Posted by Administrator on December 17th, 2014
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its class of 2015 inductees on Dec. 16, with Lou Reed, Bill Withers, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Green Day making the cut for next time. In addition, the "5" Royales will receive the Early Influence Award, and Ringo Starr will be honored with the Award for Musical Excellence, which was created in 2000. With that award, Starr becomes the fourth and final former member of the Beatles, who were inducted as a group in 1988, to also be honored as individuals by the hall. Among those finally making the cut after being eligible for many years include the late Reed, who has been eligible since 1997 and appeared on the 2000 and 2001 ballots, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, who have been eligible since 1988 and appeared on the ballot in 2006 as well as the 2013 and 2014 ballots, and Withers, who has been eligible since 1996 and made the cut as a first-time nominee. Known for such hits as "Ain't No Sunshine," "Use Me" and "Lean on Me," Withers started recording when he was 33 and left the business 15 years later. Artists also nominated this year but passed over include Chic, who hold the record of nine unsuccessful nominations, Kraftwerk, The Marvelettes, Nine Inch Nails, N.W.A., The Smiths, The Spinners, Sting and War. A voting body of more than 700 artists, historians and members of the music industry chose the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performer inductees. To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. The 2015 nominees had to release their first recording no later than 1989. The 2015 induction ceremony will be held in Cleveland on Apr. 18. - Billboard, 12/16/14.
Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper is reporting that Elton John will marry his partner of 18 years, David Furnish, on Dec. 21 before a group of close friends and family at their home in Windsor, England. According to a source close to John and Furnish, the couple "have been planning this for months" and that "Elton is flamboyant but, for once, this will be a decidedly low-key affair. Only close friends and family are invited -- it's going to be a small, intimate do... It's important to David and Elton the boys play a special part." Among the invited guests are reportedly David and Victoria Beckham, Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon, and actress Elizabeth Hurley, with the couple's adopted sons Zachary, three, and Elijah, one, serving as ring bearers at the nuptials. On Dec. 10, legislation was passed in the U.K. allowing couples to convert their civil partnerships into marriages. John and Furnish entered into a civil partnership in 2005. - WENN.com/The Daily Mirror, 12/12/14...... Smokey Robinson settled a legal dispute with his ex-wife Claudette Robinson on Dec. 11 over terminated song rights, with the parties telling a judge that they had reached a settlement in principle. The battle involves termination rights under the 1976 Copyright Act. The legendary Motown singer, whose songs include "My Girl" and "You've Really Got a Hold on Me," is in the process of reclaiming rights to his works. But as he was doing this Claudette Robinson, to whom he was married to between 1957 and 1986, says she put a hold on her own singing career to take care of the kids, and asserted that she deserved a 50 percent share of what he recovered. This led Smokey to file a lawsuit for declaratory relief with Claudette filing counterclaims. The dispute was closely-watched in the music community -- especially among artists reps -- with some talk about the conflict between federal copyright law and state family law and the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution. - The Hollywood Reporter, 12/14/14...... In other R&B news, Aretha Franklin was honored as Billboard's Women in Music Icon of the Year at the annual Women in Music event in New York on Dec. 11. Introduced by longtime collaborator and friend Clive Davis, who lauded her for topping various Billboard charts a whopping 100 separate times, Franklin took the stage and delivered a brief speech. "I don't get the opportunity to be with industry people as much as I'd like to," she said. "I want to thank Billboard and their staff personnel for this." Stevie Wonder also sent in his regards via video, singing a congratulations to the tune of his own "My Cherie Amour." - Billboard, 12/12/14...... AC/DC have confirmed they will play gigs in the U.K. as part of their European tour in the summer of 2015. The Aussie headbangers will play Glasgow's Hampden Park on June 28 and Aviva Stadium in Dublin on July 1 before headlining London's Wembley Stadium on July 4. The performance in Glasgow will mark the first time AC/DC have played the U.K. and Ireland since their Black Ice world tour in 2009. The band also recently revealed that they would be open to the idea of headlining the Glastonbury festival if asked. Meanwhile, AC/DC has scored their third No. 1 album in the U.S. on Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart with their new album Rock or Bust. The LP, which sold 172,000 copies according to Nielsen Music, also debuted at No.1 on the Hard Rock Albums chart and No. 3 on the Hot 200 chart, where it is the group's ninth Top 10 album and their 26th charting title. Rock or Bust is also the band's first new album available for purchase on the ITunes music store, after AC/DC ended its holdout from the popular digital retailer in 2012. - New Musical Express/Billboard, 12/12/14...... In other Billboard chart action, Pink Floyd's seminal 1973 space-rock album The Dark Side of the Moon has returned to the Billboard Hot 200 album chart for the week ending Dec. 12 thanks to new ultra-cheap pricing in the store (where the classic set was discounted to 99-cents in the tracking week ending Dec. 7). It moved just over 38,000 album equivalent units, comprised mostly of pure album sales (nearly 38,000; up 940 percent), which was good for a No. 13 ranking. That's the album's highest rank since the Oct. 15, 2011-dated chart, when it re-entered at No. 12 following a new deluxe reissue. With 889 weeks on the chart, Dark Side continues to rule as the album with most charted weeks in the history of the tally. Incidentally, the next-closest album, in terms of longevity, is Johnny Mathis' Johnny's Greatest Hits, with 490 weeks. - Billboard, 12/11/14...... In other Pink Floyd-related news, guitarist David Gilmour made a surprise appearance during a concert by the British band Bombay Bicycle Club on Dec. 13 at London's Earls Court Arena, the last ever concert at the venue before it is demolished and the site is redeveloped. Gilmour was introduced onto the stage by Bombay Bicycle Club guitarist Jamie MacColl. "This man gave me my first guitar and was one of the first people to play this venue and by my count has played here more than 27 times," he commented. Pink Floyd first played Earls Court Arena in 1973, on their Dark Side of the Moon tour. Gilmour playing lap steel guitar on the London's band's own song "'Rinse Me Down," before he picked up an acoustic guitar and sang Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" from the 1975 album of the same name, much to the delight of the sold-out crowd. - New Musical Express, 12/14/14...... Billy Joel's sold-out show at Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pa., on Dec. 5, his first concert at the Penn State arena in 12 years, gave the Piano Man the top ranking in Billboard's Hot Tours list for the week ending Dec. 10. Joel played to a crowd of 12,077, and box office revenue totaled $1.3 million. Joel's last concert at Bryce Jordan Center was on Jan. 16, 2002, during a co-headlining trek with Elton John. That performance drew a sellout crowd of 15,030, generating $1.6 million in sales. The Penn State gig was the first of three events the pop star has scheduled for Dec. 2014. Next on the itinerary is the 12th sold-out performance of his monthly residency at New York City's Madison Square Garden on Dec. 18, and he is set to close out the year at Amway Center in Orlando on New Year's Eve. Other '70s artists ranking in the Top 10 concerts for the week included Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band for a show in Uncasville, Conn. on Dec. 6, James Taylor for a gig also in Uncasville on Dec. 4, and Bob Dylan for a show in Newark, N.J., on Nov. 26. - Billboard, 12/11/14...... Speaking of Bob Dylan, the rock bard has just announced details of his next studio album, a set of Frank Sinatra covers called Shadows in the Night. The 10-track album is due Feb. 3, 2015 via Columbia Records, songs included renditions of "Full Moon And Empty Arms," "Stay With Me" and "What I'll Do." In a press release, Dylan explained his interest in the project as well as his recording process, adding that he doesn't see his renditions as "covers." "It was a real privilege to make this album. I've wanted to do something like this for a long time but was never brave enough to approach 30-piece complicated arrangements and refine them down for a five-piece band," he said. "I don't see myself as covering these songs in any way," Dylan continued. "They've been covered enough. Buried, as a matter a fact. What me and my band are basically doing is uncovering them. Lifting them out of the grave and bringing them into the light of day." News that the LP would be released in 2015 was originally revealed in a flyer that was inserted into advance copies of Dylan's new Basement Tapes Complete boxset, which dropped in November. - NME, 12/9/14...... Former The Police frontman Sting received a standing ovation on Dec. 9 as he joined the cast of the Broadway musical "The Last Ship," which incorporates several of his songs and is a semi-autobiographical story of his own life. Sting was also presented with a bouquet of white rosts at the Neil Simon Theatre after playing the role of a foreman in the musical. He took no special bow, choosing to stay in line with the ensemble as the clapping grew deafening. "It's a play. It's supposed to be fun and it's great fun," Sting said afterward. "The audience were so with us. They were so buoyant. The cast, too. It was a wonderful experience." Sting joined the cast after the musical, which has no bankable stars until now, struggled at the box office,attributable in part to its challenging topic. Sting hopes he can help raise both awareness and the weekly take to $625,000 a week, which would put it in the black. The previous week it made only $492,000. "I had no intention of going in when I was writing it, but I wanted to help the show out. It's hard to put on a new musical on Broadway, as many shows will tell you," Sting said. "We had a secret weapon and we used it." The $15 million project began as a CD and PBS concert special before it was turned into a stage version for a pre-Broadway stop in Chicago in the summer of 2014. The cast album comes out Dec. 16. - AP, 12/10/14...... Abba co-founder Bjorn Ulvaeus once again repeated his declaration that Abba will never again reunite in a new interview with the Associated Press on Dec. 8. "We took a break in '82, and it was meant to be a break. It's still a break and will remain so," Ulvaeus said. "You'll never see us onstage again." Ulvaeus also discussed the new photo book Abba: The Official Photo Book, which was released earlier in 2014 in Europe, and just recently in the United States. "I'm not a nostalgic person, but looking at these pictures really took me back," he said of the book, which features more than 600 photos from the height of the band's career in the 1970s. - AP, 12/9/14...... Joni Mitchell, who recently released a box set of music culled from her 40-year-plus catalog called Love Has Many Faces, A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced, says that she "don't miss much of anything" these days after retiring from performing due to a battle with the rare skin condition Morgellons Disease. "I've had a very full life," says the 71-year-old singer/songwriter. "I don't miss much of anything. I can't sing anymore -- don't miss it. I can't play anymore -- don't miss it. I've got all these instruments laying around and hopefully one day I'll pick them up. But I do want to start writing my short stories, that's what I want to do after I get this ballet out of the way. If it can happen, great -- if it becomes apparent it's not gonna happen, alright, I've got plenty to do. And I'll still paint." Mitchell says her next project will be a four-part ballet to be danced in early 2015 by the Alberta Ballet -- her first production since 2007's "Shine." - Billboard, 12/9/14...... Pop crooner Tom Jones responded to Welsh rugby officials who are being urged to ban the singing of his classic hit "Delilah" before matches because some claim the lyrics "trivialize the idea of murdering a woman. Speaking at the inaugural BBC Music Awards in London on Dec. 11, Jones said taking the song literally "takes the fun out of it." "If it's going to be taken literally, I think it takes the fun out of it, I think it takes the spirit out of why it's being sung at a Welsh rugby match." Jones added that the song wasn't meant to be a "political statement": "If they're looking into the lyric about a man killing a woman, it's not a political statement, it's something that happens in life. This woman was unfaithful to him and he just loses it... I wasn't thinking that I was the man that was killing the girl when I was singing the song -- I was acting out the part." He add that fans singing the song at matches made him "proud to be Welsh," commenting: "I love to hear it being sung at the Welsh games. It makes me very proud to be Welsh, that they're using one of my songs to sing at a rugby match. That's important to me." It was previously reported that Dafydd Iwan, former president of Plaid Cymru, had asked fans at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium to stop singing "Delilah" before matches because of its controversial content. The track currently acts as a second anthem for Wales, with the Rugby Union displaying the lyrics on the big screen before matches. The Welsh Rugby Union are yet to take any action over the song. - New Musical Express, 12/11/14...... Speaking before an audience of about 300 at England's Oxford University on Dec. 8, former Sex Pistols and current PiL frontman John Lydon said that all religion is "vile, poisonous and idiotic" and spoke of his exposure to paedophile priests as a young boy. "They spend all their time trying to make you believe things that can't possibly be true. Sounds a lot like the Tory party," he said. The irreverent punk rock icon, who was making his final public appearnce to promote his 2014 autobiography Anger Is An Energy: My Life Uncensored, also took a swipe at Mick Jagger for the Rolling Stones frontman's "embarrassing" performance at the Glastonbury Music Festival in 2013. "It's Mick in ladies' tights and his testicles are frocked and he's running around like a speed freak and then there's the band looking incredibly embarrassed and wearing the awful, I call them Tommy Hilfiger kind of colours, like Cliff Richard-on-holiday wear. And if I turn into that... then you're all welcome," he said. As for his musical future, Lydon said he'd give up music "only if I got bored with it, and as long as there's human being in the world, I'm not going to get bored." He said message of his autobiography is "self pity is for arseholes." - NME, 12/11/14...... Music engineer and Island Records co-founder Graeme Goodall, a pivotal figure in the development of Jamaica's music industry, died of natural causes at his Atlanta home on Dec. 4. He was 82. Born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1932, Mr. Goodall worked for several AM radio stations down under as an audio engineer before traveling to London in the mid-'50s where he trained (as an engineer) at the International Broadcasting Company (IBC), then Britain's largest independent recording studio. In the mid-1950's, he relocated to Jamaica after bieng offered a three-year contract to help design and install the first commercial FM service on the island. Shortly after his arrival in the capital, Kingston, Goodall (affectionately known as Mr. Goody) became involved in Jamaica's fledgling recording industry helping to build what is said to be Kingston's first recording studio-in the back of a downtown furniture store-owned by Ken "Papa Khou" Khouri, where some of the earliest recordings of mento (a Jamaican folk music, akin to calypso) were done. Mr. Goodall worked with the top Jamaican producers of the 1960s including Sir Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, Arthur "Duke" Reid and Cecil Bustamante Campbell a.k.a. Prince Buster. Mr. Goodall was responsible for the recording sessions of some of the most influential artists to emerge from Jamaica throughout the 1960s including The Skatalites, Bob Andy, Jimmy Cliff and The Wailers. (In the 1980s the family of Bob Marley purchased Federal Studios and it is now home to the world renowned Tuff Gong Studios). Mr. Goodall remained in Jamaica until the 1970s and eventually moved to the US where he worked for Sony's pro-audio division. He is survived by his Jamaica born wife Fay, whom he married in 1961, and their two children. - Billboard, 12/12/14...... Actress/model Mary Ann Mobley, a go-to guest star on many TV series of the '60s, '70s and '80s including The Love Boat, Perry Mason, Fantasy Island and Diff'rent Strokes, died on Dec. 9. She was 77. Mobley won the Miss American crown in 1959, and was married to actor/talk-show host Gary Collins for 45 years. Her big screen credits include one of Elvis Presley's love interests in the 1965 film Girl Happy. - TV Guide, 12/22/14.
Paul McCartney appears as a hologram in a new video for "Hope For The Future," his song written specifically written for the video game Destiny. In the clip, Sir Paul sings to blue and green aliens about building bridges to the sky, as warriors walk around deserts with guns and spaceships fly over barren landscapes, among other sci-fi happenings happen. "Hope For The Future" was released with a variety of different mixes on Dec. 8, and McCartney was reportedly paid nothing for his participation in the Destiny project -- only taking part in it just for the sake of creativity. "I was intrigued by the intricacy of the music because in a game if you go one route a certain piece of the music plays," Macca told New Musical Express. "I know from my kids and my grandkids, they just bury themselves in a game and I don't think they've got time to listen to my music. Their agenda is pretty full with all the other stuff, you know, so I like the idea of infiltrating into their agenda." Asked whether or not he's played the hot first-person shooter game, McCartney responded: "I'm not very good at games. I've got so much else to be getting on with; I can't have my face in a screen, you know, bopping along in a game. I had a go and it was great, but I got mashed almost instantly. The aliens mashed me." After its release earlier in 2014, Destiny is on track to become one of the highest-selling video game franchises of all time. Meanwhile, Dec. 8 marked the 34th anniversary of the tragic loss of Paul's former bandmate John Lennon, and McCartney appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show on that date to reflect on John's death. "It was so horrific and I couldn't take it in...For days, you just couldn't think he was gone," he remembered, adding that he received the bad news via an early morning phone call at his home. He also said he believed Mark David Chapman's act was not politically motivated -- a "total random thing" -- and called Chapman" the jerk of all jerks." In other Beatles-related news, the Fab Four has topped Billboard's Vinyl Albums chart for the fifth time with "Long Tall Sally," a Black Friday Record Store Day exclusive. The limited-edition four-song 7" reissue also starts at No. 22 on Top Rock Albums, selling 6,000 copies (all on vinyl) in the week ending Nov. 30, according to Nielsen Music. - New Musical Express/Billboard, 12/9/14.
Founding Creedence Clearwater Revival members Doug Clifford, Stu Cook and Tom Fogerty's wife Patricia Fogerty have filed a new lawsuit over CCR frontman John Fogerty over the use of the band's name. The long festering dispute stretches back to 1996 when Fogerty was the plaintiff in a lawsuit that alleged Clifford and Cook were the ones misusing trademarks through the "Creedence Clearwater Revisited" tour. According to the trio's new suit, it was John Fogerty who withdrew his objection to Creedence Clearwater Revisited in return for payment for uses of the "Revisited" name. The latest lawsuit points out that after the settlement, Fogerty gave interviews where he continued to slam use of the "Creedence Clearwater Revisited" name. "Using the name is sort of a sacrilege," John Fogerty told one publication. Now with Fogerty said to be threatening litigation again over money, the other Creedence parties are going to court first. They not only allege that Fogerty has breached the settlement agreement by publicly condemning use of "Revisited," but that Fogerty himself is now violating the band's trademarks. - The Hollywood Reporter, 12/8/14...... Motown icons The Temptations and The Four Tops, who still tour often and appeared on Broadway in 1986, will renew heir rivalry when they perform on Broadway again this winter for a seven-concert stand between Dec. 29-Jan. 4 at the Palace Theatre. The Four Tops' Abdul "Duke" Fakir and The Temptations' Otis Williams, the only surviving original members of their groups, admit they "still have love for each other" despite the rivalry. "We're very competitive," says Fakir. "That's the way Motown was built. Basically we competed all the while. But we competed in a wonderful way -- brother against brother." Their concerts are part nostalgia and part education, reminding the audience of the Motown sound and celebrating such songwriters as Lamont Dozier and the team of brothers (Brian) Holland and (Eddie) Holland. "I never would have imagined that I'd still be here singing songs that are half my age," says Williams, 73. "Those songs feel fantastic even if it is 60 years later." - AP, 12/9/14...... Jack Utsick, a former music promoter who produced events for top-name acts such as the Rolling Stones, Elton John and Aerosmith, has been extradited to the U.S. from Brazil to face charges in a $300 million fraud case. Utsick, 72, fled to Brazil in 2006 during investigations by the FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission. After a lengthy court battle, Brazil ordered his extradition in August and he was flown to Miami on Dec. 6. Authorities say he operated his Worldwide Entertainment Inc. promotion company as a Ponzi scheme, repaying older investors with money from newer ones. The scheme defrauded an estimated 3,300 investors out of nearly $300 million. He is charged with eight counts of mail fraud, each carrying a maximum 20-year prison sentence. Utsick has not yet entered a plea. - AP, 12/8/14...... David Bowie will face a host of newcomers including Ed Sheeran, Elbow, Jungle, Royal Blood and Sam Smith for the title of "British Artist of the Year" at the inaugural BBC Music Awards on Dec. 11. The BBC Music Awards will take place before an audience of 13,500 at London's Earls Court. Despite his nomination, Bowie has in 2014 only released two new tracks and hits compilation Nothing Has Changed. - New Musical Express, 12/8/14...... The lyrics of two early unrecorded Bob Dylan songs from the early 1960s failed to sell at an auction conducted by Christie's in New York on Dec. 4. The typed lyrics, including handwritten annotations, were of the original 1962 "Talkin Folklore Center," which was expected to fetch $40,000 to $60,000, while Dylan's "Go Away You Bomb" lyrics from 1963 were estimated to bring $30,000 to $50,000. The consignor has yet to announce what he now plans to do with the lyrics. - AP, 12/4/14...... Elton John took an embarrassing tumble out of his chair during he Mylan World Team charity tennis tournament in London on Dec. 7. The Rocket Man was serving as team captain against a group led by his good friend and former women's tennis champion Billie Jean King as his director's chair folded when he climbed into it, causing him to fall backwards towards the ground, taking two more chairs with him. To make matters worse, Sir Elton's team -- comprised of tennis icons Andy Roddick, John McEnroe, Martina Hingis and Heather Watson -- lost out to King and her pros, including Tim Henman, Sabine Lisicki and Jamie Murray. Proceeds from the tournament will go towards the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Meanwhile, Elton is among the confirmed performers at the upcoming Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2015, which takes place at New York's Times Square on Dec. 31. John will perform his anthem "I'm Still Standing" on the telecast, which gets underway at 8:00 p.m. on Dec. 31 and broadcast on ABC. - WENN.com/Billboard, 12/8/14...... In a brief one-page "summary of facts," prosecutors in the threatening-to-kill case against AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd released details of their case against the musician on Dec. 6. The New Zealand prosecutors say that on Sept. 26, Rudd first called a business associate and talked about "what he wanted done" to the man, before calling the man and making the threats. Prosecutors said the man worked for Rudd under a contract arrangement. According to prosecutors, Rudd told police he didn't make the alleged phone calls and had not threatened to kill anyone. Prosecutors said police on Nov. 6 searched Rudd's home in the small city of Tauranga and found 130 grams (4.6 ounces) of marijuana and 0.7 grams (0.02 ounces) of methamphetamine. They said Rudd did acknowledge possessing a small amount of marijuana. Rudd's future with AC/DC, who on Dec. 2 released their latest album Rock Or Bust, remains uncertain. The LP bowed at No. 1 on the charts in their native Australia, and at No. 3 in the U.K. - AP, 12/7/14......In other news Down Under, the Rolling Stones wrapped the final leg of their 14 On Fire tour through seven cities in Australia and New Zealand with a sold out performance at Auckland's rugby venue, Mt Smart Stadium, on Nov. 22. The tour ended with ticket sales topping $165.1 million from 25 sold-out shows at 22 venues in Europe, Asia and Oceania. From the Feb. 21, 2014, launch in Abu Dhabi through the finale in New Zealand, the final sold ticket count totaled 862,900, and their three shows at the Japan's Tokyo Dome on Feb. 26, March 4 and 6, grossed $27.9 million. It was not only the Stones tour's top gross, but also the highest-grossing concert stand in 2014 by any touring artist. - Billboard, 12/5/14...... Soul great Al Green and former Police frontman Sting were among the five honorees at the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 7. Pres. Barack Obama saluted the honorees, which also included actors Tom Hanks and Lily Tomlin prima ballerina Patricia McBride, at the gala which was hosted by Stephen Colbert. The event was taped and will be broadcast Dec. 30 on CBS. The Kennedy Center Honors are the nation's highest award for influencing American culture through the arts. - AP, 12/7/14...... Queen guitarist Brian May, also a noted astrophysicist, has joined a group of astronomers, scientists and other artists to raise awareness about the threat of asteroids on our planet. The group warned during a news conference on Dec. 3 that Earth is headed for destruction if global action isn't taken. May and the other members of the group, which also includes former astronaut Ed Lu, ethologist Richard Dawkins and Bill Nye (the science guy), called for the creation of a massive asteroid detection system to "solve humanity's greatest challenges to safeguard our families and quality of life on Earth in the future." The group also advocated the adoption of an Asteroid Day to commence on June 30, 2015. The date is a reference to Earth's last major asteroid impact, which flattened 800 square miles near Tunguska, Siberia on June 30, 1908. "The more we learn about asteroid impacts, the clearer it becomes that the human race has been living on borrowed time," Dr. May said during a news conference held via satellite in London and Los Angeles. "We are currently aware of less than one percent of objects comparable to the one that impacted at Tunguska, and nobody knows when the next big one will hit. It takes just one." "If [Tunguska] had taken place 6 1/2 hours later, Berlin would have rotated into the object's path, and that would have utterly changed the course of human civilization," said Nye. - Billboard/The London Telegraph, 12/5/14...... Geoffrey "Jake" Commander, a veteran rock guitarist with ties to Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra, was sentenced to ten days in jail on Dec. 5 at U.S. District Court in Virginia for participating in an attack carried out by the Internet hacker group Anonymous on MasterCard's website. Commander was reportedly at his home in New Hampshire on Dec. 10, 2010, when he entered an Anonymous chat room. In what he told the court was a "protest" against banks which had "brought the country to its knees," Commander found himself joining a thousand others in flooding the credit card company's site with traffic, resulting in a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS). Commander said he later regretted his "impulsive, spurious and foolish" decision to click on the links, which cost MasterCard over $1 million. The MasterCard attack was part of a larger, months-spanning action by Anonymous called "Operation Payback." His attorney said about 2,000 people took part in the operation. He was one of only 13 people charged. At sentencing, Commander said he was "mortified to have upset the government of this country, which has been my host for many years." His lawyer said that upon his release in mid-December, he will leave the country and never return. Commander replaced Jeff Lynne as guitarist in the rock legend's early band, Andicaps, and later became a tech roadie and occasional background vocalist on several ELO tours. He also sang a bit on Lynne's 1990 solo album Armchair Theatre. - Billboard, 12/8/14...... Former Genesis member Phil Collins was forced to cancel a charity performance at the Fillmore in Miami on Dec. 6 after coming down with an illness. The planned three or four-song set would have been Collins's first solo performance in several years, after he announced his retirement in 2011 to focus on being a father. The show was scheduled at the Fillmore Miami Beach to benefit his Little Dreams Foundation, presented by Collins' ex-wife Orianne Collins Mejjati and music technologist David Frangioni. Collins was on hand to break the bad news to his fundraiser audience, telling them that he had been overcome by a neurological affliction that affects him occasionally. He said he'd been working with doctors over the past two days and that sound checks had gone poorly, apologizing and thanking those in attendance. "Trust me, you wouldn't enjoy it," he said when he was encouraged to sing anyway. - Billboard, 12/7/14...... Songwriter/producer/publisher Bob Montgomery, who masterminded recording sessions for such country music icons as Mel Tillis, Marty Robbins, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and B.J. Thomas, among many others, died on Dec. 4 at his home in Kansas City, Mo., following a long struggle with Parkinson's disease. He was 77. Born May 12, 1937, in Lampasas, Tex., Montgomery met Buddy Holly when they were both in junior high school in Lubbock. Soon after, the two young enthusiasts formed their own band, Buddy and Bob. With Holly, Montgomery co-wrote the songs "Wishing," "Heartbeat" and "Love's Made a Fool of You." They also recorded a few songs together. In the early 1960s, Montgomery formed the House of Gold music publishing company with Bobby Goldsboro. He went on to produce Goldsboro's worldwide hit, "Honey," which topped the pop, country and adult contemporary charts for weeks in 1968. They sold their publishing company to Warner Bros in 1983. House of Gold also published such high-profile hits as Charlie Rich's "Behind Closed Doors" and Gary Morris' "Wind Beneath My Wings." After selling House of Gold, Montgomery worked with Tree Music and from there moved on to manage A&R for CBS Records, where he signed such future chart-topping acts as Joe Diffie, Doug Stone and Collin Raye.