ELTON JOHN: Super busy until he retires
Elton John not only has close to 30 shows this year before starting his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour on September 8th, he has a lot of things going on off stage, too.
Elton John recently talked about the many projects he has in the works this year besides touring:
"Bernie's [Taupin] writing -- we're gonna write during the next year or so. I have a book coming out in 2019. I have [the film] Sherlock Gnomes coming out this March (23rd). I have [my bio-pic] Rocket Man going into production. It's not as if I'm not doing anything. I have another maybe museum show of my photography to put on. I have so much in my life. There's never a dull moment."
Elton starts to say goodbye to his Million Dollar Piano residency tomorrow (Friday) night with the first of 13 shows through March 2nd. The second and final run of the residency gets under way on April 28th with 14 shows through the finale on May 18th. He also hopes to be booked for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding on May 19th.
MORE BIG 95 MUSIC NEWS: Thursday, February 8th
THE TEMPTATIONS: Dennis Edwards' widow fights back on allegations
Dennis Edwards's widow is fighting back against allegations of spousal abuse.
Brenda Edwards tells the Detroit News, "I loved Dennis and we were married for 18 years. I would have never done anything to harm him. These allegations are false and defamatory, and will be proven as such.”
But we're also learning more about the charges raised against her. The paper notes that the Temptations legend filed the complaint against his wife that led Illinois authorities to step in. The protective order issued on January 12th alleged a “history of abuse by [Brenda Edwards]" and required that his cellphone, hearing aids and iPad be given back.
Other family members also began to wonder. Dennis's cousin Leon Fuller says he tried reaching Dennis by phone, but Brenda “wouldn’t let me know where he was.” And in comments that echo what was heard during Casey Kasem's final months, Fuller wondered why Brenda moved Dennis from his longtime home in St. Louis to Chicago. Finally, tipped off by a nurse, Fuller visited him in the hospital. "He smiled at me... I hate the way he went out."
QUINCY JONES: The Beatles were the worst musicians
Quincy Jones has some startling things to say about The Beatles.
In an interview with Vulture.com, the iconic producer says his "first impression" of the Fab Four was "that they were the worst musicians in the world. They were no-playing [expletives]."
The legendary producer even names names: "Paul was the worst bass player I ever heard. And Ringo? Don’t even talk about it." Jones recalls sitting in at a session for Starr's 1970 solo album Sentimental Journey. Ringo was having trouble with a four-bar section of the standard "Sentimental Journey." Unable to nail it after three hours, producer George Martin suggested he go to a nearby pub for lunch and a beer to relax. In the interim, Martin called in a session drummer who "tore it up" in 15 minutes. When Ringo got back, he was unaware of what had taken place. "He says, 'George, can you play it back for me one more time?' So George did, and Ringo says, 'That didn’t sound so bad.' And I said, 'Yeah, [expletive] because it ain’t you.'”
Worse, Quincy calls the late Michael Jackson a "Machiavellian" for stealing songs. He claims "Billie Jean" was the result of some plagiarism, and that MJ neglected to give co-writing credit to Greg Phillinganes for his portion of "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough."
He's no fan of Cyndi Lauper, either, recalling how during the session for the "We Are the World" charity single, her managers claimed none of the rock artists like the song -- and how she messed up takes when her jewelry rattled with microphones on.
Asked if there were any rockers he considered good, the jazz-trained Jones names Cream. And he suggests that U2 are too busy with humanitarian work to make good music these days.
James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt will do three shows in Italy this July.
Having canceled his Las Vegas run, Elvis Costello will instead play a pair of shows in and around New York City that week. He'll be in Brooklyn on March 7th and Port Chester on the 8th and 9th.
Eddie Brigati will bring his After The Rascals one-man show back to the Cutting Room in New York on March 1st. It marks the start of a monthly residency, with further shows already announced for April 5th and May 2nd.
Mickey Jones, the musician-turned-character actor who played drums in Bob Dylan's band during his first electric tour in 1966 and backed Kenny Rogers in The First Edition for a decade after that, died Wednesday at the age of 76 after a long illness.
Elvis Presley: The Searcher (The Original Soundtrack) goes on sale April 6th. It's the musical companion to the two-part documentary that debuts April 14th on HBO. Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty are among those who discuss Presley’s impact on the world of music.