The Late Jack Bruce Throws a Belated Birthday Party

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MVD Visual
Fiery guitar legend Gary Moore (left) helped Jack Bruce celebrate his 50th birthday in 1993, jamming on some Cream classics.
Jack Bruce: The 50th Birthday Concerts
MIG Music, Multiple Formats

When Jack Bruce passed away late last year at the age of 71, every story and obituary led, understandably, with his best known musical job as the bassist for Cream. But in fact, Bruce had a wide and diverse journeyman career before and after the relatively short lifespan of the legendary power trio with Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton.

As a solo artist, bandleader and band member, music he composed and/or played touched not just on hard blues-rock, but also jazz, world music, avant-garde, and classical. And he was just as comfortable at the piano or holding a guitar as the bass.

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Daryl Hall & John Oates Still Making Their Dreams Come True

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Photo by Sean Hagwell/Courtesy of Eagle Rock
John Oates invites you to enjoy a live gig in Dublin and a nice glass of vino.
It was a special opportunity for Houston fans of Hall & Oates last year when the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees played the intimate Arena Theatre.

Making the evening more special, concertgoers were spared the sight of John Oates being smothered by a large, um, enthusiastic Asian woman who bum-rushed the easy-access stage and almost reached the shocked guitarist before being hustled off by security. The incident did not escape bemused commentary from Daryl Hall, Oates' musical partner of more than 40 years.

"Hey, I'm happy to be smothered by any fan!", Oates laughs today. "And I've been accosted on stage many times! I thought that I handled it OK. And it's better that they love you than hate you!"


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In the Beginning There Was Genesis, and It Was Good

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Gelring Limited/Eagle Rock
Watchers of the...stairs? Classic-lineup Genesis today: Phil Collins, Steve Hackett, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Peter Gabriel

Genesis: Sum of the Parts
Eagle Rock, 118 mins.
$24.99 Blu-Ray/$14.98 DVD

Originally shown on BBC Television, though not without controversy from one of its subjects (more on that later), Sum of the Parts is a comprehensive, detailed look at the story of Genesis: a 47-year journey of a band whose evolution in musical styles and lineup has buoyed rather than destroyed it.

More importantly, the filming brought together the five members of the group's classic lineup: Peter Gabriel (vocals); Phil Collins (vocals, drums); Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford (guitars); and Tony Banks (keyboards, guitars) together in the same place at the same time for the first time since 1975.

And, like the band's story, that interaction isn't always pretty or comfortable in their combined interview segments. They are freer with the tongue when filmed individually.


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Long Lost DVD Recovers Bob Marley's Final Uprising

Categories: Eyeballin'

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Bob Marley: Uprising Live!
115 mins.
$24.98 1DVD/2CD
$14.98 DVD
Eagle Rock Entertainment

By the time he and his band were filmed for this German concert on July 13, 1980 for the legendary "Rockpalast" TV show, Bob Marley was at the peak of his powers.

The first "Third World Superstar" had already been a well-known performer for 15 years in his native Jamaica and six in the wider world, had written hits for other performers (notably Eric Clapton's "I Shot the Sheriff"), and amassed a catalogue of his own incredible material.

He had also just released Uprising, the record which most directly addressed his Rastafarian beliefs. And was ready to take reggae music - and its message of peace, politics, preservation, power struggle, and potent pot - to the next level.

Unfortunately, it was to be his last studio effort.

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Best Christmas Ever: Big Freedia Launches Twerking App

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Screenshot YouTube Big Freedia Twerk App
We have three words for you: Unlock all twerks.

Those three words are from the New Orleans bounce queen Big Freedia and a little thing called the "Twerk App," which -- as you may have guessed -- is an app created with booty-bouncing connoisseurs in mind.

Christmas obviously came a little early this year.


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Music's 10 Biggest Losers of 2014

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Photo by Marc Brubaker
Creed's Scott Stapp in 2012
You know how the old saying goes. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose...

Between the divorces, public meltdowns and court sentences, there was just something in that bad boy (and bad girl) water that made these ten artists lose big in 2014. Here's to all the photographic evidence of that bad behavior, y'all. May they pull it together in 2015, and give others time to shine.

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Casting Doubt on Eric Clapton's "Retirement" Tour

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Eagle Rock Entertainment
Eric Clapton: 69 and counting...
Planes, Trains and Eric
Directed by David Maxwell
Eagle Rock Entertainment, 156 min., $14.98 DVD/$19.98 Blu-Ray

Guitar God Eric Clapton surprised some English fans earlier this year when he announced his likely retirement from regular touring.

"The road has become unbearable," he told Uncut magazine. "It's become unapproachable, because it takes so long to get anywhere. It's hostile -- everywhere: getting in and out of airports, traveling on planes and in cars."

Then again, he told Rolling Stone essentially the same thing. Last year.


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Jim Morrison's Long-Lost Adventures Now Revealed

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Eagle Rock Entertainment
The Doors (l-r: Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, John Densmore, and Ray Manzarek) backstage on their 1968 tour in "Feast of Friends."
The Doors: Feast of Friends
Eagle Rock Entertainment; 144 mins.; $14.98 DVD/$19.98 Blu-Ray

While definitely not for the casual fan, Feast of Friends offers hardcore Doors aficionados a treasure trove of rare and unreleased footage, all of it all glowingly restored. Shot with the band's cooperation while on their 1968 tour, the fly-on-the-wall documentary Feast of Friends was shelved once singer Jim Morrison -- who would have turned 71 years old Monday -- was arrested in Miami the next year for lewdness and profanity.

That put the band's very future in jeopardy, though some footage here was clearly shot later, judging by the length of Morrison's hair.

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Randy Bachman Is Forever Takin' Care of Business

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Photo by Mike Hough
Randy Bachman today
In his career as a co-vocalist/guitarist/songwriter for not one but two pretty successful classic-rock bands, the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Randy Bachman has sold tens of millions of records, sold out concerts and hit the top of the charts.

But, according to his son, singer/songwriter Tal Bachman (who had a hit of his own in 1999 with "She's So High"), dad didn't really make it in the music biz until he became animated in a 2000 episode of The Simpsons. It's where Homer loudly requests the band play "Takin' Care of Business" and "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet"...and continues to bellow for the tunes after the band has obliged.

"A lot of other musicians had been on the show," Bachman recalls today. "Matt Groening went to college near Seattle, and that was the town where B.T.O. first broke, so he was a fan.


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Super Duper Alice Cooper More Than Just Snakes and Golf

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alicecooper.com
Would you buy a used car -- or hatchet -- from this man?

Super Duper Alice Cooper
Directed by Reginald Harkema, Scot McFadyen, and Sam Dunn
Eagle Rock, 127 mins, $14.98 DVD/$19.98 Blu-Ray

Vincent Furnier was a shy, churchgoing, high-school track star and the son and grandson of preachers who had never even touched alcohol, much less illegal drugs.

Alice Cooper is a depraved sicko who likes to whip women, chop off the limbs of baby dolls, inadvertently kills chickens, sneers at the people who pay to see him, and ultimately ends up getting guillotined for his behavior. And he liked to imbibe massive amounts of Budweiser and cocaine. Massive.

That they two men are the same person has long been one of rock history's more fascinating stories, a real-life Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde -- albeit one dressed in leather and wearing snakes. In fact, footage from an old silent-film adaptation of the R.L. Stevenson story is strewn throughout Super Duper Alice Cooper to constantly drive the point home, as does the constant third-person discussion by Alice of Alice.

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