New Official Report Assesses The Beatles' Economic Impact on Liverpool, UK

    Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesThe Beatles broke up more than 45 years but the band apparently is a gift that keeps giving to its hometown of Liverpool, England. A new study commissioned by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson and conducted collaboratively by Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool has determined that the Fab Four's legacy annually contributes 89.1 million pounds, or about $118 million, to the local economy and supports 2,335 jobs.

    According to the Liverpool Echo, the report gives suggestions on how the city can maintain and improve its Beatles-related attractions and encourage more interest in Liverpool as a tourist destination because of its connection to the famous band. The newspaper reveals that researchers spent six months gathering data for the report through interviews with business owners and employees involved in the Beatles industry, as well as representatives of the group's Apple Corps company.

    The report's lead author, Professor Simeon Yates, said in a statement that it "clearly indicates the importance of The Beatles as a cultural and economic resource to the city of Liverpool." He added, "In all the interviews we conducted, there was a strong belief that the city would go on attracting visitors through its Beatles connection long into the future," while noting that Liverpool "needs to maintain standards in its efforts to promote this legacy."

    Among the report's findings is that the Beatles-related economy is seeing annual growth of between five and 15 percent, and that most visitors to Liverpool showing interest in the band come from U.S. and Europe, although an increase of Chinese and Brazilian tourists has been noted. The report also observes that a citywide strategy focusing on Beatles-themed tourism is lacking, as is cooperation between the most popular Fab Four-related attractions in the city.

    You can read the full 40-plus-page report at CultureLiverpool.co.uk.

    Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

    Grateful Dead Spinoff Group Dead & Company Announces US Summer Tour

    Credit: Danny ClinchAfter recently confirming an appearance at the 2016 Bonnaroo festival in early June, the Grateful Dead spinoff group Dead & Company has announced a series of U.S. summer tour dates running from a June 10 show in Charlotte, North Carolina, through a July 15-16 engagement at Fenway Park in Boston. The band, which includes Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, as well as pop-blues singer/guitarist John Mayer, also will play two-night stands in New York City; Boulder, Colorado; and East Troy, Wisconsin.

    Other cities Dead & Company will visit during the trek include Cincinnati, Detroit and Pittsburgh. Rounding out the group's lineup is ex-Allman Brothers Band bassist Oteil Burbridge and RatDog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, the latter of whom also played with The Grateful Dead at its 2015 "Fare Thee Well" concerts.

    Tickets for most of the newly announced shows will go on sale to the general public on Friday, February 12, at 10 a.m. local time via LiveNation.com, while pre-sale tickets will be available starting Tuesday, February 9, at 10 a.m. For ticketing information about all of Dead & Company's concerts, visit DeadandCompany.com.

    As previously reported, the band will play two sets at the 2016 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, which takes place June 9 through June 12 in Manchester, Tennessee. The exact dates Dead & Company will perform at the fest haven't been revealed yet.

    In other news, Dead & Company will give its first late night television performance on the February 18 episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, which airs on NBC at 11:35 p.m. ET/10:35 p.m. CT.

    Here is Dead & Company's full list of confirmed 2016 U.S. tour dates:

    6/9-12 -- Manchester, TN, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival (two sets)*
    6/10 -- Charlotte, NC, PNC Music Pavilion
    6/16 -- Cincinnati, OH, Riverbend Music Center
    6/17 -- Noblesville, IN, Klipsch Music Center
    6/20 -- Camden, NJ, BB&T Pavilion
    6/21 -- Saratoga Springs, NY, Saratoga Performing Arts Center
    6/23 -- Bristow, VA, Jiffy Lube Live
    6/25 -- New York City, NY, Citi Field
    6/26 -- New York City, NY, Citi Field
    6/28 -- Hartford, CT, Xfinity Theatre
    7/2 -- Boulder, CO, Folsom Field
    7/3 -- Boulder, CO, Folsom Field
    7/7 -- Detroit, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre
    7/9 -- East Troy, WI, Alpine Valley Music Theatre
    7/10 -- East Troy, WI, Alpine Valley Music Theatre
    7/13 -- Pittsburgh, PA, First Niagara Pavilion
    7/15 -- Boston, MA, Fenway Park
    7/16 -- Boston, MA, Fenway Park

    * = exact dates the band is playing haven't been announced.

    Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

    Hollywood Vampires Supergroup to Headline Wisconsin's Rock Fest in July

    Credit: Ross HalfinHollywood Vampires, the hard-rock supergroup featuring Alice Cooper, Aerosmith's Joe Perry and actor Johnny Depp, have confirmed their first U.S. concert of the year, a headlining performance at the 2016 Rock Fest in Cadott, Wisconsin. The festival is scheduled for July 14-16, although the exact date of Hollywood Vampires' performance hasn't been revealed yet.

    Other artists on the bill include Alice in Chains, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Queensryche, Scott Stapp, Five Finger Death Punch, Breaking Benjamin, Kix, Skillet and Bullet for My Valentine, among many others. Visit Rock-Fest.com for the full lineup and ticket info.

    Meanwhile, Hollywood Vampires have revealed official details about the deluxe digital version of their 2015 self-titled debut album that will be released on Friday, February 12. The expanded collection will feature three bonus tracks -- covers of The Who's "I'm a Boy" and Love's "7 and 7 Is," and the original song "Bad as I Am," which was co-written by The deluxe version includes the scorching new single "Bad As I Am" an original song penned by Depp, Cooper guitarist Tommy Henriksen and Johnny's longtime collaborator Bruce Witkin.

    As previously reported, the Hollywood Vampires album was an all-star project Cooper co-organized as a tribute to various now-dead rock stars who he used to drink with in Los Angeles early in his career. The record is made up mostly of classic cover tunes and features contributions from a jaw-dropping lineup of musicians that, in addition to Cooper, Perry and Depp, include Paul McCartney, AC/DC's Brian Johnson, Joe Walsh, Slash, The Doors' Robby Krieger, Dave Grohl and Perry Farrell.

    Hollywood Vampires will make their TV debut at the 58th annual Grammy Awards ceremony, which airs February 15 on CBS. The band will feature a lineup that includes Cooper, Perry, Depp, Henriksen, Witkin and Guns N' Roses alums Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum, and reportedly will pay tribute to late Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister.

    Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

    New Fine Art Book Featuring Photos of The Band's Early Years Available Now

    Elliott Landy/Backbeat BooksA new fine-art book featuring pictures of The Band taken by acclaimed photographer Elliott Landy early in the group's career is available now.

    The Band Photographs, 1968-1969 includes more than 200 images of the influential rock act, most of which were previously unpublished, capturing Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson while they were working on their first two studio albums -- 1968's Music from Big Pink and 1969's The Band.

    The photos include candid shots taken in and around the house shared by Danko, Manuel and Hudson in West Saugerties, New York, that came to be known as "Big Pink," where the group members and their mentor, Bob Dylan, wrote and recorded many songs. Among the other pics that appear in the book are well-known posed black-and-white shots resembling images from the Civil War that feature The Band's members wearing old suits. The book also includes onstage photos, pics of The Band with Dylan and images taken during recording sessions in the Los Angeles area.

    The Band Photographs, 1968-1969 also includes commentary by John Simon, producer of the group's first two albums, as well as a foreword penned by Jonathan Taplin, who served as The Band's tour manager from 1969 to 1972.

    In a promotional video for the book, Landy explains, "I decided to do a fine-art book of my Band photographs because there are so many great pictures that no one's ever seen except myself and the inside of a Kodak photo-paper box. And every time I visit the contact sheets, slides that I have, there's just so many more good pictures there."

    Elliott adds that he was invited to photograph The Band before they even had settled on a name. "Nobody knew who they were except for Bob Dylan aficionados," he notes. "So meeting them, I always thought they were very special people. There were no airs about them."

    The Band Photographs, 1968-1969 is available in a basic hardcover edition, an autographed signature version and a deluxe edition that's signed by Landy, features an 8-by-10-inch photo also autographed by Elliott and comes in a black slipcase.

    Among the well-known photos Landy has taken during his long career include images that grace the covers of such albums as The Band, Dylan's Nashville Skyline and Van Morrison's Moondance.

    Visit TheBandPhotos.HalLeoenardBooks.com for more information about the book.

    Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

    Elton John Hits the Road with James Corden's "Carpool Karaoke"

    Darren Michaels/CBSElton John was in the passenger seat for the latest installment of James Corden’s popular feature “Carpool Karaoke” during a special edition of The Late Late Show following Super Bowl 50 on Sunday.

    After breaking into a chorus of Elton’s “Your Song,” the rock legend told Corden that the tune marked a big step in his long songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin.

    "[I] sat at the piano, read it through and said, 'God, this is amazing for an 18-year-old poet to write this lyric.' And I played it to him, and I think when I finished playing we both realized that this was a huge step forward in our songwriting. We never looked back from that song."

    Corden and his passenger then donned funny sunglasses and boas as they launched into “Crocodile Rock.” Other songs included “Tiny Dancer and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.”

    In between, Elton explained that his crazy stage costumes were born out of necessity. noting, "I was never a lead vocalist. I was playing the piano...and I wasn't you know, a sex symbol, and so I had fun with my outfits."

    Elton and his partner of more than 20 years, David Furnish, have two sons via surrogate -- 5-year-old Zachary and 3-year-old Elijah -- and insisted that at 68, the recording artist doesn’t feel like he’s too old to be a dad.

     "I love it. They've been amazing,” he says. “And I haven't had one second in Zachery or Elijah's life where I felt that they'd been getting on my nerves...Ten years ago if you'd have told me that I'd be saying this, I would've said, 'you're crazy,' but it's changed my life."

    Elton appeared on the Late Late Show to promote his new album Wonderful Crazy Night, which arrived on Friday.  He's said the disc is unusual in that it's full of very upbeat, happy songs, but he says he wasn't really planning to do that...until his writing partner Bernie Taupin sent him the lyrics of the title track.

    In a video series about the album, Elton revealed, "When I got the lyric for 'Wonderful Crazy Night,' which is the second song I wrote for the album, I thought, 'Wow this is, A), A great title for the record and B), It’s gotta be uptempo with that lyric.'" 

    "That was the first uptempo track we recorded for the record and this was the template really for the album," he explained. "It became the album title, and it became the first track that we recorded that was uptempo, and after we finished this, I had no problem writing uptempo tracks."

    According to the London Evening Standard, Elton said making an upbeat and happy record reflects his own personal happiness.

    "I have a wonderful husband, a great family, a wonderful career, wonderful friends, [my favorite soccer team is] doing well ... Life is good," the 68-year-old legend told the paper at a record signing in London. 

    "Life is a challenge -- there are ups and downs for everybody," he added. "Having young kids has helped. No matter how blue you can be, spending a nanosecond with those boys makes it all go away.  I thought maybe we’d had children too late, but it has come at a wonderful time in my life.” 

    Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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