GEORGE MICHAEL: Revelations from final radio interview
George Michael said being gay while maintaining his career kept him from being able to "live a full life."
The first half of his final radio interview -- recorded weeks before his death on Christmas Day 2016 -- aired Wednesday on BBC radio. The "Faith" star used it to vent his frustration: "It was as though it was a choice: Do you find your place in life, your place with a partner/lover, or do you just carry on down this road to the next great [professional] achievement?"
Putting career first, he kept his personal life ultra-private during the '80s. "I just wasn’t ready to come out. It was in the era of AIDS and I had no concerns about coming out for that reason, other than my family... It was not a good time, not a good time for the gay community. So for my mother’s sake and my sister’s sake, I didn’t want them to look at my life as a dangerous place." He got weepy recalling the death of clothing designer Anselmo Feleppa, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1993.
George also touched on his failed lawsuit to gain creative control of his music from Sony, how wearing dark tinted glasses was his way of hiding part of himself from the public, and the Faith album, whose cover photo made him appear to be sniffing his armpit.
JIMMY BUFFETT: Margaritaville cookbook on the way next year
Jimmy Buffett's business empire will expand again next spring when Margaritaville: The Cookbook is published.
His co-authors -- chef Carlo Sernaglia and food writer Julia Turschen -- promise an array of appetizers, soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, main dishes, sides and dessert recipes to fit any taste at any latitude and time of day. And because it's always 5 O'Clock Somewhere, the book has cocktail recipes, including Jimmy's Perfect Margarita, Paradise Palomas and more.
It will be available May 1st in hardcover and E-book editions.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Buffett will join country stars Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith at the Florida Hurricane Benefit Concert on November 19th at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee, Florida. Proceeds will benefit communities in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands affected by hurricanes in 2017.
THE BEATLES: Series of new releases on the way at Christmas
The Beatles will ring in the holiday season with a batch of new releases.
December 15th will bring The Christmas Records, a vinyl box set of the annual Christmas messages the band sent on flexi-discs to members of their fan club between 1963 and 1969. The seven audio messages are pressed on variously colored 7-inch singles, with the original sleeve artwork. There set includes a 16-page booklet with recording notes and reproductions of the fan club newsletters from the time.
That same day, a Deluxe Anniversary Edition of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in high definition digital audio will be released. This collection contains the 2017 stereo mix, 18 additional tracks, including complete alternate takes of the album’s 13 songs. The album will also be available in two single vinyl LP editions: a 180-gram black vinyl LP and a picture disc LP.
The Ron Howard documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years will air on PBS beginning November 25th.
MORE BIG 95 MUSIC NEW HEADLINES: November 3rd
Smokey Robinson, who’ll release a Christmas album this year, will be one of the stars riding a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Mick Jagger is reportedly dating 22-year-old film producer Noor Alfallah. They were introduced by director Brett Ratner, who was recently accused of sexual misconduct.
The seventh KISS Kruise sets sail this Sunday from New Orleans with stops in Costa Maya and Cozumel.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame will announce the nominees for its Class of 2018 next week. This year's inductees included Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and Chicago's Robert Lamm and James Pankow.
The Roy Orbison in Dreams hologram tour, which will debut in Britain in April, will move to Australia in May. But we’re still waiting on dates for the U.S. and Canada.
Stevie Van Zandt, who lives in New York City, has spoken out on Tuesday’s terrorist attack there, saying, “We must terrorist-proof every city now. Metal spikes or whatever, protecting pedestrians and bike paths. This is not going to stop.” Jon Bon Jovi, who lives part time in New York, says, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to those families affected by this heartbreaking act of terror. My continuing thanks and respect for our first responders for making us all feel safe.”
Echo McGuire, who dated Buddy Holly while both attended high school in Lubbock, Texas, died Sunday from complications of Alzheimer's disease. She was 80.
Now that Halloween is over, Walmart has replaced its TV spot featuring The Who’s “Who Are You” with one that uses Pete Townshend’s “Let My Love Open the Door.”
Dennis O’Regan, who photographed David Bowie’s 1983 Serious Moonlight Tour, will publish a book of never-before-seen shots from it in May. Only 2,000 will be printed, with reproductions of handwritten lyrics, tickets, set lists, three large prints and a 12-inch picture disc of “Ricochet” and “Let’s Dance.” It won’t come cheap, though: just under $4,000.
Anita Baker, who appears to have retired from performing, will make an exception next spring. The '80s jazz-soul star will appear on the cruise hosted by syndicated radio host Tom Joyner. The O'Jays, Isley Brothersand A Taste of Honey will also perform.
Barbra Streisand fans, take note: Netflix has posted a trailer for the upcoming concert documentary Barbra: The Music…The Mem’ries…The Magic!, which will be available November 22nd.
Lloyd Price, who recently released the album This Is Rock and Roll, will perform December 1st at the Cutting Room in New York. The voice of such classics as "Stagger Lee," "Personality" and "Lawdy, Miss Clawdy" is 84.