The Rolling Stones are reportedly preparing to launch their own line of chocolate bars before the end of January. According to the U.K. paper The Daily Star's "Wired" column, a milk chocolate bar (called "Brown Sugar"') and a dark chocolate bar ("Cherry Red," inspired by the lyric "my favourite flavour, cherry red" from "You Can't Always Get What You Want") will both go on sale on the Stones' merch website beginning on Jan. 25. The paper also claims that each chocolate bar will cost £5.95, plus postage. In November, the Stones launched an online e-store to tie in with their flagship shop in London. - NME, 1/20/21...... Bob Dylan is being sued by the wife of his late former songwriting collaborator Jacque Levy after Levy's estate claim that they had not been sufficiently compensated for his songwriting credits, particularly for Dylan's 1976 No. 1 album Desire on which Levy is credited as co-writing most of the album's tracks. In December, Dylan sold his entire songwriting catalogue to Universal Music Group for $300 million (£225 million), however Levy's wife Claudia is now suing bith Dylan and Universal for $7.25 million (£5.25 million). According to documents submitted in Manhattan Supreme Court by the plaintiffs, the Levy estate claims it is entitled to 35% "of any and all income earned by the compositions" including "35% of the purchase price paid to the Dylan defendants." "The Dylan defendants have engaged in a civilly wrong pattern and history of intentionally and maliciously ignoring and disregarding plaintiff's rights, including those to income and any and all revenue generated by the compositions, including the subject buy-out of the catalogue sale," the suit claims. An attorney representing Dylan is denying the claims made by the Levy estate and described the suit as "a sad attempt to unfairly profit off of the recent catalogue sale." "The plaintiffs have been paid everything they are owed. We are confident that we will prevail. And when we do, we will hold plaintiffs and their counsel responsible for bringing this meritless case," says Dylan's lawyer, Orin Snyder. Levy -- whose publishing company Jackelope is listed as a co-plaintiff -- co-wrote seven of Desire's nine songs with Dylan, including "Hurricane," "Isis" and "Mozambique." He died in 2004, having worked as a songwriter, theatre director and clinical psychologist during his lifetime, and never held ownership of any of Desire's songs. Dylan seldom worked with other writers and Levy's co-writing on Desire is arguably his most famous songwriting collaboration. - New Musical Express, 1/21/21...... Bruce Springsteen was among the performers participating in a Jan. 20 Celebrating America TV special to honor Joe Biden's swearing in as the 46th President of the United States earlier in the day. Springsteen opened the event by playing his 1999 song "Land Of Hope and Dreams" in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. "I'm proud to be here in cold Washington D.C. tonight," Springsteen said ahead of his performance, which has been shared on YouTube. "I wanna offer this small prayer for our country." The Tom Hanks-hosted special was broadcast across five US TV networks and was streamed on YouTube, Amazon Prime, and several social media channels. Also performing during the broadcast were Foo Fighters, Jon Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, John Legend and Katy Perry, among others. Meanwhile, an official Joe Biden/Kamala Harris inauguration playlist has been released, an eclectic 46-song "America United" roster curated by D-Nice and Raedio. Available on Spotify and other major streaming services, it kicks off with "Lupitas Interlude" by Brooklyn rapper Kota the Friend and includes Bruce Springsteen's stirring "We Take Care of Our Own," Kendrick and Mary J Blige's "Now or Never," The O'Jays' "Give the People What They Want," Mac Miller's "Blue World," Marley's "Could You Be Loved," recently-deceased MC MF Doom's "Coffin Nails" and Led Zeppelin's "Fool in the Rain." - NME/Billboard, 1/21/21...... In related news, Stevie Wonder has called on the Biden administration to launch a commission on racial inequality. The Motown legend shone a light on Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 18, which Wonder helped champion during its passage, and reminiscesd about meeting Dr. King when he was 14 years old, hailing him a "true hero and inspiration." But in the four-minute video which has been shared on his Twitter account, the musician says that the "needle has not moved one iota" for racial equality. He tells an imagined King that "you would not believe the lack of progress; it makes me physically sick." Wonder continues: "I am sick that truth is struggling to be heard and defended. Those who promote lies and false truth must be held accountable. It is the only way we can move forward." The iconic musician then asks for the Biden-Harris administration to launch a formal investigation to "establish the truth of inequality in this country" and recommend conciliation. "Without truth, we cannot have accountability. Without accountability, we cannot have forgiveness. Without forgiveness, we cannot heal," he says. - NME, 1/18/21...... In one of the more wackier memes relating to the Joe Biden inauguration, a photo of unsuccessful 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been photoshopped into various album covers of famous rock stars including the Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, and Blondie's eponymous 1978 debut album. Sen. Sanders, who took the "very difficult" decision to suspend his presidential campaign last April, was among the limited crowd at the US Capitol as former Vice-President Biden was officially sworn in as the 46th President. Donning a coat, a pair of mittens and a protective face mask, a shivering Sanders soon became meme fodder across social media owing to his unimpressed demeanour. Set up and run by Tatiana Tenreyro, the @theberniealbums Instagram account has currently paused requests from fans but will resume taking suggestions on Jan. 22. - NME, 1/21/21...... Former Pres. Donald Trump has followed through on a previous pledge to build a "Garden of American Heroes" featuring 250 statues to be constructed honoring the likes of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Cash, Nat King Cole and Billie Holiday. In one of his final executive orders before leaving office on Jan. 20, Pres. Trump said that "The National Garden will be built to reflect the awesome splendour of our country's timeless exceptionalism," and also described the garden as "America's answer" to "reckless" vandalism of statues of American historical figures during widespread protests for racial equality in 2020. Bizarrely, Trump's list of American Heroes contains a number of non-Americans. Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman, British director Alfred Hitchcock, and Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, a Canadian, are all to have statues in the garden. Trump first announced plans for The National Garden during his ill-fated re-election campaign in the summer, and includes Frank Sinatra even though Sinatra's daughter Nancy Sinatra has said her late dad had "loathed" Donald Trump. Meanwhile, '70s disco stars The Village People have issued a statement after the outgoing president played their late '70s smash "Y.M.C.A." once again after giving his farewell speech at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on the morning of Jan. 20 ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration in Washington D.C. Speaking to TMZ, the Village People and their longtime member Victor Willis explained that they asked Trump "to cease and desist long ago" from using "Y.M.C.A." at his public appearances "However, since he's a bully, our request was ignored." "Thankfully he's now out of office, so it would seem his abusive use of our music has finally ended," the group said. "We hope to spearhead a change in copyright law that will give artists and publishers more control over who can and cannot use our music in the public space. Currently there is no limit to blanket licensing," they added. Following confirmation of Biden's win over Trump in November's presidential election, crowds of Biden supporters gathered outside The White House to celebrate by playing "Y.M.C.A." from speakers to mock the former president. - NME, 1/18/21...... "Tico the Parrot," a bird who has achieved viral Internet fame for singing along to its owner's renditions of classic songs by the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Guns N' Roses, Coldplay and U2, has achieved renewed fame after former NBA player Rex Chapman shared a clip of Tico singing along to Led Zepp's "Stairway to Heaven" with his 1.1 million followers on his Twitter account. While Tico doesn't sing any of the actual words of the songs it "covers," its ability to accurately replicate each track's vocal melody has earned the parrot and its owner, a guitar-playing Frank Maglio, a small slice of internet fame. Speaking to Kelly Clarkson on her talk show back in October, Maglio explained how he came across his pet's vocal talents. "One day I was playing guitar back in March, during the second week of lockdown," he said. "And Tico started screaming like he wanted attention, so instead of throwing the towel in, I grabbed my guitar... and sat down by him and started playing, and I was like, 'I think he's singing.'" - NME, 1/20/21...... Recently deceased producer Phil Spector's frequent collaborator Darlene Love has recalled warning the producer about his destructive behavior, telling him that "one of these days you're gonna hurt somebody." In a new interview with the London Times, Love spoke about Spector's legacy as both a producer and a murderer, asking: "Is he going to be remembered for that or will he be remembered for murdering Lana Clarkson? It is unimaginable to me that someone so talented could not see through life and kept on making the same mistake until it got worse and worse." Love, who worked with Spector in the early '60s on such hit singles as "He's A Rebel," "(Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry" and the Christmas classic "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," then spoke of the times she called Spector out on his behavior after he brandished a gun in a studio in 1965. Speaking of the incident, Love said: "[The musicians in the studio] shouted, 'Phil is waving a gun around. He's gone crazy'. I ain't gonna bother with that. I'm going home. Then I get a phone call from Phil. 'Oh, come on, Darl, the guns are gone. We've got business to take care of.' I told him, 'You know what, man? One of these days you're gonna hurt somebody.' He said he was just fooling around. 'Yeah, fooling around with guns. That's how people get shot.'" Meanwhile, Spector's four children are expected to be in line to receive shares of his estimated $50 million fortune following his death in prison from coronavirus on Jan. 16. Spector was father to three adopted sons -- Donte, and twins Gary and Lewis -- with second wife singer Ronnie Spector, who has claimed that Phil adopted Gary and Lewis without her knowledge and surprised her with them as a "Christmas present." The twins, now in their fifties, have since accused the legendary producer of abusing them, and Donte claims he would lock them in their rooms like "caged animals to be let out for dad's amusement." Ronnie Spector later had a twin son and a daughter with a woman called Janis Zavala. Their son Phillip Spector Jr. died of leukemia in 1991 and their daughter Nicole is a 34-year-old writer and freelance journalist. The whereabouts of his three adopted sons with Ronnie is unknown, while Nicole is a journalist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker and The Atlantic. Although Spector's net worth at the time of his death was estimated to be around $50million, experts say this figure will be higher depending on how much he owns of "one of the most valuable song royalty catalogues in the world." The royalties could be worth tens of millions of dollars a year because Spector still owned the rights or partial rights to hits including "River Deep Mountain High" -- recorded by Ike and Tina Turner in 1966. - NME/DailyMail.co.uk, 1/21/21...... The estate of late enigmatic English singer-songwriter Nick Drake has signed a new, global publishing deal with the U.K.-based Blue Raincoat Music Publishing, a joint venture between Blue Raincoat Music and Reservoir Media. Under the agreement announced on Jan. 18, Blue Raincoat Music Publishing will represent Drake's entire back catalogue of songs in conjunction with Reservoir, including the three albums he released on Island Records before his untimely death in 1974 at age 26: Five Leaves Left (1969), Bryter Layter (1971) and Pink Moon (1972). "There are very, very few song collections that have meant more to me over the years, and my sentiments are clearly widely shared both within and without the artistic community," Blue Raincoat Music CEO Jeremy Lascelles said. "It is no mean feat to have written songs that are era-defining but remain utterly timeless, but that is what Nick has left behind for us all." Upon his death due to an overdose of a prescribed antidepressant, Drake was relatively unknown in the music world. However, his work -- characterized by acoustic, guitar-based melodies and emotive lyrics -- spread posthumously, thanks in part to press, multiple documentaries about his life and a pivotal 1999 Volkswagen television ad which used his song "Pink Moon." Radiohead, R.E.M. and Beck are among many artists who have cited Drake's work as an artistic influence. - Billboard, 1/19/21...... The Who frontman Roger Daltrey has responded after his decision to sign an open letter to the U.K. government supporting visa-free travel for U.K. musicians has caused a stir online. Daltrey's letter calls on the U.K. to "urgently do what it said it would do and negotiate paperwork-free travel in Europe for British artists and their equipment" and argued that otherwise "many tours [will be] unviable, especially for young emerging musicians who are already struggling to keep their heads above water owing to the Covid ban on live music." Daltrey previously spoke out in support of Brexit and claimed that it wouldn't have any impact on music. Now, Daltrey has issued a response regarding his decision to sign his letter and lend his support to the visa-free touring campaign. "I have not changed my opinion on the EU. I'm glad to be free of Brussels, not Europe," he told NME in a statement. "I would have preferred reform, which was asked for by us before the referendum and was turned down by the then president of the EU." Elton John and Sting are also among the 110 musicians who have signed the open letter to the UK government. Meanwhile, Van Morrison is reportedly planning a legal challenge in response to Northern Ireland's ban on live music to fight the coronavirus. Morrison's lawyers have confirmed that the singer filed a pre-action protocol letter with Northern Ireland's Department of Health on Jan. 12. In it, he challenged regulations that prohibit live music in indoor licensed venues in Northern Ireland, which is in the midst of a six-week lockdown that began on Boxing Day. Hospitality and entertainment venues are currently closed. Rolling Stone is reporting that Morrison has given authorities 21 days to respond, and should the Department of Health not respond within that time frame, Morrison will "issue proceedings immediately to the High Court," his legal representatives said. - NME, 1/20/21...... Beatallica, the Beatles and Metallica mash-up band, is set to release their first album in eight years. The satirical four-piece group shared their first published record in 2007 with Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band, which was followed up by Masterful Mystery Tour (2009) and Abbey Load (2013). According to Blabbermouth.com, Beatallica will return with another full-length in 2021 having signed to Metal Assault Records. The label has also released the band's aforementioned first three albums via Bandcamp.com. On Jan. 19, an in-studio image was uploaded to Beatallica's official Instagram page. "Another creative and successful weekend in the books," its caption reads. "Continuing to write material for an album to be hopefully released later on this year!" Blabbermouth notes that Beatallica were embroiled in a dispute with Sony Music back in 2005 over the "unlawful use" of Metallica's music "without authorization or license." Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich subsequently helped the tribute act get back online after their website was shut down. - NME, 1/19/21...... David Bowie's ex-wife Angie Bowie has criticized the new Bowie biopic Stardust, calling it "a total waste of time." In a new interview with The Mirror Angie, who was married to David between 1970 and 1980, shared her dislike for the film and said "David would have never watched it." "It should be called the Ron Oberman Whingeing and Whining story," Angie said, adding: "It was boring. I didn't find it entertaining at all. It's more dreary than a one-star documentary. It was too neutral and bland and without the music, there is nothing." Commenting on the fact that Stardust doesn't feature any of the artist's music, she continued: "The only people who would watch it are people who are obsessed with celebrities. Bowie was a musician. And where was the music?" She also noted several inaccuracies in the film, including an argument between her and David when he returned to London after trying to make it in the US. "That's not how it was at all," she said. Our marriage wasn't at breaking point then. That came much later. I wasn't worried about anything, I was in an extremely good mood. I was having a fabulous time in London. I wasn't on call 24 hours a day. The character who plays me says that I wanted David and I to be king and queen but that's not true." - NME, 1/19/21...... Former Pink Floyd principal Roger Waters has shared a new studio version of the Pink Floyd track "The Gunner's Dream" on YouTube. Originally appearing on 1983's The Final Cut -- the final Pink Floyd album to feature Waters -- the new version was shared on Jan. 18 to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States. Accompanied by a black-and-white video, it opens with the ominous statement, "I had a dream" -- a phrase which is repeated throughout the almost six-minute clip. "If I ruled the world, I would heed the words of the wise," Waters said in a statement. "I would get rid of nuclear weapons first thing tomorrow morning. On Dr. King's name day. Of course no-one can rule the world. The world cannot be ruled. It can only be loved and respected and shared. If we're still here in the morning." - NME, 1/19/21...... Veteran pop songstress and recent Internet personality Dionne Warwick has just joined the popular social media platform TikTok. "Who knows what I'll create," the singer joked on Jan. 16 in a Twitter post announcing her TikTok membership. "I am told that the possibilities are endless." Warwick then revealed that she's been made aware of the viral "buss it" challenge on the platform, in which users record two videos of themselves, one in regular clothes and one dressed up. "I just asked my team what the 'buss it' challenge was," Warwick tweeted after she was asked to enter the challenge by her Twitter followers. "Why are you asking me to do that? Don't make me delete TikTok before I even start." Warwick has become notorious on Twitter in recent months due to her humorous comments on pop culture and a new generation of stars, including Chance The Rapper, Cardi B and Billie Eilish. - NME, 1/18/21...... Cher says she's mulling her first ever virtual concert, but fears she will never be able to narrow down her setlist for a potential virtual concert because she simply has "too many songs." "Was thinking of doing virtual Concert.. Some Of My favorites that were Never Hits & Some that were....only Problem ... BEEN SINGING 50+ YRS... TOO MANY SONGS (sic)," she posted on Twitter on Jan. 18. Cher may have been inspired to take the virtual plunge after participating in the "We The People" fundraising concert on Jan. 17, held to kick off the celebrations leading up to the Jan. 20 inauguration of Pres. Joe Biden. The 74-year-old singer recorded a video message hailing President-elect Biden, saying, "I'm so happy. I can't tell you how happy I am." - Music-News.com, 1/19/21...... Former That '70s Show star Danny Masterson has pleaded not guilty to charges of rape. Masterson was slapped with the criminal counts in June 2020, amid allegations suggesting he forced himself upon three women at his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003. Masterson has repeatedly denied the claims, and his attorney, Tom Mesereau, tried unsuccessfully to have the case dismissed in October, citing the statute of limitations. The actor was not required to attend his arraignment hearing in person on Jan. 20, and instead, Mesereau entered a not guilty plea on his client's behalf. The case, which has been repeatedly delayed since last summer, will now move on to pretrial motions on Mar. 24. If convicted, Masterson faces a maximum sentence of 45 years to life behind bars. The rape and sexual assault allegations against Masterson have been hanging over him for years, and the scandal prompted TV bosses to write his character out of Netflix comedy The Ranch in 2018. - WENN/Canoe.com, 1/20/21.
Thursday, January 21, 2021
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Legendary music producer Phil Spector, whose eccentric and revolutionary "Wall of Sound" production technique transformed rock music and who was later convicted of murdering aspiring actress Lana Clarkson inside his Los Angeles mansion, died on Jan. 16 at the California state prison where he was serving a 19-year to life sentence for murder. He was 81. Spector reportedly contracted Covid-19 in December, had been hospitalized but returned to prison in mid-January. On Jan. 16 he was readmitted to the hospital, where he died from complications of Covid. Born in Phillip Harvey Spector in The Bronx on Christmas Day 1940, Spector was taken by his widowed mother to Los Angeles at age 12. Learning the piano and guitar while in high school, Spector was influenced by the emergent R&B songwriting of writer/producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, and began hanging out during their L.A. studio sessions. Spector started his own career in 1958 when he formed a singing trio with Annette Bard and Marshall Lieb called The Teddy Bears, and the group enjoyed massive international success with his song "To Know Him Is To Love Him," the title coming from an inscription on his father's tombstone who had died in 1950. When The Teddy Bears failed to consolidate on their initial success, Spector turned to production first on the West Coast (under Duane Eddy's producer Lester Sills), then returning to New York to become an understudy of Leiber and Stoller at Atlantic Records. During this period Spector co-wrote the Ben E. King hit "Spanish Harlem" and played the guitar break on The Drifters' "Under the Boardwalk." His first self-produced New York hit was Ray Peterson's "Corinna, Corinna" in 1960, and other Spector-produced hits included Curtis Lee's "Pretty Little Angel Eyes" and Gene Pitney's "Every Breath I Take." Around this time he became known as a bizarre figure on Manhatten boulevards with his long flowing hair, black cloak and wraparound dark glasses, however New York apparently became too overpowering for him and he returned to L.A. to form his own label Philles Records with Lester Sill. His first signing was The Crystals, who he found in New York and intended to groom as his own version of the city's then topselling girl group, The Shirelles ("Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?"). The Crystals' first hit was a song Spector had co-written, "There's No Other (Like My Baby)," an international hit in Oct. 1961 and gave the first hints of his "Wall of Sound" production techniques he later employed. Assuming full ownership of Phillies Records in 1962, Spector recorded The Crystals' second smash single, the stunningly innovative teen anthem "He's a Rebel," using studio support from the likes of Leon Russell and Sonny Bono. Also present was Jack Nitzsche, who became the regular Phillies arranger and later became a member of Neil Young's Crazy Horse. Spector then signed another New York girl group, The Ronettes who included two sisters, one of them being Veronica "Ronnie" Bennett whom Spector later married. The Ronettes' first hit was the Spector/Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry composition "Be My Baby," and later hits included "Baby I Love You" and "The Best Part of Breakin' Up." Meanwhile The Crystals continued to burn up the charts with such pop classics as "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me," and other successful acts signed and prodced by Spector included Bob B. Soxx and The Blue Jeans and Darlene Love, helping "The Tycoon of Teen" as he became known to become a millionaire by age 21. In 1963, Spector signed The Righteous Brothers and produced what many have hailed as the ultimate pop record, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," the zenith of his "Wall of Sound" technique that became an international hit in January 1965. The following year Spector pulled off a comparable production classic for Ike and Tina Turner, "River Deep, Mountain High," however this time the American public failed to accord him the attention his new masterpiece deserved after white radio stations declared the record too black, and black stations declared it too white. From that point Spector became ever more the eccentric, returning to L.A. to take up residence in his closely-guarded Hollywood home, drinking heavily and sometimes threatening the artists in his studio with a gun. He made a cameo in the 1969 counterculture movie classic Easy Rider, and lost money on a single by his new find The Checkmates, "Proud Mary," for which he reportedly used some 300 musicians. He finally resurfaced in the company of the Beatles, longtime aficionados of his work, first brought in by John Lennon to produce "Instant Karma," and later to doctor the Beatles' controversial Let It Be album, much to the chagrin of Paul McCartney. However, he stayed to work with other solo Beatles, producing George Harrison's epic All Things Must Pass LP and The Concert for Bangla Desh album, and successive albums for Lennon and his Plastic Ono Band. Rarely giving interviews, Spector's life became shrouded in rumor and mystique. He survived two near-fatal car crashes in early 1975, and continued producing on the West Coast for such acts as Cher, Dion, Darlene Love and Harry Nillson. After 1981, Spector was largely inactive in the music industry, working on projects from time to time. The last record he worked on was Starsailor's "Silence Is Easy" in 2003, but only produced two tracks. He was fired over personal and creative differences. That same year, actress Lana Clarkson was shot dead in Spector's mansion in Alhambra, Calif., two hours after first meeting the producer. Spector claimed that Clarkson's death was an "accidental suicide" and that she had "kissed the gun." However, his driver claimed Spector had told him: "I think I've killed someone." Spector's first trial in 2007 ended in a mistrial, but a subsequent retrial in 2009 found him guilty of murder in the second degree. He was given a sentence of 19 years to life in prison, from which he would have been up for parole in 2024. During the prosecution, several women gave testimony that Spector had pointed a gun at them when they had spurned his advances, illustrating his history of domestic abuse. Sharing a photo of herself with her former husband in the studio on Instagram, Spector's ex-wife Ronnie Spector wrote: "It's a sad day for music and a sad day for me. When I was working with Phil Spector, watching him create in the recording studio, I knew I was working with the very best. He was in complete control, directing everyone. So much to love about those days." Ronnie went on to say that meeting and falling in love with him "was like a fairytale" and that the "magical music" they made together was "inspired by our love." "As I said many times while he was alive, he was a brilliant producer, but a lousy husband. Unfortunately Phil was not able to live and function outside of the recording studio. Darkness set in, many lives were damaged," she added. - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock/New Musical Express, 1/17/21.
Bruce Springsteen has been added to the all-star lineup of musicians who will help celebrate the Jan. 20 inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden and VP-elect Sen. Kamala Harris in a 90-minute "Celebrating America" concert set later that evening at 8:30-10:00 p.m. EST which will be aired on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC, as well as on the Biden Inaugural Committee's social media feeds, Amazon Prime Video, Twitch and Fox's NewsNOW. Springsteen, whose participation was announced in a post on his Twitter page on Jan. 15, will join a list previously announced list of artists that includes Foo Fighters, Jon Bon Jovi, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Justin Timberlake and Demi Lovato in the Tom Hanks-hosted event. Meanwhile a Jan. 17 "We The People" concert will feature performances and appearances from the likes of James Taylor, Carole King, Ben Harper, Will.I.Am and Sophia Bush, among others. Access to that show can be obtained at the BidenInaugural.org website for $5. The two concerts are part of five nights of announced Biden inaugural events that begin on Jan. 16 under the banner of "America United." - Billboard, 1/15/21...... On Jan. 12 Neil Young shared a statement on his Neil Young Archives site about the Jan. 6 armed insurrection at the US Capitol building, saying he feels "empathy for the people who have been so manipulated." In the post entitled "A Message from Neil," Young mentioned the rioter known as "Elizabeth from Knoxville" who was filmed crying, saying she had been maced. Young said he believed "she was crying because she had been attacked and all she was doing was trying to have her voice heard in the Revolution." Young then continued by blaming Pres. Donald Trump for having "exaggerated and amplified the truth to foment hatred." "We need discussion and solutions. Respect for one another's beliefs. Not hatred," he said. In addition to Trump, Young also blamed "internet news" and social media for "crippling our belief system" and added he was "devastated to see the double standard" in the way the insurrectionists were treated compared to the BLM activists earlier in 2020. "There is no place here for White Supremacy. People need each other to be truly free. Hatred will never find Freedom," he wrote. He also said that social media "is crippling our belief system, turning us against one another. We are not enemies. We must find a way home." In other Neil Young news, the musician has announced a new live album and concert film called Way Down In The Rust Bucket culled from a 1990 show he played with Crazy Horse in Santa Cruz, Calif. shortly after the arrival of his 18th studio album Ragged Glory. Set for release on Feb. 26 via Reprise Records, Way Down In The Rust Bucket captures the debut performances of tracks from that album, which came out in Sept. 1990. The release will come in a 4-LP box set, 2-CD set, and Deluxe Edition Box Set including a DVD, four LPs and two CDs. A trailer for the film has been shared on YouTube, as well as an audio live cut of one of the set's songs, "Country Home". - New Musical Express, 1/16/21...... Speaking on a forthcoming installment of The Harry Redknapp Show podcast to be made available beginning Jan. 19, Rod Stewart says he's ended his longtime feud with Elton John after admitting it didn't seem fair for him to tell his eight children to apologize to people without following his own advice. "I say to my kids, 'A man apologizes, go and apologize to your mother'," Stewart said. "We've just made up as friends again, me and Elton. We've always been fierce enemies, as you know, through the years, but it's always been at a playful level. But we had the worst row, like a married couple. It went on forever," he added. The two rock icons had been at loggerheads since Rod criticized his old friend's plans for a retirement tour, branding it "not rock 'n' roll" and insisting he wouldn't do the same. But now Stewart says he regrets lashing out at Elton for his tour. "I was a bit spiteful when he announced his tour. I regret it, I really do regret it. So we're mates again now. I do love him," Rod said. Meanwhile, Elton also recently said he "bears no grudges" toward Rod, as he confirmed the pair are friends again. "Rod and I have always had this kind of rivalry but it's always been very friendly and it's always been funny and I love him to death," he previously stated. "We've had this rivalry for a long time and it's been very, very funny, and I love him dearly, and if I saw him in the street I'd give him the biggest hug. There's no point in carrying on vendettas in this world. Life's too short. You can't erase all those years of great friendship by just one thing that happened, and I'm not going to do that. As far as I'm concerned he's a brilliant artist who's had a great career, and he's such good fun," John said. - WENN/Canoe.com, 1/16/21...... BMG Music announced on Jan. 14 that it has acquired Fleetwood Mac co-founder and drummer Mick Fleetwood's interest in the band's recordings. The deal gives the company Fleetwood's royalty interest in over 300 recordings, including Fleetwood Mac hits including "Dreams," "The Chain," "Go Your Own Way" and "Landslide." It excludes the band's recorded work from their first two albums. The deal is particularly lucrative following the recent viral success of "Dreams" on TikTok, where the song racked up 2.8 billion views and led to a streaming and sales bonanza for the 40+-year-old hit and its attendant album Rumours. In the wake of the viral TikTok clip, "Dreams" racked up 182 million streams and sold 126,000 downloads, while Rumours moved over 86,000 albums in the U.S. in 2020 and was propelled back into the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart. In the process, the band garnered a legion of new, younger fans. In a statement Fleetwood said the deal was "a wonderfully inspiring marriage between two creative partners that understand all aspects of the business." BMG already owns the rights to the theatrical, record and mediabook release of the 2020 all-star concert event "Mick Fleetwood & Friends," which celebrated Fleetwood Mac founding guitarist Peter Green and the band's early years. In December, Fleetwood Mac frontwoman Stevie Nicks struck a wide-ranging partnership with Primary Wave that included a joint venture deal and the sale of a majority stake in her publishing copyrights. Earlier in 2021, Lindsey Buckingham sold 100% of his writer's and publisher's share of his 161-song catalog to Hipgnosis. - Billboard, 1/14/21...... Many fans in the Kiss Army know singer/guitarist Paul Stanley is a huge soul and Motown fan; now the musician has shared the first taste of his debut album Now and Then he recorded with his side project, Soul Station. Stanley's cover of the Five Stairsteps' 1970 hit "O-o-h Child" is available for streaming on YouTube, and appears as one of nine Soul covers of such soul greats as The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, The Stylistics and The Spinners on Now and Then, which hits stores on Mar. 5 via UMe. Stanley's Soul Station is a 15-piece ensemble band led by Stanley on vocals. They've been active on the live circuit since 2015 but haven't yet released an album. "Long before I ever heard the great British bands, I grew up listening to Philly Soul, Motown, and so much more," Stanley recently told Rolling Stone. "The great classics of that era are magical medicine for most and I felt myself drawn back to that era for some sorcery I think we could all use," he added. - NME, 1/16/21...... Jimi Hendrix's brother Leon Hendrix and niece Tina Hendrix were found in contempt of court for violating a permanent injunction against infringing on the iconic guitarist's protected trademarks in a Jan. 11 ruling by U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer of the Southern District of New York. Judge Engelmayer ordered Leon and his daughter Tina, along with their tuition-free Hendrix Music Academy, to recall and destroy all apparel and merchandise bearing any Jimi Hendrix name, to change the name of the school to make it clear it is not affiliated with Jimi Hendrix, and to "cease and desist" infringing on the late rocker's trademark. The contempt ruling against Leon and Tina Hendrix follows a lengthy court battle that began in 2017 when Experience Hendrix LLC and Authentic Hendrix LLC sued Leon Hendrix and a business associate for trademark infringement, deceptive acts and false advertising, among other claims. Tina Hendrix says that her family is "devastated and disappointed about the judge's decision and I strongly feel that it was incorrect and unjust for several reasons." "I only seek to educate kids about Jimi and use his name for non-profit purposes," Tina told Billboard. "My grandfather gave us that right in 1988. Everything that we received from Jimi's fans went to the students and their families. We have proudly served many needy families in honor of Jimi over the past decade. This work has never interfered with Experience Hendrix's business or profits, it only interfered with their lies. We are desperately seeking pro Bono legal advice at this time and we intend to fight this until the end," she added. - Billboard, 1/12/21...... He's "on the road again," this time to receive his first dose of coronavirus vaccine. Willie Nelson was given a jab of the Moderna variety vaccine at a drive-through clinic in Cedar Park, Tex. on Jan. 13, according to his his wife Annie. "We're lucky," Annie says. "We made sure that [he] wasn't cutting anybody -- in fact, the healthcare workers were kind of angry that we had waited so long because he is 87 years old and has COPD." A series of photos posted to Family Hospital Systems' official Facebook page shows a masked Willie being administered the vaccine in his car at the drive-through center. "Getting your COVID vaccine is Willie cool!" an accompanying message reads. "Thank you Willie Nelson for helping Family Hospital Systems slow the spread of COVID-19!" Annie said her octogenarian husband "was bragging yesterday after he got it that he didn't even have a sore arm," adding: "Now, today, of course his arm is sore." Meanwhile Nelson is set to release his second album of Frank Sinatra covers, That's Life, on Feb. 26. - NME, 1/16/21...... Tom Jones has announced a new album of covers entitled Surrounded By Time, the follow-up to his 2015 album Long Lost Suitcase. Jones' Radiohead-style cover of Todd Snider's "Talking Reality Blues" will be the first single from the new LP, which also features reimagined versions of songs written by Cat Stevens/Yusuf, Bob Dylan, Bobby Cole and Tony Jo White, among others. Surrounded By Time will drop on Apr. 23. - NME, 1/15/21...... AC/DC have shared the innovative new video for "Realize," the latest single from their 2020 comeback album Power Up. In the black-and-white video which has been posted on YouTube, directors Clemens Habicht and Josh Cheuse (who serves as the band's creative director) were able to present the impression of the five members of the band performing the song in the same room together despite the fact that each member filmed their part individually in five separate locations, presumably due to the pandemic. The "Realize" video follows on from the band's recently released clips for their songs "Demon Fire" and "Shot In The Dark." Meanwhile AC/DC guitarist Angus Young has confirmed that Axl Rose didn't write any music with the band while serving as Brian Johnson's live stand-in. "Nothing really came out solid," Young recently told Rolling Stone. "I know that he has a lot of things he's involved in. I don't even know if you would say it was music. But he had a lot of things that he was involved in." When asked if they worked on any songs, Young replied: "No, no. That never happened." This clarification comes after Rose seemingly hinted that they were recording together at the time. "I feel protective; I feel I do not want to let this guy down -- more than almost anybody I've ever known -- and I don't know why," he said. - NME, 1/13/21...... King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp and his wife Toyah Willcox delivered a cover of Metallica's classic "Enter Sandman" during a recent lockdown performance, and posted the performance on YouTube. The couple launched their "Sunday Lockdown Lunch" video series in 2020 via Willcox's official YouTube channel, sharing renditions of tracks by the likes of Nirvana, David Bowie and the Sex Pistols recorded at their home. The Jan. 10 performance of "Enter Sandman" sees Fripp playing the iconic song's riff as Wilcox provides vocals while riding an exercise bike. At the end of the video, Fripp laughs as he wishes his fans a happy new year. "Happy lockdown lunch, everybody!" Willcox shouts. Fripp and Wilcox performed Led Zeppelin's 1971 classic "Black Dog" for the Jan. 3 edition of Sunday Lockdown Lunch. - NME, 1/12/21...... Paul McCartney's photographer/filmmaker daughter Mary McCartney has been tapped to direct If These Walls Could Sing, the first feature-length documentary about London's iconic Abbey Road Studios. Mary speaks of her "personal perspective" in a press release describing the film, set to be produced by John Battsek (Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars). "Some of my earliest memories as a young child come from time spent at Abbey Road," she said. "I've long wanted to tell the story of this historic place and I couldn't be collaborating with a better team than John and Mercury Studios to make this creative ambition a reality." If These Walls Could Sing is set to be part of the 90th anniversary celebrations of Abbey Road Studios, beginning in November 2021. - NME, 1/12/21...... Late guitar god Eddie Van Halen will be honored with a new range of nine guitars made by the company he helped found and hame, EVH. The reimagined "5150" series, set to be released in early 2021, comprises guitars that have been designed for speed and comfort, supporting Eddie's signature "tapping" technique. They'll arrive in a bright set of colors, including neon pink, and at a range of prices. In a statement announcing the new guitars, EVH spoke of Van Halen's influence: "The industry saw record guitar-playing interest in 2020 but also sadly said goodbye to one of the most innovative and influential players of its time. Eddie Van Halen's singularly inventive style inspired an entire generation of players. He innovated not only in how he played but what he played and what he played through by creating some of the greatest guitars and amps the world has seen and heard." The nine guitars have Stratocaster-style basswood bodies with a deeper upper body curve, featuring specifications made by Van Halen himself: bolt-on quarter-sawn carved maple necks, and a 12- to 16-inch compound radius fingerboard with 22 jumbo frets. All are powered by direct-mount EVH Wolfgang bridge and neck humbucking pickups. Two "Wolfgang Special" guitar models and four Wolf WG Standard variants will also be released as part of the 2021 EVH range. - NME, 1/12/21...... The "Page Six" gossip column in The New York Post is reporting that Phil Collins' ex-wife Orianne Cevey is being lined up for a potential reboot of TV's Bravo channel series Real Housewives of Miami. Bravo is reportedly considering bringing back some former cast members for the show which initially ran from 2011-2013, as well as adding some new faces -- with Cevey among those in the running. Cevey has hit headlines in recent months due to her and Collins' split turning increasingly bitter. The former couple originally parted ways in 2006 after seven years of marriage but reconciled in 2015, until parting ways again in 2020. The former Genesis frontman is suing Cevey, his third wife, and her current husband Thomas Bates to try and evict them from the Miami property he claims he still owns. - Music-News.com, 1/14/21...... As The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Golden Girls star Betty White prepares to turn 99 years old on Jan. 17, the actress has revealed her birthday plans involve another one of her iconic shows, The Pet Set. "What am I doing for my birthday? Running a mile each morning has been curtailed by COVID, so I am working on getting The Pet Set re-released," she revealed, referencing the 1970s pet-themed series she hosted. "And feeding the two ducks who come to visit me every day," Betty also shared, adding "The Pet Set is one of my favorite shows. I'm thrilled it's going to be seen again after all these years." The Pet Set focused on White's life long love for animals and included many memorable celebrity guests of the day including legends Mary Tyler Moore, Doris Day, Burt Reynolds and more. While there were plenty of dogs and cats, more exotic animals like tigers, elephants, lions, gorillas, cougars, zebras and bears also would appear in-studio. The Pet Set is being released on streaming platforms and DVD on Feb. 23 to mark its 50th anniversary. The actress regularly posts about her love of animals on her social media accounts -- including a snuggle with a bear in 2018. Betty -- who is a Guinness World Record holder for the longest running career television career for any woman in history -- has previously shared her tips for living into your 90s. While she confessed to still indulging in hot dogs and vodka (her drink of choice is a vodka tonic), she cites a positive attitude as the most important. "I know it sounds corny, but I try to see the funny side and the upside, not the downside," she told Parade magazine in 2017, ahead of turning 96. "I get bored with people who complain about this or that. It's such a waste of time... Accentuate the positive, not the negative," she added. - HollywoodLife.com, 1/14/21...... Rock bassist Tim Bogert, known for his stints in such bands as Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, The Jeff Beck Group and the super-group Beck, Bogert & Appice, passed away on Jan. 13 of what has been described as a "serious illness." He was 76. Bogert's passing was announced on the official Facebook page of Carmine Appice. "Tim was a one of a kind bass player. He inspired many, many bass players worldwide. He was as masterful at shredding as he was holding down a groove, and Tim introduced a new level of virtuosity into rock bass playing," Appice wrote. "No one played like Tim... I loved Tim like a brother. He will be missed very much in my life. I will miss calling him, cracking jokes together, talking music and remembering the great times we had together, and how we created kick-ass music together." At the time of his death, Bogert had been working on a forthcoming live Beck, Bogert & Appice album. He was recognized by the Hollywood Rock Hall of Fame in 1999. - WENN/Canoe.com, 1/14/21...... Sylvain Sylvain, the founding guitarist and songwriter with the 1970s punk band New York Dolls, died on Jan. 13 following a battle with cancer. He was 69. The New York Dolls formed in 1971, years before the punk movement and glam-rock set charts alight on both sides of the Atlantic. Born Sylvain Mizrahi in Cairo, Egypt, Sylvain and his family moved to France then settled in New York. It was in the Big Apple where the guitarist would join forces with David Johansen, Johnny Thunders, Jerry Nolan and Arthur Kane to form the New York Dolls, and set the standard for punk rock swagger and style. The band flirted with mass-scale commercial success, but such albums as The New York Dolls and Too Much Too Soon were critically acclaimed, and their influence runs deep, with bands from Sex Pistols to the Ramones, Guns N' Roses, the Damned and the Smiths all said to take inspiration from the NY outfit. Sylvain and the Dolls cut five studio sets, the final Dancing Backward in High Heels dropping in 2011. To this day, they're regarded by rock music aficionados and historians as one of the great snubs of the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. A statement at Sylvain's official Facebook page reads, "As most of you know, Sylvain battled cancer for the past two and 1/2 years. Though he fought it valiantly, yesterday he passed away from this disease. While we grieve his loss, we know that he is finally at peace and out of pain. Please crank up his music, light a candle, say a prayer and let's send this beautiful doll on his way." In an Instagram post on Jan. 15, David Johansen who is now the sole surviving member of the original NY Dolls lineup, said: "My best friend for so many years, I can still remember the first time I saw him bop into the rehearsal space/bicycle shop with his carpetbag and guitar straight from the plane after having been deported from Amsterdam, I instantly loved him. I'm gonna miss you old pal. I'll keep the home fires burning." - Billboard, 1/14/21...... TV and stage actor Peter Mark Richman, perhaps best known as the reverend father of Suzanne Somers' character Chrissy Snow on the hit '70s series Three's Company, died on Jan. 14 of natural causes. He was 93. "Comedy is musical," Somers said in an interview with Fox News. "Peter Mark Richman and I understood the music from the very first time we appeared together on Three's Company. He knew his 'stuff.' We lost a good one. Rest In Peace Peter Mark Richman." As well as starring in Three's Company, Mr. Richman appeared in shows such as Dynasty, Murder, She Wrote, Cain's Hundred, Agent for H.A.R.M. and the film Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan in 1989. In total, he had 159 acting roles on screen. Mr. Richman also appeared on Broadway, in the plays "A Hatful of Rain" and "Masquerade," as well as writing his own play "4 Faces" -- which was adapted for the screen in 1999. He is survived by Helen Richman, his wife of 67 years, five children, and six grandchildren. - WENN/Canoe.com, 1/15/21...... Siegfried And Roy magician, Siegfried Fischbacher, died at his Las Vegas home on Jan. 13 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 81. Mr. Fischbacher was suffering from a malignant tumour that was initially removed during a 12-hour operation. However, it was later found that it had already spread through his body. Following the operation and diagnosis, Siegfried left the hospital and returned home where he was cared for by two nurses up until his death. His partner, Roy, died from complications following a COVID-19 battle in 2020. At the time, Siegfried said: "I have lost my best friend. From the moment we met, I knew Roy and I, together, would change the world. There could be no Siegfried without Roy, and no Roy without Siegfried." Siegfried and Roy, real name Uwe Ludwig Horn, met while working on a cruise ship in 1957. - WENN/Canoe.com, 1/14/21.
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Former Bee Gees member Barry Gibb is on track for his very first UK No. 1 LP as a solo artist with his latest effort Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook Vol. 1. Gibb's album currently sits atop the UK's Official Albums Chart Update with his collection of country reinterpretations of he and his brothers' classic hits, all of which are collaborations with some of the genre's biggest names such as Dolly Parton, Keith Urban, Olivia Newton-John and Brandi Carlile. Gibb's highest-charting UK album as a solo artist until now was 2016's In The Now, which peaked at No. 3 on the chart. As part of Bee Gees, Barry claimed 5 UK No. 1 singles and 16 UK Top 10 albums. Meanwhile, David Bowie's hits collection Legacy has rocketed 21 places to No. 10 on the same chart, with fans revisiting his iconic hits following what would have marked his 74th birthday on Jan. 8. - Music-News.com, 1/11/21...... Cable channel FX has announced a six-episode limited series on the Sex Pistols based on a memoir from Sex Pistols guitarist, Steve Jones. Pistols will be directed and executive produced by Danny Boyle, who helmed the acclaimed movies Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire. "It's great to be back in business with Danny Boyle, an exceptional artist responsible for so many great feature films and TV series," said Nick Grad, president original programming at FX. "Steve Jones was at the center of the storm that shook the rock establishment and we're thrilled to have Danny and the rest of the creative team tell his story as a member of one of music's most notorious bands -- the Sex Pistols." The movie will center on Sex Pistols co-founder Jones and follow his life from West London's council estates to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren's boutique, Sex -- one of the early centers of punk culture in London -- and the band's meteoric rise and fall. Production on the series is slated to begin in March. - The Hollywood Reporter, 1/11/21...... David Bowie's son Duncan Jones remembered his late dad and the 5th anniversary of his death on Jan. 10 with a Twitter post. "Today marks 5 years since dad died," writes Jones, a celebrated filmmaker in his own right. "We are all a little sad, coping individually in our own ways. But it's both remarkable & delightful that dad is still so clearly loved by so many. Yes, he's missed... but with so much of "him in the work he made, he's clearly still here," he added. The post also features the artwork from what turned out to be Bowie's final studio album, Blackstar, a gift to his fans which dropped Jan. 10, 2016, just two days after his 69th birthday. Meanwhile, Bowie's legacy was celebrated on Jan. 9 with an evening full of virtual performances of his music by some of his biggest all-star fans. "A Bowie Celebration: Just For One Day!" had been set for his Jan. 8, what would've been his 74th birthday, but was delayed 24 hours "due to technical difficulties and COVID-19 restrictions," according to organizers. Duran Duran opened the concert with a spine-tingling cover of "Five Years," the opening track from Bowie's classic 1972 album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Dust and the Spiders from Mars. Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins also contributed with an emotional cover of the Bowie classic "Space Oddity," with Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, who toured and recorded with Bowie in the mid 1990s, also making an appearance for two dazzling songs, "Fantastic Voyage" and "Fashion." The one-night-only paid event also featured Bowie's longtime producer Tony Visconti and members of his final touring band, with other stellar covers of Bowie's catalog by the likes of Peter Frampton, Boy George, Adam Lambert, Perry Farrell and Corey Taylor. Proceeds from the concert will be donated to Save the Children, which Bowie supported with ticket sales from his 50th birthday concert at Madison Square Garden in 1997. Bowie's official Instagram page has also announced some of the artist's biggest hits are now available on TikTok to celebrate his birthday. The popular social media app now features tracks including "Modern Love," "'Heroes'," "Starman," "Rebel Rebel," "Under Pressure" and more. Two previously-unreleased Bowie covers of songs by John Lennon and Bob Dylan have also arrived on streaming services. "Tryin' to Get To Heaven" and "Mother" can be streamed on Spotify.com. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 1/11/21...... John Fogerty's new single, "Weeping In the Promised Land," was released on Jan. 6, coincidentally the same day that pro-Donald Trump rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol and temporarily disrupted the peaceful transfer of democratic power. A minimalist recording that finds the former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman at the ivories backed by a subdued but strong chorus of female voices, "Weeping In the Promised Land" touches on the pandemic, the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police officers and political divisions fracturing the country in a way not seen since the '60s. "This song, for me, scraped off a lot of barnacles," Fogerty says. Fogerty adds that he wrote the title in a little song book that he started in 1967. "I wrote this title in that book somewhere between 25-30 years ago. It was compelling. I understood that it had a lot of meaning, but I didn't know specifically where it would go. I wrote a song using that title maybe two years ago and actually recorded it with some musicians; it was not this song, it was a different song, and it wasn't focused in its intent like this. It was kind of generic, I would say, therefore I was dissatisfied with it. I thought the title was better than the song, so I shelved it." He adds that he seriously started working on it as a song last July. "The idea that the water in the well has been poisoned with lies -- once I had that as a reference point with obvious cultural ties to the present that would be well understood, that was my beginning, where the song took off. I must say it was by far the most difficult song I've ever written. But I also think it's one of the best. It really made me fight for it." "Weeping In the Promised Land," which has been shared on YouTube, will also be featured on Fogerty's first album of original material since 2007's Revival, which he promises is coming in later in 2021. - Billboard, 1/8/21...... The unlikely pairing of a gay rock star icon, a former Disney Channel star, and a renowned Chinese-American classical cellist is rumoured to be about to happen when Elton John collaborates with Miley Cyrus with a contribution from Yo-Yo Ma on Cyrus' upcoming cover of the Metallica song "Nothing Else Matters." Miley Cyrus teased the upcoming collaboration, which will also feature Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith in a new interview with the UK radio station Capital FM. "I did a Metallica cover of 'Nothing Else Matters' featuring Elton John on piano, I've got Yo-Yo Ma, Chad Smith; so many all-stars in this band," the pop star said. "I'm so excited about this collaboration." Cyris went on to say she understands that the concept of the song may not make sense to some fans -- which is why she loves it even more. "I mean, having Elton John and Metallica and me ... I love when ingredients don't quite fit," she said. "Or it seems like a concoction that no one would ever put together, and you gotta have someone like [the song's producer Andrew] Watt that will take that risk." Cyrus' full interview can be streamed on YouTube. - Billboard, 1/6/21...... Queen guitarist and animal rights activist Brian May has launched a fresh new fragrance called "Save Me" as a fund-raiser for the protection of wildlife. May has joined forces with Sergio Momo, founder and creative manager of Italian luxury goods brand Xerjoff, to launch the new scent. Named after Queen's 1980 hit, the new cologne is said to smell of "sandalwood and badger," an animal that's close to May's heart. "SCENT FROM HEAVEN!!! Wild Animal Rescue never smelled so good!," May posted on his Instagram account brianmayforreal. "This amazing man is doing something wonderful for animal welfare," he wrote of Momo. "This amazing man is doing something wonderful for animal welfare," May wrote of Momo. For superfans, May and Xerjoff are stocking an autographed 50ml bottle priced at £410 ($500), and the standard bottle is priced at £197 ($240). May is a long-time advocate for wild animals and co-founder of the Save Me Trust, which has battled the U.K. government on badger culls, among other issues. - Billboard, 1/11/21...... Speaking to The Irish News, Ringo Starr says whenever he performs with his former Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney "it lifts everything, in a joyous way." "I love that, getting up with him," said Ringo, who has shared the stage with Paul twice in the past few years. "We did it at the O2 in England [in 2018]. And then he called me and he said, 'I'm doing Dodger Stadium, if you want to do a few numbers'." Ringo continued: "The audience is like, 'Oh, there's two of them! Wow'. It lifts everything, in a joyous way. So, yeah, I had a great time." Speaking of the pair's current friendship, Starr added: "We're still pals. We don't hang out with each other a lot. But if we're in the same country, and if we're in the same town we always have a dinner, and we say hi or he comes over here or I go over to his house." McCartney is among the contributors to Starr's upcoming EP, "Zoom In", which is set for release in March. Meanwhile in another interview with the UK's Daily Mirror, Ringo said he "has a little guest house here and it's now my studio... It's been my studio for the last 10 years, actually" as he spends his time during the Covid-19 lockdown recording music, painting and keeping fit at the Los Angeles home he shares with his wife, former Bond girl Barbara Bach, 73. "This time it was a little awkward because people were getting tested to come and play. Or, if they had a studio, they could play in their own place. So that took the pressure off the lockdown a little because I was drumming and singing and hanging out with musicians. I do go to the gym quite a lot. And also I took half of the gym, now that's where my paint studio is. So I can make a mess without Barbara getting crazy," Ringo adds. Ringo and his All-Starr Band are due to hit the road in June, though it's uncertain if those gigs will go ahead amid the global coronavirus pandemic. - NME/Music-News.com, 1/9/21...... In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the bandmates and family of late Rush drummer discussed the death of the famous sticksman on the one year anniversary of his Jan. 7, 2020, death. Rush member Alex Lifeson said that Peart "asked us not to discuss [the illness] with anyone," adding: "He just wanted to be in control of it. The last thing in the world he would want is people sitting on his sidewalk or driveway singing 'Closer to the Heart' or something. That was a great fear of his. He didn't want that attention at all. And it was definitely difficult to lie to people or to sidestep or deflect somehow. It was really difficult." Geddy Lee added that Peart "didn't want to waste his remaining time talking about shit like that... He wanted to have fun with us. And he wanted to talk about real things right up to the very end." Elsewhere in the interview, Lifeson spoke of how Peart spent his final days revisiting Rush's material, and reflecting on his life in music. "It was interesting to see him smile and feel really good about that. And when he still could write to us, he wrote about how he was reviewing some of our older music and how it stood up for him." - NME, 1/8/21...... Michael Fonfara, the longtime keyboardist for Lou Reed, died in a a Toronto hospital on Jan. 8 after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 74. A native of Stevensville, Ontario, Fanfara is best known for his decade-long run performing with Lou Reed on the albums Rock and Roll Heart (1976), Street Hassle (1978), Live: Take No Prisoners (1978), The Bells (1979) and 1980's Growing Up in Public, which he co-wrote and co-produced with Reed. In a lengthy, eclectic career that spanned more than 50 years, Fonfara performed with the 1960s rock bands The Electric Flag, Rhinoceros, Blackstone and Rough Trade, as well as adding "keyboard textures" on Foreigner's multi-platinum 1981 album 4 on the No. 4 hit "Urgent" and the track "Girl on the Moon." Fonfara also recorded with the Everly Brothers, Grievous Angels, Cameo Blues Band and many others in a lauded career that included a 2000 Maple Blues Award honor for piano/keyboard player of the year. His final recording was The Downchild Blues Band's Live at the Toronto Jazz Festival 50th anniversary performance in 2019. "He was an incredible musician, a gentle soul and we were honoured to share the stage with him every time we performed," one of his former bandmates in Downchild said in a statement. "He will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. There will be a celebration of life once we are all safely able to get together." - Billboard, 1/11/20...... Gene Simmons has announced he's partnering with Gibson Guitars to launch a series of new electric guitars and basses. Under the name G², the collaboration will introduce new collections of left-handed electric guitars and basses across Gibson's "Gibson", "Epiphone" and "Kramer" brands, as well as develop new entertainment content to be streamed globally. G² will release the first instrument, the new G² Thunderbird Bass later in 2021, which made its worldwide debut on stage with Simmons recently during Kiss' New Year's Eve concert in Dubai. Following that release, Simmons and Gibson have plans to release a Flying V bass and Flying V guitar. "I have been designing and trademarking bass guitars for decades, and when I heard Gibson's vision and learned about their creative process, it just made sense for us to join forces to take things to the next level, Simmons said in a statement. "Gibson is an outstanding company and has earned its place as a leading guitar brand with fans around the world. These guitars and basses will all be handmade, with a sound that is off the charts. The design is so beautiful and collectible that they are simply works of art," he added. Simmons and Gibson exec Mark Agnesi will be discussing the new series on Jan. 18 at 4:00 p.m. GMT on Gibson TV, it can be streamed on Gibson's YouTube channel. - NME, 1/9/21...... Country musician/songwriter/actor Ed Bruce, perhaps best known for co-writing the 1978 Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings hit "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" with his then-wife, Patsy, died of natural causes on Jan. 8. He was 81. The song would go on to become a classic of the country genre, with Nelson and Jennings recording the most notable version of it. The track earned the pair a Grammy in 1978 and the song spent several weeks in the Billboard charts. Bruce later found chart success of his own, scoring six Top 10 hits during the 1980s, including "After All' and "You're The Best Break This Old Heart Ever Had." The latter, released in 1981, was the sole No. 1 of Bruce's recording career. Bruce also found success as a film and television actor. At the height of his recording career, he starred as ex-policeman Tom Guthrie in the short-lived Western television series, Bret Maverick, lending his dulcet tones to the series' theme song as well. He was frequently cast as lawmen throughout his acting career, including in the 1997 Steven Seagal film, Fire Down Below, and in the biographical crime film Public Enemies, alongside Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. - NME, 1/9/21...... Actress Marion Ramsey, known for acting in the Police Academy films and gracing the Broadway stage in 1978's "Eubie!," died on Jan. 7 at her home in Los Angeles of as yet undetermined causes. She was 73. Though many may know Ramsey for her role as Officer Laverne Hooks in the Police Academy films, her career began much early. In 1964, she appeared in "Hello, Dolly!," and in the 1970s she established herself as a theatre, film and television talent. On stage, she acted in "Miss Moffat," and on screen she took part in the variety show Keep On Truckin' on ABC and held a regular role on Cos. An active advocate for HIV and AIDS awareness, Ramsey also portrayed one-off roles in Beverly Hills, 90210 and MacGyver,while voicing D.I. Holler in the animated The Addams Family from 1992 to 1993. - Variety.com, 1/7/21...... William Jellett, a UK music fan who was known for attending music festivals naked during the '70s and '80s, died on Jan. 8 after a bout of poor health in recent years. He was 72. Jellett, who was also known by the nickname "Jesus," attended hundreds of UK festivals and shows, and appeared in a number of concert footage over the years. He can be seen in the Rolling Stones' Rock And Roll Circus and was filmed at Cream's farewell show at the Royal Albert Hall in 1968. Many years later, he would go on to be the inspiration for the artwork for the Chemical Brothers' single "Surrender," which was based on a 1976 photo of him. The music fan was also known for his speeches at Speaker's Corner in London, where he would talk about the importance of music while highlighting the dangers of drugs. He also set up a "Jesus tent" at the Glastonbury festival in 1973 and claimed to be the reincarnation of the biblical figure. "He was at every gig I ever went to in the 70s, doing his groovy dancing and blessing us all with his happy presence," Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet posted on social media. "We'd call his name from the bleachers. He was validation that the artist was worth seeing." - NME, 1/11/21.
The new year has rang in a slew of music licensing acquisitions of the catalogs of some of rock music's biggest stars, including Neil Young, Lindsey Buckingham and producer Jimmy Iovine. Neil Young, who for years has refused to "sell out" his songs by licensing them for use in commercials, has signed a deal to sell his 50% of his song catalog to Hipgnosis Songs for what is thought to be a record amount according to the standard industry measure. Young's deal, which was announced on Jan. 6, is rumoured to have valued the catalog at between $90 million and $105 million, though terms were not disclosed. His catalog includes some 1,180 songs, according to a statement announcing the deal, which he wrote over the course of a 50-plus year career that in addition to his prolific solo efforts includes stints with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The Young acquisition is the second big deal of the new year for Hipgnosis, which has been on an acquisition binge of late, after its Jan. 5 announcement that it bought 100% of the catalog of former Fleetwood Mac frontman Lindsey Buckingham, including the songs he wrote or co-wrote for the band, including "Go Your Own Way," "The Chain," "Big Love," "Never Going Back Again" and "Tusk," among others. Fleetwood Mac classics written or co-written by Buckingham include "Go Your Own Way," "The Chain," "Big Love," "Never Going Back Again" and "Tusk," among others. Since 1991, the band's catalog has moved nearly 26 million album consumption units in the U.S., with the vast majority of that number from Buckingham's time in the band, while his solo catalog, which produced songs like "Holiday Road" and "Trouble," has accumulated 550,000 album consumption units. On Jan. 4, Hipgnosis Songs announced that it purchased Jimmy Iovine's royalties as a producer. While Iovine is best known today as a music executive who co-founded Interscope Records and Beats Electronics, he first rose to prominence in the 1970s as a music engineer, working with such icons as Tom Petty, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straits, Stevie Nicks, U2 and Patti Smith. Iovine's deal gives Hipgnosis 100% of his worldwide producer royalties across 259 songs, as well as his film production royalties for two films he co-produced: 8 Mile starring Eminem and Get Rich or Die Tryin' starring 50 Cent. - Billboard, 1/6/21...... As the fifth anniversary of the 2016 death of David Bowie approaches on Jan. 10, his widow Iman has given an interview to Harper's Bazaar UK magazine about how she keeps his memory alive. "David is in our hearts and minds on a daily basis, for all of us," the 65-year-old model said of herself and her family. "You know, this was my true love. My daughter once asked me if I would ever marry again and I said, 'never'." Bowie and Iman met in 1990, and Iman once said the attraction was "immediate and all-encompassing. I couldn't sleep for the excitement of our first date." The couple were married in 1992, and remained husband and wife until his death from liver cancer 24 years later. Iman says she currently spends her time in lockdown at her upstate New York country home, where she's been hiking, cooking, reading and painting, another tribute to her late love. "David was a painter; my daughter is a painter. I never painted in my life, so I've taken it up. I learnt that I don't have to be good at something to start doing it," she said. Iman added that Bowie is still all around, whether you know it or not. She said the anniversary of his death is always the "saddest time," but she finds hope in the idea that he is "hiding in plain sight... His fans are still around. His music is still relevant." Meanwhile, two big virtual celebrations will occur on what would've been his 74th birthday on Jan. 8. "A Bowie Celebration: Just For One Day!" will be streamed globally beginning at 9:00 p.m. EST. Trent Reznor, Billie Corgan, Boy George, Peter Frampton, Rick Wakeman and Perry Farrell will be among the many musicians are participating in the 3-hour concert. More info can be found at rollinglivestudios.com. On Jan. 8-10, the London production of "Lazarus," which was captured live on stage and starred Michael C. Hall, will stream in celebration of the birthday. the show features music from Bowie's catalog, and is available to stream in multiple time zones. info can be found at dice.fm. - Billboard, 1/5/21...... During a call to his SiriusXM channel "E Street Radio" on Dec. 31, Bruce Springsteen teased that he's working on a "big surprise" that will be revealed later in 2021. While the Boss confirmed that he wouldn't attempt a new tour this year in the light of the Covid pandemic, he said he had some more projects underway that would be shared over the course of 2021. "2022 -- if you want to talk about that -- as far as what I know and if things go as according to what Dr. Fauci is projecting, as soon as we can, we'll be out there," he said. "And that might be 2022, you know, somewhere in the New Year of 2022. "So -- and I'm completely projecting because no one really knows -- that's what I think, according to all the information that's available at this moment, will be able to happen. You know, I have some projects coming up this year that I won't tell cos it's going to be a secret and then a big surprise [laughs]. But I do have things to keep me busy this year that I'll be doing that should give the fans something to bide their time with." Listen to Springsteen speak about his plans for 2021 above." The full interview can be heard on YouTube. - NME, 1/5/21...... The Internal Revenue Service has valued Prince's estate at 50 per cent higher than proposed by the administrator, causing more legal trouble for the estate's settlement. As reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the IRS has valued Prince's estate at $163.2 million, significantly higher than the $82.3 million valuation from Commercial Bank & Trust, the estate's administrator. Because of this new valuation, the IRS has claimed the estate owes an additional $32.4 million in taxes, approximately doubling the tax bill. The government agency has also issued a $6.4 million "accuracy-related penalty" on Prince's estate, according to court documents. Prince died in 2016 from an overdose, leaving behind no will. In the years since his death, the exact valuation of the singer's estate remains up for debate. In 2018 the Associated Press reported that while the singer's heirs have yet to benefit from the estate, bankers, consultants and lawyers have earned millions from it. - NME, 1/4/21...... A new documentary about Elton John is reportedly in the works, featuring behind-the-scenes footage that didn't fit in the 2019 Elton biopic Rocketman. According to sources, the follow-up to the film will be titled The Pillars of Hercules (after John's middle name) and would come in a documentary format. According to the UK paper The Sun, it will cover tours across the 1970s, and never-before-seen footage of the singer and John Lennon. The film has been the long-time project of Elton's longtime guitarist Davey Johnstone, who has been working on the project for years. Johnstone reportedly has the blessing of the Rocket Man himself and his husband, David Furnish. Regarding a potential release date for the new film, Johnstone says: "There are two more interviews we are looking to get and we will probably be finished with all the recording by late January and then we will go into editing and we will be ready about Easter." - NME, 1/4/21...... Surviving Bee Gees member Barry Gibb says he's unable to watch the new Bee Gees documentary How Can You Mend A Broken Heart? which recently premiered on premium cable channel HBO because it's subject matter is too painful. Appearing on CBS Sunday Morning on Jan. 3, Gibb says the Frank Marshall-directed film would reignite his grief over the loss of his late brothers Maurice and Robin Gibb, who passed away in 2003 and 2012 respectively. "I can't handle watching the rest of my family. I just can't handle it," Barry said in the interview, which can be viewed on YouTube. He added: "Who would? I think it's perfectly normal to not want to see how each brother was lost, you know? And I don't want to address it. I'm past it." Meanwhile, Gibb says he was "terrified" when he heard his recent collaborator, country music star Keith Urban, would be bringing his actress wife and Aussie native Nicole Kidman to the studio for a new rendition of the Bee Gees' "I've Gotta Get a Message to You" for Gibb's new country duets album, Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook Vol. 1. "He gave us a great gift because he brought Nicole with him, and that was such a thrill," Barry told Billboard. "I'm freaking out, you know." Barry also reteamed with Dolly Parton, who recorded his "Islands in the Stream" song as a duet with Kenny Rogers 40 years ago, revealing he had never met her since. "Dolly was a great thrill, and as incredible as she always is," he added. "She's such a humble person. I just don't understand how people of that stature remain calm and humble and ready to have a laugh, you know?" - New Musical Express/Music-News.com, 1/5/21...... Appearing on a recent episode of "Coffee Talk with AKIKA Live," the YouTube live show hosted by former Rolling Stone writer Corey Levitan and bassist Stefan Adika, Alice Cooper surprised late singer Harry Nilsson's son Zak Nilsson with a sweet new tune in a bid to cheer him up as Zak continues to suffer from end-stage colon cancer. A bright piano melody carries Cooper's croon, as he sings cheery lines like "So Zak, your doc could be a quack, considering all that, tomorrow morning you'll see the sun!" Cooper's performance, which was arranged through his daughter Calico, has been shared on YouTube. - NME, 1/5/21...... Kiss frontman Paul Stanley has lashed out at Pres. Donald Trump after explosive newly-released audio footage revealed the moment the President pressured Georgia's Secretary Of State to "find" votes that would overturn his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden. Sharing a link to the Washington Post article on Twitter, he wrote: "This is ABHORRENT. A true danger to our democracy. The issue isn't that it WON'T work. It's Mob Boss behavior and politicians putting party over audits, investigations, court rulings & COUNTRY in an effort to overrule the will of American voters". Stanley continued: "Republican politicians who now cower before this president are the same ones that ridiculed & dismissed him in the 2016 primaries. Their silence IS a choice & not sharing their opinion IS a coward's way out. It feeds the mistrust that eats at the core of this country I love." The recording of the Jan. 2 call was obtained by the Post and showed Trump repeating baseless claims of electoral fraud as he criticized Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for refusing to say he won the election. In other Kiss-related news, bassist Gene Simmons has doubled down on previous comments he made back in 2014 about the state of rock music in which he declared the rock music genre to be "finally dead." "Rock is dead. And that's because new bands haven't taken the time to create glamour, excitement and epic stuff," Simmons recently told Gulf News. "I mean, Foo Fighters is a terrific band, but that's a 20-year-old band. So you can go back to 1958 until 1988. That's 30 years. During that time, we had Elvis [Presley], The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, on and on. In disco, you had Madonna, and then you had your hard rock, you had AC/DC, maybe us, a few others. Motown, all that great music. From 1988, until today, that's more than 30 years. Tell me who the new Beatles is. You can't. There are popular bands. BTS is very popular. All kinds of bands are very popular. That doesn't mean iconic and legacy and for all-time. It's different." - NME, 1/4/21...... Def Leppard has announced an "unlocking date" for a new online collection of the band's artifacts, stories and rarities, curated by band members Joe Elliott, Rick Savage, Rick Allen, Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell. The "Def Leppard Vault," which will debut on Jan. 13 at the Def Leppard website., is set to gather the band's history in a digital museum, including special installations covering the band's history from 1977 up to the present day. Fans can sign up at website, after which they will receive a special code to access the various curiosities upon its opening. Def Leppard has described the concept of the vault in a new video on YouTube. - NME, 1/3/21...... Tom Jones has revealed he has been finishing a new record during the Covid-19 lockdown and he is looking forward to releasing it in 2021. Speaking on "Jools Holland's Annual Hootenanny" show, the 80-year-old Sir Tom said: "I recorded an album just before the lockdown, at the beginning of the year. During lockdown, we've been mixing it and putting it together. That's what I'll be looking forward to." - Music-News.com, 1/2/21...... Journey guitarist Neal Schon says his band has signed on to headline the Lollapalooza 2021 festival in Chicago. "I'm dying to get on stage again," Schon told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" show on Dec. 30, before going on to seemingly reveal that the festival -- usually held in late July or early August -- would be being held in April. "We have our first date booked for Lollapalooza, and we're headlining in Chicago. And that's supposedly in April. Hopefully that'll not get pushed back, because the vaccine is finally here," Schon added. "And hopefully they start dispersing it very quickly so everybody can get back on their feet and can get out and hear music, 'cause that's what heals the world, I think," he continued. The annual festival is held at Grant Park in Chicago, Ill, and its 2020 event was cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns. - NME, 1/2/21...... Elvis Costello is ringing in 2021 with a new experimental, disconcerting track titled "Farewell, OK 2020" that he shared on YouTube on Jan. 1. Costello first teased something called "Farewell, OK" on Dec. 27 which -- judging by one fan's reaction to the singer's "Farewell, OK 2020" tweet -- sounded markedly different from the finished product. "Wait wtf happened to the original version lol," the person wrote on Twitter. Costello had shared a version of the song on Dec. 31 containing the lyrics: "Farewell, OK/ You'll be on way/ You'll be on your own now/ Much to my dismay" and "I can't go on/ After what you've done." However these lyrics do not appear to feature, or are at least not obviously discernible, on the "Farewell, OK 2020" version shared by Costello on Jan. 1. Judging by broken video links, the original version has now been wiped from record with no explanation as to why. Costello released his 31st studio album, Hey Clockface, in Oct. 2020. - NME, 1/2/21...... It was announced on Jan. 5 that Grammy Award-winning British songwriter Geoff Stephens passed away after a battle with pneumonia on Dec. 24. He was 86. Born in 1934 in London, Stephens kicked off his songwriting career in musical theatre, before eventually moving into pop music. He made his big break in the pop world with his 1964 single for The Applejacks, "Tell Me When," co-written with Les Reed, which landed in the UK Top Ten. One of his most notable successes, however, was when he formed The New Vaudeville Band to record his song "Winchester Cathedral." The song went on to earn him a Grammy Award in 1967 for Best Contemporary (R&R) Recording. The track was subsequently covered by Frank Sinatra. Stephens also wrote "There's a Kind of Hush" for The New Vaudeville Band, which was later covered by Herman's Hermits and The Carpenters in later years. In addition to his group, Stephens also wrote or co-wrote successful songs for other high-profile artists including Tom Jones ('Daughter of Darkness'), Elvis Presley ("Heart of Rome") and The Hollies ("Sorry Suzanne"). Upon hearing of his death, fellow lyricist Sir Tim Rice celebrated Stephens' life on Twitter, describing him as a "major talent and lovely chap." - NME, 1/5/21...... English pop singer/composer Gerry Marsden, the frontman of the British '60s Invasion band Gerry and the Pacemakers, died on Jan. 3 after a short illness related to a heart infection. He was 78. Marsden's friend Pete Price announced the news on Instagram after speaking to Marsden's family. "I'm sending all the love in the world to (his wife) Pauline and his family," Price said. "You'll Never Walk Alone," referring to how Marsden turned a song from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Carousel" into one of the great anthems of soccer. Marsden was the lead singer of Gerry and the Pacemakers, who found fame in the Merseybeat scene in the 1960s. Though another Liverpool band -- the Beatles -- reached superstardom, Gerry and the Pacemakers will always have a place in the city's consciousness because of "You'll Never Walk Alone". "I thought what a beautiful song. I'm going to tell my band we're going to play that song," Marsden told the Associated Press in 2018 when recalling the first time he heard the song at the cinema. "So I went back and told my buddies we're doing a ballad called 'You'll Never Walk Alone.'" The Pacemakers' cover version was released in Oct. 1963 and became the band's third No. 1 hit on the British singles chart. It was adopted by fans of the soccer club Liverpool and is sung with spine-tingling passion before each home game of the 19-time English champion -- before coronavirus restrictions have meant that many matches have been played in empty stadiums. In 1962, Beatles manager Brian Epstein signed up the band and their first three releases reached No. 1 in 1963 -- "How Do You Do It?" and "I Like It" as well as "You'll Never Walk Alone." Later hits included "Ferry Cross the Mersey," and "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying." The group split in 1967 and Marsden pursued a solo career before reforming the bank a few years later. Frankie Goes To Hollywood singer Holly Johnson, who is from Liverpool and covered "Ferry Across The Mersey" tweeted that Marsden was a "Liverpool legend." The Cavern Club in Liverpool, the music venue which was the venue for many of the Beatles' early gigs, described Marsden as a "legend" and a "very good friend." Beatles legend Paul McCartney tweeted that Gerry was "a mate from our early days in Liverpool." "He and his group were our biggest rivals on the local scene. His unforgettable performances of You'll Never Walk Alone and Ferry Cross the Mersey remain in many people's hearts as reminders of a joyful time in British music. My sympathies go to his wife Pauline and family. See ya, Gerry. I'll always remember you with a smile," McCartney added. Marsden is survived by his wife Pauline, whom he married in 1965, and two daughters. - AP, 1/3/21...... Former Mott the Hoople keyboardist Mick Bolton passed away in the early hours of Jan. 1 of as yet undisclosed causes. He was 72. Bolton pursued his passion for music in the late 1960s, joining his first band, White Myth, in 1969, but left in 1971 to become a member of blues group Blind Eye, a support act for the likes of Slade, Queen, and Supertramp. In 1973, he auditioned to play piano for glam rockers Mott The Hoople, but missed out on the gig when Morgan Fisher was hired. Instead, Bolton was invited to play the Hammond organ, touring the U.S. with support from REO Speedwagon and Joe Walsh, and later hitting the road around the U.K., with Queen as their opening act. Bolton bowed out of the group in late 1973, and later briefly joined pop group Dexys Midnight Runners from 1985 to 1986. He also taught Linda McCartney how to play the keyboard, and co-wrote her song "Endless Days", which featured on her posthumous compilation album Wide Prairie in 1998. "One of the sweetest of men, and a fine musician. Sorry I have no more information yet other than he passed away suddenly in his sleep, earlier today. Our hearts go out to his wife Carol, his son, and all friends and family," Morgan Fisher posted on Facebook. - WENN/Canoe.com, 1/2/21...... Actress Tanya Roberts, best known for roles in the James Bond film A View to a Kill and the TV series Charlie's Angels and That '70s Show, died on the evening of Jan. 4 in Los Angeles, a day after her publicist mistakenly announced her death. She was 65. Roberts died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she had been hospitalized since Christmas Eve after collapsing in her home, her partner Lance O'Brien told The New York Times and TMZ.com. Her spokesperson, Mike Pingel, said her death was from "a urinary tract infection, which spread to her kidney, gallbladder, liver and then bloodstream." Roberts appeared in various TV pilots, series and cult films before going on to star in the fifth season of ABC's Charlie's Angels. She joined Cheryl Ladd and Jaclyn Smith as Julie Rogers, a character that replaced Shelley Hack's Tiffany Welles. Roberts then starred in the film The Beastmaster and other projects before landing the role as Bond girl Stacey Sutton in 1985's A View to a Kill, opposite Roger Moore's Agent 007. Roberts is also known for playing Midge Pinciotti, the mother of Laura Prepon's Donna, on That 70's Show from 1998 to 2004. Her other TV credits include The Love Boat, Silk Stalkings, Fantasy Island and The Blues Brothers Animated Series. She most recently appeared on television in Showtime's Barbershop: The Series in 2005. The actress, who is survived by her partner Lance O'Brien, was married to Barry Roberts from 1974 until his death in 2006. She had been hosting a series of live chats with fans during the Covid-19 pandemic up until her death. - Deadline.com, 1/3/21.