ADAM LAMBERT'S HARD JOURNEY OF SELF ACCEPTANCE
THE GLORIOUS CORNER
Story By: G. H. HARDING
EAGLE COUNTY? --- Eagles drummer/vocalist/songwriter Don Henley has announced his upcoming solo album, Cass County. It will be his first solo effort in fifteen years, and will have what he calls a "country flavor."
"I do have a solo album, as they say, ‘in the can,’ " said the former hell raiser. "So far, I've recorded 17 songs—I've been working on it for the last four, five years."
Henley goes on to say the record "sort of has a country flavor. I guess you could categorize some of it as country, and some of it could be called Americana."
He recorded the majority of the album in Nashville, utilizing "some of the best musicians in Nashville, and a lot of the best - in my opinion - singers and songwriters in Nashville." Tracks were recorded both at his home in Dallas and in a studio in Southern California . . . often aided by Henley’s cohort Stan Lynch.
Henley promised "some really interesting guest stars" on the album, and some duets in "unexpected combinations."
Henley has always produced just exemplary music, both with Eagles or as a solo artist. Who can forget his “Dirty Laundry,” “Sunset Grill,” “The Boys of Summer,” or the contemplative late ‘80s track “The End of the Innocence”? While I can appreciate his mellowing out a bit, I do hope we also get some new first-class rockers here.
The record, incidentally, is named after the county in which Henley was raised as a boy in Texas. "The album is based on the music that influenced me when I was growing up", he explains.
Cass Country will be out in the third quarter of 2015.
IDES ATTACK --- 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the band that drove the 1970 Billboard smash “Vehicle” to the top of the charts: The Ides of March. To commemorate this momentous occasion, the band has released a deluxe “limited- edition” five-disc set called Last Band Standing: The Definitive 50-Year Anniversary Collection set to hit on April 18 (via Ides Of March Records).
Last Band Standing is a perfectly-executed celebration of the group’s history, and is also a showcase of a band still in their prime 50 years into the game. Original members Jim Peterik (also of ‘80s band Survivor fame, and songwriter behind “Eye of the Tiger,” made a big chart hit after being featured in Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky III in 1982, as well as many other chart-toppers), Bob Bergland, Larry Millas, and Mike Borch started as a group of teenagers whose love of rock ‘n roll and R&B music led them to showcases and bandstands in and around their native Chicago, and leading them to eventually hit it big nationally with “Vehicle.”
In a further nod to his connection with these guys, Stallone also went on to feature “Vehicle” during a great car-repair sequence in his popular 1989 prison picture Lock Up. [And given the beefy brass section at play in this marvelous track, one could definitely make the case that the sound of “Vehicle” inspired film composer Bill Conti when writing the definitive Oscar-nominated theme from Rocky, “Gonna Fly Now.”
The first four audio discs contain material from across this great band’s storied career. Included are Warner Brothers albums Vehicle (1970) and Common Bond (1971); first-time-ever releases of the best of their RCA releases, World Woven (1972) and Midnight Oil (1973); and choice cuts from the ‘90’s, such as “Spirit Of Chicago”—an ode to the Windy City that featured some of the area’s most prominent artists like Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), Dennis DeYoung (Styx), Gary Loizzo (American Breed), and cult favorite Jim Ellison.
Ides rarities like “Like It or Lump It” and “No Two Ways About It” have been re-mastered in all their original mono-mixed glory, along with other highlights culled from the Ides vault such as 1966’s Billboard charter “You Wouldn’t Listen.” The audio portion is completed with brand-new Ides of March tracks, including the brass-driven “Who I Am,” the harmonious “Too Far to Turn Around,” and the aptly titled “Last Band Standing,” featuring Steve Cropper (iconic songsmith behind both Booker T and the MGs along with Sam & Dave—and ultimately with The Blues Brothers.
Disc Five is a live DVD of The Ides performing fifteen of their most iconic songs in an eleven-camera shoot at the House of Blues in Chicago last year on May 31, 2014. In addition to this high-energy hometown set, the DVD boasts a slew of extras: archival footage from their TV appearances in the ‘70s; new interviews; a look “behind the scenes;” a photo collage spanning 50 years, plus an exciting new music video for the title track “Last Band Standing.”
Jim Peterik, who recently released his autobiography Through the Eye Of the Tiger: The Rock ‘N’ Roll Life Of Survivor’s Founding Member (BenBella Books), and who also performed an amazingly brilliant solo show at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room last year (one of the best performances I’ve ever seen) is a true rock ‘n roll soul.
I'm interviewing him next week, and am eagerly anticipating it. He is a true survivor.
THE FILLMORE ARRIVES IN PHILLY --- Live music, “Philly-style,” is coming to what has now been envisioned as the “best live rock music venue in the United States.”
As part of the continued revitalization of iconic Fishtown (one of the city’s historic locales), the legendary Ajax Metal Factory is being transformed from a pounding WWI munitions machine facility constructed over 100 years ago into a gloriously pounding music venue of a different sort, 2015-style.
Honoring the legendary traditions of Fillmore music halls around the country, the 2,500-capacity venue—scheduled to open in the fall—will showcase incredible state-of-the-art production, vintage poster art, VIP amenities, and friendly hospitality that celebrates the live concert experience.
“Philadelphia is a city with a proud musical heritage, and we could not be more excited that The Fillmore will join the host of great live music venues that this city has to offer,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “What’s more, this new attraction will bring thousands of people to the Delaware River Waterfront, which is in the midst of a transformation and poised to become one of America’s most dynamic, exciting urban waterfronts.”
The original Fillmore is one of this country’s landmark performing stages that was first opened in San Francisco in 1965. That Fillmore was the focal point of the psychedelic music scene during the 1960s and ‘70s, helping to launch the careers of iconic rock acts such as The Grateful Dead; Jimi Hendrix; Led Zeppelin; Santana; The Doors; The Allman Brothers Band; and many, many others that helped the venue’s brand to grow into the legend it is today.
President of Live Nation’s House of Blues division, Ron Bension said, “The Fillmore Philadelphia will feature the best sound system of any club its size, unparalleled sight lines, and remarkable food and beverage, making it more than a place for a concert. It will be a true experience.”
The venue will also have a “club within the club.” An intimate, second live music club, The Foundry, will be located on the top floor of The Fillmore. Featuring state-of-the-art lights and sound, concertgoers will be able to dance and get close to the stage in an energizing 450-seat capacity space that will showcase singer/songwriters, local acts, DJs, and smaller touring bands.
Circle Bar at The Fillmore will be a lively and upscale lounge and bar, where guests can enjoy VIP service and enhanced benefits as part of their concert event. Located on the second floor of the venue with its own private entry, this intimate and exclusive lounge will feature top-tier cocktails and craft beers, exceptional service, and an extensive food menu providing guests a comfortable place to hang and relax before, during, and after our concerts.
Circle Bar will connect directly to club boxes and the best seats in the house on the mezzanine level of The Fillmore, providing in-seat food, beverage and bottle service, and amazing sidelines.
CLOSING NOTES --- Six years after exploding into the pop world through his appearance on American Idol, Adam Lambert is back with his third studio album called The Original High—an album that he says is designed "to encourage people to face their shit." Lambert has been doing some serious self-examination since his critically-acclaimed but commercially disappointing sophomore release, Trespassing, and talked briefly about his journey to self-acceptance:
“I came out five years ago in a scene where I didn't have a lot of people to look to or a blueprint for advice,” he says. “I was flying blind. At that time, I was reading things that were being written about me and it was affecting me both negatively and positively. It was really intense to get dropped into that whole world really quickly.”
We can't wait to hear the new disc . . .
How about hat new trailer for the new Star Wars movie? Is that closer shot with Chewy and Han Solo (aka Harrison Ford) just the best? Especially when it begins with the voice-over with Solo saying "We're home Chewy!" Awesome for sure ...
If you're a Pete Townshend fan—or Who fan, for that matter—you absolutely must read Andy Greene's interview with Pete in the current issue of Rolling Stone. Being a fan of that powerhouse British group since 1967, Greene’s talk with Townshend is terrific. Greene told me he could have filled another five pages with what Townshend gave him (yes, Pete does like the sound of his own voice). That being said, this was one of the best rock-music interviews I've ever read . . .Long Live Rock, indeed!