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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JULIAN LENNON!!!

Happy Birthday to Julian Lennon, who turns 57-years-old today (April 8th). Julian, who is John Lennon's first son with college sweetheart, the late-Cynthia Powell Lennon, holds the distinction of being the first natural child of any the Beatles, being born on April 8th, 1963. Julian also is the first of the next generation to pursue a recording career, and released his critically acclaimed debut set, Valotte -- which was produced by the late-Phil Ramone -- in October 1984. Over the years, he's released a total of six albums -- The Secret Value Of Daydreaming (1986); Mr. Jordan (1989); Help Yourself (1991); Photograph Smile (1998); and Everything Changes (2011).

Since 1984, Julian has scored four Top 40 hits -- including the Top Tens "Valotte" and "Too Late For Goodbyes." Julian appeared on the 2012 Aerosmith track, "Love XXX," from their Music From Another Dimension album. Most recently, Julian teamed up with Styx-co-founder Dennis DeYoung on the new track, "To The Good Old Days," which is featured on DeYoung's upcoming album 26 East: Volume 1, which drops on May 22nd.

In January, Julian Lennon revealed he had a cancerous mole successfully removed from his scalp. It was also reported that he had inked a deal with BMG for his first new album in nearly a decade. There's been no official announcement regarding the deal from either the label or Julian's camp.

In 2018, Julian inked a deal with Gaumont for his animated book trilogy Touch The Earth to be made into a children's TV series. The second book in the trilogy, Heal The Earth, by Lennon and Bart Davis, was released in 2018. Julian said in a statement announcing the Gaumont deal: "It is an exciting time as we engage in the process of connecting the right creatives to the project who will share the passion for the show's messages and themes. I am truly enthusiastic about working with Gaumont and appreciate the sensitive energy and insight given the entire Touch The Earth series."

Julian Lennon helped inspire two of John Lennon and Paul McCartney's most popular Beatles songs -- Lennon's "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," which was the title of one of his drawings done in kindergarten; and McCartney's "Hey Jude," which was originally called "Hey Jules" and written to cheer up Julian after his parents' 1968 separation. Julian appeared only once on one of his dad's recordings, playing drums on "Ya Ya" -- the final track off 1974's Walls And Bridges.

Back in February 2014, Julian happily didn't attend the CBS TV special The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute To The Beatles -- which aired 50 years to the date and hour that group first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. Julian, who's focusing primarily on a photographic career these days, explained to Fox411 why he chose to pass on the festivities, explaining, "Listen, I appreciate the Beatles as much as everybody else, but the last thing I wanted to do -- because it didn't look like there was going to be an opportunity to perform, really -- was stand in the audience clapping along to other people singing Beatles songs. For me, it would be like a Beatles karaoke night. I'd just feel like a bit of an idiot, and I've never been a major fan of awards shows. It's just not my cup of tea."

He went on to explain that the Beatles were barely a part of his life while growing up: "I mean, (during the height of Beatlemania) I was three, four, five (years-old). Anyone must remember that dad left when I was three-years-old. Mom and I lived out of the limelight. We lived a totally different life. People seem to forget that. In many respects, as much as I'm tied in (with Beatles history), I am also quite distant from it."

Julian recently appeared in the new documentary, John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky, which chronicled the sessions for his father's 1971 Imagine album.

Julian Lennon admitted the fact that he never truly became close with his father still weighs heavily on his mind: "We saw each other on and off. . . I saw him, probably, maybe 10 times before he was killed, y'know? And I think it would have been nice to find some resolve between us eventually, but unfortunately that was never going to be, y'know? So, there will always be that unresolved point in my life, whether I like it or not. Yes, there is forgiveness, but there is still bitterness, and still anger there as well. But, it's not something I think about on a day-to-day basis."

Just prior to his 1980 death, John Lennon shed light onto his strained relationship with Julian: "With Julian, my first child, I would just tour the world -- I'd come home and there'd be a 12-year-old boy (sic) there (who) I had no relationship (with) whatsoever. Now he's 17. I'm gettin' a relationship now, 'cause I can talk about music and whatever he's into and girlfriends and that kind of stuff. But it was a strange child in the house. I'd come back from Australia and he'd be a different size. I wouldn't even recognize the way he looked half the time."

Although Lennon was missing for most of son Julian life, he was able to provide him with some of the basic skills he would build upon during his own musical career: "He taught me how to play guitar a little bit. Yeah, Dad taught me some of the early, more basic chords of rock n' roll. One thing I would have to say is that I absolutely love and respect him. Not necessarily as a father, but for the work he did and his humanitarian work."

Julian Lennon hasn't toured since 1999 and told us that he has very specific ideas as to how he wants to make his stage return: "Believe you me, I wanna do live dates but I also wanna make sure the show's right and I also wanna do it in the right way, the way I wanna do it. I wanna work with partial orchestras -- y'know, so even though it'll be rock n' roll, a lot of the material that I do do, or have written is very thematic (with a lot of) great orchestration. And I did one show in Hong Kong with a full orchestra and it was the most amazing experience."

Shortly before her 2015 death at age 75, Cynthia Lennon spoke to us about feeling John's presence through Julian: "The essence of the man is still within my psyche -- even though he's not here anymore. And I have a son, who is not the image of his father, but I always joke about the fact that he's me for five days of the week and his father at the weekends. But every time there is an anniversary of John's birthday or his death, Julian and I raise a glass to him.'

AUDIO: CYNTHIA LENNON ON PAYING TRIBUTE TO JOHN
AUDIO: JULIAN LENNON ON TOURING
AUDIO: JULIAN LENNON ON GUITAR AND JOHN LENNON
AUDIO: JOHN LENNON ON JULIAN LENNON
AUDIO: JULIAN LENNON ON HIS FATHER

DAVE GROHL RECALLS JAMMING WITH PRINCE IN LATEST 'TRUE STORY'

Dave Grohl's latest "True Story" installment on Instagram focuses on the time he was asked to jam with musical titan Prince. The Foo Fighters main man was invited to join Prince and his band for soundcheck during the Purple One's 21-show residency at the Los Angeles Forum in 2011.

Grohl wrote, "It was a proposition that I had wished for my entire adult life, but never in my wildest dreams had imagined possible. Jam. With. Prince. Absolutely unfathomable. That's like dancing with Fred Astaire! Baking with Betty Crocker! Bong hits with Bob Marley!"

Grohl's latest piece of writing recounted how he counted down the days until the jam session, while also touching on the first time he saw Prince live, how the late singer shut down the Foo Fighters' release of a "Darling Nikki" cover, and how Grohl felt about Prince working the Foos' "Best Of You" into his Super Bowl halftime show medley.

Grohl recalled a while back how the Foos' 2003 cover of "Darling Nikki" was originally a B-side until it became a hit on its own: "It's a really weird song, and I'd always wanted to do it. So finally I thought, 'yeah, let's record it.' We recorded it, we did it in (drummer) Taylor (Hawkins)'s basement, just did it in an afternoon, it came out on some B-side, and then all of a sudden, people started playing it on the radio. Total fluke."

Grohl launched his "Dave's True Stories" late last month on Instagram to entertain people during the coronavirus crisis. Foo Fighters had to postpone their "Van Tour," which was originally scheduled to take place in April and May, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

AUDIO: FOO FIGHTERS' DAVE GROHL ON RECORDING 'DARLING NIKKI'

BILLY JOEL'S FOUNDATION HELPING FEED LONG ISLANDERS DURING PANDEMIC

Once again Billy Joel is putting his money where his mouth is, having announced his Billy Joel Foundation is helping in getting meals to his fellow Long Islanders during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Billy announced his foundation will once again join forces with the Harry Chapin Long Island Cares organization to offer assistance to the Long Island community..

Billy and wife Alexis issued a statement that reads in part:

Due to the pandemic, there is an increase in need for nutritious food and a lack of volunteers. Given the risks associated with the virus, many food pantries are dealing with the loss of staff. Unfortunately this coincides with and increased need for food. After hearing about this situation, we purchase freezer unites and additional equipment that are being installed in their Hampton Bays facility

The new equipment will service the entire East End and will now allow for transport of perishables and frozen goods to the East End pantries and soup kitchens. We are hopeful this will aid the current shortage and the limited availability families are currently experiencing.

Billy Joel explained that it was written in the cards that barring a two year jaunt in L.A., playing in a piano bar -- Long Island was his natural habitat: "My perspective of things all come from a Long Island point of view. I've realized that. I've traveled all over the world, I've traveled a lot in the United States -- I wasn't really sure where I was gonna end up -- but the more I traveled, the more I felt this is where I'm from. I'm from this island that sticks out to the East of New York City. There really isn't a lot of other places like Long Island. Sure, there's a little bit of it in Jersey, a little bit of it in New England -- a little bit of it. But Long Island is an Island. We're isolated from everything else. We're with each other -- we all rub off on each other (laughs) for better or for worse, and that's what makes us Long Islanders."

Billy Joel's next concert is set for June 6th at New York's Madison Square Garden.

AUDIO: BILLY JOEL ON LONG ISLAND

JOHN PRINE DEAD AT 73 FROM COVID-19

Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter John Prine died on Tuesday (April 7th) at the age of 73 due to complications from coronavirus, according to NPR. Prine had been in intensive care for 13 days, and had tested positive for the virus shortly after returning from a European tour. Prine, who was among the many new songwriters in the early-1970's dubbed the "New Dylan" -- despite the fact that the "old" Bob Dylan was still a relatively young man.

Bruce Springsteen paid tribute to Prine in a statement, saying:

"Over here on E Street, we are crushed by the loss of John Prine. John and I were "New Dylans" together in the early 70s and he was never anything but the lovliest guy in the world. A true national treasure and a songwriter for the ages. We send our love and prayers to his family."

Prine was born on October 10th, 1946 in Maywood, Illinois, and following a stint in the army in which he served in West Germany. Prine was discovered by Kris Kristofferson, who produced Prine's self-titled debut on Atlantic Records. He was beloved by his loyal fanbase for his humor and convincing portraits of a wide and varied set of characters, and will perhaps be best remembered for his signature hit "Angel From Montgomery."

Prine had battled health issues over the years, most notably a bout with cancer that took part of his neck, tongue, and damaged his salivary glands.

In 2018, Prine released The Tree Of Forgiveness, his first new album of original material in 13 years. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2019. That same year he made the shortlist for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- but just missed out on the final ballot.

Unlike some artists, who fight long and hard, cashing in industry favors and using their political clout to gain entry into the Songwriters and Rock Hall, John Prine was happy just to be considered. When we last caught up with him, he was both flattered and proud by being nominated for both Halls: "I mean, they're great. The Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, all those things are pretty darn neat just to get nominated for. There's a lot of people that've been waiting years to get in. The nomination is good enough. Y'know, I haven't been nominated before in those particular organizations."

Over the years countless artists have covered John Prine's songs -- including John Fogerty, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, John Mellencamp, the Everly Brothers, R.E.M., John Denver, Carly Simon, Susan Tedeschi, Dwight Yoakum, Jackie DeShannon, Randy Travis, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Kim Carnes, the Highwaymen, Paul Anka, the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Spencer Davis Group, 10,000 Maniacs, Bette Midler, Paul Westerberg, Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, Bob Geldof, and Tammy Wynette, among many, many others.

AUDIO: JOHN PRINE ON HIS RRHOF AND SHOF NOMINATIONS

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN TURNS GUEST DJ FROM HOME THIS MORNING

Bruce Springsteen will serve as the guest DJ on SiriusXM's E Street Radio station today (April 8th) at 10 am ET, with his hour-long Bruce Springsteen, From His Home To Yours special.

Backstreets.com posted, "The new program is an hour-long guest DJ set from the man himself, recorded at his home. He won't be performing, but rather spinning tracks he's been listening to during lockdown, and, according to the website, sharing "thoughts about the times we are living in. Hear Bruce select songs from Roy Orbison, Sam Cooke, Don Henley, Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan, Patti Scialfa, Wyclef Jean, and more!"

Bruce Springsteen continues to create new work in the hopes of further connecting with his core base of fans: "It deepens your relationship with you're audience, y'know, that's been my pursuit since I've started and continues to be so today. Y'know, I'm trying to deepen my conversation about life in general. Things that hopefully matter to me and hopefully matter to them and Martin Scorsese once said, 'The job of the artist is to get the audience to care about your obsessions, and to meet you in the middle, and to see what you have in common.'"

AUDIO: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN ON CONNECTING WITH HIS AUDIENCE

BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG SAYS HE'S WRITTEN SIX NEW GREEN DAY SONGS

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong has told Kerrang! magazine that he has penned six new songs for the band while practicing self-isolation at his home.

Armstrong explained, "I've been writing a lot of music, and I had all these melodies in my head, so I wrote, like, six songs since all of this has been going on."

The singer/guitarist added, "I don't know when I can get together with Mike (Dirnt, bassist) and Tré (Cool, drummer), but I told them to make sure that they're quarantined for now, and then I hope down the road we can get back in the studio."

Armstrong also revealed what else he's been doing while quarantined in his home with his wife Adrienne, saying, "I've just been indoors like everyone else on the planet right now, waiting around to see what happens next! I've been going through The Office a lot, going through all of my punk and rock'n'roll documentaries, trying to read a little bit here and there, and hanging out with my dogs."

Armstrong recently participated in the iHeartRadio Living Room Concert For America on March 29th and will also perform on an upcoming charity TV special for pandemic relief.

One World: Together At Home, produced by Global Citizen and the World Health Organization, will also feature appearances from Coldplay's Chris Martin, Billie Eilish, Eddie Vedder, Paul McCartney, John Legend, Elton John, Lady Gaga and many more. The event will be broadcast at 8:00 p.m. ET on April 18th via ABC, NBC, ViacomCBS Networks and other outlets.


STEVIE NICKS FINALLY HEARS A WHITE WINGED DOVE SING

40 years after writing her Bella Donna solo classic, "Edge Of Seventeen," Stevie Nicks has finally heard the sound of a white wing dove singing. Nicks, who wrote the song after hearing Tom Petty's first wife tell her that the couple had met at the "age of 17" -- which due to her Southern accent sounded like, "edge of 17."

Nicks posted a message and video to fans on her social media platforms giving the backstory to her singing dove:

In 1980 I was flying home from Phoenix, Arizona and I was handed a menu that said, "The white wing dove sings a song that sounds like she's singing ooh, ooh, ooh. She makes her home here in the great Saguaro cactus that provides shelter and protection for her…" As you well know, I was very taken with that whole picture and went on to write "Edge Of Seventeen." But over the last 40 years I can honestly say, I have never heard a dove sing -- until now. Several days ago, outside my room, I started to hear the sound of a bird singing the same thing over and over. One little Ahhh -- and then three OOH's -- over and over again. I thought it was an owl, but a friend said, "No, that's a dove!" I started to cry. This dove had come here to watch over me.

So we filmed her singing her song and I am sending her out to you. With love, Stevie Nicks

p.s. She has been here for days. I think she's here for good.

Stevie Nicks explained how the songwriting process works for her: "It just starts with a little inspiration. Something will happen to me; whether it's something that happens me, whether it's a man walks by me and just smiles at me in a certain way. . . And then I'm off, then. Y'know, it's like then my poem has begun. And if the poem gets finished, if it's laying around the house and the poem gets finished and I think it's good, then I'll go sit at the piano and I'll make it into a song."

AUDIO: STEVIE NICKS ON SONGWRITING INSPIRATION

TOWER OF POWER KEEPS THE FUNK ALIVE WITH NEW 'STEP UP' COLLECTION

Out now is the latest studio set from Bay Area legends, Tower Of Power, titled Step Up. The new album, which was produced by Joe Vannelli, was recorded during the sessions for the band's 2018 critically acclaimed collection, Soul Side Of Town. 52 years after forming in Oakland, California, the band still features classic members tenor saxophonist Emilio Castillo, baritone saxophonist Stephen "Doc" Kupka, drummer David Garibaldi, and bassist Francis "Rocco" Prestia.

Tower Of Power will always be best remembered for its standards "Down To The Nightclub," "What Is Hip?," "Sparkling In The Sand," and "You're Still A Young Man."

Emilio Castillo shed light on the music scene that was brewing in the Bay Area when Tower Of Power began making their bones: "The psychedelic scene kinda started around late-'64, '65, and it was starting to run its course. And during that time, Bill Graham had kind of tweaked the collective ear of the Bay Area by bringing in all these eclectic acts to be with these psychedelic bands. So, you'd see Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Sam & Dave; next night it would be Otis Redding, Big Brother & The Holding Company, and Miles Davis. And we come along, right at the tail end of that psychedelic thing, we had this big horn section. And I remember on our audition night, we came out after five bands -- and all the four bands before us were the same."

We asked Castillo if he could ever have thought Tower Of Power would still be creating incredible music past its half-century mark: "Y'know, I just didn't think like that. I was 17-years-old. I was just totally in love with being in a band. I don't think I even prized my bandleader position at that point. My whole life was the band. This band I idolized was called the Spiders, and I remember, they got a gig at a club up in Sacramento, and I thought, 'Man. If I could just play Sacramento. . . ' Y'know, so way beyond my wildest dreams, 'y'know?"

AUDIO: EMILIO CASTILLO ON TOWER OF POWER LASTING 50 YEARS
AUDIO: EMILIO CASTILLO ON THE '60S SAN FRANCISCO SCENE

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