News Column

Steve Smith: McCartney performs rarities galore; legends join Soul Train Cruise [Press-Telegram (Long Beach, CA)]

May 8, 2013

YellowBrix

McCARTNEY PERFORMS RARITIES GALORE ON TOUR'S OPENING NIGHT

Paul McCartney performed a whole batch of songs he had either never played live before or hadn't performed in eons before more than 50,000 fans at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on the opening night of his new "Out There Tour," reports Setlist.com.

As a post-Beatles solo artist, Sir Paul has virtually never performed less than three dozen songs during his concerts and this show was no exception.

He performed 38, including the concert opener, "Eight Days a Week," that neither he nor The Beatles had ever played live before (the closest The Beatles got to performing it was when they lip synced to a recording of the song during a 1965 appearance on Britain's "Thank Your Lucky Stars" TV variety series).

Other debut performances included "Your Mother Should Know," from 1967's "Magical Mystery Tour;" "All Together Now" from the 1968 "Yellow Submarine" soundtrack album; John Lennon's "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" and "Lovely Rita," both from "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" in 1967.

He also showcased songs he hasn't performed very often or in years, including the Wings hits, "Listen to What the Man Said" and "Hi, Hi, Hi," for the first time since 1976; The Beatles' 1965 single, "Day Tripper" and "And I Love Her," from 1964's "A Hard Day's Night;" and "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" from 1968's "White Album." He hadn't performed his 1971 worldwide Top 5 hit "Another Day" or 1993's "Hope of Deliverance" that went Top 10 in at least seven countries (it hit No. 9 here and No. 1 in Spain) since his "Off The Ground Tour" in 1993; and he's dug out his rocking 1974 single, "Junior's Farm," only sporadically over the past 39 years.

There has been talk that the 70-year-old McCartney is considering making this worldwide tour his last major jaunt. If so, he appears to be taking care of some unfinished business by finally performing all these rare songs.REUNITED RASCALS SET U.S. TOUR

The Rascals, who reunited for the first time in 40 years for six shows in Port Chester, New York last December (except for a one-off benefit concert in 2010), and who just completed a successful 15- show run on Broadway, are taking their "Once Upon A Dream" career retrospective theatrical concert on an East Coast tour, reports VVN.

So far, 25 dates have been announced with more shows expected to be set throughout America. The tour kicks off with a four-night stand, May 24-27, at the 5,500-seat arena at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

The quartet, singer-organist Felix Cavaliere, singer Eddie Brigati, guitarist Gene Cornish and drummer Dino Danelli, are playing a three-night stand in Philadelphia at the 2,500-seat landmark Academy of Music that has been used non-stop since opening in 1957 on June 5, 6 and 8; four nights in Atlanta, June 19-22, at the 2,750-seat Cobb Energy Center; and a six-nighter, June 25-30, at the 2,677-seat Boston Opera House, that opened in 1928 as an ornate movie palace.R&B LEGENDS JOIN SOUL TRAIN CRUISE

Caribbean cruises sailing from Ft. Lauderdale featuring classic pop, rock and country music artists are doing big business.

The Moody Blues Cruise with their pals The Zombies, ELP's Greg Lake, Asia, Ambrosia, The Little River Band and Stephen Bishop sailed in March; and a big country music cruise is set for next January with Kenny Rogers, Vince Gill, Ronnie Milsap, Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers, Patty Loveless, Jo Dee Messina, Restless Heart and others.

Now there's a lineup of R&B legends that will set sail on the Soul Train Cruise Oct. 5-12. This cruise stars co-headliner Gladys Knight, with Jeffrey Osborne, Jennifer Holliday, The Ohio Players, Freddie Jackson, The Whispers, Billy Paul, Con Funk Shun, Regina Belle, The Bar-Kays, The Dazz Band, The Mary Jane Girls, A Taste of Honey, the original Lakeside and co-headliners Earth, Wind and Fire.

Other upcoming cruises include the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise #21, from Oct. 18-25, that stars Los Lobos, Johnny Winter, Irma Thomas, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Danish harmonica wiz Lee Oskar.

The Smooth Jazz Cruise, from Oct. 12-19, features sax players Boney James, Candy Dulfer and David Sanborn, Tower of Power, Oleta Adams and guitarist Earl Klugh, while the 2014 Jazz Cruise offers The Manhattan Transfer, trumpeters Arturo Sandoval, Randy Brecker and Chuck Findley, conga player-singer Poncho Sanchez, The John Pizzarelli Quartet, journeyman drummer Joe La Barbera, legendary keyboardist-Moog Synthesizer pioneer Duck Hyman, singer-pianist Freddy Cole (brother of Nat King Cole) and Anne Hampton Calloway.STONES KICK OFF U.S. TOUR WITH GWEN STEFANI AND KEITH URBAN

The Rolling Stones officially kicked off their "50 & Counting" American tour at the Staples Center in downtown L.A. by opening with a pair of rocking classics from 1965, "Get Off of My Cloud" and "The Last Time."

The 23-song two-and-a-half hour concert saw guests Gwen Stefani from No Doubt duet with Mick Jagger on the 1971 country-folk ballad, "Wild Horses" and country singer-guitarist Keith Urban on the 1978 punk rocker, "Respectable" (in Oakland a couple nights later, they were joined by fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer member Tom Waits on Willie Dixon's "Little Red Rooster").

Former Stones' guitarist Mick Taylor is traveling with the band on the tour, guesting on "Midnight Rambler" from his first album with them, 1969's "Let It Bleed." Pre-tour speculation was that the 64-year-old Taylor's role would be expanded on this tour (he joined them for "Midnight Rambler" at their 2012 shows), but thus far, this has not been the case.

The band is being supported by six backup singers and musicians who have toured with the outfit for years, including bassist Darryl Jones who replaced Bill Wyman in 1993, backup vocalists Lisa Fisher, former Beach Boy Blondie Chaplin and Bernard Fowler, former Allman Brothers keyboardist Chuck Leavell, and fabled Texas saxman Bobby Keys, who will turn 70 in December and who has blared away on every Stones tour since 1970.

Among the surprises were when the band performed "Emotional Rescue," the title cut from the band's 1981 LP, for the first time ever in concert.

The band also included the recent concert rarities "Dead Flowers" from 1971's "Sticky Fingers," and "Factory Girl," from 1968's "Beggar's Banquet" that they hadn't performed since 1997.FORMER EAGLES BASSIST RANDY MEISNER SERIOUSLY ILL

Former Eagles bassist Randy Meisner, 67, has been hospitalized. His friend, Poco steel-pedal guitarist Rusty Young posted on Poco's website, "Randy was at home when something he was eating obstructed his breathing and he lost consciousness. Lana rushed him to the emergency room where he got immediate care. Things are going to be a little rough for Randy for a while, but his doctors are optimistic he'll recover from this incident." However, one anonymous source familiar with the situation said that Meisner's situation is grave.

The 67-year-old Meisner, who co-wrote The Eagles' classic, "Take It to the Limit" with band members Glenn Frey and Don Henley, co- founded the group in 1971 with Frey, Henley and lead guitarist Bernie Leadon (who is rejoining the group for this summer's tour) and played with them until September 1977 when he quit, citing "exhaustion." It later came out that Meisner had feuded and had major disagreements with Henley and Frey for a long time, possibly for years.WHO DO ROLLING STONE MAG READERS WANT IN THE ROCK HALL?

Rolling Stone magazine conducted an online readers' poll asking which acts not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, should be inducted. There were some surprises via artists' inclusions and omissions.

The Top 10 are (1) Deep Purple, (2) British alt rockers The Smiths, led by singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr, that were active from 1982-1987, (3) KISS, (4) Yes, (5) The Moody Blues, (6) Cheap Trick, (7) Warren Zevon, (8) Graham Parsons, (9) Chicago and (10) Nirvana, who won't be eligible until this coming year and will be a shoo-in, judging by the voters' history.

(I rarely opinionate in this column, but I will here: Jethro Tull, Paul Revere and The Raiders, The Smithereens and Emerson, Lake and Palmer each should have been inducted years ago, along with the afore-mentioned Moody Blues, Deep Purple, Yes and Chicago.

What's insulting is that not only are these bands not in the Hall, but with the exception of Deep Purple - who were finally nominated for the first time this year - none of the acts on my list has even been nominated for induction. Rolling Stone publisher and Rock Hall head honcho Jann Wenner: Just what the heck is up with that?).NEW RELEASES

Among the recently released albums, digital reissues, MP3 downloads and deluxe box sets are an import, "Starmus: Sonic Universe," recorded live in 2011 by veteran German electronic trio Tangerine Dream and Queen guitarist Brian May; a live CD, "Cruise to Destiny," also from Tangerine Dream, that has released over 100 albums since they formed in 1967; "The Toronto Strut," an 18-cut live album recorded in 1982 by rockabilly kings The Stray Cats; "Time," the first album of new material from Rod Stewart in almost two decades and "Golden," the fourth album from seven-time Grammy winning country superstars Lady Antebellum.

"Mother," from Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maine's solo debut, her first new album since "Taking the Long Way" by The Chicks in 2006, is a rock not country disc and features Pink Floyd's Roger Waters' title cut from "The Wall," and other songs from Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, the late Jeff Buckley, Patty Griffin, Ben Harper, and her fellow Chicks Martie McGuire and Emily Robison; "Annie Up," the second CD from country star Miranda Lambert's side project The Pistol Annies; and "American Kid," the first album of new songs since 2007 from folk-Americana gal Patty Griffin, who just announced that she and boyfriend Robert Plant are not married and who made the CD in tribute to her late father.

Also "Unstoppable Momentum," the 14 th solo album since 1986 from guitar hero Joe Satriani, lately of the Chicken Foot supergroup; "2.0," the first album in 13 years from brothers Nick and Drew Lachey and their all-vocal group, 98 Degrees, who got back together last year after a seven-year split; and "Walking Shadows," from jazz sax player Joshua Redman, that includes his take on The Beatles' "Let It Be," Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" and Wayne Shorter's "Infant Eyes."

The great 77-year-old blues harp player James Cotton recruits Gregg Allman, Allman Brother guitarist Warren Haynes, Keb Mo, guitarist Joe Bonamassa and 72-year-old country blues roots rocker Delbert McClinton on "Cotton Mouth Man;" "English Electric (Deluxe)" from British New Wavers OMD (Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark); "Hoy," from 73-year-old Mexican Ranchera singer Vicente Fernandez, who released his first LP in 1967; "The Hang," the 23 rd album from singer-songwriter Michael Stanley, whose first LP, with Silk, was released in 1969; and "Remembering Little Walter," a live tribute album featuring the Rock Hall member's fellow harp players James Harmon, Charlie Musselwhite, Sugar Ray Norcia, Billy Boy Arnold and Mark Hummel.

A 26-song import, "Long Live Love: Best of Sandie Shaw," one of the most popular and successful British singers of the '60 s, everywhere but in the U.S.; "13 Live," by Conan O'Brien bandleader Jimmy Vivino and his band, The Black Italians, covers Dylan, James Brown, Traffic and Johnny Winter; "Golden Age: Complete Atlantic Recordings 1956-1960" from The Modern Jazz Quartet; a 24-song import, "Midnight Blues: Paris London 1968-72" from French singer and actress Francoise Hardy; "The Early Days: Ultimate Collection" from The Spencer Davis Group (with a pre-Traffic teenage Steve Winwood); and a 2-CD, "Soho Blues: The Ronnie Scott Anthology 1956- 62 - Rare EP, LP and 45 RPM Releases" from the jazz saxman.NOW PLAYING

Classic acts from the '50 s, '60 s and '70 s continue to perform. Here's what one of them is doing.

A trivia question: Who composed the music for such '50 s TV shows as "Tales of Wells Fargo" (currently airing on Cozi-TV), Lee Marvin's "M Squad," "Playhouse 90" and '60 s shows "Bachelor Father" (airing on Antenna TV), "Checkmate" with Sebastian Cabot, "Wagon Train" (on Me TV), "Lost in Space" and "Time Tunnel"?

He's the same guy who later achieved international fame as the legendary composer for such blockbuster classic film series as "Superman," "Star Wars," "Indiana Jones," "Jaws," "Jurassic Park" and "Harry Potter."

Back in the '50 s and '60 s the young composer was known as Johnny Williams.

Now 81, John Williams is the winner of five Academy Awards (his 48 nominations is second only to Walt Disney), four Golden Globes, seven BAFTA's (British Oscars) and 21 Grammys. In 2000, he was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame, and he was a Kennedy Center honoree in 2004.

From 1980-1993, he was the successor to Arthur Fiedler as principal conductor of The Boston Pops Orchestra. His list of honors is a mile long.

And he's still at it. Only last year, he received that 48 th Oscar nomination for his music for Stephen Spielberg's "Lincoln" and he's currently working on several other film projects.

He also still tours and conducts concerts. He'll conduct an evening of his music, "John Williams: Maestro Of The Movies," on Aug. 30 and 31 at the Hollywood Bowl. On those evenings, he'll be joined by Julie Andrews for a tribute to the films of her late husband, director Blake Edwards and the composer of most of Edwards' films, Henry Mancini.

Steve Smith writes a new Classic Pop, Rock and Country Music News column every week. Like, recommend or share the column on Facebook. Contact him by email at Classicpopmusicnews@gmail.com.

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