Thursday, December 29, 2016

'Day Of The Doors' Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of Iconic L.A. Band

Fifty years to the day of the release of their debut album, January 4 will be proclaimed "Day Of The Doors" in the city of Los Angeles. The proclamation will be made Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin during a public event at the intersection of Pacific and Windward Avenues, the location of the iconic "Venice" sign. 

Founding Doors members John Densmore and Robby Krieger will be on hand at the event as will family members of the late Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison.

Formed in Venice, California, the Doors went on to become a definitive sound and voice of the 1960s and influence countless generations to come with classic songs such as "Light My Fire," "Break On Through (To The Other Side)," and, of course, "L.A. Woman."

Their story has been the subject of countless books and films, including the infamous 1991 film by Oliver Stone and the acclaimed 2010 documentary When You're Strange, narrated by Johnny Depp. The Doors are celebrating their 50th Anniversary in 2017, as their eponymous debut album was released on January 4, 1967 and is still considered to be one of the all-time-great rock and roll debuts.

"Very apropos that the Doors are jump-starting our 50th in Venice where we started," said Densmore. "Our songs sprang up out of the Pacific like beautiful, edible silver fish... and apparently the world took a big bite."

"Venice is a place where many have chased their pleasures or dug their treasures. It is a place that birthed The Doors and taught us all to cherish the funky, weird, and world-renowned vibe that Jim, Ray, Robby, and John helped make famous," said City Councilmember Bonin. "I am very happy to be amongst the feast of friends celebrating The Doors' 50th anniversary, and I thank the band, their management, and the Venice Chamber of Commerce for making this celebration possible."

Tuesday, December 27, 2016 2016 Post Holiday Gift Guide

Didn't get what you wanted this year? Got some extra money from Grandma? Feel like some new music? With so many Vintage Rock CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays to choose from, you'll be OK. Check out what we got.

Eight Days A Week
The Touring Years
(DVD & Blu-ray Disc)

The Beatles

I caught Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years when it first aired on Hulu in September 2016. Because of the high bar set by the extensively detailed Beatles Anthology series from 1995, I wondered what else could be said. To his credit, director Ron Howard put a unique spin on the chaos and mania that surrounded the Beatles when they were on the road. Pretty much everything else I have to say about it can be found at this review.
Now, just in time for the holidays, comes the DVD and Blu-ray release of Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years with the inevitable extras. The double-disc special edition features 100 minutes of extras. There are segments that explore the Lennon -McCartney songwriting team, as well as George Harrison’s contributions as a guitarist, musician and songwriter in his right. Then there’s rhe Beatles as a collective, their humor, women and their role as a musical movement. There’s quite a detailed look at the band’s roots in Liverpool and the friends who helped them. Ronnie Spector talks at length about hanging out with the Beatles.
Additional pieces include shooting A Hard Day’s Night, going to Australia and Japan, and playing Shea Stadium. Through it all, there are previously unseen interviews with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Paul Greengrass, Stephen Stark, Peter Asher, Malcolm Gladwell, Sigourney Weaver, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Curtis, Elvis Costello and many others. Throw in five performances of the Beatles in concert and a 64-page booklet with rare photos, and you have a sure hit with any Beatle fan on your list.
~ Shawn Perry

Rejoice! I’m Dead!


Rejoice! I’m Dead! is Gong’s first release since the death of founding member Daevid Allen. Lead by singer and guitarist Kavus Torabi, a man recruited by Allen himself, the band carries on in true Gong form, just as Allen himself had said he wanted them to before he died of cancer in 2015. The soaring guitar mover, “The Thing That Should Be,” goes right into the jumpy “Rejoice!,” which features some wild popping from bassist Dave Sturt, and a kinetic instrumental Middle-Eastern mid-section.
“Visions” is a true outer space volume pedal-and-atmospheric guitar instrumental soundscape. And you have to love the harmony-rich, sax bleating, sardonic lyrical send-up of “Insert Yr Own Prophecy.” The 28th studio release from Gong — Torabi, Sturt, Fabio Golfetti on guitar and vocals, Ian East playing wind instruments, and Cheb Nettles manning the drums — continue the legacy well into the future with Rejoice! I’m Dead!
~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

Live at The Royal Albert Hall
With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra


Heart has been racking up the frequent tour miles for the last few years. But after blowing minds, including President Obama’s, with their rendition of “Stairway To Heaven” at the Kennedy Center Honors and then being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, the band have ascended to a new level of respect and distinction — fitting enough to land them a sold-out gig at London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. And fortunately for those who couldn’t make the trek, it was all caught on film. Live At The Royal Albert Hall With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, now on DVD, Blu-ray, CD and digitally, captures Heart in their element, balancing sweet, pastoral melodies with heavy riffs and a full orchestra.
Singer Ann Wilson with her sister Nancy on guitar and vocals, are joined by drummer Ben Smith, bassist Dan Rothchild, guitarist Craig Bartock and keyboardist Chris Joyner mix it up with songs from the group’s most recent album, Beautiful Broken, including the title track, “Heaven” and “Two,” alongside classics like “Alone,” “What About Love,” “Barracuda,” “Magic Man” and “Dreamboat Annie,” which features Ann Wilson on flute. Playing the UK, it only seems natural Heart would nod their head to Led Zeppelin. They do so in style and reverence with a stirring cover of “No Quarter.” Even Grandma will dig this after a couple eggnogs.
~ Shawn Perry

All Night Long

Sammy Hagar

The remastered & reloaded All Night Long from Sammy Hagar will pretty much knock you back a few steps. Originally released in 1978 (and in 1979 as a UK-only version under the title Loud & Clear), this is Hagar and his band delivering hard and heavy 70s rock. With Bill Church on bass and background vocals, Alan ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald playing keys and backing vocals as well, Denny Carmassi on drums, and Gary Pihl on guitars and backing vocals, this live collection was originally released sans overdubs. On this remastering, it sounds pristine.
From the pounding “Red,” to Carmassi and Church beginning the chunk of “Rock ‘N’ Roll Weekend,” to the inclusion Montrose classics like “Make It Last” and a bad-ass arena rock sing-along, “Turn Up The Music,” it’s pretty much wailing guitars and rolling big drumming here. There’s even the obligatory poppy love tune, which became a monster hit for Rick Springfield, “I’ve Done Everything For You,” and the heaviest moment (and best tune for me personally), the over-the-top blues rock fire of “Young Girls Blues.” The slide work on “Bad Motor Scooter,” the second of two Montrose tunes, is over the top and a perfect closer for this sweet little live album.
~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

Peace Trail

Neil Young

You can’t keep Neil Young away from the studio, no matter how hard you try. So, the best thing to do is get out of the way and let the man have at it. Having issued the live Earth with Promise of the Real and booked for the Desert Trip festival, you’d think Young would take the rest of 2016 off. Instead, he got randy and put together 10 songs, brought in drummer Jim Keltner and bassist Paul Bushnell, went into Rick Rubin's Shangri-la Studios, and laid down tracks for Peace Trail, an album ripe with politics and humanity, many referencing the Standing Rock protests, the environment, oil and water, sparse and minimal in production and presentation. In other words, classic Neil Young.
Many of the songs on Peace Trail were played during Young’s fall shows in California, including Desert Trip. Where Promise of the Real did a lot of heavy lifting with this material, Young, Keltner and Bushnell’s attack is more basic, adding an intimate dynamic to the arrangements. Listen to Keltner’s scrubbing drums on “Indian Givers,” and you’ll understand why he’s one of the most in-demand session drummers in the history of rock and roll. After a while, you even begin to appreciate the simplicity of “Show Me,” “Texas Rangers” and “John Oaks,” along with the quirkiness of “My Pledge” and “My New Robot,” Which Young proudly states he bought off “” I remember seeing Young perform “Terrorist Suicide Hang Gliders” in Pomona two days before his second Desert Trip appearance. It had all the ingredients of everything that people like about Neil Young. On Peace Trail, it’s a little different. That’s exactly what I like about Neil Young.
~ Shawn Perry

57th & 9th


Sting’s 2016 studio release, 57th & 9th, is his 12th solo album from the former Police front man and his first rock release in over a decade. The record is filled with 10 songs, rendered in that expert and varied way that Sting can write and play. It was recorded in three months in a New York City, at a studio right near the intersection of 57th Street and 9th Avenue. Apparently, that was enough impetus to inspire Sting to work the intersection into the album’s title.
All the tunes, especially the ballads, get topical lyrics with a certain urgency. There’s the big poppy single “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You” and “Inshallah,” which reminds me very much of the Police’s “Bring On The Night.” “50,000” explores the death of too many of our best and brightest musicians dying this year (the lyrics are not one of Sting’s best, sorry to say). There are also those solid and heavy moments where Sting rocks out. It’s great to hear him sing songs like the ballsy “Petrol Head.” It’s equally awesome to have him rolling his beautiful voice around “The Empty Chair,” the acoustic ballad that ends 57th & 9th. Yeah, It’s good to have Sting back in the world of rock and roll.
~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

Time Stand Still


If you want to get the inside skinny on the history of Rush, 2010’s Beyond The Lighted Stage does a decent job of hitting the milestones and digging up the dirt (not that there’s a lot of dirt to dig up on Rush). However, if you want to get to the crux of why and how Rush ended their 40-year career, and see hardcore fans crushed and genuinely in tears at their final show, Time Stand Still has the answer. Narrated by Paul Rudd, the film provides an intimate look into the band’s sold-out “R40” tour, their unique relationship with fans and themselves, stories from the road, and, sadly, details about drummer Neil Peart’s decision to quit touring due to the physical demands of drumming at the expected Neil Peart level on an aging body. While there are bits and pieces of performances, the focus of the film falls squarely on everything that goes on around the music — Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart, their crew, their fans and their emotional farewell.
As is often the case with Rush, there’s plenty of Canadian-style humor to go with that. In one instance, longtime lighting director Howard Ungerleider talks about how Lifeson used to put a paper bag on his head and make Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley laugh. But the film goes beyond the antics of the band to specific fans who worship at the alter of Rush. It all comes to a head in Los Angeles as fans talk about the role Rush plays in their lives, their favorite Rush songs, their favorite Rush albums, their favorite Rush moments. Between the band and the flock, there’s a bond unlike few others. After a limited theatrical run, Time Stand Still is now on Blu-ray Disc and DVD. The 67-minute bonus footage from the 1990 Presto tour (dubbed Live From The Rabbit Hole) makes this one sweet package to gift yourself or someone who will freely loan it to you for an extended period of time.
~ Shawn Perry

Take It On Faith

Gary and Dale Rossington are back with Take It On Faith. Featuring Gary Rossington’s signature electric blues and slide sound and his wife’s strong voice, this is a 12-song CD celebrating redemption and love in all its permutations. There are torchers like “Should Have Known” and the pretty acoustic ballad “Take It On Faith,” featuring some pristine Rossington acoustic slide. There’s the big piano gospel number “Light A Candle.” Delbert McClinton lends his harmonica to the honky tonkin’ “Dance While Your Cookin’.” Dale Rossington gets nice and nasty knowing she’s been done wrong on “Something Fishy. ”
On this album, we get well-crafted tunes in a southern rock blues mix. The Rossingtons get in and out fast on these dozen. They say what they have come to say, Dale Rossington belts out the stories in a voice that has grown lower but certainly more interesting with age, and we hear Gary Rossington wail round the solid backing of his players in a way we haven’t heard him do since the golden old days of the original Lynyrd Skynyrd.
~ Ralph Greco. Jr.

Your Turn To Remember:
The Definitive Anthology 1970-1990

Uriah Heep

For the uninitiated, Uriah Heep is a classic 70s British hard rock band that falls somewhere between Deep Purple and Queen. They carry on to this day with guitarist Mick Box, the band’s sole original member, leading the way. Back in the 70s, however, they were serious contenders, along with Purple, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin in the British hard rock sweepstakes, pumping out records and touring the world. With the deaths of bassist Gary Thain in 1975 and singer David Byron in 1985, and departure of keyboardist and songwriter Ken Hensley, the band’s revolving-door lineup and instability started to take its toll in the 80s. Nevertheless, they carried on, making records and earning a cult status in Europe. Your Turn To Remember: The Definitive Anthology 1970-1990 covers two pivotal decades — the 70st defined their rise, the 80s, despite a few stumbles, defined their sustainability
Fans and novices alike will probably favor the first disc of this two-pack set. This is where the classic Heep asserts its might. Tracks like “Gypsy,” “Lady In Black,” “July Morning,” ‘Easy Livin’,” “The Wizard” and “Stealin’” all showcase Byron’s operatic vocals, Hensley’s heavy-handed keyboards, and Box’s glistening guitar work. This was most certainly the band’s heyday, with albums like Demons And WizardsThe Magician’s Birthday, and Sweet Freedom denting the album charts and pushing the group to the forefront. The second disc is, for the most part, underwhelming. Some speculate things started to unravel when John Lawton replaced Byron in 1977. Frankly, light and airy songs like “Free Me,” “Come Back To Me” and “It Ain’t Easy” were feeble attempts to become more listener-friendly. For longtime Heepsters, it pretty much fell on deaf ears. Singers like John Sloman, Peter Goalby and the band's current vocalist Bernie Shaw did little to move the group forward, but, as Your Turn To Remember: The Definitive Anthology 1970-1990 shows, hidden nuggets like “Too Scared To Run” and “The Other Side Of Midnight” retained the Heep’s edge and kept them going. Whichever way you go, there’s no question this set offers a complete picture of Uriah Heep in all their glory and gumption.
~ Shawn Perry

Searching For The Spark

Steve Hillage

Since he began playing guitar in the early 1960s, through his time with Gong and beyond as a solo artist and one half of System 7, Steve Hillage has shown the world what it truly means to be “progressive.” The sprawling 22-disc Searching For The Spark box set shines a light on Hillage’s prolific career. There’s Hillage’s eight solo albums, System 7’s debut, plus a whopping seven discs of live material, and four more filled with demos and archive recordings. Highlights include Hillage’s alluring cover of George Harrison’s “It’s All Too Much,” the mind-bending, spacey “Aftaglid (Tambura Backing Track Mix),” and a load of stellar live material featuring Hillage and his band at the Hammersmith in London in 1979.
Accompanying the CDs is a beautiful 188-page coffee-table book, written and assembled by Hillage and Gong family expert Jonny Greene. The rest of the package includes three promo posters, two lyric booklets, a high quality enamel badge, a 60-page scrap book containing more photos and cuttings, and a certificate of authenticity signed by Steve Hillage and his creative partner Miquette Giraudy. This one-of-a-kind Steve Hillage set is limited to 2500 copies, so you better hurry if you want one for yourself and or a close loved one.
~ Ralph Greco, Jr. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Woodstock Festival Site Nominated For Historic Registers

The site of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival is one of the properties in New York nominated to the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the nominations Tuesday, December 20, of 26 properties, resources and districts by the New York State Broad of Historic Preservation.

The sites include the Woodstock site in rural Bethel in Sullivan County, where some 400,000 fans gathered on rolling farmland for three days of rock music in August 1969. Also nominated is the Niagara Power Project Historic District, a major 20th-century engineering feat stretching along the Niagara River.

Landing a place on the registers can help property owners and organizations secure preservation grants and historic rehabilitation tax credits from the state and federal governments.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

More Inductees Added To Hall Of Heavy Metal History Ceremony

Metal Blade Records, the Scorpions, and the Rainbow Bar and Grill have just joined the list of inductees into the 2017 Hall of Heavy Metal History.

The induction ceremony will take place on Wednesday, January 18, 2017, at the Anaheim Expo Center in Anaheim, CA.  National DJ Eddie Trunk will host the event.

Performing at the ceremony will be Dio Disciples featuring Craig Goldy, Simon Wright. Scott Warren, Bjorn Englen, Tim 'Ripper' Owens, and Joe Retta.  Ross "The Boss" (band), will also be performing, which features guitarist Ross 'The Boss' Friedman, Rhino (formerly of Manowar), vocalist Marc Lopes, and Mike LePond (Symphony X).  Surprise artists will also take part in the event. Supporting bands include Budderside, and LA rockers Diamond Lane.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund.

The 2017 Hall of Heavy Metal History inductees include:

  • Ronnie James Dio "Rainbow" "Black Sabbath" "Dio" (with Wendy Dio accepting)
  • Metal Blade Records (with Brian Slagel accepting)
  • Scorpions (with drummer Mikkey Dee accepting)
  • Rainbow Bar and Grill (with Rainbow Bar and Grill owner Mikael Maglieri accepting)
  • Lemmy Kilmister  "Motörhead" (with manager Todd Singerman accepting)
  • Ross "The Boss" Friedman, formerly of Manowar
  • Rudy Sarzo, formerly of Ozzy Osbourne and Whitesnake 
  • Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot, (there will also be a special 33rd anniversary induction of Quiet Riot as the first heavy metal band to go to #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 album chart).
  • Vinny Appice, formerly of Black Sabbath and Dio
  • Don Airey of Deep Purple 
  • Andy Zildjian, president  and CEO of Sabian Cymbals
  • Randy Rhoads, Ozzy Osbourne's first guitarist (with the Rhoads family members accepting)

"The induction of Ronnie into the annual Hall of Heavy Metal History is indeed an honor, and I know Ronnie would have been very proud," says Wendy Dio. "On behalf of the board of directors of the Ronnie James Dio Stand up and Shout Cancer Fund, we thank you for your support and donation. Every penny will go to cancer research and education, to hopefully one day find a cure for this horrible disease that takes the lives of so many of our loved ones."

"Our family is so deeply honored to have Randy inducted into the Hall of Heavy Metal History," says Kathy and Kelle Rhoads." To think that after all these years since he has passed, he is STILL remembered and respected is totally awesome. His passion for music continues to inspire so many. It was always about the "music" for him. He would be speechless about this award, and so would our mom!!"

A press conference and General Admission entrance will commence at 6:30 PM. The induction ceremony will take place from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM. A VIP meet and greet with the inductees will take place after the ceremony.

Tickets are $25 for general admission and $100 for both general admission and the VIP meet And greet. VIP tickets include special VIP seating, pictures and autographs with the inductees, a gift bag with an official VIP pass, an official poster, an official T-shirt, an official program, and additional sponsored items.

For tickets, please go to

For more information, please email or call 973-725-5150.

Addtional resources:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Yes, ELO, Journey, Joan Baez, Pearl Jam To Be Inducted Into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Yes, Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, Joan Baez, Pearl Jam and Tupac Shakur will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s class of 2017. The six acts will officially join the club at the Rock Hall’s 32nd annual induction ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 7. Excerpts from the event will be broadcast by HBO.

The induction of Yes, following two previous nominations, will occur one year shy of the legendary progressive rock band's 50th anniversary.

"What an honor this is for us and all involved with the history of this band," Yes guitarist Steve Howe said. "We thank all the Yes fans who have been so passionate over the decades, and helped us to keep the flag flying. It is the fans who have constantly demanded our inclusion. They have been heard."

"We look forward to accepting this esteemed award next spring in honor of our fallen brother, Chris Squire, who would have been delighted to see his musical vision finally receive such recognition," drummer Alan White added.

Members who were part of the "Union" tour will be inducted. This includes current members White and Howe, the band's late bassist and founding member Chris Squire, and former members Jon Anderson (vocals), Bill Bruford (drums), Tony Kaye (keyboards), Rick Wakeman (keyboards) and Trevor Rabin (guitar).

Howe, White and Wakeman are all featured in the new book, Conversations With The Masters: The Interviews.

Electric Light Orchetra's induction follows leader Jeff Lynne’s successful revival of the brand, and his return to touring, including two sold-out nights at the Hollywood Bowl.

“I’m very proud to see my ELO music getting this great recognition,” said Lynne, who already has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “It’s a big honor to be nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.”

It's not entirely clear who else from ELO will join Lynne in the hall, although it's likely co-founding members Roy Wood (multiple instruments) and Bev Bevan (drums)

Journey, whose “Don’t Stop Believin’” has become one of rock’s most enduring power ballads, was nominated for the first time, despite having been eligible for 16 years.

"We'll be in the middle of a big tour, but we'll be there," the band's original and present guitarist Neal Schon told Rolling Stone magazine. "I'm hoping that Steve Perry will get up and do something with us. We'll have to see."

Gregg Rolie (keyboards), who co-founded Journey (and was inducted with Santana), is also featured in Conversations With The Masters: The Interviews.

Joan Baez he is the only woman among the inductees this year, and she is only the third to be inducted over the last four ceremonies. Baez's entry raises the possibility of an induction speech by Bob Dylan.

No word has come from Pearl Jam, although guitarist Mike McCready told Rolling Stone in May: "It would be a great honor,"

Pearl Jam, part of Seattle's grunge movement, found success early with Ten, their 1991 debut that went on to sell more than 13 million copies. Eddie Vedder (vocals), Stone Gossard (guitars), Mike McCready (guitar) and Jeff Ament (bass), along with original drummer Dave Krusen and current drummer Matt Cameron will be part of the band's induction.

Tupac Shakur, who was murdered in 1996, is the sixth hip-hop artist to join the hall of fame. At press time, it is unclear who will accept the award for Shakur.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Beatles Fan To Sell 15,000 Items Of Memorabilia

A French Beatles fan is set to sell 15,000 items of memorabilia, hoping that it will pay for his retirement.

Jacques Volcouve will see his collection of 15,000 records, signed books, posters, autographs, figurines and memorabilia go on sale at the prestigious Drouot auction house in Paris in March 2017.

Speaking to The Observer, Volcouve said; “The Beatlemania bug bit me and I was never cured of it. I listened to the album and I thought the music was incredible. From then on, I wanted everything to do with the Beatles: records; newspaper clips, posters, memorabilia… everything.”

Volcouve’s career as France’s foremost “Beatles historian” began in the early 1970s, after he kept calling a French radio station to point out errors in a BBC series about the Beatles that they were airing, and was invited into the studio.

“What I wanted...was to share my pleasure and passion for the Beatles and in some way make sure that everything said about them was correct,” he said. “I took in some of the recordings I had and the radio station had its archives, and we added material to the BBC series [The Beatles Story] so that the 12 hours that was broadcast in the UK became 18 hours of material in France. It was so successful that it was re-broadcast twice in the same year.

“From then on, I was introduced to everyone as the Beatles specialist,” he revealed. Volcouve has met Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr in person and claims to have met Yoko Ono.

“The Beatles were a cultural renaissance. In my view, everything we have today in the way of artistic culture goes back to them,” Volcouve said. “For me personally, their importance is that while other musicians gave people pleasure, the Beatles gave people happiness.”

“I don’t want to sound bitter but I gave my life to them [the band] and I’ve never had any recognition or help, not even a free ticket to a concert,” said Volcouve. “For many years I was insufferable because all I talked about was the Beatles. I tried to find a professional job but in the end I was always the ‘Beatles historian’, and every time I had any money I spent it on Beatles stuff.”

“Still, George [Harrison] told me in 1977 that if just one person appreciates your work then it hasn’t been a waste of time, and I know the things I have done over the last 40 years have been important to many people,” he continued.

“John wrote a song for Ringo that was never published about life beginning at 40. For me, life will begin at 60. I will go on loving the Beatles but the collection had become like an octopus whose tentacles were strangling me.

“I hope the sale will give me enough money to live on decently until I die, and my collection will have a new life with someone else,” Volcouve said.

The auction of his Beatles collection will be held at the Hotel Drouot on March 18, 2017.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Rockline Host, Veteran DJ Bob Coburn Dies

Rockline host and LA-based radio DJ Bob Coburn, known as the “Godfather of Rock and Roll,” has died. He was 68.

Earlier this year, Coburn had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. He spent most of his radio career at 95.5 KLOS in Los Angeles. He was also a DJ at the legendary 94.7 KMET.

Coburn started his radio career in the late 60s near his hometown of Dallas, then did stints in Chicago and San Diego before landing at KLOS, where he spent two stints as air talent. Most recently, he held the KLOS airshift of weekday mornings from 9:30 to noon as well as hosting his syndicated program Rockline.

Coburn also had credited work on several films including “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” and “The Million Dollar Duck” in 1971,”Motel Hell” in 1980, and “Night Tracks” in 1983.

From the KLOS website:
"The outpouring of love and support for this man has been truly beautiful, and we are saddened to announce that our family member and friend, Bob Coburn passed away today at 12:32 P.M. Bob was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer earlier this year, and while he has been fighting like a champion ever since, all rock and roll journeys eventually come to an end.  He wasn’t in pain and he was with his family.  Today the music world lost a legend and he will forever be in our hearts. Rest easy, BC, we love you!"

Friday, December 16, 2016

Rare Plant Named After Jimi Hendrix

California researchers have named a newly discovered rare plant after Jimi Hendrix.

The plant, found in Baja California, Mexico, has been christened Dudleya hendrixii, or "Hendrix's liveforever."

Liveforevers are a kind of succulent with enormous life spans.

This one is a stalky plant less than a foot tall with pinkish-white flowers that dies in summer and re-sprouts in fall.

San Diego State University says a former graduate student, Mark Dodero, discovered the plant -- supposedly while listening to Hendrix's song "Voodoo Child."

The university says Dodero and Stephen McCabe of the University of California, Santa Cruz, decided to name it for the late rock guitarist.

However, unlike Hendrix's music, the plant is in peril. San Diego State says its two-acre habitat is threatened by farming, off-road vehicles and development.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

“Rockin' The City of Angels” Book Packed With Led Zeppelin, Queen, David Bowie, Pink Floyd & More

First-time author and lifelong music fanatic, Douglas Harr has brought together his words and observations alongside 500 images, covering a refreshingly broad cross section of 1970s iconic rock and roll artists in a new book called Rockin’ The City Of Angels: Celebrating the Great Rock Shows of the 1970s In Concert, On Record and On Film. 

“The 1970s were a time when rock bands made expansive concept records with sweeping themes,” Harr says. “Rock albums back then promised ‘theater of the mind,’ and their creators were inspired to mount elaborate stage shows that brought these dreams to life. I caught many of these concerts in Los Angeles. They were almost religion to me and masses of fellow concert-goers.”

The book celebrates more than 30 incredible performances, including key tours by bands such as Led Zeppelin, Queen, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Genesis, Heart, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, The Who and Yes.

These myth-making moments are presented here by a hand-picked collection of brilliant images by the best photojournalists of that time, including Richard E. Aaron, Jorgen Angel, Fin Costello, Armando Gallo, Neal Preston, Jim Summaria, Lisa Tanner and Neil Zlowzower, among many others.

“I spent 2 years in basements, agencies, and sometimes bands' homes, combing through hundreds of slides to find the best concert photos from that time, now so long ago,” Harr shares.

In addition, RTCOA includes written commentary reflecting on these legendary concerts with reviews of the best concert video documents filmed during the era.

This 396-page book is thoughtfully divided into three sections. “Rock Gods & Entertainers” features bands like The Who, Stones, Zep, Tull, Bowie, Queen, and AC/DC. “Shamans, Storytellers, and Mellow Rockers” explores the concerts of Genesis, Yes, Cat Stevens, Eagles, Heart, Supertramp, Kansas, and more. Lastly, “Virtuosos & Classic Rockers” brings to life performances by ELP, King Crimson, ELO, Dixie Dregs, Kate Bush and many of their peers. This is the perfect gift for those who were there—or wish they were there—for that magical time.

Harr is a staff writer for Gonzo Weekly magazine, part of the Gonzo Multimedia label in England. He's also contributed articles and photographs to Expose Magazine and Something Else Reviews in the U.S.

His writings and photos are also captured in his weekly blog at He is an aficionado of progressive and classic rock music from the early 1970s and a frequent concert patron who has attended more than 400 shows during his lifetime.

He was classically trained on the piano for seven years before transitioning to college and full-time “music patron” status.

Besides music publications, Harr’s written work is also featured in technology books, including CIO Perspectives and Data Insights: New Ways to Visualize and Make Sense of Data, and in his blog on music and technology Alternative IT. All this has been a part of a 30-plus year career as a technology executive and patron of the rock ‘n’ roll arts.

This coffee-table book is nearly the size of an LP album cover, 396 pages, over 500 images, written by Douglas Harr, designed by Tilman Reitzle. Foreword by Armando Gallo.

Customers pre-ordering before December 20 will receive a signed commemorative postcard which can be used as a gift, just in time for the season.

The release date is January 13, 2017

For more information:

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Spinal Tap's Harry Shearer & Judith Owen Present 'Christmas Without Tears (Does This Tree Make Me Look Fat?)'

Welsh-born, Los Angeles-based pianist and singer-songwriter Judith Owen and her husband, actor and humorist Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, Spinal Tap) are spreading their special brand of yuletide cheer with their Christmas Without Tears 2016 Tour. 

What Owen describes as “an antidote to Xmas,” the witty and heartwarming show features an all-star array of friends and guests dropping into Owen and Shearer’s onstage living room to share a song, a story or a laugh – a perfect mix that makes for a true variety show.

After kicking off on December 8 with a date at the Kings Place Concert Hall in London, the two are back in the United States for four shows. This past Sunday (December 11), they appeared in Evanston, IL.

This coming Saturday (December 17), they'll be in Los Angeles, at Largo at the Coronet. Joining Shearer and Owen will be special guests Rebecca Corry, Godfrey Daniels, Amy Engelhardt, Julia Fordham, John Michael Higgins, Jane Lynch, Doña Oxford, Schoolcraft and Murray, and Fred Willard. The house band features musical director CJ Vanston will lead Joe Pusateri on percussion, Leland Sklar on bass, Michael Thompson on guitar, plus surprise musicians.

This show will benefit My Friend's Place, an LA-based charity that assists and inspires homeless youth to build self-sufficient lives.

Two more shows will follow on  Thursday, December 22, and Friday, December 23, in New orleans at Le Petit Théâtre Du Vieux Carré.

A reverent and irreverent antidote to the most stressful of seasons, each evening includes both invited performers and surprise guests who drop into Shearer and Owen's onstage living room and share a song or a joke to bring the holiday spirit to all. Song selections range from the sentimental ("Winter Wonderland” and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas") to the irreverent ("F&*k Christmas” and "Jesus Was a Dreidel Spinner”).

Past revelers have included Mario Cantone, Alan Cumming, Donald Fagen, Béla Fleck, Christopher Guest, Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, Stephen Merchant, Tim Minchin, Paul Shaffer, Martin Short, Richard Thompson, and Weird Al Yankovic, to name but a few.

This Yuletide tradition started in 2005 with a Disney Hall benefit in support of the people of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

All proceeds go to charities, with performances from the 2016 U.S. Tour benefiting the Greater Chicago Food Depository, My Friend’s Place, Le Petit Théâtre Du Vieux Carré and the New Orleans Musicians Clinic & Assistance Foundation.

A throwback to simpler times, this homespun variety show is both festive romp and salve for the soul, serving as a reminder to all that Christmas is a time to be with the ones you love…and sometimes, even family!

For more information, please visit:

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Monterey Pop Festival's 50th Anniversary To Be Honored With Musical Performances, Art Exhibits, Special Events

It was 50 years ago this coming June that people from all over gathered together for the first commercial American rock festival and the cornerstone event marking the Summer of Love. The Monterey Pop Festival has been credited for changing music history and later becoming the inspiration for subsequent music festivals including the iconic Woodstock Music Festival just two years later.

Now, 50 years later, Monterey is expecting to bring that energy back to the peninsula by celebrating the Summer of Love with several special events, including musical performances and art exhibits.

Organizers are planning the main celebration for the weekend of June 16-18, 2017, exactly 50 years to the day from the original Monterey Pop Festival. The 50th anniversary celebration will be held at the original venue, the Monterey County Fairgrounds, and is expected to draw about 11,000 attendees per day.

"I hope this year has the same attitude that was there 50 years ago. We want the anniversary to be a joyful time," says John McCleary of the Monterey History and Art Association Board of Directors. "It will be an international event. People from all over love our music."

McCleary was among the attendees who experienced the Monterey Pop Festival 50 years ago, and he has continued to be involved in recognizing the Monterey Pop Festival over the years as well as in the planning process for this upcoming summer.

Most of the celebratory events will be happening May through September of 2017 with the intent of honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival all summer long. However, the Feeling Groovy exhibit at the Monterey Regional Airport is the first of several exhibits recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival. It officially opened to the public this December. Exhibit visitors will journey back to the 1960's with collections that reflect music, entertainment and home life in Monterey Country during the 60's including items that will make you journey back to that iconic weekend in June of 1967.

"Everything you have ever heard about it was true. Jimi Hendrix was outstanding and so powerful. I have never seen anything like that.  Janis Joplin was simply amazing and Otis Redding's energy was explosive. It was a really big deal," photographer Tom G. O'Neal recalls his experience at the Monterey Pop Festival of 1967.

For more information on the Summer of Love 2017 and events, visit

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Rolling Stones Earn Record-Extending 37th Top 10 Album On Billboard 200 Chart

The Rolling Stones notch their record-extending 37th top 10 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as the band’s new set, Blue & Lonesome, debuts at No. 4.

The blues covers effort starts with 123,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Dec. 8, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 120,000 were traditional album sales.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Dec. 24-dated chart (where Blue & Lonesome bows at No. 4) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

Blue & Lonesome -- which is the band’s first album of all-new recordings since 2005’s A Bigger Bang -- marks the group’s 37th top 10 effort. No act has earned more top 10 albums in the history of the chart. In second place on the all-time tally is Barbra Streisand, with 34.

Blue & Lonesome is the band’s first new top 10 since A Bigger Bang debuted and peaked at No. 3 with 129,000 copies sold in its first week. (It was also the last album of new tunes written by the group.)

Blue & Lonesome’s first-week launch of 120,000 is particularly robust for a few reasons. First, it’s a covers set, which sometimes draw less fanfare than albums of wholly new material. Plus, it comes over a decade after A Bigger Bang, so it proves there is still an audience for new music by the Stones. Further, as album sales in the U.S. fell 61 percent between 2005 and 2015, it makes the Stones’ start even more solid -- Blue & Lonesome’s sales bow is just 9,000 copies fewer than the launch of A Bigger Bang over 10 years ago.

Of course, it’s not as if the Stones have been off the radar for the past decade on vacation. The band has reissued a number of albums in expansive deluxe sets (including Exile on Main St., Some Girls and Sticky Fingers), toured the world a few times, and released live albums and greatest hits compilations.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Bob Dylan Sends Warm Words But Skips Nobel Prize Ceremonies

From the New York Times

For Bob Dylan, the nagging question of whether his songs qualify as literature was settled for good on Saturday at the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm — and his presence was not required to make the case.

As the always-slippery folk singer forewarned, he was not there to receive the 2016 prize in literature, but he sent a warm, humble statement accepting the honor, which was read by Azita Raji, the American ambassador to Sweden, at an evening banquet in Stockholm.

Invoking William Shakespeare, whom Mr. Dylan imagined to have been too consumed with practical matters — “How should this be staged?” “Where am I going to get a human skull?” — to bother with whether what he was doing was literature, Mr. Dylan wrote: “I too am often occupied with the pursuit of my creative endeavors and dealing with all aspects of life’s mundane matters. ‘Who are the best musicians for these songs?’ ‘Am I recording in the right studio?’ ‘Is this song in the right key?’ Some things never change, even in 400 years.

“Not once have I ever had the time to ask myself, ‘Are my songs literature?’” Mr. Dylan, 75, concluded. “So, I do thank the Swedish Academy, both for taking the time to consider that very question, and, ultimately, for providing such a wonderful answer.”

Earlier in the day, the Swedish Academy defended its nontraditional selection of a musician — and a seemingly uninterested one, at that — for the literary honor. (In his prepared remarks, Mr. Dylan would acknowledge his own inscrutable silence for two weeks after the prize was announced in October: “I was out on the road when I received this surprising news, and it took me more than a few minutes to properly process it.”)

In a speech in front of about 1,500 guests, including the Swedish royal family, Horace Engdahl, a member of the Nobel Committee, called Mr. Dylan “a singer worthy of a place beside the Greek bards, beside Ovid, beside the Romantic visionaries, beside the kings and queens of the blues, beside the forgotten masters of brilliant standards.

“If people in the literary world groan,” Mr. Engdahl added, “one must remind them that the gods don’t write, they dance and they sing.”

Mr. Engdahl’s speech was followed by a fittingly imperfect Patti Smith, who delivered an estimable Dylan impression on his 1963 song, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall,” but also proved his inimitable nature, flubbing a lyric and halting the performance midway through. “I’m sorry,” she said before resuming. “I’m so nervous.” Still, some in the audience could be seen crying as she finished the song accompanied by a string section.

At the same time, Mr. Dylan, who cited only “pre-existing commitments” when he finally declined the Nobel invitation, was being spoken about in near-mythical terms outside of Stockholm, as well.

Exactly where the singer was on Saturday during the Scandinavian festivities — which included an evening banquet, with its traditional parade of desserts, after the afternoon white-tie award ceremony — remained a mystery. He was not where he can most reliably be found these days — onstage — as his most recent batch of tour dates ended before Thanksgiving.

But even with no public appearances scheduled, Mr. Dylan was also a spectral presence around his other, more private, known haunts. Neighbors at properties across the country that are registered in Mr. Dylan’s name or that of his management company described a local legend who was hard to pin down and rarely, if ever, seen — somewhere between Thomas Pynchon and Sasquatch.

Outside of a gated home in Malibu, Calif., owned, according to local tax records, by Robert Dylan, a self-described security guard offered cryptically, “What you’re looking for doesn’t exist here anymore.”

Locals, however, described the folk legend as a phantom-like presence who had been seen intermittently in recent years.

On Saturday morning during the Nobel ceremony, the home where Mr. Dylan is thought to live received visitors, including a white pickup truck advertising plumbing services. Two S.U.V.s also gained entrance beyond the prominent “No Trespassing” sign and security cameras, but a voice on the intercom denied Mr. Dylan was inside.

About 2,000 miles away, in Hanover, Minn., a few hours south of his native Hibbing, Mr. Dylan’s legend also loomed, though his corporeal presence remained elusive. At a property associated with Mr. Dylan’s companies, where his brother, David, is thought to live, a private drive lined with pine trees led to multiple buildings decorated for the holidays with lights and blowup Christmas characters.

A half-mile down the road was the Hilltop Bar, the one place in town that locals could agree Mr. Dylan had patronized. But the owner, who declined to give his name, said he had not served Mr. Dylan in a few years.

Nearby, at the Tom Thumb gas station, there were whispers that Mr. Dylan had been around town over Thanksgiving, though no one could say why he missed the Nobel events, which also included news conferences and an earlier meeting with President Obama.

Still, Mr. Dylan has not yet entirely ducked the Swedish Academy. To receive the award, which comes with 8 million Swedish krona, or about $870,000, Nobel laureates are required to give a lecture on their subject within six months of Saturday’s ceremonies, and though the academy said it had nothing on the books yet, there was hope.

“There is a chance that Bob Dylan will be performing in Stockholm next year, possibly in the spring,” the academy said in a statement, “in which case he will have a perfect opportunity to deliver his lecture. We will post more information as soon as we have it.”

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Jimi Hendrix's Gear To Be Auctioned Off On New Year's Day

A part of rock 'n roll history will be auctioned on New Year's Day when one of Jimi Hendrix's treasured wah-wah pedals and an amplifier he used in the studio go up for auction at J. Levine Auction & Appraisal in Scottsdale. 

The consignor, "Amp Doctor" Dave Weyer, built the wah-wah pedal for Hendrix prior to Woodstock, and said the amplifier he repaired and modified for Hendrix was originally used to record songs during his early days with the Jimi Hendrix Experience and used as a preamp later.

"We've spent a lot of time reviewing the provenance, listening to audio recordings, and examining photos and films from Woodstock, and we are confident that this was the wah-wah pedal Jimi used during Woodstock," said Antoine Gedroyc, J. Levine's instruments and audio manager and consignment specialist. "It's an honor and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent such an important part of music and American history."

Weyer worked with many great artists, including Hendrix, Neil Young, Crosby Stills and Nash, Burritos Bothers, Vanilla Fudge, Three Dog Night, Ike and Tina Turner, and other rock legends of that era. Well-respected in his industry for his technical prowess, he started his career working for Thomas Organ Company. He moved to Los Angeles in 1968 and began working for Jerry Sanders, owner of West Coast Organ and Amp.

In 1969, Weyer knew Vox was coming out with a new wah-wah pedal and wanted to create a special one for Hendrix.

"Like many techs of the period, I wanted to keep my secrets for possible future business, or even just to create a mystique around the particular item to create musician interest, so I sanded off the small printing on the transistors, making them a mysterious unknown item. Of course, anyone could have reversed engineered the pedal and discovered what I did, but that was part and parcel of the thinking of 'garage engineers' back in those days," Weyer said, adding that the pedal took advantage of a new transistor by Motorola that set the standard for low noise and gain.

The full story about the wah-wah pedal, amp and fuzz prototype, along with bidding details, can be found at

The New Year's Day auction is J. Levine's biggest event of the year, featuring rare antiques, fine art and other luxury items from affluent estates. Doors open on January 1, 2017 at 9 a.m. MT with the New Year's Day auction starting at 11 a.m. For details, call (480) 496-2212.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Guns 'N Roses Sell More Than A Million Tickets In 24 Hours

The 2017 UK, European and Canadian legs of the Guns N’ Roses already hugely successful ‘Not In This Lifetime’ tour went on sale on December 9th and has already sold more than a million tickets in 24 hours!  

Tickets for the 2017 US dates go on sale tomorrow, December 10th via Ticketmaster.

The ‘Not in This Lifetime Tour’ has now sold more than 3 million tickets in 2016, making it the year’s most successful rock tour.

Guns N’ Roses 2017 Tour Dates:

01/21 – Osaka, JP @ Kyocera Dome
01/22 – Kobe, JP @ World Arena
01/25 – Yokohama, JP @ Yokohama Arena
01/28 – Tokyo, JP @ Saitama Super Arena
01/29 – Tokyo, JP @ Saitama Super Arena
02/02 – Wellington, NZ @ Westpac Stadium
02/04 – Auckland, NZ @ Western Springs Stadium
02/07 – Brisbane, AU @ QSAC Stadium
02/10 – Sydney, AU @ ANZ Stadium
02/11 – Sydney, AU @ ANZ Stadium
02/14 – Melbourne, AU @ Melbourne Cricket Ground
02/18 – Adelaide, AU @ Adelaide Oval
02/21 – Perth, AU @ Domain Stadium
02/25 – Singapore, SG @ Changi Exhibition Centre
02/28 – Bangkok, TH @ SCG Stadium
03/03 – Dubai, AE @ Autism Rocks Arena
05/27 – Dublin, IE @ Slane Castle
05/30 – Bilbao, ES @ San Mames Stadium
06/02 – Lisbon, PT @ Passeio Martimo De Alges
06/04 – Madrid, ES @ Vincente Calderon Stadium
06/07 – Zurich, CH @ Letzigrund
06/10 – Imola, IT @ Greenfield
06/13 – Munich, DE @ Olympiastadion
06/16 – London, UK @ London Stadium
06/17 – London, UK @ London Stadium
06/20 – Gdansk, PL @ Stadion Energy Gdansk
06/22 – Hannover, DE @ Messe
06/24 – Werchter, BE @ Classic
06/27 – Copenhagen, DK @ Telia Parken
06/29 – Stockholm, SE @ Friends Arena
07/01 – Hämeenlinna, FI @ Kantolan Tapahtumapuisto
07/04 – Prague, CZ @ Letnany Airport
07/07 – Paris, FR @ Stade de France
07/10 – Vienna, AT @ Ernst Happel Stadion
07/12 – Nijmegen, NL @ Goffert Park
07/15 – Tel Aviv, IS @ Hayarkon Park
07/27 – St. Louis, MO @ The Dome At America’s Center
07/30 – Minneapolis, MN @ U.S. Bank Stadium
08/02 – Denver, CO @ Sports Authority Field at Mile High
08/08 – Miami, FL @ Miami Marlins Stadium
08/11 – Winston-Salem, NC @ BB&T Field at Wake Forest University
08/13 – Hershey, PA @ Hersheypark Stadium
08/16 – Buffalo, NY @ New Era Field
08/19 – Montreal, QC @ Parc Jean Drapeau
08/21 – Ottawa, ON @ TD Place Stadium
08/24 – Winnipeg, MB @ Investors Group Field
08/27 – Regina, SK @ New Mosaic Stadium at Evraz Place
08/30 – Edmonton, AB @ Commonwealth Stadium
09/01 – Vancouver, BC @ BC Place Stadium
09/03 – George, WA @ The Gorge
09/06 – El Paso, TX @ Sun Bowl Stadium
09/08 – San Antonio, TX @ Alamodome

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Greg Lake Of Emerson, Lake and Palmer Dies

Singer, bassist, guitarist and songwriter Greg Lake co-founded both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer — bands that helped define the sprawling, influential but often-maligned genre known as progressive rock.

Lake, who died of cancer at 69, was instrumental in bringing classical influences, epic length, mythic scope and 1970s excess into rock 'n' roll, winning millions of fans before punk swept in and spoiled the party.

Manager Stewart Young said in a statement that Lake died Wednesday after "a long and stubborn battle with cancer." He added, "Greg Lake will stay in my heart forever, as he has always been. Despite his illness which he knew to be terminal he always took the view about his life, career and family that he was indeed a lucky man... His family would be grateful for privacy during this time of their grief. Many thanks.”

Born in the southern English seaside town of Poole in 1947, Lake founded King Crimson with guitarist Robert Fripp in the late 1960s. The band pioneered the ambitious genre that came to be known as progressive rock.

He went on to form ELP with keyboardist Keith Emerson and drummer Carl Palmer. With Lake as vocalist and guitarist, ELP impressed crowds at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, in a lineup that also featured Jimi Hendrix and The Who.

The band released six platinum-selling albums characterized by songs of epic length, classical influence and ornate imagery, and toured with elaborate light shows and theatrical staging.

One album was a live interpretation of Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. It reached the top 10 in both Britain and the United States, a feat that seems astonishing now. Another, Tarkus, contains a 20-minute track telling the story of the titular creature, a mythic armadillo-tank.

Emerson, Lake and Palmer's 1973 album Brain Salad Surgery included a nearly 30-minute composition called "Karn Evil 9" that featured a Moog synthesizer and the eerie, carnival-like lyric: "Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends."

They filled stadiums and sold records by the millions, but ELP and other prog-rock bands such as Yes and the Moody Blues suffered a backlash with the arrival of punk in the mid-to-late 1970s. They were ridiculed as the embodiment of pomposity and self-indulgence that rock supposedly eschewed.

ELP broke up in 1979, reunited in 1991, later disbanded again and reunited for a 2010 tour.

Emerson died in March from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Santa Monica, California.

Palmer, the group's sole survivor, said "Greg's soaring voice and skill as a musician will be remembered by all who knew his music."

"Having lost Keith this year as well has made this particularly hard for all of us," Palmer said. "As Greg sang at the end of 'Pictures At An Exhibition', 'death is life.' His music can now live forever in the hearts of all who loved him."

Lake's songs as a solo artist include "I Believe in Father Christmas," an enduring seasonal staple first released in 1975.

In 2005, he answered a reader query to The Guardian about songwriting royalties, saying it was "lovely" to get a royalty check for his Christmas hit each year but that the money "isn't quite enough to buy my own island in the Caribbean."

He urged readers to request the song from their local radio stations each year — and promised to invite everyone to his island if he was ever able to get one.

This year, Lake was just finishing his autobiography titled “Lucky Man,” scheduled for release in 2017.

He is survived by his wife Regina and daughter Natasha.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan Earn Grammy Nominations

David Bowie, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan all received multiple mentions when the nominations for the 59th annual Grammy Awards were announced yesterday. 

Bowie – who died in January after a battle with cancer – was given five nods, though notably not for Album of the Year. His 2016 studio release, Blackstar, was nominated in the Best Alternative Music Album category, a honor shared by former collaborator Iggy Pop. Post Pop Depression, recorded with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, was recognized after becoming Pop’s highest-ever charting U.S. album.

McCartney earned two nods – for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package (Tug Of War: Deluxe Edition) and for Best Remixed Recording (Wings‘ “Nineteen Hundred Eighty-Five,” by Timo Maas and James Teej). Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years, Ron Howard‘s documentary on the Beatles, was nominated for Best Music Film.

Dylan was recognized in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category for his second collection of songbook tunes, Fallen Angels. The Cutting Edge 1965-1966, the 12th edition in Dylan’s Bootleg Series, was also nominated for Best Historical Album.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Ultimate Jam Night Does KISS Tonight

Tonight, Ultimate Jam Night, which takes place every Tuesday night at the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, will honor KISS with special guest and former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick performing a 10 song set. The event will be broadcast on Zinna.TV.

Kulick, currently with Grand Funk Railroad, played guitar for from 1984 to 1996 during its so-called “no makeup” era. His performance of 10 KISS songs at Ultimate Jam Night will be his most extensive since he was in the band.

Over 50 artists including Ace Frehley bassist Chris Wyse, LA Guns guitarist Michael Grant, Gov’t Mule bassist Jorgen Carlsson, Autograph vocalist Simon Daniels, drummer Jason Sutter of Marilyn Manson, and guitarist Nikki Stringfield of the Iron Maidens, will be on-hand to perform KISS songs. As with UJN events, other unannounced guests will likely show up for a song or two.

Visit for additional updates leading up to tonight's 8:00 PM showtime.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Eagles, James Taylor, Mavis Staples Receive Kennedy Center Honors

The longest, loudest standing ovation of the Kennedy Center Honors gala wasn't reserved for Al Pacino, Mavis Staples or the Eagles. Instead, it went to the man sitting to their left, attending his eighth and most likely his last honors presentation: President Barack Obama.

While politics were absent from the tributes to the performers who were recognized for influencing American culture on Sunday night, the arts community's affection for Obama -- and its nervousness about President-elect Donald Trump -- was palpable in the Kennedy Center Opera House.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama were introduced last, after Pacino and his fellow honorees: gospel singer Staples; pianist Martha Argerich; singer-songwriter James Taylor; and Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh, the surviving members of the Eagles.

After a sustained ovation, host Stephen Colbert greeted the crowd of Washington insiders as "endangered swamp-dwellers," referencing Trump's "drain the swamp" campaign pledge. He joked that Obama would need to receive the honor to attend again and that "unlike the Nobel Peace Prize, they don't just give these away."

The Kennedy Center Honors are in their 39th year, a period that has included six presidents -- three Republicans, three Democrats -- and all have taken time to welcome the recipients. But the 2016 election was noteworthy for the way A-list performers lined up behind Obama and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, while Trump had relatively few celebrity endorsements.

Although the president has no say in who receives the awards, Colbert joked that next year's honorees would include Scott Baio, Gary Busey and Meat Loaf.

"For the past eight years, the White House has given us a leader who's passionate, intelligent and dignified," Colbert said, and the crowd rose for another prolonged ovation, prompting Obama to stand and wave.

"Sir, I don't even know why you stood up. I was talking about Michelle," Colbert said.

Earlier, at the White House, Obama welcomed the honorees at a reception and said participating in the gala was "one of the perks of the job."

"The arts have always been part of life at the White House because the arts are always central to American life," Obama said. "That's why over the past eight years Michelle and I have invited some of the best writers, musicians, actors and dancers to share their gifts with the American people and to help tell the story of who we are."

Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein also thanked the Obamas, noting that the president isn't required to attend the honors or host a reception. He offered them a "golden ticket" good for free admission to any event at the center.

"Parking is extra," Rubenstein said.

Another standing ovation went to Bill Clinton, who made a surprise appearance on stage to talk about how Taylor's music resonated with him and the American public in times that tested the nation's resolve.

"Our nation was reeling from the pain of Vietnam," Clinton said. "James was there to satisfy our hunger for both intimacy and authenticity."

Politics aside, the honors proceeded as usual, with musicians and actors taking the stage to pay tribute to the honorees, who stood on a balcony, waving and applauding as they wore the event's signature rainbow-colored garlands. The ceremony will be broadcast Dec. 27 on CBS.

The tribute to Pacino included remarks by Sean Penn and recitations of Shakespeare by Laurence Fishburne and Lily Rabe. Chris O'Donnell and Gabrielle Anwar re-enacted the tango that Pacino danced with Anwar in Scent of a Woman, the 1992 movie that won Pacino his long-overdue Oscar.

Kevin Spacey gave a virtuoso tutorial on how to impersonate the actor whose passionate delivery has helped create some of the most memorable lines in American cinema. The keys are to look surprised and exhale loudly, Spacey said.

"Al seems to have a lot of air," he said.

Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow and Darius Rucker performed medleys of Taylor's music. Yitzhak Perlman played violin and Yuja Wang played piano to honor the Argentine-born Argerich.

Staples' songs were performed by Elle King, Bonnie Raitt and Andra Day, and actor Don Cheadle spoke about the civil rights legacy of Staples and her family, who were close to Martin Luther King Jr. and performed at John F. Kennedy's inauguration.

"She's still fighting. She's still singing freedom songs," Cheadle said.

The Eagles were originally selected to be honored last year, but the band opted to delay participation because of founding member Glenn Frey's poor health. Frey died in January at age 67, making the event a bittersweet one for the surviving Eagles, who were joined by Frey's widow, Cindy Frey. Henley has said the band will never perform again. Bob Seger, Vince Gill and Kings of Leon performed the Eagles' music on Sunday.

"I want to dedicate this evening to our brother Glenn," Henley said as the band accepted its honors Saturday night at the State Department. "He was so much a part of our success. He was the driving force in this band. He believed in the American dream."

The band's longtime manager, Irving Azoff, sobbed as he raised a glass to Frey.

"For our Eagles family," he said, "2016 couldn't have had a harder beginning or a more appropriate ending."

Saturday, December 3, 2016

US Festival Film Seeks Funding Through Kickstarter

On a blistering hot, Labor Day weekend in 1982, about an hour's drive from Los Angeles, The Ramones, B52's, Talking Heads, and The Police all took the stage in front of over 100,000 fans. The Police were in mid-tour for Ghosts in the Machine and as Stewart Copeland recollects: "we were whip-cracking hot - and we scorched Southern California". The next day, Eddie Money, Santana, The Cars, The Kinks, Pat Benatar, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers rocked to an even larger crowd. Sunday morning, The Grateful Dead took the stage bright and early - billed as "Breakfast in Bed with the Grateful Dead", and they were followed by a lineup that included Jimmy Buffet and the Coral Reefer Band and Jackson Browne.  Fleetwood Mac closed the showThis was the 1982 US Festival.
"The US Festival was financed by Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple," says Glenn Aveni, of Icon Music TV, an indie filmmaker who has produced and directed music documentaries on John Entwistle, The Clash, and Les Paul "It was produced by Bill Graham. The 350,000 fans that were there still consider it a highlight of their concert-going lives. Yet for all its talent, and for all its influence and innovation, the US Festival is not so readily remembered, because there never was a film about it... Until now."   

"Woz felt the 1970's were The 'Me' Generation and that it was time for the world to embrace a less selfish credo, one of unity and togetherness," explains Aveni, Director of the documentary. "He created UNUSON - short for 'Unite Us In Song' to produce a huge 3-day outdoor state-of-the-art concert that married music and technology. I have entitled this documentary "The US Generation" in tribute to Woz and his message of unity. It's not lost on me that a message of unity should resonate with all of us today." 

"Wozniak had the vision and the money and the determination to get it done. The opportunity arose, and he took it," adds Mickey Hart, in an interview for the film.

Aveni has worked on the film since 2012 and says it is mostly done. To help clear and remaster additional music for it, he has launched a campaign on Kickstarter: In an unusual concession from his distribution partner, he has arranged for the "rewards" from Kickstarter - including copies the film - to be immediately available after the film's completion, before any festival screenings, theatrical releases, or TV premier. "My distributor agreed that the people who were there have already waited 30+ years," he explains.

The innovations of the 1982 US Festival were as legendary as its performances. The venue was built from scratch in San Bernardino, on the site of a former prison farm, in a matter of a few months. It is still the largest outdoor amphitheater in America today. The US Festival invented misting stations, pioneered water cannons to cool the crowd, unveiled the debut of Diamond Vision - a huge screen actually visible during the day, and helped pioneer digital sound delay, so that fans in the back could hear sound in real time. 

"The 1982 US Festival executed. They did it right, and showed it could be done right, setting the stage for future mega-shows from Live Aid to Bonnaroo and Coachella," says Gregg Perloff of Another Planet, who was with Bill Graham Presents at the time and was interviewed for the film.

"Prior to The US Festival in 1982", adds Aveni "No multi-day outdoor permit had been issued by any municipality since 1969 - the year of Woodstock and Altamont, both of which had serious operational difficulties and safety issues. If not for this event, who knows if and when other events would have occurred."

Free water and shade tents were everywhere. The stage was the largest yet seen, and the sound was powered by 400,000 watts. There was a tech pavilion under 5 air-conditioned tents, stocked by Woz and his friends with the latest gadgets and some prototypes of what was yet to come. They even piped music over satellite feed into the USSR - crossing The Iron Curtain. 

"It's a great untold story full of awesome music, amazing anecdotes and larger than life personalities," adds Aveni.  The US Generation documentary is a blend of music, archival footage, and interviews with the crowd and with performers. Besides Perloff and Hart, there are insightful present-day interviews with Stewart Copeland (The Police), Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac), Eddie Money, Marky Ramone, Kate Pierson (B-52's), and Wozniak himself, all speaking fondly and candidly about the event. Among those interviewed archivally are Sting, Pat Benatar, David Byrne, Ric Ocasek, Carlos Santana, and DaveDaviesalong with Woz and GrahamThe film also covers how the event was conceived, and regales with the on-site hijinks, challenges, and lively battles between Graham and Woz.   

The Kickstarter campaign is offering the first copies of the film, in digital download, DVD, and Blu-ray, with options for extra music, and added celeb commentary. "We've gone to town on these Rewards," says Aveni. "If you love classic rock and have pined for something new, here you go." 

Filmmaker Aveni lived and worked for many years in LA and now resides in the Milwaukee area where he grew up. He is available for interviews. 

The Kickstarter campaign is now live at