Steppenwolf keyboardist Goldy McJohn dies

Goldy McJohn, keyboard player for the classic lineup of Steppenwolf, has died at age 72. McJohn's overamped Lowrey organ work drove Steppenwolf hits such as "Magic Carpet Ride," "Born to Be Wild" and "The Pusher." He played on the band's first seven albums. McJohn co-founded Steppenwolf with singer John Kay in 1967. The band moved from Toronto to Southern California, where it found success as one of the heavier acts of the psychedelic era. Steppenwolf came to fame as the organ was featured in a number of successful rock bands, most of them British. McJohn was considered one of the best keyboard men on the psychedelic music scene. "When I listen to my old stuff, I think, 'Who the fuck is playing the keyboard,'" he said in 2011. The keyboard player's other bands included the … [Read more...]

‘Satanic Majesties’ gets 50th-year deluxe set

The Rolling Stones' "Their Satanic Majesties Request" can't get no respect. Still. The wannabe rival to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" receives its own 50th anniversary release Sept. 22, coming on the heels of an ambitious rerelease of the Beatles' psychedelic masterpiece. But while "Sgt. Pepper" was celebrated at the half century mark with surround sound, a new stereo mix, a plethora of alternate tracks and generational hoo-hah, the Stones' album returns to market with a modest yet respectable offering. "Their Satanic Majesties Request: 50th Anniversary Special Edition" features SACD and LP versions of both mono and stereo versions of the 1967 album. The stereo LP and SACD appear to have a brand-new mix while the mono dates back a year. Fans looking for studio rareties … [Read more...]

Hendrix family re-ups with Sony Music unit

The Jimi Hendrix family has renewed its licensing deal with Sony Music Entertainment. The partnership dates back to 2009 and covers the "ongoing curation" and output of the late guitarist's catalog and archives. Legacy Recordings, SME's catalog division, and Experience Hendrix LLC have released a steady stream of albums drawn from Hendrix's unreleased recordings and live work. They include "Valleys of Neptune" (2010), the box set "West Coast Seattle Boy" (2013), "People, Hell and Angels" (2013) and "Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69" (2016). The releases, though not without attendant controversy, brought order to what had been a crazy quilt of albums released in the decades after the musician's death. "Sony, through Legacy Recordings, has proven their … [Read more...]

Mothers, Doors, Spirit rereleases heat up Q3

Frank Zappa and Mothers, the Doors, David Gilmour and the Beach Boys help keep the Summer of Love alive in 2017. Here's a roundup of the best psychedelic/1960s music due for rerelease in the third quarter. The Mothers of Invention's second album, "Absolutely Free," will cost you $35 as it returns in a 50th anniversary edition Sept. 29. The group's second album comes in a two-LP package: three sides host the audio; the fourth has a laser etching of bandleader Frank Zappa. Witness the strange and the borderline psychedelic on numbers such as "Plastic People," "Call Any Vegetable," "Son of Suzy Creamcheese" and, of course, "Invocation and Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin." The "Absolutely Free" album comes "mastered by Bernie Grundman and cut directly from the original analog master … [Read more...]

Dead Meet-Up does ’89 capital concert

The seventh annual Grateful Dead "Meet-Up at the Movies" salutes the band's gig in Washington, D.C., during the summer of 1989. The Dead's cinema event happens Tuesday, Aug. 1, at 7 p.m. local time. The Grateful gathering coincides with the 75th anniversary of Jerry Garcia's birth. Video of the July 12, 1989, capital concert at RFK Stadium is previously unreleased, organizers say. (The band also played RFK the next day.) The recording, which looks crisp, runs just over 2.5 hours. The show opens with the band's unlikely late '80s hit "Touch of Gray" and continues with Dead fare such as "Cassidy," "Ship of Fools," "Sugaree" and "I Need a Miracle." The show closes with what is a rare video-taped performance of "Black Muddy River." The Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies began … [Read more...]

The Beatles, 8 days a week on satellite

SiriusXM is introducing the Beatles' one and only "official" radio channel. The Beatles Channel first beams down on the satellite radio operation May 18. That's a week ahead of the rerelease of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," virtually assuring the U.S. of another dose of Beatlemania, or as close as it gets 50-plus years on. The station plans to play the remixed "Sgt. Pepper" in full on June 1, the half-century anniversary of its release. The Beatles Channel will feature music from the band and the four musicians as solo acts. SirusXM promises: "Their hits and album tracks, live recordings and rarities, solo works from John, Paul, George and Ringo, records that influenced the band, as well as the music they inspired." update: The first five songs played upon … [Read more...]

Monterey Pop stars: Lesh, Burdon, Booker T.

Monterey Pop lives. A 50th anniversary revival of the seminal peace-and-love gathering has unveiled its lineup, with Phil Lesh, Eric Burdon and Booker T. topping the bill. The event will run June 16-18 at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, site of the original festival that brought stardom to Jimi Hendrix, the Who and Janis Joplin. Lou Adler, co-producer of the 1967 festival, said, "The Monterey International Pop Festival cannot be duplicated but can be celebrated and will be, by the performers and the attendees at the 50th anniversary festival." Adler, who is in his mid-80s, has some role with the production, also credited to Another Planet Entertainment and Goldenvoice. Adler oversees the nonprofit charitable foundation that distributes royalty money from the original Monterey … [Read more...]

Spirit’s 4 original albums coming to SACD

Sixties underground heroes Spirit will have their four key albums rereleased in the audiophile SACD format, beginning with the first two records. The self-titled debut album and "The Family That Plays Together" originally were released on Ode Records. The new hybrid SACDs will use those stereo 1968 mixes, according to Steve Hoffman, who is mastering the rereleases along with Stephen Marsh. The albums are not being remixed for the Audio Fidelity SACDs. "We kept the vintage charm intact," Hoffman wrote on his music forum. Online retailers show the debut album -- known for "Fresh Garbage," "Mechanical World" and the hotly debated instrumental "Taurus" -- with a May 26 release date. "Family" follows June 23. Update: The third album, "Clear," is due on SACD on Jan. 12, 2018, with … [Read more...]

Dueling Yes bands will tour U.S.

Yes, it's a battle of the bands. In a situation that brings to mind casino-touring oldie acts, dueling versions of prog rockers Yes will be hitting the road in North America this summer and fall. The simmering dispute came to a boil in recent days as the ARW group -- Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman -- announced that they would adopt the classic-rock name of Yes for the U.S. tour. The official name, however, is Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman. That news no doubt isn't going down well in the other Yes camp, the group headed by guitarist Steve Howe. The official "Yes" statement says: "While Jon Anderson has rights to use the name as one of the co-owners of the trademark, Yes' position is that every effort should be made by promoters, ticket … [Read more...]

‘Sgt. Pepper’ deluxe set due May 26

Apple Records has unveiled the most ambitious reissue of a Beatles title to date, with a "super deluxe edition" of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." The May 26 release celebrates the 50th anniversary of the psychedelic music classic. Highlights include a new stereo mix of the album, 5.1 surround via Bluray/DVD discs, a "lost" version of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" and two CDs full of studio outtakes. Sorry, it's a "no" for the long-sought-after experimental Beatles track "Carnival of Light," which dates back to the period. Here's what's coming based on materials released April 4 and 5 by the Beatles' label (updated content): A new mix of the 1967 album by Gils Martin and Sam Okell from the original master tapes. Two CDs of outtakes, with almost three dozen … [Read more...]

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