Posted by Administrator on June 30th, 2015
Chris 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: "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  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...... The 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...... Meanwhile, 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...... Iconic '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...... Have 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.