Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on June 30th, 2015

Chris SquireChris Squire, the founding bassist of British prog-rockers Yes, passed away on June 27 in Phoenix, Ariz., where he was undergoing treatment for leukemia. He was 67. Squire, who was also a member of the short-lived supergroup YXZ alongside Yes' Alan White and Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, had been diagnosed with acute erythroid leukemia in May. Born on March 4, 1948, in London, Squire co-founded Yes with its former lead singer, Jon Anderson, and the group released its self-titled debut album in 1969. Squire was the only member to feature on all 21 of their studio albums. Yes confirmed the news with a statement on June 29: Chris Squire"For the entirety of Yes' existence, Chris was the band's linchpin and, in so many ways, the glue that held it together over all these years. Because of his phenomenal bass-playing prowess, Chris influenced countless bassists around the world, including many of today's well-known artists. Chris was also a fantastic songwriter, having written and co-written much of Yes' most endearing music, as well as his [1975] solo album, Fish Out of Water." Yes released its latest studio album, Heaven & Earth, in 2014. The group will launch a U.S. tour with Toto in August, when Billy Sherwood will fill in for Squire. It will be their first ever Yes concert performed without Squire. Some of rock's most famous performers have paid tribute to their friend on Twitter since his passing. "Shocked to hear of the passing of Chris Squire, one of the great bass players," posted Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler. Meanwhile, Queen's Brian May tweeted "RIP Chris Squire," before describing him as a "great guy." Gene Simmons of Kiss added that Squire "will be missed." Squire is survived by his wife, Scotland, and several children. - AP/New Musical Express, 6/28/15.

The Who's Pete Townshend told Britain's Mojo magazine on June 25 that 2015 will likely be the end of The Who, but that he and singer Roger Daltrey will "collaborate under a different name." Townshend made the remarks as The Who is in the midst of a world tour and speculation of a falling out between himself and Daltrey. "Roger and I were both so upset when the English newspapers decided that we were feuding -- big headlines: 'Roger And Townshend Feuding'. Because it's just not the case," he said. Townshend added that "I think I will stop after this year... When this tour is over, we'll probably both go our separate ways. So it's to demonstrate that even this particular gang can grow old -- not necessarily gracefully, but can grow old ungracefully, or whatever it is that we're doing." Townshend insisted that the pair's relationship is stronger than ever, and that "the acceptance of each other's eccentricities and differences has brought us to a really genuine and compassionate relationship, which can only be described as love." "And that's something to demonstrate, because this is two old guys in rocking chairs. As Roger says, we're lucky that we're not in some old peoples' home and that we can do this now," he added. Later that evening, The Who paid tribute to late bandmates John Entwistle and Keith Moon at British Summer Time at London's Hyde Park as he introduced the band's replacement musicians, bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Zak Starkey. On June 28, The Who headlined the Glastonbury Festival and they're also set to play a one-off Quadrophenia-themed gig at the Royal Albert Hall on July 5 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, before commencing their North American Tour. - New Musical Express, 6/25/15...... Mickey HartPhil LeshBob WeirThe Grateful Dead played its Fare Thee Well run of swansong shows on June 27 and 28 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Kicking off with the classic "Truckin'," the 65-minute first set of the night featured the "core four" of surviving members -- Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann -- along with Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio and guest keyboardists Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti. Accentuating the set were pictures of hand-drawn envelopes to GDTS, the Dead's in-house mail order system, as well as psychedelic video images of tie-dyes and Dead symbols. After jamming on such numbers as "Uncle John's Band," "Cumberland Blues" and "Cream Puff War," the band closed with a 17-minute "Viola Lee Blues" that segued into a deep jam accentuated by a glorious artificial rainbow (at a reported cost of $50,000) encircling the venue in the sky. Three more gigs will follow on July 3-5 at Chicago's Soldier Field, where the band's last performance with frontman Jerry Garcia took place on July 1995. - Billboard, 6/28/15...... A source close to AC/DC has revealed that the Australian rockers have finally agreed to put their music on the streaming service Spotify, three years after they decided to put their catalog on iTunes. Speaking under the condition of anonimity, the person said AC/DC's catalog will be available on Spotify beginning June 30. AC/DC has been one of the few holdouts on releasing their music digitally. - AP, 6/29/15...... The Pretenders lead singer Chrissie Hynde will publish her memoir, Reckless: My Life as a Pretender, simultaneously in the U.S. and abroad on Sept. 8 via Doubleday. Hynde will take readers through her life, from her 1950s childhood in Akron, Ohio to her college days at Kent State (including being on campus during the May 4, 1970 shooting of students by the National Guard) to her move to London in the early 1970s where she got to know Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols. Hynde formed the Pretenders in 1978, releasing an acclaimed self-titled debut album that year, and is a former wife of the Kinks frontman Ray Davies. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/29/15...... Billboard magazine has announced it will sponsor its first ever Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival this year on Aug. 22 and 23 at New York's Jones Beach. The full lineup, which includes more than 30 different artists, will be a mixture of some of the charts' biggest veteran artists as well as quickly rising newcomers. - Billboard, 6/29/15...... After her longtime friend David Crosby told the Huffington Post that Joni Mitchell had a brain aneurysm and wasn't able to communicate, her conservator, Leslie Morris, posted on Mitchell's website on June 28 confirming the aneurysm, but is "speaking" and "speaking well." "Joni did in fact suffer an aneurysm. However, details that have emerged in the past few days are mostly speculative," the post on Mitchell's site reads. "The truth is that Joni is speaking, and she's speaking well. She is not walking yet, but she will be in the near future as she is undergoing daily therapies. She is resting comfortably in her own home and she's getting better each day. A full recovery is expected." David Crosby also posted that Mitchell "took a terrible hit... She had an aneurysm, and nobody found her for a while. And she's going to have to struggle back from it the way you struggle back from a traumatic brain injury." The 71-year-old folk rock legend was found unconscious in her Los Angeles home on March 31. She was admitted to an area hospital after which conflicting reports emerged concerning her responsiveness. - Billboard, 6/28/15...... David CrosbyMeanwhile, David Crosby also had some choice words for rapper Kayne West in his HuffPo interview, labelling him a "poser." "Kanye West can't write, sing or play. So I have trouble with him as anything but a poser. Produce? That means he sits in a chair while the engineer does the work. He's a poser! And I'm not backing off it," Crosby said. Also getting in a dig at West was The Who Pete Townshend during its festival-closing set at the Glastonbury Festival on June 27. Referring to West's claim that he was "the greatest living rock star on the planet" during his set earlier in the night, Townshend described set-closer "Won't Get Fooled Again" as "big and rebellious" before adding, "who's the biggest rock star in the world?" to cheers from their crowd. - NME, 6/27/15...... The Rolling Stones have topped Billboard's Hot Tours list for the week ending June 23 for the first time since launching their Zip Code tour of North America in late May. With $52 million in box office sales earned at six stadiums during the eight-week jaunt, the Stones topped the $9 million mark in sales in three venues since the tour began, including Orlando's Citrus Bowl Stadium, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex., and Pittsburgh's Heinz Field. The band has grossed an estimated $360 million on tour since Nov. 2012, which included its 50 & Counting Tour (behind its greatest hits release GRRR!) and its 14 On Fire Tour which began in Feb. 2014. Other '70s artists making the Hot Tours Top 10 included Bette Midler (No. 2, $17,786,722), and Rush (No. 9, $1,756,704). - Billboard, 6/26/15...... After the British genealogical website Find My Past reported that a great uncle of John Lennon's named William Lennon was a prolific criminal living in Victorian Liverpool, the website issued a correction on June 29 saying it had made a mistake and that "the William Lennon in our records, who was also born in Liverpool in the same year, was not related to John Lennon. While our fact checking process is rigorous, on this occasion we made an error." The person unrelated to the late Beatle, William Lennon was convicted several times of burglary, pick-pocketing and other crimes. He was also found in possession of counterfeited coins in 1895. Prison records also state that he had 15 scars. On June 29, a new digitalized database was unveiled by the UK's National Archives and the website Find My Past. - NME, 6/29/15...... In other Lennon-related news, John's son Sean Lennon recently granted an exclusive interview to the publication Humanity and said, perhaps unsurprisingly, that his famous dad and mother rank high on the list. "When he died, I remember feeling like there was sort of a vacuum that had been left. I used to just try to play the piano to connect with my idea of what I thought he was, being a musician and stuff. I think at first my inspiration came from just wanting to find some connection to my dad," said Sean, who described his mother Yoko Ono as "incredible in terms of her lyrical capability... I mean she'll write like 3 or 4 songs a day in the studio. That makes it really fun, so often we'll make it up as we go along." Sean also revealed that his favorite Beatles songs were "'Strawberry Fields' and 'I Am the Walrus'... the stuff that's really more out there." - Billboard, 6/26/15...... Giorgio MoroderIconic '70s dance producer/composter Giorgio Moroder has made his first appearance on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart in nearly 38 years as his latest album, Deja Vu, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart. The comeback set sold 7,000 copies in the week ending June 21, according to Nielsen Music. Deja Vu also enters at No. 72 on the Billboard 200, marking Moroder's first appearance on the list since From Here to Eternity peaked at No. 130 in 1977. - Billboard, 6/26/15...... LaVerne Toney, the manager of late blues musician B.B. King, was named the sole executor of his estate by a district judge on June 26 despite objections from members of King's family. King's daughters -- Karen Williams, Patty King, Rita Washington and Barbara Winfree -- had been contesting a previous decision to make Toney in charge of the musician's estate. Toney was named in King's will as the person chosen to be the executor of his estate. The daughters had recently alleged that Toney prevented family members from visiting during his last days, as well as claiming that he and his personal assistant Myron Johnson hastened their father's death. - NME, 6/26/15...... Brian Wilson has announced the postponement of his upcoming UK tour due to a work commitment for his new hit biopic, Love and Mercy. WIlson had been expected to perform shows in Liverpool, Cardiff, London, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow during September, but now the UK and other European shows have been pushed back to 2016 for the 50th anniversary of seminal Beach Boys album Pet Sounds, with the series of shows being billed as the musician's "final European tour." The Wilson biopic Love And Mercy opened in US cinemas on June 5 and will be released in the UK on July 10. - NME, 6/24/15...... The much-anticipated memoir from New Wave singer Grace Jones, I'll Never Write My Memoirs, has been given a Sept. 29 publication date by Gallery Books. In an earlier statement announcing the book, the model/actress/singer's explained the title, "I wrote a song called 'Art Groupie'. First line said 'I'll never write my memoirs' " that was a long time ago. Since then, I thought, if I don't do it, somebody else will." The book news comes three months after the announcement that a new documentary on Jones will be produced by the film arm of the British Broadcasting Co. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/29/15...... Current Journey drummer Deen Castronovo has been formally charged with rape following his arrest on June 14 at his home in Salem, Ore. A District Attorney has now added charges of rape, sexual abuse and unlawful use of a weapon to the musician's rap sheet, after previously charging him with domestic violence. Castronovo is being held without bail in the Marion County Jail and is due in court on June 30. He was dropped from Journey's ongoing tour when news broke of his arrest. - WENN.com, 6/30/15...... Syd BarrettHave You Got It?, a new documentary film about late founding Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett, is set to be released later in the summer of 2015. Directed by Roddy Bogawa, Have You Got It? features interviews with the surviving members of the band, and takes its name from an unreleased Pink Floyd song. Barrett, who died in 2006, founded Pink Floyd with bassist Roger Waters, drummer Nick Mason and keyboardist Rick Wright in 1965. He famously retreated from the media's spotlight after displaying erratic behavior on tour and leaving the band in 1968. - NME, 6/26/15...... British actor Patrick Macnee, best known as the dapper secret agent John Steed in the long-running 1960s TV series The Avengers, died on June 25 of natural causes at his home in Ranco Mirage, Calif. He was 93. Born Daniel Patrick Macnee on Feb. 6, 1922, in London, Mr. Macnee also attended Eton, although he claimed to have been thrown out for dealing in horse race bets and pornography. He also served in the military during World War II, captaining torpedo boats that sought to destroy German U-boats in French waters. Before he left Eton, Mr. Macnee had discovered acting. He apprenticed in the British theater, toured in provincial theaters and made his film debut as an extra in the 1938 film Pygmalion. Mr. Macnee became an American citizen in 1959 and moved to Palm Springs in 1967, saying the dry desert air benefited his daughter, who suffered from asthma. His film credits include Hamlet (with Laurence Olivier), A Christmas Carol, Until They Sail, Les Girls, Young Doctors in Love, Sweet 16 and This Is Spinal Tap. But he became most famous for his umbrella-wielding character John Steed in the Avengers series, which ran from 1965 to 1968. He was accompanied by a string of beautiful women who were his sidekicks, including Diana Rigg (the most popular), Honor Blackman and Linda Thorson. Before The Avengers, he had appeared in such TV shows as Twilight Zone, Rawhide and Playhouse 90, among many others. Mr. Macnee owned 2.5 percent of the profits of The Avengers, and the series continued to play worldwide into the 21st century. "It's extremely good," he once said in an interview "I feel very justified and delighted in seeing after all these years that the show works." - Variety, 6/26/15.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on June 24th, 2015

Paul McCartney dedicated the Beatles' song "The Long and Winding Road" to the nine black civilians killed by a young white man at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., on June 17 before performing it at Delaware's Firefly Festival on June 19. "Let's take a moment to pray for peace and harmony amongst people of different colors in the world," McCartney told the crowd. The shooter, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, has reportedly told police he shot the victims with the intention of starting a race war. - New Musical Express, 6/20/15...... Ben JonesIn related news, actor-turned politician Ben Jones, who portrayed Cooter Davenport in the 1979-85 TV series The Dukes of Hazzard, is defending the continued use of the U.S. Confederate flag, which has come under attack since the Charleston massacre. Appearing on the CNN show Legal View on June 23, the 73-year-old Jones insisted the flag is widely used to honor those who fought for the Confederacy in the U.S. Civil War and represent Southern family values -- and isn't intended to offend. "Through all of that (in the aftermath of the Civil War), through all of those resentments, through all of that segregation, and white supremacy and all that nonsense, we've come through that," Jones contended. "We're not here to offend anybody." Jones, who marched in the civil rights movement, also claimed the use of the flag on The Dukes of Hazzard's iconic 1969 Dodge Charger, nicknamed the "General Lee", was never meant to offend and was always used in a "positive context." Jones also owns two "Cooter's Place" retail stores in Virginia and Tennesse, and says he refuses to bow to pressure to stop selling items featuring the Confederate flag and associated memorabilia in his shops. Despite Jones' stance, executives at Warner Bros., which owns the rights to the series, announced they would no longer license toy cars featuring the General Lee with the flag on its roof. "Warner Bros. Consumer Products has one licensee producing die-cast replicas and vehicle model kits featuring the General Lee with the confederate flag on its roof - as it was seen in the TV series. We have elected to cease the licensing of these product categories," the studio said in a statement. - WENN.com, 6/24/15...... A rep for Brian Wilson announced on June 24 that Wilson is postponing his planned U.K. tour in September due to the success of his new biopic, Love and Mercy. "Due to the overwhelming success of Brian Wilson's movie Love & Mercy which has opened in the U.S. to critical acclaim, Brian has had to postpone his current UK tour planned for September 2015 due to commitments in the U.S.," the rep said, adding that the Beach Boys mastermind will be back in the U.K. and Europe in 2016 with a string of concerts to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys' seminal 1966 album, Pet Sounds. In a statement, Wilson said he was "looking forward to seeing all his fans" in the U.K. and Europe next year, and that "this will be my final European tour." "I hope you all enjoy my movie when it opens in the UK on July 10th," he added. - Billboard, 6/24/15...... David BowieA new David Bowie deluxe box set called Five Years 1969-1973 featuring 12 CD's or 13 LP's of all the music recorded by the intriguing rocker during this period is due on Sept. 25, 2015. The set will include six remastered albums, including David Bowie (aka Space Oddity in the US), The Man Who Sold the World, Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Aladdin Sane and Pin Ups. Two live albums, Live Santa Monica '72 and Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture Soundtrack, along with a 2003 stereo mix of Ziggy Stardust will be included, as well as a compilation disc, titled Re:Call 1, with non-album tracks and rarities recorded between 1969-73. It is described as "the first of a series of career-spanning releases from Bowie." - NME, 6/23/15...... In other Bowie-related news, actor Michael C. Hall, best known for his TV roles on Six Feet Under and Dexter, has been tapped to play a role once famously inhabited by the Thin White Duke when he stars as the alien Thomas Newton in the off-Broadway production of "Lazarus" this winter. "Lazarus" is based on author Walter Tevis' classic 1963 British sci-fi novel The Man Who Fell to Earth, and Bowie appeared as Newton in Nicolas Roeg's cult 1976 film of the same name. It remains unclear whether Lazarus will be a full-fledged musical or a play with songs. However, the production will feature songs specially composed by Bowie as well as new arrangements of previously recorded tracks. "Lazarus" will launch preview performances beginning Nov. 18 at New York Theatre Workshop, with official opening night set for Dec. 7. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/23/15...... Queen has announced they will launch their own brand of beer to mark this year's 40th anniversary of their seminal 1975 hit, "Bohemian Rhapsody." Aptly named Queen Bohemian Lager, the beverage is described as a "golden hoppy" beer and the bottles will carry an image from their A Night at the Opera album, from which their hit "Bohemian Rhapsody" was lifted, and the distinctive Queen crest, which was designed by the late frontman Freddie Mercury while he was a student at Ealing Art College. Brewed in Czech Republic (Bohemia, of course) the beverage will hit shelves in Europe this summer ahead of a planned worldwide rollout. A 12-pack of 330ml bottles are priced at £20 ($31) and a crate will cost £36 ($56). In 2013, Queen released its own vodka brand, Killer Queen, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their hit of the same name. - Billboard, 6/24/15...... Former Pink Floyd principal Roger Waters has long supported the nonprofit organization MusiCorps, which aids injured service members and their families and teaches veterans how to play instruments as an integral part of their rehabilitation. Now Rogers has announced he will serve as host of the 2015 MusiCorps Music Heals benefit concert, set for Oct. 16 at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. "The work I have done over the last few years with these men and women has been some of the most rewarding work I have ever done," Waters said in a statment. Also on the bill are such artists as Billy Corgan, Sheryl Crow and Tom Morello. Meanwhile, Waters is set to headline the Newport Folk Festival, his first-ever appearance at the Rhode Island fest, on July 24. - Billboard, 6/23/15...... Sammy HagarFormer Van Halen vocalist Sammy Hagar has responded to a recent Billboard interview with Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen, who claimed that he had to show former VH bassist Michael Anthony how to play all his parts and that this is a big part of why he's no longer in the band. Posting on his Facebook page on June 19, Hagar said, "For Eddie to say he had to show [Michael] what to play and had to teach him all those songs, that is the biggest line of bullshit I've ever heard in my life. I was in that band for eleven years, there was never a video camera involved of Eddie showing him what to play.... I don't know why they go after him like that." Hagar added that Anthony was "the most loyal guy in the band. He was the first guy there at rehearsal, the last guy to leave.... [He was] a hundred percent dedicated; never did anything to hurt those guys. And they try to hurt him again, and again, and again." Hagar currently plays with Anthony in The Circle, which also features drummer Jason Bonham and guitarist Vic Johnson. Meanwhile, Anthony has also responded to Eddie's charges, but in a more diplomatic manner: "I am proud to say that my bass playing and vocals helped create our sound. I've always chosen to take the high road and stay out of the never-ending mudslinging, because I believe that it ultimately ends up hurting the Van Halen fans." - Billboard, 6/19/15...... Who do you think the ultimate '70s singer-songwriter is -- Cat Stevens, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell or Paul Simon? After their editors chose James Taylor, using such criteria as "Most '70s Album Title" and "'70s Lyric Best Suited For a Yearbook Quote," Billboard magazine would like your opinion. - Billboard, 6/22/15...... In other James Taylor news, the singer says he's OK with the music streaming business, but he believes artists deserve 50 percent of the profits. "If someone's going to be making money off of my recorded music, I think that I should be getting half of that money that they're making because I'm the one who generated the product," Taylor said in a recent interview. "What I'd like to see about Spotify is how much money is the company making relative to what the artist is making? For every dollar they take in, they should be giving 50 cents to the people who actually recorded the music." Taylor recently released his first studio LP in 13 years, Before This World, which has soared to the top of the charts and become his first No. 1 Billboard album. He'll launch a tour July 2 in Allentown, Penn., then on Aug. 6 he'll perform at Boston's Fenway Park on Aug. 6 with Bonnie Raitt, where he will sing his baseball-themed song "Angels of Fenway." - AP, 6/21/15...... In a recent interview with Planet Rock, Kiss bassist Gene Simmons once again criticized fans for downloading music illegally and said the practice is "killing the next Elvis and the Beatles." Simmons said he feels artists who wish to follow in Kiss's footsteps may never achieve the same notoriety as listeners prefer not to support them financially. "I blame the fans. Because the fans have decided en masse -- in other words, the masses have decided that they should get free music, download, fileshare," said Simmons. "You're killing the next Elvis [Presley] and The Beatles and the next Kiss and the next whoever, because you have to give your music away for free." He added that "the talent is out there... [but] the fans killed the infrastructure." In a 2014 interview, Simmons accused current record labels of failing to adequately support rock artists these days and declared the genre to be "finally dead," but praised the labels of his day because they "gave bands money that they never had to pay back -- ever!" - New Musical Express, 6/21/15...... Yoko Ono delivered a small speech at the Museum of Modern Art in New York during a sunrise concert on June 21. "Yoko Ono Morning Peace 2015" featured performances by Blood Orange, and the museum currently has an acclaimed exhibit of Ono's work on display. - Billboard, 6/22/15...... Country music legend Glen Campbell's battle with Alzheimer's while on a poignant farewell concert tour with his family is the subject of Glen Campbell...I'll Be Me, a heartrending documentary that premieres on CNN on June 28 at 9:00 EDT/8:00 CDT. I'll Be Me also features "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," a song that was nominated for an Oscar earlier this year. - TV Guide, 6/22/15...... David BellamyThe Bellamy Brothers, who topped the charts in the spring of 1976 with "Let Your Love Flow," have a new project out, 40 Years: The Album, that David Bellamy says is the perfect mix of the past and the present. "We were wanting to put something out that wasn't just a rehash of all the hits," Bellamy says. "So we came up with the concept for the 40th anniversary of also doing a completely brand-new album. At the time when we started it, we had about 12 songs. As we went along, we came up with a few more songs, so we thought, 'Why not have 20 hits and 20 new songs?' So that was our concept for the project." Disc one contains many of the duo's classic hits, such as "Old Hippie," "Feelin' the Feelin" and "Redneck Girl," while disc two is full of 20 brand-new performances, including "Living in Oblivion," a song that David says is straight out of his brothers' philosophy. "That's a song Howard wrote. I think that's how he would like to live, but it's hard for him. It's a state of mind he tries to attain, but it's not really attainable. I love the track. It's got a country-reggae groove on it. I think it sounds incredible." The duo has a full slate of concerts to promote the new LP through the remainder of 2015, and they're starting to add more dates for 2016. "I don't know what retirement means," Bellamy says. "I guess they will probably ship me home in a box from a show. We don't really have any plans to stop working anytime soon. Both of us feel like we're still healthy and we want to go out and play, and it's still fun for us. So we're still doing it, and having fun while doing it." - Billboard, 6/19/15...... Alice Cooper has confirmed he'll play two dates in the UK this fall, an October 29 show at Plymouth's Pavillions and an Oct. 30 gig at Swindon's Oasis. Cooper's upcoming Hollywood Vampires album features contributions from Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl and Johnny Depp, among others. - NME, 6/23/15...... Former Deep Purple singer Glenn Hughes has added new shows his autumn 2015 UK solo tour. Kicking off in Norwich on Oct. 19, the tour will visit Newcastle (10/20), Belfast (10/22), Glasgow (10/23), Holmfirth (10/25), Bilston (10/26), York (10/28) and Manchester (10/29) before wrapping at London's Electric Ballroom on Nov. 1. "It's always a great pleasure for me to play in the UK," says Hughes. "I have lived in Los Angeles most of my life, but my career started back in the UK." - Noble PR, 6/23/15...... There are reports that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has dismissed at least 16 of its Early Rock & R&B Influencers from its 42-member subcommittee. "They just got rid of the guys who have all the histories of thousands of artists in their heads," says one longtime music industry participant. "That's like letting go the intent of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame." Some Hall of Fame watchers worry that this latest move by Jon Landau and Jann Wenner -- widely seen as the dominating figures in the Hall -- is meant to reduce the focus on the pioneers so that going forward the Cleveland-based Hall can focus on artists who came to the fore in the 1980s and soon the 1990s, who might still have more cachet with mainstream music fans and HBO, which broadcasts the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's show. "There are still a lot of worthy artists from the 1950s and the 1960s that deserve to be in, but now it looks like their chances are reduced further," says one industry participant. - Billboard, 6/19/15...... Vocalist/guitarist/pianist/songwriter Wendell Holmes of The Holmes Brothers died at his home on June 19 from complications due to pulmonary hypertension. He was 71. The Holmes Brothers released 12 studio albums of soul/blues music between 1990 and 2014. Wendell had retired from touring earlier this year when he was first diagnosed, and the group's drummer, Willie "Popsy" Dixon, died in Jan. 9, 2015 of complications from cancer. Brother and bassist Sherman Holmes continues to carry on The Holmes Brothers legacy with The Sherman Holmes Project. - Billboard, 6/19/15...... Harold Battiste, a prolific New Orleans jazz musician who ontributed to the careers of artists like Sonny and Cher, Sam Cooke and Dr. John, died on June 19 after a lengthy illness. He was 83. In addition to working with Sonny and Cher for 15 years, during which he contributed the soprano sax melody to the pair's 1965 hit "I Got You Babe," Mr. Battiste also produced Dr. John's first two albums in the late '60s. Mr. Battiste, who founded A.F.O. Records, New Orleans' first musicians-owned label, also worked with R&B great Sam Cooke on "You Send Me" and "A Change Is Gonna Come." - Billboard, 6/20/15...... Dick Van PattenActor Dick Van Patten, best known as the genial, round-faced father in the 1977-1981 ABC comedy-drama Eight Is Enough, died on June 23 in Santa Monica, Cal., of complications from diabetes. He was 86. Mr. Van Patten was born in New York and began his career as a child actor, making his Broadway debut in 1935 at the age of seven. He would go on to appear in 27 other Broadway plays alongside such giants as Melvyn Douglas and Tallulah Bankhead, then in 1949 he began a seven-year run on one of TV's earliest series, the CBS comedy Mama, playing one of the sons of a Norwegian-American family in early 1900s San Francisco. But his greatest success was as widower and father of eight Tom Bradford in Eight Is Enough, where he and wife Abby (played by Betty Buckley), set up a loving if chaotic household. Mr. Van Patten's many other TV appearances included Sanford and Son, The Streets of San Francisco, Adam-12, Happy Days, The Love Boat, Touched By An Angel, Arrested Development and, most recently, Hot in Cleveland. His film projects included Spaceballs, High Anxiety, the original Freaky Friday (starring Jodie Foster), The Santa Trap and Soylent Green. "He was truly a gem and will be missed," tweeted Willie Aames, who, now 54, played the Bradford son Tommy on Eight Is Enough. He was the brother of actress Joyce Van Patten and is also survived by his three actor sons -- Nels, Jimmy and Vincent -- as well as Patricia Van Patten, his wife of 62 years. - AP, 6/23/15.

Ozzy Osbourne has announced he'll perform with a handpicked all-star "supergroup" at the New Orleans' Voodoo Music Experience at the Crescent City's City Park this Halloween. The event runs from Oct. 30, and Osbourne, joined by fellow Black Sabbath member Geezer Butler, as well as former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash and Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello, will headline the Oct 31 show. Other acts set to perform at the festival include Florence + The Machine, Chance The Rapper, Giorgio Moroder, Santigold, The Joy Formidable and Frank Turner, among others. - New Musical Express, 6/19/15...... Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks dedicated a song to recently injured Foo Fighters member Dave Grohl as Fleetwood Mac headlined the UK's Isle of Wight Festival on June 14. Introducing 1975's "Landslide," Nicks said, "I'd like to dedicate this to Dave Grohl," referring to Grohl's recent fall at a Swedish gig that left him with a broken leg. "Falling off stage, getting up and playing a two-and-a-half-hour set, I think that's awesome," she added. Fleetwood Mac's 20-song set included the opener "The Chain" and encores of "Go Your Own Way" and "Don't Stop." - NME, 6/15/15...... James TaylorJames Taylor is on track to score his first No. 1 album ever on Billboard's Hot 200 chart as his latest studio effort, Before This World, is expected to move around 75,000 units for the week ending June 21. Taylor first debuted on the chart 45 years ago and has previously logged 11 Top 10 album in the chart, including seven Top 5 LPs. His best effort until now was 1971's Mud Slide Slim, which spent four weeks at No. 2 behind his close friend Carole King's Tapestry album (in 2010, the pair collaborated on a Live at the Troubadour LP, which reached No. 4). Before This World is Taylor's first studio set since 2002's October Road. On June 17, Taylor appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and participated in an endearing performance with Fallon as the two sang "Two James Taylors On a Seesaw" while seated opposite one another on a seesaw. Meanwhile, Taylor has a limited-run channel on the SiriusXM radio network (James Taylor Channel: channel 17), and country stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood played their 10 favorite Taylor songs over the Sirius airwaves on the weekend of June 13. Both artists have long proclaimed Taylor as one of their major influences, with Taylor helping induct Brooks into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2012. A Sirius Q&A "Town Hall" session with Taylor will air on the channel on June 20 at 5 p.m. ET. - Billboard, 6/18/15...... In other '70s artists chart action, the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers reissue, which was released in multiple formats including a "super deluxe" version, arrived at No. 65 on the Hot 200 with 9,000 units, nearly all from traditional album sales. The reissue, along with the Stones' 2010 Exile on Main St. and 2011 Some Girls deluxe reissues, equates to 21 percent of the band's overall album sales since the start of 2010. - Billboard, 6/19/15...... Aerosmith kicked off its summer "Blue Army Tour" in Glendale, Ariz., on June 13 to an enthusiastic crowd, which was evident from the opener, "Draw the Line," from the 1977 album of the same name. Though the show was clearly crowd-pleasing, the band avoided some of their biggest hits, including "Jaded," "Janie's Got a Gun," "Crazy," "Come Together" and "Amazing," opting for such equally strong songs as "Cryin'," "Dream On" and "Back in the Saddle" instead. There were plenty of deep cuts, however, including "Monkey on My Back" and "No More No More." Sporting a pirate-esque mustache, frontman Steven Tyler picked up a fan-tossed feather boa onstage and proudly put down the back of his pants to act like a tail. The band ended its 17-song set with an enthusiastic tear through "Sweet Emotion." - Billboard, 6/14/15...... Nile Rodgers of Chic will be honored with the BMI Icon Award at the annual BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards on Aug. 28 at the Saban Theatre in Los Angeles. In addition to scoring such indelible Chic classics as "Good Times" and "Le Freak," Rodgers has lent his production, composing and arranging skills to projects by such major acts as David Bowie, Madonna and Diana Ross. Chic's forthcoming studio LP, It's About Time, features its first Dance Club Songs chart-topper in 23 years, "I'll Be There." Rodgers joins such previous BMI Icon Award honorees as James Brown, Isaac Hayes, Mariah Carey, George Clinton and Al Green. - Billboard, 6/17/15...... Don HenleyAt a June 18 listening party at Capitol Records Studio A for Cass County, Eagles principal Don Henley's forthcoming first solo album in 15 years, Henley noted that "I love my career in the Eagles, but I need some new material...I do not want to spend the rest of my life being a jukebox." Prior to a Q&A with Henley, I.R.S. Nashville president John Grady introduced eight selections from the upcoming16-song set, including common-man anthem, "The Cost of Living," featuring Merle Haggard, the sobering "Take A Picture of This," about the dissolution of a baby boomer's marriage, and the poignant "Words Can Break Your Heart," featuring Trisha Yearwood, with whom Henley previously paired for Yearwood's 1992 smash, "Walkaway Joe." Henley, who wrote and recorded the bulk of the album in Nashville, balked at calling the set country. "I've been listening to country radio lately and I don't know what that stuff is," he said. "Country music has morphed into something I don't recognize." Also in attendance were such music greats as Dolly Parton, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Vince Gill and Alison Krauss. Though no release date has been set, Cass County, which will also feature a contribution from Mick Jagger, is expected to come out in early fall on Capitol Records. It will be the followup to Henley's 2000 LP Inside Job, which peaked at No. 7 on Billboard's Hot 200. - Billboard, 6/19/15...... As Van Halen prepares to embark on a 40-plus-date North American tour on July 5 in Seattle, leader Eddie Van Halen says he currently "doesn't listen to music" in a new Billboard cover story. Van Halen said that the last album he purchased was Peter Gabriel's So, when it came out in 1986, and he's not familiar with the work of such bands as Radiohead, Metallica or Guns N' Roses. "It's an odd thing, but I've been this way my whole life," he said. "I couldn't make a contemporary record if I wanted to, because I don't know what contemporary music sounds like." The 60-year-old also revealed that he no longer smokes cigarettes, having surgically lost one-third of his tongue to a cancer that eventually drifted into his esophagus. Still, he's not certain if the cigarettes were totally to blame. "I used metal picks -- they're brass and copper -- which I always held in my mouth, in the exact place where I got the tongue cancer," he says. "Plus, I basically live in a recording studio that's filled with electromagnetic energy. So that's one theory. I mean, I was smoking and doing a lot of drugs and a lot of everything. But at the same time, my lungs are totally clear. This is just my own theory, but the doctors say it's possible." Van Halen also maintained that his current lead singer David Lee Roth's perception of himself is different than who he is in reality. "We're not in our 20s anymore. We're in our 60s. Act like you're 60. I stopped coloring my hair, because I know I'm not going to be young again." - Billboard, 6/19/15...... A letter sent from a CBS record label executive to a fan of The Clash explaining why he couldn't sign the band to Epic Records in the US has been unearthed. The letter was reportedly penned by late A&R executive Bruce Harris, who was responding to a previous correspondence from a punk fan named Paul Dougherty. The Clash's self-titled debut was released in the UK in April 1977 through CBS Records, with the imprint passing on issuing the album in the US as it wasn't "radio friendly" enough. The record was eventually released by Epic in a modified form (the tracklist was changed considerably) in July 1979, but the letter shows that the label were hesitant about the record also. In the letter, posted to the Dangerous Minds website, Harris states that "A&R decisions are not based entirely on taste and musical preference," before saying that his job is "not... to release records I like but rather records which I feel will bring profit into this company." The Clash's US debut album on CBS peaked at No. 126 in the US, but the followup, London Calling, rose to No. 27 on the US album chart when it was released five months later and became one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the era. - NME, 6/16/15...... Neil YoungIn the latest instance of a politician getting in trouble for using a rock song without the artist's permission, Neil Young is telling New York billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump he's not free to use his song" Rockin' in the Free World." After Trump used the song to announce his Republican presidential candidacy in New York on June 16, the Canadian folk-rock icon issued a statement later that same day saying that he didn't agree to let Trump use it. "Donald Trump was not authorized to use 'Rockin' In The Free World' in his presidential candidacy announcement. Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America," the statement read. The following day, Trump's camp fired back, saying they followed the proper channels to use the song by signing licensing deals through ASCAP and BMI. At a later event, Trump's campaign used Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "Takin' Care of Business" to introduce the outspoken businessman and reality TV star. On June 17, Young further addressed Trump's use of "Rockin' in the Free World," saying a photo of the two circulating that depicts the two together had been taken during a meeting when he was trying to raise funds for his Pono music service. "I am Canadian and I don't vote in the United States, but more importantly I don't like the current political system in the USA and some other countries," he wrote. "Increasingly Democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests. The money needed to run for office, the money spent on lobbying by special interests, the ever increasing economic disparity and the well funded legislative decisions all favor corporate interests over the people's." Young's upcoming studio LP, The Monsanto Years, is due June 29 and 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." - Billboard, 6/17/15...... Meanwhile, Cher has gotten in on the Young/Trump feud by challenging fans of "The Donald" with a series of witty Tweets by squeezing in digs at his hairstyle, his ego, and more. "Donald Trump Can't come up with a hairstyle that looks human, how can he come up with a plan to defeat ISIS," the diva tweeted on June 16. "If he were to be elected, I'm moving to Jupiter" and "Donald Trump's punishment is being Donald Trump," she also posted. Cher also spoke out in support of Rachel Dolezal, the Spokane, Wash. woman who allegedly pretended to be black. "Who Doesn't Want 2 Have Blk Cool," she said. - Billboard, 6/19/15...... After Journey drummer Deen Castronovo was arrested on domestic violence charges on June 14, the band has announced Omar Hakim will replace him on its upcoming U.S. concerts and Canadian tour. Posting on its Facebook page on June 18, Journey cited Castronovo's "pending issues" and wrote, "We are very grateful to Omar filling in with his musical excellence." On June 20, Journey plays the Hollywood Bowl and the Stadium of Fire in Provo, Utah, on July 4. The band's Canadian tour runs July 6 to Aug. 3. Hakim has worked with such artists as Michael Jackson, Anita Baker, Sting, Dire Straits, Kate Bush, Daft Punk and many more. - Billboard, 6/18/15...... A new stage musical based on the Beatles' recording sessions at London's Abbey Road has been announced with a replica of the building's Studio Two to be constructed at London's Royal Albert Hall for the production. Set to open in April 2016, the musical is expected to dramatize how the Fab Four's albums, including Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, were made at the studio. "It will be a musical documentary giving audiences an honest, respectful and accurate re-creation of how music history was made," said the musical's producer, Stig Edgren, to the London Times. Edgren also insisted that actors will not impersonate the Beatles, adding: "I didn't want it to be another lookalike show... We're not trying to look like The Beatles. We [are] trying to sound like them. The idea is you're watching them in recording session mode." - NME, 6/16/15...... Rolling Stone magazine announced on June 17 that they are laying off more than a dozen staffers, including senior writer David Fricke along with multiple senior level editors at magazines also owned by Wenner Media. Fricke, however, is set to continue to contribute to the magazine in a freelance capacity. He will be a contract writer no longer based at the office. Ironically, the layoffs will not included Sean Woods, who oversaw the discredited Nov. 2014 University of Virginia campus rape story and led to several lawsuits against the company. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/17/15...... Motown legend Smokey Robinson will be honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the 15th annual BET Awards, which will be broadcast live on the network at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles on June 28. Also honored with Robinson will be syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner, who will be presented with the BET Humanitarian Award. Previous BET Lifetime Achievement honorees include Robinson's fellow Motown alum Lionel Richie and Charlie Wilson. - Billboard, 6/17/15...... Barry ManilowTommy Chong of the '70s doper duo Cheech & Chong has revealed he's once again battling cancer in an interview with US Weekly. "I got diagnosed with rectal cancer," Chong said. When the comedian/actor beat prostate cancer in 2013, he cited cannabis as a major asset in his fight, and he's once again turning to the same substance for help. "I'm using cannabis like crazy now, more so than ever before," Chong said. "I'm in treatment now. I've been -- just the case either way, either I get healed or I don't. But either way, I'm going to make sure I get a little edge off or put up." Cheech & Chong epitomized and influenced pot-smoking culture in the '70, and their second and third comedy albums, 1972's Big Bambu and 1973's Los Cochinos, both peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 200. Their "Earache My Eye" song/skit also became a Top 10 chart hit in the mid '70s. - Billboard, 6/17/15...... A diary belonging to Frank Sinatra detailing information about his high-profile associates sold at auction on June 15 for $8,960. Reading like "a who's who" of the jet set of the gilded age of the 1970s to 1990s, it includes mentions of such A-list celebrities as John Wayne, Sidney Poitier, Elvis Presley's promoter Jerry Weintraub, and more. 2015 would mark Sinatra's 100th birthday and many centennial events are being celebrated in his honor, including an exhibition at the New York Public Library, an upcoming HBO documentary and new music collections being issued by Sony, Capitol and Universal. - NME, 6/15/15...... Legendary childrens TV producers Sid and Marty Krofft of H.R. Pufnstuf fame will premiere a new live-action preschool TV series called Mutt & Stuff on the Nickelodeon channel on July 10. Set in a unique school for dogs, the series stars Calvin Millan and his dad, Cesar Millan, star of Cesar 911 and former star of Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, interacting with a cast of both real dogs and puppets at a canine school called Mutt & Stuff. The Kroffts made their television debut in 1969 with NBC's H.R. Pufnstuf and introduced the brothers' innovative mix of live-action and puppetry that is fondly remembered today by children of the time. - Variety, 6/15/15...... Businessman Kirk Kerkorian, the longtime owner of Metro Goldwyn Mayer and founder of Las Vegas' MGM Grand Hotel, died on June 15 after a brief illness. He was 98. Mr. Kerkorian, who led United Artists as well as MGM, is widely credited with shaping the Las Vegas strip and, with the construction of the MGM Grand, creating the concept of the "mega-resort." He was also renowned for using his Hollywood pull to bring artists like Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Barbra Streisand to perform at his Las Vegas resorts, establishing Vegas as a musical mecca as well as vacation destination. - Billboard, 6/16/15.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on June 14th, 2015

Paul McCartney was presented with a tulip named in his honor, "Tulipa Paul McCartney," during his stop off in the Netherlands on June 6 for two sell-out shows in Amsterdam. Jack Uittenbogaard of the Remarkable Tulips company said it was a lifelong wish of his partner, Rose van Teylingen, to honor the former Beatle with a Dutch tulip. "I was enthusiastic about the idea and we got started. Perhaps we plant in the garden of Paul McCartney his tulip this autumn," Uittenbogaard said. Described as a "red flower with a distinctive white border," Tulipa Paul McCartney reportedly took 20 years to develop and will be available to buy in limited quantities from 2016. - New Musical Express, 6/11/15...... In other Fab Four-related news, Yoko Ono's first permanent public art installation in the United States will go on display in Chicago in June 2016. During a news conference in the city's Jackson Park with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Ono said the idea for her "Sky Landing" exhibition came when she visited the park in 2013 for a cherry blossom tree installation. "I recall being immediately connected to the powerful site and feeling the tension between the sky and the ground," Ono said in a statement. "I wanted the Sky to land here, to cool it, and make it well again." Jackson Park was the site of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and is one of two sites under consideration to be home to Barack Obama's presidential library. Ono also has a public art exhibit in Reykjavik, Iceland, the Imagine Peace Tower, which shines a beam of light in tribute to her late husband, John Lennon. - AP, 6/13/15...... Barry ManilowOrganizers of the annual "A Capitol Fourth" Independence Day celebration announced on June 13 that Barry Manilow will headline the event. The famous '70s crooner will perform a patriotic medley he first performed nearly 30 years ago for the reopening of the Statue of Liberty. The concert at the U.S. Capitol, attended by thousands of visitors, leads up to a massive fireworks display on the National Mall and is simulcast on PBS and NPR stations across the country. Other performers have not yet been announced. - AP, 6/13/15...... The Rolling Stones' deluxe reissue of its classic album Sticky Fingers is headed back to the Top 10 of Billboard's Hot 200 album charts, some 44 years after its 1971 release. Sticky Fingers, which spent four weeks at No. 1 in 1971, is expected to move around 35,000 equivalent album units in the week ending June 14. The album, which has been remastered for its June 8 release, has been absent from the tally since 1981. The reissue follows the 2010 reboot of 1972's Exile on Main Street and the 2011 reissue of 1978's Some Girls, both also No. 1 albums in their day. - Billboard, 6/12/15...... A new collaborative album from country music legends Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, Django and Jimmie, debuted at No. 7 on Billboard's Top Country Albums Chart after its first week of release, moving 31,000 units for the week ending June 7. The LP is also the first Billboard Hot 200 Top 10 set for Haggard, and the fourth for Nelson. Named after late genre-spanning guitarist Django Reinhardt and country icon Jimmie Rodgers Django and Jimmie was released through Legacy Recordings on June 2, and is the fifth collaborative set from Nelson and Haggard. - Billboard, 6/12/15...... Van MorrisonVan Morrison was knighted by Britain's Queen Elizabeth on June 12 for his services to music and tourism in Northern Ireland, the inspiration for many of his classics. Morrison was born in Belfast, and many of his wistful, mystical songs are set on the streets of the city. The acclaimed Celtic crooner is among more than 1,000 people recognized by the queen in her annual Birthday Honors list, and joins his fellow previously knighted countrymen Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Mick Jagger and several others in the British pantheon. Others knighted this year include actors Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Twelve Years a Slave), and Kevin Spacey (American Beauty). - AP, 6/12/15...... Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson has told a Niagara Falls newspaper that the Canadian power trio's current 40th anniversary tour of North America could be their last. "This tour is the first tour where we're really looking at it that way," Lifeson said. "It's a lot tougher at 61 than it was at 21. And we're all feeling the aches and pains of our advancing years. I have had arthritis for a long time and it's just a little more in the forefront, in terms of my hands. And you know [drummer] Neil's [Peart] had this chronic tendonitis in his arm and his shoulders are starting to feel it, you know he plays so hard, so it only stands to reason that you need to warm up, you need to get in shape." Lifeson added that the band members work out in a gym "four or five times a week" and don't just "sit around eating chips and smoking pot." But Lifeson says he doesn't see Rush disbanding anytime soon, and would consider multiple night residencies at such venues as Radio City and Massey Hall. - New Musical Express, 6/13/15...... As the ABBA musical "Mama Mia!" prepares to finally end its epic 14-year run on Broadway in September after grossing a mind-boggling $2 billion from more than 40 international stage adaptations, the Swedish quartet's Bjorn Ulvaeus said in a recent rare interview that you'll never see an ABBA reunion tour. "I don't know if ever those speculations will stop," said Ulvaeus. "But it's kind of good to be the only group that never came back. Because I think we're virtually the only group that could have a reunion that hasn't had one." Ulvaeus hasn't recorded a song under the ABBA banner since 1982, and he and his fellow bandmates have fiercely maintained in the 33 years since that they never intend to do that again. Ulvaeus also said there was "a huge resistance from me and the rest of us" for the new ABBA Museum in Stockholm which opened in 2013, "but the City of Stockholm wanted it, and it seemed to be a good thing for Stockholm, and anything that's good for Stockholm I'm for it." He also teased that "There might be another musical in us, you never know." - Billboard, 6/11/15...... Speaking of Sweden, Emmylou Harris was among the honorees of Sweden's Polar Music Prize on June 9 in Stockholm. Harris gave an emotional acceptance speech that moved the assemblage to tears as she concluded, "I have only one regret on this magical evening, that my beloved parents, Walter and Eugenia, did not live to share this with me. It didn't matter to them if I was successful or not, they only cared for my happiness. Their unconditional love carried me through good times and bad and will abide with me whatever the future holds, 'til my journey ends." - Billboard, 6/9/15...... John FogertyFormer Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty, who has embarked on a 41-city summer tour of the U.S., says he has no plans to reunite with remaining members of the band. "Through the years I have left that question open. I think it's safe to say the longer time you spend on the earth the more you realize you don't know everything that's gonna happen, but the other fellas recently made it difficult for me to do it," the 70-year-old musician told the Associated Press on June 11. Fogerty is also prepping the release of his memoir named after one of CCR's most famous songs, Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, in October via Little Brown. Fogerty, an Army veteran, recalled how he "took a harsh look" at how poor and middle class citizens were being shipped overseas to fight the Vietnam War, so he decided to write a song called "Fortunate Son." "It just seemed like the young male sons of rich people were managing to escape being drafted or at least being sent to places that weren't dangerous," he said. - AP, 6/11/15...... In an interview with Forbes magazine, former Cream drummer Ginger Baker took a scathing dig on both Led Zeppelin and the entire heavy metal genre. Baker singled out Zeppelin drummer John Bonham in particular, asserting that he wasn't "anywhere near what I am. He wasn't a musician." "Jimmy's [Page] a good player. I don't think Led Zeppelin filled the void that Cream left, but they made a lot of money. I probably like about five percent of what they did -- a couple of things were really cool. What I don't like is the heavy bish-bash, jing-bap, jing-bash bullshit," said Baker. He added that he "loathed and detested" the current state of heavy metal..."people (who) dress up in spandex trousers with all the extraordinary makeup." "I've seen where Cream is sort of held responsible for the birth of heavy metal. Well, I would definitely go for aborting," he mused. - NME, 6/13/15...... Chic has scored its first Billboard Dance Club Songs chart-topper in 23 years with its latest hit, "I'll Be There." "I'd like to sincerely thank all the Billboard reporting DJs, my band and the fans who've supported Chic in this long journey back to the top of the dance charts," says Chic's Nile Rodgers. "I'm so humbled, it's unreal." Chic last topped the chart on March 21, 1992, with its "Chic Mystique," and its previous No. 1's include Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)" in 1977 and "Le Freak" in 1978. - Billboard, 6/11/15...... Can't Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police, a documentary based on former Police guitarist Andy Summers' memoir One Train Later, premiered on the Vimeo streaming service on June 11. Among Summers' recollections is a tale of the time he took magic mushrooms with late Saturday Night Live cast member John Belushi. "We meet John Belushi [at a hotel] and immediately hit it off. In five minutes we discovered, to our mutual delight, that nearby there was a place that sells magic mushroom omelets," Summers recalled. - Billboard, 6/11/15...... In a recent Facebook post, The Who's Pete Townshend is blaming "musical snobbery" for his Classic Quadrophenia album not being eligible for the classical charts in the U.K. "Classic Quadrophenia is not allowed in the U.K. classical charts? Musical snobbery in the classical elite still alive and kicking then. F--- 'em, There's a huge team behind this, rooted in the practical world of recorded classical music, who deserve better than this slap-down. I know I'm a rock dinosaur and I'm happy to be one, but the team behind Classic Quadrophenia are all young, creative and brilliant," Townshend wrote. The orchestral adaptation of the band's 1973 rock opera was released on June 9 and scored by Townshend's girlfriend Rachel Fuller and performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Oriana Choir. Classic Quadrophenia will have its live debut on July 5 at London's Royal Albert Hall with the full album cast, and Townshend has hinted that "there are some more shows in the cards" based on the Who's work. - Billboard, 6/10/15...... Peter FramptonPeter Frampton has teamed up with AxCent Tuning Systems LLC to promote a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdfunder.com to raise $1 million to manufacture and market an affordable, mass-consumer edition of its Performer computer-controlled guitar tuning system. The device resides inside the guitar and makes use of an external app, allowing players to change tuning in seconds and without having to switch instruments. In addition the Frampton, the tuner has been used by such guitarists as Jimmy Page, Graham Nash, Tom Keifer and Mark Slaughter. "I've been a gadget freak and therefore an engineer for my own records for many, many years," Frampton says. "It's very interesting to me." Meanwhile, Frampton is on the road this summer with Cheap Trick and his own headlining shows, and says he has recorded nine songs so far for a new album he hopes to have ready for release later this year or in early 2016. - Billboard, 6/10/15...... Fleetwood Mac was forced to cancel a gig in Manchester, UK, on June 12 on their current European tour due to illness. The group posted on the Manchester Arena website announced the cancellation, and said that the "July 1 show will go ahead as planned." The band are also due to headline gigs in London, Glasgow and Leeds later this summer. - NME, 6/12/15...... AC/DC tour manager Garry Van Egmond has confirmed that estranged band drummer Phil Rudd will not be joining AC/DC for their upcoming gigs in New Zealand. In April, Rudd pleaded guilty to charges of threatening to kill and possession of methamphetamine and cannabis. Rudd has been unable to play live with AC/DC on their current world tour as he awaits trial. However, he could theoretically play with the band in New Zealand this December as he lives in the country. Van Egmond added that there was "no confirmation that Phil has left the band permanently" but added: "All I can say is that Phil will not be playing in the New Zealand concerts." Rudd was due to be sentenced on the recent charges on June 26, but the verdict was recently pushed back to July 9. - NME, 6/11/15...... The Tubes have announced a 40th anniversary tour of the UK with a 9-date trek that kicks off in Bristol on Aug. 3. The San Francisco-based rock band, who are best rememberd for their 1983 single "She's a Beauty," will also visit Brighton (8/4), Southampton (8/6), London (8/7), Manchester (8/8), Glasgow (8/9), Leeds (8/11), Edinburch (8/12) and Wolverhampton (8/13). In 1977 the Tubes toured the UK, but many of their shows were banned due to British censorship (their 1975 debut album included the controversial rock anthem "White Punks on Dope"). - Noble PR, 6/10/15...... Former The Little House on the Praire star Melissa Gilbert has been charged by the Internal Revenue Service for failing to pay more than $360,000 in federal income taxes. The IRS reportedly filed a tax lien against Gilbert in February and details emerged after she recently announced that her family was moving from a rented home in Howell, Michigan, to another area home. Gilbert blames the 2011-2013 tax debt on a stalled acting career, the economy and divorce. In a statement to the Detroit News, she says that "like so many people across the nation, the recession hit me hard" and there was a "perfect storm of financial difficulty for me." She added that she's negotiated a payment plan with the IRS. - AP, 6/12/15...... Jim Ed BrownJim Ed Brown, a member of the country music trio The Browns and a star of the Grand Ole Opry for more than a half-century, died on June 11 after a battle with lung cancer in a Franklin, Tenn., hospital near Nashville. He was 81. Mr. Brown was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in March with his sisters Maxine and Bonnie, and The Browns' 1959 crossover smash "The Three Bells" topped Billboard's country chart for 10 straight weeks, and it spent four weeks atop the magazine's all-genre Hot 100 singles chart. The Browns also notched Top Twenty country hits with "Here Today and Gone Tomorrow," "I Take the Chance," "Just as Long as You Love Me," "Money," "I Heard the Bluebirds Sing," "Would You Care" and "Beyond the Shadow." In 1967, after Maxine and Bonnie retired, Jim Ed stayed in Nashville as a solo artist on RCA, and he recorded his signature solo song, "Pop a Top," a No. 3 country single. From 1967-74, Brown also reached the Top Ten of the country charts with the singles "Morning," "Southern Loving," "Sometime Sunshine" and "It's That Time of Night." In 1976, he began recording duets with Helen Cornelius, and they logged a No. 1 country hit with "I Don't Want to Have to Marry You." In March, The Browns were announced as the among the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Their official induction won't come until October, but a delegation visited Jim Ed in the hospital on June 4 to present him with a medallion commemorating his membership. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/11/15...... Jazz legend Ornette Coleman died at age 85 of cardiac arrest on June 11. He was 85. The alto saxophonist is one of the select few individuals to change the face of jazz forever, also worked with a number of rock legends over the years. He contributed to Yoko Ono's version of the 1970 LP Plastic Ono Band, and collaborated with Lou Reed on 2003's The Raven. In 2007, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his album Sound Grammar, which peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. - Billboard, 6/11/15...... Bandleader James Last, known as the "King of Easy Listening and the Emperor of Elevator Music," has passed away at age 86 of an unspecified illness. Mr. Last's biggest hit was "The Seduction," the theme song from the Paul Schrader-directed film American Gigolo, composed by Giorgio Moroder. Mr. Last was also often called the world's most commercially successful bandleader, and his trademark smooth, jaunty tunes that mixed jazz and pop into a seamless, inoffensive whole were heard by anyone who has spent time in a hotel lobby (or elevator). He was also a tireless live performer, and his happy music continued to sell out concert halls, particularly in Europe, up until the end. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/13/15...... Recording engineer Dennis Ferrante, whose long list of credits includes work on albums by such diverse artists as John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Lou Reed, Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings, Duke Ellington and the 1910 Fruitgum Company, died on June 6 from heart failure. In a 2009 interview, Ferrante said the creation of Lennon's hit "#9 Dream" followed the former Beatle's standard of work in the studio. "John's way of doing music was he would come into the studio with his song. He would run the tune down for the band and after about 45 minutes the band would be ready to put it down. Then we would record any guitar overdubs or other instruments and be ready to put down John's vocal. He didn't like to hear his voice plain so I had to put in his headphones efx's that seemed to me the more he heard, the better he sang. After that we put on the background vocals and whatever little nuiances were needed like May (Pang) saying 'John' in the chorus. After all the parts were put down, we would mix and the rest is what you hear." Recently, Ferrante had played a show at the Cutting Room in New York with former Wings drummer Steve Holley and others. "He was a storyteller and a real joy to be around," Holley said. - TheExaminer.com, 6/6/15...... Christopher LeeChristopher Lee, the mystical British actor whose haunting, intimidating performances as Count Dracula, the Frankenstein monster and Fu Manchu made him an icon of horror films and the cinematic embodiment of villainy, died on June 7 at Westminster Hospital in London of respiratory problems and heart failure. He was 93. Mr. Lee, who as bad guy Scaramanga battled Roger Moore's James Bond in 1974's The Man With the Golden Gun, re-ignited his career in his late 70s with what would be recurring roles in the Lord of the Rings, Hobbit and Star Wars franchises. With his gaunt 6-foot-5 frame and deep, strong voice, Mr. Lee was best at playing characters -- slave traders, crazed kings, vampires, demented professors -- who were evil, murderous, dour and unrepentantly ruthless. Mr. Lee often said that he identified with Count Dracula, because they were both embarrassments to an aristocratic family. "In my mind Dracula, the Mummy and Frankenstein's monster are driven figures, unable to help themselves, eventually out of control like a runaway train," he wrote in his 2003 memoir Lord of Misrule, "and consequently very much alone." - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/11/15.

Credit card issuer MasterCard has approved artwork of the Sex Pistols to adorn a pair a new credit cards. The cards come from the new collection of Virgin Money, a bank backed by billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, who headed Virgin Records when it signed the band in 1977. "In launching these cards, we wanted to celebrate Virgin's heritage and difference. The Sex Pistols challenged convention and the established ways of thinking -- just as we are doing today in our quest to shake up U.K. banking," said Virgin Money director of cards Michele Greene. In a press release, Virgin Money added that it was, "time for consumers to put a little bit of rebellion in their pocket." - Billboard, 6/9/15...... A battle over the estate of recently deceased iconic bluesman B.B. King is headed to a courthouse in Las Vegas, as attorneys for King's designated executor, LaVerne Toney, have filed documents in a Nevada court to fend off allegations that King family members were kept away in his dying days, that he was mistreated medically, and that his money was siphoned off before he died May 14 at his Vegas home at age 89. "We're asking the probate commissioner to approve (Toney) as executor and personal representative of the estate," attorney Brent Bryson said. Two of King's 11 surviving children, Williams and Patty King, have accused Toney and B.B. King's personal assistant, Myron Johnson, of poisoning him to hasten his death. The allegation prompted an autopsy by the Clark County coroner the day after a King memorial at a Las Vegas funeral chapel, and the results of toxicology tests are expected in several weeks. King was buried May 30 at the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola, Mississippi. - AP, 6/8/15...... Steve MillerA modern-style Oregon house once owned by Steve Miller Band principal Steve Miller has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Architectural historian Diana Painter of Oregon's Historic Preservation Office says the house, which was designed by architect and UC Berkley faculty member Winifred Scott Wellington and built in 1951 just outside Williams, is admired as "one of the finest examples of post-World War II modern-style architectural design in southern Oregon and a rare example in Josephine County," according to architectural historian Diana Painter. Miller owned the house from 1976 to 1986. It is now owned by a nonprofit foundation founded by William J. and Sarah Wagner that operates the 400-acre property as a nature center, botanical garden, school and community center. - AP, 6/8/15...... Aretha Franklin performed at a memorial service for her late father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit on June 7. The Sunday service featuring gospel music and a free soul food buffet, with several people sharing their memories of Franklin's father and her brother, the Rev. Cecil Franklin. The "Queen of Soul" appeared nearly two hours into the service to perform the gospel tune "The Old Ship of Zion," with some in the audience crying. C.L. Franklin would have turned 100 this year, according to the Detroit News. - AP, 6/8/15...... The iconic '60s girl group The Supremes will be the focus of a new exhibit at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles on June 25. Legends of Motown: Celebrating the Supremes will chronicle the trio's legendary reign through rare artifacts from the private collection of founding member Mary Wilson. On June 24, Wilson will take center stage for the museum's interview/Q&A series, "A Conversation With." Founded as the Primettes in Detroit by Wilson, Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, The Supremes became the most popular female group of the '60s thanks to a string of No. 1 R&B and pop hits including "Where Did Our Love Go?," "Baby Love" and "Stop! In the Name of Love." The exhibit will run through spring 2016. - Billboard, 6/5/15...... Legendary Queen of Funk Chaka Khan was the featured performer on the opening night (June 3) of Celebrate Brooklyn's 37th season. Khan, 62, heated up the unseasonably chilly park with an 18-song set that spanned her greatest hits, while showcasing her still-vibrant voice on tunes such as "I Feel For You," "I'm Every Woman," "Tell Me Something Good" and "Everlasting Love." - Billboard, 6/4/15...... Carlos Santana and his wife and band member Cindy Blackman performed the National Anthem before game 2 of the NBA Finals on June 7 at the Golden State Warriors ' Oracle Arena. The Santanas belted out a Jimi Hendrix-esque version of the "Star-Spangled Banner" on drums and electric guitar, and there wasn't a lyric to be heard. The pair also posed with the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy. - Billboard, 6/7/15...... Brian WilsonBeach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson is in the midst of a press tour to promote his new biopic Love & Mercy, which premiered in US theaters on June 5. Wilson, 72, has been rushing to screenings, giving interviews and posing for photos at a Los Angeles hotel and says the new movie is "a trip." "The first time I watched it, it was like a real test for my emotions," Wilson said in his typical clipped diction. "It portrays me so well that I felt like I was being pushed into the movie. Ten years in the making, Love & Mercy stars Paul Dano and John Cusak at different periods in his life and takes an unflinching look at the musician's powerful creative energy and debilitating mental illness. Wilson, who released his latest studio LP No Pier Pressure in April, says he's currently having an "off period" where he hasn't written for a few months, and knows there's more music in him. It's his language, he said, his means of communication. "It's all done through music, that's how I explain it," Wilson said. "As a person, I couldn't explain nothing. But with music, I can explain something." Meanwhile, a cover of the Beach Boys' hit "Good Vibration" by contemporary rockers the Flaming Lips recorded at a "Brian Fest" tribute gig in Los Angeles in March is being featured in the first instalment of a two-part Internet documentary produced by Flood Magazine that focuses on Wilson's legacy. Part one of Brian Fest: A Night to Celebrate the Life and Music of Brian Wilson features interviews with Al Jardine, Blondie Chaplin, Heart's Ann Wilson and Wilson-Phillips, among others, with the footage intercut with The Lips' live redition of "Good Vibrations." - AP/NME, 6/4/15...... Neil Diamond's current tour has topped the Billboard Hot Tours list for the week ending June 2 with $29.5 million in box office revenue reported during the past week from his 2015 tour through North American cities. Diamond kicked off the trek earlier this year with shows booked in 29 markets in the U.S. and Canada during a three-month stretch. On the road in support of Melody Road, his first album released on Capitol Records after signing with the label in 2014, Diamond began the tour in Allentown, Pa. on Feb. 27. Other '70s acts in the Top 10 touring list include the Rolling Stones ($16,376,925), Rod Stewart ($8,112,733), Paul Simon and Sting ($7,370,604), the Eagles ($5,473,040), and Kiss ($4,563,999). - Billboard, 6/4/15...... The Grateful Dead' three-day concert series "Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Greatful Dead" at Chicago's Soldier Field on July 3-5 will be broadcast live on the SiriusXM radio network on its dedicated Grateful Dead Channel. Produced in collaboration with the band, the dedicated channel's hosts, David Gans and Gary Lambert, will do a special edition of their weekly talk show "Tales from the Golden Road" before and after the concerts. Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux will be a special guest. This reunion series in Chicago will be the last time the Dead, now consisting of Bob Weir, 67; Phil Lesh, 75; Mickey Hart, 71; and Bill Kreutzmann, 69, perform together live. - Billboard, 6/4/15...... David GilmourPink Floyd's David Gilmour has announced his new solo album, Rattle That Lock, will be released in September 2015 and feature collaborations with Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera, Jools Holland and Gilmour's own wife, Polly Sampson. During an event at the 2015 Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas in Carlow, Ireland on June 5, Gilmour performed two new songs from the upcoming LP, "Girl With A Yellow Dress" and "Boots On The Ground." Gilmour will tour the UK and Europe behind the new LP for the first time in nine years beginning in Croatia on Sept. 12 and visiting various cities in Europe before heading to the UK for three consecutive nights at London's Royal Albert Hall on Sept. 23-25. Gilmour and Pink Floyd topped the UK album charts in 2014 with the release of Pink Floyd's final album, The Endless River, which was the band's first release in 20 years. Meanwhile in other Pink Floyd news, former member Roger Waters has announced that he will be releasing a concert film, titled Roger Waters - The Wall. The film, which follows Waters' 2010-2013 "The Wall Live" tour, was first shown at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and will now be released in theatres worldwide for one day only on Sept. 29. It was the largest worldwide tour ever undertaken by a solo artist and was the first time any Pink Floyd member had played their 1979 concept album The Wall in two decades. - New Musical Express, 6/9/15...... Elton John has apologized for remarks he made during his concert at Kingsholm Stadium in Gloucester, UK, on June 7. Irritated by female security guards who were manning the crowd, Sir Elton said, "Lighten up you lot, it's not f---ing China so piss off! You get a f---ing uniform on and you think you're Hitler... we're not having it, piss off!" Following the outburst, John reconsidered his words and uttered a lengthy apology to the staff. "I do apologize, whoever told the stewards to be restricting that, that's their f---ing fault and not hers," he said. "So I apologize to her and I would be willing to apologize to her face. So if she comes up now I'll give her a big hug, come on. You're doing your job. But it's so frustrating, if people want to wave their hands don't tell them to stop. It's a musical event." - NME, 6/8/15...... A previously unreleased Led Zeppelin song called "Sugar Mama" which will be included in a deluxe edition of Zeppelin's 1982 Coda album has been shared online ahead of the band's forthcoming reissue releases, which also include 1976's Presence and 1979's In Through the Out Door. "Sugar Mama" was originally recorded during the sessions for the band's first album in 1968 at Olympic Studios in south west London. It will feature as a bonus track on the Coda reissue, and is now streaming at The Guardian UK's website. - NME, 6/8/15...... Patti SmithPatti Smith paid tribute to several of her lost idols, including Lou Reed, Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones' Brian Jones, during her Field Day 2015 performance on the Main Stage in London on June 7. Before "Elegie," the final song from her seminal 1975 LP Horses, she told the crowd the song had been written "in memory of Jimi Hendrix." "This song is for all the people we've lost," she continued, calling out the names of deceased friends like Robert Mapplethorpe and her husband Fred "Sonic" Smith. "Call out!" she invited the audience, before adding two more names of her own -- Lou Reed and John Nash. Smith finished her set by dedicating a cover of The Who's "My Generation" to the Stones' Brian Jones. - NME, 6/8/15...... The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards said in a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine that the band may soon return to the studio to work on a new album. "Just last week, the word 'studio' popped up while we were rehearsing," Richards said. "I said, 'Well, let's find a time. I'm ready'." Elsewhere in the interview, Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood described the atmosphere within the group as the "best vibe ever within the band". "We've never been closer," he said. "Mick [Jagger] went through that terrible thing [Jagger's girlfriend L'Wren Scott died in 2014], and the band has become even more important to him because of that." The Rolling Stones last released a new studio album in 2005 in the form of A Bigger Bang, and a Sticky Fingers deluxe reissue dropped on June 8. Their in-progress "Zip Code Tour" of North America next hits Orlando, Fla., on June 12, and continues through a July 15 date in Quebec, Canada. - NME, 6/5/15...... A Gibson Jumbo J-160E acoustic guitar played by John Lennon on the Beatles hit "Love Me Do" is expected to fetch over $900,000 in a Julien's auction in California this November. The guitar, purchased by Lennon in Liverpool, went missing in 1963 during the Beatles' Finsbury Park Christmas Show, and turned up 50 years later, after it was purchased by John McCaw in a US junk shop. "This is one of the biggest finds in music history," says Julien's owner Darren Julian, who added it could top the $965,000 auction record set in 2013 for an electric guitar owned by Bob Dylan. "John Lennon items don't come up very often because a lot of people keep them. This was one of his favourite guitars, he talked about wishing he still had it," Julien said. The instrument's authenticity was verified by Andy Babiuk, who has written about musical equipment used by the Beatles, by matching the guitar's serial number, wood grain and scratches to photographs and videos of Lennon playing the instrument. - Telegraph.co.uk, 6/5/15...... In related news, a copy of the Beatles' 1968 "The White Album" alleged to be signed by Charles Manson of the Sharon Tate murders infamy is currently for sale on the auction website iOffer.com, with a "buy it now" price of nearly $50,000. The front cover of the album is said to include signatures by Manson and fellow Manson Family members Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, Charles "Tex" Watson and Pat Krenwinkel. "The signatures were obtained by a gentleman who was at one time associated with the Manson family at the Spahn Ranch, I choose not to post his name here," the seller of item notes. "He acquired them at the respective prisons where they are incarcerated in California, including Corcoran State Prison, and the California Correctional Institution for women." "The White Album" figured prominently into the trial and conviction of Manson, with one of its tracks, "Helter Skelter," becoming the name of a best-selling account of the murders by Los Angeles prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi. The authenticity of the item hasn't been confirmed but the seller states that they "would always refund an item if shown not to be genuine." Vincent BugliosiMr. Bugliosi, meanwhile, died of cancer in L.A. on June 6 at age 80. After securing death sentences for Manson and the others in 1972 -- sentences commuted to life in prison when California's death sentence was abolished -- he retired from the DA's office, after winning 105 of his 106 felony trials, including 21 murder convictions. According to his publisher, Simon & Schuster, his Helter Skelter was "the biggest selling true crime book in publishing history." Manson, 80, remains incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison in California. He has been denied parole 12 times. - New Musical Express/CNN, 6/9/15...... Thoroughbred horse racing's elusive Triple Crown award, which was last won by Affirmed in 1978, was broken on June 5 at the Belmont Stakes by American Pharoah [sic]. "The 37-year wait is over. American Pharoah is finally the one! American Pharoah has won the Triple Crown!," excited announcer Larry Collmus proclaimed as American Pharoah crossed the finish line in an easy win over the other contenders. The race was the most-watched Saturday Afternoon Sporting Event since AFC Divisional Playoff on NBC. An average of 22 million viewers tuned in on NBC from 6:45-7 p.m. ET as American Pharoah secured a 5-length edge to become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. The replay of the Belmont Stakes, with the Larry Collmus race call plus additional Belmont video coverage, was viewed 2.5 million times across the platforms of NBC Sports Digital. - Variety, 6/7/15...... Singer Ronnie Gilbert a member of the influential 1950s folk quartet The Weavers, died on June 6 a retirement community in the San Francisco Bay Area suburb of Mill Valley. She was 88. With the Weavers, whose other members were Pete Seeger, Lee Hays and Fred Hellerman, Ms. Gilbert helped spark a national folk revival by churning out hit recordings of "Goodnight Irene," ''Tzena Tzena Tzena," ''On Top of Old Smokey," ''If I Had A Hammer," ''Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" and "Wimoweh." The Weavers were hugely popular before their left-wing activities were targeted by anti-Communists during the Joe McCarthy era. They were blacklisted, unable to record, appear on television or radio and perform in many concert venues, and eventually disbanded. Ms. Gilbert went on to pursue a solo career as a singer, as a stage actor and psychologist. Her memoir, Ronnie Gilbert: A Radical Life in Song, which is the same title of a one-woman show she performed for years, will be published in the fall. - AP, 6/7/15.