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.
Journey’s Neal Schon recovering from gall bladder surgery; says Journey Through Time concerts won’t be postponed
Journey guitarist Neal Schon is recovering after undergoing emergency surgery to remove his gall bladder this past week.
Schon revealed details of his health scare in a message on Twitter.
“Had to go into ER last night very inflamed-infected Gallbladder taken out and honestly couldn’t feel better,” Schon wrote. “Just need a few days [to recover]. I’ve apparently had this for the last 3 1/2 years and didn’t know it! I thought it was parasites. I’m feeling better [than] ever.”
In a follow-up tweet posted Monday, Neal thanked fans for their support, while revealing that he expects to be well enough to play the four shows he has scheduled in the coming weeks with his new Journey-themed side project, Journey Through Time.
“Want to thank you all for your very kind wishes. This means everything to me,” he wrote. “[Y]our friendship is what motivates me to continue to create for you all. Can’t wait to hit the stage…I should be good to go but if I have to sit I will. Love you all.”
The new group’s concerts are scheduled for February 22 in Jackson, California; February 23 in Oakland, California; March 1 in Phoenix, Arizona and March 2 in Los Angeles.
As previously reported, the Journey Through Time lineup also includes Schon’s one-time Santana and Journey band mate Gregg Rolie on vocals and keyboards, and former Journey drummer Deen Castronovo.
You can check out some preview performance clips of the band at Neal’s official YouTube channel.
Here is Journey Through Time’s tour schedule:
2/22 — Jackson, CA, Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort
2/23 — Oakland, CA, Fox Theater
3/1 — Phoenix, AZ, The Van Buren
3/2 — Los Angeles, CA, The Orpheum
New Melissa Etheridge album “The Medicine Show” coming April 12
Melissa Etheridge is back to show us all that music is the best medicine.
Her new album The Medicine Show — her first collection of original songs since 2014 — comes out April 12. She says of the disc, “Medicine Show deals with universal themes of renewal, reconciliation, reckoning, compassion and, most profoundly, healing. I cannot wait to share new songs with you.”
The album’s songs take on the biggest current topics, including mental health, gun control and the #metoo movement.
The album’s artwork carries the subtitle, “An unrivaled true story of redemption and a ’74 Fender.” A Fender is a guitar, by the way.
Melissa is also launching a tour in support of the disc, which kicks off March 29 in Bonita Springs, Florida, and is scheduled to wrap up July 13 in Chandler, Arizona. Between March 31 and April 7, she’ll be hosting fans on her annual fan cruise.
Visit MelissaEtheridge.com for information on tickets and VIP upgrades.
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.
Train Keeps A-Rollin’: Aerosmith adding 17 more dates to “Deuces Wild” Las Vegas residency
If you couldn’t get tickets to Aerosmith‘s residency at the Park Theater at the MGM resort in Las Vegas, you don’t have to miss a thing: They’re adding 17 new dates “due to extraordinary demand.”
Steven Tyler and the boys from Boston are holding court in Sin City starting Saturday, April 6, and the residency was slated to wrap up on July 9. However, the new dates will take the show into December.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on February 16 at 10 a.m. PT, but there are pre-sales via the band’s Aero Force One fan club starting Wednesday, plus additional pre-sales via Citi card and M Life Rewards loyalty program.
In addition, a new on-stage VIP experience will offer fans the opportunity to join the band at an exclusive VIP Bar area right in the middle of the action. Another option will be the ability to hear the audio direct from the show’s mixing board via their own pair of THX Certified 1More Triple Driver in-ear headphones.
Check out ticketmaster.com/aerosmith for details on how to upgrade your experience with these goodies.
Here are the new dates:
September 21, 23, 26, 28
October 1, 3, 6, 8
November 14, 16, 19, 21, 24, 26, 29
December 1, 4
There are still limited tickets and VIP experiences for the following previously-announced performances:
April 6, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 21, 23, 26
June 19, 22, 24, 27, 29
July 2, 4, 7, 9
Pete Townshend: New Who album being made the same way the band’s done it since 1971
The Who‘s Pete Townshend has posted another update on TheWho.com about the first studio sessions for the band’s planned upcoming album, this one recapping the seventh and last day of the initial proceedings.
“We managed to complete drums and bass overdubs on seven songs in as many days,” Pete reports, reiterating that the sessions “were based on tracks that I produced in my home studios, mainly between May and August of last year.”
Townshend notes that the process of overdubbing onto his home-studio recordings “is how The Who albums have been made since [1971’s] Who’s Next, when we first overdubbed on my home studio tracks of ‘Baba O’Riley’ and ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again.’”
He reports that at the current sessions, “we added real drums, real bass guitar, some guitar from me, various percussion elements and anything that our producer Dave Sardy felt might make my basic home recordings come to life.”
Townshend says Sardy “has done a great job,” adding, “He’s very sensitive to the amount of work I already did on a lot of these recordings, and has just made them better.”
He also praised the work that drummer Zak Starkey and bassist Pino Palladino did, describing them as “just superb.”
Pete also posted an accompanying video featuring footage from the seventh day of the current sessions. One segment shows Starkey taking notes for a tune titled “Street Song.” The three-minute clip also includes brief glimpses of Townshend chatting with Sardy and other studio personnel, as well as footage of the equipment being packed up and carted out of the facility.
As previously reported, the sessions were held in London at British Grove Studios, whose owner is ex-Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler.
Led Zeppelin bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones will team up with Sonic Youth guitarist/singer Thurston Moore and veteran improvisational drummer Steve Noble for a special one-off performance on March 28 at the famous London venue The 100 Club.
The concert will raise money for Resonance FM, a free-form radio station based in London. Tickets are available now at TicketTailor.com.
Jones previously collaborated with Sonic Youth in 2009, when they composed a piece called “Nearly Ninety” with mixed-media sound composer Takehisa Kosugi that they performed at an event celebrating avant-garde choreographer Merce Cunningham’s 90th birthday at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.
In other Led Zeppelin-related news, singer Robert Plant reportedly performed for the first time late last month with a new group called Saving Grace at the SpArC Theatre in Bishop’s Castle, U.K. According to a post on the theater’s Facebook page, Saving Grace featured Plant on vocals and harmonica, Suzi Dian on vocals, Tony Kelsey and Matt Worley on multiple string instruments and Oli Jefferson on percussion. The group’s style is described as “music inspired by the dreamscape of the Welsh Marches.”
Plant currently has just one U.S. gig on his schedule, an appearance at the star-studded third annual Love Rock NYC benefit concert on March 7 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. The show, which is sold out, raises money for the God’s Love We Deliver charity, which provides nutritious meals to seriously ill people in the New York area.
Meanwhile, Robert and his current main band, The Sensational Space Shifters also will mount a tour of Scandinavia this June and July.
Steely Dan will return to Las Vegas this spring for a new residency at The Venetian Theatre at The Venetian Resort, the same location that hosted the band’s first extended Sin City engagement back in April of 2017.
The group’s Reelin’ in the Chips 2 residency will feature nine performances, scheduled for April 24, 26 and 27, and May 1, 3, 4, 8, 10 and 11.
Tickets for the concerts go on sale to the general public this Saturday, February 9, at 10 a.m. PT at Ticketmaster.com, Venetian.com, any Venetian Resort box office, and by calling 702-414-9000 or 866-641-7469.
In addition, pre-sale tickets will be available to Steely Dan fan club members starting Wednesday, February 6, at noon PT, and to Live Nation and Ticketmaster customers and Grazie loyalty members beginning Thursday, February 7, at 10 a.m. PT.
Steely Dan is led by founding singer/keyboardist Donald Fagen, who will be accompanied by guitarists Jon Herington and Conor Kennedy, drummer Keith Carlock, bassist Freddie Washington and keyboardist Jim Beard, as well as a four-piece horn section and three backing singers.
Prior to the Vegas engagement, Steely Dan will team up with Steve Winwood this month for a five-date tour of the U.K. and Ireland. The band also has a September 13 concert scheduled at the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln, California. Visit SteelyDanOfficial.com for more information.
The Who‘s Pete Townshend has posted a new video update on YouTube about the sessions for his band’s upcoming studio album.
At the beginning of the clip, focusing on the third day of recording, Townshend notes that the sessions currently are taking place without singer Roger Daltrey, who is on vacation, is “getting himself together [and will be] with us soon.”
Pete adds that the recording is “going good,” and that producer Dave Sardy and his assistant engineer, Jim Monti, “are doing great work, mainly with Zak [Starkey] on drums and Pino Palladino on bass.”
The rest of the video features a montage of footage showing various pieces of equipment in the studio, glimpses of Starkey and Palladino preparing to record tracks, Sardy fiddling with knobs, Townshend’s acoustic guitar setup, and a bowl of fruit and cookies there for the musicians and others to snack on.
The album is being recorded at London’s British Grove Studios, which is owned by ex-Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler.
Meanwhile, in a new text blog posted on TheWho.com, Townshend reflects on the difficulties he and his band may face in creating a new album that captivates listeners.
“[T]rying to make a record that sounds the way a Who album should, and yet be sharp enough to catch the attention of someone surfing through a bunch of songs online, is a challenge,” he writes. “While this is happening, everything is changing. Apparently young people are starting to listen to radio again, and music podcasts as well.”
He adds, “I remember when single record songs were two minutes long, and we are sort of back to that again. It means you have to squeeze a lot into a short space.”
Paul McCartney has received many major honors during his long career, but the former Beatles star declared that he’s now “made it” — because the iconic U.K. children’s television show Blue Peter presented him with its prestigious “gold badge.”
McCartney received the honor prior to his sold-out concert at London’s O2 arena in December. He reacted by saying, “That is beautiful, that’s a great badge. I will wear it with great pride. Yes! I made it!”
Gold Blue Peter badges are given out to people who are considered role models, are experts in their chosen field or have encouraged and inspired children.
Other notable recipients include Queen Elizabeth II, Harry Potter author JK Rowling, Madonna, Ed Sheeran, David Beckham, and directors Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. Jackson will be directing a new film featuring unseen Beatles footage from the band’s Let It Be sessions.
Upon receiving his badge, McCartney was asked by Blue Peter host Lindsey Russell if he had advice for aspiring songwriters.
“The only advice really is to do it… a lot,” Sir Paul said. “I have a songwriting class and the first thing I say to them is, ‘Look, I don’t really know how to do this’ and at first they kind of look at me, but when you think about it, there is no formula.”
Blue Peter is the longest-running children’s TV show in the world and is part of British pop culture. The show takes its name from a maritime signal flag which indicates a boat is about to sail.
In other news, Sir Paul has added a July 6 concert in Vancouver, Canada, to his 2019 Freshen Up Tour schedule. Tickets for the show will go on sale Friday, February 15 at 10 a.m. PT. Visit PaulMcCartney.com to check out pre-sale options.
Linda Ronstadt rarely does interviews these days, but she’s made an exception to promote the first live album of her career.
The Grammy-winner, who retired in 2011, is now unable to sing due to Parkinson’s disease, but she sat for a chat about the just-released Live in Hollywood, which documents a 1980 concert that was taped for an HBO special.
On the latest edition of the Rhino Records podcast, Linda goes in depth on the album’s songs, including hits like “It’s So Easy,” “Hurt So Bad,” “Blue Bayou” and “You’re No Good.”
But she admits that at the time, she had no idea what it meant to have an HBO special — mostly because until recently, she didn’t own a TV.
Linda says she only bought a TV after President Obama was elected. Before that, she notes, “The last time that I had a television is when it was rabbit ears on top of the TV.”
She adds, laughing, “My particular rabbit ears were broken. You could only get three channels, and if you wanted to get PBS, you had to hold onto one of the rabbit ears! So I didn’t watch a lot of television, and I didn’t understand HBO or any of that stuff. I just knew that I didn’t like to be on television, so I always avoided [it] at all costs.”
And the concert? Linda’s main memory is how uncomfortable she was.
“It was just really hot, and I was just afraid it was gonna be on television and it was gonna look bad,” she recalls.
“And we did our best, but it was SO hot. They had the room lit with those great big lights…I don’t want to whine, but…you wouldn’t put people working in a field in that kind of heat!”
Lynyrd Skynyrd will start the 2019 portion of its Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour with a previously announced Canadian leg that kicks off March 2 show in Ottawa, Ontario. Now, the Southern rock legends have also lined up about 20 new U.S. shows spanning from May through September.
The newly added series of concerts gets underway May 10 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and is mapped out through a September 28 show in Orange Beach, Alabama.
Bad Company and country artists Hank Williams Jr. and Cody Jinks will serve as support acts at select shows. Tickets for the new U.S. shows go on sale to the general public this Friday, February 8 at 10 a.m. local time at LiveNation.com.
Citi card members will be able to buy pre-sale tickets starting Tuesday, February 5, at 10 a.m. local time via the company’s Private Pass program. Visit CitiPrivatePass.com for more details.
The new dates join a handful of previously announced 2019 North American appearances by Skynyrd, including performances on April 27 at the Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California; May 11 at the KAABOO Texas Festival in San Antonio; July 12 at the Roxodus Music Festival in Edenvale, Canada and July 20 at Moondance Jam in Walker, Minnesota.
As previously reported, founding Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive member Randy Bachman will open all eight of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s forthcoming Canadian dates.
Here are all of the band’s confirmed 2019 North American concerts:
3/2 — Ottawa, ON, Canada, Richcraft Live at Canadian Tire Centre*
3/3 — Windsor, ON, Canada, Caesars Windsor – The Colosseum*
3/5 — London, ON, Canada, Budweiser Gardens*
3/8 — Winnipeg, MB, Canada, Bell MTS Place*
3/9 — Regina, SK, Canada, Brandt Centre*
3/12 — Edmonton, AB, Canada, Rogers Place*
3/13 — Calgary, AB, Canada, Scotiabank Saddledome*
3/15 — Abbotsford, BC, Canada, Abbotsford Centre*
4/27 — Indio, CA, Stagecoach Festival
5/10 — Tuscaloosa, AL, Tuscaloosa Amphitheater#
5/11 — Arlington, TX, KAABOO Texas
5/17 — New Orleans, LA, Smoothie King Center+
5/18 — Lafayette, LA, Cajundome+
5/24 — Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun Arena
5/31 — Gilford, NH, Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion+
6/1 — Bangor, ME, Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion+
7/12 — Edenvale, ON, Canada, Roxodus Music Festival
7/13 — Canandaigua, NY, Constellation Brands–Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center: CMAC
7/19 — Welch, MN, Treasure Island Resort & Casino++
7/20 — Walker, MN, Moondance Jam
7/26 — Portland, OR, Sunlight Supply Amphitheater**
7/27 — Seattle, WA, White River Amphitheatre**
8/9 — Albuquerque, NM, Isleta Amphitheater
8/16 — Las Vegas, NV, T-Mobile Arena
8/17 — Wheatland, CA, Toyota Amphitheatre
8/23 — Irvine, CA, FivePoint Amphitheatre presented by Mercury Insurance
8/30 — Camden, NJ, BB&T Pavilion+
8/31 — Saratoga Springs, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center+
9/13 — Southaven, MS, Bank Plus Amphitheater#
9/14 — Alpharetta, GA, Ameris Bank Amphitheatre#
9/20 — Salt Lake City, UT, USANA Amphitheater#
9/21 — Denver, CO, Fiddler’s Green
9/27 — Jackson, MS, Brandon Amphitheater#
9/28 — Orange Beach, AL, The Wharf Amphitheater#
* = with Randy Bachman
** = with Bad Company
+ = with Hank Williams Jr
# = with Cody Jinks
++ = with Gov’t Mule, The Outlaws, Chris Kroeze.
Hell Re-Freezes: Eagles releasing two-LP vinyl version of 1994 reunion album, “Hell Freezes Over,” in March
January 29, 2019
The Eagles‘ 1994 reunion album Hell Freezes Over celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and to mark the milestone, the mostly live collection will be made available as a standalone vinyl release for the first time in the U.S. on March 8. The album, which has been remastered by acclaimed engineer Bob Ludwig, will be reissued as a two-LP set on 180-gram black vinyl, as well as on CD.
Hell Freezes Over features 11 live performances recorded for an MTV Unplugged special in April 1994 in Burbank, California, as well as four new studio tracks — “Get Over It,” “Love Will Keep Us Alive,” “The Girl from Yesterday,” and “Learn to Be Still.”
Released in November ’94, the album spent two weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200 late that year, and has gone on to sell an impressive 9 million copies in the U.S. In addition, “Get Over It” reached #31 on the Billboard Hot 100, while “Love Will Keep Us Alive” topped the magazine’s Adult Contemporary chart.
Hell Freezes Over boasted a reunion of the same Eagles lineup that recorded the band 1979 album, The Long Run — singer/drummer Don Henley, singer/guitarist/keyboardist Glenn Frey, lead guitarists Joe Walsh and Don Felder, and bassist Timothy B. Schmit.
The live portion of the album features a mix of Eagles hits and deep cuts, including “Hotel California,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “Take It Easy,” “Life in the Fast Lane,” and “Desperado.” There’s also a rendition of Henley’s 1989 solo gem “New York Minute.”
Hell Freezes Over was previously only available on vinyl as an import release and as part of The Eagles’ 2018 box set Legacy.
1978 Foreigner concert to be released as a DVD, Blu-ray in March
January 29, 2019
In April 1978, Foreigner‘s original lineup rocked London’s Rainbow Theatre in front of a sold-out crowd. More than 40 years later — on March 15, to be exact — the performance will be released as a home video titled Live at The Rainbow ’78.
The band’s 12-song set featured renditions of all 10 tunes from Foreigner’s self-titled 1977 debut album, including the hits “Feels Like the First Time,” “Cold as Ice” and “Long, Long Way from Home.” The group also played two future classics from its then-forthcoming sophomore record, Double Vision — the title track and “Hot Blooded.”
“1978 was an absolutely magical time for the band,” recalls founding and current Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones, “and to come back over to the U.K. to play a headline show at the legendary Rainbow really was a dream come true. The audience was amazing that night. We couldn’t have wished for a better show.”
Live at The Rainbow ’78 features footage restored from original film of the show, as well as remixed and remastered audio. The release is available on DVD, Blu-ray and as a digital video. Check out a trailer for the video at Eagle Rock’s official YouTube channel.
Foreigner’s original lineup was Jones, singer Lou Gramm, multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald, keyboardist Al Greenwood, drummer Dennis Elliott and bassist Ed Gagliardi. Gagliardi passed away in 2014 from cancer, but over the last couple of years, Gramm, McDonald, Greenwood and Elliott joined Jones and the rest of Foreigner’s current lineup to perform at several special concerts.
Here’s the Live at The Rainbow ’78 track list:
“Long, Long Way from Home”
“I Need You”
“Woman Oh Woman”
“The Damage Is Done”
“Cold as Ice”
“Feels Like the First Time”
“Fool for You Anyway”
“At War with the World”
Keith Richards says Rolling Stones will hit the studio to work on new album before their 2019 tour kickoff
January 28, 2019
As The Rolling Stones prepare to hit the road for the 2019 U.S. leg of their No Filter Tour, guitarist Keith Richards tells Rolling Stone that the band will first spend about a week in the studio working on its next studio album.
“I’m preparing more than anything else, putting material together,” he says of the upcoming recording sessions.
Keith reveals to the magazine that he spent part of his holidays trying to determine what worthwhile material The Stones have to work with, if anything.
“Sometimes it’s not as much writing as listening to what’s been written and figuring it out, and honing and all kinds of stuff,” he explains of the process. “It’s very boring. It’s like a carpentry shop.”
He adds that this time prior to the tour, which kicks off April 20 in Miami Gardens, Florida, is “perfect timing” to get together to collaborate on new songs.
Richards also admits he’s looking forward to tour the U.S. with The Rolling Stones for the first time in five years.
“To play back in the States again, it’s fantastic,” he tells Rolling Stone. “I always think of it as our really early hunting grounds. Although we had already done it in England, to work over a whole continent was pretty astounding. So I’ve always had a soft spot for working in America.”
Keith also says he’s hoping The Stones will play a surprise club gig to kick off the trek — something they haven’t done in a while.
“We haven’t in the last couple of tours,” he notes. “I think it was a matter of logistics. Finding the right venue or whatever didn’t happen. So it’s definitely on the menu…Hors d’oeuvres!”
Richards adds that he glad that the whole band still is enthusiastic about continuing to tour.
Ringo Starr reveals All Starr Band’s 2019 North American tour schedule
January 28, 2019
After announcing some initial 2019 North American concerts back in November, Ringo Starr has now unveiled the full itinerary of his All Starr Band‘s 30th anniversary tour of the continent.
As previously reported, the tour kicks off August 1 in Windsor, Canada, and winds down September 1 in Los Angeles. Among the newly confirmed concerts: an August 10-11 engagement at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia, and shows in Philadelphia; Champaign, Illinois; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Phoenix, Arizona; and Oakland, California.
As previously announced, Ringo and the All-Starr Band will play two-night stands on August 3-4 at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois, and August 7-8 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The Beach Boys also will be performing at the Ravinia concerts.
In addition, Ringo and the All-Starrs will warm up for their previously announced spring tour of Japan with one U.S. concert on March 21 in Valley Center, California. The Japan trek runs from a March 27 gig in Fukuoka through an April 11 show in Osaka.
Playing with the ex-Beatles drummer in his All Starr Band this year are ex-Santana and Journey singer/keyboardist Gregg Rolie, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, Men at Work frontman Colin Hay and ex-Average White Band guitarist/bassist Hamish Stuart, as well as sax player/percussionist Warren Ham and drummer Gregg Bissonette.
“My dream has always been, and still is, to play great music with great musicians — and I’ve been blessed to have so many incredible ones in my All Starr Bands,” says Ringo.
“We can’t wait to get out there and share the joy with you — every show is always such a wonderful Peace & Love fest between us and our audiences.”
Here are all of the group’s confirmed North American tour dates:
3/21 — Valley Center, CA, Harrah’s Resort Southern California
8/1 — Windsor, ON, Canada, The Colosseum at Caesars
8/3 — Highland Park, IL, Ravinia
8/4 — Highland Park, IL, Ravinia
8/6 — Durham, NC, DPAC
8/7 — Nashville, TN, Ryman Auditorium
8/8 — Nashville, TN, Ryman Auditorium
8/10 — Vienna, VA, Wolf Trap
8/11 — Vienna, VA, Wolf Trap
8/13 — Roanoke, VA, Berglund Center Coliseum
8/14 — Philadelphia, PA, The Met Philadelphia
8/20 — Champaign, IL, State Farm Center
8/22 — Prior Lake, MN, Mystic Lake Casino
8/23 — Council Bluffs, IA, Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino
8/25 — Santa Fe, NM, Santa Fe Opera House
8/26 — Phoenix, AZ, Celebrity Theatre
8/28 — Oakland, CA, Paramount Theatre
8/30 — Lincoln, CA, Thunder Valley Casino Resort
8/31 — Paso Robles, CA, Vina Robles Amphitheatre
9/1 — Los Angeles, CA, The Greek Theatre
CCR drummer Doug Clifford says band’s full Woodstock performance is expected to be released in 2019
January 28, 2019
Creedence Clearwater Revival was among the many famous acts that played the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this August. CCR didn’t appear in the Oscar-winning 1970 film documenting the historic festival, but the band’s drummer, Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, reveals that the group’s full set likely will be released this year in conjunction with the anniversary.
“We fought for 50 years over [releasing the performance], and now it looks like it’s finally…gonna be out there,” Clifford tells ABC Radio. “So, I’m excited about that, and hopefully the fans will be excited about it as well.”
Doug didn’t specify whether both audio and video of CCR’s Woodstock set would be released.
In his 2015 autobiography Fortunate Son, Creedence frontman John Fogerty admits that he vetoed having the band included in the movie, maintaining that he wasn’t happy with the group’s overall performance.
Clifford says he felt differently. “I’m sorry that we weren’t in the movie,” he tells ABC Radio. “That wasn’t my decision. But we were there…and we had a big part of it being as grand as it was, just by virtue of saying ‘yes’ to the [organizers’] offer.”
CCR was near the height of its popularity at the time of Woodstock. The band hit the stage at 12:30 a.m. — much later than scheduled — during the festival’s second night, between The Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin.
Last year, Creedence Clearwater Revival marked its own 50th anniversary by releasing a vinyl box set called The Complete Studio Albums featuring remastered versions of their seven studio LPs.
While CCR broke up in 1972, Clifford and bassist Stu Cook still play together in the spinoff group Creedence Clearwater Revisited.
David Crosby has joined the list of featured speakers at the 2019 South by Southwest Festival, scheduled to run from March 8 to March 17 in Austin, Texas. The folk-rock legend will appear on March 13 alongside filmmaker and rock journalist Cameron Crowe, who co-produced the new documentary David Crosby: Remember My Name, which premieres this month at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
The movie, which is part of Sundance’s U.S. Documentary Competition, will get its debut on January 26 at the MARC Theatre in Park City, Utah, with additional screenings scheduled at various venues on January 28, 29 and 31, and on February 1 and 2.
In addition to co-producing David Crosby: Remember My Name, Crowe also conducted the interviews with David for the flick. The film was directed by A.J. Eaton and is his first full-length documentary feature.
In a video profile posted on the Sundance Institute’s official YouTube channel, Eaton explains, “David Crosby: Remember My Name is a portrait of an artist that is very paradoxical. It goes deep in places, where he is very candid and open sharing some very painful parts in his life. Sharing these stories like he has with us were part of him becoming comfortable with this last act of his life.”
Eaton maintains that “Crosby is a legendary harmony singer, but in many times when he’s singing perfect harmony on stage, his life was not harmonious at all…[A]nd that’s kind of the thing that’s…come out of this movie, which is like, ‘Who’s the person off stage?’”
The documentary also focuses on the current prolific period in Crosby’s life. As A.J. notes, “You can be 77 years old and have all the reasons that tell you not to be creating, and he is still creating.”
Two popular Meat Loaf albums, 1993’s Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell and 1995’s Welcome to the Neighbourhood, will be released on vinyl for the first time ever in the U.S. on February 8.
Both records will be reissued as two-LP sets on black vinyl, while a limited-edition blue-vinyl version of Bat Out of Hell II also will be available.
Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell was a sequel to Meat Loaf’s massively successful 1977 debut album, Bat Out of Hell. The record topped the Billboard 200 chart in October 1993, and included the #1 hit “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” and the top 20 single “Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through.”
Bat Out of Hell II has sold more than five million copies in the U.S.
Welcome to the Neighbourhood reached #17 on the Billboard 200 and featured the hit single “I’d Lie for You (And That’s the Truth),” which peaked at #13 on the Hot 100. The album has been certified platinum for sales of one million copies in the States.
In conjunction with what would have been David Bowie‘s 72nd birthday Tuesday, plans have been announced for the release this spring of a box set of seven-inch vinyl discs featuring nine rare early demos.
Titled Spying Through a Keyhole (Demos and Unreleased Songs), the collection is made up mostly of home demo recordings that Bowie made solo, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar.
The tracks were previously available for purchase digitally for a limited time last month, but this will mark the first time they’ll be released physically. Among the tracks are two demo versions of David’s classic tune “Space Oddity,” one of which is an excerpt believed to possibly be the first-ever recording of the song. The other version features Bowie performing the song as a duo with his early musical partner John “Hutch” Hutchinson.
Among the other songs featured on Spying Through a Keyhole are demo versions of such early Bowie songs as “In the Heat of the Morning” and “London Bye, Ta-Ta.” The box set’s title comes from the lyrics of a previously unknown song that appears on the collection, “Love All Around.”
An official release date for the Spying Through the Keyhole vinyl box set will be announced soon, and the collection is expected to eventually be made available in other formats.
In other news, Bowie’s widow, Iman, marked her late husband’s birthday by posting a couple of tributes to him on her Twitter feed. The first is a message that reads, “My memory loves you. It asks about you all the time.”
The second features two photos of David and Iman affectionately spending time together in a kitchen, accompanied by the note: “Jan 8th Eternal Memories, Eternal Love #BowieForever.”
Here’s the Spying Through a Keyhole track list:
“Mother Grey” (demo)
“In the Heat of the Morning” (demo)
“Goodbye 3d (Threepenny) Joe” (demo)
“Love All Around” (demo)
“London Bye, Ta-Ta” (demo)
“Angel, Angel, Grubby Face” (demo version 1)
“Angel, Angel, Grubby Face” (demo version 2)
“Space Oddity” (demo excerpt)
“Space Oddity” (demo — alternative lyrics) — with Hutch
U2‘s 2009 studio album No Line on the Horizon will be reissued as a two-LP 180-gram vinyl set on February 22, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the record’s release.
The album will be available on standard black vinyl and as a limited-edition ultra-clear-vinyl package. Both releases will feature fully remastered versions of No Line on the Horizon‘s 11 tracks, as well as two bonus remixes: “Magnificent (Wonderland Remix)” by Pete Tong and Paul Rogers, and DJ Redanka‘s “Kick the Darkness” vocal version of “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight.”
The vinyl discs will come packaged in a gatefold sleeve with a 16-page booklet and a download card offering digital versions of all 13 tracks.
Released on February 27, 2009, No Line on the Horizon went on to top the Billboard 200, and has sold more than 1 million copies on the U.S. The album yielded one top 40 hit, “Get On Your Boots,” which peaked at #37 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The No Line on the Horizon vinyl sets will be available for pre-order starting Wednesday, January 9.
Here’s the No Line on the Horizon vinyl reissue’s track list:
“No Line on the Horizon”
“Moment of Surrender”
“I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight”
“Get On Your Boots”
“Stand Up Comedy”
“FEZ — Being Born”
“White as Snow”
“Cedars of Lebanon”
“Magnificent (Wonderland Remix)”
“I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” (Redanka’s “Kick the Darknes” Vocal Version)
Who frontman Roger Daltrey recently chatted with Billboard about his plans for 2019, which he says may or may not include his famous band.
After he and fellow Who founder Pete Townshend spent last year focusing on their respective solo endeavors, Daltrey tells Billboard that the two have been “discussing” possibly doing a new Who project, although Roger is unsure what that might be.
“It’s just, ‘What do we do next?’” Daltrey posed. “It’s really, really difficult. I’m 75 [in March]; I just feel like doing something different, but I don’t know what.”
Roger also revealed that he’d like to release a live album documenting his 2018 solo tour, which featured him performing The Who’s 1969 rock opera Tommy with orchestral accompaniment. He’s also considering scheduling more shows this year to mark the album’s 50th anniversary.
“I’m absolutely astonished at how good [the live version of] it is,” gushed Daltrey. “It’s not like The Who’s original version of it. It’s got all the b**ls of The Who’s original version of it, but it’s got all these wonderful bits of orchestration underneath it that make it triumphant. It’s just magical.”
Daltrey’s orchestral Tommy concerts featured orchestrations by veteran composer and arranger David Campbell — alternative rocker Beck‘s dad — and Roger said he’d also like to see what Campbell would do with Quadrophenia.
“There’s something about adding [Campbell] to the mix of what Pete’s already done, which is how we did Tommy, that makes something very special,” Daltrey maintained.
Meanwhile, Daltrey told Billboard that he isn’t interested taking part in a 50th anniversary Woodstock event this summer.
“August in America is too hot for me to work anymore,” said Roger, adding, “You can’t redo Woodstock because the stars of Woodstock were the audience…Nobody’s approached us about it, anyway.”
Kansas has welcomed a new member to its lineup.
Tom Brislin has replaced keyboardist Dave Manion. Manion, who joined the band in 2014 after founding singer/keyboardist Steve Walsh retired, is leaving to pursue other musical endeavors.
Brislin’s musical resume includes stints touring with Yes, Meat Loaf, Blondie singer Debbie Harry, Renaissance and ex-Styx frontman Dennis DeYoung. Tom also has released a few solo albums, fronted the pop-rock group Spiraling and is a member of the contemporary prog-rock outfit The Sea Within.
“We are extremely excited for Tom Brislin to be the newest member of Kansas,” says founding drummer Phil Ehart. “His background speaks for itself, and we are looking forward to working with him. We cannot wait to get started, and think Kansas fans will really enjoy what Tom brings to the band.”
Adds Brislin, “It’s an honor to be asked to join [such a] legendary band as Kansas. Their music has been in the soundtrack to so many of our lives, and their repertoire has enduring depth, beauty, and power. I’m thrilled to perform the classics and I’m equally excited to be a part of the new music that Kansas creates.”
Tom’s debut with Kansas will take place during the Rock Legends Cruise VII, which sets sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on February 14 and returns to port on February 18. Kansas will play at least two shows during the cruise.
Meanwhile, Kansas has 2019 tour dates mapped out from a March 1 concert in Baltimore through a May 31-June 1 stand in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
All shows through the band’s May 11 performance in Fort Wayne, Indiana, are part of Kansas’ Point of Know Return Tour celebrating the group’s classic 1977 album.
Former Styx singer/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung is planning to release a new solo album in 2019.
In a message posted last week on his official Facebook page, DeYoung notes, “I’ve been meticulous with this project because of the importance you guys place upon it and the simple fact that this will most likely be my last.”
He adds, “Never thought I would be recording at 71 so to me this is all extra credit. I promise it will be good one.”
In an earlier Facebook post, Dennis reveals that one song on the upcoming album was co-written with founding Survivor and Ides of March member Jim Peterik. The same track will also appear on the next record by Peterik’s star-studded World Stage project, due out this spring.
DeYoung also reports that he and Peterik recently shot a video for the song, photos from which have been posted on Jim’s Facebook page.
Dennis most recent studio album, One Hundred Years from Now, was released in the U.S. in 2009.
In other news, DeYoung has a bunch of U.S. concerts lined up for 2019, starting with a February 1 show in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and wrapping up May 4 in Rosemont, Illinois.
His itinerary includes three special concerts at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, where he’ll be accompanied by the Nashville Symphony. Dennis also will be playing two joint shows with Night Ranger.
Here are a few more notable stories from the world of music in 2018:
Hard Day’s Knight: Beatles drummer becomes Sir Ringo
On March 20, Ringo Starr was knighted in his U.K. homeland for his services to music. Prince William presented the Beatles drummer with the honor at Buckingham Palace in London. Ringo received his knighthood 53 years after The Beatles were first honored with MBEs — “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” — and 21 years after his band mate Paul McCartney was knighted.
Later in the year, the 77-year-old rock legend took the latest incarnation of his All Starr Band on the road for tours of Europe and North America. For the first time in several years, the group’s lineup featured some new members, with Men at Work‘s Colin Hay and 10cc‘s Graham Gouldman replacing Todd Rundgren and Mr. Mister‘s Richard Barnes.
In November, after the All Starr Band finished its 2018 tour schedule, Ringo announced plans for a 30th anniversary trek in 2019. He also revealed that Average White Band bassist Hamish Stuart would be taking the place of Gouldman next year. Stuart previously toured with the All Starrs in 2006.
Born for Broadway: Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway show ends hugely successful run
Bruce Springsteen took the Great White Way by storm starting in October of 2017, when his Springsteen on Broadway show opened at the 975-seat Walter Kerr Theatre in New York City. By the start of this year, The Boss had extended his run of performances through June 30. Then the intimate residency was extended again through a final December 15 show.
In June, Springsteen received a special Tony Award for the production, which featured Bruce playing stripped-down version of about 15 of his songs interspersed with spoken-word segments taken from his 2016 memoir, Born to Run. By the end of the run, Bruce had given 236 total performances. The morning after his last show, a Netflix special featuring a full filmed version of the production debuted. In addition, a soundtrack album that contains the complete audio from the special was released on December 14.
In a message on his official website posted on the day that Springsteen on Broadway closed, Bruce wrote, “I want to thank all of our co-workers, friends and fans for making my year on Broadway one of the most creatively memorable of my life. To have come this far, then to be able to share my music with you the way we have this year, has meant a great great deal to me.”
In another post earlier in December, Springsteen reported that in 2019, he’ll be focusing on “various recording projects I’ve been working on.”
Bon Jovi, The Moody Blues, The Cars and Dire Straits inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Bon Jovi, The Moody Blues, The Cars and Dire Straits were among the “Class of 2018″ artists inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at a ceremony held April 14 at Cleveland’s Public Auditorium.
Former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora and bassist Alec Jon Such reunited with their old band at the podium and during the group’s performance segment. The Cars’ surviving members performed together for the first time since their 2011 reunion trek, with Weezer‘s Scott Shriner stepping in for late bassist Benjamin Orr, who died in 2000.
Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler; his brother, rhythm guitarist David Knopfler; and drummer Pick Withers didn’t attend the event, and the members who did show up did not perform.
As for The Moody Blues, longtime core members Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge were joined onstage by founding lead singer Denny Laine and ex-keyboardist Mike Pinder, although neither Laine nor Pinder took part in the band’s performance.
The late Nina Simone and the late Sister Rosetta Tharpe were the event’s other inductees.
Double Vision: Foreigner’s original members reunite with current lineup at special concerts
In October of 2017, Foreigner played a pair of special concerts in Michigan, where the band’s current lineup was joined by key former members Lou Gramm, Dennis Elliott, Al Greenwood, Ian McDonald and Rick Wills. In 2018, the band lined up five additional similar concerts.
The first show took place August 4 at the Buffalo Chip in Sturgis, South Dakota, and at the end of the concert, Foreigner announced that they would be playing four more reunion gigs in the fall. The concerts, dubbed “Double Vision: Then and Now,” were scheduled for November 9 in Los Angeles; November 10 in Rancho Mirage, California; November 30 in Atlantic City, New Jersey; and December 1 in Uncasville, Connecticut.
All of the shows featured Foreigner’s current lineup starting things with its own set, followed by a set reuniting guitarist Mick Jones with ex-bandmates Gramm, Elliott, Greenwood, McDonald and Wills. The shows closed with all the past and present Foreigner members hitting the stage together for a big encore, with original frontman Gramm and current singer Kelly Hansen sharing lead vocal duties.
Jones told ABC Radio that he expects to schedule additional reunion concerts in 2019, while a DVD and live album documenting the special performances are also on the way.
See Nick Mason play: Pink Floyd drummer launches new band, Saucerful of Secrets
Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason formed a new group called Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets that pays tribute to his old band’s early music. Saucerful of Secrets’ debut came in late May with four club shows in London, and marked the first time Mason had played a series of full-length gigs with a band since Pink Floyd’s final tour ended in 1994.
Mason’s new outfit also features Spandau Ballet guitarist Gary Kemp, longtime Pink Floyd and David Gilmour touring bassist Guy Pratt, ex-Blockheads guitarist Lee Harris, and veteran engineer and programmer Dom Beken. The band focuses mainly on material from Pink Floyd’s first two albums — 1967’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and 1968’s A Saucerful of Secrets — but also plays songs from Floyd’s other, pre-Dark Side of the Moon releases.
Saucerful of Secrets launched its first tour in September with a European outing. Mason will bring the group to North America in 2019 for a trek running from a March 12 show in Vancouver, Canada, through an April 22 concert in Washington, D.C. The band also will play a run of U.K. shows in the spring and then visit mainland Europe again in the summer.
This past summer, Mason told ABC Radio that a motivating factor behind him doing the project was that he “rather missed…actually playing the drums.”
As for why Saucerful of Secrets plays just Pink Floyd’s early material, Mason says, “Because there are so many tribute bands out there, plus [ex-band mates] Roger [Waters] and David, playing the later stuff…it was a really nice idea to find our own niche.”
The music world lost many major artists in 2018, but perhaps none more beloved or impactful than the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who died of pancreatic cancer at her Detroit home on August 16 at age 76.
The first female performer ever to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Franklin had had health problems for the past few years, and she often had canceled concerts. In late 2017, she appeared alarmingly thin at a charity event but claimed it was a side effect of an unspecified medication. After announcing she was retiring from the road in 2017, Aretha still lined up shows for 2018, but in March, she was ordered by her doctors to cancel all of her performances and rest for two months.
In the days leading up to her passing, news reports emerged that Aretha was gravely ill and had received visits from her friend Stevie Wonder and Rev. Jesse Jackson.
A free tribute concert featuring The Four Tops, Patti LaBelle and many others was held in Detroit’s Chene Park Amphitheatre on August 30, the night before Aretha’s funeral. The funeral service itself, held at Motown’s Greater Grace Temple, was a nine-hour affair televised and streamed live online.
The memorial featured speeches by former President Bill Clinton, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Tyler Perry, Cicely Tyson, record executive Clive Davis and Aretha’s childhood friend Smokey Robinson.
Musical performers at the service who honored the Queen included Faith Hill, Ariana Grande, Ron Isley, Chaka Khan, Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, Gladys Knight, Wonder and Jennifer Holliday.
founding Jefferson Airplane singer and longtime Jefferson Starship member Marty Balin passed away of unspecified causes on September 27 at age 76. Among the memorable tunes Balin sang with his famous groups include “Today,” “Volunteers,” “Miracles,” “Count on Me” and “With Your Love.”
Shortly before his death, Balin had launched a medical malpractice lawsuit against a New York City hospital, claiming that poor care following a March 2016 heart operation had left him with major health issues, including a paralyzed vocal cord and kidney damage. He also had to have his thumb amputated, and lost half of his tongue. Despite his ailments, Marty was working on a new album at the time of his death.
Early in the year, on January 4, founding Moody Blues flute player and singer Ray Thomas died of unspecified causes after a long period of ill health. A month earlier, Thomas had found out that he was to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with his band in April 2018.
Thomas was perhaps best known for playing the flute solo in The Moodies’ signature song “Nights in White Satin” and he also wrote and sang such tunes as “Legend of a Mind,” “Twilight Time,” “Dear Diary” “And the Tide Rushes In” and “For My Lady.” He retired from The Moody Blues 2002.
AND THE REST
Here are many of the music figures who died in 2018, in chronological order:
Ray Thomas — January 4 — singer and flute player with The Moody Blues. Died at age 76.
Dolores O’Riordan — January 15 — frontwoman of Irish pop-rock band The Cranberries. Died by accidental drowning and extreme alcohol intoxication. She was 46.
Jim Rodford — January 20 — played bass with Argent, The Kinks and The Zombies. Died after a fall down a flight of stairs at his U.K. home. He was 76.
Hugh Masekela — January 23 — South African jazz trumpeter, topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968 with the instrumental “Grazing in the Grass.” Died of prostate cancer at age 78.
Dennis Edwards — February 1 — former singer with The Temptations. Died of complications from meningitis at age 75.
Pat Torpey — February 7 — founding drummer of Mr. Big. Died of complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 64.
Mickey Jones — February 7 — character actor and drummer who played with Kenny Rogers’ band The First Edition and toured with Bob Dylan. Died of complications of diabetes, He was 76.
John Perry Barlow — February 7 — wrote lyrics for many Grateful Dead songs. Died of unspecified causes at age 70.
Craig MacGregor — February 9 — longtime bass player for Foghat. Died of lung cancer at age 68.
Vic Damone — February 11 — singer and actor, born Vito Farinola, best-known for the hits “You’re Breaking My Heart” and “On the Street Where You Live.” Died from complications of a respiratory illness. He was 89.
Barbara Alston — February 16 — member of the famed girl group The Crystals. Died from complications of the flu. She was 74.
Nokie Edwards — March 12 — longtime lead guitarist of the instrumental surf-rock band The Ventures. Died following complications from hip surgery. He was 82.
Mike Harrison — March 25 — founding lead singer of Spooky Tooth. Died of unspecified causes at age 72.
Yvonne Staples — April 10 — member and manager of gospel/soul group The Staple Singers, whose memorable hits include “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself.” Died of colon cancer at age 80.
Charles Neville — April 26 — saxophonist for The Neville Brothers. Died of pancreatic cancer at age 79.
John “Jabo” Starks — May 1 — influential funk/soul drummer who played with James Brown. Died after a battle with leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. He was 79.
Danny Kirwan — June 8 — guitarist, singer and songwriter with Fleetwood Mac from 1968 to 1972. Fired from the band due to alcohol abuse. Died of unspecified causes at age 68.
DJ Fontana — June 13 — drummer who played with Elvis Presley from 1954 to 1968. Also played with country greats Webb Pierce and Faron Young, and ex-Beatle Ringo Starr. Died in his sleep at age 87.
Matt “Guitar” Murphy — June 14 — blues and rock guitarist and in-demand session player, member of the Blues Brothers band, appeared in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. Died of a heart attack at age 88.
Alan Longmuir — July 2 — bassist was a founding member of The Bay City Rollers along with his younger brother, drummer Derek Longmuir. Died at age 70.
Aretha Franklin — August 16 — legendary R&B singer known as “The Queen of Soul,” and the first female performer inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Hits include “Respect,” “Think,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools” and many more. Winner of 18 Grammys. Died of pancreatic cancer at age 76.
Ed Willis — August 20 — longtime guitarist of Motown Records’ in-house session band The Funk Brothers. Died from complications of polio. He was 82.
Ed King — August 22 — guitarist and bassist for Strawberry Alarm Clock and then for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Co-wrote “Sweet Home Alabama” and played the classic song’s opening riff. Died from complications of lung cancer at age 68.
Maartin Allcock — September 16 — multi-instrumentalist who was a former member of Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull. Died of liver cancer at age 61.
Marty Balin — September 27 — co-founder and co-lead singer of Jefferson Airplane, singer with Jefferson Starship and solo artist. Born Martyn Buchwald, he died of unspecified causes at age 76.
Otis Rush — September 29 — influential blues guitarist and singer. Died from complications of a stroke. He was 84.
Tony Joe White — October 24 — singer/songwriter whose compositions included “Polk Salad Annie” and “Rainy Night in Georgia.” Died of a heart attack at age 75.
Wah Wah Watson — October 24 — guitarist, born Melvin Ragin, played with Motown Records’ in-house session band The Funk Brothers. Died of unspecified causes at age 67.
Hugh McDowell — November 6 — cello player with Electric Light Orchestra during the 1970s. Died of cancer at age 65.
Roy Clark — November 15 — Country Music Hall of Fame member, renowned multi-instrumentalist and longtime co-host of TV’s Hee Haw. Scored a top 20 pop hit in 1969 with “Yesterday When I Was Young.” Died of natural causes at age 85.
Joe Osborn — December 14 — bassist in Ricky Nelson’s band during the early 1960s, then played on many artists’ classic hits as a member of the Los Angeles session outfit The Wrecking Crew from 1964 to 1974. Died of pancreatic cancer at age 81.
Norman Gimbel — December 19 — lyricist who co-wrote such hits as Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” Jim Croce’s “I Got a Name” and Astrud Gilberto’s “The Girl from Ipanema.” He also wrote the words the theme songs to many TV shows, including Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley. Gimbel died of unspecified causes at age 91.
Ray Sawyer — December 31 — singer, founding member pop-rock group Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show and Dr. Hook, which had such hits as “Sylvia’s Mother,” “The Cover of Rolling Stone” and “When You’re In Love with a Beautiful Woman.” Sawyer died of unspecified causes at age 81.
In September of 2018, Paul McCartney released Egypt Station, his first album in five years. It became McCartney’s first album to reach #1 on the Billboard 200 since 1982’s Tug of War.
Nearly all of the album was produced by Greg Kurstin, who’d previously worked with Adele, Foo Fighters, Sia, Kelly Clarkson and other stars. OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder also co-wrote and produced a track on the album, “Fuh You.”
McCartney promoted Egypt Station with a variety of special intimate concerts, including a July 23 gig at Abbey Road Studios in London; a July 25 show at the Cavern Club in his hometown of Liverpool, U.K.; and a release-day performance at New York City’s Grand Central Terminal that was streamed on his official YouTube channel.
Sir Paul also appeared in The Late Late Show‘s popular “Carpool Karaoke” feature with host James Corden in Liverpool in early June. In the segment, McCartney and Corden drove around the city singing various Beatles tunes and solo songs by Paul, while also visiting McCartney’s childhood home, Penny Lane and other landmarks. In addition, Macca played a set at a local pub called The Philharmonic.
Paul’s “Carpool Karaoke” segment, which aired on The Late Late Show on June 22, was hugely popular on YouTube. An hour-long prime time special featuring extended footage from the segment aired on CBS on August 20.
Paul also released a number of music videos for the Egypt Station songs, the most high-profile of which was a short film for “Who Cares” that co-starred Oscar-winning actress Emma Stone. The surreal clip echoed the song’s anti-bullying theme, and in conjunction with the tune and video, McCartney partnered with a number of organizations to launch a new campaign, #WhoCaresIDo, which seeks to inspire people to stand up to bullying and negativity.
Meanwhile, McCartney also mounted the Freshen Up Tour, kicking off the trek with four concerts in Canada in September. He also played Japan, mainland Europe and the U.K. In addition, Sir Paul played two headlining sets in October at Texas’ Austin City Limits Music Festival.
At Macca’s final 2018 concert, December 16 at London’s O2 Arena, his ex-Beatles band mate Ringo Starr and Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood joined him during the show’s encore for a rendition of the Fab Four’s “Get Back.”
The Freshen Up Tour is scheduled to start up again in 2019 with a series of South American shows in March and a U.S. leg that gets underway in May.
Also of note: 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ classic self-titled double album, aka The White Album. To mark the milestone, expanded reissues were released on November 9.
The most expansive of the reissues was a seven-disc Super Deluxe edition that boasts three CDs of studio outtakes, a CD of rare demo recordings, and a Blu-ray disc featuring 5.1 surround-sound, mono and stereo mixes of the album.
Ray Sawyer, former lead singer of the pop-rock act Dr. Hook, has died at the age of 81, the Page Six gossip site reports.
According to his publicist, Sawyer passed away in Daytona Beach, Florida, after what Page Six says was a brief illness.
Originally called Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show, the band scored 10 top 40 singles between 1971 and 1982. Among the band’s best-known hits were “Sylvia’s Mother,” “The Cover of Rolling Stone,” “Sharing the Night Together,” “When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman,” “Sexy Eyes” and “Baby Makes Her Blue Jeans Talk.”
Most of the songs on the group’s first few albums, including “Sylvia’s Mother” and “The Cover of Rolling Stone,” were written by poet, author and songwriter Shel Silverstein.
Known for his eye patch and cowboy hat, Sawyer was a member of the group from its formation in 1969 until 1981. Ray was a native of Monroeville, Alabama, and in 1967 his lost his right eye in a car accident. In 2005, he was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason has been appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire — or CBE — by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, as part of the U.K. monarch’s annual New Year’s Honours list. Not surprisingly, Mason is being recognized for his services to music.
Nick played drums with Pink Floyd throughout the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame act’s entire history, and he recently launched a new group called Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets that focuses on his old band’s early material.
A CBE is the highest-ranking honor the Queen can bestow on a citizen apart from a knighthood, which is the next step up.
Meanwhile, Mike Peters, lead singer of ’80s Welsh rockers The Alarm, was honored as a Member of the Order of the British Empire, or MBE, which is one step below a CBE. Peters, a cancer survivor, was acknowledged for “voluntary services to cancer care in North Wales and abroad.”
Commenting on his honor, Peters told BBC News, “It’s not something you think you are going to attain in your life span…certainly not with the endeavors I’ve been involved in, which is basically through trying to keep myself alive and trying to keep other people alive at the same time.”
He added, “To be nominated is a real honor and I am very grateful to accept.”
Among the U.K. celebrities to be chosen for a knighthood or damehood in 2019 by the Queen are Monty Python star Michael Palin and 1960s model Twiggy, who was born Lesley Hornby.
You can check out the Queen’s full 2019 New Year’s Honours at Gov.uk.
Def Leppard, Stevie Nicks, The Zombies among the 2019 Rock Hall Inductees
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will welcome seven new inductees in the Performers category in 2019, including five British bands from different areas and eras of the rock spectrum and two iconic female solo artists.
Next year’s Rock Hall honorees are Def Leppard, The Zombies, Roxy Music, The Cure, Radiohead, Stevie Nicks and Janet Jackson. The 34th annual ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, March 29, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Four of the inductees — Def Leppard, Nicks, The Zombies and The Cure — were among the five top vote-getters in the Rock Hall’s fan poll. They finished first, second, fourth and fifth, respectively. Also worth pointing out, three of the honorees were nominated for the first time this year: Def Leppard, Nicks and Roxy Music.
As previously noted, when Nicks enters the Rock Hall as a solo artist next year, she’ll become the first two-time female inductee, having also been inducted in 1998 as a member of Fleetwood Mac.
Rock Hall President and CEO Greg Harris tells ABC Radio of Nicks’ achievement, “There’s a number of men that are in twice, but she is the first female to do that. We’re very excited and honored that this is the year.”
Regarding top vote-getter Def Leppard, Harris says, “I think that they brought metal to the masses…[They] just delivered a…sound that people really embraced.”
The Zombies are the inductees that waited the longest for the honor, having been eligible since 1989. Notes Harris, “Their body of work in the ’60s [was small but] was very impactful, very important.
Tickets for the ceremony go on sale to the general public in January. Pre-sale tickets will be available to people who’ve signed up for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame membership prior to December 31, 2018.
Little has been heard from Van Halen since its last tour ended in October 2015, but in a new interview with Vulture, frontman David Lee Roth drops major hints that the band will be hitting the road again in 2019.
According to the article, the first indication Roth gave that something was brewing with Van Halen occurred when he came to Vulture‘s offices in New York City for the interview and paid a visit to the copy-editing department.
While there, he commented, “When we come back through town in the summertime and do the original thing, maybe somewhere sportin’, maybe with somebody famous…I’ll make sure we get you all tickets so you can see what we do for gainful employment.”
Roth later told the interviewer that his band will be “playing where the Yankees play.”
Asked if he could confirm that Van Halen had plans to play Yankee Stadium, Dave backtracked, saying, “If I say something on tape here and everybody goes, ‘Oh, this leaked…’ But, the band will be — I can’t say.”
He then added, “I can say that I contacted colleagues about being part of the show: Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Jason Aldean, the Foo Fighters, [country stars Eric] Church and [Chris] Stapleton. And they all said that, if everything happens, they would certainly be involved.”
Roth also gave some insight into why there are always long gaps between Van Halen tours.
“You can’t keep serving it every year,” he explained. “We’re on a James Bond schedule, every three-and-a-half summers, so you don’t go, ‘Weren’t you just here?’ and then we’d start selling fewer tickets.”
Also in the Vulture interview, Roth discussed a new business venture he’s launched, Ink the Original, a line of skincare products made to keep tattoos from fading.
Billy Joel doesn’t turn 70 until 2019, but he’s already planned his birthday party.
The Piano Man will usher in his seventh decade on May 9, 2019, by performing at New York’s Madison Square Garden, the site of his monthly residency since 2014. This performance will be Joel’s 110th career performance at the legendary venue.
Citi card members will get first crack at pre-sale tickets starting Monday, December 17 at 10 a.m. ET. You can also get pre-sale tickets by registering for Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program; registration for that is now open, and the pre-sale starts on Wednesday, December 19.
Don’t want to bother with all that? Tickets go on sale to the general public on December 21 at 10 a.m. ET via Ticketmaster.com.
In May of 2014, Joel celebrated his 65th birthday onstage at the Garden, where he welcomed guests like Jimmy Fallon and Howard Stern. He told the crowd that night, “Welcome to my birthday party! I’m supposed to retire at this age… or at least not have the name ‘Billy!’”
Joel’s frenemy Elton John also has done the Madison Square Garden birthday gig thing: He turned 60 onstage at the venue on March 25, 2007.
A two-LP vinyl edition of the hit soundtrack to the acclaimed Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody will be released on February 8, 2019. In addition, a limited-edition picture-disc version of the album will be available on April 13 as part of the 2019 Record Store Day campaign, as will a special seven-inch single featuring Queen’s classic song “Bohemian Rhapsody” backed with “I’m In Love with My Car.”
The standard two-disc vinyl version of the soundtrack, which comes pressed on black vinyl, was mastered specially at London’s Abbey Road Studios. It can be pre-ordered now.
The Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack was co-produced by Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, and features 22 tracks, including the classic studio versions of several of the band’s most famous songs, updated renditions of some tunes, and rare or previously unreleased concert performances. Among the latter tracks are the five songs that Queen played at the historic 1985 Live Aid concert at London’s Wembley Stadium, which had never been officially released in audio form.
Following its initial release on CD and digitally in October, the soundtrack peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 chart, and has spent five straight weeks on the top 10 of the tally.
The Bohemian Rhapsody film debuted at #1 at the U.S. box office, and has remained in the top five for six weeks.
As previously reported, Queen — with singer Adam Lambert — will mount a new North American trek dubbed the Rhapsody tour next summer. The six-week outing kicks off July 10 in Vancouver, Canada, and wraps August 23 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Here’s the full track list of the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack’s vinyl version:
“20th Century Fox Fanfare”
“Somebody to Love”
“Doing All Right…Revisited” — Smile
“Keep Yourself Alive” (Live at The Rainbow)
“Fat Bottomed Girls” (Live in Paris)
“Now I’m Here” (Live at Hammersmith Odeon)
“Crazy Little Thing Called Love”
“Love of My Life” (Rock in Rio)
“We Will Rock You” (Movie Mix)
“Another One Bites the Dust”
“I Want to Break Free”
“Under Pressure” — Queen & David Bowie
“Who Wants to Live Forever”
“Bohemian Rhapsody” (Live Aid)
“Radio Ga Ga” (Live Aid)
“Ay-Oh” (Live Aid)
“Hammer to Fall” (Live Aid)
“We Are the Champions” (Live Aid)
“Don’t Stop Me Now…Revisited”
“The Show Must Go On”
Def Leppard tops Rock & Roll Hall of Fame fan poll; Stevie Nicks finishes second
This year marked the first time that Def Leppard was nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame after being eligible for the honor since 2005. And to pour some sugar on that, the band has finished first in the online fan poll choosing the most popular potential 2019 inductee.
The British rockers accumulated more than 547,000 votes, over 100,000 more than the second-place vote-getter, Stevie Nicks, who had just under 428,000.
Rounding out the top five artists with the most votes were Todd Rundgren at #3, with more than 365,000; The Zombies at #4, with over 329,000; and The Cure, with more than 264,000 votes.
Nicks and Rundgren also received their first nominations for the Rock Hall this year, while The Zombies were nominated three times before and The Cure, once. If Stevie is chosen for the honor, she’ll become the first woman to be inducted into the Rock Hall twice, having been previous welcomed in 1998 as a member of Fleetwood Mac.
Thanks to the poll, the top five acts will get an extra vote toward induction, although about one thousand ballots are cast each year when deciding which artists are welcomed into the Rock Hall. That being said, the acts who received the most votes in the fan poll during the last six years all ended up getting inducted, which bodes very well for Def Leppard.
The Rock Hall’s Class of 2019 inductees will be announced this Thursday, December 13, at 8 a.m. ET via RockHall.com and the museum’s social media sites. The induction ceremony is scheduled for March 29 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
First wave of physical Prince catalog reissues due out in February
The first installment of physical titles from the Prince catalog reissue campaign announced this past summer will arrive on February 8, 2019. Three Prince studio albums — 2004’s Musicology, 2006’s 3121 and 2007’s Planet Earth — will be re-released on CD and also will make their vinyl debut.
The vinyl versions of the albums will be pressed on limited-edition purple vinyl. Special bundles and merchandise related to the reissues, including t-shirts, tour books, lithographs and posters are available at the Prince estate’s online store.
Musicology peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200, and has sold more than two million copies in the U.S. The album also garnered Prince two Grammys: a Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance award for the title track and a Best R&B Vocal Performance — Male prize for “Call My Name.” Among the well-known musicians featured on the album are Sheila E. and sax players Maceo Parker and Candy Dulfer.
3121 became Prince’s first album ever to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200, and was his first record to top the chart since 1989’s Batman. The album has been certified gold for sales of 500,000 copies in the States.
Planet Earth reached #3 on the Billboard 200, although it didn’t sell enough copies to receive a certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. Sheila E. and Prince’s Revolution band members Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman contributed to the record.
Ahead of the reissues, the Prince estate is debuting videos from the late artist’s vaults on his official YouTube channel and other streaming services, including clips for Musicology‘s “Cinnamon Girl”, 3121‘s “Te Amo Corazon,” and Planet Earth‘s “Chelsea Rogers.” It’s part of an ongoing campaign launched last month by the estate and Sony Music.
Hall & Oates to play limited Vegas engagement next year
Daryl Hall & John Oates are heading to Sin City for a limited engagement in 2019.
The duo will perform at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on March 20, 22 and 23. Tickets will go on sale to the public this Friday at noon PT.
In a statement, Daryl Hall says, “I’ve played Vegas many times in my career, so I’m looking forward to bringing our kind of soul to the Vegas Strip with this run of shows at Caesars Palace.”
In 2019, the duo also has three shows booked in the U.K. in late April and early May.
This past year, Hall & Oates did a big summer tour with Train. The two acts also released a successful single called “Philly Forget Me Not.”
Journey’s Jonathan Cain and Steve Smith taking part in Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp next year in Nashville
Journey fans who journey to Nashville next year will have the chance to jam with and get musical pointers from two of the band’s members, keyboardist Jonathan Cain and drummer Steve Smith. Both artists will take part in the next Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp installment, scheduled to run from February 28 to March 3.
Campers will have the chance to jam onstage with both Cain and Smith, who will also share anecdotes and musical tips with attendees. To bring the four-day event to a close, Smith will join campers for a performance in front of a live audience at the Nashville club Mercy.
A number of other guest musicians also will be on hand to interact with the Fantasy Camp attendees, including Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt and founding Tesla members Frank Hannon and Brian Wheat.
In addition, several well-known rock artists have signed on to serve as counselors at the Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp, including Bon Jovi bassist Hugh McDonald, Mr. Big bassist Billy Sheehan, Winger keyboardist Paul Taylor, Kid Rock guitarist Kenny Olson and ex-Cinderella keyboardist Gary Corbett.
Musicians and singers of all skill levels are welcome at the camp. Activities include the writing and recording of an original song, jam sessions, tutorial classes and Q&A sessions.
Campers who purchase the Recording Package will have the opportunity to record a track at Cain’s Addiction Recording Studio that will be co-produced by Jonathan and his engineer David Kalmusky.
If you’re interested in attending the Rock Fantasy Camp in Nashville, you can reserve a spot by visiting RockCamp.com
Lindsey Buckingham says he’s settled his lawsuit with Fleetwood Mac
Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac have apparently settled their differences. Their legal ones, at least.
Buckingham told CBS This Morning over the weekend that the lawsuit he filed in October against his former bandmates following his dismissal from Fleetwood Mac has been settled, and that he’s “happy enough with it.
“I’m not out there trying to twist the knife at all,” Buckingham said. “I’m trying to look at this with some level of compassion, some level of wisdom.”
According to documents obtained by ABC Radio at the time, the suit charged the band with “breach of fiduciary duty,” “breach of oral contract” and “intentional interference with prospective economic advantage,” among other complaints.
Buckingham was dismissed from the band he first joined in 1974, along with his then-musical and romantic partner Stevie Nicks, after he claims he’d asked Fleetwood Mac to delay the start of their 2018 a few months so he could release and promote a solo album. When his band mates refused, he postponed his solo project for a year so he could take part in the trek. But then, Buckingham said, came an ultimatum from Stevie Nicks, relayed to him by the band’s longtime manager, Irving Azoff.
“Either Lindsey goes or I go,” Buckingham recalls Azoff telling him last January, saying Nicks apparently didn’t care for Buckingham’s behavior at a MusiCares event a few nights earlier, which would be his final performance with the band, barring a thaw in sentiment.
Fleetwood Mac went on to tour with Mike Campbell of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers and Neil Finn of Split Enz and Crowded House filling his spot.
“It hurt for a while,” Buckingham said of his ouster from the band. “I did walk around for a few months with a visceral reaction to that.”
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band add five shows to farewell trek, now called the Roll Me Away Tour
Bob Seger and his Silver Bullet Band has added five more 2019 dates to their final trek, which initially was called The Travelin’ Man Tour but now has been renamed the Roll Me Away Tour.
The new shows are scheduled for January 3 in Saginaw, Michigan; March 2 in Las Vegas; March 12 in Bossier City, Louisiana; March 15 in Tampa, Florida; and March 17 in Sunrise, Florida. The January 3 concert now marks the start of the 2019 portion of the trek, which kicked off November 21 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Tickets for the latest additions to Seger’s outing go on sale to the general public on Friday, December 14, at 10 a.m. local time. Members of Seger’s fan club, the Bullet Club, will be able to purchase pre-sale tickets on Tuesday, December 11.
The 73-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s farewell tour currently is plotted out through a May 2 concert in The Woodlands, Texas. The trek continues with a show tonight in Cleveland.
Toto‘s massive limited-edition All In box set, celebrating the band’s 40th anniversary is out.
The package features 11 previously available Toto albums spread across 17 vinyl LPs and 13 CDs, as well as the previously unreleased Live in Tokyo EP, which was recorded in 1980, and a newly created album called Old Is New that boasts seven unreleased tunes and three new tracks from the group’s 2018 best-of collection, 40 Trips Around the Sun.
All In also includes a Blu-ray disc featuring the Live in Paris 1990 concert video and a 5.1 surround mix of Toto’s classic 1982 album, Toto IV. The box set, which can only be purchased at Toto’s official online store, also features an 80-page hardcover book containing new essays and rare photos. Each set comes with a numbered certificate of authenticity signed by the band’s members.
Coinciding with the arrival of All In, the band has released a track from Old Is New called “Devil’s Tower” as a digital single and via streaming services.
“We originally recorded this track with Mike and Jeff Porcaro back in 1981 during the sessions for Toto IV,” guitarist Steve Lukather says of “Devil’s Tower,” “We never recorded a lead vocal or had lyrics for this one, so [frontman] Joseph [Williams] finished it up for us recently.”
Toto launches a Down Under leg of its 40 Trips Around the Sun tour on December 30 in Marion Bay, Australia. The band then will visit Japan in February 2019, followed by a European trek that begins June 15 in Cork, Ireland.
Here are all of the albums included in the All In box set:
Turn Back (1981)
The Seventh One (1988)
Kingdom of Desire (1992)
Toto XX (1998)
Live in Tokyo EP (2018; recorded in 1980)
Old Is New (2018)
An official video for Annie Lennox‘s first new song in eight years, “Requiem for a Private War,” which the former Eurythmics singer wrote for the new film A Private War, is on Lennox’s official YouTube channel. The movie tells the story of acclaimed war correspondent Marie Colvin, who was killed while covering the Syrian civil war in 2012.
The clip begins with Lennox explaining how she got involved in the project.
“We were invited to see the sort of almost-finished version of the film at a viewing, and it was extremely powerful,” she notes. “What really drew me was Marie, and knowing I’d been asked to write a song. It’s an honor to be part of this project.”
The video goes on to show dramatic highlights of the film, including harrowing scenes of Colvin, portrayed by Rosamund Pike, in various war-torn scenarios. The clip also includes behind-the-scenes footage of Lennox working on the song.
The end of the video includes a message explaining that proceeds from the song will benefit the Marie Colvin Journalists’ Network, which “supports female journalists working in the Arab world, through mentoring, networking, training opportunities, mental health care and other forms of practical advice and support.”
In a message accompanying the YouTube video, Lennox says, “Writing ‘Requiem for a Private War’ for the film A Private War has not only given me an opportunity to honor Marie Colvin, but also aims to amplify the ‘truth to power’ message she fought all her life to convey to the world, regarding the atrocious consequences of warfare and its effects upon innocent civilian populations.”
Find out more details about the movie at APrivateWarFilm.com.
U2, The Eagles, Elton John, Journey and Def Leppard are among the nominees for the 30th annual Pollstar Awards, given out by Pollstar, the trade publication for the concert industry.
U2 is nominated in the Major Tour of the Year and Best Rock Tour categories, while The Eagles and, jointly, Journey and Def Leppard are in the running for the latter honor.
In the Best Residency category, Elton John‘s Las Vegas residency, Billy Joel‘s monthly concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City and Bruce Springsteen‘s autobiographical Broadway show are among the nominees.
The nominees for the Best Touring Musician award include Elton John; new Fleetwood Mac guitarist Mike Campbell, formerly of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers; new Eagles touring member Vince Gill; Billy Joel multi-instrumentalist Mark Rivera; and singer/guitarist John Mayer, for his work as a member of Dead & Company.
The nominated artists in the Best Soft Ticket Act category are 10,000 Maniacs, Air Supply, America, Donny & Marie, Earth Wind & Fire and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. A soft ticket act is an artist that generally performs on bills with multiple artists rather than being a headliner.
The awards, voted on by a panel of more than 2,000 live entertainment professionals, will be handed out February 13 in Los Angeles, at the end of the annual Pollstar Live! conference.
The David Crosby documentary that’s being co-produced by rock journalist and filmmaker Cameron Crowe will get its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, which will take place from January 24 to February 3 in multiple locations in Utah.
The movie, titled David Crosby: Remember My Name, was directed by A.J. Eaton and presents a candid portrait of the 77-year-old folk-rock legend. A synopsis of the doc on Sundance.org reads: “With unflinching honesty, self-examination, regret, fear, exuberance and an unshakable belief in family and the transformative nature of music, Crosby shares his often challenging journey.”
Other music-related documentaries slated to debut at next year’s Sundance fest include Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love and Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool. The first tells the story of late Canadian singer/songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen‘s long romantic relationship with Marianne Ihlen, the Norwegian woman who inspired many of his famous songs. The second offers of profile of the life and music of late jazz icon Miles Davis.
No specific premiere dates for the films have been announced yet. Festival screenings will be held in Park City, in Salt Lake City and at the Sundance Mountain Resort.
The Grateful Dead spinoff group Dead & Company will return to the road next year for a U.S. tour taking place in the late spring and early summer. The trek gets underway with a May 31-June 1 stand in Mountain View, California, and runs through a July 5-6 engagement in Boulder, Colorado.
Among the major venues the band will visit during the 19-date outing are the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Wrigley Field in Chicago, Citi Field in New York City and Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Tickets will go on sale to the general public starting Saturday, December 8, at 10 a.m. local time via LiveNation.com. Various pre-sale opportunities also will be available, including advance ticket offers for American Express and Citi card members. In addition, a limited number of tickets for most shows will be available through Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program; registration is open now. Visit DeadandCompany.com for tour information.
Formed in 2015, Dead & Company features three core Grateful Dead members — singer/guitarist Bob Weir and drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart — as well as pop-blues singer/guitarist John Mayer, ex-Allman Brothers Band bassist Oteil Burbridge, and RatDog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti.
Prior to their 2019 tour, Dead & Company will host their second annual Playing in the Sand getaway, scheduled for January 17-20 at the Barcelo Maya resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
With The Rolling Stones preparing to mount their first U.S. tour since 2015 in April, guitarist Keith Richards has taken part in a new Rolling Stone magazine interview in which he chats about the trek and also reveals the status of his band’s next album.
Regarding what’s happening with The Stones’ latest recording project, the 74-year-old rocker reveals that it’s still in its “early stage. Richards reports that he and singer Mick Jagger “got together for a few days a month or so ago in the studio, just playing around,” adding that the duo also may meet up for another session in December, “but I’m not crossing my fingers on that.”
As for what he and his longtime songwriting partner accomplished at the previous session, Keith says, “We knocked out a few songs together with [producer] Don Was. We’re just working things through. We had a great time — got some nice stuff out of it.”
Richards tells Rolling Stone that he has no idea when the band might finish the album, then guesses that “maybe this time next year” would be “a reasonable projection.”
Meanwhile, Keith says the band is getting ready for what will be “quite a long rehearsal [period]” for the tour.
He also suggests that The Rolling Stones won’t be joining the many veteran artists who’ve announced farewell tours recently.
“I just haven’t gotten around to thinking in that head yet,” Richards maintains. “I don’t know if you never know. Maybe this will be the last one, I don’t know.”
The 2019 U.S. leg of The Stones’ No Filter Tour kicks off April 20 in the Miami area. The band has just added second shows in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and Chicago, respectively, on June 17 and June 25.
‘We’re Going Away Now’: U2 Ends Tour on Cryptic Note
Is the Experience + Innocence tour going to be U2’s last? A comment made by Bono in Berlin Monday could suggest that they made be considering calling it a day.
According to the Twitter account of u2gigs, a website dedicated to chronicling U2’s concerts, Bono told the crowd, “We’ve been on the road for quite some time, just going on 40 years, and this last for years have been really something very special for us. We’re going away now.”
However, the person tweeting does not believe it’s the end, noting that, with the exception of last year’s Joshua Tree 30th anniversary tour, “[E]very final gig is the same: mass panic that this is the last gig. … Ten bucks says I’ll be covering another gig with you folks sometime down the track. I will concede that this is the first time the mass panic has at least seemed plausible. But there’ll be *something* for Boy at 40 or [Achtung Baby] at 30, or a new record. U2 won’t sit still and they won’t break up, and they’ve got enough years ahead of them yet to fit in more gigs!’
Monday’s show was the last night of the trek, and it was a make-up date for the night back in September when the band abandoned their show when Bono lost his voice. He’s also had a few serious health issues recently that may have contributed to his comments.
In 2015, he required five hours of surgery following a bike accident in which he sustained a facial fracture and four separate fractures in his left shoulder blade and arm. He also spoke last month of an even more serious issue that, without giving specifics, suggested it was life-threatening.
“It was pretty serious,” he said. “I’m all right now, but I very nearly wasn’t. I’ve had a lot of warnings. A fair few punches over the last years.”
That scare may have been the “major moment” he was referring to in the liner notes to Songs of Experience that he described as “a shock to the system. A shock that left me clinging on to my own life. It was an arresting experience. I won’t dwell in it or on it. I don’t want to name it.”
Paul McCartney is among the many celebrities paying tribute to legendary Marvel Comics writer, editor and publisher Stan Lee, who died Monday at the age of 95.
In a note on his official website, the former Beatles star bids a “fond farewell” to Lee, while noting that he “will be sadly missed.”
Sir Paul goes on to reveal that he was lucky enough to have met the Stan, with whom he chatted about comic books. McCartney says Lee, who’d created or co-created timeless superheroes including Black Panther, Spider-Man, The X-Men, The Mighty Thor, Iron Man, The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk and Daredevil, discussed the possibility of making a new character inspired by the rock icon.
“[H]e was suggesting making a superhero who would wield a Hofner bass guitar,” McCartney writes. “The guitar would have super powers and we spent some time imaging what those could be. He had a great sense of humor and I must say the idea of becoming a guitar-wielding superhero in one of his comic books was very appealing.”
McCartney ends his homage by saying, “Sending love to his family and friends and always holding happy memories of this great man. Love ya, Stan!”
Meanwhile, one of the studio outtakes that will appear on the upcoming deluxe reissue of the 1973 Paul McCartney and Wings album Red Rose Speedway has been made available for purchase digitally. The track is a group-only version of the 1973 hit “Live and Let Die,” which served as the theme song to the James Bond movie of the same name.
As previously reported, McCartney will release expanded reissues of Red Rose Speedway and the 1971 Wings album Wild Life on December 7. Visit PaulMcCartney.com for full details about the reissues.
Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” soundtrack album climbs to #3 on “Billboard” 200
First, the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody debuted at #1 on the U.S. box-office tally. Now the film’s soundtrack has soared to the upper reaches of the Billboard 200 chart. After bowing at #25 the previous week, the album moved up to #3 on the latest chart, a 187-percent surge.
According to Billboard.com, this marks the highest position for a Queen album on the Billboard tally in 38 years; in 1980, the band’s studio effort The Game spent five weeks at #1. The Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack also is #1 on Billboard‘s Top Rock Albums chart, while Queen’s classic song of the same name has topped the Rock Digital Song Sales tally, with six other tunes by the band also in the top 10.
In addition, the 2000 Queen compilation Greatest Hits I, II & III: The Platinum Collection leaped from #194 to #9 on the Billboard 200 this week.
The Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack features classic Queen studio tracks, updated renditions of some tunes, and a number of rare or previously unreleased concert performances, including songs from the band’s historic set at the 1985 Live Aid festival in London.
Bohemian Rhapsody dropped from #1 to #2 at the U.S. box office in its second week of release, and now has grossed more than $100 million in ticket sales in the States.
Neil Young is among the many unfortunate people who have lost homes to the massive wildfires raging in Northern and Southern California. In a message posted Sunday on his Neil Young Archives website, the folk-rock legend reveals that a house he owns in Malibu was destroyed by fire.
“I have lost my home before to a California fire, now another,” he writes.
In the note, Young also severely criticizes President Donald Trump, blasting him for a recent Twitter message in which he blamed the wildfires on California’s poor forest management.
“California is vulnerable — not because of poor forest management, as DT (our so-called president) would have us think,” Young writes. “As a matter of fact this is not a forest fire that rages on as I write this. We are vulnerable because of Climate Change; the extreme weather events and our extended drought is part of it.”
Neil continues, “Our temperatures are higher than ever here in our hottest summer on record. That has not helped. DT seems to be the Denier. (I’m holding back and not using the word liar just because it rhymes with denier.) It really is time for a reckoning with this unfit leader. Maybe our new Congress can help. I sure hope so.”
The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, who turned 73 on Monday, adds, “Hopefully we can come together as a people to take on Climate Change. We have the tools and can do it if we tried.”
Young ends his message by again digging into Trump, calling him “an unfit leader” and accusing him of defying science and “car[ing] more for his own, convenient option than he does for the people he leads.”
The California fires have burned 196,000 acres of land. More than 149,000 people have been evacuated.
Ace Frehley: “KISS Can’t Do a Farewell Tour Without Me”
Ace Frehley isn’t letting KISS’ farewell tour happen without him. In this exclusive interview, the guitar legend explains why he should be a part of the show, both for love of the fans, and for KISS to make a huge stack of cash.
KISS will begin on ‘The End of the Road’ in 2019 and remain on tour for three years, finally reaching the twilight of their career. Though Frehley hasn’t been a member of KISS since 2002, his enormous contributions to the band haven’t faded with fans, as they’re constantly demanding a reunion.
“They’re testing the waters,” Frehley says about his former KISS bandmates. “I think they’re waiting for promoters to come back and say, ‘Well, we’ll give you X amount of dollars if Ace is involved and Peter is involved.’ It’s all about money with those guys and they’ll be the first to admit it, especially Gene. When Doc McGee gets a call from a promoter and they say, ‘We’ll give you double the amount of money with Ace and Peter,’ we’re gonna get the call.”
“If I come back, I’m gonna take my throne back, or I’m not coming back,” says about sharing a stage with KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer. “A lot of fans are saying if I’m not involved in the next tour, they’re not going. That’s probably making Paul and Gene a little nervous … I can’t imagine them doing an ‘End of the Road’ tour with the same lineup. They’ve been playing for 15 years, there’s nothing special about doing one last big tour with the same lineup.”
Ace adds, “I told Paul and Gene, ‘I’m the guy now that you’ve always wanted me to be.’ I was a screwup and I was always late and didn’t show up on time and missed recording sessions. I was telling them this year, ‘I’m now the guy you always wanted me to be.’ Hopefully it sinks in, you know?”
Foreigner‘s current lineup will be joined by original frontman Lou Gramm and four other former band members at four special concerts taking place in the coming weeks in California, New Jersey and Connecticut. The shows, dubbed “Double Vision: Then and Now,” kick off with a performance this Friday, November 9, in Los Angeles.
Those shows follow several similar concerts that took place in 2017 and earlier this year where ex-band members also hit the stage with Foreigner’s current incarnation. Foreigner lead guitarist and songwriter Mick Jones tells USA Today that the old and new members got along so well at those other shows that they had no qualms about scheduling additional dates.
“My two lead singers, Lou Gramm and [current frontman] Kelly Hansen, really hit it off like a house on fire and the rest of the guys were happy to be a part of it,” Jones notes. “[I]t just felt natural and we fell right back into it.”
As for the plans for the new concerts, Gramm tells USA Today, “The original band is concentrating on songs from [1978’s] Double Vision [album] and then [the current lineup] plays songs from any and all of the albums. After they play and we play, we come out for an encore and do ‘Juke Box Hero’ and ‘Hot Blooded’ together.”
Meanwhile, Gramm reveals that he and Jones also are planning to get together next year to try to finish some old demos that the duo originally worked on before Lou left Foreigner.
“[W]e listened to [the demos] again a few months ago and they still sound good to us,” Gramm explains. “So we may pick a few of those up and then work on some new ideas.”
Here are all the “Double Vision: Then and Now” shows:
11/9 — Los Angeles, CA, Microsoft Theater
11/10 — Rancho Mirage, CA, Agua Caliente Casino
11/30 — Atlantic City, NJ, Hard Rock
12/1 — Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun Arena
Aerosmith is the only announced rock act that will be performing at the first-ever Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest, taking place January 31st through February 2 in Atlanta, Georgia.
The three-night festival will be held at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena, in advance of Super Bowl 53. Aerosmith will perform Friday night with a soon-to-be-announced “special guest.”
Back in 2001, Aerosmith performed on the Super Bowl halftime show with Britney Spears, ‘N SYNC, Mary J. Blige and Nelly.
In April, Aerosmith will launch its Deuces Are Wild Las Vegas residency at Park Theater at Park MGM Las Vegas.
A soundtrack album to Bruce Springsteen‘s long-running Springsteen on Broadway stage production will be released on Friday, December 14, one day before the show is scheduled to end its 236-performance run at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York City.
The album is a companion to the Netflix concert special Springsteen on Broadway, which premieres Sunday, December 16, at 3:01 a.m. ET/12:01 a.m. PT. The record features the full audio from the film, which includes The Boss performing 16 songs, most of which include a spoken introduction from Bruce. Springsteen’s wife, longtime E Street Band backing singer Patti Scialfa, joins him for two of the songs.
Among the well-known tunes featured in the show are “Growin’ Up,” “My Hometown,” “Thunder Road,” “The Promised Land,” “Born in the U.S.A.,” “Dancing in the Dark,” and, of course, “Born to Run.”
The soundtrack, which you can pre-order now, will be available as a two-CD set, a four-LP vinyl package, and digitally. In advance of the album, Bruce’s performance of “Land of Hope and Dreams” has been released as a digital single and via streaming services. You also can check out the track, and a teaser-trailer for the album, at Springsteen’s official YouTube channel.
Springsteen on Broadway opened in October 2017 for an initial eight-week run that’s been extended three times. The Boss was presented with a special Tony Award earlier this year in honor of his show.
Here is the full track list of Springsteen on Broadway soundtrack:
“My Father’s House”*
“The Promised Land”*
“Born in the U.S.A.”*
“Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”*
“Tougher than the Rest” — with Patti Scialfa*
“Brilliant Disguise” — with Patti Scialfa*
“Long Time Comin’”*
“The Ghost of Tom Joad”*
“Dancing in the Dark”*
“Land of Hope and Dreams”
“Born to Run”*
* = introduction and song.
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