Monday, June 26, 2017

Empire State Building Light Show Syncs Up to Dead's 'Touch Of Grey'

Saturday night (June 24) in New York City,  Dead & Company, featuring Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann, played a show at Citi Field. 

During the band’s encore of “Touch of Grey,” a whirlwind light show took over the top of the Empire State Building, coordinated with the live performance of the song itself.


The venue sits almost 10 miles away from the Empire State Building, but that didn’t stop Dead and Co. from making the most of the NYC skyline.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Over 40,000 Attend 13th Annual Mountain Jam

A record 40,000+ music fans turned out over three days to attend the 13th Annual Mountain Jam, held June 16-18, 2017 at Hunter Mountain Resort (Hunter, NY) in the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County. 

The star-packed lineup for this year's festival was headlined by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Steve Miller Band, and The String Cheese Incident, and also included Peter Frampton, The Head and the Heart, Gary Clark Jr., Michael Franti & Spearhead and nearly 40 other artists on three stages.

"Mountain Jam 13 will be remembered for three incredible days of music highlighted by a legendary headlining performance by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers on Saturday night, in front of the largest Mountain Jam audience ever," said Gary Chetkof, one of the festival's organizers. "The weather held out all weekend, and there were smiling faces throughout the amazing natural amphitheater at Hunter Mountain."

The 14th Annual Mountain Jam will be held June 15 - 18, 2018. To purchase tickets, go to www.mountainjam.com.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

2009 David Lynch Benefit Concert Featuring Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr & More Coming To DVD

On September 1, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release the Change Begins Within Concert on DVD. Featuring sets from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, with each performing some of their best-known classics from The Beatles to Wings and beyond, and reuniting onstage for the finale, this incredible charity show also featured many other notable musicians like Sheryl Crow, Donovan, Eddie Vedder, Moby, Ben Harper, Paul Horn, Angelo Badalamenti, Betty LaVette, and Jim James. Jerry Seinfeld also appears in a guest performance.

This exhilarating, star-studded benefit concert was recorded on April 4, 2009 in New York City. It was this show, dubbed “Change Begins Within”, that launched the David Lynch Foundation into an entirely new level of public awareness. As these globally renowned artists took to the stage at a sold-out Radio City Music Hall, they helped raise funds for the Foundation’s international initiative to teach one million at-risk children to meditate - and to begin to change their world from within.

All those present at this remarkable concert were committed to helping the charity in its aim of bringing meditation to students everywhere and helping disadvantaged youth reach their full potential. In addition to superb individual performances, the musicians at this celebratory concert joined forces on many songs and the whole Change Begins Within show is characterized by a powerful, joyful onstage camaraderie and unity.

TRACK LISTING

Natural Blues - Moby, Betty LaVette, TM Choir
Rise - Eddie Vedder
Under Pressure - Eddie Vedder & Ben Harper
My Sweet Lord - Sheryl Crow
Hurdy Gurdy - Donovan & Jim James
Isle of Islay - Donovan and Paul Horn
It Don't Come Easy - Ringo Starr
Boys - Ringo Starr
Yellow Submarine - Ringo Starr
Baby You Can Drive My Car - Paul McCartney
Jet - Paul McCartney
Got To Get You Into My Life - Paul McCartney
Let It Be - Paul McCartney
Here Today - Paul McCartney
Band On The Run - Paul McCartney
With A Little Help From My Friends - Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr
Cosmically Conscious - All members
I Saw Her Standing There - All members

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Video Premiere: Gerry Beckley's 'Serious'

Gerry Beckley is best known as one of the founders of the band America. His many hits and classics include “I Need You,” “Daisy Jane,” “You Can Do Magic,” and, of course, “Sister Golden Hair.” Today, with the singer and songwriter still going strong, we present the official video for his song "Serious" from his 2016 solo album Carousel on Blue Elan Records.


Recorded at Beckley's Los Angeles studio Human Nature, Carousel highlights Beckley's strengths as the singer, songwriter and musician played most of the instruments on the album.

"With a solo project I'm really a committee of one," says Beckley. "There's only myself to please. Having said that, it's not always easy. Each project is a snapshot in time. The material on Carousel came from a wide scope of inspiration."

Carousel contains original standouts such as the deeply personal "Lifeline," "No Way I'm Gonna Lose You" (co-written with Dan Wilson who won an award for his work with Adele) and "Tokyo," which Beckley says, "came to me while I was waiting to board a flight home from Japan. I seem to remember I lost track of time and almost missed the flight."

There are also three covers on which Beckley puts his distinctive spin: Spirit's "Nature's Way," Gerry Rafferty's "To Each and Everyone," and Gerry and The Pacemakers' "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying."

"I've fortunately never been short on inspiration for my original material but I do love to record a cover every so often," says Beckley. "These three are of course from my long list of fave songs."

Gerry Beckley on tour with America:

June 23 // Pasadena, CA // The Rose Theater
June 24 // Marysville, WA // Tulalip Resort and Casino
June 29 // Tulsa, OK // Hard Rock Casino
July 1 // Agoura Hills, CA // Canyon Club
July 2 // Pleasanton, CA // Alameda County Fair
July 15 // Primm, NV // Star of the Desert Arena at Primm Valley Resorts
July 24 // Perth, AUS // Crown Theater
July 26 // Melbourne, AUS // Hamer Hall-Arts Center Melbourne
July 28 // Sydney, AUS // International Convention Centre Sydney
July 29 // Caloundra, AUS // The Events Centre
July 30 // Broadbeach, AUS // Broadbeach Country Festival
August 2 //Wollongon, AUS // WIN Entertainment Centre
August 3 // Canberra, AUS // Royal Theatre

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Lynyrd Skynyrd Members Head To Trial Over Plane Crash Movie

Newly unsealed court documents reveal a dispute emanating from a "blood oath" taken upon the plane crash that befell the 1970s band.

Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird" is a classic ode to independence. However, an individual's free will sometimes encounters legal limitations. Will a movie about a 1977 plane crash that killed two Lynyrd Skynyrd members, Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, and a backup singer, Cassie Gaines, be allowed to proceed? The answer could be entertained at a trial as soon as next month.

Heirs of Van Zant and Gaines, plus a few other surviving Lynyrd Skynyrd members, are looking to block production and distribution of a film entitled Street Survivor: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash. A lawsuit secretly filed last month in New York federal court was revealed on Friday when a judge rejected a bid for a preliminary injunction.

The dispute emanates from a "blood oath" taken upon the plane crash that befell the 1970s band which popularized Southern rock. As described in newly unsealed court papers, survivors agreed "never to use the name Lynyrd Skynyrd again in an effort not to capitalize on the tragedy that had befallen the group."

Ten years after the crash, a tour by surviving members of the band would set off litigation about use of the band's name. A judge at the time heard about the "blood oath," considered trademark law as well, and came to the conclusion that a Lynyrd Skynyrd Live album in conjunction with a 1987 tour would confuse consumers. Following the judge's order, the parties entered into a settlement agreement, adopted by a judge as a "Consent Order."

Artimus Pyle, who joined the band as a drummer in 1974, is described as a signatory to the Consent Order, although he evidently attempted to sign it "under protest." Nevertheless, suing  Lynyrd Skynyrd parties maintain he is restrained through agreement and court order from authorizing or participating in any story that purports to be a history of the band. Also being sued is the film division of Cleopatra Records.

In court papers opposing a preliminary injunction, Cleopatra's attorney says Pyle was once assisting in the writing of the script but that after plaintiffs complained about his role, Pyle's writing involvement ended. The defendant says he didn't direct or produce the film in question, and how the movie would not use the band's music and would begin with an explicit disclaimer stating that neither Lynyrd Skynyrd nor any band member had authorized the film. Cleopatra also argues that it isn't bound by the Consent Decree because it wasn't party to the legal action 30 years ago.

Street Survivor may be informed by Pyle's story of the plane crash and his involvement in the band, but Cleopatra points out that he has been interviewed about the subject on numerous occasions without objection. Cleopatra also draws attention to how Lynyrd Skynyrd has been on tour since February, suggesting plaintiffs may be in violation of the Consent Order.

Then, there's freedom, or more precisely, the First Amendment.

"Even if the Decree did not explicitly permit Cleopatra to interview Pyle, any references to the band or its members would have constituted a nominative fair use," writes the defendant's lawyer, Evan Mandel.

"This is not merely a case in which the defendant has not breached any obligation that it has to the plaintiff," he adds. "This is a case in which the defendant has an affirmative constitutional right to engage in the speech for which it is being sued: in producing and releasing the film, Cleopatra is exercising its right to make a film about a newsworthy event from the past, a form of constitutionally protected free speech."

In response, plaintiffs' attorneys at Otterbourg P.C. reject the proposition that stopping the film would constitute a prior restraint on speech.

"Cleopatra misstates the nature of this case," states a reply brief. "As made clear in the Motion, Cleopatra is free to make a movie about Lynyrd Skynyrd and/or about the plane crash. What Cleopatra is not free to do, however, is to make such a movie in concert and participation with Pyle in violation of the restrictions imposed on him by the Consent Order."

The Van Zant side is insisting that Pyle co-wrote the screenplay and is acting as the film's key publicist.

Cleopatra prevailed in the first round.

Last week, U.S. District Court judge Robert Sweet ordered the parties to engage in expedited discovery to be completed by June 23. The judge is overseeing a seeming rocket docket. He's scheduled a trial for July 11-12.