Classic Rock News

GEORGE HARRISON & THE BEE GEES SET FOR GRAMMY LIFETIMNE ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

George Harrison and the Bee Gees will be honored with the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award prior to next year’s Grammy Awards in February. The academy will also honor blues legend Buddy Guy, country duo the Louvin Brothers, jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, composer Pierre Boulez, and Tejano music accordionist Flaco Jimenez.

In addition to that, the "non-performing" Trustees Awards will go to married Brill Building songwriting legends Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, record producer Richard Perry -- with scientist and synthesizer pioneer Ray Kurzweil receiving the Technical Grammy Award.

  • By the early-'80s, George Harrison had semi-retired from the music business, feeling both dispirited by the changing pop trends and the machine that went into promoting it: "I just felt there was no point, really. And from what I could see, the way the music was that was out there; I couldn't relate to it, and I just thought, 'I've got a lot of other things to do, I might as well have a rest."
  • Rolling Stone posted: "All Special Merit Award recipients will be honored during an invitation-only ceremony held on February 7th, 2015, though they will also be recognized during the actual Grammy Awards, which will air live on CBS on February 8th, starting at 8 p.m. EST."
AUDIO: GEORGE HARRISON ON QUITTING THE MUSIC BUSINESS
AUDIO: MAUTRICE AND BARRY GIBB ON 'NIGHTS ON BROADWAY'
LED ZEPPELIN, PINK FLOYD, PAUL McCARTNEY, & AC/DC LP DESIGNERS PUBLISH DELUXE BOOK

Newly published is Hipgnosis Portraits, by longtime Pink Floyd collaborator and video director Aubrey "Po" Powell. Powell and his late partner Storm Thorgerson, conceived and created legendary and timeless album and singles covers for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney & Wings, Yes, the Scorpions, AC/DC, Peter Frampton, Black Sabbath, Styx, 10cc, and countless others. Robert Plant supplies the book's forward.

With Hipgnosis Portraits, Aubrey Powell revisits the team's archives -- including images from 156 negatives that laid untouched in an old file for 43 years -- and puts an end to the many myths that surround classic rock albums of the 1960’s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. Among the more interesting revelations in the book is Hiopgnosis' original unused and unfinished 1973 design for the Rolling Stones' Goats Head Soup.

  • Aubrey "Po" Powell explained that the company's work, spearheaded by himself and Storm Thorgerson, played on each other's strengths: "Well, Hipgnosis worked as an art house. Storm and I were the main designers for that company -- but we employed other people to cop me and work with us. And so, when we wanted something done, it had to be done in our way; exactly right, but we couldn’t do everything. I mean, I’m not an illustrator, I’m not a guy who does graphics; I’m a guy who looks through a camera and knows about composition, and with Storm, knew what a great idea was. So, we had to share the load. So we began to creative our own style."
AUDIO: AUBREY POWELL ON HIPGNOSIS
AUDIO: AUBREY POWELL ON LED ZEPPELINS 'PRESENCE' LP COVER
STEVE VAN ZANDT HONORED BY BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN'S 'LILYHAMMER' APPEARNCE

Steven Van Zandt is proud of his "Boss" Bruce Springsteen for nailing his part during his appearance in Lilyhammer. Springsteen played Giuseppe Tagliano, the brother of Van Zandt's character Frank "The Fixer" Tagliano, on the third season finale of the show now airing on Netflix. Van Zandt told The Associated Press: "He's really acting. It's not some cameo. He's not playing himself. It's a real thing."

Van Zandt told us that Springsteen appearing the show -- and having it be his idea -- meant everything to him: "Bruce makes his acting debut in the final episode this year. And I was really honored that he chose me and trusted me to be the director of his first acting job. It happens to be the episode that I’m directing this year. And, y’know, everybody’s been after him to act, y’know, for 30 years, and he’s finally, (he) finally did it. And he’s just great -- as you’ll see."

AUDIO: STEVE VAN ZANDT ON BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN'S ACTING
FLASHBACK: JOE WALSH REPLACES BERNIE LEADON IN THE EAGLES

It was 39 years ago Saturday (December 20th, 1975) that the Eagles announced the departure of co-founder and guitarist Bernie Leadon, and that former James Gang frontman Joe Walsh was officially replacing him.

During Leadon's time with the Eagles he co-wrote a total of 11 songs, including the band's first Top Ten hit, 1972's "Witchy Woman." He played a pivotal role in developing the band's country-rock sound, but had tired of the group's non-stop grind of studio work followed by endless months of touring -- not to mention bandmates Don Henley and Glenn Frey's growing songwriting monopoly on the Eagles' albums.

Prior to joining the band, Leadon was the lead guitarist for the Flying Burrito Brothers alongside former Byrds Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke.

  • Today, Leadon has nothing but good feelings about his days with the band: "It's totally positive. Y'know, when I was in the band, it was a working band -- we were making an album a year, and touring a lot, and building the franchise. That was really fun to do, so it was like, y'know, doing a startup business."
  • Walsh's humor and incredible chops beefed up the band's sound tremendously, especially, when he and guitarist Don Felder performed intricate dueling guitar parts, on such classics as "Hotel California," and "Life In The Fast Lane," which Walsh co-wrote with Henley and Frey.
  • On the Eagles' ongoing History Of The Eagles tour, Bernie Leadon is back on board performing as the band's special guest throughout the show.
AUDIO: BERNIE LEADON SAYS HE STILL HAS FOND MEMORIES OF HIS TIME IN THE EAGLES
AUDIO: EAGLES' JOE WALSH ON NEW GENERATION AUDIENCE FOR BAND
AUDIO: JOE WALSH SAYS HE'S HONORED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE EAGLES
KID ROCK UNVEILS MORE DETAILS ABOUT NEW ALBUM, 'FIRST KISS' CAMPAIGN

Kid Rock has unveiled more details about his upcoming 10th studio album, First Kiss, which is due out February 24th. You can pre-order the record now at Rock's website and other participating retailers, and all pre-order buyers will be eligible after fan club members for pre-sales ticket access to Rock’s 2015 U.S. headlining tour.

Rock told us a while back that record sales are less important to him now than touring and playing live: "At this point it's about putting people in seats, you know. It's about live. We've seen this. The days of making money selling records like we were used to when it first came out are not there -- and I'm not necessarily upset about that. To me, live is everything, always has been."

  • The title track will be sent to those who pre-order the album beginning January 6th, the same day the song's video will arrive.
  • Rock plans to share the lyrics to a new song from the album every Monday on his website leading up to the release date.
  • Rock is also encouraging fans to share photos of their "first kiss" of the new year by posting them to Twitter or Instagram using #KidRockFirstKiss as the hashtag.
  • The best shots will be made into a short video preview of First Kiss that will debut on January 5th. All the photos will be on display at Rock's website beginning January 1st.
  • The new disc follows up 2012's Rebel Soul and was recorded at Rock's own home studio in Michigan.
  • AUDIO: KID ROCK SAYS LIVE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ALBUM SALES
    QUICK TAKES
    • Stevie Wonder and girlfriend girlfriend Tomeeka Robyn welcomed his ninth child, baby daughter Nia. The baby marks the couple’s second together. According to Wonder’s representative, Nia is "one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa." Wonder was originally married to Syreeta Wright from 1970 to 1971 and Karen "Kai" Millard Morris from 2001 until 2012. (Page Six)
    • Legendary producer and founder of Memphis' Ardent Records and Studios, John Fry, died on December 18th at age 69. Fry, who will always be remembered for schooling the members of Big Star his studio technique and overseeing their recorded output, was known for possessing one of the best sets of ears in the business, and was rated a groundbreaking engineer. Over the years, many of rock’s most unique bands passed thorough his studio, including Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, the Replacements, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Robert Cray, and B.B. King, among many others. (Vintage Vinyl News)
    • Still running until January 4th at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is the David Bowie Is exhibit. The show is the first full retrospective of David Bowie’s career, featuring over 400 objects, most from Bowie’s personal archive "including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, photography, set designs, album artwork, and rare performance material from the past five decade are brought together for the first time."
    • For more info log on to bit.ly/1uYpeLb
    REMEMBERING THE BEACH BOYS' CARL WILSON

    Sunday (December 21st) marks what would have been Beach Boys co-founder and guitarist Carl Wilson's 68th birthday. Carl, who was known for his peaceful nature and flawless tenor vocals, died of cancer on February 6th, 1998 at the age of 51.

    Although the Beach Boys story is said to start with the Wilson brothers -- Brian, Dennis and Carl -- harmonizing with cousin Mike Love at family gatherings, it was Carl's love for guitar-based R&B that separated him from his family. While barely a teen, Carl and fellow Beach Boys co-founder David Marks were taking lessons from local guitarist John Maus -- later of the Walker Brothers -- who himself had learned directly from Ritchie Valens.

    It was Carl and Marks' dual-guitar combo that took the Beach Boys beyond the intricate Four Freshman-style harmonies, which enthralled brother Brian, the casual doo-wop favored by Love, and the acoustic folk stylings of Al Jardine.

    • When brother Brian quit the road after a nervous breakdown in December 1964, it was Carl who took over as the de-facto live bandleader. In the early '70s when Brian eventually retreated from the recording studio, Carl again stepped into his brother's shoes.
    • Carl was featured singing lead on many of the group's greatest recordings -- including "God Only Knows," "Girl Don't Tell Me," "Good Vibrations," "Friends," "Breakaway," "This Whole World," "I Can Hear Music," "Wonderful," "Surf's Up," "Only With You," "Good Timin'," and many more. Carl was also known for his raucous R&B vocals on such hits as "Darlin'," "Wild Honey," and "Marcella."
    • Carl Wilson co-wrote several classic Beach Boys album tracks, including "Long Promised Road," "Feel Flows," "All This Is That," "The Trader," "Angel Come Home," and "Keepin' The Summer Alive."
    • Throughout the years Carl Wilson was a dominant force on stage, overseeing the show's arrangements, and keeping the Beach Boys' vocals well oiled and their stage band tight and rehearsed. Although he was never as prolific a producer or songwriter as his brothers, the Beach Boys were arguably Carl's band, a role he carried out with pride and respect until he was finally too ill to take the stage any more.
    • Beach Boys historian Jon Stebbins, who's chronicled the lives of the group in his Dennis Wilson biography The Real Beach Boy, as well as group's co-founder-guitarist David Marks, in The Lost Beach Boy, says that it was 15 year-old Carl Wilson who pushed the band into becoming a tight, professional unit: "Carl was really a pro. Out of all of them, as young as he was, Carl was the one who first got it. This was a 'hail Mary' pass (that) had been caught by the Beach Boys getting signed and becoming a hit act. And Carl was more about rehearsal, and getting everything right out there. Because he knew that this was something that could go away really easily." for cancer research and care. Over the years, most of the Beach Boys, along with Carl's friends and fans, have performed benefit shows in Los Angeles for the foundation.
    AUDIO: CARL B. WILSON ON UNCLE CARL WILSON
    AUDIO: WENDY WILSON ON BEACH BOY UNCLE CARL
    AUDIO: CARNIE WILSON ON BEACH BOY UNCLE CARL
    AUDIO: JUSTYN WILSON REMEMBERS FATHER CARL WILSON
    AUDIO: BILLY HINSCHE ON THE BEACH BOYS SINGING ON ELTON JOHN'S 'DON'T LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON ME'
    AUDIO: MIKE LOVE ON CARL WILSON
    AUDIO: JON STEBBINS ON CARL WILSON'S PROFESSIONALISM

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