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Bob Dylan to Release New Album, "Shadows in the Night," Next Year

Image Courtesy of John ShearerBob Dylan will release a new studio album called Shadows in the Night sometime in 2015, according to a rep for Sony Legacy.  Initial reports about the project emerged this past May, when the lauded singer/songwriter posted a stream of a rendition of the 1945 Frank Sinatra hit "Full Moon and Empty Arms" on his website.

At the time, a Dylan spokesperson told Rolling Stone, "The track is definitely from a forthcoming album due later on this year," although the release obviously has now been pushed back.  Rolling Stone has now reported that the entire record will be made up of cover tunes.  Shadows in the Night will be a follow-up to Bob's 2012 studio effort, The Tempest.

Meanwhile, Dylan's The Basement Tapes Complete six-CD package and the companion The Basement Tapes Raw two-CD and three-LP vinyl sets will hit stores this Tuesday.  Several websites are hosting exclusive premieres of various songs from the collections, including,,,,,, and Yahoo! Music.

Dylan recently launched a new North American tour leg that's mapped out through a December 3 show at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.  Check out his full itinerary at

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Bruce Springsteen Shares Favorite Authors, Talks Reading Habits in "New York Times" Q&A

Image Courtesy of Danny ClinchBruce Springsteen is the author of a new illustrated book titled Outlaw Pete, based on the epic song of the same name from his 2009 Working on a Dream album, which will be published on Tuesday.  In celebration of the book's arrival, the Boss was interviewed by The New York Times about his own literary interests, including his favorite books and authors.

One interesting tidbit that Springsteen reveals to The Times is that when he wrote the song "The Ghost of Tom Joad," he had yet to read the famous book that inspired it, John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.  When he finally did, he says "it ended up being everything I'd hoped it to be."

Asked to name his favorite novelists of all time, Bruce says, "I like the Russians, the Chekhov short stories, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky.  I never read any of them until the past four years, and found them to be thoroughly psychologically modern."

Springsteen admits that he "didn't begin reading seriously until" the age of 28 or 29, but once he did, writers such as Flannery O'Connor, James M. Cain, John Cheever, Sherwood Anderson and noir author Jim Thompson became influences on his songwriting starting in the late 1970s.

"They brought out a sense of geography and the dark strain in my writing," he explains, "broadened my horizons about what might be accomplished with a pop song and are still the cornerstone literally for what I try to accomplish today."

The Boss also discusses his favorite memoirs by musicians, listing Keith Richards' Life, Eric Clapton's autobiography and Bob Dylan's Chronicles, the latter of which he says "made me proud to be a musician."

Bruce also says Richards and Dylan would be among the people he'd invite to a dream literary dinner, along with Tolstoy and Philip Roth.  "A lot of life experience there, and the babbling in different tongues would be wonderful," he notes.

Springsteen also reveals that the first book he ever read was L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz.  "I remember being thrilled by the book and the act of reading," he points out.  "Over time my most beloved character became the great and powerful Oz himself."

As for what books currently are on his nightstand, the Boss lists the Herman Melville classic Moby-Dick and Gabriel García Márquez's Love in the Time of Cholera.  He says he just finished reading Moby-Dick, which he admits "scared me off for a long time due to the hype of its difficulty."

He describes the tome as "a beautiful boy's adventure story," and says he found it "not that difficult to read" after all.

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Metallica Asks Fans for Help with Reissues of "Kill 'Em All" and "Ride the Lightning"

Image Courtesy of BB Gun PressMetallica is planning deluxe reissues for their first and second albums, 1983's Kill 'Em All and 1984's Ride the Lightning, and they're asking for fans to help them put it all together.

"We're back again hoping you can dip into your personal archives and find some gems from the Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning eras as we prep deluxe remastered versions of those two albums coming in 2015," reads a post on the band's website.  "We're looking for anything and, video, photos, fliers, ticket stubs, the set list you picked up off the floor and in general any mementos you may have from that around that time."

Metallica had asked for similar contributions from fans for a book on Master of Puppets by author Matt Taylor.

"Nothing is too small or too trivial...share your archives with your fellow fans and have some fun with us walking down memory lane," the post continues.  "By submitting it, you're saying we can use it should your piece of history land on a release (yes, the lawyers made us add this part!)."

Anyone who wishes to submit anything can do so by emailing

Earlier this week, Metallica announced a week-long residency on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson to celebrate the 10-year reissue of their documentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, as well as to pay tribute to the show's departing host.

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Sammy Hagar Says He Would Sing with Van Halen Again Under the Right Circumstances

Frontiers Records/UniversalSammy Hagar acrimoniously parted ways with Van Halen about a decade ago, but the Red Rocker says that under the right circumstances he would be willing to reunite with his old band mates.

"I would play with anybody that loves me and that I love.  That would include Van Halen, but the love's not there right now," Hagar tells Rolling Stone.  "I do love those guys, [although we] really bumped heads on the last tour."

Hagar says Van Halen's 2004 reunion tour "was just a mess and I would never go into a mess like that again."  He adds that the trek "was just about the most dysfunctional thing I've ever done in my adult life, times 10," while suggesting that the bulk of the blame rested on guitarist Eddie Van Halen shoulders.

That being said, Sammy says that a Van Halen tour featuring both him and David Lee Roth trading off on vocals "would be the coolest thing for the fans ever." He adds that he "would do it for the fans" but that [e]verybody would have to be cool and have their hearts in it."  Not surprisingly, Hagar says, "I just doubt it'll ever happen."

First and foremost, Sammy says he'd like to see his friend and the band's original bass player, Michael Anthony, rejoin the group.

"I would like to just see Mike back in the band with Dave," Hagar maintains.  "If that works, all right, I'll come in next."

He also tells Rolling Stone that he misses drummer Alex Van Halen, who says he hasn't spoken with since the end of the 2004 tour.

"He's the most fun, that guy," Sammy declares.  "There was something about Al and I, we had a real special relationship, even more than Ed and I."

Asked whether it bothers him that rock fans know him more for his tenure as Van Halen's frontman than for anything else he's done in his long career, Hagar says, "No. Man, if you put that whole Van Hagar catalog together and listen to the body of work it's incredible…I'm honored to be a part of that.  I'm sorry about the bad blood, but I'm totally honored. That's the peak of my freakin' musical career, no doubt about it."

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Bob Seger Loves Halloween but Not Dressing Up

Clay Patrick McBrideIt's no secret that Bob Seger likes that old time rock 'n' roll, but did you know that he's also a big fan of Halloween?  The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer tells ABC News Radio that he and his family enjoy getting together to celebrate the holiday with all the little trick-or-treaters who come to their house for candy.

"My wife loves Halloween, and her mother comes over and her sister and [her] kid and our kids, and we just sit at the front door and watch all the great kid costumes and the parents from the neighborhood," says the Michigan rocker.  "It's a fun time."

While Seger enjoys seeing other people dress up for Halloween, he admits that he doesn't like wearing costumes himself.

I'm the only one [in my family]," he points out.  "I reserve the right, being the paterfamilias or whatever you want to call it."

Seger adds that if there's a situation where he feels he has to wear a costume, such as a Halloween party, he generally won't put a lot of effort or creativity into his outfit.

"I'll dress up in something I'll really feel good in, like my motorcycle stuff," he explains, laughing.  "I'll say, 'I'm a motorcycle guy.'  That's what I go as.  [I have] no imagination in that regard."

Bob's new studio album, Ride Out, was released on October 14, and last week debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on Billboard's Rock Albums chart.  This week, the record dropped, respectively, to #14 and #2 on the tallies.

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Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi Writes Music for "CSI"

Image Courtesy of Black SabbathTony Iommi is, of course, the legendary guitarist for Black Sabbath, which still keeps him busy, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have time for side projects.  In a post on his Facebook page, Iommi says he's returning to the studio, and has recorded a piece for the TV show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

"People have been asking what exactly I'm doing at the moment, well I'm getting back in the studio having tried to make myself rest after the tours," the statement reads.  "I'm writing, mostly just putting ideas down rather than complete songs.  I like to create all sorts of moods with my music and then decide later how they might be used."

Iommi adds, "One specific piece though is for the CSI TV series that will be aired in the US on November 9th.  I was asked if I'd be interested so I had a look at the footage and came up with an idea they seemed to like.  It's not very long but it was different working with images rather than just music, I'd certainly be up for doing more."

This isn't the first time Black Sabbath has joined forces with CSI.  The band performed their song "End of the Beginning" on the show's season 13 finale, which aired May 15, 2013.

Iommi and Black Sabbath plan to record their 20th and final album next year, as well as embark on a final tour.

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Gregg Allman Dismissed from Civil Lawsuit Tied to Midnight Rider Biopic Accident

PMK-BNCGregg Allman and his manager, Michael Lehman, have been dropped from a civil lawsuit initiated by the family of Sarah Jones, the camera assistant who was killed by a train during the filming of the Allman biopic Midnight Rider this past February. 

Deadline reports that an attorney for Jones' parents announced Thursday that they were dismissing claims against Allman and Lehman, who were serving as co-producers of the movie, as well as against the Open Road Films distribution company.

"After reviewing the many thousands of pages of documents, and other information we have obtained through the legal discovery process, it is clear that Mr. Allman and Mr. Lehman had no involvement in any of the decisions that resulted in Sarah's death," said Jones family attorney Jeff Davis in a statement.  "Our investigation has also shown that, in this case, Open Road Films was not directly involved in the poor decisions that led to this horrific event and the tragic loss of Sarah's life."

Sarah's father, Richard Jones, added, "During a very difficult and trying time for our family, Gregg Allman and Michael Lehman demonstrated their genuine sorrow over the loss of our daughter and their willingness to work with us in the future to ensure safe film sets for all.  For that, we are grateful."

News of the dismissals follows a hearing at a Georgia court this past Tuesday during which lawyers for Open Road Films told the presiding judge that the company was close to reaching an agreement with the Jones family.  The hearing is scheduled to continue on November 13.

Meanwhile, Deadline also revealed on Thursday the results of a federal investigation into the fatal accident, which occurred when a train unexpectedly crossed a trestle bridge near Jesup, Georgia, where the filmmakers were attempting to shoot a scene.  The report cites the production with a variety of health and safety violations.

As previously reported, Midnight Rider's husband-and-wife director-producer team of Randall Miller and Jody Savin, executive producer Jay Sedrish and assistant director Hillary Schwartz all are facing involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass charges in connection to the incident.  Their trial is scheduled to begin on March 9, 2015.

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Bob Seger Announces New North American Concerts, Reveals Venues for Second-Leg Tour Dates

ABC/Randy HolmesBob Seger has scheduled several new concerts as part of the second leg of his recently-announced North American tour with his Silver Bullet Band in support of his latest album, Ride Out.  Among the newly-added shows are performances on January 27 in Charleston, West Virginia; February 3 in Ft. Meyers, Florida; February 10 in Lafayette, Louisiana; and February 17 in Wichita, Kansas.

In addition, the venues for all of the concerts taking place during the trek's second leg have been revealed, except for Seger's final scheduled show on February 27 in Los Angeles.  As previously reported, the first leg of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's tour gets under way on November 19 in Saginaw, Michigan, and runs through a December 19 concert in New York City.  The second leg begins January 20 in Toledo, Ohio.

The J. Geils Band will be the opening act on select dates of the trek.  Tickets are on sale now for all shows through January 29.  Check out to find out when tickets the Michigan rocker's other concerts will be available for purchase.

Here's a complete list of confirmed dates for Seger and the Silver Bullet Band's North American tour:

11/19 -- Saginaw, MI, The Dow Event Center
11/22 -- Bangor, ME, Cross Insurance Center
11/24 -- Halifax, NS, Canada, Scotiabank Centre
11/26 -- Saint John, NB, Canada, Saint John Harbour Station
11/29 -- Boston, MA, TD Garden
12/2 -- Albany, NY, Times Union Center
12/4 -- Cleveland, OH, Quicken Loans Arena
12/6 -- Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun Arena
12/9 -- Grand Rapids, MI, Van Andel Arena
12/11 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
12/13 -- St. Louis, MO, Scottrade Center
12/17 -- Buffalo, NY, First Niagara Center
12/19 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
1/20 -- Toledo, OH, Huntington Center
1/22 -- Pittsburgh, PA, CONSOL Energy Center
1/24 -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Air Canada Centre
1/27 -- Charleston, WV, Charleston Civic Center
1/29 -- Columbus, OH, Nationwide Arena
1/31 -- Atlanta, GA, The Arena at Gwinnett Center
2/3 -- Ft. Meyers, FL, Germain Arena
2/5 -- Tampa, FL, Amalie Arena
2/7 -- Ft. Lauderdale, FL, BB&T Center
2/10 -- Lafayette, LA, Cajundome
2/12 -- Dallas, TX, American Airlines Center
2/14 -- Houston, TX, Toyota Center
2/17 -- Wichita, KS, INTRUST Bank Arena
2/19 -- Phoenix, AZ, Gila River Arena
2/27 -- Los Angeles, CA, TBD

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Eagles, McCartney, Rolling Stones Among Finalists for 2014 "Billboard" Touring Awards

James Glader; MJ Kim; Simon CrossThe Eagles, Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones are among the artists who will vie for honors at the 2014 Billboard Touring Awards, scheduled for November 20 at the Edison Ballroom in New York City.

The Eagles are finalists in the Top Tour category, which acknowledges the highest-grossing tours of the year.  The veteran band's The History of the Eagles trek is competing against tours by a couple of younger pop acts -- Justin Timberlake and One Direction.

McCartney and The Stones both are in the running for the Top Boxscore prize, which honors the highest-grossing single engagement by an artist.  The former Beatles star is being recognized for a three-concert November 2013 stand at the Tokyo Dome in Japan, while his fellow British rockers got their nod for a three-show engagement at the same venue in February and March of this year.  One Direction also is a finalist for this award.

Meanwhile, Billy Joel's ongoing residency at New York's Madison Square Garden will be competing for the Concert Marketing & Promotion Award, an honor that The Rolling Stones' 50 and Counting Tour won last year.

The Billboard Touring Awards ceremony will serve as the finale of the 11th annual Billboard Touring Conference, which is scheduled for November 19-20 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.  The awards are based on numbers reported to Billboard magazine from October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014.  Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell will be featured in the conference's keynote Q&A session.

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Todd Rundgren Collectibles Up for Bid as Part of L.A. Memorabilia Auction Next Week

Image Courtesy of Danny O'ConnorA collection of memorabilia belonging to Todd Rundgren will go on the block during of a rock 'n' roll-themed auction that will take place November 7 and 8 in Beverly Hills, California.  Among the items the eclectic singer/songwriter has contributed to the sale are a stage-played Italia electric guitar, an assortment of awards he's has received over the years, various shirts and jackets, a digital piano and a piece of artwork featured on the back cover of his 1991 2nd Wind album.

Proceeds raised by the sale will benefit the Spirit of Harmony Foundation, a charity Rundgren founded last year.  The organization's goal is to enrich people's lives through music education and music-related events.

The Rundgren collection is being sold in conjunction with the Icons & Idols: Rock 'n' Roll auction that will take place at the Julien's Auctions gallery in Beverly Hills.  The sale features hundreds of pieces of memorabilia, including items belonging to or signed by everyone from The Beatles and Heart to Elvis Presley and James Brown to Madonna and Michael Jackson.  Visit to check out all of the collectibles up for bid.

Last week, Rundgren wrapped up another tour leg as a member of Ringo Starr's All Starr Band, and he's just kicked off his own fall U.S. headlining trek.  The outing is mapped out through a November 26 show in Los Angeles.

Here are all of Todd's upcoming tour dates:

10/31 -- Westbury, NY, Theatre at Westbury
11/2 -- New York, NY, B.B. Kings Blues Club and Grill
11/3 -- New York, NY, B.B. Kings Blues Club and Grill
11/4 -- Lebanon, NH, Lebanon Opera House
11/6 -- North Salisbury Beach, MA, Blue Ocean Music Hall
11/7 -- Peekskill, NY, Paramount Hudson Valley
11/9 -- York, PA, The Pullo Center
11/10 -- Columbus, OH, The LC Pavilion
11/12 -- Kent, OH, The Kent Stage
11/13 -- Chicago, IL, Park West
11/15 -- Peoria, IL, Limelight
11/16 -- Minneapolis, MN, Mill City Nights
11/18 -- Denver, CO, Bluebird Theater
11/19 -- Salt Lake City, UT, State Room
11/22 -- Scottsdale, AZ, Talking Stick Resort Showroom
11/24 -- San Francisco, CA, The Fillmore
11/25 -- San Juan Capistrano, CA, The Coach House
11/26 -- Beverly Hills, CA, Saban Theater

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Founding Yes Singer Jon Anderson Records Charity Single with Ex-Counting Crows Member Matt Malley

Gonzo MultimediaFormer Yes frontman Jon Anderson has released a new charity single that he recorded with ex-Counting Crows bassist Matt Malley titled "The Family Circle."  Proceeds raised by sales of the tune will benefit three organizations -- the Flutie Foundation, Sahaja Yoga Meditation and the National Autistic Society.

The track currently is available as a digital download for 99 cents via iTunes.  The melodic song showcases Anderson's serene vocals, with music highlighted by gentle piano, synthesized strings and an Indian-influenced guitar solo.  An accompanying video has been posted at the GonzoMusicTV YouTube channel that features a montage of clips of beautiful landscapes around the world.

"'Family Circle' came together when Matt sent me the beautiful music earlier this year," explains Anderson in a statement.  "I sang the song and lyric idea and sent it back to Matt, thanking him for the great energy.  Eventually, Matt added some more sounds and the haunting guitar solo."

Jon continues, "It's a pleasure to release this around Thanksgiving time, reminding us of our connection with our families and how our children keep us together, bonding our love of life."

Adds Malley, "Not only am I a fan of Jon's voice but I'm a fan of his fearless spiritual outlook which appears in all of his music."

As previously reported, Anderson currently is working on the debut album by his new group, Anderson Ponty Band, a collaboration with veteran jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty.  The record is expected to be released sometime next year.

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Slash Concert Special to Air Next Month

Robert JohnGreat news for Slash fans.  DIRECTV has partnered with Guitar Center to present a 90-minute concert special starring the famed guitarist.

The concert event, titled Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators Live from the Sunset Strip, will give fans a front row seat to Slash and his band’s recent show at the iconic Hollywood venue, The Roxy. 

The concert will feature songs from the guitarist’s recent album, World on Fire, along with tunes from his days with Guns ‘N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver.

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators Live from the Sunset Strip airs on DIRECTV’s Audience Network on November 7.

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Graham Nash, Rock Hall CEO Sing Praises of New Paul Simon Exhibit

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and MuseumAs recently reported, a new exhibition focusing on the extraordinary career of Paul Simon opens to the public today at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.  The exhibit, dubbed "Paul Simon: Words & Music," features an assortment of artifacts contributed by the singer/songwriter, including handwritten lyrics and letters, instruments, clothing items, Grammy Awards and more.

Graham Nash, who was at the Rock Hall this past weekend for an Everly Brothers tribute concert, was treated to a preview of the Simon exhibit while he was there and shared some of his impressions about the display.

"One of the things that was so nice about the exhibit is seeing his very first guitar…and seeing his progression as a songwriter, which is shown in lyrics that you'll see," explained Nash.  "And I think it's gonna be very inspiring.  I think musicians [are going to] go, 'Hey, wait a second.  I have a yellow pad.  I have a pen.  I can do this.'  And it's that point of inspiration that I think is the most important part of the Paul Simon exhibit.  I think people are gonna love it."

Meanwhile, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Greg Harris spoke recently with ABC News Radio about how the exhibit came together and some of the fascinating aspects of the attraction.

"The genesis came when Paul visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame," revealed Harris.  "[H]e came to look at other people's things -- The Everly Brothers and the artists that inspired him -- and as he was touring, he mentioned that he had quite a few things in his archive and…the idea was sort of planted between all of us that it'd be terrific to create an exhibit."

Harris explained that one of the goals of the display is to chart Simon's progression as a songwriter and artist.  He noted that you can look at how Paul went from singing with Art Garfunkel as the teen pop-rock duo Tom & Jerry to creating a catalog of songs during the 1960s that's "so much a part of our popular lexicon," and eventually made the Graceland album, which arguably marked "the U.S. awakening to world music in a big way."

Tying the exhibition together is commentary from Simon himself, which comes from a series of interviews Paul filmed exclusively for the museum.

"It's the first time a first-person narrative is used in our exhibitions," revealed Harris.  "He walks through his life, his career, his creative process, and there are times when, in the interviews, where he's holding a guitar and he walks you through the other influences that led to a certain song being composed."

Among the many fascinating topics Simon discusses in the interviews is how he developed the idea for the title track from Graceland.  Paul explained that he actually journeyed to Elvis Presley's Memphis mansion while he was working on the tune, which he says is one of the songs he's most proud to have composed.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opens daily at 10 a.m. CT.

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Genesis' "Sum of the Parts" Documentary to Be Released on DVD and Blu-ray in January

Eagle VisionGenesis fans excited to get their hands on the home video version of the group's recent career-spanning documentary, Sum of the Parts, will have to be a little patient.  DVD and Blu-ray editions of the film, which initially were supposed to be released in November, now are scheduled to hit stores on January 13, 2015.

Sum of the Parts, which premiered October 10 on Showtime, follows the band's journey from its formation in 1967 through its numerous lineup changes to the group's most recent tour in 2007 and beyond.  The documentary also delves into the successful solo careers that several Genesis members enjoyed.  In addition, the movie reunites the group's classic mid-1970s lineup of singer Peter Gabriel, singer/drummer Phil Collins, keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and lead guitarist Steve Hackett, who are featured being interviewed together.

The documentary contains a bevy of rare and previously unreleased performance footage and behind-the-scenes clips.

"We're the only band, I think, that have managed the solo thing and the band thing for quite a few years side-by-side, and made it a plus rather than a problem," notes Rutherford.

Gabriel adds, "I think when we got it right we had something that none of us could do on our own.  And there were different musical histories merging together in a powerful way."

Sum of the Parts runs about 30 minutes longer that the version of the documentary that aired on BBC television in early October under the title Genesis: Together and Apart.  The band also recently released a three-CD compilation named R-Kive as a companion piece to the film.

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Metallica Plans Week-Long Residency on "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson"

Image Courtesy of Warner Bros. RecordsMetallica is taking a page from the Foo Fighters' book.  The legendary rock band has booked a week-long residency on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, from November 17 to November 21. James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo will perform together each night, and Craig will interview the band on November 17.

The residency will celebrate both the end of Ferguson's time as the host of The Late Late Show and the 10-year-anniversary reissue of Metallica's behind-the-scenes documentary, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster.

"What better way to celebrate Craig's awesome tenure at CBS than to come and shake the rafters for a whole week," Ulrich tells Rolling Stone.  "Nothing to sell, nothing to promote (except a reissue DVD)...purely hanging at Craig's personal request.  Bring it!"

Ferguson announced that he would be leaving The Late Late Show just a few weeks after David Letterman announced his retirement from Late Show.  His last show will air in December.  British actor/comedian James Corden will replace Ferguson as the host of The Late Late Show.

Earlier this month, Foo Fighters performed a week-long residency on The Late Show with David Letterman with a star-studded guest lineup that included Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson, country singer Zac Brown, Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick and veteran singer/songwriter Tony Joe White.

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Elton John Says Pope Is His "Hero," Wants Him to Be Made a Saint Now

Joseph Guay/Capitol RecordsTuesday night at his annual New York City charity event for his AIDS Foundation, Elton John took the stage for a solo performance, but also spoke about the man he says is his "hero" -- Pope Francis.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, while speaking about the acceptance of gay marriage in the U.S., John praised the Pope for demonstrating tolerance and compassion when asked about the subject.  The Pope's response was, "Who am I to judge?"

Elton told the crowd, "What are we waiting for?  Make him a saint now.  He did more with those five words than the last five popes.  He is my hero."

At the event, which raised $3.7 million for his charity, John performed songs like "Tiny Dancer," "Your Song," "Rocket Man," "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" and "Philadelphia Freedom."  He also addressed the continuing battle against AIDS, saying, "Things are getting better.  More people are getting treatment.  The world is becoming a more tolerant, compassionate place."

Elton continued, "We still have so much to do...often the people who need the most compassion are those who receive the least.  That's why I created this foundation.  We are willing to take on the unpopular issues, and we are willing to put serious amounts of money towards bold approaches that bring us closer to a world without AIDS."

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Expansive Paul Simon Exhibit Opening at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday

Image Courtesy of Mark SeligerA new exhibition at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland devoted to the life and career of Paul Simon will open its doors to the public on Thursday.  The exhibit, dubbed "Paul Simon: Words & Music," features more than 80 artifacts, many of which come from the acclaimed singer/songwriter's personal archive.

In addition, the attraction boasts commentary from Simon, discussing various aspects of his life, songs and creative process, which was culled from a lengthy filmed interview he granted with the Rock Hall exclusively for the exhibit.

Among the pieces of memorabilia that will be on display are Simon's first guitar, handwritten lyrics from throughout his career, summer-camp letters written between Paul and his old musical partner Art Garfunkel when they were teenagers, various clothing items, rare photographs and more.  The exhibition also will feature a variety of video performances documenting different periods in Simon's musical journey.

The "Paul Simon: Words & Music" coincides with the 50th anniversary of the release of Simon and Garfunkel's first album, Wednesday Morning, 3 AM.

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Steven Tyler Added to Lineup of "CMA Country Christmas" Special

Image Courtesy of Steve ErleAerosmith frontman Steven Tyler will bring a little bit of rock 'n' roll to the 2014 CMA Country Christmas special, which airs Monday, December 1, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Tyler and veteran country stars Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson have been added to the lineup for this year's event.  They join the bill that already features pop singer Idina Menzel and such big-name country acts as Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Nettles, Sara Evans, Little Big Town and Hunter Hayes.

The CMA Country Christmas special will be taped on Friday, November 7, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.  Tickets to attend the show are still available through Ticketmaster.

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Alice in Chains Releases Video for "Phantom Limb"

Image Courtesy of Johnny BuzzerioAnother band has joined the BitTorrent train.  Last month, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke released his new solo album via the file-sharing site, and now Alice in Chains has released the video for their song "Phantom Limb" through BitTorrent Bundle.

The seven-minute-long video is an eerie, violent thriller with a dash of Memento thrown in for good measure.  With Halloween right around the corner, the creepy video could not have come out at a better time.

"Phantom Limb" appears on Alice in Chains' most recent studio effort, 2013's The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here.  The album, AIC's fifth, reached #1 on the Billboard Rock Albums chart and #2 on the Billboard 200.

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Paul Rodgers and Lou Gramm to Sing on Holiday-Themed Ice Skating TV Special

Image Courtesy of Paul Rodgers, Disson SkatingThe frontmen of two of the biggest rock bands of the 1970s and '80s, Bad Company's Paul Rodgers and ex-Foreigner singer Lou Gramm, will lend their talents to a TV special featuring holiday-themed routines by some of the world's best ice skaters.  The Pandora Unforgettable Holiday Moments on Ice special will air on ABC on Sunday, November 30, at 4 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT.

Rodgers and Gramm will perform a mix of holiday tunes and classic songs by their famous bands at the event, which will take place at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Florida.  Among the Olympic, World and National champion skaters who will appear on the show are Meryl Davis, Charlie White, Evan Lysacek, Brian Boitano and Kimmie Meissner of the U.S and Ilia Kulik, Elena Leonova and Andrei Khvalko of Russia.  Award-winning American skaters Kristi Yamaguchi and Michael Weiss will host the festivities.

An encore presentation of the special will air on ABC on Sunday, December 14.

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