Twenty-four years and a day after releasing their self-titled debut album on July 4th, 1995, Foo Fighters have dropped a surprise live EP. “A good day to look in the Foo Files,” the band announced on Twitter. “How about a few elusive live tracks?”
Mysteriously titled 00950025 — possibly alluding to the year 1995 and 25 years since the band’s formation — the EP features two rare songs from their 1995 Reading Festival set, “Wattershed” and “For All the Cows.” The There is Nothing Left to Lose track “Next Year” is also included, recorded at Cold Live at the Chapel in Melbourne, Australia in 2000. 00950025 is the first series of songs to be released from the band’s vault.
The band also included a link to where fans can submit their favorite memories of Reading or any Foo Fighters-related story, requesting messages and photos. “You never know what we’ve got up our sleeves,” they wrote, hinting at a possible live archives system in time for the band’s upcoming 25th anniversary this fall.
Foo Fighters are currently on tour. They began the summer playing select cities in the U.S., from New Orleans to San Diego, while spending June hitting cities across Europe. They’ll continue the festival circuit in August, playing Leeds and Reading on August 23rd and 25th.
It’s the subject of may fans’ wildest dreams. The idea of two of the biggest boy band stars of all time having sex has been endlessly written about – but never shown on screen before. Fan fiction is increasingly preoccupied with shipping their favourite stars, which means imaging them in a relationship. Added frisson is given since it is usually female fans putting together two male idols who identify as heterosexual.
A new scene has just depicted Styles performing oral sex on Tomlinson to calm his nerves while the band was still together.
It takes place behind the scenes just before the lads go on stage for a concert during their 2013 Take Me Home Tour. “What if someone sees?” says Tomlinson. “Let them” replies his bandmate.
It is part of new HBO television show Euphoria, where the character Cat, played by Barbie Ferrriera, is credited as the person who created Larry Stylinson – the fan fiction focussed on romantic and sexual liasons between the two boy band stars.
The storyline features an animated sex scene between Styles and Tomlinson – and the latter has just responded to fan outrage. WATCH THE SCENE HERE
A Louis fan tweeted that Harry seemed “quite friendly” with the show’s creators but “You can just tell Louis is NOT gonna like it.”
The star himself answered: “I can categorically say that I was not contacted nor did I approve it.”
Hannah fired back: “Get it sorted!!! It’s not right to use your image and name for something you didn’t agree to!”
Many fans feel offended that the purity of their imagined love was shown in such a “gross” way, while others note that the online fan fiction is full of similar sex scenes. Those who ship Harry and Louis call themselves Larries.
HARRY STYLES JUST SCREEN TESTED TO PLAY ELVIS IN NEW MOVIE
One fan wrote: “It’s such a shame for a high television like HBO to do that kind of thing and WITHOUT even asking?! I mean, if it was something nice about their work… but this? a lot of disrespect to not say worse…”
Another agreed: ” That wasn’t nice, they were sexualising them trying to say that our fandom is like that. We support love, LOVE, not only that type of scenes. I am crying both didn’t deserve that. It’s gross, I’m a Larrie but I think doing that Scene was a very bad thing.”
However, it was also pointed out: “but Larries DID sexualize them on wattpad and tumblr fanfics.”
Noel Gallagher’s wife Sara McDonald has done anything but mince her words, as she weighed in on brother-in-law Liam’s Glastonbury set over the weekend.
While many punters are holding out hope for a 2020 Oasis reunion at Worthy Farm, it seems Sara will be the last to get on board.
After reacting to Stormzy’s headlining slot on the Friday night, she reportedly made it clear she wasn’t hanging around the Pyramid Stage to see Liam do his thing.
In a screenshot said to be from her private Instagram, Sara shared a photo of the grime rapper as she wrote: ‘Murky killed it. What a f***ing dude. Mesmerising.’
Underneath, one fan commented and asked if the family would be hanging around to watch Liam, who took to the stage in a striped parka and worked his maracas like there was no tomorrow to a bunch of his solo tunes and Oasis classics.
‘Think I’m going to swerve that,’ she said of Liam’s return to the Glasto stage after 15 years.
‘The fat t**t doing his tribute act, balancing a tambourine on his head is going to look pretty dated after Stormzy.’
There’s long been bad blood between Liam and Sara, who has been married to Noel since 2011 and has two sons – Sonny and Donovan.
Last year the rocker accused Sara of being the reason Oasis split, after Sara hit out at Liam for saying he didn’t care if Noel’s daughter Anais copped trolls on Twitter.
Sara said in response: ‘Please god (you) have dropped dead by the time my kids are on social media.’
That was all Liam needed to air his dirty laundry, taking to his millions of followers to say: ‘Think it’s time to address the witch you want me to drop dead you have a screw loose and know the world knows as you were LG x’
He continued: ‘She’s the reason OASIS is no longer have to put it out there she’s DARK [sic]’
Liam has also alleged that Sara tried to sabotage the band’s American tour by ‘hiding Noel’s passport’ and ‘f*cked with his head’.
Liam said: ‘We were about to go on tour to USA she robbed noels passport f*cked with his head for a Wk he come crying at my door she’s proper dark … Yeah now we’re f*cking talking you want more … Cos if so I’m here all Wk [sic]’
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Details are still emerging about what precisely went down between Taylor Swift and Big Machine president/CEO Scott Borchetta prior to news of the label group’s sale to manager Scooter Braun going public on June 30th, but the ownership of Swift’s master recordings is a crucial component. The superstar entertainer’s catalog, six multi-platinum albums packed to the gills with hit singles spanning country and pop, is clearly a huge asset that helped the label’s valuation.
But Big Machine Label Group did not rise on Swift alone (mostly, sure, but not totally). The label has had incredible country and crossover successes thanks to artists like Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett and, most recently, Brett Young. Here are 10 artists and songs that contributed to BMLG’s net worth.
Jack Ingram, “Wherever You Are” This is the one that started it all. Before Taylor Swift was releasing music and charting her course to superstardom, the earliest incarnation of Big Machine was betting on the success of Texas favorite Jack Ingram, who’d already released a string of albums by the time he joined the fledgling label’s roster. In 2005, Ingram’s recording of “Wherever You Are” (written by Jeremy Stover and Steve Bogard) became his first country radio Number One as well as the label’s first chart-topping hit. Ingram never reached the top of the national country charts again, but his Big Machine period yielded some fun recordings like the almost-profane “Love You” and an update of his Todd Snider co-write “Barbie Doll” that features Dierks Bentley, Randy Houser, and Little Big Town.
Florida Georgia Line, “Cruise” In the two years following its release in 2012, there was no bigger country song than “Cruise.” Selling 11 million units and earning the distinction of the bestselling digital country song in history, the Florida Georgia Line mega-banger remains a gem in the crown of Big Machine Label Group. And the rest of FGL’s catalog is nearly as valuable: “Get Your Shine On,” “Round Here,” “Anything Goes,” “Dirt” and “Simple” are a few of their chart-topping singles, with all four of their studio albums debuting at Number One (FGL’s debut Here’s to the Good Times has sold more than 2 million so far.) And for better or worse, “Cruise” also launched the bro-country era, along with a thousand imitators.
Justin Moore, “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” The Arkansas cowboy is one of country music’s ninjas, those nimble artists who quietly slip onto the charts and, before you know it, have racked up a string of hits. Moore’s first biggie was the Platinum-certified “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away,” paving the way for radio staples like “Bait a Hook,” “Til My Last Day” and “Lettin’ the Night Roll.” He’s also a Big Machine lifer, releasing all four of his studio albums via the Valory Music Group imprint. His fifth, Late Nights and Longnecks, arrives later this month on the strength of its already Top 15 single, “The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home.”
Brett Young, “In Case You Didn’t Know” California native Brett Young had a strong start with his emotional-dude hit “Sleep Without You,” then cranked the sensitivity to 11 with a whole barrage of hits that followed. The biggest among them, one that was truly inescapable for a large stretch of 2017, was “In Case You Didn’t Know” from Young’s self-titled 2017 debut album. It became his first Number One in June and, in April 2019, it was certified quadruple Platinum. To date, it has tallied an incredible 188 million streams, with Young continuing to bank Number One hits for BMLG including “Mercy,” “Like I Loved You,” and, from his second album Ticket to L.A., “Here Tonight.”
Eli Young Band, “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” The Denton, Texas-based Eli Young Band made the leap from the fertile Texas-Oklahoma scene to Nashville, where they released Jet Black & Jealous on Universal South before landing at Republic Nashville. There they struck big, hitting Number One in 2011 with the ballad “Crazy Girl” and following it up the next year with “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” both from their album Life at Best. A hopeful slice of heartland rock written by Will Hoge and Eric Paslay, “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” is an ode to all the dreamers and a plea to keep on going that’s now certified Double Platinum. Eli Young Band’s radio success trailed off a touch after “Drunk Last Night,” but they recently tallied their first Number One since 2013 with “Love Ain’t,” off their 2018 This Is Eli Young Band: Greatest Hits — another Big Machine release.
Thomas Rhett, “Die a Happy Man” On his second album Tangled Up, Thomas Rhett shed some of the harder-edged bro-country trappings that had characterized It Goes Like This, his debut album for Valory Records (which produced hits like “Make Me Wanna”), and leaned into a more sleek, modern pop sound for his next recordings, led by the soulful “Crash and Burn.” Rhett also figured out that fans wanted to hear him singing about his own life, so he came up with the R&B-tinged “Die a Happy Man” as a tribute to his wife Lauren. The approach worked: The song became one of the biggest hits of 2016, spending multiple weeks at Number One and putting Rhett on the fast track to stardom. It’s since been certified five-times Platinum, and Rhett has continued adding hits to the Big Machine catalog, including “Marry Me,” “Look What God Gave Her” and the autobiographical “Life Changes.”
Midland, “Drinkin’ Problem” No artist on the Big Machine roster represents the potential for making country cool again — and maintaining its profitability — quite like Midland. The rough-and-rhinestones trio scored a Platinum hit with their debut single “Drinkin’ Problem,” reintroducing a classic country vibe and Urban Cowboy fashion sense to pop culture (Lil Nas X was clearly paying attention, even watching Midland’s set during CMA Fest last month). That should pay dividends in the long run, as the “I like all music but country” crowd discovers that Midland isn’t too far removed from the Eagles tunes they put on their weekend chill-out playlists.
Brantley Gilbert, “Country Must Be Country Wide” One of BMLG president Scott Borchetta’s great talents has always been his ability to sense a market opportunity, which he did expertly with Georgia native Brantley Gilbert. Formerly working independently and then with the label Average Joe’s (where he co-wrote “Dirt Road Anthem” with label co-owner Colt Ford), Gilbert had already put time into building a loyal, walk-through-fire-for-you fan base (dubbed “BG Nation”) before he signed with Big Machine imprint Valory. The label just figured out how to blow it wide open and find every set of ears he had yet to reach, which they did with his first release, “Country Must Be Country Wide.” A brooding slab of country-sludge, the Platinum-certified song encapsulated an entire lifestyle that Gilbert fans found appealing and made it to Number One in 2011. Gilbert has continued releasing his music through Valory, including the albums Just As I Am and 2017’s The Devil Don’t Sleep.
Maddie & Tae, “Girl in a Country Song” As the discussion over the lack of women being played on country radio began ramping up in 2014, a second discussion was taking place about the current of misogyny running through many of the songs by country’s bros — they were big on hooks, trucks, tailgates, tanned legs and nameless girls, and not a lot else. Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye shredded it all to bits with “Girl in a Country Song,” their debut single and first Number One under the revived Dot imprint, who released their album Start Here. Using the production tricks favored by the popular dudes, Maddie & Tae cleverly and tunefully made fun of every cliché in the book: “Tell me one more time you gotta get you some of that/Sure, I’ll slide on over, but you’re gonna get slapped,” they sang with glee. It went on to win the Video of the Year honor at the 2015 CMA Awards and has been certified Platinum. Maddie & Tae moved on from Big Machine after one album, but it’s impossible to forget their spectacular introduction with “Girl in a Country Song.”
The Band Perry, “If I Die Young” Before the Band Perry flipped their wigs and dramatically altered their previously true-blue country sound, they populated the Big Machine catalog with some of its most successful songs. Chief among them: The 7-million-selling “If I Die Young,” a monster of a crossover hit that is nearing 150 million streams on Spotify. “Better Dig Two” and “Done.” also bolstered the label’s equity. The trio exited Republic Nashville in 2016, but those hits remain in the company’s coffers.
It is unlikely, though not implausible, that Prince Rogers Nelson would have sanctioned the release of Originals, a compilation of 14 previously unreleased compositions – some technically demos – written for other performers.
Still, this album brings the listener down a rare rabbit-hole, into the inner workings of the coquettish czar of cool they called, variously, The Imp of Perverse and The Minneapolis Mozart. No one wrote nor sang like Prince in his 1980s/early 1990s golden period. The Illinois Beethoven himself Miles Davis even likened Prince’s vocal delivery to Sonny Rollins’s saxophone-playing. In his 1990 autobiography Miles wrote: “His shit was the most exciting music I was hearing in 1982. Here was someone who was doing something different.”
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It is not difficult to see why Miles would be so interested in Prince’s early work, like his 1978 debut For You, or Prince (1979), Dirty Mind (1980), and Controversy (1981).
One of the more intriguing things about Originals is You’re My Love, Prince singing a sweet Michael Jackson-esque falsetto, dramatically different (duh!) from Kenny Rogers’s version on his 1986 album They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To. Roger’s voice is grit compared to Prince’s gender-zapping girly gorgeousness found here.
In 1985, giving a genetic glimpse into his own creativity, Prince told Rolling Stone about his musician father John L. Nelson: “When he was working or thinking, he had a private pulse going constantly inside him. I don’t know, your bloodstream beats differently.”
Prince’s private pulse is what makes his music so un-dated because it didn’t sound like anything else then and it doesn’t sound like anything else now.
For those of you wary of Originals because you could file it under demos, it is best to realise that this isn’t His Purpleness strumming on a lonely guitar while he waits for the rest of the musicians to add their bits at 4am. Prince could play all the instruments himself. So these are often beautifully arranged and just as often fully formed, and sassy; make that extra-sassy. He is positively, characteristically, unashamed. “I’m bad, good god!” he sings on Holly Rock, a song he bequeathed to Sheila E. On Sex Shooter – a saucy smash for another protege Apollonia 6 in 1984 – you can see why the Christian and Far Right tried to ban his music.
Then, on the gender-fluid oomph of Make Up, which he gave to Vanity Six in 1982, Prince is rhapsodising above some robotic Teutonic techno thus: “If I wear a dress, he will never call/ So I’ll wear much less, I guess I’ll wear my camisole.” Manic Monday, the song The Bangles made their own in the mid-1980s, sounds like a carefree re-working of 1999 with Fleetwood Mac melodies. Nothing Compares 2 U is psychedelic operatic-soul (complete with a hypnotic, repetitive Beatles-y Mellotron effect to say nothing of a Queen-like guitar solo and a ridic sax solo to match). It is still not a purple patch on what our Sinead O’Connor did unforgettably – and more simply – in 1990. Doves won’t cry.
It’s tough to say which is the most mind-melting aspect of Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation, the new series that premieres Friday on the History Channel. Is it watching former high-ranking military and intelligence officials speak on the record about strange aerial phenomena they claim to have witnessed? Getting warm. Is it the recently declassified government footage, taken from F-18 fighter jets, depicting bizarre unknown aircraft? Warmer. Is it the frank talk of an official Pentagon UFO investigation program? Warmer still. Is it the fact that all this information is being brought to you by the former guitarist for Blink-182? Cerebellum is now liquid goo.
Yes, Tom DeLonge, the executive producer of the six-part program, has gone from “All the Small Things” to, well, pretty much all the big things — like the nature of the universe and Earth’s role in it. Clearly the guy who once sang “Aliens Exist” to sold-out crowds two decades ago has a longstanding interest in extraterrestrials, but in recent years he’s become one of the most vocal public figures on the subject. He famously split from the zillion-selling pop-punk group in 2015 to launch To the Stars Academy, a venture dedicated to increasing the understanding of UFOs and disseminating their discoveries responsibly to the public.
Naturally, the narrative quickly became “rock star quits band to chase aliens,” and DeLonge was subjected to all manner of media mockery that usually accompanies such an unorthodox left turn. But a number of power players took him very seriously. Emails released during the WikiLeaks dump in 2017 reveal that DeLonge scheduled a meeting between President Obama’s former senior advisor John Podesta and General William McCasland the previous year. While it’s unknown if that meeting ever took place, Podesta tweeted upon stepping down from his senior advisor post that his “biggest failure” in office was “not securing the disclosure of the UFO files.”
DeLonge’s claims that the United States Department of Defense were investigating UFOs were dismissed as conspiracy theory fodder until December 2017, when the New York Times published an exposé (coauthored in part by two Pulitzer Prize winners) that confirmed the existence of the Pentagon’s hidden Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). The bombshell report was backed up on-the-record statements from many involved, including ex Nevada Senator Harry Reid, who designated $22 million to the program when it was created in 2007. (“The truth is out there,” Reid tweeted after the piece was published. “Seriously.”) The report features numerous stunning revelations, such a 2009 Pentagon briefing of the program stating “what was considered science fiction is now science fact,” as well as hints that the government may be in possession of alloys that reportedly “had been recovered from unidentified aerial phenomena.” But what’s more, it went a long way in suggesting that DeLonge knows more than people give him credit for.
Though AATIP was defunded in 2012, it remained operational under the direction of military intelligence official Luis Elizondo until October 2017 at which point Elizondo resigned — citing excessive secrecy and concern that the Department of Defense wasn’t treating these unidentified aerial phenomena like the national security threat he believes them to be. “Why aren’t we spending more time and effort on this issue?” he wrote in his resignation letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis, according to Newsweek.
Now he’s teamed up with DeLonge. Unidentified follows Elizondo as he continues his investigation, beginning with the puzzling incident that occurred in November 2004 off the coast of California. Several F-18 jets from the USS Nimitz carrier strike group crossed paths with an unidentified craft. Down below aboard the ship, radar tracked dozens more, moving in formation across the sky for several days. According to the radar operator Kevin Day, interviewed by Unidentified, the radar data was confiscated by government officials — an unprecedented occurrence, he claims. Commander David Fravor, who was in the air that day and captured the craft on film, described “seeing an object that looked like a 40-foot-long white Tic Tac that performed remarkable maneuvers” that appeared to defy the laws of physics. Fravor’s statements are corroborated by his wing mate, who has never spoken out before.
In addition to Elizondo and DeLonge, Unidentified features regular appearances of fellow To the Stars colleagues, many of whom boast impressive credentials. Christopher K. Mellon formerly served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Harold E. Puthoff was employed as a former CIA Contractor, and Steve Justice used to head up Lockheed Martin Advanced Development Programs (a.k.a. “Skunk Works”) — the same organization hired by the CIA to develop their infamous Area 51 military installation. Together they might boast enough ex-government clout to convince even the most ardent skeptic that we may not be alone. Or maybe not. In either case, Unidentified is quite possibly the most impressive UFO docuseries to date.
The show comes at a time when the study of unexplained aerial phenomena has been moving, in the words of the New York Post, increasingly out of the fringe and into the mainstream. Last month the Navy issued new guidelines for reporting encounters with “unidentified aircraft,” a response to an apparent surge in sightings by personnel. In an article published by the New York Times over Memorial Day Weekend, five Navy pilots came forward to claim that they saw unexplained aircraft off the Eastern seaboard on an “almost daily” basis between 2014 and 2015 — though they won’t speculate on whether they were of extraterrestrial origin. Neither will the Navy, despite their moves to formalize (and destigmatize) the reporting process. But many, including those involved with To the Stars Academy, hope that these changes lead to a more careful study of these cases. “Right now, we have a situation in which UFOs and UAPs are treated as anomalies to be ignored rather than anomalies to be explored,” Christopher Mellon told POLITICO in April. “We have systems that exclude that information and dump it.” After his career in the Department of Defense, Mellon calls this new reporting process a “sea change.” Similarly, Elizondo told the Washington Post it was “the single greatest decision the Navy has made in decades.”
So what’s going on in the sky that’s confounding even highly trained members of American armed forces? Tom DeLonge says he has an idea. PEOPLE talked to DeLonge about Unidentified, what he’s uncovered alongside his team at To the Stars, and what he sees as global ramifications that could make or break humanity.
On a lighter note, we also talked to him about his new music with Angels and Airwaves, and the 20th anniversary of Blink-182’s seminal Enema of the State album. Remember, from the ‘90s? It was a much simpler time.
First off, what would you say to a nonbeliever, somebody who really has trouble wrapping their mind around all this, to get them to sit down and watch this show?
I think I would tell them there finally exists a body of evidence, that is very tangible and very real, for them to consider. For a long period of time, material was largely classified, and it was classified for good reasons — for issues dealing with national security. But thanks to the partners at To The Stars Academy, we now have a vehicle to transition a lot of those learnings over to the public for the first time. So for the people that don’t want to believe that this could be real, or this really counteracts their own personal belief systems, this is now an era where we have the evidence for people to look at, to digest, and hopefully — over time — get them to a place where they can live with this reality.
The first several episodes concern the USS Nimitz incident when two fighter pilots, in different planes, observed an unidentified flying craft — the famous giant Tic Tac — off the coast of California in November 2004. There is video evidence as well as radar data from the U.S. Navy ship below which, as you claim in Unidentified, was confiscated by government officials. What was their rationale for keeping this story under wraps?
Well, I can’t speak for the government, but I can tell you I do know how they work and how they think on this subject. When you’re dealing with really, really advanced technologies that are coming in and out of our military airspace and sensitive locations, interacting with our most advanced technologies as though we’re just ants, the military does not have the capacity, does not have the skillset, does not have a division, to stop what they’re doing and try to educate us on something that may be a threat. The only thing they do is deal with threats.
You have to understand what happened there. One hundred craft came in from the atmosphere over a four-day period of time, and traveled down the coast of Southern California, and all disappeared at one specific latitude-longitude. You have to also realize that these craft were descending, in .78 seconds, from 80,000 feet to sea level. Literally, less than one second, it goes from the tip of the atmosphere to hovering a foot over the water. That’s scary to see, and there’s 100 of them. You’re kind of going, “What is in those things, and how are they doing that? What the hell are we supposed to do about it?”
Now, imagine you’re the military or the intelligence service, and someone’s trying to sneak a nuclear weapon through the border of Canada or Mexico. They’re not going to stop, go on the news, and say, “Oh my God, someone tried to sneak in a nuclear weapon. We want to tell you about it.” They don’t do that. They go back into secure locations, and they start laying all of the data on the table, and they have to make a plan. That plan has to hopefully keep us safe so we don’t panic, and we can go to malls and soccer games, and we can just live comfortably. We’ve empowered really smart people to take this stress and put it on their own shoulders so we don’t have to worry about it. The men and women at the Department of Defense, and the CIA, and other intelligence organizations — after I learned more about this subject than I already knew, I walked away saying, “These guys are national heroes.” I mean, the stuff they’re dealing with is so far out, and frankly unnerving, that I don’t think the people are ready for all of it. And I don’t think they actually need to know all of it, just like my kids don’t need to know exactly what terrorists are doing, but they kind of need to know that terrorists exist. It’s a little bit of that, if that makes sense.
What’s your motivation for putting this out there now? As you say, there’s potentially stuff that the public shouldn’t know about.
We already have been dealing with this for 70 years. Again, I don’t want to pretend I can speak for my partners that ran these programs and are still connected to these programs in various ways. You’d be much better off hearing them speak, but I think, from my point of view, it looks as though our country has made some headway on understanding this stuff, and so, now, they’re open to a responsible conversation. Keep in mind, what happened was I got into a position where I was knocking on doors and pitching away to have a responsible conversation, and it worked, but it took me almost a year, and it took me ruffling a lot of feathers.
Luis Elizondo likes to say, “I came into a china shop and let off a grenade.” People from multiple intelligence agencies and areas that are very secretive within the Department of Defense came to me and said, “What the hell are you doing? What are you trying to accomplish?” I think they liked my ideas. They huddled around me, and we made a much more responsible way of doing all this. That’s when we added on aerospace and science. We said, let’s discuss what we know, let’s keep on studying it with the world, and let’s take this technology and get to the bottom of it, and put it in the private sector. That way it can move much faster, and we can get the world’s best physicists, and scientists, and engineers on it, and potentially even make it an international effort. To The Stars is actively involved with multiple international governments.
You’ve put together an impressive team. You mentioned [former military intelligence official and Special Agent In-Charge] Luis Elizondo, in addition to [former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence] Chris Mellon, [retired Program Director for Advanced Systems from Lockheed Martin Advanced Development Programs] Steve Justice. It seems fair to say that a number of high-ranking officials are dissatisfied with the government’s official stance on UFOs? Why has the study of UFOs been relegated to the fringe for so long?
Our intelligence agencies spent decades working their way into the social groups and organizations that are private, dealing with this issue, and they did a really good job at discrediting it over the many decades after World War II. They actually had good reason for this, because what happened is all these people get together and start talking about all this stuff, and they don’t know all the facts. It’ll bubble up, scare everybody, and then could eventually cause a national conversation on the issue far earlier than they’re willing to have it. It’s kind of like if there’s a hostage situation, and we’re trying to get the chief of police to come out and just start talking about it, when he doesn’t even know who the shooter is. I think their idea was smart: “Let’s keep everybody thinking this isn’t real. Let’s keep everybody thinking that there’s nothing to see here, while we actually go somewhere very secret and learn as much as we can.”
When I was meeting with multi-star-ranking officers, I said, “That makes a lot of sense, but the problem is it ran like wildfire into something else, where no one trusts the government. No one believes you, no one understands why you would do such a thing, because the subject’s so big.” People start making up conspiracies. “Oh, it’s about money,” or, “They think that we can’t handle the truth.” That’s all bulls—. What it boils down to is there is something here that moves 20,000 to 80,000 miles an hour, that is using technologies that we don’t understand, and we’re starting to get a glimpse of what these things are doing, but we don’t totally know why. We’ve just got to figure it all out before people go into an uproar, because all that’s going to do is open up hearings in Congress, and people pointing fingers, and all the stuff that you see when there might be a little bit of moral ambiguity while we’re dealing with something difficult.
I mean, it’s kind of like the CIA was doing all this stuff in the Cold War, and after the fact we want to point fingers and have the hammer come down in Congress and the Senate, with people on national TV saying, “What did you do?” At the end of the day, they’re like, “We did what was necessary in that moment, and you couldn’t do it, and you couldn’t stomach it. You wanted us to do it, and we did it. Now you’re here, 20 years later, complaining about it.” I think this is a little bit like that, where they’re dealing with the reality of something that has just … I mean, this is so much bigger than overthrowing a country. This affects everybody.
The sooner that this conversation starts is the sooner we get to the core of the problem that is happening on the Earth, which is this idea that we’re all separate, this idea that all the countries are out for themselves. This is how we unify the world. This is how we get young people, in all countries, coming together, and saying, “Hey, I’m not Russian, or American, or Indian. We’re all from the same little planet. We’re humans.” Let’s take this big step, and now stop looking directly at each other. Let’s look up, and go, “We are now at the frontier of understanding what’s in space, and what that means, and how we go there, and how we start branching out into the future.”
The Department of Defense, by definition, are designed to deal with threats, and it sounds like you believe they’re treating these craft as threats because that’s what they do. Do you personally view these craft as threats?
I can say a blanket statement that, yes, I do personally believe these are threats,. But there also are different layers of threats. There are threats to our aviation safety. There are threats to our military. There are threats to people that are having encounters with this — that deals with biological issues. There are threats because we don’t understand what the intentions are, when you’re dealing with something that’s just so much further ahead than you. I mean, we can look at our own history and know that. Look what we did to the Native Americans, or look what the Spanish did to the Aztecs. I don’t want to get my history wrong here, but you see what I’m saying.
When a more advanced culture comes in, there’s many different ways that culture can benefit but also can lose a bit of themselves in the process, so I think what we need to do is really have that discussion. Are there bad things that go along with this subject? Yes, and some of those bad things are not open for discussion here. Are there some good things? Absolutely, and some of those good things come with the idea of what this technology can do for the world, the unification of us working with people we thought were our adversaries, and then an international conversation of who we are as human beings.
All of this is really, really important. We might find out, one day, that there are good ones and bad ones. And we might look back and go, “Wow, that’s what all of our ancient texts describe in some way, that kind of counter-views between gods that are from the heavens.” I think it’s going to help us understand a bit more of ourselves. But for now, until that time comes where we can understand what’s in these things, what we look at is, yeah, there are issues. There are big issues here.
You’ve been researching this subject for many, many, many years. At what point did you feel like you were onto something really big?
Oh my God, there’s so much to the story that nobody knows. When I started bouncing around and meeting people from different organizations within the government — intelligence operatives, military operatives, officers — when I got brought in and sat down they looked at me and I’ll never forget one of the things said to me. They said, “Is there anything else you need to complete your project, to get this done?” I listed one kind of very sensitive group, and I said, “I think maybe getting a sign-off from this group might be important.” A certain person looked at me and said, “Do you ask your father for permission after your mom’s already given it to you?” I said, “No.” He said, “You’ve been given permission. Shut the f— up and get to work.” I remember, at that moment, that it went from me and a project to me needing to execute the promises that I made.
The big, big breakthrough moment that had me pissing my pants (not literally, but I thought I was) was when I got called to a meeting. I was sitting in a room, and this person moved across the table, and starts giving me a bunch of compliments about my music and my band. I didn’t understand why, because I knew who he was and I knew where he’s from. I said, “I know who you are. When you’re giving me all these compliments on my band, I’m taking them with a grain of salt.” This gentleman stopped, took a deep breath, leaned back, and says, “I need to know who the f— you are. You know s— that you’re not supposed to know, and I need to know why.”
He leans over, points his finger to the table, and pounds his finger on the table, and says, “This is the story of the millennia, and I need to know why the f— you know what you know.” At that moment, I literally was going, “Oh my God, I really f—ed up.” I really, really, got myself into kind of an Ed Snowden situation, where I thought I was doing something good, and now I realized I was doing something where I can easily, easily just disappear, and nobody would know.
For years you alluded to the existence of the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, and were met with a great degree of skepticism from the public. Then in December 2017, the New York Times released an exposé that appeared to lend credence to what you’d been saying. Was that vindicating for you?
It was, but it’s all part of the plan. You’ve got to remember I’ve been on this for a few years now. It’s really funny because I’m very much known as a bit of a renegade, and always doing stuff where people think I’m crazy. People think that I’ve lost all composure of being a musician, and quit my band to go chase aliens. In the beginning of all this, I couldn’t tell the guys in Blink what I was doing. It very much needed to be kept secret. I was confided in, and all this was in the works, but I did know what was getting ready to happen.
There’s so much more coming, and people better hold on tight. To The Stars Academy is going to be doing some stuff, here, in the near future, that will be responsible for changing the world. At the time, when AATIP was getting ready to come out, this was very much part of the plan and part of the strategies put forth by the policy being created by Chris Mellon, one of my partners, chairman of our scientific advisory board at To The Stars Academy. Chris Mellon was under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence at the Pentagon — kind of what you would think of as third-in-command at the Pentagon — and he wrote some very large bills. He has decades of experience in writing national security policy, so he had a plan, early on, of how we could create a template of getting information out, getting the right information to the right members of Congress, and getting national journalism involved, to ferry this stuff over the border and let people start digesting this stuff. I want to pretend that I did everything, but that’s absolutely not the case. If you look at my partners, you’ll realize, quickly, who the smart ones are.
But you got in the room with them, which I assume was not an easy task.
I always tell people, “It’s the biggest secret on earth, it’s the most classified subject on earth and it’s the most controversial subject on earth.” The first place I knocked on the door, literally, I had to go and do fingerprints. I had to go through three guys with machine guns. I had to go through locked doors with electronic codes. I was in hallways that had speakers playing white noise so nobody can hear any conversation. There’s no windows, and each door had these rotary locks on them, like a safe.
I got into the heart of where this was, and that was where this all started. Not everyone can get in there. If anything, I was definitely a performer at that point. I took all my performer credentials and put it to use, and acted like I was smarter than I was. I knew exactly what I was doing, and I could really help. Well, it worked just enough for all this to start, but it’s kind of like you’re rubbing the sticks together to get a spark, and make a fire, and you get so close. Holy s—, it’s going to work. It’s going to catch. Well, it barely caught in those days, and it could’ve blown out at any second.
In the first episode of Unidentified, you touch briefly on walking away from Blink-182. Was that hard for you, or did you know where you wanted to go and never looked back?
It’s always hard when you’re transitioning from something that you’ve worked your entire life, up to that point, to achieve, but the only two things on Earth — outside of my family — that I was interested in were music and this subject. When I got brought into the arms of how the subject works, and what it is, it was a very easy choice. I was like, “Oh my God, I’m literally going to be driving the boat here, with something that’s going to affect every person in the world, in such a beautiful way, hopefully.” That was an easy decision. What’s never easy is dealing with the social groups, and the stigmas, and the ignorance, and all that comes along with doing things that are progressive, and out of the box, and beyond people’s understanding.
Frankly, I understand why they do that. It took me 25 years to really digest this subject and have a foundation for dealing with what I have to deal with now. Then suddenly expecting people to get it, by throwing it out there over a few articles? People were like, “He’s lost his mind. He’s chasing monsters.” No, not exactly, but you will find out soon enough. Yes, I’ll be vindicated, but that’s not why I’m doing this. I’m doing this because we need it, and I’m sick of people like my brother going off to war, to fight with our neighbors, with our brothers. We should not be killing each other over anything on this planet.
I’m speaking to you 20 years, almost exactly, after you released the track “Alien Exists” on [the 1999 Blink-182 album] Enema of the State. What are your thoughts on that song now, given all you’ve learned and been through?
Yes, 20 years ago I wrote this song, “Aliens Exist,” and I remember people thought it was a fun song, and this and that, but that’s how long this goes for me. Now, I look at this coming year, so much of this information and what this is all about is going to be showing its face, using Angels and Airwaves, my other band, as a vehicle. We just released a song called “Rebel Girl,” which was the start of bringing back this band that’s been around for 12 years. In essence, this first tour will be the beginning of a few tours that get bigger and bring all this information out.
I think people are curious about what To The Stars is, and what we’re doing, and why I’m involved in all this stuff. They’re going to learn a hell of a lot by following Angels and Airwaves, and then the movies that I’m directing and producing, that are starting to come out, like the TV series, Unidentified. I mean, that’s one of quite a handful of things I’ve got going in the film world, but they’re all related to this stuff. I challenge people to follow Angels and Airwaves a bit. That’s not meant to be a plug on the band as much as it’s meant to be an easy way to see some of the more innovative ways we have discussions.
This is your first tour in seven years. Was it announced to coincide with Unidentified, as a way to kind of get the message out there?
Yeah. Well, it’s both. What happened is I spent so long putting this company together, that it finally got off the ground, and so I was able to take a deep breath and go, “Okay, now I can write music again. I’ll just take my time,” and that’s what I did for six months. All of a sudden the opportunity came, where they were like, “You can release a song right now, and start. If you start right now, it’ll be the perfect opportunity to align the film projects with the music projects, and take this entire thing on the road. I thought it would really show people the culmination of everything I’ve been doing. I go, “Wow, that is a really great opportunity. Let’s try it. I’ll just do four weeks. We’ll do small clubs to test, and if that works, we’ll do X, Y, and Z.”
Well, we put up the song, and it exploded far beyond what I thought it would do. Then they put the shows up, and they all sold out. Well, not all of them, but a lot of them. I just really didn’t expect it, so it was obviously meant to be. I’ve got to say I’m completely humbled that people care about my music still, and I’m so thankful. I’m really excited for my band members in Blink and what they’re doing. I think a lot of people still think I’m in that band, but I’m not touring with them at the moment, or writing music with them at the moment, but I do support their evolution of what they’re doing. I just want everyone to win in whatever way makes them happy.
Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation premieres Friday at 10 p.m. on The History Channel, while Angels and Airwaves’ tour kicks off Sept. 4 in Arizona.
On Friday SiriusXM announced the launch of an exclusive limited-run channel, “Madonna’s Madame X Radio,” centered on the pop star. The channel will launch July 1st and run through till the end of the month.
“Madame X Radio” will showcase music from across Madonna’s storied career, including her most recent album, Madame X, which arrived earlier this month. The channel will also feature docu-miniseries on Madonna’s career and legacy, including the making of Madame X. The launch will coincide with Madonna’s performance at New York’s Pride Island (Hudson River Park’s Pier 97) on June 30th to close out World Pride Week and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
“This channel brings you into the intricate world of Madame X,” said Madonna. “You’ll learn more about the creative process behind my latest album and gain a deeper understanding of what drives me as an artist and a performer.”
“Madonna is an artist who is the very definition of a musical and cultural icon,” said Scott Greenstein, President and CCO of SiriusXM. “Her voice, songwriting, performances, and life’s work has made her a universal force. Along the way she has created some of the most creative and biggest-selling albums of all time. Our exclusive channel celebrating Madonna is a truly comprehensive deep dive into the music of one of the world’s most legendary artists.”
Jerry Garcia stayed extremely busy in the fall of 1993. The Grateful Dead spent much of September playing multi-night stands at Boston Garden, New York’s Madison Square Garden, and the Spectrum in Philadelphia, and a little over a month later the guitarist was back in some of the same rooms with his eponymous side band. A gem from that lengthy arena trek, which turned out to be the Jerry Garcia Band’s final East Coast tour, is unearthed in the new live set GarciaLive Volume 11, November 11th, 1993, Providence Civic Center, which will be released July 12th via Round Records.
Capturing an entire two-set show at the Rhode Island venue, the latest installment in the archival series mixes staples from Garcia’s solo catalog with a handful of interesting covers. A wide-open, 13-minute take on Bob Dylan’s “Simple Twist of Fate” premieres today at Rolling Stone Country.
In Garcia’s hands, Dylan’s dusty folk tune, originally found on 1975’s Blood on the Tracks, gets reimagined as a patient, celestial ballad. In between verses, Garcia delivers colorfully melodic guitar runs, accented by twinkling keyboard fills from steadfast collaborator Melvin Seals. Around the seven-minute mark the bandleader cedes the spotlight to bassist John Kahn, who rumbles through an extended improvisational solo more typically found in a jazz club than an arena rock show.
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Garcia, who died in 1995 at the age of 53, put “Simple Twist of Fate” in his live repertoire by 1976. He also recorded a version of the song, a tale of ill-timed romance, that was included in the expanded reissue of the studio album Run for the Roses, released as part of the All Good Things: Jerry Garcia Studio Sessions box set.
“Jerry always embodied the underlying story of the song with considerable emotion, and in this era the song also provided an opportunity for John Kahn to solo — on this version he plays with the rhythm, tempo and phrasing in his typically idiosyncratic way before Garcia’s guitar pulls the song together again for the home stretch,” Garcia biographer Blair Jackson writes in the liner notes of GarciaLive Volume 11.
Elsewhere, in the guitarist’s last Providence performance, Garcia and his band work through takes of Van Morrison’s “He Ain’t Give You None,” the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” and Norton Buffalo’s “Ain’t No Bread in the Breadbox.” All releases in the GarciaLive series focus on Garcia’s stage output outside the Dead, including the various incarnations of the Jerry Garcia Band, the short-lived group Legion of Mary, and his partnership with keyboardist Merl Saunders.
As Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton move further along in their relationship, they will have to learn to balance their love life with the realities of co-parenting. Stefani and her ex-husband, Gavin Rossdale, were rumored to be having a tough time adjusting to co-parenting and their new lives. Could this spell trouble down the road?
What’s the secret to co-parenting with ease? Showbiz Cheat Sheet chatted with Rosalind Sedacca, a divorce and co-parenting coach as well as founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, to learn more about this topic. Sedacca gave us solid advice and weighed in on Stefani and Shelton’s relationship.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: What’s the key to peaceful co-parenting?
Rosalind Sedacca: You remember to ask yourself thepivotal question: Do I love my kids more than I dislike or hate my ex? Then youstep up in making decisions together as co-parents that really put your kidsfirst. You cooperate, you do favors for one another knowing you will needfavors in return, you choose your battles wisely and you role model maturebehavior for your children to see. You never fight around the kids, neverbad-mouth your ex to the kids, never use your kids as your confidants or yourspies.
CS: How can you make sure your child isn’t negativelyaffected by your dating life?
RS: By being honest from the start that your children are vitally important in your life. By choosing a love partner who likes and respects children. By not setting up completion between the kids and your love partner. By not asking your love partner to parent your kids or replace their mom or dad. By separating parenting nights from date nights. By keeping your romance away from the kids until it’s a serious, committed relationship.
CS: What’s your advice for making sure your children feel secure during this transition?
RS: By reminding the kids that no one will replace their mom or dad in their life. By always finding something positive to say about their other parent. By allowing them time to call or interact with their other parent when away from them. By never asking your child to tell you secrets about what goes on in the other parent’s home. By inviting your co-parent to celebrate special occasions with you as a family: holidays, birthdays, graduations, etc.
CS: How can Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale navigateco-parenting successfully?
RS: Stefani and Rossdale would benefit from divorceco-parenting coaching. They both need to answer the questions: Would I bemaking this same parenting decisions if we were still married? If not, oftenone parent moves into spiting the other, disrespecting or invalidating theother. Co-parenting is all about mutual cooperation for the benefit of thekids. There are strategies and communication skills that make the process moreeffective for everyone in the family. They need to seek out support — now!
Our kids learn from watching us tackle life challenges. Asparents, we need to step up as true role models and master co-parenting skillsbecause we love our children. That mutual tie is the key to making co-parentingwork. Our children will thank us when they are grown.
Read more: Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton: Will Their Relationship Survive Rumored Co-parenting Drama?