News in Review: Paul McCartney, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer, Blues Awards, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
First Appeared in The Music Box, January 2010, Volume 17, #1
Written by John Metzger
Tue January 19, 2010, 06:30 AM CST
Paul McCartney Gets Another Award
Paul McCartney is the latest recording artist to receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Established just a few years ago by the Library of Congress, the award was named after George and Ira Gershwin, whose manuscripts reside in the institutionís office in Washington, D.C. It is designed to honor the cultural relevance of performers and composers who have devoted their lives to expressing themselves through music. Paul Simon won the inaugural Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in March 2007, and an all-star concert was held to celebrate the occasion two months later. The second award was delayed until September 2008, when Stevie Wonder was named as Simonís successor. Instead of a star-studded extravaganza, however, newly elected President Barack Obama gave Wonder the award in a small ceremony at the White House. For McCartney, a tribute concert is being planned for later this year.
John Frusciante Quits Again
The Red Hot Chili Peppers has lost guitarist John Frusciante for the second time. In a statement made via his MySpace page, Frusciante acknowledged rumors that had been swirling about his status with the outfit. He cited creative differences as the reason for his departure, though he also made it clear that there was no ill will between him and the group. Frusciante joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the late 1980s and added his signature guitar licks to Motherís Milk and Blood Sugar Sex Magik. He initially left the band in 1992, but a few years later, he united with his pals. During this time, the reinvigorated ensemble produced a trio of terrific albums: Californication, By the Way, and Stadium Arcadium. Josh Klinghoffer joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers during its 2007 tour, and he will remain on board to assist with the recording of the collectiveís next endeavor.
Weezer Front Man Injured in Bus Crash
On the morning of December 6, a tour bus carrying Weezerís Rivers Cuomo, his wife, his daughter, and several staff members slid off the road after hitting a patch of black ice. The vehicle plummeted down a nearby embankment, and an emergency crew was called to the scene. Cuomo and his assistant were both injured in the crash. Cuomo broke three ribs, while his assistant broke two ribs and suffered a back injury. At the time, Cuomo was en route to Boston to perform with Weezer. Although he is expected to make a full recovery, the band was forced to cancel all of its shows through late January. The concerts likely will be rescheduled in conjunction with the outfitís appearance on May 2 at Bamboozle in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Names 2010 Honorees
The ballots have been counted, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will have five new members next year. Abba, Genesis, The Stooges, The Hollies, and Jimmy Cliff will be inducted into the institution at a ceremony on March 15 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The selection of Abba is perhaps one of the more controversial choices to join the Hall of Fameís roster, especially considering how many acts from the 1950s and 1960s continue to be ignored. The Stooges already was preparing to have a big year in 2010, and this honor merely adds to its commercial potential. The most intriguing facet about the upcoming gala is that it could feature the reunion of Peter Gabriel and the rest of Genesis, though Phil Collinsí spinal cord injury will prevent him from playing drums. In addition, David Geffen, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, Jesse Stone, Mort Shuman, and Otis Blackwell will all receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award, which is given to non-performers.
2010 Blues Awards Nominees
Duke Robillard, Joe Louis Walker, and Derek Trucks were among the artists who received multiple nominations for the 31st Annual Blues Music Awards. Robillardís latest set Stomp! The Blues Tonight will compete against Walkerís Between a Rock and the Blues in the Album of the Year category. Robillard also is an entrant for Band, Guitarist, and Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year, while Walker is a contender for Guitarist and Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year. In addition, Walkerís Between a Rock and the Blues was nominated for Contemporary Blues Album of the Year, and Iím Tide, a track from the endeavor, could be the winner for Song of the Year. Trucks is a finalist for Guitarist of the Year, while his latest set Already Free was placed in the Rock Blues Album category. Trophies will be presented to the winners at a ceremony that will be held on May 6 at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis.
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