L-R: Jonathan Demme and David Byrne; Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG via Getty ImagesNot only did the late Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme helm such acclaimed dramas as Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, he was also a concert film visionary.

Demme, who died Wednesday at age 73, directed Stop Making Sense, the groundbreaking 1984 Talking Heads concert documentary. The film gained accolades for its imaginative construction and editing, and was the first to be shot entirely using digital audio.

Demme also directed a trilogy of concert film/documentaries featuring Neil Young: 2006’s Heart of Gold, 2009’s Neil Young Trunk Show, and 2012’s Neil Young Journeys.

Demme’s music video work included the video for Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia,” and Bruce’s 1995 clip for “Murder Incorporated.”

In addition, Demme directed 1985’s “Sun City” video for Artists United Against Apartheid, the activist group founded by Little Steven Van Zandt. The project featured Springsteen, Bono, Ringo Starr, Jackson Browne, Keith Richards and many others.

One of Demme’s final projects was a multimedia film for a new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit called the Power of Rock Experience that’ll premiere at the Hall July 1. Earlier this month, Rock Hall CEO Greg Harris told ABC Radio that the 12-minute film compresses 31 years of footage from Hall induction ceremonies into “an immersive experience based on the emotions of rock ‘n roll.”

In a statement to ABC Radio today, Harris said, “Jonathan had a keen ability to meld his passion for music and storytelling in works that showed us the world in a new light. It was an honor to have worked with him on one of his last projects.”

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DualtoneAnother song from the late Chuck Berry’s final album, Chuck, has debuted.

“Wonderful Woman” premiered via The New Yorker website. In addition to Berry’s signature guitar and vocals, the track features a guest appearance from acclaimed Austin, Texas guitarist Gary Clark Jr.

Chuck is Berry’s first studio disc since 1979’s Rock It. Eight of the ten tracks were written by Berry, who passed away last month at age 90. Produced by Berry and recorded in his native St. Louis, the album features son Charles Berry Jr. on guitar and daughter Ingrid Berry on vocals and harmonica, plus other musicians who’d been working with him for nearly 20 years at his famed Blueberry Hill club.

Other guests on the album include guitarist Tom Morello and singer Nathaniel Rateliff. It also features liner notes from acclaimed historian Douglas Brinkley.

Here’s the track list for Chuck Berry’s Chuck album:

“Wonderful Woman”
“Big Boys”
“You Go to My Head”
“3/4 Time (Enchiladas)”
“Darlin'”
“Lady B. Goode”
“She Still Loves You”
“Jamaica Moon”
“Dutchman”
“Eyes of Man”

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Credit: UMeABBA is getting in on the reissue gold rush.

The Swedish hitmakers will release a 25th anniversary limited-edition version of their 1992 best-of collection, Gold: Greatest Hits, on June 30. The two-album set will be pressed on heavyweight 180-gram gold-colored vinyl and will also include a card enabling MP3 download of the tracks.

Featuring such hits as “Waterloo,” “Dancing Queen,” “The Name of the Game” and “SOS,” Gold: Greatest Hits has sold over 30 million copies worldwide.

ABBA was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. The quartet of Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad are reportedly reuniting to work on a project with music guru Simon Fuller, the man behind the Spice Girls, among others. According to Metro, the project will be a “groundbreaking venture that will utilize the very latest in digital and virtual reality technology.”

Here’s the track list for the limited-edition reissue of Abba’s Gold: Greatest Hits:

Side One
“Dancing Queen”
”Knowing Me, Knowing You”
”Take A Chance On Me”
”Mamma Mia”
”Lay All Your Love On Me”

Side Two
”Super Trouper”
”I Have A Dream”
”The Winner Takes It All”
”Money, Money, Money”
”SOS”

Side Three
”Chiquitita”
”Fernando”
“Voulez-Vous”
”Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)”

Side Four
”Does Your Mother Know”
”One Of Us”
”The Name Of The Game”
”Thank You For The Music”
”Waterloo”

Courtesy Rock & Roll Hall of FameThe Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is located in Cleveland, but the induction ceremony doesn’t always take place there. But it will next year.

This morning, the Hall announced that the 33rd annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held April 14, 2018 at Cleveland’s historic Public Hall. The last time it was held at that location was 2015. A variety of induction-themed events will be held at the Hall and throughout the city in conjunction with the event.

This year’s induction ceremony took place earlier this month in Brooklyn, NY — you can watch it Saturday night on HBO starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The honorees were Joan Baez, ELO, Journey, Nile Rodgers, Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, and Yes.

The special guests at the ceremony included Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, Pharrell Williams, T.I., Rush‘s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, Jackson Browne, Train‘s Pat Monahan, Dhani Harrison, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Indigo Girls, and others.

An exhibit dedicated to this year’s honorees is now open at the Hall, and will run through the winter of 2018.

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Credit: Eagle RecordsFor the first time in 14 years, there’s a new Procol Harum album.

Novum, the veteran British progressive rock band’s first new studio album since 2003’s The Well’s on Fire, was released April 21. The group continues to be led by one of its founding members, singer/keyboardist/composer Gary Brooker, who’s been the distinctive voice of Procol Harum since they exploded on the scene in 1967 with the legendary single, “Whiter Shade of Pale.”

Novum is Procol Harum’s 13th album overall and helps mark the band’s 50th anniversary. Brooker tells ABC Radio that milestone was the inspiration to record new material: “So off we went. And the band, we’ve been playing live, this outfit as we stand today, for 10 years, and this was the first time we’ve been in the studio. So we suddenly got very excited about it.”

Most of the lyrics on the new album came courtesy of Pete Brown, best known for his work with Cream in the 1960s. The music was a collaborative process between Brooker and the other band members. He recalls, “I thought I would like to sit down with a couple of the people from the band…very, very capable creators. So I sat down with (keyboardist) Josh Phillips, and then we got (guitarist) Geoff Whitehorn involved as well, and we started to think up new ideas.”

Novum features 11 new tracks, one in particular that Brooker enjoys singing: the first single, “Sunday Morning.” He explains, “You can really get into that one. I mean, they’re all good songs to put yourself into as a vocalist.”

Brooker proudly adds that he considers Novum “to be one of the finest Procol Harum albums ever.”

Here’s the track list for Novum:

“I Told on You”
“Last Chance Motel”
“Image of the Beast”
“Soldier”
“Don’t Get Caught”
“Neighour”
“Sunday Morning”
“Businessman”
“Can’t Say That”
“The Only One”
“Somewhen”

Kevin Winter/Getty Images via ABCOne person who won’t be buying a ticket for a planned Madonna biopic? Madonna herself.

Following a report that Universal plans to make a movie called Blond Ambition, focusing on Madonna’s early career, the Queen of Pop took to Instagram to denounce the project.

Nobody knows what I know and what I have seen. Only I can tell my story,” she captioned a 1980s’-era photo of herself. “Anyone else who tries is a charlatan and a fool. Looking for instant gratification without doing the work. This is a disease in our society.”

While Madonna has starred in any number of films — from Desperately Seeking Susan and the documentary Truth or Dare, to Evita and the James Bond flick Die Another Day — she’s never told her story in movie or book form. The day she decides to spill it all, though, expect a multi-million-dollar bidding war.

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MJ Kim/MPL Communications LtdFans in over a dozen more cities will have a chance to go One on One with Paul McCartney.

McCartney has announced 14 additional dates for the North American leg of his One on One tour, beginning July 5 in Miami, Florida. The dates include four cities the former Beatle has never played before: Duluth, Georgia; Bossier City, Louisiana; Wichita, Kansas; and Syracuse, New York.

A July 25 show in Tinley Park, Illinois goes on sale April 29, with tickets for the other dates going on sale May 1 and May 5, respectively, depending on the show. Full information is available at McCartney’s official website.

McCartney is touring with the same band that’s accompanied him for more than a decade: guitarist Rusty Anderson, bassist/guitarist Brian Ray, keyboardist Paul “Wix” Wickens and drummer Abe Laboriel, Jr. Check out exclusive rehearsal footage here.

Here are Paul McCartney’s updated One on One North American tour dates:

7/5 – Miami, FL, American Airlines Arena
7/10 – Tampa, FL, Amalie Arena
7/13 – Duluth, GA, Infinite Energy Arena
7/15 — Bossier City, LA, CenturyLink Center
7/19 – Wichita, KS, INTRUST Bank Arena
7/21 — Des Moines, IA, Wells Fargo Arena
7/23 – Omaha, NE, CenturyLink Center
7/25 — Tinley Park, IL, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Tinley Park
9/11 – Newark, NJ, Prudential Center
9/15 — New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
9/19 – Brooklyn, NY, Barclays Center
9/ 23 – Syracuse, NY, Carrier Dome
9/ 26 – Uniondale, NY, NYCB LIVE’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
10/1 — Detroit MI, Little Caesars Arena

Credit: Thos Robinson/Getty Images for ForeignerSummer concert season is almost here, and fans will have a chance to enjoy live music at budget prices.

Foreigner, Boston, Deep Purple, Rod Stewart and Earth, Wind & Fire are among the artists involved in live event promoter Live Nation’s “Kickoff to Summer Ticket Promotion” on National Concert Day, Monday, May 1. The company will offer over one million tickets to various concert tours for just $20 each.

The $20 tickets will be available for over 1,000 shows and over 50 tours, including Boston with Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Chicago and The Doobie Brothers, Deep Purple and Alice Cooper with special guest The Edgar Winter Band, Def Leppard with Poison and Tesla, Earth, Wind & Fire and CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers, Foreigner and Cheap Trick with special guest Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, Queen + Adam Lambert, Rod Stewart with very special guest Cyndi Lauper, Styx and REO Speedwagon with special guest star Don Felder.

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, May 2 at 8 a.m. local time, with the special offer continuing for one week. Full information is available online.

Universal Music Group

The 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is upon us, but according to Paul McCartney, initial reactions to the now-classic album were somewhat mixed.

Speaking to Mojo magazine, the ex-Beatle recalls being told, “You’re gonna lose all your fans with this one.'” He says their response was, “Well, we’ll lose some but we’ll gain some. We’ve gotta advance.”

McCartney also mentions a “terrible” review the album received in the New York Times, in which the writer said “the over-all effect is busy, hip and cluttered,” adding that Sgt. Pepper’s was “spoiled” like “an over-attended child.”

But Paul points out that when that same writer heard what others were saying about the album, he revised his opinion in another piece for the Village Voice. That time, he said it was “better than 80 percent of the music around today,” but opined that Sgt. Pepper’s wouldn’t be considered as good historically as Rubber Soul and Revolver.

Paul also spoke about the 50th anniversary version of Sgt. Pepper’s that’s being released next month, saying he really appreciates the new stereo mix.

He explains, “The original stereo mix is a bit of a period piece. You’ve got the drums in one corner. You’ve got the vocals in another corner. We would be at listening parties, have some mates around and I’d go, ‘Listen to the drums on this, man!’…and you couldn’t hear ’em. ‘Oh! They’re over there in the other corner of the room.’”

Describing the new mix, he says, ”It sounds more like us playing in the room and more like we intended it.”

The remastered 50th Anniversary version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band arrives arrive May 26.

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Alexandre Loureiro/Getty ImagesGood news this morning about Elton John, who had to cancel weeks of performances while he recovers from a severe bacterial infection.

Elton’s apparently feeling well enough to send a tweet to his fans Tuesday morning. “Woke up to an avalanche of well wishes,” he wrote. “Thanks to everyone for reaching out. I’m resting well and looking forward to getting back on tour.”

Woke up to an avalanche of well wishes. Thanks to everyone for reaching out. I’m resting well and looking forward to getting back on tour. pic.twitter.com/zwTKvt1jn7

— Elton John (@eltonofficial) April 25, 2017

He posted the same message on his Instagram, but added, “I’m resting well and getting stronger every day. I’m looking forward to getting back on tour in June.”

According to Elton’s rep, the rock legend contracted a “a harmful and unusual bacterial infection” during a tour of South America, and during his return flight home, he became “violently ill.” When he arrived in the U.K., he was admitted him to the hospital, where he “underwent immediate treatment to remove the infection.”

Elton spent two nights in intensive care, and then had an extended stay in the hospital. He was finally released this past Saturday and is now “comfortably resting at home,” according to his rep.

According to an earlier statement, the infection that Elton contracted is “rare and potentially deadly,” but it was quickly identified and treated, and he’s expected to make a full recovery.

Elton said in the earlier statement, “I am so fortunate to have the most incredible and loyal fans and apologize for disappointing them. I am extremely grateful to the medical team for their excellence in looking after me so well.”

The tour cancellations encompass Elton’s entire performance schedule for April and May in Las Vegas, as well as a May 6 performance in Bakersfield, California. Ticket holders can get refunds for the cancelled performances. His next live show will take place in Twickenham, England on June 3.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Madonna biopic in the works

Michael Putland/Getty ImagesA Madonna biopic, Blond Ambition, is in the early stages at Universal.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has picked up a script from first time screen writer Elyse Hollander about Madonna’s early rise to fame in New York in the ’80s. The magazine says the movie will deal with Madonna as she works on her debut alubm, “struggling in a business that treats women badly, while also dealing with a burgeoning love life and the first hints of fame.”

The movie will be co-produced by director/producer Brett Ratner‘s RatPac Entertainment. Ratner is a music video veteran and directed Madonna’s “Beautiful Stranger” video.

No further details about the movie have been announced.

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Courtesy of The ClassicOne of the musical highlights of this summer will be the Classic East/Classic West Festivals, taking place in July in New York and L.A. with a lineup that includes Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, The Doobie Brothers, Journey, Steely Dan, and Earth, Wind & Fire. The Eagles haven’t performed since co-founder and frontman Glenn Frey died last year, but according to Fleetwood Mac’s Mick Fleetwood, they’ve somehow found a way to fill the huge gap left by Frey’s absence.

“I’ll leave the surprise of how they’re doing it to unfold in their own world at these two shows,” Fleetwood tells ABC Radio, “[but] I think it’s really historical.”

The drummer adds that he’s delighted that The Eagles are returning to the stage.

“I think it’s hugely profound for the Eagles that they’re coming out and doing these shows,” he tells ABC Radio. “And I’m really glad that the band is still existing and seemingly intent on continuing as a band.”

As for Fleetwood Mac, so far the two festivals, on July 16 and July 30, are the only announced dates for the band, though guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and singer/keyboardist Christine McVie are doing their own tour starting in June to promote their self-titled duets album.

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Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty ImagesThough a quintessential Englishman, Ray Davies has plenty to say about the U.S.A.

The Kinks frontman and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer even titled his new album Americana, inspired by his 2013 autobiographical book of the same name.

Davies recorded with acclaimed alt-country band The Jayhawks, which required a little fine-tuning. Ray tells the BBC, “At first, they were trying to sound English in their backing vocals, but I deterred them from that…I picked them is because they just play the songs. They don’t embellish too much unless I ask them to, which is great.”

Things went so well, Davies says there are “another 20” songs waiting to be finished, adding, “It’s a big work, but I hope it’ll be put together for a deluxe record later on.”

Davies lived for a spell in New Orleans, including a harrowing 2004 incident in which he was shot in the leg chasing a purse thief. He ended up in the hospital under heavy sedation, a situation he describes in the new song, “Mystery Room.”

Another track, “Rock ‘N’ Roll Cowboys,” compares ageing rockers to long-in-the-tooth gunslingers. Davies muses, “Every day I wake up and say, ‘I love writing songs but do I want to do this?’ and the answer is I do. I love making records. I love playing in front of people.”

As for the country of inspiration, Davies says, “I do hope America balances itself out. It’s slightly off-kilter at the moment. (President Trump) has still got to face Congress, and it’s still a democratic country. I think the will of the people will be heard, and America’s constitution is strong. It’s a difficult time of re-adjustment for them – but I think in time it’ll balance itself out.”

Credit: John Popper of Blues Traveler; John Lamparski/WireImageKick out the jams, Blues Traveler are celebrating their 30th anniversary with a new tour.

The bluesy, jam-rock veterans will kick things off October 11 in Ridgefield, Connecticut, finishing the 25-date excursion with a November 19 show in San Diego. Ticket information is available via the band’s official website.

Frontman John Popper says, “Three decades and I am still surprised when we play and find some rich new musical vein to tap…Thirty years since a bunch of loud boys embarked on an adventure that took them around the world and made them a family that has not ceased growing to this day. Thirty years later and I am still so very grateful.”

Led by Popper and guitarist Chad Kinchla, Blues Traveler formed in Princeton, New Jersey, in the mid-1980s. They’ve released a dozen studio albums and sold more than 10 million discs worldwide. They also earned a 1986 Grammy for the track “Run Around.” Popper has also performed with the likes of Foo Fighters, Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers, Pearl Jam and Dave Matthews Band.

In addition to the anniversary tour, Blues Traveler will begin recording a new album next month that’s expected to see the light of day in early 2018.

Blues Traveler 30 Year Anniversary Tour Dates:
10/12 — Ridgefield, CT – Ridgefield Playhouse
10/13 — Philadelphia, PA – The TLA
10/14 — Silver Springs, MD – The Fillmore
10/15 — Norfolk, VA – The NorVa
10/17 — Richmond, VA, The National
10/18 — Raleigh, NC, The Ritz
10/20 — St. Petersburg, FL, Jannus Live
10/21 — Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Revolution Live
10/26 — Austin, TX, Emo’s
10/27 — Dallas, TX, House Of Blues
10/28 — Houston, TX, House Of Blues
10/30 — Tulsa, OK, Cain’s Ballroom
11/1 — Minneapolis, MN, Pantages Theatre
11/3 — Indianapolis, IN, The Vogue
11/4 — St. Louis, MO, Delmar Hall
11/5 — Kansas City, MO, Uptown Theatre
11/7 — Las Vegas, NV, House Of Blues
11/8 — Salt Lake City, UT, The Depot
11/10 — Boise, ID, Knitting Factory Concert House
11/11 — Portland, OR, Crystal Ballroom
11/12 — Seattle, WA, The Showbox at The Market
11/15 — San Francisco, CA, The Fillmore
11/17 — Los Angeles, CA, The Belasco
11/18 — Anaheim, CA, House Of Blues
11/19 — San Diego, CA, House Of Blues

ABC/Randy HolmesHere’s hoping Elton John will be on the Yellow Brick Road to recovery soon: he’s had to cancel weeks of performances while he recovers from a severe bacterial infection.

The cancellations encompass Elton’s entire performance schedule for April and May in Las Vegas, as well as a May 6 performance in Bakersfield, California.

According to Elton’s rep, the rock legend contracted a “a harmful and unusual bacterial infection” during a tour of South America, and during his return flight home, he became “violently ill.” When he arrived in the U.K., he was admitted him to the hospital, where he “underwent immediate treatment to remove the infection.”

Elton spent two nights in intensive care, and then had an extended stay in the hospital. He was finally released this past Saturday and is now “comfortably resting at home,” according to his rep.

According to a statement, the infection that Elton contracted is “rare and potentially deadly,” but it was quickly identified and treated, and he’s expected to make a full recovery. His next live show will taken place in Twickenham, England on June 3.

Elton says in a statement, “I am so fortunate to have the most incredible and loyal fans and apologize for disappointing them. I am extremely grateful to the medical team for their excellence in looking after me so well.”

Ticket holders can get refunds for the cancelled performances.

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