Figure this one to be a long show: Bob Dylan will continue teaming up with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for an American tour this summer, and on at least half a dozen dates -- including one in July at RFK Stadium -- they'll share the billing with the Grateful Dead.
And, yes, Prince is going to be touring behind (or possibly in front of) his new "Parade" album. Look for a slew of dates during the summer, remembering that the last time he came to the Capital Centre, it was for seven instantly sold-out dates.
As spring begins, the concert business is picking up again, though it won't reach full throttle until Merriweather Post Pavilion and Wolf Trap kick into their outdoor seasons in June. Look for those schedules to be announced in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, here are some of the big concerts to look for: James Brown and Chuck Brown, unrelated except for being the godfathers of soul and go-go, respectively, share the stage for the first time at the Washington Convention Center on Sunday; sort-of-new British rock with Echo and the Bunnymen and the Church at George Washington University's Smith Center on Tuesday, and the Cult (with Australia's Divynyls) at the Warner on Wednesday; Luther Vandross, bringing his "The Night I Fell in Love" tour to town for a third leg, at the Capital Centre Tuesday; and Heart, making its third appearance in less than six months with an April 19 date at the Baltimore Civic Center.
Also Yoko Ono and the Bangles (separately, thank goodness, but both at the Warner, April 7 and 8); and Neil Diamond, whose April 11 and 12 concerts sold 31,000 tickets in one day. Also in April is what's being billed as the concert that never was (and there may be a very good reason for that) featuring three clone bands, the Back Doors (guess who?), Fire (Jimi Hendrix) and the Revival (as in Creedence Clearwater). And keyboardist Lyle Mays brings his trio to Lisner April 24, about 10 days before his old boss, Pat Metheny, comes in with a new trio he coleads with vanguard jazzmen Ornette Coleman and Jack DeJohnette (May 5).
Concerts in the following months include Kenny Rogers, with the Gatlin Brothers replacing Lee Greenwood, in a Patriot Center concert postponed to May 2 because of Rogers' throat problems; comedians Billy Crystal (Patriot Center, May 2) and Bill Cosby (Capital Centre, May 23); country stars Alabama, the Charlie Daniels Band and Bellamy Brothers (June 1); punk's founding mother, Siouxsie and the Banshees (Warner, May 12); heavy metal mavens and hard rockers Ozzy Osbourne (April 16), Judas Priest (May 31), ZZ Top (late May), Van Halen (late July or early August), all at the Capital Centre; and Kiss with Blue Oyster Cult (April 11), Rush (April 17) and Stevie Nicks (early May), all at the Baltimore Civic Center. Music Fundraisers
The Kennedy Center will host a major fundraiser April 7, the "Victory of the Human Spirit" concert to benefit the National Rehabilitation Hospital. The concert will honor four individuals who have overcome debilitating or life-threatening accidents and illnesses: Sen. Robert Dole (R-Kan.), Ted Kennedy Jr., actress Ann Jillian and singer Teddy Pendergrass. The talent lineup is not final yet, but among those already signed are Lee Greenwood, Wynton Marsalis, Henny Youngman, Lynda Carter, Suzette Charles, Ed Asner and Marie Osmond. Robert Guillaume will emcee.
Roberta Flack's new single of the civil rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" will benefit the Medger Evers College Foundation and other black charities. Originally cut as a radio spot for Miller Lite beer, it has now been released by Atlantic. Flack gets help on the chorus from Luther Vandross, James Ingram, George Duke, Grover Washington Jr. and others.
It's apparently never too late for superstar benefit records to raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief. Coming soon is "Hear 'n' Aid," a heavy metal consortium that was first talked about almost a year ago. The album's centerpiece is "Stars," which has a 3 1/2-minute solo played by 11 successive guitarists, including Yngwie Malmstein and the various guys from Quiet Riot, Dio, Night Ranger, Dokken, Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister, Blue Oyster Cult and Journey.
Meanwhile, Bob Geldof is engineering Sport Aid, May 18-25, which will include various sporting events in Europe and a Race Against Time, something like an Olympic torch run that will raise more funds for the African relief efforts.
And Willie Nelson apparently isn't letting Farm Aid's so-so performance on the fund-raising front dim his spirits: There's already talk of a Farm Aid II, possibly wrapped into Willie's Fourth of July Picnic in Austin to be held at the University of Texas' 85,000-seat Memorial Stadium.