Friday, January 23, 2015

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on January 29th, 2015

A source close to Paul McCartney says rumours that the former Beatle will be co-producing Kayne West's new album are "not true" after a second collaboration between Sir Paul and West, "FourFiveSeconds," was unveiled over the fourth weekend of January. Numerous reports that McCartney will work on West's Yeezus follow-up emerged on social media, citing comments made by West's longtime friend and barber Ibn Jasper on Instagram. McCartney also contributed backing vocals to a previously released collaboration with West, "Only One." In other McCartney news, Paul's ex-wife Heather Mills tells Britain's Event magazine in a new interview that her divorce from the rock legend was "a more traumatic experience than losing her leg in a motorcycle accident." The British model-turning-professional skier was married to McCartney for four years before their acrimonious split in 2006 and they subsequently faced off against each other in a bitter and highly-publicized divorce trial. Mills was awarded a $38.9 million settlement in 2008, and now seven years later, says she is still struggling to bounce back from the divorce drama. "It's very hard to be married to a Beatle. (McCartney's first wife) Linda had it tough, Yoko (Ono) had it tough and what happened to me after the divorce... losing my leg was easier to cope with... I felt I lost everything. I spent my whole life raising money for charities and I was asked to leave every charity because I became poison... Everything I had been was taken away." Mills, who has an 11-year-old daughter named Beatrice with Paul, says the experience has turned her against marriage in the future. "Never, never, never... I'm single, I want to have fun but I don't want to be married. It's one thing I'm absolutely sure about." She lost her left leg below the knee in a motorcycle crash in 1993. - NME/, 1/26/15...... Tom PettyTom Petty has been given a songwriting credit for Sam Smith's hit song "Stay With Me" after Petty's camp noticed a likeness between the song and Petty's 1989 hit "I Won't Back Down," on which he collaborated with the song's producer, Jeff Lynne of ELO. Smith's representatives reportedly settled the matter "amicably" after agreeing with Petty's team that there were similarities between the two tunes, although the writes of "Stay With Me" maintain they were "not previously familiar" with "I Won't Back Down." Now both Petty and Lynne will receive royalties. "Although the likeness was a complete coincidence, all involved came to an immediate and amicable agreement in which Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne are now credited as co-writers of 'Stay With Me' along with Sam Smith, James Napier and William Phillips," a representative for Smith says. Smith is currently in the running for six Grammy Awards, including song of the year for "Stay With Me." That particular category recognizes the songwriters of a track. Petty and Lynne are not expected to be included in the Grammy consideration, however, since they "didn't do any new writing for this work," according to the Recording Academy. The awards will be given out in Los Angeles on Feb. 8, where Sam Smith is scheduled to perform during the show's CBS broadcast. - The Hollywood Reporter/Billboard, 1/26/15...... A U.S. judge has ruled that Jack Utsick, a former promoter who produced shows for acts such as the Rolling Stones, Elton John and Aerosmith, will be denied bail in a $300 million criminal fraud case. U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres said on Jan. 28 that there was ample evidence 72-year-old Utsick might attempt to flee prosecution. Authorities say Utsick took off for Brazil in 2007 amid investigations by the FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission into his Worldwide Entertainment Inc. promotion company. Authorities say his concert business was actually a Ponzi scheme, with older investors being paid with money from newer ones. An estimated 3,300 investors were defrauded out of nearly $300 million. An attorney for Utsick, who was extradited to the US in 2014, say he will plead not guilty to mail fraud charges. - AP, 1/28/15...... What is described as Bruce Springsteen's "greatest offical bootleg ever" is now available on Springsteen's official site, The Agora, Cleveland 1978 is from Aug. 18, 1978, a highlight performance from Springsteen's Darkness on the Edge of Town tour. Springsteen burns through classics like "Rosalita" (with a snippet of the Village People's "Macho Man"), castoff gems like "Fire" and covers from "Summertime Blues" to "Twist and Shout." He peaks with a 10-minute "Prove It All Night," featuring a long, moody guitar-piano intro. - Rolling Stone, 1/29/15...... Sly Stone'70s funk legend Sly Stone of Sly and the Family Stone was awarded $5 million by a Los Angeles Superior Court jury on Jan. 27 in a breach-of-contract lawsuit that claimed his business partners and his own company cheated him out of royalties. The jury ruled in favor of the 71-year-old Stone, who has fallen on hard times since his '70s heyday and at one point was even homeless, in his action against his ex-manager Gerald Goldstein, attorney Glenn Stone and Even St. Productions Ltd. Stone, whose real name is Sylvester Stewart, led Sly and the Family Stone to a string of hits in the 1960s and early '70s including "Everyday People," "Dance To The Music," "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" and "Family Affair." But heavy drug use began to take a toll. His attorneys say his career had been long eclipsed and that he was destitute when Goldstein and Glenn Stone convinced him to become an employee of and co-owner of Even St. Productions with them in 1989. Stone assigned royalty rights to the company and was supposed to receive some of the money it collected for him but Goldstein and Glenn Stone arranged to get it through shady accounting, his attorney Nicholas Hornberger argued. "It's a good day for Sly, it's a good day for entertainers in general," said Hornberger. "This was an important verdict for people that are artists, entertainers, music composers, etc." Jurors assessed $2.5 million in damages against Even St. Productions, $2.45 million against Goldstein and $50,000 against Glenn Stone. An attorney for Goldstein and Stone said the award will be challenged. - AP, 1/28/15...... ZZ Top performed three songs on the late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Jan. 26 as the show temporarily switched to Houston, Tex., from its normal location in Los Angeles. Band members Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard and Dusty Hill first performed a newer song from their 2012 LP La Futura, "I Gotsta Get Paid," then ran through the hard rock riffs of their 1975 classic "Tush" and then their 1973 hit "La Grange," extending the latter to over double its original time with a lengthy jam. - Billboard, 1/27/15...... The Doobie Brothers will be honored with one of the top awards in the music industry, the Chairman Award from the Music Biz Association, during the annual MBA convention on May 12-14 in Nashville. The award recognizes artists who have achieve significant and sustained success in their career, and MBA chairman Fred Beteille said in a statement that the Doobies "have achieved incredible success over the years, selling an astonishing number of records and maintaining a regular presence on the Billboard charts" and that the band, who on their latest LP Southbound re-recorded their hits with a host of current country artists, "has revealed new dimensions to songs that millions of people know by heart." - Billboard, 1/26/15...... Almost 500 items that put the famous Caribou Ranch recording studio on the rock and roll map, including an antique mahogany Steinway & Sons grand piano used by Elton John and a Gibson bass guitar said to have been played by Terry Kath of Chicago, were sold at auction on Jan. 24 at the studio located near Nederland, Colorado. Chicago's former producer, James Guercio, turned the ranch into a major recording studio in the 1970s, and a fire damaged the control room in 1985. The 1,600-acre ranch, which includes a converted barn studio and cabins named for Native American chiefs, was sold last year, setting the stage for the auction. - AP, 1/25/15...... In related news, one of the nine Mosrites guitars once owned by Johnny Ramone was sold at auction on Jan. 22 for $71,875, Boston-based auction RR Auction announced. The auction notes that the guitar features several modifications made by Ramone, including the replacement of the tremolo system with a stop bar tailpiece and installation of a DiMarzio FS-1 bridge pickup, as well as a tortoiseshell pick guard. It states this was Ramone's favorite guitar for TV appearances. A number of Ramones items have been auctioned off over the past years, including Joey Ramone's record collection and clothes in 2013. - Billboard, 1/23/15...... Veteran actor James Caan filed for divorce from his wife Linda on Jan. 26, for the third time in their 19-year marriage. The Godfather star wed Linda Stokes in 1996, but their relationship hit a rough patch in 2005, when Caan initially moved to end the union. They reconciled, only for the actor to again file for divorce in 2009. Now Caan has filed court papers once more, and he is seeking joint custody of the couple's youngest son, 16-year-old Jacob. Caan, 74, also has three other children from previous unions, including Hawaii Five-0 actor Scott Caan, from his second marriage to Sheila Marie Ryan. Caan and his current wife also have a 19-year-old son, James. -, 1/26/15...... David BowieDavid Bowie has announced he'll release a French-language version of his 1977 hit "Heroes" on limited edition blue vinyl and his 2008 compilation album i Select on red vinyl. The 7-inch French edition of "Heroes" will be backed with a live version of the song recorded during Bowie's Serious Moonlight Tour in 1983. The vinyl is limited to 2000 copies and only available in France, but US and UK fans have the chance to win copies via Bowie's website. The pair of vinyl releases coincide with the opening of the "David Bowie Is" retrospective exhibition at the Philharmonie de Paris. The exhibition features more than 300 objects from the rocker's 50-year-career, including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, film, set designs and Bowie's own instruments. Originally presented in London, it has also travelled to Toronto, Chicago, Sao Paulo and Berlin. After Paris, it will head to the Netherlands and Australia. Bowie is also set to release an English language 7" vinyl picture disc of "Young Americans" on Feb 24 for its 40th anniversary, after having released similar 7-inchers of Knock on Wood - Live and Diamond Dogs. - New Musical Express, 1/27/15...... Edgar Froese, a pioneering German electronic musician and founding member of Tangerine Dream, died on Jan. 20. He was 70. Froese founded Tangerine Dream in 1967 Berlin and was the group's most consistent member through a number of lineup changes over the decades. Tangerine Dream's electronic music was less about mimicking the rhythms of urban landscapes and more about evoking cosmic, spacey landscapes, and their 1974 Phaedra and 1975 Rubycon albums are considered essential works from the electronic "Krautrock" music genre. The band's unique sonic soundscape also captured the attention of The Exorcist director William Friedkin, who tapped them to score his 1977 film Sorcerer. During the 1980's, the band would go on to craft iconic musical scores for Thief and Risky Business, adapting those scores from parts of their 1979 album Force Majeure. In recent years, Tangerine Dream contributed music to the Grand Theft Auto series. - Billboard, 1/23/15...... Greek singer Demis Roussos, whose often high-pitched pop serenades won him household recognition in the 1970s and 1980s across Europe and beyond and who sold more than 60 million records, died in Athens on Jan. 26 following a lengthy hospitalization for undisclosed causes. He was 68. Roussos was once dubbed the Kaftan King -- and rotund, bearded appearance, he enjoyed the respect of his colleagues and a steady global following. In 1985, Roussos was among 153 people taken hostage when two Shiite Muslim militiamen hijacked a TWA Boeing 727 on a flight from Athens to Rome, and he spent his 39th birthday on the plane. He was released unharmed five days later, and at a press conference thanked his captors for giving him a birthday cake. "He had a superb voice, he traveled in the world... he loved what he was doing," singer Nana Mouskouri told French radio RTL in a tribute. "He was an artist, a friend. I hope he is in a better world." - AP, 1/26/15.

Two of the '70s most famous singer/songwriters, James Taylor and Paul Simon, paid tribute to late jazz great Michael Brecker on Jan. 20 in New York City with performances and kind words at a cancer benefit for their friend who died in 2007. Taylor, who Brecker's widow said had the flu, performed "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" -- the first song he played with the jazz saxophonist -- while Simon performed "Still Crazy After All These Years" and "The Boxer," songs he said he "closely associates" with Brecker. "I miss him all the time," Taylor said after the performance. "Michael saved my life and probably a lot of other people. He led me to freedom, really from addiction, and showed a number of us the way." Taylor joined forces with Simon, Dianne Reeves and Bobby McFerrin to close the 90-minute show with "Shower the People." Brecker, who died of a form of bone marrow cancer at age 57, won more than a dozen Grammy Awards and played with a number of iconic artists, including Simon, Taylor, Elton John and Joni Mitchell. - AP, 1/21/15...... Jazz greats Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, who last toured together 37 years ago when Pres. Jimmy Carter was in the White House, have announced a 19-city world tour of duo piano concerts that will launch in Seattle on Mar. 14. Corea and Hancock, who both were members of Miles Davis' bands of the 1960s and contributed to his groundbreaking jazz-fusion albums In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew, will also hit such cities as Vancouver, Denver, San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago before wrapping the North American leg in Carmel, Indiana, on Apr. 18. After a break, the duo will perform in Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. - AP, 1/23/15...... Bob DylanBob Dylan is making headlines for being featured on the cover of the Feb./Mar. issue of AARP magazine, and in the interview the 73-year-old rock legend revealed that "if I had to do it all over again, I'd be a schoolteacher," and adding that he "probably" would have taught Roman history or theology. On Feb. 3, the musician will release Shadows in the Night, an all-Frank Sinatra covers album of songs from the 1920s to the 1960s, including standards like "Autumn Leaves," "That Lucky Old Sun" and "Stay With Me." The new album was hinted at as early as last May, when Dylan released album artwork and a cover of another Sinatra favorite, "Full Moon And Empty Arms." Dylan is giving 50,000 AARP magazine readers a free copy of his album, and his "Stay With Me" cover is currently streaming for free via In February, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter will present Dylan with the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year honor next month in Los Angeles. - AP/Billboard, 1/22/15...... Lawyers representing Michael Jackson's mother Katherine Jackson argued before a panel of appellate justices on Jan. 22 that a new trial against concert promoter AEG Live LLC should be allowed, but the justices instead focused on the relationship between Jackson, AEG and Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for giving the singer a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol. Katherine Jackson's lawyers contend that the trial court judge incorrectly dismissed negligence and employment claims before the original 2013 trial, and jurors were given an improper verdict form and instructions. The panel noted that Dr. Murray treated Jackson before the concerts were planned and questioned whether the doctor's fee would be reimbursed by Jackson after the shows, and two of the justices questioned how AEG could have known that Murray was giving Jackson treatments of propofol. The justices did not state when they would issue a ruling for a possible new trial, and two of them must agree on the decision. - AP, 1/22/2015...... Upcoming Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Joan Jett was among the friends and family of Kim Fowley paying their respects to the late music impressario at his funeral at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles on Jan. 22. Jett, whose early band The Runaways Fowley is credited with discovering in the late 1970s, delivered a heartfelt speech, while Fowley's longtime friend, musician Michael Des Barres, delivered the eulogy and later tweeted that the ceremony was "transcendent." Fowley, a colorful and sometimes controversial character, died Jan. 15 of bladder cancer at age 75. It was reported that he had expressed a dying wish to be featured on the cover of Girls and Corpses magazine, but publication's publisher reportedly passed on the request. A photo of Fowley's grave, however, was posted on Twitter soon after the funeral wrapped. - Billboard, 1/22/15...... Another famous music impressario, former Arista Records president Clive Davis, has been tapped to receive the famous Harvard Hasty Pudding Award at a gala in New York City on Apr. 13. The Order of the Golden Sphinx, which recognized extraordinary contributions to the performing arts, is the highest honor awarded by Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770. A five-time Grammy winner and a 2000 inductee of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the Non-Performer category, Davis has worked with a wide range of artists, from Janis Joplin and Billy Joel to Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys. - AP, 1/22/15...... The BBC is now streaming for free a new The Clash documentary featuring previously unseen footage. The Clash: New Year's Day '77 is both an excellently raw portrait of a band on the brink of fame and a wide-lens look at the political and cultural chaos that birthed them. - Entertainment Weekly, 1/23/15...... Geddy LeeNeil PeartAlex LifesonRush announced a 34-city 40th Anniversary tour on Jan. 23 that will probably be the last of its kind for some time. "This will most likely be their last major tour of this magnitude," Rush's press release noted about the tour, which will kick off May 8 in Tulsa, Okla., and wrap on Aug. 1 in Los Angeles. The Toronto-based rockers will visit a mix of large and medium-sized markets, including Lincoln, Neb.; St. Paul, Minn., St. Louis, Mo.; Dallas, Tex.; New Orleans, La.; and Bristow, Va. Rush formed in 1968, so the 40th anniversary technically commemorates drummer Neil Peart joining the band (which actually happened in 1974). For the upcoming tour, the band is expected to play much more of their '70s material, which was mostly avoided when they toured behind 2012's Clockwork Angels. - Billboard, 1/23/15...... Elton John's New Year's Eve performance at Brooklyn's Barclays Center before 16,470 fans sold over $3 million worth of tickets, earning the Rocket Man the top slot in Billboard's weekly Hot Tours chart for the week of Jan. 14-20. John's show, his first ever in New York City on New Year's Eve, closed out a year of touring in North America and Europe in support of the 40th-anniversary reissue of his 1973 Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album. Following its launch last March, the tour hit 21 markets in the U.S. and Canada in two legs and also played 42 cities in 16 European countries during treks in the summer and fall. Meanwhile, Fleetwood Mac's show at Houston's Toyota Center on Dec. 15, with ticket sales of $1,837,886, was good for the No. 2 spot. Ranking at No. 9 and 10 were shows by Gregg Allman and Foreigner. - Billboard, 1/22/15...... Speaking of Fleetwood Mac, the band was forced to cut a Nebraska concert about an hour short on Jan. 17 after drummer Mick Fleetwood became ill. Stevie Nicks told the crowd of roughly 14,000 at Lincoln's Pinnacle Bank Arena that Fleetwood was throwing up backstage before the end of the 90-minute show. The band continued its itinerary on Jan. 20 in Grand Rapids, Mich. - AP, 1/18/15...... Late '70s comedian Richard Prior's widow Jennifer Lee Pryor has filed a lawsuit against T-shirt designer over a design that depicts an image of Pryor superimposed with the word "swag." Jennifer Pryor's suit alleges FretShirt has infringed her rights to the likeness of her late husband, who "created a general acceptance and good will for his name and likeness among the public," and that the shirt violates a California civil code statute that requires consent from the rightsholder of a deceased person's likeness for the commercial use of the likeness. She is seeking $5 million that she claims represents FretShirt's profits from the shirt in addition to $1 million in compensatory damages, as well as an injunction against the sale of the shirt. Jennifer Pryor previously executive produced a documentary on his life, Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic, and is executive producing a Weinstein Co. biopic in the works. - The Hollywood Reporter, 1/21/15...... Barbra Streisand has set another music industry record after her latest album Partners was certified platinum, giving the diva the most platinum album certifications for a woman in RIAA history. Partners is Streisand's 31st album to ship more than 1,000,000 copies in the U.S. Her closest competition, Reba McEntire, has 19 platinum-certified albums. Partners debuted at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 200 in Sept. 2014. It was her 10th album to top that chart, making her the only act to notch a No. 1 album in each of the last six decades. - Billboard, 1/20/15...... Mick Jagger is honoring his late girlfriend, fashion designer L'Wren Scott, by establishing a scholarship for fashion students in her name. The Rolling Stones frontman's grant will be given to one masters student annually (through the 2017 school term) at the prestigious Central Saint Martins design college in London; it will cover that pupil's entire tuition, plus some living expenses. Scott, a self-taught designer, did not attend the school but had a close friendship with the university's longtime M.A. course director, Louise Wilson. Scott (born Laura Bambrough in Salt Lake City, Utah) was a celebrated clothing designer whose sophisticated, red carpet-ready dresses outfitted many A-list stars, including Angelina Jolie and Sarah Jessica Parker. After her death, Jagger released a statement saying that he was "still struggling to understand how my lover and best friend could end her life in this tragic way" and that "I will never forget her." - Billboard, 1/18/15...... Ted NugentAfter controversial rocker Ted Nugent uploaded a photograph of Kid Rock to his Facebook page which shows Rock posing with a dead couger, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is criticizing Rock for apparently taking part in a hunting expedition. "Hail my MotorCity boy Kid Rock for saving all those muledeer elk and livestock by whacking this magnificent mountain lion," Nugent said in an accompanying caption. "I can hear the braindead squawkers already with their obscene denial that killing lions is wrong. It's legal, it's necessary, it's good, it's beneficial, it's a damn riot!" PETA's U.S. Senior International Media Director, Ben Williamson, said that "only the very smallest percentage of people find it acceptable in any way to support blood sports like trophy hunting." -, 1/20/15...... Former Crosby, Stills & Nash drummer Dallas Taylor died on Jan. 18 of as yet undisclosed causes, according to his wife Patti McGovern-Taylor. He was 66. A native of Denver, Col., Taylor cut his teeth as a session musician in the early 1960s, soon joining the psychedelic rock band Clear Light. After the group achieved modest fame with the single "Black Roses" in 1967, he was recruited into Crosby, Stills and Nash. He performed on CSN's breakthrough self-titled debut album, released in 1969, and their following album, Déjà Vu (with another new member, Neil Young, in 1970). Taylor performed with CSN&Y at Woodstock in 1969 and with Van Morrison at the 1974 Montreux Jazz Festival. After leaving music, he worked as a drug and alcohol interventionist in Los Angeles. "(Dallas) came into my life almost 18 years ago and saved me as much as I may have saved him. To me he was just a good man, a good friend, a good father, a good grandfather or Pop Pop, a great drummer and much beloved by many," his wife posted on her Facebook page. - Billboard, 1/18/15...... Stan Irwin, a Las Vegas producer and manager who persuaded the Beatles and several other top artists to play Vegas in the 1960s, died on Jan. 21 of natural causes in Los Angeles. He was 94. Mr. Irwin guided the careers of such celebs as Johnny Carson, Don Rickles, Buddy Hackett and Pearl Bailey, and served as executive producer of The Tonight Show in 1962, which was the first year of Carson's tenure. He also voiced the Lou Costello character in Hanna-Barbera's The Abbott and Costello Cartoon Show in the 1960s. - AP, 1/23/15.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on January 19th, 2015

An investigation by the UK Department of Transport's Air Accidents agency has found that the pilot of a helicopter carrying Paul McCartney and his wife Nancy Shevell missed two urgent warnings that their aircraft was seconds from crashing as the couple were being transported to their home in East Sussex in May 2012 after attending a book launch by Paul's eldest daughter, Mary McCartney, in London. The chartered Sikorsky S-76C avoided hitting treetops near the couple's home by just 2 feet, according to the investigation, and the pilot, who had become "spatially disorientated," dramatically swung the helicopter to safety with seconds to spare. In treacherous weather, the pilot was attempting a night landing on a helipad encircled by woodland, and the AAIB found that neither the pilot or the co-pilot heard two audio warnings. The report also revealed the terror in the cockpit before the second of two aborted landings, and that the co-pilot was convinced they'd crash and "momentarily" lost ability to speak. - The Daily Mail UK, 1/17/15...... Bruce SpringsteenBruce Springsteen made a "surprise" appearance at the 15th anniversary of the Light of Day 2015 Winterfest at the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park, N.J., on Jan. 17. The party was The Boss's 11th appearance at the Light of Day show, a birthday benefit supporting artist manager and LOD Foundation organizer Bob Benjamin. Benjamin, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1996, was honored with the Humanitarian Award at the 2014 Billboard Touring Conference and Awards in November. "(Having all of) these musicians in a room like this is a wonderful thing," the 65-year-old Springsteen told the sold-out crowd of 1,600 music fans as he stood alongside Benjamin. "Bobby, it's a gift you give us every year." His appearance was an open secret, as the New Jersey rock star showed up for an early sound check with Pittsburgh rocker Joe Grushecky about two-and-a-half-hours before the show began at 7 p.m. Highlights included a fierce version of "Adam Raised a Cain" (from Darkness on the Edge of Town) "From Small Things (Big Things Come One Day," a potent "Darkness on the Edge of Town," "Frankie Fell in Love," and a dramatic and gut-wrenching "Because the Night." Springsteen closed the evening with an introspective version of "Thunder Road," but in what looked like an onstage audible, decided to go out on an energetic note, leading the ensemble with "The Promised Land." - Billboard, 1/18/15...... Former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler unveiled his latest song, "Beryl," via his official Twitter account on Jan. 17. Knopfler says the track was inspired by British novelist Beryl Bainbridge, and the song will be featured on the musician's forthcoming eighth studio album, Tracker, which is due on Mar. 16. "The album title 'Tracker' arrived out of me trying to find my way over the decades," said Knopfler in a statement. "Out of me tracking time -- looking at people, places and things from my past, and out of the process of tracking as in recording tracks in the studio." Tracker will arrive on CD, double vinyl, and deluxe CD editions, as well as a lush box that features the record on both CD and vinyl with a bonus disc of six extra tracks, and a DVD featuring an exclusive short film directed by Henrik Hansen. - New Musical Express, 1/18/15...... Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters are among the bands confirmed for the 11th annual Mountain Jam festival in Hunter Mountain, N.Y., which is set for June 4-7. Also on the bill are the Black Keys, Gov't Mule, Alabama Shakes, The Wailers, Grace Potter and Nocturnals and moe. - Billboard, 1/14/15...... In other Led Zeppelin-related news, guitarist Jimmy Page has reportedly tried to block his West London neighbor, singer Robbie Williams, from renovating his home. According to The Daily Telegraph, Page has written to borough planning chiefs voicing concerns that Williams' plans could damage his own house, and that Williams' property will overlook his when proposed work is complete. "I am extremely concerned that this work will cause vibrations and possible structural damage with my house," Page wrote. "It appears the proposed new window is at a height that will overlook the side of my house as well as the garden at the rear of my property, thus having a significant impact on the amenity of the house and its garden." Page has resided in his mansion since 1972, and Williams bought his own £17 million mansion, previously owned by late director Michael Winner, in 2013. - NME, 1/15/15...... James TaylorU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry brought along a fellow Bay Stater, James Taylor, to help him pay respect on Jan. 16 to the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris in a show of American solidarity with the French people. At a ceremony at the Hotel de Ville, the city hall of Paris, Kerry called the attacks a "living nightmare" but one that would unite rather than divide the people of France and the world. "I represent a nation grateful each day that France is our oldest ally," he said before introducing his friend James Taylor, who performed his hit "You've Got a Friend," starting with several bars of the French national anthem. The event was called an "Homage de John Kerry a Paris." Kerry's visit came amid lingering criticism in the United States of the Obama administration's failure to send a Cabinet-level official to Paris for the Jan. 11 unity march that attracted some 40 world leaders and more than a million demonstrators. - AP, 1/16/15...... An album of Latin music versions of Michael Jackson biggest hits called Unity: The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson is set for release on Universal Music Classics in April. Unity's tracks include hits from throughout the King of Pop's career, with "Billie Jean," "I Want You Back" and "Man in the Mirror" among them. Well-known tropical artists including Tito Nieves, Obie Bermudez, India and Michael Stuart perform on the LP, supported by an old-school Latin big band. "Smooth Criminal," the first single from the project, is now out with vocals by Puerto Rican singer Jean Rodriguez. The Unity project started in 2011 as a (successful) $10,000 Kickstarter campaign by Tony Succar, a young Peruvian-American percussionist (and major Jackson fan) from Miami. - Billboard, 1/15/15...... In a new interview with GQ magazine, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd says he is annoyed that Apple got away "scot free" following the controversial release of U2's latest album, Songs of Innocence, on iTunes. The album was automatically downloaded onto all Apple subscribers' iTunes accounts when it was released last September, and Mason says that it has "made everyone think again about how they want their music delivered, given or sold." "It highlights a vital aspect to the whole idea of music in the 21st century," Mason said. 'What's also interesting is that Apple seem to have got off scot-free. No-one's blaming them. Apple has done great things, but it has also contributed to the devaluation process." Mason also has reservations about Spotify and streaming services in general. "iTunes is already beginning to look rather pass, and instead it's Spotify that looks like the future. What we need is another two or three billion people using it, then it would make more sense for musicians. At the moment, the pay-out, particularly for unknowns and only slightly-knowns is pathetic," he added. - NME, 1/15/15...... Mickey HartPhil LeshBob WeirBillboard is reporting that the four living original members of the Grateful Dead will perform three farewell 50th anniversary shows on July 3-5, 2015, at Soldier Field in Chicago, with Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio accompanying them. The Grateful Dead's last performance with Jerry Garcia, who died in Aug. 1995, was at the same 55,000-seat capacity venue on July 9, 1995. The show will likely be the finale for the "core four," as the surviving members are now known: Bob Weir, 67; Phil Lesh, 74; Mickey Hart, 71; and Bill Kreutzmann, 68. "These will be the last shows with the four of us together," Weir says. The four, along with Anastasio, are set to take the stage, along with keyboardist Bruce Hornsby, a frequent player with the Dead during the '80s and into the '90s, and Jeff Chimenti, who plays keys with Weir's side project, RatDog. Tickets for the shows -- named "Fare Thee Well" for a lyric in the Garcia/Robert Hunter song "Brokedown Palace" -- will be available to fan club members on a first-come, first-served basis from Feb. 9 to 11. A local public presale will occur Feb. 12-13; a general public on-sale starts Feb. 14. In 2014, it was announced that the Dead are planning a Martin Scorsese-produced documentary film this year to mark their 50th anniversary. - Billboard, 1/16/15...... Australian pop singer Rick Springfield, who released his debut album in 1974 before rising to fame in the early 1980s, has been cleared in an injury lawsuit brought by a 45-year-old New York woman who claims she suffered serious injuries when Springfield fell into her during a 2004 concert in suburban Syracuse. Vicki Calcagno of Liverpool, N.Y., says Springfield's buttocks hit her head, causing lasting injuries. The "Jessie's Girl" singer testified he didn't fall on Calcagno, and his lawyer said in closing arguments before the New York State Supreme Court that there were no witnesses, photos or video to support Calcagno's claim. Calcagno sued in 2007 and there was an earlier mistrial in 2013. Springfield said he is relieved by the verdict. - AP, 1/16/15...... NBC Entertainment announced on Jan. 16 that the network just closed a deal to develop a series of TV movies based on Dolly Parton's songs, stories and life. Parton will produce. NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt noted that Parton could have an on-screen role and the movies will likely stand on their own and not be a series of films. "We're going to try and create uplifting movies the entire family can enjoy together," Greenblatt told reporters at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. "We want to create projects for NBC that are both fun and inspirational with a family audience in mind," Dolly Parton said in a statement. - The Hollywood Reporter, 1/16/15.

Kim FowleyRecord producer/manager/impresario Kim Fowley, best known for his work with the '70s all-female teen band the Runaways, died on Jan. 15 after a long battle with bladder cancer. He was 75. Throughout his career, Fowley stepped in and out of popular music's limelight, yet remains best known for his work with the Runaways, whose Fowley-engineered aggressive sexuality and sound were unprecedented in the mid-'70s, and which spawned the careers of Joan Jett, Lita Ford and Cherie Currie. The group's history has been documented in biographies and the 2010 biopic The Runaways, directed by Floria Sigismondi and starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning as Jett and Currie. Michael Shannon, later of Boardwalk Empire fame, portrayed Fowley in the film. Tall, gaunt and wraithlike, with piercing blue eyes, Fowley was a widely recognized figure on the Los Angeles rock scene for decades. He began his music business career in the late 1950s, working in various capacities with Motown founder Berry Gordy and legendary, ultimately disgraced DJ Alan Freed, and crossed paths with luminaries-to-be like Phil Spector and Beach Boys producer Nik Venet. Fowley made a name for himself in the early 1960s as a co-producer/co-publisher on a string of successful records, such as the chart-topping novelty song "Alley Oop" and Paul Revere & the Raiders' instrumental "Like, Long Hair." He went on to work in various capacities with acts including The Murmaids, Gene Vincent, KISS, Alice Cooper, Leon Russell and Kris Kristofferson, and released a series of solo albums in the late 1960s and early 1970s that met with limited success. In 1975, Fowley helped form the Runaways, with whom he worked until 1977 when the group severed ties, due in large part to his rough work methods, mistreatment and verbal assaults. The group garnered scads of press, influenced countless female rockers, however were underrated as band. He later tried a similar template with an all-girl group called the Orchids, to lesser success. Fowley released solo albums into the 1980s, but gradually faded from the limelight. "I am so blessed that I got to get to know you again Kim.. really get to know you on a personal level and that we became friends. Mostly that you spent time here at my home. It's a time I will never forget," Cherie Currie posted on her Facebook page after learning of Fowley's death. - Billboard, 1/15/15.

An attorney for filmmaker Hillary Schwartz, who is among those charged with crimes in a fatal train collision during shooting of the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider, filed court documents on Jan. 12 asking a judge to dismiss the charges against her. Schwartz's lawyers say prosecutors got her to talk by assuring her she was a witness, not a suspect. Less than two months after she gave authorities an interview, Schwartz was indicted. Schwartz was working as an assistant director on the ill-fated Midnight Rider movie on Feb. 20, 2014, when a freight train plowed into the crew on a railroad bridge spanning the Altamaha River in rural Wayne County. The crash killed Sarah Elizabeth Jones, a 27-year-old camera assistant from Atlanta, and injured six other crewmembers. A March 9 trial has been scheduled for Schwartz; the movie's director, Randall Miller; his wife and business partner, Jody Savin; and executive producer Jay Sedrish. CSX Transportation, which owns the railroad trestle, has said in previous court filings that it twice denied the filmmakers permission to shoot on its tracks, each time in writing. Sheriff's investigators have said the crew had permission to be on property surrounding the tracks that is owned by forest products company Rayonier. Production on the movie was halted after the accident. - AP, 1/14/15...... Scarlett SabetJimmy PageJimmy Page is reportedly dating an actress who is 46 years his junior. According to a story in the British tabloid The Sun, the 71-year-old Led Zeppelin mastermind has been spotted out for dinner with Scarlett Sabet, 25, twice in January, and the couple were pictured holding hands. A source close to Page, who divorced his second wife in 2008, says the guitarist is "leading a very conventional life by the looks of things, not very rock 'n' roll... His new girlfriend seems a very normal kind of girl." -, 1/12/15...... John Lennon's inspirational 1971 song "Imagine" was sang at a Unity rally in Paris at the Place de la Nation (Nation square) on Jan. 11 in tribute to the victims of a three-day killing spree by Islamist extremists. The rallies of national unity were organized to honor the 17 victims of two terrorist attacks, one on the weekly satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. The Paris rally saw up to two million people taking to the streets, as well as more than 40 world leaders. In total, 3.7 million people joined public demonstrations across France. - The Hollywood Reporter, 1/13/15...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney's latest single, "Hope for the Future," was released on vinyl on Jan. 13. The song, which originally appeared in the first-person shooter video game Destiny, has been pressed as a 12-inch on 180-gram vinyl and features four new remixes, including a "Jaded Mix" and "Thrash Mix," which has been reworked by Madonna producer Mirwais. A download card is also included. The Activision game was released in Sept. 2014 and features a mostly orchestral soundtrack composed by Michael Salvatori, C Paul Johnson and others, with contributions from McCartney. - New Musical Express, 1/10/15...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, McCartney is reportedly very keen to get the Beatles' catalog on the new Pono music store, which is sponsored by Neil Young and was launched earlier in January with a library of 2 million-plus songs from the three major labels. Pono used the high-quality FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) format as its standard, and musician/producer says that the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album "will blow your mind" after hearing the 1967 album in that format. - Billboard, 1/12/15...... Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson has lent vocals to a new track by the L.A. band Mini Mansions. Bassist Zach Dawes of the band says that "as they got into harmonies Brian's name came up kind of as a pie-in-the-sky idea. I followed up with him and sent him a rough cut of the song. Then that rare moment occurred where the idealised version of something becomes a reality." The song will be featured on the band's forthcoming album, The Great Pretender, which is due Mar. 23 through T Bone Burnett's Electromagnetic Recordings label. Meanwhile, the Beach Boys are set to launch a UK tour in May and June, playing dates in Manchester (5/27), London (5/31), Brighton (6/3) and Cardiff (6/4). The band last toured the UK in 2012, during which Mike Love issued a statement effectively sacking founding members Brian Wilson and Al Jardine. - New Musical Express, 1/13/15...... Billy JoelBilly Joel will be among the headliners at the 2015 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn., this June, organizers announced on Jan. 12. Other big names set to appear at the 13th annual Bonnaroo fest include Robert Plant and his band Sensational Space Shifters, My Morning Jacket, Mumford & Suns, Deadmau5, Kendrick Lamar, Florence and the Machine, Alabama Shakes, Slayer, Spoon, Ben Folds and Earth, Wind & Fire. A total lineup of 98 acts are scheduled to perform at the event, which in 2014 hosted such artists as Elton John, Kanye West, Skrillex and Jack White. - Billboard, 1/13/15...... Attorneys representing both parties in a lawsuit involving Van Halen and drummer Alex Van Halen's ex-wife Kelly Van Halen have settled the case in which Kelly Van Halen was accused of diluting the band's name. On Jan. 5, the attorneys informed a judge that a lawsuit filed in Oct. 2013 should be dismissed, after three years of fighting at the U.S. Trademark Office and another 15 months in a California federal courtroom. After divorcing from Alex, Kelly Van Halen named her construction and interior design company after herself and attempted to register a trademark on her own name for products like chairs, children's blankets, bathing suits, building construction, interior design services and more. The band claimed that Kelly's trademarks were confusingly similar to their own and that she was diluting Van Halen, passing off Van Halen and committing unfair competition for Van Halen. But now the case won't get to jury after being "amicably resolved," and Kelly will be allowed to use her full name for her businesses, but has agreed to stay away from any music-related services that might tread upon the band's ground. - The Hollywood Reporter, 1/9/15...... Former U.F.O. and Scorpions guitarist Michael Schenker will release a new studio album entitled Spirit On A Mission in the UK on Mar. 23, and a day later in the US. The 12-track album of all-new materal features Schenker's Temple of Rock band including ex-Scorpions Herman Rarebell (drums) and Francis Buchholz (bass), ex-Rainbow's Doogie White (vocals) and Wayne Findlay (guitar, keyboards). The album will be released on CD, Deluxe Edition (CD+DVD), Deluxe 180 gram vinyl (special DMM-Cut), and digital download. The first single from the album, "Vigilante Man," will be available on Jan. 19. - Noble PR, 1/12/15...... Gary GlitterDisgraced '70s glam-rocker Gary Glitter appeared in a London court on Jan. 12 to face 10 charges relating to historic sex abuse crimes committed in the '70s and early '80s. However the case against the 70-year-old Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was adjourned. Glitter is accused of four counts of indecent assault involving one complainant between Jan. 31 and May 31, 1977. The complainant was aged 12 or 13 at the time. The former pop star is also accused of "administering a drug or other thing in order to facilitate sexual intercourse" and one count of sexual intercourse with a girl under 13 between the same dates. Glitter was convicted in 1999 of possession of child pornography and served four months in prison. After his release he relocated to Vietnam, where he was subsequently convicted of a string of child sexual abuse offenses. Glitter rose to prominence in the '70s with a string of UK No. 1 hits including "I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am)," "I Love You Love Me Love," and "Always Yours." In the US, he charted two Top 40 hits, "Rock and Roll Part 2" (No. 7), and "I Didn't Know I Love You (Till I Saw You Rock and Roll)" (No. 35). - NME, 1/13/15...... Former Neil Young and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bassist Tim Drummond died of unspecified causes on Jan. 10 in St. Louis County, Mo. He was 74. Known for an understated, restrained style of playing, Drummond performed and recorded with country and R&B stars, including Conway Twitty and James Brown, in the 1960s in South Carolina, Illinois and, later in the decade, Cincinnati, Ohio. Drummond contributed to Neil Young's classic 1972 set Harvest, and recorded and toured with Young and concerts that did not involve his primary backing band Crazy Horse. He also toured with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young as well as record and tour with CSN and the duo of Crosby and Nash. Moving to California led to Drummond becoming one of the most in-demand session bassists, often paired with drummer Jim Keltner. Together they were the rhythm section on CSNY's 1974 tour, during which time Drummond met Bob Dylan. Drummond later joined Dylan's band during the singer's "Christian gospel" phase, and co-wrote "Saved" with Dylan. He also appears on multiple albums by J.J. Cale, Ry Cooder and Graham Nash, and played on hit records by Don Henley, Bette Midler, Paula Abdul and Jewel. - Billboard, 1/12/15...... Longtime Kool & the Gang trombonist Clifford Adams died on Jan. 12 in Trenton, N.J., after a battle with liver cancer. He was 62. Adams reportedly had no heath insurance to cover medical expenses during his year-long cancer struggle, and his fellow musicians, family and friends attempted to raise money through fundraisers in Trenton for a liver transplant prior to his death. "Clifford was powered by family values and he was one of the baddest trombone players in all the planet," said his longtime friend and fellow Kool & the Gang musician Michael Ray. - Billboard, 1/12/15...... Actress Anita Ekberg, a striking blonde Swedish beauty best known for playing opposite Marcello Mastroianni in Federico Fellini's 1960 film La Dolce Vita" (The Sweet Life), died on Jan. 11 in a Rome clinic after a two-year illness. She was 83. Ms. Ekberg's career began after she was crowned Miss Sweden in the early 1950s, and she shot to global fame after playing the capricious actress Sylvia in La Dolce Vita. Her scene wading into a foutain ina strapless black dress, calling to Mastroianni in English, "Marcello! Come here. Hurry up," is one of the most famous in the history of cinema, and made her a sex symbol for a generation. A funeral has been planned in Rome the following week, her body will be cremated, and her ashes sent to Sweden, according to her lawyer.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on January 9th, 2015

Elvis PresleyAn acetate recording of "My Happiness," the first song Elvis Presley ever recorded, sold at auction for $300,000 on Jan. 8, what would have been the late singer's 80th birthday. An 18-year-old Presley recorded the song for a $4 fee in 1953 at Sun Records, the Memphis studio operated by Sam Phillips. According to legend, Presley then left the studio and went to the home of friend Ed Leek to listen to it as his family didn't have a record player. Presley ended up leaving the record behind, and it remained in Leek's and later his niece's possession until she contacted Graceland -- Presley's former home and now a museum and tourist attraction -- and it was offered for auction, with the bidding starting at $50,000. Other items on sale at the Graceland auction included an autographed copy of "That's All Right," a custom designed watch, Presley's first driver's license, and the jacket he wore in his iconic 1964 film Viva Las Vegas. To mark Presley's 80th birthday, hundreds of fans joined the Presley family in Memphis, Tennessee, to slice an eight-tier cake in celebration. Sony/Legacy Recordings have also planned a yearlong celebration of Presley's music, which includes releasing the singer's The Complete '60s Albums Collection Vol. 1 onto iTunes. Also, a new website called was launched the same day, featuring a comprehensive online database of the singer. In December, the largest Elvis retrospective ever mounted in Europe, "Elvis At The O2: The Exhibition Of His Life," opened in London. It showcases over 300 artifacts from the Presley family's treasured Graceland Archives, and is open for nine months. Meanwhile, Julien's auctions has announced two jets formerly owned by Elvis are going on their auction block. The company that operates the Graceland has told the current owners of the plane "Lisa Marie," and another plane called the "Hound Dog II," that it wants the planes removed from Graceland by late Apr. 2015, or shortly afterward. Although the planes are not airworthy, their interiors have been preserved and were on display at Graceland until recently. Julien's is accepting bids on the planes until Feb. 2. - NME/Billboard, 1/9/15.

Led Zeppelin announced on Jan. 8 that they will release a Super Deluxe Edition of their 1975 double-LP Physical Graffiti on Feb. 23, one day before the 40th anniversary of the album's Feb. 24, 1975, release. Remastered by Jimmy Page and featuring a companion disc of seven previously unreleased tracks (including rough mixes of the songs "In My Time Of Dying" and "Houses Of The Holy"), the reissue also features different takes on classic hits, including an early mix of "Trampled Under Foot" called "Brandy & Coke," and the Sunset Sound mix of "Boogie With Stu" and "Driving Through Kashmir." The deluxe album will be available from Feb. 23 via Atlantic/Swan Song in CD, Vinyl and digital formats. Zeppelin reissued their first five albums in 2014, making the Top 10 charts in several countries around the world. - New Musical Express, 1/8/15...... Paul McCartneyThe unlikely pairing of hip-hop star Kayne West and rock legend Paul McCartney on West's new single "Only One" has bowed at No. 35 in the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart, giving the former Beatle his first appearance in the Top 40 after a 25-year break. The touching ballad, a tribute to West's late mother, Dr. Donda West, sold 125,000 downloads in the week ending Jan. 4, according to Nielsen Music, and bowed at No. 10 on Digital Songs. It serves as the first single from West's upcoming studio album, and, according to Def Jam Records, is the first of further West/McCartney collaboarations. Sir Paul last reached the Top 40 more than 25 years ago, when "My Brave Face" rose to No. 25 in July 1989. The song is also McCartney's second to reach a Billboard chart in the past month. His "Hope for the Future" spent a week at No. 44 on the Hot Rock Songs chart dated Dec. 27. The song accompanies the online first-person shooter game Destiny. - Billboard, 1/9/15...... The Recording Academy has announced that former U.S. Pres. Jimmy Carter will present Bob Dylan with the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year honor during a pre-Grammy ceremony on Feb. 6 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Dylan's accolade was announced in Sept. 2014, with MusiCares Foundation CEO Neil Portnow saying "Dylan's body of creative work has contributed to America's culture, as well as that of the entire world, in genuinely deep and lasting ways." Performing at the show will be Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Jones and John Mellencamp, among others. Proceeds from the event, which is in its 25th year, will support MusiCares, which provides financial and medical help to musicians in need. - AP/Billboard, 1/6/15...... The copyright infringement trial brought by the family of Marvin Gaye against Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke over the controversial creation of the mega-hit song, "Blurred Lines," is scheduled to get underway in federal court in California on Feb. 10. In trial that will surely be an historic one for the music industry, both sides have submitted memos that outline their key arguments and evidence over whether "Blurred Lines" is or isn't a copyright infringement of Gaye's 1977 chart-topper "Got to Give It Up." As the Gaye family seeks compensation from Williams and Thicke's profits from "Blurred Lines" as well as statutory damages, Williams and Thicke hope to limit potential damages to the value of the license fee they would have paid for the Gaye songs. - The Hollywood Reporter, 1/6/15...... In related news, Daryl Hall has sued the Rural Media Group, which broadcasts his web show Live From Daryl's House, for expenses related to his appearance in last year's Rose Parade that he was allegedly promised would be reimbursed. The Hall & Oates singer appeared in a float called "You Make My Dreams Come True" in the 2014 New Year's Day parade in Pasadena, racking up more than $87,000 he claims to be owed. According to, Rural Media Group has been selling a Rose Parade DVD for $29.99 that includes Hall's photo on the cover and features his songs. - Billboard, 1/6/15...... Neil YoungNeil Young has revealed to Rolling Stone magazine that he's working on a new album with Willie Nelson's sons, Lukas and Micah Nelson. "I'm working on another album now that I'm going to be doing with Willie Nelson's sons. It's an upbeat review of the situation," Young said, adding that the working title is The Monsanto Years. Monsanto is the agriculture company Young has been publicly battling for years. The singer boycotted Starbucks last year over the coffee company's involvement with Monsanto in a lawsuit against the state of Vermont's new requirements to label genetically modified ingredients. Meanwhile, on Jan. 7 Young launched his much-hyped Pono music player. The device, which according to Young offers high-quality audio and will be capable of storing 1-2,000 high resolution songs, is now available for order online for a price of $260 and will be delivered to customers in February. "This is all about making music sound as good as it can," Young said of the Pono player. "Music is about having a good time feeling in your soul, whether it makes you laugh or it makes you cry. The mission of Pono is to make you feel as much as you can." - NME, 1/9/15...... AC/DC will be among the headliners at the Coachella 2015 festival, which is set for Indio, Calif., this spring. The Aussie head-bangers will perform on Apr. 10 & 17 during the two-weekend fest. Other headliners include Jack White, Drake, Steely Dan, Florence + the Machine and Tame Impala. - Billboard, 1/6/15...... The producers behing the Sting-penned Broadway musical "The Last Ship" announced on Jan. 6 that the production will close on Jan. 24 due to poor attendance. The show reportedly cost $15 million to produce with $625,000 or more weekly running costs, and producers said in the end they couldn't make the numbers work. News of the closure comes despite Sting joining the cast in Dec. 2014 in a late effort to boost flagging ticket sales and drum up much needed publicity. The musical was Sting's first to hit Broadway, and the early reviews were mixed at best, with the former Police frontman's score garnering critical praise and the book receiving less positive notices upon the show opening in October. - The Hollywood Reporter, 1/6/15...... The first ever academic conference on German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk will take place in the UK at Aston University in Birmingham on Jan. 20-21. "Volksmusik for the Twenty-First Century: Kraftwerk And The Birth Of Electronic Music In Germany" will feature former Kraftwerk member Wolfgang Flur will also read extracts from his memoir Kraftwerk: I Was A Robot and take part in a Q&A session. Kraftwerk, along with the Beatles, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 Grammy Awards, set for Jan. 26 at the Staples Center in L.A. - New Musical Express, 1/8/15...... British Classic Rockers Status Quo have spent a landmark 500 weeks in the UK charts, after their latest album Aquostic (Stripped Bare) currently at Number 34, has been in the charts for 11 weeks. Status Quo joins the likes of only 50 other artists, including Queen, the Beatles and Elvis Presley, who have been in the album charts for 500 weeks over their career. Queen, who have spent 1,457 weeks in the album charts, have spent the most weeks in the UK chart, which is compiled by the Official Charts Company. Status Quo will launch a 7-city UK tour at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall on Apr. 20. - NME, 1/5/15...... Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler's daughter, actress Liv Tyler, has sparked speculation she is engaged to David Beckham's close pal Dave Gardner by sporting a ring on her left hand. In September, Tyler confirmed she is pregnant with her second child, one month after going public with her romance with sports agent Gardner amid rumours they had been dating for months. Tyler has a 10-year-old son, Milo, from a previous relationship with British musician Royston Langdon. - 1/5/15...... Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood already chronicled his band's notorious, coke-fueled Seventies excesses in his first memoir, 1990's Fleetwood. But his new book, Play On: Now, Then, and Fleetwood Mac, brings his and the band's story up to date, breezes over the same material (with fewer lurid stories) and adds behind-the-curtain tidbits about the Mac's later years. But only Mac die-hards will want to read about the collapse of Fleetwood's third marriage. - Rolling Stone, 1/15/15...... Olivia Newton-JohnOlivia Newton-John and actress Didi Conn, who played memorable best friends and cousins Sandy and Frenchy in the 1978 classic movie Grease, reunited for a performance of the film's song "Summer Nights" at Las Vegas' Flamingo Hotel & Casino on Jan. 3 during Newton-John's show. Wearing black and pink jackets in tribute to their high school greaser girl and Pink Ladies roles, the two sang the famous "Summer Nights" track for the audience. "The Olivia Newton-John: Summer Nights" show features an eight-piece band and includes numerous Grease throwbacks, including "Hopelessly Devoted to You" and "You're the One That I Want," as well as Newton-John's 1980 single "Physical." - The Hollywood Reporter, 1/5/15...... Author David Ritz's new Aretha Franklin biography Respect delves into the Queen of Soul's dark side: her early drinking problems, her "gentleman pimp" first husband, her testy working relationships with producers like Luther Vandross and Jerry Wexler, and her deeply competitive streak, which she once unleashed on Whitney Houston while recording a duet. Ritz's writing can be choppy and indulgent, but his research is solid, and he vividly expresses what made her voice and albums so monumental in the Sixties. - Rolling Stone, 1/15/15...... Classic rockers Toto will release Toto XIV, their first studio album in ten years, on Mar. 24 in the US and a day earlier in the UK. Toto XIV is the band's first album of new material since 2006's Falling In Between. However, the band personally considers the new album to be the true follow-up to Toto IV, which made the band global superstars. "This is opposite of going through the motions," says keyboardist Steve Porcaro. "We just want to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. Be true to ourselves and make the best music we can. Entertain people which is what we were put on this earth for." Configurations include CD, with a Deluxe Edition available featuring a "Making of" Documentary on DVD. Additionally Toto XIV will be available as a 2LP vinyl set, and a Super Deluxe limited edition which includes the Deluxe CD/DVD edition, 2LP vinyl, an exclusive poster, t-shirt, and lithograph. Toto will kick off a world tour behind the album in Glasgow on May 21, 2015. - Noble PR, 1/8/15...... Iconic band Spain, featuring singer/bassist Josh Haden, have announced a 6-week tour from Jan. 28 - Mar. 11. Kicking off in Boston, Mass., the band then plays Lincoln Center in NYC, before club shows in Philly, D.C. and Brooklyn. The brief Northeast swing will see the band perform as a trio (bass, guitar, drums) and will mark the band's first East coast shows in 15 years. The multi-continent tour, which includes thirty shows in Europe, will support Spain's latest release, 2014's Sargent Place, which achieved glowing 4-star reviews from several music mags and newspapers. - 1888 Media, 1/7/15...... Ray McFall, a former owner of the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool where the Beatles played almost 300 times over a two-and-a-half year period, has died at the age of 88. Mr. McFall owned the club in the 1960s, changing it from a jazz venue to a rock 'n' roll club and booking Merseybeat bands like the Beatles. The Fab Four went on to play at the legendary basement venue 292 times. "It was Ray who opened it up to those early Merseybeat sessions, which led to the whole Merseybeat explosion," said Jon Keats, a director of the Cavern. "It was completely his vision that moved the club forward, with what turned into the huge Merseybeat explosion and the Beatles' success and Gerry and the Pacemakers and all the main bands." The venue also hosted gigs by the Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, John Lee Hooker and Howlin' Wolf. But in 1966, McFall was declared bankrupt and the Cavern Club was forced to close. In 1973, the cellar was filled in but the club was rebuilt near the original site and opened again in 1984. - The BBC, 1/8/15..... Bill GrahamFamed rock concert promoter and music impresario Bill Graham will get his first ever museum retrospective when a "Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution" exhibit opens at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles starting May 7. The exhibit will feature never before seen photos and artifacts on loan from the Graham family, including the original artwork of several iconic Fillmore concert posters, along with archival concert footage, historical and new video interviews and psychedelic art related to Graham, who was godfather of the San Francisco concert scene and one ofthe most influential concert promoters in history. The Berlin-born Graham, who died in a helicopter crash in 1991 at the age of 60, was known for working with such major rock acts as the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, among many others. The exhibition, which will run through Oct. 11, coincides with two 50th anniversaries: Graham's first concert and the Grateful Dead's live debut. - Billboard, 1/9/15...... Acclaimed gospel artist Andra Crouch, a seven-time Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, arranger, producer and pastor, died at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 3 after suffering a heart attack. He was 72. Crouch, who penned several popular gospel songs such as "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power," also directed the choirs that sang on Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" and Madonna's "Like a Prayer." He was often praised for bridging the gap between popular music and gospel, bringing a contemporary pop and R&B sensibility to his music. He also served as a pastor alongside his sister at the New Christ Memorial Church in San Fernando, Calif. - Billboard, 1/8/15...... Actor Rod Taylor, known for his leading roles in such films as The Birds and The Time Machine, died on Jan. 8 at his home in Los Angeles. He was two days shy of turning 85. Mr. Taylor big breakthrough came with his starring turn in The Time Machine, director George Pal's 1960 adaptation of the H. G. Wells 1895 sci-fi classic. He also played the heroic Mitch Brenner in Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 classic The Birds, coming to the aid of Tippi Hedren. His dozens of other movie credits include Giant (1956), The V.I.Ps (1963), Sunday in New York (1963), Do Not Disturb (1965) and The Glass Bottom Boat (1966). Most recently, the suave native of Sydney, Australia, played Winston Churchill in director Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds (2009). His TV credits include Hong Kong, Bearcats!, The Oregon Trail, Outlaws and Falcon Crest. - The Hollywood Reporter, 1/8/2015...... Irwin Steinberg, a co-founder of Mercury Records, passed away at his home in Brattleboro, Vermont, on Dec. 29. He was 94. Before entering the music business, Mr. Steinberg studied at the University of Chicago, gained a Masters from the University of California and served in the AirCorps. After leaving Mercury Records in 1968, he went on to become chairman and CEO of Polygram Records, where he worked for over 30 years. - NME, 1/4/15.

The death of British rocker Joe Cocker on Dec. 22 after battle with small cell lung cancer has spurred his fans to celebrate the rock legend's music in droves. Cocker's catalog of albums saw a 2,319 percent sales gain in the week ending Dec. 28, according to Nielsen Music, rising to 22,000 sold (up from 1,000 the week before). His biggest seller for the week was The Best of Joe Cocker: 20th Century Masters the Millennium Collection (released in 2000), which sold 7,000 (up 4,878 percent), good for a No. 75 debut on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart. It was the singer's first appearance on the chart since 2007. Meanwhile, Cocker's songs sold a combined 121,000 downloads in the week ending Dec. 28, a 3,630 percent surge. His best-selling tune during the week was his iconic cover of the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends," which moved 32,000 downloads (up 5,090 percent). It debuted at No. 6 on Rock Digital Songs, and No. 8 on the overall Hot Rock Songs chart (which measures sales, airplay and streaming). Cocker's 1972 track "Feeling Alright," also bowed on Hot Rock Songs, at No. 22, selling 13,000 downloads for the week (up 2,734 percent). Overall streams of Cocker's songs grew to 3.87 million for the week, a 1,241 percent blast. His top-streamed song in the week ending Dec. 28 was "With a Little Help From My Friends" with 1.3 million (up 1,716 percent). Finally, Cocker debuted at No. 84 on the Billboard Artist 100 chart, which ranks most popular acts across Billboard's most influential charts, including the Hot 100, Top Album Sales and the Social 50. - Billboard, 1/2/15...... Peter GabrielIn an op-ed published by, Peter Gabriel is advocating the use of unbiased video evidence in the United States' legal system. "How is it that despite compelling video evidence, justice can be so elusive for the victims of police brutality?" the former Genesis frontman ask in the piece titled "Tech Can Make Video Evidence a Cornerstone of Justice." Gabriel contends evidence in courtrooms is often based on our "fallible memories, spoken evidence produced long after the event" -- that is proved to be unreliable and often reimagined. "Justice flourishes in the light, in openness and transparency, in which the defense and prosecution are seen to be treated fairly and given equal opportunity," he said, and also encouraged tech companies to create a "proof mode" on video evidence so that investigators, journalists and audiences to know whether a piece of media has been tampered with at all. - Billboard, 12/30/14...... Mega-selling hip-hop star Kayne West has released his latest single, "Only One," online with Paul McCartney on organ. Instead of the rapper's usual bombast, the song boasts a spare arrangement with West tenderly singing from the perspective of his late mother as she looks down from the heavens and addresses him. "Hello my only one, just like the morning sun/ You'll keep on rising till the sky knows your name," the song's chorus goes. It's possible that West and the famous former Beatle will collaborate again, as the New York Post reported in 2014 that the pair were working on a song called "Piss On My Grave." Aside from West's "Only One" track (now available on iTunes), McCartney's most-recent work is the song "Hope For The Future," his song featured on the soundtrack of video game Destiny. - New Musical Express, 1/1/15...... In an interview with the New York Times promoting his new book Sound Man, engineer and record producer Glyn Johns describes the Beatles' original Phil Spector-produced LP Let It Be as "a bunch of garbage." "I was disappointed that Lennon got away with giving it to Spector, and even more disappointed with what Spector did to it," Johns told the paper. "It has nothing to do with the Beatles at all. Let It Be is a bunch of garbage. As I say in the book, he puked all over it. I've never listened to the whole thing, I've only listened to the first few bars of some things and said, 'Oh, forget it.' It was ridiculously, disgustingly syrupy." In the book, Johns also claims that Bob Dylan enquired about the possibility of making an album with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. "He asked me if I would find out whether the others would be interested," Johns says, however Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger brushed off that idea. - NME, 1/2/15...... According to Nielsen Music, vinyl LP sales hit another historic high in 2014. The '70s favorite music format grew by 52 percent in 2014 to 9.2 million copies (up from 6.1 million in 2013). For the seventh straight year, more vinyl albums were sold than in any other year since Nielsen started tracking music sales in 1991. Notably, there were 94 albums that sold at least 10,000 copies on vinyl in 2014 -- up tremendously from 46 titles in 2013. Nielsen says 3.6 percent of all albums sold in 2014 were on vinyl. To compare, 10 years ago in 2004, just 0.2 percent of all albums sold were on vinyl (1.2 million of 681.4 million). - Billboard, 12/31/14...... Lindsey BuckinghamIn a new interview with the PBS television network, Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham hints that the band may be entering into their final years together, describing their forthcoming world tour as the "last act" for the group. Discussing the possibility of hearing new music from the band, as well as their live plans, Buckingham said: "We're going to continue working on the new album, and the solo stuff will take a back seat for a year or two. A beautiful way to wrap up this last act." Fleetwood Mac are set to kick off a tour of the UK in 2015 playing multiple shows in London in May, then visiting Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin in June before wrapping with two shows in Leeds on June 30 and July 5. They'll also headline The Isle Of Wight Festival in June, their only UK festival appearance of 2015. - NME, 1/3/15...... Grand Ole Opry cast member Little Jimmy Dickens, known for such humorous country hits as "May The Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose," "Take An Old Cold Tater (And Wait)" and "A-Sleeping At The Foot Of The Bed," died on Jan. 2 in Nashville due to cardiac arrest. He was 94. Mr. Dickens came to prominence in country music in the late 1940s, during the time of Hank Williams and Eddy Arnold, and became the last man standing from that era -- continuing to entertain fans at the Grand Ole Opry less than two weeks ago. Born Dec. 19, 1920 in Bolt, W.Va., Mr. Dickens became a member of the WSM's Grand Ole Opry Radio show in Aug. 1948, and signed with Columbia the next month. The following year, he scored four Top 10 records on the country chart, and became one of the genre's biggest stars in the early 1950s, thanks to continued success with singles such as "I'm Little But I'm Loud," "Hillbilly Fever," and "Out Behind The Barn." In 1965, the singer recorded his biggest hit with "May The Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose," which became his only No. 1 country hit. It also marked his lone appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart, peaking at No.15. In 1983, Mr. Dickens achieved the pinnacle of his career with his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and continued to tour through the years, but became known as one of the symbols of the Opry during his later years. He often introduced many newcomers to the stage, and also extended invitations to many to become members, such as the Oak Ridge Boys and Trace Adkins. Mr. Dickens turned 94 on Dec. 19, and made his final appearance on the Opry stage the next night. He was admitted to the hospital on Christmas Day. - Billboard, 1/2/15...... Tony award-winning stage and screen actor Edward Herrmann, who portrayed Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1976 TV movie Eleanor and Franklin and charmed audiences as the stuffy dad on TV's Gilmore Girls, died on Dec. 31 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital of brain cancer. He was 71. Herrmann also appeared in a 1977 sequel to the Roosevelt biopic, Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years, and in the 1982 movie musical Annie. In 2014, he also provided the voice for FDR in Ken Burns' PBS documentary series The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, while his urbane tones were heard on a variety of other documentaries and on hundreds of audio books including Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken. He had recently narrated a documentary on cancer, according to his son Rory Herrman. His other major film credits includie "Reds and The Wolf of Wall Street, and he was an acclaimed stage actor whose Tony-winning performance came in 1976 for a revival of "Mrs. Warren's Profession" opposite Lynn Redgrave. - AP, 12/31/14...... Donna DouglasActress Donna Douglas, best known as the buxom tomboy Elly May Clampett on the hit 1960s sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies, died on Jan. 1 in Baton Rouge, La., near her hometown of Zachary, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 82. Chosen for the role of Elly May from more than 500 other actresses, Ms. Douglas said she felt at ease playing the role because, like her character, she grew up a poor Southern tomboy. Her childhood in Pride, Louisiana, came in handy when she was asked during her audition to milk a goat. "I had milked cows before," she recalled in a 2009 interview with AP. "I figured they were equipped the same, so I just went on over and did it." The series, which ran from 1962 to 1971, also starred the late Buddy Ebsen and Irene Ryan as well as Max Baer Jr., who turned 77 on Jan. 4. Ms. Douglas' career began with beauty pageants -- she was Miss Baton Rouge and named Miss New Orleans in 1957 -- followed by a trip to New York to pursue a career in entertainment. After appearances on The Perry Como Show and The Steve Allen Show, she landed a featured role in the 1959 film Career, starring Dean Martin and Shirley MacLaine, and a bit part in the film musical Li'l Abner. She also had small roles as Tony Randall's secretary in the 1961 Doris Day/Rock Hudsonromantic comedy Lover Come Back, and in the memorable Twilight Zone episode "The Eye of the Beholder" in 1962. After The Beverly Hillbillies, Ms. Douglas worked in real estate, recorded country and gospel music albums and wrote a book for children that drew on biblical themes. Ms. Douglas was married twice, to Roland John Bourgeois, Jr. until 1954, and then to Beverly Hillbillies director Robert M. Leeds. They divorced in 1980 after nine years of marriage. Survivors include her son, Danny P. Bourgeois. - AP, 1/2/15...... Jazz guitarist Jeff Golub, who played alongside such artists as Rod Stewart and Billy Squier, died on Jan. 1 of an as yet undisclosed cause, however he had been battling a rare brain disease called Progressive Supranuclear Pals that caused him to inexplicably lose his eyesight in 2011. He was 59. Golub released 12 solo albums and three more as the leader of the instrumental band, Avenue Blue. He played alongside Stewart from 1988-1995, on four albums and five world tours. He also did session work for such pop and jazz acts as Tina Turner, Vanessa Williams, Peter Wolf and Bill Evans, releasing a number of his own albums over the years. - Billboard, 1/2/15...... Frankie Randall, a vocalist, pianist, actor and pal of Frank Sinatra who performed the theme song for the 1960s NBC adventure series Flipper, died of lung cancer at JFK Medical Center in Indio, Calif., on Dec. 28. He was 76. Randall toured in nightclubs around the country, was a regular on Dean Martin's 1966 summer variety series for NBC and appeared in the 1973 film The Day of the Wolves. He met Frank Sinatra while playing Jilly's bar in New York and often accompanied him as his pianist. He also served as entertainment director for The Golden Nugget in Atlantic City and later became a vice president at the Bally's casino. - The Hollywood Reporter, 12/31/14.