GRAND FUNK: 50th anniversary reunion with Mark Farner?
A year away from the band's 50th anniversary, Grand Funk drummer Don Brewer takes a diplomatic stance regarding long-estranged frontman Mark Farner:
"Never say never, and I've said that for years. The opportunity has just not come along for us to get back together. There is... really no bitterness on our end -- I think there's probably more bitterness on the other of this ... coin. So, it's really not up to me. But, as I say, I don't think the correct, proper situation has come along yet. So, if it does, we'll approach it at that point."
Even without the voice of such classics as "Bad Time" and "Closer to Home," Brewer -- who sang and wrote most of "We're An American Band" -- says the "past two years have been the best years that Grand Funk has had in the past 20... playing for more people every year than we did the year before. It's just an incredible run."
Farner now bills his shows as Mark Farner's American Band. Meanwhile, Grand Funk drummer Mel Schacher is on leave as his wife deals with a serious medical issue.
MORE BIG 95 MUSIC NEWS: Thursday, February 22nd
BAD COMPANY: Likely the end of Mick Ralphs' career
The shows Bad Company recently did in Florida and aboard the Rock Legends Cruise only featured two original members -- singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke. Simon says that's probably how it will remain, as guitarist Mick Ralphs continues to be affected by the stroke he suffered in 2016.
Simon Kirke provides an update on the health of Mick:
"To be quite frank, I think his career is over because his whole left side is paralyzed and, you know, if you're a guitarist, that's it. He's trying to keep a good spin on it. He's still got his marbles -- I mean he can still tell me what to do."
But Ralphs' contribution to Bad Company continues. In addition to a handful of shows this year, Simon says there's talk of a new album:
"Mick has some songs that he wrote before the stroke affected him. So, you know, fingers crossed, there will be another Bad Company album. I really hope so."
The last Bad Company studio album to feature both Rodgers and Kirke was 1982's Rough Diamonds.
The other founding member of Bad Company was bassist Boz Burrell, who died of a heart attack in 2006.
STEELY DAN: Walter Becker birthday present
Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker would have celebrated his 68th birthday Tuesday. To mark the occasion, his estate shared a previously unreleased song he recorded in 1997 titled "Were You Close Today." It's set to a montage of photos of Becker on WalterBecker.com.
Becker died of cancer on September 3rd.
TOTO: Vinyl box release on the way
Toto will release a (mostly) vinyl box set as part of their 40th anniversary celebration.
The huge All In will contain 13 albums on 17 LPs, the Live in Tokyo EP from 1980, seven previously unreleased tracks and the three new songs (“Spanish Sea,” “Alone” and “Struck by Lighting”) that were included on the band’s recent compilation, 40 Trips Around the Sun.
The set also includes a Blu-Ray disc called Live in Paris (from 1990), the Toto IV album in 5.1 surround sound and an 80-page hardcover book.
The $500 limited-edition collection will not be shipped until this fall, but pre-orders must be made online by April 10th. If vinyl's not your thing, a CD version of All In will also be available later this year.
This Friday will bring a re-release of Bon Jovi’s 2016 album, This House Is Not for Sale, and a video for “When We Were Us,” one of the two new songs added to the album.
Bon Jovi will be honored with the iHeartRadio Icon Award at the iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 11th at the Forum in Los Angeles. The band will also perform on the show, which will air live on Turner Networks -- TBS, TNT and TruTV.
The Rolling Stones’ "No Stopping" tour posters have popped up in Edinburgh, Berlin, Dublin and other cities they will play this spring and summer.
Soft Cell will reunite for what the duo is calling its “final show,” set for London on September 30th. Best known for the electro-pop smash "Tainted Love," the duo of Marc Almond and Dave Ball last worked together 15 years ago.
Patti Smith will be part of the 31st annual Tibet House U.S. benefit concert on March 3rd at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Carly Simon is also on the bill.