Music News

Peter Gabriel, Frankie Valli among O2 Silver Clef Awards winners

Darren Gerrish/WireImage; Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

Peter Gabriel and Frankie Valli are among the announced winners for the 2022 O2 Silver Clef Awards.

The annual U.K. ceremony is presented by the charity Nordoff Robbins, which provides music therapy to those "living with life-limiting illness, disability and isolation."

Gabriel will be honored with the top O2 Silver Clef Award, while Valli will receive the Icon Award.

"I've always believed the role of music goes way beyond entertainment, and I'm convinced that sound and light have a critical role to play in therapies and healing in the future," Gabriel says. "It's wonderful to see Nordoff Robbins using music to reach young people, who otherwise would feel much more isolated and vulnerable, and giving them a means of expressing their emotions."

Valli adds, "I'm thrilled to receive the…Icon Award. My life is all about music and that's why I'm supporting Nordoff Robbins. Its trained music therapists provide sessions which can help people of all ages -- whether a child with autism to communicate, unlock forgotten memories for those living with dementia or provide moments of peace for someone living with depression and anxiety. It's vital this continues."

Also among the honorees is former Squeeze keyboardist and longtime U.K. TV host Jools Holland, who will receive the Outstanding Achievement Award.

The 2022 O2 Silver Clef Awards will take place July 1. For more info, visit Nordoff-Robbins.org.uk.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Neil Young's unreleased 2001 album 'Toast,' recorded with Crazy Horse, due out in July

Reprise Records

Toast, an album that Neil Young recorded with Crazy Horse in 2001 but then shelved, finally will be released on July 8.

The seven-track collection, which was recorded at Toast Studios in San Francisco, includes three songs that have never been released before. The album can be pre-ordered now and will be available on CD, as a two-LP vinyl set and via digital formats.

Those who purchase Toast on CD and vinyl at Young's Greedy Hand Store will receive a high-res digital download from Neil's Xstream Store at his Neil Young Archives website.

One of the tracks, "Standing in the Light of Love," has been issued as an advance digital single.

Young shared some details about Toast in a message published in on Neil Young Archives in 2021 and reposted today.

"Toast is an album that stands on its own in my collection, unlike any other," Young wrote. "The songs of Toast were so sad at the time that I couldn't put it out. I just skipped it and went on to do another album in its place."

He continued, "The music of Toast is about a relationship. There is a time in many relationships that go bad, a time long before the breakup, where it dawns on one of the people, maybe both, that it's over. This was that time."

Neil also praised Crazy Horse's performance on the tracks, writing that the band "shows a depth never seen or heard before on any other Horse recording." He added, "For the greatest group I have ever met -- Crazy Horse -- this is a pinnacle. Where they let me go, where they took me, was unbelievable. I couldn't stay."

Here's Toast's full track list:

"Quit"
"Standing in the Light of Love"
"Goin' Home"
"Timberline"
"Gateway of Love"
"How Ya Doin'?"
"Boom Boom Boom"

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Ringo Starr's All Starr Band launches 2022 North American tour tonight in Rama, Canada

ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

After a two-year layoff because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band launch a new North American tour tonight at Casino Rama in Rama, Canada.

The two-part trek's first leg runs through a June 26 concert in Clearwater Florida, while the second leg begins on September 23 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and winds down October 20 in Mexico City.

The former Beatles drummer and his star-studded group celebrated the tour's impending launch at a press event on Thursday at Casino Rama.

Reflecting on his long hiatus from playing shows, Starr said, "Two-and-a-half years has been really difficult. I love to play, as you can tell. I put the All Starrs together 32 years ago and, you know, I was in a couple of bands before that, and…for me that's what it's all about, is playing and having an audience."

He continued, "You know, I've missed four tours, and I've really missed these guys. I love to play live, and I love to play with great musicians. And I got a crowd of them right here…with me."

The All Starr Band also currently features Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, Men at Work frontman Colin Hay, Average White Band bassist Hamish Stuart, Toto multi-instrumentalist Warren Ham, acclaimed session drummer Gregg Bissonette and the group's most recent addition, Edgar Winter. Winter, who previously played with the All Starrs from 2006 to 2011, rejoined the group earlier this year.

Ringo, who turns 82 on July 7, noted during the press conference that he has no plans to stop performing.

"I'm a musician. I don't have to retire," he declared. "[A]s long as I can pick up those sticks, I got a gig."

Check out the band's full scheduled at RingoStarr.com.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Journey's Jonathan Cain releases new faith-inspired album, 'Arise'; band announces new US concerts

Identity Records/The Fuel Music

Journey is set to release its first studio album in 11 years in July, but in advance of that record, the band's longtime keyboardist and songwriter Jonathan Cain has delivered his latest faith-based solo effort, Arise.

The 11-collection is the sixth full-length spiritual-themed project that Cain has released since 2016. The album, which combines brand-new tunes with songs that appeared on Jonathan's 2021 EP Oh Lord Lead Us, is available now as a digital download and via streaming services.

Cain says the songs on Arise encourages Christians to be more fervent in their faith.

"Like faith in action, the music of Arise moves to the spirit of revival," says Jonathan, who leads worship gatherings at City of Destiny Church in Apopka, Florida, where his wife, Paula White-Cain, is senior pastor. "God is making his presence felt here on earth, and it's up to us to wake up, to feel it, feel the revival and just dig in."

He adds, "I hope that this music stirs up and awakens people in a way that they can become a part of what God is doing."

As previously reported, Journey will release its new album, Freedom, on July 8. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famers recently announced a series of four special symphonic concerts that month in Las Vegas -- on July 15, 16, 22 and 23 -- and the band now has started lining up a variety of other shows around the U.S.

The other concerts on their itinerary are scheduled for July 20 in Paso Robles, California; July 27 in Albuquerque, New Mexico; July 29 in Las Cruces, New Mexico; July 30 in Lubbock, Texas; August 5 in Mount Pleasant, Michigan; August 6 in Canton, Ohio; and August 8 in Canandaigua, New York.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Alderaan's not far away: RHCP's Flea guests on 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'

ABC/Randy Holmes

Flea is officially part of the Star Wars universe.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist has a role in the new Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries, which just premiered Friday morning on Disney+. He plays a bounty hunter who's hired to kidnap child Princess Leia in an attempt to lure Kenobi out of hiding after he survived the infamous Order 66, which called for the execution of all Jedi.

The role is especially fitting for Flea since the 1999 Red Hot Chili Peppers song "Californication" includes the lyric "Alderaan's not far away," a reference to Leia's home planet.

Flea's previous acting credits include parts in The Big Lebowski, Baby Driver and the second and third Back to the Future movies.

In addition to his journey to a galaxy far, far away, Flea is preparing to rock our galaxy when Red Hot Chili Peppers launch their world tour in June. The group will be supporting their new album, Unlimited Love, which was released in April.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Bringin' On the 'Halos': Def Leppard's latest studio, 'Diamond Star Halos,' arrives today

UMe

Def Leppard's 12th studio album, Diamond Star Halos, was released today.

The 15-track collection was recorded remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, with frontman Joe Elliott in Ireland, bassist Rick Savage in the U.K., and guitarists Phil Collen and Viv Campbell and drummer Rick Allen all in the U.S.

Elliott tells ABC Audio that he really enjoyed working on the album remotely.

"[T]he creating of the record was beautiful, really, because everybody just was in their own space," the singer notes. "And…all you needed to do [was] pick up the phone or send an email going, 'I've got an idea,' and then, bing!, off goes your inbox and there's an MP3, and you sit and listen to it…and see if there's anything you can add to it."

Collen also loved the process, explaining, "It just saved so much energy, and we were just allowed to express and create and be inspired constantly…It was great."

The album title references a lyrical phrase from T. Rex's signature tune "Bang a Gong (Get It On)," and Collen points out that Def Leppard chose the moniker after realizing that many tracks on the record included elements that evoked the early-'70s glam-rock era -- a major influence on the band.

"[W]e realized that [between] the songs there was a thread," Phil notes. "It was like some of the lyrics, some of the ideas, some of the vibes and rhythms and grooves were very…from that period."

Adding to the glam-rock theme, Def Leppard enlisted longtime David Bowie keyboardist Mike Garson to play piano on two tracks.

Elliott says Garson's parts "had a little bit of avant-garde, kind of jazzy [feel], but not too much to…make it sound weird."

Here's Diamond Star Halos' full track list:

"Take What You Want"
"Kick"
"Fire It Up"
"This Guitar" -- featuring Alison Krauss
"SOS Emergency"
"Liquid Dust"
"U Rok Mi"
"Goodbye for Good This Time"
"All We Need"
"Open Your Eyes"
"Gimme a Kiss"
"Angels (Can't Help You Now)"
"Lifeless" -- featuring Alison Krauss
"Unbreakable"
"From Here to Eternity"

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Colts owner Jim Irsay to display collection of historic rock guitars in NYC next week

Courtesy of The Jim Irsay Collection

In recent years, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has purchased some of the music world's most historic guitars, as well as many other famous memorabilia items. He will be putting his collection on public display in New York City for the first time on Friday, June 3, at the Hammerstein Ballroom.

The Jim Irsay Collection includes guitars played and owned by Bob Dylan, members of The Beatles, Prince, Eric Clapton, The Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour and many other famous musicians.

The collection also features other instruments, as well as autographed photos, handwritten lyrics and more. The most recent addition to Irsay's trove of memorabilia is the guitar that late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain played in his band's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video, which he purchased at an auction for over $4.5 million.

Some non-music-related items are also part of the collection: an original "wanted" poster for John Wilkes Booth, a baseball bat used by Jackie Robinson and a robe worn by Muhammad Ali.

The public event will run from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Free tickets can be reserved at Eventbrite.com.

Meanwhile, a private, invite-only reception will be held June 2 at 7 p.m. ET at the Hammerstein Ballroom that will give attendees the chance to check out the collection. It will also feature a performance by The Jim Irsay Band. Described as a group "which has never existed and will never exist again," the band will feature Irsay backed by founding R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, longtime John Mellencamp guitarist Mike Wanchic, John Fogerty/ex-Mellencamp touring drummer Kenny Aronoff and others.

Former 10,000 Maniacs singer Natalie Merchant will be a guest performer with the band.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jon Anderson, Geoff Downes among artists paying homage to late Yes drummer Alan White

Alan White and Jon Anderson in 2017; D Dipasupil/FilmMagic

In the wake of the sad news that longtime Yes drummer Alan White died today at age 72, a number of music artists have shared tributes to the late rocker, among them founding Yes singer Jon Anderson and the band's current keyboardist Geoff Downes.

Anderson, who played with White in Yes on and off for more than 30 years, posted a statement on his Facebook page that reads, "He was My best man at my wedding to Janee in Maui 1997…We love you Alan and will miss you…You were just the best of the best for Yes, and an amazing drummer...We wrote 'Turn of the Century' together all those years ago, just one of so many wonderful times together…he was a gentle soul."

Anderson's message concludes, "And now you're in heaven…resting after the long journey Home to meet your dear Mom who you loved so much...Blessings brother."

Downes, who first played in Yes in 1980 and '81, then rejoined the band in 2011, posted his own homage on Twitter that reads, "Today I lost a great brother and friend, the loveliest guy you'll ever hope to meet. So dreadfully sad. I'm devastated…Alan White, the main man. Miss you forever buddy."

Here are a few other tributes to White from various artists:

Asia: "Alan White RIP. One of the greatest drummers ever. All the Asia family send love to Gigi and the family. Alan was a great friend of Asia, particularly [Geoff Downes] and regularly sharing birthday celebrations with our [late singer/bassist John Wetton]."

Styx drummer Todd Sucherman: "I'm deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Alan White. What a legend. Styx and Yes had a co-bill tour back in 2011 and it was so much fun to spend a summer on the road with those guys, and hearing that music every night -- which meant so much to each one of us in Styx. That tour will always have a special place in my heart. Thanks for your contributions to music that will last until the end of time, Alan! Deepest condolences to Alan's family, band mates, friends and fans.

Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins: "Alan White was so cool -- Fly On master drummer."

Ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy: "Absolutely stunned to wake up to the news of Alan White's passing. His playing for the past 50 yrs was a massive influence on me & I've had the honor of spending much time together thru the years. My condolences to his wife Gigi, his family & the entire Yes camp."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Depeche Mode's Andy Fletcher dead at 60

Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Depeche Mode member Andy Fletcher has died at age 60.

The seminal synth-pop band announced the news in a statement Thursday, reading, "We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member, and bandmate Andy 'Fletch' Fletcher.

"Fletch had a true heart of gold and was always there when you need support, a lively conversation, a good laugh, or a cold pint," the statement continues. "Our hearts are with his family, and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts and respect their privacy in this difficult time."

No cause of death was announced, though a source close to the band shared that he passed away from natural causes.

Fletcher was a founding member of Depeche Mode, playing keyboards and bass alongside vocalist Dave Gahan, keyboardist and guitarist Martin Gore, and keyboardist and guitarist Vince Clarke, who was later replaced by Alan Wilder

Depeche Mode began to develop a following in the '80s, thanks to their innovative use of electronic elements in alternative music, before exploding in the early '90s with the album Violator, which spawned singles including "Personal Jesus," "Enjoy the Silence" and "Policy of Truth."

Following Wilder's departure in 1995, Fletcher, Gore and Gahan continued to release Depeche Mode albums as a trio, the last of which was 2017's Spirit.

Fletcher was inducted with Depeche Mode into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


35 years ago today, Richard Marx released the "most important song" of his career: "I cherish it"

Bobby Bank/Getty Images

Thirty-five years ago today -- May 26, 1987 -- Richard Marx released his debut single, "Don't Mean Nothing." It hit #3, earned him a Grammy nomination and launched a career that's still going today. Richard tells ABC Audio that while he'd never say the song is his favorite, it does occupy a very special place in his heart.

"It's the most important song. Because the question I've been getting for 30, however many years that I've been doing this, [is] 'What's your favorite song you've ever written?' And there's no answer to that," he says.

As Richard notes, "I could never pick a favorite song I've written. But I did realize in the last couple of years, performing night after night after night, that if I hadn't written 'Don't Mean Nothing' ... [I] probably wouldn't be standing on that stage."

As Richard details in his 2021 memoir Stories to Tell, "Don't Mean Nothing" was inspired by his struggles in the music industry and by Hollywood in general. It also featured harmonies and guitar work from three members of The Eagles: Randy Meisner, Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh.

"I cherish it. I also still love it," Richard says of the song. "I mean, all humility aside, I just love 'Don't Mean Nothing' and I love singing it. It still holds up for me, is a really good song." 

He laughs as he remembers, "I wrote this very cynical, biting lyric about frustration and being led down horrible paths and being lied to and this song that just drips of cynicism ... and I wrote it when I was 22!"

And today, it's still a centerpiece of his concerts.

"I've never done a show where I haven't played it," he says. "And I've never done that song where I didn't see people smiling and dancing and into it." 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Yes drummer Alan White dead at 72

Will Ireland/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Alan White, the drummer for, and longest continuously serving member of, Yes, has died at age 72.

The band announced the news on its official Twitter page as did White's official website and Facebook page. The site announced, "Alan White, our beloved husband, dad, and grandpa, passed away at the age of 72 at his Seattle-area home on May 26, 2022, after a brief illness.

The message continues, "Throughout his life and six-decade career, Alan was many things to many people: a certified rock star to fans around the world; band mate to a select few, and gentleman and friend to all who met him."

A drummer since age 12, White performed with many artists throughout the '60s, including the jazz-rock fusion supergroup Ginger Baker's Air Force, which also featured Steve Winwood and Denny Laine. In 1969, John Lennon invited him to join the Plastic Ono Band, and he played on the 1969 album Live Peace in Toronto as well on John's 1970 single "Instant Karma," his landmark 1971 album Imagine and 1972's Some Time in New York City

White also contributed to to George Harrison's All Things Must Pass album, including the chart-topping single "My Sweet Lord."

White joined Yes on July 27, 1972, replacing founding drummer Bill Bruford, and learned the band's repertoire in just three days before they kicked off a tour in Texas. The well-known albums he played on include Yessongs, Tales from Topographic Oceans, Going for the One, Relayer, Drama, 90125 and Big Generator.

White was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with Yes in 2017. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Gigi, two children and two grandchildren.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Will ABBA's high-tech show 'Voyage' head to Las Vegas? "We'll see," says Benny Andersson

Gus Stewart/Redferns

ABBA's new show Voyage, featuring digital avatars of the legendary Swedish band performing their hits with a live band, officially opens on Friday night in a purpose-built theater in London. But if you can't make it to the United Kingdom to see the show, are there plans to bring it to the U.S.? Well, maybe.

Speaking to Variety, ABBA's Benny Andersson says of future Vegas plans, "We'll see. This has to get on its feet first. We have to see how attractive it is. We've sold 380,000 tickets or so. It's good for a couple months. We need to see if it sells more tickets."

He adds, "There will be promoters coming in from the U.S. to see if there's something that will be suitable for their market."

As for what fans can expect from the show, Benny says, "We realized we cannot not play [the hits] but we also wanted to give the concert some dynamics, so there are a few songs that the audience will not be too familiar with, but we like them so we put them in. It's 21 songs and it feels good."

Benny explains that the technology allows for them to swap songs in and out of the set list, because Industrial Light and Magic, which created the digital avatars, still has the data from all four band members.

"We don't have to go back ourselves into the studio again. That's what they have promised us," he notes.

As for going back into a recording studio, Benny says the band's comeback album Voyage, a surprise hit last year, is the final word on ABBA music. 

"It's never say never, but it's a no," he states. "Nothing is going to happen after this."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Def Leppard debuts "Fire It Up" video, performs on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'

UMe

Def Leppard has debuted the official music video for their latest single, "Fire It Up," a stadium-ready chant-along tune that appears on the band's upcoming studio album Diamond Star Halos.

The clip features the band performing the song surrounded by video screens showing swirling abstract images, while graphics from the album's cover art also appear sporadically throughout the visual.

You can watch the "Fire It Up" video now at Def Leppard's official YouTube channel.

Meanwhile, with Diamond Star Halos set to be released this Friday, Def Leppard primed the release with an appearance Wednesday night on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!

The band premiered "Take What You Want," a song from the new record, and then played their classic "Rock of Ages," from the smash 1983 album Pyromania.

The band also performed two additional classic songs -- "Hysteria" and "Pour Some Sugar on Me" -- that didn't air on the Kimmel show, but were streamed on the program's YouTube channel.

Diamond Star Halos, which can be preordered now, is Def Leppard's first album of new, original tunes since 2015's self-titled effort. It's available as a deluxe package, on CD, as a two-LP set and digitally, among other configurations.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


CCR debuts new "Travelin' Band" music video in advance of special Record Store Day vinyl single

Craft Recordings

A new official video for the classic 1970 Creedence Clearwater Revival hit "Travelin' Band" has just debuted on the Craft Recordings label's official YouTube channel in advance of the limited-edition vinyl single featuring an unreleased live version of the song that will be issued as part of the June 18 Record Store Day event.

The video features rare footage of CCR on tour in 1969 and '70 both on and off the stage at various international locations.

As previously reported, the vinyl disc will feature live renditions of "Travelin' Band" and "Who'll Stop the Rain" on the A side and B side, respectively, and will be available at participating record shops on June 18.

The version of "Travelin' Band" was recorded on April 14, 1970, at London's famed the Royal Albert Hall. The rendition of "Who'll Stop the Rain" was recorded on January 31, 1970, at the Oakland Coliseum in California, and previously appeared on the CCR live album The Concert, which was released in 1980.

Only 9,000 copies of the vinyl single will be pressed. The packaging replicates the sleeve of the double-sided single Creedence Clearwater Revival released in January 1970 featuring the studio versions of "Travelin' Band" and "Who'll Stop the Rain." The tunes peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and both tracks also were included on CCR's chart-topping 1970 studio album Cosmo's Factory.

The "Travelin' Band" video follows the recent announcement that a new CCR documentary and concert film called Travelin' Band: Creedence Clearwater Revival at the Royal Albert Hall is in production. The movie, which focuses on the band's aforementioned April 1970 concert at the historic London venue, is narrated by Oscar-winning actor and Creedence fan Jeff Bridges, and directed by Grammy-winning filmmaker Bob Smeaton.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Returning All Starr Band member Edgar Winter says new tour with Ringo Starr will be "a beautiful reunion"

Edgar Winter and Ringo Starr in 2010; David Livingston/Getty Images

Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band launch their 2022 North American tour this Friday, May 27, in Rama, Canada.

The lineup of the former Beatles drummer's group is slightly different than when they last hit the road in 2019, with veteran rocker Edgar Winter rejoining the All Starrs after a 2006-2011 stint with the band.

Interestingly, Winter released a star-studded tribute album in April called Brother Johnny -- an homage to his late sibling, Johnny Winter -- that features contributions from Ringo and two other All Starr Band members -- Toto guitarist Steve Lukather and veteran session drummer Gregg Bissonette.

"I'm really looking forward to it," Edgar tells ABC Audio about touring with the All Starrs again. "And it's perfect in that the album [has] just been released, and I get to see all my friends again…So it's gonna be a beautiful reunion. I can't wait!"

Winter, who is best known for his 1970s hits "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride," says he'll definitely play those songs on the new tour, and possibly a tune from Brother Johnny.

"Ringo…always wants your biggest hits. That's the whole idea. And it's a great model," Edgar notes. "I love the All Starr Band. It's unlike any tour. You know, I think of it as the 'peace and love' tour, because there's just so much positive energy."

Winter, who idolizes The Beatles, says it's an honor to play with Starr.

"I have such respect for him, not only as a drummer, but…as a human being," he declares. "He's such a heartfelt advocate and spokesman for peace and love. And, you know, having played Woodstock and being an old hippie myself…peace and love is something the world can always use more of."

Visit RingoStarr.com to check out the full tour schedule.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



 

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