Posted by Administrator on April 30th, 2015
In an interview with the UK music mag Uncut, The Who's Pete Townshend admitted that he doesn't find performing fulfilling anymore -- "but I'm brilliant at it." "The shows? I don't like them," Townshend said as the Who prepares to resume the North American leg of their "Who Hits 50" tour at the start of May. "I don't find them fulfilling. But I'm brilliant at it. I find it incredibly easy. I drift through it." Meanwhile, the guitarist will be honored for his charity work with a Stevie Ray Vaughan Award next month. The guitarist will be presented the award by Bruce Springsteen at a special benefit concert in New York on May 28. Townshend will also perform live at the event, with Joan Jett, Billy Idol and Foreigner's Mick Jones also set to appear. - New Musical Express, 4/30/15...... In related news, KISS principals Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley were honored with an ASCAP Founders Award at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards in Hollywood on Apr. 29, with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl doing the presentation. Grohl delivered a personal homage to the two that began from his own childhood days as a proud cadet in the KISS army. Accepting the award, Simmons declared that "Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters are carrying the flag that we hope will inspire the next generation of young kids." - Billboard, 4/30/15...... Paul McCartney returned to the hallowed Nippon Budokan venue, where the Beatles performed nearly 49 years agon in June and July 1966, on Apr. 28 for the last show on the Japan leg of his 2015 "Out There" tour. Sir Paul's current Japan shows, which also included a stop at the 40,000-seat Kyocera Dome in Osaka and three nights at the 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome, are makeup concerts for a tour in November of last year that was canceled due to his health. Notably, Macca performed the Help! track "Another Girl" live for the first time ever during the Budokan show (the Fab Four never performed the song in concert). Speaking about the gig, McCartney commented: "It was sensational and quite emotional remembering the first time and then experiencing this fantastic audience tonight. It was thrilling for us and we think it was probably the best show we did in Japan and it was great to be doing the Budokan 49 years later. It was crazy. We loved it." - Billboard/NME, 4/29/15...... Police in Memphis, Tenn., have recovered a pair of Elton John's heart-shaped glasses after they were stolen from the Rock 'n' Soul Museum there on Apr. 21. After an employee discovered the glasses, which are valued at more than $2,000, had been taken out of a display case during business hours, an investigator lifted prints and matched them to a suspect identified as 26-year-old Matthew Colvin of Southaven, Miss. Police there retrieved the glasses, and an arrest warrant for theft was issued for Colvin. The glasses went back on display on Apr. 29. In other Elton news, Nile Rodgers of Chic has revealed that John will contribute to the new Chic album. The LP is expected to be released this summer. - Billboard, 4/28/15...... Queen guitarist Brian May has clarified his political views in a new interview, saying he's "not anti-Tory but anti-David Cameron." May, who recently backed Green Party MP Caroline Lucas for re-election, is also urging people to vote "colourblind" at the upcoming General Election, which he described as "very crucial." May is a staunch animal rights campaigner, having protested against the badger cull, as well as the Tories' attempts to bring back fox hunting. "[Prime Minister Cameron] stands for privilege, for the continuation and acceleration in the difference between the extremely rich and extremely poor," May said. "I find that iniquitous and almost beyond belief... If the outcome is another David Cameron-led government then we're back in the saltmines. Like many people, anything but that would be good." - New Musical Express, 4/30/15...... Reps for Joni Mitchell are denying Internet rumours and a report on TMZ.com that the folk-rock legend is in a coma nearly a month after she was admitted to a Los Angeles hospital. "Contrary to rumors circulating on the Internet today, Joni is not in a coma," a post on JoniMitchell.com was published on Apr. 28. "Joni is still in the hospital -- but she comprehends, she's alert, and she has her full senses. A full recovery is expected," it continues. On Apr. 3, a post on the site said that "Joni is currently in intensive care in an L.A. area hospital but is awake and in good spirits.... Joni 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." The latest post added that "Joni is a strong-willed woman and is nowhere near giving up the fight. Please continue to keep Joni in your thoughts. You may add your well wishes for her at the website WeLoveYouJoni.com." However, according to TMZ, Mitchell's prognosis has seemingly changed, and multiple sources claim that her condition was far worse than the public was led to believe, with one insider alleging, "It's very serious." Prior to her recent hospitalization, Mitchell spoke publicly about suffering from Morgellons Disease, a rare skin condition which she described as "this weird, incurable disease that seems like it's from outer space." Morgellons is controversial in the medical community, with many doctors denying it even exists. - Billboard, 4/28/15...... Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne has given an update on the forthcoming Sabbath farewell album and tour. Speaking at a presser in Sao Paulo, Brazil, before he performed at the Monsters of Rock festival there, Osbourne said that "we are going to do another tour together... The plan is that next year [we'll do] the final Black Sabbath tour and album." On Apr. 9, a rep from Sabbath told Billboard, "There have been ongoing discussions about a Sabbath farewell tour, though nothing has been officially confirmed by the band." That same day, a version of Black Sabbath without drummer Bill Ward backed out of a November headlining appearance at Ozzfest Japan. They were replaced by an Ozzy Osbourne solo set. "Some want to work, some don't," Ozzy said in Sao Paulo, an apparent jab at Ward, who earlier in April wrote n his official Facebook page that he would not rejoin Sabbath without an apology from Osbourne for "often inaccurate statements" and a "signable" contract. Meanwhile, a planned reboot of Osbourne's MTV reality series The Osbournes won't be coming back after all, according to an exec with VH1. "We are no longer talking to the Osbournes about a series; that's not going to happen," Susan Levison, exec vp original programming and production at VH1. "We wish we could have worked it out, but it just didn't come together for us. The family has been absolutely lovely and we wish them the best. We'd love to figure out a way to work with them at some point in the future." VH1's plan to revive the series came 10 years after the show signed off at its sibling network, where its initial run was MTV's most-viewed series at that point. - Billboard/The Hollywood Reporter, 4/28/15...... The managers of Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tenn., released a statement on Apr. 26 stating Presley's Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog II custom-designed airplanes will permanently remain at the Memphis tourist attraction centered on the life and career of the late singer. The announcement ends confusion about the future of the airplanes, which had been owned by a company named OKC Partnership after Presley died in August 1977. On Apr. 21, OKC Partnership had received approval from the Memphis City Council to move the airplanes to another location just down the street from Graceland. Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, posted on Twitter that Graceland now owns the planes and they will remain at Graceland "4 ever." She did not elaborate. In other Elvis-related news, songwriter Sid Tepper, who penned such tunes for Presley as "The Lady Loves Me," "G.I. Blues," "Red Roses For A Blue Lady," and "Don't Come Running Back To Me," died on Apr. 24 at his home in Miami Beach, Fla., of natural causes. He was 96. In addition to Mr. Tepper's 45 songs for Elvis, he also wrote tracks for other artists including Frank Sinatra, Jeff Beck, The Beatles, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Ray Charles, Louie Armstrong, Wayne Newton, Robert Goulet and Nancy Wilson, among others. Mr. Tepper won a Country Music Award for Eddie Arnold's version of "Red Roses For A Blue Lady." In 2002, he was honored in Memphis for his work with Presley. - AP, 4/26/15...... Heart singer Ann Wilson became a bride for the first time ever over the last weekend of April. Wilson, 64, wed her boyfriend Dean Wetter, according to a report on People magazine's site. "Dean and I first met in the '80s and went on a date where we both got smashed and I tried to seduce him," Wilson sweetly told the magazine. "Like the gentleman he is, he declined. Years passed, we got back in touch after we had both grown up, and Pow!... It worked! Did it ever!," she added. During the 1970s, Wilson was famously in a relationship with Heart's then manager, Mike Fisher. - Billboard, 4/28/15...... David Bowie has announced plans to re-release his No. 1 1975 single "Fame" to mark its 40th anniversary. "Fame," co-written by John Lennon and featured on the glam-rocker's Young Americans album which dropped on July 25, 1975, will now be reissued as a limited-edition picture disc on July 24, backed by an alternate mix of it fellow Young Americans track "Right." Bowie also recently revealed he is working on a new stage show based on his 1976 film The Man Who Fell To Earth. - NME, 4/27/15..... Former UFO and Scorpions guitarist Michael Schenker will embark on a 2016 nationwide UK tour starting at the Bilston Robin in January 2016. Schenker will perform tracks from his current studio album Spirit On A Mission which features the singles "Vigilante Man" and "Live and Let Live" plus all the UFO, Scorpions and MSG rock classics. The 9-date tour gets underway on Jan. 20 at Bilston Robin and will run through Jan. 30 with a show at the Islington Assembly Hall. - Noble PR, 4/27/15...... Cable channels History/A&E/Lifetime have greenlighted a new Roots miniseries to be simulcast on all three channels. Roots, which in its original version premiered to huge ratings in 1976, is a historical portrait of American slavery recounting the journey of one family's will to survive, endure and ultimately carry on their legacy despite enormous hardship and inhumanity. Mark Wolper will serve as executive producer for the new miniseries, which will also be co-executive produced by original Roots star, LeVar Burton....... A new museum dedicated to late country music legend George Jones opened to the public on Apr. 24 in Nashville. Huge crowds were in attendance at the George Jones Museum, which features many mementos from Jones's career, including a jacket worn by the singer during his stint in the United States Marines, a letter and Bible given to him by his mother not long before her death in 1974, and a pair of boxing gloves autographed by George Foreman after the video shoot for "I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair" in 1992. "I'm just so happy that everyone is here," Jones's widow (and museum organizer) Nancy said. "It's an honor to show everyone what we've done. I loved my husband so much. I started in the '50s and went to 2000. I can't wait for everyone to see it." - Billboard, 4/27/15...... In other country music news, Merle Haggard, whose awards include a slew of Grammys, ACM Awards, and even a Kennedy Center Honor for "lifetime achievement," has just been presented with a high school diploma from his old high school, Kern High in Bakersfield, Cal. Haggard's elementary school friend Don Hemingway had petitioned the school to give his old pal a diploma for several years, and Kern High principal David Reese obligned prior to Haggard's show on Apr. 25 at Bakersfield's Fox Theater. "But I was only (in high school) nine days," said Haggard, who was described as bing "pleased but seemingly mystified." Haggard already has an honorary doctorate from Cal State Bakersfield. - Billboard, 4/29/15...... Actress Suzanne Crough, best known as tambourine-shaking daughter Tracy Partridge on the 1970-74 ABC sitcom The Partridge Family, died suddenly of undisclosed causes on at her home in Laughlin, near Las Vegas, Nev., on Apr. 27. She was 52. The child actress was also featured in TV commercials, and as an adult, she continued to work in movies for television and had a starring role in the film Teenage Father. The film won director Taylor Hackford an Oscar for best live action short film in 1979, and Crough was thanked in his acceptance speech. Las Vegas police said they believe Crough suffered a medical episode and that the circumstances of her death are not suspicious. Her husband, William Condray, said his wife was "a patient and loving wife, mother and grandmother." - AP, 4/28/15...... Singer Jack Ely, co-founder of the '60s band The Kingsmen and best known for his 1963 rendition of "Louie, Louie," died at home in Redmond, Ore., on Apr. 28, after a long illness. He was 71. Despite being one of the most famous songs of the 20th century, Ely's incoherent singing made the 1963 hit version of "Louie Louie" also one of the most misunderstood. The FBI was so mystified by the hard-to-understand lyrics that it conducted an investigation into whether the song was obscene. Ely had a falling out with the band shortly after the song was recorded. He later trained horses in Central Oregon. - AP, 4/28/15...... Comedian/actress Jayne Meadows, a longtime panelist on the classic CBS game show I've Got A Secret and the wife of former The Tonight Show host Steve Allen, died Apr. 26 of natural causes at her home in Encino, Cal. She was 95. Ms. Meadows' many film credits include Enchantment with Gregory Peck, The Thin Man with William Powell and Myrna Loy, and on TV she appeared on all the Golden Age drama series, including Hallmark Hall of Fame, Studio One and G.E. Theatre. She also appeared on the several long-running series -- from Hawaii Five-O and Adam-12 to The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. She appeared with her sister, Audrey Meadows, on NBC's dramatic series Sisters. - Deadline.com, 4/27/15.
Elton John is praising '70s Olympic champion and reality TV star Bruce Jenner for his "bravery" in deciding to discuss his reported transition from male to female during an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer on Apr. 24. "It's an incredibly brave thing to do, especially when you're older," Sir Elton told the Access Hollywood show on Apr. 23. "I admire him for doing it and I support him 100 percent." Jenner's two-hour interview proved to be ratings gold for ABC, scoring an impressive 5.2/17 among adults 18-49, with 16.9 million total viewers in the time period. - Billboard/ Deadline.com, 4/25/15...... Electric Light Orchestra mastermind Jeff Lynne was honored with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame during a ceremony on Apr. 23. Lynne's friends and fellow famous musicians Joe Walsh and Tom Petty were on hand to sing the praises of Lynne, with Walsh calling him "a true musical genius" and "one of the greatest stars rock has ever produced," and Petty gushing that Lynne was "the best overall musician I've ever met" and "the single greatest record producer I've ever encountered." "Let's put it this way," Petty said, "it says a lot when the Beatles get back together and George Martin can't make it, they get Jeff Lynne." "It was just so thrilling to think of all that and then having Tom and Joe say all those lovely things, it was very moving to me," Lynne told Billboard after the event. "You just think you're doing your bit and you don't realize that it's appreciated that much." Last September, the Birmingham, U.K. native made a triumphant return to the stage headlining a Hyde Park show for 50,000 fans, followed by a Grammy appearance in early 2015. Lynne has announced he has the first new ELO album since 2001's Zoom nearly completed, and will tour behind the new LP. - Billboard, 4/24/15...... As the Grateful Dead prepares for five "Fare Thee Well" shows in Santa Clara, Calif., and Chicago, Ill., in late June and early July, there are reports that the legendary San Francisco band is planning a fall tour with Grammy-winning singer-guitarist John Mayer in tow. The trek is reportedly due to kick off in October, with Mayer having already begun to jam in a rehearsal-like setting with select members of the group, chief among them Bob Weir, who is said to be very keen about the prospect. However, a rep for the band says that it's "premature" to suggest a Dead/Mayer tour is in the works. On Apr. 22, concert promoter Live Alliance announced that it will prduce a worldwide pay-per-view TV/Internet broadcast of the Fare Thee Well shows. Hosted by CNBC reporter Steve Liesman, the Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead broadcast will will feature the four original members of the Dead, and the intermission will feature taped interviews with special guests, live fan interviews and aerial shots from Soldier Field, and a short documentary. - Billboard, 4/24/15...... Billy Joel has announced he'll play the final concert at Long Island's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Aug. 4, before it is scheduled to be closed while undergoing renovation. Joel, a Long Island native, last played Memorial Coliseum in 1998, when he sold out nine shows at the arena. Following Joel's August performance, which will be his 32nd concert there, the Coliseum is scheduled to reopen as a sports and entertainment arena in Dec. 2016. Joel's 2015 U.S. tour, which is now in progress, will next take him to Kansas City's Sprint Center on May 1. He is also confirmed to headline the final night of the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn., on June 14. - Billboard, 4/24/15...... Alice Cooper says his new Hollywood Vampires album, a tribute to the social group that he partied with in the 1970s, is "done... mixed, ready to go and I'm very, very happy with it." Cooper says the LP is dedicated to his old drinking buddies, which included John Lennon, Keith Moon, Harry Nilsson and Ringo Starr. "[Paul] McCartney's on it. [Ringo Starr's drummer son] Zak [Starkey]'s on it. Dave Grohl is on it, [AC/DC frontman] Brian Johnson -- and in places where you wouldn't expect them to be, that's the cool thing." The Hollywood Vampires supergroup are due to play the Rock in Rio festival in September -- though it is unlikely that McCartney will join them on tour. - NME, 4/21/15...... Paul McCartney announced on Apr. 25 that he'll play an arena show at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center on June 21, his first appearance in the city since 2010. Sir Paul is also set to play at Firefly festival on June 19, and the Lollapalooza fest on July 31. On Apr. 21, the Beatles legend was mobbed by fans in Osaka, Japan as he arrived in the country to play a string of five tour dates. The singer, who is in Japan to perform rescheduled gigs which were called off in 2014 after he became ill, was greeted by over 500 fans at Osaka Airport. On Apr. 22, McCartney used the Earth Day observation to promote his global "Meat Free Monday" initiative, stating on Twitter that, "eating less meat is a real way to help." A day later, Macca was also revealed to be the richest musician in the UK according to London's Sunday Times. Data from the paper's annual rundown of the wealthiest figures in the British industry shows McCartney (plus wife Nancy Shevell, whose stake in a trucking business is said to be worth $225 million) placed at the top of the U.K. Music Rich List with an estimated fortune of $1.1 billion. Other '70s artists making the list include Elton John ($406 million), Mick Jagger ($338 million), Keith Richards ($315 million), Ringo Starr ($270 million), Sting ($270 million), and Roger Waters ($240 million). - New Musical Express, 4/25/15...... A John Lennon vinyl box set of the late musician's eight studio album is due on June 9, with the individual albums following separately on Aug. 21. The collection, titled simply Lennon, will feature the LPs John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, Some Time in New York City, Mind Games, Walls and Bridges, Rock 'n' Roll, Double Fantasy and Milk And Honey, all remastered. The remastered albums were previously released on CD and digital formats in 2010 as the John Lennon Signature Box. Speaking of the remastered LPs to Rolling Stone recently, Lennon's widow Yoko Ono said: "I thought it was going to be fine -- listening to John's songs has been a routine thing for me for the last 30 years. But this time, maybe because I listened to all of them, it was very hard, emotionally hard. 'I'm Losing You' -- that really hit me." - NME, 4/22/15...... One-time American Idol contestant Adam Lambert has recruited Queen guitarist Brian May to contribute to his next album. Lambert, who wrapped a UK arena tour fronting Queen in January, will release his LP The Original High via Warner Music on June 12, and Brian May described Lambert as the only performer the band had found capable of filling the shoes of iconic frontman Freddie Mercury. "Adam is the first person we've encountered who can do all the Queen catalogue without blinking," said May. "He is a gift from God." Queen drummer Roger Taylor had similar praise, adding: "He's incredibly musical, and we certainly take anything he says quite seriously." Lambert released the first single from the new LP, "Ghost Town," via YouTube on Apr. 22. - NME, 4/23/15...... Neil Young has revealed details about his upcoming new studio album, The Monsanto Years, which he is collaborating on with Willie Nelson's sons Lukas and Micah Nelson. Young says he will release a documentary film about the making of the record alongside the LP, which features protest songs against controversial agricultural company Monsanto, a company that Young has been publicly battling against for years. The Monsanto Years is due June 16. Young and the Nelsons will kick off a North American tour behind the new album in July, with support at select shows coming from Band Of Horses. - NME, 4/23/15...... Hall & Oates member John Oates has signed a deal with St. Martin's Press for a memoir to be published in late 2016, it was announced on Apr. 23. The yet to be titled book will draw upon Oates's "pretty detailed" journals to tell an "intimate and fascinating" story about his life and career, the publisher says. Hall & Oates were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. - AP, 4/23/15...... Former AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd pleaded guilty to threatening to kill and possession of meth and marijuana in New Zealand's Tauranga District Court on Apr. 21. Rudd had pleaded not guilty to these charges in Dec. 2014, when it was alleged he had threatened to kill a man who had been in his employment for three years. The maximum sentence for threatening to kill is seven years in jail. The case has been adjourned until June 26. Rudd's lawyer, Craig Tuck, sayks he will apply for a discharge without conviction for his client. - Billboard, 4/20/15...... Veteran country music singer Charley Pride will launch his first UK tour in three years on Apr. 29 at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall. Pride, one of the few African-American country musicians to experience massive-market commercial success in the country music industry and one of the few African-American singers to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, will also perform in London (5/2), Southend Cliffs (5/3), Birmingham (5/4) and Glasgow (5/6). To coincide with the start of the tour, Pride will be interviewed on BBC Breakfast News (BBC One) on Apr. 29. - Noble PR, 4/21/15...... A new Elvis Presley exhibition dubbed "Graceland Presents Elvis: The Exhibition - The Show - The Experience" opened at the Westgate Las Vegas hotel and casino on Apr. 23, the same casino where Elvis performed several hundred shows when it was the Las Vegas Hilton and The International. The exhibit, chapel and show are the first permanent presentations from Graceland and Elvis Presley Enterprises outside of the performer's Tennessee home, launching 59 years to the day that Elvis first performed in Las Vegas. The grand opening included an appearance by Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie Presley. - AP, 4/23/15...... Ronnie Carroll, a UK crooner who won two consecutive Eurovision song contests in 1962, died on Apr. 13 after a short illness. Carroll's biggest hit was in 1962 with a cover of Bobby Vinton's "Roses Are Red," which outsold Vinton's version in the UK and reached No. 2 there.