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Back Stage
Past reports of news coverage and commentary on events that shape the rock music universe.

This is a reverse chronological archive of past reports
(Page 3 of 3) [page 1] [page 2]...
The most recent reports are located here.

Will this be more than a new paint job? The Cars have reformed and are going on tour with fellow 1970s New Wavers, Blondie. The 2006 reincarnation of the band billed as The New Cars, sees some personnel changes with only Greg Hawkes and Elliot Easton returning from the original 1976 line-up. Most notably, none other than Todd Rundgren takes over on lead vocal duties that once belonged to Ric Ocasek. Kasim Fulton replaces the late Benjamin Orr on bass. Orr had passed away in 2000. Prairie Prince formerly of The Tubes succeeds David Robinson on drums. The original line up of the Boston based band had released seven albums before going their separate ways in 1988. The new band has announced they will be releasing a cover album of original Cars songs. As we all know, album releases from reformed bands are usually a sure sign of an impending tour, and this case is no exception. The New Cars will be embarking on the cleverly named The Road Rage Tour on May 12, 2006 with the first of 27 dates in Robinsonville, MS. In conclusion, we are already wondering how large a part Rundgren will have in the production duties for the new album. Expect the album release to closely coincide with the start of the tour. (Mar 17, 2006)

Neil Young calls it his "dream concert." The film Heart of Gold, a collaboration between Young and award-winning director Jonathan Demme has premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie was filmed last summer over a period of two nights at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Young insists the movie is not a concert film as such - "it only looks like a concert film." The footage includes the premier performance of Young's latest album Prairie Wind and intentionally avoids typical concert film attributes such as crowd and ambient venue photography. Over the course of the filming Young was joined on stage by musicians Emmylou Harris and Spooner Oldham while his wife Pegi sang on backup vocals. (January 29, 2006)

A quarter century ago, Monday, December 8, 1980 was truly the last day in the life. The life was that of John Lennon. And what a life it was: A tumultuous childhood, riding a virtual roller coaster of Beatles’ fame while fending off the many temptations of it's darker side. A life so devoted to his own young family that he gladly set aside an assured solo career in order to be a at home with them as a husband and dad. A life that made him optimistic enough to believe that the world could really be a better place, yet resilient enough to take on those who opposed and mocked his "rebellious" stance. A life that was abruptly cut short at a point where it was brimming with renewed optimism and ready for a new decade. A life that has left us with an astounding legacy to remember him by. Exactly what was going on in the demented mind of the assassin that shot him dead outside his Manhattan apartment building that evening matters even less today that it did at the time. What does matter is that John's legacy has influenced and enriched the values and sensibilities of millions for the better - and will undoubtedly continue to do so. (December 8, 2005)

Led Zeppelin has been awarded Sweden's prestigious music award, the Polar Prize. The award is international in scope and was founded in 1989 by Stig Anderson who back in the day managed the mega-popular Swedish group ABBA. The Polar Prize includes a $124,000 US cash award and is bestowed annually to both a pop and classical music artist. Besides the surviving members of Led Zeppelin, the 2006 prize was also awarded to Russian conductor Valery Gergiev for his contributions to classical music. In announcing Led Zeppelin's award, the academy released a statement calling them "one of the great pioneers of rock." It further stated that "playful and experimental music combined with highly eclectic elements has two essential themes: Mysticism and primal energy." According to the Academy, this has since become the very definition of hard rock. The band's founding lineup in 1968 consisted of Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and John Bonham. The legendary band broke up when drummer Bonham died in late 1980 following the release of the album In Through The Out Door. (November 10, 2005)

Welcome to the legal jungle! Former Guns ’N’ Roses members Saul "Slash" Hudson and Michael "Duff" McKagan are suing GNR front man Axl Rose over the issue of who possesses administrative rights for the now lapsed 80s band. The suit alleges that Rose improperly assumed the role of administrator and in so doing, profited from revenue in the vicinity of $500,000 (US) that rightfully belonged to Hudson and McKagan. The suit was filed in Federal Court on August 17. Through his lawyer, Rose claimed the issue was the result of a clerical error by ASCAP (American Society Of Composers Authors and Publishers) which collects creative royalties and then in turn distributes them to member artists. Hudson and McKagan are now members of the band Velvet Revolver. (August 26, 2005)

Former Doors drummer John Densmore has won out in his quest to stop two of his original band-mates from using "The Doors" in the name of a band they are currently involved in. Keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger had been touring and performing the Doors' songs along with ex Cult vocalist Ian Astbury as The Doors of the 21st Century. As lead vocalist, Astbury was taking the front-stage place of the late Jim Morrison. When the band formed in 2003, Densmore took legal action to stop the use of the name. He reportedly had the support of Morrison's in-laws and possibly some other family members who also objected. In 1971 the original band members had agreed that any use of the band's name and logo must be supported by all of the (surviving) members. According to Reuters, an order by the Los Angeles Superior Court on July 22 declared they may no longer legally use the band's name. The order also stated they must share all profits with the original Doors partnership. (July 23, 2005)

The members of Pink Floyd will reunite to perform at the upcoming Live8 concert in July. It will mark the fist time vocalist / guitarist David Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason, vocalist / bass player Roger Waters and keyboardist Richard Wright have performed together on the same stage since 1981. During the 1980s Roger Waters had a dispute with the rest of the band over various legal issues and eventually split from them. The Associated Press quoted Gilmour as saying "Any squabbles Roger and the band have had in the past are so petty in this context, and if re-forming for this concert will help focus attention then it's going to be worthwhile." The band will join other classic rock alumni such as Sirs Elton John and Paul McCartney who will also perform at the concert's London Hyde Park venue. The Live8 concert was conceived as a show of support for increased third-world assistance from the world's 8 wealthiest nations by Bob Geldof who was also the inspiration behind the anti-poverty Live Aid concert held two decades ago. (June 13, 2005)

The Rolling Stones are set to "roll" again. In an era when some of their day-one fans are probably more concerned with gall stones, The world's longest-toothed rock'n'roll band has just announced a 2005 / 2006 world tour. Following a gratis outdoors lunch-hour concert held in front of Manhattan's renowned Juilliard School Of Music, The 'Stones held a press conference to announce they will launch their new world tour Aug. 21 in Boston MA. Tour director Michael Cohl outlined that the tour will take the band through the U.S. and Canada until they pause for a holiday break from Dec. 1 to Jan. 7. The 'Stones will then tour Puerto Rico, Mexico, South America, Japan, and possibly China, before another break in May, and then tour Europe in the summer of 2006. The band will perform in different sizes of venues. These were said to include theaters, clubs, arenas and stadiums in different cities. There will be two unique stages for arenas and stadiums. Mick Jagger said "For the first time, we'll have some of the audience on the stage." "We have room for about 400 people." Jagger also claimed the band's new album is "about 85% finished." Tour schedule and ticket information is available online at https://tickets.rollingstones.com/. As is often the case in a tour of this scale, some additional stops are expected to be "penciled" in as the tour progresses. (May 11, 2005)

Legendary sixties blues-rock trio Cream reunited in front of a packed house at London's famed Royal Albert Hall yesterday. Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton, now all in their sixties, were said by a Daily Telegraph reporter to have put on an "often brilliant, occasionally inspired" show. He went on to say that the former super-group got even better as the evening went on. The Monday set was reported to have included "Rollin' and Tumblin," "Deserted Cities of the Heart," and "Pressed Rat And Warthog," the inclusion of which was a surprise to many of the band's more astute fans. Ticket prices for the 4 date sold-out concert were $236 (U.S.) with scalper prices soaring as high as $3200 (sorry, but for that kind of "profit" I refuse to use the more politically-correct term "reseller" !!). The band had performed their original "farewell" concert on Nov. 26, 1968 at that very location shortly before recording their aptly-titled final studio album "Goodbye." (May 3, 2005)

Ted Nugent whooped up a wave of pro-gun sentiment by preaching to the converted at this year's NRA rally in Houston Texas. Nugent spoke with his familiar right-wing fervor as he encouraged the members present to increase their roster and to forge closer ties with each other. He encouraged the downtown convention center crowd to never give up their right to bear arms and never hesitate to use them. "I want car-jackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead! Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot 'em!" Say what you will about Nugent's opinions, but this is one dude that leaves little doubt about where he stands! (April 18, 2005)

Johnny Ramone is dead at 55, leaving behind only one surviving original member of the The Ramones. His passing comes only days after a fund raising concert celebrating the band's 30th anniversary was held in Los Angeles. Johnny Ramone co-founded the band with singer Joey Ramone, bassist Dee Dee Ramone and drummer Tommy Ramone who now remains the only original survivor. The Ramones released their first album in 1976 following several years of live appearances at New York clubs like CBGB's. They later worked with famed producer Phil Spector. In spite of never having any chart-topping hit songs, the band had a strong fan base and exerted a strong influence on then younger, forthcoming bands such as Green Day and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. According to the band's artistic director Arturo Vega, Johnny -- who's real name was Jeff Hyman, had been fighting a five-year battle with prostate cancer and finally succumbed in his sleep Wednesday afternoon at his Los Angeles home. He was said to be surrounded by family and friends. (September 16, 2004)

David Bowie has undergone emergency heart surgery in Germany. He was admitted to a clinic following a concert, complaining of pain in his left shoulder due to a pinched nerve. While examining the 57 year old singer's shoulder, doctors inadvertently discovered "an acutely blocked artery" in his heart. An emergency angioplasty proceeded was immediately performed to clear the artery. A spokesman said Bowie is now convalescing with his family and looking forward to resuming his tour as early as next month. (July 9, 2004)

Heroin didn't do anything but cocaine was alright - at least for a while. So admits Sir Paul McCartney in a recent interview published in London's Daily Mirror. McCartney claimed he'd inadvertently tried heroin without knowing what it was. "I was just handed something, smoked it, then found out what it was." He went on to say that he did cocaine for "about a year" around the time of the Sgt. Pepper album release (1967). He confirmed what may be one of the worst ever kept "secrets" in rock, namely that several Beatles songs were influenced by drugs! (You could have knocked me over with a feather...) Apparently "Got To Get You Into My Life" was "directly about pot. "Day Tripper" and "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" were said to be both about LSD, in contrast to a long standing claim by the late John Lennon that "Lucy" was inspired by one of his son's drawings. (June 4, 2004)

They're back. Van Halen has reunited from a lengthy hiatus and announced their first tour in nine years. The tour is set to coincide with the June release of a track entitled It's About Time which will be included on a new Best Of album. For those into numbers, the band has sold more than 75 million albums worldwide. Twelve Van Halen albums have been certified multi-Platinum. The band holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the most No. 1 rock tracks (11) on AOR radio. Sammy Hagar returns as lead vocalist along with original veterans Eddie and Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony. (April 13, 2004)

Legendary Canadian producer Bob Ezrin was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame by one Vince Fournier who's more widely known as Alice Cooper. Ezrin worked with "Coop" on several of his signature albums including 1972's School's Out, 1976's Welcome To My Nightmare and his first album Love It To Death. The ceremony took place at the 2004 Juno Awards gala in Edmonton Alberta. Prior to his work with Alice Cooper, Ezrin had produced the Guess Who American Woman album -- a qualification that had drawn Cooper's interest. Other artists produced by Ezrin include Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Kiss and Jane's Addiction. I've always been weary of the need to say this, but (sigh) the Juno Awards are the Canadian Music industry's "equivalent" to the U.S. Grammy Awards. Have to say it though, because the Junos are not very well known outside Canada, especially in the U.S. (April 5, 2004)

Today closely marks the tenth anniversary of the suicide death of Kurt Cobain. Cobain and his band Nirvana were forerunners of the now well cliched Seattle "alt-grunge" movement that began in the early nineties, contrasting against the "shiny, big-hair" persona of many established eighties bands. Cobain had developed a serious drug addiction from his use of Heroin to alleviate a serious stomach pain condition. In spite of several attempts at receiving detox therapy, Cobain couldn't shake off his Heroin use. By early 1994, his condition worsened and he first attempted suicide by overdosing on tranquilizers, only to end up in a coma. Months later, in his final suicide note, Cobain quoted a line from Neil Young and also wrote he couldn't stand to think of his daughter becoming "the miserable self-destructive, death rocker that I've become." He was 27. (April 5, 2004)

Dave Crosby, founding member of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young has been arrested on charges of marijuana and gun possession. Following a performance Thursday at Manhattan's B.B. King Blue's Club, Crosby had checked out of the mid-town hotel where he had been staying, but accidentally left behind a luggage case. The following day, the stray case was opened by a hotel employee in an attempt to identify the owner. Among the contents, the employee discovered a hunting knife, 28 grams of marijuana and a .45-caliber handgun with 26 rounds of ammunition. Hotel management then contacted police. Crosby later phoned the hotel to inform them he would be returning to retrieve the luggage. When Crosby showed up, the NYPD was said to be waiting for him. He was released on $3,500 US bail. A conviction on the gun charge alone could carry a seven year prison term. The 62 year-old Crosby has already served time in prison following a 1985 conviction for drug possession. That conviction was overturned after a year following an appeal. (March 6, 2004)

The entire Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers MCA album catalog has been made available for digital download on all of the major digital music websites. According to a Universal Music Group press release, this marks the first time albums such as "Damn the Torpedoes", "Full Moon Fever", and "Into the Great Wide Open" have been available for purchase as downloads. The albums include the hit singles "Don't Do Me Like That", "Free Fallin', "Refugee" and others. For more information, go to http://www.tompetty.com (March 4, 2004)

That's now Sir Mick to you! Mick Jagger was bestowed with a MBE title this week, much to the chagrin of his Rolling Stones band mate Keith Richards. The Knighthood honor presented by Prince Charles, represents quite a shift in attitude for both the British establishment as well as the 60 year old Jagger himself. In 1967, Jagger, Richards and the late Brian Jones were sentenced to prison for drug offenses. Jagger was sentenced to three months for possessing four stimulant pills that he had purchased legally in Italy. Keith Richards, never a fan of Britain's Monarchy and peerage system, claimed he'd never get the title because "they'd know exactly what I'd tell them to do with it!" In 1965, after the Beatles were made members of the Order of the British Empire, some outraged recipients returned their medals in protest. Previous knighted rockers include Paul McCartney, Beatles' producer George Martin, Elton John and Cliff Richard. Two other classic rock alumni, Gerry Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers, and Gary Brooker of Procol Harum, were present at the same Buckingham Palace ceremony to collect MBEs in recognition of their recent charity work. (December 14, 2003)

Ozzy Osbourne is recovering in hospital from a near-fatal quad bike crash that happened at his estate in Buckinghamshire, southern England. Britain's Daily Mirror has quoted his wife Sharon as saying that he had stopped breathing and his heart had stopped beating for more than a minute after the accident. "The guard spotted it immediately. He had stopped breathing for a minute and a half and there was no pulse. But thank God, the security guard was there to revive him. He resuscitated him and got him breathing and his pulse going again. We are so, so grateful to him." The injuries sustained by Osbourne include a fractured left collarbone, eight broken ribs and a neck vertebra. Following the crash, he underwent emergency surgery to restore blood flow to a damaged blood vessel. He has been on a ventilator in intensive care at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough, west of London. The hospital's medical director has indicated the 55-year-old Osbourne should make a steady recovery. Ozzy, you'd better stick with something less risky -- like trying to navigate your home theater controls! (December 14, 2003)

Producer Phil Spector has been charged with murder. The charges stem from an incident last February when a call to emergency authorities reported the death of a woman at Spector's suburban L.A. mansion. After a nine month delay, charges have now been filed against the famed recording producer in the death of B-movie actress Lana Clarkson. Shortly after the incident, Spector was arrested and released on $1 Million bail. He has denied any involvement in her death, insisting that she committed suicide. A District Attorney's spokesperson said the charge against Spector carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. (November 20, 2003)

George Harrison is being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The former Beatles member who passed away two years ago at age 58 joins Jackson Browne, Bob Seger, Traffic, ZZ Top and several others. Although Harrison was previously inducted as a member of the Beatles, the upcoming 2004 round marks the late guitarist's first induction as a solo artist. (November 20, 2003)

His songs often mocked and taunted mortality. Now singer-songwriter Waren Zevon is dead at age 56. Zevon had succumbed to a lung cancer condition which he had first made public in September, 2002. Since being diagnosed, Zevon spent much of his remaining time with his two grown children and working on a final album, "The Wind," which was released last month. Zevon had a reputation as one of Rock music's most politically incorrect performers. The lyrics in his classic Seventies albums dealt with prom-date rapists; headless, gun-toting soldiers of fortune; and werewolves who drank pina coladas at singles bars. His musical influences included folk, hard rock, polka and even classical. Zevon once credited Bob Dylan as being a major influence on his music. He had performed a cover version of Dylan's Pat Garret & Billy The Kid anthem, "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" on his final album. (September 8, 2003)

Sam has left the building. Sam Phillips who founded the now legendary Sun Records and later signed on a truck driver named Elvis Presley, has passed away at the age of 80. Phillips was a true father of early rock'n'roll by virtue of his unique ability to recognize acts that seized youthful energy and rebellion -- as opposed to the mild "crooner" pop acts of the day. Besides Presley, the Nashville based Sun's roster included Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins. Presley and Perkins alone were a major influence on The Beatles, who in their youth acquired various Sun recordings from British Sailors returning from the U.S. to their seaport hometown of Liverpool. In 1956, Phillips sold Presley's contract to RCA for $35,000 (!) Phillips had started out as a radio station engineer and later moved on to disc jockey duties. His motive in eventually starting Sun stemmed from his desire to record R&B and country performers who had no formal music training. Phillips realized that these artists were gifted with abilities beyond mere talent. For one thing, their music conveyed a raw emotion that was mostly absent in the era's pop music. He wanted to make records that captured that "raw emotion" -- a radical concept at the time. This was reflected in the Sun Records motto "We Record Anything, Anywhere, Anytime." Phillips had left the recording business in 1962 and sold Sun Records in 1969. (August 2, 2003)

The Rolling Stones SARS concert next week in Toronto might very well be among the largest tax-payer funded pop music events ever. At the very least, the so-called "SARS-stock", which will also feature Australians AC/DC, and Canada's The Guess Who and Blue Rodeo, is expected to draw the largest crowd of any concert ever held in Canada. As to the intrinsic benefit or value for the public expenditure involved -- well, that's the $6,000,0000 question, at least for the moment. Toronto boosters are quick to point out that since the lingering damage to their city's reputation (due to an outbreak of the highly-publicized SARS virus in that locality earlier this year) is psychological in nature, the cure (now that SARS is apparently on the decline) should be likewise. The big hope is that those who canceled plans to travel to Toronto (or anywhere else in Canada) due to SARS will reconsider after acknowledging that 430,000 fans had a great time smack-dab in the heart of that city and survived (!) The SARS virus originally appeared in Hong Kong and parts of China. As of this writing, tickets for the concert were selling on eBay for $13.80 with VIP passes going for $300 (both CDN funds). The 'Stones will fly from Prague to Toronto for the concert during a break in their current European tour. (July 26, 2003)

Speaking of The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger turns 60 today. That's right -- the big SIX ZERO !! Happy birthday Mick! (July 26, 2003)

Noel Redding, the original and only bassist for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, has died at the age of 57. The band was short lived -- it was formed in 1966 and dissolved in 1969 before Hendrix's historical Woodstock appearance. Hendrix died the following year from choking on his own vomit induced by an over-consumption of sleeping pills and wine. Redding was recruited for the band by Chas Chandler, a former bassist for The Animals who became a rock manager. Chandler also signed up drummer Mitch Mitchell to form the Experience along with Redding and Hendrix in England. The band went on to produce three classic albums of blues-tinged, psychedelic rock -- "Are You Experienced?," "Axis: Bold as Love" and "Electric Ladyland." Redding always maintained that his greatest achievement was playing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, where the band made its American debut. It was here that Hendrix lit his guitar on fire -- now a legendary rock moment. He was also proud of the band's 1992 induction into Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Last February, Redding had threatened to sue Experience Hendrix, the company that manages the Hendrix catalogue, for up to $5 million in lost earnings. The claim was rejected by the Hendrix estate. (May 13, 2003)

Who guitarist Pete Townshend has been cleared of charges of child-porn possession, but has been placed on a national U.K. registry of sex offenders. The listing will stand for 5 years. Townshend, 57, was arrested in January, 2003 on suspicion of making and possessing indecent images of children. This lead to a four-month police investigation that has just concluded. The investigation found that while Townshend had not downloaded any pornographic images of children, he had accessed a child-porn site -- using his own credit card to enter. Townshend insists that his motive for accessing the site was based on "research" purposes for a campaign he had began in 1985 "to counter damage done by all kinds of pornography on the Internet, but especially any involving child abuse." Along with the listing, Townshend's fingerprints, photograph and a DNA sample will be taken by police. (May 8, 2003)

The Mac is back! Fleetwood Mac has reformed (well sort of) for a tour and forthcoming album release. The ever-talented Lindsey Buckingham was running into record label resistance to his solo efforts on the grounds that his own name hasn't proved to be sufficiently "marketable." This contributed to the decision to shelve his latest solo project in favor of one from a reformed "Mac." Of course, "reforming the band" implies the involvement of more than one artist. Vocalist Stevie Nicks facing a situation similar to Buckingham, is also on board, as is originating drummer John McVie. Taking a pass is original keyboardist Christine McVie (John's ex) who, weary of the pop-star lifestyle has resettled down to a relatively domestic life in her native England. Without Christine's influence, the sound of the new album is expected to be somewhat more guitar oriented than that of vintage Mac. The new album will be the first project of original material from the band since 1987. It's titled "Say You Will." (May 2, 2003)

Howie Epstein, long-time bassist for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers has died at the age of 47. Like many recent rock musician deaths, the suspected cause was a drug overdose. He had been suffering from a disease that infected one of his legs. Epstein joined the Heartbreakers in 1982, replacing Ron Blair. Epstein, who had a previous relationship with country singer Carlene Carter had parted ways with the band last year due to on-going health problems. (Mar 3, 2003)

So tragic, so sad, and so unnecessary. That's about the only way to sum up the deaths of 96 fans of the '80s band Great White at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island last Thursday. A pyrotechnic display during the band's first song "Desert Moon" sprayed hot sparks onto adjacent walls and the ceiling sufficient to ignite them. Many club goers at first thought the fire was just part of the act. From that point onward, it only took minutes for the entire club to be engulfed in thick, black smoke within a halo of flames. Although there were several fire exits, the majority of the crowd instinctively headed for the main doors. Many got trapped and were either burned or trampled - 200 were injured with 35 of them having very serious injuries. In what might go down in rock history as a classic case of either butt-covering or simply mis-communication, all parties involved are claiming they acted properly. The band claims that they received permission from the club management to stage the pyro effects. The club management claims that they neither gave such permission nor were even made aware that the band would be using pyrotechnics. Rhode Island State law requires a special license for detonating pyrotechnics. One witness said he thought it was "crazy" to even consider using pyrotechnics in such an old wooden structured building with low ceilings. Another witness reportedly said she "never knew that a place could burn so fast." She had barely escaped, unable to see a fire exit that was only 5 feet away. Among those still missing late Friday was Great White guitarist Ty Longley. (Feb 23, 2003)

Legendary recording producer Phil Spector has been arrested in connection with the death of a woman found in a suburban Los Angeles residence. Spector is best known for his signature "wall of sound" - a dense, reverberant orchestral laden background. His session players known as the "Wrecking Crew" included guitarist and country singer Glen Campbell, pianist Leon Russell, drummer Hal Blaine and the late Sonny Bono. Spector produced a string of hits for the 60s "girl-groups" The Ronettes and The Crystals. To the rock world he is best known for his work on The Beatles 1969 album "Let It Be." Spector wasn't involved in the actual recording sessions for that album - he was brought in later to "assemble" the album from many raw tracks and unfinished takes. Spector's last major album was "End of the Century," a 1980 collaboration with the Ramones. The late Dee Dee Ramone once claimed Spector had pulled a gun on the band during the recording session. (Feb 3, 2003)

The surviving members of The Beatles have announced they will be releasing an alternate version of their 1969 album "Let It Be." Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr claim that the sound of this version will be a lot more "basic" and truer to the style portrayed during the original sessions. Ringo used the term "de-Spectorized." The initial release of the album had been abandoned due to disagreements among the four Beatles. After the band had effectively broken up, John Lennon brought in producer Phil Spector to compile the album for release - a move that infuriated McCartney. This latest re-release project has been on track for more than two years already. It had the blessing of George Harrison before his death in 2001, and helped bring about the investigation that led to the recent recovery of the original session tapes stolen more than 30 years ago. Plans are in the works to release the film "Let It Be" on DVD at the same time as the new album version CD. (Feb 3, 2003)

It's ironic that Paul McCartney and future ex-wife Heather Mills are publicly blaming the media for their breakup. It seems that it was only a few months ago (come to think of it, it was) when they were enthusiastically posing with a forlorn looking seal pup in front of a gaggle of media reporters and lenses while protesting the annual Canadian Maritime seal hunt. Like many celebrities, Sir Paul and Ms. Mills sought "fair weather" media coverage with lots of reporting on the good, charitable things they do and nary a word about nastier personal stuff such as how McCartney’s children by his first wife Linda Eastman reportedly refuse to speak to or generally not involve themselves with Mills. Linda died of cancer in 1998. McCartney and Mills married four years later in 2002. The lesson here is that short of owning your own outlet and publishing your own stories, you simply can't have and don't get it both ways. Others are already speculating about hidden motives on part of both Paul and Heather. Meanwhile, we doubt that very many in the media are shedding huge tears of guilt over their supposed part in this. (May 26, 2006)

Keith Richards is reported to have suffered undisclosed injuries after accidentally falling from a palm tree while vacationing with his wife at an exclusive South-Pacific island resort. A spokesman for Suva Private Hospital in Fiji's capital city later verified the 62 year old Rolling Stones guitarist had been admitted to that hospital but provided no further details. It was reported later that Richards had been transferred to a hospital in Auckland New Zealand. We wish Keith a speedy recovery and will relegate speculating just what he was doing up a palm tree to a future topic! No official statement has yet been released with regards to what effect Richard's alleged injuries will have on the Stones' Bigger Bang World Tour. The tour's last scheduled stop prior to the incident was in Wellington New Zealand on April 18. (May 1, 2006)

It's the battle of the Apples. A nice shiny green, 3D looking specimen versus a sleek iconic graphic with a small bite (byte?) taken out of it. Symbolism aside, the real battle is between the legendary Apple Corps founded by The Beatles in 1968 and California based Apple Computer Inc. In 1991 the two "Apples" came to an agreement brought on by the similarity of their names - with the outcome being essentially that Apple Computer agreed to not get involved in the music business. Of course, anyone who's even slightly up to speed on the pop-culture of the last five years knows that today's Apple Computer organization is very much involved in the music business. Apple Corps had claimed that Apple Computer violated the 1991 agreement by starting their iTunes on-line digital music download store. By the time you're reading this, a hearing will have been held in a London courtroom, where the two sides will begin arguing their respective cases before judge Martin Mann. By the way, the judge has already admitted that he owns an Apple iPod player. Although many songs are available for the good judge to download, Beatles songs are not to be found among them. Apple Records has not yet licensed The Beatles music catalog for purchase by digital download. (Mar 28, 2006)

This is the end of the archive.

The reports and commentary on this page are based on reports from a variety of on-line and print media resources. In rare cases where direct quotes are used, the editor will endeavor to name the original source that reported the quote.

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