Music News: Spinal Tap actors allege merch payments only totaled enough to buy 'one miniature Stonehenge'


Spinal Tap and their 18-inch Stonehenge
Spinal Tap and their 18-inch Stonehenge (Embassy Pictures)

In October, Harry Shearer sued Vivendi, the company that owns the rights to the film This is Spinal Tap. "In the lawsuit," notes Rolling Stone, "Shearer claimed that, over a 22-year period, he only received $98 for his contributions to the soundtrack and $81 from merchandising income. The income he generated from his share was 'about enough to buy one miniature Stonehenge,' he joked."

Now, costars Christopher Guest and Michael McKean have joined the suit, along with the film's director Rob Reiner. The four are now collectively seeking $400 million in damages.

New vinyl subscription service to launch

Experience Vinyl is the name of a new record-subscription service that's launching in April. The premise of the service is that for a monthly subscription fee (amount TBD), subscribers will receive an album chosen by one of the service's curators — artists who will be picking albums by other artists, not their own, to share along with commentary. Among the artists on deck as curators are Elton John, George Clinton, Quincy Jones, Talib Kweli, and Sean Lennon. A portion of revenues will go to charities designated by the artists. (Billboard)

Prince, George Michael Grammys tributes confirmed

For weeks, it's been an open secret that the Grammys are planning a major Prince tribute. That tribute has now been confirmed, as well as a tribute to George Michael. Announcing the tributes, Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow called Prince and Michael "pop icons who showcased rare musical genius and otherworldly charisma." (Pitchfork)

Madonna adopts twins

Congratulations to Madonna, who's added two new children to her family: twin girls from Malawi. "Madonna has four other children," notes Billboard, "two of whom she adopted from Malawi almost 10 years ago."

New York Times and Spotify announce joint package

Donald Trump’s least favorite newspaper has partnered with Taylor Swift’s least favorite streaming service: for a limited time, new subscribers are being offered the opportunity to grab both a digital subscription to the New York Times and a Spotify Premium subscription for $5 a week. (The Verge)

Illness for Willie, new shows for Bob

Get well soon, Willie Nelson: the country legend has canceled a pair of southwest U.S. concerts due to illness. Nelson is slated to release his next album, God's Problem Child on April 28 — one day before his 84th birthday. (Rolling Stone)

Bob Dylan, back on his Neverending Tour, has added three London Palladium dates to a spring UK arena tour. Dylan will release his next album, Triplicate, on March 31 — and will play a trio of Sweden concerts in early April, at which time he'll presumably deliver his required Nobel Lecture. (NME)

Katy Perry releases new single via disco ball

Katy Perry is teasing her new single — which may or may not be called "Chained to the Rhythm" — via disco balls chained to various public places in cities around the world. (NME)

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