Friday, September 30, 2011

Bass Player LIVE! Returns To L.A.

Bass Player LIVE! is back this year to bring players, manufacturers, and artists together in an intimate environment for hands-on access to the latest instruments, equipment and instruction on playing technique and application.

This year's event will feature two days of exhibition, live demos and clinics on October 22 and 23 at SIR Studios, and a special evening concert at Key Club on Saturday, October 22 featuring performances by Jack Casady, Larry Graham, James Jamerson Tribute Band (with James Jamerson Jr.), and the Bass Player LIVE! All-Star Jam hosted by Steve Bailey.

The evening concert will feature a "Lifetime Achievement Award" presentation to funk legend Larry Graham, rock visionary Jack Casady, and posthumously to Motown Master James Jamerson.

Casady will open the concert with guitarist Jorma Kaukonen as Acoustic Hot Tuna; a Jamerson Tribute Band (with James Jamerson, Jr. and Anthony Jackson) will follow. Larry Graham will then perform with members of his Graham Central Station. An all-star jam concludes the evening.

The exhibition/clinics are for players of all levels, and manufacturer exhibits will showcase current basses and equipment to the bass community at large. All musicians are welcome.

"With Larry Graham, Jack Casady, Steve Bailey, Anthony Jackson, Andrew Gouche, Rickey Minor, Hadrien Feraud, Janek Gwizdala, Jonas Hellborg and others, Bass Player LIVE! 2011 has one of the strongest clinic lineups of BPL! talent ever. In addition, there are going to be a number of guest appearances - including Verdine White, Lee Sklar, Alphonso Johnson, Tal Wilkenfeld, Divinity Roxx, Allan "Dr. Licks" Slutsky, Igor Saavedra, and more coming aboard each week. It is going to be one of our best events yet and not to be missed," said Joe Perry, Group Publisher of Music Player Network.

The day exhibition/clinic will take place on both Saturday, October 22 from 10am-6pm and Sunday, October 23 from 10am-4pm at SIR Studios, located at 6465 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, CA. The phone number is (323) 462-1112. The concert will take place on Saturday evening, October 22 at Key Club, located at 9039 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069. Doors open at 7pm. The phone number is (310) 786-1712.


One-Day Pass: $22.50 before September 30th; $30 after September 30th (Includes Clinics and Exhibits on Saturday OR Sunday)

Two-Day Pass: $37.50 before September 30th; $50 after September 30th (Includes Clinics and Exhibits on Saturday AND Sunday)

Key Club Concert: $22.50 before September 30th; $30 after September 30th (Concert Only)

To purchase tickets, please visit

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Rolling Stones Bring 1978 Concert To Big Screen

The Rolling Stones will transport their legion of fans back to the magical summer of 1978 in The Rolling Stones: Some Girls Live In Texas, a one-night in-theater concert event on Tuesday, October 18, at 7:30 p.m. (local time).

Unveiled for the first time in more than 30 years, this rare, never-before-seen concert was captured live in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 18, 1978. Digitally remastered to HD with Cinema Surround Sound, this legendary footage includes a mixture of classic Stones hits such as “Brown Sugar,” “Honky Tonk Women,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Tumbling Dice,” paired with blues numbers and Chuck Berry covers, as well as songs from the then newly released Some Girls LP including “Beast of Burden” and “Miss You.”

This tour has never been released via broadcast, cable television or DVD before. The special event will also include an exclusive 20-minute interview with Mick Jagger filmed in August 2011 where he reflects on the fabled 1978 U.S. tour, which is widely believed among fans to be one of the band’s greatest tours and strongest musically.

“Fort Worth was an amazing night in a blistering hot July,” said Jagger. “Watching it now, the band was really intense and focused, but we were also having a blast with the fans who were really getting into the show and the new tracks from Some Girls. I think our fans will love the chance to see this concert movie for the first time on the big screen.”

The Rolling Stones: Some Girls Live From Texas will be broadcast to more than 300 theaters nationwide through NCM’s exclusive Digital Broadcast Network. Fathom and Eagle Rock also teamed up for the highly successful cinema presentation of Ladies & Gentlemen… The Rolling Stones in September 2010, which featured classic Stones performances from their 1972 tour.

Tickets for The Rolling Stones: Some Girls Live In Texas are available at participating theater box offices and online at

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Manhattan Transfer To Close 2011 INFINITI Summer Concert Series

The 2011 INFINITI Summer Concert Series at Hyatt Regency Newport Beach wraps up the 20th year of the concert series with The Manhattan Transfer on Friday, September 30th, under the stars in the hotel’s intimate outdoor amphitheater.

The Manhattan Transfer vocal jazz group is one of the most enduring bands on the international jazz scene. As winner of several Grammy awards and chart topping singles, the band consist of Founder Tim Hauser, Alan Paul, Janis Siegel, Cheryl Bentyne and Laurel Massé.

Their latest release in 2009, The Chick Corea Songbook, is a tribute to the works of American jazz musician Chick Corea, which features an appearance by Corea himself on the track "Free Samba.” Other notable musicians on this recording are Airto Moreira, Scott Kinsey, Gary Novak, Steve Hass, Alex Acuna, Jimmy Earl, John Benitez, and Christian McBride.

Attendees of the concert can enjoy pre-show cocktails and appetizers in the hotel’s new lounge and patio area, a casual and elegant setting reminiscent of a beach home retreat. The hotel debuted the $2 million renovation – exhibiting a fresh California Beach chic look and feel – at the start of the music series.

The hotel is located at 1107 Jamboree Road in Newport Beach, California,and can be reached at (949) 729-1234 for reservations and more hotel information, or at

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Heart, Joan Jett And Guns N' Roses Nominated For Rock And Roll Of Fame

One defined rock in the 1980s and early 1990s, and the other's biggest hit name-calls the genre. Those might be some reasons why Guns N' Roses and Joan Jett are among the leading nominees for this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of 2012.

In addition to the Axl Rose-led group and the woman who made "I Love Rock 'n Roll" a rallying cry, other first-time nominees who could take the podium at the April 14, 2012, induction ceremony at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, include legendary mope rockers the Cure, sister act Heart, hip-hop icons Eric B. & Rakim, classic vocal group the Spinners, blues giant Freddie King, soul act Rufus with Chaka Khan and 1960s rockers the Small Faces/Faces.

A number of previous nominees are back again for another shot at the Hall, including the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, War, Donovan and Laura Nyro.

Acts become eligible for the Hall 25 years after the release of their first single or album, so this year's crop all started releasing music in or before the year 1986.

Jett is one of the most iconic women in rock, from her teenage jailbait tour in the all-girl group the Runaways to her tough-as-nails leather-clad days as a solo star and bandleader of the Blackhearts. With her signature low-slung guitar, spiky black hair and Elvis sneer, Jett broke out as a solo star in the early 1980s with a string of fist-pumping hits (many of which were covers of old-school rock tunes) including "I Love Rock 'n Roll," "Crimson and Clover," "I Hate Myself for Loving You," "Do You Wanna Touch Me" and "Bad Reputation."

Led by the mercurial Rose, GN'R re-invented hard rock with 1987's Appetite for Destruction, which featured such indelible glam-punk hits as "Welcome to the Jungle," "Paradise City," "Sweet Child o' Mine" and "It's So Easy." The band splintered a decade later amid a clash of egos, disagreement over musical direction and drug issues that resulted in Rose soldiering on alone with a parade of replacement sidemen.

New York's Eric B. & Rakim are considered one of the greatest hip-hop duos of all time, rising to prominence on 1986's Paid in Full with a sound that mixed scratching and samples of old-school R&B with B.'s hard-hitting rhymes on tunes such as "Eric B. Is President," "I Know You Got Soul," the title track and "Move the Crowd."

Formed in 1976, British band the Cure have become shorthand for a certain kind of poppily depressive goth rock sound. Fronted by fright-wig-and-red-lipstick-wearing Robert Smith, the Cure are enduring college rock favorites thanks to such gloomily frothy tunes as "Friday I'm in Love," "Just Like Heaven," "Close to Me" and "Why Can't I Be You?"

Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson formed Heart in 1973 in Seattle, Washington, mixing their love of hard rock and folk music on such mid-1970s radio staples as "Crazy on You," "Magic Man" and "Barracuda." R&B vocal group the Spinners were birthed on the fertile Detroit soul scene in 1961, hitting the charts multiple times with songs including "It's a Shame," "I'll Be Around," "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" and "Games People Play."

Chicago blues band Rufus struck gold with lead singer Chaka Khan, who helped them score hits with "Tell Me Something Good," "Sweet Thing" and "Ain't Nobody." Late Texas bluesman King (known as "The Texas Cannonball") was often referred to as one of the "three kings" of electric blues guitar, along with Albert King and B.B. King. He was best known for the songs "Have You Ever Loved a Woman" and "Hide Away" and for being one of the first blues players to have an integrated backing band.

Like the Who, English mod rockers the Small Faces were heavily influenced by American R&B, which they explored on signature songs "Itchycoo Park," "Lazy Sunday" and "All or Nothing." In their second phase as the Faces, members included future Rolling Stones rhythm guitarist Ronnie Wood and singer Rod Stewart.

Dissension has become one of the reliable side stories of the Rock Hall ceremonies. While such notoriously splintered acts as Led Zeppelin and the Talking Heads managed to set aside differences for one night (Blondie, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Van Halen not so much), the biggest question this year is whether sole remaining Guns member Rose will make nice with his estranged former bandmates should the group make it into the Hall of Fame

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pink Floyd Pig Flies Again As Studio Albums Reissued

A large inflatable pig flew above London's Battersea Power Station on Monday in a stunt designed to mark the reissue of British band Pink Floyd's 14 studio albums by record label EMI Music.

The animal, measuring 30 feet long and 15 feet high, was inflated with helium at dawn for the event, held 35 years after the making of the album cover for "Animals" featuring a similar flying pig.

EMI had planned to use the same inflatable pig, which had been kept at a workshop since the original shoot, but two weeks ago it was deemed not to be airworthy and a replica was made.

The artwork on the "Animals" album was a combination of a photograph of the background of Battersea Power Station taken on Dec. 2, 1976, and the pig photographed on Dec. 4.

On Dec. 3 that year, the pig slipped its moorings and floated into the Heathrow airport flight path before being recovered by a farmer in Kent, southeast England.

Howard Bartrop, a photographer who worked on the 1976 shoot, recalled the difficulties involved.

"It was quite tricky that day and very cold and of course famously after a day or so we had the problem where he (the pig) floated up away from the building and was spotted by commercial pilots landing into Heathrow," he told Reuters.

"He then floated off towards Kent, followed by a police helicopter, landed in a farm I believe and frightened all the cattle.

"Basically he was retrieved, patched up and put back in the air the next day so we could try and photograph him again."

Under the banner "Why Pink Floyd ... ?," EMI Music is releasing all 14 Pink Floyd studio albums remastered and available digitally. They are also available as one Discovery Box Set.

Also on sale from Monday are special editions of one of the band's most acclaimed albums, "The Dark Side of The Moon," extended to feature unreleased music from Pink Floyd archives.

Pink Floyd, behind seminal albums The Dark Side of the Moon, "Wish You Were Here" and "The Wall," is one of the most successful rock bands of all time, having sold an estimated 200 million albums worldwide.

The group, also famous for its acrimonious split and one-off reunion at charity concert Live 8 in 2005, re-signed to long-time record label EMI in January in a five-year deal.

The agreement also brought to an end a legal dispute between the sides over EMI's right to "unbundle" their records and sell individual tracks online.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sly Stone Homeless, Lives In Van

Sly Stone -- once one of the biggest names in soul music -- now lives in a white van he routinely parks in the rough Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Stone, according to the NY Post, befriended a local family and showers at their house. Their son serves as his assistant and driver.

Stone, whose mega-hits include "Everyday People," says, "I like my small camper. I just do not want to return to a fixed home. I cannot stand being in one place. I must keep moving."

He says his money troubles started in 2009 when he stopped receiving royalty checks from his manager, whom he had accused of fraud. He sued the manager for $50 million.

Stone also foolishly sold his music publishing rights to Michael Jackson for just $1 million in 1984.

He says the FBI is after him and his enemies have hired hit men.

But Stone says he's still recording music ... on a laptop computer.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hendrix's Estate Gets Fraction Of Jury Award

A federal judge threw out an award of more than $1.7 million to the estate of Jimi Hendrix, saying the jury's verdict in a trademark infringement suit was the "product of speculation, error, and disregard of the court's instructions."

U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly reduced the award to $60,000, refused to grant treble damages, modified a proposed permanent injunction to include fair use rights and gave the estate $50,000 in attorneys' fees instead of the $500,000 requested.

Authentic Hendrix and Experience Hendrix, run by Jimi's stepsister Janie Hendrix, sued Hendrix Licensing and Andrew Pitsicalis over use of a Jimi Hendrix headshot logo and signature. Jimi's brother Leon Hendrix is on Hendrix Licensing's board of directors. In an earlier ruling, Zilly referred to the case as "part of a continuing saga of litigation" over Jimi Hendrix's legacy.

Before trial, the judge granted Hendrix Licensing and Pitsicalis partial summary judgment, striking down as unconstitutional portions of the Washington Personality Rights Act that allowed anyone to claim publicity rights in Washington, even if they had no connection to the state.

Later a jury awarded a $1.7 million verdict to the Hendrix estate based on lost profits and injury to reputation or goodwill.

But Zilly said Wednesday that the verdict on lost profits "is unsupported by the evidence."

Experience Hendrix "presented no evidence concerning their expenses, which must be deducted from gross revenue to arrive at an amount that can be awarded as lost profits," and could not prove a relationship between a drop in revenue and the infringing products, according to the 19-page decision.

"For the foregoing reasons, the court concludes that the evidence, when construed in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, permits only one reasonable conclusion, which is contrary to the jury's verdict concerning lost profits," Zilly wrote. "Having entirely failed to carry their burden of proving expenses, plaintiffs are not entitled, as a matter of law, to an award of lost profits."

Zilly also admonished the jury for awarding $750,000 for injury to reputation and $300,000 for injury to goodwill.

"The jury's verdict awarding vastly different amounts for injury to reputation and injury to goodwill cannot be reconciled with the court's instruction that, for a business, reputation and goodwill are the same thing," he wrote.

"For the foregoing reasons, the court concludes that the jury's awards for injury to reputation and injury to goodwill are contrary to the court's instructions and unsupported by the evidence," he added. "The jury's verdict as to these items of damage can only be based on speculation, guesswork, and/or conjecture."

Zilly also rejected the Hendrix estate's request for more than $500,000 in attorneys' fees, saying the family had "utterly failed to assist the court" in separating time spent on unsuccessful motions or claims that were withdrawn.

The family can recoup just $50,000 on that count, he said. If Wednesday's order setting aside the judgments is reversed or vacated, the defendants can have a new trial, the judge concluded.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Gary Moore's Final Show Released On CD, DVD and Blu-ray

Earlier this week, on September 20, Eagle Rock released the very last live performance in the life of acclaimed guitarist, singer and songwriter Gary Moore.

Live At Montreux 2010 shows a major return-to-rock for the musician who spent years exploring the blues. In the last days of his life, Moore, who died on February 6 of this year, was working on a new rock album.

What makes this release so compelling is the inclusion of three never-before-released gems, “Days Of Heroes,” “Where Are You Now” and “Oh Wild One,” that Moore previewed for the Montreux audience and had fully intended to put on the album he was writing and recording at the time. The rest of the set is heavy on the 1980s rock he pioneered solo, as well as his late 60s/70s work with Phil Lynott in Thin Lizzy and Skid Row. And, of course, some blues.

Track listings for the Live At Montreux 2010 releases are as follows:

1) Over The Hills And Far Away
2) Military Man
3) Days Of Heroes
4) Where Are You Now?
5) So Far Away/Empty Rooms
6) Oh Wild One
7) Blood Of Emeralds
8) Out In The Fields
9) Walking By Myself
10) Johnny Boy
11) Parisienne Walkways

1) Over The Hills And Far Away
2) Thunder Rising
3) Military Man
4) Days Of Heroes
5) Where Are You Now?
6) So Far Away/Empty Rooms
7) Oh Wild One
8) Blood Of Emeralds
9) Out In The Fields
10) Still Got The Blues
11) Walking By Myself
12) Johnny Boy
13) Parisienne Walkways

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Call Me Led Zeppelin II

A 64-year-old rock fan officially changed his name to “Led Zeppelin II” during a trip to file divorce papers.

And the former George F Blackburn of Bethalto, Missouri, says the move has improved his quality of life, with fellow Zep fans buying him drinks when they find out his legal title.

Zeppelin was in a courthouse dealing with the paperwork surrounding the split from his third wife when he decided to fill in one more form.

He tells STL Today: “They changed my life forever, and that’s my whole reason for doing this.”

Now even his ex-wife calls him “LZ” and friends refer to him as “Zep”.

He says: “I don’t want to appear to be some off-the-wall drug addict idiot. I just changed my name from the standpoint that I can be a better person than I used to be.”

Some people still call him George – and that’s okay too: “I want them to be comfortable. I reinvented myself. Since I became Led Zeppelin, my life has improved a thousandfold.”

In most parts of the U.S., a name change can take place more or less instantly once applicants complete the paperwork, pay around $200 and have an announcement placed in a local newspaper.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pink Floyd's David Gilmour Ordered To Scrap Beach Hut Or Face Prosecution

Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour has been ordered to pull down a beach hut at his £3 million seafront mansion or risk prosecution.

The musician was told by Brighton and Hove council that the yellow hut he uses to store his bicycles is an eyesore following complaints from local members of the public, according to the Press Association.

A statement from a council spokeswoman said that if Gilmour failed to get rid of the hut by October 1, he could be prosecuted or be charged for its removal by the council.

"We have had a complaint from a member of the public and are legally obliged to act," she said. "As the planning appeal has failed, we have told the owners that the hut must be gone by October 1.

"If that doesn't happen, we would have no option but to issue an enforcement notice. Failure to comply with that means either prosecution or the council may remove the hut and charge the householder," she added.

Pink Floyd are set to re-release remastered versions of their back catalog with EMI on September 27, after resolving a dispute with the label earlier this year.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Beatles Banned Segregated Audiences, Contract Shows

According to the BBC news, the Beatles showed their support for the US civil rights movement by refusing to play in front of segregated audiences, a contract shows.

The document, which is to be auctioned next week, relates a 1965 concert at the Cow Palace in California.

Signed by manager Brian Epstein, it specifies that The Beatles "not be required to perform in front of a segregated audience".

The agreement also guarantees the band payment of $40,000 (£25,338).

Other requirements include a special drumming platform for Ringo Starr and the provision of 150 uniformed police officers for protection.

But the security arrangements were not perfect.

The band played two sets, a matinee and an evening performance, at the venue on 31 August, 1965. At the latter, some of the 17,000-strong crowd broke through security barriers and rushed the stage.

The show was halted, and The Beatles were forced to wait backstage while order was restored.

They eventually finished their 12-song set with Help! followed by its B-side, I'm Down.

The Beatles had previously taken a public stand on civil rights in 1964, when they refused to perform at a segregated concert at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida.

City officials relented, allowing the stadium to be integrated, and the band took to the stage.

"We never play to segregated audiences and we aren't going to start now," said John Lennon. "I'd sooner lose our appearance money."

The struggle for racial equality in America later inspired Paul McCartney to write Blackbird.

The contract for The Beatles' 1965 show is expected to raise up to $5,000 (£3,167) when it goes up for sale by a specialist memorabilia auctioneer in Los Angeles on 20 September.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yes Legends Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman To Tour US This Fall

Much to the delight of fortunate music fans in the Eastern part of North America, music legends and former YES members Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman will be playing a select number of engagements this coming Fall 2011. The legendary duo performed a series of successful concerts in the UK in 2010 in support of their critically acclaimed CD release 'The Living Tree', and are now bringing their highly anticipated show to America!

Having worked together on and off since 1971's groundbreaking YES masterwork Fragile, Anderson and Wakeman have traveled similar musical paths that have eventually and happily led their careers back together again! Now once again, the duo promise a magical evening of music and humor for all who attend.

“Expect a night of music, full of YES classics and new adventures in song from 'The Living Tree' album and moments of brilliance, humor and affection borne from a friendship and musical partnership that has lasted 40 years,” Anderson says.

"We knew from the responses on the last Yes tour that the acoustic section was extremely popular and that many of the pieces could be re-arranged and adapted to make very interesting and hopefully enjoyable new ways of playing Yes music and our own music," adds Wakeman.

Here's what the UK press has said about the Anderson Wakeman tour:

“One of the songs played on the night was the impressive '23/24/11' (from Anderson Wakeman - The Living Tree), the true story of a soldier out in Afghanistan who had that amount of time left to serve as his tour of duty. Looking round at the audience there wasn't a dry eye left in the house. Once more the combination of Jon's amazing vocal style and the lyrics work perfectly.” - Ian D. Hall, LS Media, UK

“Anderson showed yet again that he is the true voice of YES...Wakeman provided the keyboard wizardry and a stream of stories.” - Ian Harvey, Express & Star, UK

“Supporters of these two legends can witness close up, their unique bond which spans almost 40 years; and why these two are being billed as the 'Heart and Soul' of Prog giants YES.” - Classic Media, UK

"Constant humorous interludes and witty interjections from the pair helped enliven the show and added a welcomed lightness. Not only were these anecdotes entertaining, they were also insightful...these two are a perfect creative partnership." - Neil Mach, Staines Weblog

Anderson Wakeman Fall 2011 Tour Dates:
10/19/11 - Potawatomi Casino - Milwaukee, WI
10/22/11 - Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead - Munhall, PA
10/23/11 - Lisner Auditorium - Washington, DC
10/24/11 - Concert Hall - New York, NY
10/26/11 - Kleinhans Music Hall - Buffalo, NY
10/27/11 - The Palace Theatre - Albany, NY
10/29/11 - Tropicana Casino Resort - Atlantic City, NJ
10/30/11 - Temple Performing Arts Center - Philadelphia, PA
11/01/11 - Capitol Center for the Arts - Concord, NH
11/02/11 - The Ridgefield Playhouse - Ridgefield, CT
11/04/11 - Count Basie Theatre - Red Bank, NJ
11/05/11 - Sherman Theatre - Stroudsburg, PA
11/06/11 - Theatre at Westbury - Westbury, NY
11/08/11 - Hanover Theatre - Worcester, MA
11/10/11 - Grande Theatre du Quebec - Quebec City, QC, Canada
11/12/11 - St. Denis Theatre - Montreal, QC, Canada

For more information, go to and

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Paul McCartney To Walk Down Aisle Third Time

Paul McCartney will marry his fiancée, Nancy Shevell, this weekend at a farmhouse in Sussex, England. "It will be a small, intimate wedding," a source told Us Weekly. "It's going to be very elegant and classic."

In addition to the wedding in England, the couple will also celebrate in New York, where Shevell serves as a member of the board of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. "They are having a big party in New York to celebrate later on," says the source.

This will be McCartney's third marriage. His first wife, Linda, died of cancer in 1998. His second marriage to Heather Mills ended with an acrimonious and expensive divorce in 2008.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

From Bruce To Paul, 10 Unforgettable 9/11 Concert Moments


In the days and weeks following the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, many Americans turned to music to soothe, pacify, heal, rouse and distract. It was a time when people were faced with unprecedented surges of emotion and looked, in part, to songwriters to help make sense of the changing landscape. Two landmark events -- The Concert for New York City and America: A Tribute to Heroes -- were organized after the attacks, spurring artists to write inspired new material and re-appropriate classic rock tracks to fit the current milieu.

Compared to more concrete measures, the role of music in the aftermath of 9/11 may seem trite, but these two benefits helped rally a city and a country to put aside differences -- temporarily, at least -- and focused on rebuilding something as important as any physical structure: the national psyche. Here are 10 unforgettable moments.


Bruce Springsteen -- "My City of Ruins" "This is a prayer for our fallen brothers and sisters," Bruce Springsteen said before delivering a wrenching rendition of "My City of Ruins" from his then-upcoming album, "The Rising." Backed by only a guitar, harmonica and some E Street Band backup singers, Springsteen originally wrote the track in 2000 for an Asbury Park, New Jersey benefit show, but its lyrics of hope and rebirth later became a rallying cry after the attacks.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers -- "I Won't Back Down" In the wake of the attacks, Tom Petty's first single from 1989's "Full Moon Fever" re-emerged as an American radio staple and mantra for many Americans. Ironically, then-candidate George W. Bush used the song at campaign rallies in 2000 until Petty forced the candidate to discontinue its usage.

Willie Nelson -- "America the Beautiful" Willie Nelson closed out the telethon with an ensemble version of the traditional patriotic song. Tom Petty, Tom Cruise, Neil Young and Sylvester Stallone, among many others involved in the concert, sang backup.

Neil Young -- "Imagine" Veteran singer-songwriter Neil Young performed John Lennon's ode to peace for the first time at the concert, performing an emotional rendition of the song that maintained Lennon's hopeful optimism. Backed by a string orchestra, Young's version was straightforward, yet essential; a call to peace to a populace focused on revenge.


David Bowie -- "Heroes" While David Bowie's rendition of Simon & Garfunkel's "America" was well received, it was a rousing version of 1977's "Heroes" that understandably earned one of the strongest ovations of the night. It helps that the song crescendos toward a booming finale, but with numerous NYPD and NYFD in attendance, the song's lyrics made it an obvious choice.

Billy Joel -- "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)"
"New York State of Mind," the other track performed by the Long Island singer/songwriter that night, is ostensibly the more appropriate choice, but this 1976 apocalyptic tale took on new meaning after the attacks. "They say a handful still survive/To tell the world about/The way the lights went out/And keep the memory alive," Joel sang. "I wrote that song 25 years ago," the singer said after the performance. "I thought it was going to be a science fiction song. I never thought it would really happen. But unlike the end of that song, we ain't going anywhere."

The Who Montage -- "Who Are You," "Baba O'Riley," "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" It feels tragically quaint now, but for many Americans who had never heard the term Al-Qaeda or Osama bin Laden before 9/11, the classic Who song "Who Are You" felt appropriately prescient. "Won't Get Fooled Again," tonight delivered more as a patriotic cry than youth chant, was set to close Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 until Who guitarist Pete Townshend disallowed the song's use. Townshend claimed the film to be inaccurate and Moore went with Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World."

John Mellencamp and Kid Rock -- "Pink Houses" Given the fierce American pride of Mellencamp and Rock, a duet seemed inevitable. After performing the majority of "Pink Houses" with his band, Mellencamp welcomed Rock, who appeared on stage wearing a Port Authority t-shirt and American flag shirt. The song's hook, "Ain't that America/somethin' to see, baby/Ain't that America/home of the free," deeply resonated with tonight's crowd.

Woody Allen -- "Sounds From a Town I Love" The most New York-centric director contributed this 4-minute short film commemorating his city, imbuing the script with warmth and gentle humor. Filmed as a series of one-liners from people on cell phones, the film featured Griffin Dunne, Tony Roberts and Bebe Neuwirth, among others, uttering lines like, "The only thing I know about Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan is that they both have very important film festivals." Allen tapped into the neuroses and (over)ambitiousness that characterizes so many of the city's residents, yet masterfully elevated these apparent shortcomings from the irritating to the celebratory.

Paul McCartney -- "Freedom" McCartney performed six songs to close out The Concert for New York City, including "Yesterday," "Let It Be" and this new song written a day after 9/11. "That's one thing these people don't understand that's worth fighting for," McCartney said.

- Jason Newman, N.Y.

Friday, September 9, 2011

U2 Descends Onto The Toronto Film Festival

U2 descended onto the Toronto International Film Festival's red carpet on Thursday (9/8) for the premiere of new documentary From the Sky Down, admitting to nervousness over letting fans into their private world of making music.

The movie, which is the first documentary to open the Toronto film festival in its 36-year history, looks at the creative process of making their 1991 album Achtung Baby, tensions back then in the band.

Singer Bono and guitarist The Edge took to the festival's opening night stage and confessed that even superstars get nervous when entering a new arena -- from music to film.

"We are very protective of our privacy, particularly the creative process, not just because we are precious, which we are," Bono told a laughing audience, before confiding that the fear was in letting audiences see them struggle to make music.

"If you knew what went into the sausage, you wouldn't eat it," Bono said.

The Edge added that it was "shocking" to see a lot of the old film footage from 20 years ago and "to realize how close our band came to disintegrating at that particular moment."

The appearance of Bono and The Edge made the opening night screening one of the hottest tickets in town at the 11-day festival where other rock documentaries about Pearl Jam and Neil Young are getting top billing.

The festival, a widely-watched event often seen as a starting point in the movie industry's annual Oscar race, features a long list of Hollywood royalty, from Brad Pitt and George Clooney to Keira Knightley and Glenn Close.

But the opening belonged to a nonfiction film for the first time in festival's history, and organizers noted both the event and U2 originated in 1976.

The band soared to rock stardom in the 1980s, and Achtung Baby was seen as a daring reinvention following the huge success of 1987's The Joshua Tree and 1988's somewhat less-well received Rattle and Hum.

"This film isn't just about the biggest band in the world," director Davis Guggenheim told the audience. "It's really just about four musicians trying to make music."

From the Sky Down opens as U2 is about to play the Glastonbury Festival for the first time this year and is looking to rework older songs. As Bono says: "there comes a time when it is dysfunctional not to look into the past."

It then looks back at the rise of U2 through early film footage and leads up to the making of Achtung Baby, which was influenced by industrial and electronic music and featured the hits "One" and "Mysterious Ways."

"I had goose pimples witnessing how they did it," said Guggenheim, whose 2006 global warming film 'An Inconvenient Truth' won the Academy Award for best feature documentary.

"I don't think really it's a film about our band in as much as it's a film about the creative process. If you're interested in that, you're going to be interested in this film I think, but I find it excruciating," Bono said on the red carpet.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vintage Rock Concert Poster Collector Searches For Original Doors Concert Posters

Andrew Hawley, of Vintage Rock Posters, has announced plans to search for Jim Morrison and the Doors concert posters.

According to Hawley, "I have always been fascinated by the Doors' music and style. My entry into this business 20 years ago centered around collecting Doors memorabilia. Jim Morrison was one of the greatest rock performers of all time. His looks, stage presence and those tight leather pants are now a standard for many rock n' roll performers. The Door's music exemplified the spirit of the 1960s. Doors posters are some of the most beautiful rock concert posters ever printed and are highly sought after by concert poster collectors."

It seems like every Doors concert poster has a story behind it. One of Hawley's favorite Doors rock concert posters is for the Boston Arena show held on April 10. 1970.

According to Hawley, "The Doors did not know that was would be their final time playing the Boston Area. The Boston concert was after "Miami incident" where Jim Morrison was accused of indecent exposure and use of public profanity at The Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami. They were scheduled to play in Salt Lake City the following night but due to the Miami incident the Doors were put under intense scrutiny. The promoters of the Salt Lake show flew into Boston to watch The Doors. They wanted to determine whether they to take their chances on the group the following night. During the Boston show, the band played tight but Morrison was drunk. The concert was shut down during the second act after the power was shut off. The fellows from Salt Lake had seen enough and the Doors show was canceled the next day."

Hawley adds, "The Doors Boston concert was filmed and released a few years ago on CD by Elektra records. It is a raw performance and in many instances Morrison can be heard conversing with the crowd. The poster that advertised the Boston show is extremely unique because the artist strayed from the usual psychedelic style of the 1960's and reverted back to the old 1950's boxing style format. The poster uses a very simple black and white layout and features a photo of one band member towards each corner. This is the only true Doors boxing style concert poster ever made."

Hawley will pay $3,000 for original vintage 1967 to 1970 Jim Morrison and the Doors concert posters. Any condition is accepted. Sellers will be paid in cash within 24 hours guaranteed. For more information, go to Vintage Rock Concert Poster Buyer on the web.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bono And N'Dour To Hold Famine Concert In Kenya

U2 singer Bono and Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour are planning a global Olympic-style torch relay, culminating in a concert in Kenya in 2012 to raise funds and awareness about the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa.

"We are launching an initiative called New Africa, including African countries and friends of Africa, starting with the ideas of the youth," N'Dour told a news conference Wednesday, a day after visiting the world's largest refugee camp in Kenya.
"The youth are the future of our continent."

Dadaab in northern Kenya is home to some 427,000 Somali refugees fleeing famine and war. Hundreds of Somalis are dying each day with 750,000 facing imminent starvation, the United Nations said Monday.

N'Dour said he will hold a competition for young people to design a "solidarity torch" which will tour the world from September until February.

As part of the relay, there will be events in each participating country to support the campaign, including the African Nations Cup soccer tournament to be held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in 2012.

Bono and N'Dour have previously campaigned together at the G8 for debt relief and against HIV/AIDS and malaria.

"(Bono) called me to tell me... 'You can count on me because I'm a friend of Africa and I'm going to support you completely'," said N'Dour.

In an emergency ward in Dadaab, N'Dour swatted flies from the emaciated body of three-year-old Ibrahim Ibrahim, who weighed just 6.7 kg.

His father described how the family had walked for 15 days to escape "drought, famine and insecurity" in Somalia's Lower Juba region. The arduous trek killed two of his seven children.

Despite such suffering, N'Dour said he saw hope in Dadaab when he visited Illeys Primary School, where many of the dusty-faced young refugees were learning in tents or under trees.

"I saw children who spoke, who sang, who smiled and who only wanted one thing: to be like other children," he said.

The number of pupils in the school has surged to 4,039 from 2,500 since January due to an influx of refugees from famine-stricken Somalia. Many had never set foot inside a school before.

"We have learners coming armed with knives, small boys of eight or 11," said Henry Waitindi, an education officer with the charity Care International.

Only 38 percent of children in the camp attend school, with classes of up to 150 pupils.

Generations of young Somalis are growing up in Dadaab, which was set up in 1991, without the right to work or leave the sprawling desert camp. Some are recruited to join militias back in Somalia.

"I prayed to God that those children would not stay in the camp for another 20 years," said N'Dour. "These young people must have a future."

African leaders meeting in Nairobi this week to discuss the Horn of Africa's food crisis have a "historic responsibility" to ensure Africa never experiences another famine, N'Dour said. "The problem is not money. It's strategy. It's vision."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

George Harrison Documentary Premieres at Telluride

In the ending minutes of the documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Ringo Starr has what he calls a "Barbara fucking Walters" moment. Wiping away tears, Starr recalls the last words his lifelong pal and Beatles band mate said to him before he died.

The Martin Scorsese-directed, five-years-in-the-making Living in the Material World premiered over Labor Day weekend at the Telluride Film Festival, now in its 38th year. The 210 minute (3 1/2 hour) two-part documentary, which coincides with the 10-year anniversary of Harrison's death in 2001 from lung cancer, will begin airing on HBO starting October 5th, but screened three times at the film festival, including a free showing on the outdoor screen in Telluride's town square, Elks Park.

"It's been five years and it really took a good two years before I could just open my hand a bit," George's widow Olivia Harrison said at a screening Q&A of sharing her late husband's keepsakes in research for the film. "There were letters that George never imagined his mother saved or that would be read. They were so revealing and just so honest; that really was the beginning of this project."

One particular archived postcard came from a trip Harrison took with Paul McCartney, a school friend before the Beatles, in their teens. "They went on a hitchhiking holiday in Wales and he wrote a postcard home saying how much distance they had covered in a day, how proud they were and where they slept that night." Olivia recalls. "It was just so sweet. All these things had been saved and had been in a tin box in the attic, a rusty old box that I opened, and I closed it and left it there for a very long time."

Olivia now laughs at the initial struggle she had with letting go of the personal relics. "There were these little time capsules everywhere around the house – there was even a song titled 'I'm Just the Jealous Kind' – and it took me a very long time to bring them out from where they were. In fact, if this whole team and Marty hadn't been so patient this movie would not have been made. I would show them the letters and then take them home."

Starr, however, wasn't the only one to weep during his interview, although his tears are the only ones caught on camera. Tom Petty describes Harrison's fever in forming the Traveling Wilburys, how the group's track 'Handle With Care' was coined, and a phone call from George after their Wilburys bandmate Roy Orbison passed away. ("Aren't you glad it wasn't you?" Harrison asked Petty.) "Tom Petty stayed for three hours; he wept," producer Nigel Sinclair says of the interviews with George's inner circle – McCartney, Klaus Voormann, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Jim Keltner, Eric Clapton and even the wife they shared Pattie Boyd – that make up the film.

"Every single interview resulted in tears," producer Margaret Bodde adds. "And this is years after George's passing, because everyone was connecting with their true love of George and he touched them all in very obviously special way." While he was known as the "quiet Beatle," Scorsese's documentary shows that George undeniably left a loud mark far beyond the riffs of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."

Other memorable moments include an afro-less Phil Spector describing the making of All Things Must Pass, Harrison's six-time platinum 1970 solo album released following the break-up of the Beatles.

"There were a few titles that came up, but it really is about living in the material – it's exactly what it's about," says Olivia about choosing Harrison's less-popular 1973 follow-up for the title of the documentary.

"We had All Things Must Pass – we obviously played with that." Sinclair says of picking the title. "Olivia was concerned because it was the title of an album, and not to make people think that was the making of the album. And then everyone played with other names and this name fought its way to the top of the pack and held its own. It became what the movie is about and I guess that's why George chose that title for the album."

While the film remarkably captures Harrison's use of music to help him on his own spiritual quest, beyond the materialism that came with unending Beatles fame, the hardest part to stomach is Olivia's recounting of the night an intruder repeatedly stabbed Harrison in his own home.

"I was reluctant because I didn't want it to be the redefining factor of his life," Olivia says of bravely deciding to detail how she fought back with the world upon Scorsese's request. Dhani, Olivia and George's only son, even admits in the film that the baffling incident took years off his father's life, after his fight with cancer.

"First half I can watch quite easily because I'm watching another life," Olivia admits of the final cut, "and then when the second half comes in, now I have to leave. Although I imagined what this documentary would be like and I guided them and I gave them a timeline of the important things in George's life, I still had no idea it was going to be 'this' film. Marty just made something far beyond what I imagined. Certainly, not the movie I would have made because it would have been completely happy shiny people holding hands. It was Dhani who really said, 'You know, you have to have the dark and the light, you have to show all the sides, you can't sanctify him or vilify him, but George was a big one for contrast."

Adds Olivia: "I feel lighter now that it's done and it's out. I know it's something George wanted done and it's honest. There isn't anything in it that's not true."