The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its class of 2018 inductees on Dec. 13, with The Moody Blues, The Cars, Dire Straits, Bon Jovi and soul singer/activist Nina Simone making the cut. Late gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe will also be inducted into the HOF's early influences wing. Nominated acts that were passed over by the Rock Hall this year include Rage Against the Machine, Eurythmics, Radiohead, Judas Priest, Kate Bush, Depeche Mode, J. Geils Band, LL Cool J, MC5, The Meters, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Link Wray and The Zombies. "On Friday, I couldn't really have cared less, but on Saturday the whole world looked different," Moody Blues singer/guitarist Justin Hayward, who had for years dismissed the Rock Hall and the Moodys notable exclusion from it, said. "My reaction was, 'Wow!' It's outstanding, really... I'm incredibly grateful to them for including us and it's an absolute privilege to be celebrated in the same building, on the same street, in the same town, even, as Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers." To be eligible for nomination, a band or artist had to have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to their year of induction, which means 2018 nominees had to release their first official recording no later than 1992. Ballots for this year's nominations were sent to an international voting body of more than 900 artists, historians and music industry members who weighed factors including musical influence on other artists, and length and depth of career and body of work, including "innovation and superiority in style and technique." The 33rd annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is slated to take place on Apr. 14 at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio, with inductors to be announced at a later date; the ceremony will be broadcast on HBO as well as SiriusXM. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 12/13/17...... Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has announced a a small number of East Coast tour dates for early 2018 that he says will be his "most ambitious" since the Talking Heads shows filmed by director Jonathan Demme for the acclaimed 1984 Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense. Byrne's 6-city US tour will kick off on Mar. 3 in Red Bank, NJ, also visiting Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (3/4), Buffalo, NY (3/6), Hershey, Pa. (3/7), Waterbury, Conn. (3/9) and Kingston, NY (3/10). Later in March, he'll travel to South America for shows in Santiago, Chile (3/16) and Buenos Aires (3/18), then hit Europe for shows in Zagreb, Croatia (6/25) and Roskilde, Denmark (7/6). - Spin.com, 12/13/17...... The producers of the new The Temptations musical "Ain't Too Proud -- The Life and Times of The Temptations" announced on Dec. 13 that the show will play a five-week "pre-Broadway engagement" run in the summer of 2018 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. Set against the backdrop of the civil unrest dividing America, the musical charts the rise of the Motown male-vocal group from the streets of Detroit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, achieving crossover success in the 1960s and '70s with such hits as "My Girl," "Just My Imagination" and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." The musical, which recently had its world premiere run at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, will play in Washington, D.C., from June 19 to July 22 in the Eisenhower Theater, with casting to be announced. It is directed by Des McAnuff and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo, who previously collaborated on the long-running Broadway smash "Jersey Boys." - The Hollywood Reporter, 12/13/17...... A new documentary of David Bowie's final years called David Bowie: The Last Five Years will make its television premiere on cable channel HBO on Jan. 8, what would have been the rock legend's 71st birthday. In a promotional trailer released ahead of the premiere, Bowie delves into his creative thought process. "Always go a little further into the water than you feel you're capable of being in and when you don't feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you're just about in the right place to do something exciting," he says. David Bowie: The Last Five Years premiered at DOC NYC in November and includes interviews with his longtime producer and friend, Tony Visconti, as well as band mates Earl Slick, Gail Ann Dorsey, Carlos Alomar and more. The project is directed by Francis Whately, who also helmed the 2013 Bowie doc David Bowie: Five Years which covered Bowie's career from 1970 to 1975. - Billboard, 12/12/17...... A new Tina Turner autobiography entitled My Love Story that covers such subjects in the rock/soul icon's life from "finding love" to surviving a "life-threatening illness" is expected to be released in the fall of 2018 by Atria Books. It will be the sequel to Turner's 1986 best-selling memoir I, Tina, which morphed into the classic 1993 biopic What's Love Got to Do With It. My Love Story, co-written by Turner and her collaborators Deborah Davis and Dominik Wichmann, will coincide with Turner's 60th anniversary as a working musician. - Billboard, 12/12/17...... The Grateful Dead alumns Phil Lesh and Bob Weir announced on Dec. 11 they'll embark on a three-city, six show tour on Mar. 2 and 3 at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The pair's first-ever tour as a duo, the run will also visit Boston's Wang Theater on Mar. 7 and 8, and then Chicago Theatre on Mar. 10 and 11. "We're going to play everything we can think of," Lesh says. "We're going to do his stuff, we're going to do my stuff, we're going to play Jerry [Garcia]'s stuff, we'll do Grateful Dead stuff and we'll do covers. We're going to try and play everything we've ever played together and maybe some new stuff too." "I think Bobby and Phil performing together for the first time as a duo will elevate people's spirits," says tour producer and GD magazine Relix publisher Peter Shapiro. "And we can probably use some of that right now." - Billboard, 12/11/17...... Collectible model trains owned by singer/songwriter and model train enthusiast Neil Young recently sold for almost $300,000 at an auction conducted by Julien's in Los Angeles. Young himself was present at the auction to help sell off some of the rarest pieces in his collection, like a "custom-painted Commodore Vanderbilt 4-6-4 locomotive," which sold for $10,000. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Bridge School in California, which was co-founded by Young and his ex-wife Pegi Young as a school for children with disabilities. Young started collecting model trains in the '90s as a way of bonding with his son Ben, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in 1978. - Spin.com, 12/11/17...... Paul McCartney played his first dates in Australia in 24 years beginning on Dec. 11 with a show in Sydney before 40,000 enthusiastic fans. The following evening, he played Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium -- his first solo date in the city -- and was in a chatty mood as he shared stories behind so many of his indelible solo and Beatles hits and his Beatles bandmates who are no longer with us. Opening with "A Hard Day's Night," the hits kept coming ("All My Loving," "Lady Madonna," "Eleanor Rigby," "A Day In The Life," "Band On The Run" (and much more), and tributes to John Lennon and George Harrison flowed. As the set proper came to its conclusion, McCartney held aloft the flag of Australia alongside crew members waving the Australian Aboriginal Flag, the Union Flag, and a rainbow flag, coming less than a week after Australia's Federal Parliament passed an historic law to legalize same-sex marriage. The 75-year-old rock legend encored with a mini-set of "Yesterday," "Get Back," "Mull of Kintyre," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "Helter Skelter," "Golden Slumbers" and "The End." - Billboard, 12/11/17...... Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has teamed up with Youth Villages' Inner Harbour campus in Douglasville, Ga., for a new women's shelter named "Janie's House," after the hit 1989 Aerosmith single "Janie's Got a Gun." The song's theme centers around child abuse and incest, and it reportedly took Tyler nine months to finish writing the lyrics. Tyler was on hand at the facility on Dec. 6 for a "scarf-cutting" for the new shelter. "While I was in (rehab), I found out most of women in there were battered and beaten and abused verbally and sexually in huge numbers," Tyler told CNN. "It was like seven out of 10, eight out of 10." "I'm hoping that [the abused girls] get some tools, some advice, some ways to work stuff out, some words of wisdom that they can then live by," he added. - New Musical Express, 12/10/17...... British singer and ex-model Samantha Fox has accused late The Partridge Family singer David Cassidy of being a "first class creep" who groped her and tried to put his hand up her skirt when she was 19. In an interview with the British tabloid The Daily Star, Fox claims Cassidy, who died on Nov. 21 from liver failure, followed her into a public bathroom in May 1985 where he groped her. "When he grabbed me and pushed his tongue down my throat, I just kneed him in the b"s," the model-turned singer said. Fox, 51, claims she'd originally agreed previously to appear topless in a music video at Cassidy's bequest for his single "Romance," but became disgusted when she realized he had an erection. "David seemed to be deliberately drawing out the photoshoot, which took an eternity, and he had an erection the entire time -- something he did absolutely nothing to hide," said Fox. Uncomfortable, she still agreed to accompany him to dinner later that evening, but had her father come along. "Growing up, I had a big poster of David Cassidy on my wall, and I used to kiss him every night before going to bed," Fox lamented. - The New York Post, 12/11/17...... A video for a new single by Gregg Allman, "Song for Adam," was released on Dec. 8, what would have been the late Southern rocker's 70th birthday. The ballad, written and originally released in 1972 by Allman's friend Jackson Browne, is about a man discovering that his friend committed suicide, and the beautifully-shot video has an warm-toned nostalgic feel. It was inspired by Browne's friend Adam Saylor, who died the following year after jumping from a hotel in Mumbai. Allman's version of "Song for Adam" is included in his posthumous 2017 album, Southern Blood. - Billboard, 12/8/17...... The storied house in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, that served as the home of fictional working-class heartthrob Tony Manero, played by John Travolta, in the 1977 classic movie Saturday Night Fever has been put up for sale. The house at 221 79th St. in Bay Ridge has a whopping asking price of almost $2.5 million. While mostly the exterior of the home, built in the 1920s, was granted screen-time in the film, its interior -- renovated in 2005 to include cherry wood floors, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances -- also made a few cameos in the film, and is often credited with putting the Brooklyn areas of Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst on the map. The film, filmed largely in the shadow of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017. In it, Travolta's character works as a paint store clerk in Brooklyn, while also living for the weekends when he and his friends can go to the local disco and dance the night away. - Brooklynreporter.com, 12/6/17...... Pat DiNizio, frontman of the 1980s power pop band The Smithereens, died on Dec. 12 at age 62 of as yet undisclosed causes, although he had been affected by health problems in recent years. In 2015, DiNizio lost the use of his right hand and arm following a pair of falls which caused serious nerve damage. DiNizio fronted the New Jersey-based The Smithereens from their inception in 1980, acting as the lead singer and principal songwriter. The four-piece band earned a cult following from their 1986 debut album Especially For You, which included the breakthrough radio track "Blood and Roses," and later scored with such hits as "A Girl Like You." The Smithereens took time away after the release of their 1999 album God Save The Smithereens before regrouping to record once again in 2007. The Smithereens were still an active touring band, and had been due to play live shows in January. DiNizio also released four solo albums, the last being 2009's Buddy Holly, and unsuccessfully ran for a New Jersey Senate seat back in 2000. - New Musical Express, 12/13/17..... Country music guitarist Leon Rhodes, known for his work with Ernest Tubb's Texas Troubadours, died on Dec. 9 at his home in Nashville, Tenn. He was 85. At 16, Mr. Rhodes snagged a job as a musician on The Big D Jamboree, a country music program on Dallas radio station KRLD-AM. A few years later, Ernest Tubb hired him to be the lead guitarist in the Troubadours, who he played with for seven years. He later worked as a session musician and spent more than 20 years as part of the band on the variety television program Hee Haw. "Your picking will be remembered and respected by those of us who admired you," Southern rock great Charlie Daniels tweeted in remembrance on Dec. 11. - Billboard, 12/11/17.
The Eagles' recently released remastered and expanded edition of their classic late 1976 LP Hotel California has entered the Billboard Hot 200 album chart at No. 44 after its release on Nov. 24. The 40th anniversary Hotel California 2-CD/1 Blu-ray Audio set was driven mostly by traditional album sales, selling 12,000 units. The original album spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 200 chart in 1977, and a total of seven months in the top 40 and scored three top 40 singles, the No. 1's "New Kid in Town" and "Hotel California," along with the No. 11 "Life in the Fast Lane." - Billboard, 12/8/17...... NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt announced on Dec. 8 that Alice Cooper will be portraying the flamboyant King Herod in the network's upcoming staged rock musical of "Jesus Christ Superstar Live!" "Alice Cooper, whose theatricality is the stuff of legend, is the perfect rock star to play Herod in our live production," Greenblatt said in a statement. "Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice wrote a showstopping musical number for Herod, and we all look forward to the 'King of Shock Rock' taking on the King of Judea," he added. "As the casting for Superstar ramps up, we can feel the excitement building for this brand new concert experience of what has long been considered the original rock musical." Cooper has previously been involved with the famous musical, having recorded "King Herod's Song" at the request of Webber and Rice for the 2000 release of a cast album from the 1996 production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" in the U.K. Directed by five-time Tony Award nominee British director David Leveaux, Jesus Christ Superstar Live!" is being produced by Universal Television and is set to air on NBC on Easter Sunday, Apr. 1. - The Hollywood Reporter, 12/8/17...... The Grateful Dead spinoff band Dead & Company has signed with the talent agency WME for exclusive representation in all areas, including music, film, television, books and endorsements. Dead & Company began touring in the fall of 2015 with two sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden in New York and have embarked on three record-breaking U.S. tours, with its 2017 summer tour drawing nearly 500,000 fans for 20 concerts. The band features Grateful Dead alums Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir, along with artist and musician John Mayer, Allman Brothers' bassist Oteil Burbridge and Fare Thee Well and RatDog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti. - Billboard, 12/7/17...... Sir Elton John is mourning the loss of his beloved mother, Sheila Farebrother, who passed away on Dec. 4 at age 92. "So sad to say that my mother passed away this morning," the 70-year-old pop icon wrote on both Instagram and Twitter, captioning a photo in which he and his mother are beaming. "I only saw her last Monday and I am in shock. Travel safe Mum. Thank you for everything. I will miss you so much. Love, Elton." John paid tribute to his late mom during a concert at Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany, the following evening, dedicating "Your Song" to her at the gig while describing the tune's origin. "Yesterday was a sad and hard day for me because my mother passed away... I'm glad to say she passed away peacefully, with no pain," Elton told the audience. "But maybe sooner than she should have done, so I was quite shocked. And I was thinking how I could pay tribute to her tonight, and what song I should choose." John then explained that he wrote "Your Song" at his mother's house and added, "I can remember every single minute of writing this song with Bernie [Taupin]. So this is the song I want to dedicate to her. And it's taken me from nowhere to somewhere. So thank you, mum." - Billboard, 12/7/17...... A 13-track Jimi Hendrix album featuring 10 unreleased songs by the rock guitar legend will be released on Mar. 9, Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings announced on Dec. 6. Both Sides of the Sky Many of the album's tracks were recorded by the Hendrix power trio Band of Gypsys, which featured drummer Buddy Miles and bassist Billy Cox. Stephen Stills also appears on two songs: "$20 Fine" and "Woodstock." "It sounds like Crosby, Stills & Nash except it's on acid, you know," says engineer Eddie Kramer. "Jimi is just rocking it," he added. "It's an amazing thing." Kramer also produced the album, alongside John McDermott and Janie Hendrix, the legend's sister and president of Experience Hendrix. Kramer says Both Sides of the Sky is the final installment of a Hendrix trilogy from his archive that began in 2010 with the release of Valleys of Neptune, followed by the 2013 release of People, Hell and Angels. - Associated Press, 12/7/17...... Chic co-founder Nile Rodgers posted on his blog that his prognosis is "100% recovery" after doctors discovered and removed a mysterious growth on his right kidney that was discovered while he was tourng with Earth, Wind & Fire in August. Rodgers was hospitalized after falling sick in Toronto with what turned out to be food poisoning, forcing him to miss a concert for the first time in his career. However his stint on the sidelines turned out to be a blessing in disguise. "Well...i t was cancer! In fact, it was two different cancers within one mass," Rodgers posted. Soon after, surgeons at the Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY removed the carcinogenic mass and Rodgers' prognosis is "100% recovery." Now the legendary producer, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and, after years of treatment, has finally gotten the all-clear. His recent projects include producing Daft Punk, publishing a memoir, and touring with Chic. - Billboard, 12/6/17...... A copy of the Beatles' 1962 debut single for their British label Parlophone, "Love Me Do," sold for $14,757 via the Discogs marketplace on Oct. 9, marking it the most expensive single ever sold on the vinyl-focused marketplace. It fell just $243 short of the all-time record set by a rare double 12" DJ version of Prince's Black Album, which sold for $15,000 in 2016. This "Love Me Do" is one of only 250 issued with Paul McCartney's name misspelled in the writing credit as "McArtney." - Billboard, 12/6/17...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney's incredibly rare and long-lost Christmas album, titled Unforgettable, has resurfaced over 60 years since it was first made. Macca made the album as a Christmas present in 1965 for his three Beatles bandmates, and while it features no new or original material from McCartney or the Beatles, it does feature Sir Paul introducing a playlist of tracks by the likes of The Rolling Stones, Elvis and Nat King Cole. In Mark Unterberger's book The Unreleased Beatles, McCartney is quoted as saying he "once put together something crazy, something left-field, just for the other Beatles, a fun thing which they could play late in the evening" on the same Brenell tape recorders that he made "experimental recordings and tape loops, like the ones in 'Tomorrow Never Knows.'" "It was just something for the mates, basically," he added. The three copies, plus McCartney's original, were reportedly the only ones to be made. Now, Unforgettable, which takes its title from the famous Nat King Cole song, has resurfaced on YouTube. - NME, 12/6/17...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, every Beatlemaniac's child as well as his parent will enjoy John Lennon - Imagine, a new children's book based on John Lennon's beloved 1971 classic anthem. Illustrated by Jean Jullien, the book includes a forward by Yoko Ono Lennon. - Entertainment Weekly, 12/8/17...... New from the Rolling Stones and Interscope Records is On Air, a collection of BBC recordings from 1963 to 1965 that captures the band's formative years, when they churned out rock & roll ditties with energetic ease. The 2-CD set's 28 tracks include 8 songs the band have never recorded or released commercially, were originally broadcast on bygone UK shows such as Saturday Club and Rhythm and Blues. - Entertainment Weekly, 12/8/17...... Film studio 21st Century Fox announced on Dec. 6 that director Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle) will be replacing Bryan Singer on the beleaguered Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody after Singer unexpectedly disappeared from the film's London set for a number of days and was ultimately fired from the project. The movie, starring Rami Malek as the Queen frontman, had been shooting in London but put on hold after Singer failed to show up on the set on Dec. 1. Singer issued a statement denying he had acted unprofessionally, and claimed Fox refused to allow him to tend to "a gravely ill parent" as well as to his own health. "I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen," he said in a statement, "but Fox would not permit me to do so because I needed to temporarily put my health, and the health of my loved ones, first." - The Hollywood Reporter, 12/6/17...... Bob Seger says his situation is "maddening" as he recovers from a surgery he had during October, which brought a premature end to his Runaway Train Tour after just 13 of its 33 announced dates. "It's my seventh week and I'm in a three-month recovery, which ends Jan. 22, so I'm about halfway through," Seger says. "The pain is down; I'd say it's one out of 10, but it's constant. It's nagging, and unfortunately I can't sing or play or lift anything more than five pounds, not over my head, until it's gone. So it's difficult to work out or anything. I can walk. That's about it. It's maddening." Seger added that his doctors told him it was "going to really hurt for about three months afterwards, but the payoff is (the surgery) didn't go anywhere near my larynx. They went in the back, so my voice is probably fine. So I think it's going to be OK, I really do. But, God, it's taking a long time..." Fortunately, Seger's health problems did not affect the release of his 18th studio album, I Knew You When, which came out Nov. 17 and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Current Rock Albums chart, No. 2 on Top Rock Albums and No. 25 on the Billboard 200. Seger says he's "kinda looking at mid-March" to return to the stage. "(I'm) hoping I'll be up and OK by then, but I just don't know. But we've got to do these 20 (shows) that are outstanding. We have 200,000 tickets out there, so we have to honor that. Those people have been great; They've held on to their tickets all this time, so that's the first thing we've got to do, but I don't know when, exactly." - Billboard, 12/6/17...... Earth, Wind & Fire announced on Dec. 5 that they'll be playing a 6-show residency at the Venetian Theatre at the Venetian Las Vegas on May 2, 4, 5, 9, 11 and 12, 2018. The group also announed that for every ticket sold, EW&F will donate $1 to the Las Vegas Victims Fund. The charity, which has raised millions of dollars in the aftermath of the October Vegas sniper tragedy, works to provide support to the victims and their families. Tickets went on sale to the general public on Dec. 8. - Billboard, 12/5/17...... Neil Young returned to his tiny hometown of Omemee, Canada (pop. 1,300) on Dec. 1 for a live-streamed solo acoustic concert at Coronation Hall for about 180 invited guests. An estimated 2,000 more locals and visitors flooded into the "town in north Ontario," the one he sings about in 1970's "Helpless," 80 miles northeast of his real birthplace, Toronto. Young's childhood home is just a short walk from Coronation Hall. The "sleepy little place," as Young referred to it in his memoir Shakey, is located on the Trans-Canada Highway -- one of the longest routes in the world that cuts through all 10 Canadian provinces. About 50 people were let into the show last-minute, which was produced by Bell Media, in partnership with Young's Shakey Pictures, and directed by his girlfriend Daryl Hannah. The 90-minute performance was streamed on CTV.ca and iHeartRadio.ca, and was on Facebook outside of Canada. - Billboard, 12/4/17...... Patti Smith had some strong words for Pres. Donald Trump during her appearance at the annual "Chairman's Evening" literature discussion at the Whitney Museum in Manhattan on Dec. 4. The punk poetess told the audience that she "doesn't know how people are even able to contain themselves and contain their rage" toward the current administration in Washington. "I always felt, even if I didn't agree with whomever was our president, I felt that I could still walk tall wherever I want. I still was myself. But there's something about this current administration where I feel tainted as a human being," said Smith, who won a National Book Award for her memoir Just Kids. Also participating in the even was author Salmon Rushdie. - AP, 12/5/17...... French rock star Johnny Hallyday, known as the "French Elvis," died on Dec. 6 after a battle with cancer for several months. He was 74. Hallyday began his singing career at the end of the 1950s specializing in French-language cover versions of famous songs by artists like Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochrane and Elvis Presley -- whose example inspired him to become a singer. Hallyday sold over 110 million records during a music career that spanned over half a century. Hallyday also gave the Jimi Hendrix Experience their very first gig as his opening act at the Paris Olympia in Oct. 1966. A highlight of his career was the 2001 concert he gave at the Eiffel Tower that attracted an audience of more than 600,000. During his career he recorded over 1,000 songs, about a hundred of which he wrote himself. He also topped the French charts more than 30 times. He also became an accomplished film actor, appearing in such French films as Les Diaboliques, Where Are You From Johnny?, Detective and Family Business. He also appeared in The Pink Panther 2, with Steve Martin, in 2009. - Variety.com, 12/6/17...... Bassist Robert "Pops" Popwell, who played with The Young Rascals and The Crusaders, has passed away at age 70. Born in Daytona Beach, Fla., in 1946, Popwell started his career in the '60s and quickly got work in the jazz and R&B worlds. His other recording credits include Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Smokey Robinson, Al Jarreau and George Benson. He also toured with artists like Bette Midler and Olivia Newton-John, and appeared in the film Hard to Hold with Rick Springfield. - 11/30/17.