Television frontman Tom Verlaine dead at 73

Television frontman Tom Verlaine has died at age 73, The New York Times reports.

Jesse Paris Smith, daughter of Verlaine’s contemporary and onetime partner Patti Smith, tells the Times that Verlaine passed away following a “brief illness.”

In an Instagram post, Jesse Paris Smith writes, “I love you always and forever, and will always remember and hold close the touch of your hand — hands of a beautiful creator and of a love more warm, tender, delicate, and true that one can ever dream.”

Verlaine and Patti Smith were at one point romantically involved, and he co-wrote and played on the song “Break It Up” on her 1975 debut album Horses.  On Instagram, Patti posted a photo of them together in their younger years, and captioned it with a short poem: “This is a time/when all/seemed possible./Farewell/Tom, aloft/the Omega.”

Verlaine co-founded Television in 1973, and the band became a staple at the famed CBGB New York City club. Television broke up in 1978 after two albums, but reunited in 1992 for a third and final album, which spawned the radio single “Call Mr. Lee.” The band continued to play live over the years, most recently in 2019.

A seminal band in the coming alternative scene, the influence of Television — and their groundbreaking 1977 album Marquee Moon — can be heard in bands including The Strokes and Interpol.

Television also influenced Sonic Youth; that band’s Kim Gordon posted a photo of Verlaine and wrote, “Tom Verlaine forever!” along with broken-heart emojis and the word “tragic.” 

Blondie‘s Chris Stein remembered Verlaine in a tweet, as did Billy Idol, who wrote of Verlaine, “He made incredible music that greatly influenced the US & UK punk rock scene in the ‘70’s RIP.”

The Bangles Susanna Hoffs, actor Elijah Wood and Living Colour‘s Vernon Reid were among the other artists paying tribute to Verlaine.

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The Rolling Stones drop “Doom and Gloom” from ‘GRRR Live!’

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It’s only two weeks until The Rolling Stones drop their new live album, GRRR Live!, and they’re sharing yet another track from it. The band just dropped the live performance of “Doom and Gloom” to streaming services. 

“Doom and Gloom” was the lead single from the band’s 2012 album, GRRR!, a compilation celebrating their 50th anniversary. At the time it was the first song the band recorded together in almost seven years.

GRRR Live!, dropping February 10is a recording of The Stones’ December 15, 2012, concert at Newark’s Prudential Center, which was part of their 50 & Counting tour, celebrating their 50th anniversary. It features guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr., Mick Taylor and The Black Keys. The album is now available for preorder.

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Elton John fans upset at last-minute New Zealand show cancelation due to flooding

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Elton John was forced to cancel his Farewell Yellow Brick Road show in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday after heavy rains caused flooding in the city. Elton’s concert at Mt Smart Stadium was called off only 15 minutes before the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer was set to hit the stage, with many ticket holders already inside after braving the harsh conditions.

“I’m absolutely heartbroken that tonight’s show in Auckland couldn’t go ahead,” Elton shared on Instagram, noting he was at the venue ready to play. He explained, “Ultimately we had to follow the local emergency services’ decision to cancel.” He added, “My heart goes out to those of you who made it into the stadium only to have to leave again and I truly share your frustration and disappointment.”

With thousands of fans already at the venue, many were unhappy about the last-minute cancellation. After the promoter initially announced the news, fans were quick to voice their displeasure, with one writing, “Thanks for waiting till we were already there to cancel it … We understand cancelling it, just not at 7.15 for a 7.30 start.” 

“I’m furious,” concertgoer Casey Mitchell told Sky News. “It was raining heavily on the way to the stadium and I kept checking for announcements but nothing came, despite puddles being up to my ankles.”

So far there’s no word on whether the show will be rescheduled. Elton is scheduled to play the venue again on Saturday.

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Tommy Lee unites with new group GXTP for “Contraband” song

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Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee has linked up with the new band GXTP for a song called “Contraband.”

GXTP, which stands for “guns and toilet paper,” features songwriter and producer Poo Bear, who’s often worked with Justin Bieber, as well as Triple Sixx and Sasha Sirota.

“It all stems from the pandemic and a poem,” says Poo Bear. “At the time there was a shortage of guns and toilet paper. I read a poem by our partner Triple Sixx, and I said to him, ‘This poem feels like a rock song, brother.’ We ended up turning that poem into a band.”

In addition to playing drums on “Contraband,” Lee appears in the song’s accompanying video, which is streaming now on YouTube.

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Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott helps Ryan Reynolds & Rob McElhenney preview next Wrexham/Sheffield match

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Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott has joined forced with actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney to help promote this weekend’s soccer game between Reynolds and McElhenney’s Wrexham AFC and Joe’s favorite team Sheffield United. 

In a 45-second promo, the trio banter about this Sunday’s match, dropping in references to several Def Leppard tracks, like “Foolin’,” “Hysteria” and “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak.” There’s also a mention of McElhenney’s Apple TV+ series Mythic Quest.

“We brought in a certified Blades fan here for our match preview, no fa-fa-‘Foolin’’ around here,” Ryan says in the clip, with Rob adding, “He’s gonna help us create some ‘Hysteria.’” Elliott then chimes in with, “I see what you did there, lads, next you’re gonna be saying that Wrexham will be” — he trails off as “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak” plays.

Sharing the clip on social media, Reynolds writes, “Take it from noted sugar expert Joe Elliott of @DefLeppard – @wrexham_afc vs @SheffieldUnited is gonna be sweet.”

The match between Wrexham AFC and Sheffield United airs Sunday on ESPN+.

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U2 releases ‘Songs of Surrender’ version of “With or Without You”

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U2 has dropped a new track from their upcoming album, Songs of Surrender. This time, they’re treating fans to their new take on The Joshua Tree classic “With or Without You.” 

U2 will release Songs of Surrender, containing “40 Songs. Reimagined and rerecorded,” on March 17. Curated and produced by the Edge, each song on the album is a completely new recording, with new arrangements and in some cases new lyrics.

“Most of our work was written and recorded when we were a bunch of very young men. Those songs mean something quite different to us now,” Edge shares about the project. “Some have grown with us. Some we have outgrown. But we have not lost sight of what propelled us to write those songs in the first place. The essence of those songs is still in us.” 

“With or Without You” was the lead single off U2’s iconic 1987 album, The Joshua Tree, and went on to become their first number one in the United States.

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Twisted Sister members reunite for Metal Hall of Fame induction

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Twisted Sister was back onstage together for the first time in over six years this week. The band, fronted by Dee Snider, reunited Thursday for the sixth annual Metal Hall of Fame gala, which took place at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, California.

The band was among this year’s inductees, along with Raven, Lou Gramm, Doug Aldrich and Chris Impellitteri, with Steve Vai and Mike Portnoy on hand to welcome them into the Hall.

Consequence reports that Snider, bassist Mark Mendoza and guitarist Jay Jay French, joined by Portnoy on drums, treated the sold-out crowd to a three-song set that included “You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Under the Blade” and their classic “We’re Not Gonna Take it.” Guitarist Eddie Ojeda was unable to join the reunion due to COVID.

The sold-out gala was Twisted Sister’s first performance together since they wrapped their 2016 farewell tour in November of that year. That tour featured Portnoy taking over on drums following original drummer AJ Pero‘s 2015 death.

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Jane’s Addiction announces Josh Klinghoffer as Dave Navarro fill-in for upcoming shows

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Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer will fill in for Dave Navarro during Jane’s Addiction‘s upcoming tour.

Navarro previously missed last fall’s Jane’s tour with The Smashing Pumpkins due to continued effects from long COVID-19. Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen played in place of Navarro during the tour, while Klinghoffer also helped out during select dates.

In a Twitter post announcing the news, Jane’s writes, “As a band we are in a great place, writing new music, and the bond is tighter than ever.”

The statement continues, “We all hope Dave can be out playing with us; when he feels healthy and ready.”

Klinghoffer will join Jane’s for the band’s U.S. West Coast run in March and for their performances at Lollapalooza Argentina, Brazil and Chile, as well as several to-be-announced international shows.

By the way, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction have a history of swapping members. Navarro played in RHCP from 1993 to 1998, while Flea briefly toured with Jane’s in 1997.

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KISS releasing fifth installment of ‘Off The Soundboard’ live bootleg series

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KISS is delving into their archives to treat their fans to another classic live performance. The rockers announced the fifth installment in their Off The Soundboard live bootleg series, which will focus on a classic concert from 1984.

KISS – Off The Soundboard: Poughkeepsie, New York, 1984 is set to drop April 7, featuring a November 28, 1984, concert recorded live at Mid-Hudson Arena during the band’s Animalize World Tour. 

The lineup for the Poughkeepsie show included Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Carr and Mark St. John, who performed an 18-song set that included songs like “Creatures Of The Night,” “I Love It Loud” and “Lick It Up,” along such classic tunes as “Detroit Rock City,” “Love Gun” and “Rock And Roll All Nite.” 

The bootleg will be available digitally, as well as on two-LP standard black vinyl, CD and a limited edition two-LP set on 180g custard yellow vinyl. The set is available for preorder now at the official KISS online store.

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‘Queen The Greatest Live’ episode two shares footage of Live Aid rehearsals

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Queen is out with the latest installment of their yearlong YouTube series Queen The Greatest Live, which, like episode one, focuses on the band’s rehearsals.

Queen The Greatest Live – Episode 2: “Rehearsals – Part 2” delves into the work that led to the band’s iconic 1985 set at Live Aid at Wembley Stadium in London. The episode cuts between rehearsal and live footage of such songs as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Radio Ga Ga” and more.

Queen’s 17-minute Live Aid set is considered by many to be one of the greatest live performances in history. Other songs performed during the historic concert include “Hammer to Fall,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions.” 

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