These are the scripts Joe Benson used on the air at 95.5 KLOS in Los Angeles. They all received final editing by Jan Benson, without whom the task would have been far too daunting. Remember to give credit where credit is due, and enjoy!
Stan Lynch, the original drummer for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, is 56.
On this day in 1966, Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Women #12 & #35" peaked at #2 as "Eight Miles High" by The Byrds topped out at #14. Those were the days!
On this day in 1977, Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" was the #1 album in the U.S.
On this day in 1977, Steve Miller's "Book Of Dreams" album entered the charts.
Drummer Dallas Taylor, who worked with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, is 75 and glad to be alive.
Elton John's longtime collaborator, lyricist Bernie Taupin is 61.
On this day in 1958, Jerry Lee Lewis announced he'd married his 13-year-old cousin Myra. It's a wonder she never appeared in "Playboy."
On this day in 1965, The Beatles' "Ticket To Ride" knocked "Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter" by Herman's Hermits out of the #1 spot on the American charts.
On this day in 1971, The Rolling Stones' "Sticky Fingers" album, considered by many to be their finest, topped the American charts one week after its release.
On this day in 1976, Steely Dan's classic "The Royal Scam" album entered the charts.
On this day in 1997, a reunited Fleetwood Mac taped an "MTV Unplugged" special here in Los Angeles. The concert later became their best-selling "The Dance" album and video.
It was on this day:
In 1841, the first reclining chair was patented;
In 1892, the toothpaste tube was invented;
In 1967, "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" debuted on PBS;
And in 1982, John Mellencamp's "Hurts So Good" and Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" were released. Coincidence? I don't think so!
Robert Moog, the guy who made synthesizers manageable, would have been 77.
J. Geils Band bassist Danny Klein is 65.
On this day in 1970, The Beatles' song "The Long And Winding Road" entered the charts on its way to #1 as their farewell album "Let It Be" set a record with 3.7 million advance orders.
On this day in 1979, Tom Petty filed for bankruptcy after MCA bought his old record label and tried to change his personal contract. The result was a new contract and his breakthrough "Damn The Torpedoes" album.
On this day in 1979, The Who's excellent documentary "The Kids Are Alright" debuted in theaters.
On this day in 1981, John Lennon's song "Watching The Wheels" peaked at #10 on the charts.
On this day in 1987, 12 of the 16 former members of The Doobie Brothers gathered for a reunion concert at the Hollywood Bowl to raise money for Vietnam veterans. It marked the first and last time that so many Doobie alumni ever gathered on the same stage.
No surprise here: U2, Sir Elton John and Bon Jovi are in the Forbes Celebrity 100 Top 10. The annual list — which takes into account earnings, power, influence and social media popularity — placed U2 at #4, Elton at #5 and Bon Jovi at #8. Lady Gaga was #1, Oprah Winfrey #2 and Justin Bieber #3 with Tiger Woods, Taylor Swift, Simon Cowell and Lebron James wrapping up the Top 10.
Here's a concert bill unlike any you've ever seen: The Eagles, Prince and the ever dark and moody Morrissey. Yep — the Eagles will be closing out their European tour by headlining the opening night of the U.K.'s Hop Farm Festival. His Purpleness will close out the party with his first-ever U.K. festival appearance on July 3rd. All that and warm British beer — Rock & Roll!
With The Rolling Stones in a holding pattern waiting for next year's tour, Mick Jagger has joined a new band. Super Heavy – featuring Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, Damian Marley and Indian film composer A.R. Rahman. Their debut album is being set for release in September. Jagger said, "It's different from anything else I've ever been involved in... The music is very wide-ranging — from reggae to ballads to Indian songs in Urdu." No, really — that's what he said.
On the heels of bestsellers by Steven Tyler, Sammy Hagar and Keith Richards comes word that Gregg Allman, frontman for the legendary Allman Brothers Band, will have his as-yet-untitled memoir in print next Spring.
It was Benjamin Franklin who said: "Most fools think that they are only ignorant."
It was Michael Deacon who said: "A well-crafted insult should be admired — it takes far more skill than any compliment."
It was Art Buchwald who said: "I worship the quicksand he walks in."
Bob Dylan turns 70 today. Bob has released over 43 albums since his self-titled 1962 debut, and it was he alone that introduced lyrics that meant something to pop music.
Guitarist Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes is 42.
On this day in 1963, legendary blues slide guitarist Elmore James died in Chicago of a heart attack at the age of 45.
On this day in 1965, John Lennon published his second volume of prose, "A Spaniard in the Works."
On this day in 1969, The Beatles' "Get Back" hit #1 on the singles chart.
On this day in 1969, The Who released their landmark "Tommy" album in the States.
On this day in 1970, founding member/guitar wizard Peter Green quit Fleetwood Mac to become obscure.
On this day in 1974, American jazz great Duke Ellington died in New York from cancer at the age of 75.
On this day in 1979, fans buying tickets to a Genesis benefit show at the Roxy were shocked to find the band members manning the box office.
On this day in 1991, vocalist Gene Clark of The Byrds died in Sherman Oaks at the age of 46.
A special one-minute, edited clip of Rush's "Countdown" will be beamed to the Space Shuttle Endeavor this morning as the wake-up music for the Shuttle crew. The classic song from Rush's 1982 "Signals" album was specifically requested by Mission Specialist Mike Fincke, who has logged 365 days in space, placing him third for the most time in space by an American astronaut. Since we'll all probably miss the event in real time, the song is sure to be included as part of the Flight Day 10 highlights to be shown around noon tomorrow (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html).
Former Bad Company/Queen singer Paul Rodgers was honored for his contribution to British music at last week's prestigious Ivor Novello Awards in London. Rodgers received the top award from Chris Blackwell, who had signed Paul and his band Free to their first recording contract. (The legendary Blackwell had also signed Jethro Tull, 10 Years After, Bob Marley and U2.) The Ivors, the most coveted awards for British songwriters and composers, are judged and presented by the songwriting and composing community. Past recipients have included Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, David Bowie and Elton John.
Currently in the midst of his 11-night run at London's Royal Albert Hall, Eric Clapton has been performing Gary Moore's "Still Got The Blues" in tribute to the former Thin Lizzy guitarist who passed away in February. Since E.C.'s version of Gary's signature song has been drawing rave reviews, perhaps a recording will surface soon.
A small school, originally funded by Pink Floyd's famous 1972 Oxfam concert, has been forced to close after losing its financial support from its local council. However, although Schoolhouse Education's Lewisham site — established to help disaffected students in South London — is history, another newer site in Greenwich will remain open. Maybe the Floyd boys need to play another benefit concert!
It was Tom Stoppard who said: "Age is a high price to pay for maturity."
It was Kin Hubbard who said: "There's no secret about success. Did you ever know a successful man who didn't tell you about it?"
It was Robert Anthony who said: "If you are not leaning, no one will ever let you down."
Every species of frog has its own special mating call. The call has two parts: a "whine" which the whole species uses, and a "chuck" which is the individual frog's calling card. Females listen to the chuck carefully — the larger, more desirable frogs make longer, deeper chucks. Yeah, baby!
Jazz icon Miles Davis would have been 85 and still cranky.
Scorpions singer Klaus Meine is 63.
On this day in 1968, the second Monterey Pop Festival was canceled because of pressure from the local government and citizenry. In the wake of the cancellation, $52,000 was discovered missing from the previous festival's profits and the festival's bookkeeper, Mrs. Sandra Beebe, couldn't be located. The shock! The horror!
On this day in 1969, Led Zeppelin and The Who appeared together in concert at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. Not one person in the crowd could hear anything whatsoever when the show finally finished.
On this day in 1978, The Who performed a second "secret" concert in London for their documentary "The Kids Are Alright." That marked Keith Moon's last public performance with the band before his death.
U2's Bono and The Edge — along with some of the cast of "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark" — will appear on tonight's "American Idol" season finale. In case you missed the details, in addition to writing several songs for the Broadway musical (which has been plagued by delays and injuries to cast members), the two Irishmen and their U2 bandmates were named the Touring Band of the Year at last weekend's Billboard Awards.
Paul McCartney has confirmed his presence at the fifth anniversary of Cirque du Soleil's Beatles-themed Las Vegas show "Love" on June 8th. It was rumored that drummer Ringo Starr would attend as well, but his tour obligations will limit his participation to a taped message. John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, George Harrison's widow Olivia Harrison, Harrison's son Dhani Harrison and producer George Martin and his son Giles will be on hand for the party.
After plundering Europe this Summer with their farewell "Epitaph Tour," Judas Priest will bring their "full-on metal extravaganza" Stateside in October. They'll start in San Antonio on October 12th, hit the San Manuel Amphitheater in Devore on October 22nd and the Gibson Amphitheatre three nights later. As guitarist Glenn Tipton pointed out, "It's not exactly the end of the band, it's just the fact that we won't really be doing any more world tours... It takes a big chunk out of your life. We've been doing it for 40 years now or close to it, and we all love that moment on stage, but it's difficult to be away from home and all the traveling involved... in general, this is probably the last chance you'll get to see Priest live." And indeed, they will rock!
Since the iconic singer's death a year ago, his Ronnie James Dio "Stand Up and Shout" Cancer Fund has raised over $450,000 for cancer research and helping families burdened by the cost of caring for loved ones with cancer. Later this year, the Fund will team up with Christie's Auction House for a guitar and bass auction. So far, over 100 instruments have been donated by artists including Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Metallica, Sting and Geddy Lee.
It was Yogi Berra who said: "The future ain't what it used to be."
It was Steve Jobs who said: "A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them."
It was Winston Churchill who said: "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
Drummer Levon Helm of The Band is 71.
Chanteuse Stevie Nicks is 63.
Mick Ronson, David Bowie's main guitarist/muse, would have been 62.
Lenny Kravitz is 47.
On this day in 1973, Deep Purple's classic song "Smoke On The Water" entered the U.S. singles charts and the consciousness of the entire Free World.
On this day in 1984, Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing In The Dark" entered the charts on its way to becoming his biggest hit single ever at #2. Ironically, it was the last song (of over 100) written and recorded for the "Born In The U.S.A." album.
This weekend, over 90 stations will air OFF THE RECORD with Joe Benson featuring the music of Styx as well as more of Joe's conversation with Chuck Panazo, Tommy Shaw and James 'J.Y.' Young. Here's the promo... Stream on!
Last night's "American Idol" finale gave us a a couple highlights to mention, if not savor. Contestant/Metal Head James Durbin's dream came true when he sang with Rob Halford and Judas Priest on "Living After Midnight" and "Breaking The Law." SoCal jazzer Casey Abrams got funny with Jack Black on Queen's "Fat Bottom Girls." Bono and The Edge played a "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark" song with a couple of their Broadway cast. Tom Jones did make an appearance that rocked (in a Tom Jones kind of way)! And our favorite Aerosmith singer/"Idol" judge, Steven Tyler, closed the show with his classic "Dream On."
INXS — the original band plus singer J.D. Fortune — has announced the first set of North American Summer concert dates on their "The Original Sin Tour." Starting in Canada on July 3rd, the first 15+ dates include a July 22nd stop at The Wiltern in Los Angeles.
While Bob Seger still hasn't agreed to play any Southland dates, word is that he'll perform with his Silver Bullet Band at Walmart's June 1st shareholders meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In addition, Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum will open up the event with a show on May 31st. And furthermore, the free shows will be open to the public with priority going to Walmart employees. Now if we could just get Bob to saunter on stage out here!
It was Satchel Paige who said: "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you."
It was H. L. Mencken who said: "A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know."
It was Dr. Norman Vincent Peale who said: "Nothing of great value in this life comes easily."
Bassist/keyboardist Pete Sears, most famous for his work with Rod Stewart and Jefferson Starship, is 62.
On this day in 1962, Bob Dylan released his second album, "Freewheelin' Bob Dylan," which contained two all-time classics: "Blowin' In The Wind" and "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall."
On this day in 1972, Procol Harum's live version of "Conquistador" entered the U.S. singles charts.
On this day in 1978, The Rolling Stones' "Miss You," the first single from their forthcoming "Some Girls" album, entered the charts. It went on to become the Stones' third and final #1 hit in the Seventies, and "the song" of the Summer of '78.
There's a good reason REO Speedwagon will be focusing on their "Hi Infidelity" album when they play the Greek Theater next Saturday night. They'll be celebrating 30 years since they released that #1 charting, 10 million selling album! And to further mark the occasion, REO is issuing a special 30th anniversary edition of the LP with a ton of bonus material on July 19th. You'll finally be able to hear nine never-before-released demos of the classic songs (which were actually just recently rediscovered stored away in a garage), plus new liner notes from the band members. Until then, we've got the Greek!
Many of us consider ZZ Top's "Expect No Quarter Tour" for their 1979 "Degüello" album their finest — for the musicality of the performances and the boys' song selection. If you weren't there, now you'll finally get to hear it. In April 1980, during the Top's first ever European tour, they did a show for the famous German music television show "Rockpalast," and that concert (or a significant portion thereof) is finally coming to CD. The cleverly titled "ZZ Top Live In Germany 1980" will be out on Tuesday.
In the year since Slash released his self-titled solo album, he's been touring the world and writing songs. Now he's decided that he has enough material to warrant he and singer Myles Kennedy heading into pre-production next month and again in September. That means the new album should be out in March or April of next year... and the touring will resume!
It was Robert Anthony who said: "Courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway."
It was French President Charles de Gaulle who said: "The graveyards are full of indispensable men."
Time for a few thoughts on Memorial Day. The basic problem is that people increasingly take the holidays we celebrate throughout the year for granted, as nothing more than a day you don't have to go to work or school, and a gimmick for advertisers and merchandising. But the reality is that Memorial Day was established to honor all the men and women who have served, are currently serving, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our country and our freedoms. It's also a day to pay tribute to the families whose loved ones died, or were taken captive and never returned. We thank them for shouldering this burden, and for giving us our future at the cost of their own. The idea is that this Monday, before you hit the malls, light up the barbecue or hit the road, STOP for a moment and reflect. Remember the heroes, those who came home and the ones who never made it, all of whom helped build and preserve the American dream.
Blues legend T-Bone Walker, credited as being the first to plug in his guitar and turn the blues electric, would have been 101 today.
Creedence Clearwater Revival's John Fogerty is 66.
On this day in 1966, The Beach Boys incredible "Pet Sounds" album entered the charts. It quickly peaked at #10, then sank like a stone, prompting their record company to rush-release the first of MANY Beach Boys "Best Of" compilations to keep the cash flowing in.
On this day in 1969, Rolling Stone Mick Jagger and girlfriend Marianne Faithful were arrested in their London home on marijuana possession charges. Yes, she was naked, but why do you ask?
On this day in 1976, the Allman Brothers Band broke up in disgust after Gregg Allman testified against his road manager who transported his drugs.
On this day in 1977, Bruce Springsteen settled out of court with his former manager, Mike Appel. Their suits and counter-suits had prevented Springsteen from recording for almost two years.
On this day in 1983, the second US Festival opened in Devore. Headliners for each day — Van Halen, David Bowie and The Clash — were paid a cool million dollars each. Last reports were that 237 people are still wandering around the hills, looking for their cars.
On this day in 2007, The Police kicked off their extremely successful 152-show reunion tour in front of 22,000 fans in Vancouver, Canada.
Show biz legend Bob Hope would have been 108 today.
Singer/keyboardist Gary Brooker of Procol Harum is 66.
Danny Elfman, lord of Oingo Boingo and many soundtracks, is 56.
Bass player Mike Porcaro of Toto is 53.
Melissa Etheridge is 50.
On this day in 1942, Bing Crosby recorded "White Christmas" in just 18 minutes. On its way to selling an astounding 50 million copies, the master tape wore out, so Bing re-recorded the song on March 18, 1947. That is the version of "White Christmas" most often heard today. And yes, it is the biggest selling Christmas song of all time.
On this day in 1971, The Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" hit #1 Stateside, while their "Sticky Fingers" stayed at the top of the albums chart.
On this day in 1976, Steve Miller's classic "Fly Like An Eagle" album entered the charts.
On this day in 1977, Elvis Presley wandered off the stage in the middle of a Baltimore concert, and didn't come back. That marked the first time "The King" used Van Morrison's personal technique for terminating shows.
On this day in 1964, The Beatles' "Love Me Do" hit #1 in the States.
On this day in 1968, The Beatles began recording their "White" album by doing 18 takes of "Revolution 1" (John Lennon was hard to please that day).
On this day in 1970, the most powerful live album in the history of Rock & Roll, The Who's "Live At Leeds," and The Beatles last album, "Let It Be," both entered the charts.
On this day 1975, in one of their most productive sessions ever, The Who recorded both "Squeeze Box" and "Slip Kid" for "The Who By Numbers" album.
On this day in 1980, bassist Carl Radle, who played in Clapton's Derek & the Dominos, died from a kidney ailment at the age of 37.
Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham would have been 63.
On this day in 1969, The Guess Who's "These Eyes" peaked at #6 on the singles chart.
On this day in 1969, The Rolling Stones recorded "Honky Tonk Women."
On this day in 1975, the Eagles released the "One Of These Nights" single.
On this day in 1976, Paul McCartney was featured on the cover of "Time" magazine.
On this day in 1976, The Who's gig at Britain's Charlton Athletic Grounds put them in the "Guinness Book Of World Records" as the loudest band ever with 120 decibels of sterilizing sound.
Jimi Hendrix rightfully took the top spot on Gibson.com's new Top 50 Cover Songs of All Time list for his version of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower." And there's no argument on The Beatles taking second for their hot rendition of the Isley Brothers' "Twist & Shout." Johnny Cash's cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt," The Clash's take on the Bobby Fuller Four's "I Fought the Law," and Cream's classic jam on Robert Johnson's "Crossroads" completed the Top 5. The Byrds' version of Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man," The Animals intense cover of the traditional blues song "House Of The Rising Sun" and Van Halen's ripping version of The Kinks' "You Really Got Me" also made the Top 10.
The good news for us is that Rod Stewart will be doing at least 52 shows in his two-year residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The bad news for magicians and midgets is, as Rod has emphatically announced, his show won't feature any "magicians or midgets." He's promising that the show, which starts on August 24th, will feature just "the songs that made me famous."
Seems strange that we'll have to travel across the Atlantic Ocean to see this, but The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool will open its "Elvis & Us" exhibit on September 28th. The display will focus on the August 27, 1965 night that The Beatles and Elvis Presley met at the King's Bel Air home. The white Fender bass guitar used by Presley and The Beatles, along with the pool table they played on that night, will be on display. For some unclear reason, one of the shirts Presley wore in the "Jailhouse Rock" movie, telegrams from Elvis and his manager Colonel Parker to Ed Sullivan, and a ticket to Presley's 1968 "Comeback" special will also be on display at The Beatles museum.
Word is that Rush uber drummer/lyricist Neil Peart will appear on CBS' "The Late Show with David Letterman" on Thursday June 9th as part of the show's "Drum Solo Week." June 9th is Rush's day off between Greenville and New Orleans concerts, opening the door for an extremely rare Peart TV appearance. We're also hearing that the trio will release an as-yet-untitled DVD on September 27th which most likely will contain the band's April 15th performance at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Rock on!
It was Tom Waits who said: "Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends."
It was Mark Twain who said: "What would men be without women? Scarce, sir... mighty scarce."
It was Bill Gates who said: "Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one."
This Saturday, 10am - Noon: Stop by to say hello as J.B. dons an "Official Orange Apron" at The Home Depot at 435 West Katella Avenue in Orange. Betcha it will look something like this!