News on Billy Joel, Our Lady Peace, The Royal Tenenbaums & More

Billy JoelBilly Joel has been named the 2002 MusiCares Person of the Year. The 52-year-old musician will be honored at a Feb. 25 tribute dinner, just two days prior to the staging of the 44th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Joel will join a list of past person of the year honorees that includes Paul Simon, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Luciano Pavarotti, Phil Collins, Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett, Gloria Estefan, Natalie Cole, Bonnie Raitt, and David Crosby.

"Billy Joel's gift for lyric and melody rank him among the industry's most talented and accomplished musicians," MusiCares Foundation and Recording Academy President/CEO Michael Greene said in a statement. "He is a living symbol for what the Recording Academy stands for -- his musical accomplishments are matched only by his endeavors as an advocate for music education. We truly are privileged to be honoring this gifted human being."

The Recording Academy established the MuisCares Foundation in 1989 to promote wellness in the music community through emergency financial assistance, addiction recovery programs, and outreach and leadership programs.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







Our Lady PeaceMike Turner, guitarist for Canadian rock band Our Lady Peace, has quit the group. In a briefly worded press release issued by Sony Music Canada and posted on the band's official Web site, "musical and creative differences" were cited. The group, which last performed Oct. 21 in Toronto as part of the Music Without Borders benefit concert, termed the parting "amicable." There is no word on a possible replacement.

The group is taking a break from work on its fifth album but will return to Hawaii to continue next month. The set is the followup to 2000's "Spiritual Machines" and is due out sometime next year. Bob Rock (Metallica, Aerosmith) is producing.

Our Lady Peace formed in 1992 and is best known in the U.S. for its single "Superman's Dead," which hit No. 20 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in 1997. The band now consists of lead singer Raine Maida, bassist Duncan Coutts, and drummer Jeremy Taggart.


-- Jason MacNeil, Toronto







The ClashHollywood Records will on Tuesday (Dec. 18) release the soundtrack to "The Royal Tenenbaums," which features tracks from the Clash, Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, and the Ramones, as well as a score by Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh.

"This is my third film with [director Wes Anderson]," Mothersbaugh said in a statement about the soundtrack. "But unlike our previous collaborations [on 1994's "Bottle Rocket" and 1998's "Rushmore"], this is the first time he called me to discuss music as he was putting the script together. So I was writing sketches based on early drafts of the script and then sending them to him. That allowed him to listen to the music as he was filming."

Along with Mothersbaugh's score, the soundtrack features the Ramones' "Judy Is a Punk," Nick Drake's "Fly," the Velvet Underground's "Stephanie Says," the Clash's "Police & Thieves," Elliot Smith's "Needle in the Hay," Bob Dylan's "Wigwam," Nico's "These Days" and "The Fairest of the Seasons," and the Vince Guaraldi Trio's "Christmas Time is Here."

Released by Disney's Touchstone Pictures, "The Royal Tenebaums" opens Friday in New York and Los Angeles. The film will open nationally in theaters over the course of the following three weekends (Dec. 21, Dec. 28, and Jan. 4).


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







Former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones will be among the celebrities on hand tonight (Dec. 13) at the Jonathan Bee/Children's Hope Foundation Toy Drive at New York's David Barton Gym. The event, which will also feature appearances by actress Susan Sarandon, comedian/actress Ellen DeGeneres, and author Michael Cunningham, seeks to collect 5,000 toys for needy New York children and adolescents affected by HIV and AIDS.

Earlier in the evening, Jones will play the first of two shows opening for King Crimson at the city's Beacon Theatre. The concerts mark the end their tour together, which comes in advance of Jones' "The Thunderthief" and Crimson's "Nuovo Metal," both due next year through the Discipline Global Mobile label.

Click here to read a live review of the tour's recent Toronto stop.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

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