Billboard Bits: Phish, Ringo Starr, Nightwish

News on Phish, Ringo Starr, Nightwish

RockJam-band juggernaut Phish, which plans to disband following its two-day Coventry festival next weekend (Aug. 14-15), has set an Oct. 12 release date for a DVD commemorating IT, a similar festival the band put on last year in Limestone, Maine.

As previously reported, IT debuted Monday (Aug. 2) as a 90-minute special on PBS stations across the United States. The DVD version, for which the band is currently accepting pre-orders on its official Web site, will add three bonus interview segments and a second disc with 150 minutes of uncut performance footage from the festival, which took place Aug. 2-3, 2003.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

RockHighlights of Ringo Starr's eighth All Starr Band tour have been collected for the forthcoming DVD "Tour 2003 - Live Concert and Backstage Documentary." Due Sept. 21 from Warner Strategic Marketing, the set features live performance footage from the tour's pair of kick off shows in Toronto, and documentary clips from Toronto, New York and San Diego.

As previously reported, the tour featured Starr along with Paul Carrack (Squeeze, Ace), Colin Hay (Men At Work), Sheila E. (Prince), Mark Rivera (Foreigner, Billy Joel) and John Waite (the Babys, Bad English).

The track list reflects Starr's Beatles heritage with such numbers as "With A Little Help From My Friends," "Boys," "Honey Don't" and "I Wanna Be Your Man," and his solo career with the inclusion of "It Don't Come Easy." Selections representing each of the All Starr artists are also included.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

RockFinnish act Nightwish has signed an exclusive licensing deal with Roadrunner Records. The label will release the band's fifth album, "Once," Oct. 5 in North America; the label will also issue the set in Australia and New Zealand. In July, the Spinefarm/Nuclear Blast release topped the European Top 100 Albums chart.

The gothic hard rock act is fronted by operatic vocalist Tarja Turnuen, and is completed by Tumouas Holopanien (keyboards), Jukka Nevalainen (drums) and Emppu Vuorinen (guitars). "We are very pleased [about the deal]," Nevalainen says, "because it seems that people in North America are slowly starting to understand the music of Nightwish."

The band will kick off a brief U.S. tour Aug. 19 in Philadelphia. The run will feature Lullacry supporting through its Sept. 5 close in Seattle.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.