Posted by Administrator on November 30th, 2014
A MusiCares Person of the Year tribute concert honoring Bruce Springsteen that was taped in Feb. 2013 and featuring artists such as Elton John, Neil Young, Patti Smith, Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris and Tim McGraw as well as the Boss himself will premiere on PBS stations around the country on Dec. 5 at 9:00 p.m. EST. The star-studded "Tribute to Bruce Springsteen," which was held at Los Angeles' Convention Center and hosted by Jon Stewart, will be part of the network's Arts Fall Festival 2014. The concert was released on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download earlier in 2014. The MusiCares Person of the Year Award is given out annually to a musician whose career success is matched by exemplary charitable endeavors. - Billboard, 11/26/14...... In a new interview with the London Sunday Times, Joni Mitchell says she scrapped the idea of current pop sensation Taylor Swift portraying her in a movie adaptation of Girls Like Us, a book that focuses on the impact of Mitchell and two of her fellow famous female singers -- Carole King and Carly Simon. "I squelched that," Mitchell says. "I said to the producer, 'All you've got is a girl with high cheekbones.' It's just a lot of gossip, you don't have the great scenes." She also noted of the source material, "There's a lot of nonsense about me in books ... assumptions, assumptions, assumptions." - Billboard, 11/25/14...... AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd, who is facing charges of threatening to kill and drug possession in New Zealand, showed up late for his second court appearance on Nov. 26 and clowned around by jumping on the back of one of his security guards outside the courthouse. According to a local newspaper, the 60-year-old musician winked at reporters, drummed a rhythm on the dock and then sped away from the courthouse in a black sports car. Rudd did not enter a plea during his brief appearance, and he remains free on bail with his next court appearance scheduled for Dec. 2, which also happens to be the date AC/DC's new album Rock or Bust will drop. Rudd's future with the band is said to be uncertain, with guitarist Angus Young only saying that the band will definitely be touring behind the new LP, and "we'll have a good drummer in there." - AP, 11/25/14...... Bob Dylan and his band performed a concert for just one fan on Nov. 23 as part of a Swedish film series called Experiment Ensam. The lucky person, Swedish TV personality Fredrik Wikingsson, was told Dylan would play for him, but given the empty room, he was expecting "some asshole would walk onstage and just laugh" instead. But Wikingsson was pleasantly surprised when the legendary rock star took the stage with his band and played covers of old tracks from Buddy Holly, Fats Domino and Chuck Willis. Experiment Ensam aims to take activities that normally occur in a large-group setting and reduce them to single-person events. The director of Experiment Ensam is Wikingsson's pal, which is how he managed to get the gig. The show, and the others that will be part of the Experiment Ensam project, will be available to view in their entirety on YouTube.com beginning on Aug. 15, 2015. - Billboard, 11/25/14...... As the controversial court verdict in Ferguson, Mo., that let police officer Darren Wilson walk scot-free after shooting and killing unarmed civilian Michael Brown dominates the news in the United States and other countries around the world, it was inevitable that classic-rocker-turned-conservative-pundit Ted Nugent would weigh in on the case, and on Nov. 24 The Nuge did just that on his Facebook page. "Here's the lessons from Ferguson America -- Don't let your kids growup to be thugs who think they can steal, assault & attack cops as a way of life & badge of black (dis)honor. Don't preach your racist bullsh*t no justice no peace? as blabbered by Obama's racist Czar Al Not So Sharpton & their black klansmen," Nugent wrote. But he wasn't finished with his rant yet: "When a cop tells you to get out of the middle of the street, obey him & don't attack him as brainwashed by the gangsta assholes you hang with & look up to. It's that simple unless you have no brains, no soul, no sense of decency whatsoever. And don't claim that "black lives matter" when you ignore the millions you abort & slaughter each & every day by other blacks. Those of us with a soul do indeed believe black lives matter, as all lives matter. So quit killin each other you f---in idiots. Drive safely." The Ferguson decision has also drawn outrage from pop stars usually silent on political matters -- including Rihanna and Katy Perry -- who by and large have a completely opposite view on the matter from Nugent's. - Billboard, 11/25/14...... Foreigner has made the opening track of their new album The Best of 4 & More available as an instant download when fans pre-order the album digitally. The song, "Night Life," was recorded live at the Borgata Hotel's Music Box theatre in Atlantic City in October 2014. Foreigner's 4 album spent more weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts than any artist in the history of Atlantic Records, including AC/DC, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, and went on to sell more than 9 million albums worldwide, propelled by such hits as "Juke Box Hero," "Urgent" and "Waiting for a Girl Like You." The Best of 4 & More will be released in the UK on Dec. 8, and on Dec. 16 in the US. - Noble PR, 11/25/14...... Speaking to Rolling Stone magazine, Ray Davies of the Kinks revealed that he has recorded new material with his brother and former bandmate Dave Davies. Ray says he and Dave had been working on demos as long ago as last year, calling his sibling "a good writer." "We actually put down a few demos last Christmas," said Davies. "He came to see me, and he played me a couple of new songs." The two have not performed together since 1996 when the Kinks split acrimoniously, and earlier in 2014 Dave nixed the chances of a reunion show, saying said he didn't want it to be "a Ray Davies show where he lets his little brother stand in the corner." Ray responded to those comments by saying that he "didn't understand what that's about...If we do a Kinks show, were the Kinks...Ray stands on the right of the stage and Dave stands on the left." Ray also said a chance of a new Kinks tour "might be difficult" and that he "can't think that far forward." - NME, 11/29/14...... Former U.F.O. and Scorpions guitarist Michael Schenker will kick off a UK tour on Dec. 10 at the Newcastle O2 Academy. Schenker, with openers Western Sand, will also visit Glasgow (12/11), Nottingham (12/12), Manchester (12/13), Leeds (12/15), Bilston (12/16), Norwich (12/17) and Bristol (12/19) before wrapping with a show in London at O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire on Dec. 20. The final show will feature Michael's son Tyson Schenker and his band, State Villains. - Noble PR, 11/26/14...... Cable TV's CNN announced on Nov. 20 that they plan on following up their successful documentary series The Sixties with an eight-part series devoted to the 1970s. The Seventies, which like The Sixties is being executive produced by Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Mark Herzog, is expected to debut in the summer of 2015, according to the newtork. The network said The Seventies would launch with a one-hour episode examining the era's television programming and how it reflected new social currents. The episode will also chronicle the establishment of two big TV franchises: ABC's Monday Night Football (now on ESPN) and NBC's Saturday Night Live. Subsequent one-hour episodes will delve into everything from the Vietnam War to Watergate to the sexual revolution to the Iranian Hostage Crisis. Archival and rarely-seen film, video and photographs will provide additional documentation of the era. - Variety, 11/20/14.
Police in San Antonio, Tex., are investigating the theft of about $4,000 worth of instruments from Leon Russell's tour bus on Nov. 23, before the 2011 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee was set to play the city's Aztec Theatre. The instruments were reportedly stolen earlier that day from the vehicle's cargo hold as the band slept on the bus, which was parked in front of the theater. Russell and his band played the show that night nevertheless, using borrowed instruments. - AP, 11/25/14...... AC/DC is currently streaming "Play Ball," the first single from their new album Rock Or Bust, at iTunesRadio.com. The LP is due on Nov. 28 in the hard rockers' native Australia, and on Dec. 2 in North America. AC/DC has vowed that they'll launch a tour behind the new record in 2015, despite the recent arrest of founding drummer Phill Rudd in New Zealand for allegedly threatening murder and drug possession. - Billboard, 11/24/14...... Bob Seger and his Silver Bullet Band kicked off their latest tour behind their new LP Ride Out at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Mich., on Nov. 19 before a packed house of partisan home state fans. The fans braved a bitter chill and the season's first significant snowfall to see the Detroit rocker belt out a 23-song, two-hour and 10-minute show with a generous selection from the new album. Seger was reportedly in fine voice and the band sounded tight after extensive rehearsals dating back to September, when it was preparing for TV appearances around Ride Out's mid-October launch. The Ride Out tour continues into at least February 2015, with the first of 16 shows featuring the J. Geils Band as openers. More dates are expected to be announced. - Billboard, 11/20/14...... Yoko Ono has covered her slain husband John Lennon's famous yuletide song "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" on a new Amazon.com exclusive holiday release, All Is Bright. Yoko collaborated with the Flaming Lips on the track, who in turn just devoted an entire album covering the Beatles' 1967 classic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. - Billboard, 11/20/14...... In other Beatles news, unused photos from the band's photo shoot for their 1969 Abbey Road album sold for £180,000 at Bloomsbury Auctions in London on Nov. 23. The shots were taken on Aug. 8, 1969 by photographer Iain Macmillan, who had only 10 minutes to complete the entire shoot. Six photos were taken in all, including the photo that eventually made the final cut, as well as a scenery shot of the Abbey Road sign. The buyer, calling from overseas, made his winning bid by phone for the collection of photos, which was originally given a sales estimate of £50,000-£70,000. One professor at a UK College of Communication noted that the photos "encapsulate a significant cultural moment (with) an image that launched a notorious conspiracy theory, and clearly still provide a touchstone for fans." - New Musical Express, 11/24/14...... Meanwhile, the Beatles and Paul McCartney's former band Wings will be among the bands releasing exclusive new UK vinyl releases to independent retailers in the country during Universal's "12 Days of Christmas" promotion, which kicks off on Dec. 1. The Beatles will issue a seven-inch of "Long Tall Sally" on Dec. 2, while Wings will release a seven-inch of "Letting Go" on Dec. 11. Over 120 independent record stores will be taking part in the initiative. - NME, 11/20/14...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, Ringo Starr and his wife Barbara Bach have just put their swanky estate in Surrey, which features an 18,332 square foot mansion with 8 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms, up for sale for a reported asking price of around £15 million. The Starrs purchased the 201-acre spread, dubbed Rydinghurst, in 1999 for around £2 million. The couple recently told London's Sunday Times that they don't spend much time at the estate anymore and plan to make another house they own in Malibu, Calif., which they purchased in May 1991 for $3.2 million, their primary home. The couple also own a 3,200-square-foot cabin-style home near Aspen, Col., which they also picked up in 1991 for $1.164 million. They have unsuccessfuly tried to sell that home three times. - Variety, 11/21/14...... On Nov. 23 Sting confirmed rumors that he'll be joining the cast of "The Last Ship," a new Broadway musical that incorporates some of his songs and is set in his Northern English hometown. The former The Police frontman reportedly hopes his participation will help the struggling box office receipts of the $15 million production. Sting will join the production starting Dec. 9 and appearing through Jan. 10, traditionally the busiest period of the year for Broadway theatergoing. He steps into the role of shipyard foreman Jackie White, currently being played by British singer-songwriter Jimmy Nail. Audience capacity for the musical, which centers on a young man named Gideon who comes from a long line of shipbuilders, has hovered around the 60 percent mark during November. Sting last appeared on Broadway as Macheath in a 1989 production of "The Threepenny Opera." - The Hollywood Reporter, 11/23/14...... It appears the beleaguered planned Janis Joplin biopic, which has seen several directors come and go over the years, is back on track now with Hollywood A-lister Amy Adams in talks to portray the legendary female rock singer from Port Arthur, Texas. Also apparently on board are the creative team behind the recent acclaimed movie Dallas Buyers Club, which includes director Jean-Marc Vallee and screenwriters Craig Borton and Melisa Wallack. - The Hollywood Reporter, 11/21/14...... Fleetwood Mac have added a fifth London gig to their forthcoming 2015 UK and Ireland tour. The Mac are now set to play Londonon June 26, before their previously announced London dates of May 27 and 28, and June 22 and 24. The band will also visit Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin before wrapping in Leeds on June 30. - NME, 11/20/14...... Lionel Richie was honored with a Legend of Live Award at the 11th annual Billboard Touring Awards on Nov. 20 at New York's Edison Ballroom. "Very few people get to be in the business for 35, 40 years and still be doing this and alive. I'm thinking back how simple it seems now, but I know people from before it all started, and that's what I want to celebrate tonight," the former The Commodores member said, adding that he has no plans to slow his roll at the age of 65. "Stay with me for the next 400 years, I promise I won't let you down." - Billboard, 11/20/14...... Cher cancelled the remaining dates on her 2014 Dressed to Kill concert tour while she recovers from an infection, according to a statement from her publicist on Nov. 20. Cher, 68, completed 49 dates since her tour began in March before taking a scheduled break in July. Shortly before returning in September, she was struck by an infection that affected kidney function. Her doctors have recommended she take more time to rest for a complete recovery, the statement said. The affected shows were scheduled through Feb. 4 in 22 cities, including Washington, D.C., New York City, Boston, Toronto and Chicago. Cher was quoted in the statement as being "totally devastated" at the cancellations, and said that she "cannot apologize enough to all the fans who bought tickets." - The Hollywood Reporter, 11/20/14...... Aretha Franklin released a statement on Nov. 24 condemning a new authorized biography about her, Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin by David Ritz. "As many of you are aware, there is a very trashy book out there full of lies and more lies about me. ... [The writer's] actions are obviously vindictive because I edited out some crazy statements he had the gall to try and put in my book written 15 years ago," Franklin said. "Evidently, he has been carrying this hatred ever since." Ritz's book delves into the Queen of Soul's background as a teenage parent, her own parents' separation, her battle with alcohol and more. Ritz has written a number of biographies, including books on Etta James, Rick James and Ray Charles, and worked with Franklin previously on 1999's Aretha: From These Roots. Franklin's latest album, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, was released on Oct. 21 and debuted at No. 3 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. - AP, 11/24/14...... Southern rock legend Charlie Daniels played his annual holiday benefit concert "Christmas 4 Kids" at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., on Nov. 24. Proceeds will be used to give more than 400 underprivileged children in Middle Tennessee a chance to go Christmas shopping. "It's a concert with a heart," Daniels told Billboard. "It's a very special thing. People are basically pretty doggone good and pretty charitable. Still, sometimes, people like kids are so below our radar, and we would like to do something for them at special times like Christmas, but we don't know where or how to go about it. The wonderful thing about this concert is that it gives us all a chance to do something for people that we should be glad to do something for at this time of year. We don't have to go out to search for that opportunity; it gets brought to us." Daniels noted that the Ryman, which is the former home of the Grand Ole Opry, is a venue that has a special meaning to him. "When I was in my teens, I came out to the Grand Ole Opry -- I believe it was in 1954 -- and sat out front. I never thought I would ever see the crowd from the stage myself. It seemed like a dream that was beyond my reach. Every time you walk on that stage, if you have any heart about you at all, you have to stop and think about what a legendary stage you're playing. This is the Mother Church of Country Music. It has to mean something to you." - Billboard, 11/20/14.
Mike Nichols, the award-winning director and pioneering comedian known for directing such hit groundbreaking movies as The Graduate, Carnal Knowledge, Silkwood and The Birdcage, died on the evening of Nov. 19 at the age of 83. During a career spanning more than 50 years, Mr. Nichols occupied that rare air in the industry of those who have won the "EGOT" -- an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. Born Michael Igor Peschkowsky in Berlin in 1931, Mr. Nichols immigrated to the United States in 1939 to flee Nazi Germany. The family changed its last name to Nichols after settling in New York City, where the family patriarch established a medical practice. Mr. Nichols attended college in Chicago and later headed back to New York, where he studied acting under famed teacher Lee Strasberg. Returning to Chicago, Mr. Nichols started up a comedy troupe and met Elaine May. The pair would go on to form a partnership that would later take Broadway by storm, taking comedy into places it had seldom gone before, bringing an improvisational swagger and intellectual edge to a field that had been dominated by joke-telling standups. Although he was probably best known for his movies, Mr. Nichols was also an outstanding theater director, and at one point in 1967 he had four plays running on Broadway, including Neil Simon's "Barefoot in the Park" and "The Odd Couple." He was a go-to guy for stage works until the end of his life, helming Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing" (1984), "Monty Python's Spamalot" (2005) and a 2012 revival of "Death of a Salesman" starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. More acclaim would follow for his work on the big screen. His first film, 1966's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, starred Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, and was nominated for 13 Oscars and won five, including a best actress trophy for Taylor. But his next film, 1967's The Graduate, was in many ways more impressive, making innovative use of pop music (thanks to Simon and Garfunkel's songs), and featuring a terrific script by Buck Henry and Calder Willlingham. The movie became a blockbuster sign of the New Hollywood -- one led by youthful moviegoers and antihero protagonists, and Mr. Nichols won a best director Oscar for his work. Mr. Nichols, who was married to ABC News's Diane Sawyer, managed to be both an insider and outsider, an occasional White House guest and friend to countless celebrities who was as likely to satirize the elite as he was to mingle with them. He met Sawyer later in life (he was 54 at the time) and she became his fourth wife. The couple was married for 26 years. His last film as director was 2007's Charlie Wilson's War. In addition to Sawyer, Mr. Nichols is survived by his three children -- Daisy, Max and Jenny -- and four grandchildren. ABC News President James Goldston announced that the family will hold a private service in the days ahead, and a memorial will be held at a later date. - AP/CNN, 11/20/14.