Veteran British rocker Bryan Ferry returned to his alma mater in Newcastle, England on Friday (11Jul14) to receive an honorary doctorate. The Roxy Music icon graduating from Newcastle University with a bachelor's degree in Fine Art back in the early 1970s and he was back on familiar ground on Friday as he was made a Doctor of Music.
Speaking before the ceremony, Ferry declared, "I feel honoured to have been awarded this doctorate from my former university. I enjoyed my time at Newcastle, and was fortunate to study with some great teachers and fellow students.
"It was an inspiring time to be an art student in Newcastle, and the city also had an exciting music scene. Music and art have guided my life, and it all started at Newcastle University."
Newcastle University's registrar, Dr. John Hogan, adds, "We are delighted to welcome back and honour one of our graduates who has achieved so much in his field.
"Newcastle University has an excellent reputation for education in art and music and Mr. Ferry is a great example and inspiration to our students graduating in those disciplines this summer."
Ferry isn't the only ageing rocker to head back to school this week - AC/DC's Brian Johnson collected an honorary degree from nearby Northumbria University on Wednesday (09Jul14).
Ac/Dc frontman Brian Johnson was feted with an honorary degree at Britain's Northumbria University on Wednesday (09Jul14). The rocker was declared a doctor of music by officials at the school in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
Johnson, who grew up in the local area, donned a traditional gown and swapped his trademark flat hat for a university cap during the ceremony.
Northumbria University's vice-chancellor and chief executive, Professor Andrew Wathey, says, "It is fitting that we honour one of the most distinctive voices in rock music, who is also a native of the North-East... "It is interesting to reflect on the importance of culture to collective life of the North-East and of the cultural industries as a major U.K. export. Brian Johnson symbolises both of these things and, moreover, has been an inspiration to generations of young musicians over several decades."
Brian Johnson has sent his best wishes to his Ac/Dc bandmate Malcolm Young as he battles ill health in hospital. The band was rumoured to be on the verge of a split earlier this year (14) due to Young's health troubles, but they vowed to press on after the musician decided to step down for a hiatus.
Johnson has now revealed his friend is in hospital, but he remains hopeful of a recovery.
He tells TeamRock Radio, "We miss Malcolm, obviously. He's a fighter. He's in hospital, but he's a fighter. We've got our fingers crossed that he'll get strong again.
"Stevie, Malcolm's nephew, was magnificent, but when you're recording (a new album) with this thing hanging over you and your work mate isn't well, it's difficult. But I'm sure he was rooting for us. He's such a strong man. He's a small guy, but he's very strong. He's proud and he's very private, so we can't say too much. But fingers crossed, he'll be back."
No further details about Young's health battle have been given.
Johnson goes on to reveal work on the band's new album has been completed after a number of studio sessions in Canada.
He adds, "We're done. I'm very excited and we've got some great songs. I wanted to call the album 'Man Down'. But it's a bit negative and it was probably just straight from the heart. I like that."
Veteran rocker Sting took to the stage to sing with the cast on the opening night of his new musical The Last Ship in Chicago, Illinois. The Police star's show opened at the city's Bank of America Theatre on Wednesday (25Jun14) ahead of its planned Broadway debut in October (14), and the rocker was in the audience with his wife Trudie Styler.
At the end of the performance, Sting took to the stage for the curtain call and led the cast in a song, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.
Other stars who turned out for the musical's opening included Paul Simon, James Taylor, Styx singer Dennis DeYoung and AC/DC's Brian Johnson.
The show received mixed reviews from critics, who questioned whether the production, set in a doomed shipyard in Sting's hometown in the north of England, could draw in audiences on Broadway.
Steven Oxman of variety writes, "Do you want to live for two-and-a-half hours in a beautifully sad song?... The show currently works as a collection of songs in search of a complete story, or perhaps as a concept album - filled with mood and emotion and character and sensibility, but swaying as it takes on specifics. What seems to be missing is a driving conflict."
The Chicago Tribune's Chris Jones adds, "(Many) scenes... still have the air of a semi-staged concept album... The Last Ship already is a worthy and earnest musical, but we know how Broadway loves to take those down. Just look at last season."
Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Business Journal concludes, "Most of the theatre crowds in the early going at least will probably have come to hear Sting's music for the show. Fans of his work may find that much of it sounds familiar and pleasant to hear performed in a theatrical setting. But hardcore theatre buffs will soon realise Sting's style of music - for the most part - simply doesn't sit comfortably in a big Broadway musical context."
Ac/Dc will bounce back from the departure of guitarist Malcolm Young by returning to the road by the end of the year (14), according to frontman Brian Johnson. The band was rumoured to be on the verge of a split earlier this year (14) due to Young's health troubles, but they vowed to press on after the musician decided to step down for a hiatus.
Johnson has now revealed the rockers are plotting a new tour and could be back on the road by the end of the year (14).
In a message posted on his car racing webpage, Johnson admits he will have less time to focus on his love of motorsports and his TV show Cars That Rock because he is returning to work with AC/DC.
He writes, "We hope to bring you more (car racing TV) shows in the near future but, of course, there is the slight distraction of my day job with AC/DC - and it looks very likely that we will be on the road again before the end of the year. So stand by for more music - and more Cars That Rock. Thanks - Brian."
Ac/Dc star Brian Johnson will be pitted against other celebrities in an Italian classic car race next month (May14). The singer and motoring enthusiast will be behind the wheel of a vintage Jaguar C-type race car for the gruelling four-day, 1000-mile (1,609-kilometre) challenge from the Italian capital Rome to the northern city of Brescia and back again.
Celebrities including British actor Jeremy Irons, former U.S. talk show host Jay Leno, model Jodie Kidd, British rapper Example, and Scottish singer/songwriter Amy MacDonald will also be taking on the challenge in other famous 1950s roadsters made by the car manufacturer.
The Mille Miglia classic car race will begin on 15 May (14).
"I didn't know they were going to do that because Malcolm is a very proud man. It is a debilitating disease, it's f**king horrible and I hate it! But I don't want to say much more than that because Malcolm is a very private guy." Ac/Dc star Brian Johnson was blindsided by the decision to announce news of his bandmate Malcolm Young's hiatus from the group due to illness.
Ac/Dc guitarist Malcolm Young has ended days of speculation by confirming he is taking a break from the band due to ill health. The Back In Black hitmakers were thrust into the spotlight this week (beg13Apr14) when reports emerged suggesting they were planning to announce their retirement due to the failing health of one of the bandmembers.
Frontman Brian Johnson silenced rumours of an impending split by insisting the band still plans to hit the studio in May (14) to record new material, and now the group has confirmed Young will stand down to focus on his health battle.
A statement from AC/DC reads, "After forty years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health. Malcolm would like to thank the group's diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support.
"In light of this news, AC/DC asks that Malcolm and his family's privacy be respected during this time. The band will continue to make music."
No details about Young's illness have been confirmed.
Johnson has said of his colleague's health crisis, "One of the boys has a debilitating illness, but I don't want to say too much about it. He is very proud and private, a wonderful chap. We've been pals for 35 years and I look up to him very much."
Ac/Dc frontman Brian Johnson has silenced rumours of an impending split by insisting the band still plans to hit the studio in May (14) to record new material.
The Back In Black hitmakers were thrust into the spotlight this week (beg13Apr14) when reports emerged suggesting they were planning to announce their retirement due to the failing health of one of the bandmembers. Johnson has now spoken out to assure fans the group still plans to honour a commitment to begin recording sessions in Canada in May (14), however, he does concede that one of the musicians is suffering from a "debilitating illness."
He tells Telegraph.co.uk, "We are definitely getting together in May in Vancouver. We're going to pick up some guitars, have a plonk, and see if anybody has got any tunes or ideas. If anything happens, we'll record it." He adds of the future of the band, "I wouldn't like to say anything either way about the future. I'm not ruling anything out. One of the boys has a debilitating illness, but I don't want to say too much about it. He is very proud and private, a wonderful chap. We've been pals for 35 years and I look up to him very much."
Johnson has previously insisted the group planned an ambitious tour to mark their 40th anniversary in the music industry, but he admits he has no idea whether it will still go ahead: "That would be a wonderful way to say bye bye. We would love to do it. But it's all up in the air at the moment."
Speculation is growing over the future of rock legends Ac/Dc amid a swirl of rumours suggesting the band is on the verge of retirement. The Back In Black hitmakers hit headlines in their native Australia on Tuesday (14Apr14) when unconfirmed reports from Down Under pointed towards a possible split.
The rumours come just weeks after frontman Brian Johnson revealed the group has been keeping a low profile in recent months due to health problems affecting one of the bandmembers. He told Florida radio station 98.7 The Gater in February (14), "One of our boys was pretty ill, so we didn't like to say anything, and we're very private about things like this, so we didn't wanna say anything. And he's a very proud man."
However, Johnson insisted the band was poised to get back to work, hinting at a 40th anniversary tour and a new album, adding, "I think we'll be going into the studio in May... It's been 40 years of the band's existence, so I think we're gonna try to do 40 gigs, 40 shows, to thank the fans for their undying loyalty." Representatives for the band had failed to respond to requests for comment as WENN went to press.