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Joni Mitchell Hospitalized

Credit: James O'MaraJoni Mitchell is in the hospital, according to a post on the Twitter account for her official website.

The tweet, published Tuesday night, reads, "Joni has been hospitalized. We are awaiting official word on her condition and will post it here as soon as we know."

The 71-year-old Woodstock-generation singer-songwriter is best known for her hit “Big Yellow Taxi.”  Mitchell’s songwriting credits also include “Chelsea Morning,” “Both Sides Now,” which became a huge hit for Judy Collins, and “Woodstock,” which was recorded by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Mitchell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

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Eagles Broadway Musical in the Works?

Credit: James GladerOver the years, musicals based on the hits of Carole King, Billy Joel, The Four Seasons and Motown have made their way to Broadway.  Could the Eagles songbook be the next to hit the Great White Way?  Maybe.

The New York Daily News reports that at a recent event in New York City, the Eagles' Glenn Frey said that he'd been spending a lot of time in the Big Apple lately.  He then seemed to hint at an Eagles musical in the future, saying, "I’m going to see a lot of shows, so you never know."  He also named the Carole King musical, Beautiful, as one of his favorites. 

When asked if an Eagles musical would include all the fights the notoriously combative band has had over the years, Frey laughed and said, "Conversations. Give and take.”

However, Frey may be jumping the gun a bit. When asked if an Eagles musical is actually in the works, a rep for the band told ABC Radio that there is "nothing to discuss at this time."

Meanwhile, the Eagles are hitting the road for another round of tour dates, starting May 19 in Austin, Texas.  They have shows mapped out through the spring and summer, wrapping up July 29 in Bossier City, Louisiana.

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Jon Bon Jovi’s NYC Penthouse Sells for $37.5 Million

AEG LiveJon Bon Jovi has finally found a buyer for his Manhattan penthouse. According to the New York Daily News, the apartment went into contract on Monday, two years after the New Jersey rocker put it on the market, selling for $37.5 million.

Bon Jovi bought the duplex for $24 million in 2007.  He listed it in 2013 with an asking price of $42 million, then lowered the price several times when he failed to find any takers.

The palatial, 7,500-square-foot pad has six bedrooms, a great room with a wood-burning fireplace, a chef’s kitchen with 11-foot-high ceilings, a screening room and a private deck. It also boasts Manhattan skyline views.

According to the paper, model Heidi Klum expressed interest in the property last year, but the identity of the buyer has yet to be revealed.

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Rolling Stones Releasing Deluxe "Sticky Fingers" Reissues on May 26

Universal Music EnterprisesCoinciding with The Rolling Stones' announcement today of their upcoming Zip Code Tour of North America, the band has revealed plans to reissue its classic 1971 album Sticky Fingers in a variety of formats and configurations.  The remastered record will be released on May 26, two days after The Stones launch their trek at San Diego's Petco Park.

Among the various versions of Sticky Fingers that will be available are Deluxe Edition and Super Deluxe Edition box sets featuring rare studio outtakes, alternate takes and live recordings.  Both packages will include a bonus CD containing an alternate version of "Brown Sugar" with Eric Clapton on guitar, an acoustic rendition of "Wild Horses," unreleased recordings of "Bitch," "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" and "Dead Flowers," and five live tracks from a 1971 show at the London venue The Roundhouse.  The box sets also will boast a DVD featuring video of the band performing two songs at London's Marquee Club in '71.

The Super Deluxe Edition also will feature a third CD, titled Get Yer Leeds Lungs Out, offering 13 songs recorded during a March 1971 concert in Leeds, U.K.; a seven-inch vinyl single with "Brown Sugar" and "Wild Horses"; four collectible postcards, a poster and a print; a replica cutout of the band; and a 120-page limited-edition hardcover book.

Other versions of Sticky Fingers reissue include a standard single CD; a deluxe two-CD set; single, double and deluxe double vinyl editions; and various digital versions.  Check out the full track listings for the reissues at RollingStones.com.  A number of the packages will boast a recreation of the album's unique Andy Warhol-designed cover, which features a real zipper strategically incorporated into an image of Mick Jagger's jeans-clad lower torso.

Meanwhile, you can watch a new lyrics video for the aforementioned acoustic rendition of "Wild Horses" at The Rolling Stones' VEVO YouTube channel now.

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Interactive Video for Early Mix of Led Zeppelin's "Trampled Under Foot" Premieres Online

Atlantic/ Swan SongA mind-bending interactive video has been created to accompany "Brandy & Coke," the previously unreleased early mix of the Led Zeppelin song "Trampled Under Foot" included in the deluxe reissues of Physical Graffiti.  The video, which you can check out now at LedZeppelin.com, allows viewers to look inside the rooms of the building featured on Physical Graffiti's famous cover.

Clicking on select windows of the building launches videos inspired by images from the cover art.  Some of the rooms incorporate archival concert footage of Led Zeppelin performing "Trampled Under Foot" at London's Earl's Court, while others boast unique animation or live-action shots of various supposed residents of the building.

For example, one room shows a group of children watching a large, old-school TV set airing the Led Zeppelin performance; another shows an animated zeppelin floating in a medieval-looking stone room, as rats scurry across the floor; and another room shows a young boy in a toy-filled bedroom lip-synching along with the song into a microphone.  Sixteen separate videos are featured in the interactive program.

The Physical Graffiti reissues hit stores on February 24, the 40th anniversary of the original album's release.  The release is the sixth that Led Zeppelin has put out as part of its ongoing reissue campaign.

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Jeff Beck Releasing Expanded Version of Concert Album "Live at Ronnie Scott's" in June

Eagle Rock EntertainmentAn expanded "Special Edition" version of Jeff Beck's acclaimed 2008 concert album, Performing This Week…Live at Ronnie Scott's, will be released on June 2.  The album, which will be available as a two-CD set and a digital download, features several extra performances from Beck's 2007 run of shows at the famous London jazz club, plus bonus audio from a concert the guitar legend played with the rockabilly outfit The Big Town Cowboys.

The extra Ronnie Scott's performances are songs that feature guest appearances by Eric Clapton, Joss Stone and Imogen Heap.  The Live at Ronnie Scott's companion DVD, which came out in 2009, included video of these tunes.  As for the extra songs with The Big Town Cowboys, they originally appeared on the Blu-ray version of the aforementioned video.

The Live at Ronnie Scott's set features Beck visiting various periods of his career, including such memorable tunes as "Beck's Bolero," "Led Boots" and "Scatterbrain."  It also boasts an instrumental rendition of The Beatles' "A Day in the Life" that garnered Jeff a 2009 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Rock Performance.

A three-LP vinyl version of Performing This Week…Live at Ronnie Scott's -- Special Edition also will be released at a later date.  Here is the full track list for the expanded live album:

Disc One:
"Beck's Bolero"
"Eternity's Breath"
"Stratus"
"Cause We've Ended as Lovers"
"Behind the Veil"
"You Never Know"
"Nadia"
"Blast from the East"
"Led Boots"
"Angels (Footsteps)"
"Scatterbrain"
Medley: "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat"/"Brush with the Blues"
"Space Boogie"
"Big Block"
"Day in the Life"
"Where Were You"

Disc Two:
"People Get Ready" (with Joss Stone)
"Blanket" (with Imogen Heap)
"Little Brown Bird" (with Eric Clapton)
"You Need Love" (with Eric Clapton)
"Rollin' and Tumblin'" (with Imogen Heap)

Jeff Beck & The Big Town Playboys set:
"Race with the Devil"
"Crazy Legs"
"Train Kept a Rollin'"
"My Baby Left Me"
"Matchbox"
"Baby Blue"
"Honky Tonk"

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The Rolling Stones Announce (Finally) North American Summer Tour Dates

Credit: Claude GassianAt last -- The Rolling Stones have officially announced their much-anticipated North American summer concert tour.

The 15-date trek, dubbed the Zip Code Tour, begins, as long rumored, in San Diego this May, and will end in Quebec the following month.  The rest of the rumored cities are also on the roster, pretty much, though there are some additions.

As you no doubt recall, The Stones initially planned to announce tour details Thursday, March 19.  Those plans were delayed, reportedly because of ticketing issues involving the trek's promoters. 

Tickets for the shows go on on sale Monday, April 13. 

The Rolling Stones also recently launched a contest offering a trip for two to an undisclosed location, where the winner apparently will get the chance to introduce the band prior to a concert.  The contest winner also will receive and a commemorative video of the event shot by the band's official videographer.  Fifty runners-up will receive a collection of Stones vinyl.  You can enter the contest now until April 2 at JustAKissAway.rocks.

Here’s the full tour itinerary.  More info is at RollingStones.com.

5/24 -- San Diego, CA, Petco Park
5/30 -- Columbus, OH, Ohio Stadium
6/3 -- Minneapolis, MN, TCF Bank Stadium
6/6 -- Dallas, TX, AT&T Stadium
6/8 -- Atlanta, GA, Bobby Dodd Stadium
6/12 -- Orlando, FL, Orlando Citrus Bowl
6/17 -- Nashville, TN, LP Field
6/20 -- Pittsburgh, PA, Heinz Field
6/23 -- Milwaukee, WI, Summerfest
6/27 -- Kansas City, MO, Arrowhead Stadium
7/1 -- Raleigh, NC, Carter-Finley Stadium
7/4 -- Indianapolis, IN, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
7/8 -- Detroit, MI, Comerica Park
7/11 -- Buffalo, NY, Ralph Wilson Stadium
7/15 -- Quebec, QC, Canada, Le Festival d'été de Québec

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Richie Furay Says New Album, "Hand in Hand," Was Inspired by Aborted Buffalo Springfield Reunion

PRNewsFoto/Richie FurayRichie Furay's first studio album in nine years, Hand in Hand, hits stores today.  The record features a strong selection of mostly original country-rock and folk-rock tunes reminiscent of the singer/guitarist's former bands Poco and the Buffalo Springfield.  Furay says that's no coincidence, since he wrote some of the songs for what he was thought might be a Buffalo Springfield reunion album.

Back in 2010 and 2011, Furay had reunited with his ex-Buffalo Springfield band mates Neil Young and Stephen Stills for a brief series of reunion concerts.  During that time, Furay tells ABC Radio, "All of these creative juices just started to flow, and I had these guitar licks laying around, I had lyrical ideas laying around, and I really thought that we were probably gonna do an album, and I wanted to be prepared."

Although plans initially were in the works to extend the Springfield trek, Young had a change of heart and instead got back together with his group Crazy Horse.  Furay explains that he felt really good about the songs he'd written, so when the reunion record didn't materialize, he decided to do a new solo album.

Hand in Hand finds Furay focusing on a variety of subjects that have strong meaning to him.  The album's title track was written for Richie's wife of 48 years, Nancy.  Furay says it serves as a bookend to the Buffalo Springfield song "Kind Woman," which he wrote during the late 1960s about his infatuation with Nancy.

"['Hand in Hand' is] a song that I want to write from the perspective I'm at now.  This is not a song about puppy love," he points out.  "It's a song about commitment, it's about forgiveness, it's a song about -- here we are, man, 48 years later, walking hand in hand and we're still in love with one another."

The album's first single, "We Are the Dreamers," meanwhile, salutes Poco and focuses on the band's struggle to be accepted by both the rock and the country worlds at a time that hippies and rednecks never mingled.  He notes that only a few other groups, like The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, were daring to combine the genres back in the late '60s and early '70s.

"We were laying the groundwork for The Eagles and other bands that came along, you know," Furay says.  "And it was just our heart, it was our music and so, we were the dreamers."

Another standout song is the patriotic epic "Don't Tread on Me," which Richie describes as a different kind of love song.

"It's love song about, I'm really proud to be living in this country," he explains. "[T]here's a lot of people, I feel, who are desperate in their life right now…I just want people to step back and take a deep breath and just know we've got a great country."

Asked to choose a favorite song, Furay says "that's almost like saying, 'Which one of your kids do you like the best."

He adds, "They're all so unique.  They're all so different…So I can't really single one out above another."

Furay recently wrapped up a brief U.S. tour in support of Hand in Hand, but he has plans to schedule more concerts later in the year.  You can check out an official video for "We Were the Dreamers" at Richie's official VEVO YouTube channel.

 

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Richie Furay's first studio album in nine years, Hand in Hand, hits stores today.  The record features a strong selection of mostly original country-rock and folk-rock tunes reminiscent of the singer/guitarist's former bands Poco and the Buffalo Springfield.  Furay says that's no coincidence, since he wrote some of the songs for what he was thought might be a Buffalo Springfield reunion album.

Back in 2010 and 2011, Furay had reunited with his ex-Buffalo Springfield band mates Neil Young and Stephen Stills for a brief series of reunion concerts.  During that time, Furay tells ABC Radio, "All of these creative juices just started to flow, and I had these guitar licks laying around, I had lyrical ideas laying around, and I really thought that we were probably gonna do an album, and I wanted to be prepared."

Although plans initially were in the works to extend the Springfield trek, Young had a change of heart and instead got back together with his group Crazy Horse.  Furay explains that he felt really good about the songs he'd written, so when the reunion record didn't materialize, he decided to do a new solo album.

Hand in Hand finds Furay focusing on a variety of subjects that have strong meaning to him.  The album's title track was written for Richie's wife of 48 years, Nancy.  Furay says it serves as a bookend to the Buffalo Springfield song "Kind Woman," which he wrote during the late 1960s about his infatuation with Nancy.

"['Hand in Hand' is] a song that I want to write from the perspective I'm at now.  This is not a song about puppy love," he points out.  "It's a song about commitment, it's about forgiveness, it's a song about -- here we are, man, 48 years later, walking hand in hand and we're still in love with one another."

The album's first single, "We Are the Dreamers," meanwhile, salutes Poco and focuses on the band's struggle to be accepted by both the rock and the country worlds at a time that hippies and rednecks never mingled.  He notes that only a few other groups, like The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, were daring to combine the genres back in the late '60s and early '70s.

"We were laying the groundwork for The Eagles and other bands that came along, you know," Furay says.  "And it was just our heart, it was our music and so, we were the dreamers."

Another standout song is the patriotic epic "Don't Tread on Me," which Richie describes as a different kind of love song.

"It's love song about, I'm really proud to be living in this country," he explains. "[T]here's a lot of people, I feel, who are desperate in their life right now…I just want people to step back and take a deep breath and just know we've got a great country."

Asked to choose a favorite song, Furay says "that's almost like saying, 'Which one of your kids do you like the best."

He adds, "They're all so unique.  They're all so different…So I can't really single one out above another."  (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1)

Furay recently wrapped up a brief U.S. tour in support of Hand in Hand, but he has plans to schedule more concerts later in the year.  You can check out an official video for "We Were the Dreamers" at Richie's official VEVO YouTube channel.



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Lindsey Buckingham, Frankie Valli Among Guests Scheduled to Appear on AXS TV's "The Big Interview"

Danny Clinch; Varela MediaLindsey Buckingham and Frankie Valli will be featured guests on newly announced episodes of Dan Rather's AXS TV series The Big Interview, which airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.  Each show features Rather holding an in-depth conversation with various celebrities about their lives and careers.

Buckingham will appear on the April 28 episode of The Big Interview, while Valli will be featured on the May 26 show.

Also scheduled to appear on upcoming episodes are Trisha Yearwood on April 14, Vince Gill on April 21, Josh Groban on May 5, Florida Georgia Line on May 12 and director Paul Haggis on May 19.

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Ex-GN'R Drummer Steven Adler's Solo Band Schedules Summer US Concerts

Image Courtesy of AdlerSteven Adler still has an appetite for rock.  The founding Guns N' Roses drummer is getting ready to hit the road this summer with his current band, Adler, and has lined up a handful of shows that'll mark the group's first performances in more than two years.

The first date is scheduled for June 18 in Bolingbrook, Illinois, and is part of a three-show Midwestern stint that also features a June 20 concert in St. Louis in support of Queensryche.  Adler's itinerary also includes a July 10 gig at the famed Whisky a Go Go in West Hollywood, California, and an August 28 show in Uncasville, Connecticut.

In addition, the band will head to Peru for three concerts in late July.  More dates are expected to be added in the coming weeks.

Adler continues to support their debut album, Back from the Dead, which was released in late 2012.  The record was produced by longtime Foreigner bassist Jeff Pilson, and features guest performances by ex-Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash and Rob Zombie guitarist John 5.

Here are all of Alder's confirmed U.S. tour dates:

6/18 -- Bolingbrook, IL, Tailgators
6/19 -- Pekin, IL, Hat Tricks
6/20 -- St. Louis, MO, Jefferson Barracks Amphitheater (with Queensryche)
7/10 -- West Hollywood, CA, Whisky a Go Go
8/28 -- Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun Casino

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Robert Plant Collaborating with Dance/Pop DJ Diplo

Image Courtesy of Ed MilesAfter exploring Americana music in recent years with Allison Krauss and his group Band of Joy, Robert Plant made some hypnotic forays into electronic music on his latest solo album, Lullaby and…the Ceaseless Roar.  Now, the Led Zeppelin singer apparently is continuing his journey into electronic sounds, as dance/pop DJ and producer Diplo has announced that he and Plant are collaborating.

Diplo hasn't offered any details about the project besides posting a photo of him and the 66-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer together on his Instagram page along with the message, "Collab coming soon."  Diplo previously has worked with such stars as Madonna, Beyoncé, No Doubt, Justin Bieber, Usher, Snoop Dogg and Britney Spears.

Plant, with his current backing band The Sensational Space Shifters, finished a South American tour leg on Saturday with an appearance at the Lollapalooza Brazil festival.  They will launch a North American trek on May 24 with a performance at the Sasquatch Festival in George, Washington.

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Collab coming soon

A photo posted by diplo (@diplo) on Mar 28, 2015 at 4:58pm PDT

 



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Duran Duran to Release "Epic" New Album in September with Help from Mark Ronson & Nile Rodgers

Credit: Stephanie PistelDuran Duran has finally finished work on their new album, which the '80s icons are planning to release in September.  The as-yet-untitled 14th studio effort was produced by, among others, Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers and Mr. "Uptown Funk" himself, Mark Ronson.  Ronson also produced the band's most recent release, 2010's All You Need Is Now.  Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor describes the project as "epic."

Speaking to ABC Radio a few months ago, Taylor said of the new disc, "It's going to be amazing. We've been working on it for two years and, it's a real epic, actually: it's going to be an epic record.  It's a real broad sound that we have on this record."

Rodgers first worked with Duran Duran on their smash 1984 hits "The Wild Boys" and "The Reflex," as well as on their 1986 album Notorious, but Taylor says this new project isn't going to harken back to the band's classic '80s sound.

"Not really, no.  It's very much in the moment," he told ABC Radio. "Of course it's always going to sound like Duran Duran. You know, with the four of us playing and singing on the record, it's undeniable a Duran Duran record, but we've not really referenced ourselves as much on this record.  We've just kind of done what's come to us, and what's been instinctive.  So, it's going to be a great record."

The first single from the new album is "Pressure Off," featuring vocals from R&B star Janelle Monáe; ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Fruciante also contributed to the project.

The upcoming album will be released as part of a new worldwide deal the band signed with Warner Bros. Records.

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Paul McCartney Working with Ed Sheeran, Chef Jamie Oliver on Song to Promote Healthier Diets for School Kids

MPL/Mary McCartneyPaul McCartney's recent collaborations with Kanye West and Rihanna likely have made many more young people aware of the former Beatles star, but now the rock legend has lent his talents to another new collaborative song that's seeking to bring attention to a cause that could positively affect youngsters around the world.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver revealed during a recent interview with an Australian radio show that McCartney has penned some lyrics for and played bass on a new star-studded anthem that's being prepared for this year's edition of Oliver's Food Revolution Day campaign on May 15.

In the interview, Oliver revealed that he co-wrote the song with young U.K. pop star Ed Sheeran, who, he said, "set me to task to go and get the rest of the band together, so I [asked McCartney], 'Will you lay down bass and do some lyrics?' and he said, 'Yes!'"

Oliver reported that McCartney already had sent over the tracks he worked on.  The chef also revealed that Coldplay's Chris Martin had agreed to add some keyboards to the song, which he's planning to release in early May as part of a viral campaign.

The focus of the 2015 Food Revolution Day initiative is to get people around the world to sign a petition declaring that "it's a child's human right to have practical food education in school."

As a vegetarian, McCartney has long promoted healthier eating through such initiatives as the Meat Free Monday campaign he helped launch a few years ago.

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James Taylor Releasing First Album of New Songs in 13 Years This June

Credit: Rob FortunatoJames Taylor fans, rejoice: This summer, the singer/songwriter is releasing his first album of all-new, original material in 13 years.  It's called Before This World, and it hits stores on June 16.

Taylor, whose last album of new songs was 2002's October Road, tells Rolling Stone, "I got out of the habit of writing songs for about 10 years.  I just never prioritized it."

He adds, "I hadn't been able to convince my manager, my wife and my kids that this had to be a priority.  But I said to them, 'If I don't get this record written, I don't know what's going to happen.'  And then they let me go.'"

Where did he go?  To an apartment in Newport, Rhode Island, where, he says, "I didn't know anybody and I didn't see anybody."  Armed with only a guitar and a notebook, he turned out a batch of songs that he finished recording in a barn on his property in Massachusetts.  Rolling Stone says the album is -- big surprise -- "mellow" and "folky," with songs about the Red Sox, the singer's recovery from addiction and the road.

Since 2002, the record business has changed quite a bit, with album sales at an all-time low, but Taylor says he's not stressing about going platinum with Before This World.

"I have no idea what releasing an album even means anymore," he tells Rolling Stone.  "Friends of mine say, 'James, you have to adjust your expectations.  People don't buy these things.'  Not to be presumptuous, but Vincent Van Gogh sold just two paintings while he was alive.  If that's what your medium is, you simply must do it."

Taylor will support the new album with summer dates, including a show at Fenway Park in Boston.  Asked about possible retirement from touring, the 67-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer says, "B.B. King and Tony Bennett are models for continuing.  You find a way forward if your audience keeps showing up."

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Aerosmith Add Two More US Shows to Its Blue Army Tour

Credit: Ross HalfinAerosmith has now expanded its Blue Army Tour 2015 to include 15 dates after adding a pair of new U.S. shows to its itinerary.  The latest concerts to join the band's list of summer performances are a June 30 gig in Hidalgo, Texas, and an August 4 show in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Tickets for both dates can be purchased now via Ticketmaster.com.  Aerosmith's Blue Army Tour gets under way with a June 24 date in Evansville, Indiana, and is plotted out through a special August 7 gig in Canton, Ohio, called the Concert for Legends, which is part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2015 enshrinement festivities.

Here are all of Aerosmith's confirmed 2015 North American tour dates:

6/24 -- Evansville, IN, The Ford Center
6/27 -- Durant, OK, Choctaw Casino
6/30 -- Hidalgo, Texas, State Farm Arena
7/3 -- Lake Tahoe, NV, Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys
7/7 -- Santa Barbara, CA, Santa Barbara Bowl
7/10 -- Salinas, CA, Salinas Sports Complex
7/13 -- Kelowna, BC, Canada, Prospera Place
7/16 -- Victoria, BC, Canada, Save on Foods Memorial Centre
7/19 -- Fort McMurray, AB, Canada, Shell Place at MacDonald Park
7/22 -- Cheyenne, WY, Cheyenne Frontier Days
7/25 -- Minot, ND, North Dakota State Fair
7/28 -- Ridgefield, WA, Washington Amphitheater Northwest
8/1 -- Las Vegas, NV, MGM Grand Garden Arena
8/4 -- Grand Rapids, MI, Van Andel Arena
8/7 -- Canton, OH, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium

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Queen's Brian May Says Sacha Baron Cohen/Freddie Mercury Announcement Was a "Small Joke"

Photo: Neal PrestonSacha Baron Cohen has NOT been confirmed to play Freddie Mercury in a biopic about the flamboyant Queen frontman.

Queen guitarist Brian May posted on his website that the band’s manager, Jim Beach, was just making “a small joke” last Thursday at the Artist and Manager Awards when he said Cohen had officially signed on to the long-delayed project.

Entertainment Weekly.com reported the story on Saturday, quoting Beach as saying, “You have probably followed the saga of the famous Queen-Freddie Mercury biopic which has been developing in Hollywood for the last seven years. An important breakthrough is that we have now managed to persuade Sacha Baron Cohen to write, produce, and direct this movie, and he has also agreed to star.”

May said Beach was just joking. "I'm afraid some folks might have taken it seriously," wrote May.

The biopic about Mercury, who died in 1991 at the age of 45 due to complications from AIDS, has been in the works since about 2010. However, sources told EW the project has been stalled due to Cohen “not seeing eye to eye with the remaining members of Queen who have script and director approval."

According to EW, Cohen desired a “gritty R-rated tell-all," while the band apparently preferred a PG-version of Mercury's life.

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Norman Greenbaum of “Spirit in the Sky” Fame Critically Injured in Car Accident

Photo by GAB Archive/RedfernsNorman Greenbaum, the 72-year-old singer-songwriter best known for the 1969 hit “Spirit in the Sky” was hospitalized Saturday after being critically injured in a Northern California car accident that killed a motorcyclist, the Press-Democrat reports.

Greenbaum was still in critical condition as of Sunday afternoon, a nursing supervisor told the newspaper.

Greenbaum was a passenger in a Subaru Outback that failed to yield to a motorcycle at an intersection in Santa Rosa, California Highway Patrol officials told the newspaper.

CHiP officials said the motorcyclist, 20-year-old Usama Halaweh, crashed into the Subaru and died at the scene.  A passenger on the motorcycle was critically injured.

The driver of the Subaru, identified as Bonita Perea, 63, was not injured, CHiP officials said.

“Spirit in the Sky” has been featured in dozens of TV shows and movies over the years. It was part of the soundtrack of last year’s box office hit Guardians of the Galaxy.

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Eric Clapton Turns 70 Today

Credit: George ChinHappy Birthday to Eric Clapton, who celebrates his 70th birthday today.  The blues-rock guitar legend has been one of the most influential and successful musicians to emerge from the 1960s British music scene, and is the only person ever to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times -- in 1992 as a member of The Yardbirds, in 1993 with Cream and in 2000 as a solo artist.

Clapton's music career began more than 50 years ago with The Yardbirds, and he quickly earned a reputation as one of the best guitarists in the U.K.  Unhappy with the group's pop direction, he left in 1965 to join John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers.  The following year, he teamed up with one of his fellow Bluesbreakers, singer/bassist Jack Bruce, and jazz-influenced drum virtuoso Ginger Baker to form Cream.

Cream combined improvisational blues-rock and psychedelia for a sound that influenced countless hard rock bands.  During his time with the short-lived supergroup, Clapton began to develop as a singer and songwriter, and was responsible for co-writing such classic songs as "Sunshine of Your Love," "Strange Brew" and "Badge."

After Cream broke up in 1968, Clapton joined forces with Steve Winwood to form another supergroup, Blind Faith, which only released one self-titled album in 1969.  He then took part in a brief collaboration with the American rock/soul duo Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett before beginning an extremely successful solo career.  In 1970, the year Clapton released his self-titled solo debut, he also put out Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, the landmark album he recorded as Derek and the Dominos, a group that also featured Duane Allman.

Clapton scored his only #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974 with a cover of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff," which helped introduce the music of the reggae legend to many music fans around the world.  Eric's many other enduring solo tunes include "Lay Down Sally," "Tears in Heaven," "Wonderful Tonight," "I Can't Stand It," "Change the World" and his classic covers of the J.J. Cale songs "After Midnight" and "Cocaine."

To mark his 70th birthday, Clapton has scheduled a pair of concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City on May 1 and 2, as well as a seven-date engagement later that month at the Royal Albert Hall in London.  He also is releasing a two-CD compilation titled Forever Man on April 28 that focuses on his solo work.

Meanwhile, in honor of the milestone, the Where's Eric! website has gathered input from fans around the world to help put together a list of the "70 Reasons Why Eric Clapton Is an Icon."

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Led Zeppelin Concert Film Screenings Taking Place Tonight Across the US

Credit: Ian DicksonJust a reminder that tonight's the night that special screenings of a newly created Led Zeppelin concert film will be held at more than 300 theaters across the U.S.  The movie, titled simply Led Zeppelin, includes footage from select performances spanning the group's entire 1970s heyday.

The film includes footage from concerts the band played at London's Royal Albert Hall in January 1970, Australia's Sydney Showground in February 1972, New York City's Madison Square Garden in July 1973, London's Earl's Court in May 1975, and the U.K.'s Knebworth Festival in August 1979.  The performances featured in the flick also appear on the Led Zeppelin DVD collection that was released in 2003.

Among the classic songs featured in the film are "Communication Breakdown," "Immigrant Song," "Black Dog," "Misty Mountain Hop," "Going to California," "Stairway to Heaven," "Rock and Roll," "Kashmir" and "Whole Lotta Love."

The movie, which has a running time of an hour and 45 minutes, will begin at 7:30 p.m. local time at all theaters.  Led Zeppelin is the latest installment Fathom Events' "Classic Music Series," a monthly series of one-night-only concert-film screenings that began in February with Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014.  Visit FathomEvents.com for more information and to buy tickets.

Here is the full list of performances features in the film, as well as the venue and the date that the footage was shot:

"Communication Breakdown" (from Royal Albert Hall -- 1/9/1970)
"Bring It On Home/Bring It On Back" (from Royal Albert Hall -- 1/9/1970)
"Immigrant Song" (from Sydney Showground -- 2/27/1972)
"Black Dog" (from Madison Square Garden -- 7/28/1973)
"Misty Mountain Hop" (from Madison Square Garden -- 7/27/1973 & 7/28/1973)
"The Ocean" (from Madison Square Garden -- 7/27/1973 & 7/29/1973)
"Going to California" (from Earls Court -- 5/25/1975)
"In My Time of Dying" (from Earls Court -- 5/24/1975)
"Stairway to Heaven" (from Earls Court -- 5/25/1975)
"Rock and Roll" (from Knebworth 8/4/1979)
"Nobody's Fault but Mine" (from Knebworth -- 8/4/1979)
"Kashmir" (from Knebworth -- 8/4/1979)
"Whole Lotta Love" (from Knebworth -- 8/4/1979)

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Prince Sued over Work with Former "Voice" Contestant

Warner Bros. RecordsPrince has been sued for working with former Voice contestant Judith Hill in alleged violation of a recording contract she has.

Entertainment Weekly reports producer Jolene Cherry filed the suit, claiming Hill -- a backup singer who competed on The Voice in 2013 and was featured in the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom -- has a deal with her and Sony, but she worked with Prince in what amounted to a breach of her contract. Hill recently released an album, Back in Time, as a free download.

The lawsuit argues, "[T]he people who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop her career and album and worked to position Hill for her first release (as well as those who co-wrote many of the songs) are sitting dumb-founded on the sidelines while Prince gives away their investment for free."

Hill's lawyer told Entertainment Weekly that the lawsuit is "nothing but a publicity stunt." He said, “Judith Hill was and is absolutely free to perform her music as she has done. She sued in New York on March 25 to confirm that she was free and to stop Cherry from continuing to bother her. Now in response Cherry counter-sues, in Los Angeles — improperly — even though a case is already pending against Cherry in New York. The Los Angeles suit is nothing but a publicity stunt.”

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The Louisiana Swamp Pop Museum operated by the City of Ville Platte is open to the public every Friday and Saturday from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Come view the amazing artifacts, photos, records, Wall of Fame and hear the music. Admission charge is $3 adults, $2 seniors and $1 for children under 12. The museum is located on Northwest Railroad Avenue.





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