Music

Ozzy Osbourne recalls ‘most painful, miserable year’ of his life, reveals Parkinson’s disease diagnosis

For the Prince of Darkness, 2019 was a rough one. In an interview with Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America,” Ozzy Osbourne revealed that he had a “miserable” year after falling in the bathroom. “When I had the fall, it was pitch black. I went to the bathroom and I fell,” recounted Osbourne, 71, while sitting next to his wife, Sharon Osbourne. “I just fell and landed like a slam on the floor and I remember lying there thinking, ‘Well, you’ve done it now,’ really calm. Sharon [called] an ambulance. After that, it was all downhill.” Black Sabbath’s former lead singer revealed he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which is a neurodegenerative disorder that typically develops slowly over years, although not all patients are affected the same. It can cause tremors, limb rigidity, gait and balance issues as well as slowness of movement. There is no known cure for the disease, but patients can seek treatment through various medications and surgery, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation. “It’s PRKN 2,” Sharon shared of Ozzy’s diagnosis. “There’s so many different types of Parkinson’s; it’s not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination, but it does affect certain nerves in your body. And it’s — it’s like you have a good day, a good day, and then a really bad day.” The two then noted that he’s been recovering from the fall for nearly a year now. “Next month, a year,” recounted the rock star. “Worst, longest, most painful, miserable year of my life.” Osbourne’s fall resulted in him receiving 15 screws in his spine, which was followed by multiple hospitalizations, ultimately causing him to delay his tour. “I’m not dying,” Osbourne said in a video he shared to Twitter in October 2019. “I am recovering, it’s just taking a little bit longer than everyone thought it would. I’m bored stiff of being stuck on a f—–g bed all day.” In the same video, the “Paranoid” singer thanked fans for their support before saying: “Now will you f–k off and let me get better?”

Classic Ozzy…  We wish him a speedy recovery.   For more on this interview, and to see a video clip, click on the text above.

Neil Peart, Rush Drummer Who Set a New Standard for Rock Virtuosity, Dead at 67

Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist for Rush, died Tuesday, January 7th, in Santa Monica, California at age 67. The cause was brain cancer, which he had been quietly battling for three years, according to Elliot Mintz, a spokesperson for the Peart family. A representative for the band confirmed the news to Rolling Stone. Peart was widely considered one of rock’s greatest drummers, with a flamboyant yet utterly precise style that paid homage to his hero, The Who’s Keith Moon, while going well beyond that example. He joined singer-bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson in Rush in 1974, and his virtuosic playing and literate, wildly imaginative lyrics – which drew on Ayn Rand and science fiction, among other influences – helped make the trio one of the key bands of the classic-rock era. His drum fills on songs like “Tom Sawyer” were pop hooks in their own right, each one an unforgettable mini-composition. A rigorous autodidact and a gifted writer, Peart was also the author of numerous books. Peart never stopped believing in the possibilities of rock (“a gift beyond price,” he called it in Rush’s 1980 track “The Spirit of Radio”) and despising what he saw as over-commercialization of the music industry. “It’s about being your own hero,” he told Rolling Stone in 2015. “I set out to never betray the values that 16-year-old had, to never sell out, to never bow to the man. A compromise is what I can never accept.” “Neil is the most air-drummed-to drummer of all time,” former Police drummer Stewart Copeland said in 2015. “Neil pushes that band, which has a lot of musicality, a lot of ideas crammed into every eight bars — but he keeps the throb, which is the important thing. And he can do that while doing all kinds of cool shit.” Rush finished their final tour in 2015; Peart was done with the road and eager to spend more time with his wife, Carrie Nuttal, and daughter Olivia. On August 10th, 1997, Peart’s 19-year-old daughter, Selena, died in a single-car accident on the long drive to her university in Toronto. Just five months later, Selena’s mother – Peart’s common-law wife of 23 years, Jackie — was diagnosed with terminal cancer, quickly succumbing. Peart told his bandmates to consider him retired, and he embarked on a solitary motorcycle trip across the United States. He remarried in 2000, and found his way back to Rush by 2001. Peart grew up in Port Dalhousie, a middle-class suburb 70 miles from Toronto. As a teen, he permed his hair, took to wearing a cape and purple boots on the city bus, and scrawled “God is dead” on his bedroom wall. At one point, he got in trouble for pounding out beats on his desk during class. His teacher’s idea of punishment was to insist that he bang on his desk nonstop for an hour’s worth of detention, time he happily spent re-creating Keith Moon’s parts from Tommy.

I was devastated to get a text earlier today informing me of Neil’s passing.  As a drummer myself, Neil was one of my idols growing up; a hero.  My big drumset (I have three) is a Tama one…because of Neil.  I saw Rush’s “Signals” tour (in 1982) twice…and saw every tour since, except in 2008 when I was in Afghanistan playing Army.  The last time I saw Rush was in 2014 in Denver; their last tour.  Neil was one of a kind.  The band issued the following statement today, “It is with the deepest sadness that we must share the terrible news that on Tuesday our friend, soul brother and bandmate of over 45 years, Neil, has lost his incredibly brave three and a half year battle with brain cancer (Glioblastoma).  We ask that friends, fans, and media alike understandably respect the family’s need for privacy and peace at this extremely painful and difficult time.  Those wishing to express their condolences can choose a cancer research group or charity of their choice and make a donation in Neil’s name.  Rest in peace brother.”   Our prayers go out to Carrie and Olivia.. and, of course,  Alex and Geddy.  Thanks Neil for the tunes, the lyrics and the inspiration.  Our hearts are truly broken.  R.I.P.

Singer Eddie Money reveals he has stage 4 esophageal cancer

Singer Eddie Money has revealed he has stage 4 esophageal cancer. The ’70s and ’80s hitmaker, known for tunes such as “Two Tickets to Paradise” and “Take Me Home Tonight,” said his fate is in “God’s hands.” Money made the stunning announcement in a video released Saturday from his AXS TV reality series called “Real Money.” The full episode airs Sept. 12. In the video, Money says he discovered he had cancer after what he thought was a routine checkup. The 70-year-old whose real name is Edward Mahoney learned that the disease had spread to his liver and lymph nodes. Money said it hit him “really, really hard.” He’s had numerous health problems recently including heart valve surgery earlier this year and pneumonia after the procedure, leading to his cancellation of a planned summer tour.

We’re heartbroken to learn of Eddie’s cancer.  I saw him in concert, with his kids as part of his band, just last summer, and he sounded great!  We’re all pullin for ya, Eddie!  Keep the faith!

Pete Townshend pressing forward with new Who album

Pete Townshend is working full throttle on the upcoming Who album — which could be out by this spring. Townshend has been posting on TheWho.com about his current overdub sessions for the album — and the planning of the album cover art. Townshend even posted a 30-second clip of an unfinished track for the album featuring noted guitarist Gordon Giltrap supplying a flamenco-like nylon string guitar line. Townshend went on to post on the website about working with famed pop artist Sir Peter Blake — best known for designing the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as well as the Who’s Face Dances — about providing the artwork for the new Who album: Townshend wrote, “Today (January 24th) I met with Peter Blake the artist at his studio in London to discuss what he might do to create album art for the next Who album, We are old friends, going back to 1964 when we met on the set of the Ready Steady Go! TV show. Peter also studied with, and knew well, many of the lecturers who taught me at Ealing Art School between 1961 and 1964. It was great to see the amazing collection of art and sculptures he has. It’s colorful, exciting and stimulating. I shot a video with my new Vlogging camera. Sorry about the shaking — I will get better. By the way, with the help of a friend from Texas who will remain nameless but for the fact that he has a website called theentiref***inguniverse.com gave us an idea for a name for the album. Quite simply ‘WHO’. Might take us right back to the beginning, who knows.” Pete Townshend gave us the back-story on what will be the Who’s first new studio set in nearly 13 years: “I had said to our managers that I would like to tour, but only if we had a new album out. And because I had made that condition, I spent from May, June, July — and quite a chunk of August — working on 15 tracks and wrestling a few tracks from ancient history, and submitted them in the beginning of September.” Townshend told us he’s planning on adding musicians to his studio tracks to flesh out the songs: “Maybe with Pino Palladino on bass and Zak Starkley on drums to replace the bass and drums elements on the recordings that I’ve made, so that it feels more like a band. We shall see. But we’ve started, y’know, we’re in the process. Roger listened to my songs. He came back with a plan, which is, he’s away for six weeks — or nearly, eight weeks, now — when he comes back he’s going to start working on the vocals.” In celebration of their recently announced 2019 North American MOVING ON! Tour, The Who have launched a series of pop up Magic Buses straight from the 60s in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. The buses are inspired by The Who’s iconic song “Magic Bus” and compilation album, Magic Bus – The Who On Tour from 1968. Fans in New York City can see the double decker buses now through February 10th as they hit the streets all over Manhattan from Harlem to Midtown, down to Chelsea and Greenwich Village. Fans who spot the bus can also enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win two premium tickets to The Who’s tour stop nearest to them. To enter, fans can post a picture of the bus on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #MagicBusEntry and follow + tag @LiveNation in the image.

How cool is that?!?  🙂

Daryl Dragon, ‘Captain’ of pop band The Captain and Tennille, dead at 76

Daryl Dragon, the cap-wearing “Captain” of pop band The Captain and Tennille, has died. He was 76. Dragon passed away on Wednesday of renal failure at a hospice in Prescott, Ariz., according to spokesman Harlan Boll, as The Associated Press reports. Toni Tennille, Dragon’s ex-wife and longtime musical partner, was by his side. “He was a brilliant musician with many friends who loved him greatly. I was at my most creative in my life when I was with him,” Tennille said in a statement. Dragon was born on August 27, 1942, in Los Angeles. He came from a musical family with his father, Carmen, winning an Academy Award as a composer and conductor, and his mother, Eloise, a singer who worked on Bing Crosby recordings among others, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In 1967, Dragon — a classically trained musician — started playing keyboard for The Beach Boys, which led to him being given the nickname “Captain” by lead singer Mike Love because of his affinity for wearing a captain’s hat while on stage. Four years later, Dragon met Tennille, and the pair soon began performing together, with Tennille singing and Dragon on keyboards — he also later served as a producer for The Captain and Tennille. The duo went on to top the 1970s music charts with hits including “Muskrat Love,” “Shop Around” and “Love Will Keep Us Together.” “Love Will Keep Us Together” catapulted the couple to fame with their breakthrough coming in 1975 when they covered the Neil Sedaka-Howard Greenfield song, which Sedaka himself recorded in 1973 and been released as a single in Europe. The Captain and Tennille version topped the charts — and acknowledged Sedaka’s authorship by singing “Sedaka’s back” at the end of the song — and won a Grammy for record of the year. They followed with a mix of covers such as “Muskrat Love” and “Shop Around” and original songs, including Tennille’s “Do That to Me One More Time,” which hit No. 1 in 1980. They also briefly starred in their own television variety show. Dragon and Tennille divorced in 2014 after nearly 40 years of marriage, but they remained close and Tennille moved back to Arizona to help care for him. He is survived by his older brother, Doug Dragon, and two nieces, Kelly Arbout and Renee Henn.

Sorry to hear about Daryl’s passing.  He was the brains and the musical power behind that duo.  Thanks for the tunes, Daryl.  R.I.P.

Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Sues Bandmates for Kicking Him Out of the Group

Lindsey Buckingham says he should still be paid his share of the tour proceeds because he’s ready and willing to perform with the band. Fleetwood Mac’s longtime lead guitarist Lindsey Buckingham is suing his former bandmates after being kicked off of the group’s new tour. In January, Buckingham was told by his manager that the rest of the band would be touring without him, and he says none of his bandmates would return his calls to explain why. Buckingham is suing Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie and John McVie, claiming he should still be paid his share of tour revenues because he still wants and is able to perform with the group. Buckingham was with the band from 1975-1987 before leaving of his own volition to pursue a solo career, and rejoined the group in 1997, according to the complaint. He says there has never been a written band agreement and the group just agreed that each of the members had the right to veto any major decision and shared equally in the band’s ownership. “During the entire time Buckingham has been a member of Fleetwood Mac, the Band has conducted itself as a partnership with each of the participating members having veto rights over Band decision making and an equal share of the proceeds earned by Fleetwood Mac,” writes attorney Barry Mallen in the complaint. “The only exception to the unanimous consent rule within the Fleetwood Mac Partnership is that the writer(s) of the underlying musical composition of each Fleetwood Mac master recording has the unilateral right to approve or reject licenses to synchronize the Fleetwood Mac recordings embodying the applicable Partner’s musical composition with audiovisual works.” The singer-songwriter-guitarist says he was frustrated that the rest of the group wouldn’t push the start of the 2018 tour from August to November so he could release and promote a solo album, and that the band would only be playing three shows a week at Nicks’ request. So, he agreed to delay his album, but wanted to perform solo shows on off nights. Fleetwood Mac performed together on Jan. 26 at Radio City Music Hall, where the band was honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year, and a few days later Buckingham found out the band was going to tour without him. Buckingham says he would have been paid at least $12 million for his share of the tour proceeds, which the remaining bandmembers are now splitting. He is suing for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of oral contract, among other claims, and is asking the court for a declaration that because he is able and willing to perform on the tour and is being involuntarily excluded, he should still be paid his share of the revenue. Fleetwood Mac’s publicist Kristen Foster on Friday sent The Hollywood Reporter a statement in response to the complaint. “Fleetwood Mac strongly disputes the allegations presented in Mr. Buckingham’s complaint and looks forward to their day in court,” she says. “The band has retained Dan Petrocelli to handle the case.”

Sorry to hear about this..  I saw the famous “The Dance” tour with everyone back in ’96, and it was phenomenal.  Hopefully, everyone can resolve this and they can tour again with Lindsey.  But, now that the lawsuit card has been played…probably not.  Oh well..  “Go your own way..”…

Trump Signs Landmark Music Bill Into Law

President Trump signed the eagerly anticipated Music Modernization Act into law at a ceremony at the White House on Thursday, in the most high-profile event for the music industry in several years. Mike Love and Kid Rock, two of Trump’s most visible supporters in the music community, were at the White House for the signing alongside Sam Moore of Sam & Dave, country singer John Rich and the Doobie Brothers’ Jeff “Skunk” Baxter. Intended to update music copyright law for the digital era, H.R. 1551 (formally the “Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act”) accomplishes three key things: making sure songwriters and artists receive royalties on songs recorded before 1972; allocating royalties for music producers; and updating licensing and royalty rules for streaming services to pay rights-holders in a more streamlined fashion, via a new, independent entity. Under the act, many music creators will have a more reliable way of collecting the money that they’re due. “You like this legislation or do you hate it?” Trump asked Kid Rock. “I like it,” replied Kid Rock. “Everybody knows this business of music is a very dirty business,” Rock said after the signing. “There’s a lot more that needs to be done here. We need to go after the record labels next, and things like free goods. But this is a great start to protect songwriters, producers, engineers — the unsung heroes behind many of these songs that go out there. People like myself who are maybe more at the top of the food chain, it really doesn’t affect as much. But I know many people it does affect.” Kanye West is due to meet with Trump at the White House today, but did not appear at the signing ceremony. The president delivered prepared comments calling the MMA a milestone that would “close loopholes” in copyright law and help music creators get paid. “They were treated very unfairly. They’re not going to be treated unfairly anymore,” Trump added. Music business leaders reacted to the signing with enthusiasm; see some of the statements below from various groups. Spotify’s general counsel and vice president of business and legal affairs Horacio Gutierrez: “One of our core missions at Spotify is to enable a million artists to make a good living from what they love: creating and performing music. The Music Modernization Act is a huge step towards making that a reality, modernizing the outdated licensing system to suit the digital world we live in. The MMA will benefit the music community and create a more transparent and streamlined approach to music licensing and payment for artists.” Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy: “With the president’s signature today, the Music Modernization Act is officially the law of the land. As we celebrate the harmony and unity that got us here, we applaud the efforts of the thousands of performers, songwriters, and studio professionals who rallied for historic change to ensure all music creators are compensated fairly when their work is used by digital and satellite music services. We thank the members of Congress who championed this issue throughout the past several years to bring music law into the 21st century.” National Music Publishers Association President & CEO David Israelite: “The Music Modernization Act is finally the law of the land. We are incredibly grateful for the Members of Congress who passed the MMA and the President for signing it. Songwriters have for too long labored without seeing fair rates and receiving all that they deserve, and for the first time in history, the music industry has partnered with the tech industry to fix these systemic problems. As we embark on supporting and helping build the critical structures within the MMA, we are humbled by the extraordinary progress propelled by compromise and the unprecedented political involvement of music creators. Today is about their future and this bill stands as a great statement on what can be done when we work together.” Michael Eames, Alisa Coleman and John Ozier of the Association of Independent Music Publishers: “Today marks a historic step forward for independent music publishers, songwriters, and the entire music industry, as President Trump has signed the Hatch Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA) into law. This marks the first significant federal legislation since 1998’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to address the needs of rights-holders in today’s online age. We can look forward to a variety of long-overdue reforms that will make it easier to negotiate for and collect fair royalty rates while also establishing once and for all that digital services must pay for the use of pre-1972 recordings. In addition, it ensures independent publishers and songwriters a seat at the table for the new mechanical licensing collective. The AIMP is committed to ensuring that the independent publishing community and songwriters are represented fairly in the implementation and enforcement of the MMA, and we look forward to working with our partners across the music and technology industries as we move ahead in this new era. We offer our sincere gratitude to David Israelite and his team at NMPA, to the NSAI and SONA, to Senator Orrin Hatch and Congressmen Bob Goodlatte and Doug Collins, and to all parties from all sides who fought to provide a balanced outcome for all involved.”

Another win!  🙂