Thursday, December 18, 2014

Adopt The Arts Benefit To Honor Billy Gibbons, Butch Trucks In Hollywood

Adopt The Arts will launch a live benefit concert and event for LAUSD elementary schools on Monday, January 12 at The Roxy (9009 W. Sunset Blvd.) in West Hollywood. 

Music luminaries will gather to perform with and honor Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) and Butch Trucks (Allman Brothers Band) for their contributions to American art and culture. Artists confirmed to perform so far include Billy Gibbons, Butch Trucks, Slash, Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver), Steve Lukather (Toto), Edgar Winter, Jimmy Vivino (Conan O’Brien) vocalist Franky Perez, Adopt The Arts founder Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) and many more special guests to be announced soon.

The Disreputable Few, a group of surprise killer musicians, will serve as the backing band for the night. The proceeds will go to the Adopt the Arts music programs in LAUSD elementary schools (see VIP ticket/donation below). Tickets are on-sale now at http://adoptthearts.org.

Adopt the Arts is a Los Angeles-based charity co-founded by Sorum and activist Abby Berman that works to preserve arts programs in U.S. public schools.  To raise awareness, the organization honors individuals who have had a long-lasting impact on music culture and who inspire young musicians to follow in their footsteps.

Actress Jane Lynch was the first celebrity to sign onto Adopt the Arts and is on the Board of Directors; the advisory board also includes: Slash, John Stamos, Billy Bob Thornton, Steve Stevens, Juliette Lewis, Danny Masterson, Shepard Fairey, Adrian Young and Gina Gershon.

According to Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), 50% of elementary school children in the district are not receiving arts education of any kind.  As in many school districts around the country, LAUSD has been slowly eroding its commitment to arts education, reducing the budget incrementally.  The LAUSD district also estimates that 80% of its student body is living at or below the poverty line, which means the vast majority of these elementary school children will not have access to the arts outside of school.

“Adopt the Arts was born out of the frustration for my own children losing education in the arts,” explains Berman. “When the system is failing, we have to take action.  With influential people like my co-founder Matt Sorum adopting schools, we can preserve this valuable component to childhood development, which is also known to boost test scores.  Because Federal and State funding is falling short, the responsibility is upon us as concerned parents and citizens to ensure we’re raising a new generation of healthy and well-rounded individuals.”

Sorum adds, “We’re starting in our own backyard here in Los Angeles, and we’ll continue to adopt schools across the nation.  We believe that art is a universal and necessary language that unites us all, regardless of our backgrounds.”

Ticket prices for this event are below; all donations are tax deductable:
1)    General: $75
2)    VIP: $125 (includes seating in VIP section w/hors d'oeuvres)
3)    VVIP: $250 (includes V-VIP section w/hors d'oeuvres and artist Meet and Greet at soundcheck)

Tickets are on-sale now and can be purchased at http://adoptthearts.org.

The Babys Score Top 10 Hit On Billboard's Hot Singles Sales Chart

Ending 2014 on a high note, The Babys, who released their first new album in 30 years this past summer, hit #9 this week on the Billboard Hot Single Sales chart for “I See You There.”

The Babys’ 2014 release I’ll Have Some Of That, which received much critical praise, was a return to form of the band’s melodic rock radio sound. The band features original members Wally Stocker (lead guitar) and Tony Brock (drums) joined by new members Joey Sykes (guitar) and John Bisaha (lead vocals/bass). Plans for a 2015 tour are in effect.

“I See You There” joins a lineage of The Babys’ smash hits – “Every Time I Think Of You,” “Isn’t It Time,” “Head First,” and “Back On My Feet Again,” to name a few. The song made a bounding climb on the charts from 128 to 32 to 12 to its current position.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Randy Bachman Announces Heavy Blues Project For Release In April

Randy Bachman, co-founder and principal songwriter for the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, is forging ahead into 2015 with a brand new project billed simply as Bachman. Joined by a virtuoso rhythm section with Anna Ruddick on bass and Dale Anne Brendan on drums, the trio’s debut effort entitled Heavy Blues will be available worldwide on April 15, 2015 through Linus Entertainment.

Heavy Blues draws from the unlikely trio’s love of classic 60s blues rock and emerges with a blistering sound, a fierce and fearless collection of Bachman originals.

Featuring an enviable list of Randy Bachman’s contemporaries including Neil Young, Joe Bonamassa, Robert Randolph and the late Jeff Healey, each musician contributes their signature-style guitar solos blending classic blues and rock with a modern undertone.

Produced by producer Kevin Shirley (Iron Maiden, Rush, Led Zeppelin), Heavy Blues marks the rare occasion that Randy Bachman has relinquished the producer reins.

“'I’ve known Kevin for many years and watched his producer credits grow to include many rock legends,” Bachman said. “I knew that he could push me past my limit, pull me onto new paths and direct me down new roads. The collaboration, paired with Dale Anne and Anna’s musical ferocity, has made this entire project an amazing experience for me.”

Earlier this year, Bachman released a CD/DVD set Vinyl Tap: Every Song Tells A Story. He's been awarded Order of Canada, ASCAP’s Global Impact honour, Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville, and received two separate inductions into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

2015 Rock Hall Of Fame Inductees Announced

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced the inductees for its class of 2015 and four first-time nominees – Lou Reed, Green Day, Bill Withers and Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – have made the cut. Three other first-time nominees – Sting, The Smiths and Nine Inch Nails – did not garner enough votes to gain induction.

Reed, who co-founded the enormously influential band the Velvet Underground in the 1960s and then launched his solo career, died last year. He and blues-rock guitar great Vaughan, who died in 1990, will both be honored posthumously at next year's induction ceremony.

Also set to be inducted are Joan Jett and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (whose harmonica-playing namesake died in 1987). Former Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr, who was not on the ballot, will receive the Award for Musical Excellence. He was the only member of the Fab Four to not also be honored individually by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The long defunct doo-wop group The Five Royales will receive the Early Influence Award.

The 30th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony will take place April 18 at Public Hall in Cleveland, which is the home of the 19-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum. The induction ceremony and concert will be open to the public. Tickets, priced at $75 to $300 each, go on sale Thursday at 7 a.m., California time, at ticketmaster.com and by phone at (800) 745-3000.

"As we mark 30 years of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions, we’re proud to honor these artists,” said Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation President Joel Peresman. "These Inductees epitomize rock and roll’s impact over the past 50 years and continuing through today."

In addition to Sting, The Smiths and Nine Inch Nails, six other nominees – all of whom had been on the ballot before – did not get enough votes for induction. They include Chic, Kraftwerk, The Marvelettes, N.W.A., The Spinners and War, whose leader, Lonnie Jordan, is a San Diego native. This marked the ninth time that disco pioneers Chic made the ballot without earning a sufficient number of votes for induction.

Artists become eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first recording. Nominees are voted on by a group of approximately 700 artists, historians, music industry professionals and critics.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Jerry Garcia Love Letters Expected To Fetch $15,000 At Auction

A former Vogue model has decided to sell two love letters sent to her by the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia in order to pay her medical bills.

The eight handwritten pages, which include a detailed description of a performance by the band as well as drawings by the guitarist, will be put under the hammer by New Hampshire-based auction house RR Auction this January.

The anonymous woman, who apparently met the rocker at a party in New York City in 1980, said that Garcia 'was a person who you felt you knew. Very easy to be with.'

While the pair were never intimate, they shared a two-year friendship and the letters undoubtedly reveal a tenderness between them.

His first letter begins: 'Thank you for sending me that postcard! I feel like it's sort of our first "official" communication somehow. I've been hoping we could get together ever since we first met at Al's that winter nite so long ago (sigh).'

He continued later on on the next page: 'I hope it doesn't seem like I've been avoiding you, although I admit I've kind of been waiting for the opportunity (that is, the "right" opportunity) for us to meet in some kind of neutral context that would be comfortable and relaxed and free of any pressure.'

At one point, the color of the pen changes, and Garcia explains charmingly in the letter: '(Hey! My pen stopped writing!)'

Bobby Livingston, executive vice president at RR Auction, believes the rare letters will fetch between $10,000 and $15,000,  "The rarity of this handwritten letter cannot be overstated,' he explained. 'Research indicates no others ever being on the market. Even Garcia himself noted, 'This is the first letter I've written in years.'"

Livingston added: "The unique sketch he drew of the Greek Theater, is particularly poignant as it relates to their Bay Area roots - this year would have been the band's 50th Anniversary."

Also approaching is the 20th anniversary of Garcia's death; he passed away in August 1995, just eight days after his 53rd birthday.