20 people in his entourage present. The president saluted Elton as "an icon that knew how to set an example," the Elysee Palace said. "To receive this decoration the day of the Fete de la Musique makes it even more special," John said later in the palace courtyard. John performed in Paris the previous evening in what is billed as his farewell world tour. In still more Elton news, the singer will be among those contributing songs to the reboot of the movie The Lion King, which hits theaters in July. A brand new Elton track called "Never Too Late" will be included, while one song is still to be announced. The full Lion King soundtrack album is out digitally on July 11 and physically on July 19. - Billboard/AP, 6/25/19...... Van Morrison has announced details of his next UK shows for 2019 and 2020. Morrison will start his tour in October, in Bournemouth, Cardiff, Oxford and Nottingham, with a stop at Brighton in early December. He'll then pick things up on December 31 with three consecutive nights at Belfast's Stormont Hotel. The new dates will follow Morrison's two London shows at the Roundhouse on July 6 and 7 as part of Inversions Festival. He's also due to appear at London's Cadogan Hall for the Rock Island Line 65th anniversary concert on July 13. - New Musical Express, 6/26/19...... Black SabbathBlack Sabbath have marked their 50th anniversary by opening a new exhibition in Birmingham that celebrates their hugely influential legacy. The "Home Of Metal: Black Sabbath at 50" exhibition opened on June 26 at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and it celebrates how the heavy metal legends band pioneered the genre before it spread across the globe. As well as featuring various items from the band's history -- donated by Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward -- it also includes some of the biggest tributes from their fans across 50 years. Items on display include Osbourne's distinctive purple glasses alongside an outfit worn by utler during a concert at Birmingham's Town Hall which featured in the gatefold sleeve of their 1972 Vol 4 album. While Sabbath played their last gig in 2017, Ozzy Osbourne recently admitted he's hoping for one last gig with ousted drummer Bill Ward. New Musical Express, 6/26/19...... This November will see the release of a new coloring book authorized by the estate of Frank Zappa, The Frank Zappa Coloring Book. It's a brand-new collection of interactive illustrations based around the life and work of one of America's most unique musicians and will feature 72 new pieces of artwork ready for coloring, complete with references, in-jokes and Easter eggs for Zappa enthusiasts from the "Valley Girl" fan to the hardcore "G-Spot Tornado" aficionado. The book, by David Calcano and Lindsay Lee, is published by Fantoons and will hit stores on Nov. 5. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/25/19...... A downsized Woodstock 50 festival could possibly be held at an upstate New York harness track and casino. Town of Vernon Supervisor Randy Watson tells the Poughkeepsie Journal that Woodstock 50 has applied for a permit to hold its concert Aug. 16-18 at Vernon Downs, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) east of Syracuse. Watson says the proposed capacity was 45,000-50,000 people -- far smaller than the 150,000 planned for at the initial venue, Watkins Glen International. The owner of the track says his company is close to signing a letter of intent and could host up to 65,000 people, but without camping. The Woodstock 50 festival has faced a series of setbacks, including Watkins Glen pulling out earlier in June. - AP, 6/24/19...... Bruce Springsteen has scored his 20th top 10 album on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart with his newest release Western Stars, which debuted at No. 2 for the week ending June 20, according to Nielsen Music. Of the 66,000 equivalent album units earned, 62,000 were in album sales. Springsteen last hit the top 10 in 2016 with the retrospective compilation release Chapter and Verse, which debuted and peaked at No. 5. - Billboard, 6/23/19...... The Motown Museum in Detroit has announced it will host a weekend of events on Sept. 21-23 honoring the company's founder Berry Gordy Jr. with "Hitsville Honors: Celebrating Berry Gordy & 60 Years of Motown" at the city's Orchestra Hall. Members of the Temptations, the Four Tops, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas and the Supremes' Mary Wilson are expected to attend, along with Ne-Yo and Detroit-based Big Sean and Kem. Tickets run $50-$1,000 and go on sale Aug. 1 through motownmuseum.org. - Billboard, 6/23/19...... The Rolling StonesThe Rolling Stones kicked off their No Filter U.S. tour in Chicago on June 21, with frontman Mick Jagger showing no signs of slowing down after undergoing heart surgery to replace one of the valves in his heart earlier this spring. The 75-year old singer was a paragon of unbridled energy and enthusiasm throughout the uncharacteristically chilly Friday night performance. From the opening notes of "Street Fighting Man," Jagger proved across two hours and 20 different songs why he's considered by many to be the greatest frontman in the history of rock and roll. There was hardly a moment in the show where he wasn't flailing his arms, gyrating his hips, strutting or jogging up and down the lengthy catwalk and asking the crowd to give him more. "This is our 38th show in Chicago, and I still haven't eaten an Italian Beef," Jagger joked to the crowd about the Windy City's signature, grease-laden sandwich. The show included such deep album cuts as "Sad Sad Sad" from Steel Wheels (for the first time in almost 17 years) and "You Got Me Rocking" from Voodoo Lounge, which made it into the setlist thanks to an online fan vote. Both songs were a nice compliment to the expected classics like "Sympathy For The Devil," "Gimmer Shelter," "Start Me Up," "Jumping Jack Flash" and "Honky Tonk Women." The night ultimately ended like so many other Stones concerts have before this one with a loose -- but extremely enthusiastic -- rendition of the band's signature hit "Satisfaction," kissed off with an explosion of fireworks high into the Midwestern sky. - Billboard, 6/22/19...... Bob Seger closed a six-night run at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in suburban Detroit, as well as the latest leg of the tour, on June 21. Returning to the stage after his main set, Seger told the crowd at the venue that there was "a special guest" in the house. He then dedicated his 1975 song "Fine Memory" -- which he'd played for the first time ever just six days before in the same venue -- to former International Space Station commander Andrew Feustel, who was attending the concert with his wife, Indira. Seger told the crowd that "Fine Memory" reminded Feustel of his wife every time he blasted off on a new mission. Feustel's last ISS mission ended on Oct. 3. Seger and his Silver Bullet Band now take an extended break before returning to the road Sept. 12 in Rapid City, S.D. with 14 shows, a run scheduled to finish Oct. 19 in Chicago. - Billboard, 6/22/19...... Barry Manilow has gifted $100,000 worth of new band gear to a North Carolina high school in an area still recovering from Hurricane Florence. News outlets report the band at East Duplin High School couldn't afford new instruments and uniforms, so they entered a national contest by the Manilow Music Project for help. In a video of the announcement at a Las Vegas show on June 19, Manilow takes a pause from dancing and singing to crown East Duplin, N.C., as the winner. Manilow said he had been "bombarded" with video entries from high schools across the country saying why they think they deserved the funds before giving East Duplin the $100,000 for new instruments and uniforms. The school's band director says words can't describe his gratitude. - AP, 6/21/19...... Elvis Costello will be among the 35 stars included in the Hollywood Walk of Fame Class of 2020, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce's Walk of Fame Selection Committee announced on June 21. Others in the musicians category to be honored include Billy Idol, Tanya Tucker, Alicia Keys and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. - ComingSoon.Net, 6/21/19...... Ambient music pioneer, former Roxy Music member, and producer Brian Eno has been honored with an asteroid named after him. On June 24, Eno was presented with the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication at the prestigious science festival, Starmus V. It was for his contribution to the popularization of science. In addition, a Southwest Research Institute astronomer named Marc Buie named a new asteroid after Eno. The asteroid was originally called '81948 (2000 OM69)' but is now titled called 'Eno' (rather than the musician's full name: Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno). Eno is marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing this July by reissuing his seminal Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks, and his new album, For All Mankind, is paired with the release for issue on July 19. - Billboard, 6/26/19...... Elliot RobertsElliot Roberts, the longtime manager of Neil Young and former manager of Joni Mitchell, died on the morning of June 21 of undisclosed causes. He was 76. During his tenure Roberts also guided the careers of such enduring and influential artists as Stephen Stills, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Born Elliot Rabinowitz in 1943, Roberts was prominent in the rise of the Laurel Canyon music scene throughout the '60s and '70s. He managed Mitchell early in her career, when she was living in New York. The two moved to Los Angeles together in 1967 with her then-boyfriend, David Crosby. That same year, Roberts formed Lookout Management with agent David Geffen, and eventually created Asylum Records, which signed major artists like the Eagles. His most famous manager-client relationship was with Young, which began in 1969 and continued until Roberts' death. "My friend for over 50 years, Elliot Roberts, has passed away. We are all heartbroken, but want to share what a great human being Elliot has been," Neil Young wrote on June 22. Young went on to describe how, as the "greatest manager of all time," Roberts "guided me through every move" in his career and "protected my music with a fierceness before signing off with "See you at the gig, Elliot." - Billboard, 6/21/19...... Pop/country drummer Jerry Carrigan, who played on about 120 tracks by Elvis Presley and later toured with John Denver, died earlier in June in Chattanooga, Tenn., of an unknown illness. He was 75. The Alabama-born Carrigan was a member of the late Rick Hall's first rhythm section, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, and played on Hall's first big hit out of FAME Recording Studios, Arthur Alexander's "You Better Move On" [in 1961] and later on Jimmy Hughes' "Steal Away." After getting his start in Muscle Shoals, Carrigan moved to Nashville, where he became one of the top drummers there. Carrigan also played on hits by George Jones and Tammy Wynette and FAME Studios recordings of Tommy Roe, The Tams, Joe Tex and Sonny James. - AP, 6/26/19.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Facebook has reversed its ban on Led Zeppelin's 1973 classic LP Houses of the Holy album cover after the artwork, which depicts nude children ascending the rocks at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. It is speculated the cover was likely flagged by a Facebook moderator who was unfamiliar with the band and blocked the image for the fact that it aligns with Facebook's ban on gruesome imagery, paedophilia, and other illegal and obscene content. After a Change.org petition gathered nearly 1,000 signatures in favor of Facebook reinstating the image, the popular social media site has now lifted the ban. A spokesperson for the company commented, "As our community standards explain, we don't allow nude images of children on Facebook. But we know this a culturally significant image. Therefore, we're restoring the posts we removed." Facebook added that in the future it would now more carefully consider the newsworthiness or importance of the subject matter so as to avoid unnecessary bans in the future. - New Musical Express, 6/21/19...... David GilmourThe "Black Strat" Fender Stratocaster used by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour has broken the world record for any guitar sold at auction during a Christie's auction in New York City on June 21. Earlier in 2019, Gilmour announced that he'd be selling 120 of his iconic guitars to "give joy" to other people and in turn raise funds to help fight climate change. "These guitars have been very good to me," he said. "They're my friends. They have given me lots of music. I just think it's time that they went off and served someone else. I have had my time with them. And of course the money that they will raise will do an enormous amount of good in the world, and that is my intention." Gilmour's Black Strat, used on such tracks as "Comfortably Numb," "Money" and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond," among others, commanded $3,975,00. He also used it in his solo career, playing it on the albums About Face, On An Island, Rattle That Lock and his 1978 self-titled solo debut. Gilmour's entire guitar collection went for a total of $21.5 million. In a statement, Gilmour said: "The global climate crisis is the greatest challenge that humanity will ever face, and we are within a few years of the effects of global warming being irreversible... Either we choose to go on as a civilisation, or we don't. The choice really is that simple, and I hope that the sale of these guitars will help ClientEarth in their cause to use the law to bring about real change. We need a civilised world that goes on for all our grandchildren and beyond in which these guitars can be played and songs can be sung." All proceeds from the auction will be donated to ClientEarth. - New Musical Express, 6/21/19...... The Rolling Stones will return to the stage on June 21 at Chicago's Solder Field for the first time since postponing their North American tour because frontman Mick Jagger needed medical treatment. A second show at the venue is scheduled for June 25. In May, the band said their No Filter tour would feature classic hits such as "Sympathy For The Devil" and "Paint It Black." The tour was delayed after doctors told Jagger, 75, in late March he couldn't tour at the time. - AP, 6/21/19...... Ozzy Osbourne is among the artists featured in the new DreamWorks animated film Trolls World Tour. In addition to Ozzy, the film stars a plethora of famed vocalists, including Mary J. Blige, Justin Timberlake and Kelly Clarkson A trailer for the movie, which hits theaters in April 2020, has just been released. - BIllboard, 6/20/19...... In 1979, Bette Midler made her proper film debut in the Janis Joplin-inspired classic The Rose, and though she lost the Best Actress Oscar award to Sally Field (in Norma Rae), the diva has now been honored with a rose variety named in her honor. "I didn't win the Oscar for The Rose," Midler mused at a June 19 charity gala at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. "Of course, I never think about it. But I do want to say right now, there's no Norma Rae rose." The flower -- which is on display in the Botanical Garden's rose garden (and which will go on sale to the public in 2020 with proceeds going to the New York Restoration Project in perpetuity) is described as "robust, sharp and stands out in a crowd"....just like the beloved singer herself. Midler also entertained the audience that night with a rewrite of Lynn Anderson's 1970 hit "Rose Garden" and her own "The Rose" from The Rose soundtrack, before wrapping with "Everything's Coming Up Roses," which found Bette shimmying around the stage while the audience belted along to the Gypsy tune with gusto. The previous evening, Paul Simon was honored by the Poetry Association of America during a dinner benefit at the Botannical Garden. His acceptance came in three parts: He read work by two poets who died this year, Les Murray and W.S. Merwin; chatted briefly on stage with U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins about writing; and, to everyone's obvious pleasure, performed a few songs, including "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" and "The Boxer." - Billboard/AP, 6/20/19...... On June 21 the estate of Prince released a never-before-seen video of the late pop/funk star's original demo recording of "Manic Monday." The clip of the track, which appears on Prince's recently-released Originals album, opens with the singer wearing tight black pants and a white tank top, doing a choreographed dance to his more baroque version of the song. "Manic Monday" would go on to become one of the '80s girl group The Bangles' most iconic hits. - Billboard, 6/21/19...... Fleetwood MacCrew members of the McDonalds restaurant in Lancashire, U.K. have finally met Fleetwood Mac after thousands of Facebook users joined a campaign calling for singer Stevie Nicks to work a shift at their restaurant. The event on Facebook by "Be Reet" called upon the legendary singer to head to the Fleetwood, Lancashire branch of the fast food chain, which is almost the namesake of her iconic band. While the petition prompted 20,000 signatures, it was the band who instead invited the Fleetwood McDonalds workers to attend their sold out show at Wembley Stadium on June 18. A photo taken backstage shows the crew hanging out with the likes of Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie and the rest of the band, before being given the chance to watch them from the side of the stage. "It was a fantastic evening seeing Fleetwood Mac live and to have the opportunity to share the experience with some of the Fleetwood team," said Nigel Dunnington, the franchisee of Fleetwood McDonald. "I'm still amazed the band got in touch -- we're lucky our restaurant shares a name with such an iconic band. After 'Fleetwood Macs' met Fleetwood Mac, the restaurant team left the stage wings and enjoyed a night of live entertainment. Needless to say, they "were lovin' it." Meanwhile, the band has teased a headline performance at the U.K.'s Glastonbury festival in 2020. The band dropped the hint during their Wembley gig, when Mick Fleetwood told the crowd that the band still "had a big field to play." Other Twitter accounts added that Fleetwood made reference to "a rained out festival in England next year." - New Musical Express, 6/19/19...... A previously unreleased version of late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury's "Time Waits For No One" has been shared on YouTube. The song was originally recorded in 1985 after Mercury teamed up with '60s bandleader Dave Clark for the Time concept album, based on Clark's London musical of the same name. It was originally released in May 1986 as "Time" and saw Mercury's vocals being accompanied by renowned pianist Mike Moran. But Clark has now revisited the original essence of the track, after retrieving it from his tape archive in the spring of 2018. He stripped of backing vocals, and the new bare-bones version sees Mercury's powerful vocals featuring alongside Moran's new piano recording. Clark said of the original sessions: "We got on great... if I didn't like something I'd say, and vice versawe were both aiming for the same thing: to make something special." - New Musical Express, 6/20/19...... Carlos Santana has debuted at No. 1 on the Top Latin Albums Chart for the week ending June 22 with his latest release, Africa Speaks. After selling 57,000 album units for the week ending June 13, Africa Speaks' starting sum represents the biggest week for any Latin album in 2019, and the largest since the charts began ranking albums by equivalent album units in late 2014. The Rick Rubin-produced album features vocals by Spanish singer Buika, who is also credited as one of the writers of the album, British singer Laura Mvula, as well as Cindy Blackman Santana, Santana's wife, on drums. "The incredible synergy between Buika, Cindy Blackman Santana, the magnificent Santana Band, Rick Rubin and Concord Records made this masterpiece of joy come to fruition," Santana said in a statement. "Now more than ever, this is the consciousness that the world needs... This music gives people hope and courage. We call it mystical medicine music for a twisted, crooked world." - Billboard, 6/19/19...... As they release their second album Riseon June 21, the "supergroup" Hollywood Vampires stopped by ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live on June 20 to promote the new LP. The band, led by Alice Cooper, Aerosmith's Joe Perry, and actor/musician Johnny Depp, rocked out to a cover of David Bowie's classic "Heroes." They also performed "I Want My Now," a selection from the new album, and two other songs including Jim Carroll Band's "People Who Died" and Johnny Thunders' "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory." - Billboard, 6/20/19...... Gloria GaynorGloria Gaynor, who charted the classic "I Will Survive" to the top of the Billboard pop chart in 1979, has climbed to No. 4 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart for the week ending June 22 with her first faith-based set, Testimony. Gaynor recorded the 10-track Testimony in Nashville at RCA Studio A. It features such guests as Yolanda Adams (on "Talkin' 'Bout Jesus") and Bart Millard of MercyMe (on "He Won't Let Go"). "I Will Survive," which topped the charts for three weeks in 1979, won the only Grammy Award for Best Disco Recording at the 22nd annual ceremony in 1980. Amid a backlash against disco, the Academy renamed the award Best Dance Recording the following year. - Billboard, 6/19/19...... On June 18 Wayne Newton testified during a trial of one of two burgulars who allegedly raided his Las Vegas home in 2018. The longtime Vegas entertainer told a jury he fired a gunshot to scare away two burglars that he and his wife and daughter encountered fleeing their home. Newton, 77, emembered his wife, Kathleen Newton, yelling for him to shoot as one of the fleeing men stopped to pick up a duffel bag he dropped while hitting a family dog with a tire iron. He said the men disappeared through a hedge toward a wall on his large property in Las Vegas. The testimony came during trial for 22-year-old Weslie Martin, who prosecutors say was one of the burglars. - AP, 6/18/19...... Memorial services for Dr. John, who died on June 6 at age 77, have been scheduled for the third weekend in June. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival says memorial services for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, who was born Malcom "Mac" Rebennack Jr., are set for June 22 at the historic Orpheum Theater in downtown New Orleans. Public visitation starts at 7 a.m. and runs until 10:30 a.m. A service running from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Orpheum will be invitation-only but will be broadcast on WWOZ FM. There was no immediate word on any music and entertainment stars who might attend. That will be followed by a public "second line parade" that will begin at the theater. - AP, 6/18/19...... A joint hologram tour featuring Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison will kick off on Sept. 19 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. "Roy Orbison & Buddy Holly: The Rock 'N' Roll Dream Tour" will run for an additional 45 stops. The current slate of dates are scheduled to close out on Nov. 20 with a stop at Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. "Working on the original Roy Orbison hologram tour last year was something special and to be able to do it again and add someone like Buddy Holly into the mix is very exciting," director Eric Schaeffer said in a release. "This show will be a celebration that blends these men's similar styles into one unforgettable evening that audiences will remember for a long time to come." Accompanied by a live band and back-up singers, the multi-media holographic performance and remastered audio will feature the rock 'n' roll legends' greatest hits on stage. The artists have a combined 16 platinum records, 19 gold records, nearly two dozen Top 40 hits and 10 Grammy awards. The tour wraps on Nov. 20 at Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. - Billboard, 6/18/19...... Bruce Springsteen's latest album Western Stars is on track to top the album charts in the UK, according to the Official Chart Update. Western Stars is Springsteen's first album since 2012's U.K. chart-topping Wrecking Ball. If he reaches the top, it'll be the Boss's 11th No. 1 in the U.K. - Billboard, 6/18/19...... Paul McCartney was among the many musicians and celebrities celebrating Father's Day (June 16) on social media. "Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there! pic.twitter.com/yRQdAzCnbB," Sir Paul posted. Other '70s musicians paying tribute on Father's Day included Gene Simmons, Steven Tyler, Carole King and Alice Cooper. - Billboard, 6/16/19...... Elton John has just announced additional U.K. dates for his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour," including Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Leeds, and a sixth London show on Dec. 14, 2020. Speaking about the UK dates, John said: "The Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour will take us to many places that have meant a lot to me over the last fifty years, but these UK shows will be incredibly special. The UK is home, and where my heart will always be. To celebrate some of the incredible moments we've shared with my British fans over the years will be wonderful. These homecoming shows will be very emotional, and a lot of fun." - NME, 6/17/19...... Freddie MercuryAdam LambertIn a new interview with GuitarWorld magazine, Queen's Brian May praised the band's current frontman Adam Lambert, who took over from Bad Company/Free's Paul Rodgers in 2012 as the second Queen vocalist after the death of Freddie Mercury in 1991. While the American Idol runner-up's stint in Queen has faced questions from fans who compare his vocals of those of Mercury's, May insists that he's the perfect person to lead the band forward. "Adam can do all the stuff that Freddie did and more. It doesn't matter what you throw at Adam -- he can do it," May said. "He's a born exhibitionist. He's not Freddie, and he's not pretending to be him, but he has a parallel set of equipment." Hailing Lambert as a "born exhibitionist," May says that Lambert is a "born rock star and front man" and "we treat Adam exactly the same as we treated Freddie in almost every way." Meanwhile, Lambert has pushed back on rumours that their could be a sequel to the smash 2018 Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. "What would it be? A sequel? How would that work? It doesn't make sense to me but I haven't heard anything about it," he told NME. "But I somehow doubt that. Somehow I don't know what they would make the movie about." - NME, 6/19/19...... Jim Pike, co-founder and lead singer of The Lettermen pop vocal group, died of complications from Parkinson's Disease on June 9 at his home in Prescott, Ariz. He was 82. Mr. Pike and Bob Engemann, a college buddy from Brigham Young University, formed The Lettermen in Los Angeles in 1961 with fellow singer Tony Butala. The trio's lush vocal harmonies made the Grammy-nominated act one of the most popular vocal groups of the 1960s, and the group would place 19 more songs on the Billboard charts over the next 10 years. Two made the Top 10 -- 1962's "When I Fall in Love" and the Grammy-nominated 1968 medley "Goin' Out of My Head/Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You." Their last hit was 1971's "Everything is Good About You." The Lettermen also earned Grammy nominations for Best New Artist of 1961 and for 1962's "A Song For Young Love." Through those years the group toured constantly, playing colleges across the country and other venues around the world. The constant touring wore out Mr. Pike's voice and he left the group in 1973, replaced by his youngest brother, Donny Pike. Gary Pike had replaced Engemann in 1967. After regaining his voice Mr. Pike formed a group called The Reunion with Engemann. The Lettermen, with Butala as the only remaining founding member, continues to tour. Engemann died in 2013. In addition to his brothers, Mr. Pike is survived by his sister, Candace Doyle, his wife Sue and his daughter, Kelly Pike. - Billboard, 6/19/19..... Fashion designer, artist, and socialite Gloria Vanderbilt died on the morning of June 17 in her Manhattan home. She was 95. Born in New York in 1924, Ms. Vanderbilt was the focus of media attention at an early age, dubbed "the poor little rich girl" amid an intense custody battle between her mother and her father's wealthy sister, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. As a fashion model, she appeared in such magazines as Vogue and Vanity Fair, and in 1954, she made her stage debut in a production of the romantic drama, The Swan. Later she produced fashion and textile designs that would earn her the 1969 Neiman Marcus Fashion Award, before opening the door to a line a line of ready-to-wear garments in the mid-1970s. Under her GV Ltd. brand, she'd go on to sell millions of pairs of jeans bearing her signature and trademark swan logo -- a nod to her first production as a thespian. An author of several books, including one on collage and another on interior design, Ms. Vanderbilt also a penned a history of her love life, It Seemed Important at the Time: A Romance Memoir, in 2004. She was the mother of two sons, including CNN host Anderson Cooper, who released a statement after her passing: "Gloria Vanderbilt was an extraordinary woman, who loved life, and lived it on her own terms. She was a painter, a writer and designer but also a remarkable mother, wife, and friend. She was 95 years old, but ask anyone close to her, and they'd tell you: She was the youngest person they knew -- the coolest and most modern." - CNN.com, 6/17/19.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Director Martin Scorsese premiered his new documentary about Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Review on June 10 at New York City's Alice Tully Hall. The Netflix-distributed film explores the rag-tag group of bohemian artists who toured with Dylan in the 1970s, including Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez and Alan Ginsberg. Scorsese told the audience he'd been wanting to revisit Dylan and his work ever since he did the 2005 Dylan documentary, No Direction Home. "I felt that I missed being around that world, dealing with that music and those lyrics, and I said, 'If you ever have anything, let me know,'" Scorsese said. "And so [producer Jeff Rosen] brought me some of the footage in 2008 and I looked it and said, 'Maybe something can be done with this.' Obviously something could be done. I wanted to do something that captured the spirit of the tour, not just the chronology of it." The resulting film, Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story, feels like an intimate Dylan concert, and at the premiere, audience members applauded after songs as if the performance was live. "Bob Dylan still speaks to the current generation of music fans, and to see him at his prime being the most creative, most vital, I think that's an easy sell," said original Rolling Thunder tour member David Mansfield. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/12/19...... Bruce SpringsteenWith very little fanfare, Bruce Springsteen has made his latest album Western Stars available for free streaming on Spotify.com. Comprised of 13 tracks, the LP is inspired by the Southern California pop records of the late '60s and early '70s, and is the Boss' followup to his 2014 set High Hopes. It features the previously released cuts "Tuscon Train," "There Goes My Miracle," and the lead single "Hello Sunshine." "This record is a return to my solo recordings featuring character driven songs and sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements," Springsteen said in a statement. "It's a jewel box of a record." - Billboard, 6/14/19...... Documents filed with the New York Supreme Court's Appellate Division on June 12 reveal that organizers of the Woodstock 50 festival lost their festival site at Watkins Glen International speedway because they failed to make a $150,000 payment due on May 15. They show that speedway president Michael Printup made several attempts to collect the payment from Woodstock 50 investor Greg Peck and the event's co-founder Michael Lang before issuing a breach notification on June 3. The missed payment was the second half of the $300,000 licensing fee festival organizers had agreed to pay the NASCAR track to host the festival on Aug. 16-18. The $150,000 payment was due the day after Woodstock 50 lost a key court battle on May 14 when a New York judge refused to force Dentsu, which had agreed to invest $49 million in the troubled Aug 16-18 festival and later attempted to cancel the event, to return $17.8 million of its own money withdrawn from the festival's bank account. Despite losing its permit, its producer, and its venue over the course of a few hours, and after losing its main investor and crucial parts of two recent court rulings, Greg Peck remains defiant and insists the festival will go ahead. "We are in discussions with another venue to host Woodstock 50 on August 16th--18th and look forward to sharing the new location when tickets go on sale in the coming weeks," he said. - Billboard, 6/13/19...... The 50th annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony was held on June 13 at New York's Marriott Marquis hotel, with '70s artists Yusuf/Cat Stevens, John Prine, Jack Tempchin and Tom T. Hall among the six songwriters being inducted. This year's event featured additional performances by presenters Justin Timberlake, Bonnie Raitt, Dave Matthews, Patti LaBelle and Lukas Nelson, among others. Jack Tempchin, who co-wrote several Eagles songs including "Peaceful Easy Feeling," was inducted by Lukas Nelson who observed Tempchin was "a master of simplicity" in his songwriting craft. Dave Matthews introduced Yusuf/Cat Stevens with a performance of his 1970 classic "Father and Son." "The most important inspiration of this artist is has never stopped searching," Matthews said. Accepting the induction, Yusuf immediately agreed, noting, "Most of my songs are about the journey." Bonnie Raitt introduced John Prine with a rendition of Prine's "Angel from Montgomery," which originally appeared on Prine's 1971 eponymous debut album before Raitt released her own version on her Streetlights album in 1974. It has since become a staple of her catalog. "On behalf of all of us who sing your songs," she said, "thank you." Country Hall of Fame and Museum chief Peter Cooper inducted Hall, who only appeared by video because he prefers not to travel nowadays. "He wrote sophisticated stories about simple people," Cooper said. Toward the close of the ceremony, industry legend Clive Davis made the presentation for the Johnny Mercer Award -- an award so esteemed that only songwriters already in the SHOF are eligible to receive it -- to Carole Bayer Sager. "Her body of work is definitely considered the gold-standard by all of her peers," Davis said. Accepting her award, Sager recalled being too nervous to attend her SHOF induction 32 years ago, so she was thankful to have a second chance. She was then joined onstage by Patti LaBelle and others to sing "That's What Friends Are For." Also during the ceremony, SHOF chairman Nile Rodgers announced that his organization is partnering with the Grammys to create a traveling exhibition that will explore the craft of songwriting and help gain recognization for the giants of the discipline. - Billboard, 6/14/19...... RushRush's loyal legion of fans have been in a kind of Rush-withdrawal since their heroes went on hiatus in 2015, but on Aug. 21 they'll get a fix with the cinematic screening of a new Rush rock-doc called Rush: Cinema Strangiato 2019. The film will feature a hodge-podge of song performances, including "Tom Sawyer," "Closer to the Heart" and "Subdivisions," unreleased soundcheck and backstage footage from Rush's 2015 R40 40th anniversary tour, and new interviews with producer Nick Raskulinecz and Rush fans and fellow famous musicians Billy Corgan, Tom Morello and Taylor Hawkins, who inducted the Canadian trio into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his fellow Foo Fighters bandmate Dave Grohl in 2013. Beginning on June 20, theater locations and ticket details can be found at the website Cinemastrangiato.com. Unfortunately, the film project is probably as close as we're likely to come to a Rush reunion. In Dec. 2018, Geddy Lee told Billboard that a Rush reunion is "highly unlikely." "Neil [Peart] has retired and has no interest to play anymore. Alex [Lifeson] and I... it's possible. We'll see. I'm sure something else will come along for me to do." Lee nevertheless has his voiced support for archival projects, such as album box sets the group has been putting out. - Billboard, 6/11/19...... On June 13, Elton John and the star of his new Rocketman biopic Taron Egerton released a music video on YouTube for their charming duet, "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again," written by John and Bernie Taupin for Rocketman. The colorful new video consists of shots both from archived footage of John's career, along with clips of Egerton from the film. "I'm gonna love me again/ Check in on my very best friend," the pair sing. John and Egerton also surprised fans by performing together on stage recently during a stop in Hove, Sussex on Elton's "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour, singing a rendition of "Your Song." Since its premiere in the US on May 31, Rocketman has become an unequivocal success, maintaining an impressive 90 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and recently surpassing $100 million at the box office. Meanwhile, the director of the mega-hit Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, Dexter Fletcher, has revealed he had an idea for Rami Malek's Freddie Mercury character to appear in Rocketman. "There was an idea I had at one point, where Elton's in a restaurant with his mother," he told Gay Star News. "I thought John Reid [Elton John and Freddie Mercury's manager] and Freddie could be at another table and they wave at each other! That would have been amazing [but] it didn't come to pass. It would've been a little too knowing I'm not looking to set out to make a cinematic universe!" Reid is played by Aidan Gillen in Bohemian Rhapsody and Richard Madden in Rocketman. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 6/13/19...... In other Queen-related news, co-founding guitarist Brian May recently retraced the journey of Freddie Mercury by visiting Zanzibar, the east African island where the legendary singer was born. May's "pilgramage" to Mercury included visiting key locations in the musician's early life, including the home where he was born and his first ever school. Posting on Instagram, May shared a photo of himself outside the school with wife Anita Dobson. "At Freddie's school," wrote May. "Under guidance from Freddie's lovely sister Kashmira and Abdul, our excellent Zanzibarian guide, we managed to retrace many of Freddie's childhood steps. Nice to share with you folks." May also posted photos from outside Mercury's childhood home, located in Zanzibar's Stone Town. The family apartment block has since been developed into the Tembo House Hotel, which is also known as "Freddie Mercury House." Mercury was born as Farrokh Bulsara on the island in 1946 and lived there until the age of eight, when his parents sent him to school in Mumbai. He later returned in 19643, but fled to London after a revolution caused social unrest. - NME, 6/12/19...... Miles DavisA "lost" Miles Davis album entitled Rubberband is set to be released on Sept. 6, almost 30 years after the legendary jazz musician's death. The 12-track album was recorded in 1985 and marked his first record on Warner Bros after moving from Columbia Records. It marked a stylistic change for the jazz icon, who incorporated funk and soul vibes on the record for the first time in his career. But Rubberband ultimately failed to see the light of day when Davis' talents became increasingly in demand. While he had planned to record with vocalists including Chaka Khan and Al Jarreau, the early sessions were ultimately put on the back burner so he could focus on his Tutu album, which arrived in Sept. 1986. Rubberband will see vocals being provided by Lalah Hathaway (the daughter of Donny Hathaway) and Grammy-nominated Ledisi. It will also feature cover art personally designed by Davis too -- which sees him channelling a Pablo Picasso-esque spirit. - New Musical Express, 6/14/19...... It has been revealed that Dr. John recorded an unreleased album a year before his passing on June 6, and that he understood "this was his final record." Consisting of originals, twangy covers and reworked classics, the LP features the likes of Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville and Rickie Lee Jones. It was completed in December 2018 with the help of guitarist Shane Theriot, who told Rolling Stone that listening to the final project was emotional. "We sat and listened to everything twice," Theriot said. "He was singing along and had a big grin on his face. Then he walked me out to my car, stared at me and said, 'I'm glad. I made the right choice.' And then he hugged and kissed me on the cheek." Theriot added that the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was able to preview the entire album for he died. "Mac got to hear it and live with it and make suggestions," he said. "This was one of his creations." While the LP is completely finished, a title and release date are still being planned. - Rolling Stone, 6/11/19...... During a Q&A session at a The Who pop-up shop at 52 Brewer Street in London's Soho on June 13, frontman Roger Daltrey said he thinks The Who "have made their "best album since Quadrophenia." The band has been busy working on their first album since 2006's Endless Wire after guitarist Pete Townshend revealed in 2018 that the untitled album at the time consisted of 15 demos. He described the new album as a mixture of "dark ballads, heavy rock stuff, experimental electronica, sampled stuff and cliched Who-ish tunes that began with a guitar that goes yanga-dang." While Daltrey said he was initially skeptical about the new LP, he says he's now changed his mind and is "incredibly optimistic" about their 12th studio album. "When I first heard the songs I was very skeptical as I didn't think I could do it," Daltrey explained. "I thought Pete had written a really great solo album and I said to him, 'Pete, what do you need to do this for? Release it as a solo album, it's great.' But he said he wanted it to be a Who album. So I took the songs away and I listened to them, and listened to them some more, and I had some ideas. [Pete] let me have a bit of freedom with changing a few things, changing the tenses of songs and other little things. And he gave me complete melodic freedom. And I gotta tell you that after being very skeptical I'm now incredibly optimistic. I think we've made our best album since Quadrophenia." Daltrey added: "Pete hasn't lost it, he's still a fabulous songwriter and he's still got that cutting edge, man." The Who will be a huge show at London's Wembley Stadium on July 6 with support from Kaiser Chiefs and Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder. The Who kicked off their "Moving On! Tour" at New York City's Madison Square Garden on May 13. - New Musical Express, 6/13/19...... Brian EpsteinThe Beatles' first contract with their manager Brian Epstein is expected to fetch around £300,000 when it is auctioned by Sotheby's in July. The contract, which is from the collection of Epstein's publisher Ernest Hecht, was signed by Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and original drummer Pete Best, and is thought to have been signed in the living room at Best's mother's house and is the first of two contracts between the group and Epstein. A second one was signed on Oct. 1, 1962, after Best was replaced by Ringo Starr. Interestingly, Epstein did not sign the document because he "wanted to free the Beatles of their obligations if I felt they would be better off." "Even though I knew I would keep the contract in every clause, I had not 100 percent faith in myself to help the Beatles," he is quoted as saying. Epstein's fee was spelled out as 10 percent of the band's earnings, which would rise to 15 percent if those earnings went over £120 a week. It also agreed that the manager would be responsible for finding work for the Beatles, managing their schedule and publicity, and "all matters concerning clothes, make-up and the presentation and construction of the artists' acts and also on all music to be performed." "[Epstein] stopped them eating on stage. He made sure they played the songs properly and coherently, and he got them bowing at the end of a set... They had the stage energy but he instilled a sense of professionalism in them," said Gabriel Heaton of Sotheby's. - New Musical Express, 6/14/19...... A week after announcing he was delaying his upcoming tour to work on some mental health issues, Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson posted on Twitter thanking his fans for their continued support. "Brian, Melinda and the Wilson family would like to thank all of you for your wonderful notes and good wishes," his post on June 10 reads. "Brian looks forward to feeling better and seeing you again this Fall. Love & Mercy." Wilson originally posted on his official website that he was "not feeling like myself." "Mentally insecure is how I'd describe it. We're not sure what is causing it but i do know that it's not good for me to be on the road right now," he wrote. - Billboard, 6/10/19...... Veteran singer/actor Steve Lawrence revealed on June 11 that he has been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease. In a press release set by his spokesperson Howard Bragman, Lawrence confirmed the diagnosis, saying that he felt he needed to speak out in light of recent rumors and media inquiries. "I'm living my life, going out in public and trying to spend as much time as possible with my family and friends while I am still able to engage and enjoy," he wrote. Lawrence said he doesn't want pity or sympathy in response to his diagnosis. "I have lived and am living a wonderful, joyous life filled with love, support and amazing moments," he said. Lawrence, 83, is known for solo hits including the No. 1 ballad "Go Away Little Girl" and as one half of the 1960s pop duo Steve and Eydie alongside his wife, Eydie Gorme, who died in 2013. The couple were known for their frequent appearances on TV variety and talk shows, in night clubs, and on the stages of Las Vegas. - People.com/AP, 6/11/19...... Iggy Pop has released a new video for his song "Run Like a Villain" on YouTube. The video is animated by Polish visual artist Marta Kacprzak of Motion Picture Stories and follows the release of "The Villagers" / "Pain and Suffering" for this year's Record Store Day. The song is takend from the reissue of Pop's Zombie Birdhouse album, which is due out on June 28. The also contains a previously unreleased version of "Pain and Suffering," which features backing vocals from Blondie's Debbie Harry. - NME, 6/13/19...... Philomena Lynott, the mother of legendary late Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, passed away in Dublin on June 12 after an extensive battle with cancer. She was 88. Ms. Lynott was the author of My Boy, which told the story of her son's life from his early days in Manchester and Dublin, to his success as the frontman of the legendary rock band. "She was a formidable and brilliant woman," says Hot Press editor Niall Stokes. "I am really proud that we were able to participate in telling her remarkable story. Because she was indeed a remarkable woman." Philomena remained a huge champion of her son's talents after his passing and successfully campaigned for a statue in his memory to be erected in Dublin in 2005. In 2012, she also made international headlines after criticising Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney for using Thin Lizzy's "The Boys Are Back In Town" at a campaign rally. - NME, 6/12/19...... Kenny RogersCountry/pop crossover legend Kenny Rogers is dismissing "wild misinformation and speculation" about his health and says he plans on "sticking around" for years to come. A statement released on Rogers' behalf on June 14 was published after a U.S. tabloid report claimed the 80-year-old "Lucille" singer had been diagnosed with bladder cancer and was dying. The statement said Rogers, who hasn't been seen in public since April 2018, was recently admitted to a hospital in Georgia and treated for dehydration. "He will remain there to complete some physical therapy to get his strength back prior to discharge and can assure everyone he plans on sticking around through the years to come," it added. Rogers embarked on a world farewell tour in 2016 but in April 2018 he canceled the last few shows citing "a series of health challenges." Meanwhile, a woman who has accused the singer of sex assault is demanding an apology from the superstar "before he dies." "I'm sad he's sick and I don't want anybody to die, but it's time to cleanse his soul for his actions," Lisa Applewhite Kimbell, who claimed Rogers ruined her life when he allegedly sexually attacked her during a supposed "movie audition" nearly 30 years ago, told the website RadarOnline.com. Kimbell, 53, says she was a nursing student and part-time actress when she met the star in 1990 through a family friend. She alleges Rogers started calling her and begging her to come to New York City to read for a role. Kimbell went -- and that's when she said things went horribly wrong. We talked for a while, then he grabbed me, touched me inappropriately and tried to kiss me," said Kimbell. "The last thing he said as I left was he had power in Hollywood, and if I told anybody, I'd never become an actress." Kimbell -- who's currently recovering from grueling facial reconstruction surgery after developing skin cancer -- claimed Rogers even called her at home to try to indulge his sick sexual fantasies. She kept quiet until 1992, when two other women claimed he made obscene phone calls to them -- and Kimbell joined them in filing a lawsuit against Kenny. "I was shocked to find the Kenny Rogers so many people know and love is nothing but a dirty old man," she said at the time. Rogers denied their allegations, and she says she eventually felt pressured to drop her lawsuit. - Reuters/American Media, Inc., 6/14/19...... Actress Sylvia Miles, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her brief appearance in the movie Midnight Cowboy, died in New York City on June 12. She was 94. The NYC native began her career in the theatre in the late 1940s, and soon moved into TV and film, landing the role of Sally Rogers in the pilot episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, although the part was eventually given to actress Rose Marie. Ms. Miles received her second Oscar nod in 1975 for another brief performance in Farewell, My Lovely. Her other film credits included Wall Street in 1987 and its 2010 sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, as well as Andy Warhol's Heat, Critical Condition, Crossing Delancey, and She-Devil, in which she portrayed Meryl Streep's movie mother. She was also a regular on TV, featuring in Sex and the City, NYPD, One Life to Live and All My Children, among many other shows. - WENN/Canoe.com, 6/13/19.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The city of New Orleans sent one of its recently deceased famous sons, Dr. John, off in style on June 7 when it hosted one of its famous "second line funerals" in tribute to the musician, who passed away on June 6 at age 77. The parade was announced on social media by local restauranteur Kermit Ruffins, and it kicked off in front of Kermit's Mother-in-Law Lounge. Trumpeter James Andrews started off the procession with a solo version of Dr. John's "Such A Night" before the celebration of the iconic musician's life wrapped up with the band playing "I'll Fly Away." Dr. John's granddaughter, Stephanie O'Quin, was also reportedly in attendance. - Billboard, 6/8/19...... The Cher-themed Broadway musical "The Cher Show" nabbed two Tony Awards -- Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for Stephanie J. Block and Best Costume Design of a Musical for Bob Mackie -- during the 2019 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 9, 2019 in New York City. The Temptations-based musical "Ain't Too Proud -- The Life and Times of the Temptations" also won in the Best Choreography category, for Sergio Trujillo, and was nominated in a total of 10 categories, including Best Musical. The cast of "Ain't Too Proud" also performed during the ceremony. - Billboard, 6/9/19......Brian WilsonThe Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson announced on June 6 that he's postponing his "Pet Sounds and Greatest Hits Live" tour as he struggles with his well publicized mental health issues. "It is no secret that I have been living with mental illness for many decades," Wilson posted on his Facebook page and website. "There were times when it was unbearable but with doctors and medications I have been able to live a wonderful, healthy and productive life with support from my family, friends and fans who have helped me through this journey," the 76-year-old musician said. He added that he had three successful operations on his back in the past year and had been recording and rehearsing with the intentions of touring but the latest surgery made him feel "strange" and turned "pretty scary" as he began to struggle with "stuff in my head and saying things I don't mean and I don't know why." Wilson said he plans to work with his doctors, rest and recover, and that he's "looking forward to seeing everyone later in the year." "The music and my fans keep me going and I know this will be something I can AGAIN overcome," he concluded. The tour -- celebrating the Beach Boys' classic 1966 album Pet Sounds with The Zombies as openers -- had already been postponed in 2018, when Wilson had the first of his back surgeries. Wilson was officially diagnosed as a schizoaffective disorder with mild manic depression, and has regularly experienced auditory hallucinations. - The Daily Mail UK, 6/6/19...... The Pacific island nation of Samoa has become the latest nation to ban the Elton John biopic Rocketman because of its depictions of homosexuality. Leiataua Niuapu Faaui, Samoa's principal censor, told a local newspaper on June 11 that Rocketman's homosexual activity violated laws and didn't sit well with the country's cultural and Christian beliefs, however he conceded that "it's a good story, in that it's about an individual trying to move on in life." In a Facebook post, Apollo Cinemas Samoa posted that "due to censoring issues we have had to cancel Rocketman (which) examines John's sexuality and relationship with then-manager John Reid. It stars Taron Egerton who does his own singing as John in the musical fantasy that aims to capture the essence of the musician's life." About 97% of people in Samoa identify as Christian, and the society is generally considered conservative and traditional. Under Samoa's 2013 Crimes Act, sodomy is deemed an offense that is punishable by up to seven years in prison, even if both parties consent. In May, a Russian movie distributor censored scenes from the film that featured gay sex and drug use. Elton John and Paramount Pictures issued a joint statement condemning the action and said it was a "sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people." Meanwhile, John and Egerton recently performed a rendition of Elton's first big hit, "Your Song," as John's Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour hit the open-air venue of Hove County Ground in the UK. A snippet can be viewed on YouTube. - AP/New Musical Express, 6/11/19...... Who Do I Think I Am?, a new documentary on late Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons, will premiere in select US cities in July before being released on DVD on Aug. 17. The film chronicles Clemons' 40 years playing with Springsteen as well as his "spiritual awakening" that came in 2003 at the end of the Boss's The Rising tour. Those offering their memories of Clemons, who passed away in 2011 at the age of 69 from complications caused by a stroke, include Nils Lofgren, Joe Walsh and Bill Clemons. Who Do I Think I Am? producer Joe Amodei says Clemons was "a true Big Man... His spirituality rose to the top of every interview we conducted." - Billboard, 6/7/19...... Elvis CostelloEven though he once sniffed "I wouldn't do anything with the Royal family. They're scum. Why do we subsidize this family of buffoons?" during the punk rock heyday of the late 1970s, Elvis Costello says he's "happy to accept this very surprising honour" after he was awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) during Queen Elizabeth II's annual Birthday Honours List on June 7. In his blog post, Costello added, "To be honest, I'm pretty tickled to receive this acknowledgement for my 'Services To Music', as it confirms my long held suspicion nobody really listens to the words in songs or the outcome might have been somewhat different." Costello went on to reveal how he called his mother after receiving the news, asking her for advice about whether to accept the award or not. "I thought for a while, then folded the document and slept on the news until the morning when I could place a call to England and speak to my mother, Lillian MacManus," he wrote. But Costello, who has often been critical of British imperialism and politics (particularly on tracks like "Oliver's Army" or "Tramp the Dirt Down") added that he had mixed feelings about receiving the distinction. "It is hard to receive anything named for the 'British Empire', and all that term embodies, without a pause for reflection," he noted. "It would be a lie to pretend that I was brought up to have a great sense of loyalty to the Crown, let alone notions of Empire." Costello's latest album, Look Now was released last October. It was the first LP with his backing band the Imposters since 2008's Momofuku and his first album since 2013's Wise Up Ghost which featured The Roots. - New Musical Express, 6/8/19...... On June 10 a panel of 11 judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear Led Zeppelin's appeal in a copyright lawsuit alleging the group stole its 1971 rock epic "Stairway To Heaven" from an obscure 1960s instrumental called "Taurus." Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Robert Plant offered testimony in a 2016 trial in which a jury found that "Stairway" did not significantly resemble "Taurus," written by the late Randy Wolfe and performed by his band Spirit. But in September, a three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit ruled that the judge at the trial had failed to advise the jury properly, and ordered a new trial. The judges unanimously found that the trial judge was wrong to tell jurors that individual elements of a song such as its notes or scale may not qualify for copyright protection, because a combination of those elements may qualify if they are sufficiently original. Lawyers for Zeppelin then moved to the next level of appeal, asking for the larger group of judges to rehear the case, and the request was granted. The 11-judge panel will hear the case in late September in San Francisco. - AP, 6/11/19...... The upcoming Woodstock 50 festival celebrating the milestone anniversary of the iconic 1969 concert has been hit with more ongoing issues as its venue, the Watkins Glen International speedway in New York, issued a statement on June 11 saying it would not host the event because it has violated "provisions of the contract." In turn, current Woodstock 50 organizers CID Entertainment then confirmed that Watkins Glen would no longer host the event. "CID Entertainment had been engaged to provide enhanced camping, travel packages and transportation for Woodstock 50. Given developments, we can confirm that CID is no longer involved in Woodstock 50 in any capacity," they said. A spokesperson for the festival said it is "in discussions with another venue to host Woodstock 50 on August 16th--18th and look forward to sharing the new location when tickets go on sale in the coming weeks." Woodstock 50's troubles began in April after its primary funding partner Dentsu Aegis Network withdrew its financial commitment and announced the "cancellation" of Woodstock 50. - New Musical Express, 6/11/19...... Yusuf IslamAs Yusuf/Cat Stevens prepares to be inducted into the 50th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards on June 13 during a ceremony on June 13, the singer/songwriter gave an extensive interview with Billboard which included the stories behing some of his biggest hits, including "The First Cut Is the Deepest." "It was partly telling the story of a breakup between me and one of my first loves, really, and that was a very strong sentiment," Yusuf says. "What I wanted to do there was I loved R&B. As well as listening to musicals I was also going down to clubs and listening to the latest R&B records coming over from across the Atlantic. I loved Otis Redding and I tried to write a song for Otis Redding and that is how 'First Cut Is the Deepest' came about. It's very much a soulful tune. My guitar playing wasn't that clever in those days, so you hear those three little notes, which is pretty basic, but it begins the whole song and it's a signature tune." Yusuf added that Rod Stewart's cover version of the song is one of his favorite covers of his material. "I think he did the best job there, and he made it his own as well." Yusuf added that his next album "has been more or less recorded and we're in the mixing stage" and that his memoir is "being finalized and published" and should be released in 2020. - Billboard, 6/7/19...... In an interview with Toronto radio station Q107 that was his first since undergoing heart surgery in March, Mick Jagger said he was "feeling pretty good" and has "been rehearsing a lot lately in the last few weeks." "This morning [I did] a bit of gym. Nothing crazy. Then I go into rehearsal with the rest of the band," the Rolling Stones frontman added. Jagger says that the band rehearsed the 1976 rarity "Memory Motel" from Black and Blue, however he added the band's upcoming tour reboot, set to begin on June 21, will be filled with plenty of well known Stones classics. "The favorite ones people like to hear are, you know, 'Paint it Black, 'Honky Tonk [Women]' and 'Satisfaction' and things like that," said Jagger. "We don't always necessarily do all of them. We sometimes drop one or two, but there's maybe ten favorites. I don't know how people would feel if you didn't do any of them. I think people would say, 'Oh, that's a bit unfortunate, I came to hear this.'" At the same time, he says "We usually have a [fan] vote song. We usually throw a couple different things in. There might be a few." Meanwhile, the Stones have shared a clip of a live performance of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" from their recently reissued film The Rock and Roll Circus. The 1968 film, which also features such rock royalty as The Who, Jethro Tull, Eric Clapton and John Lennon, was released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 7 in the US, with a June 28 release in the UK. - New Musical Express, 6/11/19...... Kool & the Gang were among the headliners on the opening day of the 2019 Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on June 8. The band performed several of its enduring hits, including "Celebration," "Jungle Boogie," "Fresh," "Get Down on It," "Ladies Night" and "Hollywood Swinging." "We've always been jazz musicians at heart," band leader Robert "Kool" Bell told reporters before the show. "I wanted to be John Coltrane at heart. I knew I couldn't be," he added with a laugh, "but I was chasing him like everyone else." The two-day, 41st annual Playboy Jazz Festival wrapped on June 9 with a lineup including Boz Scaggs, The Family Stone, Maceo Parker and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. - Billboard, 6/9/19...... A surreal, satirical documentary narrated by Iggy Pop, In Praise of Nothing, will be available to stream beginning June 21 on the streaming platform Mubi. The film explores what the concept of "Nothing" would say to humans if it could speak, and Iggy narrates as "The Voice of Nothing" throughout. In March, Pop shared a series of clips from the documentary and also revealed that the film had been translated into 35 languages. Described as "a whistleblowing documentary parody," the 78-minute film -- which took almost ten years to make -- is entirely composed of fixed shots filmed by 68 filmmakers in over 70 countries. Earlier in June, Pop also announced he's prepping a career retrospective book entitled 'Til Wrong Feels Right that will highlight lyrics from more than 100 of his songs. - NME, 6/8/19...... Bob SegerOn the opening night of a six-show run at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in his hometown of Detroit on June 6, Bob Seger and his Silver Bullet Band treated the audience to a rarely played track from his 1978 Stranger in Town album, "The Famous Final Scene." "I wanted to do another extra song for this encore 'cause I'm home, dammit," Seger told the sold-out crowd at the amphitheater. "And," he added, "it seems appropros" for this stop on his "Roll Me Away" farewell tour. "The Famous Final Scene" was one of several localized touches offered by the Detroit rocker during his hit-filled, 130-minute show -- from 1976's "Mainstreet," about Seger's native Ann Arbor, to the first encore, "In Your Time," a new track he composed for his 1994 Greatest Hits album, inspired by his then two-year-old son Cole. Seger also dedicated the group's rendition of Bob Dylan's "Forever Young" to the late Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey, a fellow Michigan native and close friend -- and backing vocalist on Seger's 1968 hit "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man." The show came a day after the DTE Energy Music Theatre venue renamed its address to "33 Bob Seger Drive," commemorating what will be 33 sell-outs at the venue by the time this stand ends on June 21. During a short ceremony on Wednesday, Seger, who was accompanied by his family, called the honor "overwhelming. I'm really happy about this. Great honor, and thank you so much." In a statement, he also said that, "I have a great affection for this historic venue and now to be a part of it forever is truly overwhelming." Seger and his band will take the summer off before resuming the farewell tour on Sept. 12 in Rapid City, S.D. So far 10 dates have been announced for the fall leg, though more are reportedly coming. - Billboard, 6/7/19...... In February, Duncan Jones, the son of David Bowie, said he wouldn't be giving a Bowie biopic titled Stardust that is currently in production his seal of approval. Instead Jones, who has helmed such film projects as Moon, Source Code and the upcoming Rogue Trooper, said he would only approve of a film about his dad if American Gods author Neil Gaiman and Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse director Peter Ramsey were involved. Now Gaiman and Ramsey have expressed an interest in making a Bowie film. Gaiman and Ramsey replied to Jones in a series of tweets on June 7 saying they would "be in" on a Bowie movie. But Jones since clarified that he will not be involved in the movie if it goes ahead. Responding to a fan he said, "I will be making Rogue Trooper. If it happens, Neil & Peter don t need my interference on this grand endeavour." - NME, 6/7/19...... Mavis Staples will be among the lineup for the 2019 concert series at The Surf Lodge in Montauk, N.Y. The hotel/restaurant/vacation spot will host the pop/gospel legend on June 16, and the series will run through Sept. 2 when it wraps with a performance from Lukas Nelson. - Billboard, 6/7/19...... In a new interview with Canada's Edmonton Journal newspaper, Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford opened up about the he experienced when he came out as gay in the late nineties. "I was surrounded by homophobia, which still exists today. There are places I can't go back to because I'll be stoned to death," Halford said. "As far as that whole business, I discovered when I did come out that I was in this trap gay people find themselves living in that you're living your life for everyone else, but not yourself. During the '70s and '80s it was incredibly difficult." But Halford added that he "loves Priest more than, so while always in my mind -- I have to be careful how I say this -- it's not important to the music. Though I will say, a straight man can't do my job [laughs]. That's the way I view it." Halford also says that "Queen "would've been a totally different band" if Freddie Mercury hadn't been gay, and revealed that he'd do a duet with Elton John "in a heartbeat!" Judas Priest is currently in the midst of a summer tour of North America. - NME, 6/8/19...... Phil CollinsMike RutherfordGenesis' Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford performed together for the first time in 12 years when Rutherford jammed with Collins during his June 7 concert in Berlin on the band's 1978 hit "Follow You Follow Me." Fan-shot footage shows Rutherford hug Collins as he walks onstage and is handed an acoustic guitar. After rapturous applause from the audience, Collins said: "I think we'll have it one more time - Mr. Mike Rutherford!" Rutherford's band Mike + The Mechanics had performed earlier in the evening, with the group supporting Collins on the current tour. In 2018, Collins said that he'd be open to a Genesis reunion if his son would drum for the band. Both Collins and Rutherford have expressed interest in reforming Genesis in recent years, and Tony Banks also added to the speculation by refusing to rule out the prospect of a future Genesis reunion. - New Musical Express, 6/9/19...... Three months after suffering a stroke Jerry Lee Lewis is on the mend, according to a rep for the 83-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. "Jerry Lee Lewis is back home after a successful stay at a rehabilitation center following a stroke earlier this year," the rep told People magazine on June 7. "He is right on track to be back on stage soon and will be heading into the studio in the next couple of months to record a Gospel record. The Killer wants to express his continued appreciation to his fans across the world for their continued thoughts and prayers," the statement continued. On March 1, Lewis suffered a stroke and was transferred to a rehabilitation center shortly after, according to his rep. Lewis has spent the last year touring the US, with his most recent appearance occurring on Feb. 16 in Greenville, S.C., according to his website. His scheduled performances in April, May, and June were canceled so Lewis could focus on his health. - People.com, 6/8/19...... CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment released a 50th anniversary The Brady Bunch TV & Movie Collection on June 4. Described as "an ultimate compilation of programming spanning throughout the entirety of the Brady franchise history," the set features all five seasons of the original series and a compilation of Brady movies and derivative TV series, including The Brady Kids: The Complete Animated Series, The Bradys, and The Brady Brides spinoffs, alongside five television films: The Brady Bunch Movie, A Very Brady Christmas, The Brady Bunch in the White House, Growing Up Brady and A Very Brady Sequel. - ComingSoon.Net, 6/7/19.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Dr. JohnPioneering "swamp rock"-styled instrumentalist and legendary New Orleans musician Dr. John died of a heart attack on the morning of June 6, his family announced in a statement several hours later. He was 77. "The family thanks all whom have shared his unique musical journey, and requests privacy at this time," the statement said. Born Malcolm John ("Mac") Rebennack in New Orleans on Nov. 21, 1941, Dr. John's mother was a professional model, and as a baby Mac himself once appeared in soap company ads. But a stronger influence was his father, who owned a local record store. From an early age, Mac grew up listening to the likes of Big Bill Broonzy, and later played guitar and piano in school bands. As a teenager, he hung out around N.O. recording studios, befriendign and learning from the likes of local N.O. legends Professor Longhair, Huey Piano Smith and Fats Domino band members Walter Nelson and Roy Montrell. By 1956, on the strength of this unique grounding, Rebennack had graduated to backing Longhair, Frankie Ford (of "Sea Cruise" fame), Joe Tex, Leonard James, and the following year recorded an unreleased instrumental album. From 1963 to 1965, Rebennack spent time in federal prison for heroin possession after tough-on-crime N.O. District Attorney and JFK conspiracy theorist Jim Garrison conducted an underworld sweep of the city. Later in the '60s, Rebennack worked as a producer/session player with the Minit Records label in N.O. and Ace Records in Baton Rouge, and helped form and signed with the black artists co-operative label AFO (All For One) Records. The label's roster also boasted one Prince Lala, whose mystical voodoo trappings Rebennack would later re-work for his Dr. John persona. By the mid-'60s, Rebbenack was working as a sessionman in Los Angeles for the likes of Phil Spector, Sam Cooke and Sonny and Cher, and, through his growing interest in voodoo, gradually metamorphosed into "Dr. John The Night Tripper," the latter part of the name said to be an answer to the Beatles' "Day Tripper." Signed to Atco Records, Dr. John released his first album, Gris Gris, in 1968, which was comprised of a number of songs written during his pre-L.A. period, and the follow-up Babylon was released the following year. Both were startingly original recordings, combining traditional Creole chants and N.O. influences with the emergent psychedelic movement. Dr. JohnLike The Band before him, Dr. John's reputation spread at first largely by word of mouth, with his name constantly appearing in interviews with major rock celebrities. Two of these, Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton, later appeared on his 1971 LP Sun, Moon and Herbs. By this time, Dr. John was firmly established as a cult attraction, appearing onstage in garish beaded robes and feathered head-dress with backed by similarly attired dancing girls and musicians. His voodoo obsession continued on 1972's Gumbo album, though it was 1973's In the Right Place that marked a shift toward more mainstream rock, and became one of his biggest sellers. From that album, standout cut "Right Place Wrong Time" became his sole 1970s US Top 40 hit, reaching No. 9 in May 1973, though he followed that a few months later with the No. 42 "Such a Night." That same year he also worked in Triumvirate, a short-lived trio with Mike Bloomfield and John Hammond Jr. His 1974 set, Desitively Bonnaroo, was also well received by critics and its title track recalled his hit "Right Place Wrong Time." Though the album only peaked at No. 105 on the charts, it would later be immortalized in rock history by being the namesake of the annual Bonnaroo rock festival in Tennessee. Dr. John appeared in The Band's farewell concert film The Last Waltz in 1978, and three years later released the first of several solo-piano LP's, Dr. John Plays Mac Rebennack. In the late 1980's, he began reaching back to his N.O. roots, while also subtly mainstreaming his appeal.

Further reading on
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"Dr. John Binge-A-Thon"

His 1989 LP In a Sentimental Mood collected old blues and saloon standards and earned him a Grammy, for his duet with Rickie Lee Jones on "Makin' Whoopee." Later albums included Bluesiana Triangle which detoured into jazz, and Goin' Back to New Orleans, which he recorded with fellow N.O. legends Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, Danny Barker, Alvin "Red" Tyler and the Neville Brothers, and earned him another Grammy. By now, Dr. John's gruff baritone had become familiar to millions through a succession of TV commercial jingles. In 1991, rap group PM Dawn sampled his "I Walk on Gilded Splinters," and two years later rising alternative rock star Beck sampled the same track for his folk-rap slacker anthem, "Loser." In 1993, Dr. John published his autobiography, Under a Hoodoo Moon and a year later appeared on the Windham Hill album Crescent City Gold, along with fellow N.O. vets Tyler Allen Toussaint, Earl Palmer, Lee Allen and Edward Frank. In addition to his six Grammy wins, Dr. John was honored with an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, on his first nomination. In 2014, he released his 30th studio album, a Louis Armstrong tribute entitled Ske-Det-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch. The musician had not been seen in public much since late 2017, when he canceled several gigs, and had lately been resting at his N.O. area home, according to a 2018 interview with his publicist Karen Beninato. "It's with the deepest of sympathy that we acknowledge the passing of the Legendary Dr John," said his former managers Peter Himberger and Ed Gerrard in a statement. "We managed Mac for 20 years and celebrated his many accomplishments including Grammy's, Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Induction, performance's at the White House, Super Bowl, numerous sessions with some of Rock n Roll elite.... He was one of a kind and like his lyric to his song Big Shot, 'It never was, never gonna be, another big shot like me.'...RIP to the Nite Tripper..." - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock/The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll/Billboard, 6/6/19.

On June 5 The Who announced a new pop-up shop and fan experience in London ahead of their upcoming Tommy orchestral gig at Wembley Stadium on July 6. "The Who @ 52" shop in Soho will offer an exhibition of rare and archive memorabilia, pinball competition on a full-size, retro Tommy pinball machine, new Who merch, and a drawing for a ticket to the show. The temporary space at 52 Brewer Street in London's Soho and will be open between 10am and 6pm on June 14 and 15. The concert will mark the release of its new The Who's Tommy Orchestra CD with a live version of their seminal album performed by a full symphony orchestra. Opening acts include Kaiser Chiefs, Eddie Vedder, Imelda May and Connor Selby. Later in 2019, The Who will embark on a tour of the US. In April, guitarist Pete Townshend announced the band's long-shelved "Lifehouse" project will be made into a graphic novel instead of an ambitious rock novel as originally planned. - New Musical Express, 6/5/19...... Bette MidlerDuring an event-filled Head of State visit with Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family in early June, Pres. Donald Trump found time to chastise one of his most vocal critics, Bette Midler, on Twitter on June 5. "Washed up psycho @BetteMidler was forced to apologize for a statement she attributed to me that turned out to be totally fabricated by her in order to make 'your great president' look really bad. She got caught, just like the Fake News Media gets caught. A sick scammer!," the president snarled on the popular social media outlet. The Trump quote in question was allegedly from a 1998 People magazine interview, in which he (allegedly) said: "If I were to run, I'd run as a Republican. They're the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they'd still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific." Though the quote was found to be fake back in 2015, Midler tweeted an apology on June 3: "I apologize; this quote turns out to be a fake from way back in '15-16. Don't know how I missed it, but it sounds SO much like him that I believed it was true! Fact Check: Did Trump say in '98 Republicans are dumb?" But her apology apparently wasn't good enough for the president, who must have only seen the tweet after a full day spent being booed by thousands of protesters in London. Midler responded to the president's indignant post with a series of her own tweets, and this time there was no apology. "Because there are SO MANY LIES, most of them generated by Trump himself, that the task of separating the truth from the lies is impossible. Which is just how he likes it," the diva posted on June 3. She also fired off a series of tweets mocking his ill-fitting tuxedo, accused him of lying about the size of the protests in London, and even suggested "he slam his dick in a door": "Trump said he was greeted by thousands in the UK, but they were actually thousands of protesters. How does he always hear the opposite of the truth? Donald, if you're reading this you SHOULD NOT slam your dick in a door!" - Splinternews.com, 6/5/19...... Bernie TaupinA new multi-media art exhibit by Elton John's longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin will open at L.A.'s Galerie Michael on June 7. The exhibit will feature 20 unseen, life-size sculptures and artwork made from barbed wire, shattered guitars and various American flags. "This is inspired by things that inspire me," said Taupin, who has been creating visual art since the age of 17 and whose work has previously appeared in museums and exhibits throughout the U.S. Taupin, 69, says his "Bernie Taupin: The Artist, The Raconteur & His Blowtorch" exhibit is a comprehensive overview of his work. "It's certainly one of the largest that I've ever presented. This is very much me in the moment," he noted. Taupin said veterans and family members of veterans who were killed in action donated the flags to him. The flags include images of Captain America and Johnny Cash along with chicken wire. Taupin said using the US flag was an obvious choice, calling it an "iconic" artifact. The British-born songwriter said he is fascinated with the American flag because it is a "thrilling representation of the drama that this country is built upon. The good and the bad." The exhibit runs until June 30. - AP, 6/6/19...... In other Elton-related news, the superstar and his Rocketman doppelgänger Taron Egerton have responded to Russia's decision to censor the film in the country by cutting out around five minutes of the film that involve kissing, sex and oral sex between men in an attempt to downplay the sexuality of one of the world s most famous gay celebrities for a conservative Russian audience. "We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today," the May 31 statement issued by John and movie studio Paramount read. "Paramount Pictures have been brave and bold partners in allowing us to create a film which is a true representation of Elton s extraordinary life, warts and all," the statement continued. Posting on Instagram on May 31, Taron Egerton said he was "crestfallen that the decision was made to censor our movie for the Russian market." "I in no way condone this decision and feel disappointed I wasn't made aware and given the chance to fight this move. Love is love. No compromises," he wrote. Meanwhile, Elton's half-brother Geoff Dwight has slammed the biopic for its portrayal of their mutual father, Stanley Dwight (played by Steven Mackintosh in the movie). Speaking to the DailyMailOnline, Geoff said their father wasn't at all homophobic, as portrayed in the film. "Dad didn't have a homophobic bone in his body. When Elton came out, dad didn't care. He didn't even mention it, because it wasn't important to him," Geoff said. "This coldness is a million miles away from what dad was like. He was a product of a time when men didn't go around hugging each other and showing their feelings every minute of the day, but he had plenty of love in him for all of us," he added. Stanley Dwight died in 1991. Elton -- whose real name is Reginald Dwight -- and Geoff have only spoken once since then. But Dwight denied there was a feud, saying: "There's no ill feeling from me toward Elton, far from it. I love him, but our paths have gone in different directions." - New Musical Express, 6/3/19...... The EaglesThe Eagles announced on June 5 they are adding a third date to their upcoming Hotel California Las Vegas residency at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sept. 27 and 28. The band's final show will now be on Oct. 5, and the three appearances will be the first time the Eagles have played the iconic Grammy-winning 1976 album in its entirety live. The Vegas shows, which will be the Eagles' only North American performances in 2019, will also include an additional set of the band's greatest hits. The Eagles current lineup consists of Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit with recent additions Vince Gill and founding member Glenn Frey's son Deacon Frey. - Billboard, 6/5/19...... Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Joan Jett joined the recently reunited "grrrl group" Bikini Kill at their Brooklyn's Kings Theatre show on June 4 for a rendition of "Rebel Girl." Jett, who collaborated with Bikini Kill on the studio recording of "Rebel Girl" and two other tracks from their 1998 compilation album The Singles, played guitar on the song during the performance. Jett produced the tracks on The Singles as well as playing guitar on them and contributing vocals. - New Musical Express, 6/5/19...... Kool & The Gang have been tapped to receive Philadelphia's Marian Anderson Award during a gala in November. The award, named after the pioneering African-American opera singer, is given in Philly to "critically acclaimed artists who have impacted society in a positive way." Kool & The Gang, who recorded several albums in Philadelphia, said in a statement they're "truly honored" to receive the award and that "Funky Philly" played an integral part in their career. Past winners of the award include Dionne Warwick, Jon Bon Jovi, Maya Angelou and Quincy Jones. Kool & The Gang's previous honors include two Grammy Awards and seven American Music Awards. - AP, 6/5/19...... Bob DylanBob Dylan will release The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Performances, featuring five concerts from his legendary '75 tour, on June 7. The set contains a wealth of music over 14 discs, with a whopping 148 tracks, 113 previously unreleased, recorded during the wildly unorthodox tour, which was less a traditional tour than a rambling, ragtag caravan featuring at various times Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Roger McGuinn and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, among others. With its release, every official recording from the 1975 leg of the tour finally out to the public, with some of the performances previously released on the 1976 live album Hard Rain, then on 2002's double-disc The Bootleg Series Vol. 5: Bob Dylan Live 1975. The Rolling Thunder Revue tour is also featured in an upcoming Martin Scorsese documentary, and the trailer for the film was released on June 3. "The tour was a catastrophe," Dylan explains in the clip, which features interviews with the legend and other members of the tour. "It wasn't a success. Not if you measure success in terms of profit. We didn't have enough masks on that tour," he continued, as scenes of the circus-themed tour flashed on the screen. "Life isn't about finding yourself or finding anything, life is about creating yourself." The documentary is out June 12. Meanwhile on May 10, the Bob Dylan Archive Collection in Tulsa, Okla., opened a new Dylan exhibit that showcases 12 pastel portraits painted by the musician. "Bob Dylan: Face Value and Beyond" will run through Sept. 15 at the museum, which has more than 100,000 items from Dylan's 60-year career. - Billboard, 6/5/19...... The Rolling Stones have announced an eclectic lineup of opening artists on their forthcoming 2019 No Filter tour of North America. The recently rescheduled tour will kick off with openers St. Paul & The Broken Bones in Chicago on June 21 and wrap on Aug. 31 in Miami with Juanes. The Glorious Sons and The Beaches will playing the only Canadian date, in Ontario on June 29, to celebrate Canada Day Weekend. Other openers on the 17-date tour include Guy Clark Jr., The Revivalists, Bishop Gunn, The Wombats, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Vista Kicks and KALEO. Meanwhile, birthday tributes to Charlie Watts poured in on June 2 when the Stones drummer turned 78. Mick Jagger wrote: "Happy birthday dearest Charlie, love Mick, as well as sharing a vintage picture of the pair, with Ronnie Wood tweeting "Happy Birthday Charlie," and sharing a more recent pic of them together. Watts is a member of the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame and was ranked number 12 on Rolling Stone's 2016 "100 Greatest Drummers of All Time" list. - Billboard/NME, 6/5/19...... Roky EricksonRoky Erickson, the hugely influential former lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter for the '60s psychedelic band The 13th Floor Elevators, died on May 31 in Austin, Tex. He was 71. Born in Austin on July 15, 1947, Erickson first rose to regional prominence as a member of Austin-based band The Spades, with whom he recorded an early version of "You're Gonna Miss Me" -- the song that eventually became the Elevators' debut single. Released in 1966, the latter version reached No. 55 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was seen as seminal in the development of psychedelic and garage rock. That same year, the group performed the single on an episode of Dick Clark's American Bandstand in front of a cluster of cardboard palm trees. Despite that early (albeit minor) chart success, The 13th Floor Elevators' forward-looking brand of rock (they are widely considered the first truly psychedelic band) never gained a foothold in the mainstream. Nonetheless, the group -- whose core lineup consisted of electric jug player Tommy Hall and lead guitarist Stacy Sutherland -- went on to develop a rabid cult following with their unique, reverb-drenched sound, which centered around Erickson's impassioned vocals and surreal lyrics. The band dissolved following the release of their last studio album Bull of the Woods thanks in part to Erickson's increasing volatility brought on by his drug use and bouts of schizophrenia, and the singer would cycle in and out of psychiatric hospitals for the remainder of his life. Erickson's struggles with mental illness would eventually be chronicled in the Independent Spirit Award-nominated documentary You're Gonna Miss Me in 2007. Following the news of Erickson's death, those he inspired have been coming out to pay tribute. "It's almost unfathomable to contemplate a world without Roky Erickson," ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons said in a statement. "He created his own musical galaxy and early on was a true inspiration." "His musical legacy speaks for itself," added Erickson's agent Dave Kaplan. "He's an incredibly influential artists and 'You're Gonna Miss Me' is one of the 10 or 20 greatest rock and roll songs of all time." - Billboard, 5/31/19...... John Gary Williams, the lead singer for the R&B vocal group The Mad Lads who sung "I Want Someone" and "Don't Have to Shop Around," died at his home in Memphis in late May. He was 73. Williams formed The Mad Lads with William Brown, Julius Green and Robert Phillips in Memphis and recorded on Stax Record's Volt label. With Williams' high tenor voice and the group's soft soul harmonies, The Mad Lads had several songs on the Billboard R&B chart in the 1960s, including "I Want a Girl" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix." In the middle of his recording career, Williams was drafted into military service and served in the Vietnam War. He also recorded as a solo artist in the 1970s. - AP, 5/30/19.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

The Who wrapped the first leg of its ambitious Moving On tour in Pittsburgh on May 30 before it heads to England for a July 6 show at London's Wembley Stadium. On the tour, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and company have been delving into some of the most iconic rock opera tracks of all time as they're backed by an orchestra, opening the show with the first five tracks from Tommy before diving into a frenzied "Pinball Wizard" and "We're Not Gonna Take It." During the show, the orchestra is onstage for an hour and 40 minutes before The Who take over for 25 minutes or so for band-only runs through hits and deep tracks, such as "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Tea & Theatre." The orchestra then returns for the final Quadrophenia set, ending with an explosive "Baba O'Riley." "We've had glitches every night," says orchestra conductor Keith Levenson. "But it's The Who. It's a dangerous band. It's not like we're doing Rod Stewart Sings the American Songbook, where you play one note all night and you're not playing with one of the greatest drummers in the world [Zak Starkey]." The Who will return to America for a second leg of the tour this summer. - Billboard, 5/30/19...... SantanaCarlos Santana has shared a new video for "Candombe Cumbele," the closing track from his new studio album Africa Speaks. "Candombe Cumbele" is, according to the Grammy-winning guitarist and bandleader, "the basket that will hold the things that I want to do in the future." "It's a Budu ritual," Santana explains. "When you hear this, the closest thing we've had is on Christmas Eve, when you have the Pope going 'the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, Nabisco, Fig Newson, Amen.' You're drinking the blood of Christ, right, to account for the sins of mankind. That's a ritual; I don't care what people call it -- anything that has to do with blood and sacrifice is a ritual, whether it's Catholic or Haiti or Africa or American Indian or whatever. A ritual is a ritual, and 'Cumbele' is ground zero. Santana says Africa Speaks was culled from 200 tracks he'd accumulated for the project; 49 were recorded from which the 11 were chosen (13 for a Target exclusive edition). "Sometimes we were recording, like seven songs a day, one right after the other," Santana says. Santana will be playing some Africa Speaks material during his summer Supernatural Tour, which kicks off June 22 in Phoenix, celebrating not only the 20th anniversary of his Grammy Award-winning Supernatural album but also the 50th anniversary of his band's recording career. An Africa Speaks tour, he says, will take place during 2020, playing in theaters. He's also booked to play on the original Woodstock festival anniversary weekend at both the Bethel Arts Center (Aug. 17) on the original site and at the embattled Woodstock 50 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. Africa Speaks hits stores on June 7. - Billboard, 5/30/19...... A monthlong "Unfiltered" exhibit of photos of Keith Richards and some of rock's other legendary acts opened on May 23 at West Hollywood's Sunset Marquis Hotel. Photographer Timothy White says that Richards "was just easy" to work with. "Here I am with this like rock idol god, you know?" White says. "And he was unpretentious. Shows up by himself, met him in a bar, had a drink, played a little pool, went for a walk, just started taking pictures on the street. Like, who does that, you know?" White's photos from that day's session -- during which Richards was notably mobbed by a swarm of fans and police officers -- were just a few of many represented at the exhibition, whose opening gala drew the likes of Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons. Other photos taken by such legendary rock photographers as Bob Gruen, Lynn Goldsmith, Norman Seeff, Gered Mankowitz and Michael Joseph are also on display. The exhibition runs from May 24 to June 22, with concurrent showings at the gallery's New York and Maui outposts. - Billboard, 5/28/19...... A full tape of the Beatles' only performance on the long-running UK show Top of the Pops has been found in an attic. The Fab Four appeared on the show in June 1966, weeks before their last-ever gig at San Francisco's Candlestick Park. Fab Four fan David Chandler used a wind-up camera to record the band's performance of "'Paperback Writer" when it aired and says he was compelled to try and find it after hearing about the discovery of a short 11-second clip of the appearance in Mexico in April. The footage lasts for 92 seconds and has been donated to Kaleidoscope, a UK organization which specializes in locating missing TV footage. Chandler's footage had no sound and slowed down where the camera was wound up but has now been remastered by Kaleidoscope. The company's CEO called the footage "phenomenal," and says it be shown in Birmingham on June 1 at Birmingham City University. Other performances from Top Of The Pops will also be screened, including ones by The Troggs, The Hollies and Small Faces. - New Musical Express, 5/30/19...... Mike LoveThe Beach Boys co-founder Mike Love released a cover of the Ramones' classic "Rockaway Beach" on May 30. "It felt so natural to sing it," says Love, who turned 78 in March. "It fits beautifully in the Beach Boys surfing song genre. Not only is it a great song, it's also right in my vocal range. It's almost as if it was designed for me to sing, and that's why I am so eager to play it live." The current Beach Boys lineup (which includes Love and long-time Beach Boy Bruce Johnston) will feature "Rockaway Beach" in their live act this summer. Love's version of "Rockaway Beach" will also feature on his upcoming solo album 12 Sides of Summer, which drops on July 19. It also features covers of "Summertime Blues" and "California Sun," along with re-boots of BB classics "Surfin' Safari" and "Surfin'." Legendary rock producer Ed Stasium, who produced the Ramones original version of "Rockaway Beach" (and added both guitar and harmony vocals to the track), says the Beach Boys were never far from the Ramones' mind. "Every one of the Ramones expressed their admiration for The Beach Boys on numerous occasions," notes Stasium, who produced five albums for the Ramones between 1977 and 1984. "When we recorded 'Sheena Is A Punk Rocker' in the spring of '77, Johnny [Ramone] asked specifically if I could play a guitar bit that would reflect the 'plonky' guitar on the Beach Boys' 'Little Honda'." - Billboard, 5/30/19...... In related news, recently deceased surf guitar great Dick Dale was remembered with a California beach memorial on May 26 when a crowd gathered at the Huntington Beach Pier to remember Dale, who died in April at age 81. A group of surfers then took to the water for a "paddle-out," the traditional ceremony held for fellow surfers when they die. Dale was famous for his pounding, blaringly loud power-chord instrumentals in the 1960s on songs like "Miserlou" and "Let's Go Trippin." - AP, 5/27/19...... Bruce Springsteen confirmed on May 28 that he and his E Street Band will head back into the studio later in 2019 before hitting the road again in 2020. Speaking to Italian news site Repubblica, he explained: "I'll record with the E Street Band in the autumn, and when we are done, we'll go on tour [next year]." It comes after Springsteen teased the record in an interview with Martin Scorsese to promote the new documentary Springsteen on Broadway. "About a month or so ago, I wrote almost an album's worth of material for the band...There'll be another tour!" The Boss explained. Springsteen is gearing up to released his latest solo LP, Western Stars, on June 14. On May 30, Springsteen unveiled "Tuscon Train," the third preview track from Western Stars. Accompanied by a string and horn section and a train track beat, the mid-tempo love song about waiting for a lover to arrive mixes anxiety, anticipation and regret in a lush Wall of Sound-style arrangement. The black-and-white performance video was directed by acclaimed collaborator Thom Zinny, who also worked on Springsteen on Broadway. - NME, 5/28/19...... Tom Petty's widow Dana Petty filed new appeals in Los Angeles County court on May 29 and 30 against her daughters Adria and Annakim Petty in the family's escalating battle over the late rocker's trust. In two separate petitions, Dana asks the court to deny a previous petition filed by Adria demanding that Dana immediately fund Petty Unlimited, an LLC set up to receive assets (a.k.a. "artistic property") from Petty's trust. Instead, Dana wants to fund and execute an operating agreement for Tom Petty Legacy, a separate LLC that she established on her own. In Adria's petition filed in April, she accused Dana of withholding Petty's assets from Petty Unlimited in order to keep her and Annakim from "participat[ing] equally" in the management of those assets, as stipulated in the trust. Dana's new petitions dispute that characterization, instead claiming that as "sole successor trustee" of Petty's trust, she is "exclusively authorized" to form any entity of her choosing to be the beneficiary of Petty's assets so long as all three women are given equal participation in its management. The attorney for the daughters, Alex Weingarten, says that "Dana and her lawyer are basing their case on smoke and mirrors. Every claim they make is demonstrably false. Adria and Annakim are laser focused on one thing -- honoring and protecting their father's legacy and enforcing the terms of his trust, as written." Petty died of an accidental drug overdose on October 2, 2017, at the age of 66. - Billboard, 5/30/19...... Prince's former bodyguard Kirk Johnson was deposed for seven hours on on May 29 in Minneapolis as part of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by relatives of the late rock star. His attorney told reporters that the deposition for his client, who considered Prince a good friend, "was traumatic event for my client." "He feels very sad over the loss of a good friend of his. To have to come back and go through this and re-litigate this whole matter has been very difficult," the attorney siad. The lawsuit names Dr. Michael Schulenberg as a defendant. Authorities say Schulenberg admitted prescribing oxycodone, a different opioid, to Johnson in the days before Prince died, knowing the drug would go to Prince. Schulenberg has disputed that, although he paid $30,000 to settle a federal civil violation alleging the drug was prescribed illegally. Schulenberg's attorney has said his client stands behind the care Prince received. - AP, 5/30/19...... Iggy Pop has announced he's prepping a career retrospective book entitled 'Til Wrong Feels Right that will highlight lyrics from more than 100 of his songs along with photos, memorabilia and previously unseen notes from the punk godfather. Billed as offering Pop's insight into his creative world-with the complete lyrics for 100 songs brought to life by full-color photos, his own memorabilia, never-before-seen notes, short essays by Iggy, and commentary from other music legends-from T. Rex's Mark Bolan to Blondie's Debbie Harry," the 288-page book is due out on Oct. 1 from Penguin Random House. Meanwhile, Iggy fans can see the rocker in cult director Jim Marmusch's new zombie comedy The Dead Don't Die, which also stars Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Adam Driver, Selena Gomez, Danny Glover and Steve Buscemi and hits theaters on June 14. - Billboard, 5/30/19...... Debbie HarryIn related news, Blondie's Debbie Harry will release her memoir, Face It, on Oct. 1 via Dey Street Books. In a statement, the New Wave legend said she originally didn't want to write the book, but took on the project anyway. In the book, Harry writes about her years in 1970s New York and her rise with Blondie and shares stories about everyone from fellow New York bands Talking Heads and the Ramones to encounters with Rita Hayworth and David Bowie. Harry said parts of her life were funny and warm and others chilling "to the bone." She says writing the book led to her discovery that she had led "a very full life." Her memoir is also expected to provide new details about her claims that she narrowly escaped the deadly clutches of infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. Harry has previously spoken of the time she once hitched a ride from a handsome stranger in New York City the early 1970s, not realizing she was within a hair of an untimely trip to the morgue, but was able to bail herself out of the car after realizing she'd made a big mistake. - AP, 5/29/19...... As his Farewell Yellow Brick Road world tour hit Verona, Italy on May 29, Elton John took time out to weigh in with reporters on the UK's controversual Brexit issue. "I'm sick to death of politicians, especially British politicians. I am sick to death of Brexit. I am a European. I am not a stupid, colonial, imperialist, English idiot," Elton said. John has previously spoken out on Brext, telling The Guardian in 2018 that "I don't think people in Britain were told the truth to start with They were promised something that was completely ridiculous and wasn't economically viable. [Brexit was like] walking through Hampton Court maze blindfolded, being turned around 16 times and trying to find your way out." Meanwhile, Elton has revealed that he found his new biopic Rocketman, which premiered in the US on May 31, "difficult" to watch as it delves into the darker moments of his life. "This is how my life was, and I didn't want to cover it and gloss it over. And it's difficult to watch because I thought, 'God, I don't want to go back there. Thank God I came out of it'," he said. Meanwhile, the son of record mogul Dick James, who is portrayed in Rocketman as a foul-mouthed cockney in the movie, is hitting out at the film's depiction of his dad. Stephen James insists that his late father "just wasn't like that." He instead claims that he had been "like a surrogate father" to the singer and says he and his dad "only ever tried to do the best for him and to promote his career." "They basically depict my father in the film completely opposite to the way he was in real life. It's rather upset me because my father was a nice guy. Elton's own father had run off and wasn't around. He treated my father at the time as very much a father figure, and my father treated Elton very much as if he was a son." Describing how his father had been reduced to "stereotypes," he added: "They have turned him into this stereotype with a big fat cigar, swearing every other word." Elton initially fell out with Stephen and Dick in 1985 after a High Court battle over royalties. Dick died of a heart attack only three months after the legal dispute came to an end. In other Rocketman news, it has been revealed that Justin Timberlake was once in the running to play Elton in the movie, a role that eventually went to Taron Egerton. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, John's husband and Rocketman producer David Furnish said Timberlake, who had previously portrayed John in the music video for "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore" in 2001, was the first person the star thought of when first beginning work on the movie, "but we never formally approached Justin because we weren't ever at a stage where it was the right time to approach him." - New Musical Express, 5/31/19...... In a new interview with the music publication Kerrang!, Ozzy Osbourne revealed that he wishes Black Sabbath could have finished their recent farewell tour with co-founding Sabbath drummer Bill Ward. The sticksman was due to go on tour with Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, and bassist Geezer Butler, when they announced a final reunion tour in 2011. But at the time Ward cited an "unsignable" contract, and parted ways with the iconic metal band. They wrapped up their final two hometown gigs in Birmingham, in 2017. "[stand in drummer] Tommy [Clufetos] did great, but the four of us started this, and it should have been the four of us ending it," Osbourne said. "Those final gigs in Birmingham were bittersweet because you think of how far we came, and how much we did, and it would have been good to have shared that together. Maybe one day there'll be one last gig, I don't know." Ozzy recently announced a rescheduled run of shows for 2020, after serious illness forced him to postpone his farewell tour. - New Musical Express, 5/27/19...... In other Heavy Metal news, Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford became irritated at a fan who was filming him with a mobile phone during a Priest concert in Rosemont, Ill. on May 25, and kicked the phone out of the fan's hand mid-concert. The band was performing the song "Judas Rising," when suddenly, Halford sends a front-row fan's phone flying with a swift and powerful kick. - NME, 5/31/19...... Sammy Hagar has released "Affirmation," the third video from his first studio set from his current band, the Circle. Hagar will be releasing Space Between: The Affirmation, an album-length short film later in 2019. "The reason I like this movie is it gives the album more legs. It's not just a record, and when you see this movie you're gonna go back and listen to the record and go 'Oh!' It elevates your listening and viewing experience." Hagar released his new CD with the Circle, Space Between, on May 10. - Billboard, 5/28/19...... Robert PlantRobert Plant has announced he'll be launching a new career retrospictive podcast, Digging Deep, on June 3. "I'm going to be picking out some songs from here and there along the way, mixing constant shifts in sound and in tension," the former Led Zeppelin singer explained. In a one-minute teaser for the new podcast, Plant describes going back and listening to some of the songs he's recorded during his five-decade career and marveling at them, finding the players in the room to be, "out of sight... they found me to be something that they hadn't been used to dealing with." The podcast promises to uncover the "moments, people and places that have inspired some of his most treasured music." Plant has not announced how many episodes the podcast will run. The podcast announcement comes on the heels of news in May that a Led Zeppelin "in their own words" documentary with new interviews from Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones and directed by Bernard MacMahon (American Epic) is in the works. Plant is on the road this summer playing a series of festival dates and amphitheater shows in support of his 2017 Carry Fire album. - Billboard, 5/28/19...... HBO has won the first round of a lawsuit brought by Michael Jackson's estate over the recent controversial Leaving Neverland documentary. Ahead of its premiere in March 2019, Jackson's estate sued the HBO network while protesting the late star's innocence. Claiming that his accusers are seeking financial gain, the complaint to Los Angeles Superior Court read: "Michael is an easy target because he is not here to defend himself, and the law does not protect the deceased from defamation, no matter how extreme the lies are." Following a recent hearing, a federal judge has rejected a motion from Jackson's estate to throw the case to an arbitrator, and it will remain open in court. The estate alleges that Leaving Neverland constitutes a breach of a non-disparagement clause in an agreement that is 27 years old. It's said that the deal provided the network with rights to air a Michael Jackson live show around the time of his 1991 album, Dangerous. HBO has claimed that the decades-old deal had expired, and therefore does not cover the Leaving Neverland film. The broadcasters hit out at legal action set in motion by Jackson's estate, claiming it was a "transparent effort to bolster their publicity campaign against the documentary." - NME, 5/29/19...... Fans of the 1977 sci-fi classic Star Wars will be able to attend a music festival later this year in the desert where the iconic movies were filmed. Les Dunes Electroniques was founded in 2014 but has not been held for the last three years. In September, it will return with 30 hours of "uninterrupted music" from a line-up of Tunisian, French, and international electronic artists. Although the line-up is yet to be confirmed, tickets are on sale now for the festival which will run from Sept. 21-22. - NME, 5/29/19...... Neil Young defied a strict 10:00 p.m. curfew put in place by California's BottleRock Napa Valley Festival on May 25 when he finished his set with his iconic "Rockin' In The Free World," even if it meant finishing off with an acoustic flourish. Videos posted on YouTube show the 'Heart of Gold' singer and his band continuing to play after the plug has been pulled, much to the delight of the huge crowd in attendance. The California festival is known for its strict curfew, with Foo Fighters previously getting the plugged pulled after they dared to defy the rule at the very same event. - NME, 5/29/19...... Country/pop crossover icon Kenny Rogers has been admitted to a Georgia hospital for dehydration, according to his official Twitter account. A statement posted on May 31 said the singer would remain there for physical therapy to "get his strength back" before being discharged. The statement said the 80-year-old Rogers appreciated the well wishes from fans and wanted to assure everyone that "he plans on sticking around through the years to come." Rogers retired from touring in 2017 after a 60-year career spanning jazz, folk, country and pop, with hits like "The Gambler," "Lucille" and "Lady." - AP, 5/31/19...... Elvis Presley's ex-wife Priscilla Presley has sold her L.A. mansion for $3.8 million after she put it on the market to bail out her debt-riddled, drug-challenged daughter Lisa Marie Presley. The sale of the Brentwood area home brought in a huge cash windfall for the daughter who was in a legal battle with her divorce and financial woes. Lisa Marie has claimed that her business manager squandered her famous father's $100 million fortune and she was left virtually penniless in the process. Her mother, who never lived in the 1950s style ranch home, put the mansion on the market for $3.6 million but earned a whopping $200,000 more in the final deal, according to Variety. Priscilla purchased the home for $170,000 in 1976, three years after she divorced Elvis. - Canoe.com, 5/30/19...... Leon RedboneLegendary Tin Pan Alley/jazz interpreter Leon Redbone died on May 30 of undisclosed causes, his family has confirmed. He was 69. "It is with heavy hearts we announce that early this morning, May 30th 2019, Leon Redbone crossed the delta for that beautiful shore at the age of 127," read the statement, which channeled the same whimisical air that Redbone portrayed in his jester musical persona. "He departed our world with his guitar, his trusty companion Rover, and a simple tip of his hat," the statement continued. Over the course of more than a dozen albums, Redbone took a deep dive into his love of all things jazz, country, ragtime, blues and vaudeville, reaching back to a bygone era of the 1920s and '30s through his natty onstage attire -- which invariably included his ever-present white Panama hat, matching suit and dark shades -- on songs such as the whistle-assisted, taking-its-time jazz ramble "Lazybones" from his 1975 debut, On the Track. Despite seeming perpetually out of time, Redbone's singular style shone through even in the midst of the heady rock of the mid 1970s, with two guest musical appearances in the debut 1975-76 season of Saturday Night Live (and again in 1977 and 1983) as well as multiple The Tonight Show spots. His final studio album of new material was 2014's Flying By on his own August Records imprint, with fan Jack White re-releasing Redbone's 1975 Warner Bros. debut album and the pre-fame collections of unheard tracks Long Way From Home in 2016. "I don't do anything mysterious on purpose," Redbone once said about why he nevery directly answered questions about his age, origin or family background. "I'm less than forthcoming, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm mysterious. It just means I'm not inclined to go there." - Billboard, 5/30/19...... Legendary Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr died on May 26 at the age of 85, the team announced. The Packers announced Starr, a catalyst of Vince Lombardi's powerhouse NFL teams of the 1960s, died in Birmingham, Ala., citing his family. "We are saddened to note the passing of our husband, father, grandfather and friend, Bart Starr," family members said in a statement. Starr "battled with courage and determination" after a serious stroke in September 2014, but "his most recent illness was too much to overcome," family members said. The Packers selected Starr out of the University of Alabama with the 200th pick in the 1956 draft. He led the team to six division titles, five NFL championships and wins in the first two Super Bowls. Until Brett Favre came along, Starr was known as the best Packer ever. The team retired his No. 15 jersey in 1973, making him just the third player to receive that honor. Four years later, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. In 1965, Starr and his wife, Cherry, helped co-found Rawhide Boys Ranch in New London, Wisconsin, a facility designed to help at-risk and troubled boys throughout the state. The couple dealt with tragedy in 1988 when their son Brett died at 24 due to complications from cocaine addiction. They also had another son, Bart Jr. - Fox News, 5/26/19.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Elton John has written an article for the UK paper The Guardian about his new biopic, Rocketman in which he reveals he fought hard for the film's R-rating. "Some studios wanted to tone down the sex and drugs so the film would get a PG-13 rating. But I just haven't led a PG-13 rated life," Elton wrote. "I didn't want a film packed with drugs and sex, but equally, everyone knows I had quite a lot of both during the 70s and 80s, so there didn't seem to be much point in making a movie that implied that after every gig, I'd quietly gone back to my hotel room with only a glass of warm milk and the Gideon's Bible for company." John also writes that some movie studios had wanted a more traditional biopic instead of Rocketman's more surreal elements, "but that was missing the point." "Like I said, I lived in my own head a lot as a kid. And when my career took off, it took off in such a way that it almost didn't seem real to me. I wasn't an overnight success by any means -- I'd been slogging around the clubs, making records, writing songs with [songwriting partner] Bernie [Taupin] and trying to sell them to people who weren't interested for four or five years before anything big happened. But when it happened, it went off like a missile: there's a moment in Rocketman when I'm playing onstage in the Troubadour club in LA and everything in the room starts levitating, me included, and honestly, that's what it felt like." Meanwhile in a new interview on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 show on Apple Music, the singer explained why Taron Egerton was the ideal candidate to play him in the movie. "I'd heard him sing 'I'm Still Standing' on the Sing soundtrack," Elton said. "I knew he could sing and I definitely wanted in this movie people to know that it wasn't me singing. I didn't want lip syncing. So he was given the brief of 'you're going to sing everything'. My songs aren't easy to sing. I know because loads of musicians have told me that they're hard to sing." Explaining that he stayed away from the recording sessions for the soundtrack, John said Egerton's work "blew his mind" when he heard the results. "What he's done is quite extraordinary because he sounds like me, but he also sounds like Taron," he said. "And that's down to Giles [Martin, producer] giving him the confidence in the studio as well. As well as featuring Egerton singing some of John's classic tracks, the Rocketman soundtrack also boasts a brand new song performed by the actor and the musician. '(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again' was written by Taupin and plays out over the film's credits. Rocketman opens in theaters in the US on May 31. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 5/26/19...... Ian GillanShortly before accepting an International Achievement Award at the 2019 Ivors Awards in the UK on May 24, Deep Purple's Ian Gillan told reporters that younger artists should not have heroes and make a space of their own. "When I was in my formative years, I rejected Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Andy Williams and Dean Martin," Gillan said. "I now realise they were all great artists but at the time as a young man, you have to clear the decks. There's this sort of psychological vandalism that takes place for yourself." Gillan added: "The only advice I can give is to absorb as much as you can from as wide a spectrum as you can. If you're in a rock band and only soak up Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple kind of beginnings then you're not going to have much leeway. We soaked up everything from Beethoven to Chopin to Jimi Hendrix to Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan." Deep Purple will kick off a lengthy US tour this fall in September. - New Musical Express, 5/24/19...... The 100th birthday of folk legend Pete Seeger was honored on May 23 during the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater benefit concert in Albany, N.Y. The Pete Seeger Centennial Concert at The Egg, the performing arts center in Albany, was one of several international events honoring Seeger, but few were as intimate as the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater benefit with such Seeger muses as Arlo Guthrie, Dar Williams, Dan Zanes and Guy Davis sharing songs and memories of the man they knew and loved deeply. "What a night," said Guthrie, who led the evening's bill. "I don't do a lot of tribute things. But this is one I could not say no to." Arlo's father, Woody Guthrie, was Seeger's longtime friend, and Arlo toured with Seeger for some four decades. "He brought humanity together with his actions, not just as a performer but as a human being," Guthrie said after Seeger's death in 2014. The concert was a benefit for the Hudson River sloop Clearwater, a 106-foot-long wooden replica of a Dutch sailing vessel, which Seeger launched 50 years ago on May 17, 1969. The most-enduring activist organization with its roots in music, the Clearwater is widely recognized for its role in the decades-long cleanup of the Hudson River, for its advocacy of environmental and social justice campaigns and for its education programs to train a new generation of environmental activists. For the show's finale, Guthrie was joined by all the artists for "This Land Is Your Land," which his father had written but Seeger had popularized. - Billboard, 5/25/19...... The Rolling Stones have given The Verve leader Richard Ashcroft back the royalties and profits from The Verve's 1997 single "Bitter Sweet Symphony." The song sampled a four-second segment of Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham's orchestral recording for the Stones' "The Last Time," and the only deal Ashcroft could reach that allowed him to keep Urban Hymns, the album the song featured on, on shelves was to sign away all of his rights and royalties to the track. "It gives me great pleasure to announce as of last month Mick Jagger and Keith Richards agreed to give me their share of the song 'Bitter Sweet Symphony'," Ashcroft said in a statement after receiving an Outstanding Contribution to British Music award at the Ivor Awards on May 23. "This remarkable and life-affirming turn of events was made possible by a kind and magnanimous gesture from Mick [Jagger] and Keith [Richards], who have also agreed that they are happy for the writing credit to exclude their names and all their royalties derived from the song they will now pass to me." The news follows Ashcroft filing a lawsuit in 2018 in the hopes of reclaiming some of the royalties from "Bitter Sweet Symphony." "Someone stole god knows how many million dollars off me in 1997, and they've still got it," he said at the time. "In terms, in normal basic terms, I don't care where you come from, that's a serious matter. The Verve split up in 1999, but later reformed from 2007-2009, including a headline set at Glastonbury. - NME, 5/23/19...... The estate of Michael Jackson and Jackson's former manager Tohme Tohme have settled a long-running dispute mid-trial over whether Tohme was owed commission from as far back as 2008. Tohme had sued the estate in 2012, claiming he was owed a 15 percent commission on money Jackson made during the last year of his life, a cut of the Jackson movie This Is It's revenues and a finder's fee for a loan that stopped Neverland Ranch from going into foreclosure. The estate had argued Tohme was terminated before Jackson's death and that he breached his fiduciary duty, among other claims. The trial began May 14, but ended after just five days in court when the two parties announced they had reached a confidential settlement. - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/24/19...... Eddie LevertEddie Levert of The O'Jays has reflected on the sudden chart success of The O'Jay's' 1972 chart-topping smash "Love Train" in a new podcast with Billboard. Levert said what he remembers most about the song was how it was created right in the studio. "When it came out, it just shot up the Billboard charts," he recalls, noting that it felt surreal because the thing he had always dreamt of was happening. His fellow O'Jays member Walter Williams added that the band had to "hustle to catch up with it," when it came to things such as their live shows and their uniforms. "It really went to the top, and we were not ready," he explains. "You have to get ready for it being at the top of the charts, because it puts you in places that you were never gonna be without that No. 1." The O'Jays released their latest studio album, The Last Word, on Apr. 19.- Billboard, 5/24/19...... Preston Epps, a renowned percussionist whose 1959 instrumental hit "Bongo Rock" helped introduce bongos and conga drums to mainstream pop, has died. He was 88. Born on July 19, 1930, in Mangum, Okla., Mr. Epps attended grade school in Tulsa and moved as a teenager to Oakland, where he attended junior high and high school. He served in the Air Force in Okinawa during the Korean War. He became fascinated with the drums in the early '50s when he visited a San Francisco jazz spot called Bop City. He started as a percussionist but took to the bongos after he saw an African group perform in the City of Hope and they gave him his first drum. Mr. Epps was the main percussionist on "Earth Angel," first recorded by The Penguins in 1954. Mr. Epps followed "Bongo Rock" with other tunes like "Bongo Bongo Bongo," "Bongo in the Congo," "Bongo Rocket" and "Bongo Boogie." He also toured and performed with such artists as Ray Charles, Jackie Wilson, Little Richard, Johnny Otis, Sam Cooke, Jewel Akens and Clifton Eddie, and appeared as a headliner in Las Vegas. Mr. Epps also helped to establish and manage the West Hollywood nightclub Pandora's Box, where he discovered Lou Rawls. Mr. Epps performed until he was 85, with his final gig coming in 2014 at the Tiki Oasis in San Diego before more than 3,000 people. - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/21/19.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Producer Brian Eno, who once released an album titled Before and After Science, is being recognized for his contribtions to science. The legendary producer, who has helmed hit albums for such artists as David Bowie and U2, is scheduled to receive the Stephen Hawking Medal at the 2019 Starmus science and music festival in Switzerland for his contributions to "science communication." Previous recipients include composers Jean-Michel Jarre and Hans Zimmer, and astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson. The Starmus V event will be held in Zurich, Switzerland from June 24 to 29. Business magnate, investor, and engineer Elon Musk will also be honored. - Billboard/Pitchfork.com, 5/22/19...... Billy Gibbons"Sharp Dressed Man," a musical based on the music of the Texas trio ZZ Top, will open in Las Vegas in 2020, it was announced on May 21. Executive produced by ZZ Top -- vocalist/guitarist Billy Gibbons, vocalist/bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard -- "Sharp Dressed Man" is described as a a rock musical with a wicked sense of humor and a heart as big as Texas" about "a Lone Star auto mechanic who becomes a modern-day Robin Hood, stealing hearts -- and car parts -- with the help of his merry band of beer drinkers and hell raisers." Iconic ZZ Top songs including "Legs," "La Grange," "Gimme All Your Lovin'" and "Cheap Sunglasses" will all be featured. "We're excited about this fantastic project and look forward to hearing our music in a new innovative context," said Billy Gibbons said in a statement. "Fans have often told us that we've provided the soundtrack to their lives, and this is very much in line with that kind of enthusiastic thinking." Robert Cary and Jonathan Tolins, who wrote the teleplays for Fox TV's Grease Live! and A Christmas Story Live!, have been tapped to write the musical. - Billboard, 5/21/19...... The Woodstock 50 festival is appealing part of a ruling earlier in May when Japanese financier Dentsu withdrew from the festival in late April and withdrew $18 million from the event's banking account. On May 15, Justice Barry Ostrager ruled Dentsu did not have the right to cancel Woodstock 50, but also decided he would not force Dentsu to return the remainder of the $49 million investment to festival founder Michael Lang and his partner Greg Peck so they could continue to produce the show. Lang responded with a lawsuit and, after a two-day hearing, Ostrager ruled a clause in the contract that allowed Dentsu to take control of the festival did not include the right to cancel it. But the judge stopped short of demanding Dentsu return any money it had previously promised to invest. Woodstock 50 attorney Marc Kasowitz's appeal seeks "a preliminary injunction in aid of arbitration requiring (Dentsu) to return $18 million withdrawn from a dedicated festival account and allowing Petitioner to use those funds for appropriate expenses." - Billboard, 5/22/19...... A trailer for the new Leonard Cohen documentary Marianne & Leonard: Words Of Love was released online on May 22. The documentary explores Cohen's relationship with his muse, Marianne Ihlen, who inspired songs like "So Long, Marianne." It documents the pair's initial meeting on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960 and their life in a bohemian community. The trailer also features an excerpt from a letter Cohen wrote to Ihlen just before her death, in which he said: "Dearest Marianne, I'm just a little behind you -- close enough to take your hand." Marianne & Leonard: Words Of Love, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier in 2019, features unseen footage by legendary rock documentarian D.A. Pennebaker and arrives in US cinemas on July 5. - New Musical Express, 5/22/19...... The official Jerry Lee Lewis Facebook page posted on May 21 that the iconic rock 'n' roll pioneer has been forced to cancel a show at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center set for July 1 as he recovers from a stroke he suffered in late February. "Although Jerry Lee is progressing miraculously in his recovery following the recent stroke, he doesn't feel his performing is yet back to the level that his fans deserve," the post says. In the meantime, Jerry Lee is continuing his rehabilitation and his team expects a full recovery, as well as a return show in Nashville in the very near future." Lewis, 83, suffered what was described as a minor stroke Feb. 28 in Memphis. A statement was later issued saying he would make "a full recovery." - Billboard, 5/21/19...... Dolly Parton, who turned 73 years old in January, took time to wish her friend Cher, who turned the same age on May 20, a happy birthday. "Hi Cher, It's Dolly. Happy birthday to you. We're the same age now," the country icon said in a video uploaded to social media. "Well, I might be a minute or two older than you but what's a minute or two among friends and old bags like us?" Parton continued: "I just want you to know I'm proud of you. I think you're great. I hope you'll be around for 100 more years to hang out with me, if nothing else... Heres to more years of singin', sequins, and swappin' secrets!" - Billboard, 5/20/19...... After legendary Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin passed away in August 2018 it was widely reported that the singer left no will. Now, her neice Sabrina Owens has found her aunt's will wedged under sofa cushions and filed them in court on May 20. "Two handwritten wills from 2010 have been found in a locked cabinet, and another dated 2014 was found in a notebook underneath some couch cushions," the brief states. The validity of the documents will be examined at a hearing set for June 12. A breakdown of the wills by The Detroit Free Press shows that Franklin's 2014 document requests that her son Kecalf Franklin serve as the estate's personal representative. That role is currently held by Owens. Meanwhile, Detroit's Chene Park was officially renamed Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre earlier in May in tribute to the late soul singer. - New Musical Express, 5/22/19...... David Lee RothA remix of Van Halen's 1983 hit "Jump" by VH singer David Lee Roth and Dutch trance DJ/producer Armin Van Buuren has been released by Warner Bros. Records. van Burren says he's "always been a fan of the song," which became Van Halen's biggest hit and topped the Billboard Hot 200 pop chart for five weeks. "I was 6 when it came out. I've heard it many times, and years ago, I had a conversation with my publisher saying if there could be one track that I want to get my hands on one day, [it's 'Jump.'] He remembered that, and a couple of months ago, I got the stems from a befriended label. First of all, to have the original stems to such an iconic record [is amazing.] I sent the mix it a label... For about two weeks, I didn't hear anything, then I got a phone call when I was on my way to Israel to do a gig. My publisher couldn't breathe. He was like 'David Lee Roth loves it, and he loves it so much, he wants to come to Miami to perform with you.' That's when I couldn't breathe anymore." The strange musical partners have been performing the "Jump" remix on the road, live for crowds at Ultra Miami and on stage at KAOS day club at the Las Vegas Palms Casino for the recent EDC festivities. "There are places in Texas where you could drive off the road and 20 minutes later I can still see the car," Roth says. "That's like these remixes. You can still kind of see the car and feel the music of the original, but it sure looks different and very far away from what it was originally." - Billboard, 5/20/19...... Sting will be among the headliners at NBC's fifth annual Red Nose Day Special, it was announced on May 20. The two-hour-long special airs on May 22 at 8:00 p.m. EDT in support of this year's Red Nose Day campaign, which raises money and awareness to ensure impoverished children in the U.S. and around the world are "safe, healthy and educated." Also performing at the star-studded charity event, hosted by Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews, will be John Legend, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend. In its four years in the U.S., Red Nose Day -- created by Yesterday and Love Actually director Richard Curtis -- has raised almost $150 million. - Billboard, 5/20/19...... Patti Smith was among the headliners at the Museum of Contemporary Art 40th Anniversary Benefit in Los Angeles on May 18. Lenny Kaye performed several of her mainstays, including "In My Blakean Year," "Wing" and a cover of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling In Love" before closing the evening with a fiery rendition of "Because the Night." "Robert Mapplethorpe and I used to go to museums," Smith told the audience. "We were 20 years old and we had very little money and never had enough money to go into museums together. We would turns -- I would go in the Museum of Modern Art, he would wait for me outside, and then he'd go in the Whitney and I wait for him outside. And it would have meant so much to us to be able to just go into a museum for free and just study and absorb the work within. So good luck with this pursuit. And it's such a beautiful thought." - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/19/19...... In a new interview with the UK paper The Sun, Elton John slammed the haters of his new biopic Rocketman because lead actor Taron Egerton, who is straight, plays a gay man. "That's all bulls---, I'm sorry," John said. "If people don't like it, review-wise, or it doesn't make one dollar, it's the movie I wanted to make and that's all that counts," John continued. "I can look back and say, 'You know what, I love it. I can live with it." Egerton has previously spoken out about his same-sex love scenes. "For me, kissing a man onscreen is no less appealing than kissing a woman onscreen," he said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I'm not in any way repulsed by the male form. It's an uncomfortable thing regardless of who you're with." Rocketman hits US theaters May 31. - Billboard, 5/17/19...... Deep Purple singer Glenn Hughes has announced a new set of UK dates in November alongside ones he recently re-scheduled for his "Glenn Hughes Performs Classic Deep Purple Live" tour. The re-scheduled dates include Salisbury (11/17), Norwich (11/20), Holmfirth (11/23) and Birmingham (11/29) with additional dates in Bexhill (11/16), Cambridge (11/19), Cheltenham (11/22), Aberdeen (11/25), Inverness (11/26) and Middlesbrough (11/28). "I'm excited to return to touring "Classic Deep Purple Live" in the UK in November 2019," says Hughes. "I first toured Classic Deep Purple Live in Australia and New Zealand last year and it went down a storm. We are looking forward for a second round in the UK in November." - Noble PR, 5/21/19...... '70s glam rockers Sweet have announced Novatines will be their special guests on their upcoming UK tour this November and December. The 16-city tour kicks off on Nov. 28 in Frome, also hitting venues in Holmfirth, Stockton, Nottingham, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Islington, Exeter and Southampton before wrapping in Bexhill on Dec. 21. - Noble PR, 5/22/19...... Farrah FawcettThe final days of '70s sex symbol Farrah Fawcett are chronicled in a new ABC special, This Is Farrah Fawcett, which airs on the network on May 23 at 8:00 p.m. EDT. The special documents Fawcett's years-long battle with cancer in a series of raw and intimate video diaries. "She was never, ever someone who cried about why she got cancer and someone else didn't," said her oncologist and friend Dr. Lawrence Piro, who is also the chief medical advisor for the Farrah Fawcett Foundation. "She wanted to show everyone that cancer looks the same on one of the most glamorous, beautiful women in the world as it looks on every other woman and every other man." Fawcett passed away on June 25, 2009, in Santa Monica, Calif., with her husband Ryan O'Neal and close friend Alana Stewart by her side. She was 62 years old. "About a week before she died, she was in the hospital and I was sitting by her bed," Stewart remembered. "I remember I was holding her hand and I said, 'You know, you're my sister.' And she said... She looked up at me, and she was very ill at the time and weak, and she looked up at me and she said, 'More than a sister.'" - ABCNews.go.com, 5/22/19...... Geneviève Waïte, an actress, singer and songwriter and the mother of actress Bijou Phillips, died in her sleep Saturday in Los Angeles. She was 71. A native of Cape Town, South Africa, Wate starred as the title character opposite Calvin Lockhart and Donald Sutherland in the London-set racial drama Joanna (1968). She also recorded a 1974 album, Romance Is on the Rise, that was produced by her then-husband, John Phillips, of Mamas and the Papas fame. Waïte also worked as a model and appeared in Myra Breckinridge (1968) and Move (1970), and her song "Love Is Coming Back" from Romance Is on the Rise is heard in the 1976 David Bowie starred The Man Who Fell to Earth. (Phillips did music for the film.) She was married to Phillips from 1972 until their divorce in 1985. Survivors also include her son, Tamerlane, and three stepchildren: actress Mackenzie Phillips, actress-singer Chynna Phillips and Jeffrey Phillips. "She was a beautiful soul and born from another planet," Bijou Phillips said in a statement. "Her ideas, her songs, her voice and her heartbeat [were] to a beautiful African rhythm no one else had, and I am so thankful she was able to share it." - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/21/19...... Pulitzer Prize-winning author Herman Wouk, best known for writing the WW2 novels The Caine Mutiny, The Winds of War and War and Remembrance, died on May 17 at the age of 103. Mr. Wouk (pronounced woke) regarded The Caine Mutiny as his "signature work," and the novel's ringing plausibility springs from its author's personal experience. Set aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer-minesweeper in the Pacific during World War II -- "a pile of junk" modeled on ships Wouk served on -- the novel tells the story of a crew that rebels against its psychotic skipper, Philip F. Queeg. It was later turned into a movie starring Humphrey Bogart. Mr. Wouk, who was born on May 27, 1915 in the Bronx, followed Caine with another hit, 1955's Marjorie Morningstar, the story of an aspiring Jewish actress who, after a sexual fling, abandons her dreams of the stage and settles into a safe suburban marriage with a man who regards her loss of virginity as a "deformity." The novel, an unabashedly conservative call for conformity and chastity, was made into a film starring Natalie Wood and Gene Kelly. It also landed its author on the cover of Time magazine. Mr. Wouk's The Winds of War and War and Remembrance were turned into a lavish TV miniseries starring Robert Mitchum. In 2008 Mr. Wouk was awarded the first Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Writing of Fiction by the Library of Congress. At the awards ceremony, which included a performance by Jimmy Buffett, Mr. Wouk donated more than 100 volumes of his journals to the library.- TheDailyBeast.com, 5/17/19.

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Temptations will be among the headliners at the Apollo Theater's 2019 Spring Gala on June 10. "It is a real honor to take part in the prestigious Apollo Theater Walk of Fame and 85th gala celebration," says co-founding Temptations member Otis Williams. "I'm looking forward to sharing our music and reflecting on the wonderful and vivid memories that Paul (Williams), David (Ruffin), Eddie (Kendricks), Melvin (Franklin) and I spent at the Apollo Theater, a beloved national treasure." The Tempts and the legendary Harlem venue have a long history, it was backstage there that the group, with Smokey Robinson, came up with the lyrics to "My Girl," which became a platinum-seller the following year. The benefit will feature a special performance from The Temptations and Williams, their last living original member, and the group will also be inducted in the Apollo Walk of Fame days prior to the June 7 fundraiser. Other artists set to appear include Estelle, Jose James, Liv Warfield and Morris Day and The Time. - Billboard, 5/17/19...... Elton JohnWith the premiere of the long-awaited Elton John biopic Rocketman at the Cannes Film Festival on May 16, Paramount Pictures becomes the first major studio to depict gay male sex onscreen. Rocketman features multiple scenes between Taron Egerton, who plays John, and Richard Madden (portraying his first gay lover, music manager John Reid) (while Ang Lee's 2005 film Brokeback Mountain also showed a sex scene between two men, it was not aimed at broad audiences like Rocketman and was released by the specialty label Focus Features). "For me, kissing a man onscreen is no less appealing than kissing a woman onscreen," Egerton says in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I'm not in any way repulsed by the male form. It's an uncomfortable thing regardless of who you're with -- it makes no difference as to your sexual preference." However Rocketman's R-rating and its depiction of gay sex should most certainly disqualify it from being released in China, indeed the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody edited out any suggestion that Freddie Mercury was bisexual for its release in that lucrative market. "Our movie is a different animal," Egerton said during a May 16 press conference at Cannes. "Our movie is a musical. It requires an actor who can sing in the lead role. For a biopic, that's not necessary. I'm very grateful that people compare us (to Bohemian Rhapsody). Hopefully, it shows that there's an appetite for movies [like this]. However, that movie is a unicorn." Meanwhile, Elton John has released new track, "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again," from the soundtrack of Rocketman which also features vocals from Egerton. The upbeat track, written by John and his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, plays out over the film's credits. "It was so important that the music I composed and recorded had to be sung by Taron," Elton says. "I wanted his interpretation of me, through Bernie's lyrics and my music -- not just acting. I left Taron in the hands of [producer and composer] Giles Martin, who I trusted implicitly because he's brilliant." Rocketman hits US theaters on May 31. - The Hollywood Reporter/New Musical Express, 5/17/19...... In related news, Queen guitarist Brian May said during a May 14 appearance on BBC Radio 2's The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show that the band "hasn't earned a penny" from the worldwide smash biopic, which stars Rami Malek as frontman Freddie Mercury. "It was a long labour of love -- about 12 years in development, I guess. We thought it would do well in the end and we felt good about it, but we didn't realise it would do that well. It's incredible around the world -- it's like a billion-dollar movie." But May went on to say that it hadn't had an impact on the band's finances that many fans assume. "I had to laugh the other day because there's a thing in the paper saying that we were getting rich off this movie," he said. "If they only knew. We had an accountant in the other day and we still haven't earned a penny from it. Isn't that funny? How successful does a movie have to be before you make money? There's so many people that people don't realise will take pieces off the top." - NME, 5/14/19...... Cheap Trick will be among the headliners honoring songwriter Linda Perry on June 29 in Los Angeles at The Novo at L.A. Live. "Linda Perry & Friends: A Night at the Grammy Museum" will also feature appearances from Sharon Osbourne and Oscar-nominated actress Juliette Lewis and Perry's wife, actress Sara Gilbert. Perry, one of the most successful songwriters and producers in the music industry, has crafted hits for the likes of Christina Aguilera, Pink, Gwen Stefani, Alicia Keys and others. Proceeds from the gala will assist the Grammy Museum Foundation. - AP, 5/16/19...... Dionne WarwickDionne Warwick has just released She's Back, the pop songstress's first new studio album in five years. The 15-song set features new recordings of her hits "What the World Needs Now Is Love" and 1979's "Deja Vu" -- the latter featuring a guest appearance by Krayzie Bone of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Warwick says the inclusion of her signature 1965 hit "What the World Needs Now Is Love" has special meaning for her. "That's something I feel everyone should be singing at this point in time," she explains. "We're living in a chaotic time and we need love -- we desperately need it. I don't like what's going on with my country or what's going on around the world; Nobody cares about anybody anymore or seems to want a care. It's like the '60s; It doesn't make sense, so we've got to get a grip. So I hope people start paying attention to those words again, because we need it." Other guests on She's Back include Kenny Lattimore ("What Color Is Love"), Brian McKnight ("Forever In My Heart") and Musiq Soulchild. - Billboard, 5/17/19...... On May 17, Bruce Springsteen released "There Goes My Miracle," the second song from his upcoming studio album Western Stars. Singing in a higher register than we're used to hearing from the Boss, he trades his gravely tone for a clear tenor in the vein of one of his musical heros, the late Roy Orbison, on the track. "There goes my miracle/ Walkin' away, walkin' away," Springsteen croons on the song's swaying chorus, backed by lush Burt Bacharach-style strings. Primarily recorded at Springsteen's home studio in New Jersey, with additional recording in California and New York, Western Stars is due on June 14 from Columbia Records. It's his first new studio album in more than five years, and his 19th overall. - Billboard, 5/17/19...... The Who frontman Roger Daltrey has reacted to his decision to call out some audience members who were smoking pot directly in front of him at The Who's May 13 concert at New York's Madison Square Garden. "I'd just like to make it clear that it is quite well known amongst real Who fans that I have an extreme allergic reaction to pot and cigarette smoke," Daltrey told Billboard on May 16. "I have a sensitive issue on my vocal cords and the smoke has the effect of shutting down my voice making singing really hard work. I really don't want to spoil anyone's enjoyment, all I ask for is a little respect for someone doing their best to deliver a good night out for everyone. If you have to smoke it, get off your ass and go to the bog (bathroom) or eat it, please refrain from blowing clouds of it at me. I probably end up smoking more of your pot than you do and it becomes a singer's nightmare. You are putting the whole show in jeopardy by your selfish behavior, give it some thought." Daltrey was responding to a report about the incident in Britain's The Daily Mail, which described the 75-year-old musician as a "geriatric rocker." During the MSG concert Daltrey called out some smokers, saying "All the ones smoking grass down in the front there, I'm totally allergic to it. I'm not kidding, whoever it is down there, you f---ed my night and you made me really.. .I'm allergic to that shit and my voice just goes...It sucks up. So f---- you!" Daltrey has made similar comments at other shows -- including a particularly well-chronicled threat to stop the show during a May 2015 concert at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. The Who's "Moving On!" tour has two North American legs, the second starting on Sept. 3 in Toronto. On May 15, Daltrey Who guitarist Pete Townshend played their iconic song "Won't Get Fooled Again" on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon using classroom instruments, including a plastic toy ukulele and a child's tambourine. Townshend even ended the segment with his signature guitar smashing bit, breaking the colorful ukulele in half as Daltrey joked that he was leaving the band. - Billboard, 5/16/19...... The Allman Brothes Band spinoff The Allman Betts Band will release its debut album, Down To The River, on June 28 via BMG Records. Featuring ABB progeny Devon Allman, Duane Betts and Berry Duane Oakley, Jr., the band is embracing their inevitable comparison to the legendary ABB. "There was hesitation for 30 years, but there's no more hesitation because it's the right timing," says Allman, the son of the late Gregg Allman. "We've all done our thing. I've been in three, four, five different bands. Duane has. Berry has. It wasn't like we had to do this, but we ended up having real chemistry -- unforced, organic -- and we wanted to make music together." Friends and, in their words, "family" since they were children, Allman and Betts began touring together in 2018, after Allman invited Betts to take part in a December 2017 tribute concert for Gregg Allman in San Francisco. While on the road, writing together seemed like a natural progression. Oakley was recruited, according to Allman, "because he was a bad-ass bass player, not just because of who he was or what his name was." Allman says his band has "a fine, fine, fine line" to walk, even as they play some Allman Brothers Band material in its shows. "Y'know, if we hit the stage and did a two-hour show and played all Allman Brothers, that would just be weird. It would be a tribute band, and that's not what we're into," Allman says. "We have our own songs, our own show, our own album. But if we also go on that stage and didn't play one (Allmans song), that would be weird, too. So we need to tip our hats. It's appropriate." The band a full slate of concerts and festivals that will take the group into 2020, and is also already working on its next album. - Billboard, 5/16/19...... David ByrneDavid Byrne has announced he's taking his "American Utopia" show to a residency at Broadway's Theatreland this fall, following the likes of such artists as Bruce Springsteen and Morrisey. The former Talking Heads frontman's stint will take place at the Hudson Theatre and will open for previews on October 4, 2019, with an official opening taking place on Oct. 20. The residency will run until January 20, 2020. In a statement, Byrne explained why he was taking the show to Broadway. "Because of how theatrical the show is, others started telling me 'this needs to go to Broadway,'" he said. "Why not? But what did that mean? Parked in a beautiful Broadway theatre we can perfect the sound, the lights, the movement. I thought to myself that this new context might be good -- it might bring out the narrative arc a little bit more, to make it just a little more explicit... People ask me will I be darting into a town car after these shows or taking a flying leap onto my bicycle -- take a wild guess." Byrne's 2018 "American Utopia" tour was acclaimed by critics, with one describing it as "maybe just the best live show of all-time," and the musician later released a six-song live EP from the theatrical performance and named it after that quote. - NME, 5/17/19......The Rolling Stones have announced their itinerary of rescheduled "No Filter" tour dates, after the tour was postponed earlier to allow frontman Mick Jagger to heal after undergoing heart surgery in April. All 17 previously announced dates have been rescheduled, with the band now gearing up to launch the tour with a two-night stand at Chicago's Soldier Field on June 21 and June 25. They will then visit such markets as Ontario (6/29), Washington, D.C. (7/3), Foxboro, Mass. (7/7), New Orleans (7/14) and Philadelphia (7/23) before wrapping up with an Aug. 31 show at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Mick Jagger proved he was ready to rock the stage again on May 15 when he posted a video in which he's doing one of his signature vigorous dance routines before a mirror in a studio. Jagger was told by doctors in late March he could not go on tour "at this time." Jagger tweeted he was "devastated" the band couldn't tour, but said he hoped to be "back on stage as soon I can." - Billboard/AP, 5/16/19...... Dana York Petty, the widow of late Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Tom Petty, is being sued for $5 million by Petty's daughters Adria and Annakim Petty. In a suit filed in Los Angeles County court on May 15, Dana and several other defendants are bing accused of breach of fiduciary duty, unfair competition, unjust enrichment and more. Filed on behalf of plaintiff Petty Unlimited -- an LLC established in Petty's will that allocated one-third of Petty's assets to each of the three women -- the suit alleges "self-dealing, theft, and gross mismanagement of company assets" on Dana's part by failing to fund the LLC with assets from Petty's trust, for which she was previously named as "directing trustee." "Tom Petty wanted his music and his legacy to be controlled equally by his daughters, Adria and Annakim, and his wife, Dana," said Petty Unlimited's attorney Alex Weingarten says that Tom "wanted his music and his legacy to be controlled equally by his daughters, Adria and Annakim, and his wife, Dana. Dana has refused Tom's express wishes and insisted instead upon misappropriating Tom's life's work for her own selfish interests. After countless efforts to resolve this matter amicably and out of court, we could no longer stand idly by and watch Dana disrespect Tom's wishes, his music, and his legacy." In response, Dana Petty's lawyer Adam Streisand said: "This misguided and meritless lawsuit sadly demonstrates exactly why Tom Petty designated his wife to be the sole trustee with authority to manage his estate. Dana will not allow destructive nonsense like this to distract her from protecting her husband's legacy." Petty died on Oct. 2, 2017, of an accidental drug overdose at age 66. - Billboard, 5/15/19...... The Alice Cooper-led supergroup Hollywood Vampires shared their new single, "The Boogieman Surprise," and posted a live performance of the track online on May 17. Hollywood Vampires debuted the new track recently at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and were joined on stage at separate points by Marilyn Manson and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler. The band, comprised of Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry, are prepping for the release of their second album, Rise, on June 21. Unlike their debut album, the band's new project is mostly made up of original material, written by them. "[It's] not only a totally different animal than the first Vampires album, it is unique to anything I've ever been a part of," Cooper says. "I think that with this album, we are establishing what the Vampires' sound really is, whereas with the first album we were more tipping our hats to our fallen rock n roll brothers." - New Musical Express, 5/17/19...... Don FelderFormer Eagles guitarist Don Felder released his third solo album, American Rock 'n' Roll, in April. Felder says he's currently writing for another record "that I'd like to try to get out in the next two, two and a half years," adding that a busy touring schedule, including both regular concerts and private charitable and corporate events, has long been the speed bump for getting more material out. "I wish I had the time to actually spend more time every month at home in the studio, writing and recording... Unless I stop touring for a year, it takes me years to write and record and produce a record. With my touring schedule the only way I can write is sitting backstage on a little iPhone or on a plane writing lyrics or driving down the 405 singing something into my phone...It's really not until I can be home and settled that I can do anything with any of that. And I promise you that when I'm home I'm not lying out by my pool; I'm actually in the studio working. So I try, I really do." Felder's new 11-track set features guest appearances by musical pals such as Sammy Hagar, Peter Frampton, Slash, Joe Satriani, Bob Weir, Alex Lifeson, Richie Sambora, Mick Fleetwood and Toto members David Paich and Steve Porcaro. - Billboard, 5/14/19...... It appears the beleagured Woodstock 50 festival will go ahead after its organizers have secured new financial backing for the festival. On May 16, organizer and Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang confirmed that a new investor has been found. Investment bank and financial services company Oppenheimer & Co. will act "as a financial advisor to complete the financing for the festival," according to a statement issued by the festival. "Event preparations will continue as planned as Oppenheimer joins the list of strong institutions producing the festival," the statement continued. The news comes after the New York Supreme Court ruled on May 15 that Woodstock's former investor, Dentsu Aegis Network, could not cancel the festival. When Dentsu pulled out of funding the event, they issued a statement saying Woodstock 50 would no longer be going ahead. The court also ruled the Japanese conglamerate didn't have to return the $18 million it withdrew from a bank account it shared with backers of the anniversary concert. The festival has suffered several setbacks since Denstu's withdrawal, including The Black Keys dropping out, ticket sales being postponed, and the previous investors taking back their money. The event, which is due to take place in Watkins Glen, upstate New York, in August, will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original Woodstock festival. - New Musical Express, 5/17/19...... After 43 shows throughout the U.S. and Canada, Kiss wrapped the first leg of its "End of the Road" world tour on April 13 in Birmingham, Ala. In total, the band's North American leg grossed $58.7 million and sold 518,395 tickets, and the 2019 grosses lift the band's career total past the $300 million mark. The tour's biggest showing was at New York's Madison Square Garden on Mar. 27, where they grossed $1.947 million and sold 13,359 tickets. Of course, this isn't the first time Kiss has said goodbye. Almost 20 years ago, the "Kiss Farewell Tour" ran from Mar. 11, 2000, through Apr. 13, 2001. That trek had reported grosses of $55.6 million. Kiss will continue along the "End of the Road" tour throughout 2019, with 26 dates in Europe, an additional 26 in North America, and eight final shows in Australia and New Zealand. - Billboard, 5/14/19...... Norman LearThough the cast of the ABC special Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons is new, everything else is a blast from the past -- including the sets, which replicate the originals down to their precise measurements, and 1970s-inspired costumes. "These two scripts will be done word for word. We're not updating anything," says producer Norman Lear. "The lesson is human nature doesn't change. All of the problems that Archie and the Jeffersons face are clearly here today. Nothing has been totally resolved. There isn't any subject we did through all those years that we couldn't do again today." The 90-minute trip down memory lane airs live on ABC on May 22 at 8:00 PM EDT. - Entertainment Weekly, 5/17/19...... Michael Jackson's two sons Prince Jackson and Bigi (formerly "Blanket) Jackson have just launched a new film review show on YouTube. The show, which is hosted on Prince Jackson's Life On 2 channel, also features Taj Jackson, the nephew of Michael. The trio launched their show with a review of Avengers: Endgame, which was uploaded on May 15 and features James Sutherland as a special guest. - NME, 5/16/19...... Rock vocalist Glenn Hughes has rescheduled the four dates of his upcoming UK "Classic Deep Purple Live" tour due to illness. The rescheduled dates are Salisbury City Hall (11/17), Norwich Waterfront (venue change from Norwich UEA) (11/20), Holmfirth Picturedome (11/23) and Birmingham O2 Institute (11/29). The rescheduled concerts follow the news of Hughes needing to cancel his May 2019 UK tour dates due to illness. He needs to be treated for an illness that while not life threatening, must be dealt with immediately so that does not become a serious problem. Hughes is expected to make a full recovery. The shows for Edinburgh, St Albans, Liverpool and Nottingham had to be cancelled. Customers for the cancelled shows have been asked to return to their original point of purchase to request refunds. The former bassist and singer of Deep Purple is the current front man for rock super group Black Country Communion and had been scheduled to kick off the second leg of his tour at the Holmfirth Picturedrome on May 14. - Noble PR, 5/15/19...... Former Thin Lizzy member Brian Downey's "Alive and Dangerous" tour will return to the Camden Underworld for a one off concert on Nov. 7. Downey's band also features guitarist Brian Grace and former Low Rider band members Matt Wilson (lead vocals, bass), and Phil Edgar (lead guitar). 2018 marked the 40th Anniversary of Thin Lizzy's Live and Dangerous album. Although the album was recorded live in 1977 at London's Hammersmith Apollo and Toronto's Seneca College, it wasn't officially released until a year later in 1978. - Noble PR, 5/14/19.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Peggy LiptonActress Peggy Lipton, who rose to stardom in the late 1960s as a co-star of the counterculture police series The Mod Squad and later became a cast member of the acclaimed series Twin Peaks, died on May 11 after a battle with cancer. She was 72. Born in New York on Aug. 30, 1946, the blonde beauty began a successful modeling career at age 15, then four years later made her TV debut on the sitcom The John Forsythe Show, which led to appearances on such series as Bewitched, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and The Virginian. At 21, she rocketed to fame in 1968 as the street-smart flower child Julie Barnes, one of a trio of Los Angeles undercover "hippie cops" on the ABC crime series The Mod Squad, one of the first TV shows to feature an interracial cast. Lipton was nominated for four Emmys during the series' five year run, and in 1971 she won a Golden Globe award for best actress in a TV drama. Her role and later marriage to music producer Quincy Jones in 1974 put the actress in the center of country dealing with racial tensions, but she later said she found the spotlight uncomfortable. "I never saw myself as trend-setting," Lipton told The Los Angeles Times in 1993. "We were always working. Fame really drove me into my house. I was very paranoid. I didn't like going out. I had no idea how to be comfortable with the press. I was very young. It was really hard for me." Meanwhile, she parlayed her TV fame into a singing career, enjoying chart success with her cover versions of "Stoney End" and "Lu" by Laura Nyro and "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" by Donovan. With the exception of a Mod Squad reunion TV movie in 1979, Lipton stepped away from her acting career to raise her two daughters with Jones, actresses Kidida and Rashida Jones. After her divorce from Jones in 1989, she decided to return to acting, landing the role of Norma Jennings on the cult TV series Twin Peaks. More recently, she made occasional supporting role appearances in such films as When in Rome and A Dog's Purpose and TV series like Alias, Crash and 2017's Twin Peaks revival. In her 2005 memoir Breathing Out, Lipton wrote of her struggles with fame and the racism she and Jones faced as an interracial couple and revealed that she had been diagnosed with and treated for colon cancer the previous year. Her death was announced by her daughters on May 11. "She made her journey peacefully with her daughters and nieces by her side," they said in a statement. "We feel so lucky for every moment we spent with her.... Peggy was and will always be our beacon of light, both in this world and beyond. She will always be a part of us." - The Los Angeles Times, 5/11/19...... Doris DayScreen legend and singing star Doris Day, whose wholesome, all-American image guaranteed box-office and record-chart hits in the '40s, '50s and '60s, died in the early hours of May 13 at her Carmel Valley, Calif., home, nearly two months after celebrating her 97th birthday, her Doris Day Animal Foundation announced shortly later. Born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff in Cincinnati, Oh., on Apr. 3, 1922, the daughter of a music teacher and a homemaker, the crystal-voiced pop soprano changed her surname to Day when, as a teen, she began singing on the radio. After appearances with the Big Bands of Barney Rapp and Bob Crosby, she joined Les Brown's Band of Renown and had her first hit with "Sentimental Journey." Going solo in 1947, she successfully auditioned for Warner Bros. the following year and was cast in the studio's attempts to compete with the romantic musicals that were the specialty of rival MGM. By the mid-'50s came better roles at other studios including 1954's Love Me or Leave Me, a fictionalized biopic of '20s singer Ruth Etting, which she considered her best film. In 1956, she costarred with James Stewart in The Man Who Knew Too Much, in which she introduced the Oscar-winning song that became her signature, "Que Sera Sera." In 1959, she was paired for the first time with leading man Rock Hudson in the racy (for its time) romantic comedy Pillow Talk, which resulted in her one and only Best Actress Oscar nomination, and also in her greatest box-office success. Two more vehicles with Hudson (and sidekick Tony Randall) followed, as did similar comedies in which Ms. Day -- sometimes as a career woman, but always squeaky clean -- costarred with the likes of Cary Grant, James Garner and Rod Taylor, prompting Hollywood musician and resident Oscar Levant to famously quip, "I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin." In 1967, she was offered the role of Mrs. Robinson in the box office smash The Graduate by director Mike Nichols, however Ms. Day wasn't interested. "I could not see myself rolling around in the sheets with a young man half my age whom I'd seduced," she recalled later. "I realized it was an effective part... but it offended my sense of values." As the '60s wound down and her wholesome image went out of fashion onscreen, Ms. Day turned to TV, having been forced there by a contract signed by her third husband and manager Martin Melcher without her knowledge. CBS's 1968-73 The Doris Day Show never rose above the level of being a poor man's Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Ms. Day herself was highly critical of it. Melcher died unexpectedly in 1968, leaving Ms. Day in financial straits. Her husband's reliance on attorney Jerome Rosenthal for business advice proved disastrous: The lawyer went through Ms. Day's millions with bad investments in oil wells, cattle and hotels. But despite an ever-changing format, The Doris Day Show ran for five seasons, gave her financial stability, and kept her working as she coped with the loss of her spouse of 17 years. Ms. Day sued Rosenthal for mismanagement and won a $20 million-plus verdict in 1974 after years of litigation (she later settled with insurers). In 1976, Ms. Day married for a fourth time at age 52, to businessman Barry Comden. By the mid-'70s, Ms. Day withdrew from the limelight in her Monterey, Calif., home to focus on animal rights and set up the Doris Day Animal League and Doris Day Animal Foundation. "All my life, I have never felt lonely with a dog I loved at my side, no matter how many times I've been alone," Ms. Day said in her memoir. As a staunch advocate for animals, she briefly came out of retirement to host a cable TV pet show called Doris Day's Best Friends, which included an emotional reunion with three-time co-star Rock Hudson shortly before his death in 1985. Perhaps her closest friend, son Terry Melcher, a music producer, died in 2004 at 62. There was talk of comebacks: She reportedly was offered Murder, She Wrote and the Debbie Reynolds role in Mother in 1996. But she resisted Hollywood overtures. In 2015, she batted down reports she was to appear in a Clint Eastwood film. Ms. Day once told People magazine that humor had always been her secret weapon. "I love to laugh," said the star who made so many others laugh and sing. "It's the only way to live. Enjoy each day -- it's not coming back again!" Ms. Day passed away surrounded by a few close friends at her Carmel Valley home. She had celebrated her 97th birthday just last month with nearly 300 fans who gathered in Carmel to celebrate with her. - People.com/CNN, 5/13/19...... Tim ConwayBeloved comedian Tim Conway, a five-time Emmy winner who reveled in cracking up straight man Harvey Korman on CBS's variety series The Carol Burnett Show and before that as Charles Parker in the 1962-66 sitcom McHale's Navy, died from complications of Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) on May 14 in Los Angeles. He was 85. Born in Willoughby, Oh., on Dec. 15, 1933, Mr. Conways' 50-year-plus career kicked into gear with his role as Ens. Charles Parker in the 1962-66 ABC sitcom McHale's Navy, opposite titluar star Ernest Borgnine and other regulars including Gavin McLeod and Joe Flynn. Although the series wasn't a massive hit, it aired more than 130 episodes and spawned a pair of movies in which he co-starred: McHale's Navy (1964) and McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force (1965). In the latter, his Ens. Parker is mistaken for a pilot, which gets his ship's crew somehow into the unfriendly skies. After McHale's Navy ended its run in 1966 -- only to live on in reruns and be discovered by younger comedy fans in the ensuing decades -- Mr. Conway starred in the 1967 Western sitcom Rango for ABC. His title character was an, of course, bumbling Texas Ranger who is assigned to the state's loneliest outpost, where it was assumed he would stay out of mischief. The midseason series lasted fewer than 20 episodes. But Mr. Conway became best known for his work on The Carol Burnett Show after joining its cast as a regular member in 1975, winning viewers over with characters like the Oldest Man and Mr. Tudball, whose accent he has said was inspired by his Romanian mother. Mr. Conway was known to ad-lib his sketches -- even surprising his scene partners -- and won a Golden Globe Award for the series in 1976, along with Emmys in 1973, 1977 and 1978. Emmys were also awarded to him for guest spots on such series as Coach (1996) and 30 Rock (2008). At a 2013 event promoting his memoir, What's So Funny? My Hilarious Life, Burnett, 86, painted her collaborator as an on-set prankster. "Tim's goal in life was to destroy [costar] Harvey Korman," she told the crowd, with Mr. Conway chiming in, "in the dentist sketch you can actually see Harvey wet his pants from laughing." Mr. Conway also was known for Dorf, the diminutive character -- he performed it on his knees, where fake shoes were placed -- who appeared in a litany of how-to videos launched during the 1980s, including Dorf on Golf (1987). Originating as a skit on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Dorf introduced Mr. Conway to a new generation of fans while tickling his longtime ones. "I'm heartbroken," Carol Burnett said in a statement after learning of her longtime friend's passing. "He was one in a million, not only as a brilliant comedian but as a loving human being. I cherish the times we had together both on the screen and off. He'll be in my heart forever." Mr. Conway is survived by his wife of 35 years, his stepdaughter, his six biological children and two granddaughters. - People.com/Deadline.com, 5/14/19.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Pink Floyd guitarist Dave Gilmour has just made his entire 2016 Live at Pompeii concert film available for free streaming on YouTube. Gilmour put on the special two-night concert event in Pompeii in July 2016, 45 years after Pink Floyd staged a similar show in the same city. Gilmour's full performance was released in 2017 as a concert film, which incorporated footage from the Pink Floyd Pompeii gig, and live album. Originally screened in cinemas for one night only, the film was later released on DVD and Blu-ray. - New Musical Express, 5/11/19...... Brian Wilson and recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees The Zombies are teaming up this summer for a North American tour in celebration of their music from 1968, fittingly titled the "Something Great From '68" tour. Wilson will most perform songs from two of his favorite Beach Boys albums, 1968's Friends and 1971's Surf's Up, with former bandmates Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin joining him onstage. The Zombies will open each show with a full performance of their 1968 album, Odessey and Oracle, in addition to other classics in their set. The 15-city trek kicks off Aug. 31 in Las Vegas, also hitting such major markets as Phoenix (9/6), Los Angeles (9/12), Oakland (9/13), Seattle (9/16), Denver (9/20), Milwaukee (9/22) and Detroit (9/24) before wrapping on Sept. 26 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. - Billboard, 5/7/19...... Rickie Lee JonesAcclaimed '70s/'80s singer Rickie Lee Jones will release a new album of covers, Kicks, on June 7. Jones, best known for such hits as "Chuck E.'s in Love," "Young Blood" and "A Lucky Guy" as well as her 1979 self-titled debut album which hit No. 3 on the charts, already has three all-covers albums to her credit: 1991's Pop Pop, 2000's It's Like This and 2012's The Devil You Know, in which she took well-known songs by Donovan, Frank Sinatra and Steely Dan and molded them in her own image. Kicks will feature renditions of such '70s rockers as Elton John ("My Father's Gun"), Steve Miller Band ("Quicksilver Girl"), and Bad Company ("Bad Company"), alongside such jazz classics as "Nagasaki" and "Mack the Knife." One highlight of the new set is a cover of America's "Lonely People." While Jones says the breezy pop band "weren't A-listers" in their time, she found a deep well of sentimental value in "Lonely People," a friendly ode to the isolated. "You have to get over how you perceive a thing and look for the treasure in the music," she says. Jones has also released a video for "Lonely People" which features her changing from costume to costume while poking fun at her own image. - Billboard, 5/10/19...... John Lennon's personal copy of the legendary Beatles Yesterday and Today "butcher cover" album has brought £180,000 -- the third-highest price ever paid for a vinyl record -- after being auctioned by Julien's Auctions at The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool, England on May 9. The "butcher" Yesterday and Today, which showed the Fab Four covered in raw meat and decapitated baby dolls before it was withdrawn from sale in 1966, was sold to an anonymous collector as part of a wider sale of Beatles memorabilia. At the time of release, the graphic image was replaced by a cover that showed the band standing around a travel trunk. It was said to be the only Beatles album to lose money for Capitol Records. Lennon's copy previously adorned the wall of his New York The Dakota apartment until he gifted it to Dave Morrell, a lifelong Beatles fan and bootleg collector. With signatures by Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, it is is believed to be the only "butcher" album featuring three Beatles' signatures. Darren Julien of Julien's Auctions said an American collector had "bought the record as an investment believing it will increase in value in the years to come." Julien added the market is still developing "so we anticipate in the next five years this same record could bring $500,000-plus (£385,000). This was a world record for a Beatles butcher cover and the third-highest price paid for a vinyl." Other Beatles items to go under the hammer the same day included a baseball signed by the band at their final US performance, which fetched £57,600 ($75,000). The "butcher cover" sale comes after Ringo Starr's rare copy of the band's "White Album" became the most expensive vinyl in 2015, when it sold for $790,000 (£ 522,438). - New Musical Express, 5/10/19...... A lawsuit brought seven years ago by Michael Jackson's singer's mysterious ex-manager, Tohme Tohme, is finally set to get underway in Los Angeles on May 14. Tohme, who filed the suit all the way back in 2012, alleges he provided the necessary "advice, guidance and skillful work" to improve Jackson's public image, alleviate the singer's financial situation, and put his client in a position to make a final tour. Tohme claims the Jackson estate owes him a 15 percent commission on compensation that Jackson received during the last year of his life, before he died from an overdose of propofol at age 50 on June 25, 2009, and also wants a cut of revenues relating to This Is It, the concert film that grossed hundreds of millions of dollars. Finally, Tohme is seeking a finder's fee for securing a loan that prevented foreclosure on Jackson's Neverland Ranch home. The trial is being split into two phases: a contractual interpretation, in which Tohme is hoping to bring experts to the witness stand to testify that post-termination commissions are customary in the entertainment industry, and a second phase which may get into the nitty-gritty of the relationship between Jackson and Tohme -- for instance, whether or not Jackson actually fired Tohme is a point of controversy among the parties and something that would be dealt with if necessary at the later stage. Tohme alleges that he only took 15 percent after Jackson proposed becoming 50/50 partners. Although Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark A. Young may see reason to delay the trial once agaain, it will likely commence quite soon. - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/9/19...... In other Jackson-related news, his eldest son Prince Jackson, whose real name is Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., graduated from Loyola Marymout University in Los Angeles on May 11. Prince, 22, graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration. The day was celebrated in social media posts from Prince, who was 12 when his father died almost 10 years ago, and relatives in his famous family. Michael has two other children, 21-year-old Paris Jackson and 17-year-old Prince Michael Jackson, known by the nickname Blanket. - New Musical Express, 5/11/19...... Billy JoelBilly Joel celebrated his 70th birthday with a blowout concert at New York's Madison Square Garden on May 9. "Welcome to my birthday. This is kind of a weird night," Joel said, as he looked out at the 18,000-plus crowd packing the venue. "But what else am I gonna do?" he deadpanned. Joel's birthday bash included video happy birthday wishes from the likes of Paul McCartney, Don Henley, Garth Brooks, Pink and Brian Johnson of AC/DC. Peter Frampton showed up in person to jam on "Show Me The Way" and "Baby, I Love Your Way" with the Piano Man, and Joel's daughters Alexa Ray, 34, and 3-year-old Della Rose appeared onstage to sing "Happy Birthday" to their dad. Joel wrapped the show with four high-energy hits: "We Didn't Start the Fire," "Uptown Girl," "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" and "You May Be Right," and encored with his signature tune, "Piano Man." The show was Joel's 64th consecutive sell-out at the Garden, a continuation of the record-setting residency he launched in December 2013. The Garden has already announced the 70th show in the MSG residency for Nov. 15, which will be Joel's 116th all-time performance at the arena. In January, Joel announced his sixth consecutive year of playing stadium shows, including a concert June 22 at Wembley Stadium in London. - Billboard, 5/10/19...... Speaking of Peter Frampton, the '70s rocker will release a new album of blues covers, All Blues, on June 7. All Blues will feature such classic blues songs as B.B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone," which Frampton says "is not a song I would ever have done" before meeting King when the late blues legend was part of his 2013 Peter Frampton's Guitar Circus tour. "I went to his bus to meet the King, and I'm very nervous and sort of stuttering and stuff in front of him," Frampton recalls with a laugh. "He could see I was having a little trouble, and he said, 'Peter, sit down, boy. Just tell me what you want me to do and I'll do it for you.' I couldn't believe it. He just put me at ease -- such a modest man and the nicest, easiest to get along with person you could ever dream of." The Thrill is Gone" is one of 10 blues covers on All Blues, and will be the first in a series of albums Frampton and his Peter Frampton Band have been making since October. "We must have done nearly 40, 45 tracks, and we're still going," reports Frampton, who was diagnosed with Inclusion-Body Myositis (IBM) some years ago but only made it public in 2019. He reckons he has three albums done already "and we're working on a fourth right now, and after that I think it's time for a Christmas album!" "I want to go out playing really well," says Frampton, who pulled the plug on a planned co-headlining trek with Alice Cooper this summer because he felt it was the right time for his farewell tour. His farewell tour kicks off June 18 in Oklahoma, and he promises "it won't be a static playlist... I'll change it every night." Meanwhile, in between touring, a book project, and his Sirius XM radio show, Frampton is also being treated for his IBM at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and he plans to take part in a drug test study after the farewell tour wraps during mid-October. - Billboard, 5/9/19...... Pop/gospel legend Mavis Staples celebrated her 80th birthday at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem on May 9, the first of several star-packed 80th birthday parties she has planned. Staples, who won't officially turn 80 until July 10, first played the Apollo in 1956 with her family band, the Staple Singers; a portrait of her alongside her father, Roebuck "Pops Staples, and sisters, Yvonne and Cleotha, hangs on the storied venue's staircase leading up to the mezzanine. Staples' performance included duets with Valerie June and Maggie Rogers on such songs as "Living On a High Note" (which June penned for Staples) and "May The Circle Be Unbroken" (the first song Pops Staples taught his children), and with former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne on Byrne's own "Slippery People." The night reached a peak in the effervescence of the Staple Singers No. 1 hit "I'll Take You There." Staples will continue to celebrate her birthday on May 15 with a concert at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium and on May 22 at Los Angeles' Theatre at the Ace Hotel. - Billboard, 5/10/19...... Sammy HagarSammy Hagar released a new album with his all-star band The Circle, Space Between, on May 10. The Circle -- which includes Hagar's longtime guitarist Vic Johnson, founding Van Halen bassist and Hagar's Chickenfoot bandmate Michael Anthony and drummer Jason Bonham -- has been together for about seven years, to this point playing favorites from his past and an assortment of Led Zeppelin covers. The group released a live album, At Your Service, in 2015, but Hagar acknowledges until now he was "scared to make a record" of original material with the group. "But I think we did it," Hagar says. "Touring seven years together, playing, we knew what we were all about. It was like starting over, like when we were kids and paid all our dues together -- and then we made an album. The album is really about money, greed, enlightenment and truth. It's greed that's the problem. Guys like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, you can't be mad at them for being so rich. These guys build hospitals, build schools for children and other countries. Those are good guys. That's what you can do with money." - Billboard, 5/9/19...... An attorney representing the Woodstock 50 concert is seeking an injunction on behalf of the troubled festival to force its main investor, Japanese media company Dentsu, to return $17.8 million it allegedly "misappropriated" from a bank account used by anniversary event organizers. "Dentsu's actions have caused a worldwide uproar over its efforts to kill the Festival's commemoration of one of the most iconic cultural events of the 20th century," attorney Marc Kasowitz wrote in a filing in New York state court on May 9. Kasowitz, a well-known trial lawyer who has represented Pres. Donald Trump, wants Dentsu to return the money and agree to not disparage the festival or interfere with Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang's attempts to stage Woodstock 50 at Watkins Glen International in upstate New York this August. With just 100 days to go before the scheduled festival was to begin, Kasowitz argues the injuction is needed to save the event before it's too late, arguing that "the only true impediments to that success are Dentsu's ongoing interference with W50's contractual right to produce the festival, Dentsu's theft of the festival's funds, and Dentsu's active effort to disparage W50 and the festival through lies and mischaracterizations intended to destroy W50's business relationships." In late April, a rep for Dentsu announced that it was canceling the festival because organizers with Woodstock 50 had failed to meet certain goals and benchmarks on the festival site allowed in the company's contract. Kasowitz also wants Dentsu officials to agree to "cooperate with W50 in connection with W50's continued planning of the Festival" and "produce bank records relating to removal of funds from the bank account" and "communications between Dentsu and any person or entity involved in the planning or production of the festival." - Billboard, 5/9/19...... In other Woodstock-related news, a cool $800 is the list price for a new 38-disc, 432-song Woodstock 50th anniversary box set, Woodstock 50 - Back to the Garden - The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive. Set for release on Aug. 2, the 36 hour limited-edition behemoth promises to be the first definitive collection featuring every artist who played the original concert. The collection will come in 1,969 limited-edition, numbered box sets released worldwide, with fully restored audio and 267 previously unreleased tracks. For those who can get by on a lesser Woodstock fix, 10-disc and three-disc versions, as well as a 5 album vinyl collection, will also be available on June 28. Woodstock has been commemorated before, in 1970 with a three-LP album of highlights, as well as in 2009 with a 6-disc set. - Billboard, 5/9/19...... German electro-pop titans Kraftwerk recently wrapped up their Asia tour with ive shows in Japan and one show in Seoul, followed by a gig at Hong Kong's Star Hall on Apr. 29 as their final stop. Kraftwerk -- Ralf Hütter, Henning Schmitz, Fritz Hilpert, and Falk Grieffenhagen -- fused music with art, with visuals tailored to every city Kraftwerk has visited. For the Hong Kong performance, the group merged shots of the Hong Kong skyline with futuristic animations, including a UFO flying over the city, all presented in 3-D to give audiences an enhanced concert experience. Kraftwerk's next show is June 1, when they will close the second day of the Best Kept Secret Festival in the Netherlands. - Billboard, 5/8/19...... Marie OsmondMarie Osmond announced on May 7 that she will join the panel of the CBS daytime talk show The Talk, replacing Sara Gilbert one month after the Roseanne star announced her departure. Osmond -- who last appeared on the small screen in her short-lived Marie daytime talk show on the Hallmark Channel in 2013 -- has been a regular guest host on The Talk over the years. The singer/actress will join the current panel of rapper/actress Eve, Carrie Ann Inaba, Sharon Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood when The Talk kicks off its 10th season on Sept. 6. I could not be more thrilled," Osmond said in video to fans. Osmond recently announced that she and brother Donny Osmond -- her co-star in the 1970s Donny & Marie variety show -- would end their 11-year run in Las Vegas later this year. "Thrilled for my sister @MarieOsmond as she takes on new role @TheTalkCBS," Donny tweeted on May 9. "Working 2 shows at once will be a challenge, but if anyone can do it, it's Marie. She makes a perfect co-host. Ladies of #TheTalk, good luck getting a word in edgewise... I ve been trying for years!," he added. - Billboard, 5/8/19...... A new documentary on Led Zeppelin is heading to the Cannes market for distribution. Bernard MacMahon, the director of the Emmy-nominated 1920's music documentary series American Epic, is helming the as-yet-untitled doc, which will feature new interviews with band members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones, as well as rare archival interviews with the late John Bonham. Currently in post-production, the documentary is billed as the "definitive telling of the birth of the world's biggest-selling rock band" and will be told solely from the band's perspective, with never-before seen archive film footage and photographs and state-of-the-art audio transfers of the band's music. "When I saw everything Bernard had done both visually and sonically on the remarkable achievement that is American Epic, I knew he would be qualified to tell our story," Jimmy Page said in a statement. - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/8/19...... Meat Loaf reportedly suffered a broken collarbone after he fell off a stage during a speaking engagement in Texas on May 4. The 71-year-old "Bat Out of Hell" vocalist, whose real name is Marvin Lee Aday, was taking part in a Q&A at the Dallas horror film convention Texas Frightmare Weekend when he suffered the fall. According to TMZ.com, Meat Loaf was treated for a broken collarbone at a local hospital and was kept in overnight. Organisers of the horror convention took to Facebook following the incident to offer their statement. "As everyone knows Meat Loaf fell today. We wanted to keep you updated as soon as we knew something," the convention wrote. "We just found out that the hospital is keeping him overnight for observation. He will not be able to return on Sunday but he has already confirmed that he will be back in 2020! He's a trooper and we are praying a speedy recovery!" Meat Loaf collapsed on stage in June 2016, and subsequently underwent a new diet and fitness regime and an emergency back operation. He told fans on Twitter in January about the current state of his health, writing: "Living in constant pain is a pain. I just what to go to work. Love you all. May you never know constant pain. Those that do I feel for you. God bless you." - New Musical Express, 5/7/19...... Robin Trower, Maxi Priest and Livingstone Browne have joined forces for a nationwide UK tour in October 2019. The three musicians have recorded a new album, United State of Mind, which will be released later in 2019. Their tour kicks off at The Picturedrome in Holmfirth on Oct. 24, then hits The Queen's Hall, Edinburgh (10/25); Boiler Shop, Newcastle (10/27); Town Hall, Birmingham (10/28) and Shepherd's Bush Empire, London (10/29). Special guest on the tour will be American blues rock vocalist Sari Schorr. - Noble PR, 5/9/19...... '70s glam-rockers Sweet will embark on a 16-date tour of the UK on Nov. 28 beginning on Nov. 28 in Frome. Currently comprised of Andy Scott (lead guitar, vocals), Bruce Bisland (drums, vocals) Tony O'Hora (lead vocals, bass) and Paul Manzi (guitar, keyboards, vocals), still tour the world extensively and have a string of top 10 records in the UK and Europe, including "Blockbuster," "Hellraiser," "Ballroom Blitz," "Teenage Rampage" and "The Sixteens." In the US, they became known in 1975 with their "Fox on the Run" hitting the No. 3 spot. "Love is Like Oxygen," written by Scott, also became a worldwide hit in 1978. Other cities on the tour include Holmfirth, Nottingham, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Islington, Exeter and Southampton before the tour wraps in Bexhill on Dec. 21. Tickets went on sale May 8 via www.planetrocktickets.co.uk and www.thegigcartel.com. - Noble PR, 5/8/19...... Pete TownshendRoger DaltreyThe Who kicked off their "Moving On!" North American tour on May 7 in Grand Rapids, Mich. Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and company were accompanied by a 49-piece orchestra on 18 of the night's 22 songs, tastefully blending rock and richness in material from Tommy and Quadrophenia. The latter's instrumental "The Rock," in fact, was the show's best moment, replicating the original album version with genuinely exciting precision. Songs from the rest of the Who's catalog varied, meanwhile, with some faring better (the rare "Imagine a Man," "Emminence Front") than others ("Who Are You"). After a particularly messy "Join Together," Townshend -- who also poked fun at the sheet music on a music stand in front of him -- even told the crowd, "It's all a bit too much, I think." The band delivered a roaring show-closing rendition of "Baba O' Riley," spotlighting touring violinist Katie Jacoby. But 28 more North American shows across two legs gives Townshend and Daltrey plenty of time to build it up to its promise, and the duo could still be credited with trying on a new challenge when it could have easily played the age-old favorites in a traditional manner yet again. - Billboard, 5/8/19...... J. R. Cobb Jr., a founding member of the '60s band Classics IV and later the '70s group Atlanta Rhythm Section, died on May 4 of a heart attack. He was 75. Born James Barney Cobb Jr. in Birmingham, Ala., and raised in Jacksonville, Fla., Cobb was a co-founder of Classics IV, which formed in Jacksonville in 1965, and co-wrote such hits as "Spooky," "Stormy" and "Traces" with Buddy Buie, the band's manager and producer. "Spooky" reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart in 1968 and was later re-recorded by ARS on their 1979 Underdog album. In the spring of 1970, Cobb, who had already moved to Atlanta, worked as a session guitarist at Doraville's Studio One, where he played in a session band with members of Classics IV and The Candymen. Two years later, Cobb, along with three former members of the Candymen -- Rodney Justo, Dean Daughtry and Robert Nix -- formed ARS with Justo on vocals, Daughtry on keyboards, Nix on drums, Cobb on guitar, Barry Bailey on guitar and Paul Goddard on bass. ARS charted seven Top 40 singles on the pop chart from 1974 through 1981, their biggest hits being "So Into You" (1977) and "Imaginary Lover" (1978), which both reached No. 7. Cobb left ARS in 1986, and in 1993 he was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. His death was shared by his family and bandmates on the ARS Facebook page. - 5/6/19....... Zoologist Jim Fowler, best known as the longtime host of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, has died at the age of 89. Mr. Fowler first co-hosted Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins beginning in 1963, then became its main host starting in 1986. Fowler, who helped preserve and protect endangered species through his educational and outreach work, made hundreds of appearances on television, including Omaha's KETV NewsWatch 7, and he would visit schools whenever he visited the city. Dennis Pate, the director of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium praised Mr. Fowler's service. "Jim Fowler was an early ambassador of wildlife conservation along with Marlin Perkins. He continued that wildlife stewardship late into his career and throughout his life. Jim set the stage for many others to follow in advancing wildlife conservation." In 2003, Mr. Fowler was honored with the Lindbergh Award for his 40 years of dedication to wildlife preservation and education. He was president of the Fowler Center for Wildlife Education, with a mission of educating the public about wildlife so they may help protect habitats and influence government policy. - AP, 5/9/19.

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News items appearing in Super Seventies RockSite!'s "Favorite Seventies Artists In The News" are compiled from numerous online and printed sources, including Billboard.com, New Musical Express, Associated Press, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, CNN, Rolling Stone.com, Canoe.com, TheBlast.com, Miles High Productions, and Noble PR.






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