NEW CONCEPT CD FROM TULL'S IAN ANDERSON AND EXPANDED 'PASSION PLAY' DUE
Former and possibly future Jethro Tull mastermind Ian Anderson will release a new concept album a la his legendary British band's early '70 s classics, "Thick as a Brick" and "A Passion Play" next Easter, according to his latest blog on the Jethro Tull website.
Former and possibly future Jethro Tull leader?
Last year, the 65-year-old Anderson, who is touring his highly successful 40 th anniversary "TAAB" tour for a second year, told guitarist Martin Barre, who has been with Tull since the second album, "Stand Up" in 1969, and Los Angeles-based drummer Doane Perry, who joined Tull in 1984, that he didn't want to continue as Jethro Tull.
In his blog, he writes, "'Is this to be an Ian Anderson album or a Jethro Tull album,' I hear you ask? 'Not sure, really,' I reply, if somewhat evasively-.'"
Anderson wrote the album in January and recorded his demos in February. He'll record it, either with his solo touring band or with Jethro Tull this November and December. He plans on touring behind this new concept album throughout 2014.
He notes that Barre will shortly release a new solo album, his fifth, and is playing small "An Evening of Jethro Tull Music," gigs in England (he's playing Fairport Convention's annual Cropredy Festival on Aug. 9) and that Perry is studying orchestration and arranging in L.A. and jokes that Perry "plans to release his first symphony, 'Beethoven and I' in 2028."
In other Anderson news, the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, known for picketing the funerals of soldiers killed in battle, as well as the likes of gay teen Matthew Shepherd, who was beaten to death because of his sexual preference, as well as film critic Roger Ebert, who church leaders called, "a fag enabler," picketed his concert at the Kaufman Theatre in New York City. Church leaders said they did this action "to warn this doomed world that God hates adulterers. Ian is representative of a world of perverse adulterers who have enabled and justified fags." The same church leaders declined to provide any further explanation.
Anderson, who performs annual Christmas concerts in several of England's cathedrals, was married to first wife Jenny from 1970- 1974, and since 1976 to Shona, has yet to comment on the pickets. According to the foreword he wrote for the pamphlet for his 2006 St. Brides charity concerts for the homeless, religiously, he describes himself as being "somewhere Deist and Pantheist."QUEEN WITH ADAM LAMBERT RIDE AGAIN
Last year, Queen and mega-voiced 2009 "American Idol" finalist Adam Lambert played a handful of stadium gigs in England, Europe and Russia. iHeart Music Festival host Ryan Seacrest announced that Queen and Lambert will make their U.S. concert debut at this year's bash, Sept. 20-21 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Other performers include Elton John, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Bruno Mars, Tim McGraw, Muse, Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, French hitmakers Phoenix and newbies fun.CHUBBY CHECKER'S NEW SINGLE
Chubby Checker, who led America and the world during "The Twist" dance craze in the early '60s recently released a new single that shows his serious side, according to his website. "Changes" is an inspirational ballad that is available as a download on iTunes. The 71-year-old performed the song a couple of weeks ago during the concert segment on NBC's "Today Show."
Checker, who is the only recording artist in history to have the same single, "The Twist," hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart on two occasions (in 1960 and again in 1962), has concert dates this year throughout the U.S., in Canada and in South America. He's set to play the Mountain View Recreation Center in Palm Desert on March 9, 2014.ENGELBERT TO DUET WITH KISS' GENE SIMMONS
Yes, it's true: 77-year-old British crooner Engelbert Humperdinck will record with KISS singer-bassist Gene Simmons, he tells Noise 11. The as-yet-unknown song will be recorded in L.A. and will appear on Eng's upcoming album of duets that's set for an October release.
On the album, Humperdinck, who has sold more than 100 million records and whose 1967 debut 45, "Release Me," hit No. 1 in the United Kingdom and No. 4 here, will be joined by such notables as Elton John, Smokey Robinson, Neil Sedaka, Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson.
Humperdinck is currently on the road. He'll play concerts in Highland at the San Manuel Casino on Aug. 1 and at the Starlight Bowl Amphitheatre in Burbank on Aug. 4.LESTER CHAMBERS ATTACKED ONSTAGE
Lester Chambers of The Chambers Brothers, whose psychedelic soul rocker, "Time Has Come Today," hit No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968, was attacked onstage by a concertgoer at the Russell City Hayward Blues Festival in Hayward, his son Dylan said in a post on Facebook. Chambers was treated at a local hospital and released, but is using a cane to walk.
The 73-year-old Chambers was about to perform Curtis Mayfield's gospel-tinged Impression staple, "People Get Ready," that he had just dedicated to Trayvon Martin, when 43-year-old Dinalynn Andrews- Potter jumped onstage from the crowd, yelling, "It's all your fault." She then reportedly attacked Chambers. The San Jose Mercury News said that Andrews-Potter was immediately arrested on assault charges. A friend of the singer, Kurt Kangas, said to the paper, "She had a crazed look in her eye. I saw the devil there."STEVIE WONDER TO BOYCOTT FLORIDA
In the wake of George Zimmerman's acquittal in Florida on second degree murder and manslaughter charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin, Stevie Wonder, a longtime human rights activist, said that he was boycotting the state, according to NBC News.
During a concert in Quebec, Wonder told his audience, "I decided today that until the Stand Your Ground law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again. As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world.
For those that we have lost in the battle for justice, wherever that fits in any part of the world - we can't bring them back. (What) we can do is we can let our voices be heard. And we can vote in our various countries throughout the world for change and equality for everybody. That's what I know we can do."TED NUGENT WEIGHS IN
George Zimmerman's acquittal, Motor City Madman Ted Nugent wrote in a column he penned for Rare, a conservative website, shows that the killer of Trayvon Martin used "the purest form of self-defense there is." He referred to Martin as, "17-year-old dope smoking, racist gangsta wannabe."
Nugent, a National Rifle Association board member, added, "Martin Luther King Jr. is rolling over in his grave that he sacrificed his life for the cause of judging people by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin, as so many of his own race carry on in self-destructive behavior while professional race mongers blame everything on racism. It is painful and heartbreaking to say and write this, but horrifically it is true. Blacks kill more blacks in a weekend in Chicago than the evil, vile Ku Klux Klan idiots did in 50 years. Truly earth-shattering insane."CELEB CAR AUCTION IN SANTA MONICA
The inaugural Mecum Celebrity Items Auction: Celebrating the Legendary History of Hollywood will be held July 26-27 at the Barker Hanger at the Santa Monica Airport.
Among the autos being auctioned is Elvis Presley's 1972 Cadillac Custom Estate Wagon, Frank Sinatra's 1989 Jaguar XJS that was the main car he used to cruise around his Palm Springs neighborhood, and a custom-built 1957 Chevy Coupe that famed custom car creator George Barris built for Ringo Starr, and Steve McQueen's 1969 Chevrolet C/ 10 Baja Truck.HEALTH UPDATES: RANDY TRAVIS, LOU REED, ARETHA, ELTON AND MORRISSEY
Here are a few health updates as of press time. In a video posted on YouTube, Randy Travis' doctor, Gary Erwin, said the 54-year-old country singer, "is awake and alert, interacting with his family and friends and beginning to start doing some early physical therapy," in the wake of a stroke he suffered and subsequent emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain and swelling. The doctor said it's anticipated that Travis will require another 2-3 weeks in the hospital, followed by a residency at an inpatient facility where he will undergo "aggressive physical therapy." He added, "We anticipate it will take months to recover from the stroke."
Lou Reed was released from a hospital stay where he was treated for dehydration, only a couple of months after receiving a liver transplant, reports Yahoo! Music News. The 71-year-old New Yorker then went home and wrote a review of Kanye West's new "Yeezus" CD.
What did Reed have to say about the album? "Now that you like me, I'm going to make you unlike me. It's a dare. It's braggadocio. Axl Rose has done that too, lots of people have. 'I Am a God' - I mean, with a song title like that, he's just begging people to attack him." Overall, Reed, no stranger to controversy, likes the album.
Over the past 18 months, Aretha Franklin has gone through months of what's been described as life- threatening illness, the nature of which has never been disclosed, as well as months of seemingly excellent health. Lately, her health again appears to have taken a turn for the worse. Her hometown concert at Detroit's 15,274-seat DTE Energy Music Theatre was postponed for a second time. In a statement, her publicist said the 71-year-old Queen of Soul was postponing the concert until next summer because she miscalculated the length of her treatments.
Elton John cancelled his imminent European tour, including a headlining gig in London's Hyde Park (The Kinks' Ray Davies, Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello will perform as planned), due to appendicitis, according to a statement released by the 66-year-old singer's management. He's taking antibiotics and will have surgery within the next few weeks. After the diagnosis, John told the U.K.'s Sun, "I'm lucky to be alive. It was a ticking time bomb. I guess I could have died any time."
Earlier this year, 54-year-old English alt pop singer Morrissey's doctors strongly suggested that he retire from performing after a near-fatal bout of pneumonia and bleeding ulcers. Choosing to ignore this, he scheduled a tour of South America. In a bit of bad luck, the crooner and his eight-person entourage all suffered severe food poisoning in Chile, resulting in the cancellation of his gigs in that country and Peru, according to Chili's Radio Cooperativa, who said that their hotel had become pretty much an out-patient medical clinic. A spokesman for the stadium in Santiago, Chili, said Morrissey had flown home to London for treatment. However, on true- to-you.net, Morrissey himself said that he flew to Los Angeles, where he was being treated by his doctor, who assured him that he'll be fine for the remaining dates of the tour in Brazil and Argentina.
Dan McCafferty, lead singer for journeyman Scottish hard rockers Nazareth since he founded the band in 1968, collapsed onstage during his band's show at the Cranbrook Curling Centre in Cranbrook, Canada, according to the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. The 66-year-old frontman collapsed only 30 seconds into the band's opening song. Before the show he complained of struggling to get enough air. The paper reports that he's stable now.
However, the remainder of Nazareth's North American tour has been cancelled. Their European tour, set to kick off Aug. 23, remains on the schedule.
Nazareth are best known for their 1975 LP, "Hair of the Dog," that went platinum here, and for the album's hit single, a cover of The Everly Brothers' smash, "Love Hurts," that reached No. 8 here, and No. 1 on Canada, No. 8 in Australia and No. 15 in Britain.RICK WAKEMAN CELEBRATES 'JOURNEY'
Former Yes keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman will celebrate the 40 th anniversary of his hit 1974 concept album, "Journey to the Centre of the Earth," next year by touring the world performing the album in its entirety, according to his website.
The album that was narrated by actor David Hemmings ("Blow Up"), hit No. 3 here on Billboard's Top 200 album chart and No. 1 in the U.K., being certified as gold records in both countries.
While more than 100 concerts are planned worldwide, the first five shows, all in Britain, have been announced from April 19 - May 4, and will feature The English Rock Ensemble and The Jules Verne Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. He's also going to perform a large portion of his 1999 sequel album, "Return to the Centre of the Earth."
Wakeman has had five different runs with prog-rock giants Yes, beginning in 1971, where he quickly became the focal point surrounded by banks of keyboards in a long, silver sequined robe with his blond hair almost all the way down his back as he dazzled sold out arenas with his lightening playing speed and vast array of synthesized sounds amidst an eye-popping light show. He left Yes seemingly for the last time in 2009 - but one can never be sure.GOOD SAMARITAN HELPS DAVE MATTHEWS ON WAY TO GIG
Dave Matthews was riding his bike on a pre-concert ride in Hershey, Penn., when he got a flat tire. He didn't have a tire patching kit nor did he have his cell phone, so he tried to flag down some help.
Stopping to help, according to local TV station CBS21, was Emily Krause and her boyfriend, Joe.
As luck would have it, the couple was on their way to Matthews' concert.
Joe loaded the 46-year-old frontman's bike into the car while Kraus held Matthew's helmet, and off they went to the concert, group leader in tow in the back seat. She said the trio made small talk about the tour and he then invited the couple to dinner. During the show, Matthews told the throng that "a nice lady named Emily" gave him a ride to the concert.
On the CBS21 website, Kraus wrote, "All the planets aligned last night; something greater than I'll ever be able to comprehend. My cheeks still hurt from smiling, giggling and laughing all night long ... this will always be remembered."BEATLES' DOINGS
When recently discussing his new book of candid photos, many previously unpublished, that he took of his Beatles bandmates, titled, "Photograph," after his 1973 No. 1 classic, Ringo said to NBC News of the first trip to America, "We lived from gig to car to hotel room. When we got to New York - when we got to America - it was, like, too big, because all the music we loved came from America. It was like a dream come true." Would he still like to be in an active Beatles? "Oh yeah, oh, any day. It was the best band." He added, "You'll never understand how far out it was."
In other Ringo news, Simon & Shuster Children's Books announced that it will publish a picture book based on his 1969 Beatles song, "Octopus Garden." The book, which will be published in North America next Jan. 14, will come with a CD with a previously unheard music track from Ringo as well as his reading of the book's story.
Paul McCartney, currently on his "Out There Tour" that plays this week to sold out crowds at Seattle's 47,000-seat Safeco Field and Quebec's historic Plains of Abraham Battlefield Park (he played there before 250,000 in 2008), appears on the new electronic dance music single, "Out of Sight," by Italian electro-house musician and DJ Bloody Beetroots. McCartney's cohort in his electronic music side project, "The Fireman," (they've released three albums from 1993 through 2008) Youth, also appears on the single.
Seventy-one-year-old cutting edge techno guy Sir Paul sings lead on the song. The official video can be viewed on YouTube.
McCartney just announced a five-date tour of Japan set for November. They'll be his first shows there in more than a decade.
Kenwood, a 1913 three-story Tudor mansion that John Lennon, his wife Cynthia and son Julian, lived in from 1964-1968 in the exclusive St. George's Hill Estate area of Weybridge, Surrey, has been put on the market for $20,950,000. Lennon bought the mansion for 20,000 pounds and sold it four years later for 40,000 pounds after extensive improvements. Lennon vacated the home when Cynthia came home early from a Greek vacation and found her husband and Yoko Ono together.
In other Beatles news, a rare acetate (test pressing) of a double- album that was pressed on June 2, 1964 and was being looked at but never released, will be auctioned Aug. 9 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. It is one of only two of these acetates known to exist.
The acetate discs for "Best of The Beatles" contain the Capitol Records logo and set list. The planned release was scrapped when Capitol discovered that Vee-Jay Records, which also released Beatles singles and albums during 1963-1964, didn't lose the rights to those songs. Bidding begins at $10,000. It will sell for a lot more than that.NEW RELEASES
Among the recently released albums, digital reissues, MP3 downloads and deluxe box sets are a 2-CD/DVD, "Night in Paris," a live set from last year from melodic pop singer-songwriter Christopher Cross, that includes his hits "Sailing," "Arthur's Theme," Ride Like the Wind" and more; and "The Road Leading Home: Songs By Dan Penn," who wrote numerous hits including The Box Tops' "Cry Like a Baby," sees his composing skills showcased on recordings compiled here by the likes of The Sweet Inspirations, Percy Sledge, The Drifters, Irma Thomas, Brenda Lee, Roy Hamilton, James and Bobby Purify, Ronnie Milsap and others.
And "Electric," the 12 th studio album from English synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys includes a cover of Bruce Springsteen's anti-war "Last To Die"; "Amelita," the second CD from Dixie Chicks sisters Emily Robison and Marti McGuire; "Dreamweaver," from jazz keyboardist George Duke with guest bassist Stanley Clarke and singers Jeffrey Osborne and the late Teena Marie; "Live at Bestival 2012" from veteran English New Wave outfit New Order that was formed in Salford in 1980; "Best of 26 Cuts" from The Partridge Family (with David Cassidy); and the re-release of "Hexagram 16," the trippy I Ching- inspired 1971 solo album from singer-songwriter Russ Giguere of The Association that features such guests as Bernie Leadon of The Eagles, session multi-instrumentalist Larry Knechtel and The Flying Burrito Brothers' bassist Chris Ethridge and Jerry Yester of The Lovin' Spoonful.
Also "Fire On The Mountain: Reggae Celebrates The Grateful Dead Vols. 1 & 2," includes Toots Hibbert covering "Catfish John" and "Turn On Your Love Light," The Mighty Diamonds on "Touch of Grey," and Steel Pulse with "Franklin's Tower," a 2-CD showcase, "The Definitive Doc Watson" looks at the late bluegrass, folk and country singing, and guitar-playing Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner who died last year at age 89; the 13-track, "This Song is You," from 72-year-old Ronald Isley, the Isley Brothers lead singer; and a 6- CD import box, "Bif Box of Ventures," from instrumental surf sound legends The Ventures.
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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