ESO Podcast, Week of March 18: RRHOF presenters, Glastonbury and “Bohemian Rhapsody II?”

The Class of 2019 induction ceremony for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is getting closer and closer: The ceremony itself will take place Friday night, March 29 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Presenters for this year’s class were announced earlier this week; it’s an excellent lineup that just might also have some hints about what the 2020 ballot will look like. Here’s the class again followed by the presenter: 

Stevie Nicks – Harry Styles 

The Cure – Trent Reznor

Roxy Music – Simon LeBon and John Taylor of Duran Duran

Def Leppard – Brian May 

Janet Jackson – Janelle Monae 

Radiohead – David Byrne 

The Zombies – Susannah Hoffs of the Bangles 

HBO’s edited telecast of the ceremony will air on Saturday, April 27 at 8 p.m., and if you’re in Cleveland anytime soon you can check out the Class of 2020 exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. 

Some of these newly minted Hall of Famers will be taking the stage at Glastonbury later this year, which is back after a hiatus in 2018. Headliners will be the Cure, the Killers and Stormzy; also set to play are Janet Jackson, Janelle Monae, Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, Tame Impala, Mavis Staples, Wu-Tang Clan and tons and tons more. The fest sold out in October but canceled tickets go on sale April 28 at  

In other news, Missy Elliot will be the first female hip-hop artist to receive an honorary doctorate from Berklee School of Music at its May commencement; she joins Justin Timberlake and Alec Lacamoire, who is the music director of “Hamilton.”  

And video director Rudi Dolezal, who directed several videos and film projects for Queen as well as Falco and others, says that a sequel to “Bohemian Rhapsody” is being discussed “within the Queen family.” So far, I haven’t seen a denial on Brian May’s social media feeds, but I sure hope one is forthcoming. As much as I love the guys, there’s just no reason for this to happen other than greed. Guys, you already tweaked the hell out of the timeline to make the story arc for this movie; you can’t play it both ways. Just say no. 

ESO Podcast, March 11: RIP Keith Flint, New Stray Cats, Pete Townshend novel (with more to come)

Starting with a farewell to Keith Flint of the Prodigy, who passed away last week at the age of 49.  A story that sticks with me from this past week is that he owned and ran a pub called The Leather Bottle in Pleshey, Essex in the UK, and as part of his landlord duties he would top off the fire. There was always someone who had to make a Firestarter joke, and when it happened he’d point at the swear box he kept over the fireplace and make them pay a quid. 

The Stray Cats are back: they’re marking their 40thanniversary with their first new record in 26 years, titled “40,” and a world tour. 

The album was recorded last year in Nashville with producer Peter Collins, who’s worked with a Who’s Who of popular music over the past 50 years – everyone from Air Supply to Alice Cooper to Rush to Queensryche to the Indigo Girls. The album was recorded with the band playing together live in one room for a looser, old school feel.

The first single, “Cat Fight (Over a Dog Like Me)” is available with pre-orders of the record. It will also be included on an exclusive 12” picture disc along with  “When Nothing’s Going Right” and “Rock It Off” for RSD on April 13th. An exclusive colored vinyl edition of the song will also be released on May 24th.

The Cats will then head out on tour on June 21 starting in Europe with a way-too-short U.S. leg in August. Hopefully they’ll add some more dates here.

Pete Townshend will publish his debut novel on November 5 entitled “Age of Anxiety.” It’s the first fruits of a “magnum opus” he’s been working on for the past decade; a combination of novel, opera and art installation. Because this is how you work when you’re Pete Townshend. He says the music is almost completely composed and an announcement about the art installation will be made at some point. The novel  is “an extended meditation on manic genius and the dark art of creativity” and “captures the craziness of the music business and deals with mythic and operatic themes including a maze, divine madness and long-lost children. Hallucinations and soundscapes haunt this novel, which on one level is an extended meditation on manic genius and the dark art of creativity.”

Of course, the Who will be releasing a new album and will be on the road this year on the Moving On! Tour.