Our Tour Survival Guide checks in with rockers about life on the road. Phish’s Page McConnell is starting a solo tour to celebrate the arrival of his new CD.
GOT GOOD PLUMBING?
One time in Atlanta we were putting together the set list, and as we were writing, it fell in the toilet. And it was a harbinger for some kind of plumbing problem that happened later. It?s a small theatre and a water line broke up near the concession area; ultimately, it came down through the seats and filled up a section near the stage. We had to cancel t he second set because of electricity dangers. As I recall, we sang some a cappella songs. The set list and the set itself were both under water.
SHOP TALK Doing interviews on the road is interesting. They can take you anywhere. Recently I did Public Radio in the morning and a local shock jock thing in the afternoon. Before they had me on, they had to tape up the windows of the studio because they had two strippers in there playing a game. They?d take questions over the phone and for every right answer they?d disrobe to another level. It was different than earlier in the day; I?d played a couple songs on a grand piano in a nice studio, being introduced by a guy with a deep voice. It?s funny being out in the public eye again.
Is Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band the best Beatles album? Lots of rock fans spent the weekend celebrating the classic disc’s 40th anniversary, and several pundits, took a crack at examining the album’s importance. When Rolling Stone chatted with Paul McCartney about the 1967 opus, he recalled the day of its American release, June 2. "Everyone you talked to knew about it; you didn’t have to tell anyone, ‘we just put a record out.’ It was pretty cool to have that amount of influence."
Is Sgt. Pepper’s better than Rubber Soul? Better than Revolver? What’s the best song on it?
Pop starlet Ashlee Simpson and boyfriend Pete Wentz are bringing their brand of punk lite to the world of music — Wentz and Simpson are collaborating on a track on Simpson’s new album, due out later this year. Simpson is rumored to be working with acts as various as the Cure’s Robert Smith and Timbaland in the hopes of getting a more "soulful" vibe on her third record. The Sisters Simpson are notorious for bringing off-stage collaborations on — could a reality television show and subsequent break-up be far behind for Ash and Pete?
Last night’s MTV Movie Awards bestowed golden popcorn on Johnny Depp, Sacha Baron Cohen and Jack Nicholson, among others. Host Sarah Silverman did her usual iron-fist-velvet-glove routine, especially when joking about Paris Hilton. (Amazingly enough, the heiress turned herself into authorities after the show ended). There were many highlights — like Rihanna‘s fetish gear spin through "Umbrella" and Amy Winehouse rocking "Rehab" — but our favorite was the man-love makeout session between Cohen and his Talladega Nights co-star, Will Ferrell. Enjoy. For all the backstage news and stuff you didn’t see on TV, check the scoop here.
The Wilson sisters have been together for years, and no, regardless of what their first record label would have you believe, they never had a sexual fling. Need a 60-second primer on how the "Barracuda" babes got their start? Thought so. Here, too, is a chance to see ‘em live this summer.
Courtney Love will take the stage at the House of Blues on Los Angeles’ storied Sunset Strip tonight, premiering material from her upcoming album Nobody’s Daughter. In the rehearsal video here, she sounds about as good as she ever did, and she’s looking even better — svelte, confident and manically subversive. It’s a far cry from her 2004 self, the one we had the pleasure of witnessing at the start of her last tour for America’s Sweetheart. Over 24 hours in Manhattan in March of 2004, Courtney had a very public, very rock ‘n’ roll meltdown, the sort which puts any of the anorexic peccadilloes of today’s demi-celebrities to shame. In short order, Courtney Love committed the following transgressions: She flashed David Letterman; let a man suckle her breast outside Wendy’s while posing for a photograph; beaned a litigious journalist with a microphone stand at a secret club show; got arrested; serenaded the street outside her New York City apartment; got naked on stage; and wore a tank top that read, in big, black letters, "Eat My F*ck." Publicist’s nightmare or pop junkie’s dream? Either way, it was fascinating. We’re just happy she’s back — and healthy.
The Police‘s reunion tour may have the same lifespan as a common housefly. On day two of the ’80s supergroup’s reunion tour, drummer Stewart Copeland — whose bust-ups with Sting are the stuff of rock mythology — has posted quite the complaint on his blog, titled "OUR FIRST DISASTER GIG!" Within the 700-word post, Copeland bemoans the band’s poor timing, calls the lute-wielding Sting a "petulant pansy" and labels updated versions of their hits "ubeLIEVably lame" [sic].
In other news, the band’s planning on participating in the resurrection of MTV Unplugged (if they make it) — a veritable petri dish for creativity that’s featured stunning acoustic performances by Jay-Z and Nirvana. Other acts confirmed for show include Bon Jovi, Mary J. Blige and John Mayer.
Of course you don’t have all day to find out how ZZ Top got their start. So to ‘splain you this stuff, we’ve concocted a 60-second clip that illustrates how Dusty, Billy, and the guy without the beard came to be. Here’s the true genesis of that little band from Texas.
Looks like Knocked Up has put practically everyone in a babymaking mood. Premiering tomorrow night on VH1, The 40 Most Softsational Soft-Rock Songs counts down the artists whose bedroom eyes — not to mention throaty vocals and cleverly teased hair — helped generations of Americans make generations of other Americans. Watch and you’ll learn more than you ever thought possible about these classics from the ’70s and ’80s, featuring the works of the gone-but-never-forgotten likes of Captain & Tennille, Leo Sayer and Kansas. Smooooooooth. Spoiler alert: Click below to find out who’s in the top three . . . and start your soft-rocking immediately.