Odds & Ends: Pearl Jam, Miley Cyrus, Paul Simon, Strawberry Music Fest, James Brown, Paul Revere

Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder clarifies earlier remarks criticized by some as “anti-Israel.” Meanwhile, Backstreet Boys and Paul Anka cancel shows planned for Tel Aviv … Strawberry Music Festival talks lineup … Raiders venture forth without ailing leader Paul Revere … Paul Simon’s baseball concert nixed … Miley Cyrus ain’t dead.

Eddie Vedder may not have mentioned Israel while talking to the audience between songs during Pearl Jam’s July 11 show at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes, England, however, one thing is for sure – the frontman did stir things up a bit.

The Jerusalem Post took Vedder to task for his onstage description of those who “go across borders and take over land that doesn’t belong to them,” as people “who are looking for a reason to kill.”

Evidently Vedder’s words didn’t go over too well with the band’s Israeli fans, especially those who had created a Facebook page urging Pearl Jam to play a concert in the country.  In a posting on his own Facebook page, Israel Radio DJ Ben Red told Vedder he is not invited to play Israel.

“I personally do not want to see you, and I will erase the Facebook page calling on bringing [the band] to Israel, but not before I expose you for who you really are,” wrote Red.

Last week Vedder posted a message on PearlJam.com clarifying his comments.  Titled “Imagine That – I’m Still Anti-War,” Vedder begins by quoting a line from John Lennon’s “Imagine” – “You may say I’m a dreamer … but I’m not the only one,” before pondering what will happen when the sadness resulting from war turns into apathy.

“Call me naïve,” Vedder wrote.  “I’d rather be naïve, heartfelt and hopeful than resigned to say nothing for fear of misinterpretation and retribution.”

But Vedder did more than quote Lennon’s famous song.  During a solo gig at Portugal’s Super Bock Super Rock Friday night, the singer performed “Imagine” for the very first time, according to Consequence Of Sound

“If you’re anti-war, it doesn’t mean you are pro one side or the other side in a conflict,” Vedder told the audience.

Meanwhile, the conflict between Israel and Hamas has resulted in two acts dropping Tel Aviv from their itineraries. 

The Backstreet Boys were to play three sold-out nights in Tel Aviv July 29-31 but have scratched the performances.  The group says it is planning on rescheduling  the concerts in spring 2015.

“This is a major disappointment for the band and fans as this was to be our first visit to Israel and we looked forward to meeting our fans,” the band said in a posting on its website.

Paul Anka recently deleted two Tel Aviv gigs planned for July 24 & 26 from his touring schedule, saying he would try to reschedule the shows in 2015, according to Broadway World

Earlier this month Neil Young & Crazy Horse announced it had canceled a July 17 show in Tel Aviv due to the ongoing conflict.

Photo: Andy Argyrakis / ConcertLivewire.com
FirstMerit Bank Pavilion @ Northerly Island, Chicago, Ill.

The 2014 will be somewhat different than in past years.  For years the festival has played out over Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends at Camp Mather near Groveland, Calif.

But last year’s Labor Day Weekend festival was scrubbed due to forest fires devastating the area just west of Yosemite National Park.  Although there was no Strawberry Festival during Memorial Weekend 2014, organizers recently announced a new location for the September event – Nevada Co. Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, Calif. – and a new weekend – Sept. 11-14.

Now there is a partial lineup to go with the festival.

Sept. 11: Strange On The Range, Eliza Gilkyson with special guest Nina Gerber, The Little Band, John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band

Sept 12: Steep Ravine, Chris Webster & Nina Gerber, Los Texmaniacs, Hot Buttered Rum, Hot Rize

Sept. 13: 10 String Symphony, Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit, LoCura, Achilles Wheel

Sept. 14: T Sisters, The Hillbenders, California Honeydrops, Kathy Kallick Band, Jerry Douglas Band, Patty Griffin

Expect more acts to be announced.  Visit StrawberryMusic.com for more information.

Photo: Jason Moore
"Stagecoach: California’s Country Music Festival," Empire Polo Field, Indio, Calif.

Paul Revere may be ailing but his Raiders rock on.  The keyboardist behind the band that delivered such hits as “Cherokee Nation,” “Kicks,” “The Great Airplane Strike” and “Hungry” hasn’t been in the best of health lately, causing him to bow out of the Raiders’ current road trip.

“It breaks my heart to have to stay home while the band goes out without me to our next block of dates. You don’t even know how much it kills me,” Revere said in a statement sent to fans.  “But the truth is, The Raiders kick major butt with or without me. 

We’ve designed this show to run like a Ferrari, even if it’s only firing on 11 cylinders.  It’s built for speed from the ground up.  High energy and fun is what a Paul Revere and The Raiders show is all about, and that’s always the same, no matter which one of us shows up in a body cast.  So come out and see my boys, and tell them how much you miss me. We have the absolute best fans.  I love you all and will see you soon.”

Photo: facebook.com/paulrevereraiders

The Raiders’ next gig is the Charlevoix Venetian Festival in Charlevoix, Mich., July 23.

Have you seen the new trailer for “Get On Up,” the biopic of James Brown that counts Mick Jagger as one of its producers?  Here ya go:

Chadwick Boseman, who played baseball legend Jackie Robinson in 2013’s “42,” portrays the hardest working man in show biz.

You can forget about seeing Paul Simon at a special event celebrating the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s 75th anniversary.

Simon was supposed to appear at the gala in Cooperstown, N.Y., along with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and four-time World Series Champion member of the New York Yankees / Grammy nominee Bernie Williams August 2.  The plan called for Simon to perform three songs.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced the concert’s cancelation without giving a reason fnor the change in plans.  Ticket holders are asked to go to CooperstownConcert.com for more information.

Photo: AP Photo / Wong Maye-E
Timbre Rock And Roots Festival, Fort Canning Park, Singapore

Miley Cyrus did not OD over the weekend, despite what you might have read on Facebook.

The Epoch Times reports the false posting was made to “spread bogus surveys that make money for the scammers behind it.”

“(Shocking) Miley Cyrus Found Dead In Her Los Angeles Home!  Country singer Miley Cyrus found overdosed this afternoon in her Los Angeles home,” claimed the phony news item.

But Miley is still in the land of the living.  Proving she’s still breathing, the singer posted a topless photo of herself on Instagram, because, well, that is what one does to contradict erroneous death announcements in the new millennium. 

Photo: AP Photo / PA, Jonathan Brady
Capital FM Summertime Ball, Wembley Stadium, London, UK

Now there is a rumor circulating on Facebook that there is a sex tape starring Ms. Cyrus making the rounds.  That, too, is thought to be a hoax. Just goes to show you that being rich and famous is hardly a cake walk.  Aren’t you glad you’re not her?