Aerosmith has squashed a rumor that they're open to performing with a new frontman that began when guitarist Brad Whitford was recently asked by a heavy metal fansite if the band would ever consider going "the AC/DC route" and tour with another vocalist besides Steven Tyler. In a statement released on May 20, the band said that "there's absolutely no truth to a story circulating that Aerosmith is looking for a new singer" and according to guitarist Joe Perry, "All five of us were just on the phone together talking about how excited we are to go to South America and Mexico City." Whitford had told Metal-Rules.com that "absolutely, we have considered it, but whether it will happen I don't know. I think it would be great," after previously saying in Nov. 2015 that the band felt a bit "abandoned" by Tyler's solo plans, which include recording a country-influenced solo album in Nashville. Aerosmith kicks off their South American tour in Bogota, Colombia, on Sept. 29, and winds it up Oct. 27 in Mexico City. - Billboard, 5/20/16...... On May 19, Frank Zappa's son Dweezil Zappa issued a multi-thousand-word rebuttal to his brother Ahmet Zappa's recent open letter to him on Facebook. In what he characterized as "a tedious undertaking," Dweezil countered Ahmet's assertions that he was uncommunicative and intransigent and that he created a false impression of the family's disagreements by giving an "incomplete, misleading story" to The New York Times, in an article published in April that quoted both brothers. The Zappa siblings -- Dweezil, Ahmet, Moon Zappa and Diva Zappa (but particularly Ahmet and Dweezil, who recorded two albums together) -- have been battling each other over the rights to Frank's vast catalog of songs since their mother, Gail Zappa, died in 2015. After Gail died in October, control of the trust passed to the two youngest Zappa siblings, Ahmet and Diva, who serve as the estate's trustees. Dweezil and Moon remain beneficiaries of the estate. Dweezil has complained that "although my father was Frank Zappa, I am not allowed to use the name on its own." Ahmet has countered that he "isn't standing in the way of Dweezil playing the music... He would just have to be in accordance with the family trust." - Billboard, 5/19/16...... The Rolling Stones have announced they're hooking up with St. Tropez-based men's swimwear manufacturer Vilebrequin for a collection of men's trunks to go on sale in June. Using a slew of images from the band's iconic discography -- created by artists including Andy Warhol, Robert Frank and David Bailey -- the swimwear includes the signature Moorea ($280), flat-waisted Merise ($295), and black T-shirt ($135) with the band's iconic tongue and lips logo. "The Rolling Stones' style has always been colorful, unconventional and fresh, all with an allure that is very inspiring for us," says Vilebrequin CEO Roland Herlory. - Billboard, 5/20/16...... Joe Jackson, the 87-year-old father of Michael Jackson and his siblings, was hospitalized on May 13 after becoming weak during a routine checkup with his doctor, but son Jermaine Jackson says his dad is doing much better now. "He's just tired, -- he's 87 -- and we're just trying to hold onto him as long as we can... My father's very strong. He's up there telling jokes. He's doing fine." - TMZ.com, 5/18/16...... A new Iggy Pop and the Stooges documentary titled Gimme Danger premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in France on May 19. Named after a song from one of Iggy and the Stooges most iconic albums, Raw Power, the documentary is being presented as part of Cannes' Midnight Screening series, meaning it's not in competition with other films. Speaking at a press conference, Pop admitted he "was on acid in more than several of the clips in the movie when I was young" but urged others to "just drop that s---." "For me, the best is a very good wine, but weed is OK for most people," he added. Gimme Danger, featuring never-before-seen footage and photographs, is directed by Jim Jarmusch, who has previously described it as "a love letter to possibly the greatest band in rock'n'roll history" more than a documentary. - New Musical Express, 5/19/16...... As his One on One Tour hit La Plata Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina on May 17, Paul McCartney fulfilled an unusual wish from a young female fan -- to play bass with him onstage. "This could be interesting... I didn't see this coming," Sir Paul told young 10-year-old Leila as his stagehands handed her a guitar. They then performed an impromptu duet of the Beatles' 1969 single "Get Back." "10-year-old Leila has wish granted, playing bass with Paul onstage in Buenos Aires #OneOnOne pic.twitter.com/4v2ymUgshY," a post on McCartney's Twitter account read on May 18. - Billboard, 5/18/16...... In other Beatles-related news, British Prime Minister David Cameron has been ridiculed after he appeared to recreate the Fab Four's iconic Abbey Road cover during a recent trip to the famous Abbey Road Studios in London. PM Cameron walked over the famous zebra crossing on May 20 with Labour MP Tessa Jowell before attending a meeting to discuss the cultural benefits of Britain staying in the European Union. But after posting a pic of the incident on Twitter with the caption "At Abbey Road with @TessaJowell as Remain campaigners and creative industries Come Together to say we're #StrongerIn," several Brits responded harshly. "What a prat. Beatles made that iconic and you just ruined it. Lennon and Harrison will be turning in their graves," one user replied, while another called him "an embarrassment to your office, your party, and your country." Cameron attended Abbey Road to meet famous members of the Creative Industries Federation -- including The Wire star Dominic West. "When it comes to creativity, British talent and expertise has made this country the envy of the world," he told those in attendance. "The results of Creative Industries Federation's survey are clear: we are better off in a reformed European Union than out on our own. To leave would be a leap in the dark," he added. - New Musical Express, 5/21/16...... Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has announced plans to turn the 15th century story of Joan of Arc's life into an off-Broadway musical. Posting on his official website, Byrne said: "Everyone certainly knows how it ends, which I like. Why has this story endured over centuries and been made into so many plays and movies? Because it's about someone -- a nobody, a teenage girl -- who inspired others to act, to overthrow their oppressors and take charge of their lives." Byrne says he's already written the music for the show, which is yet to be given an official title, and it's set to premiere in the spring of 2017 at New York City's Public Theater. Byrne previously produced the 2013 musical "Here Lives Love," a stage adaptation of an album he did with Fatboy Slim. - Billboard, 5/20/16...... On May 17, an attorney for the plaintiff in the upcoming "Stairway to Heaven" trial -- in which Led Zeppelin principals Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will be defending themselves for allegedly ripping off the 1968 Randy California of Spirit instrumental "Taurus" to create their iconic 1971 rock anthem -- brought a motion to compel the two musicians to attend the trial with the penalty for a no-show being a default and the jury being instructed to draw a negative inference from their failure to appear. According to the attorney, Francis Malofiy, Page and Plant's "refusal to specify if they will appear is causing havoc." In an email to Malofiy sent on May 6, lawyers representing Page and Plant wrote, "We have previously made it clear that Messrs. Page and Plant will attend the trial, but with them coming from England we cannot guarantee the day they will arrive." Malofiy has responded with claims the two "want to dictate the court's schedule, completely disregarding the difficulties in presenting multiple fact and expert witnesses in a narrow band of time of approximately six hours. The lack of common courtesy from defense counsel is, frankly, astonishing." At the trial, set for June 14, Malofiy will have 10 hours to mount a case that Led Zeppelin committed copyright infringement. Malofiy is also seeking an order that affirms he's entitled to use deposition testimony by Page and Plant over a potential objection. - Billboard, 5/18/16...... Three of ambient music pioneer Brian Eno's recent albums -- Drums Between the Bells (2011), Panic of Looking (2012) and LUX (2012) -- have been made available on all major streaming services for the first time, his record label announced on May 18. Eno's latest studio album, The Ship, was released on Apr. 29 and is his first ambient album to feature his voice. Eno has described the album as a "musical novel" loosely inspired by the story of the Titanic and World War I. The album ends with a cover of the Velvet Underground's "I'm Set Free." - Billboard, 5/19/16...... A remastered collection of 16 of Lou Reed's albums the late musician recorded for RCA Records and the RCA-distributed label Arista is due Oct. 7 in the U.S. Lou Reed - The RCA & Arista Album Collection includes the 14 studio albums Reed recorded for RCA and Arista between 1972 and 1986, from his self-titled album to 1986's Mistrial. It also includes the live albums Rock N Roll Animal and Lou Reed Live: Take No Prisoners. Reed had remastered the albums in the months before his October 2013 death after suffering from liver disease. Laurie Anderson, Reed's widow, will curate a tribute concert to her late husband, named "The Bells" after one of Reed's songs, on July 30 at New York's Lincoln Center. Live music, screenings of films related to the musician, lyric readings by artists and actors and an all-day broadcast of his music will be featured. - NME, 5/17/16...... An op-ed written by Barbra Streisand and Ronald Perelman for the Capitol Hill newsletter The Hill urges the U.S. Senate to pass a measure ensuring sex and gender equality in medical research. Streisand and Perelman argue that because sex is a biological variable that makes a difference in a number of deadly diseases (including lung cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's), now is the time to bring equity to medical research. "Women's bodies are different than men's, which can result in health differences," the pair write. "Yet for too long, women have been absent from or overlooked in clinical studies." Streisand and Perelman are also the co-founders of the Women's Heart Alliance. Also in The Hill, Elton John has taken North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to task for signing a bill that limits anti-discrimination policies for LGBT people. John wrote that the law is discriminatory and the state is wasting millions of dollars to defend it, and added what's worse is "Gov. McCrory signed the bill after saying he had never met a transgender person." Although McCrory took that statement back, John says he sent the clear message that the experiences of transgender people have no place in a debate about their rights. McCrory did not immediately respond to a request for comment. - Billboard/AP, 5/18/16...... Although AC/DC singer Brian Johnson has recently retired from fronting the famous hard rock band amid fears of a permanent hearing loss, he isn't completely inactive now. Johnson has contributed vocals to a track titled "Mr. Rock N' Roll" on the forthcoming LP from Saturday Night Live comedian Jim Breuer, Songs From the Garage. "To me, Brian is the most powerful voice in rock & roll," Breuer told Rolling Stone. "He is also the funniest and most generous man I have ever known. I am still in awe of how he recorded the song and forever thankful." Bruer's album is due out on May 27. - NME, 5/17/16...... Guy Clark, a legend in the Nashville country music songwriting scene, died in Nashville on May 17 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 74. Clark is credited as mentoring a number of country singers through several decades, and his songs were covered by the likes of Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris and others. His final album, My Favorite Picture of You, was released in 2013. It was inspired by a photograph of his late wife and fellow musician Susanna, who died of cancer in 2012. - NME, 5/18/16...... Legendary 60 Minutes correspondent Morely Safer, an Emmy-winning newsman who was one of the first reporters to convey the brutality of the Vietnam War to America's TV viewers, died on May 18. He was 84. Born in Toronto, Mr. Safer began his career as a newspaper reporter in Canada and England. He moved into broadcast journalism as a producer and correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. He first became a correspondent for CBS News in 1964, based in the London bureau. In 1965, he opened the CBS News bureau in Saigon, serving two tours in the Vietnam war. In 1967, he became CBS News' London bureau chief, covering Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He also returned to Vietnam to provide continuing coverage of the war. The airing of one of his reports on the CBS News with Walter Cronkite in which he accompanyied U.S. Marines on a military action into a complex of villages called Cam Ne was one of the first to document the unsettling details of Vietnam for U.S. audiences, marking a turning point in public opinion of the war. Mr. Safer was called a communist for undermining the war effort, and Pres. Lyndon Johnson's administration attempted to discredit him and the network. Mr. Safer joined 60 Minutes as a correspondent in Dec. 1970, following in the footsteps of Harry Reasoner. He remained with the program for the rest of his career, more than 40 years. Later in his career, Mr. Safer also appeared on TV shows and in films about journalism, playing himself on a 2003 episode of Murphy Brown, and in the 1990s, he provided narration to documentaries on PBS, including episodes of The American Experience and American Masters. Mr. Safer won his first News and Documentary Emmy in 1979 for "Teddy Kollek's Jerusalem," a profile of the mayor of Jerusalem. Mr. Safer, the 12-time winner of News and Documentary Emmys, including a lifetime achievement award in 2003, had announced his retirement just the previous week. He is survived by his wife, the former Jane Fearer, and a daughter. - AP, 5/19/16...... Actor Alan Young, who gamely played straight man to a talking horse for five years in the classic '60s sitcom Mr. Ed, died on May 19 at the Motion Picture and Television Home in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 96. On the series, which ran from 1961-66 on CBS, Mr. Young played architect Wilbur Post, who was married to Carol (played by Connie Hines, who died in 2009) and kept a horse, Mr. Ed, in their suburban stable. Mr. Ed, voiced by Allan "Rocky" Lane, would speak only to Wilbur, but given Mr. Ed's rather outlandish personality and the superbly mild affect of Young's Wilbur, just who owned whom could occasionally be a matter of debate. Mr. Young also voiced Scrooge McDuck and numerous other animated characters, as well as guesting on dozens of TV shows. - Variety, 5/19/16.
Neil Young has released a 28-minute long version of "Love and Only Love," a song that will be featured on his upcoming live album EARTH. Originalliy appearing on his 1990 LP Ragged Glory, the new version is only being made available via the Tidal.com website, an interesting move from Young, who has previously released his entire back catalog on his competing streaming service Pono.com. EARTH is set to drop on June 17, and will also be available for streaming on Pono.com. - New Musical Express, 5/13/16...... The 1982 Fleetwood Mac album Mirage will be reissued as a deluxe expanded edition on July 19, the band announced on May 13. Outtakes, rarities, and live performances, including early versions of several album tracks, will be featured on the release, as will a previously unreleased cover of Fats Domino's "Blue Monday." Exclusive to the deluxe edition is a third DVD disc that has more than a dozen live performances recorded in Los Angeles during Fleetwood Mac s 1982 U.S. tour. - NME, 5/13/16...... Eric Clapton says his new album, I Still Do, was initially conceived "as an homage to a family member, an old auntie who passed away a couple of years ago." "She used to say that she (had) liked me as a little boy, 'and I still do.' But that ended up just being the title," says Clapton, who at age 71 admits that "a lot of pals around my age seem to be kicking off." Reflecting on the recent deaths of such rock stars as Glenn Frey, Maurice White, Paul Kantner and his fellow British legend, David Bowie, Clapton revealed he didn't know Bowie well -- "I only met him a few times, and we never worked together." Clapton says his version of the wistful standard "I'll Be Seeing You" on I Still Do was recorded to "say goodbye to all these people." The album has Clapton reuniting with renowed producer Glyn Johns, who teamed with him on the 1977 classic Slowhand. Clapton reunited with Johns -- also noted for his work with the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and the Who -- when they "met up a couple of years ago and realized that all this time had gone by," Clapton recalls. "We were having dinner and I said, 'We should do something again.'" For his part, Glyn Johns says, "my principle was to capture him playing (guitar) live as much as possible. Eric is probably the most inspirational player I've worked with. He's a very emotive player -- it goes straight from his heart to his fingers. His brain doesn't get in the way. And he's playing and singing as well as he ever did. In my view, actually, he's really developed as a singer." Clapton, who doesn't tour much these days, said he has had "some health issues going on in this year, some trouble with my hands and back," but he tries to stay fit, "to get away from sugar and wheat and preservatives. ...I suppose the way it works for me is that I try to keep my side of the street as clean as possible. I have a will, I stay current. And I try to pay a little attention to the legacy I'm leaving, you know?" - USA Today, 5/15/16...... Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone of the legendary '60s British Invasion band the Zombies performed an intimate show at New York City's Rough Trade venue on May 12. Best known for such hits as "Tell Her No," "She's Not There" and "Time of the Season," the latter from their acclaimed 1968 album Odessey And Oracle, the Zombies performed a tidy 30-minute set featuring their trademark electric pianos and harmonies. Argent and Blunstone also made room for a pair of recent cuts, "Edge Of The Rainbow" and "Moving On," both of which appeared on their 2015 album Still Got That Hunger. - Billboard, 5/12/16...... Thousands of CD and vinyl copies of the indie rock band Car Seat Headrest's new album Teens of Denial have been recalled after an unauthorized sample of the Ric Ocasek-penned the Cars song "Just What I Needed." According to a statement issued by the label, Matador Records, a license for the song in question, "Just What I Wanted/Not Just What I Needed," had been negotiated "in good faith months ago, only to be told last week that the publisher involved was not authorized to complete the license in the United States, and that Ric Ocasek preferred that his work not be included in the song." Ocasek, who has also served as a record producer and worked in major label A&R teams, has yet to comment on the matter. An updated version of the song has been cut to replace the original, and is now called "Not What I Needed," and physical copies of the album will be available in July. - Billboard, 5/13/16...... An actor who is set to appear in the 2017 Showtime reboot of the famous David Lynch-directed TV series Twin Peaks says that David Bowie was slated to appear in the new Twin Peaks before his untimely Jan. 2016 death. Henry Goaz, who will appear as Deputy Andy Brennan in the new show, says Bowie was set to make a cameo as Agent Phillip Jeffries, who he portrayed in the 1992 Twin Peaks film spinoff Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. An air date for the reboot, which will feature a massive cast of 217 actors including original stars Kyle MacLachlan and Sherilynn Fenn, has not been announced. - Billboard, 5/13/16...... In other Bowie news, the late singer's son, filmmaker Duncan Jones, said on May 11 that his late father influenced his film work. "My dad was obviously prolific in music, but he also acted and I think I had the most fun when we were on film sets... I think I got the (directing) bug back then," said Jones, who is best known for his films Moon and Source Code. "Because the musical gene did not express itself in the way one might have hoped, my main hobby with my dad was shooting little one-stop animations and I just always carried that interest in film," added Jones, whose latest directorial project is Warcraft, a cinematic adaptation of video game franchise World Of Warcraft. Warcraft stars Travis Fimmel and Dominic Cooper and is set to open on June 3 in the UK and on June 10 in North America. - New Musical Express, 5/13/16...... The final recording by late country music great Merle Haggard, "Kern River Blues," premiered on Willie Nelson's SiriusXM's Willie's Roadhouse channel, and was later made available to download on merlehaggard.com/music.html and iTunes. Penned by Haggard and featuring his son Ben Haggard on electric guitar, "Kern River Blues" is about the singer's memories of leaving Bakersfield in the late '70s, according to a post on Haggard's website. The track was recorded Feb. 9 at the singer's Hag Studios as he was battling with the pneumonia that would ultimately take his life on Apr. 6 at the age of 79. Haggard's family say they decided to release the song as a way of thanking everyone" for their "tremendous outpouring of love and prayers" for the artist, and that 10% of all gross proceeds from its sale will be donated to homeless charities. - Billboard, 5/12/16...... Alice Cooper has announced that he and the surviving members of the original Alice Cooper band -- guitarist Michael Bruce, bassist Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neal Smith -- are working together again on new music for the shock rocker's next album. "Neal Smith and Mike Bruce and I wrote five songs in Phoenix," Cooper said on May 11. "Dennis wrote four or five songs in Connecticut. You never know what's going to make it on an album, but I think we've got a lot of stuff that has a good chance of being there." Members of Cooper's current band are also contributing songs for the set, which has led to a welcome plethora of material. "I don't care where a song comes from; If it fits the idea, what the album's going to be, then we go with it," Cooper says. "We'll see which ones make the album." Cooper and his band formed in Phoenix in the mid-'60s and recorded seven albums together, starting out with Frank Zappa's Straight Records label, then moving to Warner Bros. for a string of hit albums and singles. The group broke up acrimoniously after 1973's Muscle of Love, with Bruce, Dunaway and Smith going on to form the short-lived Billion Dollar Babies band. Cooper, who is currently touring with his own band as well as with his side project the Hollywood Vampires, says there's no timetable when his next album will come out. - Billboard, 5/12/16...... The Rolling Stones have commented on the upcoming three-day Desert Trip concert extravaganza, which is set for Oct. 7-9 at the site of the Coachella festival in Indio, Calif., and will feature such acts as the Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and the Who. On the Friday night, it's going to be us and Bob Dylan, so there will be masses of musicians, actually masses of guests of all the musicians, and it's a fun time for everyone," Mick Jagger told Rolling Stone magazine on May 12. "How many trips can you take to the desert, man? The line-up is just amazing," added Keith Richards. "I can't believe we're all going to be stuck in this little town together. I mean, never have we ever all in the same place at the same time." Richards continued to say that he would love to work with Dylan: "I'd work with Bob any[where]. I'd work with Bob in hell or heaven. I love him." The pricey tickets for the festival, which is aimed at an older, more affluent audience, went on sale on May 11, and reportedly sold out in just three hours. 70,000 three-day tickets for each of the festival's two weekends are believed to have been sold, 140,000 tickets in total, although the promoters have yet to confirm the reports. - NME, 5/13/16...... In other festival news, Ozzy Osbourne and the band Slipknot are joining forces for a festival set for Sept. 24 and 25 at the San Manuel Amphitheater and Festival Grounds in San Bernardino, Calif. "Ozzfest Meets Knotfest" will feature more than 40 acts, with Ozzy's Black Sabbath headlining the Sept. 24 show, their last ever show in California. "We are here to create havoc and history. Let the madness begin," Osbourne said during a press conference in Hollywood on May 11. - NME, 5/12/16...... Barbra Streisand's longtime manager Marty Erlichman announced on May 16 that the legendary diva will embark on a 9 city North American tour in late summer behind her forthcoming studio album, Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway. Streisand, who hasn't toured since her 2012 "Back To Brooklyn" jaunt, launches the tour on Aug. 2 at L.A.'s Staples Center, followed by dates in San Jose (8/4), Las Vegas (8/6), Chicago (8/9), her hometown of Brooklyn (8/11, 13), Boston (8/16), Washington, D.C. (8/18) and Philadelphia (8/20) before wrapping in Toronto on Aug. 23. Streisand's 35th studio album, Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway sees the singer pairing with some of Hollywood's biggest stars to sing Broadway classics. The LP will be released after the tour is completed, but before the end of 2016, and those who purchase tickets online will receive a free CD copy of the album. Her last album, 2014's Partners, was another duets LP that rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. - Billboard, 5/16/16...... Journey has filed a lawsuit against the electronics company Monster Products after the company realized it couldn't pay Journey's $500,000 fee to perform at a company gathering. According to their attorney Howard King, Journey was booked in Oct. 2015 and cancelled only a month later once the company realised they couldn't afford to pay their hefty fee. Journey is suing the company to get their fee, as well as pre-judgment interest and the costs of the lawsuit. - New Musical Express, 5/15/16...... The alternative rock band Train, best known for their hit "Drops of Jupiter," has announced plans to cover Led Zeppelin's 1969 album Led Zeppelin II in its entirety for their next LP release. "They are so hard to record, especially when you are trying to get as close a version as you can to the original," says Train's Pat Monohan. "The mixes, the time that they put in, it's crazy how great they were as a band." - NME, 5/13/16...... Dionne Warwick told reporters at a Cannes Film Festival party on May 12 that Lady Gaga will be playing her "musical nemesis" Cilla Black in an upcoming biopic about Warwick titled Dionne. After Lady Gaga's film reps initially releaesed a statement saying that Gaga "is not attached and will not appear in this project," Warwick said it was "just a question of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing," and though Gaga's music reps knew about the deal, her film reps did not. Dionne is set to begin production later in 2016. - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/13/16...... The Fox TV network has announced it will produce a new drama based on the classic 1973 horror film The Exorcist. In the remake, two priests (Ben Daniels, Alfonso Herrera) try to solve a case of demonic possession. The series, which will air on Friday nights at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT in Fox's fall 2016 schedule, will also star Geena Davis. - USA Today, 5/16/16...... Tony Barrow, the longtime Beatles press officer who is credited with coining the term "Fab Four," died on May 14 at his home in Morecambe, England. He had turned 80 just three days prior. Mr. Barrow served as the Beatles' publicist during the legendary band's heyday, from 1962-1968, and worked with a string of Hall of Fame acts through his career. Mr. Barrow was born in the Liverpool suburb of Crosby in 1936, and joined the team at Decca Records as a teenager, writing liner notes for the label and contributing record reviews to the Liverpool Echo. In the early '60s, he was approaced by Beatles manager Brian Epstein to help lift the profile of the then-unsigned band. With Mr. Barrow's help, the band scored an audition for the Decca label, which famously passed on signing the future global superstars. But Brian Epstein recognized Mr. Barrow's talents and he hired the talented young writer away, reportedly with the offer of twice the salary he was earning with Decca. Mr. Barrow also wrote features for the fanzine Beatles Monthly, often using a pseudonym or attributed to members of the band, and he penned the liner notes for the first three Beatles albums. He also drew the cartoon featured in the sleeve notes for Magical Mystery Tour. After leaving the Beatles' employ in 1968 (a year after Epstein's death), Mr. Barrow established his own PR firm, where he worked with the likes of the Kinks, the Monkees and the Jackson Five. Mr. Barrow, who survived by his wife, Corrine, and their two sons, also authored a few books on his time with the Beatles, including Meet the Beatles and the memoir John, Paul, George, Ringo & Me - The Real Beatles Story. Posting on Twitter on May 15, Paul McCartney described Mr. Barrow as " a lovely guy who helped us in the early years of The Beatles. He was super professional, but always ready for a laugh... He will be missed but remembered by many of us." - Billboard, 5/15/16...... In other Beatles news, Paul McCartney and Elton John were among those paying their respects to late Beatles producer Sir George Martin at a memorial service in London on May 11. Over 600 mourners attended the service for Martin, dubbed the "fifth Beatle," at St. Martin In The Fields church in Trafalgar Square. McCartney delivered a eulogy praising Martin's impact on the Beatles' music, and James Bay and comedians Alexander Armstrong and Bernard Cribbins performed at the memorial. - New Musical Express, 5/12/16.