Officials in San Francisco have denied a permit for a 50th anniversary "Summer of Love" concert that was to be held on June 4 in Golden Gate Park's Polo Field and headlined by surviving members of such legendary bands as Jefferson Airplane, Santana and Big Brother and the Holding Company. The "city by the bay" was at the center of the '60s counterculture movement, and the concert was expected to draw tens of thousands of people, but city officials have informed event promoter Boots Hughston that his request for a permit was being denied. In a sharply worded, 3-page letter, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department said that Hughston had made "numerous misrepresentations of material fact" that left them with deep concerns about safety and security measures for the concert. Hughston denied making any misrepresentations and called the letter a "character assassination," saying he has a flawless record as a concert promoter and had organized events at Golden Gate Park and elsewhere since the 1970s without any problems. Hughston said he plans to file an appeal against the permit denial and added he still hopes the event can take place. - AP, 2/9/17....................... Black Sabbath played their last ever show in their hometown of Birmingham, UK on Feb. 4 at Birmingham's NEC Arena. The heavy metal legends, who wrapped up their 81-date The End tour, played a 15-song set including "War Pigs," "Iron Man," "Children of the Grave," and bowed out with an encore of 1970's "Paranoid." Founding members Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler all participated in the The End tour, and in November 2016 Osbourne told Classic Rock magazine that he has no plans to retire from either recording or performing live. "It's not me that wants to retire, it's Black Sabbath," Osbourne said. "I'll be continuing my own musical thing. My wife is good at telling me partial information, but I know I'm not hanging my boots up for a while." On Feb. 6, Tony Iommi told Planet Rock that he would also quit touring, but he was "sure" Black Sabbath would continue as a band, and that he was open to releasing more music with Black Sabbath, although the band hasn't discussed it yet. - New Musical Express, 2/5/17...... In other Heavy Metal news, AC/DC guitarist Angus Young pranked his friends Guns N' Roses on Feb. 8 by dressing up as a member of airport security staff and ordering a search after Guns N' Roses touched down in Sydney ahead of five councerts in Australia. "Told we had to stay on plane last night in Sydney; 'airport security' wanted to do a check. We waited. It was Angus Young is an orange vest!," Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan tweeted. The bands have grown close over the past year as Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose has been filling in for AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson, who was forced to step down after being warned by doctors he could lose his hearing. Earlier in February, Johnson thanked a group of Swedish AC/DC fans for hosting an event raising funds for organisations searching for a cure for Alzheimer dementia, which has afflicted founding AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young. "I know Malcolm would be so proud of you," Johnson posted on the event's blog on Feb. 7. "I am and I want to thank you for doing this. We've tried to tell people about this awful disease, tried to get a cure for it. You guys are helping and I'm so proud of you." - NME, 2/7/17...... The estate of late rock icon Prince has granted Universal Music Group exclusive licensing rights to much of Prince's catalog of released and unreleased works. Under the deal, the estate is licensing the 25 albums Prince released under the NPG Records label between 1979 and 1995, plus UMG can now work with the estate on the artist's vault of career-spanning unreleased works. The agreement means UMG is now the home for much of Prince's recorded music, plus publishing rights and merchandising. - Billboard, 2/9/17...... Michael Jackson's mother Katherine Jackson has accused one of her nephews, Trent Lamar Jackson, of being an "abusive con man" who has been attempting to take control of her finances for years. The Jackson matriarch has obtained a restraining order against Trent Lamar Jackson, after accusing him of taking cash from her accounts, and a Los Angeles judge has ordered the man to stay away from his aunt and return all his house keys. Trent Lamar Jackson reportedly disappeared from the Jackson compound shortly before sheriff's deputies and her lawyer arrived to force him off her property, and Katherine says she now fears for her safety if he returns. Katherine Jackson is currently in London visiting her newest grandson, Eissa, who was born to her daughter Janet Jackson in January. - WENN.com, 2/9/17...... Cher launched a residency at the Park Theater at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Feb. 8 after an illness forced her off the road for nearly three years. Cher's "Classic Cher" show featured the diva's hit singles, glamorous Bob Mackie-designed outfits, and her legendary sense of humor, as she joked about her breasts, her age, and her love of Dr. Pepper. The 90-minute show plays a series of dates at Park Theater in February and May, as well as at The Theater at MGM National Harbor outside Washington, D.C. in March, August and September. - Billboard, 2/9/17...... Interviewed by a Detroit TV station on Feb. 8, Aretha Franklin revealed that she plans on retiring at the end of 2017 after releasing a new album in September. "I must tell you, I am retiring this year," said Franklin. "I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now. I'll be pretty much satisfied, but I'm not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing. That wouldn't be good either," she added. Franklin, 74, added however that she will remain open to "some select things, many one a month, for six months out of the year." Franklin's new LP will be an ode to her hometown of Detroit, composed of original works and recorded in the Motor City, and feature songs produced by Stevie Wonder. - Billboard, 2/9/17...... Speaking of Stevie Wonder, the legendary Motown singer has joked to TMZ.com that he will "reveal the truth" about his sight later this year, and claims that he has "flown planes." Wonder was recently stopped by TMZ and asked whether he would ever star in a reality TV show. His response was that it would be "too invasive." The artist went on to claim that he has flown planes twice before and actually landed one. When the TMZ reporter then joked that Wonder might one day come out and say he can actually see, he said (most likely in jest): "This year, I will reveal the truth." - New Musical Express, 2/7/17...... Blondie announced on Feb. 8 that it will kick off a 22-city North American tour on July 5 at The Mountain Winery in Saratoga, Calif. Blondie's "Rage and Rapture Tour" will come on the heels of the band's new album, Pollinator, which hits stores on May 8. The tour will run through an Aug. 12 date at Southside Ballroom in Dallas, Tex., and the opener will be Garbage. - Billboard, 2/8/17...... Willie Nelson announced on Feb. 8 he was postponing two more concerts -- one in Arizona and one in New Mexico -- due to illness. According to his website, concerts at Desert Diamond Casino in Sahuarita, Ariz., on Feb. 10 and the Route 66 Casino in Albequerque on Feb. 11 will be rescheduled. Two days earlier, the 83-year-old Nelson postponed three concerts in California and one in Tucson, Arizona. In late January, he canceled two of his five shows in Las Vegas due to a cold. On Jan. 31, Nelson was seen at an event in Las Vegas to promote his new line of specialty cannabis and played three shows at the Venetian on Feb. 1, 3 and 4. Nelson is due to release his latest album, God's Problem Child, on Apr. 28. - Billboard, 2/8/17...... Bob Dylan has added three warm-up shows at intimate venues to his upcoming UK arena tour, which is set to kick off on May 3 at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena. Dylan will play a trio of shows at the London Palladium on Apr. 28, 29 and 30 ahead of the main jaunt. The tour will also see the rock icon visiting Bournemouth (5/4), Nottingham (5/5), Glasgow (5/7), Liverpool (5/8), London (5/9) and Dublin (5/11). - NME, 2/8/17...... Elton John, Quincy Jones, George Clinton and Sean Lennon will be among the artist-curators of a new vinyl record subscription service called Experience Vinyl. For under $30 a month, subscribers to the new service will receive one of the artist's favorite albums (not their own album) along with personalized commentary, the artist's top ten albums list, access to the Experience Vinyl store and various rewards. A portion of the sales wil go to the artist's charity of choice. The service's first curator, Elton John, has directed a portion of his sales be donated to The Elton John AIDS Foundation. Co-founder Brad Hammonds called Experience Vinyl "a different kind of subscription service and a dream for any vinyl lover... Who better to send you great music each month than artists themselves?" - Billboard, 2/8/17...... In related news, David Bowie's No Plan EP is set to be released on vinyl later in 2017. No Plan is the latest posthumous release from Bowie, who died in Jan. 2016, and features three songs from his Lazarus musical, as well as "Lazarus" from his final album Blackstar. The EP was released digitally on Jan. 8 -- Bowie's birthday -- and features recordings from Bowie's final ever recording sessions. CD versions of No Plan will drop on Feb. 24, before the vinyl edition is released on Apr. 21. A special edition vinyl, which is a dye-cut version that comes with an accompanying lightograph, will follow a month later on May 26. - NME, 2/6/17...... Steven Van Zandt, the longtime guitarist in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, has been named the speaker for this year's graduation ceremony at Rutgers University. Van Zandt, who also appeared in an acting role in HBO's The Sopranos, will also receive an honorary doctor of fine arts at the May 14 ceremony in Newark. Van Zandt was born in Massachusetts but moved to New Jersey when he was seven. The musician was chosen after a selection process involving students, faculty and staff, and he follows in the footsteps of former US Pres. Barack Obama, who delivered the keynote address in 2016. - AP, 2/8/17...... As the 1992 film Wayne's World was screened in US cinemas on Feb. 8 to mark the Mike Myers and Dana Carvey comedy's 25th anniversary, Alice Cooper has reflected on the movie's "we're not worthy" scene which featured him. The scene sees Wayne and Garth meeting Cooper backstage, and when the Coop asks the pair to "hang out," they bow to their knees and say: "We're not worthy, we're not worthy, we're scum." "I think we did it in two takes," Cooper reflected. "They [Myers and Carvey] were doing everything they could to get me to break up. But they didn't realise my iron will, so I went right through that dialogue and I think I surprised them." Cooper also revealed that some fans still re-enact the scene during chance run-ins. "Airports is when everybody does, 'We're not worthy!' I always try to let them think it's the first time anybody's ever done that. And they're so clever," he said. - Billboard, 2/8/17...... The creators of the classic rock "mockumentary" This Is Spinal Tap have reunited to file a $400 million lawsuit against Vivendi SA for "engaging in anti-competitive and unfair business practices, as well as fraudulent accounting" in its management of movie, which has been voted the funniest comedy film of all time. Co-creators Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and director Rob Reiner have formally joined fellow co-creator Harry Shearer in the lawsuit, which was originally filed by Shearer in October 2016. The co-creators are claiming they have been denied "their rightful stake in the production's profits." Commenting on the lawsuit, Guest said: "The deliberate obfuscation by Vivendi and its subsidiaries is an outrage. It is vital that such behavior is challenged in the strongest way possible." Shearer said of his co-creators' decision to join: "Their participation will help demonstrate the opaque and misleading conduct at the heart of this case. We're even louder now." - NME, 2/8/17...... Elton John paid tribute to his late friend George Michael during an interview on the UK radio show Beats 1 on Feb. 6. "George was one of Britain's most brilliant songwriters" and "the kindest, most generous man," Elton said, adding he'll miss Michael's "humanity most of all." Michael died at his England home at age 53 on Christmas Day. - AP, 2/7/17...... Former The Police frontman Sting was named one of the 2017 Polar Music Prize winners on Feb. 2 by Alfons Karabuda, chairman of the Prize committee. Sting and saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter will accept their Polar Music prizes from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden at a gala ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on June 15. The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by Stig "Stikkan" Anderson, the manager and music publisher of ABBA. A well-known lyricist, he also was the co-writer on many of their early hits. The prize was first presented in 1992. Previous winners of the Polar Music Prize include Elton John, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith. - Billboard, 2/7/17...... Music author and journalist Ritchie York, who penned books on such rock stars as Led Zeppelin, Van Morrison, and most recently John Lennon and Yoko Ono, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in his native Australia on Feb. 6. He was 73. Yorke, who was the senior music writer for Brisbane's Sunday Mail for 20 years until 2007, and also earlier served as Billboard's Canadian editor for a decade in the 1970s. His books include Led Zeppelin: The Definitive Biography, The Music: The Van Morrison Biography and The History of Rock 'n' Roll. - Billboard, 2/7/17...... "Professor" Irwin Corey, the wild-haired comedian and actor known for his improvisational riffs and nonsensical style who billed himself as "The World's Foremost Authority," died on Feb. 6 at his home in Manhattan. He was 102. Mr. Corey's dizzying mix of mock-intellectual circumlocutions, earnest political tirades and slapstick one-liners made him the king of comedic confusion and earned him the nickname "professor." "Did you hear about the guy who went to the druggist and wanted to get some cyanide?" one of his jokes went. "The guy takes a picture of his wife out of his wallet, and the druggist says, 'I'm sorry, I didn't know you had a prescription!'" Mr. Corey became a staple on television talk shows and in comedy clubs in the 1960s and 1970s, and his film career included working with Jackie Gleason and Woody Allen. He often wore sneakers, a skinny black tie, black tails and his hair was disheveled. It was never clear exactly what he was an authority on. Often he would begin his act with long-winded gobbledygook filled with sentences that followed their own logic before pausing and then saying, "What was the question again?" Mr. Corey's son, Richard, alled his father "original and one-of-a-kind, iconic." - AP, 2/7/17.
Bob Dylan announced on Jan. 31 that he'll be releasing a 3-disc studio album, Triplicate, on Mar. 31 that will feature 30 "brand-new recordings of classic American tunes." All three discs of Triplicate will be individually titled ('Til The Sun Goes Down, Devil Dolls and Comin' Home Late), and each album will include a thematically arranged 10-song sequence. Triplicate will be the artist's 38th album release, and the first ever triple-length set of his career. Produced by Jack Frost, Triplicate will feature such pop standards as "As Time Goes By," "Once Upon a Time," "The Best Is Yet to Come," "Stardust" and "Stormy Weather." - Billboard, 1/31/17...... Two classic rock legends, Steve Miller and Peter Frampton, have announced a coheadlining 30-city summer tour of North America that will get underway in Holmdel, N.J., on June 15 and wrap on Aug. 13 in Murphys, Calif. Major cities along the way include Toronto (6/20), Philadelphia (6/27), Salt Lake City (8/2), Las Vegas (8/8) and Los Angeles (8/11). Steve Miller expounded on his long history with Peter Frampton in a Jan. 31 statement: "Peter and I first met at Olympic studios in London in the late sixties when we were both just starting our recording career. He was a wonderful guitarist and songwriter then and he is even more so today. Over the years, we've played together in venues from theaters to football stadiums and everything in between.... I'm looking forward to a summer of great music, exceptional performances and fun. Peter is remarkable musician." - Billboard, 1/31/17...... High profile movie producer Michael De Luca (Captain Phillips, Moneyball, The Social Network) is working on a new, currently-untitled movie about the relationship between John Lennon and Yoko Ono, as well as their antiwar efforts. "The story will focus on ripe and relevant themes of love, courage and activism in the U.S. -- with the intention of inspiring today's youth to stand up for and have a clear vision for the world they want," De Luca said in a statement on Feb. 1. "I am also honored and privileged to be working with Yoko Ono, [writer] Anthony McCarten and [Immersive Pictures chief] Josh Bratman to tell the story of two amazing global icons." McCarten is the author behind The Theory of Everything and an upcoming Winston Churchill biopic starring Gary Oldman. During their 11-year marriage, John and Yoko collaborated on multiple creative projects, including what would become Lennon's final solo effort, 1980's Double Fantasy. In 2016, Yoko Ono reissued three of her albums from the 1970s, the start of a full reissue campaign of her music. - The Hollywood Reporter, 2/2/17...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney has unveiled a rare demo on the web featuring Elvis Costello called "Twenty Fine Fingers" as part of his ongoing Archive Collection. "Twenty Fine Fingers" is the first of nine demo tracks from the sessions for Macca's 1989 solo album, Flowers In the Dirt, that are set to be released in 2017. McCartney and Costello collaborated on four of Flowers In the Dirt's 12 tracks, with Costello credited as a featured artist on the song "You Want Her Too." While "Twenty Fine Fingers" has already featured on McCartney bootlegs since Flowers In the Dirt was released (incorrectly titled as "Twenty-Five Fingers"), this is the first time that the demo has been officially released by its creator. A deluxe reissue of Flowers In the Dirt is set to drop on Mar. 24, which will contain eight other McCartney/Costello demos in addition to "Twenty Fine Fingers." A super deluxe version will contain a bonus DVD, 64-page photo book, and many other extras. - New Musical Express, 2/1/17...... In a post on his official website on Feb. 1, David Cassidy said he's planning to retire by the end of 2017 after playing a Las Vegas show on Feb. 17 and his final West Coast concerts on Feb. 18 and Feb. 19. Cassidy, 66, said that "traveling and my arthritis" have made performing around the country difficult in recent years. "This is not a complete 'Good bye' but I'm planning on working much less," the one-time The Partridge Family teen heartthrob said. A spokeswoman for Cassidy says he will perform some East Coast dates in March as well. - AP, 2/1/17...... As he continues his tour Down Under with the E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen isn't letting up at all on US Pres. Donald Trump. During his show in Melbourne on Feb. 2 at AMMI Park, The Boss played a cover of The Orions' 1962 No. 4 pop single "Don't Hang Up" to mock an allegedly disastrous phone call between Pres. Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The unlikely cover of the doo-wop song, which features the lyrics "Don't hang up (no no)... Don't hang up like you always do/ I know you think our love is true/ I'll explain the facts to you, don't hang up," came after the Australian media spent the day obsessing over what has been described as a tense conversation between Trump and Turnbull on Jan. 29 when the two men reportedly clashed over the American president's controversial immigration policy. Meanwhile, on Feb. 2 E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt tweeted "Australia is, was, and always will be one of the USA's best friends and closest allies. Apologies for today's temporary embarrassment." The tweet came after Springsteen spoke out against Trump's immigration policy at a concert in Adelaide on Jan. 30. - Billboard, 2/2/17...... Organizers of 2017 Tribeca Film Festival announced on Feb. 2 that a new documentary about music mogul Clive Davis, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, will open the event this April. Based on Davis' bestselling 2013 autobiography, The Soundtrack of Our Lives explores Davis' life and historic career in the music industry, from his humble Brooklyn beginnings and brief stint as a lawyer to his development of major record labels (Columbia, Arista, J). Some of the top acts who Davis helmed during his career, including Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson and Earth, Wind & Fire, will perform after the doc's world premiere at New York's Radio City Music Hall on Apr. 19. The 16th Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, runs Apr. 19-30. - Billboard, 2/2/17...... Premium cable network Showtime has announced a new documentary about the Beach Boys' 1966 classic LP Pet Sounds will air on their network later this year. The Beach Boys: Making Pet Sounds will premiere on Showtime in April and feature interviews with BB principal Brian Wilson as well as members Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks. The documentary will also feature footage from the band's 1960s studio sessions as well as outtakes from recordings. Released in May 1966, the hugely influential Pet Sounds is considered one of pop music's greatest masterpieces. Meanwhile, Brian Wilson has announced a 50th anniversary Pet Sounds tour of the UK that will include the Kendal Calling and Camp Bestival festivals, as well as London's Eventim Apollo on Aug. 1 and Sheffield City Hall on Aug. 2. "I'm really happy to be able to come back to the UK and perform Pet Sounds yet again for all our fans," Wilson said in a statement. "The response from everyone has been amazing and that's why we decided to come back and play Pet Sounds for one last time." - New Musical Express, 2/4/17...... Blondie released the first single, called "Fun," from their upcoming studio album, Pollinator, on Jan. 31. Blondie's core trio of vocalist Debbie Harry, guitarist Chris Stein and drummer Clem Burke are joined by Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio on "Fun," which features the uplifting chorus "You're my fun when I'm down/ You pick me up again, you pick me up again/ You're my fun too, much fun/ I get the feeling that you're changing my mind." Pollinator also features contributions from Joan Jett, Laurie Anderson, Johnny Marr and Nick Valensi of the Strokes, and was the final album recorded at the legendary New York studio The Magic Shop. The studio was the site of sessions for David Bowie's final album, Blackstar, and has since closed due to rising rent costs. Pollinator, the follow-up to Blondie's 2014 album Ghosts of Download, is due on May 5. - Billboard, 2/1/17...... Appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Feb. 1, actor Keanu Reeves recalled the time Alice Cooper once babysat for him. "I grew up in Toronto and I lived on this street called Hazelton and there was a recording studio (near) there called Nimbus 9 and my mother was in costume design, she was in rock 'n' roll, in the business, and they had friends and she had friends, and so Alice Cooper -- I'm told -- babysat me. I don't know how that could possibly happen, but it did... Supposedly." Reeves will appear in the upcoming film John Wick: Chapter 2, as well as an upcoming new Bill & Ted project. - WENN.com, 2/2/17...... In a new interview with People magazine, the late Mary Tyler Moore's husband Dr. S. Robert Levine opened up about how her death has left him devasted. "I can't believe she is gone," he said. "Mary was my life, my light, my love. The emptiness I feel without her with me is without bottom." Revealing how she had remained fiercely independent even as her health failed after a long-term battle with diabetes and heart and kidney troubles. "She was a force of nature who fiercely defended her autonomy even as her health was failing," he said. "Mary was fearless, determined, and wilful. If she felt strongly about something, or that there was truth to be told, she would do it, no matter the consequences." Dr. Levine added that "My sadness is only tempered by the remarkable outpouring of good wishes, tributes, and personal 'Mary stories' told, with heart, by those touched by her grace." The death certificate for Mary Tyler Moore, who passed on Jan. 25, noted she died of "cardiopulmonary arrest, with aspiration pneumonia, hypoxia, and diabetes mellitus also listed as contributing factors." - WENN.com, 2/1/17...... John Wetton, a prog rock legend who was the ex-bassist for King Crimson and frontman for the '80s group Asia, died on Jan. 31 after losing his battle with colon cancer. He was 67. Born on July 12, 1949, in Derby, England, Wetton sang and played with the likes of Family, Mogul Thrash, Uriah Heep, Roxy Music, Wishbone Ash and King Crimson, before he formed the prog supergroup UK in the 1970s, and later the acclaimed and successful Asia with Geoff Downes, Steve Howe and Carl Palmer. Wetton also enjoyed a successful solo career, and played with the likes of Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera, David Cross, Ayreon and District 97. Wetton joined King Crimson two years after the departure of Greg Lake who, also sadly, died last month. "With the passing of my good friend and musical collaborator, John Wetton, the world loses yet another musical giant," Carl Palmer posted on Facebook. "John was a gentle person who created some of the most lasting melodies and lyrics in modern popular music. As a musician, he was both brave and innovative, with a voice that took the music of ASIA to the top of the charts around the world," he added. Wetton is survived by his wife Lisa, son Dylan, brother Robert and mother Peggy. - NME, 1/31/17.