Fans of Rush have successfully lobbied the High Park Zoo in Toronto to name three newly born capybaras -- a South American mammal that resembles a giant guinea pig and is the largest living rodent -- "Geddy," "Alex" and "Neil" after three of the city's most famous sons, Rush members Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart. "We are thrilled to hear that three cute little furry creatures from South America now bear our names. Thanks to all who voted to give us this special honour!," Geddy Lee said in a statement, jokingly adding, "By the way, which one is me? In the picture I saw none of them were wearing glasses." In May 2016, the three capybaras' parents escaped from the same zoo and, after 36 days on the lam and a cost of about $15,000, were eventually recaptured. The pair became affectionately known as "Bonnie and Clyde." The city also honored Rush in Sept. 2016 when a suburban park in Toronto was named the "Lee-Lifeson Art Park" in an area in which the pair grew up and Rush formed in 1971. - Billboard, 6/25/17...... Stevie Nicks has re-recorded "Gypsy," a track from Fleetwood Mac's 1982 album Mirage, for a new Netflix show of the same name and which was inspired by the song. Gypsy show creator Lisa Rubin says she wrote the new show's pilot episode after listening to the Fleetwood Mac track, and Nicks subsequently offered to re-record the song for Gypsy's opening credits. "I'm very excited for the world to hear 'Gypsy' more like I wrote it -- on piano. I am very proud of this version," Nicks told Entertainment Weekly. The 10-episode first season of Gypsy will be available for streaming on Netflix on June 30. - New Musical Express, 6/26/17...... Glen Campbell's final studio album, Adiós has debuted at No. 40 on Billboard's Hot 200 album chart for the week ending July 1. With 14,000 units sold -- nearly all from traditional album sales -- Adiós was recorded in 2012, a year after it was announced the ailing star had Alzheimer's disease. The LP is Campbell's 16th Top 40 album, and did even better on the Billboard Top Country Album chart, where it bowed at No. 7 and becomes his 19th Country Top 10 effort. Meanwhile, Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham's self-titled joint album has debuted at No. 17 on the Hot 200, with 23,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending June 15 -- 22,000 in traditional album sales. The Buckingham/McVie album surpasses the chart highs of any of the two artists' solo projects. Chuck Berry's posthumous LP CHUCK has also risen to No. 49, after its June 16 release. CHUCK is the late rock legend's first album of mostly new music since 1979's Rock It, and becomes his highest charting album of new music since 1972, when The London Chuck Berry Sessions peaked at No. 8. - Billboard, 6/23/17...... Gene Simmons of Kiss has told Forbes that he's abandoning his attempt to trademark the heavy metal "devil horns" gesture -- a thumb-out variation that looks more like the American Sign Language symbol for "I love you," or the thing Spider-Man does to activate his web shooters. After Simmons filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on June 9 to patent the gesture, he came under criticism by many in the heavy metal community, including the widow of legendary frontman Ronnie James Dio, who passed away and is credited with actually inventing the "horns" signal. "Because I've been lucky enough to have done it so much, it's been more equated with me than anyone else," Ronnie Dio said in a late 1990s interview, adding, "although Gene Simmons will tell you he invented it -- but then again, Gene invented breathing and shoes." - Spin.com, 6/22/17...... A deluxe 3-CD remastered version of Prince's 1984 landmark album Purple Rain has just hit stores, and unlike most "deluxe reissues," it isn't padded with "alternate mixes" or the kind of bonus material that only diehards care about -- it's stuffed with fully finished Prince and the Revolution songs from when the band was at its creative peak. Disc 1 is a 2015 Paisley Park remaster of the album that sounds better than ever; Disc 2 contains songs previously unreleased songs from Prince's vault; and Disc 3 features single edits and B-sides. A bonus DVD showcases Prince and the Revolution live at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY, on March 30, 1985. - Billboard, 6/23/17...... Power of Peace, a collaborative LP from Carlos Santana and the Isley Brothers, is due July 28. Santana says Ronald Isley's cover of Burt Bacharach's "The Look of Love" was the first song he and his new bride, Santana band member Cindy Blackman Santana, danced to at their 2010 wedding, and that first gave him the idea to collaborate with the Isleys. Ronald Isley was then featured adding vocals to a pair of songs on Santana's 2016 album Santana IV, and now a 13-song set with Santana on guitar and Isley singing songs made famous by such artists as the Chambers Brothers, Stevie Wonder, The Impressions, Marvin Gaye and Bacharach has been released. "The theme [of the new LP] is spiritual divine medicine to counter the fever pitch fear that's permeating this planet right now," Santana explains. "Every era has its songs, whether it's Pete Seeger or Bob Dylan or Bob Marley or Curtis Mayfield, to help alleviate the condition of brutality and war." The Isleys recencly joined Santana during his most recent residency in Las Vegas and there are hopes of more performances in the future. Meanwhile, Santana will be touring throughout the summer, and he's also hatching plans for the Santana IV band to regroup -- including for a still-being-finalized 50th anniversary Woodstock festival at which the guitarist is planning to play in "three or four bands," including his own and one with surviving members of Sly & the Family Stone. - Billboard, 6/22/17...... Lionel Richie has announced a co-headlining 22-date tour with Mariah Carey that will launch July 21 in Oakland, Calif., and the former Commodores member and '80s solo superstar says he is welcoming Carey's notorious diva behavior when she joins his summer All the Hits Tour. "I wanted her to feel in her element," Richie says. "And a diva has to do what a diva has to do." Richie says he invited Carey on the tour because of her discography of hits and campy vibe. "It's going to be camp city," Richie says. "And I told her, 'Bring all the camp with you'," referring to Carey's massive entourage. Richie, 68, added that he feels fine after undergoing a knee procedure earlier in the year. The father of three, including actress and reality show star Nicole Richie, says he's also working on a book called How to Survive Your Children. - AP, 6/23/17...... Bee Gees surviving brother Barry Gibb played the renowned "legends slot" at the UK's Glastonbury Festival on June 25, drawing heavily from the group's vast back catalogue during his 75-minute set. Early in the set, Gibb dedicated the Bee Gees' hit "Words" to the "people of Manchester and London," who have undergone recent terror attacks. He finished the set with "Tragedy" in a Bee Gees-style gold jacket given to him by a festivalgoer. Also appearing at this year's Glastonbury was Chic mastermind Nile Rodgers, whose set included a rendition of his collaboration with the late David Bowie, "Let's Dance." Referring to his recent battle with an extremely aggressive cancer, Rodgers told the crowd: "I feel like the luckiest man in the world tonight, because six years after that doctor told me to get my affairs in order, today, six years later, I am cancer-free!," to wild cheers from the audience. - New Musical Express, 6/25/17...... Paul McCartney participated in a Facebook Live web chat with comic Tim Minchin on June 21, after previously announcing his first tour of Australia and New Zealand in 24 years. Asked his best memories of Australia, which he last toured in 1993, McCartney said, "I think it's the wildlife because we don't have that here. We don't have kangaroos or koalas. So we went to a zoo and were able, me and the kids, were able to hold a little peaceful koala." A fan asked if he'd consider adding the McCartney solo song "Ode to a Koala Bear" to his set list and he said whimsically, "That's a thought, isn't it?" Presale tickets for the Down Under concerts, which take place from Dec. 2-Dec. 16, are currently available on PaulMcCartney.com, with general sales beginning July 4. - Billboard, 6/22/17...... Queen and Adam Lambert gave their first US live performance since 2014 when they appeared on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live on June 23. The band performed the Queen track "I Want It All," and also a snippet of a new Adam Lambert song, entitled 'TwoFux', during the set. Queen and Lambert recently announced a huge US tour for 2017, with European and Australian runs also following later in the year. Lambert, who rose to fame on the US talent show American Idol, has been Queen's touring frontman and replacement for Freddie Mercury since 2011. - NME, 6/24/17...... Jon Walmsley, who portrayed Jason Walton on the classic 1970s TV series The Waltons, has released a blues-inspired album he says was inspired by a trip to the Mississippi Delta region. The album mixes classic blues standards with a few of Walmsley's original tunes, including the stunning closer, "Katahdin," which is about the beautiful mountains in his home state of Maine. Walmsley recalled the 1976 The Waltons episode when Merle Haggard made a guest appearance in the role of musician Red Turner. "I was thrilled to have him come on the show as a guest star, and even more so that the main plot of the show was the relationship between our two characters," Walmsley recalled. He struck me as being a little bit like Elvis Presley -- where he had his guys who were around him all the time. I think he felt most comfortable at home on the stage. I would have loved to have gotten to know him away from Hollywood, and hung out. Unfortunately, that wasn't to be, but what a great memory." Walmsley is promoting his new release through his website, JonWalmsleyMusic.com. - Billboard, 6/23/17...... The Hollywood Walk of Fame Selection Committee announced on June 23 that Star Wars actor Mark Hamill will be among the celebrities honored in the Walk of Fame Class of 2018. Other actors honored include Nick Nolte, Jeff Goldbum, Gina Lollobrigida and Lynda Carter.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Billy Joel's stream of consciousness 1980s hit "We Didn't Start the Fire" now has the historically accurate video it deserves, thanks a fan of Joel's. Since the original official video for the 1989 song from Joel's LP Storm Front leaves something to be desired for anyone trying to better understand all the historical events cited in the song, a new video called the "Historically Accurate Almanac" version features clips for the hit's more than 100 references. "Been meaning to get to this for my entire life," said the video's creator in the video description. - Billboard, 6/21/17...... Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and his current wife Patti Hansen were among the mourners at his ex-girlfriend Anita Pallenberg's private funeral service in Chichester, England on June 21. Pallenberg, who died on June 13 at age 73, and the guitarist became lovers after he rescued her from an abusive relationship with his then-bandmate Brian Jones. Richards, who described her as "a most remarkable woman," and the couple had two sons, Marlon and Tara Jo Jo, and daughter Angela during their romance. Tara Jo Jo died from sudden infant death syndrome at the age of two months in 1976. Also attending the funeral was supermodel Kate Moss. - WENN.com, 6/22/17...... According to a report in the New York Post, Bruce Springsteen will mount an eight-week residency, with five shows per week, at Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre likely beginning in November 2017, but dates have yet to be finalized. The Boss' set will reportedly be "a pared-down version of the set he usually performs in huge arenas and stadiums all over the world," according to the Post. The Walter Kerr Theatre seats 975 people and has been empty since the musical version of "Amlie" ended in May, and the venue's owner has apparently offered Springsteen use of the space for free. Meanwhile, a new musical based on Springsteen's 2016 memoir Born To Run could also be in the works after several producers have reportedly approached him with the idea, and he has reportedly shown interest in a stage adaptation. - New Musical Express, 6/17/17...... Paul McCartney announced on June 21 that he'll bring his One On One world tour to Australia and New Zealand in late 2017, his first tour Down Under in 24 years. The Beatle legend unveiled the five-date trek in a Facebook Live event hosted by musical comedy master Tim Minchin. With his touring band members Paul "Wix" Wickens (keyboards), Brian Ray (bass/guitar), Rusty Anderson (guitar) and Abe Laboriel Jr (drums), the tour will first stop in Perth on Dec. 2, followed by Melbourne (12/5), Brisbane (12/9), Sydney (12/11) and Auckland (12/16). Macca last toured the region on his 1993 New World Tour, and in 1964 the Beatles honored a commitment and made the long haul Down Under at the very peak of their fame. Meanwhile, Sir Paul has been promoted in Britain's hierarchy. On June 16, it was announced that Paul is being upgraded with a Companion of Honor award for services to music, after first being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II twenty years ago. "I'm very happy about this huge honor and with the news coming on my birthday weekend and Father's Day it makes it colossal!" McCartney said. Other luminaries promoted in the Queen's Birthday Honors list include Harry Potter novelist J.K. Rowling for her services to literature and philanthropy, and 100-year-old Gone With the Wind actress Olivia de Havilland, who will become a dame. In all, 1,109 people were on the queen's Birthday Honors list. - Billboard/AP, 6/21/17...... In other Beatles news, a lost song written by George Harrison has been found inside an old piano bench in the couples Oxforshire home by Harrison's widow Olivia Harrison. "There was a folder in George's piano bench and inside I found a typed lyric for [a song called] 'Hey, Ringo.' It think it dates from around 1970," Olivia Harrison said. She also said she believed he had recorded music for the track on a home cassette. Olivia says she gave a copy of the lyrics to Starr at a party in Los Angeles commemorating her husband's 74th birthday in February. She said: "He'd never seen this song before. He said 'What is this?' He was so surprised." The lyrics will be reproduced in an updated illustrated biography about Harrison, entitled I Me Mine. - New Musical Express, 6/17/17...... In a speech at the North Minneapolis Conference on Peace on June 17, Stevie Wonder spoke out about the Black Lives Matter movement and youth gun violence, saying "you cannot say 'Black Lives Matter' and then kill yourselves." "It is in your hands to stop all of the killing and the shooting wherever it might be," Wonder said, adding "Because you know we've mattered long before it was said, but the way we show that we matter, the way that we show all the various people of color matter is by loving each other and doing something about it. Not just talking about it, not just waiting to see the media and press come when there's a horrible thing." The Motown legend also highlighted the fatal shooting of Philando Castile during a 2016 traffic stop by former Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez. On June 16, Yanez was acquitted of all charges by a jury. Several hundred people attended the conference, which focused on violence on city streets and also included an appearance by civil rights leader Benjamin Chavis. After speaking, Wonder closed the event by performing his hits "Love's in Need of Love Today" and "Higher Ground." - Billboard, 6/20/17...... A new Brian Wilson solo anthology of 18 studio and live recordings celebrating the Beach Boys principal's 30-year solo career is due Sept. 22 via Rhino Records. Playback: The Brian Wilson Anthology will include two unreleased songs: "Run James Run," which Wilson wrote and recorded specifically for this project, and "Some Sweet Day," which he wrote with frequent collaborator Andy Paley for an unfinished project in the early '90s. It will also feature classic photographs and liner notes by critic David Wild. - Stereogum.com, 6/21/17...... Queen guitarist Brian May has revealed that there are unheard recordings by his band and David Bowie, with whom they famously teamed up with for Queen's 1981 hit "Under Pressure." According to Britain's Radio X, May says that Bowie and Queen frontman Freddie Mercury "locked horns" during the 'Under Pressure' sessions and that further material was recorded. "It wasn't easy because we were all precocious boys and David was very| forceful, yes," May recalls. "Freddie and David locked horns, without a doubt. But those are the things that happen in a studio, that's when the sparks fly and that's why it turned out so great." May went on: "And not all of what we did in those sessions has ever come to light, so there's a thought." Meanwhile, May has criticized British Airways over their seating arrangements in their on-board first class compartment, which can deny some passengers a seat by the window. In a June 14 internet post, May explained how he normally likes to enjoy the view out of the window while flying: "as soon as I'm up there above the clouds, I feel lucky and excited -- like a kid on a treat." However, May then took issue with BA's seating arrangement, which purportedly prevented him from enjoying the views from his first-class seat (which, for a one-way ticket to LA, should cost around £10,300). "I wonder if I am the only person left in the world who likes to relax in a comfortable seat and dreamily turn my head to the window and get lost in the ever-changing wonders of the planet, as they drift by?" May wrote. "I wonder this because I'm not aware of anyone except me complaining about the new way the seats are configured in BA First Class. I hate it. It costs an arm and a leg to travel this way and I feel that we no longer get our money's worth." - NME, 6/19/17...... On June 19 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame president and CEO Greg Harris announced that the Cleveland-based hall and museum will establish a permanent presence in Tokyo, Japan, in the coming years, following the opening of a short-term exhibit there in September. "Japan is the second-largest music market in the world, making it the perfect place for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's first international expansion," Harris said. The Cleveland museum, on the shores of Lake Erie, first opened in 1995 and has drawn and estimated 10 million visitors since its launch. - AP, 6/19/17..... The heirs of late Lynyrd Skynyrd members Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, who tragically perished in a 1977 plane crash, are seeking to production and distribution of a film entitled Street Survivor: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash. On June 16, a lawsuit filed by the heirs, along with a few other surviving Lynyrd Skynyrd members, was revealed when a judge rejected a bid for a preliminary injunction. The dispute emanates from a "blood oath" taken upon the plane crash that befell the 1970s band which helped popularize Southern rock. As described in newly unsealed court papers, in which the survivors agreed in 1987 "never to use the name Lynyrd Skynyrd again in an effort not to capitalize on the tragedy that had befallen the group." Artimus Pyle, who joined the band as a drummer in 1974, is described as a signatory to the Consent Order, although he evidently attempted to sign it "under protest." Nevertheless, suing Lynyrd Skynyrd parties maintain he is restrained through agreement and court order from authorizing or participating in any story that purports to be a history of the band. Also being sued is the film division of Cleopatra Records. Cleopatra points out that Pyle has been interviewed about the subject on numerous occasions without objection. Cleopatra also draws attention to how Lynyrd Skynyrd has been on tour since February, suggesting that the plaintiffs may also be in violation of the Consent Order. U.S. District Court judge Robert Sweet has scheduled a trial for July 11-12. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/19/17...... Ann Wilson says she's "definitely working on" new solo material and has plans for a solo tour, with Heart on hiatus indefinitely. "The tour's over in the late fall, and when we get back, I'll go into my home studio and we will do it, 'cause there is stuff coming." Wilson released her first solo album, Hope & Glory, in 2007. She's also released a pair of EPs as the Ann Wilson Thing, in 2015 and 2016. Wilson says her new music will likely speak to today's social and political climate, as evidenced by the covers she's been playing on her tour. "Just being out in the world, you see so many things, and every day you experience so many concepts and different people and their coolness and weirdness," she says. "It's a feast of ideas." As for the return of Heart, Wilson says there's no guarantee. "I really don't know at this moment. But I do know for sure it will never be the way it was before. It will be something out of the box, moving forward and evolved -- if it ever happens again." - Billboard, 6/19/17...... Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas has decided to put her vintage 1970 Mercedes 250C coupe up for auction at a RM Sotheby's Santa Monica sale on June 24. The two-tone, silver and black luxury vehicle, which Phillips traded a Jaguar XKE for because transporting her newborn daughter Chyna Phillips around in the XKE "wasn't working out," is estimated to bring in between $20,000 and $30,000. - Billboard, 6/19/17...... David Crosby, who once casually alleged that "rap isn't music," is featured in a new Twitter ad where users users all over the globe recommend songs that Chance the Rapper should play at his shows. The Byrds/CSNY figurehead is a standout among the twentysomethings who are featured in the same ad campaign, and suggests that Chance play "anything with real instruments" and, more unrealistically, volunteers a collaboration with the rapper ("I could up your game"). - Billboard, 6/19/17...... Co-founding former Kiss drummer Peter Criss has announced he is retiring from live performing, and will play what he says is his last U.S. concert at The Cutting Room, an intimate venue in Manhattan, on June 24. "I want to leave the stage happy," says Criss, who is the co-author and featured vocalist on the hit Kiss single "Beth." "I got onto the stage not thinking about making a buck," Criss says. "It was just pure: Play drums, have a good time, meet girls, travel and get out of Brooklyn." Criss, 71, formed Kiss with Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley in 1973, and the band went on to become one of the premier live acts of the decade. But drugs and alcohol helped cut short Criss and Frehley's tenure with the band until a 1996 reunion that was the year's highest-grossing tour. Criss last played with Kiss on a co-headlining tour with Aerosmith in 2003, and even the band's induction into the Rock Hall in 2014 couldn't end on a harmonious note. "I wanted to play so bad that night, and I know Ace did," Criss said. "And we didn't ... I didn't get to end my career the way I wanted to end it. So now I'm doing it my way, kind of like Sinatra." Criss holds out the possibility of similar farewell one-offs in other countries, following a successful show in Melbourne, Australia in May. He says he's also working on a solo rock album, a jazz album, a children's book, and even a comedy screenplay he hopes will interest actor Ben Stiller. - AP, 6/19/17...... An autopsy report issued by the Los Angeles coroner's office on June 19 reveals that Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher had cocaine, ecstasy and heroin in her system when she became ill on a London to Los Angeles flight in December. The reports states it is difficult to pinpoint when the drugs were taken and their impact on Fisher's Dec. 27, 2016 death, which was caused by sleep apnea and other undetermined factors, the report states. The report states Fisher may have taken cocaine three days before the Dec. 23 flight on which she became ill. She died four days later. It also found traces of heroin, other opiates and MDMA, which is also known as ecstasy, but that they could not determine when Fisher had taken those drugs. The findings were based on toxicology screenings done on samples taken when Fisher arrived at a Los Angeles hospital. Fisher long battled drug addiction and mental illness. She said she smoked pot at 13, used LSD by 21 and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 24. She was treated with electroshock therapy and medication. Fisher's brother Todd Fisher said that cigarette smoking also likely contributed to his sister's death. "If you want to know what killed her, it's all of it," he said. - AP, 6/19/17...... Actor Stephen Furst, known as Flounder on Animal House and Dr. Axelrod on St. Elsewhere, passed away on June 16 due to complications from diabetes. He was 63. He also appeared as Ambassador Vir Cotto on Babylon 5. - The Los Angeles Times, 6/17/17...... Comedian/actor/screenwriter Bill Dana, who created and starred as the earnest character at the center of the "My Name...Jose Jimenez" routine that made him one of America's most beloved comic performers of the 1960s, died on June 15 at his home in Nashville, Tenn. He was 92. Born William Szathmary on Oct. 5, 1924, Mr. Dana first appeared as Jimenez on The Steve Allen Plymouth Show in Nov. 1959, where he also worked as an Emmy-nominated head writer. Mr. Dana contrived the trademark "Would You Believe?" line of jokes that Don Adams employed as a standup and on the '60s sitcom Get Smart and penned one of the funniest episodes in All in the Family history -- the one from 1972 in which Sammy Davis Jr. plants a kiss on Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor). "I said, 'My name...Jose Jimenez,' and the [live] audience laughed," Mr. Dana, a Massachusetts native of Hungarian-Jewish descent, recalled in a 2007 interview with the Archive of American Television. "I remember thinking, 'This guy just said his name and everybody [went crazy]...' Mr. Dana said he got the idea for the character and the accent after talking with a Puerto Rican local while on vacation years earlier. A few months later, Jimenez showed up as an elevator operator on CBS' The Danny Thomas Show. A handful of episodes on that sitcom led to NBC's The Bill Dana Show, in which the character worked as a bellhop at a ritzy New York hotel. Jimenez was so popular, NBC ordered 39 episodes without even shooting a pilot. The series lasted two seasons, with Adams coming aboard as hotel detective Byron Glick the second year. - MSN.com, 6/19/17.
Interviewed on Sirius XM radio's new Beatles channel on June 12, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam revealed that Paul McCartney once accidentally punched him in the face at a Seattle hotel bar while getting excited telling a story. "He kind of was illustrating how he hit this guy, and when he did that, he shot out his left arm as if he was hitting this guy, and I was standing right there, and I got hit," Vedder said. "It was a great, incredible personal story and I caught the end of it, but as I was listening I was just thinking, Paul McCartney just hit me in the face. And it hurt!," said Vedder, who added that his face hurt for days after the incident. "A great time in my life to be hit by Paul McCartney," Vedder said. Adding that after the pain and swelling subsided, he "kind of missed it." Meanwhile, in a recent appearance on Conan O'Brien's TBS talk show, director Judd Apatow said Sir Paul rebuffed him once when Apatow asked McCartney for his phone number. Apatow said that McCartney used to attend his stand-up routines, and he thought he might ask McCartney out to lunch after the two met a few times after the performances. "He was very nice but he instinctively said no. He found a nice way to do it," Apatow said. - New York Post/Billboard, 6/13/17...... In other Beatles news, Yoko Ono is to be credited as co-writer of her late husband John Lennon's "Imagine" more than 45 years after the song was released, in accordance with John's wishes. "Imagine" was recently named the recipient of the 2017 Centennial Song Award by the US National Music Publishers Association, and while collecting the award on Lennon's behalf in New York on June 14, Ono was informed that she will soon receive a songwriting credit on the pop classic. A clip of a 1980 interview with John as shown, in which the late Beatle said Ono deserved a co-writing credit because of her "influence and inspiration" on the song. Since the song debuted in 1971, the writing of "Imagine" has been credited solely to Lennon, though Ono and Phil Spector are listed as co-producers. - New Musical Express, 6/15/17...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, George Harrison's son Dhani Harrison has announced he is prepping his first solo album and has booked his debut solo gigs for July. Harrison, 38, has signed a solo deal with BMG Records and is working on an album slated for release later this fall. Dhani has previously released three full-length albums and two EPs with his group Thenewno2, and has collaborated with such artists as Eric Clapton, Wu-Tang Clan, Prince, Pearl Jam, Jakob Dylan and Ben Harper He has also composed music for films, including 2014's Learning to Drive, and the TV series The Divide, Good Girls Revolt and Outsiders. - Billboard, 6/16/17...... John Lennon, Paul McCartney, David Bowie and John Peel were among many music stars honoured with blue plaques for BBC Music Day on June 15. To mark the occasion, the BBC's local radio stations unveiled 47 blues plaques across the country, signifying "locations that played a major role in our musical heritage." Lennon and McCartney were be honoured with a plaque at the venue that they played their only gig as a duo, billed as The Nerk Twins, at the Fox and Hounds in Caversham, Berkshire. Bowie received two plaques -- one in Soho in London to mark where the artist recorded his albums Hunky Dory and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and one in Kent to mark the formation of his early band The Manish Boys. Bowie's backing band, the Spiders from Mars, meanwhile got a blue plaque in Hull. - NME, 6/14/17...... Sting was honored with a Polar Music Prize during a gala at the Stockholm Concert Hall on June 15. After performances of Sting tunes by Annie Lennox ("Fragile") and Jose Feliciano ("Every Breath You Take"), Sting gave an acceptance speech. The Swedish prize was founded by ABBA manager Stig Anderson celebrates "the power and importance of music" and winners receive 1 million Swedish crowns. Also receiving a Polar Music Prize was jazz artist Wayne Shorter. - Stereogum.com, 6/16/17...... On June 9, Gene Simmons of Kiss filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that, if approved, would grand him trademark of the "thwip" hand gesture originally made famous by the superhero character Spider-Man -- the curling of one's middle and ring fingers while the pinky, index, and thumb remain extended. Simmons says that the gesture became an iconic part of Kiss's act during its 1974 Hotter Than Hell tour. According to Simmons application, he's seeking to trademark the symbol for all things relating to "entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist." The obvious issue at hand is whether or not Simmons will be able to make a solid enough argument that the gesture is so strongly tied to his brand in peoples minds that he should own it. The gesture also happens to be the sign for "I love you" in American Sign Language for the deaf. - Gizmodo.com, 6/14/17...... Bob Seger made the surprise move of bringing his "old time rock n' roll" into the digital realm on June 16, after a long time of running "against the wind" of the streaming music market. Seger is now streaming 13 of his titles -- eight studio albums, three compilations and two live sets -- via Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, iHeartRadio, Napster and Slacker Radio. The albums will also be available for digital download. It marks the long-awaited arrival of Seger's music after a lengthy holdout during which fans have campaigned on social media for the material to become available. "Bob Seger is an amazing artist with songs and albums that stand the test of time, and we're thrilled he is now making his catalog available to stream on Amazon Music," said Amazon Music VP Steve Boom. Seger was also late to releasing his catalog titles on compact disc, only releasing them in earnest beginning in 1989, and he only arrived on iTunes in 2011. The streaming move comes as Seger and his Silver Bullet Band are preparing for their Runaway Train Tour, which kicks off Aug. 24 in Toledo, and amidst reports of Seger working on a new album in Nashville, though no release details have been announced yet. - Billboard, 6/16/17...... Glen Campbell released his final studio album, Adiós, on June 9, and his daughter Ashley Campbell says the recording was therapeutic for him as well. "We definitely were seeing a decline, so we wanted him to be able to do this, while he still could," Ashley said of her dad, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2011 after signs of memory loss. "So definitely we didn't think there was going to be another album." Adiós features songs that Campbell has loved to sing, but never recorded, including songs made famous by the likes of Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt and Johnny Cash. His longtime banjo player Carl Jackson produced the album, which includes guest vocals from Willie Nelson, Vince Gill as well as his daughter, who is also a musician and singer. Ashley says her 81-year-old dad is "doing so much better than a lot of other people in his position... Instead of being scared and confused all the time, he is just happy and loves being around people. And enjoys his desserts and all that. It's nice to know that we have some kind of bright side in this dark situation." - AP, 6/15/17...... Rod Stewart became the latest rocker to ignore requests to boycott Israel when he performed in Tel Aviv on June 14. Stewart, who last played in Israel in 2010, hit the stage at Park Hayarkon despite calls for him to cancel the concert from a consortium of musicians keen to keep top acts from performing in Israel to protest the nation's ongoing spat with Palestine. Stewart performed all his hits and gave his Israel return a local touch when he invited singer Rita Yahan-Farouzto join him onstage for a rendition of his ballad "Sailing." The band Radiohead also is going ahead with plans to perform in Israel despite the boycott. - WENN.com, 6/16/17...... Stevie Nicks has composed and recorded a new song called "You Hand I Will Never Let It Go" that appears in the forthcoming movie The Book of Henry.The film follows a single mother named Susan (played by Naomi Watts) who waits tables at a diner alongside her friend (Sarah Silverman). Susan finds herself in the middle of some troubling small town drama, and the story unfolds from there. Nicks is embarking on a solo tour that includes a huge show with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in London's Hyde Park on July 9. In other Fleetwood Mac-related news, Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham are currently promoting their self-titled joint album, which dropped on June 9, and appeared on NBC's The Tonight Show on June 12, where they performed the FM classic "Don't Stop." Fleetwood Mac are due to play a huge new festival in L.A. and New York this summer, and McVie recently revealed that the entire band is "going to start rehearsing in March 2018" for a "global tour" than will begin next June. - Stereogum.com/New Musical Express, 6/14/17...... Less than a month after co-founder Gregg Allman died at age 69, organizers of his Laid Back Festival have announced that the food and music event will hit the road for a three-city swing in September with an all-star collection of rock icons paying tribute to the late Allman Brothers Band leader. Jackson Browne, Steve Winwood, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, Peter Wolf and Jaimoe's Jasssz Band will headline the event, which was first launched in 2015 as a one-off show curated by the singer/keyboardist before expanding in 2016. 2017 shows will take place at Holmdel, New Jersey's PNC Bank Arts Center (Sept. 21), Hartford, Connecticut's XFINITY Theatre (Sept. 23) and Wantagh, New York's Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater (Sept. 24). - Billboard, 6/13/17...... Alice Cooper has announced that he and his original Alice Cooper Band lineup are reuniting for a UK tour that's set to kick off on Nov. 11 in Leeds. Cooper was joined onstage in Nashville in May by original band members Dennis Dunaway (bass), Michael Bruce (guitar) and Neal Smith (drums). They performed a five song mini-set accompanied by current Alice Cooper band member Ryan Roxie on guitar. "When the original band broke up in 1975, there was no bad blood," Cooper says. "There were no lawsuits -- we had just burned out the creative process. We were never out of sight of each other for 10 years. Everybody just went their own way. Neal, Dennis and I always stayed in touch. Mike disappeared for a while and Glen Buxton passed away in 1997, which was a big blow." Alice and the band will also play Glasgow (Nov. 12), Birmingham (Nov. 14), Manchester (Nov. 14) and London (Nov. 16). Tickets for all shows are on sale now. - New Musical Express, 6/14/17...... Neil Young's ex-wife Pegi Young posted a message on the offical Bridge School website on June 14 stating that the popular Bridge School Benefit concert that Neil Young has hosted for the past 30 years will not take place in 2017, and its future remains unclear. "The Bridge School Benefit Concert, traditionally held at Shoreline Amphitheatre, will not be held in 2017," reads Pegi Young's letter. "We want to express our sincere and profound thanks to all of you for your love and support, demonstrated by way of your attendance at 30 years of Bridge School Benefit Concerts. They have been truly memorable events and we have great appreciation for everyone who has been involved beginning, of course, with Neil Young and including all the many artists who have been so generous with their time and talent; the production people who have made it all possible." Neil Young also issued a statement on the school website, citing "personal reasons" for no longer hosting the event beginning this year. "Although I will continue in fund raising efforts, for personal reasons beginning this year I will no longer be hosting The Bridge School Concert," he wrote. "I wish everyone the best as the school heads into the future." The annual BSB concert was founded in 1986, and in addition to Neil Young has been headline by such acts as David Bowie, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Brian Wilson, Patti Smith, Arcade Fire, My Morning Jacket and many more. The school was co-founded by Pegi Young in 1986 for children with severe speech and physical impairments after she and Neil Young had trouble finding a suitable school for their non-verbal son, Ben Young, who has cerebral palsy. She is currently the president of the board of directors. - Billboard, 6/14/17...... Robin Trower will release a new studio album, Time and Emotion, on Aug. 4 in the UK. "I can honestly say I don't know when I have been happier with an album," says the 72-year-old guitar god. "I feel Time and Emotion contains some of my very best work." To promote the new LP, Trower and his band will perform his only concert in the UK this year at London's Islington Assembly Hall on Nov. 29. - Noble PR, 6/16/17...... Actress and model Anita Pallenberg, the former girlfriend of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, died of as yet unannounced causes on June 13, according to a post on social media by her friend Stella Schanabel. She was 73. "I have never met a woman quite like you Anita," Schanabel's post stated. Pallenberg, born in Rome to German parents, spent time with Andy Warhol's Factory crowd in New York City before meeting the Rolling Stones in Munich in 1965. She was romantically involved with band member Brian Jones for around two years, but became better known for her long-term relationship with Richards. Though they never married, Pallenberg and Richards were in a relationship for around 12 years -- from 1967 to 1980 -- and had three children together, with the third tragically dying of cot death at just 10 weeks old. Pallenberg sang backing vocals on the classic Stones hit "Sympathy For The Devil" and has been acknowledged as a significant influence on the band. Jo Bergman, the band's assistant in the late '60s and early '70s, once said: "Anita is a Rolling Stone. She, Mick, Keith and Brian were the Rolling Stones. Her influence has been profound. She keeps things crazy." Pallenberg's acting career included appearances in the controversial Mick Jagger film Performance (1970) and a supporting role in the 1968 cult classic Barbarella. She later appeared in Harmony Korine's 2007 film Mister Lonely, and appeared alongside Marianne Faithfull in a classic episode of Absolutely Fabulous, playing The Devil to Faithfull's God. The actress/model battled drug addiction for much of her life but said in 2014 that she had been sober from drugs for 14 years. She is survived by two children and five grandchildren. - NME, 6/14/17.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Bette Midler was awarded a Best Performance by an Actress Tony for her starring role in "Hello, Dolly!" at the 71st annual Tony Awards on June 11, 2017 in New York City. During her lengthy acceptance speech, the diva was given the hint that it was time to wrap up with play-off music, to which she responded, "Shut that crap off!" Midler went on to praise the "Hello Dolly!" as a production that "has the ability to lift your spirits in these terrible, terrible times." "Hello, Dolly!" won four awards in all, including Best Revival of a Musical. - Billboard, 6/11/17..... Herb Alpert has recorded a jazzy take of the Beatles' "Michelle" which will be included in his upcoming album Music Vol. 1, which hits stores on July 28. When Alpert and his '60s band The Tijuana Brass played London in 1966, their concert was promoted by Beatles manager Brian Epstein, and Alpert remains a professed Beatles fan. "When people ask me, 'Do you regret anything,' I was thinking, man, in 1962, after A&M (Records) started, the Beatles were hunting for a record company," Alpert says. "They were on VeeJay for a while and I guess nobody really was coming to the party. I was thinking, 'Man, if I had flown over to London just to see if we could do something...' but the timing was off. I didn't get them at that moment. I retrospect you think, 'Man, they were available...'" Music Vol. 1 includes a variety of other covers, including standards such as "Unforgettable," "Cheek To Cheek" and "C'est Si Bon," a new version of the Tijuana Brass' "Flamingo" and a rendition of Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours." The set includes one original, "Sugarfoot." "My excitement has accelerated over the years," Alpert notes. "I'm getting more out of the trumpet with less effort. I'm just having a good time doing it, so I'm a lucky guy in that respect." - Billboard, 6/9/17...... An estimated 14,000 fans turned out to see Aretha Franklin perform a headline concert in her hometown of Detroit at the finale of the three-day Detroit Music Weekend festival on June 10. The generous 110-minute performance surveyed much of the Queen of Soul's 60-year recording career over the course of a dozen songs, including her classic soul period with "Chain of Fools," newer material including Adele's "Rolling in the Deep," and a vamped "Freeway of Love" that turned into a soaring gospel testimony. The previous day, Franklin was feted with a tribute concert -- which she was unable to attend for health reasons -- that featured Stevie Wonder, Bob Seger, Mitch Ryder, Kid Rock, Ariana Grande and others. Franklin, now 75, has hinted that the Detroit performance may be her last in her hometown. "It's still moving in that direction. It's winding down," she told Billboard recently. "There's a warranty on everything. Fifty-four years of traveling and flying... can be very tiring. I'm not happy, exactly, about doing something that you've been doing for 54 years that you really, really love. But nothing lasts forever." Although considering retiring from live performing, Franklin says she's hoping to release a duet album early in 2018 with contributions from such artists as Wonder, Elton John and Lionel Richie. She is continuing to develop a biopic and has a museum and nightclub/restaurant in mind as well. A street in Detroit was also renamed in Franklin's honor during the festival. - Billboard, 6/11/17...... Phil Collins has been forced to postpone a June 8 concert on his Not Dead Yet tour at London's Royal Albert Hall after suffering a serious head injury in his hotel room. Collins, 66, was preparing to play the fourth gig in a five-night run at the venerable venue when he slipped and fell the previous evening. "Phil suffers from 'drop foot' as a result of a back operation which makes it difficult to walk," read a statement on his Facebook page. "He rose in the middle of the night to go to the toilet and slipped in his hotel room, hitting his head in the fall on a chair. He was taken to hospital where he had stitches for a severe gash on his head close to his eye and is recovering well. He will be kept under observation for 24 hours." The former Genesis drummer/vocalist and solo star launched his first tour in over a decade earlier in 2017. The statement said he will reschedule the Royal Albert gigs for Nov. 26 and 27 and is planning to continue his tour on June 11 with a gig in Cologne before heading back to London for a headlining gig at BST Hyde Park on June 30. - Billboard, 6/8/17...... A hearing is set for the third week in June on a motion by the estate of Prince to void its $31 million deal with Universal Music Group for the rights to the late pop star's "vault" of unreleased tunes and other recordings, due to potential conflicts with Warner Music Group's rights. In a flurry of court filings earlier in June, Prince's eldest half sister Sharon Nelson objected to the proposed rescission of the deal on grounds that it would harm the estate's business reputation. UMG is also seeking a refund of the $31 million it paid the estate for a recorded-music package. Meanwhile, a new charitable foundation is being launched in Prince's honor. The nonprofit PRN (Prince Rogers Nelson) Alumni Foundation -- whose board of directors is comprised of former Paisley Park employees -- is dedicated to aiding the various causes and charities that Prince supported over the years. - Billboard, 6/9/17...... An upcoming book entitled Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life will explore the spirituality of Bob Dylan. Author Scott Marshall says it's "tough to ignore the impact of Dylan's Jewish roots and the impact that Jesus has had on Dylan -- they're both a part of his story." Marshall continued: "He just turned 76, seemingly past retirement age, but he's still on the road and in the studio. And last October there was plenty of controversy when he won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Trust me when I say it's a similar situation going on when it comes to his spiritual journey over the decades: plenty of intriguing stories, competing voices, humor, conflict. Dylan sings and speaks when he feels like it. When he feels like going silent, he does that." Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life will drop on June 20. - Billboard, 6/8/17...... Lawyers representing Led Zeppelin have asked a 9th circuit appeals court to consider forcing the plaintiffs in the 2016 "Stairway to Heaven" trial to pay for their litigation fees in the case, in which a jury found guitarist found guitarist Jimmy Page did not copy the song's iconic riff from a 1968 instrumental piece by Spirit called "Taurus." On June 2, Led Zeppelin attorney Peter Anderson filed a brief that argued that an appeal of the verdict filed by attorneys for late Spirit songwriter Randy Wolfe's estate "has absolutely no merit." Anderson also asserts, "In addition, and including because Skidmore continues to advance frivolous arguments and misstate the law ... defendants should recover their costs and attorneys' fees on appeal." - Billboard, 6/8/17...... A 2016 Carole King concert filmed at Hyde Park in London will be screened at about 600 movie theaters across the U.S. for one night only on July 11. The concert was King's first U.K. performance in 27 years, where she performed her iconic album Tapestry in its entirety for the first time ever. It includes guest appearances from such friends and collaborators as David Crosby, Lou Adler, Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar, Graham Nash, Elton John and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. The screening will also feature an interview with King, and tickets for Carole King: Tapestry -- Captured Live at Hyde Park London are available online at www.FathomEvents.com and at participating theater box offices. - Billboard, 6/8/17...... Queen guitarist Brian May has released a new video detailing and promoting the forthcoming Queen Monopoly game which substitutes properties for iconic Queen moments. The Queen Monopoly game has been in the works for a year in a half, which May compares to the time-frame of making an album. May says in the video: "You've got your band on the road and you have a career, and all the milestones that happen in real life will happen to you. All the good stuff and all the bad stuff, too." The 18-minute-long video also contains a comprehensive discussion of the game rules, an unboxing of the game pieces and board and explains how this collaboration came to be. Queen's Monopoly will be available in the U.K. beginning June 23. - New Musical Express, 6/8/17...... Country music songwriter/producer Norro Wilson, whose work includes Charlie Rich's "The Most Beautiful Girl" and "A Very Special Love Song," George Jones' "A Picture of Me (Without You)," Tammy Wynette's "He Loves Me All The Way," and Charley Pride's "Never Been So Loved (In All My Life)," passed away on June 8 after a recent stay in hospice care. He was 79. The Scottsville, Ky. native was a Grammy winner who began his music career as a Gospel singer, performing in the group The Southlanders, and began to record more often as a solo artist in the late 1960s. His own country chart appearances included "Only You" and 1970's "Do It To Someone You Love," which peaked at No. 20. In the 1980s, Wilson stayed busy producing records, and working in the A&R department at RCA. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters' Hall of Fame, and was also a 2008 inductee into the Kentucky Music Hall Of Fame. - Billboard, 6/9/17...... Ed Victor, an A-list literary agent who brokered recent bestselling memoirs by the likes of Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and Andrew Lloyd Webber, died on June 7 in London of a heart attack. He was 77. Other clients include Pete Townshend, U2, Carl Bernstein and Candice Bergen. A New York City native, Victor moved to Britain in the early 1960s after receiving a scholarship from the University of Cambridge. He attempted to start a newspaper and was an editor at Alfred A. Knopf and at Weidenfeld & Nicolson before launching his own literary agency in 1976. - Billboard, 6/9/17...... Actor Adam West, who rose to fame portraying Batman in the 1960s TV series that lifted the Caped Crusader into pop culture consciousness, died on June 10 after a "short but brave battle with leukemia," according to a post on Facebook by his family. He was 88. Mr. West, who played the superhero straight for kids and funny for adults, initially chaffed at being typecast after Batman went off the air after three seasons, but in later years he admitted he was pleased to have had a role in kicking off a big-budget film franchise by showing the character's wide appeal. Born William West Anderson in Walla Walla, Wash., Mr. West moved to Seattle at age 15 with his mother after his parents divorced. He graduated from Whitman College, a private liberal arts school, in Walla Walla, and after serving in the Army, he went to Hollywood and changed his name to Adam West and began appearing on a number of television series, including Bonanza, Perry Mason and Bewitched. Mr. West initially chaffed at being typecast after Batman went off the air after three seasons, but in later years he admitted he was pleased to have had a role in kicking off a big-budget film franchise by showing the character's wide appeal. More recently, he did the voice of nutty Mayor Adam West in the long-running Family Guy series. Mr. West is survived by his third wife, Marcelle, and six children. - AP, 6/10/17.
The remastered 50th anniversary edition of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band re-entered the Billboard Hot 200 album chart for the week ending June 1, coming in at No. 3 with 75,000 equivalent album units sold. The No. 3 ranking is Sgt. Pepper's' highest since the Dec. 30, 1967-dated chart, when it also placed at No. 3, and is also the highest rank for a Beatles album in more than 16 years. The album also helped the legendary quartet re-enter the Billboard Artist 100 chart at a new peak of No. 5. The Artist 100 chart blends album and track sales, radio airplay, streaming and social media fan interaction. The band previously peaked at No. 14 on that chart on Oct. 1, 2016. - Billboard, 6/7/17...... Gregg Allman was laid to rest on June 3 at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Ga., near the U.S. "Highway 41" that was immortalized in the Allman Brothers Band hit "Ramblin' Man." The legendary Southern rocker was buried near his late brother Duane Allman in the same cemetery where, according to Allman, they used to write songs among the tombstones. Thousands of fans lined the streets of Macon to honor Allman, as a bagpiper played a somber tune. Family and friends, including musicians who played in the ABB over the years, gathered on a hillside overlooking his grave, which is shaded by huge oak trees. Many shared memories of concerts, and some blared the band's songs from their cars and trucks. One carried a sign saying "You made our soul shine. We'll miss you brother Gregg." Before the burial, a private funeral service was held inside a small chapel with mourners, including Allman's ex-wife Cher, filing past as five black stretch limousines waited outside for the short trip to the cemetery. Allman's famous fellow Georgian, former U.S. Pres. Jimmy Carter, also mourned the keyboardist who drew large crowds to campaign events during his 1976 presidential race. Allman died May 27 at the age of 69 of liver cancer at his home near Savannah, Ga. Allman's manager, Michael Lehman, told the AP that the night before Allman passed away, he was able to listen to some of the tracks being produced for his final album, Southern Blood, which is scheduled to be released in the fall. "He was looking forward to sharing it with the world and that dream is going to be realized," Lehman said. "I told him that his legacy is going to be protected, and the gift that he gave to the music world will continue to live on forever." On June 6, Allman was also honored with an all-star tribute during the CMT Music Awards in Nashville, Tenn., which opened with a performance of ABB songs by Derek Trucks, Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean and Darius Rucker. - AP, 6/3/17...... Meanwhile, Cher has confirmed on Twitter that a Broadway musical based on her life is coming to The Great White Way in 2018. On June 6, Cher tweeted, "Just got off phone w/Writer & Director of musical. There will be performance in theatre with actors, dancers, singer It'll be on Broadway 2018." Jason Moore, who previously directed the stage musical "Avenue Q" as well as the popular a cappella film Pitch Perfect, is directing the show, which is based on the singer's life and career, according to reports from the New York Post. It features a book by Rick Elice (Jersey Boys), with songs selected from Cher's greatest hits. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/6/17...... In related news, a new Meat Loaf musical opened on June 5 in London's West End at the Coliseum. "Jim Steinman's Bat Out of Hell -- The Musical" had its world premiere earlier in 2017 at the Opera House in Manchester, England, and is scheduled to open in Toronto's Ed Mirvish Theatre on Oct. 25. The musical is directed by Jay Scheib and stars Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington as Strat and Raven, respectively. Originally conceived by Steinman for the stage in 1975 and performed once under the name Neverland, in 1977, the musical is about some rebellious teens in post-apocalyptic Obsidian, ruled by the tyrannical Falco. Strat falls in love with the leader's daughter, Raven, and sets out to rescue her. - Billboard, 6/5/17...... A new Prince musical will be touring the UK in 2018. The creators of Michael Jackson-themed musical "Thriller Live" are behind the show, where Prince's greatest hits will be turned into a musical. The show will be taken to theatergoers across the UK and will include hits "Raspberry Beret," "Kiss," "When Doves Cry," "Little Red Corvette" and titular track "Purple Rain." A cast of 26 will tour the show, with dates kicking off in Bromley on Feb. 1 before heading to Manchester, Plymouth, Birmingham and Blackpool. There will also be dates in Edinburgh, Hull, Ipswitch and Belfast. - New Musical Express, 6/4/17...... Chicago founding member Jimmy Pankow and his bandmate Robert Lamm are scheduled to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 15. Pankow, the songwriter and trombone virtuoso who's responsible for threading Chicago's signature horns throughout five decades of music, says that "inspiration is a constant thing" for his own songs, which include the smash "Just You 'n' Me." "You can be inspired with an idea in any given moment... There have also been songs in my catalog that are instrumentally challenging for the band and for the horn section, and I enjoy that as well," Pankow says. He added that "there's a few really cool possibilities for the next chapter for Chicago that I'm not at liberty to discuss at the moment." Chicago is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a band in 2017, and was recently inducted in the 2016 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. - Billboard, 6/7/17...... Meanwhile, Motown legend Berry Gordy, Jr. will also be inducted with the 2017 Songwriters Hall of Fame class on June 15. The 87-year-old Gordy, who deferred his induction from last year, says that he's most proud of "all the artists, writers, musicians and producers, who had so much faith and trust in me and the courage to follow me down roads that didn't even exist... They are the people who worked, laughed, cried, lived and died to help make the Motown legacy what it is today, and I'll always be grateful to them." - Billboard, 6/5/17...... The site of the legendary 1969 Woodstock music festival has been given national historic recognition after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on June 6 that Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in the Hudson Valley town of Bethel has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Cuomo says the festival that drew nearly half a million people to Max Yasgur's dairy farm was a "pivotal moment in both New York and American history," and the recognition will preserve the landmark for future generations. Bethel Woods Center CEO Darlene Fedun says the recognition furthers educational and cultural initiatives at the museum and surrounding grounds that embody the "spirit of the '60s." The 800-acre Bethel Woods campus is 90 miles north of New York City. - AP, 6/7/17...... Bob Dylan finally delivered his Nobel Prize lecture in the form of a 30-minute recording on June 4. The iconic singer/songwriter accepted the Nobel Prize in Literature while in Sweden back in April, but did not deliver the lecture that was required in order to claim his 8 million kroner (£725,000) prize money. Dylan traced the literary and musical influences behind his work in the speech, among them Buddy Holly (who Dylan saw shortly before his death), and the classic novels Moby Dick, All Quiet on the Western Front and The Odyssey. In conclusion, Dylan stated the following: "Our songs are alive in the land of the living. But songs are unlike literature. They're meant to be sung, not read. The words in Shakespeare's plays were meant to be acted on the stage. Just as lyrics in songs are meant to be sung, not read on a page. And I hope some of you get the chance to listen to these lyrics the way they were intended to be heard: in concert or on record or however people are listening to songs these days. I return once again to Homer [character in The Odyssey], who says, 'Sing in me, oh Muse, and through me tell the story.'" Dylan was announced as the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in Oct. 2016, but did not acknowledge as much for over two weeks. He did not attend the prize giving ceremony back in December, with Patti Smith performing in his stead. - New Musical Express, 6/5/17...... Barbra Streisand's "The Music The Mem'ries The Magic Tour" has grossed over $53 million after wrapping in May, with an additional $6.8 million in revenue added after the diva played two sold out final concerts in the New York metropolitan area -- at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., on May 4 and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on May 6. The tour initially concluded in December 2016 with $46 million earned from a fall trek through North American cities, but in February, Streisand announced two further May dates. In total, Streisand's tour sold 203,423 tickets at 16 shows in 14 North American cities. The diva launched the trek in support of her last album, Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway, which topped the Billboard Hot 200 album chart. - Billboard, 6/7/17...... David Bowie's widow Iman posted a tribute to her late husband on Twitter on June 6, what would have been the couple's 25th wedding anniversary. The supermodel posted a photo of Bowie kissing her forehead that included the words, "I would walk forever, just to be in your arms again." She tweeted, "June 6th #BowieForever," with the picture. Bowie and Iman officially married in Switzerland in Ap.1992, but held a church ceremony in Italy on June 6 of that year. They had one daughter together, who's now 16. Bowie died in January 2016 at age 69, following a battle with cancer. - AP, 6/7/17...... To mark the 50th anniversary of the worldwide success of Englebert Humperdinck's 1967 hit "Release Me," Decca/UMe released a new Humperdinck compilation Engelbert 50 in the U.S. on June 2. The two-CD collection includes Humperdinck's long list of hits as well as two new songs. "Release Me" is also notable for spending six weeks at No. 1 in the U.K., and preventing the Beatles from hitting the top spot with one of their greatest double-sided singles, "Penny Lane"/"Strawberry Fields Forever." When asked if he ever discussed his triumph over "Penny Lane" with any of the Beatles, Humperdinck says, "When I met Paul [McCartney] and Ringo [Starr], they were too much the gentlemen to even bring it up." Humperdinck added that he heard Ray Price's version of the song after he recorded his. "[Ray] used to tell his audiences, 'This used to be my song'... He always mentioned my name in his shows," Humperdinck says. Asked if he ever believed he'd one day be celebrating 50 years in the music industry, Humperdinck said: "If you don't put out material that's going to last, you're not going to last. Over the years, I sold over 150 million records. My music has been my passport to the world, and it's been amazing for me. - Billboard, 6/2/17...... Actor Roger Smith, best known for his role as Jeff Spencer in the TV detective show 77 Sunset Strip and later the husband/manager of Ann-Margaret, died at a Los Angeles hospital on June 4 after battling myasthenia gravis, a long-term neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness. He was 84. Mr. Smith first began his acting career in the 1950s after being spotted by James Cagney, who put him forward for various movie roles including his part in 1957 film Man of a Thousand Faces. Mr. Smith landed his part in 77 Sunset Strip in 1958, and continued on the ABC series until 1963. The program, which focused on the work of two private detectives, played by Smith and co-star Efrem Zimbalist Jr., is widely considered to have been a game changer in reviving the crime drama television genre. It also lead to a host of spin-offs, including Hawaiian Eye, Surfside 6 and Bourbon Street Beat. Mr. Smith is also known for his part on NBC series Mister Roberts, which ran from 1965 to 1966. Mr. Smith married Ann-Margaret in 1967, and he later quit the acting business to manage her career. The couple had no children, with the actress admitting in the 1980s that she had unsuccessfully tried to become pregnant for over a decade. - WENN.com, 6/7/17...... Comedian Jerry Lewis is recovering after being treated at a Las Vegas hospital for a urinary tract infection, according to his publicist. The 91-year-old Lewis was admitted to the hospital on June 2 so that he could get antibiotics immediately to treat the condition. His publicist says he is doing fine and is expected to be released shortly. Lewis has dealt with a variety of health issues in the past, including hospitalizations in 2012 for his blood sugar and in 2011 for being overly tired. - AP, 6/5/17.