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Noteworthy Now Archives for 2010-08

Vedder & Depp Join Patti Smith

Fans attending a Patti Smith concert in Little Rock, Arkansas Saturday (8/28) got to witness an event not likely to ever get repeated.  The Rocker-poet was joined on stage by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Ben Harper, one of the Dixie Chicks, George Harrison's son Dhani, and actor Johnny Depp.  All of the celebs descended on Little Rock to raise funds and awareness for a campaign to get the murder convictions of three young men reviewed. Smith, Vedder and others contend the guilty verdicts were arrived at without evidence to support them.  The special guests all joined Smith on the Robinson Hall stage for People have The Power (with Depp on guitar) after Eddie Vedder had come out to sing and play guitar on Dancing Barefoot.

Guess Who's Down A Guitar?

The Guess Who left a weekend concert in Cincinnati light one guitar. The Gibson EC-30 acoustic guitar was apparently lifted from the backstage area after the band performed at the Taste Of Cincinnati on Saturday night (8/28).  The guitar had only been left unattended for a few minutes - but evidently long enough for someone to snatch it from its case.  Founding drummer Jim Kale and bass player Gary Peterson continue touring as the Guess WhoRandy Bachman has reunited with his Bachman-Turner Overdrive partner Fred Turner, while former lead singer Burton Cummings continues as a solo act.



Stones Monopoly Rolls

Grateful Deadopoly proved to be quite a hit with fans of the San Francisco band in 2009 (story). The Rolling Stones are getting in on the action with a Stones themed version of the age-old game.  Location names on the traditional UK edition of the Monopoly board are replaced by Stones album titles.  Game pieces also represent iconic things to RS fans - the lips logo, a pair of tumbling dice, wild horses...  Short of drugs and groupies, the game seems to have the band covered -  currency comes in the form of concert tickets, hotels become gold and platinum record awards and train stations are replaced by the names of some of the band's biggest tours.



Rundgren Takes Teaching Gig

Steve Miller is not the only Rocker that will be presiding at the head of the class this fall (story)Todd Rundgren has accepted a teaching position at Indiana University.  The Wizard, True Star turned professor will instruct Well Scholars on the Bloomington campus.  The two week teaching stint developed because Rundgren's Hawaii home is close to one owned by Indiana University Rock History professor Glenn Gass.  A couple of public appearances are expected to take place while Rundgren is in residence - a lecture on October 28 and what is being described as a storytelling concert on Halloween.


Fans Unload On Guns N Roses

Making 80,000 fans wait more than an hour before taking the stage Friday (8/27) put Guns N Roses in front of an audience that only an incredible set could please.  The performance Axl Rose and the current lineup of GNR turned in at the Reading Festival only made an already angry crowd more hostile.  An account of the set from Spinner describing Rose as '...bloated and red' went on to say his voice quality and attitude were equally unappealing to the crowd, which responded with booing and jeers that grew louder as the set ground on.  The night ended with many of those who hadn't walked out on GNR to check out LCD Soundsystem performing on another stage hurling abuse at Axl and the band as they walked off after a failed attempt to play Paradise City.  Mercifully, power to the stage had been cut off after a set Spinner reports was plagued by Rose's lackluster vocals and the band as a whole delivering a performance that came across as an '...oddly high-pitched, nasal whine.'

Bidding Frenzy For Lennon Toilet

Our estimate that a toilet from a house John Lennon lived in was likely to sell for a lot more than the $1,500 auction officials estimated it would bring (story) proved correct when a high bid of $15,500 took the toilet Saturday (8/28). An unidentified overseas buyer placed the winning bid at the Liverpool auction.  The fixture was removed from the home in Tittenhurst, UK three years after bought Lennon purchased the estate in 1969.  The commode was put up for auction by the son-in-law of the contractor John had gifted the toilet to in 1969.


U2 Slapped With Noise Fine

Violation of a city noise ordinance in Barcelona, Spain while rehearsing for a June, 2009 concert has cost U2 18,000 Euros, or about $22,000 - chump change to them.  The violation citing came in response to complaints by residents within ear shot of the late night session the band staged in Camp Nou, the Barcelona soccer stadium.  The band ran-up a larger fine in its own home town the following month, but not for the volume of its music.  Dublin officials fined a promoter $60,000 for noise associated with assembly and break-down of the massive Claw stage after neighbors got so riled up over four days of noise that they protested by blocking equipment trucks as they attempted to leave the venue (story).


Massive Springsteen Set Detailed

The 30th anniversary reissue of Darkness On The Edge Of Town has grown into a 3 CD & 3 DVD collection packing a whopping 6 hours of footage and 2+ hours of audio. Also out Nov. 16 is The Promise, a 2 CD or 4 lp configuration that includes 21 songs recorded during the Darkness sessions, tunes Bruce describes as 'substantial', and ones he possibly should have released as a separate album before the 1978 release of DarknessSpringsteen manager and confidant Jon Landau promises the previously unreleased material adds up to '...simply a great listening experience.'  The first DVD in the complete collection is The Promise: The Making Of Darkness on the Edge of Town, the documentary by Thom Zimny that premiers at the Toronto Film Festival September 14 and comes to HBO October 7 (story).  The second DVD features a 2009 HD recording of the E Street Band doing the original album in its entirety in 2009 at an empty Paramount Theater in Asbury Park, along with a dozen concert clips filmed  at shows between 1976 and 1978.  A complete 26 song set filmed at the Summit in Houston in December of '78 is documented on the third DVD. has complete track lists and more info about the long-anticipated collection.


Black Crowes Ban Photos

The spread of cameras to virtually every portable device has made clamping down on picture taking during concerts as practical as nailing Jello to a wall.  The Black Crowes, a band that has traditionally been very loose about allowing cameras and audio recorders into venues, is taking a touch stance against camera use - cell phones included - during the Say Goodnight To The Bad Guys tour.  The policy has brought out Crowes bashers on the Facebook page of the venue hosting the band Friday (8/27) in St. Louis.  Comments about the policy on the Pageant site include a few from people who like the idea of not having to try and enjoy the show through a sea of extended arms holding cell phones aloft.  Audio recording of shows is still fine with the band.


Robert Plant Reveals Shady Past

Robert Plant has come clean about some things he did to get by during his early days as a musician.  Long before limos and private jets were always on the ready to transport the Led Zeppelin lead singer anywhere he wished to go, Plant resorted to siphoning gas out of parked cars so he could get around.  The singer said that he and John Bonham were '...better at siphoning petrol out of parked cars than we were at drawing crowds' to see the blues band that he and the future Led Zeppelin drummer were in.  They also made occasional early morning rounds in Manchester neighborhoods to swipe milk from doorsteps.


Ron Wood Feels Like Playing

Ron Wood has made no secret of the fact he wishes the Rolling Stones would get on with studio and touring plans.  His frustration with Mick Jagger also applies to Rod Stewart, lead singer of Faces, the band Wood was a member of before joining the Rolling Stones in 1975. Stewart has repeatedly expressed interest in a Faces reunion tour but has refused to opt in on dates the Faces have done (story). A positive outlet for that frustration Ron Wood deciding to record a new solo album.  Chances are the guitarist knew better than bothering to ask Jagger or Stewart to guest on the project, but he had no trouble rounding up some great contributors. The 12 songs on I Feel Like Playing (Sept. 28, Eagle Records) feature the likes of Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, Slash, Bobby Womack, Kris Kristofferson, and fellow Faces member Ian McLagan.

Ron Wood - I Feel Like Playing
1) Thing Like That
2)  Sweetness
3)  Lucky Man
4)  I Gotta See
5)  Thing About You
6)  Catch You
7)  Spoonful
8)  I Don’t Think So
9)  100%
10.) Fancy Pants
11.) Tell Me Something
12.) Forever


Campaign To Save Ringo's Home

News that demolition bids had already gone out for the brick building Ringo Starr was born in (story) have triggered a groundswell of opposition to the destruction of another Liverpool landmark.  The Save Madryn Street (SMS) campaign got its official launch at the city's Hard Day's Night Hotel Tuesday (8/25).  The building at #9 Madryn is just one of many in a multi-block area designated for demolition.  SMS was started by Liverpool Beatles guide Phil Coppell, who points out that nearby homes that belonged to the families of John Lennon and Paul McCartney have landmark protection status.  He vows to '...fight tooth and nail in Liverpool, and around the world, to call a halt to this crazy decision to demolish Madryn Street.'


Steven Tyler Mobbed In Big Apple

TMZ reported that things got a bit out of hand when Steven Tyler arrived at the Trump Plaza hotel in New York City Tuesday (8/24).  The Aerosmith singer and his entourage attracted a crowd of autograph hounds, two of which got agitated enough to begin shoving each other.  One person in the group then allegedly grabbed one of the people accompanying Tyler by the neck, prompting the singer to yell 'Let him go!'.  Security personnel waded into the crowd to prevent things from getting any more raucous.  Once things had calmed down, Tyler spent a bit of time signing things for fans.



Elton & Leon Russell In Concert

Elton John has said that the chance to play and record with Leon Russell has reinforced his desire to trade the pop material that has both defined and confined him in recent decades for the kind of down-to-earth songs that he was doing on his first few records.  Russell, who has never strayed far from his roots, has found a lot to like about collaborating with Elton as well.  How many opportunities the public will have to catch the two in concert is uncertain, but the number of shows doubled with the announcement of a Beacon Theatre concert in New York on October 19, the release date for the new album, Union.  The only other date currently scheduled is a November 3 concert at the Hollywood Palladium.  Unlike the west coast concert which will feature each artist with their own band, the New York appearance will showcase the musicians that worked with the two piano men while the album was being recorded.

Fall Arrival For Vintage Dylan

The first 8 Bob Dylan albums will be reissued in the box set Bob Dylan - The Original Mono Recordings on October 19.  That date also marks the release of a 47 song collection of demos Dylan recorded in his early 20's.  Accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, harmonica and, on a few songs, piano, many of the tracks have been in unauthorized circulation among collectors, but The Bootleg Series Volume 9 - The Witmark Demos represents their first official release.  The collection will be offered as a double CD or in a 4 album 180 - gram vinyl configuration.


NY State Fair's Aerosmith Gamble

Slow sales for tickets to see Aerosmith Thursday (8/26) at the New York State Fair in Syracuse are making the reported decision to guarantee the band $1 million dollars (story) look like a bad bet .  Monsoon like weather over the last few days was a buzz-kill to the week-of-show box office action officials were banking on for the outdoor show that opens the Mohegan Sun Grandstand Series.  The chance of rain Thursday night is low, giving the Fair a chance to dodge a six figure loss on the date.  The Syracuse Post Standard projects that around 2,200 of the remaining $84 and $94 tickets have to sell just to cover the guarantee. Fair officials declined to say how much the show is costing in production, marketing and other fees.  The sluggish economy, ticket prices that shattered the previous record high for a grandstand show and lingering uncertainty among fans about whether Aerosmith would stay together long enough to do the date have all combined to make the date look like a long-shot to break even.  Officials expressed overall confidence that other dates in the series will do well enough to prevent this date from pushing final figures for the grandstand shows too far in the wrong direction.  The last year the grandstand concert series ended in the black was 2008.


Jimmy Page Book Date Set

The first copies of Zoso, the Jimmy Page bio being printed in limited quantities by high-end book company Genesis Publications, will be landing on some pretty exclusive coffee tables September 27.  The 350 deluxe edition copies of the 500 page book sold out months ago, just two days after pre-sale orders started.  A collector's edition that includes Page's signature remained available on Monday (8/23).  The more than 650 photographs in the book span the entire career of the guitarist.  The $690 price tag for the collector's edition makes the fine leather bound book significantly less pricey than prices previously being sought for some books by or about Rock musicians released by Genesis (story).


John's John Going To Auction

A flush buyer could end up with a toilet from the Berkshire, UK estate John Lennon lived in before taking up residence in New York City's Dakota apartment building.  The porcelain commode is one of the more unusual rock collectibles to hit the market in some time.  An item as odd as this one is tough for appraisers to peg a value to, but guesstimates of around $1,500 seem low for a john used by Lennon and probably many visiting Rock luminaries - even without documentation.  It goes under the gavel Saturday (8/28) along with some more typical Beatles artifacts.


McCartney & Buffett Attend Clinton Party

Bill Clinton got a personal rendition of the Beatles song When I'm 64 sung over the phone to him by Paul McCartney on the former President's 64th birthday Thursday (8/19).  Sunday night (8/22), Sir Paul and Jimmy Buffett were in attendance at the party Hilary Clinton threw for her husband at the Long Island home of a personal friend and aide of the Clintons.  The top-shelf catered affair also brought out Katie Couric from CBS, Today Show host Matt Lauer and Billy Joel's ex, Christie Brinkley.



U2 Album Pipeline Full

In an era when a lot of bands thake the better part of a decade between new projects, U2 is busy with three new recordings.  The news is more remarkable given that the Irish Rockers have found the time to work on them while involved in one of the more extensive world tours ever staged.  Bono, who last week put out word that the group was working on a 'club sounding album', has also revealed to Rolling Stone magazine that there are two other albums in the works, one a project he describes as a work of meditative psalms.  Bono tells RS it's possible  that the group will decide to cull the best songs from each of the three and put them on a single album, something Chris Martin of Coldplay suggested.  News U2 is venturing even farther from the core appealing sound that made them one of the world's biggest bands is surprising, especially after the group expressed disappointment that the last studio release, No Line On The Horizon, failed to impress a lot of fans.


Neil Young Ties New Release To App

Le Noise was the buzz on the Neil Young Facebook page over the weekend.  Without further explanation for the title, it could be it's a play on the album having been produced by Daniel Lanois (story).  The release, available in digital download, CD and vinyl on September 28, will also be out in Blu-Ray the following month.  A free iPad app that interfaces with the digital release and includes interactive album art will also follow.  Le Noise joins a slew of big name releases 9/28, including the Rock Hall Of Fame anniversary concerts and new projects from Eric Clapton, the Doobie Brothers, Ron Wood and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.  Keep up to speed on recent and upcoming releases and get Rock Insights reviews here.
Neil also offered some words of encouragement on his web site to the folks behind, a site that has been providing NY updates to fans for nearly 15 years.  Reacting to a post on the Thrasher's Wheat site lamenting a recent crop of negative comments, Neil expressed the hope that the negativity won't cause them to abandon TW, calling it '...the most respected site on the net' for artist specific updates.  We concur. Our regular visits to the hundreds of sites we use in compiling updates for Rock Insights have turned up no fan operated site that does a better job than


Rare Hendrix Experience Approaches

The building Jimi Hendrix lived in at the time of his death has been long open to visitors, but  the portion of it that housed his apartment has been off-limits to the general public.  The 23 Brook Street flat adjoins one classical composer George Handel lived in during the 1700's, a space that has long been operated as the Handel House Museum.  The top floor apartment Hendrix and his girlfriend rented  for about $40 a week serves as administrative offices for museum staff. For 12 days in September, 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 opens Wednesday (8/25) and runs through November 7.  The flat Hendrix lived in during the last year of his life will be open from September 15 - 26.  The guitarist died on September 18, 1970.  This marks the first time since his death that visitors will be allowed into the part of the building his apartment occupied.


Stevie Nicks Gets Eurythmic

Stevie Nicks has been known to be difficult to work with, but the Fleetwood Mac vocalist seems to be getting along great with former Eurythmics lead man Dave Stewart as the two work together on the 7th solo album by Nicks.  Nearly a decade after her last solo effort, her return to the studio with Stewart has Nicks feeling great about the process and the project.  She tells the New York Daily News, 'I now understand why John Lennon and Paul McCartney worked so well together. You feed so much off each other.' True, but Lennon & McCartney ended up not even on speaking terms.  So far, so good between Nicks and Stewart, who are rumored to have more than just an artistic relationship going.  The two started to work together after Nicks gave Stewart a book of poems she had written.  The album, which is expected to be out in the Spring of 2011, reportedly includes contributions from guitarists Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Waddy Wachtel, as well as her Fleetwood Mac band mate and drummer Mick Fleetwood.


Floyd Guitarist Gets Eclectic

Pink Floyd fans that appreciate the more subtle guitar elements David Gilmour added to Pink Floyd songs between his soaring solos will not be surprised of his interest in the Orb, a band known for producing ambient music.  Metal Spheres, the group's album scheduled for release Oct. 4, includes a lot of guitar work from Gilmour.  The guitar parts, which include both electric guitar and lap steel, were actually recorded while Gilmour jammed with the Orb's producer. The band later mixed the guitar parts into the work it was doing for the album.
Catch a video of Gilmour's recent reunion appearance with Roger Waters at a benefit for the Hoping Foundation here.


Phil Collins Disses Zeppelin

Phil Collins was candid in interviews even when he was interested in being in the music business. Now that he considers himself retired, he is forthcoming to the point that it's evident he doesn't much care what anyone thinks of him - including Jimmy Page.  In an interview with, the former Genesis member called sitting in with Led Zeppelin such a disappointment that he would have liked to have walked off.  Asked whether he was amazed about getting to play drums behind Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, Collins said, 'It wasn't amazing to be there. I have to say, they weren't very good', and went on to say that '...the dribbling Jimmy Page' made him uncomfortable. Collins was hardly softer on himself, telling Spin he knows he's perceived as a caricature, and is fine having done the equivalent of '...writing myself out of the script' like a soap opera character people don't like, calling himself '...quite happy to be that person.'  Asked whether he has any recording plans, he stated he prefers staying home and says that making new music would '...light a fuse that leads to all this other stuff'.  As for his recoding career, Collins said he made some great albums, but concedes he also released 'some dogs'.


Steve Miller Schools USC Students

Students at the University Of Southern California's Thornton School Of Music will get the chance to learn about the music biz from a guy with a lot of industry experience - Professor Steve Miller.  The Associate Dean of the highly regarded USC music school said it would be an understatement to say administrators, staff and students are '...thrilled about Steve joining our faculty'.  After all, not many universities get the chance to land a professor that has sold more than 30 million albums.  He went on to credit Miller as someone who '...cares deeply about the next generation of musicians and wants to be a part of their growth.'  The Steve Miller Band played during the music school's 125th anniversary last year.  Earlier this year Miller did a concert to benefit a scholarship program at Cal State Fullerton, surprising the school by donating his appearance fee to the campaign following the concert (story)


Tyler The Fall Guy Again

Given the disastrous aftermath of Steven Tyler's tumble off a stage almost exactly a year ago (story) it's difficult to imagine the idea of a staged fall would be something even a pair known for occasional slap-stick antics during concerts would even consider, so we have to assume that the  Tyler spill Tuesday (8/17) in Toronto Joe Perry instigated was not planned.  Fortunately the Aerosmith front man landed rightside-up this time, aided to a soft landing by fans lining the ramp the singer and guitarist were cavorting on during Love In An Elevator at the Air Canada Center.  The reverse bump by Perry that launched his band mate looked nothing like the kind of hip-check a Toronto Maple Leaf skater would use to send an opposing NHL player into the boards, so we figure it was incidental contact and had nothing to do with ongoing tensions between the two (story). Tyler quipped after landing, 'It ain't gonna happen again, baby', and told Perry, 'You will pay for that my brother.'


Ringo Home In Demo Danger

Star power is usually enough to protect a home once lived in by a celebrity from the wrecking ball, but it appears that Ringo Starr power may not be.  Officials in Liverpool have failed to intervene to save the first house the Beatle drummer lived in on Madryn Street from being obliterated. Public outcry saved the brick structure from a similar fate five years ago.  The Daily Mail reports that a notice posted on the building indicates that the demolition contract is already in the works and calls for the building to get leveled in October.  A Liverpool Museum is said to be pressing in negotiations with the city council to get a stay so they can put together a plan to disassemble the structure and rebuild it at the museum.  Ringo previously lobbied for preservation of the house where it now stands, saying an earlier effort to relocate it was something that '...made no sense to me', and continuing, ' only works, as far as I can see' if it remains in its present location.


Aerosmith Idol Role A Done Deal

FOX-TV and American Idol producers have been lovin' the PR feeding frenzy around speculation about who or who won't end up in the vacant judging seats on the upcoming season of the talent reality show.  The network and the Aerosmith camp neither confirmed or shot down reports late Wednesday (8/18) that Steven Tyler had a signed, sealed, delivered deal to join the show, but bass player Tom Hamilton was quoted by the New jersey Star Leger as saying '...the ink is dry' on the deal between the singer and the show.  Hey, credit the people making the call for knowing Tyler has the kind of charisma and adlib ability to make departed judge Simon Cowell look like a runner-up!


Seger Joins Kid Rock In Detroit

Kid Rock concluded a sold-out three night run in Detroit Sunday (8/15) by bringing Bob Seger out to join him on Turn The Page.  Oddly, Seger did not make his appearance on the Detroit Energy Music Theatre stage until close to the end of the song.
Detroit Free Press


Rock Hall Commits To Cleveland

Nearly every induction ceremony since the Rock Hall Of Fame opened in Cleveland has been staged in New York City, a fact that has not sit well with a lot of people in the museum's host city. The decision to hold the Hall's 25th Anniversary celebration with concerts in Madison Square Garden was just one more snub.  Clevelanders can take some consolation in the fact that holding the event in the Big Apple will bring big bucks to the museum - and guarantee that the induction ceremony will take place in Cleveland every third year.  Proceeds from the concerts and sale of the 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Concerts DVD box set that goes on sale next month will fund a $5 million dollar endowment for the museum.  A stipulation of the endowment is that Cleveland gets to host the inductions on the regular basis.  We'd like to see other cities get the chance to host them on the between years.


Springsteen's Guitar Hero Dies

Other guitar designers guys have gotten more recognition and press than Phillip Petillo, but as far as Bruce Springsteen is concerned, none had a greater instinct for getting the most out of a guitar.  It was Petillo that sold Springsteen the now iconic Fender guitar The Boss considers one of the finest instruments on the planet.  Friday, Petillo, a musician, engineer and endless tinkerer, had just finished working in his New Jersey shop when he died at 64.  The 1953 Fender Esquire that Petillo sold Springsteen in 1969 for $150 is considered to be worth a few million dollars today.  To Bruce, it's priceless.  He frequently credits the Petillo custom neck, frets and the re-engineered pick-ups for the great sound of the instrument.  See a video feature about Phil here.
Asbury Park Press


Tyler & Peter Wolf Spar

A dispute Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band got into with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith before the two bands played Fenway Park for the first time (story) may have cost fans the chance to witness the only on-stage collaboration involving the legendary Boston bands.  The Boston Globe reports that Wolf and Tyler had a heated exchange over the Geils Band lead singer making use of a ramp that extended into the audience from the stage.  Citing an unidentified source, an account on indicated that the two front men were on the site the night before the Saturday (8/14) concert and got into a beef after Tyler told Wolf that Aerosmith did not want his counterpart using the ramp during the Geils set.  After some jawing over it, Tyler apparently gave in, but told Wolf that Joe Perry would also have to agree to it, something the Aerosmith guitarist did.  The source speculates that the dispute and raw feelings that followed it 'closed the door' on the possibility the groups would do at least one song together during the historic concert.  The lead contender had been for them to unite for Dirty Water, the Standells send-up to Beantown that is a staple of the Fenway Park soundtrack during Red Sox home games.



Rock Meets Art... Intrigue Results

A UK auction over the weekend took place with a showcase piece missing from the lineup after a decision was made not to sell a piano from Abbey Road Studios used by the Beatles and Pink Floyd. (story). A collection of sketches was also pulled from another auction - but more than concern over whether the 1800's sketches would bring high enough bids may have been behind the decision to withhold them.  The four pieces, done in pencil in 1848 by artist John Everett Millais at the age of 14, were discovered inside a Led Zeppelin album owned by a personal assistant to Jimmy Page that died in January .  The woman who found the artworks presumed Rick Hobbs had been given the pieces by Page, a collector of Victorian art, and tucked them into the album as a way of preserving their condition.  The fact the items were abruptly pulled before the sale has triggered speculation that Rick Hobbs may have actually helped himself to the pieces without his employer's knowledge and concealed them in the album.  The auction house handling the scheduled sale Saturday (8/14) in Honiton, Devon, UK has not commented on whether a claim of ownership by the Led Zeppelin guitarist was responsible for the decision to suspend the sale.


Aerosmith & J. Geils Rock Fenway

On a night when the home team was locked in a tense game against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas, things were totally loose at Fenway Park, where two of Boston's legendary bands took the field for the twin bill some New England Rock fans waited 40 years to see.  The J. Geils Band and Aerosmith did not disappoint the 38,000 lucky enough to score tickets to see the hometown bands Rock the historic ballpark. Both bands treated the hometown fans to sets that included some of the songs that New Englanders loved them for before much of the rest of the country had caught on to them.  A fully charged Peter Wolf set the tone for the house party, leading the Geils Band through a set that compared well with ones the band was blowing the roof off of clubs and concert halls with decades earlier.  Aerosmith launched its 19 song barrage with Train Kept A Rollin' - a prospect that, applied to the band, seemed unlikely after the wheels fell completely off in the aftermath of the ill-fated tour of 2009 that ended when Steven Tyler fell off the stage in South Dakota and landed in rehab.
Early arrivals took in an opening set from a band that included Red Sox exec Theo Epstein, former Boston Globe sports columnist and ESPN baseball guru Peter Gammons.


Abbey Road Piano Pulled From Sale

A piano used by the Beatles and Pink Floyd was apparently a late scratch from an auction scheduled to take place Sunday (8/15) in the UK. The well worn instrument housed at Abbey Road Studios and said to have been used on at least two Beatles recordings and during sessions by Pink Floyd had been expected to bring bids approaching a quarter of a million dollars (story).  No explanation for the apparent decision to pull the instrument from the sale of music collectibles could be found on the auction house web site.


Stones Classic Returns To Theaters

The film documenting the Rolling Stones 1972 tour gets screened in more than 530 US theaters on September 16.  Filmed during four concerts of the legendary Exile On Main Street tour, the footage has been fully restored and remastered in HD digital form and will include previously unreleased scenes along with a segment in which Mick Jagger recounts the summer of the tour and provides an update on what the band and its individual members are up to currently.  No info has been released on whether Jagger sheds light on future plans for the Stones.  Rumors have been circulating that the group is gearing up for one last global tour before retiring (story).


Darkness Details Emerge

Fans will find that Bruce Springsteen: The Making of Darkness On The Edge Of Town, is an accurately descriptive title for the Rockumentary that has its debut at the Toronto Film Festival September 14.  Details about the movie, which HBO will screen during October, reveal that it focuses almost entirely on the creative process behind the 1978 album, according to Rolling Stone.  It also promises to bring to light some footage of the E Street Band at work on songs that did not make it onto the album, as well as recent interview segments with band members. Springsteen is expected to attend the film festival and participate in a Q&A before the movie premiers.


Floyd Void On iTunes

Pink Floyd albums released after Dark Side Of The Moon have disappeared from CD and digital distribution channels.  The move to stop distributing the titles comes as a result of the expiration of a licensing contract between EMI Music and Columbia Records, the label that took up the future catalog of the band starting with the release of Wish You Were Here. Copies obtained before the notification to cease distribution can still be sold, but future sale of any of the post 1975 albums will have to await a new deal getting nailed down.  EMI recently came out on the losing side of a claim filed against it by members of Pink Floyd for the digital sale of individual tracks from the group's iconic albums (story).


AC/DC, Aerosmith, Jeff Beck Compete

AC/DC has to be the easy frontrunner in bid to snag Classic Rock Band Of The Year honors in London November 10.  The resurgent, Down Under hard rockers mounted one of the most successful tours of the world during a period that Aerosmith, another contender for the award, was in total disarray.  The other artists in the running for the top overall honor are KISS, Jeff Beck, Bon Jovi, Slash and Rage Against The MachineAlbum Of the Year nods went to Pearl Jam, Scorpions and ForeignerAlice Cooper will MC the awards at the Roundhouse in London. Cheap Trick is slated to perform during the ceremony.


Deep Purple 2011 Documentary

Gettin' Tighter was the title of  song on the Deep Purple 1975 album Come Taste The Band.  It is also the working title of a documentary about the band in 1976, the year things totally unraveled for the group.   Taste featured Tommy Bolin, the guitarist tasked with filling the role vacated when Ritchie Blackmore left the band late in 1974 to form Rainbow with Ronnie James Dio.  By the end of the year Bolin would be dead of an overdose and the band would dissolve after a hasty farewell tour.  Insiders say ego issues flared constantly within the band, and picked-up right where they left off when the lineup featuring Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Jon Lord, Roger Glover and Ian Paice reunited for a few years in the mid 80's.


Young Sings For Gulf Coast

Neil Young will do a series of dates this fall in places along the Gulf Coast that have been especially hard-hit by the economic tsunami the massive BP oil debacle triggered.  The tour is being supported by Tyson Foods, which is donating 400,000 meals worth of chicken to a Gulf region food bank that serves residents in Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle.  In announcing the dates Young noted, 'Millions of people who live along the Gulf Coast struggle with hunger and the economic impact of the oil spill has only made matters worse.'  The fund raising concerts will take place in Panama City, FL (9/20), Biloxi, MS (9/25), Mobile, AL (9/26) and Pensacola, FL (9/28).  Fans attending the shows are being asked to bring non-perishable food items to contribute to the food bank.


Damn The Torpedoes Doc

The new documentary that chronicles the making of Damn The Torpedoes, the 1979 breakthrough release from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, is a great inside look at the creative process behind an outstanding album.  It also reveals a lot about why the Heartbreakers outlasted almost all of their contemporaries.
The first two releases from the Heartbreakers achieved only modest success but got the  attention of producer Jimmy Iovine (John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen), who brought in Engineer Shelly Yakus (John Lenon, Dire Straits, Van Morrison, Bob Seger) to work on the band's third release.  Both were blown away by the songwriting and vocals of Petty and the unique sound the band was creating.
Iovine, Yakus, Petty, Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench give wonderful accounts of how the project developed, with a lot of the dialog involving Petty, Iovine and Campbell taking place while the three sit at at the recording console isolating vocal and instrumental tracks from the original sessions to make their points.  What emerges is a full picture not only of the making of the record, but also of the creative dynamic within the band.  The spontaneous interaction gives you a good sense of how intense but comfortable the process must have been.
 The respect and regard members of the band have for each other also comes through. Members of most  bands that have stayed together as long as the Heartbreakers avoid being in the company of one another a moment longer than they have to be.  They convene only to tour, do only old songs and leave in separate limos, tour busses or jets. Not only are Petty and company continuing to make new music together, they seem to still love the process.
The account of how this album was made and how it was received is also makes the case for how important albums were in forming a lasting bond between bands and fans.  Individual track downloads are like one night stands.  It wasn't just the top couple of tracks on Damn The Torpedoes that made millions of people Tom Petty fans - it was the brilliance of the whole damn album.


Little Feat Drummer Silenced

The man who anchored the rhythm section of Little Feat for nearly 40 years passed away Thurssday (8/12). Drummer Richie Hayward had been sidelined for much of the last year after being diagnosed with liver cancer last summer (story).  Held in high regard by musicians and fans, news of Hayward's illness brought an outpouring of support for the drummer and his family as they confronted the disease.  Several events were staged to raise funds to help offset his medical expenses. Levon Helm, a cancer survivor, auctioned one of his drum kits in the spring.  Death came the day before a large gathering of percussionists was scheduled to perform in his honor in the Bay Area (story) - an event that will now become a rhythmic eulogy to a drummer the participants admired as a musician and a person.


Rare Artwork Turns Up In Zep LP

Sometime before his death earlier this year, Rick Hobbs, a long-time personal assistant to Jimmy Page, tucked some rare sketches by artist John Everett Millais in 1848 into one of his Led Zeppelin albums for safe keeping.  The pencil artwork is thought to have been a gift to Hobbs from the former Zeppelin guitarist, who has amassed an impressive collection of Victorian art.  Pressed and protected from light, the four pieces remained in excellent condition.  They go to auction Saturday (8/14) in Honiton, Devon, UK.  Perhaps Page will be among the bidders.


Abbey Road Web Cam

The stroll members of the Beatles took in a crosswalk near Abbey Road Studios on August 8, 1969 for the photo that became the cover to the album named for the studio gets reenacted daily by hundreds of fans.  Walking in the footsteps of John, Paul, George & Ringo in 2010 requires a much quicker pace in 2010.  Heavy volumes of traffic pour through the intersection, with cars, busses, trucks and motorcycles frequently having to pause or swerve to avoid tourists determined to get their photo snapped in the famous crossing.  A web cam now streams the mayhem drivers need to put up with.  Think that knowing a judge or jury could view their antics in the event of an accident will make tourists more considerate?  Watch for 2 minutes before you answer!


Iommi Guitar Grows Legs

A custom made Gibson SG that belongs to Tommy Iommi went missing at the High Voltage Festival in the UK on July 24.  The Black Sabbath veteran performed at the event with Heaven And Hell.  An unspecified reward for information leading to the return of the instrument is being offered by Iommi. Be on the look-out for someone with giant nads carrying a hot guitar.

Allmans Hitting The Road

The Allman Brothers Band returns to the road with a series of fall dates at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston November 18, 19 & 20.  The shows will be the first the band has done since Gregg Allman received a liver transplant in June. (storyThe founding keyboard player for the ABB says he's been '...itching to play since I got the operation and am glad to be back.'  He also passed along his thanks for all of the help and good wishes friends and fans provided during the pre-op ordeal and while he was recovering.


Spider-Man Finally Sticks It

It seemed like only a superhero could salvage the plan to stage Spider-Man on Broadway.  Delays related to financing and the daunting technical complications of producing the musical threatened doom repeatedly during the decades long effort to bring Spider-Man to a New York Stage.  The musical, which will feature music composed by Bono and The Edge of U2, finally has a date to begin preview performances.  Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark will open at the Foxwoods Theater (the former Hilton Theater) on Sunday, November 14.  The regular run of the musical, said to have a production budget of $50 million, is slated to start Tuesday, December 21.  The play is being directed by Julie Taymor who was credited for much of the success of The Lion King, the extravagant production production that has grossed over $700 million dollars on Broadway alone since opening 13 years ago.


1965 Ron Wood Diary Surfaces

Keith Richards acknowledged that piecing together a past filled with all sorts of indulgences for Life, his book covering his career in Rock, has been challenging.  Some friends and associates of another Rolling Stones guitarist are bound to end up wishing it was equally difficult for him to recall the distant past.  Ron Wood apparently came across a diary he kept in 1965 with all sorts of sordid details that he says make for an 'astonishing' account of his day-to-day doings as an 18 year-old in the music business. Wood says he just might publish the 'very honest' personal notes that he kept while he was a member of The Birds, a band he was in before hooking up with the Jeff Beck Group and then replacing Steve Marriott in the Small Faces.


Dead On Deck In San Francisco

Giants players won't be sporting tie-dye patches on their uniforms or retiring a number for Jerry Garcia, but count on a lot of tie-dye and more than a few numbers being lit-up in the stands at AT&T Park when the Giants play host to the Chicago Cubs Monday (8/9) in San Francisco.  On the day marking the anniversary of the date in 1995 the guitarist got permanently scratched from the Grateful Dead lineup card, fellow guitarist and band mate Bob Weir will deliver the national anthem and drummer Mickey Hart will lead more than 7,000 kazoo playing Deadhead fans in Take Me Out To The Ball Game during the 7th inning stretch.  Pre-Game festivities will include Bay Area Dead and Garcia solo cover band performances.
The Giants TV affiliate seemed to think a canned Rod Beck feature was more worthy than Weir doing the anthem, so we'll flash you back to 1993 when Jerry himself was in the house to do the honors. (video)
As for the 7th inning stretch - no coverage of that either - raising the question of whether the ban on pictures, accounts or re-transmissions of the game applies when the coverage ignores what you tuned-in to see.
Go Cubs!


Diaper Duty For Rod Stewart

The prospect of changing diapers at 4a.m. is something most fathers would be more than happy to leave to younger men by the time they are in their late 40's, so you gotta admire the fact that Rod Stewart seems game to give it a go again at 65.  Okay, he can afford to hire as many people as needed to never handle a stinky one again if he'd rather not.  Stewart, already the father of a half dozen, will have a 7th to bounce on his apparently able-bodied knee.  No due date was given, but the couple said the new arrival is expected before its mother's birthday.  The more than able bodied mom, former model Penny Lancaster, turns 40 March 15.


Tull's Anderson Avoids Politics

Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull is up front about keeping political opinions on the back burner when it comes to concert routing.  A post from Anderson on the Jethro Tull web site says he rebuffed artists and activists seeking to enlist him in boycotting concerts in solidarity against Mid-East political conflict.  Anderson said he decided to go ahead with concerts in the region after he '...started receiving some very hateful communication from people representing different sides of this ongoing issue - from supposed human rights supporters to individuals, bodies and groups'.  He tells the Jersulalem Post his 'don't fucking tell me what to do' message seems to have put a stop to the pressure, saying, '...nobody has uttered a peep' since it went online.


Mellencamp Earns Americana Honor

The Americana Music Association has named John Mellencamp one of its 2010 award recipients.  The Heartland Rocker will be named the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award winner during the 9th annual Americana Music Festival and Conference in Nashville, TN in early September.  In announcing the honor the AMA credited Mellencamp for his ability to combine '...the blue collar sweat of rock and roll and the humble grit of honky tonk.'  An award will also go to Greg Leisz, a pedal steel guitarist, mandolin and bass player that has appeared on recordings by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Joni Mitchell, Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris and Jesse Winchester.  Awards will be presented September 9 in the historic Ryman Auditorium.


Kramer Sides With Steven Tyler

Joey Kramer has followed-up Joe Perry's harsh criticism of Steven Tyler for keeping Aerosmith members in the dark over a prospects he will become a judge on American Idol (story) by voicing his support of the idea.  The drummer told Billboard he thinks the prospect of Tyler filling a judging seat on the hit show could be a '...very positive thing' for Aerosmith.'  One thing for sure is that the publicity that ongoing speculation about who is or isn't going to take the seat abandoned by Elle Degeneris after just one season is great for the show, which will face competition for viewers from a new talent show being anchored by AI's former high profile judge Simon Cowell.


VH In The Studio

Eddie and Alex Van Halen have reportedly confirmed that VH is in the studio working on a new album with David Lee Roth handling the vocals.  The release would be the first new studio material from the band since the 1998 album Van Halen III, which featured Gary Cherone during his brief stint in the lead vocalist role. A tour is expected to be in the offing next year too, according to Billboard.  The group hasn't recorded studio material with its original lead singer since 1983.


U2 Back On The Road

Bono appeared to be in good form Friday during the U2 concert in Turin, Italy Friday (8/6) that marked the lead singer's return from serious back surgery (story). The concert before a packed Olympic Stadium crowd roared to life with Beautiful Day and included two new songs, North Star Acoustic and Glastonbury.  The Irish rockers were forced to pull out of the headline slot at the Glastonbury Festival after Bono sustained the injury that required him to have emergency surgery in Germany.  He revealed that the recovery from the operation was so painful that he agreed to take morphine while in the hospital, saying the narcotic came with some unwelcome side effects.  '...I did strange things. I always wanted ice cream. I drank. I even started smoking again.'  The lead singer looked fit and limber during the set, during which he expressed appreciation to his bandmates for their patience, understanding and support while he was laid up.


Conservatory A No-Go For Ringo

The Kensington and Chelsea Council has blocked Ringo Starr from constructing a conservatory in his London penthouse.  The three story brick building is located in an historic preservation area of the exclusive King's Road part of London.  Starr reportedly plans to appeal the ruling.  If the restriction is upheld, the drummer has other options.  He and wife Barbara Bach also own a 200 acre estate in Surrey, UK and villas in Los Angeles and Colorado.
London Evening Standard


Book Takes Fans Behind The Wall

The title of a book due out October 1 does not overstate the importance of the role its subject had in establishing the preeminence of a band.  The Making Of Pink Floyd: The Wall provides a behind the scenes look at the writing and recording of the monumentally successful album that capped a decade of extraordinary releases by the UK prog Rock group.  The fact the three surviving members of the band have all endorsed the project adds to expectations that the book by Gerald Scarfe will prove to be a fascinating look into the process of making the double album. Michael Dover, Editor-In-Chief of publisher Weidenfeld & Nicholson, remarks, 'Somehow gerald has managed to smooth ruffled feathers and the protagonists of the past cheerfully recall epic battles in the pages of this book.' The author equates collecting material for the book to reporting from a war zone at times, but says he was '...delighted to get the surviving members of the band as well as Sir Alan Parker (film director for The Wall movie) to share their reminiscences of those times with me.'


Henley Gets Settlement & Apology

Getting a politician to admit being wrong is no small feat.  Don Henley, who won a court case over the unauthorized use of The Boys Of Summer in a video promoting the canididacy of Chuck DeVore of California (story), has settled the case he filed against DeVore and a campaign aid for an undisclosed amount.  Possibly worth more to the Eagles member is the fact he managed to get a public statement issued by DeVore apologizing to him and fellow songwriters Mike Campbell and Danny Kortchmar for violating their copyright that read, in part, '...that political candidates, regardless of affiliation, should seek appropriate license authority before they use copyrighted works', and went on to express regret for '...all inaccurate, derogatory or disparaging remarks made about Mr. Henley during the course of this dispute.'


Tyler Idol Bid Re-Opens Aerosmith Rift

News that Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler is considering and under consideration for a judging seat on American Idol (story) reached guitarist Joe Perry the same way it got to everyone else - on the internet.  Perry is clearly not pleased over the latest case of Tyler apparently neglecting to let his band mates know he is making plans that could interfere with the touring and recording plans of Aerosmith.  This  comes on the heels of anger within the band over Tyler following the band's Las Vegas show with a party at Studio 54 that Perry told the Boston Herald others in the group did not get invited to.  The latest episode in the soap opera that Aerosmith turned into last year after a string of health issues derailed a tour with ZZ Top and threatened to end the band is just simmering at the moment, and the financial and legal consequences of another tour falling apart are probably enough to cool tempers for the time being, but the lid may not stay on if Tyler is offered the Idol gig and takes it.


Companion Film With Springsteen Release

The deluxe re-issue of one of 1978's biggest releases will be accompanied by a movie documenting the recording sessions.  The Promise: The Making of Darkness On The Edge Of Town is being pieced together by Thom Zimny, who was also behind the movie issued with the  anniversary re-release five years ago of Bruce Springsteen's 1975 breakout album Born To Run  and the Live In New York City film project.  The Darkness movie is scheduled to get screened at the Toronto Film Festival on September 14. Anticipation that Bruce could be on the scene for the premier has been building since the film was slotted.  The expanded album will include several unreleased tracks recorded during the sessions for the album (story), at least one of which is likely to be included in the film.


Vintage Live Airplane Releases

Concert sets featuring both the last performance of Signe Anderson and the first by Grace Slick as lead singer of the Jefferson Airplane are due for release on October 26.  The recordings, both made at the Fillmore in San Francisco in 1966, are part of a four album release that also includes a 1968 performance at the Matrix, a San Francisco club Airplane member Marty Balin had a stake in.  The Matrix show includes versions of songs that would come out several months later on the Crown Of Creation album.  The October 15, 1966 release featuring Anderson is a first as well as a last.  In addition to it being her farewell performance with the Airplane, the live recording is also the only concert recording of the band with her as lead singer to be released. The live set featuring Slick fronting the band was recorded the very next night.


Dead End For Garcia Biopic?

Plans to bring a Jerry Garcia biopic to the big screen (story) have run into a big problem.  Grateful Dead Productions has reportedly put the kibosh on the use of any Garcia music in the project, and served notice that Garcia family members will not be available to them.  A statement from Grateful Dead Productions made it clear that the operation has no intention of assisting the project, saying that neither it or the Garcia Family LLC are ' any way working with - or in any other way affiliated with - the supposed upcoming Amir Bar-Lev directed biopic about Jerry Garcia.'  Whether that means a dead end for the planned movie remains to be seen.


Morrison Lyrics, Beatles Photos Fetch 20k

One of the more coveted items in a Berkshire, UK auction sold for more than $20,000 dollars Wednesday (8/4). The lined yellow sheet of A4 notebook paper (photo) bearing the opening lines to LA Woman, the title song to the Doors last studio album got snapped up for $20,680. Early photos of all four Beatle members taken at their homes by a young fan (story) sold for about the same amount at another auction, shattering the pre-auction estimates that the collection would top out between $3 and $5 thousand. A piano from Abbey Road Studios used during sessions by the Beatles and Pink Floyd goes up for sale August 15 with an anticipated value more than 10 times greater than amounts bid for the lyrics and photos.


VH Tops Hendrix In Gibson Poll

Give Gibson credit for having a more interesting web site than any other guitar manufacturer we're aware of. They enlisted Zakk Wylde to deliver a vid clip announcing the top ten electric guitar albums in its rundown of the site's top 50. The poll crowned the self-titled debut from Van Halen as the best-of-the-best.  Hard to fault a list that includes earth shaking fret work from Jimi Hendrix, Duane Allman, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Slash, Eddie Van Halen and AC/DC's incendiary Young brothers, but not finding Pete Townshend in the top 10 (Live At Leeds #13, Who's Next #19) or Stevie Ray Vaughan in the top 20 (The Sky Is Crying #31) is surprising.  And no matter how technically brilliant Eddie is - he can't eclipse what Hendrix accomplished with and for the guitar on his debut.

 1. Van Halen
 2. Are Your Experienced - Jimi Hendrix
 3. Led Zeppelin IV
 4. Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs - Derek & The Dominos
 5. Appetite For Destruction - Guns N' Roses
 6. Led Zeppelin II
 7. At Fillmore East - Allman Brothers Band
 8. Disraeli Gears - Cream
 9. Electric Ladyland - Jimi Hendrix
10. Back In Black - AC/DC

Styx Announces Album Concert

The Beacon Theatre in New York has been selected by Styx as the site for album concert sets featuring two of the band's most successful releases.  On October 28 the band will perform The Grand Illusion (1977) and Pieces Of Eight (1978) in their entirety.   The band web site is giving fans the jump on premium seats Tuesday (8/3) before they go on sale through other outlets on Friday (8/6).  Other album dates have not been announced, but a reference to the Grand Illusion Pieces Of Eight Tour on the site makes it obvious that additional dates are being planned.


Dr. John Goes Tribal

Dr. John continues to serve up music full of the flavors of New Orleans and the bayou beyond on Tribal (Aug. 3, 429 Records).  The album draws contributions from Derek Trucks, the late Bobby Charles and fellow Louisiana legend Allen Toussaint to supplement the churnin' burnin' funk, rock and Creole infused blues he can always count on from his Lower 911 band regulars.  Like the good Doctor says, if music is '...served up as a ho-hum dish, you got nothin'. 


Hunter & Elliott Tag Team ELP Battle

The High Voltage Festival in the UK over the weekend hit some raw nerves when Ian Hunter and Def Leppard's Joe Elliott reportedly got into an altercation with Emerson, Lake & Palmer crew members. An account of the incident says the fracas took place as Elliott's side band the Down n' Outz was on stage.which appeared to have something to do with the plug getting pulled on ELP.  The account is about as together as a cat in a clothes dryer, so don't jump to any conclusions yet.




Clapton Release Date Set

Details about the next Eric Clapton album have not surfaced yet, but cover art and a release date have been revealed by Reprise Records. September 28 has been pegged as the release date for Clapton. The simply titled album will sport an equally straight-forward portrait shot of EC wearing spectacles against an all black background.  titles and more info about the new studio recording should follow shortly.



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