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For a moment there it looked like Bob Dylan was the latest artist to jump on the Twitter bandwagon as @BobDylanTweets started posting messages.
The first one said, "My First Tweet. Hi! Bob," followed by "Joining Twitter today. First time." More than 5,000 people soon followed, but lo and behold it is a hoax. Dylan does have a Twitter account for promotional messages -- @BobDylan
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Add Cheap Trick to the list of artists who are refusing to take part in SeaWorld's annual Bands, Brew and BBQ concert series. They have scrapped their February 8th appearance at the theme park's Orlando location after nearly 2,000 people signed a petition at Change.org in the wake of Blackfish, a documentary released earlier this year that focused on the captivity of killer whale Tilikum and its role in the deaths of three people, and SeaWorld's treatment of its other marine animals.
The other acts to pull out are Heart, Willie Nelson, Barenaked Ladies and Joan Jett. REO Speedwagon, 38 Special and others are still scheduled to perform.
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Heart tapes their Christmas special, Heart & Friends: Home For the Holidays, today in Seattle.
Joining them will be Sammy Hagar, Shawn Colvin, Richard Marx and Pat Monahan from Train and they'll be doing holiday songs by Joni Mitchell, Harry Nilsson, Bob Dylan and Hagar, as well as some of Wilson sister's favorites. It is being staged at the Benaroya Symphony Concert Hall in Seattle and shown on AXS TV on Christmas at 8PM.
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Joan Jett may love rock and roll, but she's not as fond of Sea World -- and she's demanding the theme park stop playing her music in its shows.
Jett, a longtime animal activist, is joining a boycott of Sea World that gained steam after the release of the documentary Blackfish, which shows many cases of whale and dolphin abuse. She wasn't scheduled to perform at the park, but is asking that her hit "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" be removed from the "Shamu Rocks" killer-whale show.
Joan wrote an open letter saying, "I'm among the millions who saw Blackfish and am sickened that my music was blasted without my permission at sound-sensitive marine mammals."
Heart, Willie Nelson and Barenaked Ladies are among the artists who've canceled performances at the park.
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Peter Gabriel has added some more fuel to the Genesis reunion-rumor fire.
As we reported a few days ago, Phil Collins is planning to get back into music and would even be open to getting the old band back together. And now Gabriel says, "It’s never been ruled out. I’m trying to picture a time when it would top my priorities list, though."
However, he does realize that time is of the essence. "If you’re gonna do it, you gotta do it before you’re all dead, right? I was thinking about that the other day. We’re quite lucky -- looking back at other bands of our generation, there’s usually one or two missing now. So you do get a sense of the clock." The other members of that classic Genesis lineup are Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks and Steve Hackett.
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Brian May and Ronnie Wood are both fighting to save animals.
The Queen guitarist will be in London tomorrow (Wednesday) for a "pre-debate meeting in the Commons building." He says, "Wednesday is debate day on the future of the badger kill. There is no vote. This debate is in Westminster Hall -- not on the floor of the House. These debates are less formal -- the idea being to inform."
Meanwhile, Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood has written a piece for the U.K.'s Independent newspaper asking politicians to step in and stop the slaughter of elephants in Africa. He writes, "What if we made examples of poachers by making jewelery from their bones –- and see how their families like it?... It’s not too late to do something, but it will be soon. The first step seems obvious: a ban on legal ivory. Everywhere ivory is sold legally in Asia, illegal ivory is hiding behind it... [U.K. prime minister] David Cameron and Prince William have invited the Chinese, the Vietnamese and 50-odd more countries to London in February to find a resolution. In the meantime, we need a holding position. Secure elephant sanctuaries will save the species... I hope the politicians do come, and I hope a solution is found. The alternative is heartbreaking."
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Eddie Van Halen surprised music students last Thursday at the Foshay Learning Center in Los Angeles.
He told the 27 kids, "Music helps lift your self-esteem, it gave me an identity, kept me out of trouble, gave me goals and the desire to improve. It gave me a life. I am an example of what music can do for someone. What it did for me, it can do for you all. Anything is possible."
In addition to performing with them, he also, with the help of Fender, donated one of his signature amplifiers to the class and gave each student a gift bag filled with EVH brand picks, guitar straps, cables, electric guitar strings and a Frankenstein key chain. Eddie's visit came about after he attended a fundraising event a few weeks ago for the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, where he was introduced to the school's musical director.
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ZZ Top singer and guitarist Billy Gibbons will make a rare solo appearance when he takes the stage at the B.B. King Blues Club in New York next Tuesday. While the now sold-out show was billed as Billy Gibbons, we are told that it was supposed to be The BFG with 2Bs, which, roughly translated, means Billy F. Gibbons plus the band with two Hammond B3 organs. Joining Gibbons are drummer Anton Fig and bassist Will Lee from the David Letterman show band, and organ players Martin Guigui and Mike Flanagan.
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Not sure what kind of mileage he's going to get out of it, but U2's Bono shares the cover of BMW Magazine 's Autumn/Winter 2013 issue with two Beemers and a surfer.
The "rock star and international activist" is also interviewed in what the upscale German auto company's North American president and CEO calls in his forward -- "our ongoing showcase of today's fascinating personalities."
The chat took place in the lobby of a German hotel the day after Bono and 50 newly sworn-in German "ambassadors" for the ONE campaign posed for a photo op with that country's Prime Minister, Angela Merkel. In it we learn that Bono "no longer describes himself as an activist, but as a 'factivist,'" because facts "show what works [and] are what prove that the exhausting struggle, this long human journey towards equality and justice, is gaining momentum." Bono then optimistically lays out the current facts and figures on African poverty, leading to his conclusion that, "We all want to see the day when life-threatening poverty is banished for good, right across the world."