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U2 CLOSES NORTH AMERICAN TOUR WITH BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & PAUL SIMON

U2 closed out its North American tour on Friday night (July 31st) -- the last show of an eight-night stand at New York’s Madison Square Garden -- with none other than Bruce Springsteen joining the band on stage. Last December, "The Boss" had subbed for Bono to front U2 in the heart of New York City’s Times Square for the band's surprise World AIDS Day (RED) performance. Just as he did at the RED set, Springsteen joined U2 for The Joshua Tree classic "I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For." As a call-back to his first performances with U2 during the band’s 1987 tour, Springsteen also played the Ben E. King favorite "Stand By Me" with the band.

The previous night (July 30th), U2 welcomed Paul Simon onstage to perform a brief, but emotional, rendition of his first solo hit, 1972's "Mother And Child Reunion" -- a tune that U2 had been allowing to creep into its setlists during the tour. On Thursday, the tune served as a benediction-like introduction to "Where The Streets Have No Name."

  • Bono feels that unlike many of their contemporaries, U2 has continued to grow with each new era, and has never felt their collective love for the band's work diminishing: "There's a certain contour that's expected of a band or an artist -- y'know, you do your best work very early on in your life, and then you kind of burn out. With our band, it doesn't feel like we're burning out. And if you were a photographer, or a screenwriter, or a poet, or a filmmaker, you might just be, y'know, getting the hang of it. But a lot of rock n' roll bands have burned out by our age. And I'm not buying into that."
  • U2 kicks off its 34-date European leg on September 4th in Torino, Italy.
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PETE TOWNSHEND: 'I'M DOING THIS TOUR IN MY SLEEP'

Pete Townshend admitted that the Who’s current tour is pretty much a cakewalk for him. During a lengthy chat with Mojo magazine, Townshend was asked why he hasn’t done more solo work and after explaining how much blood and sweat peers like Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, and Sting put into their tours, Townshend said, "The get behind their work, and the way they do that is they tour, and I don’t want to tour. The reason I can do it with the Who is that I don’t even do half the work! I’m doing this tour in my sleep, it’s so easy you can’t imagine. Roger (Daltrey), on the other hand, is struggling, battling, fighting, unsure as to whether he’s going to be able to get through the gig."

Townshend went on to say, "I go out and play a few chords, go like this (windmills his arm) a few times, and everybody thinks I’m a genius. I jump up and drown and they say, ‘Oh, look, he’s so fit!’ It’s very easy to do. The difficult bit is being stuck in a hotel somewhere for a few days longer than you might like and getting bored with the room service -- Jesus , it’s a hard life!"

  • Pete Townshend told us that he's constantly able to find ways to bring something new out of the Who's music and his performance: "No, I don't get bored with the Who show, but it is like Groundhog Day. We go out and it's like 'how can I make this different, how can I make this special.' And partly that's what I rise to, is trying to do something where I may push myself to higher heights each night and do whatever it is that I'm doing. Whether I can whirl my arm a couple of miles-an-hour faster than the night before, or hopefully play better music."
  • The Who kicks off its next North American leg on September 14th at San Diego, California's Valley View Casino Center.
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CHRISTOPHER CROSS SET FOR SUMMER AND FALL DATES

Christopher Cross has a string of upcoming North American dates popping up this summer and fall. His most recent album, 2014’s Secret Ladder, features contributions from Late Show with David Letterman bassist Will Lee, famed Beach Boys sideman, keyboardist Gary Griffin, and Paul McCartney’s longtime drummer, Abe Laboriel, Jr.

Cross is best remembered for his early '80s hits such as "Sailing," "Ride Like The Wind," and "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)." Between 1980 and 1983, Cross scored eight Top 40 hits, and won the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1980.

  • Back in 2011, Christopher Cross returned with the critically acclaimed, Doctor Faith album. Unlike most artists who pocket most of their advance for a new album, Cross actually put it towards the album's budget for studio time and paying session players: "The guitars and vocals and things were done in my Pro-Tools studio at home, by (laughs) the drums weren't. The drums were done at Capitol (Studios) B, with 24 mics on a vintage Neve (console). So, the drums were done at Capitol B (laughs) you're never going to get a drum sound anywhere but someplace like that. The album has stings on it, y'know, 30 pieces, and so yeah, a $100,000 budget on the record and probably about 60 percent of it was what we did at Capitol-- drums and strings." :
    August 8 - Meridian, MS - MSU Riley Center
    August 15 - San Pedro Auditorium - Monterrey, Mexico
    September 18 - Austin, TX - Paramount Theatre
    September 26 - Larchwood, IA - Grand Falls Casino Resort
    September 30 - Lake Buena Vista, FL - Disney World
    October 1 - Lake Buena Vista, FL - Disney World
    November 21 - Saint Charles, IL - Arcada Theatre
    December 4 - Lake Jackson, TX - The Clarion at Brazosport College
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PAUL McCARTNEY & RINGO STARR SALUTE SINGER CILLA BLACK

Surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr saluted singer Cilla Black -- one of their oldest friends and an original member of manger Brian Epstein’s NEMS creative stable. Black, who was beloved in her native England, was known in the States primarily for her Beatles connection. Black, who died at age 72 of presumably natural causes, was born Priscilla White, and discovered in Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club, were she was employed as the coat check girl.

Black, who only scored a modest 1964 Top 30 U.S. hit with "You’re My World," was a British institution, scoring numerous hits, most produced and arranged by George Martin, including "Anyone Who Had A Heart, and "Alfie." She also was the recipient of three John Lennon and Paul McCartney originals; 1963’s "Love Of The Loved," 1964's "It’s For You," and 1968’s "Step Inside Love" -- which served as the theme song to her 1968 British TV show Cilla.

  • Paul McCartney saluted Black in a statement saying: "Such a shock to hear about Cilla's passing. She was a lovely girl who infected everyone with her great spirit. From first meeting her as a cloakroom girl at the Cavern in Liverpool, to seeing her many times since, she always had a fun loving dignity that made her a great pleasure to be around. She had a fine distinctive voice and was always a bit of a laugh. It was a privilege to know and love her."
  • Ringo Starr added: "I just heard the news Cilla Black has left us she was a good friend we will all miss her peace to Cilla peace and love to the family R&B xxx."
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STEVEN TYLER TO PERFORM PRE-RACE CONCERT AT BRISTOL SPEEDWAY

Steven Tyler and Nashville-based band Loving Mary are headed to Bristol Motor Speedway for the August 22nd IRWIN Tools Night Race in Bristol, Tennessee. Steven will treat race fans to a live performance of his debut country single, "Love Is Your Name," as well as some Aerosmith favorites. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit BristolTix.com or call (855) 580-5525.

Steven is still working on his debut solo Country album, which he hopes to release sometime this fall. Originally, Steven had a completely different Country project in mind when he met the head of his current record label, Scott Borchetta. Steven tells us: "I met Scott Borchetta for the first time at a Carole King benefit for MusiCares, and we had just come off stage and I was sitting at the table and he came up to me so graciously and introduced himself and told me that he had a label and was down in Nashville, which spurred me telling him I was thinking of doing a solo project in the future, and if I ever did one, I would love to do Everly Brothers cover album. He said, ‘If you ever come down my way, look me up.’ And so, time went on and I went and met him again doing the CMAs, and the rest is history."

Steven's single, "Love Is Your Name," has even received an endorsement from a Country legend. Loretta Lynn wrote on her Facebook page, "Tyler can sing the fire out of anything he wants."

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JIMMY PAGE CAN'T SEE ANOTHER LED ZEPPELIN REUNION

Jimmy Page says it's unlikely the world will ever see Led Zeppelin live onstage ever again. Page, who's been the creative force over the extensive revamping of the Zeppelin catalogue, has been the only member of the band to promote the eight expanded sets since the reissue series began last year. Just released are deluxe expanded versions of Led Zeppelin's three final albums -- Presence (1976), In Through The Out Door (1979), and Coda (1982).

Page told The Daily Beast that following the band's triumphant one-off 2007 reunion at London's O2 Arena, he can't see Zeppelin ever taking the stage again in public, explaining, "We tried it a few times. It always seemed to be done in a hurry and it never worked. That’s why the O2 show was done with such intent. We rehearsed loads so that Jason (Bonham) -- John (Bonham's) son -- felt like he was part of the band and not just some novelty. We all needed it to be that way. But I can’t foresee doing it again, because we all have to agree and agree for the right reasons."

  • He recalled how following John Bonham's death in 1980, Zeppelin came to the decision that they simply could not carry on: "It was a blend of these four master musicians, and each of us were important to the sum total of what the band was. I like to think that if it had been me that wasn’t there, the others would have made the same decision not to carry on. Besides, we couldn’t just get somebody in there and say, ‘Do this, this way?' That wouldn’t have been honest or of the same creative nature that we had always striven for. And it’s why we still have only done it properly once."
  • Page, who has completely devoted himself to the archival digging, remixing, and remastering of the Zep catalogue, says that with the heavy lifting now done, he plans to focus squarely on making new music: "When the last batch of remasters comes out, I’ll be able to exhale and think about doing something new. I’ll be able to think about the guitar, and recording new music -- because I’ve already gotten music written -- and I’m really looking forward to that and really focusing on it."
  • Jimmy Page told us that he believes by showcasing the paths not taken by the band in the studio, be it in through performances or audio mixes, it finally gives Zep fans the full picture of what the group created in the studio over its decade-long run: "What I wanted to do, in effect was to be able to show everything that was there in the vaults in such a good way, is that what it means at the end of the day is these sort of soundbytes that were there before; there’s now twice as much studio material -- it completes the whole of the picture. And that’s it. It’s been done, it’s been done authoritatively and that’s it. I mean, I really did believe that it was the right project to do."
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FAN VIDEO CONVINCES FOO FIGHTERS TO HEAD TO ITALY

A video of 1,000 Foo Fighters fans playing the band's hit "Learn To Fly" in a field was all it took for the Foos to let those fans know that it will come and perform for them. The clip was shot as a way to encourage the group to play a show in the northern Italian city of Cesena, and on Friday (July 31st), frontman Dave Grohl posted a response -- in Italian.

Loosely translated, Grohl said in the video, "Hello Cesena, I’m David, hi, and I’m sorry, I can’t speak Italian, just a little, just a little bit. This video.. beautiful, really beautiful! Thank you so much. We are coming, I promise. See you soon! Thank you very much, love you, bye."

  • The Foos are scheduled to tour Europe later this year, so it's possible that the date in Cesena will happen then.
  • The creator of the video, Fabio Zaffagnini, said he came up with the idea a year ago, working nonstop to secure a budget through crowdfunding, hire a production team and recruit the 1,000 musicians needed for the clip.
  • He told Alternative Nation, "The Rockin’ 1000 gave me, my team and everybody involved such an amount of positive energy that . . . I felt like I was already totally satisfied. But thinking about the idea of the Foo Fighters playing together with the 1000, that gives me an emotion that could make me faint."
  • The Foos will begin the next leg of their North American tour on August 12th in Edmonton, Canada.
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QUICK TAKES

  • Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, ex-Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan, Mudhoney frontman Mark Arm and Mad Season drummer Barrett Martin will pay tribute to Iggy Pop on August 23rd at Raw Power: A Tribute To Iggy And The Stooges on the roof of Pike Place Market in Seattle. Proceeds will support Pike Place Market Foundation. The trio of McCready, Martin, and McKagan served as the core lineup for Mad Season’s recent projects in the last couple of years, including new recordings and the January 2015 Sonic Evolution concert with Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell. (Alternative Nation)

  • Coldplay, Fall Out Boy, Hozier, the Killers, Walk The Moon, Kanye West, The Who, The Weeknd and many others will perform at the fifth annual iHeartRadio Music Festival, taking place on September 18th and 19th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The festival will broadcast live on selected radio stations, stream live on Yahoo Screen and will air on The CW Network as an exclusive two-night special on September 29th and 30th from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (FMQB)
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