Posted by Administrator on April 5th, 2015
Midwest prog-rock legends Kansas "and Toto too" have returned to the Billboard Hot 200 albums chart for the week ending Mar. 29. Kansas' new Miracles Out of Nowhere, which doubles as the soundtrack to a new documentary about the band with the same name, bowed at No. 61 on the chart, while Toto's Toto XIV bowed at No. 98. Kansas last visited the Hot 200 chart in 1988 with Spirit of Things, which peaked at No. 114, and Toto last charted in the Hot 200 with their 1990 greatest-hits compilation Past to Present 1977-1990, which reached No. 153 in 1990. Kansas' best charting LP ever was 1978's Point of Know Return, while Toto also reached No. 4 with its 1982 smash Toto IV, which also won a Grammy for Album of the Year. - Billboard, 4/3/15...... An update on Joni Mitchell's official website on Apr. 3 says the Canadian folk/rock legend is getting "stronger each day" after being rushed to the hospital on Mar. 31. Mitchell, 71, was found unconscious in her Los Angeles home, and was reportedly alert on her way to the hospital. "Joni has been hospitalized. We are awaiting official word on her condition and will post it here as soon as we know," her website first informed fans on Mar. 31. She has long suffered from a little-understood condition called Morgellons disease, which is characterized by an array of skin symptoms, including sores, a crawling sensation either on or under the skin, and what the Mayo Clinic describes as "fiber-like filaments emerging from the sores." Her site now says that she "remains under observation in the hospital and is resting comfortably... We are encouraged by her progress and she continues to improve and get stronger each day." "In America, the Morgellons is always diagnosed as 'delusion of parasites,' and they send you to a psychiatrist," Mitchell wrote in her autobiography Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words. "I'm actually trying to get out of the music business to battle for Morgellons sufferers to receive the credibility that's owed to them." - Billboard/HuffingtonPost.com, 4/4/15...... Carlos Santana will be among two honorees at the Billboard Latin Music Awards, which is set for Apr. 30 at the University of Miami in Florida. Santana, who will be given the Spirit of Hope Award for his philanthropic and humanitarian contributions beyond his musical work, will also perform live at the ceremony, along with his fellow 2015 BLMA honoree, Brazilian singer/songwriter Roberto Carlos, who will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Spirit of Hope Award was created in honor of the late Selena. The show will also be telecast live on Telemundo beginning at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CDT. - Billboard, 4/3/15...... Kiss and the Doobie Brothers will be among those honored at the upcoming 32nd Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on Apr. 29 at Loews Hollywood Hotel. Kiss will be presented with the ASCAP Founders Award, while the Doobie Brothers will be awarded the ASCAP Voice of Music Award for giving voice to the spirit of a generation. Kiss, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, are continuing their 40th anniversary world tour, and the Doobies' 2014 album Southbound features their best-loved songs in duet with such country acts as Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton and Toby Keith, among other country artists. - The Hollywood Reporter, 4/2/15...... In Bruce Springsteen lore, the fabled Asbury Park, N.J. club The Upstage is the equivalent of the Beatles' Cavern Club or the Sun Studios in Memphis, Tenn., where Elvis Presley first recorded. But a crowdfunding attempt to save The Upstage with a $3 million renovation has been a disappointment, as fans of The Boss have only contributed $500 so far over a 14-month period to save the club from the wrecking ball, and the property will likely turned into condominiums. The Upstage, which was shuttered in 1971 but still largely intact, is now up for sale, and Sirius E Street Radio contributer Kevin Farrell says that from 1969-71 it "was a place where Bruce, Southside Johnny, Little Steven Van Zandt and others all got their start... They would jam until the wee early hours of the morning." The building is currently owned by Richard Yorkowitz, who purchased the Cookman Ave. building for $1 million at a public auction. Additionally, a petition -- signed by notable supporters like photographer Eric Meola, known for his photos of Springsteen, including the iconic Born to Run cover art -- is circulating to save the venue from extinction. The petition can be signed at Change.org. - Billboard, 4/3/15...... The Rolling Stones say they're considering playing their classic 1971 album Sticky Finger in its entirety on their upcoming 15-date "Zip Code Tour" of North America. In an interview with Rolling Stone, frontman Mick Jagger says the band is "floating the idea of playing the whole album... At the very least, we'll play the songs we don't normally play." A deluxe expanded version of Sticky Fingers will drop May 26 in North America (a day earlier in the rest of the world) and contain an alternative version of "Brown Sugar" featuring Eric Clapton, unreleased interpretations of "Bitch," "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" and "Dead Flowers" as well as five tracks recorded live at London's The Roundhouse in 1971 including "Honky Tonk Women" and "Midnight Rambler." Ahead of the release, the Stones have issued a previously unrelased acoustic version of "Wild Horses." The Stones kick off their summer Zip Code Tour on May 24 in San Diego with tickets going on general sale April 13. - Billboard, 4/2/15...... As The Who prepare to kick off the U.S. leg of their "Who Hits 50" anniversary tour later in April, a new documentary profiling the two men who guided their career between 1965 and 1975 -- Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp -- is hitting US theaters this spring. Directed by James D. Cooper, Lambert + Stamp focuses on the two men's personalities and their unlikely pairing. Lambert was gay, cultured and educated; Stamp's a working-class East Ender, and in the Who, they saw a unique union of two working-class rockers (Roger Daltrey and John Entwhistle), an off-kilter personality (Keith Moon) and an art school student (Pete Townshend). Lambert + Stamp opened Apr. 3 in L.A. and New York, and will roll out through the country in later in April and May. - Billboard, 4/1/15...... David Bowie will bring the main character from his 1976 cult British sci-fi film The Man Who Fell to Earth to off-Broadway's New York Theater Workshop as part of its 2015-16 season. Bowie has written new songs for the world premiere project, titled "Lazarus," as well as new arrangements of previously recorded material. The musical inspired by the 1963 novel by Walter Tevis was turned into a film version by director Nicolas Roeg, in which Bowie portrayed an extraterrestrial who crash-lands on Earth while seeking water to save his drought-stricken planet. Bowie, who is writing the score with Irish playwright Edna Walsh, is not expected to appear in the stage production. - The Hollywood Reporter, 4/3/15...... Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono have remembered John Lennon's ex-wife Cynthia Lennon with posts to their respective websites and on Twitter. "The news of Cynthia's passing is very sad," McCartney wrote on his website. "She was a lovely lady who I've known since our early days together in Liverpool. She was a good mother to Julian and will be missed by us all, but I will always have great memories of our times together." "Peace and love to Julian Lennon God bless Cynthia love Ringo and Barbaraxx," Ringo tweeted on Apr. 1. Yoko Ono -- who married John Lennon in 1969, the year after his divorce from Cynthia -- shared a lovely statement about Cynthia's "strong zest for life" on her site ImaginePeace.com. "[She] was a great person and a wonderful mother to Julian. She had such a strong zest for life and I felt proud how we two women stood firm in the Beatles family. Please join me in sending love and support to Julian at this very sad time." Cynthia died on Apr. 1 after a brief battle with cancer. - Billboard, 4/1/15...... Meanwhile, Paul McCartney recently told the UK's Q magazine that he often finds inspiration for new songs on the toilet. "The trick is to go off on your own and finish it," Sir Paul said. "Go into the toilet -- toilets are good. Separate yourself." McCartney also revealed that he still feels "shy" and "embarrassed" when playing a new song to someone for the first time. He also added that he thought his recent collaborator Kayne West's performance of "All Day" at this year's Brit Awards "was great." "If you're gonna work with Kanye you have to accept who he is. Whether you like what Kanye does or you don't, he an artist and it's his prerogative," Macca said. - NME, 4/1/15...... It's been more than 50 years since Ringo Starr declared himself a fan of Beethoven -- "especially his poems." But all that time, he's reigned as one of rock & roll's most beloved sages. Postcards From Paradise, his 18th solo effort, is a masterful summary of Ringo-ness: his cheer, his cheek, his wisdom. He gets a little help from old friends like Joe Walsh (who also happens to be his brother-in-law) and Todd Rundgren -- and builds the title tune out of Beatles quips: "It's like I said the night before/I'll love you when you're 64." Best of all is "Rory and the Hurricanes," celebrating his pre-Beatles band -- the one that made Ringo a star in Liverpool when the other three Fabs were nobodies. - Rolling Stone, 4/9/15...... Brian Wilson's latest solo LP, No Pier Pressure, began as songs for the Beach Boys' followup to their 2012 intermittenly great reunion LP, That's Why God Made the Radio. But when the group ran aground once more, Wilson called in a quirky mixtape's worth of young collaborators, and it became something else: the sound of a famously cloistered artist finally leaving his room. The highlights aren't mere vocal cameos but writing collaborations, including "Guess You Had to Be There," a wry comment on Sixties nostalgia that was penned with country "It girl" Kacey Musgraves. There are a few too many retreads (the "Sloop John B"-ish "Sail Away"), but it adds up to Wilson's most forward-looking solo LP, 2004's Brian Wilson Presents Smile notwithstanding. - Rolling Stone, 4/9/15...... Frank Zappa is thought to have recorded 100 albums throughout his career, and the final one, Dance Me This, is set to be released this summer. Prior to his passing in Dec. 1993 of cancer at age 52, Zappa told Guitarist magazine that he was working on "a Synclavier album called Dance Me This, which is designed to be used by modern dance groups." He had initially planned to release it the following year. Now the album has a confirmed release date of June 1. - NME, 4/4/15.... Rather than just bring in a few glossy names to decorate his greatest hits, Van Morrison digs up deep cuts from mostly overlooked albums on his latest, Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue. And his partners range from grizzled vets -- Steve Winwood, Mavis Staples, Taj Mahal -- to surprise guests like Natalie Cole, Mark Knopfler and Michael Bublé. Even if the artists probably figured they were signing on for "Into the Mystic" or "Tupelo Honey" karaoke, they rise to the Van challenge, helping him rescue songs like 1991's "Some Peace of Mind" and 1970's "Lord, If I Ever Needed Someone" that only die-hards know. - Rolling Stone, 4/9/15...... British heavy metal legends Judas Priest have announced it will release its own brand of "British Steel" coffee. The "ultimate hesher" blend has been produced by Chicago-based Dark Matter Coffee to mark the 35th anniversary of Priest's British Steel album and goes on sale Apr. 14 via DarkMatter.com's website and its three Chicago coffee shops. "Instantly recognizable for their peerless attack, the fuel for this inexorable juggernaut must be both ebullient and unremitting. The brewed crude sparkles cup after cup, sin after sin. Death to False Coffee," gushes the press release. Priced $18.00, each 12 oz. bag will come with a cassette single containing two of the band's songs -- "Grinder" and "Snakebite." - Billboard, 4/1/15...... After a planned reboot of Ozzy Osbourne and his family's reality show The Osbournes was announced by VH1 in March, Osbourne's son Jack Osbourne has filed several lawsuits against several companies, including some he partially owns, charging one is trying to unjustly claim revenue for upcoming episodes of the show. JOKS, the production company behind the 2002-05 MTV series, claims Schweet Entertainment, which Jack Osbourne owns with producing partners Rob Worsoff and Brian Wendel, contends it has a 55 percent interest in any upcoming episodes of The Osbournes. JOKS claims to be the exclusive owner of interest in the show. The Osbournes reboot featuring the Black Sabbath frontman, his wife Sharon Osbourne, his daughter (and recently exited Fashion Police host) Kelly and son Jack is expected to air later in 2015. - The Hollywood Reporter, 4/3/15...... Robert Burns Jr., the former drummer on one of the co-founders of Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, died in a car crash near Cartersville, Ga., on Apr. 4. He was 64. According to the Georgia State Patrol, Burns' went off a curve in a road just before midnight on Apr. 4, striking a mailbox and a tree. Burns was killed in the wreck, and the single-vehicle accident remains under investigation. Burns was with Lynyrd Skynyrd as it recorded some of its biggest hits, including "Sweet Home Alabama," ''Gimme Three Steps," and "Free Bird." He left the band in 1974. - AP, 4/4/15...... Gary Ross Dahl, best known for creating the wildly popular 1970s fad "The Pet Rock," died on Mar. 23 of obstructive pulmonary disease in the southern Oregon town of Jacksonville. He was 78. Born Dec. 18, 1936, in Bottineau, N.D., Dahl was raised in Spokane, Wash. In 1975, he was a Los Gatos, Cal., advertising executive when he came up with the Pet Rock idea. The smooth stones came packed in a cardboard box containing a tongue-in-cheek instruction pamphlet for "care and feeding." Dahl estimated he had sold 1.5 million Pet Rocks, which required no work and no time commitment, at roughly $4 each by the time the fad fizzled. The Pet Rock craze "was great fun when it happened," Dahl's wife Marguerite recalled in a telephone interview. Over time, however, "people would come to him with weird ideas, expecting him to do for them what he had done for himself. And a lot of times they were really, really stupid ideas." By 1988, Dahl told The Associated Press he had avoided interviews for years because of what he called "a bunch of wackos" appearing out of nowhere with threats and lawsuits. Of the little rock that became a household word, he said, "Sometimes I look back and wonder if my life wouldn't have been simpler if I hadn't done it." Dahl also the author of a "for Dummies" series book, Advertising for Dummies. He and his wife retired and moved to Jacksonville in 2006, and were avid sailors on San Francisco Bay, where she says she plans to sprinkle his ashes in May. - AP, 4/1/15.
Cynthia Lennon, the former wife of John Lennon and mother of their son Julian Lennon, passed away at her home in Mallorca, Spain, on Apr. 1. Cynthia, 75, had been battling cancer and died with Julian by her side. Born Cynthia Powell in 1939, she met John Lennon in a calligraphy class at the Liverpool College of Art in 1957. Although engaged at the time, she broke up the relationship to date the future Beatle. Upon learning that she was pregnant in 1962, the couple married on Aug. 23 of that year followed by a lunch with George Harrison and Paul McCartney at a nearby restaurant, and later that evening John and the Beatles, who would gain international superstardom the following year, performed live. Julian Lennon was born on Apr. 8, 1963, and Beatles manager Brian Epstein urged the couple to keep their marriage secret as he felt it would affect the group's image. John Lennon reportedly had multiple affairs during the course of their marriage, and they divorced in Nov. 1968, after Cynthia discovered Lennon's relationship with his future second wife, Yoko Ono. In early 1970 Cynthia married an Italian hotelier named Roberto Bessanini, which ended in divorce in 1973. She later married an engineer named John Twist, but they ended their marriage in 1983. In 2002, she married a nightclub owner named Noel Charles and stayed with him until his death. Cynthia wrote two books about her life, A Twist of Lennon (1978) and John, which was published in 2005. Julian Lennon reported the news of her death on his website and also posted a video tribute to his mom that he created. It shows black-and-white pictures of Cynthia throughout her life, set to his 2011 song "Beautiful." - Rolling Stone, 4/1/15.