Monday, September 19, 2011

Sights & Sounds: Radiohead, The Monkees, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, The Eagles and more!

If it's Monday morning, there must be news and updates. This week brings several noteworthy items.

While we all wait to see if/when Radiohead (including singer Thom Yorke, pictured here) goes out on tour in support of The King of Limbs, there is some exciting news for fans of the band.

The Comedy Central show The Colbert Report will air its first hour-long episode Monday, Sept. 26, when Stephen Colbert sits down with the British rock group.

Radiohead will perform four songs, featuring material off its most recent album, The King of Limbs, as well as the recently debuted and unreleased track, "The Daily Mail." An additional song will also be performed for the online version of The Colbert Report, according to a report published by Associated Press today.

Colbert said in a statement: "I look forward to meeting the Radioheads and leveraging their anti-corporate indie cred to raise brand awareness for my sponsors."

And don't forget you can catch Radiohead when they perform on Saturday Night Live this coming weekend too!

Speaking of musicians being featured on television, the SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL is offering a number of programs throughout October interesting a variety of music fans. The Monkees, as well premieres of documentaries featuring legends Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel are on tap. Read on and then plan to tune in...

This October, SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL rocks out with INSIDE THE MUSIC, a series of specials that tell stories about the people and sounds whose influence can be heard the world over. The 2011 INSIDE THE MUSIC premieres showcase documentaries featuring two of the best-selling artists of the last thirty years, PHIL COLLINS: GOING BACK TO DETROIT and THE REAL WORLD OF PETER GABRIEL and HIP HOP: THE FURIOUS FORCE OF RYHYMES, a look at the global influence of rap music.

PHIL COLLINS: GOING BACK TO DETROIT premieres Sunday, October 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. This hour-long special features the music from Collin’s first solo album in eight years. It recounts the major influence that Motown music had on a young Phil Collins as he was finding his musical voice, and follows him on a journey to rediscover the roots of the Motown Sound. Teaming up with The Funk Brothers, three original Detroit session guitarists, Collins records his new album of Motown hits “Going Back”, featuring some of Motown’s greatest songs including Dancing in the Streets, Nowhere to Run, My Girl and Papa Was A Rolling Stone. The program shows exclusive footage of Collins preparing for the album’s accompanying concert tour.


ALL YOU NEED IS KLAUS - Saturday, October 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT - A journey into the incredible life of Klaus Voormann. Respected as one of the finest bass guitarists of all time, Voormann is best known for his association with the most popular and most influential band in rock ‘n roll history, The Beatles. ALL YOU NEED IS KLAUS also features Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Carly Simon, and Randy Newman. Joe Walsh and Simon are also interviewed in the film, with Simon recounting Voormann’s influence on her big hit, "You’re So Vain."

ELECTRIFIED: THE GUITAR REVOLUTION – Sunday, October 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT Without it, there would be no Hendrix, Clapton, The Beatles or rock n’ roll for that matter. This 60-minute high-wattage history lesson salutes the inventors, pioneers and gods of the electric guitar. The electric guitar was invented to be heard among the brass instruments of the big band era, but it soon took on a sound and life of its own. From the early days of the Model U and the Frying Pan to the guitar wars of Fender and Gibson, experience its evolution through vintage footage, interviews with rock historians, and rousing live performances. Virtuosos like G.E. Smith of the Saturday Night Live Band bring to life the sound innovations of the electric guitar.

Making the Monkees - Sunday, October 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT Making the Monkees follows the story of four young men with varying degrees of musical talent who landed parts on a new TV series about a fictional band. That band went on to outsell The Beatles and Elvis Presley combined in 1967. But their success was short-lived, and their downfall was as fast as their rise to stardom.

ABOUT SMITHSONIAN NETWORKS Smithsonian Networks is a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, formed to create a network featuring programs largely inspired by the assets of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum complex. Smithsonian Channel features award-winning original documentaries, series, and groundbreaking programs highlighting America ’s historical, cultural and scientific heritage. Smithsonian Channel brings the American experience home in high definition and Dolby Digital 5.1 and is available to customers of DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cablevision, Verizon, AT&T, and more. Learn more about these programs and many more at

Here is a release that just landed in my inbox...





“It was just so damn obvious. So gorgeous, in-your-face obvious….

Someone from East Texas, a guy from Detroit, another from the Central Plains, and one from Florida….

They were an all-American rock ‘n’ roll outfit.”—J.D. Souther

From the bar of The Troubadour on Santa Monica Boulevard in 1971 to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and beyond, the Eagles are unquestionably one of the trailblazing rock acts to ever take the stage.

On the 40th anniversary of the band’s formation, legendary music writer Ben Fong-Torres and Running Press present EAGLES: Taking It to the Limit (October 2011), a page-turning chronicle of the iconic band that brought listeners classics like “Witchy Woman”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, “Deperado”, “Lyin’ Eyes”, “New Kid in Town”, “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Hotel California”. This is the unofficial and unauthorized inside story of the band and its members— Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon, Don Henley, Don Felder, Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh.

Inspired by the Beatles and by early country-rock pioneers, The Flying Burrito Brothers and Poco, and with the help of Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther and rising music industry superstar David Geffen, the Eagles quickly fashioned their own style. The ten years they spent together were a time of amazing productivity, maturation, creation and living the rock-and-roll dream. They produced albums that were both artistic and commercial triumphs; created classic songs that will be played until music is played no more; and brought joy to millions of fans around the world. But over time it would become obvious that this band that soared so high would eventually come crashing down.


They were on the road all of the time. They were constantly touring. They were living the rock and roll lifestyle to the fullest. As brilliant and talented as they were, they were also becoming fractious, paranoid and power-hungry. There were hard feelings and a constant war over the leadership and direction the band. By late 1980, the Eagles were no more.

EAGLES also covers:

* The birth of the Eagles, as a one-gig back-up band for Linda Ronstadt

* How the early leadership of the band was co-opted by its lesser known “stars”

* Frey and Henley’s methods of collaboration

* The risk they took in following up their highly praised debut with a “cowboy record” (“Desperado”)

* The band’s relationship with legendary rock producer Glyn Johns

* The continual war of words with the east coast rock press

* The decision to bring more rock energy to their music with the addition of rock guitarist Don Felder

* How wild man and hotel room-trasher Joe Walsh brought a chainsaw with him on the road

* The incredible commercial success of “Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975”

* The story behind the band’s break-up

* The lows of life after the Eagles for Walsh, Schmit and Felder

* The extremely successful solo careers of Glenn Frey and Don Henley

* The highly touted and miraculous Eagles reunion and re-birth—“Hell Freezes Over”

EAGLES: Taking It to the Limit is an impressive combination of insightful rock journalism and dozens of classic images from the band’s early days to the reunion tours. Ben Fong-Torres has always been an admirer and eager documenter of the Eagles’ story. In EAGLES: Taking It to the Limit, he collects all of the great anecdotes from the last forty years on the stage and in the studio, sheds light on the internal narratives and grants readers an incredible inside look at one of the biggest rock bands to ever “Take It Easy” and “Take It To the Limit” in the same rock-and-roll lifetime.

“We didn’t set out to be a band for all times. We set out to be a band for our times.

And sometimes, if you’re good enough to be a band for your time, you become a band for all time.”

—Glenn Frey

About the Author:
Ben Fong-Torres graduated from San Francisco State University in 1966 and became a writer and then senior editor at Rolling Stone magazine, where he wrote 37 cover stories and hundreds of articles. He interviewed many of the biggest acts in rock and roll, including the Eagles, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, and more. He left Rolling Stone in the ’80s and has since written for Esquire, GQ, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Harper’s Bazaar, American Film, People, and many other publications. He has worked as a radio DJ and TV presenter, and is an accomplished book author with numerous music titles under his belt. He currently writes for the San Francisco Chronicle and Parade magazine. Fong-Torres lives in San Francisco.

EAGLES: Taking It to the Limit

Author: Ben Fong-Torres

Publisher: Running Press

Format: Hardcover; 192 pages; Retail Price: $30.00

ISBN-13: 978-0-7624-3984-3

Publication Date: October 2011

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