Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Billboard - Katy Perry Would Rewrite 'I Kissed a Girl' to Remove 'Stereotypes'

Katy Perry Would Rewrite 'I Kissed a Girl' to Remove 'Stereotypes':

Katy Perry said that if she were to rewrite her breakout Number One hit "I Kissed a Girl" today, she would change some lyrics to get rid of "a couple of stereotypes."

In a new interview with Glamour published on Tuesday, Perry revisited some of her singles as part of a video in which she watches fan covers of her songs and compliments their interpretations of her work. After praising an acoustic rendition of "I Kissed a Girl" by Ramona Rox – "nice vocal texture" – Perry spoke about the song's origins.

"That was in 2008 when it came out," she remembers. "I think we've really changed, conversationally, in the past 10 years. We've come a long way. Bisexuality wasn't as talked about back then, or any type of fluidity."

"If I had to write that song again," she continues, "I probably would make an edit on it. Lyrically, it has a couple of stereotypes in it. Your mind changes so much in 10 years, and you grow so much. What's true for you can evolve." She did not specify which lyrics she might adjust, but possible candidates include the couplets, "I kissed a girl just to try it/ I hope my boyfriend don't mind it" and, "It's not what good girls do/ Not how they should behave."

Perry co-wrote "I Kissed a Girl" with her longtime collaborators Max Martin and Dr. Luke as well as the British songwriter Cathy Dennis. It became Perry's first Number One hit, climbed to the top spot on the Hot 100 over the course of seven weeks in 2008. Perry went on to land eight more Number Ones.

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Billboard - Elvis Presley Doc 'The Searcher' Pulls Hits, Rarities for Soundtrack

Elvis Doc 'The Searcher' Pulls Hits, Rarities for Soundtrack:

An expansive soundtrack to accompany HBO's upcoming documentary, Elvis Presley: The Searcher, will be released April 6th via RCA/Legacy Recordings. The soundtrack will feature a mix of Presley hits and alternate mixes, while a deluxe edition will feature selections from the documentary's score composed by Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready.

The Searcher soundtrack will be available digitally and on CD and double vinyl LP, while the deluxe edition will packaged as a three-CD set. All versions are available to pre-order now.

Along with the original soundtrack and parts of McCready's score, the deluxe edition of The Searcher soundtrack will include a plethora of bonus material including additional rarities, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' rendition of "Wooden Heart" and classic R&B, country and gospel songs that inspired Elvis. The set will also come with a 40-page hardcover book packed with rare photographs, liner notes from Warren Zanes and a note from The Searcher director Thom Zimny.

"From day one I had a soundtrack in mind; one that would cover Elvis in a new way and go deep into the vault,"Zimny tells Rolling Stone of The Searcher soundtrack. "Thanks to the help of Sony Legacy and the efforts of Ernst Jorgensen, I was able to pore over thousands of recordings and Elvis Presley outtakes. I also wanted the film's soundtrack to pay tribute to the many artists who influenced Elvis, and to incorporate their music to create a sonic landscape that I hoped would give the viewer the experiences Elvis had absorbing the many genres he was exposed to and influenced by – from gospel, to R&B, to country."

He added that McCready's score "brought additional sonic textures and emotional overtones that helped to capture this artist's journey."

The Searcher will premiere on HBO April 14th. The two-part, three-hour documentary will chronicle Presley's life from childhood to his final Jungle Room recording sessions in 1976. The film was made with the cooperation of the Presley estate, and Zimny was reportedly allowed unprecedented access to the Graceland archives.


Elvis Presley: The Searcher Soundtrack Track List
Standard Edition
1. "Trouble / Guitar Man"
2. "My Baby Left Me"
3. "That's All Right"
4. "Baby Let's Play House"
5. "Heartbreak Hotel"
6. "Lawdy, Miss Clawdy"
7. "Hound Dog"
8. "Crawfish"
9. "Mona Lisa"
10. "Milky White Way"
11. "Like A Baby"
12. "Are You Lonesome Tonight?"
13. "It's Now Or Never"
14. "Tomorrow Is A Long Time"
15. "Suspicious Minds" (take 6)
16. "Separate Ways" (rehearsal version)
17. "Hurt" (take 5)
18. "If I Can Dream"

Deluxe Edition - Disc One
1. "Trouble / Guitar Man"
2. "My Baby Left Me"
3. "Baby, What You Want Me To Do"
4. "Old Shep"
5. "That's When Your Heartaches Begin"
6. "That's All Right"
7. "Blue Moon Of Kentucky"
8. "Fool, Fool, Fool"
9. "Tweedlee Dee"
10. Baby Let's Play House"
11. "Good Rockin' Tonight"
12. "Trying To Get To You"
13. "Blue Moon"
14. "When It Rains It Pours"
15. "Blue Christmas"
16. "Heartbreak Hotel"
17. "Lawdy, Miss Clawdy"
18. "Money Honey"
19. "Hound Dog"
20. "(There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)"
21. "Crawfish"
22. "Trouble"
23. "Farther Along"
24. "Mona Lisa"
25. "Hide Thou Me"
26. "Loving You" (end title take 16)
27. "Lonely Man" (solo version)
28. "Power Of My Love"

Disc Two
1. "Milky White Way"
2. "A Mess Of Blues"
3. "Fame And Fortune"
4. "Love Me Tender" / "Witchcraft" (duet with Frank Sinatra)
5. "Like A Baby"
6. "Are You Lonesome Tonight?"
7. "It's Now Or Never"
8. "Wooden Heart"
9. "Swing Down Sweet Chariot"
10. "Reconsider Baby"
11. "Bossa Nova Baby"
12. "C'mon Everybody"
13. "Tomorrow Is A Long Time"
14. "Take My Hand, Precious Lord"
15. "Run On"
16. "Baby What You Want Me To Do"
17. "Suspicious Minds" (take 6)
18. "Baby Let's Play House" (rehearsal)
19. "Words" (rehearsal)
20. "That's All Right"
21. "Never Been To Spain"
22. "An American Trilogy"
23. "You Gave Me A Mountain"
24. "Burning Love" (rehearsal version)
25. "Separate Ways" (rehearsal version)
26. "Hurt" (take 5)
27. "If I Can Dream"

Disc Three
1. "Dissolution 2" – Mike McCready
2. "Satisfied" – The Blackwood Brothers
3. "That's All Right" – Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup
4. "She May Be Yours But She Comes To See Me Sometimes" – Joe Hill Louis
5. "Mystery Train" – Little Junior's Blue Flames
6. "Smokestack Lightning" – Howlin' Wolf
7. "Rock-A-My Soul" – The Blackwood Brothers
8. "Just Walkin' In The Rain" – The Prisonaires
9. "Rocket 88" – Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats
10. "Write Me A Letter" – The Ravens
11. "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" – Bill Monroe
12. "Ain't That Right" – Eddie Snow
13. "Just Walkin' In The Rain" – Johnnie Ray
14. "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" – Lloyd Price
15. "Home Sweet Home" – Gladys Presley
16. "Blowin' In The Wind" – Odetta
17. "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" – Odetta
18. "The Weight" – The Staple Singers
19. "Heartbreak Hotel" – The Orlons
20. "Wooden Heart" – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
21. "Rebound" – Mike McCready

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Billboard - Elvis Presley Doc 'The Searcher' Pulls Hits, Rarities for Soundtrack

Elvis Doc 'The Searcher' Pulls Hits, Rarities for Soundtrack:

An expansive soundtrack to accompany HBO's upcoming documentary, Elvis Presley: The Searcher, will be released April 6th via RCA/Legacy Recordings. The soundtrack will feature a mix of Presley hits and alternate mixes, while a deluxe edition will feature selections from the documentary's score composed by Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready.

The Searcher soundtrack will be available digitally and on CD and double vinyl LP, while the deluxe edition will packaged as a three-CD set. All versions are available to pre-order now.

Along with the original soundtrack and parts of McCready's score, the deluxe edition of The Searcher soundtrack will include a plethora of bonus material including additional rarities, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' rendition of "Wooden Heart" and classic R&B, country and gospel songs that inspired Elvis. The set will also come with a 40-page hardcover book packed with rare photographs, liner notes from Warren Zanes and a note from The Searcher director Thom Zimny.

"From day one I had a soundtrack in mind; one that would cover Elvis in a new way and go deep into the vault,"Zimny tells Rolling Stone of The Searcher soundtrack. "Thanks to the help of Sony Legacy and the efforts of Ernst Jorgensen, I was able to pore over thousands of recordings and Elvis Presley outtakes. I also wanted the film's soundtrack to pay tribute to the many artists who influenced Elvis, and to incorporate their music to create a sonic landscape that I hoped would give the viewer the experiences Elvis had absorbing the many genres he was exposed to and influenced by – from gospel, to R&B, to country."

He added that McCready's score "brought additional sonic textures and emotional overtones that helped to capture this artist's journey."

The Searcher will premiere on HBO April 14th. The two-part, three-hour documentary will chronicle Presley's life from childhood to his final Jungle Room recording sessions in 1976. The film was made with the cooperation of the Presley estate, and Zimny was reportedly allowed unprecedented access to the Graceland archives.


Elvis Presley: The Searcher Soundtrack Track List
Standard Edition
1. "Trouble / Guitar Man"
2. "My Baby Left Me"
3. "That's All Right"
4. "Baby Let's Play House"
5. "Heartbreak Hotel"
6. "Lawdy, Miss Clawdy"
7. "Hound Dog"
8. "Crawfish"
9. "Mona Lisa"
10. "Milky White Way"
11. "Like A Baby"
12. "Are You Lonesome Tonight?"
13. "It's Now Or Never"
14. "Tomorrow Is A Long Time"
15. "Suspicious Minds" (take 6)
16. "Separate Ways" (rehearsal version)
17. "Hurt" (take 5)
18. "If I Can Dream"

Deluxe Edition - Disc One
1. "Trouble / Guitar Man"
2. "My Baby Left Me"
3. "Baby, What You Want Me To Do"
4. "Old Shep"
5. "That's When Your Heartaches Begin"
6. "That's All Right"
7. "Blue Moon Of Kentucky"
8. "Fool, Fool, Fool"
9. "Tweedlee Dee"
10. Baby Let's Play House"
11. "Good Rockin' Tonight"
12. "Trying To Get To You"
13. "Blue Moon"
14. "When It Rains It Pours"
15. "Blue Christmas"
16. "Heartbreak Hotel"
17. "Lawdy, Miss Clawdy"
18. "Money Honey"
19. "Hound Dog"
20. "(There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)"
21. "Crawfish"
22. "Trouble"
23. "Farther Along"
24. "Mona Lisa"
25. "Hide Thou Me"
26. "Loving You" (end title take 16)
27. "Lonely Man" (solo version)
28. "Power Of My Love"

Disc Two
1. "Milky White Way"
2. "A Mess Of Blues"
3. "Fame And Fortune"
4. "Love Me Tender" / "Witchcraft" (duet with Frank Sinatra)
5. "Like A Baby"
6. "Are You Lonesome Tonight?"
7. "It's Now Or Never"
8. "Wooden Heart"
9. "Swing Down Sweet Chariot"
10. "Reconsider Baby"
11. "Bossa Nova Baby"
12. "C'mon Everybody"
13. "Tomorrow Is A Long Time"
14. "Take My Hand, Precious Lord"
15. "Run On"
16. "Baby What You Want Me To Do"
17. "Suspicious Minds" (take 6)
18. "Baby Let's Play House" (rehearsal)
19. "Words" (rehearsal)
20. "That's All Right"
21. "Never Been To Spain"
22. "An American Trilogy"
23. "You Gave Me A Mountain"
24. "Burning Love" (rehearsal version)
25. "Separate Ways" (rehearsal version)
26. "Hurt" (take 5)
27. "If I Can Dream"

Disc Three
1. "Dissolution 2" – Mike McCready
2. "Satisfied" – The Blackwood Brothers
3. "That's All Right" – Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup
4. "She May Be Yours But She Comes To See Me Sometimes" – Joe Hill Louis
5. "Mystery Train" – Little Junior's Blue Flames
6. "Smokestack Lightning" – Howlin' Wolf
7. "Rock-A-My Soul" – The Blackwood Brothers
8. "Just Walkin' In The Rain" – The Prisonaires
9. "Rocket 88" – Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats
10. "Write Me A Letter" – The Ravens
11. "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" – Bill Monroe
12. "Ain't That Right" – Eddie Snow
13. "Just Walkin' In The Rain" – Johnnie Ray
14. "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" – Lloyd Price
15. "Home Sweet Home" – Gladys Presley
16. "Blowin' In The Wind" – Odetta
17. "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" – Odetta
18. "The Weight" – The Staple Singers
19. "Heartbreak Hotel" – The Orlons
20. "Wooden Heart" – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
21. "Rebound" – Mike McCready

Related Content:

Original enclosures:


Billboard - The Beatles in India: 16 Things You Didn't Know

The Beatles in India: 16 Things You Didn't Know:

By 1968, despite, or maybe because of, their huge popularity and success, the Beatles found themselves spiritually exhausted. "We'd been the Beatles, which was marvelous," Paul McCartney later recalled in The Beatles Anthology. "We'd tried for it not to go to our heads and we were doing quite well – we weren't getting too spaced out or big-headed – but I think generally there was a feeling of: 'Yeah, well, it's great to be famous, it's great to be rich – but what it's all for?'"

The group tried to find the answer through the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the leader of the Transcendental Meditation movement. Their association with the guru resulted in a visit to the Maharishi's ashram in Rishikesh, India, in February 1968, which became a major media event. Not only did the Beatles go to India for a spiritual reawakening through meditation, but the trip proved to be one of their most creative periods – they wrote reportedly 48 songs, with most of them ending up on the White Album, released later that year. The band's planned three-month stay at the ashram was cut short, however, following sexual misconduct allegations against the Maharishi. "We made a mistake there," Lennon later said, as quoted in The Beatles Anthology. "We believe in meditation, but not the Maharishi and his scene. ... We thought he was something other than he was."

Despite it ending on a sour note, the Beatles' visit made a tremendous impact and not just on the White Album. "The relationship between the Beatles and the Maharishi brought about an enormous interest in the West in Indian clothing, meditation, yoga and the playing of the sitar," wrote Paul Oliver in his book Hinduism and the 1960s. "Although the Beatles had apparently left Rishikesh with varying degrees of negative feelings towards the Maharishi, in later life they tended to feel more benign towards him, and to say publicly what a positive effect he had on their lives."

February 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of that historic India trip, which is being commemorated with an upcoming exhibit at the Beatles Story museum in the Fab Four's hometown of Liverpool; and due out February 13th is The Beatles in India, a new book by photographer Paul Saltzman, who was at the ashram with the Beatles. In honor of that milestone, here are 16 things you might not know about the trip – from what life was like at the ashram to the stories behind some of the songs they wrote in India, and what led to the band's to split from the Maharishi.

1. It began with a newspaper ad for meditation classesIn February 1967, George Harrison's wife Pattie Boyd, who was searching for spirituality in her life, came across an advertisement in a newspaper for Transcendental Meditation classes. Immediately she signed up to be a part of the Spiritual Regeneration Movement. Boyd later told her husband about what she did and he became interested as well. In August of that same year, the Harrisons, along with the other members of the Beatles, attended a lecture that the Maharishi was giving in London. "Maharishi was every bit as impressive as I thought he would be, and we were spellbound," Boyd recalled in her 2007 memoir Wonderful Tonight. That same group, accompanied by Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, later attended a 10-day conference of the Spiritual Regeneration Movement being held in Bangor, Wales. During their time at the conference, the Beatles announced they were giving up drugs. "It was an experience we went through," McCartney said, as quoted in Philip Norman's Beatles book Shout! "Now it's over and we don't need it any more." Their stay at the conference, however, was cut short upon news of Beatles manager Brian Epstein's unexpected death. It was then that Maharishi invited the Beatles to stay at his ashram in Rishikesh, where he held a course for people who want to become Transcendental Meditation instructors.

2. Donovan, Mia Farrow and Mike Love were just three of the Beatles' fellow noteworthy guests at the ashram.The members of the Beatles and their significant others arrived in India in February 1968 – first George Harrison and John Lennon, and then later Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. In addition to the Beatles, singer Donovan, actress Mia Farrow and the Beach Boys' Mike Love, there were other Westerners staying at the ashram during this period. Among the notable ones were Paul Horn, an American jazz flautist whom The New York Times later described as a founding father of New Age music; Prudence and John Farrow, siblings of Mia Farrow; Nancy Cooke de Herrera, an American socialite who was an early Western proponent of Transcendental Meditation; Tim Simcox, an American actor who appeared in many TV series such as Bonanza and Gunsmoke (Cynthia Lennon recalled in her 2005 book John that John Lennon accused her of having an affair with Simcox); model Jenny Boyd, the sister of Pattie Boyd and the future wife of drummer Mick Fleetwood; Lewis Lapham, the only journalist allowed at the retreat while on assignment for The Saturday Evening Post; Mal Evans, the Beatles' longtime roadie and personal assistant going back to the group's early days at the Cavern Club; Alexis "Magic Alex" Mardas, a Greek inventor and an employee of Apple Corps; and photographer Saltzman. "The weeks the Beatles spent at the ashram," Saltzman later wrote, "were a uniquely calm and creative oasis for them: meditation, vegetarian food and the gentle beauty of the foothills of the Himalayas. There were no fans, no press, no rushing around with busy schedules, and in this freedom, in this single capsule of time, they created more great music than in any similar period in their illustrious careers. "


John Lennon and Paul McCartney in India. Photo provided by Insight Editions from 'The Beatles in India' © 2018 Paul Saltzman

3. Life at the ashram was like summer camp.Funded by a $100,000 donation from American heiress Doris Duke, the Maharishi's ashram was built in 1963, covering 14 acres of forest. The property, said Saltzman, consisted of six long bungalows each containing five or six double rooms, along with flower beds of red hibiscus blossoms, and several vegetable gardens. In addition to the Maharishi's own bungalow, there was a post office, a lecture theater and a swimming pool. Nancy Cooke de Herrera supervised the preparation of the Beatles' quarters prior to their arrival. "The Beatles never realized what had been done when they walked into their rooms," she later said. "They had mattresses on their beds. We had curtains put up, we had mirrors. We even had toilet fixtures that worked." Cynthia Lennon recalled her room at the ashram with John as having a four-poster bed, an electric fire, and some chairs.

In The Beatles Anthology, McCartney compared the experience of being at the Rishikesh retreat to a summer camp. "You would get up in the morning and go down to a communal breakfast," he said. "Food was vegetarian ... and I think we probably had cornflakes for breakfast. After breakfast, you would go back to your chalet, meditate for a little while, have a bit of lunch and then there might be a talk or a little musical event. Basically it was just eating, sleeping and meditating – with the occasional little lecture from Maharishi thrown in." Mike Love remembered in his memoir Good Vibrations that the surrounding animal life made its way into the ashram: "Spiders, stray dogs, and even an occasional tiger roamed the grounds. The night sounds were a shrill chorus of wildlife – peacocks, crows, and parrots. The wails and cackles may have unnerved some, but I felt at peace."

At the end of the day, the musicians would play music together, according to Donovan. "Songwriting came easy," he wrote in The Autobiography of Donovan. "Paul Mac never had a guitar out of his hand. He let us all get a few songs in though, and you can hear the results on the records that followed, the Beatles' White Album, and my own The Hurdy Gurdy Man."

4. The Maharishi had some unique quirks.The Maharishi turned out to be more business- and media-savvy than his followers might have initially guessed. According to The Love You Make, a book by former Beatles associate Peter Brown, prior to the Beatles' India trip, the Maharishi was negotiating with lawyers for ABC about a TV special that would include an appearance by the band. Despite Brown warning the Maharishi that this arrangement was not possible, the Maharishi continued to tell ABC's attorneys that he could still make the deal happen. Finally, Brown, accompanied by Harrison and McCartney, visisted the Maharishi in Sweden and told him to not use the Beatles for his own business purposes – to which the Maharishi nodded and giggled. "He's not a modern man," Harrison said, as quoted in Brown's book, on the plane ride back. "He just doesn't understand these things."

In his book With the Beatles, Lewis Lapham recounted the time when the Maharishi organized a group photo of his students, including the Beatles. "He cast himself as the director on a movie set," Lapham wrote of the Maharishi. In preparation for the photo shoot, the Maharishi oversaw the construction of a tier of bleachers as well as the seating arrangements. He reportedly told the photographer, "Before you snap, you must shout 1, 2, 3 ... any snap and you must shout." The Maharishi then told his pupils, "Now come on everybody, cosmic smiles ... and all into the lens."

Lapham also wrote that the Maharishi apparently loved helicopters and recalled the guru gazing at a chopper "like a child looking at an enormous complicated toy." McCartney remembered the Maharishi using a one to take him to New Delhi one day. There was room for one more person in the helicopter to ride with the Maharishi, and Lennon took up the invitation. "I asked [John] later, 'Why were you so keen to get up with the Maharishi?'" McCartney said in The Beatles Anthology. "'To tell you the truth,' he said, 'I thought he might slip me in the Answer.' That's very John!" McCartney also recalled a conversation with the Maharishi when the latter asked about what car to purchase. "We said, 'Well, a Merc, Maharishi. Mercedes, very good car' – 'Practical? Long running? Good works?' – 'Yes.' – 'Well, we should get a Mercedes, then.'"

5. George and John were really into meditating ...Of all the Beatles at the ashram, Harrison and Lennon were the most committed to the discipline of meditation. "I was in a room for five days meditating," said Lennon in The Beatles Anthology. "I wrote hundreds of songs. I couldn't sleep and I was hallucinating like crazy, having dreams where you could smell. I'd do a few hours and they you'd trip off, three- or four-hour stretches. It was just a way of getting there, and you could go on amazing trips." Cynthia Lennon said in Bob Spitz's book The Beatles that for John, nothing else mattered when it came to mediation, adding "John and George were [finally] in their element [at the ashram]. They threw themselves totally into the Maharishi's teachings, were happy, relaxed and above all found a piece of mind that had been denied them for so long."

Harrison felt that both the meditation and the Maharishi made an impact in his life. "The meditation buzz is incredible," he told Paul Saltzman. "I get higher than I ever did with drugs. It's simple ... and it's my way of connecting with God." And Harrison was very serious about the band's purpose at the ashram. "He was quite strict," McCartney later said of Harrison in The Beatles Anthology. "I remember talking about the next album and he would say, 'We're not here to talk to about music – we're here to meditate.' Oh yeah, all right Georgie Boy. Calm down. Sense of humor needed here, you know. In fact, I loved it there."


Paul Saltzman and Ringo Starr Photo provided by Insight Editions from 'The Beatles in India' © 2018 Paul Saltzman

6. ... while Ringo had a tougher time.Ringo Starr later recalled his India experience as fun and exciting, but at the time he had difficulties adjusting to the food and the surroundings. Because he was allergic, he brought cans of Heinz baked beans with him for the trip. The Beatles drummer also remembered food preparers at the ashram offering him eggs, which were not allowed. "Then I saw them burying the shells," Starr said in The Beatles Anthology. "That was the first of several incidents that made me think that it was not what I thought it would be." Other issues for him and his wife Maureen included being pestered by insects: "You'd have to fight off the scorpions and tarantulas in a bath," he said. "Then you'd get out of the bath, get dry and get out of the room because all the insects came back in." Also homesick for their children, the Starrs decided to leave after 10 days, later followed by McCartney and his girlfriend Jane Asher a few weeks later. "Paul simply wasn't getting it," Peter Brown wrote in The Love You Make. "The mock seriousness of the Maharishi and the tediousness of the meditation were too much like school for him."

7. The Fab Four dug their Indian attire.In his reporting from the ashram, Lewis Lapham wrote: "Like the other Beatles, Harrison delighted in the costumes – embroidered overblouses, fanciful brass pendants, cotton pajama trousers broadly striped in bright colors, robes for all occasions. They looked like gypsies, their angular faces framed in long dark hair."

"If you go to India you can't wear Western clothes," Harrison said in The Beatles Anthology. "That's one of the best bits about India – having these cool clothes: big baggy shirts and pajama trousers. They also have tight trousers that look like drainpipes." Added Starr: "We did a lot of shopping. We all had Indian clothes made because they could do it right there: huge silly pants with very tight legs and a big body that you'd tie up tight, Nehru collars. We got right into it."

8. The Beatles were pitched a Lord of the Rings movie.Long before director Peter Jackson delivered the Lord of the Rings trilogy on screen, the Beatles once contemplated making a movie adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic work. According to Philip Norman's 2016 biography of Paul McCartney, Denis O'Dell, the head of Apple Films, arrived at the ashram to discuss The Lord of the Rings as the next Beatles movie project. Due to the enormous length of the book series, O'Dell assigned a volume from the trilogy to each of the Beatles to read: The Fellowship of the Ring to Lennon, The Two Towers to McCartney and The Return of the King to Harrison. In his book The Beatles in India, Paul Saltzman wrote that the short list of possible directors included Stanley Kubrick, Michelangelo Antonioni and David Lean. In a 2014 interview with Deadline, Jackson confirmed the story of the Beatles' initial involvement in the project based on a conversation he had with McCartney: "John Lennon was going to play Gollum. Paul was going to play Frodo. George Harrison was going to play Gandalf, and Ringo Starr was going to play Sam. Paul was very gracious; he said, 'It was a good job we never made ours because then you wouldn't have made yours and it was great to see yours.' I said, 'It's the songs I feel badly about; you guys would have banged out a few good tunes for this.'"

9. India couldn't save John's first marriage.Prior to the trip to Rishikesh, the marriage between John Lennon and his wife Cynthia was strained, exacerbated by the presence of Yoko Ono in Lennon's life. In her 2005 book John, Cynthia explains that she initially viewed the India visit as a second honeymoon and a chance to reconnect with her husband. But it didn't turn out that way. "John was becoming increasingly cold and aloof toward me," she wrote. "He would get up early and leave our room. He spoke to me very little, and after a week or two he announced that he wanted to move into a separate room to give himself more space. From then on, he virtually ignored me, both in private and in public." She later learned that every morning, her husband would visit the post office to check if Ono had sent him a letter. In 1970. John Lennon revealed to Rolling Stone's Jann Wenner that he was also going to bring Ono on the trip,"but I lost me nerve because I was going to take me wife and Yoko and I didn't know how to work it [laugh]. So, I didn't do it. I didn't quite do it."

10. There was a real-life Bungalow Bill.An incident involving the killing of a tiger during the Beatles' stay in India inspired Lennon to write the "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill," which later appeared on the White Album. According to The Complete Beatles Songs by Steve Turner, American college graduate Richard A. Cooke III visited his mother Nancy Cooke de Herrera at the ashram; the two traveled by elephant on a tiger hunt in Naintal. When a tiger came upon them, Richard shot and killed it. Feeling guilty about what he had done, Richard and with his mother spoke with the Maharishi about the incident, with John and Paul sitting in on the conversation. "Maharishi looked pretty aghast that his followers could actually go out and do something like this," Richard later remembered. Added Nancy: "Then John asked, 'Don't you call that slightly-life destructive?' I said, 'Well John, it was either the tiger or us. The tiger was jumping right where we were.'" Some lines from the song reference Richard and Nancy, such as "He went out tiger hunting with his his elephant and gun/In case of accidents he always took his mom," and "If looks could kill, it would have been us instead of him." Richard – who admitted the the lyric describing Bungalow Bill as "the all-American bullet-headed Saxon mother's son" was a close assessment of himself – later became a photographer for National Geographic.

11. Donovan's guitar playing influenced the Beatles' songwriting in India.Scottish singer Donovan was already a star by the time he arrived at Rishikesh. More than just a friend of the Beatles, Donovan was also a musical influence on them while they were at the ashram. In his 2005 autobiography, Donovan recalled showing Lennon his fingerpicking style on the guitar. "My new pupil went to it with a will," he wrote, "and he learned the arcane knowledge in two days. ... In this way John began to write in a whole new way, composing 'Dear Prudence' and 'Julia' in no time flat." Donovan also claimed that Harrison's White Album songwriting grew out of what the two were playing together in India. "He said he really had a Chet Atkins picking style," Donovan recalled in 2016. "But what George was fascinated with was these descending chord patterns that I was playing and out of it came the most heartrending song I've ever heard him write, but also that anybody had written: 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps.'" (While in India, Donovan wrote his own song, "Hurdy Gurdy Man," which included a verse provided by Harrison.)

12. Prudence Farrow, subject of "Dear Prudence," wasn't that impressed by the Beatles' presence.The younger sister of actress Mia Farrow, Prudence Farrow was the inspiration behind the Beatles' “Dear Prudence.” The often-told story is that Prudence spent long amounts of time alone in her room meditating, which had Lennon and Harrison concerned about her well-being. ("She was trying to find God quicker than anyone else," Lennon once said. "That was the competition in Maharishi's camp: who was going to get cosmic first.") Prudence didn't get caught up in the hype surrounding the Beatles' presence at the ashram and was more focused on the meditation course. "I had been around famous people, but it had not been so interesting," she told Rolling Stone in 2015. "The Beatles being there – I can honestly say – did not mean anything to me. But those two people that I met, John and George, I really liked them, and they were very much up my alley." Now a Transcendental Meditation teacher, Prudence considers "Dear Prudence" to be a song that epitomized what the Sixties represented. "I feel that it does capture that essence of the course," she said, "that slightly exotic part of being in India where we went through that silence and meditation."


Photo provided by Insight Editions from 'The Beatles in India' © 2018 Paul Saltzman

13. Mike Love put the "Russia" into "Back in the U.S.S.R."The Maharishi had taught Beach Boys singer Mike Love meditation in Paris after his band played a benefit show there for UNICEF – an experience that had an transformative effect on him. According to his memoir Good Vibrations, Love was invited to Rishikesh and upon arrival discovered that Paul McCartney was staying in the room next door. As Love recalled, McCartney was playing his acoustic guitar at the breakfast table one morning. The song he was working on, which happened to be influenced by the Beach Boys, would become "Back in the U.S.S.R." "I thought he was on to something," Love wrote. He told the Beatle: "'You know what you ought to do. In the bridge part, talk about the girls around Russia. The Moscow chicks, the Ukraine girls, and all that' ... If it worked for 'California Girls,' why not for the USSR?" In a 1984 Playboy interview, McCartney explained the story behind the song: "I wrote that as a kind of Beach Boys parody. And 'Back in the USA'' was a Chuck Berry song, so it kinda took off from there. I just liked the idea of Georgia girls and talking about places like the Ukraine as if they were California, you know? It was also hands across the water, which I'm still conscious of. 'Cuz they like us out there, even though the bosses in the Kremlin may not. The kids do. And that to me is very important for the future of the race."

14. Some tracks written in India didn't make it onto Beatles albums.While a majority of the songs written during the Beatles's stay in India were recorded for the White Album and Abbey Road, several other compositions from the period later ended up on the members' solo albums. One of the notable ones was Lennon's "Child of Nature," which was later reworked as "Jealous Guy" for 1971's Imagine; McCartney's "Junk" and "Teddy Boy" were recorded for his 1970 solo debut McCartney. A couple Harrison songs from India appeared on his on solo records, including "Not Guilty," which the Beatles first recorded in August 1968 but which Harrison revisited for his self-titled 1979 solo album; and "Circles," which ended up on 1982's Gone Troppo. Harrison also wrote "Sour Milk Sea," which was recorded by Jackie Lomax for the Beatles' Apple Records. "It's based on Vishvasara Tantra, from Tantric art," Harrison once said of the track. "'What is here is elsewhere, what is not here is nowhere.' It's a picture, and the picture is called Sour Milk Sea – Kalladadi Samudra in Sanskrit. I used 'Sour Milk Sea' as the idea of – if you're in the shit, don't go around moaning about it: Do something about it." The Beatles also recorded another composition from India, the experimental "What's the New Mary Jane?," which later appeared on Anthology 3. Another song, "Spiritual Regeneration," was recorded in India and has remained unreleased.

"The pressure of being the Beatles had driven a wedge between them individually and that had all percolated in the months leading up to their visit to Rishikesh," Bob Spitz, a Beatles biographer, told The New York Times. "Once they got there, and they unburdened themselves from all of that, they reconnected with their songwriting and their creativity. It just flowed forth."

15. The accusations about the Maharishi remain a mystery.Fifty years after the Beatles' visit to India, there has never been an official and definitive account of the allegations surrounding the Maharishi that prompted Harrison and Lennon to leave the ashram. Reportedly, the Maharishi was accused of sexual misconduct toward a female follower – and that the propagator of those allegations was Alex "Magic Alex" Mardas. (In a statement to The New York Times, Mardas, who died in 2017, remembered looking through the window of the Maharishi's villa one night and seeing the guru hugging a teacher, a scene that, as he wrote, left him, Harrison and Lennon upset). Of the fallout, Lennon was the most vocal critic of the Maharishi; it prompted him to write the song "Sexy Sadie," which was originally titled "Maharishi."

"I said, 'We're leaving,'" Lennon recalled telling the Maharishi, as later told in The Beatles Anthology. "'Why?' 'Well, if you're so cosmic you'll know why.' And I just kept saying, 'You ought to know.' And he gave me a look like 'I'll kill you, you bastard.'" Cynthia Lennon recalled in John that Lennon expressed his disenchantment about the Maharishi to her – that the yogi was too preoccupied with "public recognition, celebrities, and money."

No lawsuits were reportedly filed against the Maharishi over the misconduct accusations. Over time, some of the participants have doubted that the Maharishi did something inappropriate, and Harrison and McCartney had extended apologies to the yogi sometime in the 1990s; Harrison later said in The Beatles Anthology that the rumor was basically jealousy about the Maharishi: "This whole piece of bullshit was invented. ... There were a lot of flakes there; the whole place was full of flaky people. Some of them were us." Harrison's first wife Pattie Boyd later wrote in her memoir that the alleged incident may have provided an excuse for Lennon to leave the ashram to be with Yoko Ono. Another doubter of the rumors was Mike Love, who wrote in Good Vibrations: "Maharishi eagerly wanted the Beatles and the Beach Boys to help him spread the word about his movement. He was also surrounded by females devotees his entire life. Yet the only time he was ever accused of misconduct was when the Beatles were right there with him? Please." Since the schism, the Maharishi continued to promote the Transcendental Meditation movement; he also declined to talk about the Beatles late in life, according to The New York Times. He died in 2008 in his nineties.

16. The ashram is now a tourist spot.Sometime in the 1970s, the ashram in Rishikesh was abandoned and left to decay for more than three decades; a number of the buildings were destroyed while others remained. In 2003, the local forestry department took over the site, and 12 years later, the ashram was reopened as a tourist attraction. Previously, the walls of the ashram were painted on as part of an art project before authorities shut it down in 2012. "It was obvious to me that people wanted to claim this space and commemorate the legends that walked these grounds," street artist Pan Trinity Das, who worked on the walls, told CNN. "Almost everyone who enters the space is dumbfounded that such a historical and spectacular site was falling into ruin."

In addition to future renovations, there are also plans to develop a Beatles museum at the ashram, depending if the land could be taken from the forest department, said Meenakshi Sundaram, a tourist official, who added: "If that happens, we can attract more foreign tourists to Rishikesh."

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Billboard - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: Why Rock Stars Are Suddenly Retiring

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: Why Rock Stars Are Suddenly Retiring:

The rock world has never seen a rash of retirements like this. In the past few weeks, some of rock & roll's most legendary performers have declared they're giving up the endless highway. Elton John announced his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, the final curtain for the ultimate showman. Paul Simon set a date for his last gig in London's Hyde Park. Neil Diamond, already well into his 50th-anniversary tour, immediately cancelled the rest of his shows on doctors' orders, after getting diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson revealed, "We have no plans to tour or record any more. We're basically done. After 41 years, we felt it was enough."

The concept of "enough" is always exotic in rock & roll – but it's definitely a shock for so many legends to say goodnight at the same time. It's a historic moment where we're witnessing a sea change in how rock stars face their golden years. It's not like these veterans have lost their mojo – anyone lucky enough to see Diamond last year can tell you he hasn't lost a step. And some road warriors still keep peaking onstage as they push 80, from Paul McCartney to Smokey Robinson to Bob Dylan to Fleetwood Mac. But for others, as Simon admitted, quitting feels like "something of a relief." So these elder statesmen are trying to invent something that's never really existed until now – the rock & roll retirement.

It used to be that farewell gigs inspired mostly skeptical amusement. High-priced goodbyes are a classic show-biz trick; Cher's farewell tour is old enough to vote. But this time it's different. "I'm not Cher, even though I like wearing her clothes," Elton John said at his press conference. "This is the end." He's not kidding. "My priorities in my life are now my children, my husband and my family. I want to be home."

It's also the end of the line for Joan Baez, nearly 60 years after her 1959 debut. "Number one: It's too hard to sing," she told Rolling Stone's Jonathan Bernstein in January. "Nobody can really imagine the effort it takes to keep up with these vocal cords. ... I can't do shit in the upper range anymore." Lynyrd Skynyrd just announced their "Last of the Street Survivors" tour – 40 years after the band got wiped out in a plane crash. (Guitarist Garry Rossington is the only crash survivor left in Skynyrd. Fly high, free bird.) At 87, Sonny Rollins' pulmonary fibrosis has forced him to put down his mighty horn. Ozzy Osbourne, who quit with "No More Tours" in the 1990s, then surprised absolutely nobody by coming back for his Retirement Sucks Tour, will spend the next few years on his latest final trek – with the tongue-in-cheek title, "No More Tours 2."

Why now? Of course, the music world has lost too many legends in the past couple of years. But two deaths really seem to loom over this moment. Prince and Tom Petty were younger than most of the new retirees, but both died from the same painkiller – Fentanyl – after years of touring harder than their aging bones could handle. For years we all saw Prince work magic onstage nobody else could do; it wasn't until his tragic death that the world learned how he'd punished his body. Petty spent last summer on tour before finding out his hip was broken; the day he got the news, just a week after his final gig, he succumbed to an accidental overdose of Fentanyl, oxycodone, generic Xanax and other medications. Their deaths are a wake-up call for both musicians and fans. None of us want to see our heroes go out that way.

It's no secret that the road takes a toll – as Robbie Robertson said in The Last Waltz, over 40 years ago, "It's a goddamn impossible way of life." But the touring business is increasingly fixated on how to keep the old guys on the road – in some cases, even after death. Elton John joked about asking his children, "When Daddy dies, promise me there won't be a hologram of me going around the world doing concerts." Yet even Elton – a trouper who understands the show must go on – realizes this might not be his call. "Who knows? They may go broke and put me back on the fucking stage."

Randy Newman has summed it up perfectly: "Musicians keep going. There is nobody applauding at home."

When the stars step back, it doesn't take them long to discover how much they miss the bright lights and rowdy crowds. "My job is the greatest job in the world," Neil Diamond told an L.A. crowd last summer. "I sing. You hear. You applaud. I sing louder. I go wherever the noise is." Those of us who kept returning to see Diamond loved being part of that beautiful noise. We knew that if we showed up, he would too. (Just last summer, after years as a Neil-head, I finally got my first live "If You Know What I Mean." It was worth the wait.) "I'm one of those people who would rather sit on the beach and do nothing, but I can't," he told Rolling Stone's Andy Greene in 2016. "I'm addicted to the packing and the unpacking."

That's why the vets rarely walk away from the life, no matter how miserable it gets. They go where the noise is.

The Who made the cover of the Rolling Stone in 1982 announcing their last tour – "before we become parodies of ourselves," as Roger Daltrey explained. My copy of this issue is older than Nicki Minaj, but the Who will spend most of 2018 out there in Oakland and Dayton and Rochester, rolling through "See Me, Feel Me" one more time. Who can blame them? Only a prude holds it against rockers who keep on keeping on. What else would you want them to do? For players and hustlers, tonight's the night.

David Bowie seemed to retire every few years in the 1970s, making cheerfully insincere statements like "I've rocked my last roll." (As it turned out, he scored the final-curtain knockout of all time with Blackstar.) Eric Clapton did a solemn Rolling Stone interview in the summer of 2001, officially hanging up his keys to the highway. "This is definitely the last time," he vowed. "I get indigestion. I get tired. ... I can't play long solos anymore without boring myself." God wailing "Layla" with heartburn – who would wish that on anyone? So, crazy as it seems, most of us believed him, just as he surely believed himself. And needless to say, Clapton is playing European dates this summer after touring the U.S., Japan, Dubai and Thailand in recent years. The road goes on forever.

But what we're seeing now is something new. Back before rock stars got serious about heath and fitness and sobriety, they weren't living long enough to worry about how to stop. Now some of them – Elton for one – hope to keep making music, without pushing their banged-up bodies on tour. Others are breaking their wands for good. Simon remains open to "the occasional performance in a (hopefully) acoustically pristine hall." Complaining about the sound guy at your comeback gigs when you haven't even finished retiring – now that's peak Simon.

In The Wild Bunch, grizzled outlaw William Holden wants to make one last score and then back off. Ernest Borgnine asks, "Back off to what?" That's the question that has kept driving rockers on the road, even to the point where it breaks them. Almost every veteran in The Last Waltz got back out there eventually, some of them dying there; now that Diamond has retired, nobody knows who'll end up the last one waltzing. (My money's on the stubborn Irish bastard in the sequinned pants.) But a generation of elders is searching for new ways to ride into the sunset, with goodbyes that do justice to their musical legacy as well as their audience. There's never been a template for how to abdicate – rock stars have a long history of failing to figure this out, which is one of the traits that makes them rock stars. So it's a journey into the unknown. But for these performers, now's the time. Goodbye, yellow brick road.

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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Billboard - Pink to Sing National Anthem at Super Bowl LII

Pink to Sing National Anthem at Super Bowl LII:

Pink will sing the National Anthem at this year's Super Bowl LII, which hits Minneapolis' U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4th.

The Beautiful Trauma singer joins artists like Lady Gaga, Luke Bryan, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Garth Brooks, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey as performers of the "Star-Spangled Banner" prior to the Super Bowl.

"I’m really looking forward to 2018. I’m really excited about the Grammy’s. Tour. Some other stuff that’s a secret still and I can’t wait til it’s not a secret," Pink tweeted on Friday, hinting at the big announcement. The anthem performance will mark Pink's first appearance at a Super Bowl. The singer is also set to perform at the 2018 Grammys.

Actress Alexandria Wailes will accompany Pink in American Sign Language for the anthem and "America The Beautiful" on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf.

The NFL previously announced that Justin Timberlake would return to the Super Bowl as the headliner of the halftime show.

Guess who's singing the National Anthem at #SBLII?@Pink! (via @GMFB) pic.twitter.com/HN8FWSDIhw
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 8, 2018

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Billboard - Rod Stewart Sets 2018 Summer Tour With Cyndi Lauper

Rod Stewart Sets 2018 Summer Tour With Cyndi Lauper:

Rod Stewart is set to spend another summer on the road as the two-time Rock Hall singer announced a 22-date North American tour.

Like Stewart's 2017 trek, Cyndi Lauper will once again serve as special guest on the tour, which begins June 25th at Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl.

A month later, the tour picks up again on July 24th in Hollywood, Florida and weaves its away across the nation's arenas and amphitheaters before concluding September 1st at Seattle's White River Amphitheater.

Tickets for the tour go on sale to the general public on January 12th.

Rod Stewart Tour Dates

June 25 - Hollywood, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
July 24 - Hollywood, FL @ Hard Rock Event Center
July 26 - Orlando, FL @ Amway Arena
July 28 - Charlotte, NC @ Spectrum Center
July 29 - Louisville, KY @ KFC YUM! Arena
August 1 - Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
August 3 - Allentown, PA @ PPL Center
August 4 - Atlantic City, NJ @ Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall
August 7 - New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
August 10 - Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage
August 11 - Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena
August 14 - Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
August 15 - St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
August 18 - Indianapolis, IN @ Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
August 19 - St. Louis, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
August 22 - Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center Arena
August 24 - Phoenix, AZ @ Talking Stick Resort Arena
August 26 - San Diego, CA @ Mattress Firm Amphitheatre
August 28 - Reno, NV @ Event Center
August 29 - San Francisco, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
August 31 - Portland, OR @ Sunlight Supply Amphitheatre
September 1 - Seattle, WA @ White River Amphitheater

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Billboard - Britney Spears Plots Final 'Piece of Me' Shows With U.S., Europe Tour

Britney Spears Plots Final 'Piece of Me' Shows With U.S., Europe Tour:

Britney Spears will take her hit Las Vegas show, Britney: Piece of Me, on the road for a short North American tour this summer.

The trek kicks off with a two-night stand at MGM National Harbor in Washington D.C., January 12th and 13th. The tour includes stops in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Atlantic City, New York City and wraps with three nights at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida, July 27th, 28th and 29th.

Tickets for the Piece of Me tour start to go on sale January 26th. Complete information is available on Spears' website.

Following her North American run, Spears will spend the rest of the summer touring Europe and the U.K. The trek marks the final performances of Piece of Me, which Spears debuted at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas in December 2013. Over its four-year run, the show became one of the most successful on the Las Vegas Strip, with Spears delivering over 250 performances, selling nearly 1 million tickets and grossing $140 million. Piece of Me wrapped its Las Vegas stand last December.

Britney Spears Piece of Me Tour Dates
July 12 – Washington D.C. @ MGM National Harbor
July 13 – Washington D.C. @ MGM National Harbor
July 15 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun
July 17 – Bethlehem, PA @ Sands Bethlehem Events Center
July 19 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Borgata
July 20 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Borgata
July 23 – New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall
July 24 – New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall
July 27 – Hollywood, FL @ Hard Rock
July 28 – Hollywood, FL @ Hard Rock
July 29 – Hollywood, FL @ Hard Rock

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Billboard - Elton John Announces Retirement From Touring

Elton John Announces Retirement From Touring:

At an emotional New York press conference Wednesday, Elton John announced that he will retire from the road after a lengthy farewell tour.

"I'm not going to be touring anymore," he told moderator Anderson Cooper at New York's Gotham Hall. "I'm not going to be touring and traveling the world. My priorities have changed. I have young children." Before he finishes, however, he will spend three years on the road saying goodbye to his fans with a 300-date tour he's dubbed Farewell Yellow Brick Road. "That doesn't mean I won't still be creative," he said. "But I won't travel any more...I don't want to go out with a whimper. I want to go out with a bang...It'll be the most produced, fantastic show I've ever done."

To start the event, organizers handed out virtual reality headsets, with the VR video taking attendees through a five-minute summary of John's career. John appeared behind a piano to croon "Tiny Dancer" immediately following; the singer decked out in trademark glittered suit and sunglasses. From there, John performed a stripped-down version of his 1983 hit "I'm Still Standing."

Many acts – including Cher, Kiss and Ozzy Osbourne – have launched farewell tours only to return to the road just a few years later. But Elton insisted this if for real. "I'm not Cher," he said. He did say that after a long break following the conclusion of the tour in 2021 he will continue to write and record. "I'm 71. I can't physically do the traveling anymore. I want to be at home. I really want to spend time with my children at home. I've had an incredible life, but life is all about change."

He didn't rule out the possibility of a future residency like Kate Bush's 22-night stand at London's Apollo Hammersmith in 2014. "I haven't had much time off in my life," he said. "I definitely want to make a couple more albums, but that will be easy since I can do that at home. I want to see friends. I want to spend time at my house and with my photography collection. I'm really looking forward to this tour and I'm really looking forward to the 300th date."

The move comes nine months after he contracted a "rare and potentially deadly" bacterial infection in South America that forced him to cancel a series of shows. John spent two days in intensive care and nearly two weeks in the hospital. "I am so fortunate to have the most incredible and loyal fans and apologize for disappointing them," he said afterwards in a statement. "I am extremely grateful to the medical team for their excellence in looking after me so well."

The Hall of Fame musician resumed his tour in early June, with his husband/manager David Furnish indicating that John had no plans to stop. "Without question, Elton must never stop performing," he said. "We all have things that kind of keep us alive in life. Some people relish the idea of a retirement where they do nothing [but] for Elton that would be purgatory. Playing to live audiences is going to be something he always needs to do."  At Wednesday's event, however, John dismissed reports earlier in the day that he was retiring because of ill health.

This isn't the first time that John announced he was stepping away from live performing. "I've made a decision tonight that this is going to be the last show," he told a stunned crowd during a 1977 show in London. "There's a lot more to me than playing on the road and this is the last one I'm going to do." He was back performing two years later and continued to tour at a punishing rate. Over the past 20 years, he's played upwards of 133 shows a year that he balances between his residency at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and arenas and stadiums around the world.

Three years ago, John began discussing finally slowing down to spend more time with his young family. "I've had lots of time off with my children, and it's all got to change now that [my son] Zachary is starting school," he told Rolling Stone. "I've got to be off when half-term comes. And I am planning on cutting down my shows to be with my children, because that's what I really love."

Elton John Tour Dates

September 8 - Allentown, PA @ PPL Center
September 11 & 12 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Wells Fargo Center
September 15 - Buffalo, NY @ KeyBank Center
September 16 - University Park, PA @ Bryce Jordan Center
September 19 - Hartford, CT @ XL Center
September 21 & 22 - Washington DC @ Capital One Arena
September 25 & 26 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
September 28 - Ottawa, ON @ Canadian Tire Centre
September 29 - Québec City, QC @ Videotron Centre
October 4 - Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
October 6 - Boston, MA @ TD Garden
October 10 - Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena
October 12 - Detroit, MI @ Little Caesars Arena
October 15 - Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel Arena
October 18 & 19 - New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
October 23 - Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! Center
October 24 - Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
October 26 & 27 - Chicago, IL @ United Center
October 30 - St. Louis, MO @ Scottrade Center
November 2 - Columbus, OH @ Schottenstein Center
November 3 - Cleveland, OH @ Quicken Loans Arena
November 8 - New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
November 23 - Sunrise, FL @ BB&T Center
November 24 - Miami, FL @ AmericanAirlines Arena
November 27 - Orlando, FL @ Amway Center
November 28 - Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena
November 30 & December 1 - Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
December 4 - Birmingham, AL @ Legacy Arena at The BJCC
December 6 - New Orleans, LA @ Smoothie King Center
December 8 & 9 - Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
December 12 - San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center
December 14 & 15 - Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
January 11, 2019 - Boise, ID @ Taco Bell Arena
January 12, 2019 - Portland, OR @ Moda Center
January 15, 2019 - Fresno, CA @ Save Mart Center
January 16, 2019 - Sacramento, CA @ Golden1 Center
January 18, 2019 - Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena
January 19, 2019 - San Jose, CA @ SAP Center at San Jose
January 22 & 23, 2019 - Los Angeles, CA @ STAPLES Center
January 26, 2019 - Glendale, AZ @ Gila River Arena
January 29, 2019 - San Diego, CA @ Valley View Casino Center
February 7, 2019 - Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
February 9, 2019 - Tulsa, OK @ BOK Center
February 12, 2019 - Omaha, NE @ CenturyLink Center
February 13, 2019 - Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
February 19, 2019 - Milwaukee, WI @ Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center
February 21, 2019 - Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center
February 27, 2019 - Cincinnati, OH @ U.S. Bank Arena
March 1, 2019 - Albany, NY @ Times Union Center
March 8, 2019 - Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
March 12, 2019 - Raleigh, NC @PNC Arena
March 13, 2019 - Columbia, SC @Colonial Life Arena
March 15, 2019 - Jacksonville, FL @ Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena

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Billboard - Watch Lady Gaga Belt 'Joanne' Medley With Mark Ronson at Grammys 2018

Watch Lady Gaga Belt 'Joanne' Medley With Mark Ronson at Grammys 2018:

Lady Gaga took to the Grammys stage this year to perform her Joanne title track along with nominated song "Million Reasons" with producer Mark Ronson. The singer's 2016 album Joanne is up for Best Pop Vocal Album and the single "Million Reasons" is nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance at this year's ceremony.

"This is for my father's late sister," Gaga said as she began the intimate performance. She appeared onstage behind a white piano flanked with gigantic angel wings. Ronson played the guitar upon a stool as they launched into the recently released piano version of "Joanne." She soon launched into a rousing rendition of her hit ballad "Million Reasons," which she belted with poise and passion. Towards the end, she left the piano to stand near Ronson.

This is Gaga's fourth straight year performing at the Grammys. In 2015, Gaga and Tony Bennett delivered their cover of "Cheek to Cheek." The following year she did a tech-savvy tribute to David Bowie, who had passed away a month earlier. She joined Metallica last year for a fiery take on the metal legends' single "Moth Into Flame."

Currently, Gaga is on the final leg of her Joanne World Tour. The world trek is set to wrap on February 23 in Berlin. She'll continue exploring her acting career with the lead role in her first feature film, Bradley Cooper's remake of the classic film A Star Is Born. In December, she'll launch a residency in Las Vegas at MGM's Park Theater.

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Billboard - Watch Roy Orbison's Hologram Sing 'Oh, Pretty Woman'

Watch Roy Orbison's Hologram Sing 'Oh, Pretty Woman':

Three months before a Roy Orbison hologram takes the stage for a series of "concerts," the production company behind the spectacle released a preview of the performance. In the clip, the Orbison hologram, backed by an orchestra, plays the legendary singer's 1964 hit "Oh, Pretty Woman."

In Dreams: Roy Orbison in Concert, which has already booked April dates in the United Kingdom, features the estate-approved Orbison hologram backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The production is expected to head to United States venues in the fall.

Alex Orbison, Roy's son and President of Roy Orbison Music, previously said of the hologram: "My father had a special transcendent vocal ability that made him something of an anomaly in the world of pop and rock, but that’s what endeared him to his fans. For our family it was an amazing emotional experience to see this for the first time and we know audiences worldwide will have the same reaction."

The Orbison hologram is the creation of BASE Entertainment, the live entertainment company that specializes in Las Vegas productions, and their BASE Hologram venture. The company "fuses advanced holographic Digital and laser technology with live theatrical stagecraft to create worldwide concert tours and transformative entertainment experiences," with Orbison and opera singer Maria Callas the pioneers into this rapidly growing – but somewhat stalled – form of entertainment.

In recent years, multiple companies have attempted to bring musician-based holograms to life for world tours, from Frank Zappa and Selena to Liberace and Chief Keef. So far, only a production revolving around Ronnie James Dio's hologram has hit the road.

"This is the first worldwide hologram tour ever of an iconic superstar of this variety," Bob Ringe, BASE Hologram Distribution CEO, said in a statement. "As a result, you need a name like Roy Orbison or Maria Callas to be successful. They were both not only gifted vocalists, but they were industry game-changers, just as these tours will be."

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Billboard - Neil Young, Daryl Hannah Western Movie to Premiere at SXSW

Neil Young, Daryl Hannah Western Movie to Premiere at SXSW:

Neil Young has kept a pretty low profile over the past year, but it turns out that at least for some of that time he was working on a western movie, Paradox, that will premiere at South By Southwest in March. The film was directed by Daryl Hannah. Young stars alongside Willie Nelson, Micah Nelson, Lucas Nelson and members of his backing band, Promise of the Real.

"Time is fluid in this far-fetched, whimsical western tale of music and love," reads a brief plot description released by the filmmakers. "Somewhere in the future past, The Man In the Black Hat hides out between heists at an old stagecoach stop with Jail Time, the Particle Kid, and an odd band of outlaws. Mining the detritus of past civilizations, they wait… for the Silver Eagle, for the womenfolk, and for the full moon's magic to give rise to the music and make the spirits fly."

The Neil Young fan website Thrasher's Wheat points out work on the film stretches back at least September of 2016 when Neil Young and Promise of the Real performed in Telluride, Colorado in vintage western costumes. The film will be Daryl Hannah's first feature-length film as a director, though she did direct Young's Somewhere In Canada webcast in Omemee, Ontario late last year and the 1993 short The Last Supper. Young has a long history of filmmaking stretching back to 1972's Journey Through The Past, though he rarely acts in movies that he hasn't directed himself.

Paradox is not the only project on the horizon for Young in 2018. He's overseeing a slew of archival releases that include his legendary Tonight's The Night stand at L.A.'s Roxy in 1973 and a compilation of live cuts taped on Crazy Horse's 2012/13 Alchemy tour. He's also pledged to return to the road in the latter half of 2018, but it is unclear if he will perform solo, with Promise of the Real or with another backing group.

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Billboard - Watch Kylie Minogue Channel Dolly Parton in New 'Dancing' Video

Watch Kylie Minogue Channel Dolly Parton in New 'Dancing' Video:

Kylie Minogue plays both honky tonk angel and club queen in the glitzy new video for "Dancing." The track will appear on the Australian pop star's new album, Golden, out April 6th.

The Sophie Muller-directed clip finds Minogue channeling Dolly Parton at her most glammed out, singing the country-tinged dance tune in a lowly motel room. Each time "Dancing" hits its euphoric chorus, the video cuts to a wild club scene where Minogue and a cadre of dancers – many donning Day of the Dead costumes – stomp out a dazzling routine rooted in classic line-dancing.

Despite years of experience, Minogue said this choreography presented a new challenge for her. "I always thought I could learn routines quickly, but this was different," she said. "However, by the time I had to dance with the Grim Reaper at the end I had mastered it. And if that’s not a funny allegory for life I don’t know what is!"

Golden marks Minogue's first album since her 2015 seasonal LP Kylie Christmas and follows her 2014 set of originals, Kiss Me Once. The singer recorded much of Golden in Nashville, telling BBC 2, "That taught me about putting story into song. And then you can take that song and produce that any way you want."

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