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New Report: Beatles Nearly Recorded Revolver in Memphis

Jerry McCulley
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01.15.2008

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Deanie Parker, former publicist for Mecca Stax, now claims in Mojo magazine that the Beatles had booked two weeks at the Memphis, Tennessee-based studios in April, 1966 to record their seminal Revolver album. The plans were reportedly nixed over well-founded security concerns. Indeed, John Lennon’s infamous “bigger than Christ” comments to British journalist Maureen Cleave would cause a violent backlash in the South when they were reprinted in an American teen magazine a few months later. "I was seeing dollar signs,” Parker said. “I talked to [Stax founder] Jim Stewart and said, 'If the Beatles do come, will you give me permission to take the carpet up, cut it into squares and sell it?'" With the exception of a few isolated sessions late in their career, all of Fab Four’s epochal recordings were made at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios in London. It’s also claimed that the Fabs were offered secure accommodations in Memphis from another famous local musician—none other than Elvis Presley. —Jerry McCulley
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Buddy Holly’s Widow Gets Peggy Sued

Jerry McCulley
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01.15.2008

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Buddy Holly’s widow Maria Elena has initiated civil action against Peggy Sue Gerron, the woman who inspired the singer’s 1957 hit as a 17-year-old Lubbock, Texas high school student. Holly’s widow is demanding that Gerron’s memoirs, Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue?, be withdrawn because they are filled with falsehoods and inaccuracies. Mrs. Holly’s attorneys served Gerron with a cease-and-desist letter that claims “confusion and tarnishment of Buddy Holly’s name and Mrs. Holly’s reputation are likely to result from this unauthorized book.” Holly’s classic tune was originally named after his niece Cindy Lou, but after a troubled recording session was rewritten by Holly and Crickets’ drummer Jerry Allison, who suggested the name change—and married Peggy Sue Gerron not long after. “It's very interesting that this woman makes up all these stories,” Maria Elena Holly said in a phone interview from her Dallas home. “He never, never considered Peggy Sue a friend.” —Jerry McCulley
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Video of the Day: Les Paul in a Coors Commerical from 1997

Ellen Mallernee
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01.10.2008

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Video of the Day: Les Paul in a Coors Commerical from 1997
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Happy Birthday, Jimmy Page!

Ellen Mallernee
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01.09.2008

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Happy 64th Birthday, Jimmy! At the 2007 Classic Rock Roll of Honour awards this past November, Robert Plant best summed up the unbelievable influence and effortless talent of his Led Zeppelin bandmate in this video tribute. Page won the award for Living Legend.
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Tupelo, Graceland Events Mark Elvis Presley’s Birthday

Jerry McCulley
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01.08.2008

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The King would have been 73 today, a milestone that’s being marked by public events in Elvis Presley’s Mississippi birthplace as well as in Memphis, the city that both launched him to fame and became his beloved home. In Tupelo, a Mississippi Blues Trail marker will be unveiled at the Elvis Presley Birthplace Museum, an event sponsored by the organization in conjunction with the Mississippi Development Authority Tourism Heritage Trails Program, the Mississippi Blues Commission, and Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau. “By all accounts, Elvis Presley was the single greatest influence on modern day rock and roll in America, and much of his musical inspiration drew on the Mississippi blues,” Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said on Friday.
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That’s Captain Dickinson to You; Iron Maiden Singer To Pilot Tour Plane

Jerry McCulley
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01.08.2008

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Rock bands have leased large commercial aircraft to stage tours for decades?and not necessarily as ego trips, but rather the most efficient and economic way to transport their entourage from one city to the next. But who could imagine Eddie Vedder or Mick Jagger at the controls, wrestling a heavily-laden jetliner into the sky? Iron Maiden for one?their 2008 world tour will not only be traveled via a chartered Astraeus Airlines Boeing 757 emblazoned with a likeness of their skeletal mascot Eddie, but captained by none other than lead singer Bruce Dickinson. And if the idea of Dickinson himself piloting the band’s 113-ton 757 evokes a tragic-comic Spinal Tap-meets-Airplane! scenario to some, be advised the singer/former world-class fencer was not only fully trained as commercial jet pilot by a British Airways Captain some years ago, but in 2006 piloted another 757 to Cyprus on a volunteer mission to fly home some 200 British refugees of hostilities between Israel and Lebanon. Dickinson claims he came up with the idea of turning the Boeing into a de facto tour bus last year, accomplished by removing the last 10 rows of seats to facilitate transporting the band’s equipment. “We will be packing as much of the show into the plane as we possibly can,” said Dickinson of his double-duties on the tour. “And it allows me to combine two of my greatest passions: music and flying!” —Jerry McCulley
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Coldplay to Bolt EMI?

Jerry McCulley
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01.08.2008

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Already reeling from agonizing contractual fights with Radiohead and Paul McCartney, music giant EMI is reportedly on the verge of losing yet another major act, Coldplay. An unnamed source close to the band told the Daily Star that the band has decided “they don’t necessarily need a label anymore” and were considering following a course of action similar to Radiohead’s to free themselves from the veteran music giant. Such a move would herald further troubles for the traditional record industry in general and EMI in particular, who previously saw its share prices decline sharply when Coldplay delayed release of its third album, X&Y. —Jerry McCulley
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U.K. Town Threatens to Ban ‘Gangsta Rap’

Jerry McCulley
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01.08.2008

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The British town of Reading is threatening what few municipalities have ever seriously contemplated: banning certain genres of music outright. In the wake of a nightclub brawl that resulted in serious injuries to patrons and police alike, police inspector John Relph said that if his investigation found that hip-hop music attracts “the hardcore minority of thugs,” he would pursue banning it in his jurisdiction.
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Rolling Stone's Craziest Rock Photographs

Ellen Mallernee
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01.07.2008

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Star Jones and Lil Jon party it up. Alicia Keys and Lou Reed hang courtside. Meatloaf makes out. Pete Doherty serenades Kate Moss, who hangs nonchalantly out of a window. Come to think of it, Pete Doherty is in most of Rolling Stone's collection of Craziest Rock Photos, as are fellow newsmakers Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse. —Ellen Mallernee
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The Kinks Next On Reunion Bandwagon?

Aidin Vaziri
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01.04.2008

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When Pete Townshend asks for a favor, you don't say no. At least when you’re the Kinks, the long estranged British rock band responsible for classic rock hits like "You Really Got Me" and "Waterloo Sunset." When inducting the group into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame in 2005, the Who guitarist merely suggested that the group fronted by battling brothers Ray and Dave Davies get back together, and it seems like they're ready to comply. This week Ray announced that the original members of the band—which also include drummer Mick Avory and bassist Pete Quaife—will most likely play together this year for the first time since 1969. Of course, his brother might need a little more convincing. In November he dismissed the idea of a reunion: "It would be like a poor remake of Night of the Living Dead." The band has toured with a variety of lineups as recently as 1996, but this would mark the first time the founders joined each other on-stage in nearly four decades, in time to mark the release of a Kinks box-set called Retrospective.?Aidin Vaziri
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