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 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...... U.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...... Billboard 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.
Record 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...... Jimmy 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." - WENN.com, 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 will.i.am 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 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...... Disgraced '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.