Listen - Rush release the fiery new song, Headlong Flight
by JOE BOSSO
Ahead of the release of their much-anticipated 20th studio album, Clockwork Angels, Rush have just unleashed the first official single from the new set, the fiery Headlong Flight.
Clocking in at nearly seven and a half minutes, it's a guided tour of Rush's best assets: Alex Lifeson's expansive guitar playing, Geddy Lee's ever-adventurous bass work and Neil Peart's on-point rolls and lethal snare attack.
"Headlong Flight was one of those songs that was a joy to write and record from beginning to end," Lee told Rolling Stone. "Alex and I had blast jamming in my home studio one day before the second leg of the Time Machine tour, and I did not revisit that jam until a year later.
"Alex and I assembled the song to be an instrumental and its original title was Take That Lampshade Off Yo Head!, but once we saw the lyrics Neil had written, I knew that the spirit of the lyrics matched the instrumental perfectly and it was just a matter of making them fit and writing the melodies."
Greg Ham, perhaps best known for his flute riffing in the song " Land Down Under" by Men at Work has died aged 58 in Melbourne Australia.
The cause of Hams death is yet to be released, however police were called to his home after he failed to attend a pharmacy appointment.
Greg Ham played saxophone and flute in Men At Work from 1979 to 1986. In recent years the flute riff he played in "Land Down Under" came under fire by Larrikan Music the copyright owners of the oldtime Australian song " Kookaburra Sitting In The Old Gum Tree." A court decided in 2010 that the flute portion of the "Land Down Under" had been copied from "Kookaburra Sitting In The Old Gum Tree." Most of the populace are still scratching their heads about the decision.
Greg Ham continued to work alongside Colin Hay of Men At Work intermittently from the 1990's onwards. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Levon Helm, drummer and singer of The Band, dies aged 71
by JOE BOSSO
Levon Helm, whose soulful, earthy singing, solid-as-a-rock drumming, and evocative songwriting helped turn The Band into one of rock's most vital and original outfits, died today (19 April) at the age of 71. He had been battling cancer since 1998.
"Levon Helm passed peacefully this afternoon," a statement on his website reads. "He was surrounded by family, friends and band mates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul."
Born in Elaine, Arkansas on 26 May 1940, Helm began his professional music career playing in Ronnie Hawkins' band in 1957. During his time with Hawkins, he met Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson. With them, he formed The Hawks, the group that would back up Bob Dylan in the mid-'60s as he transitioned from acoustic folk to rock 'n' roll.
By 1968, Dylan had gone into semi-retirement after a near-fatal motorcycle accident, but The Hawks stayed together and became The Band. All five members were multi-talents, and in Helm they had a true triple-threat: drummer, singer and songwriter. Make that quadruple - he also played mandolin. Some of The Band's most enduring songs featured Helm singing lead, including The Weight, Up On Cripple Creek and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.
Rich Pagano, drummer and co-vocalist with The Fab Faux, says that "Helm will be remembered as a great vocalist, but drummers will remember him as an extraordinary player. Everything he played was just right - not complicated, but perfect. Just watch Up On Cripple Creek."
Pagano played with Helm on a number of occasions, most notably at some of the popular Midnight Ramble concerts that Helm staged at his barn-like studio next to his home in Woodstock, NY. "I would play drums on a second kit whenever Levon would play mandolin and sing," says Pagano. "He never told you what to do, but just by watching him, I realized the fundamentals of making playing and singing one."
Following the breakup of The Band in 1976 (documented in Martin Scorsese's film The Last Waltz), Helm continued to play and record. Without Robertson, the members of The Band regrouped in 1983 and resume touring, but the 1986 death of Manuel (he hanged himself after a club show) and the 1999 death of Danko (from a drug-related heart attack) put a definitive end to The Band.
When helm was diagnosed with throat cancer, he underwent radiation treatments which initially robbed him of his ability to sing. Gradually his voice came back, and in recent years he won Grammys for the albums Dirt Farmer, Electric Dirt and Ramble At The Ryman.
"His legacy will be as someone who was true to himself," says Pagano. "In his music and the way he lived, he expressed the essence of an artist."
Dick Clark, host of American Bandstand and entertainment guru dies at 82
by SALLY BAILEY
Dick Clark entertainment entrepreneur and trailblazer died on Wednesday of a heart attack. He was 82.
Having hosted Bandstand from the fifties through to 1987 and 30 years of New Year's Rockin' Eves, Clark was famed for his special ability to meld music with T.V. He was not necessarily a huge music fan being quoted as loving "disco" above any musical genre in interviews. At the end of the day he was perhaps one of the greatest salesmen to have ever lived. It comes as no surprise that he was voted "Most Likely to Sell the Brooklyn Bridge" at high school.
American Bandstand commenced in 1957 and it was Dick Clark who introduced the U.S to Rock n Roll on a large scale and notably removing the " all white policy " and introducing the world to artists such as Chuck Berry and Chubby Checker. Even so, he did play it safe and pretty much ignored The Beatles and The Rollig Stones (not tame enough). He famously once told Rolling Stone " "I'm not gonna sit here and tell you I did this solely to keep music alive, to perpetuate my own career first and foremost, and secondly the music."
Controversially Clark was one of the first media stars to be investigated for "cash for comment", he admitted to accepting items such as fur and jewellry and having a financial interest in some of the acts that frequented Bandstand.
Tributes have flowed, Jerry Gross, lead singer of Philadelphia 'Bandstand' dance craze regulars The Dovells had the following to say about the passing of Dick Clark:
"Dick Clark was a legend who helped a lot of acts, including us, gain stardom and have many, many hit records. The entertainment world will sorely miss Dick Clark."
Sound of Philadelphia pioneeers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff have mourned his passing with the following statement, "As fellow Philadelphians, we have admired Dick Clark and the 'American Bandstand' brand for many years, as it promoted Philadelphia music around the nation, Dick Clark was one of our inspirations for creating the 'Sound of Philadelphia' music brand. More importantly, we thank him for being one of the pioneers in promoting the Philly Dance and Music scene for the nation and world to enjoy. We send our sincere and deepest condolences to Dick Clark's family."
The guitarist whose books taught The Beatles, Queen's Brian May and Robert Smith to play guitar has died aged 91.
Bert Weedon, who played with stars including Frank Sinatra, wrote the 'Play In A Day' books which have been used by millions to learn to play the guitar. He published his first book in 1957.
Weedon was born in east London in May 1920 and had been ill for some time, according to his friend John Adrian. He died at his home in Beaconsfield.
As a solo guitarist Weedon had a number of hits, including 'Guitar Boogie Shuffle', 'Apache' and 'Nashville Boogie'. He became the first solo guitar player to top the Official Top 40 album charts in 1976 with '22 Golden Guitar Greats'.
Weedon later played for numerous stars including as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole and Judy Garland. The Beatles' Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon all admitted to using Weeden's manuals to help them learn guitar. Eric Clapton has said in the past that he had "never met a player of any consequence" who had not learned from his 'Play In A Day' books.
In 2001 Weeden was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to music. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
“Australia’s Original Pop Princess” Judith Durham Announces Solo Tour
by ANDREW TIJS
Icon of Australian music Judith Durham has announced her first solo tour in over a decade.
The press release dubs Durham “Australia’s Original Pop Princess” and after her 50 year musical journey solo and with The Seekers, to massive Australian and international success, we’ll have to agree.
Durham released solo album Colours Of My Life last year and the Colours Of My Life national solo tour will showcase five decades of music, including location-specific songs from her charity album The Australian Cities Suite and Seekers hits.
Judith said in the press release “Life is so full of surprises lately, and to be given this opportunity to sing live for all my beautiful Australian fans at this 50th anniversary milestone time in my life is a dream coming true. It has been on the horizon for 10 years since my last big tour here and I can’t wait to get out and say hello to everyone in song.”
Pre-sale tickets can be purchased from April 24, with a general release of tickets on Thursday 3 May from Ticketek, the Opera House, and Tickermaster for Hobart.
Check out our chat with the living legend below the tourdates.
Judith Durham ‘Colours of My Life’ Tour 2012
Saturday 30 June – Riverside Theatre, Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre
Tuesday 3 July – Adelaide Entertainment Theatre
Thursday 5 July – Derwent Entertainment Centre, Hobart
Saturday 7 July – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne
Sunday 8 July – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne
Wednesday 11 July – Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Friday 13 July – Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House
Saturday 14 July – Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House
Monday 16 July – Royal Theatre, National Convention Centre, Canberra
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