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60 years of SSE Arena, Wembley celebrated in pictures

Heroes – the Exhibition, a photographic exploration of the sixty-year history of the SSE Arena, Wembley, is opening to the public on Thursday 28 November at Getty Images Gallery, Wembley Park.

The exhibition will feature over 100 photographs of artists at the London music venue, which celebrated its busiest year yet in 2018.

From 1960s snaps of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, to more recent images of Kendrick Lamar, Queens of the Stone Age and the Prodigy, the exhibition will cover the arena’s rich musical history. Other artists to feature in the collection include David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Whitney Houston, Queen, Prince, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Rihanna.

Words by the arena’s vice president and general manager John Drury accompany the photos, which are taken by renowned music photographer Michael Putland and former and current Getty photographers Dave Hogan and Brian Risac, among others.

“Over the past 60 years The SSE Arena, Wembley has earned its place as one of the most iconic live music venues in the world,” comments Drury. “There is a chemistry that keeps bringing artists and fans back, that feeling of connection, passion, and shared experience.

“Heroes brilliantly captures the magic on stage and in the audience that could happen nowhere else”

“Playing Wembley for the first time is a special milestone in any artist’s career and each show builds on its legendary status. That is what Heroes brilliantly captures, the magic on stage and in the audience that could happen nowhere else.”

Built in 1934, the arena in Wembley – originally known as the Empire Pool – has been a live music venue for over six decades. Following a £26 million refurbishment, the arena reopened in 2006, taking the name of the SSE Arena, Wembley in 2014.

“Wembley Park has always been about people coming together to share experiences, and The SSE Arena, Wembley is central to this,” says Josh McNorton, cultural director of Wembley Park.

“Over the past 60 years, it has played an enormous part in the cultural history of the area and in global music history, and Heroes is a great way to celebrate this through the performances of some of the world’s most famous performers.”

The exhibition is open every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Getty Images Gallery, Wembley Park. Admission is free for the first three days. All photographs are available for purchase, priced from £70 to £648.


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Stones, Bowie business manager Rascoff dies

Joseph Rascoff, the co-founder of Rascoff Zysblat Organization (RZO) and business manager to The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Paul Simon, U2, Sting, Shania Twain and David Byrne, has passed away aged 71.

The news was announced by long-time business partner Bill Zysblat, with whom Rascoff (pictured) founded RZO in 1987. He died yesterday “surrounded by family”, Pollstar quotes Zysblat as saying.

RZO represents financially an estimated 30 music clients – as well as the estate of Bowie, who died last January  and including in the live space, working with promoters on tours such as Sting’s 57th & 9th.

“Joe Rascoff was one of the good guys in a tough business”

In addition to his work with RZO, Rascoff was chairman of live entertainment at SFX Entertainment (now LiveStyle) until February 2015, by which he was owed an estimated US$350,000 when it went under last February. (He is still listed as being on LiveStyle’s board of directors.)

Nederlander Concerts CEO Alex Hodges tells IQ Rascoff was “one of the good guys in a tough business”. “He did the biz managing for some of my clients when I was an agent,” he explains. “Sad news. [He was] too young.”

The funeral will be at 9am this Sunday (9 April) at Hillside, 6001 West Centinela Avenue, in Los Angeles.


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Bowie honoured in tribute concerts

After a David Bowie tribute gig at London’s Brixton Academy on Sunday, an EP has been released of the late star’s final recordings and European concert film screening dates announced.

Today would have been Bowie’s 70th birthday and the occasion was celebrated over the weekend by a number of superstar artists playing a three-hour show in his birthplace of Brixton. Similar events also took place in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and Tokyo.

The London tribute was held in aid of Children and the Arts charity, and Bowie’s keyboardist Mike Garson and tour band members guitarist Mark Plati and bassist Gail Ann Dorsey opened the show with Gary Oldman.

It’s one year since Bowie died of cancer on January 10th just after the release of his 25th studio album, Blackstar.

Simon Le Bon, La Roux, Keane frontman Tom Chaplin, Tony Hadley, Fishbone’s Angelo Moore and Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott all made an appearance for select songs from Bowie’s back catalogue.

It’s one year since Bowie died of cancer on January 10th just after the release of his 25th studio album, Blackstar.

Today an EP, No Plan, has been released. The four-song set includes Blackstar song Lazarus, as well as three songs written for the musical he composed of the same name.

On March 7, documentary and concert film Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars will screen in cinemas across Europe.

The film features Bowie and his band performing at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in July, 1973. Mojo magazine is working with CinEvents to host the screening, which will include a new film featuring an interview with Spiders From Mars drummer Woody Woodmansey.



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IQ remembers the musical talent lost in 2016

The deaths in December of George Michael and Status Quo founder Rick Parfitt have brought 2016 to a sad end. Quite simply, none of us can remember a year that claimed so many celebrities, with barely a week going by without the news of some musician who had helped to shape the lives of at least some of us.

While the likes of David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen might steal most of the headlines, we thought it would be an idea to remind everyone of the breadth of artistry to which the world has said goodbye, from the young members of Viola Beach, who perished along with their manager in a car accident in February, and the murder of Christina Grimmie in June, to conductor and composer Harry Rabinowitz, who celebrated his 100th birthday just three months before his death. 

25 December: George Michael, aged 53

24 December: Rick Parfitt, 68

11 December: Valerie Gell, 71

7 December, Greg Lake, 69

24 November: Colonel Abrams, 67

21 November: Jean Shepard, 82

20 November: Craig Gill, 44

18 November: Sharon Jones, 60

13 November: Leon Russell, 74

7 November, Leonard Cohen, 82

25 October: Bobby Vee, 73

23 October: Pete Burns, 57

8 October: Phil Chess, 95

5 October: Joan Marie Johnson, 72

5 October: Rod Temperton, 66

2 October: Sir Neville Marriner, 92

24 September: Stanley Dural Jr., 68

21 September, John D. Loudermilk, 82

1 September: Fred Hellerman, 89

28 August: Juan Gabriel, 66

24 August: Billy Paul, 80

20 August: Matt Roberts, 38

9 August: Padraig Duggan, 67

6 August: Pete Fountain, 86

16 July: Alan Vega, 78

28 June: Scotty Moore, 84

24 June: Bernie Worrell, 72

22 June: Harry Rabinowitz, 100

17 June: Attrell Cordes, 46

10 June: Christina Grimmie, 22

3 June: Dave Swarbrick, 75

21 May: Nick Menza, 51

17 May: Guy Clark, 74

21 April: Prince, 57

12 April: David Gest, 62

11 April: Emile Ford, 78

6 April: Merle Haggard, 79

22 March: Phife Dawg, 45

20 March: Andy ‘Thunderclap’ Newman, 73

16 March: Frank Sinatra Jr., 72

14 March: Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, 81

11 March: Keith Emerson, 71

10 March: Ernestine Anderson, 87

8 March: Sir George Martin, 90

5 March: Nikolaus Harnoncourt, 86

4 March: Joey Feek, 40

25 February: John Chilton, 83

15 February: Denise Matthews, 57

13 February: Kris Leonard, 20; River Reeves, 19; Thomas Lowe, 27; Jack Dakin, 19; Craig Tarry, 33

 4 February: Maurice White, 74

28 January: Paul Kantner, 74

26 January: Colin Vearncombe, 53

18 January, Glenn Frey, 67

17 January: Dale Griffin, 67

16 January: René Angélil, 73

10 January: David Bowie, 69

7 January: Kitty Kallen, 93

5 January: Pierre Boulez, 90

4 January: Robert Stigwood, 81

Touring expos-ed

Eamonn Forde discovers the latest string to the touring exhibitions’ bow…

There is a post-Napster and post-Spotify maxim in the music business that touring used to be the loss-leader to sell albums, and now that has been inverted so that albums are the loss-leaders to sell tours. How can that revenue be maximised if the act splits up, has passed away or fancies a few years lazing around in one of their multiple homes? By putting everything around them – clothes, artwork, instruments, scribbled lyrics, old contracts, unseen photos – on the road as they slipstream the boom in the touring exhibitions space.

Music is, relatively speaking, late to the party here but, as with most things in his career, Bowie was the innovator. His exhibition that opened at the V&A in London in 2013 (David Bowie Is…) proved a watershed moment for music-centric exhibitions, selling out its run, garnering critical praise, and now touring the rest of the world. The Stones’ Exhibitionism has left the Saatchi Gallery in London and go on the road, starting in New York from November. A major Pink Floyd exhibition will open next year, as will one around Abba (whose ‘touring’ since their split in 1982 was confined to the Mamma Mia! jukebox musical). It is suddenly getting very busy here.

What can music exhibitions learn from those already in the field? What can they do right? What are the mistakes they are likely to make? And how much money can they generate? IQ spoke to experts from around the world (dealing in family exhibitions, celebrity exhibitions, museum exhibitions and more) in order to understand what they do and how they do it.


Read the rest of this feature in issue 68 of IQ Magazine.

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Update: Bowie’s ashes NOT scattered at Burning Man

Contrary to E!’s report, David Bowie’s ashes were not scattered at Burning Man, his son, Duncan Jones, has confirmed.


David Bowie’s ashes were reportedly scattered at Burning Man – a festival the late singer “loved” – earlier this month with the permission of his widow, Iman.

According to an “insider” quoted by E! News, Iman gave a portion of Bowie’s ashes to one of his godchildren to scatter at a ceremony at the long-running countercultural gathering in the Nevada desert, which this year ran from 28 August to 5 September.

“David’s godchild and David had long talks about Burning Man and what it stands for,” the source said, “and David loved the message behind it.”

“David’s godchild and David had long talks about Burning Man and what it stands for, and David loved the message behind it”

An eyewitness told E! News the 70-person ceremony involved playing Bowie’s music “the entire drive from our camp to the Temple and back” and that “most of us had the Bowie [lightning bolt] face paint on in his honour”.

Burning Man hit headlines last week after its luxury White Ocean camp was attacked by “hooligans”, with raiders stealing and cutting power lines in protest at what they see as a betrayal of the festival’s ethos by those – largely Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs – staying there.

Bowie died of cancer aged 69 on 11 January.


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Exclusive: 32,000 stream David Bowie memorial concerts

Last week’s David Bowie tribute concerts in New York were live-streamed by 32,000 people worldwide.

The two The Music of David Bowie gigs, at Carnegie Hall on Thursday 31 March and Radio City Music Hall the following night, could be streamed live over Skype for a recommended minimum donation of US$20 or £15 to the events’ charity partners.

The concerts were the 12th in Knitting Factory founder Michael Dorf’s Music of series, which raises funds for music education programmes for underprivileged children.

Speaking to IQ, Dorf revealed that donations from those 32,000 viewers raised a total of US$45,000 – an impressive sum, even if it does work out to just over $1.40 per stream (seven per cent of the recommended $20).

Performers at the shows included Ann Wilson of Heart, who opened with ‘Space Oddity’, REM’s Michael Stipe, who played a stripped down version of ‘Ashes to Ashes’ accompanied only by a piano and model/backing vocalist Karen Elson, Blondie, who performed ‘Heroes’, Mumford & Sons performing ‘It Ain’t Easy’, Perry Farrell playing ‘Rebel Rebel” and The Flaming Lips, whose frontman Wayne Coyne sang ‘Life on Mars?’ while riding on the shoulders of a man in a Chewbacca costume (because why not).

Long-time Bowie producer Tony Visconti also led a house band that included Spiders from Mars drummer Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey.

David Bowie died aged 69 on 10 January 2016.