News From The Music Vault

 

Short  Notes

  • REO Speedwagon’s Kevin Cronin tells Songwriters Universe that “Can’t Fight This Feeling” was written about his awkwardness with a close female friend. “I was kind of a late bloomer with the ladies. There was this girl in Chicago, who I’m still in touch with to this day. We’re still friends. We started out as friends. She was actually going out with one of my buddies. The first time I was introduced to her, when I saw her, it was that love at first sight feeling. There was no way we would get together because she was with my friend. As time went on, and my buddy broke up with her, we still remained friends. I just couldn’t get the courage up, to make that leap of vulnerability, to share with her that I had feelings for her that were more than friendship. It took a long time, and I wrote that song before I finally got the guts to tell her.”
  • Billy Joel tells The NY Times that the only way he will write new music is if he joins a supergroup. “Sting and Don Henley and I always joke around: “Let’s put together one of those supergroups that explode after, like, a year.” I think it could be fun to join a band. I enjoyed it when I was a teenager. And I’d consider writing songs in that kind of milieu. I get asked a lot, “Why’d you stop?” I set a very high bar for myself, and I couldn’t get there. I couldn’t be as good as I wanted to be, and it was frustrating. So I’d get drunk, just to make myself forget about my frustration … I’d been divorced a couple of times already, and I said, “Enough of this mishegas.””
  • Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher tells Cinema Blend that his film could have contained a ”Bohemian Rhapsody” crossover. ”There was an idea I had one point, where Elton’s in a restaurant with his mother. I thought John Reid and Freddie could be at another table and they wave at each other! That would have been amazing, [but] it didn’t come to pass.’ It would’ve been a little too knowing. I’m not looking to set out to make a cinematic universe!”
  •  John Oates tells The San Diego Tribune that ‘busking’, or singing on the street for money, wasn’t for him. “I learned it is not easy to busk. I learned I did not have the charisma to be out there by myself …it’s just not me. I was into performing my original songs, not covers, and performing songs people don’t know is hard.”
  • Paul McCartney tells the BBC that he has dreams about The Beatles reforming. “It would have been great to get The Beatles back together again. People always say what if? But we can’t, so sadly, that’s not going to happen. If by some strange fluke it was to happen, it would be beautiful. But do you know where it does happen? In my dreams.”
  • WSFR says Steve Miller has sold his island mansion for $8.5 million. It’s located in Washington’s San Juan Islands and features three bedrooms, a recording studio, a sauna, a horse pasture, Zen Gardens, a tea house, three yacht docks and a giant fireplace.
  • Radio.com claims Beach Boys star Brian Wilson is postponing his tour because of back pain and mental health issues. He posted, “We’re not sure what is causing it, but I do know that it’s not good for me to be on the road right now so I’m heading back to Los Angeles. It is no secret that I have been living with mental illness for many decades. There were times when it was unbearable, but with doctors and medications I have been able to live a wonderful, healthy and productive life with support from my family, friends and fans who have helped me through this journey.”
  • Rod Stewart tells The Independent that he doesn’t drink as much as he used to. “I don’t drink as much as I did back then for obvious reasons. I’m getting older and I want to look after my health, but I certainly love two glasses of wine, three at the most, every night of the week. I have two glasses of white and a small glass of red… that is over the limit and I don’t care…I deserve it.”
  • Robert Plant tells Rolling Stone magazine that he remembers the first time he went on tour without Led Zeppelin. “It felt like my world had collapsed. But what happened in the first place when you didn’t have a game? You had to go out and make one. So I’ve shifted around over the years. That way, I keep interested and excited in what I do.”
  • The Who’s Roger Daltrey tells Rolling Stone magazine that he believes The Rolling Stones are the best rock and roll band in the world. “[Comparing us to The Stones] is like comparing chocolate and chocolate. The Stones are a rock and roll band. They are the best rock and roll band in the world, by far. The Who are a rock band. Whether we’re the best in the world, I can’t tell you, because I’m in the thing. But The Who are a rock band. We don’t do the roll. We do the rock.”
  •  Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx tells Rolling Stone magazine that there was never a dull moment while touring with Ozzy Osbourne. “Ozzy is one of the sweetest men I’ve ever met. But when Sharon wasn’t around, it was like a five-person gang. It was always like, ‘He topped us again.’ I remember the day he walked into our dressing room in a dress. He didn’t act like anything was wrong. We were like, ‘I gotta get a dress now.’ He was a role model for rock and roll.”
  • Simon LeBon tells Florida Today that he hopes Duran Duran gets inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “If by any quirk of fate or chance we did get inducted, we would be incredibly proud. And we’d welcome it with open arms.”
  • Bruce Springsteen is planning to tour again. The Italian newspaper Republica quotes him as saying, “We will go on tour next year. I’ll record with the E Street Band in the autumn, and when we are done, we’ll go on tour.”
  • Eurthymics star Dave Stewart says his friend Mick Jagger is always working out. He tells the Toronto Sun, ”There was one time, we were in his place in Mustique, and he has a room that’s a cross between a gym but it had a nice echo-y sound so we were recording in there, but while I was busy working out something, he’d just do a 120 press-ups. And then we were doing something else he’d do 300 sit-ups. And then running six miles.”
  • Clash magazine says Debbie Harry is releasing a new autobiography titled “Face It”. She says, “This book is biographical and covers a lot of years. I know there will be questions asked because in putting this together, I realised I have led a very full life and couldn’t possibly cover everything in just one volume. I’m prepared for the best and the worst comments, much like when I have released an album or done a big show. I don’t have a thick skin, but I do have a pretty good sense of humor.”
  • Joan Jett tells New Yorker magazine that a Broadway musical motivated her to become a rock star. “Me and my mother went to see Liza Minnelli in ‘Cabaret.’ The music was incredible. Visually, it was stunning and rich. It was campy, it was pushing the boundaries. Liza made me want to perform.” 

Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour auctioning off over 100 guitars for charity

Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour is auctioning off 120 guitars that he’s used over his legendary career.

Fans who can’t afford Gilmour’s 1969 Black Stratocaster (estimated at $100,000 to $150,000) are in luck. The guitars will be on display at Christie’s in New York City now until the big auction starts on Thursday.

“These guitars have been very good to me and many of them have gifted me pieces of music over the years,” Gilmour said.

“They have paid for themselves many times over, but it’s now time that they moved on. Guitars were made to be played and it is my wish that wherever they end up, they continue to give their owners the gift of music.

“By auctioning these guitars I hope that I can give some help where it is really needed and through my charitable foundation do some good in this world. It will be a wrench to see them go and perhaps one day I’ll have to track one or two of them down and buy them back!”

Christie’s is estimating the most iconic of Gilmour’s guitars, such as the 1954 Fender with serial number 0001 to fetch about $150,000, but other famous guitarists have had huge sales at auction before, according to Christie’s Musical Instruments Specialist Kerry Keane.

“There is great, I think, resonance with this instrument,” Keane told New York’s Q104.3, regarding the Black Strat. “People understand its importance. Who knows where it will go?”

The auction house sold Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” for over $950,000 in 2004. An unidentified buyer paid $2.4 million for the guitar John Lennon used on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

People unable to visit Christie’s to see the collection don’t have to wish they were there. They can take a virtual tour on the company’s website.

CCR’s full Woodstock performance to be released for the first time in August

Earlier this year, Creedence Clearwater Revival drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford told ABC Radio that the band’s full set at the 1969 Woodstock festival finally would see light of day in 2019.  Now comes word that the performance will be released on August 2 on CD, as a two-LP vinyl set and digitally.

Live at Woodstock will feature CCR’s complete 11-song, hour-long show, which included renditions of the band’s hits “Proud Mary” and “Bad Moon Rising,” other gems like “Born on the Bayou,” “Green River” and “Keep On Chooglin’,” and the group’s classic covers of “I Put a Spell on You” and “Suzie Q.” CCR’s performances of Keep On Chooglin'” and “Suzie Q” were extended, 10-minute-plus jams.

Creedence was near the height of its popularity when it played Woodstock and the band was supposed to perform during a prime slot on the evening of Saturday, August 16, 1969.  But because of delays — including a long set by The Grateful Dead — the band didn’t hit the stage until after midnight on the 17th.

Feeling that the performance didn’t represent the group at its best, CCR declined to be included in the Oscar-winning 1970 Woodstock documentary and soundtrack album. As a result, many people were unaware that CCR even performed at the festival.

In advance of Live at Woodstock‘s release, the show’s first tune, “Born on the Bayou,” has been made available as a digital single and via streaming services. You also can check out the track, which includes the stage announcement introducing the band, on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s official YouTube channel.

Live at Woodstock can be pre-ordered now.

Here’s the album’s full CD and digital track list:

“Born on the Bayou”
“Green River”
“Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do)”
“Bootleg”
“Commotion”
“Bad Moon Rising”
“Proud Mary”
“I Put a Spell on You”
“The Night Time Is the Right Time”
“Keep On Chooglin'”
“Suzie Q”

Massive 2008 fire destroyed 100,000+ master recordings, including music by Elton John, Chuck Berry, Eagles

It’s being called the biggest disaster in the music business — we’re just now learning that a fire 11 years ago this month wiped out a significant chunk of music history.

According to an investigation by The New York Times Magazine, more than 100,000 master recordings owned by Universal Music Group, spanning from the 1940s to the 2000s, were wiped out when fire raged through Universal Studios in Los Angeles on June 1, 2008. The report says that at the time, Universal significantly downplayed the damage.

Among the recordings lost were most of Buddy Holly’s masters and, very likely, such historic singles as Bill Haley and His Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock,” Etta James’ “At Last” and The Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie.” Other artists whose master recordings were destroyed include Chuck Berry, Elton John, Aretha Franklin, Neil Diamond, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles,  Eric Clapton, The Eagles, Aerosmith, Joni Mitchell, B.B. King, The Four Tops, Cat Stevens, Al Green, Barry White, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Police, R.E.M., Guns N’ Roses and Nirvana.

“Rocketman” banned in Samoa over depictions of homosexuality

After reports that Russia was censoring parts of Rocketman, now comes news that the Elton John biopic has been banned in the Pacific nation of Samoa because of its depictions of homosexuality.

According to the Samoa Observer, Samoa’s principal censor Leiataua Niuapu Faaui says the homosexual activity shown in the movie violates the country’s laws and isn’t in line with Samoa’s cultural and Christian beliefs.

Under Samoa’s 2013 Crimes Act, sodomy is deemed an offense punishable by up to seven years in prison, even if both parties consent.

Apollo Cinemas Samoa wrote on its Facebook page, “Unfortunately due to censoring issues we have had to cancel Rocketman.”

When a Russian distributor censored scenes from Rocketman featuring gay sex and drug use, Elton and the filmmakers denounced it in a joint statement.

They wrote in part, “That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.”

Court to decide whether “Stairway to Heaven” copyright case will go back to trial

Last September, a California federal appeals court’s three-judge panel overturned a jury’s decision ruling in favor of Led Zeppelin in a copyright-infringement lawsuit involving the band’s classic song “Stairway to Heaven.” Now, the rock legends have a chance to avoid another trial.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the full appeals court ruled Monday that a new hearing will be held before an 11-judge panel that will allow Led Zeppelin to argue why the original 2016 jury decision should be upheld.

The hearing will take place this year in San Francisco during the last week of September.

A previously reported, the lawsuit claims that the opening of “Stairway to Heaven” was lifted from “Taurus,” a 1968 instrumental tune by the U.S. psychedelic band Spirit. The suit was initiated by a trustee for the estate of late Spirit frontman Randy Wolfe — a.k.a. Randy California — who wrote “Taurus.”

In overturning the 2016 ruling last year, the three-judge panel decided that the original trial judge’s instructions to the jury were “erroneous and prejudicial,” and felt that the judge made a mistake by not allowing a recording of “Taurus” while guitarist Jimmy Page was on the witness stand during the proceedings.

The trial judge’s instructions to the jury included telling them to disregard certain similarities between “Stairway to Heaven” and “Spirit” that were too common to be copyrighted. The appeals court panel in 2018 felt that the judge’s instructions regarding what is and isn’t a violation of copyright law were inaccurate.

In requesting a new hearing, Led Zeppelin argued that allowing copyright protection for “commonplace elements” in a composition would result in “widespread confusion” in the music industry.

Documentary on late E Street Band sax player Clarence Clemons coming out on DVD/Blu-ray in August

A new documentary about late E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons will be released as a DVD/Blu-ray set on August 13.

Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am? takes an intimate look at the life of “The Big Man” through new interviews with various friends, family members, collaborators and admirers, including Bruce Springsteen, Joe Walsh and President Bill Clinton.

The film also features footage and photos of Clemons shot by Nick Mead — the documentary’s director — during a trip Clarence took to China in 2003 following Springsteen and the E Street Band’s The Rising tour. During the journey, Clemons reflected on his spirituality and enjoyed his time as a relatively anonymous traveler.

Also appearing on the movie are longtime E Street Band multi-instrumentalist Nils Lofgren, Clarence’s nephew and current E Street sax player Jake Clemons, and acclaimed musician, songwriter and producer Narada Michael Walden.

In a trailer for Who Do I Think I Am?, Clinton discusses his relationship with Clemons, noting, “It was one of those things where sometimes you hit it off with someone, and even if you’re not with them a whole lot of times, every time you are with them, it’s so special you just never get over it.”

Also in the promo, Walden says, “When he blew his horn, it could liberate people all over the world. The sound was enormous.”

Who Do I Think I Am? premiered in April at the Asbury Park Music and Film Festival in New Jersey. Prior to its release on DVD/Blu-ray, the doc will be shown on June 7 at the New Jersey International Film Festival in New Brunswick, and this summer at the Woods Hole Film Festival in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

A TV or video streaming service release is also planned for early 2020.

Stream Prince’s Previously Unreleased Originals

Throughout his legendary career, one of Prince’s most prominent roles as an artist was songwriter for other artists. That didn’t stop Prince from recording those tunes himself, too, but many of those tracks have been locked away in his Paisley Park vault for years.

Not anymore. The Prince estate has just released an entire album of Prince’s versions of hit songs he penned for others called Originals. The album covers a wide array of songs from the ‘80s, from Sheila E.’s “This Glamorous Life” to the Bangles’ “Manic Monday” to the inimitable “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which was recently released as a single to promote this project. Originals follows the posthumous album of demos the estate released last year, Piano And A Microphone 1983.

Originals is streaming now on TIDAL as an exclusive. It will have a wide release on Warner Bros., on all the streaming platforms, 6/21. It’ll be out 7/19 in a deluxe physical edition, on CD and 180-gram purple vinyl.

Aerosmith opening Las Vegas exhibit to the public when next residency kicks off

After launching in April, Aerosmith’s “Deuces Are Wild” Las Vegas residency will begin a second installment on June 19, and to mark to occasion, the exhibit focusing on the band that’s located in the lower level of the Park Theater at Park MGM will be opened to all fans.

The display, dubbed the “Aerosmith Vault,” previously was only accessible to VIP ticket holders, but starting June 19 at 12 p.m. PT, tours will be offered to the general public, with tickets available for purchase at Aerosmith.com/VIP.

Among the many items featured in the exhibit are Steven Tyler’s high school drum kit, the original lyrics for “Walk This Way,” more than 20 guitars played by Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, some of Tyler’s signature scarfs, stage outfits worn by each band member, a Grammy and other awards won by the group, a selection of gold and platinum albums, tour posters and more.

Meanwhile, VIP packages are still available that include the museum tour, along with experiences including a meet-and-greet with Tyler and Perry, and a pre-show Q&A with Whitford, Joey Kramer and Tom Hamilton.

Aerosmith’s next Las Vegas engagement at Park Theater at Park MGM is a nine-show stand running from the 19th through July 9. The band also has two more Vegas engagements on its schedule that are plotted out from September 21 through October 8 and from November 14 through December 4.

As previously reported, Aerosmith also will take its “Deuces Are Wild” show on the road in August, with multiple-night engagements booked at MGM properties in National Harbor, Maryland; Atlantic City, New Jersey; and Springfield, Massachusetts. In addition, the band will make headlining appearances at two festivals in July.

The Who opening two-day pop-up shop in London offering exclusive vinyl “Pinball Wizard” single

Who fans visiting London next week will have the chance to score some exclusive band merchandise at a special pop-up shop that will be open on Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, in the U.K. capital’s Soho neighborhood.

The store, dubbed The Who @52, will celebrate the band’s July 6 concert at London’s Wembley Stadium, as well as the June 14 release of Roger Daltrey’s new live album, The Who’s Tommy Orchestral.

Among the items that will be available at the shop is an exclusive blue-vinyl seven-inch single featuring The Who’s original 1969 rendition of “Pinball Wizard” on one side and a 2018 performance of the classic song taken from The Who’s Tommy Orchestral album on the other.

The choice of “Pinball Wizard” is apropos, considering the fact that the pop-up is located in Soho, since the neighborhood is actually name-checked in the lyrics. 

The store also will sell CD and vinyl copies of The Who’s Tommy Orchestral, inducing a limited number of signed by Daltrey, and a variety of official Who merchandise. In addition, the shop will feature an exhibition of rare and archival band memorabilia, and fans will be able to play a retro Tommy pinball machine.

The Wembley Stadium concert also will feature a number of special guests, including Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Kaiser Chiefs and Imelda May. It’s the only upcoming U.K. show on the The Who’s schedule.

The rock legends will launch a second North American leg of its Moving On! Tour on September 3 in Toronto.

Woodstock-era acts to perform at WE2019 Experience Festivals in North Carolina and Florida this August

A pair of star-packed three-day festivals unofficially marking the 50th anniversary of Woodstock will be held during two separate weekends in two different locations this August.

The WE2019 Experience Festivals will take place August 9-11 at Saloon Studios Live in West Jefferson, North Carolina, and August 16-18 at Space Coast Harley-Davidson in Palm Bay, Florida.

Both events’ lineups will feature several artists who performed at the original 1969 Woodstock festival, including Canned Heat, John Sebastian, Ten Years After, Melanie and Mountain drummer Corky Laing. Gregg Errico, original drummer of Sly and the Family Stone, also will be playing at the August 10 concert in North Carolina.

Other acts scheduled to perform at one or both WE2019 fests include Vanilla Fudge, Jefferson Starship, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Joey Molland’s Badfinger, Iron Butterfly and ex-Ted Nugent singer Derek St. Holmes.

Visit WE2019.org to check out the full lineups of both WE2019 Experience Festivals.

Special ticket packages for the North Carolina and the Florida WE2019 fests are available now at Universe.com.

The Rolling Stones unveil full list of opening acts for North American tour

The Rolling Stones have announced the list of support acts for their upcoming North American No Filter tour, which kicks off June 21 at Chicago’s Soldier Field.

Among the artists opening for the British rock legends are St. Paul & The Broken Bones at the tour opener; Gary Clark Jr. at the July 7 concert in Foxboro, Massachusetts; Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk on July 14 in New Orleans; The Wombats on August 1 in East Rutherford, New Jersey; Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real on August 5 in East Rutherford and August 14 in Seattle; and Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats on August 10 in Denver.

Several of the supports acts, including Clark Jr. and St. Paul & The Broken Bones, have opened for The Rolling Stones on previous tours. Neville was a member of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards’ solo group The X-Pensive Winos.

Last month, Stones frontman Mick Jagger, who underwent heart-valve surgery in April, shared a video of himself practicing his dance moves while listening to the Wombats song “Techno Fan.”

The No Filter tour, part of which was rescheduled due to Jagger’s surgery, is mapped out through an August 31 concert in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Here’s the full list of dates and openers:

6/21 — Chicago, IL, Soldier Field (opener: St. Paul & The Broken Bones)
6/25 — Chicago, IL, Soldier Field (opener: Whiskey Myers)
6/29 — Oro-Medonte, ON, Canada, Burl’s Creek (opener: The Glorious Sons The Beaches)
7/3 — Washington, D.C., FedExField (opener: Ghost Hounds)
7/7 — Foxboro, MA, Gillette Stadium (opener: Gary Clark Jr.)
7/14 — New Orleans, LA, Mercedes-Benz Superdome (opener: Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk with special guest The Soul Rebels)
7/19 — Jacksonville, FL, TIAA Bank Field (opener: The Revivalists)
7/23 — Philadelphia, PA, Lincoln Financial Field (opener: Des Rocs)
7/27 — Houston, TX, NRG Stadium (opener: Bishop Gunn)
8/1 — East Rutherford, NJ, MetLife Stadium (opener: The Wombats)
8/5 — East Rutherford, NJ, MetLife Stadium (opener: Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real)
8/10 — Denver, CO, Broncos Stadium at Mile High (opener: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats)
8/14 — Seattle, WA, CenturyLink Field (opener: Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real)
8/18 — Santa Clara, CA, Levi’s Stadium (opener: Vista Kicks)
8/22 — Pasadena, CA, The Rose Bowl (opener: Kaleo)
8/26 — Glendale, AZ, State Farm Stadium (opener: Kaleo)
8/31 — Miami Gardens, FL, Hard Rock Stadium (opener: Juanes)

Micky Dolenz and Todd Rundgren among artists taking part in Beatles “White Album” tribute tour

An eclectic group of artists are coming together for a fall U.S. tour paying tribute to The Beatles’ classic 1968 self-titled album, a.k.a. The White Album.

The trek, dubbed “It Was Fifty Years Ago Today — Tour 2019,” will kick off September 21 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and will feature The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz, Todd Rundgren, Christopher Cross, Joey Molland of Badfinger and ex-Chicago singer Jason Scheff.

The tour includes 17 concerts in the Northeast and Midwest, and is mapped out through an October 20 show in Washington, D.C., although more dates are expected to be added to the outing.

At the concerts, the artists will perform select songs from the Fab Four’s classic double album, as well as memorable tunes from their own careers.

Among the classic songs on The White Album: “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” “Dear Prudence,” “Glass Onion,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Blackbird,” “I Will,” “Julia,” “Birthday,” “Helter Skelter” and “Revolution.”

Joey Curatolo, who serves as musical director for the popular stage show RAIN: A Tribute to The Beatles, will fill that same role for this tour.

Here are all of the confirmed dates for the It Was Fifty Years Ago Today — Tour 2019:

9/21 — Atlantic City, NJ, Golden Nugget
9/28 — Akron, OH, Akron Civic Theatre
9/29 — Danville, KY, Norton Center
10/1 — St. Charles, IL, Arcada Theater
10/2 — Milwaukee, WI, Pabst Theater
10/5 — Beverly, MA, Cabot Theater
10/6 — Concord, NH, Capitol Center for the Arts
10/7 — Orono, ME, Collins Center for the Arts
10/8 — Ridgefield, CT, Ridgefield Playhouse
10/10 — Staten Island, NY, St. George Theater
10/11 — Boston, MA, Berklee PAC
10/12 — Westbury, NY, The Theatre at Westbury
10/13 — Morristown, NJ, Mayo PAC
10/15 — Glenside, PA, Keswick Theatre
10/17 — Red Bank, NJ, Count Basie Theater
10/18 — New London, CT, Garde Arts Center
10/20 — Washington, D.C., Warner Theatre

SLASH Confirms New GUNS N’ ROSES Music Is On The Way

Slash has confirmed that GUNS N’ ROSES will start work on new music in the fall.

The guitarist had previously said that there was talk of GUNS putting new ideas together, but he was reluctant to say that fans could definitely expect to hear fresh material from the reunited group.

Explaining why he had been ambiguous with his comments in the past, Slash told Meltdown of Detroit’s 101 WRIF radio station (hear audio below): “The thing is, we haven’t really done anything yet, and I don’t like to say anything. You know how people used to promote shit and lie through their teeth? So I just wanted to be honest about it, and so there was really no telling what we were gonna do at that point. But at this point, I do know that we are gonna do this run [of shows in the fall], and we’ve already started working on stuff. So, there you go.”

Slash also said that he found it frustrating when a photo showing his guitar rig setup was circulated online, with Internet chatter suggesting he had been on the way to singer Axl Rose’s house to begin recording new GN’R music.

“There was a rumor that I was over there, and it was before I had even been there,” Slash said. “So, I was, like, ‘Jesus Christ.’ And that’s just a pain in the ass and annoying.’ But I am excited about what we’ve got going on and everything, so it’s gonna be cool.”

Slash, who recently returned to the road with his solo band SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS, previously told BelfastLive that he had “no idea” what a new GUNS album would sound like. “I really couldn’t tell you,” he said. “It’s like anything else — you don’t know what it is until it’s done.”

GUNS N’ ROSES’ aforementioned festival shows — Louder Than Life, Austin City Limits and Exit 111 — will mark the band’s first live appearances since ending its reunion tour in December 2018.

GUNS N’ ROSES’ “Not In This Lifetime” tour began in April 2016, and after 159 shows in 41 countries, it played its last date at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 8, 2018.

“Not In This Lifetime” is now believed to be the second-highest-grossing tour of all time, having generated more than $500 million since it began three years ago.

Since the end of the tour last year, Slash and bassist Duff McKagan have both returned to solo endeavors.

The “Not In This Lifetime” tour featured classic-lineup members Slash, McKagan and Rose backed by guitarist Richard Fortus, drummer Frank Ferrer, keyboardist Dizzy Reed and second keyboardist Melissa Reese.

ACE FREHLEY Says It’s ‘Sad’ That KISS Couldn’t Sell Out Madison Square Garden During ‘End Of The Road’ Tour

Ace Frehley says that while he has still not been approached to be a part of KISS’s recently launched “End Of The Road” world tour, he is not ruling out being involved in some capacity.

“I think it’s a sad commentary that KISS performed in New York [in late March] and didn’t sell out Madison Square Garden,” Frehley told Oklahoma’s KATT Rock 100.5 radio station in a new interview (hear audio below). “When I was in the band, we used to do three nights [at Madison Square Garden].

“I don’t understand,” he continued. “I’ve offered my services, and they just haven’t made the decision to bring me back. And that’s okay, because I’m having a lot of fun as a solo artist. But I also am concerned about the fans as well. I wanna give the fans the biggest bang for their buck, and they’re not getting it at this juncture.

“They’ve had this lineup with Tommy [Thayer, guitar] and Eric [Singer, drums] for 15 years, and they announced they were doing the ‘End Of The Road’ tour, and that it was gonna be bigger and better than anything they’ve ever done in the past, and they gave the impression that maybe me and Peter [Criss, former KISS drummer] might be involved, and this and that. Then they just come out and pretty much do the same set they’ve been doing for years. So I don’t know. It is what it is. I do my thing, and Paul [Stanley] and Gene [Simmons] are doing theirs.”

Since “End Of The Road” is expected to last three years, Frehley says that there is still plenty of time for him to take part in some of the remaining legs of the tour.

“Ticket sales weren’t where they wanted them to be on this last run, so who knows what’s gonna happen next time around?” he explained.

According to Billboard, KISS’s March 27 concert at Madison Square Garden grossed $1.947 million and sold 13,359 tickets. The same venue still holds the record for the band’s highest-grossing engagement ever, when they earned $3.3 million over four shows from July 25-28, 1996 during the “Alive/Worldwide” tour (this was the band’s first tour since 1979’s “Dynasty” tour with Criss and Frehley).

Stanley recently told the “Rolling Stone Music Now” podcast last fall that while he is not closing the door on the possibility of guest appearances by former members during the “End Of The Road” tour, he doesn’t promise anything either. “I really can’t say,” Stanley said. “This will be a celebration of KISS and not any individual lineup or any individual members. I wouldn’t rule anything out, but it’s not the crux of what we’re doing… and I’m not being coy either. I don’t want to mislead anybody. That’s not something that’s been given a lot of thought at this point.”

Frehley — whose new solo album, “Spaceman”, was released in October via eOne — first left KISS in 1982. He rejoined in 1996 and parted ways with the band once again in 2002 after the conclusion of their first “farewell tour.”

SAMMY HAGAR Says VAN HALEN’s ‘5150’ Album Made Band’s Audience ‘A Little Bigger And A Little More Mainstream’

In the latest issue of Rock Candy magazine, frontman Sammy Hagar revisits the making of his first album with VAN HALEN, 1986’s “5150”, and explains how it elevated the band to a whole new level of popularity.

“I was very confident in myself,” Hagar explains to Rock Candy writer Paul Elliott when discussing his arrival in VAN HALEN back in 1985 as replacement for departed vocalist David Lee Roth. “Eddie Van Halen would say, ‘Can you hit this note?’ I’d hit it and everybody would go, ‘Wow!’ What I did was inspire Eddie to go, ‘Oh, I can do this and I can do that. I’ve got this musical idea that I would never show Roth. But with Sammy, I can play it.'”

Hagar believes that the chemistry between himself and Eddie created “a more sophisticated style of music and songwriting. Before that it was all rock ‘n’ roll, great party songs. They were writing songs — and me too — about sex, but on ‘5150’, they became love songs. And that brought a real female following to VAN HALEN that they didn’t have before. They had groupies, metal chicks, but they didn’t have couples, they didn’t have girls who were wholesome all-American girls. So these songs, ‘Love Walks In’, ‘Why Can’t This Be Love’, made our audience a little bigger and a little more mainstream.”

Of course, the “5150” album proved to be a major smash for VAN HALEN, making it to No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard chart and eventually going six times platinum. And questions over whether Hagar could replace the magnetic Roth were immediately put to bed.

“The fans bought into our trip,” says Hagar. “We were so lucky to have the success that we had and we just rode that wave.”

Read the whole of this revealing article, and many more fascinating features, in issue 14 of Rock Candy, available in shops worldwide.

Cheap Trick, America, Don Felder to perform on next year’s ’70s Rock & Romance Cruise

The lineup of the 2020 edition of the ’70 Rock & Romance Cruise has been announced, and the lineup includes Cheap Trick, America, ex-Eagles guitarist Don Felder, Randy Bachman, Todd Rundgren and Moody Blues singer/bassist John Lodge.

The cruise will set sail from Miami on February 15 and will stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Samana, Dominican Republic; and the Haitian island of Labadee before returning to Miami on February 22.

Other performers featured on the nautical festiva’s fourth annual installment include Jefferson Starship, Rita Coolidge, Ambrosia, Pablo Cruise and Stephen Bishop. Cheap Trick will give one special performance during the cruise, on February 18, when the ship is scheduled to stop in San Juan.

In addition to the many performances, the ’70s Rock & Romance Cruise will feature a variety of special events and activities, including Q&A sessions and panel discussions with some of the artists, themed parties, wine tastings, trivia contests, game shows, karaoke, pool parties and more. Married couples also will have the opportunity to renew their wedding vows.

Cabin prices start at around $1,950. For more details, visit RockandRomanceCruise.com or call 844-466-7625.

ROBERT PLANT To Launch ‘Digging Deep’ Podcast

LED ZEPPELIN singer Robert Plant will launch a new podcast, “Digging Deep: The Robert Plant Podcast”, on Monday, June 3 via all of the major streaming platforms, including iTunes, Spotify, Acast and YouTube.

In an intro audio clip shared via his social media accounts, Plant explains: “Making records is a very personal experience. I was so desperate to get away from that environment, and I was saying, ‘Let’s get out of here.’ But then, now and again down the line, opening up some of the songs and looking back at ’em, I marvel at some of it. Mostly wherever I am, even now all these years later, I really wanna be there.”

He adds: “I’m gonna be picking out some songs from here and there along the way, mixing constant shifts and sound and intention.”

Official podcast description: “Robert Plant’s music is the result of a lifetime striding around the globe, from The Midlands to Morocco, from Nashville to North Wales, and the influences and friends collected along the way can be heard in his songs. In this podcast, he’ll delve into his back catalogue to revisit a track from this remarkable history to tell stories of inspiration, collaboration and intervention. It’s Robert’s personal road map to an incredible and personal journey that’s ongoing to this very day.”

SCOTT STAPP: ‘Name’ Lyric Video

Grammy-winning songwriter, CREED frontman and platinum-certified solo artist Scott Stapp will release his new album, “The Space Between The Shadows”, on July 19 via Napalm Records. Pre-order the album and get two instant-grat tracks — “Purpose For Pain” and “Name” — with two more to come — “Face Of The Sun” (May 31) and “Gone Too Soon” (July 12).

Stapp has posted a lyric video for “Name” to highlight a song that pledges to break the cycle of abuse. The track is a chill-inducing promise to protect his children from what he endured in his own youth. Stapp has performed the song live for select fans during radio visits and each performance has been met with pin-drop silence and standing ovations for lyrics like: “I am a son without a father. He gave his name and walked away. I am a man, now a father. And I swear my son will never know that pain. I was a child, I was abandoned. Too young to fight to have a say. Oh God what seemed so heavy handed. Made me the man I am today. It’s so hard to forgive. Even harder to forget.”

“Name” also gives the album its title, as Stapp vows to make his hard-learned lessons count: “I will… I will… be the space between the shadows. I will…I will… be the light inside the sorrow.”

“The Space Between The Shadows” was co-produced by Scott Stevens and Marti Frederiksen, with additional production on “Purpose For Pain” by Kevin “Thrasher” Gruft. The album was recorded at Sienna Studios and Poppy Studios in Nashville, Tennessee and The Cabin in Los Angeles. It was mixed by Chris Baseford and mastered by Howie Weinberg and features ten original songs and two original bonus tracks.

Stapp is known as frontman for CREED (over 50 million albums sold worldwide), and for his work as a solo artist who released the platinum-certified “The Great Divide” (2005) and “Proof Of Life” (2013), which featured his first solo Billboard No. 1, “Slow Suicide”.

Stapp went through a highly publicized, drug-inflamed meltdown in 2014, after which he entered into an intensive rehab program. Stapp also lost custody of his three children during this period, while also missing a court hearing and allegedly threatening to kill President Obama.

Stapp is now sober and in intensive therapy. He takes medication for bipolar disorder — a condition that causes unexpected shifts in mood, energy and activity levels — works through a 12-step program, and meets with a sponsor, saying, “Nothing is more important than my sobriety.”

Scott will embark on a cross-country summer tour in late June.

Phil Collins goes digital with demos, B-sides and remixes

Back in the days when artists would release vinyl 45 RPM singles with an A-side and a B-side, Phil Collins would sometimes put demo versions of his hit songs on the B-side.  Now, those recordings are coming to digital for the first time.

Other Sides, a digital-only collection of B-sides released from 1981 through 2003.  Among the tracks the demo versions of Collins’ hits “In the Air Tonight,” “I Missed Again” and “Another Day in Paradise,” the latter under its original name, “Homeless.”

One track from Other Sides is available now via digital download and streaming services: “The Man with the Horn,” which was the B-side of Phil’s 1985 #1 hit “One More Night.”

Remixed Sides, a digital-only collection of extended and remixed versions of Phil’s songs from throughout his solo career, including “Sussudio,” “Easy Lover,” “Don’t Lose My Number,” “One More Night,” “Take Me Home,” “Something Happened on the Way to Heaven” and “In the Air Tonight.”

One track from Remixed Sides also is available now as a digital download and via streaming services: “The Roof Is Leaking,” from his debut solo album Face Value.

Both releases come in advance of the launch of a new European leg of Collins’ Still Not Dead Yet Live! tour, which starts June 2 in Vienna, Austria.  The U.S. leg of the trek starts September 23 in Dallas.

Here’s the track listing for Other Sides:

“In the Air Tonight” (Demo)
“I Missed Again” (Demo)
“If Leaving Me Is Easy” (Demo)
“The Man with the Horn”
“I Like the Way”
“Big Noise” (Instrumental)
“Homeless” (“Another Day in Paradise” Demo)
“Lionel” (“Do You Remember?” Demo)
“Broadway Chorus” (“Something Happened on the Way to Heaven” Home Demo)
“Around the World in 80 Presets”
“Rad Dudeski”
“Don’t Call Me Ashley”
“Both Sides of the Demo” (Early Demo)
“Everyday” (Early Demo)
“For a Friend”
“Stevie’s Blues” (“There’s a Place For Us” Instrumental)
“It’s Everywhere”
“Tears of a Clown” (“Wake Up Call” 2003 Version)

And here’s the track listing for Remixed Sides:

“In the Air Tonight” (Ben Liebrand Extended Version)
“In the Air Tonight” (’88 Remix)
“Easy Lover” (Extended Dance Remix)
“Take Me Home” (Extended Remix)
“Sussudio” (Extended Remix)
“Who Said I Would” (Extended Remix)
“Only You and I Know” (Extended Remix)
“Don’t Lose My Number” (Extended Remix)
“One More Night” (Extended Remix)
“The Roof Is Leaking” (Nicka’s Stella Polaris Interpretation)
“Medley Mega Mix: Sussudio/Don’t Lost My Number/You Can’t Hurry Love”
“Something Happened on the Way to Heaven”( One World Remix)
“Hang In Long Enough” (Pettibone 12″ Mix)
“Hang In Long Enough” (Pettibone Dub Mix)
“Hang In Long Enough” (Pop Club Mix)
“Hang In Long Enough” (Dub 1)
“Wear My Hat” (Hat Dance Mix)
“Wear My Hat” (Wear My Dub)

Following Mick Jagger’s successful heart surgery, The Rolling Stones announce re-scheduled No Filter tour dates

Just a day after Mick Jagger showed off his moves following successful heart-valve surgery last month, The Rolling Stones have announced they’re getting back on the road. 

The band’s 17-date No Filter trek was originally slated to launch on April 20 in Miami, Florida, but it was postponed indefinitely following the news Mick needed medical treatment.

With Mick back on his feet, the band’s getting back on the stage. Here are the new just-announced rescheduled North American No Filter tour dates:

6/21* — Chicago, IL, Soldier Field    
6/25* — Chicago, IL, Soldier Field
6/29* — Ontario, Canada, Burl’s Creek
7/3 — Washington, DC, FedExField
7/7 — Foxboro, MA, Gillette Stadium
7/14 — New Orleans, LA, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
7/19 — Jacksonville, FL,  TIAA Bank Field
7/23 — Philadelphia, PA, Lincoln Financial Field
7/27 — Houston, TX, NRG Stadium
8/1 — East Rutherford, NJ, MetLife Stadium
8/5 —  East Rutherford, NJ, MetLife Stadium
8/10 — Denver, CO, Broncos Stadium at Mile High
8/14 — Seattle, WA, CenturyLink Field
8/18 — Santa Clara, CA, Levi’s Stadium
8/22 — Pasadena, CA, The Rose Bowl
8/26 — Glendale, AZ, State Farm Stadium
8/31 — Miami, FL, Hard Rock Stadium

* No date change

Ticketmaster notes that tickets sold for the original date will be honored, but those who cannot attend the rescheduled date can refund their tickets via their Ticketmaster account.

The Police’s Andy Summers to present multimedia event at NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art

Police guitarist Andy Summers will take part in a special audiovisual presentation at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on June 22, in conjunction with the ongoing exhibit Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll.

The event, titled A Certain Strangeness, will feature Summers playing guitar, accompanied by a projection of some of his surreal photographic images. The show will conclude with a Q&A session between Andy and Jayson Dobney, he curator in charge of the museum’s Department of Musical Instruments.

Tickets for the presentation are priced at $35 and are available at MetMuseum.org. Same-day admission to The Met is included in the price of the ticket.

A Certain Strangeness also is the name of Summers’ latest book of photographs, which was published in March.

Meanwhile, Andy also will present a similar multimedia show on June 7 at the Parkstad Limburg Theater in Heerlen, Netherlands.

That same day, an exhibition featuring a display of photographs that appear in the A Certain Strangeness book will officially open at the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht, Netherlands. The exhibit will run through October 27.

Elton John’s husband says “Rocketman” portrays the star as “a bit of a monster”

Elton John hasn’t seen his biopic Rocketman yet — that will happen Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival — but Elton’s husband, David Furnish, has, because he’s one of the movie’s producers. And he says that the movie portrays a side of his husband that he’s never seen…and at times, it’s not pretty.

Elton and David have been together for 26 years, but Rocketman details Elton’s childhood and rise to stardom, long before the two met. David tells Variety, “Elton John is somebody that I think I know incredibly well, but then also it’s like watching a film about somebody you don’t know at all. The Elton in all that madness is not the Elton I know.”

Furnish continues, “At times, he’s a bit of a monster and also, deeply unhappy. That’s hard.” He adds, “Many times as I watched the film, I wanted to go and give him a hug, like I could help him. I thought, ‘God, you’ve been through a lot.’”

Furnish believes the movie’s star, Taron Egerton, does a great job of portraying Elton, and John agrees. In fact, David reveals that Elton had a hard time telling himself and Taron apart.

Referring to one of the first photos released from Rocketman, which shows Taron as Elton, sitting on his private plane in the ’70s, Furnish tells Variety, “He’s on the sofa with the glasses and the hot pants. I sent it to Elton and Elton said, ‘I don’t remember taking that. When did I take that picture?’ He thought it was him!”

Rocketman will arrive in theaters nationwide on May 31.

 

Tom Petty’s daughters sue his widow, Dana, accuse her of mismanaging his business interests

Tom Petty‘s two daughters, Adria and Annakim, have launched a lawsuit against Dana Petty, the late rocker’s widow, charging her with mismanaging their dad’s businesses, The Blast reports.

The suit follows a legal action that Dana initiated last month in which, according to The Blast, she asked a court to appoint a manager that would work with her and her stepdaughters, whom she accused of teaming up in an effort to hamper her ability to co-manage the estate.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Petty Unlimited — the company set up to oversee Tom’s estate that’s supposed to be jointly run by Adria, Annakim and Dana — alleges that Dana hasn’t honored her duties to the company and has withheld assets and diverted them to another company she launched.

The lawsuit claims that Dana’s actions have cost Petty Unlimited more than $5 million.

An attorney for Dana, Adam Streisand, has responded to the lawsuit by issuing the following statement to The Blast: “This misguided and meritless lawsuit sadly demonstrates exactly why Tom Petty designated his wife to be the sole trustee with authority to manage his estate. Dana will not allow destructive nonsense like this to distract her from protecting her husband’s legacy.”

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Adria Petty addressed the conflict with Dana over Tom’s estate.

“We’re trying to figure out how to work with everybody’s advisors and lawyers,” Adria said. “We all love each other and we all work pretty great together when we speak directly to each other. It’s been a difficult time. But I’ve seen remarkable changes in my family in the best of ways because of this, and I’ve seen a lot of catharsis and healing in the last 16 months.”

The Doobie Brothers releasing live album and video documenting historic full-album shows

This past November, The Doobie Brothers took over New York City’s Beacon Theatre for two shows that featured full performances of their second and third albums, 1972’s Toulouse Street and 1973’s The Captain and Me. Now, a concert album and video documenting those shows will be released on June 28.

The Doobie Brothers: Live from the Beacon Theatre will be available as a two-CD set, a two-CD/DVD package, as a Blu-ray and digitally, and can be pre-ordered now. Special merchandise and bundles can be purchased at The Doobie Brothers’ online store. For a limited time, fans placing orders at Rhino.com will receive an exclusive metallic ink lithograph.

The special Beacon shows began with a set featuring Toulouse Street in its entirety, then an intermission, and then a full performance of The Captain and Me. The concerts’ encore included two later Doobie Brothers hits — the 1974 chart-topper “Black Water” and their cover of the Motown gem “Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me)” — as well as a reprise of Toulouse Street‘s lead track, “Listen to the Music.”

Toulouse Street also includes the band’s cover of the 1966 gospel tune “Jesus Is Just Alright” and the classic-rock staple “Rockin’ Down the Highway.” Among the classic songs on The Captain and Me are “China Grove” and “Long Train Runnin’.”

As previously reported, The Doobie Brothers will be the opening act on the summer leg of Santana‘s 2019 Supernatural Now tour, which runs from an June 20 show in Irvine, California, through an August 24 concert in Wantagh, New York.

Here’s the Live from the Beacon Theatre CD track list:

Disc One: Toulouse Street
“Listen to the Music”
“Rockin’ Down the Highway”
“Mamaloi”
“Toulouse Street”
“Cotton Mouth”
“Don’t Start Me to Talkin’”
“Jesus Is Just Alright”
“White Sun”
“Disciple”
“Snake Man”

Disc Two: The Captain and Me
“Natural Thing”
Band Intros
“Long Train Runnin’”
“China Grove”
“Dark Eyed Cajun Woman”
“Clear as the Driven Snow”
“Without You”
“South City Midnight Lady”
“Evil Woman”
“Busted Down Around O’Connelly Corners”
“Ukiah”
“The Captain and Me”

Encore:
“Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me)”
“Black Water”
“Listen to the Music” (Reprise)

And here are all of The Doobies’ confirmed North American tour dates:

6/20 — Irvine, CA, FivePoint Amphitheatre*
6/22 — Phoenix, AZ, Ak-Chin Pavilion*
6/23 — Chula Vista, CA, North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre*
6/24 — Los Angeles, CA, Hollywood Bowl*
6/26 — Mountain View, CA, Shoreline Amphitheatre*
6/27 — Wheatland, CA, Toyota Amphitheatre*
6/29 — Auburn, WA, White River Amphitheatre*
6/30 — Ridgefield, WA, Sunlight Supply Amphitheater*
7/2 — West Valley City, UT, USANA Amphitheatre*
7/3 — Denver, CO, Pepsi Center*
7/6 — Dallas, TX, Dos Equis Pavilion*
7/9 — Austin, TX, Austin360 Amphitheater*
7/11 — Kansas City, MO, Sprint Center*
7/12 — Maryland Heights, MO, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – St. Louis*
7/13 — Memphis, TN, Memphis Botanic Garden
8/3 — St. Paul, MN, Xcel Energy Center*
8/4 — Tinley Park, IL, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – Chicago*
8/6 — Toronto, ON, Canada, Budweiser Stage*
8/7 — Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Blossom Music Center*
8/9 — Noblesville, IN, Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center*
8/10 — Cincinnati, OH, Riverbend Music Center*
8/11 — Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre*
8/13 — Charlotte, NC, PNC Music Pavilion*
8/14 — Bristow, VA, Jiffy Lube Live*
8/16 — Moon, PA, UPMC Events Center
8/17 — Bethel, NY, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts*
8/18 — Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center*
8/20 — Mansfield, MA, Xfinity Center*
8/21 — Hartford, CT, XFINITY Theatre*
8/23 — Saratoga Springs, NY, Saratoga Performing Arts Center*
8/24 — Camden, NJ, BB&T Pavilion*
8/25 — Wantagh, NY, Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater*
9/14 — Indio, CA, Fantasy Springs Resort Casino

* = with Santana.

Journey Announce Las Vegas Residency

Journey will return to Las Vegas later this year for a new residency. The run will consist of nine shows at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace.

The dates will take place between Oct. 9 and Oct. 26 in the 4,300-seat venue, which is set to undergo renovations this summer. Among the changes will be a new sound system and a high-definition video wall; the floor will also become a general-admission area.

This will be Journey’s third time playing multiple dates in Vegas, following shows at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in 2015 and 2017.

Tickets for the October concerts are on sale to the general public. The band’s website has more details, including VIP packages.

As 2018 came to a close, Neal Schon said the band was taking off 2019 so other members could work on solo projects — “except for possibly a few dates near the end of the year leading into 2020,” he noted.

The time away, Schon added, gave him the opportunity to embark on a Journey Through Time solo tour with former members Gregg Rolie and Deen Castronovo that spotlighted the band’s pre-Steve Perry era. He’s also working on a new solo album with Marti Frederiksen and plans to release another record, Universe, in August.

Paul Raymond, UFO Keyboardist and Guitarist, Dies

Paul Raymond, the keyboardist and guitarist from UFO who also did stints in Savoy Brown and the Michael Schenker Group, has died only a few days after the band concluded a tour. He was 73.

The news was broken this morning (April 13) on his Facebook page. “Hi to all the fans and people who knew Paul! This is Sandra, Paul’s life partner speaking,” she wrote. “With a desperate and broken heart, fully in tears and pains that feel like they will kill me I have to tell you that my most beautiful and beloved darling Paul Raymond has passed away today. The doctors were trying to reanimate him and with success at first but then his system shot down again and there was nothing more they could do for him, he died of a heart attack. He absolutely enjoyed the last couple of weeks touring with UFO in the U.K. & Ireland and he was looking forward to the rest of this year’s tour.”

She included a photo that was taken earlier this week when they checked out of their hotel after the last date of the tour before returning to their home in Germany. Sandra concluded the post by saying, “I will always love him and I hope he will rest in peace until I’ll see him again on the other side!!! I love you so much Paul 💔😪 Sandra.”

UFO wrote that they were “too shell-shocked” by the news and shared Sandra’s update. They included a photo of Raymond from that last concert and added, “Thank you to everyone for your very kind and supportive messages.”

Born Nov. 16, 1945 in St. Albans, England, Raymond started out playing jazz in early 1964, and formed a psychedelic prog band, Plastic Penny, in 1967. The group, which included future Elton John drummer Nigel Olsson, had a Top 10 U.K. hit with its debut, a cover of the Box Tops’ “Everything I Am,” but broke up towards the end of 1968.

From there, he joined the British blues band Chicken Shack, replacing Christine McVie when she became a member of Fleetwood Mac. But after they were dropped by their label following the commercial failure of 1970’s Accept, Raymond and two of his bandmates left for Savoy Brown, which itself had seen three of its members depart for Foghat.

Raymond spent five years in Savoy Brown, but during a 1976 show in Saginaw, Mich., where they were on the same bill as UFO, he got into a conversation with bassist Pete Way, who said that UFO were planning to fire keyboardist Danny Peyronel because they wanted someone who could also play rhythm guitar. Upon their return to England, Raymond passed the audition, and UFO entered what’s considered by many to be their classic period.

However, in 1981, tensions in the band were running high and Schenker, who had jumped ship to form his self-named group a year earlier, offered him a job. But soon after the release of MSG, Raymond had what his website’s bio described as a “non-music-related altercation” with Schenker and was let go.

He then worked with Way in Waysted and returned to a new lineup of UFO in 1984. But he left after two years, midway through a U.S. tour, due to numerous problems within the band. In 1993, he, Schenker and Way reunited with Phil Mogg. But when Schenker walked out mid-gig in Japan, Raymond decided it was time to leave the road. He eventually took a much different gig, playing jazz piano at a hotel and several casinos in London.

UFO came calling again, in 2003, and Raymond stayed with the band until his death. It is unknown as of press time how Raymond’s death will affect the upcoming U.S. dates on their farewell tour that begin in October.

How Hit Single ‘Love Bites’ Scared Def Leppard

Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen recalled their initial fear when their track “Love Bites” became their only No.1 hit single on release in 1987.

The track had been composed in the studio with producer Mutt Lange, and released on blockbuster album Hysteria, but the band had never given thought to how they might perform it live, Collen said.

“We’d done all these overdubs, these crazy guitar parts and vocal harmonies,” he said. “Then the song went to No.1 and we’d never played it live. So we had to take time off an go into a rehearsal room in Vancouver, and we were like, ‘Guys, how are we gonna do this song?’”

 “We’d spent three years on our record; we’d done all this crazy stuff that we can’t play and sing at the same time. it was like staying behind after school, just learning this song, singing while you were playing these crazy things. It was really hard. We’d just rehearse, rehearse, rehearse – and we finally got it. Of course, now we do it in our sleep, but it was a bit scary.”

The success of “Love Bites” helped propel Hysteria to sales of over 12 million in the U.S. alone.

Alan Parsons’ New Song Featuring Lou Gramm, ‘Sometimes’

Alan Parsons has debuted a new song featuring former Foreigner singer Lou Gramm.

“Sometimes” is an early taste from Parsons’ upcoming album, The Secret. Due on April 26, the LP will be his first in 15 years.

The veteran artist and producer had previously teased the album, saying it “will include musical and lyrical themes that are very close to my heart and my own interests and passions.”

Among those passions is magic. The craft is one of Parsons’ longtime hobbies and greatly influenced the songwriting on this album.

“Magic has always been a passion of mine,” he explained. “I am a member of the Magic Castle in Los Angeles. I’ve also worked with the Japanese magic company Tenyo, writing instruction books and catalogs for their tricks. I dabble with magic myself in my free time, so an album with magical influences was a natural progression.”

Other artists featured on The Secret include pop singer Jason Mraz, former Pillbugs frontman Mark Mikel and frequent Parsons collaborators Todd Cooper and Jordan Huffman.

Parsons initially made a name for himself as a producer, working on such classic albums as the Beatles’ Abbey Road and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon. In 1975, he formed the Alan Parsons Project, an assembly of studio musicians and members of various bands with whom he had previously worked. The group was a critical and commercial success, selling more than 5 million albums worldwide.

Parsons is currently in the midst of a worldwide tour, with dates scheduled through the end of August.

Alan Parsons, ‘The Secret’ Track Listing:
1. “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”
2. “Miracle” (feat. Jason Mraz)
3. “As Lights Fall”
4. “One Note Symphony” (feat. Todd Cooper)
5. “Sometimes” (feat. Lou Gramm​)
6. “Soiree Fantastique (feat. Todd Cooper)
7. “Fly To Me” (feat. Mark Mikel)
8. “Requiem” (feat. Todd Cooper)
9. “Years Of Glory” (feat. Pj Olsson)
10. “The Limelight Fades Away” (feat. Jordan Huffman)
11. “I Can’t Get There From Here” (feat. Jared Mahone)

Bob Dylan Whiskey Distillery and Venue to Open in Nashville

Bob Dylan’s range of whiskeys will find a new home at a multi-use facility in Nashville, which is set to open in 2020, operators announced.

He launched his Heaven’s Door spirits last year – named after classic track “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” and featuring an image of a metalwork sculpture on the same theme – which are currently being distilled in various locations.

The new Heaven’s Door Distillery and Center for the Arts will provide a base for their continued creation. Some of Dylan’s paintings and metalwork sculptures will be on display at the center, with concerts and other live events to be planned also.

Dylan and his business partners purchased the Elm Street Methodist Church in downtown Nashville for $6.2 million in 2017. Built in the 1860s, the church closed in 1971 was was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Once conversation is complete, it will also house a restaurant and whiskey library.

Announcing his spirits line in 2018, Dylan said he “wanted to create a collection of American whiskeys that, in their own way, tell a story. … I’ve been traveling for decades, and I’ve been able to try some of the best spirits that the world of whiskey has to offer. This is great whiskey.”

Heaven’s Door is available in straight rye, straight bourbon and double-barreled varieties.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Dylan was working on a new movie project with Martin Scorcese based on his 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue tour. Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese will be aired on Netflix later this year. It’s described as “part documentary, part concert film, part fever dream.”

Holding Out for a Hero: Bonnie Tyler & Rod Stewart finally sing together

If you’ve ever heard Bonnie Tyler‘s hits “It’s a Heartache,” “Total Eclipse of the Heart” or “Holding Out for a Hero,” you know that Bonnie’s raspy voice is reminiscent of Rod Stewart‘s.  Well, it’s taken them 50 years, but now, the two legendary vocalists have finally recorded a duet, which North American fans will get to hear later this year.

The song, “Battle of the Sexes,” appears on Bonnie’s new album Between the Earth and the Stars, which comes out this Friday in the U.K. and most of the world, but won’t be released officially in the U.S. and Canada until the fall.

Appearing on the British TV show Loose Women, Bonnie noted that fans have been waiting for years for her and Rod to record together, and explained that she landed him for the project after a mutual friend promised to pass along her request.

“I waited until I found the right song, which took a couple of months…and I had this song called ‘Battle of the Sexes,’” Bonnie recalled. “And so I thought, ‘This is it.’ So I sent it to [Rod’s friend] Ricky…he passed it on, [and] within a day or two days, Rod got back to me personally…to say that yes, he wouldn’t normally — but yes, he’d do it!”

Rod isn’t the only British knight involved in the album: The Bee Gees‘ Sir Barry Gibb wrote a song specifically for her to record, and she also sings a duet with iconic U.K. pop star Sir Cliff Richard.

And on the more modern side of things, the disc features three songs written just for Bonnie by Amy Wadge, one of Ed Sheeran‘s favorite collaborators — she and Ed co-wrote “Thinking Out Loud,” among other tracks.

No word yet on an exact U.S. release date.

Pete Townshend says new Who album will include songs about homelessness, #MeToo and the fishing industry

The Who guitarist Pete Townshend says the band is “about two-thirds” done with their upcoming studio album, which he thinks will be “really great.”

During a recent press event held at London’s Wembley Stadium, Townshend — along with The Who frontman Roger Daltrey — told the U.K.’s Absolute Radio that he’s written “some good songs” that focus on current themes, including “homelessness…the fishing industry [and] the way that men might have to change in the future…after the ‘Me Too’ thing.”

The 73-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer also reports that a few guests may be asked to contribute to the record, such as “a female vocalist” or “a rapper.”

Daltrey, meanwhile, tells Absolute Radio that it can be challenging for him to come up with a unique way to present the songs Townshend writes.

“I have to climb into the words he’s written and the way he performs them on his demos,” Roger notes, “but then I have to think, ‘Well, how do I put this suit of clothes and make it mine and make it breathe in [a way that’s] comfortable for me?’ And that can be quite a painful process sometimes.”

Having said that, Daltrey declares that Townshend has “still got that ability to write those songs that get in your ear like an earworm, and go ’round and ’round and ’round.”

Roger also reveals that The Who decided to play with orchestral accompaniment on their upcoming Moving On! tour because he had “a magical experience” performing Tommy last year with orchestras during his solo trek. He says performing with an orchestra will “give the music it’s best possible chance to be elevated to a new position.”

2019 KAABOO Del Mar festival to feature Duran Duran, REO Speedwagon, The Bangles & more

Duran Duran, REO Speedwagon and The Bangles are among the many acts performing at the 2019 KAABOO Del Mar festival, scheduled for September 13-15 in the Southern California beach town of Del Mar.

The event’s daily headliners are Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band and Mumford & Sons, while the lineup also includes such veteran artists as Squeeze, Sheryl Crow, Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians and Blind Melon.

KAABOO Del Mar, which takes place at the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds just north of San Diego, also features comedy performances, art exhibits, gourmet food and drinks.

Tickets and VIP passes are on sale now. For the full lineup and ticket info, visit KAABOODelMar.com.

Still Not Dead Yet: Phil Collins returns this fall for more U.S. tour dates

Phil Collins isn’t dead yet…so he’s just going to keep on touring.

The singer and former Genesis drummer has announced a limited run of dates for fall of 2019, dubbed the Still Not Dead Yet, Live! tour. The 15-city trek kicks off September 23 in Dallas and wraps up October in Las Vegas.

Phil’s last outing in 2018 featured the same band who’ll be joining him for this one. The lineup includes longtime Genesis touring guitarist Daryl Stuermer, who’s also played with Phil for years, as well as legendary session musician Leland Sklar on bass and Phil’s own son Nicolas playing drums.

The tour will be a “celebration” of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s “epic career,” featuring solo and Genesis hits like “Against All Odds,” “Follow You Follow Me,” “In the Air Tonight,” “Invisible Touch,” “Easy Lover” and many more.

Here are the tour dates:

9/23 — Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
9/24 — Houston, TX Toyota Center
9/26 — Tampa, FL Amalie Arena
9/28 — Atlanta, GA Infinite Energy Center
9/29 — Charlotte, NC Spectrum Center
10/1 — Detroit, MI Little Caesars Arena
10/2 — Pittsburgh, PA PPG Paints Arena
10/4 — Buffalo, NY KeyBank Center
10/6 — New York, NY Madison Square Garden
10/9 — Louisville, KY KFC Yum! Center
10/11 — Omaha, NE CHI Health Center
10/13 — Denver, CO Pepsi Center
10/15 — Phoenix, AZ Talking Stick Resort Arena
10/17 — San Francisco, CA Chase Center
10/19 — Las Vegas, NV T-Mobile Arena

Boz Scaggs debuts video for recent song “Little Miss Night and Day,” preparing for busy tour schedule

An official video for Boz Scaggs‘ song “Little Miss Night and Day,” from his 2018 album Out of the Blues, got its premiere at Billboard.com and also is viewable on YouTube.

The black-and-white clip features footage of Scaggs performing the rollicking blues tune onstage with his current touring band, interspersed with scenes of the musicians and a road crew preparing for a concert.

Boz tells Billboard that the video celebrates the fun he’s been having playing shows with his band during the last few years, noting, “That’s what it’s about. It’s on the road. It’s live.”

Scaggs and his group have a busy few months ahead of them, starting with an appearance on the 2019 edition of the ’70s Rock & Romance Cruise on March 27 in Centro, Mexico. Boz then will launch a U.S. tour leg on April 7 in Fayetteville, Arkansas; it winds down with an April 27 performance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

“New Orleans is sort of the heart and root of so much of the music I’ve done,” Scaggs maintains, “so I really want to do a special set there and get into perhaps a new level of playing.”

The singer also will tour Japan in May, and plans another run of stateside shows in June and July.

Out of the Blues was the third in a trilogy of albums that found Scaggs exploring his musical influences, including blues, soul and Americana.

Boz tells Billboard that he’s thinking about changing things up for his next record.

“I miss some of the more lyrical, ballad stuff I’ve done in the past, so I’m looking in that direction,” he notes, adding, “I haven’t recorded a fully self-written album in some time, so that might be a way to go, too.”

Here are Scaggs’ upcoming U.S. shows:

6/9 — Los Angeles, CA, Playboy Jazz Festival
6/14 — Norman, OK, Riverwind Casino and Hotel – Showplace Theater
6/15 — Fort Worth, TX, Billy Bob’s Texas
6/16 — Memphis, TN, Graceland Soundstage
6/21 — Easton, PA, State Theatre Center for the Arts
6/22 — Hampton, NH, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
6/23 — Northampton, MA, Calvin Theatre & Performing Arts Center
6/25 — Red Bank, NJ, Count Basie Center for the Arts
6/26 — Ridgefield, CT, The Ridgefield Playhouse
6/28 — Hanover, MD, Live! Casino & Hotel- Event Center
7/1 — Ocean City, NJ, Ocean City Music Pier
7/3 — Lincoln, RI, Twin River Casino – Event Center
7/4 — Camden, NJ, Camden County Freedom Festival
7/8 — Des Moines, IA, Hoyt Sherman Place
7/9 — Elk Grove Village, IL, Elk Grove Village Mid-Summer Classics Concert Series

Welcome to the whole “Hotel California”: The Eagles to play classic album in its entirety

George HolzUnlike many of their colleagues, The Eagles have never jumped on the “play your biggest album live in its entirety” bandwagon…until now.

For the first time ever, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers will perform their landmark release Hotel California from start to finish at two special gigs: September 27 and September 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The shows also will feature a set of the band’s greatest hits.

If you’ve been to see the Eagles live in concert, you’ve no doubt heard them play the album’s three singles — “Hotel California,” “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid in Town” — numerous times.  These shows will give you the chance to hear lesser-heard gems as well, including “The Last Resort,” “Victim of Love,” “Try and Love Again” and “Wasted Time.”

Tickets for the shows go on sale to the general public starting April 12 at 10 a.m. PT through Ticketmaster.com. American Express Card members can buy tickets starting Monday, April 8, at 10 a.m. PT.

Hotel California is the third best-selling U.S. album in history, having been certified 26 times platinum. When it was released in 1976, it hit #1 and won two Grammy Awards.

Yes to headline The Royal Affair Tour, also featuring Asia, The Moody Blues’ John Lodge and Carl Palmer

Yes will headline a new North American package trek dubbed The Royal Affair Tour, which will also feature sets by Asia, Moody Blues singer/bassist John Lodge and Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy with guest vocalist Arthur Brown.

The outing kicks off on June 12 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and is mapped out through a July 28 performance in Saratoga, California. More shows will be announced soon. Tickets for most concerts go on sale this Friday, April 5.

Yes will be playing songs spanning the band’s half-century career, and will include tributes to their two late founding members: bassist Chris Squire and guitarist Peter Banks. In addition, Yes drummer Alan White, who played on John Lennon’s classic 1971 album Imagine, will deliver a special homage to the late Beatles legend.

Asia will pay tribute to its late frontman, John Wetton, throughout the tour. The band’s current lineup shares two members with Yes — keyboardist Geoff Downes and bassist/singer Billy Sherwood — and also features founding drummer Carl Palmer and new guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, formerly of Guns N’ Roses.

Yes guitarist Steve Howe, who also was an original Asia member, will join the group for part of its sets.

Lodge will showcase many of the classic Moody Blues tunes he wrote and sang, and will pay homage to his band’s late flutist/singer, Ray Thomas.

Palmer’s ELP Legacy will offers up a variety of memorable songs by Carl’s old group Emerson, Lake & Palmer, with Brown — frontman for The Crazy World of Arthur Brown — on board to lend vocal support.

“Yes is delighted to headline this celebration of British music which has been so warmly received in America over the past five decades,” says Howe in a statement.”

Here are the confirmed dates:

6/12 — Bethlehem, PA, Sands Bethlehem Event Center
6/14 — Farmingdale, NY, Long Island Community Hospital Amphitheater
6/15 — Atlantic City, NJ, Mark Etess Arena at Hard Rock Casino
6/16 — Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center
6/20 — White Plains, NY, Westchester County Center
6/21 — Pittsburgh, PA, Stage AE
6/22 — Baltimore, MD, MECU Pavilion
6/24 — Toronto, ON, Canada, Budweiser Stage
6/25 — Lewiston, NY, Artpark Amphitheater,
6/27 — Bethel, NY, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
6/29 — Gilford, NH, Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
6/30 — Providence, RI, Bold Point Park
7/3 — Rochester Hills, MI, Meadow Brook Amphitheatre
7/5 — Columbus, OH, Express Live
7/6 — Aurora, IL, Riveredge Park
7/8 — Nashville, TN, Grand Ole Opry House
7/10 — Cary, NC, Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park
7/12 — Clearwater, FL, Ruth Eckerd Hall
7/13 — Hollywood, FL, Hard Rock Live – Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
7/18 — St. Augustine, FL, The Saint Augustine Amphitheatre
7/20 — Irving, TX, The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
7/21 — Rogers, AR, Walmart AMP
7/24 — Phoenix, AZ, Comerica Theatre
7/26 — Las Vegas, NV, The Joint – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
7/27 — Irvine, CA, Five Point Amphitheater
7/28 — Saratoga, CA, The Mountain Winery

Joined Forces: Elvis Costello and Blondie announce summer co-headlining tour

Two influential artists from the heyday of New Wave, Elvis Costello and Blondie, are teaming up for a U.S. summer co-headlining tour. The cross-country trek gets underway with a July 20 show in Bethel, New York, and is plotted out through an August 10 concert in Seattle.

Costello will be playing with his longtime backing group The Imposters, which features two-thirds of Elvis’ old band The Attractions — keyboardist Steve Nieve and drummer Pete Thomas — as well as bassist Davey Faragher.

Tickets for the shows will go on sale to the general public this Saturday, April 6, at 10 a.m. local time via LiveNation.com. Pre-sale tickets for members of Costello’s and Blondie’s fan clubs are available now.

Last July, Costello announced that he’d been treated for an aggressive form of cancer, causing him to cancel a series of European shows, but by September he’d returned to performing.

Elvis will release a limited-edition vinyl EP titled Purse on April 13 in conjunction with the 2019 Record Store Day campaign. The four-track disc includes collaborations with Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach, as well as tunes featuring lyrics penned by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash.

Blondie’s most recent performances were a pair of shows that took place last month in Havana, Cuba, marking the first time the band ever played in the Caribbean country. Prior to the trek with Elvis, the band will play a June 22 concert in Red Bank, New Jersey, and also will appear at the Roxodus Music Festival in Edenvale, Canada, on July 12.

Here are all Costello and Blondie’s joint shows:

7/20 — Bethel, NY, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
7/21 — Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun Arena
7/23 — Boston, MA, Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion
7/24 — Forest Hills, NY, Forest Hills Stadium
7/26 — Washington D.C., The Anthem
7/27 — Camden, NJ, BB&T Pavilion
8/1 — Las Vegas, NV, The Pearl Theater at The Palms
8/2 — Temecula, CA, Pechanga Summit
8/4 — Irvine, CA, FivePoint Amphitheatre
8/5 — Los Angeles, CA, Greek Theatre
8/7 — Santa Barbara, CA, Santa Barbara Bowl
8/8 — San Francisco, CA, Concord Pavilion
8/10 — Seattle, WA, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery

“Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus” director recalls origin of show’s title and of supergroup The Dirty Mac

A restored version of the star-studded 1968 concert special Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus is being screened this week in select U.S. theaters.

In celebration of the presentations, a special screening and Q&A event featuring the special’s director, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, and cinematographer Tony Richmond was held Monday in New York City.

Lindsay-Hogg revealed that the program’s title came to him while he doodled circles on a sketchpad.

“The god of titles landed in my head and said seven words to me,” Michael recalled. “And then I called Mick Jagger up and I said, ‘I’m gonna say seven words to you. Let me know what you think’…And I said, ‘The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus.’ And that was it.”

Lindsay-Hogg says the title inspired the direction of the show, which featured The Rolling Stones as ringmasters of a surreal circus that included performances by The Who, Jethro Tull, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull and the supergroup The Dirty Mac, featuring John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and Jimi Hendrix drummer Mitch Mitchell.

According to Lindsay-Hogg, The Dirty Mac came together after Steve Winwood, who was supposed to put together his own supergroup, dropped out of the show a few days before filming. At first, they considered Paul McCartney as a replacement, but reached out to Lennon instead, who agreed to perform and suggested Clapton, Richards and Mitchell.

Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus was originally intended to air on British TV shortly after it was filmed, but was shelved until 1996. Richmond confirmed the often-told reason why: The Rolling Stones weren’t happy with their performance, and felt The Who played better than they had.

Louis Vuitton’s Virgil Abloh explains pulling Michael Jackson-inspired designs in the wake of Leaving Neverland document…

Following the shocking allegations of abuse detailed in the Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland, Louis Vuitton has pulled designs inspired by the late King of Pop, People magazine reports.  Now Virgil Abloh, the brand’s menswear artistic director, is condemning “any form of child abuse.”

“The documentary Leaving Neverland, featuring two men who allege they were sexually abused as children by Michael Jackson, has caused us the greatest pain,” Abloh says in statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

“…We were unaware of this documentary at the time of the last LV FW19 Men’s Show,” he continues. “My intention for this show was to refer to Michael Jackson as a pop culture artist. It referred only to his public life that we all know and to his legacy that has influenced a whole generation of artists and designers.”

Adds Abloh, “I am aware that, in light of this documentary, the show has caused emotional reactions. I strictly condemn any form of child abuse, violence or infringement against any human rights.”

The Louis Vuitton 2019 fall-winter menswear collection was unveiled in January at a Paris fashion show. The runway replicated the sidewalk in Jackson’s iconic “Billie Jean” video, and among the pieces were graphic tees featuring images of MJ’s signature socks and loafers in mid-Moonwalk.

Other designs referenced Michael’s scarecrow character from The Wiz, and some models wore bedazzled white gloves.

Michael Burke, chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, also commented about Leaving Neverland.

“We find the allegations in the documentary deeply troubling and disturbing,” Burke says. “Child safety and welfare is of utmost importance to Louis Vuitton. We are fully committed to advocating this cause.”

Both Jackson’s family and estate have denied the allegations made in the documentary and have filed a lawsuit against HBO.

Sting scheduled two-show stand at Chicago-area Ravinia Festival in August

Sting has added an August 23-24 stand at the Ravinia Festival in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois, to his late-summer U.S. tour itinerary.

Tickets for the two concerts won’t go on sale to the general public until May 8, but members of Sting’s fan club can purchase pre-sale tickets starting April 29 at 10 a.m. CT.

As previously reported, the founding Police frontman’s next show is a headlining set at the 23rd annual Dinner with the Stars, an event presented by Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis, taking place April 13 at the Stifel Theatre in St. Louis.

The 67-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer also will play a May 10 concert in Hidalgo, Texas, followed by a May 12 headlining appearance at the inaugural KAABOO Texas festival in Arlington, Texas.

As for Sting’s stateside summer plans, his schedule also features an August 26-28 stand at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia; an August 31 performance with The Utah Symphony in West Valley City, Utah, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Zion National Park; and a September 1 headlining set at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass fest in Aspen, Colorado.

Here are all of Sting’s upcoming U.S. performances:

8/23 — Highland Park, IL, Ravinia Festival
8/24 — Highland Park, IL, Ravinia Festival
8/26 — Vienna, VA, Wolf Trap
8/27 — Vienna, VA, Wolf Trap
8/28 — Vienna, VA, Wolf Trap
8/31 — West Valley City, UT, USANA Amphitheatre*
9/1 — Aspen, CO, Jazz Aspen Snowmass

* = with The Utah Symphony.

John Mellencamp receiving humanitarian award for his work with Farm Aid

The charity WhyHunger will present John Mellencamp with its ASCAP Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award at the organization’s 20th annual WhyHunger Chapin Awards, taking place June 5 at City Winery in New York. The singer/songwriter will be recognized for his work helping U.S. family farmers as a co-founder of Farm Aid.

The Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award is given to artists who’ve shown a commitment to supporting social justice and who’ve made significant contributions to fighting global hunger.

“From his advocacy to his work with Farm Aid, John has continuously been a voice for promoting sustainable farming practices aimed at supporting farmers and their communities,” says WhyHunger executive director Noreen Springstead.

“We are thrilled to recognize John. Not only does he embody the artist activist legacy of the Chapin Awards, but his decades-long work to help build a just food system aligns well with WhyHunger’s mission to ensure the right to nutritious food for all.”

WhyHunger was co-founded by late folk-rock singer/songwriter Harry Chapin in 1975.  Previous recipients of the award include Harry Belafonte, Pete Seeger, Barbra Streisand, Yoko Ono, Tom Morello, Jackson Browne, Judy Collins, Emmylou Harris, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Michael McDonald, Peter, Paul & Mary and Kenny Rogers.

Meanwhile, Mellencamp continues his current tour, dubbed “The John Mellencamp Show,” with a concert tonight in Kansas City, Missouri. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer is supporting his latest album, the covers compilation Other People’s Stuff.

Brian May, David Byrne, Trent Reznor among artists welcoming new Rock Hall honorees

Queen guitarist Brian May and ex-Talking Heads frontman David Byrne. are among the presenters who will help honor the 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees at the March 29 ceremony in Brooklyn, New York.  They’ll welcome, respectively, Def Leppard and Radiohead.

Nine Inch Nails singer Trent Reznor will induct The Cure.

Stevie Nicks, meanwhile, will be inducted by Harry Styles of the U.K. boy band One Direction, who’s a big fan of the Fleetwood Mac singer and has performed live with her.

British Invasion greats The Zombies will be welcomed into the Hall by Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles, while influential U.K. art-rock group Roxy Music will be inducted by Duran Duran members Simon Le Bon and John Taylor.

Rounding out the presenters is R&B star Janelle Monáe, who will induct Janet Jackson.

As previously announced, the 2019 Rock Hall Induction Ceremony will take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Prior to the big event, you’ll be able to watch the red carpet arrivals at RockHall.com, as well on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

An HBO special featuring highlights from the ceremony will premiere on Saturday, April 27 at 8 p.m. ET.

Billy Idol schedules unplugged duo tour with Steve Stevens; announces first Mexican concerts

Billy Idol and his longtime guitarist, Steve Stevens, will hit the road as a duo next month for the first time ever for a North American tour that’s been dubbed “Turned On, Tuned In and Unplugged.” The acoustic trek kicks off March 3 in Vancouver, Canada, and is mapped out through an April 4 concert in Red Bank, New Jersey.

In addition to performances of the pop-punk legends’ classic hits, including “Rebel Yell,” “White Wedding,” “Dancing with Myself,” “Eyes Without a Face” and “Flesh for Fantasy,” the shows will feature Idol telling stories behind the songs and about highlights from his eventful career.

The trek will include a trio of two-night engagements in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City.

Billy has given fans a taste of what the shows will be like by posting a video on his YouTube channel of him and Steve playing “To Be a Lover” unplugged at a September 2018 concert at Third Man Records in Nashville.

In other news, Idol recently lined up his first-ever Mexican concerts, which are set to take place on October 17 in Mexico City and October 20 in Monterrey.

Billy’s 2019 tour schedule also includes a performance at Canada’s Roxodus Music Fest, running from July 11 to July 13 in Edenvale, Ontario, and a previously announced five-show Las Vegas residency this October at the Pearl Theater at the Palms Casino Resort.

Check out the trailer of the upcoming Beatles-themed comedy movie, “Yesterday”

A new trailer offers the first look at the unique comedy Yesterday, which tells the story of a failed British musician who gets hit by a bus and wakes up in a world where The Beatles never existed…and he’s the only one who remembers them.

The movie features Himesh Patel in the lead role of Jack Malik, who goes on to become the biggest music star in the world — by passing off The Beatles’ songs as his own. Yesterday also features Downtown Abbey‘s Lily James as Jack’s childhood friend Ellie and Saturday Night Live‘s Kate McKinnon as his agent, while pop star Ed Sheeran and Late Late Show host James Corden appear as themselves.

The trailer features a scene where Jack plays “Yesterday” on guitar for Ellie and other friends. They think he wrote the song, and stare blankly when Jack mentions Paul McCartney and The Beatles. Later in the clip, Jack plays “Let It Be” on piano for his supportive parents, who think it’s a new tune their son’s written.

The promo also shows glimpses of Jack becoming a pop sensation, playing in front of huge crowds and getting interviewed by Corden.

In the trailer’s final scene, Jack is in the studio with Sheeran, who advises him to change the lyrics to Fab Four classic “Hey Jude” to “Hey Dude.”

Yesterday was written by Love Actually writer/director Richard Curtis and directed by Danny Boyle of Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting fame. The movie opens on June 28.