Signe Anderson of Jefferson Airplane dies

Signe Anderson, the original female singer in Jefferson Airplane, has died at age 74. Anderson, who sang with bands in Oregon over the years, had suffered from longtime health problems. Her passing of a heart condition in Beaverton, Oregon, came Jan. 28, the same day as the death of Airplane leader Paul Kantner. "One sweet Lady has passed on," Jefferson Airplane cofounder Marty Balin posted as the news broke. "I imagine that she and Paul woke up in heaven and said 'Hey what are you doing here? Let's start a band.'" Anderson sang on the first Jefferson Airplane album, "Takes Off." The album included her best-known song, "Chauffeur Blues." The singer, a new mother, found the road intolerable and decided to leave Jefferson Airplane in late 1966. Her final performances were at the … [Read more...]

Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane dies

Paul Kantner, who piloted the Jefferson Airplane through its peak years and beyond, has died. He was 74. Kantner had been in poor health in recent years. He suffered a heart attack a year ago and again in recent days. The cause of his Jan. 28 death was given as organ failure. The singer-guitarist's classic Jefferson Airplane songs include "The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil," "Martha," "Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon," "Crown of Creation," "We Can Be Together" and the music for "Eskimo Blue Day." He co-wrote many Airplane songs with singer Marty Balin. Within one year aboard the Airplane, Kantner experienced the highs of rock stardom -- the band's unleashing of "morning maniac music" at Woodstock -- and the lows -- the stabbing of an audience member at the Altamont music … [Read more...]

Rock Hall taps Deep Purple, Miller, Chicago

Deep Purple, Steve Miller and Chicago have found their way into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. All three acts began in the psychedelic music era of the late 1960s. Each made albums key to the underground music scene, although Miller and Chicago are better known for their mainstream careers. Other artists entering the Rock Hall in 2016 are N.W.A. and Cheap Trick. A notable omission from the inductees list is Yes, a move that no doubt will fuel criticisms that the Rock Hall has a bias against progressive rock. Yes is now unsuccessful as a multiple nominee. Deep Purple found early success with trippy covers of the top 40 hits "Hush" (Joe South/Billy Joe Royal) and "Kentucky Woman" (Neil Diamond).Keyboardist John Lord then steered the British band into experiments with a … [Read more...]

Lesh recovering from bladder cancer

Longtime Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh has been treated for bladder cancer, but says he's expected to make a full recovery. Lesh, 75, canceled several sold-out shows at his Terrapin Crossroads bar that were to feature Chris Robinson. "I was diagnosed with bladder cancer in early October, and have spent the last few weeks at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale (Ariz.) doing tests and eventually surgery to remove the tumors," Lesh said in an Oct. 16 email sent to customers and later posted on the Terrapin Crossroads web site. "I am very fortunate to have the pathology reports show that the tumors are all non-aggressive, and that there is no indication that they have spread." Lesh successfully battled prostrate cancer in 2006. He also underwent a liver transplant related to hepatitis … [Read more...]

Rock Hall noms to Yes, Deep Purple, Miller

Yes, Deep Purple, Steve Miller and Chicago are among the nominees for 2016 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. All four made albums key to the underground music of the late 1960s and early '70s, although Miller and Chicago are better known for their mainstream careers. Other nominees for the "Class of 2015" are Los Lobos, Nine Inch Nails, the Smiths, Janet Jackson, Chic, Cheap Trick, the Cars, N.W.A., the Spinners, the J.B.'s and Chaka Khan. Yes and Deep Purple have been previously nominated. Miller and Chicago are first-time nominees. Fans are able to vote for their favorites again this year, with balloting continuing through Dec. 9. Yes is one of the biggest brand names in progressive rock, continuing to record and tour almost a half century after their … [Read more...]

Fare Thee Well set lists

Here are the set lists for the Grateful Dead's final concerts, dubbed "Fare Thee Well." The concerts were on the band's home turf in Santa Clara, Calif., and in Chicago. Almost no songs were repeated, the exceptions being "Cumberland Blues," Bob Weir's "Truckin'" and the instrumental workout "Drums / Space." The Grateful Dead veterans were Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. They were joined by Trey Anastasio (guitar), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards), and Bruce Hornsby (piano). The Dead called the shows "our final stand," vowing there will be no further concerts. "This is it." CDs and Blu-rays/DVDs from the concerts are due for release Nov. 20. Concerts were divided into two sections, with the sets divided by an hourlong break. (Years refer to Dead originals' … [Read more...]

80 CDs of live Dead: Here comes ‘Sun’

The half-century celebration of the Grateful Dead continues at warp speed, with news of an 80-CD box set of unissued live shows. "Thirty Trips Around the Sun" resurrects 30 concerts, with more than 73 hours of music. The limited edition set (6,500, numbered) checks in with a $700 price tag. Release date for the Rhino set is Sept. 18. A four-CD set, "Thirty Trips Around the Sun: The Definitive Live Story, 1965-1995," boils things down considerably. A USB drive with all of the "Thirty Trips" content is planned as well, also at the $700 price point. The USB edition is limited to 1,000 copies. Dead partner Rhino is issuing the box set, which will be sold exclusively via dead.net The set more or less coincides with the series of "Fare Thee Well" concerts featuring surviving … [Read more...]

‘The Other One’: Bob Weir docu shines

"I've led kind of an unusual life," says Bob Weir, in a moment of understatement. "I've seen stuff that no one has seen," the guitarist adds, bringing to mind that "Blade Runner" replicant in the rain. And yes, Weir says, quoting himself: "It's been a long strange trip." The rhythm guitarist for the Grateful Dead steps out of the long shadow of Jerry Garcia in the documentary "The Other One," which just made its public debut streaming on Netflix. The film, by Mike Fleiss, offers a splendid collection of clips, some fine musical performances by Weir and recent collaborators, and of course a snoutful of nostalgia for Grateful Dead fans. It's an entertaining, fast-moving film whose revelations will be revelations only to non-fans. The documentary likes to stay in … [Read more...]

Dead adds pair of California concerts

The surviving members of the Grateful Dead will say "Fare Thee Well" two more times with a pair of shows in Santa Clara, Calif. The shows on June 27 and 28 will come before the trio of concerts at Soldier Field in Chicago (July 3, 4 and 5). The new shows had been widely rumored and tipped, but not confirmed. "Since we made the decision to go back to Chicago to say our final goodbye, it has become clear to us that we first need to return to our beginnings, where we first said hello -- to each other and to all of you," the band wrote in a letter to fans. As with the Chicago shows, the lineup for Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara includes backing from Trey Anastasio (guitar), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards), and Bruce Hornsby (piano). The Grateful Dead 2015 are Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart … [Read more...]

Dead’s movie night from Alpine Valley

Time to Meet-Up at the Movies for the fifth time, Grateful Dead loyalists. The 2015 edition of the annual movie night is set for Monday, May 4, featuring the Dead in performance from 1989, at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in Wisconsin. It was the final gig of the Dead's three-night residency in Alpine Valley (near East Troy). The July 19, 1989, show ran almost three hours, with the band working extra hard for rain-soaked fans. "It was our Woodstock," one Wisconsin native recalls. While the big-screen video is billed as "never before seen," the set 1 closers of "West L.A. Fadeaway," "Desolation Row" and "Deal" were included on the concert video "Downhill From Here." That title was released on VHS and then DVD in the late '90s. Highlights include "Sugaree," "Box of Rain," "The … [Read more...]

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