Friday, December 5, 2008

Music News & Notes

Wednesday marked the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley's '68 Comeback Special. It was December 3, 1968 when the special aired on NBC and started Presley's return the top of the music charts. The program ended up the highest rated entertainment show of the year, pulling in 42% of the viewing audience.

Shortly after the special, If I Can Dream went up to number 12, followed by In the Ghetto and his first number one in over seven years, Suspicious Minds.


There are rumors that Faith No More may be readying a reunion tour. U.K. venues have had dates put on hold for the band in the spring, although bassist Bill Gould isn't confirming anything. “If anything like this were to happen, it would have to come from the band, and I haven’t spoken with any of them in over a year. So as far as I know, there isn’t anything to talk about, and I’m pretty sure that if you were to contact Patton, he would tell you the same thing.”


The Specials are finally going to go on the reunion tour that they originally discussed earlier this year. It's the first time the ska band has performed together since 1981. The initial set of dates are in the U.K. and run from late-April through mid-May with additional shows expected.


George Michael put on what was called his farewell show in Abu Dhabi on Monday night with less than steller ticket sales. Many of the 35,000 seats went unsold and the promoters ended up giving tickets away before the show.

A source told Britain's Sun that “a lot of the youngsters here aren’t interested in his music — they’re into up-to-date stuff. It was embarrassing.”


Bryan Adams has had to get the London police involved over fears of being stalked by an obsessed mother and son. They first approached the singer in a restaurant but have now started showing up at his west London home. According to a source, "He doesn't want them to get in any serious trouble, but he really wants to be left alone by them."


Eagle Rock Records has announced a February 3 release date for six of Ted Nugent's albums. On the schedule are Full Bluntal Nugity, Nugent, Penetrator, Little Miss Dangerous, If You Can't Lick 'Em...Lick 'Em and Spirit of the Wild.


Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 will release their second album, Goodnight Oslo, on February 17. The group is made up of Hitchcock, R.E.M's Peter Buck on guitar, Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows, R.E.M.) on bass and drummer Bill Rieflin (Ministry, R.E.M.).


Grandmaster Flash has announced that he will release his first album in twenty years on February 23. The Bridge: Concept of a Culture will feature guest appearances from Snoop Dog, Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, Big Daddy Kane and others.


Another rock biopic may be on the way. Eddie Martin is planning a film on the life of AC/DC's Bon Scott. According to Martin, the film is still in the research stage.


Queen + Paul Rodger's The Cosmos Rocks did not exactly burn up the charts, but that doesn't mean the collaboration is over. An Austrian website recently claimed that a local concert was to be their last, but Brian May takes issue with the statement. “Well, I don’t know where anyone got that idea. Roger and Paul and myself haven’t made any decisions whatsoever about the future. We just need a rest!”


Sonic Youth and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones have collaborated on a dance piece to be performed by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

Classic Rock Videos

The Doors - Break On Through

Album Cover Art

Let's continue our look at's list of the top 50 dirtiest and sexiest album cover art, this time #18 (Gigwise comments in quotes):

18. The Black Crowes: ‘Amorica’ – "The sexually ambiguous pubis on show in the cover of The Black Crowes’ 1994 album ‘Amorica’ caused trouble for the band’s label, Universal, who later changed it for a blacked out image. The artwork originated from the cover of the adult magazine Hustler, pubic hairs and all."

My God, whats a few curly hairs? The album is quite good, the band didn't need to resort to album cover gimmicks to sell their music.

Track Listings
1. Gone
2. A Conspiracy
3. High Head Blues
4. Cursed Diamond
5. Nonfiction
6. She Gave Good Sunflower
7. P.25 London
8. Ballad In Urgency
9. Wiser Time
10. Downtown Money Waster
11. Descender

This Date In Music History-December 5


John Rzeznick (The Goo Goo Dolls-1965)

Little Richard ("Lucille") turns 76.

Andy Kim ("Be My Baby"-1946)

Jim Messina (member of Buffalo Springfield, Poco and Loggins & Messina) is 61.

Reclusive guitar picker J.J. Cale was born in Oklahoma City in 1938.

They Are Missed:

Born on this day in 1899, Sonny Boy Williamson, US blues singer. Van Morrison, The Who, The Animals, Yardbirds and Moody Blues all covered his songs. He died on May 25, 1965.

Billy Maybray, bassist / drummer / vocalist for The Jaggerz, died of cancer at the age of 60 in 2004. Billy played drums on the band's 1970, Billboard #2 hit, "The Rapper" and wrote and sang their debut single, "Baby I Love You.”

Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk died in 1977.

In 1993, Doug Hopkins from Gin Blossoms died of self-inflicted bullet wounds (age 32).


Alan Freed's "Rock Rock Rock" film (with Connie Francis dubbing in the singing for Tuesday Weld) was released in 1956.

Rocker Gene Vincent ("Be-Bop-A-Lula") met TV producer Jack Good upon his arrival in England in 1959. Good convinced Vincent to adopt an outlaw image and dresses him completely in black leather, creating an enduring rock 'n' roll icon.

1968- The Rolling Stones' launch party at London's Queensgate Hotel for the now classic album, “Beggars Banquet,” soon degenerated into a near-riot. Waitresses served food dressed as medieval wenches. During the dessert course, a custard pie fight began, with most of the pastries aimed at record label execs who had vetoed the Stones' toilet cover art. Brian Jones, about to be fired by the band, delivered a few well-placed pies directly into Mick Jagger's face.

In 1980, John Lennon gave his final Rolling Stone interview to Jonathan Cott. Mark David Chapman leaves Honolulu to fly to New York, where he will shoot John Lennon three days later.

In 1964, Lorne Green became the second Canadian (after Paul Anka) to have a #1 hit on the Billboard singles chart, when his spoken word recording about a Western gun fighter named Ringo reached the top. The star of NBC-TV's hit show Bonanza would record seven albums for RCA.

In 1964, RCA announced that "Elvis' Christmas Album" had sold over 800,000 copies since being released in 1957.

Elvis Presley started a ten-week run at No.1 on the US album chart in 1960 with “G.I. Blues.”

The Beatles played their last ever show in their hometown of Liverpool in 1965, when they appeared at The Liverpool Empire during the group's final UK tour. Only 5,100 tickets were available, but there were 40,000 applications for tickets.

Beatles lyrics handwritten by Sir Paul McCartney (an early version of Maxwell's Silver Hammer) sold for $192,000 at an auction in New York in 2006. A guitar owned by Jimi Hendrix fetched $168,000, a notebook containing lyrics written by Bob Marley sold for $72,000 and a poem penned by the Doors Jim Morrison made $49,000 at the Christie's sale.

Graham Nash quits the Hollies (later forms Crosby, Stills & Nash) in 1968.

1975- Fleetwood Mac's tenth album goes gold and will eventually reach platinum status. This is the first album by the regrouped band, including founders Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, veteran Christine McVie and newcomers Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. The album contains the tunes "Rhiannon", "Say You Love Me" and "Over My Head".