The worst kept secret in London over the last few days was that Eric Clapton would join the Rolling Stones on stage at O2 Arena during the band's second anniversary concert. Given the level of expectation, it's a good thing EC showed up - although his contribution to the evening involved only one song - Champagne & Reefer. Singer Florence Welch was the other special guest of the band - reprising the role Mary J Blige played as vocalist on Gimme Shelter. An earlier start allowed for the band to get Satisfaction into the set. The song got the axe during the previous show's encore in an effort to avoid a stiff curfew violation penalty - one the band ended up getting hit with anyway. Jagger joked that the previous concert's $160,000 overtime fine had set them back the cost of about 10 seats. GigWise.com
The Situation Room in the bowels of the White House is a place short on levity when the best diplomatic and military minds meet there to monitor or respond to threats throughout the world. Tuesday (11/27) the atmosphere got a whole lot looser and more enjoyable when Jimmy Buffett spent some time in the inner sanctum during a low-key visit to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In DC for the ground breaking of a new educational center at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Buffett got an invite to drop in on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and get some hang time with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and a couple of dozen White House staffers. True to form and to everyone's amusement, Jimmy managed to point out the clock in the room proving it was indeed 5 O'clock somewhere at the time of his visit. WashingtonPost.com
Before becoming band mates in Pink Floyd, David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason were class mates London Polytechnic. A year before of graduating, the trajectory of their musical development caused the three to bail on finishing their academic studies in favor of making a professional go of being in a band. Sunday (11/26) the drummer of Pink Floyd returned to his former university to pick up an honorary degree in architecture. Nick Mason attributes some of the success he and his fellow Floyd members attained to their studies at what is now known as the University of Westminster, saying, 'Not only did studying architecture teach us some useful stuff, it also gave us the opportunity to develop and put us in touch with some fantastic mentors.' ArtInfo.com short
The Rolling Stones ended a five year live hiatus with a two-and-a-half hour set that would have gone longer were it not for a strict 11pm curfew that forced the group to limit its O2 Arena encore to two songs. Even though Satisfaction got dropped, it seemed like the audience got plenty from the energized and often raucous set that touched on just about every era of the band's half century making music together. Surprisingly, the Stones opened the Sunday (11/15) concert with I Wanna Be Your Man, a 1963 Lennon-McCartney tune, before diving into its own catalog during a 23 song set that included Honky Tonk Women, You Can't Always Get What You Want, Start Me Up, Gimme Shelter and the new song, Doom & Gloom. Highlights included Jeff Beck joing the band and trading blistering licks with Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood on a version of the Jeff Beck Group's I'm Going Down, original Stone bass player on stage with his mates for It's Only Rock & Roll and former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor on stage for the night's takes on Midnight Rambler and Honkey Tonk Women. Jagger was in fine form throughout - dancing, prancing and cavorting about. He even commented on the steep price of tickets when, after asking, 'Everybody all right there in the cheap seats?' he added, 'They're not really cheap though are they? That's the trouble.' The band has come under attack from some fans for the excessively high cost of attending the shows ($150 - $1,500). The group defended ticket prices by claiming the prices were required to meet the high costs of staging relatively few shows as opposed to a longer running tour. Given the relatively low-key staging and special effects evident at the opening night, it could be argued that the band pocketing as much as possible from the few shows they are doing was the real determining factor in the ticket pricing. Even so, it seemed as though everyone willing to shell out the money for tickets seemed satisfied they'd gotten their money's worth. RollingStone.com Reuters
Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, the musical product of the combined talents of Stephen King and John Mellencamp, opened last spring, leaving many wondering when the soundtrack would see the light of day. A release date of March 19 has finally been confirmed for the album, which was co-produced by John with T-Bone Burnett and includes songs from Elvis Costello, Taj Mahal, Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow and others. The release will arrive in a number of formats, including one that features copies of the hand written lyrics and a special DVD. Mellencamp's sole performance credit is attached to final song on the soundtrack, a song titled Truth. AJC.com
The archive of unreleased music that accumulated during his brief career is substantial enough to have produced dozens of posthumous releases, the vast majority of them live recordings of already familiar songs from studio albums released while the guitar legend was among us. On March 5, 2013 a dozen previously unreleased studio tracks from Jimi Hendrix are due to debut on an album titled People Hell And Angels. One particularly noteworthy thing about this release is that the material on it was recorded without the collaboration of the other members of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Recorded in 1968 & '69, the songs give an indication of the musical direction Hendrix might have followed had he lived longer. HenneMusic.com
The original 1962 demo recording the Beatles submitted to Decca Records in hopes of getting signed by the label is going to auction. The 10 track recording Brian Epstein financed and presented to Decca not only failed to impress the label enough to offer a contract, it even reportedly provoked one Decca executive to say the group had '...no future in show business'. Shortly after being dismissed by Decca, EMI Records would secure the rights to Beatles recordings with what would turn out to be one of the most lucrative signings in music history. The recording is expected to bring a top bid Tuesday (11/27) in the neighborhood of $50,000 - but could fetch more. UnCut.co.uk
The 2013 edition of Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival will be staged on consecutive nights next spring at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The April 12 & 13 concerts will close EC's US tour, which opens March 14 in Phoenix and will visit several major markets over the course of a month. This will mark the fourth time Clapton has brought together guitar greats he admires to play together and help raise money to support the work of the Crossroads Center, a substance abuse recovery facility he established on the island of Antigua. The lineup for this concert features a jaw dropping collection of guitar greats, including Jeff Beck, Robert Cray, Guy Clark JR., Robbie Robertson, Buddy Guy, BB King, Jimmy Vaughan, John Scofield, Albert Lee, Jonny Lang, Doyle Bramhall, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks and Sonny Landreth.
Chase customers get the first shot at tickets, with an exclusive window open to card holders from noon (Eastern) Monday (11/26) - 10pm Thursday (11/29). General public sale opens Friday (11/30) at noon, assuming tickets remain.
Aerosmith is denying a New York Post report that band members are at each other's throats. The paper attributes the internal strife to relatively weak debut week sales of the group's new album and the fact that few of the tour dates the band has done to date have sold out. Music From Another Dimension managed only a #5 rank after selling 65,000 copies the week of it's release, leaving the album even behind the Christmas album released by Rod Stewart. Some of the internal friction may be the result of Steven Tyler spending time grappling with a reportedly on-the-rocks relationship with his fiance, Erin Brady. Aerosmith issued a terse denial that there are internal issues through a spokesman, saying, 'Aerosmith is doing great and on tour and on fire. Any claim to the contrary is absolutely false.' NYPost.com
A series of love letters Mick Jagger penned to Marsha Hunt, the woman that claims to have inspired the Rolling Stones classic Brown Sugar, could bring more than $100k when they are offered at a Sotheby's auction December 12. The ten letters, sent to Hunt during the summer of 1969 when Jagger was in Australia filming scenes for the movie Ned Kelly, have spent most of the years since stashed in a bank vault. Hunt, a fixture on the London music and social scene in the mid-late 60's who performed with Elton John on occasion, is candid about her reason for offering the letters for sale, saying, 'I'm broke'.
In the letters, which will be sold as a single lot, Jagger references to events of the day, including the lunar landing, the Isle of Wight festival (he laments having to miss 'John & Yoko boring everybody'), the death of former Stones guitarist Brian Jones and his disintegrating relationship with Marianne Faithful. He also writes of the things he is reading during his down time between scenes, mentioning Nijinsky's diaries and Emily 'Dix' - presumably Emily Dickinson - poems.
What goes unsaid by Hunt is whether she offered Mick the chance to buy them back before she approached Sotheby. mg.co.za
The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy was a result of massive and potent storm systems combining forces. On December 12 at Madison Square Garden, several Rockers will combine forces in an effort to raise a massive amount of funds to be used to help those still reeling from the storm. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Paul McCartney, the Who, Roger Waters, Jon Bon Jovi and Billy Joel are already confirmed for the event, with many others expected to be announced in the coming days.
Information about tickets will be posted when available at www.121212concert.org.
Devon Allman, the son of legendary Allman Brothers Band keyboard player Gregg Allman, will release his first solo album on Feb. 12, 2013. Turquoise will include contributions from two other members of Devon's most recent group, the Royal Southern Brotherhood. The album features a high energy version of Stop Draggin' My Heart Around, the song Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks recorded together for her 1981 Bella Donna release. Prior to forming the Brotherhood, Devon had a band that toured and recorded as Honeytribe. He has played live on occasion with the Gregg Allman Band.
Gregg and Devon's mother split when he was a baby and he did not not meet his father until more than a decade after his birth.
Rush picked-up 2012 Album of the Year and Band of the Year honors during the annual Classic Rock Awards ceremony at the Roadhouse in London. The Living Legend Award went to the Texas trio ZZ Top, and Pink Floyd received the nod for Film/DVD and Reissue of the Year for the Immersion compilation. A posthumous honor went to Jon Lord, keyboardist extraordinaire with Deep Purple, who was named the recipient of the Tommy Vance Inspiration Award. Gibson.com
The 19 year-old daughter of Jon Bonjovi was arrested after being transported in an unresponsive state to a hospital following a police investigation into drug use in a dormitory at Hamilton College, near Utica, New York in the early morning hours Wednesday (11/14). Stephanie Rose Bongiovi faced a charge of seventh degree possession of a controlled substance and fourth degree possession of marijuana filed by Kirkland, New York Police against her. Those charges were dismissed Thursday by the Oneida County District Attorney's Office citing a 2011 law that restricts prosecution of a witness that seeks help for the victim of an overdose as well as the victim his or her self. The witness in this case appears to be a 21 year male old also from Red Bank, New Jersey who was taken into custody during Wednesday Wednesday dorm incident on the campus of the prestigious college in Clinton, New York. A statement released by the college expressed its concern for the well being of students, praised the '...speed and expertise with which emergency personnel responded', but declined on the basis of its own policy and federal privacy regulations to discuss the particulars of the medical or disciplinary aspects of the incident. Jon Bon Jovi is scheduled to to do a benefit concert on behalf of the college in Times Square on December 5 and has been announced as a performer at the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy relief benefit concert at Madison Square Garden that will also include appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Roger Waters, the Who and Billy Joel. CourierPostOnline.comUticaOD.com
John Fogerty's life as an artist has more than enough unusual ingredients to make a book by him a likely good read. His brief but prolific run with Creedence Clearwater Revival produced an amazing number of great songs - including ones seldom heard on the radio. He had frequent battles with his brother and other CCR members, and was willing to stop performing a lot of his best material because of deeply dividing differences with his former record company - a conflict that went on for eons and eventually reached the Supreme Court. That battle sidelined his career and, worse still, left Fogerty unable to write songs. The book from 'The kid from El Cerito' (California) that '...wanted to be the best musician in the world' will get into the highs and lows of his musical and life journey and how he returned to writing and performing. The yet to be titled memoir is expected to be published in 2014 by Little Brown. Fogerty will narrate the audio book version. GratefulWeb.com
In addition to being a fine musician, Levon Helm earned praise for acting roles, including his down to earth portrayal of Loretta Lynn's father, in Coal Miner's Daughter, the 1980 biographical film about the country star. During the closing years of his own life, the former drummer for the Band allowed director Jacob Hartley to closely shadow him as he recorded Dirt Farmer, his 2007 award winning album, and hosted Midnight Rambles, late night musical get togethers in his Woodstock, New York recording studio that attracted some very interesting playing partners for free wheeling performances. Larry Campbell, the outstanding guitarist who has toured and recorded with Helm and Bob Dylan, calls Ain't In It For My Health, the film that Hartley has put together from the footage he collected during this fruitful period in the drummer's last years, '...a rare, artful, and honest glimpse into the fascinating world of one of our true American treasures.'
The new Barclay Center in Brooklyn lost out on the chance to get the first two Rolling Stones 50th anniversary U.S. concerts due scheduling conflicts with the New Jersey Nets home NBA schedule. Needing three nights so that simulcast gear for a pay-for-view production of the second concert could be set up and tested on the off day in between, the band opted to book the dates for Dec. 13 & 15 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey instead. Tickets for those two dates sold out so rapidly that the Stones have arranged to squeeze in a single night in the Brooklyn venue on Dec. 8, an off night between two Nets games. Tickets for the Barclay Center date go on sale 11/19.
Wrist watches are being abandoned by increasing numbers of people content to mark time with digital devices, but high-end time pieces valued more for the message they send than the time they keep are doing just fine. A rare platinum Rolex watch owned by Eric Clapton sold Monday (11/11) at a Swiss auction for $3.6 million. The guitar great has been wheeling and dealing. Over the course of the last several months Clapton has sold a portion of his exotic gun collection for hundreds of thousands of dollars, an abstract painting by a German artist for more than $34 million and taken delivery of a custom built Ferrari it is said he paid more than $4 million for. The idea that a watch fetched nearly enough to cover the cost of the Ferrari is mind boggling. Maybe the thought that someone just might cut your arm off to get a watch that valuable was disconcerting to EC. It's a safe bet the watch does not have a Slowhand. BusinessWeek.com
An attempted night landing in stormy weather of a helicopter carrying Paul McCartney and his wife reportedly came within a couple of feet of disaster. The pilot of the Sikorsky S-76-C made a stormy weather attempt to land at McCartney's East Sussex estate despite poor visibility, and rain. The chopper pilot reportedly became disoriented and misread the altimeter, almost putting it into trees south of the helipad before forcing the craft to climb steeply at the last second. The Daily Mail says that the incident has been categorized as a serious incident by the UK Department of Transportation Air Accidents Investigation Branch, meaning that it is investigating it as '...involving circumstances indicating that an accident nearly occurred.' After the near miss, the pilot diverted the helicopter to a nearby air field. DailyMail.co.uk
A recent visit to Walter Reed Medical Center to offer encouragement to soldiers receiving treatment for combat injuries inspired Roger Waters to invite several of them to join him when he performed at the annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit in New York Thursday (11/8). The former Pink Floyd member was joined by 14 wounded veterans on stage at the Bob Woodruff Foundation event at the Beacon Theater. Waters lost his grandfather in WW1 and his father was a victim of the Second World War. While Waters says he looks forward to keeping in contact with the veterans as they continue their recovery, he says he doubts that he will ever join up with his former Pink Floyd band mates, saying he is under the impression that David Gilmour considers himself retired - but added, '...I shouldn't speak for him'. Waters and the soldiers did a rendition of Wish You Were Here (CUE TO 1:19:30 in the video) for the annual benefit, which also featured appearances by Bruce Springsteen, and comedian-actor Robin Williams. News.Sky.com
As members of the Rolling Stones get ready for their first live performances together in several years, the group has released One More Shot, the second of two songs recorded during recent sessions in Paris.
Talking about the upcoming dates at London's O2 Arena and the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, Ron Wood says he looks forward to playing live and maintains that the thrill of being on stage never grows old for him, calling the live Stones experience '...totally fresh and totally new every time we get together.'
The band has been the target of some criticism over the price of tickets to the four concerts, prices Wood claims the group needs to charge to offset the enormous costs of touring and still allow members to '...make something'. That may be - but expect that criticism to spread and escalate unless the band offers to donate at least some of the proceeds from the Newark concerts (December 13 & 15)) to help Garden State residents still in crisis in the aftermath of the severe battering that Hurricane Sandy delivered to the region. The offer to match donations made by fans attending the concert might be a good way for the band to avoid getting itself caught up a crossfire hurricane of negative publicity and public opinion. Telegraph.co.uk
The Marshall Tucker Band is using its tour bus to collect blankets, jackets and other clothing items to assist fans in storm ravaged areas in the northeast get through the lengthy recovery period as cold weather grips the region and adds to the difficulties confronting displaced residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The group parked the bus outside an arena at its home base of Spartanburg, South Carolina Thursday (11/8) and encouraged people in the area to bring items by and meet the band as they collect things that can help suffering northerners. CelebrityAccess.com AP
Henry McCullough, the guitarist that recorded with Paul McCartney on his early solo albums, performed live with Joe Cocker on one of the signature sets at the 1969 Woodstock festival, and uttered the words 'I don't know, I was really drunk at the time' during the closing seconds of Money on Pink Floyd's epic album Dark Side Of The Moon is in critical condition after suffering a major heart attack Monday (11/5). McCullough parted ways with Wings just before sessions for Band On The Run began but can be heard on Helen Wheels and Live & Let Die. Noise911
Aerosmith warmed up hometown fans Monday (11/5) with a free concert outside the Commonwealth Ave. apartment building the band called home during its early days. Arriving in Duckboats for a noon performance delivered from a flatbed on a brisk Boston day, the veteran band drew a crowd of both the hard core and the curious to hear a set of music touching on all eras of the group's 40 years of cranking out tunes.
Also attending were Mayor Tom Menineo and QB Tom Brady and Robert Kraft of the
New England Patriots.
Music From Another Dimension, the first Aerosmith album of new material in several years, gets released the day after the free Boston appearance.
Bruce Springsteen makes a trio of last minute campaign appearances with President Obama Monday (5/5). Bruce reversed his pre-election plan to not take an active role in this year's presidential race a few weeks back with a couple of campaign appearances with former president Bill Clinton on behalf of the incumbent. Monday's swing state stops in Columbus, Ohio, Madison, Wisconsin and Iowa will be the first ones with Bruce and Obama appearing together.
Zeppelin fans holding out hope that a reunion concert or tour might still come together have found nothing in recent comments by the group's former members to make either scenario sound even remotely possible. They can, however, look forward to re mastered box sets of each Zeppelin album - a project being handled by guitarist Jimmy Page. Each album set will include material from the original
Aerosmith's Today Show appearance on NBC Friday provided double proof that expecting a rock band to have its act together first thing in the morning is a bad bet. A more alert Steven Tyler would have realized that greeting fans by shouting out 'Good morning America' on the morning show that competes with a show with that very name would bode badly for any future appearances or favorable Aerosmith coverage by the Today Show. In case that blunder was not enough, Tyler later dropped the F Bomb while referencing the live audience on hand for his group's breakfast performance.
To the network's credit, NBC did not block Tyler from appearing during the hastily convened Hurricane Sandy relief telethon that evening, where he joined Jimmy Fallon, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel on a version of Under The Boardwalk and Joe Perry and Brad Whitford on Dream On.
With many of the scenes that inspired his early songs decimated by hurricane Sandy, Bruce Springsteen will appear during a NBC telethon Friday night (11/2) to appeal to viewers around the country to make donations to assist people in crisis in the wake of one of the most devastating storms in our history. NYC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and Springsteen have gotten to know one another pretty well and each has a high regard for the other's work. One of the cruel ironies is that the storm bore the name Sandy, the subtitle to Fourth of July, Asbury Park, the song from Springsteen's debut album that made the Jersey shore a vivid place to people from all over that would never actually set foot in the Garden State.