Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Julian Lennon, Johnny Depp On New Aerosmith Album

Aerosmith have revealed that Julian Lennon and Johnny Depp are set to feature on their forthcoming album Music From Another Dimension!.

The album, which is the band's 15th, will be released on November 6 in the US. It was previously slated for August 28 but was pushed back because of that week's hectic release schedule.

Frontman Steve Tyler told Rolling Stone that he met Julian Lennon while he was in Los Angeles working TV show American Idol. The singer – John Lennon's eldest son – contributes vocals to the track 'Love Three Times A Day'. "He's such a sweet fucking guy," Tyler said. "And he's John's first son with that voice and sense of humor – gimme a break!"

Johnny Depp also features on the album – adding backing vocals to the track 'Freedom Fighter'. However, guitarist Joe Perry says the song may end up on a later deluxe version of the album.

Perry added that he's happy the band finally have new songs to play onstage: "Everyone wants to hear the same 'Dream On's and 'Walk This Way's, but that's not what I had in mind to be in a band – to be the best cover band you can be," he said. "We can be the best Aerosmith cover band out there, and I was getting tired of it. So I'm really glad to have this record."

Speaking about his recent departure from American Idol, Tyler said: "I loved it and hated it. It was a great job, I sat next to J Lo and I made a ton of money. It was a moment in life and it became larger than life."

"It was just hard work: seven-hour days and then I went and did the [Aerosmith] album for eight hours after that," he said. "The show's about kids and what you do to nurture their talent. They wanted me to take the piss out of the kids and I don't have that in me. That's not what I'm about. That's more about that other guy. Not me."

Music From Another Dimension! is the follow-up to 2004's Honkin' On Bobo and has been produced by Jack Douglas, the man behind 1975's Toys In The Attic.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Queen's Greatest Video Hits Coming To DVD

Over three hours long on two DVDs, one of the greatest visual bands in rock history will get their due on August 28 when Eagle Rock Entertainment releases Greatest Video Hits by Queen.

Upgraded digitally in DTS 5.1 Surround Sound, with added commentary from lead guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, this double DVD set packages 33 of Queen’s pioneering and groundbreaking videos into a seamless whole.

Heavy on the early days, the first disc spotlights Queen in the 1970s, when the music video as an art form began to emerge. It includes the iconic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Another One Bites The Dust,” “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions,” as well as “Flash,” from the 1980 sci-fi film Flash Gordon. From the freezing backyard shoots of “We Will Rock You” and “Spread Your Wings,” to the visual masterpiece that accompanies “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen was already showing off the various ways that they visually wanted to represent their music.

The 1980 years are represented on Disc 2, from 1982’s Hot Space album through 1989’s The Miracle. With the advent of MTV in the US, Queen proved they could be as creative visually as they were on record. The ’84 “Radio Ga Ga” video was hailed by both film and music critics alike for its referencing of the original 1927 cinematic milestone Metropolis by Fritz Lang. From the spoofing of Coronation Street in “I Want To Break Free,” to children replacing the band members in “The Miracle,” Queen put their stamp on the music video in the best way they knew how – offering something fresh and different every time.

Queen burned so bright it created a legacy that continues today. From its self-titled 1973 debut to its fitting finale 1995’s Made In Heaven, the band set precedents within rock music that will never be equaled. Singer/songwriter/pianist/guitarist Freddie Mercury (1946-1991), bassist John Deacon, May and Taylor meshed like magic and the results will be seen, heard and deeply felt on August 28.

Eagle Rock will also release the Freddie Mercury documentary The Great Pretender on DVD and Blu-ray Disc September 25.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Beatles Headed Back To Top 40

The Beatles are headed back to the top 40 of the Billboard 200 albums chart with its latest release, the new iTunes-exclusive compilation Tomorrow Never Knows.

Based sales forecasts from industry sources, Billboard projects that the album may sell around 10,000 to 15,000 copies by week's end on July 29.

The set collects 14 classic rock songs by the band and marks the first time the Beatles have released an album exclusively to iTunes that had never been previously issued.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Yes, Procol Harum 2012 Summer Tour Underway

Yes is on the road this summer, with Procol Harum opening. The tour kicked off July 13th at the Tropicana Resort & Casino in Atlantic City and will conclude August 21st at the Pepsi Center in Mexico City with more dates to be announced.

Yes is features a line-up of guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire, drummer Alan White, keyboardist Geoff Downes and new lead singer Jon Davison.

“There aren’t many bands that can say that they’ve had the kind of relationship like the one that we’ve had with our fans. They’ve continued to come to see us play and have always been an integral part of our journey. We’re excited to be starting a new chapter with an extraordinary talent – Jon Davison – a brilliant vocalist who takes over as our lead singer. We’re really happy to have him and we can’t wait for everyone to hear Yes this summer,” said the band in a statement.

Known for such classics as “Roundabout,” “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Tempus Fugit,” “Long Distance Runaround,” and “Starship Trooper,” Yes have certainly left their mark on rock ‘n’ roll history.


July 27 - Boca Raton, FL - Mizner Park Amphitheatre
July 28 - St. Augustine, FL - St. Augustine Amphitheatre
July 29 - Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall
July 31 - Alpharetta, GA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre @ Encore Park
Aug 3 - Portsmouth, VA - nTELOS Wireless Pavilion
Aug 4 - Washington, DC - Warner Theatre
Aug 7 - Rosemont, IL - Akoo Theatre at the Rosemont
Aug 9 - Denver, CO - Paramount Theatre
Aug 12 - Snoqualmie, WA - Snoqualmie Casino
Aug 14 - San Jose, CA - San Jose Civic
Aug 15 - Universal City, CA - Gibson Amphitheatre
Aug 17 - Scottsdale, AZ - Talking Stick Resort Ballroom
Aug 18 - San Diego, CA - Humphrey’s Concerts By the Bay
Aug 19 - Las Vegas, NV - Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort
Aug 21 - Mexico City, MEX - Pepsi Center (YES Only)

For all on-sale and ticketing information go to www.yesworld.com.

Yes meet & greet and VIP packages are also available, please visit http://vipnation.com for details. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mick Jagger Turns 69

If 2012 is anything, it is the year of Mick Jagger. From his performance while hosting Saturday Night Live to the Rolling Stones' 50-year anniversary to a controversial biography depicting his many lovers, including David Bowie, it couldn't be more appropriate to celebrate the 69th birthday of an influential international sex icon and artist.

Jagger was born in Kent, England, to a middle-class family. After leaving school in the 1960s, he reunited old friend Keith Richards and teamed up with Brian Jones, Ian Stewart, Dick Taylor and Tony Chapman to create a band originally called the Rollin' Stones.

The group, which later changed to what we know now as the Rolling Stones, had their first performance on July 12, 1962, and released their first album in 1964.

The rest of the Rolling Stones' 50 year history, selling over 200 million albums, is well, rock 'n' roll history.

Since that first performance, Jagger as the front man has influenced the world in a myriad of ways from music, to fashion, to art, to sexuality and completely culture in general.

Most recently, Jagger was the subject of a book by biographer Chris Anderson entitled Mick: The Wild Life and Mad Genius of Jagger. Anderson gave a low estimate that Jagger had slept with more than 4,000 women and even some men including David Bowie during his career.

"Mick Jagger has slept with 4,000 women over the course of his life, and in retrospect, I think that might be kind of a low figure," Anderson said.

Happy Birthday Mick Jagger!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Elton John Is Back At No. 1 On U.K. Album Chart

Elton John landed his first U.K. No. 1 album for 22 years, and Florence + the Machine a second week atop the singles chart, as the Official Charts Company's weekly data was unveiled Sunday, July 22.

The experimental reworkings of components of John's 1970-1976 catalog by Australian dance duo Pnau, undertaken with the superstar's approval, saw the Mercury/Universal album Good Morning To The Night debut at the top. The album takes its title from a lyric in "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters," from Elton's 1972 Honky Chateau set.

The track "Sad" entered the new singles chart at No. 48. But the new success is tempered by the sobering statistic that "Good Morning" is the lowest-selling No. 1 album of the century to date, with just 14,342 sales last week.

John's last U.K. album bestseller was a Very Best Of set in 1990, the year after his last victory with a studio release, Sleeping With the Past. The new album is his seventh chart-topper in a sequence that started with 1973's Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player. He's had seven more albums peak at No. 2.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Alvin Lee Returns With Still On The Road To Freedom

More than four decades have passed since Alvin Lee stood front and center at the famed Woodstock festival with his band Ten Years After and told half million or so fans, “I’m Going Home . . . by helicopter.”

Forty-three years later, Alvin Lee hasn’t arrived at his destination yet, as the title of his new solo album, Still on the Road to Freedom, available August 27, 2012 on Rainman Records, will attest. “I don’t think I ever will,” he laughs.

Recorded at Space Studios 3 in Spain, Still on the Road to Freedom finds Lee returning to his original inspirations. Longtime band members bassist Pete Pritchard and drummer Richard Newman, along with keyboardist Tim Hinkley, join Lee in a musical travelogue that is a tribute to the roots music that first influenced him.

“I got my start in music listening to my dad’s jazz and blues 78s when I was eight years old,” says Lee, who continues to follow his inspirations. “It’s about the freedom to make music of my own choice without worrying about what other people thought or expected,” he writes in the album’s liner notes.

Still on the Road to Freedom nods to country-blues, embodied by Alvin’s gutbucket harp on “Save My Stuff” (“I was a big fan of Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee”) and the delta stomp “Blues Got Me So Bad” (“My blues name is Deaf Lemon Lee”). He evokes a folksy feel in the stark acoustic “Walk On, Walk Tall,” perfects the sensuous slow blues style of J.J. Cale in “Nice and Easy,” and strums Spanish rhythms in the instrumental “Song of the Red Rock Mountain,” a song he made up on the spot while testing a microphone.

Lee continues to explore that creative freedom with the tribal African drums of “Listen to Your Radio Station,” which includes a sample loop from the late Ian Wallace, the gospel organ of “Midnight Creeper” and the surprising funk of the rousing “Rock You.”

The album also features “Love Like a Man 2,” a remake of the song on the band’s 1970 album Cricklewood Green, inspired, according to Lee, by New Orleans R&B player Smiley Lewis’ “I Hear You Knocking,” with a nod towards seminal influence Chuck Berry.

Asked how he’d describe himself, Lee pauses: “A musician . . . who leans towards blues, but likes rock and roll, country, funk, jazz — anything with a guitar in it.

After all these years, Alvin Lee’s still going home.

Still on the Road to Freedom track listing:

1. Still on the Road to Freedom
2. Listen to Your Radio Station
3. Midnight Creeper
4. Save My Stuff
5. I’m a Lucky Man
6. Walk On, Walk Tall
7. Blues Got Me So Bad
8. Song of the Red Rock Mountain
9. Nice & Easy
10. Back in ’69
11. Down Line Rock
12. Rock You
13. Love Like a Man 2

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Roger Waters Tops Mid-Year Touring Chart

From Billboard.com

Roger Waters' The Wall Live tour is continuing on its blockbuster pace, finishing as the highest-grossing year so far in Billboard's Mid-Year Charts, according to Boxscore. The midyear numbers are based on concerts reported to Billboard Boxscore that took place Nov. 1, 2011, through May 31, 2012.

For this Boxscore, Waters is easily the highest-grossing tour on the road, reporting $131.4 million in box office and 1.2 million tickets sold. Set to end July 21 at the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City, the Wall outing will go down as one of the biggest tours in history both in terms of box-office performance and creative ambition. The final tally for the tour will exceed $350 million and 3 million in attendance.

Waters' re-conceived conception of a 33-year-old album has been a hit in both stadiums and arenas since the tour began in 2010, with two runs through North America, trips across Europe and a journey into South America that included one of the highest Boxscores ever reported: Nine sellouts at River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires promoted by Pop Art last March that took in nearly $38 million. In total, The Wall Live registered eight of the top 25 Boxscores for the midyear report, six of them from Latin America.

Another tour that falls into the "event" category, and represents powerful new content for arenas, is the Michael Jackson: The Immortal Tour by Cirque du Soleil, which rang up $68.4 million at the box office and more than 600,000 tickets sold for the period, according to Boxscore.

Next is Bruce Springsteen, who, with his E Street Band, is back with a vengeance this year, with epic shows (even by Springsteen standards) in the band's first tour without the late Clarence Clemons. The first leg of Springsteen's tour in support of Wrecking Ball racked up $52.3 million in gross ticket sales and 588,356 in attendance. As Springsteen charges through Europe and begins playing a slew of North American stadium dates later this summer, the numbers will increase substantially.

Though the Van Halen tour ended on a bit of a sour note with the postponement of more than 30 shows, the band did the business while it was out there. The tour, in support of A Different Kind of Truth, VH's first with original singer David Lee Roth since 1984, did sterling business, taking in $38.6 million and attendance of 371,276 from the 33 shows that did come off.

Nineties rock bands are showing some staying power in ticket selling ability in the form of Pearl Jam (311,845 in attendance, including nearly 100,000 from two shows in São Paulo last November) and Red Hot Chili Peppers (about 300,000 tickets sold). Both groups are augmenting their headlining dates with a healthy dose of international festival appearances that put them in front of hundreds of thousands more fans.

The top Boxscore of the year so far, which will probably stand through the end of 2012, is Coachella, which put up $47.3 million in its first incarnation as a two-weekend event. Producer Goldenvoice also placed its Stagecoach country festival in the top 25. But for the most part, the Top Boxscores chart is about international: 20 of the top 25 engagements for the year so far are from markets other than the United States.

For now, the Top 10 Tours of the Midyear based on Boxscore reports are Waters ($131.4 million), Immortal ($68.4 million), Springsteen ($52.4 million), Jay-Z/Kanye West The Throne ($46 million), Lady Gaga ($44 million), Van Halen ($38.6 million), Trans-Siberian Orchestra ($33.4 million), Taylor Swift ($26.3 million), Pearl Jam ($25.4 million), and Andre' Rieu ($25.3 million).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Who Announce Quadrophenia Tour

At a press conference, the Who's Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey announced that they would be taking the album Quadrophenia back out on the road for the first time since 1997.

While dates and details remain to be worked out, the pair talked about taking it out as a bigger production -- somewhat similar to Roger Waters' elaborate staging of The Wall.

The pair also reminisced about the late Keith Moon and John Entwistle, and said they were scheduled to close out the Olympics in London, which run July 27 through August 12.

The Quadrophenia tour in the 90s was a large success, but basically was a straight run-through of the album with special guests Billy Idol and Gary Glitter (one assumes the latter won't be on board this time around).

For the 2012 tour, there will be 37 dates across the U.S., with a tour schedule coming soon.

Pre-sale tickets go up this Friday, July 20, with the general on-sale to the public coming a week later.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New Bob Dylan Album Slated For September

Bob Dylan fans may need to seek shelter from the storm. The legendary singer has set his new album, Tempest, for release on September 11.

Tempest, Dylan's 35th studio release, is the singer's first album since 2009's Christmas In The Heart. Its release coincides with the 50th anniversary of Dylan's debut, Bob Dylan, which arrived in record stores on March 19, 1962. That set featured only two Dylan originals, "Song to Woody" and "Talkin' New York."

Tempest is produced by Jack Frost, and if that name sounds too good to be true, that's because it is: "Jack Frost" is the pseudonym Dylan adopted in the 2000s to produce his records.

This isn't the first Dylan album to arrive on September 11; Love and Theft had the unfortunate timing of coming out on September 11, 2001.

Dylan has enjoyed quite a productive 2012. Earlier this year, he received the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama at a ceremony in the White House. The Medal of Freedom is the nation's highest civilian honor.

Check out the Tempest track list below:

1. "Duquesne Whistle"
2. "Soon After Midnight"
3. "Narrow Way"
4. "Long and Wasted Years"
5. "Pay In Blood"
6. "Scarlet Town"
7. "Early Roman Kings"
8. "Tin Angel"
9. "Tempest"
10. "Roll On John"

Monday, July 16, 2012

Deep Purple Founding Keyboardist Jon Lord Dies

Jon Lord, the former keyboard player with the rock band Deep Purple, has died aged 71.
He had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer since last August.

Lord, who co-wrote many of Deep Purple's legendary songs, including Smoke On The Water, played with many bands and musicians throughout his career.

A statement issued by his publicist said he died at the London Clinic on Monday, surrounded by his family.

Lord founded Deep Purple in 1968, and the band went on to become one of the world's most popular rock bands.

Deep Purple split in 1976, but after reforming in 1984 the band had six studio albums and performed concerts all over the world, with album sales in excess of 150 million units.

Born in Leicester on 9 June, 1941, Jon Lord began playing piano, taking classical music lessons from a very early age.

He received a scholarship to drama school in London at the age of 19, during which time he began playing jazz and rhythm and blues in pub gigs.

Lord retired from Deep Purple in 2002.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Springsteen. McCartney Silenced After Breaking London Curfew

Concert organizers pulled the plug on rock stars Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney after the pair defied the sound curfew at London's Hyde Park, silencing their microphones at the tail end of the show.

Springsteen had already exceeded the 10:30 p.m. curfew by half an hour Saturday night when he welcomed McCartney on stage and the pair sang the Beatles hits "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Twist and Shout." But the microphones were turned off before they could thank the crowd, forcing them to leave the stage in silence.

A statement from concert organizer Live Nation said it was unfortunate that Springsteen's three-hour-plus performance was stopped "right at the very end," but it said that the curfew had been laid down by the authorities "in the interest of the public's health and safety."

Huge concerts in Hyde Park, a 350-acre (140-hectare) expanse of landscaped garden and parkland that abuts some of London's wealthiest neighborhoods, have increasingly caused friction between fans and the area's well-heeled residents, many of whom gripe about the late-night noise and nuisance.

With complaints on the rise, local officials have decided that as of next year, the number of concerts will be slashed from 13 to nine. Also in 2013, they plan to reduce crowd limits from 80,000 to 65,000.

Steven Van Zandt, who plays guitar in Springsteen's E-Street Band, criticized Saturday's decision as heavy-handed.

"English cops may be the only individuals left on earth that wouldn't want to hear one more from Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney!" he wrote on Twitter. "On a Saturday night! Who were we disturbing?" Finally he added: "There's no grudges to be held. Just feel bad for our great fans. It's some City Council stupid rule."

London mayor Boris Johnson said Sunday that the singers should have been allowed to keep going.

"It sounds to me like an excessively efficacious decision," he told London radio. "You won't get that during the Olympics. If they'd have called me, my answer would have been for them to jam in the name of the Lord!"

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Who Has 'Dylan Goes Electric' Guitar? Icon, PBS Disagree

Watch Bob Dylan's game-changing opening number at Newport: "Maggie's Farm"

Bob Dylan and historians at PBS are in a dispute over the whereabouts of an electric guitar that the singer plugged in at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, quite possibly the most historic single instrument in rock 'n' roll.

The New Jersey daughter of a pilot who flew Dylan to appearances in the 1960s says she has the guitar, which has spent much of the past 47 years in a family attic. But a lawyer for Dylan claims the singer still has the Fender Stratocaster with the sunburst design that he used during one of the most memorable performances of his career.

If the authentic "Dylan goes electric" guitar ever went on the open marketplace, experts say it could fetch as much as a half million dollars.

The guitar is the centerpiece of next Tuesday's season premiere of PBS' History Detectives, and the show said late Wednesday it stood by its conclusion that Dawn Peterson, the pilot's daughter who works as a customer relations manager for an energy company, has the right instrument.

On July 25, 1965, that guitar was more an object of derision than desire.

With his acoustic songs of social protest, a young Bob Dylan was a hero to folk music fans in the early 1960s and the Newport festival was their mecca. Bringing an electric guitar and band with him onstage to launch into "Maggie's Farm" was more than an artistic change, it was a provocative act. Most folk purists disdained rock `n' roll.

What happened next is a little foggy. Did an enraged Pete Seeger really try to cut Dylan's electric power? Was the crowd upset about the noise, or by Dylan leaving the stage after only three songs? Was it even upset at all? He later returned for a couple of acoustic songs.

Either way, Dylan never looked back.

Music has its share of memorable instruments, like Paul McCartney's Hofner bass or the Gibson guitars that B.B. King calls Lucille. Yet it's tough to think of any instrument that was the focus of an event more meaningful than the electric guitar Dylan played that day, said Howard Kramer, curatorial director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum.

"This is not just kinda cool. This is way cool," said guitar expert Andy Babiuk. "We all love Bob Dylan, but this is really a pinnacle point not just in his career but for music in general. I don't think music in the 1960s would have been the same if Dylan had not gone electric."

Victor Quinto briefly flew music stars like Dylan, The Band and Peter, Paul & Mary around during the 1960s. Peterson, his daughter, said Dylan left the Fender behind on an airplane and Quinto took it home. She was told that her father contacted Dylan's representatives to get them to pick it up, but no one ever did. Quinto died at age 41, when his daughter was 8, and she treasures any remaining connection to her dad. The guitar was in her parents' attic until about 10 years ago when she took it.

Peterson had no idea about its history until a friend of her husband's saw it and mentioned the possible Newport connection. After unsuccessfully trying to verify it on her own, she turned to "History Detectives" about a year ago for help.

"When I heard it, I was like, 'Yeah, right,'" said Elyse Luray, a former Christie's auction house appraiser and auctioneer who co-hosts the PBS show. But there were intriguing clues. Peterson's father left behind an address book that included a phone number for "Bob Dylan, Woodstock." Luray showed the guitar case to a former Dylan roadie who recognized the name of a little-known company that Dylan had formed at the time stenciled on its side.

A sheaf of papers with handwritten song lyrics was in the guitar case and PBS took them to an expert, Jeff Gold, who said the handwriting matched Dylan's. The fragmentary lyrics later appeared, in part, on songs that Dylan recorded but rejected for his 1966 Blonde On Blonde album.

Luray took the guitar to Babiuk, an appraiser of instruments who consults for the rock hall. He took the guitar apart to find a date written inside (1964) that made its use in Newport plausible. He drew upon blown-up color photos from Newport to compare the wood grain on the guitar Dylan played that day to the one in his hands. He's confident it's a match, likening the wood grain to a fingerprint.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Gregg Rolie, On Tour With Ringo Starr's All Star Band, Schedules Solo Dates

Santana and Journey founding member and a Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame inductee, singer and keyboardist Gregg Rolie is currently on tour with Ringo Starr's All Star Band. So far the response has been no less than phenomenal!

Along with Rolie, you can catch Steve Lukather, Todd Rundgren, Richard Page and of course, Ringo Starr, on the Ringo Starr All Star Band tour this June and July in the US and Canada. Some of the songs Rolie is performing on this tour include “Evil Ways”, “Everybody's Everything” and of course “Black Magic Woman.”

“Gregg does have that incredibly huge 'Black Magic Woman,'” Ringo recently told Sarah Rodman of The Boston Globe. “I’m playing like this Latin music for God’s sakes! Mr. Pop here! I’m having so much fun with his stuff.”

Ringo Starr's All Star Band tour dates:

July 11 – Usana Ampitheater, Salt Lake, UT
July 13 – Northern Quest, Spokane, WA
July 14 – St Michelle Winery, Seattle, WA
July 15 – Edgefield, Portland, OR
July 17 – Mountain Winery, Saratoga, CA
July 19 – Humphrey’s, San Diego, CA
July 21 – The Greek, Los Angeles, CA

In other news, The Gregg Rolie Band will be playing select dates this August 2012, performing electrifying versions of several Santana classics such as "Evil Ways," "Black Magic Woman," "Soul Sacrifice," "Jingo" and "No One To Depend On," as well as tracks from Rolie's previous effort 'Roots' and new songs.

The Gregg Rolie Band consists of Adrian Areas (son of original Santana percussionist Jose Chepito Areas) on Timbales, drummer Ron Wikso (who was also in The Storm), Elliot "Toby" Borrero on congas, Rocket Ritchotte on guitars, internationally acclaimed bassist Gary Brown and former Jean Luc Ponty keyboardist Wally Minko.

“The band are great, because we all really enjoy each other and I think the sound reflects the fun we are having," Rolie says.

Gregg Rolie Band tour dates:

Fri Aug 03 - 5:00 PM - Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, CA
Fri Aug 10 - 5:00 PM - Louisville Street Faire, Louisville, CO
Sat Aug 18 - 2:00 PM - Salem Riverfront Park, Salem, OR
Sun Aug 19 - 8:00 PM - Columbia Gorge Hotel Amphitheater, Hood River, OR,
Wed Aug 29 - 8:00 PM - Lakes Performing Arts Center, Okoboji, IA

For more information, visit Gregg Rolie's website.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Van Halen Wants To Play Super Bowl Halftime

Amongst growing speculation that Van Halen will perform the next Super Bowl halftime show, lead singer David Lee Roth says the band hasn’t been offered the gig, but they’ll jump at the chance if asked.

Roth issued a statement via the website Van Halen News Desk in which he described working Super Bowl halftime as a dream job.

“I’m compelled to address the now-rampant rumors that Van Halen is playing the Superbowl,” Roth wrote, apparently unaware that “Super Bowl” is two words. “First of all let me say this — be still my pigskin heart. That honor has not been bestowed upon us at this time though it is one we would accept in a NY minute.”

Roth noted that Van Halen songs are routinely played at stadiums during games and said he’d be thrilled to appear on the NFL’s biggest stage.

“Playing at the Superbowl is a veritable holy grail of musical recognition, a highly prized rite of passage for (game-changing) artists. Not a spiritual rite with snake pits or Hebrew school or anything, but it’s up there,” Roth wrote. “We are not on Commissioner Goodell’s dance card at this time, but we would be most honored to dance the halftime away in New Orleans.”

Roth will be 57 before the Super Bowl and Eddie Van Halen will be 58, so they’d be in the right age range that the NFL seems to like for its Super Bowl halftime shows, which have featured the likes of Madonna, The Who, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty in recent years.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Fender Is Going Public

When Fender goes public, investors likely will be buying with their hearts and not their heads.

Although Fender Musical Instruments Corp.'s swooping "F" is wildly different from Facebook’s lowercase logo, and its pre-IPO runup is absent the frenzy that accompanied Facebook’s public debut, analysts say that the manufacturer of the famous Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars does have some similarities to the social media giant.

Like Facebook, Fender — which plans to debut on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker FNDR — has name recognition that could boost the stock price above what fundamentals would otherwise dictate.
"There is definitely some premium in it because it should be an easy sell," said Scott Sweet, senior managing partner at research firm IPO Boutique. "Fender has a very large brand awareness and has had since the late 40s... Looking at the financials, they're not impressive."
In 2011, Fender managed to squeak out a profit of $19 million on sales of $701 million: not bad, but not headline-act good, either. The company's guitars have been played by music titans such as Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix — who played a Fender Stratocaster during his iconic performance at Woodstock that was later bought at auction by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen for $1.3 million. It set its share price at $13 to $15, which would raise $160.5 million and give the company a market cap of $395 million at the high end.
“I wouldn’t go near this at the current valuation,” said Arnold Ursaner, managing director of CJS Securities. Ursaner says Fender’s weaker first-quarter numbers, plans to grow internationally into markets with shaky economies and reliance on troubled retailer Guitar Center for 16 percent of its sales are all challenges that could drag down the share price once the company goes public. 
“It’s got a premium because of its branding and position in the industry,” said Francis Gaskins, president of research firm IPOdesktop.com. “It has a broad and loyal customer following.”
At least initially, that brand equity might matter more than fundamentals. According to analysis of several dozen recent IPOs of consumer-focused companies from Ipreo, a market intelligence firm, "name brand" companies experienced a 26 percent first-day price bounce, compared to a 16 percent bounce for all consumer companies. Companies with well-known brands not only retained, but grew this lead: Six months after their IPOs, these companies had an average 47 percent increase in their share price, compared to a 14 percent increase for the broader consumer sector.

One plus for would-be investors is that the relatively small size of the offering should prevent the kind of volatility that marked Facebook’s IPO and subsequent trading days. “It's going to be a much slower mover up or down,” Sweet said. 
 But unlike many Facebook investors, who dreamed of flipping the stock on opening day and making a killing, analysts think retail investors motivated to buy Fender stock will do so for emotional rather than economic reasons and will hold it.
"It’s a mature company, it’s been around for a while," said Nick Einhorn, research analyst at Renaissance Capital. "It’s not a company that represents an exciting growth industry... An investor would be coming at it from more of a value perspective." For investors content to settle for slim margins and no dividend, at least for the time being, in exchange for owning a part of rock and roll history, this could be a match made in — or maybe a stairway to — heaven.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Rolling Stones To Mark 50th Anniversary With London Exhibit

In celebration of their 50th anniversary, the Rolling Stones will attend a photographic exhibition in their honor in London on July 12th – the 50th anniversary to the day of their first gig at London's Marquee Club.

The Somerset House will showcase prints and photographs ranging from concert images and studio shots to negatives and outtakes from throughout the band's history.

"This is our story of 50 fantastic years," said the band in a statement. "We started out as a blues band playing the clubs and more recently we've filled the largest stadiums in the world with the kind of show that none of us could have imagined all those years ago."

Debuting as The Rollin' Stones on July 12, 1962, the group included Mick Jagger (vocals), Keith Richards (guitar), Brian Jones (guitar), Ian Stewart (piano), Dick Taylor (bass) and Tony Chapman (drums).

The exhibit will open free to the public on July 13th and run through August 27th.

The Stones recently unveiled an updated logo to mark their 50th anniversary, and they are strongly considering playing at least one live show this year to celebrate their longevity.

And the party will roll on into next year.

"The Stones always really considered 1963 to be 50 years, because Charlie [Watts] didn't actually join until January," Keith Richards said earlier this year. "We look upon 2012 as sort of the year of conception, but the birth is next year."

Monday, July 2, 2012

Emerson, Lake & Palmer Albums To Be Reissued As Three-Disc Sets

Razor & Tie is set to reissue the first two Emerson, Lake & Palmer albums -- Emerson, Lake & Palmer (1970) and Tarkus (1971) -- on September 11th.  Both records will be available as 3-disc deluxe editions containing never before released 5.1 surround sound and stereo Mimes, including previously unheard out-takes. 

Three time Grammy-nominated producer and engineer Steven Wilson (who has also recently remixed classic albums by Jethro Tull and King Crimson for acclaimed 40th anniversary editions) worked from the original Greg Lake produced multi-track tapes to remix both albums.

Fans will be able to purchase Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Tarkus deluxe editions at http://elp.merchnow.com/ where the albums will be bundled with a variety of ELP T-shirts. 

Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Tarkus will also be released on limited edition 180 gram audiophile vinyl.  The records will be re-pressed and released with their original packaging and track listings.  The vinyl re-presses will be available September 11th as well.

Both albums will also be digitally, specifically mastered for iTunes by Grammy-award winning engineer Brad Blackwood (Alison Krauss & Union Station, Maroon 5, North Mississippi Allstars, Saving Abel).

Considered by many to be one of rock’s original first supergroups, Emerson Lake & Palmer formed in England in 1970 consisting of Keith Emerson (keyboards), Greg Lake (bass guitar, vocals, guitar) and Carl Palmer (drums, percussion).

The band created a brand new world of music, combining classical and symphonic rock fused with beautiful vocals.  Their penchant for appropriating themes from classical music and the group’s more nuanced, textured approach to symphonic arrangements set ELP apart from their more bombastic guitar-based contemporaries of the time.  

This subtler and more sublime approach carries on today in the expansive atmospherics of Radiohead and Muse and also in the prog-influenced sphere of band’s like Porcupine Tree, Dream Theatre, Opeth and many others, making ELP one of the more relevant torchbearers of the progressive rock sound. 

Along with Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, and Rush, Emerson Lake and Palmer ushered in the prog era and as one of the most commercially successful rock bands of the 1970s, having sold over 40 million albums. 

ELP’s dramatic flair, sincere passion, labyrinthine song structures, and symphony-worthy virtuosity proved that classical rockers could compete for arena-scale audiences as the band headlined stadium tours around the world.