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Noteworthy Now Archives for 2011-04

U2 Guitarist Malibu Plans Advance

A drawn-out battle over plans The Edge submitted for the building of large estates overlooking the California coast just north of Los Angeles tipped in his favor after the U2 guitarist and his partners reportedly forked over $1 million to fund trail easements along with a $250k 'consulting services' payment to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.  While other regulatory and legal challenges remain, overcoming resistance from the SMMC is considered a big step forward for the five large estates planners insist will be ecco-friendly.  The guitarist and his wife bought the 156 acre tract of land six years ago and have faced an uphill battle to get approval for the controversial development. (story)


Lennon Microphones Up For Bids

Autographed guitars are far from a dime a dozen - but they are a lot more common and less valuable than instruments it can be documented were actually played by Rockers during studio sessions or on tour.  Some very unique pieces of gear will go up for bids May 11.  Acquired from EMI studios in Barcelona, the lots include microphones that John Lennon used while recording songs on a number of his early solo albums on, including the one used on Imagine.  The unusual nature of the pieces makes estimating the amount they could bring at auction a bit difficult.  Early estimates were that each could sell for more than $8,000, but one expert on rare instruments hastened to say, '...the sky's the limit' when it comes to items as rare as these pieces.


David Bowie Exhibition Opening In NYC

The Museum of Arts & Design in New York City will open what it calls a '...multi-platform retrospective' of what it considers to be artistic highlights from the career of David Bowie.  The show will include mime performances, cabaret style shows he has done, videos and will devote special attention to Ziggy Stardust, the early 70's album and the tour that many consider to be one of the the most creative combinations of music and theatrical performance ever staged. The special exhibit will remain open until July 15.


Pete Townshend Not On Tommy Tour

Pete Townshend has decided that the hearing impairment caused by hundreds of high-decibel Who concerts over the decades makes the prospect of further damage and pain that would result form a July tour performing the 1969 Rock Opera Tommy impossible for him to participate in. Filling his role in the 15 concert UK tour with Roger Daltrey will be Pete's younger brother, Simon. While he won't be part of the tour, Daltrey's long-time band mate said he will ' there in spirit', and gave the tour his endorsement, calling THE tour an opportunity to hear a '...unique version of Tommy using ...the original work as the backbone for a set of wider material.'


Another Aerosmith Melt Down Coming?

Aerosmith's trials and tribulations seemed resolved, but if a Steven Tyler interview with Rolling Stone contains what Associated Press reports it does proves true, relations in the Boston band could get nasty again.  The lead singer, promoting a new auto biography due out May 3, is said to have told RS that guitarist Joe Perry did drugs with him in 2008.  Heavy drug use nearly did in the band at a couple of points in past decades, and clashes with Perry over Tyler's substance abuse during the group's aborted US tour in 2009 raised a lot of doubt that the band would survive. Perry's irritation with Tyler spiked again when the lead singer opted to take a judging role on American Idol.  How is Perry reacting to the claim by Tyler that he also got back into drugs?  Not publicly, at least yet.  The guitarist reportedly did not respond to requests for comment.


U2 Drummer's Big Screen Gig

Larry Mullen Jr. makes his big screen acting debut next month when Man On A Train is featured during the annual Cannes Film Festival.  The U2 drummer, who shares a co-producing credit on the movie, co-stars with veteran actor Donald Sutherland in the film about a planned bank heist. Mullen has appeared in plenty of U2 videos and documentaries, but this marks his first go at a dramatic role.  He probably figures it's gotta go better than the debacle the Broadway production of Spider-Man has turned into for Bono and The Edge.


Rock Royalty For UK Olympic Games

Organizers of the festivities surrounding the 2012 Olympic Games in London are attempting to put together a super group that will include of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Mick Jagger to perform during the opening or closing ceremony.  With so many UK Rock luminaries, why stop there?  Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Brian May, Jeff Beck, Ray Davies... the list of A-Listers that might be convinced to join in could attract one of the biggest world-wide audiences ever. The guy tasked with making whatevery happens happen is Danny Boyle, director of Slumdog Millionaire.

Vinyl Frontier

In the market for a million vinyl record albums?  Paul Mawhinney wants to hear from you.  Mawhinney claims the fact more than 80% of the albums in the collection he is putting up for sale never came out on CD makes the lot of them worth up to $50 million.  Not only is nobody buying that, the Record-rama honcho has yet to find someone willing to pay a mere $3 million for the collection that includes Lp',s 45's. 78's, EP's and every other flavor of old-school platters. Maybe throwing in free shipping would help.

Sammy, Sammy, Sammy...

Sammy Hagar is like PT Barnum and Donald Trump rolled into one.  The consummate show biz Rock star, Hagar never misses the opportunity to swing for the fences when it comes to self-promotion.  Where fact, hype and fantasy diverge is anyone's guess, but credit the Red Rocker for being a master manipulator of traditional and social media.  Riffing on the recent publication of his new auto-bio, Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock, Sammy appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and used the platform to push all things Hagar, including the book that gets some good rips on life in Van Halen.

Fogertys Rollin' On A River

John and Julie Fogerty will celebrate their 20th anniversary aboard the Proud Mary, a Mississippi river boat renamed in honor of the biggest song Fogerty wrote and recorded with Creedence Clearwater Revival.  The Saturday (4/23) cruise will include a performance of the 1969 classic from Bayou Country, the second release by CCRFogerty says his love of New Orleans music made a river boat cruise out of NOLA a perfect way to celebrate his marriage, saying, '...even though we were married in Indiana, we could not think of a better way to celebrate than going down to the bayou with our children and friends.'  The couple might also pick-up some story lines to include in a book they are writing together about life in a back-water community in the deep south.


Ringo's Home Gets Reprieve

The fate of Ringo Starr's childhood home took a turn for the better when a Housing Minister ruled that an environmental impact evaluation is required for the proposed development that would occupy the place in Liverpool where the house the Beatles drummer was born and lived for the first four years of his life.  The letter from Grant Shapps could effectively put the project on hold for up to a year, increasing opportunities for preservationists to raise the necessary funds or find alternate ways to keep the home from being demolished.


Elton Back To Vegas

Elton John inked a new deal with Caesars Palace that will make him a fixture on the Strip for the next three years. John, who concluded a 241 date series at the fabled casino just a couple of years ago, will open the new run of dates in Vegas in September.  He promises the Million Dollar Piano Show will be a '...gargantuan feast of music and imagery.' Those interested in a more down-to-earth Elton John experience might want to make not of a new documentary Cameron Crowe filmed during the Rocket Man's recording sessions with Leon Russell for their album The Union.  The film that bears the same title as the album has its premier at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City Thursday (4/21). 

The Boss Helps Apprentices

American Idol is more of a sideshow than a true measure of talent, so reports that Bruce Springsteen took the time to drop by and offer encouragement and advice to the remaining contestants in this season's competition took us by surprise.  Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Jon Bon Jovi have appeared on the show, but Bruce giving pointers to the crop of aspiring stars Friday (4/15) had to be a dream come true for FOX - especially if he consented to the network using any footage from the reported encounter on the air.  Why would Springsteen make a cameo on a network he has little regard for and coach a group of glorified Karaoke singers? Maybe because Jimmy Iovine, a powerful industry figure and long time acquaintance of The Boss is involved with Idol this year. Or, maybe it is just because he's a nice guy that realizes that these young people have some of the same dreams he did before John Hammond took the time to listen to him.


British Army Crowns Queen Song

The British Army has declared Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen as the top song in a poll of troops conducted by the British Forces Broadcasting Service. The epic song's selection prompted drummer Roger Taylor to say that the honor makes him very proud, telling The Guardian that the designation is one that he and other band members appreciate the service of those in the armed forces and their vote.  Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams clinched the #5 position, with Sweet Child Of Mine by Guns N' Roses coming in 6th. Other Rockers in the top 20 included Aerosmith I Don't Want To Miss A Thing (7), Oasis Wonderwall (8), Queen Don't Stop Me Now (9), AC/DC Thunderstruck (11), Bon Jovi Livin' On A Prayer (12), Journey Don't Stop Believin' (16) and Led Zeppelin Stairway To Heaven (19).

Poppa Van Morrison Stories Resume

An Irish court has lifted the restriction on coverage involving the personal life of Van Morrison, triggering an immediate resumption of stories claiming that the singer fathered a child out of wedlock.  The story first made headlines when the singer's own web site featured a blurb near the close of 2009 claiming Van was the father of a baby boy born to a GiGi Lee, a woman that had been employed by the singer.  Morrison, through a publicist, not only denied the validity of the story, but reportedly went so far as to maintain that the singer did not even know the woman identified as the mother - a contention so easily refuted  that it made his claim that he had not fathered the child seem about as credible as Bill Clinton's ill-advised 'I did not have sex with that woman' and set-off a whole new round of conjecture in the media.  Morrison put a stop to most of it when he subsequently sought and was granted a ruling that restricted the press from covering matters relating to his private life.  The injunction was lifted last week.  Irish & British tabloids immediately went to press with additional evidence they have collected that they maintain backs the original reports that Morrison is the father of the baby that has come to be known as 'Little Van'.  


Tyler Book Delivers The Goods

Steven Tyler's new book Does The Noise In My Head Bother You? has the potential to be one of the more entertaining band member bios to ever come off the presses.  How entertaining? Unless the Aerosmith front man and American Idol judge or his editor caved to concerns from network morals cops at FOX, plenty.  Harper Collins, the book's publisher, is promising 'the unbridled truth, the in-your-face, up-close and prodigious tale of Steven Tyler.'  The singer's own spin on the book makes it sound like nothing was off-limits, calling the pages packed with '...all the unexpurgated, brain-jangling tales of debauchery, sex and drugs, transcendence and chemical dependence you will every want to hear'.  We'll find out May 3.  Tyler did a personal and band bio in 1997 titled Walk This Way.  Harper Collins


Cancer Claims Highly Regarded Engineer

Roger Nichols is a name only the most avid Steely Dan fan might recognize.  But in the industry he loved Nichols was widely known and respected for his engineering skills.  It was Nichols that crafted the signature sound associated with Steely Dan albums - a sophisticated but not heavy handed approach that made the group's sometimes complex arrangements easy to take in.  Saturday (4/9) of the same week that Aja entered the National Registry of Recordings in Washington, a distinction very few Rock albums share (story), Nichols lost a year long battle with pancreatic cancer.  Producer Gary Katz called the Nichols approach to getting the sound right on Steely Dan records 'maniacal', going so far as to say that the records, '...could not have been done without Roger', and credited the engineer for always devising ways to capture sound that hadn't been tried before. Trained as a nuclear engineer, Nichols passed-up a career in that field because he did not think the records he was buying sounded as good as they should.  In addition to multiple Steely Dan albums, Nichols also worked with the Beach Boys, Rickie Lee Jones, Rosanne Cash, Frank Sinatra and others, collecting seven Grammy awards along the way.



Floyd Member's Painting Recovered

A self-portrait painted by Pink Floyd founding member Syd Barrett that vanished from a London gallery on two days earlier re-appeared in its original spot Monday (4/11).  The painting, on loan from a Barrett girlfriend in the early 60's, was on display for the very first time in public as part of the Syd Barrett Arts & Letters special exhibit when it was apparently stolen during the mid-afternoon.  Whether a guilty conscience or the reward of around $3,250 led to its return was not clear.  The fact someone could walk out of the place with the framed picture in the middle of the day also suggests not too many people were attending the event... which could provide another explanation for the vanishing act.


Feds File Against Ozzy & Sharon

Ozzy Osbourne is good at lots of things. Apparently, doing his taxes is not one of them.  TMZ says Osbourne and his wife, Sharon, owe the close to $2 million to the IRS in unpaid taxes and penalties for 2008, and over $1 million for '09. Sharon Osbourne is also being targeted by California.  She reportedly faces a $23,000 lien problem relating to 2007 tax issue there, as does the couple's daughter, Kelly, to the tune of $34,000, according to the site.


David Byrne and Florida Gov. End Battle

Former Florida governor Charlie Crist issued an online video apology to Talking Heads leader David Byrne for the unauthorized use of the band's song Road To Nowhere in an ad against his Republican opponent in last fall's election.  The original copyright infringement brought against the Crist campaign by Byrne suggested that Crist, who ran as an independent, should pay a $1 million penalty for using the song without Byrne's permission or knowledge. The former governor said his campaign's use of the song was '...wrong and should not have occurred.'

FBI Files On Hendrix Go Public

The FBI's interest in the anti-war activities of John Lennon and a handful of other politically active musicians in the 60's & 70's has been well documented.  But the bureau also kept tabs on dozens of other musicians during that period.  Many pages from those files are now online and searchable thanks to Freedom Of Information requests. You can read-up on Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, members of the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead and  the 34 heavily redacted pages on James Marshall Hendrix at


Out Of This World Duet

Word that astronaut Cady Coleman had a flute that once belonged to Ian Anderson with her on the International Space Station reached the Jethro Tull front man on terra firma after the astronaut had done a duet with another  musical NASA employee (story). NASA and Tull's people then put together ain interstellar duet with Coleman and Anderson to mark the anniversary of the first manned space flight. The pair played Bouree, an instrumental dating back to the early years of Jethro Tull.  The Earth-Space first comes on the 50th anniversary of Russian Yuri Gagarian's short history making flight. See the NASA video.


John Hall Making Music Again

John Hall trades the halls of Congress for concert halls as the former Congressman from New York reunites with Lance and Larry Hoppen, his former band mates in Orleans.  Hall, who lost a re-election bid for his Congressional seat last fall, calls his return to making music 'good therapy'.  In addition to doing a series of concerts with Orleans, Hall has plans to do some summer dates with Gulf Stream Night, a group he put together after parting with Orleans and fronting a trio and quartet under his own name. 
A highlight of the Orleans reunion is a mid-June weekend in Ithaca, New York, a stronghold for the band before it broke nationally. Being billed as the Salty Dog 40th Year Reunion, the June 17-19 party will find the band celebrating John's return to music in a club (now known as The Castaways) that hosted some legendary Orleans shows in the early-mid 70's.
Always politically engaged, Hall is not ruling out a future in politics, but calls a future campaign something he would have to '...think long and hard about'.  For now, it's Let There Be Music!

Steely Dan Goes To Congress

Aja, the 1977 album by Steely Dan, has been added to the National Recording Registry, a list of 325 recordings determined by the Library of Congress to be '...worthy of preservation for all time', in the words of the institution's PR specialist.  The honor also went to Trout Mask Replica, the 1969 album that introduced the world to Captain Beefheart and the songs Take Me Out to The Ballgame (way overdue, we'd say), Let's Stay Together by Al Green, Tammy Wynette's Stand By Your Man and Tumbling Tumbleweeds, a 1934 nugget by the Sons Of The Pioneers that got new life when it was used in the opening scene of The Big Lebowski.
Rock albums that have earned entry to the list include ones from Bob Dylan (Freewheelin'), the Beach Boys (Pet Sounds), the Who (My Generation), the Beatles (Sgt. Pepper) Lou Reed's Velvet Underground (The Velvet Underground and Nico), Jimi Hendrix (Are You Experienced?), Frank Zappa (We're Only In It For The Money), The Band's second album, the Allman Brothers Band (Fillmore East), Bruce Springsteen (Born To Run), Patti Smith (Horses), R.E.M (Radio Free Europe), Nirvana (Nevermind) and the Firesign Theatre's comedy classic Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers.

U2 Spaces Out

Apparently the Spider-Man debacle has done little to convince U2 members that over-reaching may not be the best approach to projects.  After a series of albums few fans found anything compelling on, you would think the Irish Rockers would be eager to get back to making the kind of music that helped the band create one of the biggest fan bases in the world. Instead, Bono & company have decided to work on a new album group's new producer is describing as a 'futuristic' and 'sci-fi'.  Making the idea even worse than it already sounds is the fact that the producer is partly responsible for inflicting Lady Gaga on the world. U2 needs this about as much as Styx needed Mr. Roboto.


Another From Neil's Archives

A Treasure, the live album from Neil Young due out June 14, has five songs Young has never released.  The June 14 album of live material recorded in 1984 & 5 will include concert material from nine cities.  The previously unrleased tracks include Amber Jean (9-20-84 Nashville), Let Your Fingers Do The Walking (10-22-84) Los Angeles, Soul Of A Woman (10-26-84) Berkeley, CA, Nothing Is Perfect (9-1-85 Minnesota State Fair) and Grey Riders (9-10-85 New York City).


Jon Anderson Says 'Yes' To US Tour

Jon Anderson, none too pleased about having been abandoned by Yes (story), will take to the road on his own. A 16 date solo acoustic tour of the US opens April 23 in Somerville, MA, a Boston suburb. The Yes veteran collaborated with former Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman on an album titled The Living Tree.  The pair recently wrapped-up a series of European concert dates. Anderson will feature Yes classics and solo material, including songs from a his new CD, Survival And other Stories.
Night Watchers House Of Rock


Vince Neil Booked Again

Less than two months after getting out of jail for drunk driving, Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil has managed to get in legal hot water again.  A March 24 incident at a casino comedy show has led to charges being filed against the singer for domestic violence and disorderly conduct.  A former girlfriend of the singer and two of her companions claim Neil was verbally abusive and then began pointing and poking at the three of them.  The attorney for Neil says his client plans to enter a not guilty plea May 2 when he appears in court.

Hollywood Puts Moves On

 An estate on a property in southern France that Pink Floyd recorded material at is getting a face-lift thanks to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.  The Hollywood stars are investing a big chunk of change upgrading the $56 million home on an estate in the countryside near the Mediterranean that features 35 bedrooms, a pair of swimming polls, his & her gymnasiums and plenty of creature comforts.

Stones Record Tribute To Stewart

A tribute album to the late Rolling Stones keyboard player Ian Stewart has brought former Stone Bill Wyman together in a virtual way with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Charlie Watts.  The bass player rejoined his band mates in a long distance collaboration on a version of the Bob Dylan song Watching The River Flow that will be included on Boogie 4 Stu.  Tracks that Wood and drummer Charlie Watts laid down in the studio were forwarded to Keith Richards in New York, who then sent them on to Jagger, who added vocals and harmonica in France before handing things off to Wyman, who left the band nearly 20 years ago.  Keys player Stewart, who was a semi-official member of the band, died in 1985 of a heart attack while in the waiting room of his physician.  Boogie for Stu is out April 19 on Eagle Rock.


Springsteen's Busy Saturday

Even when he's not on tour or in the Studio, The Boss likes keeping busy. Weekends are no exception. Bruce Springsteen spent a good part of his Saturday (4/2) participating in a panel discussion about Soul and R&B musical history along the part of the Jersey shore where he got his start. He later joined a number of the musicians he admires during a live set on the stage of the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park.  The concert, billed as Nicky Addeo & Friends Celebrate the Music of Asbury Park's West Side, reunited Bruce with Southside Johnny and Vinny Mad Dog Lopez, the drummer for the E Street Band in the pre-Max Weinberg era.  Bruce and the boys ripped into Gloria, CC Rider, Johnny B Goode and What's Your Name, and traded lead vocals on Stand By Me with Southside Johnny.


Gabriel Revisits His Catalog

Peter Gabriel, who has a dozen US dates mapped out for the early summer that will pair the former Genesis member with an orchestra, plans to spend time in the studio rearranging and re-recording a number of songs from his catalog with the backing of the New Blood Orchestra.  Just how many Gabriel fans are eager to hear oboes and strings on In Your Eyes, Sledgehammer or, worse yet, D.I.Y. is anyone's guess, as is which and how many and which songs he plans to reclassify as classical, but we would bet the Royal Bank it is nowhere near the number that would rather hear him put out an album that features new songs and Rocks more than he has been inclined to over the last decade. Just sayin'.


U2 Side Project Emerges

While Bono and The Edge work behind the scenes to try and prevent Spider Man from becoming the most conscious flop in Broadway history, U2 bass player Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen have been at work on a much lower risk project - an album under the name Multon the pair plans to have ready for a summer release.  Mullen joked that he a and Clayton keep such low profiles compared to the lead singer and guitarist in the Irish band that he would '...have to adopt about 100 Japanese orphans in order to get the media to even know that I existed.'  Given the number of orphans created by the double catastrophes of the March 11  earthquake and the resulting tsunami, the quote alone is likely to get Mullen the attention from the press, just not the kind he had in mind.  The Charlie Sheen like gaffe aside, it should be interesting to hear what the two come up with musically.


Doors Mark Morrison Anniversary

A July 11 concert is being planned by Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger to mark the anniversary of the passing of Doors lead singer Jim Morrison, who died in the City Of Lights on July 3, 1971.  The Paris appearance at the Bataclan will come during a series of dates the pair of surviving members of the band have mapped out overseas this summer.  In addition to the Paris concert, dates are set for Tel Aviv, Italy, Russia, the Czech Republic, Holland and Austria.



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