Big Music News: Chicago opens up about their honor

CHICAGO:  Robert Lamm talks about his most influential songwriters

After learning he'd been named to the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Chicago's Robert Lamm named the other tunesmiths who most influenced him.

He tells Chicago's Sun-Times, "John Lennon and Paul McCartney gave rockers permission to write songs that were not blues-based and have some interesting lyric content."

Then, it's Burt Bacharach. Lamm said he "heard of him originally because I would always read the labels on 45s to see who wrote the song. He was doing those Brill Building songs that went way beyond what doo-wop was at the time. And what he did with [lyricist] Hal David -- beautiful music matched with beautiful lyrics."

Finally, Brazilian legend Antonio Carlos Jobim "taught us that the harmonic progressions don’t have to fall within a specific format; it can be a very long harmonic and melodic statement that still captures an era of Brazilian music if not jazz. His music taught me sophistication and to think outside the box."

Lamm and fellow Chicago tunesmiths James Pankow and Peter Cetera will be among those inducted into the Songwriters Hall on June 15th.


Toto guitarist Steve Lukather is the latest artist to play on Ringo Starr’s new album, which will be out in June. Lukather, who was in the most recent All-Starr Band, joins Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Peter Frampton, Timothy B. Schmit and Benmont Tench on the project.

Elton John will host his 25th annual Academy Awards Viewing Party Sunday night at West Hollywood Park, with all the proceeds going to his AIDS Foundation.

Ronnie Wood is working on a new art book.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s compilation Fishin' in the Dark, which drops tomorrow (Friday), spans five decades of music. It includes "Mister Bojangles" along with "Make a Little Magic" (recorded with Nicolette Larson) and "An American Dream" (with Linda Ronstadt).

Keith Richards‏ was in New York City this week to take in a show by keyboardist Ivan Neville, a member of his solo band, at the Blue Note jazz club.

Brian May says his Queen in 3-D book will be published in May. He writes, “I hope you folks out there enjoy this epic but totally conversational tome. It began as a small informal collection of 3-D images over the years, but it ended up as the most demanding stereoscopic book we've ever produced.”

The Very Best of Brenton Wood will be released tomorrow (Friday). It contains remasters of such '60s classics as "The Oogum Boogum Song" and "Gimme Little Sign" along with his take on Sam Cooke's civil rights anthem "A Change Is Gonna Come."

There's a whole lot of "suing" going on these days. Jerry Lee Lewis alleges that son-in-law Ezekiel Loftin bought homes, luxury vehicles and plastic surgery with $5 million stolen from him. Lewis already sued him a year ago for allegedly spreading lies about him.

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