Now, nearly two decades later, the 60-year-old Elfman is ending his self-imposed performing exile, reports Broadway World.
Elfman has been director Tim Burton's composer of choice since 1985 when Elfman wrote the score to Burton's comedy, “Pee Wee's Big Top Adventure” starring Pee Wee Herman. The pair is currently working together on Burton's “Big Eyes” that is set for release next year.
He'll take part in a series of orchestral concerts, “Danny Elfman's From the Films of Tim Burton,” singing some of the songs from his acclaimed score to the 1993 hit stop-motion animation fantasy, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (Elfman provided the singing voice of the film's hero, Jack Skellington).
Former Hollywood Bowl Orchestra conductor and musical director John Mauceri will conduct the 87-piece Hollywood Symphony Orchestra and 45-member Page LA Choir. The series of shows kick off in London at the Royal Albert Hall on October 7, followed by a brief British tour.
Elfman will perform at three Los Angeles concerts at the 7,100-seat Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live across from the Staples Center in Downtown L.A. on Oct. 29-31. Concert producers are reportedly working on a U.S. tour.
Cher's Farewell Tour took place from 2002-2005. Since then, the 67-year-old ageless icon undertook a three-year Las Vegas residency at the Colosseum at Caesar's Palace from 2008-2011.
Nine years after the final performance of her Farewell Tour, the show biz legend will hit the road one more time for the 49-date Dressed To Kill Tour of the U.S. and Canada that kicks off March 22, 2013 at the 19,000-seat US Airways Center in Phoenix. The tour promoting her new CD, “Closer to the Truth” wraps up with three southern California gigs, July 7 at the 20,000-seat Staples Center, July 9 at the 18,325-seat Honda Center in Anaheim and on July 11 at the 14,800-seat Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. It's anticipated that more domestic dates will be added and she is expected to take the tour internationally as well.
In 2003, Mick Jagger was knighted. Early next year, he will add another title: great-grandfather, reports Britain's Daily Mirror.
Assisi Jackson, the 70-year-old Rolling Stones singer's 21-year-old granddaughter is expecting a baby in 2014. Assisi's mother is Jade Jagger, daughter of Mick and his first wife, Bianca. Sir Mick is the father of seven kids between the ages of 14 and 42 and grandfather to two others in addition to Assisi.
Sources say, “Mick is delighted and has no qualms about being a great-grandfather. He's been joking about becoming a great-great-grandfather and still performing.”
The Grammys' nonprofit foundation, MusiCares announced that Carole King is its 2014 Person of the Year. The organization named the 71-year-old composer of dozens of classic songs over the past half-century, including Herman's Hermit's No. 1 biggie, “I'm Into Something Good,” because of her, “extraordinary creative accomplishments as well as her significant charitable work, which has included an impressive range of philanthropic activities over the years. In addition to her continuously evolving musical career, King is actively involved with environmental organizations in support of forest ecosystem protection as well as a range of political causes.”
King will be feted at the annual dinner, award ceremony and concert on January 24 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, two days before the Grammy Awards. Artists who have already committed to performing her songs at the ceremony include The Dixie Chicks, Lady Gaga, Bette Midler, Steven Tyler, Jason Mraz and her old pal James Taylor with more expected to be named.
The 27th Farm Aid benefit concert took place at the 25,000-seat Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs in upper-state New York. Performers included Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Neil Young as well as veterans Toad the Wet Sprocket and Carlene Carter, and also laid back surfer-singer Jack Johnson and newbie Kacey Musgraves, reports VVN.
But the big surprise was the appearance of 94-year-old folk icon Pete Seeger. Seeger told the crowd that he didn't have much voice left, but that hardly mattered to the throng. Seeger led everyone in singing his 1949 Progressive Movement anthem, “If I Had a Hammer” and Woody Guthrie's 1940 patriotic standard, “This Land is Your Land.”
Another surprise was Young's seven-song solo acoustic set that consisted of his songs “Old Man” and “Heart of Gold” and five covers, including Bob Dylan's “Blowin' in the Wind,” “Gordon Lightfoot's “Early Morning Rain,” Ivory Joe Hunter's “Since I Met You Baby,” “Tim Hardin's “Reason to Believe” and Phil Ochs' “Changes.”
Among the winners at the 2013 Americana Awards at the 2,362-seat Ryman Auditorium in Nashville were Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell's “Old Yellow Moon” that won Album of the Year, while Dwight Yoakam won Artist of the Year. Stephen Still was awarded the Spirit of America Free Speech in Music Award, while the Lifetime Achievement Award winners included twangy guitarist Duane Eddy, Dr. John and Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter.
Performers included Harris and Crowell, Eddy, Dr. John, Hunter, Old Crow Medicine Show, Richard Thompson, and a performance of “For What It's Worth” by former Buffalo Springfield members Stephen Stills and Richie Furay. Presenters included Rosanne Cash, Jerry Douglas, Alejandro Escovedo, Billy Bragg, Wilco's John Stirrat and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.
A free concert from Paul McCartney closed down Hollywood Boulevard in the heart of the Entertainment Capitol of the World. I was there for Sir Paul's first-ever appearance on ABC's late-night “Jimmy Kimmel Live” talk show that included a live performance (Justin Timberlake performed on the same stage in the middle of the boulevard the following night).
The eternally young, slim, trim and upbeat 71-year-old McCartney was on Kimmel's show to promote the release of “New,” his first studio album of new songs in six years that comes out October 15.
Those tuning in on TV saw the man the Guinness Book of World Records accord the title of “The Most Successful Composer and Recording Artist of All Time” perform two songs: his marvelous new single that is the upcoming album's title cut, as well as The Beatles 1968 classic, “Lady Madonna.”
However, for the more than 10,000 on Hollywood Blvd. he performed a few more songs, 13 more, in fact, over the course of the 65-minute concert. Three of the 15 songs performed were from the “New” CD, while eight were all-time Beatles faves (he really likes the songs he and The Beatles did in 1968 as five of the 15 were from that year).
Here's his set list: “Magical Mystery Tour” (1967), “Save Us” (2013), “Junior's Farm” (1974), “Jet” (1973), “New” (2013), “Lady Madonna” (1968), “Birthday” (1968), “Another Day” (1971), “Everybody Out There” (2013), “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da” (1968), “Band on the Run” (1973), “Back in the U.S.S.R.” (1968), “Day Tripper” (1965), “Let It Be” (1969) and “Hey Jude” (1968).
During one of many fun exchanges with Kimmel, the two were talking about The Beatles' first trip to Los Angeles and the group's famed Hollywood Bowl concert when Kimmel brought up their meeting in Bel Air (Beverly Hills) with Elvis Presley. McCartney said that they actually met the King while on their second tour, in 1965. Kimmel disagreed, positive that it was on the ‘64 trip. McCartney drew laughs and cheers by countering, “Yours is just research. Mine is memory.” Of course, McCartney was right. The Beatles met Elvis at his mansion during their second tour, on Aug. 27, 1965.
McCartney is off the road until Nov. 12, when he and his long-time four-piece band begin a brief five-night tour of Japan that includes three gigs at the 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome that is the home of the Yomiuri Giants baseball team.
Country and gospel veterans The Oak Ridge Boys' 24th annual Christmas Tour kicks off November 5-7 at The Oak Ridge Boys Theatre in Branson, Missouri. The quartet will also celebrate their 40th anniversary on this jaunt and will include songs from their sixth holiday album, “Christmas Time's A-Comin',” that was released last year. The 34-show tour includes a stop December 13 at the 700-seat Valley Performing Arts Center on the campus of Cal State Northridge.
Former Hootie and The Blowfish singer-turned country star Darius Rucker will perform his huge No. 1 hit, “Wagon Wheel” at the CMA Awards on ABC on Nov. 6. But if he has his way, he'll sing it with the song's two composers, Bob Dylan and Old Crow Medicine Show's Ketch Secor.
The song was initially written in 1973 by Bob Dylan as part of the music he wrote for the Sam Peckinpah film, “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid,” in which he had a rare film role. However, Dylan left the song incomplete. Secor added verses and his band recorded it in 2004.
“My dream would be to get up there and sing that song with Ketch and Dylan. That would be awesome, but I don't know what's gonna happen with that,” the 47-year-old Rucker told CMT. Rucker says he has reached out to Dylan about joining him, but so far nothing has been confirmed.
In other Dylan news, “Mood Swings,” an art exhibit of his recently-created iron sculptures will open November 16 at the Halcyon Gallery in London. “I've been around iron all my life, ever since I was a kid,” Dylan said. “I was born and raised in iron ore country, where you could breathe it and smell it every day. And I've always worked with it in one form or another.” The exhibit runs through January 25, 2014.
Garage rock pioneers The Standells, who just released “Bump,” their first album of new songs in 46 years, will headline the Adams Avenue Street Fair on Saturday. Group leader, original singer-keyboardist Larry Tamblyn announced that the band's special guest will be Johnny Echols, original guitarist with Arthur Lee and Love. The fair is free and 100,000 are expected.
First, Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora bailed on their year-long world tour and has reported been fired from the band he joined in 1983. He's been replaced by Canadian guitarist Phil X. Now, original drummer Tico Torres has been felled not once, but twice this month, but the band is carrying on with fill-in drummer Rich Scannella until Torres is well enough to re-join the tour.
Torres, who will turn 60 on October 7, first underwent an emergency appendectomy earlier this month. Then last Friday Torres was rushed to a hospital in Rio De Janeiro with intense stomach pains. He then underwent emergency gall bladder surgery, according to a statement released by the band. The band played the massive Rock in Rio Festival last weekend with Scannella.
Robert Plant guest on the new album by The North Mississippi Allstars, “World Boogie Is Coming.” Plant plays harmonica on the song “Goat Meat.” The Led Zep frontman, who is a fan of the band, became friends with The Allstars, who are actually brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson, when he invited them to open some of his concerts.
Roger Daltrey will work on the final album by Dr. Feelgood guitarist Wilco Johnson, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, according to the UK's Mirror. Johnson, 66, opted not to undergo chemotherapy. Johnson told the Mirror that he wrote some song right after getting the bad news. “The music I want to continue to make, I think, generally should be a laugh not a cry. So there's not going to be any cancer dirges,” he said.
The rigors of hundreds of nights on the road to success for influential English folk rock hitmakers Mumford & Sons has taken a big toll. After wrapping their latest tour last week, keyboardist Ben Lovett tells Rolling Stone, “There won't be any Mumford & Sons activities for the foreseeable future.” He said he has “no idea” when the band will reconvene for anything.
Aussie British Invasion folk-pop group The Seekers announced that they are resuming their 50th anniversary tour because singer Judith Durham is sufficiently recovered from the serious stroke she suffered on stage in May in Melbourne to again perform.
Two weeks ago, the 70-year-old Durham joined the band at a rehearsal to test herself and the group reports that 15 minutes into the rehearsal everyone knew she was fit enough to carry on. The tour will pick up on November 2 in Perth. After their 13 shows in Australia, they'll take time off for the holidays and will head to Britain for a dozen shows beginning April 28 at St. David's Hall in Cardiff, Wales. The jaunt wraps with a concert at London's Royal Albert Hall on June 2.
A new postage stamp honoring Ray Charles was issued on what would have been his 83rd birthday. The stamp was part of the U.S. Postal Service's Music Icon's Forever series. The singer-pianist died in 2004 at age 73.
Among the recently released albums, digital reissues, MP3 downloads and deluxe box sets are Oscar, Emmy and Grammy-winner Cher's first album in a dozen years, the 11-track “Closer To The Truth”; “The Last Ship” is Sting's first CD in three years and is inspired by the former Police leader's upcoming play of the same name; “From Here to Now to You,” the 6th album in the last dozen years from mellow folk-pop surfer Jack Johnson; “Wise Up Ghost” from Elvis Costello and The Roots; and a 2-CD, “Dream Theater,” the 12th studio album since 1989 from the progressive metal outfit of the same name.
Elton John's first studio album in seven years, “The Diving Board,” offers 12 Elton-Bernie Taupin collaborations and is his return to the stripped down piano-bass-drums format of his earliest years; “Shout!” From Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes and Gov't Mule; “Get Happy” from lounge and jazz act Pink Martini; “Bluegrass Album” from country superstar Alan Jackson; “Metallica Through The Never (Music From The Motion Picture)” is the 16-song soundtrack from the metal god's 3-D film.
“Seasons of the Day,” the fourth studio album from Santa Monica alt-rockers Mazzy Star and the first since 1996 features an appearance by the late legendary guitarist Bert Jansch; and “Sammy Hagar & Friends” sees the former Montrose and Van Halen singer cover ten of his favorite songs that include Bob Seger's “Ramblin' Gamblin Man” and Jimmy Buffett's “Margaritaville,” joined by Kid Rock, Journey's guitarist Neal Schon, his Chickenfoot's axe wizard Joe Satriani, drummer Chad Smith (also of The Red Hot Chili Peppers) and bassist Michael Anthony (formerly of Van Halen), as well as Taj Mahal, Ronnie Dunn formerly of Brooks & Dunn, Toby Keith, Heart's Nancy Wilson and his old Montrose mates Bill Church & Denny Carmassi.
“All Your Life (A Tribute to The Beatles)” from jazz fusion guitar great al Di Meola, was recorded at Abbey Road and showcases his takes on 14 softer Beatles classics, includes “I Will,” “Because,” ad “Michelle” before tackling the psychedelic masterpiece, “I Am the Walrus”; a box set reissue of Nirvana's “In Utero (3 CD + DVD Super Deluxe Edition)” that features more than 70 remastered, remixed, rare and unreleased recordings, including B-sides, compilation tracks, never-before-heard demos, live material and two previously unheard instrumentals; and “Countdown to Extinction Live” from American metal heads Megadeth that formed after singer-guitarist Dave Mustaine was fired from Metallica in 1983.
On “Only Slightly Mad,” veteran Americana singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist David Bromberg got some help from former Lovin' Spoonful frontman John Sebastian and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band leader John McEuen; a CD/DVD, “Ray Charles Forever,” includes re-mixed and re-mastered versions of classic hits and the previously unreleased “They Can't Take That Away From Me”; “Nadur” is the first studio effort in 15 years from traditional Irish and Celtic group, Clannad; and “The Rhinebeck Sessions” from American jazz fusion group Spyro Gyra, that released its first major label LP in 1978.
“Take Me to the Land of Hell” from 80-year-old avant garde artist Yoko Ono & The Plastic Ono Band; New Orleans' favorite son Allen Toussaint's new “Songbook” sees the 75-year-old pianist-singer performing 16 of his favorite songs, including “St. James Infirmary” by himself; “Let It Snow: A Holiday Collection,” the second Christmas album from country and folk singer Jewel, includes “Do You Hear What I Hear,” “Silver Bells,” “Sleigh Rise” and the title song; a CD/DVD import, “Live From Metropolis Studios,” from Belinda Carlisle sees The Go-Go's singer performing in an intimate club setting before a small audience at West London's Metropolis Studios; and a repackaged 6-CD box set reissue, “Woodstock: 40 Years On” contains music from all 33 acts at the historic 1969 music festival, but it's still only one-fifth of all the music performed over the three days.
Steve Smith writes a new Classic Pop, Rock and Country Music News column every week. Contact him by email at Classicpopmusicnews@gmail.com.