Posted by Administrator on October 31st, 2014
On Oct. 30, lawyers for the family of Sarah Jones dropped Gregg Allman and Michael Lehman, the exec producer of the ill-fated Allman biopic Midnight Rider, from their civil lawsuit stemming from Jones' on-set death. The Jones family attorney, Jeff Harris of Harris Penn Lowry LLP, that the two defendants, as well as the unfinished film's distributor Open Road Films, would be dismissed as defendants from a wide-reaching civil suit. The news comes two days after a procedural hearing in Savannah, Ga., in which Chatham County Judge Gregory Sapp postponed the motions hearing to Nov. 13. The civil suit against the other defendants remains active. Currently, the family is suing the film producers and director Randall Miller and his production company, Unclaimed Freight, as well as several other writers, producers, and directors involved with the film. Meanwhile in other Allman Brothers Band related news, the ABB put the focus on legendary band guitarist Duane Allman during their final performances ever at New York's Beacon Theatre during the fourth week of October. Two Gibson Les Pauls that belonged to Duane Allman, the band's late leader, arrived from the Rock and Roll of Fame for the Oct. 24 show and apparently animated the band, which was described as playing its best show in five years. The final show was Oct. 29, when the band concluded its long-running rock opera at a venue that has become hallowed Allman Brothers ground (the band has sold out 238 shows there since 1989). - The Hollywood Reporter/Billboard,. 10/30/14.
Hal Leonard Books is releasing a softcover edition of the acclaimed guitar book 108 Rock Star Guitars by photographer/author Lisa S. Johnson on Nov. 11. The exquisite book, originally issued as an embossed, red leatherette-bound hardcover in limited quantity that USA Today called, "a monster of a coffee table book," will now be available to a much wider audience at a more affordable retail price. Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, Nancy Wilson, Bonnie Raitt, Slash, Carlos Santana, Jack White, Lou Reed, Ace Frehley, Billy Gibbons, Don Felder, Joe Walsh, Willie Nelson and Les Paul, who also wrote the foreword, are among the rock stars whose instruments are featured. Hailed as "impressive" and "jaw-dropping" by media and artists alike when the original hardcover version was released in Oct. 2013, 108 Rock Star Guitars received widespread accolades for its overall design and the artistry of the images -- up-close portraits of the cherished guitars belonging to some of the world's most iconic players. American Photo magazine named it one of the "Best Photo Books of the Year" for 2013, while Brian Setzer called it, "The classiest guitar book I have ever seen." Additionally, Johnson provides personal anecdotes describing her 17-year quest to photograph these guitars and documents her travels from the backstage hallways of some of the world's most famous venues to the artists' private homes. Johnson commented, "Even at a lower price, it was essential that this version maintained the style and beautiful quality of the hardcover edition, and I think anyone who sees this book will appreciate the care and detail that went into the new presentation." - Miles High Productions, 10/31/14.
The Spotify streaming music service has named Michael Jackson's "Thriller" as the most popular Halloween song of all time as it is the most featured track in more than 600,000 of its Halloween playlists. The survey also found that interest in Halloween was up 117%, with the more Halloween-themed playlists being created this year than ever before. Coming in behind "Thriller" on the list were the Bobby "Boris" Pickett classic "Monster Mash," and Ray Parker, Jr.'s "Ghostbusters." Also making the Top 10 were Blue Oyster Cult's "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" (No. 6) and Ozzy Osbourne's "Bark at the Moon" (No. 8). - New Musical Express, 10/31/14...... In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour revealed that he's working on a new solo album for release in 2015, the follow-up to his 2006 solo set On an Island. "There are some sketches that aren't finished, and some of them will be started again. There's a few months' work in it yet. I'm hoping to get it out this following year," said Gilmour, who added that he plans on supporting the LP with an "old man's tour... not a 200-date sort of thing." Meanwhile, Pink Floyd's final album, The Endless River, will be released on Nov. 10. Gilmour says the idea of continuing with Pink Floyd beyond the new album "makes me break out in a cold sweat." "I'm really enjoying my life and my music. There's no room for Pink Floyd," he said. - New Musical Express, 10/30/14...... Also talking new solo material is Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne, who says he's planning to return to his solo career and sees his new Memoirs of a Madman solo compilation as a bridge between the final Black Sabbath album and his solo work. "I'm going to do one more Black Sabbath tour, one more album with Black Sabbath, and it'll take about two or three years before I release solo stuff again. So Memoirs of a Madman is just to say to the fans that I haven't stopped." Ozzy added he's "in the process of collecting stuff that I'm writing" for his next solo project and has "about three songs" he's been working on, primarily with Billy Idol guitarist Billy Morrison. "The songs that are written are not completed," says Osbourne, who will headline the OZZFiesta May 27-31 at the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico. "They're ideas now, but there's a good possibility that some of them will end up songs." Osbourne says he isn't sure when work on a new Sabbath album will begin. "I can't really say how long it's gonna take. Once we get going it won't take that long, I don't think, 'cause Rick Rubin -- I assume he's going to (produce) it again -- is very quick," he said. Hitting stores on Oct. 14, his Memoirs of a Madman package features a 17-song best-of disc as well as two DVDs featuring performance footage, videos and interviews. - Billboard, 10/31/14...... In still more soloing news, Queen drummer Roger Taylor will release two collections of his solo work this fall. Best, due out Oct. 27, features 18 selected tracks ranging from his 1977 rendition of Parliament's "I Wanna Testify" to his 2013 album Fun On Earth, as well as material from his side band The Cross that included guest appearances by Queen mates Freddie Mercury and Brian May. That will be followed on Nov. 11 by The Lot, a boxed set of all of Taylor's solo material on 12 CDs and one DVD, including a 64-page hardbound book. - Billboard, 10/27/14...... With her new album Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics hitting stores on Oct. 21, Aretha Franklin has earned her highest-charting LP since 1985. Great Diva Classics debuted at No. 3 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 200. Selling 23,000 units in its first week, it is Franklin's highest-charting debut ever on the Hot 200, surpassing the No. 30 bow of 1998's A Rose Is Still a Rose. - Billboard, 10/31/14...... Bob Dylan is reportedly planning on releasing a covers album of Frank Sinatra songs entitled Shadows in the Night in 2015. The news is confirmed by a note included in Dylan's new The Basement Tapes Complete: Bootleg Series Vol. 11 release that reads, "Bob Dylan, Shadows In The Night, new album coming in 2015." Earlier in 2014, Dylan unveiled a cover of Sinatra's "Full Moon and Empty Arms." - Billboard, 10/31/14...... Bruce Springsteen surprised fans at a listening party previewing his upcoming box set The Album Collection Vol 1 1973-1984 at Jack's Music Shoppe in Red Bank, N.J., on Sept. 24 when he appeared unannounced in the back of the room. "All of a sudden there he was," said SiriusXM Springsteen channel host Kevin Farrell, who moderated the event. "He was listening without us being aware of it... It was a shocking surprise, it added to the magic of the whole day," added Farrell, who said Springsteen disappeared as quickly as he appeared. The Album Collection Vol 1 is due Nov. 17 on both CD and vinyl on Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings. - Billboard, 10/29/14...... Deep Purple have announced plans for a one-off show at London's O2 Arena on Dec. 3, 2015. There are currently no other UK dates scheduled for the band. The classic riff from the hard rockers' "Smoke on the Water" was recently voted the fourth best riff of all time by BBC Radio 2 listeners in a list of the greatest guitar riffs. The band's latest album, Now What?!, was released in April 2013. - NME, 10/28/14...... Hitting bookstores on Oct. 28, author Fred Schruers's new Billy Joel biography Billy Joel is based on more than 100 hours of conversation with Joel and interviews with dozens of friends and family members. The two main threads in Schruers' biography are Joel's music and women. Schruers' account of Joel's 1970s rise is fantastic, rich in anecdotes about the origins of different songs. The business side of his career is a cautionary tale for aspiring musicians, with its assortment of greedy managers and unfair contracts. The private Joel comes across as a brilliant musician but a lonely and self-destructive, though not entirely unlikable, man. There's also plenty of embarrassing material presented, from Joel's suicide attempts to his struggles with alcohol to his three failed marriages and longtime financial problems. - Billboard, 10/29/14...... Meanwhile, Billy Joel's sometime touring coheadliner Elton John hosted his An Enduring Vision AIDS benefit show in New York City on Oct. 28 where he not only raised money for his AIDS Foundation, but also celebrated marriage equality. Wearing a sequined black blazer and sitting down often since he was recovering from knee surgery, John noted the growing acceptance of gay marriage throughout the U.S., and applauded Pope Francis for embracing tolerance and compassion, as shown when he asked about gay marriage. "'Who am I to judge?' What are we waiting for? Make him a saint now. He did more with those five words than the last five popes," he said from the stage. "He is my hero." The evening was hosted by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and also in attendance were Matt Lauer of the Today show and actor Neil Patrick Harris. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/29/14...... Barry Manilow released his new LP My Dream Duets, featuring the crooner singing duets with late singers including Whitney Houston, John denver, Louis Armstrong, Sammy Davis Jr., Dusty Springfield and Mama Cass, on Oct. 27. Appearing on The View talk show on Oct. 27, Manilow covered Houston's "I Believe in You and Me" with vocals from the late singer and visuals of a shadowy Whitney Houston impersonator. - Billboard, 10/28/14...... Taschen Publishers announced on Oct. 27 that it will release an autographed Rolling Stones coffee table book featuring hundreds of famous and little-known photographs on Dec. 15. Selling for the tidy sum of $5,000, The Rolling Stones is autographed by band members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Charlie Watts and has a limited edition run of 1,150 copies. A regular edition, unsigned and slightly smaller in dimension, goes for slightly under $100. Taschen says its 500-page plus book offers "unprecedented access to the Rolling Stones' own archives in New York and London adds an equally extraordinary, more private side to their story." The Stones are currently on tour Down Under, playing dates that were initially rescheduled when Jagger's partner L'Wren Scott died earlier this year. - AP, 10/27/14...... Eric Clapton posted an instrumental track dedicated to his late friend and fellow Cream member Jack Bruce on Oct. 26 following the passing of Bruce at age 71 the previous day. Accompanied by a photo of Bruce, the song is a melancholy musing on a gentle theme with Clapton humming behind his guitar. Clapton also posted to his Facebook page that Bruce was "a great musician and composer, and a tremendous inspiration to me." Bruce died of liver disease on Oct. 25 at his home in Suffolk, England. - Billboard, 10/28/14...... Appearing on the Fox News channel on Oct. 27 to support his new book Me, Inc: Build An Army Of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win In Life And Busines, Gene Simmons of Kiss offered his own unique advice to women around the world, telling reporters that women should "stop depending on men." Asked if he had any advice for the female population, Simmons said: "This is a very complex and difficult question to answer so I'm going to put it as simply as possible. Women: Stop depending on men. It's as simple as that. Imagine there are no men in life." The singer added: "Find out that thing that you're good for that makes the money and then get married and or have children from a position of strength." In August, Simmons issued an apology after causing controversy with comments about depression and suicide. He has claimed that people who "complain" about depression should "kill themselves." "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," he wrote on Facebook. - New Musical Express, 10/27/14...... Actress Marcia Strassman, best known for her role as frequently exasperated wife Julie Kotter in the 1970s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, died on Oct. 24 in her Sherman Oaks, Calif., home, after a seven-year fight with breast cancer. She was 66. Born Apr. 28, 1948 in New York City and raised in New Jersey, Strassman relocated to Los Angeles when she was just 18 and was initially a singer in the late 1960s with some modest local success, most notably with "The Groovy World of Jack and Jill" and "The Flower Children." She also had a few TV roles, including three episodes of The Patty Duke Show. She left show business for a time before returning as an actress in a recurring role as nurse Margie Cutler in M*A*S*H In 1975, she had a breakout role opposite comedian Gabe Kaplan in the TV hit Welcome Back Kotter, which ran through 1979. Strassman worked steadily thereafter, most notably in major roles on several mostly short-lived TV shows, including Booker, Tremors, Third Watch, Providence, and Noah Knows Best and as a voice-over artist on the children's animated show Aaahh!!! Real Monsters and elsewhere. Her biggest film success came playing the wife and mother opposite Rick Moranis in Disney's hit comedy Honey I Shrunk The Kids and its equally successful sequel, Honey I Blew Up The Kids. She also appeared in 1985's The Aviator with Christopher Reeve and Roseanna Arquette. Strassman also served on the national board of the Screen Actors Guild. "She was the funniest, smartest person I ever met," said her sister Julie Strassman. "And talented. She knew everything. Now I won't be able to call her and ask her questions." - Deadline.com, 10/26/14...... Famed TV and film composer Ian Fraser, who earned 11 Emmy Awards and 32 nominations, died of cancer on Oct. 31 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 81. The British native, who was known for his long association with singer-actress Julie Andrews, was the most honored composer/conductor in the history of television, and became Andrews' musical director in 1973 when they recorded the first of their two Christmas albums, and his 1995 and 1997 Broadway albums with Andrews were Grammy Award nominees. Mr. Fraser received an Academy Award nomination for the musical film Scrooge (1970), and worked on such films as Hopscotch (1980), First Monday in October (1981) and Zorro: The Gay Blade (1981). Mr. Fraser also contributed to the iconic "The Little Drummer Boy/"Peace on Earth" duet between Bing Crosby and David Bowie in 1977 on Crosby's last Christmas TV special. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/31/14.