East Coast Rocker

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MusiCares Tom Petty Tribute Raises More than $8 Million in Night of Heavenly Music Stars

Musical Pals of Tom Petty Come Out to Honor Him as MusiCares Person of the Year


Tom Petty and pals helped raise more than $8 million as the he was celebrated as the MusiCares Person of the Year.

Each year, the MusiCares tribute a highlight of GRAMMY week, as it raises money for health needs of musicians and honors a major artist.

Gary Clark Jr. performed with the Foo Fighters - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Gary Clark Jr. performed with the Foo Fighters – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Red Carpet was packed with music stars ranging from Gary Clark Jr., to Jeff Lynne.

The night was dedicated to Petty with his songs performed  by veterans Don Henley Foo Fighters, Taj Mahal and George Strait as well as young bands The Head and The Heart, Cage The Elephant and The Lumineers.

The ladies did their part in honoring Petty as well with Lucinda Williams and Regina Spektor bringing some flash to the show.

Jackson Browne brought some emotions to the songs “The Waiting” and “Learning to Fly.”

Stevie Nicks sang a duet with Petty, their famous 1981 hit “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” as Petty said she was practically family.

Stevie Nicks called Tom Petty her BFFFF - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Stevie Nicks called Tom Petty her BFFFF – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Nicks told East Coast Rocker that Petty was her “BFFFFFFF” and how he penned at least one or two famous songs for her.

In accepting the honor, Petty recalled that Johnny Cash helped him, Mo Ostin rescued Petty’s song after MCA turned it down and he was the one to put out “Free Falling”

Petty said he was on his best behavior as his family was in the audience.

In a speech he made to the elegantly dressed audience of rock and roll fans, Petty recalled some stories of his mentors including Leon Russell and Johnny Cash.

He said Russell told him he had to “earn” the right to wear dark glasses at night.

“He said ‘s what the hell you doin with the dark glasses,'” Petty recalled.  “I don’t know it feels cool like Jimmy Keltner. He said, ‘Wearing sunglasses at night is an honor you earn. Lou adler had Johnny Rivers and the Mamas and Papas before he put them glasses on. Jack Nicholson made really shitty Boris Karloff movies before he put them glasses on. Well,” Petty said as he lifted his sunglasses to his face, “I’m putting my glasses on.”

Petty proudly wears sunglasses at night - Photo courtesy Libby Kaufman

Petty proudly wears sunglasses at night – Photo courtesy Libby Kaufman

Petty said he was fortunate enough to know the great Johnny Cash and loved his song “Big River.” He said young songwriters should listen to “Big River” about 60 times and “You’ll write something.”

Petty and the Heartbreakers made an album with Johnny Cash that won a GRAMMY for the best country record of the year “without being played once on a country station.”

“This morning I was looking through a box and a letter fell out, it was from John on my 50th birthday and it said Happy Birthday, you’re a good man to ride the river with.” That’s all I want to be is a good man to ride the river with and I’m gonna keep riding the river.”


Photos from Stevie Nicks, Danny Clinch on Display at Art Basel

Still Moving by Danny Clinch - story produced by Donna Balancia

Danny Clinch has assembled a book of his works, Still Moving

MIAMI — The photographic works of music industry photographer Danny Clinch and rock icon Stevie Nicks will be on display Thursday through Friday at Dream South Beach during the 2014 Art Basel convention in Miami.

All images are for sale via Morrison Hotel Gallery‘s sales suite at Dream South Beach. 

On Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Clinch will sign copies of his new book, Still Moving, in the Dream South Beach lobby.  A private cocktail reception hosted by D’Angelico Guitars, Stillhouse Original Moonshine, Morrison Hotel Gallery, and Dream South Beach will follow on the hotel’s 1970’s-themed poolside rooftop.

Clinch’s band Tangiers Blues Band will perform with a special appearance by Robert Randolph, pedal steel guitarist and front man of the American funk and soul band, Robert Randolph and the Family Band.

Rational Animal, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness to help at-risk animals is the charity to benefit. A dedicated supporter of the charity, The Kills’ Alison Mosshart will DJ at the reception, which runs from 9:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.

Clinch is a well-known photographer of the popular music scene, portraying a wide range of artists from Johnny Cash and Tupac Shakur, to Björk and Dave Matthews.

His images have appeared on hundreds of album covers, as well as in publications such as Vanity Fair, Spin, Rolling Stone, and the New Yorker.

The Morrison Hotel Gallery and Dream South Beach exhibit will showcase images from his book Still Moving (Harry N. Abrams).

Stevie Nicks’ self-portraits debuted at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York to coincide with the October release of her new album, 24 Karat Gold – Songs From the Vault.

A selection of this show comes to Miami for the first time for this Dream South Beach exhibit.

The never-before-seen self-portraits from Nicks’ personal Polaroid collection taken between 1975 and 1987 were curated with her long-time collaborator, music impresario, and co-creator of the Eurythmics, Dave Stewart.

These self-portraits show a fascinating and seldom seen facet of Nicks’ creativity – a photographic journey into the private world of the rock icon.
Morrison Hotel Gallery was founded in 2001 by former record company executive Peter Blachley, music retail industry professional Richard Horowitz, and legendary music photographer Henry Diltz. In 2012, author, director and photographer Timothy White joined the team, launching an additional West Coast gallery at The Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood.

MHG has a robust online presence, featuring over 100,000 images searchable by photographer, music artist, band or concert. MHG has four locations including: Prince Street in SoHo; the Dream Hotel in the Meatpacking District; the Mens Market at the Americana Manhasset on Long Island; and the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood, the company is at the forefront of culture.

Rockers Team up For Veterans Matter

Stevie Nicks new album, Mellencamp, Kid Rock

Stevie Nicks, John Mellencamp and others team to support the charity

Stevie Nicks, Darius Rucker, John Mellencamp and Kid Rock are among the growing roster of rockers contributing time to Veterans Matter, an Ohio-based organization working on behalf of veterans.

The Veterans Matter program was started in 2012 in Toledo, Ohio, by Ken Leslie, a once homeless activist who had become aware that the primary obstacle facing many local homeless veterans eligible for long-term housing assistance was the lack of a rental deposit.

Veterans Matter was created as a simple solution to that simple problem by paying the deposit directly to landlord and has expanded to help house veterans in six states.

The program’s simplicity and demonstrated success rate attracted the attention of Dusty Hill of ZZ Top and John Mellencamp, who each helped raise funds to house homeless veterans in their home states, accounting for a significant portion of the almost $250,000 raised so far.

One hundred percent of the money raised goes to the program, as overhead costs are donated in-kind by Leslie’s company and other friends. 1Matters.org, a local non-profit that attained national visibility when John Mellencamp visited Toledo some years ago, is the fiscal agent for the program.

“Cumulus, the artists, and all of those involved in helping Veterans Matter are here because they fought for us. Now we fight for them. Veterans Matter,” Leslie said.