Adam Clayton accepted the MusiCares award Monday (6/26) in New York City. In accepting the honor from the organization dedicated to assisting musicians confronting substance abuse issues, the U2 bassist thanked his U2 band mates and Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend for helping him beat his drinking probem. Speaking bout his difficulties controlling his drinking, Clayton inferred that he feared his career depended on him being in an alcohol fueled state but said, '...two heroes of mine were there for me and it meant a great deal that they would try to convince me otherwise.' The turning point, Clayton says, came 'After two particularly destructive benders Eric Clapton was there on the end of the phone. He didn't sugar-coat it, he told me that I needed to change my life and that I wouldn't regret it.' Clapton provided Clayton with the name of the treatment center that Clayton checked in to and, while he was there, Townshend visited and helped him '...put steel on my back'.
Sammy Hagar has upped the stakes in his campaign to get Van Halen members to agree to a tour featuring both him and David Lee Roth. Talking with Rolling Stone, the Red Rocker proposed the group do a series of concerts that alternate every couple of songs between him and David Lee Roth singing lead. Hagar says the opportunity gives the group the chance to provide fans with the greatest Van Halen concerts ever without any ongoing obligation to continue with dual dueling front men. His notion is that Michael Anthony plays bass and Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfie, the current VH bassist, reconvenes his own band to be the opening act for the tour.
Sammy added that he would donate the money he makes on the tour to local food banks in the cities played if the band would make the same commitment. Hagar currently donates a portion of his currentt tour proceeds to food banks serving the areas he performs in. AntiMusic.com
Former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle and a film company are targets of a suit filed by some other band members and the heirs of Ronnie Van Zant and Steve and Cassie Gaines seeking to block the production of a movie based largely on the 1977 plane crash that killed Van Zant, Gaines and his sister, a backup singer for the band. The suit against production and distribution of Street Survivor: The True Story of th Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash was filed in My but did not come to light until last week when a ruling was issued by a judge against an attempt to put the brakes on the project through a perliminary injunction. The case could be decided largely on the 'blood oath' surviving members committed to after the crash. One provision of it was to never try to capitalize on the tragedy that claimed their band mates. Barring developments that could end the case, a trial will start on July 11.
The early 80's session that produced the Queen-David Bowie collaboration on Under Pressure included the recording of other songs with both Bowie and Freddie Mercury, according to Brian May. The Queen guitarist recently revealed that additional tracks were laid down that haven't 'come to light yet'. "Yet" implies that they certainly could. May says there was a competitive tension between Bowie and Mercury that manifest itself in things like neither of them wanting to be the first to arrive at the studio. He added that the pair 'locked horns' at times while working out and recording Under Pressure but pointed out that, '...those are the things that happen in a studio, that's when the sparks fly and that's why it turned out so great.'
Ringo Starr may have to come up with the melody, but Olivia Harrison, George's widow, has delivered the lyrics to the drummer. She found them in a folder inside a piano bench her late husband used. The song, apparently written at about the time the Beatles we're falling apart, includes the line "Hey Ringo, now I want you to know. That without you my guitar plays far too slow." Olivia doesn't know whether George ever recorded a demo of the song, but she vows to look around to see whether she find a recording of it.
Bruce Springsteen has reportedly arranged a residency on Broadway for the fall that is expected to have an 8 week run at the Kerr Theatre. Bruce in a 975 seat venue so close to his home turf is certain to be one of the tougher tickets ever - and you can be sure the scalpers and after-market ticket hawkers are well into planning ways to make them even harder and much more expensive to come by. Whether any and how many members of his band will participate in the Kerr performances remains to be seen, as does who might guest with Bruce. There is also already speculation that the series of dates could be a forerunner to a Springsteen based musical.
The East/West Classic Rock Fests slated for CitiField and Dodger Staduim will not be Fleetwood Mac's final concerts. Christine McVie confirmed that her band is laying the groundwork for a 2018 world tour, and it sounds pretty firm. Speaking with The One Show in the UK, McVie said a plan is already in place for rehearsals to start in March and a tour to kick-off in June. The group's plan to put out an album this year got sidelined due to scheduling conflicts revolving around Stevie Nicks. The sessions then morphed into a Christine McVie/Lindsey Buckingham album.
Wendy Dio says she considers an effort by Gene Simmons of KISS fame to obtain a trademark on the 'horn's gesture (demonstrated by Lars Ulrich of Metallica) both 'laughable' and 'disgusting'. Her late husband Ronnie Jame Dio had as much or more to do with its adoption by Rock fans as anyone. Ronnie, who maintained the gesture was something his grandmother used to flash, once quipped when the gesture was brought up in an interview, 'Gene Simmons will tell you that he invented it. But then again, Gene invented breathing and shoes and everything else.'
Neil Young and his former wife Pegi have announced that they will no longer be the hosts for the annual Bridge School benefit concerts the couple started in 1986. Pegi Young passed along the news on the Bridge School web site, writing, "They have been truly memorable events and we have great appreciation for everyone involved". The former couple also penned letters to Friends of Bridge School to let them know that the years of effort they put into the concerts was reflected in the eyes of the special needs students that the school serves and letting those who made a point of attending the annual concerts theat their contribution to the cause made them the "...soul that kept everything happening for all of these years."
The Youngs vowed to continue to help raise funds for the school outside the framework of the concert event. The event, held in recent years at the Shoreline Amhitheater, drew an A list of performers that included Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews, Metallica and dozens more.
News travels a little slower from Denmark. We've just learned that Metallica's Lars Ulrich was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Dannebrog by his native country's Queen on May 26th. (Drum roll please) all hail Sir Lars! HenneMusic.com
A photo and caption posted to Ozzy Osbourne's Facebook account leave little doubt that a 2017 OzzFest is in the works. Expect an official announcement soon - and that it will again be a two day affair with Slipknot anchoring day two.
A Model- T Ford that was once owned by Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham is up for sale. The vintage vehicle, featured in The Song Remains The Same film, is being offered through the UK branch of EBay in association with Midwest Performance, a car broker. The listing describes the car as an "iconic Hot Rod" that is a "...very collectible piece of Rock history." The C-Cab model was custom built in the early 70's in San Francisco and shipped to Bonham in the UK. The listing price is close to $325k. Gibson.com
U2 did its first US festival set ever at Bonaroo on Friday night (6/9). During it, Bono paused before the band did One Tree Hill to say, 'This next song is about a friend of ours that was stolen away from us far too soon, way back then. And I’m sure a lot of people here at Bonnaroo have had a similar experience. Tonight, we want to sing it for Lily Cornell. Her dad had an epic heart.'
Phil Collins might be second guessing the naming his comeback the Not Dead Yet Tour. The former Genesis member lost his balance on his way to the John in his hotel room and suffered a rather serious head injury in the early morning hours Thursday (6/8). The fall and resulting postponements were announced on his Facebook page.
The 30th anniversary of the release of Def Leppard's Hysteria will be accompanied by a remastered reissue that will be available August 4 in a number of configurations, topped by a Super Deluxe 7 disc version that includes 2 DVDs. Here's a look & listen.
The annual Country Music Awards show opened Wednesday (6/7) with a host of artists performing Midnight Rider in tribute to Allman Brothers Band co-founding member Gregg Allman. ABB member Derek Trucks delivered a great solo on the rendition that included Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley. HuffingtonPost.com
Pete Townshend has added Billy Idol to his lineup of musicians with his band for limited run of US dates performing Quadrophenia with orchestras. The founding member of the Who says, 'Melding the contrasting sounds of Quadrophenia with a symphony has been a really unique and powerful way to reach a wide audience of classical and pop music lovers alike'. HenneMusic.com
Quadrophenia US Tour dates
9/2 Tanglewood Music Center - Lenox, MA (with Boston Pops Orchestra)
9/9 Metropolitan Opera House - New York City
9/10 Metropolitan Opera House - New York City
Dead & Company keyboard player Jeff Chimenti has accepted the daunting task of deciding which Grateful Dead songs should get featured in an upcoming musical based on the band. Broadway World is reporting that that the yet-to-be titled stage production will be a "...semi- fantastical and immersive Americana tale" based on a 1920's family engaged in various nefarious enterprises, including gambling, conning and swindling. Based on that description, songs like Me and My Uncle, Deal, Jack Straw and Friend of the Devil should be good candidates. The last attempt (1998) at a play based on the band's material was practically dead on arrival - it folded after just a few performances.
Guitarist Neal Schon and keyboard player Jonathan Cain apparently are at odds. Schon went on Instagram on Sunday (6/4) to post "I want to be elevated by whom I play with, not feel like I've got cement shoes. If anyone is unhappy they are not running My band, they should leave". That post was followed by one in which he called out Cain specifically and shed some light on the nature of his issues with him. It appears Schon thinks Cain is trying to interject politics and religion into Journey's songs or performances because the guitarist wrote, "I've stated how I felt about mixing Religiona nad Politics and how our music is not of 1 religion - Democratic or Republican. This and has been an issue with myself Mr Cain and his now wife since he married." Cain is married to a Pentecostal Christian televangelist. Cain's online reaction was "A heart of gratitude leaves no room for complaining. For it is impossible to be truly thankful and filled with negativity and ungratefulness at the same time." HenneMusic.com
Guns N' Roses hasn't hit the studio yet, but band members have been recording some rough demos of songs that could make it onto a new album. Guitarist Richard Fortus describes the process as '...sort of assembling ideas, but not going into a studio and actually recording a new album.' Any formal recording will need to get done between dates or legs of the current GNR tour, which is slated to run through November. Speaking on The Stage Left podcast, Fortus also said Axl Rose has a knack for formulating songs; 'The genius of Axl is his ability to assemble songs from different parts and make them feel cohesive as a song. And I've never seen anybody able to do that in the same way.'
Without apologies to anyone that bought tickets for a concert on thie current tour because it would be the last chance to catch the band live, Aerosmith's previous claims their current tour will be their last are being walked back by band members. Speaking with NME, guitarist Joe Perry said that as the Aero-Vederci Baby! tour rolled along, the guys realized none of them was able to say with commitment that any stop on the tour would be the last time they would do a concert there. "We were looking at each other going, 'really? Are we really gonna say this is the farewell tour?' So we kinda changed our minds. Will the band be together in a year? We'll do everything we can to make sure it is but God may have other plans. Judging by how he's treated us over the last 48 years I'd like to think he's gonna let us see 50 but you can't guarantee that."
Jerry Garcia's custom made 'Wolf'guitar was auctioned Wednesday (5/31) for $1.6 million during a special event at Brooklyn Bowl that included live sets from Joe Russo's Friends with Benefits. An additional buyer's fee boosted the total paid for the prized instrument to $1.9 million. The $1.6 bid by a multi-millionaire .com marketing Dead Head was matched by an anonymous charity, bringing the total netted by the Southern Poverty Law Center from the instrument's sale to $3.5 million. JamBands.com
Roger Waters is featured in a segment of CBS Sunday Morning(6/4). During it, the Pink Floyd veteran tells the program's Anthony Mason while talking about his current tour, 'I can't imagine I'll ever do another one after this.' This comes as Waters and David Gilmour have come to terms with past differences that caused each to take pot-shots through the press and social media at one another. Of those skirmishes Waters says it's '...a real waste of time and energy to butt heads about things that are essentially superficial.' Whether the cease fire opens up the possibility that Waters, Gilmour and Nick Mason will ever share a stage together is anybody's guess.
Gregg Allman will be laid to rest near his brother Duane and fellow Allman Brothers Band member Berry Oakley following a service at Snow's Memorial Chapel Saturday (6/3). Macon, Georgia is preparing for a large turn-out of fans, but the ceremony itself will be private, as will a reception follows it on the grounds of The Big House, the band's communal home in the early 70's that is now a museum. Only two original band members are still with us, Dickey Betts and Jaimo - Jai Johanny Johnson, but many more in the ranks of subsequent generation members of the group and various spin-offs are expected to attend and fans are expected to line the streets during a procession. Family, band members and close friends Gregg's will gather after the burial for a private dinner at the H&H Restaurant, a Southern and soul food establishment Gregg and the band loved. Various venues in the city will be staging tribute performances dedicated to Allman throughout the weekend.
U2's The Edge has been named the 2017 recipient of the Les Paul Spirit Award. The guitarist will be honored during an invite only ceremony in Manchester, TN June 9 before his band takes the stage at the Bonnaroo Festival. The award is presnted annually to "...an individual who exemplifies the spirit of the late, great Les Paul through innovation, engineering, technology and/or music." The Les Paul Foundation's Michael Braunstein wrote of this year's recipient, "Not only is he an extraordinary talent who has given us an incredible array of amazing music but he is also an innovator who understands that sound, technologies, and a personal creative spirit play a role in creating music that cannot be forgotten."
The Edge receives the award on what would have been the 102d birthday of the pioneering guitarist it is named for. Past recipients include Joe Perry, Slash, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, Neil Young, Robbie Robertson, Steve Miller and Todd Rundgren. Gibson.com
A 9 song album of material Neil Young recorded during one of his most prolific periods is coming out 40 years later. The session took place during an evening Young admits he indulged in "weed, coke and beer between songs and says, 'I was pretty stony on it, and you can hear it in my performances.' Hitchhiker is a solo acoustic recording that includes versions of a some songs released on other albums during that period.
Keith Richards and his wife plan to auction off furnishings and antiques from their New York City apartment and donate the proceeds to a couple of nonprofit organizations near their Connecticut country estate in Weston. SPHERE and The Prospector Theater provide services and programs for area residents with autism. Patti Hanson, the Rolling Stones guitarist's wife, has a nephew with autism that has been helped by both organizations. The June 24 auction by Stair Galleries will include a number of paintings and furnishings from the couple's Upper East Side apartment in Manhattan Hansen collaborated with a designer to decorate and furnish. StairGalleries.com
The passing of Gregg Allman has been followed by an outpouring of appreciation for him and his role in Rock. Band mate Warren Haynes observed 'I think he's one of the greatest artists of all time and simultaneously a founding members, singer, songwriter of one of the greatest bands of all time... There are very few singers, very few artists that made that kind of an impact'.
Chuck Leavell, keyboard player for the Allmans and the Rolling Stones, wrote, "Thank you Gregg... for your inspiration, for your talent, for your loyal friendship and for the amazing human being you are. I am forever grateful for my relatonship with you, for sharing the stgae so many times, for the honor of recording with you on some records that have stood the test of time. You will always be my hero and I am your bigggest fan. Rest easy, my brother."
Lynyrd Skynyrd's Rickey Medlocke said 'It's a terrible loss to me, to music. That guy, if you turned on the radio and a song came on he was singing, you knew exactly who he was, he was one of those guys that had an unmistakable voice.' He added that news of Allman's death, '...hit Gary (Rossington) hard as well'.
Charlie Daniels wrote "Gregg Allman had a feeling for the blues very few ever had. Hard to believe that magnificent voice is stilled forever."
Marshall Tucker Band lead singer Doug Gray called Gregg '...a guy that showed me more respect in our business than anyone else. He also taught me how to please an audience with your voice and pour your heart out and never regret. Ride in Peace, my friend!"
Peter Frampton's Twitter account conveyed his sense of loss with, "So sad to hear Gregg Allman passed away. I admire him so much & had the honour of jamming with him recently. A gentle soul with so much soul."
Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top wrote, "The sudden passing of Gregg Allman leaves us at a loss, yet, at the same time, we stand alongside the millions of thankful that Gregg was in our lives. Gregg was, of course, a brilliant and intuitive player with a depth of soul reflected in his works in a truly moving manner."
Gibbons joined Allman on one of his final live performances.
Bruce Springsteen attended fellow E Street band guitarist Steven Van Zandt's album release concert at the Count Basie Theater Friday night in New Jersey and joined Van Zandt on stage for versions of Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out, Can I Get A Witness and I Don't Want To Go Home.
Rock in Peace Gregg Allman. The legendary keyboard player, vocalist and co-founding member of the Allman Brothers Band passed away Saturday (5/27). Allman's manager, Michael Lehman, posted news of his death shortly after his death on Gregg's web site, writing, "I have lost a dear friend and the world has lost a brilliant pioneer in music. He was a kind and gentle soul with the best laugh I ever heard."
No cause of death was provided, but it was widely known that Allman was dealing with a number of complications resulting from ailments compiled as a result of his many years of hard living.
He announced several weeks ago that he was cancelling all of his scheduled concerts for 2017. That was followed by reports that the 69 year-old had entered hospice care. That was dismissed by his manager - and later Allman himself, who upped his social media activity quite a bit following the rumor of his imminent demise. Sadly, this time it's for real. We have lost one of the most influential musicians of our lifetimes.
Soundgarden's Matt Cameron and Kim Thayil, Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament, Audioslave band mate Tom Morello and actor Josh Brolin delivered eulogies to Chris Cornell during a private service Friday (5/26) in LA that opened with his song The Promise playing and included Chester Bennington of Linkin Park singing Hallelujah. The ranks of those there to honor Cornell included James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich of Metallica, Nirvana and Foo Fighters Dave Grohl, guitarists Jimmy Page, Joe Walsh, Dave Navarro, Nile Rodgers and Jerry Cantrell, and singers Billy Idol, Perry Ferrell, Gavin Rosdale and Courtney Love. Actors Brad Pitt and Christian Bale also attended. Most attended the internment of his ashes at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery as All Night Thing by Temple Of The Dogs played.
Cornell took his own life in a hotel room following Soundgarden's May 17 concert at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.
Guitarist Eric Calpton has earned yet another honor. The French government Friday (5/26) gave EC the status of commander in the Order of Arts and Letters. The French ambassador to the UK made it official at London's Royal Albert Hall in a proclamation that called the guitar legend an "ambassador of the blues".
While in Dallas to open the US leg of the Joshua Tree tour, Bono darted to Crawford, Texas Friday (5/26) to spend some time with George W. Bush. The U2 front man and the former Oval Office occupant got together the Bush ranch to talk about their shared efforts to stem AIDS through the former President's PEPFAR program (President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Releif), an initiative Bono is concerned might have a good deal of its effectiveness compromised if international aid spending cuts in the proposed budget go through. Bono tweeted his appreciation to the former Chief Exec. Bush took to his Twitter account with a photo of the two captioned, "Bono is the real deal. He has a huge heart and a selfless soul, not to mention a decent voice."
A few years after calling it quits, John Mellencamp and Meg Ryan might be giving their romance another chance. The pair has been seen hand-in-hand on Martha's Vineyard. John said his aversion to living in LA or New York became the deal breaker in the relationship, but also acknowledged that his generally stubborn attitude probably was a big factor in them not staying together. Just a couple of months ago, Mellencamp told Howard Stern he said the actress had shunned him and that he couldn't blame her for not wanting to have anything to do with him. CelebrityLaundry.com
A minimally invasive surgical technique was used to treat a small lung lesion identified during a medical exam Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood recently underwent. Wood expressed his appreciation to doctors that discovered and addressed the issue. A spokesman said Wood is 'feeling fine' and needs no additional treatment. The Stones have announced plans to open a European tour in Germany at the end of the summer. BelfastTelegraph.co.uk
U2 dropped in on Jimmy Kimmel Tuesday (5/23) to talk-up their Joshua Tree anniversary tour, denounce the heinous bombing in Manchester and commend the city for being compassionate and defiant, to joke about Bruce Springsteen's advice to them and to deliver a soulful version of I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and The Little Things That Give U Away.
About 1,000 lucky fans got invited to sit in on the final rehearsal for Roger Waters and his band before the group embarks on its North American tour. The setting was the Meadowlands IZOD Arena in East Rutherford, NJ on Sunday (5/21) and included the full array of production elements fans attending the tour opener will see Friday in Kansas City. In adddition to a slew of Pink Floyd classics, Waters will showcase songs from his new solo album Is This The Life We Really Want on the tour.
Having finished work on the remix of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (5/26/2017 release), Giles Martin is taking on the challenge of doing the same thing with the epic 30 track release the Beatles followed it up with, the 1968 double disc that came to be known as The White Album. The release will give the son of original producer George Martin plenty to work with. Martin says are around 70 takes of the song Sexy Sadie alone, and multiples of most of the other tracks to sift through. In a recent interview with BBC Radio 6, Martin said he is eager to take it on because he considers it an '...album that changed the face of pop muisc'.
The 4th song of Gov't Mule's Friday (5/19) concert set at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia was Black Hole Sun. It was the first time the Warren Haynes led band had played the Soundgarden song since a 2008 concert. Haynes and the band closed the second set with their first concert performance of Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground, a song that is included on the Mule's new album coming out June 9.
Bono paused before U2 did Running to Stand Still at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena Saturday (5/20) and said, 'For The lion that was, Chris Cornell'. Before the Joshua Tree Tour concert began, the massive speaker system cranked out Soundgarden's Black Hole Sun and the crowd of 100,000 responded by lofting cell phone screens in tribute to Cornell.
The Fender Stratocaster Jimi Hendrix played during his jaw-dropping set at on June 18 at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival goes to auction June 17 in Beverly Hills. A private collector in the UK is turning it over to Heritage Auctions for the sale. The 1966 Black Pepper Fender is said to be the guitar Hendrix prized and played the most - and traded off for the one he ignited at the end of his set. Jimi's manager bought the guitar for Hendrix at Manny's Music in New York City. It is expected the guitar will attract a top bid of 3/4 of a million - possibly more.
Chris Cornell died following Soundgarden's concert at the Fox Theater in Detroit on Wednesday night (5/17). The cause of death for the 52 year old Rocker was confirmed Thursday afternoon by the Wayne County, Michigan Medical Examiner as having been a suicide by hanging. Shortly after midnight, Detroit police were summoned to the MGM Grand hotel. They arrived to find Conell, unresponsive, on a bathroom floor.
During what would be his final encore, Cornell wove portions of Led Zeppelin's In My Time Of Dying into Soundgarden's Slaves & Bulldozers, including the lines, “In my time of dying, I want nobody to mourn/All I want for you to do is take my body home”.
Ashley Zlatopolsky was at the show which, according to her account for the Detroit Free Press that was also picked up by USA Today, included a number of instances in which Cornell seemed detached during the performance - leaving out lyrics and seeming lethargic. But, during the encore, she wrote, Chris became fully engaged; "Cornell finally gave his all. He played the guitar backward, hung over his head, and dragged the mic stand along the strings. Caught in a cathartic-like moment, the singer-guitarist let himself shine one last time."
Seniors at Fairleigh Dickinson University's graduation in MetLife Stadium Tuesday (5/16) got more than their diplomas. Jon Bon Jovi and his band did an unannounced live appearance for them. The New Jersey University won the performance by triggering the greatest amount of social media interest in making it happen. Jon also imparted some wisdom, telling graduates, 'Today marks the end of one chapter in your life and the start of another. Enjoy the book; you're the one writing it. Don't take anything personally. Accept both praise and criticism equally, but take neither to heart. There are many surprises awaiting you on the journey.'
Several months ago, Don Henley suggested that the Eagles only had a future if the late Glenn Frey's son Deacon would join the band. He later announced that the group had decided it could not go on without Glenn. But the lure of an opportunity to co-headline a pair of concerts with Fleetwood Mac and a lineup that includes Journey, Steely Dan, the Doobie Brothers and Earth, Wind & Fire has gotten them to change their minds. Deacon has signed on, Henley confirmed during a guest session on Dallas sports radio station The Ticket on Monday (5/15). Henley said, 'I never planned on it coming out this way but it is my responsibility to keep these song alive.' He added that, 'Deacon is a very talented young man, and he seems up to the task. He's enthusiastic about it and he's been working real hard on it'. He attributed the decision to get the band together for the Classic East and West concerts and possible additional touring and recording to an outpouring of messages from all over encouraging them to continue. We imagine their agents and accountants added some, too. HenneMusic.com
Alice Cooper was joined for his encore at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville Sunday (5/14) by Michael Bruce (guitar), Neal Smith (drums) and Dennis Dunaway (bass). Those three, Alice and Glenn Buxton, who died of pneumonia in 1997, made up the original lineup that cranked out 7 albums and did countless tour dates from the 60's up until 1975. They still sound fantastic together. Alice brought his current band members back for an all-in version of Schools' Out.
Paul Rodgers sprung quite the surprise on fans attending the Bad Company front man's solo band concert at the New Theatre Oxford Sunday (5/14). Rogers returned to the stage for the encore with two legendary former front men - Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant and AC/DC's Brian Johnson. The three belted out a version of Money (That's What I Want).
E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt delivered the commencement address at the Rutgers University graduation Sunday (5/14) and picked up an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree. Selected for the address by a committee comprised of students, faculty and staff of the New Jersey university, the musician and Sopranos actor used the opportunity to urge graduates to challenge themselves to make the world a better place. Here are the closing thoughts he shared during the address at the university's football stadium. NJ.com
Paul McCartney gave fans a glimpse of the character he portrays in the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Dead Men Tell No Tales debuts May 26 and includes scenes with the former Beatle as a jail keeper, according to reports. Johnny Depp's sensationally successful series of pirate escapades has already seen Keith Richards make appearances. The Rolling Stones guitarist played the father of the star's character, Jack Sparrow, in two previous Pirates movies.
Accompanied by an enormous overhead projection screen, U2 launched its Joshua Tree anniversary tour Friday (5/12) in Vancouver. Entry complications caused long delays for a lot of fans arriving for the show, but the band's set opened with five tracks from other releases before turning its attention to their landmark 1987 album.
The promoter behind two weekend concerts last year that reportedly grossed more than $150 million has decided against attempting to pull it off again in 2017. Billboard reports that Paul Tollett of Goldenvoice is electing to pass on another Desert Trip in 2017, but could consider something like it in the future. Given the scarcity of active acts of the caliber his 2016 lineup featured, it's hard to imagine being able to equal or better last year's in this or a foreseeable future year unless he is able to leverage reunions. Speculation that Led Zeppelin might have been swayed to agree to perform this year spiked when Robert Plant replaced his web site home page with a screen displaying the words "any time now..." several weeks ago. He has done nothing to quash the rumors those words are fueling but if a Zeppelin reunion is in the offing, it apparently won't be at Desert Trip.
George Thorogood has cut-loose from the Destroyers to release his first solo album. Party Of One is slated for an August 4 release and finds the Blues-Rock master interpreting 14 tracks, including songs from Hank Williams (Pictures From Life's Other Side), the Rolling Stones (No Expectations) and a solo version of One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer, the John Lee Hooker tune George turned into an epic electric song with his band. Thorogood calls the album '...what I was, what I am, and what I will always be.'
Alice Cooper releases his first album in 5 years this July. Paranormal includes ZZ Top axe grinder Billy Gibbons on a track titled I've Fallen in Love and I Can't Get Up and U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. on several tracks. Speaking with Eddie Trunk, Cooper said Gibbons agreeing to contribute his guitar work to the track sealed its place on the album because 'He just killed it.' According to Alice, Gibbons, who was under the weather when he got the track, said, 'I got the flu, but, man, this song makes me feel better."
Cooper also revealed to Trunk that things look good for the Hollywod Vampires, the group he formed with Johnny Depp and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, to record an album and tour in 2018.
Chicago (the city, not the band!) Plays The Stones features a dozen Rolling Stones classics covered by Windy City musicians, formost among them, Buddy Guy. More info and downloads at chicagoplaysthestones.com.
Queen member Roger Taylor wrote a song titled Journey's End and commissioned Stuart Brennan to make a short form film based on it. Taylor describes the song as one with a '...whimsical, rather fatalistic atmosphere' that deals with mortality.
Concert streams have gotten increasingly common. But Metallica will give its fans the opportunity to watch the band as they rehearse for their upcoming North American dates on the WorldWired tour. The stream will be on the group's Facebook page on Tuesday (5/9), the night before the opening concert. Catch it starting at 9pm (Eastern).
Hotel California was conjured up as a place in the song about the state of California and the a state of mind of some of its trend setters by The Eagles. The band is now reportedly suing an actual hotel over its use of the name the of title song on the group's landmark album of 1976. The Hotel California Todos Santos in Baja, Mexico has apparently referenced itself as simply "Hotel California" is some of its marketing, and produced merch that the band's suit contends misrepresents the establishement as being associated with the song.
A mysterious message on Robert Plant's web site is fueling speculation that Led Zeppelin's surviving members could be reuniting for the 2017 Desert Trip concert. Plant was reportedly the sole hold out when his former band was offered $14 million to do the inaugural DT concerts in Southern California.
Zakk Wylde rejoins Ozzy Osbournes band for this summer's festivals tour. The guitarst and Ozzy parted ways 8 years ago. His replacement, Gus G seems to be taking it in stride, saying, "It's been an honor and privilege" playing with Osbourne, and adding, "Nothing but great times & an experience of a lifetime. To Ozzy & Sharon - thanks for everything, love ya!". Commenting on his returen, Wylde says, "I'm really looking forward to the hardcore powerlifting training sessions with Ozzy as well as playing music in between sets of Heavy Squats. bencing and deadlifts."
Ozzy has also confirmed that work on a new album is underway. Nothing was mentioned about who will handle the guitar work on that.
Ozzy & Wylde can be caught at these festivals this summer:
Rock USA - Oshkosh Wisconsin - July 14
Chicago Open Air Festival - July 16
Sturgis Buffalo Chip, South Dakota - August 9
Moonstock Festival - Catersville, Illinois - August 21
When Theo Epstein was inexplicably cut loose by the Red Sox, the team and its fans lost one of the most brilliant front office minds in the modern-day game and one of the hipper musical guys in the national past time. Beantown also saw cool charity event he and former Boston Globe sports guru Peter Gammons staged in Boston while Epstein ran the club relocate to Chicago after the Cubs landed Epstein. Gammons and Epstein decided to bring the event back to Boston this spring when the Cubs visited Fenway Park for the first time as the defending World Champions. As he has in the past, Eddie Vedder, one of Rock's most avid baseball fans, headlined the event. The Pearl Jam front man delivered a set than included songs from his own band, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, the Who, the Talking Heads and Aerosmith. Epstein joined in on a Buffalo Tom song.
Two masters of their crafts shared the stage at the Beacon Theatre during the Tribeca Film Festival Friday (4/28). Bruce Springsteen and Tom Hanks spent an hour in front of a full house that opened with a brief exchange about director Jonathan Demme and Philadelphia, the 1993 film that earned the actor and musician Academy Awards. Springsteen called the director, who passed away earlier in the week, '...such an inspirational guy' and Hanks added, 'Well, I have to tell you, if you ever want to have a great moment in a motion picture, walk out a door and make sure they just put up a Bruce Springsteen Song.' But, oddly for a film festival event, the musician got the starring role. Hanks was there to provide the Q's in the Q&A session. Some highlights:
Bruce saying the bold change of sound and direction of Born To Run emerged because '...we weren't selling any records the other way'
When the audience was asked whether anyone there had seen Bruce live pre-E Street Band, one person clapped. Bruce quipped 'He's lying'.
Manager Jon Landau's passion for films provided a lot of inspiration for the songs Springsteen wrote for Darkness on the Edge of Town.
Born In The U.S.A. is an album he is conflicted about.
His realization that even though he is most comfortable as a musician, 'At the end of the day, it's just our job. It's just your work. Life awaits you outside of those things.' RollingStone.com