Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rock News -- August 30th, 2011

Warrant lead singer Jani Lane was found dead in a Los Angles hotel room on August 11th. Lani lead Warrant to a number of hits in the early 1990's, including the double platinum hit Cherry Pie. No official cause of death has been release, however a bottle of prescription drugs and a half a bottle of vodka were found near the body. Lane was 47.

Blues legend, and the last of the original Delta blues men, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, has passed away. 'Honeyboy' Edwards' musical career spanned the entire history of recorded blues, from his time touring with Robert Johnson, to performing with Willie Dixon and Buddy Guy in the 1960s, to his final album, Roamin' & Ramblin', which won the Grammy for best traditional blues album in 2008. Edwards was the last remaining player to have performed with both Robert Johnson and Charlie Patton. He was 96.

A collation of thirty-five different Michael Jackson fan clubs have united to lobby for the cancellation of the upcoming Michael Forever tribute concert scheduled for October 8th. The concert, which will feature performances by Christian Aguilera, Smokey Robinson, Cee-lo Green and Beyonce has come under criticism for its timing (it will coincide with with the trial of Jackson's doctor Conrad Murry on manslaughter charges) as well as its murky charity donation promises, high ticket prices, rude treatment of fans on internet forums and poorly chosen performers (the band KISS was scheduled to perform, though later pulled from the list over complaints that bassist Gene Simmons had publicly attacked Jackson in the past). Read the letter to promoters here: http://mjanwatch.wordpress.com/2011/08/21/open-letter-on-behalf-of-michael-jackson-fans-to-global-live-events/

Former Oasis lead-singer Liam Gallagher has dropped his lawsuit against his brother/former bandmate Noel Gallagher. Liam had launched his lawsuit against his brother following comments Noel made claiming that Oasis had canceled their performance at the V Festival due to Liam having a hangover. Liam had maintained that the cancellation was due to laryngitis, and claimed that the comments attacked his “professionalism.” Liam dropped the suit after his brother apologized for the remark in an on-line interview.

This Week In Rock History

1962--Paul McCartney and George Harrison are the only people in attendance as John Lennon marries pregnant girlfriend Cynthia Powell at the Mount Pleasant Registry Office in Liverpool.

1964--The fasting selling album in the nation is "The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles" which is selling 25,000 a day.

1965--Elvis Presley hosts the Beatles at his rented home in Bel Air. They jam for four hours, however the session is not recorded.

1967--Beatles manager Brian Epstein is found dead of a drug overdose at his London apartment. Years later John Lennon would say Epstein's death was "the beginning of the end [of The Beatles]"

1968--Cynthia Lennon files for divorce just one day short of her and John's sixth anniversary. Cynthia returned home from vacation to find Yoko Ono had moved into the couple's home.

1968--Who drummer Keith Moon drives his Lincoln Continental in the pool of a Holiday Inn in Flint, Michigan.

1968—Ringo Starr “rejoins” The Beatles; he'd left the band two weeks earlier after discovering that Paul McCartney had been erasing Ringo's drum tracks and re-recording them himself.

1971—The Grateful Dead track down former manager, Lenny Hart, and have him arrested for embezzling $70,000.

1977—Three men are arrested for conspiring to steal the body of Elvis Presley. Due to this his body is moved from

1990--Blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan is killed following a concert opening for Eric Clapton after the helicopter he's riding in hits a man-made ski slope while trying to navigate in heavy fog.

2008--Gary Glitter is released from a Vietnamese prison after serving just over 2 years for abusing two young girls. Glitter attempts to fly to Bangkok a Hong Kong, but is turned away. He eventually spent three days living in an airport after 19 countries refuse him entry. He will eventually return home to England.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rock News -- August 10th, 2011

--The Flaming Lips and Primus were forced to cancel a gig in Tulsa, Oklahoma after high winds caused the collapse of their lighting structure. Check out the video of their lights coming down  --> here

--Former Fugee vocalist Lauryn Hill is being sued by her former guitarist Jay Gore for over $20,000 in back wages. According to Gore, who performed with Hill on her 2007 European tour, not only did Hill withhold wages, she also created a hostile work environment by "...demanding that the musicians and road support personnel attend meetings she would engage in a person-by-person critique and berating" after each show. Gore's lawyer said in a statement that "We believe there are other musicians who have been mistreated by Ms. Hill in a similar manner who are reluctant to stand up for their rights and this lawsuit gives them a voice as well,"

--A Sony Records warehouse in North London was destroyed in an early morning fire on Tuesday. The fire followed the third straight day of rioting in UK resulting from political unrest. The warehouse was the only one of it's kind in the UK, signaling significant CD and DVD loses for Sony, as well as the primary distribution hub for over 150 labels including Beggars Group, Sub Pop, Rough Trade, Domino, 4AD, Secretly Canadian, Mute, Ninja Tune, Soul Jazz, Kompakt, Thrill Jockey and Drag City. All product is assumed lost.

--Pop singer/songwriter Gavin DeGraw, best known for the song "I Don't Want to Be," the theme to the television program "One Tree Hill," was attacked late Sunday night in Manhattan's East Village. The reason for the attack has not been determined, though DeGraw suffered a broken nose and lacerations from the initial beating. While reeling from the beating, DeGraw, wandered into the street where he was struck by a taxi. He is currently recovering in Bellevue hospital.

--Outkast rapper Big Boi was arrested Sunday while disembarking from a cruise ship in Miami for possession of drugs. A variety of drugs including ecstasy, MDMA, and Viagra were discovered by custom officials in Big Boi's luggage. The rapper was briefly arrested before posting $16,000 in bail. Daniel Kane, Big Boi's lawyer, released a statement saying "While Big Boi was traveling with his group and friends, a small amount of contraband was found in the collective luggage, I am confident when the entire facts are aired, Big Boi will be completely exonerated."

--Tom Hamilton, bass player for the band Aerosmith, has undergone "radical" surgery for tongue and throat cancer that had recently spread to his voice box. Hamilton has been fighting cancer since first being diagnosed in 2006. The surgery was successful and Hamilton should be back at work soon completing Aerosmith's 15th studio album, the first since 2004's Honking on Bobo.

This Week in Rock History

1957--The Quarrymen, an early incarnation of The Bealtes, make their debut at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. After ten minutes the club’s owner, Alan Sytner, tell them to "cut the bloody rock!"

1962--A twenty-one year old Robert Zimmerman legally changes his name to Bob Dylan.

1693--Thirteen year old "Little" Stevie Wonder has his first #1 hit, "Finger Tips #2."

1964--A band called The Young World Singers release the song "Ringo for President"

1969--The iconic photograph of The Beatles crossing the street in front of Abbey Road Studios is taken. Six shots were taken and the photo shoot lasted less than ten minutes.

1970--Janis Joplin performs what would be her final concert at Harvard University.

1971--Saxophonist King Curtis, who played saxophone on the Coaster's hit "Yakety Yak," is stabbed to death outside of his New York home. He was 37.

1972--Paul and Linda McCartney are arrested for drug possession after a concert in Gothenburg Sweden. Paul is fined $1,000 and Linda $200.

1984--Ray Parker Jr. reached #1 with the theme to the movie Ghostbusters. Huey Lewis would later successfully sue Parker claiming that Ghostbusters was a rip off of Lewis' I want a New Drug.

1986--David Crosby is released from prison after serving three years for drug and weapons possession.

1986--Queen give their last public performance.

1989--An L.A. judge throws out a lawsuit against Ozzy Osbourne by the parents of a young man who committed suicide after listening to Ozzy's song Suicide Solution.

1995--Guitarist Jerry Garcia dies from a heart attack while in a California rehab center.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This Week in Rock History

1957—The official Elvis Presley fan club is launched. The fan club is still in operation today.

1964—Rockabilly singer Johnny Burnette died in a boating accident while fishing at Clear Lake.

1966—John Lennon's comment that The Beatles were “bigger than Jesus Christ” was printed in Datebook magazine. The comment caused a public outcry in the US where Beatles albums were burned and many radio stations refused to play Beatles music. Lennon's full quote was: “Christianity will go. It will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that, I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus Christ now; I don't know which will go first - rock 'n roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me." ”

1981—MTV goes on the air for the first time with the announcement “Ladies and Gentleman, rock and roll...” The network was intended as a 24 hour music channel, but quickly moved into animated series and reality programming.

1983—David Crosby, of Crosby, Stills, and Nash is sentenced to eight years in prison for drug and firearms possession. Crosby, who slept through most of his own trial, would serve only three years before being paroled.

1987—The Grateful Dead chart for the only time in their thirty year career when the single “Touch of Grey” reached #9 on the Billboard charts.

2005—A report by 560 UK undertakers revealed that bereaved families preferred Pop songs to Hymns at funerals. "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler was the most requested song, along with Robbie Williams "Angels", Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" and Elton John's "Candle In The Wind". Among the most unusual songs played was Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust".

Rock News -- August 2nd, 2011

--Kings of Leon have canceled the remainder of their US tour. The announcement came just one day after a disastrous concert in Dallas Texas where lead singer Caleb Followill left the stage announcing “I'm gonna go backstage and I'm gonna vomit, I'm gonna drink a beer and I'm gonna come back out and play three more songs.” Followill never returned, forcing the rest of the band to cut the concert short. Bassist, and Caleb's brother, Jared Followill told the angry audience “Caleb's just a little unfit to play the rest of the show...We love you guys so much, but I know you guys fucking hate us. I'm so sorry. It's really not our fault, it's Caleb. He can't play the rest of the show.” The band's publicist later released a statement saying Caleb was suffering from “vocal issues and exhaustion,“ however in his personal Twitter Jared wrote that “...there are internal sicknesses & problems that have needed to be addressed ...I know you guys aren't stupid. I can't lie. There are problems in our band bigger than not drinking enough Gatorade.” Speculation is that the band canceled their summer concerts to try and persuade Caleb to enter rehab for drinking.

--The Beastie Boys have released a limited number of official action figures on their website. The figures are the same as the ones used in the Spike Jonze directed video for “Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win” from the band's recent album Hot Sauce Committee Vol. 2. The 11.5 inch dolls come in a 16” x 12” metal box and include changes of clothing for all three action figures. The figures run $750 for the set with all profits being donated to Pablove Foundation and Alex's Lemonade Stand, two charities that deal with childhood cancer and research. Check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-QIiVS_7Hs

--Jay-Z and Kanye West are reportedly clashing over production for their upcoming “Throne” tour. The tour, which is set to kickoff in Detroit on September 22nd, is in support of the duo’s collaborative new album Watch the Throne set to be released on August 8th. According to rumors the two are hardly on speaking terms due to on-going conflicts about the tour, Jay-Z is reported to want to keep costs down and pay off the debts the album has encored in production, while West is pushing for an elaborate “next level” spectacle. A decision needs to be made by the beginning of next week if the tour is to start on schedule. UPDATE: The tour start date has been pushed back by over a month to October 29th.

--Amy Winehouse's father distributes clothing to fans. Mitch Winehouse, father of the late soul singer, distributed clothing to fans paying their respects outside her London apartment, saying “These are Amy's t-shirts. This is what she would have wanted, for her fans to have her clothes.” Winehouse's boyfriend Reg Traviss also joined in, distributing clothing and sunglasses to mourners. No official cause of death has been determined in Winehouse's death, though preliminary tests favors shock brought on by alcohol withdrawal.