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Credit: Simon WhiteheadEric Clapton has debuted the official video for his new cover of blues great Robert Johnson's "Stones in My Passway," which appears on his latest studio album, "I Still Do." The black-and-white clip features Clapton and members of his backing band working on the tune in the studio.

You can watch the video at and at Clapton's official YouTube channel.

In a new Guitar World interview, Clapton reveals that he's always found "Stones in My Passway" difficult to play, because it features a guitar melody that's at odds with a coinciding vocal melody.

"There's a [guitar] phrase [Johnson] plays underneath his vocal that I can't do," Eric admits. "I can't sing it and play that phrase, and I will never do it, I don't think. I think I've tried all my life to figure out how to do that -- because the time signature of the singing is one way and the playing is another."

I Still Do debuted last month at #6 on the Billboard 200. In addition to "Stones in My Passway," the 12-track collection features a number of original Clapton compositions and renditions of Bob Dylan's "I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine" and the standard "I'll Be Seeing You." The album marks the first time Clapton has worked with acclaimed producer Glyn Johns since 1977's multi-platinum Slowhand.

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Dot RecordsAerosmith frontman Steven Tyler unveiled his new single, "We're All Somebody from Somewhere," during an appearance Friday morning on NBC's Today show. He also sang "Cryin'" and the Janis Joplin smash "Piece of My Heart."

The new single, which was released Friday, is the title cut from his debut solo album, a country-flavored effort due out July 15. The album's track listing also was unveiled Friday. Twelve of the 15 songs were co-written by Tyler; in addition, there's a remake of Aerosmith's "Janie's Got a Gun" and the cover of "Piece of My Heart.

Sitting down with Today's Matt Lauer, Tyler explained that when Big Machine Label Group head Scott Borchetta approached him about doing an album, he said, "I want to do a country record with covers of Everly Brothers, but unfortunately, so many people did. But then…I went down and did a bunch of award things [in Nashville], fell in love with the town, and the rest is history."

New York native Tyler, 68, said his introduction to country came when he was 11 and he pulled in a radio station in Fort Wayne, Indiana, that was playing "The Battle of New Orleans," Johnny Horton's1959 hit. "The B-side was 'All for the Love of a Girl,' and it was the first time I got all those feelings inside for music, and just in touch in myself with, in a sexual way, in a life-giving way," Tyler recalled "and then I heard The Everly Brothers, and their harmonies, and it was just incredible."

He also explained that Aerosmith had its brush with country already: "We would do all kinds of stuff like 'Cryin'.' That's country; we wrote that with Taylor Rhodes in Nashville…So it was already there. It wasn't a stretch."

Here's the full track list of the new album:

"My Own Worst Enemy"
"We're All Somebody from Somewhere"
"Hold On (Won’t Let Go)"
"It Ain't Easy"
"Love Is Your Name
"I Make My Own Sunshine"
"Gypsy Girl"
"Somebody New"
"Only Heaven"
"The Good, the Bad, the Ugly & Me"
"Red, White & You"
"Sweet Louisiana"
"What Am I Doin' Right?"
"Janie’s Got a Gun"
"Piece of My Heart"

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Erika Goldring/Getty ImagesParliament-Funkadelic keyboard player Bernie Worrell has died at age 72 after a battle with lung cancer. 

Worrell's death was announced Friday on his Facebook page -- the posting, presumably by his wife, who'd been keeping fans updated about his health, read: "AT 11:54, June 24, 2016, Bernie transitioned Home to The Great Spirit. Rest in peace, my love -- you definitely made the world a better place. Till we meet again, vaya con Dios."

The keyboard virtuoso co-wrote many of P-Funk's classic songs, and also toured extensively with Talking Heads in the 1980s, appearing in that band's 1984 film Stop Making Sense.  Worrell is perhaps most famous for the bass synthesizer lick that powered the 1978 Parliament smash "Flash Light."  His work is also prominent in "Mothership Connection (Star Child)," "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)" and "Aqua Boogie," among the best known and most heavily sampled songs in P-Funk's catalog.

Worrell also has played with a number of artists in a variety of genres, including Les Claypool of Primus, Mos Def, Prince Paul, Nona Hendryx, Reggie Watts and others.  In 2011, he toured with fellow P-Funk alum Bootsy Collins.  Last year, he appeared in the Meryl Streep film Ricki and the Flash, directed by Jonathan Demme, who also directed Stop Making Sense.

Earlier this year, Hendryx organized a benefit for Worrell in New York City, which featured P-Funk mastermind George Clinton, Collins, Streep, Questlove, Living Colour and the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra.

Worrell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, along with 15 other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.

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Hollywood RecordsLate Queen frontman Freddie Mercury would have turned 70 in September.  To coincide with the milestone, a special vinyl box set gathering all of the legendary singer's solo singles is set to be released. Freddie Mercury: Messenger of the Gods -- The Singles features 13 seven-inch discs, each one pressed on a different color vinyl.

The collection spans from Mercury's 1973 debut solo single, a cover of The Beach Boys' "I Can Hear Music" issued under the moniker Larry Lurex, through a posthumous, U.K.-chart-topping 1993 remix of his 1985 tune, "Living on My Own."

Mercury's solo releases found the famed singer exploring various genres, including pop-rock, disco, electronic-dance music and opera. While his singles weren't successful in the U.S., many of them were big hits in the U.K. and other European countries. Among the noteworthy solo tunes featured on Messenger of the Gods are "Love Kills," a 1984 collaboration with Italian dance producer Giorgio Moroder created for a restored version of the silent film Metropolis; Freddie's cover of The Platters' 1955 doo-wop hit "The Great Pretender"; and "Barcelona," his memorable duet with Spanish opera singer Montserrat Caballé.

The box set comes packaged with a booklet featuring a variety of photos, including some previously unpublished, while each disc is housed in a separate sleeve with cover art replicated from the original releases. The compilation also will be available as a two-CD set and a digital download.

Freddie Mercury: Messenger of the Gods -- The Singles will be released on September 2, three days before Mercury would celebrated his 70th birthday. Freddie died of AIDS in November 1991 at the age of 45.

Here's the full track list of the vinyl box set:

Disc 1 -- Blue
"I Can Hear Music"/"Goin' Back" -- Larry Lurex (1973)

Disc 2 -- Orange
"Love Kills"/"Rotwang's Party (Robot Dance)" (1984)

Disc 3 -- Yellow
"I Was Born to Love You"/"Stop All the Fighting" (1985)

Disc 4 -- Red
"Made in Heaven" [Single Remix]/"She Blows Hot and Cold" (1985)

Disc 5 -- White
"Living on My Own" [Single Edit]/"My Love Is Dangerous" (1985)

Disc 6 -- Red
"Love Me Like There's No Tomorrow"/"Let's Turn It On" (1985)

Disc 7 -- Cyan
"Time"/"Time" [Instrumental] (1986)

Disc 8 -- Orange
"The Great Pretender"/"Exercises in Free Love" [Freddie's Vocal] (1987)

Disc 9 -- Clear
"Barcelona" [Single Version] /"Exercises in Free Love" [Montserrat's Vocal] (1987)

Disc 10 -- Gold
"The Golden Boy" [Single Edit] /"The Fallen Priest" [B-Side Edit] (1988)

Disc 11 -- Green
"How Can I Go On" [Single Version] /"Overture Piccante" (1989)

Disc 12 -- Neon Pink
"In My Defence"/"Love Kills" [Wolf Euro Mix] (1992)

Disc 13 -- Yellow
"Living on My Own" [No More Brothers Radio Mix] /"Living on My Own" [Julian Raymond Album Mix] (1993)

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Katarina Benzova; Scott Uchida; Scott UchidaThe impossible has happened: a reunited Guns N' Roses is officially on tour. The band, led by Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan, kicked off their Not in This Lifetime tour Thursday night in Detroit.

Following an opening set from Alice in Chains, GNR launched into their two-and-a-half hour show with "It's So Easy." The 25-song setlist included classics like "Welcome to the Jungle," "November Rain" and "Sweet Child O' Mine."

GNR closed the main set with "Nightrain" before returning for a three song encore of "Don't Cry," a cover of The Who's "The Seeker" and "Paradise City."

The Not in This Life tour will continue Sunday, June 26 in Washington, D.C. The trek concludes August 22 in San Diego.

Here is the Guns N' Roses setlist from Detroit:

"It's So Easy"
"Mr. Brownstone"
"Chinese Democracy"
"Welcome to the Jungle"
"Double Talkin' Jive"
"Live and Let Die" (Wings)
"Rocket Queen"
"You Could Be Mine"
"You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory" (Johnny Thunders)
"Raw Power" (Iggy and The Stooges)  
"This I Love"
"Civil War"
Band intros into Slash solo -- "Speak Softly Love" (Love Theme from The Godfather/Andy Williams)  
"Sweet Child O' Mine"
"Out Ta Get Me"
"Jam ("Wish You Were Here"/Pink Floyd)  
"November Rain"
"Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (Bob Dylan)  

"Don't Cry"
"The Seeker" (The Who)  
"Paradise City"

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Warner Bros. Records Red Hot Chili Peppers' new album, The Getaway, will be competing against Drake for the #1 spot on next week's Billboard 200. Both The Getaway and the singer/rapper's album Views are on pace to move an estimated 110,000 to 120,000 equivalent album units each.

If The Getaway were to debut on top of the Billboard 200, it will give Anthony Kiedis and company their second chart-topping album, following their 2006 double-disc opus Stadium Arcadium. The Chili Peppers' last album, 2011's I'm with You, peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200.

The Getaway features the lead single "Dark Necessities," which currently sits in the top three on both Billboard's Mainstream Rock Songs and Alternative Songs charts.

Next month, Red Hot Chili Peppers will headline the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Reprise RecordsOn his new album, Earth, Neil Young took some recent concert performances and enhanced them with animal noises, other natural sounds and eerily sweet backing vocals to create a sonic commentary on the state of our planet.

"This is something I always wanted to do, a live record that is like a living record where everybody comes and people are there and creatures are there from everywhere," Young tells ABC Radio. "It's just a crazy hippie dream, I guess."

The 70-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer says the concept behind Earth emerged as he was piecing together the 13-track album, which was culled from the best performances from a 25-show series he played with current backing band Promise of the Real. The track list features songs with pro-environmental and anti-corporate themes dating as far back as 1970's "After the Gold Rush" and also including several tunes from 2015's The Monsanto Years.

Young maintains that the idea to add the various animal noises to the live recordings came to him because the sound of concert audiences often reminds him of different animals. Neil positioned the sound of the creatures most prominently between songs, which he says gave him "the feeling of floating through space and time, going to different places and being able to hear what's happening on Earth and then returning to an arena where there is music."

The other interesting element of Earth album is the aforementioned backing singers, which Young says represent the point of view of the corporation lulling the listener into a false sense of security.

"There's a lot of misleading information out there that is in the guise of perfection and soothing sounds," Neil points out, "and a little bit distracting or disarming when considered with the surrounding things."

Earth hits stores today.

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesAttention Frank Zappa fans: if you want to own the late guitarist and songwriter's Utility Muffin Research Kitchen home recording studio, and the 6,700-square foot house that goes with it, now's your chance.

Variety reports that the Zappa family compound in the Hollywood Hills is up for sale.  For just under $5.5 million, you get the half-acre property, which includes the 1930s mock Tudor main house with its six bedrooms and seven baths, dragon mural in the dining room, double height art gallery, porthole windows salvaged from old submarines, and home studio. 

There are also two guest houses and an attached apartment.  The grounds feature original mosaic art walls, a greenhouse, swimming pools and rooftop tennis court.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 


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Eagle Rock EntertainmentThe new KISS concert film and documentary KISS Rocks Vegas, which focuses on the band's 2014 residency at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, will be released as a home video on August 26 in a variety of configurations. The movie will come packaged with an audio version of the show and will be available as a DVD/CD set, Blu-ray/CD collection and a DVD/two-LP vinyl set, as well as a deluxe edition containing the DVD, the Blu-ray and two CDs.

KISS Rocks Vegas captures the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers during their nine-show Las Vegas stand in November 2014, which took place during the band's 40th anniversary world tour. The film features a dynamic, pyro-filled KISS performance showcasing such classic tunes as "Rock and Roll All Nite," "Detroit Rock City," "Shout It Out Loud," "Love Gun," and more. It also features the group playing a seven-song unplugged set that includes renditions of "Hard Luck Woman," "Christine Sixteen" and "Beth."

"We rocked and Vegas rolled!" says Paul Stanley about KISS Rocks Vegas. "This was epic in your face KISS! We got up close and personal, I think Rock and Roll fans will really enjoy this spectacle that only KISS can deliver."

Adds Gene Simmons, "KaBOOM! We blew up the Joint at The Hard Rock in Vegas like never before. We are very proud of this and know that you will be blown away as well."

You can check out a trailer for the KISS Rocks Vegas film at the band's official VEVO YouTube channel.

Here's the full track list of KISS Rocks Vegas:

"Detroit Rock City"
"Creatures of the Night"
"Psycho Circus"
"War Machine"
"Tears Are Falling"
"Lick It Up"
"I Love It Loud"
"Hell or Hallelujah"/Tommy Solo
"God of Thunder"
"Do You Love Me"
"Love Gun"
"Black Diamond"
"Shout It Out Loud"
"Rock and Roll All Nite"

Acoustic Set:

"Coming Home"
"Plaster Caster"
"Hard Luck Woman"
"Christine Sixteen"
"Goin' Blind"
"Love Her All I Can"

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James Glader; Timothy WhiteThe Eagles and James Taylor will be saluted at the 39th annual Kennedy Center Honors this December.

The famed rock band and the lauded singer/songwriter will join gospel/soul legend Mavis Staples, Oscar-winning actor Al Pacino and classical pianist Martha Argerich in receiving the prestigious award, which is presented annually by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., in recognition of recipients' lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts.

The Eagles originally had been scheduled to be saluted at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors, but that was postponed because of singer/guitarist Glenn Frey's health. Sadly, Frey died in January at age 67.

In announcing the recipients, Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein praised the Eagles for creating "ambitiously themed albums [that] epically merged the American West and rock n' roll, paving the way for unconventional music makers and artists to come." He also noted that Taylor's "warm baritone and poetic lyrics embody the art of songwriting, making him one of the defining musical figures of our time and his music the soundtrack of our country."

Taylor posted a message on his official website saying, "I am deeply moved to be included in such august company and hugely grateful to the Kennedy Center Honors for the gift of this great award."

This year's honorees will be feted at a star-studded gala December 4 at the Kennedy Center Opera House that will be attended by President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.  The event will be recorded for a special airing December 27 on CBS at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

The awards themselves will be presented December 3 at the State Department, at a dinner hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry.

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ABCBetween drumming in Nirvana and fronting Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl has a lot of stories, and the musician told a good one while playing a private acoustic performance at the Cannes Lion festival Wednesday night. Before launching into a rendition of the Foos hit "Best of You," Grohl remembered the time he sang a duet with pop star Taylor Swift at a party hosted by Beatles legend Paul McCartney. Oh, and Grohl was high at the time.

As Grohl tells it, McCartney decided to sit down at a piano and play a new, original song during the party. After he was finished, the party-goers called for Grohl to play something. There was only one problem.

"I don't know how to play piano," Grohl said. "Then I look around, and Paul McCartney is left handed, so all the guitars are left-handed. S***! God, I'm screwed. What do I do?"

Actually, there was a second problem: "I maybe smoked a little pot," Grohl admitted. "So I was already challenged enough."

Not knowing what to do, Grohl was saved by the one and only Taylor Swift, who volunteered to play something. She sat down at the piano, and Grohl attempted to play a left-handed bass alongside her. As she started to play, Grohl began to recognize the song.

"[Swift] was playing this really beautiful thing on piano, and I look at my wife, I'm, like, 'I know this f****** song. What the hell is this?'" Grohl remembered. "And she was f****** playing our song 'Best of You.'"

"As if I weren't high enough," Grohl continued. "That f****** blew me into outer space, man." He then joined Swift to sing a "Best of You" duet.

You can watch Grohl tell his story and perform "Best of You" now on YouTube.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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L-R: John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin; Danny Martindale/Getty ImagesA Los Angeles jury has found Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant and Jimmy Page did not steal the opening of their classic song, "Stairway to Heaven," from the 1968 Spirit song, "Taurus."

Attorneys representing the estate of late Spirit frontman Randy California had sought to prove that Led Zeppelin's members had plagiarized a guitar riff featured in "Taurus" and used it as the basis for the opening of "Stairway to Heaven," but the jury decided that there was no "extrinsic similarity" between the two songs.

The jury returned their verdict today, after less than a full day of deliberation, including a partial day Wednesday.

The jury had four questions to answer: Is the plaintiff the rightful owner of "Taurus"?; did the defendants have access  to "Taurus" before writing "Stairway to Heaven"?; did Plant and Page specifically have access to "Taurus"?; and was there an "extrinsic similarity" between "Taurus" and "Stairway to Heaven"?

Jurors answered yes to the first three questions, and no to the final one.

Page and Plant issued a joint statement following the ruling that said, "We are grateful for the jury's conscientious service and pleased that it has ruled in our favor, putting to rest questions about the origins of 'Stairway to Heaven' and confirming what we have known for 45 years. We appreciate our fans' support, and look forward to putting this legal matter behind us."

Meanwhile, the plaintiff's attorney, Francis Malofiy, addressed the media after the ruling. He maintained that although his legal team proved Page and Plant had access to "Taurus," he complained that the jurors were never allowed to hear the original recording of the song.

"The jury never got to hear the real evidence in this case and that's real frustrating," Malofiy said. "We feel justice wasn't served."

Among the points made by Malofiy were that Page and Plant were familiar with "Taurus" and that "Stairway to Heaven" was substantially similar to the tune. He maintained that California, whose birth name was Randy Wolfe, deserves one-third of the writing credit for "Stairway" and that damages should be between $3 million and $13.5 million.

Led Zeppelin's lawyer, Peter Anderson, argued that the plaintiff didn't prove that the British rockers copied "Taurus" when writing "Stairway to Heaven," while claiming that the descending chromatic lines shared by both songs are featured in numerous older tunes that are in the public domain. One of those songs, "To Catch a Shad," was played in court, and also sounded remarkably similar to both "Taurus" and "Stairway to Heaven."

Other points Anderson brought up were that "Taurus" and "Stairway to Heaven" sound like two separate songs when superimposed, and although Page admitted to owning some Spirit albums, there was no evidence that he had them prior to writing the music for "Stairway to Heaven." He also maintained that the amount of damages California’s estate was seeking is misleading and outside the statute of limitations.

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BillboardMore than 150 entertainers and executives have signed a special "Open Letter to Congress" urging tighter gun laws.

Among those signing the letter, which was released by Billboard today, are a variety of veteran rock stars, including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Billy Joel, Pearl Jam, Stevie Nicks, Jackson Browne, John Mellencamp, Sting, Michael Stipe, Joan Jett, members of Dead & Company, Yoko Ono, Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop, Bonnie Raitt, Thom Yorke and Trent Reznor.

"As leading artists and executives in the music industry, we are adding our voices to the chorus of Americans demanding change," the letter reads. "We call on Congress to do more to prevent the gun violence that kills more than 90 Americans every day and injures hundreds more."

In the wake of the shooting massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando and the fatal shooting of pop singer Christina Grimmie the same weekend, the letter urges Congress to require a background check for every gun sale and block suspected terrorists from buying guns.

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Credit: Amy GranthamAs Graham Nash gears up to launch a U.S. summer tour leg next month in support of his latest solo album, This Path Tonight, the folk-rock great has now announced a new series of fall dates. The newly added shows will take place in a variety of cities in the Midwest and Northeast U.S., kicking off on September 23 in Kent, Ohio, and running through an October 8 concert in Hartford, Connecticut.

Meanwhile, Graham's previously announced summer gigs are scheduled from a July 13 performance in Okemah, Oklahoma, through an August 7 appearance in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Among the shows is a July 23 set at the famed Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island.

Accompanying Graham on his solo dates is Crosby, Stills & Nash touring guitarist Shane Fontayne, who produced This Path Tonight and co-wrote all of the songs on the album.

In other news, Nash will join veteran pop-rock singer Rita Coolidge for a Q&A event this Friday, June 24, at Lincoln Center in New York City that's being taped for an episode of the public television series Speakeasy. The program features an intimate conversation with a music artist conducted by an interviewer chosen by that artist. As Coolidge recounts in her new memoir, Delta Lady, she collaborated with and had a romantic relationship with Nash and his band mate Stephen Stills during the early '70s.

Here's a list of all of Nash's upcoming U.S. tour dates:

7/13 -- Okemah, OK, Crystal Theatre – Benefit for Woody Guthrie Folk Festival
7/14 -- St. Louis, MO, River City Casino
7/16 -- Glenside, PA, Keswick Theatre
7/17 -- Patchogue, NY, Great South Bay Music Festival
7/19 -- Ridgefield, CT, Ridgefield Playhouse
7/20 -- Harrisburg, PA, The Whitaker Center for Science & the Arts - Sunoco Theater
7/21 -- Alexandria, VA, The Birchmere
7/23 -- Newport, RI, Newport Folk Festival
7/24 -- Annapolis, MD, Rams Head on Stage
8/2 -- Seattle, WA, Neptune Theatre
8/3 -- Portland, OR, Aladdin Theater
8/6 -- Buena Vista, CO, Vertex Festival
8/7 -- Santa Fe, NM, The Lensic Performing Arts Center
9/23 -- Kent, OH, The Kent Stage*
9/24 -- Munhall, PA, Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead*
9/27 -- Northampton, MA, Academy of Music*
9/28 -- Bethlehem, PA, Musikfest Café*
10/1 -- Morristown, NJ, Mayo Performing Arts Center*
10/2 -- Portland, ME, State Theater*
10/4 -- Woodstock, NY, Bearsville Theater*
10/5 -- Tarrytown, NY, Tarrytown Music Hall*
10/7 -- Westhampton Beach, NY, Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center*
10/8 -- Hartford, CT, Infinity Hall*

* = newly announced show.

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Entertainment One MusicEstranged Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos' debut solo album, a covers collection titled Greetings from Bunezuela!, will be released this Friday, June 24. To make the album, Carlos enlisted various guest singers and musicians to help him record some of his favorite tunes.

Among the singers featured on Greetings from Bunezuela! are original Cheap Trick frontman Randy "Xeno" Hogan, Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner and the pop group Hanson. Carlos tells ABC Radio that he couldn't have been more pleased with the quality of the performances.

"The guys that played and sang on [the album] really brought their A games, and stuff turned out much better than I expected it to," he gushes. "I'm a happy camper here."

Carlos' plan to make a covers album dates back to the 1970s, but he says he finally was spurred to tackle the project when it was announced last December that Cheap Trick would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. Among the 13 tracks on Greetings from Bunezuela! are gems by The Who, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Them, The Bee Gees and Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Bun E. says Xeno was "a logical choice" to sing on his album, since the two remained in touch after Xeno left Cheap Trick in 1974, and Carlos had played drums on a couple of the singer's records.

Hanson appears on a version of Revere and the Raiders' "Him or Me." Carlos reveals that he initially asked frontman Taylor Hanson to sing on the track, but Taylor's brothers Isaac and Zac also ended up on the song, which Bun E. says "sounds great."

As for Pirner, Carlos he appropriately had the Minnesota native sing a song by fellow Minnesotan Dylan, "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry," adding that Dave "nailed that thing."

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Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top; Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesBill Ham, who managed ZZ Top from its founding in 1969 until 2006, died Monday in Austin, Texas at the age of 79, according to a statement from his rep.

Ham, who began his career in the music business as an artist with a single produced by Pat Boone, saw Billy Gibbons' pre-ZZ Top band Moving Sidewalks opening for The Doors in 1968 and formed a company to manage them.  After that band broke up, Ham continued in his role as Gibbons formed ZZ Top.  Ham produced or co-produced all of ZZ Top's albums through the mid-1990s.

"We were saddened to hear of Bill Ham’s passing.  His early vision and continuing encouragement were invaluable; his efforts and energy will always remain deeply appreciated," reads a statement posted to ZZ Top's website.

Ham's other major client was country superstar Clint Black, whom Ham signed to RCA records in 1989.

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Courtesy of HBOThe vinyl album may be making a comeback but Vinyl, the HBO series co-produced by Mick Jagger and director Martin Scorsese, won't be coming back for a second season. The cable network revealed on Wednesday that it was canceling the show, even though it announced in February that the series had been renewed.

"After careful consideration, we have decided not to proceed with a second season of Vinyl," HBO says in a statement. "Obviously, this was not an easy decision. We have enormous respect for the creative team and cast for their hard work and passion on this project."

Vinyl took a fictionalized look at the sex-and drug-fueled music business in 1970s New York City just as punk rock, disco and hip-hop were emerging. The show starred Bobby Cannavale as troubled record executive Richie Finestra and also featured Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano and Jagger's son James.

Several episodes of the series also featured actors portraying various famous rock stars, including David Bowie, John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Robert Plant, Alice Cooper, Stephen Stills and The New York Dolls.

Throughout its one-season run, Vinyl struggled with low ratings and was panned by many critics.

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429 RecordsMeat Loaf will release a new studio album titled Braver Than We Are this September that features 10 songs composed by his Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell collaborator, Jim Steinman. The new record boasts tunes that span Steinman's entire career, from the first song he ever wrote to some of his most recent compositions.

Braver Than We Are was produced ex-Anthrax guitarist Paul Crook, a member of Meat Loaf's backing band The Neverland Express, although Steinman served as created consultant throughout the entire project. The album is the fourth Meat Loaf record completely written by Steinman.

The album's first single, "Going All the Way," premiered Wednesday exclusively at The track is a dramatic, multi-part rock song reminiscent of Meat Loaf's classic "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," and reunites the singer with his "Paradise" duet partner Ellen Foley and his one-time backup singer, Karla DeVito. The new tune is available for purchase now at iTunes. Among the other notable tunes on Braver Than We Are is "Train of Love," which features a slide guitar solo by longtime Lynyrd Skynyrd member Rickey Medlocke.

Meat Loaf says of the new album, "It's a tribute to Jim Steinman really. It's a tribute to both of us and our work together."

Braver Than We Are will be released September 16 on CD, vinyl and as a digital download. A deluxe CD/DVD version will be available on Amazon, while Target will sell an exclusive edition of the CD featuring three bonus tracks.

Here's the full track list for the standard version of Braver Than We Are:

"Who Needs the Young"
"Going All the Way"
"Speaking in Tongues"
"Loving You Is a Dirty Job"
"Only When I Feel"
"Skull of Your Country"
"Train of Love"

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Dave J Hogan/Getty ImagesThe copyright-infringement lawsuit alleging that Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" was partly ripped off from the 1968 Spirit song "Taurus" went to the jury for deliberation today after lawyers for both sides gave their closing argument.

Among the points made by attorney Francis Malofiy, who represents the estate of late Spirit frontman Randy California, were that Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were familiar with "Taurus" and that "Stairway to Heaven" was substantially similar to the tune. He maintained that California, whose birth name was Randy Wolfe, deserves one-third of the writing credit for "Stairway" and that damages should be between $3 million and $13.5 million.

Led Zeppelin's lawyer, Peter Anderson, argued that the plaintiff didn't prove that the British rockers copied "Taurus" when writing "Stairway to Heaven," while claiming that the descending chromatic lines shared by both songs are featured in numerous older tunes that are in the public domain. 

Other points Anderson brought up were that "Taurus" and "Stairway to Heaven" sound like two separate songs when superimposed, and although Page admitted to owning some Spirit albums there was no evidence that he had them prior to writing the music for "Stairway." He also maintained that the amount of damages the plaintiff is seeking is misleading and outside the statute of limitations.

After the lawyers' statements the judge gave the jury members instructions regarding their deliberations.

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Courtesy of Heritage AuctionsA lock of David Bowie's hair from the late singer's Let's Dance era is expected to land thousands of dollars at auction this weekend.

The blonde hair snippet is up for bid as part of a memorabilia sale being held at Heritage Auctions of Beverly Hills. The current bid is $2,000, but it's expected to sell for at least twice that amount.

The lock of hair is about two inches long and was snipped in 1983 by an unidentified woman who was the wig mistress at Madame Tussaud's in London. She was tasked with replicating the singer's hair for his likeness at the wax museum during the height of his popularity.

The hair is tied together with blue thread and attached to the corner of a black and white photograph of Bowie standing next to the wig mistress. Included with the lock of hair is a letter from the woman, certifying its authenticity.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the charitable Soi Dog Foundation in Thailand, which rescues and cares for stray dogs.

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