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Mr. Big Drummer Pat Torpey Dead At 64 - (hennemusic) Mr. Big drummer Pat Torpey passed away on February 7 at the age of 64 from complications of Parkinson's disease. Torpey was a regular on the Los Angeles music scene in the early 1980s, landing gigs on American Bandstand and Solid Gold that saw him regularly perform behind top international singers. The drummer toured with John Parr ["St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)"], Belinda Carlisle and The Knack before connecting with bassist Billy Sheehan, singer Eric Martin and guitarist Paul Gilbert to form Mr. Big in 1988. The new outfit issued their debut album in 1989, and scored a US and global No. 1 hit with the soft-rock ballad, "To Be With You", from their sophomore release, 1991's "Lean Into It." A series of albums and tours followed before Mr. Big shut down in 2002, only to regroup upon demand from fans in 2009 and go on to issue three more records, including their latest, 2017's "Defying Gravity." Torpey was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2014, and continued to record and tour with Mr. Big while Matt Starr was brought in to handle lead drumming duties. "Pat Torpey has been my closest friend in music for over 30 years," posted Sheehan. "Pat was one of the finest human beings I've ever had the privilege of knowing, and the honor of working with. All of us in Mr. Bib had nothing but the highest respect and admiration for him. He is loved by anyone and everyone who ever met him. And surely one of the finest rock drummers the world has ever known. "Please keep his sweet wife and wonderful son in your prayers. I love you, Pat. You made the world a better place. We will miss you. We will never forget you. Rest in peace, my brother." "We are all in shock and so sad in the Mr. Big camp," shared Martin on social media. "He was the strongest, kindest and sweetest man that I have ever known. I can't put into words how I feel but just to say I'm absolutely heartbroken as you can imagine. He loved you fans so much - Let's all say a prayer for his wife Karen and his son Patrick Jr." "Family, band and management request privacy at this very difficult time," announced the group. "Services are pending."

Foghat's Craig MacGregor Dies - (hennemusic) Foghat bassist Craig MacGregor died on February 9th at the age of 68 following a lengthy battle with lung cancer, the band revealed in a statement. MacGregor made his debut recording with the band on their sixth album, 1976's "Night Shift", during the first of three stints with Foghat. "On behalf of Craig MacGregor's family and the Foghat family, it is with great sadness that we are letting you know that we have lost our brother, good friend, husband, father and band mate this morning," posted the band. "He passed peacefully in his wife, Lisa MacGregor's arms after a prolonged battle with cancer. Please respect the privacy of the family and band members at this time. We will be sharing information in the next day or so. Rest in Peace Thunderfingers." The rocker was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015; a small tumor was first detected during a CAT scan to check for broken ribs after a fall in 2012 but Torpey was never advised of the issue because radiologists and other diagnostic imaging service providers were not required by law, at the time, to report test results to patients. In the ensuing years, according to Philly.com, the tumor had grown more than 60 times larger, was inoperable, and had spread to the bassist's brain, which led to the MacGregors suing his doctors and the Reading, PA Health System over their failure to alert him to the health issue. "You get mad and you get scared and you realize that your life is going to change drastically, to somewhere that you never thought it would be," said the bassist at the time. 


Beatles 'The Worst Musicians In The World' Claims Quincy Jones - (Radio.com) Michael Jackson Thriller producer Quincy Jones gave an epic interview to GQ recently packed with captivating tales and pointed jabs from his storied life and career. Now, Jones has spoken to Vuture for another wide-ranging and jaw-dropping conversation, and this time he has none less than The Beatles in his sights. "That they were the worst musicians in the world. They were no-playing m———–s," Jones said when asked of his first impressions of the Fab Four. "Paul was the worst bass player I ever heard. And Ringo? Don't even talk about it." Jones goes on to detail a recording session for Ringo Starr's 1970 solo debut, Sentimental Journey, and working on the song,"Love is a Many Spendoured Thing." According to Jones, even after three hours, the Beatles drummer couldn't get a handle on a "four bar thing" during a session with producer George Martin. "We said, 'Mate, why don't you get some lager and lime, some shepherd's pie, and take an hour-and-a-half and relax a little bit.' So he did, and we called Ronnie Verrell, a jazz drummer. Ronnie came in for 15 minutes and tore it up. Ringo comes back and says, 'George, can you play it back for me one more time?' So George did, and Ringo says, 'That didn't sound so bad." And I said, 'Yeah, m———– because it ain't you.' Great guy, though." Jones’ story about the Beatles is just one of many incredible stories the producer offers in the new interview, including a date with Ivanka Trump. Read the revealing interview here.

David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' Launched Toward Mars By SpaceX - (Radio.com) Can you hear me, Major Tom? For the Falcon Heavy rocket that Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully launched into space on Tuesday (Feb. 6), the answer is a resounding yes. Inside the rocket's upper stage is a "midnight cherry Tesla Roadster" which is playing Bowie's 1969 classic, "Space Oddity." Inside the car: a dummy known as "Starman," an obvious reference to the Bowie song of the same name found on 1972 album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The rocket lifted off at 3:45 p.m. EST from Kennedy Space Center's historic launch pad 39A (via CBS News). The launch was originally scheduled for 1:30 p.m., but was delayed for several hours due to weather conditions. Elon Musk himself announced the David Bowie soundtrack late last year in an Instagram post. “I love the thought of a car drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future,” Musk explained on Twitter when asked why he was doing the car launch. 

John Mellencamp, Alan Jackson Lead Songwriters Hall of Fame - (Radio.com) The 2018 Songwriters Hall of Fame class has been revealed and it's a versatile one. John Mellencamp, Alan Jackson, Kool & the Gang, Jermaine Dupri, Allee Willis, Bill Anderson and Steve Dorff are this year's inductees. Dupri represents the second hip-hop act inducted into the Hall of Fame following JAY-Z, who was honored in 2017. Meanwhile, country artists Jackson and Anderson will be recognized for their lengthy careers as songwriters. 'The 2018 roster of Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees is a prodigious representation of creators of cross-genre hits, certain to resonate with everyone," Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, the organization's co-chairs said in a joint statement with Linda Moran, president and CEO of the organization. 'Each year, the slate of songwriters we induct is more diverse and illustrative of the history and contributions that we strive to acknowledge and honor." Songwriters are eligible for induction after writing hit songs for at least 20 years. The 49th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner will be held on June 14 in New York at the Marriott Marquis Hotel.
    
Neil Young Featured In Daryl Hannah-Directed Western Musical - (Gibson) You couldn't make that headline up. Folk-rock icon and long-time activist Neil Young has been in a relationship with veteran actress Daryl Hannah for some years now and their partnership is set to debut its first artistic endeavor. A new film, titled Paradox, which is directed by Hannah, will premiere at SXSW this year. The movie - which Billboard reports is described as a "dystopian musical Western" - features Young, as well as legendary country star Willie Nelson and his two sons Lukas and Micah in acting roles. Neil Young fans will know Lukas as the leader of Young's current backing band Promise of the Real. A description of the movie on the SXSW site reads, "Time is fluid in this far-fetched, whimsical western tale of music and love. Somewhere in the future past, The Man In the Black Hat hides out between heists at an old stagecoach stop with Jail Time, the Particle Kid, and an odd band of outlaws. Mining the detritus of past civilizations, they wait… for the Silver Eagle, for the womenfolk, and for the full moon's magic to give rise to the music and make the spirits fly." 


AC/DC Reportedly To Record And Tour With Axl Rose
(hennemusic) AC/DC biographer and notable Australian music journalist Murray Engleheart says the band will continue to record and tour with Guns N' Roses legend Axl Rose fronting the band. The Guns N' Roses leader stepped in to help AC/DC complete the final 2016 dates of their world tour in support of 2014's "Rock Or Bust" when the trek was temporarily halted after singer Brian Johnson was advised by doctors to stop performing in arenas and stadium-sized venues immediately or risk total hearing loss. "Speculate all you want, but I've said it before and I'll say it again: AC/DC will continue with Axl on vocals - new album, touring, the whole nine yards," writes Engleheart on Facebook. "What was a massive gamble by Angus turned out to be an equally enormous triumph that has set the scene for the future." One of Australia's most respected music writers with a career that spans more than a quarter of a century, Engleheart wrote the 2006 biography "AC/DC Maximum Rock and Roll: The Ultimate Story Of The World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band." The biographer's comments mirrors similar speculation about the pairing last year by Noise 11's Paul Cashmere following multiple guest appearances by Angus Young during Guns N' Roses Australian tour. "The chemistry between Axl Rose and Angus Young has inspired Angus to start planning another AC/DC record," reported Cashmere, "but Guns N' Roses touring commitments throughout 2017 will make it difficult to finalize the project." During an interview event in London, UK in June of 2016, Rose revealed that he was planning new music with Guns N' Roses and, possibly, AC/DC as well. "We are working on new stuff," explained Rose. "I've got a lot of stuff together, and I played some stuff for Slash and Duff and they liked it. And Angus and I are talking about working together. So we'll see."

Eagles' Vince Gill Discusses Being Sexually Assaulted As A Child - (Radio.com) Country star and member of the current lineup of the Eagles Vince Gill opened up about being sexually assaulted as a child while performing in Nashville this week. "I was in 7th grade, and a young, dumb kid," he told a crowd at the Ryman Auditorium. "I had a gym teacher that acted inappropriately towards me, and was trying to do things that I didn't know what the hell was going on." The Opry member added that he was scared by what was happening and his fight or flight instinct kicked in, reports The Tennessean. "I was just fortunate that I got up and I ran," he said. "I just jumped up, and I ran. I don't know why. And I don't think I ever told anybody my whole life, but even what's been going on has given me a little bit of courage to speak out, too." He originally spoke about this incident in an interview back in 2011. It was at the Ryman performance that Gill said that the incident inspired his song "Forever Changed," which he wrote years ago, but decided to play for the crowd in light of all the recent sexual assault revelations that have been surfacing in the news.

Pearl Jam Star Scores Elvis Presley Documentary - (Radio.com) You can't make an Elvis Presley documentary without a killer catalog of career-defining music. As HBO prepares for the release of Thom Zimny's Elvis Presley: The Searcher, more has been revealed about the soundtrack, which comes out April 6. The film will feature "Presley hits and alternate mixes," as well as an original score composed by Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready reports Rolling Stone. The soundtrack includes McCready's score, Elvis classics and rarities. Bonus content includes a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover of "Wooden Heart" and a collection of R&B, country and gospel music that inspired Elvis' musical style. The release will be available in various formats: digital, CD, double-vinyl, and a triple-CD deluxe edition featuring additional music.

Late Metallica Star's Hometown Proclaims 'Cliff Burton Day' - (hennemusic) Metallica bassist Cliff Burton will be honored by his California hometown this weekend after fans started a Change.org petition to recognize the late rocker, who died at the age of 24 in a tragic tour bus accident in Sweden during the group's 1986 tour in support of their third album, "Master Of Puppets." "It's official! February 10th, 2018 is now Cliff Burton Day in Castro Valley!," posted Burton's family. "Thank you to Roberto Souza for starting this petition and following it through to the end. Thank you to all of the fans from the Bay Area and around the world who voted. We are honored." "The Board of Supervisors from Alameda County has just proclaimed February 10, 2018, which would have been Cliff's 56th birthday, 'Cliff Burton Day.'" shared Metallica on their social media sites. "As many of you know, Cliff was born and raised in Castro Valley and was the reason we high-tailed it to the Bay Area back in '83. "Thanks to all of the fans who got behind this initiative and we'd like to send our appreciation and respect to all of you who continue to honor Cliff in your own personal ways. We love that he remains so revered." 




 



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