Beatles fans around the globe are in rapture at tweets from Ringo Starr declaring that he and Paul McCartney convened at Ringo’s home studio in Beverly Hills to record a new song, according to Rolling Stone.
The untitled track is for Ringo’s as-yet-untitled upcoming album that’s the follow-up to his 2015 album, “Postcards from Paradise.”
It was the first time in seven years that The Beatles’ rhythm section recorded new music together, since Paul added a bass part to “Peace Dream” and sang backup vocals on “Walk With You” for Ringo’s 2010 album, “Y Not.”
The 76-year-old Ringo first tweeted a photo of himself with Paul, 74, and the text, “Thanks for coming over man and playing. Great bass. I love you man – peace and love.”
Ringo followed up that first tweet with a second, this one with a photo of himself and Paul joined by his brother-in-law, guitarist Joe Walsh, former of The Eagles, accompanied by the text: “And look out Joe W. came out to play what a day I’m having.”
Walsh’s fellow Eagle, backup singing bassist Timothy B. Schmidt, also attended the sessions and it’s assumed that he contributed to the song as well.
Last July, Ringo told Rolling Stone that he was planning on hitting the studio to record his next album, probably with old pals and collaborators Van Dyke Parks of Beach Boys fame, former Eurythmics guitarist Dave Stewart and Alanis Morrisette producer-collaborator Glen Ballard and Richard Marx.
Days earlier, Ringo, Paul, Walsh, The Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and actor Tom Hanks were seen dining together in Santa Monica, NME reports.
In case you were wondering, Ringo first played with Paul, John Lennon and George Harrison in the fall of 1960 in the dangerous vice-ridden city of Hamburg, Germany, when The Beatles (with then-drummer Pete Best and bass player Stu Sutcliffe) were playing at the Kaiserkeller club. The Beatles were sharing the bill with Liverpool’s most popular band at the time, Rory Storm and The Hurricanes, which featured one of the Merseyside’s stars, drummer Ringo Starr.
On Oct. 18, 1960, John, Paul and George were hired to back up The Hurricanes’ bassist-singer Lu Walters, who recorded some songs in the small local Acoustik Studio that night. Best had the day off so Walter’s bandmate Ringo played the session. Walters and what became the classic Beatles lineup recorded Walters’ versions of the standards “Fever,” “Summertime” and “September Song.”
Ringo filled in for Best at Beatles gigs numerous times after that and on Aug. 14, 1962, John asked Ringo to become a Beatle and he accepted. The rest is history and The Beatles would never have achieved the musical or popular success the attained without as he is possibly the most creative and incisive drummer and percussionist in pop music history, whose inventive and varied performing on The Beatles songs contributed mightily to their greatness.
WILL PINK FLOYD REUNITE?
The rumor mill is rampant: Will the three surviving members of Pink Floyd reunite to head this year’s huge Glastonbury Festival in England in late June?
During an appearance to promote the upcoming exhibit on Floyd at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, Britain’s Telegraph says drummer Nick Mason and long-absent singer-bassist Roger Waters both said they are willing.
The big question mark is whether 70-year-old guitarist-singer Dave Gilmour, who skipped the V&A appearance, will end his brief retirement to do it.
Asked about the one-off Glastonbury reunion gig, Mason, 73, said: “It would be nice to add it to the list of things. I’ve never played Glastonbury. It would be fun to do it.” Then, he added, “I don’t think it would be very likely.”
Mason also quipped about the possible urgency to reunite one final time, “We’re all beginning to feel our age and may not be around much longer.”
Waters, also 73, chimed in, “I did Glastonbury once (as a solo artist). It was really cold. But there were lots of people and it seemed very jolly and I liked it. Yeah, I would do it again.”
Regarding the absent Gilmour, Waters said, “Last I heard, David retired ... I heard he retired and then he seemed to unretire, so we don’t know.”
Waters and Gilmour have fought for decades. Things came to a head in 1985 when Waters left the band he lead (he was the main songwriter after Syd Barrett left in 1968) and co-founded in 1964.
In 2015, Gilmour, told the Telegraph, “Roger and I have outgrown each other, and it would be impossible for us to work together on any realistic basis.”
The last time all four member of the band (Waters, Gilmour, Mason and keyboardist Rick Wright, who died in 2008) played together was when they reunited after 25 years to run through a four-song set at the historic Live 8 Concert in London’s Hyde Park.
The surviving trio reunited very briefly during a Waters “The Wall” gig at London’s O2 Arena when Water and Gilmour played the final song, “Outside the Wall” and were joined my Mason on tambourine.
WATERS CONSIDERS PERFORMING “THE WALL” AT U.S.-MEXICAN BORDER
Roger Waters, the only active surviving member of Pink Floyd, wants to perform his former band’s massive concert for Floyd’s hugely successful 1979 double-album, “The Wall” to a location along the U.S.-Mexican border where President Trump says he’s going to build his wall.
The concert would be a massive anti-Trump protest that could possibly draw a million or more demonstrating music fans.
In July, 1990, Waters, ever the peace and human rights activist, performed the concept album before nearly 500,000 at the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate to celebrate its fall the prior November. The production became one of the largest, most elaborate and most spectacular gigs in music history with an all-star cast that included Rick Danko, Levon Helm and Garth Hudson of The Band, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Sinead O’Connor, Cyndi Lauper, Marianne Faithfull, German band The Scorpions, Paul Carrack of Squeeze, Thomas Dolby and Brian Adams.
In an interview with AFP Euronews, Waters said “The Wall” is “very relevant now with Mr. Trump and all of this talk of building walls and creating as much enmity as possible between races and religions ... There will first need to be an awakening against (Trump’s) far-right policies. The sewers are engorged by greedy and powerful men as I speak to you.”
Regarding what he sees as his job, Waters opined, “Music is a legitimate place to express, protest. Musicians have an absolute right, a duty, to open the mouths to speak out.”
Earlier, Waters compared Trump’s presidential candidacy to the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi’s in Germany in the early 1930s, saying that “Trumpism” is “just as dangerous” as Fascism.
Meanwhile, Waters added nine more shows to his upcoming Us + Them tour, bringing the number of shows in the U.S. and Canada to 52 (not counting his possible “Wall” show on the border). The tour kicks off on May 26 in Kansas City at the 19,250-seat Sprint Center.
The jaunt , that will include Floyd classics plus songs from his solo career, includes three shows at the 19,000-seat Staples Center in downtown L.A. on June 20, 21 and 27.
WILL NUGENT, KID ROCK RUN FOR SAME SENATE SEAT?
What a senate race. Apparently, both Ted Nugent and Kid Rock are interested in running as Republicans for the same U.S. Senate seat in their home state of Michigan in 2018, according to Salon.com. Democrat Debbie Stabenow, who holds the Senate seat in question, is in her third six-year-term.
In an interview with the Daily Caller, Nugent said, “I’m always interested in my country and the great state of Michigan great again, and there is nothing I wouldn’t do to help in any way I possible can.”
Meanwhile, a county co-chair of Trump’s Michigan campaign, Wes Nakagiri, told the Daily Caller that a behind the scenes movement has emerged to get Kid Rock to enter the race, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Nakagiri, a Tea Party activist, told the Free Press, “Rock has name I.D., is an out-of-the-box idea, and would kind of get rid of that stodgy Republican image.” That, he would.
STOOKEY’S NEW TRUMP PARODY
Folk legend Paul Stookey, formerly of Peter, Paul and Mary, is no stranger to politics or fighting for what he believes is right.
Stookey, who also goes by Noel Paul Stookey, performed with his trio at Martin Luther King’s historic 1963 March on Washington. They marched with the civil rights activists in the Deep South at the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery March. They were with Cesar Chavez and his United Farm Workers, and supported Bishop Desmond Tutu’s fight to end apartheid in South Africa and participated in countless anti-Vietnam War demonstrations and they protested wars here, there and everywhere for decades.
Now 79, Stookey, who last weekend played a couple southern California shows with his longtime buddy and singing partner Peter Yarrow (the third partner in the group, Mary Travers, died of leukemia in 2009 at age 72), is at it again.
A few weeks ago, Stookey was sitting in his home, talking about President Trump with his wife and a friend, Becky McCall. They were discussing what they considered “egregious overreach” by Trump and his top officials. Even though Trump had been president for only a few days, they debated whether or not he could be impeached.
Suddenly, Nat King Cole’s classic, “Unforgettable,” filled McCall’s head mind, according to the Portland Press Herald. The thing is, instead of, “Unforgettable, that’s what you are,” it came out, “Impeachable, that’s what you are.” Voila, they had a new parody.
In the garage of his home in Ojai, where the Stookey’s spend each winter, with a glint in his eye and a sly smile on his face, he then recorded a video of himself singing the song.
He posted “Impeachable” on YouTube last Tuesday and it’s already gotten more than 50,000 views. Writer Stephen King so loved it that he tweeted it out.
In an email response to the newspaper, asking if he believed Trump was, indeed, impeachable, Stookey replied: “The fact that Trump’s campaign members, (former national security adviser Michael) Flynn and other Cabinet members are conceivably in violation of ‘consorting’ with Russia is probably the most prominent” reason.
He continued, “But of course, the irresponsible attempt to ban immigration on the basis of religion and the conflicts of interest that naturally accrue by virtue of the lack of financial accountability, divestiture of personal wealth, holdings in foreign companies, etc., also play into the mix.”
He says he’s gotten feedback from the song. In his email, he said, “Most folks (are) thanking me for articulating musically what they’re feeling personally.”
OBIT: JAZZ GUITAR GREAT CORYELL
Legendary jazz guitar pioneer Larry Coryell, known as the Godfather of Fusion, died of heart failure on Sunday at age 73 in his New York City hotel room, according to Billboard. According to his publicist John Lappen, “He passed away in his sleep.”
Coryell, who replaced another jazz great, Gabor Szabo, in drummer Chico Hamilton’s quintet in late 1965, had just played gigs on Friday and Saturday at the intimate 180-seat Iridium Jazz Club on Broadway in Manhattan.
He pioneered jazz fusion, which blends jazz mostly with rock, but also with R&B, Indian ad Latin music and funk, before it was labeled fusion.
His highly-acclaimed solo albums in the late ‘60s and early-‘70s, featured a who’s who of jazz and fusion greats, from trumpeters Miles Davis, Chet Baker and Randy Brecker, double (standup) bassist Ron Carter, drummers Alphonse Mouzon, Elvin Jones and Billy Cobham, keyboardist Chick Corea, vibraphonist Gary Burton, and fellow guitarist John McLaughlin.
In 1973, Coryell formed the important jazz fusion group The Eleventh House with, among others, Brecker and Mouzon. Fusion buffs gave the outfit nearly the respect it gave fabled groups Return to Forever and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.
In 1979, he formed The Guitar Trio with fellow virtuosos McLaughlin and flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia. McLaughlin and de Lucia were forced to let Coryell go in the early ‘80s, replacing him with Al Di Meola because of his drug addiction (he successfully recovered).
Coryell completed a pair of operas based on the works of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, and at the time of his death, he was working on another, this one inspired by Irish writer James Joyce.
Recently, Coryell reconvened The Eleventh House with founding member Brecker. They inked a new record deal and announced an eight-concert tour of jazz clubs set for June (with more shows promised to be added).
OBIT: JAMES BROWN’S DRUMMER STUBBLEFIELD
Clyde Stubblefield, James Brown’s “Funky Drummer,” died on Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin, of kidney failure at age 73, according to the Washington Post.
The hugely influential drummer lived in Madison from the time he left Brown’s band in 1971 until his death. Shortly before his death, the University of Wisconsin at Madison announced that he was to be the recipient of an honorary degree in May. The award will be presented to his family posthumously.
During the ‘80s, his drum break on Brown’s 1970 single, “Funky Drummer,” was sampled countless times, becoming possibly the single most important drum rhythm or pattern in the history of hip-hop.
In 2011, he was voted the No. 2 Greatest Drummer of all Time in LA Weekly, behind Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham. Such was the greatness of his innovative and oft-copied style that he was named Drummer of the Year in Rolling Stone in 1990, and last year, the magazine listed him at the sixth Best Drummer of all Time.
A pair of his drumsticks is on display in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; and Oct. 10, 2015, was declared Clyde Stubblefield Day in Madison.
Stubblefield grew up in Macon, Georgia, and in his late teens was playing in a band led by fellow Macon-area native Otis Redding. As a 22-year-old in 1965, he joined Brown’s band. Over the next six years he played on such Brown classics as “Cold Sweat,” “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud,” “Super Bad,” and “Sex Machine.”
He was with Brown when he toured Vietnam, performing for the troops. On Apr. 5, 1968, the night after Martin Luther King’s assassination and after a night of violence in the city, Brown’s televised performance at the Boston Garden with Stubblefield behind the skins, and its subsequent replays on the area PBS station, WGBH, is credited with keeping people at home that second night, while angry, fed-up citizens continued to riot in dozens of cities throughout the U.S.
Brown almost always retained all the songwriting credits for everything he and his band recorded, regardless of the often-considerable contributions from various individual members of his band. Consequently, aside from his meager salary as a band member, Stubblefield received no royalties. In 2011, he told the New York Times, “All my life I’ve been wondering about my money.”
He dealt with bad health during the final years of his life. He had a kidney removed, survived bladder cancer, suffered from renal disease and underwent dialysis several time a week for years.
With all this came daunting medical bill for the man with the reputation for never appearing to break a sweat during his live performances. The man was without any medical insurance.
After Prince died last year, Stubblefield disclosed that the Purple One paid every one of his medical bills in full in gratitude for his contribution to music. Prince did this with the promise that his generosity remained a secret. It should be noted that the two men never met.
Steve Smith writes a new Classic Pop, Rock and Country Music News column every week. Like, recommend or share the column on Facebook. Contact him by email at Classicpopmusicnews@gmail.com.
Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.