Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on June 8th, 2014

Jimmy PageThe newly released Led Zeppelin reissue series, which hit stores on June 3, is poised to re-enter the Billboard Hot 200 album chart when the latest one is announced on June 11. 1968's Led Zeppelin, 1969's Led Zeppelin II and 1970's Led Zeppelin III could each sell around 25,000 in the week ending June 8 according to industry forecasters, and should re-enter the chart within the Top 15, with a chance at hitting the Top 10. If the three LPs hit the Top 15 concurrently, they'll be the first act to do so since Whitney Houston scored four shortly after her death in March 2012. In the UK, the reissues are on course to make the Top 10 on the isles' Official Album Chart. Led Zeppelin debuted at No. 1 there, while II and III bowed at No. 7 and No. 6, respectively. Meanwhile in other Led Zep news, Robert Plant has responded to Jimmy Page's comments that he was "fed up" with the singer holding back a LZ reunion, telling reporters at a press conference he thought the guitarist needed to "have a good rest." "I think he needs to go to sleep and have a good rest, and think again. We have a great history together and like all brothers, we have these moments where we don't speak on the same page but that's life," Plant told The National. In an interview with The New York Times, Page accused Plant of "playing games" with potential LZ reunions. "I'm fed up with it, to be honest with you. I don't sing, so I can't do much about it. It just looks so unlikely, doesn't it?," said Page, who has been in favor of a reunion tour. Plant is currently on tour with his band The Inspirational Space Shifters recently announced that he's just finished recording his first solo LP since 2010's Band of Joy. - Billboard/New Musical Express/Rolling Stone, 6/6/14.

Gene SimmonsKiss is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its eponymous debut album with a new retrospective called Kiss 40. The 40-track collection debuted at No. 30 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart for the week ending June 1, selling 7,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Kiss 40 is the 35th charted album for the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honorees on the Billboard chart, marking the third-highest total among American bands, trailing only the Grateful Dead with 60 and the Beach Boys with 48. Kiss 40 includes one track from each of the act's "major album" releases, in addition to live cuts and one previously unreleased demo recording. Of Kiss' 34 previously charted albums, all but four are represented on Kiss 40, and with good reason: the four absent titles are all hits compilations or box sets. Exactly forty years ago, Kiss was in the middle of its maiden chart run with its self-titled debut album, which was released to retail on Feb. 18, 1974. Kiss's 2014 North American tour with Def Leppard begins June 23 in West Valley City, Utah, and wraps Aug. 31 in Houston. In other Kiss-related news, bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons has signed on to co-produce a new series for the Lifetime cable channel titled Ugly Models. The show is about a U.K. modeling agency that works with "character models with unique and unusual looks," as it makes its way into the U.S. market. The show will document how the business adapts to a different market. Simmons is also partnering with his bandmate Paul Stanley for a new AMC reality series about the arena football team they own, the L.A. Kiss. The show, which is titled 4th and Loud and is set to premiere in the summer, will focus on the players, coaches and, of course, its rock-star owners, as well as Kiss manager Doc McGhee. - Billboard/Rolling Stone, 6/6/14.

The U.K.'s Classic Rock magazine is heading to America for its annual Classic Rock Awards for the first time ever this fall when it will hold the event at the Avalon nightclub in Hollywood on Nov. 4. The gala will include the annual Classic Rock Living Legend Award -- previously won by Jimmy Page, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Rush, Iggy Pop, Jeff Beck and Lemmy Kilmister -- along with a selection of other categories, many of them determined by a public vote. The characteristically star-studded show will also include live performances, celebrity presenters and, for attendees, VIP amenities. "We thought this was the 10th anniversary we should take this thing to the second home of rock 'n' roll," Classic Rock editor Sian Llewellyn told Billboard magazine. "We want to take this globally now, and the Americans love rock as much if not moreseo than the Brits." The Classic Rock Awards have been held at venues in London, including the famed Roundhouse. For the past two years the show has been televised via Britain's Sky Arts. A broadcast deal for this year's ceremony is currently being negotiated. Meanwhile in other award show news, Kris Kristofferson stunned the PEN Awards on June 2 in Boston when he gave an impromptu performance of "Me and Bobby McGee." The country outlaw legend and fellow singer/songwriter Randy Newman were honored at PEN's Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Awards by such artists as Elvis Costello, Roseanne Cash and Lyle Lovett. - Billboard/Rolling Stone, 6/6/14.

Ringo StarrRingo Starr says he's "probably two-thirds through" completing the follow-up to his last album Ringo 2012, and hopes to release it in February 2015. "Usually I make the record in January, February, March and mix it in April," Ringo recently told Billboard. "But because of all that Beatles stuff I sort of got behind because of the rehearsals and the fun and the joy. I was in L.A. until the first of April and I was trying to finish the record and just said, 'Ah, I've got too much to do.'" Starr says he has plans to work on it during July and August, when he's back in L.A. after the first leg of his latest All-Starr Band tour, which kicked off June 6 in Rama, Ont., and wraps on July 19 at L.A.'s Greek Theatre. Ringo has been working on the new set with Toto guitarist and current All-Starr Band member Steve Lukather, along with Peter Frampton, Richard Marx, Dave Stewart, Glen Ballard and Nashville songwriter Gary Nicholson. "It's all my pals, really. We just get together," Starr notes, adding that the results are "sounding incredible." It's a mixed bag, as my records always ware. We have the reggae track and we have the rock track and that's how it is. It's pop, rock, reggae." Starr is also taking the production reins on his own this time after working with Bruce Sugar on Ringo 2012 and 2010's Y Not. 2014 also marks the 25th anniversary of the first All-Starr Band tour, though Starr says he's not surprised the concept has had staying power. John Lennon"I think it's a great show to come and see," he says. "I always say it's like a jukebox, y'know? Every song's a hit. I put it together, and it's gone on." In other Fab Four news, a collection of John Lennon doodles, poems and short stories from two humorous books Lennon produced in the 1960s fetched huge prices at a Sotheby auction on June 4. A nine-page manuscript parody of Sherlock Holmes titled "The Singularge Experience of Miss Anne Duffield," was the top lot in the sale, bringing $209,000 although it had been estimated to sell for only $50,000 to $70,000. The material was created for the two critically acclaimed books of short stories and poems Lennon published during the height of Beatlemania, In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works, published in 1964 and 1965, respectively. A cartoon of a boy with six birds that appeared in A Spaniard in the Works sold for $27,500 in the auction. The drawing was used 30 years later as the cover for the Beatles' single "Free as a Bird." The cartoon had a pre-sale estimate of $12,000 to $15,000. - Billboard/AP, 6/5/14.

Don HenleyThe Eagles' Don Henley has made a fresh attack on Frank Ocean for alleged "song theft" regarding the Odd Future member's 2011 track "American Wedding," which saw him singing new lyrics over "Hotel California." Two years after the Eagles threatened to sue Ocean, Henley has accused Ocean of being "arrogant" over the matter in a new interview with the Sydney, Australia Daily Telegraph. "Mr. Ocean doesn't seem to understand US copyright law," Henley told the paper. "Anyone who knows anything should know you cannot take a master track of a recording and write another song over the top of it. You just can't do that. You can call it a tribute or whatever you want to call it, but it's against the law. That's a problem with some of the younger generation, they don't understand the concept of intellectual property and copyright," he added. In the future, Henley suggests younger artists be more like Michael Buble, who did a "totally legal cover" of the Eagles' "Heartache Tonight" in 2009. "You can record anyone's song you like -- it's called [buying] a compulsory licence," he said. "You don't just go and do it." Ocean previously insisted that he was "paying homage" to Henley on his track "American Wedding" and didn't deserve to be sued. Writing online he said: "Ain't this guy rich as f---? Why sue the new guy? I didn't make a dime off that song. I released it for free. If anything I'm paying homage," he posted. - Billboard, 6/4/14.

Gary Glitter'70s pop star Gary Glitter was charged -- again -- with eight counts of sexual offenses involving teenage girls by English authorities on June 6. The charges relate to two women who were aged between 12 and 14 at the time of the alleged offenses between 1977 and 1980. The former pop star -- whose real name is Paul Gadd -- is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on June 19. Glitter, 70, was arrested in October 2012 -- the first in a series of arrests under the "Operation Yewtree" national investigation that was launched in the wake of a child abuse scandal surrounding late BBC entertainer Jimmy Savile. The Crown Prosecution Service said no further action would be taken over five allegations made by two other people. Glitter is best known -- musically, at least -- for his "Rock And Roll (Part 2)," long popular at sporting events for its catchy, easily scannable "chorus" that consists of yelling "Hey!." For years, numerous other sports teams have used the song as part of their celebration. - AP, 6/5/14.

Steel guitar great Weldon Myrick, a legendary instrumentalist who played on records by such iconic singers as Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson, passed away on June 2 following a stroke. He was 76. Myrick's work was a vital part of classic country hits such as Jerry Jeff Walker's "Mr. Bojangles," George Strait's "Lets Fall To Pieces Together," and Alan Jackson's "Chattahoochee," as well as most of Connie Smith's 1960s RCA Victor releases. The Texas-born Myrick took up steel guitar at an early age and moved to Nashville in 1963. He started working with Grand Ole Opry star Bill Anderson, who helped secure a recording contract for Connie Smith with RCA. Smith recorded the No. 1 country hit "Once a Day," the first of many of her hits that Myrick's steel work graced. In related news, Bernard "Doc" Neeson, the frontman of hitmaking Australian rock group The Angels (also known as Angel City and The Angels from Angel City), died on June 4 after a battle with brain cancer. He was 67. At its peak, the Angels was the quintessential Aussie pub-rock band; a group blessed with an arsenal of explosive songs and -- with Neeson at the mic -- one of the most charismatic singers in the rock business. - Billboard, 6/6/14.

Gregg AllmanThe Allman Brothers Band has announced it will return to New York's Beacon Theater for six shows in October, and those shows could be their final concerts, at least in the current incarnation. Oct. 21, 22, 24 and 25 will be make up dates from this year's "March Madness" run that were postponed by Gregg Allman's bout of pneumonia. Two more concerts have been added for Oct. 27 and 28. "That's the way for this incarnation of the band to go out, one final, short Beacon run," ABB guitarist Derek Trucks recently told Billboard. "I think that's appropriate for this version of the group. I think we've done most of our best work there (at the Beacon)," he added. Trucks and fellow guitarist Warren Haynes announced earlier in 2014 they would be leaving the group after a 14-year tenure, making this the longest-running lineup in the Allmans' 45-year history. Before the Beacon run, the band has summer concert shows set for the Mountain Jam Festival in Hunter Mountain, N.Y., on June 8; the Peach Fest in Scranton, Penn., on Aug. 14-17; and the Lockn' Music Fest in Arrinton, Va., on Sept. 7. In other ABB news, Gregg Allman is now also being sued by a hairstylist on the troubled Midnight Rider biopic film who claims to have suffered a fractured arm and post-traumatic stress as a result of the freight train accident that threatens to derail the entire production. Joyce Gilliard has filed the lawsuit in Savannah against the producers of Midnight Rider, director Randall Miller, and Allman, just shortly after the family of camera assistant Sarah Jones filed a wrongful death suit against the production after a train struck Jones on Feb. 20 in Wayne County, Ga. while she prepared for a camera shot. Six other people were hurt in the incident, including Gilliard. "The pressure from the train was so strong it pulled me off what I was holding onto and it snapped my arm. I immediately grabbed my arm and wrapped it up with a piece of the prop, which was a sheet," Gilliard said in May in a conference call, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Gregg Allman has asked for production on the movie to be shut down. - Billboard/Rolling Stone, 6/2/14.

Robert FrippSeminal prog-rockers King Crimson have announced they will reunite for three New York CIty shows in September, at the Best Buy Theatre on Sept. 18, 19 and 20. The new lineup features original Crimson mastermind Robert Fripp reuniting with bassist Tony Levin and drummer-percussionist veterans Pat Mastelotto and Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree). The trio will be joined by eclectic drummer Bill Rieflin (R.E.M., Nine Inch Nails), guitarist-vocalist Jakko Jakszyk and woodwind legend Mel Collins. The latter two musicians collaborated with Fripp on the 2011 LPA Scarcity of Miracles, and Collins played on numerous early Crimson albums (including 1974's iconic Red). Fripp says the he and the other musicians plan o rehearse in England before shifting to the U.S. in August or September 2014. "There is a plan to include the UK in the tour dates," he said, "but it depends on a number of circumstances. Right now the primary geographical focus is the United States." The new King Crimson dates come as somewhat of a surprise given that Fripp more or less announced his retirement in a 2012 profile with The Financial Times, saying, "My life as a professional musician is a joyless exercise in futility." - Rolling Stone, 6/2/14.

Jesus Christ SuperstarProducers of a planned 51-city "Jesus Christ Superstar" arena tour that was scheduled to start at New Orleans' Lakefront Arena on June 9 abruptly announced on May 30 that the tour has been cancelled due to low ticket sales. The star-studded "Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Spectacular Tour" was to have included in its cast Brandon Boyd of Incubus, John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of the Sex Pistols, JC Chasez of 'N Sync, and Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child. The trek was to be presented by JCS co-writer Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group and event producer S2BN Entertainment, which is run by veteran Rolling Stones promoter Michael Cohl. Although a notice on the tour's official website stated no explanation, Cohl told Rolling Stone magazine that "In the end it just did not make business sense to continue, and we didnt want the cast to endure playing to disappointing audiences." Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's rock opera has seen numerous stage productions since its debut in 1970. In 1971, the show's concept album topped the Billboard Hot 200 album chart. - Billboard, 5/30/14.

James BrownThe latest trailer for Universal's upcoming James Brown biopic has arrived online. The clip begins with the following voiceover from star Chadwick Boseman: "Want to get to know me? I'll tell you. Dad in the army. Mama left. No one else helped me." Brown's concise bio is accompanied by images of his childhood, including him banging on pots and pans, his time in prison and him performing onstage. The trailer features other glimpses of Brown's success, including him visiting the White House and sporting a fur coat while standing in front of a private plane. The "Godfather of Soul" also meets manager Ben Bart (Dan Aykroyd), who's shown saying Brown, "blew the roof off of that place," and he also meets the mother who abandoned him, played by Viola Davis. The clip ends with Brown and Aykroyd watching a man try to dance the mashed potato while a confused-looking Brown says, "What the hell are you doing? That ain't nobody's mashed potato." The film, directed by The Help director Tate Taylor, hits theaters August 1. Meanwhile in other Soul news, Aretha Franklin, former president George H.W. Bush, and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg were honored with honorary degrees from Harvard University during 2014 commencement ceremonies on May 29. The 72-year-old Franklin, who received an honorary doctor of the arts, accompanied herself on piano to perform the national anthem. - Billboard/AP, 5/29/14.

Kris KristoffersonSinger/songwriter/actor Kris Kristofferson will play Pres. Andrew Jackson in an 8-hour miniseries called Rising to be broadcast on the A+E network. Rising, which will premiere in 2015, will detail the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers, the oldest law enforcement group in North America. "For me, Kris was an obvious choice," said poducer and co-writer Leslie Grief of ThinkFactory Media. "There aren't too many actors that are able to embody this character and the stature, strength and liberty to play the part." Kristofferson won a Golden Globe for his role in 1976's A Star Is Born opposite Barbra Streisand. His credits other include the Blade trilogy, Billy the Kid, Fast Food Nation and Dolphin Tale, among others. Also included in the cast of Rising will be Brendan Fraser, Ray Liotta and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. - The Hollywood Repoerter, 5/30/14.

Bruce SpringsteenBruce Springsteen joined the Rolling Stones onstage during a May 29 concert in Lisbon, Portugal for a rendition of "Tumbling Dice." The two legendary acts previously performed the song together in Springsteen's home ground of New Jersey in 2012 during another Rolling Stones gig, the band's 50th anniversary celebration in Newark. Even when Springsteen isn't joining Jagger for live collaboration, his E Street Band gigs occasionally feature some Stones covers: "The Last Time," "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," and "Jumpin' Jack Flash" have popped up in Springsteen's setlists, and during a 1984/85 tour, the E Street Band covered "Street Fighting Man" on a nightly basis. The Stones tour will now visit a host of European cities, including a headline set at Roskilde Festival in Denmark on July 3. The band resumed their world tour on May 26 at Oslo's Telenor Arena, after suspending some dates in March in Australia and New Zealand following the death of Mick Jagger's girlfriend L'Wren Scott, who committed suicide in her apartment in New York. - Rolling Stone, 5/30/14.

Ann B. DavisBeloved American actress Ann B. Davis, best known as housekeeper Alice Nelson on the iconic '70s series The Brady Bunch, passed away on June 1 at University Hospital in San Antonio, Tex., after suffering a fall in her nearby home. She was 88. Born Ann Bradford Davis in 1926, in Schenectady, N.Y., and raised in Erie, Penn., Ms. Davis said she took to using her middle initial because "just plain Ann Davis goes by pretty fast." She began her entertainment career at age 6 when she and her twin sister, Harriet, earned $2 with their puppet show. She attended the University of Michigan where she first majored in premed and graduated in 1948 with a degree in theater. She joined a repertory theater in Erie, Penn., and got her big break while doing a cabaret act in Los Angeles, singing and telling jokes. Ms. Davis became a regular as a razor-tongued secretary on The Bob Cummings Show (also known as Love That Bob) in Jan. 1955, which brought her supporting actress Emmy Awards in 1958 and 1959. After that series ended in 1959, she appeared in such movies as A Man Called Peter, Lover Come Back and All Hands on Deck, playing summer stock during layoffs and touring with the USO to entertain U.S. troops in Korea and elsewhere. In 1965-66 she played a gym teacher at an exclusive girls' school in The John Forsythe Show, before her best known role in The Brady Bunch came along in 1969. "I did a couple of pilots that didn't sell, a few movies and one year of nightclub work, which I hated. Then I did the pilot of The Brady Bunch and never had to do another nightclub," she told the AP in a 1993 interview. Ms. Davis' face occupied the center square during the show's opening credits. Her love interest was Sam the Butcher, played by Allan Melvin. In her blue and white maid's uniform, Ms. Davis' character, Alice Nelson, was constantly cleaning up messes large and small, and she was a mainstay of stability for the family in the 1969-1974 sitcom. Ms. Davis became a born again Christian in 1993. "It happens to Episcopalians. Sometimes it doesn't hit you till you're 47 years old," she once said. She took a long sabbatical from the theater, largely limiting her performances to Brady Bunch specials and TV commercials, and returned to the theater in 1993, joining the touring cast of "Crazy for You," a musical featuring the songs of George and Ira Gershwin. Ms. Davis never married, saying she never found a man who was more interesting than her career. "By the time I started to get interested (in finding someone), all the good ones were taken," she told the Chicago Sun-Times. Bill Frey, a retired Episcopal bishop and a longtime friend of Ms. Davis, said she suffered a fall on May 31 at her San Antonio home. Frey said Davis had lived with him and his wife, Barbara, since 1976. Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch, said in a statement that Ms. Davis "made me a better person... How blessed I am to have had her in my life. She will be forever missed." "I'm shocked and saddened! I've lost a wonderful friend and colleague," Brady Bunch matriarch Florence Henderson said in a statement, and Eve Plumb, who played Jan Brady on the series, called Ms. Davis "an amazing lady." "She was great to work with, and I have wonderful memories of our scenes together on The Brady Bunch," Plumb said in a statement. "She was kind and generous to all of us on set." - AP, 6/2/14.

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