Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Screening Of Mr. Blue Sky: The Story Of Jeff Lynne And ELO Coming To Grammy Museum In LA

Los Angeles radio station 95.5 KLOS-FM has announced a special screening on Wednesday, November 14 at The Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles, of the documentary Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO. It will be followed by a Q&A with Lynne. KLOS DJ Cynthia Fox will host the event, which starts at 7:00 PM, and moderate the Q&A.

Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO, written and directed by Martyn Atkins, gets to the heart of who Jeff Lynne is and how he has had such a tremendous musical influence on our world.  The answer, as told by the British artist himself and such distinguished collaborators and friends as Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Tom Petty, Joe Walsh, Olivia and Dhani Harrison, Barbara Orbison and Eric Idle, is that Lynne is a true man of music for whom the recording studio is his greatest instrument.

In other news, Lynne recently received a nomination for inclusion in the 2013 Songwriters Hall of Fame. The event will take place June 13, 2013 in New York City.

Lynne recently released two albums on Frontiers Records:  the solo disc Long Wave, a heartfelt and vivid tribute to some of the very songs that originally inspired him, and Mr. Blue Sky–The Very Best Of Electric  Light Orchestra. For the latter album, Lynne has artfully revisited and created brand new versions -- at his home studio in Los Angeles -- of the greatest hits of ELO, actually improving on the gems that catapulted them to sales of 50 million-plus records worldwide.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Paul McCartney Says Yoko Ono 'Not To Blame' For Beatles Split

Yoko Ono was not responsible for splitting up The Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney claims in a new TV interview.

"She certainly didn't break the group up," the 70-year-old will be seen telling Sir David Frost in an interview to be broadcast next month.

"I don't think you can blame her for anything," he says, claiming John Lennon was "definitely going to leave."

His remarks challenge a school of thought that holds Lennon's widow responsible for the band's separation.

McCartney's revelations feature in an hour-long interview with Sir David, 73, that will be aired on the Al Jazeera English TV channel in November.

The program will also see the former Beatle claim that Lennon, who died in 1980, would not have written his hit song Imagine without the conceptual artist's influence.

"When Yoko came along, part of her attraction was her avant garde side, her view of things," the former Beatle tells the veteran broadcaster. "She showed him another way to be, which was very attractive to him. So it was time for John to leave."

According to The Observer, the interview will see Sir Paul muse on losing his mother at the age of 14 and the death of his first wife Linda in 1998.

The musician also discusses being a father and a grandfather, which he describes as "my coolest thing."
Both McCartney and Lennon went on to forge successful solo careers after the Fab Four split up in 1970.

Earlier this month saw the 50th anniversary of The Beatles releasing their first single, "Love Me Do," in 1962.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rod Stewart Says He Used Cocaine Suppositories

Rod Stewart has packed a lot of life into his 67 years and he uncovers it all in his new book, Rod: The Autobiography. The memoir is filled with page after page of sex, drugs and of course, rock ‘n’ roll!

Access Hollywood’s Michelle Beadle sat down with the legendary singer to get the scoop on some of his book’s wildest stories, starting with his love life.

“I’ve got to be honest with you. People try and say that I have had thousands of girls — I haven’t,” Rod told Michelle. “I’ve probably had 50 or 60.”

And in his book, Rod reveals the ladies who made a special impact on his heart and in his bed – the “You’re In My Heart” singer was quite the heartbreaker until he met his sixth wife, Rachel Hunter.

“It seemed like you fell hard [for Rachel],” Michelle said. “And then she’s the one that broke your heart.”

“Yeah, Karma,” the rocker replied. “Looking back, she was probably too young. She was 21, I was 45. So she hadn’t really spread her wings. She hadn’t lived.

“And to be married to me? She was constantly in my shadow,” he continued. “Even my sister said as we were going down the aisle, she said, ‘I think Rachel’s going to break Roddie’s heart.’ She never told me but, but you know, that’s life. And we’re best of mates now.”

Rod (whose new holiday album, Merry Christmas, Baby will hit stores on Tuesday) opened up about his use of drugs as well.

“As far as the drugs are concerned, I was never an addict. I was never, you know, in rehab,” he said. “It never affected my family or my relationships or anything. I was just a social user.”

The same couldn’t be said for Rod’s “Faces” band mate Ron Wood, who burned a hole through his nasal septum from cocaine use.

“Did that scare you enough?” Michelle asked.

“Well, it scared Ronny, yeah it did, so then we found another method of taking the drug,” he said. “We put them in a little pill like the French do them, [a] suppository.

“We did that for a little while. Are we still on the air?” he added, laughing.

Rod also had an idea for a “super rock band,” consisting of himself with pals Elton John and Freddie Mercury.

“It was going to be called, ‘Teeth, Nose & Hair,’” he said, adding that the idea “must have been the drugs talking.”

Rod and Elton remain friendly to this day, despite one embarrassing Christmas gift exchange, where Rod purchased an alcohol dispensing fridge (with a 300-pound price tag) for his friend.

“You stood it by your sofa, press a button, and out comes all the champagne, all the glasses are frozen [and] there’s all these colorful lights going on. And I thought, [Elton will] love that,’” Rod explained. “So I took it over there and gave it to Elton and he comes by Christmas Day with a Rembrandt [painting] which I’ve still got to this day.

“He paid about 10,000 [pounds] for it in those days and my humble gift was 300!” he added. “Cheap Stewart.”

Rod: The Autobiography is available in stores now.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Rolling Stones Play Surprise Pig In Paris

The Rolling Stones performed to 350 fans in Paris yesterday (October 25) after announcing the surprise gig on Twitter.

It was their first concert since 2007, and came ahead of 50th anniversary shows in London and New Jersey.

Playing for almost an hour and a half, the band rattled through hits like It's Only Rock and Roll and Brown Sugar.

"I can't believe we're all still standing up," joked Mick Jagger. "You'd think by now one or two of us would be sitting down, but we're not."

Tickets to the event at Le Trabendo club in Paris cost £12, selling out within minutes.

By contrast, seeing the band at London's O2 Arena in November could set you back £406.

The Rolling Stones are in Paris to rehearse for those arena dates and tweeted that last night's performance would be a "short warm-up gig".

They played fan favorites including "Route 66" and "Miss You," as well as their latest single "Doom and Gloom," which peaked at number 97 in the UK's Official Singles Chart.

Fans Don Device and Robert Blalack were amongst the crowd.

"It seemed like it was their fifth or sixth performance, they still had the enthusiasm and the thrill of enjoying the audience reaction, even after 50 years," said Mr Blalack.

"Actually, after tonight, I think that they have got a long time in front of them," added Mr Device.

"They were much more tight [tonight]. I saw them for the first time in 1979 - worst concert I have ever seen. Tonight - amazing! I saw younger men tonight than I saw in 1979."

Le Trabendo has previously hosted famous names including Metallica, Arctic Monkeys and the Neptunes. But the Rolling Stones are the biggest band to perform there.

The venue has a capacity for 700 people and the crowd was also made up of the band's friends and colleagues from the music industry.

"We really lucked out," said one fan from San Francisco, who had secured a ticket because her husband's former boss works for the Stones.

"I have seen them before, but it has been in larger arenas with 40 thousand people, and [in] such a small club it was incredible. They played all the hits. 'Brown Sugar' was still my favorite."

Johan Anssens said he had waited in the cold for three and a half hours to buy his £12 ticket after he read about the gig on Twitter.

He said he didn't feel sorry for fans in Britain and the United States, who are being charged much steeper prices for the band's 50th anniversary tour dates.

"I don't have a job so I wouldn't be able to go if I had to pay the same price as in London," he said.

"But here I could afford it, so I think it is very democratic. I love the Rolling Stones and I had an amazing night."

Some fans said that they had got in for free after organizers granted last-minute entry to those who had been unsuccessful queuing for tickets earlier in the day.

"They let about fifty extra people in, of all ages, and we did some very loud clapping!" said one man, who was wearing a backstage pass.

"Don't worry, I don't work for the Stones, I picked this up on the floor as a memento!" he laughed.

Guitarist Ronnie Wood had earlier hinted that the band could perform in Paris.

He told NME magazine that there were "going to be little club gigs that we're gonna surprise ourselves to do as well… I don't know who we'll be billed as but we'll turn up somewhere and put a few to the test. Tiny, 200, 300 people kind of places."

There will be a second private gig on Monday funded by investment company Carmignac Gestion for their employees.

Fans at last nights gig said there were already rumors of further possible concerts in the French capital next week as the band continue to prepare for their major shows.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Crosby, Stills & Nash Rewind To 1969 In Tour Closer

Monday's finale to 's international 80-date tour may have been one of the more memorable gigs of the group's career. Concluding a string of five nights at New York City's Beacon Theatre, the trio hearkened to 1969, showcasing the first-ever complete performance of their self-titled debut album.

But that wouldn't come until the evening's second set, Graham Nash informed a crowd who seemed almost entirely to hover within a couple decades of his own 70 years. The walking spectrum of graying hair had murmured words like "memories" and "remember" many times as they filed into the gilded concert hall moments before Nash's introduction. Some parents brought teenagers in tow; others settled for telling their seat mates about rediscovering CSN's catalog alongside their children.

The three-pronged harmonies began immediately with the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young tune "Carry On," with a barefoot Nash at center stage, a sturdy and merry Stephen Stills to his right, and David Crosby to his left, looking as if one of J.R.R. Tolkien's dwarves grew three feet and shaved the epically long beard but kept the mustache. A smattering of attendees seemed unprepared to take the show sitting down, with isolated seat-dancers standing sporadically throughout the night. (And how refreshing to see a group of people who not only obeyed the prohibition of photography but even seemed unfazed; a band witnessed without a sea of screens is the modern concert goer's needle in the haystack.)

For a crowd in full knowledge of the historical treat forthcoming, one might have expected reserved enthusiasm for the early portion of the show. One would have been wrong - the full crowd rose after the second song, the first of a couple dozen standing ovations. For a band whose songs have been locked in amber by soundtracking so many American memories, the music sounded refreshingly immediate. Through newer songs and classics, hits and deep cuts, the three brothers in song were entirely invested in their performance. Skipping the notion of an opening act, CSN played something in the neighborhood of 30 songs, holding the stage for the majority of three hours with an intermission between sets.

Crosby tried out a recently written, as yet unreleased song titled "Radio," and the reception was not an exodus to the restrooms but applause on par with the beloved chestnuts. Nash, taking a brief break from his theatrical hopping and miming, took to the electric piano to perform "Our House" as a tribute to his newborn first grandchild, inciting the night's first gigantic sing-along. "Love the One You're With" came shortly after, also igniting the crowd's fullest excitement.

Though deft and busy, the five-piece backing band felt invisible behind the famous threesome. One song, "Lay Me Down," was touted as having been written by Crosby's son James Raymond, who manned the evening's keyboards. Nash and Crosby simply stood and harmonized, instrument-less, Nash with a glass of wine in hand.

"My job is to write the weird shit," Crosby said in response to detractors wondering what exactly he does in the band. That segued into the title track from 1970's Déjà Vu. Crosby would showcase his fanciful side again, playing "Guinevere" during the Crosby, Stills & Nash run-through.

The first set concluded band-less, with the three icons alone at center stage; "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" began in the same terrific fashion, just three voices and one guitar as strummed by Stills. The uninterrupted spin through the self-titled album included highlights in the always-buoyant "Marrakesh Express," the absurdly energetic "Wooden Ships," and a fierce rendition of "Long Time Gone." The thrill of honoring the record that had introduced them to the world never seemed to waver. "And there you have it," said Crosby at the close of "49 Bye-Byes." "Never been done before," added a visibly proud Nash. There was a thunderous approval for even more, and a half-dozen additional songs followed.

The night ended with a loudly sung cover of Stills' timeless Buffalo Springfield tune "For What It's Worth," followed by a near-deafeningly sung "Teach Your Children." If anyone was disappointed, they hid it well.

Monday, October 22, 2012

GNR, Eddie Vedder Take Stage For Neil Young's 26th Annual Bridge School Concert

At approximately 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, a member of the Shoreline Amphitheatre security detail radioed his co-workers to inform them that Guns N' Roses' tour bus had arrived at the venue. Now, Axl Rose isn't exactly known to be punctual, so for him to arrive at a venue with the sun still out, there must be a good reason. And there was: GNR, along with Jack White, the Flaming Lips and Ray LaMontagne, up-and-comers like Gary Clark Jr. and Foster the People, and songstresses k.d. lang, Sarah McLachlan, and Lucinda Williams were all scheduled to perform at the Mountain View venue for the first night of Neil Young's annual Bridge School benefit concert, now in its 26th year of raising money for children with speech and physical impairments.

If Rose did arrive at 4 p.m., he made it in time to see Young himself open the festivities by performing "Sugar Mountain" to the Bridge School students and their families, who sat in the rafters immediately behind the stage for the entirety of the nearly nine-hour show. Young then invited his wife Pegi to join him on a poignant, gorgeous rendition of "Comes a Time." Eight hours and a dozen acts later, Young, this time joined by Crazy Horse, would return to the stage.

Gary Clark Jr. had the unenviable role of following Young and playing for the masses of concertgoers finding their seats or spots on the lawn after the mile-long walk from the parking lot. After setting the tone for the night with spirited performances of "When My Train Pulls In" and "Don't Owe You a Thang," Clark's set was unfortunately cut short after three songs due to the tight scheduling. Foster the People likely encountered the same situation when their turn arrived later on: They performed a handful of tracks, including the hit "Don't Stop (Color the Walls)," but "Pumped Up Kicks" didn't make the cut.

After four hours of music – including an irresistible and funny set by Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers – it was time for the Flaming Lips, who would perhaps be the most handcuffed by the Bridge School's all-acoustic doctrine. No matter, Wayne Coyne had a secret weapon: Comedian and human beat box Reggie Watts, who replicated every deep bass, 808, and spacey sound effect on "Fight Test," "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots," and "It's Summertime." To close out their set, the Lips stunned the crowd with a cover of the Beatles' epic "A Day in the Life," featuring Coyne and Watts sharing vocal duties (with the comedian blatantly reading the lyrics off his cell phone).

Next up was Jack White and his all-female backing band, who helped make the Blunderbuss-heavy material sound as though it was being interpreted by the Rolling Thunder Revue. White wrapped up his 30-minute set with a pair of White Stripes classics: A rollicking, country-fried version of "Hotel Yorba" and the tender "We're Going to Be Friends."

After White's set, there was a longer-than-usual break before the next scheduled act, Guns N' Roses. The crowd, already uneasy from the chilly weather, was growing restless. Some audience members audibly wondered whether Axl was about to sabotage the Bridge School benefit with his now-infamous antics. However, the delay was due to what ended up being the night's biggest surprise: an unexpected performance by Pearl Jam frontman and Neil Young acolyte Eddie Vedder.

The audience immediately burst into revelry. "This is the last place I thought I'd be when I woke up today . . . opening for Guns N' Roses," Vedder joked before launching into "Last Kiss," which he said was a favorite of one of the Bridge School students. He followed that up with "Elderly Woman," and with the crowd now in hysterics from his surprise performance, he quickly exited to let GNR take the stage.

If an all-acoustic concert seems like the perfect setting for GNR to focus on the back half of their EP Lies, that same notion didn't escape Axl: Three of the seven songs GNR performed were culled from that disc: Set opener "You're Crazy" (with Axl dropping the F-bomb in front of an audience of children no less than five times), "Used to Love Her," and "Patience." The remainder of the set was rounded out by exhilarating, fresh takes on Appetite for Destruction's three biggest singles, "Welcome to the Jungle," "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Paradise City." Credit also has to go to GNR's army of guitarists – especially DJ Ashba and Bumblefoot – for involving the Bridge School kids in the performance.

Finally, it was time for the Godfather of Grunge, Neil Young. Like the majority of shows on this current Young trek, the Bridge School set list focused on material from his upcoming Psychedelic Pill, albeit in acoustic form, from the autobiographical "Born in Ontario" to the Dylan/Grateful Dead tribute "Twisted Road" and a tight, truncated rendition of the mammoth "Ramada Inn." Alongside old favorites like "Powderfinger" and "The Needle and the Damage Done," Neil did throw some curve balls: The unreleased "Singer Without a Song," featuring Young on piano, resurfaced once again, and Crazy Horse busted out "Like a Hurricane," which hadn’t been played at the Shoreline Amphitheatre for nearly a decade.

That track set the stage for the evening's final performance, the traditional all-star jam. Vedder, White, Coyne, Watts, Foster the People, everybody – except Rose – joined Young for a rousing rendition of "Rockin' in the Free World," its mantra echoing in the heads of thousands of satisfied music fans as they journeyed back toward the parking lots, eager to experience the whole event again on Sunday.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bruce Springsteen: President Obama Is 'Our Best Choice'

After vowing not to get involved in this year's presidential election, Bruce Springsteen is supporting President Barack Obama again, saying he believes Obama is the best person to lead America.

The Boss posted a message on his website Wednesday night endorsing Obama's re-election, saying he had been "getting asked a lot about where I stand." Springsteen is making his debut on the 2012 campaign trail Thursday at events in Cleveland and Ames, Iowa, with former President Bill Clinton.

Springsteen supported Obama in 2008. In his letter, he called Obama's four years in office "a really rough ride" because of the "economic chaos" from President George W. Bush's administration and "the extraordinary intensity of the opposition."

But the 63-year-old rock star said he's behind Obama because of the president's views on the rights of women and homosexuals, ending the war in Iraq and tracking down Osama bin Laden.

"Right now, there is a fight going on to help make this a fairer and more equitable nation. For me, President Obama is our best choice to get us and keep us moving in the right direction," he wrote.

Springsteen said Obama, who is facing Republican rival Mitt Romney in November, needs increased support from Congress if America wants the next four years to be effective.

"He needs support in the Congress, where some sterling candidates, such as current Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, challenger Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, and so many others, are fighting to make their constructive voices heard," he wrote.

The rock icon added that the division of wealth in the United States is a great issue and that Obama "is our best choice to begin to reverse this harmful development."

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rolling Stones Announce Dates For 50th Anniversary Tour

Ladies and Gentlemen, they are back! The most eagerly anticipated concerts of 2012 are announced today as the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band, The Rolling Stones, confirm their long awaited return to the stage with four spectacular arena shows in London and New York. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood at last revealed their return to live work via a video message today (October 15).

As part of their on-going 50th anniversary celebrations, the rock icons will play London’s O2 Arena on November 25 and 29, and then across the ocean to perform at the Prudential Center, Newark, near New York, on December 13 and 15.

These shows will be the first opportunity for audiences to see the Rolling Stones perform on stage for more than five years. They will treat their generations of fans to countless classics from GRRR!, the multi-format compilation album coming out in November marking the Stones’ astonishing five decades at the top.

Mick Jagger commented, “Everybody loves a celebration, and London and New York are two good places to do it in!”

Keith Richards said, “Sorry to keep you all hanging around but the waiting is over. I’ve always said the best place for rock and roll is on the stage and the same is true for the Stones.  I’m here with Mick, Charlie and Ronnie and everything is rocking. See you very soon!”

Fans can look forward to an all-new, custom-built set design, with a stage based on the band’s ubiquitous and celebrated tongue and lips logo, which will reach out into the crowd and become a truly must see and hear experience, with integral video screens and effects enhancing the sort of high-octane adventure for which the band’s concerts have been famous for decades.

The 2012 concerts will mark the first time that Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood have performed together as a band since three acclaimed nights at London’s O2 Arena in 2007.

Elvis Presley's Beverly Hills Estate Up For Sale

The former Beverly Hills home of the late Elvis Presley and his wife Priscilla is up for sale for a cool $12.9 million.

Real estate website operator Trulia says the home hit the market last Wednesday (October 10).

Like Elvis' home in Memphis, known as Graceland, Elvis fans have for years flocked to visit the property. According to the listing, the four bedroom, five bathroom French Regency estate sits on a 1.18 acre promontory overlooking Los Angeles.

According to Elvis Presley Enterprises, Presley first rented the house before the couple bought it in 1967. It was sold in 1973, the same year Elvis and Priscilla divorced.

The estate was formerly available to lease for $25,000 a month.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Aerosmith May Self-Release Albums If 'Band Stays Together'

With the upcoming Music From Another Dimension marking the end of their current deal with Columbia Records, Aerosmith may abandon the label world and take future release matters into their own hands.

Asked during a conference call with reporters on Thursday whether the band would consider self-releasing future projects, frontman Steven Tyler said that "if the band stays together, yeah, we'll definitely go that route, something somewhere over there. We've been keeping record companies stocked with millions of shekels for years, been making a lot of people rich -- not that we haven't, but every now and then you get into arguments with labels (and) you think, 'Where is all this money going?' We've definitely thought of putting stuff out. I was very successful last year with a (single) called 'It Feels So Good.' It proves it can happen."

Guitarist Joe Perry didn't sound quite so definitive about the idea, however, saying that, "We've talked about every idea you can think of out there, and we really don't know. There's so many different directions we can go. (Columbia) has been totally with us and behind us on this album, and really supportive. So the talk about what happens when it gets delivered and we (finish) our commitment with Sony, what are we gonna do next -- it's really an open question at this point.

Music From Another Dimension, Aerosmith's first set of all-new material in 11 years, comes out November 6, while the band starts the next leg of its Global Warming Tour on Nov. 8 in Oklahoma City. The album has been preceded by the singles "Legendary Child," "What Could Have Been Love" and "Lover Alot" and features a duet with Carrie Underwood ("Can't Stop Loving You") and collaborations with Johnny Depp ("Freedom Fighter") and Julian Lennon ("Luv XXX").

Continuing to address the future, Tyler said Aerosmith will go on a full-scale world tour next year and predicted that Music From Another Dimension has "four songs radio is not gonna be able to stay away from, which is unheard of." He promised that he plans to make a solo album next but assured "that don't mean the band's breaking up. It means I'll divert a little and have some fun with other people."

Perry, meanwhile, is following Tyler and drummer Joey Kramer in writing an autobiography, which he hopes to publish in 2013. He's teamed with award-winning author David Ritz, who's worked with B.B. King, Jerry Wexler and, most recently, Bettye LaVette, and the guitarist says that "it's going to be my story, but it's also entwined with Aerosmith and relationships there and the how and the why of that kind of stuff. People have been asking me about it for the last probably five or 10 years... I'll definitely take a different path than the other guys, the way they put their books together. I read probably 40 biographies and autobiographies, musical ones. I can see how some worked and some didn't. I hope this one works. There's a lot to fit into 600 pages or whatever it's gonna be. I'm pretty excited."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tom Petty Auctioning Off 996 Jaguar XJS Convertible

Tom Petty is auctioning off his personal 1996 Jaguar XJS Convertible on October 11 through e-bay. This flashy but classy automobile is something of a modern classic. Production of the XJS model Jaguar ended in 1996 after 21 years. Proceeds from the auction will go to Doctors Without Borders.

The link to the auction is at http://conta.cc/Porygm.

Petty recalls what the car means to him personally, saying "I have so many great memories associated with this car. When I began dating Dana (my wife), I asked her what her favorite car was. So, I phoned the office and said I wanted a Champagne convertible Jaguar XJS. The next day they delivered it to my house and showed me how everything worked and I took it for a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway. I was in heaven, as was Dana. This car has such an incredible design. My favorite car I ever owned. We sure are going to miss it."

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971. Today, Doctors Without Borders provides independent, impartial assistance in more than 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters. MSF provides independent, impartial assistance to those most in need. MSF also reserves the right to speak out to bring attention to neglected crises, challenge inadequacies or abuse of the aid system, and to advocate for improved medical treatments and protocols. In 1999, MSF received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blondie to Perform On YouTube Presents Live

Blondie will be performing on YouTube Presents live on today (October 10) at 4pm EST in New York City. Fans can be a part of the live studio audience by go to to http://www.youtube.com/user/YouTubePresents/featured?v=V6oUkgZfIr  or their Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/Q6LVcX.

Blondie and Devo recently wrapped up their "Whip It To Shreds" tour, a U.S. co-headlining run of dates that kicked off September 7th and hit 13 select cities before September 26th.

Blondie's 9th studio album Panic of Girls was released in 2011 on the band's own imprint exclusively via Amazon.

The band received rave reviews during their sold-out North American tour and made two very special national TV performances on the TODAY Show and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to perform single "Mother, " a nod to the legendary West 14th Street night club of the same name.

Panic of Girls is colored with inspirations from New York City's roiling melting pot and street-level pop culture, featuring new wave dance gems, songs sung in French and Spanish and a reggae cover are threaded together with a timeless pop sheen. 

Blondie was inducted into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 and has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

John Lennon's 20 Best Quotes In Celebration Of His 72nd Birthday

October 9th is a big day for one of the first families of music. Not only is it the 37th birthday of John and Yoko's only son, Sean Lennon, John Lennon would have turned the ripe old age of 72 today.

The late Beatles legend, who passed away at the age of 40, wrote some of the band's most famous songs and had an uncanny ability of speaking in timeless quips. Today, on John's birthday we're pouring some out and offering him one of his best, “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.” In celebration, we've collected some of the singer's most insightful, eloquent, and famously controversial quotes. Take a look below:

1. "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."

2. "As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot."

3. "Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it."

4. "You don't need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!"

5. "We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first, rock 'n' roll or Christianity."

6. "Reality leaves a lot to the imagination."

7. "Rituals are important. Nowadays it's hip not to be married. I'm not interested in being hip."

8. "It doesn't matter how long my hair is or what color my skin is or whether I'm a woman or a man."

9. "You have to be a bastard to make it, and that's a fact."

10. “Declare it. Just the same way we declare war. That is how we will have peace... we just need to declare it.”

11. “I'm not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I've always been a freak. So I've been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I'm one of those people.”

12. "Everybody loves you when you're six foot in the ground."

13. "If there's such a thing as genius — I am one. And if there isn't, I don't care."

14. "Before Elvis there was nothing."

15. "What we’ve got to do is keep hope alive. Because without it we’ll sink."

16. "If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace."

17. "Happiness is just how you feel when you don't feel miserable."

18. "Music is everybody's possession. It's only publishers who think that people own it."

19. "You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die."

20. “If someone thinks that peace and love are just a cliche that must have been left behind in the 60s, that’s a problem. Peace and love are eternal.”

Monday, October 8, 2012

Rock Legends Cruise II Boasts Major Classic Rock Acts On Carribean Cruise

On Thursday, January 10, 2013, thousands of rock fans are expected to board a luxury cruise vessel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that'll be taking them to Labadee, Haiti for what promises to be the classic rock cruise of a lifetime:  the Rock Legends Cruise II.

Here's the rundown...

Approximately two-dozen artists will be performing multiple sets in at least three separate, easily accessible, venues over four days and four nights (think: "hours of greatest hits").

One big classic rock festival at sea aboard 154,407 tons of fun known as Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas -- one of the biggest, fastest and most luxurious passenger ships in existence, spanning over 1,100 feet long.

One moment you're by the pool basking in the sun and the next, you're taking in live musical performances by some of your all-time favorite classic rock bands (see below for the incredible line-up in its entirety).

You and a few thousand other classic rock fanatics wonder, "How did I get here?" as you sing along to such rock anthems as "Feels Like The First Time," "Can't Get Enough," "Up Around The Bend," "Carry On Wayward Son," "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet," "Rocking into the Night," "Can't You See," "Don't Fear The Reaper," "Fool For The City" and "Flirtin' with Disaster."

No, it's not a dream, just the ultimate rock and roll getaway on the high seas -- Rock Legends Cruise II -- benefiting the Native American Heritage Association (NAHA).

So what if your voice is shot by Monday morning?

You just had the time of your life.

In addition to their musical performances, the artists will be mingling alongside fans during the four-day excursion.

"Didn't I just see Artimus Pyle in line for the breakfast buffet?"

Just an idea of what's in store...

Rock Legends Cruise II will depart Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida early Thursday evening (January 10, 2013), then dock in Labadee, Haiti (a secure, private resort leased, managed and operated by Royal Caribbean located on the north coast of Hispaniola) the following Saturday before returning to Fort Lauderdale on Monday morning, January 14, 2013.

In between the musical performances, passengers will be able to enjoy such on board activities as surfing (thanks to the ship's FlowRider wave generator), volleyball, basketball, boxing, cantilevered whirlpools and a variety of gourmet restaurants and casual dining.

What a way to start off the new year!

Book your cabin now before they're gone!

Most levels are still available including interior, ocean view, ocean view with balcony and a variety of suites, with pricing beginning at $1,049.00 per person (double occupancy).

For further information including specific details, ticket/cabin purchase, what's included and answers to FAQ's, please go to www.rocklegendscruise.com or call 888-666-1499.

To view the Rock Legends Cruise II commercial, please see: http://rocklegendscruise.com/commercials/

For information on Liberty of the Seas, please see: http://www.royalcaribbean.com/findacruise/ships/class/ship/home.do?shipCode=LB.


ROCK LEGENDS CRUISE II 2013 - COMPLETE LINE-UP

Foreigner
Paul Rodgers
Creedence Clearwater Revisited
Kansas
Bachman & Turner
38 Special
The Marshall Tucker Band
Blue Oyster Cult
Foghat
Molly Hatchet
Kentucky HeadHunters
Bobby Keys & The Suffering Bastards
Atlanta Rhythm Section
Pat Travers Band
Melvin Seals & JGB
The Artimus Pyle Band
Black Oak Arkansas
Royal Southern Brotherhood
Devon Allman's Honeytribe
SwampDaWamp
Whiskey Myers
Fired Guns
Mike Zito
Citizens Band Radio
The Blue Lords

Friday, October 5, 2012

Beatles Fans Come Together For Anniversary Record

Fifty years after John Lennon's harmonica heralded the first entry of the Beatles into the charts, fans came together in the Fab Four's home town of Liverpool in northern England on Friday to deliver a record-breaking rendition of their debut single.

Aficionados poured in from as far afield as Peru and Tokyo for a weekend of live music and Beatlemania, which kicked off with 1,631 people singing "Love Me Do" outside the city's central Liver Building.

Local choirs, school groups and lunching office workers joined in, breaking the previous record for singing "in the round" - where two groups sing exactly the same melody, beginning at different times - to break the previous record of 897, according to Guinness World Records.

"The demographics here today are interesting - it goes from people in their 70s to school kids," said Dave Jones, who runs Liverpool's famous Cavern Club where the Beatles were the house band between 1961 and 1963 and which is staging a weekend-long extravaganza of their music.

"We're trying to recreate the atmosphere of those glory days in the 60s," Jones said. "It's generation after generation enjoying the music."

The 50th birthday of "Love Me Do" is also the anniversary of a lucky break for the band.
Beatles producer George Martin told the BBC the song was the "best of a bad bunch". The broadcaster plans to air a documentary this weekend containing claims that the band's manager bought thousands of copies to help the record get to number 17 in the UK charts.

Auction house Sotheby's is marking the anniversary by selling the original collage used for the insert of the 1967 Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Sotheby's expects it to sell for 50,000-80,000 pounds ($81,000-$129,500).

Thursday, October 4, 2012

2013 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Nominees Announced

The nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's class of 2013 have been announced, and for the first time ever fans will get a say in who will be inducted.

First-time nominees Rush, Deep Purple, N.W.A., Public Enemy, Albert King, The Marvelettes and Procol Harum join previously nominated acts Chic, Heart, Donna Summer, Kraftwerk, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Randy Newman, Paul Butterfield Blues Band and The Meters.

To be eligible for a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination, artists must have released their work at least 25 years prior to appearing on the ballot. That means this year's hopefuls released their first single in 1987 or earlier. Blues guitarist Albert King has been eligible since 1987, while 2013 marks the first year the seminal hip-hop acts N.W.A. and Public Enemy are eligible.

From today through December 5, fans can vote at several sites including Rockhall.com to boost their favorite artists' chances of making the cut. The top five acts selected by those votes will become part of a special "fans' ballot" that will be counted alongside the international voting body of more than 600 artists, historians and industry members.

The winners will be revealed in December and the 28th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held in Los Angeles at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on Saturday, April 18, 2013. The show will be broadcast on HBO at a later date.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Peter Wolf Kicks Off Short Fall Tour

Platinum-selling legend, the J. Geils Band,  reunited this summer to give fans a dose of the group’s celebrated classics, and just got off the road; but the band’s celebrated singer, Peter Wolf, is showing no signs of slowing down.  The vocalist is going solo once again this autumn, when he’ll launch a series of shows beginning on October 5th at the Hotel Cafe in L.A.

Assembling a stellar five-piece backing band of New England’s greatest jazz, rock and blues musicians, Wolf will present a unique performance of music and storytelling. The evening will include Geils fan favorites and will feature songs from Wolf’s seven solo albums, as well as selections from his latest release, Midnight Souvenirs (Verve/UMe).  In between tunes, the singer will regale audiences with tales from his life as one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest frontmen, such as working with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones; getting chased down an alley by Sly Stone; his “wild nights” in Cambridge with Van Morrison, and being the college roommate of film director David Lynch.

Wolf’s upcoming tour will include key dates in and around his hometown of Boston as well as in New York City.  Last year, Rolling Stone named Midnight Souvenirs as one of the “30 Best Albums of 2010,” stating that it “proves nothing can kill Wolf's charm, musicality and youthfulness.”

Midnight Souvenirs includes a series of sterling duets with A-list singers such as Neko Case, Shelby Lynne and country legend Merle Haggard, and follows 2002’s similarly star-studded Sleepless, an artistic triumph with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Steve Earle, which Rolling Stone listed among the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”

For some, Wolf is best known as the energetic lead singer of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-nominated J. Geils Band, whose many hits include “Centerfold,” “Freeze Frame” and “Love Stinks.” Throughout the band’s many world-wide sold-out tours, Geils had as their opening acts such diverse performers as U2, Tom Petty, Billy Joel, Bob Segar and Fleetwood Mac, to name only a few.

Yet these highlights barely scratch the biographical surface of the multi-faceted talent, Peter Wolf, who as a child, painted in the studio of Norman Rockwell; was the founding program director and late night disc jockey at Boston’s legendary FM station WBCN, and who became close friends with blues greats Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf and John Lee Hooker. The music and stories will flow at the tour dates below.

Friday, October 5 - Hollywood, CA - Hotel Café
Saturday, October 6 - Santa Barbara, CA - Soho Music Club
Thursday, October 25 - Brownfield, ME - Stone Mountain Arts Center
Friday, October 26 - Rockland, ME - Strand Theatre
Tuesday, October 30 - Fall River, MA - Narrows Center For the Arts
Wednesday, October 31 - Fall River, MA - Narrows Center For the Arts
Saturday, November 03 - New York, NY - City Winery

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Compact Disc Was Born 30 Years Ago Today

From NBC News Digital

The digital music revolution officially hit 30 years ago, on Oct. 1, 1982. While you may be surprised to learn that the heralds of the coming age were, in fact, the Bee Gees, it probably comes as less of a shock to learn that Sony was at the very heart of it. After years of research and an intense period of collaboration with Philips, Sony shipped the world's first CD player, the CDP-101. Music — and how we listen to it — would never be the same.

Today the CD player might be seen as something of a relic, since our smartphones, iPods and satellite radios provide seamless access to not only our entire music libraries, but to nearly every artist or track available. We can dictate any song or album to an app and have it playing in seconds, or download a new single by visiting an artist's Facebook page.

In such a world, the idea of carrying around a disc loaded with just 10 or 12 tracks and switching it out every hour sounds positively stone-age. But the MP3 and streaming media are not just the CD's replacements, but its descendants. The future of music in fact made its unofficial debut, believe it or not, in the hands of the Bee Gees.

It was on the BBC show Tomorrow's World in 1981 that the Bee Gees publicly demonstrated CD technology (and a new album, Living Eyes) for the first time. Artists were excited about the format — the prospect of a high-quality, track-separated, non-degrading medium was enticing, though many were still skeptical of digital encoding. But music industry heavies like David Bowie and renowned conductor Herbert von Karajan were quick to embrace it, and soon the likes of Dire Straits would hit a million sales and cement the CD's position as the new standard for music.

That triumph was a long time coming: development of the format began in the '70s, when both Sony and Philips were independently doing research on an digital, optical disc format to replace cassette tapes and records. Early work at Sony was led by Norio Ohga, who bravely bore the skepticism of his comrades in order to create and demonstrate the earliest versions in 1976 and 1978.

Meanwhile, Philips was on the same track, so to speak. Their original version, an evolution of the laserdisc, was a whopping 20cm in diameter, but after reflection they brought the size of their prototype down to 11.5cm — the same size, measured diagonally, as a cassette tape.

In 1979, the two companies decided to work together. They set up a task force of less than a dozen people — engineers who didn't know if they could trust each other. After breaking the ice, however, the team worked for a year and managed to arrive at a set of standards, called the "Red Book." The manufacturing process and method of encoding were contributed by Philips, while Sony created the digital error-correction that made reading the data reliable.

The new technology was privately inaugurated in 1980, and the first modern CD pressed was Richard Strauss's Alpine Symphony. The next year, the Bee Gees went on the BBC, and the year after that the CD as we know it today was born.

That October of 1982, the CDP-101 made its debut in Japan alongside the first run of CD albums, led by Billy Joel's 52nd Street. The device was expensive: ¥168,000,  about $730 at the time, or almost twice that when adjusted for inflation. But home audio wasn't cheap then, and there was a market eager to snap up the new, high-fidelity audio format.

The engineers behind it had really had a task: everything about the system was brand new. As Jacques Heemskerk, one of the senior Philips engineers on the project, told the BBC in 2007:

It was revolutionary in many fields — the optics were new, the disc was new. At the start of development there wasn't even a laser that would work well enough for our needs. The most advanced laser at the time had a lifespan of only 100 hours.

So the cost was justified by the complexity and novelty of the hardware. Other manufacturers, like Toshiba, Kenwood, and of course Philips, would produce variant CD players over the course of the next year.

The first CDs to market, with the notable exception of Billy Joel, were mostly classical. In fact, the capacity of the CD was raised during development from 60 to 74 minutes in order to accommodate Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The creators of the format knew that classical music lovers were more likely to appreciate (and more likely to pay for) the increased quality of the CD system.

The pop and rock market, however, was still in love with cassettes, which were more portable and more ubiquitous than ever. 1979 had brought the first Walkman, and cassette players were now standard equipment in car radios. The CD was, for the moment, strictly for the home, where your nice speakers and amp would make the improved fidelity sing. Even there, to this day, some audiophiles swear by vinyl records and an all-analog setup.

It wasn't until later in the '80s that things really took off. Dire Straits' Brothers In Arms sold a million CDs in 1985, suggesting that the format had finally hit its stride. It wasn't long before other artists were selling millions upon millions of their albums in CD format. The Discman, introduced in 1984, and the CD-ROM format, enabling computers to read the discs, further accelerated uptake.

The rest, as they say, is history. Since that time, hundreds of billions of CDs have been shipped and sold — the numbers are near-impossible to track, since the easily duplicated digital data led to an enormous increase in piracy and counterfeiting, not to mention the billions of copies and mix-CDs made by normal users.

Music CDs peaked in 2000 with global sales estimated at around 2.5  billion. Soon (legal) digital downloads began to replace physical media for many music buyers. Though its numbers are on the decline, CDs are still produced today on the order of hundreds of millions, and it will be many years yet before the world's CD factories shut their doors.

The size and shape of the CD, as well as its capacity, portability, and versatility, have been a major factor in how music has been developed and consumed for decades. Albums were written to fill it, new formats like the DVD were made in imitation of it, and entire new trends in media resulted from it. The Compact Disc started the digital revolution for music in the '70s, and we're still feeling the effects.