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Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International   |   Nov. 6, 2002 at 3:00 AM   |   Comments

SPRINGSTEEN EURO DATES ADDED

Tickets for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's shows in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Ludwigshafen and Gelsenkirchen, Germany, and Vienna have just gone on sale and more 2003 European dates are to be announced. These concerts follow the success of the band's most recent European trip, which began Oct. 14 in Paris and ended at London's Wembley Arena Oct. 27.

Selling out immediately, the October shows inspired raves from the European media and cheers from fans. The Barcelona concert aired live on MTV Europe and VH-1 UK, reaching more than 127 million homes. The commercial-free broadcast, with a one-hour backstage special airing in advance, was an unprecedented European TV event.

Springsteen's "The Rising" album has been certified Gold in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, India and Australia. It is certified Platinum in Poland, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Norway and Canada, as well as double-Platinum in the United States.

"The Rising," Springsteen's first album of new songs with the E Street Band since 1984, debuted at No. 1 on the album charts in 11 different countries, including the United States. The band returned to the States Nov. 3 with a show in Dallas.


SKIFFLE KING LONNIE DONEGAN DEAD

Lonnie Donegan, the king of skiffle who influenced a generation of British musicians from John Lennon to Van Morrison, died at age 71 Sunday during a tour of England.

Donegan's simple, rhythmic style was adapted from American jug band and folk music of the 1930s, and yielded such memorable hits as "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor (on the Bedpost Overnight)" and "Rock Island Line." His influence has continued subtly over the years, inspiring groups like Mungo Jerry ("In the Summertime") in the late 1960s. Even contemporary musicians such as New Orleans' talented Mike West cite Donegan as a central influence.

Donegan made two albums with popular musicians who were influenced by him. In 1978 "Puttin' On the Style" featured Ringo Starr, Elton John and Brian May. In 2000, Morrison and Donegan released a live collaboration, "The Skiffle Sessions."


SWEET 16 FOR AVRIL LAVIGNE

Arista recording artist Avril Lavigne received a belated birthday present with the news that "Complicated," the debut single from her 3 million-selling debut album "Let Go," has set a new record for a female artist, logging 16 weeks at No. 1 on the Adult Top 40 chart and surpassing Natalie Imbruglia's near 4-year-old record of 14 weeks for "Torn."

Lavigne, 18, will headline the first major benefit date of her career on Nov. 18, the annual awards dinner for PENCIL -- Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning -- the New York City organization known for its flagship Principal For A Day program. Tuesday night Lavigne performed at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City at Teen People magazine's fourth annual "What's Next" issue along with Justin Timberlake, Mario, Dirty Vegas, Cam'ron and others.


CALIFORNIA GUITAR TRIO HOLIDAY CD

The California Guitar Trio released its all-instrumental holiday CD "A Christmas Album" this week on InsideOut Music America. Paul Richards, Bert Lams and Hideyo Moriya initially made the CD available last year only on its Web site during its concerts. The title was changed to "A Christmas Album" for the current release.

"Fans and friends had suggested over the years that we record a Christmas album, but we'd never even performed traditional Christmas music at any of our concerts," said Richards. "I think people just thought it would be an interesting thing for us to do. Then about a year ago, we got a call from a music agency that was looking for Christmas music for a Coca-Cola television commercial. Somebody from the agency had seen us play live in Los Angeles and thought we'd be a good choice to submit some music. We received good money just for the submission only, whether or not they decided to use what we did for the commercial."

None of the group's submissions were chosen for the commercial but the experience inspired them to record a full album of holiday music. "We used the money we received from the Coca-Cola commercial submission to finance the recording of the album," Richards said.


HEADQUARTERS IN NEW YORK

Headquarters -- also known as HQ -- founders of the "American Mod" scene, will appear in concert at Arlene Grocery on Saturday at 11:30 p.m. This 1960s-influenced Mod band performs their own contemporary version of original pop music. The band consists of front man Charles Wallace (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Nick Purpura (harmonies, lead guitar), Jay B Flatt (harmonies, bass guitar), and Mick Damienz (drums, percussion). They describe themselves as "head music for pop people," and are influenced by bands such as The Who, Dandy Warhols, Blur, and The La's. They recently recorded a debut extended play, "UptownInside Out," with Producer Gordon Raphael (The Strokes), who also produced "Cakewalk," the original soundtrack for the film "American Mod."

A 20-minute short film, based on an original idea by lead singer Wallace, features music by HQ. "American Mod" is being featured all month on the Sundance cable TV channel.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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