TRUE GLEN — Glen Campbell has announced his final studio album. Adiós is out June 9 via Universal Music Enterprises, and is made up of “songs that Campbell always loved but never got a chance to record,” including ones written by Jimmy Webb, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, and more. (Nelson sings alongside Campbell on his song “Funny (How Time Slips Away).”) Campbell, who has not performed live since 2012 and was diagnosed with Alzhemier’s disease in 2011, released his last album See You There in 2013. After his diagnosis, he released the album Ghost on the Canvas, then purported to be his last record. A source close to the singer describes Campbell’s Adiós as “a labor of love and a way for Glen Campbell to have one more chance to do what he loves to do and leave a musical gift for fans.”
As far as this writer is concerned, one of the most important music figures ever! Can’t wait for this one. Campbell covers Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talkin’” and Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.”
HOLDSWORTH PASSES — Progressive rock and jazz fusion guitar pioneer Allan Holdsworth, who Eddie Van Halen called “the best, in my book,” has died of unknown causes at the age of 70.
Holdsworth’s daughter Louise confirmed the news on Facebook, saying “it is with heavy hearts that we notify everyone of the passing of our beloved father. We would appreciate privacy and time while we grieve the loss of our dad, grandad, friend and musical genius. We will update close friends and family when service arrangements have been made and will notify the public of an open memorial service, which all would be welcome. We are undeniably still in shock with his unexpected death and cannot begin to put into words the overwhelming sadness we are experiencing. He is missed tremendously.”
Holdsworth first appeared on a record in 1969 with the group ‘Igginbottom. After 70’s stints in groundbreaking progressive rock and jazz fusion acts such as Soft Machine, the New Tony Williams Lifetime, Pierre Moerlen’s Gong, Bruford and U. K.. He released his first official solo album, I.O.U., in 1982. Later in the decade he became an early proponent of a synthesized guitar known as the SynthAxe, and his experimentation with the instrument would define much of his work over the next decade and a half.
“Holdsworth is so damned good that I can’t cop anything. I can’t understand what he’s doing,” Van Halen raved in 2008. “I’ve got to do this [does two-hand tapping], whereas he’ll do it with one hand.”
Holdsworth’s 11th and most recent studio album was 2001’s Flat Tire: Music for a Non-Existent Movie. In 2009 he released the live album Blues for Tony – a tribute to drummer and former bandmate Tony Williams – alongside Alan Pasqua, Chad Wackerman and Jimmy Haslip.
Upon hearing of his death, Holdsworth’s guitar playing peers were quick to sing his praises on social media, with Toto‘s Steve Lukather saying he “changed the game” and Peter Frampton describing him as “brilliant, unique. No question about it Holdsworth was amazing. I got the chance to see him love several times and all the praise, then and now, is deserved. RIP.
INDECENT — We went to see Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman’s new play Indecent (at the Court Theater) over the weekend and though we found it to be a tad confusing at times; it was terrifically well executed and staged. It’s really a play within play as it follows a troupe of writers and actors who desire to stage their play, though its subject matter (a simmering affair between two of the female characters) runs afoul of the times. Certain people want edits in the play and when the author finally gives in, he destroys the moral fabric of several of his actors. Truth be told, edits always come in the notes and the real dilemma is whether to implement them at all. Katrina Lenk and Mimi Lieber as the two women are just terrific; conveying just the right amount of emotion while staying in character. Tom Nelis and Mac Gordon Moore are excellent as well. Richard Topol as the one who disagrees with the changes and finally confronts the writer is spot-on. A terrific performance.
The play officially opens this week (we saw a preview) and it’ll be interesting to see how it fares. Produced in tandem with the National Yiddish Theatre.
SHORT TAKES — Interesting item by our colleague Roger Friedman (in Showbiz 411) on the failure of several recently released celeb-bios. I think there have been more bios, memoirs and behind-the-scenes-in-showbiz books released in the last two years than ever before. From Robbie Robertson to Jimmy Webb to Phil Collins and John Oates … the list goes on and on. They all have very clearly not been hits. Usually, they come out in the last quarter – just in time for the holidays. Here’s the article: http://www.showbiz411.com/2017/04/13/book-bust-celebrity-memoirs-by-alec-baldwin-caitlyn-jenner-not-moving-despite-publicity … How’d Jimmy Fallon do on SNL over the weekend? He’s still a powerhouse for sure; his opening singing Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” –with Nile Rodgers on guitar no less- was rather phenomenal, but I think he’s just a bit overexposed. Clearly, NBC is throwing everything behind him, but he looks just a tad overworked. The show was ok, and Harry Styles really impressive. The One Direction campaign was just so massive, I kind of stayed away from it all. But, the kid’s got it. Good show, not great … and, certainly not like their halcyon golden days … Speaking of Oates, I see he’s on the Steve Harvey afternoon-tuner today on NBC. Not a huge fan of Harvey, but am going to watch it … Micky Dolenz on Good Day PA Friday morning … Senator Charles Schumer at Indecent Saturday night.
Till next time…Leave your comments below.