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Noteworthy Now Archives for 2015-02

Dead Chicago tickets sell out within an hour


Mail order ticket requests for the three Grateful Dead Fare Thee Well concerts at Soldier Field in Chicago in July exceeded the total number of tickets for the concerts, leaving no doubt that a lot of those seeking to buy them online Satruday (2/28) would be shut out.  The Ticketmaster allotment was gone less than an hour after the on-sale started and the after market is already seeing a surge one StubHub agent told Mashable was unprecedented for a concert event. Forbes was reporting Saturday that tickets are commanding $700-$2,000.  Hard core Deadheads without tickets determined to witness the last appearance together of the surviving members of the group are faced with having to fork over big bucks or hope that the group elects to add more shows.



John Lodge of Moody Blues announces solo album

Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas of the Moody Blues are also featured on 10,000 Light Years Ago, the solo album John Lodge will release on May 5th.  The 8 song project also includes guitarist Chris Spedding.  Lodge, a founding member of the Moodys, attributes the title to the theme of time having run consistently through both the band's work and his solo material. It has been quite some time since his last solo album.  Natural Avenue was released in 1977.


Song Titles
In My Mind
Those Days in Birmingham
Simply Magic

Get Me Out Of Here

Love Passed Me By


Lose Your Love

10,000 Light Years Ago

McCartney's boyhood home gets bought

A bidder has acquired the Liverpool boyhood home of Paul McCartney for just over $230,000.  The auction was conducted Thursday (2/26) in the Cavern Club. McCartney lived in the house from age 4 - 11.  George Harrison's home sold for slightly more in 2014.  The year before that, the house John Lennon grew up in was purchased for more than twice those amounts.



Bad Company revisiting first two albums


April 7 brings a pair of expanded edition reissues featuring a couple of the most impressive back-to-back albums of the mid 70's, the self-titled debut album by Bad Company (1974) and the following year's follow-up, Straight Shooter.  In addition to the original tracks, each reissue will feature a disc of previously unreleased songs.  The debut album's bonus disc includes a dozen songs, 8 of them available for the first time.  The supplement to Straight Shooter features 14 tracks, all but one of which are being released for the first time.  Both of the original releases got 180 gram vinyl re-releases in 2014.


Last Hendrix interview animation (video)

Jimi Hendrix was as imaginative and creative in thought as he was as a guitarist, something that comes through in an interview he did with Keith Altham in September of 1970, just a few days before he and his guitar went silent.



Little Top in Billy Gibbon's solo effort

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top fame is heading in a different direction for the solo album he's working on.  As the engineers lined-up for the guitarist's solo album describe it, '...Gibbons is going to go Havana on us.'  Speaking with Rolling Stone, the ZZ Top axe grinder confirmed that the record will lean heavily into a Cuban music inspired sound.  At 13, Gibbons studied percussion with none other than the great Tito Puente.  While a release date hasn't been locked down, the record is largely done.  What should Top fans expect of it?  Hard to tell. Billy only described the sound by saying ''s turning out to be such an obtuse, oddball, unexpected left turn from ZZ Top's blues background' and adds, 'But there is something to it.'



Def Leppard vocalist tells Rock Hall to stick it (video)

Def Leppard recently let us know touring will be a bigger priority for the group than finishing up their 9th studio album. The group will co-headline one of the bigger triple bills when it hits the shed circuit with Styx and Tesla once the warm weather sets in.  Dates will start in the south June 23 with a concert in Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, migrate north in July and head west in August.  During a HuffPost interview this week, lead singer Joe Elliott was asked whether being overlooked by the Rock Hall Of Fame has irritated the group.  Elliott said he thinks his band is in some pretty good company because he could name a hundred more deserving of induction than his own band that are not members either. Pressed a bit, Elliott then said he and the other band members sort of came to the conclusion that they should decline induction should the invitation ever come along.



Zeppelin classics get xylophone remake by pre-teen ensemble (video)

A collection of Louisville, Kentucky area middle school kids has the kind of instructor that would have made school music lessons a whole lot more appealing for a lot of us.  The 55 strong group known as the Louisville Leopard Percussionists features xylophones, an assortment of drums, vibraphone and marimbas.  Their performance of Zeppelin tracks has impressed not only fans of the band but Jimmy Page himself. 



Early Hendrix sideman recordings remastered


After years of legal wrangling, material a young Jimi Hendrix recorded with Curtis Knight & The Squires will finally get an official reissue in March.  Hendrix reportedly signed-on as guitarist in 1965 for $1 and a 1% royalty cut.  Angry at having agreed to a contract that would short change him so badly, Hendrix later sought to prevent the label from using his name in promotional materials related to the recordings.  The Hendrix estate eventually managed to secure the rights to the material, paving the way for its remastering and release.  The collection of songs being released on March 24  includes material recorded between 1965 and '67, among them the first songs the young Hendrix got writing credits on.



Lou Reed disses Doors & Beatles (Listen)

Never one to reign-in his opinions while he was among us, Lou Reed would probably have been fine having this interview circulated right after it was recorded in 1987.  We're not sure whay it took so long to surface - or surprised that Lou despised the Beatles & Doors.  Those and other comments from the PBS interview seal the deal for him to be seated at the head of the dinner table of the most arrogant people in Rock.


Jethro Tull inspiration getting Rock Opera

Most Jethro Tull fans know that the group was named for the inventor of an agricultural implement, but few know much more than that about him.  Ian Anderson will tell his story in a Rock Opera of sorts.  Rather than approach the story in its historical context, Anderson will reveal it as a future occurrence. Tentative plans call for the production to debut in September in England before touring Russia, Europe and South America.  A more conventional Tull project is also in the works.  On May 4, an expanded edition of Minstrel In The Gallery will be released.



Eddie Van Halen's Smithsonian appearance (video)

Eddie VanHalen made a guest interview appearance at the Smithsonian Thursday (2/12). The interviewer is a bit ditsy and Eddie's uncomfortably out of his element, but the session provides some interesting insights into one of Rock's best axe men.


Janis Joplin's guitarist dies


Ten weeks after being stricken by a heart attack, Sam Andrew died in his wife's arms on Thursday (2/12).  Andrew was the co-founding guitarist of Big Brother & The Holding Company in 1965.  The following year, the primarily instrumental group's manager recruited Janis Joplin to become the band's lead singer, persuading the dynamic, young Texan to choose the San Francisco band over one from her home state, Austin's 13th Floor Elevator, that also sought her as their lead vocalist. Andrew wrote several songs on the Holding Company's 1967 self-titled debut album and Cheap Thrills, the release of the following year that established Joplin as one of the greatest lead singers for all time.  She kept Andrew with her when she split with Big Brother and formed the Kozmic Blues Band later that same year.  Andrew returned to Big Brother in 72 and was also active with them during a late 1980's reunion.



Bill Walton's ESPN Dylan & Dead tangent (video)

As probably the tallest and a very big Grateful Dead fan by conventional standards,  fans have come to expect passing references to the group from NBA veteran Bill Walton, but Monday night (2/9), the ESPN hoops analyst worked his way into a long tangent involving the Dead and Bob Dylan during an Oregon - USC telecast that left the game without any of the usual play-by-play and analysis for several minutes.  Since we often watch sports while listening to something totally unrelated it was no big deal, but Ducks, Trojan and sports fans expecting to hear the game call musta gone nuts.






ROCKinsights Quick Take

Expect an announcement soon that the Rolling Stones will do summer 2015 concerts In the States.

ROCKinsights Quick Takes

Gary Rossington is under the knife this weekend for an unspecified surgical procedure. The two concerts Lynyrd Skynyrd scheduled this week for recording a new live release have been postponed.


AC/DC has confirmed our earlier reports that Chris Slade will be on drums when the group  Rocks the Grammys Sunday night.



Farm Aid 30 will take place September 19

The Grammy Foundation Legacy Concert in LA Friday night (2/6) included an announcement about a concert still more than six months off from a couple of special guests.  Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp were on hand to tip people off that Farm Aid 30, the annual concert to generate awareness and support for family farms, will take place on September 19, 2015. With a firm date, the site has likely also been decided on but, the pair is holding back details about the venue that will hold the concert until a future date.  One thing attendees can count on is the biggest lineup to date for the day long, multi genre show that has seen more than 400 artists participate in during its previous 29 years.




Historic marker placed where Jagger & Richards met

The train platform that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards met each other on in the autumn of 1961 now has an historic marker commemorating that occasion. The Thursday (2/5) unveiling by the mayor of Dartford outside the UK community's train station took place in what the Borough Council president called '...a modest space considering the station's enormous role in pop music history.'  On October 17, 1962, Jagger was en route to the London School of Economics with a batch of blues albums in hand.  Richards was carrying a Hofner electric guitar and headed for his art college.  The rest is, as they say and we all ahe heard, history.



Dylan expounds on writing and pounds on critics

Bob Dylan could sure pack a lotta words into songs, but has been notoriously reluctant to offer up many when speaking or answering questions and almost always avoids industry gatherings.  Not so Friday night (2/6), when he accepted the MusiCares Person of the Year honor in Los Angeles.  Dylan spoke for more than a half hour, paying homage along the way to the musicians and songwriters that inspired him and making scathing remarks toward critics that have singled him out for criticism over the way he has reinterpreted his own songs in recent decades.  Among the artists he had praise for were Joan Baez, the Byrds, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Jimi Hendrix, who Dylan said, '...took some small songs of mine that nobody paid attention to and brought them to the outer limit of the stratosphere, turning them all into classics', and added, 'I wish he was here.'  He was clearly glad Merle Haggard and Tom T. Hall were not.  Haggard, Dylan said, '...didn't even think much of my songs', but Buck Owens did and according to Bob, Buck's opinion meant a lot more to him; 'Buck Owens or Merle Haggard, if you had to have somebody's blessing, you can figure it out.'  Of Hall, who penned a number of hook laden, catchy tunes and apparently let it be known somewhere along the line that he had little appreciation of Dylan's writing,  Bob said to those gathered to honor him that he was not, '...going to disparage another songwriter' and then sideswiped Hall by dismissing songs like Harper Valley PTA Valley as '...over cooked'.  To those that find the state of his voice objectionable, Bob questioned why he gets singled out and singers like Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen don't.



Boating accident costs INXS guitarist his finger

One of the most important but dangerous items on a boat is its anchor.  A mishap involving an electric anchor winch on a boat INXS member Tim Farriss was aboard resulted in a severed  finger on the guitarist's left hand.  The digit was surgically reattached and Farriss is undergoing therapy with hopes of regaining use of the finger and overcoming the other damage to his hand caused in the incident.



Live Van Halen album slated

An album of nearly two dozen songs captured during a 2013 Van Halen concert in Tokyo will get released March 31.  The 23 track album features David Lee Roth fronting the band on live versions of songs from all of the group's studio albums.  The band has also announced that six of the seven studio albums VH has released are being remastered for reissue.



Phil Rudd might lose his place in AC/DC to a former member

The tailspin AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd put himself in at the end of last year raised the prospect that he would be booted from the band.  With an appearance at the Grammys by the hard Rockin' Aussies close at hand, there is word circulating that the band will replace Rudd with Chris Slade, the stickman that drummed with AC/DC for four years when Rudd was out of the group in the early 1990's.  Slade had been scheduled for a publicity gig in California this weekend that has now been cancelled.  The owner of the business staging that event posted on its Facebook page that the event will have to be rescheduled because, 'There's actually big news regarding Slade an his career coming in several days'.



Randy Bachman Heavy Blues (video)

We gave you a heads-up on Randy Bachman's Heavy Blues project some time ago. Now, you get a listen to the title track of the album that includes Neil Young, Joe Walsh and Peter Frampton, who joins Bachman on the title song.  The 12 track album gets its US release on April 14.


Santana reunion album drawing closer

The album that reunited original members of Santana is moving forward and should be finished in the spring.  Michael Shrieve said getting together to play with the long parted others in the early lineup came as naturally as '...putting on an old pair of jeans' when speaking with the Hit Channel.  The album includes Carlos, of course, along with Shrieve, Neal Schon, Gregg Rolie, Michael Carabello and Benny Rietveld, the bass player for a 90's edition of Santana, in place of David Brown who passed away.  Nine songs for Santana IV have been recorded so far and Shrieve says they sound 'great'.




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