Music News June 24, 2016
A Jury Has Decided That Led Zeppelin Did Not Rip-Off Spirit
If you were holding out hope that LED ZEPPELIN would lose their “Stairway to Heaven” copyright case . . . and be ordered to pay tens of millions of dollars in damages, so they’d be FORCED to do a reunion tour for money . . . well, that’s some creative thinking. But it won’t be happening.
Zeppelin won the case. A jury in L.A. unanimously ruled in the band’s favor . . . deciding that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant didn’t rip-off SPIRIT’s “Taurus” for the intro to “Stairway”.
The jury said that even if the band would’ve heard “Taurus” before writing “Stairway”, the “original elements” are not “extrinsically similar.”
The plaintiff’s lawyer wasn’t satisfied . . . and said, quote, “They won on a technicality. We proved they had access to the music, but [the jury] never heard the music. So the jury’s sitting there with basically blinders on.”
The plaintiff had to rely on SHEET MUSIC, because that’s the only thing that’s registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. They had people come in and play it on guitar and on piano . . . but apparently that didn’t impress the jury.
The chord progressions in the studio versions DO sound very similar, but experts have also said that other songs have used those chords dating back CENTURIES.
For Hundreds of Dollars, You Could Sing Karaoke with a Hologram of Rob Thomas
ROB THOMAS from MATCHBOX TWENTY is touring with COUNTING CROWS this summer . . . and he’s offering something new at his shows.
Fans who purchase a special V.I.P. package will have the opportunity to sing karaoke with a hologram of Rob . . . and you’ll be able to record your performance and share it on social media.
So, you’re paying $500 to $1,000 more per ticket so that you can fake sing with a fake Rob Thomas? Okay. But to be fair, there’s a meet-and-greet too, but it’s unclear exactly what that entails.
That’s a LOT of cash to part with, but at the same time, this sounds kind of cool. I could see a lot of people wanting this. I could also see artists making a ton of money off this idea if they made it more affordable so even the regular, non-VIP people could do it.
Music News June 23, 2016
Two More Previously Unreleased Nirvana Tracks Are Online
Just when we thought we’d found EVERYTHING that NIRVANA had recorded . . . two more unfinished instrumental tracks have surfaced. It’s unclear how legit they are, but “Alternative Nation” says they’re from a reel that a fan purchased.
It had seven tracks on it, which were supposedly recorded on February 15th of 1993, while they were recording “In Utero”. It has two versions of “Dumb”, three versions of Dave Grohl’s “Marigold”, and two previously unreleased tracks.
One is called “Dave Solo“, with Dave playing all the instruments. The other is “Lullaby“ . . . a keyboard track that sounds out-of-character. So maybe they were just messing around. It might also feature Kurt Cobain on drums.
TLC Is Putting Out a New Album
The surviving members of TLC are planning to release their first album in 14 YEARS. Their last album “3D” came out in November of 2002 . . . seven months after LISA ‘LEFT EYE’ LOPES died.
T-BOZ and CHILLI launched a Kickstarter to raise money for the album last year. They were only looking for $150,000 . . . but they got more than $430,000. There’s no title or release date yet, but it’s supposed to be out later this year.
On top of that, T-Boz is hinting that there might be another tour.
Music News June 22, 2016
Robert Plant Explains How “Stairway to Heaven” Was Written
LED ZEPPELIN is in court right now fighting a plagiarism charge over “Stairway to Heaven”. Members of the band SPIRIT say its opening cords rip off their song “Taurus”.
ROBERT PLANT took the witness stand yesterday and explained how the song was written. It happened more than 45 years ago, when the band was rehearsing and recording at a country estate called Headley Grange.
He was sitting around a fire with JIMMY PAGE, when Jimmy played him what would become the opening to “Stairway”. It turned out Plant already had the beginnings of some lyrics that would go with it.
He even recited them in court: “There’s a lady who knows all that glitters is gold and she’s buying a stairway to heaven / When she gets there she knows if the stores are all closed, with a word she can get what she came for.”
From there the song, started, quote, “rolling pretty fast.”
One of the issues in the trial is whether Plant saw Spirit perform one night at a club in Birmingham in 1970. . . and hung out with the band after the show. That’s what they claim. But that’s where Plant’s memory gets hazy.
He said, quote, “I don’t have a recollection of almost anyone I’ve hung out with.”
Neil Young Finally Confirms the Most Popular Legend about Him
Graham Nash — of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young — has a story about his friend, Neil Young, that has been almost too perfect to believe for nearly three decades.
As the myth goes, Nash was at Young’s ranch just south of San Francisco when Young asked him if he wanted to hear something. (That something would become Young’s now famous 1972 “Harvest” album, which features the track “Heart of Gold.”) Nash, of course, said yes and suggested going into Young’s studio. That wasn’t Young’s plan.
“He said, ‘Get into the rowboat,’” Nash explained on NPR’s Fresh Air in 2013. “I said, ‘Get into the rowboat?’ He said, ‘Yeah, we’re going to go out into the middle of the lake.’”
The two row out on the lake, with Nash assuming Young brought a cassette player and headphones with him.
Read the whole article here.
Music News June 21, 2016
Was Led Zeppelin Offered $14 Million to Reunite for the Classic Rock Coachella?
You can put a price tag on anything, but that doesn’t mean you can buy it. Showbiz411.com claims LED ZEPPELIN was offered $14 MILLION to reunite for the Desert Trip festival . . . a.k.a. the Classic Rock Coachella.
The site says Jimmy Page was all about it, but Robert Plant wouldn’t do it. Everyone was offered the same money . . . $7 million per weekend, with the festival happening in Indio, California, over the two middle weekends in October.
Once again, the bill features: Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, the Who, Roger Waters, and Bob Dylan. One source says they had to pony up a little more for McCartney and the Stones, and that the acts will also get a cut of merchandise sales.
Are These the 45 Best Albums of the Year So Far?
“Rolling Stone” has a slideshow of the ’45 Best Albums of the Year So Far.’ Unfortunately, the list isn’t ranked, but they did include brief reviews of each one. The list includes:
“Lemonade” by Beyoncé
“The Life of Pablo” by Kanye West
“A Moon Shaped Pool” by Radiohead,
“Blackstar” by Davie Bowie
“Anti” by Rihanna
“Coloring Book” by Chance the Rapper
“Teens of Denial” by Car Seat Headrest
“Human Performance” by Parquet Courts
“A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” by Sturgill Simpson
“Puberty 2” by Mitski.
(You can flip through the whole thing, here.)
Music News June 13, 2016
Adele Told a Producer to Suck it For Saying It’s Not Her Real Voice on Her Records
A longtime producer for David Bowie did an interview last week, where he said recording tricks and things like Auto-Tune are ruining music these days. And he ended up starting a beef with ADELE in the process.
His name is Tony Visconti, and he used her as an example of someone who DOES have an amazing voice. But he basically said that even with her, you have to wonder if they messed with her voice in the studio to make it sound better.
Drake’s “Views” Is #1 for the Sixth Straight Week
Drake is #1 on the Billboard 200 for a sixth straight week. And that’s the longest streak at the top for a male artist in 11 YEARS . . . since 50 Cent’s “The Massacre” did it for six straight weeks back in 2005.
If you include NON-CONSECUTIVE weeks, Drake’s mark would only date back to 2010, when Eminem’s “Recovery” spent seven weeks at the top.
Four new albums debuted in the Top 10 . . . the highest being Paul Simon at #3.
Here’s the Top 10 . . .
- “Views”, Drake . . . 135,000 copies
- “Lemonade”, Beyoncé . . . 69,000 copies
- NEW: “Stranger to Stranger”, Paul Simon . . . 68,000 copies
- NEW: “Seal the Deal and Let’s Boogie”, Volbeat . . . 51,000 copies
- NEW: “Hero”, Maren Morris . . . 45,000 copies
- “Anti”, Rihanna . . . 40,000 copies
- “Dangerous Woman”, Ariana Grande . . . more than 33,000 copies
- NEW: “Obsessed”, Dan + Shay . . . 33,000 copies
- “If I’m Honest”, Blake Shelton . . . nearly 33,000 copies
- “Blurryface”, Twenty One Pilots . . . 31,000 copies
Music News June 3, 2016
Prince Died of an Accidental Fentanyl Overdose
The toxicology tests have determined that PRINCE died of an accidental overdose of a painkiller called fentanyl. It’s a VERY powerful drug, which can help cancer patients deal with severe pain.
It’s 25-50% more potent than heroin, and 50-100% stronger than morphine . . . and it’s also been blamed for a spike in overdose deaths in the U.S. because it’s easy to become addicted to.
There aren’t any other new details, so it’s unclear how the drug was taken, why he was taking it, and whether he had a prescription. For what it’s worth, he made a few trips to a local Walgreens in the week before his death.
There had also been talk that he was addicted to Percocet, and that he’d been taking it to deal with hip problems . . . not as a recreational drug.
Prince was five-foot-three and 112 pounds at the time of his death, and his body was found fully clothed in the elevator.
The full autopsy and toxicology reports won’t be released, so this basically closes the book on his death.
New CDs from Train, Paul Simon, and Volbeat
- “Does Led Zeppelin II“, Train.
At first, it seems strange that Train would cover an entire Led Zeppelin album, but singer Pat Monahan started out in a cover band that did a lot of Zeppelin, and they did it to benefit San Francisco-based charity.
- “Stranger to Stranger“, the 13th album by Paul Simon
- “Seal the Deal & Let’s Boogie“, the Danish metal band Volbeat
- “Love You to Death“, Tegan & Sara. It includes the single “Boyfriend”.
- “Ash & Ice“, the fifth album by the indie rock band The Kills
Axl Rose Isn’t Signing Autographs Anymore
AXL ROSE announced that he isn’t signing autographs anymore, because so many people just turn around and SELL the stuff he signs for them.
In a Tweet that looks like it was written by a 13-year-old Prince, he said, quote, “Can’t take da ebayers so un42nutzly I’s won’tz b signing things 4 awhile. Much Love 2 the real fans.” (???)
Translation: “I’m perturbed by all the opportunists who are capitalizing off my signature, so unfortunately, I’m declining autograph requests for the time being. I still appreciate the true fans.”
Of course, by doing this Axl is just DRIVING UP the cost of his autograph . . . making it rarer, and even MORE lucrative for the ‘eBayers.’ Supply and demand.
Breaking Benjamin Is Taking a Boat to Europe for Their Tour
BREAKING BENJAMIN traveled to Europe for a tour 18TH CENTURY STYLE . . . by BOAT. Well, not all of them did. Singer Benjamin Burnley made the nine-day trip with drummer Shaun Foist.
Benjamin has always had a fear of flying. In fact, the band referenced it on the cover of their album “Phobia“ in 2006. He says, quote, “We took the Queen Mary 2 over here. It was basically a floating seniors center, but we made the most of it . . . [flying is] just something I’m really not comfortable with. I’d rather die some other way.”
80s Tour Extravaganza: Rick Springfield Is Touring with Loverboy, Night Ranger, and Tommy Tutone
RICK SPRINGFIELD is hitting the road this summer . . . and you’ll want to bring your Aqua Net and tease your bangs, because it’ll be an ’80s extravaganza.
His guests will include Loverboy, Night Ranger, 38 Special, The Fixx, The Romantics, and Tommy Tutone.
There are 30 dates booked between June 18th and August 28th, and not ALL the supporting acts will be at every show. The full itinerary is up at RickSpringfield.com. It also includes additional shows that he’s doing on his own.
Music News June 2, 2016
AXL/DC Will Hit the U.S. in August
AXL/DC lives, whether you like it or not. AC/DC with AXL ROSE behind the microphone will do those 10 rescheduled AC/DC shows in the U.S. beginning August 27th in Greensboro, North Carolina.
That’s only five days after GUNS N’ ROSES wraps up his Not in This Lifetime tour on August 22nd in San Diego. (Check out the dates here.)
Did Donald Trump Thank Billy Joel for Making Fun of Him?
During a recent show at Madison Square Garden, BILLY JOEL dedicated the song “The Entertainer” to DONALD TRUMP, saying his campaign has been very entertaining. Most people took it as a jab, and it probably was.
Billy later explained to “Time” magazine, quote, “I’m in the entertainment business. Donald Trump’s campaign has been very entertaining. Aside from that, who cares about the political opinions of a piano player?”
But if it was a joke, it was a joke Donald didn’t get. Because he Tweeted, quote, “Thank you Billy Joel . . . many friends just told me you gave a very kind shoutout at MSG. Appreciate it, love your music!”
Music News June 1, 2016
A Minor League Baseball Team Went All Out with Their Prince Tribute
There have been some elaborate PRINCE tributes over the past month or so . . . but a minor league baseball team is going ALL OUT.
The Columbia Fireflies are a Class A affiliate of the New York Mets based in Columbia, South Carolina. And next Thursday, they’re paying tribute to Prince in a game against the West Virginia Power.
Fireflies players will have awesome, Prince-themed jerseys . . . the team’s staff will wear raspberry berets . . . the pre-game festivities will feature a Prince cover band . . . and afterward, there will be purple fireworks.
Fans can get in on the fun too. Anyone driving little red Corvettes will get free parking . . . and all fans born in 1999 will get a free purple glow necklace.
There will also be frozen, “Purple Rain” adult beverages, and a ping pong tournament, where the winner will take home a Prince greatest hits CD. Because apparently Prince had MAD ping pong skills.
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David Bowie contributed vocals to Arcade Fire’s new single “Reflektor,” the veteran singer has confirmed. The track will be available as a two-track 12-inch vinyl release credited to The Reflektors that also includes an instrumental version of the song.
Arcade Fire released an interactive video for “Reflektor” yesterday, in addition to the previously announced video by director Anton Corbjin, after a teaser campaign featuring guerilla graffiti art and cryptic announcements.
The band is set to perform on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live on September 28th, and their new album is due out on October 29th.