Posted by Administrator on April 20th, 2015
Ringo Starr was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist on Apr. 18 by his former Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney in a star-studded ceremony that also honored Lou Reed, Bill Withers, Joan Jett, Green Day, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and The "5" Royales. Starr, already inducted in 1988 as a member of the Beatles, made a speech before a short performance. "I want to thank Paul for all the great things you told us some of them are true. You know, it's a great honor to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was doing the press and they're all saying, 'Well, why did you wait so long?' It has nothing to do with me. You have to be invited. But anyway, apparently I'm invited and I love it." The 74-year-old stickman continued: "I've finally been invited and I love it. I got lucky and it was actually in Cleveland," he said to enormous applause. Introducing Ringo, McCartney recalled the first time Ringo sat in with the Beatles. "[We] were on the front line singing, and now behind us we had this guy we'd never played with before, and I remember the moment when he started to play -- I think it was Ray Charles, 'What'd I Say', and most of the drummers couldn't nail the drum part. It was a little difficult to do, but Ringo nailed it." John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, also on hand to honor Ringo, spoke breifly backstage: "It's just sad John and George [Harrison] aren't here." Bill Withers, who was introduced by John Legend with a performance of Withers' "Use Me" backed by Stevie Wonder, called being inducted by Wonder "A lion holding the door for a kitty cat." The trio then jammed on a rendition of Withers' smash "Lean on Me." Joan Jett, who was inducted by Miley Cyrus, joined her band the Blackhearts and Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl for a mini-set of her rockers including "Bad Reputation," the Runaways' "Cherry Bomb" and "Crimson and Clover," the Tommy James & the Shondelles cover that Jett took to No. 1. Lou Reed was paid a moving tribute by his friend Patti Smith and Reed's widow, musician Laurie Anderson, who shared the three rules for life that they came up with: "One: don't be afraid of anyone; Two: get a really good bullshit detector and learn how to use it; Three: be really, really tender." The ceremony closed with a rousing version of the Lennon-McCartney-penned "I Want to Be Your Man," with all the inductees and presenters participating. - Billboard, 4/19/15.
Neil Young surprised fans with an intimate performance at the SLO Brewing Co. in San Luis Obispo, Cal., on Apr. 17. Taking the stage at 9:00 p.m. for a three-hour show, Young was backed by Willie Nelson's sons Lukas and Micah Nelson on guitars, plus members of their band Lukas' Promise of the Real on bass and drums. Young's set was comprised of mosty new material, although he did perform several classic tunes, including a near-10 minute extended version of "Down By The River" plus "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" and "Walk On." Earlier in 2015, Young confirmed that he was recording a new album with the Nelson brothers tentatively titled The Monsanto Years. - New Musical Express, 4/20/15...... Wisconsin-based outdoor apparel retailer Duluth Trading Co. has settled a lawsuit from founding Eagles member Don Henley alleging trademark infringement. Henley filed suit in federal court in October after the company used the pun "Don a Henley and Take it easy" in an ad selling a shirt style known as a "henley" -- a play on Henley's name and a title of a popular song by the classic rock band. The Belleville, Wisc.-based company agreed to never again use or imply Henley's name when selling the style of shirt. Duluth Trading Co. also issued an apology to Henley on its website, saying it was inappropriate to use his name and the song title. It also made an undisclosed contribution to a nonprofit Henley founded. - AP, 4/17/15...... Paul Simon has scored his first U.K. number one album in 25 years with his new U.K. greatest hits compilation, The Ultimate Collection. Simon, who last topped the charts in Britain in 1990 with his The Rhythm of the Saints LP, is also touring the U.K. with Sting. - NME, 4/19/15...... Vinyl LP sales in the U.S. are up over 50 percent for the first quarter of 2015, according to new research published by the Nielsen Co. Between January and March of 2015, sales were 53% higher than during the comparable period last year, driven largely by solid gains in catalog album sales. Current releases in the format are also performing well,up by 37% in the first three months compared with the corresponding period last time. Topping the vinyl chart is the Beatles' classic 1969 release Abbey Road, which has been the best-selling vinyl album since 2010 and moved 172,000 units in the first quarter. Other '70s acts making the top 10 include Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon, No. 6 with 87,000 units sold) and Bob Marley & The Wailers (Legend, No. 7 with 83,000 units sold). In the U.K., the industry's official charts compiler OCC has just launched vinyl sales charts (singles and albums) which the OCC says reflects Britain's "renewed interest in music on vinyl." - Billboard, 4/17/15...... Paul McCartney has been confirmed as one of the headliners for the 2015 Lollapalooza music festival, set for July 31-Aug. 2 at Chicago's Grant Park. Also on the bill are Metallica, Florence + the Machine, Sam Smith, Alabama Shakes, A$AP Rocky and Tame Impala, among others. - The Chicago Tribune, 3/25/15...... Former Rolling Stones bassist has announced he'll release his first solo album in 33 years on June 23. Titled Back to Basics, the album will be the follow-up to Wyman's 1982 self-titled set Bill Wyman, and is described as "a meld of styles and genres... uplifting in a jaunty, dancey way and pensive in a bluesy, narrative way" and inspired by such artists as Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and JJ Cale. Speaking about the release, Wyman comments: "Initially I thought 'I'm a bit old for this' but then I thought all the old blues musicians played till they dropped so why don't I give it a go." The album is made up of eight new tracks and five songs reworked from old demos. Wyman, a member of the Stones from 1962 until 1993, declared in 2013 that he would "never" play live with the band again. A year earlier, he did join the band onstage for their 50th anniversary gigs at London's O2 Arena in Nov. 2012, but then said that he would not be interested in rejoining the group on a permanent basis because he has "better things to do." - New Musical Express, 4/17/15...... A new musical featuring songs by '70s reggae legend Bob Marley will make its world premier at the Center Stage theater in Baltimore, Md., on May 7. "Marley," written and directed by award-winning British playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah ("Elmina's Kitchen"), tells the pivotal moment in Marley's life when he returned to Jamaica after two years of self-imposed exile in London following an assassination attempt. The show uses events surrounding that homecoming to chronicle the musician's transformation into a 20th century cultural icon. The title role will be played by Mitchell Brunings, who became a YouTube sensation after performing Marley's songs on the Dutch version of The Voice. The project marks the first time that Marley's songs have been featured onstage in a biographical context. - Billboard, 4/16/15...... AC/DC performed "Baptism By Fire," a track from their 2014 album Rock or Bust, on Apr. 10 during their headlining set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Cal. The Aussie headbangers' show also included their iconic tracks 'Back In Black," "You Shook Me All Night Long," "Have A Drink On Me," "Hells Bells," "TNT," "and "Whole Lotta Rosie," which saw the group performing alongside a giant inflatable woman. The show was AC/DC's first full gig in almost five years, and their first full live performance by their new line-up, which includes drummer Chris Slade replacing former drummer Phil Rudd, following a brief, two-song appearance at the Grammy Awards in February. - Billboard, 4/17/15...... In other Heavy Metal news, Ozzy Osbourne has responded to former Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward after Ward posted a nearly 700-word rant on Facebook about his beef with the band on Apr. 15, which included a demand for an apology from Osbourne. Ozzy shot back the next day with his own Facebook post, but it certainly wasn't an apology. Osbourne questioned many of Ward's claims and telling his side of the ongoing saga. "Stop playing the victim and be honest with yourself and our fans," Osbourne posted. "Bill, we go back a long way, let's stop this now before it gets out of hand." - Billboard, 4/16/15...... Legendary '70s disco producer Giorgio Moroder has revealed the title and track list for his twenty-first studio album, dubbed Deja Vu. Due June 12 and featuring contributions from the likes of Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, Sia, Charli XCX, Kelis and Foxes, the 11-track LP features such songs as "Right Here Right Now" and the aptly named "74 is the New 24," which are already available for individual download now. - Billboard, 4/16/15...... The Grateful Dead's three-night "farewell" concert run set for Chicago's Soldier Field on July 3, 4 and 5 will be simulcast live in select theaters across the U.S. Nightly five-hour screenings of Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead will start at 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. CDT/6 p.m. MDT/5 p.m. PDT. The Grateful Dead performances, featuring surviving founding members Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann, are taking place nearly 20 years to the day of the last Dead concert with late frontman Jerry Garcia. Trey Anastasio, Bruce Horrnsby and Weir associate Jeff Chimenti will be joining the band for the three shows. - Billboard, 4/16/15...... "And now for something completely different" -- Professor Stephen Hawking has covered Monty Python's "Galaxy Song" for Record Store Day on Apr. 18. The track, a facts-and-figures journey through the cosmos, was originally written by Eric Idle and John Du Prez and performed by Idle in the1983 comedy Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life. For the special elease "Stephen Hawking Sings Monty Python... Galaxy Song," the Cambridge University professor narrates the Python classic in his familiar synthesized tones (he lost his ability to speak in 1985 due to degenerative motor neuron disease). The track has been released as a limited edition 7" single for Record Store Day, and must surely rank as one of the unusual exclusives in the eight-year history of the event. - Billboard, 4/16/15...... Actor Ben Powers, known for his role in the 1970s CBS television sitcom Good Times, died on Apr. 6 in New Bedford, Mass., of undisclosed causes. He was 64. Powers played football player Keith Anderson, the husband of Thelma Evans (played by Bern Nadette Stanis) in Good Times, a Norman Lear hit about a black family in inner-city Chicago. Powers also appeared as Moochie in the 1980s CBS series Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer with Stacey Keach, and had guest roles on other TV shows including Gimmie a Break, Flamingo Road, The Greatest American Hero, The New Odd Couple, and Laverne & Shirley. He also acted in several 1980s movies including Cheech & Chong's Next Movie, Things Are Tough All Over and The Man Who Loved Women. - AP, 4/19/15.
Patti Smith will be among the headliners at the 2015 Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, south west England, it was announced on Apr. 14. Set for June 24-28 and again held at Worthy Farm, the festival had already confirmed Foo Fighters, Kanye West and Florence + The Machine to the 2015 bill. Also appearing will be Motorhead, Mary J. Blige and the Chemical Brothers, among many others. Meanwhile in other Patti Smith news, the punk poetess has announced she'll publish a sequel to her heartbreakingly beautiful 2010 memoir, Just Kids. Due in the fall, M Train will cover the second half of Smith's life, including her reflections on the loss of her husband, Fred "Sonic" Smith, of the legendary MC5. Just Kids, which was honored with the 2010 National Book Award for Non-Fiction, covered the first half of Smith's life, in particular her releationship with controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. - Billboard, 4/13/15...... After a 22-year absence on the Billboard charts, the Nile Rodgers-led Chic has returned with its new single, "I'll Be There." The song debuted at No. 40 on the Dance Club Songs chart for the week ending Apr. 25. It marks Chic's first visit to any of Billboard's US charts since Oct. 3, 1992, when "Your Love" last charted on the Dance Club Songs chart. Credited to "Chic featuring Nile Rodgers," "I'll Be There" is the first single from Chic's forthcoming studio LP, It's About Time, which is due in June via Warner Bros. - Billboard, 4/13/15...... A benefit concert in Chicago on May 14 will feature Pete Townshend of The Who performing with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder on vocals. The musicians, which also include The Who's touring musicians Simon Townshend, Zak Starkey, Pino Palladino and John Corey, will run through The Who's back catalogue at the Rosemont Theatre on behalf of Teen Cancer America -- the US equivalent of the Teenage Cancer Trust which was founded in 2012 Townshend and The Who frontman Roger Daltrey. The Who is currently in the midst of their "The Who Hits 50" anniversary jaunt, which stretches throughout 2015, and in March played Teenage Cancer Trust benefit gigs at London's Royal Albert Hall. - New Musical Express, 4/14/15...... Cher, who has often been outspoken when it comes to national politics, is endorsing a candidate closer to home -- a contender for the West Hollywood City Council named Heidi Shink. "West Hollywood has a very special place in my heart. I began my career here, playing at places like the Whisky a Go Go and the Troubadour, and I have many friends and fans who call West Hollywood home... It is so crucial to me who is on the West Hollywood City Council and that's why this June election is so vital. I urge everyone to vote for Heidi," the singer-actress said in a recent interview. Cher also will be hosting a fundraiser for Shink on the evening of Apr. 18, and her son, Chaz, also has voiced his support for Shink. - The Hollywood Reporter, 4/14/15...... A representative for Billy Joel said on Apr. 14 that the 65-year-old singer-songwriter and his 33-year-old girlfriend Alexis Roderick are expecting their first child. Joel, also the father of budding musician Alexa Ray Joel from his first marriage to Christie Brinkley, has been dating Roderick since 2009. The statement from Joel's representative said the couple "opted to keep any further details of her pregnancy under wraps until their new addition makes an official debut." Joel is currently completing a month-to-month residency at Madison Square Garden in New York City, with his next show scheduled for May 28. - AP, 4/14/15...... Iconic musician-composer Quincy Jones participated in Loyola Marymount University's Hollywood Masters lecture series on Apr. 8, and told students that he "freaked out" when he learned of Michael Jackson's death in June 2009. Jones said he was in London and had just learned that two other stars had died -- Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon -- when he was told about Jackson. "I freaked out," he said. "You know, I couldn't believe it. No, it was heavy. Really heavy. Because, boy, the relationship with a producer and an artist is really special. And there's no room for BS at all. It's got to be pure." Jones, 79, also said he listened to 800 songs before choosing the ones for Jackson's 1982 pop masterpiece Thriller, and then recalled shooting the now-celebrated video for the title track in gang-infested territory. "Michael had no idea what we were doing there, man, with Thriller," he said. "You know, with Vincent Price there and Edgar Allan Poe narration, and stuff like that. There's crazy stuff on there. And people didn't get it until, I'd say, eight months later." The university's Hollywood Masters series, sponsored by its School of Film & TV, has also included Clint Eastwood, Sean Penn, Ethan Hawke and Ken Burns this season. It is scheduled to resume in the fall. - The Hollywood Reporter, 4/14/15...... Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has revealed he will bring a new stage musical to London in 2016. Byrne, who previously collaborated with Norman Cook on a musical about the life of former Philippines First Lady Emelda Marcos, says that he's "got another one." "The entire thing's written, and probably some songs will get rearranged or rewritten or whatever. So I'm talking to producers [in London] about bringing it here, I don't know, in a year or so or something like that," said Byrne, who is in London to curate the 2015 Meltdown Festival. Pressed on the subject of his latest musical, Byrne would only say that "it's about another woman, whose life is in the historical record." - New Musical Express, 4/15/15...... On the subject of musicals, the Kinks-inspired production "Sunny Afternoon" was the big winner at the Oliver Awards in London on Apr. 12. The show, written by Joe Penhall, picked up four awards, including Best New Musical, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Outstanding Achievement in Music. Stars John Dagleish and George Macguire, who play brothers Ray and Dave Davies, were awarded Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in the musical category respectively. Earlier in 2015, the Davies brothers revealed that they have put their animosity behind them and are beginning to work on new material. - NME, 4/13/15...... Speaking in Brighton, UK on Apr. 13, Queen guitarist Brian May urged his fellow citizens to vote "colourblind" at the General Election on May 7. "It's politics without colour. It's colour-blind politics. What we are saying is do not assume that your vote will be wasted, get up off your ass and vote," said May, who runs the Common Decency project and campaign. "I think this is a very crucial election. I think it's different to anyone that's been before because for the first time the internet is all-powerful. It's much harder for politicians to get away with the deceits that they used to get away with," he added. May is a staunch animal rights campaigner, having protested against the badger cull, as well as the Tories' attempts to bring back fox hunting. - NME, 4/14/15...... Meanwhile another animal rights advocate, Paul McCartney, has marked the opening of Canada's seal hunting season by urging officials to make this the last year of the annual cull. Sir Paul has written an open letter opposing Canada's bloodiest bloodsport. "Canada's brutal commercial seal hunt has begun, and once again thousands of baby seals will be shot and bludgeoned to make fur products that nobody wants or needs," wrote Paul, who joined activists at Humane Society International (HSI) on the ice in 2006 to protest the slaughter, and is doing it again this year. The European Union's trade ban on commercial seal hunt products has already helped save more than one million baby seals from a horrible fate, but we need to ensure the EU keeps this strong ban intact. That's why my friends at Humane Society International are once again setting out for the ice flows for the grim task of catching this horror on film," he added. He went on to say that "videos of the bloody seal slaughter provide the only vital evidence to demonstrate year after year that these seals are dying a horrible death for their fur" and said that he wishes them well and "hopes that this will be the last year that Canada's ice turns red." - WENN.com, 4/13/15...... Organizers of the Rewind 80's Festivals in the UK have announced that three festivals are scheduled for 2015: Rewind Scotland will return for its fifth year at Scone Palace, Perth on July 24-26 and feature headline performances from Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey and performances from Bananarama, Howard Jones, Kim Wilde, Sister Sledge, Nik Kershaw and Belinda Carlisle. Rewind North returns to the North of England at Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire from Aug. 7-9. Headline performances include Human League, plus appearances from The Boomtown Rats, Heather Small, The Sugarhill Gang and ABC. Rewind South at Temple Island Meadows, Henley-on-Thames returns for its seventh year on Aug. 21-23 with headliners OMD and Human League, plus 80s stars Billy Ocean, T'Pau, Midge Ure, Kim Wilde, Hot Chocolate, Belinda Carlisle, Dave Edmunds and Slim Jim Phantom from The Stray Cats. Tickets for all three festivals are on sale now via the official website rewindfestival.com. - Noble PR, 4/14/15...... Dave Ball, a former member of Procul Harum, died on Apr. 1 in Australia after a battle with bowel cancer. He was 65. Ball joined Procul Harum, best known for the song "A Whiter Shade of Pale," in 1971, and played on one of its most successful tracks -- "Conquistador." He left the band in 1972 to join the army and left the world of rock and roll behind him. He later took on jobs in banking and computer software before, in 2000, he decided to return to his passion of making music and writing. After living around the world, he returned to the UK in 2010 and continued to write and sing. He continued to play music live but it was in 2012 when he noticed that he might be ill. Procul Harum frontman Gary Brooker said he was sad to hear that Ball had "moved on": "As a Procolite he made a great contribution during the early 70s and the band today, with the Geoffs, Matt, Josh and Chris, have spent happy days with him whenever and wherever he came to see us, which was often."...... Soul singer Percy Sledge, whose signature song "When a Man Loves a Woman" became a No. 1 smash in 1966, died on the morning of Apr. 14 in his Baton Rouge, La. home after a long battle with cancer. He was 74. During the mid-sixties, Sledge worked as a hospital nurse while touring to get his music career off the ground. "When a Man Loves a Woman," his first song recorded under contract, was co-written by Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright, his bandmates in a group called The Esquires Combo. It was the only song the duo wrote together, and the first Muscle Shoals single to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It went on to feature in films such as The Rose (when it was covered by Bette Midler), The Big Chill and The Crying Game. In 1987 it was used in a Levi's ad in England and again hit the charts there, rising to No. 2, and a cover by Michael Bolton topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the US in 1991. While Sledge's chart success stalled in the '70s, he continued to successfully tour the world and experienced a late career reappraisal when new generations discovered "When a Man Loves a Woman." The Alabama-born Sledge had been diagnosed with liver cancer in 2014. Steve Green from talent agency Artists International Management Inc. paid tribute to his client in a comment given to the BBC: "He was one of my first acts, he was a terrific person and you don't find that in this business very often... He was truly a standout." Sledge, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, is survived by his wife and children. - Billboard/Sky News/NME, 4/14/15...... Keith McCormack, who co-wrote the 1963 No. 1 hit "Sugar Shack," died on Apr. 10 in Springfield, Mo. He was 74. Raised in Plainview, Tex., McCormack and his childhood friend Aubrey deCordova were the founding members of The String-A-Longs, who had a No. 2 hit with "Wheels." After his composition "Sugar Shack," which he co-wrote with his aunt Faye Voss, was recorded by Jimmy Gilmer and The Fireballs, the song sold over one million copies in the US in 1963, spending nearly a month at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart. McCormack stayed with music for many years to come, but also pursued many other interests in his life, including becoming a pilot and aviation instructor. McCormack also had just finished writing a fiction book, which was being edited to be published. - MyPlainvew.com, 4/13/15...... Bill Arhos, known as the "father of the Austin City Limits TV program," passed away on Apr. 11 in Austin, Tex. He was 80. Mr. Arhos worked for nearly 40 years as an executive at the Austin PBS station KLRU TV, beginning in 1961 with the station's launch and including a run from 1986 until his retirement in 1999 as president and general manager. He was executive producer of Austin City Limits from its start in 1974 up through 1999. He also served on the boards of PBS and the Country Music Association. - Billboard, 4/14/15.