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8/9/1986 Freddie Mercury's last concert with Queen

 

 

Queen's last concert set with Freddie Mercury out front took place on this day in 1986 at Knebworth Park for a crowd of 120,000.  Their 17 song set was followed by double encores that included Radio Ga Ga, We Will Rock You, Friends Will Be Friends, We Are The Champions, followed by their frequent concert clsoer God Save The Queen and guitarist  Brian May doing the British Anthem.

 

Other Noteworthy Classic Rock events on August 9 include...

 

1955 Cars Ben Orr (Orzechowski) born.

1973 Henry McCullough and Denny Seiwell quit Wings

1978 Muddy Waters plays for Jimmy Carter at the White House. 

1994 Dave Abruzzese leaves Pearl Jam.

1994 Lynyrd Skynyrd releases Endangered Species.  

1995 Jerry Garcia dies in rehab of heart failure at 53.

2006 Joe Walsh & James Gang open first tour in 35 years.



Classic 1970 CCR concert finally getting released

 

A film and recordings of a mid April, 1970 performance Creedence Clearwater Revival did at London's Royal Albert Hall have emerged after having languished in storage for more than 50 years. Producer Giles Martin has restored and remixed the recordings, which will get released on September 16th. The album and film will be offered together in a box set coming out November 14th.


Mo Ostin passes away at 95


Photo Credit: Michael Ochs archive

One of the most highly regarded figures in the music business passed away at 95 Sunday. Mo Ostin, the past chairman of Warner Bros. Records, brought musicians from Frank Sinatra, to Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Van Morrison, the Grateful Dead, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, R.E.M., and Green Day to labels within the Warner orbit and earned the trust and respect of all of them by making sure artists felt like the label worked for them instead of the other way around. Ostin also helped cultivate the development of other labels that helped establish the careers of the Talking Heads, Pretenders, Slash and many others. He did it all in a much less assuming way that brash label head honchos like Clive Davis and David Geffen. As Ostin said, "To me, the artist is the person who should be in the foreground", and that's the way it always was with Mo.

 


Stevie Nicks gets a comic book

Plenty of musicians have biographies, autobiographies and biopics, but Stevie Nicks now has the rare and added distinction of having a comic book about her. TidalWave Comics has published a 22 pager on the Fleetwood Mac member's life and career. Nick's joins Tina Turner, Dolly Parton, KISS, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden and a handful of other artists in the comic book realm.


Bowie biopic sets September release date

David Bowie fans now have a date for the release of Moonage Daydream, a documentary that should be considerably better than Stardust, the movie that was made without the approval or consultation of the late singer's family. According to the release, this authorized biopic's team had "unfiltered access to Bowie's personal archives, including all master recordings, to create an artful and life-affirming film that takes the audience on a journey through Bowie's creative life". That access results in a movie that "...shows how Bowie himself worked across several disciplines, not just music and film but also dance, painting, sculpture, video and audio collage, screenwriting, acting and live theatre".

Dylan one-off song sells for $1.8 million

With streaming royalties generating only a fraction of the income musicians used to receive from album sales, many songwriters have opted to sell their publishing rights outright. One of the most prolific songwriters ever, Bob Dylan, was one of the first in the recent wave opting to do that. The amount Dylan received in the 2020 deal to sell some 600 songs in his catalog wasn't revealed, but is believed to be more than $300 million. That done, Dylan has hit on another idea for keeping flush; re-recording a single vinyl copy of one of his classics and putting it up for bidding. If the initial one is any indication, doing so will be well worth the time and effort. Last March, Dylan and T. Bone Burnett recorded a new version of Blowin' In The Wind. The auction for the one-of-a-kind vinyl pressing resulted in a bidding battle between two super fans that ended with the disc going for $1.8 million.


Carlos Santana collapses mid song

 

Rapid recovery wishes to Carlos Santana. The soon to turn 75 guitar legend collapsed in the middle of a song during last night's concert at Pine Knob Music Theatre near Detroit. He as seen waving to fans as he was being removed from the scene on a stretcher. Early indications are that dehydration and heat exhaustion caused him to pass out, but he was being evaluated to make sure no other causes were involved. As a precaution, a Pennsylvania concert has been postponed.


Charlie Watts biography due in the fall

George Harrison was dubbed the "Quiet Beatle", but he was boisterous compared to Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts. Reserved as both were, each had plenty to do with making their bands as remarkable as they became. The role Charlie played in the Stones will be fleshed out in a biography written by Paul Sexton Harper and Collins will publish on October 11.

According to the publisher, the authorized biography reveals why that through "the band bust-ups, bereavements and changes in personnel, managers, guitarists and rhythm sections," Watts "remained the rock at the heart of the Rolling Stones for nearly 60 years – the thoughtful, intellectual but no less compelling counterpoint to the raucousness of his bandmates Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood. And this is his story.”


Pink Floyd's Animals deluxe packages due in September

 

The highly anticipated multi-configuration sets of Pink Floyd's 1977 album Animals finally have release dates. Deluxe Gatefold, CD, LP, Blu-ray and SACD. The individual versions will be available on September 16, 2022 with the Deluxe version available from October 7, 2022. This is the first time the album will have been available on 5.1 Surround Sound.

 

The tenth studio album by Pink Floyd, originally released in January 1977. was recorded at the band's Britannia Row Studios in London throughout 1976 and early 1977, and was produced by the band themselves.

 

Animals 2018 Remix will be released on CD, LP (with gatefold artwork), Blu-ray, SACD and Deluxe Gatefold formats. The Deluxe Gatefold version includes LP, CD, audio Blu-ray, audio DVD and a 32-page book. The Blu-ray and DVD audio include the 2018 remix in Stereo, 5.1 Surround (both by James Guthrie) and the original 1977 Stereo mix. The 32-page booklet features rarely seen behind the scenes photographs of the album sleeve shoot along with live images and memorabilia. The album artwork has been reimagined for this release.

 

The album's iconic cover shows an inflatable pig (now known as Algie) floating between two chimneys of the Battersea Power Station, conceived by Roger Waters, and designed by long-time collaborator Storm Thorgerson of Hipgnosis Studios. For this new release, the artwork has been re-designed for the modern era by Storm’s Hipgnosis partner Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell. Taking new shots of the building as it appeared during the recent conversion work, Po experimented with new angles and produce some striking new takes on the classic original. Po elaborates: “With the original 1977 album cover being such an iconic piece of stand-alone art, I had the chance to update it, which was a rather daunting task, but Hipgnosis took the opportunity to re photograph the image to reflect a changing world, and by using modern digital colouring techniques I kept Pink Floyd’s rather bleak message of moral decay using the Orwellian themes of animals, the pig ‘Algie’, faithful to the message of the album.”


Stones series just weeks away

When news broke a couple of weeks ago that the Rolling Stones scored a sizeable amount of money for a series about the band's history and its inner workings, we expected it would be several months at the earliest before filming and production wrapped up. Not the case. EPIX, an MGM company, spilled these details about the four episode docuseries that premieres August 7 in this release.

 

"My Life as a Rolling Stone. Tied to the band’s 60th anniversary, this exhilarating series will show a global audience how The Rolling Stones created the blueprint for every budding rock band, and grew from young blues-loving hopefuls to a globally recognized cultural brand. Each episode will feature an intimate portrait of one of the band’s charismatic members (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and the late Charlie Watts), exploring different dimensions of their personalities, their musical brilliance, and their cultural impact. The series aims to reveal The Rolling Stones’ creativity, their inspirations, and how they individually and collectively have overcome adversity, notoriety, and personal demons to write the soundtrack of our times".


Roger Waters previews tour for Colbert audience

 

Pink Floyd veteran Roger Waters delivered a pre-tour performance of The Happiest Days of Our Lives and Another Brick in the Wall (Parts 2 & 3) for the audience and viewers of The Late Show on Tuesday night (6/21).


Steve Miller honored with Songwriters Hall Of Fame induction

Steve Miller was inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame Thursday night 6/16) in New York City, an honor the guitarist and band leader considers more momentous than his induction into the Rock Hall Of Fame. Miller performed Fly Like an Eagle following his induction, a song is proudest of because of its message and how meaningful it has become to people throughout the world.

 


Queen and Rush veterans join Taylor Hawkins Tribute

 

Members of two of the late Foo Fighters drummer's favorite bands will perform to honor him. Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor and Rush veterans Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have accepted the Foo Fighters invitation to join them at a September 3rd tribute concert to Taylor Hawkins being staged at Wembley Stadium in London. A second concert will take place in Los Angeles on September 27th at the KIA Forum.


Mick Jagger contracts COVID

Tonight's Rolling Stones concert in Amsterdam was postponed on short notice after Mick Jagger tested positive for COVID-19. The lead singer came down with unspecified symptoms, promoting the test and the decision to cancel the performance followed. Mick took to his Twitter account to confirm the diagnosis and let fans know the band will reschedule tonight's show and others should that prove necessary.


Definitive Creedence Clearwater Revival book due

Few bands in their prime could match the pace at which Creedence Clearwater Revival recorded and released albums. Between 1969 and 1972, the group had a constant presence on the album and singles charts and even released three albums in in 1969 alone. The success was largely a result of the prolific song writing of John Fogerty, who penned all of the bands biggest songs. That fact fostered some resentment on the part of other members of the group.  John contends that he wanted the others to write material, but very little was offered. When he discontinued his early practice of sharing some writing credits with the other members on some tunes, the band began to unravel, starting with the decision by his own brother, Tom, to quit the group.

Author John Linigan delved deeply into the band's emergence as one of America's most distinguished groups and the internal dynamics that contributed to its success but ultimately caused its demise in his forthcoming book A Song for Everyone: The Story of Creedence Clearwater Revival, due out August 9th.


Clapton Tribute album details

The lineup of musicians on the upcoming Tribute to Eric Clapton album has some undoubtedly good musicians, but leaves us suspecting that the people behind it set out to enlist more universally known ones than they ended up with on it. The album covering songs from EC's time in the Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominos and his solo career is due out Friday, June 17th and includes these songs and artists:

Cocaine - Brian Auger and Kirk Fletcher

Lay Down Sally - Albert Lee and Sammy Kershaw

Sunshine of Your Love - Eric Gales and Dug Pinnick

Let it Rain - Sonny Landreth and Jack Russell

Wonderful Tonight - Oli Brown

Layla - Molly Hatchet

I Shot the Sheriff - Pat Travers, Artimus Powell and David Sancious

For Your Love - Rick Nielsen and Mark Lindsay

Tears in Heaven - Ana Popovic

White Room - Graham Bonnet and Snowy White

Can't Find My Way Home - Martin Barre and Shirley King


New Prog Collective release slated for July 1

 

Yes and Asia bassist Billy Sherwood convened a number of highly regarded musicians for Volume 4 from in the Prog Collective series. Songs We Were Taught, an album due out July 1, features keyboardists Geoff Downes of Yes and Zombies, Argent's Rod Argent, early E Street Band member David Sancious and Yes, Moody Blues veteran Patrick Moraz, guitarists Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter from the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan, Jethro Tull veteran Martin Barre, Deep Purple and Dixie Dregs Steve Morse, Guns N' Roses alum Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal and Dweezil Zappa, an singers David Clayton Thomas of Blood, Sweat & Tears fame and current Yes front man Jon Davison. The 10 tracks on the release are versions of The Sound of Silence, Year of the Cat, House of the Rising Sun, Summer Breeze, Fire and Rain, Wild World, It's Too Late and The Times They Are A-Changin'.


Black Crowes plan to extend their reunion

The Black Crowes reunion that saw the Robinson brothers set aside their differences in order to do a Shake Your Money Maker anniversary tour will get extended into 2023. The tour and the group's recently released EP of 1972 songs Chris and Rich Robinson liked got the brothers working together on some new songs. At this point, both an album of new material and another tour look like a lock for next year.


Todd Rundgren joins David Bowie tribute tour

The always musically adventurous Todd Rundgren is at it again. The recently inducted Rock Hall Of Fame member will participate in a David Bowie tribute tour with a band that includes King Crimson and Bowie band veteran (1978-79 and 1990) Adrian Belew, Royston Langdon from the group Spacehog, and Jeffrey Gaines.

 


Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp releasing album in July

Jeff Beck and actor/rocker Johnny Depp have recorded a new album together. The announcement came when the two recently shared the stage on a few songs as Beck opened a European tour. Fans weren't the only ones surprised by the news. Beck himself seems to be. In revealing the project, the guitar great reportedly said "I'm gonna take this opportunity to tell you I met this guy five years ago and we haven't stopped laughing since." He then added, "We actually made an album. I don't know how it happened. It will be out in July".


Peter Gabriel recording new material

The 20 year gap between Peter Gabriel solo albums may be coming to an end. French drummer Manu Katche says he and bassist Tony Levin and guitarist David Rhodes have been recording with the former Genesis member. He also indicated that a 2023 tour is likely, with dates in both the U.S. and Europe.

 

 


An inside look at a concert promoter's life

Consolidation has reached the point that the vast majority of medium to large scale concerts and tours are produced by just a couple of giant corporations that are also in the business of venue management and ownership. Some independent promoters have forged strong enough relationships and track records with artists, agents and managers to keep operating.

 

One of the foremost among them is Peter Shapiro. At 50, Shapiro remains involved in concerts and festivals, films (Tie Died: Rock n' Roll's Most Deadicated Fans and American Road), venue operation (The Brooklyn Bowl, Wetland Preserve, and Capitol Theatre), publishes Relix Magazine, founded FANS, an online forum for live music fans, and chairs HeadCount, a not-for-profit alliance with musicians to offer and encourages voter registration at concerts.

 

Even with all that going on, Shapiro found the time to write a book that's bound to be a fascinating read. The Music Never Stops: What Putting on 10,000 Shows Has Taught Me about Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Magic comes out in hardcover on August 2.

 


Elvis Costello reunites with early musical partner on new album

Before Declan Patrick MacManus morphed into Elvis Costello, formed the Attractions as his backing band and emerged as one of the lead figures in the new wave and British punk movement of the mid-late 1970's, he was in an act known as Rusty with Allan Mayes. That outfit did a fair amount of touring in the UK but never got the opportunity to record. Mayes recently reached out to his former musical partner to see whether he'd be willing to get together and play some of the songs they performed together those many years ago. To his surprise, Costello was so enthused with the notion that he proposed that he and Mayes not only revisit the material they'd played together in 1972, but that they record the album they never got the chance to then. The two of them went through some old setlists and picked out the songs they wanted to record. Elvis arranged for members of his current band, The Imposters, to contribute to the sessions. The end result will be The Resurrection of Rust, an album that will be available at Elvis Costello concerts and gets released on CD June 3, with a vinyl release to follow.


Johnny Depp joins Jeff Beck at tour opener

Johnny Depp joined Jeff Beck on stage at Sheffield City Hall in the UK Sunday (5/29) as Beck launched his European tour. Depp, who has proven he has decent guitar chops while performing with Joe Perry and Alice Cooper in the Hollywood Vampires, joined Beck on versions of Isolation, the John Lennon song they recorded together in 2020, and stuck around to play on the Hendrix song Little Wing and Marvin Gaye's What's Going On.

 


Neil Young prepares Toast for release

 

Neil Young's next archives release is an album he and Crazy Horse worked on just before embarking on a South American tour in 2001. Toast sessions were fraught with complications and writing roadblocks, according to an interview guitarist Frank Sampedro did with Rolling Stone. When the tour wrapped up, Young opted not to resume work on that album and started working with Booker T. and the MG's on Are You Passionate?, the album they put out together in 2002. When Neil finally revisited Toast, listening to the sessions convinced him that Crazy Horse "...shows a depth never seen or heard before" on them. The album drops on July 8.


Ronnie Hawkins passes away at 87

Sad to note the passing Sunday (5/29) of the rocker known and loved as The Hawk. Ronnie Hawkins was 87. His death brought this message on Twitter from the Band's Robbie Robertson. Levon Helm once credited Hawkins as the man that "molded us into the wildest, fiercest speed-driven bar band in America.'" His towering, swaggering, fun loving presence will be missed by lots of musicians. R.I.P. Hawk.


Seminal SF jam band double live album emerges

 

Naught Again, a double album of previously unreleased live music recorded at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall during a three night run of concerts in 1992 by the jam band ensemble Zero finally became available last week. The release features stellar performances by guitarist Steve Kimock, keyboard wizard Nicky Hopkins, Tubes and Grateful Dead keyboard player Vince Welnick, Jerry Garcia Band collaborator John Kahn and Martin Fierro. Kimock and Quicksilver Messenger Service member John Cipollina formed Zero in 1984. Credit Dan Healy for the outstanding recording quality and Brian Risner for mixing one of the best sounding live albums we've ever heard.


Bruce Springsteen 2023 tours announced

Bruce Springsteen has announced that he and his E Street Band members will start a US arena tour in February, 2023 and follow it up with a European tour. In an unusual move, all of the cities for the second leg of the tour were revealed, but none of the first leg's US cities or venues were announced.


Impressive UK guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor live album due

Rockin' Blues guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor already has an avid following in the UK, but her stature in the States is on the verge of getting a big boost thanks to a couple of US guitar greats Taylor has impressed. June 10th Joe Bonamassa's KTBA label will release CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray versions of a concert she did in Franklin, Tennessee that featured Bonamassa with her on three tracks and and Kenny Wayne Shepherd on a fourth. The 16 song June 10th release will also include an additional track, I'm No Angel, on the Blu-ray version along with behind the scenes footage from the concert.


Levon Helm, Mavis Staples album arrives

We lost one of the most distinctive voices in rock on April 19th, 2012 when Levon Helm succumbed to neck and head cancer. Almost a year before his passing, the Band's drummer hosted a live session with Mavis Staples at his barn that included Levon's daughter Amy, Staples' sister Yvonne, guitarist Larry Campbell and Levon's Midnight Ramble horn section. The soulful, heartfelt performance recorded June 3, 2011 was released this week on the album titled Mavis Staples Levon Helm Carry Me Home. It features the versions of Curtis Mayfield's This Is My Country, Bob Dylan's You Got to Serve Somebody, the Buddy and Julie Miller song Wide River To Cross, moving renditions of You Got To Move, Trouble In My Mind and Farther Along, plus The Weight, a song Staples sang on during the Band's November, 1976 farewell concert, The Last Waltz.