Classic Quadrophenia features musical accompaniment by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. To create the new orchestrations for Quadrophenia's songs, Townshend called on his longtime partner, Rachel Fuller, who is an accomplished composer, musician, singer and songwriter.
With regard to Boe's interpretation of the Quadrophenia material, Townshend says, "Alfie is a true star, who gives every performance his all. He reminds me of [Who frontman] Roger Daltrey in that -- he's also a real pleasure to work with. I never thought I'd hear a classical tenor singing my songs, and for them to work so well -- but Alfie makes it happen."
Pete Townshend's Classic Quadrophenia premiered over the weekend on select PBS stations, and will continue to be shown on various channels on the coming weeks as part of holiday pledge drives. Viewers who pledge money to their local stations will have the opportunity to receive a DVD or Blu-ray version of the show as a gift, as well as the companion Pete Townshend's Classic Quadrophenia studio album. The DVD, Blu-ray and album also can be purchased at ShopPBS.org.
Here is a list of the songs performed in the Pete Townshend's Classic Quadrophenia special:
"I Am the Sea" "The Real Me" "Quadrophenia" "Cut My Hair" "The Punk and the Godfather" "I'm One" "The Dirty Jobs" "Helpless Dancer" "Is It in My Head" "I've Had Enough" "5:15" "Sea and Sand" "Drowned" "Bell Boy" "Doctor Jimmy" "The Rock" "Love, Reign O'er Me" "The Real Me" (encore)
Credit: Mark SeligerKeith Richards recently released Crosseyed Heart, his third solo studio album and his first in 23 years. In a new interview withGQ, the legendary Rolling Stones guitarist says he didn't consider working on music outside of his famous group until frontman Mick Jagger decided to put The Stones on hold to focus on his own solo career during the 1980s.
"I only did my records because [Mick] wasn't working with us," Richards maintains, while suggesting that he feels the frontman's motivations behind making his albums were less than genuine.
"[Jagger's solo records] had something to do with ego," he tells the magazine. "He really had nothing to say."
Keith admits he never even bothered to listen to Jagger's solo albums, adding, "I never thought of making records as a way of being famous or making a statement. I just want to make good records with good musicians, to play with the best and learn."
In the interview, Richards also discussed the time he infamously snorted some of his late father's ashes.
"I had him in a box in England. I bought this little oak sapling, my idea being that he was gonna fertilize the tree, but when I pulled the top off of the box, wafts of Dad landed on the table," the 71-year-old rocker explains. "And my dad knows I'd always liked my cocaine, a snort here and there. So I just…had a line of Dad."
Regarding what his family might do with his own remains after he passes on, Keith says with a laugh, "I suppose I'll leave everyone a straw."
Mary McCartney/MPL CommunicationsPaul McCartney and his daughters Mary and Stella have written a joint open letter to U.K. prime minister David Cameron asking him to back the Meat Free Mondays campaign they've been promoting since 2009 at the international climate control conference COP21 taking place December 7 and 8 in Paris. The message urges Cameron to support the inclusion of meat reduction in a new global climate agreement world leaders will attempt to reach at the conference.
The Meat Free Mondays initiative asks people to skip eating meat one day each week to help reduce harmful greenhouse gases emitted by the production of meat.
In their letter, the McCartneys say to Cameron, "Next week you and other world leaders will meet in Paris for the COP21 to try and reach an ambitious global climate deal that keeps global warming well below 2 degrees. A simple but significant environmental action that the U.K. and other countries can take, with the added benefit of improved health, would be to endorse Meat Free Monday."
The message claims that the mass production of meat "depletes precious resources, including land, water and energy, to increasingly unsustainable levels," is "a major contributor towards global environmental degradation and climate change" and is "a major factor in loss of species and biodiversity."
The McCartneys suggest that there are a number of simple ways to promote meat reduction, including implementing Meat Free Mondays in schools and hospitals; serving vegetarian meals during government functions; and encouraging restaurants to feature more meat-free menu items.
In conjunction with the letter, Paul McCartney has made a video in which he discusses how people can support the Meat Free Mondays initiative.
"Talk to your people, talk to the schools, talk to your friends, talk to anyone you need to talk to and encourage this idea," he says. "If enough of us do it, it could really make a big difference."
For more information about the COP21 conference, visit COP21Paris.org.
Sonja Flemming/CBSGrateful Dead singer/guitarist Bob Weir will perform at a holiday charity event being co-organized by the Jerry Garcia Foundation that's scheduled for Friday, December 18, at the Hard Rock Cafe in San Francisco. Door proceeds from the WhyHunger Holiday Benefit will be donated to Yoko Ono's "Imagine There's No Hunger" campaign, which seeks to aid hungry and impoverished children around the world through the WhyHunger organization's feeding and agricultural-education programs.
The benefit will be hosted by famed Woodstock Festival speaker and peace activist Wavy Gravy, and will feature a number of other musical performers in addition to Weir, including the groups Rainbow Full of Sound and Keystone Revisited.
In addition, artist Stanley Mouse, who has created art for The Beatles and The Grateful Dead, has designed a poster for the WhyHunger Holiday Benefit.
"We have so much gratitude to all those coming together to raise awareness and support for this great cause," said Keelin Garcia, youngest daughter of the late Jerry Garcia and co-founder of The Jerry Garcia Foundation. "Music and the arts continue to change the world for the better."
Credit: Ross HalfinRonnie Wood's recently published book, How Can It Be? A Rock & Roll Diary, is a replica of a handwritten journal the longtime Rolling Stones guitarist kept in 1965 when, at age 17, he was a member of the British group The Birds. The book offers a candid look at Wood's busy life as part of an enthusiastic young band toiling to make a name for itself while crossing paths with such legendary U.K. acts as The Who, The Yardbirds and many others.
"We never had a proper hit record, but we were rubbing shoulders with all the number-one acts at the time," Ronnie tells ABC Radio. "And always in the back of my mind I wanted to be in The Stones anyway. I knew it was my first stepping stone…to get to The Stones. But it's interesting for me to have the little window of the beginning of the adventure."
Wood notes that the diary documents a time when he and The Birds were "just treading the boards of England, really, up and down the motorways and the small roads and little clubs and ballrooms. And just doing what every young musician in the '60s did."
The book features Wood's comments about the many shows and events the band played, the gear and clothes he purchased, his attempts at songwriting, and the various adventures he had with his band mates, fellow musicians and friends, including his girlfriend Krissy, who went on to become his first wife.
To augment the book, Wood included some of the artwork he drew depicting various scenes from his life in 1965 and wrote some new commentary reflecting on various events at the time.
"I just spiced it up with some drawings that I did around the time or from memory of the times," he notes. "But also, just to clue people in what was happening around the time, I did a few little addition paragraphs. But, basically, the diary is reproduced as is."
Wood tells ABC Radio it was his manager, Sherry Daly, who suggested that he publish the journal.
"She said, 'This is a lovely little gem. People would love this little glimpse into the life of this little 17-year-old musician climbing the ladder and working almost every night of the week,'" he explains.
Wood says that when he read the diary again, the memories it evoked seemed "like almost yesterday…and it was hard to believe it was 50 years ago. My head went right into the way I was feeling at the time."
In conjunction with the book, Wood recorded a new track titled "How Can It Be?" inspired by a Birds tune with the same name that was the second song he ever wrote.
"I just thought I'd go in the studio and just do a one-take thing of all the instruments and just see how it would sound if I revisited it," he says. "It was quite interesting."
Fans who purchase a copy of How Can It Be? A Rock & Roll Diary can download the track for free.
Wood reports that he may eventually release a follow-up to the book.
"I have a very small [journal] from 1966, which also contains some little gems of info," he tells ABC Radio. "I think if this…diary goes over well, then there is a '66 one I know for sure."
A.M.P.A.S./Michael YadaBono and The Edge of U2 are among the artists that will be performing at an event at New York's Carnegie Hall to mark World AIDS Day, which is this Tuesday, December 1.
The "It Always Seems Impossible Until It Is Done" event is sponsored by two charity organizations co-founded by Bono: ONE, which combats poverty and preventable disease, and (RED), which raises money and awareness in the fight against AIDS. The evening will celebrate progress in the fight against AIDS and extreme poverty, as well as commemorate the 10-year anniversary of both charities.
Pop star Jessie J and rock singer Hozier also will perform at the event, which The Daily Show host Trevor Noah will emcee, while Vice President Joe Biden, Bono and Stephen Colbert are among the night's scheduled speakers. Biden will honor former mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg for his philanthropic contributions.
Image Courtesy of Julien's AuctionsA massive three-day memorabilia auction of items from the personal archives of Ringo Starr and his wife, Barbara Bach, will take place December 1, 2 and 3 at the Julien's Auctions gallery in Beverly Hills, California. More than 1,300 collectibles will be up for bid at the sale, among them some incredibly rare Beatles mementos, including the very first U.K. mono pressing of the Fab Four's self-titled 1968 double album, also known as "The White Album."
According to The Guardian, it had been believed that John Lennon had received the first pressing of "The White Album," as Paul McCartney had once maintained that Lennon had "shouted loudest" for it. However, the background info provided by Julien's Auctions suggests that Starr always had been in possession of the double LP -- which features the catalog number "No.0000001" -- noting that the drummer claimed that he'd kept it locked in a London bank vault for 35 years.
Bidding for the album will start at $20,000, but it's estimated to fetch as much as $60,000 at the auction. A copy of The Beatles featuring the "No.0000005" serial was sold for almost $30,000 in 2008.
Other collectibles going on the block include Starr's 1963 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl three-piece drum kit, which he played between May 1963 and February 1964 on some of The Beatles' biggest hits, and Lennon's 1964 "Beatle Backer" Rickenbacker guitar, which he gave to Ringo in 1968. The instruments are expected to bring in from $300,000 to $500,000 and from $600,000 to $800,000, respectively.
Proceeds from the auction will benefit Starr and Bach's Lotus Foundation, which raises money for various charity's that focus on social welfare issues around the world.
You can check out full details about the auction, including a complete list of items, at JuliensAuctions.com.
Credit: Fabrice DemessenceRoger Daltrey has recorded a new version of his Who band mate Pete Townshend's 1980 solo hit "Let My Love Open the Door" as part of a new sponsorship agreement between the Teen Cancer America charity and the North Carolina-based First Citizens Bank.
First Citizens Bank has been named as the official corporate sponsor for Teen Cancer America in the Southeastern U.S., and will work toward raising awareness about and support for the charity, which helps fund the creation of programs and facilities focused specifically on the needs of teens and young adults battling the disease. The song is featured in new television and radio commercials produced by the bank that began airing this past week in North Carolina and South Carolina.
"On behalf of Pete Townshend and Teen Cancer America, I'd like to thank First Citizens for the support the bank is giving us to achieve our goal -- supplying hospital spaces for adolescents and young adults with cancer," Daltrey says. "In the States, 30 young people a day are diagnosed with cancer, and they're either put in a hospital with children or with older people. But we're fixing it. With First Citizens' assistance, we can bridge the gap and create places for treatment where they can be young people first and cancer patients second."
In conjunction with the "Let My Love Open the Door" initiative, First Citizens Bank will make financial contributions to Teen Cancer America and to select hospitals that agree to create units geared toward teenage and young-adult patients with cancer. The campaign also includes the airing of the new Teen Cancer America ads in the Carolinas, as well as related social media, marketing and public relations initiatives throughout the bank's 18-state territory.
You can find out more about the campaign by visiting LetMyLoveOpentheDoor.com. You also can listen to the full-length version of Daltrey's rendition of "Let My Love Open the Door," watch the aforementioned TV commercial and check out a short documentary about initiative that features footage of Roger recording the tune at the website.
Daltrey and Townshend co-founded Teen Cancer America in 2012, basing it on the U.K.'s Teenage Cancer Trust charity of which Roger has long been a major patron.
Image Courtesy of Record Store Day The 2015 Record Store Day Black Friday celebration is here, as dozens of limited-edition vinyl discs will be released today and made available exclusively at independent record stores across the U.S. The list of releases includes collectible records from such classic rock artists as Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, The Kinks and John Mellencamp, among many others.
McCartney's contribution to the campaign is a 12-inch vinyl single featuring an exclusive 2015 remix of "Say Say Say," his hit 1983 duet with Michael Jackson. The single's B-side boasts an instrumental version of the track.
Hendrix's Black Friday offering is Burning Desire, a two-LP set featuring instrumental jams and demos that the late guitar legend recorded in late 1969 and 1970. The album previously was issued on the Dagger Records label, but has never been available on vinyl.
Bowie, meanwhile, is reissuing his 1997 album Earthling on translucent green vinyl.
The Kinks have two Black Friday releases, a pair of long-out-of-print EPs: 1965's Kwyet Kinks and 1966's Dedicated Kinks. Each disc is pressed on seven-inch vinyl and features four songs. Kwyet Kinks contains "Wait Till the Summer Comes Along," "Such a Shame," "A Well Respected Man" and "Don't You Fret," while Dedicated Kinks includes "Dedicated Followers of Fashion," "Till the End of the Day," "See My Friends" and "Set Me Free."
Mellencamp's Black Friday contribution is a commemorative limited-edition gray vinyl reissue of his hit 1985 album Scarecrow that's been remastered from the original tapes.
The 2015 Record Store Day Black Friday campaign also features releases from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Queen, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, The Clash, Judas Priest, The Zombies, Brian Wilson, Jeff Beck, Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company, Phil Collins, Elvis Presley, Megadeth, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King and many others.
Robert Trujillo/Passion PicturesMetallica bassist Robert Trujillo is the executive producer of Jaco, a documentary about legendary jazz bass player Jaco Pastorius. The film is being released on Blu-ray/DVD today in conjunction with Record Store Day Black Friday.
"He is my biggest influence," Trujillo tells ABC Radio of Pastorius. "I know there's a lot of Metallica fans out there, there's a lot of Suicidal Tendencies fans out there, and different bands that I've been involved with, and I felt that Jaco's story, beyond just being a great bass player, an incredible bass player, a genius of a musician, there's also a life story that is so important, and people should know about him."
Trujillo saw Pastorius live in 1979, and it changed his life. It changed his entire perception of what a bass player could be, and greatly affected his approach to playing the instrument live.
"The bass was always the guy in the back who no one knows about, you know, keeping it together and holding it down," Trujillo explains. "Through Jaco, we realized that you can actually perform, you know? You can be a lead instrument, you can control the stage, you can actually have fun and escape those confines that you're supposed to have as a rhythm section player."
Trujillo has been working on Jaco for the past six years, and it seemed that each year brought another serendipitous moment that led to the eventual finishing of the film. For example, legendary singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell -- who appears in Jaco and worked with Pastorious on several albums -- was, according to Trujillo, "unreachable for years" before he ran into her at a party.
"There's a lot of sort of miracles that have happened through the production of the film," he says. "Joni Mitchell coming on board year four; Jerry Jemmott, Jaco's favorite bass player, coming on board year three, three and a half, when nobody even knew if he was even alive. He's living in Alabama and he moves to Los Angeles two miles from my home."
Along with Mitchell and Jemmott, Jaco is loaded with appearances from an eclectic group of musicians, including Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea, Carlos Santana, Rush's Geddy Lee, Sting and Ian Hunter. Flea also appears on the Jaco soundtrack as a part of Trujillo's Mass Mental collective. The group covered Pastorius' song "Come On Come Over" for the soundtrack, which was born from a spontaneous jam -- another "magical" moment in the making of Jaco.
"We just played, old school, jamming, funky, it was great," Trujillo remembers. "Then Flea started playing 'Come On Come Over,' the bass line, and we just went into a half-hour, psychedelic jam of that song, and what evolved is what you get. All of the sudden, it started to develop and kinda create itself."
The Jaco soundtrack also is being released today. Trujillo will be participating in an in-store signing at the Sound Garden record store in Syracuse, New York, in celebration of the release. Along with working on the film, Trujillo is in the studio with Metallica, who are currently recording their first album since 2008's Death Magnetic.
"We're having fun, we're recording," Trujillo tells ABC Radio of the album's progress. "It's sounding heavy, and I am pleased and happy, and we're having a great time. It feels good to be working on an album for real. Hopefully next year we'll bless the universe with a new Metallica record."
Courtesy of HBOSet those DVRs, Bruce Springsteen fans: The new documentary The Ties That Bind, which focuses on the making of the Boss' 1980 double album The River, gets its television debut tonight at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
Directed by Thom Zimny, the 60-minute film offers an in-depth interview with Springsteen about the creation of The River, as well as segments in which Bruce plays some of the album's songs on acoustic guitar. The documentary also includes archival concert footage and rare photos from the same period during which Springsteen and The E Street Band were recording the album.
Several encore screenings of The Ties That Bind also will be shown on HBO, as well as on HBO2, in the coming weeks. It'll be available via HBO On Demand starting on Saturday, November 28, and later on HBO GO and HBO NOW.
If you don't mind waiting, the documentary is included on a DVD that's part of the upcoming Springsteen box set The Ties That Bind: The River Collection, which will be released on December 4. The package contains four CDs and three DVDs, including a remastered edition of The River, an early 10-song single-disc version of the album, a variety of outtakes, the aforementioned documentary, a previously unreleased 1980 concert video and more.
In related news, a newly-created lyric video for "Party Lights," one of the outtakes featured on The Ties That Bind box set, has been posted at Springsteen's official VEVO YouTube channel. The clip also offers a montage of vintage photos, including archival pics of Bruce.
Credit: iStock/ThinkstockThanksgiving is here again, and many rock artists will be celebrating their Turkey Day surrounded by friends, family, and, of course, plenty of food.
Robert Trujillo will be at the Sound Garden record store in Syracuse, New York, for Record Store Day Black Friday, and the Metallica bassist also will be spending Thanksgiving Day in the Empire State.
"My family and I will be in New York for the first time ever celebrating Thanksgiving, so that should be interesting," he tells ABC Radio.
Mountain frontman Leslie West says he and his wife will be enjoying a getaway at an upstate New York hotel.
"It's a great resort and spa…between Woodstock and Phoenicia," he tells ABC Radio. "Beautiful. And we've been doing that for quite a while. My wife doesn't have to cook, even though she's a great cook. But it's a nice couple of days."
As for what his favorite Thanksgiving dish is, West -- whose famous band's name was a reference to his heavy build -- declares with a laugh, "Stuffing! What does it look like?"
Another rocker who will spend quality time with family is founding Ratt drummer Bobby Blotzer. He tells ABC Radio, "My wife and I are having dinner here with the family. And my sister's coming out from Pittsburgh, and we're excited about that." Blotzer, who lives in the Los Angeles area, adds that he also is looking forward to "playing golf in this beautiful weather."
Here's hoping you having a rocking Thanksgiving, whatever your plans may be!
Allen Berezovsky/WireImagePalladia is serving up a heaping helping of Tom Petty for Thanksgiving. The high-def network will host a 24-hour block of programming focusing on the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer that kicks off at 7 a.m. ET.
Among the shows that will air during the Tom Petty Thanksgiving Takeover is the premiere of the concert film Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Fenway Park, at 9 p.m. ET. As its title suggests, the flick documents an August 2014 show Petty and his band played at the historic Boston ballpark.
The marathon also will feature the 2007 documentary Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream; the concert flick Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Live from Gainesville, which captures the 2006 hometown show the band played that marked its 30th anniversary; and Tom and his group's 2003 appearance on the PBS series Soundstage. In addition, a variety of Petty music videos and footage from various concert performances will be shown throughout the day.
At least one encore screening of each program will be shown during the 24-hour marathon, while select shows also will air again on Palladia through the weekend.
Here is the complete schedule for Palladia's Petty marathon; all times ET:
Thursday, November 26: 7 a.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream 11:15 a.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers videos and festival performances 12:30 p.m. -- Soundstage: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 2:30 p.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream (encore #1) 6:45 p.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Live from Gainesville 9 p.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Fenway Park 10:30 p.m. -- Soundstage: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (encore #1) 12:30 a.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Fenway Park (encore #1) 1:45 a.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Live from Gainesville (encore #1) 4 a.m. -- Soundstage: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers (encore #2) 6 a.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers videos and festival performances
Friday, November 27: 4 p.m. -- Soundstage: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (encore #3)
Saturday, November 28: 12 p.m. -- Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers: Live from Gainesville (encore #2)
Sunday, November 29: 9 p.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Fenway Park (encore #2)
PRNewsFoto/Zappa Records/UMeFrank Zappa's classic 1979 double album, Sheik Yerbouti, is getting new life in a two-LP, 180-gram vinyl reissue.
Newly remastered from the original tapes, and accompanied by the original artwork, the Sheik Yerbouti reissue is due out on December 11. The album is best known for one of the late guitarist and composer's near-hits, the disco parody "Dancin' Fool," which reached number 45 on the Billboard Hot 100. Another of the album's tracks, the scatological "Bobby Brown," was a big hit in Europe, actually topping the singles charts in Norway and Sweden.
Here's the Sheik Yerbouti track list:
Side One "I Have Been in You" "Flakes" "Broken Hearts Are for A*******" "I'm So Cute"
Side Two "Jones Crusher" "What Ever Happened to All the Fun in the World" "Rat Tomago" "We've Got to Get into Something Real" "Bobby Brown" "Rubber Shirt" "The Sheik Yerbouti Tango"
Side Three "Baby Snakes" "Tryin' to Grow a Chin" "City of Tiny Lites" "Dancin' Fool" "Jewish Princess"
Courtesy of Bonnaroo Music FestivalFor the second straight year, the organizers of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival are celebrating Thanksgiving by offering up an online special featuring select performances from the latest edition of the fest. The show, called A Very Bonnaroo Thanksgiving, is more than an hour long and features Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Tears for Fears and several other acts, all of whom hit the stage this past June.
Plant and his current backing group are shown playing a reworked version of the Led Zeppelin classic "Rock and Roll" on the special, while Tears for Fears are featured performing "Shout." There's also a star-studded jam featuring Mumford & Sons teaming up with My Morning Jacket, Hozier, Dawes and others for a Joe Cocker-inspired cover of The Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends."
Among the other artists appearing in the special are Earth, Wind & Fire, Alabama Shakes, Belle & Sebastian and D'Angelo.
The video also includes tongue-in-cheek introductory interludes hosted by comedian Jo Firestone, segments in which Bonnaroo attendees reveal what they're thankful for, mock commercials and more. In addition, the show reminds viewers that pre-sale tickets for the 2016 Bonnaroo Festival will be available at Bonnaroo.com starting this Friday, November 27, at noon ET.
The 2015 A Very Bonnaroo Thanksgiving special is streaming on the festival's official YouTube channel from now through this Monday, November 30, at noon ET. Once the show is removed from the site, it will never be shown again, so catch it while you can.
The 2016 Bonnaroo Festival is scheduled to take place June 9-12 in Manchester, Tennessee.
Credit: Danny NorthABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! will be hosting a shopathon on World AIDS Day, December 1, in order to raise money for the AIDS charity (RED). U2 frontman Bono, who co-founded (RED), will be among the big stars who will join host Jimmy Kimmel on the episode.
Modern rockers The Killers and actresses Scarlett Johansson and Olivia Wilde also will make appearances during the special show.
Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weekdays at 11:35 p.m. ET on ABC.
Credit: Blain ClausenEarlier this month, ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons released his first-ever solo album, the Afro-Cuban-influenced Perfectamundo, and now the 65-year-old singer/guitarist is ready to launch a U.S. tour with his new backing band The BFG's in support of the record. The trek kicks off Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and is broken into two fairly brief legs, with the final show scheduled for February 6 in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
Gibbons tells ABC Radio that he's thrilled about getting to perform his new material in concert, noting, "The anticipation of bringing this work to a live presentation has presented a most unexpected…wave of enthusiasm." Billy explains that one of the things that has stirred that enthusiasm is the touring configuration of The BFG's, which includes three of the musicians who contributed to Perfectamundo -- keyboardists Mike Flanigan and Martin Guigui and multi-instrumentalist Alex "Guitarzza" Garza -- as well as a pair of Los Angeles-based female drummers, SoZo and Melanie DiLorenzo.
Gibbons says the fact that SoZo and DiLorenzo "can beat the sides off of those skins" really propels the band, while Flanigan and Guigui both will be playing Hammond B3 organs and Garza will handle various Latin percussion instruments, such as timbales. Billy points out that The BFG's don't have a bass player, but says they don't need one. "It's just straight ahead," he declares. "This is gonna be a tough little combo."
Gibbons, of course, will handle lead vocal and guitar duties, but he reveals that he also is planning to add to the groove during to the show.
"The stage has been arranged and organized for plenty of room to stroll about," notes Billy, who as a teenager received lessons from famed Latin percussionist Tito Puente. "I've made sure that I could creep back into that palace of percussion and grab a couple sticks to start banging on stuff."
Meanwhile, Gibbons says fans who come out to his solo shows also can expect to hear some ZZ Top songs in addition to the Perfectamundo material.
"Because there is such a presence of that artistic form of sonic sounds called the blues [on my new album], we might draw upon ZZ Top's extensive series of recordings," Billy reveals. "It doesn't seem that any record went by without putting something lowdown and dirty in there. I'd like to see it."
Speaking about ZZ Top, Gibbons says his band mates, drummer Frank Beard and bassist Dusty Hill, have been supportive of his solo project.
"Number one, they get a nice holiday while I'm out on the road, but it also stimulated their [musical] interest," Gibbons maintains. "Frank has taken to developing some new beats as Dusty has started working on some new bass lines."
Billy adds that he expects to hit the road with ZZ Top shortly after wrapping up his tour with The BFG's.
"By the time the Billy Gibbons and the BFG's shows [pull] it to the curb, we'll hop off one tour bus and get right on the next one," he says.
Here are all of Billy Gibbons and the BFG's upcoming tour dates:
11/27 -- Fort Lauderdale, FL, Parker Playhouse 11/28 -- Fort Pierce, FL, Sunrise Theatre 11/29 -- Saint Petersburg, FL, Mahaffey Theater 12/1 -- New Orleans, LA, Orpheum Theatre 12/3 -- Houston, TX, Cullen Performance Hall 12/4 -- Austin, TX, The Moody Theater 12/5 -- Lubbock, TX, City Bank Auditorium 12/7 -- Solana Beach, CA, Belly Up Tavern 12/8 -- Los Angeles, CA, Orpheum Theatre 12/9 -- San Francisco, CA, The Regency Ballroom 12/11 -- Portland, OR, Revolution Hall 12/12 -- Aberdeen, WA, D&R Theatre 12/13 -- Seattle, WA, Neptune Theatre 12/17 -- Havana, Cuba, Havana Jazz Festival 12/18 --Havana, Cuba, Havana Jazz Festival 12/20 --Havana, Cuba, Havana Jazz Festival 1/20/16 -- Washington, D.C., Lisner Auditorium 1/22 -- Lexington, KY, Lexington Center -- Lexington Opera House 1/23 -- Atlanta, GA, Variety Playhouse 1/24 -- Orlando, FL, Plaza Theatre 1/26 -- Nashville, TN, City Winery 1/27 -- Charleston, SC, Charleston Music Hall 1/29 -- St. Charles, IL, Arcada Live! 1/30 -- Milwaukee, WI, The Pabst Theater 1/31 -- Detroit, MI, The Scottish Rite Cathedral at Masonic Temple 2/2 -- New York, NY, Town Hall 2/3 -- Boston, MA, Wilbur Theatre 2/5 -- Ridgefield, CT, Ridgefield Playhouse 2/6 -- Stroudsburg, PA, Sherman Theater
NBCUniversalThe 2015 edition of NBC's annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center special, which celebrates the lighting of the famous New York City landmark's Christmas tree, will air on Wednesday, December 2. As usual, the show will feature performances by some of music's brightest stars, with this year's lineup including Sting and James Taylor.
Taylor will be performing with trumpeter Chris Botti. Other artists on the holiday extravaganza's bill include Mary J. Blige, Andrea Bocelli, The Band Perry, Andy Grammer, Carly Rae Jepsen, Pentatonix and the all-star group Band of Merrymakers, which features Natasha Bedingfield, Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath and members of Better Than Ezra, Fitz & the Tantrums and Neon Trees.
Rockefeller Center's famous high-stepping dancing troupe The Rockettes also will be on hand.
The tree this year is a 78-foot tall Norway spruce from Gardiner, New York. The hour-long special airs on NBC at 8 p.m. ET.
Image Courtesy of BB Gun PressMetallica will once again team up with the San Francisco Giants for the fourth annual Metallica Night. The Bay Area metal legends will perform the national anthem and throw out the first pitch before their hometown Giants take on the visiting Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park on May 6.
"We'll stick around all night to cheer on the orange and black with all the loyal fans and keep your eyes peeled to spot us participating in some in between inning action," the band writes on its website.
Metallica band has always been deeply ingrained in the Bay Area sports scene: The band also has performed before Golden State Warriors basketball games and San Jose Sharks hockey games.
Tickets to the fourth annual Metallica Night with the San Francisco Giants go on sale this Friday, November 27, at 8 a.m. PT.
Earl Gibson III/WireImageFounding Sly and the Family Stone trumpet player and "hype woman" Cynthia Robinson passed away on Monday at age 69 from cancer. Robinson's death was announced on her official Facebook page, along with a note asking for continued donations to a fund launched last month to help pay her medical costs.
According to Billboard, Robinson first began playing with Sly Stone in 1966 in his group Sly and the Stoners, and went on to become a member of Sly and the Family Stone when that band was formed the following year. In addition to playing trumpet with the band, Robinson sang and was known for yelling out the phrase "get up and dance to the music" in the group's 1967 hit "Dance to the Music."
After Sly and the Family Stone broke up in 1975, Cynthia played with ex-Family Stone bassist Larry Graham's group Graham Central Station and also worked George Clinton and Prince. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the other original Sly and the Family Stone members in 1993. A new version of the group called The Family Stone was launched in 2006 that features Robinson and two other founding members -- sax player Jerry Martini and drummer Gregg Errico. The Family Stone lineup also includes singer Sylvette Phunne Stone, who is Cynthia's daughter with Sly Stone. Robinson, who also has another daughter named Laura Marie, continued to perform and record with The Family Stone until her death.
"She covered a lot of ground," Martini tells Billboard about Robinson. "She was the first female trumpet player and the first African-American trumpet player in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She wasn't in the back. She was out front telling you to get up and dance to the music, and she could blow with the best of 'em, always."
Questlove, drummer of The Tonight Show's house band The Roots, has penned a heartfelt homage to Robinson that you can read on his official Instagram page.