Odds & Ends: Rush, Clarence Clemons and Waylon Jennings

A science fiction author is writing a novelization of Rush’s next album; a tribute to saxman Clarence Clemons was reportedly bumped from the Grammy Awards; and new Waylon Jennings music is about to be release ten years after his death.

Rush In Print

Science fiction author Kevin J. Anderson recently announced on his website that he will write a novelization of Rush’s upcoming album, Clockwork Angels.

Anderson, who wrote a slew of “Star Wars” books in the 1990s, including his Jedi Academy trilogy as well as the Young Jedi Knights series with author Rebecca Moesta, is working with his longtime friend, Rush drummer Neil Peart on the project.

“For more than twenty years, Neil and I have wanted to collaborate on something MAJOR, a way we could tie together our imaginations, and at last that’s happening,” Anderson wrote.

“I’m writing the novelization of Rush’s forthcoming album, Clockwork Angels, their first new CD in five years. Imagine if someone had written the novel of The Wall, Tommy, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band when those classic albums were released. For Rush fans, Clockwork Angels is that project.”

Anderson said he worked with Peart to “flesh out” the story as well as with artist Hugh Syme whose paintings will fill the CD booklet. The author described the story as a “young man’s quest to follow his dreams” who is “caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos.”

This won’t be Anderson’s first Rush-related book. His first novel, “Resurrection, Inc.,” was inspired by the band’s Grace Under Pressure album.

Photo: Rod Tanaka / TanakaPhoto.net
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, Colo.

Grammy Tribute Switcheroo

Whitney Houston’s sudden death on Feb. 11 resulted in changes for Sunday night’s Grammy Awards telecast, including the nixing of a tribute to Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons.

Time is the villain in this story. Specifically the amount of time CBS had to broadcast last night’s award show. Like any event on a time budget, if you add one element, something else must be shortened or dropped.

Although a tribute to Clemons wasn’t included in the show’s advance press, word is that it was in the plans. That is, until Whitney Houston’s death on Saturday resulted in changes in the awards show’s schedule.

At least, that’s what Maceo Parker said. The funk/soul saxophonist posted a message on his Facebook page today saying he was supposed to be part of the tribute to Clemons, but the segment was dropped in favor of one honoring Houston.

Springsteen & E Street opened last night’s Grammy Awards with a performance of the new single, “We Take Care Of Our Own.” Last week the Springsteen camp announced that two saxophonists, Clemons’ nephew Jake and Eddie Manion, would replace the Big Man on the upcoming tour and that E Street will perform witih a horn section that includes trombonist Clark Gayton and trumpeter Curt Ramm.

The upcoming “Wrecking Ball” tour begins March 18 in Atlanta. Springsteen & E Street will also perform exclusively for SiriusXM Radio subscribers at New York City’s Apollo Theater March 9.

Photo: AP Photo
Olympic Stadium, Munich, Germany

Something New From Waylon

You’ll soon have some new tunes by Waylon Jennings to listen to.

Jennings died in his sleep from diabetic complications 10 years ago today in Chandler, Ariz.

An album tentatively titled Goin’ Down Rockin’: The Final Records will include eight songs Jennings wrote shortly before his death. Vocal and guitar tracks for the album were recorded at steel guitarist Robby Turner’s studio before Jennings died. Since then, other musicians have worked to finish the songs.

Jennings, who along with Willie Nelson, David Allan Coe and Kris Kristofferson, was a member of country music’s “outlaw” movement in the 1970s.  Many years before he made a name for himself as a performer / recording artist, Jennings was a member of Buddy Holly’s band and worked with the singer during the 1959 tour that also featured Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson.

On February 3, 1959 Jennings offered his seat on a plane to Richardson who was suffering from a cold at the time. The plane crashed shortly after taking off from an airport in Mason City, Iowa, killing all aboard. The tragic event was referenced as “the day the music died” in Don McLean’s epic 1971 song, “American Pie.”