R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe donates handwritten lyrics to charity auction

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R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe has donated some handwritten lyrics to help raise money for a good cause.

The rocker has contributed a signed lyric sheet for the track “Nightswimming” to the Art for Gaza auction. The money raised is going to Doctors Without Borders.

The auction is set to run until March 2 at 12 p.m. ET. The initial estimate for the sale was between $1,000 and $1,200, but the current bid has already surpassed that. Bids can be placed at bid.whytes.ie.

“Nightswimming” was the fifth single off R.E.M.’s eighth studio album, 1992’s Automatic for the People. It featured a string arrangement by Led Zeppelin‘s John Paul Jones.

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Billy F Gibbons recruits famous friends for cover of Jimmy Reed classic

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ZZ Top‘s Billy F Gibbons has recruited some musician friends for a cover of blues legend Jimmy Reed‘s classic track “Baby What You Want Me To Do.”

The performance teams up Gibbons with the BFG’s — Haim’s Danielle Haim on drums, guitarist Matt Sweeny and Tim Montana on maracas — to help show off Fender’s Vintera II Series.

The clip features Gibbons on the Vintera II ’70s telecaster in Vintage White, with Sweeney on the Vintera II ’60s telecaster in Fiesta Red.

Fender’s Ventiera II Series is available at fender.com.

In other Gibbons news, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer just announced a trio of shows in Hawaii this May. The rocker will headline The Blue Note Hawaii in Honolulu May 17-19, with tickets set to go on sale Friday, March 1, at 10 a.m.

Gibbons and ZZ Top have a busy 2024 ahead of them. They are set to play West Palm Beach, Florida, on March 2 and kick off a new leg of the Sharp Dressed Simple Man Tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd starting March 8 in Savannah, Georgia. A complete list of shows can be found at ZZtop.com.

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John Fogerty denies canceling appearance at Australian festival

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John Fogerty wants his fans in Australia to know that he did not cancel a planned appearance at Country Fest Queensland.

The festival is scheduled to happen March 30-31, with the promoter announcing Fogerty’s cancellation on Tuesday, February 27, due to “unforeseen circumstances” and offering refunds to fans who didn’t want to attend due to the lineup change.

But in a post on Instagram, Fogerty says his cancellation was news to him. 

“I was ready to celebrate with you all for my one and only show this year in Australia when the Country Fest Queensland blindsided me yesterday by canceling my appearance,” he shared. “It was posted that I would not be appearing due to unforeseen circumstances. Well, I can tell you, my friends, I was not the reason for the ‘unforeseen circumstances.’”

Fogerty insists, “I was ready to come down there and excited to celebrate getting my songs back with all of you.”

Country Fest Queensland was the only show Fogerty had scheduled for March. He still has a handful of European festival dates scheduled during the month of July. A complete list of shows can be found at johnfogerty.com.


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Paul McCartney endorses Foreigner for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

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Paul McCartney is one of the many artists who feel that Foreigner should be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year.

As previously reported, producer Mark Ronson, who is the stepson of Foreigner’s Mick Jones, recently shared a star-studded video featuring Foo Fighters’ Dave GrohlJack BlackGuns N’ Roses SlashRed Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith and Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme explaining why they think Foreigner should be inducted this year. Apparently McCartney shares their opinion on the subject.

During an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Ronson debuted a video that McCartney sent to him for use in a for-your-consideration video, with Sir Paul saying, “Foreigner not in the Hall of Fame? What the f***?”

“I’ve never heard Paul McCartney curse,” Ronson noted. “He’s a knight! I don’t want to be the first person to ever post a video of Paul McCartney dropping the f-bomb.” 

But Foreigner apparently doesn’t have a problem with it because they shared the clip on social media with the caption, “A man of many words… @paulmccartney. All of your votes matter!” They also shared a link to the Rock Hall fan vote. They are currently in second place behind Ozzy Osbourne.

Fan voting is open until April 26, with inductees to be announced later that month. The ceremony, happening this fall in Cleveland, will stream live on Disney+, followed by a highlights special airing later on ABC.

McCartney is a two-time member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He was inducted in 1988 with The Beatles and again in 1999 as a solo artist.

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Pattie Boyd auctioning off personal items, including love letters from Eric Clapton

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Model Pattie Boyd is giving fans some direct insight into her love triangle with rockers George Harrison and Eric Clapton, thanks to a new auction happening at Christie’s.

Boyd, who was married to Harrison from 1966 to 1977 and had an affair with Clapton, who she was later married to from 1979 to 1989, is auctioning off a host of personal items: handwritten lyrics, photos and jewelry, including two letters written by Clapton while she was still married to Harrison.

“I am writing this letter to you, with the main purpose of ascertaining your feelings towards a subject well known to both of us,” he writes in one letter. “What I wish to ask you is if you still love your husband? All these questions are very impertinent, I know, but if there is still a feeling in your heart for me… you must let me know!” 

Another letter is addressed to “Layla,” Clapton’s nickname for Boyd and the inspiration for his 1971 hit song.

“Why do you hesitate, am I a poor lover, am I ugly, am I too weak, too strong, do you know why?” he writes. “If you want me, take me, I am yours … if you don’t want me, please break the spell that binds me. To cage a wild animal is a sin, to tame him is divine. My love is yours.”  

“I’m happy to let go of these things which I have treasured and loved for so many years,” Boyd shares. “These items represent special moments in my life but now I think it’s time to move on and share what I have with others.”

The auction runs from March 8 to March 22 at Christie’s online. More info can be found at Christies.com.


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Ozzy Osbourne on why he spoke out against Kanye West

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Earlier this month, Ozzy Osbourne spoke out after Kanye West used a sample of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” without permission, and he says he had a good reason to do so.

“Well, nobody else would f***** do it, did they?” he tells Rolling Stone.

Kanye used the sample on the song “Carnival,” which appears on the album Vultures with Ty Dolla $ign. Ozzy shared on social media that he refused to give Kanye permission for the sample “BECAUSE HE IS AN ANTISEMITE AND HAS CAUSED UNTOLD HEARTACHE TO MANY.”

Kanye eventually changed the song before it hit digital outlets, and Ozzy has no regrets about standing up to the rapper.

“With the current state of affairs, you don’t need anybody starting people on discrimination of any kind,” Ozzy says. “It’s wrong. It’s just wrong.”

“There’s enough f****** aggravation, and he shouldn’t say anything [like what he has],” he adds, noting, “It’s wrong if you don’t say anything about him. I don’t want any of my work in any shape or form to be associated with anything like that.”


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Don Henley testifies about “poor decision” that led to his 1980 arrest

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Eagles frontman Don Henley took the stand on Monday, February 26, to testify in the trial over stolen handwritten notes and lyrics to the band’s classic album Hotel California.

Glen HorowitzCraig Inciardi and Edward Kosinki are accused of trying to sell the handwritten notes, despite knowing they were stolen. Ed Sanders, an author who’d been hired to write an Eagles biography, originally stole them in the late 1970s.

According to Rolling Stone, during his testimony, Henley said he didn’t remember sending Sanders the lyric pads to use for the biography. He then added, “You know what? It does not matter if I had driven them across the country in a U-Haul truck and dumped them at his front door. He had no right to keep or sell them.”

Henley also testified about an arrest in 1980, which he called a “poor decision.” His lawyer brought up the incident, which appeared to be a preemptive move after the defense had indicated that they planned to bring it up.

Henley was arrested after a woman he had hired through a madam had a seizure in his home, and cops found drugs at his place. He pled no contest to contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Henley said he thought she was 20 or 21 but later found out she was 16 or 17. He wound up being sentenced to two year’s probation and paid a fine of $2,500. 

“I made a poor decision, which I regret to this day,” he said. “I have had to live with it for 44 years. I am living with it today in this courtroom. Poor decision.”

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Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Robert Plant set for Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival

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The Outlaw Music Festival is set to return this summer with an all-star lineup that features Willie Nelson & Family, Bob Dylan, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, John Mellencamp and more.

The tour is set to kick off June 21 in Alpharetta, Georgia, and wrap September 17 in Buffalo, New York. Nelson and Dylan are confirmed for the entire run, with Plant and Krauss on the bill for 10 shows through July 7 in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and Mellencamp joining the tour for 15 shows, starting July 29 in Chula Vista, California.

The lineup also includes Celisse, Brittney Spencer and Southern Avenue, with Billy Strings booked as a special guest for the August 10 show at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Gorge, Washington.

“This year’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour promises to be the biggest and best yet with this lineup of legendary artists,” Willie shares. “I am thrilled to get back on the road again with my family and friends playing the music we love for the fans we love.”

Tickets for all shows go on sale Friday, March 1, at 10 a.m. A complete list of dates and lineups can be found at outlawmusicfestival.com.

Nelson launched the Outlaw Music Festival in 2016; previous lineups featured such artists as Neil Young, Van Morrison, ZZ Top, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, Chris Stapleton and others.

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On This Day, February 27, 1974: Queen releases ‘The Works’, featuring hit song “Radio Ga Ga”

On This Day, February 27, 1974…

Queen released their 11th studio album The Works, which featured such tracks as “Radio Ga Ga,” “Hammer to Fall” and “I Want to Break Free.”

“Radio Ga Ga,” written by drummer Roger Taylor, was the first single released from the album. It went on to hit #1 in 19 countries but only went to #2 in the U.K. and #16 in the U.S.

The video for the track “I Want to Break Free” caused some controversy because the band dressed in drag. Backlash in the U.S. led to the band’s decision to not tour the album in North America. 

The Works, which peaked at #23 in the U.S., went on to sell over 6 million copies worldwide.

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Green Day’s “Basket Case” hits 1 billion Spotify streams

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Spotify users have officially listened to Billie Joe Armstrong whine 1 billion times.

Green Day‘s hit “Basket Case” has joined Spotify’s Billions Club, a playlist of all the songs with at least 1 billion streams on the platform. It’s the first Green Day song to hit the milestone.

In a Facebook post responding to the news, Green Day writes, “What’s that, you say!? Basket Case is in Spotify’s BILLIONS CLUB?!” alongside a trio of exploding head emojis.

“Basket Case” originally appeared on Green Day’s breakout 1994 album, Dookie, which just celebrated its 30th anniversary earlier in February.

Green Day put out a new album, Saviors, in January. They’ll launch a U.S. tour in support of the record in July, during which they’ll also be playing Dookie and 2004’s American Idiot in honor of their respective 30th and 20th anniversaries.

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