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Mickey Hart says playing Dead & Company shows at the Sphere is like "being in the belly of a giant beast"

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Dead & Company recently launched their residency at the Sphere in Las Vegas, and drummer Mickey Hart says performing at the state-of-the-art venue has taken the band some getting used to.

Speaking to Forbes, Hart says, "We just came off of a stadium tour. So, coming to the Sphere is almost like your living room in a way. It’s very small. 17 or 18,000 seats and everybody is right on top of you. They can really see you. And you can really see them. Normally, I can’t see the end of the crowd. But, now, I can see their eyeballs. So, it’s very intimate in its way."

However, he notes, "It’s kind of like being in the belly of a giant beast - a giant robot. It’s artificial intelligence. It’s very complex. And it is a sphere. I had never played in a sphere before. So, it’s a completely different psychoacoustic situation there. You have to deal with the way it sounds and the way it looks."

"But it is a challenge. It wasn’t easy," Hart says. "There’s no sound really coming from the stage - it’s all coming from speakers all around ... there’s nobody on stage except us - which is a different situation. Normally, it’s a family affair. We just get on the stage and we do what we do. Well, we do it differently now."

"If the visual doesn’t overpower it, you’re able to find that magic when they come together.”

Hart is also a painter, and some of his artwork is part of a free interactive exhibit running alongside the residency called "Art at the Edge of Magic."

The Dead & Company Sphere shows continue through July 13.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Report: Millie Bobby Brown and Jake Bongiovi — Jon Bon Jovi's son — are married

L-R: Jake Bongiovi, Millie Bobby Brown, Jon Bon Jovi, Dorothea Bon Jovi Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Netflix

Stranger Things have happened: Millie Bobby Brown and Jake Bongiovi, the son of Jon Bon Jovi, married in secret over the weekend of May 18, People magazine has learned.

It's not clear where the nuptials took place. In March, Brown's Stranger Things co-star Matthew Modine told Access Hollywood that he would officiate the marriage.

Brown and Bongiovi first connected on Instagram and started dating in 2021, according to People. They got engaged in April 2023.

Jake is the second of Bon Jovi's sons to get married in May. People previously reported that Jesse Bongiovi, co-founder of the popular wine brand Hampton Water, wed his girlfriend, Jesse Light — yes, they're both named Jesse — on May 7 in Las Vegas at the same chapel where Jon and his wife, Dorothea, married in 1989.

Plus, Jon's daughter Stefanie is apparently preparing to walk down the aisle. Jon told Access Hollywood in January that he'd written what he called "the wedding song of the next 100 years" for her — it's called "Kiss the Bride" and is on the band's upcoming album, Forever.

Regarding Millie and Jake, Jon told Access, “We’re really madly in love with both of them because they get the idea that they’re in this together and we support it fully."

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


George Harrison's childhood home officially gets historical plaque recognition

George Harrison, age 12, in his Liverpool home; Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

The Liverpool home where the late George Harrison lived during his childhood has officially been designated as a historical site.

The BBC reports that a "blue plaque" — a marker installed by the English Heritage charity — was unveiled May 24 at No. 12 Arnold Grove in the Liverpool suburb of Wavertree. It's one of the first official plaques to be placed on a property outside London.

The former Beatles member wrote of his house in his memoir, "It was O.K. that house — very pleasant being little and it was always sunny in summer," according to the BBC. 

His widow, Olivia Harrison, was at the unveiling of the plaque. According to The Guardian, she said, "This ... recognition of George’s birthplace is a source of family pride for all the Harrisons, and something that none of us, mainly George, would ever have anticipated."

“So much of who George was came from being born and spending his earliest years at 12 Arnold Grove, undeniably a part of who George was," she continued. “He left a footprint on this world, on this country, in this city and on this street.”

She told the BBC that George had good memories of growing up in a "very tight-knit, secure family life."

"There was something about these small family places and how you learn to respect other people's space," she said. "He had a freedom where he could go run down the alley and visit his nan and then back home. That was a big deal for a little five-year-old kid."

"This was his cocoon, and out of that came such an incredible man with such vision and compassion and sensibility."

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Nathan Lane: Elton John didn't want Timon & Pumbaa to sing 'Lion King' ballad "Can You Feel the Love Tonight"

ABC/Craig Sjodin

The Lion King ballad "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" won Elton John the first of his two Oscars for Best Original Song. But perhaps it wouldn't have if the filmmakers had gone with their original picks of characters to sing it: Timon and Pumbaa.

Nathan Lane tells Entertainment Weekly that in the 1994 animated film, his character, Timon the meerkat, and Ernie Sabella's character, Pumbaa the warthog, were supposed to sing the entire song, not just the opening and closing verses. However, Elton put the kibosh on that idea.

"Elton John was mortified that the warthog and the meerkat were singing it," Lane told EW. "He said, 'The reason I wrote the score was because I wanted to have a Disney love song. I didn't want it to be sung by the rat and the pig.'"

"We did [record] a version," Lane continues. "We sang the whole thing in our character voices ... it's hard to do that and be romantic. Elton was right ... thankfully, everyone came to their senses."

Elton won his second Best Original Song Oscar in 2019 for "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again," his song from Rocketman. Having already won a Tony and multiple Grammys, Elton became an EGOT in January 2024 when he won an Emmy for his Disney+ special Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Rush's Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson reunite at Gordon Lightfoot tribute show in Toronto

George Pimentel/Getty Images

Rush's Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson made a surprise appearance May 23 in Toronto, reuniting for a concert paying tribute to the late Canadian singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot.

Lightfoot, known for songs like "If You Could Read My Mind" and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," died in May 2023 at age 84. Variety reports that at the event at the famed Massey Hall, Lee and Lifeson performed Lightfoot's song "The Way I Feel," backed by the Canadian band Blue Rodeo.

The two also joined in on the finale: a group performance of the song "Summerside of Life," which included Canadian musicians like The Guess Who's Burton Cummings and Tom Cochrane, as well as Lightfoot's daughter Meredith Moon.

“It was important for us to pay tribute to Gordon,” Lee told Variety. “Not being folk or pop artists, Alex and I were looking for one of Gordon’s songs that might better suit our style of play and we found that in ‘The Way I Feel.’ Its structure was loose and more open to interpretation than many of his more popular tunes.”

Moon seemed to approve: Lee said that she told them afterward, "Leave it to Rush to make ‘The Way I Feel’ sound prog."

"So I think we succeeded," Lee noted.

Lee and Lifeson were most recently together onstage in December at Massey Hall for Lee's book tour in support of his memoir, My Effin' Life. Since Rush retired from the road in 2015, the two had performed together in public just four times: at Rush's 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, at the 2022 Taylor Hawkins tribute concerts and at the 2022 South Park 25th anniversary concert in Colorado. Rush drummer Neil Peart died in 2020.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Mick Jagger is "very, very proud" that a NJ diner named a sandwich after him

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

The Rolling Stones played the first of two show at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium on Thursday, and Mick Jagger's onstage patter included a shot at Donald Trump and a discussion of the menu of a nearby diner.

According to the Asbury Park Press, during the show, which also included the tour debut of "Shattered," Mick told the crowd, "I was a bit worried about the weather tonight. I thought we were going to get a Stormy Daniels but we’re all right.”

Trump is currently on trial in New York City on charges that he falsified business records to cover up a hush money payment to Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. He has pleaded not guilty and has denied Daniels' claim that they had an affair.

In both 2016 and 2020, the Stones complained about Trump's use of their song "You Can't Always Get What You Want" at his rallies.

Also onstage, Jagger told the crowd, "It's great to be back in New Jersey! Last time [we played here], I mentioned that we had been to this diner, the Tick Tock Diner. So on the way to the show I found out they got a new sandwich and it’s called The Mick Jagger."

"I’ve never had a f****** sandwich named after me. I’m very, very proud.”

In case you're wondering, The Mick Jagger costs 15 bucks and consists of Taylor ham, cheese and two fried eggs on a roll with disco fries.

 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Robbie Robertson's children sue late rocker's widow, alleging elder abuse

Andrew Lipovsky/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

The three children of late rocker Robbie Robertson are suing his widow, whom he married five months before his death last August at age 80.

In legal documents obtained by ABC News, Robertson's three children from his first marriage — Alexandra, Delphine and Sebastian Robertson — claim that Janet Zuccarini committed elder abuse by taking advantage of the fact that their father's declining health had impaired his cognitive ability.

Specifically, they claim she forced The Band guitarist and songwriter to sign documents granting her financial privileges that they claim Robertson would never have agreed to.

The main claim in the lawsuit involves a home Robertson and Zuccarini jointly purchased for $6 million in 2021. Each of them owned 50% of the home and, the children claim, Robertson wanted them to inherit his 50% when he died. They would then have the choice of either selling it to Zuccarini, buying her out or jointly selling the home with her.

Instead, the children claim that after Robertson died, Zuccarini told them she was entitled to stay in the home until she died and that they were required to pay the mortgage, property taxes, insurance and maintenance on it for the rest of her life. Her claim is based on a document the children say Zuccarini had Robertson sign in March 2023.

However, the children argue that after undergoing cancer surgery in 2022, Robertson had used powerful drugs to manage his pain, which "severely impaired" his mental state. This allowed Zuccarini to "coerce him into executing documents that were oppressive, abusive, and contrary to his expressly stated intentions."

As proof, the documents cite a text exchange between Alexandra and Zuccarini, in which Zuccarini "expressly admitted in writing that she knew Robertson did not understand what he was signing," as well as a similar conversation between Zuccarini and Delphine.

The Los Angeles Times reports an attorney for Zuccarini has dismissed the complaint as "meritless fiction.”

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


On This Day, May 24, 1974: David Bowie released 'Diamond Dogs'

On This Day, May 24, 1974 ...

Fifty years ago today, David Bowie released his eighth studio album, Diamond Dogs.

Coming off the worldwide success of 1972’s Ziggy Stardust and 1973’s Aladdin Sane, Bowie dove into several projects, including a Ziggy Stardust musical and a TV production inspired by George Orwell’s 1984. When they all fell through, some of songs he was working on wound up on Diamond Dogs.

The album was a commercial success for Bowie and contained the future Bowie classic “Rebel Rebel." 

Although released to mixed reviews, with some critics suggesting the album wasn’t cohesive enough, Diamond Dogs is now considered one of Bowie’s best albums. 

One big fan of the album is rocker Lenny Kravitz, who tells ABC Audio that Diamond Dogs is “just quintessential rock 'n' roll.”

“I love David Bowie. David Bowie influenced me so much,” he says. “I mean, Diamond Dogs, such a great name. And it's a record that I listen to a lot.” (

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Cher slays with Cannes charity performance; lunch with her auctioned off for $65K

Mike Marsland/WireImage

Forget about the movies. According to Variety, Cher's performance got the best response at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Cher headlined the annual fundraiser for amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, taking the stage at the event in the South of France in the early hours of May 24. She performed her hit cover of Marc Cohn's "Walking in Memphis," plus her cover of ABBA's "Waterloo," "If I Could Turn Back Time" and, of course, "Believe."

"I thought you guys would be drunk, but obviously you’re not,” Cher told the crowd. Variety notes that Cher would have gotten the longest standing ovation at Cannes this year, but nobody sat down during her 15-minute set.

While introducing "Believe," Cher reminisced that when she turned 50, her record company dropped her and so did her manager. "So, then, I was like, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ Then a man from England" — she likely was referring to the record company executive Rob Dickins — "said, ‘I still believe in you, come here! I got a song for you to sing and we’ll see what happens.’ And this is what it was.”  

That song revived her career and is just one reason she's being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in October. Cher also contributed to the funds raised during the event: A lunch with her was auctioned off for $65,000.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Spend Memorial Day weekend with The Beach Boys: New documentary debuts on Disney+

Courtesy of Disney+

Why go to the beach when you can spend Memorial Day weekend with The Beach Boys? A new documentary about the group debuts May 24 on Disney +, giving fans insight into their rise to fame and lasting legacy, and all the bumps along the way.

The doc is directed by filmmaker Frank Marshall, who tells ABC Audio learning how The Beach Boys turned into such a legendary band is what first attracted him to the project.

“I knew it was a family story, I grew up in a musical family, too,” he says. “So I wanted to understand how the dynamics and how the blend came together.”

He adds, “I don't think a lot of people understand what went in and how hard they worked.”

While Brian Wilson is often singled out for his work in the Beach Boys, specifically on their iconic album Pet Sounds, singer Mike Love says he’s happy the documentary gives fans insight into how important each member was to the group.

“Finally the story is told from a broad enough perspective where it honors everybody's contribution,” he says, noting it's a '"bit more objective and yet unifying in a way.”

Guitarist Al Jardine says he was a fan of the rediscovered live footage in the film, sharing, “I enjoyed watching us, that young energy.”

The making of the film also helped facilitate a reunion between Love and Wilson, who hadn’t talked in years.

“We sat together, we sang together, we reminisced together,” Love says.

Wilson has since been placed under a conservatorship due to a neurocognitive disorder, but Love says Wilson still remembers a lot about their past.

“I was thinking, 'Wow, his long-term memory is way intact, better than mine,'” he says. “So that was really fantastic to see.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Can’t get enough of Bad Company: Supergroup’s debut album turns 50

Swan Song/Rhino Entertainment

On May 24, 1974, Bad Company, the English supergroup made up of former Free members Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke, former Mott The Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs and former King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell, released their self-titled debut album, which turned out to be a huge hit.

The album hit #1 in the U.S., thanks to such classic songs as “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love,” the title track, “Movin’ On” and “Rock Steady,” and went on to be certified five-times Platinum by the RIAA.

You’d think an album that made such an impact would have taken a long time to make, but frontman Rodgers tells ABC Audio it actually only took 10 days to complete. 

“We were bursting at the seams to record all this stuff,” he said, noting they recorded it so quickly “it should be in the Guinness Book.”

Kirke, who played drums in the band, adds that with so many well-established artists, making the album “was kind of like a perfect storm,” sharing it helped they were on Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song record label. 

“My goodness, it really couldn't fail,” he said.

“When we were given the green light to go on the road with our new album, we shot out of that gate like a bunch of greyhounds,” he says. “And the result was one of the great albums of all time.” 

Rodgers says “it’s a very lovely feeling” knowing the songs on Bad Company have stood the test of time after 50 years.

“When I listen back to it, I'm like, wow,” he says. “You go back in time to that moment when I first put my fingers on the keyboard ... and it's a great feeling.” 

 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Bruce Springsteen becomes first international songwriter honored with Ivors Academy fellowship

Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns

Bruce Springsteen was celebrated in London on Thursday, being honored as an Academy Fellow of The Ivors Academy. He's the first international songwriter to receive the honor by the U.K. organization, which presents The Ivor Novello Awards, celebrating excellence in British and Irish songwriting.

According to The Standard, The Beatles' Paul McCartney was on hand to present Springsteen with his honor, calling The Boss a “lovely, lovely boy” and a friend.

“He’s a fantastic guy and he showed up for me at Glastonbury,” McCartney added. “He’s known (as the) American working man, but he’s never worked a day in his life.” 

During his speech, Bruce recalled his early shows in the U.K. in 1975 and the difficulty he had finding something to eat, noting it was "a little disconcerting" that he couldn't find a cheeseburger.

He added that if London wasn't ready for burgers, it wasn't "ready" for him.

Springsteen is now the 27th Ivors Fellow. Other artists who have received the honor include Sting, McCartney,  Kate BushElton John and Peter Gabriel.

Also honored at the Ivors was Elton's songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, who received the award for outstanding contribution to British music.

Springsteen was able to attend the ceremony because he had a couple days off from his tour with the E Street Band. Next up they play Marseille, France, on Saturday.

 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Buying a Foreigner T-shirt could win you a custom Harley Davidson

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Foreigner is giving their fans a chance to win a custom Harley Davidson motorcycle, and it’s all for a good cause. 

The band is selling a custom Ticket To Ride T-Shirt, with 100% of the proceeds going to Shriners Children’s Hospitals. Each T-shirt purchased comes with a chance to win the custom Harley designed by Shawn Barker, owner of Barker Gang Inc., and Foreigner lead singer Kelly Hansen 

The bike, in “Hot Blooded” red, features the logos of Foreigner and Shriners Children’s and is signed by the band, including co-founder Mick Jones, Hansen, bassist Jeff Pilson, guitarist Bruce Watson, keyboardist Michael Bluestein, drummer Chris Frazier and former saxophonist Tom Gimbel.

More info can be found at foreignerbike.com.

Next up, Foreigner is set to launch the Renegades & Jukebox Heroes tour with Styx and John Waite on June 11 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A complete list of dates can be found at foreigneronline.com.

And this fall, Foreigner will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place October 19 at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. It will stream live on Disney+, followed by a special airing on ABC at a later date.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Syd Barrett documentary 'Have You Got it Yet?' coming to DVD + Blu-ray

Mercury Studios

The recent documentary about former Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett, Have You Got It Yet?: The Story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd, will be released on DVD and Bu-ray, as well as digitally and on demand, on July 19.

The film, which was originally released in June 2023, was directed by award-winning filmmaker Roddy Bogawa and the late album cover designer Storm Thorgerson, known for his work with Floyd, Led Zeppelin and others. It delves into the relationship between Pink Floyd and Barrett, who was responsible for giving the band its name. He left the group in1968 before they hit it big.

The film features interviews with Pink Floyd members David GilmourRoger Waters and Nick Mason, along with original band managers Peter Jenner and Andrew King.

The DVD and Blu-ray include bonus features that didn’t appear in the original movie, including two performances of the Barrett-penned “Arnold Layne,” one featuring Gilmour and David Bowie from Gilmour’s 2007 release, Remember That Night Live At The Royal Albert Hall, and the other from a 2007 tribute concert for Barrett that featured Gilmour, Mason and Richard Wright in their final performance as Pink Floyd.

Bogawa is also interviewed for the DVD and Blu-ray versions, and he and the film’s producers offer commentary on the flick. Barrett’s paintings are also explored, plus there are spoken word performances of some of Barrett’s lyrics.

Have You Got It Yet?: The Story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd on DVD and Blu-ray is available for preorder now.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Alex Van Halen auctioning off his personal collection of instruments and memorabilia

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Van Halen drummer and co-founder Alex Van Halen is getting ready to part with instruments from his personal collection.

Backstage Auctions just announced a new auction of The Alex Van Halen Collection, featuring over 350 lots filled with drum kits, snare drums, kick drums, cymbals, sticks, mallets and more. Those drum kits include Alex's 5150 tour kit and the last kit he used in concert during Van Halen's 2015 tour.

The auction will also include personal items, like a piano from the Van Halen family home, autographed pieces, tour cases and record awards, including a collection of vintage RIAA certifications.

“I kept all these drums, cymbals, heads, and all other kinds of gear, instruments, and road cases in my warehouse for decades and it will bring me great pleasure to see them end up in the hands of my fans and fellow drummers,” Alex shares, noting that a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Ride On Therapeutic Horsemanship, which helps at-risk youth and people with disabilities by using equine-assisted activities and therapies. 

Bidding on The Alex Van Halen Collection is set to open June 1, with the auction running through June 9. More info can be found at backstageauctions.com.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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