Music News

Speculation begins about who’ll star in Sam Mendes’ Beatles films

ABC

Now that it’s been announced that Sam Mendes will direct four separate movies about The Beatles — one for each band member — the speculation about who'll play Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr has begun.

Variety has offered up some of suggestions, including Daisy Jones & The Six’s Sam Claflin as Lennon. Its other Lennon suggestions include Heartstopper’s Kit ConnorAaron Taylor-Johnson, who played Lennon in 2009's Nowhere Boy; and Love & Mercy's Paul Dano.

Jacob Elordi, who played Elvis Presley in Priscilla, is one of its picks for McCartney. Other suggestions include Billy Elliott's Jamie Bell, although the publication notes that at 37 he could be too old; and Tom Holland, although it points out his Spider-Man schedule could get in the way.

For Harrison, it offers up Timothée Chalamet — although with him already playing Bob Dylan in an upcoming movie, Variety says that could be "one too many trips through the counterculture" for the actor. Other picks for Harrison include Sex Education’s Asa Butterfield and even Harrison’s son, 45-year-old Dhani Harrison, although it questions his age and whether he can act.

Saltburn’s Barry Keoghan and Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe are suggested for Starr, although it also mentions Daniel Day-Lewis to play the drummer, even though it notes he’s too old and already retired from acting.

Of course, it isn’t just Variety offering up suggestions. Vulture has a couple, as well, including Harry Styles as McCartney and Masters of the Air actor Callum Turner as Lennon.

Mendes' planned films mark the first time Apple Corps Ltd. and The Beatles have granted a studio the rights to the life stories of band members and their legendary catalog of music. The films are due out in 2027.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


The Rolling Stones’ Crossfire Hurricane rum to expand nationwide

Mike Marsland/WireImage

The Rolling Stones’ signature Crossfire Hurricane rum may be hitting your local liquor stores soon. The band has just signed a deal with Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits to distribute the rum across the U.S. starting in late February.

The Stones launched Crossfire Hurricane, a proprietary blend of Caribbean rums from Jamaica, Barbados and the Dominican Republic, back in November, not long after they released Hackney Diamonds, their first album of new music in 18 years.

The rum was initially available online only and did record-setting sales, prompting the expansion. With the new deal Crossfire Hurricane rum will be on store shelves in Florida and California toward the end of February, with a nationwide rollout to follow.

And fans will soon be able to enjoy that rum before they head out to see The Stones live. The band kicks off their Hackney Diamonds tour on April 28 in Houston, Texas. A complete list of dates can be found at rollingstones.com.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Rod Stewart hints at new music from Faces

Samir Hussein/WireImage

Rod Stewart has hinted that he and his former Faces bandmate, Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, may be releasing new music at some point.

During an interview with Vulture to promote his new album Swing Fever with Jools Holland, which drops February 23, Stewart talked about songs that he's written but not released and suggested they may wind up being Faces recordings.

“There are a lot of songs I’ve written that I haven’t put out and nobody knows about them,” he says. “My songs are like my children. I gave birth to them and then I put them out there in the world and see how they do.” 

He then shared that he’s sent some of those songs to Wood, explaining, “I told him, ‘This is stuff we’ve recorded with my band, maybe the Faces would like to do it instead?’” He added, “We’re still struggling to make this album. We’ll see. Some of them might see the light of day.” 

In the meantime, Faces is set to drop a special release for Record Store Day on April 20. The BBC Session Recordings is the second set of highlights from the band’s appearances on the BBC over the years. They previously released Had Me A Real Good Time… With Faces Live In Session At The BBC 1971-1973 for Record Store Day Black Friday in November.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Trial over Don Henley's stolen 'Hotel California' manuscripts to start Wednesday

Elektra/Asylum/Warner Music Group

Opening statements are expected Wednesday in the trial of three men charged in a conspiracy involving nearly 100 pages of Don Henley’s handwritten notes and lyrics for the Eagles album Hotel California.

According to the indictment, Glen HorowitzCraig Inciardi and Edward Kosinki possessed notes that included lyrics to the songs “Hotel California,” “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid In Town.”  

Despite knowing the materials were stolen, they attempted to sell the manuscripts, manufactured false provenance and lied to auction houses, potential buyers and law enforcement about the origin of the material, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said.

The manuscripts were originally stolen in the late 1970s by an author who'd been hired to write an Eagles biography. In 2005 he sold the manuscripts to Horowitz, a rare books dealer, who then sold them to Inciardi and Kosinski. 

When Henley learned of the sale, he filed police reports, told the defendants the materials were stolen and demanded the return of his property. Prosecutors allege that rather than making any effort to ensure they actually had rightful ownership, the defendants responded by engaging in a yearslong campaign to prevent Henley from recovering the manuscripts.

According to the indictment, Horowitz and Inciardi worked to fabricate the manuscripts' provenance and attempted to use that false statement of provenance to coerce Henley into buying back his stolen property. When trying to sell the manuscripts, Inciardi allegedly lied and withheld information regarding Henley’s claims.

Horowitz also attempted to exploit the death of founding Eagles member Glenn Frey to prevent criminal prosecution: he allegedly produced a new false statement of provenance, this time claiming that the materials originated from Frey.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Alex Van Halen to release book, 'Brothers', in October

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

We haven’t heard much from Van Halen drummer Alex Van Halen since the death of brother and bandmate Eddie Van Halen, but that’s about to change.

A post on publisher Harper Collins’ website reveals that Alex has written a new book, Brothers, which will be released on October 22.

The announcement doesn’t offer many details about the book, only the release date, that it will be 384 pages and will sell for $32. It also lists an alternative title, The Brothers Van Halen. 

The book is available for preorder now.

Alex has been fairly quiet and hasn’t played music publicly since Eddie’s death in 2020. In January, on what would have been Eddie’s 69th birthday, he shared a picture of them together on Instagram with the caption, “We miss you” and the hashtag #VanHalenForever.

Alex isn’t the first member of Van Halen to write a book. The band's original frontman David Lee Roth released his autobiography, Crazy from the Heat, in 1997, while Roth's replacement Sammy Hagar released his, Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock, in 2011.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


James Taylor announces summer tour

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rainforest Fund

After announcing a handful of U.S. shows for 2024, James Taylor has revealed dates for a full summer tour.

The tour kicks off May 29 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and includes a two-night stand at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, as well as shows in Nashville, Philadelphia, Boston and Bethel Woods, New York.

The tour wraps with three already announced shows in Vienna, Virginia, on September 12, 14 and 15.

A James Taylor fan club presale kicks off Wednesday, February 21, with the general onsale set for Friday, February 23, at 10 a.m. A complete list of dates can be found at jamestaylor.com.

Before he heads out for his summer trek, Taylor has dates booked in Tokyo, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. His next show is happening April 6 at Tokyo's Garden Theater. 


 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


John Entwistle’s solo career subject of new box set coming in May

Demon Music Group

The solo career of The Who’s late bassist John Entwistle will be the subject of a new CD box set coming in May. 

The Ox Box Set, dropping May 10, will feature Entwistle’s six solo albums — 1971's Smash Your Head Against the Wall, 1972's Whistle Rymes, 1973's Rigor Mortis Sets In, 1975's Mad Dog, 1981's Too Late the Hero and 1996's The Rock — with each CD containing bonus tracks made up of outtakes, demos and early versions of songs. The set will also include a 28-page booklet. 

Also on May 10, three of Entwistle’s solo albums will be reissued separately on 140g colored vinyl. Smash Your Head Against the Wall will be released on green vinyl, its first vinyl release since 1981. Whistle Rymes will be released on red vinyl, its first time on vinyl since 1973, and Rigor Mortis Sets In will be released on orange vinyl, becoming its first vinyl release since 1974.

Both the box set and the individual colored vinyl releases are available for preorder now.

This isn’t the first time Entwistle’s solo career has been the subject of a new release. Back in November, all six albums, including bonus tracks, debuted on digital services.


 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


AC/DC’s 50th anniversary marked with gold vinyl releases

Columbia Records/ Legacy Recordings

AC/DC celebrated the 50th anniversary of their very first show in December, and now, they're dropping some special vinyl releases.

The band is set to release their catalog on limited edition gold colored vinyl, starting March 15 with nine albums; further releases are expected later in the year. 

The first set of gold vinyl releases include: Back in BlackHighway to HellThe Razors EdgePowerageFor Those About To Rock (We Salute You), High VoltageDirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheep, Who Made Who, which was the 1986 soundtrack to the Stephen King film Maximum Overdrive, and the double live album, Live.

Each gold vinyl, available for preorder now, will come with a 12x12 album, album-specific print and AC/DC 50 artwork.

AC/DC recently announced they’ll be hitting the road on the Power Up tour. It kicks off with a two-night stand in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on May 17 and 21. So far, no U.S. dates have been announced.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


On This Day, February 20, 1974: Steely Dan releases 'Pretzel Logic'

On This Day, February 20, 1974…

Steely Dan released their third studio album, Pretzel Logic, which was the last to feature the full lineup of Donald Fagen, Walter Becker, Denny Dias, Jim Hodder and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter. Future albums would be recorded by Becker, Fagen and hired studio musicians. 

Pretzel Logic was a top 10 hit for Steely Dan, peaking at #8 on the Billboard 200.  It featured the hit single “Ricki Don’t Lose That Number,” which was the highest charting single of the band’s career, hitting #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The album went on to be certified Platinum by the RIAA. 

Steely Dan, which these days consists of Fagen and a group of touring musicians, is still out on the road. They are currently opening for the Eagles on their Long Goodbye Tour, which hits Hollywood, Florida, on March 1 and 2.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Sam Mendes to direct four films about The Beatles, one for each band member

ABC

The story of The Beatles is about to be told on the big screen in a big way.

Sony Pictures just announced that Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes is on board to direct not one, but four movies about The Beatles, each one told from the point of view of a different band member.

The films mark the first time Apple Corps Ltd. and The Beatles have granted a studio the rights to the life stories of band members Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison, and their legendary catalog of music. 

“I’m honored to be telling the story of the greatest rock band of all time, and excited to challenge the notion of what constitutes a trip to the movies,” Mendes, best known for such films as American Beauty and Skyfall, shared in a statement.

So far, there’s no word on when production will begin or who’ll be cast in each role. The studio promises an "innovative and groundbreaking" release for the films, which are due out in 2027.

While this is the first time The Beatles have supported a movie about the band, it isn't the first time they have been depicted on screen. The 1994 film Backbeat chronicled the early days of The Beatles, and in 2009, Aaron Taylor-Johnson played Lennon in the film Nowhere Boy, which focused on the singer's teenage years. 

The Beatles were also subject of the 2019 comedy Yesterday, about a struggling musician who wakes up after an accident and discovers he's the only one in the world who remembers The Beatles.

 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Sammy Hagar reflects on Van Halen’s '1984': “I was a huge fan of that record”

Warner Records

Van Halen's two frontmen, Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth, haven’t been holding back in the press about their feelings toward each other. And while they may not be friends, that hasn't stopped Hagar from appreciating the music Roth made with Van Halen before he took over.

Van Halen's sixth studio album, 1984, celebrated its 40th anniversary in January and Hagar has nothing but good things to say about it.

“I was a huge fan of that record,” Hagar tells ABC Audio, noting it made him realize Eddie Van Halen was a "genius."

Sammy was particularly impressed by Eddie’s synthesizer work on “Jump,” Van Halen's only #1 single, sharing, "You know, Eddie, I just I fell in love with Eddie with that."

And Hagar says he was even a little jealous after the success of "Jump," sharing that prior to its release he always felt he was on the same level as Van Halen.

“You know, I felt I was in competition until I heard 'Jump' and the song went, you know, it was such a big hit,” he says. “I just went, 'Wow, they did it.' I was mad, I was upset.” He does note that he got over it once Van Halen asked him to join the band. 

Roth left Van Halen after 1984 and was replaced by Hagar. They went on to have four #1 albums with him as frontman. 

And Hagar plans to celebrate his time with Van Halen and more during his upcoming The Best of All Worlds Tour, which kicks off July 13 in West Palm Beach, Florida. A complete list of dates can be found at redrocker.com.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


People’s Choice Awards honors Lenny Kravitz with Music Icon Award

Disney/Randy Holmes

Lenny Kravitz was honored Sunday night with the Music Icon Award at the 2024 People’s Choice Awards.

Kravitz talked about how when he first started out people offered him big deals but only if he changed his music, sharing he turned them down because he couldn’t do something “inauthentic.”  

"An icon, to me, is someone who inspires and teaches others to believe in themselves, and their direction, whatever that direction is," he said. "It's never been about how many records I sell, or how many awards I win. It's not about trying to write hits, or being calculated or formulaic.”

He added, "It's about enjoying and being grateful for the journey, and using the gifts that God gave you, and that journey goes how it goes. And it will continue, because I'm just doing me."

After thanking his parents, Roxie Roker and Sy Kravitz, Lenny shared, “Music is about bringing us all together. And the whole reason I create and perform music is to amplify love ... Love is the strongest power, and love will win. We are all one — one God, one people, one planet. Let love rule, y'all."

Kravitz also performed a medley of tunes at the event, including “Fly Away,” “It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over,” “Let Love Rule,” “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” and “TK421” from his upcoming album, Blue Electric Light, dropping May 24.

Kravitz is a newly announced nominee for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class of 2024. Inductees will be announced in late April, with the induction ceremony set to take place this fall in Cleveland. The ceremony is set to stream live on Disney+, followed by a highlights special airing later on ABC.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Def Leppard announces first Spokane concert in seven years

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Def Leppard has added another tour date to their already busy schedule.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Famers are set to headline Spokane Arena on September 6, the first time they are playing Spokane, Washington, in seven years.

Tickets for Def Leppard Rock Brigade Concert Club members go on sale Tuesday, February 20, with the general sale happening Friday, February 23. 

The Spokane show is one of only a handful of solo Def Leppard dates on their schedule for 2024. They are due to hit the road with Journey starting July 6 in St. Louis, Missouri. The tour features special guests Steve Miller BandHeart and Cheap Trick.

A complete list of dates can be found at defleppard.com.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Paul McCartney & Wings’ 50th anniversary 'Band on the Run' returns to the 'Billboard' charts

MPL/UMe

Paul McCartney is back on the Billboard chart thanks to the 50th anniversary reissue of his Wings album, Band on the Run.

The reissue, which went to #1 on the Billboard 200 chart when it was released in 1974, returns to the same chart at #156 for the week ending February 17.

It has also landed in the top 10 on three other Billboard charts: the Top Album Sales chart, where it reenters at #5; the Vinyl Albums chart, where it debuts at #7; and the Tastemaker Albums chart, where it's at #6. It also debuts at #37 on the Rock & Alternative Albums chart.

Overall, 8,000 copies of Band on the Run were sold in the U.S. in the first week of the anniversary edition’s release.

The 50th anniversary release of Band on the Run featured a half-speed remastered single LP vinyl of the original album, as well as a special two-LP vinyl set comprised of the half-speed remastered original album and an additional LP, Underdubbed Mixes Edition, featuring the album’s nine songs without any orchestral overdubs.

Band on the Run was the third album released by Paul McCartney & Wings and McCartney's fifth post-The Beatles release. It featured such classic songs as the title track, “Jet” and “Bluebird.” 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Report: Ridley Scott in talks to direct Bee Gees biopic

SGranitz/WireImage

An in-the-works biopic about the Bee Gees may have found its director. Deadline reports that Oscar-nominated director Ridley Scott, best known for such films as Thelma & Louise and Gladiator, is in talks to helm the Paramount Pictures film about the '70s disco legends.

Paramount has been working on the film for quite a while, obtaining the rights to the band’s story from the Gibb family in 2019. It also gained the rights to the group’s music, which means the songs will likely be featured in the film.

Barry Gibb, the only surviving member of the sibling trio, which also included his late brothers Robin and Maurice, is on board as executive producer.

Scott, who recently completed directing a sequel to Gladiator, actually has a history with the Bee Gees. In the '70s, when he was trying to launch his directing career, the group’s manager Robert Stigwood was trying to get into the movie business. He hired Scott to direct a medieval film, Castle, which was supposed to star the brothers. The film was never made.

The Bee Gees have sold over 120 million records worldwide, thanks to hit albums like the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever, which won five Grammys, including Album of the Year. Their hits include such songs as “Night Fever,” “Stayin’ Alive,” “Jive Talking” and “You Should Be Dancing."

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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