Friday, June 30, 2017

Paul McCartney Reaches Settlement With Sony/ATV In Beatles Rights Dispute

The fight that was poised to be a landmark music battle has ended in a draw.

Sir Paul McCartney and Sony/ATV have reached a deal in their duel over the Beatles song rights, settling a case that had the potential to rock the music industry to its core.

McCartney sued in January, asking the court for a declaration that he could soon reclaim his copyright ownership share to the iconic group's catalog of songs. Because the Copyright Act of 1976 lengthened the term of copyright protection by 19 years, it created for owners of works who signed over their rights on or before Jan. 1, 1978, the non-waivable right to reclaim them after a certain period of time. The provision McCartney relied on here states specifically: "Termination of the grant may be effected at any time during a period of five years beginning at the end of fifty-six years from the date copyright was originally secured, or beginning on January 1, 1978, whichever is later."

For the singer, that date was Oct. 5, 2018. Despite not receiving any push back from Sony/ATV after sending termination notices, the artist was on alert because one of the company's affiliates successfully opposed Duran Duran's efforts to regain rights. In December, an English court ruled that the interpretation of contracts under English law trumps American termination law and the band's agreement transferred the "entire copyrights" for the "full term" of the copyrights and "implicitly precludes the Group Members from exercising rights under US law which have the result that the Claimant's ownership of the copyrights is brought to an end prior to their expiry."

Now that McCartney and Sony/ATV have resolved this issue themselves, copyright watchers won't have the satisfaction of knowing how a stateside court would rule in this case.

"The parties have resolved this matter by entering into a confidential settlement agreement and jointly request that the Court enter the enclosed proposed order dismissing the above-referenced action without prejudice," writes McCartney attorney Michael Jacobs in a Thursday letter to U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos.

The details of the deal are unclear, but the order specifies that the New York federal court will "enforce the terms of the parties’ Settlement Agreement, should a dispute arise."

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Tickets On Sale Today For Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers At The Hollywood Bowl

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers' final stop on their extensive North American tour will be at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA on Thursday, September 21.

Tickets will go on today (June 29) at 10:00 AM Pacific. To purchase tickets, go here.

This climatic finale will be the band's seventh performance at the beloved, historic amphitheater.

Lucinda Williams will join as the band's very special guest. Williams has a long history with the band-the band recorded her song "Change the Locks" in 1996 for Songs And Music From 'She's The One,' she opened for the band on the "Echo Tour" in 1999, and most recently, she performed Petty's songs "Rebels" and "Southern Accents" when he was honored as the 2017 MusiCares Person Of The Year.

For more information, go to tompetty.com.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Frank Zappa's Brother Bob Zappa To Release Second Book “Frankie & Bobby: The Rest of Our Story”

Following his critically acclaimed book Frankie & Bobby: Growing Up Zappa, Frank Zappa's younger brother Charles Robert “Bob” Zappa is releasing a second book titled Frankie & Bobby: The Rest of Our Story.

Bob's first book, Frankie & Bobby: Growing Up Zappa, is poignant and insightful perspective on the life of one of the twentieth century's most provocative and intriguing musicians. This “coming of age” memoir provided readers with never before told stories about events that helped shape Frank's political, social, intellectual and creative development. The book begins with the brother's time in Maryland from the late 1940's until the summer of 1967 in New York City before Frank and the Mothers went on their first of many European tours. This fascinating account describes how the two brothers lived through, and handled, a series of events ranging from amusing to life threatening. It is a must-read for anybody interested in Frank's amazing life that only his closest confidant and brother, Bobby, can tell.

Bob's new book Frankie & Bobby: The Rest of Our Story picks up where the first volume leaves off... Says Bob, “For those of you who read my first book, Frankie & Bobby: Growing Up Zappa, thank you. I hope you enjoyed it and found that the information about Frank added to your understanding his complex and brilliant mind and his early development. This book tells the next chapter in our story. It's about how my brother and I continued on our separate but intertwined paths after his successful long running show, Absolutely Free (sic), at the Garrick Theater in New York in the summer of 1967.

“When I decided to write the sequel to Frankie and Bobby: Growing Up Zappa, I wanted to provide readers with more personal stories that would fill in gaps on how our lives intersected over the last decades of Frank's life. I also wanted to describe more about life in America during the Vietnam era and up to the present day to help set the stage for events that fans have wondered about for a long time. This time I added more about my own life's journey. I wanted to depict how Frank and I maintained our relationship because to me he was a 'regular guy,' except for his extraordinary life in the public eye. He was my older brother and best friend regardless of his talents, celebrity or public image. I think fans will find this aspect interesting and should help add a more human dimension to his image.

“There are also the episodes about Frank's own family - especially his wife, Gail - that try to explain their curious relationship and how she interacted with me and her own children. Of interest are how our mother, sister, and brother, and especially me, were kept from Frank's and his children's lives. The reasons for that are still unclear to my niece Moon and nephew Dweezil.

“But I do end on a positive note by describing my reunion with Moon and Dweezil following Gail's death, after more than four decades of estrangement. Frankie and Bobby: The Rest of Our Story provides new material that will help Frank's fans add some much needed pieces to the puzzle that is Frank Zappa.”

While there have been several books and documentaries about Frank Zappa, most have forgotten to mention that Frank often referred to himself as “a regular guy.” And that is one of the “driving forces” behind Bob's new book.

Says Co de Kloet, well-known radio personality and music producer in Amsterdam, “By sharing personal, sometimes extremely personal stories about his relationship with Frank, Bob gives us a clear view of that 'regular-guyness' quality, leaving the importance and impact of his brother intact. By not just focusing on Frank and giving us information about other relations and some of his own experiences, he puts Frank in a new and sincere perspective. I had a great time reading it and I hope it will do well. Over the years I had a friendship with Herbie Cohen, Frank's manager and business partner. He was at my farmhouse a few times and once when he was reading something in a book about Zappa, he smiled and said, 'It is always fun to read what people THINK really happened (in Frank's life) but they haven't got a clue.' Bob Zappa has! And that is what makes this book a must have.”

The book is also one of rejection, reconciliation and closure... As James Cohen: Zappanale Master of Ceremonies explains, “A memoir is more than recollection, it exposes a continuum of related events: Bob Zappa's 'Frankie & Bobby - The Rest of Our Story' is wisdom gained over time. Picking up where his first book left off, it focuses on Bob's adventures in the US and elsewhere - a Swedish university course in Deviant Behavior or a close brush with Soviet espionage. Bob's ultimate purpose of understanding how his alienation from his brother Frank's world developed, or was created, overshadows these episodes. Climaxing with a series of rejections relating to the passing of their mother Rose Marie and finally of Frank himself, Bob celebrates his subsequent reconciliation with Dweezil and Moon and a new life rooted deep in his past…A great read, and for the Zappa faithful, optimistic closure.”

Distinguished Teaching Professor Joseph Klein, Dmus concludes, “Perhaps most poignant are the episodes relating to Frank's own family- in particular his wife, Gail…during the final years of Frank's life…and (sheds) light on a matter that has baffled and frustrated the Zappa fan community for decades…Frankie and Bobby: The Rest of Our Story is essential reading for any Zappologist curious for answers regarding some of the more enigmatic aspects of Frank's life.”

To purchase Frankie & Bobby: The Rest of Our Story:
https://www.createspace.com/6991665 (United States)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1544258798 (United States)
http://www.amazon.ca/dp/1544258798 (Canada - Book not currently available in Canada)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1544258798 (United Kingdom)
http://www.amazon.de/dp/1544258798 (Germany)
http://www.amazon.es/dp/1544258798 (Spain)
http://www.amazon.fr/dp/1544258798 (France)
http://www.amazon.it/dp/1544258798 (Italy)

Monday, June 26, 2017

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

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

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


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

Friday, June 23, 2017

Over 40,000 Attend 13th Annual Mountain Jam

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

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

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

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

Thursday, June 22, 2017

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

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

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

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

TRACK LISTING

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

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Video Premiere: Gerry Beckley's 'Serious'

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


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

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

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

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

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

Gerry Beckley on tour with America:

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Lynyrd Skynyrd Members Head To Trial Over Plane Crash Movie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cleopatra prevailed in the first round.

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

Monday, June 19, 2017

Original KISS Drummer Peter Criss Retiring From Touring

Drummer Peter Criss, the co-founder of KISS and co-author of their hit single, "Beth," is retiring from the concert stage with a show to let him say goodbye on his own terms.

It's his way to purge the bad taste left in his mouth by a series of unhappy endings with KISS, including the band's 2014 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where quarreling over which lineup would perform at the ceremony ended up with Kiss not playing at all.

On Saturday, Criss will play what he says is his last U.S. concert at The Cutting Room, an intimate venue in Manhattan where he promises a mix of KISS classics, his own solo material, and covers he always wanted to perform live but was told by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, "We don't do that; it's not Kiss."

"I want to leave the stage happy," Criss said. "I got onto the stage not thinking about making a buck. It was just pure: Play drums, have a good time, meet girls, travel and get out of Brooklyn."

Criss, 71, formed KISS with Stanley and Simmons and guitarist Ace Frehley in 1973. Within two years the album "Alive!" captured the essence of the makeup and costume-wearing, bomb-detonating, blood spitting musical circus that was KISS, and spawned one of rock's all-time classic anthems, "Rock and Roll All Nite."

But drugs and alcohol helped cut short Criss and Frehley's tenure with the band until a 1996 reunion that was the year's highest-grossing tour. By the end of a co-headlining tour with Aerosmith in 2003, Criss said, "There was bad blood with us again." The morning after the last tour date in California, Criss said Simmons, Stanley and guitarist Tommy Thayer, who replaced Frehley, "were leaving on our jet, a G-5, and they booked me on a commercial jet at 7 o'clock the next morning. And I hit the ceiling."

His wife Gigi booked Criss his own jet for the trip home to the New Jersey shore, where bad feelings festered for more than a decade. Even KISS' long-awaited induction into the Rock Hall in 2014 couldn't end on a harmonious note.

"I wanted to play so bad that night, and I know Ace did," he said. "And we didn't ... I didn't get to end my career the way I wanted to end it. So now I'm doing it my way, kind of like Sinatra."

While nothing is scheduled, Criss holds out the possibility of similar farewell one-offs in other countries, following a successful show in Melbourne, Australia last month. He's got plenty of plans, including a half-finished rock album he started before developing (and overcoming) breast cancer; a jazz album; a children's' book; and even a comedy screenplay he hopes will interest actor Ben Stiller.

But touring is over.

"I've been around the world 10 times," Criss said. "I can tell you what's on pretty much every menu in every hotel in all the world."

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Velvet Underground And Nico Album Celebrates 50 Years

Half a century after the 1967 release of their landmark debut album The Velvet Underground and Nico, the Velvet Underground's intrepid musical vision and audacious lyrical approach have yet to be equaled.  Although they met with little commercial acceptance during their existence, the seminal New York foursome of Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker has since attained legendary status, and the band's body of work stands as a monument to rock 'n' roll's capacity for sonic experimentation and artistic fearlessness. 

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band's game-changing debut LP The Velvet Underground and Nico, on June 30, 2017, UME is releasing a special vinyl edition of the album that preserves its iconic original Andy Warhol-designed cover art.  The anniversary edition will be available as standard black-vinyl and available at retail and online outlets.  A limited edition pink-vinyl version with a pressing of only 1000 copies will be available exclusively through uDiscover.

In addition to reproducing Warhol's beloved original "banana cover" design, complete with peelable banana sticker, the 50th-anniversary vinyl edition also reproduces the album's original gatefold cover as well as its rare original back-cover "torso" photo, with Lou Reed's face superimposed over the torso of Warhol associate Eric Emerson.  The photo appeared in this form on The Velvet Underground and Nico's initial pressing, but was quickly altered for later editions when Emerson threatened legal action.  The shot is restored to its original glory on the 50th anniversary edition, along with a replica of the black sticker that was once used to obscure the disputed image.  The sticker will be attached to the shrink wrap of the anniversary LP, allowing listeners to experience the album's full original package.  An additional insert has been added for this edition, with vintage images plus new liner notes by Velvets co-founder John Cale and Richie Unterberger, author of the book White Light/White Heat: The Velvet Underground Day-By-Day.


On November 16-18, John Cale will celebrate the Velvets' 50th anniversary by curating three nights of special performances as part of the 2017 Next Wave Festival at New York's BAM.  For the first two nights, Cale will be accompanied by an orchestra and special guests to perform The Velvet Underground and Nico in its entirety.  On the third evening, Cale, backed by an orchestra ensemble and choir, will perform selections spanning his long, wide-ranging career, including his work with the Velvet Underground.

Today, the Velvet Underground's immense influence is universally acknowledged.  But for most of the band's actual existence, they barely registered on mainstream radar.  The Velvets' raw, uncompromising musical vision was reflected in the visionary interplay between Reed and Morrison's wrenching yet nuanced guitar work, Cale's squalling viola runs and drummer Tucker's driving, primal beats. Main songwriter Reed's transgressive portrayals of drugs, sex and violence had no precedent in popular music, balancing unflinching grit with unmistakable compassion and empathy.

Early in their career, the Velvet Underground gained a well-connected patron in pop-art icon Andy Warhol, who used his influence to help the band win a recording deal with MGM's Verve imprint.  It was Warhol who suggested that the musicians add icily glamorous German chanteuse Nico (nee Christa Päffgen) to their lineup.

With Warhol credited as producer, The Velvet Underground and Nico is one of the most auspicious debut albums in rock history.  With such essential numbers as "Heroin," "I'm Waiting for the Man," "Sunday Morning," "Venus in Furs," "The Black Angel's Death Song," "Femme Fatale," "All Tomorrow's Parties" and "I'll Be You Mirror" (the latter three featuring Nico's haunting lead vocals), the album chronicles a seamy urban milieu that had never before been documented in popular music, while also exploring a gentler baroque pop sensibility that provides a complementary contrast to the album's harsher insights.

As Cale writes in his liner notes "We focused on trying to inject psychological techniques of hypnosis, drone and repetition into music about topics that we thought were incendiary but within a literary tradition."

In its original release, The Velvet Underground and Nico rose no further than  No. 171 on Billboard's album chart.  Yet the album has emerged as a one-of-a-kind classic, occupying the No. 13 spot on Rolling Stone's list of the top 500 albums of all time, and is included the Library of Congress' prestigious Recording Registry, established "to maintain and preserve sound recordings and collections of sound recordings that are culturally, historically or aesthetically significant."

Although they had once been regarded as near-pariahs, the Velvet Underground's stature has grown immensely in the four decades since The Velvet Underground and Nico was first unleashed upon an uncomprehending world.  Today, the Velvets' influence looms larger than ever, and the 50th anniversary edition of The Velvet Underground and Nico demonstrates that this incomparable album retains every bit of its original power and beauty.

Standard Black-Vinyl: https://UMe.lnk.to/TVU50LPPR  
Limited Edition Colored-Vinyl (1000): https://UMe.lnk.to/TVU50LPPinkPR

For more information on The Velvet Underground visit:
Velvetundergroundmusic.com  
Facebook.com/TheVelvetUnderground

Thursday, June 15, 2017

David Bowie, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, John Peel & More Receive BBC Music Day Blue Plaques

David Bowie, John Peel, John Lennon and Paul McCartney are among many music stars honored with blue plaques for today's BBC Music Day.

To mark the occasion, the BBC’s local radio stations have unveiled 47 blues plaques across the country, signifying “locations that played a major role in our musical heritage.”

Bowie receives two plaques in total, one in Soho in London to mark where the artist recorded his albums Hunky Dory and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, and one in Kent to mark the formation of his early band The Manish Boys. Bowie’s backing band, the Spiders from Mars, meanwhile get a blue plaque in Hull.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney will be honored with a blue plaque at the venue that they played their only gig as a duo, billed as The Nerk Twins, at the Fox and Hounds in Caversham, Berkshire.

Other notable blue plaques include a Syd Barrett plaque in Cambridge, a plaque honoring Doctor Who composer Delia Derbyshire in Coventry, a Lemmy plaque in Stoke, a plaque marking the Manchester flat where Factory Records was founded and a plaque honoring John Peel in Suffolk.

BBC English Regions controller David Holdsworth says: “It is hugely prestigious to receive a British Plaque Trust Blue Plaque, usually only around two are awarded each year. To mark BBC Music Day across BBC Local Radio with 47 blue plaques is a fitting way to commemorate our listeners’ passion and pride for where they live and to celebrate our musical heritage.”

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Anita Pallenberg, Actress & Keith Richards’ Former Girlfriend, Dead At 73

Anita Pallenberg ― model, actress, It girl, style icon and former partner to Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards ― has died. She was 73. 

The news was confirmed by friends of Pallenberg, including Stella Schnabel and Bebe Buell, on social media. Richards, who has not publicly commented on Pallenbger’s death, is reportedly “devastated.”

A cause of death has not yet been released.

“I have never met a woman quite like you, Anita,” Schnabel wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of her and Pallenberg.

“You showed about life and myself and how to grow and become and exist with it all. The greatest woman I have ever known,” she added, according to People. (Schnabel has made her Instagram account private.)

”I will love you forever, dearest Anita,” Buell wrote alongside a vintage photo of a smiling Pallenberg. “Sleep with the special angels, Gods & Goddesses.”

Pallenberg was born in Rome in 1944 to an Italian father and German mother. In her teens, she began modeling and, according to the Guardian, even spent time at Andy Warhol’s Factory in New York.

In 1965, Pallenberg met the Rolling Stones backstage at one of their concerts and developed a relationship with guitarist and founding band member Brian Jones. After about two years, in 1967, Pallenberg left Jones for Richards as the previous relationship reportedly became violent.

Pallenberg and Richards, who both struggled with drug abuse, remained in a relationship until 1980 and had three children together: Marlon, Angela and Tara, who died during infancy.

Pallenberg became a muse for the Stones, providing backup vocals for their hit “Sympathy for the Devil” and reportedly giving the band feedback on their music, according to the Guardian.

She also appeared in a number of films, including “Candy” (1968), “Barbarella” (1968), “Performance” (1970) with Stones frontman Mick Jagger, an episode of “Absolutely Fabulous” in 2001 and Harmony Korine’s film “Mister Lonely” (2007). Pallenberg also tried her hand at a career in fashion, graduating with a degree from renowned school Central Saint Martins in 1994.

She is survived by two of her children, Marlon and Angela, and five grandchildren.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Farm Aid 2017 Coming To Pittsburgh In September

This year's Farm Aid festival will take place on September 16 at the KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. 

The concert lineup will feature performances by Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds, as well as Jack Johnson, The Avett Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson, Blackberry Smoke, Valerie June, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and Insects vs Robots. Additional artists will be announced later this summer.

The Farm Aid presale starts tomorrow, Wednesday, June 14, at noon EDT. Visit farmaid.org/tickets for more the information.

Farm Aid 2017 tickets for the general public go on sale on Friday, June 23, at 10 a.m. EDT. Ticket prices range from $49.50 to $199.50 and will be available for purchase at LiveNation.com, all Ticketmaster locations and by phone at (800) 745-3000.

"Family farm agriculture is the heart of Pennsylvania," Willie Nelson said. "What's happening in western Pennsylvania and the region shows us that we can count on family farmers to strengthen our communities and connect people. Whether we live in rural or urban places, food - and music - brings us all together."

Monday, June 12, 2017

Blue Cheer's 'Vincebus Eruptum' To Be Released On Hybrid SACD

Proto-Metal legends Blue Cheer's debut album Vincebus Eruptum will be released on Limited Edition Hybrid SACD by Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity. Rock & roll had grown louder and wilder by leaps and bounds during the '60s, but when Blue Cheer emerged from San Francisco onto the national rock scene in 1968 with their debut album, Vincebus Eruptum, they crossed a line which most musicians and fans hadn't even thought to draw yet. 

The album features a heavy, thunderous blues sound, which would later be known as heavy metal. It also contains elements of acid rock, grunge, experimental rock, blues rock, stoner rock, and garage rock. A commercial and critical success,Vincebus Eruptum peaked at number 11 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and spawned the Top 20 hit cover of Eddie Cochran's “Summertime Blues.”

The album has been held in high regard by many rock critics who regularly praised the band's “sound and fury” as one of the founding movements of heavy metal. No band could summon so much power with just three people. Vincebus Eruptum is still the Blue Cheer's album to own, it was their simplest and most forceful musical statement.

TRACKS:
1 Summertime Blues
2 Rock Me Baby  
3 Doctor Please  
4 Out Of Focus  
5 Parchment Farm
6 Second Time Around

Produced by Abe “Voco” Kesh
Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio
SACD Authoring: Stephen Marsh at Marsh Mastering

For more information: www.audifidelity.net

Friday, June 9, 2017

Elton John Announces New Dates For 'The Million Dollar Piano' In Las Vegas

Elton John will return to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas this Fall 2017 and early 2018 to perform his most iconic hits in "The Million Dollar Piano," the singer's longtime Vegas residency that ends May 2018.  Tickets for the following 27 dates go on sale Saturday, June 10, at noon PT.

2017:
October 11 Wednesday
October 13-15 Friday, Saturday, Sunday
October 18 Wednesday
October 20-21 Friday, Saturday
October 24- 25 Tuesday, Wednesday
October 27-28 Friday, Saturday
November 1 Wednesday
November 3-4 Friday, Saturday

2018:
February 9-11 Friday, Saturday, Sunday
February 14 Wednesday
February 16-18 Friday, Saturday, Sunday
February 21-22 Wednesday, Thursday
February 25 Sunday
February 27 Tuesday
March 1-2 Thursday, Friday

Tickets may be purchased in person at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Box Office, by calling 888-4-ELTON J, or online at thecolosseum.com or axs.com. Ticket prices start at $55 (prices include a 9% Live Entertainment Tax). VIP packages are available. Orders are subject to additional service charges and fees. There is an eight (8) ticket limit per guest. For groups of 20 or more, call (702) 731-7208.  Shows are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

World-renowned singer, songwriter and performer Elton John made a triumphant return to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace with his all new show, "The Million Dollar Piano." At the centerpiece of the performance is the show's namesake piano, an engineering marvel featuring more than 68 LED video screens created by Yamaha.

Elton John's band features Nigel Olsson (part of John's original three-piece band) on drums, Davey Johnstone (who first recorded with Elton in 1971 and joined the band a year later) on guitar, John Mahon on percussion, Kim Bullard on keyboards, Matt Bissonette on bass, with a special appearance by percussionist Ray Cooper.

"The Million Dollar Piano" features iconic hits and classic album tracks from throughout Elton John's incredible five-decade career, all enhanced by the most elaborate stage design the singer has ever used.

Elton John is one of the top-selling solo artists of all time, with 38 gold records and 31 platinum albums, 29 consecutive Top 40 hits, and he has sold more than 250 million records worldwide. John holds the record for the biggest-selling single of all time, "Candle in the Wind 1997," which sold over 33 million copies, as well as for most appearances on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart with his most recent single "A Good Heart" (from his latest album Wonderful Crazy Night) marking his 72nd entry. He has also written the music for stage and screen successes Billy Elliot: The Musical, Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida, and The Lion King, which was named the highest-grossing stage show or film release in the world. Elton John has over 4,000 performances, in more than 80 countries, to his credit since launching his first tour in 1970.

Among the many awards and honors bestowed upon him are five Grammys, a Grammy Legend award, a Tony and an Oscar, a Best British Male Artist BRIT Award, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Kennedy Center Honor, Legend of Live Award, 12 Ivor Novello Awards and a knighthood from HM Queen Elizabeth II for "services to music and charitable services."

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Roger Waters Critics Call for Boycott Over Pink Floyd Singer’s ‘Brazen Anti-Semitism’

Roger Waters has urged his fellow musical artists to stop performing in Israel — and now the former Pink Floyd bassist has been threatened with a boycott himself for his views on Israel.

Waters, who released a new solo album Is This the Life We Really Want? on June 2, and is currently on the road with his Us + Them tour, has been targeted with a boycott by a group that accuses Waters of “espousing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.”

In its petition, the group, which calls itself We Don’t Need No Roger Waters — a play on the lyrics to Waters’ “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)” — calls Waters “a leader of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign within the cultural arena.”

“He has lobbied countless artists to refuse to perform in Israel, while publicly criticizing others for doing so,” the petition continues. “In 2013, Waters appeared on stage in a Nazi-like uniform, with a pig-shaped balloon emblazoned with a Star of David and symbols of dictatorial regimes. Waters has an extensive history of espousing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, speaking about the ‘extraordinary’ power of the ‘Jewish lobby’ and going so far as to compare Israeli treatment of the Palestinians to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany.”

On its website, the group rails against Waters’ “malicious and intensive campaign against Israel and the Jewish people.”

“As Waters begins his tour to promote his latest album … it is time that the those who wish to defend human rights and democratic principles, take a stand and not remain silent in the face of brazen anti-Semitism,” the group continued.

The petition was launched as  No.1 NY Times Bestselling Author and award-winning filmmaker Ian Halperin prepares to release his Roger Waters documentary “Wish You Weren’t Here,” scheduled for release this summer.

“I spent the past two years investigating Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters. The results were not pretty. Aside from allegations of being abusive towards his ex wives and being a serial control freak, I interviewed the top Jewish leaders, the Pope and some important French, German, UK and Muslim leaders in the world who were not pleased with his stance against Israel,” Halperin said. “On camera, numerous of them call Waters an anti-Semite.”

Halperin quoted a former band member of Waters’ as saying, “He’s a master of misdirection and the penultimate control freak. If his fans really knew what he was about they’d run for their lives. He had several failed marriages because nobody could live with him. His temperament is highly abusive. His campaign against Israel and the Jewish people is horrendous, disgusting and completely abusive. Israel should sue his ass for spreading such nonsense against its country and people. Roger has caused Israel irreparable damage.”

Waters has been criticized for his stance on Israel before. In 2015, radio personality Howard Stern said on his show, “Where’s the one place they can stick Jews where no one will be offended? Because the Jews are getting killed all over the world. Give them a little homeland on a desert where there’s no water, where essentially no one could live. And no one did live there despite the bulls–t. And the Palestinians are these Arabs that could live in Egypt, that could live in Saudi Arabia, but guess what? Those countries don’t want them either. So they have a country, and Israel has a tiny little country and it bugs the s— out of Roger Waters.”

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Pete Townshend's Classic Quadrophenia Announces Limited Run Of U.S. Shows This September

The Who's Pete Townshend is transporting Classic Quadrophenia to U.S. audiences this September for a series of four special performances featuring Townshend, Billy Idol, and acclaimed tenor Alfie Boe. 

Townshend conceptualized an experience unlike any other by blending the Who's timeless album Quadrophenia with orchestral accompaniment. The London world premiere at Royal Albert Hall electrified audiences and will now be replicated in Lenox, MA, New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA only!

The extraordinary musical journey kicks off September 2 in Lenox with the Boston Pops Orchestra and conductor Keith Lockhart.  The New York and Los Angeles performances will be led by conductor Robert Ziegler, and the LA show on September 16 will support Teen Cancer America with a portion of proceeds going to the charity.

"I'm thrilled to be bringing Classic Quadrophenia stateside through the month of September," Townshend said. "Melding the contrasting sounds of Quadrophenia with a symphony has been a really unique and powerful way to reach a wide audience of classical and pop music lovers alike. I couldn't be more excited to see it continue in the U.S."

The Who's historic rock opera Quadrophenia was originally released as an extensive double album in 1973 and has stood the test of time as a conceptual work honoring the Mod movement. The album, later turned into a feature film and theatrical production, follows an angst-ridden young man in London who creates a new life for himself as a member of the Mods.

Citi® cardmembers will have access to purchase pre-sale tickets beginning Thursday, June 8 at 10 a.m. local time until Monday, June 12 at 10 p.m. local time through Citi's Private Pass® program. For complete pre-sale details visit www.citiprivatepass.com.

Tickets are available to the general public on Tuesday, June 13 at 10 a.m. local time. For additional details and ticket information please visit livenation.com.

Pete Townshend's Classic Quadrophenia

Saturday, September 2 - Tanglewood - Lenox, MA
Saturday, September 9 - Metropolitan Opera House - New York, NY
Sunday, September 10 -  Metropolitan Opera House - New York, NY
Saturday, September 16 - The Greek Theatre - Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Beatles Back On The Charts With 'Sgt. Pepper' 50th Anniversary Release

The Beatles returned to the Billboard 200 album charts with the 50th anniversary reissue of classic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, according to data from Nielsen SoundScan on Monday.

The remastered version of the Sgt. Pepper 1967 album sold more than 75,000 units for the week to take the No. 3 spot on the Billboard 200. It was the highest Billboard 200 ranking for the British rock quartet in some 16 years, when its greatest hits album 1 spent several weeks at or near the top of the chart, Billboard said.

Still, the Beatles were not big enough to steal the thunder of Kentucky rapper Bryson Tiller, 24, whose "True to Self" sold 106,000 units in its first week and took the No. 1 spot.

Kendrick Lamar's Damn. held onto second place with another 84,000 units sold in its seventh week of release.

The Billboard 200 album chart tallies units from album sales, song sales (10 songs equal one album) and streaming activity (1,500 streams equal one album).

Monday, June 5, 2017

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow Releases New Song In Support For Manchester & London

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow was moved to release a special version of “Land of Hope and Glory," a reworking of “Pomp And Circumstance March No. 1,” written in 1902. The renowned British patriotic anthem is available now via iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon (Minstrel Hall Music).

Expressing his pride for his homeland, Blackmore wanted to show his solidarity and support for the UK with this recording.

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow recently enjoyed success on their 2016 European tour, earning critical acclaim. (Eagle Rock Entertainment recently released a concert film from this tour – Memories In Rock: Live In Germany – on DVD and Blu-ray, and will release the Live In Birmingham 2016 2CD on June 9).

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of Blackmore’s internationally celebrated Renaissance rock band Blackmore’s Night, whom he leads with wife and singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Candice Night.

“Land Of Hope And Glory” will be featured on the bands’ upcoming album To The Moon And Back: 20 Years And Beyond. This collection presents Blackmore’s Night best loved and most requested songs, including newly recorded and remixed versions and brand new tracks, and will be released in July 2017.

“Land Of Hope And Glory” is available via:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Land-Glory-Ritchie-Blackmores-Rainbow/dp/B071HWGHBS
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/land-of-hope-and-glory-single/id1237748131

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention's 'Absolutely Free' 50th Anniversary Expanded 2 LP Edition To Be Released

The Zappa Family Trust will mark the 50th anniversary of Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention's politically-charged, envelope-pushing sophomore album, Absolutely Free, with an expanded vinyl-exclusive edition on September 29 via Zappa Records/UMe. This double 180-gram LP version will include the original record mastered by Bernie Grundman cut directly from the original analog master tapes and a second disc with 20 minutes of rare and unreleased bonus material, including the "Why Don'tcha Do Me Right?"/"Big Leg Emma" single as well as vintage remixes and radio ads from The Vault on side one and a laser etching of Zappa's visage from the album cover on side two. The package features Zappa's original layout and a reproduction of the rare, highly sought-after "libretto," an 18-page booklet with a foreword by FZ and lyrics to all the compositions, that was offered only by mail order when originally released. Absolutely Free is available for pre-order now: https://UMe.lnk.to/FZAbsolutelyFree.

Released on May 26, 1967 on Verve Records, Absolutely Free was the Mothers of Invention's follow-up to their landmark debut album, Freak Out! Brash, challenging and exhilarating, the record was revolutionary as it pushed the limits of what an album could be. A pop culture pastiche, the album leaps through genres – from psychedelic pop and progressive rock to free-form jazz and avant-garde noise to doo-wop and garage rock, often in the same composition as on album highlight, "Brown Shoes Don't Make It," and is filled with Zappa's trademark biting political and social satire. Hailed by All Music as a "fabulously inventive record" that is "by turns hilarious, inscrutable, and virtuosically complex," the album is divided into two "oratorios" or song suites – "Absolutely Free" and "The M.O.I. American Pageant" – and is rife with complex instrumentation, cutting edge experimentation and unconventional editing.

Produced by Tom Wilson (Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground, Sun Ra), who first worked with the band on Freak Out! the year prior, Absolutely Free featured an expanded cadre of musicians working with Zappa and vocalist Ray Collins and included Jim Fielder on guitar, Roy Estrada on bass, Don Preston on keyboards, Bunk Gardner on woodwinds, and drummers Jim Black and Billy Mundi. The album was recorded the week before Thanksgiving, November 1966 in Los Angeles at the Sunset-Highland Studios of T.T.G. Inc., in a series of four sessions. It was edited and re-mixed in New York City at the MGM Studios in five sessions the following week. In Clash's appreciation of the record, they exclaimed: "Amidst this high-brow inspiration and aggressive musical arrangement we have beautiful passages of melody, laugh-out-loud lyrics about vegetables and lacerating cynicism. Nonconformist, comedic and maverick, Absolutely Free establishes Zappa as a fantastical musical mutineer and pioneering bandleader."

As Zappa wrote in the "libretto" 
"The music of the MOTHERS speaks of the feelings of what might be described as THE VAST MINORITY. The feelings of the people on the fringe of everything . . . the ones who don't care if they're IN or OUT … don't care if they're HIP, HEP, SWINGIN' or ZORCH. This is the audience the MOTHERS want to reach … those few have the power within themselves to cause or motivate social change but have never used it for one reason or another. If you are reading this and understand it (even if you have short hair and watch TV 18 hours a day), it is time that you realized WHO and WHAT YOU ARE. It is time you realized what the words to our songs mean."

Fifty years later,  Absolutely Free resonates as strong as ever and has proven itself to be prescient and wildly ahead of its time.

ABSOLUTELY FREE TRACK LISTING

LP1 – Side 1

Plastic People
The Duke Of Prunes
Amnesia Vivace
The Duke Regains His Chops
Call Any Vegetable
Invocation And Ritual Dance Of The Young Pumpkin
Soft-Sell Conclusion
LP1 – Side 2

America Drinks
Status Back Baby
Uncle Bernie's Farm
Son Of Suzy Creamcheese
Brown Shoes Don't Make It
America Drinks & Goes Home
LP2 – Side 1

Absolutely Free Radio Ad #1
Why Don'tcha Do Me Right
Big Leg Emma
Absolutely Free Radio Ad #2
"Glutton For Punishment…"
America Drinks – 1969 Re-Mix
Brown Shoes Don't Make It – 1969 Re-Mix
America Drinks & Goes Home #2 – 1969 Re-Mix
LP2 – Side 2
Laser Etching

zappa.com
facebook.com/zappa
twitter.com/zappa

Friday, June 2, 2017

Jerry Garcia's 'Wolf' Guitar Auctioned Off For $1.9 Million

A guitar that Jerry Garcia played everywhere from San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom to Egypt's Great Pyramids fetched over $1.9 million at an auction in New York.

Wolf, the Grateful Dead frontman's guitar, was purchased at a charity auction in Brooklyn Wednesday night. The proceeds are earmarked for the Montgomery, Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center.

The guitar was owned by Deadhead Daniel Pritzker. The philanthropist, musician and film director bought it in 2002 at Guernsey's for $790,000.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Bob Seger Announces Tour, Speculated To Be His Last

Bob Seger has confirmed the 24-date Runaway Train tour, though he didn’t clarify the meaning of a promo video for these dates that seemed to indicate plans to retire.

Seger and his Silver Bullet band begin these North American shows at Toledo, Ohio, on August 24, and continue through an October stop at Phoenix. More dates are planned, including concerts in Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and other cities. Select dates will include the band Roadcase Royale featuring Nancy Wilson of Heart as the opener.

This tour was teased earlier this week with a clip that included the tag line “One last time,” leading to speculation that Seger might be calling it quits. The video included music from his 1973 favorite “Turn the Page,” another possible clue.

A complete list of announced dates, venues and cities is attached below. Seger will make at least two stops around his Michigan hometown – a September 9 show at DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, which has already sold out; and a September 23 stop at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Tickets will be available through BobSeger.com and Live Nation.

The announcement of these dates coincides with a pair of vinyl reissues, 1994’s double-disc Greatest Hits, recently certified diamond by the RIAA for achieving 10 million units in the U.S.,  and his 1969 major-label debut Ramblin’ Gramblin’ Man. Both are due on Friday, June 2.

Bob Seger’s ‘Runaway Train Tour’ Dates
8/24 – Toledo, OH, Huntington Center
8/26 – Moline, IL, iWireless Center
8/30 – Green Bay, WI, Resch Center
9/2 – Indianapolis, IN, Klipsch Music Center
9/7 – Saginaw, MI, Dow Event Center
9/9 – Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre
9/12 – Rochester, NY, Blue Cross Arena
9/14 – Boston, MA, TD Garden
9/16 – Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun
9/19 – Grand Rapids, MI, Van Andel Arena
9/21 – Cincinnati, OH, U.S. Bank Arena
9/23 – Auburn Hills, MI, Palace of Auburn Hills
9/28 – Pittsburgh, PA, PPG Paints Arena
9/30 – Columbus, OH, Nationwide Arena
10/5 – Greenville, SC, Bon Secours Wellness Arena
10/7 – Atlanta, GA, Infinity Energy Arena
10/10 – Des Moines, IA, Wells Fargo Arena
10/12 – St. Louis, MO, Scottrade Center
10/14 – Kansas City, MO, Sprint Center
10/19 – Houston, TX, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
10/21 – Dallas, TX, Ford Center at the Star
10/24 – Austin, TX, Frank Erwin Center
10/26 – Denver, CO, Pepsi Center
10/28 – Phoenix, AZ, Talking Stick Resort Arena