Odds & Ends: Rolling Stones, Brad Paisley, Sinead O’Connor & The Star-Spangled Banner

Yet more reasons for a 2012 Rolling Stones tour, Brad Paisley changes the name of his tour, Sinead O’Connor says her marriage is back on, and a state senator wants a law setting a standard for performing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Satisfaction in 2012?

Although The Rolling Stones camp has yet to talk about any official tour plans to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary, there have been plenty of rumblings that Mick and the boys will hit the road this year.

The latest comes from Variety which points out that several key factors are in place for a Stones tour this year.

“Copious product is already in place to cash in on the milestone, including numerous live archival recordings, re-mastered deluxe versions of Stones classic albums, and a number of DVD titles,” Variety reports. However, that may be just brushing the surface.

The show-biz mag also says the band “recently signed exclusive deals” with Google Music, Bravado and Eagle Rock. The article states that the Google deal is for “promotion and online distribution” of “official bootlegs” while Bravado’s part is to “exclusively market the band’s brand and merchandise.” Eagle Rock will reportedly release a “plethora of Stones DVDs.”

Of course, none of the above actually points to a tour and all business deals could be for promoting the band’s big 5-0. However, the Variety article also included a quote from promoter and former Live Nation southwest chairman Danny Zelisko that makes it seem unlikely the Stones would not tour this year.

“Like many others, I have always felt these guys are going to play until they are dead,” Zelisko said. “What else are they going to do? They get their ya-yas out when they tour and they like to play. And besides, there is simply too much money at stake, not for them to tour.”

Photo: AP Photo

New Name, Same Tour

As obsessive chroniclers of concert dates, all of us here at the 150-acre Pollstar.com compound in beautiful Fresno, Calif., are used to routing changes, venue changes and pretty much anything that can affect a tour. However, Brad Paisley may have come up with new one – changing the name of his tour.

Back in October when he announced his touring plans for this year, Paisley dubbed the outing “The Camobunga! 2012 World Tour” and described it as “a mind blowing blend of country, fiery ’60s surf guitar acrobats, futuristic special effects, retro heart and soul and mind altering liquid beverages. The spirit of the deep woods meets the breakneck excitement of the California coast.”

As to the word “Camobunga,” Paisley said it was a combination of his single “Camouflage” from the album This Is Country Music and “cowabunga.”

But that was then. During rehearsals in December Paisley decided he needed a different name – the “Virtual Reality World Tour 2012.”

“When you see plans and sketches on paper it’s one thing but to actually see it in real life is something else, and that’s what happened to me when we were in tour rehearsals,” Paisley said. “When I saw the visuals and how exciting and sometimes mind-blowing they were I just felt the tour name needed to reflect what the fans were going to see. For two hours each night of the tour they can be taken away from reality – literally.”

The Virtual Reality World Tour 2012 presented by Chevy begins in Grand Rapids, Mich., at the Van Andel Arena Jan. 12.

Photo: Owen Sweeney / OwenSweeneyPhoto.com
Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, N.J.

Wedding Bell Blues

Reports of Sinead O’Connor’s new marriage crumbling may have been premature even though it was the Irish singer herself who said it was over.

O’Connor married her fourth husband – Barry Herridge – in Las Vegas Dec. 8, four months after meeting the therapist. Sixteen days later she told fans the marriage was over, saying she didn’t want to ruin his life.

“From the moment myself and my husband got together not long ago, there was intense pressure placed upon him by certain people in his life, not to be involved with me,” O’Connor wrote on her website Dec. 26. “These were people who had never met me but had formed opinions of me based on what they read about ‘Sinead O’Connor’ in the media etc.”

O’Connor also said a “wild ride” after the Vegas ceremony may have contributed to ending her wedding bliss.

“Within 3 hours of the ceremony being over the marriage was kyboshed by the behaviour of certain people in my husband’s life,” O’Connor wrote. “And also by a bit of a wild ride I took us on looking for a bit of a smoke of weed for me wedding night as I don’t drink. My husband was enormously wounded and very badly effected by that experience and also by the attitude of those close to him toward our marriage.”

Sure, there’s more, but you get the picture. Marriage over, end of story. Or is it?

O’Connor now says she’s giving it another try, a decision that she made after a night of passion with Herridge this week.

“Guess who had a mad love making affair with her own husband last night,” O’Connor tweeted Wednesday. “We decided to be boyfriend and girlfriend again and stay married but we did rush so we gonna return to b friend g friend an be sickenly happy and go counsellin and move in like a yr regular people…but stay married.”

While a night of bumpin’ uglies may have reversed O’Connor’s decision to leave her brand new husband, another factor may be the divorce law in Ireland calling for a four-year separation before a marriage can be legally dissolved.

A Star-Spangled Law

Many performers have tackled America’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” over the years. Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler has taken more than a few cracks at it. Other artists who have performed the anthem at sports events or other public gatherings include Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and Jimi Hendrix.

Then there’s Jose Feliciano whose soulful rendering before Game 5 of the 1968 World Series became a controversy unto itself that almost overshadowed the Detroit Tigers’ come from behind victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Now an Indiana state senator has introduced a bill that would set performance standards for “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Republican State Senator Vandeta Becker’s bill calls for a law that would require performers to sign a contract promising they will follow guidelines set down by the state for performing the song, according to StarPress.com. Those who don’t meet the established standards would be fined $25.

What kind of performance standards? Evidently the more traditional the better. The StarPress.com quotes Becker as saying “the way that we normally have it sung or heard throughout most of our state and country.”

Becker’s bill would apply to events sponsored by public schools and state universities as well as private schools receiving government funds.

The irony that a law calling for strict guidelines when performing the national anthem might be passed in a country that prides itself on individualism and self-expression is not lost on us. If you would like to discuss this with Senator Becker, she can be reached at [email protected].