Posted by Administrator on Jan. 19th, 2016
The rock music world suffered its second major shock in a week when the Eagles confirmed on their official website on Jan. 18 that founding member Glenn Frey, who had been battling intestinal issues in the past year, had died in New York from a combination of illnesses including rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia. He was 67. "Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia," read the statement. "Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide," it continued. Born on Nov. 6, 1948, in Detroit, Frey was raised in nearby Royal Oak, Mich., and was exposed to both the Motown sounds and harder-edged rock of his hometown, including Bob Seger and his band. After playing in a succession of local bands in Detroit, Frey first connected with Seger when Frey's band, the Mushrooms, convinced Seger to write a song for them. Seger also invited Frey to sing backing vocals on Seger's first hit, 1968's "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man," which was also Frey's first recorded appearance. After relocatiing to Los Angeles with his then-girlfriend Joan Silwin, Frey was introduced to songwriter John David Souther by Silwin's sister, Alexandra. Before long, Frey, Souther and another aspiring songwriter, Jackson Browne were living as roommates in East L.A. and quickly became deeply involved in the burgeoning L.A. country-rock scene centered around the Troubadour nightclub. Frey and Souther, calling themselves Longbranch Pennywhistle, secured a recording contract with the short-lived indie label Amos Records in 1969, but soon split up. However 1971 would prove to be a fateful year when future country-rock superstar Linda Ronstadt hired Frey and his friend, drummer Don Henley to play in her backing band, on the advice of her boyfriend, Souther. Frey and Henley decided to form their own band on the night of their first show backing Ronstadt, and later recruited ex-Poco bassist Randy Meisner and former Flying Burrito Brothers guitarist Bernie Leadon to join them. Calling themselves the Eagles, they became one of the first artists signed to David Geffen's new label, Asylum Records. The Eagles became an instant success after releasing their eponymous debut album in 1972, with its lead track, "Take It Easy" (written mostly by Jackson Browne with some lyrics added by Frey), climbing to No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in June of that year. The Eagles then became the standard-bearers of the California soft-rock scene with a string of Top 40 mid-'70s hits including "Peaceful Easy Feeling," "Desperado," "Tequila Sunrise," "Best of My Love" (No. 1 March 1975) "Witchy Woman" the funkier "One of These Nights" (No. 1 August 1975) and the harder-edged "Already Gone." The Eagles added an additional guitarist, Don Felder, in 1974, and after Bernie Leadon left in 1975, recruited Joe Walsh, a successful solo artist himself, to beef up the band's sound and help them reach even greater heights in 1976 with the mega-selling Hotel California. Two singles from that LP, the title track and Frey's "New Kid in Town" (possibly his defining song), reached No. 1 on the Hot 200, and along with Fleetwood Mac's 1977 album Rumours, defined the late '70s California rock scene. With drugs, egos and success taking their toll, it would be three years before the Eagles released their next album, The Long Run, and while that album was a commercial success, the band succumbed to infighting and split in 1980. Frey embarked on a successful solo career, releasing his debut solo album No Fun Aloud in 1982, and enjoying a series of '80s hits, the biggest of which were tied to movie and TV soundtracks like Beverly Hills Cop ("The Heat Is On") and Miami Vice ("You Belong to the City"). Frey also began a side career in acting, and portrayed a drug-smuggling musician on Miami Vice named Jimmy Cole. In 1991, after solo hits by Frey and Don Henley began to dry up, the Eagles' manager Irving Azoff mastermined a reunion tour with a title, "Hell Freezes Over," that mocked the acrimony which caused the band to spllit up. The Eagles continued to tour periodically -- and lucratively -- over the past two decades, releasing just scattered new material (including a successful studio album called Long Road Out of Eden in 2012) and focusing on solo works. In 2007, Frey released his first solo album since the 1990s, a collection of pop standards called After Hours. Although the Eagles were reviled by some as much as they were revered during their heyday, the enduring quality of their hits or the freshness of their sound cannot be denied, and for many years the group's 1976 collection Their Greatest Hits 1971-75 regularly swapped places with Michael Jackson's Thriller as the top the top-selling album of all time, being certified a whopping 29 times platinum by the RIAA. Similarly, Hotel California is certified 16 times platinum. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Frey had been battling intestinal issues that caused the band to postpone its Kennedy Center Honors in 2015. A statement from the band said then the recurring problem would require "major surgery and a lengthy recovery period." Don Henley issued a statement calling Frey "like a brother to me" and while there was some dysfunction, "the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved... I'm not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet. It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life. Rest in peace, my brother. You did what you set out to do, and then some." - Billboard, 1/18/16.
A concert by Holy Holy, a band formed by David Bowie's longtime producer Tony Visconti and Bowie's one-time drummer Woody Woodmansey that had been booked at Toronto's Opera House since December, took new meaning on Jan. 12 after the passing of the 69-year-old rock legend on Jan. 10. Holy Holy, named after an obscure 1971 Bowie single and originally brought together to perform Bowie's 1970 album The Man Who Sold the World in its entirety on tour, performed not only that album but also classics from Bowie's Ziggy Stardust era. "We have David's total approval on this tour," Visconti told the audience. "He saw the videos; he heard the music; and he's so happy you're doing this and I want you to know too, so we're going to celebrate the life of David Bowie." Visconti, who appeared tearful at times, added: "The reason why we're doing this is about 46 years ago Woody and I were the original musicians who played this album, so technically we're not a tribute band; we are the real deal." The band closed out the two-hour concert with "Time" and "Suffragette City," with the crowd throwing red roses onstage. Meanwhile, Bowie's family posted a new message on Bowie's official Facebook page on Jan. 14 thanking fans for their recent "love and support" following the music icon's passing, describing themselves as "overwhelmed and grateful," and announcing plans for a private funeral service. "Thank you. The family of David Bowie is currently making arrangements for a private ceremony celebrating the memory of their beloved husband, father and friend...We are overwhelmed by and grateful for the love and support shown throughout the world," the message read, and also requested that fans "respect their privacy at this most sensitive of times" and noted that while the concerts and tributes planned in honor of Bowie in the coming weeks are welcome, "none are official memorials organised or endorsed by the family." Two Bowie tributes -- in Berlin and New Orleans -- already occurred on Jan. 17, with a memorial service held at Berlin's Hansa Studios, where Bowie recorded most of his "Berlin trilogy" albums (Low, Lodgers, "Heroes"), and a parade in New Orleans led by the band Arcade Fire that brought traffic in the city to a standstill. Additionally, two rock music superstars -- Elton John and Bruce Springsteen -- have honored the Thin White Duke during concerts in the past week. John performed a special "piano requiem" as a tribute to Bowie during his concert at L.A.'s Wiltern Theater on on Jan. 13, weaving his own hit "Rocket Man" and Bowie's "Space Oddity," and Springsteen, performing in Pittsburgh on the opening night of his The River Tour, treated the crowd to a rousing rendition of Bowie's "Rebel Rebel" from Diamond Dogs. According to a report in the U.K. paper The Guardian, the singer has been privately cremated in New York without any friends and family present, as per his wishes. He wanted "to go without any fuss", a source told the paper. The executors of Bowie's will have revealed that his family stands to inherit his fortune, thanks to his "Bowie bonds" scheme devised by California-based banker David Pullman, which gave investors the rights to royalties for his first 25 albums for 10 years, before ownership returned to him and llowed him to buy back the rights to some of his most popular work from a former manager. "He was astute financially and he had the foresight to have things set up then that would look after his family," Pullman said on Jan. 13. As predicted, Bowie's 26th album Blackstar, which was released on Jan. 8, his 69th birthday, has debuted on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart, giving the music legend his first No. 1 album. Blackstar earned 181,000 equivalent album units in the U.S., during the week ending Jan. 14, according to Nielsen Music, of which 174,000 were in pure (complete) album sales. Bowie also has had nine albums from his catalog either re-enter or debut on the Billboard Hot 200 chart, with The Best of Bowie entering at No. 4 and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars at No. 21. Bowie's history on the chart dates back nearly 44 years, when Hunky Dory bowed on the chart dated April 15, 1972. Blackstar is additionally the first posthumous No. 1 Billboard album since Michael Jackson's This Is It soundtrack arrived atop the list dated Nov. 14, 2009. In the U.K., Bowie scored an astonishing 19 Top 100 albums on the Official Charts roundup, with 150,000 copies of Blackstar sold in the first week. Bowie's singles have also reentered the U.K. chart, with "Heroes" at No. 11, "Life On Mars" at No. 16, and eleven other Bowie singles charting on the U.K. Top 100. Bowie producer Tony Visconti has revealed that the artist was planning a follow-up to Blackstar, and reached out to him in the weeks prior to his death to discuss entering the studio. " I was thrilled," Visconti said, "and I thought, and he thought, that he'd have a few months, at least. Obviously, if he's excited about doing his next album, he must've thought he had a few more months. So the end must've been very rapid. I'm not privy to it. I don't know exactly, but he must've taken ill very quickly after that phone call." Visconti added he was first made aware of Bowie's illness a year ago when the performer showed up for a Blackstar session in New York with tell-tale signs of chemo treatment -- he had no eyebrows or hair on his head. In other developments, the SiriusXM satellite radio service brought back the David Bowie Channel on Jan. 12 in honor of the musician. "Since his death, many of our channels have been playing music from his legendary career. Now we'd like to present an entire channel devoted to his artistic genius and extraordinary musical longevity," SiriusXM president Scott Greenstein said in a statement. The station will run until Jan. 18 on SiriusXM's The Loft station, channel 30. Meanwhile, a lightning-bolt shaped constellation has been named after Bowie by Belgian astronomers. The constellation is constructed by seven stars fittingly in the direction of Mars, and shaped like the lightning bolt that cover's Bowie's face on his iconic 1973 Aladdin Sane album cover. Finally, one man in the U.K. has launched a petition to rename the planet Mars after Bowie. So far he has gained nearly 5,000 supporters, and in another petition that's gaining greater traction, more than 25,000 people have signed on to support a campaign to put Bowie on the upcoming £20 British banknote, replacing Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith, who has been on the bill since 2010. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 1/17/16...... Cher has donated thousands of bottles of water to residents of Flint, Mich., as the city struggles with a drinking water crisis linked to lead contamination. Cher has reportedly paid for more than 180,000 bottles of water to be shipped to Flint beginning on Jan. 17, calling the situation "a tragedy of staggering proportion and shocking that it's happening in the middle of our country." Flint's 100,000 residents haven't had safe water to drink and bathe in since 2014, when officials began drawing water from the Flint River as a cost-saving measure. However, the city did not treat corrosive water properly, which led to metal leaching from old pipes. - AP, 1/16/16...... Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer has announced he'll be opening up a new coffee shop in Nort Attleboro, Mass., just 40 miles outside of Boston, in April. Kramer says the 1,500 square-foot facility will serve up organic coffee and have a rock 'n' roll theme, with Kramer's drum kit and other Aerosmith memorabilia on display. Kramer has already put his name on a line of organic coffee, according to his business parter Frank Cimler, and they hope the business will be the first in string of coffeehouses with a "rock star edge." - AP, 1/16/16...... Actor Tim Curry, who played Dr. Frank N Furter in the original 1975 The Rocky Horror Picture Show cult classic, has signed on to appear in Fox's upcoming live, two-hour TV remake of the movie. This time around, Curry will portray the criminologist narrator in a cast that also includes Laverne Cox, Adam Lambert, Victoria Justice and Ryan McCartan. The Fox version is set to air in fall 2016. - Billboard, 1/15/16...... A soundtrack to accompany the new HBO series Vinyl, which premieres on the channel on Feb. 14, will be released by Atlantic and Warner Bros. Records on Feb. 12. Vinyl: Music From the HBO Original Series - Volume 1 will feature music in and inspired by the first episode, and two days prior to the finale of the series, a second physical and digital soundtrack will come out. Set in New York in the early '70s, Vinyl is executive-produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger and pivots around label head Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale), as he tries to save his record company. It also stars Olivia Wilde, Juno Temple, Ray Romano, Andrew Dice Clay and Jagger's son, James, who plays the lead singer of fictional band Nasty Bits. - Billboard, 1/15/16...... A one-night-only Neil Young film event, "An Evening with Neil Young," will take place in theaters across the U.S. on Feb. 29 featuring two Young films and feature a Q&A with Young hosted by director Cameron Crowe. The Young-starred, co-directed and co-written 1982 film Human Highway will be followed by Young's 1979 concert film, Rust Never Sleeps, and capped off with a live Q&A. - Billboard, 1/14/16...... Veteran soul singer Patti LaBelle, 71, has reportedly struck up a romance with the drummer in her band, Eric Seats, who is 30 years her junior. "She tried to keep it quiet," a source told the website Dailymail.com. "But everyone around her has figured things out now. She's completely smitten with him and they spend so much time together." The source claims LaBelle and the 41-year-old Seats first met years ago, when he was hired to be her drummer, and he helped "heal her broken heart" after the end of a previous relationship. Seats, an accomplished musician, has also toured with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige and Missy Elliot. - WENN.com, 1/13/16...... Pete Huttlinger, best known for being the lead guitarist in John Denver's band, died on Jan. 15 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville after suffering a stroke. He was 54. Huttlinger, the youngest son of a former White House correspondent named Joseph Bernard Huttlinger, graduated with honors from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and moved to Nashville to begin his musical career. Ten years later he connected with Denver after a producer heard him playing on a recording session. Huttlinger toured with Denver over the next four years and played on his various recordings. He would go on to tour with such artists as LeAnn Rimes and John Oates. As a solo artist, Huttlinger recorded more than 15 albums. - Billboard, 1/16/16...... Giorgio Gomelsky, best known as the first manager of the Rolling Stones, died on Jan. 13 after a battle with cancer. He was 82. The Soviet-born and Swiss-raised Mr. Gomelsky originally moved to England to be a filmmaker, but became in London's London's burgeoning blues scene led by Alexis Korner and the as yet little known Rolling Stones. He opened the Crawdaddy Club where the Stones were essentially the house band and began managing their career, but by May of 1963 he had been disloged by Andrew Loog Oldham as their manager. Mr. Gomelsky then shifted his attention to managing The Yardbirds and began booking them at the Crawdaddy, along with other British acts like Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll and Gong. Mr. Gomelsky moved to New York in 1978 and settled into a building on 24th St. in Chelsea that later was converted into an underground club know as the Green Door. - Billboard, 1/14/16...... Acclaimed British actor Alan Rickman, one of the best-loved and most warmly admired British actors of the past 30 years, died in London on Jan. 14 after a battle with cancer. He was 69. Rickman, who rose to fame in Hollywood as the sharp-tongued baddie Hans Gruber in the first Die Hard film, was much-loved on both sides of the Atlantic, later adding to his list of on-screen antagonists when he played the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Price of Thieves, for which he won a BAFTA, and finding a new generation of fans as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter series. Other memorable roles included playing Metatron -- the voice of God -- in Dogma, as a deceased over in Truly Madly Deeply, and as Col. Brandon in Sense and Sensibility. Although Rickman would never win an Oscar, he would add to his BAFTA win for Robin Hood with a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, both for his lead role in HBO's 1996 TV film Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny. Rickman is survived by his wife Rima Horton, who he met as a teenager and married in New York in 2012. - The Hollywood Reporter, 1/14/16...... Actor Dan Haggerty, best known as the lead character in the 1974 TV movie The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams and the subsequent series of the same name that ran in 1977-78, died at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Calif., on Jan. 15 after a bout with spinal cancer. He was 73. Born Nov. 19, 1942, in Los Angeles, Haggerty was the son of an entertainment industry veteran who as a young man got a job with a ranch in the San Fernando Valley that trained animals for movies. He became an animal handler, wrangling rabbits and frogs for various film productions, and was a stuntman on the side. The combination of skills led to his discovery as an actor, and a colleague on the set later tapped the bearded Haggerty for the role of the burly, amiable woodsman in the 1974 back-to-nature TV movie The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams and later the series of the same name. The family-programming hit premiered in 1977 and ran for 37 episodes and made Haggerty and his bushy beard famous. In 1985, a jury found Haggerty guilty of one count of selling cocaine to undercover officers who were part of an "entertainment industry task force" run by the LAPD at the time. Jurors threw out a second count, apparently because Haggerty had grown so genuinely fond of the two officers. A few months later, he suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident on Benedict Canyon Road. While still recovering, he was sentenced by a federal court for failure to pay taxes. He then marketed a Cajun barbecue sauce, tried his hand as a restaurateur and kept acting. He reprised his Grizzly Adams character in several TV movies and appeared on dozens of other shows, including Charlie's Angels, CHiPs and The Love Boat. Later productions romanticized motorbikes, nature and family -- and at least one starred a chimpanzee. Haggerty, who was preceded in death by his wife Samantha, is survived by daughters Megan and Tracy Haggerty, sons Dylan, Cody and Don, all of Los Angeles, and one grandson. - The Los Angeles Times, 1/15/16...... Jim Simpson, a Hall of Fame sportscaster who was best known for his work on AFL games for NBC when he was hired by fledgling ESPN in 1979, died on Jan. 13 after a short illness. He was 88. Mr. Simpson was ESPN's first play-by-play announcer, and called college football, college basketball, college baseball, the USFL, and the NBA. He also called the World Series, Olympics and Wimbledon for NBC, and did play by play for Super Bowl I for NBC Radio. - ESPN.com, 1/13/16.