November 3, 2013 by Amy Gold
During the week of October 27, 2013, oldies music fans and musicians mourned the passing of Lou Reed famous for his 1972 hit, "Take A Walk On The Wild Side," and his pioneering music with the Velvet Underground during the 1960s. A critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, poet, and musician, he is a legendary figure in rock music whose work over the years has influenced countless bands and artists (see video below).
This December, Stevie Wonder will be performing his 1976 album, "Songs In The Key Of Life," in its entirely at his 18th annual House Full of Toys benefit concert in Los Angeles. Also, Aretha Franklin will be returning to the stage after an extended break at the MotorCity Casino Hotel's Sound Board in Detroit. Billy Joel will be ringing in the new year with a show in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, and The Who announced an extended upcoming world tour which will begin in 2015.
Fleetwood Mac announced that the band is canceling the Australia and New Zealand legs of its world tour so that John McVie can undergo cancer treatment. Also, country legend Loretta Lynn will be postponing two shows in Iowa for medical reasons.
The upcoming James Brown biopic, "Get On Up," begins shooting this month. Also, Willie Nelson is working on a book of memoirs which is scheduled for publication in 2015.
Finally, Patti Labelle was among those honored by "Black Girls Rock!" at its annual award show. This event will be televised November 3, 2013 on BET Networks.
October 27, 2013: Lou Reed Passes Away
Lou Reed died on October 27, 2013 at age 71 at his home in Southampton, NY after battling liver disease. A critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, poet, and musician, he is a legendary figure in rock music whose work over the years has influenced countless bands and artists. Since his passing, hundreds of top musicians have paid tribute and shared their memories of Reed on Twitter and elsewhere.
He was born Lewis Allan Reed in Brooklyn and grew up in Freeport, Long Island. He taught himself to play the guitar at an early age and played in several groups in high school. Reed made his first recording with a doo-wop group known as the Jades. He graduated with honors from Syracuse University where he studied journalism, film directing, and creative writing. One of Reed's main influences was the poet Delmore Schwartz with whom he studied while at Syracuse University. In 1964, Reed began working as a songwriter for Pickwick Records. He had a minor hit with the dance parody, "The Ostrich," and Pickwick Records arranged for an ad hoc band called the Primitives to be formed around Reed to promote that song. The Primitives, which also included John Cale, a classically-trained Welsh musician, were a forerunner to the Velvet Underground. It was around this time that Reed began pioneering the technique known as "ostrich tuning" in which each string of the guitar is tuned to the same note.
In 1965, Reed and John Cale co-founded the Velvet Underground, a band that was well ahead of its time. Most of the Velvet Underground's songs are characterized by provocative, nihilistic lyrics and experimental, avant-garde instrumental arrangements. During the late 1960s, Andy Warhol managed the Velvet Underground which was the house band at his studio, the Factory, and the main featured band of his multimedia road show, Exploding Plastic Inevitable. Although the Velvet Underground was not a commercial success at the time, it is considered by many to be one of the most important groups of the 1960s. Many punk, new wave, and alternative and indie rock bands of the 1980s and beyond cite the Velvet Underground as a major influence. In 2003, Rolling Stone named the band's 1967 debut album, "The Velvet Underground & Nico," as the 13th Greatest Album of All Time and the
most prophetic rock album ever made. As Brian Eno stated, while that first album may have sold only 30,000 copies when it was first released,
everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.
In 1971, Reed went solo and had a Top 40 pop hit in 1972 with "Take A Walk On The Wild Side." He recorded over 30 studio and live albums over the past four decades and was a guest artist for many albums by bands and artists as diverse as the Smithereens, Dion DiMucci, Booker T. Jones, Metallica, and Vince Gill. He toured and performed actively to the 2010s and was a part of many benefit concerts. In 2000, he performed before Pope John Paul II at the Great Jubilee Concert in Rome. He also acted in several films and published the photographic books, "Emotions in Action" and "Lou Reed's New York."
In 1996, the Velvet Underground was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Reed has since been nominated for the Rock Hall as a solo artist twice (in 2000 and 2001).
Lou Reed is survived by his wife, famed composer and musician Laurie Anderson.
October 27, 2013: Fleetwood Mac Cancels Tour
Fleetwood Mac announced that the band is canceling the Australia and New Zealand legs of its world tour so that John McVie can undergo cancer treatment. The band launched this tour last spring and just completed the European leg.
October 28, 2013: 'Black Girls Rock!' Honors Patti Labelle
On October 26, 2013, Patti Labelle was among those honored by "Black Girls Rock!" at its annual award show. This event, which took place at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ, will be televised November 3 on BET Networks. "Black Girls Rock!" was created in 2006 by Beverly Bond to promote positive images of women of color.
October 29, 2013: The Who Announce Upcoming 2015 Tour
The Who announced an extended upcoming world tour which will begin in 2015. Although this will most likely be the band's last big tour, Roger Daltrey indicated that The Who is nowhere near retirement. For the last couple of years, The Who toured Europe and America performing "Quadrophenia." For the upcoming tour, the band plans to play mostly long familiar classic hits.
October 29, 2013: Loretta Lynn Postpones Shows
Loretta Lynn will be postponing two shows in Iowa. The 81-year-old country music legend, who had knee-replacement surgery last year, started feeling bad while on tour in Canada and is taking time off to recover.
October 29, 2013: Stevie Wonder To Perform 'Songs In The Key Of Life' Album In Concert'
On December 21, 2013, Stevie Wonder will be performing his 1976 album, "Songs In The Key Of Life," in its entirely at his 18th annual House Full of Toys benefit concert which will take place in Los Angeles at the Nokia Theatre. Tickets go on sale November 1 at AXS.com or by phone at 888-929-7849. "Songs In The Key Of Life" debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and is ranked at #56 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. This highly acclaimed album includes "Isn't She Lovely," "Sir Duke," "I Wish," "As," "Another Star," and other classics.
October 30, 2013: Willie Nelson Memoir Due In 2015
Little, Brown and Company announced that Willie Nelson is working on an
unvarnished book of memoirs which is scheduled for publication in 2015. Nelson is the author of several books that include "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road" (2012), "The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart" (2007), and "Willie: An Autobiography" (2000).
October 31, 2013: Billy Joel To Perform At Brooklyn's Barclays Center On New Year's Eve
This New Year's Eve, Billy Joel will be ringing in the new year with a show in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center. Tickets go on sale November 9. Joel also has another show scheduled for January 7, 2014 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL.
October 31, 2013: Aretha Franklin To Return To Stage At Detroit Casino
After taking time off for medical treatments, Aretha Franklin will be performing again on December 21, 2013 at the MotorCity Casino Hotel's Sound Board in Detroit. Tickets go on sale November 7 at Ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster locations. The Queen of Soul is also recording an album for Clive Davis and Sony Music.
November 1, 2013: Upcoming James Brown Biopic Begins Shooting This Month
The upcoming James Brown biopic, "Get On Up," begins shooting this month. Also, Dan Aykroyd and Jill Scott have been added to the cast. Aykroyd will be playing Ben Bart, the president of the agency that represented Brown, and Scott will be playing one of Brown's wives.