Billboard Bits: Metallica, Simon, Lady Of Soul, Relix

News on Metallica, Simon, Lady Of Soul, Relix

StonesRolling Stones fans will get a little heavy metal with their classic rock during the group's Nov. 13 and 15 shows at San Francisco's SBC Park. Metallica has been drafted as the opening act for those performances, joining the ranks of previously announced support bands as Pearl Jam, Maroon 5, John Mayer Trio, Beck and the Black Eyed Peas.

"These two shows are about nothing more than having fun and playing music -- nothing to sell, nothing to promote, nothing to talk about, no f***in' agenda at all," Metallica writes on its official Web site. "Simply put, this is the reason we started a band 25 or so years ago, and we are psyched and appreciative of this awesome opportunity to get cracking again."

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

HallPaul Simon and Jerry Seinfeld will perform at the One Night Only: A Concert for Autism Speaks benefit. The event will be held Sept. 24 at Los Angeles' Kodak Theatre and will be hosted by Tom Brokaw. Proceeds will benefit Autism Speaks' efforts to educate the public about the disorder and fund research into its cause. Tickets begin at $100 and go on sale Aug. 15 via Ticketmaster.

Simon is also continuing work on his long-gestating new solo album with producer Brian Eno, but no release date has been announced for the project.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

WonderAretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Brian McKnight, Toni Braxton, Ciara, Amerie and John Legend are confirmed to take part in the 2005 Lady of Soul Awards. The event will take place at the Pasadena (Calif.) Civic Auditorium and will air Sept. 17-24 in first-run national television syndication, distributed by Tribune Entertainment.

In addition to performing together, Wonder will present Franklin with the Lena Horne Award for outstanding career achievement. Franklin will also be on hand for the first time to present the Aretha Franklin Award for entertainer of the year to Amarie. McKnight, Braxton and Ciara will co-host.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

JerryRelix is remembering the 10th anniversary of the death of Grateful Dead principal Jerry Garcia with its biggest issue to date. The August edition of the magazine features new Garcia-related interviews with former Dead bandmates Bob Weir and Mickey Hart, pianist Bruce Hornsby, David Crosby and the Allman Brothers Band's Butch Trucks, among others.

The issue also marks the five-year anniversary of Relix's transition from a largely Dead-devoted fanzine into a broader-themed music magazine.