BOB DYLAN SUED FOR RACISM
A Croatian community organization from France is suing songwriter and civil rights symbol Bob Dylan for- of all things- racism. The suit is regarding comments Dylan made in a recent Rolling Stone interview about racial tension in America. Dylan said that color is “a distraction” for Americans and that black people can sense racism in white people “just like…Serbs can sense Croatian blood,” referencing longstanding and sometimes violent clashes between Roman Catholic Croats and Christian Orthodox Serbs. Free speech laws in Europe are much more stringent than in the U.S.; if Dylan is found guilty, he’ll be subject to a fine and formal sanction.
STREAM NEIL YOUNG’S LIVE AT THE CELLAR DOOR
Neil Young’s Live at the Cellar Door comes out December 10, but you can stream a number of tracks from the live album now. The release is the result of recordings from a series of solo shows Young performed at the Cellar Door in Washington, D.C. in 1970, ahead of his two-night stand at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Live at the Cellar Door features classics like “Old Man” and “After the Gold Rush,” as well as several covers.
ELTON JOHN’S MOSCOW CONCERTS IN JEOPARDY
Elton John’s upcoming concerts in Moscow may be derailed by Russia’s anti-gay laws. If the concerts are found to violate the “gay propaganda” restrictions that exist in several regions of Russia, which make “promoting homosexuality” illegal, they could be called off. John is a well-known gay rights activist and said in a recent interview that “As a gay man, I can't leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them. I don't know what's going to happen, but I've got to go.” John is scheduled to perform in Moscow and Kazan this Friday and Saturday.
BONO SALUTES U.S. EFFORT TOWARD AIDS FIGHT
U2 frontman Bono has applauded America’s commitment to the fight against AIDS. Speaking to ABC’s This Week to coincide with World AIDS Day Sunday, Bono called the U.S.’s efforts against the deadly disease “so inspiring.”
ROCK MEMORABILIA RAKES IN BIG BUCKS ON EBAY
A David Bowie 45 featuring the singles “Starman” and “Suffragette City” has sold on eBay for nearly $2,000. Two dozen bidders battled for the rare, Angola-made disc. The winner ended up dropping $1,996.21 to add it to his or her collection.
In another landmark eBay auction, a sealed, mint-condition copy of The Beatles’ Yesterday and Today collection, featuring rare artwork, sold for $15,300. The album cover, which shows the band wearing lab coats and surrounded by raw meat and doll parts, has been out of print for years. It was originally submitted in protest of Capitol Records’ release of the album. Capitol printed about 750,000 copies of the album with the “butcher” image before widespread complaints eventually led to a recall.
JOHN MELLENCAMP BOX SET ON THE WAY
Just in time for the holidays, Universal Music Enterprises will release a career-spanning John Mellencamp box set next Tuesday, December 10. John Mellencamp 1978-2012 features a total of 223 tracks- including Billboard hits “Jack and Diane” and “Pink Houses”- and includes the albums American Fool, Lonesome Jubilee, Scarecrow, Cuttin’ Heads and No Better Than This.
BRIAN MAY CLAIMS TO HAVE MORE UNRELEASED FREDDIE MERCURY MATERIAL
Queen guitarist Brian May revealed in a new interview that more previously unreleased Freddie Mercury material has been discovered. It was recently confirmed that May is working on finishing several tracks the late Queen frontman was working on with Michael Jackson, but May told Mojo magazine that in addition, “There's more in there than we thought, in the Queen source archive. I'm a little nervous of saying there's an album there, but there's certainly a few tracks... We've found some Freddie vocals, some demos.”
In other Brian May news, the musician’s environmental group, Save Me, has scored a victory for badgers. The group has been working to end the extermination of badgers in the UK countryside. Last week, the pilot program that granted hunters licenses to kill badgers was called off.