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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Eagles and the Doobie Brothers announced a luxury destination concert on Dec. 3 scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend in Cabo San Lucas in Baja California, Mexico. From May 23-24, 2020, fans can experience intimate sets from the two groups at the event titled Cabo en Vivo. May 23 will be an evening with The Doobie Brothers, including Tom Johnston, Michael McDonald, Pat Simmons and John McFee. The following day, attendees will be entertained by the Eagles consisting of their current lineup of Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit, with Deacon Frey and Vince Gill. Both beachfront performances will be held at Cabo Corridor for a select crowd. Only 5,000 passes will be sold for the entire event. Destination packages will go on sale Dec. 20. - Billboard, 12/3/19...... Chicago announced on Dec. 2 they'll hit amphitheaters this summer with special guest Rick Springfield. The 2020 trek will see the two legendary acts bring their hits to 26 cities in U.S. and Canada. The tour will kick off on June 12 in Concord, Calif., at Concord Pavilion and run through Salt Lake City, Dallas, Tampa, Toronto and more. Scheduled dates will close out Aug. 1 at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. At the beginning of the tour, the Doobies and Springfield will play the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside Denver on June 18. The Doobies appeared in this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and will perform on NBC during the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting in New York on Dec. 4. - Billboard, 12/1/19...... Johnny Van ZantOn Dec. 3 Lynyrd Skynyrd announced U.S. dates for the third year of their farewell tour with special guests Travis Tritt and the Eli Young Band. New dates for the legendary Southern rockers' "Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour" will launch on Mar. 7 at Martin Luther King Jr. Arena in Savannah, Ga. The tour will continue through California, Nevada, Mississippi, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Kentucky and more. On July 31, the newly announced dates will close out at The Amphitheater at White River State Park in Indianapolis, Ind. "We've said we want to play every venue and market we've ever visited around the world one last time and even some places we haven't, so we get to see all of Skynyrd Nation," said the band's lead singer, Johnny Van Zant, in a press release. "We are getting close!" International dates will be announced soon. - Billboard, 12/3/19...... In other Southern rock news, Allman Brothers Band keyboardist Chuck Leavell will lead a Dec. 3 Macon City, Georgia Auditorium concert celebrating the re-opening of the home of the group's former record label, Capricorn Records. ABB drummer "Jamoe" Johanson, Cowboy guitarist Tommy Talton, bluesman Taj Mahal and Widespread Panic's John Bell will be performing, as well as newer artists like Marcus King, Brent Cobb and Dickey Betts' son Duane Betts. The ABB released its debut album in November 1969, the first album issued on Capricorn Records. The Macon, Ga. based imprint would become synonymous with Southern rock, thanks to iconic hits by the Allmans, Marshall Tucker Band, Wet Willie and others. On Dec. 3, the legendary studio is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a grand re-opening as "Mercer Music at Capricorn." - Billboard, 12/3/19...... German electronic rock pioneers Kraftwerk have been confirmed as the latest headliner for the UK's All Points East 2020 festival, joining a line-up that includes the likes of Iggy Pop, Johnny Marr, Anna Calvi and Kim Gordon. Kraftwerk will perform their "Kraftwerk in 3D" show at London's Victoria Park on May 29, in what is set to be their only UK show of 2019. In October, Kraftwerk were announced among the latest nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. - New Musical Express, 12/3/19...... As Elton John's massive "Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour" kicked off in Australia in late November, the Rocket Man blasted off with a four-letter tirade at security personnel at HBF Park in Western Australia on Dec. 1, objecting to the treatment of a female fan who was being ejected. "Hey, you two security guards with the girls, F--- off. Bring her back here immediately," he said, as the audience cheered him along. "Come on you c---s. Morons, you both are, morons. You don't treat girls like that. Leave her alone you turds." His colorful outburst happened at the second of two Perth concerts on his farewell tour, and was caught on film by onlookers and posted on Twitter. Soon after, John shed some light on his angry moment. "I apologize for the 'c-word', I just hate people being assaulted, especially women by security guards. I have a pet hate of security guards anyway," he said. It is unclear why the woman was ejected. Elton's final lap of Australia and New Zealand will see the veteran rocker play 40 arena and open-air shows through the southern summer. Billboard, 12/2/19...... The BeatlesBeatles fans are being invited to listen to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band at a new immersive event that aims to give the impression that the Fab Four are performing live. The pioneering experience, which is set to take place at Liverpool's Dr. Martin Luther King Building between Dec. 19 - Jan. 9, will present fans with a remixed version of the legendary 1967 album by George Martin's son, Giles Martin. The record will be played in Dolby Atmos with speakers being placed around the fans in a bid to transport them to Abbey Road Studios, where the album was recorded. "People will become fully immersed in a soundscape, which is unlike any other," Martin told the Liverpool Echo. "For me, it's like imagining falling through the vinyl of a record and and into this world where you're surrounded by the Beatles. It's like sitting in Abbey Road's Studio 2 and having the Beatles play for you," he added. In other Beatles-related news, singer Rihanna has shared a funny clip of her chance reunion with Paul McCartney during a flight from New York after Thanksgiving. The pair, who collaborated on Kanye West's song "FourFiveSeconds" in 2015, bumped into one another in the first class section of the plane, which was heading to London. A video that Rihanna shared on her Instagram stories reel (since reposted by the Metro paper) shows the former Beatles musician stood in front of her plane seat. "I'm about to put you on blast, Mr McCartney. How are you on this flight?" she asks him off-camera. McCartney then laughs, saying: "What's going on here? Who is this filming me?" before Rihanna answers: "Who is this peasant filming this legend?" - New Musical Express, 12/2/19...... In an interview with Cincinnati TV station WCPO on Dec. 3, The Who's Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey gave their first extended on-camera interview about the Dec. 3, 1979, tragedy that took the lives of 11 Who fans 40 years ago. "It's a weird thing to have in your autobiography that, you know, 11 kids died at one of your concerts," Townshend said. "It's a strange, disturbing, heavy load to carry." Townshend, Daltrey and their manager Bill Curbishley shared their personal accounts of what happened that night at Cincinnati's Riverfront Coliseum, where 11 fans were crushed to death by a surging crowd trying to enter the building, with the dead ranging in age from 15-27. A new documentary about the incident, The Who: The Night That Changed Rock, was taped in Seattle earlier in 2019 and aired on WCPO the same evening. The incident left a lasting scar on the city, which has religiously marked the grim anniversary over the years, with survivors of that night and their families sharing their stories with O'Rourke in the special. "That dreadful night of the third of December became one of the worst dreams I've had in my life," Daltrey says in the hour-long special. Curbishley witnessed the deaths that night and made the call to not tell the band until after the gig, convincing local fire officials to let the band keep playing to avoid any other potential injuries or deaths. In the years since, a memorial plaque was unveiled outside the now-renamed arena honoring the dead, Daltrey visited a Finneytown memorial site in 2018 and Townshend recently told the Associated Press that the group has plans to return to Cincinnati for its first concert since that night in 1979. Meanwhile, Daltrey told Rolling Stone in a new interview that Townshend wanted him to rap on the band's new album, WHO. Daltrey said he was less than impressed with the demo version of "All This Music Must Fade" that Townshend had sent him. "I hated [the song] at first... well, no f---ing way I'm going to rap. No way. Let the youngsters wear those clothes," he said. WHO, the band's twelfth studio LP, hits stores on Dec. 6. - Billboard/NME, 12/3/19...... To celebrate the festive season, Piston, a five-piece rock and roll band from Cannock, West Midlands, have recorded an electrifying homage to '70s rockers Slade by releasing a cover of their 1972 anthem "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" just in time for Christmas. The official music video features cameos from Bad Touch, Collateral, Gorilla Riot, Sons of Liberty, New Saints and Liberty Lies. Piston recorded the single at Long Wave Recording Studio in Cardiff on Oct. 27, with production by Romesh Dodangoda. A clip of their Slade cover can be viewed on YouTube. -, 11/29/19...... Casey KasemFamily members of late "American Top 40" radio personality Casey Kasem have settled dueling lawsuits alleging that Casem was badly mistreated before his death in 2014. The two sides filed a joint request on Dec. 2 in Los Angeles Superior Court to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit by three of Kasem's children and his brother against Kasem's widow that claimed her neglect and physical abuse led to his death, as well as a countersuit making similar claims against the plaintiffs that was filed by his widow and another daughter. The terms of the agreement were not revealed. Kerri Kasem, one of the daughters who filed the initial lawsuit, released a statement saying she was "distraught and heartbroken over her family and lawyers' decision to force her into a settlement." The first lawsuit was filed four years ago by Casey Kasem's children from a previous marriage, Kerri, Julie and Michael Kasem, and his brother Mouner Kasem. It was a lingering chapter in a series of heated and often public fights between his children and his second wife, former actress Jean Kasem, that began even before his death at age 82. The wrongful death lawsuit accused Jean Kasem, who was married to Casey Kasem for 34 years, of elder abuse and of inflicting emotional distress on his children by restricting their access to him before his death. Jean Kasem denied all of the allegations. She counter-sued and alleged that Casey Kasem's children were motivated by their desire to get his money after he cut them off financially in 2012, and that they had brought emotional distress to her and her father, claims they denied. Police and prosecutors in California and Washington investigated his treatment and death and found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Best known as the voice of radio's "American Top 40" for decades and for his sign-off catchphrase, "Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars," Kasem was also a constant on television as a host of shows and specials and as the voice of animated characters that included Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo TV cartoons. - AP, 12/2/19...... Actress Shelley Morrison, best known for her roles on The Flying Nun and Will & Grace, died on Nov. 30 of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was 83. Ms. Morrison played Sister Sixto alongside Sally Field on The Flying Nun, but was probably best known for her role as Rosario Salazar on Will & Grace from 1999 to 2006. She was the maid to Megan Mullally's character, Karen and the two often bantered back and forth. Mullally tweeted that her heart was heavy after learning about her co-star's passing. Ms. Morrison, who held many stage and screen roles throughout her 50-year career, more recently voiced Mrs. Portillo on the children's cartoon Handy Manny. -, 12/2/19.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

While not celebrated in his native England, the American Thanksgiving holiday is being observed by longtime L.A. transplant Ozzy Osbourne in the form of a 32-song Turkey Day playlist posted on Osbourne's eclectic collection includes not only several of his famous Black Sabbath and solo tracks ("Dreamer," "Thank God for the Bomb," "In My Life," "Sweet Leaf," "After Forever," "Thank God For the Bomb," "Rat Salad" and "Mama, I'm Coming Home"), but also includes some holiday-appropriate songs including Adam Sandler's "The Thanksgiving Song," the Ramones' "We're a Happy Family," Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here," ZZ Top's "I Thank You," REO Speedwagon's "Flying Turkey Trot" and John Lennon's "Cold Turkey." Ozzy will release his latest solo LP, Ordinary Man, in January. Meanwhile, Ozzy and his latest collaborator Post Malone have shared an official live video for Malone's song "Take What You Want" on YouTube. "Take What You Want" is featured on Malone's latest album Hollywood's Bleeding and reportedly inspired Ozzy to begin working on new music. The video shows the pair erforming at the track at the LA Forum during Malone's final show of his "Runaway" tour. - Billboard, 11/28/19...... Ginger BakerEric ClaptonIn memorial to his late Cream and Blind Faith former bandmate Ginger Baker wo passed way in October at age 80, Eric Clapton has announced a 2020 charity tribute concert for Baker at London's Hammersmith Apollo on Feb. 17. "Eric Clapton & Friends: A Tribute to Ginger Baker" will focus on the pair's work together in those two bands, with proceeds going to Leonard Cheshire, the health and welfare charity that aids people living with disabilities. Ginger Baker's social media accounts, which are overseen by his daughter Nettie, announced the event with the message: "Very pleased to share this news. Big thank you to @EricClapton." With bassist Jack Bruce, Cream released four albums including the influential Disraeli Gears before splitting in 1968. Baker and Clapton went on to play in Blind Faith with vocalist Steve Winwood of Traffic and Family bassist Ric Grech, who released only one self-titled album. - New Musical Express, 11/25/19...... The ex-wife of Elton John's lyricist Bernie Taupin has announced she will offer handwritten lyrics to some of Elton's biggest songs, including "Your Song," "Candle in the Wind," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Bennie and the Jets," for auction through Bonhams Auction House in Los Angeles on Dec. 9, where individual items have estimates of between $30,000 - $250,000. Maxine Taupin, who was married to Taupin from 1971 to 1976 and the inspiration for the John classic "Tiny Dancer," is also set to auction off the lyrics for "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)" and "Border Song." In an interview with Rolling Stone, Maxine said she couldn't recall how she wound up with the valuable lyrics after her divorce. "You don't just normally sit in a room and divide things up, but it might have happened like that. I don't really remember the moment. But some of them were framed on a wall in my home and other ones were in a bank vault, perfectly preserved," she said, adding "When I heard the finished songs, I was instantly transported to that magical place these two creative forces have been taking us all to for so many years." Maxine, who last saw Elton perform in 2004, said that she decided to cash in on the lyrics in the wake of the Elton biopic Rocketman's success. Meanwhile, Rod Stewart has told a Scottish radio station that he's currently in the midst of a spat with his good friend Elton after criticising John's decision to head out on an extensive farewell world tour. "I do love Elton, only we're not talking at the moment. We've had a spat because I criticized his tour as being money-grabbing," Stewart said. In March, Stewart slammed John's "Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour," telling Andy Cohen "I did email her [Sir Elton] and said, 'What, again dear?' And, I didn't hear anything back. I don't think this is a big deal, it stinks of selling tickets." - NME, 11/25/19...... Neil Young posted on his Neil Young Archives website on Nov. 23 that he plans to rlease his long-awaited album Homegrown in 2020, 45 years after the album was originally shelved. "'Homegrown' will be our first release in 2020, sounding great in vinyl -- as it was meant to be Made in the mid-nineteen seventies!," he wrote. Young called the album "the unheard bridge between Harvest and Comes a Time, and suggested that the mostly-acoustic LP, which focused on his difficult relationship at the time with actress Carrie Snodgress, didn't originally see the light of day because it was too intensely emotional. He described it as a "record full of love lost and explorations," and one "that has been hidden for decades... too personal and revealing to expose in the freshness of those times." Young added that Homegrown had taken longer than usual to restore because he refused to complete the process digitally, with the accompanying video showing his longtime producer John Hanlon working on the album. "Mr. J. Hanlon is seen here mastering 'Homegrown' in an all analog chain," he explained. "This is the way records were made when we started out. This is the way we made them sound great. We were told that this was impossible now, the 'Homegrown' tapes were too damaged to use; we had to use Digital." - NME, 11/23/19...... Robert LammChicago released a Christmas album, Chicago Christmas 2019, in October, and the brassy rock troupe says that's only the beginning of its holiday festivities. Chicago is being featured in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade on Nov. 28 riding the Hallmark float, and will appear on NBC's Today show when they will announce the itinerary of its 2020 summer tour. They'll also be on hand for a co-headlining performance at the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, filming Dec. 3 and airing the following night on NBC ."I usually try to check in with what's going on with the holidays and try to get into the festivities with the family," trumpeter Lee Loughnane, who produced Chicago Christmas 2019, says. "If there's a football game on I'll usually watch that, but it's good to feel a part of everything this year." Chicago Christmas, which features eight new original songs and three seasonal staples, recently hit No. 1 on the Billboard Holiday Album Sales chart. Singer Robert Lamm says "Each song has its own personality, and that's one of the things I love about (Chicago Christmas 2019) the most; It's really where we are, creatively, at this point." Lamm added that the group is "open to (recording) new material... now that we have the ability to record while we're touring, it's that much easier. So we'll see." Chicago will begin a residency at the Venetian Theater in Las Vegas on Feb. 28, and is also planning an extensive summer tour in 2020. - Billboard, 11/27/19...... Robbie Robertson of The Band has worked with director Martin Scorsese for more than 40 years (they were even roommates in the '70s when Robertson moved into Scorsese's L.A. house on Mulholland Drive), and now Robertson has scored the soundtrack of Scorsese's new Netflix film The Irishman. Robertson says Scorsese wanted him to create music that fit the tone of the new film, probably best described as a character drama more than a traditional mobster movie. "It's a very strong mood, and I've never seen a gangster movie with this kind of tonality before," says Robertson. "It was tricky." It was made trickier by the fact that The Irishman, which stars Robert De Niro as a truck driver who becomes a hitman for an Italian crime family and crosses paths with infamous Teamster Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), spans multiple decades. This meant that Scorsese used de-aging technology to make septuagenarian actors De Niro, Pacino and Joe Pesci look, at some points, as young as 30. "I thought, 'as long as it works,'" says Robertson of his first impression when he was told about the de-aging concept. "As long as it isn't distracting. All we know from the past is people that are younger playing older, not too much the other way around. They give these tests and the tests looked really encouraging and it was like, if you can do that and if you can pull it off, this is historic." Robertson, who previously worked with Scorsese on several of his films including Raging Bull, Casino, The Departed and The Wolf of Wall Street, released his latest solo album, Sinematic, on Sept. 20. - The Hollywood Reporter, 11/28/19...... Newly discovered letters written by Paul McCartney's late first wife Linda McCartney about Paul will be auctioned through Chiswick Auctions in London on Jan. 29, 2020. Discovered by Linda's friend and former male housemate Miki Antony, the letters were written before Linda married the Beatle in 1969. They reveal her excitement about dating the star and how she was commissioned to photograph "groovy" bands of the day. In June 1967, weeks after she had begun dating McCartney, Linda (then Linda Eastman) photocopied an American gossip column that featured a sentence about her. She sent it to Antony with a passage underlined that read: "They say Beatle Paul McCartney's latest favourite femme is Linda Eastman, a Yankee Doodle fan-mag [photographer]." Linda wrote on the back: "Thought you'd get a big laugh over the enclosed clipping. Have no idea where they picked up that lie, but it just shows how truthful newspapers are." Linda and Paul met at the Bag O' Nails nightclub in London's Soho in May 1967. They married in March 1969 and McCartney "cried for a year" after his wife's death from cancer in 1998, aged just 56. aul and Linda McCartney. Antony says she met Linda while she was studying at the University of Arizona. He said: "She was a good friend for a year and a half. But then, of course, she went off into the Beatles world and that was it. She was lovely." - New Musical Express, 11/24/19...... CherCher paid homage to her late first husband Sonny Bono on the Season 28 finale of ABC's Dancing With the Stars on Nov. 25 with a performance of the Sonny & Cher classic "The Beat Goes On." Dressed in a hippie outfit straight out of the 1960s with a sparkly magenta top, striped bell bottoms and teal faux fur vest, the 73-year-old icon duetted with Sonny on the 1967 hit using old video footage of the pair. "Charleston was once the rage, uh huh/ History has turned the page, uh huh/ Miniskirt's the current thing, uh huh/ Teenybopper is our newborn king, uh huh," Cher belted out, trading lines with Sonny as she launched into some serious arm-ography with the backup dancers. A clip of the performance has been shared on YouTube. - Billboard, 11/26/19...... The Who's Pete Townshend is apologizing for his recent controversial interview with Rolling Stone in which said that he "thanks God" that his bandmates Keith Moon and John Entwistle are no longer around. "They were f---ing difficult to play with," Townshend said in the interview, sparking criticism. "They never, ever managed to create bands for themselves. I think my musical discipline, my musical efficiency as a rhythm player, held the band together." Now Townshend has posted a message to himself on his Facebook page. "PETE! FOR F---'S SAKE PUT A LID ON IT!," he wrote. "No one can ever know how much I miss Keith and John, as people, as friends and as musicians. The alchemy we used to share in the studio is missing from the new album, and it always feels wrong to try to summon it up without them, but I suppose we will always be tempted to try. To this day I am angry at Keith and John for dying. Sometimes it shows. It's selfish, but it's how I feel." The guitarist and singer went on to apologize to the late musician's children, Chris Entwistle and Mandy Moon, as well as to the Who's fans. "I understand that a lot of long-time Who fans will be hurt by the way it comes across as a headline. I only hope that they know me well enough that I tell the truth as much as I can, but I also tell both sides and the upside is missing in the headlines," he said. - Billboard, 11/27/19...... Tina Turner shared a rare video message with her fans on Nov. 26, her milestone 80th birthday. "Yes, I'm 80. How did I think I would be at 80? Not like this," she said. "How is this?" she continued. "Well, I look great, I feel good, I've gone through some very serious sicknesses that I'm overcoming. So it's like having a second chance at life. I'm happy to be an 80-year-old woman." Turner's video montage also featured birthday messages from the likes of Ringo Starr, Ronnie Wood, Nile Rodgers and others. - New Musical Express, 11/26/19...... Dolly Parton has delivered big ratings for NBC with her Nov. 26 special Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Opry. The two-hour show outdrew the same-day season averages for competing series on other networks, and averaged 7 million viewers, along with a 0.8 rating among adults 18-49. The total-viewer count was the best for the NBC from 9 to 11 p.m. on Tuesday during the fall 2019 season. The show also outdrew ABC's Nov. 12 Parton interview special, Dolly Parton: Here She Comes Again, which had a little under 4 million viewers. - The Hollywood Reporter, 11/27/19...... Prince will release a Super Deluxe Edition of his classic 1982 album 1999 on Nov. 29. In addition to a remastered version of the 1999 double LP, the release also features 35 alternate versions, remixes, previously unreleased tracks and live cuts, including a Special Dance Mix of "Little Red Corvette." It also features the guitar-pop gem "Money Don't Grow on Trees" from his 1979 self-titled debut, and the Dirty Mind outtake "Vagina." - Billboard, 11/27/19...... The rock supergroup Hollywood Vampires featuring Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Johnny Depp has announced a fall 2020 UK tour in support of their latest album, Rise. The group will play Leeds on Sept. 2, Glasgow on Sept. 3, London on Sept. 5, and Birmingham on Sept. 6. "This show has something for everyone," Cooper says. "I like to joke that The Vampires are the world's most expensive bar band, but what a lot of people don't realise is that this is a real rock band, not just some novelty. I wouldn't keep doing it if it weren't such a great band... I never get tired of playing with these guys!" - New Musical Express, 11/26/19...... Ace FrehleyFormer KISS guitarist Ace Frehley has been slapped with a restraining order by his longtime girlfriend Rachael Gordon after a bizarre incident when he stormed into his home and grabbed his belongings. According to the celebrity gossip site, Gordon claims in court documents that Frehley, 68, returned home from a business trip unannounced and barged into the couple's home with a male and a female bodyguard, as well as his adult daughter, Monique, and gathered up items including guitars and gold records. Gordon also alleges that Monique threatened her with physical violence and screamed at her, "You are a skank. My family will kill you." According to her filings, the tumultuous visit and verbal abuse left Gordon "in shock, afraid, filled with anxiety" and "paralyzed with fear." A friend of Gordon's also claims to have witnessed the incident and stated Frehley's entorage "looked like they were on drugs." Gordon also alleges Frehley has displayed troubling behaviour with her in the past, alleging he once threw a knife on their bed and told her words to the effect of "you know what that can do to you." Gordon says she's also planning to move out after the altercation, claiming the home ambush happened just as their lease ended and she needs the cash to find a new home as she does not work and he controls their finances. She is asking for $20,000 for moving expenses, $11,000 for rent and $25,000 in legal fees. - WENN/, 11/28/19...... Doug Lubahn, a studio bassist for The Doors, died on Nov. 24 of as yet undisclosed causes. While The Doors never had a full-time bass player, Lubahn appeared on three of the group's most acclaimed albums including Strange Days, Waiting for the Sun and The Soft Parade. After his work with The Doors, Lubahn went on to play in several other bands including Dreams, Pierce Arrow and Riff Raff. "Words could never express the sorrow. He was the love of my life. I'll miss the laughter more than anything," wrote his wife Pat Devanny. On The Doors' official Twitter page, a note read: "Our condolences go out to the family, friends and fans of Doug Lubahn. Doug made indelible contributions to rock and roll, and especially to The Doors. He played bass on Stage Days, Waiting for the Sun and Soft Parade. #RIP, Doug." - NME, 11/26/19...... Ron Oberman, a senior record executive and former publicist to David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen, died on Nov. 21 in his Spanish Springs, Nev., home after battling FTD (Frontal Temporal Degeneration) disease, a family spokesperson confirmed. He was 76. Oberman was best known for developing and furthering the careers of international music artists such as Bowie, Springsteen, The Bangles, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Warrant, Wilderness Road, Martika and more. He also worked with the Beatles and Mick Jagger. Oberman began his career with a Washington, D.C. newspaper as the writer of a weekly teen column, and later worked in the A&R department of Mercury Records, where he developed and introduced the then-unknown Bowie, and subsequently served as Bowie's North American publicist. Columbia Records eventually signed Oberman as head of its A&R department. Apart from Bowie, Oberman helped save Springsteen from being dropped by Columbia after writing a letter to the head of the label, pleading to give the singer-songwriter another chance. Oberman stayed with Columbia for 25 years, and then moved to become the head of MCA Records' A&R department, where he discovered and signed the Bangles. He is survived by his wife, Amber DiLena. - The Hollywood Reporter, 11/24/19...... Cartoonist Gahan Wilson, whose illustrations in such iconic magazines as Playboy, The New Yorker and National Lampoon earned him the nicknames "the Michelangelo of the Macabre" and "the Wizard of Weird," has died at 89. Mr. Wilson gained fame with such offbeat drawings as a man deliriously happy as he is being strapped into the electric chair and saying, "Gee, it's just like in the movies." Another showed an eye doctor with a knife about to attack a patient who is reading an exam chart that says, "I am an insane eye doctor and I am going to kill you now..." Mr. Wilson told David Letterman in 1982 that he was always attracted to circus sideshows and freaks. "They're fun," he said. "They're nice people." Mr. Wilson's stepson wrote on Facebook that Wilson, born Feb. 18, 1930, died peacefully surrounded by loved ones on Nov. 21. -, 11/23/19.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Carole King will present the American Music Awards' "Artist of the Decade" honor to pop sensation Taylor Swift during the 2019 AMA Awards on Nov. 24 in Los Angeles, it was announced by ABC and Dick Clark Productions on Nov. 21. "I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to present Taylor with the Artist of the Decade honor," said King in a statement. "She is an extraordinary songwriter who has cultivated a unique and personal relationship with her audience. As a woman songwriter who also got into the music world at a young age, I know the kind of determination, struggle and single-minded perseverance it has taken for her to reach such heights." The award show will be broadcast live on ABC from L.A.'s Microsoft Theater beginning at 8 p.m. EST. In addition to Swift, among the many performers will be Post Malone featuring Travis Scott and Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy recently collaborated with Malone on Malone's single "Take What You Want." - Billboard, 11/21/19...... Neil YoungNeil Young has declared that Facebook "is toast" on his Neil Young Archives website and that he's "no longer interested" in linking to the popular social media platform due to its "support of right wing groups." In the NYA posting entitled "Facebook is toast at NYA", Young wrote: "Facebook is facing criticism for sponsoring the annual gala of the Federalist Society, the powerful right wing organisation behind the nomination of the conservative supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh. This turn of events, in addition to the false information regularly supplied to the public on Facebook, with its knowledge, has caused us to re-evaluate and change our use policy. I don't feel that a social site should be making obvious commitments to one side of politics or the other. It further confuses readers regarding truthfulness in coverage and message. NYA, is no longer interested in further links with FACEBOOK and will be discontinuing use. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause to you." Young's move comes just a month after he threatened to pull all Facebook posts from his archive site, when he wrote: "It's a problem we face together. FB gives you more than you want and it's not all good. A lot of it is very bad misinformation about political campaigns and ads that are outright falsehoods... If we continue to be on Facebook, we are conflicted about who we are. With that in mind, don't be surprised if we drop all references and contacts with the platform." - New Musical Express, 11/21/19...... As the annual Record Store Day approaches on Black Friday (Nov. 29), Paul McCartney has shared two new songs on YouTube that he'll release on that day as a double A-side, 7-inch picture disc single. "Home Tonight" and "In a Hurry" are upbeat and fun, featuring the former Beatle's characteristically melodic vocals, and were recorded during Paul's sessions for his 2018 album, Egypt Station. The limited edition single will feature album artwork based on the old-time parlour game "Exquisite Corpse." - Billboard, 11/22/19...... Speaking of the Beatles, the late George Harrison is given credit by Elton John for helping him during his long battle with drug addiction in an interview Elton recently gave with DJ Chris Evans on the UK's Virgin Radio Breakfast Show. When asked by Evans what the "best piece of advice" was that Harrison gave him, John replied "stop putting that marching powder up your nose." "Twenty-nine-years it's been. The nose is still here!," the 72-year-old Elton added. In another recent interview, Elton also revealed how he had to learn to walk again after contracting a serious infection following surgery for prostate cancer. Speaking to Graham Norton for new BBC programme Elton John: Uncensored, he revealed: "I had to learn to walk again. I was extremely sick. All I could think about when I was lying in my hospital bed was 'please don't let me die, I want to see my children', and luckily I survived it." The music icon then compared himself to the Bionic Woman. "Now I'm fine but there's very few bits of me left. There's no hair, there's a pacemaker, there's no tonsils, there's no prostate, there's no appendix, I've had kidney stones. I'm like the Bionic Woman." - New Musical Express, 11/22/19...... Michael JacksonIt has been revealed that a movie about the life and career of Michael Jackson is in the works from Graham King, the producer of the smash Queen and Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. King and his GK Films will work on the project with the Jackson estate, which has granted him the rights to the late singer's music. Bohemian Rhapsody earned over $900 million at the global box office and six Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture. GK Films is also developing a new Bee Gees movie for Paramount. In other MJ news, the lead role for an upcoming Michael Jackson Broadway musical set to open in the summer of 2020 was revealed on Nov. 21 by its producer, Lia Vollack, and the Jackson estate. Tony nominee Ephraim Sykes, currently on Broadway in "Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations" portraying Motown recording artist David Ruffin, will take on the role of the late King of Pop. The production -- previously titled "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," after Jackson's 1979 single -- will begin preview performances July 6 with an official opening set for Aug. 13 at New York's Neil Simon Theatre. Sykes' other Broadway credits include "Hamilton: An American Musical," "Memphis," "Newsies," "Motown the Musical" and "The Little Mermaid." - The Hollywood Reporter, 11/22/19...... In other Broadway news, Tina Turner made a surprise appearance on the opening night of the "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical," which debuted at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Nov. 7. Turner suprised the audience by joining the cast onstage with other members of the musical's team after the show and gave an emotional speech, noting that "This musical is my life but it's like poison that turned to medicine. I can never be as happy as I am now." "Tina" follows the Grammy-winning singer, played by Adrienne Warren, as she moved from Tennessee to St. Louis, detailing her abusive relationship with ex-husband Ike Turner, but ultimately launching her 50-year global career as the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll. Other celebrities in attendance on opening night included Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Martha Stewart and Spike Lee. - Billboard, 11/8/19...... Ozzy Osbourne released his new single, the thrashing new track "Straight to Hell," on Nov. 22 and has shared it on YouTube. Kicking it off with his signature "Alright now!" phrase, the veteran shock rocker chants, "You're flying higher than a kite tonight / You took the hit and now you feel alright. You're deadbeat's dead so we must celebrate / I'll make you scream, I'll make you defecate." Then none other than Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash shows up to deliver some devlish riffs. "Straight to Hell" follows Ozzy's previous single, "Under the Graveyard," which was his first new single in almost a decade. Osbourne is gearing up to release his forthcoming album Ordinary Man in early 2020, which will coincide with his "No More Tours 2" tour featuring special guest Marilyn Manson. - Billboard, 11/22/19...... The WhoThe Who became the first act to be honored on London's new Music Walk of Fame on Camden High Street on Nov. 19 in what organizers hope will become a must-see Hollywood Boulevard-style tourist attraction for visitors to the city. Founding Who members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey were on hand at the inaugural presentation and spoke of their pride at being immortalized on the permanent walk, located in the north London borough of Camden. "This will be great for Camden. It'll be great for London," Townshend said. "It'll be great for the neighbourhood and it will be great for our business, one of the biggest exports that we have in the U.K. We've all contributed. We're all still contributing and we will go on contributing," he added. Townshend went on to say, joking that he would have preferred the commemorative paving slab to be on Goldhawk Road in West London, where The Who started their career, "but those f---ers have got no money." Roger Daltrey spoke of Camden's rich musical heritage and said the area remains "a great place to come for the best of the music that's out there at the moment." "May it long reign and may this avenue of stars grow and grow because we have got the best music industry in the world," Daltrey told the audience, made up of invited guests, media and hundreds of curious bystanders lining the opposite side of the street. London's Music Walk Of Fame is the brainchild of music promoter Lee Bennett, who first came up with the idea when he was living in California and noticed the U.K. had no equivalent to Hollywood's world famous tourist attraction. Bennett says he plans to lay around 20 special paving stones recognizing iconic music artists and ground-breaking innovators each year. Future inductees will be selected by an international panel of artists, executives and journalists. The next act to be honored will be Camden band Madness in early 2020. - Billboard, 11/19/19...... In other Who news, the band has just shared the third single, "I Don't Wanna Get Wise," from their upcoming album WHO. The upbeat new song extolls the virtues of not wanting to "get wise" because life will work itself out. It will be featured on the band's twelfth studio album, which hits stores on Dec. 6. The band has also shared information about four bonus tracks that will be found on the deluxe edition of WHO. "This Gun Will Misfire" and "Danny & His Ponies" were written and recorded specifically for WHO, while "Got Nothing to Prove" and "Sand" are demos from the mid-'60s that the group finally completed. Townshend says the latter two songs "would not have been rejected by the bandmembers but rather by my then-creative mentor, Who manager Kit Lambert." - New Musical Express, 11/22/19...... Lynyrd Skynyrd will be among the headliners at the Epicenter 2020 Music Festival, set for Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. from May 1-3. Other headliners include Metallica, David Lee Roth, Staind, Papa Roach, Anthrax and Dropkick Murphys. Camping at Epicenter will begin on Apr. 30 with campgrounds open until May 4. VIP, 3-day passes and more are available now. - Billboard, 11/19/19...... The Doobie BrothersThe Doobie Brothers have announced they'll reunite for a special North American tour in 2020 to celebrate 50 years since the band's formation. Kicking off on June 9 at the Coral Sky Ampitheatre in West Palm Beach, Fla., the 30-date run will mark the first time four of its members -- Tom Johnston, Pat Simmons, John McFee and Michael McDonald -- will tour together in nearly a quarter century. Other cities on the tour include Nashville (6/17), Toronto (7/19), Denver (8/30), Seattle (9/5) and Los Angeles (9/18), before it wraps on Oct. 10 at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Houston, Tex. Pat Simmons recently teased a 50th anniversary Doobies tour during a set on Nov. 18 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., part of a short outing that includes performances of its albums Toulouse Street and The Captain and Me. After hitting "Takin' It To the Streets," Simmons told the audience, "that's really good, maybe we should go on the road." In a press release announcing the tour, Tom Johnston said, "We're truly excited about our 50th Anniversary Tour as it's a celebration of the band's entire history. We'll be performing songs from our full catalog, as well as new music." - Billboard, 11/19/19...... A coin commemorating what would have been the 70th birthday Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott has been announced by the Central Bank in Lynott's native Ireland. Bank president Michael Higgins will unveil the special coin, of which 3,000 will be minted at a face falue of 15, on Nov. 26 at St Kevin's College, Crumlin, Dublin, which is Lynott's former school. Lynott, who played bass and sang lead vocals in the celebrated Dublin band from 1969 until his death in 1986, died at the age of 36 after contracting pneumonia and suffering organ failure. Other tributes to Lynott over the years include a statue erected in Dublin city centre, just off Grafton Street, in 2005 which was organized by his mother, Philomena. Thin Lizzy are among the nominees for the class of 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. - New Musical Express, 11/20/19...... Three members of KISS -- Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer -- performed for eight lucky fans during a boat cruise off the coast of southern Australia on Nov. 18. KISS had also planned to perform for great white sharks during the cruise, with the fans in another boat separated from them by a small submarine, but unfortunately the sharks never showed up. As part of a promotion by Airbnb, the concert was planned to entice sharks using the low-frequency sounds of rock and roll, and the fans on glass-bottomed boats would be able to get a close look. "I would say it's one of the most unusual, eclectic things we ever did, that's for sure," Singer told an Australian TV station. The station's segment of the event can be viewed on YouTube. - Billboard, 11/20/19...... Michael J. PollardActor Michael J. Pollard, who became a familiar face to movie audiences in 1967 with his supporting role as C. W. Moss in the acclaimed Arthur Penn-directed movie Bonnie and Clyde, passed away on Nov. 22 of as yet undisclosed causes. He was 80. Rob Zombie, who directed the 2003 horror movie House of 1000 Corpses which featured Pollard in the role of Stucky, broke the news on his Facebook page with a touching message for the late actor. "We have lost another member of our House Of 1000 Corpses family. I woke up to the news that Michael J. Pollard had died. I have always loved his work and his truly unique on screen presence. He was one of the first actors I knew I had to work with as soon as I got my first film off the ground. He will be missed." Born in New Jersey in 1939, Mr. Pollard attended Montclair Academy and Actors Studio in New York. By the late '50s, he had appeared in such television programs as Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Andy Griffith Show. On The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, he took over for future Gilligan's Island star Bob Denver, with Jerome Krebs replacing Denver's iconic Maynard G. Krebs for a short period of time. This started what would become a decades-long career as a character actor performing in dozens of roles. In 1966, he took on one of his most memorable roles on an episode of the original Star Trek series as Jahn, the teenage-leader of an all-child planet. But Mr. Pollard is perhaps best known for his supporting role as C. W. Moss in 1967's Bonnie and Clyde, which starred him alongside Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons. For his performance, Mr. Pollard scored Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor, and was won a BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles. The movie's success also led to Mr. Pollard staging a mock presidential campaign where he created the joke campaign song "Michael J. Pollard for President." Following Bonnie and Clyde, the character actor would continue to appear in dozens of movie and TV roles over the years, including Scrooged, Melvin and Howard, Dick Tracy and the Superboy TV series. For horror fans, he is also very fondly remembered for his part as Stucky in House of 1000 Corpses, which serves as one of his final acting roles. -, 11/22/19.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Bruce Springsteen played a two-hour benefit show in his hometown of Asbury Park, N.J. on the evening of Nov. 16 for a fundraiser for Boston College, where his son Evan once attended. The 500-capacity Stone Pony club saw the rock icon, backed by his E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg and former Asbury Jukes guitarist Bobby Bandiera and his band, perform a 22-song set that mixed in classics such as "Born to Run," "Dancing in the Dark" and "Spirit in the Night" with covers including "Twist and Shout." An encore set featured a medley of Detroit songs and a final acoustic take on "Thunder Road." Springsteen previously played a benefit for the private Jesuit University in Chestnut Hill, Mass., at the Stone Pony in 2011. Footage from the event of Springsteen playing "10th Avenue Freezout" with the full band was shared on YouTube. - Billboard, 11/18/19...... Paul McCartneyIn a new interview with Billboard, Paul McCartney revealed he and his wife Nancy Shevell snook into a cinema near their home in the Hamptons over the summer for a screening of the recent Beatles-themed movie Yesterday. Sir Paul said he politely declined an offer to see the film at an official screening, but decided to see the movie after he heard Danny Boyle would direct it. "I thought, 'They must think they can pull it off.' And I thought nothing more of it until they asked if I wanted to see a screening," Paul said. "I asked Nancy, and we said, 'Let's go, you and me, on a date to the cinema'. We were in the Hamptons in the summer and there it was, so we got two tickets and walked in when the cinema went dark. Only a couple of people saw us. We were in the back row, giggling away, especially at all the mentions of Paul McCartney. A couple of people in front of us spotted us, but everyone else was watching the film. We loved it.'" Yesterday stars Himesh Patel as singer/songwriter Jack Malik, who lives in a world where nobody knows that the iconic Liverpool band ever existed. McCartney also gave an update on his forthcoming musical adaptation of the movie It's a Wonderful Life, which is due out in 2020. "The reason I never wanted to do a musical is I couldn't think of a strong enough story," he said. "But a guy I've known since school in Liverpool became a theatrical impresario in London [Bill Kenwright], and he rang me up and said, 'I've got the musical rights to It's a Wonderful Life. That's a strong story. So I met with the writer, Lee Hall, and I asked him to write the first 20 minutes of how he sees this as a play. So I was on holiday in the Hamptons, and I had lots of free time. So I read it and thought, 'That's a good opening, I like this', and I sat at the piano and threw this melody at these dummy lyrics he had written. This was August. I sent it to them, and they said, 'You've nailed it'. So it's going well." Macca was interviewed by Billboard after the magazine named the Beatles as topping their list of the "Top 125 Artists of All Time" on the occasion of its 125th anniversary. The Rolling Stones claimed the No. 2 spot on the list, with Elton John named the No. 3 act and top solo artist. - Billboard, 11/14/19...... In other McCartney news, Glastonbury UK festival organizer Emily Eavis has announced that the Beatles icon will headline the legendary festival in 2020 just hours after Paul shared an image of American composer Philip Glass, actress Emma Stone and rock legend Chuck Berry. When the surnames of all three are combined, the not-so-subtle clue of "Glass-Stone-Bury" is provided. Eavis wrote on Twitter: "IT'S REAL!! So excited.. Having Paul McCartney coming back to headline the Pyramid next year is an absolute dream come true. There really was no one that we wanted more for the 50th anniversary." McCartney also confirmed the news, posting: "Hey Glasto - excited to be part of your Anniversary celebrations. See ya next summer!" The announcement ends months of speculation surrounding a headline slot for Macca at Glastonbury's fiftieth anniversary in 2020. Paul last headlined the festival in 2004, alongside Muse and Oasis. Meanwhile McCartney, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour and Jeff Lynne are among some of the names who have signed a guitar to help raise money for former Fairport Convention guitarist Jerry Donahue, who suffered a severe stroke in 2016 and has been disabled since. The guitar -- a signature Jerry Donahue Fender Telecaster -- is expected to sell for in the region of between £10,000 and £20,000. Other big names who have signed the guitar include The Who's Pete Townshend, Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi, Dire Straits's Mark Knopfler and The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson. - New Musical Express, 11/18/19...... German artist TrippieSteff has reimagined the cover of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album with 21st century celebrities as part of a remake of several classic album covers, including Blondie's Parallel Lines and Nirvana's Nevermind, by a team of graphic designers and artists. TrippieSteff's new Sgt. Pepper's artwork features Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Drake and Lil Nas X in place of the original Fab Four at the center, and the artwork also depicts a range of other contemporary figures including Elon Musk, Kylie Jenner, Bernie Sanders and BoJack Horseman. "The original cover was a blend of high and low cultural figures that depicted the zeitgeist mindset of the late 60s," TrippieSteff explained. "It was also a group of influential figures that were 'heroes' to the Beatles. With a desire to keep the same theme, I chose to feature the most iconic and influential figures of the past decade. These are people that have been controversial figures in music, politics, television, human rights and more. By putting them together in the same image, I wanted to show that they are all equally important." - NME, 11/15/19...... Randy NewmanRandy Newman has been nominated in both the Best Original Song and Best Score categories at the upcoming Oscars for his contribution to the Toy Story 4 soundtrack. Newman, 75, has two eligible titles in the song category: "The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy" and "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away." Newman, a 20-time Oscar nominee and two-time winner, is the only songwriter in Academy Awards history to receive a nomination for Best Original Song for three films from the same franchise. His tunes have been nominated for each of the first three Toy Story films -- "You've Got a Friend in Me" (1995), "When She Loved Me" (1999) and 2010 winner "We Belong Together," and he could extend his streak come Jan. 13, 2020, with the two new titles. While Newman is the only songwriter to receive a nod for best original song for three films in the same franchise, legendary composer John Williams has equaled or surpassed this feat in the Best Original Score category with two franchises: He was nominated for best original score for five Star Wars films (he won for scoring the 1977 original) and three Indiana Jones movies. He may land his sixth Star Wars nom for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, out Dec. 20. - Billboard, 11/15/19...... Wade Robson and James Safechuck, the two men who accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them as children, could bring their lawsuits to trial thanks to an update in California's child sexual abuse law. The pair, whose accusations were featured in the documentary Leaving Neverland as well as in a 2013 lawsuit that was dismissed four years later, could find themselves back in court as the new law comes into force. Both men had appealed the 2017 decision to discharge their cases, which was due to a statute of limitations, but these appeals have since been on hold in the appellate court. But the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases has since been extended in Californian law, and the California Court of Appeal has issued a tentative ruling that could overturn the 2017 dismissals. Should a trial be granted, Robson and Safechuck would be able to sue the Jackson estate for millions of dollars like they attempted to do so six years ago. The estate, his family, and Jackson himself before he died in 2009 have denied all accusations of sexual misconduct levelled against him. In other MJ news, the famous episode of The Simpsons featuring Michael Jackson has been excluded from the show's catalog available on the newly launched Disney+ streaming service. In the wake of the increased controversy surrounding the allegations made in Leaving Neverland, it was announced earlier in 2019 that the 1991 episode would be pulled from broadcast rotation, with Simpson showrunner Al Jean recently going as far to say that the late singer used his cameo "to groom young boys." The episode, titled "Stark Raving Dad," featured Jackson as the voice of Leon Kompowsky, a psychiatric hospital patient who ends up sharing a room with Homer Simpson. The white, overweight Kompowsky tries to convince Homer that he is the late King of Pop, and is even seen singing "Billie Jean" and showing off his legendary moonwalk dance moves. The episode ends with Kompowsky helping Bart compose a song as a birthday present to Lisa, before admitting that he knows he isn't really Michael Jackson. - New Musical Express, 11/18/19...... In a new interview with People, Ozzy Osbourne's daughter Kelly Osbourne revealed the Osbourne family are the "closest" they've ever been to reviving their hit MTV reality series, The Osbournes. "I'm not joking, every single year about every three months or so someone else gives us another offer and we keep saying no," Kelly said. "It keeps coming 'round. Right now there's another offer on the table and I think this is the closest we've ever come to accepting one. But whether that will happen or not, I don't know." The 35-year-old singer/actress/fashion designer added that it would be more difficult to shoot a new series of the show now that the Osbourne clan has expanded. "We've got other people to think about. My brother [Jack Osbourne] has three kids. Do we want that life for them without them being old enough to choose if they want to do it or not like my brother and I were?" Meanwhile, father Ozzy has just announced that he's going on a joint tour with Marilyn Manson after Ozzy previously postponed world tour dates after a long spate of illness. Osbourne's "No More Tours 2" trek will begin with Manson on May 27 in Atlanta and conclude July 31 in Las Vegas. October and November will then see the Black Sabbath legend embark of rescheduled UK and European dates with Judas Priest. Ozzy also recently announced his first solo album in 10 years, Ordinary Man, with the launch single "Under The Graveyeard." It is expected to drop in January. - NME, 11/15/19...... KISS added some dates to their 2020 schedule, which kicks off with a Feb. 1 show at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, N.H., and sees the shock rockers on the road for 44 dates through an Oct. 2 show at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Tex. The band says their "End Of the Road Tour" will end on July 21, 2021, at an as-yet-unannounced venue in their home turf of New York after a half century of giving their best to the KISS Army. The news of the new dates came just hours after the band canceled a planned Australia/New Zealand tour after singer Paul Stanley fell ill with the flu and was advised by a doctor to rest. The opening date was recently pushed back due to Stanley's illness, and now the singer says he's suffered an additional infection in his throat. "Words cannot begin to convey our massive disappointment in having to cancel our 'End Of The Road' tour of your incredible country," Stanley said in a message to the band's Australia/NZ fans. "Our connection to you is unparalleled and decades deep." - Billboard, 11/14/19...... To mark the 40th anniversary of its seminal 1979 album London Calling, The Clash has opened a new exhibition at the Museum of London which should prove to be a near-essential pilgrimage for fans of the punk icons across the globe. Upon entering, fans will immediately notice Paul Simonon's broken bass guitar, after he famously smashed the instrument on stage at The Palladium in New York City. The moment went on to become immortalized on the cover of London Calling. Other items on display include Joe Strummer's note book with early lyrics to London Calling and Topper Headon's drum sticks -- the only item of Headon's that remains from this time. The exhibition will run through Apr. 19, 2020. - NME, 11/15/19...... Buddy MilesA previously unseen interview with the late drummer Buddy Miles, a member of Jimi Hendrix's band Band of Gypsys, has just been shared online and sees Miles discussing how he worked with Hendrix to create the now legendary song "Machine Gun." In the new clip posted to YouTube and filmed prior to Miles' death in 2008, he discusses how the three became the Band of Gypsys. "The Band of Gypsys was a strong statement from three brothers, because we all had intimacy and love," Miles explains in the clip. "We also had a feel for what we thought was right and what we enjoyed playing." As for 'Machine Gun' itself, he describes how the classic track was inspired by Hendrix's love of Delta Blues. "It was taken from a style called Delta Blues. He had a deep fascination with Muddy Waters too, but that track was most definitely from the Deep South." On Nov. 22, a new Band of Gypsys box set entitled Songs For Groovy Children: The Fillmore East Concerts will drop. It captures all four historic concerts by Hendrix and the band at New York's Fillmore East. - NME, 11/15/19...... The Monkees members Michael Nesmith and Mickey Dolenz announced on Nov. 13 they'll be hitting the road in 2020 for an "Evening With the Monkees" tour. Nesmith and Dolenz, the only surviving members of the beloved 1960s quartet, will also release their first live album as a duo, The Monkees - The Mike and Mickey Show Live, on Apr. 3. Their tour is set to launch on the new album's release day with a performance at Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. The 14-date trek will run through Seattle, Sacramento, Phoenix, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and more. Dates will close out on Apr. 26 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville. The duo, who previously toured in 2018, will perform material from throughout their more than 50 years in the Monkees and beyond with hits from the band's 1966 self-titled debut to 2016's Good Times. That album was recorded with the three surviving members at the time: Nesmith, Dolenz and Peter Tork. Tork passed away in February this year, while original member and singer Davy Jones passed away in 2012. - Billboard, 11/13/19...... The blue velvet gown worn by the late Princess Diana when she famously enjoyed a dance with Saturday Night Fever icon John Travolta at a White House dinner in 1985 is expected to fetch $452,000 when in goes under the hammer soon at auction. The late British royal donned the stunning Victor Edelstein dress during a state dinner hosted by then-U.S. Pres. Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan in Washington, D.C., and hit the dancefloor with fellow guest Travolta. The off-the-shoulder designer outfit had initially been offloaded at a charity auction in New York in June, 1997, just two months before Diana's death in Paris, France, and it was sold to the highest bidder again in 2013 as part of a collection of the princess' gowns. "This is arguably her most iconic gown, the photos of her being twirled around the dance floor by a handsome John Travolta at the White House caused a sensation at the time, and are still memorable today," said a rep for Kerry Taylor's Auctions. The auction is set to take place in December. - WENN/, 11/18/19...... Terry O'NeillTerry O'Neill, an iconic British photographer known for capturing the 1960s culture through his work with such famous music and film celebrities as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elton John and Frank Sinatra, died at his home on Nov. 16 after battling prostate cancer. He was 81. Recognized as one of the world's most collected photographers, Mr. O'Neill began his career at the birth of the 1960s, as he chronicled the emerging faces of film, fashion and music that would go on to define the Swinging Sixties era. He famously captured images of figures such as Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Elvis Presley and Audrey Hepburn and was also one of the first photographers to work with then new 007 franchise starring Sean Connery as James Bond. He also photographed the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, as well as photographed backstage reportage with David Bowie, Elton John, Eric Clapton and Chuck Berry. Elton John paid tribute to Mr. O'Neill on Twitter, where he praised the late photographer. "Terry O'Neill took the most iconic photographs of me throughout the years, completely capturing my moods," Elton wrote. "He was brilliant, funny and I absolutely loved his company. A real character who has now passed on. RIP you wonderful man. Love, Elton," the singer posted alongside a photo Mr. O'Neill took of him. Mr. O'Neill was awarded the Royal Photographic Society Centenary Medal in 2011 in recognition of his significant contribution to the art of photography and an Honorary Fellowship of the Society. Earlier this year, he was also awarded a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to Photography in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours list. - The Hollywood Reporter, 11/17/19.

Wednesday, November 11, 2019

Elton John announced the final 2020 North American dates for his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour on Nov. 13. John will kick off North American dates of the second year of his three-year tour worldwide tour with a two-night stand at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena on Mar. 28 and 29. Other dates include Montreal (4/2, 3), Miami (5/30), St. Paul (6/15, 16), Chicago (6/19, 20), New Orleans (6/24) and Houston (6/30, 7/1) before wrapping at Kansas City's Sprint Center on July 8. The 24 new dates join previously announced dates that include double headers at Madison Square Garden in New York, Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, Little Caesars Arena in Detroit and American Airlines Center in Dallas. Elton launched his goodbye tour in September of 2018 and has sold out every show so far. The three-year trek is expected to close out in 2021. - Billboard, 11/13/19...... The new Jeff Lynne's ELO album From Out of Nowhere has become the first U.K. chart-topping studio set from the recording act masterminded by Lynne (formerly billed as the Electric Light Orchestra and then ELO) since Time in 1981. ELO previously hit No. 1 with Discovery in 1979 and subsequently with the All Over The World - The Very Best Of compilation, as new audiences were being drawn to their music in 2016. - Billboard, 11/8/19...... Edgar WinterJohnny WinterEdgar Winter has announced he's prepping a star-studded tribute album to his late rocker older brother Johnny Winter that he hopes to release sometime in 2020. "It's really turned out to be a wonderful blessing in my life, doing this," says Edgar, who received early encouragement and support from Johnny including having Edgar as part of his band when it played the legendary 1969 Woodstock festival. "Johnny's my all-time musical hero. If it weren't for him I wouldn't be where I am now. I just feel like I need to acknowledge that and put out a record he would love." Edgar says the 16-song set will include a mix of Johnny Winter originals as well as some of his signature covers, such as Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode," the Rolling Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash," Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" and Rick Derringer's "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo," which Johnny Winter recorded first, in 1970. Contributors to the project include Joe Walsh, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Buddy Guy, Joe Bonamassa, Robben Ford and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, with more guests to be announced soon. Meanwhile, Edgar is among the contributors of Ringo Starr's new album What's My Name, and describes the former Beatles drummer as "such a unique, just joyful gentleman." "And beyond that he's such a heartfelt advocate and spokesman for peace and love, and being an old hippie and having played Woodstock, I just love that idea of spreading that light and that message," Winter notes. "I think the Beatles did that, and Ringo carries it on in admirable fashion." - Billboard, 11/13/19...... The Bellamy Brothers have shared a clip of the title track of their latest album Over the Moon on YouTube, with brothers David and Howard Bellamy singing the sweet ballad of new love set to the backdrop of a star-filled sky. The "Let Your Love Flow" hitmakers will be once again joining country star Blake Shelton on his 2020 "Friends and Heroes" tour, which kicks off Feb. 13 in Portland. - Billboard, 11/13/19...... During a visit to Fargo, N.D. on Nov. 9 for a performance at the Fargo Theatre, Kris Kristofferson surprised customers when he performed with an acoustic guitar at a local downtown bar and asked to sing with the band 32 Below. According to radio station KFGO-AM, members of the band had taped a note to Kristofferson's tour bus door. The note said the band was "huge fans" and "would be absolutely stoked" if the famous country star came to the bar and allowed them to buy him "a beer or five." Kristofferson decided to show up at Dempsey's Public House bar and perform a rendition of his classic "Me and Bobby McGee" with the band. 32 Below later said on Facebook: "We played a legendary song with the legend who wrote it!" - AP, 11/13/19...... Some British fans of the Clash have taken to Twitter to air their dismay over UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's recent declaration that the Clash and the Rolling Stones are his two favourite bands. "(My favourite band is) either the Clash or the Rolling Stones, and mainly I listen to the Rolling Stones nowadays, so you can make of that what you will," he said. Johnson made the remarks in new general election campaign video in which he's seen walking around the Conservative Party headquarters answering questions. "Don't pretend to like the Clash, you lying Tory," one Clash fan posted to Twitter on Nov. 13, while another wrote, "I can assure you there is no chance that you are the Clash's favourite PM. You represent EVERYTHING the Clash stand against." The surviving members of the Clash are yet comment on Johnson's remarks. - New Musical Express, 11/13/19...... In celebration of Motown Records' 60th anniversary, the Ryan Gordy Foundation honored Motown founder Berry Gordy and Motown legend Smokey Robinson during a gala in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Nov. 11. Berry Gordy was presented a Power of Love Award statuette by Michael Jackson's two eldest children, Paris and Prince. "We honor you and your lifetime of incredible achievements across music and entertainment," noted Prince, with Paris adding, "This is a man that we love so dearly and appreciate with all of our hearts." Smokey Robinson next took the stage to pay tribute to Gordy. He said, "You've been my mentor, my motivator, my encourager, my confidant, my go-to and -- back in the days when we lived in the hood -- we were each other's 'N'-word, a high and prestigious position. But the sum total of all these and other my's is that you are my best friend. I love you." "I accept this award in appreciation for the precious years I spent with my dear grandson Ryan Gordy. He inspired me with thoughts beyond his years and his love for life. He was a fighter who never gave up. For all those sharing in the power of love tonight, I thank you," said Gordy, who turns 90 on Nov. 28. Hosted by comedian Chris Tucker and helmed by chairperson Frances Robinson, the dinner and awards event raised $250,000 toward the building of a center for the RGF. Launched in 2017, RGF is named after Gordy's grandson Ryan, who died of leukemia at the age of 29 in 2016. Smokey Robinson accepted his own award, RGF's Legendary R&B Pioneer and Humanitarian Award, from Lionel Richie, who called Robinson "my hero." "What you feel about Berry, Smokey, I feel about you. I love you man, and thank you for being exactly who you are in my life," Richie added. - Billboard, 11/12/19...... Marie Osmond told the audience on her television talk show The Talk on Nov. 11 that she's ready to perform the final week of an 11-year run with her brother Donny Osmond at the Flamingo Las Vegas, even though she was forced to cancel a Nov. 9 show after chipping her knee the previous week. Osmond, 60, was forced to back out of that show but is promising audiences she will be back for the final week of shows in the third week of November. Front-row seats for the last concert by the popular '70s performers on Nov. 16 are reportedly going for $4,000 or more, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. - AP, 11/12/19...... Rod StewartIn a new interview with the toy railroad hobby magazine Railway Modeller, Rod Stewart revealed that he has spent almost 26-years building a huge, 124-ft-long intricate model of a city influenced by both New York and Chicago. Later, after the interview was shared, Stewart rang BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine Show to refute accusations that he hadn't made the model railway himself. "I would say 90% of it I built myself," Sir Rod declared. "The only thing I wasn't very good at and still am not is the electricals, so I had someone else do that. A lot of people laugh at it being a silly hobby, but it's a wonderful hobby," he added. Stewart also told the magazine that he often worked on the model while on tour, sometimes requesting an extra room for his constructions in hotels. "We would tell them in advance and they were really accommodating, taking out the beds and providing fans to improve air circulation and ventilation," the musician said. "When I take on something creative like this, I have to give it 110%," he added. "For me it's addictive. I started, so I just had to finish. I'm lucky I had the room. If I'd have realised at the start it would have taken so long, I'd have probably said, 'No! No! Nah!'" Stewart also revealed that he works on the railway in the attic of his Los Angeles home. - New Musical Express, 11/13/19...... Documentaries about such diverse music figures as Linda Ronstadt, Miles Davis, Luciano Pavarotti, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash are among the 159 feature films that have been submitted in the Best Documentary Feature category for the 92nd Academy Awards, set for Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. At least seven of the 159 films were also entered for best music film in the upcoming 62nd annual Grammy Awards process. Those films that are vying for both Oscar and Grammy noms are: Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes; David Crosby: Remember My Name; Echo in the Canyon; Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles; Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool; Pavarotti and Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese. Other music docs that are entered in the Oscar process include The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash; Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice; Western Stars (starring Bruce Springsteen) and Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation. A shortlist of the 15 films that are advancing in the category will be revealed on Dec. 16. Nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards will be announced on Jan. 13, 2020. - Billboard, 11/12/19...... On Nov. 12 Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters was announced as a keynote speaker for the 2020 South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Tex. "Roger Waters is a true creative visionary, and we're pleased to have him participate for 2020," said Hugh Forrest, the event's chief programming officer. "SXSW continues to be a unique destination for innovation and discovery, and we're excited about the addition of the many groundbreaking pioneers, influential voices and business leaders that we've added to this year's lineup." Other keynotes include artist and former Sonic Youth basist Kim Gordon and director/producer/writer Erin Lee Carr. Previously announced featured speakers include Chic legend Nile Rodgers and comedic actor Cheech Marin. The 2020 edition of SXSW runs from Mar. 13-22 in Austin, Tex. - Billboard, 11/12/19...... Punk poetess Patti Smith will be among the headliners at the 2020 Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tenn., set for next spring. Smith will play with her band and participate in the literary program. The three-day fest (March 26-29), which focuses on "the avant garde, unexpected and surprising," will pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of the invention of the Theremin, with Rob Schwimmer, a master of the eerie instrument leading a trio featuring pianist Uri Caine and violinist Mark Feldman in a 20th anniversary celebration of their album Theremin Noir. - Billboard, 11/12/19...... Singer/songwriter legend Joni Mitchell and jazz great Wayne Shorter were honored by the likes of Quincy Jones, Chaka Khan, Ray Parker, Jr. and Rita Wilson during a fundraiser for the Jazz Foundation on Nov. 10, 2019 in Los Angeles. Heralding Mitchell and Shorter's "transcendent art and boundless imagination" in his opening remarks, JFA executive director Joseph Petrucelli introduced Quincy Jones, who noted that "jazz means freedom." A top-notch crew of session musicians then backed the aforementioned performers in paying homage to Shorter and Mitchell. The Joni Mitchell tribute concluded with a special performance by Chaka Khan of Mitchell's "Man from Mars" and "Hissing of Summer Lawns." Noted Khan as she came onstage, "Wherever Joni goes, there I am." - Billboard, 11/11/19...... In a new interview with the UK's Yorkshire Post, the Who's Pete Townshend said that his "increasingly affectionate relationship" with singer Roger Daltrey is a major reason for the Who's impressive longevity. "I still perform partly because of my ongoing, developing and increasingly affectionate relationship with Roger," said Townshend, who formed the Who with Daltrey, John Entwistle and Keith Moon in 1964. "When you look back at where we started, I wouldn't say we despised each other but we had very little in common. Now, we have very little in common but we really care about each other deeply." Townshend continued: "We are really comfortable with each other. He says, 'You've got your guitar and your pen, I've got my voice'. We meet in the middle and it just happens to be performing." - NME, 11/13/19...... Billy Joel will participate in a special SiriusXM event at the Faena Theater in Miami Beach, Fla. on Dec. 5. "Billy Joel: An Evening of Questions and Answers" will feature the legendary musician sitting in front of a piano taking questions from SiriusXM subscribers in the audience. SiriusXM subscribers will be able to call in to the live event at (844)-365-BILLY (2455) and ask Billy Joel a question. Joel will also be sharing stories behind his music as well as performing portions of songs in between conversation. The exclusive event will broadcast live on Joel's SiriusXM channel, The Billy Joel Channel, at 8pm ET on Dec. 5. The limited-run channel that features the works of the iconic superstar including music spanning his 5 decades-long career along with exclusive stories from Joel will run through Dec. 6 at 3am ET. - Billboard, 11/11/19...... Mick FleetwoodOn Nov. 11, Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood announced an all-star tribute to the early years of Fleetwood Mac and the band's original co-founder, Peter Green, that will take place on Feb. 25 at the London Palladium. "The concert is a celebration of those early blues days where we all began, and it's important to recognize the profound impact Peter and the early Fleetwood Mac had on the world of music," Mick Fleetwood said in a statement. Among the killer lineup of musicians pitching in will be Mick's Fleetwood Mac bandmate Christine McVie, along with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, Jonny Lang, John Mayall, Andy Fairweather Low, Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler and former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman. The show will be filmed for later broadcast, and some of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust. Green, 73, and Fleetwood co-founded Fleetwood Mac in 1967 with John McVie, Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer. - Billboard, 11/11/19...... KISS announced on Nov. 11 that they have pushed back the kick off of the Australian leg of their "End of the Road" tour due to singer/guitarist Paul Stanley becoming ill. "Due to a bad case of Influenza, doctors have advised Paul Stanley to rest for the next few days and not to undertake the long trip from Los Angeles to Perth," read the note from the group, which had been slated to leave the U.S. on Nov. 12 for the Perth launch of the outing on Nov. 16. "With the expectation of Australian audiences high, KISS don't want to not give 100% and so have made changes to the Australian and New Zealand dates," the note added. As a result, the gig at Perth's RAC Arena has been moved from Nov. 16 to the end of the Australian tour on Dec. 3. - Billboard, 11/11/19...... In related news, Ozzy Osbourne has rescheduled the postponed UK and European dates on his "No More Tours 2" tour after being forced to push them back following a series of illnesses and a fall at home earlier in 2019 that re-aggravated an old injury. According to a roster of dates, the tour is now slated to kick off on Oct. 23 at the Utilita Arena in Newcastle. The dates are currently scheduled to last through a Dec. 2 show at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland. Fellow British metal icons Judas Priest will open the dates. The six-week tour was originally scheduled for January. The outing includes a return to Ozzy's hometown of Birmingham for a Halloween show, as well as gigs in Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and Italy. Osbourne's upcoming solo album, Ordinary Man, is due out in January and his first solo single in nearly a decade, "Under the Graveyard," dropped earlier in November, and its video has been shared on YouTube. His upcoming box set, See You on the Other Side, hits stores on Nov. 29. - Billboard, 11/11/19...... Neil Young has penned a letter and posted it on his Neil Youg Archives website about his frustrating experience attempting to obtain citizenship in the United States ahead of the 2020 presidential election due to his marijuana use. "I want to be a dual citizen and vote," Young, who's a Canadian citizen, explained in a Nov. 8 post titled "I Have Been Very Successful in My Life." "When I recently applied for American citizenship, I passed the test. It was a conversation where I was asked many questions. I answered them truthfully and passed." "Recently however, I have been told that I must do another test, due to my use of marijuana and how some people who smoke it have exhibited a problem," he wrote in reference to a policy update issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services earlier in 2019. Young continued: "The problem is defined in an April 19, 2019 addition under Attorney General Sessions. USCIS issued a Policy Alert which includes: 'An applicant who is involved in certain marijuana related activities may lack GMC (Good Moral Character) if found to have violated federal law, even if such activity is not unlawful under applicable state of foreign laws.' I sincerely hope I have exhibited good moral character and will be able to vote my conscience on Donald J. Trump and his fellow American candidates, (as yet un-named)," he added. In October, Young told the Los Angeles Times that "If everything goes as planned, I'll be taking the oath of citizenship" soon after his Nov. 12 birthday. "I'm still a Canadian; there's nothing that can take that away from me," he noted. "But I live down here; I pay taxes down here; my beautiful family is all down here -- they're all Americans, so I want to register my opinion." - Billboard, 11/10/19...... Paul McCartney has paid tribute to revered Beatles photographer Robert Freeman, who has passed away at age 82. McCartney paid tribute to Mr. Freeman via a post on his blog on on, describing him as a "wonderful man" and "one of our favourite photographers who came up with some of our most iconic album covers... I will miss this wonderful man but will always cherish the fond memories I have of him." Mr. Freeman's work included the photos featured on the covers of classic Beatles LPs like the band's second album With The Beatles, Beatles For Sale, Help! and Rubber Soul. He also worked on the ending sequences of the first two Beatles films, A Hard Day's Night and Help!. Mr. Freeman suffered a severe stroke in 2014, and his family sold a copy of one of his John Lennon portraits to pay for his care and to help preserve his archive of photos. In addition to his work with the Beatles, Mr. Freeman took photos for a number of other artists including John Coltrane, as well as photographing political figures such as Nikita Kruschev for London's Sunday Times. - New Musical Express, 11/8/19...... In other Beatles-related news, the Fab Four's 1968 track "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" has been declared the most perfect pop song ever written by researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. The scientists analysed 80,000 different chord progressions from 700 songs recorded between 1958 and 1991, using machine learning to give a score to each chord based on how "surprising" it was compared to the chord preceding it. Chord sequences from 30 of the songs were then played to 39 volunteers, stripped of lyrics and melody to make the source track unrecognisable. The volunteers were asked to rate how enjoyable they felt each chord to be. The research found that when the volunteers were relatively sure what chord was coming next, they enjoyed being surprised instead. The research also found that being unsure of how the song would progress would cause activity in a region of the brain connected with musical pleasure. "Songs that we find pleasant strike a good balance between us knowing what is going to happen next and surprising us with something we did not expect," said the institute's Vincent Cheung, a PhD student. "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" was the closest song the researchers could find to "perfection," followed by Genesis' "Invisible Touch," and BJ Thomas' "Hooked on a Feeling." Despite what science has to say, John Lennon once famously disparaged the Paul McCartney-written song, declaring it "granny music shit." - NME, 11/8/19...... David ByrneFormer Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has announced plans for an immersive new theatre production entitled "Theater of the Mind." The production is inspired by historical and recent lab research, according to Byrne. "It will be in a warehouse, where it's divided into a bunch of different rooms," Byrne told Rolling Stone. "A group of 16 audience members will go from room to room and experience these perceptual things. When they leave one room, another group goes in there. That way, you can get 400 people in from 6 pm to 10. You get the same number as if it were a theatre show, but you get more in small groups." The production is set to open in Denver in August 2020. Byrne recently took his "American Utopia" tour to Broadway. The residency will run until Jan. 20, 2020. - NME, 11/8/19...... Robert "Bob" Norris, who played the iconic "Marlboro Man" in cigarette ads for more than a decade beginning in the 1960s, has died at his Colorado ranch at 90. According to multiple sources, Mr. Norris was never a smoker. Mr. Norris landed the high-profile ad campaign for the Philip Morris cigarette brand by happenstance, after advertising executives sought him out after spotting him in a newspaper photo alongside a famous actor friend, John Wayne. Mr. Norris's son Bobby Noris said his father stepped away from playing the company mascot conceived in the '60s, just as consumers were learning how cigarettes affected their health. "He always told us kids, 'I don't ever want to see you smoking," the younger Norris said, "so one of us finally asked, 'If you don't want us smoking, why are you doing cigarette commercials? He called up Phillip Morris and quit that day." The company stopped using the Marlboro Man in its advertisements only after other men who starred in its campaign died of lung cancer, NPR reported in October 2002. Marlboro aside, Mr. Norris, whose ranch in Colorado eventually covered more than 100,000 acres, was vital to his community. Not only was he held roles in local rodeo organizations, but he was an ardent philanthropist, and a local venue is named after him. His family remembered him in a public service held on Nov. 8. -, 11/9/19.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Billy Joel will be playing his first-ever solo stadium gig at the 40,000-capacity Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Sept. 11, 2020. The announcement was made on Twitter by former Cincinnati Reds baseball great and Hall of Famer Johnny Bench. "I am a huge Billy Joel fan," Bench said during his announcement. "His iconic songs will play beautifully in our ballpark, giving all of Reds Country the opportunity to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer live." Joel's Cincinnati gig is just one of the many stadium dates he's booked for the rest of 2019 and into the middle of 2020, including an Oct. 12 show at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas and a March 6 gig at Foro Sol in Mexico City. He'll also perform Apr. 18 at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. and on June 20 at Notre Dame Stadium in Notre Dame, Ind. In September, MGM Television announced that it is teaming with Universal Music Publishing Group to bring the Piano Man's music to life as a scripted "arc-thology" called Scenes From an Italian Restaurant. - Billboard, 11/7/19...... Robbie RobertsonThe Band's 1969 seminal self-titled album, which will be released as a deluxe 50th anniversary edition on Nov. 15, will feature their entire 11-song performance at the legendary 1969 Woodstock festival, including a cover of The Four Tops' "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever." The Band: 50th Anniversary Edition has been newly remastered and will also include 13 previously unreleased, alternate versions of the album tracks. The Band's Robbie Robertson says says pulling out the Woodstock tapes took him right back to the classic 1969 festival. "When I listened to it, I had this flashback," Robertson says. "We played on the final night and it had just gotten dark out and it was the perfect time to play, but we kinda thought, 'I dunno if we fit in here.'" Robertson adds The Band's set "was the equivalent of going out and playing hymns," and not what the partying crowd was looking for. "Their arms weren't in the air anymore. It was like they went into a spell, a whole different feeling. So we played and left and then they went back to the party," he says. The Band's 1969 LP debut includes such Band classics as "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "Rag Mama Rag" and "Up On Cripple Creek," and was co-produced by John Simon and recorded at a residential home in the Hollywood Hills previously owned by Sammy Davis Jr. It's unique sound was a mix of rock, folk, blues and country -- Americana, before the genre was termed. On Sept. 20, Robertson released Sinematic, his first new solo effort in eight years, with guest appearances by Van Morrison, Citizen Cope and Derek Trucks. - Billboard, 11/7/19...... Speaking of Woodstock, original 1969 festival organizer Michael Lang says that Japanese investor Dentsu turned out to be the wrong choice for his failed attempt at a 50th anniversary Woodstock festival this summer. "It really started to come apart for me a week before we signed with Dentsu," Lang said during Billboard Live Music Summit in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Nov. 5. Lang said that Dentsu had been brought on to Woodstock 50 in 2018 for media and sponsorships exclusively "[but] somewhere along the line they asked if they could do funding. We had other people who were lined up but it just seemed convenient." According to Lang, Dentsu's co-producer title gave them partial control of the festival, even though they had no experience putting on an event of that caliber. "When [Dentsu] decided that they had an opinion, it could throw a wrench into anything -- and did," said Lang. While Woodstock 50 never occurred, Lang said he spent the anniversary weekend at the original festival location and continues to get people coming up to him to thank him for the 1969 event. "Everybody who's ever come up to me, and there have been in thousands of people, say [Woodstock '69] changed my life for the better," said Lang. - Billboard, 11/5/19...... Interviewed in a "recovery" special edition of the showbiz publication Variety, Elton John revealed how he feared he wouldn't be able to perform sober after taking a year-long break to seek treatment for addiction. "After I finally surrendered and decided to seek treatment for my addiction, there came a point when I wondered if I would ever go back to work as Elton John again. When the day arrived, I was terrified, but I did manage to get through the performance. It was the only time I stepped on a stage that year, and I had to do it on my own without the band. In retrospect, I'm glad I went straight in at the deep end That show gave me confidence to know that I could still perform sober," said John, who attended extensive Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in 1990. Elton also discussed his battles with drugs and alcohol in his recent memoir Me, in which he recalls one time when he mistook Bob Dylan for his gardener while high, describing him as "scruffy." - New Musical Express, 11/6/19...... Joe WalshEagles guitarist Joe Walsh will headline his third annual VetsAid benefit concert on Nov. 10 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Tex. Walsh -- the son of a Gold Star veteran who died while on active duty when Walsh was just 20 months old -- launched VetsAid in 2016 to help fund local, grassroots veterans aid agencies. So far the charity has distributed nearly $1.2 million in grants. The 2019 VetsAid benefit will also feature the Doobie Brothers, ZZ Top, Brad Paisley, Sheryl Crow and Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit. "I aimed it at the little vet-run organizations in the Midwest and stuff that didn't have a budget," Walsh explains. "If a vet gets home and he's pretty alone and not a lot of people understand him, that's the beginning of the depression and the isolation, and that's the seed of the suicides. So it's so important to keep those organizations going, and that's what we've been able to do." Walsh says VetsAid will continue to play different cities each year rather than settle into one city. Meanwhile he's also touring with the Eagles, which kicked off a tour in October in Las Vegas, playing Hotel California in its entirety, accompanied by orchestras and choirs. "There's stuff on that album we never played," notes Walsh. We had to go back and figure 'em out, and it was a lot of work. I had to go back and really study, so playing the whole thing live really took some focus, and somehow we tamed the orchestra so it doesn't overwhelm the show -- it enhances it. When I got a chance to finally just sit back and be part of it and hear the orchestra behind us, I got emotional." - Billboard, 11/6/19...... Speaking of performing classic '70s albums in their entirety, Neil Young says he "turned down millions of dollars" to perform his chart-topping 1972 album Harvest in a new interview with AARP magazine. "I was just offered millions of dollars for a tour to do Harvest," says Young, who halted his seven-year hiatus from music to release his 13th studio album Colorado on Oct. 22. "Everyone who played on Harvest is dead. I don't want to do that. How about planting instead of harvesting? If I decide to go on the road, I'd like to do a documentary tour next year with different people that keep changing. Not right or left. Democracy is not you on this side and me on that side just to see who wins," he added. The legendary rocker also says he isn't "closing the door" on a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young reunion. "[David] Crosby could write an introspective book: 'Why People Won't Talk to Me Anymore.' He made a lot of great music for a long time. I don't know what happened with David. I got nothing to say," Young said. "I love Stephen [Stills]. I love Graham [Nash]. If a reunion happens, it would be a surprise. I won't close the door on anything. I can hold a grudge with the best of them but only if there's a reason for it." - Billboard, 11/5/19...... Dolly Parton's new series Heartstrings premieres on Netflix on Nov. 22, and sees the country legend sharing the origin stories behind eight of her seminal song. The anthology series, a trailer for which has been shared on YouTube, will take on hour-long love stories, family dramas, revenge comedies, westerns and inspirational tales to dissect eight of Parton's hits -- "These Old Bones," "If I Had Wings," "JJ Sneed," "Jolene," "Cracker Jack," "Sugar Hill," "Down From Denver" and "Two Doors Down" -- which also double as the episode titles. An all-star cast including Kathleen Turner, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, Ginnifer Goodwin, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Timothy Busfield, Melissa Leo and Julianne Hough will be featured in each stand-alone episode. During a premiere of the series at her Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., on Oct. 29, Parton revealed why the much anticipated sequel to her classic 1980 comedy 9 to 5 co-starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda has been nixed. "Well, actually I think we dropped that whole idea," Parton said. "I don't think we're going to do the sequel. We never could get the script where it was enough different than the first one, and that one turned out so good." She did add however that she, Tomlin and Fonda are open to other future collaborations. "We're thinking we might do a completely different thing together, Jane, Lily and I," Parton hinted. "We may do something different altogether, but I don't think we're going to continue with that." - Billboard, 11/5/19...... Speaking of '70s country superstars, Charlie Pride became first person to receive the Crossroads of American Music Award during a ceremony on Nov. 1 in his native Mississippi at the Grammy Museum Mississippi. The museum says the award honors "an artist who has made significant musical contributions influenced by the creativity born in the cradle of American music." Pride, a three-time Grammy winner, was born in 1938 in the Mississippi Delta town of Sledge, and he now lives in Texas. He started his recording career in the 1960s, and his hits include "Kiss an Angel Good Morning" and "It's Gonna Take a Little Bit Longer." - AP, 11/3/19...... KISSKISS reportedly announced via television screens on their KISS Kruise, which ran from Oct. 30 to Nov. 4 on the luxury cruise ship the Norwegian Pearl, that they are extending their "End Of The Road" world tour with 75 new dates for 2020, including a slate of summer shows in Europe surrounding their previously announced headlining slot at the UK's Download Festival. The new batch of tour dates begins with a North American tour leg that runs from Feb. 1, 2020 in Manchester, N.H. to March 15 in Biloxi, Miss. KISS will then perform in South America from Apr. 24 to May 19, covering El Salvador, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and more. The band then heads to Europe, kicking things off in Paris on June 9 before headlining Download Festival alongside Iron Maiden and System Of A Down. After Europe and a stop in Johannesburg, South Africa, KISS will return to the US for more tour dates until Oct. 3. During the KISS Kruise, KISS vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley also announced that the "End Of The Road" tour will come to an end on July 17, 2021 in New York City, and that original KISS members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss have been approached about performing with the group at their final concert. Criss was replaced by drummer Eric Carr in 1980, while Frehley was replaced by Vinnie Vincent two years later. Both Frehley and Criss have returned to KISS for short periods since their departures. - NME/, 11/4/19...... In a new interview in the British heavy metal mag Heavy Consequence, Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford revealed that he once dreamed of forming the UK's "Big Four" metal bands with Black Sabbath, Motörhead and Iron Maiden. "My dream had always been to have like 'The Big Four of the UK', without turning this into a kind of depressing way," Halford said, but acknowledged that the death of Motörhead's Lemmy Kilmister and the retirement of Black Sabbath would make that difficult to accomplish: "Sadly, two-fourths of that has gone, but the music lives forever. That's the main thing." Halford also expressed his enthusiasm for a Judas Priest and Iron Maiden joint tour, which his bandmate Ian Hill had previously supported. "I think both bands would look to do that," Halford said. "It's all about the timing of doing such a thing. We're good friends." In October, both Motörhead and Judas Priest were announced as nominees for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 2020. - New Musical Express, 11/6/19...... On Nov. 4, Ringo Starr announced upcoming 2020 North American tour dates for his Ringo and his All Starr Band. Starr and the band's 20-show run will kick off May 29 with back-to-back nights at Casino Rama in Rama, Ont., before hitting major U.S. cities like Pittsburgh (6/20), Philadelphia (6/21) and Atlanta (6/23, 24) and wrapping up June 28 at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Fla. The tour will also include three shows at New York City's iconic Beacon Theatre on June 2, 3 and 5, with support from the Avett Brothers on three of the tour's dates, and Edgar Winter on two dates. Ringo released his 20th solo album, What's My Name, on Oct. 25. - Billboard, 11/4/19..... The estate of Michael Jackson and MIJAC Music, Jackson's personal publishing company, announced on Nov. 4 they have acquired majority ownership of the U.S. rights to the publishing catalog of Sly and the Family Stone, will retain long-term administration rights. The Jackson estate already owns the entirety of the band's catalog outside the U.S. through MIJAC, which acquired those rights in 1983. The acquisition includes a trove of the Bay Area funk band's '60s and '70s classics, like "Family Affair," "Dance to the Music," "Everybody Is a Star," "Hot Fun in the Summertime" and "Everyday People." Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. When asked to comment, bandleader Sly Stone only commented, "Thank You Mijac (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" -- a reference to his 1969 song "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)." MIJAC Music was created by Jackson in 1980. Its first acquisition was for the publishing rights to Sly and the Family Stone's catalog in 1983. The company also includes all of the songs written by Jackson, plus hits made famous by artists like Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Elvis Presley. The deal comes ahead of the starting date when Sly Stone (real name Sylvester Stewart) could reclaim his publishing ownership under the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act. Under that law, songs written after 1978 can be reclaimed 35 years after they were issued and songs written before 1972 can be reclaimed after 56 years. As such, Sly and the Family Stone songs from 1968 would be eligible for reversion beginning in 2024. The acquisition announcement of the Stone catalog comes at a busy time for the Jackson estate, which is currently continuing to fight HBO's controversial Finding Neverland documentary, preparing a Broadway musical about Jackson, and commemorating the 10th anniversary of Jackson's This Is It, among other projects. - Billboard, 11/4/19...... Pete TownshendIn a new interview with the UK's The Big Issue magazine, the Who's Pete Townshend said his past behaviour in which he smashed up his instruments on stage was "a waste of time" despite it helping to get people to listen to his band. "I was always pretty snobby about rock and roll," said Townshend, who added that he was "in it for the art." "Getting into auto-destruction was straight out of art college. People still say that I should never have smashed instruments," he said, before concluding: "F--- off. It is how I got you to listen to me." Elsewhere in the interview Townshend said that his generation of "the hippy era" of the '60s "misused the power" for social change. "My generation felt disenfranchised," he said. "That is a complex word for feeling like we had nothing to live for. It made us not so much angry as loose. We were loose-living. And when psychedelic drugs and more importantly the pill came along, away we went. Then we took power. But I think we misused the power to a great extent. The hippy era could have turned into something much better than it did." - NME, 11/4/19...... Olivia Newton-John's iconic Grease leather jacket and skintight pants fetched $405,700 during an auction on Nov. 2 in Beverly Hills. According to Julien's Auctions, the leather jacket sold for $243,200 and the pants, which Newton-John famously had to be sewn into, went for $162,500. Other Grease memorabilia included a Pink Ladies jacket that went for $50,000 and a poster signed by Newton-John, John Travolta, director Randal Kleiser and producer and songwriter John Farrar, which sold for $64,000. The proceeds from the jacket and pants, as well as a portion of the other items sold, will go the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre in Australia. Meanwhile, a pair of Michael Jackson's sparkly socks worn during his first ever "moonwalk" as he performed "Billie Jean" during the 1983 Motown 25th anniversary are expected to command up to $1 million (or £776,000) during an auction organised by which begins on Nov. 13. In Chippenham, U.K., a rare copy of the Sex Pistols' single "God Save the Queen" fetched £13K. One of the rarest and most sought after records in the world, it was expected to fetch between £12,000-£15,000. - AP/NME, 11/4/19.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

In a new interview with the British paper The Guardian as she promotes her just published book Touched by the Sun: My Friendship with Jackie, Carly Simon revealed that Pres. Donald Trump "was all over me like ugly on an ape" and she found him "repulsive" during an encounter with Trump one time at an event in New York. The "You're So Vain" singer said she met Trump once at a luncheon for Benazir Bhutto, the late lady prime minister of Pakistan, when Trump was a reality TV star on The Apprentice. "When I came into the room, there was Trump and a whole bunch of New York dignitaries. Trump wasn't paying any attention to me at all. Why would he?," Simon recalled. "Benazir Bhutto summoned me and asked me to go into the bedroom with her and so I went and we sat on the bed and she held my hands and said: 'I just love your music.' We talked about different songs that were her favourites and it maybe lasted three minutes." However Simon says her bedroom chat with Bhutto caused Trump to view her in a different light. "When I went out of the bedroom, obviously I had all of a sudden become important through the eyes of Donald Trump. So he was very anxious to meet me and invited me to Mar-a-Lago [his luxury estate in Florida] and was all over me like ugly on an ape." Simon says she turned down the offer straight away "because I thought he was kind of repulsive." Simon's new book, which details her relationship with former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, hit stores on Oct. 22. - New Musical Express, 11/3/19...... The Bee GeesThe entertainment site reported on Oct. 31 that Paramount Pictures, a new producer and financier company named Sister, Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King, and Steven Spielberg's production company Amblin are teaming up to develop a biopic on the eight-time Grammy winning pop group the Bee Gees. Paramount purchased the life rights to the Gibbs family estate, which includes deceased Bee Gees members Maurice and Robin Gibb and sole surviving member Barry Gibb, with the help of King, which ensures original Bee Gees music will be featured in the biopic. A Bee Gees project would mark a return to the rock biopic world for both Paramount and King, with the studio still enjoying critical acclaim and modest financial success from its Elton John biopic Rocketman, which has the possibility of Academy Award success similar to Bohemian Rhapsody's 5 Oscar nods and 4 wins, including Best Actor for Rami Malek and Freddie Mercury. The Bee Gees film has not been written yet, and no roles have been assigned. The Gibb brothers formed their pop trio in their native Australia in 1958, rising to popularity in the late '60s to early '70s with the rise of the disco era and selling over 220 million records worldwide. The were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. - Reporter, 10/31/19...... Michael Jackson has once again been named the highest earning dead celebrity after the late King of Pop topped the latest list for 2019 compiled by Forbes magazine. The news comes after the estate of Jackson, who died in 2009 aged 50 following an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol, earned over £46 million in the last 12 months, with his streaming numbers "surging" according to Forbes despite the controversy that followed the release of the controversial MJ documentary Leaving Neverland earlier in 2019. "With proceeds flowing from his Mijac Music catalogue, a Las Vegas show and a long-term deal with Sony, he retains his post mortem cash crown for the seventh consecutive year," Forbes reports. Coming in right behind Jackson on the list was Elvis Presley, whose estate made over £30 million in the past year. - New Musical Express, 11/1/19...... The three-year stretch when Bob Dylan laid low after his 1966 world tour which, although considered his creative peak, saw him living behind dark glasses and flying on amphetamines while in the throes of drug abuse and paranoia is captured on Dylan's latest Columbia release, Travelin' Thru, 1967 - 1969: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 15. The release, which hit stores on Nov. 1, features recordings beginning in 1967, when he headed to Nashville's Columbia Studio A and made the earthy John Wesley Harding, and in 1969, he recorded the breezy Nashville Skyline at the same studio. The 1967-69 era is often seen as a peculiar one for Dylan -- partly due to his voice, which changed from harsh and nasal to a mellow country croon in the Nashville Skyline era. The studio outtakes and live cuts on the release offer their own simple, subtle pleasures, as the pop bard played with rhythms and tempos and collaborated with country music superstar Johnny Cash, with all of their approximately 20 collaborations featured on the set. - Billboard, 11/1/19...... Jeff LynneElectric Light Orchestra mastermind Jeff Lynne says he wasn't particularly focused on making an album to follow up 2015's Alone in the Universe under his Jeff Lynne's ELO banner, but inspiration for his just released JLE album From Out of Nowhere came from, well, out of the blue. "I suddenly thought 'This is good already.' I had just started like the first five minutes," Lynne says of the album's title track. "From out of nowhere, the tune came. It was just one of those songs that comes really quick." Lynne's latest LP comes after a flurry of activity in recent years from the British studio wizard and ELO creator, who returned to the road with the re-branded Jeff Lynne's ELO in 2015 after nearly a 30-year hiatus. His new band has toured frequently since, and he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. The new album features plenty of ELO's trademark layered instrumentation -- though with perhaps fewer strings than some past efforts -- and stacked vocals across 10 largely upbeat tracks. "I try to make them positive and have a positive vibe and just get on with it and have fun," Lynne says as he prepares for an upcoming concert in England for the BBC. Lynne adds that he "loves to play all the instruments and handle all the vocals" by himself. "My favorite thing is when I'm overdubbing instruments onto a track and I love to play them. So that's why I choose to do them," he says. "I could easily get anybody to play them, probably, but I come up with the ideas and I like to play them and I've got all the gear, all the keyboards, all the guitars and the drums, the bass. As a player, it's just so much fun to do that. I'd rather do that than anything else." The genial pop maestro adds that "I just hope I can keep coming up with something different, something new. Just keep trying. I just love making music so it's what I love to do best of all. So I'll just keep at it and try and come up with the best one ever one of these days." - Billboard, 11/1/19...... In a new Rolling Stone interview conducted by Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl, Ringo Starr opens up abou the moment he was told the tragic news of his Beatles bandmate John Lennon's 1980 death. "When John went, I was in the Bahamas. I was getting a phone call from my stepkids in L.A. saying, 'Something's happened to John'," Ringo explained. "And then they called and said, 'John's dead'. And I didn't know what to do." Revealing that he "still well[s] up that some bastard shot him," Starr went on to detail his actions in the immediate aftermath of John's death. "I just said, 'We've got to get a plane'. We got a plane to New York, and you don't know what you can do," he remembered. "We went to the apartment. 'Anything we can do?' And Yoko [Ono] just said, 'Well, you just play with Sean [Lennon, John's son]. Keep Sean busy'." "And that's what we did. That's what you think: 'What do you do now?'" Ringo released his 20th studio album, What's My Name, on Nov. 1 via UMe. It features a cover of Lennon's 1984 song "Grow Old With Me" alongside Paul McCartney, which Ringo describes as "a very emotional experience for me." - New Musical Express, 10/30/19...... Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood has released a trailer to YouTube for his upcoming documentary Somebody Up There Like Me, in which he discusses he struggles with addiction. "I was in the hands of destiny all my life and being the right place at the right time," the guitarist says at the beginning of the trailer, before discussing his ongoing struggles with addiction. Wood is now nine years sober. Talking about his recovery, his wife Sally Humphries adds: "Ronnie's always a happy person. I just feel that if you're talking to a sober person, you've got the real person." Somebody Up There Like Me hits theaters on Nov. 26 and features interviews with Wood, Humphries, his Rolling Stones bandmates Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and his former Faces bandmate Rod Stewart, among others. - New Musical Express, 10/30/19...... Harry NilssonIn conjunction with the Nov. 22 release of the new Harry Nilsson box set Losst and Founnd which collects the final recordings made by the late Grammy-winning pop singer, Warner Chappell Music has announced a new four-part limited podcast series detailing the "long and fascinating narrative" behind the release. Entitled Final Sessions and hosted by Billboard contributor Joe Levy, the podcast -- each season of which will delve into another of "music's most notable releases" -- will also explore Nilsson's music, his close friendship with the Beatles, his family life and how his backstory informed his songs. The first episode of Final Sessions was released on Nov. 1 on all platforms. A new episode is slated to air every Friday in November leading up to the album's release. Produced by Mark Hudson (Ringo Starr, Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne), Losst and Found features nine Nilsson originals as well as covers by songwriter Jimmy Webb and Yoko Ono. It is the first album of new material from Nilsson since 1980's Flash Harry. Nilsson, who died in 1994 of a heart attack at the age of 52, released a total of 15 studio albums and racked up three top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart: "Everybody's Talkin'," "Coconut" and the No. 1 single "Without You." - Billboard, 11/1/19...... A Cornell University music professor has unearthed a previously unknown suite of songs recorded by the late Lou Reed for pop artist Andy Warhol, who was a collaborator of Reed's former band Velvet Underground and the band's onetime manager. Prof. Judith Peraino says she came across a cassette tape of the songs in 2017 while doing research at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. On Oct. 30, Peraino published "I'll Be Your Mixtape: Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, and the Queer Intimacies of Cassettes" in The Journal of Musicology. One side of the cassette contains live recordings that Reed had put together from his 1975 tour. The other was labelled "Philosophy Songs (From A to B & Back)" and contained 12 songs and a fragment of a 13th, all featuring Reed singing alone with his guitar. For the lyrics, Reed drew on the book Warhol had published that year, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B & Back Again). "This tape is Lou Reed working out what he does best," Peraino told the New York Times, "which is figuring out the character of his song, telling the stories, being as brutally honest as he is in many of his writings." Reed's widow Laurie Anderson told the paper she had not known about the songs' existence, though Reed had talked about "some things that he had made for Andy." It's an open question whether the tape will remain property of the Warhol Museum, or if it will be claimed by Reed's estate or his former record label. It's also unclear if the songs will eventually be made publicly accessible. The cassette is still at the Warhol Museum, and access is restricted to professional scholars. Reed died on Oct. 27, 2012, from liver disease. An updated volume of his lyrics, I'll Be Your Mirror, will be republished on Nov. 7 after several years out of print. - New Musical Express/New York Times, 10/31/19...... Elton John's "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour, which played 14 concerts during the month of September, earned $28.9 million from 216,004 tickets according to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore, which gives the English pop star the top spot on the publication's Top Tours chart. $28.9 million is the highest one-month total so far for Elton's tour, surpassing the $28.5 million he earned in October 2018. John has been a consistent presence on the Top Tours chart, netting his fifth month in the Top 10 and sixth on the chart. Elton's 14-show sprint in September brought him up along the west coast through Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, and San Francisco before five Canadian dates in Vancouver and Edmonton. - Billboard, 10/31/19...... As the third installment of the female-charged big screen reboot of the hit '70s TV detective series Charlie's Angels hits theaters in the US on Nov. 15, an 11-track soundtrack album hits stores on Nov. 8 that was executive-produced by Ariana Grande, who features on five of its songs. Grande's contemporaries Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey also appear on the soundtrack of the new movie, which stars Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska and Elizabeth Banks, who directed and wrote the screenplay. The new movie follows the Angels from across the globe as they work to protect society after a systems engineer blows the whistle on a dangerous technology. - Billboard, 11/1/19...... A rare vinyl copy of the Sex Pistols 1977 single "God Save the Queen" is expected to fetch thousands of pounds when it goes under the hammer in the U.K. at Wessex Auction Rooms at Westbrook Farm in Chippenham. The record is described by the auctioneers as "a superb copy of one of the rarest and most sought after records in the world," as it is contained in original A&M sleeve, and within card sleeve with A&M Records sticker." Speaking to a local paper, auctioneer and vinyl expert Martin Hughes said: "I have had the privilege of selling many rare records but this is certainly the most exciting of them all. The Sex Pistols will always be the most iconic punk band, and perhaps also one of the most culturally significant. This is a chance for a collector to own a piece of music history." Meanwhile, the '70s punk icons are reportedly being considered for a big screen biopic treatment, with the U.K. firm Starlight Films working on the early stages of a Sex Pistols movie for the last 18 months. - NME, 10/29/19...... Olivia Newton-JohnThe sexy outfit worn by Olivia Newton-John in one of the final scenes of her 1978 movie Grease which as legend has it she was literally zipped into is being auctioned by the Australian pop/movie icon to help raise funds for her cancer treatment center in her native country. The outfit is just one of 500 items Newton-John is selling to help her cause, which also include her original Grease script, the gown she wore to the Grease premiere, and a custom Pink Ladies jacket. "It took quite a few months to weed through boxes and storage containers. But it was a fun venture. It just took a lot of time and sorting," Olivia told the U.K. paper The Guardian. Newton-John noted her Grease pants "have a broken zip and I had to be stitched into them because they were made in the 50s." Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer for the third time earlier in 2019. In January, she released a video that clarified that, contrary to reports, she was not on her death bed, and was in fact doing quite well. -, 10/29/19...... Oscar-nominated screenwriter Bernard Slade, known for creating such TV series as The Partridge Family, The Flying Nun and Bewitched as well as the enduring romantic comedy "Same Time, Next Year" for Broadway" and its movie adaptation, died peacefully on Oct. 30 at his Beverly Hills home from complications of Lewy body dementia. He was 89. In the 1960s and 1970s, Mr. Slade also created NBC's The Girl With Something Extra which like The Flying Nun also starred Sally Field, ABC's Love on a Rooftop featuring Judy Carne and Pete Duel, and CBS' Bridget Loves Bernie starring David Birney and Meredith Baxter. Both original Broadway and movie versions of "Same Time, Next Year" starred Ellen Burstyn, who won a Tony in 1975 for her stage performance, then earned an Oscar nomination for best actress. She starred opposite Charles Grodin on Broadway and with Alan Alda in the 1978 feature. Slade's work netted him Tony and Oscar noms as well. Mr. Slade was married to actress Jill Foster for 64 years before her death in 2017. He often credited her as the inspiration for many of his favorite female characters, including Doris in "Same Time, Next Year." - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/30/19...... Tom Draper, a black music industry pioneer who during his 12-year stint with Warner Bros. Records helped the label become a leading force in black music with a roster that included Prince, Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, the Staple Singers, Ashford & Simpson and Bootsy Collins, among others, died Oct. 25 in Atlanta after a short illness. He was 79. Born and raised in Detroit, Draper attended the University of Detroit, where he earned a bachelor's degree in marketing. He worked in promotion for RCA Records' newly established black music department and was subsequently promoted to VP of A&R before moving to Warner Bros. Records and became a Time Warner VP in 1987. Draper also supported various social causes including the Children's Defense Fund and the Institute for Black Parenting. - Billboard, 11/1/19.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The historic Hayvenhurst home of Michael Jackson in Los Angeles was transformed into a haunted house on Oct. 25 by Jackson's sons Prince and Bigi Jackson for their third annual event to benefit Prince Jackson's Heal Los Angeles foundation. With "Thriller" on loop, and mile-long spooky mazes in the themes of clowns, the Jackson siblings' party was also attended by their cousins and extended family members. "Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, it's almost one of the only ones I actually celebrate," said Prince, who was dressed as Clark Griswold from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (his girlfriend's idea). "It's fun to dress up and scare people -- my family's always been pranksters and we always play tricks on each other." Heal LA was founded by Prince as a continuation of the King of Pop's Heal the World organization, and recently got its nonprofit status. It works to improve the conditions of those in Los Angeles, focusing on child hunger, homelessness and abuse. Meanwhile, Micheal Jackson accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck are hoping to get another shot at a financial windfall from the Jackson estate by citing a newly signed California law meant to support victims of childhood sexual assault. The pair has filed paperwork with the appellate court where they continue to fight the estate, citing Assembly Bill 218 that California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law on Oct. 13. Robson and Safechuck are asking the court for an "opportunity to submit supplemental briefing as to the new law and its effect on this action," which could drastically change the case. The law, which takes effect on Jan.1, 2020, is designed to extend the time for victims for childhood sexual assault. According to the law, the new period to sue direct perpetrators of such crimes is either the victim's 40th birthday or within five years after the victim discovers the psychological injury from the sexual assault. Robson is 37 years old, and Safechuck is 41. The case is due back in court in November for a hearing on the case. - Billboard/, 10/28/19...... Ozzy OsbourneIn other Halloween-related news, Ozzy Osbourne says he's hoping to scare up the weirdest, wildest Halloween costume contest ever by challenging fans on Oct. 24 to dress up as their favorite version of Ozzy and send in a pic for a chance to win a signed bone like the one that appears on the cover of his upcoming box set, See You on the Other Side, which drops on Nov. 29. Ozzy's official site already features dozens of amazing entries, which Ozzy will accept through Nov. 1. See You on the Other Side collects all 10 of Ozzy's solo albums and the "Mr. Crowley" and "Just Say Ozzy" EPs, as well as the Tribute double live album, Live & Loud, Live at Budokan and the Flippin' the B-Side rarities collection. Ozzy has shared a trailer for his contest on YouTube. Meanwhile, Ozzy's wife Sharon Osbourne revealed in a new interview on SiriusXM radio that Ozzy has "just finished a new album" that he intends to release in January. Sharon also added that Ozzy was thrilled about "Take What You Want," the song he collaborated on with Post Malone and Travis Scott. The track appears on Malone's recent album, Hollywood's Bleeding. In January 2019, while recovering from pneumonia, Ozzy suffered a fall at home. He underwent neck surgery for his injuries, the aftermath of which he described as "agony beyond anything I ever experienced before in my life." Ozzy's recent health struggles have led him to postpone several dates of his "No More Tours II" farewell tour, and Sharon says after he finishes his rescheduled dates for a North American tour that kicks off in May 2020, he "won't do any more touring" but a Las Vegas residency is not out of the question. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 10/25/19...... New Jersey rock legend Southside Johnny and '80s power pop/rock hitmakers The Smithereens were inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame on Oct. 27. "Without Southside Johnny, there never would have been a Jon Bon Jovi," said Jon Bon Jovi, who inducted him. "I always wanted to be an Asbury Juke," Bon Jovi added, calling the band's leader "a friend, a mentor, a bad influence and sometimes a cranky S.O.B." Bon Jovi and Southside also performed a rendition of "I Don't Wanna Go Home" at the ceremony held at Asbury Park, N.J.'s Convention Hall, backed by the band Kings Of Suburbia. - AP, 10/27/19...... In other N.J.-related news, Bruce Springsteen's new movie Western Stars earned a disappointing $560,000 from 537 theaters in its weekend premiere in the fourth weekend in October. Combined with grosses from preview sneaks hosted by Fathom Events on Oct. 19 and Oct. 23, the documentary has earned $1 million to date, according to Warner Bros. Western Stars showcases Springsteen performing all 13 songs on his first studio album in five years. It also includes archival footage, personal narration and guest appearances. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/27/19...... Meanwhile, Springsteen's E Street Band member Nils Lofgren, who appears in Western Stars, says he's "glad Bruce is publicly saying he finally wrote some songs for us." "There's nothing booked, but I'm hoping that at some point we start looking at recording. That's up to Bruce, of course. But I certainly feel with the planet falling apart it would be high time and useful for the entire world to have a Bruce record and tour," Lofgren adds. As also a member of the band Crazy Horse, Lofgren also has a significant part in Neil Young's new movie Mountaintop, which chronicles the making of Young's just released album Colorado. "We all showed up with just a rudimentary understanding of the (chord) changes, not any grand specific ideas, and as soon as we started playing with each other it led from that," Lofgren recalls. The process is captured in Mountaintop, which screened for one night only in theaters on Oct. 22 and will likely surface again -- on the Neil Young Archives site if nowhere else. - Billboard, 10/25/19...... Peter AsherGrammy-winning record producer Peter Asher, a former member of the '60s British Invasion pop duo Peter & Gordon who has produced for artists such as James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, has just released a new Beatles-related book titled The Beatles From A to Zed: An Alphabetical Mystery Tour. "I had this idea of trying an alphabetical system, taking a leaf out of Sesame Street's book," Asher says. "And so I did it letter-by-letter. Not just song titles but people, instruments and all kinds of different stuff using a particular letter." One of Asher's personal anecdotes that is also included is that James Taylor's song "Something In The Way She Moves," from his self-titled debut album on the Beatles' Apple label that Asher produced, inspired George Harrison's "Something." "James had written that song and George used that same line of lyrics, which James said was a compliment," says Asher, who also hosts a weekly SiriusXM Beatles Channel radio show. Also, "James pointed out that in (his) song he used the lyrics 'I feel fine'." Asked to describe the Beatles as he knew them, Asher says, "Paul was the charmer and is an amazing musician. John could be argumentative and cantankerous. But he could also be spectacularly brilliant." Asher will be on tour with his "A Musical Memoir of the '60s and Beyond" solo performances including Dec. 15 at Bimbo's 365 in San Francisco. - Billboard, 10/28/19...... In other Beatles-related news, Ringo Starr participated in a charity book signing at the famed Sunset Marquis' Morrison Hotel Gallery in West Hollywood on Oct. 24, meeting with 30 fans who have purchased limited-edition prints from his new photography book, Another Day in the Life. The book's release closely coincides with the Nov. 1 release of What's My Name, Starr's 20th studio album via UMe. The radiantly upbeat album, recorded at Roccabella West, Starr's home studio in Los Angeles, features such friends and frequent Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band collaborators as Joe Walsh, Edgar Winter, Dave Stewart, Colin Hay, Richard Page, Steve Lukather and Benmont Tench, as well as his fellow remaining Beatle, Paul McCartney. The emotional centerpiece of the album is "Grow Old With Me," a tune John Lennon wrote for his and Yoko Ono's Double Fantasy LP but didn't record (Lennon's demo of the song appeared posthumously on 1984's Milk and Honey). "It moved me," Ringo says. "I did my best and it's very me, but you know, he wrote those words and he'd written songs for me before, so I thought, 'No, I'm gonna do it'." - Billboard, 10/24/19...... On Oct. 25 Diana Ross announced a new set of UK tour dates on Twitter as part of her "Top Of The World" 2020 tour. Tickets for the dates go on sale Nov. 1 at 9:00 a.m. GMT. Ross was recently confirmed as the performer in the hallowed Sunday "Legend Slot" at next year's Glastonbury on June 28, and after that set she'll go on to play at least six more live shows in the U.K. The jaunt is set to wrap up on July 8 with a gig at London's The O2. "I am in total appreciation of all. I'm feeling Great, life is so good. My love, my light is steady and constant. I focus on joy. I love looking at the energy all around me," she posted to her fans. - New Musical Express, 10/25/19...... In a new interview with BBC Radio 2, Brian May of Queen says his band won't be playing the Glastonbury festival in 2020 after clashing with Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis over Britain's controversial badger cull, which May has long opposed. Eavis previously called May a "danger to farming" and criticised the guitarist's opposition to the controversial cull -- arguing that the process is a fight against the impact that bovine TB can cause when cattle become infected. "We won't [play Glastonbury] and there are a lot of reasons for that," May told the BBC2. "One of them is that Michael Eavis has frequently insulted me, and I don't particularly enjoy that. What bothers me more is that he's in favour of the badger cull, which I regard as a tragedy and an unnecessary crime against wildlife. There's a little bit of a schism there, I wouldn't do Glastonbury. Unless things changed radically," May added. - New Musical Express, 10/25/19...... A new tribute album to late blues/jazz legend Mose Allison, If You're Going to the City: A Tribute to Mose Allison, will feature contributions from Jackson Browne and Taj Mahal. The 15-song set also features Allison covers by the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Chrissie Hynde, Iggy Pop, Ben Harper, Richard Thompson, the Pixies' Frank Black and more. It was put together by Allison's daughter Amy Allison, who duets with Elvis Costello on her father's "Monsters of the Id," and musician/producer Don Heffington. "He strikes a chord across all genres," Amy says of her late dad. "You can have a musician you wouldn't ever imagine would be influenced or an admirer of my dad, but they are. I think musicians just really respect him, all different musicians seem to relate in some way, which is so great." A clip of Jackson Browne's contribution, "If You Live," and Taj Mahal's contribution, "Your Mind Is On Vacation," can be viewed on YouTube. - Billboard, 10/28/19...... John FogertyJohn Fogerty has shared a rippin' live version of the title track of his 1985 album Centerfield on, which appears on his upcoming live album and film 50 Year Trip: Live at Red Rocks. "I'm really happy about the life that song has had," Fogerty says. "Back when I wrote it I liked it, but I probably thought I was really tempting the Fates to try and mix rock n' roll and baseball. I knew there had been other baseball songs over the years, and they really didn't become hits -- except maybe 'Say Hey (The Willie Mays Song)' by The Treniers. But I just said, 'By golly, I'll just do it anyway,' and it worked out." Though he played "left out" as a youth, Fogerty, a San Francisco Bay Area native, has been a baseball fan from a young age, indoctrinated to root for the New York Yankees by his father and later becoming a San Francisco Giants and Oakland A's fan. "My dad would talk about this fabled (Yankees) team back east when Babe Ruth played -- and I was so young I thought he was still playing," Fogerty recalls. "It was just this mystical, magical thing I kind of adopted, and then I eventually got my own teams to root for." Fogerty says he's ready to make some new music -- his first since 2013's Wrote a Song For Everyone and his first of all-new songs since 2007's Revival. "I'm very much working on new songs and trying to find the right musicians who really do what I'm trying to do," he explains. "It's a process. I'm getting very antsy about not having done it this year, although apparently I've had some distractions here to keep me busy. I don't quite have the urgency I had in 1969; I've got a family and a beautiful wife and those things sort of have the priorities. But I sure want to get this rolling, I really do." - Billboard, 10/25/19...... Motörhead released a box set of vinyl reissues, 1979, via Sanctuary Records on Oct. 25, which contains half-speed remasters of the band's classic '79 albums Overkill and Bomber, alongside two newly unearthed live shows from that year and an LP of outtakes from both titles. The package features seven LPs in total, as well as a 7-inch "No Class" single, a Bomber tour program, Overkill sheet music, and a 40-page book of insightful liner notes. - Billboard, 10/25/19...... A posthumous memoir from Prince,, The Beautiful Ones, was released on Oct. 29 and contains no bombshells, though word is Prince very much wanted to provide some, and a mere 28 memoir pages written in Prince's elegant script and quirky style. Though the project was thrown into chaos when Prince died on Apr. 21, 2016, of an accidental drug overdose, his estate ultimately decided to press on, allowing co-writer Dan Piepenbring and his publishing team free access to the pieces of his life left behind at his beloved Paisley Park, including the contents of his vault. Piepenbring says their last conversation was just four days before Prince died, and focused on Prince's parents and their conflicting influences in his life. Many of the photos in the book are familiar to hardcore Prince fans and it includes a heavy dose of previously published interviews with Prince. - AP, 10/26/19...... SantanaCarlos Santana announced on Oct. 28 the itinerary for his upcoming spring 2020 European leg of his "Miraculous 2020" world tour. Santana will kick off the jaunt on Mar. 14 at the Unipol Arena in Bologna, Italy, playing several cities including Budapest (3/19), Vienna (3/20), Cologne (3/23), Glasgow (3/26), London (3/27), Amsterdam (3/31) and Stockholm (4/3) before wrapping in Helsinki on Apr. 5. The Grammy-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is marking the 20th anniversary of his Supernatural album and the 50th anniversary of his classic 1970 sophomore release, Abraxas. The tour will also feature what Santana calls "the new hymns and songs of tomorrow" from his band -- which includes his wife and drummer Cindy Blackman Santana -- from his 2019 Rick Rubin-produced album Africa Speaks. - Billboard, 10/28/19...... Elton John was forced to postpone an Oct. 26 concert in Indianapolis, Ind., due to illness. "It is with the heaviest heart that I'm forced to deliver the news that I am extremely unwell and therefore unable to perform at Bankers Life Fieldhouse tonight," John wrote in an announcement on social media a few hours before the concert was set to begin. "I absolutely hate to let my fans down, but I owe it to you to put on the best show possible and unfortunately that's simply not possible. The date will be rearranged for March 2020, and I promise I will deliver the show you deserve. Thank you so much for your support and understanding," Elton added. The Indianapolis show, part of John's "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour, has now been rescheduled for Mar. 26, 2020. - Billboard, 10/26/19...... In a new interview with Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper published on Oct. 27, Pete Townshed of The Who revealed his 2003 bust for using his credit card to access a child porn website "sort of saved my life." Townshend, who later accepted an official caution and was placed on Brtain's sex offenders registry for five years, has always maintained his innocence, claiming he was merely researching the issue of online child porn. "Just for the record, my arrest was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me. It probably saved my life," he told the publication. Explaining further, Townshend said that he'd been putting off having a test for bowel cancer, which he eventually booked in after police raided his home. "While I was waiting for the police to go through my computers I decided to have that long-postponed colonoscopy," the 74-year-old guitarist explained. "The doctor showed me the polyp. He said 'this would have killed you in six months.' So it sort of saved my life." - WENN/, 10/28/19...... Former Police frontman Sting's Rainforest Fund has announced a benefit concert with performances by Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, James Taylor and more this December. The organization founded by Sting and his wife and actress Trudie Styler will host their 30th anniversary benefit concert at Beacon Theatre in New York with actor Robert Downey Jr. serving as host. The event, called We'll Be Together, will also welcome Bob Geldof, Shaggy, Ricky Martin and Eurythmics to celebrate artists and songs from the '80s and '90s -- when the Rainforest Fund says music and activism united to change the world and MTV brought it to life with sound and vision. "We'll Be Together is a nod to the past benefits such as Band Aid, Live Aid and Farm Aid that united music and global issues to ignite a revolution of social change and awareness," said Styler in a release. "With the Amazon blighted by fire this summer, and a real and growing awareness of climate change, there has never been a more important or more opportune moment to fight to protect our forests. All life on earth depends on their survival." Tickets for the show will be available for purchase by the general public beginning at 9:00 am on Nov. 1. - Billboard, 10/24/19...... Paul Barrere, guitarist and singer for the rock group Little Feat, died on Oct. 26 in a Los Angeles hospital due to side effects from an ongoing treatment for liver disease. He was 71. Little Feat's lead guitarist, singer and main songwriter, Lowell George, died in 1979. But Barrere was a foundational part of Little Feat's funky, blues-inflected Southern rock. He wrote or co-wrote some of the band's most beloved songs including "Skin It Back," "Time Loves a Hero" and "Old Folks Boogie." After initially auditioning as a bassist, Barrere joined the band three years after its founding in 1969. The band would carve out a distinct, danceable American sound of their own that melded blues, rockabilly, country, gospel and funk. Little Feat is currently on a 50th anniversary tour that Barrere sat out due to his health. It was set to wrap up on Oct. 27 in Wilks-Barre, Pennsylvania. Bonnie Raitt, with whom Barrere also played, remembered the guitarist, calling him "a cornerstone of one of the greatest bands of all time." "We will hold him in our hearts and celebrate his life and music always," she said. - AP, 10/27/19...... Robert EvansVeteran movie producer and former Paramount Pictures chief Robert Evans, who produced such classic '70s and '80s films as Chinatown and Urban Cowboy, passed away on the evening of Oct. 26. He was 89. Even though Hollywood history is filled with colorful characters, few can match the tale of Mr. Evans, whose life would seem far-fetched if it were fiction. With his matinee-idol looks but little acting talent, Mr. Evans was given starring roles in a few movies and then, with no studio experience, was handed the production reins at Paramount in the 1960s. When he left the exec ranks, his first film as a producer was the classic Chinatown, and he followed with other hits, like Marathon Man and Urban Cowboy. Eventually, his distinctive look and speaking style turned him into a cult figure, and he had the distinction of being the only film executive who starred in his own animated TV series. Amid the successes, his wife, actress Ali MacGraw, left him for Steve McQueen, her costar in the 1972 caper movie The Getaway, a love triangle that got huge media attention. (MacGraw was the third of Mr. Evans' seven wives.) In 1980, Mr. Evans was arrested for cocaine possession and a few years later, was involved in an even bigger scandal: the murder of would-be Hollywood player Roy Radin during the production of The Cotton Club. Due to his association with Radin, Mr. Evans became a material witness in the execution-style slaying, though no proof of Mr. Evans' knowledge of or connection to the murder was ever established. Drug dependency and the studios' changing corporate culture plagued Mr. Evans' later career. When he eventually resurfaced at Paramount in the '90s, his production track record was mostly undistinguished (The Saint, Sliver). But by then his larger-than-life persona was already the stuff of Hollywood legend. Evans parodied himself in the film Burn, Hollywood, Burn (1998), and Dustin Hoffman, a longtime friend, borrowed liberally from Mr. Evans in creating the character of an outrageous producer in the 1997 satire Wag the Dog, earning an Oscar nomination in the process. In 1998 Mr. Evans suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on one side and unable to speak, but he eventually made a full recovery after much therapy. He made a triumphant return in some sense with the 2002 documentary adaptation of The Kid Stays in the Picture, in which Mr. Evans idiosyncratically discussed his life. Mr. Evans, who was married and divorced seven times, is survived by his son, Josh, an actor and director, and a grandson. - Reuters/, 10/28/19.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

This summer, Queen in partnership with YouTube Music and the band's label Hollywood Records launched a "You Are The Champions" project in which 10,000 Queen fans from more than 120 countries submitted their renditions of three Queen classics -- "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Don't Stop Me Now" and "A Kind Of Magic." Now the band has selected three of the best fan-made videos for "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Don't Stop Me Now" and "A Kind Of Magic" to become the official Queen videos for those respective songs. "It's one of the most rewarding things that can happen to an artist of any kind: to see that our work has inspired folk all around the world to create their own performances and visual art is a thrill," Queen guitarist Brian May says. "And the diversity of their vision is astonishing. Big thanks to everyone who participated." The "You Are The Champions" campaign was created to celebrate Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" becoming the the first pre-1990s video to reach one billion YouTube views. - Billboard, 10/24/19...... Although Elton John had been rumoured to be among the headliners for the U.K.'s 50th anniversary Glastonbury festival next year, the Rocketman took himself out of the running on Oct. 23 by announcing he will be performing shows in the U.S. that conflict with the festival's June 26-28 dates. John announced he will be performing shows in Dallas on June 26 and 27. Other acts rumoured to be performing at Glastonbury 2020 include Sir Paul McCartney, Fleetwood Mac, Taylor Swift, The 1975, Foals and Green Day, however the only confirmed act so far is Diana Ross, who will performing in the coveted Sunday legends slot. Sir Elton continues to promote his recently released memoir, Me, and is in the midst of a long U.K. run of his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour that began in September and will run through December. - New Musical Express, 10/23/19...... Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney shared a new music video on Oct. 23 for his 1993 animal rights advocacy tune "Looking For Changes" as part of the music legend and avid animal rights activist's collaboration with animal ethics organization PETA. The animated clip shows scenarios in which lab workers get tricked by the animals they are about to experiment on, as a cartoon McCartney and his furry friends head over to Capitol Hill to demand government "changes in the way we treat our fellow creatures." Sir Paul's video comes after U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard asked National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins for a plan to reduce the use of animals in experiments during a hearing in September. According to PETA, studies show that 90% of basic research used with animals doesn't lead to treatments for humans. The Environmental Protection Agency then announced its plan to end all tests on mammals. - Billboard, 10/23/19...... Moviegoers in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Asbury Park, N.J., attending Springsteen's new movie Western Stars at the AMC Lowes Freehold Cinema on Oct. 19 were delightfully surprised when the Boss himself showed up at the theater to introduce two preview screenings of the film. Springsteen told audiences that since his band knew it wasn't going to tour, he had to try to figure out a way to bring the music to his audience and decided to release the Western Stars movie, which was shot in a barn in front of a small audience at Springsteen's property in Colts Neck. The film officially hits U.S. theaters on Oct. 26. - AP, 10/22/29...... Seventies reggae legend Bob Marley's song "Turn Your Lights Down Low" was covered by two contestants on the NBC talent show The Voice on Oct. 21. During part three of the battles, contestant Kiara Brown went head-to-head with fellow contestant Royce Lovett with a cover of the song, originally recorded by Marley and his band the Wailers for the classic album Exodus. The judges, which include John Legend, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani decided to give Lovett the win, who Stefani said "has so much character, personality and dynamics." A clip of Lovett's peformance can be viewed on YouTube. - Billboard, 10/22/19...... Producers of the Who's Broadway adaptation of their classic 1969 album Tommy announced on Oct. 21 that New York audiences will get another chance to witness that sensory experience when the musical "Tommy" returns to the Great White Way for dates that are to be announced soon. The new production will again directed by Des McAnuff, who was instrumental in developing the material for the stage when it premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse in Southern California in summer 1992 and became an instant hit. The production transferred to Broadway the following spring and went on to win five Tony Awards, including best original score for Pete Townshend and best direction of a musical for McAnuff, as well as scenic design, lighting and choreography (it lost out on best musical to "Kiss of the Spider Woman.") Featuring such songs as "Pinball Wizard," "Acid Queen," "Listening to You" and "I'm Free," the show tells the story of a British Army captain's young son, Tommy Walker, traumatized into apparent deafness and blindness and subjected to neglect, abuse and drugs before finding fame as a pinball champion and eventual spiritual leader. McAnuff and Townshend recently reunited at an Oct. 14 one-night-only benefit concert performance of the musical at La Jolla Playhouse, marking the album's 50th anniversary. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/21/19...... Cable network HBO filed paperwork in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court on Oct. 20 to appeal a decision to allow the Michael Jackson estate to enforce a non-disparagement clause in a 1992 contract that provided HBO with rights to air a televised concert following the release of Jackson's album Dangerous. The pay cabler wants another shot at convincing a court that the Jackson estate can't go to arbitration over its Emmy-winning sex abuse documentary Leaving Neverland. HBO has argued that the legal claims are premised on an old agreement that has been fully performed by the parties and thus terminated. It further contends that the Jackson estate is attempting to trample on its First Amendment rights by using a quarter-century-old, nearly forgotten contract as "a perpetual platform to police HBO's speech." An attorney for the Jackson estate described HBO's appeal as "bogus (and) nothing more than HBO's latest desperate attempt to cover up the truth about its shoddy journalism." - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/21/19...... Walter BeckerAn estate auction of late Steely Dan guitarist Walter Becker took place at Julien's Auctions' Beverly Hills location on Oct. 18 and 19 and fetched $3.3 million, overall, surpassing initial estimates of $1-$2 million on opening day. The auction featured 600 guitars and 400 amps that belonged to the acclaimed musician, renowned for his quiet perfectionism in the studio with longtime musical partner Donald Fagen. "It's phenomenal," said Darren Julien, owner of Julien's Auctions. "Who else had this many guitars and this many amps? Who else had a collection like this? It's unbelievable. And he didn't just buy them because they looked great. He literally played all of them and that's what made this collection unique." The auction was attended by Becker's widow, Delia, who said her husband was "obsessed with sound" and guitars were stored "everywhere." In addition to storage spaces in New York and Hawaii, their New York apartment was filled with guitars and Delia said "amps were lined up at the foot of the bed, under every table, the dining room table was all amps and then all the floor space." One of Becker's favorite guitars to play at concerts, a green sparkly Strat-style guitar purchased from New York based guitar maker Chihoe Hahn in 2011, sold for a whopping $68,750 to a buyer bidding over the phone. At a private VIP reception held a couple of days before the auction, guests included Becker's daughter, Sayan, Men at Work frontman Colin Hay and Village Studios owner Jeff Greenberg, where some of Steely Dan's best known hits "Peg" and "Hey Nineteen" were recorded. "I'd rather have Walter here and not see all this stuff for sale," said Greenberg. "But it's pretty trippy, right? These are spectacular guitars. He was magical. Their records are still magical. It's some of the greatest music ever made." Becker died of esophageal cancer at age 67 in 2017. - Billboard, 10/21/19...... Appearing recently on the U.K. TV programme The Jonathan Ross Show, punk rock icon Iggy Pop was asked about his younger days in the Stooges and how he once stuck his tongue into an electric socket. "Well it was an electric train transformer," said Pop correcting Ross before adding: "I tried spider webs too. I tried to smoke them. You know you've got to start somewhere." As for the experience itself, he described it as "harsh." When host Jonathan Ross asked Pop if he was surprised that he's still alive, he said: "No its brinksmanship. My psychiatrist told me in the '70s 'you have amazing brinkmanship, you go to a certain place and you know when to pull back'. I always have and I'm a very conservative guy in my daily life. I go to bed early." Pop released his latest album, Free in September, and 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. - New Musical Express, 10/21/19...... A previously unreleased track from Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, "Wanted Man," has been shared on YouTube for the first time ahead of the release of the 15th installment of Dylan's Bootleg Sessions series. Travelin' Thru, 1967 - 1969: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 15 hits stores on Nov. 1 and will feature 47 unheard and sought after Dylan recordings. Dylan wrote "Wanted Man," which appears on disc 3 of the 3-disc set, for Cash and it later became a hit for the late country star. - NME, 10/21/19...... It was announced on Oct. 20 that 10km of an Australian motorway on the actual "Highway To Hell" will close in March 2020 to host a rolling AC/DC tribute concert in memory of the 40th anniversary of the death of AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott. On March 1, the Canning Highway, the motorway Scott would travel down regularly in his youth, will close between Canning Bridge and Fremantle to play host to the world's longest festival stage, featuring 8 bands playing AC/DC covers, including Amyl and the Sniffers, Shonen Knife and more. The stretch of motorway that will close is known as the real "Highway To Hell," named after a series of fatal crashes along the stretch and immortalised in the band's iconic 1979 album of the same name. Part of the 2020 Perth Festival, the event will reportedly mimic AC/DC's video for "It's A Long Way To The Top," which saw them playing on the back of a truck as it rode through Melbourne. The closing date of the event will coincide with the exact 40th anniversary of Scott's ashes arriving at Fremantle Cemetery. "It was like, 'We just have to do this', despite the ridiculous size of it," says event director Iain Grandage. Meanwhile, former AC/DC singer Brian Johnson said earlier in 2019 that he will "absolutely" tour again with AC/DC, after he was forced to quit the band in 2016 after suffering hearing loss. Johnson and Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh have also confirmed they've been in the studio together and new music could be coming from them. - NME, 10/20/19...... Carly SimonCarly Simon is getting mixed reviews for Touched by the Sun: My Friendship with Jackie, her just released book about her relationship with former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. One reviewer notes that in the memoir, Simon does not quite seem to grasp that Jackie O was not a very good friend: "In one section, she describes needing to take a Valium in a restaurant bathroom after waiting hours for her 'friend,' terrified that Jackie ditched her for something better. When Jackie finally arrived she claimed to have been 'stuck in an elevator,' a story Simon, even after all these years still seems to buy." Another reviewer has pointed out that Simon's relationship with Onassis does not sound at all like friendship, a revelation that the book's editors were perhaps too kind to point out: "When Jackie asks Simon to find a band to play daughter Caroline Kennedy's wedding, the musician is not only flattered, but grateful. She books the band and even sings with them. It never occurs to her how canny Jackie was to snag a Grammy- and Oscar-winning artist for free." -, 10/20/19...... Meanwhile, Patti Smith was interviewed by the U.K. paper The Guardian as part of a promotional tour to promote her new book, Year of the Monkey. Asked to name a book she was unable to finish, Smith replied by naming The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. "It gave me such anxiety that I threw up. I never finished it -- and still can't bear to," the author and musician said. Elsewhere, Smith revealed that Little Women was the book that changed her life and that the book she wish she had written was The Adventures of Pinocchio by Italian writer Carlo Collodi. "[It's] the perfect book for any age," she said of Collodi's book that later became the basis for the 1940 Disney movie Pinocchio. "It addresses creation, the war between good and evil, redemption, and transfiguration in one beloved tale. I have loved it since age seven and have long wished to write something similar." - NME, 10/19/19...... TV producer and executive Al Burton, who developed and or produced such famous '70s sitcoms as One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman for Norman Lear died on Oct. 22 at his home in San Mateo, Calif. He was 91. Mr. Burton was also a force in baby boomer entertainment and marketing who forged a career that spanned the first six decades of television and included concerts, beauty pageants and other live events. Mr. Burton was also the producer of Charles in Charge, Win Ben Stein's Money (for which he won a Daytime Emmy award) and Turn Ben Stein On for Comedy Central. Mr. Burton's gift for spotting talent helped ignite the careers of Ben Stein, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael J. Fox, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jimmy Kimmel, Ricky Schroder, Pamela Anderson, George Clooney, Valerie Bertinelli and MacKenzie Phillips, among others. In the '60s, Mr. Burton began live, outdoor, summer pop music broadcasts from Pacific Ocean Park in 1960, including the first live TV performance of the Beach Boys. He launched his first Teen-Age Fair in 1962, and it drew attendance of 256,000. He also booked the Rolling Stones for their first U.S. appearance as well as other acts like the Doors, Ricky Nelson, Lesley Gore and The Four Seasons. He retired to the Bay Area in 2006 and is survived by his wife, Sally, and their daughter, Jennifer. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/23/19...... Aretha FranklinOscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker and Marlon Wayans have joined Jennifer Hudson in MGM's upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect. Whitaker will play Franklin's father, a Baptist minister and popular preacher who was unfaithful to his wife, while Wayans will play Ted White, Franklin's first husband, whom she married when she was 19 and who was abusive. Hudson is portraying Franklin. Directed by Tony winner Liesl Tommy, the biopic follows the Queen of Soul's rise to fame in the 1960s and 1970s and chronicles her abusive marriage. The film will feature several of Aretha's best known songs, including "Respect," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Think," "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "Spanish Harlem," "Amazing Grace" and "Chain of Fools." - Billboard, 10/18/19...... Nick Tosches, a literary music writer who looked older than his years and cloaked himself in a noir-ish persona, died on Oct. 20 t the age of 69. Tosches made a career of questioning the origins of inspiration, often tracing it back to ancient times, and finding the precise language with which to express it. Tosches was known by music fans for his essays and reviews, and especially his two classic biographies. His book on Jerry Lee Lewis, 1982's Hellfire, was once described by Rolling Stone magazine as "quite simply the best rock and roll biography ever written." A decade later, his biography of Dean Martin explored the life of the boozy pop singer and actor with reportorial detail and literary language, and it was once rumored to be a Martin Scorsese film, with Tom Hanks attached to star. - Billboard, 10/23/19...... Ed Cherney, a Grammy and Emmy-winning recording engineer who worked on such seminal works as Bonnie Raitt's Nick of Time, Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven," The Rolling Stones' Bridges to Babylon, and Willie Nelson's "My Way" among hundreds more, died on Oct. 22 from cancer. He was 69. Other artists he worked with included Bob Dylan, Bette Midler, Elton John, Sting, Etta James, Bob Seger and Jackson Browne, among others. "Eddie was a real sonic genius," says producer Don Was, who worked with Cherney on the Raitt and Rolling Stones' albums, among others. "He knew how to add some ear-pleasing sparkle and sheen while keeping the music feeling intimate and natural... A terrific person and a great friend. He is utterly irreplaceable." - Billboard, 10/22/19.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

The Beatles' Apple Corp. Ltd. and Capitol Records announced on Oct. 16 that a new limited-edition vinyl box set of the Beatles' UK singles will go on sale on Nov. 22. The Singles Collection will feature all remastered versions of all 22 of the band's UK singles which were released between 1962 and 1970, while an exclusive new double A-side single -- for the mid-1990s-issued tracks "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love" -- is also included. The 46 tracks will be released on 23 180-gram seven-inch vinyl singles, while each single is adorned with an individual international picture sleeve from its original release. The set is accompanied by a 40-page booklet with photos, ephemera and detailed essays by noted Beatles historian Kevin Howlett. - New Musical Express, 10/16/19...... Tom JohnstonOn Oct. 15, the Cleveland-based Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced the 16 nominees for the Rock Hall Class of 2020. Nine artists received nominations for the first time in their careers: Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews Band, The Doobie Brothers, Motörhead, The Notorious B.I.G., Soundgarden, T. Rex, Thin Lizzy and Whitney Houston. Also nominated were Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, MC5, Nine Inch Nails and Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, all who have been nominated up to five times before, along with Judas Priest who were recently nominated for the Class of 2018, and Todd Rundgren who was nearly tapped for the RRHOF Class of 2019. The Doobie Brothers' Tom Johnston told Billboard that "we're all honored to be nominated." "I'm sure we've all paused to reflect, and I think I speak for all the other guys when I say that it seems rather odd we haven't been selected before. But at the same time we don't take it for granted and we are honored to be nominated, and if we can just carry it all the way to getting in it would be awesome," he added. The 35th RRHOF induction ceremony will take place May 2, 2020 in the organization's hometown of Cleveland, Oh. The RRHOF Class of 2020 is decided by an international body of more than 1,000 voting members, but fans can impact the vote. Starting Oct. 15 and running through 11:59 pm ET on Jan. 10, 2020, fans can go to Google and search "Rock Hall Fan Vote" or any nominee's name plus "vote" to cast a ballot with Google, vote at, or at the Museum itself in Cleveland. The five artists who receive the most fan votes comprise a fans' ballot that will be tallied along with the others to determine the 2020 inductees, which will be announced in January 2020. - Billboard, 10/15/19...... Two rock songs featured in Warner Bros.' new The Joker film, Cream's "White Room" and Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll, Part 2," are experiencing a surge in sales after the movie premiered in the US on Oct. 4. "White Room," which was originally a No. 6 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart in 1968, has debuted at No. 15 on Billboard's Hot Rock Songs chart for the week ending Oct. 19. The track, which also has a tie-in by the recent death of Cream drummer Ginger Baker on Oct. 6, gained by 687% to 2,000 downloads sold and 78% to 1.5 million U.S. streams, according to Nielsen Music. Meanwhile, "Rock and Roll, Part 2" surged by 971% to 1.5 million streams and 800% to 2,000 sold. The song's inclusion in the film came under fire due to that fact that Glitter is a convicted pedophile currently serving a 16-year prison sentence after being found guilty of attempted rape, indecent assault and sex with a minor. Although Glitter sold away his master recording and publishing rights to the song years ago, he isn't directly receiving sync fees or royalty payments for most of the song's streams. However Glitter could receive a smaller source of revenue from digital performance royalties from the song's non-interactive streams on Pandora, SiriusXM and other webcasters. By law, those royalties are collected by the rights management organization SoundExchange, which then distributes the money primarily to the main artist and the owner of the recording, which is commonly the label. If Glitter is registered with SoundExchange (which does not reveal its client list due to privacy rules), he should be receiving those payments, and may profit from the song despite no longer owning its rights. Likewise, Glitter is likely still collecting performance royalties for "Rock and Roll Part II" as a songwriter because the way performance rights organizations generally work. Although the NFL banned crowd participation favorite from being played in stadiums after Glitter's conviction in 2006, a cover version was still used and even adopted as the New England Patriots' touchdown anthem. A source close to Warner Bros., which likely paid between $100,000-$200,000 to license the song, says there are no plans to remove the song from the Joker soundtrack or future versions of the film, contrary to recent reports. And the only official soundtrack currently available for listening is the film score. - Billboard, 10/18/19...... Paramount Pictures screened its summer Elton John biopic hit, Rocketman, in its entirety on seven large and small screens at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on Oct. 17 as the latest in a boomlet of "live-to-film experiences." The Hollywood Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Beal, was also onstage to play live. Although none of the actors, including lead actor Taron Egerton in John's role, sang live during the screening, but a highlight came at the end of the film when John and Egerton came onstage together to perform "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again," the jubilant song which Elton and his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin co-wrote for the film. Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher then introduced Taupin, who said, "The music is what keeps us alive and keeps us going -- and I'm just getting started." Taupin introduced two actors from the film, Jamie Bell, who played him as a voice of reason and Elton's most loyal friend, and Bryce Dallas Howard, who played Elton's cold and indifferent mother. "This has been the greatest creative episode of my life. The people on this stage are going to be friends for life," said Egerton. Rocketman grossed $96.3 million at the U.S. box office in its three-month theatrical run, according to, however that is only half as much as the 2018 Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Nevertheless, Rocketman is the fourth highest-grossing music biopic since 1978 according to BoxOfficeMojo. - Billboard, 10/18/19...... Meanwhile, as Elton continues on his publicity tour for his riveting newly released autobiography Me, the rock legend stopped by for an interview with DJ Jim Kerr at the iHeartRadio theater in Burbank, Calif., on Oct. 16. Elton told Kerr that he has no plans to disappear from the music scene after he ends his 350-show "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" farewell tour. "It's not to say I'm going to stop doing things. I'm going to make records, I'm going to write musicals and I will do the odd show, here and there, maybe a residency, but it won't be traveling," he said. "I will never be in Australia again or all over Europe. I'll be in England or America and that's it but I don't know where, I don't know when and I don't know if it will even happen. Life throws curveballs at you," he added. In another interview with Britain's GQ magazine, John also revealed he's seen Disney's 2019 photorealistic remake of The Lion King, and he thinks it's a "huge disappointment." "Music was so much a part of the original and the music in the current film didn't have the same impact," John said. "The magic and joy were lost... they really screwed up the music." Elton composed and performed songs for the original 1994 The Lion King, whose soundtrack became the best-selling album of the year. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 10/17/19...... Bruce SpringsteenBruce Springsteen and his wife Patti Scialfa were in attendance at the New York premiere of his new Western Stars movie, in which he performs songs from the album backed by a band and full orchestra at his family's Stone Hill Farm in Colts Neck, N.J. "I was surprised, because I hadn't seen it in so long," Scialfa said on the blue carpet before the premiere. "I hadn't even remembered that we did all those silly things. So, it's actually very, very sweet. It's really a lovely surprise," she added. Between each song Springsteen shares commentary and draws connections to his own life, and his voice accompanies archive footage and home movies of his family. Several amusing scenes from their honeymoon touched Scialfa, who missed the September world premiere of the film at the Toronto International Film Festival. Springsteen says he has no plans for a Western Stars tour, instead he's heading back into the studio to work on a new E-Street Band record. He laughed at the notion of incorporating recent social and political upheavals in the lyrics of the band's new music, instead saying he's "leaning toward the personal." "Most of what I've written so far ruminates a little bit about some of the things from my past," he said. Also attending the NYC premiere were Steven Van Zandt, Ralph Lauren, Clive Davis, Jon Stewart, Edward Burns, Harvey Keitel and music mogul Jimmy Iovine. A Western Stars soundtrack album will be released on Oct. 25 - AP, 10/18/19...... Bob Seger, currently on a farewell tour with his Silver Bullet Band, became sentimental during his show at Pittsburgh's PPG Paints Arena on Oct. 17. Just before his "Travelin' Man"/"Beautiful Loser" medley, the Michigan rocker pronounced "I'm gonna miss you, Pittsburgh" and then reminded the packed house that his Sept. 28, 2017 stop there wound up being the last date of his "Runaway Train Tour." Two days after that show, Seger postponed the rest of the tour in order to have spinal surgery, which kept him off the road until he launched his "Roll Me Away" farewell tour in November 2018. "I'm gonna miss you, Pittsburgh... I'm all better now, thank goodness," Seger noted, then performed a nearly two-hour, 22-song show loaded with hits and occasional rarities such as "You Take Me In" from is 2014 Ride Out album. Seger also revealed to the crowd that he had welcome commiseration from good friend Bruce Springsteen. "He said 'I had exactly the same operation in exactly the same place,' between the fourth and fifth vertebrae," Seger said. "People who sing hard, I guess that's what happens to them." Seger and his band have five more dates on the "Roll Me Away" tour before wrapping in Philadelphia on Nov. 1. - Billboard, 10/18/19...... The Nashville, Tenn.-based Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum announced on Oct. 17 that it will honor the legendary A-list sessions musicians known as The Hit Men with its inaugural "Road Warrior" award. "It's an incredible honor to be recognized for the work we've each put into our careers supporting the greatest names in the music industry," founding member Lee Shapiro said. The MHOFM opened in 2006 and showcases the often-unsung musicians who have backed legendary pop performers. Among its famous inductees are the Wrecking Crew, the group of L.A. studio musicians that played on numerous '60s pop hits; and the Funk Brothers, Motown Records' house rhythm section. The Hit Men was originally assembled in 2012 in a basement studio in Fair Lawn, N.J. by former members of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, and has toured steadily since then. Its Oct. 28 concert at Nashville's City Winery will close a month of shows in California, Arizona, Maine, Louisiana and Tennessee. - AP, 10/17/19...... Roger TaylorIn a new interview with, Queen drummer Roger Taylor has hit back at critics of the group's 2018 Oscar-winning biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. "The trouble with us is, we're too f---ing popular, and a lot of the media just hate that," Taylor said. He added that although there were a handful of "decent" reviews, "there were many that were kinda sneering and superficial." "I thought, 'You just don't get it, do you?'," the drummer said. "You weren't moved, and whatever, but fuck you actually. F--- you all the way to the bank, actually... I think people know a lot more than film critics, and the word of mouth via social media is so much more powerful than review from a guy who probably watches 40 movies a week, and has probably lost the essence of the joy of a movie," he added. Meanwhile, Queen has blocked Pres. Donald Trump from using their music once again, after Trump featured Queen's 1977 iconic rock anthem "We Will Rock You" in a new campaign video. "Don't expect this video -- which uses Queen's "We Will Rock You" in its entirety -- to remain up for long," wrote Buzzfeed's Adam B.Vary on Oct. 10. "A rep for Queen told me tonight that the band 'has already entered into a process to call for non use of Queen song copyrights by the Trump campaign. This is ongoing'," Vary added. It's believed that the clip was eventually taken down on Oct. 13. While Trump is yet to delete the tweet, an official notice now states: "This media has been disabled in response to a report by copyright owner." Queen previously locked horns with Trump in 2016, when the then Republican presidential nominee walked onstage at the Republican National Convention to "We Are the Champions." The band said they did not want their "music associated with any mainstream or political debate in any country" and said they didn't want the 1977 song "to be used as an endorsement of Mr. Trump and the political views of the Republican Party." Prince and Nickelback have also made similar moves against Trump from using their music at campaign rally and in campaign ads in recent weeks. - New Musical Express, 10/17/19...... In related news, Lynyrd Skynyrd is pushing back over the use of their classic 1973 signature sone "Free Bird" in a violent video aired during a recent gathering of Donald Trump supporters during a conference at the president's Trump National Doral Miami golf club in Florida. A spokesperson for the band has confirmed that the group had not authorized the use of "Freebird" in the nearly four-minute video that appears to use doctored footage from the 2014 video game "Kingsman: The Secret Service" in order to depict Trump murdering reporters and anchors from CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Buzzfeed, PBS, Politico and many other media organzations using a handgun and a knife inside the so-called "Church of Fake News." "The use of Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Freebird' in the video as depicted was unauthorized," the band said in statement. The mock rampage also shows Trump attacking, striking and killing such political rivals as former Pres. Barack Obama, former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, late Sen. John McCain, Sen. Bernie Sanders and a member of Black Lives Matter. The video ends with a smiling Trump putting the head of a CNN reporter on a stake. - Billboard, 10/16/19...... Country star Kacey Musgraves, who has been covering Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" on her current tour, was joined by Gaynor on Oct. 15 for a rendition of the 1978 disco classic during the first of her two shows at New York City's Radio City Music Hall on Oct. 15. Musgraves surprised the audience by inviting Gaynor to join her on stage to perform the track together. Speaking to the crowd, Gaynor, who was proclaimed as "the queen of disco" by the country singer, said: "I recorded this song 40 years ago, and I can't tell you how pleased I am that Kacey is carrying on the tradition, helping you all to survive." Fan-shot footage of the pair performing the song can be seen on YouTube. - New Musical Express, 10/16/19...... Dionne WarwickPop songstress Dionne Warwick has teamed up with such acts as Aloe Blacc, Andra Day, Johnny Mathis, Michael McDonald, The Oak Ridge Boys and John Rich for a new Christmas album, Dionne Warwick & The Voices of Christmas, which hits stores on Oct. 18 via BMG. "Every song, I felt, suited my duet partner. That's why it's called The Voices of Christmas," eight-time Grammy winner Warwick says. "Each of the songs felt suited to each one of the people I was singing with and that's how we chose them. That's the approach I wanted to take, and I wanted to do arrangements of the song to suit that particular person as well." Produced by her Warwick's son Damon Elliott, also known as Buck 22, the project was recorded in Nashville, Los Angeles, New York and Las Vegas this past summer. "It was wonderful," she says of working with Elliott. "He's earned the right. He's a wonderful producer." A video of her song featuring Aloe Blacc, "This Christmas," has been shared on YouTube. The 78-year-old Warwick says dates are still being determined for her upcoming Christmas tour, but she's hoping John Rich will be able to join her on a few of those dates. - Billboard, 10/16/19...... Santana and Journey co-founder Gregg Rollie has premiered a video called "What About Love" from his new album, Sonic Ranch. "The message really comes from playing with Ringo [Starr]," Rolie, said Rolie, who has been a member of Ringo's All-Starr Band since 2012. "He's been relentless on 'peace and love' forever. He's been saying it for years, and he's right. I just took it a step further and did it a little stronger. The song is like, 'Hey, wake up! What ABOUT this?'" Rolie is also working on new material with former Journey drummer Deen Castronovo and bassist Marco Mendoza (both part of the Journey spin-off band Journey Through Time), his son Sean and with Yayo Sanchez, the 26-year-old who became a viral sensation jamming with Foo Fighters. - Billboard, 10/16/19...... The Grateful Dead veteran Phil Lesh has postponed his annual "Phil-O-Ween" Halloween shows after undergoing back surgery. The shows had originally been scheduled for Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 at the Capitol Theatre in New York, but is has been announced that The Darkstar Orchestra will replace Lesh for those three days. "I want you all to know I'm very disappointed I'm not going to be able to make these shows," Lesh explained in the video. "I'm feeling really good but the doctors recommend that I take more time to recover from the surgery that I recently had." - Billboard, 10/15/19...... Six months after Grease rights-holders Paramount announced a Grease feature film prequel of the hit 1978 movie, a live-action TV spinoff based on the movie is in the works. WarnerMedia-backed streamer HBO Max has handed out a straight-to-series order for musical Grease: Rydell High, with its name stemming from the school at the center of the beloved original. The TV series will be produced by Paramount Television, the studio behind Fox's Emmy-winning 2016 one-off Grease: Live. The TV spinoff reimagines the original movie and will feature some characters from it. The series is still set in the 1950s and will feature big musical numbers from the era combined with new original songs. It will explore the peer pressures of high school, the horrors of puberty, and life in middle America with a modern sensibility. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/15/19...... In a new documentary on Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Wood reveals he used to take a Bunsen burner with him to parties to smoke cocaine. "I enjoyed the shit out if it," Wood says of his experience with the drug. "Took it with me wherever I went. I thought it was the best thing going. I would take it to parties and go, Everybody try this , get [a] great big Bunsen burner out, the pipes, the works, freebase and everything. And people would be going, 'You're f---ing crazy', but I would love it," he adds. Discussing his sobriety in the documentary, the former Faces guitarist explained: "It's very difficult because you go through a period of dry and you go, 'I've done it. I've cleaned up now. I can have just one'." Meanwhile, the Stones are gearing up to release a live album and film of their 1998 Buenos Aires concert, Bridges to Buenos Aires, on Nov. 8. - NME, 10/16/19...... Bill MacyBeloved TV sitcom star Bill Macy, best known as Maude Findlay's (Bea Arthur) husband Walter Findlay on the 1972-1978 Norman Lear-produced CBS series Maude, died on Oct. 17. He was 97. Mr. Macy also appeared in cult 1979 comedy movie The Jerk starring Steve Martin and the films My Favorite Year, Me, Myself and I, Analyze This and The Holiday, among others. As well as Maude, Mr. Macy's TV credits included roles on Law & Order, St. Elsewhere, Chicago Hope, The Facts of Life and Seinfeld. Tributes to Mr. Macy on twitter included posts by Illiana Douglas, Ali Adler and comedian Gilbert Gottfried, who described him as "funny and crazy and loved a good Kosher herring." - WENN/, 10/18/19...... Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind the iconic children's show Sesame Street, announced on Oct. 16 that a new season of Sesame Street will return in the fall of 2019 for a historic 50th anniversary season. The season will kick off on Nov. 9 with a primetime special, Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration, on HBO. The episode is set to feature guest appearances by the likes of Patti LaBelle, Elvis Costello, Meghan Trainor, Norah Jones and Nile Rodgers. The regular season will premiere the following week on Nov. 16. Special guests making their way to Sesame Street over the course of Season 50 will include Charlie Puth, Maren Morris, Dave Grohl and Chrissy Teigen. Following its debut on HBO, Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration will air Nov. 17 on PBS and PBS Kids. - Billboard, 10/16/19.

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./, 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 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. -, 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 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/, 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, 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 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/, 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 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 - 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 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/, 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. -, 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 - 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/, 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 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 Harper died at age 80 on Aug. 3. - American Media Inc./, 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/, 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. - 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/, 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 "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 (, 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/, 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/, 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/, 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,, 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 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, 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. -, 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 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/, 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/, 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 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./, 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. -, 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, 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/, 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/, 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/, 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. -, 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." -, 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. -, 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 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. -, 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 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. 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 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. -, 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. -, 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. -, 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. -, 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. -, 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 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 - 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 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!," 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." -, 6/17/19.

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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, New Musical Express, Associated Press, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, CNN, Rolling,,, Miles High Productions, and Noble PR.

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