Stories on Sting, GBV/Strokes, Boyz II Men, 28 Days
The concert special "Sting ... All This Time," a Billboard Artist & Music Profile, premieres at 8 p.m. ET Saturday (Nov. 24) on A&E. Billboard editor in chief Timothy White serves as associate producer/head writer for the program, which combines new concert footage of Sting in Tuscany, Italy, with a behind-the-scenes look at one of his recording sessions and White's interview with the artist.
The concert footage, as well as Sting's new A&M/Interscope live album, "... All This Time," was recorded in Italy on the night of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. "At first I didn't want to sing," the veteran hitmaker admits. But after opening the show with "Fragile" as a tribute to those lost in the tragedy, a set began to emerge, with Sting asking for suggestions of appropriate songs from his catalog.
"As the evening wore on, although we began in a very somber and tentative way, it became sort of defiant, it became a celebration of feeling, which I suppose is anti-terrorist," he reflects. "That's what I feel; that these people want to kill our mode of expression, our joy, and we can't let them do that."
New York will be graced with the powerhouse double bill of Guided By Voices and the Strokes Dec. 30-31 at the famed Apollo Theater. The shows, hosted by comedian David Cross, go on sale Friday (Nov. 23) via Ticketmaster at 12:00 p.m. ET. There is a four-ticket limit per customer; Dec. 30 tickets are $35 each, while Dec. 31 seats are $50.
The shows will serve as yet another homecoming for the Strokes, who are touring North America behind their RCA debut "Is This It." The set is No. 103 in its sixth week on The Billboard 200 and has sold 105,000 copies in the U.S. to date, according to SoundScan. Guided By Voices are on the road in support of this year's TVT release "Isolation Drills," which debuted at No. 6 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart in April.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Boyz II Men will appear in tomorrow's (Nov. 22) staging of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. In what is the group's celebration of its 10th anniversary, it also marks the act's first return to the parade in 10 years, as Nathan Morris, Michael McCary, Shawn Stockman, and Wanya Morris last rode a float in the 1991 parade.
Boyz II Men will perform "Thank You" while on the parade route. After the holidays, the group will enter the recording studio to begin work on its sixth original studio album and first under new deal with Arista, planned for release in the spring.
Billboard recently saluted Boyz II Men in commemoration of the group's 10th anniversary. Click here to read the Billboard interview with Boyz II Men that appeared in that tribute section.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Scott Murray, drummer with Australian pop/punk band 28 Days, died Sunday after being hit by a car. On Saturday, Murray, 22, was leaving rehearsal at guitarist Simon Hepburn's house in Caulfield, Melbourne, and struck while was crossing the busy intersection of Kooyong and Dandenong Roads at 9.30 p.m. He died the next night.
"Words cannot express our feelings at this time as we try to come to terms with such an unexpected and tragic loss," the band said in a statement. "We are all honored to have known Scott and been able to call him our friend."
28 Days are signed to Festival Mushroom Records. The group's last album, "Upstyle Down," topped the Australian album chart and was certified platinum for sales of 70,000 units. 28 Days spent most of 2001 touring Europe and Japan.
-- Christie Eliezer, Melbourne