Monday, April 30, 2012

Here's the Cover From Peter Criss' Upcoming Autobiography

Peter Criss' autobiography Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss will be released on October 23 via Simon & Schuster.

According to the publisher "From sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll to multiple brushes with death, Makeup to Breakup will be Peter Criss' unvarnished and eye-opening life story."

Criss added "I am so blessed that I am finally going to write my autobiography, and I hope you enjoy the ride. The best of all is I get to share my true feelings of my love for God, family, friends and fame. It's been a wonderful life."

Here is the newly unveiled cover for the book:

Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani & Members of Montrose Come Together to Salute Ronnie Montrose

It was a partial Montrose reunion last Friday night when Sammy Hagar joined fellow original members Bill Church and Denny Carmassi for a tribute show to Ronnie Montrose.

In a recent statement Hagar announced, “One of my top priorities this year was a Montrose reunion. Ronnie and I planned to do it in Cabo in October. I am so sad it won’t happen, but on April 27th, Joe Satriani, Denny Carmassi, Bill Church and I are going to play the hell out of some Montrose!”

It happened last Friday at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. Joe Satriani filled in for Ronnie’s guitar parts.

A Concert for Ronnie Montrose – A Celebration of His Life In Music featured the band performing the landmark first Montrose album from start to finish.

Ronnie Montrose formed Montrose in 1973 after he left the Edgar Winter Group. It was Sammy Hagar’s first band. Their debut album, Montrose, was produced by a young Ted Templeman who went on to produce the Van Halen albums.

Hagar had planned a Montrose reunion before Ronnie’s death. The band was going to reform in October at Hagar’s Cabo Wabo nightclub. Ronnie, who had been suffering from depression and over-consumption of alcohol, shot himself on March 3.

Richard Branson to Make Movie of "Exile on Main Street: A Season in Hell With the Rolling Stones"

Multi-billionaire Richard Branson has purchased the rights to the book Exile on Main Street: A Season in Hell With the Rolling Stones and will turn it into a motion picture.

The Robert Greenfield book, first published in 2006, deals with the turbulent relationship between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards during the recording on the classic 1972 Stones album in France.

The story begins in April 1971 when the Rolling Stones became tax exiles and left England to live in France. Richards leased the mansion Villa NellCôte on the Côte d'Azur. It became headquarters for the recording of the album.

Villa NellCôte was a 16-room house built in 1850 and used as Gestapo headquarters during World War II.

It was a crazy time for the Stones. Keith Richards and his girlfriend were heroin addicts, guests such as William S. Burroughs and Gram Parsons would casually drop by and Mick Jagger met and married Bianca Perez-Mora Macias that same year.

The screen play is currently being written by Brandon and Philip Murphy. Their last script, The Last Drop, was recently picked up for production by Mandate Pictures.

Lionel Richie Drops Out of ABC's Duets

When you have one of the most unexpected big albums in years, it tends to fill up your schedule. That's the case with Lionel Richie who has dropped out of his starring role in the new ABC singing competition Duets.

TV probably needs another singing competition like it needs another police procedural, but Duets held some promise with Richie, Kelly Clarkson, Robin Thicke and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles being paired up with the contestants for the performances. Unfortunately, for the producers, Richie's Tuskegee took off so big that the singer is getting a ton of requests for appearances, or at least that's what his reps are saying (they call it "personal scheduling conflicts").

Don't worry, though. He has been replaced by John Legend who brings some fine soul talents to the show's lineup. Legend said "I'm thrilled to be part of Duets and I’m looking forward to finding an undiscovered gem out there. This is going be a lot of fun."

The Beatles "Yellow Submarine" to Play Theaters in May Before DVD/Blu-Ray Release

The fully restored Beatles movie Yellow Submarine is about to get showcase theater showing at select theaters around the country prior to its June 5 release on DVD and Blu-Ray.
Starting May 5 at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York, the film will roll out around the country with special screenings running as late as June 7.

Currently out of print, the film has been restored in 4K digital resolution for the first time by Paul Rutan Jr. and his team of specialists at Triage Motion Picture Services and Eque Inc. Due to the delicate nature of the hand-drawn original artwork, no automated software was used in the digital clean-up of the film's restored photochemical elements with all work done by hand, frame by frame.

Yellow Submarine aficionado John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios) wrote in his essay for the DVD and Blu-ray packages, "As a fan of animation and as a filmmaker, I tip my hat to the artists of Yellow Submarine, whose revolutionary work helped pave the way for the fantastically diverse world of animation that we all enjoy today."

Directed by George Dunning, and written by Lee Minoff, Al Brodax, Jack Mendelsohn and Erich Segal, Yellow Submarine began its voyage to the screen when Brodax, who had previously produced nearly 40 episodes of ABC's animated Beatles TV series, approached The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein with a unique vision for a full-length animated feature.

Yellow Submarine, based upon a song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, is a fantastic tale brimming with peace, love, and hope, propelled by Beatles songs, including Eleanor Rigby, When I'm Sixty-Four, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, All You Need Is Love, and It's All Too Much. When the film debuted in 1968, it was instantly recognized as a landmark achievement, revolutionizing a genre by integrating the freestyle approach of the era with innovative animation techniques.

Inspired by the generation's new trends in art, the film resides with the dazzling Pop Art styles of Andy Warhol, Martin Sharp, Alan Aldridge and Peter Blake. With art direction and production design by Heinz Edelmann, Yellow Submarine is a classic of animated cinema, featuring the creative work of animation directors Robert Balser and Jack Stokes with a team of animators and technical artists.

"I thought from the very beginning that the film should be a series of interconnected shorts," remembered Edelmann. "The style should vary every five minutes or so to keep the interest going until the end." These styles included melding live-action photography with animation, 3-dimensional sequences and kaleidoscopic "rotoscoping" where film is traced frame by frame into drawings. The entire process took nearly two years, 14 different scripts, 40 animators and 140 technical artists, ultimately producing a groundbreaking triumph of animation.

The full list of participating theaters is after the cut.

Find Out Who is Singing Each Classic Rock Song in the Movie "Rock of Ages"

When Rock of Ages opened on Broadway, it contained a long list of 80's rock anthems performed by the actors who were, for the most part, unknown to popular music audiences. That changed a bit when a number of known artists started taking over roles for a short time such as Dee Snyder.
Get ready for the movie version of the show, set for a June 15 release. As with most Broadway to Hollywood transfers, the producers have stocked the film with names like Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Julianne Hough, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Mary J. Blige.

We know some of those people can sing. Zeta-Jones won an Academy Award in Chicago, Julianne Hough topped the country album chart and there's little that can be said about the talent of Mary J. Blige, but what of Cruise, Baldwin and Brand?

We don't know quite yet, but we will find out on June 5 with the soundtrack album is released WaterTower Music.

The film's director, Adam Shankman, said "Taking classic, beloved rock anthems and seeing them through the unique perspective of the characters in the film was such an exciting prospect for me in directing Rock of Ages. We had a phenomenal cast who performed these songs in such a powerful way, adding depth and meaningful imagery to the film. I was lucky to have a partner in Adam Anders who, better than anyone working today, understands how to take popular songs and seamlessly repurpose them to tell a story with unparalleled originality and success."

Executive Music Producer Adam Anders added "It’s an enormous thrill to introduce the soundtrack of Rock of Ages to the world. While re-imagining these songs for the film, it was important for me to present them in a way that would not only tell the story, but transcend generations by making these songs relevant for today’s audience. This soundtrack truly captures the incredible performances of a very talented cast who brilliantly reinterpreted these songs with us in the spirit of the film. I am really proud of this soundtrack as it is definitely one of the highlights of my career."

Here is the track listing for the soundtrack album along with the actor singing each song:
  • Paradise City - Tom Cruise
  • Sister Christian / Just Like Paradise / Nothin’ But A Good Time - Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin
  • Juke Box Hero / I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll - Diego Boneta, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Julianne Hough
  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Catherine Zeta-Jones
  • Waiting For A Girl Like You - Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough
  • More Than Words / Heaven - Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta
  • Wanted Dead Or Alive - Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough
  • I Want To Know What Love Is - Tom Cruise, Malin Akerman
  • I Wanna Rock - Diego Boneta
  • Pour Some Sugar On Me - Tom Cruise
  • Harden My Heart - Julianne Hough, Mary J. Blige
  • Shadows of the Night / Harden My Heart - Mary J. Blige, Julianne Hough
  • Here I Go Again - Diego Boneta, Paul Giamatti, Julianne Hough, Mary J. Blige, Tom Cruise,
  • Can’t Fight This Feeling - Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin
  • Any Way You Want It - Mary J. Blige, Constantine Maroulis, Julianne Hough
  • Undercover Love - Diego Boneta
  • Every Rose Has Its Thorn - Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Mary J. Blige
  • Rock You Like A Hurricane - Julianne Hough, Tom Cruise
  • We Built This City / We’re Not Gonna Take It - Russell Brand / Catherine Zeta-Jones
  • Don’t Stop Believin’- Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Mary J. Blige

Preview: Collected Cool - Dean Martin

Artist: Dean Martin
Title: Collected Cool
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Label: UMe
Format(s): 3-CDs/1-DVD, DD

For the first time, Dean Martin's entire career is being saluted in a box set with Collected Cool, due June 12 from Universal Music Enterprises (UMe).

Combining hits and tracks from both his years at Capitol and Reprise records, the set also includes two rare concerts by the true king of cool. Up first is an audio recording of a Lake Tahoe show from July 27, 1962. This performance has never been released in its entirety,  only a few tracks were available as bonus material, but it’s now available on this box set. Featured are performances of Volare, On An Evening In Roma, It Had To Be You/Nevertheless, Beautiful Dreamer and his only recording of Matt Monro’s hit My Kind Of Girl. Dino’s quick wit and sense of humor shines bright through his onstage banter and parodies of classics such as I Love Tahoe (Paris) and Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes, all caught on this 51-minute rare recording.

The included DVD has a 1983 show from London's Apollo Victoria Theatre. This performance originally aired only on Showtime and has never been made commercially available until now. This live concert features Dino performing some of his biggest hits and well-known songs including Everybody Loves Somebody, That’s Amore, Little Ole Wine Drinker Me and Welcome To My World, plus classic Martin parodies of Pennies From Heaven, Please Be Kind and It’s Magic.

Track List:

Disc 1
  • Dean's Spoken Word Introductions
  • My Own, My Only, My All
  • Powder Your Face With Sunshine (Smile! Smile! Smile!)
  • I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine
  • That's Amore
  • If I Could Sing Like Bing
  • Sway
  • Long, Long Ago
  • Memories Are Made Of This
  • Pardners (with Jerry Lewis)
  • Volare
  • Rio Bravo
  • On An Evening In Roma
  • Sleep Warm
  • Ain't That A Kick In The Head
  • Just In Time
  • Arrivederci Roma
  • Return To Me
  • A Hundred Years From Today
Disc 2
  • Tik-A-Tee, Tik-A-Tay
  • Senza Fine
  • Who's Got The Action
  • Guys And Dolls
  • Marina
  • Everybody Loves Somebody (with instrumental quartet)
  • The Door Is Still Open To My Heart
  • You're Nobody Til Somebody Loves You
  • In The Misty Moonlight
  • Sophia
  • Send Me The Pillow You Dream On
  • In The Chapel In The Moonlight
  • Welcome To My World
  • Houston
  • I Will
  • Somewhere There's A Someone
  • My First Country Song (featuring Conway Twitty)
  • LA Is My Home
Disc 3
  • Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes
  • Almost Like Being In Love
  • I Love Tahoe (Paris)
  • Show Banter #1
  • My Kind Of Girl
  • Show Banter #2
  • Show Banter #3
  • June In January
  • Show Banter #4
  • Break It To Me Gently
  • Show Banter #5
  • Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody
  • Instrumental
  • Show Banter #6
  • Primrose Lane/You Are Too Beautiful/Carolina In The Morning/Love Walked In/I Love Being A Girl
  • Beautiful Dreamer
  • You Made Me Love You
  • It Had To Be You/Nevertheless
  • I m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter
  • Volare
  • On An Evening In Roma
  • Show Banter #7
  • I Love Paris (Tahoe)
  • Outro
  • Everybody Loves Somebody
  • Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes
  • When You re Smiling
  • Pennies From Heaven
  • L-O-V-E
  • Everybody Loves Somebody (reprise)
  • Where Or When
  • Welcome To My World
  • Drinking Champagne
  • That's Amore
  • Love Walked In
  • Please Be Kind
  • It s Magic
  • Ken s Noodle
  • Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
  • For The Good Times
  • Here Comes My Baby Back Again
  • Little Ole Wine Drinker Me
  • Bumming Around
  • One Hour With You

Not Only is Robin Gibb Doing Better, He Could Be Out of the Hospital This Week

From the brink to home in just over a week.

Bee Gee Robin Gibb spent a week in a coma fighting the pneumonia that was ravaging his body, weak from cancer treatments and intestinal surgery. Doctors held little hope yet, one week ago, he miraculously came out of the coma.

Now, Britain's The Mirror is reporting that he is sitting up in bed and talking with family and could be out of the hospital by the end of the week. A friend told the paper:
Robin is still weak but getting better by the day. His recovery is nothing short of a miracle. Weeks ago Dwina and the family were prepared for the worst, now they are hoping he will be home very soon.

They will not rush him but there is a very good possibility of him being discharged at the end of the week and arrangements are being made for him to have medical help at home.

The doctors will not take the decision lightly. Dwina will make sure his every medical need is catered for. Robin is aware how close to death he was. But he is determined to go home.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Roadrunner Records Has Massive Layoffs, Absorbed Into Warner Music

Roadrunner Records, home to veteran artists like RushSteve Miller, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ratt and Megadeth, was absorbed at the end of last week into Warner Music with the result being massive layoffs around the world.

Staff from the Roadrunner Australia office based in Melbourne were given the news today by Warner Australia CEO Tony Harlow. Noise11 was told that about half the staff were let go and the rest will work for Warner.

Offices in the UK, Germany and Canada were also closed today.

Roadrunner was founded in the Netherlands in 1980 by Cees Wessels. By 1986, the label had an office in the USA and then quickly expanded to the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, Denmark and Canada.

In December, 2006, Warner Music acquired a majority stake in the label and in November 2010 bought the remainder of the business. Cees Wessels stayed on as CEO.

Other Roadrunner artists include Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Nickelback, Korn, Dream Theater, Rob Zombie, Lenny Kravitz, Killswicth Engage, Machine Head, Stone Sour, Slipknot, Trivium, Underoath and Alexisonfire.

Poll Shows People Want a Performance By a Holographic Ray Charles Over Cash, Presley, Lennon or Sinatra

Shakur Hologram at Coachella
Two weeks ago, Tupac Shakur walked on the stage at the Coachella Festival, even though he has been dead for fifteen years. It was all through the magic of technology and a very advanced hologram of a performance by the rap icon from when he was living.

The "performance" set off a worldwide debate on whether this was a good or a bad thing (remember the outcry when movie trickery had Fred Astaire dancing with a vacuum cleaner instead of a hat rack?). Members of the Jackson family said they wanted a hologram of Michael on their tour and people started talking about who else they might resurrect on the stage.

Reuters asked California company E-Polls to put together a survey asking who people thought should be technologically brought back from the dead. 1,100 people were polled and the results were ranked by fan appeal, audience awareness and perception of talent.

Amazingly, it was not Elvis Presley, John Lennon or Frank Sinatra, all artists who might be expected to gain the most votes, that topped the poll. It was R&B great Ray Charles who ranked the highest based on the public's response.

Second was a tie between Johnny Cash and Presley followed by Lennon and Sinatra. Michael Jackson only managed 11th place and the man who started the debate, Tupac Shakur, only placed 16th.

Here's the top ten:
  1. Ray Charles
  2. Johnny Cash
  3. Elvis Presley
  4. John Lennon
  5. Frank Sinatra
  6. Bob Marley
  7. James Brown
  8. Whitney Houston
  9. George Harrison
  10. Jimi Hendrix

Interview: Woodstock Legend Chip Monck (via Noise11)

Chip Monck was there when music history was being made.

Chip served as the Ringmaster for Woodstock. It was his voice you heard in all of the announcements. He then worked for the Rolling Stones from 1969 – 1972.

He has worked on the Newport Folk Festival, the Monterey Pop Festival, with Crosby, Stills and Nash and concert guru Bill Graham.

For the past 20 something years Chip Monck has been living in Melbourne, Australia and at the ripe old age of 72 is about to embark on his next adventure, One Great Night On Earth.

One Great Night On Earth is a fundraiser to help Australian’s devastated by natural disasters like bushfire, floods and drought.

The first of the annual events will take place outside Melbourne in December, 2012.

Chip held a photo exhibition recently detailing his great career. Noise11 caught up with him to talk about his past, present and future.

Tom Jones Says He Lost the Role of James Bond Because He Was Too Famous

Tom Jones has had an enviable music career, but he regrets never having a go at acting.

The singer wrote the theme song for the 1965 Bond film Thunderball, starring Sir Sean Connery. He almost got the chance to play the 007 agent but was turned down for being too famous.

"The only thing I regret is that I'd like to have a pop at acting when I was younger," he told Radio Times.

"My name was up for James Bond at one time, but [producer] Cubby Broccoli apparently said I was too well known for people to believe it."

However the Sex Bomb star has no complaints. The 71-year-old has enjoyed a successful singing career with 36 Top 40 hits in the UK and 19 in the US.

"Singing is my first love and I'm not a frustrated actor, but I wondered if I could play a role other than myself as I did in Mars Attacks! I don't have any other acting plans but if something comes alone I might have a go. I think I'm quite good. Well they tell me I am," he said.

Tim Burton's 1996 science fiction film Mars Attacks! was based on the cult trading card series of the same name and had an all star cast including Pierce Brosnan, Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Jack Black, Glenn Close, Natalie Portman and Christina Applegate.

Watch: Joe Walsh Performs the Title Song From His Upcoming Album "Analog Man"

Joe Walsh's first solo album in twenty years, Analog Man, will be released on June 5 via Fantasy/Concord. Here, he performs the title track with help from former Electric Light Orchestra and Traveling Wilburys member Jeff Lynne.

Chart Watch America: Richie in His Second Week at the Top of the Chart; Levon Helm & the Band Place Three

Lionel Richie spends his second week at the top of the U.S. Album chart with Tuskegee. The success of the album has also brought a sales surge to two of his hit collections, 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of moves up to 63 while The Definitive Collection goes to 79.

The death of Levon Helm propelled three of his albums to the top 200, two from the Band and one solo set. At 83 is the debut of Greatest Hits by the Band, the first time an album by the group has debuted on the chart since 1993's Jerhico. At 132, is the return of the soundtrack for The Last Waltz and, further down at 145, is his Ramble at the Ryman.

Yanni debuts at 109 with Live at El Morro, Puerto Rico. It falls short of his last live set, 2006's Live: The Concert Event, which topped out at 84.

At 122 is the debut of the soundtrack to the new movie Marley containing music from Bob Marley and the Wailers and, at 183, is the premier of Hidden Gems by Luther Vandross.   The two albums also debut at 20 and 25, respectively, on the R&B Albums.

Veteran Artist Index for May 5, 2012:
-110 (-3.5%)

Chart Date May 5, 2012 


Top 200 Albums
TW LW Title Artist
1 1 Tuskegee Lionel Richie
2 N Love is a Four Letter Word Jason Mraz
3 2 21 Adele
4 N California 37 Train
5 5 Up All Night One Direction
9 6 Slip Stream Bonnie Raitt
31 31 Wrecking Ball Bruce Springsteen
34 18 MDNA Madonna
35 30 Whitney: The Greatest Hits Whitney Houston
57 63 Locked Down Dr. John
63 68 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Lionel Richie
64 54 A Different Kind of Truth Van Halen
79 60 The Definitive Collection Lionel Richie
83 N Greatest Hits Band
84 R Best of Bowie David Bowie
95 R Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack
101 92 Back in New Orleans Various Artists (Starbucks Exclusive)
109 N Live at El Morro, Puerto Rico Yanni
113 R Extended Versions Foreigner
116 106 The Bodyguard Whitney Houston
122 N Marley: The Original Soundtrack Bob Marley and the Wailers
127 84 Greatest Hits Journey
132 R The Last Waltz Band
140 115 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Lynyrd Skynyrd
142 132 Chronicle: 20 Greatest Hits Creedence Clearwater Revival Featuring John Fogerty
145 R Ramble at the Ryman Levon Helm
146 139 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Etta James
147 170 The Very Best of Neil Diamond Neil Diamond
148 145 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Temptations
156 148 Duets II Tony Bennett
157 172 Greatest Hits Guns N' Roses
161 171 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Three Dog Night
165 124 Legend: The Best of Bob Marley & the Wailers Bob Marley & the Wailers
167 125 Whitney Houston Whitney Houston
168 154 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Eric Clapton
171 R Beyond Magnetic (EP) Metallica
181 189 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Barry White
183 N Hidden Gems Luther Vandross
185 173 Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
188 150 Kisses on the Bottom Paul McCartney
190 R VH1 Storytellers Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson
191 122 I Look to You Whitney Houston
194 R Greatest Hits Red Hot Chili Peppers
196 160 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Aerosmith
199 R Licensed to Ill Beastie Boys
Dropped Out:
X 95 The Greatest Hits: Volume 1 Beach Boys
X 102 Wish You Were Here Pink Floyd
X 110 Tapestry Carole King
X 143 TAAB2: Thick as a Brick 2 Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson
X 152 My Love is Your Love Whitney Houston
X 162 Rumours Fleetwood Mac
X 167 Greatest Hits Motley Crue
X 169 Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd
X 176 …Hits Phil Collins
X 193 Appetite For Destruction Guns N' Roses
X 194 Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack
The balance of the American charts are after the cut.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Rumor Mill: Bill Wyman Rejoining the Rolling Stones

Rumors say that Bill Wyman will be joining the Rolling Stones for their 50th anniversary.

Plans are underway for a 50th anniversary event that is now likely to take place in 2013, marking 50 years since Charlie Watts joined the band.

The Rolling Stones timeline is:

  • April 1962 – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones form the band
  • June, 1962 – ‘The Rollin’ Stones’ first gig under than name
  • December, 1962 – Bill Wyman joins
  • January, 1963 – Charlie Watts

Officially, the 50th came and went this month without any fanfare. According to Keith Richards, the 50th should be marked from when Charlie joined.

However, getting agreement on what to do has been difficult for The Stones. Charlie’s decision to stop touring after A Bigger Bang made the band re-evaluate its future and the 50th events could very well make this time really be the last time for The Stones.

Instead of another major tour, the plans are being drawn up for a series of one-offs and that suits Wyman. Like Charlie, he won’t tour either but a few shows and a few sessions seems within his comfort zone. However, Bill won’t get on a plane so his “one-off” may be limited to London. In 1990 while on tour with The Stones he was on a plane in a nasty storm. That is why he will no longer fly unless it is absolutely necessary.

Bill was the oldest member of The Rolling Stones. He is 75-years old now, 5 years older than Charlie. He left The Rolling Stones after Steel Wheels. His departure was announced in December, 1992.

Review: Grand Hotel - The Explorers Club

While VVN Music is dedicated and reports on veteran artists who have been recording for 25 years or more, we occasionally write about newer artists of special merit who actively promote the sounds of an earlier era.

Let's, for about five minutes, suspend belief and forget that it is April 28 but, instead, make it December 31, 2012. Now, let me tell you about the album of the year.

The Explorers Club from Charleston, SC have somehow channeled the greatest pop groups of the sixties, the Buckinghams, the Beach Boys, the Association, etc., and created an album of newly written material that is beautifully performed, arranged and produced. Plus, I dare anybody to listen to this album without having a smile on their face the whole time.

Grand Hotel was released back on February 14 on Rock Ridge Music and contains superbly written pop songs that would have been as comfortable on the radio in 1967 as they should be on radio today. Even the album cover is reminiscent of a record from the 60's from the Tijuana Brass/Baja Marimba Band style design to the flower power background to the inclusion of ring wear from the "old" vinyl in the "sleeve."

The musicianship on the album is top notch as showcased on the two instrumental tracks, with the lounge sound of Acapulco and the Tijuana Brass inspired title track. Elsewhere are a host of vintage instruments from Hammond organ on Anticipatin' to marimbas on Weight of the World.

Of equal quality are the fine vocals throughout the album, both in solo passages, which are handled by various members of the group, and in the many fine harmony sections.

Throughout the album, you'll find yourself listening to the beginning of the song going "Wow, I love this song" only to realize it is something entirely new and, just possibly, better than what you thought you were about to hear.  Such is the case with Anticipatin' (see below) which opens with a sound like the Buckingham's Hey Baby and then turns into this brilliantly up-beat track that should be getting airplay around the dial. It's You has the feel of the New Colony Six, Summer Days, Summer Nights of the Beach Boys, Sweet Delights of Burt Bacharach/Hal David and I've Been Waiting of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart; however, don't get the idea that the album is filled with simple copies of the artists. These are all wonderfully crafted songs that draw from the classic sound of the 60's and stand completely on their own.

The Explorers Club is Jason Brewer (guitars, keyboards, vocals), Dave Ellis (guitars, mandolin, accordian, percussion, vocals), Wally Reddington III (bass, vocals), Justin James (guitar, steel guitar, vocals), Paul Runyon (keyboards, vocals), and Kyle Polk (drums).

Mixing on the album was done by Mark Linett who was responsible for the remastered 5.1 mix of Pet Sounds and has worked with everyone from Randy Newman to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

For those who are fans of the music of the 60's, Grand Hotel is the brilliant album that you have been waiting for all of these years.

Preview: Strange Euphoria - Heart (3 CDs/1 DVD)

Artist: Heart
Title: Strange Euphoria
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Label: Epic/Legacy
Format(s): 3 CDs/1 DVD, DD

For the first time, Heart receives a career spanning retrospective of their music on Strange Euphoria, out June 5 on Epic/Legacy.

The 3 CD/1 DVD set starts with an early recording by Ann Wilson and the Daybreaks followed by three demos for songs on their first album and ends three discs later with music from their 2010 album Red Velvet Car. Also included are some of Ann and Nancy's solo and side projects.

The DVD contains a KWSU program from 1976, The Second Ending - Heart.

"In all the years we have been making music we have seen trends come and go," said Ann Wilson. "We have always felt that to try and chase the latest 'it' sound is pointless, and we have tried to remain true to ourselves as songwriters and musicians. Sometimes we have had amazing success and heard ourselves on the radio... other times not so much, but the music is always playing in our house. In this box we have included many things that until now have never seen the light of day. Also here are our favorite deep tracks and live moments that really speak to who we are on the stage and the connection between us and the people who show up to rock. Enjoy this collection. It has many facets just like we do, but the spirit running through it is all Heart."

Track List:

CD 1
  • Through Eyes And Glass (by Ann Wilson & The Daybreaks)
  • Magic Man (demo of song from Dreamboat Annie, 1976) *
  • How Deep It Goes (demo of song from Dreamboat Annie, 1976) *
  • Crazy On You (demo of song from Dreamboat Annie, 1976) *
  • Dreamboat Annie (Fantasy Child) + Dreamboat Annie Reprise (edit) (unreleased edit of song from Dreamboat Annie, 1976) *
  • Love Alive (from Little Queen, 1977)
  • Sylvan Song (from Little Queen, 1977)
  • Dream Of The Archer (from Little Queen, 1977)
  • White Lightning And Wine (live at the Aquarius) *
  • Barracuda (live from BBC Radio Concert) *
  • Little Queen (from Little Queen, 1977)
  • Kick It Out (from Little Queen, 1977)
  • Here Song (demo of song from Magazine, 1977)) *
  • Heartless (demo of song from Magazine, 1977) *
  • Dog & Butterfly (acoustic demo of song from Dog & Butterfly, 1978) *
  • Straight On (from Dog & Butterfly, 1978)
  • Nada One (from Dog & Butterfly, 1978)
CD 2
  • Bebe le Strange (from Bebe le Strange, 1980)
  • Silver Wheels II (from Bebe le Strange, 1980)
  • Even It Up (from Bebe le Strange, 1980)
  • Sweet Darlin' (from Bebe le Strange, 1980)
  • City's Burning (from Private Audition, 1982)
  • Angels (from Private Audition, 1982)
  • Love Mistake (from Passionworks, 1983)
  • Lucky Day (demo) *
  • Never (live, with John Paul Jones) *
  • These Dreams (from Heart, 1985)
  • Nobody Home (from Heart, 1985)
  • Alone (from Bad Animals, 1987)
  • Wait For An Answer (from Bad Animals, 1987)
  • Unconditional Love (demo) *
  • High Romance (demo) *
  • Under The Sky (demo for song from Brigade, 1990) *
  • Desire Walks On ("Beach demo" version for song from Desire Walks On, 1993) *
CD 3
  • Kiss (by The Lovemongers, from Whirlygig, 1997)
  • Sand (live) (by The Lovemongers)
  • Everything (live) (by Nancy Wilson)
  • She Still Believes (live) *
  • Any Woman's Blues (demo) (with the Seattle Blues Revue Horns) *
  • Strange Euphoria
  • Boppy's Back (demo) *
  • Friend Meets Friend (live) (by The Lovemongers) *
  • Love Or Madness (live) *
  • Skin To Skin *
  • Fallen Ones (from Jupiter's Darling, 2004)
  • Enough (from Jupiter's Darling, 2004)
  • Lost Angel (live)
  • Little Problems, Little Lies (by Ann Wilson from Hope & Glory, 2007)
  • Queen City (from Red Velvet Car, 2010)
  • Hey You (from Red Velvet Car, 2010)
  • Avalon (Reprise) (from Desire Walks On, 1993)
DVD (KWSU "The Second Ending – featuring Heart" program circa February-March 1976)
  • Pre Show
  • Heartless
  • White Lightning & Wine
  • Dreamboat Annie
  • Silver Wheels
  • Crazy On You
  • Sing Child
  • Soul Of The Sea
  • Devil Delight
  • Magic Man
* Previously unreleased

Bob Dylan to Receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Bob Dylan has been selected as one of the 13 recipients of the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom. The award is considered the highest honor that can be bestowed on an American civilian and is "presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

In announcing this year's recipients, the White House said of Dylan:
One of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century, Dylan released his first album in 1962. Known for his rich and poetic lyrics, his work had considerable influence on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and has had significant impact on American culture over the past five decades. He has won 11 Grammys, including a lifetime achievement award. He was named a Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Art et des Lettres and has received a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation. Dylan was awarded the 2009 National Medal of Arts. He has written more than 600 songs, and his songs have been recorded more than 3,000 times by other artists. He continues recording and touring around the world today.
The award will be presented in the late Spring with Dylan being joined by former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, civil rights supporter John Doar, physician William Foege, astronaut and senator John Glenn, WWII internment camp activist Gordon Hirabayashi, civil rights and workers advocate Dolores Huerta, Polish Underground member Jan Karski, Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Law, author Toni Morrison, Israeli president Shimon Peres, Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens and NCAA basketball coach Pat Summitt.

President Obama said of the recipients "These extraordinary honorees come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our nation. They’ve challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve made the world a better place. I look forward to recognizing them with this award."

Watch: The Video for Tom Jones' Version of Leonard Cohen's Tower of Song

Tom Jones' new album, Spirit in the Room, will be released on May 21 in Europe with the U.S. release yet to be announced (see our album preview). The lead off single from the album is his cover of the Leonard Cohen/Jennifer Warnes song Tower of Song.

Roger Waters Breaks Rolling Stones' Record in South America, Announces New North American Dates

Over 750,000 people saw Roger Waters perform The Wall on his recent South American tour, breaking all-time attendance records.

Waters played 15 shows in Chile, Brazil and Argentina, making the tour the largest ever stadium tour in South America for an international artist.

Roger Waters played nine sold-out shows at River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires, breaking the previous 5-night record set by The Rolling Stones.

Waters’ The Wall has now played 150 shows in 27 countries and has grossed over $218 million.

The next leg of The Wall is another 41 shows for North America kicking off next weekend at Foro Sol stadium in Mexico.

The new dates:

  • 04/27 - Mexico City, MX - Foro Sol
  • 04/28 - Mexico City, MX - Foro Sol
  • 05/01 - Houston, TX - Toyota Center
  • 05/03 - Austin, TX - Frank Erwin Center
  • 05/05 - Tulsa, OK - BOK Center
  • 05/07 - Denver, CO - Pepsi Center
  • 05/11 - San Francisco, CA - AT&T Park
  • 05/13 - San Diego, CA - Valley View Casino Center
  • 05/15 - Phoenix, AZ - US Airways Center
  • 05/19 - Los Angeles, CA - Los Angeles Coliseum
  • 05/22 - Portland, OR - Rose Garden
  • 05/24 - Seattle, WA - Key Arena
  • 05/26 - Vancouver, BC - BC Place
  • 05/28 - Edmonton, AB - Rexall Place
  • 05/31 - Winnipeg, MB - MTS Centre
  • 06/01 - Winnipeg, MB - MTS Centre
  • 06/03 - St Paul, MN - Xcel Energy Center
  • 06/05 - Detroit, MI - Joe Louis Arena
  • 06/06 - Grand Rapids, MI - Van Andel Arena
  • 06/08 - Chicago, IL - Wrigley Field
  • 06/10 - Louisville, KY - KFC Yum! Center
  • 06/11 - Indianapolis, IN - Conseco Fieldhouse
  • 06/13 - Atlanta, GA - Philips Arena
  • 06/15 - Ft Lauderdale, FL - BankAtlantic Center
  • 06/16 - Orlando, FL - Amway Center
  • 06/19 - Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena
  • 06/21 - Buffalo, NY - First Niagara Center
  • 06/23 - Toronto, ON - Rogers Centre
  • 06/25 - Ottawa, ON - Scotiabank Place
  • 06/26 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
  • 06/28 - Albany, NY - Times Union Center
  • 06/29 - Hartford, CT - XL Center
  • 07/01 - Boston, MA - Fenway Park
  • 07/03 - Pittsburgh, PA - Consol Energy Center
  • 07/06 - New York, NY - Yankee Stadium
  • 07/07 - New York, NY - Yankee Stadium
  • 07/09 - Raleigh, NC - RBC Center
  • 07/10 - Charlotte, NC - Time Warner Cable Arena
  • 07/12 - Washington DC - Verizon Center
  • 07/14 - Philadelphia, PA - Citizens Bank Park

Friday, April 27, 2012

Ronnie Wood, Once Again, Says the Rolling Stones Getting Ready to Record New Material

It has only been a little over a week since Ronnie Wood was forced to retract a statement about the Rolling Stones getting together to record new music but he has once again been overheard talking about getting together with his bandmates next week.

The guitarist has sparked new rumours that the British group will soon be releasing new music. Ronnie was having a coffee with friends at E&E in New York City during the intermission of Broadway musical The Book of Mormon when he made the comments.

According to the New York Post, the rocker said he was going to meet up with Sir Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to "play around with some ideas in the studio next week."

Ronnie recently said the legendary band was planning to return to the recording studio. However, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony he claimed he was only interested in working on his own music.

Bandmate Keith has also fuelled rumours about the Rolling Stones.

Last month he revealed the group have been practising together again and could soon start laying down new tracks.

"We'll just get the boys back together again then and maybe cut a side," Keith was quoted as saying by British newspaper The Mirror. "We're planning to get things going... again."

Madonna Moves the Opening of Her MDNA Tour By Two Days Due to Production Delays

Madonna has moved the opening date of her MDNA tour from May 29 to May 31 in Tel Aviv. The promoters Live Nation and Shuki Weiss cite production delays for the two- day postponement.

76- dates have been announced for the MDNA world tour that will kick off in Israel at Tel Aviv’s Ramat Gan Stadium.

Madonna has already sold 1.4 million tickets for the tour throughout the already announced European and North American dates. Mexico and South American dates were recently announced. Live Nation will soon announce the Australian dates for her first tour down under in 20 years.

Watch: Brian May and Roger Taylor Perform With Their Queen Extravaganza on American Idol

Last night, Brian May and Roger Taylor performed with their Queen Extravaganza touring band on the results show for American Idol.

Greg Allman Postponing Book Promotion for Heart Tests

Greg Allman has been forced to temporarily postpone the kickoff of a book tour to promote his new book, My Cross to Bear, while he undergoes tests on his heart.

The tour, which was scheduled to last a month, was supposed to start next Tuesday in New York City; however, he is entering the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville on Friday for what his publicist is calling "diagnostic cardiac testing stemming from his hernia operation."

His website was a bit more vague:
Gregg's book tour pushed back one week Gregg is having a medical procedure tomorrow and the book tour will be pushed back a week. We wanted to let everyone know that Gregg is excited for the book launch and is still planning to get out on the road starting May 8th. We'll be posting updates regularly. Let's all send positive vibes Gregg's way!
Allman, himself, also issued a statement, saying:
I've been working on the book for years and am grateful for all the support I've received in putting it together. As soon as doctors give me the thumbs up to go back on the road, I will be heading out onto my book tour and I can't wait to meet all of my fans.
The hernia operation mentioned was related to Allman's liver transplant in 2010.

If all goes well, Allman will begin the tour on May 8.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

George Jones Cancels More Shows; Posts Video Discussing Family Feud

Country music icon George Jones continues to rest at his Franklin, Tennessee home recovering from his recent hospitalization for an upper respiratory infection.

Jones entered the hospital on March 29 for overnight observation which turned into almost a week of treatment. No details were ever given on the infection but it has obviously laid him low for some time.

At the time, he cancelled shows in Minnesota and South Dakota but this new round of postponements involves nine shows between April 28 and May 20 with the eight shows in May all in Canada.

According to his official website:
Country music Hall of Fame member George Jones is recuperating from upper respiratory infection and continues to rest at his Franklin, Tennessee home. Although, George is doing much better, doctors are ordering mandatory recovery time forcing all tour dates through May 20th, including the entire Canadian run to be postponed.

The following dates are canceled:

April 28 Caruthersville, Mo, Lady Luck Casino
May 11 Pembroke, Ont., Pembroke Memorial Centre
May 12 Rama, Ont., Casino Rama
May 13 Kahnawake, QC, Kahnawake Sports Complex
May 15 Halifax, NS Halifax Forum
May 16 Woodstock, NB, Carlton Civic Centre
May 18 Bouctouche, NB, Civic Centre
May 19 New Glasgow, NS, New Glasgow Stadium
May 20 Yarmouth, NS, Mariner Centre
In other Jones news, the singer posted a video (see below) on his page where, after discussing the cancellations, "apologizes" for his daughter and son-in-law for "putting so much bad things about me on the Internet and Facebook. None of these things are true. They are all about money."

The conflict that led to the "bad things" dates back a couple of years to a family matter. George booked a date on the same day as his daughter, Georgette, was getting married and didn't walk her down the aisle. Allegedly, words have been said between father and daughter but Georgette claims that she never publicly made any of them. Instead, she says that the criticisms of her father were written by others on her Facebook page which she eventually deleted.

Jim Marshall to Be Honored With Concert at Wembley Arena in September

Jim Marshall, the late creator of the Marshall Amp, will be honored by many of the artists who became famous using his equipment on September 27 at London's Wembley Arena.

Following the sad news of Jim's death earlier this month the event, which was already planned to commemorate Marshall's 50th Anniversary, will now be held in honour of the legendary man and his remarkable life.

The ground breaking artist line-up is as pioneering as the brand itself and includes global rock royalty from bands including Iron Maiden, Slipknot, Whitesnake, Chickenfoot, The Cult, Black Label Society, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and many more.

The line up for the event reads like a who's who from the Rock and Metal Hall of Fame. The Marshall team is bringing together the biggest rock gods on the planet all of whom are keen to pay their respects to the legend that was Jim Marshall.

They join the acts previously announced for the event including multiple Grammy nominee and Chickenfoot super-group founder Joe Satriani, Ozzy Osbourne collaborator and founder of Black Label Society Zakk Wylde, one of rock's premiere virtuoso guitarists Yngwie Malmsteen technical wizard and one of GuitarOne magazine's "Top 10 Greatest Guitar Shredders of All Time" Paul Gilbert, Whitesnake's Doug Aldrich and Brian Tichy, The Cult's Billy Duffy and Slipknot/ Stone Sour front man Corey Taylor. There are also further big names to be announced.

Robin Gibb Told Doctors "I Want to Live No Matter What"

Robin & Dwina Gibb, 2003
Robin Gibb should not be alive, at least in the opinion of medical professionals.

The Bee Gees star recently woke from a coma, much to the shock of doctors. He has been battling colon and liver cancer and then developed pneumonia, eventually losing consciousness.  Although doctors told his family they feared the worst, Robin has woken up and is now talking to his loved ones.

His strength has amazed his wife Dwina. "The doctors asked Robin if he wanted them to do everything in their power to save his life - or if he felt the time would come when enough was enough," she told British newspaper The Sun.

"He told them, 'There will never be a time when enough is enough. I want to live no matter what.'"

Robin was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 but was thought to have beaten the disease. Then earlier this year he was found to have a twisted colon, a condition which was particularly poignant for the 62-year-old star.

"It was the same condition from which his twin brother Maurice died in 2003. Robin was in terrible pain and very frightened," Dwina recalled. "I had to stay at the hospital with him 24/7, sleeping on a camp bed.

"At one point Robin was on an intravenous drip, when he turned pink because of an allergic reaction. I was able to call the nurses and they saved his life."

Doctors then realized the star had a perforated bowel, which needed an operation. It was decided Robin would have it even though there was only a ten per cent survival rate. It was explained to Dwina that the first part of the surgery was the most important, and she calls those the "worst 20 minutes" of her life.

Robin pulled through and was even taken off a ventilator quicker than was expected. Soon after that he was developed pneumonia.

Family members began singing to the star and playing him music. "As we played him his song I Started A Joke, he opened his mouth on cue to sing," Dwina said. "but it seemed too much of a coincidence that the only time Robin opened his mouth was the exact point in the song when he would have started singing.

"We persuaded them to let us test my theory by attaching electrodes to Robin's brain and monitoring his reactions to the music."

Robin eventually woke up when he was played Titanic Requiem, the classical piece he composed with his son RJ.

"We have to take each day as it comes. Robin has been seriously ill. Every time I go to hospital to see him, I am so happy to be there, so happy to see him with his eyes open and talking," Dwina added.

Set List: Rock N Roll Allstars, Asunción, Paraguay; Majority of Tour Cancelled

The word "supergroup" is sometimes overused in rock music for any combination of musicians that come together, even if a majority of members are lucky to have seen the Heatseekers chart; however, once in awhile, a project comes along that truly lives up to the label.  That's the case with the Rock N' Roll Allstars whose members are Gene Simmons (KISS), Joe Elliott (Def Leppard), Matt Sorum, Duff McKagan and Gilby Clarke (Guns N' Roses), Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), Billy Duffy (Cure), Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), Ed Rolland (Collective Soul), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) and Mike Inez (Alice in Chains).

Unfortunately, their planned South and Central American tour has been cut short after just three dates. No details have been given but a statement issued by the band point towards the promoters:
Rock ‘N’ Roll Allstars regret to inform our fans that the shows we had scheduled in Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala and Venezuela have been cancelled. An incredible effort was made to work with local promoters to bring our show to the fans but they made it impossible for us to do so. We are saddened that we will not be coming to Central America and will do everything possible to ensure that our fans receive refunds for all tickets purchased. We are in South America and just had amazing shows in Paraguay and Argentina where thousands of fans came to hear the hits of Guns N’ Roses, Kiss, Def Leppard and more. The show in Lima, Peru is still on sale and the band is still playing this show. Thank you for your support and we hope to see each and every one of you soon.
It has not been revealed whether the group will tour in North America or Europe but, if they do, here's what you might expect to hear:
  • Welcome to the Jungle
  • It's So Easy
  • Youth Gone Wild
  • Whole Lotta Love
  • Highway Star
  • Fire Woman
  • Wild Flower
  • Burn
  • Man in the Box
  • Shine
  • Rebel Yell
  • Tie Your Mother Down
  • Animal
  • Pour Some Sugar On Me
  • All the Young Dudes
  • Knockin' on Heaven's Door
  • Paradice City
  • Deuce
  • Calling Dr. Love
  • I Love It Loud
  • Cold Gin
  • Rock and Roll All Nite

47 Hours Left to Help Marshall Crenshaw Fund a New Series of EPs

The music business is a daunting place in this day and age. Major labels have pared down their rosters to a small percentage of the artists they would have recorded during boom times and some of our greatest artists are left to use their talents and ingenuity to get new music to their fans.

Thus is the case with Marshall Crenshaw. Crenshaw has a vision of a subscription series of six EPs that would be released every four months over the next two years. Each EP in the set would be released on 10" vinyl with a picture sleeve and digitally and would contain a new song written exclusively for the set, a cover and a rerecording of one of his classics. The only problem is the funding for the project.

That's why Crenshaw turned to Kickstarter to raise the $32,000 he needs to produce the series. Obviously, the money would cover the recording, mixing, mastering and pressing, but also those "other", lesser known, costs that are part of the business including distribution, marketing and royalties for the cover songs.

There are numerous different levels to pledge as low as $1 and as high as $5,000 with each having special rewards from free downloads of the finished EPs to rare recordings by the artist to a living room performance by Crenshaw.

The campaign is coming down to the end (47 hours left at this writing) with, at this point, 271 backers having pledged over $20,000, but there is still more needed. If you are interested in helping fund the project, go to Crenshaw's Kickstarter page.

Here's Crenshaw talking about the project:

Influential Rock DJ and Author Pete Fornatale Dies at 66

Groundbreaking rock DJ Pete Fornatale, who helped open up the FM dial to progressive radio and went on to become a authority and author on pop culture, has passed away at the age of 66. Forantale had suffered a brain hemorrhage on April 15 and was in intensive care since.

The webmaster at Fornatale's official website posted:
Dear Friends:

It is with a heavy, heavy heart that I write this message …

Pete Fornatale passed away peacefully today at 11:30am. There will be a private wake and funeral service for him.

Fans should know, though, that plans are being made for a memorial tribute to Pete that will be held in the near future. It will be hosted by his friends at WhyHunger, with the support of Pete’s family, his friends, and … of course … his many fans. Information about that event will be made available here on the website.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that a donation be made in Pete Fornatale’s name to WhyHunger, an organization that Pete has been associated with since it was co-founded by his good friend Bill Ayres and the late Harry Chapin in 1975.

To donate to WhyHunger in Pete Fornatale's memory:

By check, payable to WhyHunger (be sure to write “Pete Fornatale” in the memo field):
Please mail to:
505 8th Avenue, Suite 2100
New York, NY 10018

To donate online, please visit -

With Love, Peace and Music ...

Tony Traguardo / Webmaster,
Chuck Singleton, interim GM at WFUV, where Fornatale was associated for over 40 years, said "This is a devastating loss, not just for his family, friends, and colleagues at WFUV, but for radio listeners everywhere. Pete was a beloved air personality for four decades and a master communicator. His influence as a pioneer of progressive FM radio is almost incalculable."

Fornatale started his broadcasting career at WFUV, Fordam University in 1964 with a show called Campus Caravan. The program was one of the earliest examples of progressive radio, playing music by little-known upcoming artists, album cuts from established acts and interviews at length with many of the musicians about their music and careers.

In 1969, he moved to WNEW where he became influential in the music world, eventually launching his legendary Sunday morning show Mixed Bag that help launch the careers of artists like Suzanne Vega and Shawn Colvin.

Over the next decade, he moved to WXRK, WNEW-FM and, in 2001, back to WFUV where his Mixed Bag aired on Saturday nights.

Beyond radio, Fornatale was known as an expert on rock music, leading to his success as an author of such books as the Rock Music Source Book, All You Need is Love: And 99 Other Lessons From Rock Songs, The Story of Rock and Roll and the recent Back to the Garden: The Story of Woodstock.  His writing success also led to the creation a number of multimedia programs on rock music that he would present at venues from schools to coffeehouses.

Fornatale is survived by three sons.

Preview: A Diamond in the Mind: Deluxe Edition - Duran Duran

Artist: Duran Duran
Title: A Diamond in the Mind: Deluxe Edition
Release Date: July 2, 2012 (U.K.), TBD (U.S.)
Label: N/A
Format(s): Blu-Ray/DVD/CD

Duran Duran will release a new live-set on July 2 in the U.K. (date not yet announced for the U.S.) with A Diamond in the Mind. According to Duran Duran's official site, the Deluxe Edition of the set will include a Blu-Ray, DVD, CD and booklet.

The concert was filmed on December 16, 2011 at the MEN Arena in Manchester, England. Bonus features on the DVD are interviews and behind the scenes footage plus bonus performances of Come Undone and Is There Something I Should Know.

The group had two previous live releases on CD, both from shows in the 80's, Arena (released in 1984) and Live at Hammersmith '82 (released in 2009). They also released the live videos/DVDs Working for the Skin Trade (1988) and Live From London (2005).

The set will also be released in standard individual Blu-Ray, DVD and CD.

Track List:

  • Return To Now
  • Before The Rain
  • Planet Earth
  • View To A Kill
  • All You Need Is Now
  • Blame The Machines
  • Safe (In The Heat Of The Moment)
  • The Reflex
  • The Man Who Stole A Leopard
  • Girl Panic!
  • White Lines
  • Careless Memories
  • Ordinary World
  • Notorious
  • Hungry Like The Wolf
  • (Reach Up For The) Sunrise
  • Wild Boys / Relax
  • Rio
  • A Diamond In The Mind
  • Before The Rain
  • Planet Earth
  • A View To A Kill
  • All You Need Is Now
  • Come Undone
  • Blame The Machines
  • The Reflex
  • Girl Panic!
  • Ordinary World
  • Notorious
  • Hungry Like The Wolf
  • (Reach Up For The) Sunrise
  • Wild Boys
  • Rio

Greg Ham's Funeral Set For Next Wednesday

Courtesy of The Push
The funeral for Greg Ham of Men at Work has been set for next Wednesday at the Fitzroy Town Hall in Melbourne.

Ham was found dead at his Carlton home last Thursday, April 19, 2012. Police have ruled there was no foul play in the death of the 58-year old musician. The autopsy results are not expected for some weeks yet.

Friends of Greg Ham say he changed noticeably after losing a copyright case for the Men At Work hit Down Under. A Federal Court ruled that the song was unmistakably similar to the 1932 evergreen Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree. Ham, who created the flute solo in the Men At Work song, came in the firing line of the copyright claims. He was said to have been devastated by the ruling.

Greg had troubles with drugs in the past and the court decision is said to have turned him back to using substances.

The funeral notice for Greg Ham follows:
A Celebration for the life of Greg Ham will be held at the Fitzroy Town Hall, 201 Napier St, Fitzroy on WEDNESDAY (May 2) at 12.00 p.m. Following the Service the cortege will proceed to the Melbourne General Cemetery for a private burial.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of Greg’s choice. Envelopes will be available at the Service. Parking is limited, so public transport is advised.

Set List: Beach Boys Open Their Reunion Tour in Tuscon With 42 Song Show

Never mind that the average age of the five main members of the reunited Beach Boys is 68, it didn't stop them from putting on a two-set, 42-song show for the opening of their 50th Anniversary Tour Tuesday night in Tuscon.
Reviews have generally been very good for the show with critics marveling at how well Al Jardine and Mike Love can still hit the notes on the classics; however, there were many comments about Brian Wilson's wooden look throughout the shows.

Fans, though, couldn't have asked for much more from a set that went all the way back to the beginning with Surfer Girl up to their brand new single, That's Why God Made the Radio.  Included was every top 40 hit from 1962 to 1969 except for Caroline, No, Wild Honey and I Can Hear Music.

The set list:

Set 1
  • Do It Again
  • Catch a Wave
  • Don't Back Down
  • Surfin' Safari
  • Surfer Girl
  • The Little Girl I Once Knew
  • Wendy
  • Then I Kissed Her
  • This Whole World
  • Why Do Fools Fall in Love
  • When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)
  • You're So Good For Me
  • Cottenfields
  • Be True to Your School
  • Disney Girls
  • Please Let Me Wonder
  • Don't Worry Baby
  • Little Honda
  • Little Deuce Coupe
  • 409
  • Shut Down
  • I Get Around
Set 2
  • Sloop John B
  • Wouldn't It Be Nice
  • Forever
  • Sail On, Sailor
  • Heroes and Villains
  • In My Room
  • All This is That
  • God Only Knows
  • That's Why God Made the Radio
  • California Dreamin'
  • California Girls
  • Dance Dance Dance
  • All Summer Long
  • Help Me Rhonda
  • Do You Wanna Dance?
  • Barbara Ann
  • Surfin' U.S.A.
  • Kokomo
  • Good Vibrations
  • Fun Fun Fun

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Interview: Seattle Punk Legends The Sonics

Andrew Tijs from had the opportunity to speak with Rob Lind of Seattle punk legends The Sonics.

The group were pioneers of garage punk in the ‘60s and have had their songs immortalised by the Black Keys (Have Love, Will Travel), The Cramps and The Flaming Lips (Strychnine), as well as being a favourite of Kurt Cobain, The Hives, and James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem. Members of Mudhoney, R.E.M. and Screaming Trees even formed a tribute band. These guys are seriously influential.

In 2007 The Sonics returned to the stage for the first time since their ‘60s heyday (barring a one-off 1972 show) and will be visiting Australia for the first time ever on the Hoodoo GurusDig It Up festival.

We spoke to saxophonist Rob Lind of the band about their triumphant return.

Lind is amused by the idea of them being ‘the first punk band’ (“There’s no argument there”, he laughs) but insists that they were merely a rock n’ roll band. This is despite their deliciously primitive sound and nasty lyrics (like Strychnine’s “Some folks like water, some folks like wine/ I like the taste of strychnine”).

“We never really knew what the words were,” Lind notes, saying about Strychnine, “It’s probably the crowd’s favourite song. We did Strychnine on the album and never played it live once, same with Sinderella. We just did it and got it on the album.” He used to lie to fans who would request the songs, saying they’d play them, but “we didn’t know how to play them and we never knew what words [singer] Gerry [Roslie] was singing.”

“We never consciously set out [to have dark lyrics],” he says, “It was just Gerry not wanting to be like everyone else. He didn’t want to do love songs.”

And they’re well aware of their influence. “One band that has flat out told us that was The Hives from Stockholm,” he recalls, and they’ve since become close with the nouveau rockers. He says The Cramps and The Stooges both performed Sonics songs, and with the Mudhoney/R.E.M./Screaming Trees tribute band, Lind laughs, “If that doesn’t make you feel like an old guy, nothing will.”

“It always makes you feel a little proud, in a way, that people like your music enough to want to incorporate it into their own sets,” he admits.

He’s flattered that bands have covered their songs because they were also a cover band, often having to play three sets a night. “It’s really nice, it’s a nice feeling. It’s an honour, actually,” he says.

And how does it feel being back? “At this point in our lives we’re just completely relaxed and it’s so much fun to do this. If it wasn’t fun we wouldn’t do it.”

Can they still hit it as hard as they did back in the day? Lind assures us they can. Upon returning in 2007, they ensured that they would only play if they could do it properly, leaving some nervous promoters in their wake.

“We were getting offers prior to that to play and we turned all of them down,” he says, “We put this particular promoter off two years in a row. Once we decided to give it a shot, the three of us – Gerry, [guitarist] Larry [Parypa], and I – we knew we had a pretty good reputation and we didn’t want to be one of those older acts that comes out and destroys their reputation.”

They practiced for 18 months and pledged to each other that if it wasn’t right, they wouldn’t play the show. Lind says wryly “We kept stringing this promoter along right up until the last minute”. Right up until a week before the show, they finally said “’Y’know, this is going to work, this is going to be good enough to work. Let’s do it’” Lind recalls, “If it hadn’t have been, we would’ve walked away.”

So be prepared, garage rock diehards. Lind and the band are ready. “We start the first song with as much power as we possibly can. We want people to have to take two steps back once we start playing. I don’t mean in volume, I’m talking about strength.”

Check out the whole chat below.