Razor & TieForeigner will help auto-racing fans get revved up for this Sunday's Indianapolis 500 when the rockers take part in two special pre-race events on Saturday.
The band will be among the celebrities who will participate in the 500 Festival Parade, which takes place on the streets of downtown Indianapolis starting at noon CT. Other stars who will appear at the event include Eddie Money, Jim Nabors and Florence Henderson. The parade, which is expected to be attended by 300,000 spectators, will air live nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
Then, that evening, Foreigner will headline the 10th annual 500 Festival Snakepit Ball, which will be held at the Indianapolis Roof Ballroom. The sold-out black-tie gala will host a variety of VIP guests, and also will feature dining and dancing.
Foreigner has long supported professional auto-racing. The band has had a close relationship with the NASCAR organization, and even recorded a special version of their hit "Hot Blooded" that was used in a 2012 promotional campaign for the Texas Motor Speedway.
Johnny BuzzerioIf you attend any of Alice in Chains' upcoming tour dates, you're in for a treat. Guitarist Jerry Cantrell says the band plans on playing some rarely performed classic tracks and deep cuts from the AIC catalog while they're out on the road.
"We didn't play 'Rotten Apple' [from 1994's Jar of Flies] in years," he tells Grammy.com. "We started playing that on the last tour [and it] went over really well. There are always a couple of tunes we pull out that we haven't played [in years] and I'm sure on this tour there will be another handful that we pull out."
Cantrell adds that Alice in Chains will be peppering sets with a healthy number of songs from the band's upcoming album, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here. "If a song is a good song it should sound like a good song [in] its simplest element, that's the way we've always approached things," he explains. "And I think all of those songs [from The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here] will translate amazingly live. It'll be interesting to see, I can't wait to do that."
The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here will arrive in stores on Tuesday and features 12 new tracks. If you pre-order the album now at iTunes, you'll score an immediate download of the band's current single, "Stone."
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImageIn the last couple of years, Elton John has made some less-than-flattering comments about Billy Joel in the press, criticizing him for not releasing any new music. But Joel says that maybe that's just John's motherly instincts coming out.
Speaking with The New York Times Magazine, Billy says of Elton's complaints that the Piano Man hasn't released a pop album in 20 years, "That's his opinion. I don't do it because I don't wanna. He tends to shoot off his mouth -- he shoots from the hip. I think his heart is in the right place."
Joel adds, "Maybe he's trying to motivate me, to get me mad or something. He's kind of like a mom." When the interviewer points out that Elton "actually kind of looks like a mom," Billy agrees, noting, "Yeah, he's got mom hair."
As for John's comments that Joel never took his stint in rehab seriously, Billy shrugs it off, saying, "He doesn't know anything about my private life...He's a very friendly, charming man, a nice fun guy, but we really never spent much time personally together. He doesn't really know that much about me, so I let a lot of that slide. I'd work with him again, sure."
In the far-ranging New York Times interview, Joel opens up on a wide variety of topics, including his excessive drinking, his financial troubles, his post 9/11 depression, his songwriting and even his uncanny ability to attract extremely beautiful women.
"A lot of guys are just too intimidated to even ask them out, but I had a great way to meet people," says the man who dated Elle McPherson and married Christie Brinkley. "People are just interested in you because you're a rock star. Some guys use a car. Some guys have a cute dog. I'm a rock star. That's who I am, what I do. What's wrong with that?"
The thrice-wed singer adds, "I was married to some beautiful women. I always get compared to how beautiful they are and how not beautiful I am, and it's kind of funny, it's like 'Beauty and the Beast.' I don't mind being the beast, I want them to be good-looking, and if they don't mind me looking like me, why should I care?"
Vertigo/RepublicIn a new interview with Guitar World, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi recounts the harrowing fight he mounted against lymphoma as his band worked to complete 13, its first studio album in 35 years to feature founding frontman Ozzy Osbourne.
Iommi discovered he had cancer shortly after the band's late 2011 announcement that they planned to reunite for a new album and tour. The 65-year-old rock legend tells the magazine that after he found out about his diagnosis, "I thought, 'Bloody cancerous lymphoma? Well that's it. I've had it.'"
He says that although the treatment sapped him of his strength, he soon became determined to regain his health. "I'd go through stages thinking, 'Can I do this?'" he explains. "And then: 'Of course I can do this. I don't want to die. I want to carry on and do what I'm supposed to do.'"
Iommi says that while battling the illness, he also became motivated to keep creating, and ended up writing a lot of new material for Sabbath's forthcoming album.
Osbourne, meanwhile, tells Guitar World that he and bassist Geezer Butler tried to be supportive of their ailing band mate, although they made sure not to dote on him.
"We all rallied around him," says Ozzy. "But it's not like we'd be saying, 'Are you okay? Are you okay?' We just got on with it." Osbourne adds that while it was obvious that Iommi was tired, "He was a soldier and marched on. He still had more riffs coming out of him than anyone."
As for Butler, he says focusing on the Sabbath album "encouraged [Tony] and kept his mind off the cancer, which is the best thing you can possibly do if you have that."
Meanwhile, Iommi also recalls his reaction to finding out that founding Sabbath drummer Bill Ward had decided not to participate in the band's reunion because he was unhappy with the contract he was offered.
"I was shocked," the guitarist admits to Guitar World. "We were hearing stuff from lawyers, like, 'I'm not happy with this. I'm not happy with that.' We waited a long time for Bill and we wanted to sort it out."
Iommi explains that he eventually became impatient when no agreement could be reached with Ward. "At the end of the day, especially after I was diagnosed, I thought, 'F**king hell, that's it," says Tony. "We've got to get a move on. I might pop off next year!"
Iommi reveals that he then emailed Ward and informed him that "we can't wait any longer."
Black Sabbath's 13 will be released on June 11, and the band kicks off a North American tour leg on June 25 in The Woodlands, Texas.
Universal Music EnterprisesThe deluxe reissue of Paul McCartney & Wings' chart-topping 1976 live album, Wings over America, doesn't hit stores until Tuesday, but you can check out a free preview of the remastered collection online now. RollingStone.com currently is streaming all 28 songs featured on the standard, two-CD edition of the album, which boasts the same track list that appeared on the original release.
Wings over America features performances from various stops on the one and only North American tour McCartney mounted with his popular 1970s group. The set includes a variety of Wings tunes, McCartney solo gems and Beatles classics.
Besides the two-CD version, Wings over America will be available as deluxe box set featuring a extra CD of concert performances, a DVD including the 75-minute Wings over the World TV special, several books, and various pieces of memorabilia.
McCartney recently launched a special Wing over America-themed section of his official website. The feature offers an interactive map giving details about all of the stops on Wings' 1976 North American trek, as well as a digital recreation of the late Linda McCartney's tour diary, which includes several candid photos snapped during the outing.
Universal Music EnterprisesThe Moody Blues have announced a new release date for Timeless Flight, a massive box set gathering together the band's biggest hits, rarities and live performances, as well as archival video footage. The 17-disc collection now is scheduled to be released on June 25. It includes 11 CDs, six DVDs, pieces of Moody Blues memorabilia and more.
The CDs feature remastered album tracks, unreleased alternate mixes, outtakes and audio from full concerts by the band. Three of the DVDs offer various video gems including rare TV appearances, promotional clips and previously unreleased performances from a 1970 concert The Moodies played in Paris.
In addition, the collection offers three DVD-Audio discs featuring 5.1 surround sound mixes of six classic early Moody Blues albums -- 1967's Days of Future Passed, 1969's On the Threshold of a Dream and To Our Children's Children's Children, 1970's A Question of Balance, 1971's Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and 1972's Seventh Sojourn.
Timeless Flight also comes with a 120-page hardcover book boasting a newly written essay about the group, an assortment of photos, a replica tour poster and tour program and other collectibles.
Meanwhile, The Moody Blues also will issue a four-CD version of Timeless Flight. The pared-down set still features nearly 70 tracks and more than five hours of music. Visit MoodyBluesToday.com to learn more about the Timeless Flight packages.
In celebration of Timeless Flight's release, the band has scheduled a new U.S. fall tour that 's mapped out from a September 26 show in Louisville, Kentucky, through a November 2 performance in Rancho Mirage, California. Here is The Moody Blues' entire list of confirmed U.S. tour dates:
9/26 -- Louisville, KY, Palace Theatre 9/27 -- Cincinnati, OH, PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center 9/28 -- Mount Pleasant, MI, Soaring Eagle Casino Resort 9/29 -- Cleveland, OH, Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica 10/1 -- Wabash, IN, Honeywell Center 10/2 -- Elkhart, IN, Lerner Theatre 10/4 -- Milwaukee, WI, The Riverside Theater 10/5 -- Hammond, IN, Horseshoe Casino 10/7 -- Peoria, IL, Peoria Civic Center 10/8 -- Appleton, WI, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center 10/9 -- Des Moines, IA, Des Moines Civic Center 10/11 -- Onamia, MN, Grand Casino Mille Lacs 10/12 -- Bismarck, ND, Bismarck Civic Center 10/14 -- Kansas City, MO, The Midland by AMC 10/15 -- Park City, KS, Hartman Arena 10/16 -- Denver, CO, Bellco Theatre 10/18 -- Airway Heights, WA, Northern Quest Resort & Casino 10/19 -- Seattle, WA, Paramount Theatre 10/21 -- Portland, OR, Keller Auditorium 10/22 -- Eugene, OR, Hult Center for Performing Arts 10/24 -- San Rafael, CA, Marin Center 10/25 -- San Francisco, CA, Nob Hill Masonic Center 10/26 -- Reno, NV, Silver Legacy Resort and Casino 10/27 -- San Jose, CA, San Jose Civic Center 10/29 -- Paso Robles, CA, Vina Robles Amphitheatre 10/30 -- San Diego, CA, Humphrey's 11/1 -- Los Angeles, CA, Nokia Theatre L.A. Live 11/2 -- Rancho Mirage, CA, Agua Caliente Casino
BillyJoel.comLooks like Billy Joel's decided he still enjoys playing live. Following high-profile appearances at the New Orleans Jazz Fest and at a rock festival in Australia, the Piano Man has now booked his first concert in Ireland in seven years.
According to U.TV, the show will take place at Dublin's O2 arena and will be Joel's first-ever indoor concert in the Emerald Isle. Tickets go on sale May 30. Fans are still waiting to see if Billy, who turned 64 earlier this month, will book a full tour, and play his classic albums in their entirety, which is something he told Rolling Stone he'd be interested in doing.
In other Joel news, the Washington Post reports that he and his buddy James Taylor were spotted dining together Wednesday night at Washington, D.C.'s Cafe Milano, described as a "see and be seen hotspot." The two Rock and Roll Hall of Famers were in town to perform in honor of Carole King, who just won the Gershwin Prize for Popular Music. The restaurant reports that Joel, Taylor and their dates chowed down on rockfish, gluten-free pasta and biscotti.
And in a final bit of Billy Joel news, starting today, he's posting videos of four songs from his April Jazz Fest set on his official website: Tthere will be one song per week, for four weeks. The first one is up now -- it's "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)."
Credit: David BergmanEver since Richie Sambora abruptly left the Bon Jovi tour, it's been Jon Bon Jovi who's been faced with trying to explain the guitarist's absence -- Richie himself won't clarify exactly what's going on. But now, Sambora is apparently peeved at Jon for some of the comments he's made, and is asking the singer to stop "trash talking" him.
Speaking to the British paper The Evening Standard recently, the Bon Jovi frontman said of Sambora's absence, "It's getting more and more difficult every day to not just sit here and say something… Because all I can say is this -- it's for personal reasons. He's been through it before. Fortunately for us the same guy who filled in last time was available this time."
Richie now tells the British paper The Daily Mail that he resents Jon's implication that his absence from the tour is due to substance-abuse issues, which sent him to rehab in the past. He also doesn't like his longtime band mate's implication that he's easily replaceable.
"I don't have any major problems in life right now. I love my fans and I feel bad for them at the moment. Bottom line," says the guitarist. "My opinion is Jon wants to see if he can pull off stadiums by himself. He is making it very difficult for me to come back. Enough with the trash talking! [The fans] have paid money to see Bon Jovi and right now, they're not getting the whole deal."
He adds, "Jon needs to stop talking about me publicly. I am fine, working very hard on my fashion company, Nikki Rich, and this is a private matter."
Sambora then tweeted, "Just don't worry... Everything's good....Just to be clear, I've been running the fashion company for 5 Yrs. It does not take me away from the band, I'm an artist first. Always will be."
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and MuseumAs The Rolling Stones make their way across America on their 50 & Counting Tour, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is set to celebrate the debut of an expansive new exhibit about the legendary band. The display, titled "The Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction," will open to the public today at 10 a.m. CT and will take up two-and-a-half floors of the Cleveland facility.
Craig Inciardi, an associate curator for the museum who helped oversee the exhibition's creation, says he and his co-workers are very excited to see the multifaceted project come to fruition.
"We've wanted to do a major retrospective exhibit on The Rolling Stones literally since the museum opened in 1995," he reveals to ABC News Radio. "The Stones are the first major act to hit that 50-year milestone, and this exhibit covers their roots, their childhood, how the band formed and traces them through the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s and up through the present."
In putting the display together, the Rock Hall utilized memorabilia from its own extensive archives, while also gathering items from collectors and from the band members themselves.
Inciardi says the exhibit features "a variety of different types of artifacts," including guitars and other instruments, stage clothing, handwritten letters by the band members, rare posters, blueprints of the stage designs for various tours and much more.
Among the historic instruments featured in the exhibit, reveals Inciardi, are "Brian Jones' first guitar that he used in The Rolling Stones [and a 12-string acoustic that was] one of the first guitars that Keith Richards [used] to write songs."
Inciardi points out that some of the instruments and clothing items that will be displayed can be seen in some of the most famous photos taken of the band. "It's just exciting to see, up close, objects that are iconic," he declares, "that have been photographed and have been reproduced throughout the world."
"50 Years of Satisfaction" also offers a number of interactive programs and video displays that focus on various aspects of the group's history and career. Inciardi reveals that one of the multimedia stations "shows the root of how [The Stones] developed their sound," while another "shows the development of songwriting," while highlighting how two classic tunes -- "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "Gimme Shelter" -- were constructed.
Inciardi also insists that the exhibition isn't only for older and/or diehard Stones fans.
"I think this exhibit definitely has multi-generational appeal," he notes. "Young people who might not be aware of The Rolling Stones' history, after seeing the exhibit will realize how much ground The Rolling Stones broke and how many rules they changed and they re-wrote." Inciardi adds that the exhibit also could serve to show younger rock fans that "a lot of bands, the way they dress, the way they act, the way they play, emanates from The Rolling Stones."
"The Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction" is scheduled to remain on display at the museum until March. In conjunction with the exhibition, a variety of special as-yet-unconfirmed Stones-related events, such as lectures, Q&A sessions and film screenings will be held at the Rock Hall. Inciardi tells ABC News Radio that the museum will be announcing details about the events "gradually throughout the year." Check RockHall.com for updates.
ABC/Heidi GutmanJohn Fogerty paid a visit to ABC's The View on Thursday morning as part of a busy week he's scheduled to promote his soon-to-be-released album, Wrote a Song for Everyone. The record, which hits stores this Tuesday, features the ex-Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman playing many of his classic compositions alongside an assortment of music stars from various genres.
Asked how the concept for Wrote a Song for Everyone came about, Fogerty revealed, "This whole album was an idea my wife had. She said, 'Why don't you get a bunch of the people you love and go sing your songs.' To me that sounded like Christmas, you know? A good time. So, that's what we did."
Guest host Jillian Michaels then pointed out that John had recently said the new record is the album of which he's most proud, and asked him why he feels that way.
"I just think the music is really cool," he explained. "It's just really vibrant and played well, and the arrangements came out good. And, of course, all these wonderful artists: It was such a joy to be with them."
He added that the stars he collaborated with on the album "are people I'm fans of…I buy their records."
Not surprisingly, Fogerty also treated The View audience to a couple of performances. He played a CCR medley featuring segments of "Lodi," "Bad Moon Rising" and "Proud Mary," plus a rendition of a new tune that's included on Wrote a Song for Everyone titled "Mystic Highway."
As previously reported, Bob Seger, Foo Fighters, Kid Rock, Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello, Jennifer Hudson, Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, Alan Jackson and Keith Urban are among the artists who contributed to Wrote a Song for Everyone.
Facebook.com/MetallicaMetallica is offering fans a sneak peak at their upcoming 3D film, Through the Never. The group has just released a trailer for the flick, which will premiere at IMAX theaters across North America starting September 27.
The one-minute clip features scenes of In Treatment actor Dane DeHaan, who portrays a member of Metallica’s stage crew, getting into a car accident and then running from a group of masked, weapon-wielding attackers. It also includes footage of Metallica performing the title track from 1986's Master of Puppets.
"For four guys in a rock band of average height, to get a chance to unleash their 3D film on IMAX screens the size of buildings across the country is a mind-blowing thought," says drummer Lars Ulrich in a statement. "There is no better way to experience film and when you throw in the spectacle of music and sound this should amount to an unprecedented, unique and truly next level experience."
After Through the Never has its run in the IMAX theaters, it will expand into additional theaters starting October 4.
Photo: Danny ClinchThe new Bruce Springsteen documentary Springsteen & I, which focuses on the passionate relationship The Boss shares with his fans, will premiere July 22 at movie theaters around the world. The film was created with major input from the New Jersey rock legend's faithful followers, and features previously unseen concert footage as well as interviews with many people who've been deeply touched by Springsteen's music.
"This beautifully-crafted film provides a unique insight into the powerful bond between a recording artist and those who connect so profoundly with his music," says famed filmmaker Ridley Scott, Springsteen & I's co-executive producer. The movie, which was directed by veteran music-video director Baillie Walsh, has the full support of Bruce, his management and his label, Columbia Records.
Tickets for the Springsteen & I screenings will be available for purchase starting on June 4. The documentary's producers are giving fans the chance to have their photo incorporated into the film's official poster. To find out more details about the promotion and the movie itself, visit SpringsteenAndI.com.
PRNewsFoto/Vapor RecordsBilly Talbot, the longtime bassist of Neil Young's backing band, Crazy Horse, has just released a new album titled On the Road to Spearfish with his side group, The Billy Talbot Band. A follow-up to 2004's Alive in the Spirit World, the nine-track collection is available now as a digital download, which also includes high-definition companion videos for each song featuring footage from the recording sessions.
On the Road to Spearfish was inspired by the open spaces in and around Spearfish, South Dakota, where Talbot helped his wife restore a homestead that she's owned for quite a while. Reminiscent to the work of Crazy Horse, the album features several epic songs that run for more than nine minutes, including the title track.
Talbot also says that a major inspiration for the new record was the late Warren Zevon's final album, 2003's The Wind. "When I first heard Warren's last record, the starkness and the raw emotion, I really felt that and got into it," he explains. "That quality, that's what I'm going for."
You can check out all of the videos made to accompany On the Road to Spearfish's songs now at BillyTalbot.com and Vimeo.com.
PearlJam.comFor the last few weeks, Stone Gossard has been previewing tracks from his upcoming second solo album, Moonlander. The Pearl Jam guitarist's latest offering is "King of the Junkies," which Gossard says was inspired by Adolf Hitler's alleged drug habits.
"'King of the Junkies' was inspired by a documentary that I saw that claimed Hitler was using intravenous methamphetamines throughout this dictatorship," the guitarist reveals in a statement posted on Pearl Jam's website. "I figure this makes him the worst junkie of all time. The story I created imagines him in his last weeks."
Moonlander is set to arrive in stores on June 26. You can stream "King of the Junkies," along with a number of other tracks from the upcoming release, at PearlJam.com/Moonlander.
Legacy RecordingsA star-studded list of musicians, including Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson, the Eagles' Joe Walsh and The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, have contributed to the upcoming album by technology mogul and philanthropist Paul Allen and his band The Underthinkers. Scheduled for an August 6 release, Everywhere at Once features 13 songs either written or co-written by Allen.
Other musicians who appear on the multi-billionaire's album include Allman Brothers Band slide guitarist Derek Trucks, Los Lobos' David Hidalgo, Ivan Neville and frequent Eric Clapton collaborator Doyle Bramhall II.
The Wilson sisters lend their talents to the song "Straw into Gold," Walsh sings and plays guitar on the tune "Six Strings from Hell" and Hynde delivers a lead vocal on a track titled "Rodeo." Trucks, meanwhile, appears on two songs while Hidalgo plays guitar on 11 of the album's 13 tracks.
Proceeds raised by sales of Everywhere at Once will benefit educational programs at Seattle's EMP Museum, which Allen founded in 2000. Allen co-founded Microsoft in 1975 and, after leaving the company in 1983, has gone on to fund and support a variety of projects in the areas of science, the arts, sports and business. He's also a lifelong guitar aficionado whose own music has been greatly influenced by Jimi Hendrix.
Photo: Bob HakinsIn honor of Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who passed away Monday at age 74 after a battle with cancer, VH1 Classic will air a special block of Doors-related programming on Thursday night.
The network will kick things off at 8 p.m. ET/PT by screening the influential band's recently restored concert film, Live at the Hollywood Bowl '68. The film captures The Doors' historic July 1968 show at the famed Los Angeles venue and includes three previously unreleased performances.
Next up, at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT, VH1 Classic will air the Classic Albums series' making-of documentary about The Doors' self-titled debut. The program features recently taped interviews with Manzarek, as well as with Doors guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore.
Then, at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT, an encore screening of Live at the Hollywood Bowl will be shown.
Manzarek's hypnotic and inventive keyboard melodies were a key element of The Doors' sound. After the band broke up in 1973, Ray delved into a wide variety of creative projects. He reunited with Krieger about a decade ago to form a touring group that continued to play The Doors' music for fans around the world until his death this week.
Ozzy.comOzzy Osbourne has remained sober since announcing to fans last month that he had consumed alcohol and taken prescription drugs for an extended period of time.
On Wednesday's edition of the CBS daytime program The Talk, Ozzy's wife, co-host Sharon Osbourne, casually mentioned, "My husband is sober."
Sharon previously addressed the matter on The Talk April 23 as she denied reports that they were getting divorced.
Earlier that month, the Black Sabbath frontman, who's struggled with drug and alcohol abuse in the past, wrote on his Facebook page, “For the last year and a half I have been drinking and taking drugs. I was in a very dark place. However, I am happy to say that I am 44 days sober.”
Sharon provided the update on her husband Wednesday while confirming that she is rejoining the U.K. edition of The X Factor as a judge for its 10th season. She previously served as a judge on Simon Cowell's British singing competition from 2004 to 2007.
Sharon also said she will not be leaving The Talk despite her increased workload. She left her role as a judge on NBC's America's Got Talent after the 2012 season.
Mary McCartney/MPL Communications Ltd.Paul McCartney has once again spoken out in support of the jailed members of Russian punk group Pussy Riot after one of the imprisoned musicians, Maria Alyokhina, began a hunger strike Wednesday in protest of her treatment at a recent parole hearing. According to The Guardian, Alyokhina started the protest after she was denied the right to attend her hearing in the Russian city of Berezniki.
Following Maria's announcement, McCartney sent handwritten letters to Russian officials asking that they consider granting parole to both Alyokhina and her band mate Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.
On behalf of Alyokhina, Sir Paul wrote, "My personal belief is that further incarceration for Maria will be harmful for her and the situation as a whole, which, of course, is being watched by people all over the world." He added, "In the great tradition of fair-mindedness which the Russian people (many of whom are my friends) are famous for, I believe that you granting this request would send a very positive message to all the people who have followed this case."
With regard to Nadezhda, who was denied parole last month, McCartney wrote, "I have had a long relationship with the Russian people, and, with this in mind, I am making the following request in a spirit of friendship for my many Russian acquaintances who, like me, believe in treating people - all people, with compassion and kindness."
Alyokhina, Tolokonnikova and their band mate Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested in March 2012 for hooliganism after Pussy Riot staged an unauthorized concert at Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, described by authorities as "blasphemous." Following the trio's arrest, McCartney was among the many artists who sent letters to the Russian authorities imploring them to release the musicians. However, the three rockers were convicted in August and sentenced to two years in prison. Samutsevich was released on probation in October 2012.
The British LibraryAcclaimed Beatles biographer Hunter Davies has donated lyric sheets and letters written by John Lennon to the British Library in London as part of a new U.K. government initiative. The Cultural Gifts Scheme, which was adopted by the British government in March, allows citizens or companies to donate historically significant items in exchange for having their tax liability lowered.
Davies officially handed over the documents, which include Lennon's handwritten lyrics to The Beatles songs "Strawberry Fields Forever," "She Said She Said" and "In My Life," during a ceremony held earlier on Thursday at the library. The author had previously allowed the items to be temporarily displayed at the institution.
Prior to the event, the author said in a statement about his donation, "I want my Beatles collection to be kept together, in one place, and on public display, and the British Library is the perfect home for it. I have always been pleased to see them in the Treasures Gallery, next to the Magna Carta, and works by Shakespeare and Beethoven, because that's where I honestly think they belong."
He added that he's been working on a new book focusing on The Beatles' lyrics, and explained that this inspired him to give the Fab Four-related collectibles to the library.
In response to Davies' donation, U.K. Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said, "It's fantastic that the first treasures to be donated to the nation through the Cultural Gifts Scheme include the hand written lyrics to some of the world's best known songs, by one of the world's most loved artists. Incredibly generous donations like these are testament to the strong culture of philanthropy that exists in Britain today."
According to the BBC, Lennon himself gave the documents to Davies, who became friends with the late Beatles legend during the 1960s.
Rounder RecordsThe temporary restraining order Robert Plant recently obtained against a female fan has now been made permanent. TMZ reports that Alysson Billings was ordered by a judge on Wednesday to stay at least 300 yards away from the former Led Zeppelin singer for the next three years.
According to the website's original report, Plant stated in court documents that the 40-something-year-old Billings believes she's in a relationship with the rock legend even though they've never met. Plant claimed Billings has been sending flowers and leaving hotel keys for him and shows up at his concerts all over the world.
The veteran rocker also suggested that Billings' obsession with has taken a more ominous turn since he began dating his current girlfriend, singer/songwriter Patty Griffin. In the court documents, Plant alleged that Billings had been sending him increasingly threatening messages like, "Your betrayal with another woman stabs my mind" and "This woman is literally evil for you...I cannot, will not, shall not live this way anymore."
Billings originally was required to stay 100 yards away from Plant, but the new ruling ups the distance threefold.