The estate of Michael Jackson issued a statement on May 22 saying two upcoming Jackson projects, Lifetime's Michael Jackson: Searching For Neverland and a Netflix project about Jackson told from the perspective of his pet monkey Bubbles, were not sanctioned by the estate. The statement also implied that litigation could follow what it is claiming is unauthorized use of Jackson's "music, images, video and films" that seek to exploit Jackson's legacy. Searching For Neverland, based on a 2014 book written by Jackson's bodyguards Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard, stars Jackson impersonator Navi as the late pop icon. Netflix is reportedly close to securing a $20 million deal for the Bubbles the chimp project, which will be a stop-animation feature. Jackson's estate also claimed it has "numerous project in development" which, according to them, "respect, honor and celebrate Michael's life and legacy." The executors said they were were not yet ready to announce these projects. - Billboard, 5/22/17...... Cher was honored with the prestigious Billboard Icon Award at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards in Los Angeles on May 21. Before being presented the award by Gwen Stefani who called her "truly the definition of an icon," Cher performed her 1999 chart-topper "Believe," dressed in an outfit that was basically a few strings of shimmery beads. "So, I've wanted to do what I do since I was four years-old," the 71-year-old pop great said as the crowd hooted their approval. "And I've been doing it for 53 years. That is not an applause thing, I'm 71 yesterday. And I can do a five-minute plank, okay? Just saying." Cher also thanked her mom, who she recalled told her when she was really young: "you're not going to be the smartest, you're not going to be the prettiest, you're not going to be the most talented, but you're going to be special." After a video montage of her astonishing, eclectic career, Cher returned to the stage, this time dressed in her vintage black motorcycle jacket, lace bodysuit, knee-high boots and huge curly wig, to perform her late '80s classic "If I Could Turn Back Time." Cher's son, Chaz Bono, was in the audience smiling the whole time. Previous Billboard Icon Award recipients include Celine Dion, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Stevie Wonder and Neil Diamond. - Billboard, 5/22/17...... Roger Waters invited a cadre of friends, family, music industry execs and even radio contest winners to New Jersey's Meadowlands Arena on May 21 to witness a dress rehearsal for his upcoming Us & Them Tour. Backed by a six-piece band, the former Pink Floyd principal performed songs from such classic Floyd albums as The Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, Wish You Were Here and Animals, along with new material "Deja Vu" and "The Last Refugee" from his forthcoming solo LP, Is This the Life We Really Want?, out June 2. During the rehearsal, Waters riduculed US Pres. Donald Trump by showing doctored images of the 45th president in bright, Warhol-like colors depicting him with lipstick, with breasts, with a Klan hood, without pants (showing a tiny penis), with his head on a pig and with the word "charade" (referencing a lyric in the song) written over his face, during his performance of his former band's "Pigs (Three Different Ones)." A giant, flying, drone-controlled pig also flew around a giant screen with the words "welcome to the machine" written on it juxtaposed by an image of Trump with dollar signs over his eyes and a word bubble saying, "I won!." Waters' full, two-hours-plus tour gets underway on May 26 in Kansas City, Mo. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 5/22/17...... Todd Rundgren has released a new video, "Chance For Us," from his latest album White Knight. Rundgren co-wrote and recorded the soulful "Chance For Us" with Daryl Hall, rekindling a relationship that goes back to the 1974 Hall & Oates album War Babies, which Rundgren produced. "I had a track that sounded kind of old school and I sent it to Daryl and he wrote a song over it," Rundgren says, adding that he "wanted it to be like a lost episode of Live at Daryl's House," Hall's live concert series. Other collaborators on White Knight include Donald Fagen, Joe Walsh, Trent Reznor and Joe Satriani, among others. Rundgren wraps up his latest solo tour on June 10 in Syracuse, NY. He'll be on the road with Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band again this fall, but before that he's taking part in Yes' Yestifal tour, along with Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy. "I haven't been full-on prog for awhile," Rundgren says. "We're not currently set up to go full prog, but we'll probably keep all the guitar songs and maybe lose some of the R&B songs, I guess, to make it a little more proggy." - Billboard, 5/22/17...... A Minnesota judge ruled on May 19 that Prince's siblings will inherit his $200 million estate. Carver County district judge Kevin Eide decided that, since Prince did not make a will before his death in his Paisley Park home on Apr. 21, 2016, his heirs are his sister Tyka Nelson and five half-siblings -- Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson, John Nelson, Omarr Baker and Alfred Jackson. More than 45 people reportedly have filed claims to his estate, claiming to be his wife, children or other relatives. Judge Eide has said he will consider any cases sent to him by the appellate courts, and that Prince's assets won't be distributed in a way that might unfavorably affect any pending appeals. Meanwhile, in a new court filing, Prince estate administrator Comerica Bank recommended that a judge rescind the estate's $31 million deal with Universal Music Group for the licensing rights to the late icon's recorded-music catalog, due to possible overlap with rights that Prince's former label, Warner Bros. Records, might legitimately hold. A hearing to determine the fate of the controversial deal is set for May 31. - New Musical Express/Billboard, 5/19/17...... Ten years after the release of the successful Abba-based musical and film Mamma Mia!, studio execs are taking a chance on the sequel to the smash hit. Super troupers Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth are set to reprise their roles in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, with a fresh soundtrack of Abba songs, some of which did not make it in to the original. Abba members Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus will be executive producers on the new project, which will be written and directed by British filmmaker Ol Parker (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel). Despite mixed reviews, the original Mamma Mia, which was based on a Broadway play, made $600 million worldwide, almost 12 times its budget. - BBC.com, 5/21/17...... In a new interview with the London Times, David Bowie's first wife Angie Bowie confirmed that she is still estranged from their son Zowie Bowie, who now prefers to be known as Duncan Jones. When the couple divorced in 1980, David was granted custody of Zowie, who remained in contact with his mother Angie until he reached the age of 13. However, they are not believed to have shared any kind of mother-son relationship since then. Asked if she had been in touch with Duncan since his father passed away in January 2016, Angie said, "My son? No, why should I be? I'm not interested. It stopped when my father changed his will to not include an educational trust for Zowie because David divorced me." "When my father did that I followed precedent. It's over. Nothing. Nothing to do with me," she added. Duncan Jones has established a career as a movie director with such films as Moon, Source Code and Warcraft. - NME, 5/22/17...... Queen guitarist Brian May has revealed to the London Sunday Times that his late bandmate Freddie Mercury had lost almost all of one of his feet to complications from AIDS by the time he died in 1991 at age 45. "The problem was actually his foot and, tragically there was very little left of it," May said. "Once, he showed it to us at dinner. And he said: Oh, Brian, I'm sorry I've upset you by showing you that. And I said, I'm not upset, Freddie, except to realize that you have to put up with so much terrible pain." May added that Mercury didn't live quite long enough to benefit from the "magic cocktail" of antiretroviral drugs that would come just months later and stop AIDS from becoming the life sentence it once was. "He missed by just a few months," May said regretfully. "If it had been a bit later, he would still have been with us, I'm sure." - PageSix.com, 5/22/17...... Sir Roger Moore, the suave English actor who is best known for playing James Bond after Sean Connery and a brief stint by George Lazenby and Simon Templar in The Saint TV series, passed away in Switzerland on May 23 after a "short but brave battle with cancer," his family tweeted. He was 89. "It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer. The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone," the statement read. "We know our own love and admiration will be magnified many times over, across the world, by people who knew him for his films, his television shows and his passionate work for UNICEF which he considered to be his greatest achievement." The handsome Londoner, who portrayed Bond in seven films with a cartoonish, cheeky charm beginning in 1973 with Live and Let Die and probably for a bit too long, first made his reputation as a suave leading man on such television series as Maverick, The Saint and The Persuaders. Moore took on the guise of superspy 007 in Live and Let Die and stayed for The Man With the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) and A View to a Kill (1985), which hit theaters when he was nearly 58. He said it was his choice to leave the franchise. His Bond was more of a charmer than a fighter, and the actor took on the role with a grain of salt, not to mention cigars as part of his contract, he reportedly was given unlimited Montecristos during production. "My personality is entirely different than previous Bonds. I'm not that cold-blooded killer type. Which is why I play it mostly for laughs," he once said. Moore also starred for six seasons as the slick Simon Templar, who makes a living stealing from crooks, in the popular 1962-69 series The Saint, which aired in the U.K. on ITV and in the U.S. on NBC (an international hit, it sold to more than 80 countries). Moore's family said that, in accordance with his wishes, a private funeral will be given in Monaco. - The Hollywood Reporter/WENN.com, 5/23/17...... Dina Merrill, the blonde and elegant actress whose aristocratic poise and willowy good looks earned her many film and TV roles, died of Lewy body dementia on May 22 at her home in East Hampton, N.Y. She was 93. After some TV work, Ms. Merrill's Hollywood breakthrough came in 1957 as a library reference clerk in Desk Set, a comedy that marked the eighth screen pairing of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Ms. Merrill then appeared in several made-for-TV films during the '60s and '70s and long after her acting career peaked, she remained a steadfast presence on the New York social scene, spending decades as a philanthropist and fundraiser for charities and often described as an exemplar of chic fashion and elegance. She was also an heiress of two enormous fortunes, the Hutton brokerage money and Post cereals. - The Washington Post, 5/23/17.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Saturday, May 13, 2017
In a lengthy new interview with Billboard, Cher revealed she has had to "hide my telephone" since Donald Trump was elected president, because the popular social media service is "like a drug. It creeps into your life, and you have to say, 'Time to put a stop to this. I'm a grown-up.'" But Cher's commitment to mature silence never seems to last long, especially if Trump does something egregious. "The president is cheating and getting away with it, and using the White House to make money, and he's going to take health care away from people, and people are going die," Cher says. "It's outrageous. You feel like you're screaming 'Fire!' and no one's listening." Cher also had strong opinions about the Democrat party: "The Democrats f---ed up so bad in their message, and how old [the leadership] is. You've got to pray that old people die before young people can get involved with the party. I told Hillary [Clinton] she should have a group of millennials give their ideas about government." Cher, who has 3.3 million Twitter folowers, has been dubbed as "the world's most beloved Twitter user" by Buzzfeed.com, and coined her own 140-character language, full of emojis, CAPS LOCKS and insults. The diva, who turns 71 on May 20, continues her Classic Cher Tour, as well as her residency at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which dates back to her "Farewell Tour" in 2002. - Billboard, 5/18/17...... In 1992, Peter Gabriel helped found the WITNESS organization after seeing the effect that the videotape of the Los Angeles Police Department's beating of Rodney King had on the country. Now the prog rock legend has written a new essay for Time magazine about the importance of "video justice" to document human rights violations. "The value of video footage lies not just in its existence, but in the inability to deny what is captured for posterity," Gabriel writes. "Timely, accurate and impartial information is the most powerful force we have to protect the fundamental rights of all people. Now more than ever, there are more bystanders willing to step forward and speak truth to power. And, as ever, they need your help to do it." - Stereogum.com, 5/17/17...... The first ever music video from Chuck Berry for the late rock & roll legend's song "Big Boys" from his upcoming posthumous LP CHUCK has debuted on the NPR.com website. Directors Matt Bizer and Curtis Wayne Millard say they had one goal in mind when shooting the video, which features an elaborate dance sequence at a high school sock hop. "Chuck Berry tunes are a good time and they tell stories that everyone can relate with, so we wanted to stay true to that. When we where shooting the video, Chuck Berry was still with us and during post-production we found out he had passed on. We did not know how to really process it all. In a way, I think we are still processing the entire experience." CHUCK, Berry's first album in four decades, is due June 16 via Dualtone Records. - Billboard, 5/17/17...... Barry Manilow has been forced to cancel two concerts in Los Angeles and Chicago on doctor's orders because of sprained vocal cords. Manilow, 73, was to perform on May 14 at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and at Allstate Arena outside Chicago on May 17. A message posted on his Facebook page on May 14 said Manilow was ordered to rest, and he is "very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause." The Chicago show has been rescheduled for July 29 and the Los Angeles show for Aug. 4. Manilow is touring behind his latest album, This is My Town: Songs of New York. - AP, 5/14/17...... In a May 18 interview with a BBC Radio 6 music show, late Beatles producer George Martin's son Giles Martin confirmed that the iconic quartet's 1968 double-LP the "White Album" is next in line to be given the deluxe re-mix treatment. Giles, who recently worked engineer Sam Okell to re-mix the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album in stereo, said "the 'White Album', which will be the next release -- that was when they started becoming properly indulgent." "There are so many takes of 'Sexy Sadie', for instance. The efficiency went slightly out the window," he said. Martin further explained his motivation to re-mix early Beatles material -- both giving collectors something to get excited about and modernising the band's appeal. "My motivation -- when I tell my kids or grandkids about this album that changed the face of pop music, you want them to put it on a go, 'Yeah, I get it!' rather than, 'This sounds a bit old'" he said. - New Musical Express, 5/18/17...... In other Beatles news, Apple Corps has announced plans on Twitter to open a Beatles "pop-up shop" in Liverpool on May 25. The shop, which will be open through June 11, will celebrate the 50th anniversary re-release of the band's seminal Sgt. Pepper's album and will be located at 1 Mathew Street in the group's hometown. The address is notable because it is just a few doors down from 10 Mathew Street, location of the legendary Cavern Club, the venue where the Beatles honed their craft in their early days. A second tweet promised "lots of exclusive products," encouraging Beatles fans to arrive at midnight on the first evening to be the first to buy the anniversary edition of the album. Several special reissue packages of CD and vinyl versions of Sgt. Pepper's will be released on May 26 featuring new audio mixes of the legendary album and a special super deluxe six-disc set full of unreleased outtakes. - Billboard, 5/17/17...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, Paul McCartney has shared a photo on Twitter of himself in costume for the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. News of Macca's cameo appearance in the film first came in March, and while details of his role are under wraps, the IMDb lists his role as "Jail Guard 2." His appearance, which was filmed after the main shoot had been completed, has been described as "an extra big set-piece scene," which is reportedly "built around" McCartney. Dead Men Tell No Tales, in which Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow with Javier Bardem joining the franchise as the film's main villain, hits theaters on May 26. - NME, 5/13/17...... The Eagles' member Don Henley revealed during a radio interview with Dallas sports station KTCK that Deacon Frey, son of late Eagles vocalist/guitarist Glenn Frey, will play with the Eagles on their Classic East and Classic West festival dates in July. When one of the KTCK interviewers casually mentioned that Frey's son was playing with the band, Henley responded, "Well, I'm not supposed to say that... There's going to be an official announcement in a few days, but let's just do it here." Henley continued: "Glenn's son Deacon is a very talented young man, and he seems to be up for the task. He's enthusiastic about it and he's been working real hard on it, and he's gonna do it with us. And I think that's appropriate." The Eagles, along with Fleetwood Mac, Journey and more, will headline both the Classic West (July 15-16 at L.A.'s Dodger Stadium) and Classic East (July 29-30 at New York's Citi Field) festivals this summer. - Billboard, 5/16/17...... Meat Loaf traveled to Toronto, Canada, on May 15 to meet the cast of the brand new "Bat Out of Hell - The Musical" for the first time and join them briefly onstage for a four-song mini-set. The show, starring Andrew Polec as Strat and his love interest Christina Bennington as Raven, is based on Meat Loaf's massive-selling 1977 album of the same name, and was originally conceived by its songwriter Jim Steinman for the stage in 1975. In fact, it was performed once, under the name "Neverland," in 1977. It had its world premiere at the Opera House in Manchester, England, earlier in 2017 and opens in London's West End at the Coliseum June 5. The North American premiere will be in Toronto, starting Oct. 14. - Billboard, 5/16/17...... Country music legend Loretta Lynn is recovering at a rehabilitation facility after being released from the hospital after suffering a stroke earlier in May. According to a post on the 85-year-old Lynn's website, the singer/songwriter is now "doing great." "Loretta wants to thank everybody for their prayers love and support. Loretta has been moved from hospital facility in to rehabilitation and we're happy to report she is doing great," the message reads. Lynn suffered from a stroke on May 4 at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. She was then admitted into a Nashville hospital with the expectation she would make a full recovery. Her doctors have advised her to stay off the road while she recuperates and upcoming scheduled shows will be postponed. - Billboard, 5/15/17...... Billy Joel played to a packed Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on May 13, his first performance in Los Angeles since May 2014 when he played three nights at the Hollywood Bowl. The 68-year-old pop songsmith opened the show with "Movin' Out, then slapped down a quick, convincing snack of Led Zeppelin's "Rock & Roll" in his 1980 hit, "You May Be Right." Other highlights were "Vienna," which has become a stealth crowd favorite nationwide, and "Zanzibar," before which Joel mused "So this is where the Dodgers ended up," adding that once they moved, "I became a f--king Yankees fan -- now I'm a Mets fan and I miss the Dodgers." After renditions of "Scenes from An Italian Restaurant," his self-declared favorite, and his signature "Piano Man," Joel closed the show with "You May Be Right." - Billboard, 5/15/17...... E Street Band guitarist/vocalist Steven Van Zandt releases his new solo album, Soulfire, on May 19. The set hearkens back to Van Zandt's classic first solo album of gritty, greasy, horn-accented '60s -style rock and soul, Men Without Women, and fans of his work with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes and Gary U.S. Bonds will also appreciate updated versions of "Love on the Wrong Side of Town," "I Don't Want to Go Home" and "Standing in the Line of Fire." "Soulfire is a collection of stuff I've done in the past," Van Zandt recently told Billboard. "Each song is an element of who I am: There's a doo-wop song on the album; a blues song, R&B and some jazz. For people who are going to be hearing me for the first time, it's an introduction to who I am. For those who are familiar with my work, Soulfire is a return to how most people identify me, which is that soul-meets-rock thing." - Billboard, 5/16/17...... Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne reportedly renewed their wedding vows over the second weekend in May in an intimate ceremony held in Las Vegas. The ceremony comes following a turbulent year for the pair, who split briefly in 2016 after the Black Sabbath frontman admitted to having had an affair with a hairstylist. Sharon and Ozzy apparently both cried during their vow renewal, with Sharon, 64, forgiving her husband for his previous indiscretions and thanking him for "coming home." Ozzy told Hello! magazine that "for me, this was actually our real wedding day." "This is the one that I will remember," Ozzy told the publication. "Sharon and I have been through so much, and this honestly feels like a new beginning." Meanwhile, Sharon also explained that she now feels closer to Ozzy, 68, than ever before. "It was hard to rebuild the trust, but I can't imagine my life without Ozzy," she shared. "The ceremony was just beautiful. We've fallen in love all over again." - WENN.com, 5/17/17...... Lionel Richie delivered a graduation address to more than 1,000 graduates at the Berklee College of Music on May 13 at the Agganis Arena in Boston, after accepting his own honorary degree from the institution. Richie talked about choosing songwriting versus performing as a career, telling the graduates: "You are sitting in prime seats to tell the world what's on your mind." The former Commodores member was among five music-industry professionals who received an honorary degree of doctor of music. - AP, 5/14/17...... In a new interview with the UK's Vice.com, Blondie singer Debbie Harry confessed that she'd "had several" stalkers during Blondie's 43-year-long career. "I've had a couple of ex-boyfriends who didn't understand the "ex", and that was problematic," Harry explained further, adding: "On the fan level, I've never had anything really seriously bad. But there was one guy who wrote to me endlessly -- I had shopping bags full of letters from him. And the handwriting was very tiny and cramped and I couldn't even read them. So I handed them over to a detective and the guy was contacted. It turned out he was this tragic guy who had gone off his meds and nobody was paying any attention to him, so he wrote to me." Harry also voiced her opinion on drugs, saying "dependency on an illegal substance outlives the fun thing really quickly; it gets to be a real drag." Blondie released its 11th album, Pollinator, on May 5. - New Musical Express, 5/15/17...... Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has revealed that he's working on new music with Brian Eno and Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never ."Last week I wrote words and a melody over a track that Daniel Lopatin sent me, so I change depending on the situation," Byrne said of his songwriting process. "Lyrics are best when the writing is not obvious -- when they appear to be naturally occurring." When asked if he and Brian Eno would be recording more music together, Byrne responded; "Brian helped me a LOT on a record I'm finishing up now." - NME, 5/13/17...... Actor Powers Boothe, the Emmy-winning star of Sin City and Deadwood and who first rose to prominence playing the role of the notorious 1978 Guyana tragedy cult leader Jim Jones, died in his sleep of apparent natural causes on May 14. He was 68. Boothe, who grew up on a farm in Texas, began his acting career in the theater, playing a number of Shakespearean roles including Henry IV. He made his Broadway debut in the late '70s in "Lone Star & Pvt. Wars." In 1980, he won an Emmy for lead actor in a limited series or special for playing cult leader Jim Jones in CBS' Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones. He won that award during an actors strike and chose to cross the picket line to accept his trophy, saying, "This may be either the bravest moment of my career, or the dumbest." Boothe also was nominated two ensemble SAG Awards, first in 1996 alongside the cast of Nixon and then again in 2007 with the cast of Deadwood. He gained a reputation for playing villains with memorable roles in the action film Sudden Death (1995), Bill Paxton's Frailty (2001) and the nefarious Senator Roark in Sin City (2005). He also portrayed Alexander Haig in Nixon (1995) and a sheriff in another Oliver Stone film, U Turn (1997), and was unforgettable as the wicked gunman Curly Bill Brocius in Tombstone (1993). Perhaps his most famous villain role was Cy Tolliver, the ruthless saloon owner on Deadwood. More recently, Boothe took on the role of Gideon Malick as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, debuting the role on The Avengers and reprising it on ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He also spent three years as the lead in HBO's Philip Marlowe, Private Eye from 1983 to 1986. "It's with great sadness that I mourn the passing of my friend Powers Boothe. A dear friend, great actor, devoted father & husband," actor Beau Bridges tweeted after hearing of Boothe's passing. A rep for Boothe said that a private service will be held in his home state of Texas, with a memorial celebration under consideration as well. - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/14/17.
The Rolling Stones announced on May 9 they'll be launching a 2017 fall European tour on Sept. 9 in Hamburg, Germany, also visiting Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Holland, and Denmark before wrapping with two nights in Paris, France on Oct. 19 and 22. Frontman Mick Jagger says he's "so excited to be touring Europe this autumn and returning to some familiar places and some we've never done before." Jagger apologized to UK fans for not including dates there in a tweet on May 11, noting that there was a "lack of available venues because of sporting fixtures" and that the band "hopes to be there in 2018." Dubbed the "No Filter Tour," the jaunt follows the band's 2016 South American tour, which included a first-ever performance of Cuba. - AP, 5/9/17...... Prog-rockers Procol Harum say they'll be announcing a series of 50th anniversary concerts in the near future, and in a new Billboard interview founding member Gary Brooker reflected on the band's iconic 1967 track "A Whiter Shade of Pale," which has become a perennial selection on Greatest Songs list and a frequent soundtrack choice for movies (The Big Chill, The Commitments, New York Stories). "When it was written and I was singing it, just the piano and vocal, I thought, 'This is different'," Brooker says. "It was a good song and the recording came out very well, so that was job done. And of course it was a smash hit around the world straightaway, which is even more fantastic. But I never even thought 10 years ahead, let alone 50. I never thought that far in front at all." Brooker added that it's "still a mystery to me" why the song has such an enduring appeal. "There's people that have picked up the song along the way. And if I hear it myself on the radio, it always sounds different to all else that is going on in 2017, just like it sounded so different to everything else in 1967. It still sounds different," he said. Procol Harum released its latest album, Novum, earlier in 2017. - Billboard, 5/12/17...... The Ben & Jerry's ice cream company has announced a new flavor, "One Love," in honor of reggae legend Bob Marley on the 36th anniversary of his death. The company says a portion of proceeds from the limited-batch banana-flavored ice cream with caramel and graham cracker swirls and fudge peace signs will benefit a youth empowerment program in Jamaica. B&J says in a press release that the flavor was created in partnership with the Marley family and that Marley's "One Love" is "very connected to the kind of company we want to be. We don't do it through music, we do it through ice cream." Marley joins a long legacy of musicians who've been honored with their own B&J flavors, including Elton John (Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road), Queen (Bohemian Raspberry) and the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia (Cherry Garcia, Chocolate Cherry Garcia). In 2016, Ben & Jerry's released Satisfy My Bowl, a delicious mash-up of banana ice cream with caramel and cookie swirls with choclatey peace signs in honor of the 30th anniversary of Marley's iconic Legend album. - Billboard, 5/12/17...... A California appeals court ruled on May 8 that a long-gestating Jimi Hendrix concert film of a series of 1969 performances at London's Royal Albert Hall could someday see a wide release. The court ruled the owners of the rights to the film didn't violate a joint production deal by refusing to accept a limited distribution offer. "For almost a half-century, the two parties (or their predecessors) who own the rights to this film and its accompanying soundtrack have been lost in a purple haze of false starts and litigation," the decision began. In 2010, Experience Hendrix and The Last Experience agreed to produce the film for theatrical release -- but the deal fell apart over distribution and that prompted a lawsuit in 2011. - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/10/17...... Brian Wilson is extending his Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary World Tour with new dates in the UK, Europe and North America. The Beach Boys legend performed 99 shows around the world in 2016 in celebration of the seminal 1966 Pet Sounds LP turning 50, and reps for Wilson say after ticket sales to this final Pet Sounds Tour were exceptional, he decided to commit to 20 more concerts in North America and another 22 shows across Europe. "We never expected this reaction so we will continue to perform this album for people as long as they ask us to," Wilson said in a statement. The tour, which kicked off in Auckland, New Zealand in March 2016, continues May 9 at BJCC Concert Hall in Birmingham, Ala., and will skip across the Atlantic for a run of summer dates, then return for a batch of U.S. fall shows. As it stands, the tour will wrap on Oct. 14 at Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, Calif. - Billboard, 5/9/16...... Officials in St. Louis say they're planning to convert Chuck Berry's home at 3137 Whittier Street into a museum and to create a cultural district around it in honor of the late rock & roll legend. The city has begun to solicit bids for the project in north St. Louis where Berry lived for eight years in the 1950s and wrote many of his biggest hits, including "Maybelline," "Roll Over Beethoven," "Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Johnny B. Goode." The museum would anchor a "Chuck Berry Cultural District," to honor Berry, who died in March at age 90, and the area's African-American heritage. Berry, a lifelong resident of St. Louis, moved from the one-story red brick home in 1958, but he continued to perform regularly at a club not far from his 1950s home until shortly before his death. The city has owned the home since 2010, though it is currently is disrepair. Developers have until July 10 to submit ideas. - AP, 5/9/17...... The Federal Bureau of Investigation is actively investigating whether Randall Miller, director of the ill-fated Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider, was wrongfully prosecuted and incarcerated for his alleged role in the death of 27-year-old camera operator Sarah Jones. After the fatal accident on Feb. 20, 2014, prosecutors in Georgia charged Miller, who then took a plea deal for criminal trespassing and involuntary manslaughter. Miller was supposed to serve two years in prison, but only served about half that time thanks to problems later found with the plea agreement. He was released in March 2016, and at the time, those close to Jones expressed outrage. The Film Allman production company has been in litigation with New York Marine and General Insurance Company, which it accuses of sabotaging the film, and according to new court documents Film Allman says the topics of interest for the FBI include "probable civil rights violations" of the director and "the possible wrongful prosecution and incarceration of Mr. Miller." - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/10/17...... Queen guitarist Brian May is lashing out at British Prime Minister Theresa May after the PM's announcement on May 9 that she would allow Conservative MPs a free vote on whether to bring back fox hunting if the Conservatives win the snap General Election on June 8. May also said that she remains in favour of fox hunting. The announcement prompted May to take to social media to register his disgust with the politician's latest views. "It's official today," May posted. "The battle lines are now drawn. This awful woman will bring back blood sports, unless we stop her in her tracks," he added. May, long a champion of animal rights, has previously said that he wasn't totally "anti-Tory," and has praised animal rights advocates Henry Smith and Tracey Crouch. - New Musical Express, 5/10/17...... The NBC television network announced on May 10 that it has ordered a live production of the Broadway musical "Jesus Christ Superstar," with a premiere date of Easter Sunday, 2018. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, who wrote the music and lyrics, respectively, for the 1971 rock opera, with exec produce with Marc Platt, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. "Jesus Christ Superstar" was originally conceived as a concept album that hit #1 on the Billboard charts, and eventually made its way to the stage in 1971. It is based on the final week of Jesus' life, and features other historical figures in prominent roles including Judas Iscariot, Mary Magdalene, Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas, Annas, Peter, Simon Zealotes and King Herod. The musical has since been revived multiple times, most recently in 2012, and also produced a film in 1973. Live broadcasts have proven to be big business for the networks ever since NBC's "Sound of Music" grabbed 18.5 million viewers in 2013. - Billboard, 5/10/17...... Barry Manilow was honored with the 2017 BMI Icon Award during the 65th Annual BMI Pop Awards in Los Angeles on May 9. "I'm so honored to receive this award," said Manilow, who also congratulated all the songwriters in the room. "Even though I love producing, arranging and performing, my heart is in composing music -- and you guys know what I'm talking about." Manilow joined the ranks of such previous BMI Icon honorees as Nile Rodgers, Stevie Nicks, Paul Simon and Carole King. - Billboard, 5/10/17...... In a new interview with UK's The Guardian paper, Kinks frontman Ray Davies opened up about his Brexit fears, saying the UK's impending departure from the EU is "bigger than the Berlin Wall." "It's going to be a shift of gigantic proportions," Davies said. "Bigger than the Berlin Wall, like regrowth and replacement after a war. Hopefully we don't have a war or a huge crisis, but we're going to go through an immense change. We're reassessing our culture, our sensibilities, the way we react to other cultures. It's an imploding culture." On the subject of US Pres. Donald Trump, Davies said that he's "bumped into him a few times and it was all right... Like bumping into a bloke in a bar. It's hard to criticise and judge." Davies was recently knighted by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace for services to the arts. He previously received a CBE from Queen Elizabeth II in 2004. - NME, 5/11/17...... A Minnesota judge said on May 10 that he'll take a request that Prince's six siblings be declared his lawful heirs under advisement. Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide said in January he wouldn't declare the heirs of the late rock superstar until appeals run their course for others whose claims of heirship have been rejected. But lawyers for Prince's sister and five half-siblings don't want to wait, saying any further delays will increase costs to the estate and impede its efficient administration. Eide said Wednesday he'll take their request under advisement. Prince left no known will when he died of an accidental painkiller overdose in April 2016. - AP, 5/10/17...... Roger Waters performed "Deja Vu," the new single from his forthcoming album Is This the Life We Really Want?, on CBS's The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on May 8. Backed by an orchestra, the Pink Floyd co-founder also performed the album's lead single, "Smell the Roses." Is This the Life We Really Want? is due on June 2, and will be Waters' first solo album in 25 years. - NME, 5/9/17...... In other Pink Floyd-related news, Chicago's Trump Tower is set to be "obscured by pigs" inspired by the band's 1977 Animals LP for one day this summer. Architect Jeffrey Roberts is behind the stunt and first announced the installation, called "Flying Pigs On Parade," in Nov. 2016. As Architectural Digest reports, each pig is 30 feet by 15 feet and will be tethered to a barge on the Chicago river. Roberts also plans to move them to other cities in the US with buildings owned by Trump. "In 1977, Pink Floyd rendered their musical interpretation of the allegory into the concept album 'Animals' in response to social-political conditions in late-70s Britain," Roberts said of the project on its official website. "Like Orwell's book, the interpretative messages of 'Animals' have unfortunately become highly relevant again." A date is yet to be confirmed for the pigs to be put in place, but the project's website says Roberts is "negotiating a float date in late summer." - NME, 5/8/17...... Olivia Newton-John announced on May 9 on her Facebook page that she'll be postponing her May concerts due to what her management is calling "a bad issue" with her sciatica health condition. "Once the dates are rescheduled we will post the new dates ASAP. Apologies for any inconvenience," the message read. Newton-John had eight Midwest dates scheduled between May 10"20. She has more concerts planned for June and later in the year. - Billboard, 5/9/17...... The HBO premium cable channel has announced its planning a new movie about Fantasy Island cast member Herve Villechaize HBO Films has given the green light to My Dinner with Herv, a Sacha Gervasi movie starring Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) and Fifty Shades of Grey's Jamie Dornan and executive produced by Dinklage, Sacha Gervasi and Steven Zaillian. Written by Gervasi based on a story by him and Sean Macaulay and directed by Gervasi, My Dinner with Herv centers on an unlikely friendship that evolves over one wild night in L.A. between a struggling journalist, Danny Tate (Dornan), and actor Herv Villechaize (Dinkage), the world's most famous gun-toting dwarf, resulting in life-changing consequences for both. - Deadline.com, 5/9/17...... Michael Parks, a prolific character actor who found early fame in 1960s countercultural roles and later became a favorite of directors including Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith, died of as yet undisclosed causes on May 9 in Los Angeles. He was 77. In a career that spanned six decades, Parks acted in more than 100 films and TV shows, with many of his early starring roles in such anti-establishment '60s-era films as Wild Seed, The Happening, with Anthony Quinn, and Bus Riley's Back in Town, alongside Ann-Margaret. Parks also starred as a disillusioned, motorcycle-riding newsman in the 1969 series Then Came Bronson. For the series, Parks, who recorded a number of albums throughout his career, sang the popular closing theme song, "Long Lonesome Highway," which became a Top 20 hit in the US. Although the series lasted only one season, it featured an amazing number of guest stars from past legends to unknown future legends, plus almost every character actor who ever appeared on television. Parks found perhaps his most famous parts in the 1990s thanks to the interest of such independent filmmakers as Tarantino, Smith and Robert Rodriguez. Each turned to Parks again and again for meaty supporting roles. Tarantino cast him in multiple roles in both parts of Kill Bill and his Death Proof half of 2007's Grindhouse. He also played the Canadian drug runner Jean Renault on David Lynch's ABC TV series Twin Peaks. "Michael was, and will likely forever remain, the best actor I've ever known," Kevin Smith wrote on Instagram. "I wrote both 'Red State' and 'Tusk' for Parks, I loved his acting so much. He was hands-down the most incredible thespian I ever had the pleasure to watch perform. And Parks brought out the absolute best in me every time he got near my set." Parks was briefly married while 16 years old to Louise Johnson, with whom he had a daughter. He is survived by his wife, Oriana Parks, whom he married in 1997, and his son. - AP, 5/10/17.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Rock and R&B-influenced group Roadcase Royale will be releasing a brand new single entitled "Not Giving Up" on May 12. The band is fronted by Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer Nancy Wilson of Heart and Liv Warfield of Prince's New Power Generation, and also includes members from each of their respective bands. "Not Giving Up" is a hard rock song that contains politically charged lyrics, following in the footsteps of the band's debut single, "Get Loud," which debuted at the Jan. 21 Women's March. The video for "Not Giving Up" will also be released later in May via the group's YouTube channel. More info can be found on the official Roadcase Royale website. - Miles High Productions, 5/4/17...... In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, Billy Joel revealed that he "is planning a potential collaboration with a major pop star," who turns out to be Pink. Joel told the paper that he and Pink had recently gotten together and thrown around some ideas. He wasn't sure what would come of it but said he'd "had a good time." Joel, 67, has famously not released a new album since 1993's River Of Dreams, and has shared only two non-instrumental songs in the past 24 years: "All My Life," a 2007 Valentine's ballad for his third ex-wife, and "Christmas In Fallujah," a charity collaboration with his daughter's ex-boyfriend Cass Dillon the same year. Joel spoke to the Los Angeles Times ahead of his first concert ever at L.A.'s Dodger Stadium on May 13. - Billboard, 5/5/17...... Barbra Streisand gave a shout out to two special guests, former president Bill Clinton and his wife and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during her May 6 concert at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, her hometown. The Funny Girl noted she performed at Pres. Clinton's inauguration and then went on to list his accomplishments, including lowering taxes for some and raising taxes on the rich. "And speaking of taxes, he showed us his tax returns," Streisand said, a dig at Pres. Donald Trump, who has refused to release his. She also introduced Hillary as "the winner of our country's popular vote." Referring to Hillary's recent appearance at a women's forum, Streisand said it "makes us yearn for what could have been, what should have been.... I was thrilled to hear yourself describe yourself as an activist citizen and part of the resistance." The 75-year-old singer called for a bridging of the political divide before breaking into "Happy Days Are Here Again," and hinted that her "mini-tour," which consists of this and another concert in the New York City area, could be her last. "You know -- other things to do," she said. - AP, 5/7/17...... Paul McCartney has topped the London Sunday Times' survey of the U.K.'s richest musicians for 2017. Sir Paul took the top spot with £780 million ($1 billion) with his wife Nancy Shevell, while impresario Andrew Lloyd-Webber, U2, Elton John, Mick Jagger and his Rolling Stones bandmate Keith Richards completed the top 5. Other '70s musicians making the list include Ringo Starr, Sting, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne and Brian May. - Billboard, 5/4/17...... Blondie released its 11th album, Pollinator, on May 5, featuring modern artists including Sia, Charli XCX, Dev Hynes and the YouTube duo the Gregory Brothers. "It wasn't really a concept for the album, it just developed that way," lead singer Debbie Harry says of the LP, recorded in NYC's now-shuttered Magic Shop. The first single, "Fun," is currently sitting at No. 1 on Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart, the first Blondie Billboard No. 1 in 22 years. Blondie will kick off its Rage and Rapture Tour behind the new LP with coheadliner Garbage on July 5. - Billboard, 5/5/17...... The Who and Guns N' Roses have announced a co-headlining tour this summer, including two dates in South America this fall. On Sept. 23, the two bands will play Rio De Janeiro's Rock In Rio festival, before jetting over to Argentina for a show in Buenos Aires. Further shows are set to take place in Brazil, Peru and Chile, reports Blabbermouth.com, though these are yet to be officially announced. The news comes after the Who's Roger Daltrey revealed in April that the band's current tour, which includes a residency in Las Vegas in late September/early August, may be their last. "If we get through this year, we're gonna need some time off," Daltrey said. "We'll re-think it after that." - New Musical Express, 5/7/17...... Sources close to Led Zeppelin have responded to rumours that the iconic band has been booked to play the Desert Trip 2017 festival later this year, after frontman Robert Plant recently posted a message on his website that read "any time now." The sources say that "no deal is in place" for Led Zep to perform, and that the Desert Trip lineup has not yet been announced for 2017. The fansite Feel Numb recently claimed that the band would be performing at Desert Trip, which in 2016 featured headline performances from the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, and the Who. - NME, 5/5/17...... Patti LaBelle has just released Bel Hommage, which is her first jazz album, as well as her first studio album in more than 10 years. Among the classics featured on the 13-track set are "The Jazz in You," "Here's to Life," "Moody's Mood for Love," "Don't Explain" and "Wild Is the Wind," previously covered by such artists as James Moody, Nina Simone, Dinah Washington and Nancy Wilson. LaBelle, who turns 73 on May 24, also recently issued her fourth cookbook -- and sixth book overall -- in late April, Desserts LaBelle, which focuses on her favorite recipes for cakes, cookies, puddings and her famous sweet potato pie. - Billboard, 5/5/17...... Dolly Parton has announced that her Dollywood Foundation has given a total of $10,000 each to nearly 900 families displaced by deadly wildfires in her native area of east Tennessee in 2016. The country music legend, who started her My People fund after wildfires struck in November and killed 14 people in the Gatlinburg area and destroying or damaging thousands of buildings, said in a statement that the final distribution of checks has been made to families in Sevier County to help them rebuild. Parton held a star-studded telethon to bring in hundreds of thousands of donations to the fund, and announced that an additional $3 million will be used to start a new fund called Mountain Tough Recovery, which will continue to aid residents affected by the fires. - AP, 5/6/17...... A new David Bowie picture disc will be released on June 16 to mark the 40th anniversary of the release of Bowie's 1977 album Low. The Low track "Be My Wife" picture disc features a remastered version of the track on its A-side, with the B-side sporting a previously unreleased live version of "Art Decade" (also from Low) which was recorded in Perth, Australia in 1978 during the ISOLAR II tour. Another picture disc, "I'm Afraid of Americans," will also be released featuring a remixed version of the track by Trent Reznor, as well as a live acoustic version of "Heroes." Meanwhile, Bowie's soundtrack LP to the film Labyrinth is set for a re-release on May 12. - NME, 5/3/17...... The famous "Wolf" guitar played by late Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia will go under the auctioneer's hammer on May 31 at Brooklyn Bowl, a bowling alley, restaurant and venue for music shows. The sale is being conducted by Guernsey's auction house, who note Wolf first appeared in a 1973 New York performance the Dead gave for the Hells Angels. Wolf is currently owned by devoted Deadhead Daniel Pritzker, a philanthropist, musician and film director who bought it in 2002 at Guernsey's for $790,000. It has been estimated that Wolf's price tag could exceed $1 million this time. The proceeds from the sale will go to the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center. - AP, 5/5/17...... Cher will be the recipient of the ICON Award at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, which will take place on May 21 and be broadcast live on ABC beginning at 8:00 p.m. EDT. During her appearance, Cher will sing her biggest hit, "Believe," which marks her first awards show performance in over 15 years. "I'm honored to receive the 2017 Billboard Music Awards ICON Award and take the stage to celebrate my love of music with my fans," Cher said in a statement. "Seeing so many powerful artists -- especially female artists emerge and take their place in history through the years has been incredible. I'm honored to be amongst the previous ICON Award winners and to celebrate this milestone achievement by performing 'Believe' on the show." Previous ICON award recipients include Celine Dion, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Stevie Wonder and Neil Diamond. - Billboard, 5/4/17...... Former stars of the '70s sitcom Happy Days came together on May 3 to remember their friend and castmate Erin Moran, who played Joanie Cunningham on the series and died on Apr. 22 at her home in New Salisbury, Ind., from complications of cancer at age 56. Ron Howard, Anson Williams, Don Most, Marian Ross, Scott Baio and Cathy Silvers attended the service and posed for a group photo. Baio posted the pic on his Twitter page, with the caption "Celebrating the life of #ErinMoran #HappyDaysFamily." - Deadline.com, 5/3/17.
Following a Grammy Salute to the Bee Gees TV special organized by the Recording Academy on Apr. 16, the Bee Gees' music sales have grown 669%. Overall, Bee Gees' catalog of albums and digital songs sold a combined 83,000 in the week ending Apr. 20 -- up 669% compared to the week previous (11,000). Of the 83,000, traditional album sales comprised 20,000 (up 568 percent compared to 3,000 in the previous frame), while digital song sales equaled 63,000 (up 708 percent compared to just 8,000 in the previous week). Further, the group's songs scored a 71 percent gain in on-demand streams (audio and video combined), rising to 10 million for the week (up from 5.9 million). Four Bee Gees compilation albums have also debuted or re-entered the Billboard charts. - Billboard, 4/26/17...... Glen Campbell has shared a song composed by his longtime collaborator Jimmy Webb called "Adiós," which is the title track from his final album, due June 9. "Adiós," a Top 10 Adult Contemporary hit for Linda Ronstadt in 1990, is one of four Webb songs on the new LP, and Jimmy Webb says "Glen and I used to play that song all the time." "We played it in dressing rooms, hotels, we played it over at his house, we played it at my house. He always loved that song. I heard 'Adiós' this morning and my wife and I both broke down and cried all over this hotel room. It's the first time we ever heard it." Campbell, 81, is in the final stages of Alzheimer's disease, and recorded Adiós" after his 2011-2012 "Goodbye Tour." - Billboard, 5/2/17...... The Eagles have filed a trademark infringement suit against the U.S.-based owners of a small hotel in Todos Santos, Mexico, which originally went by the name of one of the band's most famous songs and its most successful album, 1976's "Hotel California." According to their attorney Laura Wytsma, the small hotel originally opened under the name Hotel California in 1950, but went through subsequent ownership and name changes. When Debbie and John Stewart bought the Todos Santos Hotel in 2001, the complaint states, they sought to revitalize it by creating a reputation "based at least partially on the hotel's reputed, but false, connection to the Eagles." Wytsma says the hotel also plays the Eagles' music and sells t-shirts that refer to the hotel as "legendary," which leave consumers with the impression that "they have visited 'the' Hotel California made famous by the Eagles." The Eagles are seeking an injunction to ban the hotel from using Hotel California, doing anything else to imply it is connected to or approved by the band, and are asking for all related profits plus actual and exemplary damages. An attorney for the hotel has yet to comment on the lawsuit. - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/2/17...... SiriusXM satellite radio announced on May 2 that it will launch an entire channel devoted exclusively to the Beatles on May 18 at 9:09 a.m. -- a nod to the Let It Be track "One After 909." The Beatles Channel, on SiriusXM channel 18, will feature exclusive programming including a daily morning show, weekly call-in roundtables and more exploring the legendary band's unrivaled influence on modern music. "We've worked with The Beatles and Apple Corps Ltd. to create a channel that is as vital today as when the band's music was first recorded," says SiriusXM exec Scott Greenstein. "The channel will be all-things-Beatles, 24/7. The soundtrack of our world, made by John, Paul, George and Ringo." The channel, which has the blessing of surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, will play a new stereo mix of the band's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album on June 1, to mark the landmark album's 50th anniversary. The event -- dubbed "Pepper Day" -- will include commentary from the late George Martin and his son, Giles Martin, who helmed the fresh mixes for upcoming Sgt. Pepper special editions. - Billboard, 5/2/17...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, a new graphic novel based on John Lennon's time in New York, Lennon: The New York Years, is set to be released on May 30. Based on on the 2010 novel Lennon by David Foeniknos, the graphic novel is described as "true biographical fiction" and imagines the Beatles founder recounting his life to an unnamed therapist living in his building. A timeline of John's life is presented including his upbringing in Liverpool, his time with the Beatles, his relationship with Yoko Ono and his solo career. - New Musical Express, 5/2/17...... In other Beatles-related news, Ringo Starr's drummer son Zak Starkey is readying an album for his SSHH side project alongside partner Sshh Liguz. Starkey has premiered a video for a song from the album, "Get Up, Stand Up," a reggae classic penned by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. Starkey recently performed a series of gigs with SSHH at the South by Southwest festival, and is gearing up to go on tour with the Who this summer. - Billboard, 4/28/17...... Speaking of the Who, frontman Roger Daltrey recently told New Musical Express that "we don't know if we'll ever play again after the current tour." "People at our age have been popping their clogs [over the last year] so let's just get real here, where we are in our lives," Daltrey said. "We're doing remarkably well for where we are but we just don't know. If we get through this year, we're gonna need some time off. We'll re-think it after that. Obviously as a singer I've got to keep working if I want to keep singing because that's how voices work. If I stop singing now for a year, it'll be all over." The Who will become the first rock band to play Caesars Palace in Las Vegas when they begin a six-night residency on July 29 that runs through Aug. 11. - New Musical Express, 4/28/17...... Bruce Springsteen was interviewed by one of his most famous and passionate fans, actor Tom Hanks, during the Tribeca Talks series at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on Apr. 28 in New York City. Springsteen and Hanks first worked together on the 1993 film Philadelphia, which was directed by Jonathan Demme, who passed away just two days earlier. "God bless Jonathan Demme," Hanks said before beginning the hour-long conversation. "We just lost him." Springsteen added, "He was such an inspirational guy. No Jonathan Demme, no Philadelphia, no 'Streets of Philadelphia.'" The Boss also told stories behind some of his biggest hits, and, of course, why he is so proud to call New Jersey home: "When I made my first record, they were trying to tie me to New York, and I felt like I wasn't really a New York artist. I wandered down the boardwalk and picked out the postcard "Greetings From Asbury Park," and it was Jersey all the way ever since." The following evening, Barbra Streisand chatted with director Robert Rodriguez at Tribeca Talks, reflecting on her acting career and her struggles as a director of her own films. "[The criticism] of Yentl must have hurt me more than I thought because I didn't want to direct for years after that," she said. On Apr. 26, Streisand told WNYC public radio that she believes sexism played a role in Hillary Clinton's 2016 election loss: "Power and woman has always been suspect. Strong women have always been suspect in this country." Streisand is currently touring behind her latest album, Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway, and has two concerts lined up for May. - Billboard, 4/28/17...... A cryptic message on the official website of Robert Plant has led Led Zeppelin fans to believe that the heavy metal icons could be on the verge of a reunion show or possibly a tour. "Any time now" currently sits on Plant's site, and while the message cold be interpreted as the completion of Plant's album with his side project the Sensational Space Shifter, a well-placed source has disclosed that Plant has agreed to reform Led Zeppelin with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones for Desert Trip Festival, which takes place in Indio, Calif., in October. It has also been noted that Led Zep will celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2018, with Plant possibly keen to mark the milestone with a special performance -- or tour -- later this year and into 2018. Led Zeppelin last performed together in Dec. 2007, when they played at London's The O2 as part of the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert. - New Musical Express, 5/3/17...... Guitarist Craig Chaquico, a founding member of Jefferson Starship, filed a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco on Apr. 27 against his former bandmates to block them from using the band's name for upcoming performances and merchandise. Chaquico says the band's members agreed to retire the Jefferson Starship moniker in 1985 after founding member Paul Kantner left the group, and claims the group has been using the Jefferson Starship name without permission, and has used his image to promote shows through early 2018. Chaquico maintains he allowed Kantner to use the Jefferson Starship name for several years, but that right ended when Kantner died in 2016, according to the suit. Chaquico, who was discovered by Kantner, performed with Jefferson Airplane, the precursor of Jefferson Starship, a few times before it disbanded in 1972. Several of the band's members formed Jefferson Starship in 1974, but it broke up a decade later. Chaquico and other members then formed a new group, Starship, which recorded the hits "We Built This City" and "Sara." "This case is about tarnishing the legacy of the original Jefferson Starship band," Chaquico said in a statement. - AP, 4/27/17...... Iggy Pop was awarded France's highest cultural honour, a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, by the French gevernment during a ceremony on Apr. 25 in Miami, Fla., conducted by French Consul General Clement Leclerc. In an accompanying post on Pop's Instagram page, the caption explained: "Iggy has been awarded this distinction for his contribution to the arts in France and throughout the world. It was a very special day." Pop, who recently turned 70, has previously sung in French on his 2009 album Prliminaires as well as on his follow-up LP Aprs, which was released in 2012. - NME, 4/26/17...... Cheap Trick has shared "Long Time Coming," the first single from its upcoming album We're All Alright!, which hits stores on June 17. Cheap Trick recorded We're All Alright! -- whose title references its 1978 hit "Surrender" and 1999's "That '70s Song" -- with Julian Raymond, who also helmed its last LP, 2016's Bang, Zoom, Crazy...Hello. "Long Time Coming" is our interpretation of Slade and MC5 and AC/DC and Aerosmith -- a lot of riffs that are reminiscent of The Move, but they're not steals," Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen says. "It's just, like, all the bands we like." Cheap Trick will be promoting the album with a summer tour with Foreigner and John Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience. Foreigner and Cheap Trick will both be celebrating 40th anniversaries this year -- Cheap Trick for the release of its first two albums in 1977. - Billboard, 4/27/17...... A vinyl reissue of David Bowie and Trevor Jones' soundtrack for the baby-snatching cult film Labyrinth will arrive May 12 from Capitol, with artwork and EMI America branding replicated from the original release. Released in 1986, the Labyrinth movie, ostensibly for children, was directed by Muppets creator Jim Henson and stars a 15-year-old Jennifer Connelly opposite Bowie in a mullet. It features five original songs by Bowie and seven instrumental pieces by Jones. - Spin.com, 4/26/17...... The family of Prince is reportedly developing a new TV reality show that will focus on how the late rock icon's family's "lives have changed since he died." The program is allegedly in the early development stages with a production company in place, but no network signed on as yet. Prince's estate recently sued to block the release a new EP of unreleased recordings called Deliverance that dated from around 10 years ago, and Prince's relatives allegedly want to use those recordings in their planned reality show. Meanwhile, Prince's former home in Toronto, Canada, is on the market for $18 million. Prince lived in the 14,280 square foot compound the late rock star lived in with his wife Manuela Testolini from 2001-2006, when the couple divorced. The house was reportedly listed for just under $9.5 million two years ago, but the seller pulled it off the market after the singer's death in 2016. The six-bedroom mansion has a grand entrance with classical columns,10 bathrooms, a gym, marble floors, a formal dining room, and a plush lounge with deep burgundy carpets. - NME/Billboard, 5/1/17...... Peter Frampton appeared on Washington D.C.'s Capitol Hill on Apr. 26 to lobby Congress on ASCAP's "Stand With Songwriters' Advocacy Day." "For all the streaming companies that played 'Baby I Love Your Way' -- some 56 million times -- I got $3,000," an incredulous Frampton told legislators about his hit single from the 1976 smash album Frampton Comes Alive! "That's not going to even cover the mortgage payment... well maybe one mortgage payment," he said. ASCAP's initiative is looking to redress what it feels is an inequitable and unjust royalty system for songwriters based on consent decrees created more than 75 years ago that have failed to keep up with technological changes such as streaming. "The market place has changed rapidly," the 67-year-old guitar hero added, "and the work of all American songwriters is completely undervalued. We're most the regulated small business there is. 70 percent of what we earn as songwriters is regulated by the Federal Government. There isn't any other artistic industry that's regulated like that. The consent decrees are outdated, they began in 1941 and the last update was in 2001. These are the things we need changed and updated." - Billboard, 4/26/17......Jonathan Demme, the Oscar-winning director of such acclaimed films as Silence of the Lambs and the 1984 Talking Heads documentary Stop Making Sense, died of esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease on Apr. 26. He was 73. Demme also directed Philadelphia, the first mainstream film dealing with the AIDS crisi, and won acclaim for his direction of Melvin and Howard, an offbeat saga about a man who claimed to have given Howard Hughes a ride and later received $150 million in the reclusive billionaire's will. His talents were multiple and his subject matter diverse: He also directed Swing Shift, starring Goldie Hawn as a woman working in a World War II defense plant, and the oddball comedies Something Wild and Married to the Mob. He directed three films focusing on Neil Young, including Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006), Neil Young Trunk Show (2009) and Neil Young Journeys (2011). He helmed other concert films for such performers as New Order, Fine Young Cannibals, Suburban Lawns and Robyn Hitchcock. "The fiction films, the music films and the docs are all filled with so much passion and love," former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne posted on his website. "He often turned what would be a genre film into a very personal expression. His view of the world was open, warm, animated and energetic." - The Hollywood Reporter, 4/26/17...... Kerry Turman, a longtime bassist for The Temptations, died of apparent natural causes after a performance with the group on Apr. 26 in Cape Girardeau, Mo. He was 59. A coroner says Turman was found dead at a local hotel early Sunday, shortly after performing Saturday night in Cape Girardeau. Turman had performed with The Temptations since the 1980s. The Temptations are currently touring with the Beach Boys. The group announced Turman's death on its Facebook and Twitter accounts, saying: "The Temptations lost a dear member of our family. ... Rest In Peace, much love, much respect." - AP, 4/26/17.