Music News: Warped Tour to end after 2018 run

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A fan at a Warped Tour stop in New Jersey, 2013.
A fan at a Warped Tour stop in New Jersey, 2013. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

After 23 years of punk rock on the road, the Warped Tour is going to end after its 2018 run. Founder Kevin Lyman tells Billboard that "I'm just tired." Fair enough, given that Lyman spent three years with Lollapalooza before launching the Warped Tour in 1995.

Warped became the last major traveling festival, and Lyman credits its longevity to integrity. "90 percent of the things we did weren't driven by finances," he says. "I think we adapted, but we never completely radically changed the tour." Why not just sell the brand? "It's the thing I worked my whole life and dedicated my whole life to," says Lyman. "I just don't think I could trust... I don't think I would let someone [else] go out there and run it."

Lyman says he hopes some of the biggest bands to play the festival over the years will come back for this swan-song tour. "We've gotta have Less Than Jake and Every Time I Die," he says. "It'd be lovely to have Eminem come back. Ice-T, maybe — he'd be fun to have out for some shows. It would be fun to have more recent bands like Fall Out Boy come back and play. It'd be super fun. All those bands from that era were welcome. Maybe Katy Perry wants to get back to her roots!"

Remembering Paul Buckmaster

Music arranger Paul Buckmaster has died of an undisclosed cause at age 71. You probably don't recognize his name, but you've definitely heard his music: he created the orchestral arrangements for songs including David Bowie’s "Space Oddity," Elton John’s "Your Song," Carly Simon’s "You're So Vain," and even recent hits like Train’s "Drops of Jupiter."

Calling Buckmaster "a revolutionary arranger who took my songs and made them soar," Elton John said "he helped make me the artist I am." (New York Times)

Details emerge about Walter Becker's death

Delia Becker, widow of Steely Dan’s Walter Becker, has disclosed that her husband died of an "extremely aggressive form of esophageal cancer." Acknowledging that Becker's fans have been waiting for details on his death, his wife wrote, "The cancer was detected during one of his annual medical checkups and its presence came as a grim surprise to Walter, his doctors and to me. It seemed to have come out of nowhere and had spread with terrifying speed. Walter chose an intense regimen of chemotherapy at Sloan Kettering though, between the cancer's aggressiveness and the overwhelming toxicity resulting from the chemotherapy treatments, Walter died less than four months after the cancer was detected."

Becker died peacefully at home, she continued, "surrounded by his family, his music, and a blustery rainstorm — one of his favorite sounds — blowing outside the window. In keeping with his wishes, he was cremated without ceremony or memorial in New York City. Understandably, Walter wanted privacy during the course of his illness and he hoped for recovery. He wanted to be able to return to the stage and once again perform for his fans. It's important to me, as it was to Walter, that you all know he never intended to keep anyone in the dark about his condition. He just ran out of time much sooner than any of us thought possible." (Billboard)

STP debut new frontman

Two years after the death of Scott Weiland, Stone Temple Pilots have introduced a new lead singer. Jeff Gutt, best known as a former competitor on The X-Factor, joined the band in a public performance for the first time on Tuesday night. The band later released a single called "Meadow," which will appear on a new studio album featuring Gutt.

By way of introduction, Gutt wore a nametag reading "Hi, My Name is Jeff." The concert, which will be broadcast Friday night on Sirius XM, also featured special guest Wayne Kramer, who played a guitar solo on a rendition of his band MC5’s song "Kick Out the Jams." (Billboard)

Blake Shelton: Sexiest man alive?

For only the second time since launching the annual feature in 1985, People magazine has decided that the Sexiest Man Alive is a musician. Country star Blake Shelton gets the honors this year, putting him in a select club with the other musician who's made the grade — a guy who just happens to be one of Shelton's fellow judges on The Voice. Adam Levine (Maroon 5) was Sexiest Man Alive in 2013. (Rolling Stone)

Fake grunge lexicon turns 25

Grunge fans with long memories are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the "lexicon of grunge." That's a list of grunge-era slang terms published by the New York Times, including such unforgettable phrases as "bloated, big bag of blotation" (drunk) and "wack slacks" (old ripped jeans). What the Times didn't realize was that every one of the terms had been made up on the spot by their grunge insider, Megan Jasper, a receptionist at Sub Pop. (Stereogum)

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