‘Mallow-ing Out With 5SOS
“I want every person in the audience to lose their f—ing mind,” 5 Seconds of Summer drummer Ashton Irwin told the screaming audience during the band’s Sept. 7 gig at the Forum in Irvine, Calif. But apparently the band has its limits. Later in the show, bassist Calum Wood told fans to “Please stop throwing f—ing marshmallows” after lead vocalist Luke Hemmings pointed out that the Forum stage was littered with them. It’s unclear why fans have come to equate 5SOS love with the spongy candy.
Trading Brentwood for Brentwood: A&R Veteran Ron Fair Heads to Nashville
The Los Angeles music community is lamenting the imminent departure of veteran A&R executive and starmaker Ron Fair. Fair, 61, who was instrumental in mentoring the careers of Christina Aguilera, The Pussycat Dolls, Black Eyed Peas and even Fergie‘s band Wild Orchid, confirms to Billboard that he and his family will be relocating from their current Brentwood neighborhood to Nashville’s identically named enclave beginning in November.
In August, The Los Angeles Times reported that Fair and his wife Stefanie (Stefanie Ridell, formerly of Wild Orchid and currently a cast member of the Bravo reality show There Goes the Motherhood) had put their gated home in Brentwood on the market for $15.5 million. Fair says they will throw one last bash there, The City of Hope’s annual Songs of Hope VIP Charity Bash — where Pharrell Williams will be honored — which the couple has hosted for three consecutive years, before packing up their four children and heading to Music City.
“I’m putting the finishing touches on a new studio space in Berry Hill,” says Fair, who expects to be operational by the start of the new year. “And Stefanie and I are are very excited about putting our kids into a great family environment and great public school system. Not many people at our age and our stage get to experience a series of firsts.”
Fair says the move was inspired, in large part, by the strength of the Brentwood, Tennessee, school district — the couple’s children are aged 4 through 9 — although he said that, after 37 years in the music business, most of it at the major labels, he expects the move will bring with it a whole new sound. “I felt like, musically, I needed to work in a different pond,” Fair said. “I want to make different kinds of records than I have in the past, and there’s so much more under the hood in Nashville than country music. It’s a songwriter town, a musician’s town.”
The next record to bear Fair’s A&R influence will be the first album in 14 years by the surviving members of TLC. Fair says the album, which was funded by a Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $150,000, will be out in January.
Julian Lennon’s ‘Saltwater’ Tears
Bono got a bear hug from singer-turned-photographer Julian Lennon when the U2 frontman attended the Sept. 8 opening of Lennon’s Cycle exhibit at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles. Upon learning of Bono’s arrival, John Lennon’s eldest son, who photographed U2 in 2010, rushed to greet the Irish rocker then walked him through his collection of images taken during a trip to the South China Sea. After releasing six albums, the last in 2011, Lennon turned to photography, but he told Overheard, “I’m always doing music.” Currently, he’s recording a new version of his 1991 single “Saltwater” — which laments poverty and environmental devastation — for a Christmas release. For the new version, he explained, he has “stripped away the flowery harmonies” of the original to make the song an expression of “raw guttural pain.” Lennon said “Saltwater” is more relevant than ever, adding: “What the f— are we doing with this world?”