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Bryan Adams Returning with Covers Album, "The Tracks of My Years"


Verve RecordsBryan Adams will revisit his youth this fall when he releases The Tracks of My Years, a collection of covers of some of his favorite songs from the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

The disc, Adams' first studio album in more than six years, features 10 classic tunes, and one new original song called "She Knows Me," co-written with his longtime collaborator Jim Vallance.  The deluxe version of the record adds five more tracks.  The album's cover features a photo of Bryan sporting extremely long hair that was taken just before he turned 16.

"Making the selection of the songs for the album took a long time," Adams says in a statement, noting that the process spanned three months of recording spread out over two years.  "We recorded all kinds of songs until the songs sort of presented themselves, or sounded different enough from the originals." 

Noting the diversity of the songs on the project, Bryan explains, "Radio was king when I was a teenager.  You'd hear Paul McCartney's 'Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey’ straight into 'Kiss and Say Goodbye' by The Manhattans.  Radio didn't discriminate back then."

Among the songs the Canadian singer covers on The Tracks of My Years: Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lady," The Beatles' "Any Time at All," The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows," The Association's "Never My Love," Chuck Berry's "Rock and Roll Music" and the aforementioned song by The Manhattans.

The Tracks of My Years is due out this fall; the release date is not yet final, but it'll be sometime in either September or October.

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Madonna Reportedly Ditches Boyfriend During European Vacation


Cliff Lipson/CBSMadonna and her boyfriend, Timor Steffens, reportedly are through.

The 56-year-old Material Girl and the 26-year-old Steffens were vacationing with her kids in the south of France when, a source tells Us Weekly, “Madonna politely asked Timor to take his luggage and leave."

The source adds, "He packed up and left the trip and said they were done.”

Madonna has since flown to Ibiza, Spain, minus Steffens, according to the magazine.

Madge isn't too broken up over the split, though, according to another source who tells Us, "It was never serious, and she was never that into it."  The source adds, "She's been working on her album and getting [her daughter Lourdes] off to school, no time for anything heavy."

Madonna and Steffens were first spotted together publicly back in January.

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Richie Sambora Accepts ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from Jon Bon Jovi


James Minchin III; David BergmanCould a bucket of ice water be a sign that relations between Jon Bon Jovi and his band's estranged lead guitarist, Richie Sambora, are beginning to warm up?  Sambora recently joined the ranks of celebrities who have doused themselves in icy water in support of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge after he was challenged to take part in the campaign by the singer this past weekend.

Jon took the challenge himself this past week and called on Sambora, as well as Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres and keyboardist David Bryan, to do the same.

In a video posted on Sambora's official YouTube channel showing him completing challenge, Richie, in turn, nominates his rumored girlfriend, Australian rock guitar whiz Orianthi, and "all my friends and fans all over the world" to take part in the initiative.  Sambora does not acknowledge Bon Jovi in the clip.

Richie has not performed with Bon Jovi since April 2013, and has told the press he's taking a hiatus from the band to spend more time with family.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge calls for nominated participants to pour ice water over their heads within 24 hours or donate $100 to help find a cure for ALS, a progressive degenerative nerve disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.  As of Thursday, more than $41 million has been raised by this year's campaign.

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Stevie Wonder and Billy Joel to Receive Prestigious ASCAP Award


Eddie Wolfl; Myrna SuarezStevie Wonder and Billy Joel are among the respected music artists who will receive a prestigious honor this fall from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.  The stars will be presented with the ASCAP Centennial Award at a November 17 gala celebrating the performing-rights organization's 100th anniversary at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

The "once-in-a-century" accolade recognizes the honorees' impressive achievements in their respective musical genres.  Also set to receive the award are folk legend Joan Baez, country superstar Garth Brooks, and renowned Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim.

ASCAP's centennial celebration will be hosted by the organization's president and chairman, songwriter Paul Williams, and will be attended by all of the Centennial Award recipients.  In addition, special guest performers will be on hand to pay tribute to the honorees.

"Each of our ASCAP Centennial Award recipients is in a class of his or her own, as the creator and performer of songs that have touched the lives of people across the globe," says Williams in a statement.  "It's wonderful to be able to salute them on the occasion of ASCAP's centennial year."

The event also will serve as the inaugural fundraiser for the ASCAP Foundation, which supports various music education, talent development and humanitarian programs.

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The Zombies Launch Crowdfunding Campaign in Support of Upcoming Studio Album


Jacob Blickenstaff/TCI ArtistsThe Zombies' current U.S. tour wraps up this Sunday in San Francisco, and the band then plans to turn its attention toward recording its next studio album.  In conjunction with the new project, the legendary British Invasion group has launched a Pledge Music crowdfunding campaign that will allow participating fans to check out audio of some of the new tunes and video of the band members in the studio.

A video posted on PledgeMusic.com features Zombies singer Colin Blunstone and keyboardist Rod Argent sharing details about the initiative.

"We've been recording for over 50 years, and for the first time, through Pledge Music, we'd like to include you, the fans, in the whole magical process of recording," says Blunstone.

Adds Argent, "We would love to take you on this journey with us and let you have bits and pieces from the studio, some snips of new tracks as we lay them down, giving you access actually to all sorts of things which are not available to anybody else outside of the Pledge campaign."

The initiative also offers a bevy of incentives to fans, depending on the amount they contribute, including early access to the new album, rare and signed collectibles, Zombies T-shirts, mugs and other merchandise and the chance to appear in an official video by the band.

Meanwhile, after the campaign reaches its goal, 10 percent of the additional money raised will be donated to Music Unites, a charity that supports music-education programs for at-risk students.  The initiative, which officially kicked off on Tuesday, is off to a fast start:  More than 50 percent of the goal has been pledged with 86 days remaining.

Here are the remaining shows on The Zombies' U.S. tour:

8/21 -- Santa Monica, CA, Santa Monica Pier
8/23 -- Stateline, NV, Harrah's Lake Tahoe
8/24 -- San Francisco, CA, Stern Grove Festival

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Randy Bachman Shares Stories About His New DVD/CD Set, "Every Song Tells a Story"


Independent Label Services GroupRandy Bachman's music career spans more than 50 years and includes membership in two major rock bands, The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, so it's not surprising that the singer/guitarist has quite a few great stories to tell.  The 70-year-old Canadian rocker shares some of these anecdotes, and plays many of the classic tunes he wrote or co-wrote, in an aptly titled new concert DVD/CD called Every Song Tells a Story.

The video captures a Storytellers-style show Bachman played with his solo band last year in his hometown of Winnipeg that included performances of such Guess Who hits as "American Woman," "These Eyes" and "No Time," as well as BTO smashes like "Takin' Care of Business," "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" and "Let It Ride."  Anecdotes include recollections of Bachman's pre-Guess Who bands and memories of his early friendship with a local musician named Neil Young, as well as specific inspirations for songs and humorous tales from his famous groups' heydays.

"The stories behind the songs are, I think, relevant now, 'cause a lot of people know most of those songs.  They're kind of the soundtrack to their lives and to my life," Bachman explains to ABC News Radio.  "And, similar to when I want to hear where a song came from…a lot of people are entertained by where my songs came from."

Randy says that the DVD caught him and his band "at the end of a tour so [we were] all very on our game."  He says adding to that positive vibe was that fact that they were playing in Winnipeg, where "most of the songs originated" and "where the audience is full of friends and family…and it was just really a wonderful feeling."

One of the cool elements of the DVD is that the performances are interspersed with montages of rare photos and film clips from throughout Bachman's life that coincide with the time period of each song.  These images also were shown on a video screen set up behind the stage at the show.

Randy notes that this is an added bonus for the viewer because "besides hearing the story of the song, they get a visual, so it's appealing to another one of their senses.  All I'm missing is 'Smell-o-Vision.'"

Later this month, Bachman has a number of shows lined up with his BTO band mate Turner, and he also will be a special guest at three of Peter Frampton's Guitar Circus Tour dates.

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Foo Fighters Frontman Dave Grohl Welcomes Third Child


ABCFoo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl welcomed his third child with wife Jordyn Blum earlier this month, Us Weekly reports. The baby girl, named Ophelia Saint Grohl, was born August 1.

Sadly, just days later, on August 6, Grohl’s father passed away after a long-term illness. "Bittersweet news -- congratulations David Grohl and Jordyn Blum who have welcomed a new baby girl #3 Ophelia Grohl! The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away!!" read a post on The David Grohl Alley Scholarship Program's Facebook page on August 8.

Grohl and Blum, his wife of 11 years, are already parents to Violet Maye, 8, and Harper Willow, 5.

Foo Fighters will release their new album, Sonic Highways, November 10.

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Largest-Ever Collection of Madonna Memorabilia Going on the Auction Block This Fall


Courtesy Julien's AuctionsOver the years, various items of clothing or objects owned by Madonna have been sold at auction to collectors, but this fall will see the largest-ever collection of memorabilia from the Queen of Pop go under the hammer in Beverly Hills.

Julien's Auctions, the leading entertainment and music memorabilia auction house, will be selling off a pile of the Material Girl's material on November 7 and 8, both in person and online.  The items span her entire professional career, as well as personal items from her pre-stardom life, such as her 1972 junior high school yearbook, estimated to bring between $800 to $1,200. 

In addition, the famous Marilyn Monroe-inspired dress, stole and jewelry from the "Material Girl" video; more than 30 pieces of period clothing from her movie Evita; the outfits she wore in the videos for the songs "Music" and "American Pie"; and her costumes from the movies A League of Their Own and The Next Best Thing are all up for grabs, as are handwritten lyrics, an MTV VMA trophy, an American Music Award, signed checks and contracts and her personal make-up compact.  Even a signed document relating to her separation from Sean Penn is on offer.

One of the most interesting items is Madonna's day planner from 1988, in which she's entered notes about appearances on Letterman, outings with then-husband Penn, birthday reminders and holiday plans.  That's estimated to fetch $2,000 to $4,000.

The most recent items up for sale probably are the latex mask, gloves, bra and panties Madonna sported for her S&M-inspired photo shoot with Katy Perry for the cover of V magazine earlier this year.  Those are expected to fetch between $1,000 and $4,000.

From November 3 through the 7th, many of the items will be on public display at Julien's Auctions' Beverly Hills location.  Visit JuliensAuctions.com to find out how to bid.

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Posthumous Jimi Hendrix Albums "The Cry of Love" and "Rainbow Bridge" to Be Reissued in September


Experience Hendrix/Legacy RecordingsTwo out-of-print posthumous Jimi Hendrix albums, The Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge, will be reissued on September 16 and will be available on CD, vinyl and as digital downloads.  Both records have been remastered by Bernie Grundman using the original analog master tapes.

The Cry of Love originally was released in February 1971, and has been unavailable since being reissued on CD back in 1992.  The album was compiled and mixed by longtime Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer and Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell.  Jimi recorded most of the tracks between December 1969 and the following summer at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. 

Hendrix had intended the recordings to be part of a two-disc set he tentatively planned to call First Rays of the New Rising Sun.  Mitchell and bassist Billy Cox backed Jimi on the majority of the songs, while Experience bassist Noel Redding appeared on one tune, "My Friend," which was recorded in 1968 before Redding left the group.  The Cry of Love also includes guest appearances by Traffic band mates Steve Winwood and Chris Wood, as well as Buzzy Linhart.  Among the well-known songs on the record are "Angel," "Freedom" and "Ezy Ryder."

Rainbow Bridge originally hit stores in October 1971 and has never previously been available on CD.  The collection also is made up mainly of tracks recorded in 1969 and '70 at the same sessions that yielded songs that are featured on The Cry of Love.  Kramer and Mitchell again were in charge of compiling the record, with input from Electric Lady engineer John JansenBand of Gypsys drummer Buddy Miles and Redding each are featured on one of the album's tracks, while The Ronettes lend backing vocals to a tune called "Earth Blues."  Other notable songs on Rainbow Bridge include "Dolly Dagger," "Room Full of Mirrors," a studio version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and a live rendition of "Hear My Train a Comin'," recorded during a May 1970 concert in Berkeley, California.

Since the initial release of The Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge, the songs from the albums have appeared on various Hendrix compilations, including First Rays of the New Rising Sun, South Saturn Delta and The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set.

Here are the full track lists of the albums:

The Cry of Love:
"Freedom"
"Drifting"
"Ezy Ryder"
"Night Bird Flying"
"My Friend"
"Straight Ahead"
"Astro Man"
"Angel"
"In from the Storm"
"Belly Button Window"

Rainbow Bridge:
"Dolly Dagger"
"Earth Blues"
"Pali Gap"
"Room Full of Mirrors"
"Star Spangled Banner" (studio version)
"Look over Yonder"
"Hear My Train a Comin'" (live)
"Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)"

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Report: John Mellencamp and Meg Ryan Have Split Up


Venturelli/Getty ImagesJohn Mellencamp and his longtime girlfriend, actress Meg Ryan, apparently have called it quits.  Closer Weekly reports that one of the veteran rocker's friends has told the magazine that the pair broke up "a couple of weeks ago."

Mellencamp's friend suggested that the 62-year-old singer/songwriter was unhappy with the amount media scrutiny he and Ryan were receiving.

"I don't think he loved all the attention he got just from dating an actress," the friend explained.  "I bet he'll stay away from dating another famous person for a while."

People magazine first reported in January of 2011 that Mellencamp and Ryan were dating.  Ryan was featured on the star-studded 2013 soundtrack recording to Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, the gothic stage musical that Mellencamp co-wrote with famed horror author Stephen King.

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The Who to Perform on the Stand Up to Cancer Charity Telecast Next Month


Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The WhoThe Who's Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend are well-known for their support of cancer charities, which may be why the famous rock band has signed on to perform on the upcoming fourth edition of the fundraising telecast Stand Up to Cancer.  The show will air Friday, September 5, across nearly every TV network you can think of, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Bravo, E!, HBO, Showtime, VH1 and more.

Other scheduled performers on the one-hour show, which raises money for cancer research, include Dave Matthews, singer/actresses Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande, and rappers Lupe Fiasco and Common.

The one-hour special also will feature a bevy of celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry, Jon Hamm, Rob Lowe, Keifer Sutherland, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Eric Stonestreet, Jennifer Aniston, and Mark Harmon, in a "digital lounge" hosted by Katie Couric.  The stars will be reaching out to viewers via phone, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms.  If you want to donate money to the cause and would like to receive a call, sign up at WereCallingYou.org.

While the telecast airs from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET/PT on September 5, you also may receive a call on the 6th or 7th.

Daltrey is a longtime patron of the U.K. charity Teenage Cancer Trust, and he and Townshend co-founded the Teen Cancer America organization in 2012.  Both charities support the creation of programs and facilities that focus on the needs of teens and young adults battling the disease.

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The Hollies to Mark 50th Anniversary with Three-Disc Compilation


Parlophone RecordsA new three-CD compilation celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of the great U.K. pop-rock groups of the 1960s and '70s, The Hollies, will be released on October 21.  50 at Fifty features a career-spanning selection of songs, including the band's many hits, some album gems, a number of concert performances and a brand-new tune recorded by the current Hollies lineup.

Led by singers Allan Clarke and Graham Nash and guitarist Tony Hicks, the original Hollies scored such hits as "Look Through Any Window," "Stop Stop Stop," "Bus Stop," "Carrie Anne" and "On a Carousel" during the band's 1960s heyday.  After Nash left to join Crosby, Stills & Nash in late 1968, he was replaced by singer/guitarist Terry Sylvester, with whom the group released some of its most successful singles, including "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother," "Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)" and "The Air That I Breathe."

All of those songs appear on 50 at Fifty, as do a few tunes from 1983's What Goes Around…, which saw Nash reuniting with his old group.  The new track, "Skylarks," was recorded this year and co-written by longtime Hollies drummer Bobby Elliot and the band's current lead singer, Peter Howarth.

"I feel quite privileged to be writing the 50th track on this compilation, which contains some of our best work," says Elliot in a statement.  "I'm in good company with my buddies Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, and Graham Nash, who, throughout our career, have written some outstanding Hollies material."  He adds, "'Skylarks' takes us in a new direction -- nothing new for The Hollies.  It's back to our inventive roots in many ways."

The current Hollies, which also features founding member Hicks, will mount a European tour commemorating the golden anniversary starting September 16 in Tampere, Finland.

Here is the complete track list of 50 at Fifty:

Disc One
"(Ain't That) Just Like Me"
"Searchin'"
"Stay"
"Just One Look"
"Here I Go Again"
"We're Through"
"Yes I Will"
"I'm Alive"
"Look Through Any Window"
"If I Needed Someone"
"I Can't Let Go"
"Bus Stop"
"Pay You Back with Interest"
"Stop! Stop! Stop!"
"On a Carousel"
"Carrie Anne"
"King Midas in Reverse"
"Jennifer Eccles"
"Listen to Me"
"Sorry Suzanne"

Disc Two
"He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"
"I Can't Tell the Bottom from the Top"
"Gasoline Alley Bred"
"Hey Willy"
"The Baby"
"Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)"
"Magic Woman Touch"
"The Day That Curly Billy Shot Down Crazy Sam McGhee"
"The Air That I Breathe"
"Lonely Hobo Lullaby"
"4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy)"
"I'm Down"
"There's Always Goodbye"
"Boulder to Birmingham"
"Too Young to Be Married" (Live)
"Daddy Don't Mind"

Disc Three
"Hello to Romance"
"Amnesty"
"Soldiers Song"
"Heartbeat"
"If the Lights Go Out" (First Version)
"Take My Love and Run" (First version)
"Stop in the Name of Love"
"Let Her Go Down"
"Too Many Hearts Get Broken"
"Laughter Turns to Tears"
"So Damn Beautiful"
"On a Carousel" (Live)
"Then, Now Always (Dolphin Days)" (Live)
"Skylarks" (New 2014 Recording)

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Members of Guns N' Roses, Dire Straits, Whitesnake Featured on Tribute Album for Wounded Warriors


Cleopatra RecordsAn impressive roster of virtuoso musicians, including Guns N' Roses' Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, ex-Dire Straits guitarist Hal Lindes and Whitesnake's Reb Beach, have lent their talents to a new album that pays tribute to U.S. military personnel who have risked their lives for their country.  The Guitars for Wounded Warriors CD, which was released on Tuesday, was organized by multiple Emmy Award-winning producer/composer Brian Tarquin.

Tarquin produced and wrote all of the songs on the album, and he also plays guitar alongside the various guest musicians.  Other noted guitarists featured on the record include Steve Morse, Chris Poland of Megadeth, Billy Sheehan of Mr. Big and Alex De Rosso of Dokken.

All of the songs on the album were inspired by the combat experiences of U.S. troops.

"Had a blast trading solos with Brian Tarquin!!," says Bumblefoot. "And best of all, this album supports an important cause, Wounded Warriors.  Love to our Warriors, and to everyone for their support."

Adds Morse, "It is an honor to be a part of this cause. I was just turning drafting age at the end of the Vietnam War, and I still remember that the returning military weren't always treated with the greatest respect.  For our modern, volunteer military, we hopefully have learned to show our respect and gratitude."

Here is the complete track list for Guitars for Wounded Warriors:

"Black Hawk" -- featuring Billy Sheehan
"Taliban Terror" -- featuring Bumblefoot & Reb Beach
"Charlie Surfs" -- featuring Chris Poland
"5 Klicks to Hell" -- featuring Gary Hoey
"Surgical Strike" -- featuring The Flyin' Ryan Brothers
"Hunting" -- featuring Chris Poland
"Baghdad" -- featuring Gary Hoey
"Broken Arrow" -- featuring Alex De Rosso
"Sand & Blood" -- featuring Hal Lindes
"Escape Kabul" -- featuring Chuck Loeb
"Freedom" -- featuring Steve Morse

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Neil Young and Willie Nelson to Perform at Benefit Show Opposed to Proposed Nebraska Oil Pipeline


Image Courtesy of Danny ClinchNeil Young will team up with his friend and fellow Farm Aid founder Willie Nelson to play a September 27 benefit show aimed at fighting a proposed petroleum pipeline that would run from western Canada into the midwestern U.S. through farms and indigenous tribal lands.

The "Harvest the Hope" event will be held on a farm near Neligh, Nebraska, and will raise money for three organizations -- Bold Nebraska, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Cowboy & Indian Alliance -- that are opposed to the TransCanada Corporation's planned Keystone XL pipeline.  The structure would cross the Ponca Tribe's historic "Trail of Tears" in the northeastern part of the state.

The benefit also will support several local clean-energy initiatives on farms and tribal areas.  The concert will take place during the afternoon on a field in the farm, which is owned by a family that is refusing to sell its land to the TransCanada company.

In addition to Young and Nelson, the event's performers will include Willie's son Lukas, Native American hip-hop artist Frank Waln and a collective of local musicians called the Stopping the Pipeline Rocks All-Stars.

Tickets for the show will go on sale on Wednesday starting at 10 a.m. CT at BoldNebraska.org.

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Billy Joel's Original Band to Be Inducted into Long Island Music Hall of Fame


Jim Brown/Showtime

As one of the most famous musicians ever to hail from Long Island, NY, Billy Joel was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame back in 2006. Now, his original backing band will receive the same honor.

The surviving members of Billy's band, who haven't played together in 20 years as a result of lineup changes, lawsuits and one member's suicide, will reunite during the induction ceremony in Huntington, NY, on October 23. 

According to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, among the members who'll be appearing are drummer Liberty DeVitto, guitarist and harmonica player Russell Javors, sax and keyboard player Richie Cannata, and the late bassist Doug Stegmeyer, all of whom played on classic albums like Turnstiles, The Stranger, 52nd Street and Glass Houses. 

It's not clear if Billy himself will be on hand for the ceremony, either as an observer, inductor or performer.  Unlike Bruce Springsteen, who inducted his E Street Band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year and then performed with them at the ceremony, Billy may not be on the best of terms with his former bandmates.  Richie Cannata was replaced by Mark Rivera on sax in 1982, and DeVitto and Billy were involved in a legal dispute that led to his departure from the band in 2006.  Doug Stegmeyer, who'd been let go before the 1989 album Storm Front was recorded, took his own life in 1995.

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Concert Film Focusing on Roger Waters' The Wall Live Tour to Premiere at Toronto Film Fest


Image Courtesy of Roger WatersA new concert film featuring performances from three stops on Roger Waters' The Wall Live Tour over the last few years will premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on September 6 at 9:15 p.m.  Roger Waters: The Wall captures the former Pink Floyd singer/bassist's dramatic multimedia spectacle, which featured a full performance of his old band's classic 1979 concept album, accompanied by video projections, giant puppets, pyrotechnics, various theatrical interludes and, of course, the construction of a wall across the stage.

The movie, which was directed by Waters and the tour's co-creative director, Sean Evans, is described in the festival's synopsis as "a rib-rattling, sonically stupendous piece of filmmaking."  It will include footage of Waters visiting the French cemetery where his grandfather -- who was killed during World War I -- is buried, as well as his journey to Anzio, Italy, near the site where his father was killed during World War II when Roger was a baby.  Waters' struggle to come to terms with his dad's death partly inspired him to write The Wall.

The first leg of The Wall Live Tour launched in September 2010, and the trek finally wound down in September 2013.  The tour featured a total of 219 performances and grossed more than $458 million.

Following its premiere, Roger Waters: The Wall will be screened two more times at the fest: on September 7 at 2:45 p.m. and on September 14 at 8 p.m.  Visit TIFF.net for screening details.

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Listen to Lead Single from Jackson Browne's Upcoming Album Online Now


Image Courtesy of Nels IsraelsonJackson Browne fans can get their first taste of the folk-rocker's upcoming studio album, Standing in the Breach, by visiting RollingStone.com, which is hosting an exclusive stream of the record's lead single, "The Birds of St. Marks."

Browne tells Rolling Stone that the song actually dates back to early in his career, when he was playing guitar for Velvet Underground singer Nico in New York City during the late 1960s.

"I was freeloading off friends on the Lower East Side," Browne recalls of the time.  "I came to New York with no money at all, and I got this job playing for Nico, which sort of saved me because I had nothing going."  Jackson reveals that late singer/songwriter Tim Buckley, with whom he was friendly, suggested him for the gig, while remembering that Velvet Underground band mates Sterling Morrison and Lou Reed also would back up Nico depending on the night.

Browne also points out that "The Birds of St. Marks" was inspired in part by one of the most famous folk-rock bands of that time.

"This is a song I always heard as a Byrds song, and that was even part of the writing of the song because Nico loved The Byrds," he explains.  "She even said on a couple of occasions, 'Oh, you can play something like [frontman] Jim McGuinn?'  Her tastes were really eclectic."

The new version of the song features Browne's longtime lead guitarist Greg Leisz playing 12-string guitar in a style very reminiscent of McGuinn's.

Standing in the Breach will be released on October 7.  Those pre-ordering the album now via Amazon, iTunes and JacksonBrowne.com will receive an instant digital download of "The Birds of St. Marks."

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U2 Still Planning to Release Studio Album This Year, New Single May Arrive in September


A.M.P.A.S.(r)/Michael YadaBack in March, a U2 rep told U.K. newspaper The Guardian that the Irish rockers were planning to release their long-awaited new album sometime this year, contrary to a then-recent report from Billboard suggesting that the record wouldn't arrive until 2015.  Now, more evidence has emerged that the band's follow-up to 2009's No Line on the Horizon will indeed be released in 2014, and could even hit stores before the end of October.

A U2 spokesperson tells Rolling Stone, "We've always said an album is expected this year."  In addition, a rep for the band's label confirmed to the usually reliable fan site AtU2.com earlier this month that the record will be released in 2014.

Meanwhile, The Irish Times reported in a recent article that "a music industry source" shared some more specific predictions about the time frame for the album's arrival, as well as about a tour in support of the record.

"[There will be a] single in September, album September-October, tour announced December, first date April next year," the source said.  "The album has been actually been finished for a few months, but a decision was taken not to release during the summer months because of holidays, etc."  The source also claimed that the group was plotting to put out the record "with little of the fanfare usually associated with a new U2 album."

In other news, French newspaper Nice-Matin reported that U2 was in Nice, France, last week shooting a new video.

The band has worked on tracks for the album with a variety of respected producers, including Danger Mouse, Paul Epworth, David Guetta, RedOne, Ryan Tedder and Will.i.am. When the new album is released, it will be the longest they've worked on a single album.

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"Midnight Rider" Executive Producer Pleads Not Guilty in Crew Member Death


Danny ClinchMidnight Rider executive producer Jay Sedrish pleaded not guilty Monday to criminal trespassing and involuntary manslaughter in the death of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones, Deadline.com reports.

Jones died on the first day of shooting of the Gregg Allman biopic in Georgia back in February. The crew was filming on live train tracks when an oncoming train barreled through, killing Jones and injuring several others.

Sedrish, director Randall Miller and Miller’s wife and fellow producer, Jody Savin, were all charged in the incident. Miller and Savin pleaded not guilty last month.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor cited the production for one willful and one serious safety violation. Film Allman LLC has until August 29 to pay a proposed $74,900 fine or contest the violations.

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Smokey Robinson Talks About Working on His Star-Studded New Duets Album, "Smokey & Friends"


Autumn de Wilde/Verve RecordsSmokey Robinson teamed up with a variety of well-known singers on his new duets album, Smokey & Friends, which hits stores today, August 19.  The 11-track collection features new interpretations of songs the Motown legend wrote or co-wrote, either for his old group, The Miracles,  or for The Temptations or his own solo career.

Among the famous friends who put their unique spin on Robinson's tunes was Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, who paired his voice with Smokey's on a version of the Miracles classic "You Really Got a Hold on Me."

Describing Tyler as his "fun brother," Robinson tells ABC News Radio, "We've always had a good time together.  I love Steven.  So, we did 'You Really Got a Hold on Me' rock."  Smokey reveals that Tyler told him he picked the song because he "loved it" and has been singing it for years, sometimes even playing it with Aerosmith.

Two other veteran stars who are featured on Smokey & Friends are Elton John and James Taylor, who sang "The Tracks of My Tears" and "Ain't That Peculiar," respectively.  Robinson says he's known both singers for years and worked with them on numerous occasions.

"[Elton's] just a wonderful...We are really good friends," says Smokey.  "And I performed for his AIDS Foundation many times."  He also recalls fondly singing with John, Taylor and Sting at one of the ex-Police frontman's Rainforest Fund benefit concerts at New York's Carnegie Hall. "It's a great thing to work with your friends like that," Robinson adds.

Robinson explains that the concept behind Smokey & Friends was the brainchild of the album's producer, longtime American Idol judge Randy Jackson, whom he says "was a joy" to work with.

"Randy…called a bunch of artists and asked them to pick their favorite Smokey Robinson song," points out the singer.  "And he recorded that particular song with that artist, and what he did also was to let that artist do like a demo of their take on that song…And I'd just adhere to whatever their interpretation of the song was."

Smokey tells ABC News Radio that one of the guest singers whose contribution most impressed him was Mary J. Blige, who sang with him on a rendition of his 1981 solo hit "Being with You."

"When I first heard her version of it, I told Randy…'Man, I don't want to sing on this…Just let her be on there,'" he recalls with a laugh.  "So, I did the best I could to match her, but it was rough, 'cause she is awesome."

Other guest artists featured on the record include Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, John Legend, Cee Lo Green and Jessie J.

Asked if he has any plans for a special concert that would feature some of his Smokey & Friends collaborators, Robinson says "no," although he doesn't rule out hitting the stage with those artists at some point.

"If sometimes I'm doing a concert and one or more of these artists are available, we would love for them to come," he maintains, "or if they're doing a concert somewhere and I'm available, we would love to do that too."

Robinson has a bunch of upcoming dates on his tour itinerary.  You can check them out at SmokeyRobinson.com/Tour.

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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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