Music News

Hear a clip of Jimi Hendrix's final performance, from new documentary 'Ronnie's'

Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment

Two days before his death -- September 16, 1970 -- Jimi Hendrix showed up unannounced at famed London jazz club Ronnie Scott's and got onstage with Eric Burdon and War.  Now we're able to hear that performance -- his last one ever -- in a new documentary called Ronnie's.

The doc tells the history of saxophonist Ronnie Scott and his club, which opened in 1959 and became one of the most famous musical venues in London. The film features previously unseen and unheard performances by music icons like Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Nina Simone, Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie, as well as rockers like Van Morrison.

The audio from a bootleg tape of the Hendrix performance, as well as interviews with the people who were there that night, are also included. As War guitarist Howard E. Scott relates in a clip from the film, that night at Ronnie's, the band has started playing a blues cover called "Mother Earth" when he saw Jimi coming towards the stage, guitar in hand.

"Jimi lit into a guitar solo, I mean, me and Jimi were just cuttin' the place up, we were tearin' it up, just me and him, back and forth, back and forth...great night," Scott recalls. "The next night, we got word that after the set, Jimi had died. It was a terrible, terrible thought right then, that I was the last guitarist to play with him."

You can watch an excerpt from the movie that includes the audio at Rolling StoneRonnie's opens in select theaters and on-demand on February 11.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'The Beatles and India' documentary to stream on BritBox starting February 15

The Beatles & friends with the Maharishi in India, 1968; Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Beatles and India, a documentary which examines how Indian music and culture shaped the band's music, will start streaming February 15 on BritBox.

The documentary features recordings, pictures and interviews to detail both George Harrison's lifelong devotion to Indian music, which he discovered in 1965, and its effect on The Beatles' subsequent recordings.  It also explores the Beatles' role in popularizing Indian culture and Transcendental Meditation, following their 1968 journey to Rishikesh, India to study with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

The documentary was named Best Film: Audience Choice and Best Music at the 2021 UK Asian Film Festival.

An accompanying soundtrack, called The Beatles and India: Songs Inspired by the Film, features 19 Beatles songs recorded by Indian artists, including Anoushka Shankar, the daughter of Harrison's musical mentor Ravi Shankar

Many of the songs included on the soundtrack -- "Dear Prudence," "Sexy Sadie," "Mother Nature's Son," "Back in the USSR" and "I Will" among them -- were written while the Beatles were in India and later ended up on their 1968 self-titled album, aka The White Album.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


INXS guitarist Tim Farriss loses lawsuit over 2015 boating accident in which he severed a finger

Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Founding INXS guitarist Tim Farriss has lost a lawsuit he brought against the owners and operators of a boat he chartered in January 2015 on which he severed a finger on his left hand when it became caught in a chain as he attempted to drop the craft's anchor.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a six-day hearing was held in front of the Australian state of New South Wales' Supreme Court this past August and September, during which the 64-year-old rocker's legal team argued that the owners of the Omega Clipper and a boat charter company were liable for damages of 622,000 Australian dollars, or about $434,000.

They claimed that Farriss hadn't received sufficient instructions on how to operate the anchor, that the equipment should have been in better working order, and that there was inadequate signage warning of potential risks.

Farriss' lawyer noted that although the musician's finger was reattached surgically, it "is in a state now where he cannot play guitar." His attorney also noted that since the accident, Tim has been "unsurprisingly depressed" because he isn't able to compose music as he once did, or work on a farm that he'd owned that's been subsequently sold.

However, the judge found inconsistencies in Farriss' explanation of how the accident occurred, and deemed that there was insufficient proof that the gear wasn't in proper working order.

Farriss was ordered to pay the defendants' legal costs. A member of his council said the musician was "very disappointed" with the ruling and was considering his options regarding further legal action.

INXS has been inactive since 2012, when they announced their retirement from touring.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Report: Biopic about The Who's Keith Moon, 'The Real Me,' expected to start shooting this summer

Michael Putland/Getty Images

There have been a number of attempts to produce a biopic about Keith Moon over the last couple of decades, but it seems that an official film about the late Who drummer finally is moving forward.

In an exclusive report, Variety reveals that surviving Who members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend are serving as executive producers on the project, called The Real Me, which is expected to be shot in the U.K. this summer.

The movie will be directed by Paul Whittington, whose credits include several episodes of The Crown, while the script will be penned by screenwriter Jeff Pope, known for his work on Stan & Ollie and the Oscar-nominated Philomena. Longtime Who manager Bill Curbishley is one of the film's producers.

The Real Me -- whose title is taken from a song on the band's 1973 album Quadrophenia -- is expected to begin shooting in June; work on assembling the cast began a few months ago.

Considered one of the greatest all-time rock drummers, Moon was also an infamous partier and prankster who battled alcohol and drug addiction. He died of a drug overdose in 1978 at age 32.  Daltrey has been talking about making a movie about Moon since the early 2000s.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Mike Campbell and solo group The Dirty Knobs to release second album, 'External Combustion,' in March

Artwork: Miles Wintner/BMG

The Dirty Knobs, the band fronted by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell, will release their second studio album, External Combustion, on March 4.

The album, a follow-up to 2020's Wreckless Abandon, can be pre-ordered now, and will be available on CD, via digital formats, and as a vinyl LP pressed on standard black vinyl or limited-edition green translucent vinyl.

The 11-track collection features guest appearances by Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople fame and acclaimed alt-country artist Margo Price on the respective songs "Dirty Job" and "State of Mind." In addition, Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench plays piano on a tune titled "Lightning Boogie."

Campbell wrote most of the songs on External Combustion during the past year, although two tunes date back to the 1990s, and were recently rediscovered in Mike's vault of unreleased tracks.

The album's lead track, "Wicked Mind," has been released as an advance digital single, and a companion music video has premiered on Campbell's official YouTube channel.

The amusing clip begins with Mike in a coffin that an alluring yet sinister woman is preparing to bury. Before she gets the chance, Campbell wakes up and flees his captor, making his way to a bar where his fellow Dirty Knobs are playing. He joins the band onstage, but the woman has followed him into the watering hole, where she proceeds to do a threatening dance in front of the stage. Mike then flees the bar with the woman in pursuit. Watch the full video to find out Campbell's fate.

After multiple delays because of COVID-19, Campbell and The Dirty Knobs finally will hit the road on a U.S. tour launching March 9 in Tampa, Florida. Visit TheDirtyKnobs.com for the band's full schedule.

Here's the full External Combustion track list:

"Wicked Mind"
"Brigitte Bardot"
"Cheap Talk"
"External Combustion"
"Dirty Job" -- featuring Ian Hunter
"State of Mind" -- featuring Margo Price
"Lightning Boogie"
"Rat City"
"In This Lifetime"
"It Is Written"
"Electric Gypsy"

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Cher will help celebrate "true icon" Betty White on NBC special airing Monday

NBCUniversal

When Betty White died on December 31, just weeks shy of her 100th birthday, Cher was one of the celebrities who took to social media to mourn her loss. Now she'll be joining many other stars in helping to celebrate the award-winning TV icon in a new NBC special.

Celebrating Betty White, America's Golden Girl airs this Monday, January 31, at 10 p.m. ET and will stream the next day on Peacock.  Along with Cher, those who'll be sharing their favorite memories and stories of White include President Joe Biden, Tina Fey, Ted Danson, Valerie Bertinelli, Jimmy Fallon, Goldie Hawn, Jay Leno, Bryan Cranson, Ellen DeGeneres, Jean Smart and more.

When White died, Cher tweeted, "I Watched Her on her first TV Show Life With Elizabeth When I Was 7 Yrs Old. When She Did [the] Sonny & Cher [show], I Got a Chance To Tell Her. I Was Embarrassed cause tears came to my eyes. She put her arms around me, & I Felt 7 again.

"Some Ppl Are Called ICONS, BETTY IS A TRUE ICON," Cher continued. She also posted a GIF of Betty shimmying, and wrote, "BELOVED ICON...YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN."

Cher also directed fans to a YouTube clip of Betty and her Golden Girls co-stars performing the Sonny & Cher hit "I Got You Babe" on season five on that sitcom, while fans shared a clip of Betty and Cher performing together on the Sonny & Cher Show.

On January 21, Cher apparently spilled the beans about the NBC special, which was just announced yesterday, by tweeting, "I'm So Relieved & Happy That there Will Be A Program Where We Will Talk About Betty. My one fear is…. I may cry."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Asia planning 40th anniversary tour, introduces new singer/guitarist Marc Bonilla

Courtesy of Asia

Prog-rock supergroup Asia has announced plans to launch a 40th anniversary tour this summer, while also revealing that the band has welcomed a new member into the lineup.

Joining Asia as its new lead vocalist and guitarist is Marc Bonilla, a former member of late Emerson, Lake & Palmer keyboardist Keith Emerson's solo band. Bonilla replaces ex-Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, who joined Asia in 2019.

The group currently also features two founding members, drummer Carl Palmer and keyboardist Geoff Downes, as well as bassist Billy Sherwood, who joined the band in 2017 after the death of original lead singer and bassist John Wetton.

Downes and Sherwood both are also part of Yes' current lineup, while Palmer, of course, is a co-founder of ELP and the famed prog-rock trio's last surviving member.

Asia's 40th anniversary tour is expected hit the U.S. leg in late summer.

"40 years of ASIA is a real musical milestone for us," says Downes. "The success we experienced with our early albums has carried us through and gave us the foundation when we reformed in 2006. ASIA has been together ever since, although we lost John in 2017 to cancer. Still, we have endured and will carry on now with Marc Bonilla, who we know will be a great addition to the band."

Adds Palmer, "The fans have never left ASIA. That first ASIA album with all those radio and MTV hits weaved the fabric of the music scene in the early 1980s. Those great songs like 'Heat of the Moment,' 'Sole Survivor,' and 'Only Time Will Tell,' still hold up today."

In December, Asia released a 10-CD box set titled The Official Live Bootlegs Volume 1 that features five full concerts by the band's original lineup from various years.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Ian Anderson says Jethro Tull's 'The Zealot Gene' is a collection of songs based on "extreme human emotions"

InsideOut Music

Jethro Tull's latest album, The Zealot Gene, the veteran prog-rock band's first new studio effort in over 18 years, was released today.

Frontman Ian Anderson tells ABC Audio that he considers the 12-track collection something of a concept album, because the songs are based on a list of positive and negative "extreme human emotions" he compiled, that he then recognized as "words that I remember reading in the Bible."

Anderson explains that the list included "nice stuff, like love, fraternal love, erotic love, spiritual love, compassion, loyalty," as well as "bad stuff, like anger and rage and jealousy and vengeance."

Ian notes that he felt the song "The Zealot Gene" was a good choice for the album's title track because it's "about that extreme of emotion, the degree to which things are polarized into black and white, and opposites, especially in the populist world of politics today."

The singer/flutist/guitarist says he began work on the album in 2017 and had recorded seven of the songs with his band in the studio before the COVID-19 pandemic started. After the pandemic began, Anderson recorded the basic tracks for the other five tunes by himself, then enlisted the group's other members to add their parts remotely.

Ian says this resulted in an album with "a little bit more dynamic range," because the last five songs wound up being more sparse and acoustic-based than the first seven.

Anderson made The Zealot Gene with the members of his longtime solo band, but says he decided to release the record under the Jethro Tull moniker because "it seemed appropriate to recognize the, on average, 15 years of long service that the members of the band have had playing with me over the years."

Here's The Zealot Gene's full track list:

"Mrs. Tibbets"
"Jacob's Tales"
"Mine Is the Mountain"
"The Zealot Gene"
"Shoshana Sleeping"
"Sad City Sisters"
"Barren Beth, Wild Desert John"
"The Betrayal of Joshua Kynde"
"Where Did Saturday Go?"
"Three Loves, Three"
"In Brief Visitation"
"The Fisherman of Ephesus"

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Audio of The Beatles' historic 1969 rooftop concert to debut on streaming services tonight

Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe

This Sunday marks the 53rd anniversary of The Beatles' historic performance on the roof of the band's Apple Corps headquarters in London, and the milestone is being celebrated with a number of special releases and events.

Kicking things off, the complete audio of the Fab Four's rooftop concert will be available for streaming globally for the first time ever via various platforms starting at 12 a.m. ET this evening. The recording, aptly dubbed The Beatles: Get Back -- The Rooftop Performance, has been mixed in stereo and Dolby Atmos by producer Giles Martin and his frequent studio collaborator, engineer Sam Okell.

Then, on Friday at 12 p.m. ET, singer-songwriter Norah Jones will debut videos of her performing two Beatles songs from the Let It Be album that were filmed recently with her band at the top of New York City's Empire State Building. The clips, featuring renditions of "I've Got a Feeling" and "Let It Be," will be viewable on Norah's YouTube channel.

On Saturday, the cast of the Las Vegas production The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil will debut a video featuring a rooftop performance tribute of "Get Back" at 9 a.m. ET on the Cirque du Soleil troup's YouTube channel. In addition, a behind-the-scenes video about the making of the tribute performance clip will premiere at 10 a.m. ET.

Lastly, on the actual anniversary of the event this Sunday, the previously announced IMAX screenings of footage of the full rooftop concert, as seen on the Disney+ docuseries The Beatles: Get Back, will take place at select theaters. The screenings will feature a Q&A with director Peter Jackson via satellite, while attendees will receive an exclusive mini-poster. To purchase tickets, visit Tickets.IMAX.com.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Bonnie Raitt to receive prestigious honor at Billboard's 2022 Women in Music Awards

David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Bonnie Raitt is among a variety of female artists who will be honored at Billboard's 2022 Women in Music Awards, which takes place March 2 at the YouTube Theater at Hollywood Park in Los Angeles.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer will be presented with the Icon Award at the event, which will be hosted by Ciara. For the first time ever, tickets to the Women in Music Awards ceremony will be made available to the public; they go on sale in February.

Other honorees include country star and one-time American Idol finalist Gabby Barrett, singer/songwriter Phoebe Bridgers, pop star Doja Cat, rapper Saweetie and R&B singer Summer Walker. All the honorees will perform at the ceremony.

Other award winners, including the 2022 Woman of the Year, will be announced soon. If you can't make it to L.A., you'll be able to watch it streaming live, with more details to come.

Starting in March, Raitt will hit the road for a lengthy U.S. headlining trek dubbed the Just Like That... tour. Guest artists that will support Bonnie on various parts of the trek include NRBQ, Lucinda Williams and Mavis Staples. Visit BonnieRaitt.com for a full list of dates.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


2020 documentary on Jimi Hendrix's 1970 concerts in Maui to be screened in theaters next month

Courtesy of Experience Hendrix/Abramorama

Music, Money, Madness...Jimi Hendrix in Maui, the 2020 documentary focusing on two legendary 1970 shows that the Jimi Hendrix Experience played in Hawaii, will be screened in select U.S. theaters on various dates in February.

The documentary, which originally was released on Blu-ray in November 2020 in conjunction with the companion album Live in Maui, tells the story of how Hendrix and his band traveled to the island of Maui during the summer of 1970 to participate in the making of the movie Rainbow Bridge by playing two free outdoor concerts on the slopes of the dormant Haleakala volcano. The shows, which took place on July 30, were attended by a few hundred local residents.

Only 17 minutes of the footage from the two sets were used in Rainbow Bridge, a poorly received 1971 movie directed by Andy Warhol associate Chuck Wein that focused on various counterculture figures on the Hawaiian island. Music, Money, Madness...Jimi Hendrix in Maui incorporates previously unseen footage from the performances and the band's visit to the island, as well as new interviews with Experience bassist Billy Cox, Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer, Wein, a number of Rainbow Bridge cast members and Warner Bros. label executives.

The first theatrical screenings of the documentary are scheduled for February 1 in various California cities, as well as Buffalo, New York; Oklahoma City; and Tacoma, Washington.

A special screening will be held on February 16 in Los Angeles at The Regent Theater that will feature a Q&A and conversation with Kramer, director John McDermott and Experience Hendrix CEO Janie Hendrix, Jimi's sister.

Visit JimiHendrixMaui.com for more information about the screenings.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Elton John looks back on his outfits over the years: "I wanted to become more outrageous"

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

No artist has been better suited to take part in Vogue's ongoing video series "Life in Looks" than Elton John.

The series features celebrities going through photographs of themselves and commenting on their outfits.  Of course, Elton's outfits are a bit more interesting than most stars' -- like the time he dressed up as "Louis IV on acid" for his 50th birthday party in 1997. 

As Elton recalls, because he was wearing "the biggest wig of all time," he had to travel to the party in a furniture van, since he couldn't fit into a regular limo.  By the time he got there, he says, he had to take the outfit off because the wig was so heavy that he was "in agony."

And then there was what Elton calls the "giant chicken outfit" -- the multicolored feather get-up he famously wore on The Muppet Show.  "This was so much fun to wear. I used to get feathers in my mouth while I was singing," he laughs.

Elton also recalls the head-to-toe denim outfit covered with sewn-on patches he wore during a visit to Disneyland -- only to be denied entrance.  Today, he believes "every piece of denim in the world should be burned."

As for why he wore those outrageous outfits, Elton points out, "I sat at a piano. I'm not Mick Jagger. I'm not Rod Stewart. I'm not David Bowie. I don't move around the stage. I've got to attract attention somehow!"

So, any regrets?  "Not really," he says. "There's some clunkers, but there always is."

Really? Not even that Donald Duck outfit?

"A disaster, but a fun disaster," he notes.

By the way, Elton also reveals that he doesn't actually need glasses.  When you see him wearing them, they don't have prescription lenses in them.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Janet Jackson shuts down rumors she secretly welcomed a child

Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

Janet Jackson has personally weighed in on the rumors that she and ex-husband James DeBarge secretly welcomed a child during their brief marriage. The two were married between 1984 and 1985, but the rumors persisted that they had a child and had it raised by other members of the Jackson family.

People obtained an advance copy of the upcoming Janet documentary, which sees the hitmaker addressing the nearly 40-year-old rumor.

"Back in the day they were saying that I had a child and I kept it secret... I could never keep a child away from James. How could I keep a child from their father? I could never do that, that's not right," she said, according to People.

The Grammy winner has an idea what sparked the rumors, saying she was put on birth control at the time she was recording Fame and that caused her to gain weight.  Apparently, the paparazzi took it as a sign that she was expecting.

Janet also opened up about why she and James went their separate ways, saying she was unable to overlook his drug addiction. She said she would search for him on the streets and, if she found any drugs in the house, she flushed them down the toilet, adding, "We would be rolling on the floor fighting for them. And that's not a life for anyone," according to People.

"I cared so much for him, and I saw the good in him as well and I just wanted that to take precedence as opposed to this ugliness," she added. "'Cause I knew that he needed help. But I wasn't the help that he needed."

The two-night Janet event premieres this Friday at 8 p.m. ET on both Lifetime and A&E. 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Rock Hall exhibition inspired by 'The Beatles: Get Back' documentary series to open in March

Express/Express/Getty Images

A new exhibit inspired by the recent Peter Jackson-directed Beatles docuseries The Beatles: Get Back will open at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on March 18.

The immersive exhibit, dubbed "The Beatles: Get Back to Let It Be," will treat visitors to an in-depth look at the historic January 1969 sessions in London that yielded the Fab Four's final album, Let It Be, and the band's famous concert on the rooftop of Apple Corps' headquarters.

The display will feature original instruments played by The Beatles, clothing the band members wore and handwritten lyrics, all seen in the documentary. Some items were loaned by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and the estates of George Harrison and John Lennon.

The exhibit also will feature high-def film clips, audio segments and other multimedia that will help transport attendees into the group's world at that time.

Memorabilia featured in the exhibition include a black-and-gray shirt McCartney wore in the studio and his handwritten lyrics for "I've Got a Feeling"; the borrowed red raincoat Starr donned during the rooftop concert and his Ludwig drum kit; a pair of Lennon's famous eyeglasses and his handwritten lyrics for "Dig a Pony"; and a pink pinstripe suit worn by Harrison and his handwritten lyrics for "I Me Mine."

The display also will include photos of the sessions taken by Linda McCartney and Ethan Russell.

In addition, the exhibit will offer three screening rooms featuring footage filmed at each location shown in the docuseries --  Twickenham Studios, Apple Studios and the Apple Corps rooftop.

The three-part, seven-plus hours The Beatles: Get Back docuseries premiered on Disney+ in November.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


America's Gerry Beckley recalls band's "rocket ship" ride that began with debut album's release 50 years ago

Warner Records

America's self-titled debut album was released 50 years ago this month in the U.S.

The trio of Dewey Bunnell, Gerry Beckley and Dan Peek, whose fathers were U.S. Air Force personnel stationed in the U.K., formed America after graduating from the same London high school.

All three were talented singer-songwriters who contributed multiple songs to the America album. The album was released in the U.K. in December 1971, initially without the lead single, the Bunnell-penned folk-rock classic "A Horse with No Name."

When "A Horse with No Name" began enjoying some chart success, it was added to the U.S. version of the album. The single topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks in the spring of 1972, while the album spent five straight weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200 around the same time.

Reflecting on the band's immediate success, Beckley tells ABC Audio, "It doesn't happen too often. We had a number-one single and album with our very first release. We'd barely been together a year. It was a rocket ship that basically burned pretty solid for almost 10 years."

The album's follow-up single, the Beckley-written ballad "I Need You," also was a hit, reaching #9 on the Hot 100.

America was co-produced by Warner Bros. staff producer Ian Samwell, whom Beckley says was tasked with recording the songs simply, without much studio embellishment. Beckley also recalls that the album was recorded quickly and inexpensively, and he credits engineer Ken Scott -- known for his work with David Bowie and The Beatles -- for keeping the sessions going smoothly.

America was the group's only album to top the Billboard 200, and has been certified Platinum by the RIAA for sales of one million in the U.S.

Here's the America track list:

Side One
"Riverside"
"Sandman"
"Three Roses"
"Children"
"A Horse with No Name"
"Here"

Side Two
"I Need You"
"Rainy Day"
"Never Found the Time"
"Clarice"
"Donkey Jaw"
"Pigeon Song"

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



 

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