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Noteworthy Now Archives for 2010-09

Canadians Crown American Woman

Opinions from around 800 musicians, critics and fans factored in the proclamation that American Woman/No Sugar Tonight is the greatest single to ever come out of Canada.  The 1970 track from the Guess Who edged out Heart Of Gold by Neil Young and The Weight from the Band. Tom Cochrane's Life Is A Highway was one of just two titles from the 90's that made the 60's,  70's & 80's heavy list.  No song released after 1992 made the cut.

1. American Woman/No Sugar Tonight - Guess Who
2. Heart of Gold - Neil Young
3. The Weight - The Band

4. Summer of '69
- Bryan Adams
5. Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen
6. Born to be Wild - Steppenwolf
7. If You Could Read My Mind - Gordon Lightfoot
8. Takin' Care of Business - Bachman-Turner Overdrive
9. Four Strong Winds - Ian & Sylvia
10. Snowbird - Anne Murray
11. Big Yellow Taxi - Joni Mitchell
12. Tom Sawyer - Rush
13. Try - Blue Rodeo
14. New Orleans is Sinking - The Tragically Hip
15. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - Gordon Lightfoot
16. Suzanne - Leonard Cohen

17. Life is a Highway - Tom Cochrane
18. These Eyes - The Guess Who
19. Sundown - Gordon Lightfoot

20. Underwhelmed - Sloan


Who Making 2011 Plans

Roger Daltrey was not specific about what he and Pete Townshend are planning for 2011, but he was willing to tie it to something '...based around a past work', and made mention of Tommy and QuadropheniaDaltrey, speaking for a fan forum feature on the Who web site, also suggested that their approach to live performing will be different in the future, saying, 'The whole music business has been through a seismic shift, so we're looking at new ways of doing it.'  That could mean that the band will simulcast concerts to venues throughout the world rather than mount an extensive tour, something Daltrey says they are unlikely to do.  If they do tour, he wants to devote some shows to specific albums.  He singled out the group's landmark concept albums, Tommy and Quadrophenia, but noted that he's not confident he has the vocal range to do justice to some of the songs on the 1969 Rock Opera.  He also said that Townshend has been working on some new material.


David Bowie Pens Book

One of Rock's more fascinating figures is preparing to releases a new book titled Bowie: Object.  Described on his web site as a book that will offer insights about Bowie through 100 items.  Not much more is known about the book, and apparently the author would prefer that even what little is known was still under wraps.  The site attributes its willingness to post anything about it to the fact that Publishers Weekly revealed that Bowie would publish it in a story last week.  According to, the book consists of photographs of the 100 objects, each annotated with Bowie's observations and thoughts about it, which are described as '...insightful, witty and personal'.  The objects and his comments about each might prove to be interesting and amusing, but don't expect them to shed too much light on the famously private artist.  Readers looking for a more detailed look at the reclusive Mr. Bowie might do better to pick-up the book Bowie by Marc Spitz.


See The Neil Young Movie

A movie featuring songs from Le Noise, the new studio album Neil Young released this week (story), makes it's debut on YouTube Thursday night (9/30).  The 38 minute black & white film  of Young performing 8 songs was recorded during a session in the studio producer Daniel Lanois operates in Silverlake, California.  Neil provides the intro to the footage himself.  The Le Noise movie also includes commentary from LanoisCatch it here.



Wall Tour Sparks Controversy

What is shaping up to be one of the most successful tours of 2010 (story) is drawing criticism from some Jewish organizations and the Anti Defamation League (ADL).  The groups are complaining about images being projected during the Roger Waters tour featuring music from The Wall, the double concept album Pink Floyd put out in 1979.  The segment plays during Goodbye Blue Sky and includes bombs shaped like the star of David and dollar symbols being dropped, symbolism said to be a statement against the security fence Israel has erected.  The ADL's national director has branded the images as 'outrageous', basing his objection on concern that Waters is, '...playing into and dredging up the worst age-old antisemetic stereotype about Jews and their supposed obsession with making money'.


A Side Order Of Stones

Patrons of a trendy West Side restaurant in Manhattan got an unexpected treat when Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones stopped in with actor Chris North to grab a bite.  Wood made his way to the piano in the dining room of Da Marino on 49th Street, where he launched into a medley of '70's songs.  North, The Law & Order and Sex and the City cast member now appearing in the CBS series The Good Wife, co-owns a small New York live music venue known as the Cutting Room that has drawn performances from David Bowie, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones and others.  Turns out North has vocal chops of his own.  He joined Wood in belting out the medley to the packed dining room.  Given the presence of Carol Miller, a fixture on FM Rock Radio in the Big Apple for decades, the surprise performance might not have been quite as spontaneous as most in the house thought it was.  Wood released the solo album I Feel Like Playing this week (story).


Billboard Touring Award To Rush

After venting about the failure of the Rock Hall Of Fame to recognize the accomplishments of Rush (story), it was good to find out that music industry mainstay Billboard will honor the band that the RHOF again chose to ignore.  Rush will receive a Legend Of Live Award during the Billboard Touring Awards presentations on November 4 at the Sheraton New York Hotel.  The Canadian power trio joins past honorees the Allman Brothers Band, Ozzy Osbourne, Elton John and Rolling Stones promoter Michael Cohl.  In an announcement we hope comes to the attention of those responsible for choosing Rock Hall Of Fame nominees, Ray Waddell of Billboard credited the group as, '...uniquely deserving of this award as they have a remarkable body of live work that altered the course of Rock music and raised the bar as to what can be done onstage.'  Hello, Cleveland  -  those accolades apply equally to what Rush has been able to do in the studio.


Scavengers Dismantle Ringo Starr Home

Doubts about whether the brick home Ringo Starr was born in will be spared the wrecking ball (story) have led to incidents of hammer and crowbar wielding souvenir hunters seeking pieces of the structure.  Portions of masonry and bricks have been chiseled out of the exterior walls of the three story building at 9 Madryn Street, prompting those in the campaign to save the structure to issue a plea for the scavenging to stop.  The chairman of the group says, '...a handful of people have engaged in what can only be described as wanton vandalism', and calling on authorities to provide a measure of security to prevent further damage to the structure. No word on whether Maxwell or his Silver Hammer got in on the vandalism.


Rock Hall Slams Door On Rockers

The Rock Hall of Fame announced its 2011 nominees Tuesday (9/28) and once again, there are artists on and ones left off the list that will mystify and anger plenty of the people that feel the museum should focus on Rock to the exclusion of other genres that influence Rock and that Rock influences.  At the top of the crop of those finally getting their due are Alice Cooper and the J. Geils Band.  Gaining potential instant access (artists become eligible 25 years after their first single or album is released) is Bon Jovi. Other nominees most purists will find worthy and acceptable include The Beastie Boys, Dr. John, Donovan, Tom Waits Joe Tex, Chuck Willis and Darlene Love.  The list of artists plenty will take issue with includes Neil Diamond, LL Cool J, Donna Summer, Chic and Laura Nyro. Notables shut out again - the Moody Blues, Rush, Yes, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Cars, the Doobie Brothers and Todd Rundgren. Even recognizing the RHOF has to hold some more worthy artists in reserve to headline future inductions, the idea that Michael Jackson, ABBA and Madonna are among the 92 bands and 605 that got in ahead of Rock artists continues to drag down the Hall's credibility with a good portion of what should be its core audience.


Big Day For New Releases

The last week in September proved to be a bigger one for new Rock releases than any recent memory, with albums from Neil Young, Eric Clapton, the Doobie Brothers, Ron Wood, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd dropping Tuesday (9/28), along with the DVD set recorded during the Rock Hall Of Fame 25th Anniversary concerts in New York City.  Le Noise features Neil Young working for the first time with producer Daniel Lanois - a collaboration that seems to have been equally rewarding for both (story).  The Clapton studio effort, simply titled Clapton, includes contributions from Steve Winwood, JJ Cale, Derek Trucks and a number of other guests (story). Faces and Rolling Stones veteran Ron Wood released I Feel Like Playing, a surprisingly solid outting given the turmoil in his life (review).  The Rock Hall Of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert DVD has disappointed some critics because of what was left out of it.  The Hall also released its list of nominees for induction in 2011 Tuesday (story).  The absence of the Doobie Brothers on that list prevented the group from having an additional reason to celebrate the  release of its first studio album in more than a decade, World Gone Crazy. Guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd released a concert disc titled Live In Chicago.
The Rock Insights New Music page is a good gateway to recent and upcoming releases.  From it you can sample songs, find reviews and get acquainted with some artists you might not know that we think you'll be impressed with.


Rod Stewart Named In Suit Suit

Karen Matthews is resorting to a lawsuit against Rod Stewart to recoup $7,500 the designer claims Stewart still owes her for clothing she designed for him, including a suit Rod commissioned for his wedding to Penny Lancaster three years ago.  Speaking with TMZ, a representative for Matthews said that Stewart paid for some clothing, but kept a number of other items without making payment.  Stewart's camp fired back that the suit was not delivered on time and fit him so poorly that he wore a different one for the ceremony.  It's hard to imagine it could have looked any worse than some of the outfits Rod has been willing to wear.  Vain as he can be, at least he did not write You Wear It Well about himself.


Elton's Mum Unloads

Shiela Farebrother, the mother of Elton John, is downsizing.  Her move means an avalanche of Elton memorabilia is headed to auction.  Included in the massive collection are 100+ gold and platinum album awards, tour jackets, backstage passes, tour clothing and other artifacts that Elton, his label or his manager passed along to her.  A representative of the auction house considers the October 19 sale of 227 pieces qualifies as one of the most unique sales his firm has ever hosted.  He says Farebrother's soon-to-be former residence had a large games room that was packed with items her son had given her.  Among the more unique items going under the hammer are a diamond encrusted crucifix and double set of framed discs presented after her son's US album sales cracked the 43 million mark.


Tough Times For U2 Hotel

The economic crunch has been tough on the travel industry. A hotel that Bono and The Edge own shares of in Dublin has not been spared the pain.  The Clarence, a trendy 48 room boutique establishment in the Temple Bar part of the Irish city, posted a before tax loss approaching $2 million for 2008, a jump of 50% from the prior report.  Nearly 1/4 of the hotel staff has been trimmed and a director's summary indicates that further measures to  '...improve operating performance through cost efficiencies' would be taken as necessary.  The U2 singer and guitarist have held an ownership stake in the property since 1992.


Stairway To Heaven Tops Gibson Poll, the excellent web site maintained by the venerable guitar maker, has conducted several reader polls in recent months we have reported the results for.  Predictably, each ranking has produced a healthy amount of second guessing.  The latest, a poll that set out to rank the top 50 guitar solos of all time, turns out to be the kind of mine field you would expect.  The tone of comments even from critics of the results reflect appreciation of how impossible the task was. Hotel California making the top 5 was the biggest surprise in the top 10 to us.  We would have thought another Jimmy Page, Hendrix or Clapton effort or one from Joe Perry, Angus Young, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Beck, Neil Young or Slash would cop a spot in the top 10 before Don Felder.

10) Bohemian Rhapsody - Brian May, Queen
9) Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry
8) While My Guitar Gentley Weeps - Eric Clapton, Beatles
7) Layla - Eric Clapton, Derek & The Dominos
6) Free Bird - Allen Collins, Lynyrd Skynyrd
5) Comfortably Numb - David Gilmour, Pink Floyd
4) Hotel California - Don Felder, Eagles
3) All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix
2) Eruption - Eddie Van Halen, Van Halen
1) Stairway To Heaven - Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin

Aerosmith Not Over

Aerosmith's bass player says that that Steven Tyler is determined to fulfill his commitment to the band.  Speaking to the Boston Herald, Tom Hamilton said, 'Steven has been very emphatic in saying that the way his time is arranged on the show leaves room to work on a record'.  He also admits that the American Idol judging role Tyler was confirmed for Wednesday (story) is apt to increase friction between Tyler and other members of the group.  Word Tyler was entertaining the idea of accepting an offer to fill one of the judging vacancies reportedly reached his band mates the way it did their fans - online.  Others in the band were clearly not amused.  Still, Hamilton says that Tyler has time and time again proven that he can have lots of stuff going on in his life and be the front man for Aerosmith, and says, '...he's taken a big bite, and I'm looking forward to seeing him chew it.'  Joe Perry is clearly the one Tyler has the most to prove to if the Aerosmith lineup is going to remain intact.


Nancy Wilson Splits With Crowe

Nancy Wilson and director Cameron Crowe have been on the outs since 2008.  Wilson now wants a divorce granted, according to papers filed in an LA Superior Court.  Irreconcilable differences were cited as the basis for wanting the split to be legally granted.  The couple was married in July of 1986.  Most celebrity marriages crash & burn so quickly that they should develop a seperate scale for measuring them, like the one that people apply when translating their dog's age to a human years equivalent.  The 1=7 used for dogs would be over the top, so maybe something closer to 1=4.  Even by that measure, Gregg Allman and Cher were only married just over a month!   Crowe and Wilson have twin 10 year-old boys.  The filing indicates that Wilson wants to share legal and physical custody of the boys with her former husband once the divorce is official.


Doobies Stream live Concert

If you have the bandwidth, you can take in a Doobie Brothers live performance online on Monday (9/27).  The set is being streamed by the band in an arrangement with Cisco TelePresence.  A 30 minute retrospective doc on the group will start at 6:30 (Eastern), followed by set expected to run about an hour that will feature some of the bands bigger hits and tracks from World Gone Crazy, the studio album due out the following day(story).  Timing for the event seems a bit out of synch with what we would expect for an event like this.  Maybe it in the middle of a weekday afternoon has something with nobody from Cisco wanting to put in OT for the event?


Kinks Tribute Update

Their influence gets overshadowed by two other bands of the British Invasion era, but plenty of artists consider the Kinks to have had a longer lasting influence on their work than the Beatles or StonesKinks fans have been frustrated over the stone walling that prevents Ray and Dave Davies from being willing to work together. The sniping siblings never got along when the band was together - so why can't they agree to disagree now?  The answer seems to depend on which one you ask - and when you ask them (story)Ray is working with a number of other artists on a Kinks tribute album.  Metallica is the latest to sign-on for the project, joining Bruce Springsteen (Better Things), Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora (Celluloid Heros), Jackson Browne (Waterloo Sunset), Lucinda Williams (Long Way From Home),  Billy Corgan (Destroyer and All Day and All of the Night), and the late Alex Chilton of Big Star and the Box Tops ('Til The End Of the Day).  Metallica and Davies will take on You Really Got Me, the song they did at the Rock Hall Of Fame anniversary concert.


Bad Company Disbanding Again?

Bad Company has spent more time apart than together over the last decade, so news that a concert next month at a Hard Rock Casino near Tulsa, OK might be the last one for the band is about as unexpected as a politician in a parade.  Paul Rodgers, who spent a couple of years in an on-and-off role with Queen, says Bad Co. has no plans for anything following the October 7 date.  He is quoted by as working on new solo material and a UK tour with his new band. Bad Company recruited Lynn Sorenson and Heart veteran Howard Lesse to fill the role of the late Boz Burrell.  Both are involved with the solo recording sessions Rodgers has done, which he calls 'very exciting.' Rodgers has also confirmed that Joe Perry offered him the lead singer slot in Aerosmith after that group's 2009 tour and the band itself nearly fell apart after Tyler fell off a stage in South Dakota and then went awol.  He called the prospect of filling Tyler's shoes '...a difficult scenario.Rodgers also considered signing on with Fleetwood Mac's Mick Fleetwood and John McVie after a jam session in Hawaii Rodgers said was full of '...all kinds of musical possibilities.'  As for whether Bad Company has a future, the vocalist says, 'We aren't putting Bad Company to bed', but. '...the band definitely is something that will be placed on the back burner.'


Lennon Guitars From Gibson

Gibson Acoustic is making limited edition models available to commemorate the 70th birthday of the late John Lennon this fall. The J-160VS and J-160E models and an Imagine model were custom built and are being offered at the request of Yoko Ono.  The Gibson J-160E was the first quality guitar Lennon owned, and one he could afford only because manager Brian Epstein co-signed the purchase.  The 70th Anniversary editions of the instruments, built in the company's Montana acoustic guitar facility, come in three versions, each representing a period in Lennon's career;  a Vintage Sunburst model ($4,728) that is a replica of the one John used on most 1963 and '64 recordings, the Imagine model ($10,748), in the same soft white finish as the one used during early 1970's, and a model that is a replica of the one John used during the Bed-Ins for peace Lennon and Ono staged in 1969 that now resides in the Rock Hall Of Fame in Cleveland ($15,048).  500 of the Sunburst finish instruments will be released.  The others will be limited to 70 each  one for each year since his birth.


Converse Back Tracks On Hendrix Sneaker

Converse has elected to withdraw one of the Jimi Hendrix model sneakers the company recently introduced after a Hindu woman voiced her objection to the inclusion of Hindu deities in the design. A company statement expressed regret for the 'unintentional offence' in announcing that it was taking steps to 'immediately discontinue the sales of the Hendrix/Axis shoes'.  A Texas woman was apparently the first one to contact the company about the issue.  A reply to her e-mail apologized for offending her, calling the oversight an unintended mistake.  Artwork on that particular model came from the cover art used on the 1967 Axis Bold As Love album by Hendrix.
Discontinued clothing often gets donated to charities for distribution to the poor in countries around the world.  Not these.  The recall does make anyone who grabbed a pair before they were removed from store shelves and online retailers the owner of a rare pair of footwear. Just don't expect EBay to be willing to display them.


Idol Move Puts Aerosmith On Hold

After bilking it for every ounce of free publicity it could, American Idol producers finally confirmed what pretty much everyone in a country with electricity already knew by parading out  Steven Tyler and pop singer-actress Jennifer Lopez as the show's newest judges in front of the next crop of Idol wannabes during a media cattle call in the forum in LA Wednesday (9/22). Idol's gain is Aerosmith's loss to most, despite the lead singer's attempts to persuade band members and fans that his stint on the show will be a plus for the veteran group.  Leading the dissenters is lead guitarist Joe Perry, who thinks the association of Aerosmith with the program has nothing but negative implications for the band and TylerLopez proclaiming she is '...looking for the next Michael Jackson' won't help.  For his part, Tyler said he intends to '...bring some Rock to this roller coaster'.  While hardly off the rails, Idol has seen a steady decline in viewership over the last few seasons, including a nearly 10% drop last season alone. Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe thinks that the addition of Tyler will help revive ratings because the audience will respond to '...not knowing what he was going to say and where he's going to come from'.  That he will will - and in the process might make Lythgoe regret what he wished for.


Skynyrd Namesake Dies

Back when the discipline role in public schools was the added responsibility of the teacher unlucky enough to get stuck with it instead of an armed cop, Robert E Lee High School in Jacksonville, FL dropped the load on Phys Ed teacher Leonard Skinner.  Maintaining order in high school halls has never been easy, but in the rebellious late 1960's it had to really suck - especially when some of the ones you had to keep in line were in rock bands.  Skinner found out the trouble Gary Rossington and the others were causing in school was only a preview of coming distractions when the group they had formed decided to adopt and adapt his name as their band name.  Skinner eventually got circumspect about the dubious honor of being the inspiration for the band's name saying, 'I just went along with the flow. There's not much I could do about it.'  News of his recent death at 77 brought this from Rossington: 'Coach Skinner had such a profound impact on our youth that ultimately led us to naming the band, which you know as Lynyrd Skynyrd, after him. Looking back, I cannot imagine it any other way.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.'


Steven Tyler Solo Debut

A power ballad titled Love Lives will reportedly be the first song Steven Tyler releases as a solo act.  The tune is said to be in line for the soundtrack to Space Battleship Yamoto, a Japanese sci-fi flick. latched onto this story and a trailer clip from the movie, which the site says Tyler got inspired to write and record for the project after he got the chance to preview the climactic scene from the movie, which has its premier December 1.  The track is slated to go on sale in Japan Nov. 24.  This could be the week Tyler is gets confirmed as a judge on the upcoming season of American Idol, a prospect guitarist Joe Perry has said could spell the end for Aerosmith with Tyler out front.  Even heard through the foreign dialog gibberish in the feature clip the song sounds as derivative of I Don't Want To Miss A Thing, the pop hit Tyler sang in Armegeddon, as this film probably is of that one.  Between his interest in the Idol gig and the sound of this song, Aerosmith is becoming a distant blip on Tyler's radar.  Hear what you can of the song here.


Younger Weinberg Sacked

You have to give credit to a club band with the balls to fire a drummer that has played for more people on one night than the band that fired him plays for in an entire year.  Madball leader Freddy Cricien did it to Jay Weinberg, son of E Street Band drummer Jay Weinberg.  The younger Weinberg filled in for his father on several dates during Springsteen's last tour so that his father could make appearances with the band he fronts for Conan O'Brien.  Now, both father and son have eneded up on the short end of the stick.  O'Brien ditched Max in the process of his migration from NBC to cable, and Madball bailed on Jay for reasons the front man explained as having to do with him having '...a lot to learn about paying dues, and about life in general'.

Younger Weinberg Sacked

You have to give credit to a club band with the balls to fire a drummer that has played for more people on one night than the band that fired him plays for in an entire year.  Madball leader Freddy Cricien did it to Jay Weinberg, son of E Street Band drummer Jay Weinberg.  The younger Weinberg filled in for his father on several dates during Springsteen's last tour so that his father could make appearances with the band he fronts for Conan O'Brien.  Now, both father and son have eneded up on the short end of the stick.  O'Brien ditched Max in the process of his migration from NBC to cable, and Madball bailed on Jay for reasons the front man explained as having to do with him having '...a lot to learn about paying dues, and about life in general'.

Aerosmith Fan Disappears

Whether Aerosmith continues as a band is a mystery to fans (story), but Canadian authorities have a more pressing one on their hands.  The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Vancouver PD are seeking to find out what happened to a 52 year-old man who has not been accounted for since being seen at the closing concert of the Aerosmith tour Thursday (9/16) in Vancouver.  Brian Martin, a 5' 5" man with black hair, brown eyes and a tattoo of a wolf howling at the moon on his left arm has not been seen by anyone who knows him since the concert ended.  He was reported missing after failing to show up for work the day after the concert.


Ron Wood - I Feel Like Playing

The idea that Ron Wood found the time to make an album at all is amazing given the portion of his waking hours the media would have you believe he spends satisfying other urges.  Not only has he done one, it just might bee the best solo recording to ever come out of the Rolling Stones camp. And he even did the cover art himself.
I Feel Like Playing plays to Wood's strengths.  It is rootsy and unpolished, but at the same time finely crafted and brilliant.  He resists trying to force his raspy voice to go places it should not,  and does the same with the arrangements.  The result is a recording that  fits like a good pair of jeans, not the fancy pants Wood often cavorts around in - and pokes fun at in one of the new originals on the album.
Inevitably, there are songs that draw on his recently collapsed marriage and stormy relationships and addiction issues. The opening track, A Thing Like That, and I Gotta See are especially poignant.  But his ever adolescent outlook drives most of the album, which includes a couple of tunes with Billy Gibbons that would sound right at home on a pre-Eliminator  ZZ Top album. Wood also makes good use of Slash, Eddie Vedder, Kris Kristofferson, Bobby Womack and his keyboard partner in the recently reunited Faces, Ian McLagan.
Wood's guitar work is in fine form throughout, full of the ballsy swagger Stones fans have come to expect.  While Mick, Keith and Charlie seem content doing non-musical things between Rolling Stones albums and tours, Woody always feels like playing.  This release will make you glad that's the case.


Eddie Vedder Ties Knot In Hawaii

Hawaii provided the setting for Eddie Vedder and Jill MCCormick exchanged vows Saturday (9/18). The Pearl Jam lead singer and his fashion model partner got a running start on family life.  They are the parents of an almost 2 year-old and 6 year old girl.  The 70 guest gathering was reportedly strong on celebs, with actor-director Sean Penn and island resident singer Jack Johnson among them.  The couple got engaged at the end of 2009 when Vedder proposed while the couple was in Washington, DC, where Eddie delivered a strong performance during the segment of the program honoring Kennedy Center Award winner Bruce Springsteen.


Jerry Garcia's Villa On The Market

The address Jerry Garcia called home at the time of his death in 1995 has gone on the market with an asking price of $3.95 million.  The 7,000 square foot Mediterranean style home and 11 acre estate about 30 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Nicasio, CA has sweeping views of the Marin County high country and the Pacific.  The 5 bedroom, 6 bath house is exceptionally private and features a gourmet kitchen, a home theater with an 8 x 10' screen, a master suite with a private deck and enclosed sauna.  Special guests were treated to a spacious master suite of their own.  As expansive and comfortable as it is, the home is as understated and modest by celebrity standards as the Grateful Dead guitarist himself, who was most comfortable in a well-worn black T-shirt, jeans and low-tech sneakers or biker boots.


Henley & Heartbreaker Go Country

Don Henley counts Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers as one of his favorite bands.  Past Henley  collaborations with members of the Heartbreakers have produced some of Henley's biggest songs.  Boys Of Summer, a demo Mike Campbell worked up, got passed along to Henley. Several songs on End Of The Innocence were joint efforts between Henley and Stan Lynch.  Now comes word that the Eagle and Lynch are working together on a Country flavored album.  Lynch, who is close enough to Henley to be the godfather of his son, is someone Don considers a fellow '...quasi-redneck' and someone who is '...amazingly gifted and has a killer sense of humor.' Speaking with Diablo Magazine, Henley said that Lynch is co-producing his next solo project, which he describes as a collection of original and covers of Country songs.  He also volunteered that he would like to work with Randy Newman, Alison Kraus, Merle Haggard and Keb Mo, and that he counts Levon Helm as his favorite drummer-vocalist of all time.


Hendrix Remains Ever Present

The passing of Jimi Hendrix 40 years ago Saturday (9/18) is being marked with a number of tributes to the guitar great.  The space his London apartment occupied has been opened to the public for the first time since his death (story). A considerable amount of previously unreleased material is being prepared for release in November (story).  Fender Guitars finally got around to inducting Hendrix into its Hall Of Fame (story). He claimed the top spot in the Gibson Guitars poll naming the 50 best players to ever strap on a six string (story).  The Experience Hendrix tour is out again and continuing to draw big audiences and great reviews (story). And the Rock Hall Of Fame in Cleveland is honoring Jimi with the inaugural webisode of a new series called All Access: The Story Of Rock.  Premiering this week, the internet feature recounts the last days of Jimi's life and gives some background about what proved to be his final concert - a September 6 show in Germany. (Hendrix did perform in public once after that, jamming with Eric Burdon in a London club two days before his death).  The series is a way to provide a biographic link to items included in the museum's collection, which includes a considerable amount of Hendrix material. Todd Mesek of the RHOF says the series will concentrate on '...artifacts and content that people are passionate about', and seeks to '...extend our educational mission, to use our content and the music experts we have here at the museum to tell great Rock N' Roll stories.'  None are more fascinating than the story of Hendrix, whose aura looms large not just around the anniversary of his passing, but has and will continue to year 'round, year in and year out.


Band On The Run Expands

An ambitious plan to re-release all of the  Paul McCartney post Beatles solo material starts with the release of an expanded edition of his 1973 album Band On The Run November 2.  Remastered in Abbey Road Studios by the same crew involved in updating the Beatles catalog for its massive reissue (story), the Band On The Run upgrade was done with Paul's direct guidance in all phases of the project, including the deluxe DVD that features bonus recordings, video footage, a book and photographs documenting the original Wings sessions.


Jagger Seeks Shelter In Laos

In the limelight is where Mick Jagger seems most at home, so it may surprising to learn that even Mick craves solitude from time to time.  The Stones front man recently spent a week in Luang Prabang, Laos, where he insisted his privacy not be violated.  Despite selecting a relatively secluded hotel, The Sun quoted a source as saying that Jagger went so far as to black out all of the windows to eliminate the risk anyone could intrude via high power lens from outside the compound.  This was not Jagger's first visit to the SE Asian country, where he is said to engage in meditation and Buddhist practices.


Springsteen Stands Up For Heroes

The Beacon Theatre has become the location of choice for a lot of the premier entertainment events in the Big Apple. November 3 it adds another as Bruce Springsteen, Jerry Seinfeld and Tony Bennett gather on the stage at the Beacon for the annual Bob Woodruff Foundation Stand Up For Heroes salute to service members and their families.  The organization has managed to bridge the divide of partisan politics by enlisting all living presidents in its cause. The event falls in the middle of the five day New York Comedy Festival, a series of performances sponsored by Comedy Central, the network that hosts Stewart's Daily Show.  The Woodruff Foundation was founded to honor the late newsman by drawing attention and dollars to aid returning veterans that suffer from what are called the 'hidden injuries' of war, things like Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Traumatic Stress and combat induced depression.
PR Newswire

Pirates Roll Out On The Town

Keith Richards and Johnny Depp used a break during filming of the next Pirates Of The Caribbean sequel to hit the town Wednesday (9/15) in London.  Predictably, the two swashbucklers drew a crowd during a visit to the C Restaurant.  Keith, who says he gave up the drink earlier this year, seemed steady on his feet as the two left after eating.  Captain Jack reportedly looked a little wobbly as he was assisted into a waiting car.


Bob Weir Symphony Pronounced Dead

The idea of an orchestra playing music by Bob Weir is apparently too weird for regular symphony goers and not appealing enough to Grateful Dead, Ratdog and Furthur fans to take up the slack.  As a consequence, the October 22 scheduled performance of Weir material by the Marin  Symphony has been postponed.  The executive director of the northern California symphony couched the sluggish pace of ticket sales in diplomatic terms, saying, '...postponement was realistic and in the interest of both parties.'  A make-up date is possible for the spring of 2011 but no date was committed to, raising the possibility that the entire project could get scrapped.


Jethro Tull Double Up Stand Up

The clever things done with CD packages seldom measure up to what art directors managed to do when they had the wide open space of a more than 12x12 inch vinyl album sleeve to work with.  One of the more inventive album packages of the late '60's will be recreated in a booklet that accompanies the expanded reissue of the second album by Jethro Tull.  Even though it was a single album, Stand Up featured a double gate package that, when opened, produced pop-up cutouts of the band.  The music was equally innovative.  Marking the arrival of Martin Barre, the album introduced a more diverse guitar sound to the band than the harder, blues oriented guitar Mick Abrahams played on the 1968 debut, This Was.  The Collector's Edition offers the original 1969 album remastered, three songs recorded during the group's debut US tour, two singles (Living In The Past and Sweet Dream) and four songs recorded during a BBC program.  The digital re-release of Stand Up has 31 remastered songs.  All become available October 25.


Waters Opens Wall Tour

Roger Waters was unable to convince Nick Mason and David Gilmour to join him on the tour performing The Wall, but fans of Pink Floyd and the  monumentally successful album the group closed out the 1970's with seem willing to take what they can get.  The lingering economic hangover of the recession had no ill effect on ticket sales either, with Waters and his stand-ins for absent Floyd members selling out every available seat in cavernous the Air Canada Centre in Toronto for the opening night of the tour Wednesday (9/15)Gilmour has said he will join Waters on one tour stop, but neither has revealed which.  The concert itself spared none of the technical theatrics that fans came to expect anytime the full band took to the road.  A disheveled man with a shopping cart bearing a 'No Thought Control' sign was rousted by a cop on the floor of the arena as the show was about to, no, had started. The wall grew on stage as the concert progressed, erupting in red confetti near the end.  There were dazzling sophisticated lights and effects - but also touching moments, as when images of people who lost their lives in the Iraq wars and in the 9/11 attacks were shown as Amazing Grace was performed on bagpipes.  Twenty five students from a local music school provided the chorus for the night's rendition of Another Brick In The Wall II - and the second President Bush got shuffled into the helter-skelter montage that also included images of Hitler and Mao Tse-Tung during Run Like Hell.  Whatever  disappointment Waters feels about his Floyd band mates opting out of the tour is probably not shared by his accountant.  Without having to split the net equally with the others, there will be much more for him to count.


Bruce Tears Up The Boardwalk

The hundreds lucky or wealthy enough to get tickets to Bruce Springsteen's dollars for scholars concert at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park Saturday (9/11) were rewarded with a 24 song set that ran close to 3 hours and was packed with highlights.  Tickets for the concert to raise tuition money so some deserving but cash strapped students can attend Bruce's son's school reportedly ranged from a few bucks to five figures.  Backed by the Bobby Bandiera band with E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg sitting in and joined by Southside Johnny on a half dozen songs, Springsteen tore through a mostly high energy set that included songs from all eras of the E Street Band and included a number of covers that cropped up during the band's last tour.

Stone Pony, Asbury Park - September 11, 2010
Working on the Highway
My Lucky Day
Seven Nights to Rock
Growin' Up
Spirit in the Night
Working on a Dream
In the Midnight Hour*
Talk To Me*
Two Hearts
Darlington County
Pink Cadillac
The Fever*
I Don't Want to Go Home*
4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
Cadillac Ranch
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
Glory Days
Havin' a Party*
Born to Run
Detroit Medley*
Twist and Shout
Thunder Road

* with Southside Johnny


Burnett Assembles Remarkable Band

T-Bone Burnett's first tour was as a guitarist in Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue, a mid-70's assemblage of musicians that did two tours featuring a number of artists with careers of their own, including Roger Mcguinn, Joan Baez, and Mick Ronson Burnett is reviving that concept for at least a couple of dates, and has gotten some high caliber artists to sign-on.  The Speaking Clock Revue features John Mellencamp, Elton John, Gregg Allman, Leon Russell, Elvis Costello, Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley, actor Jeff Bridges and others.  Proceeds from concerts October 16 at the Wang Center in LA and October 20 at the Beacon Theatre in New York will go to the Participation Foundation, an organization that provides support for music and arts education in public schools.

High Flying Military Contractor Free Fallin'

David Brooks, a man who hired Tom Petty and Aerosmith to perform at his daughter's bat mitzvah, was convicted Tuesday (9/14) on 17 counts following a trial that charged him with securities and mail fraud, insider trading and obstruction of justice.  Brooks, who headed DHB Industries, an enterprise that supplied body armor to US military branches, was accused of using $6 million of company funds to underwrite his lavish lifestyle, including the 2005 bash in the Rainbow Room in New York City for his daughter's bat mitzvah that Aerosmith, Tom Petty and the rapper 50 Cent were booked to appear at. Prosecutors charged that Brooks, who surrounded himself with extravagant gifts bought at the expense of taxpayers and investors, also engaged in a scheme to defraud investors by plotting with his former CEO to pump up DHB's stock value by overstating the company's financial state.  Brooks and the woman cashed out to the tune of nearly $200 million each after the stock had increased from around $2 a share to almost $20. The subsequent collapse of the stock cleaned out investors.  Brooks reportedly faces a potential life sentence on the multiple convictions.  Too bad they don't allow belts in the joint - he'll have to leave behind the $100,000 diamond encrusted American flag belt buckle he liked to show-off.

Springsteen's Toronto Session

It's odd that a guy being filmed in a scene that will be viewed by millions of people in theaters or one who has performed on a stage at the Super Bowl can be more comfortable in those situations than being one-on-one in front of a comparatively small audience for a live interview.  Tuesday night (9/14) it happened to Bruce Springsteen and actor Ed Norton at the Toronto Film Festival.  Both were out of their element and while the interview did not seem all that comfortable for either of them, it did produce some interesting moments.  Bruce credited Bob Dylan's Highway 61 as the first record that gave him a sense of '...what my country felt like' and credited Dylan for having '...the courage to go places others didn't.'  In talking about his own Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Bruce reminded people that it was delayed by a drawn-out legal battle with his manager, and said he went into it determined to find purpose for his work that would give it a meaning beyond his desires for girls and trappings of success, which was why he selected '...the 10 toughest songs I had' for the album.  Norton asked Springsteen, who was there for the premier of The Promise, the documentary about the making of the 1978 album,  what recordings by others he would most like to see the making of documented on film. Bruce fired off Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys and Highway 61 Revisited.  He closed the session by saying that his '...long conversation with my fans has been the most valuable experience of my life', and thanked people for riding shotgun with him throughout his long journey out of the swamps of Jersey.


Lennon Tribute In Big Apple

An annual concert to honor John Lennon around the date of his birth is drawing added attention given that this November would have marked his 70th birthday.  The 30th annual Theatre Within tribute to Lennon takes place November 12 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.  Performers include Jackson Browne, Patti Smith, Taj Mahal, Martin Sexton, Joan Osborne, Amiee Mann and Cyndi Lauper.  Proceeds from the event will support the work of the Playing For Change Foundation, an organization that promotes positive change through music by raising funds to build schools in poor countries and communities.
PR Newswire

Why Zeppelin Skipped Woodstock

Formidable as the Woodstock Festival lineup looks in retrospect, many of the bands were relatively new to the scene in 1969.  Santana was a few weeks shy of releasing its debut album, and Crosby, Stills & Nash had only one gig with Neil Young under their belts before hitting the stage in front of 400,000 at the festival.  Many of the better established acts turned down offers.  The Doors looked at a map and convinced themselves hardly anyone would show-up at such a remote location.  Robert Plant explained why Led Zeppelin declined the offer to appear at the festival during his appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Monday (9/13).  The former front man said Led Zeppelin management had decided that appearing at the event would 'typecast' the group, apparently concluding that the band's prospects for development could somehow be hampered by being associated with the festival. Catch a portion of Fallon's session with Plant here.


Springsteen Film Premiers In Toronto

The level of new found success Bruce Springsteen and his band achieved with Born To Run brought with it incredible pressure to meet or beat expectations with the follow-up album. Actor Ed Norton, who met Springsteen at a concert a decade ago, conducts a Q&A session with The Boss before the film that documents the making of Darkness On The Edge Of Town premiers at the Toronto Film Festival Tuesday (9/14).  Like many fans, Norton says the songs on the 1978 release made it pivotal to him. He credits the film for doing a great job of conveying the creative process behind the album, telling David German of the Associated Press, 'Any artist, I think, will appreciate the chance to see someone who is as great as he is at that age struggling and struggling and struggling to get things to where he hears them in his head.' The Promise will run on HBO October 7 and be included as a DVD in the box set of the Darkness On The Edge Of Town deluxe re-release due November 16 (story).


Joe Elliott Brew Brewing

The Doobie Brothers, Rolling Stones and others have wines bearing their names and LandShark Beer has been a successful branding enterprise of the Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville empire. Def Leppard front man Joe Elliott gets in the spirits with the introduction of a beer named in his honor.  You'll have to travel to Ireland for a pint of the pilsner style brew, which is being brewed by The Porterhouse for sale in their pubs.  Elliott says choosing beer over wine was easy for him, noting, 'Beer or lager seem to be the drink of choice at nearly every gig I've ever played', and calling the idea of a wine with his name on it '...not very Rock and Roll'.  We'll drink to that.


Hendrix Collection Drops In November

West Coast Seattle Boy - The Jimi Hendrix Anthology will feature more than 4 hours of rare recordings by the legendary guitarist.  The 4 CD, 1 DVD Legacy collection on sale November 16 spans brief but prolific career of Hendrix from his days as a sideman with the Isley Brothers, Little Richard, King Curtis and lesser known R&B artists through his Experience years and work with Buddy Miles and the Band of Gypsys.  The DVD includes Jimi Hendrix VooDoo Child, a 90 minute documentary by Bob Smeaton, the man behind Fesitval Express, the remarkable documentary about the thoroughly dysfunctional trans-Canada train tour by the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, the Band and several other groups not long after the Woodstock Festival.  In addition to rare performance footage of Hendrix, the movie includes glimpses of materials from the Hendrix family archive of Jimi's sketches, lyrics and correspondence with family members.  Janie Hendrix, the CEO of Experience Hendrix heralds the project as a '...vast exploration of my brother's musical and life experience'.  Get the track list for the CD's here.
PR Newswire


Buffalo Springfield Revisited

Three of the four living members of the Buffalo Springfield, a band that had tremendous influence during its short life span, will reunite for the first time in four decades during the annual Bridge School benefit stage by Neil Young.  The 1997 Rock Hall Of Fame group that included Young, Stephen Stills, Jim Messina and Richie Furay joins Jackson Browne and David Lindley, Pearl Jam, Elton John and Leon Russell, Elvis Costello, Outlaw Country legend Merle Haggard, Lucinda Williams and T Bone Burnett at the 24th annual concert to raise funds for the school that provides instruction to children with special needs.  Concerts take place October 23 and 24 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountainview, California.  Young, Stills and Furay are confirmed participants, with hopes that Jim Messina will join them.  Founding members Bruce Palmer and Dewey Martin passed away over the last decade.


Rock Pioneer Lewis Rocks On

Each year the season that saw the deaths young Rockers in the early 1970's comes around it gets more impressive that some of the pioneers of Rock are still around - especially one that lived a life as loose and wild as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and John Bonham. Jerry Lee Lewis is nowhere near as wild as he once was, but he's still going strong at 70  'The Killer' not only has a pulse, he's still bangin' on the keys and jumping around on the piano stool in studios and on stages, serving up his patented brand of boogie-woogie.  His latest album, Mean Old Man, has just come out and features contributions from fans like Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood of the Stones, Ringo Starr, John Fogerty and Eric Clapton. Now comes word that Brad Pitt might play the legendary star of both Rock and Country music in a biopic being directed by Terrence MalickNatalie Portman is said to be in line for the role of Myra Gale Brown, the young teenage cousin Lewis married when he was 23.

Mini Debut For McCartney Son

Available Light, a five track release due September 21, marks the solo recording debut for  James McCartney.  The multi-instrumental son of Paul McCartney plays guitar, mandolin, piano and bass on the EP, which was co-produced by his father and David Kahne.  All but one song on the collection were written by James.  The lone cover is a version of the Neil Young song Old Man.  The younger McCartney, who has played on some of his old man's solo recordings, says his own writing draws inspiration from the Beatles, but also Nirvana, Radiohead and The Cure.

Max Weinberg Lines Up Dates

Max Weinberg has his 15 piece Big Band out for a series of fall dates.  The tour started Saturday (9/10) at the Stone Pony, a legendary Asbury Park, New Jersey venue for the E Street Band before Max took over the drumming gig for Bruce Springsteen.  It will cover 20 cities during the fall, with dates in the Northeast and Upper Mid-West.  The  balls-out band Mighty Max has put together includes a horn section with five sax players, four trumpets and three trombones, putting a charge into songs by fellow drum masters Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa, along with Count Basie and other monsters of the Big Band era.

  • 9/10 Asbury Park, NJ  - Stone Pony
  • 10/8 Buffalo, NY – Center for the Arts
  • 10/9 Syracuse, NY - MIC
  • 10/12 Harrisburg, PA – The Whitaker Center
  • 10/13 Foxborough, MA – Showcase Live
  • 10/14 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
  • 10/15 Saratoga Springs, NY – Universal Preservation Hall
  • 10/17 Pittsburgh, PA – Altar
  • 10/20 Indianapolis, INJazz Kitchen (2 shows)
  • 10/21 Alton, IL -  Eagles Ballroom
  • 10/22 Iowa City, IA – Englert Theater
  • 10/23 Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark
  • 10/24 Chicago, IL – The Old Town School of Folk
  • 10/25 Minneapolis, MN – The Guthrie Theater
  • 10/27 Milwaukee, WI – Northern Lights Theater
  • 10/28 Milwaukee, WI – Northern Lights Theater
  • 10/29 Des Moines, IA -  Hoyt Sherman Theater
  • 10/31 Kansas City, MO – Jardine's (2 shows)
  • 11/2 Nashville, TN – The Belcourt Theater
  • 11/4 Kent, OH – The Kent Stage
  • 11/6 South Orange, NJ – South Orange Performing Arts Center



Van Halen In Stealth Mode

Reports that Van Halen would reunite with David Lee Roth for a 2011 tour emerged earlier this summer.  If anything is coming together, it is happening under the radar.  That's unusual for a band that loves getting the media in a frenzy well ahead of big announcements.  At the very least, we would expect some clever clues to emerge on the VH web site.  Nada.  The only item on the news page of the site is a welcome to 2010 message posted on December 29 of last year.  The band's last tour fronted by Roth was in 2008 and drew nearly a million fans.  With up to 40% of concert seats empty this summer, the prospect of a Van Halen tour is something concert industry honchos have to be salivating over - and putting pressure on the band to do. 


Plant Performs At Americana Awards

The Americana Music Awards event in Nashville's Ryman Auditorium Thursday night (9/9) wrapped up with an unannounced set featuring Robert Plant's new group Band Of Joy. The night saw John Mellencamp pick-up a Lifetime Achievement Award for his songwriting, Rosanne Cash take Album of the Year with The List, T Bone Burnett snag Song of the Year for The Weary Kind and Levon Helm and Steve Earle join the ranks earning Artist of the Year nods.

Fans Fume Over Page Book Price

A lot of Led Zeppelin fans are fuming over the limited availability and steep price of Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page, a leather bound 500+ page book about the former Zep guitarist.  Each of the 2,500 copies personally signed by Page is being offered for a price close to $700.  Resentment is not limited to the price and availability of the book.  Many fans say the book amounts to little more than a photo album. Page himself describes it as a '...photographic autobiography'.  The fact that many of the more than 700 pictures included in the book come from Jimmy's private collection and have never been published is not enough to justify the price in the opinion of some.  Critical comments from disappointed fans take aim at Page for agreeing to do a book only well-off collectors can afford.  One noted online 'For that price he's better deliver it to my house and read it to me', while another slammed Page for pricing the book beyond the reach of '...we mere mortals, who helped make him and support him when he was less well off'.  The better off who want to get off by having a personally signed copy of the book to show off can still order one.  The limited edition Genesis publication date is Sept. 27.


McCartney In Line For Kennedy Award

Paul McCartney will pick-up a Kennedy Center Award in Washington in December.  President Obama is expected to be in attendance to honor Sir Paul during the 33rd Kennedy Center Awards presentation gala at the performance hall named after the president McCartney says was ' icon for us in the '60's', and calls the opportunity to receive the honor at the Kennedy Center, 'a great pleasure for this kid from Liverpool'.  McCartney has plenty of fans in the current administration.  He performed at the White House in June after receiving the Gershwin Popular Song Award - a concert that ended with the president's family on stage singing along (story).


Perry Still Angry Over Idol

Tension is not far below the surface of Joe Perry over the soon-to-be announced deal that Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler will be a judge on the upcoming season of American Idol.  Tyler tried to defuse the anger that arose in part because he kept the others in the dark about his plans to join the talent show's judge ranks by pointing out that it would result in great exposure for the band as a whole.  Association with the show is something Perry seems to think is anything but positive for the group.  The ongoing resentment is again raising questions about whether Perry will try and convince the other band members to recruit a replacement for Tyler once the current tour wraps up in Vancouver on September 16.  Comments the guitarist has made suggest that he finds the idea that Tyler's commitment to the show could leave the group idle for up to seven months a betrayal and unacceptable.  Replacing Tyler even temporarily will be a tough sell. Other band members and probably 90% of the fan base know Aerosmith ain't Aerosmith unless Tyler is out front.


Alan Parsons Visits Rock Hall

Engineering recording sessions for what turns out to be one of the biggest albums in Rock history gave Alan Parsons a leg up on a lot of other artists seeking recording contracts of their own.   Parsons did not waste the opportunity, turning out a number of successful albums of his own under the name the Alan Parsons Project in the late 1970's and into the 1980's.  While some questions about his own recordings are bound to come up when Parsons is the guest of honor at the Rock Hall Of Fame Legends series on September 18, he won't be surprised if the majority of questions from those in the audience center around the recording of the iconic 1973 Pink Floyd album and his work as an assistant engineer on the Beatles Abbey Road album.

Beatles Landmark Destroyed

Beatles fans may yet manage to save the birthplace of Ringo Starr (story), but the scene of his debut gig with the band could not be rescued from a fire Monday (9/6).  Multiple companies were called to the building housing the former Kingsway Club to battle a blaze that had spread to all three floors of the structure by the time they arrived on the scene. The building, already targeted for eventual demolition to make way for a new hotel, was where Ringo did his first public performance with the band in 1962.


Drawn Out CSN Project

Doing an album of original material can take less time than the amount David Crosby, Steve Stills and Graham Nash have invested in putting together their album of cover songs.  After years of preparation, Graham Nash tells Billboard the album remains less than half finished.  Part of the reason probably relates to the decision to put the project in the hands of a new producer.  The group selected Rick Rubin, veteran producer of projects for artists as different as Johnny Cash and Metallica.  He is also currently working with another trio, ZZ Top.  But Nash puts the blame on the drawn-out process on himself and his band mates, admitting, 'It's hard to tell CSN what to do in the studio after 40, 50 years'.  Songs on the work-in-progress album include Uncle John's Band (Grateful Dead), You Can Close Your Eyes (James Taylor), Lives In The Balance (Jackson Browne) and Reason To Believe (Tim Hardin).  CSN has spent much of the summer of 2010 on the road with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.


Lennon Killer Stays Behind Bars

The convicted murderer of John Lennon will have at least another two years to serve before becoming eligible for parole again.  A review board shot down the parole application Tuesday (9/7) of the man who shot Lennon down in December of 1980 outside of the New York City apartment building the singer and Yoko Ono lived in.  Ono joined tens of thousands of Beatles fans that notified the review board of their opposition to parole this or any other year for Mark David Chapman, the deranged loner that took Lennon's life on a sidewalk on the night of December 8 as the couple returned to their apartment in the Dakota following a recording session.  Lennon would have turned 70 this year.


Ex Calls Jagger 'sexual predator'

We were led to believe that the book by Jerry Hall, the wife of Mick Jagger during some of the most action-packed years of the Rolling Stones front man's most raucous years both on and off the stage, would include some candid revelations about their relationship.  My Life in Pictures portrays Jagger as a man Hall believes '...could not help indulging himself in other women'.  She reportedly goes so far as to describe Mick during their years togethers as a 'dangerous sexual predator'.  Jagger and the former model got hitched in a ceremony in Bali in 1990 that was later found not to have been a legally binding ceremony.


Bonham Tribute Gets Louder

A September 25 event to honor the late Led Zeppelin drummer on the anniversary of his death continues to add drummers.  Paul McCartney stick man Abe Laboriel is the latest to sign on to play during Bonzo: The Groove Remains The Same.  Drummers slated to take the stage  at the Key Club in LA with a house band organized by  Whitesnake's Brian Tichy include Bonham's son Jason, Guns N Roses veteran Steven Adler, John Mellencamp and John Fogerty drummer Kenny Aranoff, Chris Slade from the Firm and AC/DC, Simon Wright of AC/DC and James Kottak of Scorpions.

Hornsby Opens New Giants Stadium

Bruce Hornsby will join Mary J. Blige for the first rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at the brand new Giants Stadium before the opening game September 12.  The pianist has never performed with Blige before, but is a veteran of plenty of anthem performances.  In addition to delivering it at several sporting events, Hornsby recorded a version of it that was included in the epic Baseball series Ken Burns produced for PBS.

Airline Hires Hendrix Tour Manager

Virgin Atlantic has inked a deal with Tappy Wright, a former tour-manager for Jimi Hendrix, to make sure customers on the British carrier's Virgin Holidays excursions are being given 'rock star service' aloft.  The Richard Branson owned airline appointed Wright the Director of Rock Star Services, and have charged him with making sure that the attention and amenities being provided by the airline measure up to the kind of pampering a rock star would expect his tour manager to see to.

Black Crowes Equipment 'Fried'

Concert goers gathered for a Black Crowes show Wednesday (9/1) at Ryan Creek Meadows near Missoula, Montana went home disappointed after a storm that produced a heavy downpour at the outdoor venue 'fried' the band's amplifiers and the main mixing console.  The sound outage left concert organizers no means other than word of mouth to inform the crowd that the show could not go on.  Full refunds will be offered to those who bought tickets for the stop on the Say Goodnight To The Bad Guys tour stop.


Zeppelin Reunion Prospects Fade

Robert Plant agreed to reunite with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones in 1988 at the 40th Anniversary Concert for Atlantic Records, at a 2007 tribute concert for the label's Ahmet Ertegun, and for a O2 Arena show the following year.  That last show seems to have convinced Plant to never do it again.  Plant says he has always thought Led Zeppelin ended as a band the night drummer John Bonham died during a night of binge drinking 30 years ago.  After attending a recent concert by Them Crooked Vultures, the hard rocking band Jones plays bass with, Plant commented on how far removed from that style of music he feels now.  He also said that  the O2 Arena show was so loud his ears 'bled for two days'.  Even if that was not the literal truth, it serves notice that getting together with his former band mates to perform Led Zeppelin songs is about a likely a prospect. Ironically, segments of Zep songs have been cropping up during concerts Plant is doing with his current Roots Rock group, Band Of Joy (story).


Things Get Worse For GNR

A few nights after a hostile reception during a long delayed and lame set at the Reading Festival (story), things got even uglier for Guns N Roses after Axl and the band kept fans in Dublin, Ireland waiting more than 90 minutes before taking the stage Wednesday (9/1).  When the set finally opened with Welcome To The Jungle, more than the verbal abuse that the Reading crowd unleashed came at them. Angry fans pelted the stage with bottles.  Announcements that the band wanted to stay but would only continue the show if the projectiles stopped only brought a bigger barrage of objects and profanity directed at the band.  Shortly after that announcement the band left the stage, ostensibly due to 'technical difficulties', and did not return.


Clapton Gets A Recall

Eric Clapton loves hot cars - but not this hot.  Reacting to a half dozen reports of 458 Italia models that have gone up in flames, Ferrari announced a recall involving the exotic cars, including one in the stable of high-horsepower cars belonging to EC.  The problem has been traced to an adhesive used in the rear wheel well that can melt under intense heat, causing a portion of the aluminum body to come into contact with the exhaust and possibly ignite.  Letters went out to the 1,248 owners 458 Italia owners notifying them of the problem.  You can bet Clapton, who has owned several of the company's cars and is tight with management (story), got special attention from Ferrari and may have had his retrofitted with metal rivets to prevent the bodywork from sagging even before the letters went out.  At least the defect gives the thousands of prospective owners on the 3+ year waiting list a reason to be glad they were not able to get theirs yet.


Crowe's Singer Can't Stand Swift

Diplomacy is something Chris Robinson seldom bothers with.  Telling the audience what he thinks of Miller Beer, sponsor of the 1991 ZZ Top tour during his band's opening set, reportedly got the Black Crowes dropped from the tour.  Verbal and occasional physical altercations involving Robinson have cropped up at other times as well.  The latest target of Robinson's ire is pop star Taylor Swift.  In an interview with Nylon Guys magazine, Robinson is quoted as saying he finds it embarrassing that adults consider Swift talented, saying, 'She's not. She might be cute, but she is horrible.'  He goes on to lump her in with the other contemporary pop artists he says, '...make records with producers who play a chord into a computer and it all comes out the same'
Robinson's band is winding down the Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys tour, after which the band will go on an indefinite hiatus.


Preview New Eric Clapton Tracks

Eric Clapton releases his 19th studio album September 28 (story).  Four tracks from the self-titled release are streaming online.  Run Back to Your Side, Autumn Leaves, Diamonds Made From Rain and Travelin' Alone are being offered by Warner Brothers Records in advance of the release. The album, co-produced by Doyle Bramhall, includes contributions from Steve Winwood, JJ Cale, Derek Trucks, Allen Toussaint, Sheryl Crow and drummer Jim KeltnerClapton says taking a 'just let it happen' approach to the album resulted in one that he expects will be a surprise to fans because it was '... a surprise to me, as well.' Hear them here.



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