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Noteworthy Now Archives for 2011-07

Who Quadrophenia Tour Planned

Unless someone is spoofing through Pete Townshend's blog and the Who web site, it appears that he and Roger Daltrey are planning to hit the road doing a Quadrophenia tour in 2012. That makes sense because Pete has been working on deluxe editions of the 1973 album (story), but the news comes as something of a surprise because of several recent pronouncements by the pair that Townshend's hearing impairment is so severe and the condition so painful that it was possible, if not likely, he would never tour again.
The statement attributed to Townshend leaves no doubt that the two plan to revive the Who for a 2012 trek and seems to discount any role his health had in his decision not to accompany Daltrey on the singer's current Tommy tour.  'The reason I'm not on the road with Roger is that this is entirely Roger's adventure, one that is bringing him great joy.  I don't belong on this Tommy tour. I wish him well. sincerely, and I look forward to playing with Roger again doing Quadrophenia next year.'
NME.com

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Robert Plant Plays Intimate Gig

About 160 people lucky enough to be at the Bridges Community Centre in Monmouthshire, South Wales for a benefit concert recently got to hear Robert Plant do some covers and some Led Zeppelin tunes during a live set in tribute to Pat Moran, co-producer of some of Plant projects, who passed away in January after suffering from a rare form of dementia. Other notables contributing their talent to the cause included Mott The Hoople veteran Verden Allen, Dave Edmunds and Martin Chambers of the Pretenders.  Admission to the event? Just under $5!  Plant and the others signed items that will hit EBay to raise additional funds to for the Pick's Disease Support Group.
BBC.co.uk

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Santana Liquors-Up

Jimmy Buffett and Sammy Hagar have company in the Rock Tequila ranks.  Carlos Santana who, like the others, has eateries in his branded portfolio, has bellied up to the bar with Casa Noble Tequila.  The Mexican adult beverage company hails from Jalisco, where the guitarist has multiple generations of family.  Carlos suggests his deal with the spirits maker has as much to do with that as his bottom line, saying he '...immediately felt spiritually connected' to the brand and the family that owns it when he visited the distillery.  The guitarist also demonstrated he's as smooth with a commercial pitch as he is on the fret board when he managed to equate his dedication to music with the craftsmanship that goes into the beverage. 'We have come together because I love the tequila... They strive for excellence and don't take shortcuts. Just like the music of Santana, one note or one drop...they are the same thing.'  In addition to becoming a brand owner, Santana will join the Casa Noble board. Shots for everyone!
Starpulse.com

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NJ Voters Ready For The Boss

Any Garden State political position would be a step-down from being The Boss and Bruce Springsteen has shown no sign of wanting to run for one, but the polite letter Bruce submitted to a NJ paper critical of the Governor's position on economic priorities and their effect on the poor brought such a sharp response from Governor Chris Christie that the Public Policy Polling group decided to look into how the two would fare against each other in a hypothetical election.  Christie better hope it doesn't happen.  The two are relatively even in polled voter's minds now, but only 4% of Republicans consider themselves undecided while 23% of Democrats said they were on the fence.  If Springsteen got in the race and proved to be a credible candidate, chances are good that far more Democrats would end-up supporting him than Christie.  The Governor's negatives have soared among Democratic and Independent voters since the exchange with Springsteen. Overall, his job approval rating dropped to 43%, but  the numbers among Independents and Democrats took a sharp turn for the worse.  Only 16% of Democrats approve of his job performance, while Independents flipped from a 55% approval to a 54% disapproval.
PublicPolicyPolling.blogspot

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Elton John & Bernie Taupin Reunite

The creative chemistry that sometimes results when songwriters work together accounts for a lot of great music.  From the Gershwin brothers to Lennon-McCartney, Jagger-Richards and Garcia-Hunter songwriting teams have, overall, produced stronger material than their members working on their own.  Whether news that Elton John and Bernie Taupin plan to start writing together again leads to songs that compare favorably with some of the amazing body of work the pair produced in the 70's remains to be seen - or heard, but it is another sign that Elton is serious about moving away from the kind of disposable pop that caused most of his early fans to write him off in recent decades.
Also noteworthy is the fact they will be doing it in collaboration with T-Bone Burnett, a producer and musician that would have little interest in the album project if he did not believe the music had the potential be special.  Burnett was involved in Union, the well received album John did with Leon Russell.
Speaking with Music Week magazine, Elton said plans are to start recording early in 2012, and his goal is just '...go in the studio and write and see what happens'.
Gibson.com

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Clapton Wynton Marsalis Live Discs Due

April concerts featuring Eric Clapton and jazz great Wynton Marsalis performing with the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra have been slated for release on both CD and DVD on September 13.  The program of selections chosen by Clapton was arranged by Marsalis in collaboration with orchestra members with the goal of coming up with a presentation that sounded like '...people playing music they know and love, not like a project', according to Marsalis.  The group was joined by Taj Mahal on two tracks, Corina, Corina and Just A Closer Walk With Thee.  One Clapton tune was added at the suggestion of the orchestra's bass player, Carlo HenriquezLayla was given what's described as a New Orleans dirge type arrangement.  What's that sound like?  We've got the video.
UltimateClassicRock.com

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Phil Collins Makes Early Exit

Phil Collins attended the Mojo Awards ceremony in London Thursday (7/21) to honor fellow drummer Ringo Starr get the Icon Award, an honor Collins feels was long overdue.  According to the Mirror, the former Genesis drummer had to be assisted to an early exit at about the halfway point of the ceremony, and appeared to be in considerable pain.  Collins, who attributes a debilitating spinal condition that forced him to give-up drumming to the beating his body took while touring with Genesis and Eric Clapton and during his solo tours, went so far as to say, 'I'm on my last legs. I couldn't come back to music even if I wanted to.' and says he now spends much of the day unable to do much more than lay about watching television.
Drumming may take more of a physical toll than playing guitar or keyboards, but plenty of drummers his age toured a lot harder than Phil still and haven't lost a beat, which makes us inclined to think his condition has less to do with the rigors of the road than lack of conditioning or just bad luck.  And while the material he did late in his career was about as appealing to fans of his earlier work as ABBA, there was a long period of time when Phil Collins was one of THE great drummers on the planet.
Mirror.uk.co

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Scorcsese Harrison Doc Due in Fall

Along with news that Gimme Shelter director Albert Mayles has co-directed a Paul McCartney documentary that Showtime will air September 10 (story) comes word that another director with great credentials has put together a definitive look at the life and career of George Harrison. Martin Scorsese (Shine A Light, No Direction Home, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Color of Money) has just about completed work on Living In The Material World, a documentary that takes on the entire life and career span of Harrison.  The film will include comments and observations about the former Beatle and Traveling Wilburys member from musicians that knew him well, including McCartney and Ringo Starr, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, along with contributions from Yoko Ono and Beatles producer George Martin. 
Martin recalled his first listen to Harrison's 1970 solo debut, the triple album All Things Must Pass, the remarkable collection Phil Spector produced that brought together Clapton, Starr, Peter Frampton, Dave Mason, Ginger Baker, Billy Preston and Gary Wright, calling it the aural equivalent of entering a cathedral.
The fall release of the movie will be accompanied by a book compiled by Harrison's widow, Olivia, that will include photographs, letters and other items, many of which have not been seen in other books about the Beatles or her husband.
GuitarSquid.com   GeorgeHarrison.com

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Amy Winehouse Dead at 27

Authorities in London report that singer Amy Winehouse was found dead of unknown causes Saturday (7/23) in a London flat.  News the singer with a well documented history of substance abuse issues has died will register little surprise with anyone who followed her brief and frequently troubled career.  Just over a month ago Winehouse abruptly canceled a number of European tour dates after fans jeered her during what was described as an incoherent performance. 
Keith Richards and several other musicians that had battled drug and alcohol addictions offered Winehouse their support and encouragement over the years, but the talented singer was unwilling or unable to reign in the demons that tormented her. 
Guardian.uk.com

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Close Call For Cheap Trick

A scheduled appearance at the Ottawa Blues Festival nearly cost members of Cheap Trick their lives when a violent storm packing fierce winds ripped into the concert site as the band played, tearing apart the canopy and rigging over their heads.  The band's equipment truck is credited from preventing some of the heaviest falling debris from injuring or killing band members.  A good deal of the band equipment fared far worse, as did the driver of the truck who was transported to an area hospital with a broken pelvis and abdominal wound.  Robin Zander caught a glimpse of what was coming in time to warn other band members to abandon the stage in mid-song.  His alertness and decision might have averted a much bigger disaster.  'We all ran off the stage and it hit so fast I didn't even get half-way down the stairs before it collapsed, and we just crawled out the side'
RockNewsDesk.com

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Showtime Lands McCartney Documentary

The morning the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center took place Paul McCartney was sitting on a plane on the tarmac of a New York airport just a few miles away.  He was in the city doing advance work on a benefit concert that would include appearances by Eric Clapton, David Bowie, Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, The Who, John Mellencamp, James Taylor and Bon Jovi.  As it happens, a film crew was accompanying him capturing footage for a documentary about The Concert For New York City, a benefit for the Robin Hood Relief Fund being planned for 6 weeks later.  The turn of events that morning added extra meaning to both the concert and the film.  McCartney said the event became a way to '...help New York and America at that time in its history', and calls the opportunity to do so an honor.
The Love We Make will air on Showtime on September 10th.  The project was co-directed by Albert Mayles, who brilliantly directed Gimme Shelter, that chronicled the nearly catastrophic Altamont festival the Stones headlined near San Francisco in December of 1969.
Gibson.com

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No Bruce, But Sax Man Gets U2 Tribute

Expectations based on 'reliable sources' that Bruce Springsteen would appear with U2 Wednesday (7/20) proved unreliable, but the Irish band did offer tributes to the late E Street Band sax man Clarence Clemons a number of times during its Meadowlands concert.  Bono held up a large sign with his name before U2 dedicated Moment of Surrender ff to Clemons - and included added some lines from Jungleland to the song.  A bit of The Promised Land was also woven into I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, and Bono read the set list his band played at a club show in Asbury Park around 25 years ago.
NJ.com

MORE U2 INSIGHTS   MORE BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN INSIGHTS

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Early Beatles Pics Bring 360K

50 pictures snapped by an 18 year-old fan during the first U.S. concert appearance by the Beatles sold at auction Wednesday (7/20) for nearly $362,000.  A single photo of the band in silhouette from behind brought a top bid of $68,500.  Many of the photos of the concert, staged at the Washington Coliseum just two days after the group's electrifying first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, were taken from close range.  Mike Mitchell even managed to snap some from on the stage during the group's hasty pre-show press session.  Christie's auction house expected that the photos would command a higher dollar than the pre-sale estimates, which pegged the likely high bid for the DC photos and ones taken at a Baltimore concert in the fall of 1964 at around $100k.
Christies.com

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Seger Looks To Extend Tour

Bob Seger took a very tentative approach to his latest tour, announcing only a few dates at a time as the trek got underway.  Whether that approach was due to uncertainty about how well the tour would sell or how well he would hold -up we're not sure, but interest in seeing the Silver Bullet Band for what could prove to be the last time has driven very strong sales in every market - strong enough that Seger wants to be able to take the concert tour to cities left off the earlier itinerary.  While no dates have been confirmed as of yet, concerts are in store for Pittsburgh, Tampa, Orlando, Dallas, Denver, Vancouver and several other markets across the country.
RollingStone.com

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The Slammer For Gilmour's Son

Video of photos of protests Charlie Gilmour was involved in during violent student demonstrations over tuition hikes last year figured in a judge's decision to sentence the 21 year-old son of the Pink Floyd guitarist and his wife Polly Samson to jail time.  In sentencing Gilmour to 16 months behind bars Friday (7/15), the court concluded that he had not only defiled a British War monument by scaling it and swinging from a Union Jack, but was also involved in an assault on a vehicle that was part of a Royal convoy. 
Charlie, the son of Samson and author Heathcote Williams, was adopted by David Gilmour after he and Samson became a couple.  During the trial the court was told the defendant had taken LSD and valium earlier in the day of the episodes that later led to his arrest.
David Gilmour and Samson both accompanied their son to the sentencing hearing.
Telegraph.co.uk

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Hyde Park Anniversary For Stones

Ron Wood is talking about some plans in the works to celebrate the half century mark for the Rolling Stones next year.  Talking with the Evening Standard, the guitarist said a series of concerts is under consideration, including a massive one in London's Hyde Park.  Wood calls the prospect of doing a major gig in the park the band played in 1969 'fabulous', and says he looks forward to combining forces again with his fellow Stones to '...recapture the old camaraderie.'
Mick Jagger is gearing-up for a September release of a new record made with Joss Stone, Dave Stewart and Damian Marley under the name SuperHeavy (story).
Spinner.com

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U2 Fires Back

The Edge and Bono are on the offensive.  The band has been the target of protesters at recent concerts that contend U2 should return business operations the band shifted to the Netherlands back to Ireland and start paying a full share of taxes.  'I'm all for protests. I've been protesting all my life. I'm glad they got the chance to have their say. But, as it happens, what they're protesting about is all wrong', Bono claimed in an interview with the Daily Mail.  In a letter to the Baltimore Sun, The Edge called allegations that the band relocated some of its business operations to the Netherlands for tax evasion purposes '...totally false and possibly libelous', and went on to say the group members '...have a totally clean record' with regard to taxes in all places they have tax obligations.
Protesters a security squad swarmed over as they attempted to put a banner up protesting U2's tax status during the Glastonbury festival might take issue with Bono's view that they have been allowed to have their say (story).
TorontoSun.com

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Fogerty Hints At A CCR Reunion

John Fogerty has come off as resentful that his former band mates in Creedence Clearwater Revival have managed to do quite well touring under Creedence Clearwater Revisted  a name so close to the original band's name that some may assume the group includes him.  That makes the indications that Fogerty is apparently receptive of the idea of reuniting with Doug Clifford and Stu Cook all the more surprising.  Speaking with the Calgary Herald, Fogerty indicated the prospects for a CCR revival are not as dim as some might assume.  'Never say never is I guess what people tell you.  In this life, all kinds of strange things come to pass..
UltimateClassicRock.com

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VH Comeback Done Deal?

Producer Ross Hogarth claims that Van Halen has already finished recording a new album and calls the result '...the killing side of Van Halen at the top of their game'.  David Lee Roth is out front again, but bass player Michael Anthony remains on the outs with VH, as with Eddie Van Halen's son, Wolfgang, still in the fold. Anthony and fellow Van Halen alum Sammy Hagar are said to be working on the third release  for Chickenfoot, the band they formed with guitarist Joe Satriani and drummer Chad SmithHagar recently proclaimed that his own return to Van Halen was inevitable.
Hogarth told Ultimate Guitar that the VH recording sessions are complete and mixing has begun.
RockNewsDesk.com

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Lennon - Dylan Guitar Up For Bids

A guitar John Lennon bought and later gave to Bob Dylan goes up for auction July 29.  Given the iconic stature of the acoustic-electric instrument's prior owners, the 1967 Gibson J-160E could easily approach and possibly exceed a quarter million dollars before the gavel drops.  Lennon purchased the instrument new in '67 and is believed to have written a number of songs on it that would eventually come out on the White Album and others that followed.  He gave the guitar to Bob Dylan toward the end of 1968.  Dylan used the guitar on tour as well as in the studio during a period that he produced some remarkable albums, including Nashville Skyline (1969), Planet Waves (1974) and Blood on The Tracks.   Dylan gave the guitar to guitar tech Cesar Diaz sometime in the early 80's.  The July 29 sale will mark the first time the fabled six-string has been offered at auction to the public.
ArtDaily.com

MORE JOHN LENNON INSIGHTS   MORE BOB DYLAN INSIGHTS

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Rock Hall Upgrades Beatles

Closer relationships with Olivia Harrison and members of Ringo Starr's inner circle helped the Rock Hall Of Fame add more Beatles artifacts to the music Mecca's collection. The Cleveland museum's existing relationship with Yoko Ono had allowed it to acquire a number of John Lennon items.  New to the Beatles section of the museum are instruments, stage clothing and smaller items, including the a drum head Ringo pounded to be heard over an audience filled with love-struck screaming girls during the group's Ed Sullivan Show appearance.  The museum has also upgraded the quality of the sound, video and interactive elements, according to Jim Henke, VP of Special Exhibits.
Gibson.com   Billboard.com

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Mountain Guitarist Recruits Shredders

Guitarist Leslie West comes storming back on the scene this fall with a new release that finds the Mountain founding member trading licks with ZZ Top veteran Billy Gibbons, Slash, Zakk Wylde, Joe Bonamassa and Steve Lukather of Toto.  Having that many top-notch players at his side during the project clearly got West reved up... 'These guys don't just show up and play on everybody's albums.  They're all stars in their own right, and fantastic players'.  Unusual Suspects, the 12 track disc due Sept. 19, includes straight-up Rockers, some up-tempo blues and a couple of ballads.  The release will be the first from West in five years.
SleazeRocks.com

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Hendrix Biopic On Track?

The only claims about Jimi Hendrix related projects that usually prove reliable enough to bank on are ones that come from the inner circle of the Hendrix estate or Sony.  Captain America actress Hayley Atwell recently said that a long rumored Hendrix biopic is moving toward production with rapper Andre 3000 of the group Outkast in the title role.  His possible casting as the guitar great has been talked about for the better part of a decade.  Whether this report has any more to it than the earlier ones remains to be seen... or not.
UltimateClassicRock.com

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Former Doors Drop In On Morrison

Forty years after Jim Morrison's death, two of his former band mates marked his passing by lighting candles at his grave site in a Paris suburb.  Morrison, who died in the City Of Lights on July 2, 1971, was buried in Pere Lachaise, a sprawling cemetery that is also the resting place of a number of other luminaries.  Fans of the Doors have been visiting the  simple grave site ever since. Sunday (7/3), Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger made the trip themselves while in the city for a tribute performance to their late lead singer.

MORE DOORS INSIGHTS

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No Fall Springfield Tour

The plan to add up to 30 fall dates to a reunion of Buffalo Springfield members that grew out of their appearance together at the Neil Young Bridge School concert (story) have been put on hold.
No explanation was offered by Richie Furay in posting news of the postponement on his Facebook page other than to say '...word has just come to me that it has been moved to the first of next year.  I'm not going to spend a lot of time here with details as you speculate among yourselves - there's nothing to speculate about, the tour has simply been moved.'  Seems strange to decline an explanation and invite speculation, but we'll take him up on it.  While Neil Young's busy schedule and reluctance to accept past overtures from in David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash make him the most likely suspect for the fall tour plan getting scrapped, Furay was the one who told Rolling Stone at Bonnaroo that an unspecified problem that made it difficult for him to play guitar during the half dozen California concerts the group did recently could make doing that many dates impossible for him.
There's a good chance we will never find out the reason the tour has been postponed - and an equally good chance it will go from being postponed to never coming together, unfortunately.
CinemaBlend.com

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E Street Band Tops Gibson Poll

A Gibson.com poll of the top 50 American bands of all time finds the E Street Band at the top of the heap.  Aerosmith took the second slot, with Metallica (5), Van Halen (6) and the Allman Brothers Band (10) also garnering top votes.  The ranking of some bands ahead of others suggests that a lot of of voters considered the degree of influence a band had in developing new directions in Rock was more important than their overall body of work.  Nirvana (3), the Ramones (4), R.E.M. (8), Guns N' Roses (11), The Stooges (15), the Velvet Underground (17) and Wilco (20) made the top 20.  It's quite a stretch to us that some of those bands deserve places ahead of the Grateful Dead (21), Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (24), ZZ Top (30) and some that did not even make the list.

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Mick Jagger Side Project Album Set

SuperHeavy, the group Mick Jagger and former Eurthymics member Dave Stewart put together with Joss Stone and Damian Marley, will release an album in September.  Band members managed to come up with nearly two dozen songs in less than a week.  How many of them make it to the album remains to be seen.  The one title that is a lock at this point is a song titled Miracle Worker.  That has been announced as the first single and should get a release ahead of the album's drop date. 
Expect an eclectic mix of styles and sounds on the album, which was recorded at studios in as far-flung settings as India, Cyprus, France, Miami and Los Angeles.  The group apparently drew its name from former boxing and self-promotion heavy weight champion Mohammad Ali.
Billboard.com

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Skynyrd Set To Record

Their contemporaries may let a decade or more pass between studio albums, but Lynyrd Skynyrd wants to get a follow-up to their 2009 release (God & Guns) out a lot sooner.  Johnny Van Zant told Billboard that the writing is mostly complete for the record and that the Southern Rock institution hopes to have it recorded and released in the first half of 2012.  Saying the tunes written so far continue the long tradition of writing songs about the first-hand experiences Van Zant quipped 'If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.'
Skynyrd has been doing a series of dates with ZZ Top, another group that is combining road and studio time (story).
 Gibson.com   Ultimate-Guitar.com
 
 MORE LYNYRD SKYNYRD INSIGHTS

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