Big Music News: The Beatles, U2

posted by Dewayne Wells - 

BEATLES:  Strawberry Fields to be redeveloped

Forever is a long time, but Liverpool's Strawberry Fields is hoping to make a new start.

The onetime children's home and surrounding parkland near where John Lennon grew up inspired the classic Beatles song and is now the namesake of a section of New York's Central Park that honors his memory.

50 years to the day after "Strawberry Fields" was first released as a 45, the British Salvation Army has begun a crowd-funding drive to build a vocational training center for people with learning disabilities, a cafe and a permanent exhibit on Lennon. The gardens John played in as a boy will be turned into a park.

The children's house was erected in the 1870s, rebuilt in the early 1970s and closed in 2005. These days, it's used as a church and prayer center.

The location remains a popular stop for Beatle fans who pose for photos and write messages on the stone gate posts. (ITV)


U2:  Bono speaks, meets Vice President Mike Pence at a German security conference

Bono was a featured speaker at a conference on global security in Munich, Germany this weekend.

On Friday, U2's activist singer unveiled a plan based around three "E"'s -- education, employment and empowerment -- to help fight the rise of extremism. He stressed that investment in the infrastructure of the developing nations of Africa is necessary to prevent future Syrias from happening. He said that if we don't do anything he doesn't "see a body of water wide enough, or a wall high enough, to keep these problems from our doors." (Rolling Stone)

On Saturday, Bono encountered Vice President Mike Pence at the conference and thanked him for having twice supported African AIDS relief as a Congressman during the George W. Bush Administration. Pence told Bono that, "It was an extraordinary historic accomplishment and you played a leading role in carrying it forward." (Rolling Stone)

OTHER BIG MUSIC NEWS HEADLINES:  Lynyrd Skynyrd, Paul Stanley

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” is being used in a new Chili’s commercial.

After performing in Denver on Tuesday, Sting stayed in town and attended the Denver Nuggets – Minnesota Timberwolves game on Wednesday. Denver lost, 112-to-99.

Erich Bergen, who played Bob Gaudio in the stage and film productions of Jersey Boys, has joined the cast of VH1's show to honor the late George Michael. The April 24th gala is set for New York's Highline Ballroom.

We’re hearing the Songwriters Hall of Fame will announce its Class of 2017 next week. Bryan Adams, Cat Stevens, Gloria Estefan, Jeff Lynne and members of Chicago are among this year’s nominees.

Paul Stanley has recovered from his concussion and will rehearse with KISS for three shows next week in Oklahoma and Louisiana.

Nathan East, the bassist in Eric Clapton’s band, joined Ringo Starr in the studio this week for his new album, which will be out in June.

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