Stevie Wonder announced he will be receiving a kidney transplant in the fall. During his Saturday (July 6th) concert in London’s Hyde Park, the Motown legend revealed the extent of his health issues, telling the crowd: “I’m going to be doing three shows then taking a break. I’m having surgery. I’m going to have a kidney transplant at the end of September this year.” Wonder explained that he has a donor lined up, adding: “I came here to give you my love and to thank you for yours. You ain’t gonna hear no rumors about us. I’m good.” (Vibe)
The Rolling Stones surprised fans on Wednesday night (July 3rd), when they plucked out an obscure Don Covay cover they hadn’t tackled live in 50 years. The tune, “Mercy, Mercy,” was a highlight on the band’s 1965 Out Of Our Heads album, and was last performed on July 5th, 1969 in London during the Stones’ famed Hyde Park comeback show.
Despite the fact that Wednesday’s concert at Landover, Maryland’s FedEx Field fell on the 50th anniversary of the death of the band’s co-founder Brian Jones — and that the song was last played at the show which was performed in memoriam of him — zero mention of Jones happened during the show.
Sammy Hagar once again aired his unresolved issues with David Lee Roth along with Eddie and Alex Van Halen during a chat with Planet Rock. When pressed about the mid-’80s rivalry between him and Roth, the “Red Rocker” admitted, “It wasn’t even a blip on my radar. I don’t respect Dave’s artistry, but I do think he’s clever and a great showman and what he did with Van Halen in the early days was fantastic. Van Halen couldn’t have made it without him. God bless Dave, but he refuses to acknowledge that Van Halen with me was even more successful than Van Halen with him, and that’s very stupid of him. That’d be like me not acknowledging what he did for the band before I joined: that would be stupid wouldn’t it?”
Hagar spoke about the situation that led to his first split with Van Halen in 1996: “We had eight years of (huge success), and then suddenly people in the band started changing. . . and it wasn’t me and it wasn’t Mike (Anthony). The Balance record was like pulling teeth, things got very dysfunctional by then. Drugs and alcohol and insecurity and bad management killed that band.” (Planet Rock)
Gene Simmons told London’s Evening Standard that both Ace Frehley and Peter Criss have been invited to make appearances on Kiss‘s “End Of The Road” world tour. Simmons said, “They were as important as any one of us in the early days of the band and they’ve both been invited to come on stage at some point in the tour. But we couldn’t do the whole thing with them. They’re completely undependable.”
Simmons, who along with Kiss is in the midst of a sting of UK dates explained, “I have to say that door is open (to Criss and Frehley), but it’s nothing that I contemplate daily. We’re 45 shows into a sold-out tour, and it’s going to continue. And it’s a celebration, not of any line-up of the band — it’s a celebration of everything we’ve accomplished with our fans. And that’s not limited to any particular people.” (Evening Standard)
Graham Nash is the latest classic rocker auctioning off his guitars. 19 of iconic axes go under the hammer on July 20th and 21st via Heritage Auctions — including the 1969 Martin D-45 he played at the original Woodstock festival. MusicRadar.com reported the auction will feature guitars collected by Nash “from the likes of Johnny Cash, Stephen Stills, Charlie Gracie, Buddy Holly, and Bo Diddley over the years.”
Nash said of the instruments: “I’ve always collected only what touches me. It’s like being close to the fire. I like holding Duane Allman’s guitar. I like holding Don Everly’s guitar. It’s been played on all these incredible records and you can feel it. I don’t collect just any type of guitars.” (Music Radar)