Classic Rock News

Watch Steven Tyler and Billy Gibbons perform early Fleetwood Mac gem at 2020 Peter Green tribute concert

Credits: Ross HalfinAerosmith's Steven Tyler and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons are featured in a new preview from the upcoming film and album documenting the star-studded London tribute concert Mick Fleetwood organized last year celebrating Fleetwood Mac's early years and the group's original leader, Peter Green.

A video of Tyler singing the 1969 Fleetwood Mac blues-rock gem "Rattlesnake Shake" with Gibbons on guest guitar has premiered on YouTube, while the audio is available now for download and streaming.

Tyler and Gibbons were accompanied by the show's house band, which included Fleetwood and Zak Starkey on drums, Jonny Lang and ex-Fleetwood Mac member Rick Vito on guitar, and others.

The premiere of the performance arrives on the one-year anniversary of the tribute concert, which was held February 25, 2020, at the London Palladium.

The concert film, titled Mick Fleetwood & Friends Celebrate the Music of Peter Green and the Early Years of Fleetwood Mac, will first be made available online via video on demand in April. Audio, home video and digital editions will be released on April 30.

Other performers at the show included Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, The Who's Pete Townshend, ex-Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, Metallica guitairst Kirk Hammett, Oasis' Noel Gallagher and U.K. blues great John Mayall. A number of other current and former Fleetwood Mac members also performed, including Christine McVie, Crowded House's Neil Finn, and founding guitarist Jeremy Spencer.

Green didn't attend the event and, sadly, passed away in July 2020 at age 73.

Mick Fleetwood & Friends will be released in multiple formats, including a box set featuring the concert on Blu-ray, two CDs and four vinyl LPs, and a 44-page hardbound book offering sleeve notes, photos and more.

Visit MickFleetwoodandFriends.com for more details.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Beatles-themed master's degree being offered by University of Liverpool

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesThe Beatles were masters at creating memorable pop and rock songs, and now college students in the band's hometown of Liverpool, U.K., will have the opportunity to earn a master's degree focusing on the group.

This September, the University of Liverpool is launching an MA course called "The Beatles: Music Industry and Heritage," which according to a description on the school's website "will explore how [the band], their music and their story are inextricably bound up within an increasing number of creative and cultural industries including…music, media and social media, tourism and heritage."

Students enrolled in the course will have the chance to interact with Liverpool's tourism sector focused on the Fab Four, and will examine how the band and its legacy contribute to the local and national economy and creative and cultural communities.

Guest lecturers will participate in the course, and students also will be able to visit sites throughout the area important to the history of The Beatles.

The course synopsis maintains that the degree can be valuable for those aspiring to careers in the music, creative, arts and tourism industries and sectors.

The launch of the Beatles-themed degree will coincide with the opening of the Yoko Ono Lennon Centre, a new teaching and performance facility at the University of Liverpool.

Dr. Holly Tessler, who is the director of the program, tells the BBC, "What makes this MA unique is its focus on The Beatles in a future-facing way, considering the legacy's influence on the music and creative industries, in popular culture, and within heritage, culture and tourism in the 21st Century."

For more details about the course, visit Liverpool.ac.uk.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Virtual George Harrison birthday bash today to feature Joey Molland, Laurence Juber and more

Courtesy of The Fest for Beatles FansToday marks what would have been George Harrison's 78th birthday, and to mark the occasion, The Fest for Beatles Fans is presenting a special virtual evening of music, storytelling and other tributes, featuring some of the late Beatles guitarist's friends and fellow musicians.

Dubbed "Life of George: A Beatles Birthday Celebration," the event will run from 5 p.m. through 11 p.m. ET and will be viewable via Zoom, with tickets available for $15 at Eventbrite.com.

Among the special guests scheduled to take part in the festivities are Badfinger's Joey Molland, ex-Wings guitarist Laurence Juber, Peter & Gordon's Peter Asher, '60 British pop singer Billy J. Kramer, longtime Beatles pal and Harrison bassist Klaus Voormann, sax player Tom Scott and producer Russ Titelman.

Molland is expected to play some music, as well as chat about working with Harrison, who co-produced Badfinger's 1971 album No Dice and tapped Joey to perform at the Concert for Bangla Desh.  Molland also contributed to Harrison's classic 1970 debut solo album All Things Must Pass.

Juber, was part of Wings' final lineup, will share his own recollections of Harrison, and play acoustic renditions of some of George's songs.

Kramer, who emerged from the same Liverpool music scene as The Beatles, and was also managed by Brian Epstein, will sing a song from Harrison's posthumous album, Brainwashed, in addition to talking about George.

Plus, there'll be a full-length Harrison tribute concert by the band Liverpool, who will play live from the Daryl's House venue in Pawling, New York.

A virtual fan-art exhibit, a ukulele sing-along, a Harrison trivia contest and more guests round out the program.

Meanwhile, The Fest for Beatles Fans' Facebook page will host a free birthday tribute from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET today.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Bruce Springsteen's Super Bowl Jeep ad reinstated after DWI charge is dismissed

Rob DeMartin/Courtesy of JeepAfter Bruce Springsteen received only a minor penalty stemming from a DWI arrest last November, Jeep has reinstated its Super Bowl ad featuring The Boss.

In a statement to ABC News, a Jeep spokesperson said, "As we stated previously, we paused the commercial until the facts were established. Now, that the matter has been resolved, we are unpausing the film."

Following the recent news of Springsteen's arrest for driving while intoxicated and other charges this past fall in his home state of New Jersey, the high-profile ads had been pulled from TV and the company's official social media.

During a virtual arraignment hearing on Wednesday before a New Jersey judge, the legendary rocker pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of consuming alcohol in a closed area.

He was fined $500 for the incident and also had to pay $40 in court fees.

Springsteen had also faced charges of DWI and reckless driving, but federal prosecutors said they could not sustain those charges since Bruce's blood-alcohol level was 0.02 percent, which is below the legal limit of 0.08.

By George Constantino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


David Coverdale says tracks on Whitesnake's 'The Blues Album' compilation have a "consistent sonic identity"

RhinoThis past week, Whitesnake released a new compilation called The Blues Album, the third and final installment of the band's "Red, White and Blues" trilogy of themed retrospective albums.

The 14-track collection features remixed and remastered versions of blues-rock-flavored songs from Whitesnake's back catalog spanning from 1984 through 2011, as well as one tune from frontman David Coverdale's 2000 solo album, Into the Light.

Coverdale tells ABC Audio that the remixes on The Blues Album, like those on the trilogy's other two compilations, Love Songs and The Rock Album, have given "a really consistent sonic identity, at last, to the albums that I've made over decades with different musicians, different technology and different recording techniques."

The singer says he's thrilled with the updated mixes, noting that it's "like seeing an old living room redecorated. It's still the same beautiful living room, but it feels fresher…It breathes."

Coverdale says among the album's standout tracks is 1987's "Give Me All Your Love," noting that guitarist Vivian Campbell's solo is now more prominent and it's "just joy-filled stuff."

David also says he enjoys "Too Many Tears," from Whitesnake's 1997 album Restless Heart, calling it "a total blues song from beginning to end"; and "The River Song," from Into the Light, which is his "tribute to Jimi Hendrix."

Coverdale maintains that the "Red, White and Blues" trilogy has been "a labor of love" for him, while also pointing out that many of the tracks are giving fans "a taste of things to come from…box sets [focusing on individual studio albums he's planning to release] over the next three, four, five years."

David says the next box set will focus on Restless Heart, which wasn't issued in the U.S. upon it's initial released.

Here's The Blues Album track list:

"Steal Your Heart Away"
"Good to Be Bad"
"Give Me All Your Love"
"Take Me Back Again"
"Slow an' Easy"
"Too Many Tears"
"Lay Down Your Love"
"The River Song"
"Whipping Boy Blues"
"If You Want Me"
"A Fool In Love"
"Woman Trouble Blues"
"Looking for Love"
"Crying in the Rain"

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Fleetwood Mac's Mick Fleetwood participating in virtual Q&A session at SXSW Online 2021 fest

Credit: Ross HalfinFleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood is among the artists and celebrities that will be featured speakers at the virtual 2021 edition of the annual South by Southwest Festival, dubbed SXSW Online 2021, which is scheduled for March 16-20.

Fleetwood will take part in an event called "Going Viral: In Your Dreams," during which he will discuss such topics as how he's sustained a long and lucrative music career and his recent success with the viral video platform TikTok.

The session was inspired in part by Fleetwood's connection to one of TikTok's biggest viral trends of 2020, the video of Nathan Apodaca grooving to Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" as he sips Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice drink while rolling along on a skateboard. That clip helped catapult "Dreams" back up the Billboard charts and inspired Mick to launch a TikTok account and shoot his own popular video mimicking Apodaca's.

The "Going Viral" event will feature Fleetwood and Ole Obermann, TikTok's Global Head of Music, chatting about music, sustaining a career in the business, discovering new artists, how technology can influence popular trends and culture, and more.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'80s Seattle band The Living, featuring young Duff McKagan, unearths debut album

Loosegroove RecordsThe short-lived Seattle punk band The Living, featuring a 17-year-old, pre-Guns N' Roses Duff McKagan on guitar, is coming back to life.

Loosegroove Records, the label co-founded by Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard, is releasing The Living's debut album, The Living: 1982, for the first time on April 16.

The record consists of seven original songs written by McKagan. You can listen to the track "Two Generation Stand" now via digital outlets.

Along with Duff, The Living featured vocalist John Conte, bassist Todd Fleischman and future Mother Love Bone drummer Greg Gilmore. The group didn't last too long, and Seattle-native McKagan ended up moving to Los Angeles, where he would join up with GN'R.

"It doesn't matter what year this music was recorded 'cause it is undeniable," Gossard says. "The fact that Duff, Greg, Todd and John created these fully realized songs in 1982 gives credence to the idea that this band, The Living, are ground zero for the Seattle sound."

Here's the track list for The Living: 1982:

"A Promise"
"Two Generation Stand"
"Live by the Gun"
"A Song for You"
"No Thanks"
"Live Is a Terror"
"I Want"

(Video contains uncensored profanity.)

By Josh Johnson
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Joan Jett stars in new campaign promoting Can-Am three-wheeled motorcycles

Courtesy of Can-Am On-RoadJoan Jett is featured in a new ad campaign for Can-Am On-Road three-wheeled motorcycles alongside visionary hip-hop artist SAINt JHN.

The initiative, dubbed "Outliers," seeks to bring attention to the need for diversity representation with regard to the on-road riding community, addressing preconceived ideas about what open-road riders should look and act like.

The campaign marks Jett's first brand collaboration in her decades-long career.

A new commercial for the vehicles features the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer sitting on a Can-Am Spyder F3-T in a Brooklyn, New York, warehouse, and then cinematically cruising on the cycle. The ad, which you can check out at the Can-Am On-Road YouTube channel, also features SAINt JHN speeding through the streets of Los Angeles on a Can-Am Ryker.

"To be a part of Can-Am's latest campaign is pretty cool," Jett says in a statement. "I've seen and done a lot, but it's not every day you get to try something new like learning to ride on three wheels. It's like the thrill of being on stage."

Regarding the campaign's theme, Joan adds, "To be an outlier is to challenge the status quo by carving your own path. In life you need to be bold, unafraid and unapologetic of who you are."

Jett also is expected to help promote the Can-Am vehicles by interacting with riders in person and virtually.

Visit Can-Am.brp.com for more info.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Paul McCartney to publish 'The Lyrics' book in November, profiling over 150 of his songs

Liveright/W.W. NortonPaul McCartney has never written an autobiography, but the former Beatles legend has shared much of his life story through his songs. With that in mind, McCartney has unveiled plans to release a book called The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, which offers a self-portrait while profiling 154 songs he's written throughout his long career.

The book, which will be published on November 2, features the lyrics of tunes spanning from Paul's childhood, through his years with The Beatles and Wings and as a solo artist, up to the present day.

"I know that some people, when they get to a certain age, like to go to a diary to recall day-to-day events from the past, but I have no such notebooks," Sir Paul explains in a book excerpt. "What I do have are my songs, hundreds of them, which I've learned serve much the same purpose. And these songs span my entire life."

The Lyrics is arranged alphabetically rather than chronologically, with each entry establishing the definitive texts for McCartney's compositions, while also offering details about the tunes, what inspired them and what Paul's current opinion of them is.

In addition, the book features a trove of material from McCartney's personal archive, including never-before-seen drafts, letters and photos.

"I hope that what I've written will show people something about my songs and my life which they haven't seen before," McCartney maintains. "I've tried to say something about how the music happens and what it means to me and I hope what it may mean to others too."

The commentary in The Lyrics was based on conversations McCartney had over five years with Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet and Princeton University professor Paul Muldoon, who edited the book.

The Lyrics can be pre-ordered now.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Bruce Springsteen receives small fine after pleading guilty to misdemeanor following his November arrest

Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC ImagesDuring a virtual arraignment hearing today before a New Jersey judge, Bruce Springsteen pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of consuming alcohol in a closed area.  The plea came in the wake of his arrest this past November at a park in his home state.

The rock legend was fined $500 for the incident, and also had to pay $40 in court fees.

Springsteen had also faced charges of DWI and reckless driving, but federal prosecutors said they could not sustain those charges since Bruce's blood-alcohol level was 0.02 percent, beneath the legal limit of 0.08.

During the hearing, Springsteen admitted, "I had two small shots of tequila," and affirmed that he understood consuming alcohol was prohibited at Gateway National Recreation Area.

The Boss' attorney, Mitch Ansell, said Springsteen had "accepted full responsibility" and urged the court to impose an appropriate fine. Prosecutors said they had no objection.

"I am going to impose nothing but a fine," Judge Anthony Mautone said. "I'm convinced that fine is the appropriate sentence in this case, and that's all that's appropriate."

Bruce responded by saying, "I think I can pay that immediately, your honor."

Following the proceedings, Ansell issued a statement saying that "Mr. Springsteen is pleased with the outcome of today's court appearance," adding that Bruce "no previous criminal record of any kind."

As previously reported, according to a violation notice obtained by ABC News, Springsteen was arrested by a park ranger on November 14, 2020, at the New Jersey recreation area. In his statement, the ranger reported that he observed Springsteen "consume a shot of Patron tequila and then get on his motorcycle."

The officer also said he noticed that Bruce "smelt strongly of alcohol…and had glassy eyes." The ranger then reported that the Boss failed field sobriety tests and "refused [a] preliminary breath test."

By Aaron Katersky and Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Sir Paul McCartney shocks 33 Princeton University students when he crashes their songwriting class

© Mary McCartneySir Paul McCartney gave roughly three dozen Princeton University students the shock of their lives when he crashed their songwriting class.

The Daily Princeton reports that the former Beatles star joined a songwriting workshop, of which 33 students attended. 

Students Liam Seeley and Remy Reya, both of whom were part of the workshop, explained how it happened, saying that their professor, Paul Muldoon, announced about 30 minutes into the three-hour lecture that a "test student" would be joining them virtually to listen to everyone's songs.

However, when the moment came -- none of the students were prepared to see who was on the other end of the screen.

Seeley told the publication, "At first his camera was off and all we heard was a distant British voice."

Then the professor introduced McCartney and, according to Seeley, asked the class, "Who wants to present first?"

"I think some people stayed in shock for the rest of the two hours," laughed Reya.

Seeley says he enjoyed receiving constructive advice from Macca himself, saying, "He gave criticism, but he very much treated them [our songs] as works in progress -- citing lines that he found powerful and moving verses to the top."

Added Professor Muldoon, "He was clearly absolutely determined to be helpful. It turns out that Paul McCartney is a natural educator...One of the things few people might realize about him is that he is quite likely to have been a teacher had he not become a rock star."

Muldoon is currently working with McCartney on a yet-to-be-announced project, "details of which are under wraps just now but will be announced in a few days."

Sir Paul released his latest studio album, McCartney III, in December.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Writer on the storm: Book featuring the collected works of The Doors' Jim Morrison due out in June

Courtesy of HarperCollinsThis June 8, about a month before the 50th anniversary of Jim Morrison's death, an expansive book of the Doors frontman's writings is scheduled to be published.

According to Rolling Stone, the nearly 600-page tome, titled The Collected Works of Jim Morrison: Poetry, Journals, Transcripts and Lyrics, was compiled with his estate's cooperation, and features most of the singer's previously published work, including his posthumous writing collections Wilderness and The American Night.

Rolling Stone also reports that about half of the book is made up of unpublished writing, including lyrics to unrecorded songs and handwritten passages from 28 recently discovered notebooks. In addition, The Collected Works of Jim Morrison will feature 160 photos and drawings, including rare family pics.

The notebook excerpts include Morrison's musings on his 1970 trial in Miami for indecent exposure and public profanity -- charges stemming from an infamous incident at a 1970 concert in the Florida city -- and what are thought to be his final writings penned in a notebook while he was in Paris, shortly before his death there on July 3, 1971.

The book also will feature Jim's treatment for his movie project The Hitchhiker, in which he was to star as drifter who was a serial killer.

Acclaimed novelist and longtime Doors fan Tom Robbins has written the book's a foreword, while Morrison's sister, Anne Morrison Chewning, has penned a prologue.

The audio edition of The Collected Works of Jim Morrison will include previously unreleased audio of Morrison's last poetry recording session, which took place at a Los Angeles studio on December 8, 1970, which was his 27th birthday.

You can pre-order the book now at HarperCollins.com.

Rolling Stone also reports that plans are in the works to mark the 50th anniversary of The Doors' 1971 album L.A. Woman.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Lars Ulrich among artists supporting Global Citizen's 'Recovery Plan for the World' campaign

Courtesy Global CitizenMetallica drummer Lars Ulrich is among a variety of artists who are supporting Global Citizen's newly launched Recovery Plan for the World campaign in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The year-long initiative has five goals: "end COVID-19 for all," "end the hunger crisis," "resume learning everywhere," "protect the planet" and "advance equity for all."

Other artists and celebrities supporting Recovery Plan for the World include Coldplay, Hugh Jackman, Billie Eilish, H.E.R., Idris and Sabrina Elba, Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Rachel Brosnahan and Usher. Jill and Olivia Vedder, the wife and daughter of Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, respectively, are also taking part.

Global Citizen will be staging a number of events as part of Recovery Plan for the World, including a broadcast special airing in May and a global concert in September. The exact details and lineups for those events have yet to be announced.

For more info, visit GlobalCitizen.org.

By Josh Johnson
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Megadeth's Dave Mustaine announces signature guitar line with Gibson

Courtesy of GibsonDave Mustaine is Gibson's newest "brand ambassador."

The Megadeth frontman has joined forces with the famed guitar company after a previous partnership with Dean Guitars. In uniting with Mustaine, Gibson will launch the Dave Mustaine Collection, a line of signature electric and acoustic guitars.

"One of the first albums I ever bought was KISS Alive!" Mustaine says in a statement. "On the back of that LP was the Gibson logo, followed by 'KISS uses Gibson Guitars because they want the best.' Period."

He continues, "Years later, I'm still that same fan, but now I've been playing, touring, writing, and performing around the world myself, and I can say that I could not agree more with that statement."

Meanwhile, Mustaine and Megadeth are working on a new album to follow 2016's Dystopia.

By Josh Johnson
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Non-Green Day band The Network performing on 'Fallon' this week

Credit: The Church Of LushotologyThe Network, a band that is definitely not Green Day, will be performing this week on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

The group, which certainly does not consist of the "Basket Case" rockers wearing masks and playing new wave music, is set to take the stage on the NBC talk show Friday, February 26.

You might be forgiven for thinking that The Network is indeed Green Day in disguise, being that their lead singer sounds exactly like Billie Joe Armstrong, or that bassist Mike Dirnt said in a 2013 interview that The Network was, in fact, Green Day. Despite all that very clear evidence, The Network has continued to deny any connection to the punk trio.

"We had often been mistaken as the planet's greatest rock n' roll band, Green Day," The Network says. "This earthly comparison is almost as comical as the humans that inhabit this dying planet!"

Even the NBC website seems confused, referring to The Network as "rumored to be a secret project of the well-known band Green Day."

The Network released a new album called Money Money 2020 Pt II: We Told Ya So! last December. It's their first record in 17 years.

Green Day, meanwhile, just dropped a new song called "Here Comes the Shock" to follow their 2020 album, Father of All...

By Josh Johnson
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Dude, looks like a delay: Aerosmith postpones this year's planned European tour to 2022

Credit: Zack WhitfordAerosmith has joined many other major music stars whose 2021 tour plans have been pushed back for another year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The band's European tour, which already had been postponed from 2020 to this year, now is scheduled to kick off in June 2022..."[d]ue to current conditions and for the safety of our fans."

The trek currently features 12 dates, spanning from a June 1 show in Lisbon, Portugal, through a July 13 concert tin Krakow, Poland.

All tickets purchased for the 2021 concerts will be valid for the rescheduled shows. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famers are asking fans with tickets to "stay tuned for more information regarding the new dates or [to] contact your point of purchase."

Aerosmith also has tentative plans to play a special 50th anniversary hometown show this September 14 at Fenway Park in Boston, but the event may also be affected by the pandemic.

Check out the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers' full current itinerary at Aerosmith.com.

In other news, longtime Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whtiford is celebrating his 69th birthday today. Whitford joined the band in 1971, a year after its formation, replacing Ray Tabano. Brad has played with Aerosmith ever since, with the exception of a three-year hiatus he took, from 1981 to 1984.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Sweet meddling kids o' mine: Axl Rose cameos in upcoming 'Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?' episode

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live NationAxl Rose, where are you? With Scooby and the gang, of course.

The Guns N' Roses frontman makes an animated cameo in an upcoming episode of Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?, a cartoon series that continues the adventures of the mystery-solving teens and their lovable dog.

In a clip from the episode, streaming now via RollingStone.com, Scooby and company come across a diner on Route 66, only to find "singer-songwriter musician and total rock god" Axl Rose sitting on a motorcycle in the parking lot. Naturally, Rose is already friends with Shaggy and Scoob, and the clip ends with the trio performing an incredibly elaborate secret handshake.

Rose's episode of Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? is set to premiere this Thursday, February 25, at 9 p.m. ET on Boomerang.

You may recall that a few years back, a cartoon Rose appeared in an episode of the Boomerang show New Looney Tunes, during which he sang a new song called "Rock the Rock." That track marked the first new original tune recorded by Rose in over 10 years.

By Josh Johnson
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Mick Jagger narrates video promo for London's Royal Albert Hall 150th anniversary celebrations

Matteo Chinellato/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesMick Jagger narrates a new short film promoting this year's 150th anniversary celebrations of London's historic Royal Albert Hall.

The 90-second video, dubbed "Your Room Will Be Ready," anticipates the impending re-opening of the venue, which currently is closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The clip features a voice-over of the Rolling Stones frontman reciting an excerpt of the 1964 W.H. Auden poem "For Friends Only." It's accompanied by footage of an empty Royal Albert Hall, intercut with a montage of various highlights of events held at the venue over the years, including concerts by may legendary stars.

Among the various music legends glimpsed in the promo: Bob Dylan, Queen's Freddie Mercury, The Beatles, Diana Ross, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Oasis, The Who, Cream, Chris Cornell, George Michael, Iggy Pop, Dave Grohl, and, yes, The Rolling Stones.

"Empty and silent most of the year/This room awaits from you what you alone, as visitor, can bring," Jagger reads. "Distance and duties divide us, but absence will not seem an evil/if it make our re-meeting a real occasion/Come when you can: Your room will be ready."

As the film ends, a message appears on the screen that says, "We've missed you."

A number of events that were to have taken place at the Albert Hall in 2021 have been canceled or postponed, but dozens of shows remain confirmed, starting with an April 13-15 residency by Bryan Adams. Visit RoyalAlbertHall.com for a full list of concerts.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Heart's Ann Wilson releasing new solo single, "The Hammer," this week; watch video for her song "Tender Heart"

Credit: Criss CainHeart frontwoman Ann Wilson will release a new solo single this Thursday, February 25, called "The Hammer."

The tune is among several tracks that Wilson recorded last year in Seattle during sessions that also yielded her most recent single, the soulful "Tender Heart."

Earlier this month, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer debuted a music video for "Tender Heart" on her official YouTube channel that features champion U.S. figure skater Gracie Gold delivering an expressive skating performance along to the song. The clip also includes emotive closeup footage of Ann's face and some recent photos of Wilson performing.

Gold was the U.S. women's champion in 2014 and 2016, and she also won a bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics as a member of the U.S. women's team.

Wilson wrote "Tender Heart" with musical help from two current Heart members -- keyboardist Dan Walker and bassist Andy Stoller.

Regarding the classic soul vibe of the tune, Ann tells ABC Audio, "I wanted to keep it as retro sounding as possible and simple and just feel-good, you know? And I think it worked, 'cause whenever I hear it, I just kind of go, 'Oh, yeah'…I just sort of fall into it sort of emotionally, and that's what I wanted."

Meanwhile, Wilson reports that she's planning to continue to release a series of singles "one by one" before she puts out a full-length solo album.

"[M]aybe once they're all released, I'll have enough to just put together in a compilation," she explains. "But I don't want to just ram 10 or 12 songs down people's throats all at once. I want them to be able to hear each one…that's just more interesting to me, and be able to give each one individual attention."

new song out 2.25.21https://t.co/UHLwb2sG51 pic.twitter.com/jLYAe9ey3r

— Ann Wilson (@AnnWilson) February 20, 2021

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Electric Light Orchestra celebrating 50th anniversary of debut album this year with "special surprises"

Sony MusicThis year marks the 50th anniversary of the U.K. release of the Electric Light Orchestra's self-titled debut album, and the band's current incarnation, Jeff Lynne's ELO, has announced plans to celebrate the milestone throughout 2021.

A message posted on ELO's social media pages reads, "We've been all over the world and have so many incredible memories to look back on, and more to create! Throughout the year, we will be sharing special 50th anniversary surprises with you."

The note is accompanied by a brief animated video set to the group's classic 1978 hit "Mr. Blue Sky" that shows a logo that reads "Jeff Lynne's ELO 50th" being drawn in a star-filled sky.

ELO was co-founded in 1970 by three members of the Birmingham, U.K.-based band The Move -- multi-instrumentalists Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood and drummer Bev Bevan.

The Electric Light Orchestra album was released in the U.K. in December 1971. In the U.S., it was issued in March 1972 with the title No Answer.

The album yielded one U.K. hit, "10538 Overture," which peaked at #9 in the band's home country but didn't chart in the U.S.

As its name suggests, the current version of ELO is led by Lynne, who is the only original member still in the group. The band released its most recent studio album, From Out of Nowhere, in 2019.

2021 marks 50 years of ELO. We’ve been all over the world and have so many incredible memories to look back on, and more to create! Throughout the year, we will be sharing special 50th anniversary surprises with you. Follow along to see what we have in store! 🛸#ELO50 pic.twitter.com/biPT7WVi5N

— Jeff Lynne's ELO (@JeffLynnesELO) February 22, 2021

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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