Brian Wilson announces 2021 US tour; updates official website with Timeline featuring rare recordings

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The Beach BoysBrian Wilson has unveiled dates for a 2021 U.S. solo tour that kicks off August 29 in Long Beach, California, and is followed by a run of October concerts in the Northeast and Midwest.

The fall dates start with an October 5 show in Huntington, New York, and are mapped out through an October 23 performance in Waukegan, Illinois. The tour has been dubbed “Greatest Hits Live!” and, as in recent years, Brian and his band will be joined by two fellow Beach Boys alums: Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin.

Pre-sale tickets for most shows are available now; visit for more details and the full list of dates.

In other news, Wilson recently relaunched his official website, which features a new Timeline that looks at different eras of his life and career. The various sections feature historical recaps, photos, images of memorabilia, audio commentary and rare recordings, including previously unheard demos, outtakes and live performances.

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The Grateful Dead releasing 20-CD box set featuring seven early-’70s concerts in St. Louis

A limited-edition 20-CD live Grateful Dead box set, featuring seven full previously unreleased concert performances that the band played in St. Louis in 1971, 1972 and 1973, will be issued on October 1.

Listen to the River: St. Louis ’71 ’72 ’73 includes audio of shows that took place December 9-10, 1971, and October 17-19, 1972, at the Fox Theatre, as well as October 29 and 30, 1973, performances at Kiel Auditorium.

The box set comes with an 84-page hardbound book that features several essays about the concerts, including one penned by The Dead’s tour manager during that time, Sam Cutler.

The shows featured the band playing 60 different songs, including covers of three tunes by St. Louis’ own Chuck Berry — “Run Rudolph Run,” “Johnny B. Goode” and “Around and Around.”

“The seven shows in this boxed set perfectly summarize 22 months of Grateful Dead music, performances, and growth,” says Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux, who also produced the collection.

Only 13,000 copies of the 20-CD box set, each individually numbered, will be available. You can pre-order copies now exclusively from High-res digital versions also are being sold at the website.

In advance of Listen to the River‘s arrival, a performance of “Sugaree” from the December 10, 1971, show has been made available digitally and via The Grateful Dead’s official YouTube channel.

Also on October 1, the December 10, 1971, concert will be released individually at traditional retail outlets as a three-CD set, a five-LP collection, and digitally. In addition, the October 18, 1972, performance will be issued as a limited-edition two-LP set titled Light into Ashes: Fox Theatre, St. Louis, MO (10/18/72) that will be available exclusively at

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Eric Clapton says he’ll cancel shows at UK venues requiring attendees to be vaccinated

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Eric Clapton has threatened to cancel performances at U.K. venues that require audience members to be vaccinated to attend his concerts.

Clapton’s message, which was posted on the Telegram page of Robin Monotti, an anti-vaccine advocate, was in response to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson‘s recent announcement that COVID-19 vaccine passes would be required to attend events at nightclubs and other venues.

“Following the PM’s announcement on Monday…I feel honour bound to make an announcement of my own,” Slowhand writes. “I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present. Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show.”

Accompanying the message is a link to Clapton’s rendition of the 2020 Van Morrison song “Stand and Deliver,” which criticizes the U.K. government’s pandemic-related restrictions on live performances.

In May, another message from Clapton was posted on Monotti’s Telegram page in which he revealed he experienced a severe reaction after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“[M]y hands and feet were either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks, I feared I would never play again,” Eric wrote. “[I] should never have gone near the needle.”

In a statement to Rolling Stone in May, a spokesperson for the U.K. government agency overseeing the vaccine maintained that “over 56 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 have now been administered in the UK, saving thousands of lives through the biggest vaccination programme that has ever taken place in this country.”

The rep added, “Our advice remains that the benefits of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca outweigh the risks in the majority of people.”

Clapton’s next U.K. concerts are scheduled for May 2022. He begins a run of U.S. dates in September 2021.

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Sad but Shoe: Metallica announces ‘Black Album’-themed Vans collaboration

Blackened Recordings

Metallica‘s 30th anniversary Black Album celebration will include a collaboration with Vans.

The famed footwear company is launching a new collaboration with the metal legends inspired by the famed “Sad but True” design by artist Pushead. The shoe will come in two styles: the Sk8-Hi, and the Classic Slip-On.

You can order a pair of your own starting July 26 at noon ET. For more info, visit

Metallica has worked with Vans several times in the past on signature designs, and in 2016, the band performed at the House of Vans venue in London.

Meanwhile, Metallica is releasing a 30th anniversary Black Album deluxe reissue, as well as the 53-track all-star The Metallica Blacklist tribute compilation, on September 10.

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Watch Green Day debut “Pollyanna” during surprise Oklahoma concert

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Green Day played their first full, in-person concert since the COVID-19 pandemic began Tuesday night in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The sold-out show, which required all attendees to be fully vaccinated, featured the live debut of the punk trio’s latest song, “Pollyanna,” which was released in May. Fan-recorded footage of the performance was posted to social media.

Other songs played during the set include “Longview,” “Welcome to Paradise,” “Brain Stew” and “Holiday,” as well as a cover of KISS‘ “Rock and Roll All Nite,” according to

Green Day played the Tulsa concert as a warm-up gig for their Hella Mega tour alongside Weezer and Fall Out Boy, which launches July 24 in Dallas.

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New collection of Slash signature guitars available now from Epiphone

Courtesy of Gibson Brands

A new collection of Slash signature Epiphone guitars was released Tuesday, featuring multiple acoustic and electric models, as part of a partnership between Epiphone and the Gibson company.

The Epiphone Slash Collection features guitars inspired by Gibson models that the Guns N’ Roses legend has played throughout his career. The electric models are the Epiphone Slash Les Paul Standard finished in Appetite Burst, November Burst, Anaconda Burst and Vermillion Burst, and the Slash “Victoria” Les Paul Standard Goldtop, which is gold. The collection’s acoustic model is called the Epiphone Slash J-45, which is available in Vermillion Burst and November Burst finish.

All of the guitars in Epiphone Slash Collection feature Slash’s “Skully” signature drawing on the back of the headstock, the guitarist’s signature on the truss rod cover, and a hardshell case that also includes the “Skully” logo.

Speaking about his signature collection in a new Epiphone promo video, Slash notes, “It’s a huge honor to be able to have a guitar that’s got your name on it…representing you…These are really well put together, all the best materials, all the best components. Everything I could want in an electric guitar is all in this. And so for…a reasonable amount of money, you can get a really great guitar that will last your whole career.”

All of the new Slash Epiphone models are available at a list price of $899. For more information about the instruments, visit

The Epiphone models were inspired by the pricier guitars released last year as part of the Gibson Slash Collection.

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Listen to J Balvin & Jon Pardi’s covers of Metallica’s “Wherever I May Roam”

Blackened Recordings

The worlds of reggaeton and country unite on Metallica‘s Blacklist album, an upcoming tribute to the metal legends’ 1991 self-titled record, aka The Black Album.

The latest covers to be released from the star-studded compilation are versions of “Wherever I May Roam” by J Balvin and Jon Pardi. Balvin’s rendition finds him rapping in Spanish over samples of the original song, while Pardi turns the track into a dark country epic.

Both covers are available now for digital download.

The Metallica Blacklist will be released September 10. In recent weeks, Metallica has shared covers of songs including  “Sad but True,” “Holier than Thou” and “The Unforgiven,” recorded by the likes of St. Vincent, Biffy Clyro and others.

The compilation also includes the previously released all-star version of “Nothing Else Matters” featuring Miley Cyrus, Metallica’s Robert Trujillo, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, Elton John, guitarist/producer Andrew Watt and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Meanwhile, Metallica has also dug up a live version of “Wherever I May Roam,” recorded in October 1991. It’s one of many bonus tracks included on the upcoming 30th anniversary reissue of The Black Album, which also arrives September 10.

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New Bob Dylan Bootleg Series set focusing on early-’80s albums due out in September

Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings

The 16th and latest installment of Bob Dylan‘s The Bootleg Series archival collections is due out September 17 and will focus on the sessions for three of the lauded singer/songwriter’s early-1980s albums — 1981’s Shot of Love, 1983’s Infidels and 1985’s Empire Burlesque.

Springtime in New York: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 16 (1980-1985) will be available as a deluxe five-CD, 57-track collection featuring 54 previously unreleased recordings, including many outtakes from the three aforementioned albums, as well as rehearsal recordings, live performances and more.

The first disc of the deluxe set features mainly rehearsal recordings from 1980 and ’81, including versions of earlier Dylan tunes, select covers and reworked traditional tunes. It also features a Shot of Love studio outtake — a cover of the Elvis Presley classic “Mystery Train” with Ringo Starr on drums.

Disc two features mostly outtakes from Shot of Love, while discs three and four focus of outtakes from Infidels. Infidels was co-produced by Dylan and Dire StraitsMark Knopfler, and the sessions included musical contributions from Knopfler, Dire Straits keyboardist Alan Clark, ex-Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor and more.

Springtime in New York‘s final disc boasts a variety of Empire Burlesque alternate takes, a live rendition of “Enough Is Enough” from a concert at Ireland’s Slane Castle and a performance of “License to Kill” from a March 1984 appearance on Late Night with David Letterman.

The deluxe Springtime in New York set comes packaged with a book, memorabilia, photos and more. The collection, which can be pre-ordered now, also will be released as an abridged two-CD set and two-LP vinyl set. In addition, a limited-edition four-LP package pressed on colored vinyl will be issued by Third Man Records as part of their Vault Series.

Here’s the Springtime in New York track list:

Disc 1
“Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)” — Rehearsal
“To Ramona” — Rehearsal
“Jesus Met the Woman at the Well” — Rehearsal
“Mary of the Wild Moor” — Rehearsal
“Need a Woman” — Rehearsal
“A Couple More Years” — Rehearsal
“Mystery Train” — Shot of Love outtake
“This Night Won’t Last Forever” — Rehearsal
“We Just Disagree” — Rehearsal
“Let’s Keep It Between Us” — Rehearsal
“Sweet Caroline” — Rehearsal
“Fever” — Rehearsal
“Abraham, Martin and John” — Rehearsal

Disc 2
“Angelina” — Shot of Love outtake
“Price of Love” — Shot of Love outtake
“I Wish It Would Rain” — Shot of Love outtake
“Let It Be Me” — International 7″ single B-side*
“Cold, Cold Heart” — Shot of Love outtake
“Don’t Ever Take Yourself Away” — Shot of Love outtake*
“Fur Slippers” — Shot of Love outtake
“Borrowed Time” — Shot of Love outtake
“Is It Worth It?” — Shot of Love outtake
“Lenny Bruce” — Shot of Love alternate mix
“Yes Sir, No Sir” — Shot of Love outtake

Disc 3
“Jokerman” — Infidels alternate take
“Blind Willie McTell” — Infidels outtake
“Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight” (Version 1) — Infidels alternate take
“Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight” (Version 2) — Infidels alternate take
“Neighborhood Bully” — Infidels alternate take
“Someone’s Got a Hold of My Heart” — Infidels outtake
“This Was My Love” — Infidels outtake
“Too Late” (Acoustic Version) — Infidels outtake
“Too Late” (Band Version) — Infidels outtake
“Foot of Pride” — Infidels outtake

Disc 4
“Clean Cut Kid” — Infidels outtake
“Sweetheart Like You” — Infidels alternate take
“Baby What You Want Me to Do” — Infidels outtake
“Tell Me” — Infidels outtake
“Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” — Infidels outtake
“Julius and Ethel” — Infidels outtake
“Green, Green Grass of Home” — Infidels outtake
“Union Sundown” — Infidels alternate take
“Lord Protect My Child” — Infidels outtake
“I and I” — Infidels alternate take
“Death Is Not the End” (Full Version) — Infidels outtake*

Disc 5
“Enough Is Enough” (Live) — Slane Castle, Ireland
“License to Kill” (Live) — Late Night with David Letterman, March 22, 1984
“I’ll Remember You” — Empire Burlesque alternate take
“Tight Connection to My Heart (Has Anybody Seen My Love)” — Empire Burlesque alternate mix
“Seeing the Real You at Last” — Empire Burlesque alternate take
“Emotionally Yours” — Empire Burlesque alternate take
“Clean Cut Kid” — Empire Burlesque alternate take
“Straight A’s in Love” — Empire Burlesque outtake
“When the Night Comes Falling from the Sky” (Slow Version) — Empire Burlesque alternate take
“When the Night Comes Falling from the Sky” (Fast Version) — Empire Burlesque alternate take
“New Danville Girl” — Empire Burlesque outtake
“Dark Eyes” — Empire Burlesque alternate take

* = previously released track.

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Romantics guitarist Mike Skill releases solo version of band’s classic tune “What I Like About You”

Courtesy of Mike Skill

Founding Romantics guitarist Mike Skill has released a new version of his band’s classic 1979 tune “What I Like About You” in advance of his debut self-titled solo EP, which is due out on September 10.

The updated rendition of “What I Like About You” is available now on all streaming services, including Spotify, SoundCloud and Bandcamp. The track features Skill on lead and backing vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar and bass, as well as current Romantics member Brad Elvis on drums and Patrick Harwood on harmonica.

Skill co-wrote “What I Like About You” with Romantics frontman Wally Palmar and the band’s founding drummer, Jimmy Marinos, who sang the original version of the tune.

Recalling how the song was born one day before a Romantics rehearsal, Skill says, “I offered that I had this new idea…I opened with the simple chords, and [Marinos] jumped in with his signature animal groove…and [he] instantly dropped in singing, scatting, jamming in free form, sketching a lyric, throwing words against the wall to see what would stick, as I scatted with backups…’Uh huh, Hey! Uh huh!'”

The song appeared on The Romantics’ 1980 self-titled debut album, and peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at #49, although the tune’s popularity continued to grow in the ensuing years.

Skill’s forthcoming EP also will be released on vinyl later in 2021.

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Alright now! Black Sabbath’s ‘Master of Reality’ turns 50

Warner Records

The “Children of the Grave” are all grown up — Black Sabbath‘s Master of Reality is now 50 years old.

Released July 21, 1971, Master of Reality was the third studio effort from Ozzy Osbourne and company, following the 1970 one-two punch of Black Sabbath and Paranoid.

“It was a different sort of sounding album,” guitarist Tony Iommi tells ABC Audio. “We tuned down, [songs] like ‘Children of the Grave,’ they were tuned down more. It was a bit more sort of a doomier sort of feel, I think, on that album.”

Indeed, with its lower tuning, chugging riffs and slower tempos, Master of Reality is thought to be the forebearer of the doom and sludge metal sub-genres, and one the most influential records in all of metal.

Along with “Children of the Grave,” Master of Reality also spawned the Sabbath classic “Sweet Leaf.” The pot-inspired track begins with Osbourne exclaiming, “Alright now!”, which he brought back with his 2020 solo song, “Straight to Hell.”

Despite its now legendary status, Master of Reality wasn’t warmly received by critics — Robert Christgau of The Village Voice, for example, panned it as “dimwitted” and “amoral exploitation.”

Meanwhile, the cover artwork for Master of Reality became almost as iconic as the music itself. In 2020, Sabbath released a t-shirt in support of the Black Lives Matter movement using the same font from the Master of Reality cover.

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