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Noteworthy Now Archives for 2014-01

Sopranos star cancelled hit on Paul Simon


Some interesting stories have emerged with the recent passing of Nelson Mandela.  One of the more bizarre ones comes from E Street Band and Sopranos star Steven Van Zandt.  While visiting South Africain the 80's, the guitarist says he discovered that Paul Simon's name was on a list an anit-apartheid South African feedom fighter group had compiled of people it wanted assassinated.   Simon was apparently a prime target because he defied a global boycott organized against the South African regime in the process of making his Graceland album.  Van Zandt, who in 1985 joined Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, Pete Townshend, Keith Richards to record Sun City, a song protesting the regime, said, "In spite of my feelings about Paul Simon I said to them: 'Listen I understand your feelings about this; I might even share them, but this is not gonna help anybody if you knock off Paul Simon. Trust me on this, alright.' "


CSI Nabs Gene Simmons

Hollywood Reporter says Gene Simmons will portray himseld in a March episode of the CBS hit series CSI. The Rock themed mystery is tentatively scheduled to air on March 12. 

Roger Daltrey snipes at U2 & talks new album




Roger Daltrey took a swipe at U2 for ignoring his invitation to play a charity concert at Royal Albert Hall the week of March 24.  The Who front man says his personal invite to do a set to support the Teenage Cancer Trust usually gets accepted, but noted that U2 has, to this point, failed to respond.  Daltrey said, 'I've had very few people say no to playing. I should save their names for my book, but they're usually the ones who are saving the world instead.'
Roger also said that he and Pete Townshend want to get back to work on an album of new material.  Saying that Townshend has a slew of material for them to choose from, Daltrey reports, '...I'm always ready and raring to go', and adds, 'My voice is still in good shape. The hearing isn't so great, but the voice is fine.'



Crue confirms farewell tour with Alice Cooper (video)

Motley Crue fans will get a last chance to experience the thunderous spectacle of the band live when the Crue crew takes to the road for a retirement tour this summer and fall. Bolstered by Alice Cooper, the farewell tour includes nearly 70 shows, commencing on July 2 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and wrapping up in Vancouver.


Beatles tribute highlights (spoiler alert)

The Monday (1/27) Beatles tribute taping at the LA Convention Centre ends with a few combinations of artists that should produce covers that won't make fans cringe when CBS airs the special February 9th, the anniversary of the Fab Four's first appearance on the Ed Sulivan Show.  The early going could be rough, with Maroon 5, Alicia Keys, Katy Perry and a host of other pop acts doing their interpretations of Beatle classics, but things get better when Dave Grohl and Jeff Lynne get together for Hey Bulldog.  Joe Walsh and Lynne follow with Something, Grohl, Walsh and Gary Clark Jr. do While My Guitar Gently Weeps, and Stevie Wonder takes on We Can Work It Out. Ringo Starr delivers Matchbox and Yellow Submarine before Paul McCartney emerges to do Magical Mystery Tour, Birthday, Get Back, I Saw Her Standing There and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band. McCartney and Ringo then combine for With A Little Help From My Friends and the previous performers join them on Hey Jude.


Allman Brothers disbanding

38 years ago, the Allman Brothers Band released a live album titled The Road Goes On Forever.  In a literal sense, that will cease to be the case for the Southern Rock institution when 2014 comes to a close.  Gregg Allman, speaking with our friends at JamBands, said that the road remains open for future special occasion reunions invovling current and former members of the band, but regular tours will be a thing of the past for the Allman Brothers once 2014 comes to a close. Saying, 'This is it - this is the end of it', the founding younger Allman Brother announced, '45 years is enough and I want to do something else'. The decision comes just a few weeks after the bnad's two gutarists, Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes, released a statement saying they would leave the group by the end of this year (story).



RHCP won't do Zep classic at Super Bowl (video)

Chad Smith was just kidding, but we wish he wasn't.  The Red Hot Chili Pepper drummer was in LA for the Guitar Center Drum-Off finals in LA and was asked what his band has in store for their half time set at the Super Bowl.  Smith told Artisan News, 'We're gonna play Led Zeppelin's live version of Dazed And Confused.'  Two days later, Smith says the spur-of-the-moment comment was just a joke, pointing out that the live version of the song off Zeppelin's debut album was much too long to fit the tight format of the game's half time entertainment slot.  Hey, Chad... Immigrant Song would work and Communication Breakdown would both fit and be fitting!

McCartney & Starr perform together at Grammys

Ask a billion Beatles fans what song they's like to see Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr perform together and odds are good not a single one of the would have said Queenie Eye, but that's what the two elected to play together during the Grammy Awards ceremony Sunday (1/26).  With Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon in the audience, the pair took to the stage with Paul taking his place at a festively decorated upright paino and Ringo on drums.  On a night that saw McCartney take home a Grammy for Cut Me Some Slack, a song he recorded with Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighter drummer found his show performance with Queens of the Stone age, Nine Inch Nails and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac cut short as CBS ran closing credits over a distant view of the stage during the second song.  Led Zeppelin scored Best Rock Album for Celebration Day, the concert release of the group's 2007 reunion at London's O2 Arena.  Black Sabbath won the Best Hard Rock/Heavy Medal Grammy for God Is Dead.





Fleetwood Mac lays out album and tour plans



The recent confirmation that Christine McVie is back in the fold with Fleetwood Mac triggered immediate speculation about a new album and tour.  Mick Fleetwood, spaeking with Jon Woodhouse, relays word to fans that both are in the offing.  The drummer says current plans call for studio sessions to begin and March, whith the band hoping to hit the road with Chistine in tow in the autumn.  He also says that the keyboard player/vocalist has some new songs she is keen on having the band consider for the album



Broken nose earns Pearl Jam fan VIP treatment

A Pearl Jam fan lucky enough to find himself in a pick-up basketball game with the band's Jeff Ament and members of Arcade Fire in New Zealand was on the receiving end of an unintended high elbow from the bass player. Misfortune turned good for Sherif Hassan when Ament arranged free tickets and a backstage pass for Hassan when Pearl Jam and Arcade Fire played the Big Day Out festival in Auckland, where he also earned a shout out from Eddie Vedder during PJ's set.  His assessment of Ament's basketball skills? Hassan told Triple J Radio, 'He's aggressive, I'll tell you that much.'



U2 releasing new song via Super Bowl telecast



Invisible, a new track from U2, gets showcased in an ad running during the Super Bowl (2/2).  During the game and for 24 hours following it, the song will be available as a free download from the iTunes store, with Bank of America donating $1 per download for the first 2 million downloads to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. RED, Bono's Aids charity, has partnered with BOA in an effort to raise more than $10 million to battle Aids.



Springsteen concert downloads coming


Fans attending Bruce Springsteen concerts will soon have the option of getting a USB wristband that can be used to obtain an authorized live recording of the show.  Backstreets is indicating that concert recordings from the Australia & New Zealand tour stops will also be posted for anyone to purchase from the Live Nation online store in 320kbps mp3 ($9.99) or higher quality FLAC ($14.99) file formats.  The next round of Springsteen tour dates opens on Saturday with a first ever performance in Cape Town, South Africa. The Down Under dates launch in Western Australia's Perth on Feb. 5.


Ringo confirms report of reunion with McCartney

A Ringo Starr-Paul McCartney joint performance during the Grammy telecast looks like it won't Come Together, but a reunion of the two on stage is a lock for a CBS special being recorded in LA the following day (Monday. 1/27). Access Hollywood says that the drummer gave them a confirmation that he and Sir Paul will perform together for The Night That Changed America: A Grammys Salute to The Beatles.  The network will air the program on Feb. 9th, the 50th anniversary of the night the Beatles performed live on the Ed Sullivan Show.



Neil Young goes low tech on March release


Reports that Neil Young and Jack White were working together on an album of cover songs have been discredited by a post on Young's Facebook page calling them 'False Rumours'. Young will release an album titled A Letter Home in March that was done in the unique recording environment of White's Nashville studio, Third Man.  Speaking with Rolling Stone, Young called the project ' of the lowest-tech experiences I've ever had', which, for Neil, is a good thing.  
On a higher tech note, Young plans to unveil Pono, his new ultra fidelity music file format and player, at SXSW in Austin, Texas in March.  That announcement came from Neil as he accepted the President's Merit Award from the Recording Academy.  Young's quest to develop a higher quality format alternative to mp3 has been going on for some time.



Raucous jam planned for Grammy close

The Grammy Awards ceremony Sunday (1/26) should end loud.  Queens Of The Stone Age will reportedly take the stage joined by Foo Fighter Dave Grohl, members of Nine Inch Nails and Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac.

Janis Joplin musical moving off Broadway


The Lyceum Theatre run of performances of A Night With Janis Joplin will come to a close in February, but producers of the musical are confident they will find an off Broadway location in New York to continue staging the show that has wowed audiences with command performances by Mary Bridget Davies in the lead role. An announcement from the trio of producers says, 'A Night With Jans Joplin receives four standing ovations nightly and continues to play to captivated crowds on Broadway.  We know the music and the story of Janis Joplin deserves to live on.' An announcement on where is expected soon.  The production opened at the Lyceum last fall (story).



Santana plans outreach for homeless

The glitz and glamor of The Strip in Vegas masks a reality that Las Vegas shares with too many other American cities - a population of people who live on the streets.  Carlos Santana does not want to '...tell people who to be, what to do or how to do it', but he does want to help provide resources so that homeless people in Las Vegas have options and opportunities that are not available to them now.  Citing the good work that tennis great Andre Agassi has done by leveraging his name and recognition to raise money for schools that offer college preparatory schooling for kids that would otherwise have little or no chance at a higher education, the guitar legend says also he plans on '...reaching out to the people with deep pockets and beautiful hearts' by staging annual benefit concerts to raise funds to support housing and programs for those living on the streets.  A recent personal experience may have inspired Santana. A San Francisco TV reporter happened across an original member of the 1960's Santana Blues Band while doing a story on the homeless on the streets of Oakland (story).  He contacted the guitarist and arranged a meeting of the two.  Santana has since provided Marcus Malone an apartment and will invite the conga player to Henderson, Nevada in February when most of the original members of Santana reconvene to start recording a new album that harks back to the early 70's sound of the group (story).



Limited release of vintage Stones material announced

The soundtrack to the film Charlie Is My Darling: Ireland 1965 get a limited time release in digital form starting Tuesday (1/21).  The 13 song collection of early Rolling Stones songs is up for a Grammy in the Best Historical Album category.
The album features Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Pain In My Heart, Down The Road Apiece, Time Is On My Side, I'm Alright, Little Red Rooster, Route 66, I'm Moving On,The Last Time and the Everybody Needs Somebody To Love reprise.

Metallica 'completely insane' during Grammy performance


Kirk Hammett says the arrangement the band and Lang Lang have worked-up for the group's appearance during the Grammy telecast is '...really cool and it's really dynamic'. The pianist will have a role in the song from the ...And Justice For All album that the guitarist says is unlike anything anyone has done with the band. 'He's going to be weaving in and out of my guitar solos, which is amazing for me, because I've never played with another instrument that's been able to do that so effortlessly', says Hammett.  Rest assured, it will still rock.  Kirk adds, 'We're keeping all the heavy parts.'  The Grammy Awards take place at the Staples Center Sunday night (1/26).


Springsteen lights-up Jersey benefit (video)

Calling it a 'surprise appearance' is a bit of a stretch when he's been a regular at plenty of the previous events, but Bruce Springsteen missed last year's Light Of Day benefit, so there was heightened expectation in the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park Saturday night (1/18).  Bruce emerged during the Parkinson's Disease benefit to join Jesse Marlin on the Ramones Do You Remember Rock 'N Roll Radio and later accompanied Willie Nile on the song One Guitar. It was close to midnight when Springsteen returned to the stage with Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers for a full set that included Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Hearts Of Stone, Atlantic City, Because The Night, The Promised Land, Thunder Road and Frankie Fell In Love, a track from High Hopes, the album he released this past Tuesday. Things didn't wrap-up until nearly 1:30 on Sunday morning.  It was Springsteen's first appearance in his home state since December of 2012, when he played with the Rolling Stones at the Prudential Center in Newark.




Fallon with U2 on Tonight Show debut

Jimmy Fallon takes over the Tonight Show in its regular 11:30pm slot on Feb. 17 with Will Smith and U2 as his lead guests.  The week prior to that, the latest successor to Jack Parr, Johnny Carson and Jay Leno will have a run of shows that will start after NBC's nightly Olympics coverage wraps up at midnight.  Leno's final Tonight show will be Feb. 6 with Garth Brooks and Billy Crystal. Seth Meyers slides into Fallon's former time slot and has SNL cohort Amy Poehler booked for his first show.  Our suggestion to them and all of the sports commentators; it's way past time to retire the coat & tie look.

Massive Little Feat collection coming

A 13 disc set encompassing the two decades Little Feat spent on the Warner Brothers roster will be released February 25th by Rhino Records. Rad Gumbo: The Complete Warner Bros. Years 1971-1990 includes every studio and live album released by the band in that time frame along with a number of outtakes and bonus tracks.

Jackson Browne tribute album due


A host of admirers including Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen and Don Henley have recorded versions of Jackson Browne songs to be included on Looking Into You,  a double disc that tribute getting released April 1.  Some of the bigger names of the project have selected lesser known songs by Browne.  Springsteen and and wife Patti Scialfa do Linda Paloma, Bonnie Raitt covers Everywhere I Go with guitarist David Lindley and Bruce Hornsby is heard on I'm Alive. His biggest songs are covered by Don Henley (These Days), Paul Thorn (Doctor My Eyes), Rob Schneider (Running On Empty), Lucinda Williams (The Pretender), Keb Mo' (Rock Me On The Water) and Ben Harper (Jamaica Say You Will).



John Lennon's country estate on the market

The country estate an hour from London that John Lennon paid just over $32,000 for in 1964 is on the market for just over $22 million.  The sprawling Surrey house John and Cynthia lived in was where John did much of the writing that would appear on the groups transformative albums of the mid to late 60's. Paul McCartney, who preferred to remain in London, made regular visits to write with John. John also hosed a vist with Bob Dylan at the six bedroom Tudor style home.  Most of Lennon's writing and informal recording was done in a small den toward the back of the house or a top floor room, which was where he and Yoko Ono recorded most of the songs that appeared on the Two Virgins album.  The house is also where Cynthia discovered John and Yoko together when she returned from vacationing in Greece.  The house was sold not long after.


Yes recording with new vocalist (video)

Producer Roy Thomas Baker is producing a new album with Yes that finds the veteran Prog Rock outfit featuring a lead singer named Jon, but not Jon Anderson. Jon Davison joined the band in 2012, replacing Jon Anderson replacement Benoit David.  Anderson, who was sidelined by an illness a few years ago, was bitter when he discoved hs band mates had elected to retain Benoit instead of welcoming their original lead singer back following his recovery.  Yes will embark on a Canadian tour in March performing album concerts featuring The Yes Album, Clsoe To The Edge and Going For The One. Does Davison do justice to Yes classics sung by Anderson?  You decide.





BTO added to Canadian Hall Of Fame

The Guess Who gained entry to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame back in 1987.  Randy Bachman becomes a two-time member during the Junos in March when Bachman-Turner Overdrive gets inducted.  Bachman parted ways with the Guess Who in the spring of 1970, forming a group called Brave Belt in western Canada with another Guess Who alum, Chad Allan.  They also enlisted Fred Turner shortly after releasing a debut album.  Allan was replaced by Randy's brother, Tim, the following year.  Before the next album came out in 1973, the group had changed its name to Bachman-Turner Overdrive.  Bachman-Turner Overdrive II, released in May of 1974, brought BTO major success on both sides of the border with Let It Ride, Takin' Care Of Business and You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, a #1 song in Canada and the US. Randy Bachman left the group in 1977.

2014 Jazz Festival lineup announced (video)

The 2014 New Orleans Jazz Festival features so many Rock acts that the slide show of top-draw acts on the official web site doesn't include a Jazz act.  During the annaul event's 45th anniversay run, Festival goers will have the chance to take-in sets by Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Santana, Robert Plant, John Fogerty, Boz Scaggs, Phish, Arcade Fire and dozens of others. The Festival runs from April 25 - May 4. Single day advance sale tickets are $50 through 1/31, $55 2/1-4/24 and will be $70 at the gate.  

McCartney & Starr confirmed for Grammys

The January 26 Grammy Awards program got some additional fire power with confirmation that the two surviving Beatles will perform.  While there was no early guarantee the two will play together during the ceremony, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr would probably just as soon not suffer the consequences of dashing the expectations of the millions that will tune-in expressly to see that happen.  They last performed together four years ago.  McCartney is nominated for the Best Rock Song Grammy for Cut Me Some Slack, the song he recorded with Dave Grohl & Krist Novoselic.  Ringo has a lock on his hardware that evening in the Staples Center.  He will be given the Recording Academy's 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.



Dire Straits alums form new group

The Experience without Hendrix, Zeppelin without Page, Jethro Tull without Ian Anderson... non starters.  Plenty of Dire Straits fans would argue that hearing that band's material without Mark Knopfler will be similarly lacking, but Alan Clark and Chris White aim to prove them wrong.  The pair has recruited five additional players including Steve Ferrone, a frequent addition to Tom Petty's band, for a US tour using the name The Straits that opens Feb. 28.

2/28 – Manistee, MI - Little River Casino
3/01 – Annapolis, MD - Rams Head On Stage

3/02 – Portland, ME - Asylum Nightclub Concert Venue
3/03 – Buffalo, NY - Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
3/04 – Red Bank, NJ - Count Basie Theatre
3/05 – Englewood, NJ - Bergen Performing Arts Center
3/07 – St. Charles, IL - Arcada Theatre
3/08 – Osceola, IA - Lakeside Casino
3/09 – Grand Forks, ND - Chester Fritz Auditorium, University of North Dakota
3/15 – Flagstaff, AZ - Twin Arrows Casino
3/16 – Tucson, AZ - Fox Theatre
3/20 – Lakeland, FL - The Lakeland Center
3/22 – Albuquerque, NM - Isleta Casino
3/24 – Seattle, WA -| Neptune Theatre

3/25 – Portland, OR - Alhambra Theatre
3/26 – Tuolumne, CA - Black Oak Casino
3/27 – Boise, ID - Egyptian Theatre
3/28 – Stateline, NV - Montblueu Casino Resort
3/29 – Las Vegas Cannery Resort and Casino



Fallon & Springsteen team on Christie spoof (video)

You could see it coming... but it was still hilarious.  On the day Bruce Springsteen released High Hopes, an album of re-recorded odds & sods from his career, his appearance on Jimmy Fallon's show set aside the wrenching tone of those songs  to join his host on a version of Born To Run reconstructed as a scathing parody about Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's lane closure debacle.  Christie, a self-professed Springsteen fanatic, is awkwardly out of synch with Springsteen on a number of state and national issues.  This video will probably have him laughing and crying...



David Crosby talks about new release (video)

David Crosby releases his first solo album in two decades January 27.  Croz is an album the Byrds and CSN(&Y) member calls '...a complete departure' from anything he has done to this point in his long career.  Guesting on the album are Wynton Marsalis and Dire Straits guitar great Mark Knopfler.  Crosby expects to do a series of live solo dates in the UK in support of the eleven track album.





Joe Perry lands movie role

Joe Perry has been chosen for a role in the movie Cottonwood, a murder-mystery period piece set in West Texas during the Dust Bowl era.  The Aerosmith guitarist will play Joe Walker, a character in the story about a sheriff implicated in the  murder of a local red neck.  Perry says he is '...extremely prod and excited to be a part f this very distinguished, heartfelt film'.  The movie is a period piece that takes place during the Dust Bowl era. Others in the cast include Louis Gossett, Jr., Alsion Eastwood and Anthony Michael Hall, who is also the Producer of the film.


Chili Peppers join Super Bowl halftime


The Red Hot Chili Peppers are crossing a couple of rivers to perform during halftime of this year's Super Bowl (2/2). The band is in the lineup of a sold-out Hello Brooklyn concert being stage at the new Barclays Center in Queens the night before the big game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. It's not yet clear whether the band will be playing with perviously announced halftime entertainer Bruno Mars or will be doing their own set.

U2 does unannounced set in LA


The members of U2 were all in LA to attend the Golden Globes in case their song on the Mandela movies soundtrack earned a Golden Globe, which it did on Sunday night (1/12).  Their presence also provided a high profile boost to an organization providing ongoing relief to Haiti.  Bono and The Edge joined Haitian artists Anaelle Jean-Pierre on a song during a benefit for the J/P Haitian Relief Organization Saturday nigh tin the Montague Hotel Ballroom in Beverly Hills. Later during the fund raisier, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen emerged with Bono & The Edge and performed I Will Follow, Desire and Vertigo. The brief set marked the first time U2 had performed publically since wrapping up its 360° Tour three years ago.  The benefit netted about $6 million.


Christine McVie back in Mac

The 15 year hiatus Christine McVie has taken from Fleetwood Mac is officially over. The long anticipated confirmation that she is back with the group came when Mick Fleetwood went on mic during a concert in Hawaii Friday night (1/10) and said, 'This is the worst kept secret there is, but Christine McVie will be rejoining Fleetwood Mac'.  McVie sent clear signals to the group after performing with them during concerts at London's O2 Arena in the fall that she would likely take them up on an invitation to return to the fold. Why it has taken so long for the arrangement to be confirmed as a done deal is unclear.


Musicians honor Gregg Allman

A sold-out crowd of fans gathered at the Fox Theater in Atlanta Friday (1/10) for a night that featured more than two dozen songs performed in tribute to Gregg Allman.  All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman was captivating from Come & Go Blues, the opening number delivered by departing Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes with help from ABB & Rolling Stones keyboard player Chuck Leavell, through an encore that featured a shoulder-to-shoulder cast of musicians spanning the width of the stage for Will The Circle Be Unbroken. Between, the crowd and musicians were treated to versions of One Way Out by John Hiatt, Widespread Panic doing Wasted Words, Allman joining Taj Mahal on Statesboro Blues, Dr. John taking on Let This Be A Lesson To Ya, Devon Allman, Jimmy Hall and Robert Randolph teaming on Can't Lose What You Never Had and many others.  Gregg re-emerged to do Melissa with Jackson Browne and Zac Brown and Vince Gill on Midnight Rider. He remained for the encore with fellow members of the Allman Brothers doing Dreams and Whipping Post befroe the all-in version of Circle ended the evening.  The evening was recorded for future release.



Tom Morello wants solo to be 'the Hendrix of now' (video)

Tom Morello,who plays on most of the songs on High Hopes,  the album Bruce Springsteen releases Tuesday (1/14), has signed on to fill-in for Steve Van Zandt on Bruce & his E Street Band's upcoming tour of Australia.  The former Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave member has also been developing songs for a new solo album of his own, one he wants to qualify as, '...the craziest guitar record that anyone's ever heard.' Morello says the potential of merging what he calls his 'folk singing' with the kind of intense electric guitar he is best known for dawned on him when he first did the electrified version of The Ghost of Tom Joad with Springsteen.  How far does he aim to push the envelope?  He tells Billboard that he wants the music he's making to be thought of as, '...the Hendrix of now'. Morello plans to begin recording it in March.



Members of Crowes, REM, J Geils Band step up to the plate

One of the cooler between seasons events in baseball takes place at the Paradise Club in Boston Saturday night (1/11) when Peter Gammons and former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein host their annual Hot Stove, Cool Music benefit to raise money for the Foundation To Be Named Later.  The Hot Stove All-Stars features Gammons with Little Feat's Paul Barrere, Seth Justman of the J. Geils Band, Cubs broadcaster Len Casper and several others.  Also performing, the Baseball Project, an outfit that includes representatives of REM, the Black Crowes and occasional past vocalsit with the Dead Joan Osborne.

A Letterman Show McCartney-Starr reunion?

Reports are circulating that David Letterman is attempting to get Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to perform together on the set of his CBS show, which is housed in the Ed Sullivan Theater, site of the Beatles landmark television performance in February, 1964 during the group's first visit to the US.  Friday the 7th is being talked about as the most likely date, if Letterman and his crew manages to convince the pair.  That would put them back on television performing together on the 50th anniversary of the day the two landed at JFK with John Lennon and George Harrison.


Allmans losing Haynes & Derek Trucks

The Allman Brothers Band has reached a number of major turning points during its decades together. 2014 started with rumors the legendary Southern Rock group was on the verge of losing its bass player Oteil Burbridge to the Zac Brown Band. Within a couple of days of that departure getting debunked, two other members have announced that they are leaving the group.  The official announcement came via statements released guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks on Wednesday (1/8).  Haynes, who hooked up with the band in 1989 as a touring guitarist wih no promises of being invited to become a full time member, called his 25 year run with the group ' amazing experience' and added that he looks forward to continuing the, '...friendship and musical relationships I have with each of the members'.  Trucks, who joined the band at the age of 19 wrote that the call he got inviting him to join the band 15 years ago '...was out of the blue and felt surreal' and called himself '...proud to have made a small contribution to the masterful music they have created over the past forty years.' Both guitarists plan to continue their respective other bands, Haynes with Gov't Mule and Trucks with his wife, Susan, in the Tedeschi-Trucks Band.  Both will also apparently remain with the group for its 45th Anniversary concert dates this year.


William Hurt lands Gregg Allman role


Wyatt Russells was cast several weeks ago in the role of Duane Allman for the film version of Gregg Allman's biopic that draws on his best selling autobiography, My Cross To Bear.  The Young Gregg will be portrayed by All American Rejects singer Tyson Ritter (story). The film's producers have now revealed that actor William Hurt is accepting the challenge of playing Gregg in his more recent years.  The movie is scheduled to begin shooting in Savannah, Georgia in February.

Musicians Hall Of Fame adds Frampton, Stevie Ray, Bachman, & Buddy Guy


Neil Young, Billy Gibbons and Kenny Wayne Shepherd are slated to be on hand to welcome new inductees to the Musicians Hall Of Fame in Nashville on January 28.  The Hall will add Peter Frampton, Guess Who, BTO veteran Randy Bachman, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan and his band Double Trouble, Blues legend Buddy Guy and the late pedal steel master Ben Keith to its ranks. Other artists participating in the event include  the Oak Ridge Boys and  Duane Eddy. The event takes place in the city's Historic Municipal Auditorium, the building that also houses the museum.

Coverdale & Vandenberg work together (video)

Former Whitesnake guitar wiz Adrian Vandenberg will release his first full studio album in 16 years on February 24th. Vandenberg's MoonKings self-titled debut closes with a new version of his former band's Sailing Ships with 'snakes front man David Coverdale providing the vocal.



Grammy-CBS Beatles tribute takes shape

The influence of the Beatles transcended genres, so having representatives of Pop and Country included in the tribute the Grammy organization is putting together for the special CBS will air live on the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four's Febuary 9, 1964 landmark appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show is appropriate.  But the group's direct and lasting influence on Rock was tremendous, so having the Eurythmics as the only confirmed participants that come close to being considered Rock is lame... but our expectations of an organization that once awarded Jethro Tull the Heavy Metal Grammy are always kept in check.  Scheduled to join Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart on stage that night are John Mayer, Keith Urban, Alicia Keys, John Legend and Maroon 5.



Sabbath Sneaker debuts

Converse has been dipping its toes into Rock themed footwear for some time. The sneaker manufacturer recently added a CONS Chuck Taylor Black Sabbath album based lineup to its high top sneaker selection. Black (of course) sneakers featuring the cover art from the band's self-titled debut album, Paranoid, Never Say Die! and Vol. 4 are available for Sabbath fans willing to shell out $60-$70 to pad around in them.  But don't forget, just because you're in Paranoids doesn't mean someone isn't following you.

Farm Aid has Carolina in mind

John Mellencamp, whose son is attending Duke, hinted that the 2014 Farm Aid concert will be in the Raleigh-Durham, area.  John's remark came during the opening ceremony of the Chik-fil-A Bowl game, which the younger Mellencamp suited-up for.  John is one of the charter members of Farm Aid's collective of musical organizers, but 'Maybe' is as close as the group is willing to come to confirming that this year's fund raising festival will be staged in North Carolina.  The prospect that it will has the Director of the state's Rural Advancement Foundation International jacked up.  Scott Marlow says RAFI has worked with Farm Aid on a number of initiatives that support farming.  The boost having the concert there represents would be especially welcome to him because tobacco farmers will be losing payments put in place to assist them while they transitioned from a quota system to a free-market one this year.  There's some irony in that; Mellencamp has tried to kick a smoking habit for years. One of his sons even waged a Facebook campaign to rally support for his efforts to get his dad to kick butts.



Paul Stanley dials down KISS induction reunion

Paul Stanley is playing the role of spoiler.  The KISS front man said 'no way' when a fan asked if the original members would play together for the April 16 induction ceremony.  He toned that down a bit,saying  the prospect of the surviving members reuniting during the event 'Seems unlikely'.  Ace Frehley has sounded eager to rejoin the band on stage at the Barclays Center in Queens but that since the event is about honoring the original members, Current guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer should not appear decked out in the band's trademark costumes and makeup. 

John Fogerty's biggest pain exits

We're not sure if John Fogerty had Saul Zaentz in mind when he recorded You Rascal You (I'll be glad when you're dead, you rascal, you...) or whether he is, in fact, happy the former owner of Creedence Clearwater Revival's record company is dead, but he had ample reason to resent the man.  Zaentz, a shrewed business man, ended up owning everything the band recorded while under contract to the label, earning himself tens of millions in royalties that, otherwise, would have gone to Fogertyand other members of CCR.  Determined to reduce the royalty stream bypassing him, Fogerty refused for decades to perform the songs he'd written and recorded while in Creedence. After John extracated himself from the label, Zaentz sued him seeking $140 million in damages for recording solo songs on which Zaentz said Fogerty sounded too much like he did on songs he'd sung while at Fantasy.  Fogerty prevailed, recouping his legal costs in the settlement and later writing two scathing songs about Zaentz, Zanz Can't Dance and Mr. Greed.  The first song triggered another suit against Fogerty, resulting in a title change to Vanz Can't Dance.  Well, Fogerty can now dance on his grave.  Zaentz died at 92.



Crowes drummer takes to the air


The latest hiatus for the Black Crowes has opened up an opportunity for drummer Steve Gorman to pursue another passion of his.  Gorman has accepted an afternoon hosting gig with Fox Sports.  He breaks into the lineup on January 27, promising a show that will present a mix of atheletes and musicians '...talking, laughing and arguing' about both sports and music.


Def Leppard member launches blues based side project (video)

The idea of Power Rocker Phil Collen ripping into the blues might seem like unlikely...  add the fact the Def Leppard guitarist doing it with his wife's god-mother and a member of Stone Temple Pilots and it gets even more bizarre, but it's a fact and if the video clip below is any indication, it's gonna be worth hearing.  Collen, speaking with Artisan News said, 'When Debbi (Blackwell-Cook) is around the house she sings all the time, and I've goy guitars in every room.  It naturally started going into stuff, and before you knew it we were doing Motown songs.'  The informal sessions morphed into a decision to record.  Collen's Man Raze partners Simon Laffy and Paul Cook are in on it, as well as Stone Temple Pilots veteran Robert DeLeo.


Robbie Robertson discusses visit with Levon (video)

Relationships between Robbie Robertson and other members of the Band pretty much tanked when Robertson left the group, but the guitarist claims that he and Levon Helm were '...never not friends.'  That said, he and his former drummer seemed to make a point of not crossing paths after the The Last Waltz.  In a recent appearance on CBC TV's George Stroumboulpoulos Tonight program, Robertson revealed that he did visit Helm in the hospital shortly before the drummer and vacalist died.  The visit came right after the 2012 Rock Hall Of Fame induction ceremony. (Cue to 6:30 for that segment.)





Creedence bass player's new house ignites

A Sarasota, Florida house recently bought by Creedence Clearwater Revival bass player Stu Cook got cooked New Year's Day when a fire broke-out.  There were no injuries in the structure fire in the home near the bridge to Siesta Key.  The house has been unoccupied while being renovated.



Springsteen links new album to CBS show

High Hopes, the new release from Bruce Springsteen, was briefly leaked by Amazon last Saturday (12/28), diluting the validity of CBS claiming its airing of new tracks from the album in prime time two days before the official release a world premier, but it will still attract a lot of eyeballs and ears to the January 12 episode of The Good Wife. The title track, the remake of The Ghost Of Tom Joad and Hunter of Invisible Game will be in the Jan. 12 program and one song from the collection bows during the preview for that episode that trails the January 5 show.  Fans eager to hear the album but not watch the show need only to go to after the east coast airing of the show to stream the whole release.  That stream stays active until 7pm eastern on Monday the 13th.



AC/DC taking to the road in 2014

Angus Young says that AC/DC plans to mount a 40th anniversary tour before the year is out.  Where, when and how long details have yet to be worked out, but news the band will be doing concerts gives Hard Rock fans and ear specialists all the more reason to be excited about 2014.



ABB announces Beacon dates, squelch rumors of lineup change


The Allman Brothers Band has firmed up a schedule for the group's 2014 series of New York City dates.  The Beacon Theatre hosts the band and its special guests for 10 nights, commencing on March 7 and wrapping up March 22. Ticket sales start Jan. 10 at 10am (Eastern).  The announcement came amid reports that bassist Oteil Burbridge was  considering leaving the Allmans for the Zac Brown Band.  Gregg Allman added fuel to that while talking with Rolling Stone, prompting Burbridge to lay the rumor to rest via his own Facebook pageafter Butch Trucks took to his to call accounts about Burbridge leaving 'absolute BS'.  Not the first time Gregg Done Somebody Wrong.


2014 Allman Brother Beacon Theatre concerts
March 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, 22


Kinks reunion closer than ever

Collaborating on a soundtrack to accompany a book about the Kinks could finally convince Ray and Dave Davies to reunite the former members of the seminal Brit band.  Speaking with Uncut, Ray called a Kinks reunion ' close as it's ever been to happening'. Dave piped up, adding that he thought it would ' a great shame if we don't try and do something'.  The idea also got a thumbs up from drummer Mick Avory, who said. 'I think it would be nice to do something all together.'  If it does finally come about, including some new material may crucial from Ray's standpoint.  Speaking with ABC News, he said he has no interest in a tour of just Kinks classics. 'I must write something new, something fresh, because as long as I'm alive, I'm living in the present world and I want to be inspired by it'.




Cream bassist prepares new album

Add former Cream bass player and vocalist to the list of veteran rockers that will release new music in 2014.  Jack Bruce returns with Silver Rails in March.  The release will include John Medeski (keyborads) and Cindy Blackman Santana (drums), a pair that contributed to a 2012 fusion album Bruce released titled More Jack Than God.  Here's a glimpse of what to expect from Jack & company.



Alice Cooper's all-star New Years Eve concert (video)

Alice Cooper's New Years Eve concert included appearances by Sammy Hagar, Steven Tyler, Richie Sambora, members of the Doobie Brothers and more. Guests attending the bash at the Wailea Marriott in Maui forked over $500 to support the local food bank on the notoriously expensive Island.  According to TMZ, Sambora was an unexpected addition to the lineup.  He was vacationing with his daughter in the vacinity and decided to take part on the spur of the moment.






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