BON JOVI: Richie Sambora has rehearsed with the band
Richie Sambora is all set for next week's reunion with Bon Jovi at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland.
Sambora, who left the band in 2013, has rejoined his former bandmates in preparation for the April 14th ceremony. He told Billboard, "Everybody falls back into place... We already rehearsed and it was wonderful, it wasn't awkward. The chemistry came back very quickly; it’s matrixed into our muscle memory at this point. If you’re on the road performing and touring for 30 years, [the Rock Hall ceremony] is just another cycle -- and it’s a good one, so here we go."
He also says, "You don’t go out and make music for the awards. You make music for the fans. And this award is all about them, because without them, there would be no Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There would be no music business. Think about it: you put a concert on, and if the fans didn't show up, there ain’t no concert."
Sambora will release Radio Free America, an album with his guitar-playing girlfriend Orianthi, on May 11th.
MORE BIG 95 MUSIC NEWS: Monday, April 9th
ELTON JOHN: Two new tribute albums are out
Not one but two different Elton John tribute albums -- Revamp and Restoration -- were released today Friday, and no one is more surprised than Elton:
"When we sort of mooted doing these two albums, the record company said, 'You'll never do it. You'll never pull it off.' I didn't think it would come together as quickly. And these artists just came on board, and I think it was probably because they think, 'Poor old thing, fifty years of writing.' But they were so generous with their time."
Revamp consists of covers by pop and rock acts Elton selected, while Restoration is mostly country artists picked by songwriting partner Bernie Taupin.
Revamp features Ed Sheeran ("Candle in the Wind"), Coldplay ("We All Fall in Love Sometimes"), Mary J. Blige("Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"), Lady Gaga ("Your Song") and Elton doing "Bennie and the Jets" with Pink and Logic.
Restoration has Don Henley and Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Rosanne Cash and Emmylou Harris, Lee Ann Womack and Dolly Parton.
Tuesday night, CBS will air Elton John: I'm Still Standing – A Grammy Salute, with performances by Miley Cyrus, Sam Smith, Little Big Town, Valerie Simpson, Chris Martin and many others.
THE DOOBIE BROTHERS: Tom Johnston talks about the band as 50th anniversary nears
Tom Johnston is aware that The Doobie Brothers are moving closer to their 50th anniversary.
The voice of such classics as "Listen to the Music" and "China Grove" tells The Arizona Republic, "Where did all the years go? I just got some pictures framed from the early '70s – done by Danny Fong, who used to travel with us all the time. A lot of changes have happened in those ensuing years... But when you’re touring, it just sort of goes into a time freeze."
He also touches on his time away from the Doobies. Going on leave in 1975 with "a bad ulcer," Johnston took a year to get healthy. When he returned, he found that the band's creative leaders were Michael McDonald and Pat Simmons. So he quit in 1977. "It had coalesced into a different direction. It was very viable music and they did very well with it. They got four Grammys with it on the Minute by Minute album... But it was not in a direction where I was musically."
That lineup split in 1982, but Johnston and Simmons reformed the band five years later and it has toured ever since.
THE MONKEES: Peter Tork talks about his new album
Peter Tork's new album is a salute to the legendary folk musician Leadbelly.
The Monkees' multi-instrumentalist and lifelong blues fan just released his version of Leadbelly's "Hello Central" as a single from Relax Your Mind. It's important fans are away of the bluesman's influence on countless pop artists, including himself.
Peter Tork on his new single, "Hello Central.":
"On Peter-Tork-dot-com you can't download but you can listen. It's the Leadbelly tribute album. My brother Nick and I grew up on Leadbelly records and really found... it's the foundation of almost all the pop and rock that we do."
You can stream the song on Twitter or buy it from CD Baby and other online sources.
Despite hints to the contrary, Peter says he's feeling well. He opted not to join this summer's Monkees tour with Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith so he could focus on promoting and performing the songs from Relax Your Mind. He promises to announce concert dates shortly.
As Nesmith did on The Monkees 50th anniversary tour two years ago, don't rule out Peter joining Micky and Mike on a show or two near his Connecticut home. He's leaving the door wide open.
Peter Tork on sitting out the 2018 Monkees tour by Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith:
"The two of them are trying it out in that mode. Micky and I did it for a while. And now it's Micky and Mike's turn, and we're going to see how that works out. And bless 'em. And, you know, I'll probably pop up here and there."
Billy Joel has cut the price of the Florida mansion he's been trying to sell for the past three years. First listed for just under $20 million, the eight-bedroom, 9000-square-foot mansion on two acres of choice property in Palm Beach County is now for sale at $16.9 million.
Elton John has expanded his social media presence by joining Tumblr. He calls it "a special space with a creative community full of talented and influential people that embrace everything from music to fashion and drive the spirit and passion I so admire as an artist."
Paul Stanley has paid tribute to the late Alice Kulick, the mother of former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick and his brother and KISS collaborator Bob Kulick. He says she “raised two solid and righteous men, and her values and kindness live on through them. Like all great parents, she will always be with them.” Mrs. Kulick died last week at age 93.
It's been five months since the deal for a Bee Gees musical was announced. Since then, we've heard nothing else about it from Barry Gibb or the theatrical division of Universal Pictures. Meanwhile, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is still going strong, Escape to Margaritaville and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical are in previews and The Cher Show is expected by fall.
Ronald Dunbar, a longtime associate of Holland-Dozier-Holland who co-wrote such '70s soul classics as "Band of Gold," "Give Me Just a Little More Time" and "Patches," died last Wednesday. He was 77.