Guitarist Tom Verlaine, co-founder of Television, dies at 73
Tom Verlaine, guitarist and co-founder of the seminal proto-punk band Television who influenced many bands while playing at ultra-cool downtown New York music venue CBGB alongside the Ramones, Patti Smith and Talking Heads, has died. He was 73.chicagotribune.com
Guitarist Tom Verlaine, co-founder of Television, dies at 73
NEW YORK — (AP) — Tom Verlaine, guitarist and co-founder of the seminal proto-punk band Television who influenced many bands while playing at ultra-cool downtown New York music venue CBGB alongside the Ramones, Patti Smith and Talking Heads, has died. “Tom Verlaine has passed over to the beyond that his guitar playing always hinted at. He was the best rock and roll guitarist of all time, and like Hendrix could dance from the spheres of the cosmos to garage rock. Though Television never found much commercial success, Verlaine’s jaggedly inventive playing as part of the band's two-guitar assault influenced many musicians. Increasing tension between Verlaine and fellow guitarist Richard Lloyd led Television to disband after its second album “Adventure.” The group would reunite for a self-titled 1992 album for Capitol Records and sporadic live appearances.wftv.com
R.E.M., Blondie, Snoop Dogg get nods for Songwriters Hall
Eligible voting members have until Dec. 28 to turn in ballots with their choices of three nominees from the songwriter category and three from the performing-songwriter category. Blue Sky” and “Evil Woman,” faces off against the “Losing My Religion” R.E.M. The Songwriters Hall of Fame was established in 1969 to honor those creating the popular music. A songwriter with a notable catalog of songs qualifies for induction 20 years after the first commercial release of a song. Some already in the hall include Carole King, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Lionel Richie, Bill Withers, Neil Diamond and Phil Collins.wftv.com
Renowned author Joan Didion honored by hundreds at memorial
NEW YORK — (AP) — Joan Didion's precision with words extended even to ones she would never live to hear, such as those used during a small, private service this spring at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Patrick Malloy said Wednesday night, at the start of a memorial tribute at the Cathedral. “She and Joan would share a smoke together and talk about the novels they were reading,” he said. Didion’s longtime friend and fellow author Susanna Moore distilled decades of conversation into a few of Didion's aphorisms: “Evil is the absence of seriousness.” “Crazy is never interesting." “Without raising the issue she (Joan Didion) reached out and stroked my head,” Traylor recalled.wftv.com
Hundreds gather for Joan Didion tribute Wednesday night
NEW YORK — (AP) — Joan Didion's precision with words extended even to ones she would never live to hear, such as those used during a small, private service this spring at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Patrick Malloy said Wednesday night, at the start of a memorial tribute at the Cathedral. It was Didion's way of reminding everyone that the sounds of the words, and their rhythm, meant as much as the words themselves. “She and Joan would share a smoke together and talk about the novels they were reading,” he said. “Without raising the issue she (Joan Didion) reached out and stroked my head,” Traylor recalled.wftv.com
A funky Flea celebrates his birthday, his school's founding
Music Flea FILE - In this April 13, 2014 file photo, Flea, bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, plays the national anthem prior to an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File) (Mark J. Terrill)LOS ANGELES — (AP) — Flea had a funky birthday. So did the music school he co-founded that has become an LA institution. “This is the best possible birthday gift I could have imagined, being here with everybody, celebrating that we got to do this for 20 years,” Flea said. It’s open to all comers, but specializes in serving the youth of the surrounding community in eastern Los Angeles, providing scholarships to kids who need them.wftv.com
Superstar bash in Central Park expected to draw thousands
NEW YORK — (AP) — The sounds of song will be ringing out from Central Park on Saturday, with thousands expected for a superstar-laden concert that was meant to celebrate New York City's recovery from the coronavirus. Saturday's event comes after a series of hip-hop concerts in the last week at outdoor venues around the city. Despite the joyful intention, the concert is taking place when there are worries about the contagious delta variant of COVID-19. New York City over the past week has averaged just under 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 a day, according to state statistics. Others expected to perform include Barry Manilow, Wyclef Jean, Elvis Costello, Cynthia Erivo and Patti Smith, who is duetting with Springsteen.wftv.com
Patti Smith returns to singing live with Brooklyn concert
CORRECTS DAY OF CONCERT - FILE - Patti Smith attends a special screening of "Pavarotti" at the iPic Theater in New York on May 28, 2019. Smith performed six songs as well as read poetry and excerpts from her book “Just Kids” in the Beaux-Arts Court at the museum, her voice bouncing off the skylight 60 feet above. It was a concert to also honor museum workers and drew just under 50 people, all socially distanced in widely spaced chairs. The Smith concert came on the same day in 1989 that Mapplethorpe died at age 42. It also marked the one-year anniversary of when Smith last performed live, at The Fillmore in San Francisco.
Former US Ambassador to Ukraine to be honored by PEN America
Ambassador to Ukraine who was forced out of her job last year by the Trump administration, is being honored by PEN America. The alleged attempt to make a foreign government investigate a political opponent led to Trump's impeachment in December on two counts by the Democratic-run House. “At a time when, for government officials, standing on principle can spell an end to a professional career, Ambassador Yovanovitch did not flinch or falter,” said Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America, said in a statement. She will be among the guests Dec. 8 at PEN's annual gala, to be held online because of the coronavirus pandemic. Others receiving awards will include author and musician Patti Smith and Chinese dissident Xu Zhiyong.
Annual Lennon tribute, in 40th year, goes online
FILE - A couple look at the "Lennon Wall" with a face mask attached to the image of John Lennon, in Prague, Czech Republic, on April 6, 2020. Like so many other events in the year of coronavirus, an annual tribute to John Lennon held in its adopted city of New York will go online. The five-hour event will be streamed for free on Lennon's birthday, October 9, starting at 7 p.m. Eastern time on the LennonTribute.org website. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)NEW YORK – Like many other events, an annual John Lennon tribute concert that takes place in his adopted city of New York on his Oct. 9 birthday has been forced online because of the coronavirus pandemic. Raiola and other friends began their informal tribute to Lennon in 1981, less than a year after the former Beatle was shot to death.
Chinese dissident Xu Zhiyong to be honored by PEN America
NEW YORK Xu Zhiyong, a prominent Chinese activist and legal scholar detained by the government since earlier this year, is being honored by PEN America. Xu's award comes on the 31st anniversary of the so-called Tiananmen Square Massacre, when Chinese soldiers shot and killed pro-democracy demonstrators. The 47-year-old Xu has strongly criticized Chinese leader Xi Jinping for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak. You didnt authorise the truth to be released, and the outbreak turned into a national disaster, Xu wrote in February, shortly before he was detained. PEN will highlight Xu's life and work at its annual gala, scheduled for December 8 in Manhattan after being postponed from May because of the coronavirus.