Ex-Chicago and Boston members join lineup of 2022 ’70s Rock & Romance Cruise

Courtesy of StarVista LIVE

After being postponed this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the star-studded ’70s Rock & Romance Cruise is set to return in February 2022. The seagoing music festival is almost sold out, but a few new artists recently were added to the lineup.

The new additions are former Chicago singer/bassist Jason Scheff, ex-Boston guitarist Barry Goodreau‘s current band Barry Goudreau’s Engine Room, and the Little River Band.

These acts join a bill that already included Foreigner, The Guess Who, War, 10cc, Jim Messina, and Badfinger featuring Joey Molland.

The nostalgic nautical extravaganza is scheduled to set sail from Miami on February 19 and will stop on St. Maarten on February 22 and St. Thomas on February 23 before returning to port on the 26th.

Famed producer and Peter & Gordon singer Peter Asher will serve as the cruise’s host, while other performers on the bill include The Family Stone, Air Supply and Melissa Manchester.

In addition to the many performances, the ’70s Rock & Romance Cruise will feature Q&A sessions and panel discussions with some of the artists, plus themed parties, wine tastings, trivia contests, game shows, karaoke, pool parties and more. Married couples also will have the opportunity to renew their wedding vows.

For more details about the cruise, including cabin availability, visit RockandRomanceCruise.com or call 844-466-7625.

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Born to Jump: Bruce Springsteen’s daughter to compete for US Equestrian jumping team at Tokyo Olympics

Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images

Bruce Springsteen has won a lot awards during his long career, but an Olympic medal certainly isn’t among them. However, one of his children will have the chance to go for Olympic gold, silver or bronze in Tokyo this summer — The Boss’ daughter, Jessica, has been named to the U.S. Equestrian jumping team.

TeamUSA.org reports that Jessica, who is 29, is ranked 27th in the the world and will make her Olympic debut in Tokyo. She will be riding a a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion named Don Juan van de Donkhoeve.

Jessica, who lives in Los Angeles, began riding when she was just four years old. She’s finished in first place at several major competitions over the last few years.

The Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed from 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, are scheduled to run from July 23 through August 8.

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The Allman Brothers Band’s classic live album ‘At Fillmore East’ was released 50 years ago today


Today, July 6, marks the 50th anniversary of the release of third Allman Brothers Band album, At Fillmore East, widely considered one of the greatest-ever live albums.

The double-album marked a commercial breakthrough for the Southern jam band, peaking at #13 on Billboard‘s Top Pop Albums chart, and eventually becoming the group’s first platinum-certified release.

The album was recorded during a March 11-13 stand at promoter Bill Graham‘s famous New York City venue. At Fillmore East captured the band firing on all cylinders, showcasing the two-guitar interplay of Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, and frontman Gregg Allman‘s soulful vocals and soaring Hammond organ.

Among At Fillmore East‘s performances are renditions of blues gems such as Blind Willie McTell‘s “Stateboro Blues” and T-Bone Walker‘s “Stormy Monday,” as well as three originals — “Hot ‘Lanta,” “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and “Whipping Post.”

The album featured several extended jams that allowed the Allmans to fully explore their eclectic mix of blues, jazz, soul and psychedelic rock, including an almost-13-minute rendition of the Betts-penned instrumental “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and an epic 22-plus-minute version of Gregg Allman’s “Whipping Post.”

In the 2012 Allmans biography One Way Out, producer Tom Dowd said of the At Fillmore East performances, “Here was a rock ‘n’ roll band playing blues in the jazz vernacular. And they tore the place up.”

Sadly, At Fillmore East was the last album Allman Brothers Band released before Duane Allman’s death at age 27 on October 29, 1971, in a motorcycle crash.

In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked At Fillmore East second on its “50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time” list. It also was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry in 2004.

Here’s the album’s full track list:

Side One
“Statesboro Blues”
“Done Somebody Wrong”
“Stormy Monday”

Side Two
“You Don’t Love Me”

Side Three
“Hot ‘Lanta”
“In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”

Side Four
“Whipping Post”

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Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen says its “really fun” meeting fans at his art exhibit events

Courtesy of Rick Allen

After attending three exhibitions of his artwork in Florida in May, Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen will be on hand for two similar events this weekend: Saturday, July 10, in New Jersey’s Atlantic City and Sunday, July 11, in the Philadelphia suburb of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

The Florida exhibits were among the first public events Allen participated in since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and he tells ABC Audio that it’s been “really fun to get back out there and do something in person.”

He adds, “[T]here’s nothing like…meeting up with new people…and see[ing] what their take on my artwork is.”

Allen says the new exhibition, dubbed “Wings of Hope,” features seven or eight new pieces, including some additions to his “Legends Series” of portraits saluting late musicians who have influenced or inspired him.

“[O]ne of them [is] Johnny Cash…He’s the original bad boy,” Rick notes. “[A]nd another one [is] Kurt Cobain, who basically turned the music industry on its head with that brand of…raw [music].”

Allen also created new portraits of Eddie Van Halen for the series.

“[T]he sad news of [Eddie’s death]…really kind of floored me,” Rick says. “I didn’t know him that well, but I’d met him a few times through friends. And that was such a huge shock.”

For fans interested in how Allen’s art events work, he explains, “When I first get to the gallery…I’ll say hello to everybody,” while noting that he generally spends a lot of the time in a private room being “introduced to people that have bought pieces.”

He adds, however, “I always make time for everybody.”

Paintings and high-res prints of his pieces will be on sale at the events.

For more details, visit WentworthGallery.com.

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John Lennon, Ozzy Osbourne, Pearl Jam & more being turned into Funko Pop! figures

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

John Lennon, Ozzy Osbourne, Pearl Jam and Jimi Hendrix are among the music stars who are being turned into Funko Pop! figures.

The toy company has announced a slew of new, music-themed editions of its ever-popular big-headed collectables as part of its Popapalooza event.

Multiple Lennon figures were revealed in a post on Funko’s official Twitter feed, including one depicting the late Beatles legend wearing a khaki army jacket, and another showing him as he looked in a famous 1974 photo taken of him flashing a peace sign in front of the Statue of Liberty. However, the post notes that the designs currently are “subject to licensor approval.”

The Ozzy figure is inspired by the cover of Osbourne’s 1981 solo album Diary of a Madman and is packaged in a box that features a replica of the album.

The Pearl Jam Funkos feature figures of all five band members packaged together and are designed after Eddie Vedder and company’s early stage look.

The Hendrix toy shows the guitar great in the outfit he wore for his Live in Maui performance. The figure’s design also is “subject to licensor approval.”

Other Popalooza announcements include new figures of Green Day and Elvis Presley.

The new Funko Pop! toys are expected to be released in the coming weeks and months.

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Latest episode of ‘Queen The Greatest’ YouTube series focuses on hits written by bassist John Deacon

Neal Preston/© Queen Productions Ltd

The latest episode of Queen‘s weekly YouTube video series Queen The Greatest premiered today, and the feature focuses on the successful songs that bassist John Deacon has written or co-written for the band.

The installment begins by noting that although Deacon didn’t write as many songs as his three band mates, some of his compositions were among Queen’s biggest hits.

The narrator first points out that it was John’s bass part that helped drive the band’s classic 1981 collaboration with David Bowie, “Under Pressure.”

The episode then looks at one of the first tunes John contributed to the group, “You’re My Best Friend,” which appeared on Queen’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera. The song reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #9 on the U.K. singles chart.

Next up is “Spread Your Wings,” from 1977’s News of the World. Cited as a “fan favorite” by the narrator, the song also broke into the top 40 of the U.K. singles chart.

The third song profiled is none other than “Another One Bites the Dust,” which sold over seven million copies worldwide, making it Queen’s best-selling single. The funky tune, from the band’s number-one album The Game, spent three weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1980.

The fourth Deacon-penned track that the episode looks at is “I Want to Break Free,” from 1984’s The Works. The single, whose memorable music video featured the band members in drag, just missed the top 40 in the U.S., but reached number three in the U.K.

The final song showcased in the episode is 1986’s “Friends Will Be Friends,” which John co-wrote with Freddie Mercury.  It hit #14 in the U.K.

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Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett debuts “Wingbeats,” lead single from upcoming studio album

Credit: Tina Korhonen

Ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett has released the first single from his forthcoming studio album, Surrender of Silence, which is due out on September 10.

The track, “Wingbeats,” combines African rhythms and musical elements with melodic pop and prog-rock influences. The song is available now as a digital download and via streaming services, while a companion music video has premiered on YouTube.

Hackett shares vocals on “Wingbeats” with his sister-in-law, Amanda Lehmann, as well as with Pink Floyd session and touring singer Durga McBroom and her sister, Lorelei.

The video includes footage of indigenous African people, wildlife, and beautiful scenic landscapes from the continent.

As previously reported, Surrender of Silence is an 11-track collection offering an eclectic mix of World Music genres, including Russian classical music as well as sounds of the Far East, Africa and more.  The album is scheduled to arrive less than eight months after Hackett’s previous studio effort, the classical-inspired acoustic instrumental project Under a Mediterranean Sky, which was released in January.

Surrender of Silence can be pre-ordered now, and will be available in various formats and configurations. Visit HackettSongs.com for more details.

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Jesse Colin Young celebrates July 4 by releasing video of new rendition of “America the Beautiful”

Credit: Brent Cline

Just in time for the Fourth of July, Jesse Colin Young, former frontman of the folk-rock band The Youngbloods, has released a video of himself performing a stripped-down acoustic version of the classic patriotic anthem “America the Beautiful.”

The clip, which you can watch now at Young’s official YouTube channel, features the artist singing in front of the backdrop of beautiful natural landscapes from various locations around the U.S.

“Coming out of the pandemic we are able to see this country, our America, with fresh eyes,” says the 79-year-old singer/songwriter in a statement. “I have always loved this song, and wanted to share my version with you so we could revel together in the beauty of this place we call home.”

Last November, Young released his 22nd solo album, Highway Troubadour. The 11-track collection features new solo acoustic versions of songs from throughout Jesse’s 50-year-plus career, including renditions of the Youngbloods tunes “Darkness, Darkness” and “Sugar Babe,” plus the recent song “Cast a Stone” from his 2019 solo album, Dreamers.

Highway Troubadour was inspired by Young’s online video series “One Song at a Time,” which he launched during the COVID-19 lockdown. It features him playing various songs from his back catalog while accompanying himself on acoustic guitar.

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Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard releases new song “4th of July” with Painted Shield side band

Loosegrove Records

Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard has released a new song called “4th of July” with his band Painted Shield.

The track, which is available now as a digital download and via streaming services, is a meditation on “the moral injury experienced by many service members as they return home from conflicts abroad.”

“The lyrics to this song were inspired by the stories of friends of mine who have served in the military,” says vocalist Mason Jennings. “It touches on the recovery work needed to integrate back into civilian life after being in conflict.”

With “4th of July,” Painted Shield is also hoping to raise awareness for No One Left Behind, an initiative to protect Afghan interpreters from potential danger as the U.S. leaves Afghanistan.

A companion music video for the song has been posted on Painted Shield’s official YouTube channel. The clip includes footage of urban areas devastated by war.

Along with Gossard and Jennings, Painted Shield includes keyboardist/vocalist Brittany Davis and onetime Pearl Jam drummer Matt Chamberlain. The group released their self-titled debut album last fall.

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How Sting helped inspire ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’

Sting in 1985; Michael Putland/Getty Images

Sting‘s songs have appeared on so many movie soundtracks that he’s released several compilations of them.  But it turns out one particular song by Sting ended up inspiring one of the biggest movies of all time: Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which marks its 30th anniversary on Saturday.

T2, released in 1991, features future human resistance leader John Connor as a teen, played by Edward Furlong, teaming up with Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s Model T-800 Terminator, who’s no longer the bad guy but has been sent back in time to save John from a more advanced T-1000 model.  That machine has been sent to kill Connor before he becomes the leader he’s destined to be, and who will avert a nuclear holocaust in 1997 — aka Judgment Day.

So what the heck does this have to do with Sting?  In a new article on The Ringer about the making of the film, director James Cameron reveals that he got the idea for the nuclear holocaust plot point while tripping and listening to a Sting song.

“I remember sitting there once, high on [Ecstasy], writing notes for Terminator, and I was struck by Sting’s song, that ‘I hope the Russians love their children too,'” Cameron says, referring to Sting’s 1985 single “Russians.” “And I thought, ‘You know what? The idea of a nuclear war is just so antithetical to life itself.’ That’s where the kid came from.”

“Russians,” from Sting’s first solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles, was about the rising tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the ’80s, and the growing threat of nuclear war.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day was a massive critical and commercial success, grossing $520 million worldwide and winning several Oscars.

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