Music News

LED ZEPPELIN'S JOHN BONHAM REMEMBERED

It was 42 years ago Sunday (September 25th, 1980) that Led Zeppelin's John Bonham died of pulmonary edema, which is fluid accumulation in the lungs. The legendary drummer was just 32-years-old, and found dead by Zeppelin sound technician Benji LeFevre and bassist John Paul Jones. The clinical cause of death was asphyxiation from vomit and an autopsy found no other drugs in his body. Bonham was cremated on October 10th, 1980, and his ashes were buried at Rushock Parish Church in Droitwich, Worcestershire.

Led Zeppelin was set to begin its next North American tour on October 17th, 1980 in Montreal. On December 4th, the band issued a formal statement announcing their split, which read: "We wish it to be known that the loss of our dear friend, and the deep sense of undivided harmony felt by ourselves and our manager, have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were."

Back in 2018 when pressed about Led Zeppelin's then-upcoming 50th anniversary, a somewhat somber Robert Plant explained to Mojo that Bonham's death still cast a long shadow, saying, "It's 50 years, but it's not 50 years -- it's 38 years of darkness for a family. So all that hullabaloo is great, and I'm sure there'll be some great things to come out of it. . . I really can't wait to hear (the archival releases) -- I might even get a free copy."

Bonham, who is regarded by most as the greatest rock drummer to ever sit behind a kit, got his start playing with Robert Plant in the Band Of Joy, and when invited by Plant to join Zeppelin, then called the New Yardbirds, he was reluctant to do so because he had just landed a steady gig playing with folk singer Tim Rose.

Robert Plant has always reminded fans and followers clamoring for a Led Zeppelin reunion that the loss of John Bonham goes far deeper than a band needing a new drummer in order to play: "Well, Bonzo and I, we'd been through so many things before the 'big time.' We kinda read each other like books -- we were like brothers. But in reality, and physicality, and spiritually, losing John, obviously we. . . everybody got together and said, 'This can never work again.' Our real concern then was to kind of protect (his wife) Pat and the whole family from this kind of surge of media stuff. And it's so debilitating really, and I experienced that a couple of years before that, myself. And to lose John was criminal."

John Paul Jones told us that when he and John Bonham first connected as a rhythm section, he knew immediately that history would be made between them: "When I first played with Bonzo, I immediately knew. 'Cause there's a lot of guitarists, and there's a lot of singers. There are less bass players, and there aren't that many drummers -- who are really good. And when a rhythm section recognizes each other, when you find each other, you go, 'Wow! Right! OK!' And Bonzo and I immediately recognized each other as we knew what we were doing, and we clicked."

Jimmy Page admitted to us that he knew from the beginning that the magic surrounding Led Zeppelin wouldn't last forever: "I said, basically around the time of the first album, it's all a race against time, and I think it is. It still is. It still is a race against time and trying to do good work and improve on what you've done. It's more difficult as you get older because you know your days are numbered, really. Within Zeppelin we had this amazing vehicle that we could continue and continue and just come up with amazing things -- which fortunately we did continue, and we did come up with amazing stuff. But I still thought it was a race against time. I had no idea how prophetic it would be with the loss of John Bonham."

E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg is no stranger to playing with power -- or nowadays, with his big band ensembles, with swing. He feels that John Bonham was capable of many different styles -- not least of which was swing: "Anyone would, I think, be hard pressed to disagree with me to say that John Bonham didn't swing -- incredible! You don't need to be a jazz or a swing drummer to swing. It's really about the lightness with which you play."

Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith told us that he became an instant Bonham acolyte the first time he heard him: "Bonham is the greatest rock drummer. He just is, hands down. Like as when people say Buddy Rich is the greatest drummer, technically, y'know, the greatest drummer ever? John Bonham, hands down, greatest rock drummer ever. Sound, he played those songs, everything he did was just, y'know, just felt good and it's just incredible. So for me, Led Zeppelin is my favorite band."

Jason Bonham has honored his father throughout his career -- not only subbing for him at such high profile Zeppelin reunions as the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert in 1988 and 2007's concert at London's O2 Arena -- but also with his own band, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Evening. He says his greatest regret is that he never got to play live with his dad: "We never got to that stage. I mean, I have a teenager now, and time and again, she drives me mad. Y'know, I never got to that point. My dad left me when I was. . . Y'know, my God, he was God to me. Every word he said was the gospel."

Jason Bonham told us that playing drums is what keeps him tied to his father who died when he was only 14: "I have a helluva lot to live up to. A lot of people say, 'What's it like, y'know, you're the son of John Bonham!' And I say, 'Y'know, what? It's kinda cool, 'cause he was such an icon in such an iconic band.' It just gives me enough get up and go to say, 'Y'know what, I just wanna make him happy and prove to him and show him that, Dad, you've handed me down a business.' Y'know, like some fathers they hand them down their work -- even though he wasn't there to hand it down to me himself, to me, I feel -- if anything -- he left me at such an early age, but he gave me a career."

AUDIO: JASON BONHAM ON FOLLOWING IN HIS FATHER'S FOOTSTEPS
AUDIO: JASON BONHAM ON JOHN BONHAM
AUDIO: RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS DRUMMER CHAD SMITH ON JOHN BONHAM
AUDIO: MAX WEINBERG ON JOHN BONHAM
AUDIO: JIMMY PAGE ON LED ZEPPELIN AND JOHN BONHAM
AUDIO: JOHN PAUL JONES ON JOHN BONHAM
AUDIO: ROBERT PLANT ON LOSING JOHN BONHAM

FLASHBACK: PAUL McCARTNEY TEAMS UP WITH HIS BROTHER FOR 1974 'McGEAR' ALBUM

It was 48 years ago Saturday (September 24th, 1974) that Mike McCartney teamed up with older brother Paul McCartney and released the longtime fan favorite McGear album. McGear -- which was the younger McCartney's stage name since the early '60s when he co-founded the legendary British comedy trio the Scaffold -- was Mike's second mainstream rock release following his 1972 solo debut Woman, which featured a portrait of the McCartney's mother Mary on the cover. Woman, like McGear, continues to be a global cult favorite garnering new fans with each new generation.

To many, McGear was a Wings album in all but name, especially seeing as how Paul didn't release a new album that year. The main difference was that Mike and Paul co-wrote most of the material between themselves with Mike taking the lead vocals and Paul handling production duties. Fans were amazed at the quality of Mike's singing, which at times sounded like a perfect amalgam of his brother and old friend Ringo Starr. Mike's wit and comedic touch is evident all over the album.

The album's lead single "Leave It" was one of only two songs on the set solely written by Paul. Mike explained that the song set the tone for the entire album: "It wasn't gonna be an album. It started, our kid (Paul) was sayin' 'What are you doin'?' And I said 'I left Scaffold, Scaffold have finished so I'm writing a few kids ideas for children's books and a few song ideas.' And he said, 'Oh, why don't you come down and we'll see if we can knock something out? You could do a single. Just sit 'round and see what comes out.' So he brought his guitar out, and he started strumming, and this song evolved from the evening and then Lin stared to do little harmonies on it. It just came into the room."

In January and February 1974, the McCartney brothers, Linda McCartney, drummer Gerry Conway, and Wings guitarists Denny Lane and the late Jimmy McCulloch recorded the album at Strawberry Studios in Stockport, England -- which was owned by 10cc.

Mike recalls that the sessions at times were magnets for other pop hitmakers: "People would come while we were there. One day we went in, and sitting there -- mild as sheep -- sitting in the corner of the control box were the Carpenters! Just sittin' there. Two lovely people. I said, 'What the hell are they doin' there?' 'Oh, they were in a concert in Manchester tonight and they heard that your kid (Paul) and you are here, and they just wanted to come and say 'Hello.'"

The album's standout track, "Leave It," is one of only two songs on the album completely written by Paul McCartney himself. Mike shed light on his older brother's record making prowess when he was unsure of his own vocal talents: "He said, 'Don't worry, it'll be there. We'll sprinkle some magic fairy dust on it -- don't worry.' And so, I kept hearing it, and slowly -- he kept doing it over and over in the mix. Over and over and over. And slowly, this magic song started to appear, until the end -- 'cause he did it all himself -- this great singer, called 'Mike McGear' was suddenly singing, and the music was right, and the sax player was right, the harmonies were right. And this wonderful single suddenly appeared."

Although McGear was a commercial flop, the album is revered as being a pop masterpiece regardless whose brother produced it. Sadly, Mike McCartney has never committed himself to another full album of solo music since then.

The 2019 deluxe reissue of McGear featured an additional 21 bonus tracks, including 13 previously unreleased out-takes and tracks alongside singles appearing on CD for the first time.

The set also includes a DVD featuring Mike McCartney reminiscing at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, another at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, and the 1974 promotional film for the single "Leave It."

AUDIO: MIKE MCCARTNEY ON PAUL MCCARTNEY'S TALENT AS PRODUCER
AUDIO: MIKE MCCARTNEY ON THE CARPENTERS AT MCGEAR SESSION
AUDIO: MIKE MCCARTNEY ON 'LEAVE IT'

NEW DOC CHRONICLES THE HISTORY OF CLASSIC HIT 'AMERICAN PIE'

Now streaming on Paramount is The Day The Music Died: The Story Of Don McLean's 'American Pie.' The film, which was directed by Mark Moormann and produced and spearheaded by music veteran, Spencer Proffer, features McLean throughout the film discussing both his artistic journey and the creation and life of the famed rock standard.

On January 15th, 1972, "American Pie" topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first week of its month-long run. The song is the origin of the term "the day the music died," about the February 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, but that's only a small part of what it's about.

Appearing in the film are Brian Wilson, Garth Brooks, "Weird Al" Yankovic, bassist Rob Stoner, and actor Peter Gallagher -- who voices the children's book Don McLean's American Pie: A Fable. In one of the more memorable moments of the film, Ritchie Valens' sister Irma meets with Don McLean prior to his performance at Clear Lake, Iowa's Surf Ballroom while paying tribute to her brother, Buddy Holly, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson at the last venue they performed at before the tragic plane crash.

The Day The Music Died also spotlights how "American Pie" has crossed not only musical genres but entire cultures, with session footage of Maffio recording a new Spanish/English version of "American Pie."

Don McLean was a huge Buddy Holly fan growing up, and he was deeply moved by Holly's death, but says that it's merely the starting off point of what "American Pie" is about: "The fact that Buddy Holly seems to be the primary thing that people talk about when they talk about 'American Pie' is, is kind of sad. It's only the beginning is about Buddy Holly, and the rest of it goes on and talks about America and politics and the country, and trying to catch some kind of a special feeling that I had about my country, especially in 1970 and '71, when it was very turbulent."

Although Buddy Holly only plays a small role in the song's story, McLean is still proud that "American Pie" had a lot to do with the latter-day interest in Holly and his music: "The event became an enormous thing, if I may say so, with all due respect to myself, because of the song 'American Pie.' If you talk to (author) John Goldrosen, who wrote the book about Buddy Holly, nobody was interested in him -- no one wanted the book that he wrote, which ended up being able to be published because of my song. If you talk to (Holly's wife) Maria Elena, they will tell you that Buddy got more publicity after I wrote my song than he'd ever gotten in his life. So, that's just the way it was. I know it sounds self-serving, but if you check it out, you will find that out, and that started the whole thing going."

McLean says when he was writing and recording "American Pie," he had no idea it would become a massive hit -- but he did know the song was something special: "It was a tremendous lot of fun to try and do it. I enjoyed it. I felt like I was creating some sort of an invention in the basement, or some magic chemical compound or something. And I was sure that it was just what I wanted it be, as a song and as a record."

The story of "American Pie" has become the stuff of legend, with many believing it's almost a history of rock n' roll -- there are even web pages devoted to scrutinizing every line and word. Until the new doc, McLean himself has never revealed any true meanings behind the song, because he says that would spoil the fun: "Truly and honestly. I don't talk about the song because, it is supposed to be like a dream. And y'know how it is when you have a dream, a table can become a beautiful woman, or a window, you can suddenly see yourself looking out of it and then you're flying over the city, or something. You know what I mean? There is no explanation for a dream."

Producer Spencer Proffer shed light the doc returning to Clear Lake, Iowa: "One of my favorite movies was Field Of Dreams and that happened in Iowa. And the field happened to be the field that the plane crashed in -- very close by it. It's adjacent to the Surf Ballroom. And the story of how that place took off and how it crashed is in the doc. Don McLean, to his credit, decided that they would do a pilgrimage back to where it happened. To pay tribute to the fact that this is where these guys died and it was a seminal moment. It took 'the day the music died' from what it was until what the music became."

AUDIO: DON MCLEAN ON AMERICAN PIE BEING MORE THAN ABOUT BUDDY HOLLY
AUDIO: DON MCLEAN ON AMERICAN PIE IMPACT
AUDIO: DON MCLEAN ON WRITING AND RECORDING 'PIE'
AUDIO: DON MCLEAN WON'T REVEAL STORY OF 'PIE'
AUDIO: SPENCER PROFFER ON 'AMERICAN PIE' DOC

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN!!!

Happy Birthday to "The Boss" -- Bruce Springsteen -- who turns 73 today (September 23rd)!!! Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner let it slip that he's been listening to Springsteen's still-unannounced new album. During a recent chat with Billboard, Wenner was asked about the music he listens to and admitted: "I'm kind of stuck with the music I liked when I was young. Give me the (Rolling) Stones. There's a new Bruce record coming out this fall, which is stunning. I'm listening to that."

There have been recent rumors swirling about what the new Springsteen set would be -- a solo set, or possibly an R&B covers collection -- either with or without the E Street Band. So far, there's been no word from the Springsteen camp on a new release.

It was revealed back in July that Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa are first time grandparents with the recent birth of granddaughter Lily Harper Springsteen. Scialfa posted a shot of the couple's youngest son, 28-year-old New Jersey firefighter Sam Springsteen and his fiancee with the caption "Walking the baby" alongside another more traditional shot of the family's newest addition.

Last August, the Springsteen's middle child, daughter Jessica, earned a silver medal in the team jumping final at Equestrian Park at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The couple's eldest child, Evan is a musician as well as working at SiriusXM Radio as a program director and festival producer.

This upcoming November 7th, Bruce Springsteen will once again headline the annual "Stand Up For Heroes" benefit taking place at Manhattan's David Geffen Hall at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band kick off their first post-pandemic tour with a 31-date North American run, which kicks off on February 1st at Tampa's Amalie Arena.

Released on October 20th, 2020 was Springsteen's latest album with the E Street Band, titled Letter To You. The 12-track collection is Springsteen's 20th studio album and went on to peak at Number Two.

Springsteen's previous studio set, Western Stars, was released on June 14th, 2019 and peaked at Number One in the UK and entered the Billboard 200 at Number Two. The collection was his seventh to not feature the E Street Band.

Bruce Springsteen's Tony-award winning show Springsteen On Broadway premiered on Netflix in December 2018, coinciding with the production's 236th and final show at Manhattan's Walter Kerr Theatre. Springsteen On Broadway was based on his best-selling autobiography Born To Run and features a 14-song set featuring Springsteen telling his personal narrative with his acoustic guitar and piano. The show featured a special two-song appearance by his wife and E Street Band member Patti Scialfa.

Springsteen said that there's always been a form of interactive journalism in his songs, in which his fans can experience situations that differ from their lives first hand: "My job was always to put you in somebody else's shoes and have you walk a while in those shoes. You're out there, and you feel what's in the air out there, and you feel what's on people's minds. People are looking for ways to try to get a handle and make sense of what's happening."

Springsteen, who's released four acoustically-based solo albums over the years, admitted that it's a different process writing for himself versus writing for an E Street Band project: "There's just something -- it's a different thought process when I think about writing for that group of musicians, and it tends. . . I think I tend to be more direct in some ways, y'know? I expand, maybe, my scope in some fashion. It's something just about what the band is after all these years that makes me think a little bit differently, so I'm, I'm excited about doing that."

He still takes pride in the fact that since the E Street Band's reformation in 1999, they've consistently played to the top of their -- or any other band's -- game: "It's the long, long ride that it's all about. It's that I've had these guys and these ladies at my side and we've made it this far, and that we're here to do it. It's the consistency. . . Professionalism is alive and well, we hope. We just want to carry on and give some people some smiles and some inspiration."

Steve Van Zandt told us that Springsteen and the band are just as committed to each other and their fans today as they were upon forming: "We are an ongoing concern here, still creating things. Bruce is still writing, y'know, fantastic things and vital things and he's very, very much inspired and motivated to continue doing things as we have all along. We don't go onstage with a different attitude. We're the same as we were when we were 25. It's great, it's a tribute to our audience that they really support that."

Bassist Garry Tallent remains the longest surviving member of the original E Street Band still making music with Springsteen. He recalled how he came into "The Boss'" employ: "He had just broken up Steel Mill, which was a four-piece, Led Zeppelin-based kind of a band, and wanted to expand the band and go into a more R&B direction. And I came in -- I was working with (keyboardist) Dave Sancious in another band, and we start of came in together. And that as about. . . (laughs) that was the story."

Shortly before his death in 2008, E Street Band co-founder and organist Danny Federici explained that Springsteen was nothing if not his own man: "Bruce is Bruce. He does what he wants, when he wants it, and he changes his mind all the time."

Max Weinberg began drumming for Springsteen in 1974 and rates it far above any other musical experiences he's ever had: "Well, there's only one Bruce Springsteen, and what he does is singular and unique. And as a member of his band, I got to see that up close, and most of the time from behind. But it's so much fun to play with Bruce and the E Street Band, you have no idea. For me, as a drummer, as a young kid growing up, playing with Bruce all those years, and the band, it was every little kid's dream come true for me."

Back in 2007, when Patti Scialfa was heading out on the road with the E Street Band in support of "The Boss'" Magic album, we asked if her and Bruce's kids were used to having parents whose "office" is out on the road: "Yeah, of course. We've been touring since they were young, and when they were born they were always out on the road, now they have a pretty big life of their own and school -- so they don't like to leave school now. And sometimes I can drag them out on a weekend. They don't want to be on the road right now. In the summer they like the road, 'cause they can bring a friend and they're free. But usually they miss a lot of schoolwork and they don't like that. And then they have their own lives and their own friends. So, we're home every three days."

By the time Springsteen finally hit the studio in June 1977 to record Darkness On The Edge Of Town following a particularly vicious lawsuit with his original manager, producer, and publisher Mike Appel, Springsteen had a backlog of 70 songs -- which included both the Darkness album -- as well as the album he would've recorded directly after Born To Run. Manager/producer Jon Landau says that as the sessions progressed, Springsteen discarded anything resembling an overt pop hit: "The two biggest songs that were written for the Darkness album and were recorded by us; 'Fire' and 'Because The Night' didn't make it onto the album. One thing about Bruce, is if he thought something was going to be a hit, and he didn't want to be represented by that hit, he'd just leave them off that record."

Keyboardist Roy Bittan first joined the E Street Band in 1974 and was the only member to tour with him during his 1992/1993 world tour with "the other band." He's still amazed at what Springsteen has been able to accomplish over the years: "I think he had tremendous pressures on him early in his career, he had a lot of trouble early in his career. Y'know, he had that terrible lawsuit that went down. So I think, y'know, he's come through a lot and he's, he's a survivor."

In 1999 Bono inducted Springsteen into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and paid tribute to "The Boss" both as an artist and as a man: "For me and the rest of the 'U2-ers,' it wasn't just the way he described the world, it was the way he negotiated it. It was a map, a book of instructions of how to be in the business but not of it. Generous is a word you could us to describe the way he treated us. Decency is another, but these words can box you in. I remember when Bruce was headlining Amnesty International's tour for prisoners of conscience, I remember thinking, 'Wow, if ever there was a prisoner of conscience, it's Bruce Springsteen.' Integrity can be a yoke, a pain in the ass, when your songs are taking you to a part of town people don't expect to see you."

Bruce Springsteen prides himself that throughout his career -- be it on the stage or in the studio -- the thread of where he comes from is still fully evident and ringing true: "My heroes, a lot of my heroes, the people that came before me lose something when they lost a little sense of -- I hate to say their 'roots' -- 'cause you can go anyplace and you can take it with you anywhere you go. It's not, it's not necessarily being in a physical place -- although that may help somewhat. But it's just that sense of your own history and what your initial motivations were. What the point was in the beginning."

At the premiere of Western Stars, Springsteen explained to the crowd at the Toronto International Film Festival that his recent autobiography, Broadway show, and now the Western Stars movie are all connected and helped inform the following project: "Maybe it's part of the act of gettin' older, but the book came very organically, and then, from the book, the play came, and really, from the play, this, sort of, is an extension of some of the tying up of philosophical threads that I've been working on my whole life. I mean, like I say at the beginning of the picture, there's two sides to the American character; there's the solitary side and the side that years for connection and community. That's just been a lifetime trip for me. And trying to get from one to the other. How to reconcile those two things."

AUDIO: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN ON HIS RECENT WORK
AUDIO: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN ON KEEPING HOLD OF HIS ROOTS
AUDIO: BONO ON SPRINGSTEENS INTEGRITY
AUDIO: ROY BITTAN ON BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN BEING A SURVIVOR
AUDIO: JON LANDAU ON BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN DISCARDING HITS
AUDIO: PATTI SCIALFA ON SPRINGSTEEN KIDS BEING ADJUSTED TO LIFE ON THE ROAD
AUDIO: MAX WEINBERG ON BRUCE
AUDIO: DANNY FEDERICI ON BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN CHANGING HIS MIND
AUDIO: GARY TALLENT ON JOINING BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
AUDIO: STEVE VAN ZANDT ON E STREET BAND BEING INSPIRED
AUDIO: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN ON THE MISSION OF THE E STREET BAND
AUDIO: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN TALKS ABOUT WRITING FOR THE E STREET BAND
AUDIO: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN SAYS HIS SONGS ARE MEANT TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER

BILLY JOEL'S 'THE NYLON CURTAIN' TURNS 40!!!

It was 40 years ago today (September 23rd, 1982) that Billy Joel released his ninth album -- The Nylon Curtain. The set, which followed the 1981 live set Songs In The Attic, was "The Piano Man's" proper follow-up to his multi-platinum 1980 chart-topping Glass Houses set.

The Nylon Curtain peaked at Number Seven on the Billboard 200 album chart and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album Of The Year -- despite the album not spawning a single Top 10 hit. Three singles were pulled from the album: "Pressure" (#20), "Allentown" (#17), and "Goodnight Saigon" (#56)" -- all of which enjoyed massive airplay on MTV. Despite the exposure, the album spent just seven weeks in the Top 10 -- as opposed to Glass Houses' 25 weeks.

Billy Joel says he didn't realize how affected he was by John Lennon's 1980 murder until completing The Nylon Curtain. He talked candidly about Lennon's death -- among many other things -- in author Fred Schruers' 2014 book, Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography, which was culled from 100-plus hours of interviews.

In the book, he spoke frankly about the personal loss of his ultimate hero: "I felt a genuine sadness that John was gone, that there were never going to be any other John Lennon recordings. The Beatles were over; we'd all accepted that. But as much as I had loved them and as easy as it was for me to idolize Paul McCartney, I had never realized how much John Lennon had meant to me, how much he and Paul were the irreplaceable sweet and sour. It was only later that I realized I was channeling John in a lot of the vocals on that album."

Billy Joel remembered that The Nylon Curtain sessions were unlike any that came before -- or since: "I wanted to write a real sonic masterpiece. The Nylon Curtain took a long, long time to record. Rather than just starting with just the basic song and adding to it, we, kind of, started with the songs from the outside and worked our way in. There was so much recorded; different instruments, sound effects, orchestral things. . . It's very, very rich. Almost like I was trying to go for a Sgt. Pepper-kind of thing where I was experimenting -- playing the studio as an instrument."

The Beatles' influence was always evident in Billy's work and he freely admits that his songwriting career has been heavily -- if not almost entirely -- inspired by the group's output: "In a lot of ways, I was trying to recreate Beatle music. When the Beatles broke up, I thought, ‘Oh, we're not gonna get any of that anymore — maybe I can try to do something like that.'"

Billy Joel's The Nylon Curtain touched upon the changes the children of the 1960's were now facing in America as they dealt with the ramifications of the Ronald Reagan-led 1980's and the slow creep of middle age: "It's experiences of what I call the post-War baby boom, which is about my age. They're all topics that we've experience, I think. And the song, 'She's Right On Time' is about some kind of matured relationship, some people who've been together -- it's not puppy love. Y'know, you're in your 30's, or you're in a marriage, or a long-term love affair. The song 'A Room Of Our Own' is about needing the separation. Y'know, whereas one is the one is to being together and everything's groovy and idealistic; this one is very sort of sarcastic about needing space."

AUDIO: BILLY JOEL ON 'THE NYLON CURTAIN' SONGS
AUDIO: BILLY JOEL ON FOLLOWING THE BEATLES
AUDIO: BILLY JOEL ON THE SONICS TO 'THE NYLON CURTAIN'

RINGO STARR'S 2019 GREEK THEATRE SHOW COMING TO CD AND DVD

Although originally announced as a vinyl-only Record Store Day release, Ringo Starr And His All Starr Band Live At The Greek Theater 2019 is now set for CD and DVD release. The set, which drops on Black Friday -- November 25th -- features Ringo's previously-unissued September 1st, 2019 tour-closing All Starr Band gig at L.A.'s Greek Theater.

In addition to its famed drummer and bandleader, the 2019 All Starr's included Santana and Journey's Gregg Rolie, Toto's Steve Lukather, Average White Band and Paul McCartney sideman Hamish Stuart, and Men At Work's Colin Hay. Joining the group that night for the finale were All Starr alumnus Joe Walsh, Nils Lofgren, and Edgar Winter.

Beatlefan magazine contributing editor Tom Frangione has seen several shows each from every All Starr Band lineup since 1989 and admitted that aside from Ringo -- he's a sucker for the rest of the band: "Ringo -- I've gotten to the point where it's the least interesting part of the show. Because he's gonna do 'Yellow Submarine' and '(With A Little) Help From My Friends' -- those two, they're a gimme, and y'know what -- I'm good with it. Everybody should hear those, too. And y'know what other two they should hear -- 'Photograph' and 'You're Sixteen.' They were his two Number Ones."

Ringo told us that unlike some creative representation of the band as artists, the All Starr Band tours have always been about people having a night out seeing a show jam packed with their favorite songs: "I mean, the main criteria is that you have to have hits from the '60s -- which I have, the '70s, '80s and that's what we do. Y'know, as I keep saying: 'We are the 1-800 number live show.'"

The tracklisting to Ringo Starr And His All Starr Band Live At The Greek Theater 2019 is:

Disc One:
"Matchbox
"It Don't Come Easy"
"What Goes On"
"Evil Ways"
"Rosanna"
"Pick Up The Pieces"
"Down Under"
"Boys"
"Don't Pass Me By"
"Yellow Submarine"
"Cut The Cake"
"Black Magic Woman"

Disc Two:
"You're Sixteen"
"Anthem"
"Overkill"
"Africa"
"Work To Do"
"Oye Como Va"
"I Wanna Be Your Man"
"Who Can It Be Now?"
"Hold The Line"
"Photograph"
"Act Naturally"
"With A Little Help From My Friends"

AUDIO: RINGO STARR ON THE MAKEUP OF THE ALL STARR SHOWS
AUDIO: TOM FRANGIONE ON RINGO STARR'S SONGS IN ALL STARR SHOW

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS SALUTE EDDIE VAN HALEN IN NEW SONG

Dropping today (September 23rd) is Red Hot Chili Peppers' new tribute to Eddie Van Halen, titled, "Eddie." Ultimate Classic Rock transcribed some of the song's lyrics featured on the Twitter tease of the track, which include the lines: "Sailing the Sunset Strip, I'm a bit of a king / Granny would take a trip, I'll be bending the strings / Got hammers in both my hands, such a delicate touch / They say I'm from Amsterdam, does that make me Dutch?"

"Eddie" will be featured on the band's upcoming double album, Return Of The Dream Canteen, which drops on October 14th.

Red Hot Chili Peppers perform on Sunday (September 25th) at Louisville, Kentucky's Louder Than Life Festival.


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