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Instrumental matchmaker for music greats has passed

 

Updates and noteworthy anniversaries involving Classic Rock musicians fill this page, but we also occasionally make note of those events in the lives of people that were instrumental in those musician's lives. In the case of Henry Goldrich he, was literally instrumental. Henry joked with customers who asked about his favored instrument or his skill level by saying, "I play the cash register", something he did from 1969 - 1999 as the owner of Manny's Music, the legendary musical instrument shop at 156 W 48th St. in New York City. A multitude of musicians from virtually every genre of music made that register sing, too, but it was especially true of guitar players. Wall space that wasn't covered with guitars and other equipment was scarce, but there you could peruse the personally signed photos of thanks from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, the Beatles, David Gilmour, the Who and dozens of other iconic musicians that crossed the threshold of what they came to consider a musical Mecca.

 

The namesake of the store was a saxophone salesman who opened the original location in 1935 at 120 West 48th. At the outset, it was only 20x20 feet, but by 1954 had swelled to fill the whole building. Rockefeller Center was interested in taking over the building eleven years later and offered to buy the building up the block that Manny's later occupied. Unfortunately, Manny passed away before the move was made. His son Henry and daughter Helen ran the business from 1969 until the early 90's when they handed the reigns to Manny's grandchildren. By then, online competition and franchised instrument mega stores were getting the lion's share of the sales. Manny's ceased to be a family run business in 1999 when Ian and Judd Goldrich sold Manny's to rival Sam Ash Music - although it was operated as a subsidiary, keeping the Manny's name and employees until 2009.

 

Henry Goldrich wasn't a musician, but from his childhood to well into adulthood he spent his days in the nearly constant company of them. He and his staff were highly knowledgeable and had little patience for novices or indecisive buyers, and people that wandered in to browse were subject to disdain. But their love for hooking-up accomplished musicians with just the right gear made Manny's Music the place almost all of the greats wanted to go.

 

We learned this week that Henry passed away on February 16th in Florida at 88. Manny's is gone, but one of its favorite customers and a world renowned guitarist and instrument and amp collector Joe Bonamassa, now owns the vertical sign with the clock at the bottom of it generations of musicians kept an eye out for when in Manhattan.

 

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Yes releasing massive box set

 

Add Yes to the ever growing list of Classic Rock bands mining the archives for expanded edition box sets. Union 30 Live, a 30 disc collection culled from the 1991 tour of the prog group's lineup featuring Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Bill Bruford, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman, Alan White, Trevor Rabin and Tony Kaye all uniting for the Union album and tour. The super deluxe version includes some fan recordings, radio broadcasts, repro laminate and fabric tour passes and tour programs, 10 photos and 2 posters, all packaged in a replica tour equipment case. The massive collection drops on May 3, along with a 4lp vinyl set of Union 30 Live.

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Who boxing up The Who Sell Out deluxe re-release

 

Pete Townshend is suggesting there's a decent chance a new album will develop out of some pandemic lockdown music he and Roger Daltrey have worked on. One thing on the Who horizon is certain is that a bunch of previously unavailable material is being packed into an expanded edition of the band's 1967 album The Who Sell Out that's due out April 23rd. The double vinyl and CD sets will be accompanied by a Super Deluxe version that has 46 previously unreleased tracks, nine posters and an 80 page hardbound book.

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Peter Frampton previews his instrumentals album

Peter Frampton's April 23rd album aptly titled Peter Frampton Forgets The Words is an instrumental album, but Peter certainly knows how to make his strings sing. Here's the version of Roxy Music's Avalon he and his band did for the album.

 

 

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Jimmy Page and David Coverdale consider recording together

 

Coverdale-Page, the 1993 collaboration involving David Coverdale and Jimmy Page is closing in on its 30th anniversary. The Whitesnake and Led Zeppelin veterans are already on the same page regarding an expanded re-release of the 1993 album in 2023, but Coverdale is actively trying to entice Jimmy to record some new tracks to include on it. Speaking with Eddie Trunk on his SiriusXM program Trunk Nation recently, David said he pitched the Zep guitar great on working together on some new material on Zoom or FaceTime. One obstacle is that Page is hunkered down at his country estate due to the pandemic and not inclined to motor into a London studio for sessions, but with the better part of a year to go and Covid hopefully getting reigned in, there should be enough time to get the couple of songs Coverdale has in mind to add finished, arranged and recorded.

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Highway to Hell's unlikely origin

 

Angus Young credits a bathroom break for a lyrics breakthrough for one of AC/DC's biggest songs. During an interview session for Essentials Radio on Apple Music 1, Angus said he and Malcolm Young were in a Miami studio's rehearsal room in 1979. All Angus had in mind was to start the song with the stripped down drums/guitar riff da-da-da - da-da-da, but he wanted to make sure the rest kicked in at the right time. Malcolm popped behind the kit and the two nailed down the timing. Then Angus headed to the toilet and while tending to business on the throne, came up with the lyrics for Highway to Hell.

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Abbey Road sign value shattering expectations

Photo: Catherine Southon

 

One of the most prized street signs to hit an auction block has already attracted bids that greatly exceed its expected selling value. The Abbey Road enamel coated iron sign designed in 1967 had been expected to sell for between 1,000 - 2,000 Pounds (approximately $1,400 - $2,800) when the gavel falls on March 3, but as of this afternoon, bidding had already reached 9,000 pounds, or nearly $12,700.

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Todd Rundgren's innovative virtual tour.

 

While most of his musical contemporaries are holed up waiting for in-person concert restrictions to get eased or lifted, Todd Rundgren is virtually projecting himself and his band to 25 cities during his Clearly Human Tour.  The 2021 Rock Hall Of Fame nominee is opting to do it because he's always felt that relating to and connecting with the audience in each city he plays is important to him and his fans. To do that more effectively than most virtual concerts, he and the band are making set lists, between song references and visual elements of the live sets they are streaming from Chicago specific to each city on the "tour". 

 

Another thing that sets him apart is his determination to continue evolving musically.  He's more interested in retaining and gaining fans open to hearing him do new and different things than those that only want to hear his hits like Hello, It's Me (which he won't do).   

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Lynyrd Skynyrd's 1976 Knebworth concert getting released

 

American artists and bands doing European tours relatively early in their careers ventured across the pond knowing they had something to prove - especially to British audiences. 1976 wasn't Lynyrd Skynyrd's first UK visit, but the August 21 concert the group did at Knebworth put them in front of one of the biggest audiences they'd played and on a bill that included the Rolling Stones. The epic set Skynyrd did that date was incredible. A CD/DVD/LP release of it is slated for April 19.

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Neil Young's earliest filmed live set coming out

 

Neil Young continues to mine his archived concerts for ones worthy of release. His next will be one he thinks is the earliest solo live set ever filmed, a 1971 recording of a set he did a the Shakespeare Theater in Stratford, Connecticut that took place just a couple of months after the release of After the Gold Rush. Young calls it "one of the most pure sounding acoustic performances" he's got in his substantial archive of material. It will be available March 26 on vinyl. CD and DVD.

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1971 Allman Brothers Band live album due on band's anniversary

 

Allman Brothers Band fans can look forward to the release of live tracks recorded during a concert at the Austin Municipal Auditorium in September of 1971. In addition to the nine songs on Down In Texas '71, the release includes a radio interview Duane Allman and Berry Oakley did earlier that year. The concert features the band in peak form during a concert that took place just a couple of months after the release of the double live Fillmore East album and a month before Duane's fatal motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia. The release is scheduled for March 26, the 52nd anniversary of the legendary group's formation.

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Wolfgang Van Halen album drops in June

 

June 11 is the drop date of the debut album by Eddie Van Halen's son, Wolfgang. Mammoth WVH is a solo album in the truest sense. Wolfgang wrote all 14 of the songs, sang all of the vocals and played all of the instruments on the album. He has put together a band for touring purposes, once that becomes a thing again. Catch the group tonight on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

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Springsteen facing DWI charge

 

Bruce Springsteen was arrested last November after a sobriety check at a closed National Recreation Area in New Jersey. TMZ broke the story in an account that said Springsteen was cooperative during the incident that took place at an entrance to the Gateway National Recreation Area near Sandy Hook. The arrest was made even though his blood alcohol level was 0.02 and the state's legal limit is 0.08, so the fact he was at a closed property that prohibits alcohol was a probable factor in the decision to charge him. The story likely surfaced because the virtual court case taking place soon showed up on a public docket.

A New York Post account of the story provides some even more surprising info on the circumstances. According to an unidentified "source close to Springsteen", fans that recognized Bruce riding his motorcycle flagged him down and asked if they could get a photo with him. Bruce obliged, pulling into the Recreation Area's entrance for the photo op. One of them offered Bruce a shot of Tequila, which Springsteen accepted and downed while sitting on his parked, engine not not running bike. Park Police saw him drink the shot and pulled him over as soon as he started to exit the entrance area.

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Fleetwood Mac's uncertain future

 

If Fleetwood Mac does a post pandemic tour, Christine McVie doesn't think Stevie Nicks or her former husband John McVie will opt-in and says she would only be up for doing one if the length and number of dates got kept at a less taxing level that ones they'd been doing since she rejoined the band. The revelations came during an interview she did with BBC 2.

 

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Metallica Rocks The Late Show

To our eyes and ears, this year's Super Bowl was seriously lacking - both the game itself and the half time show. We hope next year's is more competitive and they jettison the pop crap during half time and get back to acts that Rock. The Super Bowl special edition of the Late Show did just that. Here's what you missed if the game put you to sleep.

 

 

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Inside the Band's 50th anniversary Stage Fright re-release

A glimpse into the Band's 50th anniversary expanded edition of Stage Fright. The remixed and remastered album's Super Deluxe edition includes 180 gram black and color vinyl pressings, 2CD/Blu-ray and box set photo booklet and plenty of bonus material, including tracks recorded at Royal Albert Hall in June of 1971, several field recordings and a late hotel night jam session involving Robbie Robertson, Rick Dank and Richard Manuel.

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Future music from Rush members possible

 

The Who carried on without Keith Moon, but the death of John Bonham was the end of Led Zeppelin. While we expect the latter to be the case with Rush after losing drummer and principle songwriter Neil Peart, the other two members are expressing an interest in continuing to work together. Speaking with Make Weird Music, Alex Lifeson said that he and Geddy Lee are looking forward to future musical collaborations. Both have been writing music and Alex is confident that it will lead to the two of them getting together to work on material after the pandemic subsides. As he put it in his interview, "...we're both eager to get back together and kind of get back into that thing that we've done since we were 14 years old that we love to do. And we work really, really well together, so we'll see what happens with that."

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The Stones take the wraps off new candy bars

 

Idled by the pandemic like almost all bands, the Rolling Stones have moved into a couple of niche ventures to bring in some revenue. They opened a clothing boutique some months ago in the trendy Carnaby Street neighborhood. Their latest band extension will come in the form of a couple of confections based on songs. Chocolate bars named Brown Sugar and Cherry Red, referencing the lyric from You Can't Always Get What You Want will join the wide array of Stone merch already available on the band's website.

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Toto's Steve Lukather premieres solo title track

A pair of Toto veterans have solo releases dropping on February 26. Joseph Williams, who took over lead vocals in 1986-'88 and 2010 forward will release Denizen Tenant and guitarist Steve Lukather is putting out an album titled I Found The Sun Again.

Here's a look and listen to Lukather's title track in a video he describes as "Pink Floyd meets Christopher Cross and Joni Mitchell on acid".

 

 

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Rod Stewart reaches settlement on battery charges

 

A 2020 New Year's Day altercation Rod Stewart and his son had with a security guard at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida has apparently been resolved. The incident reportedly took place when the Stewarts tried to get a young family member into a private children's party at the resort without invites. The South Florida SunSentinel says a plea deal was reached in the case with the assistant DA.

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Animals guitarist Hilton Valentine passes

 

Hilton Valentine, the founding guitarist in the Animals, passed away on Friday. Born May 23, 1943, Valentine started playing guitar in his first year as a teen, and formed a skiffle group named the Heppers while in high school. The group shifted into a Rock mode in 1959, adopting the name the Wildcats. Four years later, future Animals leader Eric Burdon, bassist Chas Chandler and keyboard player Alan Price were performing as the Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo to the Animals. Chandler invited Valentine and drummer John Steel to join and the name was changed to the Animals. During a recent interview with Guitar International, front man Eric Burdon attributed much of the success of the Animals to the guitarist, saying, "It really was Hilton who made the early Animals a rock band", adding, "Hilton wasn't just playing rock n' roll, he looked rock n' roll", and called his playing, his appearance, attitude and energy the band's "secret weapon". R.I.P. Hilton.

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Peter Frampton announces a new album

 

Peter Frampton is back with another album showcasing instrumental versions of a number of his favorite songs. The April 23 release titled Frampton Forgets the Words was recorded at the guitar great's own studio in Nashville using the 1954 Les Paul guitar that went missing in a 1980 plane crash and was returned to him more than 30 years later. The album will feature songs written by George Harrison, David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Lenny Kravitz and more musicians Peter admires. Although there are no vocals, Frampton says, "My guitar is also a voice and I have always enjoyed playing my favorite vocal lines that we all know and love. These tracks are my great band and me paying tribute to the original creators of this wonderful music. So much fun to do and I really hope you enjoy it to." It's a good bet we will.

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A supergroup few heard about

Only Rock fans in Japan got lucky enough to witness firsthand the brief tour of perhaps the most remarkable supergroup ever assembled. Ringo Starr had put together the first of his many subsequent All Starr Band lineups in 1989. That tour proved again the combined drawing power of a lineup of high profile players. The following year he decided to take off. That fall, it happened that the Eagles, the Who and some other big bands were also idle 1990 band brought together Joe Walsh, John Entwistle, Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan veteran Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter. The two weeks 'the Best' was a band included sizzling sets of music form all of their respective bands.

 

 

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Dueling music services

 

Amazon is rolling out a concerts and music docs channel for Prime members. The Coda Collection will debut February 18 with an initial offering of 150 titles, including the recently release Jimi Hendrix in Maui and The Rolling Stone On The Air. Prime members will get a week of free viewing, after which continuing to use the service will cost $4.99 a month at codacollection.co.

Given the annual cost of Prime, making it free to Prime members and $9.99 to non members seems like a better idea. Nugs.net offers much more bang for your buck with an audio archive 250,000 titles deep and a healthy helping of live (some free, others on a pay-for-view basis) and on demand concert performances for $50 currently and with a free trial available.

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Why Steve Hackett won't reunite with Genesis

 

The Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford lineup of Genesis had to put tour plans on hold twice because of the pandemic, but have now rescheduled The Last Domino Tour to begin in September with consecutive nights in Dublin. Guitarist Steve Hackett and former front man Peter Gabriel will not participate. Hackett, who has continued to mount very successful tours of his own backing band doing Genesis material, recently opened up a bit about why he parted ways with the band, but also seemed to leave open the future possibility or doing things with his former band mates. Talking on the Vintage Rock Podcast, Hackett attributed his departure to feeling as though Banks and Rutherford were reluctant to give him an equal role in making decisions about the material the band would play, saying, I didn't want to remain employed in a band that I think I was supposed to be a full-blown member in, only to come up against the brick walls at times." He added, I love so much the work that we did together. I think that was a fabulous band, an incredible collection of brain children." As for doing future things with Genesis, he said, "...I doubt that I will be involved with any of that, even though I will be up for it".

Steve's new solo album, Under A Mediterranean Sky, was released last week.

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