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Noteworthy Now Archives for 2010-02

Santana In Line For SF Honor

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will honor Carlos Santana during a ceremony March 18.  Santana, who was raised in the city, has maintained artistic and charitable connections with the Bay area.  His Milagro Foundation has attracted large contributions from private and corporate sources that have been used to support grass-roots efforts to improve the educational, health and nutrition opportunities for children in the area. (story)  The Mayor, in making the announcement, called Santana, '...without a doubt one of San Francisco's most beloved icons.'
SFExaminer.com

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Neil Young Closes Vancouver Olympics

Vancouver Winter Olympics officials included dozens of the host country's icons in the opening ceremony. Famous Canadians from all walks of life made appearances or performed, including KD Lang, who did a riveting version of fellow Canadian Leonard Cohen's Halleluiah.  Conspicuously absent were Canadian Rockers.  The games made amends by including Neil Young in the closing ceremony Sunday (2/28) Young, who watched the home team's thrilling overtime win in the Gold Medal men's hockey game, closed the ceremony with a solo acoustic version of Long May You Run as the Olympic flame was extinguished.
WinnipegFreePress.com
 
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First Tull Concert Site Marked

The band had not yet taken the name of the agrarian inventor, but the concert The Blades played at the Holy Family Church in Blackpool, England now displays a plaque that makes it the official site of the first Jethro Tull concert.  Ian Anderson was there Thursday (2/25) for the unveiling of the plaque marking the 1964 concert, telling those assembled he was 'honoured and delighted that the birthplace of my musical career has been chosen to be marked in this way.'  Anderson and Tull alums Jeffrey Hammond and John Evens were in the band at the time, which Anderson estimates was around 3,000 concerts ago.
BBC.co.uk

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Stones Tracks Out Of Exile

Songs a band did not consider worthy of including on an album are always suspect, but when the album was so strong that some decent material missed the cut, they might well be worth hearing.  We get the chance in May when the expanded edition of Exile On Main Street, the 1972 classic by the Rolling Stones gets released in an expanded edition. Ten additional cuts in all, include Plundered My Soul, Dancing In The Light, Following The River, Pass The Wine, and alternate takes on album cuts Soul Survivor and Loving Cup.  A Stones In Exile documentary will also air on TV.
RollingStones.com

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Joel Bailing On Face2Face Tour

The March 10 Albany, NY Face2Face concert featuring Elton John and Billy Joel will apparently be the last in 2010 because Joel wants to take the year off.  The tour, which became one of the top grossing tours of 2009, had planned on hitting a number of additional US cities this year.  Joel did not offer any specific reason for deciding he did not want to continue the tour.  Elton is said to be disappointed but supportive and respectful of the choice his counterpart made. For his part, Joel told Rolling Stone magazine had not committed to doing any 2010 dates other than make up shows for 2009 dates that had to be postponed.

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Aerosmith 'Cocked, Locked...'

Days after word got out that Aerosmith would do dates in Europe with Steven Tyler (story), the Boston band finally made it official.  AeroForceOne.com Wednesday (2/24) proclaimed the band back by announcing the Cocked, Locked, Ready To Rock Tour. (video)  It came complete with claims by the band that all is well again between the members, Perry saying, 'Enough BS, we're coming and everything is going to be set at eleven'.  In addition to shows in Sweden (6/10) and the Download Festival in the UK (6/13), the group's first European tour in 3 years will include stops in London, Romania, Greece, Holland, Belgium, Spain, France, the Czech Republic and Italy.
AeroForceOne.com

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Heartbreakers Return To The Road

Mojo, the first new Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers studio album in 8 years, will have a spring, 2010 release.  You can preview one of the new tracks, Good Enough, now on TomPetty.com.  The tour, which will include Crosby, Stills & Nash, ZZ Top or Joe Cocker on some dates, opens May 6 in Raleigh, NC.  Online ticket buyers get mp3 download codes for all of the songs on the new album.  Good Enough and the song First Flash of Freedom will be available to ticket buyers as soon as they go on sale (3/8, Live Nation).  The others will be made available on the release date (tba) of the album.  Concert goers will also get to access live song recorded during some tour stops. (schedule)
PR Newswire
 
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RHOF Presenter Line-Up

Seeing who the Rock Hall Of Fame calls on to induct new members to the ranks is always interesting.  Steve Van Zandt of the E Street Band does the honors for the Hollies on March 15 at the Waldorf Astoria.  As a champion of Garage Bands, we think Little Steven should do the Stooges, a distinction that goes to Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day. Jimmy Cliff gets his intro from Wycliff Jean. David Geffen draws Jackson Browne instead of Joni Mitchell, who wrote Free Man In Paris about him.  We don't get Trey Anastasio of Phish inducting Genesis. The one that makes perfect sense and no sense at all at the same time - ABBA gets inducted by Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.
RockHall.com

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Sting Fronts Royal Philharmonic

Sting will spend much of his summer in North America on tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra doing programs covering both Police songs and solo album material.  The tour is slated to open in Vancouver June 2.  Other firm dates include Red Rocks in Colorado (6/9), the Hollywood Bowl (6/15) and the Ravina Festival in Chicago (6/17&18).  Dates are also planned in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Toronto, Montreal, Dallas, Houston and Seattle.  A European tour will follow.
Sting.com

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Springsteen On Ray Davies Album

A Kinks reunion looks more remote with the news that Ray Davies is doing a duets album.  Plans for the as yet untitled disc surfaced during the Rock Hall Of Fame anniversary concerts in New York. (story)  Bruce Springsteen recorded a version of the Kinks song Better Things last month in New York City during sessions that also included Jon Bon Jovi doing Celluloid HerosMetallica members and Lucinda Williams are among other possible collaborators.
NJ.com

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Who's Next? Maybe Page for Daltrey

Amid reports Pete Townshend may hang up his guitar unless another bout with tinnitus ends soon, Roger Daltrey told the BBC that he'd love to put together a Blues Rock band with Jimmy Page.  The ringing condition that is a symptom of noise induced hearing loss that has bothered Townshend in the past returned recently, causing the guitarist to question whether he can continue to be around amplified music.  Daltrey, in an interview with BBC 6, said Page '...needs a singer to drive him', and said he'd '...love to do an album with Jimmy.Page played guitar on one song recorded during sessions for the 1973 self-titled solo debut by the Who vocalist.
Guardian.co.uk

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Gov. Protects Abbey Road Studio

Assurances Abbey Road Studios would not be sold issued by EMI and the firm that controls the entertainment company reduced risks the historic site could be gutted or possibly even demolished. (story) Tuesday (2/23), the government made a commitment to preserving the site where Dark Side Of The Moon and most of the Beatles albums were recorded.  Notice that the studios and the building had been assigned a Grade II historic status was accompanied by the statement that the '...huge cultural importance' of the site merits the designation, which mandates that an owner must take care '...to insure that any alterations with respect to its character and interest are fully considered.'
Billboard.com
 
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Miller Donates Big Dollars to Scholars

Steve Miller surprised the nearly 10 thousand on hand at a benefit concert for the Cal State Fullerton Scholarship Program Saturday night (2/20) by announcing he was kicking in $25 grand himself. Three songs into the Steve Miller Band set, the guitarist told the crowd, 'If you can do it, so can I.'  His announcement brought a roar - and surprised even Cal State President Milton Gordon, who said Miller was the first headline act in the event's 15 year history not to take the money and run.  Not only did Miller donate his performance fee back to the program, he told Gordon 'If you need me to come back and help out, let me know'.
DailyTitan.com
 
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Dead Fans Rejoice

Furthur, the latest project involving members of the Grateful Dead,  comes closest to recapturing the magic of the iconic band.  The comfort level of going there for band members and fans has everything to do with John Kadlecik. The founding member of Dark Star Orchestra, the preeminent Dead tribute band, Kadlecik manages to evoke Garcia in voice and on guitar - but comes off and sounds so true to himself on both counts you can believe he would have developed into the same musician no matter what.  No slouch compared to Garcia even when Jerry was at his best, Kadlecik takes things so far beyond what Garcia was capable of many nights in the 80's & 90's that it is easy to understand why Bob Weir and Phil Lesh are happy to take things Furthur with him.
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No Takers For Wood's House

The townhouse Ron Wood bought about a year before his affair with a 20 year old cocktail waitress did in his marriage is still for sale.  The 5 bedroom Chelsea residence on a street Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Stones also had homes went on the market in October.  A sluggish economy is not the only obstacle to selling the 4200 square foot building.  Wood reportedly had it gutted in preparations for a major renovation - one that never got underway.  The building, first listed for nearly $10 million, has come down more than a million.  Even if the new price holds, Wood stands to end up with $2 million less than his original purchase price.
TimesOnline.co.uk

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Label May Keep Abbey Road

Terra Firma, the firm that controls EMI, told CNN Sunday (2/21) that the label does not plan to sell Abbey Road Studios. The statement contradicts earlier reports that the studio could be put on the block. (story).  As for the idea that anything is for sale so long as the offer is high enough, the label says it rejected a $46 million bid to buy the fabled studios last year.  A spokesperson for Andrew Llyod Webber said Friday that the composer has a keen interest in buying the landmark building if Terra Firma or EMI end up selling it.
CNN.com

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Tyler Back In The Saddle

AeroforceOne.com has still not commented on earlier reports that Aerosmith will play the Download Festival in England with Steven Tyler (story), but Billboard now says a full European tour is in the works.  News the other band members and Steven Tyler decided to bury the hatchet somewhere other than between the shoulder blades could put a welcome end to the six months of bickering that threatened to tear apart one of Rock's most durable lineups.  The band is said to have agreed to play the Sweden Rock Festival June 10. Success in Europe will help restore confidence among Aerosmith fans left holding tickets for several dates on the last US tour dropped due to repeated band health issues. (story)
Billboard.com

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Lloyd Webber To The Rescue?

When your net worth is said to be over a billion dollars, spending a few tens of millions to preserve one of your favorite places is hardly a stretch.  Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber may be weighing the idea of buying Abbey Road Studios.  The London landmark is where Lloyd Webber recorded most of his orchestral works.  Pressure is also being applied to the National Trust to intervene in preventing EMI from selling the property to someone that would not maintain the 3 studios in the historic North London building. A former studio employee has launched a Facebook campaign to rally support to save the studio, which he points out was the 'birthplace' of so many great recordings. (story)
Independent.co.uk

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Bon Jovi Webcasts Tour Opener

Bon Jovi will share the first three songs played on the group's 2010-2011 world tour with a global audience.  The world wide web cast from the sold out opener Friday (2/19) at the KeyArena in Seattle  hit the internet through a trio of outlets: usstream.tv, the Bon Jovi web site and the band's Facebook page.  The Circle Tour takes the band to 30 countries for 135 concerts in support of its 11th studio album.
BonJovi.com
 
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Lou Reed Snubbed By Songwriters Hall

The Songwriters Hall Of Fame has announced the 2010 inductees.  Leonard Cohen, Jackie DeShannon, David Foster, Johnny Mandel and the writing members of Earth Wind & Fire made it in.  Nominated but not in this year: Lou Reed & Garth BrooksCohen, recognized with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award this year, and the others will be honored during the induction ceremony at the Marriott Marquis in New York City on June 17.
AmericanSongwriter.com

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Mountain Jam Returns

Mountain Jam takes over Hunter Mountain June 4-6.  The 6th edition of the festival Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers Band and Gov't Mule has been closely involved with from year one will feature sets from the Mule both days. More than 40 bands will Rock the Hudson Valley mountainside over the weekend from 4 stages.  The lineup also includes Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band, the Levon Helm Band, Toots & The Maytals, Dave Mason, the Dark Star Orchestra, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Justin Townes Earle and dozens more Jam Bands, Roots Rockers and Americana acts.

MountainJam.com
 
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Senator Mellencamp?

Already under pressure from a Facebook campaign his son started to get him to stop smoking (story), John Mellencamp now faces one seeking to get him to run for the US Senate seat being vacated by long term Indiana Democratic Senator Evan Bayh.  The Draft John Mellencamp for Senate site is just the start of a campaign to get the politically active Rocker to consider a run.  If  elected, Mellencamp would join another politician who keeps a guitar in his Washington office - John Hall, the former lead singer of Orleans, who represents the 19th District of New York in Congress.   
 
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Plastic Ono Band Comes Together

A portion of the Plastic Ono Band, the group John Lennon and Yoko Ono formed in 1969, came together at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Tuesday (2/16).  Several players rotated through the group, which was featured on Live Peace In Toronto and later backed individual and joint projects Lennon and Ono did into the mid 70's. Charter members Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman were joined by Jim Keltner (Alan White, later of Yes, was the original drummer) and Sean Lennon on a set that included Yer Blues and Give Peace A Chance, the song Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary and Tommy Smothers sang on in Toronto.  Paul Simon and also appeared earlier, playing guitar with his son, Harper.
WheresEric.com   NYTimes.com
 
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A Page Turner From Jimmy Page

How many copies of a Jimmy Page autobiography could be sold is anyone's guess, but the number is certain to be thousands of times higher than the final tally of those that will end up with a copy of Zoso, the hand-crafted, limited edition volume that Genesis Publications is preparing.  The book, which contains a multitude of photos from the former Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin guitarist's personal collection, will be restricted to just 2,500 copies.  Want in?  You can register at the publisher's site for the chance to be one of the proud owners of this instant collector's item.  What will it set you back?  That remains confidential, for now, but they promise a 'preferential rate' to those who sign up.  Count on it being comparable to the approximately $1,500 price tag of books about George Harrison and Ron Wood.
Genesis-Publications.com
 
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Fabled Rock Real Estate For Sale

The cash crunch EMI finds itself in has the entertainment giant exploring a number of options to improve its outlook.  According to the Financial Times, one of those is selling Abbey Road Studios, the famous north London studio the Beatles, Pink Floyd and dozens of other bands recorded some of their finest albums in.  The cover photo of the 1969 Beatles album titled with the studio's name was taken at a crosswalk just steps from the door of the 1831 Georgian style building that housed the studio.  Abbey Road was where most of the group's albums were recorded. It also hosted recording sessions for Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.  The building, which opened as a studio in 1931, could bring as much as $15 million.
Guardian.co.uk  
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UK Festival Claims Aerosmith

Organizers of the 2010 Download Festival in Donnington Park claim to have a commitment from Aerosmith to play the event with Steven Tyler.  Acts confirmed for the Jun 11-13 festival include AC/DC, Stone Temple Pilots, Them Crooked Vultures, Billy Idol, Wolfmother and Rage Against The Machine.  If the Aerosmith claim proves valid, it is the first indication in a very long time that the band may be ready to reconcile with Steven Tyler.  The already strained relationship appeared to get even worse when a lawyer representing Tyler reportedly notified the band by letter that the singer was prepared to file suit to prevent other band members from touring as Aerosmith without him.
DownloadFestival.co.uk

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Steve Miller Hits Nashville

Kenny Chesney has always admired Steve Miller.  When CMT approached Chesney about doing his second Crossroads special for the network the Country super star quickly decided he wanted Miller to join him.  The two, who have performed together a number of times, will get together in Nashville in March to trade songs and stories in front of an invitation only audience for a special that will premier later this year on the Country music channel.  Miller is not the only Rocker making music in Nashville.  It was recently revealed that Robert Plant laid down tracks for a new album there at the end of last year. (story)  Chesney teamed with John Mellencamp for his first Crossroads feature.
TVByTheNumbers.com

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Kramer, Whitford & Perry Busy

While the circus-soap opera that Aerosmith has become sorts itself out (story), Joe Perry, Brad Whitford and Joey Kramer have stayed active with side projects.  Joe Perry continues doing dates in support of the Joe Perry Project Have Guitar, Will Travel album.  Whitford and Kramer have signed on for appearances with the James Montgomery Band in New England. The Blues Rock band fronted by the harmonica dynamo will include Whitford and Kramer in concerts at the Rochester, NH Opera House (2/19), the Colonial Theatre in Keene, NH (2/27) and the House Of Blues in Boston (2/28).
JamesMontgomery.com

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Sting Joins Nicholas & McEnroe

The Everglades Foundation enlisted Sting, golf legend Jack Nicholas and tennis star John McEnroe to join Florida Gov. Charlie Crist at a fund raiser held Friday (2/12) at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach.  The foundation was formed in 1993 to advance the cause of various environmental organizations seeking to preserve and restore areas of the Everglades ecosystem at risk due to development and pollution.
EvergladesFoundation.org

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AC/DC Induces Heart Attack

The AC/DC concert in Melbourne, Australia Sunday (2/14) was electrifying enough to send one fan into cardiac arrest.  First Aid volunteers on the scene responded to reports of a 56 year old fan experiencing severe chest pain at the concert.  A medical team used a defibrillator to restore a normal rhythm before paramedics transported the man to a Melbourne hospital, where he was reportedly admitted in serious condition.
Melbourne-Leader.com

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Wood Ivanova Relapse Reported

The Daily Mail reports that Ron Wood is attempting to reboot his relationship with Ekaterina Ivanova, the 21 year old the Stones guitarist had a volatile breakup with several weeks ago. (story)  Wood, who was apparently given an ultimatum by Mick Jagger to sober up and get himself under control, had sworn off both Ivanova and alcohol.  The source reports that Wood sent massive numbers of text messages to Ivanova intended to convince her to agree to see him, an effort that paid off when Wood arrived at her door last week.
Iol.ie

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GNR Does NYC Club Show

The ridiculously protracted process of putting Chineese Democracy out created expectations that would have made it tough for even a great album to measure up to.  As it is, nobody has made the case that the Guns N' Roses album was worth any wait.   The band, which the lead singer is the only original member of, has been kept largely out of the public eye in North America.  Thursday (2/11) GNR made an unscheduled appearance at John Varvato's, a designer fashion store-sometimes club in New York City that occupies the space that once housed CBGB, the legendary punk venue.  The performance was more than the kind of cameo bands sometimes do during Fashion Week in the City, a blistering 17 song set. Catch some here.
VillageVoice.com

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Gabriel Blows Off Rock Hall

We knew three weeks ago the prospect of a Genesis performance with Peter Gabriel at the group's long overdue induction into the Rock Hall Of Fame was a long shot. (story)  What slim chance there was for it evaporated Thursday (2/11) with the announcement by the RHOF that Gabriel informed them that he will not attend the March 15 ceremony.  The one time Genesis front man is preparing for his European New Blood Tour in support of the album Scratch My Back.

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Who Slam Super Bowl Performance

Speaking to ESPN, Roger Daltrey gave a harsh assessment of the medley the Who performed during half time at the Super Bowl.  His criticism started with the awkwardness of trying to do a coherent set in 12 minutes.  The band's inability to hear or see the crowd also hindered his ability to get fully into it. 'Cameras were everywhere. I was so blinded I couldn't see.Pete Townshend said they '...had as much funs as we could have', adding, '...Miami is fun and hip, and I'm too old to enjoy it.'.  With next year's contest scheduled for Texas, speculation about artists with Lone Star State connections anchoring half time is well underway.  ZZ Top and Country superstar Kenny Chesney lead the pack.
ESPN.com
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Dylan & Mellencamp Play White House

The threat of the second major snow storm in less than a week caused an event scheduled for Wednesday (2/10) to take place Tuesday instead.  The East Room of the White House was the setting for a musical celebration of songs that provided the soundtrack to the Civil Rights movement of the early 1960's.  Bob Dylan performed The Times They Are A-Changin', his song that implored  '...senators, congressmen, please heed the call. Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall' before stepping off stage to shake the hand of America's first black president.  Mellencamp chose Eyes On The PrizePBS television carries the event Thursday night (2/11).
NYTimes.com

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Robert Plant Nashville Project

Led Zeppelin News picked up on a report from the Bristol, TN Herald Courier via tricities.com  that put Robert Plant in Nashville recording sessions with Buddy Miller for a couple of weeks just before Christmas.  Musician Darrell Scott played with Plant in the studio, saying he was 'humbled with how Plant loved the music - old country, blues and rockabilly.'   Scott, who played mandolin as well as other instruments for Plant during the recording sessions, contends Plant intends to release the material later in 2010.
LedZeppelinNews.som   www2.tricities.com

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2010 Crossroads Festival Smokes

A slew of guitar greats converge in the Windy City June 26 for the 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festival. The third gathering of outstanding pickers to benefit the substance dependency treatment center Eric Clapton established in Antigua measures up as the best yet, with appearances confirmed by EC himself, the Allman Brothers Band, ZZ Top, BB King, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Steve Winwood, Jimmy Vaughan, Joe Bonamassa, Robert Cray, Doyle Bramhall, Sonny Landreth, Albert Lee and more.  The single day event in Toyota Park will kick off at 10am to allow plenty of time for the extended jams that are a lock with so many masters on the scene.  Tickets go on sale Feb 20. Releases filmed during the first two festivals rank among the top selling concert DVD's in history.
WheresEric.com  CrossroadsGuitarFestival.com
 
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Grateful Dead Scrapbook

As an editor for Rolling Stone magazine, Ben Fong-Torres had an All Access pass for just about any music or cultural event in the Bay Area. His new book chronicles the Long Strange Trip of the Grateful Dead in words and in the images and graphics the San Francisco music scene  inspired.  Reproductions of handbills distributed for shows at the Fillmore, the Avalon Ballroom and Winterland are included in the book, as are backstage passes, set lists and other memorabilia.  The Scrapbook also includes a CD featuring interviews with Jerry Garcia and other band members.
Crawdaddy.com
 
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Legendary Studio Facing Deadline

The technology that made lps and the compact disc obsolete to millions of music fans also allows musicians to be a lot less dependent on traditional recording studios.  Hundreds have folded, among them the Record Plant in Sausalito, CA, a studio that hosted album sessions for the Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen, Van Morrison, the Doobie Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, John Fogerty, Santana, the Jefferson Starship, Joe Walsh, Journey, Sammy Hagar, Metallica and many more.  Mick Fleetwood did a video supporting a group trying to preserve the studio as a landmark and convert it into an educational center. Monday (2/8), Maria Maria, the restaurant in nearby Mill Valley owned by Carlos Santana did a benefit to help raise the 50k needed by the end of February to save it.(video)
KGO-TV
 

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Winnipeg Bombers Drop One on Aerosmith

The Winnipeg Bombers have initiated a suit against Aerosmith in a effort to get back the nearly $100,000 the team says it is out over a Aug. '09 concert the band cancelled.  The football club's attorney told the Winnipeg Free Press that it invested more than $97k on site preparations and staffing for the concert.  The only public appearances Aerosmith has made since the tour last summer was cancelled were two concerts in Hawaii in October.  Those shows were done to settle a class action suit brought against the band over the cancellation of concerts on the island in 2007. (story)
WinnipegFreePress.com

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Bonnaroo Festival Stages Announcement

Bonnaroo organizers staged a time release announcement of the festival's 2010 lineup through the site's My Space page Tuesday (2/9).  The rollout announced one new act every 6 minutes - ending up hours after it started with just a handful of acts Classic Rock fans have ever even heard of. John Fogerty and Jeff Beck are the big name heritage Rock acts booked at this point for the giant event in Manchester, TN June 10-13.  Jimmy Cliff, John Prine, Blues Traveler, Martin Sexton, Stevie Wonder and Gaslight Anthem were also announced.  Last year Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Buffett appeared.
MySpace.com/bonnaroo
 
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Perry Calls Tyler Hiatus a "Vacation"

In an interview with Classic Rock Magazine, Joe Perry says Steven Tyler is still a member of Aerosmith, and calls the singer and the band's current situation a 'vacation'.  The guitarist pointed out that Tyler provided the incentive to replace him on a temp basis when he announced plans to take a break from the band to do solo work.  The online account of the interview did not reference reports that the singer's management has threatened legal action against the other band members if they recruit a replacement for Tyler. (story)  Speculating on how long a gig a fill-in could expect, Perry said, '...we may only do 10 shows with the new person!', and that 'no-one's been offered the job' as of yet, a statement that does not jibe with an earlier report Paul Rogers turned an offer down. (story)  The latest candidate of interest is rumored to be Sammy Hagar.
ClassicRockMagazine.com

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Ringo Lands on Hollywood Walk

Amid Hollywood Hype that included camera camera mugging politicians and heavily prompted cheers for even his most insignificant musical achievements, Ringo Starr had his Walk of Fame Star unveiled Monday (2/8) in Los Angeles.  Joe Walsh, Don Was and Ben Harper passed along their congratulations and those of several other musicians.  Ringo could not resist saying he was honored to be enshrined in the shadow of the Capitol Records building - a place 'I helped pay for'.  He also gave a shout out to Paul McCartney and his former Traveling Wilburys band mate, the late Roy Orbison, who Starr called the 'hardest act the Beatles ever had to follow.'
HollywoodChamber.com
 
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Sturgis Taps the Top

The Sturgis motorcycle rally was where the wheels fell off for Aerosmith last summer.  It was during a performance at the Buffalo Chip that Steven Tyler gyrated off the stage, making a hard landing that injured his head and shoulder, ending the show, the tour and, still possibly, his future wth the band. (story) It also created havoc for ZZ Top.  The Texas trio was supposed to spend the summer co-headlining with AerosmithSturgis organizers have invited the Top to headline this summer's rally.  Dave Mason opens the nine day party at the Buffalo Chip with a show Aug. 6.  ZZ Top takes over the venue Aug. 9, and the Doobie Brothers make their way back to the event for the first time in 20 years with a concert on Aug. 14.
BuffaloChip.com

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Them Crooked Vultures Tear Up SNL

The days when anyone not on the show name more than one cast member of Saturday Night Live are long gone.  So are the days of bothering to tune-in for the vast majority of people old enough to remember when the show had a killer cast and regularly presented great bands. Why bother? Odds you won't recognize the host or the musical guest. On the rare occasion a band you do want to catch plays, there's no need to watch live or even record it when the network is willing to post it online. Check out the 12/6 SNL appearance by Them Crooked Vultures, the band with John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, Dave Grohl from Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, doing New Fang here.
NBC.com

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Who & Who Dat Reign Supreme in Miami

The Saints and Classic Rock prevailed on Super Sunday (2/7) in Miami.  An inspired, rule breaking spirit guided the underdog New Orleans Saints to a 31-17 victory in the team's franchise first Super Bowl appearance.   The Who also beat the odds, delivering a set synchronized with lasers and fireworks that still had enough musical firepower not to sound forced or hollow.  With Townshend windmilling between ripping guitar riffs, the band drove through a set that included Pinball Wizard, Baba O' Riley, Who Are You (was any NFL official hip enough to be nervous about the potential for the 'who the f--k are you' line to be used?), and Won't Get Fooled Again. Lifelong Saints fan Jimmy Buffett savored the win while true-blue Hoosier John Mellencamp stood by his Colts in defeat.

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Bruce Not Behind Law Suit

Bruce Springsteen issued a statement disavowing any involvement actions ASCAP, the music licensing organization, is taking against a New York City bar that featured a band that covered three E Street Band songs during a recent performance.  The New York Daily News had linked Springsteen to its coverage of the pending legal action this week.  A statement issued through a publicist says that ASCAP was 'solely responsible' for the suit against Connolly's Pub and Restaurant and that Springsteen was not asked to participate in the suit, 'would not have agreed to if he had been asked' and subsequently 'demanded the immediate removal of his name from the lawsuit.'
NJ.com

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Escalator To Heaven?

Apparently inspired by the rendition of Bridge Over Toubled Water she did at the Grammy Awards, Mary J. Blige intends to do a remake of Stairway To Heaven.  Covering the Simon & Garfunkel classic in the context of raising money for Haiti earthquake relief was a fine and fitting thing to do.  Messing with Stairway To Heaven is another matter entirely.  The music world needs this like a fish needs a bicycle.  More disappointing than the report the pop star plans to record the song is word that Steve Vai may have signed on to play guitar on it. Steve, say it ain't so! 
Jam.Canoe.ca

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Who Press Preview in Miami

Thursday (2/4), Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey gave media members covering the Super Bowl a preview of what the Who has in store for the millions that will be watching the game will see Sunday during half time.  Before performing Behind Blue Eyes, Pinball Wizard and Won't Get Fooled Again, Townshend addressed critics protesting the band's invitation on the basis of a child pornography investigation into the guitarist (story).  Townshend finished his simple, straight forward statement by saying anybody with 'doubts about whether I should be here or not should investigate a little bit further' than the allegations being made by protesters.  A NFL spokesman defended the league and the guitarist, pointing out Townshend's long commitment to charity work and support for children's charities.
USAToday.com

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Ozzy Title Up For Grabs

Fan reaction to the title Soul Sucka for his next album was ambivalent, at best, so Ozzy Osbourne has decided to leave it to his fans to pick a better one.  The Ozzman issued the challenge during a session with the VH1 Radio Network, saying, 'This time, before I even announce what I'm going to call it, I'm going to get a list of names and post it on my web site and find out which people like the best.'  Joe Perry of Aerosmith used his Twitter account to collect fan suggest titles for the most recent Joe Perry Project release.  Have Guitar, Will Travel was the winning entry. The Ozzy release is slated for a June 2010 release.
ClassicRockMagazine.com

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Aussie Band Goes Down in Court

Men At Work, the Australian band fronted by Colin Hay that put out a song in 1982 you still can't get away from, has lost a court case that could cost millions. A Federal Court Judge in Australia has ruled that Down Under, the song on the album Business As Usual that helped propel the band to worldwide fame, took a 'substantial part' of its melody from the children's song Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree.  The flute part in the song is what apparently convinced the court.  We can only hope the decision reduces the amount of play the song gets in stores and restaurants.
TheDailySwarm  

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Starr's Star Joins Stars

Ringo Starr joins the 2,401 entertainment celebrities with a star embedded in concrete along the fabled Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday (1/8).  The Beatles drummer's star will reside close to ones honoring John Lennon (1988) and George Harrison (2009) near the entrance to the landmark circular Capitol Records building at 1750 Vine.  The Beatles were collectively honored with a star on Hollywood Boulevard on Christmas Day in 1998.  The Hollywood Walk ceremony for Ringo, which falls on the 50th anniversary of the first star's unveiling, will include a performance of Beatles and Starr solo tunes by a marching band made up of members from multiple Los Angeles district schools.
HollywoodChamber.net

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Who Take On Quadrophenia

The only firm date for the Who, other than the controversial half time set during the Super Bowl Sunday (2/7) (story), is a live recreation of Quadrophenia March 30 at Royal Albert Hall in London.  The epic performance comes on the final night of a ten night, multi-band series of shows marking the 10th anniversary of the Teenage Cancer Trust, a charity Roger Daltrey has close ties to.  The 1973 double album that chronicles the social turmoil as the cultural revolution of the 60's gained momentum in the UK remains a defining body of work.  Tour plans are being considered, but are likely to involve few dates to limit further hearing damage to Pete Townshend.  The guitarist describes his hearing as rather seriously impaired.
TheRockRadio.com

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Classic Concerts Album Series Announced

Collectors' Choice Music Live will mine the live archives of several Classic Rock artists for exceptional but unreleased concert recordings.  April 20 releases include: Johnny Winter And - Live at the Fillmore East captures the legendary Texas Rock & Blues guitarist at the Fillmore East in October, 1970 shortly after forming the band that included Rick DerringerPoco, Live at Columbia Studios features the Country Rock group its prime during a showcase performance for Columbia Records employees in the label's Hollywood studio in September, 1971.  Hot Tuna: Live at the New Orleans House includes songs the band Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady of the Jefferson Airplane formed recorded at the Berkeley, CA venue in the fall of 1969 that did not make it onto the group's live debut album.
 
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Ron Wood Dealing With Drinking Issues

Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood, who one UK tabloid reported had checked himself into a clinic that treats alcohol abuse on Friday (1/29), may have just gone to the clinic as a necessary step in getting pills to help him reduce his alcohol intake on his own.  Wood, who has a number of rehab stints under his belt, has been the subject of numerous stories in recent months that involved reports he was intoxicated.  His increasingly combative relationship with Ekaterina Ivanova ended in what witnesses said was a drunken altercation between the two (story). That was followed by a string of other sightings involving Wood, young women and heavy drinking.  The guitarist has been under mounting pressure from family and friends, including band mates, to deal with his drinking.

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Children's Book Based on Dylan Song

A deep track from Slow Train Coming, the album Bob Dylan put out during the period that religious themes inspired most of his writing, has inspired a children's book.  Man Gave Names to All the Animals, the 8th track on Slow Train Coming will be the basis for the picture book for children being illustrated by Jim Arnosky.  The naturalist said the song created images in his mind of 'a land of primeval beauty' the first time he heard it.  Gotta Serve Somebody, the lead song on the 1979 release, became the album's best known song. The book is being put out by Sterling Children's Books.
OfficialWire.com

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Slow Mend for E Street's Big Man

Clarence Clemons underwent surgery to take care of painful issues with his back a few weeks ago. (story)  A post to his Twitter account a few days after the operation made it seem like The Big Man expected he'd be up and about by now.  If he left the hospital, it was only briefly.  A 1/29 post from Clemons reads '4 the last 2 weeks I've been in the hospital trying to fix what's wrong'.  The eternally upbeat Clemons, whose Twitter Bio reads 'Saxophonist, sexual adventurer, poet and author! And the Biggest Man you've ever seen!', ends the message with '...it won't be long - I'll be back!  Hang in there we'll be partyin soon!'
Twitter.com/clarenceclemons

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Clapton Talks Guitars & Cars

Eric Clapton recently had a session with the Communications Director for Ferrari the Italian auto maker posted on its web site.  EC, who owns a few of the exotic cars, said he imagines that Ferrari engineers and designers approach developing a new car with the same passion and  standard of perfection he strives for in writing a song, calling his perfectionism 'a problem in my head'. A race fan since his youth, Clapton makes a point of catching every Grand Prix he can on TV and has become friends with Ferrari driver Felipe Massa.  His favorite car in his garage? A Ferrari 612
WheresEric.com   Ferrari.com

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Legal Ultimatum Facing Aerosmith?

Billboard is reporting that a California lawyer representing Steven Tyler notified Aerosmith's manager last week that if other band members continue to seek to replace his client it could result in Tyler authorizing legal action against them.  The document, which the trade publication's web site says was sent on Jan. 27, has brought no public reaction from other band members yet.  It reportedly was prompted by a comment attributed to Joe Perry saying the band would be 'better off without' Tyler, a statement the lawyer, Skip Miller, apparently feels provides ample basis for considering legal action.  He stressed that he and his client prefer 'Aerosmith, with Steven Tyler, touring in Europe, touring Latin America, releasing a new album', according to Billboard.
Billboard.com

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Frampton Comes Alive With Gov't Mule

Near the end of the first Gov't Mule set Friday (1/29) at the Taft Theatre in Cincinnati, Peter Frampton emerged from the wings to join Warren Haynes and his band on Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home and George Harrison's While My Guitar Gently Weeps.  He was back during the second set on I Don't Need No Doctor.  The English born Frampton has a home in the Buckeye State.
Jambands.com

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