Posted by Administrator on Feb. 1st, 2016
After previously canceling two shows in late January, Def Leppard announced on Feb. 1 that it's postponing the remainder of its winter U.S. tour dates "due to illness," although no band member was specified. The cancellation was for shows in San Antonia, Tex.; Little Rock, Ark.; and Brooklyn's Barclays Center that ran from Feb. 2-17. The band said it will announce new dates for those shows soon, and tickets will be honored for their rescheduled shows. Opening for Def Leppard on the tour are Styx and Tesla. - Billboard, 2/1/16...... A three-hour live telecast on Fox of the musical "Grease" on Jan. 31 was a big hit for the network, with 12.2 million viewers tuning in to see Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit, Carly Rae Jepsen. Vanessa Hudgen, Carlos Pena Vega and Keke Palmer play the students of Rydell High in the 1950s-set musical. Grease: Live still fell short of NBC's The Sound of Music Livein 2013, which attracted 18.3 million live viewers. Just hours before Grease: Live aired, the soundtrack for the live television event was made available for purchase on iTunes. - Billboard, 2/1/16...... Jeff Lynne's Electric Light Orchestra will be headlining the final night of the 2016 Glastonbury Music Festival, which is set for June 22-26 at Eavis' Worthy Farm in Somerset, England. In 2015, the band released its first album of new music in 15 years, Alone in the Universe, which peaked at No. 4 on the UK's Official Albums Chart and No. 23 on the US's Billboard Hot 200 album chart. It will be the first ever Glastonbury appearance for ELO leader Jeff Lynne and his band, which will tour arenas throughout the U.K. and Europe in the leadup to their Glastonbury performance. - New Musical Express, 2/1/16...... In a remarkable coincidence, it has been revealed that Signe Anderson, the original singer of the Jefferson Airplane, died on Jan. 28, the same day as Jefferson Airplane co-founder, guitarist and vocalist Paul Kantner. An official cause of Anderson's death has not yet been revealed, although the 74-year-old reportedly had suffered health issues in recent years. The Seattle-born and Portland, Ore.-raised Anderson joined the JA in 1965, and sang on the band's 1966 debut album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. Soon after, she married Merry Prankster Jerry Anderson, and exited the JA after giving birth. She was replaced by Grace Slick. "One sweet Lady has passed on. I imagine that she and Paul woke up in heaven and said "Hey what are you doing...," JA co-founder Marty Balin posted on his Facebook page on Jan. 30. Balin has also reacted to the death of Paul Kanter, telling Billboard that Kantner "didn't do anything to take care of his health with all his drinking and everything, smoking cigarettes all the time, pushing himself too much." "He asked me to join him for this last go-round. He'd been touring around the world and I talked to him and said, 'You better be careful. Take care of yourself. You've got a grueling schedule.' He just said, 'Don't worry about me. I can do anything. I'm strong as a bull.' He WAS a hard-headed German," said Balin, who added that he left the group because of all the cocaine use and "It all got too famous and I couldn't deal with (Kantner). I couldn't talk to him. I didn't have the energy to fight him, so I just went and did my own thing." - Billboard, 1/29/16...... Black Sabbath has postponed two Canadian dates in Edmonton and Calgary due to frontman Ozzy Osbourne suffering from "extreme sinusitis." The two shows, part of Sabbath's 2015/2016 farewell tour, were set for Jan. 30 and Feb. 1, respectively, and rescheduled dates have yet to be announced but will be shortly, according to a post on Ozzy's Twitter account. However the band currently has concerts booked through September. - Billboard, 1/30/16...... Yoko Ono will be the recipient of The Inspiration Award at this year's New Musical Express (NME) Awards on Feb. 17 at the O2 Academy in Brixton, London. "Thank you, NME for this great honour. I accept this as your encouragement for me to keep making my 'Sound of Music'," Ono said in a statement on Feb. 1. The gala will take place the day before Yoko's 83rd birthday on Feb. 18. The magazine and website noted that Yoko had been an inspiration "to generations of musicians, artists and activists (and) has fans in David Bowie, Ornette Coleman, Nile Rogers and Eric Clapton," among others. - NME, 2/1/16...... Rod Stewart has announced he'll kick off a 7-city tour of the UK this fall at Liverpool's Echo Arena on Nov. 12. Stewart's "From Gasoline Alley to Another Country Hits Tour" will also visit London's O2 (11/22), Sheffield (11/29), Birmingham (12/2), Leeds, (12/6) and Manchester (12/8) before wrapping at Glasgow's SSE Hydro on Dec. 13. Stewart is touring behind his 2015 album, Another Country. - New Musical Express, 2/1/16...... Iggy Pop, who once collaborated with David Bowie on Pop's 1977 albums The Idiot and Lust for Life, has spoken of the pair's friendship in a new intervew with Rolling Stone magazine. Pop said he first met Bowie after hearing that he liked his band the Stooges, which was "something not a lot of people would admit at the time." "My impression was that he was very poised and very friendly, but not as friendly in that setting as when I got to know him in smaller groups," Pop recalled. "I could see that he had some ideas for me... I learned a lot from him. I first heard the Ramones, Kraftwerk and Tom Waits from him," Pop added. Bowie and Pop also toured together in 1976 on Bowie's "Station To Station" tour, and lived together in Berlin in 1977, with Bowie helping Pop write The Idiot and Lust For Life, his first two solo albums following the end of the Stooges. Pop, meanwhile, is preparing to release his new studio album, Post Pop Depression, on Mar. 18. - New Musical Express, 1/28/16...... In other Bowie-related news, it has been revealed that the late rocker wanted his ashes scattered in Bali "in accordance with the Buddhist rituals" in a 20-page will filed under his legal name of David Robert Jones on Jan. 29 in Manhattan. The document said that the singer was worth about $100 million, but didn't break down the finances, and that he left his SoHo home to his wife Inman, along with half of the rest of his worth. His son Duncan Jones from a previous marriage received 25 percent and his daughter Alexandria also received 25 percent as well as his Ulster County mountain home. Bowie left $2 million to his longtime personal assistant Corinne Schwab and left her shares he owned in a company called Oppossum Inc. He left $1 million to Marion Skene, Alexandria's nanny. Bowie prepared the will in 2004. He said if cremation in the Indonesian island was "not practical" then he wanted his remains cremated and his ashes scattered there still. According to the death certificate, filed with the will, his body was cremated Jan. 12 in New Jersey. Meanwhile, it has come to light that Bowie once auditioned for a role in the hugely popular movie The Lord of the Rings. Actor Dominic Monaghan, who played hobbit Merry in the first LOR film, said as he was waiting for his audition in the Peter Jackson-directed movie David Bowie came in in and signed a little list and went in. "I'm assuming he read for Gandalf. I can't think of anything else he would've read for," Monaghan said. In more Bowie news, the artwork for Bowie's final album Blackstar has been released publicly for fans to use for free on the website BowieBlackstar.net. "...In the spirit of openness and in remembrance of David we are releasing the artwork elements of his last album ['Blackstar'] to download here free under a Creative Commons NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence," a statement from Bowie's London-based design agency, Barnbrook, says. "That means you can make t-shirts for yourself, use them for tattoos, put them up in your house to remember David by and adapt them too, but we would ask that you do not in any way create or sell commercial products with them or based on them. Any questions or commercial licence usage please contact us." - AP/NME/The Hollywood Reporter, 1/30/16...... Director and Empire creator Lee Daniels has signed on to direct a new documentary about the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem. "I am honored to be entrusted with the story of this incredible American iconic institution and work with this team. I used to go to The Apollo Theater as a kid and never in a million years would I have imagined I would be back to be doing this -- it is very special for me," Daniels said in a statement. Daniels, creator of the hit Fox series Empire whose film credits include The Butler, is joining Apollo Theater president-CEO Jonelle Procope in appealing to the public to cull through any memorabilia, including audience footage and photographs, they might have for use in the new documentary. "We have established a website for anyone who wants to submit. We will, of course, respect everybody's ownership of their property," the duo said. - Billboard, 1/28/16...... Singer Chaka Khan, who is releasing a new single, "I Love Myself," on Feb. 19 is inviting fans to submit a one-minute video clip of themselves lip-synching to the song's chorus by Feb. 19. The winning clips will then be featured in the song's accompanying music video. "It is important that in these troubled times we honor our own self-respect," says the "Tell Me Something Good" singer in announcing the "I Love Myself" video contest. "Beauty knows no boundaries and is accepting of us all whether black, white, gay, straight, physically or mentally challenged." A percentage of the new single's net proceeds will benefit two charitable organizations that assist victims of domestic violence and discrimination, and be distributed through The Chaka Khan Foundation. More details can be found at Khan's "I Love Myself" website. - Billboard, 1/28/16...... The upcoming tribute to former Commodores member and '80s solo star Lionel Richie during Grammy week festivities will feature contributions from Rihanna, Dave Grohl, Ellie Goulding, Yolanda Adams, Leon Bridges and Florence Welch. Richie is being honored as the 2016 MusiCares Person of the Year during thec elebratory gala, which will be held Los Angeles on Feb. 13. Previously announced participants include Lenny Kravitz, Lady Antebellum and John Legend. - Billboard, 1/28/16...... Aretha Franklin has donated hotel rooms to residents of Flint, Mich., who have been affected by the city's ongoing water crisis. Franklin, a resident of Detroit, likened the situtation to Hurricane Katrina on Jan. 27, calling it "just horrible" to see families holding up jars of "green and brown" water on television day after day. "Flint is so close to Detroit I think it's just regarded as being a part of Detroit. My contribution is to donate 50 rooms nightly at either the [Detroit] Holiday Inn Express or the Comfort Inn with coupling it with a per diem, which is food and beverage at the Coney Island just next door where they really have good food, because I go in there a lot...My assistant is helping me to set that up," Franklin said, adding that she also plans on asking her good friends Stevie Wonder, Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson to chip in on the effort. - Jezebel.com, 1/28/16...... The NBA's 2016 All-Star game halftime show at Toronto's Air Canada Centre on Feb. 14 will be headlined by 16-time Grammy winner Sting, it was announced on Jan. 28. The former Police frontman will be performing a medley of his classic hits for the show, which will broadcast in more than 200 countries and territories as well as heard in 40 languages. The show will be broadcast in the US on cable TV's TNT channel beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET and on Sportsnet ONE and TSN in Canada. - Billboard, 1/28/16...... Neil Young once sang about "the story of Johnny Rotten" and how it was "better to burn out than fade away." Now John Lydon (ne Johnny Rotten) seems to be taking Young's advice to heart. The former Sex Pistols member, who turned 60 on Feb. 31, says in a new interview with GQ magazine that he is still smoking and drinking. "If I can't enjoy being alive, then I don't want to be alive. Drinking and cigarettes and having fun and staying up for endless days -- these are all great attractions to me," he said. Lydon also claimed that the last time he exercised was "years and years ago... when my band PiL was first touring America." Lydon's post-punk group PiL released their tenth studio record, What The World Needs Now, in September 2015. - Billboard, 2/1/16...... Actors Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw, the stars of the smash 1970 tearjerker Love Story, returned to the setting of the movie, Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., on Feb. 1, a little more than 45 years after their soppy duet in the movie turned them into major movie stars. MacGraw and O'Neal's return was aimed at promoting their national tour of "Love Letters," a play about a couple who maintain contact over 50 years through notes, cards and letters. Now in their 70s, the pair arrived on campus in an antique MG convertible similar to the one in their 1970 movie about a rich-and-preppy Harvard student who marries a working-class Radcliffe girl over his parents' objections. Later, the two reflected on their mutual past before an audience of current Harvard students, in a conversation moderated by arts journalist Alicia Anstead. O'Neal, 74, noted that cancer, as in the movie, has played a big part in his real life, including his battle with leukemia. MacGraw, 76, said being back on campus recalled wonderful memories that few of her subsequent experiences in film ever captured. And both admitted they had a crush on each other during filming. "Love Letters" begins a one-week engagement at Boston's Citi Shubert Theatre on Feb. 2. - USA Today, 2/1/16.
Guitarist/vocalist Paul Kantner, a founding member of the pioneering Bay Area psychedelic band the Jefferson Airplane as well as the 1970s JA spinoff band Jefferson Starship, died on Jan. 28 of multiple organ failure, following a heart attack earlier in the week. He was 74. Kantner and Marty Balin formed Jefferson Airplane in 1965 after meeting at the San Francisco club The Drinking Gourd. The band, which first played folk-rock material, were rounded out by guitarist/vocalist Jorma Kaukonen, drummer Skip Spence, vocalist Signe Anderson, and bassist Bob Harvey, though Harvey was soon replaced by Jack Casady. The Airplane played their first major show on Aug. 13 of that year at the new Matrix Club, which later became an outlet for new Bay Area bands, and they became one of the first bookings for promoter Bill Graham -- who managed them for a short period -- at his legendary Fillmore Auditorium. Before the end of the year, they were signed by RCA Records, and their debut album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, was released in Sept. 1966 and went gold. Just before that LP came out, Anderson left the group to have a baby and was replaced by former model and former Great Society vocalist Grace Slick. With Slick's stronger and more expressive vocals, the band defined what became known as the "San Francisco sound," and not only epitomized the burgeoning Haight-Ashbury counterculture but also provided its soundtrack with Top 10 hits like "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit," a song which developed Lewis Carroll's "Alice Through the Looking Glass" with its acid connotations (and was banned in some areas of the U.S. as a drug song). Jefferson Airplane Takes Off climbed to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart, sold half a million copies, and became the first of five of their seven albums to go gold. After releasing Surrealistic Pillow in 1967, which featured the two aforementioned singles plus two more killer cuts called "Plastic Fantastic Lover" and "Today," the band released After Bathing at Baxter's the same year, which featured a nine-minute psychedelic jam-collage called "Spayre Change." In 1968 came their magnum opus, Crown of Creation, which included Slick's "Lather" and the David Crosby-penned "Triad," a song about a ménage à trois that had been rejected by Crosby's group The Byrds. After a string of arduous U.S. tours and free festivals -- including the horrendous nerve-shattering event at Altamont in 1969 -- schisms in the band began to appear, precipitated primarily by Slick's pregnancy with Kantner's child. In 1970, Kantner and Slick recorded Blows Against the Empire, an LP that also featured Crosby, Jerry Garcia, Graham Nash and other friends, and became the first musical work nominated for the science-fiction writers' Hugo Award. Also in 1970, the band released a greatest hits package, The Worst of the Jefferson Airplane, and on Jan. 25, 1971, Slick and Kantner's baby girl, China, was born. In August, the Airplane formed their own label, Grunt, and released a reunited effort, Bark. In 1972, Airplane members Kaukonen and Casady formed Hot Tuna, and also that year Long John Silver became the Jefferson Airplane's last studio LP. In 1974, Slick and Kantner formed the Jefferson Starship with Balin, and had their big breakthrough in Jan. 1975 with their second album, Red Octopus. That LP was the Jefferson Starship's first No. 1 LP, hitting that position several times during the year and selling four million copies on the strength of singles like Balin's No. 3 "Miracles." The followup, 1976's Spitfire, became their first platinum album, but after another platinum LP, Earth, in 1978, both Slick and Balin left the group. In 1979, the band recruited singer Mickey Thomas, best known as the lead vocalist on Elvin Bishop's hit "Fooled Around and Fell in Love," and the new lineup's Freedom at Point Zero peaked at No. 10. Professing his disdain for the group's more commercial direction, Kanter left Jefferson Starship in 1984, and the group became known as simply Starship. That lineup achieved even greater commercial success, with "We Built This City" and "Sara" from the platinum 1985 album Knee Deep in the Hoopla, and both songs hit No. 1 on the pop chart. In 1989, Kanter, Slick, Balin, Casady and Kaukonen revived the early Jefferson Airplane lineup and released the poorly-selling Jefferson Airplane. In 1996, Kantner, Slick and the other members of the original Jefferson Airplane were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Kantner, who is the first of Jefferson Airplane's founding members to have passed away, is survived by three children: sons Gareth and Alexander and daughter China. After learning of Kantner's death, Grace Slick updated her Facebook cover photo with a picture of a young Kantner, before posting a brief statement: "Rest in peace my friend. Love Grace." - Billboard/Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll, 1/29/16.