Saturday, May 30, 2015

How Atlanta's Fox Theatre Is Celebrating 40 Years Since Gregg Allman, Lynyrd Skynyrd & Others Saved It

When Gregg Allman got the call to join more than a dozen acts in a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute concert in late 2014 at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, he quickly signed on, and not just because he and the band are long-standing members of the Southern-rock brotherhood. The “One More for the Fans” show not only honored Skynyrd, it was also part of a yearlong celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Fox’s rescue from the wrecking ball.

Today, the Fox is one of the country’s busiest theaters, hosting private and community events, Broadway road shows (Motown: The Musical opens in August) and concert tours (it ranked No. 2 on Billboard’s 2014 Boxscore tally of theaters with fewer than 5,000 seats). But the gilded Peachtree Street edifice, which opened as a movie palace in 1929, was nearly razed to make way for a corporate high-rise in 1974.

That year -- with the “Save the Fox” movement barely rolling in a city where historic preservation efforts had seldom slowed the bulldozers of progress -- the Gregg Allman Band performed at the theater. It was one in a string of early rock shows that suggested the potential viability of the Moorish-styled showplace.

“We played the Fox a couple of times over the years to keep it from getting torn down,” says Allman, 67. “You know, people ‘rise up’ in Atlanta,” he adds (borrowing the Falcons’ NFL slogan). “People love that place, and they should. It’s so perfectly tuned. It’s magical.”

On November 12, 2014, Allman returned to the stage alongside Trace Adkins, Charlie Daniels, Peter Frampton, Cheap Trick and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s current lineup to interpret tunes from the Skynyrd songbook. The acts passed under a directive -- “Play it pretty for Atlanta” -- painted over the stage entrance.

It’s a line the late Skynyrd singer Ronnie Van Zant voiced during the fierce 1976 Fox concerts that were recorded for his band’s landmark live album, One More From the Road. The set included the track “Free Bird,” which became an FM radio staple and a top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

The next year, Van Zant and two other bandmembers perished in a post-concert plane crash in South Carolina. But even by the time of that tragedy, prospects for the Fox were looking up.

Concerned civic leaders did rise up, forming the nonprofit group Atlanta Landmarks. In 1975, the group negotiated a land swap that led Southern Bell (later AT&T) to abandon its development plans for the theater site and build its headquarters behind the Fox instead. The nonprofit then borrowed nearly $2 million from five Atlanta banks and led a $3 million fundraising campaign.

While it could be argued that the Fox wasn’t officially “saved” until 1978, when Atlanta Landmarks paid off the mortgage (six months ahead of schedule), this 40th anniversary dates to June 21, 1975, when the nonprofit assumed control of the theater’s operations. The Fox has operated in the black every year since its reopening, according to theater vice president/GM Adina Erwin.

Today, the 4,665-seat Fox hosts 250 performances each year, and the theater and its rental facilities attract more than 750,000 guests annually. A $3 surcharge on each ticket goes toward the $1 million spent annually for upkeep of the 85-year-old edifice. A national landmark since 1976, the theater remains a focus for historic preservationists. On March 30, it hosted sessions of the National Main Street Conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Erwin notes that the theater’s nonprofit owners also pay it forward. The Fox Theatre Institute, launched in 2008, shares restoration expertise and -project grants with historic theaters across Georgia.

Even with impressive attendance numbers and national recognition, Fox management planned the “Legend Lives On” anniversary celebration -- including a gala for supporters held March 14 and a block party set for June 7 -- to strengthen its ties to Atlanta’s ever-growing -metropolitan area.

“We recognize that Atlanta is a big market, a transient market and very different than it was in 1975,” says Erwin, 43. “Although we reach a lot of different audiences in this market, we don’t reach them all.

“Because we were saved by the community, we want to make sure that we stay in touch with the community and engage with the community, and that the community continues to have an affinity for the Fox and what we stand for,” she continues. “We thought that this was a good opportunity to take a look back, to engage in the current time as well as to reach out to audiences for the future.”

Friday, May 29, 2015

Out-Of-Print Doors Albums Without Jim Morrison To Be Reissued

After singer Jim Morrison died in 1971, the surviving members of The Doors - drummer John Densmore, guitarist Robby Krieger, and keyboardist Ray Manzarek - continued to make music together as a trio and went on to release two more albums: Other Voices and Full Circle. For years, that music has only been available digitally. 

That will soon change as Rhino announces plans to release Other Voices and Full Circle on both vinyl and CD. The vinyl edition of each album will be pressed on virgin 180-gram vinyl and will come packed in historically accurate sleeves. That includes the wild, foldout zoetrope that came with Full Circle. Once assembled, this basic animation device depicts the human life cycle of a man from infancy to elderly.

The albums will also be paired together for the first time in a two-CD set featuring remastered audio by original album producer Bruce Botnick along with the rare bonus track, "Treetrunk." The song was first released as the b-side to the 1972 single "Get Up And Dance" from Full Circle.

After The Doors finished recording L.A. Woman in 1971, Morrison moved to Paris, France. In the meantime, the three other members stayed behind in Los Angeles where they worked on music for what would be The Doors' seventh studio album. When the legendary singer passed away on July 3, 1971, the trio agreed to continue on, using those songs as the basis for Other Voices, with Krieger and Manzarek now sharing vocal duties. Released in 1971, the album featured the two singles "Tightrope Ride" and "Ships w/ Sails."

Following a successful U.S. tour, the trio returned to the studio in 1972 to begin recording Full Circle, which came out that summer. The sound incorporated more jazzy elements into the arrangements on several songs like "Verdilac" and "The Piano Bird." After touring to support the record, The Doors went their separate ways but the surviving trio reunited on several occasions through the years for special projects, including the band's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

Other Voices
Track Listing
1. "In The Eye Of The Sun"
2. "Variety Is The Spice Of Life"
3. "Ships w/Sails"
4. "Tightrope Ride"
5. "Down On The Farm"
6. "I'm Horny, I'm Stoned"
7. "Wandering Musician"
8. "Hang On To Your Life"

Full Circle
Track Listing
1. "Get Up And Dance"
2. "4 Billion Souls"
3. "Verdilac"
4. "Hardwood Floor"
5. "Good Rockin'"
6. "The Mosquito"
7. "The Piano Bird"
8. "It Slipped My Mind"
9. "The Peking King And The New York Queen"
10. "Treetrunk"*

*CD-only track

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Audio Fidelity Releasing B.B. King & Eric Clapton 'Riding With The King' On Hybrid SACD

In honor of the recent passing of blues guitar legend B.B. King, Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity will be releasing B.B. King & Eric Clapton Riding With The King on Limited Hybrid SACD. 

Riding With The King was Eric Clapton's and B.B. King's first collaborative recording and it went on to win the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. The album reached #1 on Billboard's Top Blues Albums. 

They first performed together in 1967 when Clapton was 22 and a member of Cream. Clapton looked up to King and had always wanted to make an album with him. At the time of recording, Clapton was 55 and King 74. Clapton arranged the session using many of his regular musicians, picked the songs, and co-produced with his partner Simon Climie. While this would appear to be a Clapton album recorded with King, Clapton gave King centerstage.

The set list includes lots of vintage King specialties, “Ten Long Years,” “Three O'Clock Blues,” “Days of Old,” “When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer,” as well as standards like “Hold On I'm Coming” and “Come Rain or Come Shine,” with some specially written and appropriate new material.

King takes Clapton deeper into blues territory than he has ever gone alone and these two artists play the blues with conviction. There may never be another album that links the Delta Blues to modern rock with such style, grace, enthusiasm, and honesty.

1 Riding With the King
2 Ten Long Years
3 Key to the Highway
4 Marry You
5 Three O'Clock Blues
6 Help the Poor
7 I Wanna Be
8 Worried Life Blues
9 Days of Old
10 When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer
11 Hold On, I'm Coming
12 Come Rain or Come Shine

Produced by Eric Clapton, Simon Climie
Mastered by Steve Hoffman at Stephen Marsh Mastering

For more information:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

U2’s Longtime Tour Manager Dies In L.A. Hotel Room

Dennis Sheehan, U2’s tour manager for more than 30 years, died of a heart attack on Wednesday morning in his hotel room, officials confirm.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department were called to the Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood at 5:30 a.m.  on Wednesday for a reported cardiac arrest. Sheehan was pronounced dead at the scene.

U2 had kicked off their five-date stint in Los Angeles just hours before at the Forum in Inglewood.

Sheehan, in his 60s, had worked with the Irish rockers since 1982.

In 2008, he was awarded the Parnelli Lifetime Achievement Award– which are considered to be the “Oscars of the Live Event Industry.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Unknown George Harrison Letter Surfaces, Reveals Why The Beatles Canceled Stax Sessions

A previously unknown letter written by George Harrison to Atlanta DJ Paul Drew in May 1966 has surfaced and is now for sale for $20,000 by a Los Angeles-based rock collectibles dealer. 

The letter reveals that the Beatles seriously considered recording at Memphis' famed Stax Studio with producer Jim Stewart but did not happen due to financial reasons. It had previously been thought security issues were the reason for the Fab Four backing out. As well, Stewart's possible involvement is a new revelation, over George Martin's who was the only producer the Beatles ever worked with until the end of the band's career three years later. 

"We would all like it a lot," Harrison wrote, "but too many people get insane with money ideas at the mention of the word 'Beatles,' and so it fell through!"

Dealer Jeff Gold acquired the letter from Drew's widow after he passed away in 2013. He told Rolling Stone, "When I read the Stax part I was like, 'What the hell is this?' I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about this stuff and I knew it was a major revelation."

The letter was written while the Beatles were at the early stages of recording Revolver and is postmarked May 7, 1966. It also reveals an understanding of the Beatles and the album Yesterday and Today, which it had been thought was released largely without the Beatles' awareness.

"The album we are making now should be out around October," Harrison wrote. "But I hear Capitol will make an intermediate album with unused tracks from Rubber Soul, a few old singles and about two or three of the new tracks we have just cut…Well I am off to the studio any minute, as soon as John and Ringo arrive."

That "intermediate" album Harrison referred to would be released as Yesterday and Today. Gold told Rolling Stone, "The general assessment is that Capitol did pretty much whatever they wanted with Beatles records. To see that George had a very specific understanding of what Yesterday and Today was going to be before it came out was kind of a revelation too. It surprised me."

See images of Harrison's letter below, which ends with a thanks to Drew for sending him records records by Edwin Starr and Mrs. Miller. Drew was an influential radio DJ and program director who formed a friendship with the Beatles after traveling with the group on its 1964 and 1965 world tour.

Monday, May 25, 2015

B.B. King Memorial More Cheers Than Tears In Las Vegas

A standing ovation for B.B. King and more cheers than tears marked a family-and-friends memorial of the late blues great's life and legacy Saturday, May 23, in Las Vegas.

"B.B. was energetic, Amen?" Pastor Pamela Myrtis Mason said to open the service that drew more than 350 to the Palm Mortuary chapel.

"Amen," they said.

King's closed casket lay framed by an array of floral arrangements, two of his guitars named Lucille and a tapestry showing him in eyes-clenched reverie picking a note from a section of the guitar frets dubbed by followers the "B.B. King Box."

"Why don't you put your hands together for the King of the Blues, B.B. King!" the pastor said.

As the applause ended, granddaughter Landra Williams dubbed him "the backbone of our family King."

More than 10 of King's 35 grandchildren and eight of the blues icon's 11 surviving adult children spoke during a two-hour service that was distinct for its intimacy and notable for its lack of acrimony.

Several sang a cappella versions of King classics. From daughter Claudette King Robinson, it was, "(Someone Really Loves You) Guess Who?"

Williams, who lives in Houston, remembered her grandfather calling every woman in the family "pretty girl," and spoiling them all, while making himself their confidante and protector.

"To everyone else, he was a legend," she said. "But for us, he was love."

King's generosity was recalled by grandson Leonard King Jr., who remembered being onstage when people praising the B.B. King show got a prideful earful from his grandfather about his kin.

"His humility was almost as legendary as his music," the grandson said.

Rock superstars Carlos Santana and Richie Sambora attended, although Santana left early.

"Buddy Guy and B.B. let me into the blues," said Sambora, longtime guitarist with of the band Bon Jovi. "That's why I'm here. He made me family."

Other music notables are expected to attend memorials in coming days in Memphis, Tennessee, and King's hometown of Indianola, Mississippi.

King's onstage drummer for 37 years, Tony Coleman, provided another upbeat note on a day full of them.

"He fired me five times," Coleman said, drawing laughter. "But he hired me six times. He said, `Once you're with me, you're always with me.' "

Coleman promised to go on playing blues "with class, with dignity, with humanity" -- just like B.B. King taught him to do.

King was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He won 15 Grammys and sold more than 40 million records worldwide.

A family feud wasn't directly addressed by the dozens of speakers.

Several of King's surviving children are fighting with LaVerne Toney, his longtime business agent and power-of-attorney, who is now executor of his estate. Toney watched Saturday from the back row of the chapel and didn't speak during the service.

Attorney Larissa Drohobyczer said Saturday that five adult King daughters -- Patty King, Michelle King, Karen Williams, Barbara King Winfree and Robinson -- will contest the blues legend's will and Toney's actions.

The lawyer issued a statement alleging that Toney has misappropriated millions of dollars, has been untruthful and is unqualified to serve as executor of the B.B. King estate.

Toney has said she was carrying out King's wishes as directed, and she told The Associated Press on Saturday that she would not immediately respond to the daughters' allegations.

Toney said she was happy the memorial remained calm, peaceful and respectful.

The spirit of B.B. King will be in the air again on Sunday at the previously scheduled 35th annual B.B. King Homecoming Festival in Indianola.

That will be followed by a procession on Wednesday on Beale Street in Memphis before the last leg of what Landra Williams, the granddaughter, has dubbed "The Road to Mississippi Tour" -- the last leg of Riley B. King's trip to Indianola for burial May 30.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ronnie James Dio 5th Year Remembrance Weekend Celebrates Legend's Life

Story by Shawn Perry
Photos by Ronnie Lyon
On May 16, 2010, Ronnie James Dio passed away from stomach cancer. He was 67 and still rocking hard as the lead vocalist for Heaven & Hell, featuring guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Vinny Appice — the same lineup known as Black Sabbath in the early 80s. Since that time, Dio had risen to the top of the heap with his own band, becoming an elder statesman of the hard rock and heavy metal scene. He had also earned a reputation for being a friendly and approachable guy who mentored and befriended dozens of singers and musicians. It’s no wonder fans and friends from all around the planet still mourn his passing.
Celebrating Dio the legend and the man on the anniversary of his death has become an annual event. For the fifth anniversary, Wendy Dio, the singer’s wife and manager, pulled out all the stops and staged a “Remembrance Weekend”. Rather than mourn his death, it was a celebration of his life filled with fun and great music for both fans and friends. There was “Bowl For Ronnie” at the Pinz Bowling Center in Studio City on Friday; a memorial and musical celebration at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills where the singer was laid to rest in 2010 on Saturday; and a “Ride For Ronnie” followed by a barbecue and more music at Los Encinos Park in Encino on Sunday. All money raised — from food, drink, T-shirts, swag and a number of exclusive items auctioned off — went to the Ronnie James Dio Stand & Up Shout Cancer Fund.
“I’m overwhelmed by the amount of support,” Wendy Dio told me. “We’re celebrating Ronnie’s life and his legacy, and it’s for a good cause.” She and her late husband did a good amount of charity work, so it was a no-brainer when she and 14 friends set up the Ronnie James Dio Stand & Up Shout Cancer Fund, as a way to bringing awareness to the devastating disease that ended her husband’s life. “Our cancer fund is for prostrate cancer, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer,” she said.

Beyond the music, Wendy Dio described her husband as a regular guy when he wasn’t on the road or in the studio. “When he was home, we used to spend time at home, watching sports,” she recalled. “We’d go to an English pub and have a beer.” It's those kind of simple moments that Wendy remembers the most about Ronnie.
Everyone I spoke with has a place in their heart for Ronnie James Dio. Eddie Trunk from That Metal Show hosted the weekend’s events. Since Dio passed away, Trunk says he’s hosted a number of events for the Ronnie James Dio Stand & Up Shout Cancer Fund. “I’ve auctioned off tickets on That Metal Show,” he said. “I’ve done some benefits.” He pointed out that the Ronnie James Dio Stand & Up Shout Cancer Fund T-shirt he was wearing sold out after he wore it on That Metal Show.
Many of those who turned out for the weekend’s events were, of course, musical cohorts with special memories of Ronnie James Dio. Drummer Simon Wright, who played with Dio in the late 80s and then again from the late 90s until 2010, has nothing but good things to say about the singer. “I was lucky enough to be in his band for a quite a while,” he said. “It’s something I’m very proud of.”
Wright, along with other former Dio players like guitarist Craig Goldy, bassist Rudy Sarzo, and keyboardist Scott Warren, played at the memorial and the barbecue as Dio Disciples. “I wish it wasn’t Dio Disciples, I wish it was Dio,” Wright remarked offhandedly. The drummer’s first encounter with Dio was at a Rainbow concert in the 1977. Years later, when he joined up with the singer, the Dios treated him like family, even letting him stay at their house after a divorce. “He was like a brother and a father to us. I’ll never forget him and I miss him.”
Singer Oni Logan, who's been making the rounds with Lynch Mob, also developed a friendship with Dio. “He was the main reason I came out from Florida,” Logan said, adding they met at a show and ended up chatting about singing into the night. “I told him I would love to come out to LA, but I don’t know anybody, and he said, 'You do now.'”
Logan sang the Rainbow classic “Stargazer” with Dio Disciples at the memorial. “We try to keep his music alive,” he said. “It’s great music — those songs he cultivated with Dio, Rainbow and Black Sabbath.”
Lisa Margaroli, who sings with Hollywood favorites Celebrity Trash and was helping out with the weekend’s events, is another one who cites Dio’s impact on her career. “He was such a huge influence on my life as a singer,” she said, adding that they met after a Heaven & Hell show at New York’s Madison Square Garden. “I told him I was moving to LA to become a rock star and he said, 'I’ll see you in Hollywood baby’ and he gave me a hug. It was an amazing moment for me.”
With over a million dollars raised for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up & Shout Cancer Fund, and more to come from this weekend’s festivities, it's obvious that Ronnie James Dio transcends his public persona as a singer, performer and songwriter. He was, by all accounts, a kind and giving man, inspired to help others achieve their dreams. His legacy lives on through his music, his friends, his family and a fund to save lives. Not a bad way to be remembered.

Saturday - May 16, 2015

Sunday - May 17, 2015
Ride For Ronnie & BBQ

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Rolling Stones Brings Laughs, Lies & 'Sticky Fingers' To Intimate L.A. Show

Mick Jagger was in a cheeky mood -- as if he ever isn’t, at least publicly -- as The Rolling Stones opened their 2015 tour Wednesday with a surprise set at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood. The 1,200-capacity theater is “a bit smaller than the Staples Center,” he pointed out. “We’re at the Fonda, and of course we’ve got Jane Fonda…” The audience on the floor followed his sightline to the VIP balcony, searching in vain. “…and her father, Henry. And Miley Cyrus, and Clark Gable. Taylor Swift’s here with Dean Martin. Thank you, Dean; love your work.”

In fact, Swift was simultaneously opening the U.S. leg of her own tour 1,600 miles away, while all the other visiting dignitaries Jagger mentioned were either MIA or, in the manner of Generalissimo Francisco Franco, still dead. The real guest list was good enough not to require any fabulist stretches on Jagger’s part, though, with Jack Nicholson, Harry Styles, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Willis among the very important people. Non-VIPs included a few hundred fans who’d gotten sweaty fingers going online at noon to buy $5 tickets for a show based around the 1971 Sticky Fingers album, unzipped in its entirety for the first time on stage.

Jagger previously told Rolling Stone the band is considering playing all of Sticky Fingers -- which is getting a deluxe reissue on June 9 -- on their upcoming 15-date Zip Code tour. Whether that will happen remains to be seen: A press release issued just after Wednesday’s pop-up gig described it as “a one-time-only set.” So when Jagger told the crowd that in playing a full album “we’re gonna do something we’ve never done before,” he may also have meant that it was something they’d never do again. Sunday’s previously scheduled official tour opening at Petco Park in San Diego will tell the tale.

Following three opening standards, Jagger got to the part fans were salivating for. “We used to make these (records), and they went round and round and round. There was a cardboard cover people would stare at for ages, reading inferences in that had nothing to do with anything… We’re gonna do Sticky -- in the order of the 8-track tape,” he announced. Perhaps noticing some too-dutiful nodding on the part of the fans, he added, “A lot of this is a joke, so don’t be too literal.” The running order of the album was significantly changed, not in honor of primitive technological restrictions, but because there was no way the Stones were going to do a set-within-a-set that started with “Brown Sugar” and ended with four slow songs in a row. So the group started the album performance with “Sway” and ended with “Sugar,” with Jagger sounding nearly apologetic about some of the less frenzied material that came in-between.

“I should’ve warned you before, there could be a lot of ‘60s drug references in this record that could confuse some people,” the singer cautioned, before the band went into “Sister Morphine.” (Not to worry: the cocaine references in that song and “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” could be explained to the younger people in the audience as that stuff Joan tried on the Mad Men finale a few nights earlier.) After “Morphine,” he quipped, and/or apologized, “Yes, indeed, that’s a bit of a down song. And, there’s more to come! It must have been a down period.” No apologia required when the following number had Keith Richards breaking out the 12-string acoustic for “I Got the Blues,” capped by a moaning sing-along that elicited Jagger’s first full grin of the night.

For much of the Sticky Fingers run-through, Richards held back and let Ron Wood take the guitar leads, at least the ones that originally belonged to Mick Taylor, who re-joined the Stones for guest spots on their 2013 tour but apparently will not be participating in this one. Richards finally came to the lip of the stage for the touring staple “Bitch,” only to let Wood take over again and expertly emulate Taylor’s style on the most expansive number, fan favorite “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” which had new addition Karl Denson replacing the recently deceased Bobby Keys on the famous sax-solo coda. “A bit of jazz, almost jazz, there -- a rarity,” Jagger vamped afterward.

Just as the show opened with three non-Sticky numbers, there were three unrelated encore numbers, including covers of B.B. King’s “Rock Me Baby” and Otis Redding’s “I Can’t Turn You Loose.” There was no “Satisfaction,” but a surfeit of actual satisfaction, as diehard devotees on the floor (and maybe even a few of the VIPs in the balcony) enthused that they might’ve just seen the Stones show of a lifetime.

“Thank you, Los Angeles! I hope you all got your $10 back,” Jagger said, referring to the fact that fans who’d spent that much for a pair of tickets online had their money refunded when they went to pick up their tickets… a favor that presumably won’t be repeated when the stadium part of the tour gets underway. As with many great one-night stands, some false promises were made: “Next year we’ll come back and do the whole of Satanic Majesties,” Jagger fibbed.

May 20, 2015 Rolling Stones set list:

Start Me Up
When the Whip Comes Down
All Down the Line
Dead Flowers
Wild Horses
Sister Morphine
You Gotta Move
Can't You Hear Me Knocking
I Got the Blues
Moonlight Mile
Brown Sugar


Rock Me Baby (B.B. King cover)
Jumpin' Jack Flash
I Can't Turn You Loose (Otis Redding cover)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lou Gramm To Embark On North American Summer / Fall Tour

If you listen to classic rock radio on a daily basis, you'd be hard-pressed to go a full day without hearing the distinctive and powerful vocals of Lou Gramm blasting through your speakers.      

As the voice of Foreigner, one of rock's most popular and successful bands, Gramm can be heard on every single one of the band's classic hits, which includes sixteen Top 30 songs and nine Top 10's over the years. For those into chart success, that's one less than the Eagles and the same as Fleetwood Mac.  

Here are the Top 10's: "I Want To Know What Love Is," "Waiting For A Girl Like You," "Double Vision," "Hot Blooded," "Urgent," "Feels Like The First Time," "I Don't Want To Live Without You," "Say You Will" and "Cold As Ice."

You know them well.

And let's not forget "Head Games," the rock anthem, "Juke Box Hero" and other rockers such as "Dirty White Boy," "That Was Yesterday," "Blue Morning, Blue Day," "Long Long Way From Home" and "Break It Up" that cracked the Top 30.

By 1980, Foreigner's first eight singles (from their first three albums, Foreigner, Double Vision and Head Games) entered the Billboard Top 20 charts, making them the first band to achieve that feat since the Beatles.                    

On Friday, June 5, fans are in for a real rock and roll treat as Lou will performing a vast selection of those Foreigner hits, along with such solo hits as "Midnight Blue" and "Just Between You and Me," with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (Guest Conductor: Brent Havens) and his band at the Delta Classic Chastain Park Amphitheater in Atlanta, Georgia.        

One hit after another.
In 1978, shortly after the release of "Hot Blooded," Circus magazine remarked that Lou had a voice that Robert Plant might envy.

Of course, the rest was rock and roll history as when all might have been said but not yet done, Foreigner would join Led Zeppelin on the Atlantic Records label as one of the most successful artists ever on the imprint.              

In May of 2013, Lou, with the help of writer Scott Pitoniak, released a must-read autobiography titled, Juke Box Hero: My Five Decades in Rock 'n' Roll (Triumph Books).

A month later, he would be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.      
Gramm and his band -- currently featuring brother Ben Grammatico on drums, Michael Staertow on guitar, AD Zimmer on bass and Andy Knoll on keyboards -- have been on the road since the beginning of the year and have already performed a few dozen shows to date.

Here's what's coming up.

Lou Gramm Tour 2015*

May 21 - Snoqualmie Casino - Snoqualmie, Washington
May 23 - Bakersfield Rockin Country Festival - Bakersfield, California
June 5 - Chastain Amphitheatre with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra - Atlanta, Georgia
June 6 - Old Shawnee Days Festival - Shawnee, Kansas
June 20 - Hard Rock Rocksino - Northfield, Ohio
June 27 - Rockin Ribs Festival - Augusta, New Jersey
July 4 - Sun Peaks Concert Series - Sun Peaks Village, British Columbia, Canada
July 10 - Peacefest - Peace River, Alberta, Canada
July 11 - BobStock - Fort Morgan, Colorado
July 16 - La Fete Du Lac Nations - Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
July 19 - Great S. Bay Music Fest - Patchogue, New York    
July 27 - Olds Agricultural Grandstand in Olds, Alberta, Canada
July 31 - Rockin on the River Series - North Tonawanda, New York    
August 14 - Wisconsin State Fair - West Allis, Wisconsin
August 28 - Beacon Theatre - Hopewell, Virginia
August 29 - DeKalb Corn Festival - DeKalb, Illinois
September 2 - Minnesota State Fair - St. Paul, Minnesota
September 3 - Minnesota State Fair - St. Paul, Minnesota
September 12 - Clovis Music Festival - Clovis, New Mexico        

*Additional dates to be announced.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Yes Bassist, Sole Original Member Chris Squire To Undergo Treatment For Leukemia

Grammy Award-winning bass guitarist, vocalist, and founding member of Yes, Chris Squire, has been diagnosed with Acute Erythroid Leukemia (AEL), an uncommon form of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). 

Squire will be receiving treatment in his hometown of Phoenix over the next few months.

Yes will be honoring their commitment to their North American summer tour with Toto, as well as confirming their performances on the Cruise To The Edge in November.

Squire's role in the band will be covered by Yes alumnus Billy Sherwood.

To quote the bassist, "This will be the first time since the band formed in 1968 that Yes will have performed live without me. But the other guys and myself have agreed that Billy Sherwood will do an excellent job of covering my parts and the show as a whole will deliver the same Yes experience that our fans have come to expect over the years."

Friday, May 15, 2015

B. B. King, Defining Bluesman For Generations, Dies At 89

From the New York Times

B. B. King, whose world-weary voice and wailing guitar lifted him from the cotton fields of Mississippi to a global stage and the apex of American blues, died on Thursday at his home in Las Vegas. He was 89.

His death was reported on his website, which said he died in his sleep. Mr. King, who was in hospice care, had been performing until October 2014, when he canceled a tour, citing dehydration and exhaustion stemming from diabetes.

Mr. King married country blues to big-city rhythms and created a sound instantly recognizable to millions: a stinging guitar with a shimmering vibrato, notes that coiled and leapt like an animal, and a voice that groaned and bent with the weight of lust, longing and lost love.

“I wanted to connect my guitar to human emotions,” Mr. King said in his autobiography, “Blues All Around Me” (1996), written with David Ritz.

In performances, his singing and his solos flowed into each other as he wrung notes from the neck of his guitar, vibrating his hand as if it were wounded, his face a mask of suffering. Many of the songs he sang — like his biggest hit, “The Thrill Is Gone” (“I’ll still live on/But so lonely I’ll be”) — were poems of pain and perseverance.

The music historian Peter Guralnick once noted that Mr. King helped expand the audience for the blues through “the urbanity of his playing, the absorption of a multiplicity of influences, not simply from the blues, along with a graciousness of manner and willingness to adapt to new audiences and give them something they were able to respond to.”

B. B. stood for Blues Boy, a name he took with his first taste of fame in the 1940s. His peers were bluesmen like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, whose nicknames fit their hard-bitten lives. But he was born a King, albeit in a sharecropper’s shack surrounded by dirt-poor laborers and wealthy landowners.

Mr. King went out on the road and never came back after one of his first recordings reached the top of the rhythm-and-blues charts in 1951. He began in juke joints, country dance halls and ghetto nightclubs, playing 342 one-night stands in 1956 and 200 to 300 shows a year for a half-century thereafter, rising to concert halls, casino main stages and international acclaim.

He was embraced by rock ’n’ roll fans of the 1960s and ’70s, who remained loyal as they grew older together. His playing influenced many of the most successful rock guitarists of the era, including Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix.

Mr. King considered a 1968 performance at the Fillmore West, the San Francisco rock palace, to have been the moment of his commercial breakthrough, he told a public-television interviewer in 2003. A few years earlier, he recalled, an M.C. in an elegant Chicago club had introduced him thus: “O.K., folks, time to pull out your chitlins and your collard greens, your pigs’ feet and your watermelons, because here is B. B. King.” It had infuriated him.

When he saw “long-haired white people” lining up outside the Fillmore, he said, he told his road manager, “I think they booked us in the wrong place.” Then the promoter Bill Graham introduced him to the sold-out crowd: “Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the chairman of the board, B. B. King.”

“Everybody stood up, and I cried,” Mr. King said. “That was the beginning of it.”

By his 80th birthday he was a millionaire many times over. He owned a mansion in Las Vegas, a closet full of embroidered tuxedoes and smoking jackets, a chain of nightclubs bearing his name (including a popular room on West 42nd Street in Manhattan) and the personal and professional satisfaction of having endured.

Through it all he remained with the great love of his life, his guitar. He told the tale a thousand times: He was playing a dance hall in Twist, Ark., in the early 1950s when two men got into a fight and knocked over a kerosene stove. Mr. King fled the blaze — and then remembered his $30 guitar. He ran into the burning building to rescue it.

He learned thereafter that the fight had been about a woman named Lucille. For the rest of his life, Mr. King addressed his guitars — big Gibsons, curved like a woman’s hips — as Lucille.

He married twice, unsuccessfully, and was legally single from 1966 onward; by his own account he fathered 15 children with 15 women. But a Lucille was always at his side.

Riley B. King (the middle initial apparently did not stand for anything) was born on Sept. 16, 1925, to Albert and Nora Ella King, both sharecroppers, in Berclair, a Mississippi hamlet outside the small town of Itta Bena. His memories of the Depression included the sound of sanctified gospel music, the scratch of 78-r.p.m. blues records, the sweat of dawn-to-dusk work and the sight of a black man lynched by a white mob.

By early 1940 Mr. King’s mother was dead and his father was gone. He was 14 and on his own, “sharecropping an acre of cotton, living on a borrowed allowance of $2.50 a month,” wrote Dick Waterman, a blues scholar. “When the crop was harvested, Riley ended his first year of independence owing his landlord $7.54.”

In November 1941 came a revelation: “King Biscuit Time” went on the air, broadcasting on KFFA, a radio station in Helena, Ark. It was the first radio show to feature the Mississippi Delta blues, and young Riley King heard it on his lunch break at the plantation. A largely self-taught guitarist, he now knew what he wanted to be when he grew up: a musician on the air.

The King Biscuit show featured Rice Miller, a primeval bluesman and one of two performers who worked under the name Sonny Boy Williamson. After serving in the Army and marrying his first wife, Martha Denton, Mr. King, then 22, went to seek him out in Memphis, looking for work. Memphis and its musical hub, Beale Street, lay 130 miles north of his birthplace, and it looked like a world capital to him.

Mr. Miller had two performances booked that night, one in Memphis and one in Mississippi. He handed the lower-paying nightclub job to Mr. King. It paid $12.50.

Mr. King was making about $5 a day on the plantation. He never returned to his tractor.

He was a hit, and quickly became a popular disc jockey playing the blues on a Memphis radio station, WDIA. “Before Memphis,” he wrote in his autobiography, “I never even owned a record player. Now I was sitting in a room with a thousand records and the ability to play them whenever I wanted. I was the kid in the candy store, able to eat it all. I gorged myself.”

I have been a passionate blues fan my whole life and it all started when I was in fifth grade and I heard my first B.B. King track. I got so...

On the air in Memphis, Mr. King was nicknamed the Beale Street Blues Boy. That became Blues Boy, which became B. B. In December 1951, two years after arriving in Memphis, Mr. King released a single, “Three O’Clock Blues,” which reached No. 1 on the rhythm-and-blues charts and stayed there for 15 weeks.

He began a tour of the biggest stages a bluesman could play: the Apollo Theater in Harlem, the Howard Theater in Washington, the Royal Theater in Baltimore. By the time his wife divorced him after eight years, he was playing 275 one-night stands a year on the so-called chitlin’ circuit.

There were hard times when the blues fell out of fashion with young black audiences in the early 1960s. Mr. King never forgot being booed at the Royal by teenagers who cheered the sweeter sounds of Sam Cooke.

“They didn’t know about the blues,” he said 40 years after the fact. “They had been taught that the blues was the bottom of the totem pole, done by slaves, and they didn’t want to think along those lines.”

Mr. King’s second marriage, to Sue Hall, also lasted eight years, ending in divorce in 1966. He responded in 1969 with his best-known recording, “The Thrill Is Gone,” a minor-key blues about having loved and lost. It was co-written and originally recorded in 1951 by another blues singer, Roy Hawkins, but Mr. King made it his own.

Mr. King is survived by 11 children. Three of them had recently petitioned to take over his affairs, claiming that Mr. King’s manager, Laverne Toney, was taking advantage of him. A Las Vegas judge rejected their petition this month.

The success of “The Thrill Is Gone” coincided with a surge in the popularity of the blues with a young white audience. Mr. King began playing folk festivals and college auditoriums, rock shows and resort clubs, and appearing on “The Tonight Show.”

Though he never had another hit that big, he had more than four decades of the road before him. He eventually played the world — Russia and China as well as Europe and Japan. His schedule around his 81st birthday, in September 2006, included nine cities over two weeks in Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Luxembourg. Despite health problems, he maintained a busy touring schedule until 2014.

In addition to winning 15 Grammy Awards (including a lifetime achievement award), having a star on Hollywood Boulevard and being inducted in both the Rock and Roll and Blues Halls of Fame, Mr. King was among the recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors in 1995 and was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006, awards rarely associated with the blues. In 1999, in a public conversation with William Ferris, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Mr. King recounted how he came to sing the blues.

“Growing up on the plantation there in Mississippi, I would work Monday through Saturday noon,” he said. “I’d go to town on Saturday afternoons, sit on the street corner, and I’d sing and play.

“I’d have me a hat or box or something in front of me. People that would request a gospel song would always be very polite to me, and they’d say: ‘Son, you’re mighty good. Keep it up. You’re going to be great one day.’ But they never put anything in the hat.

“But people that would ask me to sing a blues song would always tip me and maybe give me a beer. They always would do something of that kind. Sometimes I’d make 50 or 60 dollars one Saturday afternoon. Now you know why I’m a blues singer.”

Thursday, May 14, 2015

For 10 Points: What Is The Meaning Of 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds'?

Reuters - Reporting by Estelle Shirbon

Is the Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" a rebellious anthem to wild drug-taking or a touching tribute to a child's imagination? Discuss.

The question, which has exercised Beatles fans since the song appeared in the seminal 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, could soon form part of an exam curriculum for British teenagers.

Exam board AQA, which sets and marks papers for about half of all GCSE exams taken by British 16-year-old high-school pupils, plans to introduce three songs from Sgt. Pepper into the music curriculum from September 2016.

"Pop music began in this country with The Beatles in the swinging sixties, so what better band to look to for the study of contemporary music than the Fab Four," said Seb Ross, head of AQA's music department.

The addition of the Sgt. Pepper tracks to the board's music GCSE curriculum puts the Beatles in the company of classical composers Joseph Haydn and Aaron Copland as well as influential guitarist Carlos Santana, whose works also feature.

AQA said students would be asked to look at the melody, harmony, structure, rhythm and meaning of three songs from the Beatles album, which influenced generations of musicians and changed recording techniques.

"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" has long been the subject of disagreement between those who say the title's letters refer to the psychedelic drug LSD and those who accept John Lennon's more innocent explanation.

Lennon always maintained that the song was inspired by a drawing by his five-year-old son Julian about a school friend called Lucy.

The other two songs to be included are "Within You, Without You" and "With a Little Help from My Friends".

This prompted Times newspaper columnist Daniel Finkelstein to suggest the following multiple choice question, which might cause dismay among fans of drummer Ringo Starr, who performed the lead vocals on "With A Little Help From My Friends":

What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you:

A. Stand up and walk out on me?

B. Make me the lead vocalist on one of your most famous songs?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Jorma Kaukonen Would Like Surviving Jefferson Airplane Members To Celebrate 50th Anniversary

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of Jefferson Airplane, one of the defining groups of the 1960s psychedelic music scene.  While the band broke up in 1972 and hasn't performed in concert since its 1989 reunion tour, many fans hold out hope that the surviving members might consider playing together again to mark the occasion.

Founding Airplane lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen says he understands fans' desire to want to see the group rock out again, but since singer Grace Slick retired from performing live long ago and since he also isn't too keen about mounting a reunion trek, he maintains that it's "not gonna happen."

However, Kaukonen says he does have an idea for a 50th anniversary reunion event that all the band members could take part in without necessarily having to perform.

"Grace doesn't sing anymore, but all of us…love to blab," he points out.  "And so I can see, instead of trying to recreate...a musical event that happened half a century ago, [it would be cool] to have us sit around on a stage, maybe some of us with acoustic guitars, talk about the process, talk about what we did, where we were [and where] we came from, the experience."

He adds, "Given the characters and the way we like to talk, I think it would be a great little show."

Kaukonen admits that the idea "is just my dream," noting, "I don't know if the other guys share it or not.  We really haven't gotten into it."

Elaborating about his own reasons why he's not interested in a reunion tour, he said, "The Airplane was such an interesting band because the magic that happened, especially live, was the interaction between this disparate group of characters that somehow managed to get together, rehearse relentlessly and stay together for seven years as a band.  And, in my opinion…it's like your first kiss, you know, you just can't reproduce that kind of stuff."

Meanwhile, Kaukonen says he's glad that he recently ended a feud he'd been having with Jefferson Airplane singer/guitarist Paul Kantner, who for decades has fronted the Airplane spinoff group Jefferson Starship.  Jorma points out, "I mean, since none of us ever really screwed each other, if you can't be friends with your old friends, who can you be friends with?" Kantner, incidentally, is now recovering from a recent heart attack.

Kaukonen, meanwhile, continues to perform as a solo artist and as half of the popular folk-blues duo Hot Tuna with his close friend and original Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady.  It recently was announced that Jorma, Jack and some special guests will be commemorating the Airplane's 50th anniversary during a September 11 set at the 2015 Lockn' Festival in Arrington, Virginia.

Kaukonen's tour schedule includes solo dates in support of his new album, Ain't in No Hurry, and plenty of Hot Tuna shows with both electric and acoustic incarnations of the group.  You can check out his whole itinerary at

Check out's 2010 interview with Jorma Kaukonen below.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Joe Satriani Releasing 15th Studio Album 'Shockwave Supernova' In July

Guitarist Joe Satriani has announced plans to release his 15th solo studio album, Shockwave Supernova, on July 24th, making him one of the first to utilize the new “Friday, Global Release Day” for music. 

It would be easy to call Shockwave Supernova a “masterpiece” or “the last word on guitar” from the world’s most commercially successful solo guitar performer. Satch, however, sees it much more personally. He has consistently advanced the artistry of the instrument; an effort he dedicated himself to on September 18, 1970, the day his idol Jimi Hendrix died.

Recorded late last year at Skywalker Sound in Lucas Valley, CA, Satriani assembled the dynamic trio of world-class musicians who had recently been part of his global tour; renowned keyboardist and guitarist Mike Keneally, a veteran of several Satch outings and recordings; along with drumming whiz Marco Minnemann and bass extraordinaire Bryan Beller. “I couldn’t have asked for a better band to help bring these songs to life,” says Satriani.

The album also sees Satriani once again joining forces co-producer and engineer John Cuniberti. Satch and Cuniberti share production on Shockwave Supernova, as they have on numerous albums – their shared history dates back to the guitar star’s 1986 debut album, Not Of This Earth and its follow- up, the platinum-selling, critically acclaimed, Surfing With The Alien.

Minnemann and Beller handle the bulk of Shockwave Supernova’s rhythmic duties, with the exception of four cuts – the driving “Keep On Movin’,” full of wondrous Satch guitar wizardry and Keneally’s playful piano, “In My Pocket,” a deliciously greasy, souped-up take on Swing, along with “Crazy Joey” (a deliriously effervescent romp) and “Scarborough Stomp” (a relentless upbeat rocker) – find Satriani joined by another powerhouse rhythm section: the esteemed drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (whose work includes the likes of Frank Zappa, Sting, Paul Simon, among others) and Jane’s Addiction bassist Chris Chaney (whose resume includes Alanis Morrisette, Celine Dion and Rob Zombie, to name a few).

Recently, during the final performance of his two-year Unstoppable Momentum tour, Satriani had an epiphany; he found himself, “playing the guitar with my teeth an awful lot. I thought, ‘Why are you doing this?’ It’s as if something else, or somebody else, was driving me to do it.” Satriani seized upon this moment of self-realization as the springboard and creative center for his alter ego “Shockwave Supernova,” the outlandish and extroverted ‘performance side’ of the normally shy and reserved guitar virtuoso. With this new persona as partner, Satriani launched his wildly ambitious 15th solo album, Shockwave Supernova.

In a creative and engaging alternative venture, Satriani, a lifelong science fiction fan, has reached out to the future, through the medium of animation. Finally recognizing the on-stage symmetry with his alter ego allowed Satriani to also take a risk on this particular style of storytelling. He says, “Guitarist Ned Evett and I have created an animated series called Crystal Planet. The actual Crystal Planet is our very own Earth, set billions of years in the future. The hero of the show uses music generated by a unique electric guitar to travel through time while the show’s characters struggle to preserve the future and past of humankind.”  More information on Crystal Planet and how and where fans will view the series will be coming shortly.

Fans are now able to pre-order the new album with an exclusive signed poster only at Joe will be selecting art for the poster from fan submitted art – check Joe’s FB page for more details ( The album is available for pre-order on Amazon ( and iTunes ( and will also be available to order as 2 LP 120 gram vinyl.

As was previously announced, Satriani and Steve Vai, will perform at a third benefit concert in support of music industry veteran and their good friend, Cliff Cultreri. “A Benefit for Cliff III” is set for Friday, June 12th at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles.

This event will feature performances by Satriani and Vai, as well as special guests, Animals As Leaders.  In addition, Satriani and Vai, along with other artists, have graciously donated various items to be auctioned at the event.  Among these items are autographed guitars as well as a chance to join Satriani’s “G4 Camp” taking place June 28 – July 2 in Cambria, CA.

Monday, May 11, 2015

'Led Zeppelin Five Glorious Nights' Book Captures 1975 Earls Court Concerts

Rufus Stone Limited Editions has announced the release of Led Zeppelin Five Glorious Nights, compiled by Dave Lewis.

The LP-sized coffee table book features 288 pages, printed on high quality 170gsm art paper, celebrating Led Zeppelin's five night stand at London's Earls Court in 1975.

It features the pictures of several photographers who attended the shows, with many shots not seen before. Only 1,000 numbered copies will be produced.

"After many hours, days, and weeks working on the book layout, we finally have a completed book design," Lewis said. "This encompasses 288 pages, with approximately 62 color photos, 155 black & white photos – 229 in all – plus 165 color memorabilia images including Earls Court bootleg LP, CD and DVD sleeves etc.

"Much more than a mere book of photos, the intention has been to capture the atmosphere of the five Earls Court shows through these startling images – sequenced and presented in a way that unfolds the whole saga of this remarkable series of concerts – to be viewed and enjoyed time and time again. Looking over the completed proofs, I think we have achieved that objective and fans are going to absolutely revel in the contents of this unique visual photographic record of Led Zeppelin in their absolute prime."

When the book is ready to ship at the end of May 2015, but it can be be pre-ordered now with a £15 discount off the final price of £130. For more information, go to

Friday, May 8, 2015

Court Rejects Claims That BB King Is Being Abused By Business Manager

A lawsuit accusing the business manager of blues legend BB King of financial and welfare abuse has been dismissed by judges.

The Clark County Family Court in Las Vegas has ruled that the musician's longtime business manager, Laverne Toney, has committed no offense and should remain in legal control of his affairs. King's children - Karen Williams, Rita Washington and Patty King - claimed that Toney is stealing money and neglecting their father's medical needs.

"We lost the battle, but we haven't lost the war," Williams told reporters. Toney's lawyer, Brent Bryson, responded to the accusations, saying, "It's all about money. Mr. King is no longer able to tour at this particular time so there's no money coming in. The only way they can get money now is by filing a frivolous type of action."

BB King has confirmed that he's receiving "home hospice care" following his recent hospitalization.

The guitarist and singer was rushed to a hospital in Las Vegas in April, with the reason cited as "the result of dehydration from his Type II diabetes." Having previously told fans that he was "feeling much better," King has now issued an update regarding his health.

"I am in home hospice care at my residence in Las Vegas," King says in a statement posted to his official Facebook page. "Thanks to all for your well wishes and prayers."

Last year, King was forced to cancel a number of performances after suffering a fall onstage at a show. The 89-year-old pulled out of eight gigs in total during October 2014, including two dates at his own BB King Blues Club in Times Square, New York. The causes were cited at the time as "dehydration" and "exhaustion."

In April 2014, the guitarist issued an apology for an erratic performance at the Peabody Opera House in St Louis, which was attributed to a missed a dose of his prescribed medication. "Simply put, it was a bad night for one of America's living blues legends and Mr King apologizes and humbly asks for the understanding of his fans," wrote a representative of King in a statement.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Tina Turner's 'Private Dancer' Celebrates 30th Anniversary With Expanded Reissue

Warner Music has announced the release of a very special 30th anniversary edition of Private Dancer, the breakthrough solo album from Tina Turner. Originally released in June 1984, Private Dancer features hits from the eight time Grammy® winning artist including "What's Love Got to Do With It," "Better Be Good To Me," "Private Dancer," and "Let's Stay Together." 

Private Dancer was a huge global success on its release in 1984 and has been certified 5x platinum in the U.S. and multi-platinum in several other countries including the UK, Australia, Canada, and Germany. The album was included in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Albums Of The 80s" and is widely considered one of the greatest comeback albums of the decade.

Private Dancer - 30th Anniversary Edition includes the original album remastered along with a second disc of 12" mixes, b-sides and three non-album singles, plus the duet with Bryan Adams, "It's Only Love."

The collection also features the track "Ball Of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today)" (with B.E.F.) recorded with Martin Ware from Heaven 17, which later lead to him producing the lead single from the album "Let's Stay Together" - a single that soon became the biggest selling 12" record in American history.

Private Dancer 30th Anniversary Edition
Track Listing

Disc 1 - Original Album Remastered

1. I Might Have Been Queen
2. What's Love Got To Do With It
3. Show Some Respect
4. I Can't Stand The Rain
5. Private Dancer
6. Let's Stay Together
7. Better Be Good To Me
8. Steel Claw
9. Help!  
10. 1984

Disc 2 - The Extras

1. Ball Of Confusion (With B.E.F) Remix
2. I Wrote A Letter
3. Rock 'N' Roll Widow
4. Don't Rush The Good Things
5. When I Was Young
6. Keep Your Hands Off My Baby
7. Tonight (With David Bowie) [Live At The Nec, Birmingham]
8. Let's Pretend We're Married (Live)
9. What's Love Got To Do It (Extended 12" Remix)
10. Better Be Good To Me (Extended 12" Remix)  
11. I Can't Stand The Rain (Extended 12" Remix)  
12. Show Some Respect (Extended Mix)
13. We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)
14. One Of The Living

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Prince Announces Baltimore Rally 4 Peace Concert For Mother's Day

Prince has announced a special Rally 4 Peace concert in Baltimore, Maryland, scheduled for Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10th.  The show will take place at the Royal Farms Arena.  

In a spirit of healing, the event is meant to be a catalyst for pause and reflection following the outpouring of violence that has gripped Baltimore and areas throughout the US.  As a symbolic message of our shared humanity and love for one another, attendees are invited to wear something gray in tribute to all those recently lost in the violence.  Prince will be joined in Baltimore by his critically acclaimed funk-rock group 3RDEYEGIRL.

Details surfaced last week about a protest song titled “Baltimore” Prince recently recorded in response to the civil unrest. The song was written following the death of 25-year old Freddie Gray and is a tribute to all of the people of Baltimore. Although the song hasn’t yet debuted, the lyrics were recently made public and as a message of reconciliation, Prince states, “Peace is more than the absence of war.”  

That sentiment was similarly reflected this past weekend when Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL hosted a spontaneous Dance Rally 4 Peace event at the icon’s Paisley Park recording complex in Chanhassen, MN.  Prince took the stage after midnight, echoing tributary sentiments to the crowd saying “RIP to those lost” and “Thanks for wearing gray.” Fittingly, the live set ended with Prince inviting the audience into a communal chant of “Baltimore… Peace 4 ever more.”

Contrary to Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL’s recently announced HITNRUN USA tour, where shows have been announced just a few days – and sometimes hours – before they happen, those in the community of Baltimore are invited to plan ahead for this special family-friendly weekend event.

Tickets go on sale today, Wednesday, May 6th.  A portion of the proceeds will be directed to the benefit of local Baltimore based youth charities.

For more information, please visit

Monday, May 4, 2015

10cc/Godley & Creme Legend Kevin Godley Releases New Book SPACECAKE On iBooks!

SPACECAKE chronicles the misadventures of a debauched and dangerous masochist as he tantrums his way through the sleazy worlds of Rock & Roll, music video and technology, each squalid escapade dragging him ever deeper into a repugnant maelstrom of sordid excess...well sort of. A wee bit. Actually...not remotely.

It’s all about the work really.

If you don’t recognize the name, Kevin Godley was a founder member of ground breaking UK band 10cc. (Their single, “I'm Not In Love” continues to be one of the best selling records of all time). As one half of Godley & Creme he went on to pioneer the notion of music video as an art form and was responsible for iconic clips by artists such as Herbie Hancock, The Police, Duran Duran, Lou Reed & Frankie Goes to Hollywood etc, continuing to up his game in solo mode with U2, Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney, The Beatles & Blur amongst others. KG thrives on re-inventing himself and SPACECAKE, his first book, takes you on an interactive tour of his life via pictures, music, film clips and 27 chapters of abstract insight into how everything from the first hits to WholeWorldBand, his music/video collaboration app, got made. It’s dark in some of the corners make sure you bring a torch.

Kevin Michael Godley (born 7 October 1945, Prestwich, Lancashire, England) is a British musician, writer and music video director.

He was born in a family with Jewish ancestry, and went to North Cestrian Grammar School in Altrincham. His first band was Group 17 which had its origins in the Jewish Lads Brigade (The JLB). The members were Henri Shalam, Bernard Suffrin, Sydney Kaye and Jeffrey Baker, whose father may have inspired the “Sergeant Baker” character in the 10cc song, “Rubber Bullets”.

While attending art college in Manchester Godley met Lol Creme and formed several bands, most notably Hotlegs and 10cc. After leaving 10cc the two became known as Godley & Creme, both as musicians and music video / TV commercials directors. They won many MTV awards for their unique films and were jointly nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Music Video, Long Form for: The Police: Synchronicity Concert in 1986.

Godley writes, sings, and plays drums and percussion and in 1990 conceived and directed the TV music special “One World One Voice” that featured a global piece of music focussing on environmental and ecological issues. Godley also became a vegetarian during this period.

Both Godley and Lol Creme briefly “reunited” with their former 10cc bandmates Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman on the 1992 album, “Meanwhile”. However, Godley claims that their involvement with the project was very limited, as the album was dominated by studio musicians. He performed the lead vocal on “The Stars Didn't Show”, the band's tribute to the late Roy Orbison. It was the only song on the album not sung by Stewart. Following “Meanwhile”, Godley and Creme went their separate ways.

He reunited with another former 10cc member, Graham Gouldman, to record new music in 2006 as GG/06, and together they have recorded six new songs which are available via their website

Recently, Godley has moved into developing a music platform that combines audio and video to create a global recording studio in the cloud called WholeWorldBand. The company was nominated for the “SXSW Music Accelerator Award” in 2013 and was one of eight finalists selected from a pool of over 500.

SPACECAKE, the book, is available for download from iBooks and can be read on any Mac iOS device.

Check out's 2014 interview with Kevin Godley below...

Friday, May 1, 2015

Live Nation Announces First-Ever National Concert Day

The 2015 summer concert season is here and some of your favorite music artists are hitting the road to perform their biggest hits for you… LIVE! To celebrate the greatest summer of live music ever, Live Nation has announced that May 5, 2015 will be the first ever National Concert Day - a day to recognize not only fans but also music artists, live music industry leaders, tour managers and their teams as well as all the hard working employees at venues across the country that work tirelessly to produce the incredible music experiences that will be seen this summer. 

As part of the celebration, Live Nation will host the 2015 Summer Spotlight presented by Hilton - a massive live concert and media event on May 5 at New York City's famed concert hall, Irving Plaza, featuring performances by Kid Rock and Florida Georgia Line and special appearances by some of this summer's hottest touring artists including Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins, Brandon Boyd & Mike Einziger of Incubus, Jason Wade & Bryce Soderberg of Lifehouse, Kip Moore, Metric, Mick Jones of Foreigner, Rae Sremmurd, Tinashe and Wiz Khalifa along with host of the event, Hoda Kotb of The TODAY Show.

A global leader in entertainment, Live Nation will bring fans worldwide yet another epic summer packed with incredible music from nearly 60 of the biggest stars including U2, Madonna, Foo Fighters, Zac Brown Band, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, The Smashing Pumpkins & Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire, Imagine Dragons, Ariana Grande, One Direction, Meghan Trainor, Kelly Clarkson, Idina Menzel, Josh Groban, Kevin Hart, Nicki Minaj, J. Cole and Bette Midler to name just a few. Fans will be able to experience even more artists at one of Live Nation's nearly 30 summer festivals including EDC Vegas (Insomniac), HARD Summer (HARD Events), Sasquatch! Festival, Squamish Valley Music Festival, Big Guava, the first-ever FarmBorough, the Budweiser Made In America Festival and more.

Official sponsors of Live Nation's 2015 Summer Spotlight include Hilton, Malibu Rum, Citi and Pepsi. Hilton has teamed up with Live Nation to offer its guests once-in-a-lifetime experiences with some of the biggest names in music through Hilton@Play – a movement designed to inspire guests to stop, take a hard-earned vacation and reclaim playtime. Malibu is ensuring the Best Summer Ever by bringing a custom-built Malibu Rum Beach House to select festivals and concerts where fans will enjoy live music and specialty cocktails; additional details can be found at

For tickets and more information, visit

5 Seconds of Summer
Ariana Grande
The Australian Pink Floyd Show
Bette Midler
Boys of Zummer: Fall Out Boy & Wiz Khalifa
Brad Paisley
Bryan Adams
Chicago and Earth Wind & Fire
Counting Crows
Darius Rucker
Dave Matthews Band
Def Leppard
Dierks Bentley
Fifth Harmony
Flogging Molly and Gogol Bordello
Florida Georgia Line
Foo Fighters
Go HARD Tour
Idina Menzel
Imagine Dragons
Incubus and Deftones
J Cole
Jason Aldean
Joe Bonamassa
Josh Groban
Kelly Clarkson with Pentatonix
Kevin Hart
Kid Rock with Foreigner
Lady Antebellum
Lana Del Rey
Lewis Black
Luke Bryan
Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival
Meghan Trainor
Mötley Crüe with Alice Cooper
Neil Diamond
Nickelback with Lifehouse
Nicki Minaj special guests Meek Mill, Rae Sremmurd, Tinashe & Dej Loaf
New Kids on the Block with TLC & Nelly
One Direction
Outcry Tour
Pokemon: Symphonic Evolutions
Rascal Flatts
Ricky Martin
Rise Against
Sublime with Rome
The Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson
Third Eye Blind and Dashboard Confessional
Tim McGraw
Toby Keith
Van Halen
Vans Warped Tour
Zac Brown Band

Austin City Limits
Beyond Wonderland Southern California
Big Guava Music Festival
Blaze N Glory
Budweiser Made In America
Delaware Junction Festival
Digital Dreams
Downtown Hoedown
EDC Las Vegas
EDC New York
FarmBorough Festival
Faster Horses Festival
Field Trip
Fvded In The Park
HARD Summer
Jamboree In The Hills
Music Midtown
Nocturnal Wonderland
Paradiso Festival
Peach Music Festival
Route 91 Harvest Festival
Sasquatch! Festival
Squamish Valley Music Festival
Watershed Festival
Windy City LakeShake Festival