Harrison Cooney/Walt Disney World ResortWill Sting’s life ever receive the movie treatment, like Queen and Elton John's lives did? Not if he has any say in the matter.
The musician is currently starring in a Los Angeles production of his stage musical, The Last Ship, which tells the story of his early years growing up in a shipbuilding town in Northern England. He tells The Hollywood Reporter that he has no interest in being the subject of a big-screen biopic like Bohemian Rhapsody or Rocketman.
“Absolutely not,” he says. “I just don't think I want to. I’m telling my story in an artistic way.”
Sting -- who wrote the music and lyrics for The Last Ship and plays the foreman of a Newcastle shipyard in the musical -- explains that he’d rather have control of his own narrative.
“[The Last Ship] is a metaphor. This is a story about me,” he says. “I'm in this play in many ways, probably more than I intended to. But the character I'm playing is built on composites of people like my father, uncles, people I was brought up with. That's the way I want to do it, rather than somebody going, ‘What's the arc of Sting's life?’ I haven't finished it yet.”
He does concede, however, that he wouldn’t mind seeing The Last Ship being made into a film.
“I enjoy making films, so yes I'd do more of them,” he says. “And could this be a movie? Absolutely. It has an epic quality about it…So I'm hoping we're in Hollywood, someone will come to the show and go, ‘Ah, this will make a good film.’”
AC/DC in 2009; Greetsia Tent/ WireImageIn recent months, multiple unofficial sources have reported that AC/DC was working on a new album with the surviving members of its Back in Black lineup. Now, an Australian radio host has shared some new tidbits about the band's alleged plans.
The deejay announced Monday morning on Australia's Triple M station that he's received information that "there will be a new album released by AC/DC [in] February/March this year, but also that AC/DC will be touring Australia [in] October/November 2020."
The radio host also says he's been informed that "after a lot of work and a lot of technical research, they have been able to get a hearing aid for [singer] Brian Johnson, who will be out front. And even Phil Rudd might be back in the group either playing percussion or drums with [founding guitarist] Angus [Young]."
In 2016, hearing issues forced Johnson to bow out of AC/DC's tour in support of its most recent studio album, Rock or Bust, and the band wound up hiring Axl Rose to finish the trek. As for Rudd, he was replaced on drums for the entire tour by Chris Slade because of legal issues that included being arrested for drug possession and threatening to kill one of his associates.
The Australian radio report didn't mention whether bassist Cliff Williams -- who announced his retirement at the end of AC/DC's last tour -- would be taking part in the upcoming trek.
In December 2019, Twisted Sister's Dee Snider wrote in a Twitter message that AC/DC's four surviving key members had reunited to finish tracks recorded "by [late guitarist] Malcolm [Young] while he was still alive." Snider's comment echoed a similar report posted in August 2018 by JAM Magazine, which cited "a reliable source."
Earlier this month, Dave Grohl promised fans an "INSANE year full of some seriously crazy s***." Now we know that that "crazy s***" will include a new Foo Fighters album -- the follow-up to 2017's Concrete and Gold.
In a Variety interview a few days ago, Grohl was described as being "thisclose" to finishing the band's next studio album. Speaking about the project, he told the publication, "It's the record that we've threatened to make for a long time. We're finally doing something that's surprising even us."
Grohl didn't go into detail about what the "surprising" aspect of the new music was.
Outside of the recording studio, Grohl's been pretty busy: Earlier this month he reunited with Nirvana band mates Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear during an Los Angeles charity gig, and last week, he was one of the many big names taking part in the Dimebash 2020 event, which honored late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darroll Abbott. In addition to performing, he also prepared a barbecue for the rest of the musicians on the bill.
Grohl told Variety that he got into barbecuing after the Foos' 2015 tour -- the one during which he broke his leg -- wrapped up.
"All of a sudden the tour was over, I couldn't f***ing walk and I had nothing to do," he explained. "And our bass player Nate [Mendel] bought me a smoker. And so I thought, 'Okay, I'm just going to do this.' And in a way, sitting around and staring at temperature gauges for 14 hours kept me from losing my mind."
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ABAMegadeth declared earlier this month that they were officially "back," and Monday in Helsinki, Finland, they proved it.
It was the iconic thrash metallers' first gig since Dave Mustaine was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2019, and according to Consequence of Sound, their 11-song set featured classics such as "Symphony of Destruction" and "Peace Sells." Fan-recorded video of the concert has been posted on YouTube.
Megadeth's show was the first in a run of concerts supporting Five Finger Death Punch's European tour. The tour with Death Punch wraps up February 22 in Bulgaria. Currently, the band has no other shows on its schedule.
Mustaine, 58, announced his diagnosis in June of 2019. In September, he shared that he was "almost through the last round of treatment," and added that his doctors were "feeling very positive regarding my progress."
In a November interview with Rolling Stone, Mustaine said that his doctors were "freaking out over how well I've healed."
In other Dave Mustaine news, he took to Twitter to pay tribute to Ray Burton, father of original Metallica bass player Cliff Burton, who was killed in a bus crash in 1986. The elder Burton passed away a few days ago at the age of 94.
Mustaine tweeted, "So sad to hear about the passing of Ray Burton. He was there the first time I played "In My Darkest Hour" in honor of Cliff. Rest in Peace Ray, you will be missed."
Here's the set list for Megadeth's stage return Monday night:
"Hangar 18" "Wake Up Dead" "Sweating Bullets" "Dawn Patrol" "Trust" "A Tout Le Monde" "She-Wolf" "Dystopia" "Symphony of Destruction" "Peace Sells"
Before the legendary 76-year-old singer/songwriter received the award, attendees were shown video presentation about Mitchell's life and career, after which jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock gave a speech saluting Joni, her artistry and her accomplishments.
As seen in fan-recorded video from the event, Hancock noted, "We need artists like Joni to wake us up, to help us to remember to be human beings. It's hard to imagine the world without this courageous and brave woman's songs and records.
Hancock then presented the award to Mitchell at the table where she was seated. Upon receiving the honor, Joni stood and said, "Thank you everyone, I'm truly honored. Herbie, you're a doll."
After the presentation, several artists took to the stage to perform some of Mitchell's classic songs, including "The River," "A Case of You," "Woodstock" and "Free Man in Paris."
The Les Paul Innovation Award, named after the late electric guitar and multi-track recording pioneer, recognizes people or institutions that have made a significant impact on the world of audio production and technology.
The ceremony also included the presentation of a number of awards honoring "outstanding achievement in audio technology and production." Among this year's winners were the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody for Film Sound Production, and Paul McCartney's Freshen Up tour for Tour/Event Sound Production.
The TEC Awards ceremony is part of the popular annual music-equipment trade conference The NAMM Show. For more details about the event, visit TECAwards.org.
Courtesy of Queen Productions Ltd./ The Royal MintThe U.K.'s Royal Mint has released a new commemorative coin saluting Queen, marking the first time that a British band has been celebrated on the country's coinage.
Each of the band's four members is acknowledged in the design that appears on the reverse side of the coin. It features the keys of the Bechstein piano that late singer Freddie Mercury played on the group's classic rock anthem, "Bohemian Rhapsody," plus Mercury's trademark microphone stick, Brian May's "Red Special" guitar, John Deacon's Fender Precision bass, and Roger Taylor's Ludwig bass drum decorated with the Queen crest.
The piano keyboard also features the first notes of "Bohemian Rhapsody" pressed down. The front of the coin bears the profile of Queen Elizabeth II.
The coin, which is the first in a new themed series of coinage called the Music Legends collection, is available in three varieties: Gold Proof, Silver Proof, and Brilliant Uncirculated. The Brilliant Uncirculated version will be sold in a standard sleeve, and in three limited-edition packs available exclusively from The Royal Mint that boast depictions of different Queen album covers and come packaged with a poster.
"This is a big 'Who could have imagined it?' moment for us," says Brian May in a statement. "When we began as Queen, even the first rung of the ladder to recognition seemed remote and unreachable. To have our band recognized and our music celebrated in this way is very touching -- a real honor."
Adds Taylor, "Marvelous, all this fuss over our band. I feel entirely spent."
Coins honoring other British musicians that will be released as part of The Royal Mint's Music Legends collection will be announced later in 2020.
Michael Loccisano/Getty ImagesRay Burton, the father of late Metallica bass player Cliff Burton, passed away last week at age 94, and the band is paying tribute to him in a series of statements on their website.
"For 38 years, we were lucky enough to have the energy, wisdom and light of Ray in our lives," the band states. "His eternal youth with his drive, positivity and relentless smile were both incredibly powerful and stirringly honest."
"From coast to coast and overseas too, Ray’s beaming face would regularly greet us, offering warmth and anchor to our travels, and when it came to the entire Metallica family, band, crew and fans, he viewed us all as his own."
Each band member penned a separate tribute to Burton. James Hetfield wrote a poem that reads, in part, "To his last breath, I’ve not met a more positive man/And to his son there was not a more loyal fan/So he leaves the material world to be with his sons and wife/I feel so very blessed to have had him grace my life."
Lars Ulrich wrote, in part, "Thank you for giving the world the gift of Cliff and his unique talents. I’m honored and humbled to have played and stood beside him."
Robert Trujillo noted, "Ray is the father we all want, or need to have; his positive energy, and support for how and what we do is a powerful gift that he blessed us with." And Kirk Hammett wrote simply, "May you finally be with Cliff and Jan."
Burton died in 1986 in a bus crash at age 24. As Billboard notes, in 2017, Mr. Burton announced that he'd donated the royaltiesfrom Cliff's Metallica recordings to the music scholarship program at Cliff's alma mater, Castro Valley High School.
Red Light Management/Live NationNirvana bassist Krist Novoselic will join the surviving members of The Doors -- guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore -- when they give a rare performance together at a previously announced charity show taking place this Thursday, January 23, at The Wiltern in Los Angeles.
The show, dubbed the Homeward Bound Concert, will benefit PATH, a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization dedicated to ending homelessness. According to Rolling Stone, Novoselic will play bass alongside Krieger and Densmore for a 30-minute "semi-acoustic" set featuring various guest vocalists singing Doors songs.
Densmore tells Rolling Stone that he and Krieger hadn't come up with a finalized set list for the show, but among the planned performances was Eurythmics' Dave Stewart doing "Hello, I Love You," a song he personally requested.
"We don't usually play that live, but what the hell, why not?" says John.
Densmore also reveals that Willie Nelson's son Micah will sing "Roadhouse Blues," and former American Idol contestant Haley Reinhart will do a stripped-down rendition of "People Are Strange." John adds that several singers may take part on a version of the Doors classic "Light My Fire."
Other artists on the bill include Jason Mraz, Fitz and the Tantrums, Ingrid Michaelson, American Idol winners Phillip Phillips and Maddie Poppe, and Stewart's daughter, Kaya.
Regarding his motivation for taking part in the benefit concert, Densmore tells Rolling Stone, "The Doors were born out of the womb of the L.A. woman, so when you get the brass ring, you give back. It's the natural thing to do. So we’re giving back to the city that fed us artistically."
He adds, Homelessness is a major problem in cities throughout the U.S., "[b]ecause the gap between the rich and the poor is the biggest in the history of our country."
Pearl Jam has unveiled the track list for its new album, Gigaton, due out March 27.
The album includes 12 tracks and is now available for pre-order. The first single is called "Dance of the Clairvoyants," and it's available as a 7-inch vinyl single only during the pre-order period, while supplies last.
As previously reported, Gigaton, Pearl Jam's 11th studio album, is the follow-up to 2013's Lightning Bolt. In support of Gigaton, Pearl Jam will embark on a North American tour this spring.
The outing launches March 18 in Toronto, and will conclude with a two-night stand in Oakland April 18-19. For the full list of dates and all ticket info, visit PearlJam.com.
Here's the Gigaton track listing:
"Who Ever Said" "Superblood Wolfmoon" "Dance of the Clairvoyants" "Quick Escape" "Alright" "Seven O'Clock" "Never Destination" "Take the Long Way" "Buckle Up" "Come Then Goes" "Retrograde" "River Cross"
Courtesy of Light of Day FoundationThe 20th anniversary of the Light of Day Winterfest was made even more special when Bruce Springsteen appeared as a surprise guest performer after a five year absence.
Light of Day Winterfest, put on by The Light of Day Foundation, Inc., helps raise awareness and money to find a cure for Parkinson's disease, ALS, and PSP.
Springsteen's attendance, marking his 12th overall, helped the festival surpass its two-decade $6 million fundraising goal. He appeared on stage three times, playing alongside with Jesse Malin, Willie Nile, and Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers during the 10-day festival's six-hour segment dubbed "Bob's Birthday Bash," in honor of the organization's co-founder and music industry veteran Bob Benjamin, who not only inspired Winterfest, but was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1996.
With Grushecky and his band, Springsteen unleashed an "explosive" 70-minute session that spanned 10 songs such as "The Promised Land" and "Atlantic City."
The two collaborated for a traditional performance of "Light of Day," which traditionally marks the end of the Birthday Bash, and were joined on stage by all the festival's performers. However, Springsteen serenaded Benjamin with a solo performance of "Thunder Road."
Springsteen closed with, "Thank you, Bob. We love you."
Benjamin, who is wheelchair bound, was also presented with a birthday cake as the audience sang "Happy Birthday."
With Malin's set, Springsteen assisted with the duet “Broken Radio” and played guitar for "Meet Me at the End of the World," which is off of Malin's latest album.
Springsteen also joined Nile for “One Guitar," which is the festival's unofficial anthem.
Estate of Keith Morris/RedfernsT. Rex will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year after being eligible for the honor since 1994. Soul singer Gloria Jones, the late Marc Bolan girlfriend and mother of his son, Rolan, tells Billboardthat she thinks the T. Rex frontman's reaction to the news would be, "It's about time!"
Jones, who recorded the original version of "Tainted Love" in 1964 and later contributed backing vocals to several T. Rex albums, adds with a laugh that she was just joking, and says Bolan "would have been very, very honored, and I'm sure he would have been brought to tears. I'm sure he's very happy, and he's very honored."
Bolan was 29 when he was killed in a September 1977 car accident in a vehicle driven by Jones. Gloria admits to Billboard that she had a dream about Marc a few days before the induction announcement.
"He was so worried," she explains. "He was going back and forth, and I said, 'Well, Marc, please don't worry.' And the next day I sent an email to Rolan...and he called me and said, 'No, Mom, Dad wasn't worried -- he was nervous.'"
Jones is planning to attend the ceremony with Rolan and former T. Rex drummer Bill Legend, the only surviving member of the lineup that recorded most of the band's early-'70s albums.
Gloria tells Billboard that the Rock Hall induction will help introduce more people to T. Rex and Marc's music.
"There's a brand-new world out there, and a lot of people get a little confused with Marc Bolan and T. Rex," she maintains. "So now I think this is going to complete that circle that they understand T. Rex is Marc Bolan."
The 2020 Rock Hall ceremony takes place May 2 in Cleveland.
Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesFollowing the January 10 announcement of Rush drummer Neil Peart's death, streams of the Canadian prog-rock trio's songs experienced a huge surge in the U.S., according to reports from Nielsen Music/MRC Data.
During the period of January 10 through January 13, on-demand audio and video streams of Rush songs increased by more than 776% from the previous four-day period, and spiked to a combined total of 24.5 million from 2.8 million.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Famers' most-streamed track was their 1981 classic "Tom Sawyer," which garnered 28 million streams during the January 10-13 period. By comparison, it was only streamed 698,000 times from January 6 to January 9.
Sales of Rush songs from January 10 through January 13 jumped to 19,000, up from just 1,000 during the previous four days -- an increase of just over 2,300%. The band's albums sales surged 1,820% during that same period, from what Billboard says was "a negligible figure" to six thousand.
Rush's songs and albums are expected to make an impact on next week's Billboard charts, which are dated January 25.
Peart died on January 7 at the age of 67 after a three-year battle with brain cancer.
Capitol RecordsChad Smith is everywhere these days. In addition to playing on the upcoming Ozzy Osbourne album Ordinary Man, the Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer is also featured on the brand-new Halsey record, Manic.
Halsey herself revealed Smith's contribution in a tweet responding to a fan, who wrote that the drums on the Manic song "3am" sounded "amazing."
"They are Chad Smith from Red Hot Chili Peppers!" the pop star replied.
Manic, which also features "3 Nights" artist Dominic Fike, Alanis Morissette and K-pop superstars BTS, is out today.
If you're looking for more Halsey collaborations with rock artists, she's featured on a song included on Bring Me the Horizon's new Music to listen to... EP.
As for Smith, you can hear his work on the new Ozzy songs "Under the Graveyard," "Straight to Hell" and "Ordinary Man," as well as the full Ordinary Man album when it's released February 21. Additionally, new Chili Peppers music is in the works, featuring the return of guitarist John Frusciante.
The EP is being issued one track each week through February 14. Today's track, "I Can't Read '97," is a previously unreleased version of a tune that originally appeared on the 1989 self-titled debut album by the Bowie-fronted band Tin Machine.
The second version of the song was recorded by Bowie in the fall of 1996 and was initially intended for his 1997 album Earthling, but was cut in favor of "The Last Thing You Should Do."
"I Can't Read '97" features Gail Ann Dorsey on bass and vocals, Mike Garson on piano and former Tin Machine member Reeves Gabrels on guitar.
David shot a video for "I Can't Read '97" in January 1997; the clip can be viewed now at David's official YouTube channel.
Bowie also recorded an alternate version of "I Can't Read" for the soundtrack of the 1997 film The Ice Storm.
The first track from Is It Any Wonder? -- a previously unreleased 1996 version of David's classic 1970 tune "The Man Who Sold the World" -- was made available digitally on January 8.
Courtesy of GibsonBlack Sabbath's Tony Iommi has teamed with the Gibson company to create a limited-edition replica version of his modified 1964 SG Special guitar, known as "Monkey."
Iommi's "Monkey" was used extensively with Black Sabbath's original lineup throughout the 1970s and was played on every album and tour by the band during that decade. The Tony Iommi "Monkey" 1964 SG Special Replica was created by the Gibson Custom Shop, which meticulously reproduced every detail of the original instrument.
Only 50 replica "Monkey" guitars have been produced, 25 right-handed and 25 left-handed instruments, each one signed and numbered by Tony. The guitars are housed in a vintage-style case and come with replicas of Iommi's silver cross necklace, packaged in a coffin-shaped case, and his leather touring guitar strap.
"I [recently] had the opportunity to go to the [Gibson] factories, meet the people that work there, and I saw how dedicated they all are," Tony says. "Gibson guitars have lifted a million times, and with the new team being totally involved, that's what's been missing in Gibson for a long time now. There's no stopping them, which is great for all of us guitar players."
Gibson executive Cesar Gueikian declares, "Having the opportunity to work with Tony to recreate his original 1964 SG is the ultimate honor for all of us at Gibson."
Iommi's "Monkey" SG Replica is available now, and currently is being displayed at the popular music-equipment conference The NAMM Show in Anaheim, California.
Akashic BooksA new series of illustrated children's books called LyricPop that are based on the lyrics to select popular songs will launch on June 2. The first installment of the series will feature four books, based on The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations," Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop," Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" and late reggae star Peter Tosh's "African."
The books will feature fun and inspiring stories while following along with the words of the respective tunes. The lyrics of "Good Vibrations" were written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, while "Don't Stop" was penned by Christine McVie, "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Dee Snider and "African" by Tosh.
"LyricPop represents two things I'm passionate about -- music, and books for children," says Johnny Temple, publisher of Akashic Books. "As both a musician and a publisher, I hope LyricPop will inspire parents, grandparents, and others to read (and even sing!) these books aloud with the children in their lives."
The first four books of the LyricPop series are available for pre-order now at AkashicBooks.com, and you also can check out cover art and preview pages at the website.
Credit: Herring & HerringMetallica helped an NHL player celebrate his milestone game with a special gift.
During a pre-game ceremony Thursday, Boston Bruins goalie -- and Metallica fanatic -- Tuukka Rask was honored for playing his 500th career NHL game, as well as becoming the winningest goalie in the franchise's history.
Along with receiving gifts from teammates and team executives, Rask was also surprised with a replica of Lars Ulrich's drum set.
In a video message to Rask, posted to NHL.com, Ulrich congratulated the goalie on his "crazy cool" and "incredible" accomplishment.
"Thank you for being a Metallica fan," Ulrich continued. "On behalf of Kirk [Hammett], James [Hetfield] and Rob [Trujillo], and myself, congratulations on 500 NHL games, and we'll see you out there somewhere soon."
Metallica has previously played the national anthem during the Stanley Cup finals in honor of the band's hometown hockey team, the San Jose Sharks.
Credit: David McClisterCheap Trick is part of the entertainment lineup for a special after-party event that will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in L.A., immediately following the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, January 26.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Famers will co-headline the bash, called the 2020 Grammy Celebration, along with disco legend Gloria Gaynor.
The party will feature exotic décor inspired by North Africa and Casablanca, and will offer a Moroccan-themed menu. The event is expected to be attended by Grammy winners and nominees, various other celebrities and music-industry executives.
The 2020 Grammy Celebration is a private, ticketed event.
This year's Grammy Awards air live from L.A.'s Staples Center on January 26 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS.
The two-and-a-half-minute preview features brief interview snippets with Robertson, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, The Last Waltz director Martin Scorsese and others while highlighting some key moments in the history of the influential Americana group.
In one segment, Springsteen declares, "There is no band that emphasizes becoming greater than the sum of their parts than The Band. Simply their name, The Band, that was it."
In clips featuring Robertson, the group's founding guitarist and main songwriter recalls a memorable trip he took as a teenage musician to the Deep South, and discusses how The Band were booed by Bob Dylan fans when they served as his backing group in the mid-'60s while noting how collaborating with Dylan influenced the original music that The Band went on to make.
"Working with Bob, we saw a door opening," he notes. "Boom! No rules."
Robbie also mentions The Band's move to the famous pink house they rented in the Woodstock, New York, area, where they created a lot of their early songs, while also working with Dylan on The Basement Tapes.
The trailer also touches on how the chemistry of the group soon began to deteriorate as some band members became affected by their issues with drugs.
"Something got broken, and it was like glass," Robertson says. "It was hard to put back together again."
He then explains that before breaking up, he and his band mates decided to "come together one last time" at the star-studded farewell concert, The Last Waltz.
Once Were Brothers, which got its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2019, will open in select theaters on February 21.