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Gibson to Release Limited-Edition Bob Dylan Acoustic Signed by Folk-Rock Legend


Image Courtesy of Gibson BrandsGibson will be releasing two new acoustic guitars based on the SJ-200 model played by Bob Dylan and designed with input by the legendary singer-songwriter.

The first is the limited-edition Bob Dylan Autographed SJ-200 Collector's Edition, which exactly replicates Dylan's custom-made SJ-200.  Only 175 on the instruments will be produced, each one boasting a label autographed by Bob.  The guitar features a headstock with an inlay of Dylan's "eye logo," as well as fancily decorated double pick guards.  The instrument will come with a hard-shell carrying case featuring an embroidered version of the aforementioned eye logo.

The second guitar is called the SJ-200 Player's Edition, and features a design similar to that of the Collector's Edition, but made with different types of wood.  This model comes with an an LR Baggs brand Anthem pickup.

"After years of design and development overseen by the artist's personal guidance, these new models represent the best in artistry and performance just as Bob Dylan represents the best in American songwriting," says Gibson Brands chairman Henry Juszkiewicz.  "Taking elements from the historic SJ-200 line and blending them with Bob's personal vision for a signature model, these guitars represent the best of music history."

No release date has been announced for the guitars.

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Roger Daltrey Says He's Considering Recording a Beyonce Song for Upcoming Solo Album


Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The WhoWhat do The Who's Roger Daltrey and R&B star Beyonce have in common, other than both being singers?  Could be a lot more than that, depending on Daltrey himself.

In a recent video interview with GulfNews TV, Daltrey was asked for his opinion about several contemporary pop and rock artists, including Beyonce, and he reported that he's actually considering recording one of her songs. 

"Class," Daltrey declared when the pop/R&B superstar's name was mentioned.  "I'm making a solo album at the moment and I'm toying with doing one of her own songs -- a Beyonce song, just kind of changing the lyrics a bit and put it in the male."

Daltrey also addressed recent comments he made in the press about U.K. boy band One Direction, in which he apparently implied that he thought the group's music would not be considered significant over time.  Roger explained that he'd been "rather misquoted with One Direction," and that he hadn't been attacking the band.  "They've done incredibly well, and you can't knock that, that they've become the biggest pop band in the world," the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer stressed.  "We were a pop band once, and there's nothing wrong with that...but I don't know what music will have significance in the future."

The 70-year-old singer also put his two cents in about Justin Bieber and his recent troubles.  "What a shame.  The boy needs help," said Daltrey, then addressed Bieber directly, saying, "Justin, give me a call, otherwise you're gonna end up like Keith Moon, and it'll be 'Goodnight, Vienna,' and I've lost too many friends.  You don't need to go. You've got a lot to offer."

Daltrey also commented briefly about Taylor Swift, whom he called a "good country artist" and a "good-looking girl," and Kings of Leon, which he said are a "good" American rock ''n' roll band.

Lastly, Roger was asked to share his thoughts on the oft-maligned Coldplay.  He praised Chris Martin's melodies and said that the sound that the band created "was totally original in its day," but noted that he isn't a fan of Martin's stage antics.

"I just wish he wouldn't run around so much on the stage, because it takes away from the music.  It doesn't make the music stronger.  It weakens it," Daltrey maintained.  "He doesn't need to do it.  When did you ever see Elvis run on the stage?"

Roger added that he has the same criticism of Mick Jagger.  "Stop it!" he declared.  "Stand still and dance."

The Who launch the U.K. leg of its 50th anniversary tour on Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland.

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Billy Joel Denies He Smoked Cigarettes with Obama


Lloyd Bishop/NBCThere have been some odd rumors about Billy Joel over the years, but one recent one prompted the Piano Man to issue a statement.  It turns out he did not, during a recent trip to the White House, take a smoke break with President Obama.

The D.C. publication The Hill claimed earlier this week that Billy was overheard at a Washington bar telling someone, "I was at the White House recently, and President Obama...said, ‘I’m going out on the North Portico to have a smoke. Do you want to come with me?”  According to the publication's claim, Billy said that he replied, "Well, I haven’t smoked in a long time,” but then admitted that he couldn't turn down the offer. 

The Hill further reported that Billy may have been referring to the time last December when he was at the White House for the Kennedy Center Honors.

However, Billy said in a statement to the New York Daily News. "The Obama part of the story is completely untrue. Nothing like that ever happened. I think their 'spy' had a few too many cocktails at that bar."

But if the "Obama part" of the story isn't true, which part is?  Likely the other half of The Hill's report.  It stated that Billy told a source at the bar that when he was on Capitol Hill last week to accept the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, he was in Rep. John Boehner's office, and the Speaker of the House "pulled out a pack of cigarettes and offered me one. And I said, ‘No thanks, I quit.’”

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Bryan Adams, Cyndi Lauper Among Artists Set to Perform at 2015 Grammy Foundation Legacy Concert


Badman Ltd.; WeTVOn February 5, three days before the Grammy Awards, a special concert event called "Lean on Me: A Celebration of Music and Philanthropy" will take place that will feature performances by a variety of previous Grammy winners, including Bryan Adams, Cyndi Lauper, Melissa Etheridge and country legend Willie Nelson.

The event is the 17th annual concert staged by the Grammy Foundation, and it's designed to highlight the organization's efforts to preserve our musical legacy.  Also on the bill are contemporary artists Robin Thicke and Aloe Blacc.  The theme of the event is the evolution of music's role in helping charitable causes, and so the concert will celebrate iconic charity songs and concerts.

More artists will be added to the bill in the coming weeks. Tickets to the event, which will take place at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, cost $45 and are on sale now at GrammyFoundation.org.

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Patti LaBelle Confirmed for Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Washington, D.C.


Photo: Carlo Dalla ChiesaPatti LaBelle is among the performers scheduled to participate in the National Christmas Tree Lighting, taking place December 4 in Washington, D.C.

The legendary singer will be joined by Norwegian pop duo Nico & Vinz and award-winning vocal group The Tenors at the 92nd annual event, which will be held at the White House Ellipse at President’s Park.  The ceremony will be streamed live at TheNationalTree.org starting at 4:30 p.m. ET, but if you miss it, it will air on public television throughout December.

Additional performers and special guests for the event will be announced soon.

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Sting & John Mellencamp Join Billy Joel Onstage at Madison Square Garden


Myrna Suarez/Getty ImagesBilly Joel's Tuesday night concert at New York City's Madison Square Garden featured a couple of pre-Thanksgiving treats: guest appearances by his pals Sting and John Mellencamp.

According to multuple reports, Sting joined Billy to perform a duet on Billy's 1986 song, "Big Man on Mulberry Street."  Sting sang that same song earlier this month as a tribute to Billy at the ASCAP Centennial Awards.  Mellecamp, meanwhile, took the stage to sing his hit "Crumblin' Down," while Billy backed him up. The entire set list is posted on Setlist.fm.

The show was Billy's 11th at the Garden since he started his once-a-month residency there in January.  He already has shows scheduled through July 1 of 2015.  If he plays it, that show will break the record for most concerts by a single act at the legendary New York venue: it'll be his 65th career show there.

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Rolling Stones' Muscle Shoals Sessions to Be Commemorated with Historic Marker


Image Courtesy of RankinThe 45th anniversary of a historic recording session by The Rolling Stones at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama, will be commemorated with a marker next week in the nearby town of Florence.  The unveiling ceremony is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET on Friday, December 5, at the site of a former Holiday Inn where the band stayed while working on several of their classic songs at the renowned studio.

In early December of 1969, the British rock legends recorded "Wild Horses," "Brown Sugar" and "You Gotta Move," which all eventually were released on the group's 1971 album, Sticky Fingers.  Studio co-owner Jimmy Johnson, who also was the guitarist of the famed group of Muscle Shoals session musicians known as The Swampers, engineered The Stones recordings, and will be in attendance at the ceremony.

"The Stones' visit was a major turning point," says Johnson.  "I am very excited about the marker and appreciate the state support for our efforts to preserve and promote Muscle Shoals Music."

The acclaimed 1970 Rolling Stones documentary Gimme Shelter includes footage of the some of the band's members recording in Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and also listening to a recording of "Brown Sugar" in a room at the Holiday Inn, which was torn down during the 1970s.  Some of those scenes also appear in the 2013 Muscle Shoals documentary, as do new interviews with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards recalling the sessions.

The Alabama Tourism Department was responsible for producing the marker.

"Because the Muscle Shoals documentary contained actual film footage of the Rolling Stones' recording sessions here, more people are aware of that history,” says Tourism Department director Lee Sentell.  "This should be…a unique photo opportunity for fans of the Stones."

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Paul Simon, James Taylor Performing at NYC Benefit Show Honoring Late Saxophonist Michael Brecker


Mark Seliger; James O'MaraTwo of America's all-time great singer/songwriters, Paul Simon and James Taylor, will perform at a benefit event that will pay tribute to their late friend and Grammy-winning sax player Michael Brecker.  "The Nearness of You" benefit concert will be held on January 20, 2015, at Lincoln Center in New York City.

The show, which also feature Bobby McFerrin and other well-known musicians, will raise money for cancer research at Columbia University Medical Center, and the work of two respected doctors, Azra Raza and Siddhartha Mukherjee, who are focused on finding a cure for Myelodisplastic Syndromes (MDS).  Brecker died at the age of 57 in 2007 after a battle with MDS.

Meredith Viera will emcee the event, which is being produced by Michael's widow, Susan Brecker.

"When I learned that a cure for MDS will likely provide the key to curing leukemia, I realized there was no better way to honor my husband's legacy than by raising important funds for research through this benefit concert," says Susan in a statement.

Tickets for the concert are priced starting at $200 and are on sale now.  You can buy them at the Jazz at Lincoln Center box office in New York, via the phone by calling 212-721-6500 or online at Jazz.org.

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New Supergroup Revolution Saints Features Members of Journey, Night Ranger, Whitesnake


Frontiers RecordsMembers of three big rock bands of the '80s, Journey drummer Deen Castronovo, Night Ranger singer/bassist Jack Blades and ex-Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich, have joined forces in a new supergroup called Revolution Saints.  Castronovo pulls double duty in the band, serving as lead singer as well as keeping the beat.

Revolution Saints will release its self-titled debut album on February 24.  The band was the brainchild of Serafino Perugino, president of Frontiers Records, who wanted to put together a project that would showcase Deen's vocal talents. The 12-track album features songs that combine the soaring melodies and virtuoso musicianship for which the band members' other groups are known.

Two other current members of Journey, guitarist Neal Schon and frontman Arnel Pineda, make guest appearances on Revolution Saints.  Schon is featured on a song titled "Way to the Sun," while Pineda sings on a tune called "You're Not Alone."

"Revolution Saints, to me it's '80s-vibe rock with nuts," says Castronovo in a promo video for the album posted on the Frontiers Music YouTube channel.  "I mean, you got …tons of melody, huge hooks and then you got amazing musicians."

Adds Deen, "Nobody really played it safe on this.  It had enough freedom and it had enough air in it to where we could bring each one of our styles into this."

Revolution Saints will be available on CD and high-quality vinyl, as well as in a deluxe edition CD/DVD set and as a digital download.  The deluxe release will offer three bonus tracks, and the DVD will include a making-of documentary, three promotional videos and one lyric video.

Here's the track list for Revolution Saints:

"Back on My Trail"
"Turn Back Time"
"You're Not Alone" (featuring Arnel Pineda)
"Locked Out of Paradise"
"Way to the Sun" (featuring Neal Schon)
"Dream On"
"Don't Walk Away"
"Here Forever"
"Strangers to This Life"
"Better World"
"How to Mend a Broken Heart"
"In the Name of the Father (Fernando's Song)"

Bonus Tracks (Deluxe Edition only)
"You Are Not Alone" (Arnel Pineda version)
"Way to the Sun" (Doug Aldrich version)
"You Are Not Alone" (Deen Castronovo version)

DVD Content (Deluxe Edition only)
Making of the Album documentary
"Turn Back Time" (promo video)
"Back on My Trail" (promo video)
"Here Forever" (promo video)
"Way to the Sun" (lyric video)

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Steven Tyler to Perform at 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Concert


Image Courtesy of Steven ErleAerosmith's Steven Tyler is one of the music artists chosen to perform at this year's Nobel Peace Prize Concert, which will be held on December 11 at the Oslo Spektrum in Oslo, Norway.  The concert takes place the day after the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, which will honor two human-rights activists, India's Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, for "their struggle against the oppression of children and young people, and for the right of all children to education."

Tyler says in a statement, "I am excited to bring rock 'n' roll to this incredible night, honoring some of the world's most courageous activists."

Other performers on the concert's lineup include hip-hop star Queen Latifah, British soul singer Laura Mvula, and Norwegian singer Gabrielle.  Queen Latifah will also host the event.

The Nobel Peace Prize Concert is broadcast around the world, both on television and online: check NobelPeacePrizeConcert.org to find out when and where to watch the show in your area.  Artists that have performed at previous Nobel Peace Prize Concerts include Paul McCartney, Sting, Santana, Willie Nelson, Annie Lennox, Bon Jovi and A-ha.

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Joni Mitchell Put the Kibosh on Film that Would Have Starred Taylor Swift as Her


Jonathan Meyers; ABC/Ida Mae AstuteA couple of years ago, there was talk of a movie version of the book Girls Like Us, which focused on the impact of female singers Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and Carole King.  There also was word that pop superstar Taylor Swift had been cast as Mitchell in the film, but it was never made.  Now Joni is claiming it was she who pulled the plug on the project.

Speaking to the Sunday Times of London, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer says, "I squelched that!  I said to the producer, 'All you've got is a girl with high cheekbones.  It's just a lot of ­gossip, you don't have the great scenes.'"  She also says she didn't agree with the source material, which was written by Sheila Weller.  "There's a lot of nonsense about me in books: assumptions, assumptions, assum­p­tions," Mitchell tells The Times.

In October of 2012, Swift said she was eager to portray Mitchell, telling Rolling Stone, "I wish I could say it's confirmed!  But the thing about movies that I've learned is -- I've been reading scripts for five years, and you just don't know what ones are going to get greenlit and which ones aren't, so I can't talk about it unless it's the real thing."

Girls Like Us would've been Swift's first dramatic role, after making her acting debut in the 2010 romantic comedy Valentine's Day.  The 24-year-old singer finally got that dramatic role this year, when she appeared in the movie The Giver.

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Watch Official Lyric Video for The Who's New Song, "Be Lucky"


Geffen/Universal MusicThe Who has premiered an official lyric video for their new song, "Be Lucky," streaming now at VEVO.com.  The track, which appears on the recently released The Who Hits 50! compilation, is the first new tune from the band since 2006.

The video features a montage of archival clips -- both rare and recognizable -- from throughout the band's career, while the lyrics pop up in animated form, reflecting the same classic comic-book graphics featured on the cover of The Who Hits 50!  Among the recognizable segments are clips from the band's promotional videos for "Happy Jack," "Who Are You," and "Don't Let Go the Coat."

All royalties from sales of "Be Lucky" are being donated to Teen Cancer America, the charity that The Who's Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend co-founded in 2011.

The Who kicked of their 50th anniversary tour on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, which was the band's first-ever concert in the Middle East.  The rock legends will begin the U.K. leg of the trek this Sunday, November 30, in Glasgow, Scotland.

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Joni Mitchell to Discuss New Box Set, "Love Has Many Faces," During "Tavis Smiley" Appearance Tuesday


RhinoJoni Mitchell will make a rare television appearance when she visits PBS' Tavis Smiley show on Tuesday night.  The lauded singer/songwriter will reminisce about her eventful life and career, and also will chat about her just-released box set, Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, a Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced.

The 53-song, four-CD collection, which was curated by Mitchell herself, began as the soundtrack to a planned dance production that was to have been put on by Canada's Albert Ballet, but was abandoned when she was unable to settle on a list of tunes for the project. Joni eventually wound up gathering the songs into four separate themed sections, each one that she views as a potential ballet act, and each corresponding to a disc in the box set.

In addition to compiling Love Has Many Faces, Mitchell designed the package, which includes six new original paintings, a selection of lyrical poems and extensive liner notes telling the story behind the project.

Check your local listings to find out when Tavis Smiley airs in your area.

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Surviving Beatles Sign Antique Piano to Help Raise Money to Aid Louisiana Veterans


Image Courtesy of Kim Bergeron for East St. Tammany Habitat for HumanityThe two surviving Beatles have lent a hand to help raise money for an effort to build affordable homes for local military veterans in the New Orleans area.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have both autographed a restored piano decorated with painted images of the Fab Four. The piano is scheduled to be auctioned off soon to benefit an effort of a branch of Habitat for Humanity.

Kim Bergeron, a freelance public-relations strategist who worked pro bono for the East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity in Slidell, Louisiana, was instrumental in getting the rock legends to sign the piano -- no easy task since McCartney and Starr rarely autograph items these days.  NOLA.com reports that Bergeron contacted McCartney first, hoping that Sir Paul would lend his signature when he played an October 11 show in New Orleans.  That couldn't be arranged, but she was able to get Ringo to agree to sign the instrument when he and his All-Starr Band performed in Biloxi, Mississippi, on October 17.

Getting McCartney's John Hancock took a bit more doing.  His reps contacted Bergeron to tell her that Paul would be able to sign the piano if the instrument could be brought to Louisville, Kentucky, where he performed on October 28.  What was supposed to be a 10-hour journey turned into a 30-hour ordeal when the truck hired to transport the piano broke down multiple times along the way.  Eventually, the piano was brought to Louisville's KFC Yum! Center, where Macca signed it, and treated Bergeron and some of her associates to a meet-and-greet too.

The story behind the piano also is interesting.  The antique, upright instrument, which dates back to the late 1800s, was donated to the East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity in August by a Mississippi woman.  The piano was then restored and painted by Slidell artist Lori Gomez, and the initial plan was auction it at East St. Tammany Habitat's "Home Is Where the Art Is" gala this past Friday.  However, when McCartney's and Starr's signatures were procured, it was decided to make the instrument available for bidding via a national auction, the details of which are still being finalized.  The piano was put on display at the Slidell charity event.

Funds raised by the sale will go toward the East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity's Veterans Build initiative, which will supply housing to one or more local veterans.  Bergeron tells ABC News Radio that now that the piano has been autographed by the Beatles band mates, the organization is hoping it can bring in enough money to fund homes for as many as 10 vets and their families.

You can read the story behind the piano and Bergeron's quest to get it signed by the rock legends at her personal blog, RightBrainDiaries.com.

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Ariana Grande "Silly Beyond Belief," According to Bette Midler


ABC/Kelsey McNeal; Warner Bros. RecordsAriana Grande's sexy dance moves go over well with her fans, but music legend Bette Midler is calling out Grande and other young pop stars for using their sex appeal to sell albums.

In an interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph Midler, 68, bemoaned the state of today's female artists while discussing her latest album, It’s the Girls, a compilation of covers of the girl bands of her youth. She calls what's happening today "terrible."

"It’s always surprising to see someone like Ariana Grande with that silly high voice, a very wholesome voice, slithering around on a couch looking so ridiculous," she explains, adding, "I mean, it’s silly beyond belief and I don’t know who’s telling her to do it."

Midler stresses that she doesn't think it's Ariana's fault. She believes the "Problem" singer's managers are at the bottom of it.

"I wish they’d stop. But it’s not my business, I’m not her mother. Or her manager," Bette says. "Maybe they tell them that’s what you’ve got to do. Sex sells. Sex has always sold."

Midler thinks artists have the freedom to do whatever they want these days, but that's not always a good thing.  "Whatever strictures there were have fallen apart," she tells the newspaper. "And now it’s whatever you feel like doing you can do. I mean, apparently people really like to pretend they’re having sex. They really like to slap each other’s butts."

Midler acknowledges that she could be the one who's out of touch, but adds, "I don’t know what the end game is going to be. I don’t know where you go from all that sex in your twenties. I don’t know how you sustain it."

Midler's advice for a young woman who wants to get into show business today: "Trust your talent," she advises. "You don’t have to make a whore out of yourself to get ahead. You really don’t."

It’s the Girls features The Divine Miss M tackling songs made famous by The Shirelles, The Ronettes, The Chiffons, The Supremes, Martha & the Vandellas and others.  The album also includes a cover of TLC’s “Waterfalls.”

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Stevie Wonder Honored with Medal of Freedom at White House Ceremony


ABC/Lou RoccoPresident Obama on Monday honored 19 individuals, including Stevie Wonder,with the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom.

At the White House ceremony, Obama noted that Wonder’s classic 1972 album Talking Book had a profound impact on him when he was growing up.

“This is, by the way, the first album I bought with my own money. I was 10 years old, maybe 11...with my own cash!” the president recounted, as the singer sat beside him. “I didn't have a lot of it.”

“And I listened to that thing -- that thing got so worn out, had all scratches -- young people, you won't remember this, but you had albums and they got scratched,” Obama added.

The honorees also included actresses Meryl Streep and Marlo Thomas.

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Bob Dylan Plays Concert for One Person, Show Filmed for YouTube Documentary


Columbia RecordsOn Sunday afternoon at Philadelphia's Academy of Music, Bob Dylan played what had to have been the most intimate show he's ever done, performing a short set of cover tunes with his backing band to one person -- a Swedish TV personality named Fredrik Wikingsson.  The event was organized and filmed for an ongoing Swedish movie series titled Experiment Ensam -- translation: Experiment Alone -- which captures an individual taking part in an activity usually experienced by crowds.

Wikingsson tells Rolling Stone that Dylan's set featured renditions of Buddy Holly's "Heartbeat," Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill," Chuck Willis' "It's Too Late (She's Gone)" and a blues jam that he couldn't identify.

"I was smiling so much it was like I was on ecstasy," he admits.  "My jaw hurt for hours afterwards because I couldn't stop smiling."

To make the amazing private show happen, Wikingsson says the filmmakers set things up through Dylan's representatives and paid the legendary singer/songwriter an undisclosed fee.

Fredrik doesn't know how much, but guesses "it was probably more than he gets for a normal gig."

Wikingsson was chosen to take part in the flick because he's friends with Experiment Ensam director Anders Helgeson, although he tells Rolling Stone he had to lobby hard for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"I had an endless series of meetings where I managed to convince people my extreme fandom made me the best candidate for the enviable task," the 41-year-old explains.

Wikingsson also says he was skeptical that the performance would actually take place right until the time Dylan stepped on stage.

"I thought some a**hole would walk onstage and just laugh at me," he admits.  "I just couldn't fathom that Dylan would actually do this."

Wikingsson reveals to Rolling Stone that he chose to sit in the second row in front of the middle of the stage.  He also notes that he initially felt awkward about responding to the performance, but decided to yell out something after the second song.

"I realized I had to say something.  It was just too weird," he points out.  "I screamed out, 'You guys sound great!'  That caused Dylan to burst out laughing."

Following the third song, Dylan played an impromptu harmonica solo that Wikingsson says touched him so much that he almost began crying.  After Bob finished his last song, he jokingly said to Wikingsson, "Swing by anytime."

The show was captured by eight cameras, and the documentary about the event, which will be 15 minutes long, will premiere on December 15 on YouTube.

Wikingsson has been sharing stories about his amazing experience on his popular iTunes podcast, The Filip and Fredrik Podcast.  He tells Rolling Stone, that he has one more dream related to the show: "I want Dylan to release an official Columbia EP of the concert called Songs for Fredrick."

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Photos from The Beatles' "Abbey Road" Cover Shoot Fetch More than $200K at Auction


Capitol Records/Universal MusicA complete set of prints from the photo shoot for The Beatles' famous Abbey Road album cover sold for 145,000 pounds, or about $227,000 -- not including the buyer's premium -- at an auction in London on Friday.  The pictures, which were purchased by an anonymous overseas buyer, had been estimated to sell for between 50,000 and 70,000 pounds.

The images, which show the band's four members walking across the famed Abbey Rd. crosswalk, were shot on August 8, 1969, by late photographer Iain Macmillan.  Macmillan was given 10 minutes to take the pictures while police closed the street to traffic.  He snapped six photos of the band, as well as an image of a stone wall used for the back cover of the album.  Abbey Road, the last studio album The Beatles recorded, was released in September of that year.

The prints were sold by Macmillan's estate, and each one is signed by the photographer, who died in 2006.

"This set of photographs has triggered a brilliant reaction from the market," Sarah Wheeler, head of Bloomsbury Auctions' photography department, said in a statement.  "It has been a pleasure to share them with the public at our salerooms, even for a short time, and a delight to see them attain such a worthy price."

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Sting to Join the Cast of His Musical "The Last Ship" Starting Dec. 9


Frank Ockenfels III

The idea was floated earlier this month, but now it's a reality: Sting will join the cast of his Broadway musical The Last Ship, in an effort to help boost ticket sales.

The news was confirmed on Sting's website: he'll take on the role of Jackie White, the foreman of a British shipyard, in the musical.  His run starts December 9, and he'll do eight shows a week through January 10. 

The New York Times reports that in his role as White, he'll be in  "about 40%" of the show. Despite decent reviews, The New York Times reports that the show has been losing $75,000 per week since it opened September 29.

Sting told the newspaper because he's been working on the show for so long, he "knows all the lines and lyrics after all these years," so it's not as though he's unprepared.  He also told the Times he'd bare his butt "in Macy's, if it will help our show."

Jeffrey Seller, lead producer of The Last Ship, tells The New York Times the show needs "a boost...some ammo."  He says he asked Sting to join the cast, with an eye towards keeping momentum going long enough so that the show can win a Tony award in June.

Sting can't remain in the show indefinitely, however: he's scheduled to resume his tour with Paul Simon January 30 in New Zealand.

A week ago at a red carpet event, when asked if he'd be appearing in The Last Ship, Sting said, "Don't think I need to be at the moment."  Obviously, that has changed.  He also told reporters, regarding the show's good reviews versus its lagging ticket sales, "We fight a battle every night and we win that battle hands down in the theater, and that word of mouth is great.  But it's a challenge, y'know.  It's not an easy world, Broadway, it's tough. But I'm having the time of my life, I'll tell ya!"

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Bryan Adams Releases 30th Anniversary Edition of "Reckless": "I Knew I Had Something Special"


Universal Music EnterprisesThe day he turned 25 -- November 5, 1984 -- Bryan Adams released the album that would make him a superstar: Reckless.  Today, he's releasing a 30th anniversary edition of that milestone album, and he says when he was recording it, he had a hunch that it would take him to the next level of his career.

"I knew going into this record that I had something special," Adams tells ABC News Radio.  "I knew that when we recorded the first couple of tracks for the record that we were on to something really good."  At least, says the Canadian singer/songwriter, he and his musical partner, Jim Vallance, thought the project was really good, though they couldn't predict how the public would react.

"We didn't know, really, what we'd created.  We just know we liked it and that was the litmus test," says Adams.  "You know, 'Did we like it?  Yes.'  'Did we feel like it fills all the gaps that we need to do?'  Like, do I have enough rockers?  Do I have a good ballad?  You know, 'Are all those boxes ticked?'  It seemed like yes."

Turns out the fans agreed with Bryan: out of the 10 songs on the album, six became hit singles.  Adams feels that one of them stands out, however.

"The magical songs that came out of [Reckless] obviously are the ones that were some of the biggest hits, and one of them, of course, was 'Run to You,'" Bryan recalls.  "For me, 'Run to You' is the jewel of the album because...it just set the tone for everything; and from there on, you know, we had 'Summer of '69' and 'Heaven,' 'Somebody' and then, of course, the duet with Tina Turner, 'It's Only Love.'"  

He forgot to mention the sixth single -- "One Night Love Affair."  All six of the singles reached the top 15 on the Billboard charts, and at that time, there had only been two previous albums that accomplished that feat: Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. and Michael Jackson's Thriller.  

All those songs and much more are featured on the super-deluxe edition of Reckless.  It comes housed in a hardback book and includes the remastered original album, seven bonus tracks, a live concert recording from London in April of 1985 and a DVD of Reckless: The Movie, which features all the promotional videos from the album interspersed with scenes linking the songs.  There's also a Blu-ray version of the original album, historical photos, interviews with Adams and copies of lyric sheets and notes from 1984.

Since its release, the disc has gone on to sell more than 12 million copies.  In a statement, Bryan says, "Reckless was just the right record at the right time. It was just unstoppable."

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