Waky Music News
The Latest Music News from Wakyland...
Aretha Franklin is lending her talents to "American Idol" while the show is in Detroit. TVLine.com says the legendary Queen of Soul will be featured on next week's episodes from the Motor City. She's on board to serve as a mentor to the 16 remaining finalists, and she'll also perform. "American Idol" airs on Fox on Wednesday and Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
Aretha has shown her support for "Idol" before. She actively followed season 12 in 2013. Early in the competition she phoned in her praise for one singer's performance of one of her songs, and she performed with the female finalists via satellite on the season 12 finale.
Steven Tyler is standing up for his attorney, who is once again facing legal issues over her involvement in the rocker's "American Idol" contract. The Aerosmith frontman's former management company, Kovac Media Group, originally accused Dina LaPolt of bad mouthing and undercutting them in their negotiation with the Fox show back in 2011. They claim she cost Tyler a six-to-eight-million-dollar deal, and forced him to leave "Idol." LaPolt argued she was being sued for activity protected by the First Amendment, and a California judge agreed with her in 2013. But earlier this week, a California appeals court rejected the lower judge's analysis.
Tyler tells "The Hollywood Reporter" he's "disgusted" that LaPolt has to continue to battle "these ridiculous accusations." He says she was instrumental in getting him out of his "toxic management agreement" with Kovac, and he fully supports her in her fight against the company. LaPolt's attorney says they respectfully disagree with the appeals court, but are confident they will win in the end. She says they're sure Kovac will "come up empty" now that they once again have to prove their original case.
Gary Glitter could spend the rest of his life behind bars. The disgraced '70s glam rocker, who's real name is Paul Gadd, is scheduled to appear in a London court Friday for his sentencing hearing. The singer was convicted earlier this month of attempted rape, indecent assault, and having sex with a girl under the age of 13, which the UK's "Telegraph" says carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. All of the incidents occurred in the late 1970s. Throughout his trial Glitter denied the allegations against him.
Glitter is best known in the U.S. for the 1972 hit "Rock and Roll." In 1999 he served two months in a British jail for possession of child pornography. Following his release he moved to Cambodia, where he was deported in 2002 due to suspected sex offenses. Glitter relocated to Vietnam, and in 2006 he was convicted in that country of committing obscene acts with two under age girls. He spent more than two years in jail, and was sent back to England upon his release.
Alan Parsons Project singer Chris Rainbow has died at the age of 68. Parsons announced the news on his website Thursday. He called Rainbow "an amazing talent and an integral part" of the Alan Parsons Project sound, adding that he and bandmate Eric Woolfson used to call Chris the "One Man Beach Boys." But Parsons says he will also remember him for his funny stories and hilarious catch phrases. In addition to his work with the Alan Parsons Project, Rainbow also recorded and toured with Camel and released a string of albums under his own name in the '70s. A cause of death for the Scottish-born singer has yet to be revealed.
Mike Rutherford says it's "about time" his group returned to the U.S. This weekend Mike + The Mechanics are launching their "Hits" tour -- their first trek on this side of the Atlantic since 1989. Rutherford tells Levittown, Pennsylvania's "Bucks County Courier Times" the band's North American run stems from the road work the band has done in Europe. He explains that an American promoter saw the group, and "thought it would be a good idea" to bring them to the U.S. Mike admits it's not the same group that last toured the States, and he's "the only guy in the band who was part of it during the '80s." But he says the Mechanics' new frontmen Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar "are tremendous singers," and he's "having some of the best times with this band." The current lineup also features guitarist Anthony Drennan, keyboardist Luke Juby, and drummer Gary Wallis.
Mike + The Mechanics are launching their trek with a show in Alexandria, Virginia Friday night. The 17-date run will wrap up with two shows in Chicago on March 20th and 21st. And "The Hits" should live up to its name. Concerts will feature the group's best-known songs, including "All I Need Is A Miracle," "The Living Years," and "Silent Running," along with some Genesis favorites peppered in. But the tour has already experienced one glitch. The band had planned to launch the run Thursday with the first of two shows in Alexandria, but "scheduling and transportation issues" forced them to scrap that show.
Diamond will launch his tour with a two-night stand in Allentown, Pennsylvania Friday and Saturday night. But his North American run is just half of his ten-country, 74-date trek, which he says was specifically planned to "be a challenge" Neil admits it's "a huge undertaking" and "a little bit nervy" for him, but he's confident he'll get through the entire run without a problem. He says he's learned "from past experience" that as a tour progresses he doesn't "wear down" but gets "stronger." The singer adds that he feels "strong" and is "enthusiastic" about the road trip. Diamond chose to play 74 shows during the outing in honor of his age -- he turned 74 last month.
Paul McCartney's childhood home in Liverpool has a new owner. BBC News says the townhouse sold for more than 231-thousand dollars Thursday at a special auction held in the Cavern Club, where Paul and his fellow Beatles played some of their earliest shows. McCartney's family lived in multiple houses while he was growing up in Liverpool, but he calls this one the first house he remembers. He lived there from 1947 to the mid-1950s, and Beatles guide Paul Beesley calls it an important house because it's where McCartney spent his "formative schoolboy years."
The new Brian Wilson biopic "Love and Mercy" is headed to theaters this summer, but fans are getting a look at the film's first trailer now. "Love and Mercy" stars Paul Dano as the Beach Boys leader in the '60s, and John Cusack as the older version of the singer. It covers Wilson's high points like the group's classic "Pet Sounds" album, as well as the low points exemplified by the tagline -- "Behind the genius. Madness." "Love and Mercy" premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September, and is scheduled to get a wide release on June 5th.
New Music Tuesday is becoming New Music Friday. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has announced a major change in the day the music industry puts out new releases. The British-based organization said Thursday that the plan to release new music on Fridays instead of Tuesdays would go into effect this summer. The organization hopes the move will combat piracy, since albums are often released internationally before the United States. IFPI says an aligned global release day puts an end to the frustration of not being able to access releases in one country when the music is available in another country.
It also says it hopes the move to Friday will "re-ignite excitement and a sense of occasion around the release of new music" allowing artists to better focus their social media campaigns. The change has been in the works for a while now. Citing consumer research, the IFPI says more people are more interested in buying new music on Fridays and Saturdays than mid-week.
Madonna took a spill while performing her latest single "Living for Love." Footage making the rounds online shows her standing on a platform when suddenly her long black cape jerks her body backwards. She's seen falling back and missing a couple of steps before landing in the midst of a group of male dancers below her. But she then stood up on her own and finished the song. The BRIT Awards took place Wednesday night in London.
Cliff Richard continues to deny the sex abuse claims against him, calling them "absurd and untrue." A police document obtained by the BBC says the investigation into the British star has "increased significantly in size," and there is now "more than one allegation" of sexual assault against the singer. Authorities add that they are in contact with Richard's lawyers, and give them updates every other week. Richard, meanwhile, maintains he has no idea what could have triggered the allegations against him. He says in a statement that he has "never" in his life "assaulted anyone." The singer adds that he has "cooperated fully with the police and will, of course, continue to do so." He says he also remains "confident that the truth will prevail."
The investigation into Richard began last summer in connection with an allegation that he sexually assaulted a boy under the age of 16 at a Billy Graham faith-based event in Sheffield, England in 1985. Details on the new allegations haven't been revealed. Richard has been one of Britain's top pop stars since he launched his career in the late 1950s. He received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth the Second in 1995. In the U.S. he's best known for the 1970's hits "Devil Woman" and "We Don't Talk Anymore."
Mike + The Mechanics tour has hit a bit of a snag. The group was slated to launch their trek Thursday with the first of two shows at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia. But a post on the venue's website says the concert had to be canceled "due to scheduling and transportation issues." However, Friday's show is still on. Mike + The Mechanics are ending a performance drought on this side of the Atlantic with their trek. "The Hits" tour is the group's first road trip through the U.S. and Canada since 1989.
U2's Joshua tree is without part of one of its limbs after vandals reportedly cut off a souvenir. Located in California's Mojave Desert, the tree became a popular destination for U2 fans after it appeared throughout the artwork of their 1987 album "The Joshua Tree." During a recent visit, one fan spotted the damage and shared the bad news on a U2 forum. The hiker also posted a picture of the tree, and encouraged all future visitors to "take pictures, they last longer."
There's once again a tree standing in Los Angeles in honor of the late Beatle George Harrison. City News Service says L.A. Councilman Tom LaBonge and "Breakfast With the Beatles" host Chris Carter took part in the replanting ceremony Wednesday, on what would have been Harrison's 72nd birthday. The new tree replaces the Canary Island Pine that was killed last year by a beetle invasion of the bug variety. A plaque near the George Harrison Memorial Tree explains that the horticultural monument acknowledges the rock legend as "a great humanitarian who touched the world as an artist, a musician and gardener." The replanting ceremony was followed by the annual George Harrison birthday gathering outside the Capitol Records tower in Hollywood.
Randy Bachman and Neil Young are teaming up in more ways than one on Bachman's new album. The two rockers collaborated on the new "Heavy Blues" track "Little Girl Lost." But Bachman says Young also provided the spark that eventually became "Heavy Blues." He explains that he was inspired to make a power trio album after Neil advised him to do something fearless, fierce and ferocious rather than pumping out another standard Randy Bachman album. "Heavy Blues" is due out April 14th, and will also feature special guest appearances from Peter Frampton, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Joe Bonamassa and more.
Steven Tyler's in-the-works solo album may be a precursor to a new Aerosmith album. Guitarist Brad Whitford tells "The Morning Call" the band's frontman has been busy working on his own album, so they're not sure when they might return to the studio as a group. But Whitford says he suspects a "good deal of inspiration" will come out of Tyler's solo effort, and the singer may want to keep writing new music that carries over to the next Aerosmith project. Their last album, "Music from Another Dimension," came out in 2012. And while there are currently no plans for a follow-up, Whitford says there's a chance they will hit the studio "at some point this year" to record something new.
In the meantime, fans can revisit one of the band's live performances in "Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014." The concert movie is hitting the big screen Thursday for a special one-night screening through Fathom Events. A full list of participating theaters is available at FathomEvents.com.
Paul McCartney is rounding out this year's Firefly Music Festival. Organizers behind the Dover, Delaware event have revealed that the former Beatle will be filling the final mystery headlining spot alongside Kings of Leon and the Killers. Morrissey, Snoop Dogg, Foster the People and Modest Mouse will also be performing at the 2015 edition of Firefly, which is scheduled to take place June 18th through the 21st. Tickets go on sale Monday, March 2nd at noon Eastern. More details are available at FireflyFestival.com.
Rod Stewart's longtime collaborator Jim Cregan is battling prostate cancer. The guitarist revealed the diagnosis in a post on Facebook this weekend. He stressed the importance of getting checked regularly for the disease, and admitted that he didn't listen when friends offered the same advice after they were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Cregan said he's worried but hopeful, and said he's been amazed by the outpouring of love and kindness from so many people. He still expects to be able to play a handful of gigs this summer, including a benefit for the organization Prostate Cancer U.K. with his friend and Faces drummer Kenney Jones.
Cregan joined Stewart's band in 1976, and appeared on his album "Foot Loose and Fancy Free" a year later. They've co-written a number of songs together, including the hit "Forever Young."
U2's latest music video is revisiting the troubled past of Northern Ireland. The clip for the band's "Songs of Innocence" single "Every Breaking Wave" is made up of footage from Belfast-born filmmaker Aoife [[ ee-fa ]] McArdle's short film, also called "Every Breaking Wave." It tells the story of two star-crossed lovers divided by religion in the midst of the struggle between Protestant Unionists and Catholic republicans in Northern Ireland in the 1980s. When McArdle's film premiered via the Creators Project earlier this month, U2 guitarist The Edge called it "something pretty extraordinary."
Jimmy Page says Led Zeppelin's "Physical Graffiti" was the sum of everything they had done before. He tells "Rolling Stone" they knew the 1975 double album was a "monumental piece of work" because of the "various paths" they had traveled to get to that point. He called it a "topical adventure" and a "voyage of discovery." Page has been reliving that voyage with the remastered and expanded edition of "Physical Graffiti," which arrives Tuesday exactly 40 years after its original release. The deluxe version of the reissue comes with the original songs spread out over two CDs, plus a third disc featuring seven bonus cuts. The extras include early or alternate versions of tracks that eventually ended up on "Physical Graffiti," like a rough orchestra mix of "Kashmir" and an early version of "In the Light" called "Everybody Makes It Through."
For fans looking for even more, there's a Super Deluxe edition that comes with a 96-page book of rare photos and a print of the original album cover. All the different "Physical Graffiti" packages are available at LedZeppelin.com.
Motown is celebrating its storied history with a new box set. The seven-disc collection called "Motown: Big Hits and More" features 144-tracks from the likes of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Martha and the Vandellas, the Temptations, and more. Twenty-five of those songs are available in brand new stereo mixes, which were created using original tapes from the famed Hitsville USA studio. TJ Lubinsky assembled the new versions, and he says they frequently found extra verses and ad-libs that were cut from the songs before they ended up on the original 45s.
"Motown: Big Hits and More" is being released as part of a celebration of the "Motown 25" TV special, which aired in 1983. Fans can watch an updated version of the concert event this Saturday on more than 300 public television stations across the country. The box set will be available to members who pledge to the stations.
Todd Rundgren is taking his music to the Land of the Rising Sun this summer. The rocker is among the performers on board for the 19th edition of Japan's Fuji Rock Festival. Motorhead and Johnny Marr are also on the lineup, while Foo Fighters, Muse, and Ryan Adams are among the headliners. The event is expected to feature more than 200 acts. The 2015 Fuji Rock Festival is scheduled to take place July 24th through the 26th.
Glen Campbell could become an Oscar winner this weekend. The singer is among the nominees heading into this weekend's event. His song "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," which he wrote with producer Julian Raymond for his documentary "Glen Campbell... I'll Be Me," is among the tracks in the running for Best Original Song. Glen's song is vying for the honor along with "Everything Is Awesome" from "The Lego Movie," "Glory" from "Selma," "Grateful" from "Beyond the Lights," and "Lost Stars" from "Begin Again." Country star Tim McGraw has been tapped to perform "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" at the event for Glen, who is battling Alzheimer's disease. The 87th Oscars will be presented in a ceremony in Hollywood on Sunday, and air on ABC at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, 4:00 p.m. Pacific.
Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and Motley Crue still know how to put on a show. And they're getting some recognition for their efforts. The veteran rockers are among the nominees for the 26th annual Pollstar Awards, which will be presented in a ceremony in Nashville on Saturday. McCartney and Springsteen are two of the eight acts vying for Major Tour of the Year, while Motley Crue's "The Final Tour" is getting a nod for Most Creative Stage Production.
In addition, Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Lollapalooza are some of the events up for Major Music Festival of the Year. The Newport Folk Festival and Britain's Glastonbury and Isle of Wight festivals have earned nominations as well. The Pollstar Awards recognize touring acts and events as well as venues, promoters, managers, and other behind-the-scenes aspects to taking a show on the road.
Brian Wilson is offering fans the first taste of his guest-heavy new album "No Pier Pressure." On Thursday he unveiled the song "The Right Time," which features Wilson singing with Beach Boys bandmates Al Jardine and David Marks.
The trio return to their iconic harmonies on the track, with Jardine taking the lead like he did on Beach Boys classics like "Help Me Rhonda" and "I Know There's an Answer." Wilson's "No Pier Pressure" also includes guest appearances by She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Nate Ruess, and more. The album is set to hit stores April 7th.
Jimmy Page says he's the one who came up with the title for Led Zeppelin's sixth studio effort, "Physical Graffiti." During a Yahoo! preview event for the album's upcoming reissue, the guitarist said the name was inspired by graffiti he saw around London. He explained that graffiti was different back then, and was "more slogans and things, like a quotation from William Blake." Page defined how the name applied to the project, saying it was "real physical music and it was graffiti in so much as you're laying it onto the walls of the building you're recording in" and "onto the magnetic tape."
Jimmy added that musically "Physical Graffiti" is different from the band's previous work. He said they had more time to write for the album, which turned into a two-disc set. It was also the first album the band released on their own label, which Page said gave them the freedom to really stretch creatively. "Physical Graffiti" is the next release in the Led Zeppelin reissue series. The new remastered edition of the album will be available next Tuesday.
Billy Gibbons says his new solo album is taking an "unexpected left turn" from ZZ Top. The guitarist tells "Rolling Stone" the upcoming project features what he calls "Cuban music." And while the Caribbean twist may seem unusual for the Texas blues rocker, Gibbons says it is a part of his history. He explains that his dad sent him to New York to study Latin percussion with Tito Puente when he was a teenager. Plus he says he lived in Mexico for a couple years, so he knows "just enough Spanish to get [him] in trouble."
Gibbons says he hopes to wrap up the "oddball" album later this year. He's also scheduled to visit Havana, Cuba in June to play at a jazz summit, and will resume his tour with ZZ top next month.
The late Lesley Gore is being laid to rest. The Lesley Gore International Fan Club Facebook page says her family is holding a private funeral Thursday afternoon in New York, but fans will get an opportunity to pay tribute to the star. A public memorial is said to be in the works. Details are expected in the coming weeks. Gore, who's perhaps best remembered for the 1963 chart-topping hit "It's My Party," passed away Monday in New York following a battle with cancer. She was 68.
Page and Led Zeppelin were also in the running for Reissue of the Year for their remastered second album. They lost to the Manic Street Preachers, but could have another chance next year with the remastered edition of "Physical Graffiti." It's due out next week, but Page is set to premiere the new version and all the bonus content Thursday afternoon. He'll play the entire album and answer questions live during a special event on Yahoo Live. It all starts at 2 p.m. Eastern on Screen.Yahoo.com.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame is making room for Cyndi Lauper and Jerry Garcia. They're among the chosen few who made the cut this year to become part of the Class of 2015. Late Grateful Dead frontman is being inducted with his frequent collaborator Robert Hunter. Other honorees include Linda Perry, the late blues great Willie Dixon, and country star Toby Keith. The honorees will be officially welcomed at the Songwriters Hall Of Fame 46th annual Induction and Awards Dinner in New York City on June 18th.
Hall and Oates might not record together anymore, but John Oates says he and Daryl Hall have no plans to end their collaborative concert career. He tells "Billboard" they were "a live group from the very beginning," and over the decades have "never stopped playing live." It's been nearly a decade since Hall and Oates have released a studio album, but that doesn't matter to them. Hall says they still "really enjoy playing" their classics from the '70s, '80s, and '90s, and that collection of material is "certainly enough to sustain" them. He adds that their relationship is still strong. Daryl describes him and John as "friends first, partners second," and says they still "like having a band together."
Fans across the U.S. are now getting a chance to see a special Hall and Oates show. The duo's concert last summer in Dublin will be screened Thursday night in more than 300 movie theaters throughout the country. Details are available at FathomEvents.com. In addition, "Daryl Hall and John Oats: Recorded Live in Dublin" will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on March 31st.
Aerosmith fans will be able to revisit the band's performance in Donington next week. But they will be missing out on one of the U.K. venue's more unique attributes -- the smell. Aerosmith visited Donington for last year's Download Festival, and bassist Tom Hamilton says the park always attracts the "funkiest, most earthy" audience. He says the combination of rain, mud, and "the folks who thought it was too far to go to the porta-can" always creates a "distinct aroma." Hamilton adds that he thinks it's a great place to play because it smells like being on a farm.
"Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014" arrives in select theaters around the country on February 26th. A list of participating theaters is available at FathomEvents.com.
A new Jimi Hendrix compilation is exploring the guitar legend's pre-legend work as a session musician. "You Can't Use My Name: Curtis Knight and the Squires (Featuring Jimi Hendrix)" is slated to hit stores March 24th. It features 14 songs recorded between 1965 and 1967, when Hendrix played with the New York City R&B group. The music has previously been released in various forms, but the new collection aims to present it in its "original context." In addition to the songs, there is also previously unreleased studio chatter, including a recording of Hendrix asking that his name not be used on the album.
Paul McCartney's collaboration with Rihanna and Kanye West is gaining ground on Billboard's Hot 100. After the trio's Grammy night performance of "FourFiveSeconds," the song has jumped from number 15 to number six on the singles chart. It marks the 23rd time McCartney has graced the top ten, and breaks his streak of more than 29 years without a top ten hit. Rihanna now has 26 top ten visits, while Kanye has hit the top tier 15 times. "FourFiveSeconds" also moved up to number three on the digital songs chart after banking an additional 181-thousand downloads.
Barry Manilow says he really meant it when he called his current tour "One Last Time!" He tells "Billboard" the trek that started Wednesday night in Omaha, Nebraska will be his last major outing. He assures fans he isn't retiring. But he says after more than 40 years, he's done too much packing and too much waiting around for room service. Manilow says concert tours aren't as glamorous as some people might think. And while he admits he'll probably miss the excitement of big road trips, he won't miss the actually touring. Manilow's "One Last Time!" is scheduled to last through June 17th, when he wraps it all up in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York.