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Noteworthy Now Archives for 2011-08

Chickenfoot Lands Mellencamp Drummer

With Chad Smith having decided his drumming role in the Red Hot Chili Peppers takes priority over providing the beat for Chickenfoot, the Sammy Hagar fronted group has turned to John Mellencamp's veteran stick man, Kenny Aronoff, to join Chickenfoot on the tour supporting that group's sophomore album, Chickenfoot III (there was no Chickenfoot II).  Smith says he looks forward to getting back behind his kit with the Foot after doing double-time with the Peppers and says Aronoff will '...tear it up', but should not get too comfortable because he wants the gig back as soon as his Chili obligations are taken care of.
Chickenfoot III gets a September 26 release that will be followed with a live web-cast the next night.

ZZ Top Tribute Details

ZZ Top gets the tribute treatment in a collection called A Tribute From Friends that has a release date of October 11.  Of the artists participating, Top fans are most apt to be interested in what the M.O.B, an ad-hoc outfit comprised of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and guitarist Jonny Lang doing Sharp Dressed Man, Wolfmother's run at Cheap Sunglasses and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, who take on TushNickelback does Legs. Wyclef Jean Rough Boy, Filter landed Gimme All Your Lovin', Duff McKan's group Loaded doees the honors on Got me Under Pressure, Daugherty got Waitin' For The Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago, Mastadon makes a go of Just Got Paid, Coheed & Cambria do Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers, while La Grange falls to country act Jamey Johnson
Don't be surprised if Grace Potter smokes them all.   Vermont is a long way from the Lone Star State, but this barn-burning act from the Green Mountain State is more than capable of doing one helluva job on this tune - or any other in the Texas trio's catalog.


Veteran Tune-Smith Jerry Lieber Passes

The man-of-words in the song writing team of Lieber & Stoller has died.  Jerry Lieber came-up with the words that the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin and hundreds of others sang.  His partner in song, Mike Stoller, called him ' idea machine', crediting his collaborator with having the ability to create lyrics that fit every occasion.  The pair met in 1950 and went on to write hit songs that helped make the careers of some of the most influential singers of the last half century.  One of their earlier songs, Hound Dog, a song they composed for Big Mama Throrton, got picked-up by Elvis Presley and turned into a tremendous hit, though Lieber told Rolling Stone magazine three years before his death that he had ' idea what that rabbit business is about' in the lyrics Presley recorded, but added that the fact it sold over 7 million copies made forgiving the lyrics transgression a lot easier to forgive.
A  musical stage production based on the prolific song writing team of Lieber & Stoller became a big hit too.  Smokey Joe's Cafe had a run of more than 2,000 performances.  Lieber died in Los Angeles of heart failure at the age of 78.

Rock Landmark Closes Doors

An eccentric center of American culture though the decades, The Chelsea Hotel in New York City, is closing. Bob Dylan lived there while writing songs for Blonde On Blonde, Dylan Thomas lived and died there, Arthur Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey in the Chelsea, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Gore Vidal stayed there, The Grateful Dead played on its roof, Sid Vicious almost certainly killed his girlfriend there (he died before being convicted), Arthur Miller resided there after his split with Marilyn Monroe, Leonard Cohen, it is said, wrote of Janis Joplin giving him oral gratification on an unmade bed in the Chelsea after '...talking so brave and so sweet' in his song Chelsea Hotel#2
The 12 story hotel was the tallest building in the city when it opened in 1839.  For more than half a century the Chelsea was managed by members of the Bard family, a succession of owners more interested in the arts and the welfare of the tenants than the bottom line.  That changed in 2007 when Stanley Bard was ousted after a few years of escalating tensions over planned renovations and other issues.  With Bard out of the picture, a window opened for an outsider to put in an offer on the building.  Joseph Chetrit reportedly stepped in with an offer of $85 million and the board jumped at it.  It looks like the fabled hotel is headed for a complete gutting for transformation into luxury condos or another high-end Manhattan hotel.

U2 Forks Over Millions For Music Ed

Stung by recent protests over allegations of tax dodging (story), U2 has made a substantial donation to music education for Irish students.  The $7.2 million the band is turning over will go to provide instruments and help subsidize instructor positions in the face of big cuts to extra-curricular programs by the government.  The director of Music generation, an organization bankrolled by U2, deflected suggestions that the initiative from the band has anything to do with counteracting recent criticism over the group's decision to shift its business operations to the Netherlands in a money saving move, saying, 'U2 had been looking for some time for a way to invest and support access to music education in Ireland. (They) wanted to give something back.' The group wrapped-up the highest grossing tour in Rock history a few weeks ago (story), and reports recently emerged that the stake Bono's investment firm has in Facebook is approaching a valuation of a billion dollars.


Lou Reed, Metallica Release Set

A performance together at the Rock Hall Of Fame anniversary concerts in New York two years ago led to discussions between Lou Reed and members of Metallica about working together on an album. Reed set about writing songs for the project, with Metallica contributing arrangement ideas.  The 10 tracks on the album, which is due out October 31st overseas and the following day in North America, includes a 7+ minute lead track title Pumping Blood
Reed has gone through some extremely high decibel phases in his career, including the mid 70's, when he put out a Richter Scale jarring album titled Metal Machine Music (1975).  He calls the work he has done with Metallica 'awe-inspiring'.  We can buy that, but he lost us when he went on to call it '...maybe the best thing done by anyone, ever', and added, 'It could create another planetary system. I'm not joking, and I'm not being egotistical.'

Joe Walsh vs Joe Walsh

It's ironic that one of the more prominent members of the Tea Party shares the same name with Joe Walsh, especially since the Eagles member and former James Gang guitarist made a whimsical run for the White House.  We have no idea whether the two have much besides their name in common, but both might have a similar disregard for speed limits.  Walsh sang about his Maserati doing 185 on his 1978 solo album.  But Life's Been Good was a song making fun of a music industry exec in the first person so it may be no reflection on the singer or his driving habits.  The Congressman, on the other hand, may have a heavy foot and a blatant disregard for traffic laws in general.  Already facing claims by his ex-wife that he has stiffed her on $117,000 in child support payments and  one for an even greater amount by a former consultant, the Illinois Congressman by the same name may have accumulated nearly 20 traffic citations in two Illinois counties between 1989 and 2009.  In addition to speeding, violations Walsh was apparently ticketed for included driving on a suspended or revoked license, driving without insurance, and driving without a registration.  The outspoken conservative just regained his right to drive after a four month suspension for failure to carry a kind of insurance required by his home state for problem drivers.


Wilson Sisters Work On Heart Memoir

A book that chronicles Heart and the Seattle music scene Ann and Nancy Wilson of the band grew-up in is in the works.  The sisters are working with Charles Cross, a Seattle writer that has previously authored books about Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana and Led Zeppelin.  Speaking with Billboard, Nancy said that the memoir will be '...brutally honest without making anyone else feel bad' - hmmm, that sounds as easy as juggling Jello.  She goes on to say, 'It's definitely not a sensational tell-tale book because that's never who we are.  There's going to be some wild parties and some failed relationships, but not too much more dark stuff'.
Heart has been on the road with Def Leppard this summer and plans call for the Wilson sisters and the band to hit the studio after the trek winds-up.


Seger Live Discs Repackaged

Bob Seger has given strong indications that his current tour and next studio album could be his last before he packs it in.  In the meantime, he is packing them in, with the silver haired veteran and his Silver Bullet Band playing to capacity houses during most stops on a tour that he has recently extended.  That has inspired the re-issue of digitally re-mastered editions of the landmark double live album of the 70's, and Nine Tonight, the live collection he released in 1981.  Live Bullet, the 1976 release, will include the bonus track I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home, an Etta James song Seger did at a standing room only show at the Pontiac Silverdome. A concert version of Brave Strangers will be added to the reissue of Nine Tonight.  The releases, out September 13, will be available individually or as a box set including a T-Shirt.


Sabbath Reunion Rumors

Some online sites that are usually more dependable than typical forums have made flat-out claims that Black Sabbath members Ozzy Osbourne, Tommy Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward are already rehearsing together for a Black Sabbath reunion.  Whether it's true and album and/or tour ever materializes remains to be seen, but the fact no immediate denial has followed the reports adds some credibility to the reports.  The last attempt to make an album was nearly 15 years ago.  As recently as six months ago Butler dismissed the possibility the four would reunite, saying at the time there would '...definitely be no reunion of all four members' to record or tour.

Joel, Bon Jovi Serenade Buffett's Wife

The crowd of well-heeled well wishers that got invites to the 60th birthday party Jimmy Buffett staged for his wife on Saturday (8/13) included Pink Floyd veteran Roger Waters, and actors Harrison Ford, Michael Douglas, Jack Nicholson, Richard Gere and Catherine Zeta-Jones.  Both attending and entertaining at the top-shelf event at were Jon Bon Jovi and Billy Joel Joel performed the Otis Redding classic Dock Of The Bay, telling the New York Post he's impressed that Jane Buffett '...knows the secret of staying happily married to a Rock & Roll man.'  Jimmy followed the Piano Man and Bon Jovi to the stage to sing in honor of his wife of 35 years.


Hendrix Coat Should Bring Big Bids

A coat that Jimi Hendrix wore just hours before his death is expected to fetch a huge sum at auction.  The long, custom tailored gray garment with flared sleeves was forgotten by Hendrix when he left the home of a Lord he was visiting in the Notting Hill section of London either on the night he died or a day earlier.  The coat was later given to an appraiser in payment for assessing the value of it and other rock memorabilia the unnamed Lord had acquired.  The appraiser, Ted Owen, stashed the coat in his mother's house and assumed it had gone out with other clothing of his that his mum had gotten rid of a decade ago.  He came across the coat in a suitcase in his mother's house earlier this summer.  The auction of the coat will be conducted by the Fame Bureau on August 24.


Scholz Says Boston Is Back

The back-to-back blockbuster albums Boston released in the mid-70's had fans assuming the group would have a long-term presence among the elite US rock bands.  But a reluctance to tour and a few long awaited and ultimately lackluster albums reduced the group to little more than a flash-in-the-pan.  With Brad Delp dead and  other original members out of patience with Tom Sholz, Scholz unwilling to work with them (or both), a great album from Boston in 2011 or next year seems like a long shot.  Then again, Scholz controlled so much of the Boston sound that anything is possible - provided he has solid material.  One thing is certain:  Michael Sweet won't be part of the album or any possible Boston tour.  The singer and guitarist that joined the group for a brief 2008 tour has returned to Stryper. The big news is not that Sweet has left, but that Brad Delp sings on 'many songs' on the next album, according to a release from the band. The fact the late singer has been dead more than four years and there is still no title or release date for the new project makes it evident that the Scholz painstaking approach to it mirrors the pace at which he has worked at everything since the release of the band's sophomore effort.


Rich Robinson Flies Solo

Rich Robinson will release his second solo project on October 11.  Through A Crooked Sun will include contributions from Allman Brothers and Gov't Mule veteran Warren Haynes as well as Larry Campbell of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.  The dozen track effort is something the Black Crowes member says gives him an outlet for '...a lot of the things that I want to express lyrically, which are very personal, (and) may not have space to be expressed in the band format.'  The Crowes will be on what is described as indefinite hiatus after wrapping up some European dates this summer.


U2 Guitarist Challenges Ruling

The Edge (Dave Evans) and a group of others involved in a plan to develop a series of mansions on a hillside in Malibu overlooking the Pacific Ocean issued a legal challenge to the California Coastal Commission ruling that derailed the project (story).  The Commission decision, which came after area residents and a number of organizations had expressed opposition to the plan, came despite efforts by the U2 guitarist to portray the plan as environmentally sound.


Indiana Stage Collapse Claims Lives

Sugarland is not a group that ROCKinsights typically covers, but news of the collapse of a stage at the Indiana State Fair just after Sara Bareilles wrapped up her opening set Staurday (8/13) is one that every music news web site should be covering. 
At least five are dead in the wake of the collapse, which happened as an intense storm moved in, triggering erratic and severe winds.  What's alarming is that this incident comes just weeks after a similar collapse during a Cheap Trick concert in in Ottawa, Canada that the band and fans narrowly escaped death or serious injury in (story).  The band subsequently pulled out of a Vancouver concert scheduled for September after learning that the stage for that event was being provided by the same company as the one that failed in the Ottawa concert.  Stages at European and South American concerts have also experienced similar structural failure in the face of severe weather.
Everyone recognizes that the frequency and intensity of severe weather is increasing.  It is time for the concert industry to revisit the safety and enforcement standards for stages at outdoor events and the safety measures being taken by promoters and venue operators when severe weather is expected or materializes.

Van Halen Aussie Dates Cancelled

The long anticipated return of Van Halen had been expected to launch with a series of dates Down Under in the fall.  Those plans have apparently fallen through.  The five city festival being planned for September and October has been scuttled, but there are conflicting accounts of why.  The dates would have been headlined by VH, with David Lee Roth fronting the group for the first time in four years.  Initial reports that Van Halen had pulled out have been denied by both the band and the promoters of the Soundwave Revolution festival.  An Australian radio station speculated that the dates fell through because a co-headliner, possibly Aerosmith, nixxed the dates - or ticket sales were sluggish.


Hometown To Honor Clarence Clemons

The Chesapeake Conference Center in Hampton Roads, Virginia will host a memorial service to honor E Street Band saxophone player Clarence Clemons on Friday (8/19)Clemons, who died June 18, about a week after suffering a serious stroke (story), was born in Norfolk and raised in nearby Chesapeake.  His brother, Bill, said the the service, which will be reverent but also include a display of memorabilia, is being held because the family wants '...the community to understand, although we held a memorial service in Florida (story), we wanted one in our home city where our family grew up and where we still have so many friends.'  Donations are being collected to help in establishing a Clarence Clemons Family Youth Center at the Grace Community Church, which occupies the spot the Clemons home once stood on.


Hendrix Park Plans Unveiled In Seattle

Jimi Hendrix Park has been on the drawing board for some time.  Later this year, work will begin on the $2 million project honoring the guitar legend.  The final design, unveiled Wednesday (8/10) in Seattle, features design elements that include vibrant colors, a large spiraling flower shape and, of course, an electric guitar.  A stage for live performances is also part of the plan.  The guitarist's sister, Janie Hendrix, looks forward to the day that 'People can come and pay homage and kids can play, fly kites in a neighborhood we all grew up in'.


Tyler Clothing Line Coming

Steven Tyler, always one of the more flamboyant dressers in Rock, has himself a deal for a line of clothing to be developed in association with the son of Tommy Hilfiger.  The duds won't have Tyler's name on them, but will sport a logo that includes an image of the Aerosmith front man.  The Andrew Charles line of men's and women's clothing was described by Andy Hilfiger as '...very 70's, very gypsy, very hobo'.  Tyler and his daughter, Chelsea, will reportedly do some modeling of the attire... and you can be sure he will be decked-out in it while judging American Idol contestant's next season.


Garcia Tribute By The Bay

Sporting custom-made Giants jerseys, Grateful Dead veterans Bob Weir and Phil Lesh were joined by the Bay Area basher\'s third base coach Tim Flannery on an acapella rendition of the Star Spangled Banner (video) before the Giants and Pirates took the field Monday night (8/9).  The 2011  edition of the relatively recent tradition of celebrating the life and legacy of musical MVP Jerry Garcia at the NL park at around the time of both his birth (8/1) and death (8/9) also included Drummer Mickey Hart and NBA designated Dead Head Bill Walton leading the crowd in Take Me Out To The Ballgame during the 7th inning stretch.  Aubrey Huff gave Giants faithful more reasons to be grateful - picking-up an RBI double and belting a curveball nearly into the Bay some of Garcia\'s ashes were scattered in 16 years ago to cap a six run shut-out of the Bucs for the sold-out crowd.

Foreigner Pulls The Plug

The idea of Foreigner doing an acoustic album comes off  as unlikely as a symphony orchestra doing an album of Foreigner songs... but Acoustique is the title of a new album by the trans-Atlantic band that established itself as one of the best mainstream Rock bands of the 70's with its self-titled debut album,  The Single or double CD/DVD Digi-pack set includes several of the group's best known songs, among them, Feels Like The First Time. Double Vision, Juke Box Hero, Cold As ice, Head Games, Urgent and Hot Blooded.  Look for the collection September 26.


Skynyrd Singer Hospitalized

A Staph infection landed Johnny Van Zant in the hospital.  The lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd was forced to deal with the aggressive infection while Skynyrd was touring in the upper mid-west over the weekend.  The condition has resulted in cancellation of a couple of appearances. The Southern Rocker mainstays had to bow out of a Monday (8/8) appearance on short notice. Jonny Lang was bumped-up to headline that date, with fans given the option of refunds.  Wednesday (8/10) at the Buffalo Chip during the Sturgis Bike Rally in South Dakota has also been nixed.
Suffering from what is described as '...a severe Staph infection and multiple symptoms related to infection' on the Skynyrd web site, Van Zant is expected to be out of action for at least a week.


AC/DC Front Man Gears-Up For Daytona

Plenty of Rockers have garages with exotic cars in them. A few put them through their paces on closed tracks. But only a handful put the pedal to the medal in actual races.  Brian Johnson is one of them.  The AC/DC vocalist has signed-on with Predator Performance to co-drive a prototype car in the January, 2012 Rolex 24 at the Daytona Motor Speedway in Florida.  Johnson, who  has owned a number of high-end cars, recently published Rockers and Rollers: A Full Throttle Memoir that chronicles his love of cars.  His favorite among the 60 he estimates he has owned is his 2007 Rolls-Royce Phantom, a hunk of luxury still capable of getting him from 0-60 in 5 seconds.  The song he considers the ultimate driving tune is not from his own band, but Eric Brudon & War's Low Rider.


Steven Tyler & Derek Jeter Hang Out

Steven Tyler was in the house rooting the Red Sox on against the New York Yankees during the three game weekend series at Fenway Park between the AL East arch rivals, but on Firday night (8/5) Derek Jeter of the Pins Strippers was on Aerosmith turf when he dropped by the studio where the Steven Tyler and Aerosmith have been working on the group's next album.  His ticket in was producer Jack Douglas, who Jeter met and became friends with when the veteran producer was working on the Aerosmith album Rock In A Hard Place in the early 80's.  Jeter was introduced to Douglas by his friend Rick Dufay, who at the time was filling in for Brad Whitford on bass. The Yankee Captain reportedly spent around 90 minutes talking with Tyler and Brad Whitford and listening to some of the new material.


Phil Lesh Makes Terrapin Plan Official

Bob Weir recently completed work on a state-of-the-art live streaming studio (story). Fellow Furthur and former Grateful Dead member Phil Lesh has his own close to home musical project in the works.  Terrapin Crossroads is a place the bass player can do gigs with his sons and other Bay Area musicians, but also a space he hopes will benefit the community as a whole. Speaking with the Marin Independent Journal, Lesh said he wants the music barn he plans to construct just north of San Francisco in Fairfax to ' a place the community can feel free to use', and wants to make sure, '...what we want to do will fit in with the town.'  In a step to address concerns about noise levels, the performance space within the larger structure will be surrounded by wood-clad concrete walls, making it totally sound-proof.  Lesh drew inspiration for the project after performing in the barn-studio near Woodstock, NY where Levon Helm hosts regular concert and recording sessions. 'It was like going to church', said Lesh. 'I knew immediately that was something I wanted to do at home.'  Lesh and his wife Jill now live in Ross, but were Fairfax residents for about 12 years.
A use permit for the town's consideration is nearly complete.  If he gets turned down, Lesh says they will look for other options, but adds, 'Fairfax is very Haight-like. It has that feeling', and calls it '...a welcoming family town.'


U2 Prep Achtung Baby ReIssue

U2 will mark the 20th anniversary of the release of Achtung Baby with several special edition expanded edition discs.  The album. the first after The Joshua Tree raised the bar so high no one expected it could approach the depth and quality of that release, is considered to still hold up better than any other album the group has released since. Whether it's good enough to warrant six different deluxe editions is another matter - but that's what the Irish rockers have planned.
The Uber Deluxe Edition packs six CDs into a magnetic puzzle topped box set, throwing in Zooropa - a disc no one would could make a legitimate case for deserving a deluxe edition of its own -but also the Zoo TV Live From Sydney DVD, which did include some great performances, two vinyl discs, 5 singles, 16 prints, an 84 page hard bound book, a pair of Bono's signature 'Fly' shades and other assorted swag. 
Fittingly, that and the other 5 editions plus the no-frills whatsoever digital download edition get slated for a October 31 release. We leave it to you to decide whether it is rises to the level of treat or just comes off as a trick.



MD Orders Allman Off The Road

Gregg Allman has been forced to cancel more than a dozen dates planned for the coming weeks due to an upper respiratory illness.  Allman, who returned to the road recently following a long absence in the aftermath of a liver transplant, was ordered by his physician to check-in to the hospital for treatment, which will likely be followed by several weeks of bed rest.  The news came as Allman was preparing to perform at the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in Fredericton, Canada - an event he was forced to skip in 2010 due to his transplant procedure.  The director of the festival expressed disappointment, but credited Allman's management for doing what it could to try and muster a replacement act.


Deep Purple Bonus Discs

The classic Deep Purple line-up was capable of delivering devastating live sets, so news that four double disc sets capturing the band in concert in the 70's are slated for release comes as great news to fans.  Scandanavian Nights was recorded by Swedish radio during the group's 1970 tour in support of the In Rock album and features, Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Jon Lord, Roger Glover and Ian Paice.  It includes a cover of the Stones Paint It BlackIn Concert 1970-1972 features extended versions of Speed King, Child In Time, Wring That Neck and Mandrake Root recorded in 1970 that each run close to 50 minutes.  The 1974 disc Live In London introduces David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes from shows done in support of the Burn album.  The final disc, MK III, The Final Concerts, showcases the group during the European tour mounted around the Stormbringer release and includes some of Blackmore's final performances with the band before forming Rainbow.
The four disc sets are due August 16 on Eagle Rock.
Eagle Rock Entertainment


AC/DC Monopoly

The Grateful Dead did it (story). Now AC/DC is onboard with its own board game.  The Collector's Edition of AC/DC Monopoly comes loaded with game tokens featuring a cannon, sticks of TNT, stacks of cash, the band's trademark lightning bolt, a flaming bell and, of course, Angus Young's school boy hat.  The deluxe edition also packs a Live At River Plate DVD and a T-Shirt.


Cheap Trick Pulls Out Of BC Concert

The partial collapse of a stage when high winds struck the Ottawa Blues Festival during the July 17 performance by Cheap Trick (story) is causing problems for the promoters of a September show at the opposite end of Canada.  The band managed to scramble to safety as all hell broke loose during Trick's set, but a crew member was injured and some equipment destroyed in the incident.  When band management discovered that the stage for a September 1 concert scheduled for the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, BC was being supplied by the same outfit that made the stage for the Ottawa concert, the group decided to cancel the BC appearance.  A statement on a Cheap Trick web site says, 'The band will not, as a matter of principle, but more importantly, as a matter of safety' appear on a stage associated with that company in the future.  A disappointed and frustrated representative from the BC venue said that, although the stage is owned by the same company, it is a very different design than the one that failed in Ottawa, and adds, 'Our safety standards are very high.  We do a full inspection and receive approval from an engineer before anyone is put on that stage.'


Bonzo-Mobile Owner Seeks Buyer

The 1915 Ford Model T John Bonham owned that appears in footage of the Led Zeppelin film The Song Remains The Same is available, and the car's current owner hopes an auto or music museum will step-up and make an offer.  Bruce Screen, who acquired the vintage car in 2000, says the antique '...needs to be seen and looked after', and adds, 'I'd be interested to hear from people with ideas about where it could go.'  If only we didn't have so damn many crates of albums parked in the ROCKinsights garage....
The car appears in a scene in the 1976 movie as the drummer motored through open fields while performing Moby Dick in a fantasy sequence.  See the trailer.


Did UK Phone Hackers Hit McCartney?

Paul McCartney plans to meet with British authorities looking into allegations of phone hacking done by members of the tabloid press or individuals being paid by the papers.  Speaking in Ohio between dates on his current U.S. tour, the former Beatle told reporters '...I am going to talk to the police because apparently I have been hacked.McCartney's former wife, Heather Mills, told the BBC on Wednesday (7/3) that her then boyfriend McCartney had left an apologetic message on her phone after the couple had a bit of a fight.  She claimed she was later contacted by a reporter from a newspaper seeking comment who was '...quoting verbatim' from messages on her phone.  Paul calls the idea that reporters would resort to illegal methods a '...horrendous violation of privacy', and says he suspects the practice went on for some time and that a lot more people than have thus far been implicated knew it was happening.


ALS Strikes Former Allmans Guitarist

Just months after losing his younger brother, David ('Frankie') Toler, to an illness following a liver transplant, former Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dan Toler has revealed that he is suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the debilitating affliction also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.  The two Tolers played together in the Allman Brothers, the Dickey Betts band, Great Southern and the Gregg Allman BandToler, who has organized and participated in a number of benefits during his career, will be the recipient of proceeds from one being staged on his behalf on August 13 in Bradenton, Florida.  He said, 'I love doing benefits for people that need help and never thought a benefit would have to be held for me.  It definitely breaks my heart, but I want to thank everyone helping out with this event.'
Toler's most recent recording was done with Johnny Townsend of the Wet Willie Band. The Toler-Townsend Band album was released in 2009.

Bruce Video Outtakes Posted

If you thought the video for the 1984 Bruce Springsteen song Dancing In The Dark featuring a then relatively unknown Courtney Cox was cheesy and contrived, the outtakes are even more embarrassing.  Billboard posted clips purportedly from sessions done leading up to the actual video shoot, which was shot by director Brian de Palma at the Civic Center in St. Paul MN using about 200 extras as audience members.  Video.



Meat Loaf Not Down But Not Out

Meat Loaf ended up sprawled on stage and on a backstage floor within the last week but says his scheduled appearance in Big Flats, NY Wednesday (8/3) is still on.  The hefty singer reportedly passed out during Paradise By The Dashboard Lights last Thursday in Pittsburgh and had to be treated again after fainting backstage at a New Jersey concert appearance.  The 63 year-old singer attributed both incidents to asthma, and dismissed the need to postpone or cancel dates.

U2 Extravaganza Shatters Records

U2 put the wraps on its two year long world tour Saturday (7/30) in Moncton, Canada with a rain soaked performance on one of the three gigantic claws custom built for the tour the group hopes to sell as permanent stages.  Show 110 of the tour that opened in Barcelona, Spain in 2009 and encountered a delay of months while Bono recovered from a serious back injury brought the total attendance for the multi-continent trek to 7.1 million.  Along the way, the group easily shattered the previous record for the largest grossing tour set by the Rolling StonesMick & Co. brought in $558 million, while Bono and crew got fans to part with just over $736 million.  The amount the two bands pocketed from the tours could well end-up being much closer, given the U2's much higher production costs.


Ron Wood Adds TV Host to Resume

Rolling Stones and Faces veteran Ron Wood, already an award winning host of a radio show, has been given the chance to prove he can also be a successful television host.  The Ronnie Wood Show will premier on UK TV in mid February.  The show is being billed as an extension of his radio program, one that will present additional behind-the-scenes looks at artists and aspects of the music business not typically aired.  His Absolute Radio Show has gained a good following and scored its host a Sony radio personality award.



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