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Image Courtesy of Content MediaA new documentary focusing on Janis Joplin will premiere at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival, which will take place September 2-12 in the Italian city.  The film, titled Janis, was directed by Amy Berg, whose previous work includes West of Memphis and the Oscar-nominated Deliver Us from Evil.

Janis, which was made with the support of Joplin's family and estate, takes a raw, uncensored look at the lauded singer's turbulent life, her path to stardom and her tragic death from a heroin overdose at age 27.  It's narrated by veteran indie-rock singer/songwriter Chan Marshall, a.k.a. Cat Power, who reads passages from Joplin's personal letters to family, lovers and friends throughout the film.

The documentary also includes interviews with Joplin's family members, friends and fellow music stars; previously unseen footage; and archival clips from such landmark events at the Monterey Pop and Woodstock festivals and the Festival Express Tour.  In addition, the film's soundtrack features many of Janis' best-known songs, including "Piece of My Heart," "Cry Baby" and "Summertime."

"After attempting to get this film off the ground for seven years, I am ecstatic that the film is finally ready to be seen," says Berg.  "This has been a labor of love and I cannot wait to share Janis' unique, intimate story with the world.  Chan Marshall has delivered a beautiful, introspective voice of Janis' by reading her letters."

Janis was co-produced by Alex Gibney, who has directed such acclaimed documentaries as 2007's Taxi to the Dark Side, 2014's Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown and this year's Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief and Sinatra: All or Nothing at All.

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Image Courtesy of BB Gun PressMetallica is getting the comic book treatment.  Orbit: Metallica is a new biographical comic book that tells the metal band's origin story in 28 full-color pages.  You can purchase Orbit: Metallica now at ComicFleaMarket.com.

Orbit: Metallica was written by Michael L. Frizell, and the cover was designed by his younger brother, David Frizell

who previously has created artwork for modern metal act Avenged Sevenfold.

"It's Metallica!  What rock artist wouldn't jump at the chance to draw them?" says the younger Frizell in a statement.  "I've followed them their entire career.  They are the most influential metal band ever."

Adds interior artist Jayfri Hashim, "Metallica's formation marks the beginning of metal, breeding thrash metal which progresses to heavy metal during the glam rock era.  Many people get it wrong when they say Metallica is a rock band.  They're not.  They are the very definition of a metal band.  They were daring, innovative, and the story of their beginning fascinates me."

If you want to see the comic book heroes in action, Metallica will be headlining Lollapalooza this weekend.

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Credit: Jamie WeilandScott Weiland & the Wildabouts have canceled their U.K. and European tour, which was scheduled for this September and October.  A statement posted on the ex-Stone Temple Pilots singer's Facebook page cites "administration and production issues" as the reason for the cancellations.

"Scott and the band, along with management want the fans to know that this decision was not made lightly, but as it stood, the tour dates had far too many administration and production issues to overcome," the statement reads.  "Ultimately the fan experience would have been far below what Scott feels his loyal fans deserve."

All of the U.K. and European dates have been canceled except for a September 3 show in London, which will still happen.  The London date is a rescheduled show that was originally supposed to happen in April, but was canceled after Wildabouts guitarist Jeremy Brown died unexpectedly the prior week.

Scott Weiland & the Wildabouts also are scheduled to play a show in Toronto on August 29, which has not been affected by the cancellations.

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Apple Corps Ltd.The Beatles' second feature film, Help!, got its world premiere 50 years ago today at London's Pavilion Theatre.  In the audience for the event were Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowden, who -- according to BeatlesBible.com -- postponed a planned summer vacation to attend the gala.

The follow-up to the Fab Four's big-screen debut, 1964's A Hard Day's Night, Help! features the band members again portraying themselves, as they get involved in a madcap caper focusing on a cursed ring that comes into Ringo Starr's possession.  During the flick, The Beatles travel from London to the Swiss Alps to the Bahamas while being pursued by fanatical cult members, a crazy scientist and British police.  Among the classic tunes showcased in the movie are "Help!," "I Need You," "The Night Before," "Ticket to Ride," "You're Going to Lose That Girl" and "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away."

Interestingly, the title track, which was penned by John Lennon, was the only tune written specifically for the flick.  Help! was directed by Richard Lester, who also was behind the lens for A Hard Day's Night.  Some of scenes in the film that are set to Beatles music, such as one in which the band members are skiing in the Austrian Alps while "Ticket to Ride" plays, are considered influences on the modern music video.  The movie's absurd humor also can be seen reflected in The Monkees TV series and Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Help! was released on Blu-ray for the first time in June 2013 with a variety of bonus features.  In honor of its 50th anniversary, the movie will get a special free screening at the South Pasadena Public Library in South Pasadena, California, on Thursday at 7 p.m. PT.

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Credit: Greg RothPeter Frampton has confirmed plans to head out on an acoustic tour that will take place at a variety of U.S. venues this fall.   The 12-date trek, dubbed "Peter Frampton Raw, an Acoustic Tour," kicks off October 8 in Greenville, Tennessee, and runs through an October 24 in Van Wert, Ohio.

Throughout the trek, Frampton will be accompanied by his longtime musical collaborator Gordon Kennedy, as well as by his son, singer/guitarist Julian Frampton, who will be a special guest at the shows.  The tour will mark the first time Peter will play entire sets unplugged.

"I'm very excited about doing a whole show acoustically," says Frampton in a statement.  "I couldn't do it without the help of my writing partner of 15 years, Gordon Kennedy…I see this show being 'me' performing the songs just as I wrote them on acoustic guitar or piano.  I have done a lot of shows including 2 or 3 acoustic solo pieces and always enjoy the way it draws the audience and myself closer together."

Adds Julian, "I couldn't be more ecstatic about the opportunity to support a legend while simultaneously spending time with family.  Two birds, one stone."

Last month, Peter revealed to Billboard that the acoustic tour would be held in conjunction with an unplugged album he's recording that will feature stripped-down renditions of various songs from his back catalog.

Meanwhile, Frampton currently is out on the road in North America playing joint shows with Cheap Trick, as well as a few headlining performances.  His summer itinerary is plotted out through an August 29 concert in Coquitlam, Canada.

Here are all of Frampton's upcoming tour dates; with Cheap Trick unless otherwise noted:

7/28 -- Bethlehem, PA, Sands Bethlehem Event Center
7/29 -- Huntington, NY, The Paramount
7/31 -- Atlantic City, NJ, Tropicana Hotel & Casino
8/1 -- Boston, MA, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
8/2 -- Mashantucket, CT, Foxwoods Resort
8/5 -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
8/7 -- Northfield, OH, Hard Rock Live*
8/8 -- Columbus, OH, Ohio State Fair - Celeste Center
8/9 -- Huber Heights, OH, Rose Music Center at The Heights
8/11 -- Newport News, VA, Ferguson Center For The Arts
8/12 -- Cary, NC, Regency Park - Koka Booth Amphitheatre
8/14 -- Biloxi, MS, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino-Beau Rivage Theater
8/15 -- Peachtree City, GA, Frederick Brown, Jr. Amphitheater
8/16 -- Nashville, TN, Ascend Amphitheater
8/18 -- St. Louis, River City Casino
8/19 -- Wichita, KS, Orpheum Theatre*
8/21 -- Tucson, AZ, Anselmo Valencia Amphitheatre
8/22 -- Las Vegas, NV, Hard Rock Casino - The Joint
8/24 -- Lancaster, CA, Antelope Valley Fairgrounds
8/25 -- Livermore, CA, Wente Vineyards
8/27 -- Portland, OR, Oregon Zoo Amphitheater
8/28 -- Redmond, WA, Marymore Park
8/29 -- Coquitlam, Canada, Hard Rock Casino*
10/8 -- Greeneville, TN, Niswonger Performing Arts Center
10/9 -- Meridian, MS, Riley Center For the Performing Arts
10/12 -- Collingswood, NJ, Scottish Rite Auditorium
10/13 -- New Bedford, MA, The Zeiterion Performing Arts Center
10/14 -- Englewood, NJ, Bergen Performing Arts Center
10/16 -- Munhall, PA, Carnegie Library of Homestead
10/17 -- Shippensburg, PA, Shippensburg University
10/18 -- Ridgefield, CT, The Ridgefield Playhouse
10/20 -- Albany, NY, The Egg - Hart Theatre
10/22 -- Naperville, IL, Pfeiffer Hall
10/23 -- Tiffin, OH, The Ritz Theatre
10/24 -- Van Wert, OH, Niswonger Performing Arts Center

* = headlining electric show
= acoustic concert.

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F. Scott Schafer for NetflixLilyhammer, the Netflix comedy-drama starring guitarist Steven Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, has been canceled. Netflix confirmed the decision Tuesday.

The streaming service's chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, told The Hollywood Reporter, "We're not going to continue with Lilyhammer, it's become a very economically challenged deal because there's a partnership with the Norwegian broadcaster."

He continued, "It was very difficult to maintain the level of global exclusivity and control that we hope to with our shows with that show and the way it was structured with the Norwegian broadcaster. We're big fans of the show." 

Van Zandt -- who played a New York mob boss who relocated to the Norwegian city of Lillehammer after joining the witness protection program -- recently tweeted, "#Lilyhammer RIP. Not my decision. Let's just say for now the business got too complicated. Very proud of our 24 shows. New ideas on the way."

In addition to his starring role as Frank "The Fixer" Tagliano, Van Zandt also served as the series' executive producer, co-writer and musical director.

Three seasons of Lilyhammer were produced, the last of which premiered in November.

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PRNewsFoto/Mascot Label GroupIt's been about 17 years since Steve Perry and Journey parted ways, and while the reclusive singer has rarely performed since then, the group's founding guitarist, Neal Schon, says he and his current band mates would welcome him with open arms if he wanted to sing with them again.

"The door has always been open, like I've said a zillion times," Schon tells ABC Radio.  "People ask me every day, 'Are you reuniting?'  Steve says, 'No,' and I say, 'You never know.'"

Schon explains that he and the rest of Journey, including current frontman Arnel Pineda, would be happy to have Perry join them for at least a one-off performance, if not more.

"[We] are always like, 'You ever want to come on and just sing a portion of one song, sing a part of a song with Arnel or sing the whole set, you're welcome anytime you want to come,'" Neal maintains.  "[Arnel is] not threatened.  Nobody's on any ego trip.  We don't have any bad feelings."

Having said that, Schon admits that and he and Perry aren't on the best of terms these days, although he insists that he has tried to keep the avenue of communication open.

"[Steve] says that we love each other but we don't like each other.  I don't know him well enough anymore to know if I like him," Neal says with a laugh.  "I know that I love him, but…I mean, he won't allow me to speak to him directly on the phone, and I write to him all the time and just say, 'Hey, what's up?  I hope you're doing well,' and that's it, you know?  And sometimes he writes back and sometimes he doesn't."

Schon tells ABC Radio that regardless of the status of their relationship, he truly appreciates what he and Perry accomplished together when they were band mates.

"All's we did was create timeless music.  And so for that I'm very grateful," says Neal.  "And I'm sure he is too.  He said that he is.  But, you know, we're grown men and so it's time to take the chips off the shoulder and to grow up and let the kids be kids."

He calls Perry "truly one of the greatest [vocalists] of all time."

Meanwhile, Schon says he was glad to see that Steve took to the stage to perform again last year, referring to the handful surprise guest appearances Perry made at club shows by the indie-rock act Eels.

"I was just happy to see him get out there," Neal maintains, adding, with a chuckle, "I thought it was quite ironic the places that he chose to do it.  But, you know, I was glad to see him sing and hope that he would do more, actually."

Schon currently is on a Canadian tour with Journey that winds down this Monday, August 3, in St. Johns, Newfoundland.  Neal's own side project has been opening the shows, playing songs from his recent solo album, Vortex.

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MJ Kim; Courtesy of BB Gun PressGreat news for rock fans who can't make it out to Chicago's Grant Park this weekend to attend the Lollapalooza 2015 festival!: Sets by a variety of artists, including headliners Paul McCartney and Metallica, will be streamed live online.

The Red Bull TV website is hosting a live stream that will be viewable online over three channels from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. CT each day of the fest, which runs from Friday, July 31, to Sunday, August 2.  Among the many other artists whose Lollapalooza performances will be streamed are Florence the Machine, Alabama Shakes, TV on the Radio, Gary Clark Jr. and many other popular and lesser-known modern-rock acts.

McCartney's set is scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m. CT on Friday, while Metallica's performance will start at 8 p.m. CT on Saturday.  This will mark the first time one of Sir Paul's shows has been streamed live online in nearly two years.

You can watch the live stream at Lollapalooza.RedBull.TV; the full schedule will be revealed on Thursday, according to Consequence of Sound.  To view the festival's complete lineup, visit Lollapalooza.com.

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Credit: Travis ShinnJudas Priest will be breaking the law alongside a similarly heavy band, modern metal act Mastodon, on tour this fall.  The North American trek begins October 16 in Paso Robles, California, and is mapped out through a November 12 concert in Toronto.

Judas Priest will continue to support its 2014 studio album, Redeemer of Souls, on the tour.  Visit JudasPriest.com for ticket info.

Following the North American trek, Judas Priest will head to Europe for a series of late fall shows.

Here are all of Judas Priest's North Amercian fall tour dates:

10/16 -- Paso Robles, CA, Vina Robles Amphitheatre
10/17 -- Las Vegas, NV, The Pearl
10/20 -- San Francisco, CA  The Warfield Theatre
10/21 -- San Jose, CA, City National Civic
10/23 -- Fresno, CA, William Saroyan Theater
10/24 -- San Bernardino, CA, Knotfest
10/27 -- Vancouver, BC, Canada, Hard Rock Casino
10/28 -- Vancouver, BC, Canada, Hard Rock Casino
10/31 -- Regina, SK, Canada, Brandt Center
11/1 -- Winnipeg, MB, Canada, MTS Center
11/3 -- Peoria, IL, Civic Center
11/6 -- Huntington, NY, Paramount Theater
11/7 -- Newark, NJ, Prudential Center
11/10 -- Halifax, NS, Canada, Scotiabank Center
11/12 -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Air Canada Center

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Credit: Simon CrossA new documentary about the perennially cool Keith Richards will premiere on Netflix September 18, the same day the Rolling Stones guitarist's latest solo album, Crosseyed Heart, will be released.  Keith Richards: Under the Influence takes a look at the rock legend's musical journey and the sounds that have influenced him as a songwriter, guitarist and performer.

The film was directed by Morgan Neville, whose work includes the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom.  In the new movie, Neville captures Richards working on his new album, and visits important people and places that played a part in shaping Keith's music throughout his long career.

"If there's a Mount Rushmore of rock 'n' roll, Keith's face is surely on it.  He has always represented the soul of rock music -- for all of the light and dark shades that implies," says Neville.  "To my relief, Keith Richards turned out to be a real man -- full of humor, knowledge and wisdom.  That's the real Keith we've worked to capture in our film and I'm honored to bring it to a global audience via Netflix."

Under the Influence features new conversations with Richards and other musicians, including his friend Tom Waits, as well as archival material and behind-the-scenes footage.  The movie finds Keith visiting Chicago, country music capital Nashville, and New York City, where he recorded Crosseyed Heart with help of his longtime collaborators Steve Jordan and Waddy Wachtel.

Speaking at the Television Critics Association's Summer Press Tour in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Netflix executive Ted Sarandos said Keith Richards: Under the Influence offers "a really interesting, unique take on Keith" and is "a really, really marvelous film."  He also noted that his network has recently gotten positive response after airing original music-focused documentaries about The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir and Nina Simone, so screening the Richards flick "felt like a great fit."

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Credit: Myrna SuarezBilly Joel's daughter with Christie Brinkley, Alexa Ray, has inspired many of his songs, from "Temptation" to "Goodnight My Angel" to "The Downeaster 'Alexa.'"  Now, the Piano Man says he'll pen a new tune for the baby he and his new wife are expecting next month.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Billy says, "I'm going to write a song for the kid, or something.  Alexa...was always enchanted with music even before there were words."   No word on whether or not the song will have lyrics or if he'll ever release the tune: Billy hasn't put out an album of pop songs since 1993's River of Dreams.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer also discusses his relationship with his former tour partner Elton John, whose record for most performances by a solo artist at New York's Madison Square Garden he recently broke.  During that record-breaking show, Billy played Elton's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," but he says he wasn't doing it to needle the Rocket Man. 

"That was really an homage," he tells EW.  "He's, like, the guy before me!  He was the piano player before I was a Piano Man. I felt humbled by it -- to play [the Garden] 65 times and beat his record. I thought, 'I'd like to tip my hat to the man.'"

While Billy and Elton have had had their ups and downs over the years -- with Elton publicly criticizing Billy for not releasing enough albums and for not taking rehab seriously -- Billy says they buried the hatchet "a long time ago" during a sit-down meeting.  Asked to describe what that was like, Billy says, "He was concerned. I think he's a little scared of me sometimes, like 'What's he going to do?'" 

He laughs, "I'd tie his shoes [together] on stage while he [was] playing the piano, just to f*** him up."

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Farm AidFarm Aid will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year in Chicago with an eclectic lineup headlined by Neil Young and John Mellencamp. The bill also includes Mavis Staples.

Young and Mellencamp, along with country legend Willie Nelson, are members of the Farm Aid board.

"We organized the first Farm Aid concert in Illinois in 1985 to respond to the people suffering during the Farm Crisis," says Nelson in a statement. "Thirty years later, in Chicago, we'll bring together so many of the people -- farmers, eaters, advocates and activists -- who have made the progress of the Good Food Movement possible. At Farm Aid 30, we'll celebrate the impact we’ve had and rally our supporters for the work ahead."

Farm Aid 30 will be held September 19 at Chicago's FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island. Tickets will go on sale August 3 at 10 a.m. CT. For more information, visit FarmAid.org.

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Scotty HallHot Tuna’s annual New York City bash will double as a 75th birthday celebration of guitarist Jorma Kaukonen.

The "Freakin' at the Beacon" party, hosted at the Beacon Theatre, will take place 8 p.m. November 20 and 21, with two electric sets and "numerous special guests" to be announced in the coming months.

Previous birthday celebrations included appearances by Jefferson Airplane’s Marty Balin, Steve Earle, Warren Hayes, Pete Sears, John Hammond, Cindy Cashdollar, Bill Kirchen, G.E. Smith, Lincoln Schleifer and Steve Kimock.

Kaukonen, the founding guitarist of Jefferson Airplane, continues to perform as a solo artist and in Hot Tuna, his popular folk-blues duo with Jeffeson Airplane bassist Jack Casady.  Jorma, Jack and some special guests will be commemorating the Airplane's 50th anniversary during a September 11 set at the 2015 Lockn' Festival in Arrington, Virginia.

Kaukonen also is currently promoting his latest solo record, Ain't in No Hurry.

Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com

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Jim O'Shea/Courtesy Doobie Brothers

It seems The Doobie Brothers really do take the  band name quite seriously, case in point: the band is suing the group The Doobie Decibel System over trademark usage claiming the band’s name is “confusingly similar” to theirs, according to Billboard.

On Friday, Doobie Brothers Corp. and Doobro Entertainment sued the Northern California folk-rock cover duo-which consists of musicians Jason Crosby and Roger McNamee. The band said it successfully trademarked the words "Doobie Brothers" and "Doobies" for musical performances in 1982.

The band is arguing that Crosby and McNamee’s use of "Doobie" in their band’s name exhibits "willful intent to trade on the fame and reputation, or to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive consumers.” They want the group to stop using the name DDS immediately and are seeking punitive damages for trademark infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition.  They also are requesting a full accounting of the group’s earnings.

Crosby and McNamee are far from novice musicians. Crosby has played with Bob Weir, Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana while McNamee performs in the jam band, Moonshine and is the co-founder of prominent venture capital firms Silver Lake Partners and Elevation Partners, the latter he founded with U2's Bono.

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Image Courtesy of Andrew MacphersonEagles guitarist Joe Walsh will kick off a month-long solo tour beginning this September.

Walsh will hit the road beginning September 18 with a show at Packard Music Hall in Warren, Ohio, according to a release.

The tour, which reunites Walsh with Barnstorm keyboardist and guitarist Joe Vitale,will travel though Canada, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and North Carolina before wrapping up at Boston’s Orpheum on October 17.

Walsh promises that his shows will feature songs from his days with James Gang as well as his solo hits and selections from Barnstorm.

“I’m going back in the catalog to dig out some songs that I haven’t ever played live, but everything everyone’s coming to hear will also be in the show,” he said.

He added that playing smaller theaters will ensure that everyone will have a “good seat” for the action.

“I’ve missed it…The interaction with the audience is much better,” he said. “It reminds me of the old days. I think I play my best in a small venue when the bass drums are kicking me in the pants. I’m really looking forward to it all.”

Here are Joe Walsh's announced tour dates:

9/18 -- Warren, OH, Packard Music Hall
9/19 -- East Windsor, ON, Colosseum , Caesars Windsor
9/21 -- Cincinatti, OH, Taft Theatre
9/23 -- Washington, D.C., Warner Theatre
9/25 -- Poughkeepsie, NY, Mid-Hudson Civic Center
9/26 -- Bethlehem, PA, Sands Bethlehem Event Center
10/1 -- New York,NY, Beacon Theatre
10/7 -- Port Chester, NY, Capitol Theatre
10/10 -- Hampton Beach, NH, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
10/12 -- Philadelphia, PA, The Fillmore
10/14 -- Westbury, NY, Theatre at Westbury
10/16 -- Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun Arena
10/17 -- Boston, MA, Orpheum Theatre

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Credit: Danny ClinchAgribusiness giant Monsanto is firing back at the claims made the mini-documentary, Seeding Fear, co-produced by Neil Young’s film company.

As previously reported, the film examines a lawsuit, which was settled out of court, between the corporation and Alabama farmer Michael White, whom the company sued for patent infringement.

“Mr. White is not transparent in describing his actions or the situation,” a rep for the company tells Rolling Stone, saying that an White admitted in court documents to planting Monsanto seed.

The company pointed to a blog posted on its website, entitled “Correcting The Monsanto Years.” The title is a reference to Young’s The Monsanto Years, a nine-song multimedia project on environmental and ecological themes that name-checks the giant St. Louis-based company. 

 “Although they have tended to get a lot of attention, lawsuits between us and farmers who plant seeds without paying for them are actually very rare,” the company continues. “Every year, hundreds of thousands of farmers plant our seeds. Since 1997, when we started trying to protect the patents on our seeds, we have gone to trial with a fraction of one percent of those customers. In addition, all of the proceeds we receive from any settlement -- including Mr. White’s settlement -- are donated to youth leadership initiatives and to support the local communities in which farmers live and work.”

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Credit: Mark SeligerRolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has released a new video for “Trouble,” the lead single from his first solo album in more than two decades.

Richards had some heavy talent behind the clip, which is streaming on Apple Music. The video was directed by Academy Award-winning Morgan Neville, who directed 20 Feet from Stardom, and features Keith, and frequent collaborators guitarist Waddy Wachtel and drummer Steve Jordan performing the tune at  Germano Studios in New York City, where much of the album was recorded.

As previously reported, Richards’ first solo album in 23 years -- Crosseyed Heart -- is set for release on September 18, featuring 15 tracks, including the country-tinged “Robbed Blind’, the reggae flavored "Love Overdue" and a duet with Norah Jones called "Illusion."

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Credit: Paul BrownDJ Ashba is leaving Guns N' Roses after six years with the band. In a letter posted to his Facebook, the guitarist writes he's leaving to focus more on his family and his other band, Sixx:A.M..

"It is with a very heavy heart and yet great pride that I announce that I've decided to close this chapter of my life and encapsulate the wonderful times that I've shared with Guns N’ Roses into fond memories," Ashba writes. "I have reached a point in my life where I feel it's time to dedicate myself to my band Sixx:A.M., my adoring wife and family, and to the many new adventures that the future holds for me."

While Sixx:A.M., led by Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, was originally conceived as a studio-only band, the group launched their first full-scale tour earlier this year. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Sixx revealed Sixx:A.M. will be releasing two companion albums next year, adding "We're all committing 100 per cent of our time to this band, and anything else that's out there has to revolve around that."

Elsewhere in his letter, Ashba thanks Axl Rose, who remains the sole member from GNR's classic lineup who's in the present-day incarnation of the band.

"I want to take a moment to thank Axl from the bottom of my heart for not only the most incredible experience of my life, but for truly believing in me," writes Ashba. "You are a true friend and a champion of mine and I am forever grateful. And even as I move on to pursue other endeavors, I will always remain one of your biggest fans."

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Kevin Mazur/WireImageAs a glaucoma sufferer, Bono has battled vision problems for many years.  Now the U2 singer has teamed up with eyewear company Revo for a campaign seeking to provide better vision care for people around the world.

The goal of the "Buy Vision, Give Sight" initiative is to help prevent blindness and sight impairment in more than 5 million people by 2020.  The campaign aims to raise $10 million to go toward improving access to eye examinations, prescription glasses and vision care for in-need communities across the globe.

In conjunction with the "Buy Vision, Give Sight" campaign, $10 from every pair of Revo sunglasses sold will be donated to the cause, up to $10 million.

Throughout U2's Innocence Experience World Tour, Bono is exclusively wearing Revo sunglasses.  The singer also has designed a special collection of sunglasses featuring five styles, and including lenses in various colors, that will go in sale this fall at Revo.com and many retail stores.  Bono has donated all the time he's devoting to the initiative.

"The 'Buy Vision, Give Sight' campaign is a very personal one for me," says Bono in a statement.  "Thanks to good medical care my eyes are OK, but tens of millions of people around the world with sight problems don't have access to glasses, or even a basic eye test… Sight is a human right and the 'Buy Vision, Give Sight' initiative will help ensure millions of people have access to the eye exams and glasses they need to see."

Bono and Revo also are partnering with the Brien Holden Vision Institute, a nonprofit organization that focuses on making available vision care and blindness-prevention solutions to under-resourced areas.  Some of the money raised by the "Buy Vision, Give Sight" initiative also will fund eye-health research programs.

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Kevin Mazur/WireImageU2's string of shows at New York's famed Madison Square Garden continued Sunday night with a special appearance by Lady Gaga.

Gaga, a native New Yorker, joined U2 onstage for a rendition of "Ordinary Love," the band's Oscar-nominated song from the 2013 film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

A photo of the collaboration was posted on U2's Instagram page, with the caption, "All hail Her Gaganess."

U2 has three more concerts scheduled at MSG: Monday, Thursday and Friday.

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