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 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...... Fans 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?" - WENN.com, 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...... Movie 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...... Errol 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 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...... Southern 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 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...... Speaking 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. - WENN.com, 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...... R&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/NBCNews.com, 5/1/15.