Saturday, May 30, 2015

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on June 4th, 2015

Michael Jackson's son Prince Michael Jackson graduated from Buckley High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif., on May 30. Prince's aunt, La Toya Jackson, was at the ceremony and first shared the news on her Twitter account, with his grandmother Katherine Jackson, as well as his sister Paris Jackson and several other relatives, also attending the graduation. - Billboard, 5/30/15...... Meanwhile, one of Michael Jackson's early mentors, Diana Ross, posted her first messages to Twitter on June 3. The Motown legend, using the name "Ms. Ross," tweeted "I am on Twitter now and loving it." So far, Ross has only followed five people on the platform: her children Tracie, Evan, Rhonda, Chudney and Ross Naess. - Billboard, 6/30/15...... Verdine WhiteEarth, Wind & Fire, currently touring the US, will play shows right up to its Bonnaroo Music Festival appearance on June 12 in Manchester, Tenn., then starts another summer run with Chicago on July 15 in Concord, Calif. EWF bassist and co-founder Verdine White says his group is no stranger to playing large-scale festivals where it might stick out a bit from the rest of the bands. "It kind of goes back to our roots," White recently told Billboard about his upcoming Bonnaroo date. "(1974's) California Jam, you know, things like that we did way back in the day before any of these young people were born. We were playing a lot of those kind of festivals back in the early '70s and things like that. It's a cool festival to be part of, and we're really happy about that. It's kind of going to remind us of back in the day." White says the band's Bonnaroo setlist may involve the triple-platinum LP That's The Way of the World, the group's first No. 1 album that celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. "We're pulling out some songs from that particular era and this summer we're going to be doing quite a bit of content based on that, live," White affirmed. "That's The Way of the World was such a big breakthrough record for us, a very transitional record, and still holds up today." White added that the band is trying to "figure out a way to fit in" a new recording project, which would be the follow-up to 2013's Now, Then & Forever and a holiday collection in the fall of 2014. - Billboard, 6/3/15...... The Grateful Dead have announced a September release date for what will be their largest boxed set to date -- a whopping 80-disc collection dubbed 30 Trips Around the Sun featuring 30 unreleased live shows -- one for each year the band was together from 1966 to 1995. Packed with over 73 hours of music, the career-spanning set will include a 1967 show at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, a 1979 concert at Cape Cod Coliseum, a 1987 show at New York's Madison Square Garden and a 1994 show in Boston. The remaining shows will be revealed in the coming weeks on The box also comes with a 288-page book that features an extensive, career-spanning essay written by GD archivist Nick Meriwether. If the nearly $700 price tag for the release is too steep for some, a four-CD and digital version of the collection titled ternate version of "Brown Sugar" featuring Eric Clapton on slide guitar that will be included on the band's upcoming 30 Trips Around the Sun: The Definitive Live Story 1965-1995 will also be available on Sept. 18 for $44.98. The band will perform five "Fare Thee Well" concerts on June 27 and 28 in Santa Clara, California, and on July 3, 4 and 5 at Chicago's Soldier Field. All five shows will be simulcast on the Web. - Billboard, 6/3/15...... On May 31 Rhino Records announced that two albums recorded by the Doors following the death of frontman Jim Morrison, 1971's Other Voices and 1972's The Full Circle, will be reissued as a 2 CD-set on Sept. 4 featuring remastered audio by longtime Doors producer Bruce Botnick. Other Voices, the band's seventh LP, will include a rare bonus track called "Treetrunk," which was first released as a B-side to The Full Circle single "Get Up and Dance." The 180-gram vinyl editions will feature "historically accurate sleeves," including the expansive foldout zoetrope packaged with the original The Full Circle vinyl. Afdter Morrison died in Paris in July 1971 aged 27, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore continued on as the Doors, with Krieger and Manzarek sharing vocal duties. Manzarek died in 2013 at age 74, and Densmore has recently published The Doors Unhinged, an account of his legal feud with Krieger of the use of the band name. - New Musical Express, 5/31/15...... Mike CampbellTom PettyTom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell has revealed to Rolling Stone magazine that Petty wants to make another Mudcrutch album, named after Petty's pre-fame band and who finally released a debut album in 2008. Campbell, who also started in Mudcrutch but transitioned to the Heartbreakers with Petty, added that "It probably won't take very long. It's a labor of love, really." Campbell says the album would have gotten underway in January, but medical issues with Mudcrutch guitarist Tom Leadon held up the process. Leadon was one of two of Mudcrutch's five members, along with drummer Randall Marsh, who did not go on to form Petty's backing band. "I hope we do some gigs again this time," Campbell said when asked of a potential Mudcrutch tour. "If we have the time and the guys are all up for it, then I'd love to go out and play. But we'll start with the record and see what comes up." Meanwhile, a previously unreleased Tom Petty song will be featured in the long-awaited big screen adaptation of the hit HBO series Entourage. The lovely, contemplative rock track "Somewhere Under Heaven," a previously unreleased gem from Petty's 1994 classic solo LP Wildflowers, is also currently streaming on Spotify, and will be available on the upcoming release Wildflowers: All the Rest, a collection rounding up the material that didn't make Petty's second solo album. - Billboard, 6/2/15...... The Rolling Stones have released an alternate version of "Brown Sugar" featuring Eric Clapton on slide guitar that will be included on the band's upcoming deluxe reissue of 1971's Sticky Fingers that is due out June 8. Long familiar to Rolling Stones fans as a bootleg version, the Clapton version of "Brown Sugar" was recorded on Dec. 18, 1970, at Olympic Studios in London at a birthday party for guitarist Keith Richards. It also features Al Kooper on piano. Meanwhile, the Stones performed a track they hadn't played live for almost 50 years, "Hang On Sloopy," at the Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Oh. on May 30. They dedicated it to Ohio State University, whose marching band play it at sports games. "Hang On Sloopy" was originally written by Wes Farrell and Bert Russell in 1964, and later popularized by The McCoys. The Stones last performed the track during their European tour in 1966. - Billboard/NME, 6/2/15...... 1976 Olympics decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner made her debut as a woman, Caitlyn Jenner, in Vanity Fair magazine on June 1. The cover of the magazine's July issue revealed the first look at Jenner after her transition from male to female. "I'm so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self," Jenner wrote in her first tweet on June 1. "Welcome to the world Caitlyn. Can't wait for you to get to know her/me." Jenner first publicly revealed that she was transitioning into a woman in a 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer. "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman," Jenner said in April. Jenner was reportedly considering spelling her name with the letter "k," like all the other women in the Kardashian-Jenner clan, but has opted for a more traditional spelling of Caitlyn. She is set to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at ABC's EPSY Awards on July 15. Her yet to be titled docu-series is scheduled to debut in July. - Variety, 6/1/15...... CBS is partnering with the family of late The Brady Bunch creator Sherwood Schwartz on a new comedic musical stage show based on Schwartz's iconic '70s sitcom. The play will feature a new story, but will still focus on the original characters from the sitcom about a happy band of step-siblings and their newly married parents. Schwartz's children, Lloyd J. Schwartz and Hope Juber, wrote the book. Juper wrote the music with her husband, Wings guitarist Laurence Juber. Production dates are not yet available. - Variety, 6/2/15...... Robin WilliamsAlthough two factions of the late Robin Williams's family have settled their differences over dividing the actor's personal effects, they remain at odds over how much cash Williams's widow Susan should receive over her lifetime. A hearing has been scheduled for early June in San Francisco Superior Court to determine how much money she should receive from her late husband, who hanged himself in August in the Tiburon home they shared. The Mork & Mindy star left most of his estate to his three children, including the proceeds from the sale of a Napa County home and property. But Williams did leave the Tiburon home to Susan with instructions that she receive enough money to maintain it through her lifetime. - AP, 6/1/15...... Academy Award-winning costume designer Julie Harris, who outfitted such '60s icons as The Beatles and Sean Connery as James Bond, died on May 30 at a London hospital after suffering from a chest infection. She was 94. Ms. Harris played a major role in capturing the look of 1960s "Swinging London" on film, and dressed the Beatles for both A Hard Day's Night and Help! "I must be one of the few people who can claim they have seen John, Paul, George and Ringo naked," she later said. She won an Oscar for the 1965 film Darling, and a British film award, the BAFTA, for the 1966 Michael Caine comedy The Wrong Box. - AP, 6/1/15...... Betsy Palmer, the veteran character actress known for appearing as a regular panelist on the CBS game show I've Got a Secret for a decade starting in 1958, died on May 29 of natural causes at a hospice care center in Connecticut. She was 88. Ms. Palmer also achieved lasting, though not necessarily sought-after, fame as the murderous camp cook in the cheesy 1980 horror film Friday the 13th. Ms. Palmer had appeared in films, on Broadway and in TV shows for years before she took the role of Mrs. Voorhees in Friday the 13th in which young camp counselors suddenly begin meeting their bloody ends. The wholesome Indiana native also starred in numerous TV shows from the early 1950s, among them Kraft Theatre, Playhouse 90 and Studio One. Her film credits included three movies released in 1955 -- Mister Roberts with Henry Fonda (as nurse Lt. Ann Girard, she was one of the few women in the cast), The Long Gray Line with Tyrone Power and Queen Bee with Joan Crawford. Other credits include The Tin Star (1957), The True Story of Lynn Stuart and The Last Angry Man (1959). Other TV credits included Knot's Landing (as the aunt of Joan Van Ark), The Love Boat, Newhart, Just Shoot Me!, T.J. Hooker and Murder, She Wrote. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/1/15.

As The Who's Pete Townshend was honored with the 2016 MusiCares Stevie Ray Vaughn Award for his work supporting the charity at the annual MusiCares benefit concert in New York's Best Buy Theater on May 28, Bruce Springsteen joined Townshend and Who singer Roger Daltrey onstage to perform "My Generation" and "Won't Get Fooled Again." Springsteen also made the presentation of the award to Townshend, and recalled the first time he saw The Who on their first American tour in 1967. "I was a young pimply-faced teenager who managed to scrap enough together to go see my first rock concert ever. Pete and The Who were young pimply-faced teenagers with a record contract, a tour and a rude aggressive magic," Springsteen said. He went on to say how the band played probably a little more than 30 minutes, and Pete, in a cloud of smoke, demolished his guitar bashing it over and over into the floor and his amplifier." "All I knew, for some reason, this music and the demolishing of all these perfectly fine instruments filled me with incredible joy and I never looked back," The Boss noted. The MusiCares MAP Fund is a charity to assist musicians with addiction recovery. - New Musical Express, 5/29/15...... Joni MitchellReports are circulating that a brain aneurysm was the reason for Joni Mitchell's recent admission to a hospital, where she has remained for nearly two months. Sources close to Mitchell have reported that she remains in "very serious" condition, and is expected to be moved to a rehab facility in the near future. Mitchell, 71, was hospitalised in Los Angeles on Mar. 31, after being found unconscious at her home. Representatives for the singer recently denied reports that she is in a coma and unresponsive. A statement on her official website, and approved by Leslie Morris, read: "Contrary to rumors circulating on the Internet today, Joni is not in a coma. Joni is still in the hospital -- but she comprehends, she's alert, and she has her full senses. A full recovery is expected." On May 4, Mitchell's lawyer Alan Watenmaker told a court that she could be released from hospital shortly during a court hearing concerning a request for conservatorship from her longtime friend Leslie Morris. Another report by Showbiz 411 claims "speech is difficult" for the Canadian singer/songwriter icon, "but she's communicating." - Billboard/NME, 5/29/15...... Playing the Liverpool Echo Arena on May 28, Paul McCartney encouraged a nervous fan to go ahead and propose to his girlfriend before the audience. McCartney invited the young couple, named Fabrice Gueho and Diane McEvoy, on to the stage mid-set, where Gueho asked McEvoy to marry him. In response to Gueho's initial nerves, McCartney attempted to spur the man on. "Come on, get serious, do it, we're all watching," he said, somewhat abruptly. Gueho proceeded to get down on one knee to propose, with McEvoy saying "yes" to a loud cheer from the crowd. The future bride, McEvoy, also has a Beatles connection -- she is employed at the city's Beatles Story Museum. McCartney's Liverpool gig came after recent concerts in London and Birmingham. Meanwhile, Sir Paul revealed to London's Daily Mirror on May 29 that, as a grandfather, he's given up marijuana after many years of indulgence and now prefers wine or "a nice margarita." Paul, 72, said that he doesn't want to set a bad example for his children and grandchildren by smoking pot, and that his decision is "a parent thing" and that "the last time I smoked was a long time ago." In other Macca-related news, the casting director of the hit '90s NBC sitcom Friends said in a recent interview with that she once tried to get the famous former Beatle to appear on the long-running show, to play Ross Geller's father-in-law when he married Emily Waltham during the two-part season four finale back in 1998. "I went through his manager and gave him all the details," Litt recalled. "One day, someone in the office brought me a faxed letter written to me by Paul himself!" "He thanked me for my interest and said how flattered he was, but it was a very busy time for him," she added. - NME/AP/Billboard, 5/29/15...... In other Beatles-related news, Ringo Starr told the UK's Uncut magazine that working with John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band was one of the "best experiences" of his career. "It was incredible," Starr said of the 1970 John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band LP recording sessions. "John, [bassist] Klaus [Voorman] and I. One of the finest trios I ever heard. We did it like a jam. We knew John had the songs and we'd kick it in and felt where it should go." Starr added that their familiarity as a group worked to their advantage: "We knew Klaus anyway. John and I really knew each other, so we were psychic where the atmosphere was going to go." Despite his legacy of recording 12 albums with the Beatles earlier, Starr said that recording that album was one of the "best experiences on record I have ever had." "Just being in the room with John, being honest, the way he was, screaming, shouting and singing. It was an incredible moment," Ringo said. - New Musical Express, 5/29/15......Michael JacksonMichael Jackson's former Neverland Ranch estate in Santa Ynez, Calif., has been put on the market, with an asking price of $100 million. The estate now features over 20 structures including the main house, guest houses, 50-seat movie theatre and a station that served as a stop-off point for Jackson's miniature railway. Jackson bought the 2,700-acre property in 1987 for $19.5 million and staged his marriage ceremony to Lisa Marie Presley there in 1995. He refused to return there after a 2004 police raid and investigation into child molestation charges against him. The estate's agent, Sotheby's Interternational Realtors, say the current owners, Colony Capital, are keen to keep fans away from the property and hope to sell the ranch quickly by planning an "extensive prequalification" of all potential buyers before showing the property. "We're not going to be giving tours," SIR's Suzanne Perkins said. -, 5/29/15...... In other Michael Jackson news, on May 26 Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff dismissed a choreographer's claim that the King of Pop once molested him as a child. The judge said that Wade Robson, who had previously denied that Jackson had molested him and even testified in Jackson's defense in a criminal trial in 2005, had waited too long to file the case in court. Robson, who is also a former dancer with Britney Spears, then sued Jackson's estate in May 2013 and sought to file a late claim against the singer's estate. Jackson's estate has denied Robson's allegations of abuse, and Robson's attorney has yet to respond to the judge's decision. - AP, 5/27/15...... Organizers of the upcoming Grateful Dead "Fare Thee Well" concerts have announced they will release over 300 tickets to the shows on eBay with proceeds going to benefit a number of charities. Bidding for these tickets will reportedly begin at face value. From there, net proceeds from the sales will be split between the charities chosen by the Grateful Dead, which include The Rainforest Action Network, NORML, SEVA, Conscious Alliance, and the Rex Foundation. At the shows, the charities will have a presence in an area billed as "Participation Row." The Dead's Fare Thee Well shows will mark the band's 50th anniversary. The band will play Santa Clara, Calif., on June 27 and 28 and then head to Chicago July 3-5. - Billboard, 5/28/15...... Stevie NicksAs Fleetwood Mac kicked off a UK reunion tour at London's O2 Arena on May 27, singer Stevie Nicks told the UK's Mojo magazine that "every band should have a girl in it." "I think every band should have a girl in it, because it's always going to make for more cooler stuff going on than if it's just a bunch of guys," Nicks said. "It's ultimately more romantic, no matter what. Even if nobody is getting together, it still casts a romantic spell." Fleetwood Mac will kick off their European tour with a series of UK and Ireland dates, playing 6 concerts at London's O2, three dates in Birmingham, two dates in Manchester, three dates in Glagow, a date in Dublin, and two dates in Leeds including the closer on July 5. - NME, 5/27/15...... Influential '70s disco producer/composer Giorgio Moroder is premiering a megamix video featuring a group of dancers bringing the tracks of his upcoming album, Deja Vu, to life ahead of the LP's June 16 release date. The video includes 10 of the songs from the album, which features A-list cameos from the likes of Sia, Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, Charli XCX and more. Deja Vu is Moroder's first solo album in over 30 years. - Billboard, 5/28/15...... "Motown the Musical," a stage production that tells the story of the founding of the iconic Detroit record label by Berry Gordy in 1958 and traces its legacy through a series of flashbacks, will end its two-year run on Broadway on June 7. A national tour of the show will then travel across North American through early 2016 on a 37-date run. "Motown the Musical" has grossed over $115 million since its premiere in March 2013. - Billboard, 5/28/15...... Baltimore, Maryland, a city recently ravaged by racial strife, has debuted a musical about reggae icon and civil rights activist Bob Marley in hopes to help heal the city. The city's flagship theater, Center Stage, began previews of "Marley" this spring, but they were lost amid protests following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, and the actors had to rush to finish rehearsals early on several evenings to accommodate a city-wide curfew. "Marley" focuses on the years 1975 to 1978, when the musician survived an attempted assassination in Jamaica and went into exile in London. It's the first time a stage musical has used both Marley's songs and his life story. The musical, with Mitchell Brunings portraying the title character, features such mid-'70s Marley albums as Exodus, Kaya and Rastaman Vibration, which include the songs "Jamming," "'Three Little Birds" and "Roots, Rock, Reggae." - AP, 5/27/15...... Organizers of the 2015 Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island have announced they will pay tribute to the moment when Bob Dylan made rock history by announcing he was "going electric" 50 years ago. Festival producer Jay Sweet said on May 26 that an "all-star lineup" of nearly a dozen contemporary artists will celebrate Dylan's 1965 performance. It will close out the three-day festival, which runs July 24-26. Dylan is not playing at the festival, but Sweet says he's invited to play every year. He last played Newport in 2002. Other headliners include Roger Waters and The Decemberists. - AP, 5/26/15...... Roger WatersNick MasonFounding Pink Floyd members Roger Waters and Nick Mason unveiled a plaque commemorating the 50th anniversary of the group's formation at London's University Of Westminister on May 28. The iconic prog-rock band was formed at the university (formerly known as Regent Street Polytechnic) in 1965, and initially going by the name Sigma 6, with keyboardist Richard Wright joining the group soon after. Wright died in 2008. David Gilmour did not attend the event because he didn't join the band until 1967. "Put it like this: if we'd gone up for Britain's Got Talent, I don't think we would have made it past the audition stage," Mason told the BBC. "We weren't terribly good," he added, to which Waters replied: "We were effing awful." While Waters was eager to participate in the 50th anniversary ceremony, he has insisted he'll never rejoin the band and recently told fans hoping for him to rejoin to "get a grip" via Facebook. - New Musical Express, 5/29/15...... Neil Young announced the tracklisting for his forthcoming concept album The Monsanto Years. In addition to the title track, which is the penultimate song on the 9-track CD, the album also features such tracks as "A New Day for Love," "Wolf Moon," "Big Box," "A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop," "Workin' Man," and "Rules of Change. An accompanying DVD will also feature live performances of the 9 songs, in a different order. The Monsanto Years is due June 29 via Reprise Records. - Billboard, 5/27/15...... The first eight Black Sabbath albums will be re-released this summer on heavyweight 180g vinyl, as well as CD format, beginning on June 22 with 1970's Paranoid, and 1971's Master of Reality. On June 29, 1972's Vol. 4, 1973's Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, and 1975's Sabotage will follow, while 'Technical Ecstacy' (1976) and 'Never Say Die' (1978) conclude the schedule on July 13. - NME, 5/28/15...... The family of late blues guitarist B.B. King, who died on May 14 at age 89 from complications due to type 2 diabetes, are set to challenge the musician's former manager LaVerne Toney over King's will and what they allege to be "unfair influence" exerted by him. A lawyer for the heirs issued a statement on May 23 accusing Toney, who is the executor of the will, of having "misappropriated millions of dollars," "untruthful" conduction, as well as being "unqualified to serve as executor of the estate." Attorney Larissa Drohobyczer stated that she met with five of King's daughters -- Patty King, Michelle King, Karen Williams, Barbara King Winfree and Claudette King Robinson -- before issuing the statement. King's body was viewed by thousands on at the B.B. King Museum on May 29 in his hometown of Indianola, Miss., the eve of his burial there. More than 3,000 people filed past King's open casket, including 78-year-old blues guitarist Buddy Guy. King's burial on May 30 was attended by the governor of the state, and a letter from Pres. Barack Obama was read at the funeral. - AP, 5/25/15...... Todd RundgrenTodd Rundgren's latest effort, Runddans, is a "utopian" mixture of electronic dance music with exploratory dynamics and a cosmic-R&B glow. Rundgren was already making records like this at the height of glam -- his 1973 astro-suite A Wizard, A True Star; the 1975 spiritual-prog epic Initiation -- so he sounds at home with his Norweigan collaborators Emil Nikolaisen and Hans-Peter Linstrøm in this space-soul trip, a 40-minute piece in 12 parts. The programming is intermittently suitable for boogaloo, but the breaking sunshine in the melodies and Rundgren's singing deliver on the promise in titles like "Liquid Joy in the Womb of Infinity" and "Wave of Heavy Red (Disko-Nektar)." - Rolling Stone, 6/4/15...... Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard coined the modern country-bromance with their 1983 hit Pancho & Lefty; their latest, Django and Jimmie, looks back. The title -- referring to Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers, major influences on both men -- suggests a rich dig into country archeology á la Haggard's 1970 Bob Wills tribute. Instead, we get a grab bag of new songs and rerecorded signatures fixed on the duo's own mythology, largely sans blue yodels or gypsy jazz. Highlights are Haggard's "Missing 'Ol Johnny Cash," a story-swap with guest Bobby Bare, and "It's All Going to Pot," the "420 Day" single that shows two masters nailing the right song at the right time. - Rolling Stone, 6/4/15...... Classic rockers Whitesnake released their latest LP, The Purple Album, on May 19 via Fronteirs Music SRL. They will tour the US behind the new release beginning on May 28 at the Quest Casino in Airway Heights, Wash., playing 18 additional American dates before wrapping on July 18 at the Star Plaza in Merrillville, Indiana. The Purple Album is currently No. 6 on the UK's Hard Rock Music Album chart, and No. 15 on the Top Current Rock chart, and in the U.S., it sits at No. 43 on Billboard's Hot 200 album chart. A 10-date UK tour will get underway on Dec. 6 at the Dublin 3 Arena. - Noble PR, 5/27/15.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on May 25th, 2015

A previously unknown letter written by George Harrison in May 1966 explaining why the Beatles pulled out of a recording session with famed Memphis Stax Studios producer Jim Stewart has surfaced and is now for sale for $20,000 by a Los Angeles-based rock collectibles dealer. The letter reveals that the Fab Four were seriously considering a session with Stewart, but it did not happen due to financial reasons. "We would all like it a lot," Harrison wrote in the letter to Atlanta DJ Paul Drew, "but too many people get insane with money ideas at the mention of the word 'Beatles,' and so it fell through!" It had previously been thought security issues were the reason the Beatles backed out of the session. As well, Stewart's possible involvement is a new revelation, over George Martin's who was the only producer the Beatles ever worked with until the end of the band's career three years later. Collectibles dealer Jeff Gold acquired the letter from Drew's widow after he passed away in 2013. "When I read the Stax part I was like, 'What the hell is this?' I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about this stuff and I knew it was a major revelation," Gold told Rolling Stone magazine. George HarrisonThe letter was written while the Beatles were at the early stages of recording Revolver and is postmarked May 7, 1966. It also reveals an understanding of the Beatles' and the album Yesterday and Today, which it had been thought was released largely without the Beatles' awareness. "The album we are making now should be out around October," Harrison wrote. "But I hear Capitol will make an intermediate album with unused tracks from Rubber Soul, a few old singles and about two or three of the new tracks we have just cut. Well I am off to the studio any minute, as soon as John and Ringo arrive." Harrison ends the letter with a thanks to Drew for sending him records records by Edwin Starr and Mrs. Miller. Drew was an influential radio DJ and program director who formed a friendship with the Beatles after traveling with the group on its 1964 and 1965 world tour. - Billboard, 5/25/15...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney was joined by his pal Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters at the first of a two-night stand at London's O2 Arena on May 23. Grohl appeared during the set to provide vocals and guitar on "I Saw Her Standing There," and the set was also noteworthy for another reason: McCartney performed "Temporary Secretary," a song from 1980's McCartney II, live for the first time in his career. Meanwhile, Sir Paul has collaborated with Lady Gaga for a song on the soundtrack of the upcoming film High in the Clouds. McCartney has already written seven or eight songs for the film, which is based on his 2005 children's book of the same name. Lady Gaga previously revealed the pair had been working together when she posted an Instagram picture of the pair -- along with Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready -- in the studio together. - New Musical Express, 5/25/15...... A memorial event for late blues guitarist B.B. King was held in Las Vegas on May 23, with the likes of Carlos Santana, Bon Jovi member Richie Sambora and King's drummer Tony Coleman attending. King's closed casket lay framed by an array of floral arrangements, two of his guitars named "Lucille" and a tapestry showing him in eyes-clenched reverie picking a note from a section of the guitar frets dubbed by followers the "B.B. King Box." King passed away in his sleep aged 89 on May 14 and will be laid to rest in his hometown of Indianola, Mississippi on May 30. His body will be flown on May 27 to Memphis, Tenn., the place where a young King was nicknamed the Beale Street Blues Boy. Organizers in Memphis said a musical tribute is scheduled for 11 a.m. that day in W.C. Handy Park on Beale Street, near a blues club that bears King's name. After that, the body will be driven to Indianola, which King considered his hometown. In other King news, two of his heirs who have been most outspoken about the blues legend's care in his final days are accusing King's two closest aides of poisoning him. Daughters Karen Williams and Patty King allege that family members were prevented from visiting while King's business manager, LaVerne Toney, and his personal assistant, Myron Johnson, hastened their father's death. "I believe my father was poisoned and that he was administered foreign substances," Patty King and Williams say in identically worded sections of affidavits provided to The Associated Press by their lawyer, Larissa Drohobyczer. "I believe my father was murdered," they say. Toney and Johnson each declined to comment. - NME/AP, 5/25/15...... In related news, Los Angeles prosecutors announced on May 22 that they won't file elder abuse charges against the widow of late radio personality Casey Kasem despite efforts by three of Casem's children to have her prosecuted. A charge evaluation sheet released by the L.A. County District Attorney's Office said Kasem had received consistent medical care in his final days and that it wouldn't be appropriate to charge Jean Kasem. "Because of Mr. Kasem's longstanding profound health issues, this case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury," the decision read. Jean Kasem was married to the celebrity announcer for more than 30 years but was stripped of control over his medical care in the final days of his life. Casey Kasem died in June 2014 in Washington state, where Jean Kasem had taken him after checking him out of a Los Angeles-area medical facility where he was receiving around-the-clock care. The longtime "American Top 40" host had a form of dementia and a severe bedsore when he died. - AP, 5/22/15...... Mick JaggerThe Rolling Stones kicked off their North American "Zip Code Tour" on May 24 at Petco Park in San Diego, two days after playing a surprise set at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood. At the inimate club show, the band performed its 1971 album Sticky Fingers in its entirety, bookended with "Start Me Up," "When the Whip Comes Down," and "All Down the Line" at the beginning and an encore set of B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby," "Jumpin' Jack Flash," and Otis Redding's "I Can't Turn You Loose." The Stones will play 15 "Zip Code" dates to July 15 at the Festival D'ete de Quebec in Quebec City. The group is also releasing deluxe reissues of 1971's Sticky Fingers album on June 9, as well as a The Marquee -- Live in 1971 CD/DVD package on June 23 and a 12-inch vinyl version of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" on July 12 to mark its 50th anniversary. Also, Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood has just published How Can It Be? A Rock & Roll Diary, a lavish recreation of a journal he kept -- with both prose and sketches -- during 1965, when he was playing in a British band called The Birds (which actually sued The Byrds when the American group visited Britain during 1965). Among How Can It Be?'s tales is how Wood's Birds failed their audition with the BBC on the same day The Who passed theirs. - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/25/15...... Speaking of The Who, frontman Roger Daltrey called out a member of the audience for smoking pot when the band played Nassau Colliseum in New York on May 20. "The show will be over," Daltrey warned the fan. "It's your choice, I can't do anything about it. I'm doing my best." After other audience members shouted out "Eat it," Who guitarist Pete Townsend also got in on the action with a rather colorful remark. Immediately after the incident, Townsend went right back into concert mode. The incident reportedly took place three songs into the show and there had been an anti-smoking announcement prior to the show. According to the paper Newsday, the pot smoke had an almost immediate effect on Daltrey's voice, "which went from crystal clear and potent for the opening 'I Can't Explain' to something rougher and more limited during 'I Can See for Miles.'" "My voice is shutting down," said Daltrey, who is reportedly allergic to marijuana smoke. However, it seemed he recovered several songs later. - Billboard, 5/22/15...... Art GarfunkelIn a lengthy and revealing interview with the UK paper The Telegraph on May 24, former Simon & Garfunkel member Art Garfunkel described his erstwhile partner Paul Simon as an "idiot" and a "jerk" for ending S&G and said that Simon had become a "monster." Garfunkel said that he found it "strange" that they went their separate ways not long after releasing their biggest hit record to date, the phenomenally successful Bridge Over Troubled Water. "I don't want to say any anti-Paul Simon things, but it seems very perverse to not enjoy the glory and walk away from it instead," Garfunkel said. "(It's) Crazy. What I would have done is take a rest from Paul, because he was getting on my nerves. The jokes had run dry." Garfunkel added that he envisaged the duo taking a year's break from each other and resume duties as part of one of the world's biggest musical acts at that time. Garfunkel then goes on to agree with the interviewer's assertion that Simon may have had a Napoleon complex given his small stature and that became an issue between them. Garfunkel claims he became friends with Simon in school as he felt sorry for him because of his height, offering the shorter man friendship and love as compensation, he adds "that compensation gesture has created a monster." Since their breakup in 1971, Simon & Garfunkel performed together on and off over the years last appearing together in 2010, and Garfunkel is still open to touring together with Simon. "Will I do another tour with Paul? Well, that's quite do-able. When we get together, with his guitar, it's a delight to both of our ears. A little bubble comes over us and it seems effortless. We blend. So, as far as this half is concerned, I would say, 'Why not, while we're still alive?' Garfunkel adds: "But I've been in that same place for decades. This is where I was in 1971." - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/25/15...... Gene Simmons of Kiss recently told a Dutch Kiss fansite that the group will record their 21st album sometime in 2016 after they "finish a whole slew of shows" this year, despite frontman Paul Stanley's apparent misgivings about releasing new music. "It will happen when we have time. I have music in me that needs to come out. I recently wrote a song called 'Your Wish Is My Command'. It feels like a Kiss song and it just needs to be released on a Kiss album," Simmons said. Simmons claims all four current members of the group are behind the project and that Stanley is set to produce, despite recently being quoted as saying releasing a new album didn't "feel necessary". "I'm glad [Paul is producing]," Simmons explained. "I no longer have the energy to come to the studio every day. Paul doesn't have so many other things in his life that demand attention, so he can concentrate fully on the project." - NME, 5/22/15...... Neil DiamondNeil Diamond played two sold-out shows at the Hollywood Bowl on May 23 and 24, some 43 years after he recorded his iconic album Hot August Night at L.A.'s Greek Theater. Trim, bearded and clad in all-black (a sport coat and untucked shirt, no tie), Diamond emerged beneath a 3D projection of a massive, spinning diamond to whoops of appreciation from the generation-spanning crowd. He opened with the catchy "I'm a Believer," his 1966 composition made famous by the Monkees, and followed that with the deliciously maudlin "Love on the Rocks," one of three classics from his one attempt at movie stardom, 1980's The Jazz Singer. "How great it is to be back in my hometown," Diamond said of the city he's called home since 1968. "My hometown -- meaning that four of my doctors are here tonight... and my shrink." After a 20-song main set, his encore songs included performances of "Cracklin' Rosie," "Sweet Caroline," "America," "Heartlight" and an instrumental of "Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show." - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/24/15...... Billy Joel received an honorary doctorate from Long Island's Stony Brook University during commencement ceremonies on May 22. The Piano Man received an honorary doctor of music degree, and said he's "one of the lucky ones." Joel told graduates that he knew he wanted to be a musician from a very young age, and wished them the commitment to make what they love their life's work. He also encouraged them to have the stamina to continue that work when they encounter resistance and tough times. - AP, 5/24/15...... A rep for Ozzy Osbourne's wife Sharon Osbourne recently revealed to People magazine that she is taking a one-month break from her co-hosting position on her TV show The Talk. Osbourne, 62, reportedly collapsed at her home on May 15 when she returned to Los Angeles from a trip to New York and Toronto. She "collapsed from mental and physical fatigue" Osbourne's rep told People. Meanwhile, Black Sabbath guitarist Geezer Butler said on May 21 that he had "absolutely no idea" if a rumoured Black Sabbath tour in 2016 would actually happen after Ozzy's announcement that the band will embark on a full farewell tour and release their final album next year. Butler said: "I'd love to keep going, I'd desperately want to keep going before I kick the bucket". Butler's bandmate, guitarist Tony Iommi added: "It'd be lovely to do a last tour, it'd be really nice to do that." - NME, 5/22/15...... Paul WilliamsSongwriter and current ASCAP president Paul Williams was recognized for his songwriting achievements at the Ivor Novello Awards in London on May 21. Presented by the nonprofit British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, Williams received the PRS for Music special international award recognizing his work on such classic songs as "The Rainbow Connection," "Evergreen," "We've Only Just Begun" and "Rainy Days and Mondays." "I'm incredibly honored to receive this award," said Williams. "Over the course of my career I've been fortunate to build relationships and work with so many gifted songwriters and artists in the UK. I'm especially gratified to be recognized by my peers in this country." The Ivor Novello Awards celebrate excellence in British and Irish songwriting and composing. Other winners included Black Sabbath, recipient of the lifetime achievement prize. - Billboard, 5/22/15...... Neil Young has posted a new song online criticizing the Starbucks coffee chain for its alleged involvement with his longtime nemesis, the agrochemical company Monsanto and its use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The track, called "Rock Starbucks," is reportedly set to be included on Young's next album, a concept album called The Monsanto Years. Young is reportedly making the album with Willie Nelson's sons Lukas and Micah, with whom he played a surprise show in San Luis Obispo, Calif. earlier this year. The Monsanto Years is due out June 16. - NME, 5/22/15...... British pop star Cliff Richard has put his home up for sale following police raids last August in relation to alleged sexual offenses. "Cliff told me he's just put the flat on the market," said Richard's friend, singer Cilla Black. "It's the saddest thing for him, but he had to do it. He said he never wants to live there again. It's awful. Cliff is not all right, not at all." In February 2015, police confirmed that enquiries into "more than one allegation" of historical sex offenses involving Cliff Richard had "increased significantly in size." Richard was first interviewed by police in relation to an alleged historical sex offence in August 2014. He has never been arrested or charged. - NME, 5/22/15...... Former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters will play his first show in two years this summer at the Newport Folk Festival in Fort Adams State Park, Rhode Island. Waters will headline the event, which runs from July 24-26. It will be his first performance at the US festival. Waters' last live show was in September 2013. - NME, 5/21/15...... Despite a sensational story in the UK tabloid The Daily Mail that multi-millionaire rock star Eric Clapton lets his Canadian half-brother "Fast Eddie" Fryer live in "sub-Dickensian squalor," Fryer says he's doing all right and bears no ill-will towards his famous sibling. "This writer came in and did a character assassination on the place where I live," Fryer told Vancouver's The Province, referring to the Downtown Eastside rooming house he calls home. It may be Canada's poorest neighbourhood, but Fryer -- who has late-stage cirrhosis of the liver -- says it's a good place for him to be. "Granted it is not the Hilton," Fryer said. "It is a shelter that has a medical team and they do a good job of looking after me." Fryer, who learned in 1998 that he and Clapton have the same biological father, shares some striking similarities with his brother. Both are musicians and both have struggled with heroin addiction. But while Clapton got clean and became world famous, Fryer's career never took off, and he's been on and off the wagon for years. He says he and his brother write letters sometimes, and Clapton once praised a demo tape Fryer mailed him. While he'd love to jam with Clapton one day, he told The Province he expects nothing from his half-brother. "I have never asked him for money," he said. "A person is not entitled to another person's achievements." - Postmedia Network, 5/22/15...... Louis JohnsonFunk/R&B bassist Louis Johnson, a former member of the '70s group the Brothers Johnson, died on May 21 at the age of 60. Johnson, a founding member of the Brothers Johnson and a longtime collaborator of Quincy Jones', worked with the legendary producer on albums like Michael Jackson's Thriller and Off the Wall, as well as Jones' own Mellow Madness. With the Brothers Johnson, the bassist would top the Hot R&B Charts three times with 1976's "I'll Be Good to You," 1977's "Strawberry Letter 23" and 1980's "Stomp!" Their highly successful 1976 debut Look Out for #1 was produced by Jones, and by the group's fourth album (also their fourth to go platinum) Light Up the Night, they counted King of Pop Michael Jackson as one of their backup singers. "Thunder Thumbs," as he came to be called, was also one of the pioneers of slap bass, making him an in-demand session player for everyone from Stanley Clarke to Donna Summer. Many of his classic grooves for artists like George Duke and Michael McDonald have also received a second life as some of hip-hop's most popular samples. "He was a dear and beloved friend and brother," Quincy Jones said, "and I will miss his presence and joy of life every day." - Billboard, 5/22/15...... Famed Detroit jazz trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, who performed with such artists as Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Joe Cocker, passed away from heart failure on May 21 in Ann Arbor, Mich., after battling heart and pulmonary disease for several years. He was 78. A Chester, Pa., native who settled in Detroit during the early '60s -- where he played on Motown hits such as "Dancing in the Street," "My Girl" and more -- Belgrave also worked with jazzbos Max Roach, Charles Mingus and Clark Terry, among others; in addition to his own albums, Belgrave's recording resume includes works by McCoy Tyner, Wynton Marsalis, Joe Henderson and B.B. King. Belgrave had been slated to perform at two upcoming Detroit festivals -- the Concert of Colors in July and the Detroit Jazz Festival over Labor Day Weekend. - Billboard, 5/24/15...... Actor and comedian Anne Meara, who gained fame as half of the comedy team Stiller & Meara and the mother of actor Ben Stiller, died on May 23 at the age of 85. Ms. Meara was twice nominated for an Emmy award for her supporting role on Archie Bunkers Place, along with three other Emmy nods, most recently in 1997 for her guest-starring role on Homicide. Ms. Meara also won a Writers Guild Award for the 1983 TV movie The Other Woman. The Stiller family released a statement on May 24 which they described Jerry Stiller as Meara's "husband and partner in life," but no other details on her death were provided. "The two were married for 61 years and worked together almost as long," the statement said. The couple performed as Stiller & Meara on The Ed Sullivan Show and other programs in the 1960s and won awards for the radio and TV commercials they made together. Meara also appeared in dozens of films and TV shows, including a long-time role on All My Children and recurring roles on Rhoda, Sex and the City and The King of Queens. - The Guardian, 5/24/15.

Viking publishers announced on May 20 that they have acquired the rights to a Barbra Streisand autobiography to be published in 2017 in what is expected to be one of the biggest blockbuster celebrity memoirs of the year. "Barbra Streisand's memoir is the entertainment story that has been on the top of every publisher's wish list for years," Viking president Brian Tart said in a press release. "There are over fifty unauthorized biographies about Ms. Streisand that are full of myths and inaccuracies, and she is finally going to tell her own story." The singer/actress/director/producer, who once sang about misty water-colored memories" in her hit 1974 song "The Way We Were," will reminisce about her participation in such iconic films as Funny Girl, The Way We Were, Yentl, Meet the Fockers and Prince of Tides, as well as her two marriages, to Elliott Gould and James Brolin. Streisand is the only person to earn Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Directors Guild of America, Golden Globe, and Peabody awards, as well as receiving Kennedy Center Honors and the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award. - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/20/15...... Pete TownshendThe Who's Pete Townshend marked his 70th birthday on May 19 by releasing a new track titled "Guantanamo," about the (in)famous American military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "I thought this song might never see the light of day, but now President Obama has relaxed sanctions in Cuba, it is a happy sign he might go further," Townshend said in a statement. "Technically this was created in rather a laborious way," he continued. "I recorded a long organ drone using my vintage Yamaha E70 organ (used many times by me on Who and solo recordings in the past), and then cut it into something that sounded like a song using a feature unique to Digital Performer called 'chunks'. This creates blocks of groups of tracks that can be assembled and disassembled easily, like cutting multi-track analogue tape with a razor blade, but with less blood. The lyric grew out of the implicit angry frustration in the organ tracks." "Guantanamo" will be featured in an upcoming new 17-song compilation of the musician's work set for release via UMC/Universal MG on June 30, Truancy: The Very Best Of Pete Townshend. The release also includes remastered versions of the Townshend singles "Rough Boys," "Let My Love Open The Door," "English Boy" and "Face The Face," among others. Shortly before the release, Townshend will play two UK dates, the British Summer Time festival at Hyde Park on June 26, and the Glastonbury music fest on June 28. - New Musical Express, 5/19/15...... The Rolling Stones have announed an eclectic mix of opening acts on their forthcoming North American Zip Code Tour, which gets underway on May 24 in San Diego. Guy Clark, Kid Rock, Grace Potter, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Temperance Movement, Braid Paisley, AWOLNATION, Buddy Guy, Ed Sheeran, Avett Brothers and Walk the Moon will open for the venerable British band on their dates in San Diego, Columbus, Oh., Minneapolis, Atlanta, Orlando, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Mo., Raleigh, NC, and Detroit, respectively. The band will have no opener for their shows in Dallas, Indianapolis, Buffalo, NY, or the closer, a July 15 show in Quebec, Quebec. In conjunction with the tour, the Stones will release a deluxe edition of their classic 1971 set Sticky Fingers with bonus unreleased tracks. Meanwhile, Mick Jagger allegedly correctly predicted the results of the recent UK general election, according to political advisor Jim Messina, who served as campaign manager for US president Barack Obama. "One of the savviest political observers I've come across is Mick Jagger," Messina told "I was invited to a dinner that included the legendary rocker in London before the British election (I took about 9,000 selfies), when I discovered that Mick has been a bit of a political junkie his whole life." Messina said Jagger predicted David Cameron's Tories would regain control because "the average guy thinks Cameron makes tough decisions and things are getting a bit better... They won't change from that." Although Jagger is a keen observer of both the UK and US political scenes, he is not known as an activist and doesn't take sides. - Billboard/NME, 5/20/15...... Bob Dylan was the musical guest of David Letterman on the penultimate episode of his long-running CBS talk show on May 19. Letterman introduced Dylan as "the greatest songwriter of modern times," before the delivered an intimate performance of "The Night We Called It a Day," from his latest album Shadows in the Night. Dylan last graced the stage of Letterman's iconic program back in 1993, having first appeared on it in 1984. Shadows, a collection of covers of songs Frank Sinatra recorded in the 1940s, '50s and '60s, topped Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart, opened at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 200, and peaked at No. 1 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart. - Billboard, 5/20/15...... David CrosbyDavid Crosby has apologized to his onetime Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bandmate Neil Young for remarks he made about Young's girlfriend, actress Daryl Hannah, in a September 2014 interview with the Idaho Statesman newspaper, calling her a "purely poisonous predator." "I was completely out of line," Young said on Howard Stern's Sirius radio program on May 18. "I'm screwed up way worse than that girl. Where do I get off criticising her? She's making Neil happy. I love Neil and I want him happy." Crosby continued: "Daryl, if you're out there, I apologise. Where do I get off criticising you? There are people I can criticise: politicians, pond scum. Not other artists that have gone through a hard life, same as me. She hasn't had it easy either." Crosby also revealed that Young had contacted him after the comments' publication. "He wanted me to print a retraction," he said. "I said, 'I don't know about that.' The first thing that I did was apologize right away. I said, 'Neil, I shouldn't have shot my mouth off. I'm sorry.'" When Young appeared on Stern's show in October, he was adamant that CSN&Y would never reunite. "We were together for a long time. We did some good work. Why should we get together and celebrate how great we were? What difference does it make?," he said. - NME, 5/19/15...... The UK's Screen Daily magazine is reporting that a planned biopic of the Kinks, directed by Julien Temple, has been cast. Johnny Flynn of the UK TV series Scrotal Recall and George Mackay (of the 2014 film Pride), will portray Kinks founding brothers Ray and Dave Davies, respectively. "The project, which will focus on the tension between genious [sic] songwriter rivalry Ray Davies and his rebel rousing [sic] brother Dave Davies will hit your face sometime next year," Temple previously posted on his official website. Temple is also the director of the Kinks' popular video for their 1980's hit "Come Dancing" and directed the 1988 film Earth Girls Are Easy as well as the 1980 Sex Pistols mockumentary The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle. The Kinks biopic is expected to be released sometime in 2016. - Billboard, 5/19/15...... In an interview with London's Evening Standard paper on May 16, Paul McCartney said he felt "lucky" and "flattered" to have recently worked with controversial hip-hop star Kayne West. "It's good to connect with different artists," said McCartney, who collaborated with West on three tracks on West's forthcoming album. "The secret is I keep myself very open to suggestions -- I still feel like I'm about 30." Sir Paul continued" "I'm lucky that someone like Kanye would go, 'Yes I would like to work with Paul McCartney'. I was quite flattered -- I thought, 'Why does he want to work with me?' It was a few months later when I was starting to think, 'should I ring him and ask him did anything come of the stuff we did?' But then I thought 'I can't do that -- that's too soppy!' I'll just leave it and try and act cool." - NME, 5/20/15...... In other Beatles-related news, a Maton Mastersound guitar owned by George Harrison and played by him at nearly a dozen gigs in July and August 1963, including a hometown show in Liverpool, sold for $485,000 at a Julien's auction on May 17. According to Julien's, the Maton guitar was loaned to Harrison by Barratt's Music Store to use while his famous Gibson Country Gentleman was being repaired. It was later bought by Roy Barber, guitarist with Dave Berry and The Cruisers, who was informed of its previous owner. Barber played the instrument for several years until he retired it to storage where it stayed for two decades. Following Barber's death, his widow auctioned the guitar at Sotheby's in 2002. - NME, 5/17/15...... Maharishi Mahesh YogiElsewhere on the Fab Four front, the site of the band's famous 1968 spiritual retreat in northern India, where the band visited for a transcendental meditation experience conducted by guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and allegedly wrote 48 songs for 'The White Album" while staying there, has reportedly become overgrown by forest and wildlife. "Today the ashram is a ghostly relic of [The Beatles'] days," BBC correspondent Soutik Biswas, who recently visited the site, writes. "Mildewed and grotty stone and concrete buildings peep out of overgrown bushes and thick forests in a national park where some 1,700 elephants live, alongside tigers and leopards." The article points out that the ashram, which was opened by Maharishi in 1957, was abandoned in the mid-70s. The site has since become a place of pilgrimage for Beatles fans, but one local resident says that "The gods have left the place, but the devotees keep on coming." - NME, 5/16/15...... David Bowie has announced he will re-release his smash 1983 single "Let's Dance" as a limited-edition single on yellow vinyl on July 16 to mark the opening of Bowie's "David Bowie Is" exhibition in Melbourne, Australia. The AA-side seven-inch will include the original single version of the track, along with a live recording of the song taken from Bowie's Serious Moonlight Tour date in Vancouver, Canada. Both tracks have been remastered especially for the release, and will be limited to just 550 copies at the Australian Centre For The Moving Image (ACMI) gallery. Bowie has also announced plans to re-release his 1975 No. 1 single "Fame" for its 40th anniversary on July 24, backed with an alternate mix of its fellow Young Americans track "Right." - NME, 5/19/15...... Members of the heavy metal bands Black Sabbath, Megadeth and Stone Sour marked the fifth anniversary of the death of Ronnie James Dio on May 16 during a musical tribute at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills on May 16. Dio, who played in Black Sabbath, DIO, Heaven & Hell and Rainbow, died of cancer in 2010. - NME, 5/18/15...... Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters, who has long lobbied for musicians to boycott Israel due to, in his view, the country's mistreatment of Palestinians and occupation of their land, has responded to criticism from pop singer Dionne Warwick over his political views. Warwick, who performed a concert in Tel Aviv on May 19, recently told The Jerusalem Post that "art has no boundaries" and that she "would never fall victim to the hard pressures of Roger Waters, from Pink Floyd, or other political people who have their views on politics in Israel." Now Waters has written a piece for in which he rebuffed the singer's comments. "It strikes me as deeply disingenuous of Ms. Warwick to try to cast herself as a potential victim here," Waters wrote. "The victims are the occupied people of Palestine with no right to vote and the unequal Palestinian citizens of Israel, including Bedouin Israeli citizens of the village of al-Araqib, which has now been bulldozed 83 times by order of the Israeli government." Waters continued: "I believe you mean well, Ms. Warwick, but you are showing yourself to be profoundly ignorant of what has happened in Palestine since 1947, and I am sorry but you are wrong, art does know boundaries. In fact, it is an absolute responsibility of artists to stand up for human rights -- social, political and religious -- on behalf of all our brothers and sisters who are being oppressed, whoever and wherever they may be on the surface of this small planet." - NME, 5/19/15...... Farrah FawcettRichard NixonCable TV's CNN will launch a new eight-part documentary series on the Seventies, simply titled The Seventies, on June 11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. "The Seventies will examine the individuals and events that influenced and shaped a decade that had a profound impact on America," CNN says. "Through the use of raw and rarely seen archival footage, as well as interviews with journalists, historians, musicians and television artists who were eyewitnesses to history, The Seventies paints a vivid portrait of a period of lasting consequence." The premiere episode, "Television Gets Real," explores how television matured into the medium people know today with network programming like MASH, the half-hour comedies of Norman Lear (All in the Family, The Jeffersons), and new formats including the made-for-TV movie, miniseries (Roots), and two of the most successful franchises in television history (Monday Night Football and Saturday Night Live). The episode features commentary from TV titans Tom Hanks, Garry Marshall, Norman Lear, Ed Asner, Bob Newhart, Valerie Harper, and LeVar Burton among many others. The Seventies, which will also be simulcast on the Internet via CNNgo, follows in the footsteps of the top-rated, critically-acclaimed series The Sixties, which was also produced by Hanks and Gary Goetzman's Playtone Productions, and precedes the recently announced The Eighties, which will air in 2016. The premiere episode of The Seventies will be available for free on for one week beginning June 12. - CNN, 5/15/15.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on May 15th, 2015

B.B. KingB.B. King, the influential Mississippi-born singer/guitarist who broke through to the American mainstream in the 1970s and later became honored by three American presidents for his contributions to modern electric blues, died peacefully in his sleep on May 14 in his home in Las Vegas. He was 89. Born Riley King on Sept. 16, 1925, in the Mississippi Delta near Itta Bena, Mr. King was raised on a cotton farm by his maternal grandmother, Elnora, after his mother died he was 9. He picked cotton on a plantation in Indianola, Miss., and made his first recording, the "Sharecropper Record," in 1940. After the war, King moved in with Bukka White in Memphis and caught his first break in 1948 performing on Sonny Boy Williamson's radio program on KWEM in West Memphis, Tenn. His first record deal was with the small Nashville label Bullet Records, his first single being "Miss Martha King," written for his first wife. That led to a deal in 1949 with the Bihari Brothers, whose labels included RPM, Modern and Kent, and quickly found success. His first hit, "Clock Blues," was recorded at the Memphis YMCA in 1951 with Ike Turner on piano. In the early 1960s, Mr. King signed with ABC-Paramount, then home to Ray Charles, and his records took on a more sophisticated tone mostly due to him working with arrangers for the first time. His 1965 concert album Live at the Regal, recorded in Chicago, became a hallmark concert LP. In Feb. 1967, Mr. King was booked on a bill at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco with Moby Grape and the Steve Miller Band, a booking he thought was a mistake after he arrived, having never played to an all-white audience. B.B. KingIn 1969, he scored his first hit single with "The Thrill is Gone," which became his highest-charting single at No. 15. "I had been carrying 'The Thrill is Gone' around for seven or eight years," Mr. King recalled in the liner notes of one of his albums. "Had tried it many times, but it would never come out like I wanted it." Mr. King, who had a catalog of some 375 blues songs, landed 35 of them on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1957 and 1988, when his duet with U2 "When Love Comes to Town," reached No. 68. Mr. King won 15 Grammy Awards, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987 and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Nearly as famous as the man was the man's guitar, which he named "Lucille" after he witnessed two men fighting in a dance hall over a woman named Lucille. "I named the guitar Lucille to remind me to never do a thing like that again," he said (in 1982 he partnered with Gibson to create the "B.B. King Lucille" guitar model). In Oct. 2014, Mr. King fell ill during a show and after being diagnosed with dehydration and exhaustion, canceled his concert tour and had not returned to touring at the time of his death. He had also suffered from Type II diabetes for two decades. Rock legend Eric Clapton, who collaborated with him on a 2000 album titled Riding with the King, posted a tribute to his close friend on his Facebook page. "I just want to express my sadness and to say thank you to my dear friend B.B. King," Clapton said. "I want to thank him for all the inspiration and encouragement he gave me as a player over the years, and for the friendship that we enjoyed." He also encouraged fans to "go out and find and album called B.B. King: Live at the Regal, which is where it really started for me as a young player." - Billboard, 5/15/15.

The Rolling Stones will take part in their first ever Twitter Q&A on May 18, and are promising to personally respond to select questions with videos and text responses with their official @RollingStones Twitter account. "#AskTheStones! The Rolling Stones are doing their first ever twitter Q&A! Tweet us your questions, answers on Monday 10am PST/ 6pm BST," the band tweeted on May 14. The band announced on Mar. 31 that they will embark on a 15-date North American "Zip Code Tour" this summer, beginning with a May 24 show in San Diego. - NME, 5/14/15...... Phil CollinsThe entire solo catalog of former Genesis singer/drummer and '80s solo star Phil Collins will be getting a deluxe reissue treatment under a new worldwide deal with Warner Music Group. Collins's first block of solo albums, including the '80s classics Face Value and No Jacket Required, were originally released in the UK via Virgin, and on the Warner Music label Atlantic in the US, the longtime home of his old band Genesis. "I've had a fantastic relationship with Warner and Atlantic throughout my career and I'm thrilled to be continuing that," says Collins. "I'm working with them now on these new presentations. Very exciting." WMG also promises to release "other uniquely curated titles from the vaults" as part of the deal. In addition to eight solo studio albums, Collins has released one live album and two compilations. The first two reissues, 1981's Face Value and 1993's Both Sides, will hit stores this fall. - Billboard, 5/12/15...... After announcing in January that they are planning a series of TV-movies based on Dolly Parton's life and career, NBC released details on May 12 on the first movie, which will focus on the country crooner's early years. Parton was in attendance during the press conference, and took to the stage to perform two of her best known hits, "Coat of Many Colors" and "I Will Always Love You," during NBC's Upfronts presentation. No premiere date has been set and the cast has not been named, though NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt has noted Parton will produce the series and could even see time on screen. - Billboard, 5/12/15...... '70s glam-rocker Gary Glitter has notified a UK Court of Appeal that he will appeal his recent conviction for historic child sex offenses next March. In February, Glitter was jailed for 16 years after being found guilty of abuse offences dating back to the '70s and '80s. Glitter was sentenced for attempted rape, four counts of indecent assault and one of having sex with a girl under 13. Sentencing Judge Alistair McCreath said that there was "no real evidence" that Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, had atoned for his crimes. There is no scheduled date for the appeal hearing yet. Glitter was previously convicted in 1999 for possession of child pornography and served four months in prison. After his release he relocated to Vietnam, where he was subsequently convicted for child sex abuse offenses. - New Musical Express, 5/12/15...... Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page has filed a second complaint against his neighbor, singer Robbie Williams, in an ongoing feud with Williams over the latter's plans to develop his mansion. Williams has been planning to make changes to the garden and the layout of his house, as well as replacing the roof of its glass studio, and Page was previously thought to have won the battle when Williams withdrew his plans to develop his property. Page objected to the renovations, and hired architects, structural engineers and town planners to put together reports arguing why they should not go ahead. After Williams initially dropped his application, he now has reportedly filed new, scaled-down plans. Williams is reportedly aiming to lower floors and create bigger rooms at his property, with his application stating his intention of creating a "contemporary family living that will ensure the long term occupation and appropriate use of the place into the future." The pair live in west London, where Page has resided since 1972. Williams bought the 17.5 million mansion next door to the Led Zepp guitarist, previously owned by late director Michael Winner, in 2013. - New Musical Express, 5/13/15...... Ozzy OsbourneIn other Heavy Metal news, Ozzy Osbourne has donated $10,000 to the Louisville Leopard Percussionists, a children's band that scored a viral hit in 2013 with their all-percussion take on the Ozzy hit "Crazy Train." Osbourne said he was compelled to send a note to the group after watching the video. In a typewritten letter dated April 24th, he commended the Louisville Leopard Percussionists with, "Myself, my whole family and my fans all loved your rendition of 'Crazy Train.' Keep up the good work. Also enclosed: a $10,000 check." The Louisville Leopard Percussionists have also covered tracks by Led Zeppelin, for which they earned Jimmy Page's praise, and have performed with My Morning Jacket. - Billboard, 5/15/15...... Paul McCartney is among the artists appearing in a new rap music video to promote celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day campaign, which takes place on May 15. The campaign aims to lobby governments to commit to offering children a better food education, and also participating in the video are Ed Sheeran, Jamie Cullum, Alesha Dixon and Professor Green. Meanwhile, Sir Paul has shared his views on a possibile reunion of '90s alternative faves Oasis. Speaking to fans via Japanese app Line, McCartney said, "I don't know if they will ever make up. It would be good because I think everyone likes brothers to like each other -- and make up. It's a pity because they are very good together. Like many brothers, they are crazy. But it would be nice if they got together." Oasis member Liam Gallagher recently declined to comment following tabloid reports suggesting that the Britpop band would reform without his brother, Noel Gallagher. Oasis split in 2009 with Noel citing an inability to work with his brother as the key reason. - NME, 5/14/15...... '60s pop icons The Monkees will perform their first concert in the UK on Sept. 4 since their sold-out concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 2011. The concert, under the name "The Monkees featuring Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork," will take place at the London Hammersmith Eventim Apollo. The show will be the band's first UK performance since the untimely passing of Davy Jones in Feb. 2012. Since their 1960s heyday, the band has charted two more Top 20 albums in the UK, in 1989 and 1997. Their new show features all of the Monkees hits, including "Last Train To Clarkesville" and "Daydream Believer," plus an intimate acoustic set and selections from their cult movie classic, Head. - Noble PR, 5/11/15...... David CassidySeventies teen idol David Cassidy was fined $900 on May 12 and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service in a case stemming from an upstate New York drunken-driving case. Cassidy, 65, leaded guilty last September to a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated. He was sentenced in absentia by a Schodack town justice, who also ordered him to forfeit his drivers license for six months, install an ignition interlock device to prevent him from starting a car drunk, and waive his right to appeal. Cassidy, a resident of Florida, was charged in Aug. 2013 while on his annual summer visit to the Saratoga Race Course, 40 miles north of Schodack. In 2014, Cassidy's attorney said his client had entered alcohol rehabilitation after a previous Los Angeles DWI conviction. - AP, 5/12/15...... Stan Cornyn, a longtime visionary music exec with Warner Brothers Records, died on May 12 at the age of 81 in Carpinteria, Calif., after a long battle with cancer. Mr. Cornyn was regarded as a legend by many of his peers, and worked for Warner Bros. during the time the label signed such groundbreaking acts as the Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix. Mr. Cornyn's promotional campaigns included a lookalike contest for the Dead's Ron "Pigpen" McKernan; a "Win a Fug Dream Date Competition" sweepstakes; and mail-in orders for a pile of dirt from Laurel Canyon during its heyday as an artist haven. He also created a series of two-LP Loss Leader sampler collections that Warner Bros. released during the '70s to further expose the label's new releases, and continued to write and consult in the record industry until the past year. - Billboard, 5/12/15...... Actress Elizabeth Wilson, best known for playing the mother of Benjamim Braddock in the 1967 classic film The Graduate, passed away on May 9 in her home in New Haven, Conn. She was 94. Her other notable supporting role was as Roz, the nemesis of Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin in 9 to 5. Throughout her nearly seven-decade career, she also appeared in films such as The Birds, Quiz Show and The Addams Family, and her TV credits include East Side/West Side, Doc, Dark Shadows, All in the Family, and Murder, She Wrote. She was also a famed stage star, and was awarded a Best Actress Tony Award in 1972 for her role in anti-war drama "Sticks and Bones." -, 5/11/15.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on May 10th, 2015

Organizers of the UK's Glastonbury Festival announced on May 6 that The Who has officially been added to the list of headliners for the 2015 edition, which runs from June 24 through June 28. Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey & Co. will take the stage on Sunday the 28th, the final night of the fest, with Paul Weller as the opener. Headliners on other nights include Foo Fighters and Kayne West. - Billboard, 5/6/15...... Elton JohnElton John appeared before a US Senate appropriations subcomittee on foreign operations in Washington, D.C. on May 7 to urge the panel to help eradicate AIDS by funding a global program to fight the disease. "The Aids epidemic is not over, and America's continued leadership is critical," Sir Elton told the legislators. "You have the power to maintain America's historic commitment to leading the global campaign against this disease. I'm here today to ask you to use that power." John, who founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992, has said he believes US congressional support could help bring about the end of the disease in his lifetime, and he told the panel that "America's continued leadership is critical." "You have the power to maintain America's historic commitment to leading the global campaign against this disease. I'm here today to ask you to use that power," he added. The event was set up to discuss plans for HIV/Aids relief fund Pepfar, which was established in 2003 and renewed in 2008 by Pres. George W. Bush's administration. - New Musical Express, 5/7/15...... Rapper Kayne West met with Cher as the two attended the Met Gala in New York on May 4 and thanked her for popularising Auto-Tune, which she used in her 1998 smash "Believe." West's wife, Kim Kardashian, posted an image of the encounter on Instagram, and Cher told her Twitter fans that she enjoyed meeting the couple, describing Kardashian as "very gracious" and stating that West "thanked me for Autotune." She added: "They were sweet, & seemed 2 be having fun." West first ventured into the world of Auto-Tune with his 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak. He also adopted the technique for his additional albums My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus. - NME, 5/7/15...... Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has joined the board of directors of music royalty collectors SoundExchange, with aims of securing the "long-term value of music." Byrne has spoken previously about the effect the internet has had on the music industry. In his new position at SoundExchange, he will sit amongst other artists and record label representatives, and advocate for new policy on streaming. Byrne says he is aiming to "fight on behalf of all creators for fairness and the long-term value of music," using his experience as a musician to his advantage. Meanwhile, Byrne will curate this year's Meltdown festival at London's Southbank Centre, which takes place between Aug. 17-28. - NME, 5/9/15...... Jim MorrisonFans of late The Doors frontman Jim Morrison have begun a campaign to preserve his childhood home in Albuquerque, N.M., and designate it as a historical site to be placed among a list of tourist attractions in the city. "Living in Albuquerque for a while, I think he should have a spot here," says Doors historian Anthony Gomez, who added Morrison spent several important years in the city before his family relocated to Alexandria, Virginia. Morrison lived in Albuquerque and attended Monroe and Wilson middle schools from age 12 to 14 while his father, George S. Morrison, worked at Kirtland Air Force Base. In the biography No One Here Gets Out Alive, Morrison speaks of witnessing a car accident in the desert involving an American Indian family where some might have died. The accident, which likely happened in New Mexico, was dramatized in the Oliver Stone-directed movie The Doors, and is thought to have later influenced his songs, poetry and interviews. Morrison, who was born in Florida, died in July 1971 at the age of 27 in a Paris bathtub. - AP, 5/6/15...... Country music legend Willie Nelson confirms the rumor that he once smoked pot on the roof of the White House in Washington, D.C., in his new autobiography It's a Long Story: My Life, which was released on May 5. In the memoir, Nelson recalls the 1977 incident, which happened after he spent a brief stint behind bars in the Bahamas for marijuana possession when then-President Jimmy Carter invited Nelson to the White House to thank the singer for his support. Following a dinner with the U.S. leader, Nelson says he was taken to the roof of the building by a "White House insider" to see the city views at night. Nelson said that the unnamed insider offered him a joint, and said, "Getting stoned on the roof of the White House, you can't help but turn inward... Certain philosophical questions come to mind, like... how the f--- did I get here?" -, 5/6/15...... A British research team has released the results of a study that claims legendary bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones did not "revolutionise" music but instead followed patterns that had already existed. The London academics studied patterns from the US pop charts over the period of 1960 to 2010, measuring the occurrence and duration of different music trends. The study, which showed three years of marked change in music (1964, 1983 and 1991), was recently published in the Royal Society Open Science journal and contends that the impact of the "British invasion" of the 1960s -- which saw the Beatles, Stones, The Kinks, The Who and others break through in the US -- has been notably exaggerated. The research found that the musical characteristics of these bands -- which they measure in terms of chord changes, tone and other quantifiable attributes -- were already established in the US beforehand. The study instead finds that hip-hop has had more of an impact on the shape of popular music since its entry into the US charts in 1991. The authors conclude that the genre has "reinvented the musical climate more than any other genre." The researchers analyzed 30-second snippets of roughly 17,000 songs from the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts from 1960 to 2010, and used computer programs to categorize each song based on musical properties, instrumentation used, chord patterns and other elements. - NME, 5/6/15...... Classic rockers REO Speedwagon and contemporary group Imagine Dragons joined forces on the May 4 broadcast of ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! to perform a a mash-up of REO's 1978 hit "Roll With the Changes." Introduced by Kimmel as "Imagine REO SpeedDragons," both group's frontmen, Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons and REO Speedwagon singer Kevin Cronin, shared vocal duties while being backed by members of each band. - NME, 5/10/15...... The BeatlesMovie production companies White Horse Pictures and Studiocanal have announced they will launch international sales of a new Beatles documentary directed by Ron Howard that will focus on the Fab Four's touring years -- presenting unseen footage from early performances -- at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The untitled film, first announced in July 2014, is produced with the full cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison. White Horse's Nigel Sinclair, Scott Pascucci and Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment are producing with Howard; exec producers include Apple Corps Ltd.'s Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde, along with Imagine's Michael Rosenberg and White Horse's Guy East. Howard's film is aimed at exploring The Beatles' inner world -- how they made decisions, how they related to each other -- along with their musical ability and complementary personalities. Footage will include performances at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, engagements in Hamburg and their final public concert in Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966. The Beatles' Ed Sullivan Show appearance in 1964 caused their popularity to explode. When the band stopped touring, they had performed 166 concerts in 15 countries and 90 cities. This project was originally brought to Apple Corps by One Voice One World, which had invited Beatles fans to send in clips of home movies and photos. - Variety, 5/5/15...... A dispute over the health and wealth of ailing blues guitar legend B.B. King was tossed out of a Nevada court on May 7 by a judge in Las Vegas who said two investigations found no evidence that King was being abused. The ruling in Clark County Family Court keeps the 89-year-old musician's longtime business manager, Laverne Toney, in legal control of his affairs. Three of King's 11 surviving children -- Karen Williams, Rita Washington and Patty King -- said outside court they suspect Toney is stealing money and neglecting King's medical needs while blocking them from seeing their father in home hospice care. They vowed to keep fighting. "We lost the battle, but we haven't lost the war," Williams vowed. Toney and B.B. King's lead lawyer, Brent Bryson, denied the allegations, said visits can be scheduled as they've always been, and called the sisters' efforts a money grab. "It's all about money," Bryson said. "Mr. King is no longer out able to tour at this particular time so there's no money coming in. The only way they can get money now is by filing a frivolous type of action." King was married several times and had 15 biological and adoptive children, four of which have died. His eldest surviving daughter, Shirley King, who tours as "Daughter of the Blues," said the dispute between family members and Toney has been months in the making. - AP, 5/7/15...... Erroll BrownErrol Brown, the lead singer and co-founder of '70s funk band Hot Chocolate, died on the morning of May 6 after a battle with liver cancer. He was 71. Brown penned Hot Chocolate's biggest hit, "You Sexy Thing," which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976, and has been rendered almost immortal through its appearances in movies from The Full Monty to Legally Blonde to Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Hot Chocolate scored chart hits throughout the 1970s and 80s in over 50 countries, with the most success coming in the group's native England. Brown, originally from Jamaica, had moved to the U.K. at 12. His first single, a reggae version of John Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance," ended up being endorsed by Lennon, which kicked off his very successful career. Hot Chocolate had at least one hit every year in the UK between 1970 and 1984, making it the only group there to have a hit for 15 consecutive years. In 1985, Brown left the band to spend more time with his family, but he made a comeback in the 1990s with two solo UK tours. Brown embarked on a farewell tour in 2009, telling BBC Breakfast he had "done all [he] wanted to do." "I'm getting a little older now, you know," he went on. "It's hard to pack the suitcase and get back on the road again." "Errol was a gentleman and a personal friend of mine who will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him," said his longtime manager Phil Dale. "His greatest legacy is that his music will live on!" - Billboard, 5/6/15...... Renowned country music fiddler Johnny Gimble, who gained fame for his backup work with such stars as Merle Haggard to Carrie Underwood, died on May 9 near his home in Dripping Springs, Tex., near Austin, after a series of strokes in recent years. He was 89. Mr. Gimble grew up on a farm near Tyler, in East Texas, and became a much-requested session musician in Nashville performing with country giants such as Haggard, Willie Nelson, George Strait, Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn. He won six Country Music Association awards as best instrumentalist. - AP, 5/9/15...... Joanne Carson, the second wife of late night talk show legend Johnny Carson, died at her home in Los Angeles on May 8. She was 83. Born Joanne Copeland in Los Angeles, she married Johnny Carson in 1963, a year after he began hosting The Tonight Show. After their divorce in 1972, Ms. Carson became close to writer Truman Capote. He kept a writing room at her house, where he died in 1984. Ed Rada, the executor of her estate, said she will be interred next to Capote at Westwood Cemetery in Los Angeles. Ms. Carson had a second marriage late in her life to Richard Rever that also ended in divorce. - AP, 5/9/15.

On May 1 Bob Dylan announced he'll launch a 6-date U.K. tour in late October. Dylan, whose latest covers LP Shadows in the Night climbed to No. 1 in the UK charts, will play three consecutive nights at London's Royal Albert Hall from Oct. 21-23, two nights at the Manchester O2 Apollo on Oct. 27-28, and an Oct. 29 show at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena. The singer-songwriter wraps a 19-city spring U.S. tour in San Antonio, Tex., on May 7. - New Musical Express, 5/1/15...... German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk announced on May 4 that they'll bring their unique brand of techno-pop tunes to North America in September and October for a 12-city trek to begin in Edmonton, Alberta on Sept. 16. The Dusseldorf-based troupe will also be visiting Calgary (9/17), Portland, Ore. (9/19), Denver (9/23), Austin, Tex. (9/25), Nashville, Tenn. (9/27), Miami (9/29), Philadelphia (10/2), Boston (10/3), Detroit (10/5) and Minneapolis (10/7) before wrapping in Kansas City, Mo. on Oct. 9. In 2014, Kraftwerk toured its "The Catologue" 3-D show at noteworthy venues in New York, London, Tokyo, Sydney, Los Angeles, Paris and Berlin. - Billboard, 5/4/15...... Eric ClaptonEric Clapton celebrated his milestone 70th birthday on May 1 by rocking New York City's Madison Square Garden before a sold-out crowd. Helping out Slowhand at his birthday party (though he actually turned 70 on Mar. 30) were a few of his guitar-playing friends, including John Mayer, Jimmy Vaughan and Derek Trucks, as well as vocalist/keyboardist Paul Carrack, who performed "You Are So Beautiful," popularized by late Clapton friend Joe Cocker. Clapton also dedicated a song to his beloved mentor, 89-year-old B.B. King, who earlier in the day announced that he is in hospice care in Las Vegas. Clapton, as usual, kept his loyal fans entranced, thrilling with songs like "I Shot the Sheriff," "Crossroads" and "Layla," and "Cocaine." "I want to thank you for helping me celebrate," he said as the show ended. "This is the best birthday I ever had." - AP, 5/4/15...... Elton John has extended his worldwide tour Down Under for a series of winery and arena dates in Australia this winter. The addition to Elton's "All The Hits Tour" will start Dec. 5 at the Hope Estate winery, then he'll visit Brisbane (12/8), Melbourne (12/11), Geelong (12/12), and Adelaide (12/15) before wrapping on Dec. 19 in Sydney. Since playing his first ever show in Oz on Oct. 17, 1971 in Perth, the British rock legend has played Australia 179 times. Elton also married sound engineer Renate Blauel in Sydney back in 1984 (the marriage last three years). "Australia has been one of my favorite countries to tour in ever since my first visit there at the start of my world-wide career in 1971," Elton said in a statement. "Some of my most memorable concerts have taken place in venues all across the continent. The Australian audiences always seem to bring out the best in us, and I am certain there will be many more fantastic evenings when we visit in December," he added. In the interim, John will kick off a European tour on May 31 at the Kent Event Centre in the U.K., then travel across the pond for a U.S. trek to begin Aug. 8 at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena. - Billboard, 5/4/15...... In other news Down Under, longtime AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has spoken publicly for the first time following his recent arrest and subsequent exit from the band. Speaking to Australia's A Current Affair, TV show, Rudd said: "I was pretty stressed at the time. I got back [to Australia] and the people who I had working for me for this [album] launch -- it was a total f---ing disaster. So I was really pissed off." The musician, who has been replaced by former drummer Chris Slade in the band's current line-up, also addressed his departure from the group. "I wrote them a letter, I tried to get in contact with Angus [Young, guitarist]... I've had no contact with anybody. I'm very disappointed... But, you know, that's life. I'm sure they're having a great old time I'm sure they're really enjoying playing. I'm sure it really sounds great." Rudd also seemed keen on rejoining the band in the future, saying "There'll be another tour and another and I'll be on it. It'll go until we all die. We'll probably all have to be dead before it stops... I've seen the errors of my ways... It's onward and upward from here." - New Musical Express, 5/5/15...... Gary RossingtonSouthern Rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd say they're planning on releasing a new LP sometime in 2016. Guitarist Gary Rossington, the sole surviving original member of the group, says "the record business is so different now, but they want us to do a new album with new material and we're gonna do it." Rossington continued: "We've been writing it a little bit here and there, and through the years we've written songs we never really used 'cause we didn't have enough time to record them. So we're gonna get do some new material here. I'm not sure when it's gonna come out; it'll probably end up being next year 'cause we're so busy with material this year, but we hope to record it in the fall." If a new album materializes, it will be the follow-up to 2012's Last of a Dyin' Breed, which debuted at No. 14 on Billboard's Hot 200 album chart. In the meantime, Skynyrd will release Sweet Home Alabama Live at Rockpalast on June 2, a 2-disc live set from a 1996 concert on Germany's Rockpalast TV show with bonus tracks from 1974. Still to be scheduled, is Lynyrd Skynyrd -- One More For the Fans!, a CD and DVD from a tribute concert in Nov. 2014 in Atlanta featuring the band as well as Gregg Allman, Cheap Trick, Peter Frampton, Charlie Daniels, Alabama, Warren Haynes and others. The group winds down a European tour on May 5 in Finland, then after a brief rest launches a summer run in North America, starting May 28 in Westbury, N.Y. "(Some bands are) great bands but they just kind of fade away 'cause you don't get to hear them anymore," Rossington noted. "So as long as we're doing this, I think the name stays at least a little relevant." - Billboard, 5/2/15...... Perhaps unsurprisingly, iconclastic punk icon John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten) recently told the NPR radio network that he has no interest in being honored with an MBE by his native Great Britain. "I've heard the rumors. Oh, they're trying to give me an O.B.E. or an M.B.E. or whatever that is," Lyden said. "Nope, not interested... You wouldn't say that [I'm a national treasure] if you saw the state of my underpants. I tell you. Let's be honest." Lydon also defended himself against the notion that he has "sold out" by appearing on reality TV shows and in adverts." I've spent my whole life trying to be myself. I'm not emulating other human beings, not trying to fit into what society thinks it has the right to dictate to me about what is right or wrong. Who's right or wrong here? Well, it's either me or the whole of society," he said. - NME, 5/3/15...... Speaking at a fan Q&A in London on Apr. 28 to promote his new book How Can It Be? A Rock & Roll Diary, Rolling Stones guitarist and former Faces member Ronnie Wood said that a Faces reunion is being held up by Rod Stewart's manager, who "makes everything about money." "Why can't the three surviving guys from the Faces just get together and play for people? That's what we want to try and do. I think that would be brilliant," Wood said. The Faces reunited in 2010 with Simply Red's Mick Hucknall on lead vocals in place of Stewart and played a headline set at the Vintage at Goodwood Festival, and the band mounted a tour the following year. In 2013 Stewart said that he and Wood were planning a Faces reunion for 2015. However, there are no confirmed plans for any such reunion. Keyboardist Ian McLagan of the Faces and Small Faces, meanwhile, died in 2014 after suffering a stroke. - NME, 5/2/15...... James TaylorJames Taylor debuted a new single, "Angels of Fenway," at the legendary Boston baseball venue on May 3. The song was played on the P.A.system before the Red Sox' game against the New York Yankees, accompanied by a video with highlights of the century-old rivalry. "Angels of Fenway, hear our prayer," the chorus goes. "We have been chastened. We have been patient." The song follows his Red Sox fandom through three generations, from the sale of Babe Ruth to the team's cathartic 2004 World Series title. Taylor says he inherited his love for the team from his father and grandmother, and said he continued to follow the team after his family moved from there to North Carolina. He returned for high school in the Boston suburb of Milton -- during the lean years of the early 1960s -- and said he became a Fenway regular in the '90s through his wife's friendship with Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor Seiji Ozawa. Taylor added he has sung at Fenway Park about a half-dozen times, including the national anthem before Game 2 of the 2004 World Series. He is scheduled to play a concert at the ballpark with Bonnie Raitt on Aug. 6. - AP, 5/3/15...... Fleetwood Mac fans will remember how the University of Southern California marching band famously backed the '70s rock stars on their track "Tusk" in 1979, and Mac singer/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham appeared at USC's Bovard Auditorium on Apr. 29 for a two-hour speech interspersed with several performances, including "Never Going Back Again," "Go Your Own Way," and "Tusk" with the current USC marching band. "It's a great time for Fleetwood Mac," Buckingham said, crediting the return of Christine McVie. "It's a very karmic time for the band, in that if you look at this perhaps as the beginning of the last act then it's very appropriate for her to return," he said. "[And] we're playing to many generations of people and they all seem to be enjoying it the same." Before the night ended, students got to ask questions, one of which wondered whether today's artists will have the staying power of Fleetwood Mac. In his answer, Buckingham referenced current pop sensation Taylor Swift. "I actually like Taylor Swift," he said. "I admire what she's been able to do on some levels. There are a ton of really good people out there. I don't think music is any less vital. I think it's a little harder to churn out interfaces with sociology. When I was a kid and Elvis Presley broke through to a middle class, white audience, it was a sociological phenomenon that lasted through the Beatles and even a bit through Fleetwood Mac," he added. - Billboard, 5/1/15...... It has been announced that the Grateful Dead's last-ever concert will be screened in U.K. cinemas this summer. The band's final outing will be shown at 250 cinemas across the U.K. on July 6, the day after the band plays its farewell concert at Chicago's Soldier Field, where their last performance with late frontman Jerry Garcia took place in July 1995. Venues are still to be announced, with tickets going on sale on May 13. - NME, 5/5/15...... The 2015 Billboard Music Awards will feature a performance by Van Halen. The event, set for the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas on May 17, will also be telecast on ABC beginning at 8:00 p.m. EDT. The lineup of performers also includes previously announced acts Kelly Clarkson, Hozier, Nick Jonas, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith. - Billboard, 5/1/15...... Roger WatersSpeaking to the London Times on May 3, Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters argued that the perceived "takeover by Silicon Valley" has meant that it's hard for modern musicians to make a living. "I feel enormously privileged to have been born in 1943 and not 1983," Waters said. "To have been around when there was a music business and the takeover by Silicon Valley hadn't happened, and in consequence, you could still make a living writing and recording songs and playing them to people. When this gallery of rogues and thieves had not yet injected themselves between the people who aspire to be creative and their potential audience and steal every f----ing cent anybody ever made." Waters also declared that a reunion of the surviving classic '70s Pink Floyd lineup is "out of the question." "Life after all gets shorter and shorter the closer you get to the end of it and time becomes more and more precious and in my view should be entirely devoted to doing the things you want to do. One can't look backwards," he said. In November, Pink Floyd secured their first No. 1 album since 1995 with its latest -- and apparently final -- album The Endless River. - NME, 5/3/15...... In an interview with Britain's The Sun newspaper on Mar. 30, Paul McCartney drew similarities between his recent writing sessions with rapper Kanye West and those he held with late bandmate John Lennon. "When I wrote with John, he would sit down with a guitar. I would sit down. We'd ping-pong till we had a song. (Writing with West) was like that. We sat around and talked an awful lot just to break the ice. One of the stories I told him about was how I happened to have written Let It Be. My mom came to me in a dream when she'd died years previously. I was in a bit of a state - it was in the sixties and I was overdoing it. In the dream she said, 'Don't worry it's all going to be fine, just let it be.' And I woke up and thought, 'Woah' and wrote the song." Sir Paul collaborated with West earlier in 2015 on two songs, "Only One," a homage to the "Stronger" hitmaker's late mother Donda, and "FourFiveSeconds," a collaboration with Rihanna. -, 5/1/15...... An attorney for Joni Mitchell said on May 4 that the ailing singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell may be released from the hospital in a few days. Attorney Alan Watenmaker cited Mitchell's possible release as the reason for why one of the singer's longtime friends needed to be appointed as her conservator during a court hearing earlier in the day. A judge agreed and gave Leslie Morris emergency powers to make decisions about Mitchell's health care and lifestyle. Morris, Mitchell's friend of more than 40 years, recently petitioned to become the Grammy winner's conservator because there are no relatives who could serve. Morris' petition, accompanied by a doctor's statement, stated that Mitchell was unconscious and unable to participate in her care. Mitchell's official website has said she is expected to make a full recovery. - AP, 5/4/15...... Ben E. KingR&B legend Ben E. King, best known for his hit song "Stand By Me," died on Mar. 30 at a medical center in Hackensack, N.J., after an unspecified brief illness. He was 76. Born in Henderson, North Carolina, on Sept. 28, 1938, King moved to Harlem when he was nine years old. He joined a doo-wop group in 1958 that eventually came to be known as The Drifters. They scored a number of successful R&B singles, and in 1960, he left the group after a contract dispute and assumed his stage name out on his own. "Stand By Me," King's second single during his solo career, was re-issued in 1986 after it was used as the theme song to the Rob Reiner-directed movie of the same name. The U.S. Library of Congress added the iconic song to the National Recording Registry in April 2015, saying, "It was King's incandescent vocal that made it a classic." On his own and with the Drifters, King had five number-one hits: "There Goes My Baby," "Save The Last Dance For Me," "Stand By Me," "Supernatural Thing," and the 1986 re-issue of "Stand By Me," according to his website. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Drifter. Recording for Atco, a subsidiary of Atlantic, Mr. King scored modest successes in the 1960s with "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)," "I (Who Have Nothing)," "Seven Letters" and "Tears, Tears, Tears." By the end of the decade his career was in decline, but he rebounded in 1975 with the funk hit "Supernatural Thing, Part 1," and in 1977 recorded a well-regarded album with the Average White Band, Benny and Us. He continued to turn out albums for Atlantic into the 1980s, recording Let Me Live in Your Life (1978), Music Trance (1980) and Street Tough (1981). He later recorded for a variety of independent labels and performed regularly in clubs and small concert halls in the United States and abroad. "With an extremely heavy heart, I must say goodbye to one of the sweetest, gentlest and gifted souls that I have had the privilege of knowing and calling my friend for more than 50 years - Mr. Ben E. King," his friend, singer/songwriter Gary U.S. Bonds posted on his Facebook page. "I can tell you that Ben E. will be missed more than words can say." - Billboard/, 5/1/15.