HOT: Petty Quibbles
Saturday Night Live honored the late Tom Petty and the victims of the recent mass shooting at a Las Vegas Country music fest by having Jason Aldean (who was onstage in Vegas when the shooting began) say a few words and open the show with a defiant version of Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” But it was not without some awkwardness. Besides Hollywood Reporter’s initial misidentification of the tune as “Stand My Ground” (which makes the song sound like a Second Amendment rally-cry) in a website headline, one has to wonder how Sam Smith felt before his big moment as musical guest on the show. A co-writing credit for Petty was added to the British singer’s biggest single, 2014’s “Stay With Me,” after Petty’s people confronted Smith’s reps over the melodic similarity between “Stay” and… “I Won’t Back Down.” Petty was remarkably cool about it, though, going out of his way to release a statement saying, "About the Sam Smith thing. Let me say I have never had any hard feelings toward Sam. All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen." Such a class act.
WARM: Rock Hall Announces 2018 Noms
The first round of nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 2018 induction ceremony again shows the Hall’s efforts to balance relevancy/coolness (Radiohead is up for induction in in its first eligible year), efforts to play catch-up (MC5 and The Cars return to the ballot) and nods to diversity (LL Cool J occupies the “But it’s the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, man!” slot again this year). Others on the “long list” include Nina Simone, Depeche Mode, The Meters, Kate Bush, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Dire Straits, Moody Blues, J. Geils Band, The Zombies, Judas Priest, Eurythmics, Rage Against the Machine, Link Ray, and Bon Jovi, who is winning the Hall’s online “fan poll” by a lot (for the past five years, the artist that won the Fan Vote also won induction, so expect the band to be at the ceremony next year if voting keeps up its current pace). You can have your say by voting here. The official 2018 inductees will be announced in December and the induction ceremony is in April.
COLD: Tiresome Traffic Jam
Carpool Karaoke might not be the joyous laugh-fest Justin Bieber and Katy Perry have led us all to believe it is. To hear Foo Fighters tell it (the band did the bit for James Corden’s Late Late Show in September; see below), it’s about as “fun” as having to wake up at 6 a.m. to talk to some FM radio “morning zoo” asshole to promote a concert. Guitarist Pat Smear told NME that “by hour three in dude’s car it got less fun,” while Dave Grohl tried to be more diplomatic, saying Corden was nice and it was just an awkward experience for Grohl personally.