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Noteworthy Now Archives for 2009-09

Wolfgang's Vault Wide Open

Since its inception, Wolfgang's Vault has been a gold mine for concert and music memorabilia collectors.  The web site was founded as a showcase for concerts acquired from the late concert promoter Bill Graham (Wolfgang was his childhood nickname), operator of the original Fillmore auditoriums in New York and San Francisco and other Bay area venues.  It has since picked up  the rights to hundreds of other concerts, all of which stream online.  The site recently announced that almost all concerts will now be available for download. That adds 160 Grateful Dead shows, along with previously unavailable concerts featuring Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Journey, Jethro Tull, Jefferson Airplane and dozens more. Nov. 3 is Cracking The Vault Day.

Floyd's Wright Axes Ex'es In Will

Pink Floyd keyboard player Richard Wright died of cancer just over a year ago (story) .  As is often the case with large estates, it has taken a long time for a final accounting to be released.  It came yesterday (9/29) with the release of documents revealing that nearly all of his $38 million estate will be shared by his four children.  Wright's three former wives receive no mention in the will.  He divorced the last, Millie, in the year before his death.  The will also provided amounts in the hundreds of thousands for his sisters and their children, and that $32,000 be set aside them to throw a "really good party" for his friends.


Alice Treats Fans To Halloween Tune

Vincent Furnier, aka Alice Cooper, has made a career of Keepin' Halloween Alive, so it is a fitting title for a holiday song from one of the original shock rockers.  Cooper enlisted another musician suited for the theme, Rob Zombie guitarist Piggy D. The end result Alice called "...the easiest work I think any of us have ever done, not to mention a blast!"  Both the song and a Karaoke ready instrumental version made their iTunes debut yesterday (9/29).


Santana & Buddy Guy Tear It Up

A scheduled live demo of Paul Reed Smith (PRS) guitars in Stevensville, Maryland turned into quite a night for around 800 in attendance when the performers turned out to be Carlos Santana and Buddy Guy.  The unannounced appearance (9/25) featured Carlos on a just released PRS Santana SE One Abraxas, while Guy did his thing on a PRS 305. Also in attendance at the two day gathering of nearly 2,000 six string fanatics was Dweezil Zappa, Heart veteran Howard Lesse, and Nick Catanese of Black Label Society.


McCartney NYC Concert Release Coming

Paul McCartney fessed-up to not being much of a baseball fan before his July concerts in New  York's new NL ballpark (story).  Neither is his web site manager, judging from a story about the upcoming live release recorded those nights that implies Citi Field is just a new name for Shea Stadium. Hey, errors are part of the game.  The good news is the November 17 titled Good Evening New York City captures much of what 120,000 fans heard and saw over those two nights.  A 2CD + 1DVD set and a 2CD + 2DVD set will be available, with the deluxe version including Paul's set from atop the marquee of the Ed Sullivan Theater before taping the David Letterman Show (story).

Springsteen Born To Please

Working On A Dream Tour concerts dropped the less well received songs from that album early on to make more room for songs that produce the kind of crowd energy the E Street Band feeds on.  Audience and band response to the complete run through of the Born To Run album during the recent Chicago concert has convinced Bruce to add more more complete albums to upcoming shows.  Each Giants Stadium concert will include a complete run through of Born To Run, Darkness On The Edge Of Town or Born In The U.S.A.  More complete album shows are possible in markets the tour has already hit or ones the added incentive could help sell out.


ZZ Top Fires Up Sturgis

Illness and injuries plagued Aerosmith this past summer, but the guys in ZZ Top suffered right along them.  The Boston band and Texas trio had been scheduled to share the same stage in a lot of places.  Organizers of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally have apparently booked ZZ Top to headline the event's 2010 concert at the Buffalo Chip, the site of Steven Tyler's tour ending header off the stage this past summer.  The appearance will come during the band's 40th Anniversary Tour.


Acclaimed Producer Dies After Fall

Greg Ladanyi, whose production credits include multiple albums by Don Henley, Fleetwood Mac and Jackson Browne, died this morning (9/30) from injuries he sustained when he struck his head in a fall from a stage ramp at a concert in Cyprus.  Ladanyi, who was at the Friday concert featuring  Anna Sissi, an artist he had recently produced an album for.  Ladanyi was involved in six Jackson Browne albums, including Running On Empty, three solo projects by Don Henley, including Building the Perfect Beast, as well as records for guitarist Jeff Healey and Toto.

VH Guitar Trips Up Theft Ring

The shipping manager of a New York City musical equipment center and two alleged outside accomplices have been charged in a scheme involving the theft of expensive gear, including a replica Van Halen guitar.  Police charge that the two accomplices placed orders for relatively inexpensive equipment that the manager then replced with high end equipment before shipping the shipping labels.  EVH produces a limited edition Frankenstein guitar that is an exact replica of the axe Eddie Van Halen owns that sells for up to $25,000 (story).


Lucy In The Sky

Notoriety and anonymity seldom coexist, but did in the case of Lucy O'Donnell.  The childhood friend of Julian Lennon credited as being the inspiration for the Beatles song Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds was just 4 years old when classmate Julian Lennon drew a picture of her surrounded by stars and showed it to his father.  John Lennon was inspired by the drawing and his son describing it as "It's Lucy in the sky with diamonds". The song about the "...girl with kaleidoscope eyes", the third song on Sgt. Pepper,  convinced many that the first letters in "Lucy", "Sky" and "Diamonds" were more than coincidental.  Lucy, who took the last name of her husband after marrying, passed away after battling Lupus last week.

Genesis Live Box Set Arrives

The Rock Hall Of Fame will make partial peace with critics that say it has been much too slow to recognize progressive rock bands if it inducts Genesis March 15. The nomination has stoked hopes that members will share a stage with Peter Gabriel for more than the few moments it takes to pick up the hardware and say thanks.  Tony Banks apparently isn't banking on a reunion concert, telling Billboard "I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it."  No need for fans to turn blue waiting for Genesis live material though - tomorrow (9/29) brings the release of Genesis Live 1973-2007, a 10 disc set of remastered concert sets and video footage. A compilation box of videos will follow in 2010.


Aerosmith Lottery Launches

Luck was hardly on the side of fans holding Aerosmith concert tickets when the band's recent ill-fated tour with ZZ Top collapsed after a series of ailments and injuries forced multiple postponements (story).  New England fans willing to take another chance on the band can do it by buying a New Hampshire State lottery Dream On ticket.  The $5 game offering cash payouts and motorcycles designed and manufactured by the brother-in-law of lead singer Steven Tyler is being launched in the Live Free Or Die state and Rhode Island.  Check out the RI TV spot promoting the game here.

Another Creedence Box Set

Creedence Clearwater Revival churned out so many great songs that it is easy to forget how short lived the California band featuring John and Tom Fogerty actually was.  Previous box sets have documented the brief but prolific period when the band turned the world on to Swamp Rock.  The Singles Collection, due November 3, brings the original singles mixes of 30 songs, including some making it to CD for the first time. The double CD package has a companion DVD with 4 previously unavailable videos of CCR songs, and a 16 page booklet on the band written by celebrated Rolling Stone writer-editor Ben Fong-Torres

Six ACDC Dates Postponed

An unspecified medical issue confronting Brian Johnson has forced ACDC to delay the scheduled resumption of the Black Ice World Tour.  The October 1 opening night in Phoenix will get pushed back, along with dates in Las Vegas, Louisville, Kansas City, Des Moines and Milwaukee.  Specifics on why the lead singer is sidelined were not disclosed, other than to say it relates to a recent medical procedure.  The next highly anticipated North American leg of the Black Ice tour comes about a year after the release of the album of the same title that has sold more than 2 million copies.


Harrison Widow Prevails In Fence Battle

A dispute with neighbors over plans to install a razor wire fence on the perimeter of her estate has ended with a ruling in favor of Olivia Harrison.  The wife of the late Beatle George Harrison had been seeking clearance to rebuild the 8' fence that was erected after an intruder attacked and stabbed Harrison several times in the couple's Henley-on-Thames home 10 years ago.  The ruling by the South Oxfordshire District Council came despite claims from some neighbors that the security precaution was unnecessary.


Stone Performs In Clothing Store Window

Ron Wood has played some of the biggest stages in the world with the Rolling Stones. In November he will be on stage at Royal Albert Hall with the Faces (story).  But yesterday (9/24) Wood's 'stage' was a display area of a clothing shop window in Dublin, where the veteran guitarist jammed with The Black Swan Effect, a group his 32 year old-son, Jesse, plays in.  Wood's love interest, 20 year-old Ekaterina Ivanova, was in tow.  Police had recently been called to the couple's address after a domestic row (story) that triggered reports the romance had ended.


Boss Sells Out Baltimore In 20 Minutes

Ticket sales in some markets the Working on A Dream tour has already been through may have slowed (20% of the seats at a recent Boston show were unclaimed), but most markets the E Street Band hasn't hit this time around remain hot.  The combination of a long Bruce drought, lower pricing than earlier stops, and Little Steven saying the band plans on an extended hiatus after the tour (story) drove Baltimore sales, where 14,000 tickets to the Nov. 20 show at the city's 1st Mariner Arena sold out in 20 minutes.  It has been more than 30 years since Bruce played Baltimore - a March 13, 1977 at Towson State College (now Towson University) for $7 a ticket.


Bono Salutes Springsteen In NJ Concert

U2 broke into She's The One, changing the lyric to "He's the one" as a birthday tribute to the song's author last night (9/23) at Giants Stadium. Bono had wished Springsteen a happy birthday during the previous song, I Still haven't Found What I'm Looking For.
Bono will be in a gathering of artists meeting with Pope Benedict November 21.  The guest list includes musicians, authors, poets, actors and architects selected, according to a Vatican spokesperson, on the basis of their positive impact on culture and the arts.  Bono met with Pope John Paul II in 2005, an encounter that included the Pope sporting Bono's trademark shades for a few playful moments.


Gibson Creates Hendrix Guitars

The Hendrix legacy has a much greater association with the Stratocaster so it is a bit surprising that signature axes bearing his name are coming from Gibson instead of Fender.  Jimi did play a Flying V at the Isle Of Wight Festival, but the vast majority of his time on stage and in the studio was spent playng his famously inverted Strats - right handed guitars he flipped upside down and restrung.  The Gibson models will mimic some of the effect of that by rearranging the pick-ups to reflect the array Jimi had. Three models are being produced, and will be packaged with amps, fuzz pedals and other items.


Faces To Reunite Without Rod Stewart

Plans to get former members of the Faces back together for a tour seemed to be going well until word got out early this year that things had gone nowhere since the fall (story).  The reunion has firmed up, but as a single Royal Albert Hall benefit concert instead of a whole tour.  Equally disappointing is the news that Rod Stewart does not plan to participate.  Guest vocalists will fill his role, and former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman will take the stage October 25 for the late Ronnie LaneProceeds from the concert will help a program that provides assistance to musicians and songwriters facing financial difficulties.


Monty Python Flies Again

Stand-up ranks are full of brilliant comedians, but there has not been a comedy ensemble to rival the clever antics of Firesign Theatre or Monty Pyhton's Flying Circus in decades. Anyone in need of a dose of creative comedic chaos (who isn't these days?) can look forward to Monty Python: Almost The Truth (The Lawyer's Cut), a triple DVD (2 discs on Blu-ray) set due from Eagle Rock Entertainment October 27.  The 6 part, 6 hour set culled from the BBC-TV series includes recent interviews with John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones, along with video clips and commentary from Dan Ackroyd, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd and many more.

Aerosmith Guitarist Enters Atlanta Car Race

Aerosmith members are finding ways to occupy or amuse themselves while Steven Tyler mends.  Joey Kramer and Tom Hamilton have been doing promotional stops for their recent books. Joe Perry is touring with the Joe Perry Project in support of his solo album Have Guitar Will TravelBrad Whitford, an avid sports car driver and race enthusiast, is satisfying his need for speed by getting behind the wheel of a race ready VW Jetta this weekend at Road Atlanta.  He will compete in the final event of the Jetta TDI Cup race series sponsored by the Sports Car Club of America on Sunday (9/27)


Clapton & Jeff Beck Team In 2010

Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck did a concert together in Japan this year that was so powerful there have been constant calls for more.  The two former Yardbirds guitarists are set to share the stage at The O2 in London on February 13, 2010.  Each will do a full set with their respective bands, followed by a set together.  Beck said the two "...had a blast" doing the concert in Japan, and that they have "...been in regular contact about doing a similar show".  Neither guitarist hinted about dates together after the one-off in London but if it goes as well as the show last winter in Japan did, there could be more.


Joe Elliott's Def Leppard Side Projects

The Down 'n' Outz is the name of the group Joe Elliott of Def Leppard will front during an opening set before Ian Hunter and Mott the Hoople perform at London's Hammersmith Odeon (10/6) (story)Elliott says the band will do a set of the songs Mott The Hoople members did after that group disbanded, mining the solo catalog of Ian Hunter, Mott and the British Lions. Elliott did a guest vocal appearance with Cheap Trick at the Las Vegas Hilton during their Beatles tribute last weekend (9/19), joing the group for on Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, and All You Need Is Love.


Rock Hall Announces 2010 Contenders

Critics of the Rock Hall Of Fame policy of enshrining artists with only marginal Rock credentials are sure to view the 2010 list of nominees as further evidence that Pop Hall Of Fame is a more appropriate name.  Genesis, KISS, the Stooges, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Hollies, the Chantels, and Darlene Love make sense.  Jimmy Cliff and Laura Nyro were both influential enough to pass muster.  But LL Cool J, ABBA and Donna Summer entering ahead of Rush, Todd Rundgren, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Heart, ELP, ELO, Cheap Trick, The Cars, Joe Cocker, The Doobie Brothers and numerous others is like putting Beavis & Butthead on Mt. Rushmore.


Grateful Dead Veterans Go Further

The long strange trip was interrupted by a few years of discord between them, but Bob Weir and Phil Lesh are sticking together in Further, a band the two Grateful Dead mainstays have put together with two members from Weir's band Ratdog - drummer Jay Lane and keys player Jeff Chimenti, drummer Joe Russo, and a guitarist already well versed in all of the Dead's material, John Kadlecik from the GD tribute band Dark Star Orchestra.  A younger Lesh played a part in the group's debut weekend at the Fox Theater in Oakland.  Phil's son, Grahame Lesh, did an opening set Saturday night (9/19) with his band Vice.


Eddie Van Halen Riffs On Sitcom

A chance encounter during with a TV producer during his honeymoon (story) landed Eddie Van Halen a cameo in the season opener of the CBS sticom Two And A Half Men last night (9/21).  The brief scene near the end of the show featured the VH guitarist emerging from the bathroom of a recording studio, guitar in hand.  In addition to delivering a quick quip to Charlie Sheen, Eddie rips a killer riff - reassuring to Van Halen fans because you can see his left hand was still bandaged from a recent hand surgery.  Catch the scene here.




Aerosmith Dates In Hawaii Firm Up

Steven Tyler now has a deadline for recovering from injuries sustained in his tumble off the stage during an Aerosmith set at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that ended the band's ill-fated tour (story).  A promoter in Hawaii has announced that the band will do two shows - October 18 at the Blaisdell Arena and Oct. 20 at the Maui War Memorial Stadium.  The concerts stem from a settlement of a class action lawsuit involving some 8,500 ticket holders for 2007 concerts that were cancelled at the last minute.  The suit contended that the band blew out the dates in Hawaii for more lucrative mainland bookings.


Remastered Beatles Catalog Sales Surge

With still no legal digital download option available, the re-release of all of the Beatles albums after a painstaking process of remastering each one generated a surge in online and in-store sales of the titles.  Nearly 2.5 million copies have sold since Sept. 9 release - more than a million in the US alone within the week of the release. As of today (9/22), the stereo and mono box sets are ranked #2 and #5 respectively in sales by Amazon.  The top selling individual title is Abbey Road (#7), followed by the White Album (#11), Sgt. Pepper (#17), Revolver (#19)Rubber Soul rounds out the top sellers at #24.  Get more on the remixed editions here.



TSO Adds Cheap Trick, Aerosmith & Who

Roger Daltrey, Steven Tyler and Robin Zander are reportedly onboard with the Trans Siberian Orchestra for  concert dates this fall.  The addition of guest musicians adds another dimension to the group's high-energy holiday presentations.  Started in 1996 by Paul O'Neill, who produced albums for Aerosmith and others, the TSO has grown into a tour de force, sporting a 32 piece orchestra, 2 narrators, 14 vocalists and another 14 musicians trained in Classic Rock, R&B and Broadway.  The group releases a new album titled Night Castle Oct. 27.


Springsteen Born To Run In Chicago

Fans at the United Center in Chicago last night witnessed the second time the E Street Band has played all of the songs on Born To Run in order.  The first recreation of the 1975 album took place two years ago during a concert in Red Bank, New Jersey.  The next comes in Nashville  November 18.  Bruce and the band were seven songs into the set before the opening notes of Thunder Road brought a thunderous reaction from the crowd.  All of the songs on the album had surfaced at some point during his current world tour except Meeting Across The RiverJungleland, the closing song on the album, was followed by 6 more songs and a 7 song encore.


Rush Items Up For Auction

Grapes For Humanity, a charitable outfit of wine enthusiasts that funds humanitarian initiatives throughout the world, will benefit from an online auction of items donated by Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart of Rush.  Items up for bids include autographed guitars signed by the Rush members as well as Pearl Jam, Judas Priest and other Rockers that support the cause.  The Geddy Lee Fender Jazz bass and a custom guitar used by Lifeson on the Snakes & Arrows tour are on the block, along with a Gibson Les Paul from the Lifeson collection. Neil Peart has kicked in a signed 20" cymbal for the EBay hosted bidding.


Jeff Beck Featured On Joss Stone Release

An October 20 release has been set for a new album by Joss Stone that features contributions from Jeff Beck.  The project was recorded at a music hall run by the singer's mother in Wellington, UK.  Stone, who joined Melissa Etheridge in an electrifying tribute to Janis Joplin at the Grammy Awards four years ago, has tremendous talent and a wide enough range of material to defy labeling.  She calls this project, which she produced herself, "...very, very raw", describing it as "...basically a bunch of musicians, writers, and myself just jamming". Check out Jeff Beck and Stone on People Get Ready here.

Buffett To Party With Dolphins Fans

Whether the Miami Dolphins play well enough to warrant fans returning in the numbers they did when the franchise was a yearly Super Bowl contender remains to be seen.  But even if the Dolphins flounder, fans that show up Monday night (9/21) will be in a party mood thanks to a Jimmy Buffett pre-game tail-gate party. The head Parrot Head could turn up as the 'special guest' at 7:45 - and hang for half time, when 600 Parrot Heads dance to Fins.  The latest extension of the Margaritaville branding bonanza hooks Land Shark, the Margaritaville beer,  up with the naming rights to the Dolphins home turf, formerly Joe Robbie Stadium.


HBO Lands Rock Hall Concert Rights

The 25th anniversay concerts for the Rock Hall Of fame at Madison Square Garden are shaping up to be epic shows (story).  The October 29 and 30 shows will bring together Bruce Springsteen, U2, CSN, Van Morrison, Sting, and many more to perform tributes to the music and musicians that most inspired them and influenced their music.  Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone Magazine, Robbie Robertson and Tom Hanks are collaborating on making the evenings extraordinary from a production standpoint.  HBO has secured broadcast rights for the event.  The network plans to debut the special on November 29.



U2 Stokes Unforgettable Fire

U2 will issue a multi-format 25th anniversary Unforgettable Fire re-master on October 27.  The album, the first with Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, was recorded at Slane Castle in Ireland and included the politically charged anthem Pride (In The Name Of Love).  Two additional tracks from the original sessions: Yoshino Blossom and Disappearing Act, will be included in special packages of the release that also include a DVD of music videos, a documentary and concert footage from the 1986 Amnesty International Conspiracy of Hope Tour


Scott Weiland Medical Emergency Aloft

Rolling Stone Magazine reports the Stone Temple Pilots front man was stricken by a mild seizure during a flight from LA to Miami today (9/19).  The flight crew made an announcement requesting medical help onboard before making an unscheduled stop in Dallas so Weiland could be transported to a hospital.  The story quotes a spokesperson for Weiland as saying the singer was "doing great" and should be able to continue on to Miami tomorrow for a club appearance with his solo band. Weiland has suffered similar seizures in th past, according to the spokesperson.

Joe Satriani - Coldplay Suit Settled

The suit claiming that Coldplay lifted some of the melody for the song Viva La Vida from the Joe Satriani song If I Could Fly concluded Tuesday (9/15) with an undisclosed settlement between the two.  Another claim could be filed against the UK band, this one by Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens, who reportedly feels the same Coldplay song too closely resembles his 1973 song Foreigner SuiteIslam reportedly has said that his decision on whether to sue could be influenced by the outcome of the Satriani claim.  Since the Cat Stevens song pre-dates both, could Islam sue both?


Promoter Offers All-In Club Deal

The tough economy has forced event promoters to come up with new ways to convince fans to part with increasingly hard to earn dollars.  Earlier this year Live Nation began waiving the service fee on tickets for many of its shows and steep discounts on lawn seats at amphitheater shows.  The entertainment giant has now introduced a one payment cover charge that will get fans into Live Nation club venue shows for the rest of the year.  The $49.99 Club Passport.  Sold-Out shows will be exempt, and the deal may be limited to one club in cities that LN operates more than one venue in.  Still, with Live Nation operating so many venues across the country, it translates into a great deal.

Jack Bruce Book Delayed

Composing Himself: The Authorized Biography of Jack Bruce, originally scheduled for an October 15 release date, has been pushed back to February.  The book giving a comprehensive life story of Bruce and written by by noted Clapton biographer Harry Shapiro (Slowhand and Eric Clapton - Lost In The Blues follows the October release of Hellraiser, an autobiography by Cream drummer Ginger Baker (story).


Little Feat Live DVD

Eagle Rock Entertainment has announced the next release from the archives of the German television series Rockpalast features Little Feat, captured live in 1977. Skin It Back, recorded during the tour that produced the double live album Waiting For Columbus, features 18 songs, including 7 recorded during a pre-show rehearsal.  The sessions in Essen, Gemany opened a very limited number of overseas shows, most of which took place in London's Rainbow Theater.   The DVD drops September 22.  This is one Feat fans should consider essential.
Eagle Rock Entertainment


Americana Music Award For Fogerty

John Fogerty has been designated to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting at this year's Americana Music Awards ceremony (9/17) in the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.  John and his Blue Ridge Rangers band open a tour with an appearance on the Tonight Show November 10 that will bring him back to the Ryman stage November 22.  Music City will be the center of the Roots Music universe all week, with more than 80 groups performing at venues throughout Nashville.



Report Police Called To Ron Wood Home

The Daily Mirror story reports that a neighbor called police to report a loud disturbance inside the home the Rolling Stone guitarist occupies with 20 year old Ekaterina Ivanova.  It purports the altercation included a woman threatening to kill herself.  Police reportedly arrived at the scene at 2:40am.  One neighbor was quoted as saying the two "row all the time but this was a particularly vicious one."  A police spokesperson is quoted as confirming the the early Monday (9/14) call, saying, "Officers attended the address and no offences were alleged and there were no arrests."


Last Call For Springsteen?

Steven Van Zandt says the current tour will likely end with a long break before the E Street Band reconvenes to record or play live.  In a conference call with the media on Wednesday (9/16) the guitarist said the length of the break was up in the air but that it could result in " year, year and a half, two years off."  He even dropped the more ominous "You never know. This could be the last tour."  With more than a dozen of the remaining shows on the current tour not sold out, motivating fans on the fence to grab tickets may have factored in the decision to go public with the news.


Rock Hall Show Lineups Grow

The list of perfromers taking part in the two Madison Square Garden concerts (story) marking the Rock Hall Of Fame 25th anniversary are expanding.  Sting, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Little Richard and Smokey Robinson have been added to the Oct. 29 show, joining Bruce Springsteen, CSN, Stevie Wonder and Simon & GarfunkelU2, Eric Clapton, Metallica and Aretha Franklin will be joined on Oct. 30 by Van Morrison, Jeff Beck and Jerry Lee Lewis.


Eagle Readies Solo

Things have been quiet on the Eagles front for a long time, but there's finally something stiring in the nest.  Timothy B Schmit tells Billboard his new solo album will be out October 20.  Expando represents the first solo project for the veteran in nearly a decade.  It brings together musical friends from several genres, with contributions from Kid Rock, Graham Nash, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Van Dyke Parks, Dwight Yoakam, Gary Burton and others.  Recorded in his home studio, Schmit calls the 11 song disc the most representative album of who he is that he has ever done. Schmit and Don Henley joined John Fogerty on his Blue Ridge Ranger Rides Again release.


Ex Stone May Sue Over Royalties

Mick Taylor joined the Rolling Stones less than a week after Brian Jones departed in 1969.  He left the group at the end of 1974. Royalty payments from albums he played on apparently stopped after the group switched labels in in 1982.  Taylor claims to have no regrets about leaving the Stones, saying drugs would probably have killed him had he stayed.  He does regret not having money he expects he is entitled to, telling the Daily Mail his days of trying to reason with the band directly are over.  "They all know it's not right", says the guitarist, "...but I realize that hiring a lawyer is probably the only way they'll take me seriously." Taylor played on 6 albums, including Exile On Main Street, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and It's Only Rock n Roll.


Steve Vai Unleashing DVD/CD

Steve Vai displayed his guitar mastery around the globe during his Sound Theories tour.  The Minneapolis concerts on that tour were captured for a CD and DVD (9/29), and Blu-ray (10/27).  An advance screening of Steve Vai: Where The Wild Things Are at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood September 15 will raise money for Hollywood Arts, an organization that provides commercial arts training for the homeless and at-risk youth.  Vai and the organization are collecting items from musicians for a silent auction before the screening to benefit the program.  Get a preview of the movie here. Fans that pre-order the DVD through the Vai web site will receive an autographed copy of the DVD and bonus songs download until 9/29.

Woodstock May Be Broadway Bound

The man who was largely responsible for staging Woodstock in 1969 hopes to have a musical based on the festival on a Broadway stage.  In an interview with the Poughkeepsie Journal Michael Lang said writing The Road To Woodstock (story), his recently published book that chronicles the experience of putting on Woodstock, inspired him to follow through on the notion he'd had for years to create a musical based on the festival.  He wants the musical to have characters able to convey why the event of 40 years ago still resonates strongly in the lives of many.  Lang told the paper that the creative team is close to assembled.  An effort by Lang to stage a free anniversary concert this summer fell short due to the tight economy (story).

Disney To Re-Launch Yellow Submarine

Disney Studios is confriming plans to remake the animated Beatles movie.  Director Robert Zemeckis (Back To The Future, Forest Gump, Who Framed Roger Rabbit) is at the helm of the 3d project.   Much of the charm of the 1968 original was its lack of technical effects.  Hi-tech effects will likely take charge this time.  Reports are circulating that the remake will use the almost too real animation effects used in Polar ExpressZemeckis attended film school at the University of Southern California after a video he did of a Beatles song helped persuade admissions officials to consider more than his grade average.    They were glad they did.  USC dedicated a multi-million dollar Digital Arts Center on the Los Angeles campus in his name a decade ago.


Hawaii Gets Aerosmith

Fans of cancelled dates on the most recent tour might be agitated to hear that Aeosmith may do a show in Maui.  The date had been agreed to as a way to compensate irate fans of a 2007 concert on the island the band nixed at the last minute (story).  8,700 of them joined a class action suit against the band.  Some contend that the date was blown out so the band could replace it with more lucrative bookings.  Original ticket holders will receive free tickets for the make up show, the date for which should be announced soon.


Joe Perry Project Touring

With Aerosmith sidelined until Steven Tyler recovers from his off-stage adventure during the Sturgis Rally (story), Joe Perry has time to mount a tour in support of his new project, Have Guitar Will Travel (story).  The Joe Perry Project opens live Oct. 6, the day the new release comes out, in the Viper Room, the Sunset Strip Club Johnny Depp was once a part owner of.  More dates will be revealed soon.


Love Declares War Over Cobain Character

An ongoing Twitter tirade on an account identified with Courtney Love is being directed against the company that distributes Guitar Hero.  Posts blast former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl too, saying "...if theres a hell hes going. im not" (sic).  Love was on record as having worked with the company in developing the Cobain character.  A Rolling Stone story quoted an Activision VP as saying Love had a lot of input and had been "...great to work with".  Posts claim the character is vile and imply that a lawsuit is in the works. Grohl says he had nothing to do with the game's use of Cobain's likeness and objects to the fact the character can be used on songs other than the two Nirvana songs approved for GH5.

Beatles Here, There, almost Everywhere

News of the Beatles was everywhere except the Apple Computer conclave where it was hoped Steve Jobs would announce the catalog would finally become available for digital download.  While that remains on hold for now, there was plenty else going on Sept. 9, including the highy anticipated and hyped roll out of The Beatles: Rock Band (story), the release of the digitally re-mastered CDs of all 12 Beatle albums, and two new box sets.  The re-release finds the band's first 4 titles available in stereo for the first time on CD.  10 of the albums in the original mono mix are packaged together in one box set.  Get complete details here.


Neil Young Bails On Toronto Film Fest

A scheduled appearance by Neil Young Monday (9/14) in conjunction with the screening of Neil Young Trunk Show, the new movie by Jonathan Demme, was abruptly cancelled yesterday (9/9)Young later told a Toronto newspaper he had not been aware of the event being on his schedule and that another obligation would prevent him from being able to attend.  The director still plans to be on hand to introduce the free showing.  The film, which arrives just three years after Demme released the highly acclaimed Heart Of Gold, was done during Neil Young concerts in Philadelphia in 2007.


Collins Done Drumming

The slim chance of a Genesis reunion with Phil Collins behind the drums apparently got reduced to no chance with his exclusive announcement to The Mirror that his days as a drummer are over due to an injury caused by the position he drummed in.  In his interview with the paper Collins revealed that a vertebrae caused such excruciating pain that he had to resort to taping the sticks to his hands just to keep hold of them.  Saying "Obviously I'm very sad about it", Collins, who joined Genesis after seeing an ad for a drummer in Melody Maker in the fall of 1970, says his days behind the drums are now behind him.


Stones Get Yer Ya Yas Out Again

The re-release of one of the most best concert albums ever recorded comes in package options brimming with cool stuff.  The remastered set also includes 5 songs recorded during the 1969 shows at Madison Square Garden that did not make it onto the original album, a disc of additional songs done by BB King and Ike & Tina Turner and a DVD of footage filmed those nights.  A Deluxe edition adds a 56 page book and a copy of a 1969 tour poster.  The Super Deluxe version bumps in three lps. Get full details on the November release here.


Springsteen Gets Offer He Can't Refuse

The prospect of Robert Dinero and Bruce Springsteen both getting lifetime achievement recognition during the December 6 event in DC should make the Kennedy Center Honors entertaining.  The Boss and the Crime Boss both issued yadayada statements of appreciation so yawn inducing we won't print them here.  But, come event night, the presence of Mel Brooks, also being honored along with jazz great Dave Brubeck, is bound to get them off script.


Rush Gets Restless

Drummer Neil Peart is on diaper duty after the arrival of daughter Olivia last month, but at least one other member of Canada's premier power trio sounds eager to get back to making music. Alex Lifeson tells that he has been writing and that Rush HQ has been fielding regular calls from Snakes & Ladders producer Nick Raskulinecz about getting started on a new album.  The Rush guitarist suggests a timetable that could see them out of the studio and back on tour by next summer.


Buffett Bids Farewell To Cronkite

President Obama honored the fallen journalist as someone dedicated to his craft who based his approach to news on "...his belief that the American people were hungry for the truth, unvarnished and unaccompanied by theater or spectacle."  Unfortunately, the integrity Walter Cronkite brough to televised news is in short supply these days, but accolades for the icon of electronic journalism, who died July 17 at the age of 92, were plentiful at a memorial for him in New York's Lincoln Center tonite.  Jimmy Buffett was there to honor his friend and fellow mariner with a rendition of Son of A Son Of A Sailor.


Def Leppard Deluxe Editions

Only 5 rock groups can claim two 10-million-plus selling albums. Def Leppard is one.Pyromania sold over 10-million copies in the U.S. alone. The Deluxe Edition features a re-mastered version of the original album and a bonus disc of a previously unreleased 15-track show from The Forum in Los Angeles in 1983. Adrenalize debuted #1 on both the U.S. and U.K. album charts in 1992, making the band a dominant Arena Rock act and selling more then 7 million copies worldwide. The Deluxe Edition features a re-mastered version of the original album with a bonus disc of rare, live, acoustic and demo versions. DETAILS HERE


Van Morrison Astral Weeks Documentary

The plan was for just a couple of performances at the Hollywood Bowl to mark the anniversary of the original release.  Those went so well that dates at New York's Radio City Music Hall followed.  Then came a CD and DVD from the Hollywood Bowl dates, and additional shows at Royal Albert Hall, in California and Boston.  Now comes confirmation that a documentary about the album and the tour is underway.  To Be Born Again finds the usually reclusive Van Morrison on both sides of the camera, reportedly eager to "set the record straight" and clear up misconceptions about himself.  The movie should be ready for release early in 2010.


Waters And Wyman Bad Mouth Games

Former Rolling Stone Billy Wyman and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd are the latest musicians with reservations about games like Rock Band and Guitar HeroWyman contends the gaming "...encourages kids not to learn". While Mason calls the virtual musician experience both games offer "interesting new developments", he goes on to say that if his kids spent as much time practicing guitar as they do pushing buttons on the games they would "be damn good by now".  Still, he won't rule out collaborating on development of a Pink Floyd game for the console cult.


Rock Band Beatles Onslaught

Lack of hype won't be to blame if the new game (9/9) falls short of meeting expectations.  With the possible exception of some of game previewers that played it so often that the experience made them delusional, no one expects a mind blowing experience.  Still, enough rave reviews have come in from level-headed people that profess to have never been seduced by anything either of the music gaming leaders has produced to arouse the curiosity of even non-gamers (stories)Paul, Ringo, Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono have done press interviews endorsing the virtual spin-off. Of course, the money at stake for them is very real.  Hard not to wonder if John would have gotten sucked into the game or been willing to shill for it.


Creepy David Bowie Honor

Heteropoda davidbowie became the most recent addition to the identified spider world recently.  The critter, found to this point only in Malaysia is, appropriately, large and yellow haired.   Scientists started naming recently discovered species after celebrities in the hope that it would get them more attention from the general public.  The fact it is large and yellow haired wasn't enough?


Mott The Hoople Plots Return

Their Young Dudes days are well behind them, but Mott The Hoople still gets mentioned as a major influence by some of todays artists that are.  After decades of lttle or no contact with other members of the group, Ian Hunter is getting the band back together for a half dozen dates in England (9/26 Monmouth, and Oct. 1,2,3,5 and 6 in London).  The band that included Mick Ralphs, who left to join Bad Company in 1974, would not have lasted the 6 years it did had David Bowie asked them to record All The Young Dudes, their biggest song by far, in 1972.

Kansas Member Suffers Stroke

Details are just emerging about a stroke that Kerry Livgren, a former member of the of the mainstay prog-rock band Kansas suffered on Tuesday (9/1). reports that Livgren underwent surgery in a Topeka, Kansas hospital to remove a blood clot from his brain.  Given the dire circumstance he was in, things seem to be going well in the aftermath of the operation. Livgren has most recently played as a member of the Christian Rock band Numavox. His nephew relayed word that the family is encouraged by his post-op status.


Petty Mines Concert Archives

Tom Petty: The Live Anthology, out the week of Nov. 22,  includes virtually all of the Heartbreakers best known songs and some surprising covers, among them the Grateful Dead's Friend Of The Devil, Oh Well from Fleetwood Mac, the Booker T instrumental Green Onions, and even the theme from Goldfinger!  The collection's several configurations include: a 4CD set (48 songs), a 5 CD box set (62 songs + 2 previously unreleased DVDs - a 1978 New Years Eve concert + a documentary, and a Blu-Ray disc with all 62 songs in 5:1 surround sound), and a 7 LP vinyl edition.  Superhighway Tour, a digital download version, delivers 24 of the 48 songs in advance of the other releases. Get full details here.


Kiss korners Walmart

The giant retailer will dedicate corners in the electronic departments and sections of the Halloween aisles to KISS through the month of October to mark the chain's exclusive retail arrangement with the band for the release of the album Sonic Boom on October 6. Branded band gear including everything from T-Shirts ($5) to fleece blankets ($10) and Mr. Potato Heads representing each band member ($10) will be hawked.  The Sonic Boom CD/DVD package will sell for $12, and catalog releases from the group will be priced from $5-$9.


New books on Cream members due

New titles by and about two members of the great power trio are due next monthHellraiser, the aptly titled autobiography by Ginger Baker out October 5, recounts the wild life story of one of Rock's true renegades.  The nearly 300 page life story is bound to be a fascinating read, as was the recent article about Baker in Rolling Stone (story) Baker's former mate and now nemesis Jack Bruce has his story told by noted Clapton biographer Harry Shapiro (Slowhand (1984) and Eric Clapton - Lost In The Blues (1992). Composing Himself: The Authorized Biography of Jack Bruce, due out October 15, gives a similarly comprehensive look at the life of the bass player.


SNL locks U2 for season opener

Season 35 of Saturday Night Live will kick off September 26 with U2 as musical guests, according to an unconfirmed report by Access Hollywood attributed to comedian Bill Hader.
Transformers star Megan Fox is slated to host the premier of the late night institution, according to the site.  The show would coincide with the band's visit to the Big Apple for shows at Giants Stadium 9/23 & 24.


Has Charlie Watts quit the Stones?

A report from Undercover Music cites an inside source as saying the Rolling Stones drummer "...will never record or tour with the band again", and goes on to add that Charlie Drayton, who drums for Keith Richards on the side in the Expensive Winos, will take Watts place behind the Stones.   The purported split was attributed to the veteran drummer following through on a decision he was said to be close to before the band convinced him to participate in the Bigger Bang Tour.  Other reports quickly emerged refuting the original story. The British site Uncut maintains a person it identifies only as the group's "UK spokesperson" emphatically denied the validity of the original report.

Springsteen hosts NFL show

Monday (9/7) the NFL Network gives viewers a look behind the scenes of the electrifying halftime set the E Street Band did at Super Bowl XLIII, hosted by Springsteen himself.  More than 150 million viewers watched the game between the Steelers and CardinalsBruce, known for 3 hour shows, managed to pack songs from several eras into under 15 minutes.   "I love playing long and hard, but it was the 35 years in 12 minutes...that was the trick", said Springsteen. It was a feat NFL highlights producers can relate to.  He will get a full hour to take fans into the preparations for the set, including scenes shot in the band's trailer.


Next Neil Young Archive release close

The spigot for Neil Young archive material has been wide open this year.  Early November will see yet another addition with the release of Dreamin' Man, a live and acoustic collection featuring songs on Harvest Moon all performed solo before that album's release.  In addition to the release of the box set spanning the years between his stint with Stephen Stills in Buffalo Springfield and his emergence as a solo artist, Young also issued re-mastered versions of his first four solo albums.  Those will also come out on vinyl and in Blu-ray.


Rundgren exhibit opens

Close to 40 artifacts that chronicle the fascinating career of the Rock innovator go on display Friday (9/4) in the exhibit hall named in honor of another visionary figure, Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun.  Items to view include hand written lyrics, stage outfits, Star Fever, a poem Patti Smith composed for early editions of A Wizard A True Star, the 1973 groundbreaking release Rundgren is performing in its entirety on tour this fall (story), and other artifacts covering his years with Runt, Utopia, Ringo Starr's All Star Band, the New Cars and as a producer for Patti Smith, Meat Loaf, and the New York Dolls.


Vultures touch down in Austin

The schedule has fewer than a dozen dates, but it's a start and, with a month between the last US date on the schedule and the first European date, more could be added. Them Crooked Vultures, the new band comprised of Led Zeppelin veteran John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl from Nirvana and the Foo Fighters and Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age will open a series of North American dates with a pair of concerts in Austin, Texas October 1&2.  Response to the Supergroup's raucous debut in Chicago (story) makes it as obvious as the beak on the bird that tickets will be tough to get hold of for the 9 US and single Canadian date on the schedule announced today (9/1).   Get the North American lineup here.



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