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1/23/1953 Robin Zander is born


Happy birthday to Robin Zander.  The Cheap Trick lead singer nd rhythm guirtarist was born in Beloit, Wisconsin on this day in 1953, but was raised in Loves Park, Illinois.  An impressively accomplished guitar player in his teens, Zander played in bands in high school and formed the duo Zander and Kent with Brian Kent in 1970.  He joined Cheap Trick in 1974 and remains with them to this day. Zander and the other members were inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in  2016.


Other Noteworthy Classic Rock events on January 23 include...


1950 E Street Band’s Danny Federici born.

1969 The Beatles record Get Back with Alan Parsons engineering for the first time with the band..

1971 Bruce Springsteen's early band Steel Mill does its final gig at the Upstage Club in Asbury Park.

1973 Neil Young announces the end of the Vietnam War to fans at his Madison Square Garden concert.

1976 Kinks release Schoolboys In Disgrace.

1976 David Bowie releases Station To Station.

1978 Terry Kath of Chicago accidentally shoots himself to death.

1970 Beach Boy Brian Wilson divorces wife Marilyn.

1981 Elvis Costello releases Trust.

1982 Allman Brothers Band appears on Saturday Night Live.

1990 David Bowie announces his Sound and Vision tour will be the last he does.

1990 Allen Collins of Lynyrd Skynyrd dies of pneumonia.

1998 George Harrison sings at the funeral of Carl Perkins.

2007 John Mellencamp releases Freedom’s Road.

2010 J. Geils Band plays benefit for Big Brothers & Big Sisters at Boston Convention Center.

2020 Court ruling against Joey Kramer upholds Aerosmith's right to replace him with another drummer at the band's Grammy's performance. The group contends Kramer wasn't physically or emotionally capable of performing.

R.I.P. Meat Loaf

R.I.P. Meat Loaf. The artist whose Bat Out Of Hell album ranks as one of the best selling albums in history passed away of an undisclosed cause last night with his family at his bedside. Born Marvin Lee A day, his large stature and larger than life personality made him an entertainment juggernaut on albums, on stage and on screen in the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  His family honored him and thanked fans by writing, "We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man." Meat Loaf was 74.

Photo Christopher Simon cc 2.0


New Orleans festival roars back

After a two year COVID hiatus, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is back this spring. Planners announced the event's massive lineup today.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse rockdoc streaming

The Neil Young & Crazy Horse rockdoc A Band A Brotherhood A Barn will stream on YouTube tomorrow (1/20) starting at 1pm eastern. Directed by Daryl Hannah, the film aspires to give fans an intimate look at the group as it works through 10 tracks on the album Young and the band put out in December, 2021. Recorded high in the Rockies at an off-the grid barn, the album is one Young says features " songs and feelings after what our world has been through and continues to face/ This music we are making for our souls. It's like fresh water on a desert. Life is going on."

Grab a look and listen here.




Rolling Stones honored by Royal Mail

The newest evidence that England Royal Mail is much hipper than the USPS appears this week with the release of a vast series of stamps honoring the Rolling Stones. Available in multiple configurations that include booklets, presentation packs, gold pressed display sets, silver stamped ingots, the stamps will depict album covers, Hyde Park concert posters, photos and paintings of the band and individual members on stage. Framed enlargements will also be available. The Beatles, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd and Queen have also gotten the Royal treatment with earlier special edition runs.


Mick Fleetwood is branching out


Mick Fleetwood is branching out. The Fleetwood Mac drummer inked a deal with FOX to produce a TV series titled 13 songs. In addition to serving as the show's Executive Producer, Fleetwood will provide music heard in episodes. According to Deadline, The lead character is a fictional veteran musician named Jasper Jones who, on learning that he has a terminal illness, sets out to get his former band back together to record 13 songs in the months he has remaining. Casting has yet to be announced, but scripting is being shared by Will Reiser (50/50 and Jonathan Prince (American Soul) and Jonathan Levine (Nine Perfect Strangers) will direct 13 Songs.

Amplifier craftsman Howard Alexander Dumble has died


Even casual music fans recognize that Fender, Marshall, Peavey and handful of other brands are the dominant guitar amps used by rockers. But hardcore fans and great guitarists also know about the custom made amplifiers produced by Howard Alexander Dumble. He made them by special order for the likes of Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Robben Ford, Eric Johnson, Kirk Hammett, David Lindley, Steve Lukather, John Mayer, Steve Vai, Joe Bonamassa and many, many more. Dumble's death was confirmed today via an Instagram post that read "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Howard. His work brought joy and inspiration to countless musicians and engineers. May he rest in peace."

Bono shreds himself and his band during podcast

Bono lit into his own band and himself during a recent episode on the Awards Chatter podcast hosted by The Hollywood Reporter. The U2 front man said he's never liked the band's name, considers most of the group's songs so "cringeworthy" he won't listen to them and said he only learned how to sing "recently" and doesn't like the sound of his voice on the band's songs.


Whacky Album Titles

Joe Walsh leads the world in off-beat album titles with ones like The Smoker You Get, the Player You Get, You Bought It, You Name It, Got Any Gum?, So What, There Goes the Neighborhood, and You Can't Argue With A Sick Mind. REO Speedwagon offered up this one in 1978.


Cancun Festival cancelled after losing headliner

The Dead & Company planned to headline the massive Playing In The Sand beach front festival in Cancun, Mexico this weekend even though drummer Bill Kreutzmann had to drop out due to a heart condition got scuttled with the news that guitarist John Mayer tested positive for COVID-19.  That development led to the group deciding it couldn't perform at the opening weekend (1/7-10). Shortly after that, it was announced that the entire event was being called off "...due to additional COVID-19 cases amongst multiple artists and staff".  While refunds for the festival itself will be arranged, many of the thousands already there or en-route will probably be out the costs for hotel rooms and flights unless they secured 'for any reason' cancellation insurance.

Edgar Winter's tribute album to Brother Johnny


Edgar Winter has enlisted several great players for an album paying tribute to his brother, the late guitar wizard Johnny Winter. Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Billy Gibbons, Joe Walsh, Steve Lukather, Ringo Starr, Taylor Hawkins, Michael McDonald and John McFee are featured on the 17 song album titled Brother Johnny that gets released April 15th.

Clapton slaps widow with a lawsuit for selling a bootleg

Eric Clapton's decision to sue a woman for selling a CD of his music that she didn't realize was a bootleg has us baffled.  According to accounts, the widowed 55 year old woman from Cologne, Germany found the disc among her late husband's belongings and didn't realize it wasn't a legitimate release.  She listed it on EBay for $11.  It didn't even sell, but it did come to the attention of Clapton or someone associated with him and Clapton filed suit.  A court sided with the guitarist.  While the woman wasn't fined, she did incur $3,500 in legal fees for filing an appeal on the matter that was rejected by a judge.  
Clapton has every right to be vigilant in targeting sellers of bootleged recordings and is said to have filed hundreds of suits against bootleggers, but unless there's more to the case than has been reported, suing this poor woman is sad.  

Rod Stewart and his son plead guity to battery charges


Rod Stewart and his son have entered guilty pleas to charges related to a New Year's Eve 2019 confrontation the pair had with a security guard that blocked them from attempting to enter a private party at a Florida hotel. According to the guard, Rod's son shoved him and then his father landed a punch to the guard's ribs during the altercation at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach. Rod and his son Sean plead guilty to simple battery misdemeanor counts in the incident. The court's acceptance of the pleas mean the two will not face a trial. The Stewart's lawyer in the matter said the decision was made to "...avoid the inconvenience and unnecessary burden on the court and the public that a high profile proceeding would cause."

Springsteen joins Steve Earle's benefit concert


Steve Earle's annual John Henry's Friends benefit Monday night at Town Hall in New York City included guest performances with Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nile and Rosanne Cash. Bruce was backed by Earle's band on renditions of Darkness on the Edge of Town and The Promised Land. Nile joined them on Glory Days and Earle emerged for Pink Cadillac. Earle and The Dukes delivered a full set and the night closed with all of the performers doing Graham Nash's Teach Your Children at the concert to raise funds to support the Austism education programs at the Keswell School.

McCartney bass shatters auction record


Paul McCartney's Yamaha BB-1200 guitar shattered the auction record for a bass guitar, bringing a top bid of $496,000 in the Music Rising benefit auction conducted by Van Eaton Galleries over the weekend. The Edge's I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For custom Fender Strat matched that amount and guitars donated by Bruce Springsteen and Lenny Kravitz tallied bids of $76,100 each. Proceeds from the auction will provide assistance to New Orleans area musicians that were sidelined due to the pandemic.

University of Florida to honor Tom Petty

Before his music career kicked into gear, Tom Petty spent some time working as a groundskeeper on the University of Florida campus in his hometown of Gainesville. The institution's board of trustees this week voted unanimously to honor Petty with a PhD in music. Timing of when the posthumous doctoral degree will be conferred and who will be accepting it on behalf of the late Rock great who died four years ago of an accidental overdose just a week after his final concert hasn't been announced yet.



Carlos Santana undergoing heart procedure

Passing along our rapid recovery wishes to guitar great Carlos Santana who will undergo a heart operation to address a problem he became aware of last weekend. His wife drove him to the hospital, where test results confirmed there was an issue that should be addressed with surgery. The procedure and recovery period that follows require that his upcoming House of Blues residency dates in Las Vegas will have to be postponed, news that he delivered to fans via this video.


Jethro Tull book out March 25th


Fronted by the towering presence of a flute player that spent nearly as much time performing on one leg as two made the appearance of Jethro Tull was as unique as the band's sound. Audiences catching the group live in the early years were both mesmerized and blown away. At a time when encores were relatively rare, Tull was earning multiple ones as an opening or middle act and regularly outshining concert headliners. A new book that covers the group from its inception and during those remarkable years is due out March 25th via Wymer Publishing.


Written and compiled by author Laura Shenton, Jethro Tull Chronicles 1968-1979 should be a good read for fans that got to see the band as well as those that whish they'd been able to during that era. The 256 page book will include a trove of photos, including many never before published. Shenton has previously written well received books on Deep Purple, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Supertramp, Tommy Bolin and others.



U2 guitarist plays lead in charity auction


A charity U2's The Edge and producer Bob Ezrin started in 2005 to raise money to replace instruments Louisiana musicians lost to Hurricane Katrina has shifted to assist musicians hurting due to the pandemic. Music Rising will auction off instruments from The Edge, Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Rush, Ron Wood, Pearl Jam, Joan Jett, and many others on December 11 at Van Eaton Gallaries in LA.

Clapton's Martin D-45 sells for $625,000


Slowhand had the high hand when it came to items featured in Julian's Icons & Idols auction over the weekend. The Martin D-45 Eric Clapton played during the first Derek and the Dominos concert and used on stage during the Delaney & Bonnie and Friends tour had been expected to top-out at close to $500,000, but blew past that, going for $625,000. His handwritten lyrics for Layla brought an additional $37,500. A stage played Fender Stratocaster David Gilmour used during Pink Floyd's Momentary Lapse of Reason era tour brought top bid of $200,000.

Slash releasing 2022 album

Slash has announced a 2022 release of another album featuring the former Guns N' Roses axe ace with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators (Frank Sidoris (guitar), Todd Kerns (bass) and Brent Fitz (drums). Slash says the album is the most live recording of any studio album he's done. The album titled 4 will drop on February 11, which has us wondering, with that for a title, why not release it one week earlier?


George Harrison's childhood home up for auction

The modest row house that was George Harrison's child to early adulthood home will be sold at auction. Adding to the interest and potential value of the house at 25 Upton Green in Speke, a village about eight miles from Liverpool, is that the Quarrymen, forerunners to the Beatles, rehearsed in the house. Several photos and other artifacts tied to the years George lived there will also go to the high bidder. Expectations are that the home's new owner will be spending upwards of $250k to acquire the property.

ZZ Top enters Bourbon business

Billy Gibbons has his own Whisker Pepper hot sauce and is an investor in the Pura Vida Tequila brand. Now, his band has a Bourbon. ZZ Top Tres Hombres Bourbon. Named with the title of Texas trio's first top 10 album released in 1973, Tres Hombres features three grains grains: roasted blue corn, barley and rye.


Fire breaks out in Bob Seger's home

Fire fighters responded to a chimney fire call at Bob Seger's Orchard Lake, Michigan home early on Halloween morning. Seger and his wife were apparently alerted thanks to a smoke detector going off at about 6 a.m. There were no injuries, but a potion of the 18,000 square foot home sustained smoke and water damage after some walls had to be breached to contain and quell the fire.


Clapton Guitar, Zeppelin lyrics up for bids


The 1968 Martin D-45 acoustic guitar Eric Clapton played during the first Derek and the Dominos concert at the Lyceum Theatre in London and during his time touring with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends is expected to attract a top bid approaching $500,000 at a Julien's Auction taking place November 19 and 20 in Los Angeles. Eric gave the instrument to Dave Edmunds in 1976. Another item bound to go for mega bucks is the handwritten lyrics to the Led Zeppelin song Kashmir jotted down on a a couple of sheets of a Chicago hotel's stationary by Robert Plant.


Syd Barrett acoustic guitar heads to auction

Photo: Cheffins


Syd Barrett's nephew is auctioning off an acoustic guitar the Pink Floyd member entrusted to a brother at about the time Barrett quit the band. Proceeds from the sale of the rare collectible which is expected to bring a top bid approaching $20,000 during the auction held by Cheffins on Thursday (10/28) will be shared with a mental health charity and a hospice organization. Barrett included a passing reference to the Yamaha guitar during an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine in 1971, saying, "It's my new 12 string guitar. I'm just getting used to it. I polished it yesterday." A copy of the issue with the interview will go along with the instrument to its new owner.


Tom Petty Wildflowers doc premiers November 11 on YouTube


We're looking forward to the November 11 premiere of Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free: The Making of Wildflowers on the YouTube Tom Petty channel.  The film covering the two year period Tom was writing and recording his 1994 solo album features studio, on stage and tour bus footage and and commentary from Tom, Mike Campbell and producer Rick Rubin about the creative process that went into the making of the album.

Posthumous Robby Steinhardt album released


Kansas veteran Robby Steinhardt's posthumous solo album is out this week. The late lead singer and violinist teamed with an outstanding group of musicians on the album Not In Kansas Anymore, including Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, Deep Purple's Steve Morse, Billy Cobham of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Toto's Bobby Kimball, Rolling Stones and Allman Brothers Band regular Chuck Leavell on keys, Billy Joel drummer Liberty Devitto and guitarist Pat Travers.

Steinhardt passed away on July 21st after developing sepsis while hospitalized for another condition.


Positive Covid test halts Genesis reunion tour

The Genesis reunion tour's final four UK concerts are on hold after the band announced today "...positive Covid-19 tests within the band". The statement doesn't identify who tested positive or whether a single member got more than one positive test or more than one member tested positive. The group called the decision one that caused "...huge regret", and added, "This is a hugely frustrating development for the band who are devastated with this unlucky turn of events." They hope to reschedule the four nights at the Glasgow SSE Hydro that were to take place October 10-13 once they get all band members and crew clear of Covid.