News in Review: XTC, Bob Dylan, Buddy Holly, Jackson Browne

First Appeared in The Music Box, March 2009, Volume 16, #3

Written by John Metzger

Wed March 11, 2009, 04:30 AM CDT


The Return of The Dukes of Stratosphear

Dukes of Stratosphear - Chips from the Chocolate Fireball

XTC’s Andy Partridge has found a few more nuggets tucked away in his vast archive of previously unreleased material. He is in the process of assembling expanded editions of 25 O’Clock and Psionic Psunspot, the two albums that were made by the group’s alter-ego The Dukes of Stratosphear in the late 1980s. The expanded endeavors — which not only will be remastered from the original recordings but also will feature an assortment of demos — are expected to be reissued by Partridge’s Ape House Records on April 9.

Bob Dylan’s Latest Adventure

Bob Dylan - Tell Tale Signs

Last October, Bob Dylan quietly entered a recording studio in California to lay down tracks for a new album. Thirteen songs were completed for the effort, though only 10 are likely to make the final cut. During the sessions, Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench as well as Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo joined Dylan and a portion of his touring band. It’s possible that the final outing could be issued as soon as late April.

Remembering Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper

Buddy Holly - The Buddy Holly Collection

Fifty years ago, on February 3, 1959, Buddy Holly chartered a plane to carry him as well as Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson from a show in Clear Lake, Iowa to a gig in Fargo, North Dakota. Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft crashed into the surrounding farmland, killing everyone on board. For many, it became a day of mourning, one that forever was immortalized in Don McLean’s American Pie.

To commemorate this fateful stop on the Winter Dance Party bus tour of the upper Midwest, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sponsored a concert in early February at the Surf Ballroom, the location of Holly’s and Valens’ final gigs. An all-star cast, including Los Lobos, Graham Nash, and members of the original Crickets, Holly’s backing band, performed at the event. In addition, the February 5, 2009 edition of Rolling Stone features journalist Jonathan Cott’s wonderfully concise remembrance of "the day the music died."

McCain Remains on Hook in Jackson Browne Lawsuit

Jackson Browne - Time the Conqueror

As reported in Wired, a federal judge in Los Angeles recently ruled that Senator John McCain would not be exempt from a lawsuit filed against him and the Republican National Committee by singer/songwriter Jackson Browne. Late last summer, in the heat of the U.S. presidential campaign, the Republican National Committee began airing commercials in Ohio that used a portion of Browne’s 1977 hit Running on Empty to attack Barack Obama’s plan for energy independence. McCain claimed that he not only had no knowledge of the Republican National Committee’s actions, but that he also was not involved in the decision to utilize Browne’s work. The judge ruled that because McCain and the Republican National Committee had an agency relationship, McCain shares responsibility for the appropriation of Browne’s song.


Of Further Interest...

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