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Blondie hosting four-day Havana excursion featuring the band's first-ever concerts in Cuba

Credit: Andrew ThompsonBlondie will travel to Havana, Cuba, next year to host a special vacation experience that will include a variety of musical performances and other activities.

The "Blondie in Havana" event will take place March 14 to March 18, and will feature two headlining concerts by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band, as well as performances by respected Cuban musicians, trips to some of Cuba's celebrated museums and cultural institutions, a photography and architecture tour of the city, and more.

The Blondie concerts will be held at Havana's famous Teatro Mella, and will feature the band playing a variety of its best-known songs. In addition, the group will be joined by a number of popular Cuban artists and bands, including Alain Perez, David Torrens and the Afro-Cuban progressive-rock act Sintesis.

"We've never been to Cuba, though we've always hoped to get there someday." says founding Blondie guitarist Chris Stein. "We've been talking about it for ages and now it's finally happening. Havana is such an incredible scene, such an incredible city. I've always been fascinated by their music and their wildly creative culture. It's going to be an amazing trip and we're all really looking forward to it."

Adds drummer Clem Burke, "Blondie has always had a love for music from that part of the world. All the way back to 'Rapture' and 'The Tide Is High,' we've always experimented with Caribbean sounds and polyrhythm. So as soon as going to Cuba became a possibility, we started putting something together. I think there will be a really special energy."

Registration for the vacation experience opens this Friday, September 28, at 9 a.m. ET at BlondieinHavana.com. The website also offers more details about the event.

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Mick Jagger-signed guitar being auctioned to raise money for Prince Albert of Monaco's charity

Gary Miller/FilmMagicHow would you like to own a guitar that belonged to and was signed by Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger? Well, you'll have the chance to purchase one tomorrow, but you'll have to travel to Monaco to do it.

An electric guitar autographed by Jagger is among the items up for bid at a live auction taking place Wednesday during the second annual Monte-Carlo Gala for the Global Ocean, which will be held on the Terraces of the Opera of Monaco on Wednesday. Bidding for the guitar will start at 50,000 euros, which is roughly $59,000.

Celebrities and philanthropists will gather for a red carpet, a cocktail reception, a Michelin Star chef-prepared dinner and the auction. Proceeds go to support Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation's initiatives in favor of a sustainable ocean.

Other auction lots include a variety of experiences involving Madonna, a chance to play golf in Los Angeles with Andy Garcia, and any number of fabulous and exotic trips, jewelry and artwork. Visit MonteCarloGala2018.com for details.

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Got $120K? You could go horseback riding on the beach...with Madonna

Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images via ABCGoing to a Madonna concert? That's so five minutes ago. What about going horseback riding with the Queen of Pop? Or sitting in the studio while she plays you songs from her unreleased new album?

These amazing experiences could be yours if you have about $120,000 to spare. Madonna has donated them to be auctioned off at the second annual Monte-Carlo Gala for the Global Ocean, which will be held in Monaco on Wednesday.

Celebrities and philanthropists will gather for a red carpet, cocktail reception, Michelin Star chef-prepared dinner and the live auction.  Proceeds go to support Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation's initiatives in favor of a sustainable ocean.

If you can't make it, you can place an absentee bid for the Madonna experiences, each of which starts at 100,000 euros, which is roughly $117,000. The horseback-riding experience will allow you and five guests to join the Material Girl as you navigate the beaches of Portugal on horseback. Unfortunately, you'll have to pay to get yourself there -- travel and accommodation aren't included.

As for the studio experience, that will take place in October or November of this year in London. You and up to three guests will join Madonna in her London recording studio and preview some of the songs from her new album, which is due to be released before the end of this year.

You also can shell out for a portrait taken by famed photographer Steven Klein during a session in New York City that will be art-directed by Madonna.

Other auction lots include Mick Jagger's signed guitar, a chance to play golf in Los Angeles with Andy Garcia, and any number of fabulous and exotic trips, jewelry and artwork. Visit MonteCarloGala2018.com for details.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


The Rolling Stones to release expanded concert video from 1994 "Voodoo Lounge" tour

Eagle Rock EntertainmentIn 1995, The Rolling Stones released a concert video titled Voodoo Lounge Live featuring footage from a November 1994 show at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Now the rock legends are set to unleash an expanded and remastered version of the film in multiple formats on November 16.

Retitled Voodoo Lounge Uncut, the package will feature 10 previously unreleased performances and will be available as a DVD/two-CD set, a DVD/two-Blu-ray collection and a digital video. Three-LP sets on black vinyl and colored vinyl as well as digital-audio editions also will be released.

The concert took place during The Rolling Stones' tour in support of their chart-topping 1994 album Voodoo Lounge, which included the songs "You Got Me Rocking," "Love Is Strong" and "Out of Tears." The show featured guest appearances by Whoopi Goldberg, Sheryl Crow, rock 'n' roll pioneer Bo Diddley and blues guitarist Robert Cray.

The band's set featured several Voodoo Lounge tunes, a few covers, some deep cuts from the group's back catalog and a generous assortment of classics, including "Tumbling Dice," "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "Beast of Burden," "Angie," "Miss You," "Honky Tonk Women," "Sympathy for the Devil," "Start Me Up," "Brown Sugar," and "Jumpin' Jack Flash."

The Voodoo Lounge Uncut video also contain five bonus performances shot in August 1994 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

You can pre-order Voodoo Lounge Uncut now at Eagle-Rock.com.

Here's the track list for the Voodoo Lounge Uncut video and audio releases:

Whoopi Goldberg Intro
"Not Fade Away"
"Tumbling Dice"
"You Got Me Rocking"
"Rocks Off"*
"Sparks Will Fly"*
"Live with Me"*
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
"Beast of Burden"*
"Angie"
"Dead Flowers"*
"Sweet Virginia"
"Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)"*
"It's All Over Now"
"Stop Breakin' Down Blues"
"Who Do You Love?"
"I Go Wild"*
"Miss You"
"Honky Tonk Women"
"Before They Make Me Run"*
"The Worst"
"Sympathy for the Devil"
"Monkey Man"*
"Street Fighting Man"*
"Start Me Up"
"It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)"
"Brown Sugar"
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"

Bonus Performances from Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ:

"Shattered"
"Out of Tears"
"All Down the Line"
"I Can't Get Next to You"
"Happy"

* = previously unreleased.

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Rod Stewart admits he's "left a lot of broken hearts" behind: "I was a real coward"

Credit: RankinRod Stewart is famous for his relationships with some of the world's most desirable women, but he admits that when it came to ending those relationships, he could have been more of a gentleman.  In fact, as he puts it, "I was a real coward."

Speaking to the British paper The Sun, Stewart says, "I haven't treated women badly but I'm not proud of the way I broke up relationships. I was a real coward. It wasn't like Phil Collins. I didn't send an email, but I've left a lot of broken hearts. I've apologized, or at least tried to, since."

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Sir Rod was referring the often-repeated story that Collins divorced one of his wives by fax, a story that's actually not true.

Stewart goes on to say that it was only when he had his own heart broken -- by his supermodel ex-wife, Rachel Hunter -- that he realized how terrible it feels.

"When Rachel left me, I didn't have the tools to cope with a break-up," he admits. "I went to pieces. It was terrible. If ever karma got me back, it was then."

These days, Rod is deliriously happy with his wife Penny Lancaster, to whom he's been married for 11 years.

"She's tough but not too tough and she doesn't take any ­nonsense from me," Stewart says proudly. "She's a great mum...the whole package, as far as I'm concerned...it's just wonderful. I feel blessed many times over."

Asked why this marriage has lasted, Rod says it may be because Penny is British; his previous wives include one American and one New Zealander.  His other long-term partner, Kelly Emberg, was also American.

Stewart's new album, Blood Red Roses, is out on Friday.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Kiss' Gene Simmons hoping his new book about the "27 club" will help people battling depression

Simmons Books/powerHouse BooksKiss singer/bassist Gene Simmons has published a new book focusing on the "27 club," that informal collective of unfortunate stars who passed away at the age of 27. Titled 27: The Legend and Mythology of the 27 Club, the book features profiles of such late music stars as Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Doors' Jim Morrison, Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse.

Simmons tells ABC Radio that in addition to the biographical segments, the book seeks to examine why an inordinate number of well-known artists have died at or near 27.

"A lot of famous folks from various areas of life either killed themselves or were killed or, unfortunately, passed away at the age of 27," notes the 69-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer. "Sometimes it's depression, sometimes it's drugs and alcohol. There's just no one answer."

Simmons suggests that fame was a factor in some of these famous rockers' deaths, since certain musicians who were experiencing issues may have been surrounded by people who were unwilling to confront them because they were intimidated by the artists' stature.

Gene also points out that besides looking at the passing of the various artists, he hopes his book will serve to help people experiencing problems like depression, which is among the factors that led to some of the stars' deaths.

"[E]ven if people are having a bad day, I urge everybody to learn more how to listen, just engage in the conversation," Gene maintains, "and if you need help, for goodness sakes, talk to your loved ones, your friends, your next-door neighbors…And if it gets serious, call the Suicide Prevention Hotline and just talk."

27 is the first book to be released on Simmons' new publishing imprint, Simmons Books.

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Time for "Respect": Aretha Franklin exhibit opening Tuesday in Detroit

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

A museum exhibit paying tribute to the late Queen of Soul is opening Tuesday in Detroit.

Titled "Think: A Tribute to the Queen of Soul," the exhibit at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in the Motor City features historic photos, videos, and memorabilia featuring Aretha Franklin.

"This is an opportunity for people to come back and engage, reminisce and reflect," museum board member Kelly Major Green tells the Detroit Free Press. "It's the beginning of a much longer expression of who Aretha is."

The four-month exhibit will run through Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 21, 2019. Among the items on display are clothing, shoes, video displays and photos from throughout Franklin's career, as well as a vinyl copy of her first recording in 1956, "Never Grow Old."

The museum hosted a two-day public viewing of Franklin's body on August 28 and 29, which was attended by over 30,000 people.

In addition to the Wright museum tribute, the Franklin estate is planning a long-term exhibit to open in 2020.

"The Aretha mojo lives," Green says. "People are still swept up in this. It's a beautiful tribute. We want to learn and see some things that are more intimate and touching about her. This personalizes her in a little different way."

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