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The Smashing Pumpkins considering a Christmas album

Credit: Olivia BeeHark! The Smashing Pumpkins Sing could be the name of a new album by Billy Corgan and company. Although the frontman doesn't mention that particular title, he does tell USA Today that he's considering an album of Christmas songs, which he may start noodling with after the band wraps its current tour. 

As to whether we'll hear any of that this year, Corgan is cagey, saying, "I might try to use the Christmas spirit to put the record together in concept, even if we're not ready to record it."

So it's possible -- though far from definite -- that fans could get a taste of Pumpkins yule before 2019 rolls around. 

What does seem definite, though, is there will be no screamin' guitar solos in the middle of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Billy says, "I...think it's a bit weird [to make] wild Christmas records....When I think Christmas music, I tend to think something you want to put on and sit around the tree with the kids and not rock out to. I don't see us doing a rocking-out Christmas album."

The Smashing Pumpkins wrap up their U.S. tour on December 8 at The Forum in Los Angeles area.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


The Spirit of Rio: Rush to release vinyl version of "Rush in Rio" live album this January

RhinoIn 2003, Rush released a CD and DVD titled Rush in Rio, which captured a November 23, 2002, performance in Rio de Janeiro.  It was the final show of the Canadian prog-rock trio's tour in support of their then-latest album, Vapor Trails. Now, Rush in Rio is set to be issued on vinyl for the first time, in the form of a four-LP set pressed on 180-gram vinyl that hits stores on January 18.

The 31-track album features all 29 songs that the band played in Rio, as well as two bonus performances: "Between Sun & Moon" from a September 27, 2002, show in Phoenix, Arizona, and "Vital Signs" from an October 19, 2002, concert in Quebec City, Canada.

The Rio de Janeiro show took place at Maracana Stadium and was attended by 40,000 people. Among the many classic songs Rush performed at the event were "Tom Sawyer," "New World Man," "The Big Money," "Free Will," "Closer to the Heart," "2112," "Limelight," "The Spirit of Radio" and "Working Man."

The concert featured a drum solo by Neal Peart that was titled "O Baterista," Portuguese for "the drummer," which earned Rush a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.

"In all the years of touring, few gigs matched the energy we witnessed from the Rio audience," says guitarist Alex Lifeson. "[The concert] remains one of the greatest highlights we've experienced in over 40 years of touring."

The vinyl edition of Rush in Rio will feature a gatefold sleeve, and will include an access code for a digital version of the album.

Here's the track list of the Rock in Rio four-LP vinyl set:

Side One
"Tom Sawyer"
"Distant Early Warning"
"New World Man"
"Roll the Bones"

Side Two
"Earthshine"
"YYZ"
"The Pass"
"Bravado"

Side Three
"The Big Money"
"The Trees"
"Free Will"
"Closer to the Heart"

Side Four
"Natural Science"
"One Little Victory"
"Driven"
"Ghost Rider"

Side Five
"Secret Touch"
"Dreamline"
"Red Sector A"
"Leave That Thing Alone"

Side Six
"O Baterista"
"Resist"
"2112"

Side Seven
"Limelight"
"La Villa Strangiato"
"The Spirit of Radio"

Side Eight
"By-Tor & The Snow Dog"
"Cygnus X-1"
"Working Man"
"Between Sun & Moon"
"Vital Signs"

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Taron Egerton reveals the "incredible gift" Elton John gave him before shooting "Rocketman"

Paramount PicturesHow do you go about portraying a larger-than-life music icon like Elton John on screen?  In actor Taron Egerton's case, you become friends with the pop-rock legend himself.

Egerton stars as Elton in the upcoming biopic Rocketman, which is described as being "based on a true fantasy." Taron tells ABC Radio that Elton -- with whom he appeared in the movie Kingsman: The Golden Circle -- readily welcomed him into his life.

"The thing he did was allow my access to him and he allowed us to become friends and I mean, I can't speak for him, but [I] say that with sincerity, I genuinely think of him as a friend now,” Egerton tells ABC Radio. "He's a wonderfully kind, supportive, gentle, soulful human being and he's been incredibly encouraging of me."

Egerton says Elton invited him to his house to spend time with his family and adds that they "hung out a lot" over the course of the production. They became so close, in fact, that Elton gifted him something quite personal.

"He gave me this incredible gift of his first-ever diamond earring before we started shooting and I actually wear it in the film at some key moments," Egerton reveals. "So I feel quite close to him, actually, having lived something of his life over the past few months and spent some time with him."

Rocketman hits theaters May 31, 2019.

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Metallica's James Hetfield teams up with ESP for new signature Snakebyte guitar

ABC/Randy HolmesIf your holiday dream is to play guitar like James Hetfield, sadly, that most likely won't come true. But if you just need to look like you can play like the Metallica frontman, that's a much more realistic goal, thanks to ESP guitar company.

Hetfield has teamed up with ESP to launch the LTD Snakebyte SE Baritone. The guitar, which comes in a "see thru purple sunburst" finish, is a replica of the model Hetfield has been playing during Metallica's worldwide Hardwired...to Self-Destruct tour.

Only 500 pieces will be made, and getting your hands on one will set you back $1,399. Should you decide to purchase the guitar, you'll also get a hardshell ESP case and a certificate of authenticity. Visit ESPGuitars.com for more info.

Metallica's tour continues on Monday, November 26, in Las Vegas.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Bono, Snoop, others gather on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" for his fourth-annual (RED) benefit show

ABCJimmy Kimmel Live! aired its fourth annual (RED) benefit show on Monday, November 19, in honor of World AIDS Day on December 1st.

Guests for the evening's show included U2's Bono, Brad Paisley, Chris Rock, Will Ferrell, Kristen Bell, Channing Tatum, Snoop Dogg, Mila Kunis, Pharrell and more. As always, the show featured a Home Shopping Network-like Shopathon segment, in which celebrities inform people what products they can buy that benefit the charity founded by Bono.

The U2 frontman sang a torch song-style cover of The Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" with Pharrell, and also announced that he'd be collaborating with Lady Gaga for a contest that would have the two stars creating a song named after the winner -- with all the proceeds benefiting the HIV/AIDS charity.

More information can be found at the charity's website.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Todd Rundgren to publish first-ever memoir, "The Individualist," in December

Cleopatra BooksOver the last 50 years, Todd Rundgren has enjoyed an impressively diverse and prolific career as a singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer and technological innovator.  Now, the 70-year-old artist can add "book author" to his resume: His autobiography, The Individualist: Digressions, Dreams & Dissertations, will be published on December 21.

In the 240-page volume, Todd examines his wide-ranging career and his dramatic personal life. He also shares recollections about his experiences and interactions with fellow music legends like Janis Joplin, Brian Wilson, Ringo Starr, Patti Smith, The New York Dolls, Meat Loaf and many others.

The Individualist is broken up into easily digestible three-paragraph chapters, and boasts a variety of previously unseen photos. You can pre-order the memoir now at CleoRecs.com.

The book will arrive shortly after Rundgren discovers whether or not he'll be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. After recently being nominated for the honor for the first time this year, Todd currently sits at #3 -- after Def Leppard and Stevie Nicks -- in the fan poll hosted by the Rock Hall's official website.

The five nominated artists receiving the most votes in the poll will make up a "fans' ballot" that will be included with the other ballots. Voting closes at December 9 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2019 inductees will be announced later that month.

Meanwhile, Rundgren will wrap up the latest U.S. leg of his Unpredictable tour this weekend with a November 24-25 stand in Honolulu.

Here's are all the remaining dates on his 2018 trek:

11/20 -- San Juan Capistrano, CA, The Coach House
11/21 -- San Juan Capistrano, CA, The Coach House
11/24 -- Honolulu, HI, Blue Note Hawaii
11/25 -- Honolulu, HI, Blue Note Hawaii

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Watch Eddie Vedder jam in a bathroom with Fleetwood Mac members Mike Campbell & Neil Finn

ABC/Craig SjodinFleetwood Mac's tour made a stop in Tacoma, Washington, over the weekend, where new members Mike Campbell and Neil Finn ran into one Eddie Vedder.

The Pearl Jam frontman jammed with Campbell and Finn inside a backstage bathroom before the show. You can watch footage of the impromptu collaboration now via Campbell's Instagram.

Campbell and Finn, best know for their work in Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Crowded House, respectively, joined the Mac earlier this year following the firing of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. Vedder has previously jammed with Campbell when he's performed with Petty, and the grunge icon also worked with Finn on his 7 Worlds Collide project.

If you're looking for more backstage shenanigans on Fleetwood Mac's tour, check out Campbell's Instagram: He's been posting videos filmed in bathrooms at each venue on the trek.

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