FAB NEWS: WINGS’ ’76 DVD, JULIAN LENNON‘S FIRST CD IN 15 YRS
by Steve Smith
Recent DVD and Blu-ray releases include “Rockshow,” the Paul McCartney-directed film of Wings only American tour in 1976. An import we’ve been waiting for is finally available, “Everything Changes,” by Julian Lennon; it’s his first album in 15 years.
DAVID CROSBY HOPES FOR ONE MORE CSNY TOUR
At 71, David Crosby still tours regularly with Graham Nash, who is also 71, and 68-year-old Stephen Stills, and he and Nash also perform together as a duo.
However, he also has hopes for one more tour with the sometime fourth member of the group, 67-year-old Neil Young. “My dream? One more tour with Crosby, Stills and Nash and my friend Neil. From there, I’d be fine. I’d be able to sail (he is a huge sailing enthusiast). I’d live. I’d be happy.”
Nash endorses Crosby’s dream.
Young has joined the other three sporadically over the past five decades, first in 1969, and the last time being in 2006 for the quartet’s “Freedom of Speech Tour ’06.” CSNY recorded three studio albums: “Déjà Vu” in 1970, “American Dream” in 1988 and “Looking Forward” in 1999, and a pair of live albums, “Four Way Street” in 1971, and “Déjà Vu Live,” from the 2006 tour that came out in 2008.
Speaking of the time he has left as an active musician, the man who got a liver transplant 19 years ago, in 1994, told the Wall St. Journal, “I have maybe 10 more years, if I’m lucky. I have hepatitis C, diabetes and heart disease (but) I’m managing them. I’m going to the gym three days a week. I’m feeling strong and I can still make audiences feel great.”
This August, a live album from CSNY’s 1974 reunion tour will be released.
Nash tells Rolling Stone, “I would ask David and Stephen and Neil to take three months off their busy lives to go out on tour to promote this record.”
Crosby, Stills and Nash begin a 21-date summer tour of Europe on June 20 in Dresden, Germany, part one of which runs though July 22. After taking August and September off, the trio will undertake an eight-concert tour of Britain, from Oct. 5-15 that includes three nights at the Royal Albert Hall, Oct. 8-9 and 11.
FORMER BEACH BOYS BRIAN WILSON, AL JARDINE
AND DAVID MARKS RECORD WITH JEFF BECK
Mike Love legally owns The Beach Boys name but that isn’t stopping three former members, including group mastermind Brian Wilson, from touring and recording together under Wilson’s name.
Wilson wrote a ton of new songs on the road during last year’s 70-show Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Tour. He and fellow former Beach Boys Al Jardine, David Marks and longtime Beach Boys and Wilson touring guitarist Jeff Foskett are recording Wilson’s 11th solo album at Ocean Way Studios in Hollywood, according to USA Today.
“I was really moved by the fans’ excitement about The Beach Boys’ album and tour last year. It charged me up and my head was full of music. I just couldn’t wait to get back into the studio to let it out,” Wilson enthused.
He is bringing other noted musicians to these sessions, including legendary British guitarist, former Yardbird Jeff Beck. Last month, the two icons were the big stars at a four-day Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp in Las Vegas, but Wilson’s admiration for Beck goes back a little further.
“When I watched Jeff Beck perform “Surf’s Up” to honor me at the MusiCares Person of the Year event in 2005, I knew I had to find a way to work with him. He absolutely blew my mind and we’ve been friends ever since. Jeff’s incredible guitar playing is exactly what I want for my new album and I’m also looking forward to performing live with him soon.”
JARDINE TO TELL OF BEATLES AND MAHARISHI
Wilson, along with Jardine, Marks and Foskett, has six shows set from July 20-27 in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Great Lakes states, as well as a concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on Oct. 20. On the afternoon of July 6, Jardine will perform at the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur and also “share his experiences with TM (Transcendental Meditation), the Maharishi and The Beatles.”
CLINT EASTWOOD TO DIRECT FOUR SEASONS MUSICAL “JERSEY BOYS” FILM
Lifelong music loving, piano playing Clint Eastwood has composed the scores to eight motion pictures. Predominantly a jazz aficionado, the 83-year-old actor-director has been signed to helm the motion picture version of the acclaimed Tony-winning musical biography of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, “Jersey Boys,” the 18th longest running show in Broadway history, reports the theater publication, Playbill. “Jersey Boys” won four Tony Awards in 2006, including Best Musical.
Playbill says that Eastwood, who has twice won Best Director Oscars, in 1993 for “Unforgiven” and in 2005 for “Million Dollar Baby,” is interested in casting actors from various stage productions of “Jersey Boys” rather than contracting big box office names. Production begins in August.
As for the real Frankie Valli, the 79-year-old original Jersey boy and his latest incarnation of The Four Seasons will tour England beginning next week, playing seven concerts including shows headlining the Royal Albert Hall on June 25 and 26. Upon returning home, he’s got a couple dozen U.S. dates on his schedule through the remainder of the year, including a show at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills on Sept. 27.
KINGSTON TRIO SEEK FUNDING FOR FILMED BIO
Folk pioneers The Kingston Trio are producing a biographical documentary on the group called “The Complete Kingston Trio” and have turned to Indiegogo, a popular website that “allows anybody to raise money for any idea,” in a quest to raise the remaining $70,000 needed to complete the project, according to VVN. The script, by Bill Bush, author of the group’s biography, “Greenback Dollar,” named after their Hoyt Axton-penned hit from late 1962, has been completed.
Bob Shane, the 79-year-old last surviving founding member of the group that sparked a folk music revolution beginning in 1958, set up the Indiegogo campaign and says that some contributions have already come in, but a lot more are needed. The deadline is July 21. To help, go to www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-complete-kingston-trio-documentary.
The Kingston Trio formed in 1957. During its late 50′s and early 60′s heyday, they released 19 LPs, with 14 of them hitting Billboard’s Top 10.
In November and December 1958, they had four albums in the Top 10 simultaneously. Their 1958 single, “Tom Dooley,” sold more than 3 million copies. The Kingston Trio were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000, the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2008, and they received the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.
These days, Shane oversees a new version of The Kingston Trio that keeps their music alive. This new Kingston Trio performs year-round. They have upcoming shows Aug. 9-11 at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nov. 23 at Cal Tech’s Beckman Auditorium in Pasadena, and on Nov. 24 at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert.
THE KINKS’ DAVE DAVIES’ COMEBACK TOUR HITS SOCAL
In 2004, Dave Davies, the guitarist whose power riffing lead-in to his band, British Invasion legends The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All of the Night” changed rock and roll and served as a precursor to hard rock and heavy metal, suffered a serious stroke. It was so debilitating that his ability to speak, walk, and use his hands, arms and legs were drastically hampered. He spent two months in the hospital and years in recovery. Even though after two years he recovered enough to walk, talk and play some guitar, most Kinks fans never expected to see the 66-year-old icon perform again.
Well, Davies beat the odds and nearly a decade later he just completed a 12-date club tour; his first public performances since the stroke.
I caught his next-to-last show, at the 1,500 capacity Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, a 17-song, 75-minute affair. It’s got to be said that after all he’s gone through just seeing him walk on stage was a joy and had to be a personal triumph, and he was clearly delighted to be back onstage before a room full of his ecstatic and grateful fans.
That being said, his voice was strong as ever, although not necessarily in key as it was before and on a couple of occasions he had to slowly enunciate each syllable as he was taught during his speech rehab. His shredding guitar solos were more economical than in the past.
When he sang and played, most of his efforts were devoted to the vocals and while he strummed power chords, a lot of the core guitar work was left to his longtime band member, guitarist Jonathon Lea. However, it’s doubtful that anyone seeing him for the first time would have been able to tell that he had ever had a stroke.
Davies showcased four songs from his new album, “I Will Be Me,” his second post-stroke studio effort. As for Kinks classics, most written by his older brother Ray, he stuck with the songs he’s always performed on his shows, including “Young and Innocent Days,” from 1969′s “Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire),” that he dedicated to his “beloved” brother. Of their infamous decades’ long feud, Dave laughed and said, “We really don’t hate each other–that much.”
The Kinks’ chestnuts were numerous: Ray’s “I Need You” (1965), “She’s Got Everything” (1966) and “Wicked Annabella” (1968) from “The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society,” as well as Dave’s trademark “Death of a Clown” (1967) and “Strangers” from 1970.
What was hard to figure out is that with all his former band’s songs at his disposal, why would he perform “I’m Not Like Everybody Else,” a song Ray originally wrote for The Animals, but that he gave to Dave to sing after Eric Burdon and company turned it down–twice. He opened his set with the number and then performed it again in its entirety during his encore.
Shortly before the encore began, Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz, a died-in-the-wool Dave Davies and Kinks fan, presented Dave with an official proclamation designating June 9 as “Dave Davies Day” in L.A.
Davies, who was clearly moved, then invited Koretz to duet with him on his 1984 Kinks hit, “Living On a Thin Line.”
ROGER DALTREY TO TAKE DOORS’ PLACE IN O.C.
The Who’s singer, Roger Daltrey, is replacing the canceled concert by Ray Manzarek & Robby Krieger of The Doors at the O.C. Fair on Aug. 10 at the 18,000-seat Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, fair organizers announced on its website, OCFair.com. The date opened up after the recent passing of The Doors’ keyboardist, Ray Manzarek.
Daltrey’s concert with his band is his only solo date this year. The Who are currently wrapping up their “Quadrophenia” tour. Daltrey’s O.C. gig is a benefit concert with proceeds helping his foundation, Teen Cancer America.
Tickets are now on sale.
DEF LEPPARD’S VIV CAMPBELL RECEIVING CHEMO FOR CANCER
Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell is being treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but he still plans on touring this summer with his band, reports Britain’s Guardian.
Next week, the band that formed in Sheffield, England, in 1977, plays a brief six-date tour of Europe before returning to the U.S. and Canada for three shows back east. In addition, Campbell, who was also a founding member of metal band Dio, will join them for four concerts in August.
The 50-year-old joked in a statement, “If you’re going to have cancer, Hodgie’s in the one to have. It has an over-80% cure rate.” He noted that he has already completed a third of his chemo treatments. Campbell lost his long hair as a result of the chemo, calling his bald look, his “new, aerodynamic look.”
Doctors were able to detect the disease when a persistent cough sent Campbell rushing to his doctor. On March 11, the opening night of Def Leppard’s concert residency at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, he underwent the biopsy that showed the malignancy.
Def Leppard has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide. Two of their albums, 1983′s “Pyromania” and 1987′s “Hysteria,” have been certified diamond, indicating sales of more than 10 million copies each. The band is ranked No. 31 on VH1′s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock” and No. 70 in its “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.”
FORMER JOURNEY SINGER STEVE PERRY RECOVERING FROM CANCER
Steve Perry, former lead singer for Journey, recently let it be known that he is battling melanoma, a form of skin cancer, according the NBC’s “Today Show.” Perry, 64, who fronted the band from 1977-1987 and again from 1995-1998, said he’s undergone two surgeries to remove cancerous cells. “I think they got it all,” he wrote on his personal blog, Fan Asylum. He added that no further treatments were required.
MORRISSEY IGNORES DOCTORS AND WILL TOUR
Former Smith singer Morrissey is ignoring his doctor’s advice after a series of near-fatal maladies while on the road in Minneapolis, to take it easy and not perform. On the True to You website, he announced that he’ll undertake a 12-show tour of South America next month.
The post added that these are the only performances he intends on doing this year.
SO MUCH FOR A 2014 LED ZEP REUNION
Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant said recently that he has nothing planned for next year and that the Led Zep reunion tour ball was in the hands of guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones, a strong indication that the man who has been the guy who always blocked the band’s reunions was now finally open to one.
Page has always been open to Zep reunions, anywhere, anytime, so it was allegedly up to Jones. Alas, it ain’t gonna happen. Jones attended the London premiere of Phillip Glass’ opera, “The Perfect American” where he told Red Carpet News that he is currently writing his own opera based on “The Ghost Sonata” by August Stringberg, and that he’s completed its first movement, so 2014 is full of opera for me.”
ROLLING STONES MARK ANNIVERSARY OF FIRST SINGLE
“Come On,” the debut single by The Rolling Stones, was released 50 years ago this week. So, the band marked the event by performing it at their concert on the anniversary date (June 7) in Toronto. It was only the eighth time the group has ever performed it in their half-century career.
While introducing the Chuck Berry song they recorded on May 10, 1963, Mick Jagger laughed, “Our first single, ‘Come On,’ was released 50 years ago. I don’t know if I can remember the lyrics.”
RUSSIAN FEST DRAWS 700,000
Rammstein, who formed in 1994, headlined this week’s Rock On The Volga fest that drew a record Russian festival crowd. More than 690,000 fans attended the festival on the Samara site in south Russia. Nine Russian musical groups filled out the bill.
A six-member band composed of all original musicians, Rammstein released six albums between 1995 and 2009. They usually sing their songs in German.
However, they have also performed songs entirely or partially in English, Spanish, French and Russian. Worldwide, they have sold more than 20 million records. The band’s live shows are famous for their flashy pyrotechnics and theatrics.
The fest was free and celebrated Russia Day (June 12), which marked the founding of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the dissolution of the old Soviet Union in 1990. It was funded by the local government and commercial sponsorships.
JEFFERSON AIRPLANE DRUMMER JOEY COVINGTON DIES
Joey Covington, one-time drummer for The Jefferson Airplane, died at age 67 after he crashed his car near his home in Palm Springs, according to his companion, Lauren Taines, and reported by the New York Times. He was not wearing his seatbelt when the car he was driving hit a retaining wall around a curve in the road.
In 1969, Covington auditioned for The Airplane as a replacement for then-drummer Spencer Dryden, but no decision was made at the time, so he helped form the blues-based Hot Tuna with Airplane lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and its bassist, Jack Casady. However, none of his records with Hot Tuna were released and he finally replaced Dryden the following year, in 1970, and played on The Airplane’s 1971 LP, “Bark.”
His greatest claim to fame was as co-writer of “Pretty As You Feel” with Kaukonen, Casady, Carlos Santana and Santana’s drummer Mike Shrieve. The song, that appeared on “Bark” and on which he shared lead vocals with Airplane singer Grace Slick, received considerable airplay in the early days of “underground” FM radio.
In recent years, he delighted in giving free concerts in the Palm Springs area. His final performance was on June 1 in Palm Springs at a Marilyn Monroe celebration.
MARCELS’ LEAD SINGER CORNELIUS HARP DIES
Cornelius Harp, lead singer with the bi-racial Pittsburgh doo-wop vocal group The Marcels, died, reportedly of natural causes. Neither his age nor his cause of death was revealed, according to Noise11. The group is best known for its up-tempo doo-wop take on Rodgers and Hart’s 1934 ballad “Blue Moon.”
The 1961 single hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop singles chart and it did the same in Britain. The 45 sold more than one million copies here and was certified a gold record. The Marcels’ version was featured prominently in numerous motion pictures, including “Grease” and “An American Werewolf in London.”
Their follow-up single, a radically re-arranged cover of the 1931 ballad, “Heartaches,” hit No. 7 and proved to be their last major hit.
The group split up for good in 1995; however, Harp and three other original members reunited one last time in 1999 for the PBS special, “Doo Wop 50.”
Among the recently released albums, digital reissues, MP3 downloads and deluxe box sets are “13,” the first Black Sabbath album with singer Ozzy Osbourne in 35 years; “Dave Koz and Friends: Summer Horns,” sees the jazz saxman joined by fellow American jazz sax players Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair and Scottish-born former Tower of Power saxman Richard Elliot as they cover stuff like Sly & The Family Stone’s “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” Herb Alpert’s “Rise,” sax legend Paul Desmond’s Dave Brubeck Quartet classic “Take Five,” Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4,” and McCartney’s Beatles gem, “Got To Get You Into My Life.”
“Magnetic,” is the 10th studio album since 1987 by Buffalo, New York alt rock trio, The Goo Goo Dolls; “The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990 (10 CD)” box by that Lil’ Ol’ Band from Texas, ZZ Top; “Damage” is the eighth album in nearly 20 years from Mesa, Ariz. rock quartet Jimmy Eat World; “Every Man Should Know” from New Orleans Big Band leader Harry Connick, Jr. features a dozen original songs; “Dancer & The Moon (CD/DVD Deluxe Edition)” is the eighth studio release from English Renaissance folk rock outfit Blackmore’s Night, led by former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and his singer wife, Candice Night; and “Luther’s Blues – A Tribute to Luther Allison” from blues guitar master Walter Trout, former axeman for John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and Canned Heat.
“The Minutes” is the first album in six years from bluesy English singer Alison Moyet, whose debut album came out 20 years ago; the budget-priced Icon series continues with an 11-track package from Queen that includes “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Radio Ga Ga” and “The Show Must Go On,” that is one of Freddie Mercury’s final vocal performances; and an import, “Spitfire,” from country vet Leann Rimes.
Steve Smith writes a new Classic Pop, Rock and Country Music News column every week. Like, recommend or share the column on Facebook. Contact him by email at Classicpopmusicnews@gmail.com.