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Mike Rutherford Says He's Excited About Touring America with New Mike + the Mechanics Lineup

Image Courtesy of Mike the MechanicsMike Rutherford first found fame during the 1970s as the guitarist and bassist for Genesis, but he also achieved major success when he launched his own band, Mike the Mechanics, in the mid-'80s.  The first incarnation of the latter group called quits in the early 2000s following the death of co-lead singer Paul Young, but a few years ago Rutherford put together a new version of the band.

The revamped Mike the Mechanics lineup recently launched its first North American tour, which is scheduled through a March 20-21 stand in Chicago.  Rutherford tells ABC Radio the purpose of the trek is to gauge how much interest stateside music fans still have in the band.

"I'm excited about the tour because I think we have a nice history here in America," he explains.  "I know [that] the songs are still played on the radio, you know, so I want to try it and see."

Mike the Mechanics is best known for the three big hits they scored the 1980s, "Silent Running," "All I Need Is a Miracle" and the chart-topping 1989 anthem "The Living Years."  Young shared vocal duties with ex-Ace/Squeeze singer Paul Carrack, who decided to focus on his solo career a few years after his band mate's passing in 2000.  When Rutherford decided to restart the group, he needed to find two new singers whose vocal qualities were similar to those of Young and Carrack.

As he explains to ABC Radio, "[I] found Andrew Roachford, who's a great R&B singer, and Tim Howar, who's got a great rock voice, and started touring a bit."

Rutherford says that as the new band members got some experience playing on stage together, he realized that they had developed into a great live unit and he felt that they were ready to test the waters by bringing the show to North America.

"What impressed me was how well the songs worked on stage.  What good live songs they were -- 'All I Need Is a Miracle' and 'Living Years' and 'Silent Running,' and [even some] new ones," maintains Mike.  "And it was just a great live band."

Besides playing the group's hits, older album gems and selections from the band's most recent record, 2010's The Road, Mike the Mechanics also dips into the Genesis catalog for their live set lists.  Recent shows have included performances of "Turn It On Again" and "I Can't Dance."

Looking back to Mike the Mechanics' 1980s heyday, Rutherford admits that he "never expected" the group to become as big as it did.  He also points out how amazing it was that three Genesis band members -- himself, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins -- would find such great success outside of the group.

In addition, Rutherford notes that many music fans still haven't put two and two together with regard to his membership in both bands.

As he explains, "To this day I meet people who say, 'You mean you, from Genesis, are the guy who's in Mike and the Mechanics?'"

Here are the remaining dates on Mike the Mechanics' 2015 North American tour:

3/6 -- Atlantic City, NJ, Borgata Spa & Resort – Event Centre
3/7 -- Boston, MA, Wilbur Theatre
3/8 -- Hartford, CT, Infinity Hall – Hartford
3/10 -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Queen Elizabeth Theatre
3/11 -- Montreal, QC, Canada, Theatre Maisonneuve at Palace des Arts
3/13 -- Munhall, PA, Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead
3/14 -- Ann Arbor, MI, Michigan Theatre
3/15 -- Northfield, OH, Hard Rock Live – Northfield
3/17 -- Cincinnati, OH, Taft Theatre
3/19 -- Milwaukee, WI, The Pabst Theatre
3/20 -- Chicago, IL, Park West
3/21 -- Chicago, IL, Park West

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Chrissie Hynde to Publish Autobiography in September

Credit: Dean ChalkleyChrissie Hynde is set to join the ranks of the famous rockers who have penned an autobiography.  The New York Times reports that the Pretenders frontwoman has signed a deal with Doubleday to publish a "literary memoir" on September 8 of this year.

The as-yet-untitled book apparently will put quite a bit of brass in Hynde's pocket, as the sources close to the deal have told the newspaper that the memoir was sold for a seven-figure sum.  The tome will follow Chrissie's life story from her childhood in Ohio, the development of her passion for rock music in the 1960s and her years spent at Kent State University at the time of the infamous 1970 shootings of student protesters, to her involvement in the London punk scene during the '70s and her eventual emergence as an edgy, tough, sexy and talented singer/songwriter with The Pretenders.

"I'm approaching writing this memoir much the same way as I would an album," says Hynde in a statement.  "I hope it makes you want to dance, have fun, dig out some old records and maybe even root through your closet and dust off your guitar."

Meanwhile, Hynde's editor, Gerry Howard, says of the book, "Chrissie is so incredibly frank, intimate and witty -- and she has been involved in so much rich rock 'n' roll history -- that there seems to be a surprise on every page."

The book is available for pre-order now at RandomHouse.com, with the hardcover version priced at $26.99 and the eBook edition costing $13.99.

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Bob Dylan Has Recorded a Second Album of Frank Sinatra Songs, Says Daniel Lanois

Credit: William ClaxtonIf you are enjoying Bob Dylan's new album of Frank Sinatra covers, Shadows in the Night, you may be glad to know that there's a lot more where that came from.  In a recent interview with The Vancouver Sun, acclaimed producer Daniel Lanois, who's collaborated with Dylan on a few occasions, reveals that the folk-rock legend has recorded two albums' worth of standards.

"He came to my house eight or six months ago and spent a few hours," Lanois told the newspaper.  "We listened to 21 songs -- because he's made two records of this [Sinatra material]."

The producer, who's probably best known for his work with U2, gave no indication whether he knew if or when the additional songs Dylan recorded will be released.  He did go on to explain why Bob had developed such an affinity for the type of classic songs he covered for Shadows in the Night.

Lanois said Dylan told him during his visit that as a child his family didn't expose him to a lot of music, "but the music he did hear really touched him and he felt that a lot of that music was written not only by great professional songwriters at the time, but a lot of it was written from the heart, from the wartime, and people just pining for a lover."

Daniel added that Dylan "felt there was a lot of spirit in that music.  He felt there was a kind of beauty, a sacred ground for him."

Dylan then played the standards he'd recorded for Lanois, who said, "I felt everything that he talked about," adding, "For one of America's great writers to say, 'I'm not gonna write a song.  I'm gonna pay homage to what shook me as young boy' I thought was very graceful and dignified."

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David Gilmour Announces September European Tour Coinciding with Release of New Solo Album

Credit: Piotr TarasewiczLongtime Pink Floyd singer/guitarist David Gilmour has announced his first solo tour dates in more than nine years, a European trek that will kick off during the late summer and run into the fall.  The outing will get under way with a September 12 show in Pula, Croatia, and is mapped out through a three-night stand, September 23-25 at London's Royal Albert Hall.

The concerts will coincide with the release of Gilmour's as-yet-untitled fourth solo album, which will be a follow-up to 2006's On an Island.  Tickets for the shows will go on sale this Friday, March 6.

Frequent Gilmour collaborator Phil Manzanera recently was interviewed by the U.K. magazine Uncut and said of the upcoming album, "I think it sounds fantastic, people will be very happy."

Gilmour's most recent live performance took place in December when he appeared as a surprise guest during a show by Bombay Bicycle Club gig in Earls Court in London.  He played the Pink Floyd classic "Wish You Were Here" and the Bombay Bicycle Club tune "Rinse Me Down" at the concert, which was the last gig held at the famed London venue.

Here is the full list of David's confirmed tour dates:

9/12 -- Pula, Croatia, Arena Pula
9/14 -- Verona, Italy, Verona Arena
9/15 -- Florence, Italy, Teatro le Mulina
9/17 -- Orange, France, Theatre Antique
9/19 -- Oberhausen, Germany, Konig-Pilsener-Arena
9/23-25 -- London, U.K., The Royal Albert Hall

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Safety Agency May Take New Look at Plane Crash That Killed Buddy Holly

Harry Hammond/V&A Images/Getty ImagesThe National Transportation Safety Board is considering a request that it re-investigate the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper.

The plane carrying the rockers went down February 3, 1959 near Clear Lake, Iowa, and in September of that year the Civil Aeronautics Board ruled that the crash was caused by pilot error and problems with the weather briefing given to pilot Roger Petersen, who also was killed.

But according to The Des Moines Register, a New England man has petitioned the NTSB to look at other factors that may have contributed to the crash, including the possibility of equipment failure and the idea that Peterson may have been trying to safely glide the disabled plane to an emergency landing.

The man, L.J. Coon, showed the newspaper an email he had received from the NTSB promising to look into the information he had provided.

Whether or not there will be any new investigation of the crash remains uncertain.  An NTSB spokesman tells The Register, "Our cases are never closed, and we get these from time to time.  The key is if there is new information not previously considered by the board."

Holly, Valens and The Big Bopper were touring the Upper Midwest on the Winter Dance Party tour with Dion and the Belmonts.  Holly had  chartered the plane to take himself and others to the next scheduled tour stop in Moorhead, Minnesota, when the plane went town in the wee hours of February 3 shortly after takeoff.  The tragic event has come to be known as "The Day the Music Died."

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Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire Teaming Up for Heart and Soul 2015 Summer Tour

Live Nation EntertainmentTwo of the world's most celebrated horn-driven pop-rock bands, Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire, will join forces for a major North American co-headlining trek this summer.  The Heart and Soul Tour 2015 is scheduled to get under way July 15 in Concord, California, and is plotted out through a September 6 show in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The outing will feature at least 25 dates across the continent and will include stops in such major cities as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Denver, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Toronto, and Boston.  Tickets for most of the shows will go on sale starting Friday, March 13 at LiveNation.com.  Visit ChicagoTheBand.com and EarthWindAndFire.com for more information.

Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire previously toured together in 2004, 2005 and 2009.

"One of the most exciting things about the show is when both bands perform at the end of the concert," says Chicago trumpet player Lee Loughnane.  "Having these 21 very talented musicians playing our greatest hits together puts the excitement level at a fever pitch!  From the Heart of Chicago and the Soul of Earth, Wind & Fire, it is an unforgettable experience."

Adds Earth, Wind & Fire singer Philip Bailey, "This is a real treat for fans of both groups to experience again the power-packed collaboration of Earth, Wind & Fire and Chicago…We are looking forward to it ourselves -- it has always been one of our favorite tours."

Here are the confirmed dates for the Heart and Soul Tour 2015:

7/15 -- Concord, CA, Concord Pavilion
7/17 -- Las Vegas, NV, Axis @ Planet Hollywood
7/18 -- Los Angeles, CA, The Forum
7/21 -- Phoenix, AZ, Ak-Chin Pavilion
7/23 -- Austin, TX, Austin360 Amphitheater
7/24 -- Dallas, TX, Gexa Energy Pavilion
7/25 -- Houston, TX, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
7/28 -- Denver, CO, Pepsi Center
7/31 -- St. Louis, MO, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
8/2 -- Indianapolis, IN, Klipsch Music Center
8/4 -- Atlanta, GA, Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood
8/14 -- Bristow, VA, Jiffy Lube Live
8/15 -- Camden, NJ, Susquehanna Bank Center
8/16 -- Wantagh, NY, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
8/18 -- Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center
8/21 -- Kansas City, MO, Starlight Theater
8/25 -- Cincinnati, OH, Riverbend Music Center
8/26 -- Detroit, MI, DTE Energy Music Theater
8/28 -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Molson Canadian Amphitheater
8/29 -- Saratoga Springs, NY, Saratoga Performing Arts Center
8/30 -- Boston, MA, Xfinity Center
9/1 -- Bethel, NY, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
9/4 -- Raleigh, NC, Walnut Creek Amphitheater
9/5 -- Virginia Beach, VA, Farm Bureau Live
9/6 -- Atlantic City, NJ, Borgata Events Center

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Barry Gibb, Dave Mason Taking Part in Star-Studded Free Festival in Miami Beach

PRNewsFoto/Hard Rock InternationalThe Bee Gees' Barry Gibb and ex-Traffic singer/guitarist Dave Mason are among the well-known music artists who will perform at a free concert event called the Hard Rock Rising Miami Beach festival that will take place on Monday, March 26, at the famed Florida resort town.  The musical extravaganza also will feature a variety of other stars, including Wyclef Jean, Gloria Estefan, Andrea Bocelli, Jon Secada, Flo Rida, veteran reggae group Third World and more.

Actor Andy Garcia will serve as emcee for part of the festival, which will be held on the beach where Eighth Street and Ocean Drive meet.  The event is being organized by Hard Rock International in partnership with the City of Miami Beach.

Free seating will be available on a first come, first serve basis, while concertgoers also will be able to buy limited, reserved premium seats.  The festival area will open at noon ET on March 26, with a temporary amphitheater opening at 5 p.m. that afternoon in advance of the evening performances.

For more details, visit Miami100.com and HardRockRising.com.

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Bob Kulick, Tom Morello Talk "Immortal Randy Rhoads" Tribute Album

Image Courtesy of UDR MusicA new star-studded album paying homage to late Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot guitarist Randy Rhoads hit stores this week.  Immortal Randy Rhoads -- The Ultimate Tribute was the brainchild of producer Bob Kulick, best known for his work with KISS, and includes contributions from Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello and many other well-known musicians.

Kulick tells ABC Radio that his goals in coming up with the idea for the Rhoads tribute album was to make a "guitar player record."

"My idols were always the people that I saw with my own eyes or met or knew, like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, George Harrison," Kulick explains.  "All the guys that I admired and I idolized and were my rock guitar gods.  Speaking to Tom Morello and some of the newer guys, [I asked,] 'Who's your god?  Who turned you on?  Who made you want to play?'  Randy Rhoads."

Morello names Rhoads as his favorite guitarist.  As a kid, he would practice for eight hours a day in front of a Randy Rhoads poster, and he even named his first son Rhoads.

"He has the chops of a classical musician, the soul of a blues man and he can jam like Angus Young of AC/DC," Morello says of the guitar virtuoso, who was just 25 when he died in a plane crash in 1982.  "It was sort of like the perfect trifecta of technique, feel and just pure, unadulterated rock power."

Morello covered the classic "Crazy Train" for Immortal Randy Rhoads, along with System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian on vocals, as well as ex-Quiet Riot bassist Rudy Sarzo and former Black Sabbath/Dio drummer Vinny Appice.  In taking on such an iconic riff, Morello says he wanted to stay true to the original while also adding his own flavor to the song.

"There has to be a certain amount of reverence when you're doing a Randy Rhoads track, but I certainly wanted to make it my own," he tells ABC Radio.  "I wanted to use the influence that Randy has given me. When I was practicing eight hours a day, I was practicing technique in Randy Rhoads riffs, but all to the point of being able to become my own guitarist."

Rhoads is of course known for technical guitar prowess, but Morello has always appreciated his songwriting ability as well.

"He was also a great songwriter, too.  He's the one that single-handedly revived Ozzy Osbourne's career with those Blizzard of Ozz records," Morello says.  "The riffs of songs like 'Crazy Train' and 'Mr. Crowley' are as timeless as anything in the riff-rock canon."

Immortal Randy Rhoads -- The Ultimate Tribute was released on Tuesday.

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Graham Nash Lines Up One-Off Orchestral Concert in Cleveland This June

Credit: Eleanor StillsGraham Nash will team up with the Cleveland-based Contemporary Youth Orchestra for a special one-off concert scheduled for June 5 at the city's Severance Hall.  The show will feature the folk-rock great performing alongside the 115-member orchestra, as well as with a 65-member choir, made up of students from 64 Ohio school districts.

The event is the latest in the orchestra's ongoing Rock the Orchestra Concert series.  Nash will be the 15th artist to participate in the series, which previously has featured such stars as Styx, Pat Benatar, ex-Yes frontman Jon Anderson, Jefferson Starship and funk legend Bootsy Collins.

Regarding the orchestra's decision to ask Nash to take part in the concert, founding music director Liza Grossman says, "Graham's passionate voice has supported peace and social justice for decades.  His music transcends generations, and the musicians in CYO want to be part of his powerful messages."

Tickets for the show go on sale this Saturday, March 7, at 10 a.m. ET at CYOrchestra.org.

Meanwhile, Nash has plenty to keep him busy in the months leading up to the orchestral concert.  Crosby, Stills & Nash will kick off a two-week tour of the Far East on Thursday in Tokyo.  After that, he and David Crosby will take part in a pair of spring charity concerts, on April 8 in Los Angeles and April 11 in San Francisco.  Then, CSN will hit the road for a U.S. trek that's mapped out from an April 29 concert in Lincoln, Nebraska, through a May 20 performance in Wallingford, Connecticut.

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L.A.-Area Rock Against MS Benefit Concert Featuring Ex-Guns N' Roses Members & More Taking Place Tomorrow

Rock Against MS FoundationThe third annual Rock Against MS benefit concert is scheduled for tomorrow night, March 4, at the famous Whisky a Go Go in West Hollywood, California.  The show's star-packed lineup features such well-known rockers as ex-Guns N' Roses members Steven Adler and Gilby Clarke, Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins, Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens, Foreigner's Jeff Pilson and MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer.

The event raises money to support multiple sclerosis research.  Many of the participating artists are friends or associates of Nancy Sayle, a rock publicist afflicted with disease who founded the Rock Against MS Foundation.  Other acts on the benefit's bill include Jack Russell's Great White, Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Blasko and Minutemen/Stooges bassist Mike Watt.

Tickets for the fundraiser are still available at TicketFly.com, with prices spanning from $35 for general admission to $1,000 for a reserved VIP booth for eight people that also includes a meet-and-greet with the artists.

If you can't make it to the concert, you can watch a live stream of the event online at StageIt.com for $15.

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The Yardbirds Postpone Spring US Tour Because of "Health Concerns and Extenuating Circumstances"

Credit: Trevor HeathDisappointing news, Yardbirds fans: The influential British blues-rock group has postponed its recently announced spring tour of the U.S.  The band issued a statement explaining the dates were being postponed "due to health concerns and extenuating circumstances."

The trek was supposed to kick off on April 3 in Norfolk, Connecticut.  The gigs would have marked the U.S. debut of The Yardbirds' recently revamped lineup, which along with founding drummer and longtime band leader Jim McCarty and guitarist Top Topham, who rejoined the group in 2013, includes three new additions.  Those new members are singer/guitarist John Idan, who previously played with The Yardbirds from 1992 to 2009; veteran rock bassist Kenny Aaronson; and singer/harmonica player/percussionist Myke Scavone, who was the lead singer of the late-'70s rock group Ram Jam.

This isn't the first time health issues has affected The Yardbirds in recent years.  In 2012, founding rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja was forced to take an indefinite hiatus from the band after suffering a series of strokes.  Visit TheYardbirds.com to keep track of what's happening with the group.

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Brian Wilson Tribute Concert Scheduled for March 30 in L.A; Lineup Includes Brian, Al Jardine, Ann Wilson & More

Image Courtesy of The Best FestA new all-star concert paying tribute to founding Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson is scheduled to take place on March 30 at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles.  The first-ever Brian Fest: A Night to Celebrate the Music of Brian Wilson will feature an guest appearance by Wilson himself, as well as performances by fellow Beach Boy Al Jardine, Heart's Ann Wilson, Boz Scaggs, Wilson Phillips, Norah Jones, The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd, The Killers' Brandon Flowers and many more.

The event is being curated by The Best Fest, the same people who have organized similar tribute shows to Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones and George Harrison.  Tickets will go on sale this Thursday, March 5, at 10 a.m. PT via AXS.com.  Proceeds from ticket sales for the show will go to the Jameson Neighborhood Fund to benefit the Sweet Relief organization, which aids musicians in need of financial assistance because of illness or other issues.

Brian Fest is timed to coincide with the release of Wilson's new solo album, No Pier Pressure, which hits stores April 7.  The record features contributions from a number of musicians who will participate in the concert, including Jardine, She & Him's M. Ward and Capital Cities' Sebu Simonian.

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Metallica to Release Early Demo on Cassette

Image Courtesy of BB Gun PressMetallica is releasing a remastered version of its 1982 demo No Life 'til Leather as a limited-edition cassette for Record Store Day 2015.  The demo, which has never been released commercially, features Metallica's original lineup: frontman James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, bassist Ron McGovney and guitarist Dave Mustaine, who would go on to create Megadeth.

"This year we decided to celebrate Record Store Day with our friends at independent retail by taking a huge leap back in time to our humble beginnings with that little rectangle of plastic known as the 'demo tape,'" says Metallica in a statement.  "In 1982 we recorded seven songs that became our initial calling card known as No Life 'til Leather and it led us to our first record deal..the rest, as you some of you may know, is history!"

No Life 'til Leather will be released on cassette on Record Store Day, April 18.  An expanded version of the demo will be released on CD, vinyl and as a collector's set this summer.

Here is the track list for No Life 'til Leather:

"Hit the Lights"
"The Mechanix"
"Motorbreath"
"Seek & Destroy"
"Metal Militia"
"Jump in the Fire"
"Phantom Lord"

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Robert Plant Releasing Limited-Edition Vinyl EP, "More Roar," on Record Store Day

Nonesuch/Warner Bros. RecordsThis year's Record Store Day is fast approaching, and Robert Plant is among the artists who will be releasing limited-edition vinyl discs as part of the promotion, which takes place on Friday, April 18.

The Led Zeppelin singer will release More Roar, a 10-inch EP featuring live performances recorded during his 2014 tour with his current band, The Sensational Space Shifters.  Side A of the record includes renditions of "Turn It Up" and "Arbaden," songs that appear on Robert's latest solo album, Lullaby and…the Ceaseless Roar.  Side B features a medley that combines another Lullaby tune, "Poor Howard," and the Led Zeppelin classic "Whole Lotta Love."  Only 10,000 copies of More Roar will be available.

Other artists who have just confirmed that they will be issuing special discs for the 2015 Record Store Day campaign include The Flaming Lips, Stone Sour, Tegan and Sara and The Used.

Stone Sour's contribution will be a covers EP titled Meanwhile in Burbank… that features the band's take on songs by Alice in Chains, Black Sabbath, Metallica, KISS and Judas Priest.

A full list of Record Store Day releases will be unveiled on March 10.

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Paul McCartney Appears on "All Day," Another New Song by Kanye West

PRNewsFoto/Def Jam RecordingsPaul McCartney's collaborative relationship with Kanye West continues to be a fruitful one, as the ex-Beatle is featured on yet another song with the rap star.  McCartney sings and whistles on "All Day," West's latest single, which was released on Monday night via iTunes.

The track, which also features a vocal from Theophilus London and a rap from U.K. artist Allan Kingdom, will appear on Kanye's upcoming album, So Help Me God.  The release of the five-minute-long studio version of "All Day" follows West's live performance of the tune at last week's BRIT Awards 2015.

As Rolling Stone notes, the whistling segment McCartney does on "All Day" appears to share the same melody of an unreleased song he wrote back in 1969 that was inspired by a painting of a guitarist by Pablo Picasso.

McCartney also contributed to Kanye's recent ballad, "Only One," on which Sir Paul played keyboards, and the two stars were featured on Rihanna's hit single "FourFiveSeconds."  The latter tune gave McCartney his first top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 29 years.

A release date for West's album has not been revealed.

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2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction to Debut on HBO on May 30

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame MuseumWe already knew that the 30th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for April 18 at Cleveland's Public Hall, but we now know when and where fans will be able to watch the big event on television.  The show will premiere on HBO on Saturday, May 30, at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

As previously reported, the latest crop of inductees includes Ringo Starr, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Lou Reed, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Green Day, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Bill Withers and The "5" Royales.

2015 will mark the fourth straight year that HBO has presented the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and the network has just signed an agreement to continue covering the event for three more years.

Meanwhile, although tickets to the April 18 ceremony are sold out, the event will be simulcast on a number of giant screens throughout the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.  Tickets for the simulcast are available now for $24.50 at Tickets.RockHall.com.

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Vanilla Fudge's Carmine Appice Says Band's New Covers Album Is Full of Surprises

Purple Pyramid RecordsVanilla Fudge is back with a fresh sonic confection, a brand-new studio effort titled Spirit of '67 that features the veteran rockers putting their own unique spin on classic songs that date back to the year the band released its debut album.

Drummer/singer Carmine Appice explains that for the new record, he and his band mates followed the same formula that made Vanilla Fudge famous: Take well-known songs by other artists and render them almost unrecognizable by reworking their structure, melody and instrumentation.

"That's the beauty of Vanilla Fudge.  It's always a surprise," he explains to ABC Radio. "If you don't look at the track listing, you just put the songs on, you'd never know what songs they are until some of the singing starts, but even then you're not sure because it's so different."

Appice says the band members decided on what tunes to record for the new album by poring over a list of the top 100 songs of 1967 and choosing ones that had some meaning to them and that they felt could be rearranged in interesting ways.  Among the songs they picked were Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," The Who's "I Can See for Miles," The Doors' "Break On Through (to the Other Side)," Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' "The Tracks of My Tears," The Box Tops' "The Letter" and The Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday."

The 68-year-old drummer, who also is known for his work with Rod Stewart, Cactus and many other rock artists, points out, "Everybody got used to hearing [these songs] a certain way.  And now, this sort of upsets that flow…and I kind of like that.  I always like doing that.  Blowing people's mind."

Among the mind-blowing covers featured on Spirit of '67 is a rendition of The Monkees' "I'm a Believer," which has an extended intro that pays homage to Argent's epic 1970 hit "Hold Your Head Up."

Among Appice's other favorites from the album are "The Letter," which features a keyboard intro, a symphonic segment and a part that pays tribute to Joe Cocker's version of the song; "I Can See for Miles," which he calls "funky"; and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," which he says "has got the killer groove."

Closing out Spirit of '67 is one original tune, "Let's Pray for Peace," which was written by Vanilla Fudge's lead singer and keyboardist, Mark Stein.

Appice tells ABC Radio that the song reminds him of an antiwar tune the band recorded back in the '60s called "Good Livin'."

Carmine laments about the song's message, "Here we are, forty years later, the same thing.  Probably worse now."

Vanilla Fudge recently finished a handful of concerts in support on Spirit of '67, and is planning to schedule more soon.  Meanwhile, the band will celebrate the album's release with a special in-store appearance tonight at 7 p.m. ET at Vintage Vinyl in Fords, New Jersey.  The band will play a brief unplugged set and then will be signing copies of the record.  Visit VVinyl.com for more details.

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John Fogerty Unveils Series of US Dates for His "1969" Tour

MAD Ink PRA dozen new dates have been revealed for the recently-announced U.S. leg of John Fogerty's "1969" tour, which will celebrate the eventful year Creedence Clearwater Revival released three of its classic albums -- Bayou Country, Green River, and Willy and the Poor Boys.  The newly-announced shows include a series of spring stops in the Southeast, starting May 2 at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, and a June 30 gig at the Wolf Trap performing arts center in Vienna, Virginia.

Previously, Fogerty had only announced one date on the tour -- a July 15 performance at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.  Other new appearances include stops in the Nashville area; Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina; Augusta, Georgia; and Tampa Florida.  Additional shows will be scheduled soon.  Visit JohnFogerty.com for more details, including ticket info.

During the tour, Fogerty will be showcasing many of the classic tunes featured on the 1969 albums released by his former band, including "Born on the Bayou," "Proud Mary," "Bad Moon Rising," "Lodi," "Down on the Corner," and "Fortunate Son."

In other news, the autobiography that John has been working on now is expected to be published in the fall.

Here are all of the confirmed U.S. dates on Fogerty's 1969 tour:

5/2 -- Memphis, TN, Beale Street Music Festival – Tom Lee Park
5/3 -- Whites Creek, TN, Carl Black Chevy Woods Amphitheater
5/5 -- Raleigh, NC, The Red Hat Amphitheater
5/6 -- Charlotte, NC, The Uptown Amphitheatre at The Music Factory
5/9 -- Duluth, GA, The Arena at Gwinnett Center
5/12 -- Augusta, GA, Bell Auditorium
5/13 -- Simpsonville, SC, Charter Amphitheater
5/15 -- St. Augustine, FL, St. Augustine Amphitheatre
5/16 -- Tampa, FL, Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
5/17 -- West Palm Beach, FL, Coral Sky Amphitheatre
6/30 -- Vienna, VA, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
7/15 -- Los Angeles, CA, Hollywood Bowl

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Bob Dylan Pays Homage to Film Noir in New Video for "The Night We Called It a Day"

Columbia RecordsThe first official video to a song from Bob Dylan's new standards collection, Shadows in the Night has premiered online.  The stylized black-and-white clip, which accompanies Dylan's rendition of the 1940s ballad "The Night We Called It a Day," pays tribute to the classic film noir pictures of yesteryear.

The video stars Dylan and actor Robert Davi as two men who apparently are vying for the affections of the same woman, an alluring blonde burlesque dancer portrayed by Tracy Phillips, daughter of former Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips.  After meeting up in a smoky club, the three cross paths again at the woman's apartment and, after a double cross or two, let's just say that things don't end well for most members of the love triangle.

The clip was directed by Nash Edgerton, an Australian director and stuntman who previously was behind the lens for two other similarly violent Dylan videos, 2009's "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'" and 2012's "Duquesne Whistle."

Shadows in the Night, released February 3, is a collection of 10 vintage songs previously recorded by Frank Sinatra.  Dylan will launch a U.S. tour in support of the album on April 10 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  The trek currently is mapped out through a May 11 show in St. Louis.

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Led Zeppelin Concert Film Getting One-Night-Only Screening at US Theaters Later This Month

Fathom EventsA film featuring a whole lotta live footage of Led Zeppelin rocking out at several concerts that took place throughout the band's career will be screened at select theaters across the U.S. March 30.

Titled simply Led Zeppelin, the movie includes performances filmed at London's Royal Albert Hall in January 1970, at the band's historic in July 1973 stand at New York City's Madison Square Garden, during a five-night engagement at London's Earl's Court in May 1975, and at the group's August 1979 appearances at the U.K.'s Knebworth Festival.  The flick, which runs one hour and 45 minutes, which will be shown in more than 300 cinemas.

Led Zeppelin is the second in a monthly run of cinematic concert events dubbed the "Classic Music Series," which began on February 26 with the screening of Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014.  The upcoming one-night-only screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. local time.  Visit FathomEvents.com for more information and to buy tickets.

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