Paul McCartney kicks off the North American leg of his 2013 Out There tour this weekend. "Macca" and his band open things up over two nights, Saturday and Sunday (May 18th and 19th), at Orlando, Florida's Amway Center. The tour -- which is the former Beatle's busiest road trek since 2005 -- will take in 20 shows over a leisurely 12 weeks playing to both indoor arenas, stadiums, and outdoor festivals. McCartney wraps up his June dates with a quick three-date popover to Europe where he'll play Warsaw, Poland; Verona, Italy; and Vienna, Austria before resuming the second half of North American dates.
McCartney explained that even though some of the songs in his setlist date back 50 years, as a father and grandfather he's able to find new emotions in the tunes that he couldn't possibly have imagined back in his Beatles days: "A song like 'Yesterday' I wrote when I was 20, or 21, or something. And so, it was a quite a young man writing about yesterday -- I didn't have many yesterdays, it was only about few years of them. It's much more emotional now for me, because, y'know, my yesterdays involve bringing up children now, and when they were little babies. As you go on, the songs seem to have more depth. Y'know, words that I just wrote because I liked the sound of them -- now I like the meaning of them."
Paul McCartney tour dates (subject to change): May 18, 19 - Orlando, Florida - Amway Center May 22, 23 - Austin, TX - Frank Erwin Center May 26 - Memphis, Tennessee - FedEx Forum May 29, 30 - Tusla, Oklahoma - BOK Center June 8, 10 - Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center June 14 - Manchester, Tennessee - Bonnaroo Festival June 22 - Warsaw, Poland - National Stadium June 25 - Verona, Italy - Roman Amphitheatre June 27 - Vienna, Austria - Happel Stadium July 7 - Ottawa, ON - Scotiabank Place July 9 - Boston, MA - Fenway Park July 12 - Washington, DC - Nationals Park July 14 - Indianapolis, IN - Bankers Life Fieldhouse July 16 - Milwaukee, WI - Miller Park July 19 - Safeco Field - Seattle, Washington July 23 - Quebec City, QC - Plains Of Abraham August 9, 10, 11 - San Francisco, CA - Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park (***Show Date TBA) August 12 - Winnipeg, MB - Investors Group Field August 14 - Regina, SK - Mosaic Stadium At Taylor Field
Bill Wyman says that while it was nice to sit in for a couple of songs during the Rolling Stones' London shows last year -- he's happy he's not in the band. Wyman, who's just published his new high-end Stones tome, Bill Wyman's Scrapbook, talked to The Huffington Post and explained where he stands with the band these days, "The nice thing was that my kids saw me on stage with the Stones. They'd asked me the December before, and I had to jam with them for three days. I was under the impression I was going to get really involved, but when it came to it, they only wanted me to do two songs, which was very disappointing."
During the Stones' 2012 50 & Counting dates, Wyman only appeared onstage for two songs -- "It's Only Rock N' Roll" and "Honky Tonk Women." Wyman, who at 76 is the oldest Stone, quit the band in 1991 after nearly 30 years with the band: "I've always maintained that you can't go back to things, and they can never be the same. It's like a school reunion, or (an) Army reunion. If you try to go back and have a relationship with someone, it doesn't work, and it's the same musically. It doesn't work. It was a one-off. Five minutes. Okay, never again. No regrets, we're still great friends."
Wyman retired from the Rolling Stones shortly after their 1989/1990 Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle world tour. He says that he doesn't listen to the band's recent work: "I don't really listen to their music now, I must say, because it's something that is gone out of my life, really, y'know? I never did play the records anyway, much, because you kind of, you'd heard them all so many times by the time the records came out, you know, in the studio, the mixing and mastering and that."
With Christine McVie long gone from Fleetwood Mac's touring lineup, the show is basically an ongoing dialogue between former lovers Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Although the majority of the band's setlist is made up of material which chronicles their torturous split in the '70s, there are a couple of bright spots showing the couple being positive towards each other.
Fans and critics alike have taken notice of the how the revamped long unreleased Buckingham Nicks song "Without You" and the show closing "Say Goodbye" show an actual real love between the often strained Buckingham and Nicks.
Lindsey Buckingham shed some light on the emotions between the two standout songs: "'Without You,' which I think was written right after Buckingham Nicks, she thinks maybe before, she talks about that being a song about me at a time when everything was before us and simpler times. And then we come on at the end and we do 'Say Goodbye,' which is a song I wrote about her 10 years ago when all our illusions had basically fallen away -- not being a bad thing, really. Y'know, sometimes it tales the loss of illusion in order to keep moving forward. And the song was still about resolve and for the future and about closure."
Fleetwood Mac performs tonight (May 17th) in Calgary, Alberta at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Chicago has announced its full summer itinerary, with shows now running through September 15th in Indianapolis. The band has just tacked three new stops onto the tour -- with dates now on the books for June 25th in Lewiston, New York; August 13th in Midland, Texas; and August 17th in Alpharetta, Georgia. Newly released is Chicago's latest studio set, called The Nashville Sessions. The set features the band painstakingly re-creating 15 of their classic tracks to sound as close to the originals as possible.
The tracklisting for The Nashville Sessions is: "25 Or 6 To 4," "Make Me Smile," "Feelin' Stronger Every Day," "Beginnings," "Saturday In The Park," "Colour My World," "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?," "Questions 67 And 68," "Old Days," "Just You N' Me," "Call On Me," "Another Rainy Day In New York City," "No Tell Lover," "(I've Been) Searchin' So Long," and "Alive Again." The set can be purchased via http://chicago.spinshop.com/.
Keyboardist Robert Lamm admitted that he's under no illusions that Chicago today is anything like the Chicago of 1969 -- which featured the band's iconic late guitarist Terry Kath: "That band, as short-lived as it was, (laughs) in the scheme of 40 years -- that band was just an amazing band. And whatever Chicago is now, and whatever is called Chicago now, is not the Chicago that made those albums in the early '70s. I haven't heard anybody since that plays like that. I constantly struggle, and I constantly feel like I'm in a negotiation with the rest of the guys in the band nowadays to try to re-adopt the original attitudes that the original band had that Terry was such a driving force in."
UPDATED: Chicago tour dates (subject to change): May 17, 18 - Rama, ON - Casino Rama Entertainment Centre May 19 - Windsor, ON - Caesars Windsor "The Colosseum" May 21 - Lancaster, PA - American Music Theatre May 22 - Bethlehem, PA - Sands Casino May 24 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Resort Spa and Casino May 25, 26 - Westbury, NY - NYCB Theatre At Westbury June 15 - La Crosse, WI - University Of Wisconsin June 17 - Moline, IL - I Wireless Center June 20 - Newport, RI - Newport Yachting Center June 21 - Holyoke, MA - Mountain Park June 22 - Port Chester, NY - The Capitol Theatre June 23 - Pittsburgh, PA - Heinz Hall For The Performing Arts June 25 - Lewiston, NY - Artpark June 27 - Hampton Beach, NH - Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom June 28 - Hyannis, MA - Cape Cod Melody Tent June 29 - Cohasset, MA - South Shore Music Circus July 1 - Oneonta, NY - Wright National Soccer Campus July 3 - Muskegon, MI - Coast West Music Festival at Heritage Landing July 20 - Kingsport, TN - J. Fred Johnson Stadium July 24 - Cleveland, OH - Jacobs Pavilion At Nautica July 25 - Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre July 26 - New Buffalo, MI - Four Winds Casino August 1 - San Diego, CA - Humphrey's Concerts By The Bay August 2 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre August 3 - Lincoln, CA - Thunder Valley Casino Resort August 5 - Livermore, CA - The Concerts At Wente Vineyards August 6 - Saratoga, CA - The Mountain Winery August 7 - San Francisco, CA - Nob Hill Masonic Center August 9 - Temecula, CA - Pechanga Resort & Casino August 10 - Phoenix, AZ - Celebrity Theatre August 13 - Midland, TX - Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center August 17 - Alpharetta, GA -Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre At Encore Park August 19 - Vienna, VA - Filene Center At Wolf Trap August 20 - Wallingford, CT - Toyota Presents The Oakdale Theatre August 23 - Cincinnati, OH - Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati August 24, 25 - Highland Park, IL - Ravinia Festival At Ravinia Park August 27 - Fort Wayne, IN - Foellinger Theatre August 28 - Toledo, OH - Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre August 30 - Council Bluffs, IA - Harrah's Ballroom August 31 - Grand Island, NE - Nebraska State Fair at Heartland Events Center September 12, 13, 14 - Nashville, TN - Schermerhorn Symphony Center September 15 - Indianapolis, IN - Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn At White River State Park
Happy Birthday to Pete Townshend, who turns 68-years-old on Sunday (May 19th)!!! Townshend, who is the primary creative force behind the Who, wrote nearly all of the band's music and has been responsible for crafting the stories and themes behind such rock classics as Tommy, Who's Next, and Quadrophenia. In February, he wrapped the North American dates for the Who's Quadrophenia & More tour, with the trek resuming next month in Europe. Last year, he published his long awaited autobiography, titled, Who I Am, to critical acclaim.
In January 2012, Townshend signed an exclusive, new publishing deal with Spirit Music Group to administer and promote his past and future songwriting catalogue. The pact also includes a long-term publishing agreement for Townshend's upcoming projects, including new songs composed for potential solo and Who releases -- as well as songs from Townshend's upcoming multimedia piece, Floss, which is based around an aging couple. Back in 2010 he pushed back a series of Who dates to presumably complete Floss. He was quick to explain that the project is not the Who's next "rock opera" posting on TheWho.com, "Floss is not a new Who album. It is a musical play. Some of the music might work for Roger (Daltrey) and me; I am still working on it. I reckon I have another year to go writing."
In 2009 he had announced the Floss project by stating: "Floss will be a (sound and light) musical piece, intended for outdoor performance, or arenas. Several of the more conventional songs from Floss will be featured on a forthcoming Who recording for release in 2010. Floss will be heard in concert for the first time in 2011, at a venue and date yet to be established. I am already having talks with producers in New York."
There is still no date set for Floss' stage premiere.
That same year Townshend and his wife of 40 years, Karen Astley, were granted a preliminary divorce in London's High Court. The couple had been separated since 1994. Townshend has been romantically linked with musician Rachel Fuller since 1996.
In 2006, after a 24-year-wait, Townshend wrote and produced the Who's comeback album Endless Wire. Despite the album hitting Number Seven in the U.S. charts, Townshend has stated that he felt the album fell short of his commercial expectations, and complained that none of the songs garnered the level of airplay he had come to expect with previous Who projects.
A while ago, we asked Townshend why he needs grand concepts such as Tommy, Quadrophenia, and the recent Wire And Glass mini-opera, behind most of his work: "I just write. I'm just a songwriter, y'know that's what I do. Which is why it's very important for me to have some kind of concept to hold me down, some kind of concept to give my work shape, focus, and direction. Because I don't feel that the Who ever had a clear brief (on what to write for them), ever, ever, ever, ever."
Pete Townshend says that he realized very early on that the Who's relationship with their fans differed greatly from the traditional showbiz precedents: "What we suddenly realized is that we weren't speaking for our audience, our audience were telling us what to say. Now, that's a very, very, different process. And it's one that I discovered when I was very, very young, it's one that I continue to honor today. So what I'm trying to do is, when people say to me, 'Hey Pete, your songs are very personal. How do you think that Roger can feel about singing them?' Roger can sing them 'cause they're not personal at all. My songs are your songs."
He says that he makes no apologies for veering away from rock music to dabble in theater, films and novels: "Y'know, some of those people that still to this day regard me as being pretentious because I aspire to live my life as an artist rather than a 'cash is king' rock n' roll performer. If that's pretentious, so be it."
It was 34 years ago Sunday (May 19th, 1979) that a select group of party-goers witnessed the closest thing to a live Beatles reunion when Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr reunited to jam at Eric Clapton's wedding reception at his English estate. The impromptu performance marked the one-and-only time that the three former-Beatles had played in public together since the group's final performance on the Apple Rooftop on January 30th, 1969.
Clapton had married Harrison's ex-wife Pattie Boyd, and set up an outdoor stage for a mammoth jam session which featured the three ex-Beatles, a reformed Cream, the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Bill Wyman, Elton John, David Bowie, and many more. John Lennon was living in the U.S. at the time, and was not present.
Although the three former "Fabs" also took part in a makeshift sing-a-long jam at Starr's wedding in 1981, the Clapton wedding reception marks the only time that the former Beatles made music onstage in a somewhat professional manner. Among the many songs reported to have been performed that day were the Beatles' 1967 classic "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
Wings co-founder Denny Laine also participated at the jam session at Clapton's wedding reception and says that it didn't feel as historic an event as it has been made out to be: "I never think like that, 'Hey, I'm jamming with (laughs) some of the Beatles.' I never think like that. Y'know, these were all people I knew. Like Eric, I'd known when he was in the Yardbirds."
Both Clapton and Boyd published their memoirs in 2008 and spoke about their decade long marriage. Boyd says that upon looking at her marriage to Clapton 20 years after their split, she ultimately regrets leaving Harrison for him: "I don't want to totally blame Eric, but I think his behavior was wrong -- was morally wrong to entice me to leave George, because I was married to George and I really shouldn't have done that. But also, I was wrong as well to allow myself to be flattered (by Eric) to that extent. So, y'know we both were wrong morally on that moral issue."
Black Sabbath's appearance on the season finale of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation aired Wednesday night (May 15th) on CBS-TV, with the entire episode now available for viewing online at CBS.com. The band world premiered a song called "End Of The Beginning" from their upcoming album 13. The episode's plot followed the CSI team as they investigated a series of murders that resemble the sins in Dante's Inferno, with the trail leading the detectives to attend a Sabbath concert.
Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler admitted to being a fan of the show since it first came on the air.
13 is due out on June 11th. The disc is the first Sabbath album in 35 years to feature Butler, singer Ozzy Osbourne and guitarist Tony Iommi.
Sabbath will launch a North American tour in support of the new CD on July 25th in the Woodlands, Texas.
Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted told NY Hard Rock Examiner that it was his departure from the band in 2001 that was a catalyst for the group to stay together in the long run. Following Newsted's exit, frontman James Hetfield checked into rehab for an extended stay and the album that was being recorded at the time was abandoned. Newsted explained, "I had to be the one that stepped up and made the sacrifice for everybody . . . because I did what I did, they're more successful than they've ever been, they still set the standard, James is healthier than he's ever been in his entire life. I'm clear-eyed again, I'm off drugs, I'm 19 years old again. I got more years under my belt and I'm still the same fighting weight I was on any of my tours."
Metallica eventually rallied back, recording the St. Anger album, recruiting Robert Trujillo to play bass and documenting their near-breakup in the 2004 documentary Some Kind Of Monster.
Newsted told us a while back what went wrong in Metallica during that dark period: "Nobody ever wanted to speak up and rock the boat, throw a wrench into the machine. You know, it was just rolling like a freaking tank over everything that came in its way, and nobody ever wanted to mess with that really. And so emotions, feelings, personal stuff, all that was kind of buried in the hole, wherever they buried it, inside themselves or somewhere else, you know. Then people started realizing the value of things."
Newsted recently returned to the metal scene with his new, self-named band, which also features Staind guitarist Mike Mushok.
Newsted the band released its debut EP earlier this year and will issue its first full-length album later in 2013.
Metallica is preparing to headline its second Orion Music + More festival next month, on June 8th and 9th in Detroit. The band also has a feature-length movie called Metallica Through The Never coming out this fall.
By the time the Red Hot Chili Peppers wind down their summer schedule -- which consists of the Orion Music + More festival in early June and a few more scattered gigs -- it will be just under two years since the band released its 10th studio album, 2011's I'm With You. According to drummer Chad Smith, that means it will soon be time for the Chili Peppers to start thinking about album number 11: "Yeah, we're just doing four or five one-offs through the summer and then we'll start writing songs again, so I think in the fall -- we're looking at probably in September -- getting together and starting to get on a roll and start writing songs for the next record. Yeah, we're looking at the fall."
In addition to co-headlining the Orion festival with Metallica on June 8th and 9th in Detroit, the Chili Peppers will also play Delaware's Firefly Festival on June 21st, a show in Anchorage, Alaska on August 5th and the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco on August 11th.
I'm With You was released on August 29th, 2011 and was the first new Chili Peppers album in five years.
It marked the recording debut with the band of guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who replaced longtime axeman John Frusciante the year before.
Chili Peppers bassist Flea is also doing shows with Radiohead's Thom Yorke in their Atoms For Peace project, while Smith has recently been recording with his Chickenfoot bandmate, Sammy Hagar.