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Noteworthy Now Archives for 2011-05

Mellencamp-Ryan July Wedding Rumored

Reports are circulating that actress Meg Ryan will walk the aisle with John Mellencamp come July.  Mellecamp and his soon-to-be former wife Elaine have still not been granted an official divorce, though papers requesting one were apparently filed several months ago.  The marriage to Ryan would be the Heartland singer's fourth. Ryan was previously married to actor Dennis Quaid.  The 49 year-old actress and 59 year-old singer have been keeping regular company since shortly after Mellencamp split with Elaine toward the close of 2010 (story).  Romances involving celebrities are routinely overstated by print and online gossip outlets, so all or none of this round of conjecture could prove true.


Waters Cools On Floyd Reunion

Drummer Nick Mason and guitarist David Gilmour have consistently sided against the idea of reuniting with Roger Waters to do a tour or album under the Pink Floyd name.  Waters now seems to have joined them in thinking that the idea of getting back together is no good.  During a recent segment on BBC Radio 4, Waters was quoted as saying, 'I think we did some great work together but I have no wish to do it ever again.'  If the three stick with that opinion, the two songs they performed together a few weeks ago at the Waters Wall tour stop at London's O2 Arena could be the final time the three will share the same stage (story) (video).


Ringo Starr Streams Performance

Ringo Starr has assembled another All-Starr Band that will take to the road this summer.  The former Beatle will debut the latest edition of a line-up that includes Rick Derringer and Gary Wright during an internet streamed press conference Wednesday (6/1) that will also feature  a short performance by the group.  Ringo & company open a 24 date European tour June 4 that will include stops in 14 countries.  In addition to being able to view the performance, fans have the chance to submit questions to the drummer at


Hearing Loss Impairs Queen Drummer

Performing for decades with massive sound systems did irreparable damage to the hearing of Pete Townshend. Roger Taylor of Queen recently revealed that he also has lost a good portion of his hearing.  The drummer called the steep decline in his ability to hear '...inevitable and hardly surprising given what I've been doing for the last 40 years'.  Increased difficulty picking-up on conversations in social settings and the need to have the TV volume up higher than his wife wanted it brought Taylor to the realization that he was suffering from far more hearing loss than most people his age.  He says the inability to hear clearly would have hurt his vocal abilities were it not for hearing aids he now wears in both ears.


Bob Weir Offers Delivery

The music former Grateful Dead and now Furthur guitarist Bob Weir plays is still elemental and earthy.  But he and his former band were always on the cutting edge when it came to technology, so we were not surprised when we got word that Weir has build a studio with the added capability of streaming live studio performances directly to fans - in HD no less. 
calls his new studio '...the ultimate playpen for a musician.'  Using microphones embedded in the ceiling of the studio, an engineer can alter the acoustic atmosphere of the space, creating the sonic environment of anything from an intimate club to a massive cathedral, using an iPad.  Sammy Hagar, himself a tech-savvy guy, was on-hand as Weir provided a demonstration for KGO-TV.  What he saw and heard impressed the Red Rocker enough that he could offer nothing to improve what Weir has done.
Available pay-for-view concerts involving Weir and other musicians will be listed on the TRI Studios web site.


Hammer Down For AC/DC Singer

Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton and AC/DC front man Brian Johnson share a passion for great cars.  Johnson has just released a new book that tells tales of his life-long love of fast cars.  Rockers and Rollers: A Full Throttle Memoir recounts some of his favorite rides and the moments that made them special.  The AC/DC vocalist says his fascination with cars probably came about because they were rarely seen in the remote UK village he grew-up in.  The first new ride Johnson bought after joining AC/DC was hardly exotic - a 1981 Chevy Blazer, but it remains one of his favorites.  He now owns nearly a dozen vehicles, including four race cars, and says he has owned around 60 over the years.  His all-time favorite? His 2007 Rolls-Royce Phantom, the ultimate combination of luxury and performance - a plush car that still manages to clock-in 0-60 at 5 seconds.  His top driving tune?  Low Rider by War.

More AC/DC Insights

U2 Not On Ameircan Idol

Rumors that U2 would perform on the season finale of American Idol started circulating after a comment by the band's manager last week.  Bono and The Edge appeared on the show Wednesday (5/25), but only to plug the Spider-Man Broadway production the pair has been trying to salvage after several postponements.  The recently revamped musical is slated to have its official opening on June 14. One Rocker did  play on the show.  Sax player Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band performed with Lady GaGa's backing band.  Aerosmith members refused to join band mate and A.I. judge Steven Tyler on the wrap-up show. The Aerosmith front man was joined by members of Stone Temple Pilots on an abbreviated version of Dream On
Tyler, attempting to mend fences with his band mates, spent the days leading up to the final episode of the show trying to sell the idea that he hadn't wanted to be a judge on the TV talent show.


Skynyrd Restaurant In Vegas

Lynyrd Skynyrd will join Jimmy Buffett, Sammy Hagar, Carlos Santana, BB King and other artists that link their names to eating and drinking establishments.  Lynyrd Skynyrd's Barbecue and Beer will be housed in the Excalibur Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.  Talking with VH1 Classic, Johnny Van Zandt said the theme of the place will borrow from the Hell House, the place in Green Cove Springs, Florida the lead singer says Skynyrd 'really made their chops'.


Gregg Allman To Tell All

A new lease on life has made Gregg Allman appreciate every new day in a way that maybe only someone with a near death experience can fully appreciate.  On this date a year ago the Allman Brothers Band veteran was still awaiting word on whether he would receive a live saving  liver transplant.  That trans-formative procedure came in June (story).  Since then, Allman has put out an excellent album, Low Country Blues, anchored the Allman Brothers Band's annual New York City series of dates and done a bunch of co-headline shows with Steve Miller.  He fully appreciates not only how fortunate he is that a donor spared his life recently, but that he survived indulgences of his younger years that claimed the lives of many of his contemporaries.  His auto-biography, which will be published by William Morrow next year, promises to be a candid account of the life-long tangent Allman got on after planning to play music for a year or two before starting Med school.  Along the Way the keyboard player spent countless hours in the studio and on the road, performed thousands of sets with one of the greatest bands in Rock history, had a brief, tumultuous marriage to Cher, ingested massive quantities of all sorts of substances, and testified against a band associate in a drug trial, an action that led to the end of the band.  His candor on these subjects in his last Rolling Stone interview make it likely that his book will be a revealing read.


E Street Band's Big Man On Idol

The other guys in Aerosmith closed ranks and refused to appear with Steven Tyler on the final episode of America Idol. The show has secured a commitment from Lady Gaga, who will have   Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band with her when she appears on AI Wednesday (5/25)Clemons contributed a solo to the song Edge Of Glory to her recent album (story).  Even though Springsteen spent some time behind the scenes of the FOX show a few weeks ago giving pointers to the contestants (story), we trust The Boss shares the view Joe Perry, Joey Kramer and Tom Hamilton have about playing on the show.

Stones Rolling Solo In 2011

Speculation that the Rolling Stones might mount a 2011 tour fell by the wayside months ago. But Mick Jagger and Keith Richards reportedly have new side projects in the works.  Mick is said to be working with Dave Stewart, Joss Stone and Damian Marley under the unofficial name Super Heavy.  Stewart, the former Eurthymics member that produced the recent Stevie Nicks solo comeback album (story), calls the music Jagger and the others have been working on as mind blowing, while Jagger told Rolling Stone magazine the music is 'wide-ranging' and incorporates everything from ballads to reggae to Indian influenced songs. Keith Richards, meanwhile, is apparently working with some members of the Xpensive Winos, the group he put together in the late 80's.


Crossroads Guitarists on PBS

The June, 2010 concert Eric Clapton staged near Chicago featured a who's who of great guitarists including EC. Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Billy Gibbons and Ronnie Wood.  Close to 30,000 witnessed it live.  Highlights from the nearly 11 hour concert will be broadcast during a 2 hour presentation condensed for the Great Performances series on PBS. Performances in the spotlight during the special include Clapton and Sonny Landreth, Joe Bonamassa with Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Buddy Guy with Jonny Lang and Ronnie Wood, and Clapton working together with Steve Winwood on three tracks - the Blind Faith's Had To Cry Today, the Jimi Hendrix classic from Electric Ladyland VooDoo Child, and Traffic's Dear Mr. Fantasy.


Lennon Lyrics Bring Big Bucks

The sheet of paper John Lennon wrote the words for Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and the opening line of She's Leaving Home was purchased with a high bid just over $237,000. The song, inspired by a drawing of a classmate Lennon's young son brought home from school one day in 1967, was reportedly composed in the studio during a session for the Sgt. Pepper album.


Another Misfit For Kinks Movie

Any movie about the Kinks would have to involve renegades to end up credible.  We knew that once Bobcat Goldthwait was announced as one of the guys calling the shots that other misfits would be waiting in the wings.  The latest to join the project is Jack White.  The White Stripes veteran's decision to jump in and score a flick about an outcast supervillain seems right in synch for a movie based on an album by as thoroughly dysfunctional a band as the Kinks. Bring it!


McCartney Hard Rock, Hardly Rockin'

Paul McCartney has plans to release two albums about as diametrically different from each other as possible in 2012.  A smooth, easy going album of standards that McCartney describes as 'get home from work music.  You put it on and get a glass of wine" will include several songs that also feature Dianna Krall.  The material and presentation will be similar to Rod Stewart's series of laid-back releases in recent years.  Paul says he has wanted to do an album like that 'forever', but elected to wait until Stewart's series had run its course, telling Rolling Stone, 'I have to wait so it doesn't look like I'm trying to do a Rod.'
The other album McCartney has in the works is a hard rocking album with a real garage band feel to it.  The former Beatle credits the Foo Fighter album Wasting Light for inspiring what he describes as his 'heavy rock album'.


Townshend Inks Book Deal

Like sports autobiographies, books authored or co-authored by musicians tend to be as shallow and predictable as the typical 'taking 'one game at a time' cliche jocks lean on in pre and post-game interviews. Recent books by Keith Richards, Steven Tyler and Sammy Hagar have proven much more interesting and entertaining than most books by or about Rockers. Pete Townshend 's new book is bound to be another that raises te bar. HarperCollins emerged as the high bidder for the publishing rights to Townshend's new book.  In a release about the book the Who guitarist calls himself, '...lucky to be alive and to have such a crazy story to tell', and says that, above all, he wants the account to be honest.  Given the fact that the quote came out on the anniversary of the date Townshend decked a plain clothes cop during a Who concert at the Fillmore East in New York, we don't think much embellishment will be needed to make his autobiography a great read.


Santana Honored At Braves Game

Carlos Santana - the guitarist, not the Cleveland catcher - was honored before the Braves - Phillies game at Turner Field in Atlanta Sunday (5/15).  Never one to zip his lip when it comes to to things he takes issue with, Santana used his time in the spotlight to fire off criticism of Georgia for a immigration bill signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal just two days earlier.  While receiving the the Beacon Of Change honor during a pre-game ceremony on the field, Santana said, 'I represent the human race', and then blasted Arizona and Georgia, saying people in Atlanta that supported the new legislation should be ashamed of themselves.  Following the ceremony the guitarist told media members in the press box that irrational was fueling repressive laws, calling the legislation 'anti-American', the Mexican born Santana said, 'If you remember what it was like here with Martin Luther King and the dogs and the hoses, it's the same thing, only it's high tech. So let's change it.'
Atlanta Constitution Journal


Virtual Guitar Lessons Go App

An hour-long Jackson Browne session is the latest online migration of a music lesson from a well-known musician.  The 65 minute long acoustic guitar lesson by Browne is being offered by On The Music Path and features four Browne tunes - These Days, Something Fine, Your Bright Baby Blues and My Opening Farewell.  All of the proceeds from sales of the $19.95 download are being turned over to Success Through The Arts Foundation, an organization that helps fund arts programs for kids in South LA.

Pink Floyd Mini-Reunion

Indications that a one concert reunion of the members of Pink Floyd was likely during the current Roger Waters tour made an O2 Arena show in London look like the most obvious place for it to be staged.  It happened Thursday (5/12) - but hardly on the scale that would satisfy the expectations of fans that took it to mean that Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason would share the stage for an entire evening.  What they got was Outside The Wall and Comfortably Numb, leaving many uncomfortably numb with disappointment.  Scope-out the two songs here.


Holy Shirt!

Some stories just don't add up - so we tend to be skeptical when outlandish stuff comes along. It's a policy that has kept RI from running a lot of stories other sites that did later found out were bogus.  Reports that surfaced a few days ago claiming someone had paid $10k for a rare Led Zeppelin T-Shirt had all the markings of a send-up.  But the story appears to be legit. The 1979 shirt listed by Stormcrow Vintage on Ebay had been produced in extremely limited numbers because it served as a backstage pass for the group's Knebworth House concert.  Higher priced shirts have been listed on Ebay, but none have sold for an amount exceeding this one.  The unidentified buyer of the Zep rarity is an Australian.


Treasure Trove Of Floyd

Resolution of the Pink Floyd - EMI dispute (story) opened the door to the band and label preparing a massive re-release of remastered versions of albums in the Floyd catalog. All 14 of the albums are slated for re-release on September 26.  They will be available individually, or as a box set.  Double disc Experience and 6 disc Immersion versions of Dark Side Of The Moon will also be available on that date.  Experience and Immersion versions of Wish You Were Here (Nov. 7) and The Wall (Feb. 27 2012) will follow.


Farm Aid 2011 Locks In KC Date

The annual Farm Aid concert is back in the heartland this summer.  Mainstays Neil Young. Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews are all confirmed for the August 13 concert, which will be staged this year at LiveStrong Park in Kansas City.  The home of the Kansas City Athletics was known as Municipal Stadium before Charlie Finley uprooted the franchise and moved it to Oakland and the city's current MLB team took-up residence in Kauffman Stadium.  The annual musical celebration of family farms and locally grown, organic foods has been going strong since 1985 and has raised nearly $40 million to support independent farmers and promote the Good Food Movement.  Additional acts will be announced for the concert soon.

Landmark Gates Removed In Liverpool

Strawberry Fields Forever? Maybe, but not the original gates to the entrance of the former Salvation Army Children's Home that inspired the Lennon-McCartney song on Magical Mystery Tour. They have been removed and place in storage. The decision to put them under lock and key was reached to preserve them against further damage from the elements and some tourists that attempt to take more than just a photograph when visiting the site.  A local artisan has been commissioned to create a replica of the entrance gate.  The enormous building that stood on the grounds was replaced by a much smaller structure just a few year after the song came out.  That facility closed down seven years ago.  The site remains a popular stop on Beatles fan tours.


Classical Classic Dead Concert

An event planned for last fall finally came together Saturday (5/7) when Grateful Dead veteran Bob Weir performed with members of the Marin County, California Symphony..  The concert, which included an opening segment featured Weir with Jeff Chimenti. Jay Lane, Rob Wasserman and Robin Sylvester paired with a quartet and chorus on Cassidy, Bird Song, Row Jimmy, Friend Of The Devil and a few other songs.  Later, the full orchestra joined Weir and the others in a set that included versions of Playing In The Band, Dark Star and Jack Straw.  The encore closed the night with a raucous One More Saturday Night, followed by a somber take on Attics Of My Life.


Carlos Santana Hits The Road

Carlos Santana
has spent much of the past few years anchored in Las Vegas where he did dozens of dates at the Hard Rock concert venue known as The Joint (story). That changes this summer when the veteran guitarist takes to the road for a tour that will cover more than two dozen dates in nine states and a couple of Canadian provinces.  The tour is currently slated to kick-off August 25 in Auburn, Washington and run through an October 1 date in LA.  In a move we think would be a good thing for other artists to consider, Carlos will have comedian George Lopez open several dates on the tour.

Paul McCartney Engaged

Money Can't Buy You Love, but misplaced love can cost a fortune if you're as wealthy as Paul McCartney, whose disengagement from second wife Heather Mills was very messy and expensive. Whether Mills is the gold digger many contend she was or not, the lesson was probably not lost on the former Beatle.  Even though the new love of his life is financially very well off, we'd bet the former Beatle will be better protected if his marriage to Nancy Shevell goes south. The apparent bride-to-be is a VP of a trucking firm her father runs. She also was married for 20 years to an attorney that was tight with George Pataki when he was Governor of New York, who put her on the board of the powerful Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
McCartney's 29 year marriage to the former Linda Eastman longest, tightest marriages and working relationships in Rock. Linda McCartney died of breast cancer in 1998.

Final Battle Over Hendrix Material

The estate of Jimi Hendrix has initiated legal action against a company that claims it has the legal right to release concert recordings of the guitar master at London's Royal Albert Hall in 1969.  The suit is the latest salvo in a battle over rights to the material that has gone on for decades, according to TMZ.  The Hendrix estate reportedly contends that the individuals that recorded the performances only had authorization to use them in a movie - a film that was never made.  The suit seeks a final determination that the Hendrix estate is the rightful owner of the concert recordings and up to $2 million dollars to compensate it for the costs of having to pursue the rights to the material.


Jagger's Daughter Bares All

One consequence of living the wild, free-wheeling life of a Rock star is that you lose the high road in any debate with your kids over choices they make.  Maybe Mick Jagger is fine with the idea of his daughter posing with hardly a stitch on in the new edition of Playboy.  If not, he would be hard pressed to come up with instances of when he made more conservative choices when he was 27 as a good example.  The multi-page spread of the daughter of Mick and Jerry Hall goes to press as Liz maintains that her mother and father have no issue over her posing naked in the issue.  As for Elizabeth Mae, she says, "I'm kind of a topless person.' That's something Georgia May Jagger has already proven in earlier photo shoots as a fashion model (story)

SF Exhibit Honors Bill Graham

The impact Bill Graham had on the music and culture of the late 60's and early 70's cannot be overstated. Justifiably called Rock's greatest impresario, Graham was a visionary, a passionate proponent of  live music and shrewd  businessman. His Fillmore auditoriums in New York and San Francisco were launching pads for musical careers that artists of more recent generations envy.  He was brash, arrogant and brilliant. 
The Jazz Heritage Center in San Francisco opened a new exhibit to Graham Thursday (5/5).  The month long exhibit is being presented in association with the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation. Bonnie Simmons, herself a major figure in Bay Area Rock history, credits Graham for being one of the first to grasp the role a promoter could play in developing artists and influencing culture. Simmons, an influential Rock radio fixture for decades and now the Executive Director of the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation, credits Graham for the amazing insights he had into both artists and audiences.
Bill Graham lost his life in a helicopter crash in the fall of 1991.

Grateful Dead Member Slates Solo Dates

Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir shared a lot of stages without the other members of the Grateful Dead during the band\'s decades long run.  Weir, who can be seen and heard with Phil Lesh in Furthur, recently announced his first ever solo acoustic tour.  Fewer than a half dozen dates are on the early schedule, but more are possible.  The guitarist will also stage his first live web-cast on May 13.  The stream will originate from TRI Studios near Bob\'s home north of San Francisco.  Start time for the web case concert session is 7p, Pacific.

Aerosmith Idles While Tyler Idols

Steven Tyler plans to debut a video for a new solo song on American Idol May 12.  We haven't heard the track yet, but count on it being a power ballad tailored to appeal to pop fans that make up the vast majority of A.I. viewers. We will be amazed if the song has any appeal to long-term fans of Aerosmith.  On a brighter note, Tyler and the band may still perform on the season finale of Idol - and the early session work on a new Aerosmith album has produced material the other guys in the band say gets back to the kind of stripped-down sound that made the group one of the best bands in the land.


Stevie Nicks In Recovery Mode

Several appearances Stevie Nicks had been looking forward to have been scrubbed due to a bout of pneumonia and flu.  The 'no fly' order from doctors arrives just as her new solo release was scheduled to make its debut.  A May 3 appearance on the NBC Today Show and a May 4 event in her honor planned by Reprise Records for her at New York City's Webster Hall have been blown out because of her illness.  Nicks, whose first solo album in a decade, In Your Dreams, makes its debut this week, issued a statement apologizing to fans and expressing her hope that the missed events can be rescheduled.
PR Newswire



Bon Jovi Guitarist Sidelined

Many would make the case that Richie Sambora is as critical a component to the Bon Jovi sound as Jon himself, so the decision to continue the current tour without the lead guitarist has surprised and disappointed some fans and critics.  The band issued a statement reading, in part, 'Our support for Richie is absolute. He is, and will remain, a member of Bon Jovi.'  It concluded by saying, '...we will keep our commitment to our fans and continue our tour.'  That did little to quell complaints by many ticket holders for upcoming shows that contend those dates should be postponed until Sambora is able to tour again.  Announcing a well-known guitarist to fill-in might help. As of Sunday (5/1), no announcement had been made about who will take over Sambora's slot in the band until he is ready to return.


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