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Police Reunion Tour Named 2007’s Best

11.16.2007

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If the Police had any doubts about whether their reunion tour would be successful, they can now lay them to rest for good—it was named the top grossing and top ticket selling tour of 2007 at the 4th annual Billboard Touring Awards this week. It was their first outing in 20 years, and it celebrated the band’s 30th anniversary. They kicked it off with a dazzling appearance at this year’s Grammys, and officially launched the tour in February at West Hollywood’s famed Whisky A Go Go nightclub with a news conference and mini concert. It’s been nonstop ever since.
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Prior Arrests Prevent Velvet Revolver from Touring in Japan

Ellen Mallernee
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11.16.2007

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Velvet Revolver announced on their website today that their shows in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Yokohama— scheduled for the end of this month—have been cancelled. The band's visas were denied because, a release on their website says, "Japanese immigration officials are taking exception with the backgrounds of various band members, which have included arrests." The press release continues, "We want to apologize to our fans in Japan that we won't be able to perform our scheduled concerts. We don't understand why the authorities won't give us visas when they granted them for us in 2005 for what was a successful tour and a great experience. We love Japan and look forward to our return there." Velvet Revolver will resume touring in Australia at the beginning of December in Brisbane, before returning to the U.S. for a much talked-about gig with Alice in Chains at the Gibson Amphitheatre on December 12. —Ellen Mallernee
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Les Paul Receives 2007 National Medal of Arts

11.15.2007

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Musical pioneer and namesake of Gibson’s most iconic guitar, Les Paul, was honored today as one of ten 2007 National Medal of Arts recipients by President George W. Bush at a presentation ceremony in the East Room of the White House. The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government. The Wizard of Waukesha was among 20 honorees, including 10 who received the National Humanities Medal. President Bush presented the medal to Paul “for his innovation as a musician, his pioneering designs of the electric guitar, and his groundbreaking recording techniques that have influenced the development of American jazz, blues, and pop music, and inspired generations of guitarists.” Paul—who is 92 and still plays every Monday night at New York’s Iridium Jazz Club—and other attendees were invited to celebrate with President Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, and Mrs. Lynne Cheney at a reception to honor all recipients.
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Bits & Pieces: Underwood and Urban to Tour, My Chemical Romance Lose Member, Bon Jovi for Governor?, Foos Add Tour Dates, Oasis in Studio

Ellen Mallernee
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11.15.2007

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Country royalty Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban will soon share more than just the top of the charts, when they take on a 24-city tour together this winter, beginning January 31. • My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero took a leave of absence from the band’s U.K. tour, returning home due to a family illness. In the meantime guitar tech Matt Cortez will fill in. That means two MCR member are down for the count; drummer Bob Bryar is out with a wrist injury. • It’s been rumored that New Jersey native Jon Bon Jovi has plans to run for governor in his home state. No dice, says his rep, adding that his day job’s going too well. • The Foo Fighters have announced the first batch of tour dates in support of their new disc Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. Beginning January 23, shows are slotted for Dallas, Memphis, Nashville, Worcester, Philadelphia, and Detroit. • Oasis is back in the studio to record their first album in three years, but say they won’t pull a Radiohead and let fans name their price for the new CD. Liam Gallagher’s exact words to Reuters were that it would be over his “dead body” before Oasis would pull such a stunt. —Ellen Mallernee
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Robot Guitar Contest Videos Hit YouTube!

Ellen Mallernee
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11.14.2007

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If you haven't already checked out Gibson's official Robot Guitar videos, watch them here or search for them on YouTube. Along with last week's announcement of the Robot Guitar, Gibson called for additional Robot Guitar videos to be submitted to YouTube. The challenge is already yielding some hilarious results, and for good reason: the maker of the best short film wins a First Run Limited Edition Robot Guitar. Example A:
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After 40 Years, Clapton and Winwood Reunite for Three New York Shows

11.09.2007

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After months of rumors and innuendo, it’s now final—musical legends Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood will reunite for their first full shows together in more than 40 years. Clapton and Winwood, former bandmates in the ‘60s supergroup Blind Faith, will play three shows at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden on February 25, 26 and 28, 2008. The announcement comes on the heels of the pair’s dramatic reunion this summer at Clapton’s Chicago Crossroads Guitar Festival. Winwood joined Clapton on stage during Slowhand’s set for several songs, including a few numbers from Winwood’s old band, Traffic.
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Guitar Hero: Once, Twice, III Times a Blockbuster

11.09.2007

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How popular is Activision’s Guitar Hero III : Legends of Rock? Entertainment industry bible Variety reports the rock’n’role-playing video game wracked up sales of $100 million in its first week of release. Whether it’s due to the re-recorded versions of “Anarchy in the UK” and “Pretty Vacant” the Sex Pistols cut for the project and promoted via recent network television appearances, or all that Slash-morphing and faux-shredding in the game’s clever, head-banging commercial spot, the game’s debut sales performance was the second strongest of the year, behind Halo 3. Activision also reported its quarterly earnings for the period ending September 30 were already up 69% over a year earlier, a clear sign that the video game boom shows no sign of slowing anytime soon.
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New Book Chronicles Pearl Jam Tour Posters

Gabriel J. Hernandez
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11.08.2007

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Pearl Jam’s concert posters have long been a hot commodity on the open market. And if you can’t afford the prices some people are paying (and have paid) for these posters on places like eBay and other websites, then fear no more—Pearl Jam vs Ames Bros: 13 Years of Tour Posters should satisfy your appetite. Currently available from the band’s website, or the Ames Bros website, the book is a chronology of Pearl Jam’s popular concert posters from 1995 to 2007. The 264-page hard cover book features a total of 229 posters, most of them designed by Ames Bros, but also some from Pearl Jam artist Brad Klausen. Included are individual comments on the posters from all five members of the band, and a running commentary from the poster designers themselves, who offer their insight into the inspiration, concepts and creation of each poster.
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Ozzy Fans Stung in Clever Sting

11.08.2007

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Sheriff Paul D. Laney is one smart cop, even if Ozzy Osbourne won’t admit it, or doesn’t agree with his tactics. The Cass County, N.D. sheriff recently used the famous rocker’s name in a sting operation aimed at rounding up people with outstanding arrest warrants. Laney sent out invitations to more than 500 lawbreakers offering them a chance to meet the legendary rocker at a party at a local nightclub prior to Ozzy’s gig at the Fargodome in Fargo, N.D. Of the more than 100 people that showed up, 44 were promptly arrested and taken jail, including two with pending felony charges, and several others wanted for not paying child support. Ozzy didn’t take the news very well.
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Supergroup Aims to Fight Homelessness in the UK with New Single

11.08.2007

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Former Blur guitarist Graham Coxon and some of his musical acquaintances are sharpening their philanthropic ambitions by joining forces to help fight homelessness in the United Kingdom. The new supergroup, which is called Crisis and is already in a recording studio, consists of such notables as Beth Ditto, The Enemy, Paul Weller, New Young Pony Club, Supergrass, Drew McConnell of Babyshambles, Ed Harcourt, Pearl Lowe and Andy Rourke from the Smiths. Coxon is also one of the musical artists who lent a helping hand to Gibson Guitartown London, a unique charity-inspired campaign combining the power of music with art to raise money for The Princes Trust, Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and Teenage Cancer Trust. The campaign features 29, ten-foot, hand-painted Gibson Les Paul replica guitars that were designed by some of the UK’s top visual artists and signed by many of Britain’s top musicians. The guitars have been on display in London, and will be auctioned for charity on November 20, 2007. For more information, click here.
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