Two hugely popular, yet wildly disparate, groups called it quits recently. First came the announcement that the mightiest jam band of them all, Phish, will end a 21-year run at the end of their summer tour, with their final shows August 14 and 15 in—where else?—Vermont. Coming to the end of their long-term recording contract with Elektra (the group released Undermind on June 15), they decided to quit while they were ahead.
A mere week following that announcement, the bazilllion-record- selling Creed confirmed that they are breaking up, as well. Guitarist/songwriter Mark Tremonti is joining up with Creed’s drummer, Scott Phillips, former bassist Brian Marshall, and the singer from the Mayfield Four, Myles Kennedy, in a new band named Alter Bridge. Meanwhile, singer/songwriter/heartthrob Scott Stapp will begin work on his solo album, as well as contributing a track to a compilation of music inspired by Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. At press time, no members of Phish had announced any contributions to that project. . . . Back together is Black Sabbath. Playing together for the first time since 2001, the seminal group hit the Ozzfest tour circuit this summer sporting all of its original members . . . .On August 24, the documentary Tom Dowd and the Language of Music will be released on DVD, with limited theatrical release on August 13. The film, by Mark Moorman, follows the life of legendary producer and engineer Tom Dowd, with appearances from Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, John Coltrane, the Allman Brothers’ Band, Phil Ramone, and many others. The film was an Official Selection at the Sundance Film Festival, and garnered praise at both South by Southwest and the Toronto Film Festival. Starting out in the music industry at Atlantic Records, Dowd’s career spanned 50 years. He passed away in 2002, at the age of 77. . . .
Punk guitarist Robert Quine was found dead on June 5 of an apparent heroin overdose. He was 61. Quine moved to New York City in 1971, and joined Richard Hell’s Voidoids, recording two albums with them. Deeply influenced by the Velvet Underground, Quine went on to record with Lou Reed, as well as Lloyd Cole, John Zorn, Marianne Faithfull, and Matthew Sweet. Said Reed in a statement to Billboard.com: “He was an extraordinary mixture of taste, intelligence, and rock and roll abilities.”