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Day in Rock Report for 12/22/2017


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Led Zeppelin Announce 50th Anniversary Book

(hennemusic) Led Zeppelin have announced that they will publish an official illustrated book as part of their celebration of their landmark 50th Anniversary next year.

"Led Zeppelin are pleased to announce that Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones are collaborating with Reel Art Press to publish the official illustrated book celebrating 50 years since the formation of the group," says the band. "Coming 2018."
,
The news follows recent comments by guitarist Jimmy Page that a number of projects are expected to surface next year to mark the occasion. "There'll be Led Zeppelin product coming out, for sure, that people haven't heard, because I'm working on that," Page told the Academy Of Achievement. "Next year will be the 50th year so there's all manner of surprises coming out." Read more
here.


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Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, Journey, Foreigner Fuel Rocktopia

(Gibson) A unique blending of classic rock with classical music is set to hit Broadway next spring. "Rocktopia," a stage musical that "celebrates the fusion of rock songs from the past century with classical music," will run for six weeks at the Broadway Theatre in New York City.

As reported by the New York Times, the show will meld together works by Mozart, Handel, U2, Tchaikovsky, Heart, Beethoven, Journey, Foreigner, Rachmaninoff, Queen, Aaron Copland, The Who and more. A promo poster for the Budapest production also lists Music, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Aerosmith among the rockers represented.

"We love both classical music and classic rock," says Rob Evan, the show's creator and one of the featured vocalists. "There are so many parallels between the genres and between the 'rock stars' who composed and performed them. With 'Rocktopia,' we want to break down barriers and any preconceived notion of what either genre is about - and electrify and inspire lovers of either musical style with these completely original new pieces."

Gathering on-stage will be a five-piece rock band, a 40-member choir, an orchestra of 20, and an assortment of singers. Read more here.

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Billy Joel Jams With Steve Miller At Madison Square Garden

(Radio.com) Billy Joel brought a little extra holiday cheer on Wednesday night (December 20th) by welcoming Steve Miller to the stage during a show at New York's Madison Square Garden.

The two rock legends got together for a performance of Miller's 1973 hit, "The Joker." Miller's star turn was the latest guest cameo during Joel's ongoing residency at the famed New York venue.

A show back in October featured appearances from both Paul Simon and Miley Cyrus. Watch fan footage of the Billy Joel and Steve Miller collaboration here.

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Eagles Sweep The 2017 hennemusic Rock News Awards

(hennemusic) The Eagles swept top honors in the 2017 hennemusic Rock News Awards, the daily rock music news site announced Thursday. The iconic band captured the titles of Rock News Artist Of The Year and Rock News Story Of The Year in a year that saw them return to live action following the 2016 passing of co-founder Glenn Frey, a loss that could have ended the group's storied career.
"The Eagles brought in country star Vince Gill and Glenn's son, Deacon, to handle his father's parts for their 2017 shows, and all reports indicate it was emotional ride and huge success," says Publisher Bruce Henne. "hennemusic readers followed the band closely throughout the year, which also earned the group three of the Top 10 places in the Rock News Story Of The Year category."

The Eagles were the most read-about artist in both hennemusic categories, which are determined by music fans: total page views determine the Rock News Story Of The Year, while the Rock News Artist Of The Year is based on the combined page views of the top 50 hennemusic rock news stories of the past twelve months.

The Top 10 in both categories were counted down over the past two weeks, in the tradition of the weekly hennemusic Hot 10. Read more including the top 10 lists here.

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Singled Out: Evanescence's Imperfection

Evanescence revisited some of their most loved songs and gave them a makeover with an orchestra on the "Synthesis" album. The record features two new songs and frontman Amy Lee recently spoke about "Imperfection" with Amazon's German branch in a video interview. Here is an excerpt:

'Imperfection' has several meanings, and one of them is definitely about loss and the sadness that we all feel and the struggle of getting through it is undeniable. And I think that we need to connect, and the point is expressing that and connecting to each other, that's hard to sum up. But another part of it is accepting our flaws and our differences and not seeing them so much as flaws as the thing about us that makes us us.

So when the song talks about 'imperfection,' it's really describing… just your you, your uniqueness, that thing. And if could all maybe look at our imperfections a little bit less like imperfections and a little bit more like our uniqueness - I don't know - maybe that would be a good thing. I still struggle with it.

Watch the interview clip right here!

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Five Finger Death Punch Release Video For Offspring Cover

Five Finger Death Punch have not only given The Offspring's hit song "Gone Away" a makeover into a ballad they have just released a music video for the cover.

Guitarist Zoltan Bathory had this to say about the new visual, "Every song has exactly as many meanings as many people have heard it, but by creating a music video we can crystallize one of the possibilities, our personal interpretation, and share what those words mean to us personally.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and by taking a snapshot of our own perception of something we are also sharing the impact it had on us. 'Gone Away' is one of those songs that can hit you in the chest, and our interpretation may surprise some... but this is how we heard it." Watch the video here.

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Little Steven Releases 'Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)' Video

(Radio.com) Legendary guitarist, actor and longtime member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul are celebrating Christmas at the beach.

Van Zandt and his solo group have released a new music video for their take on the Ramones' holiday classic, "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)."

The clip finds Van Zandt and the band having fun on a beach in Barcelona, mixed with classic movie and cartoon imagery. "I was always a big fan of (early silent filmmaker) George Melies, so we found some of his things and a couple of old cartoons and we just picked out the various shots and put 'em together, and it all seemed to fit," the guitarist told Billboard. Watch the video here.

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Bon Jovi Star Pens Music For Princess Dianna Musical

(Gibson) Bon Jovi has been in the news lately, thanks to the band being chosen to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year, but Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan is making headlines for another reason. Bryan is working on an upcoming musical that's all about the late Princess Diana.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the musical, called Diana, will receive its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse in California during the theater's 2018-2019 season. The musical will be directed by Christopher Ashley, who recently scored a Tony Award for the Broadway production of Come from Away.

The musical, which features music by Bryan and Joe DiPietro, tells the tale of Diana's life beginning with her wedding to Prince Charles and takes the audience through her dealings with the media, the royal family and their difficult marriage. Read more here.

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U2 Rock Abbey Road Studios For BBC Special

(hennemusic) U2 launched their latest album, "Songs Of Experience", with an intimate live performance special recorded at London's famed Abbey Road Studios for the BBC, and video from the broadcast is streaming online.

Hosted by Cat Deeley, "U2 At The BBC" sees the band joined by a choir and orchestra to present new tunes including "Get Out Of Your Own Way", and classic tracks like "Beautiful Day", "All I Want Is You" and "With Or Without You."

The companion to 2014's "Songs Of Innocence" was completed earlier this year with a series of producers - including Jacknife Lee and Ryan Tedder, Steve Lillywhite, Andy Barlow and Jolyon Thomas - following recording sessions in Dublin, New York and Los Angeles.

The two projects draw inspiration from a collection of poems, "Songs Of Innocence And Experience", by the 18th century English mystic and poet William Blake. Watch video from the special set here.

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Oasis' Liam Gallagher Claims Truce With His Brother Noel

(Radio.com) There are Christmas miracles, and then there's Oasis' Liam Gallagher being nice to his estranged brother and former bandmate, music partner Noel.

After years of biter acrimony and admittedly hilarious insults hurled between the feuding rock and roll siblings, Liam now says that all is well between the brothers Gallagher.

The peace treaty was revealed when Liam shared a stunning tweet sending happy holiday wishes to "Team NG." It was a message so unexpected that fans immediately called him out on it.

"Team who? Your (SIC) not going to have a meltdown on here come Christmas day are you Liam when NG doesnt reach out to you," cracked one commenter.

"He's already reached out," Liam responded. "We're all good again." It wasn't long before the media beat down Liam Gallagher's door demanding answers. "I got a little thing through the door from his management team and so I think there's been a bit of a reach-out and a bit of a truce," Liam revealed to The Age (via Sydney Morning Herald). "It's all good – season of goodwill and all that, you know?" Read more here.

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Donald Fagen Reflects On Final Visit With Walter Becker

(Gibson) Donald Fagen says that as recently as 2013 he spoke with Walter Becker about recording a new Steely Dan album, but Becker wasn't inclined to pursue such a project.

In an interview for Rolling Stone's Music Now podcast, Fagen said his late musical partner simply "wasn't that interested in working on Steely Dan records anymore."

"It … might have to do with the specter of doing an album that would be on the same standard that we did previously," said Fagen. "Maybe that scared him a little bit, or maybe he didn't have the energy. I did ask him once in a while if he wanted to do something - and he'd usually say, 'Yeah, sure,' but then he wouldn't call me or whatever, so it was obvious that he lost some of the enthusiasm."

Fagen also talked about his last visit with Becker, during which he sat bedside with his longtime bandmate. "I could see he was really struggling," Fagen revealed. "When I put a chair next to the bed, he grabbed my hand. It was something he had never done ever before. And we had a great talk and, you know, he was listening to hard bop - his wife had put on Dexter Gordon records. He was very weak but he was still very funny. I'm really glad I had those hours."

Although Fagen has continued to perform under the Steely Dan banner since Becker's death, he hopes that will soon change. Read about that here.

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Frank Zappa Legendary Live Performances Set For Release

(Gibson) A legendary series of performances staged by Frank Zappa and the Mothers is being compiled into a seven-disc boxed set. The Roxy Performances captures five concerts staged over three nights at the Roxy Theatre on Hollywood's Sunset Strip in December 1973.

Although some of the recordings have appeared previously - specifically on 1974's Roxy and Elsewhere and 2014's Roxy by Proxy - the new set marks the first time the shows have been released in their entirety. Fleshing out the set are rehearsals, soundchecks, and a recording session that took place at Ike Turner's Bolic Sound studio in Inglewood just a few days later.

"This is one of my favorite FZ line-ups ever," said Ahmet Zappa, who co-produced the collection with Zappa "Vaultmeister" Joe Travers. "Hold on to your hotdogs people. This box is the be-all-end-all. This is it. This is all of it. It's time to get your rocks off for the Roxy." Read more here.

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Velvet Underground 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Box Set Announced

(Gibson) The Velvet Underground's 50th anniversary is being commemorated with a limited edition, six-album boxed set. Included in the set - which is being issued solely on 180-gram vinyl LPs - are the band's four studio albums; Nico's solo debut, Chelsea Girl; and a reconstruction of the Velvets' "lost" 1969 album.

Limited to 1,000 copies, the set will also include a 48-page booklet featuring vintage photos and a foreword written by founding member Moe Tucker. The anniversary boxed set is slated for release on February 23, 2018.

Although the tracks that appear on the "lost" album have appeared elsewhere - in particular, on the collections VU and Another View, both released in the '80s - the 50th anniversary edition marks the first time the album has been represented in an expansive 2-LP format. Earlier this year, Tucker and fellow founding Velvet Underground member John Cale reunited to perform the Velvets classic, "I'm Waiting for the Man," for a Grammy Salute. Read more here.

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Chris Cornell Scholarship Announced For UCLA

(Gibson) Seven months after his tragic demise, the estate of Soundgarden/Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell has facilitated the setting up of a special scholarship in Cornell's name.

The Chris Cornell Scholarship will support students at the UCLA School of Law with a $1 million endowment. In a statement, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said, "This endowment honors an influential musical artist who cared about human rights and enables others the opportunity to make a positive impact in the world."

Cornell's wife Vicky Cornell said, "My husband and I agreed that given the opportunity of education, people have the power to change the world." She went on to say that, "we are proud the Chris Cornell Scholarship will provide funding for future students and future leaders of the world." Read more here.

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Country and Pop Stars Lineup For Elton John Tribute Concert

(Gibson) After similar live TV tributes to Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and the Bee Gees, it's now the turn of Elton John to get his own TV special two days after the 2018 Grammy Awards.

January 30, 2018 will see a line-up of current-day musical superstars performing in tribute to one of modern history's greatest songwriters and performers. Titled Elton John: I'm Still Standing - A GRAMMY Salute - the show will feature performances by Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Keith Urban, Miley Cyrus, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Sam Smith, Kesha and John Legend, with more names to be announced over the coming weeks. Elton John will also perform on the night, which will be recorded for broadcast later in 2018.

In a statement, Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy said, "Sir Elton John is an international music legend who has captivated audiences across generations for more than five decades." Read more here.

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Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong Selling Off Guitars

(Gibson) Green Day frontman and guitar player Billie Joe Armstrong has amassed such a massive collection of guitars that he now needs to offload some of them. To facilitate that, he's teamed up with music gear website Reverb for the 'Green Day Garage Sale' that features seventy-nine pieces of gear used by Armstrong over the course of his career.

The sale which started yesterday features guitars, pro audio gear and even a Trident recording console used during the Uno... Dos... Tré! and Revolution Radio sessions. The highlights of the sale are three Les Paul Juniors from 1960, 1955 and 1959.

Remember Armstrong is a long-time Les Paul Junior, even getting his own signature edition a few years ago. There's also a 1960 Gibson Les Paul Special, one of three that Armstrong owns; he currently uses one on stage, one is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and this is the third.

Also up for grabs: A Gibson L-50 Cutaway 7-string, a Gibson ES-335 1959 Flame Top Reissue and a Gibson Duane Eddy signature. Read more here.

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