Abbey Road Studios For Sale (or Not?)

Faced with the possibility of defaulting on a $1.49 billion loan, music company EMI has put Abbey Road Studios up for sale in the hope of a big-time payout.

Used as a sound studio since 1931, the Westminster landmark was made famous in  the 1960s by The Beatles and producer George Martin, who recorded up to 90 percent of the band’s song output in the facility. From 1962 to 1970, Martin and The Beatles churned out 27 No. 1 hits, 13 albums and hundereds of other songs in between.

(UPDATE: The music label that owns Abbey Road Studios, Terra Firma, now says it will try to find a partner in order to pay for upgrades and, ultimately, to maintain ownership.)

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It Was 40 Years Ago Today: The Who Performs at Leeds University

Following the release of Tommy in 1969, The Who began a world tour to promote Pete Townshend’s groundbreaking rock opera.

After they debuted the new live act — including Tommy in its entirety and “A Quick One, While He’s Away” — at London Coliseum two months earlier, the group played to a crowd of students at Leeds University in West Yorkshire, England, on Valentine’s Day 1970.

The accompanying album, Live At Leeds, went on to become famous in its own right as one of the first (and best) live records ever put together by a rock group.

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Richards, Wood Face Sobriety Together

After decades of drinking, Ronnie Wood (left) and Keith Richards are helping each other try to quit.

Rolling Stones guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood are said to be providing each other “plenty of moral support” after both decided to give up alcohol.

Richards, 66, says that he is abstaining from the bottle but refuses to stop smoking cigarettes. Wood, 62, had just been divorced by his longtime wife, Jo, when he was arrested for assault on 21-year-old girlfriend Ekaterina Ivanova late last year.

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Ringo Gets His Star(r) on Walk of Fame

Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr was honored when his own star was added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which celebrated its 50th anniversary during Monday’s ceremony.

Starr joins former bandmates John Lennon and George Harrison as ex-Beatles to have their name added to the Walk of Fame, and the group itself was given a star in 1998.

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Monday Morning QB on The Who’s Halftime Performance

Roger Daltrey (left) and Pete Townshend perform onstage at Super Bowl XLIV in Miami.

A day after The Who headlined the Super Bowl XLIV halftime show, there are too many online reviews to count, but a general feeling seems to be that the group did not come close to matching its reputation as the world’s loudest rock ‘n’ roll band.

The New York Times said “It looked as if the show’s producers that the rock geezers at the center [Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey] might not look herioc enough to the camera.” And The Houston Chronicle said that “[Daltrey] and Townshend harmonized like bickering walruses.”

Some reviews were more complimentary, as The Los Angeles Times’ music blog mentioned that “As [Townshend] swung his trademark windmills on ‘Baba O’Riley’, he certainly looked the part, playing the role of a man 30 years younger.” And Rolling Stone Magazine called The Who’s 12-minute set an “Explosive Medley of Big Hits.”

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Townshend Reveals Halftime Set List

Guitarist Pete Townshend has told Billboard.com that The Who’s upcoming Super Bowl performance will be a “compact medley” of the band’s most recognizable classic rock hits: “A bit of ‘Baba O’Riley,’ a bit of ‘Pinball Wizard,’ a bit of the close of Tommy, a bit of ‘Who Are You’ and a bit of ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again.’ It works – it’s quite a saga.”

The band is the latest in a string of classic rock acts to headline the halftime show, following the likes of Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones and U2.

The Who will take the stage Feb. 7 at Super Bowl XLIV in Miami’s Sun Life Stadium.

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It Was 40 Years Ago Today: The Who Premieres ‘Tommy’ at London Coliseum

The Who: (from left) John Entwistle, Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon and Pete Townshend in 1969.

Billed as “A Two-Hour Non-Stop Concert,” The Who’s performance at London Coliseum on Sunday, Dec. 14, 1969, marked the first of hundreds of times the band would play Tommy live in its entirety (most of it, anyway).

On this occasion, Townshend’s rock opera was bookended at the beginning by John Entwistle’s “Heaven And Hell” and the iconic “I Can’t Explain,” and at the end by classics like “Summertime Blues,” “Shakin’ All Over” and “My Generation.” In between, the band debuted songs from Tommy such as “Amazing Journey/Sparks,” “I’m Free,” “Listening To You” and “Pinball Wizard.”

The concert went mainly unseen until its 2008 release as a supplementary DVD on The Who At Kilburn: 1977.

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