Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International  |  Oct. 9, 2002 at 3:00 AM
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Roger Waters, Billy Joel, Sting, James Taylor, John Mellencamp, Sheryl Crow, and Don Henley were all on hand Monday to pay tribute to Timothy White, the late editor in chief of Billboard Magazine. The concert at FleetCenter in Boston, titled "Music To My Ears," was the first of two benefits for White's family. White died June 27 of a heart attack in Billboard's New York office at age 50.

"Just have a good time, because if Tim were watching he would want us to," Sting said. Taylor, a particular favorite of White's, played a cover of "Hound Dog" while Mellencamp performed "Paper in Fire" and "Pink Houses," featuring Patty Smyth on vocals. Henley and Sting teamed up on the Bob Marley-popularized "Get Up, Stand Up." All of the performers participated in the finale, a medley of the gospel hymn "This Train" and Sly and The Family Stone's "Everyday People."


As promised after a successful reunion at Alpine Valley earlier this year, the surviving members of the Grateful Dead will tour together as the Other Ones beginning Nov. 14 in Roanoke, Va., and running through Dec. 6 in Oakland, Calif. Dead alumni -- Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart -- will be joined by keyboardists Rob Barraco and Jeff Chimenti and guitarist Jimmy Herring for 17 dates. Shortly after the 1995 death of guitarist/singer Jerry Garcia, the other members of the Dead went their separate ways, with some in-fighting among them. Weir formed RatDog, Lesh started Phil Lesh and Friends, Hart toured with Bembe Orisha and earlier this year Kreutzmann recorded with the TriChromes. The members got back together in August for a pair of shows at a two-day festival in Wisconsin. "The magic is back," declared Hart.


The Wallflowers have set a 14-day tour to promote their fourth album, "Red Letter Days." The tour will be the Wallflowers' first headlining gigs in two years. Last year, the band served as the opener for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Jakob Dylan admitted to Rolling Stone the band is trying to find a way to recapitulate the success of its first album, 1996's "Bringing Down the Horse," which sold 3 million copies. "It's a different time now, and we do what we do," Dylan said. "I'm not about to change the tuning on my guitar or grow a certain style of facial hair or don a hockey jersey just to sell records. Still, anyone who says they don't care about how their album is doing is lying."


Gov't Mule will hit the road in support of "Deep End II," the second part of an album project dedicated to the memory of the band's late bassist Alan Woody. The group recorded a version of "Beautifully Broken" with bassist Stefan Lessard from the Dave Matthews Band for the "Last Call with Carson Daly" show. Gov't Mule kicks off its fall tour Wednesday at the Orpheum Theater in Boston. Due to a scheduling conflict, guest bassist Jason Newsted, formerly of Metallica, will not be playing with the band as originally planned. Bassists George Porter Jr. (The Meters) and Greg Rzab (Black Crowes) both will tour with the group and perform on a rotating basis.


The late Widespread Panic guitarist Michael Houser was the subject of a tribute at last week's Jammy awards. Col. Bruce Hampton knew Houser well from his days with the Aquarium Rescue Unit, which played with Widespread Panic on the 1992 and '93 HORDE Festivals.

"He was just an amazing guy," Hampton says of Houser on the Relix magazine Web site. "I've known him 17 years and I wish I got to hang with him more. We went to ball games together when neither one of us was working. He was just a quiet, courageous guy, to say the least. I don't have the guts to face what he faced. I talked to him about three months ago. We were the ones crying and he was the one keeping everybody above water."

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