Friday, December 26, 2014

Best Vintage Rock Studio Albums of 2014

Love it or leave it, the studio ''album" lives on in an age of downloading, streaming and attention span deficiencies. And 2014 had enough nuggets to keep the trend going. Like last year, there was no shortage of decent new music to keep our ears tingling, so it wasn't easy to get our list down to 10, but we dove in and did it. These are the 10 best Vintage Rock studio albums of 2014, for better or worse.

Pink Floyd ~ The Endless River

PinkFloydJust when you thought we'd heard the last of Pink Floyd, they show up with a "new" album. Certainly not "new" in the sense that the surviving members gathered together and consciously cut a whole new record. Rather it's "new" in that it's based around 20-year-old recordings that have been restructured where needed, sweetened and enhanced in sections to create a cohesive whole for the masses. This is certainly nothing that hasn't been done before as we've seen "new" recordings from the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix brought to market in similar fashion. The timeless sheen of Pink Floyd's music, however, fulfilled by David Gilmour and Nick Mason's hands-on participation in giving the tracks a fresh and credible perspective is what makes The Endless River a meaningful and legitimate Pink Floyd album. Read more >

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers ~ Hypnotic Eye

PettyNot that he's trying, but Tom Petty can't seem to make a bad record. Everything he's done in the 21st century has held up to his work of the 20th century. Although it was widely panned, this particular writer thought 2002's The Last DJ was one of Petty and the Heartbreakers' most brilliant strokes. Four years later, Petty released his third solo album Highway Companion, which featured all the Heartbreakers (!) and was more of a throwback to basic rock and roll roots. Mojo, released in 2010, was more raw and grittier than either of its two predecessors, a hint that the band was hardly ready to rest and hang it up, despite talk in the rumor mill. Following the four-year cycle, here comes Hypnotic Eye, flush with stunning songs, exemplary playing and beautiful production. It's crystal clear once and for all that Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers aren't even close to cashing in their chips. Read more >

California Breed ~ California Breed

SabbathYou would think after three relatively solid albums and a wickedly good live DVD with Black Country Communion that Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham, the band's slam dunkin' rhythm section, would want to carry on with another guitarist similar in style and pedigree to the departed Joe Bonamassa. Not even close. Instead, they formed a power trio and christened it California Breed with a new, unknown 23-year-old guitarist named Andrew Watt. Combining influences that span three generations, the self-titled California Breed is a heavy amalgamation of Hughes' soaring vocals, Bonham's imitable finesse behind a drum kit and Watt's intuitive, modern swagger on the guitar and songwriting abilities. Read more >

Rival Sons ~ Great Western Valkyrie

BowieThere's a popular notion that "Classic Rock" is defined by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and other artists of the 1960s and 1970s. These bands represent the absolute pinnacle of "Classic Rock" and a lot of folks believe it's been heading south ever since. Forty years later, and you'd think by now the next wave of rock and roll, or something like it, would have come rolling in. But what happens when the next wave is "Classic Rock"? Strange how a term once used to describe an era has now evolved into a genre. There have been those disparate, wayward young souls caught in the web of a throwback after hearing something from the fruitful days of "Classic Rock." Who can forget the Black Crowes in the early 90s, whose stake in retro rock was both derivative and refreshing. Out of Australia, in the late 90s and into the 2000s, you got bands like Jet, the Vines and Wolfmother — each offering their own recycled rants with mixed results. It all sounded so good, but many of the bands became slaves to the form, leaving little wiggle room to expand and grow. This is what sets Rival Sons and their fourth album, Great Western Valkyrie, apart from their predecessors. Read more >

Ian Anderson ~ Homo Erraticus

1998Now that he's firmly planted the Ian Anderson flag, the ever-prolific singer, flautist, songwriter and storyteller has followed up 2012's Thick As A Brick 2 with an ambitious "Prog-Folk-Metal" conceptual piece called Homo Erraticus. Presented to Anderson by one Gerald Bostock, the main protagonist of Thick As A Brick, the story is based on an unpublished manuscript by amateur historian Ernest T. Parritt, who examines key events of British history with a string of prophecies that span the modern age and beyond, intertwined with a cast of personalities, each emerging from Parritt's (or is it Bostock's?) fertile imagination. Read more >

Flying Colors ~ Second Nature

FlyingWhen you look at the members of Flying Colors — guitarist Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs, ex-Kansas), drummer Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic, Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater), Neal Morse (Transatlantic, Spock's Beard), bass player Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, Steve Morse Band, Steve Vai) and singer, guitarist and songwriter Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev) — it's hard to believe the band could be anything more than a one-off "project." But the 2012 Flying Colorsalbum and its subsequent 2013 tour were so good, a second round seemed in order. Or, in this case, Second Nature, the band's sophomore hat into the ring. Read more >

Bernie Marsden ~ Shine

BernieWe have all, at one time or other, picked up a CD and halfway through the first track, smiled and said to ourselves, "This is pretty damned good." The next thought, of course, is, "I just hope the other tracks are decent." And so, once in a blue moon, there is that rare feeling of exuberance when you realize every track is just as good. That's a rarity, especially in today's music, but Shine, guitarist Bernie Marden's solo outing for 2014, restores a lot of lost faith. Read more >

Bruce Springsteen ~ High Hopes

BruceSo do I have High Hopes for Bruce Springsteen's 2014 record? New Jersey's favorite son (sorry Bon Jovi and Sinatra) has released quite an interesting mix of songs for his 2014 studio album. We get covers, "re-imaginings" and lots of loud guitar. We have songs that were outtakes from earlier sessions, Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine making his presence known beyond just standing in for Steve Van Zant on a recent tour, and even some playing from dearly departed ex-E Street Band members. The man himself says, "The best way to describe this record is that it's a bit of an anomaly but not much. I don't really work linearly like a lot of people do." Read more >

David Crosby ~ Croz

CrozIt’s been two decades since the last David Crosby solo album, but not to worry. The rotund CSN&Y star has released Croz, an 11-song collection featuring not only his usual solo band regulars (one of whom is keyboardist and co-songwriter James Raymond, Crosby’s son), but also some high-powered guest musicians as well. It begins with “What’s Broken” with Mark Knopfler lending his considerable guitar leads to the mix. It’s a solid mid-tempo number that sees Crosby in good voice (one you’ll certainly recognize the second you hear it) and wonderful harmonies behind him on the choruses. Read more >

AC/DC ~ Rock or Bust

heavenIt's been six years since Black Ice, AC/DC's last studio album release. During that time, not much has really happened in the rock world. So, will anyone actually care about an aging hard rock band releasing new music? It's a fair question, and I like to think they will. I could get on my soapbox and spout off about the current and sad state of affairs in the rock world, while living in the past, blasting a Foghat or Bad Company CD. Nothing currently interests me, unless it’s something by a seasoned rock act, and I know a lot of people feel that way. We know what we like and we know what we don't like. AC/DC's 2014 release, their 15th album, Rock or Bust, is what legions of rock fans want, even though it, for the most part, sounds the same. But we don't care. Read more >

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Phil Lesh To Recreate 1967 & 1968 Grateful Dead Shows To Celebrate Band's 50th Anniversary

Phil Lesh will host an perform at concerts honoring each year of the Grateful Dead at his Terrapin Crossroads venue in San Rafael, California in 2015 to celebrate the band's 50th anniversary. 

The following dates and lineups for the 1967 and 1968 tribute concerts are as follows: On January 16, Phil Lesh will pick and perform a 1967 Grateful Dead show along with Stu Allen, Ross James, Grahame Lesh, Danny Eisenberg and Alex Koford. Then, on January 29, Phil Lesh will pick and perform a 1968 Grateful Dead show along with Stu Allen, Jeff Chimenti, Grahame Lesh, Ezra Lipp and Alex Koford.

A limited number of tickets for each show are available at the venue's box office right now. The rest will be available later tonight. For details, go to

Monday, December 22, 2014

Singer Joe Cocker Dies After Cancer Battle

Singer Joe Cocker, best known for his cover of the Beatles' "With A Little Help From My Friends," has died aged 70, his agent confirmed.

The Sheffield born singer-songwriter had a career lasting more than 40 years with hits including "You Are So Beautiful" and "Up Where We Belong."

His agent Barrie Marshall said Cocker, who died after battling lung cancer, was "simply unique."

Sir Paul McCartney said he was a lovely guy who "brought so much to the world."

Cocker's friend Rick Wakeman, former keyboard player for Yes, said, "He had a voice that was just unique."

"The great thing is with someone like Joe is what they leave behind, and that will be with us for years and years," Wakeman told BBC Radio 2.

Known for his gritty voice, Cocker began his singing career in the pubs and clubs of Sheffield in the 1960s before hitting the big time.

He was propelled to pop stardom when his version of The Beatles' "With A Little Help from My Friends" reached number one in 1968.

He performed the song at the Woodstock Festival in New York state a year later.

He was also well-known for his Mad Dogs and Englishmen Tour of 1970, which featured over 40 musicians touring 48 cities across the US, resulting in a third gold album of the same name and a concert film.

His duet with Jennifer Warnes, "Up Where We Belong," from An Officer And A Gentleman, hit number one and went on to win both a Grammy and an Academy Award in 1983.

He was made an OBE in 2007.

Last year his arena tour across Europe saw him achieve a number one album in Germany and give what was to be his final concert in Hammersmith, London, in June.

Marshall said it was with "the heaviest hearts we heard that our beloved Joe Cocker passed away last night. He was without the doubt the greatest rock/soul voice ever to come out of Britain and remained the same man throughout his life."

He described Cocker as a "true star" who was also "a kind and humble man who loved to perform."

"Anyone who ever saw him live will never forget him," he added.

McCartney said he would be "forever grateful" to Cocker for turning "With A Little Help From My Friends" into a "soul anthem."

"I knew him through the years as a good mate and I was so sad to hear that he had been ill and really sad to hear today that he had passed away. He was a great guy, a lovely guy who brought so much to the world and we'll all miss him," McCartney added.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Legacy's Classic Christmas Album Series Rings In The Holidays

Legacy Recordings’ Classic Christmas Album series rings in this year’s holiday season with new collections by Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Il Divo, Perry Como, Johnny Mathis, plus compilations of hard rock, country and pop Christmas classics.  The eight new titles will be available everywhereOctober 7, 2014 through Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. 

This year not only introduces genre-specific, various artist compilations to the series but also previously unreleased and rare tracks. THE CLASSIC CHRISTMAS ALBUM by Frank Sinatra features two previously unreleased tracks, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with singer Dorothy Kirsten and an alternate version of “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” with the Page Cavanaugh Trio. This alternate version follows a different approach to the performance of the same song Sinatra recorded four years later with the B. Swanson Quartet (track #2).

THE CLASSIC CHRISTMAS ALBUM by Johnny Mathis features the two previously unreleased tracks “Ol’ Kris Kringle” and “Give Me Your Love For Christmas.”  This holiday collection also includes “The Very First Christmas Day,” “Christmas In The City Of The Angels” and “Christmas Is…” These rare recordings were originally released as singles but are now making their first appearance on CD.

Each of the new collections gather 10 or more remastered tracks that span the career of each artist, all of whom recorded multiple holiday albums through the years (some on multiple record labels), as well as occasional Christmas tunes on other albums such as soundtracks or benefit albums. 

With many of their holiday albums either out-of-print, or never issued on CD, or highly collectible rarities, each new title in the Classic Christmas Album series is a welcome cross-section of those hard-to-find classics.  Each Classic Christmas Album gathers a career’s worth of precious memories, often spanning decades, while creating new memories at the same time.

The eight new Classic Christmas Album entries comprise the following:

Selections: 1. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town 2. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! 3. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear 4. I've Got A Home In That Rock 5. Adeste Fideles (O, Come All Ye Faithful) 6. Christmas Dreaming (A Little Early This Year) 7. Jingle Bells 8. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas 9. O Little Town Of Bethlehem 10. Jesus Is A Rock In The Weary Land 11. Silent Night, Holy Night 12. White Christmas 13. Baby, It’s Cold Outside * (duet with Dorothy Kirsten) 14. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! *
* previously unreleased

cca_JohnnyMathis_cvr(small)THE CLASSIC CHRISTMAS ALBUM by JOHNNY MATHIS ( (Legacy)
Selections:  1. It’s Beginning To Look Like Christmas 2. Ol’ Kris Kringle * 3. The Very First Christmas Day 4. Calypso Noel 5. My Kind Of Christmas 6. Winter Wonderland/Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Bette Midler with Johnny Mathis) 7. Give Me Your Love For Christmas * 8. Sleigh Ride 9. The Christmas Waltz 10. Christmas In The City Of The Angels 11. Christmas Is…12. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas 13. Home For The Holidays 14. Sign Of The Dove
* previously unreleased

Selections: 1. Jingle Bells? 2. I’ll Be Home For Christmas  3. Sleep In Heavenly Peace (Silent Night) 4. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? 5. My Favorite Things (From “The Sound Of Music”) 6. Ave Maria Op. 52 No. 6 7. I Remember (From “Evening Primrose”) 8. One God 9. Christmas Lullaby 10. The Best Gift 11. I Wonder As I Wander 12. Snowbound 13. Christmas Mem’ries 14. Gounod’s Ave Maria 15. The Lord’s Prayer
New Cover and sequence from 2013 Version

Selections: 1. O Holy Night 2. White Christmas 3. Ave Maria 4. When A Child Is Born 5. Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful) 6. Over The Rainbow 7. Panis Angelicus 8. Rejoice 9. Silent Night 10. The Lord’s Prayer
Previously released as The Christmas Collection

Selections: 1. Here We Come A-Caroling/We Wish You A Merry Christmas 2. It’s Beginning To Look Like Christmas 3. There’s No Christmas Like A Home Christmas 4. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 5. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) 6. (There’s No Place Like) Home For The Holidays 7. O Holy Night 8. Winter Wonderland 9. Silver Bells 10. The Little Drummer Boy 11. Christmas Dream 12. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas 13. White Christmas 14. The Story Of The First Christmas (medley)

Selections: 1. Last Christmas Metro Station 2. All I Want For Christmas Is You Big Time Rush 3. Sleigh Ride Karmin 4. All I Want For Christmas Is New Year's Day Hurts 5. Christmas Time Backstreet Boys 6. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) New Kids On The Block 7. Silent Night Bros 8. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer B2K 9. This Christmas Jagged Edge10. White Christmas Westlife 11. This Christmas Menudo 12. Feliz Navidad (Acoustic Version) Los Lonely Boys 13. She Came Home for Christmas Mew 14. A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss) Glasvegas 15. Carol Of The Bells Phantom Planet

Selections: 1. Amazing Grace Jeff Beck 2. The Little Drummer Boy Alex Lifeson 3. Silent Night/Holy Night Jam Joe Satriani 4. Christmas Time Is Here Steve Vai 5. The Christmas Song Steve Lukather 6. O Come, O Come Emmanuel Neal Schon 7. Sleigh RideStuart Hamm 8. O Come All Ye Faithful Trevor Rabin 9. Deck The Halls Ted Nugent 10. O Little Town Of Bethlehem Robin Trower11. We Three Kings Halford

cca_country_cvr(small)THE CLASSIC CHRISTMAS COUNTRY ALBUM (Walmart Exclusive) (Legacy)
Selections: 1. Christmas Time’s A Comin’ Patty Loveless 2. Christmas Time John Anderson  3. Pretty Paper Kenny Chesney with Willie Nelson 4. Rockin’ Little Christmas Deborah Allen 5. Santa Baby Kellie Pickler  6. Blue Christmas K.T. Oslin 7. Please Come Home For Christmas Lonestar 8. I’ll Be Home For Christmas Sara Evans 9Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree Alabama 10. Jingle Bell Rock Sweethearts Of The Rodeo 11. Mele Kalikimaka Jake Owen 12. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Ricochet 13. Winter Wonderland Brad Paisley 14. White Christmas Lari White 15. The Christmas Song Brooks & Dunn 16. Have Yourself AMerry Little Christmas Martina McBride

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Adopt The Arts Benefit To Honor Billy Gibbons, Butch Trucks In Hollywood

Adopt The Arts will launch a live benefit concert and event for LAUSD elementary schools on Monday, January 12 at The Roxy (9009 W. Sunset Blvd.) in West Hollywood. 

Music luminaries will gather to perform with and honor Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) and Butch Trucks (Allman Brothers Band) for their contributions to American art and culture. Artists confirmed to perform so far include Billy Gibbons, Butch Trucks, Slash, Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver), Steve Lukather (Toto), Edgar Winter, Jimmy Vivino (Conan O’Brien) vocalist Franky Perez, Adopt The Arts founder Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) and many more special guests to be announced soon.

The Disreputable Few, a group of surprise killer musicians, will serve as the backing band for the night. The proceeds will go to the Adopt the Arts music programs in LAUSD elementary schools (see VIP ticket/donation below). Tickets are on-sale now at

Adopt the Arts is a Los Angeles-based charity co-founded by Sorum and activist Abby Berman that works to preserve arts programs in U.S. public schools.  To raise awareness, the organization honors individuals who have had a long-lasting impact on music culture and who inspire young musicians to follow in their footsteps.

Actress Jane Lynch was the first celebrity to sign onto Adopt the Arts and is on the Board of Directors; the advisory board also includes: Slash, John Stamos, Billy Bob Thornton, Steve Stevens, Juliette Lewis, Danny Masterson, Shepard Fairey, Adrian Young and Gina Gershon.

According to Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), 50% of elementary school children in the district are not receiving arts education of any kind.  As in many school districts around the country, LAUSD has been slowly eroding its commitment to arts education, reducing the budget incrementally.  The LAUSD district also estimates that 80% of its student body is living at or below the poverty line, which means the vast majority of these elementary school children will not have access to the arts outside of school.

“Adopt the Arts was born out of the frustration for my own children losing education in the arts,” explains Berman. “When the system is failing, we have to take action.  With influential people like my co-founder Matt Sorum adopting schools, we can preserve this valuable component to childhood development, which is also known to boost test scores.  Because Federal and State funding is falling short, the responsibility is upon us as concerned parents and citizens to ensure we’re raising a new generation of healthy and well-rounded individuals.”

Sorum adds, “We’re starting in our own backyard here in Los Angeles, and we’ll continue to adopt schools across the nation.  We believe that art is a universal and necessary language that unites us all, regardless of our backgrounds.”

Ticket prices for this event are below; all donations are tax deductable:
1)    General: $75
2)    VIP: $125 (includes seating in VIP section w/hors d'oeuvres)
3)    VVIP: $250 (includes V-VIP section w/hors d'oeuvres and artist Meet and Greet at soundcheck)

Tickets are on-sale now and can be purchased at

The Babys Score Top 10 Hit On Billboard's Hot Singles Sales Chart

Ending 2014 on a high note, The Babys, who released their first new album in 30 years this past summer, hit #9 this week on the Billboard Hot Single Sales chart for “I See You There.”

The Babys’ 2014 release I’ll Have Some Of That, which received much critical praise, was a return to form of the band’s melodic rock radio sound. The band features original members Wally Stocker (lead guitar) and Tony Brock (drums) joined by new members Joey Sykes (guitar) and John Bisaha (lead vocals/bass). Plans for a 2015 tour are in effect.

“I See You There” joins a lineage of The Babys’ smash hits – “Every Time I Think Of You,” “Isn’t It Time,” “Head First,” and “Back On My Feet Again,” to name a few. The song made a bounding climb on the charts from 128 to 32 to 12 to its current position.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Randy Bachman Announces Heavy Blues Project For Release In April

Randy Bachman, co-founder and principal songwriter for the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, is forging ahead into 2015 with a brand new project billed simply as Bachman. Joined by a virtuoso rhythm section with Anna Ruddick on bass and Dale Anne Brendan on drums, the trio’s debut effort entitled Heavy Blues will be available worldwide on April 15, 2015 through Linus Entertainment.

Heavy Blues draws from the unlikely trio’s love of classic 60s blues rock and emerges with a blistering sound, a fierce and fearless collection of Bachman originals.

Featuring an enviable list of Randy Bachman’s contemporaries including Neil Young, Joe Bonamassa, Robert Randolph and the late Jeff Healey, each musician contributes their signature-style guitar solos blending classic blues and rock with a modern undertone.

Produced by producer Kevin Shirley (Iron Maiden, Rush, Led Zeppelin), Heavy Blues marks the rare occasion that Randy Bachman has relinquished the producer reins.

“'I’ve known Kevin for many years and watched his producer credits grow to include many rock legends,” Bachman said. “I knew that he could push me past my limit, pull me onto new paths and direct me down new roads. The collaboration, paired with Dale Anne and Anna’s musical ferocity, has made this entire project an amazing experience for me.”

Earlier this year, Bachman released a CD/DVD set Vinyl Tap: Every Song Tells A Story. He's been awarded Order of Canada, ASCAP’s Global Impact honour, Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville, and received two separate inductions into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

2015 Rock Hall Of Fame Inductees Announced

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced the inductees for its class of 2015 and four first-time nominees – Lou Reed, Green Day, Bill Withers and Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – have made the cut. Three other first-time nominees – Sting, The Smiths and Nine Inch Nails – did not garner enough votes to gain induction.

Reed, who co-founded the enormously influential band the Velvet Underground in the 1960s and then launched his solo career, died last year. He and blues-rock guitar great Vaughan, who died in 1990, will both be honored posthumously at next year's induction ceremony.

Also set to be inducted are Joan Jett and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (whose harmonica-playing namesake died in 1987). Former Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr, who was not on the ballot, will receive the Award for Musical Excellence. He was the only member of the Fab Four to not also be honored individually by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The long defunct doo-wop group The Five Royales will receive the Early Influence Award.

The 30th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony will take place April 18 at Public Hall in Cleveland, which is the home of the 19-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum. The induction ceremony and concert will be open to the public. Tickets, priced at $75 to $300 each, go on sale Thursday at 7 a.m., California time, at and by phone at (800) 745-3000.

"As we mark 30 years of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions, we’re proud to honor these artists,” said Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation President Joel Peresman. "These Inductees epitomize rock and roll’s impact over the past 50 years and continuing through today."

In addition to Sting, The Smiths and Nine Inch Nails, six other nominees – all of whom had been on the ballot before – did not get enough votes for induction. They include Chic, Kraftwerk, The Marvelettes, N.W.A., The Spinners and War, whose leader, Lonnie Jordan, is a San Diego native. This marked the ninth time that disco pioneers Chic made the ballot without earning a sufficient number of votes for induction.

Artists become eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first recording. Nominees are voted on by a group of approximately 700 artists, historians, music industry professionals and critics.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Jerry Garcia Love Letters Expected To Fetch $15,000 At Auction

A former Vogue model has decided to sell two love letters sent to her by the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia in order to pay her medical bills.

The eight handwritten pages, which include a detailed description of a performance by the band as well as drawings by the guitarist, will be put under the hammer by New Hampshire-based auction house RR Auction this January.

The anonymous woman, who apparently met the rocker at a party in New York City in 1980, said that Garcia 'was a person who you felt you knew. Very easy to be with.'

While the pair were never intimate, they shared a two-year friendship and the letters undoubtedly reveal a tenderness between them.

His first letter begins: 'Thank you for sending me that postcard! I feel like it's sort of our first "official" communication somehow. I've been hoping we could get together ever since we first met at Al's that winter nite so long ago (sigh).'

He continued later on on the next page: 'I hope it doesn't seem like I've been avoiding you, although I admit I've kind of been waiting for the opportunity (that is, the "right" opportunity) for us to meet in some kind of neutral context that would be comfortable and relaxed and free of any pressure.'

At one point, the color of the pen changes, and Garcia explains charmingly in the letter: '(Hey! My pen stopped writing!)'

Bobby Livingston, executive vice president at RR Auction, believes the rare letters will fetch between $10,000 and $15,000,  "The rarity of this handwritten letter cannot be overstated,' he explained. 'Research indicates no others ever being on the market. Even Garcia himself noted, 'This is the first letter I've written in years.'"

Livingston added: "The unique sketch he drew of the Greek Theater, is particularly poignant as it relates to their Bay Area roots - this year would have been the band's 50th Anniversary."

Also approaching is the 20th anniversary of Garcia's death; he passed away in August 1995, just eight days after his 53rd birthday.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of The Moon Returns to Billboard Album Charts

On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart, Taylor Swift’s 1989 held firm at No. 1 for a fifth non-consecutive week, while AC/DC’s Rock or Bust debuted at No. 3. 

The Billboard 200 chart now measures multi-metric album consumption, including pure album sales. The ranking combines on-demand streaming and digital track sales in addition to traditional album sales, all measured by Nielsen Music.

On the latest Billboard 200, 81.4 percent of its total album equivalent units (adding up the weekly unit totals of Nos. 1 through 200) are pure album sales. The rest of its units are track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

Thanks to ultra-cheap pricing in the Google Play store (discounted to 99 cents in the tracking week ending December 7), Pink Floyd's classic 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon zooms back onto the chart at No. 13.

It moved just over 38,000 album equivalent units last week, comprised mostly of pure album sales (nearly 38,000; up 940 percent). That’s the album’s highest rank since the Oct. 15, 2011-dated chart, when it re-entered at No. 12 following a new deluxe reissue.

With 889 weeks on the chart, it continues to rule as the album with most charted weeks in the history of the tally. The next-closest album, in terms of longevity, is Johnny Mathis’ Johnny’s Greatest Hits, with 490 weeks.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Who Hits 50! 50th Anniversary Tour Launches To Rave Reviews

“THE WHO HITS 50!” tour explosively kicked off in Glasgow, Scotland on November 30 to rave reviews and a set list that featured a wide range of songs (“Substitute,” “The Seeker,” “Join Together,” “Squeeze Box,” and “Magic Bus,” along with “The Kids Are Alright,” “I Can See For Miles,” “Who Are You,” “Behind Blue Eyes,” “You Better You Bet,” “Baba O’Riley,” “Won't Get Fooled Again,” and “Pinball Wizard,” among others) from one of rock’s most legendary and defining bands, The Who.

The first date on the year-long world tour--celebrating the band’s 50-year legacy--includes a month of U.K. dates in December, before coming stateside in April 2015.
“THE WHO HITS 50!” tour will kick off its spring run April 15 in Tampa, FL and include 20 stops throughout the east before wrapping May 30 in Forest Hills, NY.  The fall leg will launch September 14 in San Diego, CA and begin with west coast dates throughout the U.S. and across Canada before concluding November 4 in Philadelphia, PA.  Tickets are currently on sale at “THE WHO HITS 50!” tour is being presented by AEG Live.

The classic songs fans can expect to hear on “THE WHO HITS 50!” tour appear on the band’s just released WHO HITS 50! collection. Released October 27 on Geffen/Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), this definitive collection of THE WHO’s greatest tracks -- from their very first recordings as The High Numbers right up to the present day with the brand new track “Be Lucky”-- is being released to coincide with the band’s 50th anniversary tour.

THE WHO’s 2015 North American tour dates are as follows:

2015 Tour Dates - Leg 1
Wed 4/15 Tampa, FL Amalie Arena
Fri 4/17 Miami, FL AmericanAirlines Arena
Sun 4/19 Jacksonville, FL Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
Tue 4/21 Raleigh, NC PNC Arena
Thu 4/23 Duluth, GA The Arena at Gwinnett Center
Mon 4/27 Austin, TX Frank Erwin Center
Wed 4/29 Houston, TX Toyota Center
Sat 5/2 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
Tue 5/5 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
Thu 5/7 St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center
Sat 5/9 Louisville, KY KFC Yum! Arena
Mon 5/11 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
Wed 5/13 Chicago, IL Allstate Arena
Fri 5/15 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
Sun 5/17 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
Wed 5/20 Uniondale, NY Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Fri 5/22 Atlantic City, NJ Boardwalk Hall
Sun 5/24 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino - Sun Arena
Tue 5/26 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
Sat 5/30 Forest Hills, NY Forest Hills Stadium
2015 Tour Dates - Leg 2
Mon 9/14 San Diego, CA Valley View Casino Center
Wed 9/16 Anaheim, CA Honda Center
Sat 9/19 Las Vegas, NV Colosseum at Caesars Palace
Mon 9/21 Los Angeles, CA STAPLES Center
Wed 9/23 Oakland, CA Oracle Arena
Fri 9/25 Portland, OR Moda Center
Sun 9/27 Seattle, WA KeyArena
Tue 9/29 Vancouver, BC Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
Thu 10/1 Calgary, AB Scotiabank Saddledome
Sat 10/3 Edmonton, AB Rexall Place
Tue 10/6 Saskatoon, SK SaskTel Centre
Thu 10/8 Winnipeg, MB MTS Centre
Sat 10/10 Minneapolis, MN Target Center
Tue 10/13 Milwaukee, WI BMO Harris Bradley Center
Thu 10/15 Chicago, IL United Center
Sat 10/17 Detroit, MI Joe Louis Arena
Mon 10/19 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Wed 10/21 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Fri 10/23 Pittsburgh, PA CONSOL Energy Center
Sun 10/25 Newark, NJ Prudential Center
Tue 10/27 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
Thu 10/29 Boston, MA TD Garden
Sun 11/1 Washington, DC Verizon Center
Wed 11/4 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Andrew Loog Oldham on David Bowie's New Songs: "Old People Make Old Music"

Andrew Loog Oldham, the Rolling Stones' former manager, has compared David Bowie's new material to "the worst of Scott Walker" in a new interview.

Loog Oldham spoke to The Sabotage Times in a long interview which covers subjects including the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame to his love of BBC TV drama Peaky Blinders.

While not naming the specific song he had heard, David Bowie did not escape Oldham's ire. "I just heard the new Bowie single; he seems to be cloning the worst of Scott Walker. As I’ve said, old people make old music."

Earlier this year Davie Bowie released two new songs as part of career-spanning compilation album, Nothing Has Changed.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Former Genesis Guitarist Steve Hackett To Release Solo Album In April 2015

Guitarist Steve Hackett, who played guitar with Genesis from 1970 - 1977  is set to release a brand new solo album, Wolflight, on April 7th, 2014, on InsideOut Music.  This is Hackett's first original solo studio album since Beyond The Shrouded Horizon in 2011.

Primal and orchestral, it retains the Hackett trademark as electric guitar runs right the way through with a regular sprinkling of acoustic.  The concept behind it is a new unexplored chapter in the guitarist's career.
The 10 tracks on Wolflight take the listener through a journey in space and time looking at the different faces of the endless fight for freedom. Wandering between parallel universes, Hackett explores contemporary and ancient cultures, from Greece ("Corycian Fire") to the Far East ("Wolflight"), the USA and Martin Luther King ("Black Thunder"), but also his very own childhood memories ("The Wheel's Turning") and the unresolved drama of domestic violence ("Love Song to a Vampire").

Hackett says Wolflight "reflects everybody's struggle for freedom on a journey travelling through both inner and outer space. It explores sounds from as far afield as Greece, Azerbaijan, the deep American South, Sahara desert and beyond, from all our yesterdays, evoking the ancient past."

Hackett's electric guitar plays a powerful role, but he also plays acoustic guitar, Arabian lute and 12-string, and sings on the album. Guest Musicians include longtime collaborators Roger King (keyboards & programming), Gary O'Toole (drums), Rob Townsend (sax, duduk), Nick Beggs (bass & stick) and Amanda Lehmann (harmony vocals).  Malik Mansurov on tar and Sara Kovaks on didgeridoo add an extra exotic element, plus YES bassist Chris Squire plays on Love Song to a Vampire and Hugo Dagenhardt plays drums on Dust and Dreams.  The innovative song writing team includes Hackett, his wife Jo and also Roger King.

In 2010, Steve Hackett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame at The 25th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony alongside his Genesis bandmates from the classic line-up: Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford.

For more than three decades, Steve Hackett has been known for his innovative tone and extraordinary versatility as a guitarist and composer.  He helped define Genesis' sound as lead guitarist in the classic line-up and went on to have a highly-successful career as a solo artist, and also as part of 80s supergroup GTR with Steve Howe.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Creedence Clearwater Members Sue John Fogerty Over Band's Name

A long festering dispute over who gets to use the name of Creedence Clearwater Revival has done a 180 with the band's former guiatrist, vocalist and songwriter John Fogerty now on the answering end of a lawsuit that claims he violated trademarks by recently using the band name.

The dispute actually stretches back to 1996 when Fogerty was the plaintiff in a lawsuit that alleged that drummer Douglas Clifford, bassist Stuart Cook and the wife of late rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty (John's brother) had been the ones misusing trademarks through the "Creedence Clearwater Revisited" tour.

Fogerty was initially successful back then in getting a California District Court to issue an injunction. However, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the injunction by ruling in 1997 that the lower judge had erred in finding a probable likelihood of confusion and in presuming irreparable harm to Fogerty. The case then proceeded, and in 2001, the parties entered into a settlement agreement.

According to a new lawsuit by Clifford, Cook, Patricia Fogerty and Poor Boy Productions, it was John Fogerty who withdrew his objection to “Creedence Clearwater Revisited” in return for payment for uses of the “Revisited” name.

The latest lawsuit points out that after the settlement, Fogerty gave interviews where he continued to slam use of the “Creedence Clearwater Revisited” name.

“Using the name is sort of a sacrilege," he told one publication."

"When the band broke up, I never had any problem not trying to abscond with the name Creedence as a solo artist," Fogerty told another publication. "I just think that thing is from a certain time and it is untouchable, unless everybody is there. You can't do it unless everyone says it is OK to do it."

The comments appear to have upset Fogerty's former band members. Attorneys demanded a stop to Fogerty’s alleged malfeasance and settlement agreement breach. With Fogerty said to be threatening litigation again over money, the other Creedence parties are going to court first. They not only allege that Fogerty has breached the settlement agreement by publicly condemning use of "Revisited," but that Fogerty himself is now violating the band's trademarks.

The attached exhibits to the lawsuit indicate that Fogerty has recently been advertising concerts where he "performs the albums of Creedence Clearwater Revival." The plaintiffs now claim that such use of the band's name is likely to cause confusion among the consuming public.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

From The BBC: Paul McCartney Recalls 'Shock' Of John Lennon Death

From the BBC

Sir Paul McCartney has recalled the "horrific" moment when he learned of the murder of his former Beatles bandmate John Lennon.

Speaking on the Jonathan Ross Show on ITV, he also said he felt "very lucky" that he eventually made up with Lennon after the rifts that split the pair.

Lennon was shot outside his apartment in New York on 8 December 1980.

"I just for days couldn't think that he was gone... It was just a huge shock," said McCartney.

He said: "I was at home and I got a phone call. It was early in the morning... It was just so horrific, you couldn't take it in and I couldn't take it in."

McCartney said it was "very difficult" to relay the news to his own family.

He added: "For me it was just so sad that I wasn't going to see him again and we weren't going to hang."

Lennon's killer Mark Chapman reportedly said he had heard voices in his head telling him to kill the musician. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in 1981 after pleading guilty to second-degree murder and was denied parole again in August this year.

McCartney told Jonathan Ross: "The phrase kept coming in my head 'The jerk of all jerks'. It was just like 'this is just a jerk, this is not even a guy politically motivated, it's just some total random thing."

After the Beatles split up in April 1970, McCartney and Lennon did not see each other again for four years.

Referring to the band's break-up, he said: "We got to a point where we got really crappy over business.

"To me that rubbed off on me and for years I thought 'oh me and John, bitter rivals' and all this stuff."

But they really became on speaking terms again after their wives gave birth in the mid-1970s.

He said the fighting between them had became "boring" and they bonded over "normal stuff" - being new fathers and bread-making recipes.

"I'm so glad because it would have been the worst thing in the world to have this great relationship that then soured and he gets killed, so there was some solace in the fact that we got back together. We were good friends," said McCartney.

"The story about the break-up, it's true but it's not the main bit, the main bit was the affection."

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Moody Blues Debut 'The Magnificent Moodies' 50th Anniversary Remastered Edition Out Now

Esoteric Recordings, a label of the Cherry Red Records Group is pleased to announce the release of an official 50th Anniversary edition of The Magnificent Moodies, the 1965 debut album by the Moody Blues

Now associated as being pioneers of progressive and orchestral rock, the Moody Blues had another life between 1964 – 1966, as one of Britain’s foremost Rhythm and Blues influenced acts. With a lineup of Denny Laine (guitar, vocals, harmonica), Ray Thomas (vocals, harmonica, flute), Mike Pinder (keyboards, vocals), Clint Warwick (bass, vocals) and Graeme Edge (drums), the band signed to a London-based management company who leased recordings to Decca Records. The band’s second single, a cover version of Bessie Banks’ “Go Now!” was a huge chart success across the world.

The Magnificent Moodies received great acclaim and tours with the Beatles eventually led them to become part of Brian Epstein’s management stable. The band continued to record a series of singles, enjoying further chart hits in the UK and Europe, before Clint Warwick departed to be replaced by Rod Clarke and then finally dissolving in the Autumn of 1966 and reinventing themselves stylistically with a new lineup including Justin Hayward and John Lodge.

The official 50th anniversary reissues consist of a Deluxe Edition includes the original album, re-mastered from the first generation master tapes, along with all the singles the band recorded between 1964 and 1966 (including the rare “People Gotta Go” – released only in France on an EP). Notably this collection also includes 29 previously unreleased bonus tracks, including the band’s entire July 1964 sessions at Olympic studios in London produced by Alex Murray, all surviving BBC radio sessions recorded in 1965 and nine tracks recorded in the Summer of 1966 with producer Denny Cordell for a proposed but unreleased second album (all newly mixed from the original four-track master tapes). The set is packaged in a clamshell box, with a lavishly illustrated booklet (with previously unseen photographs designed by Phil Smee) and essay written by Mark Powell, three rare promotional postcards and a poster.

There is also a single CD edition, which features 15 bonus tracks (drawn from the band’s singles released between 1964 & 1966). Both editions of The Magnificent Moodies are the definitive statement on the formative years of one of Britain’s greatest bands.

The Magnificent Moodies

1. I’ll Go Crazy (Brown)
2. Something You Got (Kenner)
3. Go Now (Banks / Bennett)
4. Can’t Nobody Love You (Mitchell)
5. I Don’t Mind (Brown)
6. I’ve Got a Dream (Barry / Greenwich)
7. Let Me Go (Laine / Pinder)
8. Stop (Laine / Pinder)
9. Thank You Baby (Laine / Pinder)
10. It Ain’t Necessarily So (Gershwin / Gershwin / Heyward)
11. True Story (Laine / Pinder)
12. Bye Bye Bird (Williamson / Dixon)

Bonus tracks:

13. Lose Your Money (But Don’t Lose Your Mind) (Laine / Pinder)
14. Steal Your Heart Away (Parker)
A & B-side of single – Released in September 1964
15. Go Now! (first version)
Recorded at Olympic Studios on 24th July 1964 – Previously unreleased
16. It’s Easy Child (Sandler / Bennett / Redd)
B-side of single – Released as November 1964
17. I Don’t Want to Go On Without You (Berns / Wexler)
18. Time is on My Side (Meade / Norman)
A & B-side of single – Released as in February 1965
19. From the Bottom of My Heart (I Love You) (Laine / Pinder)
20. And My Baby’s Gone (Laine / Pinder)
A & B-side of single – Released as in May 1965
21. Everyday (Laine / Pinder)
22. You Don’t (All the Time) (Laine / Pinder)
A & B-side of single – Released in October 1965
23. Boulevard de Madeleine (Laine / Pinder)
24. This is My House (But Nobody Calls) (Laine / Pinder)
A & B-side of single – Released in October 1966
25. People Gotta Go (Laine / Pinder)
Taken from the “Boulevard de Madeleine” EP - Released in France in October 1966
26. Life’s Not Life (Laine / Pinder)
27. He Can Win (Laine / Pinder)
A & B-side of single – Released in January 1967

CD 2:

Previously unreleased Studio Sessions & BBC Radio Sessions:
1. Go Now! (second version) (Banks / Bennett)
2. Lose Your Money (But Don’t Lose Your Mind) (early version) (Laine / Pinder)
3. Steal Your Heart Away (first version) (Parker)
4. I’ll Go Crazy (first version) (Brown)
5. You Better Move On (Alexander)
6. Can’t Nobody Love You (first version) (Mitchell)
7. 23rd Psalm (Trad. Arr. Laine / Pinder / Thomas / Edge / Warwick)
Recorded and mixed at Olympic Studios on 24th July 1964
Produced by Alex Murray
8. Go Now (Banks / Bennett)
9. I Don’t Want to Go On Without You (Berns / Wexler)
10. I’ll Go Crazy (Brown)
“Saturday Club” session - BBC Light Programme
Recorded 12th April 1965

11. From the Bottom of My Heart (I Love You) (Laine / Pinder)
12. Jump Back (Rufus Thomas)
“Saturday Club” session - BBC Light Programme
Recorded 3rd May 1965
13. I’ve Got a Dream (Barry / Greenwich)
14. And My Baby’s Gone (Laine / Pinder)
“Saturday Club” session - BBC Light Programme
Recorded 1st June 1965
15. It’s Easy Child (Sandler / Bennett / Redd)
16. Stop (Laine / Pinder)
17. Everyday (Laine / Pinder)
“Saturday Club” session - BBC Light Programme
Recorded 21st September 1965
18. Interview with Ray Thomas and Graeme Edge /You Don’t (All the Time) (Laine / Pinder)
19. I Want You to Know (Domino / Bartholomew)
“Saturday Club” session - BBC Light Programme
Recorded 9th November 1965
20. Coca Cola Radio Commercial 1965
The 1966 Denny Cordell sessions – Previously unreleased:
21. Sad Song (Laine / Pinder)
22. This is My House (But Nobody Calls) (first version) (Laine / Pinder)
Recorded at Advision studios - 5th April 1966
23. How Can We Hang on to a Dream (first version) (Hardin)
Recorded at Advision studios - 5th July 1966
24. How Can We Hang on to a Dream (remake) (Hardin)
Recorded at Decca studio No. 2, West Hampstead - 15th July 1966
25. Jago & Jilly (Laine / Pinder)
Recorded at Decca studio No. 2, West Hampstead - 18th August 1966
26. We’re Broken (Laine / Pinder)
Recorded at Decca studio No. 2, West Hampstead - 19th August 1966
27. I Really Haven’t Got the Time (September 1966 version) (Pinder)
28. Red Wine (Laine / Pinder)
29. This is My House (But Nobody Calls) (stereo mix) (Laine / Pinder)
Recorded at Decca studio No. 2, West Hampstead - 8th September 1966

For more information: