BIG Music News: Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton

THE ROLLING STONES:  Ronnie Wood says he drew the 'long straw' with cancer

Ronnie Wood, who recently underwent treatment for lung cancer, says the death of David Bowie last year from liver cancer was a wake-up call.

Speaking to The Guardian, he says, "It especially affected me because we were the same age – both 1947 models. David and I, we never saw a lot of each other, but when we did, we had a lot in common. With the cancer, he pulled the short straw. I knew he had a stroke as well. Since he hadn’t been doing concerts or public appearances, I knew something fishy was going on with his health. I knew something was up. I was lucky, I got the long straw with the cancer."

Asked if he's started thinking about his legacy and what he'd like to leave behind for the twin daughters his wife had last year, he says, "It just really makes you want to be around longer to watch them grow. Having that second chance, it’s made me even more grateful to enjoy the twins, enjoy the kids I already have, enjoy [my wife] Sally, enjoy going back on the road, all of it."

Woody and The Rolling Stones are currently in rehearsals for a European tour which starts on September 9th in Hamburg, Germany.

ERIC CLAPTON:  Legendary Unplugged album released 25 years ago today

Eric Clapton was already a major artist in 1992, but he became even more popular with something that happened 25 years ago today (August 25th, 1992) -- the release of his Unplugged album.

Recorded on January 16th of that year in Windsor, England for the MTV show, the album introduced us to the acoustic version of "Layla," and the first live version of "Tears in Heaven," the song written following the death of his four-year old son Conor in 1991.

The album went on to win six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, Best Rock Song for "Layla," and Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Tears in Heaven."

Since its release it has sold more than 26 million copies worldwide and allowed Clapton to grow as an artist:

"The success of Unplugged and the freedom that gave me to explore all of my past and so many different avenues of music without feeling that I had to be anybody else but me sort of opened the way to do anything."


Paul Stanley has a prediction on Saturday’s match in Las Vegas between UFC champ Conor McGregor and undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather. Stanley says, “It's not the shots that miss. It's the ones that don't. Mayweather never fought this kind of opponent… Conor is slower, telegraphs punches, has no real experience. But his focus, determination and unconventional approach shouldn't be underestimated… McGregor by knockout.”

Don Henley will host the 2017 Global Environmental Leadership Award Dinner on September 15th at Boston Symphony Hall. It benefits his Walden Woods Project. Paul Simon will perform a 30-minute set.

Former Grand Funk Railroad singer-guitarist Mark Farner, Cars guitarist Elliot Easton, former Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau, Rick Derringer and others performed at the Hope Music Festival this week at the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis, Massachusetts. It raised money for Cape Cod Healthcare to help battle drug addiction.

Attention: John Travolta fans. Antenna TV will air a Welcome Back, Kotter marathon on Labor Day.

Moody Blues bassist John Lodge says he’s releasing a concert CD, vinyl and DVD from his recent tour. He’s also teasing a new song, “Important Words,” on his website and social media pages.

Former Styx singer and keyboardist Dennis DeYoung has paid tribute to the late Jerry Lewis, writing, in part, “Long before I wanted to be a Beatle, I longed to be like Jerry Lewis. He made me laugh... My uncle actually nicknamed me ‘screwy’ because of my habit of falling into an impression at the drop of a hat … all I need do is watch The Bellboy and I'm like a kid again.”

Allman Brothers Band bassist Oteil Burbridge will release a new album, Water in the Desert, on October 20th. He’ll start a North American tour on October 31st.

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