Classic Rock News

Dave Mason to hit the road this fall, autobiography coming next year

Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

Dave Mason has announced a fall tour, followed by the release of his autobiography in early 2023.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer will kick off the trek October 29 in Thousand Oaks, California, wrapping things up November 20 in Tucson, Arizona. Starting January 25, he'll play a string of shows in Florida, which run through February 26.

"There is nothing quite like performing live. I love it!” Mason says in a statement

Also in early 2023, Mason will publish Only You Know & I Know, in which he'll share "some of the great untold tales in rock and roll." He's certainly got plenty of those: In addition to being a founding member of Traffic, he has played and recorded with Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, George Harrison and The Rolling Stones, and was a member of Fleetwood Mac.

Dave's most recent album is 2020's Alone Together…Again, a rerecorded version of his 1970 debut solo album, Alone Together.

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Dead & Company's 2023 summer tour will be its "final" one

Steve Jennings/WireImage

Dead & Company has come to the end of The Golden Road. The band took to Instagram on Friday to announce some good news and bad news: The Grateful Dead spinoff group is going to tour next summer, but that trek will be their last one.

"As we put the finishing touches on booking venues, and understanding that word travels fast, we wanted to be the first to let you know that Dead & Company will be hitting the road next summer for what will be our final tour," reads the message on the band's Instagram page.

"Stay tuned for a full list of dates for what will surely be an exciting, celebratory, and heartfelt last run of shows. With love and appreciation, Dead & Company."

Dead & Company, formed in 2015, includes John Mayer, former Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and bassist Otiel Burbridge. Their most recent tour was last year.

The band had previously announced plans for a 2023 edition of their Playing in the Sand destination festival, set for Moon Palace Cancún in Rivera Cancún, Mexico, from January 14 to January 17, 2023. 

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Pigs on the wing: Is Pink Floyd planning to recreate the iconic cover of 'Animals'?

Pink Floyd Records/Sony Music

Pink Floyd has had many iconic album covers -- The Dark Side of The Moon and The Wall come to mind. But the cover of its 1977 album Animals is up there: it shows London's Battersea Power Station, with a pink pig floating between the chimneys. Now, fans are convinced the band plans to recreate the album cover to promote its newest archival release: Animals (2018 Remix), which features a 5.1 surround sound mix created in 2018.

A message posted on the band's social media pages Friday reads, "To mark the release of Pink Floyd's Animals 2018 Remix, London's Battersea Power Station will be an eminently suitable canvas next Wednesday and Thursday, between 8:30pm - 11pm, with a sneak preview on Tuesday night at the same time, as a test run."

The message is accompanied by the artwork from the release, which shows Battersea Power Station as it is today, with the iconic pig, nicknamed "Algie," floating above it.

There's speculation that the band plans to float an inflatable pig above the station in real life on September 27, 28 and 29, or that Pink Floyd members will make an appearance there, or both.

The deluxe box set comes out October 7, but the CD and Blu-ray versions are available now.

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Eric Idle explains comment about Paul McCartney wanting to "avoid" his 'Masked Singer' appearance

Michael Becker/FOX

The current season of Fox's The Masked Singer marks the first time any contestant performed a song by The Beatles: It was "Love Me Do," sung by The Hedgehog, later unmasked as Monty Python legend Eric Idle. Idle personally asked Paul McCartney for permission to sing the song, but he claims he wasn't sure Paul would give it to him -- because of something Idle did more than 40 years ago.

After his unmasking, Idle told viewers that while Paul had given him permission, he'd added, "Please tell me what show it is, so I can make sure to avoid it." Idle tells Yahoo that Paul's joke, and his trepidation about asking him for permission, stem from Idle's 1978 film spoof of The Beatles -- The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash.

"I have a friend who worked at Apple in London, and he said, 'I think Paul will have forgiven you by now,'" Idle tells Yahoo. "Because, you know, I played [Paul] in The Rutles." The portrayal wasn't particularly flattering.

Idle says, "My wife and I bumped into him ... shortly after [the movie came out], and he said, 'Oh, I'm not sure we’re talking to you!' Obviously, he wasn't  quite so comfortable in those days."

But eventually, Paul came around. He even sent out a tweet promoting The Masked Singer, writing, "I have heard whispers that a pal of mine is on America's #TheMaskedSinger...Best of luck friend! Sing with all your heart!"

The Beatles were actually big Monty Python fans, and Idle and George Harrison were extremely close; Harrison even mortgaged his house to finance the comedy troupe's classic film Life of Brian.

"He was a remarkable man. He really changed my life," Idle says of Harrison, who died in 2001. "I'd never had a friend like that."

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A half-century of "Changes": Black Sabbath's 'Vol. 4' turns 50

Warner Records/Rhino

Black Sabbath's been going through "Changes" for a half-century.

The metal pioneers' fourth album, Vol. 4, was released September 25, 1972, 50 years ago this Sunday.

Following in the footsteps of 1970's one-two punch of Black Sabbath and Paranoid and 1971's foundational sludge metal opus Master of Reality, Vol. 4 continued to bring the heavy with songs including "Snowblind," a not-so-subtle reference to the band members' drug habit.

In between Tony Iommi's signature chugging riffs and Ozzy Osbourne's demonic wail came a surprise in the form of "Changes," a tender, introspective piano ballad. Speaking previously to ABC Audio, Iommi shared that he and his Sabbath bandmates were unconcerned with how "Changes" might be perceived.

"The first thing that it had to please was us," Iommi sad. "We'd always done that with Sabbath music."

"It wasn't, 'Is anybody gonna like it?'" he added. "We have to ... start off with us first, because we're presenting ourselves. So if we like it, then we just hope that everybody else liked it."

Vol. 4 is now certified Platinum by the RIAA. Black Sabbath reissued the album in 2021 with 20 unreleased recordings, including outtakes, live tracks, instrumentals and alternate versions.

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The Rolling Stones officially release 1966 music video showing band members in drag

Courtesy ABKCO Records

If you're a Rolling Stones fan, you've no doubt seen the photo of the band members in drag on the U.S. version of the single "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?" Now, you can see that photo come to life: The original 1966 video for the song has been officially released.

Director Peter Whitehead created the black-and-white video using footage from the single artwork photoshoot.  All five original members of the band -- Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman and Brian Jones -- are shown dressed as women, standing around on a New York City street. Well, everyone is standing around except for Wyman: He's sitting in a wheelchair wearing a women's military uniform, which includes a skirt and pumps.

The footage of the band in drag is intercut with a clip of Jagger walking through what looks like an art fair on the street, plus random shots of the other band members.

Along with that visual, the band has released a live performance video of the same song, also shot by Whitehead. That one -- filmed on September 23, 1966 during a performance at London's Royal Albert Hall --shows the band being mobbed onstage by screaming fans.

“Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?” was a top 10 U.S. hit in 1966.

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Ozzy Osbourne premieres second episode of 'Patient Number 9' behind-the-scenes series

Epic Records

Ozzy Osbourne has premiered the second episode of his ongoing series, which documents the making of his new solo album, Patient Number 9.

The episode, titled "The Sabbath Connection," focuses on Ozzy's reunion with Black Sabbath bandmate Tony Iommi on the record. Iommi plays on two Patient Number 9 songs: "No Escape from Now" and "Degradation Rules."

In between, a number of the other Patient Number 9 guests and collaborators -- including Pearl Jam's Mike McCready, Guns N' Roses' Duff McKagan, Metallica's Robert Trujillo, Black Label Society's Zakk Wylde, Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith and producer Andrew Watt -- share what Black Sabbath means to them.

You can watch "The Sabbath Connection" streaming now on YouTube. The third and final episode premieres next Friday, September 30.

Patient Number 9 was released earlier this month. It also includes guest spots from Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins.

(Video contains uncensored profanity) 

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Stevie Nicks on why she recorded "For What It's Worth": "It covers everything everybody's fighting against"

Rhino Entertainment Company/WMG

Stevie Nicks' new version of the 1966 Buffalo Springfield classic "For What It's Worth (Stop, Hey, What's that Sound)" is out now -- but she says she's wanted to record it since 1968.

Speaking to Apple Music 1's Zane Lowe, Stevie explains that she was a fan of the song, penned by Stephen Stills, when it first came out. When she was living in San Francisco in 1968, she told herself, "I'm going to record that song one day." Then, earlier this year, Stevie says, "It just came into my head"; she recorded the song in May. 

Stevie claims she had "no idea" that Stephen originally wrote the track about the Sunset Strip curfew riots in LA in the '60s. But she feels that "For What It's Worth" is relevant today because in that song, Stills managed "to cover everything that everybody's complaining about, and fighting against, in the entire world."

The song includes the lyrics, "There's battle lines being drawn/nobody's right, if everybody's wrong."

"He managed, in that song, to touch on everything so subtly," she explains. "You could have said, 'Okay, is that song about gun violence? Is that song about women's rights? Is it about immigration?' could take it all in, to be about anything that you personally wanted it to be about."

Stevie tells Lowe it "seemed to be the right time" to cut the song and adds that her message to fans is, "I hope that...whatever your views on anything are, I hope that you can rise above that and take it for what it is. And also, I just hope you like the song."

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Billy Idol's unleashes new EP, 'The Cage'

Dark Horse Records

Billy Idol's recently announced EP, The Cage, got its release Friday, September 23.

The EP is available on CD, digitally, and as a standard black-vinyl disc and a limited-edition red-vinyl disc.

The Cage features four new songs on which the veteran pop-punk rocker collaborated with his longtime guitarist, Steve Stevens.

Fans got their first taste of the record last month, when Idol released the track "Cage," along with a companion music video.

The Cage's other songs are "Running from the Ghost," which focuses on Billy overcoming drug addiction; "Rebel Like You," a blues-rock tune that pays tribute to his 2-year-old granddaughter; and "Miss Nobody," a spoken-word rap/R&B/funk-influenced track inspired by a feisty homeless woman he crossed paths with near the studio where he was working on the EP.

"These new songs are celebratory because Steve and I are enjoying ourselves," Idol recently told Variety. "It's kind of wild to still be making music we're excited about."

The Cage EP is a follow-up to 2021's The Roadside EP.

Meanwhile, Billy kicks off a new European tour Friday night in Halle, Germany. The trek is mapped out through an October 25 show in Leeds, England. When Idol returns to the U.S., he'll launch a five-date Las Vegas residency at The Cosmopolitan that runs from November 11 through November 19.

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Doobie Brothers acknowledge passing of original drummer John Hartman, who died in 2021

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Earlier this week, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame posted an "In Memoriam" tribute to original Doobie Brothers drummer John Hartman -- though oddly, according to a Hall of Fame rep, his family confirmed that he actually died on December 29, 2021. Now, his bandmates have acknowledged Hartman's passing on their official Facebook page.

Hartman, who was 72, co-founded The Doobie Brothers and played on all their '70s-era hits; the band added a second drummer in 1971. Hartman left after 1978's Minute by Minute album but rejoined 12 other Doobies alumni for a 1987 benefit tour.

He was subsequently part of the reunited Doobie Brothers lineup that recorded 1989's Cycles and 1991's Brotherhood, but retired permanently from the band in 1992. In 2020, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with eight other Doobie Brothers members.

On the band's Facebook page, they wrote, "Today we are thinking of John Hartman, or Little John, to us. John was a wild spirit, great drummer and showman during his time in the Doobies. He was also a close friend for many years and an intricate part of the band personality! We send our condolences to all his loved ones at this difficult time. Rest In Peace, John."

It's unclear why nobody in the band seemed to be aware of Hartman's passing prior to the Rock Hall's posting. Doobie Brothers drummers Keith Knudsen and Michael Hossack died in 2005 and 2012, respectively.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers honor Eddie Van Halen with new 'Return of the Dream Canteen' song, "Eddie"

Warner Records

Red Hot Chili Peppers have premiered a new song called "Eddie," a track off their upcoming album, Return of the Dream Canteen.

The track, which is available now via digital outlets, is a tribute to late Van Halen icon Eddie Van Halen, who died in October 2020.

"Sometimes we don't realize how deeply affected and connected we are to artists until the day they die," says frontman Anthony Kiedis. "Eddie Van Halen was a one of a kind. The day after his death [bassist] Flea came into rehearsal with an emotional bassline. [Guitarist] John [Frusciante], [drummer] Chad [Smith] and I started playing along and pretty soon with all our hearts, a song in his honor effortlessly unfolded."

"It felt good to be sad and care so much about a person who had given so much to our lives," Kiedis adds. "Although the song doesn't speak to Eddie by name, it talks about his early days on the Sunset Strip and the rock n roll tapestry that Van Halen painted on our minds. In the end, our song asks that you not remember Eddie for dying but for living his wildest dream."

Return of the Dream Canteen, which also features the single "Tippa My Tongue," will be released October 14. It's the second Chili Peppers album of 2022 following April's Unlimited Love.

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President Biden's special connection to Elton John, who performs at White House today

David Redfern/Redferns

If you wondered why Elton John has been invited to perform on the White House's South Lawn today, September 23, it may be because President Joe Biden has a special connection to the Rocket Man.

USA Today reports that as a young, single dad, Biden would drive his sons Hunter and Beau to school, and their ritual was to sing Elton's number-one hit "Crocodile Rock" as loudly as possible. In 2015, when Beau was dying of brain cancer, Biden sat at Beau's bedside and sang "Crocodile Rock" to him. 

"Beau didn’t open his eyes, but I could see through my own tears that he was smiling,” the president wrote in his book Promise Me Dad.

As previously reported, Elton will perform at today's event, “A Night When Hope and History Rhyme,” which is a collaboration with A+E Networks and The History Channel. It will not only honor Elton and celebrate "the unifying and healing power of music,” but it'll also pay tribute to what the White House calls "everyday history-makers," like teachers, nurses, frontline workers and mental health advocates.

It's not clear whether Elton will perform "Crocodile Rock" at the event, though he has been playing it on his Farewell Tour. He previously said that it's the song he can't wait to finally say goodbye to when the tour ends.

Less than two weeks ago, another of Biden's favorite musicians, James Taylor, performed at the White House to celebrate the Inflation Reduction Act.

In other "Crocodile Rock" news, the song will also appear on the soundtrack of the upcoming movie Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, in theaters October 7.

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Billy Joel's 'The Nylon Curtain' album celebrates its 40th anniversary

Columbia Records

Billy Joel's acclaimed eighth studio album, The Nylon Curtain, was released 40 years ago -- September 23, 1982.

The album peaked at #7 on the Billboard 200. It included the hit singles "Allentown" and "Pressure," which reached #17 and #20, respectively, on the Billboard Hot 100. 

Produced by Phil Ramone, the Beatles-influenced project is one of the first to be digitally recorded, mixed and mastered, and featured Joel exploring more complex arrangements.

The album also found the Piano Man tackling weighty topical themes, such as the aforementioned "Allentown," which was about the declining steel industry in the U.S., and the Vietnam War elegy "Goodnight Saigon."

Joel filmed a video for "Goodnight Saigon" at New York's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and the clip featured a group of Vietnam vets joining him onstage to sing the song. Over the years, Billy has continued to have veterans and military members sing the tune with him onstage when he plays it in concert.

The Nylon Curtain was nominated for an Album of the Year Grammy, but lost to Toto's Toto IV.

In a 2011 video interview, Joel explained that he wanted The Nylon Curtain to be "a sonic masterpiece," adding, "I consider [it] maybe my best recorded effort."

The Nylon Curtain has gone on to sell over 2 million copies in the U.S.

Here's the full track list:

"Goodnight Saigon"
"She's Right On Time"
"A Room of Our Own"
"Scandinavian Skies"
"Where's the Orchestra"

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#iVoted Festival & Live Nation raffling tickets to shows by The Who, ZZ Top & more

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

The #iVoted Festival and Live Nation have teamed up to raffle off tickets to shows by artists including The Who, ZZ Top and Santana in an effort to encourage early voting for this year's upcoming U.S. midterm elections.

To enter, eligible U.S. voters need to send in a selfie from outside of their polling place, or from home with their unmarked absentee ballot. If you're not of voting age but still over 14, you can enter by sharing your first voting-eligible election year along with why you're "excited to vote."

The sweepstakes is also offering tickets to see artists including Judas Priest, The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir, Blue Oyster Cult, 38 Special, The Smashing Pumpkins and The Marshall Tucker Band.

You can enter between September 26 at noon ET and November 7 at 6 p.m. ET. Election Day is Tuesday, November 8. The virtual #iVoted Festival, featuring artists including Black Stone Cherry, Halestorm, Jeffrey Gaines, Los Lobos, Rise Against, Umphrey's McGee and Yacht Rock Revue, will air on Election Day.

For more info, visit

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Archival Humble Pie rarities album, 'I Need a Star in My Life,' available now

Cleopatra Records

Humble Pie has just released a collection of rare studio tracks, titled I Need a Star in My Life, that they recorded during the mid-1970s.

The 20-song compilation is available now on CD, via digital formats and as a two-LP set pressed on either blue, orange or red vinyl.

I Need a Star in My Life was recorded from 1974 to 1976 by a Humble Pie lineup that featured founding lead singer/guitarist Steve Marriott and bassist Greg Ridley, as well as guitarist Clem Clempson, who had replaced original member Peter Frampton in 1971.

The recordings capture the trio experimenting with various musical styles and include several original tunes alongside covers of songs by Sam Cooke, Bo Diddley and more.

King Crimson sax player Mel Collins makes a guest appearance on the album.

In addition, Humble Pie released a companion seven-inch red-vinyl single that features their rendition of Cooke's "Shake," which also appears on the I Need a Star in My Life album, paired with the rare track "Bluestalk," a blues jam between Marriott and The Rolling Stones' Brian Jones that was recorded in 1969.

Here's the full track list of I Need a Star in My Life:

"Lend Us a Quid"
"Send Me Some Lovin'"
"She Moves Me Man"
"Street Rat"
"Captain Goatcabin's Balancing Stallions"
"High and Happy"
"Be My Baby"
"It's All Over"
"Bluegrass Interval"
"Don't Take But a Few Minutes"
"Louisiana Blues"
"You're a Heartbreaker"
"I Need a Star in My Life"
"I'll Find You"
"Lord Let Me Hold Out"
"Signed Sealed"

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