Oldies News

Epiphone introduces the Joan Jett Olympic Special guitar: "Make it your vision and voice"

Courtesy Epiphone

Joan Jett has teamed up with Epiphone to introduce the Joan Jett Olympic Special, based on her favorite stage guitar.

In a video promoting the new instrument, Joan says, "What attracted me to guitar was just being able to make that kind of noise and have control over it. So when we were talking about releasing my new Epiphone signature guitar, it had to have my sound."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer notes that she wanted the guitar to be made in white, so it would be a "clean slate."

"You're able to make it your own, paint on it, write on it, beat it up or polish it daily...the point is to make it your vision and voice," she explains. "Being true to the music is really all about owning who you are. My guitars have become an extension of who I am. I want girls and guys everywhere to be fearless about picking up a guitar."

The Olympic special has a reproduction of Joan's autograph on the rear of the headstock, and comes with a specially requested detail: a "kill switch" toggle that mutes and un-mutes.  Each guitar comes with a set of Joan Jett stickers and a Custom Premium Gig Bag.

The guitar is available now for $550.

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U2 members reveal the "songs that saved our lives" in Spotify playlist inspired by band's new tune

Republic Records/UMG

U2's latest song, "Your Song Saved My Life," from the soundtrack of the animated film Sing 2, has inspired a new Spotify playlist featuring tunes chosen by the band's four members that have made a major impact on their own lives.

The Irish rockers' "Songs That Saved Our lives" playlist appropriately kicks off with "Your Song Saved My Life," followed by 10 tunes each picked by frontman Bono, guitarist The Edge, drummer Larry Mullin Jr. and bassist Adam Clayton.

Among Bono's choices are Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," Bob Dylan's "Most of the Time," Johnny Cash's cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt," the JAY-Z and Alicia Keys duet "Empire State of Mind," The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony" and David Bowie's "Life on Mars?" The singer also included Kendrick Lamar's "XXX," featuring a guest appearance by U2.

The Edge also chose "Life on Mars?," as well as a classic tune by his own band, "One." The guitarist's other picks included The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever," Stevie Wonder's "Superstition," Dylan's "Tangled Up in Blue," Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" and The Clash's "London Calling."

Standout choices by Mullin include Sweet's "Ballroom Blitz," Diana Ross' "Upside Down," Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog," Van Morrison's "Moondance," Bruce Springsteen's "Nebraska" and, believe it or not, Britney Spears' "…Baby One More Time."

The list winds down with Clayton's picks, which include Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On," Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence," James Brown's "Super Bad - Parts 1 & 2," The Clash's "The Magnificent Seven and two Bob Marley & the Wailers songs.

Meanwhile, "Your Song Saved My Life" recently was shortlisted for an Oscar nomination in the Best Original Song category.

Here's the full playlist:

U2, "Your Song Saved My Life"

Bono's list:
Kris Kristofferson, "Help Me Make It Through the Night"
Joy Division, "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
Sinead O'Connor, "You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart"
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, "Into My Arms"
Kendrick Lamar featuring U2, "XXX"
Bob Dylan, "Most of the Time"
Johnny Cash, "Hurt"
JAY-Z and Alicia Keys, "Empire State of Mind"
The Verve, "Bittersweet Symphony"
David Bowie, "Life on Mars?"

The Edge's list:
The Beatles, "Strawberry Fields Forever"
David Bowie, "Life on Mars?"
U2, "One"
Stevie Wonder, "Superstition"
Bob Dylan, "Tangled Up in Blue"
Aretha Franklin, "Say a Little Prayer"
Lou Reed, "Walk on the Wild Side"
Elvis Costello & the Attractions, "Shipbuilding"
New Radicals, "You Get What You Give"
The Clash, "London Calling"

Larry Mullin Jr.'s list:
Sweet, "Ballroom Blitz"
Sandy Nelson, "Let There Be Dreams"
Diana Ross, "Upside Down"
Led Zeppelin, "Black Dog"
Van Morrison, "Moondance"
Magazine, "The Light Pours In"
Black Uhuru, "Sponji Reggae"
Bruce Springsteen, "Nebraska"
Stiff Little Fingers, "Suspect Device"
Britney Spears, "…Baby One More Time"

Adam Clayton's list:
Marvin Gaye, "What's Goin' On"
Bob Marley & the Wailers, "Exodus"
Sam Cooke, "A Change Is Gonna Come"
The Righteous Brothers, "You've Lost That Loving Feeling"
Simon & Garfunkel, "The Sound of Silence"
James Brown, "Super Bad - Parts 1 & 2"
Sly & the Family Stone, "I Want to Take You Higher"
The Stranglers, "Nice 'n' Sleazy"
The Clash, "The Magnificent Seven"
Bob Marley & the Wailers, "Waiting in Vain"

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Van Morrison postpones Florida concerts from February to April because of COVID surge

David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Ronnie Scotts

Van Morrison has received a lot of media attention lately for his outspoken views protesting the U.K.'s COVID-19 safety policies, which he considers overly restrictive and believes are unfairly causing great harm musicians' livelihoods. That being said, Morrison has just postponed the four upcoming Florida concerts he had lined up in February due to COVID-related issues, and he also revealed that his three-show Las Vegas residency that's slated to take place next month also may be rescheduled.

"With the surge in Covid cases as a result of the omicron variant in the US, we have made the very difficult decision to reschedule our upcoming dates originally planned for February to later in the year," a message on Morrison's Facebook page reads. "Our primary concern is the safety of our much valued audience."

The Florida shows now are scheduled for April 20-21 at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, and April 23-24 at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood.

In addition, the message states, "[W]e are also working hard to reschedule Vegas shows." The concerts, which will take place at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, currently still appear to be confirmed for their original dates -- February 18, 19 and 20.

The Facebook note adds, "All tickets will be valid for the rescheduled dates…We greatly appreciate your continued support and apologize profusely for any inconvenience this has caused. We understand it's important you have plenty of time to change long-standing plans."

To check out Van's full touring itinerary, visit VanMorrison.com.

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Would you pay $2,500 for limited-edition vinyl from U2 or No Doubt?

Paul Bergen/Redferns

Earlier this month, plans for an art exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art inspired by music from dozens of acts, including U2 and No Doubt, was announced. Now you'll be able to buy your own version of those artworks -- for a hefty price.

The exhibit, "Artists Inspired by Music: Interscope Reimagined," marks the 30th anniversary of Interscope Records and features over 50 original works by visual artists relating to a particular album or song from the Interscope catalog.

As previously reported, the U2-themed art was based on the band's 2000 hit "Beautiful Day," and was created by John Currin, while two No Doubt songs from the band's 1995 breakthrough album Tragic Kingdom served as inspiration for two separate pieces of art that will be featured in the exhibit -- "Just a Girl" by Julie Curtiss and "Spiderwebs" by Lucy Bull.

Starting January 27, you'll be able to buy limited-edition vinyl albums featuring the artwork from the exhibit. There will be 100 copies of each album available, and each will come with a numbered archival quality print of the artwork on the cover. On top of that, each album will be delivered in a custom Gucci box. The price? $2,500 each.

The albums will be released in groups, with the first group being available to purchase from January 27 through January 31, exclusively via the app for the livestream shopping platform NTWRK. All profits will go to a charity foundation which is building a school in L.A.

The "Artists Inspired by Music: Interscope Reimagined" exhibit will be on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from January 30 to February 13. For more info, visit LACMA.org.

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The Go-Go's reschedule postponed West Coast concerts for March

Kevin Kane/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

After being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in October, The Go-Go's had planned to ring in the New Year with a series of five West Coast shows in late December and early January, but those concerts were postponed after someone associated with the band tested positive for COVID-19.

Now, the veteran all-female group has announced new dates for the postponed run of gigs, most of which will take place at different venues than those lined up for the originally scheduled shows.

The new trek kicks off with a March 24 show in San Francisco at The Masonic, where the original series of concerts was supposed to have launched on December 28. The Go-Go's then will play on March 25 in Reno, Nevada, at the Grand Theatre; March 27 in Temecula, California, at the Pechanga Theatre; March 28 in Anaheim, California, at the House of Blues; and March 31 in San Diego at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay.

In addition, a special hometown show in Los Angeles will be announced at a later date.

Tickets for the new concerts will go on sale to the general public this Friday, January 28, at 10 a.m. PT, while Go-Go's fan club and local pre-sales will be available starting on Thursday, January 27, at 10 a.m. PT. Visit GoGos.com/shows for more details.

"We are very pleased to be starting our west coast tour in just a few short weeks," the group says in a statement. "Because every other band is also looking for venues, we've had to alter our routing a little, but we hope our fans will be as happy and excited to see us as we are to see them! Lots of love from The Go-Go's!"

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Julian Lennon auctioning NFTs featuring images of John Lennon and Beatles memorabilia he owns

Photo: May Pang; Courtesy of Julien's Auctions

John Lennon's older son Julian is auctioning off a series of one-of-a-kind NFTs focusing on Beatles-related items from Julian's personal collection and memorabilia that his late dad gave him.

The "Lennon Connection: The NFT Collection" auction will take place on Monday, February 7, and is being presented by the NFT marketplace YellowHeart in partnership with Julien's Auctions. The sale will be held live at Julien's Auction's Beverly Hills location and online at JuliensAuctions.com.

The NFTs being auctioned, which will be offered as audio/visual collectibles, include images of an Afghan coat that John Lennon wore during the filming of the Magical Mystery Tour special, a black cape that John wore in the Beatles film Help!, three different electric guitars that Julian received as gifts from his father, and a sheet of notes for the recording of "Hey Jude" handwritten by Paul McCartney and featuring some doodles and drawings by Paul.

"As an artist, I have great respect for all that my father accomplished in his career. As a son, I hold dear the good memories I have of my time with him," Julian says in a statement. "I feel incredibly lucky to live in a day and age where innovation allows me to share such personal pieces of my Lennon family history. Through this NFT collection, I'm able to grant exclusive access to special items that I cherish and carry on the legacy of my father in a new way."

Some proceeds from the sale will benefit Julian's White Feather Foundation, and will be used to support the charity's efforts to help reduce global carbon emissions.

Online bidding on the NFTs began Monday. The auction will end with a live-bidding session that starts at 10 a.m. PT on February 7. Visit JuliensLive.com for more information.

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30th anniversary reissue of Keith Richards' second solo album, 'Main Offender,' due in March


Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards will release a 30th anniversary edition of his second solo album, 1992's Main Offender, on March 18.

The reissue, which can be pre-ordered now, will be available in multiple formats and configurations, including a limited-edition super-deluxe box set featuring remastered CD and vinyl versions of the album and a bonus live album on CD and two LPs.

A follow-up to Richards' 1988 solo debut, Talk Is Cheap, Main Offender was released in October 1992. It  features 10 songs that Keith co-wrote with acclaimed drummer/producer Steve Jordan -- who became The Stones' touring drummer in 2021. Guitarist Waddy Wachtel, bassist/keyboardist Charley Drayton and backing singer Sarah Dash also contributed to the songwriting.

Jordan, Wachtel, Drayton and Dash, along with keyboardist Ivan Neville, all were members of Richards' side group X-Pensive Winos.

While the album didn't make much of a chart impact, the songs "Wicked as It Seems" and "Eileen" reached #3 and #17, respectively, on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks tally.

The live album featured in the box set, titled Winos Live in London '92, features Keith and his band playing select songs from both Talk Is Cheap and Main Offender, as well as renditions of The Stones' "Gimme Shelter," "Before They Make Me Run" and "Happy."

The super-deluxe collection also features an LP version Main Offender pressed on smoke-colored vinyl; an 88-page, leather-bound book offering rare photos and Keith's handwritten lyrics; and collectibles including a guitar pick, a bumper sticker and posters.

A video for one of the deluxe set's live tracks, a rendition of the Talk Is Cheap cut "How I Wish," has been posted at Richard's YouTube channel. The track is available as a digital single now.

Here's the Main Offender track list:

"Wicked as It Seems"
"Words of Wonder"
"Yap Yap"
"Hate It When You Leave"
"Runnin' Too Deep"
"Will but You Won't"

And here's the Winos Live in London '92 track list:

"Take It So Hard"
"Wicked as It Seems"
"How I Wish"
"Gimme Shelter"
"Hate It When You Leave"
"Before They Make Me Run"
"Will But You Won't"
"Whip It Up"

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Bryan Adams releases new song and video "Never Gonna Rain" from upcoming album

BMG/Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams has released yet another song and video from his forthcoming album So Happy It Hurts, which is due out March 11.

The new track is called "Never Gonna Rain," and Bryan explains what it's about in a statement. "The ultimate optimist is someone who keeps on expecting the best, even in the face of the worst," he notes. "Living in the moment, instead of in fear. Turning the negatives into positives. Taking the rain and turning it into a gift.”

The simple black-and-white video shows Bryan playing bass with his band as they stand outside what looks like a loading dock.

"Never Gonna Rain" is the fourth track Bryan's released from So Happy It Hurts, following the title track, "On the Road" and "Kick A**."  A limited-edition box set, which features CD, vinyl, a signed photo and a hardbound book, is available to pre-order at Bryan's online store.

Bryan's got some European dates lined up that begin this weekend; no word on when he'll return to North America.

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Elton John tests positive for COVID, postpones two Dallas shows

Erika Goldring/Getty Images

After finally re-launching his long-delayed Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour last week, Elton John has now been forced to postpone two concerts -- because he's tested positive for COVID.

Elton's two shows in Dallas, TX tonight and Wednesday night are being rescheduled, and tickets for the original shows will be honored. A statement notes, "Fortunately, Elton is fully vaccinated and boosted, and is experiencing only mild symptoms...Elton and the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour look forward to returning to the stage shortly."

On his Instagram Stories, Elton wrote, "It's always a massive disappointment to have to move shows and I'm sorry to anyone who's been inconvenienced by this but I want to keep myself and my team safe." Elton adds that he's "fully expecting to make the Arkansas shows this weekend."

Ahead of the tour's launch, Elton's longtime guitarist and musical director Davey Johnstone told ABC Audio that all COVID-19 precautions were being taken.

"There's no backstage, there's no guests. There are no backstage passes. There are no wives or girlfriends or anything," said Johnstone, adding, "Everybody's super masked up and getting tested every two days to make sure everybody on the tour stays safe."

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Neil Young wants Spotify to remove his music unless it stops streaming Joe Rogan's podcast

Matthew Baker/Getty Images

Neil Young has demanded that Spotify either stop hosting the popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience or remove his music from the streaming service.

Rolling Stone reports that Young recently posted online a now-deleted letter he sent to his manager and record label in which he explains that he's giving Spotify this ultimatum because he feels the podcast "is spreading fake information about vaccines -- potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them."

Young then tells his reps in the letter, "Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule."

Neil continues, "I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both."

Young's demand comes after, according to Rolling Stone, 270 doctors, physicians, and science educators signed an open letter last month asking Spotify to stop spreading what they consider Rogan's misinformed and baseless claims regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Neil adds in his letter, "With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE, which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world's largest podcast and has tremendous influence. Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy."

At the time Rolling Stone published its article, it says Spotify hadn't responded to the magazine's question about whether they intended to remove Young's music from the service. You could still stream Neil's recordings on Spotify as of this morning.

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The Zombies add North American summer leg to Life Is a Merry-Go-Round Tour

Credit: Alex Lake

As The Zombies prepare to launch the previously announced spring U.S. leg of their Life Is a Merry-Go-Round Tour, the British Invasion legends have now added a series of North America summer dates to the trek.

The summer portion of the tour begins with a June 21 concert in Belleville, Ontario, Canada, and is plotted out through an already-scheduled July 28-30 engagement in Park City, Utah. The outing also includes shows in the Midwest, Pennsylvania, the Pacific Northwest, California and Arizona.

Tickets for many of the newly announced dates will go on sale to the general public this Friday, January 28, at 10 a.m. local time. Visit TheZombiesMusic.com/live for more information.

Canadian pop-rock duo Altameda will open 11 of the new shows.

As previously reported, The Zombies' spring U.S. tour leg kicks off on April 1 in Orlando, Florida, and runs through a May 1 concert in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Veteran singer-songwriter Bruce Sudano, who is the widower of late disco great Donna Summer, will be The Zombies' special guest through an April 14 show in Knoxville, Tennessee, while singer-songwriter-pianist Jesse Lynn Madera will serve as the opening act for the rest of the leg.

Just prior to the start of the spring trek, the band will take part in the Flower Power Cruise, which sets sail from Miami on March 28.

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Meat Loaf's music sales and streams surge following singer's death last week

Keystone/Getty Images

Following Meat Loaf's death this past Thursday at age 74, his fans began consuming sizable amounts of the singer's music via streaming and download, Variety reports.

According to MRC Data, on Friday, when the news of Meat Loaf's passing began to circulate, on-demand streaming of his recordings increased by 4,650% from its average during the beginning of 2022, while his album sales jumped a whopping 18,684%, and his individual digital track sales surged by an even more impressive 33,793%.

Variety points out that the increase in sales and streams of Meat Loaf's music is particularly noteworthy because many of his songs were being bought and streamed regularly before his death.

According to MRC Data, Meat Loaf amassed 205,666 on-demand audio streams last Thursday, the day he died, while on Friday, that figure increased to 9,344,181. As for his sales, Meat Loaf's albums surged from 54 to 12,675 and individuals tracks jumped from 95 to 36,346 from Thursday to Friday.

Thanks to the surge in streams and sales, Meat Loaf's most popular songs and his classic 1976 album Bat Out of Hell are likely make a big impact on the next Billboard charts, which won't debut until early next week.

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Crazy to the Bone: Sammy Hagar & The Circle to launch Crazy Times tour with George Thorogood in June

Courtesy of Live Nation

Sammy Hagar and his current group The Circle have unveiled plans for a 14-show U.S. trek dubbed the Crazy Times tour featuring special guests George Thorogood & The Destroyers that will take place on select dates in June, August and September.

The tour gets underway on June 10 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and is plotted out through a September 10 show in Irvine, California.

Tickets for the dates go on sale to the general public on Friday, January 28, at 10 a.m. local time via Live Nation. Members of Hagar's Redhead Fan Club will be able to purchase pre-sale tickets beginning Tuesday, January 25, at 10 a.m. local time. For more information, visit RedRocker.com.

"A tour this size has been a long time coming and it's definitely going to be worth the wait," the Red Rocker says in a statement. "The Circle and I are super excited and ready to throw the party of the year with George Thorogood. We're going to take the music and party to a whole new level -- 'Crazy Times' is an understatement."

The Crazy Times trek will follow Hagar's recently announced 2022 Las Vegas residency at The STRAT Theater. Those shows, which will feature Sammy performing with The Circle and some surprise guests, are scheduled for February 9, 11 and 12, and March 23, 25 and 26.

The Circle features founding Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, acclaimed rock drummer Jason Bonham and guitarist Vic Johnson of Hagar's longtime backing group, The Wabos.

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Green Day continues to tease mysterious "1972" project

FilmMagic/FilmMagic for Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival

Last month, Green Day shared an Instagram post which shows the punk trio recording at RAK Studios in London.  That tease featured the year "1972" very prominently.  Now, the band has shared more footage of themselves at the London studio, with "1972" once again cropping up in the imagery.

The footage, posted over the weekend, shows the three band members jamming out, and Mike Dirnt spray-painting "1972" on a wall. That happens to be the birth year of all three members of the group.

Green Day, along with Machine Gun Kelly, Miley Cyrus, Halsey and Gwen Stefani, are set to headline the 2022 Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest, a three-day event taking place February 10-12 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles ahead of Super Bowl LVI on February 13. Perhaps the group will introduce some new music in that performance.

Green Day released three new singles in 2021: "Here Comes the Shock," "Pollyanna" and "Holy Toledo!" The band's most recent album is 2020's Father of All...

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Girls Just Want...to Go Viral: Cyndi Lauper is the latest singer to join YouTube's billion-views club

Terry Lott/Sony Music Archive via Getty Images

Cyndi Lauper's smash hit "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" is officially a billionaire -- if you count YouTube views, that is.  The video for her 1983 debut single officially reached the billion-views mark in less than 13 years.

According to an official press release, the clip was first uploaded to YouTube in October 2009 and, to date, is Cyndi's only video to amass over a billion views.

In reaction to the honor, the pop singer said in a statement on Monday, "A lot of people don't realize this but 'Girls' is really a political song. When I got my feminist hands on it, I knew I wanted to make it into an anthem for all women. Sonically, I wanted the song to be uplifting and joyful."

Cyndi added that she made sure the music video highlighted "women from every walk of life" so it would empower women and girls everywhere. "I wanted us to be a community," she said, noting she saw the impact of her song when attending a women's march years later.

"I saw all types of women and girls carrying signs saying 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun-damental Rights,'" Cyndi recalled. "And now here we are at a Billion views."

She closed by noting, "Back when we made the video there was no YouTube, so when you think about it it's really extraordinary. The reach that this song has. The longevity. That people still purposely seek this video out and press play. Wow. I'm really grateful."

"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" was released in September 1983, and was the lead single off her debut album, She's So Unusual. The song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified Platinum by the RIAA after selling over a million copies in the U.S.

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