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Joe Perry Planning to Finish New Solo Album After Aerosmith Tour Ends


Image Courtesy of CBSAerosmith is scheduled to be out on tour with Slash through a September 12 show in Nova Scotia, Canada, but guitarist Joe Perry says fans will have quite a bit to look forward to after he and his band mates wrap up their 2014 itinerary.

As previously reported, Perry will be releasing his autobiography, Rocks: My Life in and out of Aerosmith, on October 7, and he reveals to ArtistDirect.com that he's also about halfway done with a new solo album.

"I've got about six songs I'm really excited about," Perry tells the website.  "I want to get into them as soon as possible.  That's the main focus now."

The 63-year-old rocker also says he'll spend about a month promoting his book, including some in-store signing appearances.

"We're thinking of different ways to use the Internet to promote it," Joe adds, revealing that he's planning to release four free songs that are "really representative of some of my solo work" to those who purchase the memoir.

In addition, Perry tells ArtistDirect.com that Steven Tyler also is hoping to complete a solo album, and says that Aerosmith may even "get together and do another record" sometime next year.

Aerosmith's next concert is scheduled for this Friday in Tinley Park, Illinois.

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Judas Priest's Future May Include More Concert Dates and Another Studio Album


Image Courtesy Epic RecordsJudas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton says the band may be getting a second wind.

Tipton tells tells Powerline that the addition of guitarist Richie Faulkner has "injected a lot of enthusiasm into the band," and as a result, there seems to be a renewed enthusiasm about Priest's future on the concert stage and in the studio.

It was assumed that Priest was in the process of winding down when it was announced in late 2010 that the Epitaph tour would be the metal band's final world trek.  But when the tour began, Tipton tells Powerline, "we hadn't found Richie yet. ... Fate hadn't put us together, so things change."

Now Tipton says that he expects more dates to be added to Priest's current concert itinerary, which was to be a smaller outing than the Epitaph tour and covers North America this fall; and more music could be on the way following up the recently released Redeemer of Souls.

The album is the first Judas Priest studio effort to feature Faulkner, who replaced guitarist KK Downing in 2011 during the Epitaph tour.  Faulkner is optimistic that Redeemer of Souls won't be his last with Priest.

"Based upon the new album and on how much material we came up with, and how easy it flowed from everyone on this record, I wouldn't rule out another studio record," Faulkner says.  "Based purely on the creative juices of these sessions, I wouldn't rule it out completely."

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Ronnie Wood's Wife Says Children Could Be in the Couple's Future


Mark Robert Milan/GC ImagesThe Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood has four grown children and is a grandfather eight times over, but his wife of two years, Sally Humphreys, says she'd like to have her own kids with the 67-year-old rocker.

"There's no plans but there's no non-plans, if you see what I mean," the 36-year-old theater producer tells U.K. newspaper The Telegraph.  "As time ticks on, I would like children.  I don't know if I will but I would like them."

Asked what Ronnie's opinion is about becoming a dad again so late in life, Sally explains, "Obviously we've spoken about it quite a lot, and you can ask him and his response would be, 'Well, that would be nice.'  He's up for it."

She points out that her husband has many friends in his age group "who have younger children and they all say it's fantastic and it keeps you young."  She adds, "I do think that would be wonderful, but I don't know if it will happen."

Meanwhile, in marrying Wood, Sally became a step-grandmother to eight children, even though she's younger than some of Ronnie's own kids.  As for how the youngsters refer to her, Humphreys tells The Telegraph, "Well, one of them did say to me, 'What shall we call you?' and I could see them all sitting there trying to work it out.  I just said, 'Call me Auntie Sally!'  I thought that was probably better for everyone involved."

As for whether she ever worried about the 31-year age difference between her and her husband, Sally says, "Well, I know it's there.  And I wish it wasn't, but it is."  She adds, "I think I had to say 'I can't do this because of the age' or I just had to let it go and take it all on board.  At no point, years ago, did I say to myself, 'I think I'll go out with someone twice my age,' but that is what has happened."

Regardless of the age gap, Humphreys maintains that Ronnie is "on my level completely.  He's a very nice and caring person…He's very funny, kind and affectionate and welcoming."

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Best of Ozzy Osbourne's Solo Years Compiled for "Memoirs of a Madman" Audio and Video Collections


Epic Records/Legacy RecordingsBlack Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne has released 10 solo albums so far.  If you don't already have them all, on October 7, his best-known solo material will be available in a variety of packages, all dubbed Memoirs of a Madman.

There are three audio-only editions of the compilation: a single CD, a double-vinyl set and a limited-edition double-vinyl picture disc.  Each edition will contain 17 songs spanning 30 years of Osbourne solo efforts.  The Memoirs of a Madman track list includes:

"Crazy Train"
"Mr. Crowley"
"Flying High Again"
"Over the Mountain"
"Bark at the Moon"
"The Ultimate Sin"
"Miracle Man"
"No More Tears"
"Mama, I'm Coming Home"
"Road to Nowhere"
"Perry Mason"
"I Just Want You"
"Gets Me Through"
"Dreamer"
"I Don’t Wanna Stop"
"Life Won't Wait"
"Let Me Hear You Scream"

A two-DVD Memoirs of a Madman set also will be available that will include more than 20 Osbourne music videos, as well as concert performances and interviews.

You can pre-order Memoirs of a Madman now through Amazon.com.  There's also an exclusive limited-edition fan-bundle package available through Osbourne's site.  It contains the CD, DVD and double-vinyl versions of Memoirs of a Madman, plus a poster personally autographed by Osbourne.

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Blondie to Be Featured on New Season of Ovation's "Song by Song" Series


Image Courtesy of F. Scott SchaferBlondie will be one of the music stars whose tunes will be profiled in the upcoming third season of Ovation's Emmy-nominated documentary series, Song by Song.  

The Song by Song episodes featuring Blondie will premiere in November and will focus on such hits by the influential New Wave band as "One Way or Another," "Heart of Glass," "Call Me," and "Rapture."  The shows will include interviews with founding frontwoman Deborah Harry, guitarist Chris Stein, and drummer Clem Burke

Other artists who will be profiled during the upcoming season are Sheryl Crow and electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling.

"Song by Song is a different twist on the music documentary genre," says Ovation programming executive Scott Woodward.  "This series uses the featured artists' hit songs to tell the story of what was happening at that time in their lives, what inspired them to write the music and how their songs impacted their careers and popular culture."

The series premiered in 2012.

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Eddie Vedder Tapped to Sing During Seventh-Inning Stretch of Thursday's Chicago Cubs Game


Image Courtesy Jeffrey R. Staab/CBSIt's become a regular event: At least once per baseball season, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder sings "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch of a home game played by his beloved Chicago Cubs.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Vedder will continue the tradition in 2014 by performing the song Thursday night, when the Cubs host the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field.

Prior to Thursday's game, Vedder will also throw out the ceremonial first pitch, which he's done before when the Cubs play at Wrigley.

Other notables slated to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at future Cubs games this season include Fitz and the Tantrums on July 31.

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2014 Rock'n'Blues Fest Tour to Continue in Homage to the Late Johnny Winter


Image Courtesy of Johnny WinterBefore his sudden death on July 16 while on tour in Zurich, Switzerland, blues guitar legend Johnny Winter had been scheduled to hit the road next week with his brother Edgar and other stars for a new edition of the annual Rock'n'Blues Fest tour.  Now, Edgar Winter has announced that the trek will go ahead as planned, as a tribute to Johnny.

The third annual edition of the outing features a total of 12 dates, running from a July 31 show in Clarkston, Michigan, through an August 24 concert in Snoqualmie, Washington.  The other acts on the Rock'n'Blues Fest -- A Tribute to Johnny Winter tour lineup are Vanilla Fudge, ex-Rare Earth singer Peter Rivera and Savoy Brown's Kim Simmonds.  In addition, Rick Derringer, who's famously collaborated with both Johnny and Edgar Winter over the years, will be a special guest at the last two shows of the trek -- August 23 in Las Vegas and the aforementioned Snoqualmie gig.

Fans who attend this year's Rock'n'Blues Fest shows can expect the acts to perform a variety of songs that Johnny used to play, including such classics as "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo," "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" and "Johnny B. Goode."

Here is the full itinerary of the 2014 Rock'n'Blues Fest trek:

7/31 -- Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre
8/1 -- Westbury, NY, Theatre at Westbury
8/2 -- Rockland, ME, Harbor Park
8/8 -- Englewood, NJ, Bergen Performing Arts Center
8/10 -- Waukegan, IL, Genesee Theatre  
8/13 -- Melbourne, FL, King Center for the Performing Arts
8/14 -- Jacksonville, FL, Florida Theatre
8/15 -- Fort Lauderdale, FL, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
8/16 -- Clearwater, FL, Ruth Eckerd Hall
8/22 -- Anaheim, CA, City National Civic of Anaheim
8/23 -- Las Vegas, NV, The Cannery
8/24 -- Snoqualmie, WA, Snoqualmie Casino

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Bob Geldof's Daughter Died of Heroin Overdose, Inquest Rules


Alex Huckle/GC ImagesThe surprise death in April of Bob Geldof's daughter, 25-year-old British TV presenter, model and journalist Peaches Geldof, was caused by a heroin overdose, a coroner has ruled.

According to the BBC, the inquest into Geldof's death turned up extremely pure heroin in a bag inside her house, as well as syringes, burnt spoons, and a pair of knotted pantyhose -- all evidence of drug use.  A syringe was also found in a box next Geldof's bed.  The level of heroin in her body was in a "fatal range," according to the pathologist, while puncture wounds were found on her elbows, wrists and thumbs.  Codeine, methadone and morphine were also found in her body.

The BBC reports that the married mother of two had formerly been a heroin addict and had taken methadone, a heroin substitute, for two-and-a-half years prior to her death.  Her husband, Tom Cohen, said that Peaches had started using heroin again in February, and had lied to him when she told him that she'd passed drug tests every week.

Peaches Geldof's mother, TV personality Paula Yates and ex-wife of Bob Geldof, died of a heroin overdose at the age of 41, when Peaches was 11.

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Ted Nugent's Idaho Concert Cancelled Due to What Casino Calls "Racist Attitudes and Views"


Jenny Risher/MSO PRTed Nugent's penchant for speaking his mind has gotten him into hot water again. The Coeur d'Alene Tribe has canceled the "Motor City Madman's" August 4 appearance at its casino in Idaho.

A statement on the casino's Facebook page states that the show was canceled after "Nugent's history of racist and hate-filled remarks was brought to the Tribal Council's attention." 

Chief Allan, chairman of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, says in the statement that the tribe it "has always been about human rights -- for decades, we have worked individually and as a Tribe to make sure that each and every person is treated equally and with respect and dignity.  We know what it’s like to be the target of hateful messages and we would never want to perpetuate hate in any way.”

Laura Stensgar, executive director of marketing for the Coeur d’Alene Casino, adds, “We adamantly do not want our casino to be used as a venue for the racist attitudes and views that Ted Nugent espouses.”

She defended the initial decision to book the 65-year-old rocker by explaining that, “We were looking at him from an entertainment perspective, as an 80s rock ‘n roller who we thought folks might enjoy.”

Stensgar goes on to say, “We take the comments and concerns of our community very seriously and we apologize to anyone who was offended by the idea that we would promote these kinds of attitudes. We will do our best to avoid such mistakes moving forward.”

The casino will refund the full ticket price for anyone has purchased tickets to the show.

While Nugent doesn't directly mention the casino, he wrote in a lengthy Facebook post Tuesday, "No matter how much of a supeduper bad**s I think I am, I am obviously a much badder**s than even I think I am, for the fact that the America hating commie left Saul Alinsky-Joseph Goebbells liberal democrat punks have dedicated an entire army to abandon their own lives to unite to destroy mine."

He adds that it "proves beyond any shadow of any doubt how incredibly effective I am at spotlighting these freedom hating cockroaches & impeding their fundamental transformation ie;destruction of America."

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One Month In, KISS/Def Leppard Tour Is a Giant Success


Courtesy of KISS and Def LeppardIt's a month into KISS' 40th anniversary tour -- a co-headlining outing with Def Leppard -- and a source for the trek tells ABC News Radio, "It's been an amazing few weeks."  The sheer magnitude of the stage shows is enormous, requiring dozens of trucks, buses and assorted vehicles to cart around the sets and equipment from amphitheater to amphitheater.

Because it's a summer tour, the venues are outdoors.  Paul Stanley joked that although KISS tries "to be observant of low-flying planes when we're outdoors, [being outside] doesn't change anything because what we do comes from the heart.  What we do comes from who we are."

The singer said that "being outside in the summer is a terrific dichotomy, contrast between what we do and being outside in the midst of a great summer night with the stars shining," but he also noted that indoor shows "[have their] pluses [as well]."  In the end, said Stanley, "We've been doing this for 40 years.  The reason people still buy tickets...is because you know that we will deliver the goods."

Here are the rest of the KISS/Def Leppard tour dates:

7/23 -- Tampa, FL, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheater
7/25 -- Bristow, VA, Jiffy Lube Live
7/26 -- Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center
8/1 -- Mansfield, MA, Xfinity Center
8/2 -- Atlantic City, NJ, Boardwalk Hall
8/3 -- Camden, NJ, Susquehanna Bank Center
8/5 -- Saratoga Springs, NY, Saratoga Performing Arts Center
8/6 -- Wantagh, NY, Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre
8/8 -- Virginia Beach, VA, Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
8/9 -- Scranton, PA, Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain
8/10 -- Hartford, CT, The Xfinity Theatre
8/12 -- Toronto, Canada, Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
8/13 -- Darien Center, NY, Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
8/15 -- East Troy, WI, Alpine Valley Music Theater
8/16 -- Tinley Park, IL, First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
8/17 -- Minneapolis, MN, Target Center
8/20 -- Des Moines, IA, Wells Fargo Arena
8/22 -- Noblesville, IN, Klipsch Music Center
8/23 -- Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre
8/24 -- Burgettstown, PA, First Niagara Pavilion
8/26 -- Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Blossom Music Center
8/28 -- Maryland Heights, MO, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
8/29 -- Tulsa, OK, BOK Center
8/31 -- The Woodlands, TX, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

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ZZ Top's Dusty Hill Says He's Looking Forward to Getting Rid of the "Stones in My Passway"


Image Courtesy of Ross HalfinZZ Top announced on Monday that it has to postpone the start of its U.S. summer tour because bassist Dusty Hill needs surgery to remove a pair of kidney stones.  Now, Hill has issued a statement poking a little fun at his ailment.

Referencing to a classic song by late blues legend Robert Johnson, the 65-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer quipped, "I got stones in my passway," then added, "...but my doctor says not for long."  ZZ Top has canceled six upcoming concerts because of Hill's condition, which is expected to put him out of action for about two weeks.  The band now will launch its trek with an August 6 headlining show in Sturgis, South Dakota, two days before kicking off a previously announced joint tour with Jeff Beck in Missoula, Montana.

Looking forward to ZZ Top's forthcoming road trip, Hill again paraphrased Johnson, this time reworking a line from "Terraplane Blues," saying, "We're booked and we're bound to go."  He added, "I had stones in my passway but you know those old boulders couldn't last, I had stones in my passway but those stones will soon be in my past."

You can check out the band's full confirmed tour schedule at ZZTop.com.

In other news, ZZ Top released its new concert video Live at Montreux 2013 on Tuesday.  The video, which is available on DVD and Blu-ray, features the Texas trio performing such well-known songs as "Sharp Dressed Man," "Legs," "La Grange" and "Tush," as well as three tunes from the group's 2012 album, La Futura, and a cover of the Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Foxey Lady."

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Brian Wilson Biopic to Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival in September


Walt Disney Records/Universal MusicLove & Mercy, the upcoming biopic focusing on troubled Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson, will be among the movies that will get their world premieres at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, Billboard reports.  The fest is scheduled to run from September 4 to September 14.

As previously reported, Love & Mercy will feature John Cusack as an older Brian, while Paul Dano will portray Wilson as a young man.  The film is described as presenting "an unconventional portrait" of Wilson that will depict various important episodes in his life, including his artistic achievements with The Beach Boys, his struggles with mental illness and substance abuse, his relationship with the Svengali-like therapist Eugene Landy and the new contentment he found after meeting his current wife, Melinda.

Love & Mercy was directed by Bill Pohlad, who has produced such acclaimed films as 12 Years a Slave, The Tree of Life and Brokeback Mountain.  The biopic will feature Paul Giamatti as Landy and Elizabeth Banks as Melinda.

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Joe Perry Honors Slash at Inaugural "Alternative Press" Music Awards; Joan Jett, Billy Corgan Also Among Winners


Graham Fielder/Alternative PressAerosmith's Joe Perry made a surprise appearance at the inaugural Alternative Press Music Awards on Monday at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, where he presented his friend and current tour mate, Slash, with the Guitar Legend Award.

Introducing the former Guns N' Roses star, Perry noted, "He came up in a generation after mine, but he always had great respect for the musicians who came on before him.  To his own generation he became a superstar, and deservedly so.  Now, to all generations, he's become a model of great guitar playing and an icon of his own right."

For his part, Slash thanked Alternative Press magazine, adding, "It's quite an honor to be included on your list of awards tonight, especially for something like guitar legend, which is very humbling…I loved playing guitar since I was 14 years old and it's nice to get recognized for it, and it officially means I've been doing it a long f**king time."

Among the evening's many other honorees were Joan Jett and Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan, who were presented respectively with the Icon Award and the Vanguard Award.  Jett also was one of the rockers who performed at the ceremony, playing her classic "Bad Reputation” with The Vacancies' Billy Crooked, her new tune "Soulmates to Strangers" with Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace, and a cover of The Rolling Stones' "Star Star" with some help from Slash.

The event also included performances by The Misfits, Fall Out Boy, rapper Ice-T's thrash metal group Body Count, and Korn's Jonathan Davis, who teamed up with the band Asking Alexandria for a rendition of Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf."

You can check out complete coverage of the inaugural Alternative Press Music Awards at AltPress.com/APTV.

Here's the complete list of winners:

Best Vocalist -- Brendon Urie, Panic! at the Disco
Best Live Band -- Pierce the Veil
Breakthrough Band -- Crown the Empire
Best Bassist -- Jaime Preciado, Pierce the Veil
Best International Band -- Bring Me the Horizon
Artist Philanthropic Award -- All Time Low
Best Guitarist -- Phil Manansala, Of Mice & Men
Vanguard Award -- Billy Corgan
Best Drummer -- Mike Fuentes, Pierce the Veil
Icon Award -- Joan Jett
Most Dedicated Fans -- Black Veil Brides
Guitar Legend Award -- Slash
Song of the Year -- All Time Low with Vic Fuentes of Pierce the Veil
Album of the Year -- Bring Me the Horizon, Sempiternal
Artist of the Year -- Fall Out Boy

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Tree Planted in L.A. Park in Honor of Late Beatle George Harrison Eaten by Beetles


Jean-Marie Perier/UMeA pine tree that was planted in Los Angeles' Griffith Park in 2002 in memory of late Beatles guitarist George Harrison has met an ironic fate.  L.A. Councilman Tom LaBonge revealed recently to the Los Angeles Times' "Pop & Hiss" music blog that the tree has died after being infested with, yes, beetles.

The tree, which was only a sapling when it was planted near the Griffith Park Observatory, featured a commemorative plaque at its base acknowledging Harrison's contributions as a musician and a humanitarian, as well as his love for gardening.  LaBonge tells ABC News Radio that the tree had grown to 12 feet in height before it was felled by the insect infestation.

LaBonge, who attended Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band's concert at the Greek Theatre on Saturday, says that plans are in the works for a new tree to be planted in November.

Harrison died in November 2001 at age 59 after a battle with cancer.

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Krist Novoselic Defends Eddie Vedder, Echoes Anti-War Sentiments


Image Courtesy of Jeffrey R. Staab/CBSKrist Novoselic has come to Eddie Vedder's defense after the Pearl Jam singer's recent anti-war comments stirred up some controversy.

In a post on his official website, the former Nirvana bassist weighed in on the situation, writing, "Eddie has gotten some criticism over comments he made about the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis.  That situation has been messed up for so long, it is no wonder that even mentioning it is toxic."

Later in the post, Novoselic writes, "The people of Palestine and Israel deserve peace and prosperity...It is the knuckleheads on both sides that should be criticized and not the singer from a rock band.  In addition, both sides need to make hard decisions about finding a settlement to the catastrophe that is Israel/ Palestine.  Thanks Eddie, for sharing your feelings.  I stand with you my friend!!!"

Vedder was first criticized for ranting onstage about war in general, because many interpreted his comments as being specifically about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.  He then clarified his comments in an anti-war essay, posted on Pearl Jam's website. 

He wrote, "War hurts.  It hurts no matter which sides the bombs are falling on.  With all the global achievements in modern technology...do we really have to resign ourselves to the devastating reality that conflict will be resolved with bombs, murder and acts of barbarism?...We must be capable of resolving conflicts without bloodshed."  Vedder also insisted that he was optimistic about the chance that one day there will be peace.

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Billy Joel to Receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song


LIbrary of CongressNot bad for a kid from Long Island.  Billy Joel will be the next recipient of the prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.  The Library of Congress made the announcement Tuesday morning.

The Gershwin Prize is awarded to a musician “whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with George and Ira Gershwin,” the pianist/composer and lyricist brothers who together wrote some of pop music’s most enduring standards.

The announcement of Joel’s honor calls him “one of the most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in the world” and “a storyteller of the highest order.”  Joel himself adds, “The great composer, George Gershwin, has been a personal inspiration to me throughout my career.  And the Library’s decision to include me among those songwriters who have been past recipients is a milestone for me."

Billy Joel is only the seventh person to receive the Gershwin Prize since Paul Simon received the first one, in 2007.  The other recipients include Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, songwriting duo Burt Bacharach and the late Hal David, and Carole King, who received the prize last year.

Joel, who turned 65 last May, already has enough lifetime honors to need a mantle in every room to display them all, including membership in the Rock and Roll and Songwriters Halls of Fame, an armload of honorary doctorates, and half-a-dozen Grammy awards.  In 2013, he received the Kennedy Center Honors along with fellow musicians Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock.

Joel will receive the honor in Washington, D.C. in November.

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Yes' Chris Squire Says Lead Singer Jon Davison Helped Freshen Band's Whole Approach on New Album


Frontiers RecordsYes' latest studio album, Heaven & Earth, hits stores today.  The record is the first to feature the band's new lead singer, Jon Davison, who officially joined the lineup in early 2012.

Beyond lending his voice to the project, Davison made significant songwriting contributions too, writing or co-writing seven of the album's eight tracks.  Founding Yes bassist Chris Squire tells ABC News Radio that "he encouraged [Jon] as much as possible to" collaborate with the band's other members and he says he's extremely pleased with the results.

"It's turned out to be surprisingly fresh, and Jon's input has definitely freshened up the whole approach," explains Squire.  "So, I'm very happy."

In fact, Heaven & Earth features at least one tune that Davison co-wrote with every other member of the band -- two each with Squire and guitarist Steve Howe, and one apiece with drummer Alan White and keyboardist Geoff Downes.  He also penned one song, "Light of the Ages," entirely by himself.

Regarding the sound of the new album, Squire tells ABC News Radio that he doesn't think it's "exactly comparable to anything else" the band has done in the past, while noting that "there's a thread in Yes of the style that myself and Steve…and Alan White [developed] having all been there most of the last 40 years together."

Fans who want to find out more about Yes' new album can visit YesHeavenAndEarth.com, while excerpts of all of the tunes on the record are streaming at the band's SoundCloud page.

Meanwhile, Yes has been including one or two of the songs from Heaven & Earth in the sets on the group's current North American, which is scheduled through an August 23 concert in Lincoln, California.  Among the new tunes the band has been performing are "Believe Again," "The Ascent" and "The Game."

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New Upstate New York Hotel Celebrates Bob Dylan and the Woodstock Festival


Image Courtesy of Hotel DylanA new hotel named after Bob Dylan opened last month in Woodstock, New York, that pays tribute to the musical history that emerged in and near the small Catskill Mountains town during the late 1960s.  Hotel Dylan features 11 rooms with names that evoke the Flower Power era and the famous Woodstock Festival, including "The Jimi," "The Joplin," "The Cocker," "The Roadies," "The Van" and "The Hippie Chick."

The hotel's largest room is called The Band Suite, named after the influential Americana outfit that served as Dylan's backing group early in its career, and recorded that legendary Basement Tapes with the folk-rock icon in Woodstock.  Daily prices for standard rooms cost $189 on weekdays and $219 on weekends, while the suite will run you $249 during the week and $289 on weekends.

Each room also features a high-quality turntable, and while a selection of vinyl albums can be borrowed from the front desk.  In addition, a variety of famous pics taken by official Woodstock Festival photographer Elliott Landy decorate the hotel's walls.  The hotel also hosts a series of music-related workshops and other events.

A Hotel Dylan representative tells ABC News Radio that owner Paul Covello is planning to open an intimate concert space at the facility, as well as a pub and restaurant that will serve dishes featuring locally grown and produced ingredients.

For more information, visit HotelDylan.com.

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Billy Joel Is the Most Long Island Person Ever


Credit: Myrna SuarezEven people who've never stepped foot in New York State -- or the U.S. -- probably know that Billy Joel is from Long Island, New York.   Maybe that's why the residents of that area have just crowned him the winner of the "That's SO Long Island" contest.

Local paper Newsday has been running the contest for several weeks, asking readers to vote on who or what best exemplifies the area, which is essentially a suburb of New York City.  Thanks to over 520,000 reader votes, Billy beat out 63 other local celebrities, attractions and activities to be declared the most "Long Island" of them all.   Among the fellow Long Island celebrities he beat: Billy Crystal, Lindsay Lohan, Jerry Seinfeld, Alec Baldwin, Idina Menzel, Debbie Gibson, Natalie Portman, Rosie O'Donnell, Ralph Macchio and Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider.

As for why he won the contest, it probably has something to do with the fact that Billy still lives in Long Island, donates plenty of time and money to local causes, and has sung about the place numerous times.  The title of his debut album, Cold Spring Harbor, is a town in Long Island.  He's also name-checked other local locations such as Oyster Bay and the Miracle Mile, while "The Downeaster 'Alexa'" was inspired by the plight of Long Island fishermen.

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AC/DC's Phil Rudd Releases Lyric Video for Song from Debut Solo Album


Image Courtesy of Columbia RecordsAC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has given fans the first taste of his upcoming debut solo album, Head Job, which is scheduled to be released on August 29 in his homeland of Australia.  A lyric video for a song titled "Repo Man" has premiered on the veteran rocker's official website and YouTube channel.

The track is a riff-heavy, mid-tempo rock tune that is, not surprisingly, reminiscent of AC/DC, although Rudd's gruff vocals are a bit deeper than those of his famous band's lead singer, Brian Johnson.  The song, which according to a press statement is "a gentle reminder about karma," features such swaggering lyrics as "There's a storm blowing rock 'n' roll/ It tears a whole right through my soul/ Just try and catch me if you can/  Who gonna get ya?/ It's the repo man!"

Rudd produced Head Job himself, and wrote or co-wrote all of the songs with help from Allan Badger and Geoffrey Martin, who also contributed their vocals, guitar and bass talents to the project.  Among the other tunes on the album are tracks titled "Head Job," "Bad Move," "Crazy" and "40 Days & 40 Nights."

Among the artists Rudd says inspired his music are Ringo Starr, Mountain's Leslie West, Free/Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke and Phil's AC/DC band mates Angus and Malcolm Young.  The album came together over the course of a number of years and was recorded at several different locations.  "I'm very happy for it to finally make its way out there and for people to hear it!" Rudd declares.

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