Thursday, November 27, 2014

Black Friday Five: Our Record Store Day Picks

If you haven't noticed, we like records, CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray Discs a lot at, so we're especially excited about today, November 28, 2014, Black Friday Record Store Day. 

We look for the classics, and while they come in all shapes and sizes, we narrowed our choices down to five pieces of vinyl we'll be seeking out at our local record store (either Fingerprints in Long Beach or Lou's in Encinitas, depending on the weather).

We highly recommend you head over to for details on what else is out and where to go get it all. In the meantime, here's our Black Friday Five:

Joe Satriani – Joe Satriani EP 
This 30th anniversary edition of Satriani's self-titled five-song, self-titled debut showcases the magic that helped the guitarist secure his deal with Relativity Records. This "one-man band" recording is remarkable in that every sound on the five songs was made on an electric guitar, from tapping on the tuneups for drums and percussion to de-tuning the guitar to replicate the lower bass sounds. This exclusive for Record Store Day is individually numbered and remastered on 180 gram vinyl.

The Kinks – Muswell Hillbillies 
Released in 1971, The Kinks’ Muswell Hillbillies found the quintessentially British band painting a vivid portrait of working class life in North London, with a sonic palette that drew from turn-of-the-century British music hall and American country styles. Rolling Stone would call it Ray Davies’ “signature statement” as a songwriter. This deluxe double LP edition features the original album paired with a bonus vinyl disc of rarities and outtakes from the original album sessions as well as BBC sessions recorded for John Peel. Incidentally, Legacy has also released a Deluxe Edition of Muswell Hillbillies with extra tracks and a DVD of live footage.

Jimi Hendrix - Hear My Music 
This limited edition, individually numbered double LP set, pressed on 200 gram audiophile vinyl by QRP, features a treasure trove of unreleased Jimi Hendrix studio recordings from 1969.  Hear My Music is an authorized Jimi Hendrix "bootleg" issued by Dagger Records.

The Doors - Honor The Treaties  
This two-song EP  features "Ghost Song" b/w "Drums". It comes individually numbered with a limited edition of 8,000 copies on 180-gram vinyl, Proceeds from sales of this EP benefit Honor The Treaties, an organization dedicated to amplifying the voices of Indigenous communities through art and advocacy.

Grateful Dead - 11/18/72 Hofheinz Pavilion, Houston, TX
This is double LP limited edition set of 7,200 copies on 180-gram vinyl. The highlight is a big second set jam with a 25-minute “Playing In The Band” that's too sweet to miss.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

California Music Fest To Celebrate John Bonham, Randy Rhoads, Keith Moon & John Entwistle At NAMM 2015

Tichy/Sutton Productions has announced the first round of artists who will be participating in the inaugural California Music Fest at the Observatory in Santa Ana, CA, in January 2015.  For three nights, some of music’s most prolific artists will come together and pay tribute to their heroes for a legendary weekend of music and madness.

With Bonzo Bash creator Brian Tichy newly endorsed by Ludwig-Musser Drums and Percussion, the legendary Ludwig is revealed as the main sponsor of the 2015 Bonzo Bash!

Led Zeppelin's John Henry "Bonzo" Bonham is consistently regarded as the #1 drummer in rock. Bonham played Ludwig drums his whole career and his name is synonymous with Ludwig. Having Ludwig sponsor Bonzo Bash gives an added authenticity to the celebration! Tichy / Sutton Productions is very excited to have the two entities come together, all in the name of John Bonham!

Producers Brian Tichy and Joe Sutton have been creating unique celebration concerts for the past several years, and have now combined them into one weekend of music and madness to coincide with NAMM January 22, 23 & 24, 2015.
Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 kicks off with Bonzo Bash. This was the first of these shows that Tichy & Sutton have produced, with the first one taking place in April 2010, on the 30th anniversary of Bonham’s passing.  They have since taken the show to both coasts, with California Music Fest 2015 sure to be the mightiest one yet. The show highlights the industry’s top drummers playing their favorite Led Zeppelin tunes. Tichy/Sutton have taken this Bonzo Bash one epic step further by including all 4 Ludwig drum kits Bonham used throughout his career with Led Zeppelin.  Each drummer will be accompanied by house band The Moby Dicks.
The following artists have been confirmed to participate in this year’s Bonzo Bash:
Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp / John Fogerty / Smashing Pumpkins)
Charlie Benante (Anthrax)
Joe Franco (Good Rats / Twisted Sister)
John Hummel (Lady Gaga)
Brandon Kachel (Barbarian Overlords)
Corky Laing (Mountain / Bonzo Bash Legend Award Recipient)
Dave Lombardo (Slayer / Philm)
Robert Mason (Warrant)
Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction)
Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs / Dream Theater)
Gregg Potter (The Buddy Rich Band)
Dizzy Reed (Guns N' Roses / The Dead Daisies / Hookers & Blow)
Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow / Black Sabbath)
Matt Starr (Ace Frehley / Mr. Big)
Todd Sucherman (Styx)
Jason Sutter (Marilyn Manson / Foreigner / Chris Cornell)
Mike Terrana (Rage / Yngwie Malmsteen / Tony Macalpine)
Brian Tichy (Whitesnake / Foreigner / Ozzy Osbourne / Billy Idol)
Franklin Vanderbilt (Lenny Kravitz / Stevie Wonder / Chaka Khan)
Phil X (The Drills / Bon Jovi)

The Moby Dicks are: Michael Devin (Whitesnake), Stephen LeBlanc (Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Exp.), Brian Tichy (Whitesnake / Foreigner / Ozzy Osbourne / Billy Idol), Chas West (Bonham), Brent Woods (Vince Neil / Sebastian Bach).
Friday January 23rd, 2015 the madness continues with Randy Rhoads Remembered, a celebration of the brilliant and original Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads. Tichy and Sutton created this event in 2013 after agreeing Randy Rhoads surely deserved recognition for his musical impact. They are both huge fans of Rhoads’, and Tichy himself played with Ozzy Osbourne. Randy’s brother Kelle performs and his sister Kathy Rhoads, shares her stories making this a very touching and personal experience for all involved.
The following artists have been confirmed as participants in Randy Rhoads Remembered:

Kathy Rhoads D’Argenzio
Phil Demmel (Machine Head)
Michael Devin (Whitesnake)
Dave Ellefson (Megadeth)
Gus G (Ozzy Osbourne / Firewind)
Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake / Night Ranger)
Nik Kai (Kemical Kill)
Stephen LeBlanc (Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Exp.)
Kiko Louriero (Angra)
Marzi Montazeri (Philip H. Alselmo & The Illegals / Marzi Montazeri’s Heavy As Texas)
Mike Orlando (Adrenaline Mob / Tred)
Mitch Perry (Cher / Edgar Winter)
Kelle Rhoads  
Rowan Robertson (Dio / DC4)
Janet Robin (Student of Randy Rhoads / Lindsey Buckingham)
Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne / Quiet Riot / Whitesnake / Queensryche)
Jeff Scott Soto (Journey / Talisman)
Alex Skolnick (Testament / Alex Skolnick Trio)
Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne / Ronnie James Dio / Billy Idol)
Brian Tichy (Whitesnake / Foreigner / Ozzy Osbourne / Billy Idol)
Chas West (Bonham)
Brent Woods (Student of Randy Rhoads / Vince Neil / Sebastian Bach)
Phil X (The Drills / Bon Jovi)
Roy Z (Halford / Bruce Dickinson / Tribe of Gypsies / Glenn Hughes)

In addition to this lineup, there will be some very specials guests - some will be announced and some won’t, so stay tuned!
Rounding off the weekend is the 2nd installment of Entwistle/Moon: The Ox & The Loon, a salute to The Who’s John Entwistle and Keith Moon. Tichy and Sutton first put this show on in April of this year at House of Blues on Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, and it was met with rave reviews. This show features renowned bassists and drummers getting together to celebrate rock’s mightiest rhythm section. This will be the 3rd and final show of California Music Fest taking place on Saturday, January 24th, 2015.
The following artists have been confirmed for Entwistle/Moon: The Ox & The Loon:
Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp / John Fogerty / Smashing Pumpkins)
Veronica Bellino (Jeff Beck)
Phil Chen (Rod Stewart / The Doors)
Michael Devin (Whitesnake / JBLZE)
Corky Laing (Mountain)
Dave LaRue (Joe Satriani / Steve Morse / Flying Colors)
Stephen LeBlanc (JBLZE)
Dave Lombardo (Slayer / Philm)
James LoMenzo (BLS / White Lion / Megadeth)
Robert Mason (Warrant)
Sean McNabb (Don Felder / Sons of Anarchy)
Marco Mendoza (The Dead Daisies / Thin Lizzy / Whitesnake)
John Moyer (Disturbed / Adrenaline Mob)
Marty O’Brien (Lita Ford)
Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction)
Mitch Perry (Cher / Edgar Winter)
dUg Pinnick (KXM / King’s X)
Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs / Dream Theater)
Joseph Pusateri (John Entwistle Band)
Joe Retta (Sweet / Heaven & Earth)
Rowan Robertson (DIO / DC4)
Van Romaine (Steve Morse / Enrique Iglesias)
Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne)
Matt Starr (Ace Frehley / Mr. Big)
Brian Tichy (Whitesnake / Foreigner / Ozzy Osbourne / Billy Idol)
Chas West (Bonham)
Brent Woods (Vince Neil / Sebastian Bach)

More artists for ALL shows will be announced soon, so keep an eye out!
Tickets available now!
California Music Fest Three Day Pass:

Individual show tickets:
Randy Rhoads Remembered:  1.23.2015
Entwistle / Moon: The Ox & The Loon: 1.24.2015
Limited VIP packages available at
Facebook pages:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Philly's All Things That Rock Fest Offers Music Memorabilia, Celebrities & More

Imagine 20,000 square feet of CDs, records, videos, music memorabilia and pop culture collectibles from the 1950‘s to today plus celebrities from the world of music, live entertainment gathered in one place for two days only. 

It’s the first All Things That Rock Fest – like comic-con for Rock N’ Roll - an event for entire family, featuring over a hundred vendors from around the world buying, selling and trading virtually every rock & roll lifestyle collectible at incredible prices.

The All Things That Rock Fest blasts off on Black Friday, November 28th from 10 am – 6pm and Saturday, November 29th from 10 am – 6 pm at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Ave., Oaks, PA  (PA Turnpike to Route 202S to Route 422W).

The All Things That Rock Fest also features celebrity guest appearances by the likes of Peter Criss, founding member and original drummer of KISS, Micky Dolenz of the Monkees, Artimus Pyle, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member and original drummer for Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ed Kowalczyk, former lead vocalist for Live, Denny Laine, founding member of Paul McCartney & Wings and The Moody Blues, May Pang, author/photographer and close companion of John Lennon, Local favorite David Uosikkinen from the Hooters, Vince Martell from Vanilla Fudge, Billy J. Kramer, Liverpool star from the 60s, Richie Ranno from the power pop band Starz, local favorite Jade Starling from Pretty Poison ("Catch Me I'm Falling") and more to be announced. Eddie Trunk, host of the popular VH-1 Classic “That Metal Show” will emcee the event. WMMR's Jacky Bam Bam (Friday) and WMGK's Andre Gardner (Saturday) also will be appearing. These artists and others will be meeting fans, signing autographs, and posing for photo opportunities.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their rare music memorabilia to the All Things That Rock Fest and visit Garry Shrum, Consignment Director of Entertainment and Music Memorabilia for Heritage Auctions. Shrum will offer free appraisals on All Things that Rock! Heritage Auctions is the largest collectibles auctioneer in the world. Puppet Guy Lee Zimmerman will entertain the crowd with his incredible rock & roll marionette show. Attendees can also tour the Gibson Guitar Bus plus the Rock Girls Bikini Bod Squad will also be there to entertain the guys while their wives are maxing out their credit cards at the mall. Artist schedules, newly added guests and advanced tickets are available at

Without question, the All Things That Rock Fest is a true Music Lifestyle Fair, bringing the most comprehensive collection of pop & rock music items ever assembled under one roof – new and used, rare, collectible, and common records, CDs, DVDs, tapes, 45s, 12-inch singles, posters, T-Shirts, books and memorabilia in all types of music, including: rock, metal, jazz, R&B, alternative, classical, new age, blues, soul, show, soundtracks, folk, comedy, disco, new releases, imports, out of print, and much more.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Joni Mitchell On Bob Dylan, Taylor Swift, Men & The Music Business

Joni Mitchell has rejected the description of her career, as 'the female Dylan' by explaining "I am much more original musically, and a much more original thinker". She also revealed that she shot down a potential biopic starring Taylor Swift. 

The 71-year-old singer, who described herself as an "emotional scientist" also hit out at sexism in the music industry.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, she declared "I'm a woman in a man's world. There are hardly any women in my business. There are oppressive men and exploitative men. Georgia O'Keeffe used to talk about them - men this and men that - too. The men said, 'You can't paint New York City' - she did some fantastic paintings of New York City. It's all male-dominant, and you're always with them. I'm on the road with 21 guys, and I love men's company, don't get me wrong. Even when they're stupid little boys, I still like them. I mean, love the sinner, hate the sin."

She also announced that she will not be touring in the near future. "Music is over for me, pretty much. I can't sing: I don't want to. I want to paint, and I want to write. I can't tour, I can't travel, I'm sick; I can fly two flights a year. I'm old. You have to know when to give up."

In the same interview, the singer put to rest rumors that there would be a biopic of her life starring Taylor Swift: "I squelched that! I said to the producer, 'All you've got is a girl with high cheekbones. It's just a lot of gossip, you don't have the great scenes.' There's a lot of nonsense about me in books: assumptions, assumptions, assum­p­tions."

This month Mitchell reveals a four CD box set including 53 newly remastered songs recorded throughout her career. Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting To Be Danced was originally conceived as the music to a ballet about love. But after spending 18 months trying to distill the material to a single disc tracklisting, Mitchell abandoned the ballet and has released the full work in a box set.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rolling Stone Keith Richards Honors Grandad In Children's Book

The Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has written a children’s book and is thrilled his daughter Theodora was able to help as illustrator. 

Speaking with a smoker’s rasp, the legendary Rolling Stones rocker is keen for a chat about his latest endeavor, a kids book titled Gus & Me — The Story of My Grandad and My First Guitar.

“Gus has always been part of the family, although most of my kids didn’t know him of course,” Richards says in a break from The Rolling Stones’ Australian tour. “Gus lives with us by his jokes and his attitude really.”

Gus, as his family affectionately know him, is Richards’ late grandpa, Augustus Theodore Dupree, a jazz muso back in his day.

He toured the UK with his band, Gus Dupree and his Boys, and the now 70-year-old Richards credits him for nurturing his musical talents from a young age.

“Gus sort of led me into it I think,” reminisces Richards.

“He did it very subtly and I am always grateful for that. He used to see me looking at it (his guitar). It was up on a shelf in the parlour and every day he’d say, ‘when you can reach that, I’ll show you a thing or two’.

“And so I faked it and got a chair and a couple of books and I got the thing down. So he said, okay, you are smart enough to get it into your hands so I’ll show you a few tricks.”

Richards, now a grandfather of five, is upbeat, bubbly even, and far more coherent and considered than this scribe had expected from one of the world’s most famously hard-partying rockers.

The name Keith Richards immediately conjures images of the quintessential hard-living rock ‘n’ roll bad boy.

So to hear him speak about his family so passionately is refreshing and a little jarring.

Perhaps it’s just life when you age. We tend to slow down, although Richards is still holding his own playing with the Stones in stadiums around the world.

Even the thought of Richards making a cup of tea is at odds with his reputation.

“Oh I can make a good cup of tea mate, don’t you worry about that,” he laughs.

“I suppose it is natural in a way because they (people) only know me when I’m out there doing stuff. Meanwhile, I do have to have a roof over my head and I’ve got a wife and I have to do some of the stuff that most of us do and I enjoy it too.”

Even though he has that hard reputation, at the core for Richards he is just like most people who care for their family.

And he shared a special bond with his grandpa, just as many of us do, and wanted to celebrate that love for someone he remembers as a “very, very cool guy”.

“He had seven daughters and he lived in London off the Seven Sisters Road which he always used to joke about and saying that with the wife, that makes eight,” Richards recalls.

“He was surrounded by women, he only had daughters you know and they were all funny. My aunts are just as funny as he is and all musical.

“Somebody was always playing the piano or on the violin and I had an eye for that guitar.”

 Gus & Me — The Story of My Grandad and My First Guitar is a physical memory that won’t be forgot, a testament to Richards’ strong relationship with his grandfather.

Adding to that family flavor, Richards’ daughter Theodora lent her creative hand as illustrator to the book.

“She has always been a great illustrator and to be able to work with your own daughter was quite fascinating. She would keep coming to me asking me what did Gus wear and what size should I be compared to him. She was very professional and did a great job and probably she is going to do thousands (of kids books) now.”

It was when Richards’ fifth grandson was born that the rocker decided to “do something for my grandad too”.

“Maybe behind it all is everybody somewhere has got a grandad and maybe he is more fun than you think and maybe he could show you some things that you wouldn’t think of,” explains Richards, who has five children as well as five grandchildren — aged from 18 to 18 months.

“I was just thinking of the extended family sort of thing and how we can really learn a lot from the old cats. Now I am one, I know the feeling.”

When not touring, Richards enjoys spending time with his family although he admits it’s hard to get everyone together.

“I don’t see them a lot but I get really into it when I do,” he says of his grandkids.

“They are all different ages so I have to gauge, I have got them from 18 to a few months and each one is different. It is usually mayhem (when we get together) but it all sorts itself out. We all sit around and have a laugh, somebody gets pissed.”

What do they call him?

“The universal term is grandpa.”

Thursday, November 20, 2014

KISS To Close Download Festival

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers have carved themselves emphatically into the pantheon of Rock mythology with their huge choruses, unmistakable visuals and extraordinary, pyrotechnical live performances. KISS return to Donington, having graced Monsters of Rock in 1988 and 1996 and headlined Download, Europe’s biggest rock and metal festival, in 2008.

Meanwhile, bassist Gene Simmons said: To all our fans – our intention is to get on that stage, blow the heavens to smithereens and take no prisoners.

Main support comes in the form of the final ever UK Festival Performance by iconic hell-raising metalheads Mötley Crüe. With the Crüe due to disband for good in early 2016, Download will have the honor and privilege of bringing a truly unique festival career to a blazing conclusion.

Bassist Nikki Sixxx said: “It’s always an over the top day and night at Download Festival and we’re really excited to be coming over to the UK and playing the show.”

Rock legends making the ultimate festival pilgrimage don’t stop there as seminal shredder Slash polishes and shines the trusty top hat to make his second appearance at Download with one of rock’s top vocalists, Myles Kennedy, and The Conspirators.

Slash said: "Download is a very special event for me. It’s been a major destination since I started and I’m always excited to be a part of it."

Other veterans on the bill for the three-day festival are Judas Priest, Slayer, Kid Rock, Soundgarden, Hole, Korn, Weezer and Marilyn Manson.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Brian May's Red Special Tells Story Of Guitar That Rocked Queen

Brian May's Red Special, from Hal Leonard Books,  tells the story how the guitarist and his father, Harold, built an electric guitar in 1963. The young May dreamed of a guitar that would outperform any of the existing commercially made electric guitar at the time, and his father had the technical knowledge and skills to help make that dream come true. May played his guitar on every Queen album and in all of Queen's live shows around the world.

"My dad and I decided to make an electric guitar. I designed an instrument from scratch, with the intention that it would have a capability beyond anything that was out there, more tunable, with a greater range of pitches and sounds, with a better tremolo, and with a capability of feeding back through the air in a 'good' way."

In Brian May's Red Special readers will discover everything they ever wished to know about the famed guitarist's unique instrument. He talks about every aspect of the Red Special, from its birth to playing on the roof of Buckingham Palace, from Live Aid to the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics -- and beyond. All of this is accompanied with original diagrams, sketches and notes dating from the building of the guitar, as well as a great selection of photographs including May on stage with his guitar, close-ups and x-rays.

"There is more to the Red Special than the technical aspects, though; there's the human side, too. The guitar represents a link to a part of Brian he's kept private up to now: the home life of his earliest years, his relationship with his parents, specifically that with his father, and how that all dovetailed into the very genesis of Queen - and the birth of that guitar," says Simon Bradley who wrote the book with Brian May.

Brian May's Red Special includes rare and previously unseen photographs of the Red Special, Brian May, his father, and Queen, as well as pictures of every piece of the fully dismantled guitar. This book is an must-read for any guitar player, classic rock enthusiast, or Queen fan.

For more information, go to Hal Leonard Books.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

AC/DC Moving Forward With Or Without Drummer Phil Rudd

AC/DC's Angus Young promises "there'll be a good drummer there" when the group hits the road in 2015 in support of its new album, Rock Or Bust. But he won't say whether that will be Phil Rudd.

Rudd, a two-tenure skinsman with AC/DC, is facing charges of threatening murder and drug possession in New Zealand after another charge of attempting to "procure" murder was dropped. He's due in court November 27 and faces up to seven years in prison.

Young and bassist Cliff Williams say they haven't heard from or spoken to Rudd since his arrest on November 6 and hedged on his status with the band.

"That's sad when you see him in that space, it's sad to look at," Young says. "But we've committed to going on, going forward. That's our main thing. And also, the guy`s got to be in condition to do this run. We don't want to be in this position of canceling things, 'cause if you put together a lot of stuff you don't want somebody saying, 'Oh, yeah, maybe I'll be there, maybe I won't." Williams adds that, "It's for (Rudd) to sort himself out. We can't do it for him. We can only do so much accommodation. It's in his hands."

The band issued a statement after Rudd's arresting noting that it learned the news at the same time as the rest of the world, but there was apparently no love lost between AC/DC and Rudd prior to that. Young and Williams both spoke of Rudd's "erratic" behavior this year while making the Rock or Bust album in Vancouver, as well as missing a video shoot for the title track and "Play Ball" the first weekend of October in London.

"We had issues with him," Young acknowledges. "It was difficult for us to get him to get him there. I don't want to rain on him; he's a very talented guy, and we go way, way back. But I think he's let himself go for a bit, and after (recording) the album we were kicking off to promote, doing videos and stuff. We had moved that around 'til everyone was coordinated so everyone would be there. We'd already juggled everything quite a few times, and he know that and he wasn't preparing to do anything.So we get to the point where, if we're gonna do something, he's got to be reliable. He's got to be there. We couldn't plan anything. It was just making it harder. I mean, either you want to be there or you don't."

Rudd's situation is the second major sucker punch AC/DC has suffered during the making of Rock Or Bust, which comes out December 2 and is the group's first new album in six years. It's the first AC/DC album without co-founder and guitarist Malcolm Young, Angus' brother, who's suffering from dementia and is currently in a facility in Australia.

Angus says Malcolm began showing symptoms as far back as during the making of 2008's Black Ice but that his brother "wanted us to carry on. He loved the band, loved the music. He didn't want it to stop." Angus says his brother has heard Rock Or Bust and that "he was smiling, laughing. He always loved rock 'n' roll music."

As it prepares for the album's release AC/DC is also making plans for the tour, though dates and routing are still being determined. Production ideas are also being discussed, and it will likely be another of AC/DC's lavish, pyrotechnic-filled stage shows.

"They're still presenting a lot of ideas, especially for the visual side of things," Young says. "I think you've got to come with a good visual thing. Sometimes you think, 'Well, do they want a hoo-ha, or do they want just a plain Jane? But if you're gonna play in a big place, you've got to have a bit off a hoo-ha, I think. You want people to go away and go, 'Yeah, I got my money's worth.' "

Monday, November 17, 2014

Neil Young Urges Starbucks Boycott

Neil Young's latest album, Storytone, contains a song titled "Who's Gonna Stand Up." "Who's gonna take on the big machine?" Young wonders. "Who's gonna stand up and save the earth?" For some musicians, political songs may be more about posturing than actual commitment. But not Young.

In a letter recently posted to his website, Young declares his intention to boycott Starbucks and asks for support from fans.

The letter focuses on the connection between Starbucks and the company Monsanto, who filed a suit against the state of Vermont.

"Starbucks is supporting a lawsuit that's aiming to block a landmark law that requires genetically-modified ingredients be labeled," writes Young. "Amazingly, [Starbucks] claims that the law is an assault on corporations' right to free speech. Monsanto might not care what we think -- but as a public-facing company, Starbucks does. If we can generate enough attention, we can push Starbucks to withdraw its support for the lawsuit, and then pressure other companies to do the same."

Young's tone is reasoned and thoughtful. He notes that he's a longtime Starbucks latte drinker, and that he has been impressed with the company's progressive stances "on LGBT and labor issues in the past." His letter also considers the long-run implications of this lawsuit. "There's much more at stake here than just whether GMO foods will be labeled in a single U.S. state. Vermont is the very first state in the U.S. to require labeling. Dozens of other states have said that they will follow this path -- in order to encourage this, we need to ensure that Vermont's law stands strong."

So does this mean Neil Young will be forced to switch to Dunkin' Donuts?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pink Floyd Top British Album Charts For First Time Since 1995

Pink Floyd topped the album charts for the first time in nearly 20 years on Sunday with The Endless River, the Official Charts Company said.

The newly released album, which the band says will be their last, became the third fastest-selling by a single group or artist this year after shifting more than 139,000 copies during the last week.

A tribute to the band's keyboardist Rick Wright who died in 2008, it is their sixth British number one album and their first since Pulse in 1995.

Foo Fighters were also a new entry at number two with Sonic Highways, while last week's chart topper X by Ed Sheeran slid two places to number three.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Audio Fidelity Releasing Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert & Time Pieces - The Best Of Eric Clapton

Following the release of Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity Hybrid SACDs of Eric Clapton's Pilgrim, Journeyman and Behind The Sun come two more titles from the esteemed catalog of one of the world's most influential guitarists: a 180 gram vinyl LP of  Rainbow Concert and Time Pieces - The Best Of Eric Clapton on Limited Edition Hybrid SACD.

Other than one appearance in August 1971 at George Harrison's Concert For Bangladesh, Eric Clapton had not been heard from until Pete Townshend coaxed him into headlining a concert. The show was scheduled for January 13, 1973 at London's Rainbow Theatre.

An all-star band was assembled for the show and in addition to Townshend the other English rock luminaries included Clapton's old Blind Faith pals, Steve Winwood and Rick Grech, Winwood's Traffic mate Jim Capaldi, Ron Wood, Jimmy Karstein and Rebop Kwaku Baah. It was an ensemble effort but the show demonstrated that the reclusive Clapton, nursing a heroin addiction, could still play, and that was welcome news.

If the classic Derek and the Dominos' In Concert album shows Clapton on the upswing, then Rainbow Concert explores the lower reaches of his psyche. The Rainbow performance was his attempt at starting all over again and coming out of isolation to return to his music. Upon listening to Rainbow Concert it becomes clear just how much the concert helped to re-energize him. The concert at London's Rainbow Theatre stands as the beginning of Eric Clapton's return to the stage.

Rainbow Concert is a recording of monolithic melancholy, the music is rich in its make-up and sad in tone. Townshend's and Wood's guitars and Winwood's organ surround Clapton in a protective aural capsule, but he cuts loose as much as his setting allows in "Badge," and he's solid for most of the show.  The album's excitement comes from the layered instrumental textures, the solemn measured movement into climaxes that are majestic if not explosive, and the nuances of Clapton's restrained playing and singing in a suitably course and bluesy voice.

In addition to "Badge," written by Clapton and George Harrison and covers such as J.J. Cale's "After Midnight" and a very soulful rendition of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing," Steve Winwood steps back as lead vocalist in Eric Clapton's favor for Blind Faith's "Presence of the Lord" and Traffic's "Pearly Queen." Produced by Bob Pridden, this vinyl reissue was mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio.

Time Pieces - The Best Of Eric Clapton features 11 of Clapton's best hits from 1970 to 1980, including his #1 Billboard chart record, 1974's "I Shot The Sheriff" and the classic "Layla," the 7:10 LP version that peaked at # 10 in July 1972.

The songs on the album were all released as singles, with the exception of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," which has never been released on an album. Most of the songs are from 461 Ocean Boulevard and Slowhand, including "Cocaine," "Wonderful Tonight," "After Midnight," "Promises" "Lay Down Sally" and Clapton's version of the old spiritual "Swing Low Sweet Chariot." Time Pieces - The Best Of Eric Clapton is a great way to get into the Eric Clapton catalog for old and new fans alike.

For more information on these and other Audio Fidelity releases, go to the Audio Fidelity website.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Plane Carrying U2's Bono Loses Hatch On Approach To Berlin

A private plane carrying U2 frontman Bono lost its rear hatch while approaching Berlin, but the pilot managed to touch down safely and the Irish rock star was never in danger, airport authorities said on Thursday.

The hatch fell from the sky somewhere close to Schoenefeld airport, located on the southeastern outskirts of the German capital, the airport spokesman said.

It was unclear why the hatch broke off and German authorities were investigating the incident, which took place on Wednesday, he said. The aircraft was carrying five passengers and two crew members.

"The plane could have gone down," a source told the Irish Daily Mail. "About an hour into the journey they heard a big thud coming from the rear of the plane. They were startled for a bit but they continued on and made the descent into Berlin airport."

German aviation authorities are currently investigating the incident and local police are scouring the areas around the airport for the missing luggage.

Berlin airport spokesman Ralf Kunkel said: "The jet landed safely and, according to our knowledge, there was no danger of a crash."

Bono was on board his £50 million Learjet 60 D-CGEO with four friends heading to the Bambi International Music awards when the incident took place yesterday afternoon (November 12).

Bono was flying to Berlin ahead of his bandmates to attend a diplomatic event with Gerd Mueller, the German minister of economic coorperation and development.

Despite the incident, U2 performed at the Bambi Awards. Although no dates have yet been released, the band are expected to tour in 2015.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dave Mason Says 'Thank You' To Vets With New Song, Brings Awareness To Work Vessels For Veterans

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and co-founding member of Traffic, Dave Mason is working to bring awareness to his nonprofit, charitable organization that he co-founded and is a board member of: Work Vessels for Veterans (WVFV). 

Coincide with Veteran’s Day, Mason premiered the video for a new song titled “Thank You.” You can watch the video and download the song for free at

Mason plays over 200 shows a year around the country and takes the time to talk about WVFV’s mission: To provide the “vessel” that can start a career or enhance a life for our returning service men and women, Mason often dedicates concerts to raise funds and is on hand to present Vets with laptops, donated vehicles, machinery and working farms.

“We are pretty much under the radar, as an organization," Mason says. "We’re an all-volunteer group of people and there isn’t any money spent on advertising, only a minimal amount of money goes to administrative stuff. All the money that we do get that passes through the charity actually goes where it’s supposed to go. We are the only charity out there for Veterans that actually specifically helps them start their own businesses. Our motto is that ‘We are not giving hand outs, we are giving a hand up.’”

Founded in 2008, Work Vessels for Veterans began when Mason, New England lobsterman John Niekrash and IT Specialist Ted Knapp got together and decided that they wanted to do something to help Vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan put their lives back on track in a manner that offered them a “hand up, not a hand out.”

What they envisioned was an all-volunteer organization where nearly all of the funds (now operating at 96%) would go to the Vets; not to cover exorbitant administration fees associated with most charities. With a single boat donation to a returning veteran embarking upon a commercial fishing career, the dream the three friends had, became a reality.

In the past six years, their 501-C-3 charity dream, Work Vessels For Veterans, has assisted over 1,000 veterans in 47 states with the “vessels” to begin or expand their businesses while enriching their lives and those of other Vets. These “vessels” include laptops, trucks, cars, boats, equipment, tools and land.

If you would like to donate to WVFV, visit

Fueled by the passion and drive of some veteran requests, WVFV has also branched into the business development area, providing start-up materials and funds to qualified veteran-lead companies working to employ other veterans.