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Noteworthy Now Archives for 2009-12

Van Morrison Denies Fatherhood Claim

Van Morrison is denying reports that he fathered a child with a woman named Gigi Lee.  The Irish singer released a statement dismissing reports Lee gave birth to a son named George Ivan Morrison on Monday (12/28) as 'utterly without foundation.Van Morrison was born George Ivan in Dublin, Ireland in the summer of 1945.  The story originated on the singer's own web site, which featured a post describing the baby as 'the spitting image of his daddy' - a rather frightening prospect, and one that should have invited more skepticism. Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes really did become a father on Tuesday (12/29), when partner Allison Bridges gave birth to a daughter.


Nobody Better Than Vedder

<!-- a:visited { color: #B6B03C } --> The Sunday (12/29) telecast of the Dec. 6 Kennedy Center event paying tribute to its latest class of honorees included a lot of moving and powerful moments, but none that topped the performance Eddie Vedder did in tribute to Bruce Springsteen.  The Pearl Jam front man turned his stripped down rendition of My City of Ruins, the least known of the songs done  during the Springsteen tribute segment, into possibly the night's most compelling performance - and the one that appeared to move Bruce more than versions of Born In The USA (John Mellencamp), I'm On Fire (Ben Harper & Jennifer NettlesBorn To Run (Melissa Etheridge) and The Rising (Sting).  See it here.


Young & Cummings Get Order of Canada Honors

Neil Young and Burton Cummings of the Guess Who have been designated to receive the Order of Canada.  The announcement in Ottawa Wednesday (12/30) credits Young and Cummings for their contributions to music. They join hockey legend Mario Lemieux, film director Ivan Reitman (Stripes, Ghost Busters, Legal Eagles,Twins, Kindergarten Cop) and several  others for contributions in a number of fields.  The Order of Canada is one of the highest honors that can be awarded a Canadian citizen.


Kerry Livgren's Long Road Back

Life changed in an instant for Kerry Livgren on the first day of September.  The previous day, the former Kansas member enjoyed a day doing several of the things he found fulfilling.  Barn chores were followed by time in the recording studio before ending his afternoon guiding one of his radio controlled model airplanes in a pasture. He went to bed feeling fine.  His visit to the bathroom the next morning was interrupted when a massive blot clot moved into his carotid artery, dropping him on the spot.  Since then, Livgren has undergone surgery and physical therapy - and endured the added stress of his wife, Vicci, fracturing her spine in a fall in the same bathroom.  Livgren credits his faith in helping him pull through it all. He has posted a detailed account of his journey on


Ringo Takes Charge

One of the first releases of 2010 includes a song about the power of friendship from a couple of guys who have put theirs through a lot over the decades.  Walk With You, a track on the Ringo Starr album Y Not, features Starr with Paul McCartney. Plans were for Paul to play bass on another song, Peace Dream.  When Ringo played him Walk With You, McCartney asked him for headphones and started singing, turning the song into what Ringo called '...a conversation between us', which he described as genius.  The Jan. 12 release is the first solo project Ringo has produced himself, a decision he reached on the spur of a moment, but one he expects to stick with on future projects.  That gets the endorsement of son, Zak, who said, 'This rocks!  You should have been doing this forever.' Joe Walsh and Gary Wright are also on the album.


Two U2 Projects in Pipeline

U2 has been widely reported as disappointed with the response to No Line On The Horizon.  The album received a Grammy nomination for Rock Album of the Year a few weeks ago, but failed to win over a lot of the band's core fans.  News the group will release Artificial Horizon, a collection of remixes, was met with yawns.  But Saturday (12/26), Bono told the Sunday Independent that U2 is working on a full new album the group hopes to have done by June. Speaking at the Leopardstown races, Bono said some of the new songs the band was working on '...could really turn out to be thoroughbreds' - good news for fans that considered most of the songs on the last album to be also rans compared to the band's best work.


Wood on the Town Again

Ron Wood was spotted getting cozy with another woman who looked young enough to be his grand daughter at the same London club he frequented with Ekaterina Ivanova.  The Daily Mail reported the Rolling Stones guitarist and his mystery date departed together after a few hours at J Sheekey's, with Wood reportedly telling photographers 'I'm gonna have some of that.'  Meanwhile, Ivanova may soon be spilling details about her incendiary year with Wood.  She has apparently agreed to appear in episodes of the British reality TV show  Celebrity Big Brother.  The couple recently split after police intervened for a second time in an altercation between them, the last resulting in Wood being taken into custody. (story)


Gene Simmons Sued By Couple

A couple took action seeking a restraining order against Gene Simmons of KISS after a reported confrontation at a mall.  Nathan Marlowe and Cynthia Manzo claim that Simmons attacked them, taking their camera, shortly after they had begun filming him in the Grove Mall in the Beverly Hills area of LA.  The restraining order request was denied.  The couple is now seeking a civil judgement against Simmons in excess of $25 thousand for assault and emotional distress resulting from the incident.  The claim comes just a couple of weeks after an alleged altercation between Axl Rose and photographers at Los Angeles International Airport. (story)


Birds Could Ground AC/DC

Animal rights activists are seeking to pull the plug on a sold-out AC/DC concert scheduled for an airport in Australia in May.  The BirdLife group claims that the decibel level of an AC/DC concert poses a serious threat to the Curlews that nest in the vicinity of the Wels Airport.  80,000 tickets for the concert, scheduled for May 22, 2010, sold out within hours of going on sale.


Vultures Christmas Video

The partridge in the pear tree better take cover.  Them Crooked Vultures turned loose a Christmas present for fans in the form of a live performance video.  The rip-roaring performance of the song Elephants puts the world on notice that the band John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl and Josh Homme have put together is an incredibly dynamic live band. Catch it here.


Neil Young Backed Eco Car Update

The decision not to follow through on plans to enter the Linc Volt  in the X Prize competition was not the end of the road for the enormous but fuel efficient vehicle backed by Neil Young.  The 3 year project to prove that one of the largest production cars ever made could be converted into one of the greenest cars on the planet continues in a garage in San Francisco. New electrical components are being installed in the massive 1959 Lincoln with the goal of getting it back on the road by March.  The group decided in July to opt out of the 2010 competition for vehicles that exceed the equivalent of 100 mpg after deciding that fulfilling competition requirements would interfere with progress the team hoped to make on the car.


Pearl Jam Issues App

Pearl Jam jumps into the app arena with one that bundles band and tour updates, photos, videos, archived set lists, and detailed information on every Pearl Jam album, including song samples and lyrics.  It even has a dynamic beacon that pulsates in time to ambient sound when it is activated.  iPhone and ipodTouch users of the app will have direct mobile access to Pearl Jam forums where they can interact before, during and after concerts.


Beatles Cruise on the Horizon

Music themed voyages are one way the cruise industry is drumming up business during the slow economic recovery.  Royal Caribbean is offering a 6 night Beatles cruise that sails March 28 out of Port Everglades in Ft Lauderdale, FL.  In addition to the obligatory tribute band, RC has enlisted authors, photographers and artists that have produced works about the band or its individual members.  The authors include Ringo Starr's one-time fiance, Nancy Lee Andrews, who wrote A Dose of Rock and Roll, and the one time Personal Assistant who penned the tell-all book with a title as long as the cruise itself, Miss O'Dell: My Hard Days and Long Nights with the Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and the Women They Loved. (story)


Carnegie Hall Who Tribute in 2010

Songs from the Who catalog will fill Carnegie Hall on March 2 when twenty acts perform in tribute to the British Invasion veterans on the stage of the historic New York City music hall.  Among the acts already confirmed for the event are Warren Haynes & Gov't Mule, the Smithereens, Gaslight Anthem, Robyn Hitchcock and Living Colour.  All of the net proceeds from the concert will be turned over to organizations that promote and support music programs for students.  Previous concerts in the series have honored Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, REM, Elton John and Joni Mitchell.  The Smithereens released a CD of their versions of songs from the Who Rock Opera Tommy earlier this year.


Def Leppard Gets Animated

Def Leppard will make tracks in a number of possible new directions starting in 2010.  The band has announced a deal with Primary Wave, a company that has worked with Gregg Allman, Steven Tyler, Graham Parker and others.  According to the band web site, the association will result in 'various marketing and branding opportunities'.  Mentioned specifically is a plan to develop a cartoon TV show that will include the five band members as characters.


Big Brother Guitarist Dies

The raw urgency of Big Brother & The Holding Company made it the right band for Janis Joplin. What they lacked in skill and technique BBHC members more than made up for in drive and emotion. Guitarist James Gurley matched the passion and angst that filled so many songs Janis belted out nightly.  The band fell apart when Joplin left with the other guitarist, Sam Andrew, to form the Kozmic Blues Band at the end of 1968. Things went from bad to worse when Gurley was charged with murder after his wife died of an accidental overdose.  He was acquitted.  Gurley regrouped with BBHC for brief stints in the 80's & 90's, but left for good in '97.  Hurley died in Palm Springs, CA Sunday (12/20) after suffering a heart attack two days before his 70th birthday. A January memorial is being planned in San Francisco.


Gregg Allman Wraps Up Album

Most southern musicians would rather stay south of the Mason Dixon line between November and May. Not Gregg Allman.  The founding brother of the Allman Brothers Band is packing his sleigh for a tour with his solo band that includes a dozen Northeast dates in the dead of winter.  Gregg says he's looking forward to the touring in colder latitudes because 'that is where it's happening in winter, and I love playing up there.'  Allman is also upbeat about his new solo album, which he recently finished recording in LA.  His first studio disc of new solo material since 1997, the as yet untitled album due in April has 14 blues based songs. He calls it 'way, way far the best' album he has done on his own.


Tyler Looks to Get Clean

Substance abuse has dogged Aerosmith repeatedly over the years.  Steven Tyler is facing the challenge of overcoming it once again.  Other band members had expressed concern that Tyler had relapsed after his fall from a stage during the summer caused the rest of the band's tour with ZZ Top to be canceled.  Tyler added to speculation he was abusing drugs and or alcohol by refusing to communicate with his band mates.  That prompted the others to announce they were considering replacing Tyler.  The virtual intervention seems to have worked.  According to Rolling Stone magazine, Tyler entered rehab to deal with his reliance on prescription pain killers, vowing to write, record and tour with Aersomith 'as soon as things are handled.'


Kinks Musical Gets Axed

Prospects for a Kinks reunion may be looking up (story), but plans for a 2010 run of Come Dancing, a musical based on the music of the group, have been put on the shelf.  A release issued on behalf of Ray Davies called the front man 'extremely disappointed' that the planned tour is off.  No reason for the decision was given, although the apology released by his studio said that Davies would ' issuing a statement in due course'.


Stones May Replace Wood

His ex-wife and girlfriend may not be the only ones that have had it with Ron Wood.  Reports are emerging that the other Stones may be so fed up with the guitarist's antics that a plan to replace him in the band could be in the works.  His recent conduct may have made the band reconsider the advisability of touring with Wood - something the band is said to be planning in 2010.  Jo Wood has been making the most of her post-Ron time.  She has been operating an organic restaurant named Mrs. Paisley's Lashings under the roof of her large estate near Richmond Park in south London. The chef is Arthur Potts Dawson, a nephew of Mick Jagger.


Ozzy Targets June for New Release

A June release has been announced for Soul Sucka!, the next Ozzy Osbourne album.  The release will be the first since Ozzy ended his 20 year association with guitarist Zakk Wylde. (story)   Greek guitarist Kostas Karamitroudis, who performs under the name Gus G, has filled Wylde's role at recent live appearances and is expected to be on the album as well.  In addition to the title tune, the Ozzy web site lists Let It Die and Diggin' Me Down as other songs on the album.


Mellencamp 1/4 Way to Smoke Free Father

John Mellencamp should know better than to under estimate his son - or maybe he knew that doing so was just what he needed to make himself kick his nicotine habit.  A few weeks ago he vowed to quit smoking cigarettes if a million people to joined his son's Facebook page. (story)  Friday !2/18), Speck Mellencamp passed the 250,000 member mark.  Coverage of the crusade on this and dozens of other music web sites triggered additional exposure on US and overseas media outlets. Speck told NPR that his father was already impressed enough by his campaign to have cut back on smoking.  The pace at which people are joining makes the million mark something Speck could reach early in the New Year.  Help him do it here.


Adam Clayton Ripped-Off by Assistant?

Adam Clayton of U2 has taken legal steps against a personal assistant he maintains assisted herself to millions of his earnings.  The court order blocks Carol Hawkins from selling off assets that would reduce her net worth below $2.9 million, the amount the bass player's attorney's contend she may have misappropriated from Clayton. Hawkins was dismissed in November after she reportedly confessed to unauthorized use of his credit and debit cards to make purchases for herself and her family.  One of the purchases may have been a New York City apartment.


Expanded Bowie Concert Disc Due

A Reality Tour, live recordings made during the 2004 David Bowie world tour, gets a Jan. 26 reissue in an expanded edition that includes previously unreleased versions of China GirlBreaking Glass and Fall Dog Bombs The Moon.  The remastered two disc set capturing Bowie in peak form follows the Nov. 17 release of an expanded 40th anniversary edition of A Space Oddity that included 15 bonus songs.  Recent rumors that Bowie would end his prolonged absence from the concert scene with a set at Glastonbury in 2010 were shot down, as were earlier reports that he was in Berlin working on new material.


Expect Page on Stage in 2010

Jimmy Page tells Sky News he has 'every intention of playing music live and manifesting it', so expect the former Zeppelin guitarist to be performing live in the new year.  Jimmy made a brief appearance during the closing of the Olympics, but has not done a concert since a one-off appearance with former band mates Robert Plant and John Paul Jones in London two years ago.  What he'll play, who he will play with and how many dates might be involved remain unknown, but Billboard reports one date will be at the Olympic venue in Beijing April 17 for the Show of Peace FestivalIt Might Get Loud, the Rocumentary featuring Page with The Edge and Jack White of the White Stripes gets released on DVD Dec. 22. (story & preview)


Doobies & Chicago Join Forces

The Doobie Bothers and Chicago hooked up for more than 20 dates during the summer of 2008.  They will do it again in 2010.  Both bands will start out on their own tours before joining forces at the Dodge Theatre in Phoenix June 15 to start a run of 25 concerts together.  The Doobie Brothers prior dates keep them in the States, and include two tribute concerts at the Fox Theatre in Oakland with Steve Miller, Bonnie Raitt and many others to honor the late, great harmonica player Norton Buffalo. (story) Chicago will do dates in the Philippines and Japan before returning to the US for more shows before the combined tour kicks off.


Clapton Clothing Up In Smoke

A fashionable men's clothing store that Eric Clapton has a 50% ownership in suffered a fire that reportedly destroyed the shop's entire Christmas inventory. Cordings, a Piccadilly fixture for 170 years, lost more than $325,000 in clothing Thursday (12/17) due to smoke and water damage resulting from the fire, which apparently started when water leaking in the shop's basement got into electrical equipment.  Clapton, whose interest in the store goes beyond being an investor, said 'I want to assure customers that it will be business as normal come tomorrow'.  EC had a close call in 1996 when he escaped a fire in his London home, managing to save several guitars.


Janis & Stevie Ray Share Austin Honor

<!-- a:visited { color: #B6B03C } -->  The Austin Music Memorial has only been around a couple of years.  So the fact Stevie Ray Vaughan and Janis Joplin are just getting honored posthumously in 2010 is not a mark against one of the most musically hip places on the planet - even if we think they should have been in the inaugural group.  Thursday (12/17), the Austin City Council voted thumbs up on the two Texas legends, inducting them with 8 others, including Townes Van Zandt.  Engraved discs for each inductee are displayed on City Terrace at the Long Center for the Arts.  The official ceremony takes place Mar. 28.


Marathon Lennon Interview Emerges

In 1968, a first year Keele University student got to interview John Lennon in the Surrey home of the Beatle after applying for the privilege in a fan magazine.  Brief excerpts appeared in the university newspaper, but the rest of the Lennon interview, nearly 6 hours worth, was stashed away by Maurice Hindle.  He is now working on a book about Lennon and has decided to make the full transcript available.  Segments of the extraordinary marathon include John's response to claims the Beatles had sold out, Lennon saying, 'OK so we mop-topped it to get where I am - I'm here', and, 'I'm not going to get myself crucified if I can help it, and so I have compromised.'  The full interview is being published in the New Statesman.

The Edge Seeks Support in Malibu

Down time between U2 tour dates has been busy for The Edge, who is trying to get approval for an ambitious development on a hillside overlooking the Pacific near Malibu, California.  The complex, which Dave Evans insists will be environmentally friendly, has drawn fire from a number of area residents since plans were revealed early this year. (story) The proposal for a five home 'retreat' would reportedly use sustainable materials and 'passive design techniques', according to a web site that has been posted to counter critics of the plan.  One irate neighbor dismisses the green claim as '...the biggest mislabeling of something I've ever seen'.  The California Coastal Commission is expected to rule on the project in January. A web site about the project is online.


Elton, CSN, Jackson Browne to Honor Young

The Grammy drought for Neil Young could end in 2010.  Young has picked up a couple of nominations for the annual music industry awards presentation.  He has already locked-up a Grammy related honor.  Young was named MusiCares Person of the Year (story).  The event paying tribute to him takes place Jan. 29 in LA.  The lineup of artists planning to participate includes Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne, Elton John, John Mellencamp, Leon Russell, Sheryl Crow, Dave Matthews, James Taylor and T-Bone Burnett.


Eagles & Fleetwood Mac Plot Tour

Pollstar says it has confirmed reports that the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac are working on a joint tour of stadiums for the summer of 2010.  U2 and Springsteen are the only acts that are a lock to fill 60,000+ venues, so more acts that could once count on stadium size turnouts are likely to combine forces for future tours.  The Eagles are slated make their first appearances ever at the Hollywood Bowl with a three concert series set for April 16, 17 & 20.  Fleetwood Mac wraps up its current tour Dec. 20 with a performance in New Zealand.


2010 New Orleans Festival Lineup

Browsing 2010 festival lineups takes some of the chill out of dark winter days.  One of the longest running festivals also gives us the largest lineup to peruse.  The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival spans two weekends and multiple venues, and will present hundreds of performers.  Rockers in the 2010 lineup include the Allman Brothers Band, Pearl Jam, The Black Crowes, Van Morrison, Jeff Beck, Dr. John, The Levon Helm Band, Widespread Panic, Elvin Bishop, Elvis Costello, Gov't Mule, Derek Trucks and Blues Traveler.   Dates for the massive celebration in and around the Crescent City are April 23-25 and April 29-May 2.

2010 Rock Hall Inductees Firm

Perseverance finally pays off for fans of Iggy Pop.  After several years of falling short, The Stooges will join the ranks of Rock Hall of Fame members on March 15.  Genesis also gains entrance, along with the Hollies, reggae star Jimmy Cliff and, in the what the *&#@ are they thinking category, ABBA gets in, KISS does not.  Others that missed the cut: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Donna Summer, Laura Nyro, the Chantels, LL Cool J and Darlene Love. We maintain that an institution that inducts Madonna and the Jackson 5 and even considers LL Cool J before it has admitted KISS, Alice Cooper, the Moody Blues, the J. Geils Band, Rush, the Doobie Brothers, Cheap Trick, Jethro Tull, Todd Rundgren, the Cars and other legitimate Rockers should forfeit the use of the word 'Rock' in its name.

Another Epic Christmas Jam

In celebration of its 20th year last December, the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam in Asheville, NC added a second night.  This year's event was back down to one night but still managed to spill over into a second day, with Haynes and Gov't Mule taking the stage a bit past 2 in the morning Sunday (12/12), more than 5 hours after the benefit concert's opening notes.  The Allman Brothers Band guitarist was there at the start too, kicking the benefit for Habitat For Humanity off with an acoustic version of Wild Horses, the Stones classic.  The Haynes fronted Christmas Jam Band also included Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford and Edwin McCainCounting Crows also played, ending their set with a run of songs from side two of Abbey Road.
Asheville Citizen Times


High Voltage Festival Adds Acts

ZZ Top and Emerson Lake & Palmer will be joined by Foreigner, Focus, Asia, Black Label Society and former Genesis member Steve Hackett at the High Voltage Festival in Victoria Park in London in July, 2010.  The full lineup is expected to include around 40 Rock, Progressive Rock and Metal acts. (story)


Early Elvis Costello Concert Disc Due

A few months after the release of his ground breaking second album, This Year's Model, Elvis Costello performed a blistering set in the auditorium of Hollywood High School. Three songs recorded during the June 4, 1978 concert were issued on a 7" single that was packaged as a bonus in some early copies of Armed Forces, the third album by Costello and the Attractions. The 2002 reissue of that 1979 release included a bonus disc with nine songs from the Hollywood High performance.  Live At Hollywood High, the disc including all 20 songs from that appearance, comes out on January 12.  A Royal Albert Hall concert is also being prepared for release.


BB King Opens Vegas Venue

If anyone in Itta Bena, Mississippi told young Riley King he'd be playing at the opening of his own club inside a lavish casino in Las Vegas when he was 84 he would probably just have given them that wry BB King smile.  Friday night at the Mirage King was on that stage, performing at the Grand Opening of the newest BB King Blues Club.  The 558 seat showcase includes 4 bars and will present music every night of the week.  The Vegas venue joins one in Palm Beach, FL as the latest additions to the roster of King clubs, which includes locations in Orlando, Nashville and Memphis.


Who Historic Spot Marked in UK

Pete Townshend observed something during a pub concert in 1964 that ended up costing the Who guitarist several instruments in the years that followed.  Playing the Railway Hotel Pub in Harrow, England in September of '64, Townshend broke the neck on his guitar when it hit the ceiling during a leap.  The crowd loved it.  Noting the reaction, Pete proceeded to smash the the instrument to pieces, driving the crowd wild.  A plaque was recently installed near the spot in Sandridge Close where Townshend's guitar met its historic and glorious end.  Unfortunately, the building that housed the pub was torn down long ago and replaced with apartments.


Dylan Holiday Album Generates Jingle

Bob Dylan has made an otherwise difficult year for fundraising brighter for a number of organizations.  His Christmas In The Heart album of holiday songs has raised more than $125,000 to aid homeless adults and provide free meals to children in need.  The album is one of the first to be tied to a donor advised fund that turns royalties into charitable donations that go to recipient organizations chosen by the musician and/or label. Proceeds from the Dylan project are being donated to Feeding America, London based CRISIS and the World Food ProgrammeCRISIS says the money it receives from the album's sales will translate into 15,000 meals in the UK and 500,000 meals for school children in developing countries.


Guns Leader Goes Off on LA Photographers

Axl Rose has a fuse about as short as his first name, so news of a confrontation between the Guns N' Roses front man and photographers crowding him as he prepared to leave for a Far East tour was no surprise.  Details about the incident are limited, but it apparently took place as Rose approached the security screening area for international flights out of LAX.  A statement that appeared on the GNR My Space page described the singer and his entourage as being 'accosted by an unruly group of paparazzi'Rose later boarded his flight to Taipei, Taiwan where Guns N' Roses is scheduled to open a tour that also includes stops in Korea and Japan.


Seger on the Case, Perry on Letterman

The Sunday (12/13) of Cold Case on CBS will have a soundtrack of tunes from Bob Seger.  The epsisode Ice involves the murder of a minor league hockey player that goes down on the same night as the Miracle On Ice - the US men's Olympic hockey win over the Soviet Union in Lake Placid, New York.  Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, Her Strut, Roll Me Away, Night Moves, Fire Down Below and Against The Wind are the songs by the Rocker from Red Wing territory in the episode.  Seger recently mined his archives to put together Early Seger 1, a compilation including out of print songs from his catalogue (story). Joe Perry and his solo band perform on the David Letterman Show Friday night (12/12).


Bachman & Turner Gear Up

One of the B's and the T of Bachman Turner Overdrive are gearing up for a return. Randy Bachman Bachman, also a veteran of the Guess Who, had been working on a solo album with contributions from Neil Young, Jeff Healey, Burton Cummings of Guess Who fame and fellow BTO member Fred Turner.  The Turner collaboration proved so strong that Randy decided to put his own album on hold and do a whole album with Turner. Bachman and Turner plan to tour in 2010 after the album is released.  Legal roadblocks thrown up by Randy's younger brother, Robbie, and Blair Thornton will prevent them from using BTO or Overdrive in a name (story), but won't prevent them from including BTO classics in the sets.

KISS Supplies Students With Instruments

Members of KISS teamed up with the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation to get 40 instruments distributed to students a Tulsa school Wednesday (12/9)Paul Stanley met with students at Wilson Middle School to welcome the latest members to the junior ranks of the KISS Army.  The donation was orchestrated for an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that features the group participating in the renovation of music teacher's home.


Ron Wood Over Ivanova

Celebrity and wealth aside, Ron Wood and Tiger Woods had little in common except last names that were close.  Both, undoubtedly, wish that were still the case.  Revelations about the two in recent weeks have been personal tsunamis for both. Tiger had a better reputation and much more to lose.  But Woods is more indispensable to the PGA and Nike than Wood is to the Rolling Stones.  That may have contributed to the guitarist's apparent decision to end the stormy relationship that began a year ago as an extramarital affair with Eketarina Ivanova.  The Daily Mail reports that Wood has dumped the 20 year-old.  Last Thursday (12/3) police were called to break-up a disturbance between the two for the second time, this incident resulting in Wood being taken into custody and facing possible assault charges (story)


Peter Gabriel Lines Up Live Dates

Scratch My Back, a collection of interpretations of songs by other artists, is due from Peter Gabriel early in 2010.  The former Genesis front man is being up front about the project being decidedly non-Rock in nature by promoting it as 'Orchestra, No Drums, No Guitars'.  the same holds true for upcoming live performances of the material, the first of which will be staged on March 27 in London's 02 Arena.  The show featuring the album, which contains songs by Lou Reed, David Bowie, Neil Young and Paul Simon, may also include some Gabriel songs.  His web site is offering seats in the first 5 rows that include the DC, event laminates, and tour shirts @ $243 a ticket.


Rolling Stone's Rock Credibility Gap

Rolling Stone magazine posted the titles it considers the Best 100 Songs of the decade Wednesday (12/9).  The list serves as a stark reminder of how marginal Rock has become to the once standard bearing publication. Beyonce (3), Jay Z (3) Kanye West (2) Eminem (2) and Madonna (2) have more songs on the list than all Rockers except  Coldplay (4), Radiohead (3) U2 (3) Springsteen (2) The Strokes (2) Green Day (2) and the White Stripes (2).  Projects from the Rock veterans the magazine built its reputation on got completely shut out, except Bob Dylan (1) and the Robert Plant, Alison Krauss collaboration (1).  The rest of the list is filled with pop, rap, country, hip-hop and stuff we can only guess about.

Kravitz Nixes Aerosmith Role

Lenny Kravitz used his Twitter account to announce he has taken himself out of contention as a replacement or fill-in in for Steven Tyler.  His Monday (12/7) post said he was flattered the 'Aerosmith camp' considered him - but called Tyler a family friend and wrote, ' voice could ever take the place of his.' Smart move... and a decision the band should anticipate every established artist it approaches will arrive at.  The guys behind Tyler for all those years are well known and highly regarded, but Steven has always been the face and the voice of Aerosmith. Trying to fill his shoes should look like a losing proposition to any candidate, no matter how strong his pipes and stage presence are.


Eric Clapton Adds US Tour Dates

Eric Clapton will team with Roger Daltrey of the Who for a US tour and then join forces with Steve Winwood for spring 2010 dates in Europe.  The US segment starts Feb. 25 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh and includes stops in Nashville (2/27), Birmingham (2/28), Tulsa (3/2), Memphis (3/5), New Orleans (3/6), Raleigh (3/8), Atlanta (3/9), Ft. Lauderdale (3/11) and Orlando (3/13).  Clapton also has dates with Jeff Beck slated for New York, Montreal and Toronto (story).


Overdose Claimed Springsteen's Cousin

The cousin of Bruce Springsteen who died on the the day of a scheduled concert in Kansas City was the victim of a combination of amphetamines and heroin, according to autopsy results released Tuesday (12/8)Lenny Sullivan died in his room in the InterContinental Hotel in the hours leading up to a scheduled concert at the Sprint Center.  The concert was canceled soon after Bruce was alerted to the tragedy (story)Sullivan, 36, had been an assistant tour manager for the E Street Band.  The concert was not rescheduled.
Kansas City Star


Lesh Joins Crowes for Dead Encore

The Black Crowes concluded a 5 night run at the Fillmore in San Francisco Sunday (12/6) with a very special guest.  Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, The Dead, Phil Lesh & Friends and, most recently, Further, the re-alliance with Bob Weir, joined them for a 5 song encore of Grateful Dead songs -  Loose Lucy, To Lay Me Down, Sugaree, Deal and Turn On Your Love Light, a song Bobby Bland recorded in the early 60's that became a staple of many a Dead show in the early 70's.  Deal and Sugaree were the only songs in the encore the Crowes had done live before.


Springsteen Lauded in DC

'I'm the President, but he's The Boss' was the way President Obama put it before thanking Bruce Springsteen and the other Kennedy Center honorees for reminding us in times of war and sacrafice 'to sing and to laugh and to live' as well as to '...challenge our conscience and implore us to remember the least among us.Bruce, Robert De Niro, jazz legend Dave Brubeck and the other recipients joined the President at a tribute at the Kennedy Center on Sunday (12/6) that ran close to 3 hours.  Melissa Etheridge, who recorded a duet of Thunder Road with Springsteen, performed Born To Run. John Mellencamp, Eddie Vedder, Sting and Vietnam Veteran Ron Kovic also appeared. CBS will air the event Dec. 29.


ELP Reunite for UK Festival

A Glastonbury type event aimed at Classic Rock fans is planned for July, 2010 in London's Victoria Park. The High Voltage Festival July 24 & 25 is being organized in conjunction with the UK based magazine Classic Rock, which reports it is basing the lineup on reader response.  ZZ Top and Emerson, Lake & Palmer are slated to top a lineup that will include upwards of 40 Rock, Progressive Rock and Metal bands, according to Marketing Week.  The ELP festival set is said to be the only performance that Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer plan to do together.


Kinks Movie in the Works

The Kinks may be on their way to being Celluloid Heros themselves.  A film about the band featuring the often at odds Davies brothers has all kinds of entertainment potential - and could even earn an R rating for violence.  Battles between Ray and Dave were not just verbal, and sometimes erupted during concerts.  They are getting on so much better now that Ray recently sounded upbeat about reunion prospects, but still managed to get a dig in about his brother (story).  The project is under the direction of Julien Temple, who has done films about the Sex Pistols and the Glastonbury Festival, and has the working title You Really Got Me.


Joel's Daughter Hospitalized

The daughter of Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley was taken to a Manhattan hospital for treatment after a possible suicide atrtempt.  According to the Daily News, paramedics responded to a call from her Greenwich Village apartment and transpoted the 23 year-old Alexa Ray Joel to St. Vincent's Medical Center Saturday (12/5) after she took what a source described as a 'handful of sleeping pills'.  Brinkley arrived at the hospital later in the afternoon.  Joel remained at his home on Long Island, keeping up to the minute on his daughter's treatment and condition by phone.  She was released late in the afternoon.  Alexa, an aspiring singer, has reportedly been despondent over career and personal issues.

Alabama Symphony Gets Led The Out

The Alabama Symphony got part way through a night of Led Zeppelin music last May before high winds and rain brought the program to a halt.  The orchestra will have another go at it Saturday night (12/12), this time indoors.  The Alabama Theater in Birmingham  is the setting for the show that will feature the symphony with Zebra vocalist Randy Jackson doing renditions of Black Dog, Kashmir, Stairway To Heaven and other Zep classics.  The event is produced by Windhorse Music, which has also paired symphony orchestras with the music of Pink Floyd, the Eagles, Queen and the DoorsAlabama Song from the Doors would make a good encore.

Whitford Enlists in Hendrix Tribute

With the outlook for Aerosmith hazy, Brad Whitford is opting to play Purple Haze and other Jimi Hendirx songs with Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Satriani, Jonny Lang, Eric Johnson and a host of other guitar greats in the new lineup of Experience Hendrix, the touring tribute concert to the Seattle six string legend.  The tour opens March 5 at the Gibson Amphitheater in LA, and will cover 15 other cities as it works its way east, closing with a show at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta on March 27.


Rock Hall Annex Shuts Down

Just months after its opening, it is lights out for the Rock Hall of Fame Annex in lower Manhattan. Lackluster attendance is to blame for the shut down, which comes only about a year after the Grand Opening.  A John Lennon special exhibit drew decent numbers during the summer, but traffic dropped too drastically to justify keeping the doors open. Some attribute the failure to attract enough interest to location; the Annex is far from the mainstream tourist epicenter of Mid-town. Insufficient promotion and the $28.85 price of admission may also have contributed to the rapid demise.

Wood-Ivanova Flashpoint Castle?

The incident that ended with Ron Wood behind bars the other night (story) may have been triggered when the Rolling Stones guitarist's young girlfriend pressured him to put his multi-million dollar castle in Kildare, Ireland in her name.  According to a report on attributing the story to the Daily Mail, the argument outside a home the couple shares escalated to the point that police were summoned involved a fight over Ekaterina Ivanova wanting title to a $5 million property Wood owns in Ireland.  A neighbor described the scene as involving someone 'dragging a woman down the road' while screaming at her.  He then said the man 'put his hands around her throat.'

McCartney Pitches EU Parliament

Paul McCartney took his Meat Free Monday campaign before the European Parliament in Brussels during the body's climate meetings.  The 'Less Meat=Less Heat' proposition is based on the contention that livestock accounts for nearly 37% of the methane gas, 35% of NOx emissions and 9% of CO2, all of which contribute to global warming.  Not all were convinced or impressed, especially the president of the UK National Farmer's Union, who said Sir Paul, ' a well respected musician, but he should not be using this debate to further what are his personal, strident vegetarian beliefs.'


Rolling Stone Restaurant Due in LA

Another Rolling Stone is set to follow Bill Wyman into the restaurant trade. Not a former band mate, but the Magazine.  Wyman started his Sticky Fingers franchise in 1989. According to the LA Times, a Rolling Stone Restaurant and night club is on the drawing board for Hollywood.  A  head to head battle with the Hard Rock Cafe franchise for live concerts and memorabilia is not in the offing according the the magazine, which suggests it has plans for a posher eating and drinking establishment.  It might start out that way, but survival in the hyper competitive restaurant biz may depend on the magazine's willingness to make full use of its leverage with bands to its advantage, which could lead to one loud food fight.

Red Rocker Hosts Big Bash in Vegas

The original Cabo Wabo Cantina swung open its doors nearly 20 years ago in Cabo San Lucas.  The chain, under the wing of Chickenfoot and former Van Halen and Montrose guitarist Sammy Hagar, has added two new restaurants this year.  The latest got off to a rocking start on the strip in Las Vegas recently.  Friday night (12/4) the Red Rocker himself hosts the Grand Opening party at the Tex-Mex eating and drinking establishment with a performance featuring Hagar with the Wabortias.  Those not lucky enough to cop a pass to the show can enjoy it on a 5,000 square foot LED screen outside.


AC/DC, Clapton-Winwood, U2 Grammy Noms

In an effort to inject some added energy into the ramp-up the the Grammy Awards ceremony, sponsors turned the nominations announcements into a concert event in LA Wednesday (12/2).  The result was an awkward combination of a sit-down, stand-up affair for the celebs rounded up to attend, as well as those that performed. The misguided tradition of presenters that are clueless about the category whose nominees they announce was never more apparent than when Pop singer Katy Perry gave a look of disdain for AC/DC and rolled her eyes when she announced Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood's nods for Rock Album of the Year. Green Day was the only group Perry made it obvious she likes in the category that also included the Dave Matthews Band and U2.  We hope she is nominated next year in a category Angus Young announces.  Get the rest of the Grammy Rock story here.

Ron Wood Arrested

Police responding to another altercation involving Ron Wood and Eketerina Ivanova took the Rolling Stones guitarist into custody Wednesday night (12-2), keeping him in jail overnight.  While authorities would only confirm the arrest of a 62 year old at the address, the Telegraph reports that the incident involved Wood and his 20 year-old Russian live-in girlfriend. David Rigg, a business advisor, later confirmed Wood had been detained, according to This marks the second time in recent months police have responded to a disturbance call involving the couple (story)Ivanova was recently named by some as the source that leaked news that the Stones are planning a 2010 tour.


Rare Pink Floyd Footage Surfaces

An unidentified Rock star is being credited with giving the British Film Institute footage of a 1967 Pink Floyd performance done for the BBC One show Top of the Pops.  The Institute arranged for the restoration of the two performances of See Emily Play recorded on July 6 and 27 1967.  The discovery is particularly noteworthy because the recordings were done while Syd Barrett was still in the band. Relatively few recordings of the popular series are in the archive.  Many of the live shows were not even recorded, and lots of the ones that were got discarded over the decades to clear space.  The BBC plans to air the Floyd segment as part of a special in January.


Kennedy Center Honors Springsteen

Hillary Clinton hosts a dinner Saturday (12/5) at the State Department honoring this year's recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors for excellence in the performing arts, a group that includes Bruce Springsteen.  The Gala takes place the following night when Bruce and fellow winners, including director Mel Brooks, jazz legend Dave Brubeck and actor, director Robert De Niro sit with President Obama and his wife at the Kennedy Center while other artisits perform tributes to them.  Bruce, who showed up at a Carnegie Hall charity event a couple of weeks ago in jeans and a T-shirt, might dust off some better duds for this night.  CBS airs a 2 hour special on the event Dec. 29 (9p Eastern & Pacific).


Kinks Reunion Prospects Improve

In an interview with, Ray Davies suggested that the odds the Kinks will get back together are improving.  After mentioning that he had worked on things in the studio with Mick Avory, Ian Gibbons and others involved with past Kinks projects and tours, Ray went on to say he is 'just waiting for my brother to come along' on the idea of a reunion.  Dave Davies, who has battled health issues in recent years, will 'complain and moan and try to score points right until the end...' and 'Then he'll turn up and do it', according to his brother.  Ray Davies is currently doing a limited tour of the US in support of the Kinks Choral CD (story)


Clapton & Jeff Beck Set US Date

North American fans of two legendary guitarists will get the chance to see Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck on the same bill in February.  The two did concerts together in Japan and London last year, each stop earning rave reviews.  US and Canadian dates are at this point limited to 3 nights in 3 cities: Thurdsay, Feb 18 at Madison Square Garden in New York, Sunday, Feb. 21 at the AirCanada Center in Toronto, and Monday, Feb. 22 in Montreal's BellCenter.  Add-on dates in each of those cities are likely once each original date sells out.  Whether a longer tour is possible is unknown.


LA Band Lands Slash

Slash worked up his Thanksgiving appetite by working out the night before (11/25) with the LA band Ghost Hounds at the House of Blues in Hollywood.  The Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver guitarist joined Ty Taylor and his band for their take on the Stones classic Gimme Shelter.  Catch the balcony view of it here.

Joe Perry Solicits Tyler Stand-Ins

Talking with CNN during the American Music Awards, Joe Perry said of Aerosmith 'the other three guys want to work',  and, calling Rock & Roll an athletic event, went on to say ' can't just sit around'.  He contends the band already has 'a short list' of candidates to fill Steven Tyler's role in Aerosmith, but encouraged more to audition.  As to what the possibly soon to be former lead singer thinks about what's going down, Perry said he has no idea since the 15 words  Tyler spoke the night he surprised the Joe Perry Project in New York a few weeks ago were the only ones he has heard from him since the Sturgis concert that grounded the Aerosmith summer tour.  See the interview here.


Mellencamp Son To Dad: Butt Out

Someone wants John Mellencamp to kick the nicotine habit - and this time it's personal.  John's teenage son, a state wrestling title holder, is challenging his father to break the hold cigarettes have on him.  Speck Mellencamp is using his Facebook page as the flash point for the campaign.  The deal he cut with his dad:  I recruit a million friends, you stop smoking.  It's a habit his father could not break, even after a 1994 heart attack made him face the prospect his nearly 4 pack a day habit would lay him out young.  He did cut back, but has not quit. Speck still has more than 980,000 friends to go, but John knows better than to bet against a kid that has made some tough opponents quit.



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