Britannia Row, the former recording studio used by Pink Floyd when recording Animals (1977), The Division Bell (1994) and portions of the monumental double album The Wall (1979) was once owned in equal shares by band members. Nick Mason eventually ended up as the sole owner and relocated the studio equipment when he sold the the former Victorian era warehouse to a building management firm in the 1990's. Some recording was still done in the studio, including Jimmy Page and Robert Plant's Walking To Clarksdale album in 1998. The local council has now approved a proposal that allows for the conversion of the studio into a mixed luxury residential/commercial space.
Rob Wasserman, the go-to bass player with a resume that included working with Bob Weir in Ratdog, Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison and others has passed away after an undisclosed illness. Shortly after posting a tweet Wednesday (6/29) calling for those who knew Rob to "...share strength of our family with him and his family", Weir followed it with another notifying people of his passing. It read, "One of the world's most beautiful friends and artists has left us. May rob's warmth and music live in your hearts as it always has in mine."
Ozzy Osbourne wants to see the Black Sabbath farewell tour extended. The run is scheduled to end with February 2 and 4 concerts on the veteran Hard Rocker's home turf in Birmingham, England. Although he thinks it's unlikely he can convince everyone in Sabbath to sign-on to do more dates, it sounds as though he'll give it a go. Speaking with Billboard, Osbourne said that doing this tour is '....great. I'm having a blast with it', and added, 'I'm sure as it starts counting down to five shows left or something, it's going to be kind of emotional.' For all his bravado and bluster, Ozzy, at heart, is actually a gentle and sentimental sort.
While acknowledging that a farewell tour is something Aerosmith members have discussed, guitarist Joe Perry doubts they will close the door on doing things together in the future even if one is staged. Commenting on Steven Tyler's recent pronouncement that the band would probably call it quits (story), Perry told Guitar World the farewell tour is '...one of the many things we've talked about as band, but I don't know it's the end.'
A court odered injunction has been issued to force a liquer producer to stop using the image, the first name of Jimi Hendrix and a copy of the famed guitarist's signature on its bottles. The US District Court in Georgia does not restrict Tiger Paw Distributors from continuing to name and market the beverage as Purple Haze and use some other trademarks that could associate the liquer with the guitarist. The infringement claim was made by Experience Hendrix, an LLC controlled by the late guitarist's sister. Jimi's brother is involved on the other side of the case.
Drummer Ian Paice has revealed that he suffered a mild stroke on June 14 while Deep Purple was touring in Europe. Paice says he awoke in Stockholm to numbness on the right half of his body and noticed difficulty moving his hands and coordinating his fingers. Hospital tests confirmed that he'd had what's known as a TSI, a Transient Ischemic Attack, also referred to as a mini-stroke. Scans indicated no permanent impairment was likely, but Paice says there is still a slight numbness on his right side and tingling in one hand. He reports he's regaining dexterity quickly and expects to be ready to resume playing in July. Doctors prescribed medication to reduce the risk of a future episode.
Fans at a show by Billy Joel tribute band Big Shot got a shot of the real thing Friday (6/24) when the Piano Man himself took the stage at the Paramount in Huntington, NY to do the Joe Cocker arrangement of the Beatles' With a Little Help From My Friends, Honky Tonk Women and You May Be Right with the added attraction of a Led Zeppelin Rock & Roll segment in it. Three members of Big Shot are also in Joel's current backing band and Joel's Long Island home is just a short drive from the venue. RollingStone.com Newsday
The custom built Yellow Cloud guitar Prince considered one of his favorite instruments and locks of David Bowie's hair held onto by a 1980's stylist on a movie set brought a top bids of $137,500 and $18,750 respectively. Jim Irsay, the new owner of the unique collectibles, also owns the Indianapolis Colts and has made other substantial investments in Rock memoribilia. The guitar was expected to bring bids in that range, but the clump of Bowie's hair bettered estimates by 4 fold. Irsay's willingness to put bundles of money into collecting one-of-a-kind Rock artifacts was on display twice within the last year when he dropped millions to acquire Beatles instruments (story).
Eric Clapton has done a video for Stones In My Passway, a Robert Johnson song included on I Still Do, EC's recently released album. Speaking with Guitar World, Clapton admits that Johnson's original of the song includes simultaneous but differing guitar and vocal parts that he's tried unsuccessfully to master doing together. 'I can't sing it and play that phrase, and I never will do it, I don't think. I've tried all my life to figure out how to do that. - because the time signature of the singing is one way and the playing is another.' The album reunited Clapton with producer Glyn Johns for the first time in the studio since 1977's Slowhand album. ABC Radio
Artimus Powell is in the middle of writing and preparing to produce a biopic about his life and years as a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd. The former drummer for the Southern Rock institution called the project a '...much deserved movie for fans of Skynyrd' while taliking with Deadline about the project, which is tentatively titled Free Bird. Powell plans to closely chronicle the last hours of Ronnie Van Zant and Steve & Cassie Gaines, the band members killed in a 1977 plane crash. Pyle says Van Zant was someone he '...loved like a brother and still miss to this day.' It is uncertain whether Pyle will be granted rights to use recordings of the band he played in from 1974-1991 for the film. He hopes to because he wants the film to convey '...my band members the way they were: real, funny people who loved the music, loved the success that allowed us to be able to travel the world and play for kings and queens all over this planet.' He added that the story of the band is '...incredibly personal and passionate to me and I want the movie going public to be able to share the laughs and the tears.'
Axl Rose is back with Guns N' Roses following his stint fronting AC/DC for the Aussie Rockers make good dates after losing front man Brian Johnson. GNR opened their Not In This Lifetime tour at Ford Field in Detroit with a 24 song set. Here's a look in on Out ta Get Me.
A Los Angeles jury has returned a verdict worth millions in saved royalties to Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. The unanimous decision by jurors found the pair not guilty in a suit cllaiming that they had lifted a key part of the melody in Stairway To Heaven from an instrumental on the debut album by Spirit, a band they performed with during Zeppelin's first US tour. The similarities of portions of the two songs were striking, but the jury struck down the contention that Page & Plant had violated copyright law after the pair insisted they had no recollection of having heard the song until the similarity was brough to their attention more than 4 decades after Stariway was written and released on the group's 4th album. Michael Skidmore, a trustee of the estate of the Spirit musician that wrote Taurus, brough the suit in an effort to gain a share as high as $40 million in past royalties and a writing credit that would secure a share of the song's future royalties.
The dilemma of Axl Rose not being able to be in two places at once could be solved by putting AC/DC and Guns N' Roses on the same bill. GNR's former manager reportedly said on the Let There Be Talk podcast that it's going to happen after the two groups finish up their respective summer tours.
Leave it to Steven Tyler to phrase an apparent announcement that Aerosmith will call it quits in terms that are totally ambiguous. Speaking with SiriusXM's Howard Stern, Tyler said he wants to '...squash every thought that anybody might have that the band is over', but then added, 'We're doing a farewell tour but it's only because it's time.' Making the statement even more ridiculous and impossible to decipher, Tyler then said the farewell tour would probably last 'forever'. When the host jokingly mentioned that it sounds like Aerosmith is approaching the farewell tour the way the Who have, Tyler responded, 'What about KISS? They did 19 farewell tours!'
Dozens of artists have more than one live album out, but ZZ Top hasn't ventured there at all. Two live DVD's were released in recent years, but the group went 45 years without putting out a live album. Their first will get released this summer when the Texas trio releases Greatest Hits Live on August 12. Rather than pulling all of the songs on it from one or two concerts, Billy and the boys decided to feature what they consider the best performances of their best songs. Each of the 13 tunes on the album comes from a different concert. Preview the version of Rough Boy from it, performed with Jeff Beck, below.
Claiming that the palintiff has failed to establish the basis of the case of copyright infringment filed against Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, the legal team representing the Led Zeppelin members Monday (6/20) requested the trial against them be halted by the judge. The standard motion for a dismissal of the proceedings followed the presentation of their side of the case by the lawyer representing the estate of the late Randy Wolfe, writer of the instrumental by Spirit, that a key portion of the melody in Stairway To Heaven was lifted from the song Taurus. Testimony presented by an economist in the trial indicates that Stairway has generated nearly $60 million in earnings in the last 5 years alone. Unless the judge grants the motion to halt the trial, Page & Plant's legal team will begin countering the claim in court. Billboard.com
Farm Aid officials announced Tuesday (6/21) that the annual concert to raise money and awareness in support of family farms will take place September 17 just outside of Washington, DC. The day-long musical event will be hosted at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia. Tickets go on sale Monday, 6/27. As in past years, the day will include performances by Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews. Joining them in toe 2016 lineup are Alabama Shakes, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Carlene Carter, Sturgill Simpson, Jamey Johnson, Margo Price, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and Insects vs Robots.
The 5 apartment building Jim Morrison last resided in before moving to Paris is being put up for sale. The Doors lead singer shared unit 8216 1/2 Norton Ave. in West Hollywood with his girlfriend Pamela Courson in 1970 & '71. The Spanish-style stucco building will be marketed as a B&B or business rental building. Ben Fong-Torres interviewed Morrison in his apartment in February of '71 for Rolling Stone. A small statue of a lizard adorns an exterior wall of the building and a bust of the singer is displayed in a brick courtyard. Owned since 2003 by Cheri Woods, the building's interior has changed little since Morrison was a resident. She has opened his s top floor apartment to those wanting to see it for $10 and it is listed as available for daily, weekly and longer term rentals, with month long stays advertised as $3,000. The building is located within minutes by foot of Morrison's Sunset Strip haunts.
Tom Petty is on tour with his pre-Heartbreakers band Mudcrutch this summer. During the group's Boston concert Wednesday (6/15), Tom added a specific reference to the kind of guns wielded in so many mass killings. (cue to just before the 4 minute mark if you want to get there sooner).
Phil Collins has been writing an autobiography he describes as being embarrassingly honest. The book chronicles his early years as a child actor right through his time with Genesis and emergence as a solo artist. Speaking of the book and his life, Collins says, 'In many respects I've had a dream life. I've been incredibly lucky, but I've also worked extremely hard. I've collaborated with some of my heroes, written songs that people have liked, and wildly surpassed my initial hope to make a living as a drummer.' In addition to covering all of the phases of his musical career, Not Dead Yet will delve into his fascination with the Alamo, his three marriages and his struggle to overcome a drinking problem. The book is due on October 20 and will also be available in an audio edition read by Collins.
Jimmy Page testified on day two of the trial over the contention that he and Robert Plant based an important part of the melody in Stairway To Heaven on a song that appeared on the debut album by the band Spirit. While the guitarist acknowledged that the 1968 album that includes the instrumental Taurus is in his collection of nearly 10,000 records, he says he has no recollection of having listened to it and wan't even sure when it became part of his music library. He also claims to have no memory of seeing Spirit play on the night his band was paired with them for Zeppelin's first US concert in 1968 in Denver. He did say that Zeppelin had often used a Spirit riff from the song Fresh Garbage duing live performances on their opening tour, but denies having heard Taurus before he heard about the similarity the portion of Stairway has to the notes in the Spirit instrumental. ABC.net.au
The trial to determine whether Led Zeppelin lifted a key segment of the melody of Stairway To Heaven from an instrumental title Taurus by the band Spirit opened in Los Angeles federal court Tuesday (6/14). Present for the day's proceedings were both Jimmy Page and Robert Plant as well as Michael Skidmore, a musician and composer who is the executor of the late Spirit member and Taurus writer Randy California. Page and Plant sat stoically through the opening of the trial that is expected to run no more than four days. Presided over by a cold, decidedly un-hip judge who calls the defendants 'the Led Zeppelin'. Also in the courtroom and expected to testify at some point during the trial were former Spirit members Mark Andes and Jay Ferguson. Dueling versions of the Spirit song were played and evaluated by the respective sides. The presentation by the defense contends that the similarity between the Spirit and Zeppelin songs is a foundational sequencing of scale that's found in songs written as long ago as the 1600's and was used in Michelle by the Beatles. RollingStone.com
Just when you thought nothing he could do would surprise you anymore, Bob Dylan breaks out a version of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Free Bird. It happened after a fan jokingly yelled it out during his Thursday (6/9) concert at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, California. We're looking for a clip that includes Bob's vocal. In the meantime, here's the roaring wrap-up the epic song got from his great band.
The film adaptation of the book Exile on Main Street: A Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones will be directed by Andy Goddard who has earned acclaim as director of Downton Abbey and his work on Law & Order: SUV. The movie will focus on the turmoil and creative intensity of the period when the Stones, moved to southern France to avoid onerous tax rates in the UK. Surrounded by friends, lovers and random hangers-on in a nearly perpetual party mode, the group managed to write and record the landmark 1972 album the book and film are named for. The search for the actors that will play the band members has begun and filming is expected to begin early in 2017. Jagger's son James was said to be under consideration to play his father, but other reports indicate the roll coud go to Harry Styles of One Direction. NME.com
We understand and agree with Ton Visconti's opinion that technology is used to make mediocre singers sound better and good singers sound great, but deciding to question whether Adele's voice is really as strong as it is on her recordings proved to be a bad one. David Bowie's producer put it this way when talking with the Daily Mail: 'We know Adele has a great voice, but it's even questionable if that is actually her voice or how much has been manipulated. We don't know.' Adele blasted the remark during a recent concert without identifying Visconti, telling her audience, 'Some dickhead tried to saymy voice was not me on record. Suck my dick'. Without retracting his contenetion that a lot of pop singers are using voice enhancing technology, Visconti did back peddle on implying Adele might be among them, saaying, 'If Adele has taken my comments as offfensive that was certainly not my intent. Adele has a great voice and it brings pleasure to misslions.'
Select Dead and Company concerts on the group's summer tour will be available via audio download, delayed video stream and a few tour stops will be available as live webcasts. First up for those opting for the live cast experience is the June 21 concert at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. The live stream will set fans back $29.99 for the full HD version and $24.99 for standard def. Post concert versions will remain available for 28 hours after each available show ends. Audio only downloads will run $15.95. Nugs.net and LiveDead.co are where to get hooked up. The group also plans to stream the opening song of each available night on their Facebook page.
In an effort to make sure fans know he's no fan of Donald Trump, Neil Young issued a release headlined "Young continues to deny Trump permission to use his music". Apparently the Canadian born Rocker found some followers believe he'd endorsed the Republican candidate for President because he referenced Trump when performing Rockin' In The Free World, a song Trump has repeatedly used at campaign appearances despite Young's objections. The singer's statement reads, "After we asked him to stop using my music he began hurling insults and then immediately released a photo of us together to the media (again without my permission) to further mislead the public." He puctuated the statement with a video clip of him yelling "F*** you, Donald Trump" as his band launched into the song at a recent concert.
Rod Stewart joined the ranks of knighted Rockers on Friday (6/10) in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. 90 year-old Queen Elizabeth II made it official. On the off chance you ever need to address him formally, call him Sir Roderick David Stewart.
The final US date for Black Sabbath's farewell tour is no longer at Ozzfest. The group has added three additional dates after the September 24th festival appearance in San Bernadino, California. Those shows will take place November 8 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, the 10th at Toyota Center in Houston and the 12th at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. The band then heads to South America for a series of 7 shows, ending December 4 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The Who are branding a sequel to the 1979 Quadrophenia movie "a blatant attempt to cash in" and want it known that they have no desire for fans to consider it something they endorse. The original film waas co-written by Pete Townshend and included music from the group's landmark double album of 1973 as well as music from Sting. While the next version features Phil Daniels again in the lead role of Jimmy Cooper, there will be no Who music in it. The group's manager lashed out against the project, calling it a 'karaoke sequel". AVClub.com
A March, 2015 drive David Crosby took in his Tesla proved costly. The singer has settled a lawsuit filed by a jogger that he clipped on a road in Santa Ynez, California (story) for $3 million. Crosby was driving his Model S at the posted speed limit of 55 at the time of the incident, according to the accident report. He attributed the accident to glare from the sun, but the Jogger, Jose Jimenez, maintained in the suit he and his family filed against Crosby that reckless driving was the cause and that the singer '...ingested alcohol and/or prescription drugs... and/or hallucinogens' that impaired his driving ability. The accident report contains sothing to substantiate those claims and it also states that Jimenez was partly responsible for the incident because he was jaywalking when it happened.
Bob Weir has always embraced technical innovation. The Grateful Dead guitarist has himself been an eager participant in improving the quality of live and recorded music throughout his career. That has earned him an award named in honor of one of the music industry's greatest innovators. The first Les Paul Spirit Award will be presented to Weir at the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee. Michael Braunstein, the executive director of the Les Paul Foundation, credits the award's first recipient for being, "...an extraordinary talent who has given us an amazing array of legendary music", and, "an innovator who understands music, technologies and the spirit of Les Paul", adding, "If Les were still alive today, I have absolutely no doubt that he and Bob would be experimenting together at TRI Studios or at Les' house and the results would be extraordinary."
The psychedelically painted Porsche Janis Joplin owned sold for far more than was expected when a high bid of $1.76 million took it. That might have made the current owner of the non-descript house the singer lived in before fleeing Port Arthur, Texas for the west coast think a collector might pay a good deal more than its actual worth to grab it up. The house is appraised at just over $52,000. The seller seems to think someone will buy it for half a million. We doubt that will be the case. The car was a treasured possession of Joplin's and became a symbol of her own and a generation's free spirit. The house was a place she couldn't wait to get away from. The Museum of the Gulf Coast, which has a section dedicated to Joplin, even declined the opportunity to acquire the house before it went on the market.
The NHL proved itself hipper than the NFL Monday (6/6) by putting Metallica members front and center to do the Anthem before game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals between the Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins. The NFL bypassed the Bay Area band when it chose who to provide half time entertainment when the Super Bowl was staged there.
Despite a one-off get together on stage last December for the first ime in ages (story), Ray Davies calls those expecting a full Kinks reunion tour or performance 'overly romantic.' The member of the notoriously embattled brothers says he is busy working on a new solo album and putting the finishing touches on a book about the group he calls a 'sort of prequel' to his autobiography.
Shunned by Black Sabbath after reportedly taking exception to the pay-scale being offered for him to participate in the final album and tour (story), drummer Bill Ward has decided to form a new trio that will, according to Ward, '...play loud, hard with overtures of gut-kicking heavy, heavy parts.' Joining Ward in Day of Error are lead singer and bass player Nick Diltz and guitarist/singer Joe Amodea. More info about Day of Error is expected to emerge soon.
Asius Technologies Stephen Ambrose offered to let Brian Johnson try out his company's newly developed in-ear monitors to see whether they could alleviate the hearing problems that forced the AC/DC front man to give up touring. Johnson, who says his hearing was damaged by high decibel AC/DC concerts and repeated exposure to loud engines during car races, emerged from the try-out thinking he just might be able to resume live performances after all. A statement released by the the company quoted Johnson, stating, "'I was really moved and amazed to be able to hear music again like I haven't heard it for several years now. I can't wait for it to be miniaturized so I can use it in every situation from normal communication, going out to noisy restaurants, to performing live music on stage." According to the Asius Technologies web site, Ambrose created an in-ear monitor that became so popular amoung touring musiicians by modifying swimming ear plugs in 1965. A musician himself, he became interested in coming up with a device that would address hearing loss among people exposed to loud music. His solution was a so-called 'second eardrum' for the company's ADEL (Ambrose Diaphonic Ear Lens) that intercepts and reduces the harm causing pressure assoicated with loud sound before it can do damage to the wearer's own ear drums.
Still seething about the lack of consideration he feels the Rock Hall of Fame exhibits toward inductees, Steve Miller is conducting what he calls an investigation into the organization that runs the Hall. Miffed about the way he was treated during his induction this year (story), the guitarist said on the Howard Stern Show on SiriusXM, 'I'm gonna get these guys. They're gonna be sorry they treat people this way.' Calling the nominationg committee of the Hall 'inbred' and 'off-course', Miller says he endured BS and insults from the institution in the months leading up to his induction and characterized the actual event as '...a soundcheck that lasted 12 minutes' followed by a '...kind of shitty coctail party on the mezzanine' and being sat down at a table with people he didn't even know.
Saying he's sick of seeing things he signed get thown on EBay, the Guns N' Roses veteran and current AC/DC vocalist has apparently decided issue an embargo against requests for his signature on things. Rose used Twitter to broadcast his decision, tweeting, "Can't take da ebayers so un42nutzly I's won'zb signing things 4 awhile. Much Love 2 the real fans!!" HenneMusic.com
Recent Rock Hall of Fame inductees Deep Purple have a new album just about ready for release. Don Airey, the group's keyboard player, reports that all of the instrumental tracks are done and all that's needed are the vocals. Bob Ezerin was at the controls for the recording sessions which went at a brisk pace. Roger Glover says the group spent 13 days in the studio working out the arrangements and got the actual recording of 13 songs done in the same number of days.
Drummer Glenn Symmonds last week amended a suit he filed against Eddie Money last fall over his dismissal from Money's band. The claim maintains that the termination was based on his age and disabilities related to a back injury and bladder cancer treatment. The Symmonds suit also contends that the singer sexually harassed the drummer's fiancee, Tami Landrum. The case has been shifted from Sacramento to Los Angeles. Among the contentions Symmonds sites are repeated occasions when Money made sexual references to his fiancee and attempted to kiss her. He also claims that Money dedicated Think I'm In Love to Landrum during a 2013 performance at a private party and unzipped his pants during the song and wiggled his thumb through the opening in the pants while gyrating his hips. He also says the singer ridiculed him on stage over bladder control issues due to chemotherapy, once announcing to an audience that Depends, the adult diaper company, was a tour sponsor.