Archive for November, 2012

Robert Downey Jr., Gene Simmons, Sean Penn and Jodie Foster Join Forces for Charity

The spirit of holiday giving is going full swing in Hollywood. Golden Globe winner & Academy Award nominee Robert Downey Jr., GRAMMY winner Gene Simmons of KISS,  along with Academy Award winners Sean Penn, Mel Gibson, and Jodie Foster join forces to support Mending Kids International next Saturday, December 1st as they take part in the Four Kings & An Ace poker tournament at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, CA.

A limited number of tickets to play poker with the celebrity guests as well as spectator tickets are still available. Event tickets can be purchased here. The tournament will take place inside the Gordon Ramsay restaurant at the London West Hollywood.

The evening proceeds benefit children worldwide who are in need of life-changing surgical care. Over the years, thousands of children have received corrective, transformational surgeries that have given them a chance at longer, healthier and happier lives. Most of the surgeries performed are to correct congenital heart defects, orthopedic abnormalities, severe scoliosis, and significant cranial facial deformities.

Robert Downey Jr has just wrapped filming on MARVEL’s Iron Man 3, due in theaters May 2013 while Sean Penn stars in the upcoming Gangster Squad, due in theaters January 11, 2013.

Sponsors of the evening include Variety, the London West Hollywood, Morgan’s Jeweler’s, Gibson’s ICON films and more.

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MasterCard Priceless Presents Bon Jovi

MasterCard Priceless Los Angeles presents GRAMMY artist Bon Jovi live in concert on Saturday, December 1st at the Paramount Studios back lot in Los Angeles. Wednesday, November 21st is your last chance to win a pair of FREE tickets. Wouldn’t that make a great present to start off the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with?

Sign up now so you know when to log in for the chance to get your complimentary tickets! When you sign up you will also receive a code to watch a live stream of the concert if you don’t win tickets.

The New Jersey natives are playing a handful of shows before 2012 ends including the Concert for Sandy Relief benefit in NYC on 12.12.12 with Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Alicia Keys, Billy Joel and more.

In 2013 Bon Jovi will head out on a coast to coast Because We Can tour of the United States.

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INXS Confirm End to Their Touring Days

In a statement released early Tuesday in Australia, iconic rock band INXS announce the end of their touring days after 35 years in the music business. From INXS.com,  “We understand that this must come as a blow to everybody, but all things must eventually come to an end. We have been performing as a band for 35 years, it’s time to step away from the touring arena”.

The confirmation comes after a confusing weekend that included a surprising teary goodbye on stage in Perth, Australia by INXS drummer, Jon Farriss at the end of the Matchbox 20/INXS tour of Australia which caused speculation of  a band split picked up by news outlets everywhere. Fans & friends of the band were further confused by personal emails and texts from band members to people around the globe denying the end of the band.

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The statement continued, “Our music will of course live on and we will always be a part of that.”

“We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all the friends and family that have supported us throughout our extensive career. Our lives have been enriched by having you all as a part of the journey”

INXS forged their reputation as one of the world’s greatest live bands, relentlessly touring the US, Europe, South America, and the Far East constantly throughout the 80’s and early 90’s, fuelled by the success of records such as Listen Like Thieves, Kick, X, and Welcome To Wherever You Are.

That hard earned and hard won live reputation took INXS to the very pinnacle of the live world touring circuit with such memorable performances headlining iconic venues across the world …  in the UK [Wembley Stadium 80,000], the US [Texas Stadium 60,000] and Rio De Janeiro [ Rock in Rio 120,000].

But with the high, came a bitter and cruel blow … the loss of their charismatic and irreplaceable front man Michael Hutchence in November 1997.

‘It’s been 35 years for INXS as a live touring band and unbelievably it’s been 15 years ago since we lost Michael’ said Jon Farriss.

We lived for each other in the trenches and we loved each other. It was the six of us against the world and then suddenly and inexplicably we were but five. We were lost right at the moment we were on top.’

The band struggled to deal with the enormity of it all and the easy solution was to just call it a day.

‘We never took a soft option, it was the adversity, the challenge and the struggle that forged us into the live working band we became. And this was as big as it could possibly get when it came to a challenge’ said Andrew Farriss, ‘and in the end we decided for a whole bunch of reasons to march forward. To us there was no other option . families always move forward’.

To live to 80 plus is a life well lived. To lose Michael so young was a tragedy for all of us. But with this band, their legacy, their music was just so damn good, it was always destined to live beyond all of us.

The last 3 years has seen a resurgence of INXS with their songs being hammered on radio and a rise in audience numbers with the live show. The song ‘Original Sin’, with Rob Thomas on vocals, reached number 1 on the Billboard dance charts.

As Jon Farriss says, ‘INXS’ touring days could never last forever. We wanted it to end on a high. And it has’

Music critics and fans alike have chided the band for years in their decision to continue making music after the death of Michael Hutchence. For the remaining members of INXS, it was the only job they had ever done, the job they truly loved and excelled at. Michael’s decision to leave this world didn’t mean they had to stop doing the only thing they had ever done – rock as an amazing live band. The band tried a succession of different singers in the last 15 years including Terence Trent D’ Arby, Noiseworks Jon Stevens, rebuilt a great fan momentum and had a hit with Rockstar INXS winner, J.D. Fortune  and the song Pretty Vegas and the last year with Irishman Ciaran Gribbin at the helm.

On a more personal note, I hope they choose to continue working in the music business in some fashion and remember to call their old friends if they visit the USA because hanging out with these Australians for drinks and laughs are some of the best times I’ve had.

INXS images courtesy of Cindy Robinson, Ciaran Gribbin images courtesy of Esther Oliver

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