Music News: 'Punk rock's official shopkeeper' Jimmy Webb dies at 62


Rockers are mourning Jimmy Webb. Also in the news today: how will the pandemic affect music studios? The Boss will headline a New Jersey coronavirus relief benefit, and 'American Idol' is going virtual. (MPR Video)

Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach says, "I bought every pair of Cuban-heeled boots that I wore from 1987-2011 at Trash & Vaudeville from Jimmy." He was talking about Jimmy Webb, who managed the New York clothing store beloved by rockers who really wanted to look the part. Webb has died of cancer at age 62, a friend confirms to Rolling Stone.

It must have seemed like Webb was an institution for even longer than he was, since he actually didn't start working at Trash and Vaudeville until 1999. His customers and friends included Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Duff McKagan, and Billie Joe Armstrong. Megastars like Beyoncé even rocked Webb's looks, which were seen on MTV, in Vogue, and just about everywhere else.

"He was one of a kind," said friend and coworker Jasper McGandy about Webb, who struggled with drug addiction and homelessness before finding his calling making people look like rock stars. "It was fun to watch him interact with all the celebrities who came in to shop, but it was even more enjoyable to watch him give discounts or hide a pair of pants for a kid you knew had to save for the next six months to afford them. The man had a heart the size of his head."

Will recording studios survive coronavirus crisis?

Like every corner of the music business, recording studios are struggling right now. Their situation is complicated by a longer-term question: will home recording become the norm?

Billboard talked to studio owners in Nashville, which was still recovering from tornado damage when COVID-19 hit. Of course artists like Garth Brooks and Miranda Lambert aren't using recording studios right now, but studios are also losing a big source of revenue you might not have thought about: right now is when artists would be in studios recording the soundtracks to video games that will be released for the big holiday rush.

Two significant Nashville studios, the Warner Bros. studio and a studio called The Tracking Room, have closed permanently, and Nick Autry isn't happy about it even though he runs Black River, a competing studio that stands to pick up the shuttered studios' business once this crisis is over. He tells Billboard, "I'm not nervous about large studios going away. I think we're finally finding the balance of home studio versus commercial studio. But [...] I've made friends with these people for a dozen years and then they don't have a job anymore. And I'm not going to have The Tracking Room to run down and get a cable, or help him if he needs something."

Bruce and Bon Jovi to play New Jersey pandemic relief concert

Bruce Springsteen? Check. Jon Bon Jovi? Right on. SZA? Also from Jersey. Halsey? She's Jersey too. Charlie Puth? Jersey, you know it. Tony Bennett? Okay, he grew up in New York, but they're letting him join the lineup for the Jersey 4 Jersey livestream fundraiser scheduled for next Wednesday, April 22. The Boss made a virtual appearance on Good Morning America to announce the benefit. (Consequence of Sound)

American Idol going virtual

Can American Idol still happen in a social-distancing situation? Apparently, yes. When this season's live rounds begin on April 26, Ryan Seacrest will host from home and judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan will call in from their own residences. Contestants will also perform from home. ABC says that as the live rounds' airdate approaches, the network will share more details about how this all will work. One thing that won't change is that viewers will vote...from home. (Billboard)

Dolly Parton releases trippy new video

Dolly Parton tweeted, "We wanted to make a bright, funny video that was just as cheery as the song. I think we did it!" The song is "I'm Gone," a song from her 2002 album Halos & Horns. That album, along with five others from the 2000s, have just been released on streaming services for the first time. "I loved the aliens!" she told Paper.

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