Daniel Knighton/Getty ImagesThe music world was saddened by the death of Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker, who passed away September 3 at age 67. No cause of death was revealed at the time, but now the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s widow, Delia, has issued a statement in which she shares previously unannounced details about Becker’s passing.

In her letter, Delia describes Walter’s death as a “devastating blow,” and says she’s “just beginning to emerge from its heartbreaking impact.”

She reveals that her husband “died in the course of being treated for an extremely aggressive form of esophageal cancer,” adding, “The cancer was detected during one of his annual medical checkups and its presence came as a grim surprise to Walter, his doctors and to me. It seemed to have come out of nowhere and had spread with terrifying speed.”

Delia continues, “Walter chose an intense regimen of chemotherapy at [New York hospital] Sloan Kettering though, between the cancer’s aggressiveness and the overwhelming toxicity resulting from the chemotherapy treatments, Walter died less than four months after the cancer was detected.”

She also reports that Becker died peacefully at home in New York City, “surrounded by his family, his music, and a blustery rainstorm — one of his favorite sounds — blowing outside the window.”

Delia adds, “In keeping with his wishes, he was cremated without ceremony or memorial in New York City.”

In addition, she explains that Becker had hoped to return to performing, and hadn’t intended to keep fans in the dark about his illness. “He just ran out of time much sooner than any of us thought possible,” she points out.

Delia goes on to thank fans for “the tsunami of tributes and remembrances” that followed Walter’s death.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Legacy RecordingsAs Toto prepares to launch its 40 Trips Around the Sun anniversary world tour in Europe this February, the band has announced plans to release a new, career-spanning compilation featuring three new songs in conjunction with the trek. 40 Trips Around the Sun is a 17-track collection that’s due out on February 9, 2018, and features remastered versions of many of the group’s best-known tunes, including “Hold the Line,” “Rosanna” and “Africa.”

Among the new songs is “Spanish Sea,” a tune that was built around an unfinished track Toto recorded during the sessions for its 1984 album Isolation that includes performances by late band mates Jeff and Mike Porcaro.

“[W]e had to re-write it including creating a new chorus,” guitarist Steve Lukather explains. “Thanks to modern tech we were able to play once again with not only our 20-something selves but with our dear brothers Jeff and Mike Porcaro reminding us just how deep their groove was. Bittersweet…”

Lukather adds that the tune is “classic Toto with an excellent solo.”

The compilation’s lead track also is a brand-new song, “Alone,” which fans will receive as a free download when they pre-order 40 Trips Around the Sun.

“We wanted to start with an ‘up’ song in terms of groove for the album,” Lukather explains of “Alone,” which you can listen to now on Toto’s VEVO YouTube channel.

The third new song is titled “Struck by Lightning,” which was written around an opening riff created by singer/keyboardist David Paich, who says the tune “is an all-time great!”

Toto’s 40th anniversary tour begins on February 11 in Helsinki, Finland, and currently is scheduled through an April 8 show in Glasgow, U.K.

Here’s the compilation’s full track list:

“Alone”
“Spanish Sea”
“I’ll Supply the Love”
“I’ll Be Over You”
“Stranger in Town”
“99”
“Struck by Lightning”
“Pamela”
“Afraid of Love”
“I Won’t Hold You Back”
“Jake to the Bone”
“Stop Loving You”
“Lea”
“Hold the Line”
“George Porgy”
“Rosanna”
“Africa”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Courtesy of BonhamsA pair of vintage cars formerly owned, respectively, by former Beatles band mates Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are slated to be auctioned by the famed Bonhams auction house on December 2 in London.

A 1964 Aston Martin DB5 that McCartney ordered not long after The Beatles made their historic Ed Sullivan Show appearance is expected to fetch between $1.6 million and $2 million at the sale, which will be held at Bonhams’ New Bond St. location. Sir Paul had the vehicle specially equipped with a unique Philips record player, which has since been restored. He owned the car for about six years, and since selling it, it has been repainted from its original sierra blue to silver.

The car belonging to Starr is a 1966 Mini Cooper ‘S’ Radford Conversion that originally was purchased by Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Ringo took over ownership of the vehicle in June 1967, and sold it in December 1968. The car, which reportedly was modified with a hatchback so Starr could haul his drum kit in it, is estimated to sell for between $120,000 and $160,000.

Bonhams’ Bond Street Sale also features two cars formerly owned by Elton John. One is a 1959 Bentley S1 Continental Sport Saloon that the pop-rock legend purchased in 1976 and sold in 2001. It’s expected to bring in from $520,000 to $660,000. The other is a 1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon that Elton bought during the ’70s and also sold in 2001. It’s estimated sale price is between $210,000 and $250,000.

Visit Bonhams.com for more details about the auction.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

©PatriciaSeatonPhotographyThis past summer during the first leg of The Moody Blues‘ tour celebrating the 50th anniversary of their classic orchestral concept album Days of Future Passed, the band played a special show in Toronto backed by the city’s World Festival Orchestra. That concert is the focus of a new episode of the PBS series Great Performances that will premiere across the U.S. starting Saturday, November 25; check your local listings for exact air times.

The show features The Moody Blues performing Days of Future Passed in its entirety, enhanced by a video presentation that offers narrated segments by actor Jeremy Irons, archival photos of the group, animated psychedelic projections and more. The veteran British rockers also play several popular songs from other parts of their career, including “I’m Just a Singer (in a Rock and Roll Band),” “Your Wildest Dreams” and “Question.”

Moody Blues singer/bassist John Lodge recently told ABC Radio that the show, which was recorded at Toronto’s Sony Centre, also will be released as a home video.

The band will launch a 2018 leg of its Days of Future Passed 50th Anniversary Tour on January 10 in Hollywood, Florida. The trek will wind down with a four-show Las Vegas engagement at the Wynn resort and casino scheduled for January 26, 27, 30 and 31.

Here’s the full set list from The Moody Blues’ Great Performances show:

Introduction:
“I’m Just a Singer (in a Rock and Roll Band)”
“Your Wildest Dreams”
“The Story in Your Eyes”

Days of Future Passed:
“The Day Begins” — with Jeremy Irons
“Dawn: Dawn Is a Feeling”
“The Morning: Another Morning”
“Lunch Break: Peak Hour”
“The Afternoon: Forever Afternoon (Tuesday)”
“(Evening) Time to Get Away”
“Evening: The Sunset, Twilight Time”
“Late Lament/Resolvement” — with Jeremy Irons
“The Night: Nights in White Satin”

Encores:
“Question”
“Ride My See-Saw”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty ImagesA awe-inspiring list of music stars have taken part in a multimedia art installation called The Adoration Trilogy: Searching for Apollo. It’s a collaboration between The Who‘s Roger Daltrey and photographer Alistair Morrison, and it was unveiled Monday at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.

The project, which will raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and Teen Cancer America, includes a series of stylized photos of various musicians posing either together or alone, as well as video clips of the participating artists.

Among the more than 60 many stars featured in the photos are Daltrey, his Who band mate Pete Townshend, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Brian Wilson and The Rolling StonesBill Wyman and Ronnie Wood.

In addition, the photos include Van Morrison, Queen‘s Brian May and Roger Taylor, John Oates, Rod Stewart, Jon Bon Jovi, Barry Gibb, Bryan Adams, Steven Tyler, Billy Idol, Steve Winwood, Ray Davies, Joe Walsh, Mick Fleetwood, Peter Frampton, Peter Gabriel, Smokey Robinson, Foreigner‘s Mick Jones, Pink Floyd‘s David Gilmour and Nick Mason, Led Zeppelin‘s Robert Plant and John Paul Jones, Mark Knopfler, James Taylor, Donovan, Art Garfunkel, Don McLean, Tom Jones, Tito Jackson, Nile Rodgers, Slash, Neil Sedaka, ex-Who/Faces drummer Kenney Jones and more.

About a dozen or so of the artists who are featured in the installation attended the unveiling event Monday. Details about the project and how it will raise funds for the aforementioned charities are still emerging. Visit TheAdorationTrilogy.com for more information.

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Courtesy of Danny ClinchA new documentary looking at the life and 50-year career of Cat Stevens, the singer/songwriter also known as Yusuf, will premiere on PBS in December.

A Cat’s Attic: Yusuf/Cat Stevens will profile the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s journey from his early pop stardom, to his emergence as a more introspective, spiritual-minded artist, to his conversion to Islam. It will also cover his withdrawal from the music business in 1979 to focus on his faith and family, and his return to performing and recording in the 2000s.

The film includes footage of the singer performing a variety of his most famous songs, including “The First Cut Is the Deepest,” “Wild World,” “Moonshadow,” “Father and Son” and “Peace Train.”

Yusuf released his latest studio album, The Laughing Apple, in September. The 10-track collection features a mix of new original songs and updated renditions of tunes from his early career. He recently launched a Down Under tour in support of the record, which runs through a December 19 show in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Here is the full list of songs performed in the Cat’s Attic special:

“Don’t Be Shy”
“Here Comes My Baby”
“The First Cut Is the Deepest”
“I Love My Dog”
“Matthew and Son”
“Northern Wind (Death of Billy the Kid)”
“Trouble”
“Miles from Nowhere”
“Road to Find Out”
“Tea for the Tillerman”
“Into White”
“Wild World”
“Moonshadow”
“Sitting”
“Oh Very Young”
“Father and Son”
“If You Want to Sing Out”
“Peace Train”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Columbia RecordsFounding Loverboy guitarist Paul Dean‘s 1989 debut solo album, Hard Core, has just been turned loose on all major streaming services for the first time. The album features a variety of interesting guest collaborations, including a harmonica solo by Jon Bon Jovi that appears on the song “Under the Gun.”

Among the other tunes on Hard Core is “Sword & Stone,” which KISS members Paul Stanley and Bruce Kulick co-wrote with Desmond Child, and originally was intended for KISS’ 1987 album, Crazy Nights. In addition, the album features “Draw the Line,” which was co-written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance and previously recorded by Ted Nugent. Also present is “Action,” which Dean co-wrote with his Loverboy band mates Matt Frenette and Kenneth “Spider” Sinnaeve.

Hard Core was produced by Dean’s friend Brian “Too Loud” MacLeod, a founding member of the Canadian band Chilliwack, who died in 1992 from complications of brain cancer.

“What an amazing cat,” says Dean of MacLeod. “He was so high-energy, always up. I never heard a negative word from him about anyone. He was a total recording nerd, a pioneer at splicing together different bits from the multi-track.”

Dean also is planning to release a variety of new, original solo material soon.

Meanwhile, Loverboy has a handful of North American tour dates lined up in the coming months, spanning from a November 24 concert in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, through a March 8, 2018, show in Windsor, Canada.

Here are all of the band’s confirmed dates in the U.S. and Canada:

11/24 — Wilkes-Barre, PA, F.M. Kirby Center
11/25 — Easton, PA, State Theater Center for the Arts
12/3 — Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Riptide Music Festival
12/8 — Welch, MN, Treasure Island Resort & Casino
12/29 — Las Vegas, NV, Golden Nugget
12/31 — Tacoma, WA, Emerald Queen Casino
2/16/18 — Lincoln, CA, Thunder Valley Casino
3/8 — Windsor, ON, Canada, Colosseum at Caesars Windsor

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ida Mae Astute/ABCNext year, Diana Ross will take the stage in Las Vegas once again for a limited engagement of her Diana Ross: Endless Memories show.

Tickets for the engagement go on sale Friday, November 17 at 10 a.m. PT.

The production will take place starting February 7 at the Wynn Las Vegas’ Encore Theater.

On November 17, she’ll release Diamond Diana: The Legacy Collection.

In reference to the disc, she writes on Instagram, “I send this special gift to you all. This collection of songs is from my heart to yours and I send my love and thanks and appreciation to you for my joyous amazing journey, it’s so much fun.”

Miss Ross will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s American Music Awards, which air this Sunday, November 19, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

For information on tickets to see her in Sin City, head over to the Wynn Las Vegas’ official website.

Here are the performance dates:

Wednesday, February 7
Friday, February 9
Saturday, February 10
Wednesday, February 14
Friday, February 16
Saturday, February 17
Wednesday, February 21
Friday, February 23
Saturday, February 24

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Capitol RecordsFour days before the album’s release, Bob Seger‘s giving us a taste of five songs from I Knew You When.

A video on Seger’s Facebook page features a montage of the tracks “Busload of Faith,” “I Knew You When,” “Blue Ridge,” “Democracy,” and “Gracile.” Seger’s already released “Busload of Faith,” of course, a cover of the song by the late Lou Reed. “Democracy” was written by the late Leonard Cohen.

I Knew You When, as its title suggests, has Seger reflecting on his storied, decades-long career, including those who’ve shared his journey. The album itself is dedicated to Seger’s longtime friend, the late Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey — not only is the album’s final track titled “Glenn Song,” but the Facebook video features a photo of Seger with Frey later in life. The photo of a very young Seger that’s used for I Knew You When‘s cover was taken the same year Seger and Frey first met.

Seger’s also shared some news on his recovery from surgery October 20 to address what was described then as “an urgent medical issue concerning his vertebrae.” The 72-year-old Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer’s recovery is “progressing very well,” according to his label, and plans are moving ahead to reschedule the last 19 scheduled dates on his 2017 tour with the Silver Bullet Band that had to be postponed for the procedure. News on the rescheduled dates is promised soon.

I Knew You When will be available in both physical and digital formats Friday, November 17. You can order it now in a 10-song standard version and a 13-track deluxe edition at BobSeger.com.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scott Kowalchyk/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.Elton John visited The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Monday night to celebrate the release of his new, three-CD, 51-track career spanning box set, Diamonds.

The collection celebrates Elton’s 50-year collaboration with lyricist Bernie Taupin which began in 1967, and Elton told the tale of meeting his musical partner.

“I was in a terrible band,” Elton recalled, “and I was getting fed up to playing to people who were eating fish and chips in a cabaret thing.”

Desperate for something new, Elton looking in the newspaper. “I saw an advertisement from a record company that said: ‘Singers and songwriters wanted.’ And I’d written a couple of songs for the band and we recorded them and I answered the advert.”

When he arrived at the London offices of Liberty Records, Elton said he saw piles and piles of submissions on desks in the office.

“The guy behind the desk said, ‘What do you do?'” Elton remembered “I said, ‘Well, I can sing and I can write songs, but I can’t write lyrics, I’m hopeless.’ So he said, ‘Well, why don’t you just take this envelope.’ And he went through a pile of envelopes — it could have been any envelope, talk about kismet. He gave me an envelope which was sealed. I took it back on the tube train or the subway and I opened it and I read it and it was Bernie. It could have been any envelope, I mean, it was just, that was the envelope that he gave me.”

As for why the album is named Diamonds, Elton said, “I like diamonds.”

Elton also took to the Late Show stage with his band to perform two of his and Taupin’s diamonds — “Crocodile Rock” and “I’m Still Standing.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Courtesy of AXS TVSteve Miller is the latest music legend to be featured on an episode of the AXS TV series The Big Interview with Dan Rather. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s in-depth conversation with Rather will premiere on the high-def network tonight at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.

During the show, Miller discusses his love of the blues and the various musicians who influenced him, including late electric guitar pioneer Les Paul, who was his godfather and who personally encouraged his interest in music.

He also talks about the enigmatic phrase from his classic hit “The Joker,” “pompitous of love,” and his approach to writing lyrics.

As seen in a clip posted on AXS TV’s official YouTube channel, Miller tells Rather that “pompitous of love” means “whatever you want it to mean.”

He then recalls that sometime around 1969, Paul McCartney gave him some good advice when he asked him about how he wrote lyrics.

“He said, ‘You know, you just [do] whatever works,'” Miller recalls. “And I kind of [went], ‘Oh! You mean just whatever’s funny or good is OK? It doesn’t have to [be] that heavy?'”

“The truth of the matter is, things that feel spontaneous have a much longer life than things that have got a lot of burnt brain tissue to make them perfect.”

Miller also reveals the inspirations behind his hits “Gangster of Love” and “Abracadabra.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

© 2017 Smokey RobinsonSmokey Robinson has just released his first-ever holiday album as a solo artist, Christmas Everyday, which is available exclusively from Amazon on CD and digitally. The 10-track collection features the Motown legend’s unique renditions of seven well-known holiday tunes, along with three brand-new original Christmas songs.

Robinson tells ABC Radio that he’s “really excited” about Christmas Everyday, which gets its title from a song originally featured on the 1963 Miracles album Christmas with The Miracles album. He re-recorded the song for the new release.

Christmas Everyday was co-produced by Adam Anders, the award-winning musical director of the TV series Glee. “He’s such a creative musical person, and just working with him has been a joy,” Robinson gushes. The album includes guest appearances by New Orleans jazz man Trombone Shorty, vocal group Take 6 and modern funk/soul act The Dap Kings, which allowed Smokey to incorporate various music genres.

For example, “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” is done with some “New Orleans flavor,” and features a trombone solo by Trombone Shorty. “White Christmas,” meanwhile, is highlighted by a peppy bossa nova beat. “It’s very lively,” Smokey maintains. “I’m proud of it.”

As for the new original songs, Robinson tells ABC Radio that one of the standouts is “You’re My Present.”

“This is an ode from a guy to his woman,” Smokey explains of the touching tune. “He’s telling her — because there’s so many people in this situation in life — that, ‘It’s OK…you don’t have to be sorry or sad…because you don’t have any money to buy me anything for Christmas, ’cause you’re my present.'” (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1)

Here is the full track list of Robinson’s Christmas Everyday album:

“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” — featuring Trombone Shorty
“This Christmas”
“The Christmas Song”
“White Christmas”
“Silent Night”
“The Night That Baby Was Born”
“Please Come Home for Christmas”
“Christmas Everyday” — featuring Us the Duo
“You’re My Present” — featuring The Dap Kings
“O Holy Night” — featuring Take 6

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Credit: Anton CorbijnFresh from receiving the Global Icon honor Sunday at the MTV European Music Awards in London, U2 will tape a BBC television special featuring a performance and an interview, Deadline reports.

U2 At the BBC is an hour-long special that will be recorded at London’s famed Abbey Road Studios and broadcast on U.K.’s BBC One in December. The show will feature the Irish rockers playing a set that includes some of their biggest hits, plus songs from their new album, Songs of Experience, which will be released December 1.

According to Deadline, the special will also include behind-the-scenes footage from a concert U2 played in October at Morumbi stadium concert in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagicElton John recently announced that he’ll be ending his years-long Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in May of 2018. Now comes word that another British music legend may be replacing Elton at the venue.

U.K. tabloid The Mirror claims that The Who’s Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey are in negotiations to play a series of engagements at The Colosseum stretching more than two years.

A “Las Vegas insider” tells the newspaper, “Elton is leaving, so the promoters and resort wanted to bring in an act of equal stature.” The source claims that promoters AEG Live and Caesars are hoping The Who will begin their residency by July 2018, while The Mirror notes that the band could earn as much as $46 million from the deal, depending on how many shows they schedule.

The Who played their first-ever extended Las Vegas engagement earlier this year at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace: a six-show stand that ran from July 29 to August 11.

The insider tells The Mirror, “Their shows this summer were a critical success and a sellout, with Roger’s voice sounding better than ever…They enjoyed the gigs and unique opportunity of a residency and were open to repeating it for a longer run.”

The source adds, “The talks have been going well and there is a genuine hope that a deal will be done.”

Townshend recently announced that he planned to take a year-long sabbatical from The Who, so we’ll have to see if the potential Vegas gig will prompt him to return to his band earlier than expected.

Elton’s current Las Vegas show, The Million Dollar Piano, debuted at The Colosseum in 2011; his show The Red Piano ran from 2004 to 2009 at the venue.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Courtesy of Jeff Lynne’s ELOJeff Lynne’s ELO, the current incarnation of Electric Light Orchestra, will mount its first North American tour in more than 30 years in the summer of 2018. The 10-date cross-continent trek gets underway on August 2 in Oakland, California, and will wind down on August 24 in Philadelphia.

The tour also will make stops in such major cities as Denver, Houston, Dallas, Detroit, Toronto and New York. Tickets will go on sale to the general public this Friday, November 17, via Ticketmaster.com. Pre-sale tickets will be available to American Express Card members starting Wednesday, November 15, at 10 a.m. local time, while Live Nation is offering its own pre-sale beginning Thursday, November 16.

Lynne says of the forthcoming outing, “Our audiences are amazing. It’s like they’re in the group. We can’t wait to play for them again.”

The news of ELO’s 2018 trek comes in advance of this Friday’s release of the band’s new concert album and video, Wembley or Bust, which document a June 2017 show the veteran rockers played at the famous London-arena venue Wembley Stadium. The show featured a career-spanning set packed with many of ELO’s best-known tunes. The collection is available as a two-CD/DVD or two-CD/Blu-ray set, a two-CD package, a three-LP vinyl set and in digital formats.

If you pre-order Wembley or Bust at ELO’s online U.S. store before 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, November 14, you’ll receive a code allowing you to purchase presale tickets to next year’s tour.

Jeff Lynne’s ELO will follow the North American trek with a European outing running from a September 12 concert in Stockholm, Sweden, through an October 26 show in Belfast, U.K.

Here are all of ELO’s confirmed 2018 North American dates:

8/2 — Oakland, CA, Oracle Arena
8/4 — Inglewood, CA, The Forum
8/8 — Denver, CO, Pepsi Center
8/10 — Houston, TX, Toyota Center
8/13 — Dallas, TX, American Airlines Center
8/15 — Rosemont, IL, Allstate Arena
8/16 — Detroit, MI, Little Caesars Arena
8/18 — Toronto, ON, Canada, Air Canada Centre
8/21 — New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
8/24 — Philadelphia, PA, Wells Fargo Center

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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