U2 SPOKESPERSON DENIES ALBUM DELAY
Numerous news outlets reported U2 had decided to delay the release of their next record until 2015 in order to schedule more studio time, however a band spokesperson says that isn’t so. A representative for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band told UK’s The Guardian, “U2’s album is planned for this year, it is still on track and touring plans haven’t been confirmed yet.” U2’s rep reiterated the group’s new record should be ready by this summer.
BON JOVI, ROLLING STONES, FLEETWOOD MAC ALL TOP 10 MONEYMAKERS
Pop and country superstar Taylor Swift earned the top spot on Billboard’s annual Money Makers list, earning a vault-filling $39.7 million thanks in large measure to all the green she garnered from the sale of her Red album and subsequent sold out tour. But veteran rock acts Bon Jovi, the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac didn’t do so bad in 2013, coming in fourth, fifth and 10th, respectively on the list. Bon Jovi banked $29.4 million, the Stones stashed away $26.2 million, mostly from their 50 and counting tour, and Fleetwood Mac made $19.1 million, mostly as a result of its tour.
YOUNG PROMOTES PREMIERE OF PONOMUSIC PLAYER, STORE
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Neil Young has announced the launch of PonoMusic, a high-quality music playback device (PonoPlayer) and online music store designed to bring music to discerning listeners in the way the artists intended. Young, founder and chairman of PonoMusic, said, “It’s about the music, real music. We want to move digital music into the 21st century and PonoMusic does exactly that.” The PonoPlayer ($399), earbud and headphone products will be sold at PonoMusic.com.
ACTOR SPENT 6 HOURS A DAY PERFECTING GUITAR FOR HENDRIX ROLE
The actor who portrays Jimi Hendrix in the upcoming biopic Jimi: All Is by My Side spent several hours a day learning to play guitar as a lefty for the role. The film’s producer Danny Bramson told Billboard he found Outkast member Andre 3000 “a really patient teacher and put together a regimen for Andre when he came out to Los Angeles. He sat in a small studio, six hours a day, putting in dedication [to play left-handed]. He kept working in a rehearsal room throughout the production.”
MEXICO’S HELL & HEAVEN METAL FEST HITS POLITICAL ROADBLOCK
A turf war between rival political parties has thrown a wrench in plans to hold the Hell & Heaven Metal Festival just outside Mexico City this weekend, but organizers vow the event will go on. Kiss, Guns N’ Roses, and Twisted Sister are among those on the bill, but the government says the lack of safety plans has the event in doubt. But organizers feel the holdup is politically motivated, because the town where the stadium is located is run by the Citizen’s Movement party, while the state is governed by the opposing Institutional Revolutionary Party. Late yesterday, organizers of the festival said on Facebook they will announce a new location for the event very soon.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES
New albums out today: Bob Dylan – 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration (Deluxe Edition); Chicago – Live in Japan.