Billboard Bits: Bob Dylan, Fu Manchu, Warren Haynes
News on Bob Dylan, Fu Manchu, Warren HaynesPerforming his first concert in New York since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Bob Dylan left no doubt last night (Nov. 19) about his fondness for the Big Apple and its citizens. As he finished his nearly two-hour set, Dylan addressed the Madison Square Garden crowd for the first time. "Many of these songs were written in New York," he declared. "And those that weren't written here were recorded here. Nobody has to ask me how I feel about this city."
Dylan and band then treated the crowd to a 45-minute encore, closing the evening with a vigorous take of "All Along the Watchtower." The artist's tour in support of his latest Columbia set, "Love and Theft," continues on to Uncasville, Conn., tonight.
-- Ken Schlager, N.Y.
Fu Manchu drummer Brant Bjork has exited the California-based hard rock act and will be replaced with a "long-time friend whose name will be announced shortly," according to a statement. "Leaving Fu Manchu is no easy decision. We just made an awesome new record and I love making music and playing in a band with those guys," Bjork said, referring to the forthcoming "California Crossing," due Feb. 5 on Mammoth.
Tour dates in support of the new set begin Jan. 29 in Los Angeles and are scheduled to run through mid-March. Look for first single "Squash That Fly" to impact U.S. radio outlets in mid-January; a video for the track will be shot in L.A. in the coming weeks.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Blues Traveler and Rick Derringer are the latest artists to be added to Warren Haynes' 13th annual Christmas Jam. As previously reported, the Dec. 21 show at the Asheville (N.C.) Civic Center will feature Haynes' Gov't Mule, as well as Phil Lesh & Friends, Drivin' and Cryin', Edwin McCain, Black Crowes guitarist Audley Freed, Allman Brothers Band bassist Oteil Burbridge, Col. Bruce Hampton, Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools, and others to be announced.
As with past versions of the event, net proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity. Tickets are available via the Civic Center box office and Ticketmaster, as well as the official Gov't Mule site, mule.net.
Released late last month, Gov't Mule's latest ATO album, "The Deep End," features guest appearances by such bass all-stars as the Who's John Entwistle, Cream's Jack Bruce, Phish's Mike Gordon, and Primus/Oysterhead's Les Claypool.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.