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Best of Youth: Watch five-year-old Foo Fighters fan dance on stage with band

ABC/Fred WatkinsChances are your first concert wasn't as awesome as a five-year-old kid named Taylor, who got to dance on stage with Foo Fighters during their show in Belfast Monday.

Dave Grohl and company invited the tyke -- who was holding up a sign saying "I'm Taylor aged 5 first ever gig"-- up on stage while they played "All My Life." Taylor then proceeded to put the whole audience to shame with his dance moves, all while wearing an adorable pair of oversized headphones.

Footage of Taylor's Foo Fighters dance party is streaming on social media.

Foo Fighters are currently touring the U.K. and Ireland in continued support of their latest album, 2017's Concrete and Gold. They'll be back in the U.S. in September to play the Bourbon & Beyond and Pilgrimage festivals.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Watch the official trailer of Bruce Springsteen's "Western Stars" film

Courtesy of TIFFThe trailer for Bruce Springsteen's new Western Stars film, which features the New Jersey rock legend performing his entire new album of the same name, has premiered online at Warner Bros. Pictures' official YouTube channel.

The clip features footage of Springsteen performing in front of a small audience in a 100-year-old barn that he owns, accompanied by a large string section and some of the musicians who contributed to the Western Stars album.

The performance segments are interspersed with sweeping, cinematic footage of the Western U.S., while the whole trailer is soundtracked by a narrative voice-over by Bruce, reflecting on life and touching on themes that echo the songs on Western Stars.

"It's easy to lose yourself or never find yourself," Springsteen says at one point. "The older you get, the heavier that baggage becomes that you haven't sorted through, so you run. I've done a lot of that kind of running."

He later declares, "I've spent 35 years trying to learn how to let go of the destructive parts of my character, and I still have days where I struggle with it."

Another part of the trailer features a home movie of Springsteen kissing and dancing with his wife, E Street Band backing singer Patti Scialfa, outside of a log cabin.

"We all have our broken pieces. Emotionally, spiritually, in this life, nobody gets away unhurt," Bruce says over the romantic scene. "And we're always trying to find somebody whose broken pieces fit with our broken pieces and something whole emerges."

As previously reported, Western Stars was co-directed by Springsteen and his frequent collaborator Thom Zimny. It gets its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival next month, and will open wide in theaters this October.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Canned Heat bassist Larry "The Mole" Taylor dead at 77

Pete Still/RedfernsLongtime Canned Heat bassist Larry "The Mole" Taylor has died.  According to a Facebook post from the band's manager, Taylor passed away Monday at his home in Lake Balboa, California, after a long battle with cancer. He was 77.

Taylor was part of Canned Heat's most famous lineup, which included Alan Wilson, Bob Hite, Henry Vestine and "Fito" de la Parra.  Taylor's death leaves de la Parra as the sole surviving member of that lineup, which performed at both the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and at Woodstock in 1969.   Canned Heat's best-known songs are "Goin' Up the Country" and "On the Road Again."

Prior to joining Canned Heat, Taylor -- the brother of late Ventures drummer Mel Taylor -- toured with Jerry Lee Lewis and was a session player who contributed to records by artists as diverse as The Monkees, JJ Cale, Albert King and Buddy Guy

Taylor left Canned Heat in 1970, be rejoined the group in 1978 and played with the band off and on until his passing. He also recorded and performed with Tom Waits, John Lee Hooker, John Mayall and John Hammond Jr.

As his manager notes, "Larry told great stories, funny jokes, was a foodie, wine, record, and rock poster collector, computer whiz and a special human being who really 'lived for music…music was his religion!'”

Taylor survived by his wife Andrea, his son Danny and daughters Rebecca and Molly.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Rush releasing five-LP vinyl version of 2013 live album, "Clockwork Angels Tour"

RhinoRush's 2013 live album Clockwork Angels Tour will be released on vinyl for the first time on October 11. The record will be available as a five-LP set pressed on 180-gram vinyl, featuring nine sides of music and a laser etching on the second side of the last disc.

Clockwork Angels Tour, which originally was released as a three-CD/one-DVD set, features performances recorded at Rush concerts in Phoenix, Dallas and San Antonio in November 2012 during the band's tour in support of its final studio album, Clockwork Angels. The vinyl version of the album includes all 31 tracks that appeared on the CDs.

The shows began with a set featuring songs from throughout Rush's career, followed by a set where the band played nearly all of Clockwork Angels, accompanied by a string ensemble conducted by acclaimed composer and conductor David Campbell. The ensemble also joined Rush for several other tunes.

Clockwork Angels Tour also features a few bonus tracks, including a performance of "Limelight" recorded during a soundcheck.

The vinyl set will come packaged in a two-piece box that includes a full-color booklet and a download code to access a high-def digital version of the album.

Here's the full track list of the Clockwork Angels Tour vinyl edition:

Side A
"Subdivisions"
"The Big Money"
"Force Ten"
"Grand Designs"

Side B
"The Body Electric"
"Territories"
"The Analog Kid"
"Bravado"

Side C
"Where's My Thing?/Here It Is!" (Drum Solo)
"Far Cry"
"Caravan"*

Side D
"Clockwork Angels"*
"The Anarchist"*
"Carnies"*

Side E
"The Wreckers"
"Headlong Flight"*/"Drumbastica" (Drum Solo)
"Peke's Repose" (Guitar Solo)/"Halo Effect"*

Side F
"Seven Cities of Gold"*
"Wish Them Well"*
"The Garden"*

Side G
"Dreamline"*
"The Percussor"
--I. "Binary Love Theme"
--II. "Steambanger's Ball" (Drum Solo)
"Red Sector A"*
"YYZ"*

Side H
"The Spirit of Radio"
"Tom Sawyer"
"2112"

Side I
"Limelight"
"Middletown Dreams"
"The Pass"
"Manhattan Project"*

* = with the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Pink Floyd's Nick Mason to receive the Prog God award in September

Credit: Jill FurmanovskyPink Floyd drummer Nick Mason will receive the Prog God honor at the 2019 Progressive Music Awards, taking place September 12 at London's Underglobe Theatre. The award, presented by the U.K.'s Prog magazine, acknowledges artists who have been musical innovators throughout their careers.

"I'm all in favor of recognition for drummers -- particularly when it's me -- so I'm really delighted to be recognized as Prog God," Mason tells Prog.

"It's hard to believe that it was over 50 years ago that the music we know as prog rock was born, and it's still being celebrated, played and developed in the 21st century. Long may it continue!"

Mason co-founded Pink Floyd in 1965, and is the only member to play on every one of the band's studio albums. Nick was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the group in 1996.

Mason also released albums as a solo artists and with a variety of side projects, and has contributed to a number of film soundtracks. In addition, Nick has produced albums by Robert Wyatt, Gong and The Damned.

In 2018, he formed a Pink Floyd tribute band called Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets, which focuses on the group's pre-1973 material. The band, whose lineup also includes Spandau Ballet guitarist Gary Kemp and longtime Pink Floyd touring bassist Guy Pratt, recently wrapped up a European summer tour.

Previous recipients of the Prog God honor include Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson, Carl Palmer, Peter Gabriel, Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks, and Yes members Steve Howe, Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman.

A total of 15 awards will be handed out at the 2019 Progressive Music Awards. Winners will be announced on the night of the event at the Prog website.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Brian Johnson chats with Sting in preview of new AXS TV series, "A Life on the Road"

Courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment/ AXS TV

AXS TV has offered a sneak peek of the first episode of the new series Brian Johnson's A Life on the Road, which will premiere September 15 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features the AC/DC frontman visiting Sting in New York City.

In the beginning of the clip, Sting recalls joining The Police, noting, "It was a punk band. It wasn't really my cup of tea, but I thought I'd do it anyway."

Johnson responds by saying, "I never thought of you as a punk band. It was just…too good."

Sting also chats about how The Police toured the U.S. early in their career, playing small clubs around the country.

"I'm glad I did that. I'm just so grateful for it," he says of the experience. "It builds backbone, you know? It builds some kind of psychological armor."

One of those small clubs, Sting notes, was the legendary but now defunct New York City punk venue CBGB.

Johnson asks Sting what it was like played the notoriously seedy club for the first time, to which Sting replies, "It was kind of a spooky place, but, you know, it was full of history…Television played there, Talking Heads, Blondie."

Sharing his recollections of CBGB, Sting says, "[A] bathroom was the dressing room, and it was a toilet, [with] graffiti everywhere."

Also in the preview, Sting and Johnson, visit the former site of CBGB, which is now a Varvatos store.

As previously reports, A Life on the Road originally began airing in 2017 on U.K. television. Among the stars who appear on other episodes are Robert Plant, Roger Daltrey, Def Leppard's Joe Elliott, Metallica's Lars Ulrich, Pink Floyd's Nick Mason, Billy Joel, Joe Walsh, Mark Knopfler, Paul Rodgers, and Mick Fleetwood.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Ringo Starr discusses "Abbey Road" reissue, next solo album, in new 'People' interview

Credit: Scott Robert Ritchie

Ringo Starr is the subject of a lengthy new People interview in which the former Beatles drummer touches on the upcoming 50th anniversary reissue of Abbey Road, his plans for a new solo record, the current 30th anniversary tour of his All Starr Band and more.

The expanded Abbey Road reissue, which will be released on September 27, includes an unused take of "Octopus' Garden," one of the few songs Starr had a hand in writing for The Beatles.

Ringo tells the magazine that "people are interested in all of that," referring to the alternate versions of songs that have appeared on recent Fab Four reissues.

He also says he's happy about the remastered audio because the drums are more pronounced in the mix.

"People are telling me, 'Oh, you can play!'" Starr notes. "Because they can hear the drums [better] now."

Abbey Road includes the only drum solo Ringo ever played on a Beatles track, during the album's finale, "The End."

"They forced me to do that one," Starr maintains. "I'm just not a drum solo drummer. I want to be in the band…I hold them all together and they can go mad. I'm crazy about very few drum solos I've heard."

Meanwhile, Ringo's been recording a new solo album with various guest musicians, including current members of his All Starr Band; his brother-in-law Joe Walsh; Dave Stewart of Eurythmics; and renowned session bassist Nathan East.

"I like to hang out with writers and musicians, so I've been co-writing all the songs," Starr says.

Ringo's on the road now with his All Starr Band, marking the 30th anniversary of his first trek with the star-studded collective. The tour runs through a September 1 concert in Los Angeles.

Here are the remaining dates:

8/20 -- Champaign, IL, State Farm Center
8/22 -- Prior Lake, MN, Mystic Lake Casino
8/23 -- Council Bluffs, IA, Harrah's Council Bluffs Casino
8/25 -- Santa Fe, NM, Santa Fe Opera House
8/26 -- Phoenix, AZ, Celebrity Theatre
8/29 -- Oakland, CA, Paramount Theatre
8/30 -- Lincoln, CA, Thunder Valley Casino Resort
8/31 -- Paso Robles, CA, Vina Robles Amphitheatre
9/1 -- Los Angeles, CA, The Greek Theatre

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Neil Young's new album with Crazy Horse, "Colorado," due in October; first track to be released this month

Credit: Daryl HannahNeil Young has unveiled some new details about Colorado, his upcoming album with the current incarnation of Crazy Horse.

Young reports that the first track from the record, a song titled "Rainbow of Colors," will be coming out this month, with the album to follow in October. The folk-rock legend also reveals that the album will feature "10 new songs ranging from around 3 minutes to over 13 minutes.

He adds that he and Crazy Horse -- Billy Talbot, Ralph Molina and Nils Lofgren -- "hope you love this new album as much as we do."

Colorado will be available on CD, via streaming and as a two-LP vinyl set that features three sides of music and comes packaged with a bonus 7-inch single with two tracks that aren't on the album.

In addition, Young shares some news about the recently reported in-the-works documentary focusing on the making of Colorado.  Neil says the movie's called Mountaintop Sessions and it'll be screened in more than 100 theaters around the world during the week that the album is released.

"It is a wild one folks, no holds barred," Young says of the film. "You will see the whole process just as it went down! [Warts] and all! I don't think a film about this subject with the openness and intensity we have captured has ever been seen."

Mountaintop Sessions is being shot by cinematographer C.K. Vollick, who also worked on the 2018 film Paradox, which starred Young and was directed by his wife, actress Daryl Hannah.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Foo Fighters will "have a new record by next year," says Taylor Hawkins

ABC/Travis BellAs the second anniversary of the latest Foo Fighters album, 2017's Concrete and Gold, approaches next month, the band is starting to look toward another record.

Speaking to Rock Sound, drummer Taylor Hawkins reveals that the Foos are eyeing a 2020 release for their milestone 10th studio effort.

Hawkins explains, "Well, from what I've heard from our fearless leader Dave Grohl, he has a lot of demos that he's worked on and I think we'll start -- once this tour is over -- I think not too [long] after that, we'll start the process of putting the songs together as a band."

He continues, "It's a long process. We do a lot of demoing and stuff, but I think that we'll have -- I'm hoping -- I think we'll have a new record by next year. We should."

Foo Fighters are currently touring the U.K. in continued support of Concrete and Gold. They'll be back in the U.S. in September to play the Bourbon & Beyond and Pilgrimage festivals.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


New Megadeth beer Saison 13 coming to US in September

Credit: Jeremy SafferMegadeth is once again teaming up with Quebec-based brewery Unibroue to create another signature beer.

The latest collaboration is a 6.1 percent ABV [Alcohol by volume] Belgian-style saison ale called Saison 13. The brew is available now in select Canadian provinces, and will be coming to the U.S. in September.  "Saison ale" is a highly carbonated fruity, spicy pale ale.

Saison 13 follows Megadeth's previous Unibroue beer, À Tout le Monde, which debuted in 2016.

For more info, visit MegadethBeer.com.

In addition to helping create new beers, Megadeth has been working on a new album, the follow-up to 2016's Dystopia. Frontman Dave Mustaine is continuing treatment for throat cancer, which he revealed he'd been diagnosed with in June.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Elton John defends Harry & Meghan, tells press to "cease these untrue assassinations on their character"

Niklas Halle'n-WPA Pool/Getty ImagesElton John's been burned numerous times by the British press, so that's why he's speaking out in defense of the way the press has been treating Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

According to E!, over the weekend, Harry, Meghan and their son Archie were criticized for taking a private jet to Elton's home in Nice, France for a vacation.  Specifically, they were accused of spending the British taxpayers' money, and being environmentally reckless by flying private, not commercial.

Elton took to Instagram to post a lengthy note blasting the press and explaining the situation.

"I am deeply distressed by today’s distorted and malicious account in the press surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s private stay at my home in Nice last week," Sir Elton wrote.

Noting that Harry's mother, Princess Diana was "of my dearest friends," he added, "I feel a profound sense of obligation to protect Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana’s untimely death."

"After a hectic year continuing their hard work and dedication to charity, David and I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquility of our home," Elton continued, referring to his husband David Furnish.

"To maintain a high level of much-needed protection, we provided them with a private jet flight," he explained. "To support Prince Harry’s commitment to the environment, we ensured their flight was carbon neutral, by making the appropriate contribution to Carbon Footprint."

Elton, who performed at the couple's wedding, concluded by stating, "I highly respect and applaud both Harry and Meghan’s commitment to charity and I’m calling on the press to cease these relentless and untrue assassinations on their character that are spuriously crafted on an almost daily basis."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Dave Grohl says Them Crooked Vultures is "still a band"

ABC/Andrea McCallinDave Grohl is teasing the possible return of Them Crooked Vultures, the Foo Fighters frontman's supergroup with Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones and Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme.

"Technically we're still a band," Grohl tells The Guardian.

"We practice once every decade, and we're coming up on another decade aren't we?" he continues. "I don't have any official news but there's always something cooking."

Grohl is still in frequent contact with Homme, who he says is "one of my best friends."

"We're like brothers," Grohl explains. "We go out and have waffles together. We ride motorcycles. There is nobody I'd rather play drums with. He's the guy."

Grohl adds that he's still in awe of Jones.

"There are times when you've relaxed into a sofa and you're not thinking about his time in Led Zeppelin," he says. "Then you start playing and you're immediately reminded that you are a musical speck compared to this man. It's still hard to accept that I got to play in a band with that guy."

The self-titled debut Them Crooked Vultures album was released in 2009. The band hasn't released any new music since.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Elton John on his upcoming autobiography: "I was completely disgusting and awful"

Courtesy of Henry Holt

If you thought Elton John's biopic Rocketman portrayed the rock legend as being over the top, out of control and completely debauched, well, you ain't seen nothing yet: Wait until you read his upcoming autobiography.

In an essay Elton wrote for a booklet that comes with the Blu-ray and DVD release of Rocketman, he reflects on the reason he wanted to have his life depicted on film, and why he decided to write his autobiography, Me, which is coming out this October. The answers: his two sons, Elijah and Zachary.

"I liked the idea of them having an autobiography and a film where I was honest, no holds barred, no punches pulled," Elton writes, adding, "I wanted something [they] could read and something they could see and think, 'Well, that was our dad...that was what he was really like.'"

Elton goes on to admit, "I don't mind people knowing about my bad side -- at my worst, my bad side was pretty dreadful. There are moments in the book that I don't come out of very well, where I seem completely disgusting and awful, but I was completely disgusting and awful, and there's no reason to pretend otherwise."

He continues, "I can't stand books or movies about rock stars that give you some whitewashed version of reality. It's boring, because it's a lie: No one is perfect, and certainly no rock star is perfect. They can be horrible sometimes. They can be fabulous and charming and they can be outrageous and stupid."

Declares Elton: "That's what I wanted to show in Rocketman, and that's definitely what I wanted to show in Me."

Me hits bookstores October 15. Rocketman is out now digitally; it arrives on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD on August 27.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Baywatch star David Hasselhoff releasing new album featuring Todd Rundgren, The Cars' Elliot Easton & more

Cleopatra RecordsBaywatch actor David Hasselhoff became a huge pop star in Europe in the late 1980s, and now "The Hoff" is set to continue his music career: He's releasing a new album called Open Your Eyes on September 27.

The project features Hasselhoff collaborating with an improbable array of guest artists on an eclectic selection of cover tunes from the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

Among the musicians who appear on the album: Todd Rundgren, Cars guitarist Elliott Easton, Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens, A Flock of Seagulls, guitar legend Steve Cropper, veteran country star Charlie Daniels and Ministry.

Open Your Eyes' title track and lead single is a cover of a song by '80s goth/New Wave band Lords of the New Church, and features guitar work by James Williamson of The Stooges.

Rundgren contributes to a version of "Jump in My Car," which was a U.K. hit for Hasselhoff in 2006; Easton appears on a rendition of Jesus and Mary Chains' "Head On"; Stevens is featured on a version of Modern English's "I Melt with You"; A Flock of Seagulls contribute to a cover of Echo and the Bunnymen's "Lips Like Sugar"; Cropper lends his talents to a rendition of The Archies' "Sugar, Sugar" and Daniels appears on a version of Glen Campbell's smash "Rhinestone Cowboy."

In perhaps the most bizarre collaboration on the record, Ministry join Hasselhoff for a rendition of Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline."

The album wraps up with David's take on the Frank Sinatra classic "That's Life."

Meanwhile, Hasselhoff announced on his Twitter feed that he's offering fans the chance to appear in the official video for "Open Your Eyes." He's asking fans to upload a video to Instagram of their faces showing them opening their eyes , using the hashtag #EYESforHOFF.

Here the album's full track list:

"Open Your Eyes" -- featuring James Williamson
"Head On" -- featuring Elliot Easton
"I Melt with You" -- featuring Steve Stevens
"Lips Like Sugar" -- featuring A Flock of Seagulls
"Heroes" -- featuring Tyler Bates
"Here I Go Again" -- featuring Tracii Guns
"Jump in My Car" -- featuring Todd Rundgren
"Rhinestone Cowboy" -- featuring Charlie Daniels
"If You Could Read My Mind" -- featuring Ava Cherry
"Sugar, Sugar" -- featuring Steve Cropper
"Mit 66 Jahren" -- featuring Patrick Moraz*
"Sweet Caroline" -- featuring Ministry
"That's Life"

* = on CD only.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Steve Miller Band debuts unreleased 1973 tune, "Say Wow!," from upcoming "Welcome to the Vault" box set

Sailor/Capitol/UMe

Steve Miller Band has debuted the sixth in a series of previously unheard tracks that will appear on their recently announced Welcome to the Vault box set, a rarities-packed three-CD/one-DVD collection that'll be released October 11.

The latest track, titled "Say Wow!," is a fun bluesy song that was recorded in 1973. It's available now as a digital single and via streaming services; you also can check it out on YouTube.

Also, if you pre-order Welcome to the Vault, you'll receive an instant free download of "Say Wow!" and five other rare tracks from the box set, which the Steve Miller Band premiered over the last few weeks.

As previously reported, Welcome to the Vault features 52 audio tracks -- 38 of which are previously unreleased -- as well as 21 video performances spanning from 1967 through 2011. The collection also features a 100-page hardcover book boasting rare photos, a lengthy essay penned by rock journalist David Fricke, collectible guitar picks and other memorabilia.

The CDs feature demos, rehearsals, outtakes, concert performances and five recently rediscovered original Steve Miller Band tunes recorded in the 1960s and '70s.

The DVD includes two rare performances from 1967's Monterey Pop Festival, a 43-minute concert that originally aired on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert in 1973, two songs Steve Miller played with his godfather Les Paul in 1990 at a New York City club, and a couple of selections from Steve Miller Band's 2011 appearance on PBS' Austin City Limits.

Also on October 11, Steve Miller Band will release Selections from the Vault, a one-disc CD and clear-vinyl LP compilation featuring tracks culled from the box set called. The CD version will feature 13 songs, while the LP will contain eight tunes.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Duane Allman's "Layla" guitar fetches $1.25 million at auction

Duane Allman with the 1957 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop guitar at Muscle Shoals Studios September 23, 1969; Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesDuane Allman's 1957 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, the very guitar he used to play on Eric Clapton's Derek and the Dominos rock classic "Layla," sold late last month for a record-breaking $1.25 million.

According to GottaHaveRockandRoll.com, which sold the guitar, not only was the instrument used for the "Layla" sessions with Clapton in 1970, but Duane Allman also played it on The Allman Brothers Band's self-titled 1969 debut album,which features the classic track "Whipping Post," and the 1970 follow-up, Idlewild South, featuring "Midnight Rider," "Revival" and "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed."

Duane also played the guitar on Boz Scaggs' cover of "Loan Me a Dime," from Scaggs' 1969 self-titled second studio album.

Before being sold, the Les Paul had been on public display in Georgia a the Allman Brothers Band Museum in Macon, Georgia, where it was known as "Layla."

“It was the first time that a refinished guitar sold for that much money," museum director Richard Brent told The Telegraph, "I don’t think anybody expected that.  The history of it is what sold it.”

The guitar was expected to sell for between $1.5 and $3 million, but according to the auction house website, only one bid was received from an out-of-town buyer who wished to remain anonymous.  In exchange, the unnamed collector will share the instrument with the museum and lend it for display during certain times.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 


Legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker turns 80 today

KMazur/WireImage

Ginger Baker, the virtuosic drummer best known for his work with singer/guitarist Eric Clapton and singer/bassist Jack Bruce in the 1960s supergroup Cream, celebrates his 80th birthday today.

Baker's inventive drumming is considered an influence on jazz fusion and heavy metal, though he also explored African rhythms and World Music. Baker first played with Bruce in the London groups Blues Incorporated and The Graham Bond Organisation. Despite having a contentious relationship, Baker and Bruce teamed up again in Cream, which was formed in 1966.

The band's name came from the notion all three members were the "the cream of the crop" on their respective instruments. Cream was hugely successful, scoring top-10 hits in 1968 with "Sunshine of Your Love" and "White Room," and topping the U.S. album chart for four weeks with their third studio effort, Wheels of Fire. Baker contributed a few tunes to the band's catalog, including the instrumental "Toad" and the quirky "Blue Condition."

Cream broke up in 1968, due in large part to hostilities between Ginger and Jack.  Baker then joined Blind Faith, the short-lived super group formed by Clapton and Traffic's Steve Winwood, after which he formed the jazz-fusion project Ginger Baker's Air Force.

For a time, Baker moved to Nigeria, where he delved into African rhythms and worked with Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti.  In the ensuing years, Ginger worked with a wide variety of other artists, including Hawkwind, Public Image Ltd. and BBM, the latter a short-lived group featuring Bruce and guitarist Gary Moore.

In 1993, Cream was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The band reunited at the ceremony to perform for the first time on 25 years.

Cream reunited again in 2005 for four shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London in May, and for three shows at New York's Madison Square Garden in October.

In 2012, Baker was the subject on an acclaimed documentary, Beware Mr. Baker, which took a candid, in-depth look at his turbulent life.

Ginger's most recent solo album, Why?, was released in 2014. In 2016, he announced plans to tour with a new group called Air Force 3, but was forced to cancel the trek after experiencing serious heart issues, as well as a bad fall. He's been inactive since then.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Peace of Stage company presenting Woodstock collectibles to artists performing at festival's site this weekend

Courtesy of Peace of StageIn conjunction with Woodstock's 50th anniversary, representatives of the Peace of Stage company -- which sells collectibles made from actual pieces of the 1969 event's stage -- are in Bethel, New York, this week, presenting some special items to the famous artists performing at the site of the historic festival.

The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts venue is hosting Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band tonight, Carlos Santana on Saturday and ex-Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty on Sunday.

Peace of Stage co-founder Steve Gold tells ABC Radio, "We're presenting [a peace-sign] pendant and…special collectibles to Ringo and [founding Santana member] Gregg Rolie [on Friday]. And then we're doing Carlos Santana on Saturday, and on Sunday we're presenting to John Fogerty."

Gold attended the original Woodstock when he was 15, and afterward, says he helped dismantle the stage and move the wood to an upstate New York bungalow colony, where it was used to build a paddleball court.  Two years ago, he and his business partners tracked down the wood, purchased it and decided to create collectibles from it like the aforementioned pendant and other mementos, so people could possess their own little piece of history.

"People get married where the stage was," Gold points out. "People take their kids and say, 'This is where the stage was.' And we wanted to give people the opportunity to feel that energy that was felt in 1969."

Peace of Stage also has lent stage panels to the Bethel Woods museum for a 50th anniversary Woodstock exhibit.

Gold tells ABC Radio that his company is selling "glass mini bottles filled with sawdust from the stage pieces we're cutting" to raise money for five charities that were chosen that reflect the spirit of Woodstock.

Visit PeaceofStage.com to purchase items.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Listen to Robbie Robertson's new John Lennon-inspired song "Let Love Reign," featuring Glen Hansard

UMeEx-Band guitarist Robbie Robertson has debuted a second song from his forthcoming studio album, Sinematic, which will be released on September 20. "Let Love Reign" is a swampy, soulful tune featuring guest backing vocals by Glen Hansard of The Frames and The Swell Season.

With the song, Robertson carries on John Lennon's call for global peace -- at one point referencing the late Beatles legend by name -- while decrying the troubles facing the world today.

"Some people think John Lennon's dream about love and togetherness went up in flames," Robbie says. "I think that's wrong. It's everlasting. There was something a little naive about John Lennon going around singing about peace, but in that period young people celebrating love and peace helped end a war."

"Let Love Reign" is available now as a digital single and via streaming services, and you also can check out the track on YouTube. Fans who pre-order Sinematic also will receive a free download of the track.

As previously reported, Sinematic is a 13-track collection that includes songs connected with, or inspired by, two upcoming projects involving Robertson: the documentary Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band; and Martin Scorsese's biographical crime epic The Irishman.

The first song from the album Robertson released was the lead track, a duet with Van Morrison titled "I Hear You Paint Houses." The tune is drawn from The Irishman and the book on which it's based, I Heard You Paint Houses, whose title is a phrase mobsters use when hiring a hit man.

Sinematic will be available on CD, as a 180-gram-vinyl two-LP set and digitally. A Deluxe Edition featuring the CD, the LPs and a 36-page hardcover book of artwork Robertson created for each track, will be released on October 25.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


12/25 or 6 to 4? Chicago releasing new Christmas album in October

RhinoChicago will celebrate the holiday season this year with a brand-new Christmas album, aptly titled Chicago Christmas, which will be released on CD and digitally on October 4, while vinyl versions will hit stores on November 22.

The 11-track collection, which is actually the horn-driven band's fourth yuletide album, features seven original songs, a pair of holiday favorites and one non-Christmas-themed cover that still evokes the spirit of the season -- the Burt Bacharach and Hal David classic "What the World Needs Now Is Love."

The album was produced by founding Chicago trumpet player Lee Loughnane, while founding trombone player James Pankow created the horn arrangements. The band recorded Chicago Christmas while on the road in hotel rooms and on their tour bus using a state-of-the-art mobile setup.

The album includes two different recordings of one of the new songs, "Merry Christmas, I Love You" -- a ballad version and an R&B version. Loughnane co-wrote the tune with John Durrill, a one-time member of the famous surf-instrumental group The Ventures.

The two vintage Christmas songs on the album are "Here We Come a Caroling" and "Sleigh Ride," the latter of which Chicago also recorded for its 2011 holiday record, Chicago XXXIII: O Christmas Three.

The vinyl versions of Chicago Christmas include a standard black-vinyl LP and limited-edition red- and white-vinyl version that are available exclusively at Rhino.com.

Meanwhile, Chicago has 19 U.S. concerts on its 2019 schedule, spanning from a September 1 performance at the Texas International Pop Festival in Lewisville, Texas, through an October 19 show in Clearwater, Florida. Check out the group's full itinerary at ChicagotheBand.com.

Here's the full Chicago Christmas track list:

"(Because) It's Christmastime"
"All Over the World"
"Bring My Baby Back"
"Merry Christmas, I Love You" -- R&B Version
"What the World Needs Now Is Love"
"All Is Right"
"Sleigh Ride 2019"
"I'd Do It All Again (Christmas Moon)"
"I'm Your Santa Claus"
"Here We Come a Caroling"
"Merry Christmas (I Love You)" -- Ballad Version

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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