BIG Music News: Bon Jovi, Elton John

BON JOVI: Kick off 2017 tour without longtime drum tech

When Bon Jovi start their tour tomorrow night (Wednesday) in Greenville, South Carolina, the'll be without the aid of their longtime drum tech, Joe “JD” Dorosz.

JD underwent back surgery in November, and due to complications and a long recovery, he's unable to be on the tour. This has led to the creation of a Go Fund Me page, and the band will match all donations.

Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres says, "JD has worked with me from the beginning, and we’ll be missing him on the road this year. Any help you can send his way is appreciated."

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JD has also worked with Fleetwood Mac, Shania Twain, Prince, The Black Crowes, Lionel Richie, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Earth, Wind and Fire and many others.

ELTON JOHN: Pay tribute to George Michael

Elton John has paid tribute to the late George Michael.

During his Beats 1 Radio show The Rocket Hour, Elton told his online audience, "He was not only a good friend, but he was probably one of the most brilliant songwriters [Britain] ever produced, and certainly one of the best vocalists ever... One of the best in the world."

Reflecting on an "amazing friendship," Elton recalled sitting with George listening to a cassette of "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go." He told the aspiring hitmaker, "George, that’s the nearest record I’ve heard to a Motown record for years and years."

After that, they grew close. "He and I became great friends. I just want to remember him for his wonderful music and his kindness, which people are commenting on." (NME)

TOTO: New album and tour plans

Toto will mark its 40th anniversary with a new album and major tour.

The group formed in 1977 and released its first album -- highlighted by "Hold the Line" -- in October 1978.

Guitarist Steve Lukather tells, "We’re making new music, then we’re going to do a 40th anniversary tour for the next two years. It’s going to be busy for the next few years."

Lukather ran into former vocalist Bobby Kimball at last month's NAMM music marketers convention in Anaheim, California. While noting their paths hadn't crossed "in seven or eight years,” he shrugs off any suggestion of animosity. He says, "The press gets hold of this stuff. They want to make it seem we all hate each other. I love the guy. I have no bad vibe at all. Peace and love. I’m getting too old to harbor grudges -- I’m not like that."

While Kimball won't be involved with the new album or tour, Lukather hasn't said whether Joseph Williams would remain as the band's voice.

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