Here are a few more notable stories from the world of music in 2018:
Hard Day’s Knight: Beatles drummer becomes Sir Ringo
On March 20, Ringo Starr was knighted in his U.K. homeland for his services to music. Prince William presented the Beatles drummer with the honor at Buckingham Palace in London. Ringo received his knighthood 53 years after The Beatles were first honored with MBEs — “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” — and 21 years after his band mate Paul McCartney was knighted.
Later in the year, the 77-year-old rock legend took the latest incarnation of his All Starr Band on the road for tours of Europe and North America. For the first time in several years, the group’s lineup featured some new members, with Men at Work‘s Colin Hay and 10cc‘s Graham Gouldman replacing Todd Rundgren and Mr. Mister‘s Richard Barnes.
In November, after the All Starr Band finished its 2018 tour schedule, Ringo announced plans for a 30th anniversary trek in 2019. He also revealed that Average White Band bassist Hamish Stuart would be taking the place of Gouldman next year. Stuart previously toured with the All Starrs in 2006.
Born for Broadway: Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway show ends hugely successful run
Bruce Springsteen took the Great White Way by storm starting in October of 2017, when his Springsteen on Broadway show opened at the 975-seat Walter Kerr Theatre in New York City. By the start of this year, The Boss had extended his run of performances through June 30. Then the intimate residency was extended again through a final December 15 show.
In June, Springsteen received a special Tony Award for the production, which featured Bruce playing stripped-down version of about 15 of his songs interspersed with spoken-word segments taken from his 2016 memoir, Born to Run. By the end of the run, Bruce had given 236 total performances. The morning after his last show, a Netflix special featuring a full filmed version of the production debuted. In addition, a soundtrack album that contains the complete audio from the special was released on December 14.
In a message on his official website posted on the day that Springsteen on Broadway closed, Bruce wrote, “I want to thank all of our co-workers, friends and fans for making my year on Broadway one of the most creatively memorable of my life. To have come this far, then to be able to share my music with you the way we have this year, has meant a great great deal to me.”
In another post earlier in December, Springsteen reported that in 2019, he’ll be focusing on “various recording projects I’ve been working on.”
Bon Jovi, The Moody Blues, The Cars and Dire Straits inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Bon Jovi, The Moody Blues, The Cars and Dire Straits were among the “Class of 2018” artists inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at a ceremony held April 14 at Cleveland’s Public Auditorium.
Former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora and bassist Alec Jon Such reunited with their old band at the podium and during the group’s performance segment. The Cars’ surviving members performed together for the first time since their 2011 reunion trek, with Weezer‘s Scott Shriner stepping in for late bassist Benjamin Orr, who died in 2000.
Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler; his brother, rhythm guitarist David Knopfler; and drummer Pick Withers didn’t attend the event, and the members who did show up did not perform.
As for The Moody Blues, longtime core members Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge were joined onstage by founding lead singer Denny Laine and ex-keyboardist Mike Pinder, although neither Laine nor Pinder took part in the band’s performance.
The late Nina Simone and the late Sister Rosetta Tharpe were the event’s other inductees.
Double Vision: Foreigner’s original members reunite with current lineup at special concerts
In October of 2017, Foreigner played a pair of special concerts in Michigan, where the band’s current lineup was joined by key former members Lou Gramm, Dennis Elliott, Al Greenwood, Ian McDonald and Rick Wills. In 2018, the band lined up five additional similar concerts.
The first show took place August 4 at the Buffalo Chip in Sturgis, South Dakota, and at the end of the concert, Foreigner announced that they would be playing four more reunion gigs in the fall. The concerts, dubbed “Double Vision: Then and Now,” were scheduled for November 9 in Los Angeles; November 10 in Rancho Mirage, California; November 30 in Atlantic City, New Jersey; and December 1 in Uncasville, Connecticut.
All of the shows featured Foreigner’s current lineup starting things with its own set, followed by a set reuniting guitarist Mick Jones with ex-bandmates Gramm, Elliott, Greenwood, McDonald and Wills. The shows closed with all the past and present Foreigner members hitting the stage together for a big encore, with original frontman Gramm and current singer Kelly Hansen sharing lead vocal duties.
Jones told ABC Radio that he expects to schedule additional reunion concerts in 2019, while a DVD and live album documenting the special performances are also on the way.
See Nick Mason play: Pink Floyd drummer launches new band, Saucerful of Secrets
Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason formed a new group called Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets that pays tribute to his old band’s early music. Saucerful of Secrets’ debut came in late May with four club shows in London, and marked the first time Mason had played a series of full-length gigs with a band since Pink Floyd’s final tour ended in 1994.
Mason’s new outfit also features Spandau Ballet guitarist Gary Kemp, longtime Pink Floyd and David Gilmour touring bassist Guy Pratt, ex-Blockheads guitarist Lee Harris, and veteran engineer and programmer Dom Beken. The band focuses mainly on material from Pink Floyd’s first two albums — 1967’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and 1968’s A Saucerful of Secrets — but also plays songs from Floyd’s other, pre-Dark Side of the Moon releases.
Saucerful of Secrets launched its first tour in September with a European outing. Mason will bring the group to North America in 2019 for a trek running from a March 12 show in Vancouver, Canada, through an April 22 concert in Washington, D.C. The band also will play a run of U.K. shows in the spring and then visit mainland Europe again in the summer.
This past summer, Mason told ABC Radio that a motivating factor behind him doing the project was that he “rather missed…actually playing the drums.”
As for why Saucerful of Secrets plays just Pink Floyd’s early material, Mason says, “Because there are so many tribute bands out there, plus [ex-band mates] Roger [Waters] and David, playing the later stuff…it was a really nice idea to find our own niche.”
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