ROCKinsights Members

Forgot Password

Not a Member? Sign up here!

Noteworthy Now Archives for 2010-05

Joe Walsh Being Stalked

Joe Walsh goofs around a lot.  Always has, always will.  But the guitarist with the Eagles appears dead serious about someone wanting to kill him. TMZ reports Walsh has filed court papers claiming that a man in his 70's is threatening to shoot him, and says the individual has already gone after his personal assistant using a block of wood.  The desperado Walsh maintains is a clear and present danger to him is a neighbor that the request for a restraining order says trespassed on the musician's property, confronted and attacked his assistant, and then yelled, 'You tell Joe Walsh I'm going to kill him.  I'm going to shoot him.'


Tyler Bio Bumped Back

Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?, the autobio Steven Tyler has been working on, won't be out until the fall, according to a blurb in the Boston Herald.  Given events in the Aerosmith front man's life over the last several months it would be disappointing not to have that period covered in the book, though there is nothing to indicate adding an account of Tyler and the band's near demise is the cause for the delay.  Publisher Harper Collins is said to have fronted $2 million for the rights to the book


Pete Townshend Gets Historic House

Pete Townshend has given himself a 65th birthday present.  The Who guitarist recently bought an historic 17th century Dutch style house in Berkshire, England from the National Trust, which had owned the building since the 1950's.  Townshend's title to the house actually comes in the form of a 41 year lease. Whether Townshend intends to live in the stone mansion remains to be seen.  If he does, he will have to get used to having some company; one provision of the arrangement is that Townshend allow the public to have access to portions of the house two days a week between April and October.


Gibson Crowns Top Ten Guitarists

If you visit this site regularly, chances are good you've had lively discussions on the way to or from concerts about who the top five or ten guitarists of all time are. There's almost as good a chance that each of your rankings ended up with at least a couple of players that did not make the other's cut.  Gibson Guitars, a company with plenty of players with damn good chops themselves, invited readers and recruited Jeff Cease of the Black Crowes, James Williamson of the Stooges, Steve Mazur from Our Lady Peace and Martin Belmont of Graham Parker's Rumour to get together a Gibson list of the 50 best string slingers of all time - and they did not take the easy way out of just announcing all 50 in no particular order.  Also to their credit, numero uno turned out not to be a Gibson loyalist.  The top 10 hit the web site Friday (5/28). Pete Townshend, who did so much for and to his Gibson guitars, was 10th, followed by Robert Johnson (9), Chet Atkins (8), Eddie Van Halen (7), Jeff Beck (6), Chuck Berry (5), Eric Clapton (4), Keith Richards (3), Jimmy Page (2), and Jimi Hendrix.  We might have shuffled a few up or down within the top 20, but you can make just as solid case for every one of them being where they are.

Santana Rock Project Nears

Carlos Santana fans disappointed that recent collaborative projects the guitarist has done have leaned too far toward pop should have an album to get excited about soon.  Both the songs and the guest artists on this project are out-and-out Rockers, including a version of the Zeppelin song Whole Lotta Love featuring vocals from Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, Joe Cocker taking on the Hendrix song Little Wing, and a version of Riders On The Storm that includes Ray Manzarek of the DoorsCarlos says the album should prove be a good mood setter too, telling Rolling Stone magazine, 'I paid special attention to the groove so females would get completely aroused.'


'Supergroup' Back From The Brink

On the brink of becoming the answer to a trivia question about the fastest musical meltdown ever, the band featuring guitarist Joe Bonamassa, a voice from Deep Purple and the son of Led Zeppelin's legendary drummer seems to have solved the internal issues that almost caused it to break apart before an album and tour.  The band, comprised of guitarist Joe Bonamassa, Deep Purple veteran Glenn Hughes, drummer Jason Bonham of Led Zeppelin family lineage, and Derek Sherinian, who has played with Alice Cooper and Dream Theater, was set to roll out as Black Country until discovering another group had already laid claim to that name.  That and other unspecified issues led to tensions between the managers (story) that escalated to the point that it looked as though the group would crash and burn after just one brief appearance during an encore of a Joe Bonamassa concert in southern California last fall (story).  Band members and managers are apparently back on good enough terms to move the project forward as Black Country CommunionBonamassa has earned wide-spread recognition for his amazing guitar work but has just an average voice, so teaming him with Hughes makes all kinds of sense.  Hughes has tremendous pipes, but an equally super-sized ego, according to some.  Jason Bonham has proven he has monster talent behind the kit - but also has plans to put together a touring tribute to his late father's group, which could interfere with Black Country Communion plans. Hype about the group has been a bit intense.  The group's MySpace page proclaims BCC is '...a true supergroup that delivers a titanic rock experience greater than the sum of its supremely talented parts'. On the mark or over-the-top? You decide. video

Children Honor Dads With Covers Album

The 2010 edition of A Song For My Father brings together children of musical icons to do songs their fathers recorded on a tribute album that will come out in time for Fathers Day.  The track list for the 14 song collection includes the sons or daughters of Gregg Allman, Carlos Santana, Bob Marley, Leonard Cohen, James Taylor, Brian Wilson, Arlo Guthrie, Harry Chapin and Jim Croce.  Tunes on the June 1 release include Evil Ways by Carlos Santana son Salvador, Midnight Rider from Gregg Allman son Devon and his band Honeytribe, Cat\'s In The Cradle from Harry Chapin daughter Jen, Bird On A Wire from Leonard Cohen son Adam, Bartender's Blues by James Talor son Ben, Warmth Of The Sun done by Brian Wilson's daughters Carnie and Wendy, Coming Into Los Angeles by Arlo Guthrie daughter Sarah Lee, Lover's Cross from A.J. Croce, the son Jim Croce and Soul Shake Down Party done by Bob Marley son Ky-mani.


Ron Wood Claims He's Solidly Sober

Ron Wood has had a revolving door relationship with rehab over the decades, but the Rolling Stones guitarist claims his newly rediscovered sobriety is something he intends to stick with, thanks to his girlfriend, Ana Araujo, who has him going to either a Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous meeting every day.  Wood pronounced himself clean and sober over the last two months and stated his intention to attend 90 meetings in 90 days in an interview in the Daily MailWood also dismissed reports that his decision to do more dates with the Faces (story) means he might leave the Stones, saying that playing with the Faces is something other Stones members '...are encouraging', and calling it just a way to ' something constructive and keep the chops going' during down time between Stones commitments.


Will Zep Step In For U2?

When Bono went down with a serious back injury that required emergency surgery last week (story), the Glastonbury Festival lost one of its biggest draws.  Even though the festival sold all its tickets before the lineup was even announced (story), organizers would love to deliver a great act to take the place of U2 to preserve its status as one of the top annual festivals. NME is reporting that Jimmy Page declined to rule out the possibility that Led Zeppelin might agree to step in to fill the slot.  The site quotes the guitarist as responding to a question about rumors Zeppelin was considering it by saying, 'I refuse to rule anything out'.  Robert Plant went on record earlier to call the idea of playing Glastonbury 'amazing', but did not offer the opinion specifically about doing it with Zeppelin as opposed to as a solo act or with some other group.  The former Zep vocalist has US tour dates slated for this summer with the Band Of Joy (story).


Aerosmith In New York State Of Mind

Officials of the New York State Fair are taking heat for striking a deal for an Aerosmith appearance August 26 that guarantees the band a million dollars.  The deal, which includes an attendance based incentives that could earn the group another $300,000 according to the Syracuse Post Standard, exceeds the record amount the event paid to get two major country acts, Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift, two years ago.  At $104, premium seats for the Boston band's concert will shatter the record for highest concert ticket price ever by $34.  Even the cheap seats, priced at $84, beat the previous highest priced show by $14.  The margins for breaking even on the show are so thin the fair stands to lose money on the show if just a few hundred  seats go unsold - a prospect that has some taxpayers and officials in the cash strapped state thinking that Fair officials need to Get A Grip.


McCartney At White House, Ringo On PBS

Paul McCartney will pick up the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song during a special event in the East Room of the White House on June 2.  Comedian Jerry Seinfeld and previous recipient of the honor Stevie Wonder will join Elvis Costello, Jack White, Emmylou Harris and Dave Grohl in paying tribute to the former Beatle.  McCartney hinted at performing himself at the event when he closed his recent webchat with fans with the comment, 'There's been some rumours and I think we can give you a clue.  Think White House. Think playing...'. 
Season two of the PBS TV series Live From the Artists Den opens the week of July 5 with a Ringo Starr performance recorded at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.


U2 North American Dates Scuttled

As we reported was likely yesterday, U2 has decided to pull the plug on plans to return to the road in North America next month.  The decision will bump all of the dates between June 3 and July 19 into 2011.  A statement from tour promoter Live Nation posted on the U2 web site Tuesday (5/25) conveyed confirmation of the plan, saying, 'Although we understand the disappointment to U2 fans, first and foremost comes the recovery of Bono.'  The U2 front man underwent emergency surgery in Munich, Germany last week following a fall during a pre-tour conditioning rehearsal. (story)


Faces Plan More Dates

Attempts to convince Rod Stewart to participate in a Faces reunion have still not persuaded him to make room in his schedule, so Ron Wood, Kenny Jones and Ian McLagan plan to do more dates without him.  The trio of Faces members will again use Mick Hucknall of Simply Red to fill Stewart's vacancy and round their ranks out with the addition of Sex Pistols alum Glen Matlock.  The group reunited minus Rod last year for concerts that Ronnie Wood called great, saying, '...very simply the magic was still there.  Playing with the boys again just felt so right we thought well, why not?'  The group plans to do it again during Vintage at Goodwood, a festival in Chichester, West Sussex, England August 15-17.


Recovery Could Sideline U2 Longer

While his post-op recovery is reportedly off to a good start, the back surgery Bono underwent in Germany at the end of last week (story) may result in more postponements for the next leg of the U2 tour.  The decision to postpone the Salt Lake City opener (6/3) was made as soon as it was apparent the singer would require surgery after falling while working out in preparation for the tour in Germany.  The tour schedule has shows in Anaheim June 6 & 7, followed by several days off before a June 12 date in Denver.  There is even some speculation the group may delay returning to the road until fall.


Dylan Artwork Hits The Net

Limited edition signed graphic prints of paintings and sketches Bob Dylan did while on tour between 1989 and 1992 and published in Drawn Blank went on sale in 2008.  A new series culled from that collection is now being sold online.  295 prints of each piece are available priced at around $1,800 a pop in 27" x 22" format up to just over $5k for each signed 48" x 36".  Looking to wallpaper a whole room?  You can do that for around 40 grand by purchasing all 21 graphics in the series in the complete collection.  Just as you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, you don't need an accountant to tell you that Dylan stands to pocket a lotta cash from this even if the total piece count of each print is 295.  If there are 295 of each of the different sizes and formats of each graphic, the take could exceed the GDP of some countries - and hand signing that many items could have something to do with why Bob plays guitar so seldom in concert these days.

Fogerty Plays Centerfield in Cooperstown

The Baseball Hall Of Fame exhibition game that put MLB teams on a field in Cooperstown, NY to play a game during indiction weekend went the way of double headers and teams traveling by train a few years ago.  It seemed inevitable to fans that could tell many modern day players preferred the day off to traveling to the upstate New York village that is home to the Hall. For all but a few, that game would be their only chance to be honored in Cooperstown, a reality that won't sink in for most coddled, brash players until the spikes are hung up and the endorsements are long gone.  The Hall replaced the exhibition game with one featuring retired major leaguers.  The caliber of play is not as high, but the veterans are there because they want to be not because they have to be, and that makes all the difference in the world to real fans of the game. This summer's induction ceremony will honor Andre Dawson, one of the great modern era center fielders.   On hand to participate in the ceremony will be someone who appreciates the game, its history and center fielders in particular, John FogertyFogerty, who says he always had '...a very special feeling about center field as a kid' and likened his absence from music during the difficult period after Creedence Clearwater Revival broke up to the feeling of watching from the bench, drew on that when he wrote the song Centerfield, his big baseball hit of the mid 1980's.  July 25 Fogerty will be in Cooperstown to play the song in tribute to Dawson.

Stones Without Watts?

A rumor denied by a Rolling Stones spokesman last fall got new legs with a story in the Herald Sun claiming 'People in the Stones camp say US drummer Steve Jordan will stand in for Charlie Watts, who has vowed to quit world touring.'  Jordan contributed to the Stones Dirty Work album and has worked with Keith Richards in the Expensive Winos.  More recently, he has been a member of the John Mayer Trio.  Monday (5/24), the band issued a statement again denying the story, calling it 'fabricated and ill informed' and saying '...we would like to make it clear that Charlie Watts has not left the Rolling Stones'. The Herald story also quoted a source the writer identifies only as a 'respected promoter' as telling him, 'The Stones are coming - and they want crazy money', and says an Australian promoter's offer of six concerts in three cities was met with the response of 'You are not even in the ball park' from agents for the band. The story about Watts wanting to opt out of touring was first reported by UnderCover Music last September.

Boss & Jon Stewart Team For Charity

The Nokia Theartre in Times Square brought big talent and big bucks together Saturday night (5/22) for the Gateway's Gala Benefit. Bruce Springsteen did an acoustic set that included Adam Raised A Cain (video), Bobby Jean, Promised Land, For You (video), Working On The Highway, and was then joined by Patti Scialfa for If I Should Fall Behind (video) and Thunder Road. The benefit, hosted by Matt Damon and Robert DeNiro, raised serious money for the organization that runs a special education center providing services to children with learning disabilities.  Donors contributed from $350 - $1,250 a ticket, with dinner and a cocktail reception provided for the heavy lifters.  A silent auction with items from a Zamboni ride during a Rangers NHL game and seats right behind the dugout in Yankee Stadium to premium opera seats brought in an additional $25,000 for the cause.


Pearl Jam MSG Townshend Tribute

Unlike many of the bands that emerged from the Seattle scene in the early 90's, Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam have never been reluctant to admit they were fans of older bands.  From the stage at Madison Square Garden Thursday (5/20) the Pearl Jam front man paid tribute to the Ramones and Pete Townshend of the Who, dedicating I Believe In Miracles to the memory of Joey Ramone and leading the 19,000 attending the first of the his band's two New York City concerts in singing happy birthday to Pete Townshend, who turned 65 the day before, and doing Reign O'er Me, the Quadrophenia classic.


Rush Gives Fans Jump On New Songs

Rush members have been indicating for some time they planned to take a different approach to the next project.  In a first for the Canadian trio, two new tracks will get a digital release ahead of an album.  Songs titled Caravan and BU2B are expected to be ready for downloading on June 1. Rush opens the Time Machine tour on June 29 in Albuquerque, NM, and plan to time travel by including the Moving Pictures album in its entirety during each performance. (story)


Burglars Strike Floyd Drummer's Garage

His Harley Davidson was still right where he'd left it, but drummer Nick Mason returned home to find burglars had stolen eight helmets from the garage of the Pink Floyd drummer's North London home.  Oh, by the way, one was pink.  A mystified Mason pointed out that 'it's quite distinctive so the number of people who had a helmet that color would be limited', and said he hopes to get them back.  Mason, a collector of high performance cars, stood to lose a lot more than the helmets if the thieves had known where he keeps the Ferrari 512 once raced by Mario Andretti he owns that is valued at close to $2 million.


Snoozing Away In Margaritaville

The Margaritaville empire Jimmy Buffett has built extends to everything from his signature Cafes to shrimp, beer (LandShark), salsa, and frozen drink makers.  Soon, it will branch into hotels.  The flagship Margarittaville Beach Hotel is expected to open in Pensacola, Florida this summer.  The property sports more than 150 rooms, 24 suites and a beach front bar.  A Margaritaville Restaurant is planned, along with a water park.


Bono Has Emergency Back Surgery

Bono underwent what band representatives are calling emergency back surgery following an unspecified injury the U2 lead singer sustained in a pre-tour conditioning session.  Added concern resulted from the fact the announcement on the U2 web site indicated he was admitted under the care of a neuro surgeon, but the statement indicates the singer is expected to remain hospitalized for just a few days, and then return to his home to recuperate.  While the site did not give any indication of how long that process might take, the subsequent post that the band's June 3 concert in Salt Lake City will not take place makes it obvious he'll be laid up at least a couple of weeks.  Manager Paul McGuinness said U2 had planned to arrive in Utah to begin rehearsals for the next leg of the 3600 Tour Tuesday (5/25) - and that some of the more than 400 crew and other tour support staff already heading to Salt Lake City were being turned around.  He also expressed the group's disappointment over inconvenience to fans that might result from the unexpected development.


E Street Band's Big Man Grabs Degree

They are clearing some extra space on the stage graduates of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore pick up their diplomas Friday (5/21).  Sax player Clarence Clemons, the 'Big Man' of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, will be joining them to be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.  Clemons was originally scheduled for the honor in March but was recovering from surgery at that time (story)Clemons, who attended the University in the 1960's, is packing his sax and will play during the ceremony.


Icon Status For Fogerty

John Fogerty has penned plenty of iconic songs.  Tuesday night (5/18), BMI honored the former Creedence Clearwater Revival front man by naming the songwriter himself an icon during the music licensing organization's 58th annual awards program.  Fogerty certainly fits the profile of a BMI Icon, a designation based on having "unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers."  Previous recipients of the honor include Carlos Santana, Paul Simon, Brian Wilson, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson.  With two sons accompanying him, Fogery rocked the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in LA with a six song medley that included portions of Travelin' Band, Centerfield, Green River, and Up Around The Bend, then did Have You Ever Seen The Rain? before closing things out with another medley featuring three more CCR classics: Bad Moon Rising, Fortunate Son and Proud Mary.


Burton Cummings Resurfaces

Burton Cummings, the man behind the voice associated with some of the Guess Who's biggest songs, is back with his fist solo album in a long time.  Above The Ground,  which did get released north of the border earlier, comes out stateside May 25.  The US release of the 19 track album comes includes a behind the scenes DVD made during several of the recording sessions.  Cummings has recently been spending time on the road with former bandmate Randy Bachman.

Gene Simmons Strikes Back

Gene Simmons sent a clear signal he won't kiss and make-up with the makeup artist at ESPN that is claiming in court documents that the KISS co-founder assaulted her.  The allegations involve an appearance Simmons made on SportsCenter on November 24.  Victoria Jackson maintains that Simmons assaulted her 'to the extent that she could feel [him]...grinding into her'.  Attorneys for Jackson are said to be seeking a $185,000 settlement for the 'humiliation, shame, embarrassment, anger, anxiety, loss of sleep and depression' the law firm says resulted from the alleged incident.  A counter suit filed by Simmons Friday (5/14) maintains Simmons has no idea who Jackson is and that the encounter described in her suit against him never took place.  Papers filed by Simmons claim that he and Eric Singer arrived at ESPN just minutes before their on-camera appearance and were in 'heavy costume' that would have made it impossible for him to do what Jackson described in her claim.


Pair From Queen Join Foo Fighter Drummer

Drummer Roger Hawkins of the Foo Fighters recruited Cars veteran Elliot Easton along with Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen to work on the new project by his side band, now known as the Coattail Riders.  In an interview with Spinner, Hawkins pegged the recently released album Red Light Fever as sounding 'like the Knack, tight, little garage rock.'  Calling May and Taylor '...mentors, musical heroes', Hawkins said he's always had an appreciation for '...the harmonies, the dramatics and stops and starts' in the group's music.


Jagger Takes Drug Stand On Larry King

Mick Jagger sat down with Larry King of CNN Tuesday (5/18) for a wide ranging interview that included some discussion of drug use.  Asked whether he'd performed high, Jagger replied 'probably', but said it was so long ago he doesn't remember.  Before telling King it's something he never does anymore because he thinks it compromises the performance, Jagger drew a distinction between recreational drug use and doing drugs or alcohol while working.  He also suggested the legalization of recreational drug use on a trial basis by the British government, proposing, ' should try the legalization of all drugs on the Isle of Man and see what happens.'  He said his view on the subject is based on the belief that laws won't prevent drug use and that  legalization would ' end the violence from both ends of the supply line.'  Jagger told King he still gets escorted to a 'little room' for additional screening each time he arrives in the US due to a decades old marijuana charge against him.


Van Booze Ban Bothers Texans

Van Morrison, tired of disruptions related to the intake and outflow of beer during concerts, began to stipulate last year that venues restrict the sale of brews and other alcohol during his performances.  The ban has not set well with fans or promoters, who derive a lot of revenue from suds and such.  The president of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion told the Houston Chronicle that the venue was unaware of the restriction when Morrison was booked to play the venue Saturday (5/15)Jerry McDonald said that negotiations for approval to sell alcoholic beverages on a limited scale and restrict consumption to an area away from the stage continued up until the last minute but, in McDonald's words, '...he wouldn't budge, and it was a deal breaker.  If we insisted on selling beer, there wouldn't have been a show.'



Dio Tributes Roll In

Several artists are expressing appreciation for the contribution Ronnie James Dio made to Hard Rock.  Dio, who died Sunday (5/16) of stomach cancer in a Houston hospital (story), was credited in an open letter Lars Ulrich posted on the Metallica web site shortly after finishing a concert set in Zagreb, Croatia as ' of the main reasons I made it onto that stage to begin with.'  At the age of 11, Ulrich saw Dio when Ronnie's band Elf open for Deep Purple in Denmark in 1969.  The performance left the future Metallica member '...completely blown away by the power in your voice, your presence on stage, your confidence, and the ease with which you seemed to connect to 6,000 Danish people'.  Ozzy Osbourne, who Dio replaced in Black Sabbath, issued a brief R.I.P. wish to Dio on his Twitter account. Pearl Jam worked a bit of the Sabbath tune Heaven & Hell into their set at TD Garden in Boston Monday night (5/17)See it.

Stones Revisit Exile

Exile On Main Street, the album the Rolling Stones recorded while self-imposed UK tax exiles in southern France, gets put into great context with the release of the documentary Stones In Exile. Whether you believe Mick Jagger when he makes the straight faced claim the band was broke and really could not afford to fork over what the government was demanding or not, the decision to flee to the Mediterranean created both obstacles and unusual opportunities that contributed to the album that gained greater acclaim in subsequent decades than it did in the immediate aftermath of its release in 1972. The documentary's interview clips with band members and others involved with the project give great insights into the chaos that led to the spur of the moment approach the group was forced to take to every aspect of the project.  Check out the trailer for the movie here.
The deluxe edition of the album, which includes 10 previously unreleased tracks from the sessions, dropped Tuesday (5/18).


Perry Promises Strong Aerosmith Album

Resolving the months long meltdown between Steven Tyler and the rest of Aerosmith took only a few words between the exiled lead vocalist and guitarist Joe PerryPerry told Classic Rock Magazine '...all it took to get things back on track was a simple conversation between Steven and I.' He says relief over getting back together has jejuvenated the veteran band and that all members are well aware the group needs to convince fans turned off by the side show that developed following the split within the band after last summer's tour fell apart due to a series of health issues that culminated with Tyler injuring himself falling off the stage at the Sturgis Bike Rally.  'We owe it to ourselves first and foremost to make a great record, and we owe it to the fans too', said Perry.  The album will be the first Aerosmith studio album of new material in a decade.


Hendrix Pad Opens To Public

The address that Jimi Hendrix called home in London at the time of his death has been open to visitors, but the actual living space he used in the building has been off limits.  The apartment at 23 Brook Street adjoins one that classical composer George Handel lived in during the 1700's that has been operated as the Handel House Museum.  The top floor apartment Hendrix and his girlfriend rented  for about $40 a week has been used as administrative offices by the museum staff. During a 12 day stretch around the 40th anniversary of the guitar great's September 18 death the staff will vacate the top floor so visitors can roam through it.  The museum will add several pieces of Hendrix memorabilia for Hendrix In Britain, a special exhibit that runs August 25 - November 7.  The flat Hendrix lived in during the last year of his life will be open from September 15 - 26.


Scorsese George Harrison Documentary

The acclaimed director of films about the Rolling Stones (Shine A Light), the Band (The Last Waltz) and Bob Dylan (No Direction Home) has turned his attention to George Harrison. Harrison's widow, Olivia, has endorsed the project, telling The Hollywood Reporter her collaboration with director Martin Scorcese on the film  ' a deeply personal journey' that has '...been excruciating', but says, 'I feel protected.  Marty had a connection with George, and they spent time together. And he is passionate about film and music as George was'.  The working title for the movie, which Scorcese hopes to have wrapped up in time for screenings in 2011, is Living In The Material World: George Harrison.


Cancer Claims Ronnie James Dio

Ronnie James Dio passed away Sunday morning (5/16) in a Houston, Texas hospital.  The announcement from the former Black Sabbath member's wife, Wendy, was posted on his web site in a note that read 'My heart is broken. Ronnie passed away at 7:45 a.m. Dio was diagnosed with stomach cancer in November (story)  Born Ronald James Padavona on Jyly 10, 1942  in New Hampshire, Dio moved to Cortland, a city south of Syracuse, New York, where he formed his first bands after changing his name to Dio, a name some said he picked up from a mafia member.  Elf, his first successful recording band opened a number of Deep Purple concerts in 1969 and  Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore later tapped Dio to join RainbowDio became Black Sabbath's front man after Ozzy Osbourne departed in 1979.  He would later use the title of one of his most successful albums with Sabbath as the name of his last band, Heaven & Hell, a group that included Sabbath veterans Geezer Butler and Tommy Iommi.


Peter Gabriel Battles Developers

The solo career of former Genesis front man Peter Gabriel got off to a strong start in 1977 thanks in part to a song inspired by what the singer described as a 'spiritual experience' on a site in Somerset England overlooking a beautiful valley.  Solsbury Hill became the title of the song.  Gabriel has joined with residents of the area to fight expanded development plans for the Woolley Valley from going forward. Gabriel calls plans for more construction projects '...a mockery of our planning and environmental policies.' A press conference to officially launch the campaign to put a halt to the project takes place Wednesday (5/19).


Beatle Course Big Draw At UC Berkeley

With demand far exceeding class space, an instructor at the University Of California Berkeley campus bases access to his class about the Beatles on an admissions quiz.  Max Keller, who wasn't born until after the band's break-up, says demand for the course comes from the same thing that drew him to the group, telling Bay Area's CBS5 TV 'It doesn't matter when you were born.  People love them regardless of their age, their music is timeless.Keller spent most of a year putting the curriculum for his course together, reading around 20 books and searching through archived material about the group.  In addition to close examination of 14 albums, the course includes movies, books and a lot of intense class discussion.  Students say it's no slouch course. Keller requires active class participation, written assignments and exams.


Petty Fans Spared Service Charge

Like the extra charges on cell phone contracts, the service fees on concert tickets typically add up to an amount most concert fans feel is unjustified.  Tom Petty fans buying tickets for the Mojo tour through Ticketmaster will catch a break from 11:30pm Saturday (5/15) through 11:59pm Tuesday (5/18)  The kick-off of the ticket giant's suspension of service fees coincides with Petty's appearance on the season finale of Saturday Night Live (story)


Eagles Grounded By Schmit Illness

The Thursday (5/13) Eagles concert in Seattle was a late scratch after bassist Timothy B. Schmit fell ill.  The announcement that Schmit was under the weather suggests it was nothing serious. The Key Arena concert in Seattle will be made up May 26.  After a Friday (5/14) show in Vancouver, the group has a few days off before picking up 5/18 in Boise, Idaho.


Lou Reed Caters To Canines

Just when you think you've heard it all, Lou Reed comes up with something you've never head of and won't be able to hear.  Reed is teaming with wife Laurie Anderson to present Music For Dogs, a concert scored in a frequency range dogs can hear but their owners mostly can't. Anderson tells the Sydney Morning Herald that a few notes during the June concert at the Sydney Opera House will be within a range owners will notice, saying, 'You can just about hear sometimes', but owners will have to leave it to their four leggers to judge the quality of the performance.  If they don't like it they can lay the blame on Lollabelle, the couple's rat terrier, who Anderson tells the paper '...likes things with a lot of smoothness but with beats in them... complicated high-end stuff. Chk-chk-chk-chk-chk... that kind of stuff'.  Glad our dog has other plans that night.   Flavorwire

Bruce, Sting & Elton Cover Journey

Thursday (5/13) night in New York possibly the most unlikely collection of musicians to share a stage did an equally unlikely song.  The place was Carnegie Hall.  The Occasion was a benefit for rainforest preservation.  Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Elton John, Debbie Harry, Shirley Basey and Lady Gaga got together to do a version of the Journey song Don't Stop Believin'.  The audience,  probably already having to suspend belief at what they were hearing, then got the added spectacle of nearly naked dancers joining the musicians.  See it here.


Thin Lizzy Reunion Plans

Three former Thin Lizzy members have recruited Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell and WhitesnakeTed Nugent bass player Marco Mendoza to join them for a UK reunion tour of the influential Irish band once fronted by Phil LynottThin Lizzy alums Scott Gorham, Darren Wharton and Brian Downey will also be joined by Ricky Warwick, guitar and vocalist of the Almightys.  A tribute performance to Lynott with special guests is being organized for January 4, 2011, the 25th anniversary of his death.  Lynott, who struggled with substance abuse issues, died two years after Thin Lizzy disbanded after being hospitalized with multiple medical problems.  His death was ultimately attributed to pneumonia and heart failure.



Aerosmith Lost In Translation

Giant bowls of M&M's with one color extracted, exotic foods and rare beverages... artists and tour managers sometimes use tough to fill requests in contracts to test a promoter and venue's ability to deliver - and other times just to mess with 'em.  In the case of the Aerosmith contract for a concert in Bogota, Columbia it appears things just got lost in translation.  According to the newspaper El Tiempo, the contract in Spanish for the group's May 20 show requested 'two tubs of buses and a dirty dish' and 'five coffee tables without call candles' when the band intended it to call for Japanese, Chinese and Indian food, along with sugar-free cookies, fruits, yogurt and root beer.  Sounds like it could have been written by the guy who put together a marketing campaign south of the border for the Chevy Nova before realizing 'no va' means 'won't go' in Spanish.


EMI Survives - For Now

A $156 million infusion of money to Terra Firma, the company that owns EMI, should enable the label to survive its most immediate crisis - the threat of foreclosure that could result if it failed to make a sizable payment due CitiGroup in June.  The storied label that was home to many Rock greats has been reeling from both the decline in album sales and issues with its artists.  Paul McCartney recently announced he would end his 40 year association with the label (story), and EMI also came out on the losing end of a suit Pink Floyd members filed against it over the sale of individual tracks from the band's catalogue. (storyTerra Firma  has apparently taken action of its own against the banking group, claiming that it was duped into paying too much to acquire EMI.  Success in that case could enable Terra Firma to restructure EMI operations and possibly reduce some of the crushing debt load it is under.  The label has so far managed to avoid having to sell Abbey Road Studios to raise needed cash, a measure that some believed would become necessary a few months ago.

Dalai Lama Greeted By Mellencamp Wife

The exiled spiritual leader of Tibet arrived in Bloomington, Indiana Tuesday (5/11) to a reception that included Elaine Mellencamp.  The wife of John Mellencamp has been an active supported of a Tibetan-Mongolian Buddhist Clutural Center in the Bloomington area.  She accompanied the Dalai Lama on his arrival at the airport to the center.  We're guessing the 75 year-old spiritual leader does not hang-out with former Victoria's Secret runway models very often.  Elaine Irwin, who John Mellencamp married a couple of months after she posed for the cover of his 1991 album Whenever We Wanted, is no stranger to unusual settings herself.  In 2001 she drove the Pace Car for the Indianapolis 500.  The Dalai Lama will conduct two days of religious instruction on the University of indiana campus, followed by a speech Friday (5/14) in Conseco Fieldhouse.  Indiana is the first stop of his two week visit to the US.


Controversial Beatle Press Conference To Sell

A recording of the 1966 press conference that touched off a storm of controversy for the Beatles hits the auction block in Los Angeles June 13.  It was during the The Toronto session with reporters in the King Edward Hotel on August 17 that John Lennon offered off-hand observation that the Beatles had become 'more popular' than Jesus. The remark was singled out by news organizations and became a rallying point for detractors of the band and Rock music in general.  The over analysis of the comment and reaction to it came as the band was looking to shed the tame, pop image it had been saddled with since bursting on the scene. At another point during the session Lennon states, 'We're obviously not gonna go around holding hands forever'. Paul McCartney seconds that by saying, 'It would be a bit, you know, embarrassing at 35.'  The reel to reel tapes, thought to be the only recording of the press conference in existence, are expected to bring close to $25,000.


Skynyrd Back With Live Set

Live From Freedom Hall, a 15 track collection from Southern Rock mainstay Lynyrd Skynyrd, will come out on CD and DVD June 22.  The album will drop less than a year after God & Guns, the band's first new studio recording in six years, which came out last September.  Even though that release proved to be more successful than most of the group's post 70's albums, 2009 was a tough year for Skynyrd.  The year opened with the death of longtime keyboard player Billy Powell, followed by the death of bass player Ean Evans last May.  Adversity is something the band knows well. A plane crash claimed the life of lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and Steve and Cassie Gaines within days of the October 1977release of the blockbuster album Street Survivors, the album with an original cover (later replaced) that featured an image of the group engulfed in flames.


Live From Freedom Hall

Travelin’ Man”
What's Your Name?
That Smell
Simple Man
Down South Jukin’
The Needle and the Spoon
Ballad Of Curtis Loew
Gimme Back My Bullets
Tuesday’s Gone
Red White and Blue
Gimme Three Steps
Call Me The Breeze
Sweet Home Alabama
Free Bird

Rare Instruments Damaged In Flood

The torrential rains that triggered flooding in Nashville created hardship and heart ache for thousands. For most, cleanup involved deciding what to try to save and what to simply replace.  For Joe Chambers, the second choice was not an option.  Chambers operates the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum.  In a cruel twist of fate, Chambers had moved his collection of rare musical instruments into temporary quarters in February because a new convention center is being built on the site his museum then occupied.  The site he found, a rehearsal and storage facility on the Cumberland River, was in one of the hardest hit areas in the historic flooding that followed a 14" deluge.  Many rare instruments were submerged days before Chambers was able to get access to them, among them a guitar Pete Townshend used on the Quardophenia tour,  a 1966 Fender owned by Jimi Hendrix, guitars belonging to John Fogerty, the bass Gary Tallent of the E Street Band played on Born To Run, one Charlie McCoy used during the Bob Dylan Nashville Skyline sessions, and drums Kenny Buttery played on Neil Young's Harvest album.
 Much is beyond restoration and it may be a while before Chambers has the resolve and resources to save instruments that can be restored, but there has already been an outpouring of support from and to musicians in Music City.  Asked by the Tennessean what the fate of the museum is, Chambers said that the prospect of having to relocate had already raised doubts, saying, "I kind of said, 'God, give me a sign. What should I do?' And he gave me a big one." The site he had to vacate to make room for the convention center construction was largely spared damage.

Stones Considering Album Concerts

The excitement over recreating albums in a live concert setting has not escaped notice of the Rolling Stones.  In an interview with Xfm, Keith Richards said the Stones have given consideration to doing concerts featuring some of the group's biggest titles.  Asked whether the band might join the ranks of artists doing full albums in concert Richards said, 'That idea has occurred a few years back, where tonight you do Let It Bleed... it's an idea that's been around, but we haven't taken it by the horns yet.'


Down N' Outz Up & Coming

The Down N' Outz, the side project Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott put together to open last year's Mott The Hoople reunion (story),  will release My Re Generation, a cover album of songs linked to Mott The Hoople members, their solo projects and the bands Mott and the British Lions. A 10 track version of the album will be released as a bonus in the June 23 issue of Classic Rock Magazine.  Mailboat Records will release the 13 song album on July 13. Included on the 10 title release are Golden Opportunity, Overnight Angels and England Rocks (Ian Hunter), By Tonight (Mott), One More Chance To Run (British Lions) and Good Times (Mott, original by The Easybeats).


Red Rocker Hits The Beach

A beach bar in Atlantic City, NJ will reopen as a Sammy Hagar branded property on May 28.  The Montrose, Van Halen and Chickenfoot veteran operates several night spots affiliated with the Cabo Wabo resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico he opened 20 years ago and retains a stake in Cabo Tequila after selling the majority interest to a major distributor for $80 million in 2007 because, in Hagar's words, 'I don't like working that hard.'  Sammy Hagar's Beach Bar will be operated in association with Bally's Atlantic City.  The Red Rocker is said to be tight with a president of Harrah's Entertainment, the company that owns Bally's.  The company's Eastern Division President said, 'His Cabo lifestyle will reinvigorate the beach bar at Bally's Atlantic City.'


Apple Years Beatles Movie

Oasis, had more in common with the Beatles than the Beatlesque approach it took to many of its songs.  The group also fell apart due to the kind of bickering that developed between John Lennon and Paul McCartney over creative issues and business ventures at the end of the 1960's.  Former Oasis front man Liam Gallagher plans to produce a movie about that period in the Beatles saga.   Based on the book The Longest Cocktail Party, the film is expected to concentrate on the inner workings of Apple, the company that managed various Beatle enterprises including the group's recordings.


New Albums For Neil Young & Wife

Neil Young has started a new album with producer Daniel Lanois (U2, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel).  His wife, Pegi, will release her second album, Foul Deeds, June 22.  The project, which she describes as '...full of dark themes... divorce, debauchery, disillusionment and despair', features harmonica and guitar work from her husband and pedal steel legend Ben Keith, who has played on more than a dozen Neil Young releases, including Harvest and Comes A Time.  A west coast tour with Bert Jansch follows the series of dates Jansch is opening for her husband.


Will Elton Judge Idol?

The announcement Simon Cowell will zip his lip as the acerbic critic of aspiring American Idols has sent producers searching for a celebrity judge that can command similar interest.  Some think they will find it in Elton JohnJohn, who reportedly rejected appeals to fill the vacancy at the start of the year, has apparently been approached again about the role and is interested.  If they are to land him FOX may need to fork over close to $200 million.  With the future of the highly lucrative franchise hanging in the balance, few doubt they will be willing to meet the fee to land Elton.


U2 Member Seeks To Block Apartment Sale

 Adam Clayton of U2 is taking legal action to try and block the sale of a New York City apartment he contends was bought with funds misappropriated from him by a former assistant.  The woman, who has admitted to unauthorized use of a credit card belonging to the U2 bass player, denies his claim that the cash she used to buy the apartment with was also pilfered from him.  A court in Ireland has ruled that the woman cannot reduce her assets below the $2.3 million, the amount that Clayton claims she has stolen from him.  The apartment is valued at $465,000.

Boss Credits Chairman Of The Board

Bruce Springsteen told students attending a session at Farleigh Dickinson University Thursday (5/6) that his songwriting approach developed in part from his appreciation of another Garden State musical legend.  Bruce said Frank Sinatra's ability to develop a story in the first person as the basis for a song became central to his own approach.  Springsteen, appearing in a program with former poet Laureate Robert Pinsky during Warmfest, the university\'s Words and Musc Festival, spent the better part of two hours swapping stories and performing for about 400 FDU students lucky enough to score tickets to the closing session of the annual event.


SNL Nabs Petty For Finale

The final show of the season for Saturday Night Live should be a good one.  Alec Baldwin will host the show for the 15th time, and Tom Petty will make his 8th appearance as musical guest, but his first in 12 seasons.  Mojo, the new album from Tom Petty & The Hearbreakers, drops in June.  In a sign of how greatly touring revenue has increased in importance relative to album sales, the new album is being offered as a free incentive to get fans to buy concert tickets.



Gilmour Obstacle To Floyd Reunion

Roger Waters is laying blame for Pink Floyd not getting back together on David GilmourWaters, who is preparing a fall tour featuring The Wall (story), tells the Associated Press that  Gilmour is 'completely uninterested' in the idea of getting the band back together.


Ron Wood's Hyndesight

Ron Wood, already in hot water with his former wife and at least two mistresses, is courting new trouble with his new UK radio program.  Wood followed play of a Pretenders song on his weekly show with the comment, 'There's loads of stories I could tell you about Chrissie but they're not repeatable on the radio', and followed that by saying, 'She used to fancy me and she finally got off with me. I saw her a few weeks ago and she’s in very good form and she’s still trying to get intimate.'
Wood, already contending with backlash from the way he has mismanaged things with ex-wife Jo Wood and two mistresses, can ill afford the wrath of Hynde.  Then again, the Stones member seems to get a charge from pushing the envelope the way fellow guitarist  Keith Richards did in the early 80's.  Keith is thirty years beyond that, and a lot wiser from the experience than Wood seems to be.



Collins Fed Up With Critics

Former Genesis drummer Phil Collins is sick of getting beat-up by critics.  Collins, who has been unable to play drums for several months due to problems with his hands, underwent neck surgery in March with the hope he could get behind the kit again. (story) That's not the only thing getting Collins down.  He tells Rolling Stone that he is so fed up with critics, sayig, 'All my life I've put out music and people have criticised it.  Why keep doing that? I don't need the money.' Going Back, a collection of covers of Motown songs Collins loves, due out in the fall could be the last album he releases, saying, 'In the future I think I'll write songs in my basement and never play for anybody.'


Giants Let Freak Flag Fly For Garcia

The San Francisco Giants have announced plans to honor Bay Area guitarist Jerry Garcia on August 9, the anniversary of the late Grateful Dead leader's 1995 death.  Proceeds from the sale of seats in the Garcia section of AT&T Park for that night's game against the Chicago Cubs will go to the Rex Foundation, a Dead supported charity.  Fans in the section will receive a Garcia bobblehead.  Members of the Garcia family will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and Dead tribute bands are being lined up to entertain before game time.  There is bound to be enough tie-dye in that section that even first-timers at the stadium formerly known as Pac-Bell Park should have no trouble finding their way to the Garcia section.  Our question is will vendors be selling more than the traditional ballpark fare in that section?


Day Lyrics Big Day For Sotheby's

The hand written lyrics to A Day In The Life go on the auction block in New York City June 18.  The front and back sheet of paper containing the words and notations about the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heats Club Band song as written by John Lennon is expected to bring up to $750,000.  The iconic closing track on the ground breaking 1967 album by the Beatles stirred up controversy with the line I'd love to turn you on, one that many jumped to the conclusion was an endorsement of drug use.


E Street Drummer Ousted By Conan?

Al Kooper, who has a band that includes some members of the Max Weinberg 7, the group that served as the house band for Conan O'Brien on his own show and during his brief stint as host of the Tonight Show, says that the drummer won't be with the band when O'Brien returns to television in the fall.  Kooper, in an interview with, responded to a question about Weinberg by saying 'There's a name you can't say anymore. He's not in that band anymore.'  Kooper speculates that scheduling conflicts that resulted from Weinberg's dual roles with O'Brien and in Bruce Springsteen's band played a role in what he thinks was the comedian and TV host's decision to drop Weinberg from the band.  There has been no word from the drummer, who has always expressed great appreciation for Bruce and Conan being cool about the arrangement.  Kooper, the keyboard player with Blood Sweat & Tears and the Blues Project, also worked with Bob Dylan and was credited with getting Lynyrd Skynyrd signed with MCA Records. 



2023-11 | 2023-09 | 2023-08 | 2023-07 | 2023-06 | 2023-05 | 2023-04 | 2023-03 | 2023-02 | 2023-01 | 2022-12 | 2022-11 | 2022-10 | 2022-09 | 2022-08 | 2022-07 | 2022-06 | 2022-05 | 2022-04 | 2022-03 | 2022-02 | 2022-01 | 2021-12 | 2021-11 | 2021-10 | 2021-09 | 2021-08 | 2021-07 | 2021-06 | 2021-05 | 2021-04 | 2021-03 | 2021-02 | 2021-01 | 2020-12 | 2020-11 | 2020-10 | 2020-09 | 2020-08 | 2020-07 | 2020-06 | 2020-05 | 2020-04 | 2020-03 | 2020-02 | 2020-01 | 2019-12 | 2019-11 | 2019-10 | 2019-09 | 2019-08 | 2019-07 | 2019-06 | 2019-05 | 2019-04 | 2019-03 | 2019-02 | 2019-01 | 2018-12 | 2018-11 | 2018-10 | 2018-09 | 2018-08 | 2018-07 | 2018-06 | 2018-05 | 2018-04 | 2018-03 | 2018-02 | 2018-01 | 2017-12 | 2017-11 | 2017-10 | 2017-09 | 2017-08 | 2017-07 | 2017-06 | 2017-05 | 2017-04 | 2017-03 | 2017-02 | 2017-01 | 2016-12 | 2016-11 | 2016-10 | 2016-09 | 2016-08 | 2016-07 | 2016-06 | 2016-05 | 2016-04 | 2016-03 | 2016-02 | 2016-01 | 2015-12 | 2015-11 | 2015-10 | 2015-09 | 2015-08 | 2015-07 | 2015-06 | 2015-05 | 2015-04 | 2015-03 | 2015-02 | 2015-01 | 2014-12 | 2014-11 | 2014-10 | 2014-09 | 2014-08 | 2014-07 | 2014-06 | 2014-05 | 2014-04 | 2014-03 | 2014-02 | 2014-01 | 2013-12 | 2013-11 | 2013-10 | 2013-09 | 2013-08 | 2013-07 | 2013-06 | 2013-05 | 2013-04 | 2013-03 | 2013-02 | 2013-01 | 2012-12 | 2012-11 | 2012-10 | 2012-09 | 2012-08 | 2012-07 | 2012-06 | 2012-05 | 2012-04 | 2012-03 | 2012-02 | 2012-01 | 2011-12 | 2011-11 | 2011-10 | 2011-09 | 2011-08 | 2011-07 | 2011-06 | 2011-05 | 2011-04 | 2011-03 | 2011-02 | 2011-01 | 2010-12 | 2010-11 | 2010-10 | 2010-09 | 2010-08 | 2010-07 | 2010-06 | 2010-05 | 2010-04 | 2010-03 | 2010-02 | 2010-01 | 2009-12 | 2009-11 | 2009-10 | 2009-09 | 2009-08 | 2009-07 | 2009-06 | 2009-03 | 2009-01 | 2008-12