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Author Jeff Slate

Mike D. and Ad-Rock are just the same as when I first met them in the mid-80s. When I catch up with them at their Bowery hotel to discuss their fantastic new Beastie Boys Book — part oral history, part cookbook, part graphic novel, and so much more — they’re still loud, brash, funny and fully of life. But they’ve also logged a lot of miles in the intervening years, with epic highs and crushing lows, not least of which was the loss of the heart and soul of the Beastie Boys, Adam Yauch, to cancer in 2012. All of…

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Every year like clockwork, since 2015, there’s been a deep dive box set, highlighting each period of David Bowie’s remarkable career. Rightly so, Five Years: 1969-1973, Who Can I Be Now?: 1974-1976 and A New Career In A New Town: 1977-1982 topped year-end critics lists. But the highlights of each were the hidden gems. The lost soul album The Gouster, and Tony Visconti’s magical remix of 1979’s Lodger were everything fans had hoped they’d be, and made the box sets worth every penny. This year’s box, Loving The Alien: 1983-1988, delves into the period when Bowie became an international pop…

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“We never once thought about what audience we were making this for,” Sebastian Krys, the co-producer of Elvis Costello’s new album, Look Now, told me as we lingered in the aftermath of a listening event held by Concord Records at the fabled Electric Lady Studios in Greenwich Village. “We just wanted to make the best album we could make — with real scope to it — in the hopes that it would find an audience, and maybe even inspire younger musicians who might stumble on it via some playlist one day down the road.” While Krys’ statement speaks volumes about…

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“When we get to New York you’ll have to come visit me on the tour bus,” Willie Nelson said, when I told him how disappointed I was to be interviewing him by phone rather than in person. “We have fun on the bus. I think you’d like it.” He then let out a long, hearty laugh that left no doubt in my mind: Willie Nelson had just invited me to party with him on his tour bus, the legendary Honeysuckle Rose. Or at least I hope he had. At 85, Nelson is still going strong. The legendary singer/songwriter released a…

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“Tom had really high standards, and that was really in my mind,” Mike Campbell says with a chuckle when I ask him about compiling the new Tom Petty career-spanning box set An American Treasure, without his former band mate there to offer a thumbs up or down. “But these were tracks that just didn’t fit, for one reason or another. They were orphans. Tom was always very clear about what he wanted and didn’t want, but it’s not like there was anything wrong with them. So now they’ve found a home.” That home is a sprawling, 63-song set of songs…

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When I meet up with David Crosby during rehearsals for his fall tour supporting his new solo album Lighthouse, he almost can’t contain himself about the amazing reviews the album had been getting. “Have you read the Rolling Stone review?” he asks me, almost immediately after we say hello. “Woo! Uncut was a blazer, too, but Rolling Stone, man, it was a rave. It’s a great review. They loved it!” Crosby is going it alone these days, and he’s never seemed happier. After a nasty, public falling-out with longtime musical foil Graham Nash, and cutting ties with his other musical…

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“I adore her,” Chrissie Hynde says of fellow rock legend Stevie Nicks, on whose current tour Hynde’s band the Pretenders are filling the supporting slot. “Stevie’s shows are great, and she’s a darling. She’s got an incredible voice, and it’s a good audience.” While the Pretenders have been fitting in the odd headlining show while supporting Nicks on her U.S. trek, Hynde says it’s been good for her band to stretch their collective legs. “If we can go out on our own, do our own show, it’s going to be a little more crazy,” Hynde admits. “I like that, and…

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“Mudcrutch’s whole approach is like a power band,” Roger McGuinn, the founder of The Byrds, tells me when I catch up with him after seeing him in New York City with Tom Petty’s “other” band. “They’re more like Rolling Stones than Beatles. It’s a powerful, punchy band.” But McGuinn, who tours the world solo these days, says it wasn’t much of an adjustment to sit in with his old friends from the Heartbreakers. “I play with the Rock Bottom Remainders almost every year,” he says of the band of best-selling authors, including Scott Turow, Amy Tan and Stephen King, that…

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“All I can tell you is that I never dwell on anything that’s been reasonably successful,” guitar legend Jeff Beck says as we begin the first of two lengthy conversations, focused on his new album, Loud Hailer, out July 15th, and his deluxe photo memoir BECK01, out now from Genesis Publications. “I guess it’s my sense of inquisitiveness and maybe boredom, a mixture of the two. I always look for tomorrow in today. Whoever’s involved with my music at the time, I go along with them, hand-in-hand, to find out where I can go. The answers are always there if…

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