Music News

BILL KNOEDELSEDER’s new HarperCollins book, “Stiffed,” is undergoing some additional review by the publisher in the wake of a letter sent by an attorney representing Irving Azoff.

The letter, contents of which were not revealed, allegedly concerns some factual inaccuracies in Knoedelseder’s book. “Stiffed” questions the extent of former MCA Music Entertainment head Azoff’s knowledge of reputed organized crime figure Sal Pisello’s activities within that company.

Knoedelseder acknowledged the extra vetting Friday, but termed it routine and said the book will meet its scheduled publication date of March 17. An Azoff representative declined comment.

MANAGER DOC McGHEE plans to further his reach into the Home Shopping Network this summer by setting up an MTV-style show touting new artists.

“We’ll be doing some interactive shopping where you can watch acts, call up and order merchandise, records, and get fan club information,” McGhee said. “We’re looking at June or July to start that program.”

McGhee is seeking label support for the show, as yet untitled, which will focus on developing acts in specific genres. The show is in talks with what McGhee describes as a “high-profile personality” to serve as host.

McGhee has already dipped his toe into Home Shopping Music waters, promoting older-skewing artists like Englebert Humperdinck, Barry Manilow and Hank Williams Jr.

His prime home-shopping target of the moment is Little Willie, a blues-based act that features four prepubescent kids and their father, recording on McGhee’s own Crybaby Records label and sold exclusively through the Home Shopping Network , an 800 number and at the band’s gigs. Little Willie is now on tour as the opener for Lynyrd Skynyrd.

While Crybaby is a label created solely for Little Willie, McGhee has been shopping the majors for a deal to create McGhee Records, which he envisions as a full-service entity rather than the standard imprint deal usually accorded managers or producers.

MICK JAGGER PLANS to celebrate the release tomorrow of his new Atlantic solo album, “Wandering Spirit,” with a performance that will be televised from Webster Hall in New York to a private party at the Roxy. Jagger’s new band includes guitarist Jimmy Rip, bassist John Pierce, drummer Curt Bisquera, guitarist Frank Simes and keyboardist Chuck Leavell.

AFTER SPENDING 15 years recording for Epic Records, Cheap Trick has signed with Warner Bros.

Details haven’t been revealed, but the group’s recent lack of success after a mid-’80s resurgence makes this one likely the music industry equivalent of an aging ballplayer signing a one-year deal.

Cheap Trick–vocalist Robin Zander, guitarist Rick Neilson, bassist Tom Peterson and drummer Bun E. Carlos–begins work on a new album in March, targeted for a fall release. Zander will also issue his first solo album this summer through Interscope Records.

Meanwhile, Epic Records plans to release the sequel to Cheap Trick’s successful “Live at Budokan” album, likely a vehicle to clear up remaining contractual necessities between the label and band.

STRAY CAT BRIAN SETZER has launched a new venture, a 16-piece big band billed as the Brian Setzer Orchestra. The ensemble lit up the Roxy last Thursday night, with Setzer displaying a surprising vocal affinity for such chestnuts as “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “Route 66,” as well as his own “Stray Cat Strut.”

The band, put together as a side project, features performers from such acts as Frank Sinatra, Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson and Woody Herman. At the Roxy, such soloists as baritone sax Vinny Golia and tenor sax Michael Acosta lit up the room with their chops.

Setzer has been surprised at the response to the band, and has been fielding a number of management and label offers.

DEPECHE MODE’S forthcoming Warner Bros. album, “Songs of Faith and Devotion,” was leaked last week to Los Angeles radio station KROQ, which aired three cuts. The album, set for release in late March, has been the subject of full-length reviews in the Prodigy computer network as well, according to a spokesman for the act.

MERCURY RECORDS has created a new label for producer and Los Angeles native DJ Pooh, whose work includes LL Cool J’s “Bigger and Deffer” and Ice Cube’s “Death Certificate” and “The Predator.”

The pressing and distribution deal for Da’ Bomb records will kick off with an album from Threat Hip Hop, “Sick- N- Na Head.” On deck are releases from R&B artists Shawn Mac and Indigo, an 18-year-old female rapper from Compton.

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