Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on March 27th, 2017

In an interview with BBC Radio 6 on Mar. 25, Paul McCartney revealed he's working on a new album with producer Greg Kurstin, who McCartney previously worked with for a song for an animated film. "I'm making a new album, which is great fun. I'm in the middle of that," Sir Paul said. "I'm working with a producer who I first worked with two years ago on a thing, a piece of music I'm doing for an animated film. And since then he went on to work with Beck and got best album of the year," he continued. "Then he went on to work with Adele. He just got song of the year, record of the year with Adele. And just got producer of the year. So my only worry is people are going to go, 'Uhhhhh, there's Paul going with the flavor of the month.' You know, I suppose you always think the worst of it. But he's a great guy. Greg is musical and he's great to work with." Paul McCartneyMcCartney, who has not scheduled a release date for the upcoming album, released a deluxe version of his 1989 solo album Flowers in the Dirt with previously unheard demos from the recording sessions with Elvis Costello on Mar. 24, and has announced plans to tour Japan in 2017. Macca also paid tribute to the late Chuck Berry, who was a major influence on the Beatles. "He came to one of our concerts when we were playing in St. Louis, which is his home town. And he came round backstage. It was great to meet him and just be able to tell him what a fan I was," he said. - Billboard, 3/26/17...... In other Beatles-related news, Pete Shotton, a childhood friend and early bandmate of John Lennon, died of a heart attack in Liverpool, England, on Mar. 24 at age 75. "My memories of the two of us go back so far that I barely remember a time when there was no John Lennon in my life," Shotton wrote in his 1983 autobiography In My Life. Shotton, who lived around the corner from John, says he approached Paul McCartney soon after he'd met Lennon about an idea to join the pre-Beatles group The Quarrymen, which then included both him and Lennon. "By the way, I've been talking to John about it and we thought maybe you'd like to join the group." He wrote that McCartney thought for a minute, then said, "Oh, all right," and took off on his bicycle to go home. Shotton also played a role in the creation of two Beatles songs: "Eleanor Rigby" and "I Am the Walrus." Shotton said he suggested the name "Father McKenzie" when McCartney was trying to come up with the name of a cleric for the song. It was also his idea, he says, to have Rigby die at the end of the song, a suggestion he writes was originally rejected by Lennon. Lennon later gave Shotton a job managing the Apple Botique, which lasted just over six months before closing in 1968, and the pair remained friends until Lennon's death in 1980. - Billboard, 3/24/17...... Barry Manilow has joined the lineup for the monthly "Concert for America: Stand Up, Sing Out!" series of charity concerts that raises money for human rights organizations. Manilow will perform at the Apr. 18 concert at New York's Town Hall, with proceeds benefiting the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Southern Poverty Law Center, National Immigration Law Center and the Sierra Club Foundation. The concert will also be streamed live on Facebook. - AP, 3/25/17...... Eric Clapton announced on Twitter on Mar. 24 that he was forced to postpone two two concerts scheduled for the last weekend in March at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., due to a case of "severe bronchitis." The concerts will be rescheduled for the fall. Clapton was already scheduled to perform Sept. 15 and 16 at the Forum and these new concerts will be rescheduled around those gigs. The 71-year-old Clapton has only performed two shows so far in 2017 -- both at New York's Madison Square Garden in late March. - Billboard, 3/24/17...... Elton JohnAs he reached his milestone age of 70 on Mar. 25, Elton John began curating the Song of the Day on's newly-launched premium on-demand streaming service Amazon Music Unlimited. Each day through March 30, Sir Elton will choose a new song by a different artist to be highlighted through song of the day; his first pick was Lana Del Rey's "Love," the singer's latest single which was released in February. "I'm excited to share some of my favorite songs and some new artists I'm really excited about with you over the course of the week," John said via introduction to the playlist. "Let's start it off with the new, gorgeous track from the one and only Lana Del Rey. I've been anxiously awaiting her new music and I wasn't disappointed when I heard the beauty and cinematic quality of this song." - Billboard, 3/24/17...... Cher has announced she's dropping out of a TV movie for the Lifetime network about the water crisis in Flint, Mich. Cher was set to portray a Flint resident whose family is impacted by the water crisis in the drama inspired by a Feb. 2016 cover story in Time magazine called "The Toxic Tap" by Josh Sanburn. Cher cited a "serious family issue" that prevented her from going on location for the April filming, but said "I'm so glad that Craig and Neil [the producers] plan to move ahead and I know that this Lifetime movie will be done beautifully." Cher won a Golden Globe nomination for her sole previous TV movie effort in 1996, HBO's If These Walls Could Talk, about three different women's experience with abortion. - The Hollywood Reporter, 3/24/17...... Recently deceased rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry is on track to score his highest charting album on the Billboard Hot 200 LP rundown in more than 40 years with his greatest hits album The Definitive Collection, which could debut somewhere inside the chart's top 50. In 1972, Berry's The London Chuck Berry Sessions, which featured his No. 1 novelty track "My Ding-a-Ling," peaked at No. 8 on the Hot 200. - Billboard, 3/24/17...... A luxury timepiece from Swiss watchmaker Raymond Weil has unveiled its "David Bowie Freelancer," a watch coming later in 2017 that "celebrates the legendary icon's musicality, style and unmatched innovation." To mark what would have been Bowie's 70th birthday, the watch features an Aladdin Sane lightning bolt on its face and Terry O'Neill's iconic 1974 portrait of the late star is on its case-back. The watch was created in collaboration with the David Bowie Estate and announced via the singer's social media channels. Just 3,000 of the watches have been manufactured and numbered for release later in the year. In other Bowie news, a crowd-funding campaign that was launched in February to raise £900,000 to erect the "ZiggyZag" sculpture near Bowie's birthplace in Brixton, South London has failed to reach its goal. Around 700 fans were only able to raise just around £50,000 of the total amount and none of the funds will be taken, however organizers say they hope to create an alternate "appropriate piece of public art." - Billboard, 3/23/17...... Bob DylanIn a rare interview posted on his official website to promote his new album Triplicate, Bob Dylan told interviewer Bill Flanagan that he enjoys recent releases by such artists as Iggy Pop, Imelda May and the Stereophonics. Dylan continued: "I like Willie Nelson and Norah Jones' album with Wynton Marsalis, the Ray Charles tribute record. I liked Amy Winehouse's last record." In other Dylan-related news, photographer Don Hunstein, who is best remembered for shooting the iconic photograph for Dylan's 1963 Freewheelin' Bob Dylan album, has passed away at age 88. The photograph features Dylan and his girlfriend, Suze Rotolo, walking down a West Village street on a freezing February afternoon. Mr. Hunstein, an in-house photographer for Columbia Records in the 1950s and 1960s, also produced covers for Miles Davis' Nefertiti, Thelonious Monk's Monk's Dream, and Dylan's 1962 self-titled solo LP. - New Musical Express, 3/23/17...... Over 1,000 fans of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds attended a joint memorial honoring the two late actresses at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles on Mar. 25. There were more than a few fans present who payed tribute to Fisher's most famous role, as Princess Leia in 1977's Star Wars, including several young girls wearing their hair in Leia's iconic "cinnamon bun" style. "We grew up with the Star Wars movies and Carrie Fisher and we just love her so much," said fan Clarice Diers. "We were devastated. We were in Texas when we found out, so we found out about this. We just wanted to show up and show our support. We just loved them." During the ceremony, the Gay Men's Chorus sang a stirring rendition of "True Colors" while clips of both Debbie and Carrie played, that moved many in the audience to tears. - The Hollywood Reporter, 3/26/17...... Sib HashianJohn "Sib" Hashian, the drummer in the classic '70s lineup of Boston, died after collapsing onstage during a concert performance on the Legends of Rock Cruise on Mar. 22. He was 67. The L.O.R. Cruise began on Mar. 18 in Florida and had stops in several places including Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. Hashian, who donned an epic afro hairdo in the early days of his career, played on Boston's first two hit records, their self-titled debut album in 1976, featuring the hit song "More Than a Feeling," and the 1978 followup, Don't Look Back. Boston, comprised of Hashian, Tom Scholz, Brad Delp, Barry Goudreau and Fran Sheehan, had one of the most successful debut records in history, selling over 17 million copies, with the singles "Long Time" and "Peace of Mind." Sib Hashian's daughter, Lauren, has a daughter with actor Dwayne Johnson, and he is also survived by his wife Suzanne. A cause of death had not yet been determined. - AP, 3/23/17...... Actress Lola Albright, perhaps best known for playing glamorous nightclub singer Edie Hart opposite Craig Stevens in the 1958-1961 NBC television series Peter Gunn, died on Mar. 23 in Toluca Lake, Calif. She was 92. A native of Akron, Oh., Ms. Albright was a receptionist for Akron radio station WAKR before moving to Hollywood. In 1959, she was nominated for an Emmy for her work in Peter Gunn. -, 3/24/17.

It appears that rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry died of natural causes at age 90 on Mar. 18, and no autopsy is planned. The singer/songwriter/guitarist's final album, CHUCK, will be released on June 16 on CD as well as vinyl via Nashville-based Dualtone Music, and his family said details about the album will be forthcoming soon. "Working to prepare the release of this record in recent months and in fact over the last several years brought Chuck a great sense of joy and satisfaction," they wrote in a Facebook post on Mar. 20. Meanwhile, it has been estimated that the business-savvy rock icon left behind an estate estimated to be around $50 million. Industry observers say the estate's share of publishing rights to songs controlled by the late rocker's Isalee Music Publishing Company could be worth more than $13 million alone, and Berry's recording-artist royalties could amount to $500,000 per year. Berry wrote about 200 songs during his career, and his estate will now own about half of them outright, albeit mostly ones he wrote after his commercial peak. Universal Music Group, which owns the Chess catalog, controls Berry's most valuable recordings; BMG holds what's left. The publishing rights to those songs could generate about $360,000 per year in royalties, and publishing income from his songs could amount to $1.1 million annually. Should the estate sell Berry's publishing rights, such catalogs are generally priced at about 12 times annual revenue, which in this case would be $13.5 million. - Billboard, 3/20/17...... Barry GibbThe CBS TV network announced on Mar. 21 that it will air a Grammy tribute to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, Stayin' Alive: A Grammy Salute to the Music of the Bee Gees, on Apr. 16. Barry Gibb, the Bee Gees' co-founder and last surviving member, will make an appearance and perform classic hits from the Saturday Night Fever album for the event, which will focus on improving music life and culture through the Bee Gees' legacy. Among the other artists scheduled to perform are Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, Nick Jonas, Keith Urban, John Legend, Little Big Town and Ed Sheeran. John Travolta, who had the lead role in Saturday Night Fever, That '70s Show's Wilmer Valderrama, and Cynthia Erivo, will also be honoring the Bee Gees and the film. - Billboard, 3/21/17...... The Beatles' hometown of Liverpool, England announced on Mar. 22 that it is preparing to celebrate the half-centenary of the band's seminal 1967 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Liverpool authorities have commissioned 13 artists to create works based on the album's 13 tracks, including choreographer Mark Morris' dance tribute to the title song, cabaret artist Meow Meow's "outlandish procession" based on "Lovely Rita" and a mural by U.S. artist Judy Chicago inspired by "Fixing a Hole." There will also be a singalong by 64 choirs of the jaunty "When I'm Sixty-Four." The works will have their world premieres at venues across Liverpool between May 25 and June 16. On June 1 -- the anniversary of the album's release -- the city will host a fireworks extravaganza by French pyrotechnic artist Christophe Berthonneau. - AP, 3/22/17...... Prog-rockers Kansas have announced they plan to carry on their 40th anniversary tour of their breakthrough 1976 Leftoverture album into its 41st year, with 32 U.S. dates planned for late summer through late fall, beginning on Aug. 25 in Shreveport, La. The second leg of the Leftoverture tour, which begins on Mar. 24 in Salina, Kan., includes an Oct. 6 date in Topeka, Kan., where the band was formed, and its final show will be on Dec. 9 in The Villages, Fla. The Leftoverture anniversary tour, which began in 2016, coincided with the release of The Prelude Implicit, Kansas' first new studio album in 16 years. Released during October of 1976, Kansas' Leftoverture was a Top 5, five-times platinum smash that included the band's most famous hit, "Carry On Wayward Son." Kansas' future plans include recording a new studio album in 2018 and another full-album tour, this time playing 1977's Point of Know Return, the quadruple-platinum follow-up to Leftoverture. - Billboard, 3/22/17...... In other prog-rock news, Brian May of Queen has unveiled a special new edition of the famous board game Monopoly based around Queen. May recently images of the game on Instagram and Twitter, which is emblazoned with a classic live photo of Queen, while the plot of the game has changed from amassing property to following the successful career of the band -- from their very first gig at Imperial College in 1970 to their last show with Freddie Mercury at Knebworth in 1986. The Queen Monopoly game will drop in May, and Queen are also preparing to go on tour in 2017 with Adam Lambert handling vocal duties. - NME, 3/21/17...... Todd RundgrenTodd Rundgren announced on Mar. 21 that he'll release a new studio album, White Knight, on May 12 via Cleopatra Records, and mount a new tour behind it beginning in April. The track list of White Knight is notable for the preponderance of guest stars involved, which run the gamut from peers of Rundgren's original '70s and '80s heydey (including Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates, Joe Walsh of the Eagles and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan), to luminaries of more modern art-pop, including Trent Reznor, Dam-Funk and Atticus Ross, and even Rundgren's own son Rebop. Rundgren has also shared the first advance track from the upcoming set, "That Could Have Been Me," which features Robyn. Rundgren kicks off a 12-city U.S. tour behind White Knight on Apr. 29 in St. Louis, wrapping on May 27 in St. Petersburg, Fla. On June 10, he'll be among the headliners at the 35th Syracuse Jazz Festival in Syracuse, NY. - Billboard, 3/21/17...... With the health of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II apparently in rapid decline, Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten) says that he will miss the Queen after she dies and that he doesn't want his band's famous "God Save The Queen" to be played to mark her passing. Political anthem "God Save The Queen" was released in 1977 and features the lyrics: "God save the queen, she ain't no human being/There is no future in England's dreaming." It was released by the punk band during the week of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee. "[The song is] about a political situation and the demand for obedience to a monarchy I don't believe in," Lydon recently said in another interview, adding: "[The Queen is] a human being and I will sorely miss her as a human being on planet Earth It's not her fault she was born into a gilded cage. Long may she live." - New Musical Express, 3/21/17...... Lawyers representing the late '60s/early '70s band Spirit have filed an appeal with a US federal court to argue against the June 2016 verdict that sided with Led Zeppelin in the "Stairway To Heaven" plagiarism case. The 90-page brief filed the third week in March at the US court of appeals for the ninth circuit, argues a series of "erroneous" jury instructions were to blame for the verdict. At the center of the 2016 case was the accusation that Jimmy Page, when writing the intro to "Stairway To Heaven," ripped off Spirit's instrumental "Taurus," which predates the British band's 1971 signature hit. It was ruled in the 2016 case that the two songs were not "substantially similar" although the new appeal argues that the reason the jury did not hear similarities was because they were not allowed to hear the specific version of "Taurus" that Page allegedly copied from. Other complaints pertaining to the original trial include limiting plaintiff's trial time to 10 hours and an accusation the court seriously erred when defining originality. Spirit's lawyers are seeking a reversal of the original verdict and a retrial. After the initial verdict, Jimmy Page posted on Facebook that he "received and been aware of the overwhelming wave of support, encouragement and congratulations that have been deeply moving. I'd like to take this opportunity to personally thank all those who contributed such a positive energy to me." - NME, 3/18/17...... Glen CampbellKim Campbell, the wife of country/pop crossover legend Glen Campbell, says that Alzheimer's disease has robbed her 80-year-old husband's ability to play guitar. But Kim says that her husband occasionally breaks into a solo "air guitar" routine, which she says is "kind of fun." Campbell was diagnosed with the brain-ravaging disease in 2011 and went on a world tour afterward. The singer, known for such hits as "Rhinestone Cowboy," ''Wichita Lineman" and "Southern Nights," was moved to a long-term care facility in 2014. Kim says that Glen continues to sing, although the words are gibberish and "it's not a melody that we recognize, but you can tell that it's a happy song and he has a song in his heart," so that brings her great comfort. She added that he has lost most of his language, and doesn't understand many words either. - AP, 3/19/17...... Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason was recently involved in a crash in which he was driving his rare Formula One car when it collided with a wall. Mason, a car aficionado, was driving his McLaren F1 GTR when he crashed the multi-million dollar supercar into a tire wall during the Goodwood Members Meeting in West Sussex. He is reported to have emerged from the battered vehicle fine and uninjured after the parade lap crash, but it is said that "serious damage" was done to the car. - NME, 3/21/17...... Iconic New York columnist Jimmy Breslin died on Mar. 19 after a battle with pneumonia. He was 88. In his decades-spanning career writing for several outlets, Mr. Breslin found fame for his portrayals of ordinary New Yorkers and the city's scruffy anti-heroes, often those at the sidelines of major world news events. In a 1980 Daily News story, Mr. Breslin told the story of the New York City cops who retrieved John Lennon's body moments after he'd been fatally shot. For an iconic 1963 column in The New York Herald Tribune, he tracked down the cemetery worker tasked with digging Pres. John F. Kennedy's grave. Mr. Breslin also authored several lauded books, including The Church That Forgot Christ, a response to the Catholic Church's many sex scandals; How the Good Guys Finally Won, a glimpse into the politicians who helped bring down President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal; and a novel, The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight. In 1969, he ran as writer Norman Mailer's running mate in an unsuccessful New York mayoral bid. He is survived by his wife, four children, three stepchildren and 12 grandchildren. -, 3/19/17...... Chuck BarrisTV impressario/host Chuck Barris, the maniacal host/producer of The Gong Show who also was the manic mastermind behind two other spontaneous game-show classics, The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game, died of natural causes on Mar. 21 at his home in Palisades, N.Y., according to publicist Paul Shefrin, who announced the death on behalf of Barris' family. He was 87. Mr. Barris, a Philadelphia native, also penned the 1962 pop song "Palisades Park," a tribute to the old amusement park in New Jersey that was a hit for Freddy Cannon and figured high on Mr. Barris' list of career achievements. With his innovative shows, Mr. Barris changed the face of reality TV but was derided but critics who nicknamed him "The King of Schlock," "The Baron of Bad Taste" and "The Ayatollah of Trasherola." On The Gong Show, which aired on NBC and in syndication in daytime and primetime from 1976-80, amateurs took to the stage to demonstrate their so-called talent in front of three celebrity judges. Quite often, they made fools of themselves. Acts who appeared included The Unknown Comic (Murray Langston), Danny Elfman, Paul Reubens and Barris' own mother, and at random moments, the host would call out Gene Gene the Dancing Machine (stagehand Gene Patton) to boogie for the audience to the tune of "Jumpin' at the Woodside." Any of the three judges (a roster that included Jaye P. Morgan, Rex Reed, Rip Taylor, Jamie Farr, Arte Johnson and David Letterman) could send the bad performers packing by striking a large gong. Barris, who in his book, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: An Unauthorized Biography, also claimed to have been an assassin for the CIA -- his implausible story became a fantastical 2002 movie directed by George Clooney and written by Charlie Kaufman. Mr. Barris first made his mark in the game show arena when he created The Dating Game, which bowed as an ABC daytime program in December 1965. Hosted by San Francisco radio personality Jim Lange, the program featured a bachelor or bachelorette asking three members of the opposite sex suggestive questions, then choosing one for a date. ABC's The Newlywed Game, produced by Barris and hosted by the cheeky Bob Eubanks, premiered in July 1966. Four couples who had been married for a year or less competed by matching answers to questions about their spouses' likes and dislikes. Just like The Dating Game, it was a huge hit and played in primetime as well (both shows aired in tandem on Saturday nights for a time). Mr. Barris often came off as a nut case, but he was an astute businessman. As a pioneer of first-run syndication, he sold The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game to stations after ABC canceled his shows, keeping them the air. Mr. Barris also presided over other game shows like The Game Game, How's Your Mother-in-Law?, Dream Girl of '67, The $1.98 Beauty Show, 3's a Crowd, The Family Game and The New Treasure Hunt. Mr. Barris is survived by his wife of 16 years, the former Mary Clagett. - Billboard, 3/22/17.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on March 18th, 2017

Chuck BerryChuck Berry, one of the enduring legends of rock 'n' roll and its single most influential figure, was found dead of as yet undisclosed causes at his Missouri home by St. Charles County police on Mar. 18. He was 90. Born Charles Edward Berry in St. Louis, Mo., on Oct. 18, 1926, Chuck Berry learned guitar while in his teens, though his the calm of his adolescent years was shattered by a three-year spell in reform school for an attempted robbery. Upon release in 1947, he worked for a time for General Motors, before taking up a career in hair dressing. He became increasingly interested in music, partly to supplement his income and support a wife and two children. In 1956, Mr. Berry moved to Chicago, and his career took off after persuading Muddy Waters to let him sit in on a session. Impressed with Mr. Berry's guitar technique and fluent style, Waters recommended him to Chess Records head Leonard Chess, who signed up many local acts. Now under contract, Mr. Berry recorded his first tracks, "Maybellene" and "Wee Wee Hours." Though Mr. Berry preferred the latter song, "Maybellene" was released as the A-side after it had been co-credited to popular disc jockey Alan Freed, who possibly suggested some modifications to enhance its commercial potential. With the radio exposure Freed was able to supply, "Maybellene" became an immediate Top 10 hit in the U.S. For the next four years, Mr. Berry went on to produce a stream of utterly incomparable, archetypal rock 'n' roll songs, including "Roll Over Beethoven," "Johnny B. Goode," "Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Brown-Eyed Handsome Man," and some of his equally well known compositions, such as "Memphis, Tennessee," were not even issued as singles during this period. Mr. Berry's sources were those of rock 'n' roll itself -- a blend of R&B and C&W, although he had also acquired an appreciation of blues since he was working for Chicago's Chess label. Chuck BerryIn contrast to other rockers, Mr. Berry concentrated on clarity of diction, so that his witty and often acerbic lyrics coiuld be plainly heard, and he was responsible for introducing a disciplined lyricism into early rock 'n' roll. Around this time, Mr. Berry appeared in four films with a rock 'n' roll theme -- Rock Rock Rock, Mr. Rock and Roll, Go Johnny Go, and Jazz On a Summer's Day, the latter a documentary of the 1959 Newport Jazz Festival, where he sang "Sweet Little Sixteen" and demonstrated his famous "duck walk," which he had developed in 1956 and virtually completed his charisma. Mr. Berry was one of the few black performers who connected to a largely white teenage audience, and his popularity was enormous. In 1959, Mr. Berry was indicted for offences under the Mann Act, a federal statute that prohibits interstate or foreign transportation of an individual with the intention of engaging such individual in sexual activity or prostitution. Though Mr. Berry always asserted his innocence in the case, he was found guilty after a trial lasting almost two years and sentenced to two years in prison. The incident shattered his marriage and threatened to shatter his career, but the climate of rock 'n' roll had changed when he was released, arguably to his advantage. His repertoire was covered by such hugely popular white acts as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, with the former recording "Roll Over Beethoven" for one of the few early million-sellers they didn't write themselves, and the latter covering over a dozen of his songs. The Beach Boys merely re-wrote "Sweet Little Sixteen" as "Surfin' USA" to score one of ther earlier hits. "Memphis, Tennessee," released as a single in 1964, signaled his return to music, and he completed his first studio sessions in almost five years, which resulted in another string of hits including "Nadine," "No Particular Place to Go," and "You Never Can Tell." Though Mr. Berry's chart success began to wane, his popularity as a live performer was undiminished, and he toured and recorded dilligently for the next several years, seeming to have emerged from prison as a harder, more shrewd businessman. In 1966, Mr. Berry signed a lucrative contract with Mercury Records, but by 1969 he had returned to Chess Records, and recorded Back Home and San Francisco Dues, arguably his best-ever LP's. He also benefitted from a renewed interest in early rock 'n' roll, and worked in several rock revival shows, as well as being given a prominent part in the film Let the Good Times Roll. Chuck BerryA U.K. appearance at the Lanchester Arts Festival in 1972 not only gave him one-half of a double album, The London Sessions, but also, strangely, his biggest-ever chart success. The gently ribald "My Ding-a-Ling" was his first-ever No. 1 record on both sides of the Atlantic. Strangely, because the song had been in and out of his stage show since he first turned professional. In 1979, Mr. Berry recorded another creditable effort, Rockit, and continued to play concerts, ofen with pickup bands. That same year, he appeared in the 1979 film American Hot Wax. In January 1986, Mr. Berry was among the first round of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the following year he published his memoir, Chuck Berry: The Autobiography. He was also the subject of a documentary/tribute film, Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll, for which one of his biggest fans, Keith Richards, organized a backing band. Now residing in Wentzville, Mo., Mr. Berry built an amusement complex called Berry Park. He became entangled with legal problems again in 1979 when he was charged with income tax evasion, serving a 100-day prison term that same year. In 1990, felony drug and child-abuse charges were filed against him after police raided his home and found 62 grams of marijuana and a number of videotapes of women -- one of whom was apparently a minor -- that were using the restroom in a Berry Park restaurant. He was given a six-month suspended jail sentence, placed on two years' probation, and ordered to donate $5,000 to a local hospital. Among the fellow rock giants reacting to his death are the Rolling Stones, who soon posted "he was a true pioneer of rock'n'roll & a massive influence," and Bruce Springsteen, who tweeted "Chuck Berry was rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock 'n' roll writer who ever lived." - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock/The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock/Billboard, 3/18/17.

Steely Dan, Earth, Wind & Fire, Journey and the Doobie Brothers have been added to previously announced headliners the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac for the lineup of the upcoming Classic East and Classic West two-day festivals in the US this July. The first event will be held on July 15-16 at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, followed by Classic East from July 29-30 at Citi Field in New York City. The Eagles will open the first night of the series with Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers. The second night will feature performances by Fleetwood Mac, Journey and Earth, Wind & Fire. - NME, 3/14/17...... Nile RodgersNile Rodgers of Chic delivered the keynote address at the SXSW Music Conference and Festival on Mar. 15 in Austin, Tex. Rodgers delivered a warmly encouraging and insightful hour-long talk, making such points as "practice makes perfect," "don't be snobby," "be open to chance," and "the future of musical success is in brands and sync rights." Rodgers last appeared at SXSW in 1991. On Mar. 14, Sammy Hagar told the audience that these days it's difficult for younger artists to be heard, because "record companies were so important... cause they would pay for you to go out on the road and they'd put you out with a big band opening for 14,000 people every night... you really had a shot at exposure and they would get your songs played on the radio and make a video for MTV, all those things. It seems like that's not there anymore. But there's other avenues." Hagar, who now fronts the band Chickenfoot, also touched on his life and career, from his poor upbringing to his time with Montrose and Van Halen to cars (his favorite is the Ferrari Boxer 512 from the "I Can't Drive 55" video), paranormal encounters, and his business interests in restaurant and liquor. Also appearing at SXSW on Mar. 14 was Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood, who said Fleetwood Mac is "alive and well." "But the truth of the matter is, we're all in our 70s, and the band is 50 years old; there is a window and the window will close. That happens in all things in life. But until then, we carry on." Mick Fleetwood was also promoting his upcoming book Love That Burns: A Chronicle of Fleetwood Mac Volume One: 1967-1974, a lavish tome due on Sept. 19. When the music portion of SXSW gets underway on the fourth week in March, a new concert film by '70s cult favorites Big Star, Thank You Friends: Big Star's Third Live...And More, will be screened, ahead of its Apr. 21 release. - Billboard, 3/17/17...... Paul McCartney's brother Michael McCartney says he believes a vintage Liverpool police recruitment film dating from 1958 may very likely contain a glimpse of himself, Paul and John Lennon standing on the rooftop of the McCartneys' home at 20 Forthlin Road watching the annual Police Horse and dog display. The footage was discovered by Liverpudlian Peter Hodgson, who posted on Facebook, "I love watching old films about Liverpool on You Tube and I made the connection with Forthlin Road when I saw the Mather Avenue police show footage... I found the information on a Merseyside Police website which confirmed it was 1958." Michael McCartney then told the Liverpool Echo that he believes it "could definitely be us... It was a really big occasion in Liverpool and that's what we used to do every summer" -- take deck chairs and climb onto the concrete shed and watch a free show. And I think there is every chance John would have been there that year -- absolutely. His friend, Pete Shotton, was a police cadet. And George [Harrison] could easily have been there, too. It's bloody mad -- absolutely fascinating and unbelievable!" Although the images of the people in question are to tiny for a positive identification, if it is indeed Paul McCartney and John Lennon it would be the earliest known film appearance of any of the group members. - Billboard, 3/9/17...... In related news, Sony/ATV Music Publishing is telling a UK judge that Sir Paul's lawsuit to reclaim rights to songs he authored as a member of the Beatles is "unripe" and "clearly forum-shopping." McCartney filed suit against Sony January, suing to confirm that under the termination provisions of U.S. copyright law, he gets to recapture his share of the copyright in the UK. If McCartney is successful, he will have terminated a copyright grant 18 months hence. Sony is asking the UK court to dismiss this case, and allow the UK court to determine relevant issues of UK contract law. Meanwhile, McCartney has unveiled the previously unheard demo for "Distractions" from his 1989 album Flowers in the Dirt, which will drop as a deluxe reissue on Mar. 24. Recorded and mixed by McCartney at Rude Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland, in 1987, "Distractions" was a key track on side one of Flowers in the Dirt. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 3/13/17...... Ray DaviesVeteran The Kinks frontman Ray Davies was formally knighted by Prince Charles on Mar. 16 after making the Queen's 2017 New Years Honours list in December. Davies, 72, received his knighthood for services to the arts and made light of his special moment and shared a picture for posterity. "It lasted three minutes and it went very well," he told the Daily Mail. "And I said goodbye and went home." Davies was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by the Queen back in 2004, and The Kinks were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Meanwhile, Davies is readying the release of Americana, his first solo album in nearly a decade, which is due on Apr. 21 via Legacy Recordings. - Billboard, 3/17/17...... A taping of the 2016 Farm Aid concert featuring Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews will make its premier broadcast on AXS TV on Mar. 19 at 10:00 P.M. EDT. The Farm Aid special was filmed at the Jiffy Lube Live amphitheater in Bristow, Virginia, on Sept. 17, and also features Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Margo Price, and Jamey Johnson with Alison Krauss. AXS TV is a television network featuring music programming and festivals, comedy performances and current events. - Billboard, 3/16/17...... Stevie Wonder has been tapped to deliver the keynote address at the 2017 edition of the ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO in Los Angeles, set for Apr. 13-15 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel. Wonder will accept a new honor named the "Key of Life" award after his 1976 iconic double-LP Songs in the Key of Life that recognizes "songwriters and composers who best exemplify Wonder's legacy through their commitment to the art form he elevated through his talent, dedication and unparalleled heart." ASCAP's current president is songwriter Paul Williams, and some 3,000 attendees are expected. - Billboard, 3/16/17...... Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers will be among the headliners at the upcoming Arroyo Seco Weekend Festival in Pasadena, Calif., on June 24-25. Organized by the same team behind the successful Coachella festival, Arroyo Seco will take place in the Rose Bowl and is described as "a world class culture event featuring three stages of live music along with curated menus from LA's celebrated restaurants and chefs plus craft beer & wine." Also performing will be Weezer, Mumford & Sons and the Shins, among others. - Billboard, 3/15/17...... Gregg Allman posted on his official website on Mar. 13 that he has cancelled all of his scheduled tour dates for the rest of 2017. Allman, 69, said he was taking several months off from touring so he can "focus on his health," but still had plans to tour next year. Allman did not provide additional details for the cancellations, but he has faced multiple health issues, including contracting hepatitis C and having a 2010 liver transplant. - AP, 3/14/17...... Prince's sister Tyka Nelson claims her famous brother knew he was going to do die and had been making preparations for his death. "About three years ago he called He said, 'I think I've done everything I've come to do,'" she told ABC's forthcoming program People Icons: Gone Too Soon, which looks back on the lives of late stars. "My dad and Prince always spoke in these types of riddles," Nelson added. "He knew. And he was preparing me. It's very clear He needed to go. He was tired. Instead of crying, dance. He didn't like me to cry, so I don't want them to cry either." Tyka says she last saw Prince three days before his Apr. 21, 2016 death, and that they "were making jokes and hugged three times." - New Musical Express, 3/16/17...... Pete TownsendRoger DaltreyThe Who announced on Mar. 13 that they'll kick off a six-show residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on July 29, running through Aug. 11. The shows were described as a "first run" for the band, which has undertaken a long "goodbye tour" since 2014 that is set to end in April 2017 in England. The band's leading members are guitarist Pete Townshend and singer Roger Daltrey, who are 71 and 73-years-old, respectively. - Billboard, 3/13/17...... Bette Midler returned to the Broadway stage on Mar. 15 in a revival of "Hello, Dolly!" and shared the first photo of her in the iconic title role the previous evening on Twitter. "Here I am for the first time as Dolly! Performances begin tomorrow #HelloDolly!," the Divine Miss M posted. The "Hello, Dolly!" revival began a run of preview performances on Mar. 15, and its official opening night is scheduled for Apr. 20. It will be the fourth revival of the play on Broadway. The original Broadway production ran for 2,844 performances between 1964 and 1970 and won 10 Tony Awards (including one for Carol Channing, who originated the role of Dolly on Broadway). - Billboard, 3/14/17...... A set of UK commemorative stamps honoring David Bowie were launched into space in helium balloons on Mar. 13 in a fitting tribute to the late galactic space rocker. According to the British Press Association, 52 sets of the stamps created to honor the one-year anniversary of Bowie's Jan. 2016 death at age 69 were sent into the stratosphere on the special balloons as an homage to Bowie's 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth. The flight reportedly reached a height of 111,876 feet, and fans who correctly guess where the "stamps that fell to earth" landed won one of the limited-edition versions, which were released on Mar. 14. - Billboard, 3/14/17...... Lionel Richie and Todd Rundgren will be among the recipients of an honorary degree from the Berklee College of Music during its commencement ceremony on May 13. Rundgren is also this year's commencement speaker. The college's honorary degrees recognize those who have made significant achievements and influences in music along with their contributions to American and international culture, and previous recipients include Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Annie Lennox, Carole King and Willie Nelson. - Billboard, 3/13/17...... A limited-edition vinyl release of recordings made by infamous '60s cult leader Charles Manson during the 1980s while imprisoned at San Quentin is being made available ahead of a new ABC documentary on Manson which premiers on Mar. 17. Manson was once befriended by the Beach Boys who recorded one of his songs, which charted in 1968. But a record deal eluded him; despite his connection to Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, Manson failed to convince record producer Terry Melcher to take him seriously. Until now, Manson's music has existed mostly in bootleg form. Manson, who is now 82, cannot make money on his art while imprisoned in California's Corcoran prison. He has been serving life sentences since being convicted of the Sharon Tate murders in 1971, and made news earlier in 2017 when he was hospitalized. - Billboard, 3/17/17...... Paul SimonPaul Simon will kick off a 17-city US tour on June 1 in St. Augustine, Fla., to support the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation. In an interview with the environmental issues website Mongabay, Simon said he hopes the tour can generate "millions of dollars" for the Foundation and boost awareness for its good causes. "I don't want people to come and think they're going to be lectured to. But I don't mind having Ed's book available or having (Half-Earth) caps there," Simon said. The tour will run through June 28 at Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Denver, Co. - Billboard, 3/14/17...... A relief fund set up by Dolly Parton to benefit the almost 1000 families who lost their homes in Nov. 2016 in Parton's home territory of East Tennesse has raised upwards of $9 million and helped 921 residents of Sevier county. Parton, arguably the most famous person from the region, singlehandedly created countless jobs after buying an old theme park and converting it into Dollywood, which is now the "largest employer" in the area. In other Dolly Parton news, the singer/songwriter's longtime manager Don Warden died on Mar. 11 at age 87. Mr. Warden met Parton when the young country singer joined The Porter Wagoner Show in the 1960s. Parton said in a statement posted on her website that Mr. Warden was "like a father, a brother, a partner and one of my best friends." Mr. Warden was a self-taught steel guitar player who was a founding member of the Porter Wagoner Trio and joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1957. -, 3/14/17...... James Cotton, a Grammy Award-winning blues harmonica master whose full-throated sound backed such blues legends as Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson IIand Howlin' Wolf, died on Mar. 16 of pneumonia at St. David's Medical Center in Austin. He was 81. Known as "Mr. Superharp," Mr. Cotton was honored by New York's Lincoln Center in 2010, and his most recent album, 2013's Cotton Mouth Man, was nominated for a Grammy. - AP, 3/16/17...... Music industry veteran Maxx Kidd, who helped pioneer go-go music, died on Mar. 13 in Chevy Chase, Md. He was 75. Kidd's first major industry breakthrough was working as a producer for Curtis Mayfield's Curtom Records, where he collaborated with such artists as Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler and Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers. Kidd later played a role in producing and supporting D.C.'s infamous go-go sound, working with Brown & the Soul Searchers as well as fellow funk groups Trouble Funk and E.U. He also became an independent promoter and marketer, with a client list that included the O'Jays, the Temptations, Lou Rawls, Van McCoy, Johnnie Taylor and Shalamar. - Billboard, 3/15/17.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on March 12th, 2017

Touring Canada in mid-March, Elton John enjoyed a day off on Mar. 9 by doing a little record shopping in downtown Vancouver. Sir Elton dropped into Beat Street Records on Hastings Street to check out the selection of vinyl, asking for "gangsta rap." John, 69, is an avowed fan of Young Thug, whom he's hung out with in Atlanta, and of Big Sean, who he once approached at a party to gush over his new album. A manager of the store said Elton's purchases included LP's by such artists as Little Feat, Devine Brown, Linda Ronstadt, Morris Day and "all the Scritti Poliiti we had." Elton, whose next tour stop was two shows in Victoria, B.C., signed a copy of his Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album for the store's employees before leaving. - Postmedia Network, 3/10/17...... Richard PryorNancy WilsonThe 5th Annual Rock Against MS benefit concert and award show, set for Mar. 25 at the historic Los Angeles Theatre, will honor the iconic '70s comedian Richard Pryor, who was afflicted with the condition. "More than anyone, Richard could appreciate RAMS' mission to not remain silent," says his widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor. "RAMS uses every means possible to enlighten, inform and educate the public about MS. Telling the truth is their genius too." The headlining performer will be Roadcase Royale, a new band featuring Nancy Wilson of Heart and Liv Warfield formerly of Prince's New Power Generation. Roadcase Royale premeired their new single, "Get Live," on on Mar. 8, and a lyric video of the song is currently available to view on the official Roadcase Royale website. "Get Loud," about getting loud and standing up for women's equality, will be among the songs performed at the MS benefit concert, which will be hosted by comedians Bill Burr (Breaking Bad/Date Night) and Craig Gass (Sex in the City/The Howard Stern Show). - Miles High Productions, 3/10/17...... Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux has shared details on upcoming releases from the iconic psychedelic band, which have been mapped out for a whopping 22 years. "We know for sure that every year we're going to release four Dave's Picks, which are the three-CD complete live shows, quarterly," he says. "We know we're going to do one big box set each year, whether that's an eight-CD set or an 11-CD set, like the one we have coming up. This gives us one other big thing to focus on every year." Lemieux, a 46-year-old history and fine arts major from Ottawa, Ontario, compiled the new two-disc deluxe reissue documenting the band's self-titled debut with Rhino Records, the first of a 50th-anniversary reissue series through 2039. He also oversees the Dead's Los Angeles archive of thousands of tapes, arranged meticulously by year and format. "To me, as a Deadhead and as an archivist, every one of those tapes tells a story," he says. On May 5, the acclaimed 1977 live Dead concert Cornell 5/8/77 will drop as a deluxe 3-disc set, a recording considered so historically significant it has been accepted into the Library of Congress. - Billboard, 3/10/17...... After Black Sabbath played what they said was their final-ever gig together in Birmingham, UK on Feb. 4, the band appeared to make it official on Mar. 7, posting their obituary on Facebook with the hashtag, #TheEnd. Reaction to the news varied widely, with one fan quipping "the Rolling Stones have their final tour every 3 years," while another wrote "Black Sabbath will live on through their recordings for people to discover and enjoy the band for a long time to come." After nearly a half century together, the influential heavy metal group -- which, on its final tour, included singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and Tommy Clufetos replacing original drummer Bill Ward -- embarked on their The End Tour in January 2016, putting an end to a 49-year, 19 studio album career that began in Birmingham in 1968. - Billboard, 3/8/17......David ByrneA new musical from former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne based on Joan of Arc is set to debut at New York's Public Theater on Mar. 15. "Joan of Arc: Into the Fire" is described as a "raw, resonant take" on the 15th-century French martyr, with lead role actor Jo Lampert dressed in tight black leather and driving rock anthems sung by French soldiers. "What boggles the mind -- why her story has endured for centuries -- is that people are still trying to interpret her," Byrne says. "Marine Le Pen, the French right-wing politician, claims her! She has become this vessel, and people have always wanted to put their stamp on her," he added. - Billboard, 3/10/17...... Bob Dylan has shared a third track off his forthcoming 3-CD collection of 30 classic songs by American songwriters. Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" follows Frank Sinatra's "I Could Have Told Your" and "My One and Only Love," which were previewed in February. As well as Carmichael and Sinatra, Triplicate, due Mar. 31, will see Dylan also tackling songs made famous by the likes of Charles Strouse, Lee Adams and Harold Hupfield. On May 3, Dylan will kick off a 7-city tour of the UK and Ireland in Cardiff. - New Musical Express, 3/11/17...... A co-headlining tour by Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey has been rescheduled and reduced one-third in size, two weeks after Richie was forced to postpone the tour because of a knee injury. The original 35-date tour has now been reduced to 21 dates, and will kick off July 21 in Oakland, Calif., and run through Sept. 5 in Seattle. - Billboard, 3/9/17...... Elvis Costello will be honored at the "Little Kids Rock" music education benefit show on Oct. 18 at PlayStation Theater in New York City. The national nonprofit benefit, known for transforming the lives of children's music education, raises funds to provide instruments and teacher training in low-income schools. Costello, a longtime supporter of music education, will also perform with music students onstage, and the special event also includes a live auction including cool prizes. - Billboard, 3/9/17...... As Don McLean's seminal 1972 hit "American Pie" celebrates its 45th anniversary in 2017, the Maine-based singer/songwriter has given McLean's ex-wife Patrisha McLean an order of protection against him. McLean pleaded guilty in July 2016 to domestic violence assault after being charged with the offense six months earlier, with his lawyer saying at the time that his punishment would be a $3,000 fine if he stayed out of trouble for a year. A final order of protection was granted on Mar. 8 that will last for two years. It was preceded by a temporary order. Patrisha McLean says she is glad the order was granted. - Billboard, 3/8/17...... Two rare David Bowie albums will be reissued on vinyl on Apr. 22 in the UK to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Record Store Day. Cracked Actor (Live In Los Angeles 1974), a live album recorded in Sept. 1974 which has never been officially released before, and BOWPROMO1, a 1971 promo album featuring alternative versions of songs that later appeared on Hunky Dory, will both see the light of day. It is believed fewer than 500 copies of BOWPROMO1 were pressed in 1971, and longtime Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti has remixed the 16 multi-track tapes from Bowie's 1974 tour stop in L.A. for Cracked Actor. - New Musical Express, 3/10/17...... Barry ManilowBarry Manilow is prepping a concept album of New York songs, This Is My Town: Songs of New York, that will drop on Apr. 21 via Decca Records. The 10 Big Apple-centric songs mix Manilow originals, including "New York City Rhythm," and covers such as "On Broadway." "When you come from New York you are always a New Yorker, even though I've lived on the West Coast for more years than I did in New York," says the Brooklyn born singer. "I still feel like a New Yorker. I still talk fast. I still have my Brooklyn accent if I don't watch out. I still feel like a New York guy, so this (album) made sense." An eight-song "NYC Medley" includes the theme from "New York, New York," Billy Joel's "New York State Of Mind" and Jay Z and Alicia Keys' "Empire State Of Mind." Manilow will launch a three-city mini-tour of the Los Angeles, Chicago and New York areas on May 14 in Inglewood, Calif., then visiting Rosemont, Ill., and Uniondale, N.Y. "It's going to be a residency type of thing, every other month for as long as people will come," says Manilow, who in 2016 spent more than a year on tour "saying goodbye to every city possible." - Billboard, 3/9/17...... Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's tour down under in January and February has earned nearly $40 million from 12 performances in seven Australian venues followed by concerts at two stadiums in New Zealand. Grosses totaled $38 million, giving the tour the top spot on the Billboard Hot Tours roundup for Mar. 7. Springsteen last played Australia in 2013 during his The Wrecking Ball tour. - Billboard, 3/8/17...... In a new interview with the UK paper The Guardian, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters compared US Pres. Donald Trump to the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. "Any despot, whenever they build a monument to themselves, whether it's Ceauescu, or Saddam Hussein, or Donald Trump, they always look exactly the same," Waters said. He continued: "Weirdly, these people have bits missing from their sensibility, so it's almost as if they build the monument to themselves from a despot catalog and it's always full of marble and gold taps." [Look at] Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City. It's perfect. Trump with his gold taps and his all of that. It's the perfect symbol of everything we need to steer clear of." Waters will debut his operatic treatment of Pink Floyd's 1979 The Wall album on Mar. 11 in Montreal, Canada. - NME, 3/9/17...... Paris JacksonMichael Jackson's daughter Paris Jackson has signed with the artist management company WME in all areas, one week after she joined the top modeling agency IMG Models. In February, Paris graced the covers of Rolling Stone and CR Fashion Book, and she'll appear on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Mar. 15. - The Hollywood Reporter, 3/7/17...... Moviemaker Roman Polanski says he will agree to return to the U.S. to face 39-year-old sex charges if the judge overseeing his case promises not to send him to jail. The acclaimed director of Rosemary's Baby and The Pianist has has been milling around Europe since 1978, when he was charged with having sex with a 13-year-old girl at a Hollywood party. Polanski claims he left the U.S. and went into exile because the judge reneged on a deal to hand him 50 days behind bars and instead threatened him with a 50-year sentence. His lawyer Harland Braun says the 400 days Polanksi served in jail in the U.S. and under house arrest in Switzerland in connection to his crime is more than enough for the sex assault he committed almost four decades ago. -, 3/11/17...... Joni Sledge, the second eldest sister in the hit pop group Sister Sledge, died at her home in Phoenix, Ariz., on Mar. 10 of as yet undisclosed causes. She was 60. Sister Sledge was formed in 1971 and went on to record such hits as "We Are Family," "He's the Greatest Dancer," "Frankie" and more, with "We Are Family" peaking at No. 2, topping the R&B and disco charts, and nominated for a Grammy. "We thank you for privacy as we hurt for her presence, but also for embracing her radiance and the sincerity with which she loved life," a statement issued by her family says. - Billboard, 3/11/17...... Jim Fuller, the lead guitarist and co-songwriter for the '60s rock band The Surfaris, died on Mar. 3 at the age of 69. Fuller, known as the "Godfather" of surf music, was also a studio musician that has performed on many other artists' recordings of rock, folk, and blues songs throughout his career, doing vocals, lead and bass guitar. Fuller also contributed to the popularity of Fender guitars after being photographed for the cover of The Surfaris albums, and his name is on the famous "Hollywood Walk of Fame." As of 2004 he continued to perform with The Surfaris and other bands, with a fan base in United States, Europe, and Japan. - 3/5/17...... Hershel Wiginton, a founding member of the backing vocal group The Nashville Edition, died on Mar. 6 at his daughter's home in Carthage, Tenn., after several years of declining health. He was 79. The Nashville Edition appeared on an estimated 12,000 recordings between the 1960s and the early 1990s, including Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," Tanya Tucker's "Delta Dawn," Marty Robbins' "El Paso City, and Lynn Anderson's "Rose Garden." - 3/8/17.

A bi-coastal summer music festival headlined by the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac is reportedly being planned this July, with organizers hoping to turn the shows -- at Citi Field in New York and Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles -- into an annual event. The "Classic East" and "Classic West" concerts will each take place over two days with additional artists to be announced in the coming months. A number of big-time promoters and music companies are involved in the blockbuster concert concept including Azoff MSG Entertainment, Live Nation, the Oak View Group and CAA. The festivals would be the first performance by the Eagles since co-founder Glenn Frey passed away in Jan. 2016, and they are Fleetwood Mac's only scheduled dates in 2017, a source says. The classic-rock driven festival follows the success of Goldenvoice and AEG Live's Desert Trip festival headlined by such top acts as the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and the Who. That Oct. 2016 festival brought in $160 million in ticket sales, but AEG officials have not announced if it will return in 2017. - Billboard, 3/2/17...... Meanwhile, Hall & Oates and '80s hitmakers Tears for Fears have announced they'll kick off an '80s-themed tour of North America together in 2017. The 29-city tour will kick off in Tulsa, Okla., on May 4, hitting major markets such as St. Louis (5/6), Milwaukee (5/13), Chicago (5/15), Detroit (5/17), Miami (6/7), Cincinnati (6/13), Queens, NY (6/16), Boston (6/24), Dallas (6/11), Denver (6/15) and Las Vegas (6/21) before wrapping in Los Angeles on July 28. While Hall & Oates have never split up since forming in 1970, Tears for Fears reformed in 2000 after parting company in 1991. - New Musical Express, 3/2/17...... Jimmy BuffettJimmy Buffett has announced he's launching a string of "Latitude Margaritaville" retirement homes, initially in Daytona Beach, Fla., with more planned in other communities in the future. "Inspired by the legendary music and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and best-selling author Jimmy Buffett, your new home in paradise features exciting recreation, unmatched dining and FINtastic nightlife," reads the Latitude Margaritaville site. The place where you can "grow older, but not up" promises homes starting in the low $200s, with furnished models slated to open in early 2018 for residents who have to be 55 or older. "It's going to be a very fun place," Minto Communities vice president Bill Bullock told a local TV station of the $1 billion project that is expected to feature 7,000 2- and 3-bedroom homes. Buffett announced earlier in 2017 that he's also eyeing a Broadway show based on his music that will debut in the spring of 2018. - Billboard, 3/6/17...... Lawyers for Cher asked a New York Federal judge on Mar. 6 to dismiss a lawsuit over the album cover of her 2013 album Closer to the Truth which a graphic designer claims ripped off a typeface the he created. Moshik Nadav is a graphic designer who claims having his Paris Logo typography was used on Closer to the Truth, which has sold about 585,000 copies since its release. Nadav's complaint states that he is a leading figure in the world of typography and that his Paris Logo features "artistic elements such as swashes having various thicknesses, end drops and unique lettering that provide... an aesthetic look... that his clients... and the public at large associate with Nadav and his business, Moshik Nadav Typography LLC." In a motion to dismiss, Cher's attorney Leonard Venger pointed to the section of copyright code spelling out which material can't be copyrighted, which includes "short phrases, typeface and variations on lettering." - The Hollywood Reporter, 3/7/17...... Billy Joel was joined by '80s rocker John Mellencamp and two members of the '60s group the Young Rascals during his sold out show at Madison Square Garden on Mar. 3. Joel and Mellencamp treated fans to a surprise performance of "Authority Song," off of Mellencamp's 1983 Uh-huh album, while Young Rascals' Gene Cornish and Felix Cavaliere brought their 1966 hit "Good Lovin'" to the crowd. "I left the gig after watching these guys play and I almost gave up," said Joel, reminiscing about attending a Young Rascals show in the 1960s, as he introduced Cornish on guitar and Cavaliere on organ. Joel returns to the famed New York City venue in April. His next tour stop is in Lincoln, Neb., on March 24. - Billboard, 3/5/17...... Gladys KnightGladys Knight has announced she's launching a fundraising campaign to refurbish a Community Center at the site of Reynolds High School, in Canton, N.C. Knight says being married to western North Carolina native William "Billy" McDowell, a Canton native, has turned her into a country girl at heart, and she's hoping to turn that new affection into possibly the best thing that's ever happened to Canton. Organizers need to raise up to $5 million to renovate the 20,000-square-foot Reynolds Community Center, which was constructed in 1930 and was functional until 1966. It was once the only African-American high school in western North Carolina west of Asheville. When finished, the 6.5-acre property will provide multiple services, from a music center to counseling for those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Meanwhile, Knight has won her bid to end all personal connections to her son's struggling chicken and waffles restaurant, according to a settlement filed in Georgia's Clayton County court. Signed on Feb. 27, the agreement states that 40-year-old Shanga Hankerson must remove all uses of Knight's name, likeness and memorabilia from the restaurant formerly called Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles by Apr. 26, 2017. "She's out of litigation and has her name and intellectual property back," her attorney told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Hankerson founded the restaurant with his mother's help in 1999. The legal battle strained Knight's relationship with her son after he claimed she did not have the "mental capacity" to choose to remove her name from the business. - AP/Billboard, 3/5/17...... Rod Stewart is apologizing for a video shared by his current wife Penny Lancaster that shows Stewart in what appears to be a re-enactment of a beheading. Lancaster posted a video on Instagram that shows several people clad in black walking in a desert. Stewart is wearing a white shirt and standing behind a man who gets on his knees before Stewart makes a motion with his right hand in front of the man's neck. The video has been deleted but was captured by media outlets and republished. Stewart, who performed a concert in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Mar. 3, said in a statement that his group was "simply larking about pre-show." He says the video was "understandably" misinterpreted and he sends his "deepest apologies to those who have been offended." Stewart is set to begin the latest leg of his Las Vegas residency later in March, and has been announced as a headliner of this year's UK Isle Of Wight Festival. - AP, 3/3/17...... Roger Waters has posted another tease of his forthcoming first solo rock album in 25 years, Is This the Life We Really Want? Rogers posted a 30-second video clip on Mar. 2 that features him listening to a lush orchestral score for an unnamed song from the album. Produced by frequent Radiohead collaborator Nigel Godrich, Is This the Life We Really Want? is due out May 19. Meanwhile, the recording console used by Rogers' former band Pink Floyd for recording its classic 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon will go up for auction later in March. The TG12345 MK IV recording console, which was housed in Studio 2 at Abbey Road, will be auctioned by New York's Bonham's on March 27. The console is expected to reach a six-digit figure, though no estimate has been set. One of a two-of-a-kind model, the console was also used by Paul McCartney and Wings, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Kate Bush, while The Cure also used it more recently. Currently owned by producer Mike Hedges -- who bought it from Abbey Road in 1983 -- Bonham's says the console is still in an "excellent working condition" and is currently housed in Prime Studios in Austria. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 3/3/17...... Curtis MayfieldThe estate of Curtis Mayfield has announced it will re-release Mayfield's book Poetic License to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Being re-released as a limited-edition paperback at, Poetic License spotlights poems and song lyrics penned by Mayfield during a career that spanned four decades, from his tenure with The Impressions during the civil rights era to his groundbreaking solo turn. The book was Mayfield's first project after a tragic 1990 stage accident which left him paralyzed from the neck down after being hit by lighting equipment. "It started him back to work and that's what I wanted," his widow Altheida Mayfield says. "I wanted him to get his mind off the accident, and remember that he still had a functioning mind. From that point on, he was anxious to work. You couldn't slow him down." After the book's publication, Mayfield went on to record and release his final album, 1996's New World Order. He died in December 1999 at the age of 57. Altheida Mayfield says she's also working on a book about her life with her late husband that's slated for release in 2018. In the meantime, a limited-edition vinyl reissue of Curtis Mayfield's 1972 Superfly soundtrack is set for release later in 2017, and a documentary about his life is also in development. - Billboard, 3/2/17...... In a new interview with Classic Rock magazine, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry says Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler "didn't get" the classic 1984 rock "mockumentary" Spinal Tap when the pair first saw the film at the cinema. "[He was] squirming and squirming, and he did not laugh the whole time," Perry recalled. "It was like he took the band's side on everything. It was like he did not -- he didn't get it. He got indignant. And it was, like, I couldn't believe it. So, my wife and I were cracking up -- and we're watching Steven." - NME, 3/2/17...... Lou Reed's widow Laurie Anderson announced on Mar. 2 that the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is acquiring Reed's complete archives. "What better place to have this than in the heart of the city he loved the best?" said Anderson, who described assembling Reed's archive as "one of the most intense experiences of my life." Reed, who died from liver disease on Oct. 27, 2013, at the age of 71, left behind an archive that measures approximately 300 linear feet of paper records, electronic records, and photographs, as well as approximately 3,600 audio and 1,300 video recordings. All of Reed's major tours and many of his guest performances are represented in the collection, including 25 hours of original recordings documenting his 1978 run at the Bottom Line in NYC from which the Take No Prisoners live album emerged. - Billboard, 3/2/17...... Actor Danny Masterson of That '70s Show fame is denying reports he is under investigation for raping fellow members of the Church of Scientology. According to journalist Tony Ortega's Scientology blog, "The Underground Bunker," Masterson is being investigated by officials at the Los Angeles Police Department for sexually assaulting three women. No charges have been filed against Masterson and he is now vehemently denying the claims. "Based on reading the anti-Scientology blog that posted this story, these false allegations appear to be motivated to boost Leah Remini's anti-Scientology television series," a rep for Masterson said in a statement. -, 3/3/17...... The BeatlesThe UK paper The London Sunday Times is reporting that a 50th anniversary deluxe re-release of the Beatles' landmark Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album is being planned for later in 2017. This special edition will reportedly include the songs "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane," which were originally planned to be included in the album, but were released as a double A-side single instead under pressure from record company EMI. Because the Beatles used to not include singles on albums, the two songs didn't end on up Sgt. Pepper, a decision that Beatles producer George Martin once called "a truly terrible mistake." More details about the re-release are being kept secret, but all parties involved have co-operated fully, including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and John Lennon and George Harrison's respective widows, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison. The re-release is set for June 1, exactly fifty years after the original. - The London Sunday TImes, 3/5/17...... In other Beatles-related news, John Lennon and Yoko Ono's son Sean Lennon has shared a recording of a song called "Bird Song" that he co-wrote with recently deceased actress/writer Carrie Fisher. Lennon and Fisher were good friends, with the musician calling her "one of the best and closest friends I've ever had in my life" in an Instagram post after her death. On Mar. 6, Sean shared the song on Instagram, explaining it was about "staying up too late and hearing the birds sing." "Carrie and I wrote this song years ago," Lennon wrote. "When she died I just felt I had to record it. This is only a demo unmixed, we only had a few hours to record it. But the lyrics she wrote with me I think are marvelous." - New Musical Express, 3/6/17...... Barbra Streisand has tweeted that Pres. Donald Trump has made her so anxious these days that she's gaining weight. "Donald Trump is making me gain weight," Babs tweeted on Mar. 4. "I start the day with liquids, but after the morning news, I eat pancakes smothered in maple syrup!" She continued the following day: "Trump just accused Obama of tapping his phones. Seriously crazy times. Time for more pancakes." Her comments come after Pres. Trump recently claimed the Barack Obama administration wire tapped into his Trump Tower phones during the 2016 Presidential elections. - The Hollywood Reporter, 3/5/17...... Legendary '50s rock 'n' roller Jerry Lee Lewis is suing his daughter Phoebe, alleging she abused him, gave him drugs and isolated him. Lewis claims she schemed to spend his fortune with her husband Ezekiel Loftin, and said she gave him a "heavy cocktail of psychotropic drugs" to keep him under her control, according to Lewis also alleges Phoebe forced him to go on gruelling tours despite his poor health, and kept him isolated at home in a mouldy house, which forced him to wear an oxygen mask. Lewis has requested $5 million of money back, and wants to block the couple from using his name or likeness. -, 3/6/17...... Tom JonesTom Jones has reportedly said he won't return to the UK edition of The Voice after the current season ends. Jones, who was dropped from the show in 2015, has sung the praises of the revamped ITV show after re-joining the panel. But now the "She's a Lady" singer has told the UK paper The Sun that he wants to call it a day because the grueling filming schedule that is "very hard work, and takes up a huge amount of time and energy" acording to a source close to him. Jones famously told the BBC to "go f--- themselves" when he was replaced by Boy George in 2015 without consulting him -- slamming them for "sub-standard behaviour." - New Musical Express, 3/6/17...... Singer Valerie Carter has died of undisclosed causes at the age of 64. Carter, who had been ill in recent years including a serious 2014 incident where reports had her "fighting for her life," was best known as a backup singer for a long list of artists over the years including James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Don Henley, Neil Diamond, Nicolette Larson, Ringo Starr, Jimmy Webb, Willie Nelson and many more. Carter began her musical career when she was still a teenager, playing in coffee houses, and at age 20, had her first hit with Judy Collins' recording of Carter's "Cooked With Honey," which rose to No. 32 on the pop charts in 1973. She was also part of the band Howdy Moon which released an eponymous album in 1974 with production by Little Feat's Lowell George. George would go on to produce Carter's solo debut, 1977's Just a Stone's Throw Away, which included guest appearances by the likes of Browne, Linda Ronstadt and Maurice White. She went on to record two more albums, 1978's Wild Child and 1996's The Way It Is along with the 1998 EP Find a River. - 3/5/17...... Songwriter Ric Marlow, who co-wrote the Grammy-winning 1960s pop song "A Taste of Honey" that was made into a huge instrumental hit by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass and also covered by the Beatles, died on Feb. 28 in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 91. Mr. Marlow and Bobby Scott co-wrote "A Taste of Honey" as the title song for a 1960 Broadway adaptation of Shelagh Delaney's British play that also was made into a 1961 film directed by Tony Richardson. Their song won the 1962 Grammy for best instrumental theme. Three years later, Alpert's version collected four Grammys, including song of the year, and went as high as No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was also covered by such artists as Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis and Tony Bennett, among others. Mr. Marlow also worked as an actor, appearing on such shows as Bonanza, Death Valley Days, Sea Hunt, Hawaii 5-0 and Magnum, P.I.. - The Hollywood Reporter, 3/6/17...... Robert OsborneRobert Osborne, a longtime film historian and the cherished host of Turner Classic Movies, died at his home in New York on Mar. 6 of as yet undisclosed causes. He was 84. The genial, silver-haired Mr. Osborne had been the principal host of the Turner Classic Movies cable channel since its founding in 1994. His life partner, theater director and producer David Staller, confirmed the death but did not disclose the cause. Mr. Osborne also wrote official histories of the Oscars and was a longtime columnist for the Hollywood Reporter, a show-business trade publication. Born Robert Jolin Osborne on May 3, 1932, in Colfax, Wash., a farming community, Mr. Osborne took acting roles in Seattle and his dashing good looks -- he resembled actor Robert Wagner -- led to a contract with Desilu Studies, a television production company run by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. His biggest role was a brief appearance in the 1962 pilot episode of The Beverly Hillbillies. Ball told him he lacked the survival skills for the cutthroat profession. "We have enough actors," he recalled her saying. "We don't have enough writers." He began publishing an official history of the Academy Awards in 1965, and updated the book every few years and joined the Hollywood Reporter in 1977, eventually settling in at its New York office. - The Hollywood Reporter, 3/6/17...... Legendary TV broadcaster Barbara Walters' health has reportedly failed to the point that the 87-year-old now requires almost 24/7 care from a staff of people. There had been talk of a lifetime tribute to her on her longtime network ABC, but apparently she was unable to participate so it was put on hold.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on March 2nd, 2017

Cher has added 18 summer and fall dates to her "Classic Cher" show at the Park Theater at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Cher says she decided to extend the show after the tremendous success of its first dates, and the newly announced performances will run from Aug. 2 through Aug. 19 and Nov. 8 through Nov. 25 at the Park Theater's 5,200-seat, re-imagined Monte Carlo venue. Cher performs many of her 34 Billboard charting hits in her "Classic Cher" show, which also has a previously announced run from May 3 through May 20. - Billboard, 2/28/17...... Ian AndersonJethro Tull principal Ian Anderson has announced he'll release Jethro Tull -- The String Quartets, a 12-song set of revamped versions of Tull classics including "Locomotive Breath," "Bungle in the Jungle" and "Aqualung," on Mar. 24. "I wanted to do these classic rock songs but in an authentic way," Anderson says. "Not the band with a string quartet but focusing on the string quartet with judicious ornament additions from myself to remind people, I suppose, of the originals and give it a bit more of an identifying feature... it was a challenge." Anderson says he selected the Anglo-Irish group Carducci Quartet to perform the arrangements constructed by Tull keyboardist John O'Hara. "Their energy, their precision -- they were really very impressive," Anderson notes. "So I was able to find a little hole in our mutual diaries when we could get together for four days to nail the album, which we did during the latter part of last year." Anderson, who provides flute and vocals to some of the songs on Jethro Tull -- The String Quartets, will kick off a Jethro Tull By Ian Anderson tour on May 26 with the Colorado Symphony at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, followed by dates in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Europe and South America. He's also finishing up a lyrics book, which will be illustrated with photographs from his personal collection, and says he's planning an album of new material which he'll begin working on in March. - Billboard, 3/1/17...... The Temptations have been named the top all-time artist in a new Billboard ranking of the R&B/Hip-Hop genre, the first time the publication has compiled extensive all-time chart recaps of R&B/hip-hop music. Billboard reports The Temptations have tallied a record 16 No. 1s on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart (which began in 1965) and 14 leaders on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart (which dates to 1958), including its longest-leading hit single, the eight-week No. 1 "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" in 1966. The Tempts also scored 43 top 10s, including in each decade from the '60s through the '90s. Next on the list is Aretha Franklin (also the top female artist), followed by Stevie Wonder (top male) at No. 3, with both sharing the record for most No. 1 records on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. James Brown (No. 4) and Michael Jackson (No. 5) round out the artist list's top five. Jackson also leads the list's all-time album recap, with Thriller, which spent a record 37 weeks at No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums in 1983-84. - Billboard, 3/1/17...... Speaking of Michael Jackson, the late singer's Neverland Ranch, which is now known as Sycamore Valley Ranch and owned Colony Capital, is back on the market with an asking price of $67 million. The price for the 2,700-acre property near Santa Barbara, Calif., is a significant cut from the $100 million it was on the market for in 2016. Jackson sold the ranch, which features a 12,000 square foot main residence and a 3,700 square foot pool house to Colony Capital prior to his 2009 death for $22.5 million. Colony Capital is headed by Thomas Barrack, a confidant and fundraiser for Pres. Donald Trump. - AP, 3/2/17...... Joey KramerIn an interview with Classic Rock magazine, Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer says he "never cared" for the Rolling Stones -- "especially in the drumming department" -- and he thinks his band are better live performers than Mick Jagger and co. "First of all, as far as Aerosmith goes, there is no band that has been around for almost 50 years that still has the original five guys in the band," Kramer said. "Everybody is always raving about the Stones, saying the Stones this and the Stones that. I've never cared for the Stones. They never had anything to offer me musically, especially in the drumming department." Kramer continued: "The Stones is not the original band and I do not care for them. I think if you came to see an Aerosmith concert, people would realise that we play so much better than them that it's silly because they're not so good live.... I don't think there's a band out there today that does what we do." Aerosmith announced in 2016 that their 2017 "Aerovederci" UK and European tour, which will include a huge headline performance at Download Festival, would be their last. - New Musical Express, 2/28/17...... Woody Woodmansey, the drummer who worked on David Bowie's 1972 masterpiece The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, says in a new interview that Bowie's label RCA Records initially rejected the album because they felt it lacked a lead single. Woodmansey, a member of Bowie's Spiders from Mars group, says Bowie then wrote the song "Starman" within a month. "It was an obvious single! I think Mick (Ronson) and I went out in the car after David played it for us the first time, and we were already singing it, having only heard it only once." On Feb. 23, Bowie won the top prize at the BRIT Awards, with his son Duncan Jones accepting the Best British Album award on his behalf. - New Musical Express, 2/24/17...... In other Bowie news, lawyers for the late rock icon have asked any secret heirs who might lay claim to his US $100 million fortune to come forward. Anyone who believes they have the right to inherit a portion of his estate, including any secret love children, will have two months to present their claims, after a notice was placed in British newspaper The Times on Feb. 25. Bowie, who passed away aged 69 in January 2016 after a battle with cancer, has two acknowledged children, film director Duncan Jones, 45, by his first wife Angie, and a daughter Lexi Jones, 16, by his second wife Iman. The notice requires claimants to present details of their relationship to him to lawyers at London legal firm Simkins LLP by 4 May. Bowie lived a typical rock and roll lifestyle during the peak of his career in the 1970s and has admitted his promiscuity in interviews. -, 2/27/17...... StingSting performed an emotional rendition of his Oscar-nominated song "The Empty Chair" at the 89th Annual Academy Awards on Feb. 26 in Hollywood, Calif. "The Empty Chair "was featured on the soundtrack of Jim: The James Foley Story, a documentary which chronicles the story of American journalist James Foley who was captured in Syria and became the first American citizen to be killed by ISIS when he was beheaded in 2014. "The Empty Chair"'s lyrics recount the absence from a deceased loved one from a family gathering, performance ended with a photo of Foley and the aptly-timed quote, "If I don't have the moral courage to challenge authority... we don't have journalism." Sting previously performed "The Empty Chair" at Sundance 2016's ASCAP Music Café with James Foley's family in attendance. "I curated the song from what [Jim's] family and friends said about him. It's their song," Sting has said. - Billboard, 2/26/17...... Jazz pianist Horace Parlan, a stalwart of the hard-bop jazz movement of the 1950s and 1960s and a notable collaborator with such stars as Charles Mingus and Dexter Gordon, died Feb. 23 at a nursing home in Naestved, Denmark. He was 86. Mr. Parlan overcame limited use of his right hand to develop a distinctive punchy style. In 1977, he made a well-received recording of spirituals with saxophonist Archie Shepp, "Goin' Home," and the two made several appearances over the next few years at jazz clubs and colleges in the United States. The duo later recorded two more albums. - AP, 3/1/17...... U.K. designer Alan Aldridge, who contributed to and compiled the classic Beatles-themed book The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics, has died at age 73. Aldridge is possibly best known for the picture book The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper Feast (1973), a series of illustrations of anthropomorphic insects and other creatures, which he created in collaboration with William Plomer, who wrote the accompanying verses. Aldridge's other works include The Penguin Book of Comics (1967), Bernie Taupin: The One Who Writes the Words for Elton John (1976), and The Adventures and Brave Deeds of the Ship's Cat on the Spanish Maine (1977), and The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes: The Art of Alan Aldridge (2009). -, 2/24/17.

Veteran rock guitarist/producer Rick Derringer pleaded guilty on Feb. 24 to carrying a Kel-Tec pistol on an airplane and in a secure area of Atlanta's airport on Jan. 9. Derringer, a former member of the Edgar Winter Group who sang the classic 1965 pop hit "Hang on Sloopy" and later recorded "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo" as a solo artist, told a federal air marshal he kept his gun with him on commercial airline flights 30 to 50 times a year, and never before had a problem carrying it through airport checkpoints. However a spokesman for the TSA said there's no way to substantiate claims dating back years. "It was just a mistake, a simple human mistake," said Kenn Moutenot, his manager and the drummer in Derringer's Rick Derringer Band. Nothing like it will happen again, "not even a water pistol." According to TSA guidelines, air passengers are allowed to bring guns as checked baggage only, and the unloaded firearms must be in locked, hard-sided containers that are declared to the airline when checked. Ammunition also is prohibited in carry-on bags. Derringer will begin a U.S. tour in March, and is now working on a remake of his 1980s song "Real American," which has been used as theme music by pro wrestler Hulk Hogan, and at campaign events for former president Barck Obama and Pres. Donald Trump. Derringer has said he hopes the new version and its music video will transcend politics and bring the nation together. - AP, 2/24/17...... Eddie Van HalenRock guitar god Eddie Van Halen announced on Feb. 23 that he's donating 75 guitars to low-income students through the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation. The organization provides nearly 1,800 instruments annually to schools without music programs, aiding about 10,000 students annually. "My whole life has been music. I could not imagine anything else," Van Halen told CNN. "It's a must. It has to be taught." He added that it "was very difficult at first to find a charity that [takes guitars]... They all just wanted money." The foundation takes its name from the 1995 movie Mr. Holland's Opus, starring Richard Dreyfuss as a music teacher who mentors young students. - Billboard, 2/23/17...... In related news, Bruce Springsteen continued his habit of encouraging young musicians by inviting an 11-year-old fan who had never played drums in her life onstage to jam with his E Street Band during a show in Christchurch, New Zealand on Feb. 21. Hayley Dockrill, who attended the show with her family, held a sign that caught The Boss's eye -- "I can resist Trump, but I can't resist Max" -- and before she knew it was drumming alongside E Street drummer Max Weinberg on the iconic 1984 track "Dancing in the Dark." Hayley's father, Chris, said it was a surreal moment for his daughter, who not only played in front of 30,000 people, but walked off with a present: a signed drum stick. On Feb. 15 in Brisbane, Australia, Springsteen invited a teenage fan onstage to perform "Growin' Up" with him. - Billboard, 2/22/17...... Michael Jackson's mother Katherine Jackson is asking the court to let her intervene in a lawsuit against the executors of Michael's estate that centers on The Michael Jackson Company. Katherine claims she owns 10% of the company, which was formed in 2006. The legal fight began in 2013 after another TMJC shareholder, Quadree El-Amin, requested to inspect the company's financial records. As part of Jackson's ongoing probate proceedings, attorneys for the estate asked the court for an order determining that Jackson himself was the sole member and owner of TMJC. El-Amin then sued estate executors John Branca and John McClain, claiming they were making deals on behalf of TMJC without approval of its shareholders. Broderick Morris, Adean King and Raymone Bain also contend they are part owners of TMJC and are plaintiffs in the suit. Katherine Jackson says she was kept in the dark about El-Amin's inquiry and the resulting litigation. A hearing is currently set for Apr. 19. - The Hollywood Reporter, 2/24/17...... Such rock legends as Keith Richards, David Byrne, Pete Townshend and Michael Stipe are fighting depositions and submitted documents that presumably go into detail about the financial arrangements they have with publishers in a lawsuit started in 2015 by the National Music Publishers Association against the Wolfgang's Vault website, which sells rock memorabilia and recordings by those and many other music artists. Since the lawsuit was filed, attorneys for Wofgang's Vault owner William Sagan have attempted various tactics to battle claims Wolfgang's Vault lacks the requisite licenses to stream an estimated two billion recorded concert performances. Sagan's attorneys are now prying into old agreements in the music business and demanding depositions with the overall goal of poking holes in the claim Wolfgang's lacks copyright authority. One of the main theories that Sagan's side is pursuing is that if musicians retained copyright to their works at the time of performance, and then agreed to a recording of their concerts, the musicians made an implied license for later use of the recordings. Sagan is also exploring issues ranging from possibly faulty copyright registrations to a lack of protest among the artists over the years to support affirmative defenses as well as limit damages in a case potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars. At a hearing on Feb. 16, U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman ruled that Keith Richards and David Byrne wouldn't be required to appear for a deposition, but that they would have to answer 25 written questions. Stipe's own motion to quash a subpoena is still pending. On Feb. 22, the music publishers asked the judge's permission to add new allegations to their lawsuit over a new website,, launched in November 2016 that is also streaming audio recordings and video footage. - The Hollywood Reporter, 2/23/17...... Eric ClaptonA vintage Ferrari belonging to Eric Clapton may set a new record when it is auctioned in early March. Gooding & Company auction house founder David Gooding says the 1968 Dino 206 GT Ferrari could exceed the highest price paid for a Dino, which was $770,000 in 2016. The estimate on Clapton's Dino is $750,000 - $900,000, and if bidding gets fierce and competitive, it could be the first Dino to crest the $1,000,000 mark. Clapton has long had a continuing love affair with Ferraris, having owned at least a dozen exclusive cars from the Italian brand over the past forty years. The 1968 Dino is one of the first Ferraris he purchased, having been indoctrinated into the brand's charms by George Harrison. In his 2007 autobiography, Clapton recalled the time Harrison arrived at his house in a dark blue Ferrari 365 GTC. I'd never seen one in the flesh before, and my heart melted," he recalled. Clapton didn't have a license at the time and couldn't drive a manual transmission, but he vowed to learn "on Harrison's car" with the eventual goal of acquiring a Ferrari. - Billboard, 2/21/17...... Lionel Richie has been forced to postpone a coheadlining tour with Mariah Carey as he recovers from a knee procedure. The former Commodores member, 67, issued a statement saying "unfortunately my recovery from a knee procedure will not have me 100 percent ready to start the tour." He said he doesn't want to disappoint his fans and he's looking "forward to being back onstage so we can all be 'Dancing on the Ceiling' together again." The 35-date tour was supposed to launch Mar. 15 and wrap on May 27. Purchased tickets will be honored at the new dates, to be announced soon. - AP, 2/24/17...... A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled on Feb. 22 that Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley will not have to pay spousal support to her estranged husband Michael Lockwood while they fight over her assets. Judge Patrick Cathcart ordered Presley to pay $50,000 to the lawyer representing Lockwood. The ruling comes days after Presley filed court documents stating she is deeply in debt and their 8-year-old twin daughters are subject to a child welfare case. The order does not affect the couple's children, who are in the care of Presley's mother, Priscilla Presley A trial in children's court is scheduled for March. Michael Lockwood is challenging the validity of an agreement he signed after marrying Presley in 2006 that would govern how much he is entitled to in a divorce. He had been seeking $40,000 a month in spousal support, but Judge Cathcart said the unemployed musician would have to wait until after a trial on the agreement. Lockwood said he gave up his career and worked for Presley before their breakup, according to court documents. Presley's lawyer contended that Lockwood hasn't been looking for work and should apply to be a music teacher or work at Guitar Center. Lisa Marie contends the children's court proceeding was initiated after she discovered photos and "disturbing" video on her husband's computer, allegations Lockwood's attorney contends are "highly sensational" and inaccurate." Priscilla Presley tried to allay fans' concerns about the legal issues and well-being of the twins in a Facebook post on Feb. 19. "There is lots of confusion, commotion and concern from all the talk circulating," she wrote. "Let me put this to rest ... the girls have not been in foster care and never will be. The girls have been with me and will be until all this is sorted out." - AP, 2/22/17...... David BowieNearly 14 months after his shocking death in Jan. 2016, David Bowie took top honors at the 2017 Brit Awards at London's O2 arena on Feb. 22. Bowie was posthumously awarded two of the biggest prizes -- best British album for Blackstar and British male performer -- during the 37th annual award show. I lost my dad last year, but I also became a dad and I was spending a lot of time trying to work out what would I want my son to know about his granddad," Bowie's son Duncan Jones said as he collected the best British album award on behalf of his late dad. "I think it would be the same thing that most of my dad's fans have taken over the last 50 years. He's always been there supporting people who think they're a little bit weird or a bit strange. A bit different. He's always been there for them. So this award is for all the kooks and all the people who make the kooks," Jones added. Actor Michael C. Hall, the lead actor in the Bowie-devised musical "Lazarus," collected the award for British male performer, and said "If David Bowie could be here tonight, he probably wouldn't be here tonight. But since he can't be here tonight, I'm here on his behalf and on behalf of his family to accept this testament to a man beholden to nothing but his own boundless imagination and daring. [A man] whose ever-expanding artistic vitality simultaneously soothes us and astonishes us. Maybe he is here tonight? I don't know." - Billboard, 2/22/17...... In other Bowie-related news, fans of the Thin White Duke are raising money for a memorial statue marking the late music icon's London birthplace. Plans call for the statue to be shaped in the fashion of the iconic lightning bolt from his Aladdin Sane album cover and would be situated in Brixton, south London -- just streets away from Bowie's Stansfield Road birthplace. Organizers say they have consulted Bowie's teams in New York and London in regards to planning the statue, and hope to pay for the project by crowdfunding online and estimate the costs to be north of $1.23 million. So far, 165 people have raised more than $28,330 for the red-and-blue-sprayed stainless steel monument. - NME/Billboard, 2/21/17...... Blondie announced on Feb. 20 that they will play a huge London Roundhouse show on May 3. Blondie will release it's latest studio LP, Pollinator, two days later and have recently posted the second single from the album, "My Monster" which is a collaboration with Johnny Marr, online. While in the U.K., Blondie will also play the British Summer Time festival. - NME, 2/20/17...... David CassidyIn an interview with People magazine on Feb. 20, David Cassidy revealed that he's suffering from dementia, the same disease from which his mother and grandfather suffered. "I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming," the 66-year-old former The Partridge Family star said. Cassidy's revelation comes after a disastrous performance at The Canyon Club in Agoura, Calif., on Feb. 18 when he slurred his words throughout the show and even fell off the stage at one point. Cassidy also reportedly told audiences the following night at the Santa Barbara Performing Arts Center that that concert would be his last show, however a Mar. 4 show at BB King's Blues Club has yet to be cancelled. "I want to focus on what I am, who I am and how Ive been without any distractions," Cassidy told People. "I want to love. I want to enjoy life." Cassidy has struggled with alcoholism in the past, including a rehab stint in 2014 after his third arrest for driving under the influence. Cassidy also recently divorced his wife of 23 years, Sue Shifrin-Cassidy, after she filed for divorce. The split was finalized in 2016. - NY Daily News, 2/20/17...... A star-studded memorial for late The Brady Bunch matriarch Florence Henderson was held at the Music Box Theatre in New York City on Feb. 21. Stars including Alan Cumming, Michael Feinstein, Judy Gold, Whoopi Goldberg and Chita Rivera shared their fondest memories of the veteran actress, who died of a heart attack at age 82 on Nov. 24. Barry Williams, who played Greg Brady in the series, honored his TV mother by singing The Brady Bunch theme song with Gold and other stars. - NY Daily News, 2/22/17.