John Wetton died in his sleep Tuesday morning (1/31), just a couple of weeks after announcing that he would be unable to participate in Asia concert dates due to his need to undergo cancer treatments. News of his passing came by way of a Twitter post by band mate Geoff Downes, who wrote, "Dear All, I am sorry to be the bearer of the very sad news that my dearest friend, bandmate and co-writer John Wetton has passed away.
Neil Young thinks the rift between Graham Nash and David Crosby won't keep Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young from getting back together at some point. Crosby echoed that the idea of the quartet reuniting sounds good to him when he tweeted "Fine with me" about his former band mate's endorsement of a harmonious future between them. Addressing the discord within the ranks, Young said in an interview with Mojo, 'There's been a lot of bad things happening among us, and a lot of things have to be settled. But that's what brothers and families are all about'. He stated his beleif that the group '...has every chance of getting together again', and added, 'I'm not against it.'
TMZ is reporting that a landscaper has file suit against David Lee Roth claiming that Roth's dog attacked him while he was doing work at the Van Halen front man's Pasadena home. Roth's lawyer countered by contending that the fact the man filing the claim did not seek hospital treatment until well after a month following the alleged incident involving Roth's Australian Cattle dog is a strong indication that it is just an attempt to shake his client down for money.
Guitarist Gus G says work on the Ozzy Osbourne solo album came to a stand still due to Osbourne's Black Sabbath obligagtions. Speaking withformer Anthrax front man Neil Turbin of The Metal Voice during the recent National Association of Music Merchants gathering, Gus G said the Osbourne solo project has not advanced beyond some rough demos done during sound checks for the last tour. Asked whether being Ozzy's guitarist comes with pressure, he said, 'Yeah, of course. I would be lying if I said that it wasn't intimidating' , but added, '...at the same time it's such a big challenge - a life changing moment' and, 'I just do my best. We are there to make Ozzy shine.'
Manager Howard Kaufman was instrumental in the success of a lot of Rock artists. The veteran manager guided the careers of Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Jimmy Buffett, Def Leppard, Lenny Kravitz and others. A reception to honor Kaufman, who died unexpectedly January 19, was held at the Hillcrest Country Club Wednesday (1/25). In attendance were Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Joe Walsh, Steven Tyler, Joe Elliott and Rick Savage of Def Leppard and Bret Michaels. Billboard.com
After a stinging rebuke from Steve Miller over being introduced by the Black Keys at last year's ceremony (story), the Rock Hall of Fame seems to have made an effort to line up more artist appropriate presenters for this year's induction. Neil Young will do the honors for Pearl Jam, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson will introduce Yes to the Hall, and Jackson Browne will induct Joan Baez. Presenters of Journey, Electric Light Orchestra and other members of the 2017 class will be announced soon. The ceremony takes place on April 7th atthe Barclays Centre in Brooklyn. Pre-sale tickets for CitiCard members become available at 10am January 30. Tickets go on sale February 3 at 10am online and will be available at the box office of the site on the following day. Prices start at $50.
The Miami Herald reports that the death of drummer butch Trucks appears to have been a suicide. The paper's web site indicates that a call received by the 911 center that serves West Palm Beach at about 6pm on Tuesday (1/24) was made by a woman in extreme distress reporting that her husband had shot himself. Police arriving at the condo Trucks and his wife own were met by his wife, Melinda, and their son.
Trucks, a founding member of the Allmans Brothers Band had been performing in Butch Trucks & Very Special Friends, a group that morphed into Les Brers with Jaimoe and other ABB veterans since the Allmans went on hiatus at the end of 2014. He and his wife were active supporters of the arts and civic causes in the south Florida community, but reports had emerged that they were under financial stress due to debts related to real estate holdings.
One of the monster drummers in Rock has passed away. Butch Trucks of the Allman Brothers Band died of undisclosed causes Tuesday (1/24) in West Palm Beach, Florida. A founding member of the legendary Southern Rock group, Trucks and Jai Johnny Johnson provided the driving rhythm that was a hallmark of the band's signature sound. Since the Allmans disbanding in 2014, Trucks had been performing in Butch Trucks & Very Special Friends, a group that morphed into Les Brers with Jaimoe and other ABB veterans.
Trucks leaves behind a wife, four children and an equal number of grand children. A band spokesman asked for privacy for the family and suggested donations in his memory be made to The Big House, the Allman Brothers Band museum housed in the group's former communal home in Macon, Georgia.
The UK's Royal Mail is adding David Bowie to the other Rock artists it has honored with stamps. It will mark the first time it has devoted a full series to an artist. Six of the stamps commemorate album covers. The other will feature images of Bowie performing. The Royal Mail's Phillip Parker said 'For five decades David Bowie was at the forefront of contemporary culture, and has influenced successive generations of musicians, artists, designers and writers. Royal Mail's stamp issue celebrates this unique figure and some of his many celebrated personas.'
Joe Perry gets honored Tuesday (1/24) at the National Association of Music Merchants TEC Awards. The Aerosmith guitarist picks-up the prestigious Les Paul Award in recognition of his multiple decade career, much of which has been spent with a Les Paul strapped to his shoulder. Speaking with the Orange County Register shortly before receiving the honor, Perry recalled seeing Jeff Beck do a live set playing a Les Paul in a Boston club; 'I had seen pictures of Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton playing them, and then I saw Jeff Beck playing one live, and I sat in front of him in this small place in Boston and watched him play it.' Seeing and hearing was believing, and Perry woke up the next day with his mind made up about getting one of his own. He says the experience of holding it for the first time remains vivid in his mind and that it felt 'incredible'.
Perry joins Slash,Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, Neil Young, Robbie Robertson, Steve Miller, Todd Rundgren and others that have received the honor since its 1991 introduction. Not limited to guitarists, the award is given in recognition of "individuals or institutions that have set the highest standards of excellence in the creative application of audio technology", according to the NAMM Foundation Technical Excellence site .
Legal issues and the resulting delays caused by them have apparently scuttled Get It While You Can, the Janis Joplinbiopic that was to have starred Amy Adams. Both Adams and the project's director Jean-Marc Vallée have dropped out, according to the director. The apparent last strea was a suit filed by the producers after a writer for the movie allegedly gave his script to another producer. In fighting over other aspects of the production surfaced several times since the film was announced. A movie about the iconic and dynamic performer may yet materialize. Canadian directot Sean Durkin has reportedly engaged Michelle Williams to appear in a film he is working on titled Janis.
Amazon's acquisition of Long Strange Trip, Martin Scorcese's nearly 4 hour doc about the legendary band, led to a small gig featuring 3 members of the band in a Park City, Utah bar as the Sundance Film Festival was winding down on Sunday night (1-22). Bob Weir and percussionists Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart did a set at The Spur for an invitation only crowd of under 150 that included Kevin Bacon, Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern. They launched the set with Easy To Slip, the Little Feat song Weir led with at another exclusive event he played with veterans of Guns N' Roses, the Doobie Brothers and others Friday night at a music industry event in Anaheim(story). John Popper then joined them on West L.A.Fadeaway. Loose Lucy followed. Harrelson then jumped in to sing lead on Heartbreak Hotel and join in on the set closer, Not Fade Away.
A 2012 Hennessey Venom GT S owned by Steven Tyler sold Friday (1/20) for $800,000 at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, AZ. The black beauty screams from 0-60 in under 3 seconds and can reach 200mph in just under 15. The exotic ride's original price tag was over $1 million, making the purchase a good deal for the new owner of the car Tyler reportedly liked to turn loose during drives on Rt. 10 between his Beverly Hills home and Palm Springs. Proceeds from the sale will go to support Janies Fund, the charity the Aerosmith front man created to assist battered and abused women.
Nancy Wilson has a new side project. The Heart sister has formed a new group with Prince band veteran Liv Warfield. Roadcase Royale has recorded a handful of songs and plans to do live dates this year. Nancy says her other band is '...in a cocoon of metamorphosis' for the time being.' Here's a listen to the track Get Loud. AntiMusic.com
The unveiling of a pair of new Bob Weir custom guitars by D'angelico guitars at NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) convention in Anaheim led to one of the more unique jams we've come across. Weir, ex Guns N' Roses' Matt Sorum, The Doobie Brothers' Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, The Rascals' Gene Cornish and Robert Randolph played together at the D'angelico VIP party arranged by the company. The after hours set opened with Little Feat's Easy to Slip. Randy May MItchell joined in on Weir's recent track Lay My Lily Down and Only a River. A lengthy rendition of Dark Star merged into West L.A. Fadeaway, followed by Jack Straw and Come Together. We'll keep an eye & ear out for any video or audio that might emerge. In the meantime, here's a look at the new Weir axes.
Sony Music and ATV Music Publishing are being sued by Paul McCartney in an effort for the former Beatle to regain the rights to many of his biggest early songs, including some he wrote with John Lennon. The latestfiling continues a campaign McCartney has waged since 2008. Paul closed out 2016 by having his attorney send another termination notice to the parties involved seeking to have them relinquish the rights to early Beatles songs. The suit filed in Federal Court in Manhattan contends that McCartney's ownership of the songs is protected by a section in the 1976 Copyright Act that extended ownership on songs written before 1978 an additional 19 years, extending the total period of protecction to 75 years. CourtHouseNews.com
In a town where few secrets remain secrets very long, news of Bruce Springsteen's free, private performance for the White House staff not only stayed under wraps until the event happened on Monday (1/12), it was kept quiet days after. Somewhere between 200 and 250 were in attendance, including the outgoing President and First Lady, for the 15 song acoustic set. Solo with the exception of the E Street Band's Patti Scialfa joining her husband on Tougher Than The Rest and If I SHould Fall Behind, the set included several of Bruce's most poignant songs and some between tunes comments and observations from the Boss. Opening with Working On The Highway, Bruce worked his way through Growin' Up, My Hometown, My father's House, The Wish, Thunder Road, The Promised Land, Born in the U.S.A., Devils & Dust, Tougher Than The Rest, If I Should Fall Behind, The Ghost of Tom Joad, Long Walk Home, Dancing In The Dark and Land of Hope and Dreams.
Springsteen expressed his disappointmtnet that so many people and politicians fail to realize that Born in the U.S.A is a protest song and, dedicating Tougher Than The Rest tothe Obamas, praised the President and Michelle for setting such a good example as individuals and a family during their years in the White House.
Get a good full account of the evening at Backstreets. JamBase.com
Brad Whitford will rejoin the Experience Hendrix tour on some dates. That adds the Aerosmith guitarist to a lineup that already features Buddy Guy, Zakk Wylde, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang, Doyle Bramhall II, Dweezil Zappa, Keb Mo' , Beth Hart and others, along with Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsys veteran Billy Cox. David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos are also being added. The dates Whitford is confirmed for are in Houston, San Antonio and Jackson, Mississippi. Commenting on the opportunity to do some dates on this year's tour Whitford said, 'It's such a wonderful atmosphere. Sometimes we'd get on the bus at night and we're watching old Hendrix videos. It just doesn't stop. It's a great group of people.' AntiMusic.com
Steely Dan will reel off 9 nights at the Opaline Theatre at The Venetian between April 12 and 29. The Reelin' In the Chips residency finds Walter Becker and Donald Fagen joined by a 4 piece horn section and Jon Herington (guitar), Freddie Washington (bass), Jim Beard (keyboards), and Keith Carlock (drums).
Metallica is promising an element of surprise will come into play at the Grammy Awards when the nominated group performs during the 59Tth annual ceremony on February 12. The Bay Area band is declining to spill any details about what's in store, but posts it will be "something very unique and special". The band may reveal additional info about what's planned on its web site in the coming days. Unplugged seems unlikely, but maybe with symphony?
With Fleetwood Mac's studio album bogged down because Stevie Nicks has been unavailable for studio work, Lindsay Buckingham, Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie are changing plans. Christine and Lindsay will do a duets album backed by the others - and may title it Buckingham McVie, a play on Buckingham Nicks, the group that Lindsay and Stevie were in together before joining Fleetwood Mac in 1975. In an interview qith the LA Times, Christine said of the collaboration, 'We've always written well together, Lindsay and I, and this has spiraled into something really amazing'. Plans call for the album to be ready for a May release.
Two members of the Bay Area band Tower Of Power were struck and critically injured by an Amtrak train Thursday (1/12) just before the group was scheduled to take the stage at Jack London Square in Oakland. Drummer David Garibaldi and bass player Marc Van Wageningen were in a group crossing the tracks behind the last car of a slow moving freight when a passenger train traveling in the opposite direction at about 25mph blind sided them. Both have regained consiciousness but are in critical condition at an Oakland hospital.
John Wetton is expressing disappointment that a new round of treatment against the cancer he has battled the last few years will force him to miss upcoming Asia tour dates with Journey and his band's cruise ship performances. John took to his social media to update fans, writing, "I am disappointed to announce that, on the advice of my medical team, I have to withdraw from the Cruise to the Edge, and from the first leg of the Journey tour, March 15 - April 4. I will soon be starting a new medical chemotherapy procedure, under which I will not be able to fly." Billy Sherwood, who has taken the bass role Chris Squire had in Yes, will cover for his friend in Asia's dates until Wetton is able to resume.
The Cruise to the Edge sails from Tampa Feb. 7-11 and includes on-board performances by Kansas, Steve Hackett, Patrick Moraz and others.
Roger Waters has spent time between tours featuring Pink Floyd songs working on his first solo album of new studio material in 25 years. He updated Rolling Stone on his progress recently, saying, 'We've got some really good work in the can'. He describes the album as '...part magic carpet ride, part political rant, part anguish' and says that at least some of the songs on it will be included in his upcoming solo tour, which will be a 75:25% older to new material mix, connected by a common theme and a tour he promises will be, '...spectacular like all of my shows have been.'
One of the more unlikely jams we've ever heard of takes place at a guitar makers VIP get together at a music industry trade show Jan. 20. Bob Weir, ex Guns N' Roses' Matt Sorum, The Doobie Brothers' Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, The Rascals' Gene Cornish and Robert Randolph will play together at the D'angelico Guitars event at NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) in Anaheim. It's invitation only and features a premium open bar.
U2 will launch the first leg of the Joshua Tree Anniversary Tour in Vancouver on May 12th and has dates firm through a July 1 date at Cleveland's FirstEnergy Staduim. Other dates that have been confirmed:
May 14 - Seattle (CenturyLink Field)
May 17 - Santa Clara, CA (Levi's Stadium)
May 20 - Los Angleles (Rose Bowl)
May 24 - Houston (NRG Stadium)
May 26 - Dallas (AT&T Stadium)
June 3 - Chicago (Soldier Field)
June 7 - Pittsburgh (Heinz Field)
June 8-10 Bonnaroo Festival, Manchester, TN
June 11 - Miami (Hard Rock Stadium)
A part-time reunion of Foreigner with Lou Gramm, Ian McDonald and Al Greenwood is in the works. Billboard reports that the band will do some dates on its upcoming tour with their former vocalist, guitarist and keyboard player. The news was apparently a surprise to Gramm, who tweeted, " I have not been asked to join any part of the summer 40th Anniversary Tour 2017." The trek is scheduled to open July 11th in Syracuse and will also feature Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham's band. No information has been provided about which dates will include the former members.
A lawsuit filed by Deep Purple members against the group's former accountant maintains that Shanker Rao made off with about $5 million dollars that rightfully belongs to them. A UK court has frozen Rao's assets after he admitted he had borrowed, as he put it, money from the band's account. Discovery that the money was missing was apparently the result of an audit conducted after former guitarist Ritchie Blackmore file a suit in 2016 contending that he was owed close to $1 million in unpaid royalties. Rao admits to having helped himself to about 1/2 of the money the group claims he took, but says he planned to reimburse the account.
Rick Wakeman has changed his tune. After announcing through his web site that he would not participate in the Yes induction into the Rock Hall Of Fame on April 7 under any circumstances, circumstances changed enough to get him to reconsider. What prompted the pivot was an agreement by the Hall to add a special tribute to the late Chris Squire to the evening's schedule. The keyboard player now says he has "...agreed to attend the induction ceremony in New York to stand proudly with my fellow band mates Jon and Trevor and also watch Chris's wife Scottie collect this well desered award on his behalf." Wakeman adds, "I also hope this move to acknowledge members of bands who sadly did not live to receive their own honour, means they can get them posthumously in the future."
The city of Los Angeles honored the Doors on the 50th anniversary of the release of the band's debut album. The ceremony in the Venice area where the group got its start included appearances and remarks from drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robbie Krieger as well as family members of the late Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek.
Ray Davies of the became the latest to join the ranks of Knighted Rockers. The former and perhaps future Kinks member was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) back in 2004. His ascention to the knighted elite puts him at an even higher level, one he told the BBC he feels '...a mixture of surprise, humility and a bit embarrassed' about. Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and Elton John have also earned full knighthood from the Queen. Bob Geldof and Bono have received Honorary Knighthoods. David Bowie declined knighthood in 2003. Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Sting and Robert Plant have been recognized with CBEs.
San Francsico real estate is among the priciest in the nation. A home recently reportedly listed for sale by Metallica's Kirk Hammett in the Sea Cliff district ranks as one of the most expensive homes in the city. The 3 story, 4 bedroom, 4 1/2 bath Spanish Colonial home that hugs a cliff overlooking the Pacific and was purchased in 2010 for $8 million has hit the market with a listing price of $16 million. Hammett sold a home he bought in 1993 for just over $2.5 million for $7.6 million before acquiring the home that is now on the market. SF.Curbed.com