Sterling Venue Ventures has announced an opening celebration of their brand-new venue, The Canyon in Santa Clarita, Cal., featuring acclaimed singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones, on Nov. 11. Other artists scheduled to perform at The Canyon in the weeks ahead include Gin Blossoms (11/17), Petula Clark (11/18), Timothy B. Schmidt of the Eagles (11/26), the Queen tribute band Queen Nation (11/24), Tower of Power (12/15), and Todd Rundgren (12/27). More info can be found on their official website. - Miles High Productions, 11/6/17...... A new Eric Clapton documentary titled Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars will premiere in limited release in theaters across the US on Nov. 24, before premiering on the Showtime channel on Feb. 10, 2018. Directed by Lili Fini Zanuck, the rock doc is described as an "unflinching and deeply personal journey into the life of the legendary musician" that covers the breadth of the legendary musician's career, including his tenures in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, The Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominos. It also features archival materials like classic performance clips, on- and offstage footage, iconic photos, concert posters, handwritten letters, drawings and personal diary entries, as well as extensive interviews with Clapton himself and his family, friends, musical collaborators, contemporaries and heroes, including late music icons B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and George Harrison. Life in 12 Bars, which has been submitted for Oscar consideration, is produced by Abramorama, which has previously released music-driven films about the Beatles, The Grateful Dead, Clive Davis and Sean Combs. - The Hollywood Reporter, 11/3/17...... A breach of contract lawsuit was filed against Universal Music Group/Vivendi on Nov. 6 in Los Angeles by Overrated Productions, which alleges that UMG has been "willfully underpaying" royalties on Player's 1977 No. hit "Baby Come Back." Overrated Productions, which earlier in 2017 acquired the rights to the work from producer Dennis Lambert and his Haven Records, also claims UMG has been concealing the underpayment by providing statements that were "intentionally confusing at best and misleading at worst." Overrated Productions says the song is still actively licensed, and has recently appeared in everthing from The Simpsons to Toyota commercials. The complaint claims the rights and accounting for the master recordings were transferred to a European entity to artificially lower royalty payments by skimming 25 percent off the top for an "intra-company payment." Therefore, Overrated argues, UMG has failed to pay the correct amounts for synchronization licenses, record sales, digital downloads, ringtones, streaming and other licenses of the masters. UMG has not yet commented on the lawsuit. - The Hollywood Reporter, 11/6/17...... Ozzy Osbourne announced on Nov. 5 that he'll be hitting the road one last time in 2018 for a farewell solo tour that, this time, he swears will be his last although it is slated to last well into the year 2020. "This will be my final world tour, but I can't say I won't do some shows here and there," the Black Sabbath frontman said in a statement. "But after 2,500 shows don't expect the 68 year-old heavy metal icon to do something quite this big ever again. Osbourne will be backed up by his longtime collaborators Zakk Wylde (guitar), Blasko (bass), Tommy Clufetos (drums) and Adam Wakeman (keyboards). - Billboard, 11/6/17...... A diverse collection of musicians including Patti Smith, Joan Baez, Michael Stipe, Cat Power and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers participated in a climate change awareness benefit at Carnegie Hall on Nov. 5, 2017 in New York City. Co-organized by Jesse Paris Smith, the daughter of Patti Smith, the "NYC Pathway to Paris Concert" also featured impassioned speakers who urged audience members to write to legislators to demand they divest from fossil fuels, and rallied the crowd behind the "1000 Cities" campaign, which seeks to have the world's cities go beyond even what the Paris climate agreement sought and pledge to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2040. - Billboard, 11/6/17...... In related news, Paul McCartney slammed US Pres. Donald Trump in an interview with the BBC on Nov. 5 for the president's decision earlier this year to pull out of the Paris climate agreement to cut global emissions. "It's not the total solution, but it's part of the solution," the former Beatle said. "A lot of people have been saying this for a long time but there's resistance. Particularly when you've got someone like Trump who says that it (climate change) is just a hoax. A lot of people like myself think that's just madness so it's maybe a good time now to try and focus people's attention and say 'look, forget about him we can do something'," he added. Macca is promoting a new short film called One Day a Week which encourages people to go just one day a week without eating animal products to help the environment. Sir Paul has also revealed he's written a new song about Pres. Trump which will be featured on his next album, which is due before the end of 2017. - New Musical Express, 11/6/17...... In other Beatles-related news, British artist Chris Barker has once again re-imagined the Fab Four's iconic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band LP cover to update the musicians, actors and other celebrities who have passed away in 2017. Barker's 2017 Sgt. Pepper's montage, which can be viewed at pic.twitter.com/piWGmUiZwk, features the likes of Tom Petty, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Mary Tyler Moore, Robert Guillaume, Bill Paxton, Sam Shepard, Al Jarreau, Don Rickles, Martin Landau, Charlie Murphy, Jerry Lewis, Hugh Hefner, Harry Dean Stanton, Adam West, John Hurt and Roger Moore, among others. In 2016, Barker's Sgt. Pepper's re-imagining honored deceased celebrities including David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Sir George Martin and Gene Wilder, among many others, and it received millions of retweets and much online and printed attention. Barker says he isn't sure if the re-imagining of the Sgt. Pepper's cover will be an annual event, but "if we don't get a hold on climate change, hate crime, gun violence and world leaders threatening nuclear annihilation during their morning bowel movement, then we might not have too many more years, so it's down to all of us really." - Billboard, 11/7/17...... Elton John will be honored at Harvard University on Nov. 11 for his philanthropic efforts to fight HIV and AIDS. John, 70, will be awarded the Harvard Foundation's Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award in a ceremony. Elton, who runs his own AIDS foundation, said in a statement that the award was "both gratifying and tremendously humbling." "I will continue to sustain and grow the progress we've made to eradicate stigma and end the spread of HIV/AIDS, once and for all," he added. Previous winners of the award include former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. - AP, 11/6/17...... A recently unearthed interview from 2014 reveals that Bob Dylan once teamed up with Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm writer/director Larry Charles to pitch a slapstick comedy show to cable TV's HBO during the 1990s. Although HBO approved the project, Dylan lost interest in it before it could ever emerge, however Larry Charles went on to rework the idea into the 2003 big screen drama Masked and Anonymous, which starred Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Jessica Lange and Bob Dylan himself. - New Musical Express, 11/6/17...... Kenny Rogers, who has announced he's heading into retirement after a six-decade-long music career, was honored with a Legacy Award at the SESAC Nashville Music Awards on Nov. 5 in Nashville, Tenn. After several artists including Kim Carnes reprised some of Rogers' most familiar material, including "Lady," "Don't Fall in Love with a Dreamer" and "The Gambler," Rogers accepted the award and thanked the writers for allowing him to be the vessel for their songs. Rogers, whose career included a stop in jazz before doing folk music with the New Christy Minstrels and dabbing in psychedelia with the First Edition, said that "genre is a not a word I understand," which elicited cheers. - Billboard, 11/6/17...... Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen has announced he'll make a special Veteran's Day appearance at the Wentworth Gallery in Atlanta, Ga., on Nov. 11 to launch his "Rock Allen: Drums For Peace" art tour to benefit military veterans. Allen, who lost his left arm in a New Year's Eve 1984 car crash, says he feels a special connection to those returning from duty with debilitating injuries, and he and his wife Lauren Monroe have established their own charity, the Raven Drum Foundation, to provide assistance to the troops. Allen's artwork is a mixed media collection that includes his paintings on drum heads, toy buses, clothing and other objects. Allen also has exhibitions booked for New York and Washington, D.C. for 2018, with more to be scheduled to coincide with Def Leppard performances. The group, meanwhile, is "in recovery mode" after touring to celebrate the Hysteria album's 30th anniversary this year. - Billboard, 11/6/17...... Australian rock musician/songwriter/producer George Young, a former member of the Aussie '60s band The Easybeats who co-wrote The Easybeats' classic hit "Friday on My Mind," died on Oct. 22. He was 70. Young also co-produced records by the likes of AC/DC, John Paul Young, The Angels and Rose Tattoo, and is the older brother of AC/DC members Angus and Malcolm Young. After touring with bands like the Rolling Stones in the late '60s, the Easybeats broke up. George Young then formed Albert Productions in Sydney with Ted Albert, which became an indie powerhouse. In 1988 he was inducted, along with Easybeats guitarist Harry Vanda, into the inaugural class of the ARIA Hall of Fame, and again as a member of the Easybeats in 2005. "Without George Young, AC/DC would not exist," the band said in a statement. "He was a pioneer who, with close friends Harry Vanda and Ted Albert, created a new sound for the Australian music industry." Easybeats frontman Stevie Wright died in 2015 at the age of 68. - 10/24/17...... Singer Robert Knight, best known for first charting the country-soul song "Everlasting Love" in 1967, died on Nov. 5 following a short, undisclosed illness. He was 72. Knight began his career in 1959, when he formed a vocal group with some high school pals known as The Paramounts. He joined a second group during his college years, The Fairlanes, landing a solo deal with songwriters/producers Buzz Cason and Fred Foster's label Rising Sons Music. It was Cason, along with songwriter partner Mac Gayden, who wrote "Everlasting Love," the Motown-style track with its uplifting chorus that would make Knight a star when it was released in 1967, crossing from the R&B charts to the pop listing and peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Although he charted such lesser hits as "Blessed are the Lonely" and "Isn't it Lonely Together" afterward, he moved away from music later in life to focus on a job at Vanderbilt University in Nashville as a lab technician, chemistry teacher and member of the grounds crew. "Everlasting Love," meanwhile, proved to have everlasting popularity, having been by everyone from U2 to Gloria Estefan. Between its various versions, the song has become a Hot 100 top 40 hit in each of the '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s. - Billboard, 11/6/17.
In a new interview with the UK paper The Guardian, Robert Plant has revealed he can no longer listen to some tracks by his iconic former band Led Zeppelin. "Songs like [Led Zeppelin I's] 'Babe I'm Going To Leave You'... "I find my vocals on there horrific now. I really should have shut the f--k up!," said Plant, who is still known to perform selections from Led Zep's extensive back catalogue during his solo shows. Plant, who recently released his latest solo album Carry Fire, said told another UK paper in October that he wouldn't consider being part of a Led Zep reunion, saying "I've got to keep moving." Plant also about his 1975 automobile accident which left him confined to a wheelchair for several months, including into the recording of 1976's Presence LP. "The whole of that album, Presence, is absolutely racked with pain. Plus, the fraternity of the band at the time was stretched to breaking point," he said. - New Musical Express, 11/2/17...... Neil Young has announced he'll release The Visitor, his follow-up to 2016's Earth, on Dec. 1 via Reprise Records. The Visitor wil be Young's first album with his backing band Promise of the Real and will feature Willie Nelson's son Lukas Nelson, who has previously fronted the Promise of the Real. On Nov. 3, Young shared The Visitor's first single, "Already Great." Meanwhile, on Nov. 2 Young announced he'll be auctioning off a large portion of his possessions that he's come to accumulate over the years, including his "personal collection of model trains, classic cars, guitars, recording gear, clothing, memorabilia, and more." "Collecting all of these items have been my great joy," Young said in a statement. "They have provided a source of inspiration, fun and creativity throughout my life. Now it is time to share them with others in the world whom I hope will enjoy and love them as much as I have," he added. Young, a longtime model train enthusiast, is credited with inventing the CAB-1, the first truly user-friendly remote control in the toy train industry, and backed the creation of the Trainmaster Command Control, which allows owners to run multiple trains at once. All of the items will be visible for public viewing at Julien's Auctions Gallery in Los Angeles from Dec. 4-9, with the auction taking place both at the gallery and online on the 9th. Fans can register online to participate in the auction. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Bridge School in California. - Stereogum.com/Billboard, 11/3/17...... A new song by Bruce Springsteen called "Freedom Credence" is featured in the new Miles Teller-starring movie Thank You For Your Service. Over a spare beat, Springsteen sings, "Some say is freedom is free/ But I tend to disagree/ I say freedom is won/ With the blood of someone's son." Thank You For Your Service tells the story of returning Iraq War veterans dealing with PTSD. - Stereogum.com, 10/31/17...... Michael Jackson has once again topped the Forbes top-earning dead celebrities list for the fifth year in a row. Jackson, who died eight years ago, earned an estimated $75 million in 2016 from earnings boosted by a new greatest hits album, a Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil show and a stake in the EMI music publishing catalog. Two other '70s artists also made the top five, Elvis Presley in fourth place with $35 million and Bob Marley in fifth place with $23 million. In other Jackson-related news, Michael's son Prince Michael Jackson was hospitalized on Nov. 2 after being involved in a motorcycle accident. Prince Michael is Jackson's oldest son, and details of the crash weren't known other than that the 20-year-old was taken to an emergency room at a nearby Los Angeles hospital. He was released from the hospital shortly after he arrived with no major injuries sustained, and apparently made it to his class at Loyola Marymount University on time, posting "Well shit..." via Instagram during his ride in the ambulance. - AP/Billboard, 11/2/17...... On Nov. 2 the Beatles announced plans to release a limited-edition box set of their Christmas holiday messages, originally given only to fan club members on flexi-discs from 1963 to 1969, on Dec. 15. The set will include seven 7-inch colored vinyl singles, one for each of the legendary band's seven Christmas messages during the time they were a unit. The Christmas records have never been given general release as a set before, though one was made available as part of The Beatles Rock Band video game. The seven holiday messages were originally titled "The Beatles Christmas Record" (1963), "Another Beatles Christmas Record" (1964), "The Beatles Third Christmas Record" (1965), "Pantomime -- Everywhere It's Christmas" (1966), "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" (1967), "The Beatles Sixth Christmas Record" (1968) (which includes a guest appearance by Tiny Tim singing the Beatles song "Nowhere Man"), and "The Beatles Seventh Christmas Record" (1969). Each single will include a sleeve with the original artwork from the fan club discs, and the box will also have an added 16-page booklet with recording notes and reproductions of the fan club newsletters that was sent to fans with the original discs. Also on Dec. 15, the Beatles will continue their celebration of the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with three more releases -- a high-res audio version (90kHZ/24 bit) of the deluxe edition of the album from earlier in the year, along with two vinyl discs. The hi-res tracks package will feature the 2017 stereo mix as produced by Giles Martin, plus 18 added tracks with complete alternate takes, an instrumental mix of "Penny Lane" and two alternate takes of "Strawberry Fields Forever." The two vinyl versions will feature a 180-gram black vinyl album and a limited vinyl picture disc. Meanwhile, the 2016 Ron Howard-directed Beatles film Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years will premiere Nov. 25 on PBS. - Billboard, 11/2/17...... In other Beatles news, what is being touted as "the world's rarest Beatles album" is expected to go under the hammer later in November. The album, which is expected to fetch over $200,000, is an early edition of the quartet's 1966 Yesterday and Today album once owned by John Lennon and sporting hand-drawn sketches by him, and features an infamous photo of the Fab Four dressed as butchers. It remains one of the only copies in existence after executives at Capitol Records ordered the destruction of albums featuring the contentious photograph. Lennon's personal copy was among the rare survivors, and he gave it to Beatles collector Dave Morrell in 1972 in return for memorabilia and bootleg material. The LP also has a message from Lennon to Morrell: "To Dave, from John Lennon," alongside a date of December 7 1971. "This piece is rare because one it's the butcher cover that was withdrawn and never sold on the market after the second day," says Gary Shrum of Heritage Auctions. "It's John Lennon's personal copy, it's a prototype that had a blank back, which John did artwork on the back of. Plus it's a stereo copy which was the rarest of the butcher covers, because only a few stereo copies got out when they were for sale," he added. - New Musical Express, 10/31/17...... In related news, a letter written by John Lennon's murderer, Mark Chapman, was recently sold through Serial Killers Ink, a website which specializes in selling the items of infamous criminals. The letter, written by Chapman to a pen pal only identified as "Michael," reveals that Champan believes he has been forgiven by Jesus for his actions. "Jesus is everything," he wrote. "I have found this through the many long years here at Attica [the New York state jail where he was imprisoned until 2012]. He chose to die so that our sins -- even mine -- could be forgiven. Twelve years ago I shot and killed the rock superstar John Lennon, formerly of The Beatles. Let me say here that it was a horrible occurrence, I have never forgotten it." The letter was sold to a private buyer for £265. - NME, 11/1/17...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, Paul McCartney and his daughters Mary and Stella McCartney are continuing their "Meat Free Monday" campaign with the launch of a new short film titled One Day a Week to encourage people to go just one day a week without eating animal products. The film is being released ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in the second week of November and focuses on animal agriculture as an under-covered aspect of climate change. The foundation of Meat Free Monday is to "raise awareness and inspire people to make a change in their diets from an early achievable starting point." "There's a simple but significant way to help protect the planet and all its inhabitants," McCartney says in the film. "And it starts with just one day a week. One day without eating animal products can have a huge impact in helping maintain that delicate balance that sustains us all." One Day a Week is narrated by McCartney and features his own music -- tracks from his 1997 orchestral album Standing Stone and an unreleased song called "Botswana." - Billboard, 11/2/17...... Trouble No More, a new Bob Dylan concert documentary that explores the rock icon's conversion to Christianity that was marked by his starkly confessional 1979 album Slow Train Coming, premiered at theaters in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago and San Francisco on on Nov. 2. The following day, Columbia/Legacy released the film as part of the Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 deluxe box set, the latest installment in Dylan's ongoing Bootleg Series. The film highlights Dylan's brief, polarizing "gospel period," during which he released three studio albums: 1979's Slow Train Coming, 1980's Saved and 1981's Shot of Love in which the rock bard eschewed his earlier, secular material on the accompanying tour and often broke into fiery, apocalyptic sermons onstage. In other Dylan news, the singer's acceptance speech for winning the Nobel Prize in Literature has been released in a print version. Simon & Shuster published a 23-page "book" of Dylan's humorous and insightful diatribe on Oct. 31. The book is also available in a limited collector's edition: 100 "individually signed and numbered hardcover copies" are available for $2,500 each. A more affordable version of the printed lecture, in which the singer riffs on such topics as Melville, All Quiet on the Western Front, Odysseus, and Leadbelly, is being sold for $16.99. - Billboard/Spin.com, 11/1/17...... New Orleans paid tribute to their favorite son Fats Domino on the evening of Nov. 1 with a second line procession to honor the late "Blueberry Hill" singer who passed away on Oct. 24 at 89. The raucous march of thousands was packed with horn players, families, tambourines, colorful parasols, Mardi Gras Indians and some special guests, with police reporting as many as 10,000 attendees. Among the attendees was Domino's grandson, Chevis Domino, as well as fellow New Orleans musical icons Dr. John and Trombone Shorty, who gathered with some of Domino's family on the porch of the singer's former home on Caffin Ave. in the Lower Ninth Ward. Domino's family has not yet announced official funeral arrangements, but released a statement from daughter Adonica Domino following the procession thanking fans for "all the beautiful words, tributes and celebrations honoring our father." - Billboard, 11/2/17...... In an interview with Livewire.com, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi says that his cancer will "probably" come back. Iommi, who was first diagnosed with lymphoma in early 2012 but announced that it was in remission in Aug. 2016, says it was always hard for him to travel after his diagnosis. I love playing on the road, I love being in the band, I love playing to the fans, but it's just the other side. You can only do what you can do and your physical side takes over and you get tired. And after doing so many shows, I really did get tired." "To me, it's never gonna go away; it's always gonna be there," he continued about his cancer diagnosis. "According to my oncologist, the professor, he said it's probably gonna come back. So it's hard to sort of go, 'Oh, well, that's brilliant then.' But I do live [day] by day now, and just every day is a winner, really. And we'll see. I hope it doesn't come back, but you never know." - New Musical Express, 11/1/17...... Three half siblings of Prince, Sharon, Norrine and John R. Nelson, filed a motion on Oct. 28 to remove Comerica Bank & Trust as executor of Prince's estate. The Nelsons are upset that Comerica recently removed the contents of Prince's vault, including master tapes of unreleased music, from his Paisley Park studio complex in Minnesota and shipped the materials to California. The three heirs contend that Comerica did not ask their permission. Comerica has said the company discussed the move with the heirs. - AP, 10/31/17...... The UK paper The Sun is reporting that Mick Jagger, 74, has recently spent several nights in Paris with his 22-year-old girlfriend, Noor Alfallah, when the Rolling Stones played Paris in October. Jagger and Alfallah reportedly first hooked up at a private flat in the suburbs on a Sunday in early October, then the next day a chauffeur drove her back to her hotel. They repeated the routine on Tuesday and Wednesday. The US-born socialite and film producer watched the Stones perform at the city's U Arena the next night and they enjoyed three more dates in late October. A source said: "Mick still has his legendary charm but even the band were surprised someone as young and beautiful as Noor came to Paris to see him. They are both single and seemed to have a lot of fun together, so everyone just let them get on with it. Mick is showing absolutely no sign of slowing down. He certainly had a smile on his face and famous twinkle in his eye." - TheSun.com, 10/29/17...... Steely Dan played their first UK show since the death of founder member Walter Becker on Oct. 29 at The O2 in London as part of Bluesfest. Becker's musical partner Donald Fagen paid tribute to him during the gig, commenting: "We're a little different than we were a few a months ago but I gotta live with that." Fagen and his 12 piece band played a groove-ridden set that drew upon the band's classic albums from the 1970s, including "Rikki Don't Lose That Number," "Bodhisattva," "My Old School" and "Peg" as well as "Hey Nineteen" and "Babylon Sisters" from 1980's Gaucho. Backing vocals came from the three "Danettes." Opening for Steely Dan were the Doobie Brothers. - NME, 10/30/17...... Keith Wilder, a vocalist with the '70s disco era group Heatwave, has died at 67. Wilder's late brother, Johnny Wilder, formed the band in 1975. Heatwave is best known for their hit singles "Boogie Nights" (1976) and "Always and Forever" and "The Groove Line" (1977).