Credit: Kevin WestenbergDespite a number of local media reports to the contrary, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department says it's not investigating the death of blues legend B.B. King as a possible homicide. According to a statement issued by Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, the police department will not move forward with such an investigation "until such time as the Clark County Coroner determines Mr. King's death to be from other than natural causes."
The news comes after two of King's daughters accused the late guitar great's business manager and his personal assistant of contributing to his death, and called for a formal investigation to be launched. In affidavits filed in Nevada on Sunday, Karen Williams and Patty King both say they believe their father was "poisoned" by the administration of foreign substances to induce his premature death, pointing the finger at King's business manager, LaVerne Toney, and his personal assistant, Myron Johnson. A lawyer for King's estate strongly denies the allegations in published reports Monday.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department says it won't comment further about the matter of King's death "unless the Coroner advises that some form of criminality is associated with [it]."
In a statement obtained by ABC News, Brent Bryson, an attorney for Toney, said the allegations are "baseless and unfounded and are unsupported in reality."
The statement notes that King was monitored on a 24-hour basis by certified nursing assistants; was visited regularly by registered nurses; and was "evaluated by no less than three (3) independent doctors in the days before his death."
The statement features quotes from doctors including King's primary care physician, Dr. Darin Brimhall, who said prior to the musician's death, "...there is no action being taken to hasten the demise of Mr. King and every effort is being made to make Mr. King comfortable and supply him with his regular medication and nourishment."
Credit: David BergmanJon Bon Jovi is one of the many artists featured on the Finding Neverland: The Album, and now we get to hear his contribution. People has a first listen to the track, called "Beautiful Day" -- a cheerful anthem about seizing the moment.
"Everybody knows Peter Pan, and I guess in some essence you could always say that every rock and roll star is Peter Pan -- they never want to grow up," the singer tells People.
The album is a collection of reimagined songs from the new Broadway musical about Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie, based on the 2004 Johnny Depp movie of the same name. Goo Goo Dolls, Christina Aguilera, John Legend and Jennifer Lopez are among the other artists who recorded tracks for the album.
Finding Neverland: The Album will be released June 9.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum/Janet Macoska; Steve RobertsThe Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has been amassing video interviews with music legends for an ongoing oral-history project that’ll soon be available to museum visitors.
RollingStone.com reports that the museum got things started four years ago when it gathered together four rock 'n' roll pioneers -- Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Fats Domino -- for a group interview, as well as in-depth individual conversations.
The interviews took place in New Orleans, Domonio's hometown, because, as Rock Hall president Joel Peresman explains, "Fats doesn't travel well." Peresman adds, "The group interview was great, even if Richard hijacked things a little bit."
Joel tells Rolling Stone that some of the conversations yielded previously unheard revelations. "In Chuck Berry's, he starts to cry when he talks about this song his father used to sing to him as a boy," Peresman reports. "His son said he'd never seen him tell that story or even react to one like that."
A wide variety of other rock stars also have taken part in the project, including Grace Slick, Art Garfunkel, Dion DiMucci, Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels and many more. The interviews have run as long as six hours and have been conducted by such respected journalists as Anthony DeCurtis, Alan Light and Parke Puterbaugh.
Peresman says the videotaped interviews will be available soon at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives, separate building from the main Rock Hall. They will be augmented by archival interviews recorded for Time Life's 1995 documentary series The History of Rock 'n' Roll. He also insists the new conversations won't be released for commercial purposes.
The Rock Hall is hoping to get many other rock legends to contribute their own oral histories, including The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, The Grateful Dead's surviving members, and Aretha Franklin.
"You have to get these people's stories while they're still alive," Peresman maintains. "That is the key mission, to have these kinds of documents and these kinds of stories told in the voices of the artists."
Image Courtesy of Record CollectionFormer Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante has always been on the reclusive side, and now he's gotten even more so. In a new interview with the Electronic Beats website, Frusciante reveals he no longer plans to release his music to the public.
"For the last year and a half I made the decision to stop making music for anybody and with no intention of releasing it, which is what I was doing between 2008 and 2012," Frusciante says. "I felt that if I took the public into consideration at all, I wasn't going to grow and I wasn't going to learn."
He adds, "Being an electronic musician meant I had to woodshed for a while, so I have a good few years' worth of material from that period that's never been released."
Just this past month, Frusciante released his debut album as Trickfinger, a new project that explores the acid house genre of electronic music. "At this point I have no audience," Frusciante says. "I make tracks and I don't finish them or send them to anybody, and consequently I get to live with the music."
Frusciante was a member of Red Hot Chili Peppers from 1988 to 1992, and then again from 1998 to 2009. During his tenure with the band, he was the lead guitarist on their seminal 1991 album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, as well as on Californication, By the Way and, most recently, 2006's Stadium Arcadium.
Reprise RecordsNeil Young has unveiled official details about his upcoming studio album The Monsanto Years, which he recorded with Promise of the Real, the band fronted by Willie Nelson's son Lukas. The nine-song collection, which focuses on topical environmental and ecological issues such as the sale of genetically modified food, will be released on June 29.
The Monsanto Years initially will be available as a CD/DVD set and as a standard-resolution and high-res digital download. A vinyl edition of the record will follow sometime in August. Those who pre-order the album now will immediately receive digital versions of two songs -- "Big Box" and "A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop." A video for the latter tune currently is viewable at DemocracyNow.org.
Young had performed live with Promise of the Real at several events before recording with the group, which now also includes Nelson's son Micah. Neil has lined up a U.S. trek with the band dubbed the Rebel Content Tour, which is mapped out from a July 5 show at Milwaukee's Summerest through a July 24 performance at the Wayhome Festival in Oro-Medonte, Canada. People purchasing tickets to the concerts -- not including festival dates -- will receive their choice of a free copy of the Monsanto Years CD/DVD package of one of the digital versions of the album.
Here is the track list of The Monsanto Years:
CD: "A New Day for Love" "Wolf Moon" "People Want to Hear About Love" "Big Box" "A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop" "Workin' Man" "Rules of Change" "Monsanto Years" "If I Don't Know"
DVD: "Big Box" "A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop" "Rules of Change" "Workin' Man" "Monsanto Years" "A New Day for Love" "Wolf Moon" "People Want to Hear About Love" "If I Don't Know"
And here are the dates for Young and Promise of the Real's Rebel Content Tour:
7/5 -- Milwaukee, WI, Summerfest - Marcus Amphitheater 7/8 -- Morrison, CO, Red Rocks Amphitheatre 7/9 -- Morrison, CO, Red Rocks Amphitheatre 7/11 -- Lincoln, NE, Pinnacle Bank Arena 7/13 -- Cincinnati, OH, Riverbend Music Center 7/14 -- Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre 7/16 -- Camden, NJ, Susquehanna Bank Center 7/17 -- Bethel, NY, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts 7/19 -- Essex Junction, VT, Champlain Valley Expo 7/21 -- Wantagh, NY, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater 7/22 -- Great Woods, MA, Xfinity Center 7/24 -- Oro-Medonte, ON, Canada, Wayhome Festival
Rubén Martín/RCA RecordsThis Sunday, Carlos Santana and his group will wind down their latest series of shows as part of their ongoing Las Vegas residency at House of Blues Mandalay Bay, and will follow that with a month-long summer European tour leg that kicks off June 30. Santana then will return to the U.S. for a late-summer outing running from an August 14 performance in Forest Hills, New York, through an August 29-30 stand at the Ravinia festival in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois.
The U.S. tour dates include an appearance at the 2015 Peach Music Festival in Scranton, Pennsylvania, as well as stops in Boston and Baltimore and an August 21-22 engagement in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
On both the European tour and the U.S. trek, Carlos and company will be promoting Santana's star-studded 2014 Latin album, Corazon. The band also has scheduled one fall date for the outing, an October 31 concert in Tucson, Arizona.
Santana also has two other series of Las Vegas residency dates on the books this year, taking place in late September and early November, respectively. On top of that, Carlos will make a special appearance at the 2015 Lockn' Music Festival on September 12, when he will hit the stage with Phil Lesh & Friends, the musical collective led by the founding Grateful Dead bassist.
Here are all of Santana's confirmed upcoming U.S. performances:
5/27, 29-31 -- Las Vegas, NV, House of Blues Mandalay Bay 8/14 -- Forest Hills, NY, Forest Hills Stadium 8/15 -- Canandaigua, NY, CMAC 8/16 -- Scranton, PA, The Peach Music Festival 8/18 -- Boston, MA, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion 8/19 -- Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun Arena 8/21-22 -- Atlantic City, NJ, Borgata Spa & Resort 8/23 -- Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center 8/25 -- Vienna, VA, Wolf Trap 8/26 -- Baltimore, MD, Pier 6 Concert Pavilion 8/28 -- Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theater 8/29-30 -- Highland Park, IL, Ravinia *9/12 -- Arrington, VA, Lockn' Music Festival 9/16, 18-20, 23, 25-27 -- Las Vegas, NV, House of Blues Mandalay Bay 10/31 -- Tucson, AZ, AVA Amphitheater 11/4, 6-8, 11, 13-15 -- Las Vegas, NV, House of Blues Mandalay Bay
* = Carlos Santana playing as special guest with Phil Lesh and Friends.
Credit: Paul HeartfieldPublic Image Ltd., John Lydon's influential post-Sex Pistols band, will release a new studio album called What the World Needs Now… on September 4. The new record is the second one the artist also known as Johnny Rotten has made with the group's current lineup, following 2012's This Is PiL, which was the band's first release in more than 17 years.
The current incarnation of Public Image also includes guitarist Lu Edmonds and drummer Bruce Smith, both of whom first joined the band in 1986, and bassist Scott Firth, who came into the fold when PiL reformed in 2009. Lydon tells ABC Radio that, for him, Public Image Ltd. "is the ultimate band," and says his relationship with his fellow members is "the closest bond I've ever had with people in music."
He explains, "This is the proper Public Image and it's been worth the wait to find a truly unified group of people that really do respect each other. It's quite phenomenal…It's what I always wanted the bands I've worked with to be."
News of the upcoming PiL album comes on the heels of the publication of Lydon's new memoir, Anger Is an Energy, which hit stores in April. In the book, John opens up about his impoverished childhood and health struggles, his adventures with the Sex Pistols and PiL, and much more.
Lydon tells ABC Radio that What the World Needs Now… "goes hand in glove with the book, but they're not similar works at all." He adds, "It's like the ying [sic] and the yang of it all."
The album features 11 songs, and the first single is the lead track, "Double Trouble," which will be released on August 21. A 10-inch vinyl version will include the new song "Bettie Page" on its B-side as well as a non-album track called "Turkey T*ts."
Public Image Ltd. has announced dates for a tour of the U.K. and mainland Europe that will take place in September and October, and the band is expected to launch a North American trek in November.
Meanwhile, Lydon says he has absolutely no interest in reuniting with the Sex Pistols again.
"I'm so in the right place in my mind with Public Image Ltd. that the idea of going backwards to the Pistols is impossible," he insists. Lydon says the group's first reunion tour in 1996 "went on too long" and led to "all the old resentments" coming up. He reveals that since then, he and his Pistols mates have "realized that we've lost our friendship through being in that band and we'd much rather be friends than musical enemies."
He adds that while he considers The Sex Pistols "my mind and body," Public Image is "where my heart and soul lay."
Credit: Ross HalfinPete Townshend says he has a multifaceted creative project in the works that will include music and a book, but it isn't clear if The Who will be involved. In a new interview with BarnesandNoble.com, the guitarist/songwriter reveals, "I am working on a magnum opus that will begin with the publication of a short novel in 2016."
Townshend also reports that he's "writing new songs all the time," although he admits that after The Who winds down its 50th anniversary tour, he's planning to "slow down again." He explains, "I have done this a few times in the past, but I need it now more than ever: time to enjoy what I have, to be happy and relaxed."
The in-store event takes place a day before The Who wraps up its current North American tour leg with a show in Forest Hills, New York, and a day before Townshend will receive the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award at the 11th annual MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert, which will be held at the Best Buy Theater in New York City.
As previously reported, Pete's longtime girlfriend Rachel Fuller created the orchestrations for the project, which were performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Robert Ziegler. Lead vocal duties were handled by respected British tenor Alfie Boe, Townshend played guitar throughout the album, and Pete and Billy Idol also contributed vocals.
Townshend tells BarnesandNoble.com that he was amazed at how well the orchestral interpretations of the songs on Quadrophenia worked. Among the reasons he cites for The Who's music lending itself to orchestral reimagining are Keith Moon's classically influenced style of drumming, the fact that bassist John Entwistle incorporated horns into the original album and that Roger Daltrey was at a vocal peak when he sang the songs. Townshend adds, "I was also adept at using analogue synthesizers, especially for orchestral emulation."
A debut live performance of Pete Townshend's Classic Quadrophenia will take place July 5 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Three fall performances also have been scheduled in other cities -- on October 13 in Cologne, Germany, October 26 in Munich, and October 31 in Vienna.
Image Courtesy of Art GarfunkelIt's been more than 40 years since famed folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel broke up, but Art Garfunkel apparently still remains troubled by childhood friend and longtime collaborator Paul Simon's decision to end their creative partnership. In an interview with U.K. newspaper The Telegraph, Garfunkel admitted that he would gladly reunite with Simon for another tour, then directed some pointed comments toward Simon that seemingly displayed his continued bitterness about the split, which followed the release of their hugely successful 1971 album Bridge over Troubled Water.
"How can you walk away from this lucky place on top of the world, Paul?" Garfunkel declared. "What's going on with you, you idiot? How could you let that go, jerk?"
Regarding his feelings about a reunion trek, Art maintained that they're the same as they've been for decades. "When we get together, with his guitar, it's a delight to both of our ears. A little bubble comes over us and it seems effortless. We blend," he said. "So, as far as this half is concerned, I would say, 'Why not, while we're still alive?'"
Garfunkel also revealed that he would have preferred it if the duo had just taken a year-long break in '71 and then gotten back together, explaining that at the time, Simon "was getting on my nerves." Regarding Paul's decision to break up after the release of their biggest album, Art said, "[I]t seems very perverse to not enjoy the glory and walk away from it instead. Crazy."
Meanwhile, the Telegraph interviewer asked whether Garfunkel thought the diminutive Simon might have a Napoleon complex that would explain his resentment toward Art.
"I think you're on to something. I would say so, yes," Garfunkel responded. He then maintained that back in their school days, he felt sorry for Paul because of his small stature, and to compensate he offered him his friendship. He added, "And that compensation gesture has created a monster."
Art also recalled an interesting conversation he once had with George Harrison during which the late Beatles guitarist compared his relationship with Paul McCartney to Garfunkel's with Simon.
"George came up to me at a party once and said 'my Paul is to me what your Paul is to you,'" said Garfunkel. "He meant that psychologically they had the same effect on us. The Pauls sidelined us." Art explained that he considered McCartney "a hell of a music man who gave the band its energy, but he also ran away with a lot of the glory."
Kevin Mazur/Getty ImagesAfter playing an initmate warmup gig on Wednesday at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, The Rolling Stones officially kicked off their Zip Code tour of North America on Sunday night at Petco Park in San Diego.
The band played a 20-song set, opening with "Jumpin' Jack Flash." A minute-long video of highlights from the show opener has been posted to the band's YouTube channel.
Although The Stones didn't play the entirely of Sticky Fingers, as they did at the surprise L.A. show, they did run through a mini-set of tunes from the album in the middle of the concert, including a version of "Bitch" featuring a guest appearance by show opener Gary Clark Jr. An expanded reissue of the classic 1971 album is arrives next month.
The Stones next are headed to Columbus, Ohio, for a show on Saturday, May 30. Kid Rock will be concert's special guest. The Zip Code tour runs through a July 15 show in Quebec.
Here is the full set list from The Rolling Stones' performance in San Diego:
"Jumpin' Jack Flash" "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)" "All Down the Line" "Tumbling Dice" "Doom and Gloom"
Sticky Fingers: "Bitch" (with Gary Clark Jr.) "Moonlight Mile" "Can't You Hear Me Knocking"
"Street Fighting Man" (song vote winner) "Honky Tonk Women" "Slipping Away" (Keith Richards on lead vocals) "Before They Make Me Run" (Keith Richards on lead vocals) "Midnight Rambler" "Miss You" "Gimme Shelter" "Start Me Up" "Sympathy for the Devil" "Brown Sugar"
Encore: "You Can't Always Get What You Want" "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
Credit: Jen CashSoundgarden frontman Chris Cornell has announced plans for a fall solo acoustic tour through Australia and New Zealand and, in the process, revealed the title of his new solo album: Higher Truth.
The acoustic trek will have Cornell "performing songs spanning his entire career, as well as new songs from his forthcoming studio album Higher Truth in an unplugged, up close and personal setting," according to his website.
Higher Truth is scheduled for an "Australian spring release," which means an American fall release.
The New Zealand and Australia tour dates will kick off November 20 and conclude December 12. Tickets will go on sale June 1. Visit ChrisCornell.com for all ticket info.
Cornell's last solo release was his 2011 all-acoustic live album, Songbook. His last studio effort was 2009's electronic-inspired Scream.
Here are all of the singer's new tour dates:
11/20 -- Christchurch, New Zealand, Isaac Theatre 11/23 -- Wellington, New Zealand, Michael Fowler Centre 11/26 -- Auckland, New Zealand, ASB Theatre 11/30 -- Brisbane, Australia, QPAC Concert Hall 12/4 -- Melbourne, Australia, Palais Theatre 12/7 -- Adelaide, Australia, Festival Theatre 12/8 -- Perth, Australia, Perth Concert Hall 12/11 -- Sydney, Australia, Opera House 12/12 -- Sydney, Australia, Opera House
Image Courtesy of Webster PRPat Benatar and her guitarist/husband, Neil Giraldo, have a busy year planned, with dozens of North American dates lined up as part of their ongoing 35th Anniversary Tour. But the rocking couple took a little time off to chat with famed newsman Dan Rather for an upcoming episode of his AXS TV showThe Big Interview.
In the hour-long program, which debuts on July 21, Benatar and Giraldo, who have been married since 1981, open up about their long musical and personal relationship.
"It was great to share with Dan our story," says Giraldo about their appearance on The Big Interview. "He really took the time to explore our partnership and understand how we have worked together to create music, but we were also able to talk about all the other aspects of our partnership personal and professional. It's not all about the music there is so much more to who we are."
Meanwhile, Pat and Neil recently released a live album and home video capturing a 2014 performance from their 35th anniversary trek. RollingStone.com has posted a clip from the DVD featuring Benatar performing a mashup of her hit "Heartbreaker" and the Johnny Cash classic "Ring of Fire."
In an accompanying interview with Rolling Stone, Giraldo reveals that it was his idea to cover "Ring of Fire," explaining, "I think of weird stuff for us to do, cover songs to do. I always thought it would be a good song for us, because we're like Johnny and [his wife] June [Carter Cash]."
Benatar and Giraldo recently added a bunch of additional dates to their 2015 tour, which now is mapped out through a Septmber 6 concert in Palmer, Alaska. Here are all of the duo's forthcoming shows:
6/26 -- Milwaukee, WI, Summerfest 6/27 -- Lawrenceburg, IN, Hollywood Casino - Lawrenceburg Event Center 6/30 -- Newport News, VA, CNU Ferguson Center for the Arts 7/1 -- Durham, NC, The Carolina Theatre 7/3 -- Salamanca, NY, Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel - Seneca Events Center 7/4 -- Mount Pocono, PA, Mount Airy Casino Resort - Sherman Summer Stage 7/5 -- Ridgefield, CT, The Ridgefield Playhouse 7/7 -- Verona, NY, Turning Stone Resort Casino - Showroom 7/8 -- Washington, DC, Warner Theatre 7/10 -- Lowell, MA, Boarding House Park 7/11 -- New York, NY, Edison Ballroom 7/13 -- Grand Rapids, MI, Meijer Gardens Amphitheater 7/14 -- Huber Heights, OH, Rose Music Center at the Heights 7/16 -- Louisville, KY, Brown Theatre 7/17 -- Robinsonville, MS, Horseshoe Tunica - Bluesville 7/18 -- Lake Charles, LA, Golden Nugget Lake Charles 7/20 -- San Antonio, TX, Tobin Center for the Performing Arts 7/21 -- Dallas, TX, House of Blues 7/23 -- El Paso, TX, Plaza Theatre Performing Arts 7/24 -- Sahuarita, AZ, Desert Diamond Casino 7/25 -- Laughlin, NV, The Edgewater Casino Resort 7/28 -- Livermore, CA, Wente Vineyards 7/29 -- Saratoga, CA, The Mountain Winery 7/31 -- Santa Rosa, CA, Wells Fargo Center for the Arts 8/1 -- Monterey, CA, Golden State Theatre 8/2 -- Solana Beach, CA, Belly Up 8/6 -- Costa Mesa, CA, Pacific Amphitheatre 8/7 -- Thousand Oaks, CA, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza 8/11 -- Apple Valley, MN, Minnesota Zoo 8/12 -- Moorhead, MN, Bluestem Center for the Arts 8/13 -- Bismarck, MD, Bismarck Events Center 8/15 -- Edmonton, AB, Canada, Heritage Amphitheatre in Hawre 8/16 -- Calgary, AB, Canada, Grey Eagle Resort and Casino 8/19 -- Denver, CO, Paramount Theatre 8/21 -- Chandler, AZ, Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino 8/22 -- Lancaster, CA, Antelope Valley Fairgrounds 8/25 -- Turlock, CA, Turlock Community Theatre 8/26 -- Reno, NV, Grand Sierra Resort & Casino 8/28 -- Boise, ID, Western Idaho Fairgrounds 8/29 -- Manson, WA, Mill Bay Casino Deep Water 8/31 -- Monroe, WA, Evergreen State Fair 9/2 -- Vancouver, BC, Canada, Pacific National Exhibition 9/3 -- Salem, OR, L.B. Day Amphitheatre 9/4 -- Jacksonville, OR, Britt Pavilion 9/6 -- Palmer, AK, Alaska State Fair
Credit: Olaf HeineFor a split second, the members of U2 thought that the first show of their enormous iNNOCENCE eXPERIENCE tour might be their last when guitarist The Edge fell off the stage. In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, the members of U2 discuss the incident, which luckily did not seriously injure The Edge.
"It was a moment of reverie where I just completely lost track of where I was on the stage," says The Edge in the interview. "Out of the corner of my eye I could see the curve of the round and I thought I was already there. I stepped off on what I thought was the stage and I had basically cut the corner. It was one of those things you do only once."
Bassist Adam Clayton says he was "sick in the pit of my stomach" watching the fall, and drummer Larry Mullen remembers thinking that the tour might "start and end in the same evening" had The Edge's injuries been more significant.
"It would have been the shortest tour in history," adds The Edge.
Last year, U2 frontman Bono suffered a fall of his own when he injured himself in a cycling accident. The singer has said that he still can't play guitar due to his injuries, but now he's starting to look at his body in a different way.
"Edge says that I look at my body like it's an inconvenience," Bono says. "And that I need to be more mindful. And you know I've been disagreeing with Edge all my life on musical matters, but I'm starting to pay much more attention to him on philosophical ones."
You can watch the entire CBS Sunday Morning interview with U2 when the show airs May 24 at 9 a.m. ET.
Photo: Guy WebsterAXS TV will celebrate the Memorial Day weekend by offering up an evening of programming this Sunday, May 24, that focuses on "America's band, The Beach Boys. The marathon will includes the network's premiere screening of Brian Wilson and Friends: Live from the Venetian, a recent concert special filmed this past December in Las Vegas that showcased songs from the Beach Boys mastermind's new solo album, No Pier Pressure, plus classics from his old band.
The program, which originally aired as an episode of PBS' Soundstage last month, captures Brian Wilson performing with many of the guest artists who appeared on No Pier Pressure, including fellow founding Beach Boy Al Jardine, former Beach Boys sidemen Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar, fun. singer Nate Ruess, jazz trumpet player Mark Isham and Sebu Simonian of the indie-pop act Capital Cities. Brian Wilson and Friends: Live from the Venetian debuts on AXS TV at 8 p.m. ET.
Kicking off the programming block at 7 p.m. ET will be The Beach Boys 50 -- Doin' It Again, a documentary that takes a look at the making of the group's 2012 reunion album, That's Why God Made the Radio, and its 50th anniversary tour the same year.
Later in the evening, at 9:25 p.m. ET, AXS TV will air The Beach Boys 50 -- Live in Concert, which captures the band playing 21 songs at a concert in Phoenix during the aforementioned 2012 tour.
Finishing off the Beach Boys-related fun, fun, fun at 10:40 p.m. ET will be the star-studded special MusiCares Person of the Year 2005: Brian Wilson. The show, filmed at the Hollywood Palladium, documents the Grammy organization's salute to Wilson, which included performances by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Michael McDonald, The Backstreet Boys, John Legend and many other acclaimed musicians. Brian also took to the stage with his backing group to play a few songs.
Proper RecordsFounding Rolling Stone bassist Bill Wyman will turn 79 this October, but despite his advancing age, he's still making new music. Next month, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer will release his first solo album in 33 years, Back to Basics.
Wyman admits that he initially wondered if he might be "too old" to put out a new album, but quickly thought the better of it.
"I thought, 'Every creative artist goes until they drop,'" he tells Rolling Stone. "Whether they're sculptors, writers, poets or musicians, they just carry on as long as they can. So then I thought, 'What the hell.'"
Wyman was inspired to make the record after rediscovering some forgotten demos of songs he felt never got their due. He decided to revisit those tunes, as well as some other old songs that hadn't made it onto his earlier solo albums, and record updated versions of them.
Bill explains to Rolling Stone that he used the stripped-down sounds of a number of acclaimed songwriters as inspiration for the album.
"I wanted it to be inspired a bit like After the Gold Rush by Neil Young, to capture the simplicity of those couple of albums he did around that time," he points out. "I was also inspired by J.J. Cale, who I had done stuff with in The Rhythm Kings, and Tom Waits and the way he sings."
Wyman adds that another influence on the new album was 80-yar-old Canadian singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen, describing his 1984 tune "Dance Me to the End of Love" as "wonderful."
Back to Basics also features a number of brand-new compositions that Wyman says he wrote "in my house on a little acoustic guitar." He notes that since he's not a guitar player, "I usually just mess about on the bottom strings for little guitar licks and riffs."
Meanwhile, Bill says he has no interest in ever reuniting with The Rolling Stones again.
"You can't go back and relive something and have it be the same," he insists, while pointing out that he's "still great mates" with his former band mates.
"We still send each other Christmas and birthday presents as we always did," Wyman reveals, "and sometimes I do gigs with Charlie [Watts] and his band or with Ronnie Wood if he's doing a special."
Bill says he "loved every minute" of his 31 years in the band, and is "proud of everything we did," but was very ready to retire from The Stones after the three major tours they mounted in 1989 and '90.
"I thought, 'That's enough for me, there's nowhere else to go,'" he recalls. "I was happy to move on because there were so many other things that I wanted to do in my life that I had planned to years and years and years before, never expecting as anyone did that the band would last that long."
Back to Basics will hit stores in the U.K. on June 22. No U.S. release has been announced yet.
Credit: Kyle Dean ReinfordAs Lollapalooza's founder, Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell is known as one of the godfathers of alternative rock. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Farrell remembers hanging out with the biggest legend of the '90s alternative scene: Kurt Cobain.
"I met him briefly," Farrell says of the late Nirvana frontman. "I must admit, I got high with him in the basement of the Palace when he came to Los Angeles, and I hung out with him at one of the MTV awards shows. We had a mutual respect."
Farrell also gave his thoughts on Montage of Heck, the first fully authorized documentary about Cobain. "Look, they're scraping together things," he says. "[Cobain is] gone now, so you can't very well ask him to do another take, can you? He's very high. And if it was me, I would have said, 'I need a change of clothing.' But I thought he was a very gentle soul and who knows what would have become of him had he lived."
Nirvana was scheduled by headline Lollapalooza in 1994, but they pulled out of the tour just days before Cobain committed suicide.
As for the 2015 Lollapalooza lineup, Farrell says he used to really dislike Metallica, who are headlining this year's festival. While he insists that he "like[s] their music now," Farrell used to consider Metallica the opposite of what he wanted for Lolla.
"I was very angry the first time they played Lollapalooza," Farrell says. "I helped create the genre alternative, and alternative was against hair metal, teased-out hair, spandex, bulls**t rock music. Metallica, in my estimation at that time, wasn't my thing."
Mary McCartney/MPL CommunicationsPaul McCartney is the world's wealthiest rocker so he can afford to buy nice things, like a beautiful new penthouse apartment overlooking New York City's Central Park. The New York Post reports that the ex-Beatles star and his wife, Nancy Shevell, shelled out $15.5 million for a duplex apartment at 1045 Fifth Ave., not far from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
According to the Street Easy real estate website, the co-op residence boasts wraparound balconies, a living room, library, master bedroom, and master sitting room that all face Central Park above the Jacqueline Onassis Reservoir, plus a formal dining room and "a double height gallery." The duplex also boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that are 40 feet high.
The Post reports the building was built in 1967 by late developer Manny Duell, who created the duplex for his wife. She lived there until her death in 2014.
McCartney launches a series of European tour dates this weekend with a May 23-24 stand at London's O2 Arena.
Stony Brook UniversityEven people who aren't Billy Joel fans probably know that he's from Long Island, New York, and on Friday, one of that area's top universities presented the Piano Man with an honorary degree at its 55th commencement ceremony.
Billy received a Doctor of Music degree from Stony Brook University, which has been the recipient of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's generosity over the years: he's donated two pianos to the school, which are worth more than 200 thousand dollars.
Speaking to the students, Billy said he'd keep his remarks short because "it's Memorial Day weekend and I don't want anyone getting melanoma from sitting out here for too long." He then told the students, “I hope that by now you have found what it is you love and I hope that you have learned the skills you need to make what you love your life’s work."
He added, "I wish for you the stamina to continue that work when you encounter resistance and tough times…'cause if you’re not doing what you love, you’re just wasting your time.”
This degree is far from the first that Billy Joel has received. He's got a wall full of diplomas from, among others, Syracuse University, the Berklee College of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, Fairfield University and Hofstra University. Not bad for a guy who never even graduated from high school. He did eventually receive his diploma, though, 25 years after he ditched school for a life in music.
Image Courtesy of The WhoA pot-smoking Who fan almost brought the band's concert this week at New York's Nassau Coliseum to a halt when Roger Daltrey complained that the smoke was affecting his voice. Newsday reports that several songs into the show, Daltrey threatened to walk off the stage if the offending audience member didn't stop smoking.
In fan-filmed video of the event posted online, the frontman is heard saying, "If you don't put it down, then I'm telling you now, the show will be over. It's your choice. I'm doing my best."
The crowd then begins chanting, "Eat it, eat it," prompting guitarist Pete Townshend to join in. An animated Townshend then suggests makes an alternate suggestion. "Stick it up your f**king a**," he declares. "It's the quickest way. I think it's better than eating it."
Daltrey gets in on the off-color fun by adding, "And by far the most pleasurable," to which Townshend responds, "That depends."
Roger has been struggling with voice problems in recent years, and The Who had to postpone three concerts on its current tour earlier this month when he was diagnosed with swollen vocal cords. According to Newsday, Daltrey suffers from an allergy to marijuana smoke.
The Who's next concert takes place tonight in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The band winds down the current North American leg of it's The Who Hits 50! Tour on Saturday, May 30, in Forest Hills, New York. The British rock legends then will launch a European in June, but will return for another series of North American shows that will kick off September 14 in San Diego. Check out the band's full tour schedule at TheWho.com.
Credit: Paul BrownHaving just wrapped up their first full-scale headlining tour, Sixx: A.M., Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx's side band, is ready to return to the studio, just as soon as the vetreran rocker gets a break in his schedule. Sixx hopes to record with Sixx:A.M. during the breaks in his other group's farewell tour.
"I'll be home 4 days before Motley plays a couple of festivals in Europe, then back to America and into the studio with Sixx:A.M. before Motley starts our final American tour," Sixx recently wrote on Facebook.
Though Sixx:A.M. has been releasing albums since 2007, most recently 2014's Modern Vintage, the band has never been out on a full tour. The group was conceived as a studio-only project, but the success of and the fan reaction to singles like "Stars" and "Lies of the Beautiful People" made Sixx and his band mates want to bring Sixx:A.M. to the stage.
Sixx:A.M. won't have a lot of time in the studio, as Motley Crue's final North American tour kicks off July 16 in Anchorage, Alaska, and runs all the way through New Year's Eve in Los Angeles. Of course, after that, Nikki's schedule will be wide open.