A song written by Bruce Springsteen for the first Harry Potter film in 2001 but rejected by the movie's producers has appeared online on the Springsteen torrent site Jungleland.com. Springsteen reportedly became inspired to write a song for the film after reading the first Harry Potter novel to his son in the late 1990s. The song, called "I'll Stand By You Always," is part of a 13-track compilation of mostly rare soundtrack songs by The Boss titled Odds and Sods. - New Musical Express, 10/19/17...... Elvis Costello and Bonnie Raitt were honored at the annual Little Kids Rock benefit show at PlayStation Theater in New York City on Oct. 18. Costello and Raitt are longtime supporters of Little Kids Rock, which aims to provide music education to public schools. "In these days of discord, dissonance and distraction, I'm constantly reminded by a truth that is as old as the human family itself: music can bring people together in ways that virtually nothing else can," said Little Kids Rock founder David Fish, who has raised $1.5 million dollars for the LKR foundation through the series of tribute shows. "There's been study after study proving the benefits of music education and exposure to the arts makes all the difference," Bonnie Raitt told the attendees. Before launching into a spirited cover of Aretha Franklin's 1967 track "Baby I Love You," Raitt expanded on the theme of the evening: "Here's to the power of a beautiful ballad to break hearts and heal." - Billboard, 10/19/17...... Dick Clark Productions, the organizer of the American Music Awards, announced on Oct. 18 that Motown legend Diana Ross will be the recipient of the American Music Award of Lifetime Achievement during the 2017 AMA on Nov. 19 in Los Angeles. Ross, who as a member of The Supremes became the best-selling Motown act of the 1960s and released several additional chart-toppers during her decades-long solo career, is a seven-time AMA winner and hosted the AMAs in 1986 and 1987. "I have endless memories of all the years that I have appeared on the American Music Awards," Ross says in a statement. "It started with Dick Clark and the Caravan of Stars and American Bandstand. It was Dick Clark who said, 'Music is the soundtrack of our lives.' So true. I am so excited to be receiving this honorable award." The AMAs will be broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Nov. 19 at 8:00 p.m. EST on ABC. - Billboard, 10/18/17...... In light of the alleged sexual harassment and abuse revelations by some powerful figures in the movie industry that have made headlines recently, '60s and '70s hitmaker Sir Tom Jones has revealed that it also exists in the music industry and can happen even to men, too. "Things have always happened in the music industry as well," Jones said in an Oct. 18 interview with the BBC Radio 5. "There's been people complaining about publicists and different things they've been expected to do to get a record contract, just like a film contract. There were a few things like that. But you avoid it. You just walk out| But what's tried on women is tried on men as well," he added. Speaking specifically of his own experience, Jones said: "It wasn't bad, just somebody tried to pull| it was a question and I said 'No thank you.'" - NME, 10/19/17...... Legendary rocker Tom Petty was laid to rest in a private ceremony in Pacific Palisades, Calif., on Oct. 16. Petty, who passed away from cardiac arrest on Oct. 2 at age 66, is buried in the same temple and meditation garden where his good friend, former Beatles member George Harrison, was laid to rest in 2001. Petty's daughter AnnaKim posted a series of photos in Instagram as she experienced the ceremony, including one of herself beneath a black & white picture of Petty on a stand above a flower arrangement with the caption "the dark of the sun we will stand together" and another that read "My beautiful twin star??I promise not to be sad and to follow my heart you live on in your art." - Billboard, 10/17/17...... In other Petty-related news, it has been revealed that Petty offered what would become his first Top 10 Hit -- the 1979 Damn the Torpedoes track "Don't Do Me Like That" -- to the J. Geils Band, but the band passed on it. J. Geils singer Peter Wolf told Rolling Stone that "maybe we thought we had the songs for our album... We can do it for the next one," but adds that that band did like the song. Petty reportedly didn't think the song was right for him and his group the Heartbreakers for some reason, but was eventually convinced he should record it by Damn the Torpedoes producer Jimmy Iovine. In a strange twist of fate, Peter Wolf's new band, the Midnight Travellers, actually opened for Petty on his final tour. - Stereogum.com, 10/19/17...... Meanwhile, Ringo Starr says he was totally shocked to hear about the death of his good friend Tom Petty on Oct. 2, the day after the tragedy of the lone sniper in Las Vegas. Ringo says he had been booked to play in Las Vegas on Oct. 2, and on the same day he learned of Petty's death. "It was a shock. When you first hear it, it's like, 'What...?!' Like when I heard Elvis was dead; It's like, 'What?!' It has to sink in. It was very sad. That's all I can say, really. God Bless him and his family," said Starr, who occasionally collaborated with Petty and notably appeared in Petty's video for "I Won't Back Down" in 1989. Starr says he hopes to return to Las Vegas under much better vibes when he and his All-Starr Band kick off a fall tour supporting his new album, Give More Love, with an 8-show residency beginning Oct. 13 at Planet Hollywood. His tour will continue through Nov. 16 in New Jersey. "We're gonna try to play those shows with a lot of peace and love and try to raise the spirits," the eternally optimistic Ringo said. The deluxe version of Give More Love features a newly recorded version of his 1972 hit "Back Off Boogaloo" built atop recently discovered session tapes. "We just got lucky with that one," Ringo says. "I'm going through a lot of tape and we're looking to see if anything else is on them. So far we haven't found anything as important as that, but I might find something else on there." - Billboard, 10/14/17...... Bryan Singer, the director of the forthcoming Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, has shared a photo of lead actor Rami Malek performing as Mercury on Instagram. "Couldn't help myself and had to post this iPhone pic," Singer posted in a caption accompanying the photo. Singer is best known for directing the X-Men franchise, while Malek is a relative unknown, having previously acted in TV series, Mr Robot. - New Musical Express, 10/17/17...... For the first time in its history, Playboy magazine will feature a solo male on its cover -- recently deceased Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. For its Nov./Dec. 2017 issue, a 39-year-old Hefner will appear on the cover in a 1965 portrait by photographer Larry Gordon. "Hef" will be the eleventh man to ever grace the publication's cover, but none until now have been featured without a female model present. The first six pages will include a piece from Hefner's son Cooper, as well as a celebration of the magazine mogul's life. Playboy issued a statment saying the new issue is "a prelude to a forthcoming 100+ page special tribute dedicated to the man who changed the world with his visionary magazine and company." - Billboard, 10/19/17...... Tina Turner was on hand at an announcement party to help launch a new musical based on her life and career, "Tina," which is scheduled to open Apr. 17, 2018, at London's Aldwych Theatre. Turner joined the actress who will be portraying her, Adrienne Warren onstage for a rare performance for guests at the party. "Growing up watching Tina, I knew how to shake my hips before I could tie my shoes," said Warren, who was nominated for a Tony in 2016 for her featured role in the musical "Shuffle Along." "I am elated, honored and humbled. Meeting and working with Tina is and will always be one of the great moments of my life," she added. The musical "Tina" will trace Turner's life from her humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tenn., through her stormy marriage to Ike Turner, her hard-won independence and her ultimate emergence to become one of the top-selling female recording artists of all time. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/19/17...... Rolling Stone magazine founder Jann Wenner is reportedly no longer speaking to the author of a new biography about him, Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine, after feeling "betrayed" by the book's writer, Joe Hagan. Wenner is reportedly upset that the book delves into his personal life, including his sexual history, marriage, drug use, and working relationships, and has dis-invited Hagan from scheduled promotional appearances, including one at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which Wenner co-founded. Two earlier would-be Wenner biographers had book deals fall through after the magazine mogul withdrew his cooperation. Sticky Fingers will hit stores on Oct. 24. - Spin.com, 10/18/17...... "Run James Run," one of the two new tracks featured on Brian Wilson's new solo anthology Playback: The Brian Wilson Anthology, was inspired by guitar icon Jeff Beck after Beck mentioned that he also owned a number of 1932 Deuce Coupe hot rods. "While Brian and I were driving home from the studio, he stated that in his opinion, 'What the world needs now is one last great car song!'" recalls Wilson's collaborator Joe Thomas. "The next day, we started laying the tracks down." The song's title comes from a tune Wilson wrote in the '60s, which he hoped would become a James Bond theme. When that didn't happen, the song because the instrumental "Pet Sounds." Years later, Wilson revived the title and Thomas and Wilson finished the song. Playback dropped on Sept. 22 via Rhino Records. - Billboard, 10/18/17...... In a new interview with Northern Ireland's Belfast Telegraph, Billy Joel revealed that he is set to become a father for the third time. The 68-year-old Piano Man and his current wife, Alexis Roderick are expecting their second child in November after becoming the parents of their two-year-old daughter, Della Rose. Joel told the paper that Della Rose is "pretty good. She sleeps through the night... I hope the next one will." Joel and Roderick have been together since 2009, and the musician made her his fourth wife in 2015. Joel is also dad to singer Alexa Ray Joel, his 31-year-old daughter from his second marriage to supermodel Christie Brinkley. - WENN.com 10/18/17...... Legendary rock guitarist and bandleader John McLaughlin says he plans to retire from touring as he prepares for the start of his final North American run "The Meeting of the Spirits Tour" with his band the 4th Dimension that begins Nov. 1 in Buffalo, N.Y. "I think one of the most catastrophic things that could happen would be to go on tour and have a really bad hair day where I'm not really able to play," the Mahavishnu Orchestra mastermind said in a new interview with Billboard. "That's a nightmare for me. I don't want to get confronted with that situation, so I told the guys in the band, and some months ago, that this is the goodbye tour." McLaughlin and company have dates booked through Dec. 9 in Los Angeles, with Jimmy Herring and the Invisible Whip on the tour and playing an encore set of Mahavishnu Orchestra material together. While McLaughlin may be giving up the road, he isn't giving up on music altogether; he has just released a new album called Live@Ronnie Scott's. - Billboard, 10/18/17...... Cher has just signed on to join the cast of the Abba-inspired Mamma Mia! sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Cher teased out the news in mid-October with a series of tweets, although the details of the character she will play are being kept under wraps. In addition to Cher's role -- her first big-screen appearance since 2010's Burlesque with Christina Aguilera -- the movie will reunite original Mamma Mia! cast members Meryl Streep, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski, Amanda Seyfried, Dominic Cooper, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard and Colin Firth. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/16/17...... Speaking to the UK's Daily Telegraph, Robert Plant says it's extremely unlikely that Led Zeppelin will ever reunite again. "You can't ever really go back... It's tough enough repeating yourself with something that's a year old, never mind 49 years old," Plant said. "I've got to keep moving." Plant fronted Led Zep until their split in 1980, before a subsequent reunion in 2007 saw him playing with John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page once more at the Ahmet Ertegun tribute concert, where they were joined by the son of the late John Bonham on drums. He is currently gearing up to tour behind his new album, Carry Fire. - NME, 10/16/17.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Monday, October 9, 2017
Such '70s artists as Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, Arlo Guthrie and the Doors drummer John Densmore are set to headline a benefit concert for Native American activist Leonard Peltier on Nov. 6 at the Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tulsa, Okla. Peltier made headlines during a deadly shootout with F.B.I. agents on an Indian reservation in 1975, resulting in the death of two agents who were murdered execution-style. Although no one knows who fired first and no one actually saw Peltier kill the officials, he was sentenced to back-to-back life terms and has served 40 years. In September, the 73-year-old Peltier underwent sudden heart surgery at a high-security prison in Florida. Civil rights attorney David Frankel has been hired by the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee to help fight for Peltier's freedom, and says Peltier's poor health could help his chances for parole. Peltier "represented the F.B.I.'s last chance to obtain a conviction" in the reservation murders after two Native Americans were acquitted, author Peter Matthiessen argued in his 1983 book, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. However former F.B.I. agent Ed Woods argues that "Whether planning to or not, Peltier was there and participated in the murder of two federal agents." Also participating in the benefit will be Jessi Colter, Shooter Jennings and Joe Ely, with video messages from the likes of Peter Gabriel, Tom Morello and Steven Van Zandt. - Billboard, 10/13/17...... Bob Seger has announced he plans to go ahead with the release of his latest album, I Knew You When, despite being forced to cancel the remaining 19 dates on a tour with his Silver Bullet Band behind the new album due to a medical issue. Seger has announced two versions of the album will be released on Nov. 17 -- a 10-track standard edition that will include his recently released cover of Lou Reed's "Busload of Faith" as well as a version of Leonard Cohen's "Democracy," and a deluxe version that features three additional tracks, including "Glenn Song," a tribute to his late friend Glenn Frey that Seger released via his website in January on the first anniversary of Frey's passing. - Billboard, 10/13/17...... Robert Plant, who released his latest solo LP, Carry Fire, on Oct. 13, says the recent passing of Tom Petty "was premature, by far," and that Petty's untimely passing reminded him of the death of his former Led Zeppelin bandmate, drummer John Bonham. "I remember we lost John Bonham 37 years ago and that was the end of Led Zeppelin really," Plant says. "We were only kids then and there's no amount of talking or paying respects that can bring anybody back, especially somebody who goes so sadly with so many years left to roll really." Bonham's sister, Deborah, has recently received permission for a bronze statue in his honor to be erected in his hometown of Redditch, Worcestershire, in time to commemorate what would have been his 70th birthday next May. - Billboard, 10/13/17...... Speaking of Tom Petty, the late rock legend's 1993 Greatest Hits album is one of three albums vying for the top spot on Billboard's Hot 200 album chart for the week ending Oct. 12. The set re-entered the chart for the week ending Oct. 5 at No. 2, mostly powered by digital albums: 44,000 downloads vs. a little more than 7,000 in CD sales. Petty also currently populates 14 of the top 25 spots on Billboard's Top 50 Hot Rock Songs chart, with "Free Fallin'," "I Won't Back Down," "Mary Jane's Last Dance," "Learning to Fly" and "You Don't Know How It Feels" leading the way. - Billboard, 10/11/17...... In other Billboard chart action, Michael Jackson has just earned his 30th charting album on the Hot 200 with his new Halloween-inspired album Scream. The LP, which dropped on Sept. 29, has bowed on the chart at No. 33, making it Jackson's 16th Top 40 set. Scream's tracklist "reflects The King of Pop's affection for this time of the year," according to a press release from Jackson's label Sony, "and its themes of costumes and disguise, darkness and light, character transformations and surprise. It's the perfect soundtrack for Halloween/October parties." Scream moved 14,000 units -- 11,000 of those from traditional album sales. The set includes familiar Jackson hits like the title track (with sister Janet Jackson), "Thriller" and the No. 1 hit "Dirty Diana." - Billboard, 10/13/17...... The Who frontman Roger Daltrey has announced he'll publish a memoir about his storied life that is scheduled to be published in August of 2018. On Oct. 12, Daltrey confirmed that he has a book deal with Blink Publishing in the UK, and Henry Hold and Co. in the US. In addition to his tenure with the Who, Daltrey says the book will cover his solo career, and focus "particularly on how Britain has changed since he was born in 1944." Meanwhile, in a recent interview Daltrey left the future of live shows by the Who up in the air: "We're doing remarkably well for where we are but we just don't know. If we get through this year, we're gonna need some time off. We'll re-think it after that." Daltrey and his fellow Who co-founder Pete Townshend ended their latest tour in August. - New Musical Express, 10/12/17...... Two surviving members of the Velvet Underground, John Cale and Moe Tucker, recently reunited at the "Grammy Salute to Music Legends" concert to perform the band's classic 1967 track "I'm Waiting For The Man" from the debut VU album. March 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the band's seminal The Velvet Underground & Nico LP, and on their performance of "I'm Waiting for the Man," Cale played a Kurzweil keyboard while Tucker played a woodblock along with Cale's backing band. Tucker and Cale are the only surviving members of the Lou Reed-led band. The "Grammy Salute to Music Legends" concert also honors the likes of Sly Stone, Nina Simone and Dionne Warwick. - NME, 10/12/17...... Bruce Springsteen officially kicked off his 18-week Broadway residency, "Springsteen On Broadway," at Walter Kerr Theatre on Oct. 12 New York City, and critical reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Rolling Stone called the show an "intimate triumph," while the BBC described it as "intimate and personal," with reporter Elysa Gardner noting that the residency is "neither a musical nor a concert in the tradition of his previous solo tours." "The two-hour program is also, in its distinctly intimate, sometimes darkly earnest fashion, an affirmation of the earnest showmanship and vivid storytelling that Springsteen's rock and roll shares with musical theatre," Gardner wrote. The New York Post noted that Springsteen's show has been "reducing its audiences to tears," while New York Times critic Jesse Green noted the show was "real and intense... a greatest anti-hits concert." "Many of the songs Mr. Springsteen has chosen to sing are less familiar and more meditative than his chart-toppers, and those that were chart-toppers are almost unrecognizable," Green observed. The production sees Springsteen playing guitar, piano and harmonica, and singing duets with his wife, Patti Scialfa, and first grew out of an acoustic concert at the White House in the final weeks of the Barack Obama administration. Among the celebrities in attendance at the first show were Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Edward Norton, Tina Fey, Jon Stewart, Brian Williams, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Steven Van Zandt. - NME/The Hollywood Reporter, 10/13/17...... Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain released a new solo holiday album, Unsung Noel, on Oct. 13, and says his lifelong love of Christmas and a more recent passion for Christian music led him to record the set. "I wanted to make an album that really celebrates the Nativity and the birth of Christ and the coming of Christ and the things I thought were missing on a lot of the Christian albums," says Cain, who released his first Christian album, What God Wants To Hear, in 2016. That particular mission led him to become "sort of a detective," delving deep into topics he wanted to address in his own material for the album. Cain says he wrote most of his original songs during Journey's 2016 summer tour, "and I hit on a nice combination of songs... It was just something I felt I could do. It was very positive." Cain says that Journey "will have to get through our differences" before announcing plans for 2018, referring to a recent squabble with Journey guitarist Neal Schon when Cain and other members paid a visit to Pres. Donald Trump's White House, but he's confident that will happen. "We'll get through them," Cain says. "Something like that wasn't the first time we've come at odds with each other. It's been 36 years now. But I think time heals all things, and you move on." - Billboard, 10/11/17...... On Oct. 10, Paul McCartney penned a letter to a Texas veterinary supply company urging it to provide proper care for some 150 greyhounds living in squalor in dirt-floored pens near Austin. "I join my friends at PETA in asking you to pay these greyhounds back, and to let them retire from the dirt-floored, barren conditions in which they are kept isolated and alone, some of them cringing at the footfall of the person coming to take their blood again and again," McCartney wrote. "They had a hard life on the racetrack, and they will die without love if left where they are. I've seen pictures of how they have suffered from nails that have grown back into their paw pads, as well as from infected gums and rotted teeth, and I'm told that some have apparently even died from a lack of water." Sir Paul wrote his plea to Patterson Veterinary Supply, the parent company of The Pet Blood Bank, which provides canine blood products for veterinary transfusions across the country. It began in 2004 initially seeking volunteers and using a bloodmobile, but that did not bring in enough blood and the company turned to retired greyhounds it houses in a kennel on a private farm outside Austin, Texas. McCartney, who in the letter also referenced his former pet dog Martha which was immortalized in the 1968 Beatles song "Martha My Dear," has been a longtime supporter of PETA, participating in interviews on the animal rights organization's website and appearing in pro-vegetarian ads. - Billboard, 10/10/17...... Tech giant Apple Computer has scrapped a planned 10-part Elvis Presley biopic that was to have been produced by Hollywood studio The Weinstein Co. after the explosive scandal involving that company's co-founder Harvey Weinstein, who was fired from the company following allegations of decades-long sexual harassment. The series, dubbed Elvis, was first announced in Sept. 2016, and was to be produced by TWC in partnership with the Presley estate. The estate allowed producers access to Presley's entire music catalog, access to film at his Graceland home as well as his cars and clothing. The drama was to be based on rock critic Dave Marsh's 1982 book Elvis. Presley's ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, was set to exec produce alongside Harvey Weinstein, Jerry Schilling and David Glasser. A writer and star had not been attached, and Elvis was one of four scripted originals that Apple was reportedly planning, including biopics on Michael Jackson, Prince and Frank Sinatra. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/9/17...... Former The Scorpions and U.F.O. guitarist Michael Schenker will kick off a new "Michael Schenker Fest" tour of the U.K. on Nov. 2 at London O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire, also visiting Sheffield O2 Academy on Nov. 3, Manchester O2 Ritz on Nov. 4, and Hull City Hall on Nov. 5. The project reunites the original Michael Schenker Group vocalists - Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley, plus MSG musicians Steve Mann (guitar, keys), Chris Glen (bass) and Ted McKenna (drums). Says Schenker, "It's a miracle that after all these years, a tour like this will take place with the original band members of M.S.G.... To being able to re-experience, and for the new audience to get a feel of what it was like, is incredibly enjoyable." - Noble PR, 10/10/17...... Bob Schiller, an Emmy-winning TV comedy writer whose credits reach back to the infancy of the television medium, died on Oct. 10 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 98. Mr. Schiller's writing credits include I Love Lucy, Maude, All in the Family and The Carol Burnett Show, among others. - The Washington Post, 10/13/17.
Queen has released previously unheard versions of "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions" to mark the 40th anniversary of their seminal 1977 album News Of The World. The new versions of the iconic tracks will form part of the "Raw sessions" disc of Queen's upcoming 40th Anniversary re-issue of News Of The World, which is set for release on Nov. 17. The new tracks feature never-before-heard lead vocals, along with new lead guitar parts which were changed during the recording of the album. On "We Will Rock You," guitarist Brian May is heard deploying a markedly different guitar solo, while "We Are The Champions" ends with a fade-out, as opposed to its more recognisable abrupt end. - NME, 10/6/17...... Paul McCartney is featured in a "making of" short on the new DVD and Blu-ray release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which hit stores on Oct. 3. In the film, McCartney plays Uncle Jack, a pirate relative of Capt. Jack Sparrow. In keeping with the tone of the film, it's a very light-hearted role. In addition to talking about his role, McCartney also does some singing, both in the movie and in an extra version on the DVD recorded when there was silence on the set and the only thing heard is McCartney's voice. This extra version is not in the movie. - Billboard, 10/4/17............ On Oct. 5 the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the nominations for their class of 2018, with '70s acts the Moody Blues, J. Geils Band, the Cars, Dire Straits, Judas Priest, MC5 and Rufus featuring Chaka Khan among the 19 legendary acts making the shortlist. It was the first nomination to the Cleveland-based hall and museum ever for the Moody Blues, Dire Straits and Judas Priest, with the J. Geils Band getting its fifth nomination, the Cars and MC5 getting their third nod, and Rufus featuring Chaka Khan getting their second. Other nominees included Radiohead, Kate Bush, Rage Against The Machine, Bon Jovi, Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, LL Cool J, the Meters, Nina Simone, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Link Wray and the Zombies. The top five vote getters will be decided by a public vote (through Dec. 5 at the RRHOF's website), along with input from over 800 artists, historians and music industry insiders. The winners will be announced in December and inducted on Apr. 14 at a ceremony at Public Hall in Cleveland, Oh. To be eligible for entry into the RRHOF, each potential nominee's first single or album had to be released in 1992 or earlier. - New Musical Express, 10/5/17...... Tributes continue to pour in for late 2002 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Tom Petty, who passed away after suffering cardiac arrest in his Malibu home on Oct. 2. Between the third and fourth quarters of the Florida Gators and LSU Tigers college game on Oct. 7, a packed crowd of 9,000 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium sang Petty's smash "I Won't Back Down" in tribute to the legendary musician. "This one's for you, @TomPetty," the Gators' official account tweeted. On Oct. 4, Bruce Springsteen opened the first preview of his Broadway show in New York with a dedication to his friend and fellow rock icon Petty. The two-hour show started with The Boss standing on stage dressed all in black, dedicating the show to the late musician, sending his thoughts and prayers to Petty's family and his bandmates, the Heartbreakers (his Broadway show officially opens on Oct. 12). On Oct. 7, country star Jason Aldean, the performer onstage during the recent tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, performed Petty's "I Won't Back Down" on NBC's Saturday Night Live in a nod to both Petty and the Vegas victims. Meanwhile, Petty's U.S. music sales have increased 6,781% following his death, with huge increases in sales, streams and airplay of his back catalog surging as fans mourn the singer-songwriter. On Oct. 2-3, Petty's catalog of albums and digital songs (including his work with the Heartbreakers, Mudcrutch and supergroup Traveling Wilburys) sold 218,000 combined albums and song downloads -- up from just 3,000 sold in the previous two days. Petty's top-selling albums following his passing were his Greatest Hits (32,000), Wildflowers (4,000), Anthology: Through the Years (4,000), Damn the Torpedoes (3,000) and Full Moon Fever (2,000). His top-five-selling songs for that same Oct. 2-3 period were: "Free Fallin'" (21,000 downloads), "I Won't Back Down" (15,000), "Mary Jane's Last Dance" (12,000), "Learning to Fly" (11,000) and "You Don't Know How It Feels" (9,000). Greatest Hits also re-entered the Billboard Hot 200 album chart for the week ending Oct. 21 at No. 2 with 84,000 units sold. The album initially peaked at No. 5 on the roundup in Feb. 1994, following its release the previous year. Petty's 1994 solo studio effort Wildflowers returned to the chart at No. 27 with 16,000 units, Anthology: Through the Years returned at No. 32, and Damn the Torpedoes re-entered at No. 122. In more Petty news, the Los Angeles County coroner department has announced it is conducting an investigation of Petty's untimely death. Although no foul play is suspected, the agency says it investigates all deaths where the deceased hadn't seen a doctor in six months. Results of a toxicology screening, to determine if the musician had any drugs in his system, could take several months. - Billboard, 10/9/17...... Four original members of Foreigner -- guitarist Mick Jones, vocalist Lou Gramm, drummer Dennis Elliot and multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald -- reunited on Oct. 6 at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Hotel in Michigan for the first of two weekend reunion concerts, the final U.S. dates of the group's 40th anniversary tour. The band, joined by newer members Rick Wills on bass and Michael Bluestein on keyboards, performed a five-song mini-set that included an acoustic version of "Fool For You Anyway" and their titanic hit "Juke Box Hero," which was introduced with a section of their 1978 instrumental "Tramontane." Some surviving original members of the original band had already reunited earlier in 2017 -- in Florida, Spain and at Jones Beach in New York -- but this marked the first time all of the musicians were together onstage at the same time. "It's good to be back," Wills told the crowd. "We don't believe it. You probably don't believe it, either." The reunion concert was recorded and filmed for a live album, home video and broadcast production set for 2018. The current Foreigner has a run of Canadian dates starting Oct. 10 in Calgary, while a Foreigner with the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra album and PBS special are in the works for 2018. - Billboard, 10/7/17...... After their nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Oct. 5, the Moody Blues members Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge issued a joint statement the same day saying, "We are very honored to be considered for an induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. We know that the fans have been diligently supporting us along the way on this, and that it means a lot to them, as well as to us. Being a British band, we are grateful for our American recognition, and especially to fans who have been with us throughout our musical journey." It has been speculated that a Moodys RRHOF induction could lead to a potential reunion of the group's most famous lineup. Hayward, Lodge and Edge remain active in the group, while keyboardist Mike Pinder left the band during 1978 and flutist Ray Thomas retired in 2002, though both made guest appearances on Lodge's 2015 solo album 10,000 Light Years Ago. Not included in the nomination are co-founding members Denny Lane or the late Clint Warwick, or keyboardist Patrick Moraz. Lodge will be releasing a solo live album this fall and playing a short U.S. tour starting Oct. 26, while the Moodys recorded and filmed one of the Days Of Future Passed 50th anniversary shows for subsequent release. The group plans to set sail on its Moody Blues Cruise on Jan. 2 out of Miami and follows with a short U.S. tour that winds up with four nights at the Wynn Las Vegas. - Billboard, 10/6/17...... Jeff Lynne's ELO have unveiled a trailer for their new live album and DVD, Wembley Or Bust. Recorded at their massive show at London's iconic Wembley Stadium on June 24, 2017, Wembley Or Bust. comes in a variety of formats across CD, DVD, Blu-Ray and vinyl and will be released on Nov. 17. Directed by Paul Dugdale, the 22-song release is loaded with such ELO classics as "Evil Woman," "Don't Bring Me Down," "Mr Blue Sky" and many more. "It's the best time I ever had in music," said Lynne of the Wembley show. "It is beyond anything I could have imagined." - NME, 10/6/17...... As '70s disco legends the Village People celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2017 with a world tour, the group has just been slapped with a lawsuit entangling several former creative partners that challenges the group's very name. The lawsuit was filed by Can't Stop Production, the U.S. arm of Scorpio Music -- a French label founded by Henri Belolo, who is credited with discovering the group back in the '70s. CSP alleges that the group's current members have no legal right to use the name Village People, directing their lawsuit at Sixuvus Ltd., a management company that six of the group's former members created upon reviving the group in 1987. Sixuvus counters that because the current Village People members have been performing under the name for three decades, CSP has already lost any trademark rights it may have had to the name. Ray Simpson, who replaced "motorcycle cop" Victor Willis as lead singer in 1979, released a statement on Oct. 5 claiming the suit was filed at the request of Willis himself, who in 2015 won the right to reclaim 50 percent of the copyright to several of the group's most famous songs, including "Y.M.C.A.," after a trial lasting nearly a month. "Our fans have responded over social media and in the court of public opinion," Simpson said in the statement. "They recognize that 'WE' are the true Village People the world has come to know and love. It is our pleasure and honor to perform for our audiences around the world, and look forward to continuing with our careers," he added. - Billboard, 10/6/17...... Van Morrison's latest album Roll With the Punches has bowed at No. 23 on Billboard's Hot 200 album chart for the week ending Sept. 28, the celtic crooner's 21st top 40-charting set and 47th entry overall on the chart. Also making its debut on the Hot 200, at No. 195, is former paramours Stephen Stills and Judy Collins' new duet album, Everybody Knows. Stills and Collins sing together on an album for the first time, and the release becomes Stills' first chart entry outside of super groups Crosby, Stills & Nash and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young since his 1984 solo set Right By You. As for Collins, the new album is her 18th charting effort, and second this decade, following 2015's Strangers Again. - Billboard, 10/5/17...... "The Flame," the "final chapter" of the late Leonard Cohen's poetry, is set to be officially released in 2018. Cohen himself chose and ordered the poems in the book, of which "the overwhelming majority" is new material. The iconic Canadian poet and musician, who died aged 82 on Nov. 7, 2016, first published a collection of poetry in 1956, and published 12 more volumes throughout his career. He also wrote two novels -- The Favorite Game and Beautiful Losers -- before his music career began in the late '60s. In a press release, publisher Canongate described "The Flame" as "an enormously powerful final chapter in Cohen's storied literary career." - New Musical Express, 10/7/17...... Flamboyant rock & roll icon Little Richard has reportedly renounced his homosexuality, and also says he now believes that same-sex relationships are "unnatural affections." Little Richard, 84, recently appeared on a program on the Christian network called Three Angels Broadcasting, and revealed that, in addition to abandoning his famous wig, he's also renounced his attraction to men because it's "unnatural." "When I first come in show business they wanted you to look like everybody but yourself," he said. "And, anybody that comes in show business they gone say you gay or straight God made men, men and women, women." - Dlisted.com, 10/7/17...... A group of residents in New York City has petitioned their leaders to have a street in the Greenwich Village neighborhood named in honor of Jimi Hendrix. Organizers of the petition are seeking to co-name West Eighth Street as "Jimi Hendrix Way," and hope the co-naming also would attract visitors to an area fighting gentrification. Richard Geist, a local store owner, says the block has "lost the magic and we want to bring that magic back." Hendrix opened his Electric Lady Studios on the West Eighth Street just before his death in 1970. To co-name a street, petitioners would have to make a proposal to the local community board before it could be proposed to the full New York City Council for a vote. - AP, 10/4/17...... Pop and R&B singer Walter "Bunny" Sigler, producer and artist that helped Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff create the "Philly Sound," died on Oct. 6 at home of a heart attack. He was 76. Sigler was known for his work with Patti LaBelle, Lou Rawls, the Spinners and countless others, and his music was sampled by such contemporary acts as Jay Z, Nelly and Outkast. "He wrote, produced, recorded and sang," said his attorney Lee Remick, "and he wrote gospel, Christmas music, R&B and funk. He was a musical genius." According to Remick, Sigler had been sick for the last 10 months and suffered from diabetes. Both LaBelle and Gamble and Huff released statements paying tribute to Sigler. - 10/7/17...... Songwriter Jerry J. Ross, who co-wrote and produced such hits as The Supremes' "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" and "Someday," died on Oct. 4 of prostrate cancer at the Holy Redeemer Hospital hospice unit in Meadowbrook, Penn. He was 84. Mr. Ross is credited with discovering and mentoring Kenny Gamble in a relationship that goes back to the late 1950s, when he helped Gamble and Thom Bell record "Someday" for his Heritage label as Kenny and Tommy. "Jerry Ross was instrumental in introducing Thom Bell and me to the music business, including signing me to my first recording artist deal with Columbia Records," Gamble said in a statement. "He mentored Thom Bell and me to write songs. He was our good friend and was key to the beginning of the Gamble, Huff and Bell legacy." - 10/7/17.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
As a U.S. tax court gets ready to render a decision in a huge case examining whether the government is owed money in estate taxes from Michael Jackson's death in 2009, the Internal Revenue Service has caught a small break. On Oct. 2, Judge Mark Holmes refused to strike testimony from the government's key valuation expert, Weston Anson, despite acknowledging that Anson's testimony wasn't truthful during the Feb. 2017 trial. Anson appeared on the witness stand to bolster the IRS' contention that the worth of Jackson's name and image at the time of death was $161 million, instead of just $2,105, as the Jackson estate maintains. Under cross-examination, Anson claimed that he had never worked for the IRS before, despite the fact that he had worked on a similar case involving Whitney Houston's estate. An ultimate decision in the case, which will be a pathbreaking one that will establish some guidance around the value of celebrities posthumous rights for estate tax purposes, is expected soon (that is, if estate taxes survive any tax reforms being currently contemplated by lawmakers in Washington D.C.). - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/3/17...... In a new interview with Variety, Bruce Springsteen has revealed that he has completed his new solo album, but as of now it has no title or release date. "It's connected to my solo records writing-wise... but it's not like them at all," Springsteen noted. "Just different characters living their lives." The Boss went on to say that the record "is influenced by Southern California pop music of the '70s... Jimmy Webb, Burt Bacharach, those kinds of records. I don't know if people will hear those influences, but that was what I had in my mind. It gave me something to hook an album around; it gave me some inspiration to write. And also, it's a singer-songwriter record." In a series of tweets on Oct. 3, Springsteen also reacted to the death of his friend and fellow musician Tom Petty a day earlier, describing himself as "devastated and heartbroken" over the death of a person he describes as "a long lost brother." "Down here on E Street, we're devastated and heartbroken over the death of Tom Petty," he tweeted. "Our hearts go out to his family and bandmates. I've always felt a deep kinship with his music. A great songwriter and performer, whenever we saw each other it was like running into a long lost brother. Our world will be a sadder place without him." Meanwhile three days earlier, Springsteen helped Bryan Adams close out the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto on Sept. 30 by jamming with the Canadian rocker on "Cuts Like a Knife" and "Badlands." The event is a week-long Paralympics-style competition for wounded military veterans. - New Musical Express/Billboard/Stereogum.com, 10/4/17...... Also paying tribute to Tom Petty in recent days are former Eagles guitarist Don Felder, rising stars Norah Jones and John Mayer, and Petty's own daughter, AnnaKim Violette. Don Felder, a friend and guitar mentor to Petty from his younger days in Gainsville, Fla., posted that his "heart was shattered" upon learning the news that Petty had died. "Growing up together in Gainesville and seeing one of my students blossom as an incredibly gifted musician and songwriter has been one of my most fulfilling experiences in this life," Felder said. "It was obvious very early on in his career that his talent, magnetism and charisma were a very special gift that few souls in this world are given. He has given this world so many wonderful memories and touched millions with his magic. Gone far too soon. May he rest in peace knowing how much he is loved and appreciated by all of us that are left behind." Norah Jones, who performed the Wildflowers songs "Time To Move On" and "You Don't Know How It Feels" with Petty at the MusicCare's Person of the Year gala that honored Petty in Feb. 2017, issued a statement saying she was obsessed with Petty's Wildflowers album as a young girl, and that "in the last 10 years, I've had the pleasure of singing his songs at countless tributes and Petty Fests and every time I was punched in the gut by the sheer beauty of his songwriting. So many gems. So many heartfelt anthems that make you wanna sing loud. So many favorites -- you just can't pick one. His music makes people feel so much." John Mayer mourned Petty in a poetic tribute on Instagram in which he said the Petty "made me believe that songwriting was everything... one of the high priests of the Sonic Church of California." Petty's youngest daughter AnnaKim Violette shared her thoughts and feelings on social media with a series of emotional posts featuring pictures of herself with her dad, including images of her dancing at his concerts. " I love his class honesty and how strange and funny he is... Tom Petty is an American Icon because his heart has always put human rights first," she tweeted. Meanwhile, Petty fans led a candle-lit vigil at the music icon's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Oct. 3. In a series of photos posted on Instagram, a line of candles is seen on the edge of his star, along with bunches of freshly bought flowers that have been laid down. Fans are also mourning the rock legend's passing by snapping up and downloading several of his most well known albums. Petty and the Heartbreakers' 1993 Greatest Hits album appears to be headed to re-enter the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 200 albums tally, with the set moving over 45,000 units in the week ending Oct. 5. It's also expected that Petty will impact Billboard's Top Rock Songs chart for the same week with hits like "Free Fallin'," "I Won't Back Down," "Mary Jane's Last Dance," "You Don't Know How It Feels" and "American Girl." - Billboard/WENN.com/New Musical Express, 10/3/17...... Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band announced on Oct. 3 that they've been forced to postpone the remainder of their North American Runaway Train Tour -- a total of 19 dates -- so Seger an tend to a medical issue concerning his vertebrae. "I'm so disappointed to have to suspend the tour as the band is on a great roll," Seger said in a statement. "It's a privilege to play for our amazing fans. Hoping to be back out on the road very soon." No further details were given, and rescheduled dates will be announced when available, with previously purchased tickets to be honored at the new dates. Seger and his band kicked off his current tour on Aug. 24 in Toledo, Oh., playing 13 shows before postponing their Sept. 30 gig in Columbus, Oh., due to a pinched vertebra in his neck. The tour was set to run through Nov. 17, the same day he releases his new album, I Knew You When. Seger's tour cancellation also affected the tour of his opening act, Roadcase Royale featuring Nancy Wilson, who also announced they were cancelling their shows on Seger's tour. - Billboard, 10/3/17...... After the shocking incident that occurred on Oct. 1 during a country music concert on the Las Vegas strip in which a lone gunman massacred at least 58 people and injured around 527 others with an automatic rifle from a nearby highrise hotel, Paul McCartney paid homage to the victims at the final stop on the U.S. leg of his One on One Tour on Oct. 2 in Detroit. After opening with the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night," McCartney told the crowd at Little Caesars Arena that, "On such a terrible day, we're going to celebrate the joy in life" before leading into "Save Us." The sentiment echoed McCartney's tweet from earlier in the evening, when he wrote that, "Even though this has been a very sad day, we're going to celebrate the joys of life #OneOnOne." McCartney made no subsequent comments about Las Vegas, although the events there did add poignancy to renditions of songs such as "We Can Work It Out" and the pairing of "A Day In The Life" -- which McCartney noted was "appropriate in today's world" -- and John Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance." One of Paul's fellow rock icons, Carlos Santana, also reacted to the tragic incident with a post on his official website: "To everyone that lost loved ones, we stand with you," said Santana. "Why allow weapons of mass destruction to be sold to civilians? The laws need to be changed to prevent this from ever happening again," he added. Santana is currently playing his fifth annual residency at the House of Blues Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay -- the same hotel from which a gunman fired into the audience at the nearby Route 91 Harvest country music festival. In related news, Johnny Cash's daughter, country singer Roseanne Cash called on her fellow country artists to denounce the National Rifle Association in the wake of the shooting in an editorial published in the New York Times on Oct. 3. In the essay, Cash pointed to how "the National Rifle Association has increasingly nurtured an alliance with country music artists and their fans." However, she writes, beneath the friendly "public relations veneer" of campaigns like NRA Country, which claims to celebrate American values, respect for the military, and freedom, Cash says that the "N.R.A. funds domestic terrorism." Cash urges her fellow country artists to "find the strength of moral conviction, even if it comes with a price tag, which it will." - Billboard, 10/3/17...... Kiss fans were split in their reaction to the band's request that the audience join them in a display of U.S. patriotism by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during their set at the Gretna Heritage Festival in Louisiana on Sept. 30. "It's always cool to love your country," frontman Paul Stanley said before leading the audience in the pledge. One supporter tweeted, "Kiss just stopped their concert to take a moment to thank the veterans and say the pledge of allegiance. Pretty damn cool." But another concert attendee posted: "Kiss made everyone do the pledge of allegiance before they would do an encore. That was the least rock and roll thing I've ever seen." Kiss also led fans in the pledge at a September concert in Sugar Land, Tex. A year ago during their "Freedom to Rock" tour, Kiss criticized NFL star Colin Kaepernick for not standing while the national anthem was played before the start of games. - Billboard, 10/1/17...... Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner was laid to rest next to Marilyn Monroe, according to his wishes, on Sept. 30 after passing away three days earlier at age 91. The iconic Playboy founder was given an extremely private funeral and memorial service was held in Los Angeles at the Westwood Village Memorial Park. His four children and widow, Crystal Harris, were reportedly all in attendance. Mr. Hefner had purchased a crypt beside Monroe -- Playboy's first-ever cover girl -- all the way back in 1992 for a reported $75,000, even though the two had never even met in person. In 2009, Mr. Hefner told The Los Angeles Times, "I'm a believer in things symbolic. Spending eternity next to Marilyn is too sweet to pass up." Meanwhile, it has been revealed that actor Jared Leto will portray Mr. Hefner in an upcoming biopic directed by Brett Ratner. "Jared is an old friend," says Ratner. "When he heard I got the rights to Hef's story, he told me, 'I want to play him. I want to understand him.' And I really believe Jared can do it. He's one of the great actors of today." In April, Ratner invited Leto to the Playboy Mansion for the premiere of Amazon's docuseries American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, which doubled as a celebration of Mr. Hefner turning 91. Ratner says he is also planning a reboot the Hugh Hefner-hosted, late-1960s talk show Playboy After Dark. - Billboard/The Hollywood Reporter, 10/3/17...... Former Commodores member Lionel Richie will be among the hosts for ABC's reboot of the new American Idol talent reality TV show, joining a panel that includes Ryan Seacrest, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. "I am very excited to be joining Katy, Luke and Ryan on 'American Idol,'" said Richie, according to a press release. "As a singer, songwriter and producer, I feel I can bring a great deal of experience to the table. It's going to be so much fun!" Shooting on the new American Idol began on Oct. 3, and the panel made their debut appearance on ABC's Good Morning America on Oct. 4. - Billboard, 9/29/17...... Roger Waters has announced he'll play the UK's Hyde Park in the summer of 2018 as part of the British Summer Time festival. The Pink Floyd icon will kick off the series of massive outdoor gigs on July 6, and is the first headliner to be announced after the likes of Phil Collins and Justin Bieber headlined the Hyde Park stage this past summer. The show will mark Waters' first live appearance in the UK since releasing new album Is This The Life We Really Want? in June, and comes as part of his "Us+Them Tour." - NME, 10/2/17...... Parlophone Records unveiled the highly anticipated David Bowie box set A New Career in a New Town on Sept. 29, an 11-disc compilation that focuses on the Thin White Duke's "Berlin Trilogy" -- the three LPs constructed between 1977 and 1979 which include Low, "Heroes" and Lodger. Featured in the release are such import rarities as the "Heroes" EP, which rounds up the German and French album and single versions of the song in a compilation exclusive to the set, as well as a newly remixed edition of Lodger. A New Career in a New Town is the latest installment of Parlophone's "definitive" Bowie reissue campaign. - Billboard, 9/29/17...... Two double albums' worth of unreleased recordings by late folk rock legend Tim Buckley are set to be released in October via Manifesto Records. The new releases will collect live recordings from Buckley's 1969 shows at The Troubadour in Los Angeles. The double CD Venice Mating Call and double LP Greetings From West Hollywood will both be released on Oct. 13. The records are the latest in a series of live albums released since Buckley's death. Tim Buckley died in 1975 at the age of28. He was found dead in his bed by his wife, having overdosed on heroin. - NME, 9/29/17...... God bless Ringo Starr, rock's mischievously minimalist and Eternal Optimist Emeritus, forever stripping things to their playfully swinging 4/4 peace-'n-love core. His umpteenth solo set Give More Love is a well-timed all-star candygram. Paul McCartney kicks in bass lines and Beatles screams on the hilarious war cry "We're on the Road Again," while "King of the Kingdom" is a giddily genteel reggae invitation to "sing praises for Haile Selassie." Ringo caps it all with re-imagined faves, including a charming "Don't Pass Me By" that ends with a reprise of "Octopus's Garden" -- a place he knows many of us would love to be alongside him. - Rolling Stone, 10/5/17...... On the growing list of farewell albums by dying rockers, Leon Russell's new contribution On a Distant Shore -- recorded months before his Nov. 2016 passing -- may be the most unflinching yet. "Sounds like a funeral for some person here/ And I might be the one," he bemoans; elswhere he dwells on loneliness and lost lovers. Paradoxically, though, the soul-rock icon hasn't sounded so alive in years. From the swampy choogle of "Love This Way" to the supper-club orchestration of "On the Waterfront" to the Cotton Club jazz of "Easy to Love," he poignantly circles his musical bases one last time. - Rolling Stone, 10/5/17...... Legendary TV game show host Monty Hall, best known as the host of Let's Make a Deal which aired on NBC beginning in 1963, died in his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sept. 30. He was 96. Born Monte Halparin in Winnipeg, Canada to Orthodox Jewish parents, Mr. Hall shot to fame in 1963 when he and a business partner developed and produced Let's Make a Deal. The show became an instant success, with contestants wearing crazy costumes to attract Hall's attention getting to choose between mystery prizes behind three bedazzled doors. The daytime show became so popular that NBC later moved a version of it to prime time. Mr. Hall was the father of actress Joanna Gleason, who announced the death to the New York Times. - New York Daily News, 9/30/17...... Percussionist Laudir de Oliveira, a former member of such rock ensembles as Brasil '66 and Chicago, died on Sept. 17 during a solo concert performance in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was 77. "He had just rained on a spectacular solo, at the end of "Fibra," a composition by Paulo Moura, said his fellow musician Jovi Joviniano. "It was super applauded. It was his last applause," said Jovi, who is also a percussionist. de Oliveira started out as a percussionist in Brazil, working with Sergio Mendes and Marcos Valle. He moved to the U.S. in 1968 and caught the eye of rock musicians and producers, playing on Joe Cocker's debut album and providing percussion on his hit song "Feelin' Allright." In 1973, Chicago invited de Oliveira to play on their album Chicago VI. After playing on the album Chicago VII in 1975, the band invited de Oliveira to become an official member as they began incorporating latin influences to their music. In 1978, de Oliveira played percussion on The Jacksons' album "Destiny." As Chicago moved into a pop-oriented sound, they asked de Oliveira to leave the band in 1982. He continued doing session work as a percussionist, playing with such greats as Carlos Santana, Nina Simone and Chick Corea. He reunited a few times with Chicago, playing with the band in 2016 in New York City. Chicago paid tribute to de Oliveira on their Facebook page, posting they were "grateful for the tremendous contributions he made to the music of Chicago and the enormous talent he shared with us, and with so many others." - 9/25/17.
Tom Petty, who with his band the Heartbreakers evolved into a classic American rock & roll band revered by his peers and fans alike, died on Oct. 2 of full cardiac arrest after being found not breathing in his home in Malibu, Calif. He was 66. News of the rock legend's death was finally confirmed after a series of premature reports about his supposed passing came earlier in the day, when CBS published Petty's obituary after tweeting that the Los Angeles Police Department had confirmed his death. After Variety also cited an unnamed source who said the musician had died, the LAPD then issued a statement saying it had no information on Petty's condition and that "initial information was inadvertently provided to some media sources," and apologized for the misunderstanding. Petty's manager finally released a statement saying that the singer/guitarist suffered a massive heart attack earlier in the day and passed at 8:40 p.m after being taken to UCLA Medical Center. Although emergency responders were able to get a pulse back, he remained in critical condition. "On behalf of the Tom Petty family we are devastated to announce the untimely death of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty," his manager said in a statement. "He died peacefully surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends." Born on Oct. 20, 1950, in Gainesville, Fla., and the son of an insurance salesman, Petty quit high school in his senior year to join one of the state's top bands, Mudcrutch, which also included future Heartbreakers, guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboardist Benmont Tench. Petty was sent to Los Angeles to seek a record contract, and Shelter Records, which was co-owned by Leon Russell and Russell's producer Denny Cordell, signed the band. Mudcrutch disbanded soon after moving to L.A., and while Cordell offered to record Petty solo, Petty waited until 1975 to form the Heartbreakers after hearing a demo recorded by Campbell, Tench, bassist Ron Blair and drummer Stan Lynch. The fivesome inherited Petty's Shelter contract, and released their self-titled debut the following year. After they toured England, the album moved up on the British charts and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers became a headlining act. After Shelter's U.S. distributor, ABC Records, released "Breakdown" in America, the single cracked the Top 40 and another song, the Byrds-y "American Girl," was later recorded by Byrds veteran Roger McGuinn (McGuinn would later recall hearing Petty on the radio and thinking it was himself singing). You're Gonna Get It, their sophomore effort released in 1978, placed two singles on the Hot 100, "Listen to Her Heart" and "I Need to Know." After ABC Records filed for bankruptcy as the band's career was taking off, Petty tried to renegotiate his record deal with ABC's new owner, MCA Records. After nine months of litigation, Petty signed to the MCA imprint Backstreet Records. Damn the Torpedoes, released in 1979, firmly established Petty and his band in the rock pantheon, sold over two-and-a-half million copies, and climbed to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart, helped by two Top 40 singles, "Don't Do Me Like That" (No. 10), and "Refugee," (No. 15). The followup, 1981's Hard Promises, went platinum on the strength of its infectious single "The Waiting" (No. 19), and became notable for Petty's insistence that MCA release it at an $8.98 list price instead of the then-high $9.98 price (he organized fan protest letters, and also threatened to title it "$8.98"). Petty scored another victory against corporations after tire manufacturer B.F. Goodrich attempted to use his "Mary's Got a Brand New Car" in a commercial, filing suit against the company. In 1981, Petty's duet with Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," was featured on Nicks' debut solo album Bella Donna, and rose to No. 3. His critical and commercial streak continued in 1982 with "You Got Lucky," from the LP Long After Dark, and Blair left the band and was replaced by Howie Epstein on bass. During the making of 1985's Southern Accents, three years in the making, Petty became frustrated and broke his left hand after punching a wall, but the Dave Stewart-coproduced album did produce a No. 13 single, "Don't Come Around Here No More." In 1986, Petty and Heartbreakers embarked on a world tour with Bob Dylan but after a well-received outing, Petty's house burned down the following year while he was away (arson was suspected, and his wife and two daughters escaped). His career was revitalized in 1988 when he joined the "supergroup" the Traveling Wilburys with Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra. His first solo effort, Full Moon Fever, was released the following year. Produced by Lynne, the acclaimed album's "Free Fallin'" went to No. 7 on the pop chart. In 1991, Petty released another fine effort with the Heartbreakers, Into the Great Wide Open, also produced by Lynne, and the following year it was announced that he had signed a secret $20 million, six-album deal with Warner Bros. Records, even though he owed MCA two more records at the time. In 1993, Petty was sued by songwriter Martin Allen Fine, who claimed Petty's "Runnin' Down a Dream" infringed on an earlier song that Fine had written. Petty was vindicated when the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a lower court's ruling that his song did not violate Fine's copyright. "I don't believe in lawsuits much.
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Friday, September 29, 2017
The new Michael Jackson compilation Scream, which dropped on Sept. 29, features the the first-ever augmented-reality experience created exclusively for a Michael Jackson album. With the music discovery app Shazam, fans can point their camera at the album's poster to launch a spooky extra. Also, fans in cities across the US can also look for Scream billboards and posters that will feature the Shazam logo and trigger a second AR experience inspired by the album's cover art. A collectible glow-in-the-dark double vinyl LP of the 13-track Scream will also be available on Oct. 27. As one more Halloween treat, Jackson's estate has tapped DJ Steve Aoki to create an official "Thriller" remix -- "Thriller (Steve Aoki Midnight Hour Remix)," which is available on Sept. 29 as a standalone single or to stream. - Billboard, 9/29/17...... Denis Velleneuve, director of the new Blade Runner movie Blade Runner 2049, has revealed that David Bowie was originally considered to play the part of Niander Wallace in the film. "Our first thought [for the character] had been David Bowie, who had influenced Blade Runner in many ways," Villeneuve told a UK paper. "When we learned the sad news, we looked around for someone like that." After Bowie died in Jan. 2016 after battling cancer, Jared Leto was ultimately cast in the villainous role for Blade Runner 2049. The movie hits theaters on Oct. 6. Meanwhile, a story has emerged that Bowie once preferred to hide under a table to avoid the company of late James Bond actor Roger Moore to avoid his company back in the late 1970s. Author Dylan Jones writes in his new Bowie biography David Bowie: A Life that author Hanif Kureishi told him that after Bowie moved to Switzerland and the end of the Seventies to escape tax obligations and drug dealers, Moore showed up at his house in Geneva uninvited and they had a "fantastic night," however Moore returned early the next morning and invited himself in again, and Moore's stories were slightly less entertaining the second time around. "After two weeks [of Moore turning up] at 5.25pm -- literally every day -- David Bowie could be found underneath the kitchen table pretending not to be in," Jones writes in the book. In still more Bowie-related news, a world David Bowie Tribute Tour featuring Bowie collaborators from throughout his long career is set to kick off on Jan. 10 in Paris. The 24 additional dates on the tour, which features such musicians as Mike Garson, Adrian Belew, Gerry Leonard and Gaby Moreno, includes stops in Manchester UK, Dublin, Amsterdam, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Montreal, Detroit, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle, before wrapping on Mar. 3 on Portland, Ore. - Billboard/New Musical Express/Spin.com, 9/28/17...... The Soundtrack of Our Lives, a documentary about music mogul Clive Davis, premiered at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood on Sept. 26. As the movie showcases, the Davis's 50-year career has been bookended by the drug-related deaths of arguably his two most talented discoveries, Janis Joplin and Whitney Houston -- both of whom died alone in Los Angeles hotel rooms. Davis, in attendance for the premiere, said that "the tabloid version is not the full version of Whitney. You will see the full version of Whitney in this film tonight." The Soundtrack of Our Lives also ventures into the private life of Davis, who has emerged as an unlikely advocate for bisexuality as a senior citizen. After the screening ended, Davis received a standing ovation, and the film received glowing reviews in local papers. Also attending were Santana and Ralph Johnson of Earth, Wind and Fire,, among other Davis protégés. - The Hollywood Reporter, 9/28/17...... Kansas has just launched a second leg celebrating the 40th anniversary of its 5x platinum 1977 LP Leftoverture, with the midwest prog-rockers playing the album in its entirety. To also mark the anniversary, Kansas will release the live album Leftoverture Live & Beyond from previous tour dates. "It was something that we really wanted to have documented," says Kansas drummer Phil Ehart, who along with guitarist Rich Williams remains from Kansas' original lineup. "You really have to go all the way back to (1978's) Two For The Show for something like that. We've had other live things, but nothing quite like this so we felt it had been a long time." The Live & Beyond Tour, originally planned for only 10 special shows, has expanded to more than 80 dates due to its success, well beyond what Ehart and company expected. "Yeah, to say it surpassed our expectations is kind of an understatement," Ehart says. "I guess we had forgotten what a gigantic album that was, and how popular it was. When we had a chance to do it in its entirety the Kansas fans really came out in full force, and there were a lot of people who were just Leftoverture fans; Because of 'Wayward Son' it was the only album of ours they ever owned. So it really became a lot more than we expected." The Leftoverture Live & Beyond will also feature 11 other songs, including such Kansas favorites as carus," "Point Of Know Return," "Paradox," "Journey From Mariabronn" and "Portrait (He Knew)." Ehart says an additional live album will be released in 2018, with a live version of the band's followup, Point of Know Return, in its entirety. - Billboard, 9/28/17...... "The Cher Show," a musical based on the life of Cher, will arrival this fall as part of the "Broadway In Chicago" Season Subscription Series. "My life as a musical on Broadway," Cher said in a statement. "It seems crazy, exciting and bizarre -- but that's probably how my life seems to most people." "The Cher Show" is directed by Tony-award winning director Jason Moore ("Avenue Q"), and features choreography from Tony Award-winner Christopher Gattelli. - Billboard, 9/28/17...... The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame presented its first induction ceremony in six years on Sept. 23 at Massey Hall in Toronto, with Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, the group Beau Dommage, and Stphane Venne being honored by their native country. "I'm getting an award for writing songs. How crazy is that?," Neil Young said during the four-hour ceremony. Previous inductees of the CSHOF, which number around 50, include Robbie Roberston, Rush, Paul Anka, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings and Gordon Lightfoot. The gala was capped by an all-star jam that included Rush's Alex Lifeson for "Cinnamon Girl" and many of the honorers on the grand finale of "Rockin' In The Free World," including Randy Bachman, Whitehorse and Blackie & The Rodeo Kings. - Billboard, 9/27/17...... For the first of two shows at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY, on Sept. 26, Paul McCartney called upon his old pal and Nassau native Billy Joel to contribute to the Beatles' classics "Get Back" and "Birthday," the latter which Macca thoughtfully dedicated to "anybody who's got a birthday -- and also anybody who's got a birthday any time this year." McCartney and Joel have jammed together several times in the past, most notably during Joel's 2008 concerts at New York's Shea Stadium before its demolishment. McCartney will take his One on One tour to Detroit for two shows at the start of October. - Spin.com, 9/27/17...... In other Beatles-related news, a new album of instrumental music from late Beatles producer George Martin is due out on Nov. 10. George Martin: the Film Scores and Original Orchestral Compositions will feature excerpts from Martin's under-recognized and unreleased film scoring work, specifically the original music he contributed (outside of the work he did for the Beatles and Paul McCartney's songs from the film) for the Beatles' animated feature Yellow Submarine and the James Bond film Live and Let Die. - Spin.com, 9/29/17...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, Beatles fans can now literally live in a "Yellow Submarine" as sock distributor Happy Socks, in partnership with the band, has announced the release of a new line of Beatles-related socks. "The Happy Socks x The Beatles" collection boasts six designs based on the film's characters and scenes, including the Dreadful Flying Glove, Chief Blue Meanie and Jeremy, Pepperland, and, of course, the Yellow Submarine. And rather ingeniously, the socks are packaged in collectible gift boxes designed to resemble a record LP and EP. The Yellow Submarine sock collection will be available at Happy Socks stores and happysocks.com starting Oct. 3. - Billboard, 9/28/17...... Elvis Presley's ex-wife Priscilla Presley has announced a new children's book based on Elvis' 1956 ballad "Love Me Tender." Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender will be released on Nov. 13 via Dial Books for Young Readers. Illustrated by Stephanie Graegin and featuring an endnote written by Priscilla, the book is described as a "heartwarming ode to the special bond between children and the adults who love and care for them -- be they parents, grandparents, adoptive parents, aunts, uncles or guardians." "It's a feel-good story of love and accepting and a happy ending. Isn't that what children want?," Priscilla said. - Billboard, 9/27/17...... Judas Priest have been confirmed as headliners of the 2018 UK Bloodstock Festival, which takes place from Aug. 9-12. "Thrilled, honoured and primed, ready to unleash Priest-style metal fury into the headbanging heart and home of heavy metal at Bloodstock!," Judas Priest said in a statement. The heavy metal giants will be topping the Friday night of the iconic metal festival's bill, with Gojira and Nightwish also headlining across the weekend. - New Musical Express, 9/24/17...... Aerosmith has been forced to cancel dates of their current "farewell" tour after frontman Steven Tyler suffered what was reportedly a seizure after the band's performance in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Sept. 25. "Unfortunately, due to unexpected medical issues, lead singer, Steven Tyler, is seeking immediate care," according to a statement from the band. "(He) has been advised by his doctors that he cannot travel or perform at this time. Therefore, the last four shows of the South American tour will be cancelled." The cause of the seizure is not currently known, the report states, and neither Tyler nor his band have verified the reports. Tyler also released his own statement, saying he was sorry and he "felt like I've let you down" but "Please not to worry... I am not in a life-threatening condition, but I need to deal with this right away, and get some rest and medical care immediately in order to sustain and maintain my future performances... I promise I'll be back." The cancelled shows include dates in Curitiba, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Rosario, Argentina; and Monterrey, Mexico. - New Musical Express, 9/28/17..... A new series based on the 1974 "blaxploitation" TV movie and subsequent TV series Get Christie Love! is being planned by Lionsgate Television and Universal Television, and like the original Christie Love, will air on ABC. The new Get Christie Love (no ! in the title) will be an "an action-packed, music-driven drama that centers on Christie Love, an African American female CIA agent who leads an elite ops unit." The hour-long drama will be written by Power creator Courtney Kemp and produced by Vin Diesel, Debra Martin Chase and Shana C. Waterman. - Deadline.com, 9/26/17...... Former The Dukes of Hazzard actor Top Wopat has been hit with new charges of indecent assault and battery amid allegations he acted inappropriately with a minor. Wopat, 66, was accused of poking a 16-year-old co-star's bare stomach during rehearsals for a production of the play "42nd Street" in Waltham, Mass., this past summer, when he also reportedly complimented her on her "nice butt" and slapped her backside with his script. According to legal documents obtained by the gossip website TMZ.com, the underage actress, whose identity has not been revealed, had been trying to ignore Wopat's advances after he allegedly told her, "I'm a creepy old man, you're really talented and really cute." A complaint was made after the rehearsal incident, and now Wopat is facing two additional charges of accosting and annoying, as well as the indecent assault and battery counts. On Aug. 3, Wopat pleaded not guilty to those charges of felony indecent assault and battery, as well as another for cocaine possession, and was released on bail. Days later, Wopat's representative revealed the troubled star would be taking some time out to tackle his "ongoing struggle with substance abuse." In the statement, Wopat expressed his "deepest regrets to friends, family, and his many loyal fans" for what he referred to as "unfortunate events." He has yet to comment on the new allegations. - WENN.com, 9/26/17...... As Robert Plant releases his latest solo LP Carry Fire on Oct. 13, the former Led Zeppelin frontman has announed he will kick off a 2018 North American tour named after the album on Feb. 9. The 12-date trek (with additional dates expected to be announced later) will conclude (for now) on Mar. 2. On Sept. 26, Plant released the first single from the new LP, a version of the Beach Boys tune "Bluebirds Over the Mountain" featuring vocal contributions from the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde. For the upcoming tour, the 69-year-old Plant says he's determined not to let tickets get into the hands of scalpers or bots, and that he's "collaborating with Ticketmaster to sell Presale tickets through its Verified Fan program." - Billboard, 9/26/17...... Carol Peters, the longtime manager of the band Heart, dief from cancer on Sept. 18. She was 72. Peters managed Heart for 17 years, guiding them through a resurgence in their career that saw great success on the road, in addition to an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Peters was a pioneering female in the music industry, who generously shared her knowledge and experience. She started her career at Ampex Records in 1965 in Chicago. When her husband was stationed in the U.K. in the Air Force, she moved to London and joined Tetragrammaton Records, where she worked closely with Deep Purple. She then moved into an International role at Elektra Records in London in the late '60s. By 1971, she and her husband relocated to Los Angeles, where she joined United Artists Records' publicity department. Following her return to Los Angeles in 1976, she worked at a series of labels, including Capitol, Planet Records, Warner Bros. and then Pasha Records, where, as general manager, she helped break Quiet Riot. "Carol was a remarkable human being. She poured her soul into everything she was"mother, wife, friend, guiding force, businesswoman and inspiration," Heart's Ann Wilson said in a statement. "Generous, realistic and optimistic, Carol loved completely...so she was loved completely." - Billboard, 9/28/17.
Publishing and pop culture icon Hugh Hefner, who parlayed $8,000 in borrowed money in 1953 to create Playboy magazine, died in his home at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles of natural causes on Sept. 27. He was 91. Born Hugh Marston Hefner on Apr. 9, 1926, in Chicago to parents Glenn and Grace Hefner, who he once described as "puritan" and "repressive," as a boy he was non-athletic and introverted but incredibly imaginative, and he immersed himself in movies, music, radio, cartoons and a love for animals. At about age 6, he allowed his dog to sleep on his beloved "bunny blanket" -- which was replete with images of rabbits -- and when the pet died, the parents burned the blanket, an experience that some say may have influenced Mr. Hefner's choice of a bunny for the logo of his empire years later. Mr. Hefner created Playboy after borrowing $1,000 from his mom and $7,000 from more than 40 other investors for a publication he was set to call Stag Party until he discovered a men's magazine called Stag already existed. He purchased a picture of a naked Marilyn Monroe that was taken before she was famous and put it on the cover of his magazine, which he renamed Playboy. The first issue hit newsstands in December 1953. He didn't bother putting a date on it because he was doubtful there'd be future issues, but it sold 54,000 copies -- 80 percent of the total he had printed -- and his largely male audience thirsted for more. The iconic mascot, a silhouette of a bunny in a bow tie, made its debut in the second issue, chosen because Hefner thought rabbits carried "sexual meaning" and were "shy, vivacious, jumping" animals. In 2008, it was reported that Mr. Hefner had resorted to selling tickets to his famous parties at the Playboy Mansion with the proceeds going to Playboy Enterprises. Mr. Hefner's daughter, Christie Hefner, ran the company for more than 20 years but left in 2009. While most famous for Playboy, the urbane businessman dabbled in all forms of media, including hosting his own TV shows, beginning with Playboy's Penthouse in the late 1950s and early '60s. Shot in his hometown of Chicago and syndicated, the show featured Mr. Hefner in a tuxedo and smoking a pipe surrounded by "playmates" and interviewing such celebrities as Bob Newhart, Don Adams and Sammy Davis Jr. The show boosted his personal and professional reputation and promoted what eventually became known as the "Playboy Philosophy," a lifestyle that included politically liberal sensibilities, nonconformity and, of course, sophisticated parties with expensive accouterments and the ever-present possibility for recreational sex -- though Mr. Hefner maintained he was a relative late bloomer in that department, remaining a virgin until he was 21. Mr. Hefner followed that show with Playboy After Dark, which had a similar format but with more rock 'n' roll, including appearances by the Grateful Dead, Three Dog Night, Harry Nilsson and Linda Ronstadt. The syndicated Screen Gems show was taped at CBS in Los Angeles and ran for 52 episodes in 1969-70. Mr. Hefner also co-produced hundreds of Playboy-branded videos and a few feature films, such as Roman Polanski's Macbeth and Monty Python's first film, And Now for Something Completely Different, both released in 1971. He had been also been a sought-after guest on TV shows as far back as 1969 when he played a Control agent in an episode of Get Smart, and more recently he appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage and Sex and the City as well as in animated shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy. Mr. Hefner also made cameos in several movies, most recently 2008's The House Bunny, which told the fictional story of a Playboy "bunny," played by Anna Faris, who has been kicked out of the Playboy Mansion, the famous real-life, 22,000-square-foot house in Los Angeles where Mr. Hefner lived for more than four decades and where he hosted famously decadent parties that attracted celebrities A-list through D. The house sold for $100 million in August with the provision that Hefner be allowed to live there the rest of his life. Mr. Hefner became the unofficial spokesman for the sexual revolution that permeated the 1960s and '70s and he was both lauded and criticized by feminists of the era, with some accusing him of objectifying women while others said he liberated and empowered them. He was also a staunch supporter of abortion -- including helping to finance the landmark Rowe v. Wade decision in 1973 -- and more recently was an outspoken advocate of same-sex marriage, and his dedication to such issues (along with his distribution of pornography) made him a pariah in some religious circles. Mr. Hefner also launched the Playboy Channel in 1982, a premium cable outlet that has since been sold and rebranded Playboy TV and is more explicitly sexual than when it was under his purview. He created The Playboy Club nightclub chain that still exists as a novelty, but in its heyday in the 1960s, it featured some of the era's biggest stars -- including Rat Packers Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. He was also a staunch supporter of abortion -- including helping to finance the landmark Rowe v. Wade decision in 1973 -- and more recently was an outspoken advocate of same-sex marriage, and his dedication to such issues (along with his distribution of pornography) made him a pariah in some religious circles. "By associating sex with sin, we have produced a society so guilt-ridden that it is almost impossible to view the subject objectively," he wrote in 1963 in one of his many broadsides aimed at Christian leaders. After his marriage to first wife and classmate Millie Williams ended in divorce in 1959, Mr. Hefner married Kimberly Conrad, a former Playmate of the Year, and the couple had sons Marston and Cooper. They divorced in 2010, and Mr. Hefner married Crystal Harris two years later. In 2011, Hefner told The New York Times that he had already chosen and paid for his final resting place -- a crypt next to Marilyn Monroe's in Westwood. Mr. Hefner's death was mourned by a wide variety of celebrities, including Ryan Seacrest, Mark Hamill, Kiss' Gene Simmons, former cover subject Jenny McCarthy, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rob Lowe, Kat Dennings, Heidi Montag and Juicy J, among others. - The Hollywood Reporter, 9/27/17.