Classic Rock News

Tattoo Foo: Mick Jagger releases new song, "Eazy Sleazy," a collaboration with Dave Grohl

Courtesy of Universal Music

Mick Jagger has dropped a surprise new single recorded in collaboration with Dave Grohl.

The punk-influenced track is called "Eazy Sleazy," and features vocals and guitars by the Rolling Stones icon, and drums, guitar and bass by the Foo Fighters frontman.

"It's a song that I wrote about coming out of lockdown, with some much needed optimism," Jagger says of "Eazy Sleazy," which makes references to things like Zoom and "TikTok stupid dance." "Thanks to Dave Grohl for jumping on drums, bass and guitar, it was a lot of fun working with him. Hope you all enjoy 'Eazy Sleazy.'"

Grohl adds that "it's hard to put into words" what it meant to record a song with Jagger.  "It's beyond a dream come true," he says. "Just when I thought life couldn't get any crazier...and it's the song of the summer, without a doubt!"

"Eazy Sleazy" is accompanied by a video featuring footage of Jagger jamming in his home and Grohl rocking out from the Foo Fighters' studio. You can watch it streaming now on Mick's official YouTube channel. Jagger also has posted the song's lyrics on his official website.

Grohl, by the way, has had quite the news week. Along with the Jagger collaboration, he's also recently announced that his debut book, The Storyteller, will be published in October, and that a new documentary he directed, What Drives Us, will premiere April 30 as part of The Coda Collection, the new, music-focused subscription streaming channel on Amazon Prime Video. What Drives Us includes interviews with a variety of rock stars, including Ringo Starr, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, U2's The Edge and AC/DC's Brian Johnson.

(Video contains uncensored profanity.)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Stevie Wonder calls for police reform following latest Minnesota police shooting

Credit: Dante Marshall

Stevie Wonder is among the many celebrities reacting to the death of Daunte Wright, who died in an officer-involved shooting over the weekend.

The "Superstition" singer penned a passionate letter on Facebook Monday to call for police reform, asking his followers, "How many more Black lives will be lost at the hands of police?"

"This is why we need police reform.  Why is the police chief making a conclusion after he refuses to discuss details," he continued, referencing Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon's press conference, where he claimed the officer meant to discharge her Taser.

"A mistake???? How does this happen?? We need police reform," continued Wonder. "Expired license plates?? We need police reform. Black people in this country are dying at the hands of police. Anybody confused?"

The 25-time Grammy winner recalled a similar incident where the roles were reversed -- a Black officer involved in the shooting death of a white woman.

"I remember an accidental police shooting in Minnesota four years ago. A Black police officer accidentally shot and killed a white woman. The police officer immediately stated it was an accident and apologized to the family," he described. "He was tried and convicted of 3rd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter."

The officer, Mohamed Noor, claimed he shot in self-defense and was sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison.

"Black police- white victim-justice was swift and stiff," noted Wonder. "What will justice serve this time?"

Hoping that Wright's family will "see swift and stiff punishment," the singer claimed the "system need[s] reform" so that justice can be served.

Wright, 20, was stopped Sunday for an expired registration tag on a vehicle and was killed after trying to flee officers, who learned there was a warrant out for his arrest.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Move It On Over, Hank: George Thorogood to make Grand Ole Opry debut later this month

Credit: David Dobson

George Thorogood will bring a little rock 'n' roll and blues to the Grand Ole Opry when he makes his debut appearance on Nashville's famous country-music showcase on Saturday, April 24.

Tickets for Thorogood's performance already are sold out, but the show will also be viewable on the Circle network, Gray TV stations, DISH Studio Channel 102, Sling TV and other TV affiliates, while a companion livestream will be hosted by Circle's Facebook page and YouTube channel. The concert also will air on satellite radio.

"I'm incredibly humbled by the honor and excited to connect with this audience," says Thorogood. "I'll be stepping onto the Grand Ole Opry stage with my guitar to share some great American music."

Adds Opry executive producer Dan Rogers, "Of course the Opry showcases the best in country music to fans around the world each week, but we also appreciate opportunities to welcome guests from other genres and walks of life, including Rock & Roll Hall of Famers, Academy Award-winning actors and directors, and even a U.S. President. George Thorogood is an Opry fan himself, and we're all in for a great show."

Thorogood also notes, "When I was growing up, I'd hear Johnny Cash and Marty Robbins on the radio alongside Ray Charles and Bo Diddley. Music didn't need to be labeled 'country' or 'rock'. If it was good music, you enjoyed it. I loved it all."

One of George's popular early recordings with his longtime backing band The Destroyers was a 1978 cover of Hank Williams' country classic "Move It On Over," while he originally wrote his own 1985 hit "I Drink Alone" for George Jones.

Thorogood and the Destroyers are scheduled to return to the road with a May 10 performance in Saskatoon, Canada.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Al Green celebrates his 75th birthday today

Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage

Happy birthday to the Reverend Al Green, who turns 75 years old today.

The Memphis soul legend is best known for his run of memorable singles during the early to mid 1970s, including the 1971 chart-topper "Let's Stay Together," and the 1972 top-five hits "I'm Still in Love with You" and "Look What You Done for Me."

Green was born in Forrest City, Arkansas, and began singing in a gospel quartet while still a child. After moving with his family to Michigan in the late 1950s, he began singing in local soul groups. He scored an R&B hit in 1968 with his band The Soul Mates, and then was signed as a solo artist in 1969 to Memphis' famous Hi Records.

Hi Records vice president Willie Mitchell produced all of Green's albums from 1969 to 1976, and also co-wrote many of Al's biggest hits. Other classic tunes Green recorded during this period include "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)," "Call Me (Come Back Home)," and "Take Me to the River."

In 1974, Green was assaulted by a girlfriend who then committed suicide. This incident led to his decision to become an ordained minister, and for many years he gave up performing pop music, instead focusing on gospel. Al eventually returned to singing pop music, and in 1988 his duet with Eurythmics' Annie Lennox of Jackie DeShannon's "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" became a top-10 hit.

Among Green's many career accolades are his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004. He also was saluted at the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors. His most recent single, a cover of Freddy Fender's 1975 smash "Before the Next Teardrop Falls," was released in 2018.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Heart's Ann Wilson releases "poetic" new solo single "Black Wing"

TAWT, Inc.

Heart frontwoman Ann Wilson has released a new solo single called "Black Wing" that's available as a digital download and via streaming services.

To accompany the ominous and atmospheric power ballad, Wilson has debuted a lyric video at her YouTube channel. The clip features distorted footage of what appears to be a bird's-eye view of different landscapes and landmarks, including forests, rivers and San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

In a note about the new song posted on her social media sites, Ann writes, "'Black Wing' talks poetically about a river and a seabird cruising above it, riding the air currents. The bird is soaring over the landscape below and bringing news of the crazy world to the watcher who is cut off from civilization. I sometimes felt that way during Quarantine!"

Last May, Ann told ABC Audio that she wrote "Black Wing" while in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic at her home in rural Florida, which is located next to a river, explaining that she was inspired by watching the birds she'd see flying near her property.

Wilson co-wrote the tune with musical help from current Heart keyboardist Dan Walker.

"Black Wing" is among several tracks that Ann recorded last year in Seattle during sessions that also yielded her recent singles "Tender Heart" and "The Hammer."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe to discuss new self-titled photography during YouTube Q&A on Tuesday

Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe has just published a self-titled book of photographic portraits, and he'll discuss the project during an online discussion that will be streamed at the ICA Milano contemporary-arts foundation's official YouTube channel on Tuesday, April 13, starting at 1 p.m. ET.

The book features a front cover photo Stipe took of actor Tilda Swinton, and also includes pics of late beat poet John Giorno, actors Kirsten Dunst and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, singer Beth Ditto, director Gus Van Sant, and model Helena Christensen, among many others.

Michael Stipe is the third in a series of books published by Damiani that collects the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer's photos. According to a description of the book, "Michael Stipe explores strength, courage, and vulnerability, pausing the project abruptly due to the covid-19 pandemic. What follows is a lockdown interpretation of a 21st century portrait, with a resolute desire to show our resilience, our humor, our collective fortitude, and our adaptability."

Those who purchase the book will be able to access audio content via a QR code that will include Stipe discussing the making of the volume, sharing anecdotes and explaining the intention behind the book.

Video clips featuring audio of Stipe discussing the book and the cover photo of Swinton have been posted at ICA Milano's YouTube channel.

You can purchase the Michael Stipe book at DamianiEditore.com. It's available as a limited signed-and-numbered Collector's Edition and a more affordable standard version.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Elton John joins Rina Sawayama, artist he championed last year, for new duet

Credit: Harley Weir

Elton John said recently that while in lockdown, he hasn't been making any Elton John music, but he's enjoyed collaborating with a wide variety of other artists, from Metallica to Lady Gaga to Dua Lipa.  Now he's releasing yet another collaboration.

Premiering Wednesday, the song is called "Chosen Family" and it teams Elton with Rina Sawayama, a singer, songwriter and model who was born in Japan but has lived in the U.K. since the age of five.

That's notable because Elton, a huge fan of the singer's 2020 album, Sawayama, complained loudly when she was deemed ineligible for nominations for one of the U.K.'s top music awards, the Mercury Prize, because she doesn't hold a British passport.  Now, after much campaigning by Rina, artists who've lived in the U.K. for at least five years can now be nominated for those prizes.

Elton tells The New York Times that Rina's album "just blew me away," adding, "I had to call her up and tell her how brilliant it was. I mean, it was Led Zeppelin meets Prince meets a couple of things that referenced Madonna."

"Chosen Family" originally appeared on Sawayama, and is described as "an emotional ode to her LGBTQ+ family."  Elton has added his vocals and piano to the song, which will be released on Wednesday, along with a video.

"The lyrical content is so beautiful," Elton tells The Times. "There were so many brutal things going on in the world when the record came out, especially in America, and yet it made me feel as if all would be O.K."

"The song means so much to both of us, and recording it together was such a special experience I will never forget," Rina says in a statement.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Toto postpones European leg of "Dogz of Oz World Tour" until 2022

Credit: Alessandro Solca

Toto had been planning to return to the road in 2021 with a revamped lineup for a trek dubbed The Dogz of Oz World Tour, but the band has announced that the outing has been pushed back to next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The European leg of the tour now is scheduled to run from a July 14, 2022 concert in Bonn, Germany, through an August 14 show in Gothenburg, Sweden.

"In the interests of approaching the band's activities with health as the primary concern for the fans, band, crew and all impacted when we commence activities, this was an easy decision to make," explains founding Toto guitarist Steve Lukather in a statement. "After four and half decades on the road, it's been challenging living the past 14 months in isolation. As much as [frontman] Joe [Williams], myself, the band, and the crew would love to be active again, The World is still navigating the challenges that face all of us."

Lukather adds, "We'll continue to announce shows so keep an eye out for confirmation that will be shared in the coming months."

In February, Lukather and Williams both released new solo albums, respectively titled I Found the Sun Again and Denizen Tenant. The two musicians, who've been friends since childhood, contributed to each other's project.

Williams reveals that the upcoming Toto tour will feature performances of some deep cuts from the band's catalog, as well as selections from his and Lukather's new albums.

Last year, the duo announced a new Toto lineup that includes Huey Lewis and the News bassist John Pierce and two recent Toto touring members -- keyboardist Dominique "Xavier" Taplin and multi-instrumentalist Warren Ham, the latter of whom also plays alongside Lukather in Ringo Starr's All Starr Band.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Ringo Starr, Steven Tyler, The Edge among stars featured in new Dave Grohl-directed rock doc 'What Drives Us'

The Coda Collection

Ringo Starr, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and U2's The Edge are among the rock stars who are featured in a new documentary What Drives Us, directed by Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl.

The "us" in question is all the bands and musicians who spent years on the road touring in vans with only one dream: to play live music.  "This film is my love letter to every musician that has ever jumped in an old van with their friends and left it all behind for the simple reward of playing music," Grohl says.

He adds, "What started as a project to pull back the curtain on the DIY logistics of stuffing all of your friends and equipment into a small space for months on end eventually turned into an exploration of 'Why? What drives us?'"

To do that, Grohl interviews many of his famous friends, including aforementioned Starr, Tyler and The Edge, as well as AC/DC's Brian Johnson, Slash and Duff McKagan of Guns N' Roses, Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica's Lars Ulrich, No Doubt bassist Tony Kanal and many others.

Many of said famous friends are included in a trailer for What Drives Us that you can check out now on YouTube.

What Drives Us will premiere April 30 as part of The Coda Collection, a new, music-focused subscription streaming channel on Amazon Prime Video.

For more information about the film, visit CodaCollection.co.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


AC/DC's Brian Johnson releasing new memoir, 'The Lives of Brian,' in October

Dey Street Books

AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson will share the story of his journey from growing up in a working-class town in northern England to singing for one of the world's biggest rock band in a new autobiography, called The Lives of Brian: AC/DC, Me, and the Making of Back in Black, that will be published on October 26.

Johnson has posted a video trailer for the memoir on his official website, YouTube channel and social media sites, along with a note that reads, "I've had some long nights and some great nights, bad days and a lot of good ones. I've gone from choirboy to rock 'n' roll singer, and now I've gone and written a bloody book about it…"

According to a description of the book posted at HarperCollins.com, The Lives of Brian will follow Johnson's life from his formative years in Newcastle Upon Tyne, U.K., to his experiences fronting the local glam-rock band Geordie and, after that group's breakup, to being hired by AC/DC in 1980 to replace their late singer Bon Scott.

Johnson will share stories about the making of his first album with AC/DC, the landmark Back in Black, and his adventures of touring behind what has become one of the most beloved and best-selling rock records of all time.

You can pre-order The Lives of Brian now.

Johnson, who's also a well-known car-racing enthusiast, previously wrote a book called Rockers and Rollers: A Full-Throttle Memoir that was published in 2009, and that focused on his passion for fast cars.

(Video contains uncensored profanity.)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Paula Abdul to guest-judge 'American Idol' tonight; Luke Bryan out with COVID-19

ABC/Eric McCandless

First, the good news: Paul Abdul is returning to American Idol tonight.  Now, the bad news: She's doing it because Luke Bryan is out sick.

"I’m sad to say I won’t be a part of tonight’s first live @AmericanIdol show," Luke wrote on Twitter. "I tested positive for COVID but I’m doing well and look forward to being back at it soon."

American Idol's Instagram notes, "Luke will be missed at our first #AmericanIdol LIVE show tonight, but he is resting now in quarantine at home and we’re wishing him a speedy recovery. We’re so excited to announce @paulaabdul will be stepping in as a guest judge to join Lionel Richie and Katy Perry as we get closer to crowning a new winner!"

In a statement, the show also notes, "Production is following strict, rigorous, COVID guidelines and we are all being tested often in accordance with those guidelines."

This will be Paula's first time back on the show since American Idol moved to ABC. During tonight's show, 10 contestants will be sent through from the top 16, based on America's vote. Then, the remaining six contestants will get the chance to perform again for the judges, who will pick two additional hopefuls to create a top 12.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Limited-edition Who-themed Heinz baked cans sold to promote 'Sell Out' reissue and raise money for charity

Courtesy of UMe/Heinz Beanz

The Who has teamed with the Heinz company to promote the upcoming deluxe reissue of the band's 1967 concept album The Who Sell Out and raise money for charity by selling special limited-edition cans of baked beans.

The collaboration celebrates the humorous cover of The Who Sell Out, a section of which features singer Roger Daltrey in a bathtub full of Heinz beans. The album also includes the tongue-in-cheek fake ad "Heinz Baked Beans."

The cans, which feature a slogan that says "Beanz Meanz The Who" with a font that echoes The Who Sell Out's cover art, were made available at The Who's online store in the U.S. and at HeinzToHome.co.uk in the U.K., although they currently are, um, sold out at The Who.com. Money raised from the sales will benefit The Who's Teen Cancer America charity in the States and and Teenage Cancer Trust and the child-hunger charity Magic Breakfast in the U.K.

Meanwhile, a giant empty version of the limited-edition "Beanz Meanz The Who" can signed by Daltrey and band mate Pete Townshend will be auctioned off at Givergy.uk/HeinzTheWho to raise funds for the aforementioned U.K. charities. Bidding will be open from this Thursday, April 15, through April 27.

Reflecting on the Sell Out cover photoshoot, Daltrey remembers it being an extremely uncomfortable experience.

"[Afterwards,] I ended up with a week in bed with either the flu or probably the worst cold that I've had in my lifetime and I put it down to the baked beans because they'd just come out of the fridge; they were freezing cold!" Roger recalls. "[W]ithin 24 hours I was in bed with the sniffles."

As previously reported, The Who Sell Out reissue will be released on April 23.  You can pre-order it now.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


The Moody Blues' John Lodge releasing new solo single, "The Sun Will Shine," later this month

QEDG Management

Moody Blues singer/bassist John Lodge will release a new solo single called "The Sun Will Shine" on April 30 as a digital download and via streaming services, and the track can be pre-ordered now.

Lodge wrote the song while isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic at his residence in Florida, and was inspired to look toward the future with a positive outlook by watching the sun rise each morning over the Cocohatchee Bay near the town of Naples.

Like John's previous solo single, 2020's "In These Crazy Times," "The Sun Will Shine" features guest backing vocals from his friend, current Yes singer Jon Davison. Lodge recorded the track remotely with contributions from his 10,000 Light Years Band. The group features two members of The Moody Blues' touring band -- keyboardist Alan Hewitt and drummer Billy Ashbaugh -- as well as guitarist Duffy King and cellist Jason Charboneau.

"The Sun Will Shine" will be part of an upcoming three-song EP titled On Reflection that also will include a 2021 remix of "In These Crazy Times" and a new instrumental titled "Sunset over Cocohatchee Bay."

The EP will be incorporated into a new live album called The Royal Affair and After that's scheduled for release this September. As Lodge told ABC Audio recently, the album will feature performances recorded while he and his solo band served as an opening act for the Yes-headlined 2019 Royal Affair Tour.

"Who could have thought this pandemic is still with us?" Lodge says in a statement. "I'm just grateful that I have my music to keep me company, and in a surreal way it has kept me focused on writing and recording new songs. I hope with these new songs to share with you my reflections of these times."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Matchbox Twenty's NFT auction raises nearly $75,000 for charity

Credit: Randall Slavin

Matchbox Twenty's first foray into the world of NFTs -- the new technology that allows people to own a unique piece of digital content -- has worked out pretty well.

The band's first NFT offering, which included the rights to high-res digital images of the original lyric sheets for their hit song, "Unwell," was sold for $24,000, proceeds from which went to the charities RADical Hope and The Trevor Project.  Then, a donor kicked in an additional $50,000 directly to RADical Hope in support of the whole project.

RADical Hope addresses America's youth mental health crisis, while The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth.

During a conversation about the NFT auction on the app Clubhouse last Thursday night, Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas, who wrote "Unwell," spoke about why he wanted to tie the song to the current state of mental health in the country.

"What we're really talking about is the mental health of our future generations," Rob said. "Who we're going to be ten years from now depends on how we treat people now, and I think the Trevor Project and RADical Hope are pinpointing a huge group that we might lose if we don't let them know how special they are and how normal they are."

"Unwell," a top-10 hit in 2003, was recently interpolated by superstar DJ and producer Steve Aoki for a new song called "Used to Be," featuring vocals by Kiiara and Wiz Khalifa. A new acoustic version incorporates Rob's vocals as well.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Yes' Steve Howe, Deep Purple's Ian Paice featured on "X Moves," new collaborative single by late rapper DMX

Cleopatra Records

A new collaborative single called "X Moves" featuring the unusual pairing of late hardcore rapper DMX with Yes guitarist Steve Howe, Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice and legendary Parliament-Funkadelic bassist Bootsy Collins has just been released as a digital download and via streaming services.

The track features DMX's profanity-packed rapping over Howe's spacy guitar riffs, Paice's stampeding beats and Collins' funky bass grooves. Bootsy also trades some spoken verses with DMX, who, sadly, died on Friday after suffering a heart attack at his home last week.

The track was co-produced and mixed by Jürgen Engler, frontman of the German industrial metal band Die Krupps. The song's other co-producer, Cleopatra Records founder Brian Perera, said in a statement, "As 'X Moves' shows, [DMX was] one of the most innovative and original hip hop artists around. Our hearts go out to all of DMX's family, friends and supporters."

A seven-inch, colored-vinyl single version of "X Moves" pressed on red or silver vinyl will be issued this August, and can be pre-ordered now at CleoRecs.com.

(Video contains uncensored profanity.)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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