Monday, November 30, 2009

Springsteen and E Street Band Wrap Tour In Buffalo

Early on in Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s final gig at the HSBC Arena
in Buffalo, New York, just before the Thanksgiving break, the Boss began telling a familiar story: a night in Asbury Park, New Jersey, circa 1971, when a gigantic saxophone player walked into a club and asked to sit in with the band.

“We got into a Cadillac at the end of the night and drove out to the outskirts of town,” Springsteen said as he called Clarence Clemons to the center of the stage to thunderous applause. “We got very sleepy and we fell into this long, long, long, long, long dream. And when we woke up, we were in fuckin’ Buffalo, New York!”

Coming into the show, many hardcore fans — who traveled to Buffalo from across the world like it was a pilgrimage to Mecca — worried that after this show the 38-year dream of the E Street Band might be over. During a marathon, three-and-a-half-hour, thirty-four-song concert Springsteen seemed determined to quell those fears by playing a ferocious set that proved the remarkable strength and vitality of the band as they approach their fourth decade.

“The E Street Band has come thousands of miles tonight to be here one last time — for a little while,” Springsteen told the crowd, emphasizing the world little. “It’s been just about the best time in our band’s work life. We want to thank you for supporting our old music, our new music, our tour.”

It was the old music that formed the core of the show, particularly the first-ever live performance of Springsteen’s 1973 debut album Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ. He dedicated it to John Hammond, the Columbia executive and producer who signed them to the label.

“This was the miracle,” he said, “This was the record that took everything from way below zero to… one.”

He was being modest. While the LP lacks the cohesiveness and raw emotion of The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle and the epic grandeur of Born To Run , it remains a tremendously solid, fun debut that fully warranted all the hype it received at the time of its release.

Shortly afterwards Springsteen dipped into deeper into the archives by busting out The River outtake “Restless Night.” Steve Van Zandt has long hailed it as a lost masterpiece that deserved a spot on the double album.

“For years he’s been asking to play this one song,” said Springsteen. “This is Stevie’s very favorite song of all time, it’s very obscure, it’s on the Tracks record. We’re gonna do this for his birthday tonight.”

Though bits of it seemed out of his range, it still sounded great and Steve grinned the entire time. Said Springsteen at the end: “Dammit, he might have been right all these years!”

The request portion of the show brought out a back-to-back Christmas shot of “Merry Christmas Baby” and the inevitable “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.” Afterward, he challenged the band with a fun and highly appropriate cover of Chuck Willis’ “(I Don’t Wanna) Hang Up my Rock and Roll Shoes.”

After some brief discussion about what key it was on, the band plowed forward even though it was clear not all of them knew it — though with a band that big it usually doesn’t matter. The main set wrapped up with “Born To Run” and “10th Avenue Freezeout.”

The encore began with the rarely played Magic track “I’ll Work For Your Love,” which was clearly aimed at Springsteen’s fans.

The previous two E Street Band tours ended with solemn performances of “Blood Brothers,” with tears running down the faces of many in the band. Many expected a repeat performance, but Springsteen wisely decided to not go out on a bummer and opted for John Fogerty’s “Rockin’ All Over the World.”

As the entire band locked hands at the end, Springsteen addressed the crowd: “We appreciate you coming out to see the E Street Band. So we’re gonna say goodbye, but just for a little while… a very little while.”

Saturday, November 28, 2009

HBO To Air Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Concert

About 100 songs were performed at the two Madison Square Garden concerts celebrating the 25th anniversary of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in October. But there was room for only about half of them on the four-hour HBO special set to debut Sunday, November 29, at 8 p.m. The special will be rebroadcast throughout December.

Highlights will include:

  • Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s renditions of “Fortunate Son”/“Oh, Pretty Woman” (with John Fogerty) and “New York State of Mind”/“Born to Run” (with Billy Joel)

  • U2’s performance of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” (with Springsteen) and “Gimme Shelter” (with Mick Jagger and Fergie)

  • Stevie Wonder’s take on “For Once in My Life” and “The Tracks of My Tears” (with Smokey Robinson)

  • Crosby, Stills and Nash’s “Woodstock,” “Almost Cut My Hair,” and “Love Has No Pride” (with Bonnie Raitt)

  • Paul Simon’s version of “Here Comes the Sun” (with David Crosby and Graham Nash)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Dylan Brings Christmas Cheer To The Homeless

Singer Bob Dylan recently reminisced about Christmas past, turkey dinners and his favorite holiday songs in a rare interview in a magazine for homeless people.

The 68-year-old singer has baffled fans and critics with his new album Christmas In The Heart, a collection of carols and traditional yuletide songs delivered in his croaking voice.

All proceeds will go to charities for the homeless and hungry in the United States, Britain and 80 poor countries.

Asked why he picked those organizations, Dylan told the interviewer: "They get food straight to the people. No military organization, no bureaucracy, no governments to deal with."

The exclusive interview appeared in The Big Issue magazine in Britain and similar street papers in North America.

Dylan said that although he's Jewish, he never felt left out of Christmas as a boy growing up in Minnesota. He recalled that there was "plenty of snow, jingle bells, Christmas carolers going from house to house, sleighs in the streets, town bells ringing, nativity plays."

His idea of a good Christmas dinner was roast turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy, collard greens and all the trimmings.

The songs on the Christmas album were "part of my life, just like folk songs," he said.

Why does Christmas have the best songs? "Maybe because it's so worldwide and everybody can relate to it in their own way."

The release of the Christmas album has only added to the enigma of Dylan and caps an eventful year for him.

He played more than 100 shows in Europe and North America as part of his Never Ending Tour and topped the charts in Britain and the United States with his album Together Through Life.

He was also detained by police in New Jersey in July when homeowners spotted a hooded man wandering around their street in the rain. The young police officer failed to recognize the Oscar- and Grammy-winning songwriter.

The Christmas album has also renewed speculation among Bob-watchers about his current faith, if any. He was a Born Again Christian from 1979-81 and released three religious-themed albums.

He cryptically told the interviewer: "I am a true believer" but did not elaborate further.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Batch of 25 Recordings Added To Grammy Hall Of Fame

The Recording Academy on Tuesday added songs by James Brown, Bob Marley, the Beach Boys, Louis Armstrong and others to its Grammy Hall of Fame, bringing the total number of titles in the collection to 851.

The latest batch of 25 recordings added to the list includes Brown's 1966 "It's A Man's Man's Man's World" and Marley's 1973 album Catch A Fire, which the Jamaican reggae great recorded with his band The Wailers, the academy said.

Also on the list was the Beach Boys' 1965 song "California Girls," jazz master Louis Armstrong's 1931 "Lazy River" and the 1972 comedy album Class Clown from George Carlin, who died last year.

The 25 recordings added to the Grammy Hall of Fame will be displayed along with the rest of the collection at the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles. A full list of the recordings can be viewed at >http://www.grammy.com/Recording_Academy/Awards/Hall_Of_Fame.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

ABBA Tops UK Poll Of Band People Want To Reform

The British public would like to see Swedish band ABBA reform more than any other act, according to a survey.

PRS for Music, the organization that collects royalties on behalf of composers and songwriters, said that one quarter of the 1,500 people surveyed favored an ABBA reunion.

In second place was home act Police followed by Pink Floyd and The Smiths in equal third.

ABBA, made up of Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Agnetha Faltskog, performed in public for the last time in 1982.

Following is a list of the top 10 bands the British public would most like to see back in action (based on percentage):

ABBA (25)
The Police (13)
Pink Floyd (11)
The Smiths (11)
Oasis (10)
The Jam (9)
Dire Straits (8)
The Clash (6)
Spice Girls (4)
Sex Pistols (3)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bob Dylan Interview To be Syndicated Worldwide

Bob Dylan’s only interview in conjunction with the release of his Christmas In The Heart album will be syndicated worldwide through the International Network Of Street Papers (INSP) beginning today, November 22.

Completed earlier this month with noted journalist Bill Flanagan, the wide-ranging interview includes Dylan’s thoughts on all things Christmas, including his favorite holiday songs, special presents, the making of his new album, Pretty Boy Floyd and Babe Ruth.

As announced earlier, all of Bob Dylan’s royalties from sales Christmas In The Heart will be donated to Feeding America in the United States, Crisis in the United Kingdom, and the World Food Programme in 80 developing nations around the world.

Dylan’s initial contributions will provide more than four million meals to more than 1.4 million people in the United States, 15,000 meals to homeless people in the United Kingdom during the eight days of Christmas (December 23 - January 1) and 500,000 meals to school children in the developing world during the holiday season.

Christmas In The Heart is the 47th album from Bob Dylan, and follows Together Through Life, released earlier this year.

The first video from Christmas In The Heart, for “Must Be Santa,” has just been released and is available for viewing on http://bobdylan.com.

U2 To Headline Glastonbury Fest

U2 has been confirmed as a headline act for the U.K.'s Glastonbury Festival in 2010.
The Irish band will make their first appearance at the festival in Somerset next year, which also marks 40 years since the first Glastonbury Festival.

U2 headlines the first day of the event on June 25, 2010. The band will break from its North American tour to play the U.K. festival, which has a total capacity of 177,500.

"I promised the best possible line-up for the show next year and the confirmation that U2 will play their first ever Glastonbury - and their first major festival gig since the early 1980s - is fantastic news," said festival organizer Michael Eavis in a statement. "We've been trying for years... And now we've finally made it happen. I'm sure they will pull out all the stops to make next year's Glastonbury the most memorable ever."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sting's 'Winter's Night' Inspired By Magical Tales

Sting's If On A Winter's Night... may feature holiday-inspired songs, but don't call it a Christmas album. "The whole season is much broader than that," he says. "Winter is about inspiration and imagination."

While culling source material for "Winter's Night" -- which debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and has sold 139,000 copies since its October 26 release, according to Nielsen SoundScan -- Sting found inspiration in everything from a 14th-century carol ("Gabriel's Message") to traditional lullabies and poems.

He also collaborated with a host of musicians from the British Isles and performed with the ensemble at England's Durham Cathedral in a concert that will be broadcast Thanksgiving night on PBS' "Great Performances" and released November 23 on DVD.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Aerosmith Members Concerned Singer Back On Drugs

Steven, we love you. But you need to get sober, and we need to find a new singer.
That appears to be the consensus among Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler's bandmates, who are dropping loud hints that he is back on drugs.

The allegations, most recently from rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford and drummer Joey Kramer, ratchet up the unusually public feud crippling one of America's most successful rock 'n' roll bands.

Tensions have been simmering for some time, exacerbated by a troubled summer tour that was canceled in August when the 61-year-old Tyler fell off the stage and broke his shoulder.

The final straw came earlier this month, when Tyler's personal managers informed the rest of the band that he wants to take two years off to pursue various solo endeavors.

That did not sit well with the band mates, who want to keep on touring and recording.

Perry, 59, has been especially vocal, both in interviews and on Twitter, about his differences with Tyler. He and his cohorts say Tyler has stopped communicating with them and they have decided to find a new frontman and continue without him.

They also worry about Tyler's state of mind.

"I suspect there's a lot more going on than we know about," Whitford, 57, said. "He has a well-documented history of drug abuse, and I find myself very suspicious. I haven't seen him do this or ... have any personal knowledge, but the isolation is very typical of addictive behavior, and his -- what I call -- irrational behavior."

Kramer, 59, in a separate interview, declined to get specific about any drug abuse, but said: "Steven has made some poor choices as of late, and he's got some bad influences around him, and I think that for the most part he's his own worst enemy...I just really hope that Steven puts the focus on Steven and gets healthy."

Tyler's publicist said the singer is not commenting, because he is busy writing his memoirs.

The members of Aerosmith are no strangers to drugs, debauchery and divisions. The so-called "bad boys of Boston" first achieved fame in the early 1970s with such rock perennials as "Dream On" and "Walk this Way."

But the success was accompanied by their prodigious abuse of drugs and alcohol. The band careened toward oblivion by decade's end as sales dried up and both guitarists left.

They enjoyed a comeback in the 80s after getting sober. But, as with any workplace environment, tensions exist.

Whitford said he has had a "contentious relationship" with Tyler for many years.

"I just find him...very difficult to talk to," he said. "Most people say, 'How's it going? Nice day.' And (with Tyler) it won't be, 'Yeah, it is a nice day.' All of a sudden, it's drama."

Kramer said he loves Tyler like a brother, but was hurt when the singer failed to respond to his recent voicemail and text messages. Perry has said that the last time he called Tyler, the singer hung up on him.

The band's lineup is rounded out by 57-year-old bassist Tom Hamilton who, the others say, is on the same page as them.

As for finding a new singer, the musicians are very careful to say that no one can fill Tyler's shoes. Nor has the recruitment process begun yet.

"None of us feels like we're in a position to just retire and go off and do something else," Whitford said. "It would be nice if we could find somebody so we can go out and continue to earn a living as some sort of derivative of Aerosmith."

He said it was possible that the band might hit the road under a different name, and acknowledged that there could be legal problems if Tyler sued to stop them from using the "Aerosmith" name. (Roger Waters unsuccessfully sued his Pink Floyd band mates in the 1980s after they reunited without him.)

Kramer hopes to tour next year to mark the band's 40th anniversary, even if it could be a hollow celebration without the energetic Tyler belting out the hits from his scarf-draped microphone stand.

"What are we gonna do? Sit around for two years and do nothing?"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Starr, McCartney Duet On Drummer's Latest Solo Album

Ringo Starr is joined by his former Beatles band mate Paul McCartney for a duet on "Y Not," the drummer's forthcoming solo album due out January 12, 2010 on Hip-O Records/UMe.

The album also includes vocal turns by Joss Stone, Ben Harper and Richard Marx as well as musical and songwriting contributions from the Eagles' Joe Walsh, Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Dave Stewart, Glen Ballard and Van Dyke Parks, among others.

Despite the star-studded guest list, Starr is handling the production duties himself for the first time in his storied career.

"I was the least involved in the production of the Beatle records," Starr said in a statement. "And then with my solo records, I worked with some other great producers like Richard Perry, Arif Mardin, and Don Was. So it just seemed like that's the way that it goes. Then suddenly, it's another point in your life, and you say, 'I'm going do this now.' So I'll be producing anything I make from now on."

McCartney's contributions to the album include playing bass on the song "Peace Dream," as well as lead vocal duties on "Walk With You," a song composed by Starr and Van Dyke Parks.

Other songs on "Y Not" include the album's opening track, "Fill In The Blanks," a rocker written, played and sung only by Starr and Walsh; and "The Other Side Of Liverpool," an autobiographical song exploring Starr's pre-Beatle days encountering poverty and violence in his hometown.

"So I'll be producing anything I make from now on," Starr said. "That's the good news. It's a confidence thing, I suppose. And 'Y Not' is really another way of me saying, 'Yes, I can.'"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Faces May Replace Rod Stewart With Simply Red Singer For Tour

The surviving members of the Faces are planning to embark on a reunion tour in 2010, with or without singer Rod Stewart. Like Aerosmith, who are openly discussing replacing Steven Tyler should he depart to pursue solo opportunities, the Faces are facing facts: With Stewart planning to tour behind his new disc Soulbook into the new year, the remaining three members of the band — guitarist Ron Wood, drummer Kenney Jones and keyboardist Ian McLagan — hope go on their own road trip in 2010 with another singer in Stewart’s place.

“If we don’t do it very soon, one of us is gonna check out,” McLagan said. “We’ve been waiting and waiting for Rod to say yes; now he’s finally said no. He’s busy doing other shit. So we’re gonna do it.”

Faces briefly reunited in late 2008 and warmed up for a reunion tour.

“We had a few fantastic rehearsals last week and we’re ready to go,” Wood said in December 2008. “It’s like no time has passed by.”

Despite rumors that Stewart and Wood had written an album’s worth of new Faces songs, Stewart’s spokesperson quickly denied the claim, adding that Faces would definitely not be reuniting for a tour in 2009 due to Stewart’s prior commitments.

As Wood is still a member of the Rolling Stones, he’d also have to tour around his commitments, so the window for a Faces reunion grows smaller by the day.

McLagan said that the band was inspired by working with several vocalists during a London benefit show on October 25, where the Faces performed with Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall and Squeeze’s Paul Carrack.

“I think it’s more exciting, actually, with different singers, different bass players, maybe some other guests, another guitarist or whatever,” McLagan said, adding that Hucknall would definitely be asked if he’d like to join the group in some capacity for the tour.

Another issue at hand is who would replace Faces bassist Ronnie Lane, who passed away in 1997. Wood says that he heard Flea was interested in joining the reunited band in December 2008, but a year has passed and Flea has obligations to both the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Thom Yorke’s new live band in 2010.

Former Stones bassist Bill Wyman sat in with the Faces at the London benefit, but it’s unlikely he would tour with the group. Instead, McLagan hopes to recruit former Sex Pistols/Rich Kids bassist Glenn Matlock.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cheech & Chong To Light Up America Again

Comedy visionaries Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong announce their 2010 North American Tour, Cheech & Chong: Get It Legal, partnering with the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) to promote policy change through laughter.

The Live Nation-produced tour will kick off on January 16, 2010, in Boulder, Colorado at the Macky Auditorium. Tickets for this must-see comedy tour of the year go on sale in select markets beginning at 4:20 p.m. on November 20, 2009 at LiveNation.com.

Cheech & Chong: Get It Legal is the follow-up to their hugely successful reunion tour, Cheech & Chong: Light Up America, where they performed together for the first time in over 25 years.

The pop culture duo performed for more than 100 audiences and quickly became one of the most sought after shows of 2008-2009. Additionally, their performance in San Antonio, Texas, was filmed by the Weinstein Company and will be released as Cheech and Chong's: Hey Watch This on 4/20 of next year.

"We had an amazing time last year reconnecting with each other and our fans in a way that felt like it was part of our DNA, we were meant to be together," said Cheech Marin.

"In 2010 we are looking forward to doing more classic material that people haven't seen for years and years, performing more of our songs and introducing some new bits. We've had material brewing separately for the past 25 years," said Tommy Chong.

The Cheech & Chong: Get It Legal tour is scheduled to make 17 stops across North America including Boulder, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Bellingham, Portland, Santa Barbara, Tampa, Minneapolis, Rockford, Detroit, Louisville, DC, Bakersfield, Phoenix, and Fort Worth with Canadian stops in Regina, and Saskatoon.

Additional dates to be announced soon. Chong's wife and comedy partner, Shelby Chong, will open all dates on the tour as well as DJ Joey Mojo. Fan club members will have access to presale tickets beginning November 17th at CheechandChongTour.com.

Because of the recent attention surrounding the laws in respect to marijuana, Cheech and Chong decided to name their upcoming tour "Get It Legal" in order to raise awareness for this important topic.

By teaming up with a marijuana policy reform group such as MPP, Cheech and Chong are fusing comedy and activism as a means of bringing attention to the harm caused by marijuana prohibition and the urgent need for different, more sensible marijuana laws.

"Want to make a change? Come to a Cheech and Chong show," says Tommy Chong. "It's time to get it legal, before it's too late."

Jan-16 Boulder, CO Macky Auditorium Concert Hall
Jan-22 Indianapolis, IN Murat Theatre
Jan-23 Baltimore, MD Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Jan-30 Saskatoon, SK TCU Place
Jan-31 Regina, SK Conexus Arts Centre
Feb-11 Bellingham, WA Mount Baker Theatre
Feb-12 Portland, OR Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Mar-5 Santa Barbara, CA Arlington Theatre
Mar-12 Tampa, FL Tampa Performing Arts Center
Mar-26 Minneapolis, MN State Theatre
Mar-27 Rockford, IL Coronado Performing Arts Center
Apr-03 Ann Arbor, MI Michigan Theater
Apr-09 Louisville, KY Palace Theatre
Apr-10 Washington, DC Warner Theatre
Apr-23 Bakersfield, CA Fox Theatre
Apr-24 Phoenix, AZ Dodge Theatre
Apr-30 Ft. Worth, TX Bass Performance Hall

Monday, November 16, 2009

U.S. Library Of Congress To Honor Paul McCartney

The U.S. Library of Congress is awarding Paul McCartney its third Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

Librarian of Congress James Billington announced the prize Monday (November 16). An all-star tribute concert is planned for early 2010, though the library has not announced who will perform.

The 67-year-old former Beatle recently completed a five-week summer tour of the United States, including a stop in the Washington area.

Billington says it is hard to think of another performer and composer who has had a more transformative effect than McCartney.

Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon previously won the Gershwin prize. The library houses the manuscripts of the songwriting duo George and Ira Gershwin.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bob Seger Opens Vault For Disc Of 70s Rarities

It's about time Bob Seger started rustling around in those archives. When even the most frivolous of pop careers have been chronicled with historical compilations by this point, the Detroit rocker's slim retrospective pickings -- just a pair of greatest-hits discs -- has stood out.

Early Seger Vol. 1 is a first spoonful of remedy. With a lineup of hard-to-find album cuts and a handful of previously unreleased, newly spruced up tunes, the 10-track set is, if nothing else, a welcome fix for hard-core fans.

Songs from three early 70s albums (including the long unavailable Smokin' O.P.'s and Back in '72) provide a fun reminder of Seger's stylistic diversity before he locked into his winning career rhythm. Vintage rock 'n' roll, barroom balladry and soulful Southern rock are delivered with equal aplomb, and a frisky update of "Long Song Comin' " breathes new life into that 1974 track.

But it's the deep archival stuff that will most entice the diehards. "Gets Ya Pumpin' " is a grinding, Seven-era number with Seger's electric young voice at its peak. The melodic midtempo songs "Wildfire" and "Days When the Rain Would Come" hail from the "Like a Rock" period, and they hold their own against the best of Seger's majestic Midwest rock. The recent refurb work -- mostly new horns, guitars and backing vocals -- is tidy and unobtrusive.

The name Volume 1 drops a tantalizing hint about the project's future. The 64-year-old Seger could take real advantage of a series like this, because few artists are blessed with a stock of fully developed, little-heard material from their creative heydays.

Seger apparently has a treasure chest. The rocker often recorded 15 or more tracks during an album's sessions, forcing him to make hard choices in the days when a vinyl record accommodated just eight or 10 songs. Seger and his staff remain convinced that many of those leftovers had -- and have -- hit potential, originally cast aside only to suit a given album's theme or flow. (A prime illustration is "We've Got Tonite": The ballad was shelved for several albums before getting tacked onto 1978's "Stranger in Town" and soaring to pop success.)

Early Seger will be released exclusively in Meijer stories November 24, with Web-order sales starting November 30 at BobSeger.com.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Who To Perform At Super Bowl

According to a report, the Who will perform at Super Bowl XLIV, marking their first performance in North America since 2008.

SI.com reports that the veteran U.K. band will take the stage during the halftime show of the 2010 National Football League championship game, scheduled for Feb. 7 in Miami, Fla.

The NFL has yet to officially confirm the report, saying, "When we have something to announce, we'll announce it."

During a recent stop on his "Use It or Lose It" solo tour, frontman Roger Daltrey said that he and bandmate/composer Pete Townshend were working on new material for the Who's follow-up to 2006's Endless Wire.

"Hopefully if this tour has done it's job, I'll be in really good form as a vocalist," said Daltrey. "And who knows, we might make our best work."

Townshend has also acknowledged working on two projects -- a new musical called Floss and the Who's next album, which he has said will include some pieces from the Floss project.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Steven Tyler Not Leaving Aerosmith, Joins Joe Perry Onstage

Steven Tyler said that he is "not leaving Aerosmith" as he made what appeared to be a conciliatory guest appearance with guitarist Joe Perry and his band Tuesday (November 10) night at Irving Plaza in New York City.

Tyler joined Perry and his Project for an encore version of "Walk This Way." Before the song he told the crowd that "I am not leaving Aerosmith" and told Perry "you are a man of many colors, but I am the motherfucking king rainbow!"

The appearance followed several days of online sniping and fan speculation about the future of Aerosmith in the wake of a Tyler interview with Britain's Classic Rock magazine, in which he said that his next project was "definitely going to be something Steven Tyler: working on the brand of myself -- Brand Tyler." Perry interpreted that to mean Tyler was leaving Aerosmith; he told the Las Vegas Sun that "Steven quit as far as I can tell" and subsequently tweeted that Tyler "is doing his own thing and said so in the press. That's all I know."

Perry tweeted that "Aerosmith is definitely NOT breaking up" and that the group is "positively looking for a new singer to work with. You just can't take 40 years of experience and throw it in the bin!" He followed up with a declaration that "Aerosmith is not splitting up. Promise that's the last you'll hear from me on the subject till we gear up again." His only subsequent messages have been about the Joe Perry Project tour in support of his new solo album Have Guitar, Will Travel.

No one is yet saying, however, whether Tyler's announcement that he's "not leaving" Aerosmith changes the group's intention to look for another singer.

Aerosmith last performed during October in Abu Dhabi after canceling a North American tour with ZZ Top following Tyler's fall from the stage on August 5 in Sturgis, S.D.

The singer, who has separate management from the rest of Aerosmith, is expected to publish an autobiography in 2010 (pushed back from a planned release this year) but has not announced plans for any musical endeavors outside of Aerosmith.

The group began recording a new album -- its first since 2004's Honkin' on Bobo -- in 2008 but had to abandon it after Tyler fell ill.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Perry Says Aerosmith Looking For New Singer

Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry said on Twitter late Monday (November 9) that Aerosmith is "not splitting up" but "looking for a new singer to work with" amid speculation about the band's future and the role of frontman Steven Tyler. Tyler has been quoted as saying he is considering a solo career.

Perry tweeted one of the band's members "is doing his own thing and said so in the press. That's all I know."

Tyler could not immediately be reached for comment.

The 61-year-old Tyler was injured when he fell off a stage during an August 5 performance in South Dakota, and the band canceled the remainder of its summer tour.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Queen Still Considering Work With Singer Adam Lambert

Coming just prior to the release of his new album, Amercian Idol runner-up Adam Lambert is still being considered by remaining Queen veterans Roger Taylor and Brian May as someone they would like to work with.

Lambert performed with Queen on the finale of American Idol along with season 8 winner Kris Allen. At the time, there was a lot of talk about Lambert joining Queen as their new frontman. With Lambert’s new album, For Your Entertainment, set for release, there has not been as much buzz about the possibility of him joining Queen, but a recent BBC interview with Roger Taylor confirms that working with Lambert is not something that he and Brian May have forgotten about.

Referring to him as “the most phenomenal singer,” and mistakenly calling him “Adam Bolton,” Taylor said that he and May might do something with Lambert in the future. Taylor, obviously quite impressed with Lambert’s abilities, further praised him by saying, “He’s got one of the greatest voices I have ever heard.”

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Elton John On Mend, Resuming Tour Dates

Elton John has been released from a London hospital after being treated for flu and an E. coli bacterial infection.

The singer's spokesman Gary Farrow says John was at home Friday (November 7) and was feeling fine. He left the hospital the day before.

He says John planned to resume his suspended tour and would play scheduled U.S. dates with Billy Joel starting in Oakland, California, on November 14.

Illness has forced the 62-year-old musician to cancel several gigs in Britain, Ireland and the U.S. over the last few weeks.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Perry Says Tyler Likely Leaving Aerosmith

Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry says Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler apparently left the band after a recent United Arab Emirates show.

"Steven quit, as far as I can tell," Perry said. "I don't know anymore than you do about it. I got off the plane two nights ago. I saw online that Steven said that he was going to leave the band. I don't know for how long, indefinitely or whatever."

Perry say he will attempt to keep Aerosmith moving forward, even if Tyler part ways with his band mates.

"Right now I'm adjusting to how we're going to go on," Perry said from his home in Boston.

Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton confirmed Tyler, 61, announced after the band's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix show that he was planning on going solo. But he downplayed Tyler's comment, saying Aerosmith members are no strangers to conflict from their nearly 40 years together.

"Steven's always mad at us," Hamilton said.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Will The Real Wishbone Ash Please Stand Up

Andy Powell, founding member of the legendary Wishbone Ash,is setting the record straight about the recent controversy surrounding the ownership and usage of the group's name. A band fronted by another founding member, Martin Turner, is also being promoted as Wishbone Ash, creating confusion among fans and press.

“It’s local promoters taking advantage of the good work this band has been doing,” said Powell.

Most recently, Turner’s German shows have been promoted under the Wishbone Ash moniker, prompting Powell to seek legal recourse.

“Myself and the band’s business partners—people who have worked for years to keep the band treading the boards and keeping the recorded catalog current—see it as a raiding party,” said Powell. “I am now taking legal action in respect of this infringement of my trade mark. It’s time to stop this nonsense.”

Powell, the only remaining founding member, has recorded and toured exclusively under the Wishbone Ash banner since 1969. In the last 20 years, Wishbone Ash has released 15 CDs and five DVDs.

None of these featured Martin Turner.

The Power of Eternity, the band’s most recent release, has garnered rave reviews from the music press internationally.

During the band’s early history, the lineup changed several times, with founding members leaving and rejoining. When, in 1993, Powell became the sole remaining original member, there was no thought of calling it a day. Powell later registered the trademark "Wishbone Ash" in 1998. He has maintained the mark since then, producing numerous DVDs and CDs of new material. In addition to being co-writer on the majority of the recorded works, he’s performed around 4,000 Ash shows worldwide.

"My mandate was to simply carry forward with the band," Powell said, "as has always been the case since 1974 when the first member to leave, Ted Turner, tendered his resignation. This continuity has overwhelmingly always been what the fans have wanted, and they proved that in the early 1990s by backing our recording and promotion of the album Illuminations. At no time did I consider the band dead; we'd been through worse.”

In recent years, Martin Turner registered www.wishboneash.co.uk. He then tentatively resurfaced using the name 'Wishbone featuring Martin Turner' performing Wishbone Ash songs from the very early part of the band's career. All was fine for a year or so until the name of Martin Turner’s band was changed to Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash. His ".co.uk" website started pushing the Wishbone Ash aspect of the name firmly to the fore.

Then, to make matters worse, some Turner gigs were actually being promoted as ‘Wishbone Ash’ concerts. Fans who turned up expecting the long-running Powell-fronted band were disappointed and confused. Journalists who were unaware of the band’s history sometimes wrote about Turner’s band as if it actually were Wishbone Ash. Inevitably, this sparked claims of ‘passing off’ from Wishbone Ash and its business partners.

"Over the years, band members had left in a piecemeal fashion to pursue solo careers and other ventures," said Powell. "Anyone who has followed the band knows that Martin Turner, for example, quit in 1980 and again in 1991 after a brief three-year reunion.”

After leaving in 91, Martin produced a solo album.

“His own website says that he'd 'moved on' from Wishbone Ash, using the name Martin Turner and calling the CD Walking The Reeperbahn,” said Powell. “This had nothing to do with Wishbone Ash and seemed to be a move on Martin Turner's part to distance himself from the band and take his career in another direction. His website actually at one point admitted that I was a continuous member of the one true band and that he was not."

Wishbone Ash has embarked on an intensive tour plan, taking the band around to next July in celebration of its 40th anniversary. For a complete list of tour dates and venues, visit www.wishboneash.com/tourdates.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"Official" Beatles Remasters Heading To USB

Apple Corps and EMI Music are issuing the Beatles remasters on a limited edition apple-shaped USB drive in time for Christmas.

The release marks the first time Beatles catalog has officially been sold as digital files separate from the CDs. Vinyl versions of the reissues are expected soon.

Following the global 09/09/09 release of the digitally remastered albums and box sets, the limited edition USB of all the albums will be released on Dec. 7 in the U.K. and Dec. 8 in North America. The USB is available for pre-order at the online Beatles store and priced at $279.99.

Limited to 30,000 units, the 16GB USB features 14 Beatles stereo releases as well as all of the re-mastered CDs' visual elements, including 13 mini-documentary films about the studio albums, replicated original U.K. album art, rare photos and expanded liner notes.

A specially designed Flash interface has been installed, and audio and visual contents will be provided in FLAC 44.1 Khz 24 bit and MP3 320 Kbps formats. The content is fully compatible with Mac and PC.

EMI Sues U.S. Website Over Beatles Music Online

Beatles record label EMI is suing U.S. music website BlueBeat.com, which it said was offering unauthorized downloads of the Fab Four's tracks for sale.

"EMI has not authorized content to be sold on BlueBeat.com," a spokeswoman said.

EMI confirmed it had filed a copyright infringement suit against BlueBeat.com in a U.S. court earlier this week.

BlueBeat.com offers songs for 25 U.S. cents each, around one quarter of what a song would typically cost on the dominant online music retail site iTunes, owned by Apple Inc.

On offer is an extensive list of Beatles albums, both original and recently remastered versions, despite the fact that the band has yet to agree with music providers to the release of its cherished catalog online.

A year ago, former Beatle Paul McCartney said the band was keen to make its music available on Apple's iTunes music store, but that negotiations had stalled.

The settlement of a trademark dispute between Apple and The Beatles' company Apple Corps Ltd. had raised hopes among fans and record company executives that the way was finally clear for the catalog to make it online.

McCartney said the dispute holding back online sales of Beatles music now lay between the band and EMI.

He said EMI wanted "something we're not prepared to give 'em."

Music industry sources said they suspected EMI's action against BlueBeat could be followed by other major labels whose content features on the site.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rush's 'Working Men' Live Compilation To Be Released

Rush will be releasing Working Men, their first 'best of' live performance compilation, Monday, November 16 in the U.K., and on the following day, everywhere else. It will be available on CD and as a digital download.

Culled from three other Rush releases - Rush In Rio, R30 & Snakes & Arrows Live - the new album features some of the band's greatest hitsm as well as one previously unreleased track, "One Little Victory."

Track Listing:
1. Limelight (S&A live)
2. The Spirit of Radio (R30)
3. 2112 (Rush in Rio)
4. Freewill (S&A live)
5. Dreamline (R30)
6. Far Cry (S&A live)
7. Subdivisions (R30)
8. One Little Victory (previously unreleased, R30)
9. Closer To The Heart (Rush in Rio)
10. Tom Sawyer (S&A live)
11. Working Man (R30)
12. YYZ (Rush in Rio)

In a related item, Rush drummer Neil Peart notes on his web site that the band plan to get together to discuss "another kind of ‘reinvention.’" The drummer went on to
say they don’t have any ideas but will meet later this month in Los Angeles and figure out their future.

Among the possibilities are releasing just a couple of songs, doing a rhythmic concept record, recording with an orchestra, or even working on film and music projects.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Emerson, Lake & Palmer To Reform For One-Off Gig

According to news posted on their offical web site, Emerson Lake and Palmer are to reform for a one-off gig at the High Voltage festival in England.

The announcement goes on to say that "forty years after ELP opened the legendary Isle of Wight Festival in 1970, what better act to celebrate Britain's buggest and best Adult Rock Festival.

"Fans can expect 'Cannons, Pyrotechnics and a supreme production alongside the stunning musicianship and songs that made ELP the legends they truly are'."

Furhter details are sketchy at this point. See the official Emerson, Lake & Palmer web site for updates.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Led Zeppelin Reunion Rumors Resurface

Rumors about a Led Zeppelin reunion have resurfaced again, thanks to the news that singer Robert Plant has been in discussions about performing at next year's Glastonbury Festival in England. According to NME.com, however, what sparked speculation about a Zeppelin gig was when Plant remarked, "There's a place for me there (at Glastonbury), but I have no idea who with."

The surviving members of Led Zeppelin -- Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones -- reunited in December 2007, along with late drummer John Bonham's son Jason behind the kit, for a benefit concert in London.

The performance fueled global rumors about a tour, but Plant repeatedly denied interest. He said about the London show itself, "The endless paperwork was like nothing I've experienced before. I've kept every one of the emails that were exchanged before the concert and I'm thinking of compiling them for a book."

Page, Jones and Bonham did rehearse together and mulled the idea of touring with another frontman under a different name. Although names such as Steven Tyler and Chris Cornell were mentioned, only Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy was confirmed to have rehearsed with the trio.

Jones, who is now playing in Them Crooked Vultures with Dave Grohl and Josh Homme, told BBC News this week, "Jimmy and I rehearsed a bit with Jason Bonham and we couldn't really agree on singers and that fell by the wayside. Then this came along and to be honest, I'm really happy."

Elton John Aims For Return To Stage After Illness

Elton John is recovering in hospital from a serious case of e-coli bacterial infection and influenza that forced him to cancel a string of concerts, but he hoped to return to the stage soon, a spokesman said.

British pop star John, 62, postponed five gigs in England and Ireland starting with an October 23 date in Sheffield, and has also pulled out of three U.S. concerts scheduled for November 4, 7 and 10 at which he was to appear with Billy Joel.

His spokesman Gary Farrow confirmed that the singer of hits including "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Rocket Man" was in hospital for his condition but that he was "absolutely fine."

He added that John, one of the most successful recording artists with album sales estimated at more than 200 million, hoped to be back on the road and rejoining Joel on November 14. Joel is due to perform on that date at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.