Classic Rock News

Watch serene animated video for the new "Elements Mix" of John Lennon's 1970 tune "Hold On"

Capitol Records/UMe

An animated video for the new "Elements Mix" of the John Lennon song "Hold On," one of many bonus tracks featured on the recently released deluxe reissue of the late Beatles legend's 1970 debut solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, has premiered at Lennon's official YouTube channel.

The high-res clip brings to life the photo featured on the cover of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, which shows John and wife Yoko Ono resting under a large oak tree that was located in the garden of their Tittenhurst Park estate in Ascot, U.K.

According to a press statement, the John Lennon Estate "invites you…to stop what you're doing and take a moment to breathe and relax" while watching the video.

The "Elements Mix" of "Hold On" showcases two previously unused vocal overdubs plus guitar, while lowering the bass and drums to create a more subdued version of the tune.

The deluxe reissue features an "Elements Mix" for each of the album's original 11 tracks, as well as for the non-album singles "Give Peace a Chance," "Cold Turkey" and "Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)."

Accompanying the "Hold On" video is a lengthy archival quote from Lennon in which he explains what the song is about, noting that it was partly inspired by his experience meditating.

"I go through despair and hopefulness. I try and hang on to the hopeful bit," he said. "Otherwise, there's just no point at all. I'm saying, 'Hold on, John, it's going to be alright.' Otherwise, I won't hold on."

The deluxe reissue of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is available now. For more information about the release, visit JohnLennon.com.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz celebrates his 70th birthday on Saturday

Jim Dyson/Getty Images

A 70th birthday is a once in a lifetime event, and for Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz, that milestone takes place this Saturday, May 8.

In 1973, Frantz played in a band called The Artistics with singer/guitarist David Byrne while attending the Rhode Island School of Design. After that group broke up, Frantz, Byrne and Chris' then-girlfriend and future wife Tina Weymouth relocated to New York City, and the trio formed the Talking Heads there after Tina taught herself to play bass.

The band soon became part of the New York punk scene, playing regularly at the famed club CBGB. The group's classic lineup was solidified when Jerry Harrison, a former member of The Modern Lovers, joined as the keyboardist and second guitarist.

Talking Heads went on to become one of the most popular and influential bands to emerge from the punk and New Wave scene. Frantz co-wrote many of the Talking Heads' most famous songs, including "Psycho Killer," "Life During Wartime," "Once in a Lifetime" and "Burning Down the House."

Frantz also enjoyed major success with his and Weymouth's side project, Tom Tom Club, which formed in 1980 and scored a top-40 hit with "Genius of Love."

Talking Heads broke up in 1991, and in 2002, the band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In 2020, Frantz released a memoir titled Remain In Love in which he shared stories about his adventures with Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, his strained relationship with Byrne, and his long romance with Weymouth.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Watch Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters with Brian Johnson & more stars perform on 'VAX LIVE' concert Saturday

Courtesy of Global Citizen

Here's a reminder that VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World, the star-studded special from Global Citizen that's designed to boost COVID-19 vaccine efforts everywhere, will air this Saturday night on multiple channels and media outlets.

The show, which was recorded last Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles in front of a crowd of essential workers, included performances by Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and Foo Fighters. Variety reports that Vedder's backing band featured ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, while Foo Fighters' set included a surprise appearance by AC/DC's Brian Johnson, who belted out his group's classic tune "Back in Black."

The special is hosted by Selena Gomez, and also features performances by Jennifer Lopez, H.E.R. and J Balvin, plus appearances by Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, David Letterman, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and recorded messages from world leaders including President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden, and Pope Francis.

The VAX LIVE concert will air on ABC, CBS, YouTube and ABC News Live at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and on Fox at 11 p.m. ET/PT. YouTube will present a 90-minute version of the show, featuring additional performances and appearances, via the Global Citizen channel.

Amidst all that star power, VAX LIVE calls for governments, the private sector and philanthropists to work towards equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


New Orleans soul legend Aaron Neville announces his retirement from touring

Credit: Sarah A. Friedman

Legendary New Orleans soul singer Aaron Neville has announced that he's retiring from touring.

Neville, who celebrated his 80th birthday in January, posted a message on his official website Thursday in which he explains, "The time has come for me to stop ripping and running on the road. I waited for someone to invent a way to beam me from show to show but no such luck."

He continues, "Unfortunately, the grueling nature of travel and the schedule needed to make a tour work has become less than desirable. The current climate of our world brought me many realizations. Life is short and I'd like to spend my remaining time on this earth being less hurried."

Neville then points out that he's not planning to stop recording or performing altogether.

"Don't see this as a permanent goodbye," he writes, "by the grace of God, I will keep making more music and may show up at a special event or concert down the road."

Neville goes on to thank his band, crew and managers, the "talented artists" with whom he's performed, his wife and family, and his fans. He adds, "Your support has been invaluable and the memories are countless and cherished."

Aaron finishes his message by writing, "It is my prayer that all the music I've recorded over the years will continue to provide enjoyment. May the beat go on…"

Neville's career has featured success as a solo artist -- including the memorable 1966 R&B smash "Tell It Like It Is" -- a long and fruitful collaboration with his brothers in the acclaimed band The Neville Brothers, and a couple of major hit duets with Linda Ronstadt: 1989's "Don't Know Much" and 1990's "All My Life."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Songs by ZZ Top, The Eagles & Boston featured on The Rock's workout playlist

Credit: Ross Halfin

While you may never get muscles like The Rock, you can at least listen to the same songs he does when he works out.

The Fast & Furious and Jumanji star, otherwise known as Dwayne Johnson, has put together a workout playlist, and it includes plenty tunes by veteran rock acts.

Among the songs that get him pumped to lift are ZZ Top's "La Grange" and "Jesus Just Left Chicago," The Eagles' "Hotel California" and "All Night Long," Boston's "Rock & Roll Band," Metallica's version of Ennio Morricone's "The Ecstasy of Gold," Ram Jam's "Black Betty," Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Life by the Drop" and Audioslave's "Show Me How to Live."

Other artists featured on the mix include rockers Rage Against the Machine and rappers Kanye West and 2Pac.

The Rock released the playlist to celebrate the launch of the Iron Paradise Tour Collection, a new exercise clothing line created by his Project Rock brand with Under Armour.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Updated and expanded video of Rolling Stones' 2006 Copacabana Beach concert due out in July

Mercury Studios

A remixed and re-edited version of the concert film capturing The Rolling Stones' historic 2006 show at Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach will be released in multiple formats on July 9.

The Rolling Stones -- A Bigger Bang: Live on Copacabana Beach, which you can pre-order now, will be available as a DVD/two-CD set, an SD Blu-ray/two-CD package, a deluxe two-DVD/two-CD collection, a three-LP colored-vinyl set, and digitally.

The Copacabana Beach concert took place on February 18, 2006, in front of 1.5 million people, making it one of the biggest free shows ever. The event was part of The Stones' tour in support of their 2005 studio album, A Bigger Bang.

The Rio performance featured select songs from A Bigger Bang and a cover of the R&B gem "The Night Time Is the Right Time," along with a collection of Stones classics.

The updated concert video features four songs that didn't appear on the original 2007 DVD The Biggest Bang, which included the Copacabana Beach concert: "Tumbling Dice," "Oh No, Not You Again," "This Place Is Empty" and "Sympathy for the Devil."

The deluxe two-DVD/two-CD set includes footage of a 2005 Salt Lake City concert on the second DVD.

In advance of the A Bigger Bang video and live album, a five-song digital EP will be released May 28 that'll include four songs from the Rio show and one from the Salt Lake City concert.

In addition, a 10-inch picture disc featuring "Rain Fall Down" from the Copacabana Beach concert and "Rough Justice" from the Salt Lake City gig will be released on June 12 as part of the 2021 Record Store Day campaign.

Here's the track list for the Rio concert:

"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
"It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)"
"You Got Me Rocking"
"Tumbling Dice"
"Oh No, Not You Again"
"Wild Horses"
"Rain Fall Down"
"Midnight Rambler"
"Night Time Is the Right Time"
"This Place Is Empty"
"Happy"
"Miss You"
"Rough Justice"
"Get Off My Cloud"
"Honky Tonk Women"
"Sympathy for the Devil"
"Start Me Up"
"Brown Sugar"
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"

And here's the track list for the Salt Lake City show (deluxe versions only):

"Start Me Up"
"You Got Me Rocking"
"She's So Cold"
"Tumbling Dice"
"Rain Fall Down"
"It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)"
"Wild Horses"
"All Down the Line"
"Night Time Is the Right Time"
"Slipping Away"
"Infamy"
"Miss You"
"Rough Justice"
"Get Off of My Cloud"
"Honky Tonk Women"
"Sympathy for the Devil"
"Brown Sugar"
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Pearl Jam launches new live archive and playlist site

Credit: Danny Clinch

Pearl Jam has announced Deep, a new live archive and playlist site.

The platform, described as an "immersive Pearl Jam experience," includes recordings of nearly 200 concerts, as well as custom-created playlists, such as "Best Political Songs" and "Best Covers," and the newbie-friendly "Pearl Jam for Dummies."

Additionally, Deep features a custom set list generator, which allows you to play the role of Eddie Vedder and put together your own Pearl Jam concert from start to finish. Making a set list also generates a graphic that recreates Vedder's handwriting for each song title.

You can check out Deep now at Deep.PearlJam.com.

Pearl Jam released their latest studio album, Gigaton, in March 2020.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


FBI file on Kurt Cobain conspiracy theories released

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The FBI has released a file that it compiled in response to conspiracy theories related to the death of late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.

The 10-page document, which was first noticed by Rolling Stone, includes several letter written to the FBI from people insisting that Cobain did not die by suicide, but was actually murdered. The letters ask that the bureau reopen an investigation into Cobain's death.

The file also includes replies from the FBI, which are mostly boilerplate responses explaining that the bureau does not have proper jurisdiction for homicide cases unless there's evidence of "any violation of federal law within the investigative jurisdiction of the FBI," which the letters do not provide.

Cobain died April 5, 1994. In 2014, the Seattle Police Department reviewed the case and reconfirmed that Cobain's death was indeed a suicide.

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 [TALK] for free confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even if it feels like it, you are not alone.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Paul McCartney's solo career celebrated with new series of UK postage stamps

Courtesy of Royal Mail

U.K.'s Royal Mail has unveiled plans to honor Paul McCartney's career as "the most successful songwriter of all time" with a series of postage stamps and limited-edition souvenirs.

The stamps, which will be released May 28 but can be pre-ordered now at RoyalMail.com, feature depictions of eight albums McCartney released as a solo artist or with his band Wings, as well as four archival photos of Paul at work in the recording studio.

The album covers featured on the stamps are his 1970 solo debut McCartney, 1971's Ram, 1975's Venus and Mars, 1980's McCartney II, 1982's Tug of War, 1997's Flaming Pie, 2018's Egypt Station, and 2020's McCartney III, while the photos capture Paul in 1970, 1971, 1980 and 1997.

The stamps are available in different combinations and bundles and in variously designed packages, including sheets, booklets, boards and framed displays.  McCartney was personally involved in selecting the images featured on some of the stamps.

Sir Paul will be only the third famous individual music artist celebrated by a series of stamps issued by the Royal Mail, after David Bowie in 2017 and Elton John in 2019.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Chris Cornell’s family settles with doctor who prescribed him "mind-altering" drugs before suicide

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Three years after filing their lawsuit, Chris Cornell’s family has settled with the doctor who prescribed him "mind altering" drugs before his suicide, according to legal documents obtained by E! News.

In papers filed on Thursday, May 6, the family's attorney stated, "After years of litigation and settlement negotiations, plaintiffs and (Koblin and Robertson Cardiovascular Center LLC ) have reached a confidential settlement agreement to resolve all claims asserted by each plaintiff."

The attorney adds that, unfortunately, due to the celebrity nature of the case, Cornell's wife, Vicky Cornell, and his now 15-year-old son Christopher, have "attracted the attention of troubled individuals" who have "harassed" and threatened their lives and safety. 

Chris Cornell, best known from rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, was found dead by suicide in 2017. 

In the original lawsuit, the rocker's family was suing the doctor and his office for "negligently and repeatedly prescribing dangerous, mind-alerting controlled substances to Chris Cornell which impaired Mr. Cornell's cognition, clouded his judgment, and caused him to engage in dangerous impulsive behaviors that he was unable to control, costing him his life."

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 [TALK] for free confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even if it feels like it, you are not alone.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


"Alone": Heart's Nancy Wilson releases debut solo studio album, 'You and Me,' today

Carry On Music

Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson's debut solo studio album, You and Me, arrived today.

The 12-track collection features eight originals, plus covers of Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising," Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer," Pearl Jam's "Daughter" and The Cranberries' "Dreams."

Wilson recorded the album at home while in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, sending tracks back and forth with her backing band's members and some guest artists.

Nancy tells ABC Audio that being stuck at home because of the pandemic was "somehow...really a blessing" for her, as it gave her time to nurture her creativity.

"I really got back in touch with parts of myself that I'd almost forgot was there," she maintains. "You know, the ultra creative college girl that was studying creative writing and learning mandolin and stuff like that."

Among You and Me's original tunes are the introspective title track, inspired by Nancy's relationship with her dearly departed mom, and "4 Edward," an instrumental tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen.

Wilson's cover of "The Boxer" features guest vocals by her friend Sammy Hagar.

Nancy recalls that she originally suggested Hagar sing with her on a rocking track she had in mind, but says Sammy had other ideas.

"He said, 'That seems so...predictable that I would sing on a big rock song with you. What else do you got?'" Wilson notes. "And I'm like, 'Well, I've got "The Boxer" by Simon & Garfunkel.' And he goes, 'I love that song!'"

Meanwhile, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins and Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan appear on an original song called "Party at the Angel Ballroom."

Nancy says that tune came together after Hawkins sent her a jam that he'd recorded with McKagan, which she then reworked into a full song.

Here's You and Me's full track list:

"You and Me"
"The Rising"
"I'll Find You"
"Daughter"
"Party at the Angel Ballroom" (with Duff McKagan & Taylor Hawkins)
"The Boxer" (with Sammy Hagar)
"Walk Away"
"The Inbetween"
"Dreams" (with Liv Warfield)
"The Dragon"
"We Meet Again"
"4 Edward"

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Bed of Rosés: Jon Bon Jovi now has candy to go with his wine

Sugarfina

A few years ago, Jon Bon Jovi and his son Jesse Bongiovi launched Hampton Water, a French rosé wine that's been an award-winning success. Now, the two are branching out with the perfect snack to eat while you're sipping on a glass.

The luxury candy company Sugarfina has created the Hampton Water Rosé x Sugarfina Candy Bento Box, a collection of Sugarfina's rosé-infused sweets that are meant to complement the flavor of the wine. The Bento Box features three kinds of sweets: But First Rosé Roses, which are shaped like roses; Rosé All Day, which are shaped like gummy bears, and Rosé Frosé, which are shaped like gumdrops.

You can order the Hampton Water Candy Bento Box now online for $30.  It's the perfect thing to munch on while you're watching Bon Jovi's drive-in theater concert special on May 22.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Styx to release new studio album, 'Crash of the Crown,' in June; listen to the title track now

Alpha Dog 2T/UMe

Styx has unveiled details about its forthcoming new studio album, which is titled Crash of the Crown and will be released on June 18.

Crash of the Crown, Styx's 17th studio effort, is a follow-up to the band's 2017 concept album The Mission. Work on the new project began in 2019, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the band wound up having to finish the record remotely because of the health crisis.

The 15-track collection, which can be pre-ordered here and at StyxWorld.com, is available on CD, digitally and as a vinyl LP pressed on either black or clear vinyl.

Styx has released the album's title track as an advance digital single. The multi-part song is the group's first to feature three lead vocalists, starting with James "JY" Young in the first segment, followed by Tommy Shaw in the middle part and ending with Lawrence Gowan in the Queen-esque finale.

"I'm always looking for the one different thing we can do and still have it be Styx," notes Gowan, "and that's the song I'm most proud of. The beauty of it is that it's the culmination of all our talents crammed together into one song, Abbey Road-style."

The album features songs focused on offering a message of positivity and hope, while acknowledging the current darkness and conflict affecting much of the world at this time.

"We've never been a protest band. We're more like a gospel caravan trying to send out positive messages wherever we go," explains Shaw. "In order to share those positive messages, you have to look at what the problems are first to figure out all the ways you can help make sure everything's going to be alright."

Here's the full track list of Crash of the Crown:

"The Fight of Our Lives"
"A Monster"
"Reveries"
"Hold Back the Darkness"
"Save Us from Ourselves"
"Crash of the Crown"
"Our Wonderful Lives"
"Common Ground"
"Sound the Alarm"
"Long Live the King"
"Lost at Sea"
"Coming Out the Other Side"
"To Those"
"Another Farewell"
"Stream"

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Strands of Kurt Cobain's hair are going up for auction

Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

Many things that belonged to Kurt Cobain have been auctioned, including instruments he played, clothing he wore, and even a credit card that he used. Now, we have possibly the strangest Kurt-adjacent auction item.

The site Iconic Auctions is selling six strands of the late Nirvana frontman's hair. They come from a haircut Cobain got in 1989 from a friend named Tessa Osbourne. Following Cobain's death in 1994, Osbourne presented them to a Seattle artist named Nicole DePolo, who then passed them to John Reznikoff, who's described by Iconic Auctions as "the world's foremost hair collector and expert."

The winning bidder will receive the strands displayed on an 8.5" x 11" sheet, as well as photos of Osbourne giving Cobain the very same haircut that produced them.

Should this be something that interests you, bidding begins Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. The minimum bid is $2,500.

Last summer, Cobain's 1959 Martin D-18E guitar, which he played during Nirvana's iconic MTV Unplugged special, sold for $6 million, the highest price ever for a guitar at auction.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Ronnie Wood becomes ambassador for addiction-recovery organization founded by Eric Clapton's wife

Credit: Kevin Mazur

Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood has signed on to be an ambassador for Turn Up for Recovery, a charitable movement founded by Eric Clapton's wife, Melia, that promotes abstinence-based addiction recovery through music.

In a statement posted on his official website, Wood says he's proud to take on the role of ambassador for the charity.

"Turn Up for Recovery's mission is a subject very close to my heart and I am so honoured to become an ambassador for this brilliant organisation," notes Ronnie. "Turn Up for Recovery [brings] people together through music to support recovery for addicts, and their friends and family. To become a part of that is my way of giving back, as I am so grateful for all the care and support I've received along the way, in my recovery."

Last month, Wood released a limited-edition signed print of a painting he created called "Affirmation I" that's helping to raise money for Turn Up for Recovery, and also is benefiting Eric Clapton's Crossroads Centre rehab facility in Antigua.

The art features the positive phrase "When I Take Care of Myself I Can Achieve Anything," along with a colorful abstract design. Hand-signed and numbered copies of the print can be purchased for $555 at Ronnie's online art store.

A video featuring Wood talking about "Affirmation I," the Crossroads Centre and his friendship with Clapton has been posted at the Turn Up for Recovery YouTube channel.

Ronnie explains in the clip, "The inspiration for the painting came from a set of words that I put together at a group session while I was in rehab. They kind of set the mood for my personal recovery."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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