MUSIC NEWS: MONDAY, JANUARY 19, 2015
GRATEFUL DEAD PLANS FAREWELL SHOWS
The Grateful Dead will play a series of 50th anniversary shows, and that will be it for them. The surviving members of the Dead will play three concerts at Chicago's Soldier Field July 3-5. They say those will be their final performances.
Soldier Field is the site of their last show with Jerry Garcia, who died a month later in 1995. Trey Anastasio of Phish and Bruce Hornsby will be guest musicians, as will keyboardist Jeff Chementi from Bob Weir's side project, Rat Dog. In keeping with their roots, the Dead will sell tickets through a mail order system beginning tomorrow. They will go on sale online February 14.
MUSICIANS REMEMBER KIM FOWLEY
Joan Jett says she's ``very sad'' to learn of the death of music producer Kim Fowley, the man who created The Runaways. Jett tweets Fowley was a friend and taught her so much.
Fowley's wife says he died Thursday morning at their home in Los Angeles after a long battle with bladder cancer. He was 75. Runaways singer Cherie Currie thanks Fowley on Facebook for starting her career and calls him a ``genius.'' E Street Band guitarist Little Steven says Fowley was working on his Underground Garage radio show as late as last week and says Fowley had ``Rock Gypsy D-N-A.''
RICK SPRINGFIELD'S HINDQUARTERS TRIUMPH IN COURT
Rick Springfield's behind is in the clear. A New York State Supreme Court jury had decided against Vicki Calcagno, who said Springfield fell during a concert at the New York State Fair in 2004 and his rear end hit her in the head. She said she suffered serious injuries. Springfield testified he did not fall on Calcagno. His lawyer said during closing arguments there are no witnesses, photos or video to support Calcagno's claim. Springfield says he's relieved by the verdict.
MICK FLEETWOOD IS SICK
Fleetwood Mac ended their show early Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska, because drummer Mick Fleetwood was sick with stomach flu. Singer Stevie Nicks told the crowd Fleetwood was throwing up backstage. Fleetwood Mac cut the show an hour short. A drum technician filled in on ``Go Your Own Way,'' then keyboardist Christine McVie and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham did ``Songbird'' before ending the show. Fleetwood Mac plan to keep their date tomorrow in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE BLACK CROWES
Guitarist Rich Robinson says the reason The Black Crowes are broken up is because his brother, singer Chris Robinson, is too demanding. Rich Robinson says he loves his brother, but Chris wanted him to give up his equal share of the band and drummer Steve Gorman give up all of his share, effectively making Gorman a salaried employee. Rich Robinson says he could not agree to that.
The band has gone on hiatus twice in the past 12 years, most recently in December 2013. Chris Robinson could not be reached for comment. He is currently touring with his new band, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood.
DOLLY PARTON WILL PRODUCE FOR TV
Dolly Parton has signed a deal with N-B-C to turn her songs, stories and life into T-V programming. N-B-C plans to develop a slate of two-hour T-V movies based on content from Parton.
She will be a producer on the projects. Parton says she intends to create shows that are ``fun and inspirational with a family audience in mind.''
STEVIE WONDER WORKING ON UNDERGROUND RAILROAD PROJECTS
Stevie Wonder will be the executive producer for an N-B-C eight-hour miniseries about the Underground Railroad. It will be called ``Freedom Run'' and it will be based on author Betty DeRamus' book, ``Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories From The Underground Railroad.'' It's also in the works as a stage musical, and Wonder is writing the score.
MARTINA McBRIDE WILL GET CHARITY AWARD
Martina McBride is being singled out for her good works. The Music Business Association will give McBride its Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award at a luncheon in Nashville on May 14. McBride is being recognized for her work against domestic violence and cancer. McBride says in a statement her goal was never to be recognized for her charitable efforts but the award is proof everyone can make a difference.
MOTLEY CRUE MOVIE GETS A DIRECTOR
The man who directed the ``Jackass'' movies is now taking on another group of notorious misbehavers: Motley Crue. The Hollywood Reporter reports Jeff Tremaine will direct the movie version of Motley Crue's autobiography ``The Dirt.'' Casting will begin soon.
''WEIRD AL`` YANKOVIC IS VOICE IN BATMAN MOVIE
``Weird Al'' Yankovic will be the voice of a villain in an upcoming Batman animated movie. Billboard reports Yankovic will play The Dollmaker, a villain who is the son of a serial killer and cannibal. The movie is called ``Batman vs. Robin'' and will be released this spring.
IDINA MENZEL, JOHN LEGEND WILL SING AT SUPER BOWL
Idina Menzel will get to sing something besides ``Let It Go'' for once. She will perform the national anthem before the Super Bowl. John Legend will sing ``America the Beautiful.'' The Super Bowl is February 1st in Glendale, Arizona.
BRET MICHAELS WILL PLAY AT PISTONS-CAVALIERS GAME
Bret Michaels will perform at the halftime show when the Detroit Pistons host the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game is January 27th.
CLAY AIKEN DOCUMENTARY FOLLOWS HIS CONGRESSIONAL RUN
The Esquire Network will run a four-hour documentary about Clay Aiken's failed run at a U-S congressional seat. ``The Runner-Up'' follows Aiken as he runs as an openly gay Democrat in a mostly conservative district in North Carolina. It premieres in April.