They got the money: Guns N’ Roses’ US tour rakes in $50 million in ticket sales

Credit: John Lanza

Guns N’ Roses are cashing another major paycheck after wrapping the U.S. leg of their 2021 Tour.

Billboard reports that the hard-rock legends sold a whopping 363,000 tickets during their rescheduled tour, which was postponed last year when COVID-19 shut down the entertainment industry. That number of tickets sold amounts to a $50 million payday for GN’R.

Originally called the 2020 Tour, the outing started on Super Bowl Weekend in January of last year at American Airlines Arena in Miami. About 11,200 tickets were sold for the event, which translated into $2.7 million in cold hard cash.

GN’R eventually pumped the brakes as the pandemic worsened and the tour was moved to summer 2021. However, the delay did little to dampen the cash flow because when the tour picked up again on July 31 at Pennsylvania’s Hersheypark Stadium, the outing made history at the time for becoming the concert with the best single-night earnings during the pandemic-era. That summer concert earned a resounding $2.3 million in ticket sales.

As the tour went on, that record was continually broken — for example, the band raked in $4.5 million at New Jersey’s Metlife Stadium on August 5.

Now, with their U.S. leg in the rearview mirror, the band is taking a breather before hitting the road again next year for the third leg of their tour, which kicks off in Lisbon, Portugal on June 4.

The tour is slated to wrap December 10, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand.

That said, it’ll be awhile before we find out how their pandemic-era trek measures up to their previous Not in This Lifetime… Tour, which ran for four years and earned $584.2 million in ticket sales — making it the third highest-grossing concert tour in history.

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The Doors’ Robby Krieger performing at star-studded benefit show for ailing friend this Sunday

Credit: Jill Jarrett

For many years, Doors guitarist Robby Krieger and his friend, sports artist Scott Medlock, teamed up to organize an annual celebrity golf tournament and all-star concert to benefit the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. However, with Medlock himself battling cancer, this year’s edition of the event will feature Krieger joined by various musical friends at a special show to raise money for Scott’s medical bills.

The event, dubbed the “Celebration of Friendship” All-Star Concert — Scotty, Robby & Friends, takes place this Sunday, October 24, at Bogie’s Bar in the Los Angeles suburb of Westlake Village, California.

“Unfortunately, Scotty has got cancer and it’s gotten…bad,” Krieger tells ABC Audio. “So we’re just doing it for him and his family this year, trying to raise some money for them, because it’s amazing how much drug companies will charge for chemotherapy.”

While an official lineup for the show hasn’t been announced, Krieger reveals that the event will feature performances by “a lot of cool people,” including ex-Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine and his current group, a couple of members of Boston, and former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora and his collaborator and one-time girlfriend Orianthi.

“It should be fun,” Robby says.

You can check out the various tickets and VIP packages that are available for the benefit concert by visiting TheMedlockKrieger.org and Eventbrite.com.

Some ticket packages include an autographed copy of Krieger’s new memoir, Set the Night on Fire: Living, Dying, and Playing Guitar with The Doors, which was released earlier this month.

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Don McLean’s classic “American Pie” song and album celebrate their 50th anniversary on Sunday

Capitol Records/UMe

Don McLean‘s classic anthem “American Pie” and album of the same name were released 50 years ago this Sunday, October 24.

With “American Pie,” which was the album’s lead track and centerpiece, McLean used the tragic 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper — referred to in the tune as “the day the music died” –as a launching point to metaphorically trace the history of rock ‘n’ roll through the turbulent 1960s, while also reflecting on the loss of innocence America experienced during the era.

“American Pie” spent four weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1972, while the album topped the Billboard 200 for seven weeks around that time. American Pie also featured a second hit, the acoustic ballad “Vincent,” an homage to painter Vincent Van Gogh that peaked at #12 on the Hot 100.

“American Pie,” of course, has become among the most enduring songs of its time.

“It’s been a hit record on steroids,” McLean tells ABC Audio. “[O]ther hits have been forgotten that were around or…if you listen to them now, they sound silly…This song is majestic and it continues to grow.”

Reflecting on the song, Don says, “[I]t’s entertaining on a number of levels…I had a blast writing it and thinking about it and laughing and thinking, ‘Oh, this is funny, I’ll do this,’ or ‘I won’t do that.'”

As for “Vincent,” McLean notes with a laugh, “I hear people saying that the song has actually made [Van Gogh] famous, more famous than he was before. That makes me feel funny…because he was already a god, really, in [the realm of art].”

As previously reported, McLean will launch a 50th anniversary American Pie tour this January in Honolulu.

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Wolfgang Van Halen is “Dave Grohl-ing it” after spraining his ankle

Credit: Travis Shinn

Hey, Dave Grohl, another rocker needs to use your throne.

On Wednesday, Wolfgang Van Halen revealed that he’d sprained his ankle after he “ate s*** walking off the bus” while on tour with his Mammoth WVH solo band. He also shared a photo of the boot he was to wear for the next month or so, adding that he was going to be “Dave Grohl-ing” it for Mammoth’s show Hunstville, Alabama, last night.

Grohl, of course, broke his leg after falling off the stage during a 2015 concert. For the Foo Fighters tour later that year, he sat on a giant, guitar-adorned throne while his leg healed.

Following the Huntsville concert, Wolf posted photos of him playing the show while sitting on a much more humble stool.

“Welp…Never done that before, but we pulled it off!” Wolf wrote in the caption. “Thanks to Huntsville for making it such a special show!”

Mammoth’s tour continues Thursday in Knoxville, Tennessee. They’ll also be playing this weekend’s Shaky Knees festival in Atlanta along with Foo Fighters, so maybe Grohl can bring the throne then.

Grohl previously lent the throne to Axl Rose to use after he broke his foot in 2016. Just last month, Grohl sent it to Darin Wall, the bassist for the Seattle-based metal band Greyhawk, who was recovering from being shot in the leg while defending others from a gunman outside an Idaho music venue.

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1960s songs by The Who, The Kinks & more featured on ‘Last Night in Soho’ soundtrack

Back Lot Music/Mondo

The soundtrack to the new psychological thriller film Last Night in Soho features a variety of memorable 1960s tunes by British artists, including The Who, The Kinks and Dusty Springfield.

The album will be released on Friday, while the film is scheduled to open in theaters on October 29.

Last Night in Soho focuses a character named Eloise, an aspiring fashion designer who can travel back in time to 1960s London, where she meets a wannabe pop singer named Sandie, portrayed by The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor Joy.

The movie was written and directed by Edgar Wright, whose previous films include Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Baby Driver. Wright curated the soundtrack and says the songs he assembled for the film actually inspired the script and story.

The soundtrack includes The Who’s cover of the Motown classic “(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave” and The Kinks’ “Starstruck,” as well as songs by Dusty Springfield, Peter & Gordon, The Searchers, Cilla Black, Sandie Shaw and The Walker Brothers. The movie’s title is taken from a song of the same name by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, which also is featured on the soundtrack.

In addition, Taylor Joy recorded multiple versions of Petula Clark‘s classic pop hit “Downtown” for the soundtrack and the film’s original score, and she’s featured performing the tune in the movie.

You can check out a video of Taylor Joy performing the “Downtempo” version of “Downtown” on YouTube now.  The track’s also been released as an advance digital single from the Last Night in Soho — Original Score album.

You can pre-order the soundtrack and score now.

Here’s the full track list of the Last Night in Soho soundtrack:

“A World Without Love” — Peter & Gordon
“Wishin’ and Hopin'” — Dusty Springfield
“Don’t Throw Your Love Away” — The Searchers
“Beat Girl” (1993 Remaster) — The John Barry Orchestra
“Starstruck” — The Kinks
“You’re My World” — Cilla Black
“Wade in the Water” (Live at Klooks Kleek) — The Graham Bond Organisation
“I’ve Got My Mind Set on You” — James Ray
“(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave” — The Who
“Puppet on a String” — Sandie Shaw
“Land of 1000 Dances” — The Walker Brothers
“There’s a Ghost in My House” — R. Dean Taylor
“Happy House” — Siouxsie & the Banshees
“(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me” — Sandie Shaw
“Eloise” — Barry Ryan
“Anyone Who Had a Heart” — Cilla Black
“Last Night in Soho” — Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
“Neon” (Soundtrack Edit) — Steven Price
“Downtown” (A Capella) — Anya Taylor-Joy
“Downtown” (Uptempo) — Anya Taylor-Joy

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Writer & producer revealed for upcoming Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne biopic

Tibrina Hobson/WireImage

More details have been announced about the upcoming Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne biopic.

According to Variety, the film will be produced Polygram Entertainment in partnership with Osbourne Media, the company of Ozzy and Sharon’s children Jack and Aimee. Sony Pictures is also handling development.

Meanwhile, the film’s script will be written by Oscar-nominee Lee Hall, who previously penned the 2019 Elton John biopic, Rocketman.

As previously reported, the movie is set to focus on the lives of the heavy metal couple through the lens of their relationship. Variety reports that it will include music from Black Sabbath and Ozzy’s solo career.

“Our relationship at times was often wild, insane and dangerous but it was our undying love that kept us together,” says Sharon in a statement to Variety. “We’re thrilled to partner with Sony Pictures and Polygram to bring our story to the screen.”

In a Rolling Stone article published last summer, Sharon said she wanted the film to feel different from the 2018 Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, which she called a “Hallmark rock movie.”

“Our film will be a lot more real,” Sharon said. “We don’t want it to be squeaky, shiny clean and all of that. We’re not making it for kids. It’s an adult movie for adults.”

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The Sound of Simon: Paul Simon to release new audiobook, ‘Miracle and Wonder,’ in November

Courtesy of Pushkin

Paul Simon will release a new audiobook titled Miracle and Wonder on November 16 that features conversations he had with bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell and Gladwell’s Broken Record podcast co-host, Bruce Headlam.

Woven throughout the biographical presentation are previously unheard live studio performances of some of Simon’s classic compositions, as well as archival music tracks.

The audiobook, which according to Variety is five hours long, was created from 30 hours’ worth of conversations recorded at Simon’s home in Connecticut and while he was on vacation in Hawaii.

Miracle and Wonder: Conversations with Paul Simon features Simon reflecting on his childhood, his collaboration with Art Garfunkel and many other aspects of his life, while also offering commentary about some of his most famous songs, including “The Boxer,” “The Sound of Silence,” and “Graceland.”

Variety reports that the 80-year-old singer-songwriter also reveals in the audiobook that he’s working on a new project that’s tentatively titled Seven Psalms, and plays snippets of some of his new music.

Miracle and Wonder also features reflections on Simon’s work by such other artists as Sting, Herbie Hancock, Renée Fleming, Roseanne Cash and Wilco‘s Jeff Tweedy.

The audiobook can be pre-ordered now at Pushkin.fm. The website also features three preview clips from the release that include Simon discussing “The Boxer” and “Bridge over Troubled Water,” as well as talking about some of the interesting instruments he’s collected and likes to incorporate into his recordings.

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Watch lyric video for new Robert Plant and Alison Krauss duet “Can’t Let Go”

Credit: David McClister

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss have debuted a lyric video for their new rendition of “Can’t Let Go,” a song written by Randy Weeks that acclaimed alt-country artist Lucinda Williams previously covered for her 1998 albumm Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.

“Can’t Let Go” will appear on Plant and Krauss’ upcoming duets album, Raise the Roof, which will be released on November 19. The track was issued as an advance digital single in August. The video, which you can check out on YouTube, features kitschy vintage-style graphics and images that include a vinyl disc spinning on a turntable.

The Led Zeppelin frontman and the lauded folk/bluegrass artist also released a second advance track from Raise the Roof earlier this month, “High and Lonesome,” an original tune that Plant co-wrote with producer T Bone Burnett.

Raise the Roof is a follow-up to Plant and Krauss’ Grammy-winning 2007 duets collection, Raising Sand. Like its predecessor, the new album was produced by Burnett and is made up mostly of covers of songs by various artists.

Los Lobos guitarist David Hidalgo and Plant’s Band of Joy collaborator Buddy Miller contributed to the album, as did a few musicians who also appeared on Raising Sand, including drummer Jay Bellerose, guitarist Marc Ribot and bassist Dennis Crouch.

You can pre-order Raise the Roof now.

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Bruce Springsteen performs, Paul McCartney is honored at Robin Hood Foundation benefit in NYC

Courtesy of Robin Hood Foundation

Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney were among the stars who took part in the 2021 edition of the Robin Hood Foundation‘s annual charity gala, which was held Wednesday night at New York City’s Jacob Javits Center.

According to Rolling Stone, Springsteen was introduced by the event’s host, Saturday Night Live‘s Cecily Strong, and proceeded to deliver a short acoustic set that featured renditions of “Working on the Highway,” “Dancing in the Dark” and “Thunder Road.”

“For over 30 years, Robin Hood has been finding, fueling, creating, impactful solutions to lift families out of poverty here in New York City,” the Boss told the crowd of an estimated 3,000. “The funds raised tonight translate into real results for New Yorkers living in poverty. We appreciate your support.”

The Robin Hood Foundation has been supporting poverty-fighting programs in the New York area for over 30 years, and also helped organize the star-studded post-9/11 event The Concert for New York City, which McCartney famously headlined.

The gala took place on the 20th anniversary of the concert, and to mark the occasion, McCartney — who also helped put together the 2001 show — was honored with a special award.

Alicia Keys performed the classic Beatles ballad “Let It Be” before McCartney took the stage.

“I love New York,” he told the audience. “Many years ago, when I was a little kid in Liverpool, we saw New York in the movies. I never dreamed that I would be here getting an award like this from you fantastic people. But then years later, we did show up at JFK with my buddies, the Beatles. We went on The Ed Sullivan Show and, boy, that was something.”

The event, which raised $77.5 million, also featured a performance by the Jonas Brothers.

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Elton John and Dua Lipa lend support to the UK’s efforts to win the Eurovision song contest

Interscope Records

Elton John and his “Cold Heart” duet partner, Dua Lipa, are throwing their weight behind the U.K.’s efforts to win the Eurovision Song Contest

The two artists, in conjunction with Tap Management, were selected to announce the search for who will represent Britain in the annual competition, which in the past two years has made global stars of “Arcade” singer Duncan Laurence and “Beggin'” rockers Måneskin.

Tap, which manages Dua, is taking over the selection of entries for the competition in an effort to have their country perform better in the contest. The U.K. hasn’t won in 25 years, and last year, its contestant came in dead last. 

Elton said about the competition, according to The Sun, “There aren’t many televised events that are as big and global as Eurovision, so it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to remind the world yet again of the depth and diversity of our talent. I can’t wait to see what gems our friends at Tap Music will unearth.”

Arguably the most famous artists ever to have competed in the Eurovision Song Contest, which has been running since 1956, are ABBA, who won for Sweden in 1974 with “Waterloo,” and Céline Dion, who competed and won for Switzerland in 1988.

The 2022 Eurovision Song Contest will be held in May and will take place in Turin, Italy.

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