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Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020

The first trailer for the upcoming Bee Gees documentary How Can You Mend a Broken Heart has been shared on YouTube. The first feature-length film about the three famous siblings from Oz, Broken Heart will chronicle the stratospheric rise of Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb and screen in UK cinemas for one night only on Dec. 3. Meanwhile, a narrative biopic based on the life and career of the Bee Gees is also in the works, courtesy of Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King and screenwriter Anthony McCarten. Bradley Cooper is reportedly in line to play Barry Gibb in the film, which will be produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and Paramount Pictures. - NME, 11/20/20...... In related news, rapper Nelly has been cast as the late Chuck Berry in a forthcoming biopic about rock & roll pioneer Buddy Holly named Clear Lake. Nelly will portray Berry, who died in 2017, in the film, with Ruairi O'Connor cast as Holly. The film will "tell the story of how Holly and other famous musicians of the late 1950s gave birth to rock & roll while changing the trajectory of civil rights in America," according to - NME, 11/19/20...... Dolly PartonA recently published article in the New England Journal of Medicine has revealed that country superstar Dolly Parton played a key role in funding the research that aided the development of a major vaccine for Covid-19. Parton reportedly chipped in $1 million of her own money to aid research by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville since the start of the pandemic. The Vanderbilt research has subsequently played a key role in the development of a vaccine from U.S. biotechnology firm Moderna, which was announced on Nov. 16. The Moderna vaccine boasts nearly 95% protection against the disease, and follows the announcement of a separate immunization from pharmaceutical firm Pfizer a week earlier. In the footnotes of the medicine journal, it is confirmed that the funding came from the "Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund." Announcing the gesture back in April, the Grammy-winning singer wrote on Instagram: "My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who's been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards that research of the coronavirus for a cure. I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations." It's believed that Dolly and Dr. Abumrad became friends after the singer was involved in a car accident and underwent treatment at Vanderbilt in 2014. Parton can currently be seen in Netflix's latest yuletide offering, Christmas on the Square, which features 14 of her original songs and will make its worldwide debut on Nov. 22. - New Musical Express, 11/17/20...... "Distance," a tribute to late guitar god Eddie Van Halen by his 29-year-old son Wolfgang Van Halen, is on track to debut in the Top 5 of Billboard's Rock Digital Song Sales chart for the week ending Nov. 28. In a press release, Wolfgang said "As my pop continued to struggle with various health issues, I was imagining what my life would be like without him and how terribly I'd miss him. While the song is incredibly personal, I think anyone can relate to the idea of having a profound loss in their life." Wolfgang says he finished the song before Eddie's death, and the track became a "favorite" of his dad's. "Distance," which has been shared on YouTube, is also garnering immediate airplay across mainstream rock radio and could debut on the next Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart after drawing spins on 30 reporting stations to the ranking in its first two days of release. Meanwhile, Wolfgang is pushing back at rumours he'll "replace his dad" in Van Halen. During a Nov. 16 interview on Howard Stern's Sirius XM radio show (which can be viewed on YouTube), Wolfgang said those rumors were "f---ing stupid." "You can't have Van Halen without Eddie Van Halen. I'm not my dad. I'm not going to replace him... I've spent my life making sure I'm not like him and I'm my own person.... outside of maybe a tribute show at some point down the line and archival releases further down the line, it's done." Wolfgang continued: "I don't have a dad anymore and I'm coming to terms with that. So, I think fans can come to the terms with the fact that we're not going to have Van Halen anymore. The music is going to live on forever but you can't continue without Eddie Van Halen." - NME, 11/18/20...... Bob DylanAn anonymous buyer paid $495,000 at auction on Nov. 19 for a trove of Bob Dylan documents including the rock icon's musings about anti-Semitism and unpublished song lyrics. Boston-based R.R. Auction says the collection was privately held by the late American blues artist Tony Glover, a longtime Dylan friend and confidante. A majority of the key pieces went to a bidder whose identity was not made public. The collection included transcripts of Glover's 1971 interviews with Dylan and letters the pair exchanged, revealing that Dylan had anti-Semitism on his mind when he changed his name from Robert Zimmerman, and that he wrote "Lay Lady Lay" for Barbra Streisand. Glover, who died in 2019 and whose widow Cynthia Nadler put the items up for auction, and Dylan broke into music in the same Minneapolis coffeehouse scene and remained close throughout the years. Meanwhile, former president Barack Obama called Bob Dylan "one of the greatest examples" of social consciousness in music during a surprise appearance on YouTubers Fred and Tim Williams' TwinsthenewTrend channel. The 44th president recalled how Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" earned its place on the playlist for both his presidency and his best-selling new memoir, A Promised Land. "I've been a Bob Dylan fan for a long time, partly 'cause I'm just older," Obama told the Williams twins. "He was part of that kind of social conscience that was in rock music, and then later in hip-hop music. Look, I'm like everybody else, I like music about girls and cars and, you know, rock and roll and hip-hop. But whenever you can find some musicians that really have a message about how America might be, how the world might be, that always is something that I pay attention to. And he's one of the greatest examples of that." - AP/Billboard, 11/21/20...... Bruce Springsteen performed three acoustic tracks at the 2020 "Stand Up For Heroes" virtual benefit concert on Nov. 19. The Boss, accompanied by his wife and E Street Band bandmate Patti Scialfa, performed "House Of A Thousand Guitars" from his new Letter To You album in an empty New Jersey bar. The New Jersey rocker also played a solo-acoustic version of "Long Walk Home" from his 2007 album Magic before teaming up with Scialfa again for a rendition of "I'll See You In My Dreams" from his new album. The performance, along with songs by the likes of Sheryl Crow and Brad Paisley has been shared on YouTube. - NME, 11/20/20...... AC/DC's new album Power Up has become the Aussie rockers' fourth No. 1 album in the UK according to, selling 62,000 copies and becoming the fastest-selling album in the UK to date. AC/DC's Angus Young thanked fans for their support. "A very big thank you to everyone who put in their time, effort and creativity to get PWR/UP to Number 1! Also a big shoutout to all our fans, old and new. You are, and always have been, our guiding inspiration," he told Power Up is AC/DC's first No. 1 album in the UK since 2010's Iron Man 2 soundtrack. - NME, 11/20/20...... John LennonWhat is probably the most infamous souvenir of the tragic assassination of John Lennon on Dec. 8, 1980 in front of his New York City apartment building is being put up for auction. The copy of John and Yoko Ono's then new LP Double Fantasy signed by John at the request of Mark Chapman five hours before he was slain by Chapman is being put up for sale by Goldin Auctions, with bidding opening on Nov. 23 at 2:00 am EST (5:00 am GMT). Police markings from the investigation appear on both the front and back of the record sleeve. The album will have an opening bid of $400,000 (£301k). Earlier this year, Chapman apologized to Yoko "for the pain that I caused to her." "I think about it all of the time," he said at a hearing in New York, where the 65-year-old inmate was denied parole for the 11th time. - NME, 11/21/20...... In other Beatles-related news, the release of Paul McCartney's forthcoming album McCartney III has been delayed one week to Dec. 18 due to what Sir Paul describes as "unforeseeable production delays." A post on Macca's Facebook on Nov. 19 says that "Unforeseeable production delays have forced the release date of Paul's all-new all-Paul album 'McCartney III' to be moved back one week to December 18, 2020. Thank you to everyone for your patience, support and excitement for the album. We can't wait for you to hear it!" McCartney III is the long-awaited final part of his McCartney solo album trilogy, following 1970's McCartney and 1980's McCartney II. - NME, 11/20/20...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, the 19-year-old grandson of Ringo Starr and Gene Gallagher, the 19-year-old son of Oasis member Liam Gallagher, have pleaded guilty after being charged with attacking an Indian security guard in a convenience store in May 2019. The pair, along with model Noah Ponte, 20, pleaded not guilty on Nov. 20 to an assortment of charges stemming from a fight at a Tesco Express shop in north London. Gallagher allegedly stole a can of beer at around midnight after the shop had stopped selling alcohol. Officials at Wood Green Magistrates Court heard he then told a South Asian worker: "You bloody Indians. Go back to where you came from. You're not wanted here." The trio is then claimed to have attacked members of staff before leaving the store. Gallagher and Ponte are also accused of racially aggravated assault, while Sonny is facing two charges of assault by beating two Tesco workers. All three only spoke to plead not guilty to the charges. - WENN/, 11/22/20...... Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne's eldest daughter Aimée Osbourne has confirmed that casting is set to begin on the forthcoming Ozzy and Sharon biopic. "Yes, it's still happening, and I've been helping them with that as well," Aimée said of the film that was first announced in the summer. "I think we're getting ready to start casting too, which is really exciting. Finding the right kind of actors to portray them is going to be challenging, but we're looking forward to finding some newcomers," she said. "I think authenticity, vulnerability, charisma, all those kinds of things will needed to play them, because they're just both so unique. It's definitely going to be challenging, and as excited as I am, it's going to be intense to find someone who can embody a challenging mix of characteristics for both of them. But I have faith we will find the right people," she added. The film is said to skip Ozzy's original tenure in Black Sabbath and fast forward to when he left the band in the late 1970s and began dating Sharon. Sharon previously discussed how she doesn't want the film to be "squeaky, shiny clean" like Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Sharon also recently announced she is self-quarantining again after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. "We're all on lockdown," Sharon said from home at the top of her daytime talk show The Talk, and that one of her assistants who she works with at home had tested positive for the disease. "She's (my assistant) doing OK, but can you believe it? This is my second lockdown." - NME/, 11/20/20...... KissKiss are set to close out 2020 with a "Kiss 2020 Goodbye" virtual special on Dec. 31 at the Atlantis in Dubai. Kiss is promising "the biggest & baddest concert event and pyrotechnics show of the year" when they take the stage at 5:00 p.m. BST, with tickets ranging from $40 (£30) for a standard ticket, all the way up to $1,000 (£750) for deluxe tickets which includes all manner of Kiss merchandise and memorabilia. "In true KISS fashion, they are bringing the biggest & baddest concert event and pyrotechnics show of the year, proving once again, that KISS never does anything small," according to a press release. "The massive stage production and FREE pre-show will be brought directly into your living room at 9 pm LIVE from Atlantis Dubai on December 31st!" - NME, 11/21/20...... The music of Queen is now officially available on the popular social media app TikTok. Up to 10 of the band's classic hits -- including "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Another One Bites The Dust," "Don't Stop Me Now" and "We Will Rock You" -- have been made available on the app for fans worldwide to use in their video creations. Other hits from their back catalog on TikTok include "Under Pressure," "We Are The Champions," "I Want To Break Free," "Somebody To Love," "Killer Queen" and 'Radio Ga Ga." The account was launched in partnership with the band and its label partners Universal Music Group and Hollywood Records. To commemorate the band's music arriving on TikTok, a hashtag challenge has been launched globally, encouraging fans to #SingWithQueen. The Queen TikTok page can be viewed at - NME, 11/19/20...... In a new interview with BBC News, Keith Richards joked that he "might get a new wheelchair" to celebrate the Rolling Stones' 60th anniversary two years from now. "I don't know [how I plan to celebrate]. I might get a new wheelchair," he said, then reflected wistfully that "this particular life" has "been pretty exceptional." "I'm really at a loss sometimes to sort of figure out how the hell I got here," he admitted. "But the music is the thing that keeps you going, so that's what I try and concentrate on." The Rolling Stones, who formed in 1962, are set to celebrate 60 years together in 2022. - NME, 11/19/20...... The Who's Roger Daltrey has branded Elton John "arsey" as he reignited the row between the two over Elton's alleged snub of the Daltrey-organised Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) gigs in 2018. Daltrey said at the time that John "should answer his bloody emails" in regards to the annual charity gigs, claiming that he had played at events organised by John's charity "three times," but a rep for Elton says that they were "slightly perplexed by his claims" because "each time prior commitments meant Elton was unfortunately unable to take part." "No one here has any recollection of Roger performing at any Elton John AIDS Foundation events 'three times' either, which makes it all the stranger," the rep added. In a recent inteview with the UK's Daily Mirror paper, Daltrey recalled the incident by claiming that he "wasn't making a big deal out of it, but then Elton got arsey about it." Daltrey also claimed that Elton remains hard to get hold of. "I've had the same number 40 years. But when you get to Elton's status as a monstrous, massive star... it's not easy to get hold of these guys." Daltrey did add that he was still holding out hope that John would one day join the line-up for his TCT gigs, adding: "I've done a couple for his AIDS charities and foundation." Daltrey is among the artists who will perform at the Nordoff Robbins-organised charity livestream event "The Stars Come Out To Sing At Christmas" on Dec. 15. - NME, 11/18/20...... Jimi HendrixGibson Guitars has recreated two classic guitars based on instruments once played by Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix's 1969 Flying V and 1967 SG Custom are being made available for fans to buy, with both models looking and sounding like the guitars Hendrix actually played. Both also come with official photos of the late guitar legend and a collection of anecdotes and personal images from the archives of Eddie Kramer, his renowned engineer, producer, and collaborator. Hendrix played the Flying V throughout the Band of Gypsys era and during his legendary set at the Isle of Wight Festival on Aug. 31, 1970. He was seen performing with the 1967 SG Custom on his national television debut on The Dick Cavett Show on July 7, 1969. The guitars, which will retail for $9,999 (£7,548) each, can be viewed on YouTube. - NME, 11/19/20...... Bruce Swedien, the longtime engineer for Michael Jackson and who has also worked with the likes of Paul McCartney, Jennifer Lopez and Donna Summer, passed away on Nov. 16, according to his daughter Roberta Swedien. "My dad, Bruce Swedien, passed away peacefully last night, November 16th. He was 86," Roberta posted on Facebook on Nov. 17. "A legend in the music industry for over 65 years and 5-time Grammy winner, he was known for his work with Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson and many more. He had a long life full of love, great music, big boats and beautiful marriage. We will celebrate that life. He was loved by everyone. Rest in peace dear sweet Daddy-ji. We will love you forever, Bea and Roberta." Mr. Swedien worked with Quincy Jones on Jackson's 1979 album Off The Wall, along with his classic albums Thriller and Bad. Over the years, he also worked with Mick Jagger, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan and Barbra Streisand. - NME, 11/17/20...... British football agent and music publicist Eric Hall, who organized the Sex Pistols' infamous 1976 expletive-filled interview on The Today Show with Bill Grundy, has died at age 73. The flamboyant Hall, known for his trademark catchphrase "Monster Monster," first cut his teeth as a publicist for EMI Records in the 1970s. It was at EMI that Hall first met Queen's Freddie Mercury, claiming in later years that the band's 1974 hit "Killer Queen" was written about him. Hall, who was born in Bethnal Green in 1947, also worked as Elton John's tea boy in his formative years and went on to promote the likes of Frank Sinatra, Queen and T. Rex. - NME, 11/17/20.

Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020

A joint interview with Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift in the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine reveals that the former Beatle had planned to jam with the pop sensation on her massive hit "Shake It Off" at the ill-fated 2020 Glastonbury Festival in the UK. The two were set to headline the Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage, before the festival was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic. "Wow, it would've been so fun to play Glastonbury for the 50th anniversary together," Swift said, to which McCartney replied: "It would've been great, wouldn't it? And I was going to be asking you to play with me." "Were you going to invite me?" Swift said. "I was hoping that you would. I was going to ask you." "I would've done 'Shake It Off'," McCartney revealed, which Swift then said "would have been amazing." The interview took place in McCartney's London office in October, and opens with Swift describing the 78-year-old music legend dancing around and singing to Motown hits during the shoot and indulging her request that he hand-write her favorite lyric of his and sign it, which she promises to "cherish forever." The pair then fall into easy conversation about recording their recent albums, their shared love of numerology, performing under pseudonyms, and their reluctance to jump up and perform at celeb-packed parties. McCartney and Swift may get the chance to perform together at Glastobury 2021, which is currently set to go ahead. "The plan would be to rebook the 2020 bill, it will move everything, including our 50th-anniversary celebration to 2021," according to the festival's lawyer Ben Challis. - Billboard/New Musical Expess, 11/13/20...... The Grateful DeadA deluxe 50th anniversary reissue of the Grateful Dead's classic 1970 album American Beauty has debuted at No. 3 on Billboard's Album Sales Chart for the week ending Nov. 5, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. The Grateful Dead/Warner/Rhino release sold 21,000 copies in the U.S. and marks the band's biggest sales week for any album in nearly 25 years. American Beauty also sold particularly well on vinyl, with 9,000 copies sold and debuted at No. 1 on the Vinyl Albums Chart. The release is one rung ahead of another debuting Grateful Dead title, the live from-the-vaults album Dave's Picks Vol. 36: Hartford Civic Center, Hartford CT - 3/26 & 3/37/87, which bowed at No. 4 with 20,000 copies sold. The reissue of American Beauty is the second Dead album in 2020 to get a 50th anniversary reissue from Rhino, following Workingman's Dead. "We are incredibly proud of the Grateful Dead's chart success this week," says Rhino/Warner exec Mark Pinku. (American Beauty) remains my personal favorite and continues to serve as a perfect entry to the Dead's unparalleled catalog to many new fans as it did for me back in 1983." - Billboard, 11/12/20...... A 30-minute, 8 song soundboard recording of Van Halen in 1975 before they shot to fame three years later with their eponymous debut album has resurfaced and been shared on YouTube. Featuring founding members Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony, the gig saw Roth engaging in some of his patented stage patter in between VH covers of ZZ Top ("Chevrolet"), Deep Purple ("Maybe I'm a Leo"), the Edgar Winter Group ("And We All Had a Real Good Time"), the Rolling Stones ("Brown Sugar"), the James Gang ("Walk Away"), Johnny Winter ("Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo") and Sugarloaf ("Don't Call Us, We'll Call You"). The set also includes an early version of VH's Women and Children First album track "Fools," then called "I Live With Fools." - Billbaord, 11/13/20...... In related news, Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang Van Halen recently told Howard Stern during an interview on his Sirius XM radio show that towards the end of 2017, his dad was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. "The doctors were like, 'You have six weeks'," Wolfgang told Stern, adding that his father went to Germany to receive treatment and "whatever the f--- they do over there, it's amazing, because I got three more years with him." He goes on to say that things took a turn for the worse for his father in early 2019, when Eddie was involved in a motorcycle accident. Eddie was later diagnosed with a brain tumour, and received gamma knife radiosurgery to treat the illness. "But as time went on, shit kept stacking up and stacking up. It just never let up," Wolfgang added. He also confirmed that his dad was serious about embarking on a Van Halen "classic line-up" reunion tour before he became too ill to perform. "That's important, to let people know, that yeah, that was real, and we were so excited about it," Van Halen told Stern. "It just didn't pan out." Wolfgang's interview with Stern can be streamed on YouTube. - NME, 11/17/20...... The contemporary rock band Bleachers has shared a new collaboration with Bruce Springsteen on YouTube called "Chinatown" which sees Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff and The Boss taking turns to sing the song's chorus. Speaking about "Chinatown," Antonoff said: "It starts in NYC and travels to New Jersey. That pull back to the place I am from mixed with terror of falling in love again. Having to show your cards to someone and the shock when you see them for yourself. Thinking you know yourself and where you are from.... Having to see yourself through somebody who you want to stay..." Antonoff added that "it's the honour of a lifetime to be joined by him." "He is the artist who showed me that the sound of the place I am from has value and that there is a spirit here that needs to be taken all over the world," he said. - NME, 11/16/20...... A newly remastered video of alternative fave Morrisey and David Bowie performing T. Rex's "Cosmic Dancer" has been shared on YouTube. Filmed at the Inglewood Forum in Los Angeles on Feb. 6, 1991, the "Cosmic Dancer" cover was officially released on streaming services on Nov. 13. A 7" double A-side single featuring this version of "Cosmic Dancer," as well as Morrissey's 2020-recorded cover of The Jam's "That's Entertainment," will be released on Feb. 19, 2021. The front and back of the sleeve for the single features photographs of Bowie with Morrissey that were taken in New York City by Linder Sterling. Meanwhile, a new Bowie live album called called No Trendy Rchauff hits stores on Nov. 20. - NME, 11/16/20...... Jimmy PageIn the December issue of Britain's GQ magazine, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page says that the coronavirus pandemic made him think about making a return to performing live. Page said that being in lockdown inspired him to think about getting back out on the road. "When we first went into lockdown I thought, 'Right, now's the time to start thinking about coming back at some point and being able to perform'," adding that the cancellation of concerts all over the world in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 has strengthened his belief that "music means nothing" without live shows. Page added that he's "worried" about the future of the arts and the lack of opportunities for new artists on the rise to perform live. "It's such a very sad and desperate time and what this virus has done internationally to families, to the arts, and everything we love and hold dear and the whole concert situation, it does worry me," he said. "I will never be one of those people who'll record alone and send someone a file. I never went into music in the first place to do that, it was for playing together and this is what it means. We need to play with people, we need gigs and we need community. Because without that, music means nothing." - NME, 11/14/20...... Alice Cooper has shared a cover of the Velvet Underground's "Rock & Roll" from his upcoming album Detroit Stories on YouTube. In 1971, the band Detroit recorded their own version of "Rock & Roll," which was produced by Cooper's longtime producer Bob Ezrin. Cooper's bright, raw take on "Rock & Roll" was -- like the rest of Detroit Stories -- also produced by Ezrin and features Detroit's Steve Hunter on guitar and Johnny "Bee" Badanjek on drums. Cooper will release the 15-track Detroit Stories on Feb. 26, 2021, via earMUSIC. - NME, 11/13/20...... In a new interview with Eon Music, Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler says there "definitely" won't be any more Sabbath shows, and that his Deadland Ritual "supergroup" may also be finished. "There will definitely be no more Sabbath -- it's done," he said. Butler added that Deadland Ritual "had an album worth of songs to record, then COVID struck, which put an end to recording, so I'm not sure if Deadland Ritual will ever carry on." Black Sabbath performed their farewell concert in 2017 with a string of arena concerts, which concluded with a two-night homecoming in Birmingham, however fans have hoped of a potential reunion ever since. - NME, 11/12/20...... Jack Furnish, the father of Elton John's husband David Furnish, has died at age 90. Elton and David Furnish announced the passing in an emotional post on Instagram on Nov. 15, alongside two old pictures of his dad when he was younger, and two of Jack holding his grandchildren -- Elton and David's sons Zachary, nine, and Elijah, seven -- when they were newborn babies. "My father passed away peacefully last night at the age of 90. Dad overcame the traumas of his own family being torn apart by both World Wars," David wrote in the accompanying caption. "He sought solace and comfort in the loving arms of my mother, and built a platform of solid and loving familial stability in which we could all flourish... Thank you for all that did for me Dad. You encouraged me to be independent and strong. To believe that I could achieve my goals in life through hard work and kindness. Lessons that I pass on to my own sons every day." -, 11/16/20...... Des O'ConnorDes O'Connor, a beloved British entertainer, TV presenter and singer died on Nov. 14 after a fall at his home in Buckinghamshire a few days prior. He was 88. Mr. O'Connor was known for his decades-long prime-time TV career, including shows such as Des O'Connor Tonight and Today With Des And Mel. He was also a successful pop singer, having recorded 36 albums and achieved four top 10 singles across a career spanning several decades. In 2008, Mr. O'Connor was made a CBE for his services to entertainment and broadcasting in the Queen's birthday honours. "Des, who was 88, was so well-loved by absolutely everyone. He was a joy to work with -- he was talented, fun, positive, enthusiastic, kind and a total professional," his longtime agent and family friend Pat Lake-Smith said in a statement. "He loved life, and considered enthusiasm almost as important as oxygen. He adored his family -- they were everything to him. He is survived by his wife, Jodie, their son, Adam, and his four daughters, Karin, TJ, Samantha and Kristina." Kim Wilde also paid tribute to Mr. O'Connor on Twitter, recalling "gorgeous memories of singing 'Something Stupid' with Des O'Connor" and an accompanying picture of the pair performing. "Thanks for the memories you lovely man," she added. - NME, 11/15/20.

Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020

Bruce Springsteen, his wife Pattie Scialfa, Sheryl Crow and country star Brad Paisley will be among the performers at the "Stand Up For Heroes" night to honor the nation's veterans and their families on Nov. 18. The annual event, which is going virtual for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic, will highlight inspiring moments, surprises and stories of resilience from those who have served in the United States military. Hosted by Jon Stewart, the 14th annual "Stand Up for Heroes" event airs on Nov. 18 at 9 p.m. EST on ABC News Live, TikTok, Facebook Watch, Cheddar, Twitch and Armed Forces Network. - Billboard, 11/10/20...... Ringo StarrMarc BolanRingo Starr inducted his late friend and fellow musician Marc Bolan of T. Rex into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during a virtual ceremony on Nov. 7. "People knew him as a great musician, a songwriter, a guitarist, but he was also a poet," Starr said of his glam rock friend, who died in a car crash in 1977. "And he was really proud of that. He was always telling me that he was the Number One selling poet in Britain. In fact, his poetry was as important to him as his music. He had great style and was really unlike anyone else I have ever met." Ringo added: "He was a great performer, just incredible. And that's why I called the film we did together Born to Boogie, because he really was. I told Marc, I'll bring the camera and everything else, you just bring yourself. We had a lot of fun together. I remember lots of laughter. We lost him way too young, but in his short life, he made over 12 albums that are as far out and ahead of their time as he was. With the help of [producer] Tony Visconti and his band T. Rex, Marc's style started a lot of trends. They called it glam rock with singles such as 'Get It On', 'Children of the Revolution', and, of course, 'Born to Boogie'." Starr's speech concluded: "But it was always just great music to me. And that's why people are still listening to T. Rex today. There's no doubt they believe in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- finally. And I'm very proud to welcome them in right now. Peace and love to [T. Rex members] Marc, Mickey, Steve, and Bill, and peace and love to all the fans from me and T. Rex. Peace and Love." Alongside Bolan, Nine Inch Nails were also inducted, with Iggy Pop giving a speech to welcome Trent Reznor and co., while Depeche Mode also joined the revered list. The Doobie Brothers and Whitney Houston were also among the 2020 inductees. - New Musical Express, 11/8/20...... In other Rock and Roll Hall of Fame news, president and CEO Joel Peresman has announced the annual event is permanently changing its ceremony schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic. The news comes after it was announced earlier in 2019 that the 2020 ceremony, which was originally set to take place in May, would move to November and take place in virtual form following the global crisis. For years, the people behind the Hall Of Fame would announce in the autumn the nominations for the next year's inclusions. At the beginning of the year they would then unveil the list of artists being inducted before the grand all-star induction ceremony. However, Peresman has now announced that the Hall Of Fame's whole schedule has permanently changed. "We moved the timing of the ceremony," he said of this year's event. "We're going to move the ceremony permanently so it's in the fall of each year because of COVID." He continued: "We're also moving the nomination process. Normally, the nomination process starts in September, we announce the nominees in October, and then we announce the inductees in January. This time the nomination meetings will happen in January, so we'll announce the nominees in February and start that voting process then." While it's not clear whether next year's ceremony will be held in person, Peresman said it is "hopeful by next fall in some form that we'll be able to get together again." - NME, 11/3/20...... Alice CooperOn Nov. 11 Alice Cooper announced that his next album will spotlight his early roots in his hometown of Detroit. Cooper says Detroit Stories will drop in Feb. 2021 and explore how the Motor City helped to popularize "angry hard rock" in the US. "Los Angeles had its sound with The Doors, Love and Buffalo Springfield," said Cooper. "San Francisco had the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. New York had The Rascals and The Velvet Underground. But Detroit was the epicentre for angry hard rock. After not fitting in anywhere in the US (musically or image-wise) Detroit was the only place that recognized the Alice Cooper guitar-driven, hard rock sound." Produced by his longtime producer Bob Ezrin, Detroit Stories will also be available in vinyl and digital formats and feature a number of veteran musicians from the Detroit scene, including MC5's Wayne Kramer, Detroit Wheels drummer Johnny 'Bee' Badanjek and bassist Paul Randolph. Cooper will release the first single from his 21st solo LP, a cover of Velvet Underground's "Rock and Roll," on Nov. 13. - NME, 11/11/20...... AC/DC shared the raucous track "Realize," the second single from their upcoming 17th studio album Power Up, on on Nov. 11. Written by guitarist Angus Young and late brother rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, "Realize" features singer Brian Johnson singing typically unsubtle AC/DC lyrics "Those moments just pass you by/ Gonna take you to paradise/ Move it/ Make you prove it, yeah/ Breakin' out/ Break it down/ Feel the chill, feel the chill/ Movin' down your spine." Due out on Nov. 13, the Brendan O'Brien-produced Power Up is the veteran Aussie rockers' first new music since 2014. Brian Johnson recently teased that they have more than enough new material in their archives to record another album after Power Up. "Most of Power Up came from ideas before [2008's] Black Ice, when Malcolm and Angus would sit together for five days a week and run through ideas," Johnson explained. "Malcolm was meticulous, he'd write down everything and when exactly they'd done it; categorise it. There's more than enough for another album, probably two." In other AC/DC-related news, a YouTuber named Lars von Retriever has shared a clip that mashes up the band's "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" with various speeches by US Pres. Donald Trump. The upload fuses the title track of AC/DC's 1976 album with some of Trump's recent rants -- including his recent accusations of "voter fraud" in regards to Pres. Elect Joe Biden's election victory. Earlier in 2020, Lars von Retriever shared a video in which Trump delivered the lyrics to Iron Maiden's "Run To The Hills." His latest video has registered over 22,600 views and almost 3,000 "likes" on the site so far. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 11/11/20...... In a new interview with the UK music mag Uncut, Paul McCartney shared his admiration for fellow legendary rock veteran Bob Dylan, and says that he "wishes he could be a bit more like him." When asked about his reaction to Dylan's latest acclaimed LP Rough and Rowdy Ways, Sir Paul said: "I always like what he does. Sometimes I wish I was a bit more like Bob. He's legendary... and doesn't give a shit! But I'm not like that. His new album? I thought it was really good. He writes really well. I love his singing -- he came through the standards albums like a total crooner. But, yeah, I like his new stuff. People ask me who I'm a fan of and Bob Dylan and Neil Young always make the list." McCartney is currently giving interviews promoting his upcoming album McCartney III, which drops on Dec. 11. - NME, 11/11/20...... In other Beatles-related news, crowds of New Yorkers came together to sing John Lennon's "Imagine" to celebrate former Vice President Joe Biden being formally called the winner of the 2020 US Presidential election on Nov. 7. In videos posted to social media, crowds at the city's Washington Square Park are seen singing "Imagine" in the park to toast Biden's victory. The footage was then retweeted by Lennon's official Twitter account, along with the hashtag: "#IMAGINE". The song also became an unofficial anthem in the global struggle against the coronavirus earlier in 2020. - NME, 11/7/20...... In related news, the relatives of late rocker Tom Petty say they were "touched" after Petty's "I Won't Back Down" was featured during a celebration of the Biden victory at a rally held at his home base of Wilmington, Del., on Nov. 8. During the event, Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris walked out to "Work That" by Mary J. Bliges, while Biden chose Bruce Springsteens track "We Take Care Of Our Own" as his entry song. Then, together, they marked the historic occasion by joining hands as Petty's "I Won't Back Down" was blasted through the speakers and confetti released into the air. A representative for Petty's family has since taken to Twitter to share their elation at the politicians' choice of music for the victory event. "We were all so touched to see Tom included on such an important night in America," they posted. "Congratulations @joebiden and @kamalaharris." In June, Petty's estate issued a cease and desist order to the Trump campaign after the same song was played at a Trump rally in Oklahoma. "Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind," Petty's loved ones wrote. -, 11/8/20...... Meanwhile, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger celebrated the Joe Biden victory with a post on his Twitter account on Nov. 7. "I'm so looking forward to coming back to an America free of harsh words and name calling and be amongst people who I know have common ground and harmony," Jagger wrote to his 2.2 million followers. "It's a challenge but it can be done!" Like the Tom Petty estate, Jagger has previously objected to the Trump campaign playing his band's songs at their rallies, specifially "You Can't Always Get What You Want." - Billboard, 11/7/20...... Keith RichardsIn other Rolling Stones news, guitarist Keith Richards has spoken about the band's upcoming 60th anniversary in 2022, saying that "the plans are to still actually all be alive" by the time the milestone comes around. In an interview with GQ magazine, the 76-year-old Richards said "Well, the plans are to still actually all be alive" when asked about their 60th anniversary. Apart from that, at our age, I don't know. I haven't heard of any plans, but I'm sure there are things being made. First off, I'm going to get through this year and see how we handle next year. Because I think at the moment, there are more problems than a Rolling Stones celebration. Although I'm very glad that we're all here, but I'll leave it at that if I can." Richards further confirmed that the Stones have been working on a new album, which he says was "halfway in the works before [the] shit hit the fan" -- a reference to the coronavirus pandemic. "I was trying to progress a few things along, but there's not a lot one can really do except wait for the vaccine," the guitarist said. Richards also reflected on his own mortality in the interview, saying that "every day is a pleasure." "I mean, I don't wish to defy anybody's predictions and I'm really not interested in them," he added in reference to the interviewer's observation that "people have been wondering in interviews when you're going to die for the last 50 years." "But I'll croak when I croak and everybody will know," Richards added. - NME, 11/10/20...... In an interview with the website on Nov. 10, Queen guitarist Brian May revealed how Queen initially thought their Live Aid performance was "kind of ok," failing to realize that they had delivered one of the most iconic performances of all time. "It was so strange kind of reliving it for the movie," May said, referring to the smash 2018 Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. "They recreated it so incredibly faithfully, and to be there on that set was really spine chilling; it brought it all back. And at the time, we weren't aware of what an epoch-making thing it was, really. We came off [thinking], 'Well, that went kind of OK.' But we didn't realise that it had made such a lasting impression on the ether... It sort of lives on, doesn't it?" Hailing the talents of the late Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury, he added: "He had a great spatial awareness, and that's something very important. "If you're working with people on a stage, you need to have musical contact, but you also need the kind of physical chemistry going on -- the awareness of where you are and where you're aiming your energy. Freddie was wonderful for that, and we just clicked from the very beginning." - NME, 11/11/20...... Genesis member Phil Collins is disputing his ex-wife Orianne Cevey's "scurrilous" and "grossly exaggerated" claims that he refused to shower and lived in squalor after becoming a recluse after the former couple split for the second time earlier in 2020. In the latest development in a court battle over Cevey and her new husband Thomas Bates being evicted by Collins from a beachfront Miami compoind she once shared with Collins, Cevey claimed Collins became a recluse in 2019, refusing to socialize, turning his back on music and reportedly abusing painkillers, all while also failing to take care of his personal hygiene for months as he allegedly started living in squalor. "Philip's stench became so pervasive that he became a hermit, refusing to interact personally with any people," Cevey declared in the legal documents. However, Collins has disputed his ex's version of events in a response filed to court by his lawyers, calling her allegations "immaterial and impertinent" to the case and even going as far as likening her claims to a means of "extortion." "They are scandalous, scurrilous, unethical and, for the most part, patently false or grossly exaggerated," Collins' attorneys wrote. "These false and scandalous allegations are again included only so that they can be delivered by defendants to the media to try to damage Phil Collins' reputation in an effort to extort money." -, 11/10/20...... On Nov. 10 a new David Bowie album called No Trendy Rchauff was announced on the Bowie Instagram page. The album will arrive via Parlophone on Nov. 20 as part of the rock icon's posthumous "Brilliant Live Adventures" series, which comprises six previously unreleased live Bowie recordings from between 1995 and 1999. No Trendy Rchauff, the second release in the series, was recorded at the Birmingham NEC in Dec. 1995, and follows Ouvrez Le Chien, which dropped on Oct. 30. The 15-track No Trendy Rchauff features rare live performances of "Jump They Say" and "Strangers When We Meet" as well as two versions of "Hallo Spaceboy." The third installment in the "Brilliant Live Adventures"' series is due to arrive by the end of 2020, with the remaining three records set for release at some point in early 2021. Meanwhile, distributors of the new Bowie biopic Stardust have confirmed it will be released in UK theaters by the end of 2020. British distributor Vertigo Releasing has secured the rights to the film in the UK, which is set for release in the US on Nov. 25. The first screening recently took place at a socially-distanced opening night gala in London, with the film's director Gabriel Range in attendance. Stardust stars actor/musician Johnny Flynn as Bowie as he travels across the US in 1971, shortly before he saw widespread acclaim by reinventing himself as Ziggy Stardust. - NME, 11/10/20...... Alex TrebekAlex Trebek, the beloved longtime host of the TV game show Jeopardy!, died at home on Nov. 8 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80. Mr. Trebek, who started out in radio and on shows in his native Canada before becoming a fixture of American TV for 36 years as the steady hand of the juggernaut Jeopardy!, reportedly passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends. Born George Alexander Trebek on July 22, 1940 and growing up in Sudbury, Ontario, Mr. Trebek's father immigrated from Ukraine; his mother was French Canadian. Mr. Trebek grew up working class with his sister Barbara in the nickel-mining town, and after working his way through college and graduating with a degree in philosophy, he worked in radio and TV for 12 years in his native Canada. He made the move to Los Angeles in 1973 for The Wizard of Odds, and hosted many game shows, including High Rollers and Double Dare, before landing Jeopardy! in 1984. For 36 years, Mr. Trebek, with his wit, pronunciation panache and steady hand, and the quiz show became "part of the fabric of American life," with him hosting nearly 8,000 episodes and the show winning 35 Emmys. Mr. Trebek announced that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2019 and fans showered him with support. Mr. Trebek is survived by his wife of 30 years, Jean Currivan, and their two children, Matthew and Emily, and Nicky, his first wife Elaine Callei's daughter. Among those paying tribute to Mr. Trebek after learning of his passing was "American Pie" hitmaker Don McLean, who was requested to attend a 2019 Christmas party hosted by Mr. Trebek. "There was not the slightest hint of self-pity or weakness in this man. He was elegant and dignified as you saw him on television," said McClean of Trebek's demeanor at the Dec. 18 party for 150 in Studio City, Calif., where Trebek said having the singer perform would be the realization of a "longtime dream" of his. "Old school for sure and someone who we all can learn from," McLean added. "I thought of him often afterward and I'll think of him in the future and maybe try to be a little more like him." -, 11/8/20.

Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020

With his Oct. 23 release Letter To You, Bruce Springsteen has tied John Mayer for the most No. 1 albums ever on Billboard's Top Rock Albums Chart. Debuting atop the tally for the week ending Nov. 7, Letter To You sold 97,000 equivalent album units according to Nielsen Music/MRC, with 92,000 units comprised of album sales. The album becomes Springsteen's seventh No. 1 album on the Top Rock Albums survey, which was started in 2006. Meanwhile, the album has shot to the No. 2 position on the Americana/Folk Album Chart, and its lead single and title track is spending its second week at No. 2 on the Adult Alternative Songs airplay chart. Should it top the list, which appears likely, it will mark Springsteen's first Adult Alternative Songs No. 1 since 2002's "The Rising." Following Springsteen and Mayer on the list are Tom Petty and Dave Matthews, both with six No. 1's each on the chart. - Billboard, 11/6/20...... James TaylorJames Taylor shared a special performance of "America the Beautiful" on Election Day (Nov. 3) on YouTube to mark the 2020 election. The singer-songwriter performed the patriotic track, which was written and composed in the late 1800s, from his home, strumming his acoustic guitar in front of a fireplace. Sharing the performance on Twitter, Taylor wrote: "Inspiration for an important day." Previously an active supporter of Pres. Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, Taylor previously performed "America The Beautiful" at Obama's second inauguration in 2013. More recently, Taylor has shown his support for former Vice President Joe Biden's Democratic ticket with Kamala Harris, sending emails and asking for donations while posting content on social media. "Joe Biden knows that, as President, he has to fight for every American, not just the ones who voted for him," Taylor wrote in a recent email. "He'll work with scientific and medical experts to forge a fact-based plan to approach this virus, and then he'll get to work building our country back better than it was before," he added. - NME, 11/3/20...... In other election news, Patti Smith and her guitarist friend Lenny Kaye delivered an impromptu performance of "People Have The Power" on Nov. 3 for voters heading to the polls in New York City. The pair performed a low-key version of the 1988 track on the streets, and were joined at one point by a selection of fans who started singing the track's chorus. "Don't forget it, use your voice! Vote!," Smith told the assembled fans. The clip was posted on Instagram by election organization Joy To The Polls, who wrote: "Singing to voters in the streets is so punk!... We love @thisispattismith bringing people power to the polls with this impromptu performance in NYC earlier this week. You don't have to be the Godmother of Punk to surprise and delight voters in long voting lines!" - NME, 11/3/20...... Queen + Adam Lambert have shared a stunning live performance of their 1976 track "Somebody to Love" on YouTube. The performance, which is included on Queen's new live album Live Around the World, is from Queen and Lambert's first UK festival appearance together at the Isle of Wight in 2016, a milestone Lambert has called "a really special night." Queen + Adam Lambert, whose planned summer 2020 UK and European tour was rescheduled to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, decided to compile Live Around the World after overwhelming fan response to their hour-long online "Queen + Adam Lambert Watch Party," which highlighted live highlights from previous tours. - New Musical Express, 11/7/20...... AC/DC have teamed up with US clothing company DCShoes for a new collection of T-shirts, footwear and accessories that pays tribute to classic albums such as Highway to Hell and Back in Black. The line, which can be purchased at the DCShoes website, includes a longsleeved sweater and T-shirt boasting the cover art to Highway To Hell, a pair of black skater shoes adorned with the iconic AC/DC logo, and a pair of loafers. The Back In Black collection, meanwhile, consists of a snapback cap, an "Access All Areas" T-shirt, and black sneakers. AC/DC will release its latest album, Power Up, on Nov. 13. - NME, 11/7/20...... Daryl HallHall & Oates principal Daryl Hall has shared his thoughts on the 1980 H&O hit "You Make My Dreams" recemt;u passing the landmark of one billion total streams. "The song is certainly an antidote to the uncertainty of the world we live in now," Hall told the UK paper The Sun. "It still feels very current to me because I've been playing the song for all these years. Time really doesn't play a big factor in the way I look at anything really, but especially music," says Hall, who adds the song "wrote itself." "I remember writing the song, sitting in my apartment in New York City. I had a Yamaha CP 30 piano, which is a very distinctive sounding electric piano. And I started playing that riff, it just spoke to me... I wondered if it was too happy? Could I think of something a little more complicated? And I tried but it is what it is. It really just wrote itself." -, 11/6/20...... In an episode of Oprah Winfrey's new Apple TV+ series The Oprah Conversation, Stevie Wonder said he thinks America is "so close" to not being "the land of the free." Winfrey asked the Motown legend if he thought America was in a "fragile decade" right now. "Without question," Wonder replied. "Most importantly, we are so close to not being the nation that people talk about. We can talk about being the land of the free and the home of the brave, 'give me your tired' and all of that. And then there are people who hate." He continued: "I don't care what ethnicity you are, what color you are. The great thing about being blind, for me, is that I don't see color but I do see the spirit. If your spirit's not right, I can just feel it." - NME, 11/6/20...... Jimmy Page confirmed on his Facebook page on Nov. 5 that his former wife Patricia Ecker passed away in October. "It is with great sadness that I learned of the tragic death of Patricia," the Led Zeppelin guitarist wrote in a short statement. "My thoughts are with her family through this difficult time." Page was married to Ecker, who was born in Louisiana in May 1962 and worked as a model and waitress, between 1986 and 1995. Ecker gave birth to their only son, James Patrick Page III, in Apr. 1988. "My son James is a strong, brave, intelligent man and he has all my love," Page added about the couple's son. "I ask that you respect us all at this incredibly hard time." A cause of death for Ecker has yet to be revealed. - NME, 11/6/20...... Pop sensation Miley Cyrus and Stevie Nicks have teamed up for a new track which mashes up Cyrus' "Midnight Sky" with Nick's seminal track "Edge of Seventeen." The new collaboration from the pair, which has been shared on YouTube, comes after Cyrus sampled Nicks' classic on "Midnight Sky" when it arrived in August. It sees Cyrus delivering the track's verse, before she's joined by Nicks on the powerful chorus -- which heavily samples her own offering. Cyrus previously explained how she sought approval from one of her biggest musical influences to provide a new spin on "Edge of Seventeen." "I sent her the song and I said, 'I have an alternate melody, if you don't want me to kind of like pay tribute to you and your greatness and how much you've inspired me,'" Miley recalled. "And she said, 'You can borrow from me anytime.'" "Midnight Sky" is the lead single from Cyrus' upcoming album Plastic Hearts, which drops on Nov. 27. - NME, 11/6/20...... In other Fleetwood Mac-related news, music publishing company Hipgnosis Song Fund has just purchased the catalog of Kobalt Music Copyrights, which includes the rights to such Fleetwood Mac hits as "Go Your Own Way" and "The Chain." Hipgnosis Song Fund paid a reported $322.9 million for the catalog, which also includes songs by Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, 50 Cent, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and many others. The Kobalt catalog follows other acquisitions by Hipgnosis which includes catalogs by Blondie, L.A. Reid and RZA, among others. - NME, 11/3/20...... London's Daily Mirror newspaper is reporting that the Beatles' company Apple Corps Limited earned over $50 million in 2019, the equivalent of $137,657 a day, despite the group having gone their separate ways more than 50 years ago. Of the total, surviving members Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr, along with John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono and George Harrison's widow Olivia Harrison, received $6.1 million each. A large chunk of the money comes from Las Vegas stage show "Love," a joint venture with Cirque du Soleil. The figures are a huge growth on the previous year, when turnover was $36.5 million with a pre-tax profit of $5.5 million -- about $3 million less than 2019 -- and shares to Paul, Ringo, Yoko and Olivia were $3,685,000. -, 11/6/20...... Elton JohnBernie TaupinIn a new interview with Rolling Stone, Elton John's songwriting partner Bernie Taupin says he "continually encourages" Sir Elton to work on a new album. Taupin says John was planning on working on some of the songs he had sent him during his downtime in Australia when he was due to be touring there. "I did send him probably close to 16 or 18 things when he was in Australia. The original plan was that he was going to write when he was in Australia because he had so much free time down there because he was going to stay there for the duration of the Australian and New Zealand tour." However, Taupin added that: "(Elton) felt that he wanted to write... (but) that didn't happen." Taupin says that when Elton finally does "put digits to piano" he believes the tunes he sent him will turn out to be "very special": "I think we might come up with something very special. Being that he's not going to hit the road potentially until the end of next year, that gives him plenty of time. I would love to see him start to do some work. As I say, I continually encourage him to do so. How we would do it, I'm not sure. I've got some ideas in my head that he might be interested in. But I really, really would love to get back on track and back in the game." John's last studio LP was 2016's Wonderful Crazy Night. -, 11/5/20...... The new David Byrne film American Utopia, which is based on Byrne's smash Broadway hit of the same name and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September before screening at the London Film Festival in October, has been given a UK release date. Universal announced it will be releasing the Spike Lee-directed American Utopia on VOD services and on DVD from Dec.14, in light of the coronavirus restrictions facing UK cinemas at the moment. The Broadway show played at New York City's Hudson Theatre from Oct. 2019 to Feb. 2020, and also toured the UK between Oct. and Nov. 2018. Byrne is joined by 11 musicians from around the world onstage, while Lee films the production with 11 camera operators. The show performs a number of songs from Byrne's album of the same name, but also features a number of hits by Byrne's former band Talking Heads including "Burning Down The House" and "This Must Be The Place." - NME, 11/5/20...... A new 2021 charity calendar being marketed to fans of The Clash will help raise funds for The Joe Strummer Foundation, an organization set up in the singer's memory to develop new music talent in the U.K. and overseas. The calendar allows Clash fans to delve into iconic imagery from Strummer's solo career, and features around 123 record sleeves from Strummer's solo career. Fans looking to spread a bit of holiday cheer can also purchase a set of Joe Strummer Christmas cards too, with a new design created for 2021. Both items can be purchased on the Joe Strummer Foundation website. - NME, 11/4/20...... In a bizarre rant during an appearance on the UK talk show Good Morning Britain from his home in Los Angeles on Nov. 4, former The Sex Pistols singer John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) doubled down on his support for US Pres. Donald Trump. "I'm working-class English, it makes complete sense to me to vote for a person who actually talks about my kind of people," Lydon said. "Trump's not a politician. He's never claimed to be. How unusually, exceptionally wonderful is that for people like me? We're bored with your intellectual left-wing ideas. We can't take more of ya. You talk twaddle. Everything you do, you just miss the point of who the general population are... they now support him so loyally because he is the only hope." Lydon's comments came shortly after the president claimed he had won the 2020 election and confirmed he would seek Supreme Court action to prevent the further counting of votes. - NME, 11/4/20...... Wolfgang Van HalenIn an emotional post on Twitter, Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang Van Halen has blasted the celebrity gossip mag US Weekly for turning his dad's death into "entertainment." Wolfgang, 29, has used social media only sporadically since Eddie passed away from cancer on Oct. 6 at age 65, however he took exception to the magazine's recent cover story which features his mother and Eddie's ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli alongside the headline, "Love, Loss & Staying Strong." "F--- this, and f--- you US Weekly," Wolfgang wrote. "The only thing printed in this piece of toilet paper that's true is that we all loved my father. This is not a new interview. My mother did not speak to them for this. That is all." His post continues: "I know what a lot of you are going to say. 'Just ignore it, bro!' I'm not going to stand by and let people publish lies and make my family's tragedy someone else's entertainment." Wolfgang, who has been a member of Van Halen since replacing founding bassist Michael Anthony, also made a heartbreaking post to Instagram on Nov. 6, writing: "1 month. Not a second goes by where you're not on my mind. I miss talking with you. I miss laughing with you. I miss listening to music with you. I miss making music with you. I just miss everything. I love you so much, Pop. It's really hard being here without you." - Billboard, 11/6/20...... In other Van Halen-related news, former lead vocalist David Lee Roth has dedicated a previously-unreleased song to his late friend and bandmate. Roth has posted the audio for "Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bar and Grill" on YouTube, accompanied by an illustration of the sun and clouds, and features the message, "Hey Ed I'm gonna miss ya (sic). See you on the other side." The tune was reportedly intended for an album Roth had planned to release years ago with guitarist John 5, but it has yet to come to fruition. Meanwhile according to several published reports, Eddie Van Halen will be the object of a special salute during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2020 induction ceremony on Nov. 7. - WENN/, 11/3/20...... In a new interview with Iowa radio station Lazer 103.3, Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford updated fans on the status of the band's upcoming 19th studio album. "We've already started work on it," Halford said of the follow up to the band's 2018 set Firepower. "We had some great writing sessions in the early part of this year until the world came to a stop in late March. I came back here [home] to Phoenix just to chill and relax for a bit and get ready for another writing session. 'Cause that's what we need to do as a band. You make a bunch of work and then you walk away from it and then you go back to it later and re-analyse it and continue the growth of the record," Halford said. He continued: "That's what we were doing then, and we're still doing it now -- we're still putting bits and pieces together. It's an unusual way of making a record, but we're not the only band that's going through this situation in terms of creativity. You can't let this pandemic stop you; you've gotta try and still get as much out of life as you can." Halford has also recently confirmed he's currently working on a solo blues album. - NME, 11/3/20...... On Nov. 3 Neil Young shared a previously unreleased version of "Powderfinger" from his 1979 album Rust Never Sleeeps on Instagram. Although the song was released in the late '70s, the version Young has since shared was recorded on June 12, 1975 in Point Dume, Calif. Produced by Young and David Briggs, the song -- one of Young's most popular -- has been covered by the likes of Cowboy Junkies, Drive-by Truckers and more, and features Frank "Poncho" Sampedro on guitar, Billy Talbot on bass, and Ralph Molina on drums. Subscribers to the Neil Young Archives can also listen to the entire track or through the site's mobile app. Young recently announced he'll release a special 50th anniversary reissue of his 1970 album After the Goldrush on Dec. 11. - NME, 11/3/20...... The planned Bob Dylan biopic Going Electric has officially been put on hold indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Director of photography Phedon Papamichael revealed that while he doesn't believe the drama centered on the 12-time Grammy winner is "dead," but rather is "a tough one to pull off in a COVID era because it's all in small clubs with lots of extras in period costumes, so you've got lots of hair and makeup." Despite this, however, Papamichael hasn't confirmed whether talks are ongoing to outright cancel the project. Going Electric will chronicle Dylan's rise in folk music and sudden transition to rock 'n' roll. The film will also see the rock icon's interaction with 1960s' music legends which include Joan Baez and Pete Seeger. The Fox Searchlight-produced film includes the rights to the singer/songwriter's music rights and to author Elijah Wald's book titled Dylan Goes Electric. -, 10/27/20...... Ken HensleySongwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ken Hensley, a former member of the '70s hard rock band Uriah Heep, died on Nov. 5. He was 75. "I received devastating news this morning from Ken's manager Steve Weltman that Ken Hensley has passed away," Hensley's former bandmate Mick Box posted to Twitter on Nov. 5. "My sincere condolences go to his family and wife Monica and may he rest in peace." Box added he was in "deep shock" and hailed his "musical legacy that will be in people's hearts forever." During his time with the band, Hensley played a major role in popularizing the role of keyboards in heavy rock, as well as masterminding one of the band's biggest hits -- the folk-rock epic "Lady In Black." Hensley also composed "Easy Livin"" from the band's 1972 album Demons and Wizards, which became a major European hit in 1972, and a string of other hits for the band. Born in the UK on Aug. 24, 1945, Hensley began his career with the group in 1969 when they were known as Spice, before renaming themselves Uriah Heep, taking the name from a character in Charles Dickens' seminal novel David Copperfield. Hensley recorded 13 albums with the band, before leaving in 1980. Their biggest album in the UK was 1975's Return to Fantasy, which reached No 7 in the UK album charts. Hensley departed the group after growing unhappy with the band's direction, before doing stints in such heavy rock bands as Blackfoot and Cinderella. While occasional live reunions with Uriah Heep followed, he focused on solo work in the decades that followed, including 2007's Blood on the Highway, an autobiographical rock opera. Hensley recently finished a new album, My Book of Answers, which was due for release in February. His death comes only two months after that of Lee Kerslake, the band's long-time drummer, who died at age 73 after a long battle with prostate cancer. - NME, 11/5/20.

Monday, Nov. 2, 2020

There's no all-star jam that concludes the 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions at Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall of fame museum this year. Rather than the traditional live ceremony, where presenters give speeches and perform with (or in honor of) inductees, the taped special on cable's HBO on Nov. 7 at 8:00 p.m. EDT/7:00 Central plays more like a fascinating two-hour VH1 Behind the Music. We see deper into the artists' rise and influence with archival interview and performance clips, and get even more testimonials from famous fans. Among the highlights: Ringo Starr leads a colorful tribute to his late good friend Marc Bolan, the English glam rockers T. Rex's trailblazing frontman. "You see [clips of] David Bowie talking about how he and Marc were coming up at the same time, and Marc did what he wanted to do first," says special producer and Hall of Fame CEO Joel Peresman. "He influenced Bowie... it's crazy!" Also, country star Luke Bryan kicks off a lovefest to the Doobie Brothers, which features member Michael McDonald discussing the group's 50-year run as one of the most recognizable sounds of the '70s California rock scene. Other class of 2020 inductees featured include Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G. and Whitney Houston. - TV Guide, 10/26/20...... The EaglesThe Eagles have soared to their best Billboard chart sales week in over a decade with their new concert LP, Live From The Forum MMXVIII. Debuting with 24,000 copies sold in the U.S. in the week ending Oct. 22, Live From The Forum MMXVIII's arrival markes the largest sales week for any album by the California folk-rock group since its studio set Long Road Out of Eden sold 38,000 copies in the week ending Feb. 17, 2008. Live From The Forum MMXVIII also scores the Eagles their highest charting effort on the Hot 200 album sales chart since former No. 1 Eden placed at No. 4 in its eighth week on the list (on the Jan. 5, 2008-dated chart). Live From The Forum MMXVII is the group's first new album release since the 2016 death of co-founder Glenn Frey (and which features his son Deacon Frey and country star Vince Gill). It was available in a variety of deluxe formats, including a set with four vinyl LPs, two CDs and a blu-ray disc for $149.98. Featuring many of their favorites, the album was recorded over three nights at The Forum in Los Angeles in Sept. of 2018. - Billboard, 10/29/20...... Bruce Springsteen has set a new Billboard chart record with his new album Letter To You -- the first act with new Top 5-charting albums in each of the last six decades (1970s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s and the '20s). Bowing with 96,000 equivalent album units, Letter To You also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 album sales chart for the week ending Oct. 29 for the Boss's biggest sales week for any album since 2014. All told, Letter to You is the New Jersey rocker's 21st Top 10 and Top 5-charting album on the Billboard 200. Letter to You sold well on vinyl, with 18,000 of its sales coming from the format -- the second-largest sales week for a vinyl album in 2020. Meanwhile, Springsteen has lent his voice to a campaign commercial for Democratic presidential contenter Joe Biden. "Scranton, Pennsylvania. Here, success isn't handed down. It's forged in sweat, grit and determination," Springsteen says in the ad which has been shared on YouTube. "This is his hometown. In Scranton, good times aren't promised. But here, and in towns across America, times are harder than they ought to be. Lives are on pause, dreams on hold, futures in doubt." Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. track "My Hometown" also appears in the minute-long ad, which premiered on Oct. 30 on YouTube and aired on network TV the following night during the Penn State/Ohio State football game. On Oct. 28, Springsteen took to Twitter to call on his fellow Americans to vote Pres. Donald Trump out of office on Nov. 3. "We are lost. We've lost so much in so short a time. On November 3rd, vote them out," he captioned an audio clip explaining the damage he thinks Trump has done during his four years in office. He continued: "Where did that country go? Where did all the fun, the joy and expression of love and happiness go? We used to have a president who calmed and soothed the nation instead of dividing it. We are rudderless and joyless." - Billboard/New Musical Express, 11/2/20...... Also taking aim at Pres. Trump -- this time for his constant use of Twitter -- is Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. In a Twitter clip titled "Pride Before a Fall" and performed in a studio, the rock icon sings: "I see the preening, it's overweening, over eating, too much tweeting, and when my back is turned somebody will Push you off the wall. And just remember that pride, it comes before a fall." Jagger's jab at Trump comes after the Stones warned the president several times in 2020 to stop using their music at his rallies and events or face a lawsuit, having already served his campaign with multiple cease and desist directives after he began playing their songs including "You Can't Always Get What You Want" at events on his 2016 campaign. It was subsequently claimed that Trump adhered to the order, instead choosing to close his rallies with The Village People's "Y.M.C.A.", whose leader Victor Willis recently told the BBC News that his group has also asked Trump to quit playing their songs at political rallies. "I don't endorse Trump, I've never endorsed Trump, nor has the Village People," Willis said. "Donald Trump does what Donald Trump does. I've never seen him actually put his hands up and make the Y.M.C.A. He's changed it to M-A-G-A or something." The footage of Trump entering his rally to "Y.M.C.A." has become so widely ridiculed, it was recently lampooned by NBC's Saturday Night Live during a "Weekend Update" segment in which cast member Keenan Thompson played Willis, singing a version of "Y.M.C.A." that demanded he stops playing the song. - New Musical Express/WENN/, 10/30/20...... Stevie Wonder came out in support of the Joe Biden and Kamal Harris presidential ticket with a short set at a Biden campaign rally in Detroit on Oct. 31. The R&B icon kicked off his four-song set with "Higher Ground'," before heading straight into new tracks "Can't Put It In The Hands of Fate" and "Where Is Our Love Song," which were both released in late October and his first new songs in 15 years. "The only way we're going to win this fight, a fight against injustice, is by voting," Wonder told the crowd. "We must vote justice in and injustice out." Stevie went on to describe the Nov. 3 election as "the most important one of my lifetime." "When I'm in California hearing about a group of people that are trying to kidnap and murder the governor of this state, excuse my language, but that's some bullshit. Unacceptable," he said, referring to the foiled plans from a right-wing militia who are accused of attempting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. A clip of the rally, which also featured former president Barack Obama, has been shared on YouTube. - NME, 11/2/20...... David BowieA live cover of the T. Rex classic "Cosmic Dancer" by David Bowie and alternative rocker Morrissey is set to be released as a digital download and streaming on Nov. 13. A vinyl version of the single will then be released on Feb.19, 2021. On the other side of the single will be a cover of The Jam's "That's Entertainment," though as Morrissey's official website points out, it is not the same version of the track as the 1993 version available on the internet. Bowie and Morrissey paired up for the cover during a Morrissey concert at The Forum in Los Angeles in 1991, and it has been widely circulated online in the two decades since. A clip of the "Cosmic Dancer" collaboration has been shared on YouTube. In other Bowie news, the first official trailer for the upcoming Bowie biopic Stardust has been made available on YouTube. The film, which premiered on Oct. 28 at Raindance Film Festival, stars actor and musician Johnny Flynn, follows the musical chameleon as he travels across the US in 1971, shortly before he saw widespread acclaim by reinventing himself as Ziggy Stardust. With the film not containing any original Bowie songs, Flynn recently told the UK paper The Guardian that "we're potentially going to get a lot of flak from the Bowie army." Bowie's family have also previously distanced themselves entirely from the upcoming project. His son and Moon director Duncan Jones has confirmed that Stardust is unauthorised and won't feature any of his father's music in it. After seeing the film several Bowie fans took to Twitter to share their less than enthusiastic reactions, with one fan posting: "You can't have an accent that bad, a film that looks like an American soap opera and you certainly can't have a Bowie film without his music. Probs shouldn't have bothered guys." - NME, 11/1/20...... The Rolling Stones' former label ABCKO Records has shared archival footage of the band's 1968 classic "Sympathy for the Devil" for the first time. Landing on ABCKO's YouTube channel in late October, the video is a previously unreleased cut from the band's 1996 Rock and Roll Circus concert film that didn't make it into the final version. The footage features the outfit's original lineup as it was when the performance was initially filmed in 1968, comprising Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, Ian Stewart and Brian Jones. There's also a brief cameo from John Lennon at the 4:54 mark, having also performed as part of The Dirty Mac supergroup along with Eric Clapton, Richards and Mitch Mitchell during the show. The concert film was initially conceived as a BBC special and directed by Michael Lindsey-Hogg. In addition to the Stones and Dirty Mac performances, there were also sets from Yoko Ono, Marianne Faithfull, Jethro Tull, Taj Mahal and The Who. - NME, 11/1/20...... Jimmy Page has told Rolling Stone magazine that he has only seen "a handful" of people since Britain's Covid-19 lockdown began in March as he is "very cautious" about his health. Page, 76, lives in an historic home in west London with his partner, poet and performer Scarlett Sabet. Page said he and Sabet have been following the UK's restrictions issued to prevent the spread of the virus and shelter elderly people and they take their risk extremely seriously. "The place has a garden, and you don't feel quite so under home arrest," he said. "But we've been very, very, very cautious about who we see and who we don't see, and it's been just a handful of people in the last six, seven months," he added. Instead, Page said he has kept busy by working on a new edition of his Anthology book, organising his record collection, and playing the guitar each morning. "The minute I'd locked down, I knew I didn't want to look back on my period and say, 'Oh, I wish I'd done this or that,'" he mused of his routine, adding: "I wanted to make sure I did it all." One project the star hasn't been working on is XYZ, the abortive supergroup he formed with former Yes members Chris Squire and Alan White in 1980 -- despite rumours recordings are being prepared for release. "Unfortunately, we've lost Chris now," Jimmy reflected, revealing Squire's passing in 2015 has made a release unlikely. "It was something that I always hoped to do, as some sort of project, to get hold of him and Alan. It's not even worth talking about, because it's all speculation," he added. -, 10/31/20...... Neil YoungNeil Young has shared details of the upcoming 50th anniversary reissue of his classic 1970 set After the Goldrush, which was originally released on Sept. 19, 1970. Due on Dec. 11 via Reprise Records, After the Goldrush - 50th Anniversary Edition will also be released as a deluxe vinyl box set edition on Mar. 19, 2021. Ahead of the new reissue, Young has shared a previously unreleased version of "Wonderin'" on YouTube. Meanwhile, the Canadian born singer/songwriter is set to release a new live album on Nov. 6 called Return to Greendale alongside an accompanying concert film. The project chronicles the tour behind Young and Crazy Horse's 2003 rock opera, "Greendale." Following on Nov. 20 will be his long-awaited Archives Volume II: 1972-1976 box set, which features 12 previously unreleased songs, alongside 50 new versions of old tracks. In other Neil Young-related news, the musician's 78-year-old brother Bob Young has just released his debut single "Hey America." Bob, the older sibling of Neil, says he felt inspired to release the track after watching Donald Trump on TV several years ago and "wrote down a few lines." "It took a while to be able to play and sing the song from start to finish. When I could finally accomplish that, it was a victory. The recording process all happened at once," Bob explained in a press release. A clip of "Hey America" can be viewed on YouTube. - NME, 10/31/20...... Tom Petty has returned to the top of Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart with his recent reissue Wildflowers and All the Rest. Debuting on Oct. 16, Wildflowers and All the Rest has re-entered the rock albums chart at No. 1 with 44,000 equivalent album units (38,000 via album sales) earned in the week ending Oct. 22, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. Initially intended as a double album, Petty released Wildflowers in 1994 with a 15-song tracklist. The album debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 200 dated Nov. 19, 1994. With six Top Rock Albums Chart rulers, Petty is tied for the second-most No. 1's in the chart's history. The original Wildflowers album has also re-entered the Hot 200 at No. 5, its highest rank ever, following its No. 8 debut and prior peak in 1994. - Billboard, 10/28/20...... Actors Ethan and Maya Hawke will both star in a film entitled Revolver in which Maya will portray a teen who's determined to lose her virginity to Beatles legend George Harrison. Revolver, which is being helmed by Finding Nemo co-director Andrew Stanton, will see Ethan and Maya portray father and daughter in the '60s-set romantic comedy. Maya will play Jane, a teenager resident of Anchorage, Alaska. The film is set in 1966 when a flight to Japan carrying the Beatles is forced to make an unexpected stop at the city. Jane then dreams up a plan to lose her virginity to the Fab Four guitarist. Revolver will make its world premiere in November at the American Film Market festival - NME, 10/30/20...... The Bee GeesA U.K. release date for the upcoming Bee Gees documentary How Can You Mend A Broken Heart has been announced. The first feature-length documentary about the band is set to screen in UK cinemas for one night only on Dec. 3. Directed by Frank Marshall (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), the rockdoc promises an intimate look at the lives and careers of Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb. "Like so many people around the world, I've loved the Bee Gees' music all my life," Marshall said in a statement. "But it wasn't until I did my first interview with Barry, almost 3 years ago, that I began to discover their uncanny creative instincts, their musical gifts, their humor, and the brotherhood and family that made them so unique." He added: "It's been such an honor to be involved in this movie and celebrate the massive impact The Bee Gee's have had on popular music." Meanwhile, it was recently announced a narrative biopic based on the life and career of the Bee Gees is also in the works, courtesy of Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King and screenwriter Anthony McCarten. - NME, 10/29/20...... Appearing on her chat show The Talk, Ozzy Osbourne wife Sharon Osbourne revealed that her and Ozzy's credit cards were recently "maxed out" by a fraudster. Sharon said she was first made aware of the crime when attempting to buy a birthday present for daughter Kelly Osbourne. "I give my credit card and they come back and say, 'Do you have another credit card? It didn't go through.' I say, 'Just try it again'... still didn't go through.... I hand them Ozzy's." She added: "Then, they come back and go, 'Do you have another one? It didn't go through.' Someone rang up charges and maxed out Ozzy's card and my card. I called through to the credit card company and they go, 'No, no, no, you're maxed out, so is Ozzy.' I'm like, 'I don't go to that store, or to that store.'" When asked if it was fraud, Sharon confirmed the crime, before adding that all of the fraudulent transactions on her card are currently being processed. - NME, 10/29/20...... Phil Collins will take back control of his beachfront Miami mansion from ex-wife Orianne Cevey in January, 2021, according to his attorney. The former Genesis frontman has been fighting for the property which Cevey is allegedly occupying with her new husband, according to a Miami newspaper. According to attorney Collins' attorney Jeffrey D. Fisher, Cevey and her new husband have now agreed to leave by mid-January 2021, claiming in a statement to the New York Post's gossip column "Page Six" that: "Mr. and Mrs. Bates' plan to hold Phil Collins' house as hostage to leverage a settlement during a protracted court case was upended by the new judge's bold decision to complete the injunction hearing next week." Fisher also said Collins' memorabilia, such as Collins' extensive The Alamo artefacts and music collection, will be removed from the residence, and she will maintain a 50% interest in the mansion, according to the Post. The warring ex-couple, who have two teenage sons, were married for nine years before splitting in 2008, a divorce that cost the rocker more than $46 million (£35 million). However, they reconciled in 2016 before separating again earlier this year, after which Cevey married businessman Bates in August. -, 11/1/20...... Frank ZappaThe official trailer for the forthcoming Frank Zappa documentary Zappa has been shared on YouTube. Due on Nov. 27 via Magnolia Films, the Alex Winter-directed doc showcases the life and work of the inimitable composer and guitar icon using never-before-seen home films, live footage and interviews from the Zappa archives. The trailer opens with Zappa introducing a song at a live show, embodying the nature of the eccentric musician. "This is a number we always play when people ask us to play more, because we know that after we play this they couldn't possibly ever want to hear us again," he says. - NME, 10/29/20...... Country music singer-songwriter Billy Joe Shaver, whom Willie Nelson once called "the greatest living songwriter," died on Oct. 28 in his native Texas. He was 81. Mr. Shaver is reported to suffered a massive stroke at Ascension Providence Hospital in Waco, Tex. Mr. Shaver rose to acclaim in 1973 with his debut album, Old Five and Dimers Like Me, and was often referred to as part of the "outlaw country" movement of the 1970s along with figures like Nelson and Waylon Jennings, both of whom recorded his songs. Jennings, in fact, recorded 10 songs of Shaver's on one album alone, Honky Tonk Heroes, released the same year as Mr. Shaver's debut. His own recording career encompassed 17 studio albums, the last of which was 2014's Long in the Tooth. "Shaver's always been a tough guy making trouble on the edges of a Nashville that values slickness," Q magazine wrote at the time. Mr. Shaver made an appearance in Robert Duvall's 1996 film The Apostle. In 2004, a documentary about Shaver, A Portrait of Billy Joe, was released. His personal live was the stuff of lore and legend. He wed and divorced the same woman, Brenda Tindell, three times, and once had a heart attack on stage. In 2007, he was involved in a news-making shooting incident outside a bar in Lorena, Tex. He was acquitted after claiming self-defense and later said of the incident, "Hit him right between the mother and the f-er. Fixed him right up." Mr. Shaver was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006. The following year he received his lone Grammy nomination, in the best Southern, country or bluegrass gospel album category for Everybody's Brother. - Reuters/Variety, 10/28/20.

Sean ConnerySean Connery, the Scottish-born actor who rocketed to fame as James Bond and became one of the franchise's most popular and enduring international stars, died in his sleep while in the Bahamas on Oct. 31. He was 90 years old. Born of Irish ancestry in the slums of Edinburgh on Aug. 25, 1930, Thomas Sean Connery was robbed of an education by poverty, and and by his teens he'd left school and was working as an unskilled laborer. At 17, he was drafted into the Royal Navy, but he was discharged three years later due to a serious case of ulcers. He returned to Edinburgh and worked a variety of jobs, including as a lifeguard. He took up bodybuilding and placed third in the 1950 Mr. Universe competition. After moving to London, Mr. Connery learned of an opening in the chorus of "South Pacific." He took a crash dancing and singing course and, surprisingly, landed the role, in which he stayed for 18 months. He was "hooked," he said, but spent several years paying his dues in small repertory companies in and around London before anyone else became hooked on him .In his early career, his physique was his main asset as he modeled and picked up acting jobs where he could. In 1956, he landed the role of a battered prizefighter in the BBC production of Requiem for a Heavyweight. Mr. Connery was a bodybuilder, model, and milkman before he found fame as an actor, making his movie debut in 1954's Lilacs in the Spring. He went on to appear in a series of British TV roles and films until his big break in the Disney musical Darby O' Gill & the Little People in 1959. Good notices brought him to the attention of the entertainment community, and his first film was No Road Back, a B crime movie in 1956. He seemed doomed to play the hunk to ageing leading ladies, as he did opposite Lana Turner in Another Time, Another Place, or roles that stressed his looks such as Tarzan's Great Adventure in 1959. Sean ConneryIn 1962, Mr. Connery made his debut in the first Bond film, Dr. No. His stature grew with the ever more popular Bond sequels From Russia With Love, Goldfinger and Thunderball, which arrived over the next four years. Bond gave Mr. Connery a license to earn; he was paid only $30,000 for Dr. No but $400,000 for Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie and was soon getting $750,000 a film. His initial efforts to break out of the Bond mold, however, proved fruitless. Films like A Fine Madness, Shalako and The Molly Maguires were well-intentioned attempts that did nothing to shake Mr. Connery as Bond from the public consciousness. After 1967's You Only Live Twice, he left the Bond franchise, but he was coaxed back for 1971's Diamonds Are Forever. He looked old for the role, and the series seemed tired, so with that, he left Bond behind -- though money would tempt him back once last time in 1983 for Never Say Never Again. He took a major misstep with sci-fi film Zardoz, and his career seemed to be foundering, but he bounced back in 1974 with a supporting role in Murder on the Orient Express and the following year with The Wind and the Lion and The Man Who Would Be King, two bold adventures featuring a mature, salt-and-pepper-bearded Mr. Connery. In 1987, his turn as a tough Irish cop in Depression-era Chicago in Brian De Palma's The Untouchables brought him a Best Supporting actor Oscar. Pairing Mr. Connery and Harrison Ford as father and son in the third Indiana Jones film was an inspired move, and the film grossed almost half a billion dollars worldwide. Meanwhile, The Hunt for Red October, in which Mr. Connery played a defecting Soviet sub captain, was also a major hit in 1990. By the 1990s, he was so popular that his uncredited cameo as King Richard in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves became one of the film's highlights. An audience favorite for more than 40 years and one of the screen's most reliable and distinctive leading men, Mr. Connery was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000 and was recently voted the best James Bond actor in an August 2020 Radio Times poll in the U.K. More than 14,000 voted and Connery claimed 56% of the vote. Global tributes poured in for Mr. Connery following news of his death, including current 007 Daniel Craig, who posted: "Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more. He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in mega watts; he helped create the modern blockbuster. He will continue to influence actors and film-makers alike for years to come. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course." Mr. Connery, who was married to actress Diane Cilento from 1962-73, is survived by his second wife, painter Micheline Roquebrune, whom he married in 1975; his son by Cilento, actor Jason Connery; and a grandson from Jason's marriage to actress Mia Sara. -, 10/31/20.

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020

The Addams Family of rock music goes ghostbusting in the new two-hour Travel Channel documentary The Osbournes: Night of Terror, which sends Jack and Kelly Osbourne off to explore paranormal activity at an allegedly haunted spot in Los Angeles while parents Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne monitor the investigation remotely. "None of us realized how insane and freaky this was going to be," says Jack, who has had the most experience working with the weird as cohost of Portals to Hell, "but [everyone] certainly held their own." Night of Terror premieres on the Travel Channel on Oct. 30 at 9:00 p.m. EDT, 8:00 Central. - TV Guide, 10/26/20...... In related news, Alice Cooper announced his new Halloween-themed party game called "HorrorBox" on YouTube on Oct. 27. HorrorBox sees players mix and match question and answer cards, scoring points for funny combinations. The base game comes with 420 cards but several expansion packs have already been released, including a "Slasher Pack," "Monsters Pack," "Aliens Pack" and "R-Rated Pack." "Minions, you know me. I've never played games with you, until now. This is a horror-themed card game with questions, answers and dares," Alice said in the launch video, while a press release warns that "player discretion is advised" and "all wimps easily scared, beware." - New Musical Express, 10/28/20...... Eddie Van HalenEddie Van Halen's hometown of Pasadena, Calif., has announced plans to memorialize the late guitar legend, but the City Council hasn't yet decided what form the tribute would take. On Oct. 26, the council directed officials to come up with ideas and report back on how to best remember Van Halen, who died of cancer Oct. 6 at age 65. According to a local paper, one idea could be renaming a street or alley near one of Van Halen's 1970s rehearsal spaces, while building a statue, installing a plaque or rechristening a city building also could be considered. Meanwhile, a memorial has grown outside Eddie and brother Alex Van Halen's boyhood home northeast of Los Angeles, where some fans are lobbying to make the house designated as a historic landmark. The Van Halen family moved to Pasadena after emigrating to the U.S. from the Netherlands in 1962. Eddie and Alex formed Van Halen about a decade later with singer David Lee Roth and bassist Michael Anthony, who all grew up in the Pasadena area. - AP,...... In other Van Halen-related news, Eddie's son Wolfgang Van Halen is pushing back on rumours that he's replacing his father as the guitarist in a new incarnation of Van Halen, calling the speculation "a shitty lie." Wolfgang took to social media on Oct. 26 to refute claims being made in a Wolfgang Van Halen Fan Page on Facebook, which were shared to Twitter by user @MetalSludge. The Facebook post claimed that "there is a good strong possibility" that Wolfgang would be swapping his current role as Van Halen's bassist for his late father's position of lead guitarist, with "Van Hagar" era vocalist Sammy Hagar handling vocals and former VH bassist Michael Anthony handling duties on bass. Drummer Alex Van Halen would continue his position as drummer in the imagined lineup. The post claimed that the information came from "the VH camp", with Eddie Van Halen allegedly telling "his son and his brother, I give you my blessing." But Wolfgang says the rumour just isn't true. "This is just a shitty lie attempting to capitalize on these awful times," he tweeted in response to @MetalSludge sharing the post. "Please stop with this. Anyone peddling this shit is not only hurting the fans, but hurting me and my family." - NME, 10/26/20...... In related news, KISS bassist Gene Simmons said that he was "scared to death" one time after getting a lift with Eddie after a Metallica gig in Long Beach in the 1980s. Talking with Dennis Miller on his Options podcast, Simmons said Eddie offered him a ride in his Jeep... "this old jalopy thing with no doors" as seen in the M*A*S*H TV series. "And Edward's smoking away like a chimney and driving what I thought was a hundred miles an hour up the 405 [freeway]," Simmons recalled. "And I'm holding on for dear life and trying to pretend that I'm a guy without fear and all that. [I was] scared to death. And I said, 'Eddie, Eddie, slow down.' And a cigarette was hanging out of his mouth, and he said, 'Why?' I didn't quite know what to answer," he added. Meanwhile, Ozzy Osbourne revealed on his Sirius XM radio show Ozzy's Boneyard that Eddie once asked him to join Van Halen. Although Osbourne didn't specify an exact year when Eddie extended the invite, he did say it was "way after Sammy [Hagar]" was in the line-up. The guitarist left the band in 1996. Ozzy added that he thought Eddie might have been "a bit drunk" when he made the phone call. "We've all done one of them calls at four o'clock in the morning... I've got a great idea!," he said. - NME, 10/26/20...... On Oct. 23, Elton John unveiled a new Barbie doll modelled on the rock superstar. Part of a collaboration with Mattel, the doll, costing $50 (£38), will be available in Walmart in the US, and can be ordered through the Walmart website. Speaking to Rolling Stone about the new doll, John said: "Barbie is an icon in her own right, so having her pay tribute to my work and personal style is a real honour. I hope that she inspires fans everywhere to fearlessly pursue their own dreams and limitless potential." - NME, 10/23/20...... Jimmy PageOn Oct. 20 Jimmy Page released his new book The Anthology, which documents hundreds of items from the Led Zeppelin guitarist's personal collection of instruments, outfits and memorabilia from throughout his career. In a trailer for The Anthology, which has been posted on YouTube, the musician explains: "The reason for doing this book and behind the detail of everything is just basically because I did have the material to be able to do it, I actually had the idea to be able to do it and that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to make the book really fascinating so people could just really get right into what is being shown. With the guitars, I really wanted to get close up and personal with them, with the angles that were taken." In The Anthology, Page guides the reader through hundreds of rare items, many of which are previously unseen, and others of mythic status, such as his Gibson double-neck guitar, dragon-emblazoned suit, white embroidered poppy suit, and the outfit worn in the concert film The Song Remains The Same. The Anthology also features hand-written diaries, rare vinyl pressings, previously unpublished photographs and more. - NME, 10/23/20...... In an interview on CBS Sunday Morning on Oct. 25, Stevie Nicks said she couldn't be happier about the newfound popularity of Fleetwood Mac's 1977 classic "Dreams" after the song was featured in a viral TikTok video. "This TikTok thing has kind of blown my mind," Nicks said. "I'm happy about it because it seems to have made so many people happy." "Dreams" has surged thanks to the viral TikTok video featuring the track, in which Idaho native Nathan Apodaca rides his longboard while drinking a large bottle of Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice. Nicks and Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood has since created their own tributes to Apodaca's viral hit. Nicks is currently promoting her new song "Show Them the Way," a call for action ahead of the November presidential election. The track features Dave Grohl on drums and Dave Stewart on guitar. Nicks said she's also excited about her new concert film, 24 Karat Gold, which recently hit select theaters, drive-ins and exhibition spaces. The film features a set of fan favorites from Nicks' solo career and as a member of Fleetwood Mac. "It's as close to a really big rock 'n' roll concert in a big venue as you're gonna get," she said. The companion album of the concert will arrive Oct. 30. Her full CBS Sunday Morning can be viewed on YouTube. - Billboard, 10/25/20...... Alternative rock musicians Trent Reznor and Billy Corgan are among those who will mark what would have been David Bowie's 74th birthday on Jan. 8 with a special tribute livestream. "A Bowie Celebration: Just For One Day!" has been organized by long-time Bowie pianist Mike Garson, and is set to see Bowie's collaborators from across his career cover and interpret his songs. Garson said of the event: "What we're planning is an amazing show with the most talented musicians from every period of David's career, as well as phenomenal artists from many different genres. Also set to star in the livestream are Bowie's producer Tony Visconti and his final touring band, along with such stars as Gary Oldman, Macy Gray and Perry Farrell. - NME, 10/27/20...... AC/DC have shared the official video for "Shot in the Dark," the first single from their new album Power Up, on YouTube. The clip features the band performing live and was shot by longtime AC/DC video director David Mallet. Describing "Shot In The Dark," AC/DC guitarist Angus Young said: "It's a strong single from a powerful rock album. You'll be able to hear it and know straight away that it's AC/DC. That's what we've always strived for." Power Up will drop on Nov. 13. It sees frontman Brian Johnson returning to the group after Axl Rose's stint as singer, with drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Cliff Williams also returning to the fold. Williams has warned fans he won't be with the band for long, because he isn't healthy enough for a gruelling world tour. "For my health (I'll do a few shows)," Williams recently said on the band's "Let Their Be Talk" podcast. "I definitely have some physical issues... it's tough. I'm very grateful for everything. It's been fantastic. But I just don't wanna do that (tour) anymore." Williams said he'll only be around for a few gigs after recording the new album with his bandmates. He recently revealed that a bout with vertigo contributed to his decision to leave the band in 2016. - NME/WENN/, 10/26/20...... GenesisA recently reunited Genesis have begun rehearsals in London for their massive 2021 UK reunion tour. Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks will head out on "The Last Domino? Tour" in April 2021, with dates having been pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. The trio, playing together for the first time since 2017, are set to be joined on the tour by Collins' son Nic Collins on drums, and guitarist/bassist Daryl Stuermer. Genesis recently announced the 19-date UK tour will kick off on Apr. 1 in Glasgow and wrap over three nights at London's O2 arena on Apr. 27, 29 and 30. Meanwhile, Phil Collins has issued a second cease and desist letter to Pres. Donald Trump's re-election campaign over the use of his hit "In the Air Tonight" at Trump rallies. Trump's campaign apparently ignored a previous legal letter over the use of the song, and again blasted the 1981 hit over the speakers at a gathering in Des Moines, Iowa on Oct. 14. At the time, Collins' representatives noted that Trump's aides had already been warned against violating the musician's copyright, and now his lawyers at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP are demanding an assurance it won't happen again, because Collins, 69, says he doesn't support Trump at all. Collins' lawyers state in the letter than their client takes particular offense that the song "was apparently intended as a satirical reference to COVID-19." "That reference was made at a time when Iowa was suffering from an acceleration of COVID-19 infection. Mr. Collins does not condone the apparent trivialization of COVID-19," the missive states. In other Phil Collins news, the singer may have to wait up to three years to have his ex-wife Orianne Cevey evicted from his mansion because of a backlog of trials due to COVID-19. Collins recently sought an injunction to have Cevey and her husband kicked out of his palatial waterfront home in Miami Beach, Fla., but suffered a major setback when Cevey made a counterclaim for $20 million. A county judge decided the explosive case should be heard in circuit court because of the huge sums at stake. It puts Collins' filling at the back of a long line of pending cases with court closures and pandemic restrictions expected to delay trials by a year or longer. Collins -- worth an estimated $300 million -- will now have to choose between paying his ex-wife off for the second time or facing off in court. - NME/WENN/, 10/27/20...... Music publishers Primary Wave announced on Oct. 23 that they've struck a 10-year strategic partnership with The Four Seasons. The marketing and administration deal is with the band's lead singer Frankie Valli and keyboardist Bob Gaudio, the two surviving members of the band's founding four; which also included bassist Nick Massi, who died of cancer in 2000, and guitarist Tommy DeVito, who died in Sept. 2020 from the coronavirus. Under the agreement, Primary Wave will work Valli and Gaudio to market the band's name and likeness, manage all daily digital marketing activities and administer their iconic catalog, which includes hits like "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "December 1963 (O What A Night)", "Workin' My Way Back To You" and "Can't Take Me Eyes Off Of You," the oft-covered track that made Valli a solo superstar. The deal also gives Primary Wave an option to acquire a partnership interest in the band's works. The Four Seasons were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, and their story is chronicled in Tony-winning Broadway musical favorite "Jersey Boys," which opened in 2005 and was later made into a feature film. - Billboard, 10/23/20...... Joni MitchellSpeaking to the UK paper The Guardian, Joni Mitchell says she's "still struggling to walk" following her 2015 brain aneurysm in a rare new interview. "I haven't been writing recently. I haven't been playing my guitar or the piano or anything," said Mitchell. Instead, she's "just concentrating on getting my health back... You know what? I came back from polio, so here I am again, and struggling back." Mitchell was hospitalised in Los Angeles in March 2015, after being found unconscious at her home. Later that year she was said to be "making good progress." Mitchell also described to the paper that the five years since her aneurysm as "inching my way along," adding: "I'm showing slow improvement but moving forward." "Once again I couldn't walk. I had to learn how again. I couldn't talk," she added. "Polio didn't grab me like that, but the aneurysm took away a lot more, really. Took away my speech and my ability to walk. And, you know, I got my speech back quickly, but the walking I'm still struggling with. But I mean, I'm a fighter. I've got Irish blood! So you know, I knew, 'Here I go again, another battle.'" Mitchell is set to release a new archival album, Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963 -- 1967), on Oct. 30. - NME, 10/27/20...... In an interview on the UK talk show Good Morning Britain, Queen guitarist Brian May said he feels "grateful to be alive" after a number of health issues including a heart attack and exploding stomach. "I had a wonderful, wonderful surgeon, and I'm so grateful to be alive. I had three stents in me, which are working just fine, and I feel good," May said. In May 2020, Brian revealed that he had been "very near death" when he was hospitalised after doctors discovered that three arteries in his heart "were congested and in danger of blocking the supply of blood" to his heart. In September, he also revealed that the drugs he was on to aid his recovery had caused "a stomach explosion that nearly killed me." Calling the stomach explosion "shocking," he added: "That was the point where I nearly lost my life, not the heart attack, strangely enough. You have to be so careful with the medication that they give you, because it's great for the stents, it's great for the heart, but it's not very good for the rest of your body and you can really go down. It's a tightrope." In other Queen-related news, the art-rockers' classic "Bohemian Rhapsody" has been voted "the best song of all time" in a poll completed by 2,000 Brits to mark the launch of the new Sony Walkman player. The 1975 hit was named as the nation's favourite song by 43%, followed closely behind in second place by Queen's 1978 hit "Don't Stop Me Now" (37%). Behind those two songs were the Beatles' "Hey Jude" (31%), John Lennon's "Imagine" (30%), Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" (28%), and Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence" (27%). - NME/, 10/28/20...... In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards hit out at the use of synths in rock music, calling them "cheap and corny." "There's great musicians and some great singers and stuff. Unfortunately, to me, in music, it's been synthesised to death. Once you start synthesising things, you're not getting the real thing," said Richards, who complained that "there is no new rock 'n' roll. It's pointless." He added: "I don't want to go into a long discourse on what's wrong with synthesisers and music these days, except to say they're cheap and corny." Keith also backed the recent Black Lives Matter protests and said "it's about bloody time" and that "black music is the reason I'm here." The Stones are now believed to be back in the studio recording their next album. - NME, 10/28/20...... Debbie HarryBlondie frontwoman Debbie Harry is labelling Van Morrison "insane" for his stance on the COVID-19 crisis. While Harry says she thinks Morrison, who has recently slammed safety measures designed to stop the spread of the virus at concerts and other venues, is a "creative genius," but also noted he is "completely mad." "I mean, he has a history of very strange behaviour so it doesn't really surprise me. And after all, everyone's entitled to their own opinion," Harry recently told New Musical Express. "As far as conspiracy goes... huh! If this is a conspiracy, then the biggest f---ing genius in the world has created it! I mean, that is insane. Totally insane!," Harry exclaimed. She then went on to attack Pres. Donald Trump, insisting: "When it comes to our president, white supremacists respect him not necessarily for himself but because he's achieved the presidency. There's a lot of kudos that hangs on the word 'president'... A lot of people fall for him, but this is not a good guy." -, 10/25/20...... Paul McCartney recently told the BBC that his new album McCartney III is "just me having fun during lockdown." The rock icon explained that most of the LP is "new stuff" that he worked on during lockdown, but some of the tracks had been set aside because they "just didn't cut it" in their original form. "I thought 'OK, wait a minute, what about that one?'," he pondered. "So I'd get it out and think, 'Ugh, oh dear.' And you'd try to figure out what was wrong with it, or why you didn't like it," he went on. Sir Paul said his creative process sometimes involved rebuilding a track entirely. "In some cases the vocal or the words just didn't cut it, so you'd strip it all down and go 'OK, let's just make it completely different'," he recalled. McCartney III, slated for release on Dec. 11, comes 50 years after the debut of his self-titled first solo venture, and 40 years after the follow-up. Meanwhile, Macca says that director Peter Jackson's upcoming Beatles documentary Get Back is an authentic portrait of the band's final years together. "I love it," he said of the new film from the Lord of the Rings director which captures the making of the band's final album, 1970's Let It Be. Get Back is set to challenge the popular narrative that the group constantly clashed during their later years. "Even though we had arguments, like any family -- we loved each other, you know, and it shows in the film," McCartney said. "It's a very warm feeling, And it's amazing just being backstage with these people, making this music that turned out to be good." -, 10/27/20...... '70s musicians Diana Ross, Gloria Gaynor and Lionel Richie will be among the headliners for the 2021 UK Lytham Festival, which will take place at Lytham Green on the Lancashire Coast from June 30 - July 4, 2021. The five-day event, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019, was cancelled in 2020 following the COVID-19 pandemic. Tickets are on sale now and day tickets will go on sale on Oct. 30. - NME, 10/26/20...... Olivia Newton-John recently told the UK paper The Guardian that she sees cancer as a "gift" rather than a disease she has to fight. Newton-John, 72, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and has twice received the news the disease has metastasised to other organs in her body, most recently in 2017. However, the Grease star, who has used plant-based remedies including medicinal cannabis alongside traditional treatments like surgery, chemo, and radiotherapy, to keep her cancer at bay, views her illness as an experience that his improved her as a person. "I don't know what I would be without it now. I see it as my life's journey. It gave me purpose and intention and taught me a lot about compassion. It has been a gift. I don't wish it on anyone else. But for me, it's been important in my life," she explained. The "Physical" singer also says she resists talking about fighting her cancer, as she's averse to combative metaphors. "I don't think of myself as sick with cancer. I choose not to see it as a fight either because I don't like war. I don't like fighting wherever it is -- whether it's outside or an actual war inside my body," she elaborated. Olivia added she doesn't want to know if doctors believe the cancer is terminal: "I don't believe them anyway. I mean, no one can tell you that." -, 10/27/20...... Don McLeanIn a new interview with the Irish Times, Don McLean branded his ex-wife of 30 years Patrisha McLean "the worst person I ever know" despite pleading guilty to domestic violence against his spouse. The 75-year-old "American Pie" singer, who is now based in Palm Desert, Calif., said it took him four years to get over his relationship with Patrisha, who he was married to for 29 years and shares two children with. McLean that the love letters she sent every month for 30 years "immediately turned to salt" when their relationship crumbled, following the accusations of domestic violence made against him. Having divorced in 2016, McLean said he hasn't met anyone who compares to Patrisha, and added: "I can truly say that my ex-wife is the worst person I ever knew." He added it's only now that their 2016 split is sinking in, despite the fact he moved on with Playboy model Paris Dylan, 25, months after his divorce finalized. Since the breakdown of their marriage, Patrisha has spoken about her relationship with Don in a travelling exhibit called "Finding Our Voices," and has established a domestic violence non-profit organization of the same name. She filed for divorce two months after Don was arrested for domestic violence on the grounds of "adultery, cruel and abusive treatment, and irreconcilable differences." She filed for a protection order after her husband's arrest, but withdrew the request only days later. In a statement supporting her request for the restraining order, she alleged that her husband had "terrorized" her "for four hours" on the night before he was arrested. His relationship with Paris Dylan quickly flourished when she was hired to manage his social media accounts in 2016. He revealed that he doesn't read any media coverage about him regardless if it's good or bad, describing it as "all a bunch of bull---." McLean said he plans to auction most of his possessions before he dies -- including song lyrics, weapons and guitars -- because he doesn't want to leave them for someone else to "figure out what to do" with them. McLean is set to mark the anniversary of his hit song with new documentary The Day the Music Died, and a Broadway show has also been planned for 2022, alongside a children's book. He describes "American Pie" as "a fusion of folk, rock 'n' roll and old-fashioned popular music," and refuses to elaborate on the mysteries of the 1972 song. "I've never said that to anybody in 50 years," he said. -, 10/27/20...... Lawyers representing both parties in Rod Stewart's 2019 New Year's Eve assault case have told the court that the case is unlikely to go to trial. The incident took place at the on New Year's Eve in Dec. 2019, with Stewart charged with simple battery after allegedly punching security guard Jesse Dixon in the chest. Stewart's son Sean faces the same charge for his involvement in the confrontation at the Breaker's Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla. Both have pleaded not guilty. Dixon brought a civil suit against them in January, however a pre-trial hearing has only just taken place via Zoom, having been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Neither Stewart or his son were present. Stewart's lawyer Guy Fronstin, who is representing both defendants, told Judge August Bonavita at the hearing that he has been in touch with prosecutors and the case is likely to be resolved before it reaches the trial stage. "We have been in communication with the state. We are asking for one more rollover for pre-trial," he said. "All indications are this is going to resolve without a trial but there's still some work to be done on it." A second pre-trial hearing is now scheduled for Dec. 4. - NME, 10/23/20...... Jerry Jeff WalkerCountry singer/songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker, best known for penning the 1971 hit "Mr. Bojangles" for The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, has died following a battle with cancer. He was 78. Growing up and beginning his music career in New York in the 1960s, Walker moved to Austin, Tex. the following decade and is considered to be a pivotal figure in the development of the now-world-famous music scene in the city. In addition to The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, his 1968 composition "Mr. Bojangles" has been covered by some of the biggest artists on earth, including Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Neil Diamond, Nina Simone, King Curtis, Sammy Davis Jr. and more. Walker was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2017 and released his final album, About Time, the following year. A host of musicians have taken to social media to pay tribute to Walker following news of his death including Jason Isbell, who wrote: "One day I'd like to be an old man who dances onstage like John Prine and Jerry Jeff Walker." Prine, another country legend, died in April from coronavirus complications. American showrunner Brian Koppelman added: "I know that 90% of the people reading this never heard of Guy Clark or Jerry Jeff Walker. Go listen to JJW's version of LA Freeway to get why they matter so much to the other 10%. Then dive deep into their cataloged. Rip JJW." Walker is survived by his wife Susan Streit and their two children. - NME, 10/24/20.

Friday, Oct. 23, 2020

Lindsey Buckingham may no longer be a member of Fleetwood Mac, but he has followed current Mac members Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks with his own video of "Dreams" after a video by a TikTok user soundtracked with the song went viral in late September. "Made this with my girls this weekend," Buckingham posted to Twitter on Oct. 21 alongside a video of himself taking part in the challenge. In the clip, the camera focuses on a close-up of his hand holding a small bottle of Ocean Spray cranberry juice cocktail before panning out to reveal him riding a horse as the band's iconic 1977 hit plays in the background. The video by skateboarder Nathan Apodaca sparked a remarkable chart resurgence of "Dreams" in October, with the song experiencing its largest streaming week ever. "Dreams"' parent album Rumours has even climbed to No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart, some 42 years after it hit No. 1 on the chart in late 1977 and early 1978. - Billboard, 10/22/20...... Bruce SpringsteenBruce Springsteen made his latest album Letter To You available for streaming on on Oct. 23. With 12 tracks and a healthy, almost one-hour running time, Letter To You is Springsteen's 20th studio album and his first reunion with the E Street Band since their 2016 "The River" tour. The LP, the follow-up to his 2019 release Western Stars, features nine songs written recently by The Boss, plus new versions of previously-unreleased compositions from the 1970s, "Janey Needs a Shooter," "If I Was the Priest," and "Song for Orphans," a video for the latter which has been shared on YouTube. Letter to You was co-produced by Springsteen and Ron Aniello at Springteen's home studio in New Jersey, and features the previously-released songs "Ghosts" and the LP's title track. The album is accompanied by a Thom Zimny-directed documentary, titled Bruce Springsteen's Letter To You, an exclusive through Apple TV+. - Billboard, 10/23/20...... Ozzy Osbourne announced newly rescheduled UK and European dates of his "No More Tours 2" jaunt on Instagram on Oct. 22. The gigs in question, which were originally announced back in Sept. 2018, have already been postponed a number of times due to Osbourne's ill health and, more recently, the coronavirus pandemic. Ozzy now says the UK and European legs will kick off in early 2022, beginning with a Jan. 22 date in Berlin and hitting several other cities in Germany, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Finland and the UK through Mar. 14, 2022. "I really want to thank my fans for their loyalty and for waiting for me. Believe me, I can't wait to see you all again," Osbourne said in a statement. "Please stay safe in these uncertain times. God Bless you All! Love Ozzy." Judas Priest will open for Ozzy on all dates, except in Budapest, Hungary. - New Musical Express, 10/22/20...... On Oct. 21 a lawsuit filed against one of Michael Jackson's companies by one of the men who accused the King of Pop of sexual abuse was dismissed by a California judge. James Safechuck, now 42, who featured in the 2019 Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland, sought damages from MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, who he accused of "facilitating" the singer's alleged sexual abuse of children. Safechuck filed his suit against the two companies in 2014, claiming that both companies "were created to, and did, facilitate Jackson's sexual abuse of children." In his ruling, Judge Mark Young said that Jackson controlled the companies and their employees, meaning that they were not able to control the star's alleged actions. Safechuck, who along with Wade Robinson says he was molested as a child in the early 1990s by Jackson, reportedly plans to appeal the decision. Dan Reed, who directed the 2019 documentary, is said to be filming a sequel to Leaving Neverland which will focus on the fallout from the first film and the intense backlash it attracted from some of Jackson's biggest fans. He has reportedly faced legal challenges over the sequel from both MJJ productions and MJJ Ventures. - NME, 10/22/20...... Elton John, who is featured in a new promo video by rising R&B singer Teyana Taylor for her song "Lose Each Other," says he's fond of the "classy" video and called for less "racy" and more "empowering" music videos. In an Instagram chat with Teyana, Sir Elton said: "What you did in the video was so beautiful and empowering. Normal videos have people shaking their booties and this was a piece of art. You weren't shaking anything. It means a lot. There really aren't many classy videos out there. They are what they are. This one is the Rolls-Royce of videos." John, 73, also said he isn't a fan of songs made on the computer. ""There's plenty of people that do but a lot of them don't get played on the radio because they're too sophisticated and we get songs made by a computer all the time and I'm not interested in that," he said. - Music-News, 10/22/20...... Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney announced on Oct. 21 that he will release the third album in his 50-year-spanning "McCartney" series, McCartney III, on Dec. 11. In a statement, Sir Paul said he hadn't intended to release a new album in 2020, but during the "isolation of 'Rockdown', he soon found himself fleshing out some existing musical sketches and creating even more new ones." The COVID-19 quarantine resulted in what Macca described as a "stripped back, self-produced and, quite literally, solo work marking the opening of a new decade." Paul says he recorded McCartney III earlier in 2020 at his home in Sussex, England, and like it's predecessors McCartney (1970) and McCartney II (1980), it's built from mostly live takes of himself on vocals, guitar and piano, with overdubbed bass and drumming. The session found him revisiting an unreleased track from the 1990s, "When Winter Comes," which was transformed into album opener "Long Tailed Winter Bird." In addition to CD and digital releases, McCartney III will be issued on vinyl, limited edition (3,000) hand-numbered red vinyl manufactured by Third Man Pressing, as well as standard 180g and a "333" Edition available only at the Third Man Records online store in a limited run of 333 copies on yellow-with-black-dots vinyl created using 33 recycled vinyl copies of McCartney and McCartney II; a 4,000-run, hand-numbered white vinyl version will be available at U.S. indie record stores. Paul has shared a preview video of the new album on Instagram. - Billboard, 10/21/20...... In other Beatles-related news, a letter written by the Fab Four's manager Brian Epstein following the sacking of the band's drummer Pete Best is going up for sale at auction. A letter written by Epstein to the "secret Beatle" Joe Flannery, who served as the Beatles' booking manager between 1962 and 1963, has been put up for sale by the latter's family following his death in 2019. Written and sent on Sept. 8, 1962, Epstein wrote to Flannery: "I read from the Mersey Beat Pete Best has now joined THE ALL STARS and I though [sic] I'd let you know that I have sent today, to him a certificate of release from his obligations under contract to myself. I would like to add, incidentally, our sincere wishes for Pete's and the group's continued success." The letter had been kept by Flannery's family in the years since but is now being sold via Omega Auctions. The sale will be conducted on Oct. 27, and it is estimated that the lot will reach between £650 and £1000. Pete Best was originally signed with the three long-standing members of The Fab Four -- John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison -- but he was let go by Epstein and replaced by Ringo Starr in Aug. 1962. - NME, 10/19/20...... Director Todd Haynes, known for such theatrical dramas as Far From Heaven (2003) and the music documentaries Velvet Goldmine (1998) and I'm Not There (2007), will helm a new documentary about the acclaimed late '60s/early '70s band The Velvet Underground. Directed and co-produced by Haynes, The Velvet Underground will premiere on Apple TV+ and, according to a press release, contain conversations with "key players" who were around Lou Reed and co. at the time, while offering up "a treasure trove of never-before-seen performances and a rich collection of recordings, Warhol films, and other experimental art." Haynes, who first revealed the project in 2017, told Variety at the time that the VU documentary would be "an intensely visual experience." - NME, 10/21/20...... Julien's Auctions announced on Oct. 19 that two guitars belonging to the late Eddie Van Halen -- including his legendary 2004 EVH Charvel Art Series instrument with the red, white and black stripes on the body and headstock -- will be going on the auction block in early December as part of its two-day "Icons & Idols Trilogy: Rock 'N' Roll" live auction event in Beverly Hills and online. The auction will also spotlight another custom-designed electric guitar built by Van Halen with his guitar tech Matt Bruck at the guitarist's 5150 home studio, according to a release announcing the event. The auction, which takes place on Dec. 4 and 5, will also feature artifacts and memorabilia owned and used by Kurt Cobain, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Lady Gaga, David Bowie, Aerosmith and more. - Billboard, 10/19/20...... Christopher CrossGrammy-winning pop singer/songwriter Christopher Cross is seeing huge gains with his song sales after being featured on the CBS morning show CBS Sunday Morning in a segment entitled "Christopher Cross on Surviving COVID." Cross, who was diagnosed with the novel Coronavirus in April, said he had just as he began to feel like he had recovered from COVID when he learned that he had also contracted Guillain-Barre syndrome, likely brought on by his COVID sickness. "It was the worst 10 days of my life," Cross said in the segment. "I couldn't walk, could barely move." Cross, who says he's now recovering from the illness albeit with some lingering after-effects, is enjoying a combined 6,000 downloads of his catalog of songs on Oct. 18-19 in the U.S. after the appearance, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. That's up 979% compared to their sales of just over 500 on Oct. 16-17. Cross' best selling songs for the period include his No. 1 hit "Sailing," (2,000; up 823%), his No. 2 single "Ride Like the Wind" (1,000; up 757%), the No. 1 "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" (1,000; up 1,309%), the No. 15 hit "Never Be the Same" (a little under 1,000; up 1,386%) and the No. 9 hit "Think of Laura" (nearly 500 sold; up 3,238%). After his illness forced him to scrap a planned 2020 tour, Cross said that he does expect to return to the stage following his recovery. "I don't know whether I'll walk out with my cane and I'll sit down on a stool," he explained. "But I've gotta tell you -- and it's hard to, you know, keep it together here -- but, you know my fans, I know them. And they love me. I really feel in my heart, at least, that the fans are gonna be with me." - Billboard, 10/21/20...... On Oct. 19 Neil Young announced more details about his long-awaited Archives Volume II: 1972-1976 box set. Young says the set will feature 131 tracks, including 12 that have never been released before, and also contain 49 previously unheard versions of classics from the rock icon's archives, as well as a 252-page hardbound book. The sequel to 2009's massive The Archives Volume 1: 1963-1972, Archives Volume II: 1972-1976 will cover the years when Young released some of his most beloved albums, including Time Fades Away, On the Beach, Tonight's the Night, Zuma, Long May You Run and the recently issued "lost" 1975 album Homegrown. A deluxe 10-CD edition (only 3,000 available) of the set includes hundreds of previously unseen photos, a tape database, a full-length archives poster, detailed descriptions of the songs and a fold-out timeline of Young's activity during that period. Young also released a teaser video for the album on YouTube as well as a 1972 recording of "Come Along and Say You Will", recorded with his side band The Stray Gators. - Billboard, 10/19/20...... To help promote their new album Power Up, AC/DC have launched a new online program which allows users to display their initials in the style of the band's iconic lightning bolt logo. Users of the generator, which can be found at you/, are asked to enter their name. Their initials are then displayed as neon signs in the band's famous font either side of a lightning bolt, matching the cover of Power Up. The classic logo was first used on AC/DC's 1977 album Let There Be Rock and has appeared on every one of the band's albums since, apart from the following year's Powerage. - NME, 10/19/20...... In other heavy metal news, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page recently revealed to Classic Rock magazine that Zeppelin originally planned a whole tour after reuniting for a one-off show in 2007, but they never came to fruition. After lauding late LZ drummer John Bonham's son Jason Bonham as a "damn good drummer" [who] "should be sitting in that seat" and not just because he was John's son, Page said: "It had been said that there was going to be a tour. There weren't any dates put in, but obviously we had honed ourselves to the point where we were ready." But after the dates failed to materialize, Page says he has put the idea of a reunion firmly to bed. "But then there has not been any discussion about any tour ever since -- nor will there be. So there you go. It's just one of those weird, odd things in the world of Led Zeppelin, really, another part of the Led Zeppelin phenomenon," he said. - NME, 10/19/20...... Brian WilsonAl JardineMike LoveFormer Beach Boys Brian Wilson and Al Jardine are denying involvement in a presidential fundraiser for Pres. Donald Trump on Oct. 18 in Orange County, Calif., that was headlined by a band fronted by BB Mike Love, Mike Love's Beach Boys. According to the Los Angeles Times, the fundraiser was attended by various Republican supporters in the area and headlined by Love with his touring band. But Wilson and Jardine say they had "absolutely nothing to do with the Trump benefit today in Newport Beach, zero.... We didn't even know about it and were very surprised to read about it in the Los Angeles Times." Mike Love won the rights to continue performing under the group's moniker in 1998, after a series of lawsuits. Wilson and Jardine have toured together under Wilson's name, often performing Beach Boys material. This isn't the first time the duo have opposed Love -- earlier in 2020 the pair joined a petition supporting a boycott of a Beach Boys concert at the Safari Club International Convention, where Donald Trump Jr. was the keynote speaker. Wilson openly denounced the event, saying, "this organization supports trophy hunting, which Both Al [Jardine] and I are emphatically opposed to." Love defended the decision to play the show at the time by responding, "We look forward to a night of great music in Reno and, as always, support freedom of thought and expression as a fundamental tenet of our rights as Americans." - NME, 10/19/20...... Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry is praising pop sensation Miley Cyrus for making Blondie's huge 1978 hit "Heart of Glass" "uniquely hers." Cyrus delivered a raw live rendition of the 1978 hit during a performance at the virtual iHeartRadio Festival 2020 in September, which was then uploaded to Spotify. "We think Miley Cyrus nailed it. Check it out:," Harry posted to Twitter on Oct. 21 with a link to the video. Harry also complemented Cyrus' "Heart of Glass" in a recent interview with New Musical Express: "I thought she did a great job and I liked the way the performance looked and she's a force to be reckoned with. I'm really proud of the fact she did our song and made it uniquely hers." Meanwhile, Blondie have announced a run of UK arena shows with alternative band Garbage opening. The band's "Against The Odds" tour is due to begin in Liverpool on Nov. 6, then visit Birmingham, Manchester, Hull, Nottingham, Brighton, Cardiff, London and Glasgow before wrapping in Leeds on Nov. 21. Blondie will release their 12th studio album to coincide with the tour in 2021. "The tour is called Against All Odds because really it is -- we're trying to stay optimistic that it will happen," Blondie drummer Clem Burke recently told the UK's The Sun paper. - NME, 10/21/20...... A clip from the new Harry Chapin documentary Harry Chapin: When in Doubt, Do Something has been shared on The documentary is the inspiring story of the Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter/activist who sold over 16 million albums and spent his fame and fortune trying to end world hunger before his tragic passing. Featuring such stars as Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Pete Seeger, Bob Geldof, Kenny Rogers, Graham Nash and Pat Benatar, the documentary opened in theaters and virtual cinemas on Oct.16, World Food Day. A portion of the proceeds goes to both WhyHunger and The Harry Chapin Foundation. -, 10/14/20...... It has been revealed that a new TV series based on the hit 1977 movie Smokey and the Bandit is in early development. The road action comedy will be a modern take on the Southern-set classic, according to writer/director Gordon Green. "Growing up in the south, Smokey and the Bandit was an iconic franchise for me. The legacy of these characters is a playground of swagger and sass that I'm excited to dig into," Green, who was born in Little Rock, Ak., and raised in Texas, said in a statement. In addition to penning the script, Green is set to step behind the camera and direct the potential pilot, which currently has no network attached to the series. Released in 1977, the Burt Reynolds and Sally Field-starring film became a major hit for Universal Studios, grossing over $300 million on its $4.3 million budget, becoming the second-largest domestic grossing film of the year behind Star Wars and spawned a franchise that included two feature-length sequels and made-for-TV spinoff films. -, 10/22/20...... Former King Crimson bassist and singer Gordon Haskell died on Oct. 15 following a year-long battle with lung cancer. He was 74. Though Haskell never performed live with the long-running prog rock band, his short tenure included playing on the band's third studio album, 1970's Lizard, as well as on the song "Cadence and Cascade" from their second album, that same year's In the Wake of Poseidon. The multi-talented musician was recruited to join Crimson by his former grammar school classmate and band founder/guitarist Robert Fripp; the two formerly played together in a band called The League of Gentlemen. Haskell went on to join the psychedelic British bands The Quotations, Rupert's People, Cupid's Inspiration and The Fleur de Lys, the latter best known for their Jimmy Page-produced 1965 cover of Norman Petty's "Moondreams." He also released a couple of solo singles, "Boat Trip" and "Oh-La-Di-Doo-Da-Day," and the album, Sail on My Boat, in 1969. Haskell released 13 solo albums between 1969-2020, with his most recent effort, The Cat Who's Got the Cream, dropping in January of 2020. - Billboard, 10/19/20...... Spencer DavisLegendary "British Invasion" musician Spencer Davis of The Spencer Davis Group, which had hits with "Gimme Some Lovin'," "I'm a Man" and "Keep on Running," died in hospital on Oct. 19 while being treated for pneumonia, his agent Bob Birk confirmed. He was 81. Born on July 17, 1939, in Swansea, Wales, Mr. Davis formed The Spencer Davis Group in Birmingham in 1963 with Steve Winwood (organ/vocals), Muff Winwood (bass) and Pete York (drums). The band, who originally went by the name The Rhythm & Blues Quartet, became renowned for such hits as "Keep On Running" (a cover of a song written by Jackie Edwards), "Gimme Some Lovin" and "I'm A Man." The band was part of the "British Invasion" of the 1960s in the US, and toured with the likes of The Who and The Rolling Stones. The Winwood brothers left the group in 1967 -- Steve to form Traffic; Muff to become a successful record executive -- and they disbanded in July 1969 (although they briefly reformed from 1973-74) with Mr. Davis moving to the US the following year to pursue a solo career. Mr. Davis also worked as an executive at Island Records in the 1970s, with his official website stating that the Welsh musician helped "further the profiles of artists like Robert Palmer and Bob Marley" through his work at Island. Mr. Davis was a prolific touring musician, and he played under The Spencer Davis Group banner without the Winwoods during the 90s, 2000s and 2010s. The band last played together in 2017, with two touring line-ups -- one for Europe and one for the US -- in operation and Mr. Davis still at the helm. Tributes to Davis have been pouring in after news of his passing, with Steve Winwood remembering his former bandmate as "definitely a man with a vision, and one of the pioneers of the 'British Invasion' of America in the '60s. I never went to the US with Spencer, but he later embraced America and America embraced him. I feel that he was influential in setting me on the road to becoming a professional musician, and I thank him for that." - NME, 10/20/20...... James Redford, the filmmaker son of Hollywood legend Robert Redford, passed away at his home in Marin County, Calif., on Oct. 16 after losing his battle with liver cancer. He was 58. James Redford was revered for his documentaries, including The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia and 2020's Playing for Keeps, which explored the health benefits of play time for children and adults. "He lived a beautiful, impactful life & was loved by many," his widow, Kyle, wrote on social media. "He will be deeply missed." - WENN/, 10/19/20.

Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020

On Oct. 17 Elvis Costello shared a chilling new song from his upcoming studio album Hey Clockface. "Newspaper Pane," accompanied by an animated lyric video that has been shared on YouTube, tells the story of a woman cooped up in a room where the windows are covered with old newspapers, which she put up to allow herself to immerse herself in the details of an unattainable life. Hey Clockface, due Oct. 30, was recorded by the iconic New Wave musician after he was separated from his regular collaborators by the coronavirus pandemic earlier in 2020. Meanwhile, a new box set collection of Costello's classic 1979 set Armed Forces is being reissued on Nov. 6. - New Musical Express, 10/17/20...... Tom PettyRod Stewart"Leave Virginia Alone," a new Tom Petty single culled from his newly released Wildflowers and All the Rest box set, has debuted at No. 23 on Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs chart for the week ending Oct. 23. "Leave Virginia Alone" also has the distinction of being covered by Rod Stewart in 1995 for his A Spanner in the Works LP and rose to No. 10 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary airplay chart and No. 34 on the Pop Songs chart that July. At the time, Stewart explained that the song "was for Tom Petty's album, and he took it off because it was too close lyrically to something that was a hit beforehand, and his manager couldn't persuade him to put it on the album. So his manager, who's a friend of my manager, said, 'Would Rod listen to the song?'" Stewart, who confessed that he "wasn't really a Tom Petty fan" but he thought Petter was "a good performer though," also revealed that "Leave Virginia Alone" "absolutely went by me" the first time he heard it. "It took me two or three good listens. I had to be persuaded to do it, in other words. But now I'm glad we did," Stewart noted. Petty's version of "Leave Virginia Alone," which he solely wrote and didn't make the final Wildflowers album, can be streamed on YouTube. 1994's Wildflowers was the second solo album from Petty, who died at age 66 in 2017. - Billboard, 10/16/20...... Speaking of Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks recently told Forbes magazine that listening to the late Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member has helped her through the grief of losing her rocker pal. "He spent a lot of time on [Petty's Sirius XM] radio station to the point where the rest of the Heartbreakers were like, 'So you missed your calling. You just really wanted to be a disc jockey'," mused Nicks, who enjoyed a longstanding personal and professional relationship with Petty, and the pair duetted at London's Hyde Park just months before his Oct. 2017. "He did so much work on it they've been able to totally keep the Tom Petty radio station alive and I'm so happy about that because to me I hear him and it's like I'm talking to him while he's talking to us... I forget that he's gone because of that station," she added. Nicks also lamented the loss of several other of her rocker friends in the past few years, including Prince, Glenn Frey and Eddie Van Halen. "In the last couple of years of [my dad's] life, at one point he said to me, 'All my friends are dead'," she remembered. "The people that live to be really old, like hopefully me, there will be a time where a lot of people will be gone. And I certainly never expected for Prince and Tom Petty to be gone in 2020." -, 10/17/20...... A new action figure of late Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister has been unveiled for the 40th anniversary of Motörhead's classic Ace of Spades album. The 3.753 "Lemmy ReAction figurine" is designed by Super7, who announced the news on Instagram on Oct. 17. "To commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Ace Of Spades album, Super7 is proud to present the man, the myth, the legend," reads the caption. Led by designer Brian Flynn, the San Francisco-based company have previously released Iron Maiden and Misfits paraphernalia, as well as covering Star Wars, Alien and Planet Of The Apes. The 40th anniversary Ace Of Spades reissue box set drops on Oct. 30 with 42 previously unreleased tracks. - NME, 10/17/20...... Ray DaviesThe Kinks are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their classic 1970 album Lola Versus Powerman and The Moneygoround, Part One with a special set of reissues, including a limited edition deluxe 10 slipcased book pack (containing a 60-page book, 3 CDs, 2 7" singles and four color prints), digital exclusives, and a 2xCD hardback book. Commonly abbreviated to either Lola Versus Powerman or Lola, the band's eighth studio album was released in Nov. 1970 and included such songs as "Lola" and "Apeman." Speaking about the album, Kinks frontman Ray Davies said: "The album is a celebration of artistic freedom (including my own) and the right for anyone to be gender free if one wishes. The secret is to be a good and trusting person and friend. A brand new Davies-helmed remix/medley of the Kinks track "Any Time" titled "The Follower/Any Time 20202" was released on Oct. 14 and can be streamed on YouTube. - NME, 10/15/20...... Fleetwood Mac's 1977 No. 1 single "Dreams" has re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart for the week of Oct. 17 sparked by a viral TikTok video featuring the song. Landing at No. 21, it's the first time the song has landed on the Hot 100 since its original run No. 1. "Dreams" garnered 13.4 million streams (up 54%) and 22,000 downloads sold (up 197%) in the tracking week ending Oct. 8, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. In the TikTok clip, Idahoan Nathan Apodaca rides his longboard while drinking a large bottle of Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice, backed by "Dreams." The video became so popular that the band's own Mick Fleetwood recreated the clip. Ocean Spray even gifted Apodaca a red pickup truck (filled with bottles of Ocean Spray juice). "Dreams" originally debuted on the Hot 100 dated Apr. 16, 1977, and spent a week at No. 1 (June 18). Fleetwood Mac last appeared in the Hot 100's Top 40 on May 19, 1990, with "Save Me." Stevie Nicks has also just posted her own "Dreams" response to Apodaca's TikTok clip on Twitter, tagging Apodaca's TikTok account alongside the caption "Afternoon vibe. Lace 'em up!". - Billboard/NME, 10/13/20...... AC/DC's lead single "Shot in the Dark" from the band's upcoming album Power Up has debuted at No. 5 on Billboard Best Mainstream Rock Songs chart for the week of Oct. 17. "Shot in the Dark" is the most popular Mainstream Rock Songs song in over 12 years, since Disturbed's "Inside the Fire" also ignited at No. 5 on the ranking dated Apr.12, 2008. In other AC/DC news, a former bassist for the group who briefly played with the Aussie headbangers in 1975 has died. Paul Matters joined AC/DC after the release of 1975's High Voltage, replacing original bassist Larry Van Kriedt. Matters was fired only weeks later, reportedly by then AC/DC lead singer Bon Scott, with Mark Evans taking his place in the band. Matters' passing was announced on Facebook by friend Rod Wescombe, who said he had led a "reclusive life" after his dismissal from the band. - Billboard/NME, 10/15/20...... Van Halen songs are dominating Billboard's Hot Hard Rock Songs chart in mid-October following the death of founding guitarist Eddie Van Halen on Oct. 6 after his lengthy battle with throat cancer. In the tracking week running Oct. 2-8, Van Halen's discography earned 49.3 million U.S. on-demand streams, a jump of 463%, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. Additionally, the band's album sales spiked 1,442% to 27,000 in sales, while its digital song sales rose 2,522% to 88,000. Multiple classic albums and songs by the band have also reached the Oct. 17-dated charts. Leading the way, "Jump" becomes the first catalog song in the streaming/airplay/sales-based Hot Hard Rock Songs chart's four-month history to reach No. 1, debuting atop the list, ahead of five other Van Halen songs. - Billboard, 10/14/20...... Bob DylanBob Dylan's Grey Water Park Productions is teaming up with George Clooney for a movie adaptation of John Grisham's baseball-themed novel Calico Joe. The story is set in the world of Major League Baseball and tells a tale about fathers and sons, and forgiveness and redemption. The film is being directed by Clooney's Smokehouse Pictures partner Grant Heslov, who with Clooney said in a joint statment that "John has written a beautiful story and the chance to collaborate with Bob to bring it to the screen is just fantastic." Bob Dylan added: "George and Grant see in this book what I see in it -- a powerful story that will resonate with young and old alike. People in all walks of life will be able relate to it." -, 10/16/20...... In a new interview with the UK paper The Guardian, Peter Frampton revealed that The Who's Pete Townsend once asked him to join The Who as his replacement. Frampton says that during a creative and financial low point in his career, Townshend contacted him to say he was leaving the band and wanted the "Baby, I Love Your Way" singer to fill in on guitar and vocals for him. "It was the most bizarre thing I ever heard... Three men couldn't fill his shoes!," Frampton recalled. Frampton says he declined the offer initially, but says he called back a few days later due to his own financial struggles -- only to discover that Townshend appeared to have no recollection of the conversation. Frampton, 70, also spoke about firing his manager Dee Anthony, who died in 2009, with Frampton claiming that he was shielded from financial issues. "I was kept away from those things," he said. "I was kept high. If I needed weed, he made sure I had weed. If I needed cocaine, he made sure I had cocaine. He didn't want me thinking about what was going on," Frampton added. "It was criminal. I could have put him in jail." - NME, 10/17/20....... Elton John has shared another song from his upcoming career retrospective box set Jewel Box, due Nov. 13 from UMC/EMI. "Here's to the Next Time," which has been shared on YouTube, was recorded at London's DJM Studio in late 1967 when John was still known as Reg Dwight, with the complete version appearing in 1968 as the B-side to John's first single, "I've Been Loving You." "Here's to the Next Time" follows two other rare Elton songs, "Regimental Sgt. Zippo" and "Sing Me Sad Song," which will also feature on Jewel Box. The 50th anniversary box set is split into four parts -- "Deep Cuts," "Rarities," "B-sides," "And This Is Me" -- and will be released in 4xLP, 8xCD, 3xLP and 2xLP formats. - NME, 10/17/20...... In other Elton John news, the Rocket Man has just settled a £3million court dispute with his ex-wife, Renate Blauel. The settlement comes after Blauel sought compensation from John over the summer after he mentioned her in several sections in his autobiography Me, allegedly breaking the terms of an agreement the couple made when they divorced 32 years ago. In papers filed in his defense at the time, the Elton's legal team denied breaching the agreement, arguing the details in the book were public knowledge and that the contract "applies only to private and confidential matters." Now, according to Sky News, a rep for Blauel says "the couple are happy to announce that they have resolved this case, in a way that acknowledges Renate's need for privacy." "For her part, Renate acknowledges that Elton has acted in a dignified and respectful way towards her in the last 30 years and has been always happy to help her," according to the rep. John has also reacted to his his fallout with Rod Stewart in a new chapter of Me, which has been recently published. In 2018, Rod criticized Elton's decision to head out on his extensive "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" farewell tour, branding it "money-grabbing." John now writes that Stewart had a "f---ing cheek" lecturing him about "rock and roll." He wrote: "I certainly didn't feel like I needed a lecture on the feral spirit of rock and roll from someone who'd spent most of the last decade crooning his way through the Great American Songbook and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." - NME, 10/14/20...... Phil CollinsPhil Collins has issued a ceast and desist order to the Pres. Donald Trump re-election campaign over the use of Collins' iconic 1981 single "In The Air Tonight" at a Trump campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa on Oct. 14. Collins' reps confirmed in a statement to the Consequence of Sound website that have issued the order, following the likes of the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Linkin Park, the estate of Tom Petty and more in objecting to their music being used at Trump events. "Yes we are well aware of the Trump campaign's use of this song and we have already issued a 'cease and desist' letter via our lawyers who continue to monitor the situation," a rep for Collins said. Meanwhile, John Fogerty says he's issuing his own cease and desist order to the Trump campaign over use of the 1969 Creedence Clearwater Revival hit "Fortunate Son" at Trump rallies. Posting on Twitter on Oct. 16, Fogerty said: "He is using my words and my voice to portray a message that I do not endorse." Sharing the statement along with a photograph of himself in uniform, Fogerty explained that "Fortunate Son"' came about "because, as a veteran, I was disgusted that some people were allowed to be excluded from serving our country because they had access to political and financial privilege... I also wrote about wealthy people not paying their fair share of taxes. Mr. Trump is a prime example of both of these issues. "The fact that Mr. Trump also fans the flames of hatred, racism, and fear while rewriting ancient history, is even more reason to be troubled by his use of my song," he added. - NME, 10/17/20...... In related news, Bruce Springsteen told Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper on Oct. 15 that he's considering moving down under should Pres. Trump win a second term in the Nov. 3 election. "If Trump is re-elected -- which he will not be; I'm predicting right now he's gonna lose -- if by some happenstance he should be, I'll see you on the next plane [to Australia]," Springsteen told the paper. The New Jersey rocker has a long history of speaking out against Trump, having previously labelled him "a threat to our democracy" and criticizing his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, telling him to "put on a f---ing mask." Meanwhile, the first full trailer of Springsteen's new documentary, Bruce Springsteen's Letter To You, has been shared on YouTube. The Apple Original Films documentary is set to arrive on Apple TV+ on Oct. 23, coinciding with the release of Springsteen's new album with the E Street Band, also called Letter To You. Written by Springsteen and directed by his frequent collaborator Thom Zimny (Western Stars, The Gift: The Journey Of Johnny Cash, Springsteen On Broadway), the film is described as "a tribute to the E Street Band, to rock music itself and to the role it has played in Springsteen's life." - NME, 10/17/20...... Stevie WonderOn Oct. 13, Stevie Wonder shared two new songs, "Where Is Our Love Song" and "Can't Put It in The Hands Of Fate" on YouTube, and announced he was leaving Motown Records after nearly 60 years to start his own label, So What The Fuss Music to be distributed by Republic Records. "I had a great conversation with Monte Lipman, the (Republic) president, and I spoke with India.Arie, who had signed with Republic," said Wonder, who had been on the Motown roster for his entire career, first signing with them as an 11-year-old prodigy in 1961. "Even though I have left Motown, I never leave Motown. That's Detroit," Wonder said. "So I'm sure that we can figure out how we can do some things at Motown. Maybe I'll do my 'Gospel Inspired by Lula' with Motown. We'll work it out," he added, referring to a gospel project named after his late mother he announced in 2013. Of the two new tracks, he said of "Where Is Our Love Song": "It is a song that really I started working on when I was 18, not even knowing what the song was going to be about, but I had the melody. Then this year came all the confusion and all the hate and all the east versus west, left versus right... I'm watching all this and say, 'Hold up, how can you be talking about God and there be hate in your spirit?'." Of the latter track, 'Can't Put It In The Hands Of Fate', Wonder added: "I was thinking about where we are in the world. And I was thinking about how this is most crucial time. Not just Black people or people of color but young people everywhere are going, 'This is not acceptable.' Change is right now. We can't put it in the hands of fate. Ain't nobody got time to wait." - NME, 10/13/20...... Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has told the UK paper The Guardian that he hasn't read his former bandmate Chris Frantz new memoir Remain in Love. "Noooo," Byrne said when asked about the book, before adding: "I knew that if I read it I would get asked about it. So I've avoided it." In the memoir, Frantz documented the band's final meeting and said Byrne was so exasperated that the other members kept their cool when he announced their split, that he yelled: "You should be calling me an asshole." Byrne has dampened speculation about a Talking Heads reunion on many occasions -- in 2017, he said that the prospect of getting the band back together would "probably be [taking] quite a number of steps backwards." Meanwhile, it has been announced that Byrne's acclaimed "American Utopia" live show is set to return to Broadway in New York City in Sept. 2021. Byrne's stage show/rock spectacle is a live adaptation of the artist's 2018 solo album American Utopia, which one critic called "the best musical experience on the planet." A Spike Lee-directed HBO film release of American Utopia premiered on the premium cable channel in October after opening the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 10. - NME, 10/15/20...... Alice Cooper has shared a new video for his 1972 single "Elected" on YouTube. Cooper has also revamped his official website in time for Halloween, with slogans including: "I can do nothing as well as they can do nothing" and "I have absolutely no idea what to do." Alice is also offering up a host of new presidential merchandise including T-shirts, stickers, and pins that show the shock-rocker holding his own severed head, emblazoned with phrases such as, "A Sickman for a Sick Nation / Wild Party Forever." Cooper previously confirmed he has partnered with AirBnB for a new event where he will read scary stories to fans ahead of this year's Halloween. Spooky Story Time with Alice Cooper will take place on Oct. 21 at 4:00 pm PT (12:00 am BST). Cooper says that 100% of proceeds from the event, which costs around £80 per person, will go to childrens' charity North Star Reach. - NME, 10/15/20...... Rhonda FlemingActress Rhonda Fleming, whose long career embraced filmdom's Golden Age and the early days of television, died on Oct. 14 in Santa Monica, Calif. at age 97. No cause was given, but her death was confirmed by her secretary. Ms. Fleming was known as the "Queen of Technicolor" for her stunning red hair and green eyes, which lit up appearances in such films as Out of the Past and Spellbound. Overall, she appeared in more than 40 films, working with directors Alfed Hitchcock, Jacques Tourneur and Robert Siodmak, among other film greats. Her best-known films included the 1948 musical fantasy A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court with Bing Crosby, the 1957 Western Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and the noir Slightly Scarlet, alongside John Payne. The Hollywood-born actress was also the costar to some of Hollywood's biggest names, including four films with Ronald Reagan before he entered politics. She also worked with Glenn Ford, Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, Bob Hope, and Rock Hudson, among others. In television, Ms. Fleming guest-starred in Wagon Train, Police Woman, The Love Boat, was in a special of McMillan & Wife. Later in life, Ms. Fleming became a philanthropist, supporting Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., where she established the Rhonda Fleming Carlson Inspiration Garden in 2014. Ms. Fleming is survived by her son, Kent Lane, two granddaughters, and five great-grandchildren. -, 10/16/20.

Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020

Bruce Springsteen will be among the artists appearing in a 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame special, which premieres on Nov. 7 on HBO and HBO Max. The 2020 RRHOF ceremony was originally set to go ahead in May, though it was pushed back to November due to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, as a way to make sure the event could go ahead, the ceremony will be pre-recorded and air the same date as the induction. Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G. and T. Rex will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Other artists set to feature at the event are Miley Cyrus, St. Vincent, Dave Grohl, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Ringo Starr, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani and more. - NME, 10/9/20...... Alice CooperAlice Cooper has partnered with home rental website Airbnb for a new event where he will read scary stories to fans ahead of Halloween 2020. Spooky Story Time with Alice Cooper will take place on Oct. 21 at 4:00 pm PT (12:00 am BST). Speaking of the new event on Twitter, Cooper says he will "take my penchant for terror to the scariest place I know -- the internet." Inviting fans to "join me for a kid-friendly spooky story hour," Cooper added that "100% of proceeds from the event, which costs around £80 per person, will go to childrens' charity North Star Reach." Cooper added that the event will be "suitable for children ages 6+ with an appetite for fright." - NME, 10/10/20...... Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood participated in a Zoom interview with TikTok user Nathan Apodaca (@420doggface208) on Oct. 8 to thank him for making the Fleetwood Mac song "Dreams" a viral hit. "One, we owe you," Fleetwood told Apodaca, whose serene video of himself lip-syncing to the 1977 hit while while riding a skateboard and drinking straight from a bottle of cranberry juice has been viewed on TikTok over 34 million times. "It's such a great story, and it's so needed," Fleetwood continued. "In days that are really challenging... it makes people smile, and I'm so happy to be part of it. Congratulations on a wild, wild skateboard journey that has led us to talking today," Fleetwood concluded, before adding, "I hope Stevie [Nicks]'s watching. She's going to be overjoyed." Fleetwood also revealed how his own recreation of Apodaca's viral video came together, saying, "I was just led right into it. People around me were going like, 'Dad, you've got to do this, it's so cool.' So we did it, and now here we are, talking." In other Fleetwood Mac news, Stevie Nicks has shared her new single, "Show Them the Way," on YouTube. Nicks recently told the Associated Press that the song was inspired by a dream she had in 2008 where she played at a political benefit attended by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon, John Lewis, John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy. "Everything was timeless, even me/ I wasn't old, I wasn't young, I was just part of their dream/ A shadow walked with me down the hall, it was Martin Luther King," Nicks sings on the track, which features Dave Grohl on drums. A music video of "Show Them the Way" directed by Oscar-winning director Cameron Crowe will be released soon. Nicks will release a live album and concert film, 24 Karat Gold - Songs from the Vault, on vinyl, CD and to stream from Oct. 30 through BMG. The film will be screened in select cinemas for two nights only, on Oct. 21 and Oct. 25. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 10/9/20...... Gimme Some Truth: The Ultimate Mixes, a new John Lennon hits collection produced in collaboration with Lennon's widow Yoko Ono and John and Yoko's son Sean Lennon, could surpass Scottish group Travis's new LP 10 Songs to become the top selling album in the UK, according to the Official U.K. Singles and Albums Charts survey. On Oct. 12, Gimme Some Truth had risen to No. 3 on the midweek chart, just 364 combined sales behind the Travis album. Lennon has three No. 1's as a solo artist on the chart, and a whopping 16 with the Beatles, more than any act in Official Chart history. Gimme Some Truth: The Ultimate Mixes was executive produced by Yoko and produced by Sean, and contains 36 of Lennon's best-loved songs from his solo career. Sean Lennon recently told interviewer George Stroumboulopoulos on his Apple Music Hits show "STROMBO" that his dad returning his MBE to Queen Elizabeth II in 1966 was "maybe more punk than anything the punks did." "It was a big deal to return the Member of the British Empire thingamajig that he was given. To the Queen, that was very irreverent," Sean said. All four Beatles were given the honour in 1965, but Lennon returned his award a year later in protest against the Vietnam War and Britain's involvement in the conflict in Biafra. - Billboard/NME, 10/12/20...... Willie NelsonMeanwhile, country-pop music icon Willie Nelson and the band Promise of the Real lead by his sons Lukas and Micah Nelson, have paid tribute Lennon on what would have been his 80th birthday on Oct. 9 with a cover of Lennon's 1981 posthumous hit "Watching the Wheels." In the video tribute, which has been shared on YouTube, Lukas and Micah can be seen trading off lines in the first verse, while Willie takes the second: "Well they shake their heads and they look at me/ As if I've lost my mind/ I tell them there's no hurry/ I'm just sitting here doing time." - NME, 10/10/20...... In other Lennon news, John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life author Kenneth Womack says that if Lennon was still alive "he'd be giving Pres. Donald Trump hell." "I think in a lot of ways he would have been like David Bowie, very moved by the internet," Womack told the U.K. paper The Mirror. "He would be an influencer in that way... he'd be right there on Twitter giving Trump hell." Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, Liverpool's Cavern Club where the Beatles famously gigged before rising to international fame in the early 1960s, is among the venues which have received a lifeline from the U.K. government to survive the financial impact of coronavirus. The Cavern has been given £525,000 to fund the recording of performances from local musicians. They will be streamed online to provide employment opportunities for technical staff and artists from across Merseyside. - NME, 10/12/20...... Eddie Van Halen's brother and bandmate Alex Van Halen paid tribute to his younger brother Eddie, who died on Oct. 6 following a lengthy battle with cancer, with a touching message posted on Twitter on Oct. 8. "Hey Ed. Love you. See you on the other side. Your brother, Al," Alex posted, and accompanied the message with a cute black and white photo of the pair as young boys. Following Eddie's death, at the age of 65, Alex, 67, is the only member who has been with the band throughout its existence, and played on all 12 studio albums. Meanwhile, former VH frontman Sammy Hagar and former VH bassist Mike Anthony recorded a video tribute to Eddie during a recent public rehearsal of their band Sammy Hagar and the Circle on Catalina Island, Calif. During the show, Hagar invited the audience to take a moment of silence to remember Eddie, after which they launched into the anthemic "Right Now," a single from the 1991 album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. "I'll tell you, a Van Halen song never felt so hard to sing and play in my life," Hagar says in the clip, which has been shared on YouTube. "After the unfortunate thing that happened yesterday with Eddie Van Halen, for Mike and I, it was just like getting hit by a freaking Mack truck," Hagar shared. "Kind of took the wind out of the sails." The video is captioned by a comment from the two former VH rockers: "We love you Eddie. The music will live forever." - Billboard, 10/9/20...... David CrosbyIn related news, David Crosby is explaining a comment he made about Eddie Van Halen after the guitar god's death. On Oct. 10, a fan tweeted to Crosby asking his opinion of Eddie, to which Crosby replied with a one-word answer: "Meh & . ." Crosby's curt post drew backlash from Tracii Guns of the U.S. rock band L.A. Guns who called the remark "very disrespectful" and Dee Snider of Twisted Sister who said he "always hated [Crosby] AND his mustache." But Crosby doubled down on his comments when fans began to voice their ire. "Sorry & just meant he does not move me much," Crosby wrote in another tweet. On Oct. 12, Crosby added that "[Jimi] Hendrix changed the world of guitar. Nobody else really & look I get it ..many of you loved Van Halen & .and the one time I met he was nice & .and he was talented & meh to me means I don't care that much & .and I don't & doesn't mean he wasn't good, he was but not for me." - NME, 10/12/20...... Ozzy Osbourne's wife Sharon Osbourne has confirmed that Ozzy's twice-postponed tour has been rebooked for 2022. Osbourne's 'No More Tours II' tour was first announced in Nov. 2017, and a number of dates throughout 2018 were completed. However, a run of U.K. dates have been delayed twice. The first postponement was due to Ozzy's ill health, and second due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ozzy and Sharon appeared on Planet Rock Radio on Oct. 11 and were asked about the difficulties of booking venues for shows after the pandemic has subsided. "Everybody's booking their tours again for like 2022, and to find availabilities right now, it's crazy," Sharon said. "Agents and facilities are going nuts, trying to get everybody back. It will be exciting. I think it will be a very exciting time when bands do go back and it'll be joyous." She then confirmed: "Ozzy's tour has been rebooked. The British tour, he'll be back in '22. You know, we just carry on as normal. We've been doing loads of TV shows here and you've got to just keep going until Ozzy can go back live." - NME, 10/12/20...... Elton John unveiled a previously unreleased song, "Regimental Sgt. Zippo," on YouTube on Oct. 12. John recorded the psychedelic track back in 1968, with lyrics from his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin. Posting on Twitter, Elton said the song was originally intended "to be the title track of his unreleased debut album in 1969" and "can be found on my upcoming 'Jewel Box'!" Jewel Box, due Nov. 13 from UMC/EMI, will feature 60 unreleased tracks, including rarities and B-sides. "To delve back through every period of my career in such detail for 'Jewel Box' has been an absolute pleasure," Elton said in September as he announced the release. "Hearing these long lost tracks again, I find it hard to comprehend just how prolific Bernie [Taupin] and I were during the early days." - NME, 10/12/20...... John LydonFormer The Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten) has told the U.K.'s The Observer paper that he plans on voting for Pres. Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election because he feels Trump's Democratic challenger, former Vice-President Joe Biden, is "incapable" of leading America. Lydon, who previously backed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, said he supports Trump because of the economy. "I'd be daft as a brush not to," Lydon said. "He's the only sensible choice now that Biden is up -- he's incapable of being the man at the helm." According to the article, Lydon started supporting the US president after Trump was accused of racism. "I've been accused of the very same thing, so I'm offended for anybody who's called that," he explained. In 2008, Lydon and his entourage were involved in a backstage altercation with Kele Okereke, after the Bloc Party frontman asked Lydon at Spain's Summercase festival if he would ever consider reforming Public Image Ltd. It was alleged that Lydon responded with a racist tirade including the statement, "Your problem is your black attitude," followed by what Okereke called an "unprovoked racist attack" that resulted in him suffering severe facial bruising, cuts to his face and body and a split lip. He later referred to Lydon as "the devil in my eyes." - NME, 10/11/20...... Queen + Adam Lambert recently landed their first U.K. No. 1 album together after their new live collection Live Around the World was released on Oct. 2. Live Around the World secured the top spot on the Official Albums Chart with the most CD and download sales for the first week of October following a late challenge from K-pop girl group, Blackpink. Live Around The World is Queen's 10th No. 1 album in the U.K., and first for almost 25 years since Made in Heaven in Nov. 1995, the group's final studio album featuring the last recorded vocals from Freddie Mercury. It also marks nearly 45 years since the band's very first No. 1 album A Night at the Opera in Dec. 1975. "Thank you folks for making us Number 1 after all these years. So Queen + Adam Lambert's very first release is Number 1... amazing. God bless you all," Queen guitarist Brian May said in a video shared on YouTube. -, 10/9/20...... A new remix of David Bowie's 1970 song "The Man Who Sold the World" has been shared on by longtime Bowie producer Tony Visconti. Visconti's "2020 remix" is lifted from the forthcoming Man Who Sold the World 50th anniversary reissue Metrobolist (the album's original title) which drops on Nov. 6. Visconti has remixed the entire album, which will also be released as a limited edition, numbered gold and white vinyl LP, for the new project. - NME, 10/9/10...... MotorheadMotörhead have announced they're launching a new podcast to mark the 40th anniversary of their 1980 LP, Ace of Spades. "The Motörcast" lands on streaming platforms in mid-October, detailing the "warts and all stories of life on the road, behind the scenes, in the studio and more importantly, down the pub," according to a preview posted on Subsequent instalments of "The Motörcast" will arrive every two weeks. Motörhead's forthcoming Ace Of Spades reissue, meanwhile, hits stores on Oct. 30 and will boast a previously unheard show from the "Ace Up Your Sleeve" tour, the story of the album, previously unseen photos and 42 unreleased tracks. - NME, 10/8/20...... Major League Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Whitey Ford, who finished his career with a record of 236-106, setting the franchise mark for most-ever wins by a New York Yankee, died on Oct. 9 at the age of 91, the team has announced. During his tenure as a Yankee, Mr. Ford helped lead New York to 11 American League pennants and six World Series titles. His 10 World Series victories still stand as a Major League Baseball record, and his .690 career winning percentage is the highest among pitchers with at least 300 career decisions. Mr. Ford earned his "Chairman of the Board" nickname in part for his role as a reliable ace for one of the most successful teams of its time. A left-handed hurler who pitched from 1950 through 1967, Mr. Ford captured the 1961 Cy Young Award, and was a 10-time All-Star and 1974 MLB Hall of Fame inductee. "Whitey loved the Hall of Fame, Cooperstown and the legacy that he and his teammates built during the game's golden era," said National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Jane Forbes Clark in a statement. "We extend our deepest condolences to his family and we will celebrate his life in Cooperstown forever." -, 10/9/20...... Tom Kennedy, best known for hosting such TV game shows as You Don't Say! and Name That Tune, died on Oct. 7 in Oxnard, Calif. He was 93. Born in Louisville, Ky., on Feb. 26, 1927, Mr. Kennedy began hosting game shows as they rose to popularity in the '50s. He went on to host various game shows for nearly three decades, with his biggest successes being You Don't Say!" on NBC from 1963 to 1969, Split Second from 1972 to 1975, Name That Tune from 1974 to 1981 and Password Plus from 1980 to 1982. His other hosting credits include The Big Game, Dr. I.Q., It's Your Bet, Break the Bank, 50 Grand Slam, To Say the Least, Whew! and Body Language (1984-86). Mr. Kennedy also hosted a nighttime, syndicated edition of The Price Is Right from 1985 to 1986, and briefly had his own talk show, The Real Tom Kennedy Show. Mr. Kennedy retired in 1989. In 2005, Mr. Kennedy and his brother, Narz, both received the Game Show Congress' Bill Cullen award for lifetime achievement. He is survived by his three children and a daughter-in-law. -, 10/8/20.

Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020

AC/DC released their comeback single "Shot In The Dark" on Oct. 7 after teasing new material for the past few weeks. Previewed last week in the form of a short video clip, the track is taken from the recently reunited band's upcoming new album POWER UP, which will be released on Nov. 13. Describing "Shot In The Dark," guitarist Angus Young said, "It's a strong single from a powerful rock album. You'll be able to hear it and know straight away that it's AC/DC. That's what we've always strived for." On AC/DC's return, Young added: "We got together in 2018 and we worked on a lot of ideas that Malcolm [Young] and me had done through the years." Power Up welcomes the return of British singer Brian Johnson, who stepped aside in 2016 on doctor's orders due to hearing-loss issues, and sees drummer Phil Rudd reunite with the group after a stint in rehab. The band has shared their "Shot In The Dark" single for streaming on YouTube. - NME, 10/7/20...... Eddie Van HalenReaction continues to the untimely death of iconic rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen on Oct. 6 at age 65. Van Halen's widow, Janie Liszewski, shared an emotional tribute to her late husband on Instagram on Oct. 7, writing "My husband, my love, my Peep, my heat and soul have been shattered into a million pieces... Our journey together has not always been an easy one but in the end and always we have a connection and love that will always be.... I will see you again soon in a place with no pain or sorrow. Please watch over Kody and I. We love you and miss you so very much." Eddie's brother Alex Van Halen, who cofounded with Eddie the band that bears their names, posted a brief but heartfelt tribute to his younger brother on the morning of Oct. 8. "Hey Ed. Love you. See you on the other side. Your brother, Al," reads the simple post, accompanied by a touching black and white photo of the pair as young boys. On Howard Stern's SiriusXM radio show on Oct. 7, Stern read a statement from former Van Halen vocalist Sammy Hagar who said that he and Eddie had quietly reconciled earlier in 2020, just months before the legendary guitarist's death. "I would love you to share that Eddie and I had been texting and it's been a love fest since we started communicating earlier this year," Hagar said in the statement. "We both agreed not to tell anyone because of all the rumors it would stir up about a reunion, et cetera, and we both knew that wasn't going to happen. He also didn't want anyone to know about his health. He stopped responding to me a month ago and I figured it wasn't good. I reached out to him one more time last week and, when he didn't respond, I figured it was a matter of time. But it came way too soon." Howard Stern's Eddie Van Halen tribute can be viewed on YouTube. Meanwhile, the sales of the Van Halen band's albums and songs have spiked by 6,198% after Eddie's death. Van Halen's collected albums and songs sold 40,000 copies on Oct. 6 -- up 6,198% compared to just under 1,000 sold on Oct. 5, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. The act's album catalog sold 9,000 copies on Oct. 6 (up by 5,835% compared to a negligible sum on Oct. 5). The act's top-selling album on Oct. 6 was its self-titled 1978 debut, with 2,000 sold. Van Halen's top 10 biggest-selling songs on Oct. 6 were: "Jump" (3,000) (the band's only No. 1 of its 16 Top 40 hits), "Panama" (2,000), "Eruption" (2,000), "Runnin' With the Devil" (2,000), "You Really Got Me" (2,000), "Dance the Night Away" (1,000), "Why Can't This Be Love" (1,000), "Hot for Teacher" (1,000), "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" (1,000) and "Jamie's Cryin'" (1,000). - New Musical Express/, 9/8/20...... John LennonBeatles legend Paul McCartney and actor Alec Baldwin have announced they'll be taking over SiriusXM radio's The Beatles Channel on Oct. 9 to celebrate the life of John Lennon, who would've turned 80 that day. Macca and Balwin's exclusive programming will begin airing at 11:00 a.m. EDT and run throughout the weekend and next week, featuring Sir Paul reflecting on his bandmate and friend in conversation with Baldwin and John's son Sean Ono Lennon guest deejaying with his favorite songs by his dad (both from his solo discography and with the Beatles) while remembering his favorite childhood memories. Snippets of McCartney and Baldwin's conversation have been shared on YouTube. Other musical guests include Peter Asher, host of The Beatles Channel's show Peter Asher: From Me to You who will explore the connection between Lennon and iconic author Lewis Carroll, and Laura Cantrell, the host of the George Harrison-dedicated show Dark Horse Radio, who will explore the relationship between Harrison and Lennon. Lennon's 80th birthday special will air Friday at 11 a.m. ET, 4 p.m. ET and 9 p.m. ET on channel 18 on SiriusXM radio and on the SiriusXM app. The program will re-run multiple times throughout the weekend and next week and be available On Demand from the SiriusXM app. Meanwhile, a new pop-up TV channel is being launched in the U.K. to mark what would have been Lennon's 80th birthday. Sky, Virgin and Freeview will broadcast LENNON80 on Oct. 9 in honour of John, which will include a mix of old footage and new content. Among the programmes airing on the channel will be the famous documentary Bed Peace, which follows Lennon and Yoko Ono's famous "Bed-In for Peace" protest in 1969, as well as appearances on Parkinson in 1971 and The Dick Cavett Show in 1971 and 1972. LENNON80 will be available until Oct. 15. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 10/7/20...... In other Lennon-related news, the estate of late 1980s pop superstar George Michael have loaned John's "Imagine" piano to the Strawberry Field exhibition in Liverpool so it can go on public display. John's Steinway piano, which he wrote and recorded his 1971 song "Imagine" on, was bought by Michael at auction for £1.45 million back Oct. 2000. Michael later toured the piano around the world "as a symbol of peace" and used it during the recording of his song "Patience." Speaking to reporters at the time of the auction purchase, Michael said that "it's not the type of thing that should be in storage somewhere or being protected, it should be seen by people." In a statement, the Michael estate said, "We know that the piano will be a source of hope and inspiration to all who come to see it... not only during these difficult times but for many years to come, in the same way that it inspired George [after] he bought it some 20 years ago." All funds raised by paying visitors to the exhibition will be used to help The Salvation Army change the lives of young people with learning difficulties. Meanwhile, leading Beatles scholar Kenneth Womack who has just released his new book John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life says he believes he has discovered the baseball film that inspired John's beautiful song "Grow Old With Me." The song was released a month before the legendary artist was shot dead in December 1980, and it was known to have been influenced by a film about baseball that Lennon saw during a visit to Bermuda earlier that year. In an interview with The Observer, Womack said he had watched dozens of films before realising that the key inspiration was A Love Affair: The Eleanor And Lou Gehrig Story, a 1978 movie about a baseball player who died after battling a rare nervous system disorder. "I wanted to know what film had inspired him to compose such a beautiful song," Womack explained. "For John, the use of such 'found objects' in life and art was essential to his composition practices." After watching dozens in search of the mysterious film in question, I began to study TV guides from that period. John was a regular subscriber." Upon realising A Love Affair had been screened at the time Lennon was staying in Bermuda, Womack made the connection, concluding: "The mystery, quite suddenly, was solved." - NME, 10/7/20...... Led Zeppelin have defeated the copyright challenge against their 1971 song "Stairway to Heaven" for the third time after the US Supreme Court declined to hear the case on Oct. 6. The decision of the US Supreme Court upholds a March 2020 ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. This is the last option for legal appeal in its current form in the US Courts system. Michael Skidmore, a trustee for the estate of Spirit guitarist Randy California, first filed a lawsuit against the legendary British rock band in 2014, claiming "Stairway To Heaven" had violated the copyright of Spirit's 1968 track "Taurus." However, a judge ruled in favor of Led Zeppelin in July 2016. A new trial was later ordered by the US appeals court in Sept. 2018. Skidmore relaunched his legal campaign in August via a new petition on Law360, claiming "Our circuit is the most hostile to copyright owners of all the circuits." In other Zeppelin news, the band announced a special, limited edition Japanese version vinyl reissue of their 1970 single "Immigrant Song" to mark the 50th anniversary of the release of their album Led Zeppelin III. The single will also include the non-album track "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do" and will be presented in a sleeve that replicates the original artwork. The reissue is limited to just 19,700 copies. Set for release on Jan. 15, 2021, the single can be pre-ordered now. - NME, 10/6/20...... Rod StewartAppearing on Chris Evans' "How to Wow" podcast, Rod Stewart said he fears that "we've spoiled the Earth" and that "it's too late to turn back now." While discussing the coronavirus pandemic with Evans, Stewart said that he thinks "the good Lord is intent on wiping us all out, because we've spoiled the Earth." "We've spoiled it. I think it's too late to turn back now. I think global warming is going to spoil the Earth. We're literally... I believe we're too late." Rod also criticized U.S. Pres. Donald Trump -- calling him "that prick in the White House" -- for withdrawing the US from the Paris Agreement in 2017, branding the decision as "terrible." Elsewhere in the interview, Stewart spoke about his ongoing feud with Elton John by claiming that the latter had turned down his offer to end their row. "We don't talk to each other anymore. Big falling out," Stewart explained. "Last time I emailed him I said, 'I've got this football pitch, would you like the boys to come up?' You know, 'cause they both love football." His invite included Elton's two sons -- Zachary and Elijah -- who he shares with husband David Furnish, but he alleges John didn't reply to his email. The two singers fell out in 2019 after Stewart criticized John's decision to head out on an extensive farewell world tour, as well as poking fun at his Rocketman biopic by saying that it wasn't "very flattering." - NME, 10/7/20...... Bruce Springsteen has announced he will premiere his new documentary, Bruce Springsteen's Letter To You, on Oct. 23 on Apple TV+. The Apple Original Films documentary will coincide with the release of Springsteen's new album with The E Street Band, Letter to You. According to a press release, "fans around the world will get a behind-the-scenes look at the iconic artist's creative process." The documentary captures the New Jersey rocker recording Letter To You live with the full E Street Band, and includes final take performances of 10 originals from the new record. A teaser trailer for Letter To You has been shared on YouTube. - NME, 10/5/20...... Van Morrison announced a string of new UK dates on Oct. 5. The Irish crooner, who has recently attracted criticism for his opinions on the coronavirus crisis, has already held gigs at Camden's Electric Ballroom in September. With four shows at London's Palladium venue already scheduled for mid-November, Morrison will now play two more gigs at London's PowerHaus (formerly known as Dingwalls) on Nov. 7 and 8. 150 tickets are set to be sold for each date, with strict social distancing rules in place. - NME, 10/5/20...... In a new interview with the Canadian radio station K-97, KISS singer/bassist Gene Simmons said he wants people to stop complaining about being in lockdown during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic .Simmons said he doesn't think it's that hard to just stay at home, especially in comparison to a time that saw his mother live through World War II. "Right now, the pandemic is not fun," Simmons said. "It is devastating for families who've lost loved ones. A million people are dead around the world -- two hundred thousand dead in America, and many, many fewer -- thank God -- in Canada, because you're more sane and more, sort of, non-political about it. But as you can tell, in America, there are areas where certain segments of the population see health and wearing a mask, or not wearing a mask, as political, and that's a shame. It just makes sense." He continued: "In either case, the perspective is my mother lived through World War II. My mother was a victim of the concentration camps of Nazi Germany when she was 14 years old. My mother survived. The rest of our family were wiped out, and you don't wanna get into that." Elsewhere in the interview, Simmons criticized those choosing not to wear a mask during the pandemic. "Wear a goddamn mask. It's not about you; it's about the rest of us," he said. - NME, 10/3/20...... Elvis CostelloElvis Costello and The Attractions will release a new box set of their classic 1979 album Armed Forces on Nov. 6. The release will include demos, B-sides and seven notebooks with new linear notes from Costello. It also includes handwritten lyrics, rare photos and nine pieces of vinyl. The demos and B-sides collection included in the collection is called "Sketches for Emotional Fascism." The band has shared a new video about the collection on YouTube. - NME, 10/3/20...... Mick Jagger has been named the fifth most dangerous celebrity to search for online. According to cyber-security firm McAfee, the Rolling Stones frontman joins the likes of actor Idris Elba and comic Ricky Gervais as the most likely names to send you down an online rabbit hole that could put you at risk of malware and viruses. TV host Graham Norton came top in this year's poll, closely followed by Gervais and actor Tom Hardy. Jagger took the fifth spot, with the rest of the list featuring the likes of Elba, Ruth Jones, Margot Robbie, Kate Moss, Bella Hadid and Mary Berry. "It's no/ surprise that/ we've seen one of the UK's most-loved national treasures topping the list, with hackers exploiting his popularity," said Raj Samani of McAffee. "Consumers are searching the web for free online entertainment now more than ever." - NME, 10/6/20...... In other Rolling Stones-related news, guitarist Ronnie Wood has told the "Tea with Twiggy" podcast that he's ditched drugs and booze in favor of coffee and knitting. To keep himself occupied between tours, Wood said he keeps up his long-term hobby of painting and he's also taken up knitting as it reminds him of his mum, who passed away back in 2005. "I do knit. I used to hold the spool of wool for my mum. She taught me the plain stitch and I still do it today. I knit endless scarves now," he said. Although he's embraced clean living, the music legend does allow himself one stimulant -- regular cups of coffee. "I'm an espresso man but that is an old leftover habit from rehab. I couldn't do anything else so coffee was the thing. I hope I am a living, walking example of coffee being good for you because I drink enough of the stuff," he added. - WENN/, 10/6/20...... Legendary reggae producer Bunny Lee has died at the age of 79, it has been confirmed. The producer, whose real name was Edward O'Sullivan Lee, played an integral role in the introduction of the genre to the UK in the 1970s after securing a licensing deal with Trojan Records. Announcing Lee's passing, Jamaican broadcaster Clinton Lindsay said that the producer had been "battling kidney problems" for several months. His exact cause of death has yet to be confirmed. He also played an instrumental role in producing early dub music, working with close friend King Tubby in the early 1970s. Paying tribute, journalist Nadine White wrote: "Bunny 'Striker' Lee has died. He was one of the most influential producers in the history of reggae music. The original Don 'Gorgon'. This is such sad news! The world owes this man a great deal." - NME, 10/7/20.

Johnny NashAmerican reggae-pop musician and actor Johnny Nash, best known for his 1972 No. 1 reggae-influenced hit "I Can See Clearly Now", died on Oct 6 of natural causes, his son John Nash II confirmed to celebrity website TMZ and a Los Angeles TV station. He was 80. "He was a wonderful father and family man. He loved people and the world. He will be missed within his community. Family was his everything," Nash's son told Nash also told the CBSLA television station that his father died at his home. Born John Lester "Johnny" Nash, Jr. in Houston, Tex., on Aug. 19, 1940, Mr. Nash began releasing music in the late '50s, making his major label debut with the 1957 song "A Teenager Sings the Blues." He appeared on local TV from age 13, and was with Arthur Godfrey's TV/radio show from 1956-63. In 1959, he was cast in the film Take a Giant Step. He moved to Jamaica in the mid-1960s where he was influenced by reggae music, and began his recording career. Mr. Nash also scored hits with "Hold Me Tight" in 1968 (#5) and with his version of Bob Marley's "Stir It Up" and "There are More Questions Than Answers." Johnny NashAccording to his official website, Mr. Nash helped the late Marley sign a recording contract, and was also notably the first non-Jamaican to record reggae music in Kingston, Jamaica. Mr. Nash also sang the theme song for the Canadian-American animated series The Mighty Hercules, which ran from 1963-66. Upon the release of "I Can See Clearly Now" -- largely called a comeback song at the time -- the infectious hit sat at Number One for four weeks in the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and became a hit in Canada, the U.K. and South Africa. The song made a return to the Billboard charts in 1993, when it was recorded by Jamaican singer Jimmy Cliff for the soundtrack for the film Cool Runnings, about the Jamaican Olympic bobsled team. Mr. Nash's last studio album, Here Again, was released in 1986. More recently, Mr. Nash had begun working on the transfer of old analogue tapes of his music from the 1970s and 1980s into a new digital format. As well as his son, Mr. Nash is survived by his wife, Carli. - Reuters/New Musical Express, 10/7/20.

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020

Eddie Van HalenGuitar legend and Van Halen leader Eddie Van Halen, whose hard-rocking band emerged from L.A.'s Sunset Strip music scene in the early Seventies to reign as one of the top rock acts for over four decades, died on Oct. 6 after a battle with throat cancer at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif., with his current wife, Janie, by his side. He was 65. "I can't believe I'm having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning," Eddie and his former wife Valerie Bertinelli's son Wolfgang Van Halen posted on Twitter. "He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift," Wolfgang added. Eddie's death comes just months after Wolfgang offered hope that his dad may one day tour again with the band, and before original VH vocalist David Lee Roth claimed earlier in 2020 that Eddie "was not doing very well." The health of the hospitalized Van Halen, who had been battling cancer over the past decade and had been in and out of the hospital over the past year, reportedly went quickly downhill in the final 72 hours after doctors discovered that his throat cancer had spread to his brain and other organs. In previous interviews, Eddie had said he believed he developed throat cancer from frequent holding a metal guitar pick in his mouth more than 20 years ago, however he was also a heavy smoker. Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands on Jan. 26, 1955, Eddie studied classical piano after moving to the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena with his family in the 1960s. After switching to guitar, he and his older brother, Alex Van Halen, who took up the drums, formed bands that would eventually become Van Halen in 1972, with lead singer Roth and bassist Michael Anthony. Eddie Van HalenFeaturing Eddie's explosive riffs and solos, VH quickly became a staple of Sunset Strip clubs such as Gazzari's and the Whisky a Go Go before releasing their eponymous debut album in 1978. Van Halen climbed to No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart and became one of the most successful rock debuts of the decade, followed by a string of top-selling albums that would make VH one of the biggest rock acts of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Known for his two-handed tapping technique on the strings, Van Halen earned a place along such guitar virtuosos as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page as one of rock's most celebrated guitarists. Roth, who often clashed with the Van Halen brothers, split from the band in the mid-Eighties and was replaced for a decade by Sammy Hagar, who once sang lead with the '70s hard rock band Montrose, an influence on Eddie's group. Wolfgang Van Halen became the band's bassist in 2006 and the original VH lineup, with Wolfgang replacing Michael Anthony on bass, reunited in 2007 for a tour and, four years later, an album. VH's run included a dozen studio albums during their on-and-off reunions, and they added synthesizers to the mix for hits such as "Jump" and "I'll Wait." Eddie also played the solo on Michael Jackson's 1982 hit "Beat It" and made guest contributions to albums by Hagar, Queen's Brian May, Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters, LL Cool J and David Garfield. Eddie Van HalenA perpetual winner of guitar polls -- he was voted the No. 1 guitarist of all time by readers of Guitar World magazine in 2012 -- Eddie and Van Halen were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, though Eddie did not attend the ceremony. VH also won a Grammy Award for "Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal" in 1992. The group has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide -- the last of which, A Different Kind of Truth, came out in 2012, with Tokyo Dome Live in Concert following three years later. Eddie was married twice -- to actress Valerie Bertinelli from 1981 to 2007, and married current wife Jane Liszewski in 2008. Eddie's fellow superstar musicians and fans were quick to salute his memory on social media, including Sammy Hagar, who shared a photo of himself and the late guitarist on Instagram and added the caption: "Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family." Others paying tribute include Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Lenny Kravitz, Nikki Sixx, Brian Wilson, Joe Elliott, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Billy Idol, Kenny Chesney and Pete Townshend. Valerie Bertinelli, who was married to Eddie from 1981 to 2007, has yet to directly comment on the guitar great's death, but she did repost Wolfgang's tribute to his father, which confirmed his passing, on her social media pages, and added a string of broken heart emojis. Memorial arrangements for Van Halen are pending. - Reuters/Billboard/New Musical Express, 10/6/20.

Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020

Eric Clapton has come out in support of Van Morrison's campaign to dispute the way the British government has handled the coronavirus pandemic and the impact on the music industry. In September, Morrison played three concerts at The London Palladium to show how they can proceed safely, and he also released the first of three new anti-lockdown songs, "Born To Be Free," to be followed by "As I Walked Out" on Oct. 9 and "No More Lockdown" on Oct. 23. Now Morrison has received the support of not only his fans but the 75-year-old "Layla" hitmaker, who is concerned that unless the UK government acts quickly enough and supports the industry, "live music might never recover." "It is deeply upsetting to see how few gigs are going ahead because of the lockdown restrictions," Clapton says. "There are many of us who support Van and his endeavours to save live music, he is an inspiration! We must stand up and be counted because we need to find a way out of this mess. The alternative is not worth thinking about. Live music might never recover." Live music was banned in the UK when lockdown was introduced in March, although it has been possible for indoor live music performances to take place with socially distanced audiences since Aug. 1. -, 9/30/20...... Fleetwood MacFleetwood Mac's 1977 chart-topper "Dreams" has nearly doubled in streams and experienced another spike in sales and streams thanks to a viral video posted in the last week of September. The TikTok video posted by user @420doggface208 and soundtracked with "Dreams," which can also be viewed on YouTube, shows a middle-aged man in a hoodie seemingly being pulled on a skateboard, as he swigs from a bottle of Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice and occasionally sings along with Stevie Nicks' lead vocal. The clip's vibe of melancholy chill seemed to capture hearts across the Internet, and inspired a massive hike in "Dreams" consumption in the days following its spread. For the three-day period of Sept. 25 - Sept. 27, "Dreams" racked up 2.9 million on-demand U.S. streams and 3000 in digital download sales -- numbers up 88.7% and 374%, respectively, from their totals in the prior three-day periods, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. "Dreams," the band's only No. 1 US hit, previously enjoyed gains in 2018 when a meme of Alcorn State University's Golden Girls dance team grooving to "Dreams" took off on Twitter. "Dreams" has also been a regular presence on the Billboard charts in recent years and remains one of the most consumed rock songs in America on a regular basis. - Billboard, 9/30/20...... In other Fleetwood Mac-related news, Stevie Nicks has revealed she contacted her former bandmate and ex-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham after he suffered a heart attack in 2019. Nicks, who released a new solo song on Oct. 9 called "Show Them The Way," told the Los Angeles Times she urged Buckingham to look after himself with a message in the year following Buckingham's firing from the legendary folk/blues rock group. "You better take care of yourself. You better take it easy and you better do everything they tell you and get your voice back and feel the grace that you have made it through this," she recalled. Nicks added that she "never planned for Buckingham to leave the band and was disappointed when it happened." "Any time we re-formed to do a tour or a record, I always walked in with hope in my heart. And I just was so disappointed. I felt like all the wind had gone out of my sails," she said. "Show Them The Way," meanwhile, has arrived a few weeks before Nicks' previously announced 24 Karat Gold - Songs from the Vault live album and concert film, which drops on Oct. 9. The film is set to play in select cinemas on Oct. 21 and Oct. 25, and is to be followed by a recorded version on Oct. 30. Nicks says the new single was inspired by a dream she had about late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King. Meanwhile, Nicks has finally inked a deal to bring her long-awaited Rhiannon mini-series to screens, and she would like pop singer Harry Styles for a starring role. The mini-series, she says, will feature 10 unreleased songs written by her, with One Direction star Styles "definitely in the running" to star in the show. "I'm going, 'Harry, you cannot age one day. You have to stay exactly as you are. I've already sold him on it," she laughed. Nicks and Styles are close pals -- he invited the rocker and a group of her pals to his home for a playback of his second album Fine Line ahead of its release, and she later joined him onstage at The Forum in Los Angeles for his Fine Line album release show. Nicks has had hopes of making a movie about the Celtic deity Rhiannon ever since a fan sent her four novels on the folklore following the release of her 1975 classic hit, "Rhiannon." - New Musical Express/, 9/30/20...... AC DCAfter many weeks of teasing a comeback with "PWR UP" teasers on their social media channels, in newspaper ads and on posters, AC/DC confirmed with an announcement on Twitter on Sept. 30 that they're officially reuniting. "ARE YOU READY? #PWRUP," the band tweeted, revealing its line-up consisting of lead guitarist Angus Young, vocalist Brian Johnson, drummer Phil Rudd, bassist Cliff Williams and rhythm guitarist Stevie Young. Brian Johnson gave up touring with the veteran rock outfit back in 2016 due to hearing loss, and was replaced by Guns N' Roses' Axl Rose. Phil Rudd, meanwhile, exited the band's 2015 "Rock or Bust World Tour" after being found guilty of drug possession and threatening to kill in a New Zealand murder plot case. The band's last studio LP, Rock or Bust, was released in Nov. 2014 and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 200. The Aussie rockers have also shared a new teaser of their comeback single, "Shot in the Dark" on Twitter. The 30-second clip is accompanied by images of each member of the band bathed in red light and is soundtracked by the new song, which contains the lyrics: "A shot in the dark / Make it feel alright." - Billboard/NME, 9/30/20...... The estate of Jimi Hendrix has released a new preview for the forthcoming Hendrix documentary Music, Money, Madness & Jimi Hendrix in Maui. The film is set to include footage of the late guitar god's outdoor concert at foot of the Haleakala volcano in Maui, including a performance of "Foxey Lady," which has been shared on YouTube. As seen in the clip, Hendrix forgets some of the words to the song, compensating with some of his signature tricks like playing with his teeth. Technical difficulties during the performance meant drummer Mitch Mitchell had to overdub his tracks in 1971 at Electric Lady Studios, the year after Hendrix death. Music, Money, Madness & Jimi Hendrix in Maui is a new insight into the making of Hendrix's semi-fictional Rainbow Bridge film and his 1970 show in Hawaii. Rainbow Bridge,, which was panned by most critics, focused on the travels of a model from New York to Hawaii. Clips from Hendrix's show at Haleakala appeared in the film, but most of the footage is previously unreleased. The film and a 3-disc soundtrack will be released on Nov. 20. - NME, 10/3/20...... Joni Mitchell has shared a second sample off her forthcoming archival album Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963 -- 1967), her first original demo, "Day After Day," on YouTube. Mitchell made the demo tape on Aug. 24, 1965 for Elektra Records co-founder Jac Holzman during a session that also produced "Let It Be Me," "Like the Lonely Swallow," "The Student Song" and "What Will You Give Me." "I didn't know whether it was a good song or a bad song. It was just the first one that came out," Mitchell said in a press release. "Day After Day" follows the release of Mitchell's earliest known recording, a cover of "House of the Rising Sun" recorded in 1963 at the Saskatoon radio station CFQC AM. Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963 -- 1967) will drop on Oct. 30. The compilation is comprised of recordings prior to the release of her 1968 debut album, Song to a Seagull. - NME, 10/2/20...... The British virtual cartoon band Gorillaz released the latest episode in their "Song Machine" series on Oct. 1, a collaboration with Elton John and 6lack. Ahead of releasing their Song Machine: Season One album on Oct. 23, Gorillaz have shared "The Pink Phantom" on YouTube, featuring a fetching cartoon version of Elton. John has said Gorillaz member Damon Albarn "reached out and asked me to do something and the way the song has turned out is just great. "I was in the studio in London and he was at the other end in Devon, but even remotely it was such an engaging and creative process... I've always been a Gorillaz fan anyway, so when he asked me to do a Gorillaz track, it was a no brainer. I'm so very, very happy that that's come about," he added. - NME, 10/1/20...... Streaming giant Netflix announced on Sept. 29 that they are planning a new holiday film starring Dolly Parton titled Christmas on the Square. Parton will contribute 14 original songs to the project, which will also star Christine Baranski, Jenifer Lewis, Treat Williams, Jeanine Mason and Josh Segarra. The film is set for a worldwide release on Nov. 22. The official synopsis for Christmas on the Square reads: "Regina Fuller (Baranski), a wealthy and unpleasant woman, returns to her small hometown in the wake of her father's death to evict everyone right before the holiday season. Following an encounter with an angel (Parton), a rekindling of an old romance and stories from the local community, she has a change of heart." The title song of the film has been shared on YouTube. - NME, 9/30/20...... Spinal TapA virtual reunion of the legendary heavy metal "mockumentary" band Spinal Tap will take place in October, with This Is Spinal Tap stars Harry Shearer, Michael McKean and Christopher Guest reprising their roles and director Rob Reiner also participating. Hosted by comedian Patton Oswalt, the event will act as a fundraiser for Pennysylvania Democrats ahead of November's presidential election." Every dollar raised goes directly towards ending Trumpism by winning Pennsylvania," an official invite posted on Reiner's Twitter page states. Citing one of the film's most memorable scenes, Democratic Party operative Jason Henry told The Hollywood Reporter that "Democratic enthusiasm in Pennsylvania is already 'turned up to eleven' -- we're the Keystone State and the key to winning this election. We're excited to partner with the Spinal Tap team to bring even more energy to power Democratic wins from the State House to the White House." The virtual Spinal Tap Dem fundraiser will take place on Oct. 14. - NME, 10/2/20...... Yoko Ono filed a copyright infringement suit against her late husband John Lennon's former aide Fred Seaman on Oct. 1, alleging Seaman violated a court order by sitting down for a 23-minute interview on Sept. 10 to discuss topics which are legally prohibited, like his work with John and Yoko, the Beatles star's assassination, and Seaman's 1991 book, The Last Days of John Lennon. Yoko says that during the interview Seaman discussed his intention to revise the book and reissue an extended version of it, which she says would "willfully and intentionally violate" the injunction she got against him in 2002. Ono, 87, also took issue with the fact that Seaman was "flanked by Lennon memorabilia" for the interview. In 2002, a court ordered Seaman to stop using John and Yoko's family photos to profit from his legacy and he even apologized to her in open court. Yoko is asking for at least $150,000 (£116,000) and other damages, as well as an order stopping Seaman from talking about her and her family. -, 10/2/20...... In other Lennon-related news, Elton John revealed to John and Yoko's son Sean Ono Lennon during Sean's new BBC Radio 2 series that his dad was "physically sick from nerves" before performing with him at a 1974 show in New York s Madison Square Garden after the Beatle lost a bet with John. "He was terrified," Elton told Sean. "I can tell you that he was physically sick before the show, absolutely physically sick." Elton, who provided backing vocals and piano on John's No. 1 1974 hit "Whatever Gets You Through The Night," convinced Lennon, who was not particularly fond of the song, to release the track and wagered that they would have to perform the number together if it topped the Billboard Hot 100. When the song did become a chart-topper in the US, the pair performed it during an Elton's Thanksgiving 1974 Madison Square Garden concert. But Elton noted that Lennon "wasn't nervous during the show [and] he just played the same brilliantly once he arrived on stage." In another episode of Sean's new radio show, Paul McCartney reflected on reconciling with his former bandmate Lennon shortly before John was shot dead in 1980. "I always say to people, one of the great things for me was that after all The Beatles rubbish and all the arguing and the business, you know, business differences really... that even after all of that, I'm so happy that I got it back together with your dad," McCartney told Sean. "It really, really would have been a heartache to me if we hadn't have reunited. It was so lovely too that we did, and it really gives me sort of strength to know that," he added. - NME, 9/30/20...... QueenQueen + Adam Lambert released their first live album, Live Around the World, on Oct. 2 in CD, CD+DVD, CD+Blu-ray and vinyl formats. It is the first live offering from the legendary '70s prog-rock band to feature former American Idol contestant Lambert, who tours with the band as a replacement for flamboyant frontman Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991. Live Around The World includes their entire 22-minute set from the Fire Fight Australia charity concert in Sydney in February, where they performed Queen's original 1985 Live Aid set in full including "Bohemian Rhapsody," "We are the Champions" and the show-stopping "Radio Ga Ga." The band have played to 4 million people since Lambert came onboard. Although 2021 will mark 50 years since Queen played their first show with their classic line-up, founding guitarist Brian May says no "big noise" will be made about the anniversary. "We kind of came to the conclusion we didn't want to make a big noise about having been around for 50 years. It is more important that we are still here," said May in a recent interview. - WENN/, 10/1/20...... Speaking of 50th anniversaries, Black Sabbath have partnered with shoe manufacturer Dr. Martens for a new shoe collection to celebrate the golden anniversary of Sabbath's first two album. Two new pairs of shoes are being released for the first collection, with the "1460 Sabbath boot" depicting album cover designer Keith McMillan's artwork from the band's eponymous 1970 debut. Kitted out with purple popped eyelets, flat braided laces and core Docs markings, a "Henry badge" -- the flying devil/angel that's become synonymous with Black Sabbath over the years -- is also visible behind the laces. The "1461 Sabbath shoe," meanwhile, is built with the same eyelets, "Henry motif and heel loop, but pays tribute to Paranoid. The album artwork has been digitally printed on the ankle, and the three-eye shoe is finished with embossed Black Sabbath lettering on the vamp. The "Black Sabbath x Dr. Martens" collection went on sale on Oct. 1, and more info on the shoes can be found on Instagram. - NME, 9/29/20...... A new week-long YouTube festival has been announced to stream vintage performances by a host of the huge rock acts who have played shows for Teenage Cancer Trust at London's Royal Albert Hall over the years. Starting on Oct. 8, "Teenage Cancer Trust Unseen" will be broadcast nightly on YouTube and feature performances from Ed Sheeran (Oct. 8), Muse (Oct. 9), Paul McCartney (Oct. 11), Pulp (Oct. 14), Them Crooked Vultures (Oct. 16), The Who (Oct. 17), and The Cure (Oct. 18 & 31). Organised by The Who frontman Roger Daltrey, the week of concerts each March are an annual highlight in London's gig calendar. This year marks the event's 20th anniversary, with 2020's roster originally set to include performances by The Who, Paul Weller, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Mumford And Sons, Stereophonics and Groove Armada. The shows usually raise £1m a year, but Teenage Cancer Trust faces lost funds of £5 million in 2020 due to events cancelled by coronavirus. A trailer for this year's virtual Teenage Cancer Trust program can be viewed on YouTube. Daltrey says the Rolling Stones are still on his wishlist to perform at the annual TCT event. "They're a fabulous band, but they don't do charity shows, so it is just a dream," Daltrey says. "I don't know why, it's just not their bag to do charity shows. Although Mick [Jagger] did do Live Aid, and maybe after this pandemic they'll step up," he added. - NME, 9/28/20...... Cliff RichardCliff Richard will mark his upcoming milestone 80th birthday on Oct. 14 with a new album, Music... The Air That I Breathe featuring two new songs he's recorded, "Falling For You" and "PS Please." Set for release on Oct. 30, Music... The Air That I Breathe will also feature his duets with Bonnie Tyler, The Bellamy Brothers, Sheila Walsh, The Piano Guys and Albert Hammond, as well as covers including the Beatles' "Here Comes The Sun." "Looking back, I remember thinking that I wouldn't make it to 50 and here I am at 80, and what's even better than that is I have a new album!," Sir Cliff says. "It features not just me, but friends I admire who duetted with me on some of the tracks. I loved recording it and hope you will enjoy listening to it," he adds. Richard had announced a UK tour to celebrate his 80th, dubbed "The Great 80 Tour," which was due to kick off in Gateshead on Sept. 23. However, it's been postponed due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19. Although Richard, who has been making records since the 1950s, has slowed down and reduced his touring schedule in recent times, he vows to never retire from the music industry. "The word 'retire'... I don't think that's in my vocabulary," he has said in past interviews. -, 9/30/20...... Benjamin Keogh, the grandson of Elvis Presley and son of Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley, was laid to rest in Meditation Garden at Presley's Graceland mansion on Oct. 1. "Benjamin Storm Presley Keough was laid to rest in the Meditation Garden at Graceland with his family including his grandfather, Elvis Presley, great-grandmother, Gladys Presley, great-grandfather, Vernon Presley and great-great-grandmother, Minnie Mae Presley," a statement on the Graceland website reads. Keogh died at age 27 in mid-July, and the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Office ruled on July 14 that his official cause of death was a shotgun wound and the manner of death was ruled suicide. A rep for Lisa Marie told The Hollywood Reporter at the time, "She is completely heartbroken, inconsolable and beyond devastated but trying to stay strong for her 11-year-old twins and her oldest daughter, Riley. She adored that boy. He was the love of her life." - Billboard, 10/2/20.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Helen ReddyGrammy-winning singer Helen Reddy, who scored three No. 1 singles in the US during the 1970s including "Delta Dawn", "Angie Baby", and the iconic feminist anthem "I Am Woman", died in Los Angeles on Sept. 29, according to a statement on her Facebook fan page. Reddy, who suffered from Addison's disease and dementia in her later years, was 78. Born in Melbourne, Australia on Oct. 25, 1941, Reddy started her entertainment career at age four at the Tivoli Theatre in Perth, and toured much of the country with her show business parents. After leaving boarding school at age 15 to tour with a road show where she sang as well as acted, Reddy eventually landed her own Aussie TV show, Helen Reddy Sings. At age 20, Reddy married Kenneth Claude Weate, an older musician and family friend whom she says she wed to defy her parents, who wished her to follow them into show business. The couple separated not long after the birth of their daughter, Traci. In 1966, Reddy won a trip to New York City in an Australian American Bandstand contest, sponsored by Philips-Mercury Records. Although she found little success there, she met her future second husband, Jeff Wald, an agent with the William Morris agency. She married the Bronx native a year later, and in 1972 they had a son, Jordan. In 1970, Wald arranged for her to perform on NBC's The Tonight Show, and within a year she had her first hit, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" (#13, 1971) from the rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar. She followed up with a string of Top 40 singles from 1972-77, including "I Am Woman," which was released in 1971, but didn't make it to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 until December of the next year. Helen ReddyThe song earned the singer her first Grammy the following year ("I would like to thank God, because She makes everything possible," she said in her short acceptance speech). Further hits include "Peaceful" (#12), "Delta Dawn" (#1), "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)" (#3), "You and Me Against the World" (#9), "Angie Baby" (#1), and "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" (#8). In 1973, Reddy's popularity earned her a summer-replacement TV variety show on NBC, and for most of the rest of the decade she was a hostess on NBC's Friday night rock-variety show, The Midnight Special. Reddy also served as commissioner of parks and recreation for her adapted home state of California during that period. Her singing career on the wane, Reddy turned to acting, appearing in Airport 1975 (1974), the Disney children's film Pete's Dragon (1977), Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band (1978), Disorderlies (1987), and The Perfect Host (2010). Reddy's relationship with Wald, who had developed a cocaine addiction, became increasingly volatile by the mid-'70s, and after divorcing him in the early Eighties, she married Milton Ruth, a drummer in her band, in 1983. They divorced in 1995. In 1983, she released what would become her final LP, Imagination. A biopic of Reddy's rise from single mother in New York City to hit artist -- titled I Am Woman -- premiered in August. The film stars Tilda Cobham-Hervey as Reddy and features a new song by Reddy's granddaughter, Lily Donat. "It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Helen Reddy, on the afternoon of September 29th 2020 in Los Angeles," her children Traci and Jordan said in a statement. "She was a wonderful Mother, Grandmother and a truly formidable woman." - CNN/Rolling Stone/, 9/30/20.

Mac DavisCountry-pop singer/songwriter Mac Davis, who penned hits for the likes of Elvis Presley and as a solo artist topped the Billboard chart in 1972 with "Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me", died during heart surgery on Sept. 29, according to his manager Jim Morey. He was 78. "It's with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of Mac Davis. He was surrounded by the love of his life and wife of 38 years, Lise, and his sons Scott, Noah and Cody. Mac has been my client for over 40 years, and more importantly.. my best friend," Morey posted on Facebook on Sept. 30. Born Jan. 21, 1942 in Lubbock, Tex., Davis was presented with his first guitar by his father at age nine, and after attending Emory University and working in Atlanta's probation department, formed his first rock band. In the early 1960s, Davis became Vee Jay Records' Southern reginal sales manager, later employed by Liberty Records in Hollywood to work in its music publishing division. There he sold several of the tunes he'd written to Elvis ("In the Ghetto," "Memories," "Don't Cry, Daddy"), O.C. Smith ("Friend, Lover, Wife"), Bobby Goldsboro ("Watching Scotty Grow"), and Kenny Rogers and the First Edition ("Something's Burning"). Mac DavisHis composition "I Believe In Music," which he recorded in 1972, has sold millions of copies in cover versions by over 50 artists, and that same year "Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me" became his biggest hit, followed by "Rock and Roll (I Gave You the Best Years of My Life)" (#15, 1975), "One Hell of a Woman" (#11, 1974), and "Stop and Smell the Roses" (#9, 1974). In Dec. 1974, Davis began hosting his own TV variety progam, The Mac Davis Show, but further single releases ("Burnin' Thing," "Forever Lovers," "It's Hard to Be Humble" and "Texas in My Rear View Mirror") were less successful. In 1979, Davis made his film debut in the football-themed movie North Dallas Forty, starring Nick Nolte, and later appeared in the romantic comedy Cheaper to Keep Her. Davis then performed in Las Vegas' MGM Grand Hotel in the early '80s, and in the second half of the decade put recording on hold as he became a fixture on TV talk shows, including The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Davis later starred in movies including Angel's Dance, The Wendell Baker Story and Deck the Halls, and several TV series -- including a stint on the sitcom Rodney between 2004 and 2006. He also starred in the titular role of American humorist Will Rogers in the Broadway production of "The Will Rogers Follies." Tributes to Davis have flooded in for the prolific songwriter and entertainer, including tweets from Kenny Chesney, Richard Marx and Dolly Parton, who Davis worked with, and remembered him as having "a giant heart." - Stone, 9/30/20.

Monday, September 28, 2020

On Sept. 23 Elton John announced the rescheduled dates for his North American "Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour" which had been postponed earlier in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Kicking off on Jan. 19, 2022, in New Orleans, John will play two nights in Houston (1/21, 22), two nights in Dallas (1/25, 26), also making stops in Chicago (2/4, 5), Toronto (2/14, 15), and New York (2/22, 23), before wrapping the 43-date trek in Miami on Apr. 28. Posting on social media, Elton said he'd been "enjoying my time at home with the family while the world navigates its way through the COVID pandemic" and that "while the scientists are making great progress, we are making big plans for a return to touring that will allow us to ensure the health and safety of everyone." John also encouraged fans "Don't worry about me... I'm using my downtime to keep myself fighting fit and healthier than ever. I'm raring to go! As always, thank you so much for your loyal support." John previously announced he'd be launching a European tour in the fall of 2021, in Berlin on Sept. 1. - Billboard, 9/23/20...... The Doobie BrothersAfter an attorney representing The Doobie Brothers wrote a humorous letter to comedian/actor Bill Murray's golf company requesting for damages for an alleged breach of copyright for using the 1972 Doobies hit "Listen to the Music" in a TV ad for a new shirt without their permission, Murray's company William Murray Golf has responded with a glib letter of its own. The letter from the Doobies' attorney Peter T. Paterno gained attention both for its claims and the humorous style in which it was written. "The Doobie Brothers perform and recorded the song Listen to the Music, which Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers wrote," Paterno wrote. "It's a fine song. I know you agree because you keep using it in ads for your Zero Hucks Given golf shirts. However, given that you haven't paid to use it, maybe you should change the name to "Zero Bucks Given." Now, Murray's lawyer has responded in kind with their own glib letter. Alexander Yoffe of the Yoffe & Cooper law firm began by complimenting Paterno on "finding levity in the law at a time when the world and this country certainly could use a laugh." He continued to confirm that both those working at the law firm and at William Murray Golf were fans of the Doobie Brothers, noting that was why "we appreciate your firm's choice of 'Takin' It To The Streets', rather than to the courts, which are already overburdened "Minute By Minute" with real problems." Yoffe ended his letter by offering to send William Murray Golf shirts to the band -- a gesture he hoped would "win each of you over as new fans of the brand... At least that's "what this fool believes." - New Musical Express, 9/26/20...... Appearing on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Sept. 27, Sting revealed that he's planning on releasing a new duets album, possibly in time for the Christmas season. "Over the years, I've recorded many, many duets with some amazing people -- Herbie Hancock, Eric Clapton -- so we just put them all together and said, 'You know, we should put this out'," he told Fallon in the interview, which has been posted on YouTube. "They sound pretty good, so it's gonna be a Christmas surprise," he added. Also during the show, Sting performed "Mama," his recent collaborative single with Brooklyn rapper Gashi, which can also be viewed on YouTube. Sting noted he agreed to guest on the song, "but we haven't actually met as yet." Meanwhile, the former Police frontman was honored for his environmental activism by Prince Albert II of Monaco at a star-studded gala event on Sept. 24. The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation's 4th annual Monte-Carlo Gala for Planetary Health was also attended by such stars as Johnny Depp, Helen Mirren, Kate Beckinsale and Sienna Miller. "Our health depends on the health of the environment in which we live," Prince Albert II told the audience before honoring Sting with the award. "That is why more than ever before we need to continue our efforts and actions to protect our planet for future generations," he added. - NME/, 9/27/20...... Pink FloydPink Floyd announced on Sept. 27 that they'll be releasing a remastered deluxe edition of their 1988 live album and concert film, Delicate Sound of Thunder. The restored film and soundtrack was made available in 2019 only as part of the band's The Later Years box set but has now been made available separately across all major physical formats, each to feature new bonus material. Dropping on Nov. 30, the reissue of the film has been restored and reworked from the original 35mm film and into 5:1 surround sound and will be available on both Blu-ray and DVD. The live album will be available in sets of two CDs, three LPs, vinyls or four-disc set, all with bonus tracks. Delicate Sound of Thunder supported the group's Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour in 1987 and marked the end of a significant period for Pink Floyd, after guitarist David Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason had won a legal battle to the band's name after a fight with Roger Waters who'd departed some years prior. Rick Wright had also returned following his sacking after the making of The Wall, and they penned A Momentary Lapse of Reason, which propelled them to chart success and solidified their reputation as an arena act. Meanwhile, Pink Floyd will release The Wall... And What Came Next, a documentary uncovering how The Wall emerged, the hidden stories surrounding its preparation, recording, delayed release and reception, on Nov. 6. - NME, 9/27/20...... Fleetwood Mac founding drummer Mick Fleetwood has shared a new version of the Fleetwood Mac song "These Strange Times." Released as part of his Da*da*ism project, the re-worked version was re-recorded by Fleetwood and includes the addition of a sample from "Albatross" from Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac. The new version also comes with a new, eight-minute long video which has been shared on YouTube and explores a range of contemporary issues including the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, poverty and racial inequality. In a statement about the new release, Fleetwood said the new single and it's accompanying artwork were inspired by a painting from the 18th century, and that "it's about how you read things, which is very important today." "Everyone needs to be carefully paying attention to the information coming our way. There is subtext to everything and we need to be aware of that. When I first encountered the painting that inspired the photoshoot, it was a soul-searching exercise that I was driven to do but I didn't know when would be the time to release it. Now I know why: the when is now." - NME, 9/27/20...... Ray DaviesIn an interview with the new edition of MOJO magazine, The Kinks frontman Ray Davies said he never wanted to release the classic Kinks song "Waterloo Sunset" as a single in May 1967 and went on to feature on their album Something Else later that year. Davies now says that he had originally wanted to keep the song private. "I got my family together -- my sister was over from Australia and there was Jackie my niece and a couple of my nephews -- and I played them the acetate of it about 20 times. I said, 'That's for us and I don't want it to come out'. It was so important to me I didn't want it to come out. Shows I'm not a very good businessman. I just wanted it to be ours," Davis told the magazine. He added that he didn't begrudge the track being released, but was "pleased that people connected to it in the right way." "And regardless of the nationality thing, it's two young lovers looking at the sunset seeing their future," Davis added. Elsewhere in the interview, the 76-year-old Sir Davies also revealed that he was almost killed by a World War II bomb when he was just two days old. "When I was two days old -- [my older sister Gwen] would have been about five or six -- she suddenly decided to pick me up and take me out of the kitchen where my cot was. And she heard a V-2 bomb come over. The V-2 landed just up the road from Fortis Green and all the glass in the kitchen, where I'd been lying, was shattered all over the room and I would have been killed. Talk about being intuitive..." Davies, who was knighted in 2017 for his services to the arts, admitted that the one good thing to come out of Hilter's attempt to destroy London was that he "unwittingly gave us kids somewhere to play" on the bomb sites. "No. It must have been one of the last V-2s because I was born in 1944. Hitler's last attempt to destroy London," he said. - NME/, 9/26/20...... In a new interview with the London Sunday Times, Queen guitarist Brian May opened up about his ongoing recovery from a heart attack he suffered earlier in 2020. In May, May told fans that he had been "very near death" when he was hospitalised after doctors discovered that three arteries in his heart "were congested and in danger of blocking the supply of blood to his heart." Now May says his recovery still feels like "a long climb back." "I've had complications due to the drugs I'm on, one of which was a stomach explosion that nearly killed me. The heart attack was a symbol of an arterial disease, but I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't have high cholesterol and I was exercising through the tour, so why did it happen? At least I now have a heart that is working far better than it was." Queen had been planning to head out on a huge UK and European tour in the summer of 2020, but it has been rescheduled to 2021 due to coronavirus. - NME, 9/26/20...... In a new interview with, Ozzy Osbourne revealed that he's started working on a new album that will be the follow-up to his Ordinary Man LP which was released in Feb. 2020. "I'm doing another record right now. I just started to work with Andrew [Watt] again. It's what gets me up in the morning, and it's what I'm here to do," Ozzy says. He continued: "It saved my life, doing that last album. [It's better than] sitting on my ass all day waiting for the f---ing pandemic to be over. And then you go, 'Oh, yeah, I am a rock and roller. I'd better do an album.' You've got all the f---ing time in the world to make the best album possible," he added. - NME, 9/26/20...... The Bee GeesA new Bee Gees documentary titled How Can You Mend a Broken Heart after the Aussie hitmaking trio's No. 1 1971 hit has been acquired by HBO which plans to premiere it later in 2020 and then make it available for streaming on its HBO Max subchannel. The film, which was set to premiere at the 2020 Telluride Film Festival, is directed by Frank Marshall and is described by him as "an intimate look at the three brothers, Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb, who made up the legendary 1970s pop group." "Like so many people, I've loved the Bee Gees' music all my life," Marshall told "But discovering their uncanny creative instincts and the treasure trove of music, their humour, and loyalty was a great two-year journey. We are very happy and proud to be with HBO, and it has been an honor to work on this project," he adds. Meanwhile, a narrative biopic based on the life and career of the Bee Gees is also in the works, courtesy of Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King and screenwriter Anthony McCarten. - NME, 9/25/20...... Bruce Springsteen has shared a powerful new song called "Ghosts" that will be featured on his upcoming studio album Letter to You. "'Ghosts' is about the beauty and joy of being in a band and the pain of losing one another to illness and time," Springsteen said of the new song that mourns lost loved ones, adding that it "tries to speak to the spirit of the music itself, something none of us owns but can only discover and share together. In the E Street Band it resides in our collective soul, powered by the heart." A lyric video for "Ghosts" has been shared on YouTube. Letter to You, which hits stores on Oct. 23, will be the first Springsteen album to feature his legendary E Street Band since 2014's High Hopes. Springsteen recently told Rolling Stone magazine that he has "a lot of really good music left" that he plans on releasing, including multiple full-length "lost albums." - NME, 9/24/20...... Van Morrison has announced he'll be donating all the profits from three new tracks he recently recorded protesting lockdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic to musicians who are struggling during the crisis. Earlier in September, Morrison revealed he is releasing the three protest songs which accuse U.K. officials of "taking our freedom" -- a gesture that drew criticism from officials in his native Northern Ireland. The "Brown Eyed Girl singer" has slammed safety measures designed to stop the spread of the virus, which have been put in place by governments across the world, due to the subsequent effects on the live music industry. The musician's views on COVID-19 have sparked controversy beyond his homeland, with Country music star Jason Isbell criticizing him for endangering others with his anti-lockdown stance. - WENN/, 9/23/20.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Bob Dylan has previewed his first "Theme Time Radio Hour" episode in 11 years in three new clips. Re-introducing the show in one clip, Dylan said: "I'm your host, Bob Dylan. To paraphrase Alexandre Dumas in The Count of Monte Cristo, I'm so delighted to see you again, it makes me forget for the moment that all happiness is fleeting." In two other clips, he shared some history about Charlie Poole's 1920s song "If The River Was Whiskey" and spoke about the Great Molasses Flood that occurred in Boston in 1919. Dylan's began hosting the show on SiriusXM in 2006, with it running for 100 shows until April 2009. - New Musical Express, 9/20/20...... Marvin GayeMarvin Gaye's landmark 1971 album What's Going On has dethroned the Beatles' 1967 LP Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on Rolling Stone magazine's "500 Greatest Albums of All-Time" list. The Beatles classic, which led the countdown when it was last published in 2003, was moved from number one to 26. Announcing their pick, the RS editors called What's Going On, which was a respectable No. 6 on the 2003 countdown, "one of the most important and influential LPs ever made." "After What's Going On, black musicians... felt a new freedom to push the musical and political boundaries of their art," they added. The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds comes in at two on the new list, ahead of Joni Mitchell's Blue, Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life and the Beatles' Abbey Road. Nirvana's Nevermind, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, Prince's Purple Rain, Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks, and Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill complete the new "500 Greatest Albums" top 10. - WENN/, 9/22/20...... According to newly released transcripts of John Lennon's killer Mark David Chapman's August parole hearing, Chapman said in the interview that he was seeking glory and deserved the death penalty for a "despicable" act. In the transcripts, which were made available after an open records request, the now 65-year-old inmate expressed remorse for gunning down the former Beatle outside the musician's Dakota apartment building in Manhattan in December 1980. "I assassinated him... because he was very, very, very famous and that's the only reason and I was very, very, very, very much seeking self-glory. Very selfish," Chapman is quoted as saying. Chapman said that in retrospect his actions were "creepy" and "despicable," and that he thinks all the time about the pain he inflicted on Lennon's wife, Yoko Ono. "I just want her to know that she knows her husband like no one else and knows the kind of man he was. I didn't," he said. In denying him parole for an 11th time, the board said Chapman committed an "evil act" and said they found his statement that "infamy brings you glory" disturbing. Chapman, serving a 20-years-to-life sentence at Wende Correctional Facility, east of Buffalo, will be up for parole again in Aug. 2022. He told the board he would have "no complaint whatsoever" if they chose to leave him in prison for the rest of his life. - AP, 9/22/20...... In other Lennon-related news, a pair of John's famous round Windsor glasses that he gifted to his housekeeper in the 1960s and are thought to predate his first public outing of the eyewear are expected to fetch anywhere between £30,000 -- £40,000 during a new auction of Beatles memorabilia conducted by Sotheby's beginning Sept. 23. Also up for sale during the auction, which marks 50 years since the iconic band broke up, will be a detention sheet from John's Quarry Bank Grammar School teachers in the 1950s (they criticize his "complete idleness" and "continuous silly behaviour in class"), and one of his report cards, which is estimated to be worth between £3,000 -- £5,000. A copy of the Beatles's debut single, "Love Me Do," signed by all four members the day after it was released, is expected to fetch between £15,000 -- £20,000. The auction runs from Sept. 23 to Oct. 1 on the Sotheby's website. Meanwhile, John's son Sean Lennon is set to interview Paul McCartney for a new special two-part radio show for the BBC to mark what would have been his late father's 80th birthday. McCartney reflects on his earliest days of making music with Lennon -- admitting that "there were a few songs that weren't very good." He said: "Eventually, we started to write slightly better songs and then enjoyed the process of learning together so much that it really took off. When asked on their final meeting, he revealed: "I look back on it now like a fan, how lucky was I to meet this strange Teddy Boy off the bus, who played music like I did and we get together and boy, we complemented each other!" Other interviewees for the new show include Lennon's oldest son, Julian Lennon, and Elton John -- who was a close friend of John's. And speaking of Julian Lennon, the musician was named a UNESCO Center for Peace 2020 Cross-Cultural and Peace Crafter Award Laureate on Sept. 21, the International Day of Peace, to recognize Julian's "efforts towards the promotion of culture and peace everywhere." His contribution to peace includes his continued work through The White Feather Foundation, which aims to raise funds for "the betterment of all life." In a statement posted to the foundation's website,, Lennon expressed his "deepest gratitude upon receiving the award." "To be recognised for charity efforts on the International Day of Peace means the world to me," he said. - New Musical Express, 9/23/20...... YusufAppearing on the UK early morning talk sow Lorraine on Sept. 22, Yusuf/Cat Stevens says although he's enjoyed performing for his fans from the comfort of his home amid the coronavirus pandemic, he's looking forward to 2021 when he hopes to put on some "scaled-back" gigs to coincide with the release of his upcoming autobiography. "Lockdown changed everything. But I'm getting used to Zooming, to be honest, it's very comfortable to sit in your own kitchen or living room and put on a concert," the 72-year-old singer/songwriter legend said. "We will probably go out and do something when everything is clear and perhaps it will be scaled-down a little bit. But I've also got a few projects in the pipeline, like my autobiography. It might be a combination of 'Tillerman' and my autobiography," he added. Yusuf re-recorded his 1970 classic Tea for the Tillerman earlier in 2020 to mark its 50th anniversary, and on Sept. 21 he and his son Jesse Royal contributed to Peace One Day's Live Global Digital Experience, which is also the UN International Day of Peace. The event, produced by Jude Law and Jeremy Gilley and was broadcast live across the world. It marked Yusuf's third contribution to Peace One Day, having previously performed in 2007 and 2011. Yusuf's Tea For The Tillerman 2 is currently at the No. 3 spot on the UK's Official Albums Chart Update. -, 9/22/20...... Jimmy Buffett, the late B.B. King, and Mac McAnally are among the latest inductees into the Mississippi Songwriters Hall of Fame, in was announced during a virtual ceremony on Sept. 17. Pascagoula, Miss., Mayor Steve Demetropoulos congratulated the Parrothead-In-Chief, noting: "It's been said that Mississippi is the birth place of America's music. Well, Jimmy Buffett is America's music." In a recorded message, Buffett said: "It's a long way from the Pascagoula run and my early days growing up in Mississippi certainly had an impact on the way I wrote songs and what I wrote about. So, thank you Mississippi for that." The Mississippi Songwriters Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Mississippi Songwriters Alliance. - AP, 9/22/20...... On Sept. 21 Neil Young announced a massive new The Archives Vol. II: 1972-1976 box set will drop on Nov. 20. The sequel to his 8-disc 2009 The Archives Vol. 1: 1963-1972, the new 10-disc collection will include a vintage live album recorded in London and Japan with all previously unheard versions of classic songs. Arranged chronologically, it will stretch from songs tracked after the 1972 release of landmark album Harvest, stretching through an early 1976 European/Japanese tour with his longtime band Crazy Horse. According to the Neil Young Archives site, the set -- with 12 previously unreleased songs and 50 unreleased versions of songs -- will be available only on the NYA site, with pre-orders beginning on Oct. 16. The full track listing for Archives Vol. II can be viewed on the NYA site. - Billboard, 9/21/20...... Speaking of archives, Bruce Springsteen has told Rolling Stone magazine that his upcoming projects includes a follow-up to his 1998 box set Tracks that will feature full-length pieces from his own archives, and that he has full-length "lost albums" which he plans to release in the future. Springsteen, who will release a new 12-song album called Letter to You on Oct. 23, says he has "a lot of projects that are in the planning," including recording songs that were written long ago. "There's a lot of really good music left. You just go back there. It's not that hard. If I pull out something from 1980, or 1985, or 1970, it's amazing how you can slip into that voice. It's just sort of a headspace. All of those voices remain available to me, if I want to go to them," he said. Meanwhile, Springsteen has shared an official video for Letter to You's title track on YouTube. - New Musical Express, 9/21/20...... Elvis Costello says his upcoming studio album Hey Clockface has songs that alternate between withering and whimsical. "It's much closer to the approach of a jazz ensemble, playing like that without scoring every note," says the 66-year-old musician. In Feb. 2020, after recording three songs by himself in Helsinki, he immediately traveled to Paris to record a dozen more with a small ensemble of musicians who "came recommended as people who liked adventure," Costello says. Hey Clockface also explores a comforting past (the title track sounds like something out of the American Songbook) and the disturbing present. On "Hetty O'Hara Confidential," Costello -- who sang about the creepiness of mass media on songs like "Radio Radio" and "Watching the Detectives" -- now turns on new media. In it, he tells the story of a vindictive gossip columnist undone by a mistake and a world in which everyone has the power she did. "It's one of the great dangers of the speed of communication, being faster than the ability to reason," says Costello. Even before the release of Hey Clockface on Oct. 30, Costello says he's already preparing to reissue some of his previous albums with bonus material. - Billboard, 9/18/20...... Daryl HallJohn OatesHall & Oates are celebrating one billion streams of their 1980 hit "You Make My Dreams," which has become of the most one of their most recognizable songs, ubiquitous in films such as 500 Days of Summer, The Wedding Singer, Dumb & Dumberer and Despicable Me 2. "It's amazing, right?," says John Oates. "What really gets me about this is when 'You Make My Dreams' was released as a single in 1981, it wasn't a massive Number One hit -- it reached Number Five in the US. We couldn't have predicted the impact it would have. Over the years, it's taken on a life of its own. It's become this anthemic feel-good thing. A lot of it started with its use in the movie 500 Days of Summer and the dance sequence they created around that song. From there on, it took on this life of its own. It's the gift that keeps on giving. It's an amazing feel-good groove and it has a great timeless appeal." Oates adds that "Daryl [Hall] and I were set to do some recording [in 2020] and when everything broke down, we had exchanged ideas... sending each other tracks and we were starting to formulate [a record]. But when COVID broke everything down, it put the brakes on it. So I think he and I will probably do our best work when we're physically together and because we're not, we'll just put it on hold for a while and see what happens." To add to "You Make My Dreams"' massive streaming count, fans can head to YouTube. - NME, 9/23/20...... Patti Smith, R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe and many other artists have teamed up for a group rendition of Smith's 1988 song "People Have The Power." The video of the performance was released by climate action non-profit Pathway to Paris -- co-founded by Patti Smith's daughter, Jesse Paris Smith -- on its sixth anniversary. The video's release also coincides with Climate Week NYC, which takes place between September 21-27. The video, which can be viewed on, was released by climate action non-profit Pathway to Paris -- co-founded by Patti Smith's daughter, Jesse Paris Smith -- on its sixth anniversary. It has been performed at every Pathway To Paris event since 2014. The video's release also coincides with Climate Week NYC, which takes place between Sept. 21-27. The clip also encourages Americans to vote in the upcoming November election. "Vote to choose something, vote to reject something," a statement from PTP read. - NME, 9/23/20...... Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford says he thinks his band deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and feels it needs more heavy metal acts. "I've always admired it," Halford said of the Cleveland-based hall and museum. "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame isn't any different from those other institutions they have in America, like the one for football, where you'll always get some people complaining one player deserves to be there over another." He continued: "Emotions always run high whenever these awards take place. But I've always supported it -- only because of the company we'd be in. I think if any metal band deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it's Priest and beyond that, there needs to be more metal there because there's not enough." Elsewhere in the interview, Halford commented on the band's iconic song "Breaking The Law" being played over stolen police radios during protests in New York earlier in 2020 in the wake of George Floyd's death. "It's mad over here in America right now and that was a horrible thing that happened to that guy [George Floyd] and I can understand the anger and why that [song] was chosen," he said. "When we wrote that song in the "80s in the UK, there was a lot of unrest, rioting and pushback to the Margaret] Thatcher government. There was a lot of divisiveness going on, much like is happening in many parts of the world now. History tends to repeat itself unfortunately." - NME, 9/22/20...... In other heavy metal news, AC/DC have seemingly confirmed their return with singer Brian Johnson and drummer Phil Rudd in a series of photos which were posted online. According to a Brazilian AC/DC fansite, photos showing the band's returning line-up were briefly posted on the AC/DC website earlier in September before quickly being removed. They appear to have been taken during a video shoot and show Rudd playing with guitarist Stevie Young for the first time -- with the fan site claiming that the footage was shot in the Netherlands earlier in 2020. But the most interesting detail for fans is the return of Johnson, after he departed the group in 2016 following extensive hearing loss. He was subsequently replaced on the band's "Rock or Bust" tour by Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose. The new look at the band comes after it was claimed that they have already recorded their next album. - NME, 9/21/20...... Noddy HolderFormer Slade frontman Noddy Holder says he's been "playing guitar again" and is thinking about a big comeback. Holder, 74, told the UK's Daily Star's "Wired" column that while he has been working on new material "over the years," he wouldn't want to go back to a full time schedule. "I have a stockpile written over the years. I didn't just stop, bang, and that was the end of the story. I still have moments when I get the inspiration. But I couldn't do it night after night, year after year," he says. Holder, who quit Slade in 1992, hasn't made a solo record or hit the road since, but isn't ruling out a return to the stage. "Well, never say never -- I might do it now. If they ever let me out of the house. I'm brushing up on my guitar technique, going back to my roots." In 2019, Holder said he meets with some of his former Slade bandmates, including Don Powell and Dave Hill, occasionally, but played down the idea of ever reuniting with his old mates. "When I left the band, we weren't getting on. We did get together in the same room about 10 years ago but we were arguing again within five minutes," he says. -, 9/23/20...... ABBA members Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog and Frida Lyndstad have reportedly reunited at Ealing Studios in West London to resume working on their avatar show after facing technical delays and then the coronavirus pandemic halting their plans. The Swedish quartet are said to be now looking to 2022 to launch the tour as part of their 50th anniversary. "ABBA have kept everything about their reunion shrouded in mystery but this has really been a long time coming," a friend of the group told The Sun paper. "They announced the tour in 2016 and although it's been a slog to get to this point, it is now full steam ahead and the show is taking shape. Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Frida have all recorded bits and pieces and they have enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane with it all. They are all getting a nice cheque out of it, so it will be worthwhile, but they've got more than enough money from their music, so it's not about that. All four of them just wanted to give back to their fans, so they have done everything in their power to fly into London for the filming, despite the travel restrictions," the source added. ABBA, who parted ways in 1982, performed together for the first time in decades in 2016 at a private event, which marked the 50th anniversary of the first meeting between songwriters Bjorn and Benny. -, 9/22/20...... A new David Bowie photography exhibition is set to open on Oct. 17 at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery. "Rock "n' Roll with Me Bowie/MacCormack 1973-76" features images captured by Geoff MacCormack, a childhood friend of Bowie who, in the early 19070s, was asked to join the expanding lineup of his band, the Spiders From Mars. MacCormack's exhibit will feature 60 shots he took as he travelled with Bowie around the world, including some taken on the Trans-Siberian Express. "Those holiday snaps, as I call them, are sometimes even better than the one where he looks wonderful and heroic, which in a lot of them he does. They're holiday snaps really," MacCormack told The Guardian. The exhibit is set to run through June 6. - NME, 9/20/20...... Steve Miller has unearthed his tribute to Jimi Hendrix -- a rendition of his band's "Peppa Sauce" recorded live on Sept. 18, 1970, the day the legendary guitarist died, and shared it on YouTube to mark the 50th anniversary of Hendrix's death. The tribute was recorded at San Rafael, California's Pepperland. "The next song is in memory of Jimi Hendrix," Miller told the crowd before before launching into an epic seven-minute long rendition of "Peppa Sauce" filled with guitar licks inspired by the late guitar god. Miller and Hendrix were friends for years who would occasionally jam together. However, after sharing the bill at 1967's Monterey Pop -- where Hendrix famously burned his Fender Stratocaster onstage -- Miller admitted to not being a fan of the stunt. "I thought that was pathetic," Miller told the Washington Post in 2019. "When I saw Jimi Hendrix stop playing the music he was playing and get down on his knees and pull out a can of lighter fluid and squirt it on the thing and light it, I went, "Boy, this really f---ing sucks." - NME, 9/19/20...... Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann has criticised Van Morrison's recent decision to release three anti-lockdown protest songs in a new op-ed. "There's a real feeling of disappointment -- we expected better from him," Swann said in a guest op-editorial for Rolling Stone magazine. "It's entirely right and proper to debate and question policies. It's legitimate to ask if the right balance is being found in what is being done; if the right steps are being taken. None of this is easy or straightforward," Swann said. "But Van Morrison is going way beyond raising questions. He is singing about "fascist bullies' and claiming governments are deceiving people and wanting to 'enslave'." Swann also pointed out a 2017 interview with Morrison, during which the Celtic crooner said he was apolitical. "He's changed his tune big time since then. He could have chosen to sing about how we all can help save lives. He could have written a tribute to our health and social care workers on the frontline," Swann said. - NME, 9/22/20...... Pamela HutchinsonPamela Hutchinson, a member of influential '70s R&B group The Emotions, passed away on Sept. 18 at the age of 61. "In loving memory, we are saddened to announce the passing of our sister, Pamela Rose Hutchinson, on Friday, September 18, 2020," the group confirmed on their Facebook page. "Pam succumbed to health challenges that she'd been battling for several years. Now our beautiful sister will sing amongst the angels in heaven in perfect peace," the statement added. The group signed off the post by writing "Thank you and as always, You Got The Best of Our Love," referencing the band's massive 1977 hit "Best Of My Love". Along with "Best Of My Love," The Emotions are also remembered for their collaboration with Earth, Wind & Fire on "Boogie Wonderland." - NME, 9/21/20...... Drummer Lee Kerslake, a former member of Uriah Heep who also played with Ozzy Osbourne, has died at 73 after a long battle with prostate cancer. Uriah Heep announced the sad news on their Facebook page, with Heep member Bernie Shaw describing him as "one of the most revered yet under rated drummers in the world... Lee was also one of the main voices in Uriah Heep. Never dropped a note in all the years I worked with him." Kerslake served two stints in Uriah Heep from 1971-1979 and then again from 1981-2007, drumming and singing backing vocals on the albums Demons and Wizards (1972), The Magician's Birthday (1972), Sweet Freedom (1973), Wonderworld (1974), Return to Fantasy (1975), High and Mighty (1976), Firefly (1977), Innocent Victim (1977) and Fallen Angel (1978). He rejoined Uriah Heep for their 14th studio album, Abominog, playing on six more studio efforts before leaving again in 2007 due to health issues. - Billboard, 9/21/20...... Tommy DeVito, a founding member of The Four Seasons, died at a hospital in Las Vegas on Sept. 18 after he contracted COVID-19. He was 92. Mr. DeVito joined forces with bandmate Frankie Valli in 1956, before they formed the Four Seasons in 1960 alongside Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi. They went on to become one of America's most popular doo-wop groups of the 1960s -- with hits such as "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," and "December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night)". The band's story was later immortalised in the Tony award-winning musical "Jersey Boys," which was adapted for the big screen by Clint Eastwood in 2014. Confirming DeVito's passing, Gaudio and Valli wrote: "It is with great sadness that we report that Tommy DeVito, a founding member of The Four Seasons, has passed. We send our love to his family during this most difficult time. He will be missed by all who loved him." DeVito was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, along with the rest of the Four Seasons. - NME, 9/23/20...... Gale SayersPro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers died on Sept. 23 at the age of 77. David Baker, president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, issued a statement on Sayers' death: "All those who love the game of football mourn the loss of one of the greatest to ever play this game with the passing of Chicago Bears legend Gale Sayers. He was the very essence of a team player -- quiet, unassuming and always ready to compliment a teammate for a key block. Gale was an extraordinary man who overcame a great deal of adversity during his NFL career and life." Sayers spent his entire seven-year NFL career with the Chicago Bears from 1965 to 1971. He was named to the All-Pro first team in each of his first five seasons, won the NFL Rookie of the Year Award in 1965 and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection. A knee injury suffered during the 1968 season limited Sayers to just nine games. He led the NFL in rushing yards (1,032) and was named Comeback Player of the Year in 1969, but knee problems plagued him for the subsequent two years before he was forced to retire during the preseason in 1972. Sayers was portrayed by Billy Dee Williams in the acclaimed 1970 made for TV movie Brian's Song, which told the story of Sayers' relationship with fellow Bears player and cancer victim Brian Piccolo. - AP, 9/23/20...... Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the demure firebrand who in her 80s became a legal, cultural and feminist icon, died on Sept. 18. She was 87. The Supreme Court announced her death, saying the cause was complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas. Architect of the legal fight for women's rights in the 1970s, Ms. Ginsburg subsequently served 27 years on the nation's highest court, becoming its most prominent member. Stevie Nicks posted a heartfelt tribute to the late Supreme Court icon on her social media page on Sept. 20, calling Ms. Ginsberg "my hero." "She fought for me, and all women," the Fleetwood Mac frontwoman penned. "I feel today very much like I felt on the night my own mother died. I feel like someone punched me in the stomach. I so believed that she would live for a few more years... As with all legends, you think they will live forever, so you will get there in time." Cher also tweeted praise to Ms. Ginsberg, calling her "1 OF GREATEST WOMEN IN (American) HISTORY." -, 9/18/20.

Friday, September 18, 2020

The BBC is reporting that Van Morrison has recorded three new songs in which he lashes out at what he calls "crooked facts" told by the UK government concerning the coronavirus lockdown. On one track, Morrison sings, "The new normal, is not normal. We were born to be free," however the BBC says his anger reaches a peak on "No More Lockdown" -- which sees him likening the government to "fascist bullies." "No more lockdown/ No more government overreach," Morrison reportedly sings in the track's chorus. Another track is said to reference a widely-shared Facebook post which states that "Covid-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK." While Covid-19 is not classed as a "HCID" -- which typically boasts a high fatality rate -- the disease is still considered highly infectious with cases rising across the UK. Morrison, who has yet to announce a release date for the new songs, posted an open letter to fans on his official website in late August, criticizing the "pseudo-science" of socially distanced gigs. - New Musical Express, 9/18/20...... Nick MasonSyd BarrettPink Floyd drummer Nick Mason says his side project Saucerful of Secrets, in which he has spent the last few years reinventing early Floyd material on stage, gives a needed edge to late Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett's music. "Syd had a strange way of writing, which made it sound like a 'normal' pop song, and then it would lurch into something else," says Mason of Barrett, the band's original singer whose mental health struggles led to his departure during their second album, 1968's A Saucerful of Secrets. "The best review was our first review," adds SOS guitarist Gary Kemp (formerly of Spandau Ballet). "[Critic] Neil McCormick called it 'Punk Floyd', which I loved, because there is that energy Floyd had before they became posh. When we got the band together, it wasn't like, 'Well, let's try and emulate those records.' Also, we're not trying to be a tribute band. Nick is the genuine article, so we agreed, 'Let's make this band as fresh as we possibly can.'" Earlier in 2020, Mason and SOS released Live at the Roundhouse, live album and concert film that captures a 2019 show at London's fabled Roundhouse, where the Syd Barrett-era Floyd also performed around the time of their 1967 debut, Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Mason, 76, says SOS is his sole focus now, and he's having "the time of his life" with no plans to hang up his drumsticks soon. "...If at some point somebody brought in new music to work on, great. That, I think, would be the greatest tribute we could pay to Syd, in a way," he says. - Billboard, 9/17/20...... David Byrne announced a new edition of his online magazine Reasons to be Cheerful, which focuses on tackling division within society, on his Twitter page on Sept. 17. "This series is hopeful at a time when that is in short supply," Byrne said. "I realise the title might come as a shock. Not divided? Are you kidding me? What world are you living in?," he adds. Running through Nov. 2, the latest Reasons to be Cheerful edition is titled "We Are Not Divided" and tells the stories of places and institutions that are succeeding in overcoming division via a multimedia presentation of dozens of written features, infographics, video content and interactive storytelling. It also features a collection of original illustrations hand-drawn by Byrne. "I am more than a little aware of what's happening, but the truth is there is evidence that we can find ways to come together -- I have to believe that or I would sink into despair," the former Talking Heads frontman says. "Luckily, there are people and initiatives out there that we can look to for inspiration, and boy do we need it." - New Musical Express, 9/17/20...... Movie studio Trafalgar Releasing announced on Sept. 16 that Stevie Nicks will debut her new concert film 24 Karat Gold for two nights only on Oct. 21 & 25 at select cinemas, drive-ins and exhibition spaces around the world. Directed and produced by Joe Thomas during the singer/songwriter's fabled 67-city sold out "24 Karat Gold Tour," the filming and recording took place in Indianapolis and Pittsburgh in 2017. "The 24 Karat Gold Tour was my all-time favorite tour," Nicks said in a statement. "I not only got to sing my songs but I was able to tell their stories for the first time. I love having the opportunity to share this concert with my fans. From me to you - 24 Karat Gold." 24 Karat Gold features a set of fan favorites from Nicks' solo career and as a member of Fleetwood Mac, including "Rhiannon," "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," "Edge of Seventeen," "Landslide," and more as well as rare gems from her platinum-selling catalog. The film also features intimate storytelling and inspirations for some of the artist's most famous and timeless songs and lyrics. Tickets go on-sale beginning Sept. 23 at, where fans can find the most up-to-date information regarding participating theaters and event alerts. Also, a 2-CD & digital/streaming release will be available on Oct. 30 via BMG, featuring 17 tracks of Stevie's greatest hits live; including "Stand Back," "Gypsy," and "Edge of Seventeen," as well as the first ever live recording of "Crying In The Night," and other live rarities. Also, a 2-CD & digital/streaming release will be available on Oct. 30 via BMG, featuring 17 tracks of Stevie's greatest hits live. The release will be available exclusively at Target stores on Oct. 30, and the digital release will be available everywhere on the same day. A limited-edition 2-LP 180-gram version will be available on crystal clear vinyl exclusively at Barnes & Noble, while a 180-gram black vinyl version will be available everywhere. - Billboard, 9/16/20...... The BeatlesThe Beatles' Apple Corps. announced on Instagram on Sept. 16 that an expansive coffee table book, The Beatles: Get Back, will be released on Aug. 31, 2021, as a companion to director Peter Jackson's upcoming 2021 Beatles documentary The Beatles: Get Back. The 240-page hardcover book with "hundreds of previously unpublished images" from the 1969 studio sessions for the Let It Be album will hit stores just days after the rescheduled release of the film, which was postponed earlier in 2020 until Aug. 27, 2021, due to the coronavirus. In a press release, the book is described as the "definitive volume" of the Let It Be sessions and will "present an exclusive, in-their-own-words account" of the recordings, "illustrated with hundreds of previously unpublished images, including photos by Ethan A. Russell and Linda McCartney." The book, according to the statement, "will feature transcribed conversations between the four Beatles culled from more than 120 recorded hours of the studio sessions over three weeks... (an) intimate, riveting book invites us to travel back in time to January 1969, the beginning of the Beatles' last year as a band." Meanwhile, Jackson's anticipated film will look back at the sessions for Let It Be using more than 55 hours of unreleased original 16-mm footage filmed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg in 1969. A video announcement for the book, which retails for $60, can be viewed on YouTube. - Billboard, 9/16/20...... In other Beatles-related news, a new John Lennon documentary, Lennon's Last Weekend, is coming to BritBox in December. Directed by Brian Grant ("Video Killed the Radio Star"), the film will focus on the musician's final interview with the BBC Radio's Andy Peebles before his death in Dec. 1980. John discusses the break-up of the Beatles, his new Double Fantasy LP with wife Yoko Ono, his relationship with Paul McCartney, and his own solo albums. Lennon's Last Weekend will premiere in December to honour the 40th anniversary of John's death, and will include a number of new interviews about the iconic musician. - New Musical Express, 9/16/20...... Speaking of 40th anniversary releases, Ozzy Osbourne released an expanded edition of his solo debut Blizzard of Ozz on Sept. 18. Originally released on Sept. 20, 1980, Blizzard of Ozz marked the metal icon's first foray on his own after splitting with Black Sabbath, and launched him into the stratosphere with the hit "Crazy Train." That classic, as well as "Mr Crowley," feature late guitarist Randy Rhoads. The extended version will hit streaming platforms with a number of rare bonus tracks and 7 live songs recorded during his "Blizzard" tour that are currently unavailable digitally, according to a press release announcing the set. Also being released digitally are two of Osbourne's beloved live DVD's, Live at Budokan and Live & Loud, the latter containing guest appearances from Ozzy's former Black Sabbath bandmates Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and Tony Iommi. Ozzy is continuing the celebration on with a trove of "Blizzard" merch on his official store, including puzzles, vintage tour t-shirts, pins and a track jacket. - Billboard, 9/16/20...... Meanwhile, Osbourne has addressed allegations in a 1986 lawsuit brought by the parents of a 19-year-old suicide victim, John McCallum, who alleged Ozzy's song "Suicide Solution" was responsible for their son's death. Osbourne told SiriusXM radio's Billy Morrison in a YouTube clip previewing his forthcoming Blizzard of Ozz anniversary special that the song's lyric, "Where to hide, suicide is the way out/ Don't you know what it's really about?" was wrongly read into. "Well, that was all taken out of perspective," he explained. "We were all doing some serious pounding of the booze back then. I'd been drinking heavily for a long, long time. And it's, like, 'Suicide Solution' means solution being liquid -- not a way out. People get the f---ing thing wrong." A California court dismissed the McCollums' lawsuit in 1988, ruling that their son's suicide was not a foreseeable result of "Suicide Solution." 40 Years Of Ozzy Osbourne's 'Blizzard Of Ozz' premieres on Sept. 18 at 5:00 pm ET and 11:00 pm ET on SiriusXF in the US, and will be rebroadcast throughout the weekend. - NME, 9/17/20...... Elton JohnOn Sept. 17 Elton John announced a special 50th-anniversary boxset titled Jewel Box on YouTube containing over 60 previously unreleased tracks. Set for release on Nov. 13 via UMC/EMI, Jewel Box will be split into four parts -- "Deep Cuts," "Rarities," "B-sides," "And This Is Me" -- and will be available across a range of formats, with 81 songs coming to digital platforms for the first time. John has provided a track-by-track commentary for the "Deep Cuts" discs, which he personally curated. Elsewhere in the collection is a hardback book featuring new interviews and archival graphics. "To delve back through every period of my career in such detail for Jewel Box has been an absolute pleasure," John explained in the announcement. "Hearing these long lost tracks again, I find it hard to comprehend just how prolific Bernie [Taupin] and I were during the early days." Vinyl editions of the "Deep Cuts," "Rarities," "B-sides," and "And This Is Me" parts will also be available. - NME, 9/17/20...... In other Elton news, the Rocket Man and his ex-wife Renate Blauel have reportedly halted their bitter divorce battle amid ongoing peace talks. On Sept. 16, Britain's The Sun newspaper reported that the legal fight is currently on hold, as lawyers for the singer and his former spouse have been given until Oct. 13 to reach a deal. If the pair agree on a settlement, it will mean they will avoid an ugly court fight in which further details about their relationship would likely emerge. In July, Blauel announced she was suing Elton after he wrote about their four-year marriage in his memoir Me, which she alleged breached their 1988 divorce deal. Blauel claimed that the details he wrote about in the book, and the references in 2019 biopic Rocketman, had seriously damaged her health, and sued the pop superstar for a reported $3.8 million. John is presently married to movie producer David Furnish and has two sons; Zachary, nine and seven-year-old Elijah. -, 9/16/20...... Iggy Pop has gifted his song "Free" to help the non-profit People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to spread the message about the horrors monkeys that used in lab experiments face. "Anyone can see the pain and terror in these monkeys' eyes," Pop told Billboard on Sept. 14. "No one should have to suffer like this." The song, the title track off Pop's 18th studio album, soundtracks a new PETA video that shows terrified monkeys caged, being held down for experiments and more. In the haunting tune, Pop repeats the simple lyric "I want to be free" twice. The PETA video, which contains disturbing imagery and may not be suitable for all viewers, has been shared on YouTube. - Billboard, 9/14/20...... The music of late country icon Johnny Cash has been reimagined by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for an upcoming album set to arrive on Nov. 13. The RPO recorded their own take on 12 legendary hits by Cash for Johnny Cash and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which sees Cash's original vocals being complimented by the orchestra in sessions recorded at London's legendary Abbey Road Studio 2. As well as new takes on hits such as "Man In Black' and "Ring of Fire, the album also features lesser-known tracks such as "Farther Along," "Flesh and Blood' and "Girl From The North Country," his beloved collaboration with Bob Dylan. Don Reedman, who produced the album alongside Nick Patrick, said: "I believe we have captured the emotion, sensitivity and genuine honesty of Johnny Cash through his story telling and his touching and captivating vocal performances." - NME, 9/14/20...... Bill WymanA bass guitar once belonging to former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman sold at auction for a record-breaking $384,000 over the second weekend of September. The 1969 Fender Mustang Bass, with a competition orange finish, was used by Wyman for Stones concerts and recordings in 1969 and 1970, and was one of over 1,000 items from his archive that went under the hammer, including musical instruments, amplifiers, stage-worn ensembles, awards and personal items. The collection contained pieces from Wyman's three-decade stint in the Stones as well as from his solo career, and was sold at a Julien's Auctions event in Beverly Hills. The top-selling item was a 1968 Gibson Les Paul Standard Model Gold Top guitar and case used by late Stones co-founder Brian Jones in the band's Rock And Roll Circus concert in 1968, which sold for $704,000 -- more than three times its pre-auction estimate. Wyman, 83, who played with the band from 1962 to 1993, said he will donate some of the proceeds to a group of his favourite charities. Speaking about the sale, Wyman said: 'Collecting and archiving has been one of the great pleasures of my life and will undoubtedly be one of my legacies. It feels like the right time to share my archive with the world and I hope people will get as much joy from my collections as I have. It is easier to let these items go knowing that a portion of the proceeds from this sale will support three causes that are close to my heart." A portion of the proceeds from the auction will benefit the Prince's Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support and CCMI (Central Caribbean Marine Institute). -, 9/15/20.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

John Fogerty has taken to Facebook to question why Pres. Donald Trump would want to use the classic Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Fortunate Son" during a recent campaign rally on Sept. 10 in Freeland, Mich. In a video posted on Sept. 11, Fogerty, 75, says he wrote the song in 1969 at the height of the Vietnam War to express his frustration about wealthy people using their power and influence to avoid being drafted. "It's a song I could've written now, so I find it confusing, I would say, that the president has chosen to use my song for his political rallies, when in fact it seems like he is probably the 'Fortunate Son,'" said Fogerty, who was drafted and served in the military. Fogerty also recited the opening lines from the song in reference to Pres. Trump using federal troops in early June to clear protestors at Washington, D.C.'s Lafayette Park for a photo-op at St. John's Church. "That's exactly what happened recently in Lafayette Park when the president decided to take a walk across the park," Fogerty said. "He cleared out the area using federal troops so that he could stand in front of St. John's church with a Bible." - Billboard, 9/12/20...... Bruce SpringsteenBruce Springsteen made a surprise release of a heartbreaking rocker titled "Letter to You" on YouTube on Sept. 10 which will be the title track to his upcoming 12-song album with the E Street Band. Hitting stores on Oct. 23, Letter to You is described in a press release as a "rock album fueled by the band's heart-stopping, house-rocking signature sound." "I love the emotional nature of Letter To You," Springsteen said in the statement. "And I love the sound of the E Street Band playing completely live in the studio, in a way we've never done before, and with no overdubs. We made the album in only five days, and it turned out to be one of the greatest recording experiences I've ever had." The album, recorded in Springsteen's home studio, includes nine songs recently written by the musicians and three new versions of previously unreleased tracks from the 1970s: "Janey Needs a Shooter," "If I Was the Priest" and and "Song for Orphans." It will be the follow-up to his July release of a live 1999 Streets of Philadelphia album and 2019's solo album/movie Western Stars. - Billboard, 9/10/20...... The estate of Jimi Hendrix and Legacy Recordings announced on Sept. 10 that a new Hendrix documentary titled Music, Money, Madness... Jimi Hendrix In Maui and an accompanying live album called Jimi Hendrix - Live in Maui is being prepared for release. Jimi Hendrix in Maui will spotlight the Hendrix and his band the Jimi Hendrix Experience's famous visit to the Hawaiian city in 1970, and the ill-fated Rainbow Bridge film about the visit. As Hendrix was working on the follow-up to his Electric Ladyland LP and building his Electric Lady Studios in New York City's Greenwich Village, the completion of the recording facility proved to be quite expensive, so Hendrix's controversial manager Michael Jeffery procured a $500,000 advance from Warner Bros. to fund the remaining construction, and to finance the Rainbow Bridge film in exchange for rights to its soundtrack. However, the shoot began diminishing to an unorganized assemblage of hippie life, and when Jeffrey grew concerned that his investment was in jeopardy, he became desperate to feature Hendrix in the film. The Experience were already booked to perform a concert in Honolulu at the H.I.C. Arena on Aug. 1, 1970 and Wein came up with a plan to film a free "color/sound vibratory experiment" on the lower slope of the dormant Haleakala volcano. A few hundred Maui locals gathered for a successful performance, and Hendrix soon returned to New York and his work at Electric Lady Studios before he tragically died in London on Sept. 18, 1970. Jeffery prepared Rainbow Bridge and its accompanying soundtrack to follow up to acclaimed posthumous The Cry of Love. The film was a commercial flop as moviegoers were under the impression they were going to see a Jimi Hendrix concert film, but only 17 minutes of heavily edited Hendrix concert footage was used in the final cut. The Music, Money, Madness... Jimi Hendrix In Maui Blu-ray will include the full documentary as well as bonus features featuring all of the existing 16mm color film shot of the two performances that afternoon mixed in both stereo and 5.1 surround sound. - Billboard, 9/10/20...... Robert Plant says one of his fondest memories from his recent tour with Willie Nelson was watching the 87-year-old country music icon giving away free weed from his touring bus. "We were invited to play with Willie Nelson a couple of months ago and he was travelling through his tour with his big bus giving away weed to everybody," Plant, 72, said in an interview with the "Digging Deep" podcast. "The most cherished moment of my career was staying up for a couple of days. Not going home, just going to the next place. Finding that I was in transit forever," he added. Asked how Willie goes about giving weed to other bands, the former Led Zeppelin frontman said: "He just gives it away. It's a truckload from here to the... mirrorball and beyond. Free. With doors to go in, get your little hit and go out the other side." -, 9/13/20...... Joni MitchellJoni Mitchell has announced a new series of archival releases from across her 50+ year career that will feature 29 songs that have never been released with the legendary singer/songwriter's vocal. The first edition, Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963 -- 1967) will drop on Oct. 30 and feature recordings prior to the release of Joni's 1968 debut album, Song to a Seagull. It will be a five-disc set containing over six hours of unreleased material, and come with 40-page liner notes, comprised of Mitchell's conversations with former Rolling Stone journalist Cameron Crowe discussing the archives. Crowe has interviewed Mitchell throughout her career, and will purportedly continue to contribute to subsequent entries into the series. Ahead of Archives Vol. 1's release, the first known recording by Mitchell as a 19-year-old performing a cover of the Animals' hit "House of the Rising Son" has been shared on YouTube. Joni performed the song at the Saskatoon radio station CFQC AM. Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963 -- 1967) is now available to pre-order on Mitchell's official website in a variety of editions. - NME, 9/11/20...... The Rolling Stones officially opened their first flagship shop at 9 Carnaby Street in Soho in central London on Sept. 9. The shop stocks a wide range of Stones records and memorabilia, including "an exclusive mix of collections and collaborations for fans of all ages" and a bespoke T-shirt customization station. Inside the shop, fans will find many of the band's lyrics daubed on the glass floor, while the fitting rooms are adorned with the artwork from several of the band's iconic albums including Exile on Main Street (1972) and Some Girls (1978). While the band acknowledges that, given the current social distancing climate, it's " bold time to launch a permanent retail space in London," they still hope that RS No.9 Carnaby Street will "provide a major long-term boost to music tourism in London." "We are confident this exciting project that our friends at Bravado have created will be an unrivalled experience for everyone to come to London and enjoy," their statement added. In addition to the opening of the physical retail outlent, the band also has an online version that has gone live at the same time. Meanwhile, the Stones have broken a UK chart record and beaten rising singer Declan McKenna to the Number One spot on the UK charts. The band was in a tight race for the top with McKenna's new album Zeros after their 1973 album Goats Head Soup was reissued on Sept. 4. Goats Head Soup rise to the top of the charts means the band has now set a new record as the first band in UK chart history to hit the top of the charts with an album across six different decades. They are also now tied with Elvis Presley and Robbie Williams for most Number One albums, with only the Beatles having achieved more with 15. - NME, 9/11/20...... Speaking of Elvis, the new Baz Luhrmann-directed Presley biopic will soon resume filming in Australia after production was halted back in March after star Tom Hanks, who portrays Presley's manager Col. Tom Parker in the film, and his wife Rita Wilson both tested positive for coronavirus. Production on Elvis is now set to resume in Queensland, Australia on Sept. 23. In a statement, Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet, The Great Gatsby) confirmed his excitement about returning to work on the movie. "We're back to, as Elvis liked to say, "taking care of business!," the filmmaker said. "It is a real privilege in this unprecedented global moment that Tom Hanks has been able to return to Australia to join Austin Butler (who plays Elvis in the film) and all of our extraordinary cast and crew to commence production on Elvis.," he added. - NME, 9/10/20...... Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Joan Jett stopped by CBS' The Late Late Show with James Corden on Sept. 10 to perform a cover of the T. Rex classic "Jeepster." Jett's reworking of the song, which was also featured on the recent Marc Bolan/T. Rex tribute album AngelHeaded Hipster: The Songs Of Marc Bolan And T-Rex, can be viewed on YouTube. - New Musical Express, 9/12/20...... Ace FrehleyFormer KISS guitarist Ace Frehley hailed US Pres. Donald Trump as "the strongest leader that we've got" in a new interview on Cassius Morris' radio show in support of his forthcoming new covers album, Origins Vol. 2. "I don"t think politics and rock 'n' roll mix - in my opinion," said Frehley when one of his covers, Cream's 1967 track "Politician," came up in conversation. "And I try to stay away from [politics] as much as I can. I mean, once in a while, I'll make a crack. I will say I'm a Trump supporter. All the politicians have had skeletons in the closet. But I think Trump is the strongest leader that we've got on the table," he added. Frehley's comments, which can be viewed on YouTube, come after KISS frontman Paul Stanley hit out at the president in August for suggesting his opponents may rig November"s election to secure victory. - NME, 9/10/20...... Elton John will feature on a song on the cartoon band Gorillaz' upcoming album Song Machine, Season One: Strange Times. John features on the track "The Pink Phantom" with rapper 6LACK. Posting on Instagram, Elton said: "I am so excited to be a part of @gorillaz Song Machine Season One. The Pink Phantom, coming soon..." The album, also featuring contributions from St. Vincent and Beck, hits stores on Oct. 23. -, 9/10/20...... Pop sensation Miley Cyrus said during a recent appearance on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon that she reached out to one of her biggest musical heroes, Stevie Nicks, to ask permission to sample Nicks' 1981 solo hit "Edge of Seventeen" in her new single "Midnight Sky," and received a lot more than she bargained for with the rock icon's reply. "I sent her the song and I said, 'I have an alternate melody, if you don't want me to kind of like pay tribute to you and your greatness and how much you've inspired me,'" Cyrus recalled, adding that Nicks responded: "You can borrow from me anytime." Cyrus has previously saluted Nicks and Fleetwood Mac at the 2018 MusiCares' Person of the Year ceremony, where she performed a cover of their classic hit "Landslide." -, 9/12/20...... A previously unreleased Tom Petty song called "Confusion Wheel" has been shared on Spotify and other streaming services ahead of the release of a new deluxe box set edition of Petty's 1994 solo album Wildflowers. Petty recorded "Confusion Wheel" in 1994 during the sessions for Wildflowers, and follows the release of three other unreleased songs from the same sessions earlier in 2020: "There Goes Angela (Dream Away)", "You Don"t Know How It Feels" and "Wildflowers." Set for release on Oct. 16, Wildflowers and All the Rest will also feature a 15-track disc comprised purely of home recordings. Many of these were precursors to tracks that ended up on Wildflowers, including "A Higher Place" "To Find A Friend" and "Wake Up Time." - NME, 9/11/20...... German electro-pop pioneers Kraftwerk have announced that Parlophone Records will be reissuing their 2009-released 12345678 remasters catalogue on colour vinyl for the first time this fall. Set for limited release on Oct. 9, each remaster in the 2009 catalogue will be made available as an individual and limited-edition heavyweight LP -- most of which have never been pressed on coloured vinyl before. The UK LPs to be reissued include are Autobahn, Radio-Activity, Trans Europe Express, The Man-Machine, Computer World, Techno Pop, The Mix and Tour De France. Six German Kraftwerk LPs -- five of which are the German language versions, with the other being "Radio-Activt" (which features German song titles on the artwork but the same audio as the UK pressing) -- are also being reissued. - NME, 9/8/20...... Ronald BellRonald "Khalis" Bell, a founding member of Kool & The Gang who produced some of the group's biggest hits including "Celebration" and "Jungle Boogie," died of as yet undisclosed causes at his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Sept. 9. He was 68. Born on Nov. 1, 1951, Bell formed a band in 1964 initially called the Jazziacs, with his brother Robert "Kool" Bell and friends Spike Mickens, Dennis Thomas, Ricky Westfield, George Brown and Charles Smith. They settled on the name Kool & The Gang in 1969. Ronald Bell was a driving force behind the band's distinct blend of funk, soul and R&B, and was co-writer for much of their material, including the classic hits "Celebration," "Jungle Boogie," "Cherish," "Summer Madness" and "Open Sesame." In 1979, Bell and Kool & The Gang achieved international success with their disco crossover smash "Ladies Night," with the group going on to rack up seven Top 10 and 18 Top 40 singles in the UK alone. Bell is survived by his wife Tian Sinclair Bell who was at his side when he passed, 10 children, grandchildren, two brothers including Robert "Kool" Bell, and a sister. - NME, 9/10/20...... Toots and the Maytals leader Toots Hibbert has died from complications of the coronavirus at age 77, the band confirmed on Sept. 12. "It is with the heaviest of hearts to announce that Frederick Nathaniel "Toots" Hibbert passed away peacefully tonight, surrounded by his family at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica," the band posted to Twitter. "The family and management would like to thank the medical teams and professionals for their care and diligence, and ask that you respect their privacy during their time of grief," the statement added. Hibbert grew up singing in church, and formed the Maytals in the 1960s. He was a contemporary of his Island Records labelmate Bob Marley, and would go on to appear on stage with the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Earlier in September, Hibbert was hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus. Tributes pouring in online following the news of his death include those from Ziggy Marley, who wrote: "He was a father figure to me his spirit is w/us his music fills us w/his energy i will never forget him," as well as Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, Willie Nelson, Debbie Harry, The Who and Echo & the Bunnymen. - NME, 9/12/20...... Actor Kevin Dobson who starred as Telly Savalas' eager young partner Bobby Crocker on the '70s series Kojak and as Michele Lee's husband, Mack MacKenzie, on Knots Landing, died on Sept. 6 of as yet undisclosed causes. He was 77. The curly-haired Dobson burst to stardom in 1973 with his turn as Crocker opposite Savalas on the CBS crime show Kojak, working on the New York-set series for five seasons before it was canceled. He then returned for the 1990 TV movie, Kojak: It's Always Something, his character having graduated to assistant district attorney. Dobson appeared on such TV shows as The Mod Squad, Emergency!, Ironside and Police Story before auditioning three times for Kojak. He also starred on the shortlived 1981-82 CBS series Shannon and on the Canadian series F/X: The Series in 1996-97. Dobson joined CBS' Knots Landing at the start of its fourth season as federal prosecutor/detective MacKenzie, who eventually elopes with Lee's Karen Fairgate. He remained with the primetime soap opera until the end of the 14th season in May 1993. He also worked on the daytime soaps Days of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful and One Life to Live. On the big screen, he appeared in the 1976 war movie Midway opposite Henry Fonda and played Barbra Streisand's husband in All Night Long (1981). A veteran and former military policeman, Dobson was a onetime chairman of the nonprofit organization United Veterans Council of San Joaquin County, which announced his death on Facebook. - The Hollywood Reporter, 9/7/20...... Diana RiggEnglish actress Dame Diana Rigg, best known as the indomitable Mrs. Peel in the 1961 cult British spy-fi television series The Avengers, died on Sept. 10 following a short battle with cancer. She was 82. Dame Diana, who had a long career both in film and on stage, died peacefully at home with her family, her agent confirmed. Her daughter, Tipping the Velvet actress Rachael Stirling, said she died of cancer that was diagnosed in March. Born in Doncaster on July 20, 1938, Ms. Rigg trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-upon-Avon in 1959, and the British beauty has been described as an actress who "swept all before her." In 1969, the Yorkshire-born actress became only the second Bond girl to marry 007 in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and more recently starred as the cutthroat matriarch Lady Olenna Tyrell in HBO's Game of Thrones. In 2019, Ms. Rigg, who was made a dame in 1994 for services to drama, revealed that she "suffered a #MeToo moment" early in her career at the hands of a "powerful" film director. Speaking on the UK program Newsnight, the actress said she welcomed the rise of the #MeToo movement, following her own experience as a young actress and revealed she felt like a "lone voice" after she discovered she was being paid less than her male co-stars. Her film roles also included 2006 romantic drama The Painted Veil and Andy Serkis' 2017 romance Breathe, and she also played a role in Edgar Wright's upcoming feature Last Night In Soho, which is scheduled for release on Apr. 23, 2021. Posting on Twitter, Wright said it was "beyond a thrill to work with her on her final film." Ms. Rigg was a regular recipient of award nominations for her work both on stage and on screen. In 1994 she won the "Best Actress in a Play" Tony for "Medea," while she was Golden Globe nominated for The Hospital in 1972, won an Emmy for Rebecca in 1997, a BAFTA TV award in 1990, and received several Olivier award nominations. She was married twice, to the Israeli painter Menachem Gueffen from 1973-1976, and to theater producer Archibald Stirling 1982-1990. With the latter she had a daughter, Rachael Stirling, the two-time Olivier Award nominated actress. - DailyMailUK/, 9/10/20.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Billy Joel announced on Sept. 4 that he is pushing his postponed Madison Square Garden monthly shows to start again in the fall of 2021. Joel had initially postponed his spring MSG residency dates to start in the fall of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, however with the pandemic still making indoor concerts impossible the Piano Man has pushed the dates 14 months into the future. The first postponed gig, Mar. 19, 2020, which was initially moved to Sept. 26, 2020, will now take place Nov. 5, 2021; while the Apr. 2020 gig is now Dec. 20, 2021; the May 2020 concert arrives on Jan. 14, 2022; other 2022 dates will be Mar. 24 and Apr. 8. "Tickets for the original show dates and initial rescheduled show dates will be valid for the corresponding new rescheduled dates in 2021 and 2022," Joel's site says. "Ticketholders can request a refund over the next 30 days, beginning today, if they cannot commit to the new rescheduled show date." It's unclear whether Joel plans on resuming his MSG residency prior to November 2021 with new dates, or if those rescheduled dates mark the return of his monthly MSG gigs. - Rolling Stone, 9/5/20...... Eric BurdonThe Animals' lurid No. 1 1964 hit "House of the Rising Sun" might have been a curious selection for Pres. Donald Trump to play over the loudspeakers as he arrived at an airport in Wilmington, N.C., for a rally on Sept. 2, but former Animals frontman Eric Burdon says he didn't appreciate his former band's signature song being used without his permission nonetheless. "Even though nobody asked my permission, I wasn't surprised to learn that #Trump #864511320 used #Houseof theRisingSun for his rally the other day," Burdon captioned a photo of himself on Twitter wearing a black face mask with the word "vote" printed across the mouth. "A tale of sin and misery set in a brothel suits him so perfectly!," the one time Eric Burdon and War frontman explained. "Far more appropriate for this time in our history might be." Burdon also made his support for the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris ticket apparent, adding "This is my answer #vote #saveourdemocracy #bidenharris2020." Burdon follows the likes of Tom Petty's estate, Neil Young, Steven Tyler, R.E.M., Rihanna and Guns N' Roses in calling out the president for using their songs without permission. - Billboard, 9/7/20...... In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the Rolling Stones say they have no plans to retire anytime soon and are planning a huge gig to celebrate their 60th anniversary in 2022. "You might call it a habit. I mean, that's what we do," guitarist Keith Richards told the magazine. "And also there's that thing between us, like, 'Who's going to be first to get off the bus?' You have to be kicked off or drop off, right? So it's like that. I really can't imagine doing anything else... I hope we're all there, man. It's something to look forward to," he added. The Stones, who were forced to axe their most recent tour due to the Covid-19 pandemic, say they hope to return to touring in the future. "Even though we might have sold tickets, we might not be able to play to them all at once [due to social distancing measures]," frontman Mick Jagger said, adding "I don't know when we're gonna get together at the moment. We don't know when we're going to get together and record. It's got to be in safe circumstances and all that stuff." Richards says he's staying safe at his home in Connecticut during the pandemic, revealing that he even wears a mask to bed. "Oh yeah, I'm a masked man. I mean, it's what you have to do. I wear mine in bed," he said. The Stones are promoting the recent release of an expanded edition of their 1973 LP, Goats Head Soup. -, 9/6/20...... Steve HoweA new live set from prog-rock icons Yes, The Royal Affair Tour: Live from Las Vegas, will drop Oct. 30. Recorded July 26, 2019 at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, the set is billed as "an unforgettable and historic night of British rock" and mixes the band's own classics such as "I've Seen All Good People" and "Roundabout" with their famous covers of songs by the likes of Simon & Garfunkel ("America"), Richie Havens ("No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed") and John Lennon ("Imagine"). In a press release Yes guitarist Steve Howe said: "Having the opportunity to bring together the band members in the development of a well-refined set of songs that captures the band's true potential is simply an honour for me." Yes's 2019 Royal Affair tour united Yes with fellow prog acts Asia, Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy and John Lodge of the Moody Blues. Howe, Palmer and Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes pulled double duty every night by performing in their own bands along with Asia, the prog-rock supergroup they founded in 1982. - Rolling Stone, 9/2/20...... Pattie LaBelle released a new digital EP on Sept. 4 featuring an unreleased track produced by the Brooklyn production unit Full Force, "Ain't Nuthin' But a Feelin." The track was recorded during LaBelle's studio sessions for her 1989 LP Be Yourself, and the EP features both the radio edit and extended versions of the unearthed title track, as well as the "Cleaning House Mix" and "The Ozone Layer Mix" by DJ Geenius. LaBelle has shared several mixes of "Ain't Nuthin' But a Feelin'" on - Rolling Stone, 9/3/20...... Rhino Records has announced a box set of late Americana singer/songwriter John Prine's first seven albums will be released this fall. Crooked Piece of Time collects Prine's albums recorded between 1971 and 1980 and hits stores on Oct. 23. - Rolling Stone, 9/3/20...... The latest installment in Bob Marley's Legacy series, which celebrates 2020 being what would have been the late reggae legend's 75th birthday, spotlights his influence on surfing and skateboarding. The latest episode, "Ride Natty Ride," sees a number of Jamaicans discuss how they started surfing and skateboarding, as well as the reggae icon's musical ties to the pastimes. The episode, which has been shared on YouTube, features interviews with Shama "Superman" Beckford, Ivah Wilmot, and skateboarders Froggboss WellRaggedy and Kaya Wheeler. "Ride Natty Ride" is one of 12 episodes that will explore Marley's impact on music and pop culture. - New Musical Express, 9/6/20...... David BowieTo commemorate its 50th anniversary, David Bowie's third studio album The Man Who Sold the World is set to be reissued on Nov. 5 via Parlophone Records with new artwork and a new title, Metrobolist. The Man Who Sold the World was released by Bowie in 1970 and includes the title track, "All The Madmen" and "Running Gun Blues." Bowie initially wanted to release the album under the name Metrobolist as a tribute to the 1927 film of the same name by Fritz Lang. However, Mercury Records changed the name of the record at the last minute without seeking Bowie's approval first. Metrobolist has been re-mixed by Bowie's longtime producer Tony Visconti. - NME, 9/4/20...... Rob Halford of Judas Priest has revealed during a new interview with Darren Paltrowitz in his podcast Paltrocast that he's currently working on a blues album. Halford says the album will be recorded with the same team he collaborated with for his 2019 Christmas LP Celestial, including his brother Nigel Halford and the son of bassist Ian Hill. "I've been working on this blues album with my brother and my nephew and friends that I worked with together on the Celestial album," Halford says. "We had such a great time, and they're so talented. And that blues thing has never left me -- it's just part of rock and roll." Meanwhile, the metal icon will release his autobiography, Confess, on Sept. 29 via Hachette Books. - NME, 9/6/20...... In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Ozzy Osbourne says he's ruled out any further shows with his former band Black Sabbath. "Not for me. It's done," Osbourne said when asked about a reunion, however he admits he regrets not getting to play one last time with Sabbath drummer Bill Ward. "The only thing I do regret is not doing the last farewell show in Birmingham with Bill Ward. I felt really bad about that. It would have been so nice. I don't know what the circumstances behind it were, but it would have been nice. I've talked to him a few times, but I don't have any of the slightest interest in [doing another gig]," Ozzy said. Ward was set to reunite with Sabbath in 2015, but opted out of the reunion over what he called an "unsignable" contract. -, 9/7/20...... Publisher Omnibus Books has announced a new John Lennon biography, John Lennon 1980: The Last Days In The Life, will be released on Sept. 15 and delve into what it describes as the "powerful, life affirming story" of the Beatles legend's comeback in 1980 after five years of self-imposed retirement. The book is authored by music historian Kenneth Womack, who says the book is "the result of my effort to tell the story of John's final year as a recording artist in the context of his life and not, pointedly, in terms of how he died." "The former Beatle's last episode of greatness is an inspirational story unto itself -- and I am proud to give it the treatment and fullness it deserves," Womack added. -, 9/5/20...... Marc BolanElton JohnElton John has told the UK's The Guardian newspaper that late T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan was "a great role model" as he was developing his stage persona. "He was the perfect pop star," says Elton, who can been seen banging away at the piano in a vintage video of T. Rex performing their hit "Bang a Gong (Get It On)". "His songs were great, his records rocked, he had attitude, he had performing skills, he looked fabulous, he dressed the part," says Elton, adding "I thought: 'This guy doesn't give a f***, he's just being who he is and he's loving every single minute of it.' And that had a great effect on me." Earlier in 2020, Elton teamed up with U2 on a cover of "Bang a Gong" for a new Bolan/T. Rex tribute album Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex. John says Bolan also had an influence on those that came after himself, including the late Prince who passed away in 2016. "When I met Prince, I thought he was like Marc: ethereal, very androgynous," Elton said. -, 9/5/20...... Bruce Williamson, best known as one of the former frontmen of the legendary soul group The Temptations, died on Sept. 6 at his home in Las Vegas after battling the coronavirus. He was 49. Born on Sept. 28, 1970, in Compton, California, Williamson joined The Tempts in 2006 and performed with the group until 2015, singing lead on their albums Back To The Front and Still Here. Williamson was also a member of the group when former Pres. George W. Bush invited them to perform at the White House for a celebration of Black History Month in Feb. 2008. Williamson's son Bruce paid tribute to his father on Facebook: "There's no words in the world that can express how I feel right now. I love you Daddy thank you for being awesome thank you for being loving thank you for being Who You Are I pray to God and we will meet again. I love you Daddy. R.I.H KING WILLIAMSON." - New Musical Express, 9/7/20.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Elton John has come in at #14 on Forbes magazine's annual "Celebrity 100: The World's Highest Paid Celebrities" list, with $82.5 million in pretax earnings from June 2019 through May 2020 before deducting fees for managers, lawyers and agents. Other '70s artists making the list include the Rolling Stones at #32 with $59 million, the Eagles at #75 with $41 million, Paul McCartney at #91 with $37 million, and KISS at #95 with $36.5 million. Nailing down the top spot on the list was Kylie Jenner with a whopping $560 million, followed by Kayne West ($170 million), Roger Federer ($106.3 million), Cristiano Ronaldo ($105 million), and Lionel Messi ($104 million). Figures are based on information from Nielsen Music/MRC Data, Pollstar, IMDB, NPD BookScan and ComScore as well as interviews with industry experts and many of the stars themselves. -, 9/1/20...... Jimi HendrixA pink feather boa famously worn by Jimi Hendrix during his legendary performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in California in 1967 is expected to bring up to £15,000 when it's auction during the second week of September. Following the show and his return to London, Hendrix gave the fashion accessory to photographer Karl Ferris, who says he is now selling the boa to mark the 50th anniversary of Hendrix's death on Sept. 18, 1970 at the age of 27. "Jimi called it his 'Magic Boa' because it brought him much luck and as he wore it on [the cover for his debut album] Are You Experienced and at his best ever concert, Monterey Pop," Ferris said. "As a tribute to the great man I thought it would be the right time to offer the 'Magic Boa' along with a selection of the photographs of Jimi I took back in 1967," he added. The boa will be on the auction block in the UK at Merseyside's Omega Auctions on Sept. 8 as part of their music memorabilia sale, with the full catalogue and other info available at In August, Hendrix's Japanese sunburst electric guitar that he used in the early 1960s sold for more than £160,000 at auction. - New Musical Express, 9/2/20...... David Byrne is apologizing for what he describes as a "major mistake in judgement" for making himself up in blackface in a 1984 promo piece for the Talking Heads' concert film Stop Making Sense. Posting to Twitter in a series of tweets, Byrne said: "Recently a journalist pointed out something I did in a promo video skit in 1984 for the Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense. In the piece I appear as a number of different characters interviewing myself, and some of the characters portrayed are people of color. I'd just about forgotten about this skit and I'm grateful that it has been brought to my attention. To watch myself in the various characters, including black and brown face, I acknowledge it was a major mistake in judgement that showed a lack of real understanding. It's like looking in a mirror and seeing someone else -- you're not, or were not, the person you thought you were. (sic)" Byrne added: "We have huge blind spots about ourselves -- well, I certainly do. I'd like to think I am beyond making mistakes like this, but clearly at the time I was not. Like I say at the end of our Broadway show American Utopia "I need to change too".. and I believe I have changed since then." Ending the thread of tweets by addressing his fans, the 68-year-old singer wrote: "One hopes that folks have the grace and understanding to allow that someone like me, anyone really, can grow and change, and that the past can be examined with honesty and accountability." -, 9/3/20...... Also taking to Twitter in early September is Cher, who is slamming the people behind Britney Spears' controversial conservatorship. Accusing them of treating her fellow pop superstar like a "cash cow," Cher questioned if those in charge of her money actually want her to be well. "She worked hard, was the golden goose, made lots of $$, got sick, now she's the CASH COW. Does anyone who's making (money) off her being sick want her well?," the 74-year-old Cher asked, ending her post with three duck emojis and a question: "Is it a duck?" Following a court hearing in the first week of September, Spears' legal arrangement with her family was formally extended into 2021 after first being ordered back in 2008 when Spears suffered a headline-grabbing meltdown. This is not the first time Cher has questioned the conservatorship -- in January,she wondered why Britney is allowed to work when she is considered legally unfit to run her own finances. "Why is a woman being worked if it's known she's not well enough to care for herself?" she asked. The conservatorship has also proved unpopular among Spears' legion of fans, who have taken to social media with the "Free Britney" campaign, demanding the legal arrangement be scrapped. -, 8/31/20...... Mark MothersbaughIn a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh has shared his experience with coronavirus, saying he nearly died from the disease. Mothersbaugh, 70, said he contracted the virus earlier this summer and spent 10 days on a ventilator in hospital in Los Angeles in June, initially believing his symptoms were from exhaustion, until his temperature registered at 103F. "A nurse came over the next morning and said, 'You should be in ICU'. 'I said, 'That's ridiculous'. She replied that she'd been a nurse for three decades: 'You need an ambulance right now'." Mark said he went from not feeling very good on a Tuesday to being in an ambulance on the way to hospital on Saturday: "It was terrifying." He also recalled suffering from vivid delusions: "I felt blood from being hit. I was handcuffed to a parking deck downtown. I had this whole elaborate story of how these kids sold me to an ambulance company that then got some sort of payment for delivering Covid patients to their ICUs. I totally believed it." Speaking of the world's response to the coronavirus, he said: "Everything's become more devolved than I would have imagined possible. For anybody that's doubting whether the coronavirus and Covid-19 is real, it's really real." It was reported in the last week of August that Mothersbaugh had been one of a number of neighbors to complain about parties held by TikTok stars at the Sway House in Hollywood as he attempts to recover from the disease. - NME, 8/31/20...... While the coronavirus pandemic has been a disastrous event for the live music industry, it's proven to be a boon to the sales of physical music. Online music marketplace Discogs says global sales on its platform in the first half of 2020 have increased dramatically during lockdown, with vinyl, CD and cassette sales seeing a surge. Discogs reports physical sales on their marketplace rose 29.69% -- 4,228,270 orders -- between January and June of 2020, compared to the same period last year. A dramatic spike in sales can be seen from April, shortly after the coronavirus pandemic forced many record stores to shut their physical shopfronts. The most substantial year-over-year improvement came via vinyl record sales, which increased 33.72% with over 5.8 million units sold. CD and cassette sales weren't far behind, demonstrating a 31.03% (1.6 million units sold) and 30.52% (over 137,000 units) increase respectively. Vinyl sales accounted for over 75% of transactions on the Discogs platform in the first half of the year. Overall, more than 7.6 million pieces of physical music were sold by independent sellers around the world throughout the first six months of the year -- an overall 33.83 per cent increase over the same period last year. - NME, 9/1/20...... As Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones continue their press availability to promote the new expanded edition of the 1973 Stones studio album Goats Head Soup, Jagger told the London Sunday Times on Aug. 30 that he initially thought the three previously unreleased band tracks that will feature on the reissue were "terrible." Jagger said when Universal Music Group execs first told him they had discovered the tracks in the band's archives, he admitted he was against the idea. "They said, "We've found these three tracks'. I said, "They're all terrible.' That's always my initial reaction, 'They're all useless!' I mean, actually, I always liked the songs, but they weren't finished." Jagger says he eventually changed his mind when he realized the group could iron out the imperfections and bring the tracks up to scratch. "Sonically they still sound like they were recorded then, even if they weren't perfect. You can make them sound a little better than they did. But I think these three songs are all up there with the rest of the songs on this record," he said. The tracks, including "Criss Cross," "All the Rage" and the Jimmy Page-featuring "Scarlet," were initially recorded during sessions for Goats Head Soup, but never featured on the full release. - NME, 9/1/20...... Employees of Elvis Presley's Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tenn., arrived at work on Sept. 1 to find messages supporting Black Lives Matter and defunding the police scrawled across a stone wall outside the mansion. The graffiti also featured references to Breonna Taylor and the phrases "No Justice, No Peace," "Defund MPD" and "F--k Trump." Also tagged with similar messages was Levitt Shell in nearby Overton Park where Presley performed his first paid concert in July 1954. A local paper reported that officials at Levitt Shell have filed a police report, noting that because of the pandemic, the venue run by a nonprofit organization has been shuttered and is looking at a $700,000 shortfall this year. Tennessee Rep. London Lamar tweeted a theory that the vandalism to Graceland and Levitt Shell was not done by Black Lives Matter activists, but by "individuals trying to make this movement look bad." A spokesperson for Graceland has yet to comment on the incident. - Billboard, 9/2/20...... Bette MidlerBette Midler heads a cast of five Americans who team up at a safe distance to star in the new HBO series Coastal Elites. The Paul Rudinick-penned, Jay Roach-directed satire is about a teacher (Midler), an activist, an actor, a nurse, and a meditation guru who are scattered across the country during our politicized pandemic. Issa Rae, Dan Levy, Kaitylin Dever, and Sarah Paulson also star as different people with different goals, all with the same hope to survive these trying, traumatic times. Coastal Elites premieres on HBO on Sept. 12 at 8:00 p.m. EDT. - Entertainment Weekly, 9/20...... In an early draft of the 1966 Beatles' classic "In My Life," John Lennon referred to the Abbey Cinema in Liverpool as one of the song's "places I'll remember all my life." "In the circle of the Abbey, I have seen some happy hours," John wrote, before deciding to scratch that line for the final version. Now that same cinema frequently visited by John and his fellow Beatle George Harrison in their youth is under threat of being rebuilt by the UK supermarket chain Lidl, which says they are "considering all options for the site, which include the potential for a new building of high quality design and that their preference was 'to erect purpose-built food stores' -- but added that they have 'preserved original structures in the past'. Fans concerned about the venue's Beatles heritage have submitted an application for the Abbey Cinema, which hasn't shown a film since 1979, to be listed to Historic England for its preservation. A petition calling for the preservation has attracted over 2500 signatures, while a "Save the Abbey" Twitter account has been set up to support the appeal as well. - New Musical Express, 8/30/20...... Director Spike Lee has shared a new version of the video for Michael Jackson's "They Don't Care About Us" on YouTube to mark what would have been the pop superstar's 62nd birthday on Aug. 29. Lee was behind the camera for the two original videos for the track -- one shot in Brazil and another set in a prison. The new visuals for the HIStory: Past, Present and Future track incorporate footage from 2020's Black Lives Matter protests from locations around the world, including Rio De Janeiro, Helsinki, Atlanta, Cape Town, and more. In between those scenes, it shows clips from the original videos. In a statement, Lee said: "Great protest songs can't get old, stale or non-relevant because the struggle still continues. That's why THEY DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT US is the anthem during this chaotic, pandemic world we are all living in. To celebrate Michael Jackson's born day, we have made the THEY DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT US 2020 short film to continue the struggle for equality for all. That's the truth, Ruth. Be safe." - NME, 8/29/20...... Veteran pop music composer Burt Bacharach, who recently released five-track EP called Blue Umbrella with Nashville singer/songwriter Daniel Tashian, says recording new music during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a "lifesaver" for him. Bacharach, 92, admits getting to work with Tashian felt like "therapy" for him during as he isolated at his home in Pacific Palisades, Calif., with his wife Jane Hansen. "In these times it's like a lifesaver, while being terrified at what's happening outside. It's a form of therapy," Bacharach told the Texarkana Gazette. Speaking to the same paper, Tashian said: "They say when the student is ready, the teacher appears. It's a great thrill. There is a whole world of sound in his head that is so pleasing to be able to collaborate with." Although the two Grammy-winning musicians finished the EP before lockdown started, the duo continued to work on more songs, including one track titled "Quiet Place," as the coronavirus disease spread across the US. -, 9/2/20...... The A&E cable network will debut a new installment in their venerable Biography series focusing on Ozzy Osbourne on Sept. 7 at 9:00 p.m. EDT. Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne references a cat which has, you know, nine lives. Which is an animal the Prince of Darkness has not bitten the head off of. - Entertainment Weekly, 9/20...... Tom SeaverFormer Major League Baseball pitcher Tom Seaver, a baseball legend who became a pop culture icon after helping the New York Mets win the team's first World Series in 1969, died peacefully in his sleep on Aug. 31 of complications of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19. He was 75. Known as "Tom Terrific," Seaver won 311 games and had a 2.86 earned-run average over a 20-year major league career that spanned from 1967-1986. Seaver, a 1992 inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame, was also a three-time Cy Young Award winner and 12-time all-star player. He also played for the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox. "I am deeply saddened by the death of Tom Seaver, one of the greatest pitchers of all-time," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "Tom was a gentleman who represented the best of our National Pastime. He was synonymous with the New York Mets and their unforgettable 1969 season. After their improbable World Series Championship, Tom became a household name to baseball fans -- a responsibility he carried out with distinction throughout his life. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my condolences to Tom's family, his admirers throughout our game, Mets fans, and the many people he touched." Lewy body dementia is the same life-changing disease that devasted Robin Williams before the comedian/actor committed suicide. - CNN, 9/3/20...... Ian Mitchell, a bassist for the Scottish '70s pop band the Bay City Rollers, has died of as yet undisclosed causes at age 62. The group confirmed Mitchell's passing via a statement posted on their official Facebook page: "We are deeply saddened by the news of Ian Mitchell's death. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Wendy, their family and friends. Rest In Peace, Ian." Mitchell replaced bassist Alan Longmuir in 1976 when he was just 17, and was the first non-Scottish member of the group. With Mitchell on bass, the group released their album Dedication and reached No. 12 in the US charts with their cover of Dusty Springfield's hit "I Only Want To Be With You." Mitchell was later replaced by Pat McGlynn, before Longmuir, who died in 2018, made his eventual return in 1978. - NME, 9/2/20.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

After a parole hearing on Aug. 26, the convicted murderer of John Lennon was denied parole for the 11th time. Mark David Chapman, 65, will remain in custody in the Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo for at least another two years for murdering Lennon outside The Dakota apartment building on Manhattan's Upper West Side in Dec. 1980. Chapman, who is currently serving a 20-years-to-life sentence after pleading guilty to second-degree murder, was first eligible for parole in 2000. His next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 2022. In 2018, the parole board said that Chapman himself was safer in prison than on the outside, where someone may want to kill him for notoriety or to avenge Lennon. During that hearing, Chapman told the parole board that he had "found Jesus" and was ashamed of himself, adding he was willing to be in jail "for as long as it took." Chapman was 25 when he shot the famous former Beatle dead outside the apartment building on Dec. 8, 1980. When police arrived to arrest him, he was flicking through pages of The Catcher in the Rye. He later said he was angry at the time about the immense fame that Lennon had amassed. Lennon's widow Yoko Ono has previously argued against Chapman's release, saying he remains a risk to her and her son with Lennon. It's unclear if she wrote to the parole board this year, as she has done in the past. Details of the latest hearing have not yet emerged, aside from the fact Chapman was turned down for release. -, 8/26/20...... John LennonIn other John Lennon news, what would have been his 80th birthday this October will be commemorated with the release of a new remix album called Gimme Some Truth - The Ultimate Mixes. Executive produced by the late Beatle's widow Yoko Ono and produced by his son Sean Ono Lennon, the special collection will arrive via Capitol/UMe on Oct. 9, the same day he would have turned 80 years old. Gimme Some Truth will be comprised of 36 classic Lennon songs which Capitol says were "completely remixed from scratch, radically upgrading their sonic quality and presenting them as a never-before-heard Ultimate Listening Experience." One of the remixed tracks from the release, "Instant Karma (We All Shine On)," has been shared on YouTube. Other remixes include "Come Together," "Mind Games," "Jealous Guy," "Dear Yoko" and "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)." Gimme Some Truth will be available in the following formats: 1CD, 2CD, 2LP, 4LP and streaming/download. A deluxe edition will include 36 tracks, a Blu-ray audio disc and an exclusive 124-page book. - New Musical Express, 8/26/20...... As Mick Jagger's first film role in 20 years comes to Blu-ray, DVD and Digital on Aug. 25, the Rolling Stones frontman has spoken about his part in the neo-noir thriller film The Burnt Orange Heresy. The film follows a washed-up European art critic James Figueras (Claes Bang) and his American tourist lover (Elizabeth Debicki) who travel to the lavish Lake Como, where a greedy art dealer Cassidy (Jagger) requests Figueras to steal a painting from the legendary reclusive artist Jerome Debney (Donald Sutherland). It's Jagger's first acting role since starring in the 2001 drama The Man from Elysian Fields. Jagger says his familiarity with the art world helped him connect to the overall mold of his character. "I thought the Cassidy character kind of suited me, and he was a kind of charming rather malignant person," the 77-year-old rock superstar said with a laugh. "He's quite a bit crooked, he's very invasive of other people." The Burnt Orange Heresy, directed by Giuseppe Capotondi, is based on Charles Willeford's 1971 noir novel and closed the Venice International Film Festival in 2019. - Billboard, 8/24/20...... In an interview with the U.K. paper The Mirror, Ozzy Osbourne has once again stated that he will never retire from music. "You know the time when I will retire? When I can hear them nail a lid on my box. And then I'll f---ing do an encore. I'm the Prince Of Darkness," the 71-year-old heavy metal legend says. "When you feel that audience jumping, it's a better feeling than orgasm. It is the best love affair of my life. The party is on, man. I feel honoured people still want to see me," he adds. Ozzy released his 12th solo album, Ordinary Man, in February 2020. - NME, 8/29/20...... Elton JohnIn a new interview with BBC Radio 6 Music, Elton John has criticized modern pop music, claiming that "proper songs" have become "too sophisticated" for the UK charts. "I like people who write songs," Sir Elton says. "And there's plenty of people that do but a lot of them don't get played on the radio because they're too sophisticated and we get songs made by a computer all the time and I'm not interested in that." John said he was a big fan of Father John Misty and Conan Gray because they write their own songs. "(Misty) reminds me a little bit of me the way he writes songs. Conan's from America and he's the only person in the American Spotify Top 50 to actually write the song without anybody else," said Elton, adding "Everybody else there's four or five writers on (a track). You look at most of the records in the charts -- they're not real songs. They're bits and pieces and it's nice to hear someone write a proper song." John also confirmed that he will resume on his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour" once the coronavirus pandemic subsides. "Oh of course I'm going straight out there again. When and where, I don't know. I mean know where -- but I don't know when. I'll definitely be out there, yes," he said. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Elton's iconic performance at the Troubadour in L.A. in 1970, limited-edition release of the pop superstar's debut self-titled U.K. album Elton John will be issued as a Record Store Day exclusive on Aug. 29. The 2-LP reissue will be pressed on transparent purple vinyl, with the second disc featuring a selection of bonus tracks off the 2008 Deluxe CD edition, which have never been released on vinyl until now. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of his Troubadour performance, Elton has shared footage from the concert on YouTube. - NME, 8/27/20...... Representatives of Leonard Cohen's estate have issued a statement saying they "specifically declined" requests for the late Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member's song "Hallelujah" to be played at a recent Republican National Convention, and were "surprised and dismayed" when it was played twice at the convention on Aug. 27, during the fireworks that followed Pres. Donald Trump's presidential acceptance speech. "We are surprised and dismayed that the RNC would proceed knowing that the Cohen Estate had specifically declined the RNC's use request, and their rather brazen attempt to politicise and exploit in such an egregious manner 'Hallelujah,' one of the most important songs in the Cohen song catalogue. We are exploring our legal options," says Cohen estate attorney Michelle Rice. Rice also quipped that "Had the RNC requested another song, 'You Want it Darker,' for which Leonard won a posthumous Grammy in 2017, we might have considered approval of that song." Cohen died in 2016 at age 82 after a late-career revival. "Hallelujah," first released in 1984, has become his most-performed song. Meanwhile, Pres. Trump is now using the Village People's 1979 hit "Y.M.C.A." at his rallies after the Rolling Stones threatened legal action against his campaign for using the Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want." "Now that I have seen it a few times at various events, clearly The Village People's 'YMCA' is now the walk-off song for the president replacing the Rolling Stones' 'You can't always get what you want'," Kelly O'Donnell of NBC News tweeted on Aug 24. However Village People leader Victor Willis has echoed the Stones' feelings about Trump using his band's music. In June, Willis posted a message to the president on his Facebook page: "I ask that you no longer use any of my music at your rallies, especially 'Y.M.C.A.' and 'Macho Man', following the George Floyd protests and Black Lives Matter marches. Sorry, but I can no longer look the other way." Queen is also saying they are in an "uphill battle" to prevent Pres. Trump from using their songs in his re-election campaign. It comes after Trump recently used their 1977 hit "We Will Rock You" on his new account on social media platform Triller. The band have ordered it to be pulled from the service, which is seen as a rival to TikTok. The clip has gone on to clock up over one million views, according to BBC News. A Queen spokesperson said it's an "uphill battle" and the band have "repeatedly taken issue with the Trump campaign... Queen continues to oppose and try to block usage of their songs." - NME, 8/29/20...... In related news, Paul Stanley of KISS has lashed out at the president for suggesting his opponents may "rig" November's presidential election to secure victory. Posting on Twitter on Aug. 27, Stanley said: "REGARDLESS of who you support, it is incendiary & abhorrent for ANY candidate to say 'If I lose, the election is rigged'. It's an insult to those who have fought for the free, safe elections we have and dangerously implies that citizens who don't share your views are the enemy. Stanley's latest message comes after he previously encouraged KISS fans to vote in November, warning that "we have a responsibility to our past and to our future." In other KISS-related news, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister has taken aim at Stanley and Gene Simmons for letting replacement members of the band use the signature stage makeup worn by co-founding KISS members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. Snider, who also donned makeup for Twisted Sister's videos and shows, insists that Stanley and Simmons should have retired the look when they kicked Criss and Frehley out of the band. "I hate what Kiss is doing with the guys with Ace and Peter's makeup on," the singer told the Appetite for Distortion podcast. "I'm not a fan." - NME/WENN/, 8/28/20...... Ian AndersonJethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson has shared a post on his official website in which he suggests solutions to the issue of hosting concerts safely amid the coronavirus pandemic. Anderson says that outdoors gigs are by far the better option to pursue. "My personal belief is that outdoor concerts are safe right now at the current level of national infections with minimum 1m lateral seat spacing for single seat positioning and EVERYONE wearing a mask -- at least a 50p 3-layer surgical mask -- not a flimsy single layer home-made cosmetic face covering," he wrote, adding that indoor venues pose a greater risk since it's easier to catch contaminated air droplets in a confined space where there are more hard surfaces. "Any resumption of performances in indoor spaces should include detailed analysis of the venue-specific risk from persistent airborne particles of down to 1 micron size and, very importantly, mandatory real face mask wearing," Anderson says. He continued: "I suggest that environmental health assessments are carried out for theatres and concert halls and they can be granted (or not granted) an interim COVID license to operate with restricted seating and and all the other obvious sanitary and entry/exit/toilet protocols in place. That will take many weeks to carry out but I really think that we have, realistically, until next spring to to do this when, hopefully, infection rates are down to a safer level." Anderson said he sent his proposals to two separate UK government officials and did not receive a response. "Hard to make any progress with this muddled, uninformed and lacklustre UK Government," added Anderson, who revealed earlier this year that he is suffering from incurable, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). - NME, 8/28/20...... Meanwhile, Van Morrison has criticized the "pseudo-science" of socially distanced gigs in a new open letter to fans. Posting on his official website, Morrison said: "As you know, we are doing socially distanced gigs at Newcastle Upon Tyne's Gosforth Park, Electric Ballroom and The London Palladium. This is not a sign of compliance or acceptance of the current state of affairs, this is to get my band up and running and out of the doldrums. This is also not the answer going forward. We need to be playing to full capacity audiences going forward. I call on my fellow singers, musicians, writers, producers, promoters and others in the industry to fight with me on this." The Celtic crooner went on, calling on fans and musicians to "fight the pseudo-science" of socially distanced gigs, and to "speak up." "Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and myself appear to be the only people in the music business trying to get it back up and running again," he said. "Come forward. "It's not economically viable to do socially distanced gigs. Come forward now, the future is now." - NME, 8/25/20...... A star-studded trailer for a new documentary about former US Pres. Jimmy Carter's relationship with some of rock's biggest stars, Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President, has been shared on YouTube. The documentary, which highlights Carter's friendships with some of rock'n'roll's biggest names, features the likes of Bob Dylan, Nile Rodgers, Bono, Willie Nelson and others. "The one thing that has held America together is the music we share and love," Pres. Carter says at the start of the new trailer, while revealing that Dylan and Nelson are among his "closest friends." Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President is set to open in US cinemas on Sept. 9. On Oct. 9, it will be available for streaming and will also get a physical release. Carter, who is now 95 years old, served as the 39th President of the US between 1977 and 1981. - NME, 8/28/20...... Rick WakemanRick Wakeman says he's willing to perform his new album The Red Planet on Mars if he has to. Wakeman's new LP is a concept record about the planet and though he's looking forward to performing it at the upcoming Starmus festival hosted by Brian May of Queen and scientist Garik Israelian in June 2021, "we've got a plan if the social-distancing situation gets worse -- we'll do the gig on Mars." "It's a fascinating place -- it even has a rock'n'roll element to it," the 71-year-old Yes rocker says. "It rains, but it rains dry ice. And there's nothing more prog rock than dry ice, is there?" Wakeman addes he isn't impressed by the current possibilities available for live performance because of the coronavirus pandemic. "People in music thrive on bouncing off each other, it's what makes the whole thing tick. And the clock has stopped. And the online concert thing... I'm sorry, no," Wakeman says. "The essence of a live performance is when a performer and an audience become one. Everyone's vibing off everyone else. I mean, A for effort and all that. I know someone who went to one of those drive-in concerts and he said, 'I might as well have put the radio on'," he adds. -, 8/26/20...... Mark Mothersbaugh, leader of the '70s New Wave band Devo, was left fighting for his life in a hospital intensive care unit in June after testing positive for COVID-19, according to his wife Anita. Anita has revealed her husband's health scare while raising concerns about the couple's Hollywood Hills neighbors, TikTok stars Bryce Hall, Noah Beck and Blake Gray, who have come under fire for ignoring coronavirus concerns by throwing huge house parties at their rented mansion. "This virus is no joke," Anita told the UK paper The Daily Mail. "I've experienced it first-hand. There was a week where my daughters thought (Mark) would die," she divulged. Describing scenes from the house, Anita said: "There are people in the pool screaming, they're blasting music and there are cars parked all down the street. They don't seem to care about public health." Anita's comments emerged a week after Los Angeles authorities shut off water and electricity to the trio's home after violating coronavirus restrictions by hosting a massive gathering for Hall's 21st birthday on Aug. 14. -, 8/27/20...... Neil Young has announced that he's set to release a new 7-track EP on Sept. 18. The EP, entitled The Times They Are A-Changin' after the famous Bob Dylan song, features a cover of that song as well as "Lookin' For A Leader 20202" -- a re-working of Young's track "Lookin' For A Leader," in which he takes aim once again at US Pres. Donald Trump. The Times will be released exclusively via Amazon Music, which Young says "delivers better sound to the masses" than any other streaming platform. The tracklist for the EP can be viewed on - NME, 8/28/20...... Richie BlackmoreWilliam ShatnerVeteran Star Trek actor William Shatner has teamed up with Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore for a cover of B.B. King's 1970 blues classic "The Thrill Is Gone." The track is the second single from Shatner's upcoming album The Blues, which hits stores on Oct. 2 via Cleopatra Records, following his take on the Canned Heat hit "Let's Work Together." Shatner's "The Thrill Is Gone" opens in sultry fashion, with Blackmore showcasing the musical dynamism for which he is renowned. Shatner then takes the reigns, repeatedly bemoaning that the thrill has, in fact, gone. "'The Thrill is Gone' is the title of the song, but the thrill is there with Richie Blackmore and his great guitar!," Shatner joked in a press release. The track can be previewed on Comprised almost exclusively of blues and R&B covers, Shatner's 14-track The Blues sees him rip through classics such as "Sweet Home Chicago," "Route 66" and "Sunshine Of Your Love." - NME, 8/27/20...... Joe Ruby, co-creator of the Scooby-Doo animated cartoon character, passed away from natural causes in Westlake Village, Calif., on Aug. 26. He was 87. Mr. Ruby and his partner, Ken Spears, were the brains behind the beloved animated children's series, titled Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?, which premiered in the U.S. in 1969. The main characters of Scooby-Doo, Fred, Shaggy, Daphne, and Velma were brought to life onscreen by Iwao Takamoto, and the original show aired until 1976. The franchise continued with a string of spin-offs and movies, all focused on the goofy Great Dane and his four teenage pals as they solved various mysteries. The brand spawned two live-action theatrical releases, 2002's Scooby-Doo and its 2004 sequel, Monsters Unleashed, both starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini, Isla Fisher and Rowan Atkinson. "He never stopped writing and creating, even as he aged," his grandson, Benjamin Ruby, told Other Hanna-Barbera Productions created by Ruby and Spears include Dynomutt, Dog Wonder and Jabberjaw. - WENN/, 8/27/20.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Queen + Adam Lambert announced on Aug. 20 they'll be releasing a live album this fall, their first LP as a unit since Lambert took the stage with co-founding Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor in 2009 while still an American Idol contestant. Live Around the World, dropping on Oct. 2, will arrive in CD, CD+DVD, CD+Blu-ray and vinyl formats, collecting hand-picked concert highlights captured around the world from over 200 shows including the band's 22-minute Fire Fight Australia benefit show from Feb. 16. Fire Fight Australia was one of the band's last live shows before COVID-19 forced them to postpone their UK and European "Rhapsody Tour" until 2021 and recreates Queen's historic 1985 Live Aid set in its entirety. In a statement, Brian May noted that "in a world dominated by a formidable viral enemy, it seemed the perfect time for us to create a collection of hand-picked live highlights from our Queen shows over the last 7 years with our brother Adam Lambert." Lambert adds that Queen "have had a lot of fun putting it together, picking out favorite performances over the past seven years." The band has also shared a trailer for the new release on YouTube. Queen and Lambert's postponed 27-date UK and European Rhapsody Tour has been rescheduled to start on May 23, 2021, in Bologna, Italy, including a 10-day residency at London's The O2 Arena in June and ending on July 7 for a final concert in Madrid, Spain. - Billboard, 8/20/20...... The Rolling StonesThe Rolling Stones are planning to launch a flagship store with all the Stones merch you'll ever need on Carnaby Street, the spiritual center of London's fashion world in the swinging '60s. Set to debut on Sept. 9, the Rolling Stones Store will blast non-stop Stones tunes, a glass floor with Stones lyrics, and fitting rooms splashed with some of the band's iconic album covers. Its racks will carry fashion and merchandise lines, exclusive product and music, among other goodies. Just a "stone's throw" from the Oxford Circus Underground station, the new store says Mick Jagger and Co. in a statement is curated by the band in partnership with Bravado, Universal Music Group's merchandise and brand management business. "We are confident this exciting project that our friends at Bravado have created will be an unrivaled experience for everyone to come to London and enjoy," the band added. Fans can take a virtual tour of the new RS No. 9 Carnaby store in advance of its opening on Instagram. Meanwhile in other Stones-related news, Ronnie Wood raged about Covid-19 pandemic and governments' failures to take control of it in the UK paper The Times on Aug. 22. "This Covid is not a joke," the guitarist fumed. "It's really p--sing me off. Nobody seems to know about it, nobody seems to be its boss, everyone seems lost. You could go to a restaurant and it was packed and yet you weren't allowed to go to a concert. What's that about? I've lost faith in not having any direction from people who should know. So yes, I'm impatient to get going." Discussing how the pandemic has delayed the Stones' new album, he adds, "It's just on the front burner, it was almost there when lockdown happened," going on to say that the group miss being together in the studio and touring as they do not see much of each other socially. "We are a touring band. And we miss it. We miss being together as a band... but right now, until we can get going again, we are staying in contact and just hanging in there doing our own things." In another interview with Sky News, Wood said although the band is working on new material, he doesn't envisage them touring until next summer after coronavirus halted live music across the globe. "We're not holding our breath, otherwise we'd have collapsed. But we are happily carrying on day by day & chores, and enjoying our families," he said. - Billboard/, 8/20/20...... Liam Gallagher of the popular alternative band Oasis has revealed that John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono once told him she thought it was "silly" of him to name his son "Lennon" in tribute to her late husband. Gallagher says he met with Yoko in New York in 1999, the same year his son was born, and Ono siad, "I've heard you've called your son Lennon... Why? Do you not think it's a bit of a silly name?" "No, it's a bit silly being called Yoko isn't it? So Lennon it is," Gallagher says he said in response, to which Yoko questioned him if his son would "get picked on in school?" "Nah man, he'll be buzzing with that name," Gallagher said he told Ono. Gallagher then remembered that Yoko "made us a nice cup of tea... asked me if I wanted a go on the piano (to which he declined)... and showed us around" her New York apartment. In 2018, Gallagher revealed how listening to Lennon's music helps him to battle his inner demons. "I do not need therapy. John Lennon is my thing," he said. - New Musical Express, 8/24/20...... The DoorsA 2-CD/LP 50th anniversary edition of The Doors' acclaimed 1970 album Morrison Hotel will drop on Oct. 9 with a newly remastered record by the band's longtime engineer and mixer Bruce Botnick. Morrison Hotel - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition will also include over 60 minutes of unreleased studio outtakes of the band's fifth studio LP. "There are many takes, different arrangements, false starts, and insightful studio conversations between the band and producer Paul Rothchild who was in the control room," Botnick says. "It's like being a fly on the wall." The Doors have shared previously unreleased takes of the Morrison Hotel tracks "Peace Frog" and "Blue Sunday" on YouTube. - NME, 8/22/20...... In a new interview with the UK's Uncut magazine, Patti Smith says she admires the people who can combine "poetic elements" with melodies that find the formula to mainstream pop success, and that she doesn't think she's "that good" at writing songs. "I've written only a couple of songs that have been popular. I'm not a hit maker," says the 73-year-old punk poetess. "I would have loved to be somebody who could do that." Smith also revealed she is a big fan of many popular female chart stars, even though their music is very different to her own. "I love pop music. I like the same songs everybody else likes. I like Adele, I like Rihanna, I like Billie Eilish. I loved R&B songs when I was young. I loved Amy Winehouse. But for myself, I gravitate toward a different kind of expression," Smith added. "Almost all of my records have an homage to an artist, poet or friend. It comes naturally," says Smith, who has written songs in tribute to the likes of Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix. "I've seen a lot of people die in my life, from a childhood friend to my brother, my husband, my best friend, my pianist, my parents, Sam Shepard. So many people I thought I would know forever. I'm very familiar with having to find a way to walk with people who have passed away." -, 8/23/20...... In the latest episode of his SiriusXM radio channel "From His Home to Yours," Bruce Springsteen called rising singer Lana Del Rey "simply one of the best songwriters in the US." After playing Del Rey's 2012 song "American" in which she sings "Springsteen is the kind, don't you think?/I was like, hell yeah that guy can sing," Springsteen quipped: "She's, uh, name-checking some guy from New Jersey in there. I'm not sure who." He then called her "simply one of the best songwriters in the country, as we speak... She just creates a world of her own and invites you in. So a big favorite of mine, the lovely Lana Del Rey." - New Musical Express, 8/16/20...... CherCher says she has been snubbed on her offer to help the United States Postal Service because her local post office in Malibu, Calif. said she wasn't qualified to be a volunteer. Cher tweeted on Aug. 19 that she felt the need to perform a little community service for her own post office: "NO, IM NO (not) KIDDING...COULD I VOLUNTEER AT MY POST OFFICE (sic)," followed by another tweet imploring: "IS NO ONE GOING TO HELP ME WITH POST OFFICE (sic)." She went on to explain the supervisor said no, as she was told all potential employees need to submit fingerprints ahead of a background check. "I Called & Said Hi This is Cher Do U Accept volunteers. NO, Need Fingerprints & Background Check (sic)," she posted. Cher's offer to help the USPS comes as Pres. Donald Trump has attempted to streamline the agency in the run up to the presidential elections when many voters will rely on the mail service to cast their votes as they shelter from COVID-19. -, 8/20/20...... In a new interview with Rolling Stone magazine, the normally apolitical Ozzy Osbourne charges U.S. Pres. Donald Trump with "acting like a fool with coronavirus response." "In my lifetime, I've never known anything like this," Osbourne says of Trump's response to the pandemic. "It's getting worse, not better. And this guy's acting like a fool. I don't really like to talk politics that much, but I've got to say what I feel with this guy. There's not much hope left. Maybe he's got a trick up his sleeve and he's going to surprise us all, and I hope he has." Ozzy also questioned why Trump ran for president in 2016: "If I was running for president, I would try and find out a little bit about politics. Because the f---ing guy you've got in there now doesn't know that much about it, I don't think. It's not like anyone could be a fucking heart surgeon and just go in with a scalpel. You have to know what you're fucking doing." Also in the interview Osbourne confirmed that he and wife Sharon Osbourne are set to be the subject of a new biopic. "From what I understand, it's about Sharon and I and our relationship. It's how we met, fell in love, and how we married. She's my other half. She grew up a lot with me, and I grew up a lot with her." - NME, 8/22/20...... Iconic '70s TV comedian Carol Burnett has filed legal documents asking the court to allow her to raise her grandson Dylan Hamilton due to substance abuse issues. According to court documents obtained by The, Carol and her husband Brian Miller have filed a petition for the appointment of a temporary guardian. Dylan is the son of Carol's daughter Erin Hamilton. In the brief, the comedian says,"Dylan's living environment has long been unstable, unpredictable, and unhealthy for a child. This culminated in a Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) investigation and juvenile dependency proceedings in 2018 and 2019." The document also states that Dylan's mother Erin "has suffered from severe substance abuse and addiction issues throughout her adult life" and "has been in and out of rehabilitation centers and has been institutionalized a total of eight times for a minimum of 30 days each time." -, 8/19/20...... Cameron CroweIt has been revealed by director Cameron Crowe that Neil Young almost made an appearance in Crowe's iconic '70s-themed 2000 movie Almost Famous. Crowe tells Rolling Stone that he had intended Young to appear as Harry Hammond, the estranged father of aspiring rock journalist Russell Hammond (played by Billy Crudup). "Neil was going to come backstage in Cleveland with a young wife," Crowe remembers. "They're complimenting the show, but the young bride is looking at Crudup and he's looking at her; and he realizes that the father is being played and is piggybacking on his [son's] success. It's a heartbreaking moment about what success does to an estranged parent." However Crowe says Young cancelled on the morning of the shoot, although "he went through his archives to find the perfect take (of 'Cortez the Killer', for use in the film), mixed it and gave it to us. So he giveth and he taketh." Almost Famous will mark its 20th anniversary in September. - NME, 8/21/20...... Drummer Frankie Banali, best known for his tenure with the hard rock band Quiet Riot, died on Aug. 20 in Los Angeles following a bout with pancreatic cancer. He was 68. Banali's wife, Regina, wrote in a statement that the longtime heavy metal drummer -- who also played with W.A.S.P., Billy Idol and Faster Pussycat, among many others -- had been fighting stage 4 pancreatic cancer since Apr. 2019. "He put up an inspiringly brave and courageous 16-month battle to the end and continued playing live as long as he could," she wrote. "He lived for playing live and performed for millions of fans around the world throughout his career. His wish for everyone is that you be your own health advocate for early detection so you may live long and rescue many animals." Upon learning of Banali's death, Billy Idol tweeted: "Sad news about #frankiebanali RIP he played the drums on my first version of Mony Mony recorded in 1981 he did a fantastic job!," while Paul Stanley of KISS posted that Banali "was so open in his reports of his illness and seemed to live through his treatments and setbacks bravely and with grace." - Billboard, 8/23/20.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Bette Midler and trailblazing '70s TV producer Norman Lear are among those speaking out against the Pres. Donald Trump-appointed new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy who many observers feel is doing his best to dismantle the USPS to discourage mail in voting in advance of the Nov. 3 presidential election. "What's Trump's vision for his second term? Revenge, plain and simple. He'll be ramping up his smearing, he'll find a way to jail the disloyal, he will defund #SocialSecurity, #Medicaid; he will sell off the #PostOffice for parts," Bette Midler tweeted, while Norman Lear posted: "In my 98 years, I never thought I would see a president trying to eliminate the U.S. Postal Service. Please watch this beautiful video and join me in taking action to save it." The purported "cost saving" managerial actions of DeJoy, who was also a major Trump fundraiser in the 2016 campaign, is now the object of lawsuits filed by six states in Federal District Court in Manhattan. It asks the court to declare that Pres. Trump and DeJoy have violated voters' rights by seriously dialing back Post Office services and asking that the administration ensures that the U.S.P.S. is adequately funded. - Billboard, 8/18/20...... Bruce SpringsteenSales of Bruce Springsteen's 2002 song "The Rising" have surged after it was used in the first night of the Democratic National Convention to soundtrack a segment of the program that was dubbed "Rise Up." "The Rising," first released in July of 2002, sold 1,000 downloads on Aug. 17 -- up from a negligible sales figure on Aug. 16 -- and has already captured its best sales week since the week ending Sept. 11, 2011, when it sold 2,000 downloads. That week marked the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and "The Rising" was written as a reaction to 9/11. In 2002, Springsteen's The Rising album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 200 album chart for the week of Aug. 17. Springsteen, who appears briefly in the new DNC video with his wife Pattie Scialfa, shared the clip on his Twitter and Instagram accounts with the caption "Come on up for #therising" The video, which draws a parallel between the current COVID-19 pandemic and the pain of 9/11, is also on the front page of Springsteen's official website, with the same caption, and a link for his fans to register to vote in the November presidential election. Springsteen was only one of the celebrities with a progressive bent who posted enthusiastic tweets about the DNC convention's opening night, with Cher and Bette Midler also tweeting favorable reviews. "This was an astonishing moment tonight at the Democratic Convention. #Unforgettable...Loved it!," Bette Midler tweeted on Aug. 18. - Billboard, 8/18/20...... In other Bruce Springsteen news, the New Jersey rocker is among such musicians as Josh Homme, Albert Hammond Jr, Tom Morello, Bob Weir and Dhani Harrison who are set to perform on a special live-stream in tribute to late The Clash frontman Joe Strummer, which will also benefit the #SaveOurStages campaign. Billed as "A Song For Joe," the two-hour event will air on YouTube on Aug. 21 at 8:00 p.m. UK time and 2:00 p.m. EST to commemorate what would have been Strummer's 68th birthday. Hosted by Jesse Malin, the event will also reportedly feature "never before seen live Joe Strummer footage." A promo video announcing the full-line up has been shared on YouTube. Strummer's widow Lucinda Tait says that Strummer "was always focused on bringing people together... I cannot think of a better way for us all to feel united. Joe would have loved this." While the stream is free to view, fans are invited to donate to #SaveOurStages -- the NIVA movement aiming to save independent music venues across the US in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. - New Musical Express, 8/18/20...... Drummer Chris Slade, who began touring with AC/DC in 2014 after he replaced Phil Rudd who was arrested for drug possession, says that in his "absolutely honest opinion," he is still the drummer of the band. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Slade says that "to my absolute knowledge... I am the current drummer of AC/DC." He added: "Nobody has ever called me and said, "By the way, you're not the current drummer' or, "By the way, Phil's been in the band for three years'. Nobody has ever said that. As far as I'm concerned... I'm philosophical enough to realise that Phil may well be back in the band. I have no idea. I had no idea last time when they called me before 'Rock Or Bust'. I'm open to all possibilities. That's the way people should be, open-minded." Reports also emerged recently that AC/DC has finished recording a new album, and Slade was spotted behind the drum kit in the studio. Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, who has been providing a series of updates on the band's activity in recent months, says the band will be reuniting for one more album. "Because nothing goes on forever. But this is the ultimate 'one more time'," Snider said. - NME, 8/16/20...... Led ZeppelinA trustee representing late Spirit member Randy "California" Wolfe has petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States to review the Wolfe estate's legal case against Led Zeppelin for allegedly lifting the opening structure of the Spirit song "Taurus" for their rock classic "Stairway to Heaven". The petitioner, Michael Skidmore, says he believes he lost at trial in 2016 because the jury didn't get to appreciate the true "Taurus." That's because the trial judge held that only what was deposited with the U.S. Copyright Office had the benefit of protection under the 1909 Copyright Act. Skidmore says he thinks this is wrong, and that the scope of copyright isn't defined by any deposited sheet music. In other words, the recording may be good evidence of what was protected, and the jury should have heard the original "Taurus" recording. (Only in the mid-1970s did Congress change the law and allow sound recordings to fall under copyright. That's one of the big reasons this is the sort of precise legal controversy that has mainly come up for older songs including Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up.") Skidmore also believes he lost at trial because the jury wasn't properly instructed about originality. Notes of music can't be protected, and oft-used combination of notes belong to the public domain. But when there's something unique about the selection and arrangement of these notes, that can be copyrighted. Skidmore, who says the jury wasn't told this by the judge before they began deliberating, is hardly being subtle in the opening of his petition: "It is fitting, perhaps, that the future of music copyright law be decided by a case about rock 'n' roll's most iconic song, "Stairway to Heaven.'" - The Hollywood Reporter, 8/17/20...... In a vintage hour-long video tour of his Hog Hill Mill Studios in east Sussex, UK, which is included in the deluxe re-release of his 1997 solo album Flaming Pie, Paul McCartney reveals that he still uses an amplifier that he bought when he was a lad aged 14. Sir Paul showed off his "Little Green Amp" -- the Elpico A55 -- that was seen on stage with The Beatles throughout their trailblazing career and become part of Beatles folklore in its own right. Macca says in the 1997 clip: "This is my very first amp I ever had when I was 14, it was called an Elpico. As you can see it is very 50s, it looks like a piece of 50s furniture. Instead of putting guitars into it, it says Mic1, Mic2, Gramophone, anything but guitars really. In those days amps were used more for putting your records through or microphones, for little PAs. That was the first thing and I have kept it ever since. I have now had it fixed up because it is so old. When you put an electric guitar through it now it sounds a bit like a fuzz guitar so it is quite a funky sound that I use sometimes. It is a dear little thing from many years ago." the Elpico A55 was first manufactured by British company Lee Products around 1956, and went on to become a favourite of rock legends such as The Kinks' Dave Davies. - NME, 8/19/20...... In a new interview with the UK music mag Uncut, the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards says the band are considering "working differently" due to coronavirus pandemic. Richards says the Stones may need to scrap the idea of making new albums for the time being and instead focus their attention on just releasing individual tracks. "If this thing goes on much longer we might try and put out another track," he says. "Work differently, instead of making an 'album' album, just release tracks." Stones frontman Mick Jagger also revealed in the interview that the band is already working on more new material. "I was working on this ballad. The reading of it is quite difficult to do. It's not technically difficult, but it's not an easy song to interpret," Jagger noted. "I'm very aware I've got to get it over in the right way. It's got to come out like you mean it." -, 8/17/20...... Brian MayDoes Queen have something new up their sleeve? Queen frontman Brian May teased in a video posted to Instagram on Aug. 19 that the band will make a major announcement soon. While the video, which sees Queen founding members May and Roger Taylor performing alongside current vocalist Adam Lambert before thousands of fans, stopped short of revealing what's in store for Queen fans, it confirmed that the announcement will arrive at 12 a.m. BST on Aug. 21. Responding to the announcement, one fan wrote: "I can't wait!!! I hope it's another US tour!" Queen had been set to head out on a huge UK and European tour this summer, but it was rescheduled to 2021 due to coronavirus. - New Musical Express, 8/19/20...... Bassist Pete Way, who performed with UFO, Ozzy Osbourne, and a number of other bands, died on Aug. 14 after sustaining life threatening injuries in an accident in June. He was 69. According to a post on his official Facebook page, Way "fought hard until finally succumbing to those injuries at 11.35am BST today (Aug. 14). His wife, Jenny, was at his side." Way co-founded UFO with singer Phil Mogg, guitarist Mick Bolton and drummer Andy Parker in 1968, remaining in the band until 1982, before rejoining in 1988 for a brief stint, and then properly in 1991. Health issues then forced him to retire from UFO in 2008. Elsewhere in his career, Way, co-founded Waysted and Fastway with former Motörhead guitarist 'Fast' Eddie Clarke, played bass for Michael Schenker Group and Ozzy Osbourne, and started his own band, The Pete Way Band. Osbourne was among those paying tribute to Way on Twitter: "Such sad news about @PeteWayOfficial. Haven't seen him for years but will always have great memories & such unbelievable stories of what we'd get up to. Rest In Peace. Love & Respect to his Family, Friends and Fans." - NME, 8/15/20...... Speaking of Ozzy Osbourne, the 71-year-old music star has told the Daily Star paper that the coronavirus pandemic might stop him from ever performing another gig. "If we do not get this thing under control we ain't ever going to do a gig," says Ozzy, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2019 and is desperate to finish his postponed "No More Tours II" dates. "Even if I could, I cannot work anyway because of the f****** pandemic. Ozzy has been at home in Los Angeles throughout the pandemic, but he's still terrified of getting the disease. "I was sitting in the kitchen and I suddenly broke out into a cold sweat and I thought: 'This is the first sign.' In 30 seconds I was like: 'I have the coronavirus, I'm going to die, my family is going to die and the dogs will end up with everything.'" -, 8/18/20...... Actor Ben Cross, best known for his role as British Olympic athlete Harold Abrahams in the film Chariots of Fire, has died at age 72. Born Harry Bernard Cross in London in 1947, Cross's role in Chariots of Fire earned him a Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts Performance of the Year award. He also appeared as Sarak in the 2009 Star Trek reboot, and had notable credits in BBC's The Citadel, the HBO spy film Steal The Sky, TV mini-series Twist Of Fate, and he played the villain, opposite Richard Gere and Sean Connery, in First Knight. Cross had just wrapped his final role, as Cardinal Mathews in the horror film The Devil's Light, earlier in August. - WENN/, 8/18/20...... Frank ZappaThe plot of land that was once the site of Frank Zappa legendary log cabin home on Laurel Canyon Blvd. in the heart of the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles is currently up for sale for a cool $999,000 (£755,000). Realtors Redfin, which listed the property in June, describes on its site that the now vacant "Zappawood" as being "rich in history and development potential," while boasting "sprawling park-like grounds and three separate entrances." It's said that the property was the premier gathering place of LA rock 'n' roll legends back in the 1960s and '70s, owing to Zappa's former residence being located there. Zappa, who passed away in 1993 at age 52, is said to have lived in a log cabin on the property with his family for a couple of years in the '60s, however they moved after the house became a hotspot for eccentric gatecrashers. It was destroyed by a fire in the 1980s. Images and further info about Zappawood can be found on the Redfin website. - NME, 8/17/20...... Actress Linda Manz, who as an androgynous teen captivated many with her performances in the films Days of Heaven and Out of the Blue, died on Aug. 14 after a battle with pneumonia and lung cancer. She was 58. Born in NYC on Aug. 20, 1961, Manz was cast at 15 to appear as the narrator of Terrence Malick's period film Days of Heaven, which was released in 1978 after an arduous shoot. Initially received with mixed reviews, the movie has gone on to overwhelming critical acclaim. Manz's improvised narration is widely considered an essential aspect of what makes the film -- which is preserved in the United States Film Registry -- an artistic success. In 1979, Manz had the fondly remembered supporting role of Peewee in the hit film The Wanderers. One of its stars, Ken Wahl, wrote on Facebook that Manz "was great to work with and I'm glad I got to speak with her before she passed." Her last starring role wa in 1980's Out of the Blue, in which she was directed by, and acted alongside, the late Dennis Hopper. The influential film competed at Cannes, and Manz's performance inspired a generation of actresses. In 1997, Manz -- who rarely acted past the '80s, appearing in a small role in that year's Gummo -- told Time Out New York: "There was a whole bunch of new young actors out there, and I was kind of getting lost in the shuffle. So I laid back and had three kids. Now I enjoy just staying home and cooking soup." A GoFundMe has been set up for Manz, who is survived by her husband and their two sons, to help cover final expenses. -, 8/14/20.

Friday, August 14, 2020

On Aug. 13 KISS announced the remaining dates of their "End of The Road" tour, which was delayed until 2021 earlier this year due amid the coronavirus pandemic. The tour will now resume on Aug. 8, 2021, in Mansfield, Mass., then hit 22 cities including Atlantic City, N.J. (8/21), Pittsburgh (8/26), Atlanta (8/29), Milwaukee (9/5), Boise, Ida. (9/21), Phoenix (9/26), Austin, Tex. (9/29), and Ft. Worth, Tex. (10/1). KISS will play what they say will be their final concert ever on Oct. 21, 2021. The End of the Road Tour, which began in Jan. 2019, will feature opening act David Lee Roth on most dates. KISS announced on Instagram that tickets for the postponed 2020 shows will be honored for the 2021 dates, and their KISS Kruise, which was also postponed, will now take place on Oct. 29-Nov. 3, 2021. - Billboard, 8/13/20...... Phil CollinsPhil Collins' 1981 solo hit "In the Air Tonight" has experienced a huge spike in sales after a YouTube video made by Tim and Fred Williams in July went viral earlier in August. The Williams brothers filmed themselves listening to the track for the very first time, causing the song to go viral and nab 6,000 downloads, up 1,516% from the previous three days, and it's now on track to make the top 10 of Billboard's Digital Song Sales. The song has also risen to No. 2 on the iTunes chart, making it the fourth biggest selling song of the week ending Aug. 8 -- up from No. 185 the week before. The video was posted to the YouTube channel "TwinsthenewTrend" on July 27 by 22-year-old twins Tim and Fred Williams, and features their delighted response to hearing Collins' iconic drum fill in the song. Other tracks from Collins' solo catalog also experienced sales and streaming gains, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. Collins' solo songs discography drew 11,000 digital downloads for the week ending Aug. 9, a 602% jump over the previous three days prior to the video going viral on Aug. 7. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 8/12/20...... On Aug. 14 Elvis Costello shared a new track entitled "We Are All Cowards Now" from his upcoming album Hey Clockface, which will drop on Oct. 30 via Concord Records. "We Are All Cowards Now" follows the release of two other new songs from the album, "No Flag" and "Hetty O'Hara Confidential," earlier in 2020, which were all recorded by Costello at Suomenlinnan Studio in Helsinki, Finland, in February. Costello then went to Paris and later New York to finish the rest of the record, which he says he wanted to "be vivid, whether the songs demanded playing that was loud and jagged or intimate and beautiful." The 14-track Hey Clockface will also feature such songs as "Revolution #49," "The Last Confession of Vivian Whip," and "What Is It That I Need That I Don't Already Have?" -, 8/14/20......A limited edition vinyl release of David Bowie's 1975 R&B influenced LP Young Americans is set to be released on Sept. 19 in celebration of the album's 45th anniversary. The reissue of Bowie's self-described "plastic soul" album, which went gold in both the US and UK, will be pressed on "brick and mortar gold-coloured vinyl," and is the latest in a string of Bowie archival titles to be released this year. On Aug. 14, Something in the Air (Live Paris 1999), a 15-track LP capturing Bowie's 1999 performance in France as part of his "Hours Tour," was released. David Bowie: Inside 1969-72, a new Bowie DVD featuring footage of himself and his band The Spiders from Mars, will drop on Sept. 22. - NME, 8/13/20...... After posting a similar message to Twitter on July 29, Stevie Nicks took to her Facebook page on Aug. 11 to plead with fans to wear masks amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. "A lot of people still aren't taking the wearing of a simple mask seriously... or, just trying to be aware of how close you are to others," the Fleetwood Mac frontwoman said. "Are you aware, everyone, that if you survive this virus... you will be fighting the after effects for the rest of your life. Micro-blood clots... in all your organs; in your brain... neurological problems; a cough that rips your throat apart and keeps coming back," she added. Nicks also pointed out the serious ramifications for her own health to fans, should she contract the virus. "If I get it, I will probably never sing again. Put me on a ventilator and I will be hoarse for the rest of my life... I don't have much time... I am 72 years old...," she added, then compared the current health crisis to an American Horror Story episode from 2013 in which she appeared. "This is like the season of American Horror Story I was in. It had turned into an apocalypse above ground. A serious 'shelter in place'," she shared before concluding, "Call it Armageddon[,] Call it a Pandemic[,] Call it the Apocalypse... This is a real American Horror Story... It is not a mini-series... It is a tragedy." - Billboard, 8/12/20...... Lindsey BuckinghamMeanwhile, Nicks' former flame and Fleetwood Mac bandmate Lindsey Buckingham performed a four-song acoustic set on Aug. 7 for the first time since suffering a heart attack and undergoing emergency open heart surgery in 2019. Appearing via Zoom for tech company Nutanix, Buckingham played the Fleetwood Mac songs "Never Going Back Again" and "Big Love," along with his solo cuts "Trouble" and "Shut Us Down." "This [pandemic] has been like a couple of years previous in which things occurred that I did not see coming," Buckingham said during the Zoom call. "One was my split from Fleetwood Mac. Another one was having a bypass operation, which I did not expect to happen. You could say that this makes it a trifecta of events that were completely off the charts," he added. Buckingham's wife, Kristen, reported in 2019 that the guitarist had suffered "vocal cord damage... following the surgery," which meant he was forced to postpone all of his upcoming tour dates. Lindsey then announced a solo tour in Feb. 2020 set to take place in April and May, but then had to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic. He was reportedly fired from Fleetwood Mac in 2018 after an ongoing battle with Stevie Nicks and replaced with Mike Campbell of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers and Neil Finn of Crowded House. - New Musical Express, 8/10/20...... The estate of Prince has shared the previously unreleased Prince recording "Witness 4 The Prosecution (Version 2)" on, which will feature on the upcoming expanded reissue of Prince's 1987 album Sign o' the Times, set for release on Sept. 25. According to a press release from the estate, Prince decided to rework his song "Witness 4 The Prosecution (Version 2)" when Country artist Debora Allen asked Prince if he could write a song for her. But after being pleased with his new version, he "decided to keep the song" and instead offered Allen his song "Telepathy," which had been recorded and mixed on the same date. - New Musical Express, 8/14/20...... On Aug. 14 Neil Young announced the release of three archival projects later in 2020, the most notable for Young fans being the long-awaited release of Neil Young Archives - Volume 2, which was initially promised after the first volume arrived back in 2009. The new archives set will feature material from around 1973 to 1982, with Young previously claiming that Vol. 2 would be "full of albums that weren't there before -- stuff I did that I never put out." While the exact contents of Vol. 2 are yet to be revealed, Young previously said that records such as 1976's "Chrome Dreams" and 1977's "Oceanside Countryside" would be included. The release will drop on Nov. 6, the same day the folk-rocker will also release Return to Greendale, a live set from his tour with Crazy Horse to support 2003's Greendale. The year of releases will then round off on Dec. 6 with Way Down in the Rust Bucket, a Nov. 1990 concert recorded with Crazy Horse at Santa Cruz's Catalyst Club. Meanwhile, Young is reportedly planning to spend approximately $20,000 to remove the Facebook and Google login functionality on his Neil Young Archives site, citing the conglomerates' policies regarding the forthcoming US presidential election as the reason for the move. "Facebook knowingly allows untruths and lies in its political ads to circulate on the platform, while bots sow discord among users," Young recently posted on the site. "Sowing dissent and chaos in our country via political disinformation is something we cannot condone. Simply put, Facebook is screwing with our election," he added. The statement on the news section of the website continues, in part, to say: "If you use Facebook or Google for login, we are going to ask you to run through a quick process the next time you log in -- it's just a few extra clicks. At the end of the process, your account will be transitioned to use your email address and a password for login. Goodbye Facebook and Google buttons." No explanation was offered as to why Google is also a target and it is unclear why disabling logins using those platforms will cost the reported amount. - NME, 8/14/20...... Eric ClaptonEric Clapton has been busy lately selling off his collection of supercars, with his Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano F1 up for grabs on the UK digital marketplace Auto Trader website for £89,900 from car dealer GVE of London, and his Lamborghini Superleggera already having been snapped up for a rumoured £125,000. The legendary blues guitarist, who has the ironic stage name of "Slowhand," is rumoured to have a particular penchant for Ferraris and has owned more than 10 of them over the years, with many of them used as inspiration for his songs, and some even gifted to him by his late friend and fellow musician, the Beatles' George Harrison. With a beautiful contrasting black exterior and light brown interior, Clapton's Ferrari 599 F1 is one of his most desirable cars, although he has said in the past he prefers the 612 Ferrari Scagliett (an opinion many Ferrari enthusiasts would disagree with). The car can go 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 205 mph. "This particular Ferrari 599 is stunning and so well-maintained," says Auto Trader's director of YouTube operations, Rory Reid. "The fact it received Eric Clapton's seal of approval before being sold on makes it that much more special. For a blues lover, who also has the money for it, this is a perfect buy on Auto Trader," he adds -, 8/14/20...... The Rolling Stones have shared a new version of their recent track "Scarlet," remixed by The War on Drugs. Spearheaded by TWOD singer Adam Granduciel, the new version, which has been shared on YouTube, adds tempo to the track alongside a selection of new instrumentation. "Scarlet," which features guitars from Jimmy Page, will be included on the Stones' forthcoming expanded edition of their 1973 studio album Goats Head Soup. - NME, 8/14/20...... Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon Osbourne have announced a new biopic about the couple is in the works, and according to them, "it won't be squeaky clean like the [Queen biopic] Bohemian Rhapsody. The Osbournes tell Rolling Stone magazine that their new film will skip Ozzy's original tenure in Black Sabbath and jump to his solo career in the late 1970's when he began dating Sharon. "We have a writer," Ozzy's son Jack Osbourne said about the progress on the film. "We said to go from 1979 to 1996. I can't say too much, but the film is in active development." "From what I understand, it's about Sharon and I and our relationship" Ozzy added. "It's how we met, fell in love, and how we married. She's my other half. She grew up a lot with me, and I grew up a lot with her." Sharon then said their new movie won't be like Bohemian Rhapsody, which she says she didn't "think was a great movie." "They changed the timing [of the story] and everything in it. That's why it was, like, made 'nice' and that's what made it a Hallmark movie. Our film will be a lot more real. We don't want it to be squeaky, shiny clean and all of that. We're not making it for kids. It's an adult movie for adults," Sharon says. Meanwhile, it was announced earlier in August that another film about Ozzy, a documentary called Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne, is set to premiere on cable channel A&E on Sept. 7. - NME, 8/13/20...... Queen guitarist Brian May is thanking firefighters for combatting a forest fire which threatened his home in Surrey, UK, over the second weekend of August. In a lengthy post on Instagram on Aug. 10, May recounted how he was forced to evacuate his home and studio property after the wildfire broke out and spread through Chobham Common home on Aug. 7. "I never imagined it could happen here in leafy, and normally damp, Surrey, England," May wrote in a caption to accompany a series of images showing the aftermath of the wildfire. "We supported the fight against the immense fires in Australia, and watched sadly as fires ravaged California, but to see this happen in my own home county has been shocking and traumatic... Today my prayers were answered -- the fire is under control, but the danger is not over. While this dry heatwave lasts there is still a massive risk of a flare-up leading to disaster." May went on to thank the firefighters of Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire and called for more funding and support for the force. "Just as the Government cuts sent the NHS into battle hideously crippled by lack of funding, the same lack of vision has rendered this country vulnerable to fires - with a fire fighting service criminally cut back in manpower and resources," May wrote. "Something has gone terribly wrong with our leaders' decision-making process. - NME, 8/11/20...... Dolly PartonDolly Parton has expressed her support for the Black Lives Matter anti-racism movement in a new interview. "I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen," Parton said, referring to the recent protests that have taken place worldwide following the death of George Floyd. "And of course, Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!," she added. Parton also discussed the renaming of her "Dixie Stampede" dinner attraction at her Dollywood resort in Tennessee to "Dolly Parton's Stampede" in 2018 after being informed that its title was offensive. "When they said 'Dixie' was an offensive word, I thought, 'Well, I don't want to offend anybody. This is a business. We'll just call it The Stampede. As soon as you realize that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don't be a dumbass. That's where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose," the Country legend added. Meanwhile, Parton has announced she'll release her first Christmas album in 30 years, A Holly Dolly Christmas, on Oct. 2, some two months before the holiday season begins. A Holly Dolly Christmas follows her 1990 yuletide LP Home for Christmas and features several well known Christmas songs, as well as five original tracks written solely by the 72-year-old country icon. The album also features guest contributions from some of Dolly's dearest friends, including Willie Nelson, Michael Bubl, Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley Cyrus and Jimmy Fallon, plus a special song with her brother, Randy Parton. "I figured since everybody probably wouldn't get to celebrate Christmas as usual this year, I wanted to be creative instead of sitting around at the house this summer," Dolly said in a press release. "So I put on my mask, gloves and practiced social distancing, as well as all of the wonderful musicians and singers, and we proceeded to put together what I think is some of the best work that I've ever done," she added. - Billboard/, 8/13/20...... Guitars signed by the likes of Robert Plant and Carlos Santana are set to be auctioned in September to benefit the musicians charity MusiCares, which provides aid to artists and music community professionals in times of need. Taking place on Sept. 9 live in Beverly Hills and online at, with advance online bidding starting on Aug. 17, some of the items up for grabs include a Gibson SG Standard '61 guitar in vintage cherry signed by Plant and Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, and a Paul Reed Smith limited edition Carlos Santana Abraxas SE limited edition guitar signed by Santana himself. Eric Clapton, Joan Jett, Ozzy Osbourne, Cher, Willie Nelson, Elton John, Tom Jones, Rascal Flatts, Bono, and a number of others also have items in the auction, which can be viewed on the site. - NME, 8/10/20...... Ringo Starr is among the collaborators on a new cover of the Bob Marley classic "Three Little Birds" by Toots and the Maytals. Also featuring Marley's son Ziggy Marley, the cover will appear on the forthcoming Toots and the Maytals album Got to Be Tough, their first new record in over a decade. The LP will drop on Aug. 28 via Trojan Jamaica/BMG. Marley's original version of the song was released in 1977 and appeared on his album Exodus. The new version of "Three Little Birds," which has been transformed into into an upbeat, horn-laced track, has been shared on Starr provides percussion on the song, while Ziggy Marley and Frederick "Toots" Hibbert swap vocals. - NME, 8/9/20...... Speaking of Ringo, his former bandmate Paul McCartney has revealed how ELO's Jeff Lynne convinced him to secure Ringo to perform on Paul's 1997 solo album Flaming Pie. "I'd been saying to Ringo for years it'd be great to do something," McCartney explained to the UK paper The Sun. "We'd never really done that much outside the Beatles. One night, Jeff suggested, 'Why don't you get Ringo in?' and I said, 'OK!'" McCartney added the pair were "very comfortable making music together again, joining with Lynne to jam on what would become 'Really Love You'." A remastered deluxe re-release of Flaming Pie was released on June 12. - NME, 8/10/20...... Blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa is set to perform a special livestream pay-per-view concert from the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. on Sept. 20. The concert will feature the songs from Bonamassa's new album Royal Tea before the official release on Oct. 23. Along with Royal Tea he'll perform classic remixes from his 20th anniversary album A New Day Now. The evening will continue with a one hour "After-Party Showcase" featuring several live performances from an array of some of the hottest rising stars in blues-rock music. The livestream tickets and packages for Joe Bonamassa Live in Concert Worldwide are available for purchase at The one-of-a-kind concert is presented by Bonamassa's non-profit, Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation, and each ticket purchase will include a $1 donation to Joe's Fueling Musicians Program, which to date has raised over $300,000 and has supported more than 163 musicians in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. - Noble PR, 8/14/20...... Andrew Lloyd WebberJesus Christ Superstar composer Andrew Lloyd Webber says he's set to receive an experimental coronavirus vaccine as part of an Oxford trial as he says he'll "do anything to prove theatres can re-open safely." On Aug. 5, the 72-year-old renowned composer took to social media and talked a about the motives behind his decision to take part in the vaccine trial. "I am excited that tomorrow I am going to be vaccinated for the Oxford Covid 19 trial," Webber wrote. "I'll do anything to prove that theatres can re-open safely." The University of Oxford and the drug company AstraZeneca are working on the development of the experimental vaccine called "ChAdOx1 nCoV-19." Thousands of people the UK, United States, Brazil and South Africa have volunteered to take part in clinical trials. As recently as July 20, researchers announced the initial results of 1,077 people were promising, suggesting that the vaccine is both safe and triggers an immune response, according to the BBC. The next step in the study involves expanding the trial at a higher dose to thousands more people, which is likely where Webber will come into the play. A slew of people took to Twitter to applaud the "Cats" composer's willingness to get involved in finding a cure or treatment for the virus. "Bravo," "Godspeed to you sir" and "Thank you for your dedication" were among the many sentiments from followers and fans. Webber has also been trialling measures at the London Palladium that could allow the theatre business to get back up and running after Webber's "Phantom Of The Opera" continued in South Korea with strict hygiene measures and no social distancing. He hosted a pilot performance by Beverley Knight at the famous London venue, which had strict social distancing measures in place and was at 30 per cent capacity. -, 8/13/20...... Martin Birch, a legendary producer for Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden, has died of as yet unnanounced causes at the age of 71. Birch's death was confirmed by former Deep Purple and Whitesnake singer David Coverdale, who tweeted: "It is with a very heavy heart I've just had verified my very dear friend and producer Martin Birch has passed away. Martin was a huge part of my life & helping me from the first time we met through until Slide It In.... My thoughts and prayers to his family, friends and fans." Born in 1948, Birch was known for his lengthy production stints with a number of legnedary bands, having produced the first six Whitesnake albums. also masterminded every Iron Maiden album from 1981's Killers to 1992's Fear of the Dark -- which marked his final work before retriement. Elsewhere, he produced Black Sabbath's Heaven and Hell -- which saw Ronnie James Dio replacing Ozzy Osbourne on vocals -- and notable efforts from the likes of Rainbow and Deep Purple. Also paying tribute, Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler wrote on Twitter: "Really sad to hear of the passing of Martin Birch. Brilliant producer. Had the pleasure of working with him on the Black Sabbath albums #HeavenandHell and #MobRules. Condolences to Vera and family. #RIPMartin Birch also worked with Fleetwood Mac, engineering and producing five early albums from 1969's Then Play On to 1973's Mystery To Me. - NME, 8/10/20.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Jimi Hendrix's Japanese sunburst electric guitar that he used in the early 1960s has sold for more than £160,000 at auction. The late guitar god used the instrument after he was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1962 and played it during his time in New York as a musician for the likes of The Isley Brothers, Wilson Pickett, Slim Harpo and Ike and Tina Turner. The guitar was estimated to be worth $50,000 (£38k) before the auction, but was bought for a winning bid of $180,000 (£138k). When auction fees were added to that price, its total became $216,000 (£165k). Hendrix left the guitar with his friend Mike Quashie when he moved to London in 1966 and Quashie provided a signed and notarised letter of provenance before he died in 2019. The guitar was said to be "in well-loved condition" but had no strings on it as auction house GWS Auctions wanted to "keep it in its original state." - NME, 8/9/20...... Roger WatersOn Aug. 7 Roger Waters shared a video on YouTube of a socially distanced performance of two cuts from Pink Floyd's 1979 album The Wall. Waters paid tribute to the inspiration of the song "Vera," the famous British World War II singer Vera Lynn, who passed away in June. In a statement, he said: "The Vera in question is Vera Lynn. She was an English singer, songwriter, very popular during the Second World War. Her biggest hit was 'We'll Meet Again'. She was widely known as the 'Forces' Sweetheart'. Our Vera, who is very fondly remembered back in Blighty, died six weeks ago aged 103. So she had a bloody good innings, bless her." The song then transistions into a grand orchestral rendition of "Bring the Boys Back Home." During a break, Waters spoke to the camera to address Pres. Donald Trump on recent events in the US. Referencing the controversial deployment of federal officers in Portland he said: "Yeah, bring the boys back home, particularly from Portland, you big f---ing brick." In June, Waters announced he'll be releasing his Us + Them concert film on Amazon video later in 2020. - New Musical Express, 8/7/20...... Just a few days after announcing the purchase of Barry Manilow's song catalogue, Hipgnosis Songs has continued its spending spree with the the acquisition of Blondie's catalog. The company founded by Merck Mercuriadis and its investment advisor The Family said in a letter to the London Stock Exchange on Aug. 5 that it will buy 100% of Blondie principals Debbie Harry and Chris Stein's writer's share and neighboring rights (Sound Exchange) royalties in their Blondie catalogs, a total of 197 songs. "We are so happy to be working with a progressive company," say Harry and Stein in a joint statement. "We are looking forward to the future with Hipgnosis' forward thinking team." Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Hipgnosis Songs has previously acquired the catalogs of the likes of Bon Jovi, Chainsmokers and Mark Ronson. - Billboard, 8/5/20...... Fans of The Clash can celebrate the famous '70s punk band with two new Clash jigsaw puzzles this fall. Zee Productions will release two 500-piece puzzles depicting the album cover for the band's 1978 album Give 'Em Enough Rope and the cover of their 1979 single, "English Civil War," on Oct. 9. "Punk Legends The Clash Come To Rock Saws!," Zee Productions posted on Instagram. "All The Young Punks take note! The punk rock revolutionaries The Clash are coming to Rocksaws with a pair of awesome 500 piece puzzles," it added. They added that "both puzzles are currently on pre-order, and supplies are very limited so act fast!" - NME, 8/5/20...... Black SabbathOn May 6 Black Sabbath announced they'll be releasing a 50th anniversary edition of their classic 1970 album Paranoid. The 5-LP/4CD edition Paranoid re-release arrives on Oct. 9 and will also feature the vinyl debut of two of the band's concerts from 1970 as well as a rare 1974 Quad Mix of the album. The 5-LP set also comes with a hardbound book, extensive new linear notes featuring interviews with all four band members as well as rare photos, a poster and a replica of the tour book sold during the tour. The Paranoid Super Deluxe 5-LP set can be pre-ordered on Black Sabbath's website. - NME, 8/6/20...... In related news, Ozzy Osbourne's eldest daughter Aimee Osbourne has spoken of her decision to not take part in her family's hit MTV reality show, The Osbournes. Speaking to New York's Q104.3 radio station, musician Aimee said: "To me, I'd grown up around having a pretty well-known dad anyway, and I always really valued my privacy within that family. For me personally, for who I am, as far as morally, and also just to give myself a chance to actually develop into a human being as opposed to just being remembered for being a teenager, it didn't really line up with what I saw my future as." Aimee went on to say that The Osbournes "definitely worked great for the rest of my family," but explained she "just knew it was never something that I would have been able to consider realistically." Aimee recently released her first new music in four years with "Shared Something With The Night," which was released under her ARO moniker. Meanwhile, Ozzy's other daughter, Kelly Osbourne, has lashed out at an insenstive troll who applauded her father's Parkinson's disease diagnosis. "Heard your father is dying that's great now we can get ridden of another a**hole (sic)," the callous user wrote anonymously on Instagram. Kelly, who has 2.1 million followers on Instagram, shot back at the poster: "Seems like you need some attention???" adding, "So here you go you disgusting mother f*****!!!!! I won't be praying for you!!!!!!" - NME/, 8/5/20...... Patti Smith announced on Aug. 8 that she'll perform a special show at the Murmrr Theatre in New York on Sept. 4 featuring excerpts from her 2019 book, Year of the Monkey. The punk poetess will also perform a handful of songs with longtime bandmate Tony Shanahan. The event, billed as Smith's only worldwide staged program of 2020, will also be filmed by cinematographer Matthew Schroeder, and, according to the show's description, will "be a high-end multi-camera visual and sonic experience." Tickets went on sale on Aug. 7 and cost $30. Each come with a new paperback copy of Year Of The Monkey. In July, Smith and backing band Sidewalk Collective announced they'll release a third and final album in their "Perfect Vision" trilogy. Peradam shine a light on French writer Ren Daumal, whose most famous book compares the meaning of life to an alpine ascent. - New Musical Express, 8/8/20...... Paul McCartneyIn a new lengthy interview with the UK's GQ magazine, Paul McCartney dismissed the idea of following such rock icons as Aerosmith for a Las Vegas residency, and right now he isn't crazy about following the likes of Bruce Springsteen for a Broadway show either. "That's something I've been trying to avoid my whole life," McCartney said of a Vegas residency. "Definitely nothing attracts me about the idea. Vegas is where you go to die, isn't it? It's the elephant's graveyard. As for Broadway, the Sir Paul says he's "not really" sold on that idea either. "Some people would like me to do it, as they say I've got plenty of stories and plenty of songs, but one of the things that's holding me back at the moment is that Bruce has just done it, you know?," McCartney said. "It feels a bit like, "Oh, suddenly I'll do it now then!' So I think that's made me a little reluctant to follow in his footsteps or follow a trend," he added. While he's not completely against a Broadway stint, McCartney explained that he would "just prefer to play with the band to a bigger audience, or even smaller... I don't mind little clubs." Elsewhere in the interview, Macca opened up about the time he sued the Beatles in order to "save their music and company, Apple." "The only way for me to save The Beatles and Apple -- and to release Get Back by [director] Peter Jackson and which allowed us to release Anthology and all these great remasters of all the great Beatles records -- was to sue the band," he explained. "If I hadn't done that, it would have all belonged to Allen Klein. The only way I was given to get us out of that was to do what I did. "I said, 'Well, I'll sue Allen Klein' and I was told I couldn't because he wasn't party to it. 'You've got to sue the Beatles.'" Paul also commented on John Lennon's 1971 solo song "How Do You Sleep?," saying he found the lyrics criticizing him "hurtful": "But then you hear the stories from various angles and apparently people who were in the room when John was writing that, he was getting suggestions for the lyrics off Allan Klein. So, you see the atmosphere of 'Let's get Paul. Let's nail him in a song...' And those things were pretty hurtful." - NME/, 8/5/20...... Neil Young made it official on Aug. 4 -- he'll definitely bring a copyright lawsuit against Pres. Donald Trump after announcing in late July that he was "reconsidering" the move. Young's suit, filed on Aug. 4 in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, claims the Trump campaign has used such songs as "Rockin' in the Free World" and "Devil's Sidewalk" "as a theme song" for "a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate." "The complaint is not intended to disrespect the rights and opinions of American citizens, who are free to support the candidate of their choosing," according to the complaint, but noted Young could not "good conscience cannot allow his music to be used" in this way. His complaint states the Trump campaign had played both of these songs numerous times at rallies and political events including as recently as the Tulsa rally on June 20. "Trump did so without neither a license nor Young's permission to play those two songs at any public political event," the lawsuit notes. Young's complaint states that Trump's campaign has willfully ignored his wishes to not play those songs and has proceeded to play them despite not having the required licenses. The complaint is asking Trump's campaign be permanently stopped from publicly performing those songs, as well as any other Neil Young songs. He is also asking the Trump campaign be ordered to pay his statutory damages between $750-$150,000 for each infringement as well as reasonable attorney fees. Young has been critical of Trump since the 45th president used "Rockin' in the Free World" to announce his candidacy for president back in 2016. The Trump campaign has yet to publicly respond to the lawsuit. - Billboard, 8/4/20...... Lester BangsCreem: America's Only Rock 'N' Roll Magazine, a new documentary on the legendary '70s and '80s rock magazine Creem, opened on Virtual Cinema on Aug. 7 and is available for free streaming on YouTube. Founded in 1969 by Detroit headshop mogul Barry Kramer, the magazine epitomized the wild excess of rock and roll in the early 1970s and its pages were packed with the sex and debauchery of the biggest stars of the era. Creem's writers, who included Lester Bangs, Jaan Uhelszki, Nick Tosches, Charles Bukowski and future director Cameron Crowe, also participated in rock excess: Bangs once wrote a review of the J. Geills Band while they were still playing, then smashed his typewriter at the end; Uhelszki convinced KISS to let her on the stage, in full makeup, and the writer even performed on the band's seminal number "Rock and Roll All-Nite." After Barry Kramer OD'd on nitrous oxide with a dry-cleaning bag over his head in 1981, ownership of the famed rock journal was left to his then 4-year-old son, JJ Kramer. JJ says he now has plans for a Creem TV channel, a website, and maybe even a relaunch of the magazine. - WENN/, 8/7/20...... A 1999 David Bowie concert in Paris will be available for streaming beginning on Aug. 14. Something in the Air (Live Paris 99) was originally recorded on Oct. 14 1999 at Paris' Elyse Montmartre and features a 15-track setlist packed with 12 previously unreleased recordings and three tracks used as B-sides for singles from Bowie's "Hours" album. Before the concert, Bowie received France's highest artistic order -- the Commandeurs of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Footage from the performance can be viewed on YouTube. In May, another previously unreleased 1999 live album from Bowie,, was made available digitally. Originally available on the now-defunct BowieNet, the record never received a commercial release after it was shared on the online platform 19 years ago. - New Musical Express, 8/6/20...... The estate of Tom Petty has shared "There Goes Angela (Dream Away)," a previously unheard recording from the late rocker's 1994 Wildflower sessions, on YouTube. The new recording follows a previous release from the Wildflower sessions back in June, "You Don't Know How It Feels." The former track was discovered by his daughter, Adria Petty, after sorting through his music following his death in 2017. - NME, 8/6/20...... Bruce Springsteen is featured on a new single called "AUATC" (Ate Up All Their Cake) from Bon Iver's latest album, Season 5. The band have also released an accompanying music video for the song and shared it on YouTube. "Bon Iver acknowledges our position within and use of capitalistic practices. We recognize our privilege and commit to using our platform to challenge capitalism everywhere," the band posted on Twitter. - NME, 8/6/20...... Wayne FontanaWayne Fontana, the lead singer of the '60s pop group The Mindbenders, passed away on Aug. 7 at Steppinghill Hospital, Stockport, U.K., after what was described as a "long illness." He was 74. Fontana and The Mindbenders scored a big hit with "The Game of Love" in 1965. The Manchester, U.K. native, whose real name was Glyn Geoffrey Ellis, formed the band in 1963 and derived his stage name from Elvis Presley's legendary original drummer, D.J. Fontana. After scoring a hit with "Game of Love," Fontana left the group that same year and tried his hand as a solo act. His only notable chart success was with the 1967 song "Pamela, Pamela," one of several songs written for him by iconic British songwriter and 10cc member Graham Gouldman, a bandmate of Mindbenders guitarist Eric Stewart. His final single, "The Last Bus Home," was released by UK Polydor in 1976, after which he mostly walked away from the music business. - Billboard, 8/7/20...... Founding Molly Hatchet guitarist Steve Holland has died at the age of 66. No cause of death was given for the guitarist born in 1954, who appeared on the Southern Rock band's first five albums, including 1979's breakthrough Flirtin' With Disaster. Holland left Molly Hatchet in 1984 and later formed a group called Gator Country, named after the second track on Hatchet's 1978 self-titled debut album. In February, the band posted an image of Holland, seated in a wheelchair and looking frail, on the Gator Country Facebook page thanking fans for their support over the years. He was said to be suffering from an "extremely low" red blood cell count and was scheduled to receive a transfusion. - Billboard, 8/3/20.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Indie music publishing company Mojo Music & Media announced on Aug. 4 it has acquired 50% of Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen's music publishing catalog which consists of more than 400 songs, which includes such hits as "I Want You To Want Me," "Surrender" and "Dream Police." Nielsen wrote or co-wrote the vast majority of the Cheap Trick catalog, and as the songwriter he retains full ownership of the writer's share. Nielsen sold half of his publishing stake in his own songs to Mojo, and half of a co-publishing deal that covered about 10 songs. "I'd almost given up on the chance of finding a publisher who actually knew all my songs and had a vision for how to keep them alive for another 1,000 years or so," Nielsen said in a statement. "Turns out, [Mojo CEO] Mark [Fried] & The Mojo's are it! I'm looking forward to all the noise we're gonna make together." - Billboard, 8/4/20...... Van MorrisonVan Morrison announced on Aug. 4 that he's signed on to play two "socially distanced" shows with reduced limited capacity in London at Camden's Electric Ballroom on Sept. 5 and 6. Tickets for the event are on sale now with a maximum of 10 tickets for two households or "bubbles." In July, the Irish crooner was confirmed a headliner at the UK's first socially-distanced venue, The Virgin Money Unity Arena at Newcastle Racecourse, on Sept. 3. Morrison will also play several dates at the Electric Ballroom in London this fall, and be the final headliner for the 2021 Kew the Music event on July 6 next year. - New Musical Express, 8/4/20...... Bette Midler is encouraging her fans to support the costume designers who are facing indefinite unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Timelines for reopening of entertainment venues continue to shift; shutdown could last anywhere from eight to eighteen months. Members know their survival is in jeopardy; their orders have largely been cancelled or delayed indefinitely," the Divine Miss M posted on Twitter on Aug. 2, and linked to the Costume Industry Coalition (CIC) site for more information. "Collectively, the CIC Members are facing a $4.5 million shortfall between July 1 and December 31, when they calculate rent, employee health insurance, liability insurance and utilities. Visit the AGA (Artisans Guild of America) website to learn how you can get involved," she added. - Billboard, 8/3/20...... Meanwhile, Bette Midler's erstwhile piano player Barry Manilow has had his song catalogue acquired by Hipgnosis Songs Fund. "Barry Manilow is an international treasure. He's an incomparable artist, songwriter, arranger, musician and performer," Hipgnosis Songs founder Merck Mercuriadis said in a statement. Financial terms of the deal, which includes such hits as "Mandy," "Can't Smile Without You," "Copacabana (At the Copa)" and "I Write the Songs," were not disclosed. "Merck has created a new type of music company and I'm looking forward to being part of the family at The Family Music and Hipgnosis Songs," Manilow said in a statement. - Billboard, 8/3/20...... Elton John took to social media on July 30 to celebrate 30 years of being sober. John, 73, shared snaps of his Alcoholics Anonymous coin and a celebratory cake as he marked the milestone, and in the accompanying caption, he reflected on what could have happened had he not made a positive change to his life. "Reflecting on the most magical day having celebrated my 30th Sobriety Birthday," Sir Elton wrote. "So many lovely cards, flowers and chips from my sons, David, friends in the Program, staff at the office and in our homes. I'm truly a blessed man. If I hadn't finally taken the big step of asking for help 30 years ago, I'd be dead. Thank-you from the bottom of my heart to all the people who have inspired and supported me along the way," he added, besides heart, praying hands, and halo emojis. -, 7/30/20...... The Rolling Stones are expected to release a video for their previously unreleased song "Scarlet," a collaboration with Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, on Aug. 6 at 7pm BST on their official YouTube channel. Featuring Paul Mescal, the video will also contain a special introduction from Stones frontman Mick Jagger. The band tweeted that "you won't want to miss & set a reminder here:" "Scarlet" will feature on the band's forthcoming expanded edition of their 1973 album Goats Head Soup, which arrives on Sept. 4 and will feature 10 previously unreleased tracks and a full Stones concert from 1973. - New Musical Express, 8/3/20...... Ozzy OsbourneCable TV's A&E network has announced a premiere date for an Ozzy Osbourne episode of their venerable series Biography. Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne was first announced back in January with a teaser trailer and was initially scheduled to make its premiere at the SXSW Festival in Texas in March before the festival was cancelled due to the explosion of the coronavirus pandemic. A&E now says the documentary, which chronicles the heavy metal icon's life and career, will debut on Sept. 7 in the U.S., though it is not yet known when and where it will be available for the rest of the world. A trailer for the documentary can be viewed at - New Musical Express, 8/2/20...... The BBC announced on Aug. 3 that a new Bob Marley documentary titled When Bob Marley Came to Britain is coming to the BCC2 later in August. In a press release, the BBC said the doc will "reveal how [Marley's] presence helped influence British politics, culture and identity, during a time of massive social and civil unrest in the UK -- and how his universal message of One Love and unity helped inspire a generation of Black British youth... It was in Britain that Marley established himself as an international artist, recorded some of his most successful albums and performed some of his most memorable concerts." When Bob Marley Came to Britain is narrated by Obaro Ejimiwe and include rare archive footage and interviews with several Brits who knew the reggae legend personally. - NME, 8/3/20...... Rod Stewart's wife Penny Lancaster revealed on the U.K. TV show Loose Women on Aug. 3 that Rod has been helping her cope with menopause symptoms that began during the coronavirus lockdown. Lancaster, 49, said she has found the past few months tough because of her side effects, but gushed that Rod and their two sons, Alastair, 14, and Aiden, nine, have been extremely helpful. Lancaster recounted one incident when everything went wrong while cooking dinner and "I ended up throwing the dinner across the kitchen." "I just screamed and burst into tears. The boys came and hugged me. Rod said, 'Just give mummy a minute.' So, we're lucky that we've got that open discussion," she said. The ex-model added: "What's really confusing for me, I'm trying to explain to my husband and the boys what's going on, but I don't really know myself... I don't know what's happening." In June, Stewart and Lancaster celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary with a socially distanced takeaway meal in London's Hyde Park. -, 8/4/20...... Michael Eavis, the founder of the U.K.'s legendary Glastonbury Festival, has said he is "uncertain if next year's festival will go ahead, but that he is "moving heaven and earth to make it happen." Speaking to ITV News, Eavis said fans might have to wait until 2022 for the return of the festival, which was due to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year with Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar headlining. Speaking about the difficulty of ensuring social distancing, Eavis said: "500 people is ok isn't it. But my job, 250,000 altogether is too many people I suppose isn't it really. I'm still hoping I'm going to be running next year and I'm going to be moving heaven and earth to make sure that we do. But that doesn't mean it will necessarily happen. That is just wishful thinking really." In related news, organizers of the 2021 edition of the U.K.'s Download Festival have announced KISS will top the bill for next year's event, which will occur on the weekend of June 4-6 at Donington Park, Leicestershire. KISS, Iron Maiden and System Of A Down had been scheduled to headline the metal festival in 2020 but it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of staging this year's event, a virtual Download Festival was screened with hours of footage from previous events. - New Musical Express, 8/3/20...... It has been revealed that Michael Jackson performed an "elaborate presentation" while auditioning for the first X-Men movie. The film's producers say the late pop icon tried out for the role of mutants boss Charles Xavier, and according to Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter, the King of Pop was one of three A-list hopefuls for the comic book adaptation. Mariah Carey and basketball star Shaquille O'Neal were also among those who came in to read for various roles in the 2000 blockbuster but it was Jackson's "elaborate presentation" that really impressed the film bosses. Donner says Jackson played them his 1996 short film Ghosts, in which he played a "60-something white mayor." "I said to him, 'Do you know Xavier is an older white guy?'," said Donner. "And Michael said, 'Oh yeah. You know, I can wear make-up.'" Donner revealed Jackson was "never seriously considered" for the part, which ultimately went to Sir Patrick Stewart. - Hollywood Reporter, 8/4/20...... The StoogesThe final live performance of Fun House by The Stooges' original lineup has been released and shared on YouTube. The performance is set to appear on a new live Stooges album called Live at Goose Lake: Aug. 8 1970 which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Aug. 8, 1970, concert. The Stooges performed their 1970 album, Fun House, in full at the concert, and the recording features the Stooges' founding members Iggy Pop (vocals), Ron Asheton (guitar), Scott Asheton (drums) and Dave Alexander (bass). Alexander was allegedly fired after the gig for turning up too drunk to play. Live at Goose Lake will be available on CD and vinyl. Two limited-edition coloured vinyl variants, a purple and a cream-coloured press, will also be available. - NME, 8/1/20...... A Year With Swollen Appendices, a diary and essay collection first released in 1996 by Brian Eno, is being reissued in a special 25th anniversary hardcover and e-book re-issue via publisher Faber and Faber. The reissue, which will be available in the U.K. on Nov. 19 and in the U.S. on Feb. 9, 2021, will contain a new introduction by Eno alongside essays he penned on working with David Bowie, U2 and more. Faber and Faber editorial Director Alexa von Hirschberg says her company is "thrilled to be bringing Brian Eno's 1995 diary and "appendices' back into print. [It] is an intimate time capsule of the mind and working practices of a formidable thinker and creator at a pivotal point in history. It is an indispensable read." - NME, 8/1/20...... David Byrne launched a new monthly radio show, Here Comes Everybody, on Aug. 1 on the Sonos Sound System Station in the Sonos App and will made available online on Aug. 2 via Mixcloud. Subsequent episodes will air on the first day of each month. Speaking about the new show, the former Talking Heads frontman said: "I make a new playlist every month! I try not to repeat songs, but sometimes one can't help going back to something one loves. The playlists for this radio show are very often thematic -- movie scores, current releases, South Indian surprises, Turkish pop. You may not like them all, but then come back next month and there it will be & the music you have been waiting for your whole life." - NME, 8/1/20...... Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, a close friend of AC/DC, says the Aussie hard rockers have recorded their next album, but its release has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. "This is gonna be a miracle of technology," Snider said of AC/DC's new LP. "What will be achieved, the reuniting of the band that we know for one more album, is gonna be uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time. Because nothing goes on forever. But this is the ultimate 'one more time'," he added in the interview with ABC Audio. Snider previously claimed that AC/DC have joined forces once more with their former members, vocalist Brian Johnson and drummer Phil Rudd, on a new record. An AC/DC reunion was first rumoured in 2018 amid claims that the band were working on a new album that would feature the work of their late rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young on "every track." - New Musical Express, 7/30/20...... A new statue honoring Prince has been installed at the funk-rocker's Paisley Park compound in Minnesota. The statue, which is a copy of the Prince's iconic "Love Symbol," stands over 3 metres high and almost 2 metres wide, and can be viewed on Instagram. Honouring Prince's famous "Purple Rain' song, the statue is purple and is positioned at the entrance to Paisley Park where fans can take photos and pay further tribute. Prince debuted the "Love Symbol' -- which combined traditional male and female symbols -- in 1992 with an album of the same name. In 1993, he famously changed his legal name to the symbol and was referred to as "The Artist Formerly Known As Prince." "With the challenges that our world is currently facing, we are happy to share a piece that showcases this expression of creativity and freedom," said Paisley Park's Executive Director, Alan Seiffert. - NME, 8/1/20...... Ian GillanIn a new interview with Mojo magazine, Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan revealed he makes his own furniture, including an oak table and mahogany desk. "I've built quite a bit of furniture," said Gillan. "I once made a mahogany desk for my daughter, and an oak table when I was ill with hepatitis and had three months off. I did it with planks of Japanese oak, a handsaw, sandpaper and glue." Deep Purple's latest album, Whoosh!, was released in June with studio wizard Bob Ezrin producing the band's 21st LP, his third effort for the band. On working with Ezrin for a third time, Purple guitarist Steve Morse said: "We've included everything that made the whole band smile, including Bob Ezrin. We've always enjoyed making music and having the incredible luxury of a loyal audience." -, 8/3/20...... Stevie Nicks shared a new entry in her "journal" on Twitter on July 29 in which she asked people to become "spiritual warriors in the coronavirus age," imploring others to "wear a mask and stay in as much as possible." Dated July 17, the journal entry references both Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Our House" and the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" as Nicks begins by saying that she is "just happy to be awake, immersed in music." "Feeling slightly euphoric and inspired to be alive and still be able to feel young and safe here," she writes. "Right here in this moment, I feel hope. I feel happy. I feel safe.... If everyone could just wear a mask and stay in as much as possible -- you might be able to find this magical place I have found, in the early morning when everyone sleeps. And when you wake up, make it your mission to do all that you can to stop the virus before someone you know falls really ill. Because then, you will be too late. Your life will be forever changed," she added, before writing "in order for us all to get back to our former lives -- we must all change into spiritual warriors. We must make it our mission to fight the virus; otherwise there is nothing left. If we don't get ahead of this now, we will live with such guilt and regret that that it will destroy us. You can't go back. You can't push rewind. Nicks closed by saying, "I want to go back on the road. I want to sing for you again. I want to put on those high black suede platform boots and dance for you again. I want you to forget the world and sing with me. Please don't throw this world away. Please don't give up on humanity and let this virus win this war. It's up to us now -- because nobody is helping us. Nobody is coming to our rescue. No one." - NME, 7/30/20...... Neil Young has shared a new live performance of his 2006 song, "Lookin' for a Leader," with edited lyrics that criticise Donald Trump's presidency and reflect on Young's support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The full performance, which include the lyrics "Yeah, we had Barack Obama/ And we really need him now/ The man who stood behind him/ Has to take his place somehow," was uploaded to Young's website "Lookin' for a Leader" originally appeared on Young's 2006 album Living With War. - NME, 7/30/20...... Director Alan Parker, who helmed such movies as Midnight Express, Evita and Bugsy Malone, died on the morning of July 31 following a long illness. He was 76. Parker rose to prominence in the 1970s and made a splash with his first feature film, 1976 gangster musical Bugsy Malone. He went on to earn his first Oscar nomination for best director for 1978's Midnight Express, which won Oliver Stone the Best Screenplay prize. He frequently revisited his penchant for musical movies with hits such as Fame, The Commitments and Evita, starring Madonna, while he was also the man behind the camera for 1982's Pink Floyd - The Wall, based on the rock band's album of the same name. His other credits included Angela's Ashes, Shoot the Moon, Angel Heart and 2003 thriller The Life of David Gale, which became his final movie. Parker was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the film industry in 1995, and was knighted in 2002. - WENN/, 7/31/20...... Wilford BrimleyActor Wilford Brimley, who had a lengthy career on camera dating back to the 1970s with over 70 acting credits, passed away on the morning of Aug. 1 at his home in Utah. He was 85. Sources with direct knowledge of Mr. Brimley's health say he was in an ICU wing of a hospital on dialysis, and very sick for days. Mr. Brimley started out as mostly a TV actor, landing one-time roles on TV series like How the West Was Won, Kung Fu, The Oregon Trail and then eventually had a recurring part on The Waltons. He went on to star in a bunch of TV movies, including The Wild Wild West Revisited, Amber Waves, Roughnecks, Rodeo Girl and The Big Black Pill. In the 1980s, Mr. Brimely started breaking out into more traditional films, appearing in flicks like The Stone Boy, Country, High Road to China, 10 to Midnight, Tough Enough, Jackals, End of the Line and several other B-movies where he'd often play an authority figure or a grandfatherly figure with his deep, comforting Southern accent. He was perhaps most known for roles in cult classic films like Cocoon, The Natural, The Thing and Hard Target. He went on to star in countless other movies and shows, notably on Our House, in which he starred in over 40 episodes, as well one-off appearances in hit series like Walker, Texas Ranger, Seinfeld, and many others. The iconic actor was also the face of Quaker Oats cereal throughout the '80s and '90s, and -- maybe even more memorable -- his classic diabetes ads for Liberty Medical, which was often spoofed, but also beloved. Mr. Brimley was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus in 1979, and managed the disease ever since then, with the American Diabetes Association honoring him for his lifetime of advocacy in 2008. He is survived by his wife, Beverly, and his three children. -, 8/1/20.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry are just a few of the musicians demanding politicians seek approval from artists before playing their songs at campaign rallies. In an open letter penned posted on by the Artists Rights Alliance (ARA) ahead of the US elections, those rockers along with the likes of Blondie, Elvis Costello, REM, Lionel Richie, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Sheryl Crow, Courtney Love and Panic! At the Disco demand that the major US national political party committees "establish clear policies requiring campaigns to seek the consent of featured recording artists, songwriters, and copyright owners before publicly using their music in a political or campaign setting." The letter continues: "This is the only way to effectively protect your candidates from legal risk, unnecessary public controversy and the moral quagmire that comes from falsely claiming or implying an artist's support or distorting an artists' (sic) expression in such a high stakes public way." The ARA says that political campaigns are obliged to seek permission to use music for their rallies, while music creators hold the ultimate decision over who can use their music. "We've seen so many artists and estates dragged into politics against their will and forced to take aggressive action to prohibit the use of their music usually songs that are broadcast during political rallies. It can confuse and disappoint fans and even undermine an artists' long term income and mostly it's just not right," the letter reads. -, 7/29/20...... Neil YoungIn related news, Neil Young posted on his Neil Young Archives site on July 26 that he is "reconsidering" suing US Pres. Donald Trump over the president's use of Young's music at his rallies. "I am changing my mind about suing President Trump. Reconsidering," wrote the Canadian born folk-rock star, who said earlier in July that he didn't want a lawsuit to distract Trump from properly responding to the coronavirus pandemic. "I'm looking at it again," he added. "There is a long history to consider and I originally considered it, deciding not to pursue. But then President Trump ordered thugs in uniform onto our streets. His idea... This is all DJT." Young, who became a US citizen in Jan. 2020 after living here for more than five decades, recently criticized Trump for playing his song "Rockin' in the Free World" during the Independence Day celebration at Mount Rushmore. "This is NOT ok with me," he tweeted along with a video of the event at the time. Trump has also used the song previously during his presidential campaign. - Billboard, 7/27/20...... Meanwhile, Barbra Streisand lashed out at the president during a virtual fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on July 28. "Let's face it, Trump is unfit, mentally and morally, to hold this distinguished office," said Streisand, who didn't perform but was given eight minutes to deliver the event's closing remarks. The diva continued: "A few weeks ago, Trump called out the troops against peaceful protesters. That is what cowards do when they are scared. Donald Trump has failed us. And we cannot survive four more years of his incompetence we're feeling right now. (Biden) will listen to people rather than greeting them with guns. All they want is justice. It's as simple as that." The "Celebration for Change" fundraiser reportedly raked in $760,000 (£583,000) for the campaign of Joe Biden, who Streisand said is "the leader we need now." - New Musical Express, 7/28/20...... The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has shared more classic performances to its YouTube archive to help fans in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic. A number of live outings from past ceremonies have recently been added to the archive, including those from such '70s superstars as Rush, Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. There are currently more 200 videos on the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame YouTube channel, with new performances being added on a weekly basis. The Rock Hall's 2020 ceremony was due to be held on May 2, but will now take place on Nov. 7 at Cleveland's Public Auditorium. The event will be broadcast live on HBO and will begin at 8:00 pm EST (1:00 am GMT). - New Musical Express, 7/29/20...... Robert PlantRobert Plant announced on July 29 that he's releasing a career-spanning anthology CD set titled Digging Deep: Subterranea on Oct. 2 via his own Es Paranza label. The 2-CD set, which will accompany the third season of his podcast Digging Deep With Robert Plant, will include 30 tracks from across Plant's 11 solo albums, with guest appearances by his Led Zeppelin bandmate Jimmy Page as well as the likes of Phil Collins, Buddy Miller, Nigel Kennedy, Richard Thompson and more. The album is slated for release on Oct. 2 via Plant's own label, Es Paranza. In February 2020, Plant released an 8-record box set of his 7" singles also called Digging Deep. The third season of his Digging Deep With Robert Plant podcast began on July 27. Five new episodes will be released fortnightly over Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. - NME, 7/29/20...... Actor Sam Rockwell is reportedly in talks to star as late country music legend Merle Haggard in an upcoming biography about Haggard's life. To be directed by Robin BIssell, who directed Rockwell in The Best of Enemies, the project will be co-written by Bissell and Haggard's widow, Theresa Haggard, based on the Haggard' memoir Sing Me Back Home. Rockwell will do his own singing of Haggard's songs, recorded during the '60s when the picture is set. The film will focus not only on Haggard's three years in prison at San Quentin, but also heavily on his complicated love affair, which played out on-stage and off, with singer Bonnie Owens -- his singing partner who eventually became his wife. Haggard, who scored 9 number one Country hits from 1966 to 1970, died on Apr. 6, 2016 -- his 79th birthday -- at his ranch in Shasta County, Calif., having recently suffered from double pneumonia. - New Musical Express, 7/28/20...... Van Morrison and The Bootleg Beatles have joined the summer line-up for the UK's first distanced music venue. The Virgin Money Unity Arena, which is set to open at Newcastle Racecourse in August, will allow music fans across the North East to enjoy live music for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began. Morrison will play the venue on Sept. 3, while The Bootleg Beatles will play an earlier show on Aug. 16. Taking place until Sept. 13, fans can also expect sets from the likes of The Libertines, Two Door Cinema Club, Tom Grennan and Maximo Park as well as comedy shows from Bill Bailey and Jason Manford. - NME, 7/27/20...... Rolling Stone magazine's website is currently sharing a previously unreleased version of Paul McCartney and Steve Miller's collaborative track "Broomstick" in conjunction with the remastered deluxe re-release of McCartney's 1997 album Flaming Pie. "Broomstick," which features on the album, is a tune McCartney cut with Miller, who played guitar on most of the well-received album. It was released as a B side to the single "Young Boy" (which Miller also sang and played guitar on) but has since faded into obscurity. "As long as we're together, it's gonna be just fine/ Well, I heard it on the broomstick, dashing through the middle of the night," Sir Paul sings on the smooth track that hears Miller play a bluesy solo. Although it won't appear on the boxset, a previously unreleased all-acoustic instrumental jam version of "Broomstick" has been shared by Rolling Stone. - Rolling Stone/NME, 7/25/20...... Peter GreenPeter Green, the influential blues rock guitarist and co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, died in his sleep over the fourth weekend of July according to a statement shared by his family members to the BBC. He was 73. "It is with great sadness that the family of Peter Green announce his death this weekend, peacefully in his sleep. A further statement will be provided in the coming days," the statement reads. Born in London in 1946, Green began his career as a teenager in 1965 as the guitarist for John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, where he replaced Eric Clapton. In 1966, Green teamed up with drummer Mick Fleetwood to form Fleetwood Mac. The two later recruited John McVie on bass. The first incarnation of Fleetwood Mac, under Green's direction, released Fleetwood Mac (1968), Mr. Wonderful (1968) and Then Play On (1969). During his time in the group, Green penned such popular songs as "Albatross," "Man of the World," "Oh Well" and "Black Magic Woman," which later became a huge hit for Santana. Green left Fleetwood Mac in 1970 and was later diagnosed with schizophrenia, forcing him to seek treatment in psychiatric hospitals, however he continued to release music, including his 1970 solo debut, The End of the Game. Because of his mental illness, however, the guitarist wouldn't release another solo album until 1979, and his last solo release was 1983's Kolors. During the 1990s, Green teamed up with guitarist Nigel Watson and drummer Cozy Powell to form Peter Green Splinter Group, releasing numerous albums in the late '90s and early 2000s. In 1998, Green was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with seven other past and present other members of Fleetwood Mac, who after Green's departure later went on to achieve major success with the new lineup of Fleetwood, McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. In Feb. 2020, Mick Fleetwood organized an all-star tribute to the early years of Fleetwood Mac with Green, featuring performances by Billy Gibbons, David Gilmour, Steven Tyler and others. In a statement, Mick Fleetwood called the loss of his former bandmate as "monumental." "No one has ever stepped into the ranks of Fleetwood Mac without a reverence for Peter Green and his talent, and to the fact that music should shine bright and always be delivered with uncompromising passio ... Peter, I will miss you, but rest easy your music lives on," he said. Stevie Nicks tweeted that Green's guitar playing "was one of the reasons I was excited to join Fleetwood Mac" and "my biggest regret is that I never got to share the stage with him." Green is survived by his daughter, Rosebud, who he had with ex-wife Jane Samuels. - Billboard/, 7/25/20...... Miss Mercy, a member of the Frank Zappa-associated band The GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously, died on July 28 at age 71, as confirmed on Instagram by Pamela Des Barres (aka GTOS' Miss Pamela), and later the author of the memoir I'm With The Band. "My beloved sister for most of my life, Miss Mercy has just passed. Words don't work for me at this moment. I can't imagine my world without her in it," she wrote. Born Judith Edna Peters on Feb. 16, 1949 in California, Miss Mercy met Zappa in the '60s, who would go on to encourage Peters and future bandmates Miss Christine and Cinderella to form The GTOs. The GTOs, which at first numbered seven members, then five, were only active between 1968 and 1970. They recorded one studio album, 'Permanent Damage', through now-defunct label Straight. The record, which featured musical contributions from Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart, was produced by Zappa. Following their separation, The GTOs joined forces again four years later for a reunion. Mercy would go on to marry American musician Shuggie Otis, with whom she had a son, before they separated. - New Musical Express, 7/29/20...... John Saxon, the ruggedly handsome actor and close friend of the late Bruce Lee who appeared in Lee's classic Enter the Dragon as well as three Nightmare on Elm Street movies for director Wes Craven,, died of pneumonia in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on July 25, according to his wife Gloria. He was 83. An Italian-American from Brooklyn, Mr. Saxon played characters of various ethnicities during his long career. His portrayal of a brutal Mexican bandit opposite Marlon Brando in The Appaloosa (1966) earned him a Golden Globe, and he had a recurring role on ABC's Dynasty as Rashid Ahmed, a powerful Middle East tycoon who romanced Alexis Colby (Joan Collins). On another 1980s primetime soap, CBS' Falcon Crest, he played the father of Lorenzo Lamas' character. Years earlier, Mr. Saxon starred from 1969-72 as the surgeon Theodore Stuart on The New Doctors' rotating segment of the NBC drama series The Bold Ones. Discovered by the same agent who launched the careers of Rock Hudson and Tab Hunter, Mr. Saxon first gained notice for his performance as a disturbed high school football star who taunts Esther Williams in The Unguarded Moment (1956). Other big screen credits include Rock, Pretty Baby (1956), Summer Love (1958), The Reluctant Debutante (1958), Cry Tough (1959), Joe Kidd (1972), The Swiss Conspiracy (1976), Beverly Hills Cop III (1994) and God's Ears (2008). He was married three times, to screenwriter Mary Ann Murphy, airline attendant turned actress Elizabeth Saxon and, since 2008, cosmetician Gloria Martel. Survivors also include his son, Antonio, and his sister, Dolores. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/25/20...... Regis PhilbinBeloved U.S. TV personality Regis Philbin, the Emmy-winning host of such popular television shows as Live! With Regis & Kathie Lee and Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, passed away on July 24 of a myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, due to coronary artery disease and hypertension (high blood pressure). He was 88. Over the years, Mr. Philbin also hosted Miss America pageants and was nominated for 37 Daytime Emmy Awards throughout his career and won six. He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and two years later was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the Television Academy Hall of Fame. He also holds the world record for most hours on US television, according to Guinness World Records, with more than 16,700 hours on air. Regis Francis Xavier Philbin was born in New York on Aug. 25, 1931, Mr. Philbin got his start in show business as a page on NBC's The Tonight Show. He later hosted The Regis Philbin Show out of San Diego before joining The Joey Bishop Show as Bishop's sidekick. After a stint as the host of a local Los Angeles TV talk show, Philbin became the co-host in 1983 of The Morning Show on WABC. Kathie Lee Gifford became Philbin's co-host in 1985, and in 1988 the show was syndicated and renamed. The duo continued hosting together until 2000, at which point Philbin hosted the show alone -- then dubbed Live with Regis -- until he was joined by Kelly Ripa in 2001. He finally left the show in November 2011. In a tribute posted to Instagram, Gifford said there were "no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend, Regis." "I smile knowing somewhere in Heaven, at this very moment, he's making someone laugh," she wrote. "It brings me great comfort knowing that he had a personal relationship with his Lord that brought him great peace. "There has never been anyone like him," Gifford said. "And there never will be." - CNN, 7/25/20...... Legendary actress Olivia de Havilland, a cast member of the 1939 film Gone With the Wind and considered to be one of the last remaining stars of Old Hollywood, died peacefully in her sleep at her home in Paris, France, on July 25. She was 104. The British-American Dame was the sister of actress Joan Fontaine and enjoyed a remarkable life and career, evening winning two Best Actress Oscars for To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949) respectively. Born in Tokyo in 1916, Ms. De Havilland, Fontaine and their actress-mother Lillian moved to California in 1919 after their father Walter, a British patent attorney, left them to pursue a relationship with their housekeeper. She went on to make her on-screen debut in Max Reinhardt's elaborate 1935 adaptation of the Shakespeare comedy, "A Midsummer Night's Dream." In 2018, Ms. de Havilland famously took legal action against the cable TV network FX and director Ryan Murphy, after she alleged Murphy never sought her permission to depict her or use her name in the drama Feud: Bette & Joan. The eight-episode series about Joan Crawford and Bette Davis saw Olivia played by fellow Oscar-winner Catherine Zeta-Jones, however, the lawsuit was later dismissed. - Variety, 7/26/20...... Fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto, who worked closely with David Bowie during his career, died on July 21 due to acute myeloid leukemia. He was 76. Mr. Yamamoto was the first Japanese designer to host a fashion show in London in 1971, and he soon established friendships with the likes of Bowie, Elton John and Stevie Wonder. Mr. Yamamoto formed a creative partnership with Bowie during the early 1970s, with the designer producing numerous stage outfits for the late musician. Their collaboration was particularly notable during Bowie's 1973 Aladdin Sane tour, with Yamamoto's outfit designs helping bring Bowie's various stage personas, such as Ziggy Stardust, to life. David Bowie's official Twitter account paid tribute to Yamamoto after learning of his passing. - New Musical Express, 7/27/20.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Ted Nugent's Facebook Live video clip "Ted Nugent was Live", which the outspoken conservative rocker first uploaded to Facebook on June 26, has reached the top of Billboard's Top Facebook Live Videos chart for the month of June. The clip, which sees Nugent expounding on a number of topics, including his "Spirit Campfire" podcast, the upcoming U.S. presidential election and more, is top in first-seven-days views (1.6 million views), shares (28,000), and reactions (86,000), according to media analytics company Shareablee. Nugent also topped the same chart with another video in November 2019. - Billboard, 7/24/20...... Christine McVieMick FleetwoodBob WelchJohn McVieDanny KirwanFleetwood Mac announced on July 23 that a new mammoth multi-CD box set documenting the band's early years between 1969 and 1974 will drop on Sept. 4. Fleetwood Mac 1969-1974 will be comprised of 8 CDs, starting with the group's 1969 third album Then Play On through to 1974's Live From the Record Plant 12-15-74, a live set recorded shortly before US musicians Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the British band. The Rhino Records collection also includes the studio albums Kiln House (1970), Future Games (1971), Bare Trees (1972), Penguin (1973), Mystery to Me (1973) and Heroes Are Hard to Find (1974) -- all with bonus tracks. A four-LP vinyl edition of the box set (pressed on 180-gram vinyl), consisting of Penguin, Mystery To Me, Heroes Are Hard to Find, and the live album is also due the same day. - New Musical Express, 7/23/20...... Organizers of the 2020 virtual Toronto Film Festival announced on July 22 that HBO's Spike Lee-directed movie version of David Byrne's America Utopia of the former Talking Heads frontman's Broadway stage play will open the festival on Sept. 10. American Utopia sees Byrne and 11 musical artists from around the world performing songs from Byrne's 2018 solo album American Utopia, as well as songs from Byrne's solo and Talking Heads catalogs. The "American Utopia" Broadway show ran from Oct. 2019 to Feb. 2020, and HBO will air the Spike Lee-helmed film this fall. Organizers of the Toronto festival have yet to name a venue for American Utopia's first-night premiere, which traditionally has been Roy Thomson Hall. In other Talking Heads-related news, the band's drummer Chris Frantz has released a new memoir entitled Remain in Love in which he claims David Byrne yelled "You should be calling me an asshole" during their final meeting before splitting. Byrne was allegedly so exasperated that the other members kept their cool when he announced their split that he made the comment. It's believed that Byrne had been telling the other members for years that he wanted the band to break up, but they ignored him for their own purposes. "We had heard this before, so we thought, "If we keep our cool, this will blow over and we'll get to do another Talking Heads record', Frantz told the UK paper The Guardian. Despite their plan, Talking Heads never made another album and have only played together once since, for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2002. - The Hollywood Reporter/NME, 7/22/20...... According to Geoff Lloyd, co-host of the "Reasons to Be Cheerful" podcast, ABBA will release five new tracks in 2021 as part of their long-awaited reunion, which was postponed from 2020 to 2021 due to "technical difficulties" as well as the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Lloyd said in the podcast that "I got to spend an hour with Bjorn Ulvaeus from ABBA via Zoom. He's quarantining -- he's got an island in the Stockholm archipelago. They've recorded five new songs. They should have been out at the end of last year... Because of technical difficulties and the pandemic, it's delayed things. But he promised me that the new ABBA music will be out in 2021." Announcing their first foray into the studio in 35 years in 2018, Abba said in their initial statement: "We all four felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the recording studio. So we did. And it was like time had stood still and that we only had been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyful experience!" - NME, 7/22/20...... GenesisGenesis confirmed on July 24 that their much-anticipated reunion tour, set to take place across the UK and Ireland this November and December, has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Genesis members Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks announced in March that their "The Last Domino" tour would commence this fall, their first live shows in 13 years. Now due to coronavirus restrictions, the trio has postponed the tour until Apr. 2021. It kicks off on Apr. 1 in Glasgow, also hitting Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester, Dublin, Belfast, Leeds, and Liverpool before wrapping with three shows at London's O2 Arena in late April. Two additional dates were added at Birmingham's Utilita Arena and London's O2 Arena on Apr. 7 and Apr. 30, respectively. Meanwhile, the band has spent the coronavirus lockdown uploading a series of classic gigs, streaming one new show every weekend. - New Musical Express, 7/24/20...... Barbra Streisand will be among the co-headliners of a Joe Biden presidential campaign fundraiser on July 26 at 8:00 p.m. EDT. The "Celebration for Change" virtual event will be hosted by comedian Jay Leno and also feature appearances by John Legend, Sara Bareilles, Kristin Chenowith, Julianne Moore, Rob Reiner, Pete Buttigieg, and more. - Billboard, 7/23/20...... A new exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the legendary UK music festival Isle of Wight will open at west London's Masterpiece Art gallery beginning July 27. "Wight Spirit, 1968-70" will display pictures and associated artwork from the festival, including unseen photos from its iconic 1970 edition, the year from which 50 years is marked, when 600,000 people watched Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell play what has become known as "Europe's answer to Woodstock." Sculptures by Guy Portelli and a selection of photos taken by the late Charles Everest -- some of which have never been publicly seen before -- will be displayed until Sept. 5. Some as yet unnannounced musicians who played at the festival from 1968-70 will also stage live performances at the gallery as well as at the showroom of guitar brand Gibson beginning in August. The Masterpiece Art gallery will also stage a one-day exhibition to mark the 50th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix's death on Sept. 19, 1970. Meanwhile, the 2020 edition of Isle of Wight was recently cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The 50th anniversary festival now takes place on June 17-20, 2021, with sets from Lionel Ritchie, Lewis Capaldi, Duran Duran, Snow Patrol, and others. - New Musical Express, 7/23/20...... KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley has called for compassion over rapper Kayne West's mental health after West's wife Kim Kardashian recently spoke out about her husband's mental struggles with bipolar disorder. Writing on her Instagram feed, Kardashian West said that "those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words sometimes do not align with his intentions." This came after West posted a series of now deleted Tweets which claimed he had been trying to divorce Karda shian and that she had tried to "lock me up." This prompted Kardashian West to issue a response in which she wrote: "As many of you know, Kanye has bipolar disorder. Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand... I feel like I should comment on it because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health." This prompted Paul Stanley to retweet her post with his own message: "Let's have compassion and commend this. So many struggle with mental illness and depression and we can all make a difference." - NME, 7/23/20...... David Bowie"I Do Believe I Love You," a rare unreleased David Bowie demo, is set to be auctioned on July 23 and is expected to fetch up to £5,000. The demo was recorded when Bowie signed as a songwriter to Orbit Music in 1966, and was discovered by a London-based music seller who found it in their back catalog collection. It is amongst several other rare Bowie items being sold at the auction at Wessex Auction Rooms, including a signed copy of the singer's 1970 LP The Man Who Sold The World. "As one of only a few people in the world who have heard the recording, I am still amazed that this musical treasure has been uncovered after all of these years," says Auctioneer Martin Hughes. "David Bowie is one of the most iconic artists of all time, and I am sure that this item is going to create a buzz around the globe amongst fans of Bowie as well as collectors of pop culture," he added. - NME, 7/21/20...... As first reported in late June, Elton John's ex-wife Renate Blauel confirmed she was suing her former rock superstar husband by filing documents at London's high court on July 22. According to the documents, comments made by Elton in his 2018 memoir Me broke the terms of an agreement the couple made when they divorced 32 years ago. The documents state that John allegedly agreed to remove certain passages before publication of the book, but Blauel claims that they triggered existing mental health problems. Blauel, a German-born sound engineer, married Elton in Australia in 1984, but they split in 1988, around the same time the singer came out as gay. Describing the pain of their split, John wrote in his book: "I'd broken the heart of someone I loved and who loved me unconditionally, someone I couldn't fault in any way. Despite all the pain, there was no acrimony involved at all. For years afterwards, whenever something happened to me, the press would turn up on her doorstep, looking for her to dish the dirt, and she never, ever has." He also wrote about having very limited contact with Blauel following their separation, but had invited her to meet his children because he "wanted her to be part of our lives, and us part of hers, in some way." ut she didn't want to," he said. "And I didn't push the issue. I have to respect how she feels." Blauel had initially filed an injunction against John but that has now resulted in a civil case. He is yet to respond to Blauel's latest legal action. - New Musical Express, 7/23/20...... A release date for a 40th anniversary edition of Motörhead's landmark 1980 album Ace of Spades has been set for this fall. The reissue of Ace of Spades is due Oct. 30 and will come in various deluxe editions that include hardback book-packs in 2-CD and 3-LP formats, and a collector's edition Ace Of Spades' box set will contain "a bevvy of era-specific treasures and 42 previously unreleased tracks," according to a press release. Ace of Spades was led by its classic title track, which went on to become one of the band's signature songs during their career. - NME, 7/22/20...... In an interview with the BBC's Zoe Ball Breakfast Show radio program on July 22, Mick Jagger gave a progress update on the next fresh Rolling Stones music as he marked the release of "Scarlet," the Stones' previously unreleased collaboration with Jimmy Page. When asked about how the Stones' next set of songs are progressing, Jagger said: "I don't know and don't hold you breath! We recorded a bunch of tracks at the same time we did (Living In a) Ghost Town, (a standalone track released by the band in April) so actually I've been finishing off the vocals and some other instruments on them, and doing some mixes. So I'm working on it." Jagger continued: "We've got to get together and do a couple more sessions on them. But we're not really gonna get together right now. But it sounds good, what we've already done -- [it] sounds pretty good to me." About the "Scarlet" track, which will feature on the band's September-released expanded edition of their 1973 album Goats Head Soup, Jagger said: "I remember first jamming this with Jimmy and Keith [Richards] in Ronnie's basement studio. It was a great session." The Stones have shared the previously unreleased "Scarlet" track on YouTube. - NME, 7/22/20...... Jimmy PageSpeaking of Jimmy Page, the Led Zeppelin mastermind has has reiterated that it's "really unlikely" that Led Zeppelin will ever reunite to go on tour again in the future. During an interview on the BBC's Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on July 22, Ball asked Page if Zeppelin could ever return to go back on tour, referencing Mick Jagger's comments in their earlier interview in which he said he was "so disappointed" that the band didn't go on tour after their one-off 2007 reunion show at The O2 in London. "At the time of the O2, we thought -- myself, John Paul Jones and Jason [Bonham] -- that there was going to; it was said that there were gonna be some more dates," Page said. "It would've been really good to have done that after the O2, 'cos we'd put a lot of work into The O2 and we were really on it, y'know? But it didn't come off." Page added: "It seems really unlikely that there would be a tour in the future. Unlike the Rolling Stones, they do sort of know that the fans love that -- also I know that with Led Zeppelin [fans too]. But it doesn't look as though there's anything in the future, unfortunately. We're talking about a concert that was gigantic at the time, but that was 2007: time passes, y'know?" - NME, 7/22/20...... Eddie Van Halen's son and newest Van Halen member Wolfgang Van Halen has given VH fans some hope that a future VH tour could still happen, despite recent comments by VH singer David Lee Roth to the New York Times that the band wouldn't reunite anytime soon. In the interview, Roth said: "I don't know that Eddie is ever really going to rally for the rigours of the road again. I don't even want to say I've waited -- I've supported for five years. Because what I do is physical as well as musical and spiritual -- you can't take five years off from the ring. But I did. And I do not regret a second of it. He's a band mate. We had a colleague down. And he's down now for enough time that I don't know that he's going to be coming back out on the road. You want to hear the classics? You're talking to him." After seeing Roth's comments, VH bassist Wolfgang retweeted them and added: "Yeah I don't really think that's up for him to decide," giving hope to fans that a future tour could still happen yet. - NME, 7/20/20.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Many Seventies artists including Paul McCartney, Stevie Van Zandt, Paul Stanley and Bette Midler have posted tributes to U.S. congressman Rep. John Lewis after the civil rights icon died on July 17 at age 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. "Sad to hear the news that civil rights legend John Lewis died yesterday. He was such a great leader who fought with honesty and bravery for civil rights in America. Long may his memory remain in our hearts. How about renaming the famous Pettus Bridge...," Paul McCartney posted on Twitter, accompanied by a photo of Rep. Lewis standing before the bridge that was the scene of a famous standoff between protesters and authorities in the 1960s. "Hopefully the Edmund Pettus Bridge will be renamed the John Lewis Bridge. It should have happened while he was alive. Why we would have anything named after the grand dragon of the ku klux klan is way beyond me," E Street Band member Stevie Van Zandt noted in his Twitter post. "Icons cut from this cloth seem to be of another time but they remain timeless. We need more. Rest In Power John Lewis," Paul Stanley's Twitter post read, while Bette Midler's Twitter post said, "Goodbye to the Honorable, in all senses of the word, #JohnLewis Few of us will make as much difference in the world as he." - Billboard, 7/18/20...... Paul McCartneySpeaking of Paul McCartney, the former Beatle has released new EP featuring a remastered version of his 1997 song "Beautiful Night" with Ringo Starr. Currently available for streaming on, the EP is part of Sir Paul's forthcoming remastered deluxe re-release of his acclaimed 1997 LP Flaming Pie. The EP also features a 1995 demo of the track, an alternate "run through" recording, and "Oobu Joobu Part 5" -- a medley of Beautiful Night-themed chat, alternate mixes and interview recordings of McCartney and Starr speaking about the song. McCartney will also release a newly remastered video for "Beautiful Night," originally filmed in 1997. - New Musical Express, 7/17/20...... The German concert promoter CTS Eventim has acquired 49% of the production of the ABBA-themed dinner theater franchise "Mamma Mia! The Party" from the previous minority shareholders, leaving ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus with a majority 51% share. CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg says he hopes his company will help take "Mamma Mia! The Party" to "a new international level as soon as the restrictions of COVID-19 are relaxed... Even if the Corona crisis is a major setback for the entire event industry, we firmly believe in this project, which has already proven its potential." Launched in Stockholm in 2016 where it staged sold-out show for four years running, "Mamma Mia! The Party" combines dining and the classic songs of ABBA with inspiration from the "Mamma Mia!" musical and movies. In Sept. 2019, it opened at the O2 in London and ran successfully for six months, until it had to pause due to the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. - Billboard, 7/17/20...... In an interview on July 16 with Jackass star Steve-O on his podcast "Wild Ride!," Ozzy Osbourne's wife Sharon Osbourne said her husband has started work on his second album with producer Andrew Watt. "He's been hit by so much medically, but he's doing good. He's getting stronger every day. And you can't stop him. He's doing it," Sharon said. Referencing a fall Ozzy suffered at home in February 2019, Sharon added: "Ozzy says that as far as performing goes, he has to end it his way because it was his farewell tour that he was on, but he still had a year to do of that tour, and there were seats sold for the next year, but the accident stopped it all. But he said it's not gonna end just like that -- it's gonna end his way. And he's gonna go back out. And even if it's just one huge show to say goodbye, he's going to do it." Ozzy had been scheduled to complete a farewell tour prior to the onset of coronavirus but was forced to cancel in order to undertake Parkinson's treatment in Switzerland. - NME, 7/18/20...... Billy JoelIn a video shot in June and has since gone viral, Billy Joel is seen stopping in front of an unloved upright piano on a sidewalk in Huntington, Long Island, to play an impromptu version of Shelton Brooks' 1917 ragtime tune "Darktown Strutters' Ball." Wearing a black jacket and pants and sporting a motorcycle helmet, the Piano Man opines, "Not bad, the action is good... Just needs tuning, and the finish is beat. It's a perfectly good piano." Joel then said, "It's a shame to throw it out" before suggesting "someone should donate it to St. Vincent de Paul." He also checked out the pedals and the finish on the keys and again praises the action on the piano. According to Newsday, Joel was on a motorcycle ride when he spotted the instrument and felt compelled to stop and give it a try. The video can be viewed on YouTube. - Billboard, 7/17/20...... Queen's Greatest Hits album has just passed 900 weeks on the U.K.'s Official Albums Chart Top 100 tally, and is just the third album to do so. First released in 1981, the LP is just behind Bob Marley & The Wailers' 1984 hits album Legend (933 weeks) and ABBA's Gold compilation, the longest-running U.K. Top 100 album ever, with 949 weeks. But Queen's Greatest Hits reigns supreme in the UK's all time best-selling album category, with more than 6 million copies sold, according to the OCC. The album is currently at No. 16 on the chart and should notch-up week no. 902 when the next OCC weekly survey is published. - Billboard, 7/16/20...... Speaking of Bob Marley, his son Ziggy Marley held a livestream concert on July 19 honoring what would have been his dad's 75th birthday on Feb. 6. Available for streaming on YouTube, the online gig was the latest event to be held by the Marley family to celebrate the reggae icon's 75th birthday. The hour-long setlist, which was held in accordance with social distancing regulations including musicians wearing face masks, included such Marley and The Wailers classics as "Redemption Song," "One Love," "Rastaman Vibration" and "Exodus," among eight others. Ziggy Marley also took part in a Q&A during the livestream, which was filmed at Miami's CEEK VR studio. In more Bob Marley news, the late musician is among several famous rock acts including Queen, Michael Jackson, Beastie Boys and Coldplay who will get their own SiriusXM radio stations this summer. Marley will be honoured on Tuff Gong Radio, which began airing on July 16 and will remain on the air until Aug. 13. The Queen channel, meanwhile will see guest DJ sets from Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins. - New Musical Express, 7/19/20...... U.K. fans of Bruce Springsteen will be soon be treated with The Boss's popular "Bruce Springsteen: From My Home To Yours" radio show on SiriusXM when the broadcast begins airing on the BBC's Radio 2 from midnight to 1:00 a.m. on July 25, and also be available on "BBC Sounds." According to a press release, the first Radio 2 show will feature Springsteen "picking tracks from Roy Orbison, Don Henley, Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan, Wyclef Jean, Morrissey and many more." Helen Thomas of the BBC said the broadcaster was "especially delighted that we're able to introduce 'Bruce Springsteen: From My Home To Yours' to the Radio 2 airwaves and BBC Sounds." - New Musical Express, 7/17/20...... The Grateful DeadSneaker manufacturer Nike has just unveiled a new line of trainers inspired by the Grateful Dead, replete with a pouch on the inside of the tongue for storing weed. The shoes, dubbed "Nike SB Dunk Low Grateful Dead," were inspired by the legendary San Francisco band's iconic bears, first seen on the back cover of the 1973 GD live album History of the Grateful Dead, Volume 1 (Bear's Choice). The shoes sport a faux-fur and suede exterior, and an image of the bear on the tongue, with a pouch on the inside of the tongue for storing weed. Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux notes: "As the band's benefactor, Bear was an incredibly huge part of the Grateful Dead's ability to become who they were. They were talented musicians, but they would not have had the financial freedom to forgo jobs, move to Los Angeles and practice for 14 hours a day. The band wouldn't become what it is today without Bear's innovations and contributions. The shoes come in three different colors and cost $110 (£87). The orange version will be available beginning July 18 via FTC Skateshop, with the green and yellow versions arriving July 24 via Nike's app SNKRS. Meanwhile, the GD recently announced their own USDA-certified organic deodorant, handmade in small batches from 100% natural vegan ingredients. The five fragrances include "Skull and Roses" (lavender and rose), "Sunshine" (blood orange and bergamot), "Timber" (Douglas fir and sage), "Workingman's" (cedarwood and juniper), and unscented. - New Musical Express, 7/16/20...... In conjunction with the forthcoming 40th anniversary re-release of their 1981 album Back in Black, AC/DC have shared rare footage of the band performing "What Do You Do For Money Honey" in 1981. Viewable on YouTube, the footage was filmed at a show in Tokyo on the group's 1980-81 world tour and was the Aussie headbangers' first international tour with Brian Johnson, who had taken over vocal duties following the death of Bon Scott. Earlier in July, AC/DC premiered the inaugural episode of a new documentary series which chronicles the creation of Back In Black. - NME, 7/16/20...... L.A. County Superior Court Judge Mark A. Young ruled on July 14 that Michael Jackson's former manager Tohme R. Tohme should be awarded a $3 million (£2.39million) settlement from the late singer's estate. Tohme is to be given the money he claimed he was originally promised in a 2019 settlement but where the deal was never finalised in writing. He first sued the estate in 2012 for $20million (£15.9million) after alleging he was owed a 15% commission on compensation Jackson received during the last year of his life, plus a cut of the Jackson concert film This Is It. He also sued on the basis of not receiving a finder's fee for securing a loan that prevented foreclosure of Jackson's Neverland Ranch. Judge Young declared the settlement should "irrevocably, unconditionally, release, acquit and forever discharge any and all claims against each other, meaning that should Tohme receive his $3 million, he wouldn't open any further lawsuits." - NME, 7/17/20...... Emitt RhodesAmerican pop singer/songwriter Emitt Rhodes, known for his contributions to power pop and psychedelic pop in the 1970s and 1980s, has died at age 70, according to his reps and collaborators. Rhodes, a former member of such bands as Palace Guard and The Merry Go Round before going on to release five solo records including his classic 1971 eponymous debut for ABC/Dunhill Records, is said to have passed away in his sleep overnight on July 19. Rhodes' last solo studio album was 2016's Rainbow Ends, released through Omnivore Records. It marked 43 years since his previous album, Farewell To Paradise, due in part to legal battles between Rhodes and his label for not fulfilling contractual obligations. It featured contributions from the Bangles' Susanna Hoffs, Aimee Mann and Jon Brion, among others. Among the music industry figures mourning Rhodes' death on Twitter were Hoffs, his label Omnivore, and Sadie Depuis, who said Rhodes' home studio work "is a reason I started both Speedy Ortiz & later Sad13." Director Tony Blass, who created a documentary based on Rhodes' career, also celebrated the late singer's life with a Twitter post that said, "I feel honored and blessed to have worked and spent time with him for the past 12 years. I tried my best to tell his story, share his music and spend some quality time with him. We usually got completely drunk together." - New Musical Express, 7/20/20...... Phil Ashley, a former keyboardist for KISS who also worked with Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck and Aerosmith, died on July 10 of as yet undisclosed causes. He was 65. Ashley performed on KISS's 1987 hit "Crazy Nights," their 1988 single "Let's Put the X in Sex" and two tracks from 1989's Hot in the Shade. His other credits include Billy Idol's 1986 LP, Whiplash Smile, the Aerosmith's singles "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" and "Rag Doll," and Jagger's 1987 LP, Primitive Cool. KISS frontman Paul Stanley was among the first to pay tributes to Ashley on Twitter, posting "I am at a loss for words. My dear friend Phil Ashley has died suddenly. He was a no bullshit, warm and kind soul who I shared so many hours talking with about the value of life, family and music. He played keyboards for many of the greats. The times we won't have leaves me empty." Guitarist Joe Satriani also said: "Our dear friend Phil Ashley passed away last week. He was a magnificent musician and human being. My deepest condolences to his family. R.I.P Phil, we will all miss you." Ashley's family said they "hope to honor his life next year with a memorial service - details to come." - NME, 7/17/20.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

AC/DC announced on July 14 they're marking the upcoming 40th anniversary of their 1980 album Back in Black with a new documentary series that chronicles the creation of the classic LP. In the first episode, which has been shared on YouTube, the band discusses the creation of "You Shook Me All Night Long," their first single with Brian Johnson after the death of former frontman Bon Scott in Feb. 1980. Compiled from vintage footage, the clip shows Johnson discussing how late AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young played an integral role in determining the final lyrics and guitar lines of the track. More episodes are expected to follow ahead of Back In Black's 40th anniversary on July 25. - New Musical Express, 7/14/20...... Don McLeanThe original handwritten lyrics of the Don McLean song "Vincent," a tribute to painter Vincent van Gogh and the most famous of the American singer/songwriter's songs after his epic No. 1 hit "American Pie," are going up for sale with an asking price of $1.5 million. The L.A.-based rare documents dealer Moments in Time said on July 15 that the lyrics, scrawled in pencil over 14 pages with deletions and additions, are being sold by a person who acquired them directly from McLean. "They are written in pencil. There are some corrections. They differ very slightly from the final lyrics, which show he really had the song well thought out in his head when he wrote it," said Moments in Time owner Gary Zimet. Zimet said he hopes the lyrics end up at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which houses the largest collection of artworks by the 19th-century painter as well as hundreds of drawings and letters. McLean's "Vincent" is also played at the museum. "I am hoping they buy it. They should have it. That would be ideal," Zimet said. First released in 1971, "Vincent" opens with the words "Starry, starry night" and was inspired by the painter's famous work "The Starry Night." McLean, 74, has said he was inspired to write it after reading a biography of van Gogh. His "Vincent" lyrics were most recently seen in public when he lent them to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville for a 2018 exhibit. In 2015, McClean's "American Pie" lyrics fetched $1.2 million at auction. He said at the time he felt it was time to sell them. - Reuters, 7/15/20...... Guitarist Robby Krieger of the Doors will release his seventh solo album, The Ritual Begins at Sundown, on Aug. 14. The album, comprised of all instrumental songs, was produced by ex-Frank Zappa bassist Arthur Barrow, who has produced all but one of Krieger's solo albums. Although Krieger's previous solo effort, Singularity, was also instrumental, he the new one is more energized by the xperimental jazz and progressive excursions of artists like Zappa. "If you had to categorize it, I guess it's a jazz album," says Krieger. "The progressions are jazz, but there's a little Zappa in there and a little Doors. Hopefully, it's not just a straight jazz album. I think it's more unique than that." The Doors and Zappa's band The Mothers of Invention played numerous gigs together in the 1960s, and Krieger says he met Barrow through Zappa keyboardist Don Preston, who played on Krieger's second solo album, Versions, in 1982. "I've been doing stuff with Arthur on and off for 20 years now," says Krieger. "Musically, we get along good together. He loves the Doors. He always wants to write stuff that's like the Doors, but I don't. So we let a little Doors creep in once in a while." Krieger also spoke of the 1971 death of Doors frontman Jim Morrison at age 27: "It was so sad," he said. "If that hadn't happened, I think we could have gone on to make even better records in the vein of L.A. Woman. But we had a wild ride. I don't regret any of it. And now I'm having fun working with Arthur Barrow and making new music. I've got no complaints." - Billboard, 7/14/20...... Speaking to the New York Times, original Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth says he fears the iconic classic rock band's touring days are over because Eddie Van Halen is still recovering from a series of health woes and doesn't want to hit the road again. "I don't know that Eddie is ever really going to rally for the rigours of the road again...," Roth says. "He's (been) down now for enough time that I don't know that he's going to be coming back out on the road. You want to hear the classics? You're talking to him." In 2019, news emerged that a VH tour featuring the band's classic line-up was in the works, but online reports have since suggested Eddie's health may have nixed the plans. Van Halen last toured in 2015. Meanwhile, Roth also told the Times that he has turned to painting to relieve the boredom of the extended coronavirus lockdown, which cut short his 2020 solo tour in March. "My hand has always been in wardrobe, background sets, stage sets, album covers, video direction," he explains. "This is part of it." Roth added that he fears he may have picked up "a little COVID-19" while he was on tour as KISS' support act at the beginning of 2020, adding, "I'm not so unconvinced I didn't have the corona. Man, they gave me enough prednisone to put boots on the moon!" - WENN/, 7/13/20...... Tina TurnerTina Turner is returning from retirement by teaming up with Norwegian producer Kygo on a remix of her iconic track "What's Love Got To Do With It?." Kygo shared a picture of himself and the 80-year-old rock/soul icon on his Twitter feed on July 14, and confirmed that the remix will be available on July 17. "'What's Love Got To Do With It?' is one of my all time favourite songs and it feels surreal to get the opportunity to work with such a legendary artists. Can't wait for you all to hear it!," Kygo posted with the photo. Kygo previously debuted his remix of the late Whitney Houston's "Higher Love," which gave the singer her first posthumous hit on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart in 2019. - New Musical Express, 7/14/20...... Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes will return to live performing on the evening of July 11 for their biggest concert since the COVID-19 pandemic, performing a drive-in concert at Monmouth Racetrack in Oceanport, N.J., not far from their longtime home on the Jersey Shore. Led by John Lyon, the band will perform in front of more than 1,000 cars holding up to four passengers each for what is being billed as one of the largest drive-in concerts in the U.S. to date. The concert is presented by the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, N.J., and is being built out to include a full stage with four large screens for enhanced viewing and sound delivered from a PA system as well as FM signal for vehicles. Tickets went on sale on June 5 and sold out within a few hours for the hometown show, which benefits the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. Lyon, known as the "Grandfather of the Jersey Shore Sound," rose out of the 1970s Ashbury Park scene, playing venues like the Stone Pony alongside the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Steve Van Zandt and later Jon Bon Jovi. - Billboard, 7/11/20...... Elton John is among many stars who have signed an open letter to the British Government calling for a ban on conversion therapy, a practice used to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a person. The letter, addressed to Liz Truss -- the Minister for Women And Equalities, urges her to "introduce a truly effective ban" on conversion therapy, which campaign sponsor The Trevor Project claims "uses a variety of shaming, emotionally traumatic or physically painful stimuli to make their victims associate those stimuli with their LGBTQ identities. (They think) LGBTQ is a mental illness that should be cured." Meanwhile, the Elton recently opened up about smoking marijuana during a creative music session in which he says he went to a "higher place" and "saw God." Speaking during his online Apple Music series "Rocket Hour," John says he once tripped out after smoking the drug while listening to electronic dance music. According to the 73-year-old hitmaker, the combination of the weed in his system and the music beats running through his mind left the singer in a state of bliss, which resulted in him seeing God before his eyes. John credited Kraftwerk's 1977 dance album Trans-Europe Express for really heightening the trip, saying: "I love that because it was the first record I ever heard that really sounded German as far as pop music went. I remember smoking a joint and listening to it on really loud speakers and I thought I saw God during that album." -, 7/12/20...... Alice CooperIn a new interview with Hawaii Public Radio, Alice Cooper discussed the Black Lives Matter movement and police reform, saying that he believes that police in America who are racist need to be "weeded out." Discussing the violent protests of the 1960s and civil rights marches, Cooper said: "Well, isn't it amazing that that was 50, 60 years ago, or something like that, and we're still dealing with the same problem? You would have thought that that solved the problem. But there's always that five percent of people that are racist." He continued: "To be honest with you, I know a lot of cops. I don't know one racist cop. But I guarantee you that five percent of the police force in every city have got a racial problem.... You don't have a full police department of racists in there; you have maybe a small percentage, and those are the guys that need to be weeded out. I can't see why we don't spend the money on getting a committee in every city to weed out the bad guys." Meanwhile, the Coop is teaming up with the Arizona-based dairy company Danzeisen Dairy to release his own chocolate milk bottle. The news first became public earlier in July in an Instagram post by Ideas Collide, an Arizona-based marketing agency. The post included pictures from a product photo shoot, featuring Alice himself. "We are rocking it for chocolate filming AZ rock legend @alicecooper!," Ideas Collide wrote in the caption. Proceeds from sales of Cooper's chocolate milk bottle will benefit his non-profit organization Solid Rock, which he founded in 1995 to provide free music, film, dance and art classes for youths in Arizona. Cooper and Danzeisen Dairy have not yet announced a release date for the milk bottle, but it is expected to hit shelves later in 2020. The beverage will be available for home delivery and at grocery stores across Arizona. - New Musical Express, 7/14/20...... Laura Lian, a British sculptor who has created a six-foot bronze statue of John Lennon, says she would like the statue to go on a tour of Liverpool to mark what would have been Lennon's 80th birthday this October. The likeness of Lennon, which can be seen on Lian's Twitter page, has been displayed at London's Hard Rock Cafe since Lian completed work on it in 2018. But Lian is now calling for the statue to tour all of the boroughs in Merseyside over the next two years. "With all the trouble in the world about statues & the pandemic and the strife, it's so right that Lennon can go back to where he belongs," she told the UK paper The Guardian. "For my generation growing up amid protests against the Vietnam war and the threat of nuclear war, Lennon was an inspiration in the way he inspired us to dream of peace," Lian says. "I had always intended for the statue to have a permanent home up on Merseyside and at one stage it looked like the Lennon statue was going to be erected in the Strawberry Fields area of Liverpool. That project fell through but when the metropolitan mayor of Merseyside, Steve Rotheram, suggested it should go up in the borough of Sefton, I thought that was a great idea," she adds. Every year a borough on Merseyside is nominated as the borough of culture and this year it's Sefton's turn. Lian says she thought it was appropriate that the statue "comes home to Liverpool" ahead of the 40th anniversary of his tragic death in December. - New Musical Express, 7/13/20...... Residents at a nursing hime in Edgware, U.K., have found a creative way to keep themselves entertained during the coronavirus lockdown -- and it involves some of rock music's most iconic album covers. Covers undertaken for the challenge include Bruce Springsteen's Born In The U.S.A, Michael Jackson's Bad, Queen's Queen II, and David Bowie's 1973 album Aladdin Sane. Robert Speker, the entertainment manager at Sydmar Lodge Care Home, says he encouraged the home's residents to recreate some of the most famous classic album covers, and he shared some of the results on his Twitter feed. The residents also recreated more recent album covers by the likes of Adele, Taylor Swift and Blink-182. - NME, 7/12/20...... John TravoltaKelly PrestonActress Kelly Preston, who appeared in the films Jerry Maguire, Twins and Mischief and was the wife of Saturday Night Fever star John Travolta, died on July 13 after a two-year battle with breast cancer. She was 57. Travolta, who had been married to Preston for 29 years, confirmed her death on his Instagram account. "It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my beautiful wife Kelly has lost her two-year battle with breast cancer," Travolta wrote. "She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many. ...I will be taking some time to be there for my children who have lost their mother, so forgive me in advance if you don't hear from us for a while. All my love, JT," he added. Born Kelly Kamalelehua Smith in Honolulu, she changed her name to Kelly Preston before securing her first film role in the 1985 romcom Mischief, then appeared in another teen comedy, Secret Admirer. She went on to appear in SpaceCamp and then Twins with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. In Jerry Maguire, she played Tom Cruise's fiancee Avery Bishop, then co-starred opposite Kevin Costner in For Love of the Game. Travolta and Preston met on the set of the 1987 movie The Experts. The duo would later marry in Paris in 1991. Preston has said in interviews that she had a premonition when she saw the poster for Grease at age 16 that she would marry Travolta. In the 2000s, Preston appeared on TV in Medium and Fat Actress and in films including What a Girl Wants, Sky High and Casino Jack. Her final film role was as mobster's wife Victoria Gotti alongside Travolta as John Gotti in Gotti. The actress and philanthropist is survived by her husband and two children. Her son Jett died in 2009. -, 7/13/20...... Benjamin Keough, the son of Lisa Marie Presley and grandson of Elvis Presley, died on July 12 in Calabasas, Calif., from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in what has been officially ruled a suicide. He was 27. Keough also was the brother of actress Riley Keough and son of musician Danny Keough. (Lisa Marie Presley and Danny Keough divorced in 1994.) His maternal grandmother is Priscilla Presley. Lisa Marie, according to her rep, is "completely heartbroken, inconsolable and beyond devastated" over the death of her son, "but trying to stay strong for her 11-year-old twins and her oldest daughter, Riley. She adored that boy. He was the love of her life." In 2013, Lisa Marie told the Huffington Post that she was letting Benjamin do "his own thing." "He's doing his own thing right now. I'm going to let him decide when he wants to go out and do what he wants to do," she said. In 2012, Keough and his siblings all were featured in the video for Lisa Marie's "duet" with Elvis of his 1954 song "I Love You Because" through archival footage. Lisa Marie also posted a family photo in June 2019 with all her children, which include his twin sisters Finley and Harper Lockwood (whose father is Lisa Marie's ex-husband Michael Lockwood) with the caption: "Mama Lion with cubs." Benjamin at one point tried to follow in his famous grandfather's footsteps, reportedly signing a $5 million record deal with Universal in 2009 to record up to five albums. However, the label denied at the time that any such deal had been struck. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/12/20...... Judy DybleFolk singer and songwriter Judy Dyble, known for her work with the UK band Fairport Convention, died on the morning of July 12 after suffering from a long-term illness. She was 71. "It is with great sadness that we announce that English singer-songwriter Judy Dyble passed away on 12th July 2020 following a long illness borne with great courage," a press release said. "We wish to express our deepest sympathies to Judy's family, friends and many associates from her musical career at this time. Judy's family would like to thank her fans for their messages and good wishes on social media over the last few weeks, but at this time ask that they avoid contacting them for now as they would just like some quiet time," the release continued. Rising to prominence in the 1960s, most notably as a founding member of Fairport Convention and vocalist with cult band Trader Horne, Dyble largely withdrew from the music scene in the early 1970s to concentrate on her family before being invited back to perform with Fairport Convention in 1997 for the 30th anniversary reunion at Cropredy. In 2017, she contributed to "The Ivy Gate," a song on the progressive rock band Big Big Train's tenth studio album Grimspound. She went on to form a close working relationship with Big Big Train's multi-instrumentalist frontman David Longdon and the pair were scheduled to release an album, Between a Breath and a Breath, on Sept. 25. Prog-rock greats King Crimson were among those paying tribute to Dyble on Twitter, along with the band Hand of Glory who described her as "just instantly one of the loveliest people you could ever meet, and managed to achieve the near impossible in making records in recent years that were at least as good as her old ones... She'll be missed." - New Musical Express, 7/12/20.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Aerosmith announced on July 9 that they're rescheduling their 50th anniversary concert at Boston's Fenway Park to Sept. 14, 2021 "out of an abundance of love and caution" amid the coronavirus pandemic. "It's better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret, for the safety of our families, for our crews, for the fans and for the Blue Army," read the statement posted on Facebook. "All tickets will be honored for the new date so hold onto yours! Or if you are unable to make it, you'll be able to request a refund. Ticket holders will be emailed with all details. Until then, stay safe and stay healthy. Big love from the Bad Boys of Boston... Aerosmith," it continued. Aerosmith had planned the 50th anniversary blowout for Sept. 18 at Fenway, with support from opening act Extreme. - Billboard, 7/10/20...... Ozzy OsbourneOzzy Osbourne, his wife Sharon Osbourne, and their son Jack Osbourne will launch a new 8-part paranormal series on cable TV's Travel Channel on Aug. 2. The series, entitled The Osbournes Want to Believe, will find Jack trying to make believers out of his parents, who are, of course, natural skeptics. According to a press release, each hour-long episode will find Jack screening clips of unexplainable events, from Bigfoot and UFO sightings to poltergeists, creepy dolls and other unexplainable phenomenon to his mom and dad. "My parents have always lived on the edge, even when it comes to believing in the supernatural... My biggest challenge may be keeping their comments family friendly. It will be a classic Osbourne gathering!," Jack said in a statement. Ozzy and Sharon will check out Jack's videos and critique them and the series premiere promises to include "their outrageously funny reactions" including "Ozzy's historical digressions on Greeks, Romans and the berserkers and a copious amount of swearing." Meanwhile, possibly taking a cue from rapper Kayne West, Ozzy has just launched a new merchandise line featuring the slogan "Ozzy for President." Osbourne's presidential merch will include t-shirts, buttons, hoodies and bumper stickers. Captioning a link to the merch on Twitter, Ozzy posted "It's time for a new candidate." His presidential merch can be ordered now via his online store on - Billboard/New Musical Express, 7/10/20...... In other Black Sabbath-related news, Queen guitarist Brian May has spoken about his long-rumored collaboration with Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, telling Guitar World magazine that fans' hopes shouldn't be dashed just yet. May said he and his good pal Iommi have spent many hours chatting and listening to riffs Iommi has written but never used. "I think there is a chance. We do more talking than anything else, but we do a lot of talking," May said. "[Iommi] is really my dearest friend in the business and has been for so many years. I could write books about Tony because he's just the most... I don't even know how to put it into words. You know, he's a luminous human being... with a wonderful, kind nature and an incredibly baffling sense of humour," added. Iommi has said the two first talked of collaborating shortly after Iommi was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. May has had his own health problems of late, revealing in late May that he suffered a "small heart-attack" and also tore a muscle while gardening and was unable to walk "for a while." Queen drummer Roger Taylor told Rolling Stone that the band's European tour was probably doomed before the coronavirus pandemic shut it down due to May's health. "We cancelled the tour and then Brian got really sick," Taylor said. "We may have had to cancel it anyway, which is the irony," he added. But Taylor added that May is "very much on the mend" and the pair are in "daily contact." Taylor also recently told the UK's Daily Express paper that a sequel to Queen's successful Bohemian Rhapsody biopic is unlikely. "I don't think it's particularly a good idea. Just because something's been successful, I don't think one should necessarily have part two," he said. Released in Nov. 2018, Bohemian Rhapsody became the highest-grossing musical biopic of all time, raking in more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office. - New Musical Express/, 7/9/20...... The Rolling StonesThe Rolling Stones announced on July 9 they're reissuing their classic 1973 No. 1 album Goats Head Soup as multiple-disc standard and deluxe CD and vinyl sets on Sept. 4 via Polydor/Interscope/UME. All rereleased packages will feature 10 bonus tracks with alternate versions, outtakes and at least three previously unreleased tracks, including "All The Rage" and "Scarlet" featuring Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page on guitar and Blind Faith's Rick Grech on bass. The first never-before-heard track from the rerelease, "Criss Cross," was shared on YouTube and other streaming services along with the music video on July 9. The box set editions will include a 15-track live album Brussels Affair from their memorable 1973 Belgium show, videos of "Dancing With Mr. D," "Silver Train" and "Angie," and an exclusive 100-page photo essay book. - Billboard, 7/9/20...... Celebrating his big 8-0 birthday online on July 7 due to social distancing, Ringo Starr took some time to note how influential Black music was to creating the Beatles' sound. "There's no greater act than any others can make than to stand up and be counted when you see injustice," he said during the livestream. "I don't have to tell you that the Beatles' early set had a lot to do with the influence we found in American artists. We loved listening to Ray Charles, Little Richard is my hero, Stevie Wonder, Sister Rosetta Tharpe -- I saw her live at the cabin --and my stepdad's favorite, Billy Eckstine. The list goes on and on," he said. The show also had a number of throwback onstage moments, including a dynamic "Helter Skelter" performance with Ringo's former bandmate Paul McCartney, who took to social media earlier in the day to wish his pal a happy birthday. "Happy birthday SIR RICHARD alias RINGO. Have a great day my long time buddy!," Sir Paul posted to Twitter. Joe Walsh, Gary Clark Jr., Sheryl Crow, Sheila E., Dave Grohl and Ben Harper also took part in the event, performing Beatles covers at home. Ringo's full "Big Birthday Show" has been shared on YouTube. Meanwhile, Ringo told Britain's Sunday Mirror paper on July 6 that the Beatles once walked away from a multi-million dollar offer to reunite for a one-off concert because the opening act was "a guy biting a shark." Starr says the Beatles were offered $62.4 million (£50 million) -- worth around $250 million (£200 million) in today's money -- back in 1976 to stage the comeback show, just six years after they parted ways, and "we called each other to see what we think." "We decided not to do it because the opening act was a guy biting a shark," referring to showman Bill Sargent's deal of an odd-warm up act which involved a man wrestling an 18-foot long Great White. "So we thought, 'No'," he said. According to Ringo, it was the only offer the band had seriously considered before John Lennon was shot and killed outside his New York home in 1980. Billboard/, 7/7/20...... Yoko OnoElsewhere on the Fab Four front, insiders say 87-year-old Yoko Ono is "slowing down" after she was last spotted in Jan. 2019 at a women's march in a wheelchair and has not been spotted in public since. In 2017, Yoko was presented with a Centennial Song Award by the National Music Publishers Association and was pushed onstage in a wheelchair by her son Sean Lennon, shocking some who didn't realize the formidable avant-garde artist was incapacitated. She began her short acceptance speech by "addressing the elephant in the room. While it's not clear what "illness" she was referring to, Ono is reportedly still ailing, and requires round-the-clock care and rarely leaves her sprawling apartment in The Dakota, a source close to her staff recently told The New York Post. Ono, who has reported assets of $700 million, recently donated $50,000 to the West Side Campaign Against Hunger, which during the coronavirus pandemic has provided thousands of meals to out-of-work and needy residents in her Upper West Side neighborhood. - The New York Post, 7/4/20...... Bruce Springsteen has made a surprise release of a live Streets of Philadelphia album recorded on Sept. 25, 1999, at Philly's First Union Center. The longtime fan favorite bootleg, featuring his classic E Street Band lineup, has never been officially available before. The 22-song show, newly mixed from multitrack masters, opens with "Incident on 57th Street" and "The Ties That Bind," and includes such favorites as "Prove it All Night," "Atlantic City," "Point Blank," "Badlands" and "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" and encores of "Jungleland," "Born to Run," "Thunder Road" and "Land of Hope and Dreams." The album's title comes from the song Springsteen wrote for the 1993 Tom Hanks/Denzel Washington AIDS drama Philadelphia. Streets of Philadelphia can be streamed on YouTube. In May, Springsteen released a July 1981 live concert recorded at the Brendan Byrne Arena in New Jersey with proceeds earmarked for the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. - Billboard, 7/7/20...... Elvis Costello has shared his second single of 2020, "Hetty O'Hara Confidential," along with an animated lyric video, on YouTube. The track, with similarly furious synthetic percussion to his previous single "No Flag," is described pithily by Costello in a statement as "the tale of a tattler who outlives her time." The dual singles are the first new material since Costello and his band The Imposters released a 2019 EP entitled Purse. They released their last studio album, Look Now, in 2018. - New Musical Express, 7/10/20...... Iggy Pop's classic 1977 track "The Passenger" has finally been given an official music video 43 years after its release. Pop shared the video on YouTube on July 9 and announced it on Instagram with a message: "So 'The Passenger' finally has an official video. Thank you @simontayl0r for your talent and thank you #EstherFriedman and @paulmcalpinerr for sharing images from the times of The Passenger." In the description of the video on YouTube, Pop added another thank you "for those beautifully captured shots that make this video truly encapsulate the period." Meanwhile, a live recording of the last concert performed by Pop's former band the Stooges' in its original lineup will drop on Aug. 7. - NME, 7/9/20...... The Eagles and Guns N' Roses are reportedly among the musicians who have received financial support during the COVID-19 crisis. Data released by America's Small Business Administration and Treasury Department and obtained by the publication showed the Eagles, Pearl Jam and Disturbed took out loans of between $350,000 (£280,000) and $1 million (£800,000). The loans are for the artists' touring companies, with the Eagles helping retain 50 jobs while they are unable to perform during the pandemic. -, 7/9/20...... Bob MarleyThe family of reggae legend Bob Marley have reimagined Marley's iconic song "One Love" to raise money for Unicef's coronavirus fund. Originally recorded in 1977 by Marley and his band The Wailers, the new take on "One Love" sees vocals from Marley's son Stephen, daughter Cedella and grandson Skip. The song, which has been shared on YouTube, also features a host of children living in vulnerable environments and musicians from conflict zones. All proceeds from the song will go to Reimagine, Unicef's global campaign which aims to prevent the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for children. - NME, 7/9/20...... The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced on July 9 that its 2020 induction ceremony has been cancelled due to coronavirus and will now be broadcast as an HBO special. The traditional live ceremony, originally set to take place on May 2 but was pushed back due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, and though a new date in November was announced soon afterwards, that has also now been scrapped. Instead, the ceremony will be broadcast as a pre-recorded HBO special, airing on the same planned date of Nov. 7. "To protect the health and safety of our Inductees, their families, crews and our attendees, we've made the decision that the scheduled live event is not possible, John Sykes, Chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, said in a statement. Whitney Houston, The Notorious B.I.G., Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, T Rex and the Doobie Brothers are among the artists to be inducted into the RRHOF class of 2020 for its 35th annual celebration. Also the 2021 edition of the ceremony has been pushed back from spring to autumn, and take place in the organization's home base of Cleveland, Oh. - New Musical Express, 7/9/20...... KISS vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley took to Twitter on July 8 to urge fans to wear face masks in order to help stop the spread of coronavirus as several US states have begun ordering citizens to wear face masks in public. Stanley posted a photo of himself with his daughter, Emily, and wrote: "Sunset at the beach with Emily. WEAR YOUR MASK! Don't listen to conspiracy theorists or graduates of The Internet University Of Medicine. While the credible authorities and experts continue to learn more about Covid 19 they remain in agreement about safety protocols. End of story," he wrote. Stanley's post comes after his fellow KISS bandmate Gene Simmons made similar pleas to Twitter users earlier in 2020. - NME, 7/8/20...... Elton John has become the latest artist to be honoured by Britain's Royal Mint's series of commemorative coins. Sir Elton is featured on the coin, which can be viewed on the Reuters Twitter page, in his trademark straw boater hat, a Union Jack and a pair of quaver notes. The coin is available in gold, silver and brilliant uncirculated editions, beginning July 6. "It really is a fabulous honour to be recognised in this way. The last few years have contained some of the most memorable moments of my career, and this is another truly humbling milestone on my journey," John said in a statement. Meanwhile, Elton has postponed the homecoming U.K. leg of his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The concerts were set to run from Nov. 2 to Dec. 17, 2020, but have now been pushed back until Oct. 30 through Dec. 14, 2021. "Rescheduling my concerts is never a decision taken lightly, but my priority is always the safety of all parties including my tour crew, the venue staff and of course you, my amazing fans," John said in a statement. - NME/WENN/, 7/6/20...... Chris FrantzIn a new interview with Rolling Stone, Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz said it "would be nice" if his iconic New Wave band reunited. Frantz, speaking about his new biopic Remain in Love, said he hasn't seen Talking Heads frontman David Byrne since a 2003 meeting at a restaurant on New York's Lower East Side, and wasn't invited to see Byrne's "American Utopia" stage show on Broadway, which ran across 2019. Frantz said Byrne told him that evening that he would "think about" a reunion, but three days later he received a blunt email from Byrne saying, "I will never reunite with the Talking Heads. Please don't bring this up again." Frantz admits that he would like to reunite with the band, though, saying: "It would be nice if it could happen because unlike many of our contemporaries, we're all still alive." Talking Heads broke up in 1991, and have only played together once since, for their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. In late 2019, fans believed that a potential Talking Heads reunion was finally in the works, after the band appeared to launch an official Instagram account. The account hasn't shared a single post, and isn't verified as of yet. - New Musical Express, 7/7/20...... British photographer Fiona Adams, who took several memorable snaps of the Beatles including the iconic pic of the Fab Four jumping off a Brick Wall on London's Euston Road which adorned the cover of their 1963 "Twist and Show" UK EP, has died at the age of 84. Ms. Adams, who graduated from the Ealing College of Art and Technology in 1952, also went on to photograph some of the Sixties' other defining icons too -- including Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan. In 2009 the National Portrait Gallery featured her Sixties work, in their exhibition "Beatles to Bowie: The 60s Exposed." She was hailed as "an unsung heroine of the decade now retired and living in the Channel Islands." Her death follows that of fellow Beatles collaborator/photographer Astrid Kirchherr earlier in 2020. - NME, 7/10/20...... Legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone, who is best known for scoring The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, has died in Rome following complications from a fall. He was 91. Mr. Morricone, who scored more than 500 films, is widely regarded as one of cinema's greatest composers and won a long-overdue Oscar for his work on Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight in 2015. He also received nominations for Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven (1978), Roland Joffe's The Mission (1986), Brian De Palma's The Untouchables (1987), Barry Levinson's Bugsy (1991) and Giuseppe Tornatore's Malena (2000). But it was Mr. Morricone's collaboration with director Sergio Leone on the "Dollars" spaghetti Western trilogy featuring Clint Eastwood that arguably spawned his best known work -- the iconic theme to The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. Affectionally known as "The Maestro," Mr. Morricone was handed an honorary Oscar by astwood in 2007, with the Academy hailing his "magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music." - New Musical Express, 7/6/20.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Charlie DanielsSouthern rock/country music legend Charlie Daniels, who worked his way up to platinum album sales through heavy touring with an eclectic repertoire that touched on several genres including boogie, bluegrass, country, blues, hard rock and even a bit of Tex-Mex, died at a hospital in Hermitage, Tenn., on the morning of July 6 from hemorrhagic stroke, his publicist confirmed. He was 83. Born on Oct. 28, 1936, in Wilmington, NC, Daniels was the son of a lumberman and began his professional career at 21 when he formed the Jaguars. From the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, he played in Southern bars and roadhouses, and in 1964 he co-penned "It Hurts Me" with friend Bob Johnston, a B-side for Elvis Presley on his double-sided Top 30 hit "Kissin' Cousins." In 1967, he disbanded the Jaguars and settled in Nashville , where he became an in demand studio musician playing guitar, fiddle, bass, and banjo on albums for such major rock acts as Bob Dylan (on his Nashville Skyline album), Ringo Starr (on Beaucoups of Blues), Leonard Cohen and Pete Seeger, also contributing to numerous country sessions. He wrote songs that were recorded by the likes of Tammy Wynette, Gary Stewart and others, and also worked as a producer, most notably on four albums by the Youngbloods. After an eponymous debut LP for Capitol Records in 1970, he switched to Kama Sutra for another solo effort, Te John, Grease, and Wolfman. In 1971, he formed the Charlie Daniels Band, modeled after the Allman Brothers Band with its two drummers and twin lead guitars. In 1972, the CDB's LP Honey in the Rock featured the talking-bluegrass novelty hit "Uneasy Rider," which became a Top 10 hit in 1973. The band built a loyal following in the South and West by touring relentlessly, playing nearly 200 shows a year. In 1973, his Fire on the Mountain album featured the rollicking "Trudy" and made him a national star, and 1975's Nightrider included the rebel rouser "The South's Gonna Do It Again," a Top 30 hit. In 1974, he began his annual Volunteer Jam concerts in Nashville, several of which were recorded for live albums from 1976 through 1981. Signing with Epic Records in 1975 for a reported $3 million, Daniels recorded Saddle Tramp and added three new members to his band. In 1976, he performed benefits for presidential candidate Jimmy Carter, and later performed at Pres. Carter's inauguration. Charlie DanielsIn 1979, he scored a multi-million selling breakthrough with Million Mile Reflections, which yieled his No. 3 hit, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" and earned him a Grammy for Best Country Vocal. The increasing political edge of his music was demonstrated with the 1980 No. 11 hit "In America," and in 1982 his version of Dan Daley's "Still in Saigon" concerned the traumas of a Vietnam vet. In 1993, he switched to Liberty Nashville Records, with another patriotic anthem in the title cut of America, I Believe in You. In 1994, he recorded his first gospel LP for Sparrow Records, The Door, which featured a songwriting collaboration between himself and Steven Curtis Chapman. Although his edgy, early music which celebrated pot smoking and poking fun at rednecks raised eyebrows in Nashville, he softened some verses in the 1990s and in 2008 joined the epitome of Nashville's music establishment, the Grand Ole Opry, and eight years later was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Daniels had suffered what was described as a mild stroke in Jan. 2010 and had a heart pacemaker implanted in 2013 but continued to perform. In 2017 he published his memoir, Never Look at the Empty Seats, and followed up in 2018 with Let's All Make the Day Count: The Everyday Wisdom of Charlie Daniels. In March, despite the coronavirus pandemic putting many events on hold, Daniels confirmed the lineup for a 2020 Volunteer Jam concert on Sept. 15, naming performers such as Trace Adkins, Justin Moore, The Marshall Tucker Band and Charley Pride, among others. Accolades to Daniels on Twitter from several country acts include Brad Paisley, who posted "A tale of hard work, musical discovery, and faith, Charlie Daniels's journey has been one of a kind. Equal parts rebel rouser and apostle, it's no small coincidence he launched his career by beating the Devil with a fiddle in hand. I love this man, the things he stands for, and his music. What a story." Daniels is survived by his wife Hazel, who he married in 1964, and son Charlie Jr. - Billboard/The Daily Mail UK/Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock, 7/6/20.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

As the US turned 244 years old on July 4 but remains under quarantine advisory during the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, '70s artists including Pattie LaBelle, John Fogerty, The Temptations, Don McLean, Barry Manilow and Kenny Loggins gave virtual performances during prime time specials on that evening. LaBelle, standing next to the storied Liberty Bell at Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park, delivered a powerful rendition of the Wizard of Oz classic "Over the Rainbow" during PBS' A Capitol Fourth special, while The Temptations performed such classics as "My Girl" live in the studio, and later Fogerty, backed by his sons and daughter, performed "Centerfield" and "Proud Mary" direct from their home. Meanwhile, CNN's patriotic special The Forth in America featured performances by the likes of McLean, who performed his 1972 classic "American Pie," Manilow and Loggins. - Billboard, 7/5/20...... The EaglesThe cable sports network ESPN has announced it will air the Eagles' "Live From The Forum MMXVIII" concert on July 5 at 8:00 p.m. EDT. Joined by special guest artists Vince Gill and late Eagles member Glenn Frey's son Deacon Frey, the L.A.-based rockers performed 26 songs at The Forum on Sept. 12, 14 and 15, 2018. Each of those nights that have now been compiled into a Live From The Forum MMXVIII live album and concert film, which are currently available for pre-order on the Eagles' official website and in conjunction with the ESPN broadcast. The concert, featuring the iconic hits "Hotel California," "Take It Easy," "Life In The Fast Lane," and "Desperado," will be available on Oct. 16 through Rhino in various audio and video formats, such as Blu-ray, CD, vinyl and streaming. - Billboard, 7/1/20...... Neil Young has slammed US Pres. Donald Trump for the president's use of Young's classic numbers "Rockin' in the Free World" and "Like a Hurricane" during Trump's Independence Day celebration at the foot of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota on July 3. "This is NOT ok with me...," Young wrote in response to a video of "Rockin' in the Free World" playing in the background at the event. The 74-year-old Canadian born rocker, who became an American citizen earlier in 2020, also responded to a second clip showing "Like a Hurricane" playing, writing, "I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux & this is NOT ok with me." Young has been battling with Trump over the use of "Rockin' in the Free World" for the past five years. Trump, whose campaign purchased a license for the song, first played "Rockin' in the Free World" after announcing his plans to run for president in 2015. In other Neil Young news, the artist has brought back his Fireside Sessions series for a sixth episode, sharing a deeply political new episode. In a video posted on his Neil Young Archives site, Young shared a number of protest songs from across his career, as well as a cover of Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'." During the set, Young performed his Harvest track "Alabama," before sharing a version of his own track "Lookin' For A Leader," editing the lyrics to criticize the President and his reaction to the recent Black Lives Matter protests. "Yeah, we had Barack Obama, and we really need him now," he sung. "The man who stood behind him has to take his place somehow/ America has a leader building walls around our house/ Who don't know Black lives matter, and it's time to vote him out." Neil Young released Homegrown, his long-anticipated "lost album from the mid-1970s, in June. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 7/4/20...... Elton John launched a weekly archival concert series called the "Classic Concert Series," featuring a different archival concert of his every week, on July 3. The series premiered exclusively on the superstar's YouTube channel, kicking off with a Sept. 1976 performance of "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" at Edinburgh's Playhouse Theatre. The performance has been shared on YouTube as a teaser to the series. Following the July 3 premiere, new archival footage will be shared on the channel every Saturday for six weeks. The series was created in order to raise funds for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, in support of Covid-19 relief efforts. "My Foundation's COVID-19 Emergency Fund helps frontline partners prepare for and respond to the pandemic and its effects on HIV prevention and care for the most marginalized communities," Elton said in a statement. "We cannot jeopardize HIV testing and care during this time or else the results could be disastrous for the 37.5 million people living with HIV. So, I'm really happy to connect this YouTube Concert series to benefit our Foundation's urgent COVID response," he added. - New Musical Express, 7/2/20...... Peter FramptonIn related news, Peter Frampton has launched a new coronavirus-themed T-shirt on his merch store which plays on the title of his classic 1976 live double-album Frampton Comes Alive!. "I'm helping raise money for Second Harvest Food Bank with this fun tee! Available at - link in stories," Frampton posted on his Instagram feed. The new T-shirt displays a doctored version of the live album's original artwork -- now showing the guitarist wearing a blue face mask -- and bears the words "Frampton Stays Inside!." On the back of the shirt the words "Shelter In Place House Tour 2020" are printed in the style of a normal tour t-shirt, with a monthly schedule of rooms to visit in the home -- February: Living Room, March: Kitchen, April: Laundry Room, May: Backyard -- also included. The rocker was forced to cancel a tour in his native UK and Europe in May due to the coronavirus pandemic. - New Musical Express, 7/1/20...... Willie Nelson presented a virtual edition of his annual "Fourth of July Picnic" on July 4 via his website, and on The nearly 50-year-old event, in addition to Willie's set, featured performances by Sheryl Crow, Ziggy Marley, Steve Earle and Nelson's fellow Texas-based singers Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen and Kinky Friedman, from Nelson's Luck Ranch in Spicewood, northwest of Austin, Tex. Meanwhile, the 87-year-old music legend released his 70th album, First Rose of Spring, on July 3. - AP,...... Cher has voiced her support for the U.K.'s live music scene amid calls for the British government to offer financial assistance to industry workers amid the Covid-19 crisis. Cher took to Twitter on July 2 to support the U.K.'s #LetTheMusicPlay campaign, with her warning that the future is "bleak" for hundreds of thousands of workers in the sector, which remains on shutdown during the pandemic. Cher named several British acts, including The Beatles, Elton John, David Bowie and George Michael as some of her favourite musicians, adding her late partner Sonny [Bono] and my career couldn't have happened without UK's Live Music Industry... When no one 'got us' England did." Cher is among more than 1,500 artists, including Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Coldplay and Liam Gallagher, who haves signed a joint letter to U.K. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden calling on the British government to offer financial assistance to industry workers amid the Covid-19 crisis. -, 7/2/20...... Ringo StarrRingo Starr has big plans to celebrate his milestone 80th birthday on July 7 with an "all-Starr" broadcast benefit called "Ringo's Big Birthday Show." This year Starr, who traditionally spreads peace and love outside of Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood, Calif. for his birthday, has recruited his fellow surviving Beatles member Paul McCartney along with his All-Starr Band guitarist Joe Walsh, Gary Clark Jr., Sheryl Crow, Sheila E. and Ben Harper for at-home livestream performances, as well as never-before-seen concert footage. Proceeds raised during "Ringo's Big Birthday Show" will benefit the Black Lives Matter Global Network, the David Lynch Foundation, MusiCares and WaterAid. "As everyone knows I love gathering with fans for peace and love on my birthday," Ringo said in a press release. "But this year, I want everyone to be safe at home -- so I called up a few friends and we put this Big Birthday Show together so we could still celebrate my birthday with you all, with some great music for some great charities. I hope you will all join me! Peace and Love, Ringo." The bash will also premiere a guest star version of Starr's "Give More Love" featuring Willie Nelson, Jeff Bridges, Jackson Browne, T Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Peter Frampton, Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. "Ringo's Big Birthday Show" will air on his YouTube channel at 8:00 p.m. EDT on July 7. An update on the event has been shared on YouTube. - Billboard, 6/30/20...... Bob Dylan has bowed atop Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart for the week of July 4 with his latest album, Rough and Rowdy Ways. The LP moved 53,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending June 25, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. Neil Young's Homegrown has also moved to the No. 3 spot on the same chart, selling 26,000 units. - Billboard, 6/30/20...... In a new interview with BBC Radio 6 Music, Queen drummer Roger Taylor said that his band would still be making music today if Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was still alive. "I do believe that. Me and Freddie -- he was my closest friend and we were very, very close. We came up together and we literally lived in each other's pockets and clothes some of the time! I do believe we would still being doing stuff together because it was a great collaboration. I don't know if [Queen bassist] John Deacon would allow -- of course John wasn't quite mentally suited for it, the other three were," he said, adding "I would like to think we were still doing stuff together, whatever it might be. I think [Queen guitarist] Brian May and I with Adam Lambert, we just loved doing the show, just seemed to get better and better, while we still can do it, we still will do it." - NME, 7/1/20...... David GilmourPink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour released "Yes, I Have Ghosts," his first new song in five years, on YouTube on July 3. On the gentle, acoustic number with flourishes of strings, Gilmour sings, "Yes, I have ghosts, not all of them dead/ Making dust of my dreams, spinning round and around, around in my head." "Yes, I Have Ghosts" accompanies the release of Gilmour's wife Holly Samson's audiobook for her coming-of-age novel A Theatre for Dreamers, and features their daughter Romany on vocals. "I am surprised more musicians have not creatively collaborated with authors, narrators and audiobook producers in this way before," Gilmour said in a statement. "The two worlds seem to seamlessly link, and music can really help to bring audiobooks to life in unexpected new ways," he added. "Yes, I Have Ghosts" is Gilmour's first new music since his No. 1 UK and No. 5 UK LP, Rattle that Lock, in 2015. - Billboard, 7/3/20...... Late Americana singer/songwriter John Prine has been named as Illinois' first honorary poet laureate, following his death from coronavirus earlier this year. Announcing the unprecedented honour, on his Twitter account on June 30, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said: "John Prine leaves behind an unparalleled musical legacy and was beloved by family and millions of fans who hope that in Heaven he finds Paradise waitin' just as he longed for." Prine's widow, Fiona Whelan Prine, posted a response to the honor: "It is such an honor for me, our sons, and the entire Prine family to acknowledge that our beloved John will be named an Honorary Poet Laureate of the State of Illinois. Thank you, Gov. Pritzker, for this wonderful recognition." - NME, 7/1/20...... It has been confirmed that late The Pointer Sisters singer Bonnie Pointer died from going into cardiac arrest after her death certificate was made public on July 3. Bonnie Pointer, who co-founded the family group with younger sisters June in 1969, died on June 8 and, in papers obtained by, it's been confirmed she died of a heart attack. The document also indicates that the singer had been suffering from liver disease for about a decade prior to her passing, as well as cirrhosis of the liver. Bonnie left the group in the mid-1970s to pursue a successful solo career with hits like "Heaven Must Have Sent You." She released three albums as a Motown Records artist and found love at the label, marrying executive Jeffrey Bowen. Bonnie is the second Pointer sister to pass away -- June Pointer lost her battle with cancer in 2006. - WENN/, 7/5/20...... Filmmaker/actor Rob Reiner led tributes to his comedy icon father Carl Reiner after the elder Reiner passed away on June 29 from natural causes at the age of 98. "Last night my dad passed away," Rob posted on Twitter on June 30. "As I write this my heart is hurting. He was my guiding light." Rob's tweet came as a host of well-wishes from the likes of Dick Van Dyke, Bette Midler, Alan Alda, George Clooney, William Shatner, John Cusack, Mia Farrow and Sarah Silverman also paid tribute to Carl. - WENN/, 7/1/20...... Hugh DownsVeteran Emmy-winning TV personality Hugh Downs, whose career stretched back to the birth of television, died at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, on July 1. He was 99. Mr. Downs' long TV run encompassed both news and entertainment. He hosted NBC's Today show from 1962 to 1971, was late-night host Jack Paar's longtime announcer/sidekick on The Tonight Show, appeared in dozens of commercials and even hosted the daytime quiz show Concentration for over a decade. Mr. Downs was perhaps best known as the co-host of ABCs newsmagazine 20/20, teaming with Barbara Walters, with whom he'd worked at Today. They also co-hosted the short-lived syndicated daytime show Not for Women Only. Mr. Downs began his TV career in 1950 as an announcer for the NBC soap Hawkins Falls and never seemed to stop until he retired in 1999. In 1985, Mr. Downs was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as holding the record for the most hours on network commercial television (over 15,000) -- a record that stood until it was broken by Regis Philbin in 2004. His wife, Ruth Shaheen Downs, died in 2017 at the age of 95. They were married for 73 years. Mr. Downs is survived by his daughter, Deirdre; his son, Hugh R. "H.R." Downs; two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. - The New York Post, 7/2/20.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

After the US Supreme Court struck down a new abortion law in Louisiana on June 29 that banned doctors from performing the procedure unless they had admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, several female stars including Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler reacted on Twitter about the ruling. Streisand referred to the confirmation hearing of the newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh, who told Maine Sen. Susan Collins that he would respect a woman's right to choose, however Kavanaugh cast a dissenting vote on the latest ruling. "Senator Collins that he would respect precedence about a woman's right to choose. He was lying," Streisand wrote. The decision to strike down the Louisana law came after Chief Justice John Roberts sided with liberal justices in the final vote. - Billboard, 6/29/20...... Willie Nelson was among the entertainers participating in a virtual fundraiser for Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden on June 29. Nelson, 87, posted about the event on his Instagram the previous day, tagging #TeamJoe to show his support for the former vice-president in his race against Pres. Donald Trump in November's election. - Billboard, 6/29/20...... Renate BlauelElton JohnElton John's ex-wife Renate Blauel has announced she is seeking an injunction against her former husband after he mentioned her during several sections of his 2018 autobiography Me. It is thought that Blauel and John had agreed on what would be detailed in Me after she reminded him of a non-disclosure agreement signed by the pair after their split in 1988 and their lawyers had reportedly came to an agreement, but now Blauel is now seeking a High Court ruling against the singer in the UK. In Me, Elton wrote that "I'd broken the heart of someone I loved and who loved me unconditionally, someone I couldn't fault in any way. Despite all the pain, there was no acrimony involved at all.... For years afterwards, whenever something happened to me, the press would turn up on her doorstep, looking for her to dish the dirt, and she never, ever has." Blauel's lawyer says his client hopes her current legal action against the pop star can be resolved "amicably." Meanwhile, John has recently participated in a "Project Angel Food" COVID-19 fundraiser in Los Angeles with the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Annie Lennox, CeeLo Green, Billy Idol and others which raised more than $700,000 for the charity. Elton and his husband David Furnish also provided a fundraising message in which they said, "We have always worked to make sure the most vulnerable people in the world are protected and cared for with love and compassion... We have supported Project Angel Food through the (Elton John AIDS) foundation before, and we are proud to support Lead With Love. For those watching from home, Project Angel Food needs your help urgently to keep doing what they do: serve others." Project Angel Food was first launched in 1989 in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and is continuing to serve medically-tailored meals to those with life-threatening illnesses who are shielding during the COVID-19 pandemic. - New Musical Express/, 6/26/20...... The family of Tom Petty shared a previously unreleased home recording of Petty's song "You Don't Know How it Feels" from his 1994 solo album Wildflowers YouTube on June 26. Discovered by one of Petty's daughters as she was going through his archives, the song has slightly different lyrics from the released version, according to a post on Petty's Instagram account. "It shows an insight to Tom's writing process and introduces a line from another favorite Wildflowers track 'Crawling Back To You' stating, 'most things I worry about never happen anyway'," the post reads. "You Don't Know How It Feels," well known for the lyric "Let's get to the point, and let's roll another joint," reached No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart, and served as the final Top 40 hit of the deceased rocker's illustrious career. - Billboard, 6/29/20...... With his new release Rough and Rowdy Ways, Bob Dylan has become the first artist with a Top 40 album in every decade since the 1960s on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart. Debuting at No. 2 with 53,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending June 25, Rough and Rowdy Ways is Dylan's highest charting album in the US in over a decade, and makes the rock legend the first act to have achieved at least one new top 40-charting album in every decade from the 1960s through the 2020s. Dylan's 2009 LP, Together Through Life, debuted and peaked at No. 1 on the chart for the week of May 16, 2009. It is also Dylan's 23rd Top 10 album and 50th Top 40 set. - Billboard, 6/28/20...... Dion DiMucciDion Dimucci, a rock & roll pioneer known for such classics as "The Wanderer" and "Runaround Sue," dropped a new solo album, Blues With Friends, on June 5. The album, which features contributions from such stars as Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Van Morrison, Billy Gibbons and Brian Setzer on its 14 original tracks, has debuted atop Billboard's Blues Albums chart, and one of the tracks, "Song for Sam Cooke (Here in America)," has can be streamed on YouTube. DiMucci says that Bruce Springsteen's wife Patti Scialfa arranged the track "Hymn to Him." "She has that soul voice," DiMucci says. "I thought, 'Man, if she does some harmonies with me on this, this is going to be dynamite.' She said, 'Let me try something' and started stacking vocals on it and she captured the sound like the mesmerizing holy spirit. Bruce came into the room and wanted to play a solo and he comes in with his gravitas guitar solo." DiMucci, 80, says he's currently quarantining on a lake in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with "kids roller-skating with their scooters and their bicycles," and that he's in good health. "I am, yes, thank God. One day at a time. I'm doing the deal, you know, like everybody," he says. - Billboard, 6/25/20...... One week after the family of Tom Petty filed a cease and desist notice to Pres. Donald Trump's campaign after one of his songs was played at a Trump campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., on June 20, the Rolling Stones have announced they are "taking further steps" to prevent the President from playing their music at his rallies after their 1969 Let It Bleed track "You Can't Always Get What You Want" was also played at the same rally. In a press release on June 27, a rep from the Stones' legal team said it is working with performing rights organization BMI, who notified the president's campaign that the use of their songs is unauthorized and would "constitute a breach of its licensing agreement." Further use "would face a lawsuit for breaking the embargo and playing music that has not been licensed." "This could be the last time Trump uses any Jagger/Richards songs on his campaigns," the statement read. The band has objected to Trump's use of their music since he made use of several of their songs beginning with his 2016 presidental campaign. - Billboard, 6/27/20...... The first episode of a new Lockumentary series by Queen + Adam Lambert was shared on YouTube on June 26. In the five-minute clip, we learn that Queen's crew celebrates Hawaiian Shirt Fridays and can watch soundchecks by Queen's roadies for concerts in Australia, South Korea and Japan. "Every time I'm on tour with Queen I really enjoy it - it's a fun tour to do. They are such lovely people and we have an amazing crew and we are surrounded by a lot of nice people," stage manager Andy Bews says in the clip. "It's a really well-oiled machine. It's a good thing to be a part of." - Billboard, 6/26/20...... Sammy HagarOn June 26, Sammy Hagar took to Facebook to clarify what he meant by the controversial "we all gotta die" coronavirus comments he made in a recent Rolling Stone interview. Hagar, 72, made headlines after speaking to the publication about how he'd feel touring during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which he said: "I'd rather personally get sick and even die, if that's what it takes... There may be a time where we have to sacrifice. I mean, how many people die on the Earth every day? I have no idea. I'm sorry to say it, but we all gotta die, man." Now, "the Red Rocker" has set the record straight on his Facebook page: "I did that interview May 8th when we were already several weeks into the stay-at-home, which my family and I took very seriously, and things were starting to look up, the curve was beginning flattening. So when I was asked if I'd be comfortable enough to get back on stage before a vaccine was out, I was cautiously optimistic. I said, 'Yeah, not too soon. I want to make sure it's not escalating. When it's declining and seems to be going away. Big picture, it's about getting back to work in a safe and responsible way and getting this economy rolling again. I will do my part. I stand by that. I employ 200 people directly and when we tour even more. Like everything today, it's a watch and see over the next few months but we remain cautiously optimistic that with the right improvements and safety measures in place, we might be able to play shows this year. That said, as things change, for the better or worse, we will appropriately adjust our plans." - WENN/, 6/26/20...... On June 26, it was announced that a new live album recorded by David Bowie in 1995 in Dallas, Tex., Ouvrez Le Chien (Live Dallas 95), will be released in July. "Ouvrez Le Chien" -- French for "open the dog" -- was recorded during a performance at the Starplex Amphitheatre in Dallas, Tex., on Oct. 13, 1995. The show was part of Bowie's Outside tour with Nine Inch Nails in support. Ahead of the album's release, "Teenage Wildlife (Live Dallas 95)" from the album has been made available for streaming on - NME, 6/26/20...... The legendary British blues rock band Savoy Brown has announced it will release Ain't Done Yet, a followup to its 2019 album City Night, on Aug. 28 via Quarto Valley Records. "The new album continues the approach I've been taking with the band this past decade," says founding member and guitarist/singer/songwriter Kim Simmonds, who formed the band in 1965 in London, England, and is one of the longest running blues rock bands in existence. "The big difference with the new album is the multi-layer approach I took to recording the guitar parts. It's all blues-based rock music. I try to find new and progressive ways to write and play the music I've loved since I was a young teenager," he adds. Savoy Brown helped spawn the 1968 UK blues rock boom and through the year has headlined concerts at many prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, the Fillmore East, the Fillmore West, and London's prestigious Royal Albert Hall. - Noble PR, 6/29/20...... Benny MardonesRock and soul singer/songwriter Benny Mardones, best known for the 1980s hit "Into the Night", died at his home in Menfee, Calif., on June 29 after a long struggle with Parkinson's disease. He was 73. Born in Cleveland, Oh., Mardones was in the Navy during the Vietnam War and following his discharge became a staff writer for stars like Brenda Lee and Tommy James. Various other credits followed, and in the late '70s Mardones also became a performing artist, opening for folk-rocker Richie Havens on tour in 1977 and releasing his debut album, Thank God For Girls, the year after. Despite contributions from David Bowie sideman Mick Ronson and production from Rolling Stones go-to collaborator Andrew Loog Oldham, the album failed to produce a hit. But Mardones' next effort, 1980's Never Run, Never Hide, spawned what would quickly become his signature song: the mega-ballad "Into the Night." Co-penned with Robert Tepper (later a hitmaker on his own with the Rocky IV anthem "No Easy Way Out"), "Into the Night" was a soaring love song with an absolute wallop of a chorus. Though the opening lines ("She's just 16 years old/ 'Leave her alone,' they said") made many listeners uncomfortable coming from the then-33-year-old Mardones, he would later explain the song was inspired by his platonic relationship with a teenage neighbor of his whose father had left her. (The first line was supposedly meant as a rejoinder to his co-writer, who got a little leery when meeting her for the first time.) Elevated by Mardones' powerhouse vocal performance, "Into the Night" peaked at No. 11 on the pop chart in Sept. of 1980. But issues with his record label Polydor and with his own substance abuse took their toll on the singer-songwriter, who had largely washed out of the music industry within a couple years. In 1989, Mardones re-recorded a version of "Into the Night," influential L.A. radio personality Scott Shannon, put the song back into rotation, and the song became a hit again, reaching No. 20 and becoming one of just a handful of songs in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to have two separate top 20 runs. In the early '00s, Mardones scored three Top 30 hits, and in 2000 he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. He still performed regularly until the mid-'10s, when his condition started to become more unmanageable, and in 2017, he announced that a performance of "Into the Night" at a New York nightclub would be his final time performing the song. He is survived by his wife Jane, as well as his son Michael and sister Louise. - Billboard, 6/29/20...... Milton GlaserMilton Glaser, the groundbreaking graphic designer famous for designing the "I Love NY" logo, the "psychedelic hair" poster of Bob Dylan included in one of Dylan's greatest hits albums, and numerous other posters, logos, advertisements and book covers, died on June 26, his 91st birthday, of a stroke and renal failure. The bold "I (HEART) NY" logo -- cleverly using typewriter-style letters as the typeface -- was dreamed up as part of an ad campaign begun in 1977 to boost the state's image when crime and budget troubles dominated the headlines. Mr. Glaser did the design free of charge. Nearly a quarter-century later, just days after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, he revised it, adding a dark scar to the red heart and "more than ever" to the message. His 1966 illustration of Bob Dylan, his face a simple black silhouette but his hair sprouting in a riot of colors in curvilinear fashion, put in graphic form the 1960s philosophy that letting your hair fly free was a way to free your mind. (For him, though, it wasn't a drug-inspired image: He said he borrowed from Marcel Duchamp and Islamic art.) The poster was inserted in Dylan's Greatest Hits album, and made its way into the hands of millions of fans. "It was a new use of the poster -- a giveaway that was supposed to encourage people to buy the album," Mr. Glaser told The New York Times in 2001. "Then it took on a life of its own, showing up in films, magazines, whatever. It did not die, as such forms of ephemera usually do." Mr. Glaser was born in 1929 in the Bronx and studied at New York's Cooper Union art school and in Italy. In 1954, he co-founded the innovative graphic design firm Push Pin Studios with Seymour Chwast and others. He stayed with it 20 years before founding his own firm. The Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum awarded Mr. Glaser a lifetime achievement award in 2004. In 2009, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. Mr. Glaser's pictorial sense was so profound, and his designs so influential, that his works in later years were preserved by collectors and studied as fine art. "I just like to do everything, and I was always interested in seeing how far I could go in stretching the boundaries," he once said. He is survived by his wife, Shirley Glaser. - AP, 6/28/20...... Carl ReinerCarl Reiner an American comedy legend who came on the scene as a writer for television pioneer Sid Caesar, partner of Mel Brooks, and creator and co-star of the classic sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show, died at age 98 of natural causes on June 29 at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. Mr. Reiner's career spanned seven decades and every medium from theater and recordings to television and movies, including directing Oh, God!, three collaborations with Steve Martin and a role as an elderly con man in the revived Ocean's Eleven series. Mr. Reiner was still taking voice roles in his 90s and had a key role in If You're Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast, a documentary about people who keep busy into their 90s. Encouraged by his wife to develop a TV show as his own, Mr. Reiner began work on a sitcom pilot loosely based on his experiences with the Caesar shows, titled Head of the Family, casting himself as a TV writer with a wife and two kids. After network executives were unhappy with Reiner as the lead character, CBS ultimately picked up the series in 1961, after it was recast with Dick Van Dyke and retitled for its new star, The Dick Van Dyke Show. Mr. Reiner, who earned several Emmys writing and producing the hit series, played the recurring role of Petrie's boss, the temperamental variety show host Alan Brady. Besides helping transform its creator and star into household names, The Dick Van Dyke Show launched the career of Mary Tyler Moore, who played Rob Petrie's wife. The series, considered a TV sitcom classic, ended its run in 1966. A reprisal of his Alan Brady role three decades later, for a guest spot on the 1990s sitcom Mad About You, earned Reiner yet another Emmy. Starting in 2001, Mr. Reiner made a big-screen comeback playing elder con artist Saul Bloom in the Oceans Eleven movie series. Mr. Reiner continued to make guest appearances on various shows such as Two and a Half Men and Hot in Cleveland well into his 90s, as well as keeping up a busy Twitter account. A 9-time Emmy winner, he was also the author of four volumes of memoirs, including I Just Remembered, in 2014, as well as children's books. Mr. Reiner is survived by three children, including Rob Reiner, director of several hit movies and known for playing Archie Bunker's son-in-law "Meathead" in the hit TV comedy All in the Family. Mr. Reiner's wife of 64 years, Estelle, died in 2008. - Reuters, 6/30/20.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Late singer/songwriter John Prine has scored his first No. 1 song on a Billboard chart as "I Remember Everything" debuted on the top spot on the Rock Digital Song Sales tally for the week ending June 27. After being released on June 11, "I Remember Everything" moved 4,000 downloads, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. Co-written by Prine and Pat McLaughlin, the song was the last recording done by Prine (in his living room) and tops Prine's prior best chart appearance, "In Spite of Ourselves" which went to No. 2 on the same chart for the week of Apr. 18. Prine died on Apr. 7 at age 73 of complications from COVID-19. - Billboard, 6/25/20...... Bob Dylan's latest album Rough and Rowdy Ways has become the legendary musician's ninth No. 1 on the UK's Official Album Chart. Dylan's 39th studio album, Rough and Rowdy Ways outsold the rest of the Top 5 UK albums combined, and is his landmark 40th UK Top 10 album in a chart history spanning 56 years. -, 6/22/20...... Stevie WonderIn a new post on social media on June 23, Stevie Wonder opened up about systemic racism and the failings of Pres. Donald Trump. "This past Friday many of us celebrated Juneteenth," Wonder said about America's national holiday to celebrate the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the US. "I did. And yet, so many others didn't and haven't. As a matter of fact, there are three states that still do not recognize it: North Dakota, South Dakota, and Hawaii. How did it feel to celebrate freedom that we're still fighting for? It felt, and feels, too familiar." After noting that it took 18 years to declare Martin Luther King Jr. Day a holiday, Wonder quoted lyrics from his track "Visions' ("I'm not one who makes believe/I know that leaves are green ) to explain how change can come about. "If life can have an ending, all things can have an ending. Systemic racism can have an ending. Police brutality can have an ending," said Wonder. He also urged Americans to vote for the right candidate in the upcoming Presidential primaries if Trump is stand a chance of defeat at the ballot box come November. "I've heard the person in the highest place of this nation say there are fine people on both sides. That sounds noncommittal to me," Wonder noted. - New Musical Express, 6/24/20...... Surfaces, a rising pop duo, has unveiled a new collaboration with Elton John titled "Learn to Fly" on YouTube. In the upbeat single, recorded in quarantine and produced via Zoom, Surfaces and Elton share an optimistic message in the midst of the havoc wreaked on the world by the global pandemic. "All the broken people, put your hands up high/ If you lift them up, you might just touch the sky/ All the lonely people, put your hands up high/ If you loosen up, you might just learn to fly/ Learn to fly," Surfaces vocalists Forrest Frank and Colin Padalecki croon on the track's sunny chorus over piano by John, who also jumps in on the second verse. "Working with Elton felt like the idea of winning a Grammy," the two said in a statement. "He was so passionate and driven and we couldn't have wished for a more effortless collaboration. We hope this song will spread love in a time when the world could really use some and inspire people to open up their hearts," they added. - Billboard, 6/25/20...... Mick Jagger has paid tribute to movie producer Steve Bing on social media after Bing jumped to his death from a Century City apartment building on June 22. "It's so sad to hear of Steve Bing's passing. He was such a kind and generous friend and supported so many good and just causes. I will miss him very much," Jagger posted. The 55-year-old Bing, a producer, philanthropist and screenwriter, helped finance the Martin Scorcese-directed 2008 Rolling Stones concert film Shine a Light and was reportedly suffering from depression amid a lack of human contact during the coronavirus lockdown. Jagger's Rolling Stones bandmate, Ronnie Wood, and his wife Sally, also paid their respects to Bing on Instagram, posting a photo of the couple's twins with Bing. -, 6/24/20...... Roger WatersFormer Pink Floyd member Roger Waters has recorded a socially distanced take on Pink Floyd's "Two Suns in the Sunset," the closing track from the band's 1983 album The Final Cut, and posted the clip on YouTube. Before the performance, the black-and-white-video kicked off with a message: "We're at one hundred seconds to midnight on the doomsday clock. This is the the closest the Human Race has ever been to nuclear catastrophe." Waters continued: "I had an idea to make an album of all the songs we did as encores on the 'US and Them' tour. We did 'Mother' first. Had to do it remotely because of Covid 19. 'Two Suns in The Sunset is #2. Hope you like it. I love it," Waters added in the caption. As a footnote, he added, "PS. That we allow Nuclear Weapons to exist in a world controlled by deranged sociopaths is, in itself, a deranged arrangement. We are many they are few. We could just say no, to the whole MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) insanity. It makes zero sense and is potentially omnicidal." Meanwhile, Waters has been accused of anti-semitism due to recent comments he made about Jewish billionaire Sheldon Adelson while speaking with the Middle East Media Research Institute. During the interview, Waters called Adelson "the puppet master pulling the strings of Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, and what's his name... the Ambassador [to Israel]. "And Sheldon Adelson is a right-wing fascist racist bigot who doesn't understand the first thing about the idea that human beings might have rights. Sheldon Adelson believes that only Jews -- only Jewish people -- are completely human. That they are attached in some way." Continuing the rant, Waters said: "He is crazy. This is a crazy, crazy, crazy guy. Unfortunately. This crazy, crazy, crazy guy is also incredibly rich and has the tiny little -- I nearly said the P-word that is used to describe the male genitals -- prick of Donald Trump in his pocket." Elsewhere in the interview, Waters claimed that Israel should be held indirectly responsible for the recent death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minnesota last month, a killing that has sparked worldwide Black Lives Matter and anti-racism protests. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 6/25/20...... In a new interview with The Atlantic magazine, Bruce Springsteen said US Pres. Donald Trump is a "threat to our democracy" and painted a dire picture of what he feels could happen to the US if Pres. Trump gets re-elected in November. "I don't think anybody truly knows where we're going from here yet," Springsteen said in response to a question about whether he's feeling optimistic or pessimistic about the protests that have been going on for the past three weeks in the wake of George Floyd's killing at the hands of the Minneapolis police. "It depends on too many unknowns. We don't know where the COVID virus is going to take us. We don't know where Black Lives Matter is going to take us right now. Do we get a real practical conversation going about race and policing and ultimately about the economic inequality that's been a stain on our social contract?," he added. Asked about how he feels about the job the president is doing in the wake of the racial justice and COVID-19 outbreak, The Boss said: "I believe that our current president is a threat to our democracy. He simply makes any kind of reform that much harder. I don't know if our democracy could stand another four years of his custodianship. These are all existential threats to our democracy and our American way of life." The interview is accompanied by Springsteen's "Playlist for the Trump Era," which includes such landmark songs of protest and uplift as Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit," Patti Smith's "People Have the Power" and his own "That's What Makes Us Great." It can be streamed on - Billboard, 6/24/20...... Tom PettyThe family of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Tom Petty filed a cease and desist notice to Pres. Donald Trump's campaign after one of his songs, "I Won't Back Down," was played at the President's campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., on June 20. In a statement issued on social media shortly after the rally, Petty's estate and rights holders -- daughters Adria and Annakim, ex-wife Jane, and widow Dana, issued a joint statement saying that Trump "was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind." The Petty family also expained that Pres. Trump's beliefs were far out of line from the late musician's. "Tom wrote this song for the underdog, for the common man and for EVERYONE," the family wrote. "We want to make it clear that we believe everyone is free to vote as they like, think as they like, but the Petty family doesn't stand for this. We believe in America and we believe in democracy. But Donald Trump is not representing the noble ideals of either. We would hate for fans that are marginalized by this administration to think we were complicit in this usage." Numerous other artists, including R.E.M., Guns N' Roses, The Rolling Stones, Steven Tyler and Rihanna, have previously called out the President for using their music without permission. - Billboard, 6/21/20...... Emily Eavis, organiser of the legendary Glastonbury festival in the UK, says she's planning to combine two festival line-ups for next year's Glastonbury and is "hoping" that Paul McCartney will return in 2021 for the festival's 50th anniversary celebration, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. "Logistically, it's a little bit complicated, because we'd already planned quite a few acts for 2021. It was one of those unusual years where you're quite far ahead on the line-up. So we're trying to work out how much we can fit in to next year," Eavis told BBC 6 Music. The festival's edition 2020 edition was set to kick off on June 24 with McCartney among the confirmed headliners, but was cancelled as a direct result of coronavirus. - New Musical Express, 6/25/20...... Michael Jackson's daughter Paris Jackson has shared unseen footage of her father Michael, as well as debuting her own music for the first time. The new footage comes as part of a trailer for Paris's new reality series Unfiltered: Paris Jackson and Gabriel Glenn, which is set to debut via Facebook Watch on June 30. Alongside the trailer on Facebook, Jackson has debuted new music as part of The Soundflowers, a duo with her boyfriend Gabriel Glenn. "When I met Gabe, I immediately just vibed and started making music, Paris says of the collaboration. "I feel like we're the same level of damaged. Gabe understands the pain I've gone through in my life and he's helped me realise this is what I was born to do," she added. The album can be streamed via - New Musical Express, 6/24/20...... QueenBritain's Royal Mail has announced that Queen will appear on the face of 13 postage stamps featuring eight of their album covers beginning on July 9. In addition to the album covers -- 1974's Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack, 1975's A Night at the Opera, 1977's News of the World, 1980's The Game, 1981's Greatest Hits, 1984's The Works and 1991's Innuendo -- the stamps will feature four live group shots and a classic group photo. "It's hard to put into words what I feel when looking at these beautiful stamps, Queen guitarist Brian May said in a press release. "Since we four precocious boys started out on our quest 50 years ago, our lives have been devoted to making our impossible dream come true. Sometimes it's strange to wake up and realise the position in which we are now held -- we have become a national institution!" Queen drummer Roger Taylor echoed May's sentiments: "We must be really part of the furniture now! Thanks Royal Mail for stamping on us! In gratitude." The stamps are available to pre-order now through Royal Mail's website in a variety of different collections. "The Presentation Pack," which includes the entire set of 13, will cost £16. - New Musical Express, 6/23/20...... In related news, Aussie headbangers AC/DC have authorized for of their album covers -- 1976's High Voltage, 1981's For Those About to Rock, 1987's Blow Up Your Video and 1995's Ballbreaker -- for release as 500-piece jigsaw puzzles. The puzzles will be released on Sept. 4 via the company Zee Productions' "Rock Saw" series and can be ordered on the Zee Productions website. Zee Productions has previously released puzzles for such rock bands as Iron Maiden, Slayer, Judas Priest, Motörhead, Metallica and Rush. - NME, 6/22/20...... Willie Nelson and his sister, Bobbie, have announced a co-written memoir, Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band, will be published on Sept. 15. Detailing the siblings' relationship and musical collaborations, the book will "weave together Willie and Bobbie's journeys as they experienced them both side-by-side and apart, with powerful, emotional never-before-told recollections from their personal lives and careers," according to a press release. Bobbie is two years Willie's senior and is an accomplished pianist. She has featured on a handful of his albums, including The Troublemaker and Shotgun Willie. Meanwhile, rapper Snoop Dogg has announced that he will release another collaboration with Willie in the near future. The duo previously collaborated on the 2009 single "My Medicine." - NME, 6/23/20...... Johnny CarsonThere may never be another Johnny Carson to dominate the late night talk show field, but as CNN's new 6-part series The Story of Late Night reminds us, there will always be a place for after-hours conversation and comedy. Airing over six Sundays beginning June 28 at 9:00 EDT (barring breaking news), the series traces a trajectory that began with Steve Allen and matured with the prickly intelligence of his successor, Jack Paar. Famous feuds (Jay Leno vs. David Letterman, Leno vs. Conan O'Brien) reveal how much drama lurks withing these lucrative laugh factories. Although today's practioners walk a more precarious tightrope of humor in these politically polarized times, going to bed without them is unthinkable. - TV Guide, 6/22/20...... Director Joel Schumacher, best known for helming such hits as St. Elmo's Fire, The Lost Boys and Falling Down as well as two Batman films, died on New York City on June 22 after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 80. The costume designer-turned-director brought his fashion background to directing a run of stylish films throughout the 1980s and 1990s that were not always critically acclaimed, but continue to be well-loved by audiences for capturing the feel of the era. Mr. Schumacher was handed the reins of the Batman franchise when Tim Burton exited Warner Bros.' Caped Crusader series after two enormously successful films. The first movie by Mr. Schumacher, Batman Forever, starring Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey and Nicole Kidman, grossed more than $300 million worldwide. -, 6/23/20.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Elton John said on June 17 that he was "blown away" after watching a cover of his 1983 hit "I'm Still Standing" recorded by a group of British students in lockdown. Students at Telford Priory School in Shropshire have been creating remote videos together since March, and their cover of "I'm Still Standing" was sent to Elton by musician Ron Sexsmith. John then posted a video message on YouTube saying he "watched it three times in a row because I couldn't believe how good you sang and played it." "You did something brilliant and made a brilliant version of I'm Still Standing. I hope you all have a great career and music plays a big part in it because you have certainly got talent," he said. The Rocket Man also promised that the students would be guests at one of his future UK concerts when live music commences again. The students' teacher, Ben Millington, says he "just couldn't believe it when I received contact from Sir Elton... When I showed the students there was screaming, crying, hands over mouths. I had to mute the microphones so we could actually hear what Elton was saying!" Meanwhile, Elton recently participated in a chat with rising singer Rina Sawayama on FaceTime and said her debut album is "my favorite record of the year so far." - New Musical Express, 6/17/20...... Aretha FranklinA new version of Aretha Franklin's "Never Gonna Break My Faith" was shared on Juneteenth holiday (June 19), which celebrates the day in 1865 that all enslaved black people in the United States learned they had been freed from bondage. Sony's RCA Records, RCA Inspiration and Legacy Recordings released the song to YouTube, which features lyrics like: "You can lie to a child with a smiling face/Tell me that color ain't about a race." "The world is very different now. Change is everywhere and each of us, hopefully, is doing the best he or she can to move forward and make change as positive as possible," Clive Davis, Sony Music's chief creative officer and Franklin's close friend and collaborator, said in a statement. "Never Gonna Break My Faith" won best gospel performance at the 50th Grammy Awards in 2008, marking Franklin's 18th and final Grammy win. It was originally featured in the film Bobby, about U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 assassination, and features background vocals from The Boys Choir of Harlem. "This solo version has been sitting on my computer for years, and when I heard Clive was making a film on Aretha's life, I sent this version to him," says Grammy-winning singer Bryan Adams, who co-wrote the song. "The world hasn't heard her full performance and it really needed to be heard... I'm so glad it's being released, the world needs this right now," he added. Aretha Franklin died in 2018 at age 76. - AP, 6/19/20...... The artist-advocacy nonprofit organization Artist Rights Alliance Council has been joined by a group of 93 artists that include Bette Midler, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow and T Bone Burnett. The artist-run council announced on June 18 that it will "provide perspective and advisory input" to ARA while helping to foster awareness of current issues facing content creators. The Artist Rights Alliance, founded in 2013, has been on the front lines of a host of recent issues, including passage of the Music Modernization Act and current efforts to reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The organization also unveiled its "Artists' Bill of Rights" which aims to help musicians to receive fair pay from streaming services and rein in tech platforms "that unfairly profit from music." - Billboard, 6/19/20...... German electronic pop pioneers Kraftwerk have announced a series of new digital reissues of five of their studio albums - Trans Europa Express, Die Mensch-Maschine, Computerwelt, Techno Pop and The Mix -- will be made available to stream and download for the first time beginning July 3. Kraftwerk fans will also be abel to experience the Dolby Atmos/HD Surround mix of the group's 2017 audio/video documentary 3-D The Catalogue, which will be available to stream for the first time through Amazon HD and Tidal. A stereo version of the documentary's German language original form will also be made available across the globe. The new releases follow the death of group co-founder Florian Schneider, who died in May aged 73. - New Musical Express, 6/18/20...... Queen + Adam Lambert announced on June 18 that it will host a "Tour Watch Party" on its YouTube channel on June 21 starting at 3:00 p.m. EDT that combines highlight moments from previous tours, festival gigs and intimate concerts. The all-day bash features standout performances spotlighting Queen's biggest hits, such as "Love Kills" and "I Was Born To Love You" at the Rock in Rio festivals in Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro and "Fat Bottomed Girls" at a Dallas, Texas show featuring the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. Earlier in 2020 Queen was forced to cancel the European leg of their Rhapsody Tour, which would have ended on June 21 at London's The O2 arena. - Billboard, 6/18/20...... Bob DylanOn June 19, Bob Dylan broke an 8-year-long drought of new material with the release of his latest album, Rough and Rowdy Ways. The 79-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's latest effort spans 10 tracks and includes the previously-shared songs "Murder Most Foul," "I Contain Multitudes" and "False Prophet." In a recent rare interview, Dylan told the New York Times that the songs came from a stream of consciousness. "Most of my recent songs are like that. The lyrics are the real thing, tangible, they're not metaphors," Dylan said. "The songs seem to know themselves and they know that I can sing them, vocally and rhythmically. They kind of write themselves and count on me to sing them," he added. Dylan also noted that he wished he had written the Rolling Stones' 1973 hit "Angie." Rough and Rowdy Ways can be streamed on - Billboard, 6/19/20...... Appearing on the morning show The Talk on June 17 via Zoom, Ozzy Osbourne said that he's feeling pretty good these days as he recovers from surgery in 2019 to repair an old injury he sustained during a 2003 ATV accident, and after a year of health issues and repeatedly postponed tour dates. "I'm getting better -- it's a slow process, but I'm getting there slowly but surely," said the 71-year-old heavy metal legend, who also described what it's been like living in quarantine during the pandemic. "It's been good actually, because I've been recovering from the surgery I had last year. I've never been at home this long in my whole career," said Ozzy, who had his arm slug over wife Sharon Osbourne's shoulder during the whole interview. "I've had the chance to see my wife's side of the fence more than me being on the road. It's had its moment though, I must confess," he added in the interview, which can be viewed on Ozzy had been slated to get medical treatment in Switzerland earlier this year for his Parkinson's disease, but that was postponed due to the coronavirus. For now, he's still scheduled to hit the UK and Europe on Oct. 23 in Newcastle, England, on a tour in support of his recent studio album, Ordinary Man. In other Ozzy-related news, Black Sabbath has officially put up a Black Lives Matter T-shirt with a logo in the style of the group's Master of Reality LP for sale after Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello was seen rocking out in a shirt just like it which received a huge fan response. Black Sabbath announced on Instagram that it will be donating 100% of the proceeds of the shirt, which will be available beginning in mid-July, to Black Lives Matter. - Billboard, 6/18/20...... Julien's Auctions announced on June 18 that it is teaming with the MusicCares Foundation for an online auction benefitting the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund on Sept. 9. The auction will feature one-of-a-kind items and memorabilia from the likes of Robert Plant, Bill Wyman, Barbra Streisand, Willie Nelson, Tony Iommi, Blake Shelton and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. "In this new world of social distancing and isolation, music and the arts has brought us together and given us hope and salvation from the despair and loss that we've all felt these last months," said Darren Julien, President/Chief Executive Officer of Julien's Auctions in a statement announcing the event, which will be held in Beverly Hills and online at Robert Plant has teased that he's offering up a guitar for the auction that he's used to practice in his bedroom for 55 years. - Billboard, 6/18/20...... In related news, former Police frontman Sting will be among a group of musicians that also includes Michael Copley, Clea Friend, Steven Osborne and Kathryn Tickell for a special event to help people grieve for their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic on June 21 over Zoom and Facebook beginning at 2:00 p.m. Although the "Saying Goodbye" event had started primarily for those in the N.E. of England, it has now spread organically across the UK with the organisers no longer being able to cover it just over Zoom but extending it over Facebook live, so others around the UK can join too at The event will be a non-religious ceremony (but multi-faith in spirit) and music. -, 6/18/20...... Bruce Springsteen once again blasted U.S. Pres. Donald Trump on the June 17 edition of his SiriusXM radio show "From My Home to Yours," this time for the president's stubborn refusal to wear a mask in public during the COVID-19 pandemic. After noting that "100,000-plus Americans" have died over the last few months and its "shamed response from our leaders," The Boss said "I'm simply pissed off." "Those lives deserve better than just being inconvenient statistics for our president's re-election efforts. It's a national disgrace," he said. Springsteen then went on to address Trump directly. "I'm going to start out with sending one to the man sitting behind the Resolute Desk," he said before throwing to the first song. "With all respect, sir, show some consideration for your countrymen and your country. Put on a f--king mask." - Billboard, 6/17/20...... David ByrnePremium cable channel HBO announced on June 17 that it will present a filmed version of former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne's acclaimed Broadway show "American Utopia" which will be directed by Spike Lee. "David Byrne's American Utopia is a uniquely transformative experience and a perfect example of how entertainment can bring us together during these challenging times," said HBO Programming executive vp Nina Rosenstein said in a statement. "Spike's brilliant direction adds a level of intimacy to this powerful performance, and we're so thrilled to share this groundbreaking show with our audience." The show features Byrne and 11 musical artists from around the world performing songs from the 2018 album of the same title, as well as songs from the Talking Heads and Byrne's solo catalog. "American Utopia" ran from Oct. 2019 to Feb. 2020, earning rave reviews, with The Hollywood Reporter calling it "pure bliss." The filmed American Utopia is set to premiere sometime later in 2020, with a specific date to be announced. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/17/20...... An "angel cloud" guitar used by Prince on his Purple Rain tour fetched over £450,000 ($563,000) at a Juliens auction on June 19. The custom electric blue instrument was one of four "cloud" guitars used between 1984 and 1985 in support of the "When Doves Cry" hitmaker's seminal sixth studio album. The guitar was thought to be lost when it disappeared in the '90s until it was found in 2019. The owner was given it by Prince but was not aware of its exact history. A vintage Yamaha DX7 synthesizer used by Prince on his Purple Rain album is also being auctioned on the RR Auction website. - New Musical Express, 6/20/20...... Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl and Arcade Fire will perform as part of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band live-stream on June 20 beginning at 8 pm EST (1am BST), taking their "Midnight Preserves" festival jam sessions online in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The group will host a live-stream from their respective homes and are set to be joined by a number of special guests. McCartney, Grohl and Arcade Fire appeared alongside Elvis Costello, Dave Matthews, Beck, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Nathaniel Rateliff and more. Fans can tune in on YouTube, Twitch, or Facebook. Some performances will be pre-recorded. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band was founded in 1961 as a way to promote New Orleans jazz. They often hold their own 'Midnight Preserves' sessions at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which sees them joined by a host of special guests. - New Musical Express, 6/19/20...... Production on director Baz Lurhmann's Elvis Presley biopic, featuring Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker, is expected to restart in Australia soon after it halted when the star and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for COVID-19. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a press conference on June 18 she had met with Luhrmann to discuss the production's return, set to film at the Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast. "We want to ensure that this can happen as soon as possible while making sure that the cast and crew can operate safely," Palaszcuk said. Her comments refer to new guidelines in Australia, which require all film and television productions to draw up their own "COVID-Safe Risk Mitigation Program." The currently untitled biopic, with Austin Butler in the lead role, will chart Presley's rise to fame and examine his relationship with Parker. According to Warner Bros, the story will be set "against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and the loss of innocence in America." - NME, 6/18/20...... Fleetwood Mac announced on June 18 that it is reissuing its 1969 album Then Play On, the band's final release with co-founder and guitarist Peter Green. Then Play On was Fleetwood Mac's third studio album, and the first of the band's albums to feature Danny Kirwan, who passed away in 2018. The reissued record will be drop Sept. 18 via BMG and contain four bonus tracks, liner notes from the band's biographer Anthony Bozza, and a foreword from Mick Fleetwood. - NME, 6/18/20...... Roger Waters has released his Us + Them concert film on Amazon video, which captures the Pink Floyd co-founder's 2018 tour of the same name. Comprised of footage from the four nights Waters and his band played at Amsterdam's Ziggo Dome in June 2018, as well as footage shot on location in the U.K., the film also showcases the tour's state-of-the-art visual production and features a set list that spans Waters' entire career. You can also rent or buy the film on YouTube. - NME, 6/16/20...... Lemmy KilmisterA new biopic about late Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister is reportedly in the works. Kilmister's early, pre-Motörhead life as a Jimi Hendrix roadie as well as his time in Hawkwind will be explored in a film called Lemmy, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The project is set to be helmed by Greg Olliver, who directed a 2010 documentary of the same name. "We've been carefully developing this biopic since 2013, making sure to stay true to Lemmy, Motörhead band members Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee, and all the other folks that played important roles in Lemmy's life," Olliver said in a statement. Lemmy, whose real name was Ian Fraser Kilmister, passed away in Dec. 2015 at the age of 70. Meanwhile, the surviving members of Motrhead recently marked the 40th anniversary of their landmark album Ace Of Spades with a day of special celebrations. - NME, 6/16/20...... Judges at South Carolina's Supreme Court have ruled James Brown's final partner is not entitled to a share of his fortune because their marriage was not legally binding. Tomi Rae Hynie has been fighting for a cut of the Godfather of Soul's estate ever since his death on Christmas Day in 2006, even though it was his dying wish to leave nearly all of his assets to bosses at a children's education foundation to fund scholarships. Hynie, who had a son with Brown, maintained their 2001 nuptials were legal, even though she was still married to another man at the time. The South Carolina judge overseeing the estate battle previously decided she was the star's legal wife as her ex-husband had committed bigamy, therefore voiding the union and paving the way for her to lay claim to a chunk of the musician's riches, previously estimated to be around US $100 million. However, on June 17 Supreme Court justices issued a unanimous verdict, declaring Hynie has no right to the soul icon's money, because she failed to annul her previous marriage. "The ongoing litigation since Brown's passing has thwarted his expressed wish that his estate be used for educational purposes... a point we find both extraordinary and lamentable," the judges wrote in their ruling. The current value of Brown's estate is unknown, but finances are believed to have taken a huge hit as a result of the long-running legal drama. - WENN/, 6/18/20...... Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) is currently caring for his wife Nora Forster full-time as the 78-year-old battles Alzheimer's disease. Lydon, 64, married the German heiress in 1979, and first revealed she was suffering from dementia last year. In an intervew with Britain's Daily Mirror, Lydon said he is now caring for his wife full-time, as he feels love is the best way to care for her. "Nora has Alzheimer's... I am her full-time carer and I won't let anyone mess up with her head," the rocker explained. "For me the real person is still there. That person I love is still there every minute of every day and that is my life. It's unfortunate that she forgets things, well, don't we all?" Detailing her condition, he added: "I suppose her condition is one of like a permanent hangover for her. It gets worse and worse, bits of the brain store less and less memory and then suddenly some bits completely vanish." - WENN/, 6/8/20...... Actor Danny Masterson, best known for his role on That '70s Show, was charged with three counts of rape, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced on June 17. Masterson was arrested and released shortly after on a $3.3 million bail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department. He is charged with forcibly raping three women in separate incidents occurring between 2001 and 2003, a press release from the District Attorney's Office said, with his arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 18, 2020. In a statement, Masterson's attorney Tom Mesereau said: "Mr. Masterson is innocent, and we're confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify. Obviously, Mr. Masterson and his wife are in complete shock considering that these nearly 20-year old allegations are suddenly resulting in charges being filed, but they and their family are comforted knowing that ultimately the truth will come out." All of the alleged crimes took place at Masterson's Hollywood Hills home, authorities said. Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller of the Sex Crimes Division is prosecuting the case. If convicted, Masterson faces a possible sentence of up to 45 years to life in state prison. Masterson, who has been married to actress Bijou Phillips since 2011, was written out of the Netflix comedy series The Ranch in Dec. 2017 when a police investigation on the allegations against him first came to light. - CNN, 6/18/20...... Vera LynnBritish entertainment legend Dame Vera Lynn, who helped raise morale during the Second World War with such songs as "We'll Meet Again" and "The White Cliffs of Dover," has died at the age of 103, her family announced on June 18. "The family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of Britain's best-loved entertainers at the age of 103," they said in a statement. Dame Lynn earned the nickname "the Forces' Sweetheart" during the war for her regular visits to troops on the front line, while she also performed in countries such as India and Egypt as part of the Entertainments National Service Association. "We'll Meet Again" re-entered the UK charts in May as the song enjoyed a resurgence in popularity as part of the 75th anniversary celebrations of VE Day, while its enduring message of resilience also spoke to many people during the coronavirus lockdown. The singer, songwriter and actress also became the oldest singer to score a UK top 40 album last month when her greatest hits collection 100 re-entered the UK albums chart, beating the record she previously set back in 2017. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was among those to pay tribute to Lynn, saying her "charm and magical voice entranced and uplifted our country in some of our darkest hours." "Her voice will live on to lift the hearts of generations to come," he said. - New Musical Express, 6/18/20.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Paul McCartney announced on June 12 a special re-release of his 1997 solo album Flaming Pie as the 13th installment of his Archive Collection series, which he began back in 2010 with the purpose of remastering and reissuing all his solo records. Flaming Pie, co-produced by McCartney, Beatles producer George Martin, and ELO mastermind Jeff Lynne, was McCartney's 10th solo LP. It will be available in "Deluxe", "Collectors", and various regular CD and vinyl editions beginning July 31. A promo video for the reissue has been shared on YouTube. In addition two EP's, The World Tonight and Beautiful Night,, will arrive on June 26 and July 17, respectively. Meanwhile, Sir Paul is criticizing the Italian government for their "outrageous" decision to implement a policy that prevents music fans from receiving a full refund for concerts that have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Macca's "Freshen Up" tour had been scheduled to stop at a number of European cities this summer, including Naples on June 10 and Lucca on June 13 before they were scrubbed due to the virus. McCartney, in a post written in Italian (via The Guardian), said that "the Italian organiser of our shows and the Italian legislators must do the right thing in this case... We are extremely sorry that the shows cannot take place, but this is a real insult to fans." The concert promoters say they are working to reschedule almost all the cancelled shows for 2021. - New Musical Express, 6/12/20...... The BeatlesIn other Beatles-related news, Penny Lane in Liverpool is in danger of being renamed if links to slavery are discovered, the city's regional mayor says. Road signs at Penny Lane were vandalized earlier in June after it was claimed the location was named after the notorious 18th century slave trader James Penny. The mayor says the naming "needs to be investigated" and "I would say that sign and that road may well be in danger of being renamed," although he added there is no hard evidence that is the fact. The mayor said the road could instead have been associated with a toll that was once paid in pennies to cross the road. Meanwhile, the release of the Peter Jackson-directed documentary The Beatles: Get Back has been delayed for one year by its distributor Disney. On June 12, Disney announced Get Back will now arrive on Aug. 27, 2021 instead of its original scheduled date of Sept. 4. In still more Beatles news, a recording of a 1962 jam session by the Beatles at London's Abbey Road studios is at the center of a $6.3 million court battle that is set to begin on June 16. Songs recorded on the demo at the Beatles' very first Abbey Road session are believed to include their early hit "Love Me Do," and the tape was discovered in late Beatles sound engineer Geoff Emerick's home in a safe, after Emerick was ordered to destroy the tapes by EMI who deemed the recording to not be of good enough quality to be released. Emerick's estate is arguing that they are entitled to the recording under a "Finders Law," but Universal Music, which bought EMI in 2012, counter that law does not count in this case since Emerick was told he should destroy the recording by EMI. - Variety/WENN/, 6/12/20...... Jackson Browne was among the headliners at a virtual charity concert for Los Angeles' Saban Community Clinic on June 14. The clinic has supported L.A.'s low income residents and the homeless population since 1967 when it opened as the Los Angeles Free Clinic. Usually held in November, the gala was moved to June to raise money to fight the spread of COVID, which is taking a toll on areas of the homeless population. - Billboard, 6/12/20...... Carlos Santana has been tapped to deliever the 2020 commencement address at UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music on June 19. In a statement, Santana said he feels "honored to be speaking to young musicians and a new generation of music scholars" and that "the class of 2020 is resilient and their voices are needed now more than ever... I want them to use their music as a platform to empower and unite as we seek justice and creative solutions during these challenging times." - Billboard, 6/9/20...... Growth Rings, a short film narrated and co-written by legendary late Rush drummer Neil Peart, has been shared on YouTube. Created in collaboration with drum manufacturer DW Drums, Growth Rings "honors the way in which music marks moments in our lives," according to a press release. Peart passed away on Jan. 7 in Santa Monica, Calif., after a three-year battle with brain cancer. - Billboard, 6/14/20...... Bob DylanOn June 12, Bob Dylan revealed the tracklist of his forthcoming new studio album, Rough and Rowdy Ways. Featuring 10 tracks, Rough and Rowdy Ways will be bookended by its first two singles, "I Contain Multitudes" and the 17-minute JFK assassination epic, "Murder Most Foul." Rough and Rowdy Ways, Dylan's first album of original material since 2012's Tempest, will drop June 19 via Columbia. Meanwhile, in a rare new interview with the New York Times, Dylan discussed his new album, as well as the impact of the coronavirus and the death of George Floyd. Dylan told the Times that "it sickened me to no end to see George tortured to death like that... it was beyond ugly... let's hope that justice comes swift for the Floyd family and for the nation." The rock bard also stated he believes the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is "a forerunner of something else to come," saying "Extreme arrogance can have some disastrous policies." - New Musical Express, 6/12/20...... Bruce Springsteen has shared a performance of his song "Reason to Believe," recorded at a show in Stockholm, Sweden in 2005, on YouTube. The performance comes from Springsteen's 2005 solo acoustic tour "Devils and Dust," and has been shared as a part of an ongoing series of archive performances the Boss is making available to fans during the coronavirus quarantien. The song originally appeared as the final track on Springsteen's 1982 album Nebraska, and the haunting Stockholm performance sees him performing into a bullet microphone to distort his vocals. - New Musical Express, 6/13/20...... Barbara Streisand has gifted shares of Disney stock to Gianna Floyd, the young daughter of the slain George Floyd. Streisand, 78, privately sent Gianna a letter and certificate notifying her of the gift, and also enclosed copes of her 1960s album Color Me Barbra and My Name Is Barbra. Gianna shared the news in a series of photos posted on Instagram on June 13, which she captioned, "Thank You barbrastreisand for my package, I am now a Disney stockholder thanks to you." The number of shares Streisand bought for Gianna has not been disclosed, but Disney stock is currently trading at around $115 per share. -, 6/15/20...... A "cloud" guitar used by the late Prince on his "Purple Rain" tour is expected to fetch over $1 million when it is auctioned by Julien's Auctions on June 19-20. The custom blue instrument was one of four "cloud" guitars used by the artist between 1984 and 1985 in support of his seminal Purple Rain LP. It was also used through his "Parade" tour in 1986, the "Sign 'o The Times" tour in 1987, and the "Lovesexy" tour in 1988 and 1989. The guitar is expected to fetch over $1 million when it goes to auction. As for the whereabouts of the other three "cloud" guitars, one was handed out in a prize competition, one is privately owned, and the other sits in the Smithsonian Institution in New York. - NME, 6/13/20..... Neil Young has shared a new song called "Vacancy" from his latest album Homegrown which can be streamed on YouTube. Homegrown, a previously unreleased album recorded in 1975, is due June 19 via Reprise Records. - NME, 6/13/20...... Ted NugentIn a new interview with a UK TV program, Ted Nugent explained why he loves Pres. Donald Trump, why "hard-earned tax dollars shouldn't be used for abortions," and called the director of the FBI "the biggest punk-ass crook in America." "Donald Trump was sent here by God," the outspoken conservative musician told LondonRealTV. "Because man was not created to live under the control of kings and emperors and tyrants.... They think they have authority over free people, and they're wrong... Donald Trump was sent here to prove that we the people identify the negativity of the status quo..." Nugent continued: "The taxation without representation, the refusal to be accountable with our hard-earned tax dollars, the open and glaring examples of giving it to Planned Parenthood. It's to pay for people's abortions that we don't believe in. If you want an abortion, buy one, but don't charge me." Nugent went on to call a few US government officials out, including CIA director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who have been critical of Trump recently. "They're liars and scammers and criminal punks," Nugent scoffed. He closed by saying "So we said, F--- you. I like this Donald Trump s----kicker. Let's put him in charge. Let him manage it like a business. That's what life is -- it's a business." - New Musical Express, 6/13/20...... Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour is set to release "Yes I Have Ghosts," his first new song in five years, as part of a new audiobook by his best-selling author wife Polly Samson. Gilmour and Samson collaborated for the audiobook version of Samson's A Theatre For Dreamers, which will be published by W.F. Howes on June 25 and feature original music written by Gilmour throughout. Set on the idyllic Greek island of Hydra in 1960, the book captures the hazy, sun-drenched days of a bohemian community of poets, painters and musicians. "Yes I Have Ghosts" will be released in June ahead of the arrival of the full A Theatre For Dreamers audiobook. - NME, 6/12/20...... A live recording of the last concert performed by The Stooges' original lineup will be released on Aug. 7 via Third Man Records. Live at Goose Lake: Aug. 8 1970 celebrates the 50th anniversary of the concert which happened on Aug. 8, 1970. Third Man Records, founded by Jack White of The White Stripes, says the recording was found buried in the basement of a Michigan farmhouse and restored by Vance Powell, best known for his work with The White Stripes and Chris Stapleton. "T.V. Eye," a song from the concert, has been shared on YouTube. The Stooges performed their 1970 album, Fun House, in its entirety during the concert and is said to be "the only known soundboard recording of The Stooges' original lineup." - NME, 6/11/20..... With June 14th marking the 25th anniversary of the passing of Irish rocker Rory Gallagher, the Irish music and culture magazine Hot Press is producing a special edition to honor Gallagher, and together with Fender Musical Instruments is producing a special edition of the magazine with contributions from many of Gallagher's admiring peers, including new interviews with Slash, Johnny Marr and others. 2020 has already been a successful year for Gallagher's legend, with the release of the Check Shirt Wizard album (a live collection of Rorys early 1977 UK performances), which saw the artist return to the album charts, notably, claiming the No.1 spot in Billboard's Blues chart for three consecutive weeks. "This is a crowning honour in celebrating my brother, in his anniversary year and especially an acknowledgement of his devoted following," said Dónal Gallagher, Rorys brother and manager. - Noble PR, 6/11/20...... Sharon OsbourneOzzy Osbourne's wife Sharon Osbourne says she "feels free" after deciding to ditch her famous red locks in February for a new platinum grey look. Osbourne says she decided to make the change when she realized she resented having her hair colored every week. "It'd just bleed. On my collars. On my pillow cases. Everywhere. And when you'd wash and dry it, it'd be a different shade of red," Sharon told People magazine. "I was really resenting being tied by a color of hair. But, when you dye your hair red, it's really hard to get the color out." So Sharon seeked out hair stylist Jack Martin, who working his magic on her formerly red hair, and after an eight-hour session, the transformation was complete. "I would pass a mirror and be like, 'Who is that? Oh, it's me!'," she laughed, adding she appreciates how simple it is to upkeep her new hair. "I love the freedom it has given me. I've got nothing to prove. It's not like I'm trying to look younger, I'm just trying to look my best." -, 6/7/20...... Singer Bobby Lewis, best known for the No. 1 1961 hit "Tossin' & Turnin'," died on Apr. 28 after contracting pneumonia, it was formally announced on June 13 by his granddaughter Sabreen LaRae Simmons on Facebook. He was 95. The R&B rave-up "Tossin' & Turnin'" with its restless lyrics of insomnia, exploded commercially in 1961, staying at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart for seven weeks. "Tossin' & Turnin'" also endured in the cultural memory in large part due to its prominent use in two hit comedy movies of the 1970s, American Graffiti (1973) and Animal House (1978). The song has also been covered by acts ranging from the the girl groups The Marvelettes and The Supremes to rockers Peter Criss and Joan Jett. Mr. Lewis, who scored one more Top 10 hit, "One Track Mind," continued to play live will into his 80s, though vision problems made performing a challenge. The Indianapolis-born Mr. Lewis spent the last four decades of his life in New Jersey, with his final years spent in a Newark healthcare center. He is survived by three children and 11 grandchildren. - Billboard, 6/13/20.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Jimmy Buffett's latest album Life on the Flip Side has debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for the week ending June 13. The album sold around 75,000 equivalent album units and marks Buffett's third Top Country Albums No. 1, as well as his third No. 1 debut, behind 2004's License to Chill and 2006's Take the Weather With You. The LP's sales were helped by a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer tied to upcoming Buffett shows from mid-May through mid-October, but ome of those shows were ultimately canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, while the remaining dates were postponed and rescheduled to July 10 through Sept. 2, 2021. On Billboard's all-genre Hot 200 album chart, Life on the Flip Side bowed at No. 2, marking the "Margaritaville" singer's best rank since License to Chill became his first No. 1 in 2004. - Billboard, 6/9/20...... Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney took to social media on June 5 to share an encouraging message on the fight for social justice as protests over the death of George Floyd continue around the United States and other countries. "I know many of us want to know just what we can be doing to help. None of us have all the answers and there is no quick fix but we need change," Sir Paul posted on his official Twitter account. "We all need to work together to overcome racism in any form. We need to learn more, listen more, talk more, educate ourselves and, above all, take action." McCartney, 77, then recalled a 1964 incident with the Beatles refused to play a concert with a segregated audience in Jacksonville, Fla. "It felt wrong. We said 'We're not doing that!' and the concert we did do was to their first non-segregated audience," Macca wrote. "We then made sure this was in our contract. To us it seemed like common sense." Paul added that he is "sick and angry" that racial tension still exists after so many years. "I feel sick and angry that here we are almost 60 years later and the world is in shock at the horrific scenes of the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of police racism, along with the countless others that came before," he tweeted. McCartney also shared links to several organizations seeking to fight racism, including Black Lives Matter, Color of Change, the NAACP, Stand Up to Racism, and Campaign Zero. - Billboard, 6/6/20...... Meanwhile, the post-Beatles 1971 peace anthem by McCartney's late bandmate John Lennon, "Imagine," was referenced in a speech by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on June 3. Comparing calls to defund the New York Police Dept. to the lyrics of "Imagine," de Blasio said, "I think everyone who hears that song in its fullness thinks about, 'What about a world where people got along differently? What about a world where we didn't live with a lot of the restrictions that we live with now?' But we're not there yet." A cultural fixture in the almost 50 years since its 1971 release, "Imagine" was once described by Lennon as "the concept of positive prayer... without this my-God-is-bigger-than-your-God thing." "Imagine" has been covered by an endless list of notable musicians including Joan Baez, Diana Ross and Neil Young and become a kind of "go-to anthem for the detached," and some have criticized how it is too often "re-molded" by politicians and other public figures to fit certain political and social goals. - Billboard, 6/5/20...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, Ringo Starr has also shared his views on the current Black Lives Matter protests, saying he is sending "peace, love and continuous support" to them. In a June 5 tweet, Ringo referenced his bandmate Paul McCartney's own message: "As my brother Paul said The Beatles always stood for equal rights&justice and I've never stopped working for peace&love ever since," he wrote on his official Twitter account. "I send my peace love&continuous support to everyone marching & speaking up for justice & a better world." Starr also called for justice for George Floyd's family and "for all those who have died and suffered." "Saying nothing is not an option," he added. - New Musical Express, 6/6/20...... Victor WillisMeanwhile, '70s disco greats The Village People are ordering Pres. Trump to stop playing a couple of their biggest hits, "Y.M.C.A." and "Macho Man," at recent events. Posting on Facebook, VP leader Victor Willis said, "If Trump orders the U.S. military to fire on his own citizens (on U.S. soil), Americans will rise up in such numbers outside of the White House that he might be forced out of office prior to the election. Don't do it Mr. President!" Willis then requested the president "no longer use any of my music at your rallies especially 'Y.M.C.A.' and 'Macho Man'... Sorry, but I can no longer look the other way." Both songs have been a frequent feature of Trump's public appearances for several years, and were most recently played when he attended the SpaceX rocket launch alongside Vice President Mike Pence. Willis had previously said he had no problem with Trump using the songs because it was "not being used for a specific endorsement" which is "perfect[ly] legal." But he seemingly changed his stance after Trump's controversial tweet, which was flagged by Twitter for violating the site's rules against glorifying violence. "These thugs are dishonouring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen," Trump tweeted. - NME, 6/9/20...... On June 8, Neil Young doubled down on his criticism of US Pres. Donald Trump in a new letter of support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Starting out by saying he was hopeful in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, Young added that "although it could get a lot worse... I think we all learn together." "Some of us will get sick, especially those who protested, their families, those of us who care and feel. We know black lives matter," Young posted before turning his attention to the president. "Although I think our president is responsible for a lot of this unrest we feel today as he has fanned the flames and tried to turn us against one another for his political reasons, I am thankful that we are all standing for what we believe, and I think we will be a better country for this," Young said. "He is, in the end, just a poor leader who is building walls around our house. I believe he will be powerless soon and I wish him the best in his next life. That sorry man will not destroy the American Dream," he added. Young also confirmed that he would vote for former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, having previously backed Sen. Bernie Sanders before the Sanders withdrew from the race in April. - NME, 6/9/20...... Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson performed a rendition of his 1988 song "Love and Mercy" on the late night CBS talk show The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on June 4. "Hi, this is Brian Wilson everyone," Wilson says as he sat before his piano. "I just want you guys to know that we're all in this together." "Love and Mercy," a song that calls for peace and understanding in trying times, features such lyrics as "I was lying in my room / And the news came on TV / A lotta people out there hurtin' / And it really scares me", and: "Love and mercy, that's what you need tonight." The performance can be viewed at The Late Show's Twitter page. - NME, 6/5/20...... Carlos Santana will be the guest of honor during the 2020 commencement ceremony at the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA on June 19, delivering a commencement address to a virtual audience of aspiring musician graduates. "I feel honored to be speaking to young musicians and a new generation of music scholars," Santana said in a statement. "The class of 2020 is resilient and their voices are needed now more than ever. I want them to use their music as a platform to empower and unite as we seek justice and creative solutions during these challenging times." The 2020 commencement will take place online on June 19 at 4:00 p.m. PDT; it will also include music and remarks by graduating students and a performance by the Herbie Hancock Institute for Jazz Performance at UCLA. - Billboard, 6/9/20...... Elvis CostelloElvis Costello has shared a new song called "No Flag" on YouTube that he says was recorded in February but is fitting for the current world unrest. "No time for this kind of love" / "No flag waving high above," Costello sings. "No sign for the dark place that I live / No God for the damn that I don't give," he adds. Elvis said in a press released that "No Flag" as recorded over three days in Helsinki, Finland at Suomenlinnan Studio. "I wanted to go somewhere nobody knew me, so this is "The Helsinki Sound," he said. "No Flag" is the first new Costello material since he and his backing band The Imposters released their 2018 album Look Now. On June 11, Costello is scheduled to co-headline a "Present Perfect: Songs of Protest and Memory" concert with the likes of Rosanne Cash, Brandi Carlisle, Guy Clark, Jr. and Ry Cooder. - NME, 6/5/20...... In a magnanimous gesture, Elton John has covered the cost of a knee replacement for an old flame he was engaged to marry more than 50 years ago. Before shooting to international fame in the early '70s and a few years later coming out as gay, Elton once dated Linda Hannon, who paid many of the "Your Song" singer's bills as he was a struggling artist. John and Hannon were engaged to be married, but three weeks before the wedding at his bachelor party, John's songwriting partner Bernie Taupin and blues-rock singer Long John Baldry talked him out of it. Elton, 73, and Hannon, 76, had not been in contact since the split but, after being informed she would need a knee replacement operation entailing a five-week period off work, which she couldn't afford, Linda remembered all of the financial assistance she gave the star before he found fame and decided to call in a favour. Hannon attempted to email bosses at John's management company but, after she got no reply, she turned to the publication for help, and eventually managed to get in contact with the Rocketman himself. According to Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, "When the Mirror related her story to Elton's team, they responded almost immediately -- saying he would be delighted to help." "When Elton heard about Linda's plight, he didn't hesitate for a second to help out," a source close to Elton also shared. "He remembers how good she was 50 years ago, when he and Bernie needed the support, and is really pleased to be able to help her in her hour of need." Hannon added, "I am so touched by Reg (Elton's birth name). After all these years, it's so kind. I am thrilled to bits that he is offering to help." - WENN/, 6/7/20...... Rock producer Rupert Hine, who put his stamp on classic albums dating back five decades by working alongside the likes of Rush, Tina Turner and Stevie Nicks and who later carved out an enduring recording career of his own, has died at age 72. The London born Hine started out in the music business in the mid-1960s as half of folk duo Rupert & David before launching a solo career in the early '70s and later stints with the bands Quantum Jump and Spin 1ne 2wo. As a solo artist he cut six albums under his name and three under the alias Thinkman, according to his website. While the 1970s were a busy time for Hine as he produced such acts as Camel, Anthony Phillips (ex-Genesis) and Kevin Ayers (ex-Soft Machine), he reached even bigger success during the New Wave '80s by becoming the go-to producer for such popular groups as The Fixx, Howard Jones and The Thompson Twins. Hine also had a hand in crafting Tina Turner's 1984 juggernaut Private Dancer, having produced the single "Better Be Good to Me," a Top 5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 that earned a Grammy Award -- for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female -- in 1985. He also co-wrote and produced "Break Every Rule," the title track to Turner's 1986 album, and again collaborated with the rock legend on 1989's Foreign Affair. Other production credits include Stevie Nicks' The Other Side of the Mirror and albums by Underworld, Saga and Chris De Burgh. An early adopter of electronic music production techniques, Hine was a founding member of Music Producers Guild, the International MIDI Association and a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in the US. He is survived by his wife Fay and son Kingsley. - Billboard, 6/5/20...... Bonnie PointerBonnie Pointer, a founding member of the legendary Motown group The Pointer Sisters, died on June 8 after experiencing cardiac arrest. She was 69. "It is with great sadness that I have to announce to the fans of The Pointer Sisters that my sister, Bonnie died this morning," Anita Pointer said in a statement. "Our family is devastated, on behalf of my siblings and I and the entire Pointer family, we ask for your prayers at this time." Bonnie and June Pointer, who grew up singing gospel music in West Oakland, Calif., started their eponymous group in the late '60s, first performing as Pointers, A Pair. By 1972, both Anita and Ruth Pointer had also joined the fold, bringing the sibling group to a quartet. With a unique sound that blended jazz, soul, funk, rock and country, the group signed to Blue Thumb Records and released their self-titled debut album in 1973. The Pointer Sisters rose to No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 200 and spawned a pair of hits, the Allen Toussaint-penned "Yes We Can" (No. 11) and "Wang Dang Doodle" (No. 61). The group's 1974 sophomore effort spawned another top 20 hit in the country ballad "Fairytale" (penned by Bonnie and Anita and later covered by Elvis Presley), which also won the quartet their first Grammy, for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. Their third LP, Steppin' spawned their third Hot 100 top 20 hit (and first R&B Songs No. 1) "How Long (Betcha' Got a Chick on the Side)." In 1977, Bonnie left the group (along with June, who shortly rejoined) to start a solo career, signing with Motown -- where she met in-house producer and future husband Jeffrey Bowen, who she was married to from 1978 until the mid-'10s -- and scored a disco crossover hit in 1979 with the rapturous, No. 11-peaking The Elgins cover "Heaven Must Have Sent You," off her self-titled debut LP. Bonnie's solo success slowed down as the decade turned to the '80s, while the refortified Pointer Sisters experienced some of their biggest pop hits, but she still notched six entries on the Top R&B Songs chart between 1979 and 1985, and rejoined her sisters twice in the '90s -- when they received their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994, and for a Las Vegas live performance of '80s Pointer Sisters hit "Jump (For My Love) in 1996. Her fourth and final solo album, Like a Picasso, was released in 2011. "Bonnie was my best friend and we talked every day, we never had a fight in our life," Anita Pointer told of her sister. "I already miss her and I will see her again one day." - Billboard, 6/8/20.

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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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