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Jon Anderson, Geoff Downes among artists paying homage to late Yes drummer Alan White

Alan White and Jon Anderson in 2017; D Dipasupil/FilmMagic

In the wake of the sad news that longtime Yes drummer Alan White died today at age 72, a number of music artists have shared tributes to the late rocker, among them founding Yes singer Jon Anderson and the band's current keyboardist Geoff Downes.

Anderson, who played with White in Yes on and off for more than 30 years, posted a statement on his Facebook page that reads, "He was My best man at my wedding to Janee in Maui 1997…We love you Alan and will miss you…You were just the best of the best for Yes, and an amazing drummer...We wrote 'Turn of the Century' together all those years ago, just one of so many wonderful times together…he was a gentle soul."

Anderson's message concludes, "And now you're in heaven…resting after the long journey Home to meet your dear Mom who you loved so much...Blessings brother."

Downes, who first played in Yes in 1980 and '81, then rejoined the band in 2011, posted his own homage on Twitter that reads, "Today I lost a great brother and friend, the loveliest guy you'll ever hope to meet. So dreadfully sad. I'm devastated…Alan White, the main man. Miss you forever buddy."

Here are a few other tributes to White from various artists:

Asia: "Alan White RIP. One of the greatest drummers ever. All the Asia family send love to Gigi and the family. Alan was a great friend of Asia, particularly [Geoff Downes] and regularly sharing birthday celebrations with our [late singer/bassist John Wetton]."

Styx drummer Todd Sucherman: "I'm deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Alan White. What a legend. Styx and Yes had a co-bill tour back in 2011 and it was so much fun to spend a summer on the road with those guys, and hearing that music every night -- which meant so much to each one of us in Styx. That tour will always have a special place in my heart. Thanks for your contributions to music that will last until the end of time, Alan! Deepest condolences to Alan's family, band mates, friends and fans.

Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins: "Alan White was so cool -- Fly On master drummer."

Ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy: "Absolutely stunned to wake up to the news of Alan White's passing. His playing for the past 50 yrs was a massive influence on me & I've had the honor of spending much time together thru the years. My condolences to his wife Gigi, his family & the entire Yes camp."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Depeche Mode's Andy Fletcher dead at 60

Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Depeche Mode member Andy Fletcher has died at age 60.

The seminal synth-pop band announced the news in a statement Thursday, reading, "We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member, and bandmate Andy 'Fletch' Fletcher.

"Fletch had a true heart of gold and was always there when you need support, a lively conversation, a good laugh, or a cold pint," the statement continues. "Our hearts are with his family, and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts and respect their privacy in this difficult time."

No cause of death was announced, though a source close to the band shared that he passed away from natural causes.

Fletcher was a founding member of Depeche Mode, playing keyboards and bass alongside vocalist Dave Gahan, keyboardist and guitarist Martin Gore, and keyboardist and guitarist Vince Clarke, who was later replaced by Alan Wilder

Depeche Mode began to develop a following in the '80s, thanks to their innovative use of electronic elements in alternative music, before exploding in the early '90s with the album Violator, which spawned singles including "Personal Jesus," "Enjoy the Silence" and "Policy of Truth."

Following Wilder's departure in 1995, Fletcher, Gore and Gahan continued to release Depeche Mode albums as a trio, the last of which was 2017's Spirit.

Fletcher was inducted with Depeche Mode into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


35 years ago today, Richard Marx released the "most important song" of his career: "I cherish it"

Bobby Bank/Getty Images

Thirty-five years ago today -- May 26, 1987 -- Richard Marx released his debut single, "Don't Mean Nothing." It hit #3, earned him a Grammy nomination and launched a career that's still going today. Richard tells ABC Audio that while he'd never say the song is his favorite, it does occupy a very special place in his heart.

"It's the most important song. Because the question I've been getting for 30, however many years that I've been doing this, [is] 'What's your favorite song you've ever written?' And there's no answer to that," he says.

As Richard notes, "I could never pick a favorite song I've written. But I did realize in the last couple of years, performing night after night after night, that if I hadn't written 'Don't Mean Nothing' ... [I] probably wouldn't be standing on that stage."

As Richard details in his 2021 memoir Stories to Tell, "Don't Mean Nothing" was inspired by his struggles in the music industry and by Hollywood in general. It also featured harmonies and guitar work from three members of The Eagles: Randy Meisner, Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh.

"I cherish it. I also still love it," Richard says of the song. "I mean, all humility aside, I just love 'Don't Mean Nothing' and I love singing it. It still holds up for me, is a really good song." 

He laughs as he remembers, "I wrote this very cynical, biting lyric about frustration and being led down horrible paths and being lied to and this song that just drips of cynicism ... and I wrote it when I was 22!"

And today, it's still a centerpiece of his concerts.

"I've never done a show where I haven't played it," he says. "And I've never done that song where I didn't see people smiling and dancing and into it." 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Yes drummer Alan White dead at 72

Will Ireland/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Alan White, the drummer for, and longest continuously serving member of, Yes, has died at age 72.

The band announced the news on its official Twitter page as did White's official website and Facebook page. The site announced, "Alan White, our beloved husband, dad, and grandpa, passed away at the age of 72 at his Seattle-area home on May 26, 2022, after a brief illness.

The message continues, "Throughout his life and six-decade career, Alan was many things to many people: a certified rock star to fans around the world; band mate to a select few, and gentleman and friend to all who met him."

A drummer since age 12, White performed with many artists throughout the '60s, including the jazz-rock fusion supergroup Ginger Baker's Air Force, which also featured Steve Winwood and Denny Laine. In 1969, John Lennon invited him to join the Plastic Ono Band, and he played on the 1969 album Live Peace in Toronto as well on John's 1970 single "Instant Karma," his landmark 1971 album Imagine and 1972's Some Time in New York City

White also contributed to to George Harrison's All Things Must Pass album, including the chart-topping single "My Sweet Lord."

White joined Yes on July 27, 1972, replacing founding drummer Bill Bruford, and learned the band's repertoire in just three days before they kicked off a tour in Texas. The well-known albums he played on include Yessongs, Tales from Topographic Oceans, Going for the One, Relayer, Drama, 90125 and Big Generator.

White was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with Yes in 2017. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Gigi, two children and two grandchildren.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Will ABBA's high-tech show 'Voyage' head to Las Vegas? "We'll see," says Benny Andersson

Gus Stewart/Redferns

ABBA's new show Voyage, featuring digital avatars of the legendary Swedish band performing their hits with a live band, officially opens on Friday night in a purpose-built theater in London. But if you can't make it to the United Kingdom to see the show, are there plans to bring it to the U.S.? Well, maybe.

Speaking to Variety, ABBA's Benny Andersson says of future Vegas plans, "We'll see. This has to get on its feet first. We have to see how attractive it is. We've sold 380,000 tickets or so. It's good for a couple months. We need to see if it sells more tickets."

He adds, "There will be promoters coming in from the U.S. to see if there's something that will be suitable for their market."

As for what fans can expect from the show, Benny says, "We realized we cannot not play [the hits] but we also wanted to give the concert some dynamics, so there are a few songs that the audience will not be too familiar with, but we like them so we put them in. It's 21 songs and it feels good."

Benny explains that the technology allows for them to swap songs in and out of the set list, because Industrial Light and Magic, which created the digital avatars, still has the data from all four band members.

"We don't have to go back ourselves into the studio again. That's what they have promised us," he notes.

As for going back into a recording studio, Benny says the band's comeback album Voyage, a surprise hit last year, is the final word on ABBA music. 

"It's never say never, but it's a no," he states. "Nothing is going to happen after this."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Def Leppard debuts "Fire It Up" video, performs on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'

UMe

Def Leppard has debuted the official music video for their latest single, "Fire It Up," a stadium-ready chant-along tune that appears on the band's upcoming studio album Diamond Star Halos.

The clip features the band performing the song surrounded by video screens showing swirling abstract images, while graphics from the album's cover art also appear sporadically throughout the visual.

You can watch the "Fire It Up" video now at Def Leppard's official YouTube channel.

Meanwhile, with Diamond Star Halos set to be released this Friday, Def Leppard primed the release with an appearance Wednesday night on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!

The band premiered "Take What You Want," a song from the new record, and then played their classic "Rock of Ages," from the smash 1983 album Pyromania.

The band also performed two additional classic songs -- "Hysteria" and "Pour Some Sugar on Me" -- that didn't air on the Kimmel show, but were streamed on the program's YouTube channel.

Diamond Star Halos, which can be preordered now, is Def Leppard's first album of new, original tunes since 2015's self-titled effort. It's available as a deluxe package, on CD, as a two-LP set and digitally, among other configurations.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


CCR debuts new "Travelin' Band" music video in advance of special Record Store Day vinyl single

Craft Recordings

A new official video for the classic 1970 Creedence Clearwater Revival hit "Travelin' Band" has just debuted on the Craft Recordings label's official YouTube channel in advance of the limited-edition vinyl single featuring an unreleased live version of the song that will be issued as part of the June 18 Record Store Day event.

The video features rare footage of CCR on tour in 1969 and '70 both on and off the stage at various international locations.

As previously reported, the vinyl disc will feature live renditions of "Travelin' Band" and "Who'll Stop the Rain" on the A side and B side, respectively, and will be available at participating record shops on June 18.

The version of "Travelin' Band" was recorded on April 14, 1970, at London's famed the Royal Albert Hall. The rendition of "Who'll Stop the Rain" was recorded on January 31, 1970, at the Oakland Coliseum in California, and previously appeared on the CCR live album The Concert, which was released in 1980.

Only 9,000 copies of the vinyl single will be pressed. The packaging replicates the sleeve of the double-sided single Creedence Clearwater Revival released in January 1970 featuring the studio versions of "Travelin' Band" and "Who'll Stop the Rain." The tunes peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and both tracks also were included on CCR's chart-topping 1970 studio album Cosmo's Factory.

The "Travelin' Band" video follows the recent announcement that a new CCR documentary and concert film called Travelin' Band: Creedence Clearwater Revival at the Royal Albert Hall is in production. The movie, which focuses on the band's aforementioned April 1970 concert at the historic London venue, is narrated by Oscar-winning actor and Creedence fan Jeff Bridges, and directed by Grammy-winning filmmaker Bob Smeaton.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Returning All Starr Band member Edgar Winter says new tour with Ringo Starr will be "a beautiful reunion"

Edgar Winter and Ringo Starr in 2010; David Livingston/Getty Images

Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band launch their 2022 North American tour this Friday, May 27, in Rama, Canada.

The lineup of the former Beatles drummer's group is slightly different than when they last hit the road in 2019, with veteran rocker Edgar Winter rejoining the All Starrs after a 2006-2011 stint with the band.

Interestingly, Winter released a star-studded tribute album in April called Brother Johnny -- an homage to his late sibling, Johnny Winter -- that features contributions from Ringo and two other All Starr Band members -- Toto guitarist Steve Lukather and veteran session drummer Gregg Bissonette.

"I'm really looking forward to it," Edgar tells ABC Audio about touring with the All Starrs again. "And it's perfect in that the album [has] just been released, and I get to see all my friends again…So it's gonna be a beautiful reunion. I can't wait!"

Winter, who is best known for his 1970s hits "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride," says he'll definitely play those songs on the new tour, and possibly a tune from Brother Johnny.

"Ringo…always wants your biggest hits. That's the whole idea. And it's a great model," Edgar notes. "I love the All Starr Band. It's unlike any tour. You know, I think of it as the 'peace and love' tour, because there's just so much positive energy."

Winter, who idolizes The Beatles, says it's an honor to play with Starr.

"I have such respect for him, not only as a drummer, but…as a human being," he declares. "He's such a heartfelt advocate and spokesman for peace and love. And, you know, having played Woodstock and being an old hippie myself…peace and love is something the world can always use more of."

Visit RingoStarr.com to check out the full tour schedule.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Def Leppard to rock 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' tonight; band's new "Fire It Up" video premieres Thursday

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images For The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

As Def Leppard prepares to release its latest studio album, Diamond Star Halos, on Friday, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers will be featured as the musical guests on tonight's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which airs at 11:35 p.m. ET on ABC.

The band will also perform additional songs that won't air on the Kimmel show but will be streamed on the program's YouTube channel. According to information on the YouTube page, performances of four classic Def Leppard tunes will be shown online -- "Rock of Ages," "Photograph," "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Hysteria."

Meanwhile, as previously reported, Def Leppard will premiere the music video for the new song "Fire It Up," the latest single from Diamond Star Halos, on Thursday, May 26, at 9 a.m. ET on the group's YouTube channel. Following the clip's debut, the band members will take part in an exclusive YouTube Premieres afterparty, during which they will discuss the new album. For more information on how to join the afterparty, visit YouTube.

After the premiere, the "Fire It Up" video will be available to view at Facebook Watch. You can check out a snippet of the clip now on Def Leppard's Facebook page.

Diamond Star Halos is Def Leppard's first album of new, original tunes since 2015's self-titled effort. It can be preordered now and will be available as a deluxe package, on CD, as a two-LP set and digitally, among other configurations.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Don McLean pulls out of NRA-organized concert in Houston on Saturday following Texas school massacre

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Don McLean had been scheduled to perform at a concert event in Houston as part of the National Rifle Association's 2022 Annual Meetings & Exhibits conference this Saturday celebrating the 150th anniversary of the National Rifle Association, aka the NRA, but the "America Pie" singer/songwriter has pulled out of the event in the wake of the recent mass shooting at a grade school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday.

McLean has issued a statement that reads, "In light of the recent events in Texas, I have decided it would be disrespectful and hurtful for me to perform for the NRA at their convention in Houston this week. I'm sure all the folks planning to attend this event are shocked and sickened by these events as well. After all, we are all Americans. I share the sorrow for this terrible, cruel loss with the rest of the nation."

The show, dubbed NRA's Grand Ole Night of Freedom Concert, takes place on the second day of the NRA's three-day convention, which is also scheduled to feature speeches by former President Donald Trump, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and "over 14 acres of guns and gear and 800 exhibitors."

Performers still apparently on the bill for the concert include Lee Greenwood, Larry Gatlin, T. Graham Brown and Restless Heart singer Larry Stewart. Gatlin and Stewart both confirmed to Variety that they still planned to perform at the event.

Nineteen children and two adults were shot to death by 18-year-old Salvador Ramos on Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Ramos was then killed by police.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Crazy cool at 60: Paul Abdul teases she'll do something "spectacular" or "be with my dogs" on birthday

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Paula Abdul turns the big 6-0 on June 19 and, ahead of her milestone birthday, the Grammy winner teased how she plans to ring in her special day.

"I'm gonna do something big," she told Entertainment Tonight. "Maybe charter a yacht or go somewhere exotic [and] take some friends." Although she has lofty goals for her 60th birthday, Paula joked, "Knowing me, I'll stay home [and] be with my dogs."

The "Straight Up" singer continued, "I wanna do something fun and something spectacular ... Every day we [should] celebrate ourselves. We are above ground. We are living. We are healthy. You know what? We're celebrating really important things in life."

Paula also spoke about getting to do something just as fun as celebrating a big birthday -- serving as judge on ABC's upcoming competition series The American Rescue Dog Show. The singer, along with fellow judges Yvette Nicole Brown and Leslie Jordan, will determine which rescue pooch is top dog in categories such as "Best in Snoring."

"My heart's gonna be melting [over] the cute factor, of course, and the sweet factor," she gushed. "I wish I could take all of these dogs home ... We will be aww-ing and ooh-ing and oh my God-ing."

Paula added the show is all the more special to her because she has "rescued dogs for decades" and thinks rescue pets are "so special."

"I hope that this show actually makes everyone tune in and that everyone adopts a dog. They're magical. They're so sensitive to our human feelings and they make everything better," she raved. "I can't imagine life without rescuing dogs. I really can't. I have the coolest rescue dogs."

The American Rescue Dog Show premieres May 25 on ABC.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


High-def audio disc featuring new version of Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" to be auctioned in July

Gus Stewart/Redferns via Getty Images

A new studio version of Bob Dylan's classic folk song "Blowin' in the Wind" will be sold at a Christie's auction in London on July 7.

Billboard reports that Dylan recently recorded his new version of the tune with acclaimed producer T Bone Burnett using Burnett's new ultra-high-definition Ionic Original audio format, details of which were unveiled last month.

The recording will be up for bid as part of Christie's "Exceptional Sale," and its value is estimated between $752,000 and $1.2 million. Prior to the auction, people will be able to listen to the Ionic Original disc by appointment at Christie's locations in Los Angeles on June 8 and New York on June 15, and in conjunction with a public exhibition in London from July 2 to July 7.

The auction of the updated version of the tune coincides with the 60th anniversary of the original recording of "Blowin' in the Wind."

"Sixty years after Bob first wrote and recorded 'Blowin' in the Wind,' he is giving us a new recording of his song; one that is both deeply relevant for our times and resonant with decades of the artist's life and experience," Burnett says in a statement. "We're grateful to Christie's for their belief in the 'Ionic Original' and for presenting Bob's masterful recording to the world in a unique and meaningful way."

The new rendition of "Blowin' in the Wind" is the first recording to use the Ionic Original technology, which was developed by Burnett's NeoFidelity Inc. company.

As reported last month by Variety, Dylan recorded a series of new versions of his well-known songs that will be released by NeoFidelity on a new Ionic Originals medium, which resembles a vinyl LP but is made of aluminum.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Environmental-themed Atlantis Concert for Earth to feature performances by Sting, Julian Lennon & more stars

Courtesy of Atlantis Entertainment

A star-studded environmental-themed festival called Atlantis Concert for Earth that will feature live and virtual performances will be held July 22 and 23.

The live show will take place on the rim of a volcano crater on Sete Cidades in Portugal's Azores islands. The concert will include a virtual performance by Sting, and the lineup also features Julian LennonStone Temple Pilots, Bush, Black Eyed Peas, Pitbull, Nicole Scherzinger, Mod Sun and others. Scherzinger also will serve as host.

Atlantis Concert for Earth is a nonprofit event that will celebrate global conservation. In addition to the music performances, the show will highlight the work of a variety of conservationists and organizations focused on the environment, including Lennon's White Feather Foundation.

On July 23, the event will be streamed for free at the Veeps platform, and viewers will be encouraged to donate money, 100 percent of which will benefit the organizations showcased by the festival.

The event was conceptualized in part by Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, who was born in the Azores and who recently collaborated with Julian on a cover of his late dad John Lennon's classic peace anthem, "Imagine."

"These days, words Climate and Climate Crisis trigger so many different emotions from all walks of life," said Bettencourt.

He adds, "[T]ogether during Concert for Earth we are taking our universal language and power of music to celebrate the Conservationists and Entrepreneurs from around the world who are game changers leading the way with real, tangible solutions to flip the current narrative of climate and conservation from blame, anger, and doom; to positivity and hope by shining a light on inspirational SOLUTIONS to get us back in balance with our planet."

For more details about the event, visit AtlantisConcertforEarth.com.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Paints So Good: Book of John Mellencamp's paintings to be published in October

Myrna M. Suarez/Getty Images

Not only is John Mellencamp adept at painting a portrait of life in small town America with his words and music, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer also is literally a talented painter.

Now, a new book showcasing his artwork, titled John Mellencamp: American Paintings and Assemblages, is scheduled to be published on October 17. The 256-page volume, which the artist curated himself, features images of 170 pieces he created, including large-scale oil paintings and mixed-media assemblages.

The book includes self-portraits and portraits of such celebrities as Marlon Brando, Johnny Cash and Mellencamp's one-time fiancee Meg Ryan, as well as an abstract homage to Martin Luther King Jr.

The book also features essays about Mellencamp's art, penned by publisher Bob Guccione Jr. and acclaimed journalist and critic David L. Shirey.

"Although we may primarily know Mellencamp as a rock star, one of the highest-selling of all time and a Hall of Famer, he is also a great painter, as this book shows," writes Guccione. "Not a musician who also paints ... No, John legitimately belongs in the modern art pantheon."

Mellencamp's most recent studio album, Strictly a One-Eyed Jack, was released in January. It features three collaborations with Bruce Springsteen.

According to a post on his official website, he's planning to return to touring in 2023.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Art created from sound waves of The Band's "The Weight," signed by Robbie Robertson, being sold for charity

Matt Winkelmeyer/amfAR/Getty Images for amfAR

Original paintings created from the sound waves of The Band's classic 1968 song "The Weight," along with prints of the art pieces, are being sold now to raise money for the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund.

Founding Band guitarist and songwriter Robbie Robertson has signed 30 of the prints and a few of the original pieces, which are available now, respectively, for $500 and $3000 at SoundwavesArtFoundation.com.

Robertson signed the art and prints this month at his home in Los Angeles.

Unsigned prints also are available, priced at $75.

In a post on his Twitter feed, Robbie writes, "Sweet Relief Musicians Fund is an amazing non-profit supporting music industry workers unable to pay medical and everyday bills. 100% of profits [from sales of the Soundwaves pieces] will be donated."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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