On July 7 Paul McCartney posted a "throwback" photo of his Beatles bandmate Ringo Starr to Twitter to mark Ringo's 76th birthday on the same day. The photo, thought to be taken during the recording of McCartney's 1981 solo LP Tug of War, shows the pair together at AIR Studios in the Caribbean island of Montserrat. "Paul and @ringostarrmusic at AIR Studios, Montserrat. Photo by Linda McCartney #ThrowbackThursday #TBT pic.twitter.com/LBEuX7tjMn," the post reads. Meanwhile, a former Ludwig drum kit of Ringo's has sold at auction for $2.2 million at a Juliens Auction in Beverly Hills, Cal. The 1963 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl three-piece kit was used to record some of the Beatles' earliest tracks, including "Can't Buy Me Love," "She Loves You," "All My Loving" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand," with Starr playing the kit for more than 200 performances between May 1963 and Feb. 1964. A percentage of the sale of the kit, which was owned by Clive Edwards, will go to Ringo Starr's Lotus Children Foundation. - New Musical Express, 7/7/16...... In other Beatles-related news, John Lennon's copy of a 1977 document that ended the Beatles' stormy relationship with Allen Klein is being put up for sale through the company Moments In Time, with an asking price of $95,000. When the Beatles, solo artists at the time, decided not to renew Klein's contract with Apple Corps Ltd. in 1973, Klein promptly sued them for $19 million (roughly $75.3 million today). The settlement, dated Jan. 8, 1977, ruled that Apple had to pay Allen Klein and ABKCO just over $5 million (or roughly $19.8 million now) while Klein had to pay out a total of $800,000 (roughly $3.2 million now). The agreement said that it released Apple "from any liabiity whatsoever" related to the relationship of the Beatles and Klein. Paul McCartney, who never allowed himself to be represented by Klein as part of the Beatles, was not involved in the suit or the settlement but, according to his father-in-law Lee Eastman who represented him at the time, "was delighted to see his friends end this problem." The other three Beatles began their relationship with Klein on Jan. 28, 1969, at a meeting with Lennon and Yoko Ono at the Dorchester Hotel. McCartney's refusal to be associated with Klein became a major cause of friction between the Beatles, leading to their split in April 1970. - Billboard, 7/8/16...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, the traveling Beatles exhibit Ladies and Gentlemen: The Beatles! has opened at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live. The exhibit, which colorfully details the Fab Four's game-changing impact on pop culture and features more than 400 items of rare photos, clothing and tour artifacts, will be on display through Sept. 5. The exhibit will then travel to Little Rock, Ark., at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center. It first opened at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in 2014, also making stops at the Grammy Museum Mississippi, the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, and the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Okla. - Billboard, 7/7/16...... Movie studio SudioCanal has announced it is nearing completion of the restoration of the sci-fi classic The Man Who Fell to Earth, which stars David Bowie as a humanoid alien from a distant planet on a mission to take water back home, to mark the film's 40th anniversary. The 1976 Nicolas Roeg-directed movie, which is being restored in 4K and is arguably the late rocker's most iconic turn on the big screen, will also be released theatrically in the UK on Sept. 9 by Park Circus. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/7/16...... A US chart record for the most consecutive weeks for a Number One album and song in the charts that was set by Michael Jackson has been equalled by Toronto rapper Drake. Drake's Views and "Once Dance" have remained on the chart for seven consecutive weeks, with Jackson being the only other solo male artist to achieve that feat, with Thriller and "Billie Jean," in 1983. However Whitney Houston and the Beatles have both had longer runs in the US charts, each having simultaneous Number Ones in the album and singles charts for 12 consecutive weeks. - NME, 7/6/16...... Heart released its 16th album and first new release in four years, Beautiful Broken, on July 8 via Concord Records. Beautiful Broken features new songs written by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, and sees the siblings revisit some of their favorite catalog tracks in fresh recordings as well as a title track featuring guest vocals from James Hetfield of Metallica. "There is really a seventies feel to this record both in the sound, and the way we got to the emotional core of each song," Nancy Wilson said in a statement. "We picked songs that we always wanted to re-do, plus we've added three new tracks. On both new and old, we have the band playing together the way we used to. This is classic Heart." The LP features previously released songs that have been reworked, including "City's Burning," "Down on Me" and "Sweet Darlin'," and the title track was originally a bonus song on Heart's previous album, Fanatic, but the new version is an almost entirely new song with vocals and some new lyrics from Hetfield. "It blows the previous version [of "Beautiful Broken"] out of the water," Nancy Wilson says. "James just took the song on, and what he added was perfect with a bite and a rock accent." The LP was co-produced by Nancy and Heart bassist Dan Rothchild, who says his goal was to recapture the band's live feel in the studio. "On these classics, some of which had suffered from eighties-era over-editing-production-curse, we stripped the paint off and found the beauty underneath," he said. Four of Beautiful Broken's songs feature string arrangements from Paul Buckmaster, who has worked with Elton John and the Rolling Stones. Heart is currently on tour behind the new album with fellow Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members Joan Jett and Cheap Trick. - Billboard, 7/6/16...... Warner/Chappel Music, the publisher in the recent Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven" trial, is seeking nearly $800,000 in in attorneys' and expert witness fees after a June 16 opinion directed lower judges to consider awarding attorneys' fees to prevailing parties in copyright cases by examining factors like "frivolousness, motivation, objective unreasonableness, and the need in particular circumstances to advance considerations of compensation and deterrence." Warner/Chappel says it takes issue with the way the plaintiff, Michael Skidmore, "tried to tar 'Stairway to Heaven' and its authors, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant" and says it "successfully defended plaintiff's attempt to wipe 'Stairway to Heaven' off the map and, in doing so, defendants furthered the important copyright purpose of enriching the general public through access to creative works." A hearing on the request is scheduled for Aug. 8. - Billboard, 7/8/16...... It appears that AC/DC will be thinning its ranks once again with the announcement by bassist Cliff Williams that he plans to retire after the Aussie rockers' current Rock or Bust tour. Speaking to the Southwest Florida publication Gulfshore Life for a feature about rockers who live in the area, Williams, 66, said that being in AC/DC is "what I've known for the past 40 years, but after this tour I'm backing off of touring and recording." "Losing Malcolm, the thing with [drummer] Phil [Rudd, who had legal difficulties] and now with [singer] Brian [Johnson, who stepped aside this year due to hearing loss]", it's a changed animal. I feel in my gut it's the right thing." Williams' decision comes just after AC/DC played a string of European dates with Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose filling in for Johnson on the band's 2016 tour. Should Williams retire, it would leave guitarist Angus Young as the only original member of the group. - NME, 7/8/16...... Fleetwood Mac has announced it will give its lone 2016 live performance at the Los Angeles Dodgers' second annual Blue Diamond Gala at Dodgers Stadium on July 28. The band will close out the night with a set from centerfield, following a blue carpet entrance (in honor of the Dodger colors) and a ceremony honoring Vin Scully, the iconic Dodgers announcer who plans to retire at season's end. All proceeds from the evening, which will also include Dodgers players and coaches, will go towards the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, which benefits underprivileged local communities. In 2015, Fleetwood Mac wrapped its lengthy On With the Show Tour, which saw the reunion of its '70s "classic" lineup of Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. All five will perform at the Dodger gala. - Billboard, 7/5/16...... Former Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour has been made an honorary citizen of Pompeii, Italy, as his tour hits the city's Amphitheatre Of Pompeii on July 9. The venue is the oldest Roman amphitheatre in the world, and where Pink Floyd played an infamous concert in 1971, later showcased in the 1972 documentary Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii. Pompeii mayor Ferdinando Uliano bestowed the citizenship on Gilmour as he returned to the ancient city. Meanwhile, it has been announced that late founding Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett, whom Gilmour replaced in Pink Floyd, will be the subject of a series of events in his hometown of Cambridge later in 2016. An unreleased film about the musician made by Anthony Stern, a former school friend of Barrett's, titled Get All that Ant?, will be screened for the first time on Oct. 21 during the Cambridge Film Festival, while fans will be able to embark on Barrett-themed walking tours. Get All that Ant? is comprised of film footage, stills and archive footage produced during the '60s in Cambridge, London and San Francisco. Tickets for the fim screenings and the walking tours will be available from the Cambridge Live website. - New Musical Express, 7/7/16.
With a rare live performance of the Simon & Garfunkel classic "Bridge Over Troubled Water," Paul Simon wrapped the US leg of his 2016 tour in his home borough of Queens, N.Y., on June 30. "I don't usually sing this song, but, well, we'll see," Simon said during his final encore. The song was particularly appropriate since the concert had been delayed by an hour due to heavy rain and tornado warnings earlier that morning. When the show eventually began, Simon told the crowd he'd try to slip a few extra songs in to compensate for the delay. In late June, Simon told the New York Times that "Showbiz doesn't hold any interest for me" and that he is considering retiring from music when his current tour, which hits Europe this fall, comes to an end. Stranger to Stranger, his new album, is the singer/songwriter's first No. 1 since 1990's Rhythm of the Saints. - New Musical Express, 7/3/16...... Speaking of concert firsts, David Gilmour has performed the 1971 Pink Floyd Meddle cut "One of These Days" for the first time in more than two decades. Playing a steel guitar, Gilmour tackled the space-rock classic, in which drummer Nick Mason says, "One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces" at the very end, during his European tour opener at Freedom Square in Wroclaw, Poland. Gilmour, who performed his first stage show of any kind in 10 years at the Hollywood Bowl on Mar. 24 as he opened a US tour, also treated fans to such Floyd standards as "Wish You Were Here", "Run Like Hell", "Time," "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and "Comfortably Numb," as well as "Dancing Right In Front Of Me" from his latest solo LP Rattle That Lock. When his tour hits Italy, Gilmour will play Pompeii, where he'll do two nights in the city where Pink Floyd taped their 1972 concert documentary, Live at Pompeii. - Billboard, 7/1/16...... In a new interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry denies that Aerosmith is splitting up after their next tour and that he never could imagine doing a "farewell tour." "At this point in our lives and career, maybe it is time to say 'OK, it's the end of this era -- but there's a new era on the horizon.' So I don't know if I'm comfortable saying 'final tour' and making a big deal out of it," Perry said, while noting that "If it was going to happen, we're closer to it than any other time in our insane career." Perry's comments come a week after frontman Steven Tyler told DJ Howard Stern that the next Aerosmith shows will be a farewell tour, commenting that: "We're doing a farewell tour, because it's time. We've never done that." Aerosmith is set to play the Kaaboo Festival in California on Sept. 16, before launching a 10-date tour of South America which wraps in Mexico City on Oct. 27. Tyler's new solo LP, We're All Somebody From Somewhere, hits stores on July 15. Perry is currently on tour with the supergroup Hollywood Vampires, which also features Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp. - New Musical Express, 7/4/16...... The UK's Official Charts Company has revealed that Queen's 1981 compilation Greatest Hits is the best-selling album of all time in Britain. The OCC reports the album has sold 6.1 million copies in Britain, and is the only album to sell more than 6 million on the isle. "What a great bit of news to wake up to," Queen's Brian May said of the achievement. "The most popular album? Well, I always thought the band showed promise, but this is beyond our boyhood dreams. Thanks, folks," he added. The album is followed by ABBA's 1992 compilation Gold: Greatest Hits (5.2 million), and the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (the best-selling non-compilation LP with 5.1 million). Other '70s artists making the Top 10 include Michael Jackson's Thriller at No. 6, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon at No. 7, and Dire Straits's Brothers in Arms at No. 8. Jackson's Bad and Queen's Greatest Hits II were good for the 9th and 10th spots. The 2016 chart is the 60th anniversary of the OCC chart, with the first being published in 1956 with Frank Sinatra's Songs for Swingin' Lovers grabbing the top slot. - NME, 7/5/16...... Attorney Francis Malofiy, who was on the losing side in the recent Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven" copyright trial, has been suspended from practicing law for flouting courtroom protocol during the trial. Malofiy had been subjected to repeated judicial scrutiny during the proceedings, and an appelate panel ruled on June 30 that Molofiy violated "various rules of conduct" in 2015 after he "tricked" unrepresented co-defendant William Guice into signing an affidavit without consulting a lawyer, and he won't be practicing law again until the fall. After the jury ruled in Led Zeppelin's favor in the six-day trial on June 23, Malifoy said he lost on a technicality and hinted at an appeal, however he won't be representing plaintiff Michael Skidmore should he decide to appeal the case soon. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/30/16...... A Ludwig drum kit used by the Beatles to record "Love Me Do" is being auctioned off, with a starting bid of $150,000. The kit was played by one time Beatles drummer Andy White as he briefly sat in for Ringo Starr during the recording of the track in 1962. White, a top session drummer who passed away on Nov. 11, 2015, at age 85, reflected on the recording session during a 2012 interview with the BBC. "From the drum sound I can tell that I was on (the album) Please Please Me, because it was a vastly different sound to Ringo's drum set at that time." This was before he got the Ludwig kit. "Each drummer gets an individual sound, first of all by the way they tune the drums and then by the way they play the drums," he added. The drum kit comes from the personal collection of Clive Edwards. - NME, 6/30/16...... Drummer Ginger Baker of Cream has undergone open heart surgery after being diagnosed with a heart condition in March. Baker, 76, suffered a fall at his home at that time and revealed he was due to face the surgery, adding he hoped to be able to carry on drummer. "There are two options for surgery. Depending on how strong my old lungs are, they may do both. The doctor says he's going to get me playing again," he said. Leda Baker, Ginger's daughter, said her dad is "on the road to recovery" and was able to have a conversation the day after his surgery. Baker founded Cream in 1966 with Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce, and the trio released four albums including the influential Disraeli Gears before splitting in 1968. The power trio reformed for four gigs at London's Royal Albert Hall in 2005, before Jack Bruce's death in 2014. Baker's 18 solo albums include his latest effort, 2014's Why. - NME, 7/5/16...... The National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress has named Motown legend Smokey Robinson as its next recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, which honors a living musician's lifetime achievement in promoting songs as a means to cultural understanding, inspiring new generations and entertaining audiences. "It gives me such joy and gratitude to be included among the past recipients of this most prestigious songwriting award," Robinson said in a statement. David S. Mao of the Library of Congress described Grammy winner Robinson as the "poet laureate of soul" and noted he was "a master at crafting lyrics that speak to the heart and soul, expressing ordinary themes in an extraordinary way... It is that quality in his music that makes him one of the greatest poetic songwriters of our time." Robinson, whose hits with The Miracles include "The Tracks of My Tears," "I Second That Emotion" and "The Tears of a Clown," will accept the award in Washington, D.C., in November. - Billboard, 7/5/16...... Debbie Rowe, the ex-wife of Michael Jackson and the mother of two of Jackson's oldest children, has reportedly been diagnosed with breast cancer. Rowe, 57, will undergo surgery in the near future to treat the disease, according to multiple reports. Jackson and Rowe were married from 1996 to 1999. Paris Jackson, one of the children, has been estranged from Rowe for over a year. - WENN.com, 7/4/16...... Lisa Marie Presley, who recently filed for a divorce from her fourth husband Michael Lockwood, has amended her filing to reflect a legal separation instead. The court documents have now been changed to legal separation, meaning, unlike divorce, the couple will still be legally married, but living separately. Presley and Lockwood, a music producer, tied the knot in Japan in Jan. 2006. Lisa Marie has requested full custody of the pair's seven-year-old twin daughters, Harper and Finley. - WENN.com, 7/1/16...... Bruce Springsteen has written a new forward for the audiobook edition of Ron Kovic's 1978 memoir Born on the Fourth of July, which like Springsteen's famous song "Born In the U.S.A." is a scathing takedown of American imperialism. Springsteen actually befriended author/Vietnam War veteran Kovic long before his book was made into a Tom Cruise film in 1989. The new audiobook edition, which hit stores July 4, features Springsteen's voice reading his new forward at the start. In February, Springsteen announced he will be releasing his own long awaited autobiography, told in "disarming candor," in the fall of 2016. - Billboard, 6/30/16...... Brad Rading, the co-founder and former bass player for the Five Man Electrical Band, passed away in late June after a battle with throat cancer at the age of 69. A professional musician since his teens, Rading was a longtime fixture on the Ottawa, Canada, music scene, and was a founding member of the Staccatos, who scored a handful of regional hit singles in the '60s before changing their name toward the end of the decade and re-emerging as the Five Man Electrical Band. The group's largest success came in 1971 when "Signs" peaked at No. 3 in the U.S. and earned a gold certification from the RIAA. But the band splintered just as it seemed it was poised to break through, with Rading and drummer Michael Belanger departing during the recording of 1973's Sweet Paradise LP. Singer Les Emmerson revived the band name in 1986, and continues to perform with a revamped lineup. "Brian was warm, friendly, thoughtful, helpful. He did a lot of things for a lot of people," said current Five Man Electrical Band guitarist Brian Sim. "He was one of the best bass players I've ever played with."...... Danny Davis, a veteran music executive who worked with Motown, Phil Spector's Philles Records and Neil Bogart's Casablanca Records during his career, died June 22 in Palm Desert, Calif. He was 87. As Senior VP at Motown, Mr. Davis oversaw promotion of recorded music and personal appearances for Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Smokey Robinson and many others. Later while at Casablanca he helped boost the careers of Donna Summer, the Village People and Kiss. He also once served as VP of Promotion with Columbia's Screen Gems Music. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/1/16...... Actress Noel Neill, best known as the first person to portray Lois Lane in a filmed adaptation of the Superman comics, diied on July 3 at her home in Tuscon, Ariz. She was 95. Ms. Neill's first turn as Clark Kent's love interest was in the 1948 movie Superman, opposite Kirk Alyn as the titular hero. Both she and Alyn reprised their roles for the 1950 film Atom Man vs. Superman. By the 1950s, she took Lois Lane to the small screen in the TV series Adventures of Superman starring George Reeves. Ms. Neill went on to have cameos in several Superman films, playing Lois Lane's mother in the 1978 Christopher Reeve-led Superman and 2006's Superman Returns with Brandon Routh. The Minnesota-born actress, who began her career as a singer in Bing Crosby's band, was memorialised in the real-life city of Metropolis, Ill., in 2010, where a bronze statue of Lois Lane stands. - WENN.com, 7/4/16.