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The Grateful Dead have announced a 50th anniversary documentary with Martin Scorsese serving as one of the film’s executive producers and Amir Bar-Lev on board as the project's director. The Dead’s surviving members, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart said in a joint announcement for the yet-to-be titled film: "Millions of stories have been told about the Grateful Dead over the years. With our 50th Anniversary coming up, we thought it might just be time to tell one ourselves and Amir is the perfect guy to help us do it. Needless to say, we are humbled to be collaborating with Martin Scorsese. From The Last Waltz to George Harrison: Living In The Material World, from Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones, he has made some of the greatest music documentaries ever with some of our favorite artists and we are honored to have him involved. The 50th will be another monumental milestone to celebrate with our fans and we cannot wait to share this film with them."
Martin Scorsese added: "The Grateful Dead were more than just a band. They were their own planet, populated by millions of devoted fans. I'm very happy that this picture is being made and proud to be involved."
It was 50 years ago Saturday night (October 25th, 1964) that the Rolling Stones made their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. The Stones' debut was nothing like the Beatles' celebrated first appearance the previous February, when they performed five songs. The Stones, who were already on their second U.S. tour of the year, performed two songs in less than seven minutes -- their latest hit "Time Is On My Side," and a cover of Chuck Berry's "Around And Around."
The Ed Sullivan Show wasn't the Stones' first U.S. TV performance. They had performed on Dean Martin's Hollywood Palace and The Mike Douglas Show during their first swing through the States the previous June. But it was during the Stones' 1964 Ed Sullivan Show performance that the majority of America got their first glimpse of the unruly Stones -- with Mick Jagger dressing down in a ragged sweatshirt and unwashed hair, and guitarist Brian Jones glaring menacingly toward the cameras.
With the lack of true rarities found on the recent George Harrison box set, The Apple Years: 1968-75, fans were pleasantly surprised when Olivia Harrison took time out to air a song never heard before on British radio. On Monday (October 20th), Olivia appeared on good friend Jools Holland’s BBC Radio 2 show and premiered a demo of Harrison singing a tune called "Fear Of Flying" by an obscure female singer/songwriter Charlie Dore, which he recorded when Dore visited the Harrison's in 1979 or 1980.
Around the time of the 2012 documentary, Living In The Material World, Olivia first spoke of the recording, telling The Chicago-Tribune, that she had originally wanted the movie’s soundtrack, Early Takes Vol. 1, to be far more inclusive than it came to be: "Initially I thought it could be a two-disc thing, but some things don’t go together. He sang a lot of songs during this time, some very obscure, by people like Nina Simone and this local girl Charlie Dore. But they didn’t really mesh, didn’t fit. We didn’t want a nine-CD set. We settled on these very intimate songs, that were so important to him at the beginning of his solo career, his emergence as a solo artist. That’s what we’re trying to present here, that particular period of his life."
Foo Fighters have announced additional details about the concert the band is playing at Chicago's Wrigley Field on August 29th, 2015. The day-long event will celebrate the musical history of the Windy City and feature performances by local legends Cheap Trick, Urge Overkill and Naked Raygun. Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen appears on the song "Something From Nothing," the first single from the upcoming Foos album Sonic Highways.
Happy Birthday to former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, who turns 78 today (October 24th). Wyman, who quit the Stones in 1991, was on hand for the band's 2012 London shows as part of their 50 & Counting Tour. Both Wyman and longtime fans were disapointed that he was relegated to only two songs during the shows, sitting with the band during "It's Only Rock N' Roll" and "Honky Tonk Women."
From the band's earliest days, Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts provided the solid rhythm section behind band leaders Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and the late Brian Jones. Wyman, whose real name is William Perks, was several years older than the rest of the band and caught the music bug much earlier than his bandmates, who were first smitten by the early Elvis Presley and Eddie Cochran singles. By the time Wyman joined the band, he was already a father and a veteran of Britain's Royal Air Force.
Wyman, who was also a songwriter, was all but barred from incorporating his own music into the band's repertoire. In the three decades Wyman was with the Stones, he was only able to get two of his songs onto the band's albums: 1967's "In Another Land" on Their Satanic Majesties Request, and "Downtown Suzie," an outtake from 1968's Beggar's Banquet that was eventually included on the 1975 Metamorphosis compilation. Wyman has also gone on record saying that he composed the Stones' signature opening riff to 1968's "Jumpin' Jack Flash," yet never received credit.
There may be hope yet for Black Sabbath fans who hope to see the band reunite with original drummer Bill Ward when they head out on their final tour in 2015. In a new interview with Esquire, singer Ozzy Osbourne said, "What I'm really happy about is, if this is Black Sabbath's last hurrah, then we'll have ended it on an up note rather than when I left in 1979 and everybody was f***ed up on one thing or another . . . The only thing sad about it is I hope drummer Bill Ward can get his stuff together to do this."
Today (October 24th) would have marked legendary songwriter Ellie Greenwich's 74th birthday. Greenwich died of a heart attack on August 26th, 2009 while battling pneumonia in New York's Roosevelt Hospital.
Greenwich, who was discovered by songwriting legends Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, was one of the most important songwriters of the 1960's will always be associated with her work with former husband Jeff Barry for their work both with and without Phil Spector on such legendary 1960's staples as the Ronettes' "Be My Baby," "Baby, I Love You," and "I Can Hear Music," the Shangri-La's' "Leader Of The Pack," the Dixie Cups' "Chapel Of Love," Ike & Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High," the Crystals' "Then He Kissed Me" and "Da Doo Ron Ron," Manfred Mann's "Doo Wah Diddy Diddy," Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" and (Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry," and Tommy James and the Shondells' "Hanky Panky," among many others.