MCCARTNEY, STARR JOIN GRAMMY PERFORMERS LINEUP
Sadly, the closest thing to a Beatles reunion that could ever take place is seeing Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr perform together on the same stage. Happily, that will happen at the 56th annual Grammy Awards on January 26 in Los Angeles, now that the two former Fab Four bandmates have been added to the lineup of performers. McCartney is nominated for Best Rock Song for “Cut Me Some Slack” featuring former Nirvana bandmates Dave Grohl and Krist Noveselic, and Starr will receive the 2014 Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.
ORIGINAL BLACK SABBATH LINEUP STUDIO ALBUMS NOW ON ITUNES
Finally, for the first time, all of the original Black Sabbath lineup’s studio albums are now available digitally in the U.S., exclusively on iTunes. Reacting to the news, Ozzy Osbourne said, “It’s about f***ing time the first eight Black Sabbath albums were made available on iTunes in the U.S.” The catalog of downloadable hard rock classics includes Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage, Technical Ecstasy, We Sold Our Soul for Rock ‘N’ Roll (best of), Never Say Die!, Greatest Hits 1970-1978 and The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1978 (box set).
SLOWHAND, SANTANA, SPRINGSTEEN SET FOR NEW ORLEANS JAZZ FEST
Organizers of the 45th annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival unveiled the event’s lineup on Tuesday, and as usual, there is no shortage of huge names on the bill. Some of the biggest names on the bill include Eric Clapton, Santana, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Robert Plant, John Fogerty, Johnny Winter and Boz Scaggs. The event will take place April 25-May 4. Visit nojazzfest.com for details.
HAYNES HAD BEEN THINKING ABOUT LEAVING ABB “FOR A LONG TIME”
Fans of the Allman Brothers Band were shocked to hear that longtime guitarist Warren Haynes and fellow six-stringer Derek Trucks plan to leave the band at the end of the year, but according to Haynes, the move had been in the works for a while. He told Rolling Stone, “It’s not as big a surprise within our network as some people might think. We’ve been talking about this for a long time.” As for the possibility of his returning to ABB, Haynes said, “I value the musical relationships and friendships that I have with everybody in this band. I’m sure Gregg [Allman] and I will continue to do stuff in the future. We’ll see. I’m not predicting the future.”
LED ZEPPELIN BASSIST/KEYBOARDIST FORMS NEW PROJECT
Calling themselves Minibus Pimps, Led Zeppelin bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones and Norwegian producer/performer Deathprod (real name Helge Sten) will release their debut album, Close to Ground, on March 3. Rolling Stone describes the record as “partly composed and partly improvised,” noting the collection “will feature tracks recorded at live shows, with the pair feeding various instruments, electronics and samplers through the processors of a Kyma sound design computer system.”
MAY TOLD HE DOES NOT HAVE CANCER
The huge sigh of relief you heard yesterday came from Queen guitarist Brian May, who shared the very good news that a series of tests he’s undergone show he does not have cancer. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer wrote on his website: “Well, I got a great phone call from my specialist this evening. He said, ‘I have good news: The result of your prostate biopsy is here, and we did not find any cancer cells.’ So finally, as far as that vital organ is concerned, I am – thank God – in the clear.”
METALLICA’S HAMMETT GEARING UP TO HOST FIRST HORROR, MUSIC FEST
Longtime horror devotee Kirk Hammett will put away his Metallica guitarist hat for a weekend to host his own first-ever Fear FesEvil at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco on February 7 and 8. Playfully asking to be addressed as Kirk Von Hammett for the occasion, the event’s ghost host says, “This will be the most sinister, evil, over the top horror and music festival to date. I’m excited to bring horror fanatics, music fans, and other freaks together under the same roof in my hometown and can’t wait to unleash my own personal horror collection for display.” Visit fearfestevil.com for all the dastardly details.
DAVE MATTHEWS BAND BOOKS SERIES OF “LOOSER” SUMMER SHOWS
The Dave Matthews Band will once again blanket the country during the summer, starting with a show in Woodlands, TX on May 16. Of the upcoming run of 42 concerts, Matthews said in a statement: “Our shows are loose, but we started thinking that maybe this summer we should make them looser… It seems like the opposite of a safe plan, so why not?” On the tour, dubbed A Very Special Evening with Dave Matthews Band, the group will alternate between electric and acoustic tunes. The run wraps September 6 in Irvine, CA.