Monday, October 31, 2011

Geddy Lee Confirms New Rush Album For Early 2012

Rush bassist Geddy Lee was recently interviewed by Rolling Stone, and announced a new Rush DVD Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland, as well as the upcoming studio album, slated for an early 2012 release.

Highlights from the interview include:

On the possibility of performing 2112 live in its entirety...

"I think that's something that would be fun to try."

What's the status of the next album?

We're almost finished writing. We wound the machine back up about three weeks ago. After a sluggish start, we've had a very fruitful couple of weeks in terms of writing. I'm very pleased with the direction that the material has taken. And I think we have one or two more songs that we'd like to write, and then we'll start recording in earnest. Hopefully we'll have all of the recording done before Christmas. Then we'll mix it some time in the next year, and then get it out.

Are you ever stunned by the level of fan devotion to your band?

"Yeah, I'm constantly shocked by that, frankly. There is no accounting for taste, I guess."

It just makes me crazy you aren't even the ballot (of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame).

"I appreciate the good thoughts. Maybe we'll get in one of these days."

To read more of this interview, go to Geddy Lee on Rolling Stone.

Friday, October 28, 2011

New Queen Album With Unreleased Freddie Mercury Vocals Being Prepared

Queen are working on a brand new album set to featured previously unheard vocals from late singer Freddie Mercury.

Guitarist Brian May has revealed he and drummer Roger Taylor are searching through their archives for material the band worked on before their frontman died in 1991.

And he says there are enough songs to release a Queen record and also create an update to their 2002 musical We Will Rock You.

May tells the Daily Star the pair are “going through some old drawers” and adds: “As well as seeing what we can unearth, we want to do a new musical to follow We Will Rock You.

“The songs are there – it’s just a question of finding time to get the right production.”

Meanwhile, Paul Rodgers says he’d be receptive to the idea of reuniting with Queen for the opening of the London Olympics in 2012.

Q+PR worked together between 2004 and 2009 before the singer decided to refocus on solo work. He’d previously stated the project was all in the past – but now he tells Billboard: “I would be open to something like that, I must say.

“We did great; I think we did fantastically well. We were up against potential disaster, really, and I think we really pulled it off. Toured the world a couple of times. Made a brand new studio album.

“I just didn’t want to do it forever – but for something like that would be ideal.”

A recent survey suggested Queen’s anthem "Bohemian Rhapsody" is the song most likely to appear on iPods in the UK, with over 40% of all music fans carrying the track on their MP3 players.

The nearest competition was Lady Gaga’s "Bad Romance" with a 33% presence. Michael Jackson’s "Billie Jean," REM’s "Everybody Hurts" and tracks by the Beatles, U2 and Coldplay also made the shortlist.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Steven Tyler Hurt In Bathroom Fall

Steven Tyler injured his face and lost two teeth after taking a tumble in a hotel bathroom, the Associated Press has reported.

The Aerosmith frontman, who is in Paraguay for a concert, was taken to a hospital. Tyler was given two dental implants and treated for cuts to his face. The band’s show was postponed one day.

Nicolas Garzia, an official with the company that organized the concert, tweeted that Tyler was dehydrated thanks to food poisoning. He said Tyler felt dizzy and lost his balance.

“Thank you for all the love regarding my dad and his accident. He is recovering and doing much better. I will pass on all the well wishes,” his daughter Mia Tyler tweeted. “My dad takes a lickin but always keeps on tickin. Can't nothing bring down the Demon Of Screamin!”

The dentist who treated Tyler said he’s “doing splendidly.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rock Music Memorabilia Unveil New Site

Rock Music Memorabilia recently re-launched their web site with a whole new look and feel.

The site features reproduced items from various festivals and events between 1969 and 1979 organized by promoter Freddy Bannister. This included U.K. shows at Bath, Lincoln and Knebworth, featuring such noteworthy names as the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Frank Zappa, Fleetwood Mac and many more.

In addition to to a wide range of T-shirts and commemorative sets that fans can purchase, the site has a variety of limited edition posters, including two recently discovered gems, both from gigs at Pavilion, Bath, in the late 60s: a 1967 Jimi Hendrix Experience poster and a 1968 Led Zeppelin poster.

Fans can enter for a chance to win one of these classic posters by going to Vintage Rock Giveaways.

To celebrate the re-launch, there are a number of specials on posters and commemorative sets. To see these and more, head on over to Rock Music Memorabilia.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Barry Feinstein, Photographer Of Album Covers For Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Janis Joplin, Passes

Barry Feinstein, who died at 80 on October 20, made his most famous series of images when he accompanied Bob Dylan and the Band on their controversial tour of Britain in 1966. On stage, Dylan was aloof to the point of imperious, a dandy in shades and a sharp suit, willing his new electric music on disgruntled audiences who wanted the familiar folk singer they knew and revered.

When Feinstein's fly-on-the-wall photographs of the tour finally appeared in his book Real Moments, published in 2008, Dylan emerged as an even more complex figure. Often he looks gaunt and fragile, his eyes hidden behind ever-present shades, his body hunched against the cold British winds and the imploring eyes of his faithful. One such image of Dylan waiting for the Aust ferry to take him across the Severn was used as the poster for No Direction Home, Martin Scorsese's epic 2005 documentary on Dylan.

Feinstein also captured Dylan away from the spotlight, in more relaxed mood: posing with a bunch of ragged children in Liverpool or talking to three bohemian Dublin girls, who look almost as hip as he does. "They were poets," the deadpan Feinstein wrote in his notes, "and he was quite taken with their poems."

Born in Philadelphia, Feinstein had no formal training in photography, but took to it instinctively after some casual snapshots he took while working at a racetrack in Atlantic City in 1955 revealed a gift for atmosphere and detail. That year, he was hired as a photographic assistant for Life magazine, and one of his first jobs was covering the Miss America pageant. Soon after, he headed west and landed a production assistant job at Columbia Pictures in Hollywood, taking photographs whenever and wherever he could. "I didn't want to photograph the glamour end of it," he said. "It was the 'behind the scene' thing that interested me – the part of Hollywood that nobody thinks about or looks at."

His breakthrough came after he befriended Steve McQueen and was commissioned to photograph him for Look magazine. The results were relaxed but revealing. Although he made formal portraits when he had to, his instinct was for the dramatic moment or the telling detail. He memorably accompanied Marlon Brando to a civil rights rally and captured the actor being jeered at by racist counter-demonstrators. When he was given access to Marilyn Monroe's room a few hours after her suicide, he photographed the bottle of pills by her bedside.

In 1958, Feinstein met Albert Grossman in a nightclub in Los Angeles and was immediately hired to photograph the fledgling manager's new act: a folk group called Peter, Paul and Mary. Soon after the shoot, Feinstein married the singer Mary Travers. It was Travers who took him to see the young Dylan at a coffee shop in New York's East Village. "I had to figure it out," Feinstein later said of his first encounter with Dylan's music. When Dylan looked at Feinstein's black and white pictures, he was immediately impressed, commenting on their "angles" and "stark atmosphere" which, he said, reminded him of the work of Robert Frank.

A 10-minute photoshoot with Dylan produced the intense portrait that became the cover of the singer's third album, The Times They Are a-Changin'. Shot from below, it is all angles and stark atmosphere. It was the first of several iconic record cover portraits by Feinstein. They include Pearl by Janis Joplin (the photo session happened the night before she died of a drug overdose), and All Things Must Pass by George Harrison, in which the ex-Beatle sits in his garden at Friar Park, Henley-on-Thames, surrounded by ornamental gnomes.

Occasionally, Feinstein courted controversy with his cover images. For Ike and Tina Turner's 1968 album, Outta Season, he provocatively posed the duo in whiteface, eating watermelons. His proposed image for the Rolling Stones' album Beggars Banquet – a shot of a public toilet covered in graffiti – was rejected by the group's record company, despite Keith Richard's testimony that it was "a real funky cover".

Feinstein worked as a cameraman on the music festival documentary Monterey Pop (1968) and directed the cult hippy film You Are What You Eat (1968). In 1970, he and Tom Wilkes formed a graphic design company called Camouflage. Together, they created memorable album covers including GP by Gram Parsons, The Gilded Palace Of Sin by the Flying Burrito Bros and Eric Clapton's eponymously titled debut solo album. Feinstein was reunited with Dylan and the Band when he was hired as the official photographer for their 1974 world tour. His shot of a vast sea of people holding aloft Zippos and lit scraps of paper graced the cover of the ensuing live album, Before The Flood.

Feinstein continued working as a photographer, doing travel shoots as well as rock portraits, into the early 1990s. In 1993, he was seriously injured in a road accident near his home in Woodstock; during his long convalescence, he began editing his archive. In 2008, a book of his early film star portraits was published, entitled Hollywood Foto-Rhetoric: The Lost Manuscript. It included a sequence of prose poems written by Dylan in the 1960s that were inspired by the photographs. They had languished in Feinstein's attic for more than 40 years. Feinstein had no creative control over the book's production, and was reputed to be less than pleased with the results.

The photographs of Dylan from 1966, collected in Real Moments, were exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2009. "I wanted my pictures to say something," Feinstein wrote. "I don't really like stand-up portraits; there's nothing there, no life, no feeling. I was much more interested in capturing real moments."

Feinstein is survived by his third wife, Judith; by his daughter, Alicia (from his marriage to Travers); by his son, Alex (from his marriage to the actor Carol Wayne); and by three stepchildren and three grandchildren.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bridge School Celebrates 25th Anniversary

This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of the Bridge School, Neil and Pegi Young’s non-profit organization dedicated to students with severe speech and physical impairments. The Bridge School community will celebrate by sharing one of its annual benefit concert via Facebook and YouTube: The sites will webcast Saturday night’s show featuring Arcade Fire, Devendra Banhart, Beck, Norah Jones and the Little Willies, Dave Matthews, Mumford & Sons, Carlos Santana’s new band Los Invisibles, Eddie Vedder and, of course, Neil Young.

On Monday comes a three DVD/two CD set The Bridge School Benefit Concerts – 25th Anniversary Edition. The CDs include performances captured at the benefit shows by Elton John and Leon Russell, Paul McCartney, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Brian Wilson, the Who, and Young, among others. David Bowie, Bob Dylan, McCartney, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Simon and Garfunkel, Patti Smith, Springsteen and Tom Waits are among the performers on two of the three DVDs. The third DVD features a documentary that tells the story of the founding and development of the Bridge School, and another that includes a look backstage at the interaction among students and musicians at the concerts.

According to Pegi Young, the Bridge School, which is based in Hillsborough, California, provides what she called “a transitional experience” for students who return to their home schools with tools to communicate. “These are kids who have the diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Not all by most,” she said when we spoke by phone on Wednesday. “These kids have the desire to speak. They want to engage socially and want to be heard.

“We’ve always had a mission of dissemination through our outreach programs, international teacher-in-residence programs, summer camps, presentations and publications,” she said. For more on the Bridge School and its various programs and successes, visit

Neil Young is the father of two children with cerebral palsy, and he and his wife sought new means to help them, as well as other physically impaired young people, improve their communications skills. The first benefit concert in 1986 generated funding to pursue the development of what became the Bridge School.

“On October 14, 1986, the day after our first concert, we said: ‘So now it’s going to go from concept to a reality,’” she recalled. “We had lofty ambitions – to create a worldwide movement using the best methodology and best practices.”

Twenty-five years later, the Bridge School has a legacy of success, she added. “Every one of our transitioned kids, we’ve helped them affect change in their schools and communities.”

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Stones' 'Some Girls' Reissue To Include Unreleased Track

An upcoming reissue of the classic Rolling Stones album Some Girls will include a recently discovered track which will also be released as a single.

"No Spare Parts," which was recorded in Paris and recently discovered by producer Don Was for inclusion on the new editions of Some Girls due out on November 21, tells the story of a trip from Los Angeles to San Antonio.

It features Mick Jagger on electric piano, Keith Richards on acoustic piano, Ron Wood on pedal steel guitar, Charlie Watts on drums and Bill Wyman on bass, according to Universal Republic Records.

The label said the song, first recorded by Chris Kimsey in early 1978, features a "country guitar twang, subtle groove and soulful storytelling," describing it as "a powerful and poignant acoustic tune."

Some Girls, a 1978 release that featured "Miss You" and "Beast of Burden," went a long way toward reestablishing the Stones' then-flagging youthful appeal. It reached No. 1 on the U.S. charts and No. 2 in the United Kingdom.

"No Spare Parts" is slated for a world premiere on October 20 on the "Ken Bruce" show on BBC Radio 2, and will be available the same day on U.S. platforms beginning at 10 AM.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

HBO Considering Jagger-Scorcese Project

According to Rolling Stone, HBO is reportedly very close to committing to a new series about a fictional record executive in the late 70s being developed by Mick Jagger, Martin Scorcese and Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter. The untitled show, originally conceived by Jagger as a concept for a feature film, already has a pilot script penned by Winter, who has experience with HBO dating back to his days as one of the core writers for The Sopranos.

This project is not the only premium cable show in the works focused on record executives. HBO optioned a series based on Jennifer Egan's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Visit From the Goon Squad, which prominently features characters working in the music industry, and Showtime is developing a program called Vinyl, which is set in the record industry of the 70s.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Beatles Drummer Audition Letter Up For Auction

A handwritten letter from Sir Paul McCartney inviting a mystery drummer to audition for the Beatles is to go under the hammer in London next month.

The 1960 letter offers the audition on condition the drummer be available for a two-month trip to Hamburg, Germany. Pete Best was the group's drummer at the time, who was replaced by Ringo Starr two years later.

Christie's said the letter was expected to fetch up to £9,000 ($14,000) at the auction on November 15.

Dated August 12, 1960, the letter was discovered inside a book by an anonymous collector at a car boot sale in Bootle, Liverpool.

Sir Paul wrote it in response to a notice in the Liverpool Echo from the drummer advertising their availability.

"We would like to offer you an audition for the position of drummer in the group," the musician wrote. "You will, however, need to be free soon for a trip to Hamburg (expenses paid £18 per week (approx) for 2 months). If interested ring Jacaranda club and ask for a member of The Beatles."

Three days later, on August 15, The Beatles traveled as a five-piece along with Stuart Sutcliffe to Germany for their gigs.

The identity of the drummer is not known, nor if the proposed audition ever took place. Christie's said its Beatles experts are certain the letter was not an early feeler to Starr, who was a drummer with a rival Liverpool band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, before he joined the Fab Four.

The letter has surprised Beatles historians, as it was not previously known the band were looking for a replacement drummer at that time. Neil Roberts, director of popular culture at Christie's, said: "My initial reaction was one of disbelief. But on seeing the item and being able to research the significance of the date and its content as well as conferring with renowned Beatles historians, it has turned out to be much more significant than mere words on paper."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Steven Tyler Says Biopic Of His Life In Development

Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler could see his life turned into a film biopic, he has revealed.

The singer, who published his memoirs Does The Noise In My Head Bother You? earlier this year, has revealed that the rights to the book have been purchased by The Da Vinci Code and A Beautiful Mind director Ron Howard's production company.

Tyler told Women's Wear Daily about the likelihood of a film biopic: "It’s either as soon as the plane goes down, or in my lifetime. I’m thinking since Ron Howard bought my book, his production company is thinking about doing something."

He continued: "My book is called Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? It’s collected thoughts. It’s all this shit I’ve been thinking about for 40 years. This whole thing with Aerosmith has been like a dream come true. It’s like it’s been plotted out and planned and written about before. Every time something happens, I think, 'Is this a movie?'"

The book, which was published in May, famously contained the revelation that Tyler had tried gay sex, but just the once as he "didn't dig it."

Aerosmith are currently in the studio working on a new album

Friday, October 14, 2011

Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience Launches Fall Tour At The Greek

Tune in to watch Jason Bonham interviewed live today (Friday, October 14) from the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on FOX 11 News at 5:30pm (5:30-600pm). The drummer will discuss the creation of the popular and critically acclaimed concert: Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, which celebrates the life and music of his father, the legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.

Tune into FOX LA News or watch online here to watch Bonham during the 5-6:00PM broadcast.

Later tonight, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience will perform to a sold out crowd under the stars at the Greek Theatre. The show features iconic Led Zeppelin rock songs, stunning atmospheric video and light effects that highlight the unique history that Jason Bonham shares, in commemoration of his father John Bonham, with the legendary rock n’ roll band.

Fans will hear 20 hand-picked favorites encompassing the band’s albums including their 1969 debut Led Zeppelin (“Your Time Is Gonna Come,” “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”), 1969’s Led Zeppelin II (“Thank You,” “Lemon Song”); 1970’s Led Zeppelin III (”Celebration Day”); 1970’s Led Zeppelin IV (“When The Levee Breaks” and “Rock and Roll”); 1975’s Physical Graffiti (“Kashmir”) and many more Led Zeppelin favorites.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Widespread Panic Not Splitting: 'We Feel Like We Just Started'

Despite rumors to the contrary, the members of Widespread Panic want their fans to know that the band does plan on being together for a 26th year -- and beyond.

"We just want to continue to do more," percussionist Domingo "Sunny" Ortiz tells "Hopefully that will eliminate the whole thought of this being our last year. Yes, next year we're going to take some time off, so there's a lot of speculation that 'Oh, they're breaking up,' yada, yada, yada. We feel like we kinda just started, kinda like a coffee bean growing. We still haven't come up to our potential as musicians. As friends and as buddies we definitely are growing, but there's definitely a growth in this music process that I think we have yet to tap into, which is what keeps us excited and interested."

Widespread Panic is currently on the road celebrating its silver anniversary, and Ortiz says there's been some talk about a follow-up to 2010's Dirty Side Down -- even if it might have to wait for the group members to indulge in some of their outside projects before it becomes a reality. And Ortiz promises that the new songs will be "fresh and new. Everyone is just so involved in the music that it'll all be fresh and new. And it might turn a few heads and we might lose a few people, but in the artistic realm of everything we want to continue to feed that fire, that desire to be different. We pretty much don't cater to what everyone else is doing; we' kind of do it our way or no way at all. That's one of the things that's excited me about this band for 25 years is we're never afraid to step on the edge -- and occasionally fall over it."

Ortiz says the group isn't sure who will put out is next album, however. Dirty Side Down was released on the group's own Widespread Records imprint and distributed by ATO, and it's previously worked with Capricorn, Sanctuary and Warner Bros. "They all gave us complete control of everything, which is great," Ortiz notes, "but nowadays a label is not used to the band's advantage in certain ways. For 25 years we've never sustained ourselves with record sales; we've always been a touring band. And now with the Internet and streaming, like we 're doing with our live shows, that's a whole other entity. So we're going to have to see if anyone would want us to do a project with them."

Ortiz isn't worried that any of the solo endeavors will take anybody away from Widespread. "We've always done that," he explains, "and it only makes us better players, and that makes us better as a band." Meanwhile, the group is enjoying its 25th anniversary jaunt and letting itself indulge in a bit of satisfaction and celebration.

"Obviously we've had our moments, our ups and downs. We can't erase any of that," Ortiz says. "But watching these kids and fans kind of grow up as we have, and now some of them have teenaged (children) that are follow us today, that makes us feel good. And being able to come out and do shows with different songs every night has always been a big deal to us. We don't do the same set, ever. So that's exciting, too."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Billy Joel Classics To be Reissued

Columbia/Legacy Recordings is commemorating forty years of Billy Joel's career as a solo recording artist with a pair of historic releases - a limited edition Billy Joel - The Complete Albums Collection boxed set and a two-disc Legacy Edition of 1973's Piano Man album (exclusively featuring a long-lost fabled radio concert from 1972) - each appealing to aficionados of the iconic American singer-songwriter-performer. These reissues are scheduled to drop November 8.

Billy Joel - The Complete Albums Collection brings together for the first time, in one elegantly designed box, the artist's complete catalog of 14 essential titles, from 1971's Cold Spring Harbor through 1979's Grammy-winning Album of The Year 52nd Street and 1981's live Songs In The Attic to 2001's Fantasies & Delusions, the first album of Billy's classical compositions. Each album has been recently remastered in 24 bit audio for this edition and comes in cardboard jackets replicating the original album covers and sleeves.

"This has been a long time coming, putting all my albums into one package," Joel said in a recent in-depth interview for The Complete Albums Collection. "I'd never seen them all together in one place until I got the box set. It represents a lot of work! It's a little overwhelming, actually, looking at each individual album and remembering how much writing and recording, the time spent arranging and producing everything that went into each album."

In addition to offering brand-new remasters of every Billy Joel studio album, Billy Joel - The Complete Albums Collection includes two lavish 60-page booklets, printed lyrics to every Billy Joel composition, a new Q&A with Billy conducted by noted music journalist Steve Morse, and a bonus disc of 17 rare and non-album recordings including "Elvis Presley Boulevard" (B-side of the "Allentown" single, 1982); the live cover version of the Beatles' "I'll Cry Instead" (B-side of "An Innocent Man," 1983); "House Of Blue Light" (B-side of "We Didn't Start The Fire," 1989); and "You Picked A Real Bad Time" (B-side of "All About Soul," 1993). "You're Only Human (Second Wind)" and "The Night Is Still Young" are outtakes that did not see light of day until 1985.

Several tracks on the bonus disc originated as Billy Joel's contributions to various multi-artist movie soundtracks, notably his covers of the Elvis Presley hits "Heartbreak Hotel" and "All Shook Up," both from 1992's Honeymoon In Vegas. Billy covered Lloyd Price's 1959 hit, "Where Were You On Our Wedding Day," for the 1999 movie, Runaway Bride, and Duke Ellington's "In A Sentimental Mood" for A League Of Their Own in 1992. In 1982, Billy Joel contributed his original "Nobody Knows But Me" to In Harmony II, a Columbia LP to benefit Sesame Street/Children's Television Workshop.

Other cover tunes on the bonus disc range from Bob Dylan's "To Make You Feel My Love" and Leonard Cohen's "Light as the Breeze" to the Gerry Goffin-Carole King standard "Hey Girl" (Freddie Scott, 1963). In 1991, Billy Joel contributed "When You Wish Upon A Star" to Columbia's Disney tribute album, Simply Mad About The Mouse. And in 2001, Billy Joel sang the Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby" at the Radio City Music Hall All-Star Tribute to Brian Wilson concert.

The exclusive bonus disc included on Billy Joel - The Complete Albums Collection closes with "All My Life," a 2007 single (which marked Billy's first newly-written song since 1993's River of Dreams) now making its first appearance on an album.

Random copies of The Complete Albums Collection ordered through the Official Billy Joel store ( will be autographed by Billy Joel, so big fans will want to be sure to order their copy there.

The Legacy Edition of Piano Man includes the 10-song original album in its entirety, remastered for this release in addition to a second disc premiering the first-ever release of Billy's mythic performance at Philadelphia's Sigma Sound Studio on April 15, 1972 (a year prior to his signing with Columbia). Philadelphia Daily News music writer Jon Takiff, an eye-witness to the event, has penned a new essay on the Sigma Sound show for the Legacy Edition of Piano Man.

The release and failure of a flawed Cold Spring Harbor, Joel's first solo album, on an indie label in 1971 prompted then-struggling musician to go to Los Angeles and cut his chops incognito in local piano bars as Bill Martin (chronicled in the album's title track). Unbeknown to Joel, WMMR, a top-rated Philadelphia FM station, had begun spinning "Captain Jack," a live track from a Billy Joel show they'd recorded at Sigma Sound, and the station's phones were going off-the-hook. The "Captain Jack" live recording was turning into a bona fide underground FM anthem, opening the door for a New York audition, competing major label interest, and a Columbia Records contract for the song's author and performer.

"Columbia was Bob Dylan's label," Joel said. "That was the deciding factor. At this time, you were allowed to build your career through FM radio, album tracks, concerts, singles and Bob Dylan was iconic for not being a hit singles type of artist. This was a company that knows how to build a career with an artist, so we decided to go with Columbia.

"I never sat down and said I'm gonna write a hit record. I wouldn't know a hit record if it bit me. I just wrote songs. I wrote them for me, I wrote them for the band, or I wrote a song for the women in my life. I was just writing songs for me. It's music that I wanted to hear. If I didn't hear certain kind of music on the radio, I realized, 'Well, if I write and record this it'll probably be on the radio and that's what I'll hear.' That's what I was thinking. Not so much about having hits, but about making music that I liked. I only really ever did it for me. That may sound selfish, but I'm the only person that I really know all that well."

The Legacy Edition of Piano Man makes available, for the first time ever, the full performance at Sigma Sound, re-mixed from the original studio recording. The concert includes three Billy Joel songs - "Long, Long Time," "Josephine," and "Rosalinda" - which do not appear on any other albums by the artist and, of course, the performance of "Captain Jack" which launched one of the most remarkable careers in show business. The legendary Sigma Sound performance is available exclusively on the new Legacy Edition of Piano Man (and is not included on The Complete Albums Collection).

Monday, October 10, 2011

Paul McCartney Marries For Third Time

Paul McCartney has written plenty of love songs, but he composed a special new one for his new wife, American heiress Nancy Shevell, which he performed at their wedding reception on Sunday, october 9.

"There was a lovely song that our kid did, and they had a lovely dance together," the former Beatle's brother, Mike McCartney, told reporters. "That was a nice little highlight of the evening."

He also sang "Let It Be" and "Let Me Roll It," one of Shevell's favorite songs, according to the New York Post.

McCartney, 69, and Shevell, 51, celebrated following their nuptials at London's Old Marylebone Town Hall, where they exchanged vows in front of 30 family and friends. The reception took place at the couple's home in the city's St. John's Wood neighborhood, according to the Daily Mail.

About 100 guests attended the reception, reports say, including Ringo Starr and wife Barbara Bach, Kate Moss, Twiggy, Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, Barbara Walters (who is Shevell's cousin) and George Harrison's widow, Olivia. McCartney's four children - Mary, James, Stella and Beatrice - were also reportedly in attendance.

According to People magazine, guests dined on vegetarian fare including an arugula and basil salad, goat cheese polenta, savory tarts and dumplings. There were two wedding cakes - one traditional and one vegan.

Guests reportedly partied into the early hours of the morning. The Daily Mail reports that the reception sparked noise complaints from McCartney's neighbors, and that noise control officers came to the house around 1:30 a.m. to ask revelers to turn down the volume. They did, but the party continued, with Moss and Wood reportedly being the last guests to leave at 3 a.m.

The couple's wedding date and venue both had significance - they marred on what would have been John Lennon's 71st birthday, in the same town hall where McCartney married his first wife, the late Linda McCartney, in 1969.

According to reports, McCartney's youngest daughter, 7-year-old Beatrice, served as the flower girl, while his brother was the best man. His daughter, fashion designer Stella McCartney, designed Shevell's ivory, knee-length wedding dress, along with her father's navy suit for the big day.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Imagine Peace Tower Relighting Happening Sunday, October 9

This Sunday October 9th, Yoko ono will be in Reykjavík, Iceland, to relight the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER at 8:00 pm (9:00 pm London, 4:00 pm NY, 1:00 pm LA, 5:00 am Tokyo) in memory of her husband John Lennon.

"You can join everyone at for the live event where you can Tweet, Email & Facebook chat your wishes LIVE to @IPTower and watch a live feed of the event.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ozzy Osbourne On Black Sabbath Reunion: 'It's In The Very Early Stages'

Speculation surrounding a Black Sabbath reunion including Ozzy Osbourne arose in August, when the Birmingham Mail reported that Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi said the original lineup was writing new material together. Iommi back-tracked on his official website, expressing disappointment that his statements -- reportedly told in confidence -- made waves. But he never actually denied the claims that the heavy metal gods were collaborating in some capacity.

Speaking with recently about his upcoming second book, Trust Me, I'm Dr. Ozzy, Osbourne also touched on the swirling Sabbath reunion rumors. "Yes, it's a very, very strong possibility," he says of getting the old band back together. "It's in the very early stages, so we haven't recorded anything yet. If it works out, it'll work out. If it doesn't, I'll keep doing my thing."

Osbourne's founding group may be taking it slow, but it doesn't mean the "Bark At the Moon" singer is. His new book, based on his health and sex advice columns of the same name in Rolling Stone and the UK's Sunday Magazine, hits stores Tuesday (October 11), with a book tour to follow.

"I'm not trying to be the next fucking Dr. Phil," he says of his Dr. Ozzy persona, which he views as mostly common sense from a formerly hard-living rocker who's been pronounced dead -- twice.

Osbourne's outspoken wife Sharon has been keeping quite busy as well, specifically with TV endeavors including her "America's Got Talent" judging spot and a return to CBS talk show "The Talk" yesterday (Oct. 6) following a brief health-related absence. The Osbourne clan knows its way around TV cameras, but would Ozzy ever return to the reality show world that escalated his family to celebrity status?

"Sharon loves TV and I don't have any problem with that, but I just don't like doing it," he says. "It's alright doing an ad or a quick spot for the camera, but I just don't like doing the TV shows."

Osbourne remains supportive of his multi-facted other half, and colors himself something of a feminist. "I think the person who said women are the weaker sex is a fucking idiot," he says. "I cannot accept the fact that women are the weaker sex. I remember my wife giving birth to one of our kids, and then she was right back on the phone fighting [Sharon is Ozzy's longtime manager]. I'm like, 'Are you kidding?'"

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Brian May Says He Could See Lady Gaga Fronting Queen

Queen's Brian May says he and drummer Roger Taylor still consider touring together but admits that finding the right singer to step in for the band's late frontman, Freddie Mercury, has been a difficult task. The guitar great revealed that one artist who might fit the bill is pop superstar Lady Gaga, whose Born This Way hit "You and I" features May's signature riffing.

"She's very creative and is someone we've talked about singing, fronting the band with," May told the Daily Express at the BMI London Awards. "She's not just a singer, she writes her own material."

He also revealed that he and Taylor are thinking about launching an interesting Queen-related TV program.

"We have talked about doing duets with other people and in a strange way I almost pressed the yes button," he explained. "We were debating the idea of a TV show where we have all these guest stars. We didn't press it today but we are still looking at it. Lady Gaga has said she would like to do something with us."

Taylor, of course, recently launched a North American talent search looking for musicians for a new multimedia touring show called The Queen Extravaganza, which will feature young artists performing the band's songs live. Taylor will help choose the cast, although neither he nor May is expected to join the trek.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rod Stewart To Publish Memoir

Rod Stewart will publish his memoirs next year, promising to "hold nothing back" in detailing a career in which he sold more than a 100 million records, survived cancer and romanced a string of blond bombshells.

Stewart's book, which is yet to be titled but will be published worldwide by Random House, comes as he has toned down his rock and roll act, concentrating on remaking standards by everyone from Cole Porter to George Gershwin.

Due out in October 2012, the book follows renewed interest in rock autobiographies thanks to bestsellers by Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards and an upcoming release by Neil Young.

Stewart, 66, rose to superstar fame with a string of hits, including "Maggie May," "Tonight's The Night," "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy," and "Some Guys Have All The Luck." Over his 50-year music career, he has had 31 top-10 singles in Britain and 16 top-10 singles in the United States.

"It is a funny old thing telling my life story but I truly intend to hold nothing back," Stewart said in a statement. "Forget skeletons in the closet; this one's going to be socks and knickers under the bed."

Born in North London, Stewart left school at 15 and had his start with The Ray Davies Quartet, which later become The Kinks, before his first big break in 1967 when he teamed up with the Jeff Beck Group, where he joined Jeff Beck of the Yardbirds and Ronnie Wood, who went on to join The Rolling Stones.

Stewart subsequently took his spiky, rooster-style hair and working class songs to a new London supergroup, Faces, joined by Wood. He struck it big with his 1971 with his mega-hit "Maggie May" on his solo Every Picture Tells A Story album.

From there, his career caught fire as he alternated solo work with tours and albums with the Faces, even as his personal life began making tabloid headlines.

Moving to the United States in the mid-seventies and concentrating on his solo career, Stewart began wearing new wave suits and cemented his reputation as a playboy, dating Swedish actress Britt Ekland, model Bebe Buell and Alana Hamilton, another model whom he eventually married.

Stewart and Hamilton had two children before divorcing in 1984. He had another child with Kelly Emberg, and then married supermodel Rachel Hunter in 1990. The couple, who had two children, divorced in 2006.

He finally married Penny Lancaster, yet another blond model, and fathered two more children.

Stewart once said Brigitte Bardot was the only woman he'd ever had a sexual fantasy about. "With me, looks come first, and she's everything a woman should be. She's blond and beautiful, she's got the most incredible legs, etc. etc. And she's French as well."

An inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and recipient of the Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Stewart was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, threatening his life and his career. He underwent throat surgery in 2000, and since then has been an active fundraiser for cancer charities.

Monday, October 3, 2011

McCartney & Starr Attend George Harrison Doc Premiere

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were on hand yesterday (Oct. 2) to support the premiere of Martin Scorsese's documentary, "George Harrison: Living in the Material World."

The Beatles' two surviving members boosted the launch of Scorsese's doc, screened at London's BFI Southbank. McCartney described George Harrision as "a great man" and told the gathered media that the film had made the memories come flooding back.

"Every time I see something to do with George it brings back more memories than you would believe," McCartney told the press. "He was my little mate on the school bus. A lot of fond memories. He's sorely missed by us all."

The documentary is set to receive a limited cinematic release before being shown on HBO in the U.S. and on BBC in the United Kingdom.

"Material World" is split into two parts -- first chronicling the Beatles' rise to fame, then documenting the solo years, when Harrison juggled music with philanthropic work and a career as a movie impresario.

Five years in the making, the three-and-a-half hour film was pieced together as Scorsese worked on "Shutter Island" and forthcoming 3D family film "Hugo." Harrison's widow Olivia, who also has a producer credit, allowed Scorsese access to the family archive of photos, home videos and personal effects.

Also on hand in London were the Beatles' former producer George Martin, Yoko Ono, Oasis' Noel Gallagher, and Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones and The Jeff Beck Group.

Often called "The Quiet Beatle," Harrison died in 2001 from lung cancer.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Classic Rock & Roll Party: A Tribute to Clarence Clemons Debutes Tonight

South Florida is still reeling from losing one of its most celebrated residents, saxophonist Clarence Clemons, earlier this year. "The Big Man" passed away June 18 at age 69 following complications from a stroke and left a charitable void in the music community nationally and locally. So some of his famous friends are picking up his fundraising efforts for HomeSafe, a charity that assists abused children in Palm Beach County.

For those of us who didn't know Clemons personally but want to contribute to his memory, here's an opportunity. This October 1, the "Classic Rock & Roll Party: A Tribute to Clarence Clemons" will take over Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino with a bevy of classic rock musicians.

Clarence's nephew Jake Clemons, who is a gifted saxophonist in his own right, will lead the evening's house band, Temple of Soul, and there will be an abundance of guest vocalists to carry the mantle of the Big Man's legacy.

On hand are the Monkees' Davy Jones, Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge) Gary U.S. Bonds, American Idol contestant Brett Loewenstern, and Clemons' former bandmate J.T. Bowen. Drummers Alan White (Yes) and Bobby Blotzer (Ratt) are also expected to take part.

Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain will emcee the evening, and Clarence's widow, Victoria Clemons, has a personal tribute planned as well.

Tickets for "The Classic Rock & Roll Party – a Tribute to Clarence Clemons" are $500 per person, and include a full course sit-sown meal, beverages and live entertainment. Sponsorship opportunities, tickets and more information are available at or by calling 561-383-9860.