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Noteworthy Now Archives for 2014-04

Jimmy Page gives commencement address in Boston


The graduating class of musicians at Berklee College of Music will be getting some pointers from a legendary guitarist and astute businessman.  Jimmy Page will deliver the commencement address at the highly regarded music school in Boston on Saturday, May 10.  The night before the graduation ceremony, students will perform a concert in Page's honor featuring selections from his career - no shortage of great material to draw on from his time with the Yardbirds and his decades in Led Zeppelin.

Scorpions drummer gets Dubai slammer

An outburst at the Dubai airport that allegedly involved a demostration of disrespect to Islam has landed Scorpions drummer James Kottak in jail for a month.  Kottak, drunk at the time according to authorities, was accused of a middle finger send-up to Islam during the incident.  The drummer admits to having had alcohol on the April 3d flight Dubai during a trip to Bahrain for a Scorpions concert appearance, but contends the other allegations were false.

McCartney gets back to Candlestick

Paul McCartney will have the honor of closing down a venue that hosted the last formal Beatles concert during the group's relatively brief run of major concerts.  On August 29th, 1966, the Beatles played to a less than full house at Candlestick Park, at that time the home stadium of the Giants and 49ers south of San Francisco.  Paul will hope for a warmer, dryer night on August 14 than the one that kept the crowd on his first visit well below capacity at the notoriously uncomfortable park that is sechedule for demoition later this year. McCartney will also play Dodger Stadium during his run of US dates. His August 10th concert there will mark his only performance in that stadium since the night before the Candlestick concert.

Beatle autographed Ed Sullivan wall fails to sell

There was speculation that the section of backstage wall members of the Beatles signed before playing live on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 could fetch as much as $1 million went it went up for bids.  Not only did bidding the one-of-a-kind chunk of memorabilia fail to reach that mark this weekend, no bids met the reserve.  Heritage Auctions will reportdly now seek to shop the artifact privately with an anticipated value of $800,000 in mind.  in the meantime, it can still be had for $965,000 through the auction house's web site.

Another Bowie album possibly in the works

David Bowie spent most of the last two decades on the sidelines of the music industry. The reclusive Rocker kept his comeback album of last year under the radar right up to its release date. A comment Bowie slipped into a discussion about Columbia Records exec Rob Stringer suggests David has another new album in the works for 2014.  Speaking of the hyper-busy Stringer, who lent his musical talent to the last Daft Punk release, Bowie said, 'When he asked me if I minded if he took a few Saturdays off from his duties as percussionist on my new album... how could I refuse?' Of course, it could just be David messin' with us.

William Hurt pulls out of Allman biopic

We had been looking forward to seeing William Hurt in the role of the contemporary Gregg Allman in the upcoming biopic about the founding Allman Brothers Band keyboard player.  That won't happen,  The LA Times has learned that Hurt has decided against keeping the part even if filming resumes after a crew member was killed and several others injured February 20th when a train plowed into a filming scene being staged on a bridge in rural Georgia.  The Times site quotes a representative of ICM, the agency that has Hurt on its roster, as saying' 'I can confirm he's out of the movie'. Reports had emerged that the actor had expressed concerns about the safety of the shoot prior to the accident.  The future of the project is very much in doubt.  Investigations into the accident are going forward on multiple fronts and criminal charges are possible depending on their outcomes. 
Allman himself has sent the producers a letter urging them to honor the request of the family and friends of the crew member that lost her life by not resuming work on the film.



A Motley Arena League team

Vince Neil has bought himself an Arena League football team. The self-professed big fan of the indoor pig skin game hopes he'll be able to relocate the franchise to Las Vegas within a couple of years, telling the Las Vegas Sun, 'I sense the city would love it. I know that because it's on my home turf.'  The move by the Motley Crue veteran sets the stage for a Rockin' rivalry with the Arena League franchise KISS recently acquired in Los Angeles.



Wrist injury sidelines Gregg Allman

Fans Down Under looking forward to a rare opportunity to catch Gregg Allman live will have to wait longer.  A broken wrist has forced the Allman Brothers Band veteran to cut-short his Australian tour.  The injury occurred shortly before the start of his solo tour dates Down Under, but Allman avoided bowing out of dates until his injury '...unexpectedly worsened leaving him in severe pain and unable to perform', according to tour promoter Bluefest Touring.  Fans willing to settle for extended sets by Warren Haynes and Gregg's son Devon can still attend the shows, but those wanting refunds will have them granted.



Bruce serves up nuggets in Charlotte (video)

Bruce Springsteen and his band covered a number of songs originally long recorded before there was an E Street Band Sunday night (4/20) in Charlotte, NC.  The 30 song set included versions of Louie, Louie, Mustang Sally and Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl. Iceman, an out-take from the Darkness On The Edge Of Town opened the marathon performance of Bruce and his freshly inducted Rock Hall Of Fame group.  A cover of the Dave Edmunds song From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come) alos made it into the set.



Door open on Genesis reunion

Peter Gabriel's reluctance has always been the sticking point to Genesis reuniting.  The recent solo inductee to the Rock Hall Of Fame sent word through Rolling Stone that it migh be a good time for the others in the group to ask him again. Saying he will '...never say never', Peter called chances of it ever happening 'small'.  As for his opinion about becoming one of Rock's elder statesmen, Gabriel to RS, 'There are very few good things about getting old except you care less about what people think.'



Neil Young Kickstarter campaign nets $6.2 million

If the success of his Kickstarter campaign is any indication, plenty of people share Neil Young's low opinion of the sound quality of mp3 music files.  Young's online campaign to raise backing money for his new ultra-quality file format and player kicked off with a goal of reaching $800,000. It closed-out Tuesday (4/15) with a total of $6.2 million.  The 128GB Pono player will reportedly be able to store more than 1,000 albums.  The $399 player is scheduled to start shipping to early adopters in August.



Cream reunion scuttled


A Cream reunion that Jack Bruce says was in the works fell apart because Ginger Baker said or did something that angered Eric Clapton.  Talking with Rolling Stone, the bassist/vocalist had little good to say about Baker, who he said, '...from what I've heard, is a bitter old man'.  While he hasn't ruled out participating if something comes together, Bruce  calls his relationship with other members of the trio remote, saying, 'It's like I don't have anything to do with them actually'.



Neal Schon solo track debuts (video)

Here's an advance taste of what to expect on So U, the solo album Journey guitarisst Neal Schon releases May 19.



AC/DC future uncertain


A spate of rumors about Michael Young facing a health crisis has prompted AC/DC to release a statement acknowledging that the guitarist is sick.  The band's  message to fans reads, 'After forty years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health. Malcolm would like to thank the group's legions of die hard fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support.  In light of this news, AC/DC asks that Malcolm and his family's privacy be respected during this time. The band will continue to make music.'



MORE AC/DC INSIGHTS/feature/ac-dc

Indy record retailers prepare for vinyl fans

April 19 is the date for this spring's Record Store Day.  Here's a list of highlights most likely to interest ROCKinsights visitors.


Bruce Springsteen - American Beauty 10" EP (4,000 copies)

R.E.M. Unplugged: The Complete 1991 & 2001 Sessions (4 LP Box Set)

Soundgarden - Superunknown: The Singles

Neil Young - Cow Palace 1986

Allman Brothers Band - Beacon Theatre 1992 (4,000 copies)
Black Crowes & Jimmy Page - Live At The Greek (3LP set on red, blue & clear vinyl. 2,00copies)

Marc Bolan - BBC Electric Sevens Part 2

David Bowie - Rock N Roll Suicide (Picture disc)
Byrds - Straight For The Sun

Elvis Costello - She Used To Love Me A Lot (7" single)

Dave Matthews Band - Live Trax Volume 4 (4LP box set, 2,000 copies)
Fleetwood Mac - Dragonfly

Grateful Dead - Live At The Coliseum (2LP set
Jimi Hendrix - Live At Monterey (LP 6,000 copies)
Nirvana - Pennyroll Tea (Single)
Frank Zappa - Don't Eat Yellow Snow (Single)
Bob Dylan & The Band - Basement Tapes (140g 2LPset)


May not be end of the line for Allmans

Gregg Allman contested previous reports that the Allman Brothers Band is calling it quits while talking with about the upcoming tribute album to him titled All My Friends.  How emphatic was he? Try this... 'We are not breaking up. We are replacing Derek Trucks.'  The obvious question that statement raises is what about Warren Haynes? Both Trucks and Haynes released a joint statement several weeks ago announcing ther would leave the group after fulfilling 2014 commitments.  That was followed a couple of weeks later by an announcement that the group would disband at the end of the year but would probably still get together in future years for special occasions.  Now, it appears it's anybody's guess as to whether the Allmans carry on in 2015.


Boston Strong version of Dream On (video)

April 15 marks the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry recently recorded a new version of Dream On, the song Aerosmith perfromed during thee Boston Strong benefit concert last May that raised millions to help the hundreds that were injured when a bomb exploded near the finish line of the marathon.  The stripped down version features Tyler at the paino, Perry on guitar and the backing vocals of the Southern California Children's Chorus.   The full version airs as part of ESPN's Dream On: Stories From Boston's Strongest, a 3 hour special the network airs starting Saturdy (4/12).





Springsteen honors E Strett's past & present

Bruce Springsteen summed up the importance of his group during his Rock Hall Of fame  induction speech for the E Street Band Thursday (4/10) by saying,'I told a story with the E Street Band that was and is bigger than anything I could hvae told on my own.' He also took a moment to bestow individual recognition on each, starting with original drummer Vini, Mad Dog Lopez.  Bruce says they may never have been an E Street Band had Lopez not asked him to get together a band with him so the two could, '...make a few extra bucks on the weekend.'   Also in attendance and credited was original keyboard player David Sancious, who Springsteen said, '...crossed the tracks in search of musical pleasure.  He was my roomie... and the only member of the group who actually lived on E Street.' Clarence Clemons and Danny Federrici were represented by their widows, Victoria and Maya.  Bruce said he knew his life had been changed to first moment he met his future sax player.  He gave props to Steven Van Zandt for being, 'My dependable devil's advocate whenever I needed one and fan number one.' Of his wife and band member Patti Scialfa, Bruce said she brought a voice that evoked Ronnie Spector and Dusty Springfield that also had '...something that was very much her own. We met, we talked for an hour or another 30 years or so. We enjoyed health and we've suffered illness and aga and death together. But in the end, we kept the faith together.'
Interim E Street Band guitarist Tom Morello inducted KISS, saying he had to defend himself when school bullies went after him for going to a KISS concert (his first concert!).  Morello proclaimed, 'Tonight proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the high school bullies and critics were wrong, KISS fans were right.' KISS members stuck with their refusal to perform at the ceremony due to a dispute about whether current members deserved to participate.
Bass player Krist Novoselic said everytime fans walk up to him and thank him for the music he made with Nirvana 'I think of Kurt Cobain'.  R.E.M's Michael Stipe credited the group during his induction remarks as '...true artists, not just musicians', adding, 'This is not pop music. This is something much greater than that.' Joan Jett performed Smells Like Teen Spirit with Novoselic and Dave Grohl.



Fogerty drops Beverly Hills home for $18.6 million

He may wear flannel and denim, but John Fogerty prefers living in the lap of luxury, The Beverly Hills mansion the former Creedence Clearwater Revival front man picked up for just under $3 million 14 years ago has reportedly been sold for $18.6 million.  Originally listed for $23 million, the already lavish residence was expanded from 5 t0 12 bedrooms during the years Fogerty owned it.



Joplin musical put on hold

Just one day before the planned off-Broadway opening of A Night With Janis Joplin an announcement has been made that the curtain will not go up Thursday (4/10).  Production issues are being blamed for the postponement of the scheduled opening night in the Gramercy Theatre.  The press release offered no firm new date for a premier.  The production had a 162 engagement run on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre.



Slash & Myles Kennedy dish on new material

The next Slash, Myles Kennedy album finds the guitarist and singer with a comfortable working understanding of how to get the most out of each other musically.  The mutual respect the two share has them both sounding confident that the new album draws strength from the way the two of them are able to work together.



Early Stones manager rebuffs Rock Hall

Andrew Loog Oldham has issues with the Rock Hall of Fame.  The man who guided the Rolling Stones during their emergence in the early 60's notified induction organizers that he did not plan to attend without elaborating on why. Asked by the Los Angeles Times, Oldham replied that the decision to skip his own induction was one made on equal measures of disappointment about the overall direction of the Hall and the handling of his induction.  A representative of the Hall notified Oldham that he and Beatles manager Brian Epstein would be inducted simultaneously by Peter Asher.  Without disparaging Asher, Oldham  commented that he found it inappropriate the Hall would deny him the opportunity to engage in what he called the '...spirit of discussion as to securing an appropriate, connected party to handle such a personal moment', he says other inductees get to participate in.  As for his opinion of the institution's overall direction, Oldham wrote, '...I do understand that the Hall has to dance to a new beat o survive but it's hardly rock 'n roll.'



Springsteen covers Van Halen in Dallas (video)

Fans willing to stand through a chilly drizzle were treated to a scene never likely to be repeated during the Final Four Music Festival in Dallas Sunday. Emerging to strains of Sweet Georgia Brown, theme song for the Harlem Globetrotters, Bruce Springsteen and Nil's Lofgren staged a mock tip-off before the E Street Band launched into a cover of Van Halen's Jump. The performance, delivered on an evening that started in the upper 40's and stayed cold and damp throughout, marked the first time in more than a year and a half that Patti Scialfa did a full concert with the band. Other than the first ever rendition of Jump and Patti's appearance, the just under 3 hour set had no big surprises. Bruce and his wife closed the chilly night out with an acoustic version of Thunder Road.





Joe Cocker selling Colorado estate

Mad Dog Ranch is the name Joe Cocker and his wife gave the home the couple built in Crawford, Colorado about twenty years ago. "Mansion" is a term more likely to be used to describe the place by Rocky Mountain residents. The nearly 16,000 square foot main house featuring French windows and doors, seven bedrooms and 10 baths, a gourmet kitchen, a billiards room and five acres of gardens nestled into the 240+ acre spread is being listed for sale at $7 million.  The new owners will likely still have Joe and Pam Cocker as neighbors. The couple reportedly plans to build a smaller place on nearby property they will retain.

 Photo: Joshua & Co.

Kinks brothers play together

Recent evidence that Ray and Dave Davies might be willing to put their mutual animosity aside long enough to do some live dates together got an additional bit of good news.  Dave says the two of them recently played together behind closed doors.  The subject of a series of a Kinks 50th anniversary tour as well as the possibility of writing some new tunes got discussed a couple of months ago when Dave dropped by Ray's house.  Dave doesn't see the tension between the two dissolving anytime, but adds that their issues with one another, 'Maybe the dynamic of why it works', adding, 'It did work when we played, for a bit''  As for reunion prospects, he says, 'Yeah. It'll be great. I think.'



Jeff Beck & ZZ Top hit the road together

ZZ Top and guitar legend Jeff Beck have inked a series of late summer dates together. The first-ever tour pairing has Top guitarist Billy Gibbons psyched. Billy says, "Ever since experiencing 'Jeff's Boggie', the prospect of performance with Jeff Beck on the deck brings us into focus with the curator of crunch". For his part, the Yardbirds and Jeff Beck Group string slinger says he can't wait to get together on stage with Billy, who he declares is 'The Professor of Grunge'. The Top and Beck have combined forces on a couple of previous occasions. The performed Foxey Lady and Rough Boy together in 2009 at the Rock Hall Of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert in Madison Square Garden in 2009 and Beck hopped on stage in Italy during a 2010 ZZ Top concert to help them crank out La Grange.







Duff back with GNR - on a temp basis


Duff McKagan's nearly 20 year hiatus from Guns N' Roses could be about to come to an end.  A McKagan tweet reading, 'Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil! See y'all in the next few eeeks, SI? GNR'. He also posted some hand written set lists of Guns songs.  Mckagan could be filling-in for Tommy Stinson, who has committed to touring with the reunited Replacements. A longer-term reunion is not currently in play.

The Boss inducts E St. Band

Bruce Springsteen will do the honors on April 10 at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn when his E Street Band gets inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame.  It's also been confirmed that The Boss will perform with them that night.  Nirvana gets introduced to the Hall by Michel Stipe of REM, but it is not known whether the surviving members intend to play. KISS members have ruled-out performing due to a dispute over which members should be allowed to appear and play in make-up... a ridiculous stance that only adds to why so many people refuse to take the band seriously.  Eagle Glenn Frey will induct Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris and Carrie Underwood will perform in tribute to her.  Chris Martin of Coldplaywill do a song for Peter Gabriel, who is also playing, and Peter Asher will induct the late Beatles manager Brian Epstein and Andrew Loog Oldham.



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