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Rock Stars and Celebrities Answer the Question: Lennon or McCartney?


PRNewsFoto/Epic Rights; Mary McCartney/MPL CommunicationsIt's a question that music fans have pondered for decades -- which Beatles singer/songwriter do you prefer, John Lennon or Paul McCartney?  Now, a fascinating video put together by Scared Goose Productions has been posted online that gathers audio and video footage of 550 musicians, actors and other celebrities responding to the question.

A tally of the responses appearing at the end of the 34-minute-long video shows that Lennon garnered 282 votes, while McCartney got 196.  Not surprisingly, there were some dissenters amongst the people polled, with 15 picking George Harrison, four choosing Ringo Starr and single votes going to Jimi Hendrix, Lou Reed, Keith Richards and Oasis.  In addition, fifty people either chose both John and Paul or neither, or didn't answer at all.

The responses reportedly were gathered over the course of the last 10 years.  Among the well-known rock artists who ventured an opinion were The Who's Pete Townshend, The Doors' Robby Krieger, Ozzy Osbourne, The Band's Robbie Robertson, Slash and three members of Metallica.  Other celebrities polled included Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Lady Gaga, LL Cool J, Tracy Morgan, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Adam Lambert and Miss Piggy, among many, many others.

Some of the stars who picked Lennon were Robertson, Slash, De Niro, Stallone, Lady Gaga, Bieber, LL Cool J, Morgan, David Byrne, Johnny Rotten, Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler, Supertramp's Roger Hodgson, Scott Weiland, Metallica's Kirk Hammett and Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx.

The McCartney camp included Townshend, Perry, Miss Piggy, Aerosmith's Tom Hamilton, The Monkees' Mick Dolenz, Motley Crue's Vince Neil and The Sex Pistols' Steve Jones.

Ozzy, Krieger and Men at Work's Colin Hay, meanwhile, picked both Lennon and McCartney, while Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich chose Oasis and his band mate Robert Trujillo said Harrison.

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1,000 Foo Fighters Fans in Italy to Play "Learn to Fly" Simultaneously


Image Courtesy of Ringo StarrA group of Italian Foo Fighters fans have launched a crowd-funding campaign to get the band to play a show in Italy's Romagna region.  The plan is to have 1,000 people simultaneously play the Foos' 1999 single, "Learn to Fly," which they hope will inspire Dave Grohl and company to play their home region.  The campaign is aiming to raise 40,000 euros in order to fund the project.

This isn't the first time fans have turned to crowd-funding to get the Foo Fighters to play their city.  Earlier this year, a group in Richmond, Virginia, began to sell tickets to a Foo Fighters show in their city, even though the gig wasn't scheduled by the band.  The campaign worked, and the Foos played their first show in Richmond in more than 15 years.

A group in the U.K. also launched a campaign asking the Foo Fighters to play the city of Birmingham.  While the campaign was fully funded, the band has yet to announce a Birmingham show.  As for Foo Fighters shows that are actually scheduled, you can find all touring information at FooFighters.com.

In other news, Foo Fighters stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday night to perform their song "I Am a River," from their latest album, Sonic Highways.  The band was accompanied by a string section as they ripped through the New York City-inspired track.

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Lynyrd Skynyrd to Perform First Two Albums at Special Hometown Concerts in February


Credit: Clay Patrick McBrideLynyrd Skynyd has scheduled a pair of special hometown shows in Jacksonville, Florida, early next year that the Southern rock legends are planning to capture for a television special and home-video release.  The concerts will take place at the Florida Theatre on February 12 and 13, and will feature the band performing, respectively, its first two albums, 1973's Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd and 1974's Second Helping.

"We've been wanting to go back and recreate these live records for a long time," Skynyrd singer Johnny Van Zant tells the Florida-Times Union.  "We decided to come back to our hometown, Jacksonville, and play at the legendary Florida Theatre.  Can't wait to rock it."

The shows also will include performances of other well-known songs from throughout the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band's career.

Tickets for both concerts will go on sale to the general public on Monday at 10 a.m. ET, and are priced at $49.50, $69.50 and $99.50.

Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd features such memorable tunes as "Tuesday's Gone," "Gimme Three Steps," "Simple Man" and "Free Bird," while Second Helping includes Lynyrd Skynyrd's biggest hit, "Sweet Home Alabama," and the band's version of J.J. Cale's "Call Me the Breeze."

In other news, Lynyrd Skynyrd will bring some Southern rock to a newly announced country festival called the Big Barrel Country Music Festival, which is scheduled to take place June 26-28, 2015, at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware.  The three-day event will be headlined by a trio of country music's biggest stars -- Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.

Other artists on the lineup include Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, The Oak Ridge Boys, Jake Owen, Chris Young, Gary Allan and Kacey Musgraves.  Visit BigBarrelFestival.com for more information.

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ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Allmans Drummer Butch Trucks to Be Honored at L.A.-Area Benefit Concert


Image Courtesy of Adopt the ArtsZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks will be honored for their contributions to American art and culture at a star-studded benefit concert scheduled for January 12 at the famous Sunset Strip venue the Roxy in West Hollywood, California.  The event will raise money for Adopt the Arts, a charity co-founded by ex-Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum that helps fund music-education programs in L.A.-area elementary schools.

Gibbons, Trucks and Sorum all are expected to perform at the concert, along with such other famous musicians such as Slash, founding Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, Edgar Winter and Conan bandleader Jimmy Vivino.  Serving as the evening's backing band will be The Disreputable Few, a group featuring a lineup of surprise rockers.

"We're starting in our own backyard here in Los Angeles, and we'll continue to adopt schools across the nation," says Sorum about the Adopt the Arts initiative.  "We believe that art is a universal and necessary language that unites us all, regardless of our backgrounds."

Tickets can be purchased now by visiting AdoptTheArts.org, and are priced at $75 for general admission, and $125 and $250 for VIP packages that offer upgraded seating, hors d'oeuvres and more.

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Jimmy Page Says His Next Musical Project Will Be "Sparkling" and "Stimulating" to the Senses


Credit: Ross HalfinIn a new video interview with the U.K.'s Classic Rock magazine, Jimmy Page gives a little insight into his upcoming musical plans for next year.  The Led Zeppelin guitarist doesn't get too specific about his new project, but he promises that it will be something "sparkling…stimulating all the senses."

He tells the magazine, "I'm playing guitar at the moment, because I'm getting ready.  I'm starting to get ready."

Page explains that his game plan was that after he finished preparing the deluxe Led Zeppelin reissues, which he's done, "at the end of that was gonna be what would manifest as me playing live."

Jimmy adds that whatever his next move is, he's planning to defy expectations.

"Whatever I do, I don't want everyone to have made up their mind what I'm doing before I've done it," he insists.  "I mean, they already have.  On the Internet, people are telling me that, 'Oh, you're doing this, and you're doing that,' and I'm [saying,] 'Am I?  Just wait and see what I do.'"

Page also reports that he's written some "new material," adding that "it will be surprising."

As for the kind of live show he intends to play, he notes, "I'd like to obviously show what I've done along the way, but I'd definitely have musical surprises for people so they wouldn't sort of start yawning."

Fans will have to stay tuned to find out exactly what Page has in store for them.

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Anthrax Announces Its Own Bourbon Brand


Image Courtesy of Matthew RodgersAnthrax received its sixth Grammy nomination earlier this month, and the band is celebrating in style.  The thrash metal veterans have teamed up with Jefferson's Bourbon to create their own brand of the beverage, called Indians.

"Anthrax's Indians, a single barrel bourbon, was personally chosen by the band and will taste like no other due to its particular blend and the barrel it was aged in," reads a press release.

"We've been wanting to come up with a special item like this, something that was unusual, one-of-a-kind, not a T-shirt or hoodie or poster, and Indians was perfect," adds bassist Frank Bello in a statement.

Indians is now available for order via the Atlantic City Bottle Company's website.  One bottle will set you back $100.  If you live near Atlantic City, though, you can pick up a bottle in stores for $75.

Anthrax was nominated for the 2015 Grammys in the Best Metal Performance category for its cover of Black Sabbath's "Neon Knights."  The band recorded the song for the Ronnie James Dio tribute album Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life.

"It's been an honor every time we've been nominated, but this one is particularly special," says drummer Charlie Benante.  "To have been asked to contribute 'Neon Knights' to Ronnie's tribute album was an honor on its own; to have it nominated for a Grammy is just beyond the best."

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Elton John Fan Club Members to Receive Download of His Set at 2014 Bonnaroo Festival


Joseph Guay/Capitol RecordsIf you couldn't make it to Tennessee this past June to see Elton John and his band rock the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, you can now watch it from the comfort of your own home...if you're a member of Elton's fan club.

Platinum subscribers to John's Rocket Club will receive Elton John: Live at Bonnaroo 2014 with the Elton John Band, a 68-minute video download of his set from the festival that was recorded on June 15.  The video features 10 songs, including "Bennie and the Jets," "Levon," "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," "Crocodile Rock" and "Saturday Night's Alright (for Fighting)."  You can watch a preview on Elton's website now of "Bennie and the Jets."

The download also includes a special message from John.  If you want access to it, you need to sign up for the fan club at Elton's website by December 31.

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George Harrison, Bee Gees, Buddy Guy to Be Honored with Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards


PRNewsFoto/The Recording AcademyGeorge Harrison, The Bee Gees and blues great Buddy Guy are among the artists the Recording Academy will present with Lifetime Achievement Awards in February.  Harrison, The Bee Gees and Guy will receive the honors as part of the organization's Special Merit Awards ceremony, a special invite-only event that's held annually during Grammy Week.  The 2015 gala will take place on Saturday, February 7, the evening before the 57th annual Grammy Awards ceremony.

Others musicians who will be acknowledged by the Recording Academy with Lifetime Achievement Awards include French classical composer Pierre Boulez, renowned Tex-Mex accordion player Flaco Jiménez, influential country duo The Louvin Brothers, and jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter.

The Special Merit Awards ceremony also will feature the presentation of Trustee Awards to non-performers who have made significant contributions to the music industry.  The 2015 honorees are the songwriting team of Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, prolific record producer Richard Perry, and jazz promoter and producer George Wein.  In addition, Ray Kurzweil will receive a Technical Grammy Award for his technological innovations, including his work with synthesizers.

"This year we pay tribute to exceptional creators who have made prolific contributions to our culture and history," says Recording Academy president and CEO Neil Portnow.  "It is an honor and a privilege to recognize such a diverse group of talented trailblazers, whose incomparable bodies of work and timeless legacies will continue to be celebrated for generations to come."

All the Special Merit Awards honorees also will be acknowledged during the upcoming Grammys telecast, which CBS will air live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 8.

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Items Signed by Roger Daltrey, Eddie Vedder and Other Stars Being Auctioned to Benefit Teenage Cancer Trust


Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The WhoThe Who's Roger Daltrey was a surprise performer at an all-star tribute concert to his legendary band held last month in London to support the Teenage Cancer Trust.  Now, a variety of collectibles signed by Daltrey and some of the event's other performers are being auctioned off to raise money for the charity.

Among the items up for bid are a Gibson SG guitar autographed by Daltrey and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, a Gibson Les Paul guitar signed by Roger and his recent collaborator Wilko Johnson, a Vespa helmet autographed by the aforementioned rockers and Oasis' Liam Gallagher, a tambourine signed by Vedder and a few programs autographed by various performers.

The auction, which is live now on eBay.co.uk, will end this Monday, December 22.

Daltrey sang "Substitute" and "Young Man Blues" to close out the Who tribute show, which also included performances from Rush's Geddy Lee, Def Leppard's Joe Elliott, Kaiser Chiefs' Ricky Wilson and actor Phil Daniels, star of the 1979 film adaptation of Quadrophenia.

The U.K.'s Teenage Cancer Trust, of which Daltrey has been a patron for more than 10 years, raises money to take care of the special needs of teenage and young adult cancer patients by providing special hospital units designed with them in mind.

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Paul McCartney Admits Writing Music for Video Games Is Easier Than Playing Them


MJ KimPaul McCartney dropped by The Tonight Show Wednesday to plug his new single, "Hope for the Future," which he wrote for the popular video game Destiny. Paul also admitted to host Jimmy Fallon that while it wasn't hard for him to write the music for a video game, he's pretty clueless when it comes to playing them.

When Fallon brought up playing the popular video game Rock Band, which contains some songs from McCartney's former band The Beatles, the 72-year-old rock legend confessed he's not very good and added, "It's very hard."

"My grandkids play and they kill me every time," McCartney explained, then added, "But I say, 'I wrote it.'"

McCartney's no stranger to writing music for other projects. He also penned the theme song for the 1973 James Bond movie, Live and Let Die, and told Fallon he enjoys the challenge.

"It depends how you think of songwriting," he explained. "I kind of think of it in a way like a craft. So I like writing songs, very personal songs just for me, but I also like when someone asks me like that, you know...It's a bit of a challenge."

With Christmas right around the corner, Fallon asked Paul to name some of his favorite holiday songs.  The veteran rocker said "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole and "'Wonderful Christmastime' by Paul McCartney."

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Yes to Be Joined by Marillion, Saga & More on 2015 Cruise to the Edge


Credit: Rob ShanahanYes has revealed initial details for the 2015 edition of its Cruise to the Edge.  The prog-rock-themed seagoing event is scheduled to embark from Miami on November 15 and visit Key West, Florida, and a private island in the Bahamas before returning to port on November 19.

Joining Yes on the lineup of performers for the cruise are Marillion, Saga, guitar virtuoso Allan Holdsworth, Nektar, Caravan and more than a dozen other acts.  In addition, a special pre-cruise concert will be held in Miami on November 14 at an as-yet-unannounced location and featuring a special guest performer, as well as a late-night jam.

Most of the artists will be playing at least two sets during the cruise.  Besides the many concerts, cruise attendees will be able to enjoy the ship's 13 bars and lounges, various eateries, casino, spa, fitness center, basketball and volleyball court, bowling alley and more.  A lineup of special activities and events will be revealed soon.

The 2015 cruise is priced as low as $849 per person for double-occupancy cabins, and $575 per person for quad rooms.  Previous Cruise to the Edge passengers will be treated to a $100 discount.  Visit CruisetotheEdge.com for more information.

Yes' previous Cruise to the Edge events took place in April of this year and March 2013.

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Van Morrison to Release New Album in Early 2015 After Signing Deal with RCA


Exile ProductionsVan Morrison currently is finishing up a new studio album that will be released early next year, the first the acclaimed singer/songwriter will issue as part of a new deal with RCA Records.

RCA executives Tom Corson and Peter Edge said in a statement, "We are thrilled to have Van Morrison, the iconic musical visionary and legend, join the RCA roster.  He is one of the most prolific and talented songwriters and performers in music today, and we are honored to have him join us at the label and work with him on his forthcoming new album."

Added Van the Man, "I am looking forward to working with Tom, Peter and the RCA team as we plan release of the new project for next year."

Morrison most recent album, 2012's Born to Sing: No Plan B, was released on Blue Note Records, one of several labels for which the 69-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has recorded in recent years.

Meanwhile, Van will be playing three sold-out shows this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Nell's Jazz & Blues Club in London.  He also has several other tour dates, most of them in the U.K., mapped out through August 2015.  Check out his full itinerary at VanMorrison.com/Live.

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Billy Joel Reportedly Looking for Pad in Palm Beach, Schedules 21st Show at MSG


Lloyd Bishop/NBCAll the cash that Billy Joel made after his home sales this year must be burning a hole in his pocket: He's reportedly looking for a new property in Palm Beach, Florida.

According to the Florida website GossipExtra, in 2014, the Piano Man unloaded his oceanfront home in New York's tony Hamptons for $19 million, and he also sold two Manhattan condos for $12 million.  Now, he's eyeing a place in Palm Beach on the ocean, and is looking to spend $15 to $20 million.  Supposedly, Joel's good pal Howard Stern, who owns a place in the area, convinced him it was the place to be.

Meanwhile, Joel has just scheduled yet another show at New York's Madison Square Garden, where he does a monthly residency.  The September 25, 2015, concert will be the 21st show in the residency, and the 67th overall of his career at that venue.  Tickets go on sale this Friday, December 19.

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2015 Wanee Festival Lineup Features Allman Brothers Members, Cheap Trick, Hot Tuna


Image Courtesy of Wanee FestivalThe Allman Brothers Band may have retired after its October 28 concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York, but nearly all the group's members will be on hand to perform at the 2015 edition of the Wanee Music Festival, scheduled for April 15-17 in Live Oak, Florida.  Listed separately on the just-announced lineup for the event are frontman Gregg Allman, drummer Butch Trucks and bassist Oteil Burbridge, as well as guitarist Warren Haynes' and drummer Jaimoe's respective bands -- Gov't Mule and Jaimoe's Jasssz Band.

Other artists on the 2015 Wanee fest bill include Cheap Trick, the "Electric" version of Hot Tuna, Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson, funk/soul legends Earth, Wind & Fire, Widespread Panic and many more.

Tickets for the 11th annual Wanee fest are on sale now.  General admission tickets for the three-day extravaganza cost $195, plus fees, while VIP packages are priced at $499.  Visit WaneeFestival.com for more information.

The Allman Brothers Band began the festival in 2005 and always served as its headliner.  The event is held at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park.

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Joan Jett & the Blackhearts to Open for The Who Throughout Band's 2015 North American Tour


AEG LiveThe Who has announced that it will be joined by a newly minted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame act, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, when the British rock legends hit the road for the North American legs of their 50th anniversary next year.  Jett and her longtime backing group will be special guests for the entire stateside segment of The Who Hits 50! trek, which kicks off April 15 in Tampa, Florida.

"Having Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, a great American rock band, support us on our North American dates will ensure concertgoers a full night of entertainment," says Who frontman Roger Daltrey. "I love her."

Who guitarist/songwriter Pete Townshend adds, "We've been very close friends with Joan Jett for a long time.  She is the real deal.  This will be a great night of rock and roll for everyone."

As for Jett, she notes that after she left her first band, The Runaways, The Who and their manager, Bill Curbishley, allowed her to use their studio, which, she says, "gave me the freedom to start my label, Blackheart Records." Joan adds, "I've modeled my career and my company after their amazing organization.  I'm so happy to be part of their 50th anniversary tour.  No one personifies Rock and Roll Royalty more than The Who."

Jett & the Blackhearts are scheduled to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on April 18, which happens to be an off day on The Who's tour.

Back in July, Jett and her group joined Daltrey to perform at a benefit concert in Philadelphia that raised funds for a local hospital that, in conjunction with the Teen Cancer America organization, is building a unit geared toward the needs of teenagers and young adults fighting cancer.

The Who's 2015 North American tour includes a spring and a fall leg.  Here are all of the confirmed dates:

Leg One
4/15 -- Tampa, FL, Amalie Arena
4/17 -- Miami, FL, AmericanAirlines Arena
4/19 -- Jacksonville, FL, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
4/21 -- Raleigh, NC, PNC Arena
4/23 -- Duluth, GA, The Arena at Gwinnett Center
4/27 -- Austin, TX, Frank Erwin Center
4/29 -- Houston, TX, Toyota Center
5/2 -- Dallas, TX, American Airlines Center
5/5 -- Kansas City, MO, Sprint Center
5/7 -- St. Louis, MO, Scottrade Center
5/9 -- Louisville, KY, KFC Yum! Arena
5/11 -- Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena
5/13 -- Chicago, IL, Allstate Arena
5/15 -- Columbus, OH, Nationwide Arena
5/17 -- Philadelphia, PA, Wells Fargo Center
5/20 -- Uniondale, NY, Nassau Coliseum
5/22 -- Atlantic City, NJ, Boardwalk Hall
5/24 -- Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun Arena
5/26 -- Brooklyn, NY, Barclays Center
5/30 -- Forest Hills, NY, Forest Hills Stadium

Leg Two
9/14 -- San Diego, CA, Valley View Casino Center
9/16 -- Anaheim, CA, Honda Center
*9/19 -- Las Vegas, NV, Colosseum at Caesars Palace
9/21 -- Los Angeles, CA, STAPLES Center
9/23 -- Oakland, CA, Oracle Arena
9/25 -- Portland, OR, Moda Center
9/27 -- Seattle, WA, KeyArena
9/29 -- Vancouver, BC, Canada, Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
10/1 -- Calgary, AB, Canada, Scotiabank Saddledome
10/3 -- Edmonton, AB, Canada, Rexall Place
10/6 -- Saskatoon, SK, Canada, SaskTel Centre
10/8 -- Winnipeg, MB, Canada, MTS Centre
10/10 -- Minneapolis, MN, Target Center
10/13 -- Milwaukee, WI, BMO Harris Bradley Center
10/15 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
10/17 -- Detroit, MI, Joe Louis Arena
10/19 -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Air Canada Centre
10/21 -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Air Canada Centre
10/23 -- Pittsburgh, PA, CONSOL Energy Center
10/25 -- Newark, NJ, Prudential Center
10/27 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
10/29 -- Boston, MA, TD Garden
11/1 -- Washington, D.C., Verizon Center
11/4 -- Philadelphia, PA, Wells Fargo Center

* = without Jett & the Blackhearts.

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Paul McCartney to Visit "The Tonight Show" This Evening


MPL/Mary McCartneyHot on the heels of his appearance Tuesday night on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, Paul McCartney will be a guest this evening on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.  Fans can expect to hear McCartney chat about his new single, "Hope for the Future," which he wrote for the popular video game Destiny.

Sir Paul will be a guest alongside Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.  The oddball duo, who recently released the chart-topping album Cheek to Cheek, will be interviewed as well as serving as the show's musical guest.  The Tonight Show airs on NBC at 11:35 p.m. ET/10:35 p.m. CT.

In other news, the complete transcript of a recent live Q&A event McCartney took part in for U.K. model Lily Cole's website, Impossible.com, has been posted at PaulMcCartney.com.

During the interview, which focused on Paul's songwriting, he discussed such topics as creating the aforementioned "Hope for the Future" and his partnership with John Lennon.

McCartney explained that he had been collaborating with composer Marty O'Donnell on the Destiny score when he was asked to help write a regular song for the project.  He pointed out that O'Donnell told him some details about the game, which helped him come up with the lyrics.

"He told me that the idea of the game was that it's a big 'shoot-em-up' and you shoot your way, and you save humanity from all the aliens, therefore giving hope," noted McCartney.  "So I just put that idea together, that instead of a big 'shoot-em-up' I'll just make it a more general thing of 'we need some hope for the future.'  So that's what I did, and that was it!"

As for his long partnership with Lennon, Paul said, "Obviously writing with John was the ultimate collaboration.  I think we were both very lucky to find each other, because we played perfectly off each other."

He added, "One of the amazing things about me and John writing together was that -- I think we wrote just short of three hundred songs together…we never had a dry session. Every time we got together and sat down, we'd work…only for about three hours, because you start getting a bit bored after three hours, but we would always come up with a song, which is pretty cool!"

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Confirmed: Elton John Will Marry Partner David Furnish This Weekend


JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty ImagesA rep for Elton John has confirmed to ABC News Radio that he and his longtime partner David Furnish will marry this weekend.

The news that the two would take advantage of Britain's legalization of same-sex marriage, which was enacted in March, was initially reported by a British tabloid.  The wedding reportedly will be private. 

Elton and David got a civil partnership in 2005, and they'll now convert that status to marriage.  The couple, who've been together for 20 years, have two sons: three-year-old Zachary and one-year-old Elijah.

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Randy Bachman's Upcoming Studio Album Arriving in April; Features Neil Young, Peter Frampton


Credit: Mike HoughRandy Bachman has revealed full details about his upcoming solo album, which is called Heavy Blues and will be released on April 15, 2015.  The Canadian rocker, who's a founding member of both The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, will issue the new record under the name Bachman, a three-piece outfit that also features bassist Anna Ruddick and drummer Dale Anne Brendon.

As Randy Bachman told ABC News Radio earlier this year, the album will feature appearances by a variety of guest guitarists, including Neil Young, Peter Frampton and Joe Bonamassa.  In addition, lap-steel guitar whiz Robert Randolph has contributed to project, and Randy has incorporated a performance by the late Jeff Healey into a track.

Heavy Blues is a collection of original tunes penned by Bachman that's influenced his love of 1960s rock and blues.

Bachman usually produces his own albums, but for Heavy Blues he hired Kevin Shirley, who previously has worked on recordings by Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Rush and Iron Maiden.

"I've known Kevin for many years and watched his producer credits grow to include many rock legends," says Randy in a statement.  "I knew that he could push me past my limit, pull me onto new paths and direct me down new roads.  The collaboration, paired with Dale Anne and Anna's musical ferocity, has made this entire project an amazing experience for me."

When Bachman spoke with ABC News Radio in September, he had high praise for Ruddick and Brendon. "They are just amazing," he declared.  "And at times we sound like The Who and we sound like Cream live and we sound like Zeppelin.  And at times it sounds like me."

Bachman also revealed during that interview that the new album was inspired by some advice Young had given to him.  "He said…'Don't do the same old crap and call it something new…Stop, get out of the box, do something fearless, be fierce, be ferocious, reinvent yourself.'"

Although no dates have been announced, Bachman is planning to mount a major 2015 tour in support of Heavy Blues.

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The Yardbirds' Jim McCarty Announces Current Lineup Is "Parting Ways"


Credit: Trevor HeathFounding Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty has revealed in a message posted on his official website that the band's current lineup "will be parting ways at the end of the year."

In the note, which is titled "End of One Era, Start of Another," Jim points out, "The Yardbirds as a band has continued to evolve through the years with great musicians playing all around the World."

In addition to McCarty, the influential U.K. blues-rock group's current touring lineup features guitarists Ben King and Anthony "Top" Topham, singer/harmonica player Andy Mitchell, and bassist David Smale.  King has been a member of the band since 2005, while Mitchell and Smale joined the fold in 2009.  As for Topham, as a teenager he briefly served as The Yardbirds' original lead guitarist in 1963, but was replaced that same year by Eric Clapton.  He was brought back into the band last year to fill in for founding rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja, who's been sidelined indefinitely since suffering a stroke in 2012.

McCarty reports in his note, "I will be working on solo ventures and other Yardbirds projects in 2015."  He adds, "I would like to thank Ben, Andy, Dave and Top for all their support through the years and wish all Yardbirds fans a great Christmas and Prosperous 2015!"

The band has one show listed on its current itinerary, a February 7 concert with The Strawbs in Frome, U.K.  It's not clear if this will be The Yardbirds' final gig with the current lineup.

The Yardbirds' most recent studio album, Birdland, was released in 2003.  The group issued a concert DVD titled Making Time in 2012, as well as a companion live album the following year.  In addition, McCarty put out a limited-edition solo compilation called Frontman earlier this year.

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Metallica to Perform at San Jose Sharks Hockey Game


Image Courtesy of BB Gun PressHaving performed at San Francisco Giants games for the past two years, Metallica now is bringing "Metallica Night" to the hockey rink. The legendary metal band will be performing at a San Jose Sharks game on January 21.

"We're excited to add to the ever expanding sports action nights by announcing that we will be getting together with our good friends the San Jose Sharks on January 21, 2015 as they take on their rivals the L.A. Kings for a night of Metalli-hockey mayhem," the band writes on its website.

Tickets to "Metalli-hockey" go on sale today at 10 a.m. PT via Sharks.NHL.com and will include a special edition "Metalli-Sharks" shirt.

"We'll be on hand for the first strains of 'Seek & Destroy,' kick off the game with the puck drop, and partake in some of the intermission fun and games that Sharks fans know and love," the statement continues.

Metallica will be around for a third Metallica Night with the San Francisco Giants for the world champion baseball team's game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on May 2.  Perhaps it will be during these sporting events that we'll hear music from Metallica's new album, which bassist Robert Trujillo says the band is currently "blueprinting."

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