Classic Rock News

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN RELEASES 'AMERICAN BEAUTY' EP ON SATURDAY

Coming out tomorrow (Saturday, April 19th) in commemoration of Record Store Day is Bruce Springsteen's new American Beauty vinyl EP. Springsteen recently spoke about the set -- which so far, has no digital or CD release date -- telling Rolling Stone: "It's got some nice things on it. This is material from the past decade. Some were demos that I never cut. I believe 'American Beauty' was a demo I made that I didn't end up cutting with Brendan (O'Brien). I believe 'Hurry Up Sundown' was the same thing. The other two songs, one was cut for maybe Magic or Working On A Dream and they're just good music that didn't get onto this record, and was sitting there. I thought it's a nice time to support the record stores, which are dwindling and get some new music out at the same time."

Back in 2010, Springsteen issued the vinyl single "Wrecking Ball" backed with a live version of "The Ghost Of Tom Joad" featuring Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello. Although both songs have been previously available as digital downloads, the 10-inch single was only available at independent record stores on Record Store Day.

  • Backstage at the E Street Band's recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Steve Van Zandt explained that Springsteen was able to understand exactly how each member would ultimately be able to serve him and his music: "Bruce handpicked the band himself, one guy at a time, y’know? And it was his band and we existed for him and to realize his vision, as I said. And he picked guys who could handle a wide variety of things and could basically follow orders (laughs), okay? We had, y’know, a really fast ability to learn. Every one of us, y'know, there was a lot of spontaneity going on in the show -- a lot." :
    April 19 - Charlotte, NC - Time Warner Cable Arena
    April 22 - Pittsburgh, PA - Consol Energy Center
    April 24 - Raleigh, NC - PNC Arena
    April 26 - Atlanta, GA - Aaron's Amphitheatre At Lakewood
    April 29 - Sunrise, FL - BB&T Center
    May 1 - Tampa, FL - MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
    May 3 - New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival - Fairgrounds Racecourse
    May 6 - Houston, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
    May 13 - Albany, NY - Times Union Center
    May 14 - Hershey, PA - Hersheypark Stadium
    May 17, 18 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena

AUDIO: STEVE VAN ZANDT ON BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN ON HAND PICKING THE E STREET BAND
BEATLES JAPANESE ALBUM BOX SET COMING IN JUNE

We’ve got the British and American Beatles album box sets -- and now coming on June 25th is the "Fab Four's" five-CD set called Meet The Beatles - Japan Box. Beatlefan magazine reported that in commemoration of the Beatles' 50th anniversary of landing in America, Universal Music Japan will issue the box, which will feature the following Japanese edition albums: Meet The Beatles (14 songs); The Beatles' Second Album (14 songs), A Hard Day's Night (14 songs -- same as the original UK version, but different cover photo), Help (14 songs -- same as the original UK version) and the compilation, The Beatles No. 5 (14 songs).

Beatles Examiner posted: "Universal says each CD will include reproductions of the original albums' covers, as the Beatles' U.S. Albums set in America did. The albums will also be compiled from the 2009 remasters, as was the American box set. Each disc will feature either stereo or mono sound, but apparently not both, according to a translation."

  • During the height of Beatlemania, Billy Joel -- still a teenaged up and coming musician in Long Island, New York -- actually took the time out to write to his heroes: "I wrote this letter to the Beatles, after the Beatles first came out. And I wrote this passionate letter: ‘I think you guys are so great. How did you come up with your ideas for songs? How did you do this harmony? What was it like to record. . . ' -- y’know, just all these questions a kid would ask. And I got a letter back that said, 'Thank you for your letter. You can buy Beatle lipstick. . . and you can buy a Beatle pocketbook. . . ' Y’know, they had all these Beatles merchandise. And I was really disappointed. I said, that’s not what I wanted. I wanted to know."
AUDIO: BILLY JOEL ON WRITING TO THE BEATLES
DAVE GROHL AND KRIST NOVOSELIC OPEN UP ABOUT NIRVANA PERFORMANCE

Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic have spoken with Rolling Stone about the band's performances during and after their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction last Thursday (April 10th), which featured a series of mostly female singers standing in for late frontman Kurt Cobain. Grohl revealed, "We didn't even start talking about playing until about eight weeks ago. It just seemed practically impossible. It was hard to imagine jumping onstage and playing those songs. It takes a little bit of musical preparation, and a lot of emotional preparation."

  • Although they reached out to a number of singers, Joan Jett was the first to sign on. Grohl said, "She took it on like it was her calling . . . She learned every song on Nevermind. She’s everything that Nirvana stood for. She’s a powerful, rebellious, musical force of nature. We couldn’t think of anyone better to join us."
  • Once Jett was involved, the other members realized that the singers at the induction had to be "all women," with Grohl explaining, "It also added a whole other dimension to the show. It added substance and depth, so it didn’t turn into a eulogy. It was more about the future."
  • In addition to Jett, the band was joined by Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, St. Vincent and Lorde, with Grohl saying that each woman represented a different era of rock.
  • The biggest surprise of the night, however, was Grohl's onstage embrace with Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, with whom he has had a longstanding feud.
  • Grohl said about the moment, "We're family, no matter what. And we all love each other, no matter what. It's a lot bigger than a paragraph or a picture. It's real. So it was a reunion, and we were there for Kurt. It was a beautiful night. It was good."
  • The induction was followed by a 19-song show at a tiny bar in Brooklyn, featuring Jett, St. Vincent, Gordon, Deer Tick's John McCauley and Dinosaur Jr.'s J. Mascis.
  • That show was filmed and Grohl has that footage, but it's not clear whether it will be made public any time soon.
  • As for any future Nirvana reunions, Novoselic said, "You never say never now. We did it. I sure won’t say no. Maybe we can even do some new music one day." Grohl responded, "We haven't even talked about it. We looked at that evening as a night that may never happen again. That's what made it so powerful and beautiful and meaningful."
JETHRO TULL'S IAN ANDERSON RELEASES SOLO ALBUM ANNOUNCES FALL TOUR

Out this week is Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson’s latest solo album, called Homo Erraticus. The new album, which is the followup to 2012’s Thick As A Brick 2, also chronicles the exploits of the fictional pre-pubescent character Gerald Bostock -- who made his first appearance on Tull’s 1972 Thick As A Brick album. Anderson, who's kicking off a UK tour at the end of the month, will embark on a 35-date U.S. tour beginning on September 12th in Seattle, Washington and running through November 10th in Montclair, New Jersey.

Anderson revealed to Billboard, that the Jethro Tull "brand" is dead, explaining, "The huge body of work that is the Jethro Tull catalogue stands firm close beside me and in good stead. . . But I think I prefer, in my twilight years, to use my own name for the most part being composer of virtually all Tull songs and music since 1968. . . It's a body of work I rather think is now kind of historical, since the weight of it lies back in the '70s and '80s in terms of volume. And I rather think it's nice to kind of leave that as legacy."

  • Ian Anderson tells us that his concert setlists have always been peppered with the classics everyone loves: "Generally speaking, I suppose we do because there are certain pieces -- most obviously 'Aqualung' and "Locomotive Breath' -- I think feature pretty much in nearly every Jethro Tull concert. And there are a few others that are frequent visitors. We'll often play a bit of 'Thick As A Brick' and the instrumental 'Bouree.' A few frequent travelers." :
    September 12 - Seattle, WA - Marion Oliver McCaw Hall
    September 13 - Goldendale, WA - Maryhill Winery Amphitheater
    September 15 - Redding, CA - Cascade Theatre
    September 17 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
    September 18 - Costa Mesa, CA - Renee & Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
    September 19 - Las Vegas, NV - Pearl Concert Theater
    September 20 - Mesa, AZ - Mesa Arts Center
    September 21 - Albuquerque, NM - Kiva Auditorium
    September 23 - Dallas, TX - Margot & Bill Winspear Opera House
    September 24 - Midland, TX - Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center
    September 26 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater
    September 27 - San Antonio, TX - H-E-B Performance Hall
    September 28 - Stafford, TX - Stafford Centre
    September 30 - Atlanta, GA - Symphony Hall at Woodruff Arts Center
    October 1 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium
    October 3 - Charlotte, NC - Blumenthal Performing Arts
    October 4 - Durham, NC - Durham Performing Arts Center
    October 16 - Naperville, IL - Pfeiffer Hall
    October 17 - Springfield, IL - Sangamon Auditorium
    October 18 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater
    October 21 - Minneapolis, MN - The State Theatre
    October 23 - Elizabeth, IN - Horseshoe Southern Indiana
    October 24 - Greensburg, PA - Palace Theatre
    October 26 - Bethlehem, PA - Sands Bethlehem Event Center
    October 28 - Burlington, VT - Flynn Center For The Performing Arts
    October 29 - Providence, RI - Providence Performing Arts Center
    October 30 - Ridgefield, CT - Ridgefield Playhouse
    November 1 - Lynn, MA - The Lynn Memorial Auditorium
    November 2 - Albany, NY - Palace Theatre
    November 4 - Buffalo, NY - UB Center For The Arts
    November 6 - Washington, DC - Lincoln Theatre
    November 7 - Atlantic City, NJ - Caesars Circus Maximus Theatre
    November 8 - Huntington, NY - The Paramount
    November 9 - Red Bank, NJ - Count Basie Theatre
    November 10 - Montclair, NJ - The Wellmont Theater

AUDIO: IAN ANDERSON ON JETHRO TULL KEEPING HITS IN SETLISTS
JOHN MELLENCAMP ANGRY OVER POLITICIAN'S USES OF 'SMALL TOWN'

John Mellencamp is angered over conservative Republican Gov. Scott Walker once again using his 1985 song "Small Town" during his campaign appearances. The Huffington Post reported that back in 2012 Mellencamp publicly separated himself and the message of the song when Walker used "Small Town" without permission during his recall election, which "effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers in Wisconsin." The union law passed despite outcries from such liberal musicians as the late Pete Seeger, Peter Yarrow, Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, and Billy Bragg. This time around, Mellencamp’s publicist shot hit Gov. Walker an email explaining that Mellencamp "supports collective bargaining and union rights."

Back in 2010, Mellencamp joined Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary in asking the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to refrain from using their music to campaign against same sex marriage. Yarrow and Stookey objected to the anti-Gay marriage group using Peter, Paul & Mary's version of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" at their rallies. Mellencamp previously had fought against 2008 Republican Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain using his songs "Pink Houses" and "Our Country," without his blessing or legal permission.

John Mellencamp has never shied away from airing his personal political beliefs, but feels that they're best served by incorporating them into his art -- rather than standing on a soapbox during his concerts: "I think that if you're going to challenge people musically it should probably be on a record. Y'know, you don't mind people looking that way at a recording that you've done, and I think they should. But when they take a chance -- that's the word -- take a chance, that perhaps they're going to pay their money to come and see something, I think that they should be entertained and they should leave saying, 'Jesus Christ, that's the greatest thing I've ever seen!'" :
June 20, 21 - Thackerville, OK - WinStar Casino
July 3 - Niagara Falls, NY - Seneca Niagara Casino
July 5 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
July 6 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Event Center
July 18 - Cheyenne, WY - Frontier Nights
July 19 - Minot, ND - North Dakota State Fair
July 30, 31 - Orillia, ON - Casino Rama
August 1 - Windsor, ON - Caesars Windsor Casino AUDIO: JOHN MELLENCAMP ON POLITICS AND LIVE SHOWS
ART GARFUNKEL ADDS SPRING AND SUMMER DATES

Art Garfunkel has just tagged 10 new dates onto his tour itinerary stretching his spring shows well into July. New stops include shows in New Jersey, and multiple nights in the Carolinas, New York, and Massachusetts. Garfunkel, who is finally back on his feet after suffering through several years of vocal paralysis, has been in excellent voice during his recent shows -- and was on hand last week at the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame to salute his old friend Yusuf Islam -- better known as Cat Stevens.

Now that Garfunkel is out of the proverbial woods, we asked him about how he dealt with every singer's worst nightmare -- losing your voice: "Now, I do write -- and I did turn to writing. I've been writing these prose poems for 30 years, so I got serious about presenting them to the market; that kept me busy. Writing is a major activity. So, I moved to that, I signed a publishing deal and I’ll have a book out. But singing is breathing for me. When you can’t sing, it’s tragic." :
May 17 - Bethlehem, PA - Sands Bethlehem Event Center
May 24 - Washington, DC - Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
June 6 - Columbia, SC - Koger Center For The Arts
June 7 - Charleston, SC - Circular Congregational Church
June 13 - White Plains, NY - Performing Arts Center
June 14 - Peekskill, NY - Paramount Hudson Valley
June 19 - Northampton, MA - Academy Of Music Theatre
June 20 - Worcester, MA - Mechanics Hall
June 21 - Boston, MA - Berklee Performance Center
June 26 - Durham, NC - Carolina Theatre
June 27 - Charlotte, NC - Amos' SouthEnd
June 29 - Wilmington, NC - Brooklyn Arts Center
July 25 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa / Music Box
AUDIO: ART GARFUNKEL ON WRITING INSTEAD OF SINGING
COLDPLAY ANNOUNCES FIRST SIX SHOWS IN SUPPORT OF NEW DISC

Coldplay has announced a handful of intimate live shows in support of the group's upcoming album, Ghost Stories. The band will play Cologne, Germany on April 25th, New York City on May 5th, Los Angeles on May 19th, Paris on May 28th, Tokyo on June 12th and London on July 1st. Early in that run the quartet will also be the musical guests on the May 3rd edition of Saturday Night Live, hosted that evening by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 star Andrew Garfield.

  • Ticket information for all the shows except Cologne will be emailed exclusively to subscribers to the Coldplay mailing list, which you can join at coldplay.com.
  • Ghost Stories, Coldplay's sixth studio album, is set for a May 19th release worldwide and follows up 2011's Mylo Xyloto.
  • The band recently unveiled a video for the first single, "Magic," which is currently Number Eight on the Modern Rock chart.
  • Coldplay singer Chris Martin and his wife, Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, announced last month that they were separating after more than 10 years of marriage.
  • Even though he's been part of a celebrity marriage and his life has become tabloid fodder, Martin told us a while back that he feels most comfortable as just a member of the band: "Well, first of all, it's like we're each other's family really, 'cause we know each other so well, and secondly we go through everything together. So to me it's the most safe environment, you know, is within the band."
AUDIO: COLDPLAY'S CHRIS MARTIN SAYS HE FEELS 'MOST SAFE' WITHIN THE BAND
LORDE MEETS SPORTS FIGURE WHO INSPIRED 'ROYALS'

Who or what inspired Lorde's chart-topping Modern Rock and crossover hit, "Royals"? The tune may be the theme song of a new generation of teenagers -- or so the critics say -- but it was actually set off by something much more mundane: a photo in National Geographic of Kansas City Royals third baseman George Brett.

  • The 17-year-old singer/songwriter finally got to meet the man who inspired the track on Tuesday night (April 15th), prior to her show in Las Vegas.
  • According to Radio.com, the photo appeared in an article about Kansas City in July 1976 and showed Brett signing baseballs for a crowd of fans.
  • Lorde said the word "Royals" on his jersey struck a chord with her and inspired her to write the song.
  • According to TMZ, Lorde’s representatives contacted Brett and asked whether he would like to meet the singer before her Tuesday night concert in Las Vegas.
  • Brett had never been able to make a Lorde concert before because of scheduling conflicts, but had sent her an autographed jersey when she had a concert in Kansas City, writing, "Lorde, you are Royal to me."
  • "Royals" won two Grammy Awards earlier this year for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.
  • Lorde plays the second weekend of Indio, California's Coachella Festival this Saturday (April 19th) before leaving the U.S. to launch an Australian trek.
NEW FOO FIGHTERS ALBUM IS 'HALFWAY DONE,' SAYS PRODUCER

With all the recent attention focused on Nirvana's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Dave Grohl's current band Foo Fighters has slipped off the radar a little bit. But the group is still hard at work on its eighth studio album, with producer Butch Vig telling U.K. magazine Kerrang!, "We've been recording at some different locations, but we're almost halfway done with the recording and it's going well. It sounds different -- we've thrown a few things into the mix, in the recording process, that are going to give the record a different sound and a different feel. It's been a challenge, but it's also been exciting."

Drummer Taylor Hawkins told us recently that Foo Fighters have never been in better shape as a band: "We as a band, moreso than ever, can walk into a studio and record a song any way we want, as quick as we want, to the best of our abilities. As a band we're playing better than we've ever played. I just know it. I can feel it, I can hear it, and that's the most important thing, and it's awesome."

  • It's been heavily rumored that Foo Fighters are recording each of the albums's dozen or so songs in a different famous recording studio.
  • At least four studios in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Seattle were tagged as stops on the Foos' itinerary.
  • Vig said the group is experimenting with a variety of recording techniques. The Nevermind producer also worked on the band's 2011 effort, Wasting Light, which was recorded in Dave Grohl's garage.
  • The new Foo Fighters album is due out later this year, possibly by the summer.
  • The band has just one U.S. date on its calendar so far, at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware on June 20th.
AUDIO: TAYLOR HAWKINS SAYS FOO FIGHTERS IS PLAYING BETTER THAN EVER
 
 
 

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