Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Favorite Seventies Artist In The News

Posted by Administrator on August 27th, 2014

Bob DylanColumbia/Legacy announced on Aug. 26 that a six-disc set of Bob Dylan's legendary Basement Tapes he recorded with the Band in 1967 will be the next edition of his Bootleg Series. Dropping on Nov. 4, The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 was compiled from meticulously restored original tapes -- many found only recently -- making the release the definitive chronicle of Dylan's legendary 1967 recording sessions with members of his touring ensemble who would later achieve their own fame as the Band. The set reportedly brings together every salvageable recording from the tapes, including recently discovered songs recorded in the "Red Room" of Dylan's home in upstate New York. The Band's Garth Hudson worked with music archivist and producer Jan Haust to restore the tapes, and the songs run in mostly chronological order based on Hudson's numbering system. Bootleg versions of the collection have varied in size over the last 45 years, a nine-CD version often viewed as the closest to complete. A two-disc version of highlights from the deluxe edition, titled The Basement Tapes Raw and including 12 of the unreleased tracks, will also be released on Nov. 4. This will also be issued as a three LP set on 180-gram vinyl, according to Columbia. - Billboard, 8/26/14.

Joey RamoneJohnny RamoneAs the tenth annual Johnny Ramone tribute took place at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Aug. 24, the respective estates of the deceased members of the seminal punk band the Ramones say that going forward, all Ramones tributes will be about the group as a whole. "That was probably the last Johnny Ramone tribute youre gonna see," says Ramones estate co-manager Jeff Jampol. "We're gonna do something moving forward, but its gonna be Ramones. We're all gonna focus on the Ramones, and its that whole thing of, United we stand, divided we fall. The legacy is the Ramones, the music is the Ramones, it was the four of them -- it was Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy, and everybody is cooperating and moving in one direction together as a team." For years, Johnny's widow Linda Ramone has controlled Johnny's half of the bands estate, while Joey's brother Mickey oversaw the lead singers half. After a long behind the scenes disputes, all sides say they are finally on the same page. Jampol, who also handles estates for the Doors, Janis Joplin and Otis Redding, among others, says he has big plans for the Ramones moving forward. "The 40th anniversary of the Ramones is coming up in 2016, that's when the first album came out. So we have a lot of projects leading up to that. We're looking at a documentary on the Ramones, we just secured a ton of footage, much of which has never been seen before," he says. The documentary is just one of several projects in the works, Jampol says. Among the others are a theatrical play, a book and a film, which already has Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese attached. The Ramones will also be reappearing in several other ways, including remastered music, fashion and music placement. - Billboard, 8/27/14.

Chuck BerryPioneering rock 'n' roller Chuck Berry was honored with Sweden's prestigious Polar Music Prize during a ceremony on Aug. 26 in Stockholm, but the 88-year-old Berry was unable to attend the gala due to health issues. "He's been struggling with his health for a while," noted Marie Ledin, managing director of the Polar Music Prize, in the lead up to this year's event. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, in a recorded message played at the gala, said the "My Ding-A-Ling" singer was the source of his inspiration. "He just leapt out of the radio at me," Richards noted. "I ate him basically, I mean I breathed him -- it wasn't just food, he was the air I breathed for many years when I was learning guitar and trying to figure out how you could be such an all-rounder. Such a great voice, such a great player and also such a great showman -- it was all in one package." Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf was again on hand for the 2014 presentation of the prize, which is typically shared by a pop artist and a classical musician, which this year was opera director Peter Sellars. The annual award, worth one million Swedish Kronor ($158,336), was first presented in 1992 and has gone to pop artists such as Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, B.B. King, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. The prize was created and funded in 1989 by Stig Andersson, the manager of Abba (sometimes called "Abba's fifth member") and the founder of two music-publishing companies and a record label as well as the composer of over 3,000 songs. Andersson says his aim was to "endow the world's biggest music prize." - Billboard, 8/27/14.

Jimmy PageListeners of the BBC's Radio 2 have named Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" as the "Greatest Guitar Riff of All Time," after a contest was announced in July. "Whole Lotta Love" was selected from list of 100 songs compiled by a panel of music experts. Other top guitar riffs in the top ten included songs by Guns N' Roses ("Sweet Child O' Mine"), AC/DC ("Back in Black"), Deep Purple ("Smoke on the Water"), Derek and the Dominoes ("Layla"), The Smiths ("How Soon Is Now?"), Status Quo ("Down Down"), Dire Straits ("Money For Nothing"), The Kinks ("You Really Got Me"), and Pink Floyd ("Money"). After hearing the news that "Whole Lotta Love" had been voted the top riff song, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page said that he was "knocked out by this, because I didn't expect that to happen." "There's been so many wonderful riffs along the way. I wanted a riff that really moved, that people would really get, and would bring a smile to their faces, but when I played it with the band, it really went into overdrive. There was this intent to have this riff and the movement of it, so it was menacing as well as quite sort of caressing," he said. - New Musical Express, 8/26/14.

Stevie Nicks has revealed a new song entitled "Lady" from her forthcoming double album 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault. Set for release on Oct. 7, 24 Karat Gold is made up of songs that were mostly written between 1969-87 but were recorded recently in Nashville and Los Angeles. The LP was produced by Nicks, Dave Stewart and Waddy Wachtel. Meanwhile, Nicks and Fleetwood Mac say they've almost finished eight songs for a possible new album. The recent recordings feature Christine McVie, who in January announced she had rejoined the band, although Nicks was not present at the sessions owing to other commitments. - New Musical Express...... Neil YoungPegi YoungNeil Young has filed a petition for a dissolution of marriage from his wife Pegi Young, to whom he has been married for 36 years. The petition was filed by Young, who often collaborated and toured with Pegi and duetted with her during a 1990s Academy Awards show, on July 29 in San Mateo, Calif., with a hearing set for Dec. 12. The couple first met when Neil visited a diner near his California home, where Pegi was working as a waitress. Pegi is the inspiration for some of Young's most enduring love songs, including "Such a Woman," "Unknown Legend" and "Once an Angel." She began serving as his background singer in the 1990s, sharing the stage with him at the 1994 Academy Awards and numerous tours over the past 20 years. In 1986, the couple co-founded the Bridge School to provide educational opportunities for students with severe physical impairments, with their son Ben in mind, who suffers from cerebral palsy. Pegi, who released a self-titled debut album in 2007 and frequently tours on her own, was scheduled to perform with Neil at Farm Aid in Raleigh, N.C., on Sept. 13, though Pegi's name was recently removed from the line-up. - Rolling Stone...... Cliff Richard issued a statement on Aug. 24 saying allegations that he assaulted a boy at a religious rally in Sheffield, northern England, in the 1980s is "completely false." The British pop star said that he was questioned by South Yorkshire Police by appointment, who have not arrested or charged him so far. British authorities do not name suspects unless they are formally charged, and merely say that "a 73-year-old man was interviewed under caution at a police station on Aug. 23." "Under caution" means the interview was recorded and could be used in future prosecutions. Earlier in August, police searched Richard's house near London after receiving what they called "an allegation of a sexual nature at a religious event at the Bramall Lane stadium in Sheffield in 1985." Richard was recently scheduled to be presented with the keys to the Portuguese city of Albufeira -- his adopted home -- but following recent events he chose not to accept the honor. - AP...... Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood took part in the popular "ice bucket challenge" to raise awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on Aug. 26. Wood had a bucket of ice water thrown over his head before nominating his son, Tyrone, his former Faces bandmate Rod Stewart, and actor Woody Harrelson, to also take the challenge. - NME...... Richard AttenboroughAcclaimed British actor and director Richard Attenborough died on Aug. 24 at age 90 after having been in poor health for some time, according to his son. Mr. Attenborough won an Academy Award for best director with Gandhi in 1982, only one of many highlights of a distinguished 60-year career as actor and director. With his abundant snow-white hair and beard, he appeared in a many major Hollywood films, directed a series of movies and was known for his extensive work as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF and other humanitarian causes. As a director, Mr. Attenborough made several successful movies, from Oh What a Lovely War in 1969 to Chaplin and Shadowlands in the 1990s. But his greatest success was Gandhi, a film that was 20 years in the planning and won eight Oscars, including best picture. He also played the failed theme park developer in Jurassic Park and Kriss Kringle in a remake of Miracle on 34th Street. He was knighted in 1976, and 17 years later received a life peerage, becoming Baron Attenborough of Richmond upon Thames. Mr. Attenborough had been in frail health since a fall at his house in 2008, and spent his last years in a nursing home with his wife. - CNN

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on August 22nd, 2014

John LennonJohn Lennon's killer Mark David Chapman was denied parole for the eighth time on Aug. 22, New York corrections officials have announced. Chapman, 59, was denied parole by a three-member board after a hearing on Aug. 20. He shot Lennon, 40, outside the former Beatle's Manhattan apartment building in Dec. 1980. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 1981 and was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. - AP...... In other Beatles-related news, the third leg of Paul McCartney's Out There tour of North America, which began in May, has become the summer's hottest tour with ticket sales totaling $38.7 million from concerts at eight arenas and four stadiums. It bring's Macca's overall gross to $150 million from 40 reported shows during the tour's 15-month span. Coming in at No. 3, behind Motley Crue, is Billy Joel, with the last of four performances at major league ballparks during the Piano Man's summer tour through North American cities. He wrapped his stadium run on Aug. 2 at Citizens Bank Park, the home ballpark of Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies. - Billboard...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, rare 50-year-old photos of the Beatles meeting youngsters from a children's home while filming A Hard Day's Night in 1964 have been discovered by a children's charity in the United Kingdom. Staff at The Children's Society discovered the photographs in an archive which contained a copy of the charity's supporters' magazine from 1964. It featured an article on children from the Society's now-defunct Roehampton home, Hambro House, meeting the band while they were filming at London's Scala Theatre. - New Musical Express

'70s artists Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and Joan Baez will be among the musicians honored with an ASCAP Centennial Award during a gala at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City on Nov. 17. It will be the first fundraiser for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation, as well as celebrate ASCAP's 100th anniversary. The five honorees, which also include Garth Brooks and Stephen Sondheim, will attend the gala, where other artists will perform in tribute. - AP...... Phil CollinsPhil Collins has announced his first gig in four years will take place on Dec. 6 when he headlines the Dreaming On The Beach Concert at the Fillmore Miami Beach in Florida. Earlier in 2014, Collins made a surprise appearance at his sons' Miami school, performing "In The Air Tonight" and "Land Of Confusion" for pupils. He reportedly told the crowd that he was nervous playing his first show since retiring in 2011. The Dreaming On The Beach gig will benefit the Little Dreams Foundation, the charity Collins co-founded with his ex-wife Orianne Collins-Mejjati. In January, Collins revealed that he is working on new music with Adele for her next album. He claimed to have not really heard of the singer but that he was writing new music with her having been impressed with her voice and level of success. - New Musical Express...... Tickets for an upcoming concert headlined by Wilie Nelson and Neil Young to protest the Keystone XL pipeline have been selling fast, with more than 6,500 of the 7,000 $50 tickets for the Sept. 27 gig already purchased the day after they were made available on Aug. 20. The controversial TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil from Canada south to the Gulf Coast, and te concert will be held on a farm near Neligh, Nebraska, that's in the proposed path. Pipeline critics, including concert organizer Bold Nebraska, worry it could contribute to pollution and contaminate groundwater. Young and Nelson have said they agreed to perform to highlight concerns. - AP...... Bob MarleyA new musical focusing on the mid-'70s years of reggae legend Bob Marley is set to open in Baltimore's Center Stage theater in 2015. "Marley" will include the assassination attempt and a self-imposed isolation in England when he recorded Exodus and Kaya. The musical will include crowd-pleasers for Marley's band The Wailers such as "I Shot the Sheriff" and "No Woman, No Cry" as well as the songs that appear on Exodus, Kaya and the other album he made in the show's time frame Rastaman Vibration. Members of Marley's family, including Cedella Marley, are involved in the development and writing of the show. - Billboard...... The executive producer of the beleaguered Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider waived his right for an arraignment on Aug. 19 and asked the court to enter a not guilty plea to criminal charges in the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones. Jay Sedrish, along with director Randall Miller and producer Jody Savin, were charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass in Jones' death. Sedrish's lawyer, John Ossick, confirmed that Sedrish waived his right for an arraignment and asked the court to enter a not guilty plea by mail. Miller and Savin pleaded not guilty last month, claiming Jones' death "was not a crime." Sedrish also turned himself in to the police in July. - The Hollywood Reporter...... Jimi HendrixTwo out-of-print Jimi Hendrix albums -- The Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge -- are set to be re-released on Sept. 15 o CD, vinyl and digital formats. The LPs were Hendrix's first and second posthumous releases, with both records originally released in 1971 after the legendary guitarist and singer passed away in 1970 at the age of 27. The songs that make up The Cry Of Love were recorded from December 1969 into the summer of 1970 at Electric Lady Studios in New York. They were set to be included on a double LP with the working title First Rays Of The New Rising Sun. Rainbow Bridge is made up of tracks from the same sessions. Meanwhile, a documentary of Henrix's early career Jimi: All Is By My Side, is set for release in the fall, with OutKast's André 3000 in the lead role. - New Musical Express...... Leonard Cohen will release his 13th studio album, Popular Problems, on Sept. 22, the day after he reaches his milestone 80th birthday. The album was co-written and produced by Patrick Leonard, who worked with Cohen on his last album, 2012's Old Ideas. Cohen, who returned to the stage in 2008 after a 15-year absence, is not expected to tour behind the new LP. - NME...... The creamated ashes of Robin Williams were reportedly scattered at sea near his home in San Francisco, Calif., the day after his death by apparent suicide on Aug. 11. On Aug. 17, a memorial for the beloved 63-year-old funnyman was conducted at Glide Memorial Church. Willams' death certificate does not list an official cause of death, as the results of toxicology tests will not be available for a few weeks. -

Don Pardo, the announcer whose velvety baritone voice introduced NBC's Saturday Night Live hosts for decades, died on Aug. 19. He was 96. Mr. Pardo, who was the SNL announcer for all but one season during the program's 39-year-run, was born in Westfield, Mass., on Feb. 22, 1918, and began his career in theater in his native New England, but switched to announcing after being offered a job by a Providence, R.I., radio station. Don PardoWhile visiting NBC in New York in 1944, Mr. Pardo was offered a job with NBC and became a familiar voice to generations of radio listeners and, later, TV watchers. He was among the first to tell the nation about the news of Pres. John F. Kennedy's assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, and the following year he became the announcer for the long-running Art Fleming-hosted game show Jeopardy!, which ran from 1964 to 1975. He could regularly be heard telling viewers that the show's questions came from the Grolier encyclopedia and promising contestants some nice parting gifts, including a supply of Rice-a-Roni, "the San Francisco treat." He also handled the announcing duties on such programs as the old Price Is Right, and appeared in the movie Radio Days and on an episode of 30 Rock, among other credits. "RIP Don Pardo. A voice that meant so much," tweeted former SNL cast member Seth Meyers. - CNN...... Rock journalist Charles M. Young, a former contributor to Rolling Stone magazine who championed New York's CBGB punk scene at its inception, died on Aug. 18 in a Bronx, N.Y., hospice after an 18-month battle with a stage four brain tumor. He was 63. At Rolling Stone, Young wrote its first major pieces on The Ramones, Patti Smith and Television, among others, bringing an individual sense of humor to its pages. Writing under the byline "The Rev. Charles M. Young," a reference to his Wisconsin Presbyterian-minister father, Young contributed memorable cover stories on the likes of Carly Simon, Kiss, Ted Nugent, Emerson Lake and Palmer and, for Rolling Stone's first punk rock cover story, the Sex Pistols. Young left Rolling Stone in 1980, later joining the staff of Musician magazine in the early 1990s and writing regular record reviews for Playboy. Later on, he contributed stories on Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky to Rolling Stone, as well as profiles on Beavis and Butt-head and Jerry Lee Lewis. In 2010, he co-founded the website This Can't Be Happening!, where he excitedly covered the Occupy Wall Street movement. - Rolling Stone...... Michael A. Hoey, who wrote the screenplays for the Elvis Presley movies Stay Away, Joe and Live a Little, Love a Little, died of cancer on Aug. 17 at his home in San Clemente, Calif. He was 79. He also produced, wrote, directed and edited several episodes of the 1980s music drama series Fame, based on the Alan Parker box-office hit, and was the architect behind the 1966 cult science-fiction move The Navy vs. the Night Monsters. Hoey later directed episodes of Dallas, Falcon Crest, and Murder, She Wrote, and wrote for the shows The Rat Patrol, Get Christie Love! and McCloud. He earned two Emmy Award nominations for his work on Fame and wrote a behind-the-scenes book about the series that was published in 2010. He also served two four-year terms as a governor on the board of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and the WGA honored him with its prestigious Morgan Cox Award in 1997, and taught editing as an adjunct professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. - The Hollywood Reporter

Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney played the last-ever concert in San Francisco's Candlestick Park on Aug. 14, some 48 years after his former band the Beatles played their last-ever concert anywhere at the same venue. Home for decades to the baseball Giants and the football 49ers, the open-air venue now faces imminent demolition, and Sir Paul -- dressed like a dandyish undertaker in a maroon topcoat with floral kimono-print trim at the cuffs -- promised the audience that he and his band were going to "close it down in style." Before McCartney emerged, around 9:00 p.m., a nostalgia-steeped photo collage -- Paul working a mixing console with Ringo, Paul horsing around on his Scottish farm, portraits of other rock stars like John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and Mick Jagger -- scrolled upward on enormous screens as the speakers pumped out unlikely covers and remixes of Beatles tunes. During his set, the 72-year-old McCartney prefaced "Blackbird" with a few words about the "civil rights troubles, particularly in the South," that inspired the song and attended the Beatles' 1966 tour (in September of 1966, just one month after the Beatles played Candlestick, police shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Bayview-Hunters Point). McCartney is touring, nominally, in support of his strong 2013 solo album, New, but his Candlestick set went heavy on Beatles and Wings cuts, from "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Maybe I'm Amazed" to "Lovely Rita" and "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five." - Rolling Stone, 8/15/14.

Elvis PresleyFans of Elvis Presley marked the 37th anniversary of his 1977 death on Aug. 16 by strolling quietly through the Mediation Garden at Graceland, Presley's longtime Memphis, Tenn., home. People began arriving early in the day to get a spot in line outside Graceland's gates. Tourists also watched Elvis tribute artists sing and dance, and visited gift shops and Elvis-related exhibits across the street from the home. Presley's grave is in the garden, and his mother, father and grandmother are buried there. The home is now a museum and a centerpiece of the Graceland tourist attraction that draws about 500,000 fans each year from around the world. The vigil is a highlight of Elvis Week, an annual celebration of Presley's career and his life. This year, other Elvis Week events have included an auction of authenticated Presley artifacts -- which included a 1977 Cadillac Seville used by Presley -- and the groundbreaking of a planned 450-room hotel at the Graceland tourist attraction. In other Presley-related news, the granddaughter of the King of Rock & Roll is engaged to be married. Riley Keough, the actress daughter of Lisa Marie Presley and musician Danny Keough, will tie the knot with Ben Smith-Petersen, an Australian stuntman who worked on the upcoming franchise reboot Mad Max: Road Fury, a film starring Riley Keough. It has been speculated the two met on the set. Riley Keough was previously engaged to Alex Pettyfer, whom she worked with in Magic Mike. In 2013, she had a steamy make-out session with Justin Timberlake for his "TKO" music video. - AP/Billboard, 8/16/14.

Carlos SantanaFollowing the success of his first-ever all Spanish-language album Corazon, Carlos Santana will release a live CD/DVD package titled Corazon, Live From Mexico: Live It to Believe It on Sept. 9 that includes a live CD and DVD plus a documentary film shot in different Mexican locales. While the track listing of Corazon Live From Mexico includes many of the artists featured in the original Corazon, including such famous hispanic singers as Gloria Estefan, Miguel, Romeo Santos and Lila Downs, it has expanded considerably to include new versions of Santana standards like "Black Magic Woman" and "Smooth" and collaborations like "Corazon Espinado," featuring Fher Olvera (lead singer of Mana) and Santana's wife, Cindy Blackman Santana. With sponsorship from Mexico's Tourism Board, the live show was taped in Dec. 2013 in Santana's home state of Gaudalajara, a documentary was filmed in different locales and a special aired on HBO Latino both in the U.S. and Latin America in the spring. Meanwhile, Santana is reflecting on his band's participation in the 1969 Woodstock festival, as the legendary event celebrates its 45th anniversary in August. "It was very memorable and monumental," Santana told Billboard. "We didn't know that there were so many people in the '60s that wanted to stop the war. People got involved in the '60s, with the Black Panthers and the students. We wanted to change the world, like Jim Morrison, from The Doors, said: 'We want the world and we want it now.'" - Billboard, 8/14/14.

Gene SimmonsGene Simmons of Kiss is apologizing for some comments he made about depression as well as drug and alcohol addiction in a recent interview. "I don't get along with anybody who's a drug addict and has a dark cloud over their head and sees themselves as a victim," Simmons said in an interview with "Drug addicts and alcoholics are always: 'The world is a harsh place.' My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don't want to hear f--- all about 'the world as a harsh place.' She gets up every day, smells the roses and loves life. And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, 'I'm depressed, I live in Seattle.' F--- you, then kill yourself." Simmons went on to suggest people threatening to jump from high rise buildings "should just have some dignity and jump." On Aug. 15, the fire-breathing rock star issued an apology on Facebook: "To the extent my comments reported by the media speak of depression, I was wrong and in the spur of the moment made remarks that in hindsight were made without regard for those who truly suffer the struggles of depression. I sincerely apologize to those who were offended by my comments. I recognize that depression is very serious and very sad when it happens to anyone, especially loved ones. I deeply support and am empathetic to anyone suffering from any disease, especially depression. I have never sugarcoated my feelings regarding drug use and alcoholics. Somewhere along the line, my intention of speaking in very directly and perhaps politically incorrectly about drug use and alcoholics has been misconstrued as vile commentary on depression. Unkind statements about depression was certainly never my intention. Fully, you will know that and I do not intend to defend myself here and now, by listing the myriad charities and self-help organizations I am involved with. Rather, I simply want to be clear that my heart goes out to anyone suffering from depression and I deeply regret any offhand remarks in the heat of an interview that might have suggested otherwise." - Billboard, 8/15/14.

Cliff RichardEnglish pop music legend Cliff Richard is denying allegations of a historical sex offense against him as "completely false." Earlier in August, a house belonging to the 73-year-old singer in Berkshire had been searched by police in relation to claims involving a boy under 16, dating back to the 1980s in the South Yorkshire area. Eight plain-clothed police officers arrived in five unmarked cars to conduct the search and a number of items were removed from the property in the Sunningdale area for further investigation, according to the BBC. But now Richard, who is out of the country, has issued a statement: "For many months I have been aware of allegations against me of historic impropriety which have been circulating online. The allegations are completely false. Up until now I have chosen not to dignify the false allegations with a response, as it would just give them more oxygen. However, the police attended my apartment in Berkshire today without notice, except it would appear to the press. I am not presently in the UK, but it goes without saying that I will cooperate fully should the police wish to speak to me. Beyond stating that today's allegation is completely false it would not be appropriate to say anything further until the police investigation has concluded." With more than 22 million singles sold in Britain, Richard is "the most successful British male singles artist of all-time and second only to Elvis Presley overall," according to the Official Charts Company, which tracks U.K. music sales. His worldwide record sales are estimated to amount to around 250 million. Richard plans to expand his catalog with the release this November of his 100th album. - New Musical Express/Billboard, 8/14/14.

Federal safety officials have cited the production company formed to make a film about Gregg Allman for exposing its workers to grave risk. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Film Allman LLC, the film's production company, for two safety violations in connection with the February 2014 accident, in which camera assistant Sarah Jones, 27, was killed and eight other crew members were injured when an oncoming train tore through the set of Midnight Rider during the filming of a scene on a Georgia railroad trestle. "It is unacceptable that Film Allman LLC knowingly exposed their crew to moving trains while filming on a live track and railroad trestle," Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels said in a statement. In July, Midnight Rider director Randall Miller and others were indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter. They've pleaded not guilty. - Billboard, 8/15/14...... Joey KramerAerosmith drummer Joey Kramer is denying he has heart problems after an unspecified illness forced the band to cancel a concert in Concord, Calif., on Aug. 13. That same day, it was reported he had to "undergo a minor medical procedure," and another report said he had to undergo heart surgery. But Kramer released a statement on Aug. 16 saying that he "has no history of a heart condition" and that he is "feeling better than ever and I'll be back sitting in the best seat in the house, hitting it harder than ever for our amazing fans," referring to the band's show that evening at the Gorge in George, Wash., which went on as scheduled. There are 10 more dates slated on the band's Let Rock Rule tour, which wraps up on Sept. 12 in Canada. - Billboard, 8/16/14....... Eric Clapton will release a new tour documentary, Planes, Trains and Eric, on DVD, Blu-Ray and other digital formats on Nov. 4. The new concert film chronicles the Far and Middle Eastern leg of Clapton's2014 tour and includes 13 live performances, including renditions of classic songslike "Layla," I Shot the Sheriff," "Crossroads" and "Wonderful Tonight." Along with the live footage, the documentary also features interviews with Clapton and his band, and offers a "fly on the wall" look at life on the road, from soundchecks and rehearsals to lengthy train rides from show to show. Clapton recently released his latest studio effort, The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale, which paid tribute to the late blues legend and his close friend, JJ Cale. - Rolling Stone, 8/7/14...... Stevie Nicks has launched a competition for her fans to design a new shawl, one of the singer's trademark garments. The competition winner will receive $2,000 to produce a shawl for Nicks, and also receive a professional photograph of the singer modelling the piece and will also be featured on her website and social media outlets. The competition ends on Sept. 29 with the winner announced on Oct.14. It will coincide with the release of Nick's new double album 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault, which is set for an Oct. 7 release. The album primarily consists of songs written between 1969 and 1987 but recorded recently in Nashville and Los Angeles. - Rolling Stone, 8/16/14...... Bob SegerBob Seger released a new song, "Detroit Made," on Aug. 14, taking a step closer to releasing a new album, which has been rumoured for fall 2014. "Detroit Made," a cover of a song originally written and performed by John Hiatt, was the opening song of Seger's spring 2013 tour, and its release was specifically timed to the Woodward Dream Cruise, an annual car event held in the Detroit suburbs. Besides "Detroit Made," Seger also debuted his own "All of the Roads" and another cover, the Wilco/Billy Bragg/Woody Guthrie song "California Stars," during the 2013 tour -- both of which he's also recorded. No details about a new album, or a release date, have yet been announced. - Billboard, 8/14/14...... "David Bowie Is" -- the David Bowie retrospective exhibition detailing the singer's 50-year career first shown at London's V&A in 2013 -- is to head to Australia. The exhibition was originally shown in London from March 2013 and received a sell-out run during which time more than 300,000 people attended the show. Since then, it has moved around the world, being shown in Toronto, Chicago Sao Paulo and Berlin. The newest stop to be added to the tour will be the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne, where the exhibition will show from July 2015. Between now and then, David Bowie Is will call at Paris and the Netherlands. - New Musical Express, 8/13/14....... Lauren BacallFamed actress Lauren Bacall, a husky-voiced Hollywood icon known for her sultry sensuality, died of an apparent stroke on Aug. 12. She was 89. Ms. Bacall's international fame began before the backdrop of World War II, in 1944 with her first film, To Have and Have Not, which she made with future husband Humphrey Bogart. They married in 1945, had two children and went on to make more films together, including The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947) and Key Largo (1948). Bogart died in 1957. A marriage to Jason Robards, which produced another child, actor Sam Robards, ended in divorce. Ms. Bacall was engaged to Frank Sinatra, briefly, between marriages. She won two Tony Awards and an honorary Oscar; she was nominated for three Emmy Awards. Her first autobiography, Lauren Bacall: By Myself, won the National Book Award in 1980. By Myself and Then Some, her updated autobiography, was published in 2005. Ms. Bacall was anointed a legend during her lifetime by the American Film Institute, but she wasn't fond of that, she told CNN's Larry King in an interview in 2005. "I don't like the category. And to begin with, to me, a legend is something that is not on the Earth, that is dead," she said. - CNN, 8/13/14...... The body of DJ Casey Kasem, who died June 15 in Gig Harbor, Washington, is apparently headed to Oslo, Norway, for burial. Santa Monica Police are investigating allegations by Kasem's daughter, Kerri Kasem, that her stepmother Jean Kasem abused the late Kasem, and the family is speculating that the reason Jean Kasem wants her late husband buried in Norway is due to that country's strict laws concerning exhumation. "There is no connection my dad has with Norway," says Kerri Kasem's brother, Mike Kasem, who bitterly criticizes his stepmother. "I don't know if Jean has any ties to Oslo. She certainly has never mentioned it in the last 35 years. Check the exhumation laws there; sounds like a possibility that is the reason she will bury him there. My dad deserves to be buried where he specifically asked to be buried: Forest Lawn. Everyone keeps asking for motives as to why Jean acts how she acts. I don't have an answer." - The Hollywood Reporter, 8/14/14.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on August 12th, 2014

Robin WilliamsRobin Williams, a beloved actor and comedian known for his manic improvisational skills in the TV series Mork & Mindy as well as Oscar-winning dramatic roles in movies, died of an apparent suicide due to asphyxia on Aug. 11 in his home in Marin County, Calif. He was 63. Marin County deputies responded to an emergency call from Williams' home in Tiburon, Calif., at 11:55 a.m., reporting "a male adult had been located unconscious and not breathing," the release from the sheriff said, and Williams was pronounced dead at 12:02 p.m. Born in Chicago on July 21, 1951, Williams studied theater at Juilliard School before taking his stand up act to nightclubs. He was cast as Mork, an alien visitor to Earth, for a 1974 episode of television's Happy Days, which led to a spin-off show Mork & Mindy, which showcased his usual comic improvisation talents. After that series ended in 1982, Williams became an in demand movie actor in both comedic and dramatic roles that had a total box office gross of over $3 billion, including The World According to Garp, Mrs. Doubtfire, Cadillac Man, The Final Cut, The Fisher King, Moscow on the Hudson, Man of the Year, Good Morning Vietnam, One Hour Photo, Patch Adams, Dead Poet's Society, Insomnia, The Birdcage and 1997's Good Will Hunting, a film that earned him a best supporting actor Oscar. He also won two Emmys, four Golden Globes, and five Grammys. Robin WilliamsHe most recently starred in the CBS sitcom The Crazy Ones, and was reportedly considering participating in a sequel to Mrs. Doubtfire, and was in post-production on several other projects. Williams, who battled drug and alcohol abuse for 20 years, made at least two trips to rehab for drug treatment, including a visit this summer, and he underwent heart surgery in March 2009. He had reportedly recently been battling severe depression and had a relapse of substance abuse, was last seen alive at his home, where he lived with his wife Susan, at about 10 a.m. on Aug. 11, the sheriff's statement said. "An investigation into the cause, manner and circumstances of the death is currently underway by the Investigations and Coroner Divisions of the Sheriff's Office," the sheriff's statement said. "Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made." Williams married his third wife, graphic designer Susan Schneider, in a Napa Valley, Calif., ceremony in Oct. 2011. "This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken," Schneider said in a statement. "On behalf of Robin's family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin's death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions." - CNN, 8/11/14.

Paul McCartneyA forthcoming first-person shooter game called Destiny will feature a full score and theme song from Paul McCartney, the New York Times reported on Aug. 10. Destiny, described as being in the vein of the game Halo, is a futuristic, dystopian game where Earth's final survivors are forced to fight off invading aliens (on Earth and Mars) who seek to conquer mankind for good. Sir Paul's score is reportedly "widely varied, with lush orchestral and choral sections and eerie, atmospheric passages, to fast paced, heavily percussive sections and high-adrenaline string, brass and electronic figures." McCartney collaborated on the project with ex-Bungie house composer Marty ODonnell and Mike Salvatori, and Macca broke the news back in July 2012 via Twitter: "I'm really excited to be working on writing music with @bungie, the studio that made Halo," he posted. 70 minutes of the score, which was recorded with a 120-piece ensemble at London's Abbey Road Studios with director Giles Martin, have been circulating the Internet via a beta version of the game, according to the report. The fully-orchestrated theme song will drop Sept. 9, the same day as the game. McCartney has been composing full-length scores and orchestral music since 1990 and similar games (like the Halo series) have earned plaudits for their symphonic approach. In other Beatles-related news, officials in London are considering installing a "lollipop lady" (crossing guard) at the famous crossing outside Abbey Road studios in St. John's Wood over saftey fears. The Westminster City Council says thousands of people who visit the "zebra" crossing who try to take photos in the middle of the road are raising safety concerns, and that residents have complained of an increase in traffic as tourists take photos on the crossing, especially in the summer season. Councillors have also raised concerns about buses carrying tourists causing traffic congestion by double-parking or parking on yellow lines. A Westminster City Council spokeswoman said it is discussing options to manage the busy traffic flow, including the possibility of employing a lollipop lady or man. The crossing was made famous after the Beatles traversed it for Ian Macmillan's iconic cover shot for the 1969 Abbey Road record. - Billboard/The BBC, 8/11/14.

Ronnie Van ZantA night-long concert honoring the music and legacy of Lynyrd Skynyrd will be held on Nov. 12 at Atlanta's Fox Theatre, the venue where the Southern Rock icons recorded their live double-album, One More From The Road, in 1976 during the height of their fame to help save the hall from demolition. Producer Don Was will serve as music director for One More For The Fans! -- Celebrating The Songs & Music of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the show will feature performances from Lynyrd Skynyrd themselves along with several of their famous fellow musicians, including Gregg Allman, Charlie Daniels, Peter Frampton, Warren Haynes, Trace Adkins, Alabama, John Hiatt, Cheap Trick and Donnie Van Zant, among others. Surprise guests and additional performers are also forthcoming. "Lynyrd Skynyrd's music has had a profound and unmistakable influence on artists and fans all over the world," Don Was said in a statement. One More For The Fans! will be filmed and recorded for "multi-platform distribution," according to a press release. Tickets for the event go on sale to the public on Aug. 18 at - Billboard, 8/11/14.

Billy GibbonsBilly Gibbons of ZZ Top recently recorded several songs of new music with EDM producer David Guetta in Ibiza, which Gibbons says he expects to surface in same shape for form in the near future. "It's a far cry from what people might expect -- 'Gibbons and electronic stuff?'" Gibbons notes. "But a lot of people have overlooked the fact that one of the things that made (ZZ Top's) Eliminator so interesting was the opportunity to go into that experimental side of things and fool around with the coolest new toys that could be found in the recording studio. I'm always fascinated by that, so my time in Spain was very fruitful." Gibbons says he's also planning to begin work on ZZ Top's next album with Rick Rubin, who produced the band's 2012 LP La Futura, once again at the helm. "There were 11 tracks released on La Futura that were pulled from a total of 22 -- actually we did 27 tracks and out of those 27 it got boiled down to a favorite 22, which was a big pile of stuff," Gibbons says. "So there's probably another CD's worth of pretty righteous stuff. It's very tasty. There's some juicy cuts waiting to be heard. I'm just waiting on a call from Rick that he's ready," Gibbons says. ZZ Top is celebrating its 45th year as a band in 2014 and released a new complation, The Very Baddest of ZZ Top, in July. It hits the road with Jeff Beck on Aug. 8 for one of the most anticipated double bills of the summer, after canceling the first six shows due to bassist Dusty Hill's kidney stone surgery. Gibbons and Beck have been friends since the original Jeff Beck Group came to America in 1968, and he says the two bond over things like cars and hot rods more than music. ZZ Top and Beck will play 27 shows through mid-September, then stay on the road after the tour with Beck ends, with shows booked into early November so far. - Billboard, 8/8/14.

Jimi HendrixThe city of Seattle finally broke ground on the long-planned Jimi Hendrix Park in the city's Central District on Aug. 7 to honor its hometown guitar hero. The park's organizers, the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation, envision the park as being a place where people of different backgrounds will find the motivation to explore music and art, while celebrating Seattle's cultural heritage, experiencing community pride and appreciating the programming of the museum next door. The bulk of the construction will take place in 2015. The evolution of the two-and-a-half acre park is being split into two phases: The Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation has named the first "Little Wing," after the singer's 1967 song, and will include the construction of an entrance and stairway at the park's southeast corner, as well as paved pathways, a timeline of Hendrix's life and a butterfly garden, among other features. The second phase, which is currently unnamed and now the subject of a fundraising campaign, will include a central shelter, performance space and a "shadow wave wall," which will cast silhouette images of the guitarist. When the foundation announced the park's concept in December 2011, it was initially supposed to open in November of the following year to coincide with what would have been Hendrix's 70th birthday. The foundation, along with the group Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park, raised more than $1 million in addition to the $500,000 that it received from the Seattle Parks and Green Levy Opportunity Fund Grant. Earlier in 2014, the United States Postal Service honored Hendrix's cultural importance by releasing a "Jimi Hendrix Forever" stamp sporting his visage. - Rolling Stone, 8/7/14.

Michael JacksonA former housekeeper of Michael Jackson's has told the New York Post that the "Thriller" singer lived in deplorable conditions inside Neverland Ranch during the time she was in his employ and that he was the "dirtiest, most unsanitary person in Hollywood." "Michael sometimes ran around where the animals were, and he'd track...poop throughout the house and think nothing of it," said the woman, identified only as "Maid No. 1." "Then, if you said something, he'd threaten to make doo-doo snowballs and throw it at you." She also claimed that Jackson disregarded sanitation and urinated in front of her the day after his 1993 Oprah Winfrey interview. "He literally peed on the floor of the entryway, right where you saw Oprah walk in," she told The Post. "It was surreal. He just stood there, unzipped his trousers and watered the floor." The woman was one of five maids who spoke to The Post anonymously about the conditions at the property, which they claim became worse following accusations of sexual abuse against Jackson by Jordan Chandler in 1993. On Aug. 4, lawyers for 36-year-old James Safechuck, who is alleging that Jackson abused him when he was 10 after the pair were working on a Pepsi commercial together, filed claims against Jackson's estate. Jackson lived in the sprawling property in Santa Barbara County, Calif., from 1988 until his death in 2009. It was recently announced that Neverland is being put up for sale. - The New York Post, 8/11/14.

The Journey and Steve Miller Band co-headlining tour is the top summertime trek in the U.S., according to Billboard's Hot Tours list. The veteran rock bands joined forces in mid-May to co-headline an 11-week tour, playing primarily at outdoor amphitheaters. With a handful of arenas and a fair date added to the mix, the bands stopped in 39 cities during the run that featured Tower of Power as opening act. Journey and SMB launched their tour on May 15 at Sleep Train Amphitheatre in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista. Among the 39 dates on the itinerary, the top grosser was the second show of the run, the May 16 performance at L.A.'s Hollywood Bowl. The highest attendance was logged at White River Amphitheatre in the Seattle metropolitan area. Overall box office revenue from the tour topped $29 million from more than half a million sold tickets. - Billboard, 8/7/14....... Billie Jean KingElton JohnElton John and his longtime friend, tennis star Billie Jean King, will host a tennis match at Royal Albert Hall in London on Dec. 7 to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation. John and King will coach teams that feature former No. 1-ranked Kim Clijsters and John McEnroe and Britain's Tim Henman and 2013 Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki. John says the match is being presented on behalf of "an AIDS-free future" and "access to lifesaving treatment to more people living with HIV in Africa." King says it's the first time her "World Team Tennis Smash Hits" event will have a "global presence" and she's pleased to bring "this wonderful evening of tennis to a new audience." The Smash Hits program, which has raised $12 million since 1993, will be held on the final night of a Masters tennis tournament. - AP, 8/8/14...... Billy Joel will be among the celebrities featured in an upcoming "baby boomers" documentary for PBS about the post-World War II generation. PBS announced on Aug. 7 that American Masters: The Boomer List will air Sept. 23 on member stations. The 90-minute production, directed by filmmaker-photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, will include 19 notable public figures, including Joel, Maria Shriver, Samuel L. Jackson, Rosie O'Donnell, Tommy Hilfiger and Steve Wozniak. Their years of birth represent each of the years commonly associated with the baby boom era, 1946-64. An accompanying photo book will be released and an exhibit, "The Boomer List: Photographs by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders," will run at the Newseum from Sept. 26 through June 2015. - AP, 8/7/14...... Robert PlantRobert Plant and his backing band the Sensational Space Shifters have announced a seven-date fall tour of the U.S. and Canada that will kick off Sept. 25 in Port Chester, N.Y. The tour will also visit Brooklyn, N.Y. for two dates (9/27, 28) as well as Toronto (9/30), Chicago (10/2), Denver (10/4) and Los Angeles (10/7). Presale tickets, which go on sale Aug. 15 at, include a copy of Plant's new record, Lulllaby and... The Ceaseless Roar, which drops Sept. 9. - Billboard, 8/7/14...... Seventies musicians Mick Jagger, Sting, Cliff Richard, Bryan Ferry, David Gilmour and Andrew Lloyd-Webber are among the dozens of celebrities and public figures in Britain who have signed a petition appealing to Scottish voters to vote to stay in the United Kingdom in a referendum in September. The letter tells Scottish voters taking part in the Sept. 18 referendum that the undersigned "want to let you know how very much we value our bonds of citizenship with you, and to express our hope that you will vote to renew them." A spokesman for Yes Scotland, a pro-independence group, released a statement saying "it's great to know that Scotland has so many friends and admirers, and we know they will all continue to be our friends and admirers after we vote Yes on September 18." - AP/Billboard, 8/7/14....... Bob WeirGrateful Dead co-founding guitarist Bob Weir has cancelled all scheduled concerts by his band RatDog for 2014 and January 2015. "Circumstances have necessitated that all scheduled tour dates for Bob Weir & RatDog are being cancelled," reads a posted on on Aug. 10, however Weir didn't offer more details. Weir also is canceling a September performance at the Lockn' Festival with Furthur, the band he formed with fellow Grateful Dead member Phil Lesh. Weir, 66, fell onstage at a concert last year. Lesh told the crowd that Weir had been suffering from a strained shoulder. - Associated Press, 8/12/14....... Henry Stone, a fixture on the '70s disco scene who was instrumental in the careers of K.C. & the Sunshine Band, Ray Charles and James Brown, died of natural causes on Aug. 7 at a Miami-area hospital. He was 93. Mr. Stone was a co-founder of the Miami-based disco label TK Records, and when that label went bankrupt in 1981, he produced an off-beat hit in 1990 with the novelty act 2 Live Jews and its album, As Kosher As They Wanna Be, a parody of 2 Live Crew that featured Stone's actor, songwriter-producer son, Joseph Stone. - AP, 8/10/14...... James Shigeta, a prolific and pioneering Asian-American actor whose 50-year career includes the movies Die Hard and Flower Drum Song, died in his sleep in Los Angeles on July 28, his agent said. He was 81. Mr. Shigeta was well-known for co-starring with Bruce Willis in 1988's Die Hard, in which he played the executive Joseph Takagi. His work stretches across TV and film, and he is considered one of the first Asian-American actors to rise to prominence. He also made appearances in series such as Perry Mason, The Love Boat, Hawaii Five-O, Fantasy Island and Little House on the Prairie. - CNN

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on August 7th, 2014

Joan RiversVictor WillisFounding Village People member Victor Willis is lashing out at controversial comedian and TV personality Joan Rivers after she used a racial stereotype to describe Justin Bieber's odd fashion sense. On her show Fashion Police on Aug. 1, Rivers was criticizing Bieber for wearing a colourful Alexander McQueen sweater and baggy, black leather pants with a matching leather skirt (complete with a black hat and a chunky gold chain) for a trip to a Whole Foods supermarket in California, when she said: "That little b---h just gets on my nerves" before addressing the 20-year-old hitmaker directly: "You are not a big black thug, you are just like your shoes -- ordinary and completely white." Rivers' fellow panellists, including singer/TV personality Kelly Osbourne, laughed off the remark, but Victor Willis claims the crass funnywoman should be taken to task for her "racist" comment. Willis, who portrayed the traffic cop in the band, took to his Twitter account and Facebook page on Aug. 3, where he shared the offending clip and urged fans to condemn the veteran comic. "What Joan Rivers Said Is No Laughing Matter! It's Racist! And She Has A History Of This. Time To Shut Her Down! What Say You?," he wrote. In July, Rivers made headlines when she angrily walked out of a CNN interview with host Fredricka Whitfield, saying, "I really am going, because all you've done is negative." Rivers was on to promote her latest book, Diary of a Mad Diva, when Whitfield pressed the comedian on whether she thinks her own humor is mean and questioned her decision to wear a fur coat on her book cover. The incident came a day after Rivers said that she thought President Obama was already our first gay president and that Michelle was "a trans." -, 8/5/14.

Gene SimmonsKiss's Gene Simmons has declared he's "on the side of Donald Sterling" in the controversy over the former L.A. Clippers owner's infamous racist rant to his girlfriend over the phone, which she recorded and released to the public. In an interview for The Wall Street Journal for the new AMC series 4th and Loud -- about the Kiss-branded Arena Football League team L.A. Kiss -- Simmons was asked if he had followed the Sterling incident. "I'm on the side of Don Sterling," he replied, before his position was even asked. Although he admits that Sterling is "heinous," he opines that he should have been let off with a fine, since the rant occurred in private. Simmons goes on to insinuate that all people make racist rants or off-color jokes in private: "Because you say an off color joke or make a racist rant privately, that causes you to lose a job -- nobody would have a job!" Simmons also linked a loss of privacy to Sterling's fate: "I'm on the side of free speech in the privacy of your own home or privacy of the situation. Big brother has finally crawled in bed with us." In an ironic twist, Simmons claimed earlier in the interview that he supported changing the name of NFLs Washington Redskins, which many people feel is a racist nick. Donald Sterling's rant also prompted Victor Willis of the Village People to demand the L.A. Clippers quit playing the Village People's "Y.M.C.A." during their games as long as Sterling remained the owner. - Billboard, 8/5/14.

Jim MorrisonMarianne FaithfullIn an explosive article in Mojo magazine, singer Marianne Faithfull claims that her ex-boyfriend, aristocrat Jean de Breiteuil, of supplying the drugs that killed The Doors legend Jim Morrison. Morrison is alleged to have died of a heroin overdose in Paris, France in 1971, but as no autopsy was performed, the exact cause of his death is still disputed. Faithfull claims she knew something terrible was about to happen the day Morrison died and chose to stay away from the apartment that the singer/poet shared with his partner Pamela Courson when de Breiteuil was planning a final visit. "I could intuitively feel trouble. I thought, 'I'll take a few (sedative) Tuinal and I won't be there. And he went to see Jim Morrison and killed him," she told Mojo. But Faithfull insists the drug overdose was an accident: "The smack (heroin) was too strong? Yeah. And he died. And I didn't know anything about this. Anyway, everybody connected to the death of this poor guy is dead now. Except me." Courson was found dead in her Hollywood apartment on Apr. 25, the victim of a suspected heroin overdose. -, 8/6/14.

Nick DrakeEnglish actress Gabrielle Drake, the sister of cult folk artist Nick Drake, has announced the first authorized Nick Drake biography will be published this autumn. Gabrielle has compiled and edited Nick Drake: Remembered For A While, which will feature handwritten lyrics, letters from Drake to his parents and words from his string arranger Robert Kirby and his producer Joe Boyd. A deluxe edition of the book will come complete with a 10" vinyl record featuring five previously unreleased recordings from a "lost" 1969 BBC John Peel session, comprising alternative versions of "Time Of No Reply," "River Man," "Three Hours," "Bryter Layter" and "Cello Song." Meanwhile, six previously unheard Nick Drake recordings have been removed from auction following a dispute over their ownership. The tapes were described as being in "pristine" condition and were recorded in 1968, before the 1969 release of the iconic folk singer's 1969 debut album Five Leaves Left. The recordings were put up for auction by his friend, singer Beverley Martyn, who was married to the late John Martyn. However, lawyers representing the late singer's estate and his record company have questioned Martyn's ownership and the sale has been postponed. "I looked after them for 38 years, treasured them," said Martyn, stating that she believes she is the rightful owner of the tapes. "I know the person who made the tape and they are happy for me to have it. The Drake family even offered to buy it off me eight years ago for 2,000." Drake died of a drug overdose on Nov. 25, 1974. - New Musical Express, 8/6/14.

Neil Young is urging fans to boycott non-organic cotton, vowing to phase the material out of his tour merchandise in favor of 100% organic cotton immediately. Young, a co-founder of the Farm-Aid benefit concert and veteran activist who has championed environmental and social causes over the years, made the plea with a post on his official website on Aug. 1. "Friends, on my last tour of Europe, I started to give our music loving (sic) audience free organic cotton t-shirts as a way to show that we appreciate you," he writes in a statement on the homepage. "I'm hoping that when you wear your PROTECT/EARTH t-shirt, you will vow to PROTECT EARTH & to take a stand for EARTH in the ways that you can," he posted. - Billboard...... Marilyn BurnsActress Marilyn Burns, who became a cult movie superstar after starring in the 1974 horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, was found dead in her Houston, Tex., home on Aug. 5. She was 65. Burns made her film debut in director Robert Altman's Brewster McCloud while she was still attending the University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated with a drama degree in 1971. However, it was her role as the sole survivor and heroine Sally Hardesty in the Tobe Hooper-directed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre that made her a cult superstar. She also made subsequent cameos in the 1994 and 2013 reboots of the popular franchise. Burns also starred in 1977's Eaten Alive opposite Robert Englund and the 1976 Emmy-nominated miniseries Helter Skelter, about the real-life trial of Charles Manson. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the official cause of her death, according to her representative. - Alan FreedThe Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland has been criticized for removing the ashes of DJ Alan Freed, who is credited with coining the term "Rock 'n' Roll." Executive Director of the museum Greg Harris says the ashes were moved from their current location because the RRHOF "is moving away from exhibiting remains since ashes don't help tell a story" and that "museum community colleagues across the country agree." Harris says that Freed's ashes will still be "very prominent" in the Hall Of Fame, and pointed out that the museum's radio studio is named for him, "and there are many touch points in the Hall that relate to Freed." But Lance Freed, Alan Freed's son, said he believed that the entire exhibit dedicated to his father was being removed. Freed's ashes were moved to a new location reportedly to make way for a new exhibit featuring Beyonce's costumes. "Rock 'n' roll isn't just about yesterday," said Harris of the new additions. "It continues to evolve, and we continue to embrace it and refine our operations." - New Musical Express...... A James Brown tribute concert has been set for Aug. 13 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles in conjunction with the new Mick Jagger co-produced Brown biopic Get on Up, which hit screens in the U.S. on Aug. 1. Several former members of Brown's band, including Wee Ellis, Fred Wesley, Danny Ray, Clyde Stubblefield, Jab'o Starks and Mousey Thompson, have been confirmed to participate. The concert was organized by jazz bassist and huge Brown fan Christian McBride, who worked with Brown in 2006 on a big band concert at the Hollywood Bowl. - Billboard

Dick WagnerRevered rock guitarist/songwriter Dick Wagner, a former member of Alice Cooper's and Lou Reed's touring bands who also recorded with such rock acts as Kiss and Aerosmith, died on July 30 of respiratory failure in a Scottsdale, Ariz., hospital. He was 71. The Iowa-born, Detroit area-raised Wagner was a self-taught guitarist who was asked to back Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison on one-off gigs in the Sixties, and by the end of the decade he had rose to prominence as the frontman for the rock group the Frost and, after moving to New York City in the early Seventies, as a member of Ursa Major. The latter group, whose original group featured keyboardist Billy Joel, recorded with Alice Cooper producer Bob Ezrin, who recognized Wagner's talent and brought him in to play additional guitar on their School's Out, Billion Dollar Babies and Muscle of Love LPs. Wagner and fellow guitarist Steve Hunter played on Lou Reed's acclaimed 1973 album Berlin, and later that year, the duo backed Reed on the tour that was featured on the live albums Rock 'n' Roll Animal and Lou Reed Live. Wagner and Hunter went on to play on Cooper's Ezrin-produced first solo album, Welcome to My Nightmare. It was on that album that Wagner also made a name for himself as a songwriter, co-writing the hits "Welcome to My Nightmare," "Department of Youth" and "Only Women Bleed," among others. On subsequent Seventies Cooper records, Wagner helped write the hits "I Never Cry," "You and Me" and "How You Gonna See Me Now" and toured with the singer. Wagner occasionally played on Cooper records in the Eighties and Nineties, and he even made an appearance on Cooper's most recent record, 2011's Welcome 2 My Nightmare, co-writing one song and playing lead guitar on another. Outside of his work with Cooper and Reed, Wagner released an Ezrin-produced solo album, Richard Wagner, in 1978. He also played guitar -- often uncredited -- on records by Aerosmith (a solo on "Train Kept A-Rollin'"), Kiss (acoustic guitar on "Beth"), Peter Gabriel ("Here Comes the Flood") and Air Supply ("Just as I Am.") Wagner was felled by a near-fatal heart attack in 2007, spending two weeks in a coma and awakening with a paralyzed left arm. He battled other health issues but managed to recover both physically and creatively, releasing a new album, Full Meltdown, in 2009, performing again onstage in the Detroit area in 2011, and publishing his memoir, Not Only Women Bleed: Vignettes From the Heart of a Rock Musician, in 2012. Wagner played his final show on June 29 in Owosso, Mich., and in mid-July had undergone a cardiac procedure. "Even though we know it's inevitable, we never expect to suddenly lose close friends and collaborators," Cooper said in a statement. "Dick Wagner and I shared as many laughs as we did hit records. He was one of a kind. He is irreplaceable. His brand of playing and writing is not seen anymore, and there are very few people that I enjoyed working with as much as I enjoyed working with Dick Wagner. A lot of my radio success in my solo career had to do with my relationship with Dick to hear of Dick's passing comes as a sudden shock and an enormous loss for me, rock & roll and to his family," he added. Wagner is survived by two sons and a daughter, and a memorial is planned in Michigan. - Rolling Stone/Billboard, 7/30/14.

Linda_RonstadtLinda Ronstadt was honored with a prestigious National Medal of Arts by Pres. Barack Obama during a ceremony at the White House on July 28. "I had a little crush on her back in the day," Pres. Obama revealed as he hung the medal around the 11-time Grammy-winning singer's neck. The honor was a particularly special moment for the 68-year-old Ronstadt, who didn't make it to her induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April since Parkinson's disease limits her ability to travel. A military aide brought her into the East Room by wheelchair, but she walked to the stage to receive her award as a citation was read honoring her "one-of-a-kind voice" that paved the way for generations of women artists. Eleven other recipients were awarded the 2013 National Medal of Arts, as America's highest award given to artists and their patrons, including DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg and Dominican-American writer Julia Alvarez, author of In the Time of the Butterflies. - AP, 7/29/14.

Eric ClaptonEric Clapton's new album The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale is on course to become the iconic guitarist/singer's 14th Billboard Top 5 album, with a forecast of 50,000 copies sold for the week ending Aug. 3. The Breeze was released on July 29 on Clapton's own Bushbranch label, through Surfdog Records, and is distributed by Warner Music's independent distribution arm, Alternative Distribution Alliance. One of the guests on Clapton's new LP, Tom Petty, is set to debut in the No. 1 slot of the Billboard Hot 200 with his own new release, Hypnotic Eye. With around 100,000 copies sold, Hypnotic Eye will mark Petty and his Heartbreakers' first ever chart-topping LP since they debuted on the Hot 200 37 years ago. Though Petty has claimed 21 charting albums on the Billboard 200 -- with 11 of them hitting the top 10 -- he's never visited the top slot. Hypnotic Eye was released on July 29 through Reprise/Warner Bros. Records. Until now, his highest-charting effort was a pair of No. 2 albums: 2010's Mojo debuted and peaked at No. 2, while 1979's Damn the Torpedoes spent seven weeks in the runner-up slot in early 1980, becoming stuck behind Pink Floyd's The Wall. - Billboard, 8/1/14.

Michael JacksonThe family of Michael Jackson is reportedly "disappointed and saddened" following reports in late July that Jackson's Neverland Ranch has been put up for sale. Forbes magazine reported that the Colony Capital group, whose owner Tom Barrack has been managing partner of the property since 2007, have decided to place the property on the market after debts involved in the outlandish home of the late pop star reached $50 million. While "Bubbles" the chimp, the amusement rides, and zoo animals are long gone, the Peter Pan-inspired tudor house and sprawling, 2,600-acre property that make up Neverland are still in tact, and have been restored and readied for potential sale. Although Colony Capital has yet to announce an asking price, a nearby 8-bedroom ranch covering "only" 250 acres is on the market for over $21 million. The Jackson Estate is reportedly not happy with the decision, with an unnamed representative telling Forbes that they are "frustrated, bitterly disappointed, and saddened that it has come to this... Sadly, Michael lost control of Neverland during his life as a result of advice from a former manager." Jackson purchased Neverland in 1988 for $19.5 million and turned into a fantasy home complete with carnival rides and other over-the-top features. He lived there for nearly two decades until he essentially abandoned it in the wake of his 2005 acquittal on charges he molested children at the ranch. Neverland became the setting of several infamous pop culture events, including the 1991 wedding of Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky, as well as Jackson's 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey, which was seen by 90 million viewers. Colony Capital took control after purchasing a $23.5 million note on the ranch in 2008, during a financially challenging period for Jackson. He died in a Los Angeles mansion he was renting a year later, on June 25, 2009, of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication. In other Jackson-related news, the producer of a new Queen album featuring vocals by Freddie Mercury and Jackson has been confirmed. William Orbit announced the news in a tweet which said: "Am definitely working with QUEEN. Amazing songs. Thats all Im saying for now. Watch this space." - William Orbit (@WilliamOrbit) July 29, 2014. Orbit, who has produced Blur, Madonna and Britney Spears, previously announced in July 2013 that he was producing a duet between Mercury and Michael Jackson, which is likely to feature on the new Queen album. Mercury and Jackson recorded three unreleased songs during the sessions for Jackson's classic 1982 album Thriller. The three songs were subsequently re-recorded, but not as Jackson/Mercury duets. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 8/1/14.

Robert PlantIn a new interview with the U.K. music publication Uncut, Robert Plant says he is "disappointed and baffled" by his former Led Zeppelin bandmate Jimmy Page and his attempts to fuel the Led Zep reunion rumor mill. "I feel for the guy," Plant says. "He knows he's got the headlines if he wants them. But I don't know what he's trying to do. So I feel slightly disappointed and baffled." Plant even mentions a failed attempt at collaborating with Page in an acoustic format. "A couple of years ago, I said, 'If you've got anything acoustic, let me know. I'll give it a whirl. It was hands across the water. He just walked away. But we couldn't do anything proper. The weight of expectation is too great." Led Zeppelin's last show was a one-off performance on December 10th, 2007 honoring late Atlantic Records executive Ahmet Ertegun at London's O2 Arena. Ever since, Page has publicly expressed interest in pursuing a full tour, and Led Zep'sexpansive remastering/reissuing campaignhas brought the conversation back into national headlines. Jimmy PageIn May, Page told The New York Times that he was ready to hit the stage with Zeppelin once more -- but blamed the lack of progress on a disinterested Plant. "I was told last year that Robert Plant said he is doing nothing in 2014, and what do the other two guys think? Well, he knows what the other guys think. Everyone would love to play more concerts for the band. He's just playing games, and 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?" The following month Plant fired back at Page in a press conference, saying,"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." Meanwhile, the LZ camp has revealed it will be reissuing two more albums in the fall. The reissue of the group's untitled fourth album -- known as Led Zeppelin IV or ZOSO -- will include alternate versions of every track on that monster-selling (300 million sold worldwide) album from 1971. A reissue of 1973's Houses of the Holy includes alternate versions of nearly every track on that 1973 album, except "D'yer Mak'er." Jimmy Page personally oversaw the remastering of each album. The reissues come as single album editions, deluxe editions and as a super deluxe box set, which includes CDs, LPs, a digital download and an 80-page book with previously unseen photos from the group's heyday. Both releases drop Oct. 28. - Rolling Stone/Billboard, 7/30/14.

Brian EnoLegendary rock producer and recording artist Brian Eno has written a strongly-worded letter about the current conflict between Israel and Palestine. In a post published on former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne's website, Eno says he "can't keep quiet any more" about the conflict and describes a picture he saw on the news that day of a Palestinian man carrying his four year old son's remains in a plastic bag. He goes onto express his dismay that America refused to support a proposed UN resolution to set up an international inquiry into accusations that Israeli actions could amount to war crimes. "What is going on in America?" Eno writes. "I know from my own experience how slanted your news is, and how little you get to hear about the other side of this story. But -- for Christ's sake! -- it's not that hard to find out. Why does America continue its blind support of this one-sided exercise in ethnic cleansing? WHY?" Eno then details a 2013 trip he took to Israel, where he witnessed the tensions first hand. He then goes onto describe what he calls the Israeli "settler militias" who have the "notion that they had an inviolable (God-given!) right to the land, and that 'Arab' equates with 'vermin' -- straightforward old-school racism delivered with the same arrogant, shameless swagger that the good ole boys of Louisiana used to affect. That is the culture our taxes are defending. It's like sending money to the Klan." David Byrne, who collaborated with Eno on such albums as My Life in the Bush of Ghosts in 1981 and Everything That Happens Will Happen Today in 2008, also included a note explaining why he decided to put Eno's passionate letter online. "I received this email last Friday morning from my friend, Brian Eno," Byrne writes. "I shared it with my office and we all felt a great responsibility to publish Brian's heavy, worthy note." - New Musical Express, 7/31/14.

Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota proclaimed Aug. 2 as "Paul McCartney Day" as the ex-Beatle is scheduled to perform a sold-out show at Target Field in Minneapolis that evening. Gov. Dayton says the state is recognizing McCartney for his musical career spanning nearly six decades. The proclamation also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first -- and only -- Beatles concert in Minnesota in 1964. McCartney performed with the Beatles at the old Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington in 1965. His most recent Twin Cities appearance was in 2005 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. - AP...... Robin GibbDwina Gibb, the widow of late Bee Gees legend Robin Gibb, and their son R.J. Gibb are releasing the best of sessions that Robin Gibb recorded a few years before cancer took his life in May 2012. Entitled 50 St. Catherine's Drive, an album named for the singer's birthplace in the Isle of Man, the album will also include a few demos recorded as late as July 2011. - Rolling Stone...... A second Northwest Indian tribe has canceled a scheduled Ted Nugent show at its casino, three days after Idaho's Coeur D'Alene Tribe canceled Nugent's Aug. 4 show over his "racist and hate-filled remarks." Now the Puyallup Tribe announced on July 31 that it's canceling Nugent's concerts scheduled for Aug. 2 and 3 at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash. Puyallup spokesman John Weymer says the tribe had been getting a lot of pressure from critics of the ultraconservative musician, who is known for advocating hunting and gun rights. - AP...... A David Bowie documentary about the touring art exhibition "David Bowie Is," which premiered at London's Victoria and Albert Museum last year, will run in more than 100 movie theaters in the United States on Sept. 23. That same day, the exhibition itself -- which consists of photos, costumes and other items from the David Bowie Archive -- will open at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art and will remain on view until Jan. 4. - Rolling Stone...... An online campaign to get Ozzy Osbourne knighted has attracted over 21,000 signatures. The campaign, being organised by 65-year-old fan Helen Maidiotis, states that the Black Sabbath frontman deserves the honour for his "significant contribution to the music industry." When asked about the campaign in a recent interview, Osbourne said: "I've heard about that. Getting knighted? I can't imagine anything better. And my wife [Sharon] would become a Lady, which would be pretty cool." - New Musical Express

Manny Roth, a colorful nightclub owner in Greenwich Village whose Cafe Wha? and its basement level stage was a rite of passage in the 1960s for the likes of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen and many others, died of natural causes at his home in Ojai, Calif., on July 25. He was 94. Founded in the late 1950s, The Cafe Wha? was a former stable that Mr. Roth personally helped renovate, laying down the new floor and bringing in some friends to help decorate. The look was such a mish-mash that Mr. Roth named the club Cafe Wha? It was a true starter club, with low pay for the performers, no liquor and little space. But Mr. Roth's stage was an essential first stop for young performers looking for a chance, or even a place to stay. Dylan showed up in early 1961, not yet 20 years old and fresh from his native Minnesota. "He was just a kid," Roth later recalled, noting how he announced from the stage that Dylan needed a room for the night. "The first time I heard Dylan get up on an open mic, I'm thinking to myself, 'This kid doesn't have a prayer. He can't sing, can't play and certainly doesn't have any stage presence.'" Manny Roth left Cafe Wha? in the early '70s amid financial problems and over the past 40 years worked in various businesses, whether opening a restaurant in Woodstock or helping to run the West End Gate in uptown Manhattan. Cafe Wha? was back in the headlines in early 2012 when a reunited Van Halen chose Roth's former business to launch an upcoming tour. Manny Roth was among the guests as David Lee Roth bowed to the club he visited as a boy. - AP...... Dick Smith, known as the "Godfather of Makeup" and renowned for his realistic transformations in films like The Godfather and Amadeus, died on July 31 at age 92. The makeup artist transformed an aging Marlon Brando into Don Corleone and F. Murray Abraham into a wizened Antonio Salieri -- garnering an Academy Award for his work in the latter film alongside Paul LeBlanc. In 2012, Mr. Smith received an honorary Governor's Academy Award for his contribution to the field, which was presented by his protege Rick Baker. Earlier in 2014, he received the Makeup Artists Lifetime Achievement Award at the Makeup Artists and Hair Stylist Guild Awards. Mr. Smith discovered his passion for makeup while studying at Yale University, teaching himself the techniques that would shape his career after discovering a guide for theatrical makeup at a local bookstore. Mr. Smith was also responsible for realizing Linda Blair's harrowing possession in The Exorcist. His other notable projects included Taxi Driver, The Godfather: Part II, The Deer Hunter, Little Big Man, Scanners, Marathon Man and Death Becomes Her. - Variety