Billboard Bits: Radiohead, Joel, Baez, Les Paul
News on Radiohead, Billy Joel, Joan Baez, Les PaulRadiohead was forced to cancel two concerts in Centreville, Va., over the weekend due to flooding. The shows were scheduled to take place Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 11-12) at Centreville's Bull Run Regional Park. Storms in the area late last week reportedly left the park in knee-deep water, and the band decided Saturday to cancel both shows. There is no word yet on whether the dates will be made up. Refunds are available to ticketholders at the point of purchase.
Radiohead is in the midst of a summer-long tour in support of its latest Capitol album "Amnesiac," which debuted at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 in June. The tour included a stop at New York's Madison Square Garden last Tuesday, and will resume tomorrow in Boston.
-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.
Billy Joel will sit down for "an evening of questions and answers and a little music" Saturday (Aug. 18) at a benefit for STAR (Standing for Truth About Radiation), a grassroots organization dedicated to protecting the public's health from environmental hazards. Along with Joel's Q&A and performance, the organization will present former U.S. Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson with the inaugural STAR Award for outstanding efforts made to protect our health and environment.
The event will be held at the Southampton (N.Y.) High School, beginning at 6 p.m. For ticket information, call (631) 324-0655.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Vanguard Records will inaugurate the Joan Baez Original Master Series tomorrow (Aug. 14) with the reissue of the artist's 1960 self-titled album and 1961's "Joan Baez Vol. 2." The series will see all 14 of the influential folk artist's Vanguard albums reissued in chronological order, each repackaged in a deluxe slipcase with previously unreleased material, as well as new artwork and additional liner notes to accompany the art and notes from the original releases.
Also out tomorrow is 1966's "Noel," which is being re-released out of sequence so it will be in stores for the coming holiday season. The label will issue the remaining Baez Vanguard titles at a rate of three per quarter. The next three in the series will be the Grammy-nominated "Joan Baez in Concert" and "Joan Baez in Concert, Part 2," each originally issued in 1963, and the 1964 release "5," which featured the Grammy-nominated, Phil Ochs-penned "There But for Fortune."
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Gibson Guitar will honor Les Paul at the opening of the new Iridium Jazz Club tonight (Aug. 13) in New York. Along with a performance by the 86-year-old guitarist and his trio, the event will also feature guitarists Slash (Guns N'Roses), Mick Jones (Foreigner), Tom Petersson (Cheap Trick), Tico Torres (Bon Jovi), and jazz guitarist Mark Whitfield.
The celebration also kicks off a series of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the Gibson Les Paul Model. "Les Paul is not only America's most popular guitar player, he is a leading innovator in guitar and electronic design," said Gibson Musical Instruments chairman/CEO Henry Juszkiewicz. "He has been experimenting with electric guitars for as long as there have been electric guitars."
Paul is credited with inventing the solid-body electric guitar. He and his then-wife, Mary Ford, had dozens of hits in the 1950s including "Mockin' Bird Hill" and "How High the Moon." They divorced in 1961; Ford died in 1977.
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