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Paul McCartney has scored a definite hit on his new team-up with Rihanna and Kanye West. Billboard cited industry sources which claim that the song "FourFiveSeconds" sold between 50,000 and 60,000 downloads over the weekend. The song -- which marks "Macca’s" second collaboration with West, following their "Only One" single earlier this month -- debuted at Number 37 on the Pop Songs chart and has a good chance of debuting high this week on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Only One" debuted on the Hot 100 at Number 35 and has sold 195,000 downloads in its first two weeks on sale.
Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson spoke candidly about the end of the band following his brother Rich Robinson’s statement that he's left the group. Earlier this month, Rich Robinson released a statement which said in part: "I love my brother and respect his talent but his present demand that I must give up my equal share of the band and that our drummer for 28 years and original partner, Steve Gorman, relinquish 100 percent of his share, reducing him to a salaried employee, is not something I could agree to."
Chris Robinson explained that he's upset about the split, but content to keep it a private matter for now: "The Black Crowes is so much time and it’s so complicated and then you mix family and whatever that is into it. And, y'know, I mean, to me, it’s just sad and it’s disappointing, really. It’s unfortunate that on the 25th anniversary -- whether the band was working or not -- that it really isn’t just about the songs and the good times these people had at these concerts and I’m gonna keep my personal, private family business personal and private."
Billy Idol’s current shows are mixing a healthy dose of tunes from his 1980's heyday along with tracks from his new album, Kings & Queens Of The Underground. Highlights in the set include such MTV-era favorites as "Dancing With Myself," "Cradle Of Love," "Sweet Sixteen," "Eyes Without A Face," "L.A. Woman," "Rebel Yell," "White Wedding," and "Mony Mony," among others.
Although Billy Idol came perilously close to ending his life a quarter century ago due to alcohol and substance abuse, he admits that although not exactly clean and sober, he’s left his self-destructive habits far in the past: "I’m not sober, I mean, I don’t. . . I have to sort of say to myself, ‘Yeah, you can do everything, man, but I’m not doing it.’ If I say to myself, ‘I’m never doing anything ever again’ -- I’ll immediately go and do it. That’s what I’m like. So, I have to sort of say, ‘No, man, you can do (laughs) whatever you want’ -- but there’s a side of me saying, ‘. . . but we’re not going to.’ I like smoking pot. I still smoke tons of pot, and so. . . I don’t do coke or heroin or anything like that. I like to drink with a meal at a restaurant, y’know? But nothing else."
Def Leppard has a 13-date Canadian tour booked for this spring. The band is currently hard at work on its first new studio album since 2008's Songs From The Sparkle Lounge. They'll kick off the run on April 15th in Penticton, BC at South Okanagan Events Centre and wrap things up on May 5th in London, ON at Budweiser Gardens.
Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience has announced its full 23-date spring itinerary. Bonham and the band will kick things off on March 3rd and 5th at Solana Beach, California’s Belly Up Tavern, with the run ending on May 24 and 25th in Saint Charles, Illinois at the Arcada Theatre.
The Blink-182 split has already gotten uglier. As previously reported, bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker revealed on Monday (January 26th) that they intended to perform live without singer/guitarist Tom DeLonge, telling Rolling Stone that DeLonge had "indefinitely" removed himself from all Blink activities for the foreseeable future. DeLonge countered via social media that he had not "quit" the trio, although his former bandmates claimed otherwise, calling DeLonge "disrespectful" and "ungrateful."
DeLonge fired back on Tuesday (January 27th), claiming in a since-deleted blog post, "A year ago Mark and I spent a week on the phone with managers debating parting with Travis . . . Don’t pretend there isn’t more to this story."
DeLonge later posted a lengthy "letter to the fans" in which he went into detail about his side of the story, saying that he tried to get the band members on the same page at a "summit" in Utah, but that "we still somehow managed to self-sabotage," adding, "We’re all accountable. At the end of the day, we’ve always been dysfunctional, which is why we haven’t talked in months. But we never did. In the 8 years we have been together it has always been that way."
DeLonge also wrote that due to his various other commitments, "I told my manager that I will do Blink-182 as long as it was fun and worked with the other commitments in my life, including my family. But Mark and Travis know all of this."
Singer Scott Weiland has clarified his relationship with the new "supergroup" Art Of Anarchy to Billboard.com, saying, "I was never in the band. It was something I did when I wasn't doing anything. I was asked to write some lyrics and sing some melodies on this project, but it's not a band I'm in. (The Wildabouts) is my band.".
The former Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver frontman did record lead vocals for the debut Art Of Anarchy album, which is due out this spring. The group features Disturbed bassist John Moyer and Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, in addition to brothers Jon and Vince Votta on guitar and drums.
Even though he's still on the road behind last fall's World On Fire album, Slash has not given up his second career as a horror film producer. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist told Billboard that his company Slasher Films' next project should be out by the end of 2015. He explained, "I’m into bringing back the psychological, the super scary. Especially the things you can’t see going on -- character-driven, plot-driven kinda things."
Slash's next movie will follow up 2013's Nothing Left To Fear, which marked his debut as a producer. He told us at the time how it compared to making records: "Producing a film is definitely more complex. It's a slow process, raising money is very difficult, but I mean, I really enjoyed it, a) because I have such a passion for what it is that I want to do in film, and I love being involved in the process of development, and finding the right people, getting all the right components together to hopefully make a great movie, you know."