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Eddie Van Halen mural going up in Hollywood

Artist Robert Vargas has designed a larger than life portrait mural of Eddie Van Halen he's titled Long Live The King that fills an exterior wall of the Guitar Center in Hollywood. The official unveiling will take place on the late guitar wizard's birthday on January 26th, but you can get a look at it right now in this video.

 

 

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Producer Phil Spector dies at 81

 

Phil Spector, the fabled but tormented producer credited with developing the 'wall of sound', reportedly died yesterday at 81. TMZ reports the 81 year old Spector, who was serving a 19 years - to life- sentence the murder of an actress on his estate in February of 2003, reportedly had been transferred from prison to a hospital after contracting Covid-19, but had been returned to the prison before being rushed back to the hospital yesterday, where he died.

 

In addition to being a producer, Spector worked in artist development, formed two record labels and exerted good deal of influence and, some said, an overbearing amount of control over many artists he worked with. At the height of his career, several Spector produced artists achieved major Top-40 success, including the Crystals,the Ronettes, the Righteous Brothers, Vikki Carr, and Darlene Love.

 

His most notable work involving classic rock was done with John Lennon (Instant Karma) George Harrison (All Things Must Pass) and on the Beatles Let It Be album. He also produced the Ramones End of the Century album in 1979. During one session, he allegedly pulled a gun on Dee Dee Ramone when he tried to leave early.

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Sammy Hagar on board with an Eddie Van Halen tribute

 

Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony are 'all-in' on staging a tribute concert honoring Eddie Van Halen. The former VH front man spoke with New York City Classic Rock station Q104 and said, "No one's really connected all the dots with everyone involved", but he's confident one will come together.

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Geddy Lee joins a Symphonic live stream next month

 

Geddy Lee has signed-on for a performance with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in February. The Rush bass player and vocalist is in a lineup that includes classical great Itzhak Perlman and K.D. Lang in a production titled The Resilient Symphony: the Show Must Go On that takes place virtually on February 18.

 

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Olivia Harrison prevailing in Covid-19 battle

 

Rapid and full recovery wishes to George Harrison's widow, Olivia Harrison, who is hospitalized with Covid-19 but doing okay in a London hospital. She posted on her Instagram account today that she was "Redesigning my hospital room curtain. Unlucky to get covid but on the mend. Gratitude to all the selfless carers."

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Neil Peart's hometown honoring the great drummer

 

We lost one of the great songwriters and drummers in Rock in the first week of 2020 to brain cancer. R.I.P. Neil Peart.   Peart's hometown of St. Catherine's, Ontario has already named a recently completed music pavilion in Lakeside Park in his honor and is in the process of reaching a decision on the form and a location for a lasting memorial to the drummer. The mayor of the city says, "We want to be able to acknowledge and commemorate an iconic individual who has done so much for music, not just here in Canada, but around the world."

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More Rockers selling publishing rights

 

Bob Dylan's decision to sell the publishing rights to his massive catalog of songs has led to a number of other musicians following suit. Lindsey Buckingham and Neil Young are the latest, joining Stevie Nicks, Steve Winwood and others. Dylan reportedly raked in close to half a billion dollars. Young is said to have parted with 50% of his titles for $150 million, and Nicks sold an 80% share for an undisclosed figure. Buckingham is parting with the portion he hadn't already sold.

 

The uptick in deals comes as musicians that already lost big chunks of income as music sales transitioned from physical form to mp3 and streaming platforms are also losing touring income due to Covid restrictions on concerts.

 

The companies buying the rights will look to capitalize on their investment through licensing deals for the songs in films and advertising. It's a safe bet that Young's This Note's For You, his 1988 song railing against music being usurped for commercials, wasn't in the 50% he sold off.

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Vinyl album sales hit a modern sales high

 

The compact disc's arrival on the scene in the mid 80's triggered a steady decline in the sale of vinyl lps, but the emerging dominance of mp3 players and streaming services really decimated CD sales, which have plummeted by 95% since their sales peak in 2000. While album sales aren't remotely what they during the medium's decade of dominance, vinyl has been enjoying a resurgence and closed out 2020 with a week that holiday buying of vinyl resulted in the highest weekly sales total for 33 1/3 albums since reliable sales tracking began in 1991. During the week leading up to Christmas, 1.842 million albums were sold according to Nielsen/MRC and reported by Billboard.

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David Bowie's 1967 debut gets picture disc reissue

 

David Bowie's self-titled first album dropped on the same day in 1967 that the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band and it languished in the lower reaches of the charts before getting relegated to the cut outs bins of record stores. The fourteen song album gets new life in the form of a limited edition picture disc being released January 29, 2021.

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2020 Epitaph

In a year that the Covid Pandemic robbed us of being able to enjoy live music in person, it and other causes silenced many musicians permanently. We hold these and others we lost this year dear. Their music helps sustain us through good and hard times.

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Eddie Vedder drops EP on Christmas Day

 

 

Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder released a six song EP on Christmas Day that includes this version of Growin' Up from Bruce Springsteen's debut album.

 

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David Gilmour Comfortably Numb in isolation with family

From the David Gilmour Polly Samson family live stream on 12/23/2020

 

 

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Mountain guitar great Leslie West dies at 75

 

R.I.P. Leslie West. The guitar great that got his start in the Vagrants and found greater success after teaming with bassist Felix Papalardi and Corky Laing to form Mountain passed away today after having been rushed to a Florida hospital following a heart attack on Monday at his Daytona home.

 

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When the White House Rocked documentary

Jimmy Carter still contends he probably wouldn't have won the White House without the support of the Allman Brothers Band, so it wasn't surprising that during his residency at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, he hosted so many of the musicians that supported his candidacy that he became known as "the Rock & Roll President".

CNN has secured the TV rights to a recent rock doc of that title directed by Mary Wharton, who has been praised for her previous films about Jimi Hendrix, Sam Cooke, The Doors and Elton John.

The film includes insights into Carter's love of music from the President himself and a number of musicians and includes performance segments featuring Buffett, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and others. Jimmy Carter: The Rock & Roll President premieres on CNN January 3, 2021 at 9pm and will air again January 9 at that same time.

 

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Preview Peter Jackson's Beatles rock doc

Highly acclaimed Lord of the Rings filmmaker Peter Jackson is at the helm of a Beatles Documentary that promises to be something very special. Here's an update from him on the project...

 

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Rock Hall Of Fame on verge of major expansion

 

The Rock Hall Of Fame Hall is working with architectural firm PAU on development of a 150,000 square foot addition at its lakefront location that will extend laterally from the west side of the original I.M. Pei glass pyramid style building that now contains multiple floors of exhibit space. So far, the Hall has raised close to 3/4 of the $100 million projected price tag for the addition, which has early 2022 earmarked for groundbreaking.

We hope that the institution also adds more of the to this point overlooked but deserving inductees and puts a stop to inducting non-Rock acts. Some of the many that ought to be in by now...

Bad Company, Joe Cocker, Foreigner, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Peter Frampton, Jethro Tull, Iron Maiden, King Crimson, Boston, Judas Priest, Mott the Hoople, Iggy Pop, Steppenwolf, Thin Lizzy, Warren Zevon, the J. Geils Band, Todd Rundgren, Procol Harum, John Mayall, Little Feat, the Guess Who, Blue Oyster Cult...

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Bono and The Edge on Ireland's Late, Late Show

In recent years, Bono could be found busking holiday tunes on street corners in Dublin. Concern for his own health and the safety of others led to the U2 front man and guitarist opting to do a televised slot instead on Ireland's Late, Late Show.

 

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Massive 1978 tour box set coming from Springsteen

 

Bruce Springsteen will release a 24 CD box set of 8 complete concerts recorded during the E Street Band's 1978 Darkness on the Edge of Town tour on February 1.  The collection features concerts performed in Cleveland, Atlanta, Houston and two concerts each from Passaic, NJ and San Francisco.

 

 

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Two season early Stones series in the works

 

The creative outfit that produced the highly acclaimed Netflix original series The Crown and Outlander for Starz is in the early stages of producing a new series based on the origins of the Rolling Stones for FX. Left Bank Pictures is reportedly courting High Fidelity author Nick Hornby to write the two season series that will cover the period from the band's inception through 1972.

 

MORE ROLLING STONES INSIGHTS

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Ozzy Osbourne's 2021 album progressing

 

Producer Andrew Watt is working on Ozzy Osbourne's next album, Ordinary man. Speaking with Guitar World, Watt reported that the project is about at the half way point and that he, Ozzy and the engineer are collaborating in person but that all three get Covid tested daily.

In addition to Watt who plays some guitar on the album, Ozzy has recruited Metallica bass player Robert Trujillo, Guns N' Roses veteran Duff McKagan, drummers Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Foo Fighters Taylor Hawkins to play on the forthcoming release.

 

MORE OZZY OSBOURNE INSIGHTS

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Carlos Santana serves up java

 

A guitarist with a masterful hand at blending smooth and searing guitar licks is adding a line of coffees to his repertoire. Carlos Santana will also use his java brand to generate funding for his Milagro Foundation that he launched more than 20 years ago to support programs to provide services to children in struggling communities in the US and abroad. The trio of blends being introduced are available for home delivery at carlossantanacoffeeco.com

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Little Steven's musical pilgrimage

 

Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul will release an album of Beatles songs the E Street Band member recorded with his reunited solo band at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in 2017. Among the 15

songs Van Zandt and his band recorded for the album album due out January 29 are covers of All You Need Is Love, Got To Get You Into My Life, Magical Mystery Tour, Good Morning, Good morning, Boys, and Slow Down.

Van Zandt says, "Playing in the same venue where the Beatles started their careers was a childhood dream of mine come true. This was a band that set me on course for a life of music. For my rock n' roll religion, the Cavern Club is the first sacred site".

 

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Eddie Money estate suing hospital

 

Eddie Money's estate has filed a lawsuit against the USC Keck Hospital contending that the singer's death resulted from negligence of the hospital and three physicians. Money died in September of this year after contracting pneumonia following a heart valve procedure. The TMZ report yesterday indicated that court filed documents claim the hospital staff attending to Money failed to provide adequate care.

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Alice Cooper's Detroit Stories due in February

 

Alice Cooper describes Detroit Stories, his 2021 album due out February 26th, as a tribute to the city's embrace of angry hard rock, saying that at the time his band emerged, "Detroit was the only place that recognized the Alice Cooper guitar-driven, hard rock sound and our crazy stage show".

The 15 track album reunites him with all of the living members of his original band.

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Paul McCartney's 18th solo album due soon

 

McCartney III, the new album the former Beatle will release December 18, draws its title from the fact it will be the third on which he plays all of the instruments on it. Paul recorded the eleven tracks on what will be his 18th solo album during a nearly two month stretch at his home studio in Sussex.

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