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Noteworthy Now Archives for 2017-02

Robert Plant's Shape Shifters preview AXS TV cast (watch)

The March 5 AXS TV telecast featuring Robert Plant's Sensational Shape Shifters was culled from a set the band did in the fall of 2016 at the Ace Hotel in LA.  The concert was done during a two day performing and film arts festival organized by film maker David Lynch called the Festival of Disruption.  The AXS screening will launch the network's 2017 Sunda Night Rocks series.  Here's and advance look/listen to Robert and his band.



Aerosmith drummer bashes Stones

Joey Kramer took a swipe at the Rolling Stones that included a more specific diss directed at Charlie Watts When he told Classic Rock that the Stones, '...never had anything to offer me musically, especially in the drumming department.'  The Aerosmith dummer went so far as to claim '...we play so much better than them that it's silly because they're not so good live', and predicted that stadium concerts will come to an end after Aerosmith, Van Halen and AC/DC stop touring because no bands will emerge that are capable of filling them.  Kramer's supposedly final trek with Aerosmith will be dubbed the Aero-Verderci Baby Farewell Tour - and could go on for years.



Towering Bowie statue proposed (watch)

If organizers get their way and their funding, a 3 story statue of David Bowie could tower over the Brixton section of London.  A crowdfunding effort has been rolled out to try and raise the money that would be needed to create the tall, slim replica of Bowie, complete with a lightning bolt resembling the one on the Aladdin Sane album cover.



Allmans reunite at Butch Trucks memorial

Monday (2/20) night in Macon, Georgia a private memorial service for drummer Butch Trucks brought an impressive bunch of musicians together at the Capitol Theatre, and included the largest contingent of former members of his band to play together in quite some time.  On hand to do a set of ABB classics were fellow drummer Jaimoe, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Jack Pearson,Marc Quinones and Jimmy Herring. Among the songs performed were Statesboro Blues, Ain't Wasting Time No More and As The Years Go Passing By.



Axl might be recording with Angus Young

Axl Rose's stint as front man for AC/DC may carry through from the stage to the studio.  There are reports that Angus Young and the Guns N' Roses veteran have been recording some songs together. Noise 11 fueled the speculation with an account of the GNR concert in Melbournes that included, "Axl Rose fronting AC/DC was controversial and if you don't like that combination you will be horrified to know there is an album on the way."  Rumors run rampant when it comes to both these bands - and neither camp has provided any confirmation.



Joe Walsh, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr record together

Ringo Starr was joined in the studio by former Beatle band mate Paul McCartney and fellow All-Starr alum Joe Walsh over the weekend (2/18 &19) for some recording.  Just how many songs the three worked together on remains unknown.  The extent of what is known comes via tweets. From Ringo referencing Paul's presence: "Thanks for coming over and playing great bass. I love you man peace and love", and from Walsh: "Humbled to play in the studio with these two. What a great time we had!"



Waters & Mason open to Floyd reunion

If Pink Floyd's three remaining members are to perform together again, Glastonbury could be the place. Appearing together at a Pink Floyd exhibit in London, Nick Mason and Roger Waters sent a clear signal to their guitarist that they are open to the idea of playing the festival. As has Peter Gabriel with Genesis, Gilmour has been the hold-out on reuniting Floyd. Asked about the prospects of them getting together again, Mason said, 'It would be nice to add that to the list of things.  I've never played Glastonbury. It would be fun to do.'  Worth noting, he also added, 'I don't think it would be very likely.'  The three last reunited 5 years ago at the O2 Arena in London.  In 2015 Gilmour admitted that he a Waters developed a strained relationship, saying, 'Roger and I don't particularly get along. We still talk. It's better than it's been. But it wouldn't work' when asked about performing or recording together.



Brisbane kid does duet with Springsteen (watch)

Springsteen plucking someone from the audience to dance or maybe share a few lines of a song with him during a concert is a fairly regular occurance.  But a Brisbane, Australia youngster got the chance to strap on a guitar and share a mic with the Boss for a complete rendition of Growin' Up - and get some posturing pointers from Bruce in the middle of it.  Judging from the vantage point of the video and the ecstatic reaction, it might have been his mom that captured it as it happened.


HBO grabs rights to Bowie doc

David Bowie was elusive and, during the last decade of his life, made a point of avoiding almost any public appearance at music related events.  What he was up to during the last five years of his life will be brought to light in a new documentary that HBO has just obtained the rights to.  David Bowie: The Last Five Years is being directed and produced by David Whately, the man who directed a 2013 documentaty titled David Bowie: Five Years that delved into 5 different years of the singer's fabled career.  HBO says Whately gained "unprecedented access to Bowie's closest friends and artistic collaborators" while making the film.  The director/producer says, 'Looking at Bowie's extraordinary creativity during the last five years of his life has allowed me to re-examine his life's work and move beyond the simplistic view that his career was simply predicated on change.'



Metallica's Hetfield was in a rage over Grammys tech troubles

The mic problem that plagued James Hetfield during Metallica's Grammy Award performance (story/video) infuriated him to a poing drummer Lars Ulrich says he's never seen before. Addressing the tech trouble and his guitarist and singer's reaction to it, Ulrich said to the event's host James Corden, 'We get off stage, we gt back there, and I haven't seen him like that in 20 years. I mean he was livid. He's aged really well and he's a pretty chill guy, but the first 5 or 10 minutes in that dressing room was not a lot of fun.'



Rick Wakeman in Keith Emerson tribute lineup

Yes veteran Rick Wakeman will be one of the musicians paying tribute to Keith Emerson during a concert July 28 in Birmingham, UK.  The event includes performances of Emerson's music from the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with musicians said to have been held in high regard by the late keyboard player from Emerson, Lake & Palmer. In addition to Wakeman, a young piano virtuoso from California named Rachel Flowers, French musician Thierry Eliez and the ELP tribute band Nobody's Puncture are also slated to appear.  An additional 'surprise guest' will be announced soon, according to organizers.



Angus Young joins GNR on stage in Sydney (Watch)

As predicted in our RI Quick Takes last week, AC/DC's Angus Young joined Guns N' Roses during the group's concerts in Sydney.  Here's a look & listen.



Metallica-Gaga Grammys performance (watch)

James Hetfield's mic didn't work and Lady Gaga almost did a face plant when a boot clipped the corner of a monitor, but they made it through a thundering version of Moth Into Flame during Grammys at the Staples Center.  A pissed off Hetfield gave his mic stand the boot at the end and then threw his guitar as he exited the stage.


Bowie scores 4 Grammy Awards

During his life and career, David Bowie's impact and influence on music was largely overlooked by the people that decide who deserves a Grammy award.  Now that he's gone, they flocked to reward him posthumously for an album that few fans consider on a par with his best work.  Of the dozen nominations Bowie received during his lifetime, he only collected the hardware for one - and that was in the video/short film category in 1985 for Jazzin' for Blue Jean (the song Blue Jean was also nominated, but lost that year).

Sunday night (2/12) in LA, Bowie cleaned up, winning a Grammy in four categories - all of them recognition for the music on Blackstar, the album released within days of his death at the end on 2015. Bowie won for Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, Best Alternative Music Album and Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical).



All-Star evening and jam honor Tom Petty in LA

The Grammys are irrelevant and unwatchable to most Rock fans, but the MusiCares Person of the Year event that takes place a couple of nights before them proved outstanding this year.  Tom Petty was the recipient this year, and on Friday night (2/10) the honoree reunited his Heartbreakers.  Sliding into Don't Come Around Here Anymore, Petty invited those gathered to come on down and dance in front of the stage.  Among those taking him up on the invitation was actress Helen Mirren. Stevie Nicks then joined Petty and his band on Stop Draggin' My Heart Around before inviting fellow Traveling Wilbury and ELO leader Jeff Lynne and George Harrison's son DhAni to the stage for a version of I Won't Back Down.  The evening ended with a roaring rendition of Runnin' Down a Dream.

Tributes to Petty included Jackson Browne doing The Waiting and Learning to Fly, the Foo Fighters covering Honey Bee and were joined by Guy Clark Jr. on Beakdown. Don Henley performed Free Fallin', Randy Newman did a solo piano version of Refugee.



Jerry Garcia guitar to aid Southern Poverty Law Center

Guernsey's has the honor of auctioning a guitar it last sold for nearly a million dollars in 2002 to a private collector that wants them to offer it again to raise money for the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Custom built by Doug Irwin and presented to Jerry Garcia in 1973, 'Wolf' became a cherished instrument to the Grateful Dead guitarist.  First played by Garcia in concert during a set the band played for the Hell's Angels in '73, the guitar became an iconic instrument to Dead fans throughout the world. The auction will take place in May at the Brooklyn Bowl in New York. Telephone and e-mail bids will also be accepted. Those interested in attending or bidding can learn more at



Metallica Night in the SF Giants schedule

With pitchers and catchers reporting to training camps in Florida and Arizona next week, baseball fans are starting to eye home schedules to see which games to plan on beingat. For Metallica's San Francisco Giants fans, the game against the defending world champion Chicago Cubs on August 7th will be a priority.  That is the date of the 5th annual Metallica Night at the Giants home park.  The Bay Area hard Rockers will belt out the national anthem before the game, toss out the ceremonial first pitch and participate in other activities to interact with the players and fans. Ticket packages offered for the game that night include a Metallica/Giants T-Shirt.  Partial proceeds from the sale of those tickets go to the Posey Family Foundation, founded by the veteran Giant to raise money to provide patient and family support to those in the battle against pediatric cancer.



Red Rocker's second season of Road Trips premiers March 5 (Watch)

There is nobody in Rock that's more fun to get hang time with than Sammy Hagar. The Red Rocker's season 2 of his Rock & Roll Road Show (AXIS-TV) finds him swapping stories and talking shop with Metallica's James Hetfield, John Mellencamp, Rick Neilsen of Cheap Trick, Mick Fleetwood, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and Toby Keith.  Look for episode 1 on March 5th at 9pm (Eastern).  The season premier finds Sammy with fellow Bay Area Rocker James Hetfield of Metallica at the Acoustic-4-A-Cure benefit the two stage at the Fillmore San Francisco.  Joe Satriani, John Mayer and Melisssa Etheridge also spend some time with Hagar during the session.  New to the show will be a fan Q&A opportunity hosted on Hagar's Facebook live stream on Sunday (2/19).  The broadcast schedule for season 2 is the March 5 premier, followed by:

3/12 Toby Keith

3/19 John Mellencamp

3/26 Rick Neilsen

4/2 Billy Gibbons

4/9 Mick Fleetwood

Here's a preview...





ROCKInsights Quick Takes

There are indications Angus Young will join Guns N' Roses on stage this weekend in Sydney.


Producer Don Was says Gregg Allman's new album is close to ready.


Van Halen has reportedly offered to play the half time show at next year's Super Bowl.


Sammy Hagar has been added to the speaker line-up at South By Southwest.

Work continues on Stones album

Early studio rehearsals for the next Rolling Stones studio album got the lads playing some of the Blues songs they grew-up loving just to loosen up.  They were having so much fun and sounding so good that they shifted gears and decided on putting out Blue and Lonesome, a stripped down tribute to musical idols of their youth.  Since its release, the band has resumed work with producer Don Was on a new album of band originals. Was, speaking with Ultimate Classic Rock, says the sessions have been going very well... 'The energy is f*#king great'.  He also credits the success of the Blues album for creating a good studio vibe, saying the guys are '...stoked about the response to Blue and Lonesome. It's them being them. It's an affirmation of the band being itself.'  That said, the producer also calls the current project '... a ways off yet until we're done.'



E Street Band member gets commencement gig

The graduating class of Rutgers University will get some life and career advice from Steven Van Zandt.  The Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band guitarist and Sopranos star will speak during commencement and receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts award during the graduation ceremony on May 14 at the Brunswick, NJ campus.



Cheap Trick plans on Summer album release

A lot of their contemporaries have abandoned writing and recording new music, but Cheap Trick is preparing their second new release in consecutive years.  A post on the group's Twitter account reveals that the Rockford, Illinois band hopes to have a new album "...completed by Spring and released at the beginning of Summer 2017."  Cheap Trick will tour with Foreigner during the summer and Nickelback in the fall.




Black Sabbath does final reunion tour show (Watch)

Black Sabbath wrapped up its reunion tour with a concert Saturday (2/4) in the city the band had its origin, Birmingham, England.  The 16 song set closed a tour that covered 26 countries over a two year span that included 81 shows.





Clapton documentary under production

A documentary about Eric Clapton being directed by Lili Fini Zanuck is in its formative stages.  A Life in 12 Bars will also get guidance from producer John Battes (Searching for Sugarman).  Zanuck's film will focus on EC's love for traditional blues as a basis for much of the music he has made during his remarkable career.  The director says the film that chronicles his life in music is "...indeed a melancholic victory lap, full of nostalgic myth, but always musically potent, always looking to the future.  Despite the fact that his path is strewn with tragedies, addiction and loss, he never fails to regain his bearings and continue to serve what he holds dearest: his music."



Ailing Metallica member offers a concert reboot (watch)

Metallica's Copenhagan concert went on despite illness due to popular demand.  During the Friday night set at the Royal Arena in Copenhagan, James Hetfield paused to tell Metallica fans that the band sounded bad because he was sick and told them he'd leave it up to them as to whether the show should continue or be rescheduled. There may have been some endorsing the idea of a make-up date, but they were drowned out by a roar of "NO!" from the crowd.



Steve Hackett gives advance listen to album

Steve Hackett gives us a preview of a track from his next solo album, The Night Siren, that we think sounds more Floyd than Genesis like. 



Yoko Ono working on film about her & John Lennon

Yoko Ono is reportedly working with producer Michael De Luca on a film about her relationship with John Lennon and their engagement in political and anti-war causes.  De Luca says the intent is to release a movie that will encourage young people to become active. The director issued a statement about the movie Wednesday (2/2) stating in part, 'The story will focus on ripe and relevant themes of love, courage and activism in the U.S. - with the intention of inspiring today's youth to stand up for and have a clear vision for the world they want."  De Luca would seem well suited to direct it.  His credits include The Social Network, Moneyball and Captain Phillips.  Our hope would be the film contains little or no singing by Ono.



Deep Purple previews upcoming release (Watch)

Deep Purple is giving us a behind-the-scenes look into the sessions the group did while recording Infinite, the album due out April 7.  The album, the group's 20th, was recorded in Nashville with Bob Ezrin producing.





Clapton shares musical tribute to John Wetton

Asia's John Wetton passed away this week after a three year battle with colon cancer.  As he did when his former Cream bassist Jack Bruce died, Eric Clapton posted a short acoustic tribute piece in Wetton's honor on his Facebook page.



Styx facing drum stick lawsuit

A fan that claims she was injured by a drum stick thrown into the audience at a Styx concert at an amphitherter concet near Atlanta in 2015 is suing the group. Lori Frederick's suit maintains that injuries to her face after being struck in the face by a drum stick that Todd Sucherman tossed as a souvineer resulted in a "loss of enjoyment of her life" because the drummer failed to give "timely and proper warning" that would have allowed her to protect herself.  The suit also targets TMB Productions, a Delaware based company that, according to the suit, "owned, operated or managed" Styx during the tour.



George Harrison archive being established

Olivia Harrison has received planning authority approval for her proposal to establish an archive of materials related to her late husband's career in the Beatles and as a solo artist.  Two new structures will be added on the grounds of the home the couple shared in the South Oxford area for the The George Harrison Archive.  One will be dedicated to housing the papers and artifacts. Another will include staff space.  A garage to house three of the late Beatle's cars will also be added.  Approval of the project was cintingent on the structures being in keeping with the "character and appearance" of the Henley area.



Procol Harum releasing 2017 album

Procol Harum will return with a new album and tour in 2017. Novum is the title of the group's first studio effort since 2003. The 11 track album is slated for an April 21 release.  Gary Brooker notes that "...with 2017 being 50 years of Procol Harum, something special was needed, which has resulted in a new album and new songs with the band as we've stood for the past decade and producer Dennis Weinreich to make what I believe to be one of the finest Procol Harum albums ever."


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