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Noteworthy Now Archives for 2014-02

Zeppelin outtakes being sold (audio)

Archived outtakes recorded during the sessions that produced Physical Graffiti are being put on the auction block. The Zeppelin recordings come from the collection of producer Ron Nevinson.  In addition to the Zep work, the auction being conducted from March 13-20 will feature recordings made at Eric Clapton's Rainbow concert that resulted in his 1973 comeback album, early mixes from Bad Company's 1974 debut album and material from Ozzy Osbourne and the Who. Additional items being offered include a pair of glasses that belonged to John Lennon and an autographed first pressing of Twist & Shout.


Kenny Wayne Shepherd gets all-star support

Kenny Wayne Shepherd has earned himself a lot of big name fans and several of them will be heard on his next album. Goin' Home, due May 5th, will feature tracks that include Joe Walsh, Ringo Starr, Warren Haynes and Kim Wilson.  Shepherd calls the 12 track recording one that '...pays homage to the spirit of the original music', that being the blues tunes and musicians that inspired him to learn to play. Among the better known songs included on the release are The House Is Rockin', You Can't Judge a Book By The Cover and Born Under A Bad Sign.

Asia debuts Howe replacement (video)

Valkyrie is the title of the first Asia song featuring Sam Coulson, the 25 year-old guitarist the band recruited to replace Steve Howe (story).  The track appears on Gravitas, the release due March 25th.


Neil Young combos cars & tunes in new book


Neil Young has been working on a follow-up to his 2012 book, Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream.  The as-yet untitled memoir focusing on his shared passion for music and automobiles will be published in the fall by Blue Rider Press, a division of Penguin.



Springsteen new tracks for Record Store Day


Fans less than thrilled with High Hopes can hope for something better when Bruce Springsteen releases some songs recorded during the sessions that were left off the album.  The three tracks plus a fourth of unknown origin will come out on vinyl for Record Store Day April 19.  The three High Hopes sessions songs are American Beauty, Mary, Mary and Hey Blue Eyes.  The other song is titled Hurry Up Sundown.  A DVD of performances recorded during the 2013 MusiCares Person Of The Year tribute honoring The Boss is also in the works.



Peach Fest back in PA

The Allman Brothers Band is gearing up for its annual March run at the Beacon Theatre, but guitarist Warren Haynes is also looking forward to renewing his two Northeast outdoor gatherings this summer.  The long established Mountain Jam returns to Hunter Mountain on the eastern edge of the Catskills early in the summer and his more recent venture, the Peach Music Festival, is back for its second year at a ski area near Scranton, PA in mid August.  The Allmans will make two appearances, including a festival closing set at the Peach on the 17th, and plans a complete performance of the double Eat A Peach album.



USPS considers Rock stamp series

The US Postal Service is reportedly planning a Music Icons series of postage stamps that will feature John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and a number of other musicians. If put in circulation, the stamp bearing the image of Lennon will be the first US stamp to feature a foreigner. Other musicians expected to be featured include, Roy Orbison, Willie Dixon, Sam Cooke, Fats Waller and Sarah Vaughan.

Tragedy on Gregg Allman biopic film set

The filming of a dream sequence for the Gregg Allman biopic turned into a nightmare Friday (2/20) when a 27 year-old crew member was struck and killed by a train.  The scene, set on a railroad track outside Jessup, Georgia, plunged into chaos when a train the crew apparently had not been told was scheduled to be on the track suddenly barrelled onto the trestle.  An assistant member of the film crew died at the scene and several others were injured by flying objects after the impact of the locomotive with equipment and props at the site.


Robert Plant tour and album update (video)

Robert Plant plans to spend time on the road with his Sensational Space Shifters this summer.  The former pipes of Led Zeppelin says the summer trek opens in Sweden on June 10th and will include a dozen dates in Europe, followed by a consecutive nights in Osaka, Japan August 16 & 17.  The group's new album, recorded in Peter Gabriel's UK studio, should be ready for release in the spring.



Jim Morrison's FSU roommate strikes Road Show gold (video)

A book on magic Jim Morrison gave his Florida State University roommate as a Christmas present in 1963 was appraised as being worth $8-$10,000 during a recent PBS Antiques Roadshow.  Ed Martin, a retired school teacher, brought the copy of A History Of Magic that the future lead singer of The Doors inscribed to him when he was 19 to the show, where book and Doors memorabilia expert Timothy Gordon shared the good news about the book's value with Martin and viewers. He also got the reserved Martin, who never became much of a Doors fan, to relate a couple of stories about Morrison during his brief time at FSU.





Johnson dishes on AC/DC plans (audio)

While in South Florida for the Palm Beach Grand Prix, singer and high-octane car fanatic Brian Johnson checked-in with Andy Preston of 98.7 The Gater to talk about AC/DC's upcoming plans.  In addition to confirming that the group plans to hit the road for a 40th anniversary trek, Johnson revealed that they plan to spend time in the studio this spring working-up new material.  Hear Preston's phone chat with Johnson below.


Origin of Wind Cries Mary (video)

Jimi Hendrix is acknowledged by just about everyone to be one of the three or four most gifted players to ever pick up an electric guitar, but his way with words also sets Hendrix apart from others.  One of his most poignant and poetic songs was written after very unpleasant dinner with his girlfriend.  Kathy Etchingham recently granted an interview to Witness, a BBC World Service program, in which she related the story behind The Wind Cries Mary. It seems Jimi was moved to write the lyrics after Hendrix made disparaging remarks about the lumpy mashed potatoes she prepared for dinner one night.  She ended up walking out on the guitarist and, when she returned, was greeted by the new song.





U2 does Fallon rooftop performance (video)

Members of U2 took to the roof of NBC's New York City studios Monday (2/17) to perform for Jimmy Fallon's first night as anchoring The Tonight Show.  The high visibility rendition of Invisible was one of many highlights during a strong debut for the late night institution's new host.

David Crosby sidelined

A cardiac catheterization and angiogram ordered by doctors after a stress test has forced David Crosby to postpone a tour in support of Croz, his first solo album in two decades. The CSN, CSN&Y and Byrds veteran's left anterior artery was 90% bocked.  Crosby says 'I am very glad that I listened to my doctors and my family. It seems I am once again a very lucky man.'  Crosby has defied the odds by surviving several close calls related to his health, many of them caused by a history of pretty hard living.



30 fans get in on Stones rehearsal

Around thirty Rolling Stones fans standing around outside a rehearsal studio in Paris Friday afternoon (2/14) while members of the Stones worked on material for their upcoming tour got invited in out of the cold by the band and treated to a seven song set.  One of the lucky ones told France 24 that someone representing the band '...came out and wrote a number on our hands. At the time there were 27 of us. We were all brought inside.' Once in, the band cranked out a set that included Doom And Gloom, She's So Cold, Silver Train, Slipping Away, Before They Make Me Run, Paint It Black and Sympathy For The Devil.



Van Halen wanted Patty Smyth

Patty Smyth claims that she was Eddie Van Halen's first choice to replace David Lee Roth when he went solo in 1985. The rumored offer has surfaced repeatedly over the years, but the Scandal lead singer recently shed some additional light on the circumstances.  Speaking with writer Roger Hillis, Smyth says she got the offer directly from Eddie and says she was asked to keep quiet about it '...because they didn't want Sammy Hagar to feel like he was the second choice'.  Smyth says she turned down the invite because she was pregnant, did not want to move to the west coast and, '...those guys were partying pretty hard at the time.'  She added that Eddie gave her an ultimatum about accepting or passing on the offer while sitting at a table with the VH guitarist, Paul Schaeffer, Danny Kortchmar and Eddie's wife at the time, Valerie Bertinelli, after a David Letterman Show taping. "Eddie said he needed a 'yes' or 'no' from me so he could move on and find someone else if I wasn't interested. When I said 'no', Eddie called Sammy".



Eddie Vedder joins E Street Band in Melbourne (videos)

With Pearl Jam and the E Street Band both doing dates in Australia, it was more a matter of where and when Eddie Vedder might pop up on stage with Bruce than whether it would happen.  The time proved to be Saturday night (2/15) and the place Melbourne, and it happened right at the start of the nearly 3 1/2 hour set.  Vedder shared the mic with Bruce on show opener Highway To Hell and hung in for Darkness On The Edge Of Town. Firsts during the evening for this tour included versions of I'm Goin' Down and My Hometown (both coming during the mid-set performance of all the songs on Born In The USA) and Jole Blon and Factory.






Billy Gibson custom Gibson

The latest addition to the line of fine limited edition guitars being offered by Gibson is a beautiful run of Billy F. Gibbons Gold Top guitars designed abd built to exacting specs from the ZZ Top guitarist.  Only 150 of the custom Les Pauls will be made, 50 of them played and signed by Gibbons.  An equal number of VOS models will be produced.



Julian Lennon disses CBS tribute

Julian Lennon was conspicuously absent from other offspring and family members of the Beatles seen during the CBS tribute marking the 50th anniversary of the group's first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Asked about the telecast, Lennon said he wished everyone well and sent his love but said, '...the last thing I wanted to do was stand in the audience with everybody else, clapping my hands, and being filmed in front of millions while watching a Beatles karaoke session'.



Queen readies tour with Idol contestant

Aside from a spell with Free and Bad Company front man Paul Rogers touring with them, members of Queen have remained largely on the sidelines since the death of one of Rock's most dynamic lead vocalists. Their idle period will apparently end with an Idol taking Freddy Mercury's place in the spotlight.  Guitarist Brian May says Queen will probably mount a US tour this summer with American Idol contestant Adam Lambert handling lead vocals.  Speaking with BBC Radio 2, May said, 'We are ongoing. we can't help it. I think we all protested too much in the sense when Freddie went and w didn't want to talk about it and didn't want to be Queen for a while. But after a while, you realize that people want to hear the songs and see us do things.'



Ray Davies & Donovan head Songwriter Hall inductees

Ray Davies of the Kinks and Donovan Leitch will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of fame on June 12 in New York City.  While Ray and brother Dave both wrote tunes for the Kinks, Ray penned all of the band's biggest songs, including Lola and You Really Got Me.  Donovan, who scored a #1 song in the US in 1965 when Sunshine Superman topped the charts, was inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame in 2012.  The Kinks earned that honor in 2005.


Def Leppard singer lands movie role


The Bridge, a film about a young musician from a small town setting out to start a new life after his band falls apart, will include appearances by Def Leppard front man Joe Elliot in the role of a musician he crosses paths with named Ziggy.  The movie will also include veterans form Thin Lizzy and Twisted Sister.  No release date has been set for the movie.



Chris Robinson releasing Brotherhood album


Black Crowes front man Chris Robinson is remaining busy during the band's latest hiatus.  On April 29, Robinson's other band, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, releases its third solo album and launches a west coast tour.  Phosphorescent Harvest features eleven  songs Robinson characterizes as a poetic spin on the good and bad things going on in his life.



Doors survivors plan tribute concert

While Sunday's (2/9) tribute to the Beatles on the anniversary of the group's Ed Sullivan debut produced a few worthy musical highlights, it left us wishing that Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr had decided who performed during it instead of CBS.  Doors fans should be in for a more fitting tribute to Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek because it is being organized by Doors guitarist Robby Krieger.  Krieger says the event is intended primarily as a celebration of the musical life of Manzarek, the keyboard player that passed away in 2013, so he is concentrating on recruiting musicians '...who Ray either idolized or guys who idolized Ray'.  He says that Doors drummer John Densmore is on-board for the event.  Densmore's objections to Manzarek and Krieger continuing to perform Doors material under names derivative of the band's original name led to a falling out and lawsuit.  Krieger notes, '...John and I are back on track... too bad it took Ray's passing to cause that. But I am happy that we are.' The timing of the event largely depends on finding a summer date on which the most important participants will be available.  The Greek Theater  and the Hollywood Bowl are apparently the leading venues under consideration for the concert.



Springsteen busts into AC/DC Down Under (video)

Aussie fans attending Bruce Springsteen's third sold-out night in Perth got the added treat of heaing Bruce and the E Street Band do AC/DC's Highway To Hell during the marathon set delivered on Saturday night (2/8). This fan cam video starts out of focus but bets better a few tics in. 




Preview Letterman segment with Paul & Ringo (video)

There were reports that David Letterman tried to get Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to play together on his show during the week leading into the 50th anniversary of the day the Beatles played live on the Ed Sullivan Show on a stage in ths same theater where his late night CBS progam is taped.  Any prospect that would happen got scuttled when the network got Starr and McCartney to agree to play together at the close of a Beatle tribute concert on Sunday the actual anniversary of that historic appearance.  Dave won't get shut-out, though.  He got the chance to record a walk-through conversation with the two former Beatles in the theater that will air during the special (Sunday 2/9, 8pm Eastern), which was taped 1/27 in the LA Convention Center.  Here's a short preview clip from the segment.  The performers featured in the special (some made us cringe) and some of the songs that will performed is here.




Bruce Hornsby & Bob Weir will tour together

A founding member of the Grateful Dead will reunite with one of the group's short-term members for a fall tour together. Guitarist Bob Weir and Keyboard player Bruce Hornsby will hook-up for dates in the fall after Hornsby finishes a series of dates sharing the bill with with Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny.  The Bob Weir & Bruce Hornsby Alone And Together tour is expected, as the name implies, to feature individual sets from each artist followed by a collaborative set.  Here is what the two sounded like together in April, 2012 in Oakland's Fox Theater.  Access Atlanta


BB King birthplace sign stolen

Someone made off with the memorial sign posted by the Mississippi Blues Commission at the birthplace of Blues guitar legend BB King near the hamlet of Berclair in Leflore County.  The large sign commemorating the life of King is one of more than 120 along the Mississippi Blues Trail placed at historic spots associated with Blues masters.  Alan Hammons, who made the King sign, said, 'It clearly points out the interest some people have in our musical heritage, but we'd obviously prefer they leave the marker in place.' Plans are already in the works to replace the marker.








 Photo: Blues Magazine

Jason Bonham and Glenn Hughes combine forces

The demise of Black Country Communion with the departure of Joe Bonamassa (story) left two of its members wanting to continue working together.  Drummer Jason Bonham, son of the late Led Zep stick man John, Bonham, and bassist-vocalist Glenn Hughes have recruited a 23 year-old guitarist and singer by the name of Andrew Watt to join them in a group named California Breed.  Hughes, a veteran of Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, raves about Watt, saying he looks like '...the white Jimi Hendrix', and, '...plays in the studio like he's on stage!'.  Watt says he was into grunge bands but also grew up on the music his father played him, including healthy helpings of Who, Stones and Zeppelin songs.  Hughes was introduced to Watt by Julian Lennon at an exhibit of Lennon's photographs at a gallery in LA.  Bonham met Watt a few days later after the guitarist and Hughes wrote a couple of songs together that got Hughes so excited that he called the drummer and told him, ''ve gotta come down here right now'. Bonham said, 'The energy when I walked in the room was crackling'.  The group has recorded a debut album, but no release date has been announced yet.  Get an idea of what Watt brings to the group in this solo video he did before meeting-up with Hughes & Bonham.



Asia announces new album

Gravitas is the title of the next Asia album, the group's fist since the departure of guitarst Steve Howe.  Drummer Carl Palmer tells Classic Rock Magazine that the addition of 25 year-old guitarist Sam Coulson allows the band to go in '...a slightly different, and perhaps tougher, direction'.  Singer John Wetton adds that the album is full of '...raw energy, enthusiasm and free from impurities', and calls Gravitas '...Asia by Asia. At last'.  Hmmm, don't let the screen door hit ya on the way out, Steve.  The album has a March 25th release date.

Police tie Stones-Bowie sideman to heroin and Hoffman

Robert Vineberg, who played saxophone on Rolling Stones and David Bowie recording sessions under the name Robert Aaron, has been arrested in New York City and was charged Wednesday (2/5) with intent to sell heroin. Police allege that a phone belonging to the musician had actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman's number in it.  Hoffman was found dead with a needle in his arm on Sunday in his New York apartment.  Four arrests were made at the Mott Street apartment and three of the phones seized had the actor's phone number in them.  Police have not concluded whether any of those arrested will be implicated directy in the sale of heroin to Hoffman.  Vineberg's step daughter told the Daily News that her father had fallen on hard times, saying, 'He got into this because right now he couldn't find any work - anything. This is the only thing he coud think of. He couldn't even find work wshing dishes.'  If convicted, Vineberg could draw a 25 year sentence.

Ian Anderson working on 'folk-metal hybrid'


The fictional character behind Thick As A Brick gets new life for the next Ian Anderson project, which the Jethro Tull flute playing front man describes as a 'folk-metal hybrid.' The album, expected out in April, deals with early historic events in British history and gets into some speculative musings about the future as imagined by Gerald Bostock. Anderson plans to mount a tour that will feature the new work in performances, followed with a selection of Tull classics delivered by what he calls his '...increasingly theatrically-motivated troupe of musical thesbians' accompanied by videos.


Last Hendrix interview gets animation

A week to the day before he died, Jimi Hendrix did an interview with Keith Allston of NME.  The folks in the PBS Digital Studio have created clever animation segments to go along with the September, 1970 discussion Hendrix had about his music, lifestyle, approach to performing and, sadly, ambitions he would never fulfill.  Brash and cocky as he was on stage, Hendrix was surprisingly understated and even bashful in private.  That comes through in the interview.



U2 downloads generate $3.3 million for charity

Downloads of Invisible, the new U2 song made available for free via iTunes during the Super Bowl and for 30+ hours following the game, triggered a donation of more than $3 million from Bank Of America to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB & Malaria.  The bank had originally capped the $1 per download donation it would make to the organization at $2 million, but decided to extend both the time frame and the total.  iTunes will also pass along all money that comes its way from future downloads of the $1.29 track.  To date, RED, an organization Bono co-founded in 2006, has provided the Global Fund with more than $250 million. Bank Of America has committment to help raise another $7 million within two years for the Fund.


Perry working on return to Journey? (video)

It's been 15 years since Steve Perry was the front man of Journey.  In the years between, the group has managed to fill his shoes with a couple of singers that did a decent job of duplicating Perry's sound and range.  But some fans don't consider Journey Journey any more than Yes purists buy into the sound-alikes that band has used since ousting Jon Anderson. Perry, too, has regrets about leaving the multi-platinum band he once fronted.  A recent public message attributed to guitarist Neal Schon sounded like it could open a door to Perry's return.  Schon said, 'We had an amazing chemistry together. I love him with all the love and admiration you could have. Steve, let's talk soon.'  Talking with Artisan News, Perry said, 'I haven't worked with Neal', but added '...we're trying'. Even if a there is a future for Perry in the band, Schon says he would want current vocalist Arnel Pineda to remain with Journey and the band's management moved quickly to play down prospects for a reunion, telling that reports Perry is likely to become a member of the band again are 'totally inaccurate'.





Johnny Winter album attracts top players

When invitations went out to some of the other best guitar players in world to play on Johnny Winter's new album, no one turned him down according to the legendary Texas Blues-Rock guitarist's manager-producer. Paul Nelson says the schedules of Eric Clapton, Joe Perry and Joe Walsh required them to send their tracks in from different studios. His challenge is to merge their solos into the other song parts to '...make it sound like they're right there' playing with Winter.  The upcoming release also includes contributions from Derek Trucks and Susn Tedeschi and reunites Johnny with his brother, keyboard and guitarist Edgar Winter.  So many guitarists lined up to participate that Nelson says future albums are in the works.  Sessions for the follow-up will include Rick Derringer, fellow Texan Eric Johnson and others.



Winter & Derek Trucks at 2010 Crossroads Festival - Dan Locke/PR Photos

Vince Neil says Cure ain't done yet

Vince Neil says that the band's upcoming farewell tour only applies to the band not touring after the carpet bombing run they will do this summer and fall with Alice Cooper.  Talking with KDKB in Cooper's hometown Friday (1/31), Neil maintained that the band is '...still going to be making music', adding, 'We'll probably just make music - do songs for certain things. Motley Curue will still be around'.  Group members signed a 'cessation of touring' pact that prohibits tours under the band name after 2015.


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