ROCKinsights Members

Forgot Password

Not a Member? Sign up here!

 

For breaking stories and what went down in Classic Rock history each day, Like us on facebook!

4/13/1945 Lowell George born

 

Little Feat's Lowell George came into this world on this day in 1945. His father supplied fur coats, boas and other fur apparel to Hollywood studios and the movie stars of the day. Lowell started on harmonica and guitar but shifted to flute to get into his high school orchestra and marching band. He also picked up saxophone while a student and was classmates with future Little Feat guitarist Paul Barrere.

 

George's first Rock band was Factory, started in 1965. The following year, drummer Richie Hayward joined the group. When Factory shut down, George was hired by Frank Zappa to be the rhythm guitarist in the Mothers of Invention in 1968, a gig he had for five albums.

After a falling out with Zappa, George and bassist Ray Estrada left the Mothers and formed Little Feat with Hayward and keyboard player Billy Payne.

 

George lived hard and battled drugs and drink throughout his career and died of a heart attack on June 29, 1979, the morning after doing a Washington DC concert on a solo tour.

 

Other Noteworthy Classic Rock events on April 13 include...

 

1940 Chambers Brothers lead singer Lester Chambers is born.

1944 Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna bassist Jack Casady is born.

1951 E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg born. 

1964 The Beatles announce their debut film title will be A Hard Day's Night.

1965 The Beatles record Help!

1965 The Beatles win Best New Artist Grammy and Best Pop Vocal for A Hard Day's Night.

1966 The Beatles record Paperback Writer.

1966 Black Crowes and Magpie Salute guitarist is born in Long Beach, California.

1967 Rolling Stones fans in Warsaw, Poland riot and are tear gassed by police.

1973 David Bowie releases Aladdin Sane.

1973 Roger Daltrey releases his self-titled solo album, Daltrey.

1979 David Lee Roth collapses from exhaustion during Van Halen's Spokane, Washington concert.

1982 David Crosby gets arrested in his dressing room in Dallas on cocaine and weapons charges. It was his second arrest in two weeks.

1987 Fleetwood Mac releases Tango in the Night.

1993 Warren Zevon releases Learning to Flinch.

1993 Massachusetts proclaims April 13 Aerosmith Day.

1993 Bruce Springsteen's Unplugged album released.

1994 Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley separate.

1999 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers release Echo.

2000 Metallica files suit against Napster.

2009 Producer Phil Spector is found guilty of murder of a house guest.

2011 Five of Tom Petty's guitars stolen from a rehearsal space.

2006 Bruce Springsteen's mother accepts his induction into the Freehold, NJ High School Hall of Fame honor.


Jimmy Buffett Tribute at Hollywood Bowl

The Jimmy Buffett tribute concert Thursday night (4/11) concluded with a stage packed with fellow musicians playing tribute to Jimmy by singing the inevitable finale. The "Keep The Party Going" gathering featured renditions of his songs done by members of his Coral Reefers Band, the Eagles, Jackson Browne, Paul McCartney, Mac MCanally, Jack Johnson, Sheryl Crow, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church and Brandi Carlile.


Cockney Rebel's Steve Harley dies

Photo: cc Mark Kent

 

R.I.P. Steve Harley. The journalist turned musician passed away over the weekend about a month after revealing that he had begun undergoing treatment for cancer. An acoustic troubadour during the early 1070's, Harley played London clubs and bars and did a stint as the rhythm guitarist in a folk band named Odin. Harley and fellow Odin member Jean-Paul Crocker would later combine with three others in Cockney Rebel. EMI eventually signed the band. An early recording became moderately big in parts of Europe but failed to gain much traction in England.

The Psychomodo, a 1974 release produced with assistance from Alan Parsons fared much better. Harley would return the favor by singing lead on The Voice, one of Parsons' best-known songs from his 1977 I Robot album. In the late 70's, Harley released solo albums that were moderately successful. He penned some songs Rod Stewart recorded on his Foolish Behavior album and also worked with Rick Wakeman.

Harley was also involved in the London production of The Phantom of the Opera. Andrew Lloyd Weber was so impressed with Harley singing the title song that Harley got invited to audition for the title role. He had a five month run playing the Phantom.

He remained musically active on multiple fronts in recent decades.

 


Black Crowes let Happiness Bastards fly

The reunited Balck Crowes are out with their first their first album of new songs since getting back together four years ago.  The 10 track album released today (3/15) is the group's ninth overall lp.

 


Black Crowes let Happiness Bastards fly

The reunited Balck Crowes are out with their first their first album of new songs since getting back together four years ago.  The 10 track album released today (3/15) is the group's ninth overall lp.

 


Mark Knopfler releases epic benefit song

Mark Knopfler releases a new version of Going Home  (Theme from Local Hero)  today (3/15) to benefit the Teenage Cancer Trust that includes dozens of gueast artists, among them, Jeff Beck , Joe Bonamassa, Joe Brown,  Jonathan Cain, Paul Carrack, Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Jim Steve Cropper, Sheryl Crow, Roger Daltrey, Duane Eddy, Peter Frampton, David Gilmour, Buddy Guy, Tony Iommi, Joan Jett,  Sonny Landreth, Albert Lee, Alex Lifeson, Steve Lukather, Phil Manzanera, Dave Mason, Brian May, Robbie McIntosh, John McLaughlin, Tom Morello, Rick Nielsen, Mike Rutherford, Joe Satriani, John Sebastian,  Slash, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Zak Starkey, Sting, Andy Taylor, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Ian Thomas, Pete Townshend, Keith Steve Vai, Waddy Wachtel, Joe Walsh, and Ronnie Wood.

 

 

 

 

 


Mark Knopfler releases epic benefit song

Today saw the release of a remarkable benefit song with a lineup of musicians that's quite mindboggleing.  The new 9 minute version of Going Home, Mark Knopfler's theme song written for the film Local Hero, will benefit the Teenage Cancer Trust Fund and feaatures a number of musicians that have long histories of supporting charitable causes.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kNKvoVMcslk?si=CU1iG2Nd95EVdWGt&amp;start=120" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Lending their talent to the cause are:

Joan Armatrading, Jeff Beck, Richard Bennett, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Brown, James Burton, Jonathan Cain, Paul Carrack, Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Jim Cox, Steve Cropper, Sheryl Crow, Danny Cummings, Roger Daltrey, Duane Eddy, Sam Fender, Guy Fletcher, Peter Frampton, Audley Freed, Vince Gill, David Gilmour, Buddy Guy, Keiji Haino, Tony Iommi, Joan Jett, John Jorgenson, Mark Knopfler, Sonny Landreth, Albert Lee, Greg Leisz, Alex Lifeson, Steve Lukather, Phil Manzanera, Dave Mason, Hank Marvin, Brian May, Robbie McIntosh, John McLaughlin, Tom Morello, Rick Nielsen, Orianthi, Brad Paisley, Nile Rodgers, Mike Rutherford, Joe Satriani, John Sebastian, Connor Selby, Slash, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr and Zak Starkey, Sting, Andy Taylor, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Ian Thomas, Pete Townshend, Keith Urban, Steve Vai, Waddy Wachtel, Joe Louis Walker, Joe Walsh, Ronnie Wood, Glenn Worf and Zucchero.

 

 

 


Slash lands big name guests on new album

Brian Johnson and Steven Tyler accepeted invites from Slash to join him on Orgy of the Damned, the GNR veteran's next solo album.  AC/DC's Aerosmith's front men work together on a killer version of Killing Floor that features Johnson on lead vocals and Tyler on harmonica.  The release date for the project is May 17.


Little Feat pegs 2024 album release

Little Feat gives fans a reason to shuffle on down to wherever they get their music with the group's first new studio album in a dozen years. Sam's Club, a collection of blues songs featuring long-term member Sam Clayton on lead vocals, gets released on May 17. In addition to Clayton, the current lineup of the band has previous Feat mainstays Fred Tackett and Kenny Gradney, along with recent recruits drummer Tony Leone and Scott Sharrard on guitar and vocals. Longtime friend & fan of the band Bonnie Raitt joins voices Clayton on Muddy Waters song Long Distance Call. The album also includes a version of Got My Mojo Working captured live at a Feat concert in Boulder, CO in December, 2022.


Little Feat pegs 2024 album release

Little Feat gives fans a reason to shuffle on down to wherever they get their music with the group's first new studio album in a dozen years. Sam's Club, a collection of blues songs featuring long-term member Sam Clayton on lead vocals, gets released on May 17. In addition to Clayton, the current lineup of the band has previous Feat mainstays Fred Tackett and Kenny Gradney, along with recent recruits drummer Tony Leone and Scott Sharrard on guitar and vocals. Longtime friend & fan of the band Bonnie Raitt joins voices Clayton on Muddy Waters song Long Distance Call. The album also includes a version of Got My Mojo Working captured live at a Feat concert in Boulder, CO in December, 2022.


Max Weinberg suing Florida car restoration company

 

E Street Band drummer 'Mighty Max" Weinberg is mighty PO'ed with a car restoration outfit in Florida he contends failed to do work he expected would return his 1957 190SL Mercedes Benz to mint E Street condition. The drummer advance payment of $125,000 to the operator of a classic car restoration firm was, according to Weinberg, used by the proprietor and his family's personal expenses instead of on his car. According to court records, Weinberg wants to be compensated to the tune of $375,000 for the alleged misappropriation of his money and the years of being unable to enter the car in classic car shows.

 

 

 


Tragic story of drummer Jim Gordon's life told in new book

Drums & Demons, The Tragic Journey of Jim Gordon tells how one of rock's greatest drummers became one of the most tragic figures in music history.  Gordon, early-on a member of the fabled Wrecking Crew of studio greats went on to compile one of the most impressive resumes in rock, playing with Eric Clapton, George Harrison, John Lennon,  Ringo Starr, Steely Dan, Joe Cocker, Tom Petty, Dave Mason, Harry Nilsson, Frank Zappa and many, many more before descending into a schizoprenic madness that became so debilitating that it derailed his career and drove him to commit the unthinkable crime of murdering his own mother.  His conviction for the 1983 murder landed Gordon in prision on a 16 years to life sentence.  He was denied parole several times during his incarceration and died in a California's Vacaville Prison at 77 in March of 2023.

 


Foghat Texas concert from 1999 gets April release

A Texas concert by Foghat recorded the year before Dave Peverett died will soon be available on CD and DVD.  The 10 track 1999 concert release titled Foghat Slow Ride - Live In Concert the band did gets released on April 5th.

 

 


Billy Joel releasing new song February 1

Columbia Records has announced the release of Billy Joel’s first new single in decades, “Turn The Lights Back On,” arrivies on Thursday February 1, 2024 on limited-edition 7” vinyl through Billy Joel.com. A lyric video will land on the Piano Man's official YouTube channel and the song will also be on streaming services.


Melanie Safka pases away at 76

 

Melanie Safka, the folk-rock and pop singer best known for her song Lay Down (Candles in the Rain) that was inspired by her time and her performance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, died Tuesday (1/23) at the age of 76.

Her children shared the news of her passing in a Facebook post yesterday that read in part, "This is the hardest post for us to write, and there are so many things we want to say, first, and there’s no easy way except to say it… Mom passed, peacefully, out of this world and into the next on January, 23rd, 2024.

We are heartbroken, but want to thank each and every one of you for the affection you have for our Mother, and to tell you that she loved all of you so much! She was one of the most talented, strong and passionate women of the era and every word she wrote, every note she sang reflected that.

Our world is much dimmer, the colors of a dreary, rainy Tennessee pale with her absence today, but we know that she is still here, smiling down on all of us, on all of you, from the stars.

We ask tonight, Wednesday January 24th, at 10pm central time, each of you lights a candle in honor of Melanie. Raise, raise them high, high up again. Illuminate the darkness, and let us all be connected in remembrance of the extraordinary woman who was wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend to so very many people."


Allman Brothers April '1972 Syracuse concert released

 

Pulled from the original source recording and remastered, The Allman Brothers Band Manley Field House, Syracuse University concert from April 7, 1972is available for the first time today via the Allman Brothers Band Recording Company. Widely circulated as a fan-favorite radio broadcast bootleg for years, today's release is the first to include the complete show with the highest audio quality preserved from the direct source.


The band’s performance at SU's indoor track and field facility was recorded and simulcast on Syracuse University’s WAER college radio on the night of the show, and subsequently
rebroadcast by the station and some of its’ former staff members as they moved around in radio. The recording was made with the ABB’s cooperation and authorization using an auxiliary mixing board on the side of the stage with a feed from the ABB sound desk.


The 11-track collection features set staples from this period including show opener “Statesboro Blues,” “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” “Midnight Rider,” and “Whipping Post,” as well as “Ain’t Wastin’
Time No More” off their then newly released album Eat a Peach. “Syracuse Jam,” included here for
the first time, is an example of the one-time melody jamming the band was famous for and is unique in that it does not appear in any other known ABB recording.


Jeff Chard, SU concert coordinator in 1971-72, reflects fondly on that night and offers his sentiments in the album package’s liner notes. “This was the Five Man Band, as Brother Duane had passed just over five months prior,” Chard recalls. “The quintet had pushed on, playing some 41 shows in 22 weeks. This night saw Gregg singing and playing his heart out, while Dickey Betts is doing phenomenal double duty on guitar, switching seamlessly between the necessary slide parts and his own soaring leads. But the real revelation of the night is that Berry is the glue, and the second lead player as well. His thunderous bass holds the quintet together – you’ll hear it, and we could see it that night. Then there is the way Butch Trucks and Jaimoe lock in on the drums, the way the whole unit responds, five playing as one.

 

“It was a memorable but brief time for the band. Six months later, keyboardist Chuck Leavell was added to the group, making the ABB six players strong again, only to lose Berry in another motorcycle accidenton November 11, 1972. Shortly thereafter, Lamar Williams took over bass duties, and the Allman Brothers Band started a new musical chapter. But for that one year, with the five original men still standing – andespecially on that magical April night in Syracuse – we surely felt the spirit. Best damn band we’re ever gonna hear indeed! We were all believers, and this CD is a testament to those words.”


In a live review of the show in the Syracuse University’s student newspaper the Daily Orange, writer
Bruce Apar noted: “The Allman Band itself was thoroughly remarkable, leaving proof in still another city that they have developed into a supreme group, by which lesser talents can be judged.” (April 11, 1972)

 

Manley Field House, Syracuse University April 7, 1972 track list:
Disc One:
1. Introduction
2. Statesboro Blues
3. Done Somebody Wrong
4. Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More
5. One Way Out
6. Stormy Monday
7. You Don't Love Me
Disc Two:
1. In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed
2. Midnight Rider
3. Whipping Post
4. Syracuse Jam
5. Hot ‘Lanta


Dusty Hill bass guitar sells for $393,700

 

An instrument expected to outpace the bidding on everything else in the Julien's auction of Dusty Hill's' belongings sold for far more than expected this week. The 1953 Fender Precision bass the ZZ Top member acquired at a Dallas pawn shop for just $70 early in his career drew a winning bid of $393,700, making it the 2nd highest price ever paid for a bass. Paul McCartney's Yamaha BB 1200 went for close to $472,000. Former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wynan's Fender Mustang got bought for $384,000.


Moody Blues & Wings co-founding member Denny Laine dies at 79

The Moody Blues & Wings veteran passed away Tuesday (12/5) . His wife broke the news to his fans by writing, "I was at his bedside, holding his hand as I played his favorite Christmas songs for him. He’s been singing Christmas songs the past few weeks and I continued to play Christmas songs while he’s been in ICU on a ventilator this past week".

The 79 year old Laine had been stricken with a form of lung disease. His death falls on the anniversary of the 1973 release of Band on the Run.

Photo: CC 2.0 Rob DiCaterino


April Wine front man & guitarist passes

R.I.P. Myles Goodwyn. The lead singer and guitarist of Canadian rockers April Wine passed away Sunday 12/3 at 75. Health issues caused him to step away from performing early this year. What would prove to be his final concert took place in March of 2023.

 

 


Ringo Starr publishing Beats & Threads

In a special arrangement with Julien's Auctions, Ringo Starr is releasing a limited edition book that will raise money to support the Lotus Foundation, a charitable organization that provides support services to people confronting homelessness and substance abuse. Beats & Threads includes 300 details Rich photos, many previously unpublished, of drum kits and clothing the Beatles drummer has played and worn during his remarkable career. The book is available in several configurations, including autographed editions.

 


Stones to roll live in 2024

The Rolling Stones have announced the following dates for an April - July Hackney Diamonds tour...

4/28 NRG Stadium Houston, TX

5/2 Jazz Fest New Orleans, LA

5/7 State Farm Stadium Glendale, AZ

5/11 Allegiant Stadium Las Vegas, NV

5/14 Lumen Field Seattle, WA

5/25 MetLife Stadium East Rutherford, NJ

5/30 Gillette Stadium Foxboro, MA

6/3 Camping World Stadium Orlando, FL

6/7 Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta, GA

6/11 Lincoln Financial Field Philadelphia, PA

6/15'Cleveland Browns Stadium Cleveland, OH

6/20 Empower Field at Mile High Denver, CO

6/27 Soldier Field Chicago, IL

7/5 BC Place Vancouver, BC

7/10 SoFi Stadium Los Angeles, CA

7/17 Levi’s Stadium Santa Clara, CA

 

The breathing room between dates could allow for additional shows in places where demand is deemed high enough.

 


Clapton guitar fetches huge bid

The Gibson SG guitar Eric Clapton played during the recording of Cream's second album and the trio's thunderous first US concert sold this weekend at a Julien's Auction for $1.27 million.

Photo: Julien's Auctions

 

The custom painted axe that later belonged to George Harrison, Jackie Lomax and Todd Rundgren is the latest acquired by Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts who has amassed an unrivaled private collection of iconic classic rock instruments. Guitars in the collection are frequently on display and occasionally loaned to musicians to play in concert.


Rolling Stones announce new album

Hackney Diamonds, the first rolling Stones album of new material in the 18 years, is slated for an October 20 release. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood joined Jimmy Fallon at the Hackney Theatre in London to make the official announcement on Wednesday (9/6).


Gary Wright passes away at 80

R..I.P. Gary Wright. His entertainment career started as stage and TV child actor. Wright was in a couple of bands in high school before deciding to pursue a medical degree, which led to studies in Europe, where he met Island Records head honcho Chris Blackwell, who arranged for him to join a UK band that soon became the on-again-off-again band Spooky Tooth. Wright played on George Harrison's All Things Must Pass during the first Spooky Tooth hiatus and later worked on other Harrison solo projects. Wright's one big solo album came out in the summer of 1975. The title song became a staple of Album Rock radio and Love Is Alive was a moderately big song, too. Wright passed away at 80 after battling Parkinson's and dementia.


Dire Straits guitarist Jack Sonni passes away

Photo Helge Øverås CC-4.0

 

Dire Straits guitarist Jack Sonni died on August 30 at 68.  Sonni got acquainted with Dire Straits member brothers Mark and David Knopfler in 1978 while working at a music store in Manhattan.  During a London visit five years later, he met-up with Mark Knopfler and was invited to join the band as a second guitarist.  His time with the group was limited to a few years.  He put his musical career on hold when he became the father of twin girls in 1988, but stayed connected with the music indiustry as a marketing exec for a company that made digital equipment for musicians and was later  named the VP for marketing communication by Guitar Center.  Sonni eventually resumed playing music in a band called The Leisure Class and played with other former Dire Straits members as the Dire Straits Legacy Project.

 

 

 

 


Mick Fleetwood's Maui restaurant-bar destroyed in fire

Among the multitude of homes and businesses destroyed by the raging fire that engulfed a coastal section of Maui this week was a restaurant owned by Mick Fleetwood. The drummer issued this statement about the catastrophic fire's toll on the community he loves.

"This is a devastating moment for Maui, and many are suffering unimaginable loss. Fleetwood's on Front Street has been lost and while we are heartbroken, our main priority is the safety of our dear staff and team members."

"On behalf of myself and my family, I share my heartfelt thoughts and prayers for the people of Maui. We are committed to supporting the community and those affected by this disaster in the days and months and years to come."

 


Eagles founding bassist dies

R.I.P. Randy Meisner. The founding bassist of the Eagles, who also was briefly with Poco and had played in Linda Ronstadt's Stone Canyon Band, passed away at 77 in a southern California hospital Wednesday night (7/26). In addition to being a fine bass player, Meisner also gave voice to songs that were beyond the range of other group members, most notably Take It To The Limit.


Original Journey guitarist dies

R.I.P. Journey co-founding guitarist and songwriter George Ticker who passed away recently at 76. Ticker was with the group on its first three albums. He parted on good terms to complete his education, earning a PHD in medicine at Stanford. Tickner remained an avid musician, playing regularly and shared a founding role in developing the Bay Area recording studio dubbed the Hive.


Bill Wyman reunites with Rolling Stones for Charlie Watts tribute recording

 

The Rolling Stones reportedly invited bassist Bill Wyman to record with his former group in LA during sessions for an expected fall, 2023 release honoring Charlie Watts. Wyman left the band in 1993 and last played with the group during a brief stint of its 50th anniversary tour in 2012. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are also expected to be included on the album, as will some drum tacks laid down by Watts himself.


R.I.P. Gordon Lightfoot

R.I.P. Gordon Lightfoot, a cornerstone of Canadian folk-rock passed away at 84 in a hospital yesterday. No cause of death was provided.


Aerosmith farewell tour announced

 

The band's website countdown clock continued ticking toward the 'official' announcement this morning at 10am eastern, but the word is already out; Aerosmith will open its "Peace Out" 50th anniversary/farewell tour September 2 in Philadelphia. The 40 covert swan song for the group will include a No ew Year's Eve concert with the band's hometown, Boston.