QUEEN, COHEN PART WAYS ON MERCURY BIOPIC
Comedian/actor Sascha Baron Cohen has reportedly bowed out as star of the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic due to creative differences with the surviving members of Queen, according to Deadline Hollywood. Reportedly, the members of Queen have the power of final script and director’s approval, and they decided to exercise their right because they were hoping for a more PG version of the singer’s life story, while Cohen was aiming for “a gritty, R-rated tell-all” about Mercury’s rise to fame and demise due to AIDS. Producers are now on the hunt for a new leading man.
ROCKER WRITES ON 50 SONGS THAT TELL ROLLING STONES STORY
Author Bill Janovitz, a members of Boston band Buffalo Tom, attempts to nail down the 50 songs that define the Rolling Stones’ 50 years in rock in his new book Rocks Off: 50 Tracks That Tell The Story of The Rolling Stones (out now). Janovitz, who also authored The Rolling Stones: Exile On Main St., told Rolling Stone magazine, “The important thing about the list I made is…these are not my favorite Stones songs. A lot of them are there, but I wanted to get the whole arc of the career.”
BON JOVI SIGNS ON TO HELP PRESIDENT PROMOTE OBAMACARE
New Jersey rocker Jon Bon Jovi is just one of several celebrities President Barack Obama has recruited to help promote his health care plan. The Bon Jovi frontman, along with fellow singers Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson as well as Oprah Winfrey, Amy Poehler, and actor Michael Cera, among others, met with the President on Monday at the White House about educating younger, uninsured Americans about new health insurance exchanges opening on October 1.
LAST SLASH SUMMER GIG TO BE BROADCAST LIVE TOMORROW
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators will broadcast their final summer concert live online from the House of Blues in Las Vegas tomorrow night at 9p PT via EVNTLIVE. Slash and his cohorts are wrapping up their touring cycle in support of their current album Apocalyptic Love featuring the radio hits “You’re a Lie” and “Standing in the Sun.”
CRAZY HORSE BASSIST TALBOT BAFFLED BY KISS COMMENT
In a recent Q&A with Rolling Stone, Crazy Horse bassist Billy Talbot was asked about playing so many new songs on the band’s recent tour, including a 25-minute-plus version of “Walk Like a Giant.” He replied, “It’s what we do. We’re a rock & roll band. There’s a certain tactic to being in a rock & roll band. One of them is to keep your ball.” He went on to add, “When we were in Australia, we were in the same hotel with Kiss. We heard that one of them said, ‘I have the best gig in the world. I’ve been playing the same 17 songs for 35 years.’ We heard that and it didn’t sit right with us. Our job isn’t easy. It’s not meant to be easy. Our job is to…be out on the edge…exploring the limits of what we do and who we are, never letting up.”
COSTELLO DIGS UP FIRST COLLABORATION WITH THE ROOTS
The incredibly prolific and wildly diverse Elvis Costello just issued the lyric video to “Walk Us Uptown,” the first single off Wise Up Ghost, his forthcoming collaborative album with The Roots, best known as the house band on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Wise Up Ghost, Costello’s first album since 2010’s National Ransom, is scheduled to be out September 17.
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS WRAP I’M WITH YOU SESSIONS RELEASES
The final three sides of the Red Hot Chili Peppers I’m With You sessions releases are now available at iTunes and the band’s official website as 7” vinyl. The final installments of the series include “Catch My Death” backed by “How It Ends,” “This is the Kitt” backed by “Brave From Afar,” and “Hanalei/Open/Close.” Order the entire 7” singles collection bundle, including nine 7” vinyl records, digital downloads and a recycled vinyl holder at redhotchilipeppers.com.
VINTAGE TRIO THE WINERY DOGS DISPENSE DEBUT ALBUM, SET TOUR
New power trio The Winery Dogs – guitarist/singer Richie Kotzen (Poison, Mr. Big), bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big), and drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Avenged Sevenfold) – yesterday released their self-titled debut album, and next month will embark on a nine-stop tour to support the set. The trek will get underway August 3 in New York and include shows in Lancaster, PA, Fords, NJ, Newton, NJ, Chicago, Agoura Hills, CA, Las Vegas, and San Diego before coming to a close in San Juan Capistrano, CA on October 6.