U.K. author and pop music historian Malcolm C. Searles had a recent post on Facebook heralding his new book The Hollies: Riding The Carousel. It’s slated for release sometime this spring via his own Dojotone Publications, and will join his efforts on The Beach Boys, Bread, and The Association. Initially, it will be available only in the U.K. but Searles noted on Facebook that he’s willing to ship to America. Of course, I already have some fabulous Hollies-related autobiographies from Graham Nash and Bobby Elliott, but Riding The Carousel will probably be a nice addition.
Chicago Theatre Week traditionally takes place in venues across the city, but the 2021 edition kicked off in virtual performance mode yesterday and will continue like that through March 7. Over 100 local theatre companies are involved, with admission prices ranging from $15 to $30. Some shows can be viewed for free. Participants include 16th Street Theater; A Red Orchid Theatre; Aguijon Theater; American Blues Theater; Annoyance Theatre; Artemisia Theatre; Auditorium Theatre; Babes with Blades; Beverly Arts Center; Black Ensemble Theater; Broadway In Chicago; Chicago Dramatists; Chicago Latino Theater Alliance; Chicago Shakespeare On Navy Pier Theatre; Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Chopin Theatre; City Lit Theatre; Collaboraction Theatre Company; Congo Square Theatre Company; Goodman Theatre; Griffin Theatre Company; Harold Washington Cultural Center; Harris Theater; Her Story Theater; Hubbard Street Dance Chicago; Lifeline Theatre; Lookingglass Theatre Company; Lyric Opera Of Chicago; Metropolis Performing Arts Centre; Otherworld Theatre Company; Porchlight Music Theatre; Raven Theatre; Remy Bumppo Theatre Company; Shattered Globe Theatre; Silk Road Rising; Steep Theatre; Steppenwolf Theatre Company; Strawdog Theatre Company; The Factory Theater Company; The Neo-Futurist Theater; and The Plagiarists. The fact that I didn’t have space to list all the venues involved, and that so many are well known—some even around the country—underscores the vitality and diversity of Chicago’s theatre scene.
The Go-Go’s documentary is now available on BluRay/DVD and assorted streaming sites. The film was directed by Alison Eastwood and covers the band’s career from its earliest days on the Los Angles punk scene. The Go-Go’s are now in fifth place in the 2021 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee Voting. Fela Kuti is still in first place, followed by Tina Turner, Foo Fighters, and Iron Maiden.
If you’re dreaming of summer days when you can throw an outdoor bash but worry about competition from other people hoping to do the same, here’s something to make your backyard an essential place to party. Yellow Submarine Adirondack Chairs. A set of four is available for $1,596 at The Beatles Store. Single chairs are available for $350.
Congratulations to Jeff Lynne on marking his 50th anniversary with ELO. His Instagram page promises, “Throughout the year, we will be sharing special 50th anniversary surprises with you.”
Z2 Comics, the publisher of The Final Symphony - A Beethoven Anthology graphic novel, has jumped a few centuries forward with its latest publication. Blondie: Against The Odds will be available in Standard Soft Cover and Hard Cover editions, as well as Deluxe and Super Deluxe versions. John McCrea is the illustrator and Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti are the writers. Prices range from 24.99 for the Soft Cover to 499.99 for the Super Deluxe, which includes a slipcase, music bundle, art prints, and post cards.
Congratulations to The Fest For Beatles Fans on the successful presentation of its Life Of George - A Beatles Birthday Celebration on Zoom yesterday. Appropriate to its honoree, the virtual event exuded a peaceful ambience throughout, whether it was interviews with celebrity guests like Joey Molland from Badfinger or live performances. The highlights included Laurence Juber, a former member of Wings, unveiling an acoustic guitar version of Harrison’s spiritual song “Within You/Without You.” Liverpool—a fan favorite at the Fest For Beatles Fans over the years—performed expertly rendered covers of classic Harrison material for two hours.
Earlier yesterday, Fest For Beatles Fans posted live performances on its Facebook page. I listened to the Chicago band My Sweet Lord performing its Harrison tribute while I was working from home. Today, my work soundtrack involved listening to WXRT playing album sides as part of an all-vinyl celebration. DJs Richard Milne, Lin Brehmer, and Marty Lennartz served up classic rock from The Cars, The Rolling Stones, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Tears For Fears; The Who, John Prine, and others
The Mystery Of Wolf Alice sounds like a good name for a novel, but it’s just a way of describing Wolf Alice’s marketing strategy earlier this week. Teasing fans with the phrase Last Man on Earth and the date February 24, the English group seemed ready to drop its first album in four years. “Last Man On Earth” turned out to be a new single, but a full album titled Blue Weekend is coming June 11. The new song has an atmospheric arrangement that grows more powerful and is augmented by singer-guitarist Ellie Rowsell’s beguiling and multi-layered vocals.