The Week In Music: Gene Simmons, Shannon Tweed To Tie The Knot?
Kiss' Gene Simmons is taking yet another risky plunge, but this time it doesn't involve the Kiss franchise. Or does it? On the season finale of Simmons' reality TV series "Gene Simmons Family Jewels," the blood-spitting frontman showed a softer side when he proposed to longtime girlfriend of 25 years Shannon Tweed. A self-proclaimed bachelor, the news has no doubt come as a surprise to fans, Tweed, and maybe even Simmons himself. According to reports, fans won't know whether Tweed said yes anytime soon because shortly after Simmons' proposal, the show went into "to be continued…" mode. But judging by Tweed's tearful response, we can take a wild guess and say that the Simmons/Tweed dynasty will definitely be continued. But for now, Simmons tweeted on July 26, "Shannon and I work on our relationship every day. One day at a time. Thanks for watching. When we figure out our lives, you will know."
July marks 30 years since Journey's seventh studio album Escape was released and, as the band's hit says, the guys haven't stopped believin' since. On July 24 Journey's Jonathan Cain (keyboards), Arnel Pineda (vocals) and Neal Schon (guitar) sat down with CBS News' Jim Axelrod to discuss the ongoing success of "Don't Stop Believin'" in light of the tune's anniversary. Since its release in 1981, the band has performed it live at every show. "You'd have a revolt from the audience [if you didn't perform the song live], wouldn't you?" asked Axelrod, to which Schon replied, "Yeah, I think they would be throwing stuff at us." For Cain, who co-wrote the song with former frontman Steve Perry and Schon, the hit was a dream-come-true. "I was starving before I hit Journey," said Cain. "Very, very rough times…I didn't know where the next paycheck was gonna come." Times are likely much better for Cain and company now; the song has reportedly become the most covered, karaoked and parodied song in modern music history and with digital sales of close to 4.5 million, it's also reportedly the most downloaded song recorded in the 20th century. And a cover of the tune by the cast of "Glee" picked up a nomination for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals at the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards. We sure hope the guys in Journey don't stop believin' anytime soon.
Never known as the beautiful model type, Beck is nevertheless the subject of a new photo book by musician/art director/photographer Autumn de Wilde, a longtime Beck friend and collaborator. The book, appropriately but perhaps boringly titled Beck, is scheduled for release in the fall, and according to publisher Chronicle Books, "This beautifully designed volume — featuring a circular fold-out poster jacket — collects the best of these amazing photographs, including intimate portraits as well as images documenting the recording of his seminal album Mutations, and gorgeous photo sessions informed by surrealism, Dada, op art, and other artistic influences." Pretty good for a loser.
Guys are so over Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber according to AskMen.com's Great Male Survey. The survey, which queried more than 70,000 Australian, British, Canadian, and U.S. men (presumably all respondents were being truthful about their country and gender), polled participants on everything from lifestyle to personal grooming. It also asked which male and female celebs the respondents were most tired of hearing about. The bittersweet pill for the music space: musicians topped both gender lists. Participants were given a choice of seven men and six women from which to choose. Bieber (47 percent) easily outranked Charlie Sheen (20 percent), Barack Obama (12 percent) and Donald Trump (8 percent), among others. Gaga (29 percent) edged out Sarah Palin (25 percent) and Kim Kardashian (17 percent). As a key to the legitimacy of the results, 63 percent of poll respondents also said they had never insincerely told a woman they loved her to get sex.
Apparently, she's an author in disguise. Linda Ronstadt is the latest entrant in the pop and rock autobiography wars. To be titled Heart Like A Wheel and due out in 2013, the book will be published by Simon & Schuster, coincidentally cofounded by the father of another '70s female pop icon, Carly Simon. The 10-time GRAMMY winner should have plenty to write about, including coming of age in the Los Angeles folk rock scene with the Eagles, Jackson Browne and others, becoming the defining female rocker of her generation, and of course dating, among others, former and current California Governor Jerry Brown, who once told a friend he could never marry Ronstadt because her rock and roll reputation would cost him the White House. For Ronstadt's part, in 1973 in Newsweek she commented that when Mick Jagger was in Los Angeles, he called and asked her to meet him in Mexico: "That's the sort of thing I couldn't do if I was married to Jerry."
In light of the recent passing of GRAMMY winner Amy Winehouse, a few artists came together to pay tribute to the late retro-soul songstress at Greenwich Summer Sessions in London. Artists paying tribute included GRAMMY winner Mark Ronson, who referred to Winehouse as a "sister" and "musical soul mate" and performed a rendition of the Zutons' "Valerie," which Ronson recorded with Winehouse for his 2007 album Version. The cast of "Glee" was also in attendance to perform their version of "Valerie," which will be featured in the upcoming film Glee 3D. Fans have also proved not to have forgotten the artist who ironically turned "Rehab" into a huge commercial hit. According to Billboard.biz, fans clamored to purchase copies of Winehouse's U.S. debut album Back To Black: It sold 37,000 units in the week following her death on July 23, and reentered the Billboard 200 at No. 9. If you ask fans if they've forgotten about Winehouse, we're thinking they'd say, "No, no, no."
LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock is tops on the Billboard Hot 100 and the iTunes singles chart.
Any news we've missed? Comment below.