ABC Radio; Walter McBride/WireImageEx-Eagles guitarist Don Felder, members of The Go-Go's and The Rascals' Felix Cavaliere are among the artists scheduled to perform at the 11th annual "We Write the Songs" event, which is being held Tuesday, May 21, in Washington, D.C., at the Library of Congress' Coolidge Auditorium.
The invite-only gathering is presented jointly by The ASCAP Foundation and the Library of Congress, and it celebrates the annual gift that the Foundation -- a division of the performers-rights organization ASCAP -- presents to the Library of Congress. The gift includes manuscripts, lyric sheets, letters and photos from some of the country's most respected songwriters.
Besides Felder, Cavaliere and Go-Go's guitarists Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey, the list of performers include veteran pop/R&B songwriter Andrea Martin and This Is Us soundtrack composer Siddhartha Khosla. The event will be co-hosted by ASCAP Foundation president and legendary songwriter Paul Williams.
The "We Write the Songs" event is held a day before ASCAP's annual "Stand with Songwriters" Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. Many of the performers who take part in the event will meet with lawmakers to discuss issues facing songwriters in the age of digital music.
ABC/Travis BellFoo Fighters' headlining set at the Sonic Temple festival Sunday night featured a surprise appearance from comedian Pauly Shore, who joined the band during their performance of "My Hero."
While on stage, Shore wore a t-shirt featuring a photo of his father, Comedy Store co-founder Sammy Shore, who died over the weekend at age 92.
"My dad died last night, and this is dedicated to him," Pauly said in between lines of the chorus. You can watch fan-shot footage of the performance now on YouTube.
The Sonic Temple set was the last show on the Foo Fighters' brief spring U.S. tour. They head to Europe in June, and will be back stateside to headline the Bourbon & Beyond and Pilgrimage festivals in September.
Steve Jennings/Getty ImagesLindsey Buckingham recently gave his first public performance since undergoing open-heart surgery earlier this year. The former Fleetwood Mac guitarist's wife, Kristen, posted video clips on her Instagram page showing Lindsey playing guitar as their daughter Leelee and her high-school chorale group sang his old band's song "Landslide."
On her Twitter feed this past Saturday, Kristen posted a message that reads, "Last night was epic. First time I've seen Lindsey play in the last 4 mos, all the while Leelee ending her high school career. AND she sings a little Landslide with her dad. I cried, I'll admit it. Never know what's ahead so enjoy the moment..."
In the video, Leelee gives a high-five to her dad at the end of the performance.
Kristen reported on February 8 that her husband had undergone an emergency heart operation the previous week, and that his vocal cords had been damaged during the procedure. She added that they didn't know whether the damage would be permanent.
Lindsey's wife shared an update on his condition in a February 23 tweet, saying, "Considering the massively invasive surgery, he is doing really well. Each day things get a little easier, but it is a slow process and sometimes a frustrating one."
Buckingham was fired from Fleetwood Mac last year after an apparent conflict with Stevie Nicks, and shortly before the band announced plans for a new world tour. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Crowded House frontman Neil Finn were brought in to replace Lindsey.
Former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman, who played on many of the band's most famous recordings, will mount his first North American solo trek in 13 years this fall.
Wakeman's The Grumpy Old Rock Star Tour currently features 14 confirmed dates, and is mapped out from a September 21 show in Annapolis, Maryland, through an October 13 concert in Ridgefield, Connecticut. The outing eventually will visit a total of 25 cities and will be extended into November.
The shows will feature the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, who turned 70 on Saturday, playing solo piano versions of Yes classics, material from his solo albums, and well-known songs by other artists to which he contributed, including some early David Bowie hits. Rick also will present his arrangements of a few Beatles tunes at the concerts. Interspersed with the performances, Wakeman will entertain audiences with his trademark bawdy jokes and humorous anecdotes.
Prior to the North American trek, Rick will play a series of solo shows in the U.K. He's also scheduled a pair of special orchestral performances of his 1974 album Journey to the Centre of the Earth on July 13 and 14 at London's Royal Festival Hall. These concerts will be the final U.K. performances of the album, and also will serve as a celebration of Wakeman's 70th birthday.
Tickets for Wakeman's North American shows are on sale now. Visit RWCC.com for more details.
Here are all of Wakeman's confirmed U.S. and Canadian tour dates:
9/21 -- Annapolis, MD, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts 9/22 -- Derry, NH, Tupelo Music Hall 9/23 -- Boston, MA, The Wilbur 9/24 -- Huntington, NY, The Paramount 9/25 -- Alexandria, VA, The Birchmere 9/27 -- Quebec City, QC, Canada, Palais Montcalm 9/28 -- Montreal, QC, Canada, Olympia Theatre 9/29 -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Danforth Music Hall 10/2 -- Harrisburg, PA, Whitaker Center 10/4 -- St. Charles, IL, Arcada Theatre 10/8 -- Allentown, PA, Miller Symphony Hall 10/10 -- Englewood, NJ, Bergen Performing Arts Center 10/11 -- Collingswood, NJ, Scottish Rite Auditorium 10/13 -- Ridgefield, CT, Ridgefield Playhouse
BMGSammy Hagar has scored his first-ever top 10 album on the Billboard 200 with Space Between, the new studio effort he recorded with his current backing band The Circle. The album debuted at #4 on the chart after notching 40,000 equivalent album units.
Many of the units were earned thanks to a concert-ticket/album-sale redemption offer tied with Hagar and The Circle's current U.S. tour, which kicked off in April.
Space Between's 40,000 units is the third-highest one-week sales figure ever for a Hagar album since Nielsen Music started tracking data in 1991.
Although this marks the first project featuring Hagar's name to reach the top 10 of the Billboard 200, nine previous albums by bands featuring The Red Rocker as lead singer actually have accomplished the feat -- seven by Van Halen and two by Chickenfoot. Sammy's ex-Van Halen band mate Michael Anthony plays bass in The Circle, which also features Jason Bonham on drums and Vic Johnson on lead guitar.
Hagar's highest-charting previous solo album was 1987's I Never Said Goodbye, which peaked at #14.
Also breaking into the top 10 of the Billboard 200 this week is Queen's Greatest Hits I II & III: The Platinum Collection compilation, which jumped from #29 to #6 after earning 32,000 equivalent album units. The 52-track album experienced a 92-percent overall sales spike thanks to a heavily discounted price -- $6.99 -- in the iTunes Store.
Topping the chart is rapper Logic's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, which earned 80,000 equivalent album units in its debut week.
The 34-second video, captioned "Rocking out new tunes," features Mick strumming a black Fender Stratocaster as he plays along to what apparently is a new Rolling Stones song. The Stones have been working on material for a new studio album, but no announcement has been made regarding when the record might be released.
As previously reported, Jagger underwent a heart-valve-replacement procedure in early April, forcing his band to postpone its planned 2019 No Filter Tour of North America. The 75-year-old rock legend reportedly is now healthy, and The Stones are slated to kick off the trek on June 21 at Chicago's Soldier Field. You can check out all of the dates at RollingStones.com.
Credit: Julien's AuctionsSomeone paid $75,000 to own the sweater Kurt Cobain wore in his final photo shoot.
Cobain wore the sweater, a green acrylic and mohair cardigan with a geometric pattern design, when photographer Jesse Frohman took his photo in the summer of 1993 for the upcoming Nirvana album, In Utero. The grunge icon died several months later in April 1994.
The sweater sold over the weekend at a sale held by Julien's Auctions. It had been expected to fetch between $20,000 and $30,000.
The auction also included a paper pizza plate Cobain used to hand-write a set list for a Washington, D.C. Nirvana show in 1990. That sold for $22,400, well above the expected price range of $1,000 to $2,000.
Credit: Catalina Kulczar Ex-Talking Heads frontman David Byrne is adapting the theatrical concert performance he developed for his tour promoting his 2018 solo album, American Utopia, for the Broadway stage. The show will run from October 4 through January 19, 2020, at the intimate Hudson Theatre in New York City, with an official opening performance set for October 20.
A pre-Broadway engagement will be held at the Emerson Colonial Theatre in Boston from September 11 through September 28.
As with the concerts on Byrne's American Utopia tour, the stage show will feature the influential singer/songwriter playing material from his latest album, as well as select Talking Heads tunes, accompanied by an ensemble of percussionists and other musicians who are able to move freely about a sparse stage.
Byrne has penned an essay explaining that he decided to take the American Utopia show to Broadway after multiple people suggested it.
"It was an exciting challenge," he notes. "I realized a Broadway setting would likely be a different audience than the concert crowds I was used to. The Broadway crowd has slightly different expectations. There might even be audience members who don't know me or my music -- which for me is exciting."
He adds, "I thought to myself that this new context might be good -- it might actually help to bring out the narrative arc a little bit more, to make it just a little more explicit."
Alex Timbers, with whom Byrne worked on the previous stage musicals Here Lies Love and Joan of Arc: Into the Fire, is serving as a production consultant on American Utopia.
ABC/Randy HolmesElton John may be retiring from the road, but he seems to be as busy as ever. Not only is he developing a musical version of the hit movie The Devil Wears Prada, he's also working on bringing to the stage the story of late televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker.
A reporter for the U.K.'s Daily Mail says Elton confirmed to him at the Cannes Film Festival that he's collaborating on the project with musician Jake Shears of the band Scissor Sisters and Tony-winning playwright James Graham.
According to Elton, a workshop for the musical is planned for later in 2019, and the team wants to debut the production in London's West End in 2020.
As Playbill notes, this is the third Tammy Faye Bakker project in the works: There's another musical about her, with Kristen Chenoweth attached to star, and a movie based on the 2000 documentary The Eyes of Tammy Faye, starring Jessica Chastain in the lead role, is in production.
Tammy Faye Bakker, later Messner, died in 2007. She was married to televangelist Jim Bakker; the couple co-founded the show The PTL Club and built the Christian theme park Heritage USA. Unlike many televangelists, she preached love and acceptance of the LGBTQ community, AIDS victims and victims of drug abuse.
She was famous for wearing an excessive amount of eye makeup, and for crying on camera while supporting Jim Bakker after he was accused of assaulting model and actress Jessica Hahn. He was eventually imprisoned for fraud and conspiracy.
Courtesy of Woodstock VenturesWoodstock 50 appears to be on its way to becoming a reality.
Organizers for the 50th anniversary festival have announced in a statement that the Oppenheimer & Co. investment corporation "has signed on as a financial advisor to complete the financing" for the concert extravaganza.
The statement adds that "preparations [for the event] will continue as planned." Woodstock 50 organizers promise that the on-sale date for tickets to the festival, scheduled to take place August 16-18 in Watkins Glen, New York, will be announced soon.
The news comes a couple of days after the Woodstock 50 team won a legal victory: A judge ruled that its former financial backer, Dentsu Inc.'s Amplifi Live subsidiary, didn't have the right to cancel the festival, which it had attempted to do.
"We are thrilled to be onboard for this incredible weekend of music and social engagement," says Oppenheimer & Co. executive John Tonelli.
"We believe in Woodstock as an important American cultural icon and look forward to its regeneration in the green fields of Watkins Glen this August with all of the artists on the remarkable lineup."
Michael Lang, co-founder and producer of the 1969 and 2019 Woodstock festivals, notes, "We've lined up artists who won't just entertain, but will remind the world that music has the power to bring people together, to heal, to move us to action and to tell the stories of a generation."
He adds, "Words cannot express how appreciative Woodstock 50, the artists, the fans and the community are to Oppenheimer for joining with us to make W50 a reality."
Big Beat RecordsA remix of Van Halen's classic 1983 hit "Jump" by popular Dutch DJ and producer Armin Van Buuren was released Friday, May 17.
The pounding electronic dance version of the chart-topping tune features Van Halen singer David Lee Roth's isolated vocal tracks from the original recording, with Van Buuren recreating Eddie Van Halen's keyboard lines and adding new synthesizers and beats.
The track is available now as a digital single and via streaming services, and you also can check it out at Bog Beat Records' official YouTube channel.
Many music fans were introduced to the "Jump" remix in March at the 2019 Ultra Music Festival in Miami, when Van Buuren performed the track live with Roth, who joined him as a surprise guest.
"Jump" was originally released in December 1983, and spent five weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early '84, becoming Van Halen's one and only single to reach the top of that chart.
Credit: Ross HalfinThe Hollywood Vampires, the supergroup featuring Alice Cooper, Aerosmith's Joe Perry and actor/musician Johnny Depp, have released a second advance single from their forthcoming sophomore studio album, Rise: a track called "The Boogieman Surprise."
The heavy, mid-tempo rock track is available for purchase now as a digital download and via streaming services. In addition, a video featuring The Hollywood Vampires performing "The Boogieman Surprise" live at the 2018 Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland has been posted on the earMUSIC label's official YouTube channel.
The first single released from Rise was a track titled "Who's Sorry Now." Fans pre-ordering the album will receive instant downloads of that tune and and "The Boogieman Surprise."
Rise will be released on June 21, and will be available as a CD digipak, a two-LP set that includes a free download of the album and digitally.
As previously reported, the new record will feature mostly new original songs, unlike the band's star-studded self-titled 2015 debut, which was made up of nearly all covers of tunes by dead rock artists.
Rise does include three covers, though: David Bowie's "Heroes," which is sung by Depp; the Jim Carroll Band's "People Who Died," featuring Cooper on lead vocals; and Johnny Thunders' "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory," sung by Perry.
Meanwhile, one of the original songs, "Welcome to Bushwackers," features guest appearances by guitar legend Jeff Beck and infamous cult-film director John Waters.
The Hollywood Vampires are currently winding down a seven-date U.S. tour with shows tonight at the Talking Stick Casino in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Saturday at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
"There Goes My Miracle" is a soaring ballad on which The Boss seems to channel Roy Orbison as he croons over a majestic string accompaniment.
"Sunrise, sundown/ The streets gone golden brown/ Auburn skies above/ I'm searching for my love," Springsteen sings in the first verse, before he belts out in the chorus, "There goes my miracle walking away, walking away/ There goes my miracle walking away, walking away."
A lyric video for the song has been posted on Springsteen's official YouTube channel, which features the cover art of Western Stars: a brown horse galloping on a prairie, along with animated clouds that move as if blown by the wind.
"There Goes My Miracle" is available for purchase now as a digital download and via streaming services. Fans who pre-orderWestern Stars now will receive free instant downloads of that track, as well as the previously released tune "Hello Sunshine."
As previously reported, the new album was inspired by Southern California pop records of the 1960s and '70s. The project was recorded mostly at his home studio in New Jersey, as well as in New York and California.
UMEDuff McKagan has released a new song called "Last September," a track off the Guns N' Roses bassist's upcoming solo album, Tenderness. You can download it now via digital outlets.
The lyrics of "Last September," McKagan explains, were inspired by the #MeToo movement.
"I heard and read some awful stories," McKagan says in a statement. "As the father of two girls, I felt the need to write this song. If I have any job in the world, it's to protect the women in my life."
"I wanted to make the man in the song as awful as possible," he continues. "I wanted to make him a warning. We hear stories of people showing signs beforehand...and we hear also that something could have been done. I don't have an answer, and the song doesn't either. The hope is to simply raise awareness of distressing signals that some may display."
Tenderness is due out May 31. McKagan will kick off a U.S. tour in support of the record May 30 in Philadelphia.
Paramount PicturesElton John's biopic Rocketman, which debuted yesterday at the Cannes Film Festival, doesn't shy away from portraying both the good and the bad of the music legend's life, including his addictions to drugs, sex and shopping, his bulimia, and his anger issues. But Elton himself tells Variety that it proves a certain point: "I am a survivor."
As Elton explains, and as is shown in the film, it was self-doubt and self-hatred that led him to become a drug-addled diva.
"Every creative artist does have doubt and has moments of, 'Am I doing the right thing? Am I good enough?'" he tells Variety. "And that's what turns us into monsters as well because I think you become unreasonable and of course the chemical substances and the alcohol doesn't help anything and you lose touch with reality."
According to Elton, "The life I was leading...it was not a normal life, not the sort of life I came from anyway. I lost complete touch with that. I vowed when I did change my life that that would never happen again."
Elton, now 72, has been sober for nearly 30 years, and he declares, "I am a survivor. I've survived a lot of things. Life is full of pitfalls, even when you're sober. I can deal with them now because I don't have to run away and hide."
As for Elton's reaction to Rocketman, which is in theaters May 31, he said yesterday, "To be honest with you, I was blown away. I was very moved. I'm very very proud of this movie."
At an afterparty in Cannes, Variety reports Elton performed "I'm Still Standing" -- whose video was shot in Cannes -- and the movie's star Taron Egerton joined him for "Rocket Man."
Credit: Helen L. Collen PhotographyDef Leppard guitarist Phil Collen will be on hand at a pop-up exhibit of photos by his wife, Helen Collen, this Monday, May 20, in New York City.
Phil curated the display, titled "Gratitude -- A Fine Art Photographic Exhibit," which will be located at the 393 NYC venue in downtown Manhattan. The exhibit will be open to the public and members of the press from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, followed by a three-hour opening party and reception.
"Gratitude" features 50 images captured by Helen, including onstage photos of Def Leppard, KISS and REO Speedwagon, pics of international landmarks, slice-of-life photos and more.
In addition to her photography, Helen is an experienced costume designer.
"Helen has a great ear for words, a great eye for color and perspective," says Phil, "and with this -- her first artistic exhibition -- it's a wonderful combination of all the above."
Ex-Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty reports that he's "happily working" on material for a new studio album, but says his focus on performing this year is delaying the project's completion.
"That thing…about adding more dates and adding more dates, that always seems to [slow] down other things," he tells ABC Radio. "And some of that is getting new recorded music together."
On his 2019 tour, which has been dubbed "My 50 Year Trip," Fogerty's celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival, specifically, and of CCR's prolific and eventful year of 1969, in general. His upcoming itinerary includes a European summer trek and a variety of U.S. headlining dates and festival appearances, as well as a new Las Vegas residency in November.
Meanwhile, the 73-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer reveals he'll likely release some new tracks individually before completing the record.
"I intend to not wait until an album is finished before I release some of it," he explains. "It's kind of the way it's done nowadays. You know, a lot of younger artists basically go in and record one song, and release it…And that kind of thing can happen, so I'm hoping that at least you'll hear from me quite soon."
Having said that, Fogerty tells ABC Radio that he doesn't plan to play any of his new songs live before releasing them.
"Even back in the old days, I always trembled at the idea of trying to introduce a completely unknown song in front of a live audience," John admits.
Fogerty's most recent studio album was 2013's Wrote a Song for Everyone, which featured mostly updated versions of his classic compositions recorded with various guest artists.
Here are all of his forthcoming U.S. shows:
6/20 -- Morrison, CO, Red Rocks Amphitheatre 8/9 -- East Providence, RI, Bold Point Park 8/10 -- Vineyard Haven, MA, Veterans Memorial Park 8/11 -- Westbrook, ME, Maine Savings Pavilion at Rock Row 8/13 -- Boston, MA, Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion 8/15 -- New York, NY, Radio City Music Hall 8/18 -- Bethel, NY, Bethel Center for the Arts 9/13 -- Telluride, CO, Telluride Blues & Brews Festival 9/20 -- Louisville, KY, Bourbon & Beyond - Kentucky Expo Center 9/21 -- Battle Creek, MI, Firekeepers Casino 11/6, 8-9, 13, 15-16 -- Las Vegas, NV, Wynn Las Vegas - Encore Theater
Credit: Paige K. ParsonsThe sixth annual edition of the Acoustic-4-a-Cure benefit concert, which Sammy Hagar co-founded in 2014, took place Wednesday at The Fillmore in San Francisco.
This year's show was headlined by Hagar and his current group The Circle, and also included performances by Heart's Nancy Wilson, The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir, The Doobie Brothers' Tom Johnston, Nickelback's Chad Kroeger, Rick Springfield and Sammy's Chickenfoot band mate Joe Satriani.
As per tradition, the concert featured a variety of collaborations, including a cover of the Pink Floyd classic "Comfortably Numb," performed by Hagar, Wilson, Satriani and two members of The Circle: ex-Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and sometimes Led Zeppelin drummer Jason Bonham.
You can check out a video of the performance now at Hagar's official YouTube channel.
The Acoustic-4-a-Cure concert raises funds for and awareness of the pediatric cancer program at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco. Sammy co-founded the event with Metallica's James Hetfield, although James hasn't taken part in the show since 2016.
Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty ImagesThe first reviews are in...and Elton John's biopic Rocketman could be a big hit.
The movie had its world premiere Thursday night at France's Cannes Film Festival, and as IndieWire reports, Taron Egerton, who portrays Elton in the film, got a standing ovation, as did Elton himself. According to IndieWire, both men were seen wiping away tears after the final credits rolled.
IndieWire editor Anne Thompsontweeted, "[Director] Dexter Fletcher's sexy dramatic and poignant Rocketman is an ambitious full-on bio musical with 20 songs...sung by star Taron Egerton in a breakout performance."
Variety editor Stuart Oldhamcalled Taron "absolutely brilliant," adding, "Rocketman is fantastic, a musical drama that hits all the right notes, especially the sad ones."
The Hollywood Reporter's Rebecca Keegan tweeted, "Hot damn, Taron Egerton is the real deal. #Rocketman is a musical about picking yourself up off your a** and Taron delivers the sweat, grit and vulnerability it needs."
Meanwhile, TCM host Dave Kargertweeted, "It's a lovely tribute to Elton's partnership with Bernie [Taupin] & the fantastical tone suits his life perfectly. Oscar chances hinge on reviews & biz, but as a true musical, it's a great bet for [best] picture & actor at the [Golden] Globes."
Of course, it's worth noting that another musical drama, A Star Is Born, received even higher praise after it debuted last year, with Oscars being predicted all around. While it received a number of nominations, ultimately, that movie was shut out at both the Oscars and the Golden Globes, except in the Best Original Song category.
On the other hand, Bohemian Rhapsody, a rock biopic about Queen that also was directed by Fletcher, did much better at those award shows, so Rocketman could go either way.
ABC/Randy HolmesOzzy Osbourne has announced a rescheduled date for his concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, which was originally set for July 29.
The show will now take place July 27, 2020. Visit Ozzy.com for ticket info.
In April, Ozzy announced that all of his 2019 tour dates would be postponed to next year after he suffered a fall in his home, aggravating injuries he sustained in a 2003 ATV accident. At the time of the announcement, the Hollywood Bowl show was the only non-festival U.S. performance without a specific rescheduled date.
Ozzy's 2020 U.S. tour kicks off May 27, 2020 in Atlanta.