MAY CANDID ABOUT COHEN’S CANNING FROM MERCURY MOVIE
Lots of rumors swirled in the aftermath of the firing of Sacha Baron Cohen as the lead in the forthcoming Freddie Mercury biopic, but now Queen guitarist Brian May has spoken up to set the record straight. May told Ultimate Classic Rock, “In the end, we felt that his presence in the movie would be very distracting. What led us to that conclusion was the last three movie’s he’s made – The Dictator, Les Miserables and Hugo – in which he makes outstanding performances, but they’re very much Sacha Baron Cohen performances. And we thought there has to be no distraction in the Freddie movie. You have to really suspend that disbelief – the man who plays Freddie, you have to really believe is Freddie. And we didn’t think that could really happen with Sacha.”
NEW MUSEUM GIVES FANS CHANCE TO JAM WITH LATE LEGENDS
Scheduled to open sometime next year in Camden, North London, the Music Hall of Fame will offer fans an unprecedented opportunity to “perform live” with some of rock’s biggest names – all of whom are dead. One of the museum’s features will be an exhibit where fans will get a chance to perform with fully interactive holograms of legendary stars such as Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Freddie Mercury and Kurt Cobain. A museum representative told the London Evening Standard, “You could be transported back to a specific moment of music or play with artists who are no longer alive, even playing back-to-back with a hologram.”
TYLER INKED TO JUDGE MISS UNIVERSE 2013 IN MOSCOW
In a move that to some might seem like asking a creepy uncle to chaperon teen girls’ slumber party, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has been confirmed to be one of the judges at the 2013 Miss Universe pageant to be held November 9 in Moscow. The rocker, who last donned his judge’s hat on American Idol, is likely to upset those who have called for a boycott of Russia due to the country’s archaic anti-gay legislation. Last week, news broke that Tyler has teamed with South Korean pop star Psy (“Gangnam Style”) to record a new song.
SIR PAUL SERVES UP LATEST SURPRISE SHOW
Lately, Paul McCartney has been playing out the title of the Beatles’ song “Here, There and Everywhere” by popping up, well, here, there and everywhere to perform unannounced mini concerts to promote the release of his brand new album, New. On Friday, Sir Paul surprised his fellow Brits by performing five songs off New in London’s Covent Garden. The 71-year old hopped onto a makeshift stage and simply said, “Good afternoon. Welcome to Covent Gardens. We’re just going to do some songs from our new album so get your phones out – as if they weren’t already.” After his set was wrapped, he said, “Thank you very much. Ok now, back to work!”
MCCARTNEY ADDRESSES BEING JUST “CUTE” BEATLE IN NEW TUNE
During a recent UK radio interview, Paul McCartney made no bones about confirming his new song “Early Days” off his new album, New, is “a bit defensive” and is about the early days of the Beatles. Sir Paul said, “The last verse is wildly defensive…that is definitely about people telling me…what I did and what John [Lennon] did…it was much more equal. He wrote his soppy ballads, I wrote my hard rockers.” He went on to explain, “We had a lot in common but I’d become stereotyped. I mean…they’d sort of say, ‘Paul’s the cute one.’ I am cute…that is true, but I’ve got more to me than cute.”
DEEP PURPLE SIGNS ON FOR JON LORD TRIBUTE CONCERT
In what would seem like a foregone conclusion, Deep Purple has been officially confirmed to perform at the Jon Lord tribute concert, scheduled for April 4 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Additional acts scheduled to pay tribute to Lord include former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman and Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson. Lord, who co-wrote several of Deep Purple’s classic hits, including “Smoke on the Water,” quit the band in 2002 and died July 16, 2012 after losing his fight with pancreatic cancer.
IRON MAIDEN MAKES OVER $15M ON 9 GIGS TO TOP HOT TOURS TALLY
If rock and roll is dead, nobody bothered to tell Iron Maiden fans who paid a total of $15.2 million for tickets to the band’s final nine shows on their recently wrapped Maiden England Tour. The gross gave the veteran heavy metal act the top spot in last week’s Billboard Hot Tours survey, easily beating out Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Elton John, who took in $8.9 million for performances between September 18 and October 12. In all, the Maiden England tour raked in $57.4 million from 54 concerts.