Classic Rock News

40 YEARS AGO!!! JOHN LENNON JOINS ELTON JOHN ONSTAGE AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN

Thanksgiving marks the 40th anniversary (Thanksgiving night, November 28th, 1974) of John Lennon joining Elton John on stage for a brief set of songs at New York's legendary Madison Square Garden.

Lennon's appearance was due to a bet made with Elton earlier that summer when Elton supplied the piano and harmony vocal on Lennon's "Whatever Gets You Through The Night." Elton made Lennon promise that if the song hit Number One he would join Elton onstage to perform it. Lennon, who had yet to have a U.S. solo chart-topper, never believed the song would hit the top spot, and agreed. When the song hit Number One, plans were made for Lennon to make a guest appearance at Elton's New York City show.

Lennon reportedly got cold feet after traveling to Boston and catching Elton's Boston Garden show, but was talked into honoring his commitment. Only two days before his death, Lennon recalled the entire back-story to his brief stage comeback to BBC Radio: "Elton was in town and I was doing it and needed the harmony. He did the harmony on that and a couple more, and played beautiful piano on it. And jokingly, he was telling me he was going to do this Madison Square Garden concert -- he said, 'Will you do it with me if the record's Number One?' And I did not expect it to get to Number One at all. I didn't think it had a chance in hell. I said, 'Sure, sure, sure I will.' He came back and said, 'OK, it's time to pay your dues!' It was the first Number One I had, actually. 'Imagine' wasn't Number One, 'Instant Karma' wasn't Number One -- which I all think are better records than 'Whatever Gets You Thru The Night.' (The) words are pretty good. But anyway, so what could we sing, that was the point."

  • Toward the end of Elton's New York City show, Lennon was announced, dressed all in black and playing a black and white Fender Telecaster as he, Elton and the band launched into "Whatever Gets You through The Night"; the Beatles' "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," which he and Elton had re-recorded earlier that year and was Elton's current single; and the early Beatles classic "I Saw Her Standing There," a Paul McCartney-sung track that Lennon had never performed after the group's split.
AUDIO: BBC - JOHN LENNON ON 'WHATEVER GETS YOU THRU THE NIGHT'
JON BON JOVI WOULD BE HARD-PRESSED TO ALLOW RITCHE SAMBORA BACK IN BON JOVI

Jon Bon Jovi has broken his silence regarding the departure of Ritchie Sambora from Bon Jovi during a radio interview with Philadelphia's WMMR. Earlier this month, at the after party for old friend Jon Stewart’s directorial debut Rosewater, Bon Jovi was asked about Sambora’s status with the band, and verbalized what has been apparent for a very long time, saying, quote, "He quit. He’s gone. No hard feelings. Being in a band isn’t a life sentence." Sambora was a no-show on the Bon Jovi tour starting on April 2nd, 2013 at Calgary's Scotiabank Saddledome. As they did during Sambora's 2011 hiatus, the band soldiered on, touring the globe selling out stadiums with session guitarist Phil "X" Xenidis once again filling in for Sambora.

Bon Jovi spoke candidly to WMMR about the band’s decision to carry on without Sambora, saying, "Y’know, he quit and no one’s heard (from) him since. I mean, God bless him. . . He just quit and that was that. It’s not for me to say anything other than that. Y’know, he’s entitled to do what he wants. It’s not his obligation. There's no obligation. If it doesn’t move you anymore, you have the right to leave (laughs) and he just happened to do it on a show day and never called us again. But there was no reason, there was no fight, it certainly wasn't about money -- I swear that on a stack of bibles and he’ll confirm it. That was not the case and he just left and there was no way that I was gonna break up the band. Why would (David Bryan) or (Tico Torres) need to suffer and why would I have to suffer? And the record company doesn’t care and the touring company doesn’t care and, y’know, it’s okay. It’s not a big deal."

  • When pressed as to whether the band would welcome Sambora back should he choose to return, Bon Jovi said, "Sure… but it’s. . . I’d be hard-pressed to (let him back in), so would David, so would Tico. It’d be a lot for us (to allow him back). After a year-and-a-half and you miss 80 shows. . . (laughs) Y’know, I don’t, I don’t think that’s possible."
  • Bon Jovi mentioned that he's currently writing and aiming for a 2016 album release, although he didn't specify if it was for a group or solo project.
  • The events over the past year came as a shock to us after talking to Ritchie Sambora just before the tour's launch. Sambora seemed proud of the band's then-new album, What About Now, and was pleased with how the band was gelling in rehearsals: "Y'know, obviously to prepare for a tour that looks like a year-and-a-half, or something like that, y'know, you have to physically prepare for it. But once you get out there, you get in a groove, man. And, y'know, this is what we love to do. It's an anomaly that we still all get along together and, y'know, have a great time playing together, and we're still making music that people wanna hear and people wanna come see us play, and that's a big magnet, also."
AUDIO: RICHIE SAMBORA ON BON JOVI TODAY
BOB SEGER SAYS LISTENING IS THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIP

Bob Seger is back on the road with the Silver Bullet Band mixing a select bunch of his new songs in with his legendary classics. As with any Seger tour, some songs come and go making way for either newer songs or other deep cuts. One song from the new Top Three hit album Ride Out yet to be performed live is "You Take Me In" -- a track receiving raves from die-hards, which might just end up being the wedding dance hit of 2015.

Although known for the Detroit power he's brought to so many high-octane cuts over the years, Bob Seger is no stranger to nailing a tough, but tender ballad. He told us that when dealing with a love song -- or just love in general -- honesty and trust are the keys to success: "If you idealize the person and refuse to really hear what they’re saying, really hear what they’re saying, that's when you get into big trouble. And I think listening is just so all-important in maintaining a genuine relationship. Any relationship is going to be work. You take a chance, when you, you finally say, ‘OK, I’m gonna try to make this work."
January 22 - Pittsburgh, PA - Consol Energy Center
January 24 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
January 27 - Charleston, WV - Charleston Civic Center Coliseum
January 29 - Columbus, OH - Nationwide Arena
January 31 - Atlanta, GA - The Arena At Gwinnett Center
February 3 - Estero, FL - Germain Arena
February 5 - Tampa, FL - Amalie Arena
February 7 - Fort Lauderdale, FL - BB&T Center
February 10 - Lafayette, LA - Cajundome
February 12 - Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center
February 14 - Houston, TX - Toyota Center
February 17 - Wichita, KS - Intrust Bank Arena
February 19 - Glendale, AZ - Gila River Arena
February 27 - Los Angeles, CA - TBA AUDIO: BOB SEGER ON RELATIONSHIPS
JIMMY PAGE SAYS HE SAW HIS 'LIFE FLASHING BY' WHEN COMPILING PHOTO MEMOIR

Jimmy Page feels that his new photographic memoir, titled Jimmy Page By Jimmy Page may actually be more personal because of the candid and revealing shots of his life and career. The 512-page oversized tome covers every aspect of his career; his London session work and stint in the Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, the Firm, his solo work and collaboration with David Coverdale, the mid-'90s teamup with Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin's 2007 reunion concert and beyond.

Jimmy Page says that he was able to do something with the book, that few people's are ever able to really do: "It starts off there when I’m about 12, 12 or 13, but it goes through, to, like 70. So, y’know, you definitely sort of see your life flashing by and you see the decades, but it’s alright, though, because, y’know, I managed to put something together here, which nobody had done before: a complete autobiography in photographs. You see yourself growing up, really." AUDIO: JIMMY PAGE ON PHOTO MEMOIR
JOE PERRY CALLS AEROSMITH'S CONTINUED RELEVANCE 'A MIRACLE'

Aerosmith's Joe Perry pulled no punches in his recent autobiography, Rocks: My Life In And Out Of Aerosmith, either about his life and career or Aerosmith's now infamous inner-band troubles. His biography is the third from the band, following Aerosmith's 2003 joint bio, Walk This Way: The Autobiography Of Aerosmith, drummer Joey Kramer's 2009 memoir Hit Hard: A Story Of Hitting Rock Bottom At The Top, and frontman Steven Tyler's 2011 book, Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?

Joe Perry told us that ultimately, the thrill of what Aerosmith accomplished musically trumps all the problems that the band has endured due to drugs, women, management and ego issues: "It’s really the five of us, y’know, as a band. And it’s still exciting to walk out onstage with these guys. And that, I think, is the glue that keeps us coming back. Sometimes I ask that question myself, y’know, ‘Why am I still doin’ it?’ Well, when I walk out onstage in Moscow and everybody out there is singing words to songs that we wrote in the basement, or, y’know, in some studio somewhere. It’s nothin’ short of a miracle, y’know? And so we kind of have a lot of respect for that."

  • Aerosmith will next perform on July 22nd in Cheyenne, Wyoming at Cheyenne Frontier Days at Frontier Park.
AUDIO: JOE PERRY ON RESPECT FOR AEROSMITH LEGACY
AC/DC STREAMING 'ROCK OR BUST'; PHIL RUDD MAKES BIZARRE COURT APPEARANCE

All 500 million of those iTunes users in the world are in luck: they can now listen to the new AC/DC album, Rock Or Bust, a week ahead of its December 2nd release date. The complete set is now streaming in its entirety as part of iTunes' "First Play" program, and the band didn't even have to dump it in your account without asking like a certain group from Ireland we all know.

AC/DC has used "rock" in a lot of song and album titles and we asked guitarist Angus Young why it felt like time to do it again: "Well, Rock Or Bust, it's a good, strong title and it's got the word 'rock' in it, you know? (laughs) 'Cause everyone says, jeez, you know, how many songs have they got with 'rock' in the title in it. But they've got to cut us some slack -- I mean, we've made 16 albums, you know." when the AC/DC drummer failed to show up on time for his court appearance to address the charges against him. Rudd was scheduled to appear in court at 9:00 a.m. but arrived several minutes late. Rudd did not enter a plea and had his bodyguard give him a piggyback ride to his car after the hearing was over. Rudd then backed up the vehicle into the path of an oncoming truck, almost causing an accident. Rudd is set to return to court on December 2nd.

AUDIO: AC/DC'S ANGUS YOUNG ON THE TITLE 'ROCK OR BUST'
DENNIS DeYOUNG WILL NEVER BADMOUTH STYX

Although his exit from Styx in 1999 was a bitter pill to swallow, Dennis DeYoung has neither an unkind work for his former bandmates, nor any apologies for the music they made together. DeYoung has just released a new live CD/DVD set, Dennis DeYoung And The Music Of Styx Live In Los Angeles. The collection, which is also available in Blu-ray and digital formats, was captured live on March 18th, 2014 live at L.A.’s El Rey Theater.

Dennis DeYoung told us that although he and the rest of Styx no longer have contact, he can’t help but still love the creative connection they once shared and be thrilled about what they accomplished together: "You can’t find anywhere where I’ve ever said anything denigrating about what we created. It doesn’t exist. I just don’t believe it. I think, by and large, we did really good work. We stood for something; we stood for something positive in our music -- it’s a joy to do it (live). To know I was part of all that stuff and here I stand at 67-years-old and I can still duplicate it, so I think: ‘Hey, no complaints from me!’" :
December 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 27, 28, 31 - Quebec, QC - Theatre Capitole
January 16 - Richardson, TX - Eisemann Center For Performing Arts
January 17 - Houston, TX - Arena Theatre
February 13 - Jim Thorpe, PA - Penn's Peak
February 14 - New Albany, OH - McCoy Center For The Arts
February 17 - Fort Lauderdale, FL - Broward Center/ Au-Rene Theatre
February 19 - Fort Pierce, FL - Sunrise Theatre
February 20 - Clearwater , FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall
February 21 - Jacksonville, FL - Florida Theatre
March 21 - Ferndale, WA - Silver Reef Casino Event Center
April 17 - Durham, NC - The Carolina Theatre
April 18 - Florence, SC - Francius Marion - PAC
AUDIO: DENNIS DEYOUNG ON REMAINING PROUD OF STYX
GEORGE HARRISON REMEMBERED

It was 13 years ago Saturday (November 29th, 2001) that George Harrison died after a long battle with cancer, at age 58. Harrison, the first of the Beatles to embrace Eastern philosophies and culture, will also be remembered for his humanitarian efforts, such as his 1971 Concert For Bangladesh for famine relief.

Harrison's son, Dhani Harrison, supervised the recent release of the new box set, The Apple Years: 1968-'75, which features such beloved solo works as Wonderwall Music (1968), Electronic Sound (1969), All Things Must Pass (1970), Living In The Material World (1973), Dark Horse (1974), and Extra Texture (Read All About It) (1975) -- are also available individually. The collection, which comes 10 years after the release of the first Harrison box -- The Dark Horse Years 1976-92 -- features an exclusive DVD with "several video pieces, including a new seven-minute film with previously unreleased footage, an exclusive perfect-bound book with an introduction by Dhani, new essays by award-winning radio producer and author Kevin Howlett, and rare and previously unpublished images.

In 2012, the Martin Scorsese HBO documentary George Harrison: Living In The Material World snagged two awards at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony held at L.A.'s Nokia Theatre. The critically acclaimed doc won the prizes for Outstanding Nonfiction Special and Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming.

Following George Harrison's death, an obviously distraught Paul McCartney met the press outside his Sussex, England home and spoke lovingly about his original friend in the Beatles: "He was a lovely man, I love him dearly. I grew up with him and I like to remember all the great times we had together in Liverpool and with the Beatles and ever since, really. Great sense of humor -- I was lucky enough to see him a couple of weeks ago and he was still laughing and joking. Very brave man, and I'm just privileged to have known him, and I love him like he's my brother. It's a very sad day for me and for a lot of people, but I think he would have wanted us to get on and be loving and remember him as the great man he was." AUDIO: OLIVIA HARRISON ON GEORGE HARRISON DYING
AUDIO: RINGO STARR ON LAST VISIT WITH GEORGE HARRISON
AUDIO: STEVE LUKATHER ON FRIENDSHIP WITH GEORGE HARRISON
AUDIO: TOM PETTY SAYS GEORGE HARRISON TAUGHT HIM HOW TO PLAY UKULELE
AUDIO: ERIC CLAPTON SAYS GEORGE HARRISON'S GREATNESS HAS BEEN PROVEN SINCE HIS DEATH
AUDIO: ERIC CLAPTON ON GEORGE HARRISON WRITING 'HERE COMES THE SUN'
AUDIO: KLAUS VOORMANN ON GEORGE HARRISON AND BANGLADESH CONCERT
AUDIO: JOEY MOLLAND ON GEORGE HARRISON CONTRIBUTING IDEAS TO STRAIGHT UP
AUDIO: PATTIE BOYD ON DIFFICULTIES WITH GEORGE HARRISON
AUDIO: PATTIE BOYD ON WHY GEORGE HARRISON EMBRACED EASTERN PHILOSOPHY
AUDIO: PATTIE BOYD ON RELATIONSHIP WITH GEORGE HARRISON'S LIVERPOOL FAMILY
AUDIO: DHANI HARRISON ON BEING GEORGE HARRISON'S SON
AUDIO: OLIVIA HARRISON ON HOW GEORGE HARRISON WOULD DEAL WITH CURRENT TIMES
AUDIO: OLIVIA HARRISON ON GEORGE HARRISON BEING GROUNDED BY SPIRITUALITY
AUDIO: OLIVIA HARRISON ON GEORGE HARRISON PLEASING HIS FANS
AUDIO: GEORGE HARRISON ON FACING DEATH
AUDIO: GEORGE HARRISON ON FORMING THE TRAVELING WILBURYS
AUDIO: GEORGE HARRISON ON THE RECORD BUSINESS
AUDIO: GEORGE HARRISON ON 'CLATTERING AND BANGING'
AUDIO: GEORGE HARRISON ON 1974 TOUR PROBLEMS
AUDIO: GEORGE HARRISON ON NOT BEING A RECLUSE
AUDIO: GEORGE HARRISON ON PRE-FAME BEATLES
AUDIO: PAUL MCCARTNEY ON GEORGE HARRISON'S DEATH
AUTHORIZED DOCUMENTARY ON KURT COBAIN COMING TO HBO

The first fully authorized documentary about late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, titled Montage Of Heck, will premiere on HBO in 2015, according to RollingStone.com. The film is written, directed and produced by Brett Morgen and is the first to be made with the cooperation of Cobain's family. Cobain's daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, has signed on as an executive producer for the project.

Morgen and his team were given access to Cobain's entire personal and family archives, and the film will include footage from numerous Nirvana performances, along with previously unheard songs, never-before-seen home movies, recordings, artwork, photography, journals, demos and songbooks.

  • Morgen, who has been working on the project for some eight years, said in a statement, "Once I stepped into Kurt’s archive, I discovered over 200 hours of unreleased music and audio, a vast array of art projects (oil paintings, sculptures), countless hours of never-before-seen home movies, and over 4,000 pages of writings that together help paint an intimate portrait of an artist who rarely revealed himself to the media."
  • Morgen told NME back in 2013 that the movie would feature a mix of animation and live-action footage, although it's not clear whether that is still the case.
  • The movie has the same title as a musical and sound collage that Cobain created around 1988, which recently surfaced online. The collage exists in both eight and 36-minute versions and combines original sounds and effects with Nirvana demos, songs recorded from the radio and tracks sampled from Cobain's record collection.
  • A biopic about Cobain, produced in conjunction with his widow Courtney Love, has been on and off in development for years, although there are no signs that it is going to emerge any time soon.
DAVE GROHL: I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT NEW ORLEANS OR JAZZ BEFORE 'SONIC HIGHWAYS'

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl admitted in a new interview with Rolling Stone that he knew nothing about the history and culture of New Orleans before he and the band traveled there for the sixth episode of their HBO series Sonic Highways. Grohl explained, "Before I turned on the camera with Ben Jaffe from Preservation Hall (Jazz Band), I said, 'I don't know s*** about jazz and I don't know s*** about New Orleans' . . . A lot of the interviews were like that. I'm a music nerd, but I'm not a musicologist. I love talking about music and hearing these stories, but I also love not knowing everything."

  • The New Orleans episode aired this past Friday night (November 21st) and featured interviews with Jaffe, the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, Trombone Shorty and Bonnie Raitt, while also focusing on the careers of Big Easy legends like Dr. John, Allen Toussaint and the Meters.
  • Asked why he included New Orleans in the series, Grohl said, "The celebration of life in that city is unlike anywhere else I've ever been . . . there's a soundtrack to that city everywhere, 24 hours a day. You're just immersed in music. It makes people smile and dance and drink and celebrate life."
  • Drummer Taylor Hawkins told us that the Foos felt more welcomed by the musical community in New Orleans than any other city: "The thing about New Orleans is all those musi -- it's like they all wrapped their arms around us as soon as we got there. They were all like, 'We're gonna be part of this too.' Because they wanna play. They're there to play. They were involved from second one, and that's the spirit of that place. We're here to play, everybody's gonna play. It's all about that shared sort of experience." ."
  • New Orleans was one of eight cities in which Foo Fighters recorded its new album, also titled Sonic Highways, which the HBO series has chronicled. There are two episodes of the series left.
  • The Foos will tour North American stadiums and arenas next year in support of the album, which debuted at Number Two on the Billboard 200 chart last week.
AUDIO: FOO FIGHTERS' TAYLOR HAWKINS ON NEW ORLEANS
GIANTS ANNOUNCE THIRD 'METALLICA NIGHT'; BASSIST LAUNCHES CROWDFUND FOR DOCUMENTARY

Metallica has revealed that the 2014 World Champion San Francisco Giants have invited the band back for the third annual Metallica Night at the Giants' hometown ballfield, AT&T Park. The band posted, "We'll all be on hand Saturday, May 2, 2015 as the Giants take the field against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and as always, the night will kick off with the National Anthem and first pitch."

The band will be on hand all evening during the game and will participate in several events throughout the night, which will also feature special giveaways and souvenirs. Special event tickets for the game go on sale Friday (November 28th) at 8:00 a.m. PT.

  • A portion of the proceeds from every Metallica Night special event ticket will benefit a local charity.
  • In other news, Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo has launched a PledgeMusic campaign to raise the last batch of funds needed to complete production on his documentary about legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius.
  • Trujillo has funded much of the project himself and told us why it's important for him to get it finished: "When you take on a project like this, you know, it's from the heart, so it is for the right reasons. This is not the next Transformers. It's not like 'the blockbuster.' It's a story that I wanted to share with as many people as possible, musicians or non-musicians. I know this story's powerful, it needs to be told."
  • Contributes to the PledgeMusic fund can purchase a variety of items for their money, including bass lessons with Trujillo, signed DVDs of the film and a replica of Pastorius’ "bass of doom."
  • The movie, titled Jaco: The Movie, tells the story of the electric bass pioneer through interviews with family, friends and fellow musicians such as Flea, Joni Mitchell, Sting, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Geddy Lee, Bootsy Collins and Carlos Santana. Trujillo has been working on the project for nearly five years.
  • Trujillo will screen a nearly complete version of Jaco on December 8th at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Grammy Museum's "Reel To Reel" program in Los Angeles.
AUDIO: METALLICA'S ROBERT TRUJILLO ON COMPLETING HIS JACO PASTORIUS DOCUMENTARY
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS TO STRESS 'QUALITY OVER QUANTITY' ON NEXT RECORD

Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith said in a new interview with Music Radar that the band is aiming for "quality and not quantity" when it begins recording its new album this winter. Smith explained, "We probably have close to 30 songs. I think last time we overdid it a little; traditionally we’ve always recorded 25 or 40 songs. It won’t be 50, like last time. We always say, ‘We’re going to do a Beatles thing and just do 10 or 11 songs,’ then it turns into an epic f***ing thing. This time we’ll focus on the quality and not the quantity."

The last Chili Peppers album, 2011's I'm With You, featured 14 tracks. Another 17 songs from the same sessions were released throughout 2012 and 2013 on a series of vinyl and digital singles.

  • Smith added that the band is "really close" to hitting the "record" button, saying, "I think we’ll probably go up to December, do a little pre-production, then take a little Christmas break. I hope to recording after the first of the year."
  • The band has yet to indicate whether Rick Rubin, who has been the band's regular producer since 1991, will be involved with the new effort.
  • Smith also hinted that he and comedian Will Ferrell might work together again in 2015. Their status as celebrity lookalikes became a running joke that resulted in a "drum-off" on The Tonight Show as well as a charitable event. Smith said, "Will and I are hoping we can cook something else up for next year, something more epic."
 
 
 
 

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