In the News: Elvis, The Beatles, Bad Company, AC/DC, Bob Dylan and more

Bad Company reunited and performed before a sold-out crowd in Florida on Aug. 8, 2008. Photo: Bad Company.

GIGS

The three remaining original members of Bad Company reunited Aug. 8 to perform a two-hour-plus set before a sold-out crowd at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Fla. Paul Rodgers, Mick Ralphs and Simon Kirke had not performed together since reuniting in 1999 for a concert tour, their first since the group disbanded in 1982. The concert was taped for an upcoming CD/DVD to be released by Image Entertainment

NEW RELEASES

Black Ice, AC/DC’s first studio album in eight years, will hit shelves exclusively at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores on Oct. 20. The band is slated to hit the road in late October on its first world tour since 2001… The Soul of Rock and Roll, a four-CD, 107-song, career-spanning box set of recordings by the late Roy Orbison, some of which were previously unreleased, will be issued Sept. 23… Bob Dylan’s Tell Tale Signs — the eighth installment in the Bootleg Series — will be released by Columbia Records on Oct. 7. Available in multiple formats, it offers three discs worth of previously unreleased recordings and alternate versions of tracks. For a limited time, www.bobdylan.com will feature a free download of “Dreamin’ Of You”…

AUCTION NEWS

Brian Epstein’s copy of his management contract with The Beatles is being offered for sale Sept. 4 at London’s Idea Generation Gallery by the Fame Bureau auction house. The four-page document, signed Oct. 1, 1962, by John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Richard Starkey (aka Ringo Starr) carries an estimated price of $480,000. Also up for bid is a Bechstein grand piano used on The White Album and Hey Jude, which is expected to sell for $570,000 or more… A 30-minute reel-to-reel tape of The Beatles laughing and chatting during a recording session in 1964 has sold for $23,446, London’s Cameo Auctioneers reported. It features John Lennon and Paul McCartney collapsing into fits of giggles as they try to finish the ballad “I’ll Follow the Sun” and carries versions of songs including “I Feel Fine,’’ “I’m a Loser’’ and “Don’t Put Me Down Like This”…

BUSINESS NOTES

Bertelsmann AG will sell its 50-percent stake in music business Sony BMG to Sony Corp. in a $1.2 billion deal that will give Sony full ownership. Once the deal is complete, Sony Music Entertainment Inc. will be comprised of music labels including Arista, Columbia, Epic, J, Jive, RCA and Zomba. Its artists will include Bruce Springsteen, Usher and Alicia Keys

LAW AND ORDER

A rental truck containing Iggy Pop and The Stooges’ equipment has been recovered empty after being stolen in Montreal. The group will continue its gigs using rented and donated equipment… A Hawaiian judge has granted class-action status for fans who sued Aerosmith over a Sept. 29, 2007, canceled concert on Maui after alleging the rock group canceled the sold-out Maui show in favor of “a lucrative private concert for Toyota car dealers’’… The Allman Brothers Band has filed a federal lawsuit against UMG Recordings Inc. to demand a bigger cut of recordings sold through third parties such as Apple’s iTunes music service. The band is demanding at least $13 million and additional royalties from the sales of newly configured compact discs and digital downloads for use on telephone ring tones…

ELVIS NEWS

Elvis Presley’s favorite performance costume, a peacock jumpsuit, set a new record when it sold for $300,000 Aug. 6 via The Rock And Roll Pop Art Auction conducted by Gotta Have It! Presley paid $10,000 to have the outfit made by Bill Belew, who created Presley’s stage wardrobe from 1968-1977. The previous record for an Elvis collectible is $295,000 for his 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II… Several thousand Elvis fans lined the street in front of Graceland for the annual Candlelight Vigil at The King’s grave, a highlight of Elvis Week activities… Graceland-approved Elvis and Priscilla wedding dolls are the newest additions to Mattel’s Barbie series. A special, limited-edition boxed set officially unveiled during Elvis Week featured a special unveiling day stamp and sold for $65; 40,000 other sets that will be sent to retailers later this year won’t have those stamps… Thanks to technology, Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, Gretchen Wilson, Wynonna Judd, Sara Evans, Amy Grant, Anne Murray and LeAnn Rimes will perform with The King on Elvis Presley Christmas Duets, due out Oct. 14…

TOUR NEWS

Alice Cooper’s “Psycho Drama” tour is teeming with drama. Cooper was filming a promotional video in East Los Angeles when a 5.4 magnitude earthquake rattled the set on July 29. On July 31, he was hurt following a violent fall during his Redmond, Ore., concert. Doctors determined he broke a rib and suffered ligament damage and advised three weeks of rest to recover, but Cooper opted to keep going with the roughly 100-date tour… After 150 shows and more than a year on the road, The Police have finished their comeback tour. Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland walked off the stage at their last show to Porky Pig’s signature line, “That’s all, folks”…

EXHIBITS

Twenty-seven pencil and pen drawings and five lithographs and serigraphs by John Lennon — all authenticated — are on display at the Waukesha County Historical Society Museum near Milwaukee through Sept. 1. An anonymous collector loaned the art and memorabilia to the museum… The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is going on the road. The Cleveland-based museum is opening a 25,000 square-foot annex in downtown Manhattan, the first of several planned outposts that will take its collection of artifacts to a wider audience. Another annex being planned for Las Vegas

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