Thursday, June 30, 2016

New Book Details Scorpions Rise In The 1970s

By the mid 1980s, the Scorpions were headlining arenas and stadiums worldwide. The German hard rock band scored two mega-selling albums (the platinum-certified Blackout and the triple-platinum certified Love at First Sting) and charted two hit singles, "No One Like You" and "Rock You Like a Hurricane." 

What many newcomers to the band may not know is the Scorpions had been regularly recording music since 1972, and that throughout the remainder of the decade, featured two guitarists (Michael Schenker and Uli Jon Roth) at separate points.

Albums like Lonesome Crow, Fly to the Rainbow, In Trance, Virgin Killer, Taken by Force, Tokyo Tapes, and Lovedrive didn't come close to the commercial success the band enjoyed in the 80s, but they inspired and influenced countless renowned musicians.

German Metal Machine: Scorpions in the '70s is the first-ever book to focus solely on this period of the band. The book features interviews with former members Michael Schenker, Uli Jon Roth, Francis Buchholz, and Herman Rarebell, along with longtime Scorpions producer Dieter Dierks, plus members of other bands that are major admirers, including KK Downing (Judas Priest), Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins), Joe Satriani, Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith), David Ellefson (Megadeth), Alex Skolnick (Testament), and Eddie Trunk ('That Metal Show'), among many others. Metallica's Kirk Hammett provides a foreword.

Author Greg Prato is a New York-based journalist who has written for Rolling Stone, Songfacts, and Vintage Guitar. His other books include Survival of the Fittest: Heavy Metal in the 1990's, Iron Maiden: '80 '81, The Eric Carr Story, and Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story.

German Metal Machine: Scorpions in the '70s is available as a paperback version [222 pages, $16.99], a Kindle download [$9.99], a Nook download [$9.99], and an iBook download [$9.99].

An excerpt can be read here.

Ordering info:

Paperback and Kindle:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Allman Brothers Band Members & Friends Announce Tour Dates

Les Brers, featuring key Allman Brothers Band members and friends, has announced a new string of concerts for August and September.  They have only performed a handful of dates in 2016 so far, including two benefit shows in their adopted hometown of Macon, GA and at the ABB's Wanee Festival.

The pedigreed group (the name is inspired by the ABB instrumental jam "Les Brers in A-Minor" from the Eat A Peach album) consists of founding ABB drummers Butch Trucks  and Jaimoe, plus longtime members Oteil Burbridge (bass) and Marc Quinones (percussion), former ABB guitarist Jack Pearson, frequent ABB guest Bruce Katz on keyboards, and singer Lamar Williams, Jr. (son of the former ABB bassist). Guitarist Pat Bergeson (Chet Atkins, Lyle Lovett, Suzy Bogguss) completes the lineup.

The new dates begin at the Allman Brothers Band-curated Peach Festival on August 11 in Scranton, PA and run through mid-September (full itinerary below).

In an April interview with Billboard Magazine's Gary Graff, Butch Trucks said, "Nobody is playing music like this, like the Allman Brothers, and there's still a lot of fans out there, so that's what we're doing with Les Brers.  We're taking this stuff and getting loose with it and improvising and really having a good time. And I think once the word gets around there's still a lot of people out there that want to hear this kind of music -- and whether there is or not, we're having a ball playing it, so if we can draw a big crowd that's great, but if we don't we're still gonna play it."

The band will perform an eclectic selection of music familiar to fans of the Allman Brothers Band, whose unique improvisational style, great songwriting and heavy touring made them one of the most acclaimed bands in American rock history.  They are members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, earned a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Of the Macon shows, which benefitted the Allman Brothers Band's Big House Museum, Trucks said, "I knew that Les Brers was going to be good but DAMN!!!! We did stuff I wouldn't have believed. So great to really jam and jam with people who have the guts to leap off the cliff and soar with the eagles or, as happened once last night, hit the ground, pick ourselves up and go somewhere we've never been before."

Here are the confirmed Les Brers tour dates, with more northeast U.S. dates to follow in October:

8/11 - Peach Festival - Scranton, PA
9/7 - Playhouse - Ridgefield, CT
9/8 - Casino Ballroom - Hampton Beach, NH
9/9 - House of Blues - Boston, MA
9/10 - Paramount Theatre - Rutland, VT

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Aerosmith Drummer To Open New Massachusetts Coffee Shop

A rock 'n' roll-themed coffee shop owned by Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer is set to open in Massachusetts this week. 

Joey Kramer's Rockin' & Roastin' Cafe will open its doors on Friday in North Attleborough, about 40 miles outside of Boston. The public is invited to attend a special ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 9:00 AM.

Kramer says the cafe will serve up organic coffee with a rock 'n' roll ambiance. The drummer's set and other Aerosmith memorabilia will be displayed.

For more information on Rockin' & Roastin', visit

Monday, June 27, 2016

Ultimate Jam Night To Welcome Black Sabbath's Bill Ward & His New Band

Ultimate Jam Night, the weekly free music show held at the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, will be featuring original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward with his new band Day of Errors on Tuesday, June 28.

On June 6, Ward announced the formation of Days of Errors on his website: "In the desire to have my drumming spirit continue to live, I’m pleased to say that I’ve helped to create a new three-piece band called 'Day of Errors,' accompanied by two guest musicians playing keyboards and percussion."

"We play loud, hard, with overtures of gut-kicking heavy, heavy parts," the drummer added to his statement.

Day of Errors features Ward on drums and vocals, along with Joe Amodea on guitar and vocals and Nick Diltz on bass and vocals, plus Walter Earl on percussion and Aron Ward on kybd.

Ward was supposed to be part of Black Sabbath's 2013 reunion with Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, but after the drummer was offered what he termed as an "unsignable contract," the reunion of the original lineup was derailed.

Ward was released from recording the band's 2013 comeback album, 13, and the subsequent concerts that followed, including the current "farewell" tour billed as 'The End'.

In 2015, the drummer released Accountable Beasts, his first solo album in over 20 years. He also held an exhibition of art based on his drumming in Los Angeles.

Friday, June 24, 2016

You Can Buy Frank Zappa's Laurel Canyon House For $5.4 Million

The 8,000-sqaure-foot compound in Los Angeles' Laurel Canyon neighborhood where Frank Zappa lived with his family from 1968 until his death in 1993 was put up for sale Thursday by his children for $5,495,000.

The historic property at 7885 Woodrow Wilson Drive includes seven bedrooms, six baths, two guest cottages, a swimming pool, rooftop tennis court and the fabled Utility Muffin Research Kitchen where Zappa recorded his jazz-rock albums and composed his symphonies, as well as The Vault, a chamber beneath the house where Zappa stored thousands of hours of unreleased recordings, video and family artifacts. Whimsical touches typical of Zappa, including a door salvaged from a submarine, are found throughout the property.

Prior to residing at the Woodrow Wilson house, Zappa, his late wife Gail, and their then-infant daughter Moon Unit rented a log cabin at 2401 Laurel Canyon Blvd., a former road house with a working bowling alley in the basement. Although the Zappas only lived there for six months in the spring and summer of 1968, the house was quickly established as Laurel Canyon's rock and roll clubhouse, where transient tenants, guests and hangers-on included the GTOs groupie clique, blues legend John Mayall (who wrote the song "2401" about the place), Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithful, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Rod Stewart, plus members of Zappa's band the Mothers of Invention and the original Alice Cooper group.

The sale of Zappa's Woodrow Wilson compound has been caught up in a dispute among Zappa's children--Dweezil, Moon, Ahmet and Diva, particularly Ahmet and Dweezil, who recorded two albums together--who have been battling each other since Gail Zappa died last year.

Following their father's death from prostate cancer in 1993, the Zappa Family Trust was formed to administer the rights to Frank Zappa's vast catalog of songs and to protect copyrights and trademarks. After Gail's death last October, control of the trust passed to the younger Zappa siblings, Ahmet and Diva, who serve as the estate's trustees. Dweezil and Moon remain beneficiaries of the estate.

In April, the Zappa Family Trust informed Dweezil that he did not have permission to perform any of his father's songs on his annual Zappa Plays Zappa tour and could no longer use the Zappa Plays Zappa name, which the trust owns and for which Dweezil said his mother had charged him an exorbitant licensing fee.

The Zappa siblings have also clashed over a yet-unfilmed, Kickstarter-funded documentary, directed by Alex Winter about their father, which Ahmet and Diva endorse but Dweezil and Moon do not. In an open letter to Dweezil published on Facebook, Ahmet claimed that maintaining the business side to their father's legacy was "pretty damn expensive…That's why Gail told us we have to sell the house: because she knew how much it would cost to maintain the catalog."

In March, the house was offered for sale for $9 million as part of the Kickstarter campaign to fund the documentary and catalog Zappa’s Vault. The crowd-funding campaign for the movie successfully met its goal of $1 million, and Winter is supervising the archiving and preservation of the Vault’s contents.

The Zappa compound was one of several rock and roll landmarks in Laurel Canyon during the neighborhood's heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. Joni Mitchell and Graham Nash shared a cottage next door to the Zappa log cabin where Mitchell wrote her 1970 album Ladies of the Canyon and Nash composed the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young classic "Our House," about his and Mitchell's life together there "with two cats in the yard." Not far from the Zappa compound on Woodrow Wilson, Cass Eliott of the Mamas and the Papas lived in a gated Cape Cod that was the de facto salon for the canyon's musicians.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dead & Company Guitars To Be Auctioned For Charity

Fans attending Dead & Company concerts this summer have a chance to take home unique, hand-painted guitars signed by the entire band, commemorating historic venues on their tour. The collection was created by New York City-based guitar brand D’Angelico Guitars, and will be auctioned to raise funds for over a dozen charities.

The first guitar in the series, the “Dancing Bears” model, will be auctioned throughout the tour -- closing at the final show in Mountain View, CA (July 30). The other guitars each celebrate one of four legendary venues and will be displayed and auctioned at those specific locations: Citi Field in New York (June 25 & 26), Folsom Field in Boulder, CO (July 2 & 3), Alpine Valley in Elkhorn, Wisconsin (July 9 & 10) and Fenway Park in Boston (July 15 & 16).

The auctions will take place at the “Participation Row” social action village inside each venue, organized by the non-profit organizations HeadCount and REVERB.

Last July, HeadCount auctioned a signed custom D’Angelico guitar -- previously played by the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir on stage -- for an eye-popping $526,000 in a Participation Row auction at the final Grateful Dead concert in Chicago. Seventeen charities received over $32,000 each from that auction.

Some beneficiaries of the Dead & Company auctions will include: HeadCount, REVERB, NORML, Rainforest Action Network and Equality North Carolina. This is all on the heels of Dead & Company donating an additional $100,000 to the Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina to support their fight against the controversial HB2 bill.

Fans who don’t wish to bid on a guitar will also have the chance to win a signed D’Angelico “Lightning Bolt” guitar by visiting non-profit organizations on Participation Row. Anyone who completes actions with three organizations is entered into a free drawing for the signed guitar, and also receives a free “VOTE” pin compliments of Participation Row sponsor Clean Energy Advisors.

Dead & Company includes Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir; singer/guitarist John Mayer; Allman Brothers' bassist Oteil Burbridge; and "Fare Thee Well" and RatDog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti.

Dead & Company Tour
June 21 – Saratoga Springs, NY - Saratoga Performing Arts Center
June 23 – Bristow, VA - Jiffy Lube Live
June 25 – New York, NY - Citi Field
June 26 – New York, NY - Citi Field
June 28 – Hartford, CT - Xfinity Theatre
July 02 – Boulder, CO - Folsom Field
July 03 – Boulder, CO - Folsom Field
July 07 – Clarkstown, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre
July 09 – Elkhorn, WI - Alpine Valley Music Theatre
July 10 – Elkhorn, WI - Alpine Valley Music Theatre
July 13 – Pittsburgh, PA - First Niagara Pavilion
July 15 – Boston, MA - Fenway Park
July 16 – Boston, MA - Fenway Park
July 22 – Portland, OR - Moda Center
July 23 – George, WA - The Gorge Amphitheatre
July 26 – Irvine, CA - Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre
July 27 – Chula Vista, CA - Sleep Train Amphitheatre
July 29 – Wheatland, CA - Toyota Amphitheatre
July 30 – Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Graham Nash Announces More U.S.Tour Dates In Support of 'This Path Tonight'

Singer-songwriter Graham Nash has announced a new batch of U.S east coast tour dates in September and October 2016 in support of his new studio album, This Path Tonight, which was released worldwide on April 15. 

This Path Tonight features 10 new original songs from Graham Nash. Produced by Shane Fontayne, this is Nash's first solo record of new music in 14 years.  The album is one of reflection and transition of a singer-songwriter whose career (the Hollies, CSN, CSNY) has spanned more than five decades and counting.

The new album landed on seven different Billboard charts in the United States, was Nash's highest charting album in the UK in over 45 years, and has done extremely well on all international charts, including Japan, Holland, Italy, France, Norway, and Germany.

In support of the new album, Nash will headline three major U.S. festivals this summer: Great South Bay Music Festival (July 17), Newport Folk Festival (July 23), and Vertex Festival (August 6).

Pre-sales for the new tour dates are available now at, with general ticket sales available on Friday, June 24.

Steven Tyler Says Aerosmith To Bid Farewell In 2017

During a live call-in interview on "The Howard Stern Show" on SiriusXM satellite radio earlier today (Tuesday, June 21), Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler revealed that the band will embark on a farewell tour in 2017. 

Tyler, who will release his first-ever solo album, We're All Somebody From Somewhere, on July 15, said: "I love this band. I really do. I want to squash every thought that anybody might have about 'the band's over.' We're doing a farewell tour — but it's only because it's time. We've never done that."

Asked to confirm the band is planning a final run, Tyler said: "I think so. Next year."

On the subject of whether guitarist Joe Perry understands that, the singer said: "Mmm-hmm."

But he added that the tour will last "probably forever," and refers to The Who having staged several farewells, saying: "I know. Can you believe that? How about KISS? They did 19 farewell tours."

While on hiatus, the members of Aerosmith have been keeping busy with solo projects — Perry recently hit the road with his star-studded side project Hollywood Vampires, featuring Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, drummer Matt Sorum, and bassist Robert DeLeo.

Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford has joined forces once again with Derek St. Holmes for a 19-date spring and summer run.

Perry in April spoke frankly about the state of Aerosmith: "A farewell tour is something we've talked about doing for years, let's say roughly in the last five years. It's just something the band's talked about at various times."

Perry also talked about the band gravitating towards working on their own in 2016. He said: "It's very rare you get this much time, considering the way we've always been on the road or been in the studio doing whatever, so it's been a good time to do some of these other projects. Steven has been off working really hard on his solo thing. I know it's something he's always wanted to do. He puts so much into Aerosmith, he's never really given himself the time to do this, so it's worked out really well for him. I don't really hear from him much but I wouldn't expect that I would considering he's working on a record and doing gigs and the whole thing. But when things start gearing up, we start rehearsing for the South American tour, I'm sure we'll start forming a plan for the next year or two or whatever."

Perry said that although the band splitting isn't something he's looking forward to, he feels that the band is nearing the end. "It's getting to be about that time, but I'm really looking forward to the Vampires thing," he said. "And I know Brad's doing stuff with Derek and they're buddies from way back. Everybody's got stuff that they're doing, so it's kind of up the middle. It's inevitable that once we get back together I'll be ready to play 'Dream On' again."

The guitarist says that ultimately, the thrill of what Aerosmith accomplished musically trumps all the problems that the band has endured due to drugs, women, management and ego issues.

"It's really the five of us, y'know, as a band," he said. "And it's still exciting to walk out onstage with these guys. And that, I think, is the glue that keeps us coming back. Sometimes I ask that question myself, y'know, 'Why am I still doin' it?' Well, when I walk out onstage in Moscow and everybody out there is singing words to songs that we wrote in the basement, or, y'know, in some studio somewhere. It's nothin' short of a miracle, y'know? And so we kind of have a lot of respect for that."

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Emerson, Lake & Palmer Reissue Campaign in Full Swing For 2016 & Beyond

Emerson, Lake & Palmer were one of the most successful, innovative and ground breaking British groups of the golden age of progressive rock. As well as creating spectacular live shows that incorporated advanced technology and showmanship, they also recorded a cascade of powerful albums that sold in millions around the world. 

During 2016 and 2017 the band’s musical legacy will be celebrated by BMG with an important and comprehensive re-issue program that will put the spotlight on ELP’s nine studio albums as well as their live recordings and compilations. The trio’s remarkable style, combining original compositions with rock, jazz, folk and classical influences.

Their phenomenal mix of melodic songs, dynamic arrangements, brilliant musicianship and electrifying sound broadened the audience for progressive rock and guaranteed ELP massive international appeal, as they headlined stadium tours throughout the 1970s and 1990s and achieved sales of over 40 million albums.

ELP also enjoyed two major hit singles with "Lucky Man" and "Fanfare For The Common Man," and their 21-minute epic track "Tarkus" is hailed as a milestone in prog rock history.

The group’s first three albums -- Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Tarkus and Pictures At An Exhibition -- are scheduled for re-release on Friday, July 29.

Accompanying these three albums is a special triple CD and download release The Anthology. Produced by Greg Lake, this career-spanning set has 39 tracks from the years 1970 to 1998, the choice of material approved by all three band members.

It is presented in special ‘casebound’ book packaging with detailed, informative sleeve notes by Chris Welch, illustrated with rare band photographs.

New and old generations of fans will now be able to enjoy ELP’s music afresh, as their albums are released in a range of different formats, from CD and freshly cut vinyl LP to digital download, high definition digital and mastered for iTunes.

Vinyl connoisseurs will be pleased that following a special request from Greg Lake, the LPs will be presented on 140 gsm vinyl to ensure a superior high quality sound. LP inner bag features an explanation of this by Lake.

All these albums now serve as a fitting memorial to Keith Emerson, who died aged 71 on March 10, 2016. When speaking about ELP’s career and achievements for the re-issue project he said: “Emerson, Lake and Palmer are very proud to have brought this great music to a new generation of musicians and fans.”

Monday, June 20, 2016

Ultimate Jam Night To Hold Fundraiser In Support Of Orlando LGBT Community

Ultimate Jam Night, the weekly free music show held at the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, will turn this Tuesday night (June 21) into a live broadcast fundraiser in support of Orlando, Florida’s LGBT Community.

The event is believed to be the first “real-time” worldwide digital fundraiser ever undertaken. Broadcast via Zinna Television, viewers can tune in, and donate money via Bravo Tip or Pay to support the Zebra Coalition, a Central Florida LGBT organization, simply by downloading an app, searching “Ultimate Jam Night” and selecting a donation amount. In real-time, funds are transferred from donor to the organization accounts without delay or middleman processing.

“We’re pleased that the rock music community could come together so quickly and completely in support of the Orlando LGBTQ community,” said Chuck Wright, creator of Ultimate Jam Night. “The shootings at Pulse Nightclub were senseless and our hope is that their community will feel love and aid coming all the way from the west coast.”

For up-to-the-minute news about the event please visit for updates leading up to Tuesday’s 8:00 PM showtime.

Ultimate Jam Night features a rotating cast of musicians assembled in an entirely unrehearsed setting. More information can be found by visiting

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Steve Miller Buries The Hatchet With Rock Hall...Or Did He?

Steve Miller was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April. However, as we soon learned, he wasn’t particularly pleased with the organization. From the stage of the induction ceremony, he called on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to include more women, and shortly afterwards, he criticized the Black Keys (who presented him at the event) and the Rock Hall itself. 

“I came out here for my fans,” Miller said. “I came out for the people who take it seriously. And if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wants to be taken seriously, they need to put their books out in the public. They need to f—— become transparent. They need to stop lying. They need to stop all the bulls— and they need to clean it up and they need to expand it. They need to include a lot more people. And the most important thing is the f—– board of this organization really needs to enlarge their gene pool. I think you understand.”

Now it appears Miller may have taken a step towards making amends.

Photos from the Rock Hall’s official Twitter account shows the artist with a School of Rock group from Cleveland.

Greg Harris, the President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum said in a prepared statement, “It was great to host 2016 Inductee Steve Miller at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and to show him what we do to honor rock history: [we] tell the stories of how it influenced all of us and use it to educate people of all ages. During his visit, we showed him the space dedicated to his godfather Les Paul, our featured exhibit 'Louder than Words: Rock, Power and Politics,' as well as the new 2016 Inductees exhibit, where we honor him and display some of his items. I think the highlight for everyone was seeing Steve jump on our stage to offer advice to young School of Rock students who were performing on our outside stage. Best of luck to Steve as he kicks off his 40-date tour here in the rock and roll capital!”

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is not the exact same as the Rock and Roll Foundation, which handles the Hall of Fame induction process. So while he may enjoy the actual museum, he may not have buried the hatchet with those responsible for deciding who gets inducted.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Heart's 'Dreamboat Annie' Reissued On Vinyl, Readies New Album

This year marks four decades since the U.S. release of Heart's groundbreaking debut album, Dreamboat Annie, which features classic songs like "Magic Man," Crazy On You," "White Lightning and Wine" and its ethereal title track. The album, originally released on the indie Vancouver-based label Mushroom Records in August 1975, became the springboard to the group's legendary Hall of Fame career.

Over 40 years later, Dreamboat Annie has been reissued on 180-gram heavyweight black vinyl in an old-school gatefold sleeve, including lyrics. For fans and record collectors, a red translucent vinyl version has been pressed and is limited to only 500 copies worldwide. It can only be purchased through the uDiscover online store.

The vinyl arrives just in time for the band's U.K. tour and a subsequent series of U.S. concerts with fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, starting in July. Tour dates are listed at

In July 8, Heart will be issuing a new album, their sixteenth and first on Concord Records, called Beautiful Broken, which finds Ann and Nancy Wilson exploring new songs, as well as taking some of their favorite "cherry picks" from their catalog and reimagining them.

The album spans a wide range of musical flavors, wrapped up in the Wilson sisters' unique brand of hard-hitting rock, and even draws a few friends of the band into the mix.  The title track features a guest vocal contribution by Metallica's James Hetfield with Ann Wilson, while another of the brand new songs, "Two," was penned by hip-hop artist, Ne-Yo.

The album, their first in four years, comes three years after Heart was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They have sold more records than any sister act in the history of popular music.

“As I told both Ann and Nancy (and the band), it was a master class in How It's Done. On the one hand, they were providing a shining example of how to aim high right out of the gate with your first album (Dreamboat Annie)," says William Duvall of Alice in Chains. "On another level, they were also giving Ninja lessons on how to maintain 30 years into the game."

Dreamboat Annie was an anomaly when it first came out. At a time when disco dominated the airwaves, Heart's debut album was an eclectic affair that ran the gamut from hard-core rockers to acoustic ballads, made all the more unique by two young women fronting a group that sounded more like a distaff Led Zeppelin.

Dreamboat Annie was released in Canada by Mushroom Records, following the success of the second single, "Magic Man," an autobiographical song about Ann Wilson leaving home for Vancouver to pursue a romance. "Magic Man" initially got airplay on a Montreal station, earning the band a slot opening for Rod Stewart in that city in October 1975.

To meet the demand, Mushroom Records formed a U.S. division, releasing the album in the U.S. in February 1976, attracting airplay in Seattle, and gradually spreading across the country, as the group went personally from station to station to promote it. Dreamboat Annie peaked at #7 on the Billboard 200 and went platinum, selling one million copies.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Morrison Hotel Gallery Partners With Mick Fleetwood For Maui Gallery

On June 30th, Morrison Hotel Gallery is honored to be joining forces with cultural icon Mick Fleetwood for a gallery opening at Fleetwood's General Store in Maui.

Fleetwood's is a boutique that incorporates the culture and style of the Hawaiian Islands with a world traveler's flair that only Mick Fleetwood can provide.

"Morrison Hotel Gallery is the real deal in fine art music photography," says Fleetwood. "It's a world I've lived and breathed my whole life, and thus serves as a constant reminder of how lucky I am to be part of that historical musical journey!!"

The parties will toast their partnership with an exhibit from award-winning and culture-defining photographer — and MHG co-founder — Henry Diltz, whose catalog includes album covers for the Doors, Crosby Stills and Nash, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and hundreds of others.

"Mick Fleetwood represents the artistic and authentic history of music as a true purveyor of taste and culture," says gallery co-founder Peter Blachley. "MHG has also been striving for many years to present those same qualities. We're delighted to be part of Fleetwood's General Store in Maui. It's going to be a wonderful pairing of brands."

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Opening Statements In Led Zeppelin Copyright Trial Could Lead To Mistrial

There's a dispute over whether a video played during first day of Led Zeppelin copyright trial was properly submitted as evidence.

The trial over whether Led Zeppelin copied the iconic guitar riff in "Stairway to Heaven" from Spirit's "Taurus" may end abruptly, after a video shown during opening statements sparked a discussion about a potential mistrial.

In previewing his case on behalf of Michael Skidmore, trustee for late Spirit songwriter Randy Wolfe, attorney Francis Malofiy, played a video of a man on the acoustic guitar. The man, an unnamed expert, plays the beginning of "Stairway to Heaven" then the bass line of "Taurus," followed by both videos synced.

Zeppelin's attorney Peter Anderson objected to the video, claiming it wasn't included in the joint list of exhibits submitted prior to trial.

Malofiy didn't deny it, but proceeded with playing the video despite technical difficulties.

U.S. District Court judge R. Gary Klausner bluntly said if the video really wasn't in the joint exhibit list, its use would be "grounds for a mistrial." It remains to be seen if Anderson will move for a mistrial after day one.

Earlier in his opening statements, Malofiy said the case comes down to six words: give credit where credit is due. He claims Wolfe wrote "Taurus," which fell "into the lovely hands" of Jimmy Page and became the iconic intro to "Stairway."

The "pink elephant in the room" -- as Malofiy described it -- is that the jury undoubtedly knows Zeppelin, Page and frontman Robert Plant. While Page and Plant are "incredible musicians" and "incredible performers," Malofiy says they're not songwriters and became famous by covering other bands' music and making it their own.

When Anderson took the podium, he pointed out that because this case is playing out decades after any alleged infringement, many witnesses have died and documents have been lost.

"Forty-five years ago Jimmy Page and Robert Plant wrote some of the greatest songs in rock and roll history ... half a century later, they're being sued for it," Anderson said, adding that there is still enough evidence "to show that history cannot be rewritten."

He also laid out several he intends to use including unclean hands, alleging the trust receives Wolfe's royalties because they were surreptitiously denied to his son. Even if the jury hears a similarity, he says the use would likely be de minimus, derivative or composed of uncopyrightable musical building blocks. Anderson also says Spirit members often covered The Beatles and their 1965 song "Michelle" also uses a similar chord progression to "Taurus," which was published later.

After opening statements, the songwriter's sister Janet Wolfe and Spirit band member Jay Ferguson took the stand. Their testimonies were largely focused on Wolfe's status as a "prodigy" (He wrote "Taurus" at the age of 15.) and when Led Zeppelin and Spirit performed on the same bill, presumably an attempt to show Page had access to Wolfe's song to hear it and later copy it. Although neither witness could definitively say if "Taurus" was performed during the handful of events or say Zeppelin band members saw the performance.

Skidmore, Page and Plant are expected to testify, along with Zeppelin member John Paul Jones, Spirit bassist Mark Andes and music producer Lou Adler.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Ultimate 'Band' Night Comes To Hollywood

Ultimate Jam Night, the free, long-running live music experience staged at the world-famous Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, continues to spice up the weekly gatherings with a variety of musical styles and themes. 

Tonight (June 14), for its 66th edition, the show's organizers are bringing in full bands for what they're calling “Ultimate Band Night.” The program will feature the Chamber Brothers performing their legendary hit “Time,” plus heavy metal titans Attika 7, Southern-flavored The Disreputable Few, Kicking Harold (who recently completed a tour with the Winery Dogs), and many others.

In addition to the bands, special guests expected to sit in include Ratt vocalist Stephen Pearcy,  King’s X's Dug Pinnick, Quiet Riot’s Alex Grossi, and keyboardist Ed Roth of Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats.”

As usual, the Ultimate Jam Night “house band” with bassist Chuck Wright of Quiet Riot, drummer Matt Starr of Mr. Big, guitarist Mitch Perry of MSG, and multi-instrumentalist Walter Ino of Survivor, will be there to back up any of the featured players.

“Ultimate Jam Night built its reputation by giving its audience a unique live music program that enlists a rotation of music’s greatest musicians performing unrehearsed.  That will continue during this show, and we’ll also add full bands to the bill,” founder Chuck Wright explains. “It’s our reward to the community by giving them bands representing multiple genres, for free.”

Held each Tuesday night on the Sunset Strip, Ultimate Jam Night has drawn some of music’s biggest names, including Van Halen's David Lee Roth, Cheap Trick's Robin Zander, and dozens more. Along with weekly jams, the organizers have also sponsored numerous community and charity-based events.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Eric Clapton Struggles Playing Guitar

Eric Clapton has revealed he is suffering incurable damage to his nervous system which has left him struggling to play his guitar.

The legendary rock guitarist, who has publicly fought addictions to cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs and alcohol, said that although he is grateful to be alive, he has been debilitated by his illness.

"I’ve had quite a lot of pain over the last year. It started with lower back pain, and turned into what they call peripheral neuropathy - which is where you feel like you have electric shocks going down your leg. 'And I’ve had to figure out how to deal with some other things from getting old."

Clapton, 71, said that it is now ‘hard work’ to play the guitar and he has had to ‘come to terms’ with the fact that his condition will not improve.

"Because I’m in recovery from alcoholism and addiction to substances, I consider it a great thing to be alive at all. By rights I should have kicked the bucket a long time ago, " he said. "'For some reason I was plucked from the jaws of hell and given another chance,"

He added that he can still play, but said, "it’s hard work sometimes, the physical side of it - just getting old, man, is hard."

The veteran rock guitarist first rose to fame in the 1960s with the bands John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, Cream and Blind Faith before launching a successful solo career in the 1970s.

While his career boomed in the Seventies, Mr Clapton’s personal life descended into addiction and a string of doomed affairs, including with model Pattie Boyd, who was married to Beatles guitarist George Harrison.

He converted to Christianity but his heroin addiction became so severe that he was forced to temporarily give up performing, famously passing out while performing at a charity concert in Madison Square Garden in 1971.

He told one reporter: "I don’t know how I survived - the 70s especially. 'There was one point there where they were flying me to hospital in St Paul [Minnesota] and I was dying, apparently - I had three ulcers and one of them was bleeding. I was drinking three bottles of brandy and taking handfuls of codeine, and I was close to checking out. It’s amazing that I’m still here, really."

Clapton married Boyd in 1979, giving up heroin but beginning his battle with alcoholism.

He described Boyd in his 2007 autobiography as a ‘salve-cum-partner’ and frequently beat her and forced her to have sex with him.

"I kind of regret losing an awful lot of time to just being a vegetable - pickled," he said.

In 1985 he had a love child with Yvonne Kelly, a manager at Associated Independent Recording, but it was not until his affair with Italian model Lory Del Santo was revealed that he divorced Pattie Boyd.

He married Melia McEnery in 2002, 31 years his junior, a former fashion sales executive. The couple have three daughters and a grandson together.

"My life is really blessed. I’ve got a wonderful family, a fantastically beautiful wife, in every way, great kids, and I can still play," he explained. "I love to play, still. I sit in the corner of our front room with a guitar, and I play in the morning and I rest in the afternoon... Life is good."

The guitarist, who has just released his 23rd album, I Still Do, said the record is far from a farewell to his career but the title is a tribute to friends, family and other musicians who have passed away in recent years.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Janis Joplin's Childhood Texas Home Can Be Yours For $500,000

A Southeast Texas house where blues and rock star Janis Joplin lived as a child is for sale for $500,000.

The Port Arthur home of Joplin, who died in 1970, has a Texas Historical Commission marker outside confirming she lived at the residence. Joplin was a preschooler when the family moved into the nearly 1,500-square-foot house.

Tax appraisal records value the home at $52,500. The seller hasn't been made public.

Officials with the Museum of the Gulf Coast were contacted about acquiring the house before it went on the market this month, but declined.

Museum official Sarah Bellian says not every house can be a museum. She cited upkeep costs and fundraising concerns.

Joplin's wildly painted 1964 Porsche 356C Cabriolet fetched $1.76 million during a December auction.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Who Is Not Endorsing 'Quadrophenia' Sequel

The members of the Who have denied reports that the band has endorsed a sequel to Quadrophenia, the 1979 film based on its own rock opera set around the clashes between rival gangs in 1960s Brighton.

Rumors of a sequel to the film – which starred Sting and Ray Winstone and became a cult hit – emerged in late May, with reports in the U.K. press that it would pick up the story 37 years on from the first and feature several members of the original cast, including Toyah Wilcox and Phil Daniels. In an interview with The Mirror, filmmaker Ray Burdis said he would be directing the film, based on the book To Be Someone, which he claimed had been given the blessing of the Who's Pete Townshend.

But Townshend, lead singer Roger Daltrey and Bill Curbishley (the Who's manager who produced the original Quadrophenia and, more recently, The Railway Man), have now rejected any suggestions they are backing the new film.

"Quadrophenia has an enduring appeal and will forever be the definitive mod film," Curbishley said in a statement on Wednesday. "Quadrophenia is a significant and influential film based on the Who’s music, not some Carry On franchise. Any follow-up to this film could only be made by the authors of the original and would need to be worthy of the name. This karaoke sequel announced recently in the press would be totally ridiculous."

Curbishley added that the new film wouldn't star Sting or Winstone or feature any words or music from the Who, describing it as a "blatant attempt to cash in" on the original's popularity.

Monday, June 6, 2016

ABBA Reunites, Performs For 50th Anniversary Party

The four members of ABBA have come together for an improbable performance. 

Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstad made a rare joint appearance on Sunday (June 5) for a celebration to mark the half-century since the legendary pop group was born.

The Swedish superstars were joined with other musicians, homegrown actors, celebrities and guests for a private party at the Berns Salonger hotel in downtown Stockholm, the Expressen reports.

It’s the second surprise ABBA reunion this year, after the former bandmates’ assembled Jan. 20 for the opening of Stockholm’s Mamma Mia! The Party.

On this occasion, however, the foursome shared a music-making moment not seen for decades, according to people who were in the room. Images of the former bandmates singing and embracing on stage have been circulated on social media though video of the performance has yet to emerge.

Ulvaeus and Andersson met for the first time on June 5 1966. A friendship grew, ABBA was formed and the rest is, well, history.

Beloved for their fashion-forward looks, perfect harmonies and timeless pop hooks, ABBA sold more than 380 million albums worldwide in a career that exploded in 1974 with its Eurovision Song Contest-winning performance of “Waterloo”.

The act split in 1982 and hasn't performed together since 1986. ABBA’s music has enjoyed a huge boost thanks to the lucrative Mamma Mia! stage show, which opened in 1999 in London and later became a Broadway hit. The jukebox musical has grossed more than $2 billion from more than 40 international stage adaptations and been seen by more than 55 million people.

Legend would have it the members of ABBA once turned down a $1 billion fee to reunite for a tour.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

AC/DC Singer Brian Johnson Tests Hearing Monitor With Hopes Of Returning To Band

AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson has said he is "amazed" after testing a new hearing device that could potentially allow him to reunite with the band.

Johnson was replaced with Guns 'n' Roses singer Axl Rose for the band's current Rock or Bust world tour, after medics warned that he was at risk of completely losing his hearing if he chose to continue.

But the singer has now tested a new in-ear monitor, and says that it could pave the way for his return to the band.

The revolutionary device is the brainchild of Asius Technologies founder Stephen Ambrose, who invited Johnson to test it.

The device works by removing static pressure and filtering audio until it is of a higher quality that is less likely to cause audible damage.

In a statement, Johnson said of the device: "It WORKS. It just totally works and you can’t argue with that. I was really moved and amazed to be able to hear music again like I haven’t heard for several years now. I can’t wait for it to be miniaturized so I can use it in every situation from normal communication, going out to noisy restaurants, to performing live music on stage."

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan & Tom Petty's Mudcrutch Storm Top Rock Albums Chart

Eric Clapton is back atop Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart (dated June 11) for the first time in nearly six years with I Still Do, which debuts with 44,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen Music. Clapton's 23rd solo studio album is his first No. 1 on Top Rock Albums since 2010's self-titled LP, which started with 47,000.

The new record also bows at No. 6 on the Billboard 200, arriving as Clapton's 16th top 10 title as a solo artist, dating to his first, 1972's History of Eric Clapton, which peaked at No. 6.

Clapton is followed on Top Rock Albums by two more legacy acts. Bob Dylan's Fallen Angels starts at No. 2 with 42,000 sold. His previous studio album, 2015's Shadows in the Night, debuted at No. 1 (50,000). The new set, Dylan's 37th solo studio release, features 12 covers. On the Billboard 200, Fallen Angels is Dylan's 22nd top 10 (No. 7), a tally begun with 1965's No. 6-peaking Bringing It All Back Home.

Fallen Angels also premieres at No. 1 on the newly renamed Americana/Folk Albums chart, where it's Dylan's record-extending sixth chart-topper, following 2009's Christmas in the Heart; 2010's The Bootleg Series Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964; 2012's Tempest; and 2015's Shadows in the Night and The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12: 1965-1966.

At No. 3 on Top Rock Albums, Mudcrutch, the pre-Heartbreakers band of rock stalwart Tom Petty, debuts with 32,000 sold of its sophomore release, 2. (Mudcrutch includes two Heartbreakers: Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench.) The band also hit No. 2 with its 2008 self-titled debut, recorded 37 years after the act's formation. On Americana/Folk Albums, 2 starts at, aptly, No. 2.

Concurrently, 2 lead single "Trailer" hitches itself to the top 20 of the Adult Alternative Songs airplay chart, rising 22-20. The group reached No. 6 on the tally in 2008 with "Scare Easy." ("Trailer" was originally planned for Petty and the Heartbreakers' 1985 album Southern Accents; they eventually released their version on the 1995 box set Playback.)

Petty and Dylan also debut at No. 39 on Top Rock Albums and No. 10 on Americana/Folk Albums with their collaborative Live On Air: Radio Broadcast 1986, a recording, released the first time, of a session originally broadcast on KSAN-FM San Mateo, Calif. Petty and Dylan, of course, combined as two-fifths of supergroup Traveling Wilburys, which released two sets in 1988 and 1990 (with the jangly "Trailer" recalling the Wilburys' classic sound).