Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Who talk album, tour for 2011

"We’re in the planning stages for next year…
we are planning on doing something.”

- Roger Daltrey

Following concerns about Pete Townshend's hearing issues, after they surfaced again this past year (see "The Who - What's Next" here), there's good news for fans of The Who: Roger Daltrey is talking about a 2011 tour.

“We’re in the planning stages for next year…we are planning on doing something,"
Daltrey said. "I can’t really talk about specifics yet, but it will be based around a past work.”

But wait...there's more: "Pete is writing…you never know when that might turn up," Roger added. "So, between now and then, there might be a new album, plus Quadrophenia, and Tommy, and those things we haven’t visited for a while. That will be fun.”

Daltrey's comments are part of a fan Q&A session recorded for the band's website.

Roger says The Who are considering how to approach touring these days, given their age and changes in the industry. “The whole music business has been through a seismic shift, so we’re looking at new ways of doing it," said Daltrey. "At the age we are now, you can’t do the number of shows per week that we used to, and you need to do so many to maintain the kind of budget that will allow you to do it in the first place. So it’s kind of a catch-22 situation we’re in.”

When asked about The Who doing a “greatest hits” tour, Roger says, "We have thought about that. But what is a greatest hits show? All the hits and nothing else, and none of the obscure? That would bore me sh*tless.” Beyond that, pleasing themselves and fans is tough juggling act. "If we did a greatest hits tour, everybody would say we’re bored with that’ give us something else. We can never please everybody.”

Roger has his own thoughts on how he'd like to see things come together. “I would like to be on the road playing as many different kind of shows as we could: maybe doing Quadrophenia one night, do greatest hits the next night…this is what I would like to do. And Tommy…if I could still sing Tommy. That, to me, would be really good fun. And don’t keep going out with the same show every night - the audience would have to take a chance on what show they actually got.”

Check out audio of the full Daltrey Q&A session (runs 30 minutes plus) here.

TheThe Who

The Who - Who Are You

The Kids Are Alright (1979)

The Who - Baba O'Riley
The Kids Are Alright (1979)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Alice Cooper thrilled with Hall Of Fame nomination

Alice Cooper says he is thrilled with his nomination yesterday to the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, the first step to possible induction in the Class of 2011 (see news story here).

"On behalf of Dennis (Dunaway), Neal (Smith), Michael (Bruce) and the late great Glen (Buxton), we are honored to be nominated for induction in to the Hall,"
said Alice. "Anytime you are nominated in your chosen profession, it's definitely a compliment to be recognized."

"It's hard to fathom possibly being in the same club as artists who inspired us originally, like the Beatles, the Stones, the Beach Boys, the Who, the Yardbirds, and Chuck Berry, and to be nominated the same year as legendary artists like my personal favorite songwriter of all time, Laura Nyro, as well as Donovan, who sang on our "Billion Dollar Babies" record, and our good friends in Bon Jovi, is a great feeling."

For Cooper, his career started out with a few simple goals. "Five guys starting a band, just hoping to meet girls and drink free beer, rehearsing and playing local bars five hours a night for the first few years -- that was us," said Alice. "We came up with the theatrics and made every effort not to sacrifice the music one bit; we thought it was like our job to bring theatrics to rock 'n' roll. And then, amazingly enough, we were having a bunch of massive hit records which was proof that theatricality and rock 'n' roll could, in fact, be joined successfully. We've been told that we revolutionized the live concert experience and if that's truly the case and it's led to this nomination for induction into the Hall of Fame, the only thing to say is, of course, "There's no business like show business!"

Ballots will be sent to more than 500 voters, who will select artists to be inducted into the RRHOF at the 26th Annual Induction Ceremony; inductees will be announced in December and the Induction Ceremony will take place on March 14, 2011 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

To be eligible for entry into the RRHOF, an act must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. The 2011 Nominees had to release their first recording no later than 1985.

AliceAlice Cooper

Alice Cooper - Hello Hooray (1973)

Alice Cooper - Welcome To My Nightmare
The Muppet Show (1978)

Alice Cooper, Bon Jovi among 2011 Rock Hall nominations

Alice Cooper and New Jersey’s Bon Jovi are among the artist nominations for the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame class of 2011.

The Hall announced their list of 15 nominees Tuesday for possible induction next year; here’s the full list:

·    Alice Cooper
·    Beastie Boys
·    Bon Jovi
·    Chic
·    Neil Diamond
·    Donovan
·    Dr. John
·    J. Geils Band
·    LL Cool J
·    Darlene Love
·    Laura Nyro
·    Donna Summer
·    Joe Tex
·    Tom Waits
·    Chuck Willis

Traditionally, the Hall inducts about 5 artists in the “Performer” category each year that represent a cross-section of musical styles (ie. they won’t choose 5 “rock” acts), as well as representatives in non-performer categories – generally, people who have helped influence and shape the music industry in some way.

Ballots will be sent to more than 500 voters, who will select artists to be inducted into the RRHOF at the 26th Annual Induction Ceremony; inductees will be announced in December and the Induction Ceremony will take place on March 14, 2011 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

To be eligible for entry into the RRHOF, an act must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. The 2011 Nominees had to release their first recording no later than 1985.

“We believe our nominating committee has put forth a list of artists that truly represent the wide variety of music that defines rock and roll,” commented Joel Peresman, President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

Of the 15 nominees announced, who would you select for the final 5?

AliceAlice Cooper

Alice Cooper – Elected (1973)

BonBon Jovi

Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer (1986)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New court date for Motley Crue singer’s DUI case

A Las Vegas judge has set a new court date for Motley Crue’s Vince Neil to address his DUI and speeding charges from an incident back in June.

Neil’s lawyers were in a Vegas court on Monday when a judge set October 11 as the next date for follow-up on the case; no plea was entered on Vince’s behalf.

On June 27, Neil was picked up for suspicion of DUI in Las Vegas (see original story here, mug shot here and police report details here) after his Lamborghini was pulled over for driving 60 mph in a 45 mph zone and for "weaving between the lanes."

At the time, TMZ reported that Vegas Police department files indicated the Vince failed a field sobriety test three times due to a blood-alcohol level almost three times the legal limit.

Neil — who admitted to having consumed three glasses of champagne at the Hilton hotel earlier in the night — eventually gave up by saying, "I can't do this," the report stated. Vince was then asked by the officer to take two breathalyzer tests and, according to the police report, he registered .215 and .216 — nearly three times the .08 limit.

Tattoos Tattoos & Tequila - Vince Neil (cd)

Vince Neil – Tattoos & Tequila (2010)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pink Floyd's David Gilmour meets The Orb

Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour appears on “Metallic Spheres,” the new album by ambient sensations The Orb.

Available October 12, the album is billed as “The Orb featuring David Gilmour.”

The Orb, the visionary UK 'ambient/house' collective, came to collaborate with Gilmour after working together on a version of Graham Nash's "Chicago" for a charity project. Youth (aka Martin Glover), a frequent Orb accomplice, was invited to create a remix, and he and Alex Paterson, as The Orb, were so energized by the task that they continued working until it was an album-length entity. Having asked Gilmour to bring his guitars to Youth's studio in South London to prolong and enrich their new creation, the trio worked up a sonic mixture in a range of styles.

The Metallic Spheres project was born.

"It's a collision that's been waiting to happen with Pink Floyd/David Gilmour and The Orb orbiting many of the same planets,” says Paterson.

The Orb featuring David Gilmour – trailer (2010)

Metallic Spheres is designed to be heard in two parts – 'Metallic Side' (24'48"), and 'Spheres Side' (25'09"). Each track, or side, consists of five movements. The album uniquely utilizes David Gilmour's electric guitar and lap steel guitar, Alex Paterson's sound manipulation, keyboards and turntables, and Youth's bass guitar and keyboards.

The album will be available in three formats: standard and 2-disc deluxe versions on CD; digital download; and 180-gram vinyl. The deluxe 2-CD version includes an extra disc, featuring the new 3D60™ process, which allows a 360-degree sound experience on stereo tracks without any special equipment.

Pink Pink Floyd

David David Gilmour

David Gilmour – Comfortably Numb
AOL Sessions, NYC – April 7, 2006

The The Orb

The Orb – Blue Room (1992)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Green Day’s Billie Joe on Broadway this week

Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong will join the Broadway production of "American Idiot" this week for a series of eight shows.

“I'm gonna be playing the part of St. Jimmy in AI on broadway sept 28 thru Oct 3,” Armstrong posted to Twitter on Sunday. “All week! See ya there! Rage n love-billie joe.”

The Green Day frontman will be filling in for actor Tony Vincent, who has taken a short leave to deal with a family matter; he’ll return on October 12, with his understudies covering the second week of his absence.

Billie Joe will rejoin Green Day for the start of the band’s South American tour, which kicks off in Caracas, Venezuela on October 8.

This marks Armstrong’s Broadway performance debut. As “St. Jimmy,” a central character in the show, Billie Joe will perform “Know Your Enemy,”
“Homecoming,” “Last Night on Earth,”
and “St. Jimmy.”

Armstrong’s appearance is expected to boost ticket sales for the musical, which has seen slow sales in the first few weeks of fall, when Broadway attendance usually dips following the busy summer season.

Green Green Day

Green Day – American Idiot – The Musical (trailer)

Green Day – American Idiot: Broadway cast
Late Show with David Letterman – April 29, 2010

Green Day – St. Jimmy
Live From Abbey Road – May 4, 2009

Kiss rocks Facebook

Last night, Kiss streamed their live set from the Epicenter Twenty Ten Festival via Facebook's Nightclub City and Ustream, as well as through a network of rock radio stations in the States.

The feed marked the first time a band of Kiss’ stature has streamed a live show through a social gaming application.

Nightclub City - a popular music-centric social game and marketing platform for musicians on Facebook - is a digital game based around real-world music, and the KISS event represents a blurring of the lines between the real and digital worlds.

Kiss, headlining the first day of the festival at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, delivered a shortened set due to some poor scheduling by the fest and/or a p.r. move by the band. Set to hit the stage at 9:35 p.m. and facing the festival’s strict 11:00 p.m. curfew, Kiss were only able to play an 80-minute set versus their traditional 2-hour plus show.

"We were gonna rock you for two-and-a-half-hours,” Paul Stanley told the crowd, “but we were told we can't...they told us we've got a curfew."


Kiss – Epicenter Twenty Ten Festival promo (2010)

Kiss – Modern Day Delilah
Epicenter Twenty Ten Festival
Fontana, CA – September 25, 2010

Kiss – Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll
Epicenter Twenty Ten Festival
Fontana, CA – September 25, 2010

Kiss – I Love It Loud
Epicenter Twenty Ten Festival
Fontana, CA – September 25, 2010

Kiss – Rock & Roll All Nite
Epicenter Twenty Ten Festival
Fontana, CA – September 25, 2010

The Allman Brothers Band rock Don Kirshner – part 2

The Allman Brothers Band were in rebuild mode in 1973.

Following the death of bassist Berry Oakley in the fall of ’72, the Allmans were still reeling from the loss of guitarist Duane Allman a year earlier – both in motorcycle accidents.

At the time of Oakley’s passing, the Allmans were recording “Brothers And Sisters”; they found a way to move forward, and complete the album, with the addition of Lamar Williams on bass and Chuck Leavell on keyboards.

By the time the record was completed, guitarist Dickey Betts had assumed the lead role in the band, and his songs were front and center on the album.

Primarily a live attraction, the ABB toured constantly, and were eager to showcase their new music following “Brothers And Sisters” release in August.

On September 10, 1973, the ABB rolled into the Grand Opera House in Macon, Georgia for show to be filmed for Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert.

Billed as “Saturday Night In Macon With The Allman Brothers Band,” the episode also featured southern rockers The Marshall Tucker Band, Wet Willie and comedian Martin Mull.

The The Allman Brothers Band

The Allman Brothers Band – Statesboro Blues
Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert – recorded September 10, 1973

The Allman Brothers Band – Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More
Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert – recorded September 10, 1973

The Allman Brothers Band – program end with credits
Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert – recorded September 10, 1973

Check out: The Allman Brothers Band rock Don Kirshner – part 1

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Aerosmith will continue with Steven Tyler

“There’s a lot of not knowing what’s going to happen, but that’s how it’s always been for us”

- Aerosmith’s Tom Hamilton

Tom Hamilton wants fans to know that Aerosmith will continue – with Steven Tyler – despite the singer’s recent public confirmation as an American Idol judge (see “Steven Tyler confirmed as American Idol judge” here).

“Steven’s been very emphatic in saying that the way his time is arranged on the show leaves room to work on a record,” Hamilton told the Boston Herald. “He’s been taking great pains to remind everybody of that, so hopefully that’s the way it will come out.”

Hamilton told the paper that he’s anxious to get in the studio to work on a new Aerosmith record, but the band is going to need to learn to juggle some new schedules. “There’s a lot of not knowing what’s going to happen, but that’s how it’s always been for us,” he said.

Tom does have an eye on the bigger picture, keenly aware of the impact AI has on pop culture. “I’m not sitting here thinking that (Tyler on AI) is not going to work for us. Steven is an incredible I-can-do-anything kind of guy. But he’s taken a big bite, and I’m looking forward to seeing him chew it.”

Hamilton confirmed that the band was made aware of Tyler’s “potential” Idol gig from band management in late July, before a show in Southern California.

The bassist said he’s never watched AI, but thinks another tv series might be a better fit for the band as whole. “Just this afternoon I was watching ‘Family Feud’ thinking we should be on this show,” Tom said, laughing, “Oh wait, we already are!

Aerosmith Aerosmith

Aerosmith – Livin’ On The Edge
“You Gotta Move” DVD
Office Depot Center - Sunrise, FL - April 3, 2004

Aerosmith – Train ‘Kept A Rollin’
The Midnight Special – August 16, 1974

More Tom Jones live

People continue to buzz over the new Tom Jones record, “Praise & Blame.”

Over the past few days, I’ve posted a few items on the project (see “Tom Jones rocks Letterman” here and “Tom Jones gets 'Praise & Blame' from his own label” here), and hennemusic readers continue to respond in large numbers to the stories.

So…here’s some more of Tom’s live appearances in support of the new disc.

Praise Praise & Blame - Tom Jones

Tom Jones – Don’t Knock
BBC - Andrew Marr Show – July 25, 2010

Tom Jones – Didn’t It Rain
Paul O’Grady Show – September 10, 2010

Tom Jones – Nobody’s Fault But Mine
Latitude Festival, Suffolk, UK – July 18, 2010

Tom Jones – Burning Hell
BBC – Friday Night with Jonathan Ross – July 9, 2010

The Allman Brothers Band rock Don Kirshner – part 1

The Allman Brothers Band were in rebuild mode in 1973.

Following the death of bassist Berry Oakley in the fall of ’72, the Allmans were still reeling from the loss of guitarist Duane Allman a year earlier – both in motorcycle accidents.

At the time of Oakley’s passing, the Allmans were recording “Brothers And Sisters”; they found a way to move forward, and complete the album, with the addition of Lamar Williams on bass and Chuck Leavell on keyboards.

By the time the record was completed, guitarist Dickey Betts had assumed the lead role in the band, and his songs were front and center on the album.

Primarily a live attraction, the ABB toured constantly, and were eager to showcase their new music following “Brothers And Sisters” release in August.

On September 10, 1973, the ABB rolled into the Grand Opera House in Macon, Georgia for show to be filmed for Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert.

Billed as “Saturday Night In Macon With The Allman Brothers Band,” the episode also featured southern rockers The Marshall Tucker Band, Wet Willie and comedian Martin Mull.

The The Allman Brothers Band

The Allman Brothers Band – intro by promoter Bill Graham
Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert – recorded September 10, 1973

The Allman Brothers Band – Done Somebody Wrong
Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert – recorded September 10, 1973

The Allman Brothers Band – Southbound
Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert – recorded September 10, 1973

The Allman Brothers – Midnight Rider
Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert – recorded September 10, 1973

Tomorrow: The Allman Brothers Band rock Don Kirshner – part 2

Rock n’ Roll advice from Duff McKagan

Duff McKagan put together an interesting list for his blog on Seattle Weekly, passing along the wisdom of his rock n’ roll experiences with Guns N' Roses, Neurotic Outsiders, Velvet Revolver, Loaded, and several other projects.

“ I must say that there is really nothing that I would or could change about my story thus far in the context of the bands I have been in . . . or how I have conducted myself and bandmates' reactions to certain situations,” writes Duff. “It is what it is (and it has been what it has been).”

“HOWEVER!,” he continues. “It may be helpful if I could perhaps dispense a few dos and don'ts to new and up-and-coming rock bands. Believe me, I have walked into a few brick walls in my times of rock-and-roll madness. I've matriculated sometimes only because this person or that showed me how to walk AROUND that same virtual brick edifice. On that note, here are 10 tips to muse on, mixed in with time bombs to hopefully avoid!”

By Duff McKagan

1. If you are one of those people who got into music for the chicks and drugs and not the passion of a song and the power of musical moments, go home.


2. Don't smoke crack on a leased private jet.

The smell gets into EVERYTHING!

3. Like the people in your band.

Or at least use the animosity within your band as a springboard for great f**king art!

4. Have a kick-ass band name.

Unless your band is so good that your band name is THAT secondary, choose a name that means something to the band and has some sort of imagery that is a reflection of the music. Let's face it, the band name MUSE is kinda lame. But once you see or hear the band, the name is the last thing you think about.

5. Don't sign a deal that ties you up with one particular manager.

There is no real upside for the artist here. If a manager believes in you and can get you good tours and nice licensing deals, etc., well, then just give the manager commissions on that stuff. Trust me. Not signing a deal keeps a manager hustling FOR the artist.

6. Don't get addicted.

Drugs and alcohol can seem sexy and fun--for a while . . . until you can't live WITHOUT them. Then it's all dumb and terrifying.

7. Watch how the business works around you.

Ask questions constantly and never be embarrassed to do so. "How much does a T-shirt cost to make?" or "What does publishing really mean?" are just two examples.

8. From the start, try to ascertain that you and your bandmates have the same goals.

Back when Guns N' Roses first started, there WAS a different lead guitar player and drummer. When Axl, Izzy, and myself booked a punk-rock style tour of the West Coast in 1985, and these two other guys didn't want to leave the comfort of L.A., we went and found guys who DID! Thankfully and serendipitously, we found Slash and Steven Adler!

9. Get used to being away from cozy s**t and the safety of home.

Bring your teddy bear if you need to. And get Skype.

10. Don't be an a**hole to other bands.

If you are good and stay around for a while, being an a**hole PERIOD is going to make life very hard for you.

Guns Guns N' Roses

Guns N’ Roses – Patience (1988)

Duff Duff McKagan

Duff McKagan – Wild Horses
Hootenany For A Healthy Gulf
The Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA – September 2, 2010

Duff Duff McKagan's Loaded

Duff McKagan’s Loaded – Flatline (2009)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tom Jones gets “Praise & Blame” from his own label

Judging by the response to my Tom Jones post yesterday (see “Tom Jones rocks Letterman” here), it appears Tom is doing a fine job of turning heads with his new album, “Praise & Blame.”

Ironically, one of the first heads that was turned belonged to Island Records’ vice-president, David Sharpe.

Upon first hearing Jones’ new music, Sharpe reportedly wrote an email to a colleague on May 19 calling the record “a sick joke,” insisting the label "pull back this project immediately or get my money back." Sharpe’s email was leaked to the press in early July, just weeks before “Praise” was released; some have speculated that this was a marketing stunt, while others believe it happened naturally, as reported.

I haven’t been able to locate a copy of the full email, but there are certainly enough quotes reported in the media to piece its key points together.

Here are parts of Sharpe’s email, as reported by several sources:
“Imagine my surprise when I walked into the office this morning to hear hymns coming from your office – it could have been Sunday morning. My initial pleasure came to an abrupt halt when I realised that Tom Jones was singing the hymns! I have just listened to the album in its entirety and want to know if this is some sick joke????”

“We did not invest a fortune in an established artist for him to deliver 12 tracks from the common book of prayer. Having lured him from EMI, the deal was that you would deliver a record of upbeat tracks along the lines of Sex Bomb and Mama Told Me…”

"As venerable and interesting as Tom's story is, this is not what was agreed and certainly not what we paid for. Please don't give me the art over commerce argument, it's run its course...what are you thinking when he went all spiritual?”
Tom was, naturally, not pleased with the news that a VP at his new label was slamming his first project for them. “People are going to read this and think the record company doesn’t like this or that I’ve made a mistake,” he told the Welsh paper, Western Mail. “It’s not coming from the creative people in the record company, because they’re backing it up all the way, I mean they’re thrilled with it, so I don’t understand it. When I questioned them and said ‘what the hell is this all about? Who is this fella? I don’t even know who he is, I found out that he’s some fella who signs cheques or something. But he’s not in the creative side of it and they’re 100% behind it, but people don’t know that.”

Tom added, “They’ve apologized, they can’t apologize enough – and they’ve said ‘we’ll make good on this’.”

To make matters worse, it’s been reported that Sharpe refused to back down on his stand following the leak; he’s been quoted as saying “Parts of this record company wanted to deliver an album for the typical Tom Jones fan and I don't know if that is what we got. Shall we say we've paid for a Mercedes - we've got the hearse that's arrived".

As for the stunt vs. reality angle, I can’t imagine why a label exec would make himself look this ignorant and out of touch in a public way – especially when the music has such an obvious amount of soul – so I suspect the email was written, as reported, and a leak did happen.

Look, Sharpe isn’t the first record exec in history to be ignorant and out of touch; heck, The Beatles were turned down by all kinds of music industry people who had no sense of vision and, historically, the industry is littered with stories of this kind.

Sharpe’s lack of musical sensibilities and his desire to play it safe, by simply having Jones do what he’s done before, is symptomatic of an ongoing problem in the music industry as a whole. Labels fall all over themselves to find artists and acts that sound just like someone else who’s had success: “let’s just copy that formula and make some money for ourselves.” Without making any connection between “safe” and declining music sales, the industry continues to want to make a quick buck profiting from trends and the public’s short attention span.

The other side of the coin is artist development: allowing an artist to grow their vision organically without interference from accountants disguised as management, like Sharpe. It’s rare to find long term thinking with artist development at major labels, and part of the reason artists have always debated the pros and cons of signing with a small or major label – or simply do it themselves.

Ironically, the success of “Praise” will make Sharpe look even more foolish while making his company more money.

Things to consider: if “Praise” succeeds in a big way, will Sharpe earn a bonus? On the other hand, if “Praise” stiffs, will Sharpe lose his job?

I suspect Sharpe was worried about his job - note the phrase: "pull back this project immediately or get my money back." How did Island’s investment become “his” money? Is that why he appeared to be in panic mode when he wrote his nasty email, or was he simply trying to cover his ass (like the contestants on “The Apprentice” do every week)?

Private company emails are one thing, but for Sharpe to continue to blast his own artist publicly is, essentially, an act of sabotage – is it enough to get him fired by his bosses?

Would you lose your job for doing the same thing?

Praise Praise & Blame - Tom Jones

Tom Jones – What Good Am I?
Original by Bob Dylan
Later With Jools Holland – May 26, 2010

Tom Jones – Strange Things
From Tom’s studio in Wiltshire, UK
GMTV, London, UK – July 27, 2010

Tom Jones – Did Trouble Me
From Tom’s studio in Wiltshire, UK
GMTV, London, UK – July 27, 2010

Heart’s Nancy Wilson files for divorce

Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson has filed for divorce from writer/director Cameron Crowe, after 24 years of marriage.

Court papers, citing irreconcilable differences, were filed September 16; the couple separated in June, 2008.

Wilson and Crowe have twin 10-year old sons, William and Curtis; Nancy has filed for joint custody of the pair.

Crowe won an Oscar for his screenplay of “Almost Famous,” based loosely on his early days as a young reporter for Rolling Stone magazine. His screenwriting career kicked off with 1982’s “Fast Times At Ridgemont High,” one of a few Crowe films that featured cameos by Nancy (she also showed up in 1984’s “The Wild Life.”); she also wrote music for some of his other movies. Crowe’s film credits include “Singles,” “Jerry McGuire” and “Vanilla Sky,” among others.

Heart has just released “Red Velvet Car,” their first studio effort in six years.

Heart Heart

Heart – What About Love (1985)

Heart – Wheels (2010)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tommy Lee’s Methods Of Mayhem on Tonight Show

Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee has resurrected his Methods Of Mayhem project, 11 years after the band’s debut was released.

MOM’s new album, “A Public Disservice Announcement,” is out this week, and Tommy and the guys are making the media rounds to spread the word.

Lee actually relaunched things last year, when he wrote and recorded songs for the new record, and then made the individual ‘parts’ available for download via to anyone who wanted to add their own parts or remix the existing pieces…to create new soundscapes entirely.

In a way, Lee was offering to collaborate on the record with the whole world.

Between October 5, 2009 and the end of the ‘submission’ period this past February, Tommy received more than 10,000 submissions and more than 1 million page views. Lee reviewed everything, selected the best works, and integrated the tracks into the final album.

According to Tommy, about 50 submissions made the final cut, and everyone whose parts were used received credit and thanks on the disc.

There are special “guest” apparances on “Disservice,” as well: Nickelback's Chad Kroeger sings on "Fight Song," Deftones' Chino Moreno appears on "Only One," and Sum 41's Deryck Whibley is part of the opening track, "Drunk Uncle Pete."

To launch the record, MOM played The Tonight Show last night, performing the first single, “Time Bomb.”

A A Public Disservice Announcement (Special Edition) - Methods of Mayhem

Methods Of Mayhem – Time Bomb
The Tonight Show – September 22, 2010

And here’s the official video for the track….

Methods Of Mayhem – Time Bomb (2010)

HBO to air Springsteen film

Some Bruce Springsteen news on his birthday today, so let’s start with a Happy Birthday, Bruce!

Following its recent premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (see “Springsteen Rocks Toronto Film Fest” here and “Watch Springsteen Toronto Film Fest interview” here), Springsteen’s new documentary, “The Promise,” is set for broadcast next month on HBO.

“The Promise: The Making Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town,” an in-the-studio look at the recording of Springsteen's 1978 album, will debut Thursday, October 7 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

If you miss the debut, HBO will be running the film several times:

October 12 (3:30 p.m., 12:30 a.m.)
October 16 (11:30 p.m.)
October 21 (10:30 a.m., 1:55 a.m.)
October 24 (5:00 p.m.)
October 30 (2:00 p.m.)

“The Promise: The Making Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town,” goes into the studio with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for the recording of their fourth album. Grammy- and Emmy-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny has collaborated with Springsteen on this documentary, gaining access to never before seen footage shot from 1976 to 1978, capturing home rehearsals and recording sessions that reveal Springsteen’s creative process at work.

Bruce Springsteen
The Promise: The Making of Darkness On The Edge Of Town (clip)

Bruce Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen – Darkness On The Edge Of Town
Capital Center, Landover, Maryland – August 15, 1978

Tom Jones rocks Letterman

Tom Jones is back with a new album, “Praise & Blame,” a collection of gospel and blues numbers.

It’s a stripped down, lean affair, thanks to producer Ethan Johns (Kings Of Leon), and it’s already being compared (favorably) to Rick Rubin’s work with Johnny Cash.

Jones and producer/guitarist Johns recorded the record with live sessions at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in Bath, England with a small band that consisted of Johns on guitar, Jeremy Stacey on drums and Dave Bronze on bass. Guests include Booker T. Jones, BJ Cole and Gillian Welch.

Tom Jones – The making of Praise & Blame (2010)

At the age of 70, Jones is reinterpreting songs by Susan Werner, Bob Dylan and John Lee Hooker, as well as traditional repertoire from the works of The Staple Singers, Mahalia Jackson and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

“Well, I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a long time, and some of the albums I’ve done in the past, one or two tracks sometimes have been like this–stripped down,” Tom told the Huffington Post. “I’ve always liked that…not for all songs, but for songs of this nature especially. I feel you don’t need a lot on them musician-wise. I think this is the best way to approach it, for me anyway. And I think it shows the voice off, and you can hear the tonal quality of the vocals. We took a lot of time picking the keys to get them in the right keys. We wanted to do some of the slower songs low because my voice over the years has become lower and richer.”

Tom was no stranger to the material. “I used to do songs like this in Wales growing up,” he said. “If I went to Sunday school at 2:30 on a Sunday afternoon, to the Presbyterian Chapel, we did a lot of gospel hymns which I didn't realize was gospel until later on. Not as much as they do in the Southern states, but the songs are definitely there with the gospel element. For instance, when I was in Las Vegas with Elvis Presley--God bless him when he was still alive--we would hang out at night in his suite and we would sing mostly gospel songs because he loved gospel, and he would start to sing these songs and I would join in. He asked me, "How come you know these songs?" and I said, "Well, we sing them in Wales, not exactly as you do." Now I do, but not when I was a kid so much. But the songs were definitely there.”

Last night, Tom rocked a John Lee Hooker classic on Letterman’s show….check it out:

Praise Praise & Blame - Tom Jones

Tom Jones – Burning Hell
The Late Show with David Letterman – September 22, 2010

Metallica, Springsteen and more join Kinks tribute

Ray Davies is set to release “See My Friends,” an album of classic Kinks songs recorded in tandem with other artists, on November 1.

Ray collaborates with a formidable selection of artists on tracks from his songwriting career, revisiting his back catalogue and crafting new versions of his classic songs - everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Metallica features on a diverse collection of material.

"This project came about almost by accident," said Davies, which was kick-started when he recorded a version of “'Till The End Of The Day” in the summer of 2009, with Alex Chilton. "With some tracks, I had to appreciate the style of the other artists, otherwise it would have sounded unbalanced. And I wanted the album to work as an entire listening experience, but each track had a life of its own.”

Ray traveled wherever the music took him: Oslo via Denmark, Germany and Belgium to record with Metallica, New York to record with Jon Bon Jovi, New Jersey for Bruce Springsteen, Chicago for Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins and his own north London base, the legendary KONK studios, for much of the rest. "This record is well-travelled already," said Ray.

Paloma Faith, Jackson Browne, Black Francis of the Pixies, Lucinda Williams, Amy MacDonald and Spoon also feature on the record, which follows Ray's acclaimed tour of North America and the UK, plus a stand out set on Glastonbury's Pyramid stage this summer.

Waterloo Waterloo Sunset (feat. the Crouch End Festival Chorus) - The Kinks Choral Collection (feat. the Crouch End Festival Chorus)

Ray Davies – Waterloo Sunset
Glastonbury Festival – June 27, 2010

“About a year ago, we had the honor of playing with Ray Davies at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary concert in New York,” Metallica posted on their website. “It was the first time we had ever met Ray, and was definitely one of the highlights of our night. Fast forward a few months to the tuning room before the show in Oslo on April 14 and there we were recording with Ray!!! How cool is that?”

Ray Davies with Metallica – recording You Really Got Me (partial)
Telenor Arena - Oslo, Norway – April 14, 2010

Metallica and Davies ended up laying down a new version of “You Really Got Me,” which they had also performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame show. “Turns out that Ray has been planning to put out a record of collaborations on classic Kinks songs with a wide variety of today’s musicians and, lo and behold, we were actually asked to be included in this stellar group spanning many genres and styles,” the band said.

The tracklisting for 'See My Friends' is:

01. Better Things - Ray Davies & Bruce Springsteen
02. Celluloid Heroes - Ray Davies, Jon Bon Jovi & Richie Sambora
03. Days/This Time Tomorrow - Ray Davies & Mumford & Sons
04. Long Way From Home - Ray Davies, Lucinda Williams & The 88
05. You Really Got Me - Ray Davies & Metallica
06. Lola Ray - Davies & Paloma Faith
07. Waterloo Sunset - Ray Davies & Jackson Browne
08. 'Til The End of The Day - Ray Davies, Alex Chilton & The 88
09. Dead End Street - Ray Davies & Amy Macdonald
10. See My Friends Ray Davies & Spoon
11. This Is Where I Belong - Ray Davies & Black Francis
12. David Watts - Ray Davies & The 88
13. Tired Of Waiting - Ray Davies & Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol)
14. All Day And All Of The Night/Destroyer - Ray Davies & Billy Corgan

YouThe Kinks - You Really Got Me - The British Are Coming, Vol. 1

The Kinks – You Really Got Me
The Beat Room – 1964

The Kinks – Lola
BBC – Top Of The Pops - 1970

The Kinks – All Day And All Of The Night (live)

Lynyrd Skynyrd namesake dies

Leonard Skinner, the no-nonsense, flat-topped basketball coach and gym teacher whose name is forever linked with Jacksonville’s legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd, died in his sleep early Monday morning after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s. He was 77.

"Coach Skinner had such a profound impact on our youth that ultimately led us to naming the band, which you know as Lynyrd Skynyrd, after him,” said guitarist Gary Rossington. “Looking back, I cannot imagine it any other way. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."

The famous tale of how the southern rock kings got their name dates back to the ‘60s at Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, Florida. The coach would send students to the principal’s office if he thought their hair was too long; included in the group of kids involved in this practice were some who would later form a band and decide to name it after him as a mocking tribute.

In the 70s, after his teaching days ended, Skinner went into the real estate business, and gained more notoriety after the band featured a realty lawn sign with his name and phone number on the inner sleeve of their third album, “Nuthin’ Fancy.” It wasn’t long before fans started calling Skinner at all hours to talk about the band with him.

As the years went by, Skinner eventually became friends with various members of the band.

Lynyrd Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Freebird
BBC – Old Grey Whistle Test – 1975

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Watch new Neil Young videos

Neil Young continues to reveal more of his new album, “Le Noise,” due out next Tuesday (see “Neil Young introduces Le Noise” here).

Neil has released two videos already – “Angry World” and “The Hitchhiker” – and another 2 have surfaced: “Walk With Me” and “Love And War.”

Half of the album’s 8 tracks are now visible online, in addition to the disc being streamed in full by NPR Radio (see “Preview Neil Young’s ‘Le Noise’" here).

Neil Young - Walk With Me
A Conversation with Daniel Lanois

Neil Neil Young

Neil Young – Walk With Me (2010)

Neil Young – Love And War (2010)

Stone Temple Pilots postpone tour dates

“I'm going to take care of myself because that's what I need to take care of.”
- Scott Weiland onstage in Houston, Sep 19/10

There’s trouble in Stone Temple Pilots land these days.

STP have postponed 12 dates on their current tour, with plans to resume things mid-October in Florida.

Without stating the reasons behind the unscheduled break, rumours are flying about singer Scott Weiland’s status following a series of strange events at the band’ Houston show on Sunday.

For starters, STP hit the stage late, about an hour after openers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club; once they did, Weiland began the show with a rambling speech that had many wondering if he was in full control of his faculties.

"On the 8th of December will be the time when I stopped doing dope," Weiland started, trying to hush the crowd when it cheered. "No, no, no, no," he said. "I started drinking again. My brother died, I got divorced to my wife, and my whole world basically spun around. So you know what? I'm going to take care of myself because that's what I need to take care of. Instead of just having a few shows, I want to have a whole hell of a lot of shows."

Stone Temple Pilots – Weiland intro speech / Crackerman
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion - Houston, TX – September 19, 2010

Stay tuned…

Take Take a Load Off - Stone Temple Pilots (Deluxe Version)

Stone Temple Pilots – Take A Load Off (2010)

Stone Temple Pilots - Between the Lines - Single - Between the Lines Stone Temple Pilots - Between the Lines - Single - Between the Lines

Stone Temple Pilots – Between The Lines (2010)

Steven Tyler confirmed as American Idol judge

“Sing like you do when nobody’s looking…
cause the whole world will be.”

- Steven Tyler

The worst-kept secret in show business was finally confirmed today, as American Idol confirmed their judges for the new season.

As expected, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler will join Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson on the panel for Season 10 of AI, set to premiere in January.

"I’ve been on tour for most of my life in a band with 4 guys who judge me every day. Sometimes it hurt but it only made me stronger,” said Tyler. “I want to give everybody a little love before I decide who goes home heartbroken. If you don’t like what I say don’t get mad, get better. I’m ready to bring some rock to this ‘roller’ coaster and show these kids if they have the dream, the talent and the drive, they will be the next American Idol.”

"I'm sure we're going to send some people home with a broken heart, but with everything we've been through in our careers, and living vicariously through young talent, it's gonna be hard," Tyler commented. "But also fun, because they're gonna step up to the plate, and so are we."

Steven offered this advice to AI hopefuls, “Sing like you do when nobody’s looking…cause the whole world will be.”

Tyler then spoke of the issues this gig has caused within Aerosmith. ""With the band, we've been married for 40 years now — five guys — which makes it even worse than women, and I could go for an hour and explain that," he said. "At first they were jealous, they heard it through the press and not through me. But then I said to them, 'Four months ago you were looking for another lead singer.' So things go up and down. I spent a stint in Betty Ford (clinic). But as the band goes, we live on the tail of a comet. And I've been on tour with these guys for 40 years, and they've been judging me every day. And sometimes it hurt — a lot of times — most times, I came out through the wormhole stronger. So it's a real journey with those guys and they would say the same about me. I'm sure they're real happy for me; I mean, this is gonna do nothing more than take it all up another step or two. And it's good, I like it."

“For nine years I’ve enjoyed watching artists compete to get a meaningful chance to achieve their dreams,” said Lopez. “I know from my own experience how hard it is to succeed, and I’m looking forward to discovering and nurturing that spirit in the many American Idol contestants I look forward to meeting this year.”

“I can’t believe it’s been 10 years of the greatest show in the world,” said Jackson. “I am looking forward to this next season; we are going to knock it out of the park. Season 10 is going to be hot!”

There’s more changes at AI: Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records and one of the world’s most successful and prolific music producers, will join AI as an in-house mentor. Throughout the season, AI will go behind-the-scenes to feature Iovine working with, and lending his expertise, to the contestants as they compete to become the next AI.

“Our 10th season begins with a completely invigorated panel of judges with Jennifer and Steven joining Randy. This is combined with the world’s most successful and brilliant music executive, Jimmy Iovine, becoming the contestants’ special mentor,” explains series creator and executive producer Simon Fuller. “Amercian Idol 2011 promises plenty of surprises and positive changes, and we look forward to continuing to innovate and lead the way for others to follow.”

In amongst all the media noise, the AI press release also mentions that Tyler’s autobiography, “Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?,” is set for release early next year.

“Brand Tyler” is up and running…

Aerosmith Aerosmith

Aerosmith – Dream On (1973)

American Idol – Season 10 press conference
September 22, 2010

Unreleased Van Halen song surfaces

An unreleased Van Halen song has surfaced, thanks to the folks at the Van Halen News Desk.

The untitled track, believed to be called “Ripley,” was originally recorded during the sessions for the “1984” album, but didn’t make the final cut; Eddie then used the song when doing the music score for the 1984 film, “The Wild Life.”

Written by Cameron Crowe, “The Wild Life” was billed as being “from the creators of ‘Fast Times At Ridgemont High’ – something even faster.” Universal Pictures were clearly trying to capitalize on the success of “Ridgemont High,” tying in Crowe’s connection and going so far as to feature “Fast Time’s” star Sean Penn’s brother, Chris, in the lead role.

The song was recorded on a Ripley guitar (hence the assumed title), an unusual instrument itself: designed by Steve Ripley (leader of the country rock band The Tractors), each string on the guitar can be sent to different parts of the audio spectrum (think left/right in the stereo field) through the use of individual pan pots. Eddie used one of the very first original Ripley guitars on “1984’s” “Top Jimmy.”

While “The Wild Life” featured Eddie’s musical score in bits and pieces throughout the movie, the companion soundtrack release featured one full EVH song, “Donut City,” where Eddie played all the parts himself.

“Ripley” was recorded with Alex Van Halen on drums, and this is the first time a full version has surfaced.

The film remains available only on VHS and laser disc; no DVD has been released, reportedly due, in part, to the music rights issues concerning the artists on the soundtrack.

Eddie Van Halen – Ripley (full version)
Partial clips featured in “The Wild Life” (1984)

Eddie Van Halen – Donut City (1984)
The Wild Life soundtrack

Guitar legends “Turn It Up!” in new movie

"Turn It Up!" is a newly-completed feature-length film celebration of the electric guitar. Hosted by Kevin Bacon, the movie explores mankind’s passion for the electric guitar, and its effect on artists, everyday players, pop culture, history, and even politics.

Directed by Robert Radler, “Turn it Up!” is the story and history of the electric guitar, from the invention in the 1930s to its golden years, right through the phenomenon of the Guitar Hero video-game and the digital guitars of the future. It’s also a series of guitar stories, where everyone from rock stars, to congressmen, CEOs, and teenage virtuosos, try to understand their emotional connection to their guitars.

“I wanted to explain why people go ga-ga over it,” Radler told the Ventura County Star surrounded at home by his own axes. “I wanted to explain the feeling that was sweeping over me as I picked the guitar back up. I now say it’s the story of the electric guitar — and a series of guitar stories.”

A host of players are featured in the film, including Slash, Les Paul, B.B. King, Paul Stanley of Kiss, The Doors’ Robbie Krieger, John 5, Nancy Wilson of Heart, Dickey Betts, Toto’s Steve Lukather and many, many more.

“Turn It Up!” features the history of the electric guitar, including its early origins with the 1932 Rickenbacker “Frying Pan” guitar, the influence of Mississippi Delta bluesman Robert Johnson, the battles between guitar makers Gibson and Fender through the years to one-up the other’s latest models, and such seminal moments as Bob Dylan going electric during the Newport Folk Festival in summer 1965 and The Beatles’ appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Feb. 9, 1964. “The bolt of lightning struck when we all saw them on Ed Sullivan,” says Heart’s Nancy Wilson in the film of that magical night; Kiss’ Paul Stanley refers to the Fab Four as “the Pied Pipers to a generation.”

The release date for “Turn It Up!” is TBA; check out the trailer here.

The Beatles – All My Loving
The Ed Sullivan Show – NYC – February 9, 1964