Music News: Here's what 'Soy Bomb' is up to 20 years later


Michael Portnoy crashes the stage at Bob Dylan's 1998 Grammys performance.
Michael Portnoy crashes the stage at Bob Dylan's 1998 Grammys performance. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

This year's Grammys are being awarded on Sunday, and it was 20 years ago — in 1998 — when north country native Bob Dylan had a Grammys performance interrupted by the most famous awards-show stage crasher since David Niven faced a streaker at the 1974 Oscars.

Billboard caught up with Michael Portnoy, the guy who jumped onstage while Dylan was playing "Love Sick," the words SOY BOMB painted on Portnoy's bare torso.

What's ol' Soy Bomb been up to? He's had a successful career as a performance artist, with museum shows and critical praise. There's only one question we really want answered, though, and Portnoy isn't going to give us the answer we want. "When asked by Billboard how he decided on 'SOY BOMB' as his message of choice, Portnoy claims that the words appeared unexpectedly on his chest as a result of a blood transfusion from a horseshoe crab. ('It was horribly itchy!')"

For the first time, though, he's revealed that he had a plan B that night.

The original plan was to construct a hidden metal suit under my clothes and if you pulled a lever, long four-foot spikes would have popped out in every direction, making it physically impossible to remove me from the stage without some kind of magnetic crane. Imagine, I'd still be on that stage today with my shirt off doing that stupid dance!

Dave Grohl politely dismisses stage crasher

Speaking of stage crashers, Foo Fighters had their own overzealous fan join them onstage Saturday night in Perth, Australia while they were playing "Everlong." Here's how Dave Grohl handled it, as described by Billboard.

Grohl asked the man his name, to which he responded "Jevon with a J," before the rocker politely, but firmly told the intruding superfan to "get the f--- off my stage." The crowd erupted with applause as Grohl sent the man on his way before dedicating the rest of the song in his honor.

Neil Diamond announces retirement from touring

Neil Diamond has taken his last tour, revealing a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. The legendary singer-songwriter has canceled the upcoming Australian and New Zealand legs of his 50th anniversary tour, saying he was acting on doctor's advice after receiving his diagnosis. "I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years. My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows," Diamond wrote in a statement on his website.

This doesn't mean the end of Diamond's career, he notes. "I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come," Diamond wrote in the statement. "My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world. You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been 'so good, so good, so good' thanks to you." (Rolling Stone)

Diamond most recently played Minnesota just this past May. Reviewing the Xcel Energy Center concert for The Current, Sarah Eldred wrote, "he sounded just like the Neil Diamond of yesteryear, his vocals virtually untouched by time. As he wove through his career, touching each decade, presenting song after song in his mesmerizing manner with his epic hooks and catchy lyrics, the man did not tire."

Remembering Hugh Masekela

Jazz trumpeter and singer Hugh Masekela has died at age 78. In addition to his musical achievements as a South African bebop star, Masekela was known as a powerful activist "whose music became symbolic of the country's anti-apartheid movement, even as he spent three decades in exile," notes the New York Times. He played with Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo on the Graceland Tour, often performing his anthem "Mandela (Bring Him Back Home)."

Andy Rourke distances himself from "Classically Smiths"

Bassist Andy Rourke has refuted a press release that claimed he was reuniting with former Smiths bandmate Mike Joyce for a series of orchestral concerts, billed as "Classically Smiths," reinterpreting the band's catalog with guest vocalists filling in for Morrissey.

"At no time did I give my consent for anyone in connection with this Classically Smiths project to act on my behalf or my name and nothing was ever confirmed, approved or contracted by me or my team," said Rourke, disavowing enthusiastic statements that were attributed to him in the press release.

The new statement from Rourke indicated that he was particularly disappointed to be caught up in the controversy in the same week he was mourning his "dear friend" Dolores O'Riordan, who joined with Rourke in 2016 for a band called D.A.R.K.

Goodbye to two bands

Slayer have announced plans for "one, final world tour" with dates to be revealed shortly. The thrash gods have been together since 1981, recently suffering the 2013 death of founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman. (Billboard)

Another band are also saying goodbye, though they've only been together since 2013. Macaulay Culkin says he got "a little tired" of his Velvet Underground cover band the Pizza Underground. Video director Adam Green has revealed that the Pizza Underground have "a full-on album with orchestration" in the can; no word on if or when that will ever see the light of day. (Pitchfork)

During his Pizza Underground years, Culkin got famously chummy with Minnesota's own Har Mar Superstar; the two acts toured together in 2014, often meeting for a soul kiss that made tabloid headlines as a "CULKIN GAY SHOCKER." A year later, Culkin even spent Christmas with Har Mar's family in Owatonna.

Hall and Oates catch a Train

As Philadelphia celebrated their triumph over the Vikings in the NFC championship game on Sunday, the city was greeted with news of yet another stunning coup: native sons Daryl Hall and John Oates have landed a massively popular band of hitmakers for a co-headlining summer tour. Train will join the blue-eyed soul duo for a run of shows that will see each act playing a set before uniting onstage for a spectacular, unprecedented, Hall, Train, and Oates superjam. (Rolling Stone)

On May 16 the epic bill hits the Xcel Energy Center, where Hall and Oates played last spring with Tears for Fears — a collaboration that did not result in a superjam.

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