The Rolling Stones will soon be gearing up for their Desert Trip festival, which will find them at Indio, California’s Empire Polo Club for two weekends in October, alongside their music veteran peers Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, the Who, Neil Young and Roger Waters. In an interview with Q104.3, the Stones’ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards talked about the upcoming events.
“I thought it was Coachella for old people,” Jagger joked when asked about what he thought of Desert Trip. The singer discussed the logistics of the camping-oriented festival and when asked if he planned to stay for the whole weekend (the Stones play on Friday both weekends), he said, “Maybe I’ll just get my RV and stay there for a bit longer.” Later, Jagger reveals that Dylan also has an RV.
The band is no stranger to huge events like this one and the singer discussed how the band focuses on stage configurations and “what special songs could you possibly think of doing … You gotta worry about yourself, you don’t really worry about anyone else” rather than who else is on the bill.
As for how it will be backstage, Jagger anticipates it will be “absolutely chaotic.” [...] Continue Reading…
Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, The Who, Neil Young and Roger Waters Confirmed for Desert Trip Concert Event
Following the swirling rumors of a mega-festival organized by Goldenvoice, the people who present California’s Coachella Festival, the event has been officially confirmed, as the Empire Polo Club in Indio will play host to a gathering of some of the biggest names in classic rock in a concert event dubbed Desert Trip.
The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, The Who, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and Neil Young + Promise of the Real have been confirmed as the participants in Goldenvoice’s three-day concert event that will take place October 7–9. Performances will start after sunset, with two acts per night playing full sets.
Passes for Desert Trip go on sale May 9 at 10am PT. View the daily schedule below. More information is available here.
Friday, October 7
The Rolling Stones
Bob Dylan and his Band
Saturday, October 8
Neil Young + Promise of the Real
Sunday, October 9
The Who [...] Continue Reading…
Their music was banned from the communist-run country for decades, but Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell was part of history when the band performed in Havana, Cuba, last month.
“I’ve never seen so much joy in a crowd in all my life,” Leavell said of the more than 500,000 people who gathered in an open field in Havana March 25. “The Rolling Stones enjoy first, and this is a first.”
Leavell, who lives in Twiggs County, returned to Middle Georgia recently from touring Latin America and the Caribbean with the Stones.
The culminating performance in Cuba was planned shortly after President Barack Obama announced in December 2014 that the United States would make efforts to mend relations with the island nation through increased travel, commerce and flow of information.
The show was the first time the 63-year-old Leavell had been to Cuba. He remembered when he was a boy during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, crouching under his desk during emergency drills at school, “thinking that war could erupt in any moment.” [...] Continue Reading…
Audio and video releases documenting star-studded concerts saluting Dr. John and the late Jerry Garcia will hit stores soon in multiple configurations as part of a new partnership between Blackbird Presents and the Concord Bicycle Music label.
The events will be available on CD, DVD, as CD/DVD packages and as digital downloads.
The Dr. John tribute, titled The Musical Mojo of Dr. John: A Celebration of Mac & His Music, captures a May 2014 event held at the Saenger Theater in New Orleans’ French Quarter. The show featured a surprise appearance by Bruce Springsteen, who joined Dr. John for a rendition of the New Orleans legend’s funky 1973 hit “Right Place, Wrong Time.” Other guest performers included John Fogerty, Aaron Neville, Mavis Staples, Irma Thomas, Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and longtime Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes.
The show also featured an impressive house band led by Don Was on bass which included drummer Kenny Aronoff and Rolling Stones touring keyboardist Chuck Leavell.
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The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood has confirmed that the rock legends, who just completed their historic trip to Cuba, are now focusing on the long-awaited follow-up to 2005′s A Bigger Bang. In a new interview with The Associated Press, Wood revealed that the band recently spent a few days in the studio, where they recorded some new originals alongside nearly a dozen blues covers.
“We went in to cut some new songs, which we did,” Wood said. “But we got on a blues streak. We cut 11 blues in two days. They are extremely great cover versions of Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter, among other blues people. But they really sound authentic… When we heard them back after not hearing them for a couple of months, we were, ‘Who’s that? It’s you.’ It sounded so authentic.”
Wood added that the album would tentatively arrive “this year.” Wood made the new album remarks in London at the group’s “Exhibitionism” exhibit at the city’s Saatchi Gallery. The event was also attended by Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Keith Richards, who wasn’t as forthcoming as Wood when it came to new album details. “There’s one coming,” Richards admitted. “I can’t say no more. My lips are sealed.”
In a Rolling Stone interview in October, following the release of Richards’ solo LP Crosseyed Heart, the guitarist said he hoped the Stones would soon reconvene in the studio. [...] Continue Reading…
Rolling Stones keyboardist, sustainable forester Chuck Leavell joins European visitors at Pickens County tree farm
More than 50 visitors from European Union nations, and a conservationist who is better known as the keyboard player for The Rolling Stones, rolled into Pickens County on Tuesday to take a look at Mill Pine Plantation as part of a Bioenergy Study Tour organized by the U.S. Department of Energy.
The group visited the tree farm of local industrialist Tom O’Hanlan to learn about how Southeastern forests are managed, as their countries look to buy wood pellets from American growers to use in European coal-fired power plants that are being converted to reduce their carbon footprint.
They wanted to make sure the tree farmers they’re buying from aren’t damaging the environment, according to Scott Jones of the Forest Landowners Association, which set up the tour sites.
“It’s been very interesting to see how trees are grown in this area and how the land is taken care of,” said Inge Stuupak, a researcher from the University of Copenhagen.
“It’s amazing to see how they have improved productivity over the years and still maintaining the land.” [...] Continue Reading…
The annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner is known for acquainting strange bedfellows: Rival pols gnaw on the same rubber chicken, and tabloid-famous starlets and Cabinet secretaries gawk at one another.
This year might cement that reputation with a pre-party on April 29 that will unite musicians known for their work in far-flung, legendary acts. The “White House Correspondents’ Jam” will feature a band made up of Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell, R.E.M. co-founder Mike Mills, Widespread Panic lead singer John Bell and Paul Riddle, the drummer for the Marshall Tucker Band.
The supergroup will perform — for one night only at the Hamilton — as “Phil and the Busters.” Event organizer Leavell says the musicians developed the moniker in a lively email chain. “We wanted something appropriate for the event and for Washington — we threw out a bunch of names, like ‘The Editors,’ ” he said.
The longtime Stones keyboardist was behind last year’s concert, then a new addition to the lineup of WHCD pre-parties, for his enviro-news organization Mother Nature Network. That event, like this year’s, featured bands whose members include journalists. One new addition, besides Phil and the Busters? New York Times scribe Carl Hulse will take the stage with his band, the Nativemakers.
Leavell said he was pleasantly surprised by the Fourth Estate’s performances. “The level of musicianship was surprisingly good,” he said. “And certainly they have the passion.”
Getting the all-star pros to show up wasn’t difficult, he said.
Mills, who will also sit in on a tune with the Sequoias — the band featuring The New Yorker’s David Remnick — wasn’t a hard sell. “It’ll be bunch of writers, and they’re always a lot of fun,” he said.
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It may have only been rock ‘n’ roll — but Cubans seemed to like it.
On Friday, the Rolling Stones became the first major international rock band to play in Cuba, drawing hundreds of thousands of people to a free concert at a decrepit sports complex on the road to the airport.
The concert was the result of months of diplomacy after the United States and Cuba announced that they would repair decades of broken relations.<br />
The concert was the result of months of diplomacy after the United States and Cuba announced that they would repair decades of broken relations.
For years, following the Cuban revolution, rock music was banned on Cuban state TV and radio. Cubans who wore long hair and beards faced harassment from officials, including Fidel Castro who told them to dress like men.
“Years ago it was difficult to hear our music but here we are,” Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger told the crowd in Spanish. “The times are changing.”
“Havana, Cuba and the Rolling Stones: it’s amazing,” added legendary Stones guitarist Keith Richards.
The concert was the result of months of rock ‘n’ roll diplomacy conducted after the United States and Cuba announced in 2014 that they would repair decades of broken relations.
“It feels historic,” Jagger said after arriving to Cuba.
As most Cubans only earn a paltry $20 a month, there was no charge to see the show.
Perhaps aware that many of the Cubans attending had not heard much of the band’s music, the Stones played many of their most familiar classics like “Paint it Black,” “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Brown Sugar.”
They were joined by a Cuban choir to sing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
While concerts in Cuba are usually bare bones affairs, the Stones mounted a stage that glowed against the night sky like a giant juke box, with towering video screens and a blasting sound system.
Celebrities such as singer Jimmy Buffett, model Naomi Campbell and actor Richard Gere hung around the VIP section.
Instead of blowing up balloons, a rarity in Cuba, the crowd inflated condoms that they then bounced up into the air.
Cuban police and soldiers walked around the concert but it was marked by a mostly joyous atmosphere.
Cell service was out during the entire two-hour show.
Cuban officials have accused the U.S. of spamming concertgoers who attended the 2009 Juanes concert in Havana with anti-Castro text messages.
The Rolling Stones arrived the same week U.S. President Barack Obama made a historic visit to Cuba, promising to end decades of mistrust and hostility between the two countries.
“I never would have guessed both things would have happened the same week,” said Ernesto Estevez, an English teacher who lives across the street from the sprawling field where the Stones staged the concert.
“But it has happened,” he said. “Which means anything can happen.”
This is fun. The Rolling Stones put on a massive outdoor concert Friday in Cuba for free (it’s a communist nation after all where locals have little money to spend). And a Georgia capitalist was on stage to play keyboard and take part in the cosmic collision.
Chuck Leavell, who has toured with the Stones for 34 years, said it was the first time he has played with the legendary British band played in a country still under communism.
Leavell is a guy who embraces business off stage, usually with an environmental bent. He’s a middle Georgia tree farmer who also charges people to come in for quail hunts at his Twiggs County plantation and calls it ecotourism. He has his own record label. And, with former ad man Joel Babbit, he co-founded Atlanta-based Mother Nature Network, which began as a news and information website and has evolved into content marketing, often partnering with pillars of capitalism like Coca-Cola, AT&T and Delta Air Lines.
I called the 63-year-old Leavell at his Havana hotel before the concert. The hotel’s internet connection was spotty, he told me, and he had to repeatedly sign in. And three times as we spoke on the hotel phone we heard a woman cut in on our line.
“I don’t know what that’s about,” Leavell told me after one interruption. “It’s Cuba, man.”
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