Posted by Administrator on August 7th, 2014
Founding 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." - WENN.com, 8/5/14.
Kiss'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.
In 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. - WENN.com, 8/6/14.
English 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...... Actress 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. - WENN.com..... The 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
Revered 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 Wagner...so 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 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 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.
The 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.
In 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. In 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.
Legendary 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...... Dwina 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