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Noteworthy Now Archives for 2017-12

12-31 Band Of Gypsys debut

New Year's Eve 1969 and New Year's day 1970, Jimi Hendrix did his first performances with the follow-up band to the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Band Of Gypsys, at New York's Fillmore East, doing two concerts both nights.  The double live album culled from those concerts was released on March 25th of 1970.


David Bowie's son launches book club

Film director Duncan Bowie has started an online book club via Twitter in recognition of his late father's love of reading.  David Bowie's son described his father as a "beast of a reader" and said he is doing the virtual group out of his "feeling a building sens of duty to go on the same literary marathon in tribute to dad."  For those interested in reading along, Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd is first up.



12-30 Felix Pappalardi born

Born 12/30... Bo Diddley, Move, ELO and Traveling Wilbury Jeff Lynne and Felix Pappalardi, the classically trained bass player and vocalist of Mountain, who also produced three Cream albums. Felix was shot an killed by his wife, using a derringer he'd given her as a gift.


Joe Bonamassa & Beth Hart together again (preview)

Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa collaborated on the Grammy nominated Blues album Seesaw four year ago.  The new year finds them together again on a covers release titled Black Coffee (1/26 Mascot Records).  Hart and Bonamassa cut the 10 songs on the release in less than a week in Las Vegas in 2016, working with Anton Fig (drums), Michael Rhodes (bass), Reese Wynans (keyboard), Rob McNelley (rhythm guitar), Lee Thornburg horns) and Ron Dziubla (sax).

Some Black Coffee Tracks and original artists


Give it Everything You've Got (Edgar Winter)

Damn Your Eyes (Etta James)
Why Don't You Do It Right? (Joe McCay, previously covered by both Lil Green and Peggy Lee)

Black Coffee (Ike & Tina Turner)

Lullaby of the Leaves (Ella Fitzgerald)

Sitting On Top Of The World (Ray Charles, also covered by Howlin' BB King, Cream, the Grateful Dead)



Ace Frehley on ice New Year's Day

Ace Frehley will perform New York Groove before the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers take the ice for the 2018 NHL Winter Classic on the temp rink set up in Citi Field.  The Mets blast the tune after every home field win during the MLB season.  E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg and Buffalo's Goo Goo Dolls (has there EVER been a worse name for a band?) will also play the event.

12-28 Edgar Winter Birthday

One of the most versatile musicians in Rock arrived on this day in 1946 in Beaumont, Texas. Edgar Winter, Johnny's younger brother, a multi-instrumentalist with almost equally impressive chops on keyboards, sax, guitar and percussion.


Bono claims near death experience

U2's Songs Of Experience came close to being a posthumous release for the group's frontman.  Bono tells Rolling Stone in the magazine's January issue that he had what he characterized as a physical extinction event and that, having survived it, feels like he is "the f%#@ing luckiest man on Earth."  Bono did not provide any specifics about the episode but his reference to it included the possibility it would result in a "fast exit" suggests it may have been a cardiac or stroke related incdient.  He's had some rough years physically, starting with the 2010 spinal injury that required brain surgery and a 2015 bicycling accident in New York City that resulted in fairly serious injuries.




12-26 Led Zeppelin's US debut

The day after Christmas in 1968, Led Zeppelin made its US concert debut as a late addition opening act for a concert headlined by Vanilla Fudge that also featured Spirit.   The show took place on at the Auditorium Arena in Denver.  Thomas MacCLUSKEY covered the show for the Rocky Mountain News, lauding Jimmy Page in his review as "exceptionally fine". He was a good deal less impressed by Robert Plant, judging him that night to be a singer "a cut above average" with "no special appeal in sound."  The concert took place about two weeks before the US release of the first Zeppelin album.



UCLA setting up Chris Cornell Scholorship

In addition to his passsion for music, Chris Cornell had deep feelings about justice and human rights. The widow of the late Soundgarden leader has established an endowment of more than $1 million to provide scholarships to assist students attending UCLA Law.  In announcing the initiative Vicky Cornell said, "My husband and I agreed that given the opportunity of education, people have the power to change the world."  The program at the University will be under The Promise Institute, which gets its name from the title of the song Cornell wrote for The Promise,  the 2017 film that documents the 1915 Armenian genocide that killed approximately 1.5 million in what is now Turkey and was then part of the Ottoman Empire.



12-25 Jimmy Buffett Birthday

Presents aplenty December 25th for the troubadour born Christmas day in 1946 in Pascagoula, Mississippi that went on to become a huge presence in both the entertainment and business worlds.


12-24 Lemmy Born

Ian Fraser Kilmister, the one time roadie that became one of Rock's most hard driving bass players and distinctive singers, entered and exited this world in the same week.



New Year's Eve... a knight to remember

New Year's Eve 2017/2018 will be particularly special for Ringo Starr if reports circulating in the UK prove true.  The Daily Mirror and the Telegraph are out with articles indicating that the former Beatles drummer will be knighted at Buckingham Palace.  Starr received the MBE honor in 1965, but it was never followed up with the higher distinction of being knighted, a recognition Paul McCartney was rewarded with 20 years ago.  Sir Paul is said to have remarked to the Queen, 'Look love, it's about time'.  Ringo joins a small circle of Rockers including Mick Jagger, Bob Geldof, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Bono, Van Morrison, Rod Stewart and Ray Davies.  David Bowie declined the honor in 2003.  Beatles producer George Martin received the distinction in 1996.


2018 Def Leppard, Journey joint tour planned

Def Leppard and Journey are reportedly close to announcing a 2018 joint tour in the US and Canada. The two bands last toured together in 2006. Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen touched on the tour plan during this discussion about his artwork.


12/22 Rick Nielsen birthday

Growing up in a musical family is great.  Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen had it even better.  Not only were both his parents musical, the family also owned a music store.  Starting with drums, young Rick dabbled with multiple instruments and eventually was won over by guitars and keyboards. After a short stint as Todd Rundgren's replacement in Nazz, Nielsen formed a band with Tom Petersson that later recruited Bun E. Carlos as its drummer that morphed into Cheap Trick.  Robin Zander came on board in 1974.


12/21 Elvis meets Nixon

December 21, 1970 Elvis Presley met Richard Nixon in the Oval Office, where Presley presented the President with a Colt pistol and Nixon made Elvis an honorary agent in the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. The meeting was arranged after Presley sent a six page letter to the White House expressing his admiration for the President and suggesting a meeting... and him being named a "Federal Agent at Large" in the Bureau.


Robert Plant's Aston Martin available (watch)

The 1965 Aston Martin DB-5 Robert Plant tooled around in during the 1970's and early 80's could be yours... for $1 million.  The deep red model of the car the Bond film series propelled to event greater fame does not include the weaponry of the custom models on the big screen, but it is in pristine condition, and the fact that the lead singer of one of Rock's most legendary bands owned and drove it for around 15 years makes it one of the more unique collectibles to ever hit the open market.  The car is being sold by Nicholas Mee & Co.





12-20 Concert for Bangladesh released

On August 1, 1971, George Harrison staged two concerts in Madison Square Garden to raise awareness and funds to help starving refugees in war-torn Bangladesh.  The afternoon and evening concerts featured performances by Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Badfinger, and Billy Preston. Each concert opened with Indian music sets from sitarist Ravi Shankar.  Combined, the two sold-out concerts, sales of the triple album, and the film documenting the concerts produced more than $10 million dollars in relief funds.


Whitesnake releasing live Coverdale era Deep Purple collection

David Coverdale's role in Deep Purple was celebrated by his own band when Whitesnake released a studio collection in 2015 showcasing a number of his most powerful songs while a member of the Rock Hall Of Fame band.  That was so well received that Coverdale decided to put together a tour featuring those songs as well as Whitesnake material.  On January 19, The Purple Tour (Live) gets released on vinyl/CD and DVD by Rhino Records.

The Purple Tour (Live) includes Coverdale, Reb Beach & Joel Hoekstra (guitars), Michael Devin (bass) Michele Luppi (keyboards) and drummer Tommy Aldridge delivering powerful Whitesnake concert versions of songs from the Deep Purple albums Burn, Stormbringer and Come Taste The Band, along with Whitesnake classics including Here I Go Again, Still Of The Night, Fool For Your Loving and Love Ain't No Stranger.



Stone Temple Pilots introduce new lead singer (Listen)

Jeff Gutt, the new lead singer for Stone Temple Pilots, makes his recording debut on the song Meadow from the group's 2018 album.  Gutt's first concert with STP took place in November in a Hollywood, CA club.  The band hits the road for an 18 date tour opening March 2 in Clarita, CA and winding up with a May 25 set at Rocklahoma in Pryor, OK.




Gene Simmons in Me Too crosshairs

Gene Simmons is facing allegations that he made unwanted sexual advances toward a woman in November while being interviewed at a California restaurant the KISS bass player co-owns with Paul Stanley.  The unidentified broadcaster maintains that Simmons repeatedly touched her despite her clear signals that she considered the advances unwelcome. The San Bernadino Sun reports a suit filed Friday (12/15) contends Simmons started it by lacing answers with sexual innuendos, forced her hand to his knee and then reached for it again before he "forceibly flicked/struck" her in the throat.  The woman also contends that Simmons reached for and touched her bottom while photos were being taken.  Simmons denied the allegations vis social media in a post reading, "Friends, I intend to defend myself against any alleged charges that you may have been reading about in the media.  For the record, I did not assault the person making these accusations in the manner alleged in the complaint or harm her in any way."



12/17 Paul Rodgers Birthday

Decades of wailing on mic have diminished some once great voices, but pipes
of this guy are still amazingly strong. Happy Birthday to frontman of Free, Bad
Company and, occasionally, Queen.


U2 albums sales plunge week 2

U2 soared to the top of the album sales charts when Songs Of Experience was released, but plunged by more than 80% in the second week, landing at #7 on one predicted sales chart and #15 on a streaming chart. 
Heralded as the best U2 album since The Joshua Tree by many critics, the plummeting interest in the release makes it obvious that unless fans are holding off getting it in hopes someone will gift it to them for the holidays, most are a lot less impressed by what they hear than the critics are.



12/15 Beatles '65 Released

The 7th Beatles album got its US release on this date. More than half of the tracks on it also appeared on Beatles For Sale.

Beatles '65 was the tops selling album in the country for more than two months at the start of that year. Close to two million copies were sold in the US by year's end.

Sambora looking forward to Bon Jovi induction

Richie Sambora says he will be happy to take part in Bon Jovi's induction into the Rock Hall Of Fame in April.  The former Bon Jovi guitarist told Rolling Stone that no formal exchanges about him playing during the Cleveland induction have taken place, but added, 'I'm sure those conversations will happen.'  More than a million fans voted for the band to get in on its first appearance on the ballot.


12/14 Queen releases Sheer Heart Attack

Queen released its third studio album in the US on December 14th, 1974,
more than a month after its UK release.  The tour mounted by the band in
support of the album would be Queen's first global trek.



Eddie Money & Family on AXS TV

Eddie Money is as entertaining off stage as he is on one.  AXS TV is banking on that coming through on Real Money, a reality show featuring The Money Man and other members of his family.  The 10 episode series will debut April 8 and will include all the mahem and hijinx you would expect in a household of several talented musicians with eight family pets.  The episodes will also include candid and tender moments. Money says, 'We may not be the typical cookie-cutter family, but we have a strong sense of love and loyalty for each other that really shines through.  It's real, and it's somehting I think everyone can relate to.  We're xcited to share our lives with America, as they join us on this wild ride. I've only got two tickets to paradise, but I'm taking everybody!'




    Photo:AXS TV

Doors Isle Of Wight 1970 coming on DVD and Blu-ray

The last concert the Doors performed in the UK took place during the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970. That set is also the only known unreleased concert performance of the group.  The timing couldn't be better. As the footage sat in storage, the technology for restoring it developed to a point that the quality is substantially better than it could have been if it had been released in any decade prior to this one. Remixed from the original recording by the Doors go-to guy for production and engineering, Bruce Botnick, the audio for The Doors: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 is encoded in 5.1 digital format, producing a result that makes viewing this DVD like being among the 600,000 lucky enough to witness it live.  Ray Manzarek described the performance as one the band '...played with a controlled fury and Jim was in fine vocal form.  He sang for all he was worth.'  The 84 minute DVD includes a closing segment of interviews.  Here's a brief preview of what's in store on the February 23 release from Eagle Rock Entertainment.





A-Rod and The Boss

Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez took in Bruce Springsteen's one man show on Broadway Tuesday night and the pair got some hang time with Bruce after his performance.


David Bowie: The Last Five Years preview

David Bowie: The Last Five Years is just that - a revealing film documenting the final five years of one of the more reclusive major figures in Rock.  HBO will debut the movie January 8 at 8pm (Eastern).  Here's a glimpse of what to expect.



2018 Rock Hall inductees reveal

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has announced the roster of inductees that will be enshrined in the Cleveland music museum on Saturday, April 14.  Heading the list,  and long ovedue for the honor in the minds of legions of Classic Rock fans, is the Moody Blues.  Bon Jovi rode into a first round eligible induction on the crest of more than 1 million fan votes.  The Cars also get member status, but another Boston band many feel deserve it got passed over again - the J. Geils Band.  Also getting recognition from the Hall is Nina Simone.  The exclusion of several other nominees that many Rock fans consider inappropriate for a Rock museum makes the 2018 class one of the least contentious ones in ages for the Rock Hall.



Wolfgang Van Halen goes multi-instrumental on solo album

Wolfgang Van Halen sticks to playing bass with VH, but shows that's just one instrument he's mastered on his forthcoming solo album.  His father is psyched about it, telling a gathering he adddressed at the Smithsonian, "This is not 'pop talking, this is real talk; it blew my mind".  No title or release date has been announced yet for the project.  Here he is demonstrating how well he can shred on one of his father's favorite guitars.


Neil Young's model trains raise $300k

Neil Young's life long love of model trains turned into a windfall Saturday (12/9) for the special needs school Young and his former wife started.  After discontinuing the annual benefit concert for the Bridge School the Youngs had staged for many years, Neil decided to put more than 200 pieces from his train collection, a couple of cars, a considerable number of instruments and other assorted pieces of musical equipment up for auction.  The trains alone brough in $300,000. His 1953 Buick Roadmaster convertible with a "Customized for Neil Young" emblem embedded in its steering wheel sold for $400,000.








   Julien's Auctions

Sammy Hagar's Rock & Roll Road Show rolls again

Sammy Hagar will be Rocking AXS TV for a third season. The Red Rocker's show has the Montrose, Van Halen, Chickenfoot and solo veteran wheeling his way in one of his exotic cars to meet-ups with Roger Daltrey, Dave Grohl, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Bob Weir and Sarah McLachlan.  Some shows include impromptu performances and guest time at the wheel of one of Sammy's rides. All include the kind of fun conversations Sammy has with other artists when they are hanging out together or backstage at concerts.  Good stuff.








2017 Christmas Jam Highlights

An early season snow storm in Asheville presented a challenge for fans and musicians, but the 29th Warren Haynes Christmas Jam Saturday (12/9) provided enough musical warmth to make it another great night out in one of the nation's best small music cities.  Haynes joined Jake Shimabukuro on a moving version of Melissa on a night that Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks were on the minds and in the hearts of everyone in US Cellular Center. Shimabukuro and Holly Bowling combined on Bird Song, The Other One and Hallelujah before Blackberry Smoke lit the place up.  The Avett Brothers did a strong set and lingered on stage to do a couple of songs with Haynes, who was also joined by Ann Wilson for Southern Accents in tribute to Tom Petty. Trey Anastasio and Haynes got together for the Phish song Miss You and Gregg's Midnight Rider.  The full-on tribute to Allman featured Haynes with Marc Quinones, Lamar Willimas Jr., Bruce Katz, Paul Riddle and Gov't Mule bass player Jorgen Carlson.  The long evening rocked to a close with a Mule set with Wilson that included Zeppelin's Black Dog, Immigrant Song and No Quarter, along with Heart's Magic Man.



Steven Tyler opens sanctuary for abused women

Aerosmith's Steven Tyler wrote Janie's Got A Gun as a description of the plight of women that are victims of abuse.  He has now opened a shelter in Atlanta as a place women that have drawn the line on continuing in an abusive relationship or those that are victims of sexual attacks outside of a relationship can find safety and support.  Janie's House will provide therapists in addition to shelter.  Tyler describes it as a place where girls and women will get assistance in dealing with the trauma they have experienced, saying, 'It's a safe haven, and more than anything, it gives them a voice'.  The facility has room for 30 residents.



Freddie Mercury biopic names new director

It did not take the production team behind the Freddie Mercury biopic long to pick a new director.  Just two days after dismissing Brian Singer (story), Dexter Fletcher has been named as director for the film starring Rami Malek as Queen's charismatic front man.  Fletcher's past credits include Eddie The Eagle and Sunshine On Leith.  

Here's a look at Malek in the role.



Joe Perry previews new release (Listen)

Joe Perry releases the album Sweetzerland Manifesto January 19. Here's an advance listen to the track Aye, Aye, Aye, recorded with Robin Zander of Cheap Trick.



U2 does underground gig in Berlin

Bono and The Edge staged an acoustic performance on a subway platform of Berlin's U-Bahn Wednesday (12/6) and then boarded the a train with 120 of the assembled fans for the trip to the Deutsche Opera stop, where U2 did a live set for radio station ticket winners.



10 previously unreleased Hendrix tracks due

A 13 song Jimi Hendrix album that includes 10 not previously released tracks is due early in 2018 from Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recodrings.  The unreleased material was recorded during the two years prior to his 1970 death and includes a couple of tracks that also feature Stephen Stills.  Eddie Kramer, the engineer of all of the recordings Hendrix did during his brief but prolific career, describes those two songs as ' Crosby, Stills & Nash, except it's on acid'.  Both Sides of the Sky gets its release on March 9.



John Mayer undergoes emergency appendectomy

John Mayer underwent an emergency appendectomy Monday, causing The Dead & Company to postpone a scheduled New Orleans concert that evening. No decision had been announced as of late Monday night as to whether the group's Wednesday and Thursday tour closing concerts in Orlando and Sunrise, Florida would get rescheduled.  The only other concerts currently on the group's slate is  a series of four sold out nights in Riviera Maya, Mexico in mid February.



Freddie Mercury biopic director bounced

FOX studios reportedly attributed the decision to part ways with director Bryan Singer mid-project in the filming of a long awaited Freddie Mercury biopic to unprofessional conduct.  With announcements using those or similar terms increasingly associated with salacious conduct, Singer wanted to explain the parting in more detail.  He did so through the Hollywood Reporter by saying, "I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project ant to help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen, but Fox would not permit me to do so because I needed to temporarily put my health, and the health of my loved ones, first."  He went on to say that there were "...pressing health matters concerning one of my parents" and the studio decided against delaying the project for him to take a leave to tend to that.   There had also been suggestions that Singer and Rami Malek, the lead actor in the film, had been at odds during recent weeks of filming.



Todd Rundgren Broadway Bound

His stint as a member of the Ringo Starr All Star Band over, Todd Rundgren is focused on bringing a musical highlighting his own 50 years as a recording artist to Broadway.  His ambition to do it predates similar ones from two artists already having a big impact on The Great White Way, Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Buffett.  Springsteen has twice extended his residency on Broadway.  Intended to run only from October into November, Bruce's run now extends all the way into June of next year.  Jimmy Buffett's Escape to Margaritaville is opening, appropriately, to high expectations.  Speaking with The Hype Magazine, Rundgren pointed out that Groundbreaking musicals like The Book of Mormon and Hamilton have opened eyes and ears of a whole new audience on Broadway.  While Todd's production will draw mostly on well known material from his considerable catalog, he also anticipates adding some new compositions that help develop the story line.



Pontiac Silverdome demolition fails (watch)

The Pontiac Silverdome was scheduled to become jsut a pile of rubble Sunady morning (12/3), but the Michigan arena that was the home of the the Detroit Lions from 1975- 2001 and hosted an April 30 1977 Led Zeppelin performance that set an indoor concert attendance record of more than 76,000 withstood the attempted implosion. Bob Seger, the Rolling Stones, the Who and many others also made Silverdome tour stops.  



A very special night in Omemee, Ontario

Neil Young made this year's first of December one that folks in his childhood hometown of Omemee, Ontario will remeber and pass along for generations.  It was the night Young returned to the village of around 1200 and web cast a concert world wide from a small historic venue brimming with friends and family members.  Young worked his way through a number of instruments and songs from multiple eras of his long career at a casual pace during the 90 minute set.  As special as the event was for all lucky enough to get an invite or be able to take it in sitting on hay bales arranged in front of vintage TV sets spread out in a viewing area outside the venue, it was even more special for Barry Killen.  Killen hadn't expected to be able to go and would not have had he not happened to find someone's cell phone and do the right thing by contacting the owner, one Randy Bachman.  The Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive member thanked him by taking him to Young's concert with him.




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