Sunday, January 18, 2009


Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck will team up for a pair of gigs at the Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on February 21st and 22nd, according to Rolling Stone. Similar to Clapton's brief run with Steve Winwood at New York's Madison Square Garden last February, the team-up is being limited to only two shows, with no word on a possible tour for the two bluesman. Both guitarists will forever be linked together through their early association with the Yardbirds, with Beck having replaced Clapton, who left the group in 1965 to join John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and eventually Cream.

Jeff Beck has worked with numerous music legends throughout his career, but unlike the other Yardbirds guitarists -- Clapton and Jimmy Page -- he never found the right combination of bandmates to spur him into wider popularity. He says that he doesn't mind being thought of as a music snob for having very specific tastes: "People will tend to think that really, really, trashy, awful music is music if they're not exposed to anything else and that's bad. I come from a whole different era long before all this stuff was about so I have to tread very carefully not to look as if we're a push button brigade, which we're not at all. My band are very highly skilled players and we wouldn't trade that for the world."

Clapton and Beck teamed up in 2004 and 2007 at Crossroads Guitar Festivals, as well as their old stomping ground at Ronnie Scott's Club in London during Beck's 2007 run there.

Beck kicks off his first shows of the year on January 23rd in Perth, Australia. Clapton kicks off his tour of Japan on February 12th in Osaka.


Chris Squire says that the current lineup of Yes will probably be heading into the studio this year. Yes is currently on a break from their 40th anniversary In The Present tour which includes Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White, and keyboardist Oliver Wakeman -- the son of legendary Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman. Fronting the band is temporary lead vocalist Benoit David who's filling in for Jon Anderson, who is suffering from respiratory failure due to chronic asthma.

Just before the New Year, Squire said that it was looking more and more likely that the band would be heading into the studio: "Yeah, well we've been talking about that today. We're going to definitely look into making some new music next year, and y'know, with this lineup, and yeah... we're looking at that."

Squire says that he pushed for the band to incorporate new music into the current set lists: "One of the things that I wanted to do on this tour, as well -- as there was going to be a difference in our whole presentation -- was to do some new material. And Steve Howe is also playing some new instrumental pieces. He does his solos which are new for him to present. And yes, so I had this song called 'Aliens Are Only Us From The Future,' and it's now become part of 'The Fish' section of the show."


David Crosby says that Crosby, Stills, and Nash might be covering the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Rolling Stones for their upcoming album, to be produced by Rick Rubin. Crosby told, "One of the interesting things was that they said they'd like to hear us do other people's songs that we wish we'd written. (Rubin) said, 'There's Joni (Mitchell), James (Taylor), the Beatles: contemporaries of yours who I know you admire. I'd like you to pick a bunch of songs.' So we've been going through that process with Rick, and he's pretty smart about songs."

Crosby added, "We're going to pick and learn some songs. I can't say which ones are going to make the final list, but we have about 30. There's all the people you might expect: some Jackson Browne... there's a whole s***load of records that we love and think are brilliant. I don't know how Rick works yet, but I certainly know how we work, so I'm presuming there'll be some pretty harmonies."

David Crosby says the sense of brotherhood he shares with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash is evidenced by how they sing together: "There's a kinship there, and you can hear it in how we work with each other, what we do with our voices. It's sort of like aerobatic stunt flyers flying formation, and doing stunts together -- kinda tricky stuff. It's just a bond, a natural bond."

Rick Rubin has worked throughout the years with Tom Petty, Donovan, Johnny Cash, and most recently produced Neil Diamond's first-ever Number One album, Home Before Dark. No release date has been announced for the Rick Rubin-CSN album.

Last year, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young released the live album Deja Vu Live with Neil Young. The last CSN album was 1994's After The Storm, which peaked at a disappointing Number 98 on The Billboard 200.

Neil Young fans upset that he is releasing a new album

Here we go again........

Neil Young fans upset that he is releasing a new album

Old Shakey's musical commentary on the financial crisis is apparently so bad his most devoted fans are rooting for the record company not to release it

Sean Michaels

Neil Young's Fork In the Road ... Fans fear it's even worse than Greendale. Photograph: Getty

Neil Young has announced the release of a new album, and no one could be more distressed than his fans.

For months now, Young obsessives have been awaiting the release of Archives Volume 1 – a vast library of early recordings, in the form of 10 Blu-ray discs. This week, however, reports have emerged that an album of new Neil Young material – called Fork In the Road – will pre-empt Archives, pushing its February release back into spring.

Often, this would call for celebration. Who needs old material when you are being offered shiny, new songs by a music legend? Alas, that's not what Neil Young's fans seem to be thinking. They have heard these new songs – on Young's recent tour, or in a new viral video – and let's just say they don't like them very much.

"Would a record company actually listen to this garbage and then agree to release it?" asked one fan at the popular Thrasher's Wheat site. "At some point, they're going to have to take a stand – right? I'm actually rooting for the record company here."

With Fork In the Road, Young seems to be exploring three things – dirty blues, direct lyrics, and his LincVolt electric car project. That all sounds well and good until you hear the opening lyrics of the title track.

"Got a pot belly," Young sings, "It's not too big / Gets in my way / When I'm driving my rig."

The video – clearly a webcam recording of Old Shakey chomping on an apple, mouthing along, cotton buds in his ears – doesn't inspire much confidence. A few minutes in, he sings about blogging. Later in the video he plays air guitar as a flat-screen TV seems to be repossessed. Commentary on the financial crisis? Maybe. Revelatory rock music? Says a fan of his for the past 20 years: "This new stuff is simply the most tired music I've ever heard from Neil."

Neil Young's spokesperson confirmed to Rolling Stone that the "timeliness of the subject matter" on Fork In the Road meant that it would be released soon, probably postponing Archives and the highly anticipated lost album Toast. "It seems logical," the spokesperson said, "but that hasn't been confirmed yet."