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Todd Rundgren Collectibles Up for Bid as Part of L.A. Memorabilia Auction Next Week


Image Courtesy of Danny O'ConnorA collection of memorabilia belonging to Todd Rundgren will go on the block during of a rock 'n' roll-themed auction that will take place November 7 and 8 in Beverly Hills, California.  Among the items the eclectic singer/songwriter has contributed to the sale are a stage-played Italia electric guitar, an assortment of awards he's has received over the years, various shirts and jackets, a digital piano and a piece of artwork featured on the back cover of his 1991 2nd Wind album.

Proceeds raised by the sale will benefit the Spirit of Harmony Foundation, a charity Rundgren founded last year.  The organization's goal is to enrich people's lives through music education and music-related events.

The Rundgren collection is being sold in conjunction with the Icons & Idols: Rock 'n' Roll auction that will take place at the Julien's Auctions gallery in Beverly Hills.  The sale features hundreds of pieces of memorabilia, including items belonging to or signed by everyone from The Beatles and Heart to Elvis Presley and James Brown to Madonna and Michael Jackson.  Visit JuliensLive.com to check out all of the collectibles up for bid.

Last week, Rundgren wrapped up another tour leg as a member of Ringo Starr's All Starr Band, and he's just kicked off his own fall U.S. headlining trek.  The outing is mapped out through a November 26 show in Los Angeles.

Here are all of Todd's upcoming tour dates:

10/31 -- Westbury, NY, Theatre at Westbury
11/2 -- New York, NY, B.B. Kings Blues Club and Grill
11/3 -- New York, NY, B.B. Kings Blues Club and Grill
11/4 -- Lebanon, NH, Lebanon Opera House
11/6 -- North Salisbury Beach, MA, Blue Ocean Music Hall
11/7 -- Peekskill, NY, Paramount Hudson Valley
11/9 -- York, PA, The Pullo Center
11/10 -- Columbus, OH, The LC Pavilion
11/12 -- Kent, OH, The Kent Stage
11/13 -- Chicago, IL, Park West
11/15 -- Peoria, IL, Limelight
11/16 -- Minneapolis, MN, Mill City Nights
11/18 -- Denver, CO, Bluebird Theater
11/19 -- Salt Lake City, UT, State Room
11/22 -- Scottsdale, AZ, Talking Stick Resort Showroom
11/24 -- San Francisco, CA, The Fillmore
11/25 -- San Juan Capistrano, CA, The Coach House
11/26 -- Beverly Hills, CA, Saban Theater

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Founding Yes Singer Jon Anderson Records Charity Single with Ex-Counting Crows Member Matt Malley


Gonzo MultimediaFormer Yes frontman Jon Anderson has released a new charity single that he recorded with ex-Counting Crows bassist Matt Malley titled "The Family Circle."  Proceeds raised by sales of the tune will benefit three organizations -- the Flutie Foundation, Sahaja Yoga Meditation and the National Autistic Society.

The track currently is available as a digital download for 99 cents via iTunes.  The melodic song showcases Anderson's serene vocals, with music highlighted by gentle piano, synthesized strings and an Indian-influenced guitar solo.  An accompanying video has been posted at the GonzoMusicTV YouTube channel that features a montage of clips of beautiful landscapes around the world.

"'Family Circle' came together when Matt sent me the beautiful music earlier this year," explains Anderson in a statement.  "I sang the song and lyric idea and sent it back to Matt, thanking him for the great energy.  Eventually, Matt added some more sounds and the haunting guitar solo."

Jon continues, "It's a pleasure to release this around Thanksgiving time, reminding us of our connection with our families and how our children keep us together, bonding our love of life."

Adds Malley, "Not only am I a fan of Jon's voice but I'm a fan of his fearless spiritual outlook which appears in all of his music."

As previously reported, Anderson currently is working on the debut album by his new group, Anderson Ponty Band, a collaboration with veteran jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty.  The record is expected to be released sometime next year.

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Genesis' "Sum of the Parts" Documentary to Be Released on DVD and Blu-ray in January


Eagle VisionGenesis fans excited to get their hands on the home video version of the group's recent career-spanning documentary, Sum of the Parts, will have to be a little patient.  DVD and Blu-ray editions of the film, which initially were supposed to be released in November, now are scheduled to hit stores on January 13, 2015.

Sum of the Parts, which premiered October 10 on Showtime, follows the band's journey from its formation in 1967 through its numerous lineup changes to the group's most recent tour in 2007 and beyond.  The documentary also delves into the successful solo careers that several Genesis members enjoyed.  In addition, the movie reunites the group's classic mid-1970s lineup of singer Peter Gabriel, singer/drummer Phil Collins, keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and lead guitarist Steve Hackett, who are featured being interviewed together.

The documentary contains a bevy of rare and previously unreleased performance footage and behind-the-scenes clips.

"We're the only band, I think, that have managed the solo thing and the band thing for quite a few years side-by-side, and made it a plus rather than a problem," notes Rutherford.

Gabriel adds, "I think when we got it right we had something that none of us could do on our own.  And there were different musical histories merging together in a powerful way."

Sum of the Parts runs about 30 minutes longer that the version of the documentary that aired on BBC television in early October under the title Genesis: Together and Apart.  The band also recently released a three-CD compilation named R-Kive as a companion piece to the film.

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Graham Nash, Rock Hall CEO Sing Praises of New Paul Simon Exhibit


Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and MuseumAs recently reported, a new exhibition focusing on the extraordinary career of Paul Simon opens to the public today at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.  The exhibit, dubbed "Paul Simon: Words & Music," features an assortment of artifacts contributed by the singer/songwriter, including handwritten lyrics and letters, instruments, clothing items, Grammy Awards and more.

Graham Nash, who was at the Rock Hall this past weekend for an Everly Brothers tribute concert, was treated to a preview of the Simon exhibit while he was there and shared some of his impressions about the display.

"One of the things that was so nice about the exhibit is seeing his very first guitar…and seeing his progression as a songwriter, which is shown in lyrics that you'll see," explained Nash.  "And I think it's gonna be very inspiring.  I think musicians [are going to] go, 'Hey, wait a second.  I have a yellow pad.  I have a pen.  I can do this.'  And it's that point of inspiration that I think is the most important part of the Paul Simon exhibit.  I think people are gonna love it."

Meanwhile, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Greg Harris spoke recently with ABC News Radio about how the exhibit came together and some of the fascinating aspects of the attraction.

"The genesis came when Paul visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame," revealed Harris.  "[H]e came to look at other people's things -- The Everly Brothers and the artists that inspired him -- and as he was touring, he mentioned that he had quite a few things in his archive and…the idea was sort of planted between all of us that it'd be terrific to create an exhibit."

Harris explained that one of the goals of the display is to chart Simon's progression as a songwriter and artist.  He noted that you can look at how Paul went from singing with Art Garfunkel as the teen pop-rock duo Tom & Jerry to creating a catalog of songs during the 1960s that's "so much a part of our popular lexicon," and eventually made the Graceland album, which arguably marked "the U.S. awakening to world music in a big way."

Tying the exhibition together is commentary from Simon himself, which comes from a series of interviews Paul filmed exclusively for the museum.

"It's the first time a first-person narrative is used in our exhibitions," revealed Harris.  "He walks through his life, his career, his creative process, and there are times when, in the interviews, where he's holding a guitar and he walks you through the other influences that led to a certain song being composed."

Among the many fascinating topics Simon discusses in the interviews is how he developed the idea for the title track from Graceland.  Paul explained that he actually journeyed to Elvis Presley's Memphis mansion while he was working on the tune, which he says is one of the songs he's most proud to have composed.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opens daily at 10 a.m. CT.

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Dionne Warwick Says She's Sure that Angela Bassett-Directed Whitney Houston Biopic Will Have "Style and Class"


Kevin Mazur/WireImageWhitney Houston's mother, Cissy Houston, has voiced her objections to an upcoming Lifetime biopic about the late singer.  But Whitney's cousin, Dionne Warwick, says she's taking a "wait-and-see" attitude towards the project.

The biopic, which is being directed by Oscar-nominated actress Angela Bassett and stars America's Top Model runner-up Yaya DaCosta as Whitney, is expected to air sometime in 2015.  Asked her thoughts on the project, Warwick tells ABC News Radio, "I don't know anything about it, and I've kinda chosen to keep on the outside of it, and see it when it happens...and then I'll have an opinion."

However, the legendary singer says she's confident that Bassett will treat Whitney and her story with the respect it deserves.

"I'm certain that Angela wouldn't do anything to hurt Whitney or the family," she tells ABC News Radio.  "I have a great deal of respect for her and her art, and I'm certain that whatever she chose to depict is gonna be done with style and class.  And so, like I said, I'll wait to see it and then I can speak from a position of strength." 

Right now, Dionne is more focused on her new album, Feels So Good, which arrived in stores this week.  It features her duetting with artists ranging from Cyndi Lauper, Ruben Studdard and Billy Ray Cyrus to Gladys Knight, Cee Lo Green and Jamie Foxx.

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Elton John Says Pope Is His "Hero," Wants Him to Be Made a Saint Now


Joseph Guay/Capitol RecordsTuesday night at his annual New York City charity event for his AIDS Foundation, Elton John took the stage for a solo performance, but also spoke about the man he says is his "hero" -- Pope Francis.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, while speaking about the acceptance of gay marriage in the U.S., John praised the Pope for demonstrating tolerance and compassion when asked about the subject.  The Pope's response was, "Who am I to judge?"

Elton told the crowd, "What are we waiting for?  Make him a saint now.  He did more with those five words than the last five popes.  He is my hero."

At the event, which raised $3.7 million for his charity, John performed songs like "Tiny Dancer," "Your Song," "Rocket Man," "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" and "Philadelphia Freedom."  He also addressed the continuing battle against AIDS, saying, "Things are getting better.  More people are getting treatment.  The world is becoming a more tolerant, compassionate place."

Elton continued, "We still have so much to do...often the people who need the most compassion are those who receive the least.  That's why I created this foundation.  We are willing to take on the unpopular issues, and we are willing to put serious amounts of money towards bold approaches that bring us closer to a world without AIDS."

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Neil Diamond's New Album, "Melody Road," Debuts at #3 on "Billboard" 200


Capitol RecordsNeil Diamond says "hello again" to the top 10 of the Billboard 200 thanks to Melody Road, which debuts at #3 after selling 78,000 copies.  This marks the pop legend's 18th album to appear in the top 10.

Melody Road outperformed Diamond's previous album of original tunes, 2010's Dreams, which landed at #8 on the Billboard tally after moving 35,000 copies during its first week.  Melody Road's debut is Neil's highest chart appearance since his 2008 record, Home Before Dark, which topped the Billboard 200.

Also debuting in the top 10 this week is Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox's new solo album, Nostalgia, which claimed the #10 slot with sales of 32,000.  The album, a collection of standards, also topped Billboard's Jazz Albums and Traditional Jazz Albums charts, marking the first time Lennox has achieved these milestones.

Elsewhere on the Billboard 200, Diamond's "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" duet partner Barbra Streisand is spending her sixth consecutive week in the top 10, as her collaborative album Partners drops from fifth place to #8 after selling 40,000 copies.

 

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Expansive Paul Simon Exhibit Opening at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday


Image Courtesy of Mark SeligerA new exhibition at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland devoted to the life and career of Paul Simon will open its doors to the public on Thursday.  The exhibit, dubbed "Paul Simon: Words & Music," features more than 80 artifacts, many of which come from the acclaimed singer/songwriter's personal archive.

In addition, the attraction boasts commentary from Simon, discussing various aspects of his life, songs and creative process, which was culled from a lengthy filmed interview he granted with the Rock Hall exclusively for the exhibit.

Among the pieces of memorabilia that will be on display are Simon's first guitar, handwritten lyrics from throughout his career, summer-camp letters written between Paul and his old musical partner Art Garfunkel when they were teenagers, various clothing items, rare photographs and more.  The exhibition also will feature a variety of video performances documenting different periods in Simon's musical journey.

The "Paul Simon: Words & Music" coincides with the 50th anniversary of the release of Simon and Garfunkel's first album, Wednesday Morning, 3 AM.

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Steven Tyler Added to Lineup of "CMA Country Christmas" Special


Image Courtesy of Steve ErleAerosmith frontman Steven Tyler will bring a little bit of rock 'n' roll to the 2014 CMA Country Christmas special, which airs Monday, December 1, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Tyler and veteran country stars Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson have been added to the lineup for this year's event.  They join the bill that already features pop singer Idina Menzel and such big-name country acts as Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Nettles, Sara Evans, Little Big Town and Hunter Hayes.

The CMA Country Christmas special will be taped on Friday, November 7, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.  Tickets to attend the show are still available through Ticketmaster.

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R.E.M. Releasing 1980s Singles Collection, "7IN -- 83-88"


Universal Music EnterprisesFrom 1983 to 1988, R.E.M. recorded 11 singles with I.R.S. Records.  Now, the band is releasing all of them in a new boxed collection of vinyl seven-inch singles titled 7IN -- 83-88, which will hit stores on December 9.

In addition to well-known tunes like "Radio Free Europe," "Driver 8" and "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," 7IN -- 83-88 also includes two U.K. releases making their U.S. vinyl seven-inch debuts: "Finest Worksong"/"Time After Time" (live), and the double-pack single for "Wendell Gee" with "Crazy," "Ages of You," and "Burning Down."

Here is the full track list for 7IN -- 83-88:

"Radio Free Europe"/"There She Goes Again"
"So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)"/"King of the Road"
"(Don't Go Back To) Rockville"/"Catapult" (Live)
"Can't Get There from Here"/"Bandwagon"
"Driver 8"/"Crazy"
"Wendell G"/"Crazy" "Ages of You"/"Burning Down" [U.K. double-pack, previously unreleased on vinyl in U.S.]
"Fall on Me"/"Rotary Ten"
"Superman"/"White Tornado"
"The One I Love"/"Maps and Legends" (Live)
"It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"/"Last Date"
"Finest Worksong"/"Time After Time" (Live) [U.K. single, previously unreleased on vinyl in U.S.]

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Paul Rodgers and Lou Gramm to Sing on Holiday-Themed Ice Skating TV Special


Image Courtesy of Paul Rodgers, Disson SkatingThe frontmen of two of the biggest rock bands of the 1970s and '80s, Bad Company's Paul Rodgers and ex-Foreigner singer Lou Gramm, will lend their talents to a TV special featuring holiday-themed routines by some of the world's best ice skaters.  The Pandora Unforgettable Holiday Moments on Ice special will air on ABC on Sunday, November 30, at 4 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT.

Rodgers and Gramm will perform a mix of holiday tunes and classic songs by their famous bands at the event, which will take place at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Florida.  Among the Olympic, World and National champion skaters who will appear on the show are Meryl Davis, Charlie White, Evan Lysacek, Brian Boitano and Kimmie Meissner of the U.S and Ilia Kulik, Elena Leonova and Andrei Khvalko of Russia.  Award-winning American skaters Kristi Yamaguchi and Michael Weiss will host the festivities.

An encore presentation of the special will air on ABC on Sunday, December 14.

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The Kinks' Davie Davies Says He's Excited" About His "Very Energetic" New Solo Album


Red River EntertainmentKinks guitarist Dave Davies released a new solo album this week titled Rippin' Up Time.  The 67-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer describes the record as a "very energetic" and "ripping" collection of songs.

He tells ABC News Radio that many of the songs feature guitar tracks that were recorded on the first take, "'cause I like to keep things raw and as pure as possible."  He adds, "I've had a great time making it and I'm very excited about it, and I hope people enjoy it."

Davies, who has long been fascinated with metaphysics and spiritual pursuits, says the album's title has multiple meanings, while revealing that its concept was inspired by a dream.

"I was in this place where I was thinking about the past and…growing up and school and me and [my brother] Ray and all [my] sisters," he recalls.  "And then I saw myself today, living in a strange town in a strange house wondering where the hell I am and where I've been.  And then, I sort of took glimpses into the future, and about what could be and what might be.  So, all of a sudden, all these three elements converged together to provide this kind of weird mindscape."

Dave says he also realized that the title brings to mind the famous incident during the early 1960s where he shredded the speaker in his little amplifier with a razor blade to create the gritty guitar sound heard on The Kinks' classic hit "You Really Got Me."  In addition, he points out that "rippin' up time" reflects the fact that "I'm still here -- luckily, thank God."

The album finds Davies exploring a variety of themes and topics, including the struggle between madness and sanity and between dreams and reality, whimsical recollections of his younger days and the ill effects of advertising.  There's also a cheeky ode to a karaoke aficionado.  Different songs are stylistically reminiscent of material from various periods of The Kinks' long history, from the hard rock of the title track and the heavy blues of "Johnny Adams" to the punky power pop of "Nosey Neighbors" and "In the Old Days" to the whimsical pop of "Front Room" and "Through My Window."

Unlike his last studio effort, 2013's I Will Be Me, Dave only worked with a few other musicians on Rippin' Up Tide.  His main collaborator was David Nolte, a longtime member of his touring band, but Davies also enlisted the talents of his son Russ, with whom he previously recorded an album in 2010 under the moniker The Aschere Project.

Dave says it was great working on the new record with Russ, who appears on three tracks and lends vocals to the songs "In the Old Days" and "Through My Window."

Davies will promote Rippin' Up Time with a late-fall tour of the U.S., which kicks off November 11 in Milwaukee and runs through a November 28 concert in Englewood, New Jersey.

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The Allman Brothers Band Performs Final Show


Image Courtesy Allman Brothers Band; Legacy RecordingsThe Allman Brothers Band ended their remarkable 45-year career Tuesday night after performing the final show of their annual Beacon Theatre residency in New York City.

The band announced last June that it was calling it quits following an earlier revelation that guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks would be exiting the band before year’s end.

The Allman Brothers Band was formed in 1969 by brothers Duane and Gregg Allman.

Fittingly, the band’s final performance ended long after midnight, early Wednesday, which marks the 43rd anniversary of Duane Allman’s death. He was killed in a motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia, on October 29, 1971 at the age of 24.

According to jambase.com, Trucks use Duane's famed 1957 Goldtop Les Paul several times during the show and the band opened with the late guitarist's "Little Martha" instrumental.  The group also performed a number of covers, including a version of The Carter Family tune "Will The Circle Be Unbroken?" According to Jambase.com, the band had played that song at Duane's funeral.

In addition to Duane on slide and lead guitar and Gregg on vocals and organ, the original lineup also included guitarist Dickey Betts, bassist Berry Oakley and drummers Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson. On November 11, 1972, Oakley crashed his motorcycle just three blocks where Duane Allman was killed. Oakley died at a hospital a short time later.

Of the original lineup, only Gregg Allman, Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson remain.

With Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allmans arguably defined Southern rock for the world, earning multiple gold and platinum albums along the way and earning induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.

Here's the set list from the band's final show Tuesday, according to the website setlist.fm:

Set 1
"Little Martha"
"Mountain Jam"
"Don't Want You No More" (The Spencer Davis Group cover)
"It's Not My Cross to Bear"
"One Way Out" (Elmore James cover)
"Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl" (Sonny Boy Williamson cover)
"Midnight Rider"
"The High Cost of Low Living"
"Hot 'Lanta"
"Blue Sky"
"You Don't Love Me" (Willie Cobbs cover)

Set 2
"Statesboro Blues" (Blind Willie McTell cover)
"Ain't Wastin' Time No More"
"Black Hearted Woman"
"The Sky Is Crying" (Elmore James cover)
"Dreams"
"Don't Keep Me Wonderin'"
"In Memory of Elizabeth Reed"

Set 3
"Melissa"
"Revival"
"Southbound"
"Mountain Jam"
"Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (The Carter Family cover)
"Mountain Jam" (reprise)

Encore:
"Whipping Post"

Encore 2:
"Trouble No More" (Muddy Waters cover)

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Barry Manilow Says Recording Whitney Houston Duet Was "Really Emotional"


ABC/Lou RoccoIf you think it might be rather emotional to record a duet with one of your favorite singers, imagine how tough it would be if that singer had passed away.  Barry Manilow recently had that experience when he added his voice to a vocal track by the late Whitney Houston for his latest album, My Dream Duets.

"You know, it was really emotional hearing Whitney just by herself.  I had to push myself away from the speakers," Manilow said Tuesday during a visit to ABC's The View.  "She was standing right next me. Really, I would sing with her and then I would go for the Kleenex."

Barry's duet with Whitney is among those featured on his latest album, released earlier this week. Through the magic of technology, Manilow sings with other stars who are no longer with us, like Judy Garland, John Denver, Dusty Springfield and Sammy Davis Jr. 

Barry explained why he tapped all posthumous stars for his album.  "You know, they asked me to do a duets album and I thought, 'How can I make my duets album different than everybody?'' he noted.  "I picked all these people that I would've loved to sing with, but they're all gone."

Also on The View, Manilow performed "I Believe in You and Me" from the album, using an LED screen image of Houston to bring the song to life.

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Heart Says "Thank You" to Foo Fighters with Cover of "No Way Back"


Jeffrey R. Staab/CBSEarlier this month, Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson were invited to perform their song "Kick It Out" with the Foo Fighters during the latter band's residency on Late Show with David Letterman. Now, the Wilson sisters have returned the favor by covering the Foos' 2005 song "No Way Back" backstage with their band mates at Heart's show in Texas over the weekend.

"We wanted to give something back to them," Ann tells Rolling Stone. "Just to say thank you. It's the perfect HOOT song and worked well with the esoteric instruments we had around. It's a classic ripper with good melodies, great lyrics and perfect for hair-flipping."

You can watch a video of Heart's performance, featuring Nancy shredding the signature Foo Fighters riff on an acoustic guitar, at RollingStone.com.

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Drummer Roger Taylor Says "I'm Sure" Queen Will Record with Adam Lambert


Image Courtesy of Christie GoodwinQueen drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Brian May have been performing with singer Adam Lambert on and off for the last few years, although the collaborators have never made their way into a recording studio.  However, Taylor tells Billboard that he's totally open to making new music with the one-time American Idol finalist.

"I think it would be a very interesting experiment," Roger says.  "It would be nice to just go in and see what came out.  I don't know if it would be an album or anything, but I think it's too good a marriage to just let it go at touring."

He adds, "I'm sure we'll do something.  His voice is so extraordinary, and it's a beautiful instrument.  I think it would be nice."

Taylor admits that he and May have yet to approach Lambert "in a serious way" with regard to a recording project, and also notes that they've yet to write any material for such a collaboration.  He says the subject probably will be discussed during Queen Adam Lambert's 2015 European tour leg, which is plotted out from a January 13 show in Newcastle, U.K., through a February 19 concert in Zurich, Switzerland.

Roger also tells Billboard that a concert album and video recorded during Queen and Lambert's recent Australian trek likely will be released "at some point."

Meanwhile, a new compilation titled Queen Forever is scheduled to be released on November 11.  As previously reported, the retrospective contains three unreleased tracks featuring late frontman Freddie Mercury, one of which, "There Must Be More to Life than This," is a duet with Michael Jackson.

"It was really something the record company wanted," says Taylor of Queen Forever, "and we did have these three tracks that have never been heard, so we tried to put together an interesting collection."

On the same day the compilation arrives in stores, a massive box set of Taylor's solo work, titled The Lot, will get its U.S. release.  The package features 12 CDs, a DVD, and a 64-page hardbound book.  In addition, a single-CD, 18-track retrospective of the music Taylor made outside of Queen -- called, simply, Best -- was issued this week.

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Eric Clapton Records Tribute Song for Late Cream Band Mate, Jack Bruce


Guitar Center; Tina KorhonenEric Clapton has recorded a heartfelt tribute song he wrote for his Cream band mate Jack Bruce, who died Saturday at the age of 71.  The song, titled "For Jack, is posted on Clapton's official website and Facebook page, and features Clapton humming a mournful tune as he accompanies himself on acoustic guitar.

Following Bruce's passing, Clapton issued a statement that read, "It is with great sadness that we learned that Jack Bruce had passed away this morning at his home in England.  He was a great musician and composer, and a tremendous inspiration to me."

Meanwhile, Cream drummer Ginger Baker, who had a historically contentious relationship with Bruce, released his own statement that was posted on his official fan club's Facebook page.

"I am very sad to learn of the loss of a fine man, Jack Bruce," Baker write.  "My thoughts & wishes are with his family at this difficult time."

The last time Cream performed together was at two series of reunion shows held in May 2005 at London's Royal Albert Hall, and in October of that year at New York's Madison Square Garden.

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New Rolling Stones Photo Book Signed by the Band's Members and Priced at $5K Due Out in December


Image Courtesy of TaschenA limited-edition, officially sanctioned photo book celebrating The Rolling Stones' 50-year-plus career and signed by all four of the band's current members is set to be published in December, but it'll cost you a pretty penny.  The tome, titled simply The Rolling Stones, will run you a cool $5,000 to purchase.

The book features more than 500 pages of photos from all eras of the band's history, and includes many images that haven't been seen before.  Some of the pics were snapped by such renowned rock photographers as including Anton Corbijn, Annie Leibovitz, Gered Mankowitz and Helmut Newton.

The Rolling Stones also features a foreword written by President Bill Clinton, a few newly penned essays about the band, a Rolling Stones timeline and discography, a variety of illustrations and more.

The volume was edited by Reuel Golden, former editor of the British Journal of Photography. Only 1,150 copies will be available, each one individually numbered.  The book is 20-by-20 inches in size and comes packaged in a clamshell box.

"This book isn't just rock 'n' roll, it's a roller coaster through 50 years of memory lane!" says Keith Richards in a statement.

Adds Mick Jagger, "This volume brings together some incredible pictures spanning 50 years."

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Second Installment of Led Zeppelin's Reissue Campaign Hits Stores Today


Atlantic/Swan SongThe second wave of Led Zeppelin releases as part of the ongoing reissue campaign of the band's entire catalog hits stores today.  The latest installment includes remastered and expanded versions of the British rock legends' fourth and fifth studio albums, 1971's Led Zeppelin IV and 1973's Houses of the Holy.

As with the reissues of Led Zeppelin's first three albums, which came out in June, the new releases are available in a variety of formats.  These include a single CD version; a deluxe edition that boasts a "companion" audio disc; vinyl versions of those two packages; and a Super Deluxe Boxed Set, which contains the album and the companion audio, both on CD and vinyl, plus an 80-page book of rare and unseen photos, a digital download of the music and a high-quality print of the original album cover.

Led Zeppelin IV, which also is referred to as the "Runes" album or "Zoso," topped the Billboard 200 upon its release and went on to sell 23 million copies in the U.S., making it the third most successful album ever in the country.  Among the many classic songs featured on the record are "Stairway to Heaven," "Rock and Roll," "Black Dog," "Misty Mountain Hop" and "Going to California."  The companion disc included with the deluxe reissue of the album feature alternate mixes of all eight tracks.

Houses of the Holy also reached #1 on the Billboard album tally, and has sold more than 11 million copies since its 1973 release.  Among the well-known Zep tunes it features are "Over the Hills and Far Away," "Dancing Days," "The Song Remains the Same" and the reggae-influenced "D'yer Mak'er."  Alternate and/or rough mixes of seven of the record's eight songs are featured on the reissued version's companion disc.

In advance of the release of the latest reissues, the band debuted an official video online for the alternate mix of "Rock and Roll" that's included on the companion disc of the deluxe Led Zeppelin IV packages.  The clip shows animated blueprints of a zeppelin being drawn on some sort of canvas, while the song's lyrics also appear, along with archival performance footage of the band and vintage film of men apparently constructing a dirigible.

You can check out complete details of the Led Zeppelin IV and Houses of the Holy reissues at LedZeppelin.com.

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Huey Lewis, Kool & the Gang, Starship & More to Set Sail on '80s-Themed Cruise


Image Courtesy of Marina ChavezIf you wanted your MTV back in the '80s, you just may want to book passage on a new themed cruise setting sail in February of 2016.  The 80s Cruise will feature performances by early MTV staples like Huey Lewis and the News, Kool & the Gang, Starship, A Flock of Seagulls, Modern English, Naked Eyes, Wang Chung and Richard Marx.

Also on hand for the seafaring extravaganza will be three of MTV's original VJs -- Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood and Alan Hunter.

The weeklong cruise will set sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on February 28, 2016, and will visit Grand Turk Island; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands; and Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas before returning to port on March 6.

The cruise will offer a wide variety of '80s-themed costume parties and activities, including movie screenings, an old-school video arcade, trivia contests and karaoke.  The VJs will host a number of the events, while many of the performers will participate in interviews and meet-and-greet sessions.

Visit The80sCruise.com to find out more information about the event or book a cabin now.

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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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