December 27, 2003
As a late Christmas gift for all of you, Venice Central is thrilled to offer you the second show from "Viva Las Venice," taped on December 9, 2003.  This was the all-request show, where most of the set consisted of songs that you've probably never heard live before, and several that you've never heard before at all.  Because the band only had about a half hour of rehearsal time to get all these songs ready (and in many cases, teach them to the rhythm section who was hearing them for the first time), the show was very raw, and there were mistakes all over the place.  No matter, it was a tremendous amount of fun, and filled with surprises and a joyous spirit.

For those of you who couldn't join us at the annual fan event, this is a little taste of what you missed.  Hopefully you can all come along next year!

Check that out over here.



December 18, 2003
Great news for Dutch fans:  Venice's concert DVD, "Venice Live at the Royal Carre Theatre," is out and shipping.  If you pre-ordered one, you should receive it today or tomorrow.

Bad news for American fans:  The DVDs were not finished in time to ship to America, so they will not be on sale at the Christmas shows, and Venice Store will not be able to start selling them online in time for them to be holiday gifts.  The American version will go on sale exclusively at Venice Store here at Venice Central in a week or two, as soon as the discs arrive.  Watch this news page for an announcement.

In the meantime, here's some good news for the American fans:  Venice Store is now selling t-shirts and hats!  So go buy some!


December 16, 2003

This Thursday morning, December 18, to promote their appearance that night at the Belly Up, Venice will perform on San Diego television station KUSI (channel 9), on their morning news show.  There will be teases for the band's appearance at 8am, 8:25am and 8:40am, and then at 8:45am the band will perform one song live.  Try to catch it if you can!



December 11, 2003

I have two things for you today.  First, lead guitarist Michael Lennon has asked me to post this for all of you:

To all the fans and all involved in the Venice organization, I want to thank you for an incredible year.  This past weekend on the "Viva Las Vegas" Venice land cruise has reminded me why, after 25 years, I am still doing this.

Looking back on this year, it feels like we have taken some giant steps up the ladder of success.  Early in the year we received the "Edison Award" (Dutch Grammy) for the best international artist, beating out Cold Play and U2.  We also made our first Music Video of "Blue Paint," which was conceived, written and directed by our very own Mark Lennon.  This video ended up on a DVD along with "Making Blue Paint," which was put together by the very capable and generous Matt Levitz.  In July, we got to tour Germany opening for the Beach Boys.  Although the original lineup, with the exception of Mike Love, was missing, just hearing those songs reminded me of the impact that a song can have on me and the rest of the world.  Hearing a crowd of Germans singing, "Well east coast girls are hip, I really dig those styles they wear....." is a pretty mind blowing experience.

In September, thanks to the hard work and expertise of Michael Johnson, we FINALLY opened the official Venice Store on the internet, allowing immediate purchasing and shipping of Venice CD's, t-shirts, hats and soon to come, the 5.1 surround sound concert DVD, "Live at the Royal Carre Theater."  No more waiting for me to go to the P.O. Box and search out your order.  Check it out if you haven't already.

In October, we headed back to Europe for our very first headlining club tour of the major cities in Germany, followed by an amazing theater tour in Holland which touched on 20 cities, exposing us to a whole new mass of music lovers.  Many of these people owned two different Venice albums but had never seen the band live.  The live concert DVD was recorded during this same tour as well as the first real Venice documentary including interviews with me and the boys.  Towards the end of the theater tour we jammed down to Switzerland to showcase for Sony, and also did a day of radio promotion.  Hoping to develop that territory and Germany more next year.

A big part of this year's success is due to the new relationship with our manager Marcel Albers.  He has really helped in taking Venice to the next level.  Always looking ahead.

We are truly blessed to have such great people involved in our career and our personal lives.  This includes the great musicians, hard working crews, and of course our supportive and understanding families.  All of these people give so much for so little in return.

Anyway, just wanted to post a little thank you to all you music lovers for your continued support and let you know that your loyalty to the Venice cause is paying off.  Hang in there with us and we'll ride this roller coaster together.

Looking forward to 2004!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Michael Lennon - Venice

And second, for those of you who weren't able to join us in Las Vegas, I've posted the audio from Tuesday's Q&A with the band.  You can enjoy that over here.


December 5, 2003

There is it, folks, the official cover of Venice's brand new concert DVD, "Venice Live at the Royal Carre Theatre."  The exact release date still isn't set, but it will be in the very near future.  Copies are being pressed at this very moment.  I haven't seen the show yet myself, but I have heard that the 5.1 stereo sound is excellent.  Track listing is as follows:

1. Intro
2. We're Still Here
3. Hideaway Hill
4. Circle of Life
5. The Only Love I Had
6. Road To Where You Are
7. Starting Here Again
8. Precious Stone
9. Sweet Aloha
10. Welcome to the Rest of Your Life
11. Family Tree
12. Stuck in The Middle With You
13. Always
14. Baby’s Calling
15. Most of Us
16. End of the World
17. World Upon My Back
18. The Man You Think I Am
19. Think Again
20. If I Were You
21. One Quiet Day

Bonus Tracks:
1. Adobe Hacienda
2. Scarborough Faire

So as you can see, it is the set list of the Dutch theater tour that the band just completed, with "Most of Us" and "World Upon My Back" added for good measure.

And here's the best news of all:  The DVD will be released in the Pal format internationally, and in NTSC here in the states!  So everyone will be able to purchase a copy they can play.

Watch this page for an official release date, as soon as it's announced.


December 3, 2003
Well, I promised you an update, though this isn't exactly what I had in mind.  Here's a note from Pat:

Sorry Matt-

I received some bad information.  The show on Wednesday does not feature me.  The show I worked on was Designer's Challenge and will probably not air until February.  I'll keep you posted when I find out more.

Sorry about that.

~~Pat

Oops!  Okay, so go unset your VCRs.  Unless, of course, you're into the "Extreme Makeover" craze that's sweeping the nation.  When I receive details about Pat's real broadcast, you'll read about it here.


December 2, 2003

Pat Lennon would like me to inform the American fans that you can check out his woodworking on "Extreme Makeover," a television show airing tomorrow night (Wednesday, December 3) on ABC at 10:00pm PST.  I've asked him for a more complete viewing guide to which featured pieces are his, so check back here before airtime and hopefully I'll have that posted.

In other news, I've been told that Venice is getting ready to start writing new songs again after the first of the year.  Does this mean we can expect a new album in 2004?  Not necessarily.  The songwriting process tends to takes them a while, and they're literally right at the beginning stage.  But it does mean that there's a pretty good chance we'll start hearing new material at the shows sometime in the first part of the year.

Finally, Friday night's Santa Barbara show is now completely sold out.  Showtime is promptly at 8:00pm, so if you have tickets, don't be late.

As a parting thought, I'm currently being innundated by a spam e-mail advertising a product called "The Colon Cleaner."  Is everybody getting this e-mail, or is God maybe trying to tell me something?


November 15, 2003
If you've got any friends in Switzerland, give 'em a call.  Venice will be playing their first Swiss showcase this coming Monday, November 17, and it's open to the public.  Info is as follows:

Venue:  Albani
Address:  Steinberggasse 16  -  8400 Winterthur
Showtime:  8:30pm

Also, please note the addition of one extra show at the end of Venice's current theater tour, on November 21 at the Popcenter Podium, co-headlining with Erwin Nijhoff and the Edwin Evers Band.  Info can be found on the Tour Dates page.


October 27, 2003
Here's a press release from
SteveBertrand.com:

After two successful records as the frontman of The Tories, Steve Bertrand is embarking on a new musical chapter with the band Avion.  The album is slated for a March 2004 release in a joint venture between The Console and Image Entertainment.

The cd features 13 tracks with guest appearances by Rami Jaffee of the Wallflowers, Sergio Andrade of Lifehouse, and Matt Bissonette of The Ringo Starr Band.  The album was produced by Bertrand with four songs co-produced by Stuart Brawley who also mixed the majority of the record.  Songs from the forthcoming album have already been featured on NBC's "AUSA", MTV's "Tough Enough" and NBC's "Scrubs".

The band features Jamie Wollam (drums), Josh Dunahoo (guitar), Ben Hazlett (guitar, keyboards) and Joey Clement (bass).  The band is currently playing shows in the L.A. area and will be shooting a video for the first single this fall.

As many of you know, Jamie Wollam played drums in The Tories, so this is a familiar collaboration for him.  We wish Jamie a lot of luck with this new musical venture, and hope that he still finds time in his busy schedule for the occasional Venice show.

In the meantime, be sure and catch Avion live at The Gig in Hollywood on November 8 and December 5.  Show Jamie your support!  The Tories was a great pop band, and I have high expectations for this one as well.


October 17, 2003

The time has come to create German-language sections of both the Yahoo Groups e-mail list and Venice Talk Bulletin Board. I do, however, need German speaking Venice fans to run and moderate them. If you'd like to volunteer, please e-mail me at
matt@venicecentral.com. Thanks!

In other news, if you're in LA tomorrow night looking for something to do, go check out John Vester's performance at Borders Books in Torrance.  Showtime and address are on the Tour Dates page, at the very bottom.


October 7, 2003

A huge congratulations to Marcia Stanfield from Colorado.  She won the "Lunch With Venice" auction, with her final bid of $1,775.  Marcia writes, "My family and I have been Venice fans for several years, and I'm delighted to have this amazing opportunity while contributing to such an important cause."  Many thanks to all who participated.  And to the Stanfield family, enjoy your time with the guys!

In other news, Mark Lennon has opened up his own webpage, from which you can purchase his hand-painted pants and his "Christmas In the Groove" CD.  Check that out at markylennon.com.


October 6, 2003

The auction is up to $1,775, and there's only one day left!  Tension is mounting...  Time is running out...  Get those bids in,
right over here.


October 4, 2003

Just under three days to go on the auction, and we're up to $660.  Great job, everyone!  But I think we can do better than that.  We're talking about a private audience with Kipp, Mark, Michael and Pat, all at the same time!  You getting to know them, them getting to know you.  A wonderful memory you'll carry for the rest of your life.  How much is this worth to you?  $700?  $750?  $800?  It's only money.  You can always make more.  But this opportunity may never come again.  And you'll be helping a charity at the same time.  (Which makes it a tax write-off!  Yay!!!)  Place your bids
right over here.


October 2, 2003

Wow!  With four and a half days to go, bidding for Venice's "Lunch With A Leader" auction is already up to $510!  This is great news for the Communities In Schools charity.  Place your counter-bid
right over here.  Do I hear $520?


September 30, 2003
Venice's "Lunch With A Leader" auction has officially begun.  Place your bids
right over here!


September 25, 2003
File this one under "Lennons Who Lunch."

Would you like to share an afternoon meal with Kipp, Mark, Michael and Pat?  Now you can, and you'll be helping out America's youth while you're at it.  Venice is participating in Communities In Schools' "Lunch With A Leader" auction.  The higgest bidder will win a lunch with Venice, and the winning payment will be donated to the LA chapter of the CIS charity.

Bidding begins on September 30, 2003 at 12:00 PM EST.  Opening bid is $100, with a reserve set for $250.  (If the auction closes at lower than $250, the sale can be voided.)  The winner will have one year to redeem the prize.  Bidding is supposed to be open to Los Angeles residents only, because travel is not included in the prize package, but when I asked whether fans outside of LA can participate, I received the following answer:

"We can make exceptions on a case by case basis.  Last year we had some Canadian bidders who asked friends of theirs in the US to bid for them.  If there are interested bidders I'm sure they will contact us.  Please keep in mind though that we still need to perform the background check and if the person lives out of the country that can be a little complicated, and there could be additional costs."  In other words, yes, non-Americans can bid.  But e-mail the organization first just to confirm.

So fans in Holland and Germany may participate, and the winner may redeem the prize when the band is on tour in your neighborhood.  Outside of Holland, Germany and Los Angeles, you can also still participate, but you'll have to provide your own travel.  If you do come in from out of town for this, Hilton Hotels will provide one night's stay, provided there is a Hilton in that area.

The winner will also receive autographed Venice merchandise, two free admissions to a Venice live concert, and a photo opportunity with the band.

Details about this Venice auction are here.  (A link to the eBay auction will be posted on this page after the auction begins.)

Details about the Communities In Schools charity are here.

The main page for the "Lunch With A Leader" Online Auctions is here.

To all you bidders, I "bid" you good luck!


September 21, 2003
Well, if you ask any parent, they'll tell you that the very best things in life take nine months to form.  So please keep that at the forefront of your mind when I tell you...  Hey look!  Christmas pictures!  In, uh, September!!!

But not just any Christmas pictures, these were taken by Kipp, Mark, Michael and Pat themselves, in a brand new section of Venice Central I like to call, "Through the Eyes of..."

Seriously, I'm sorry it took so long to get this online.  It's been a really busy year, and since February, most of my spare time has been spent putting together the "Blue Paint" DVD.  (Which you Americans can purchase for $10 right here at Venice Store!)  Hopefully it won't take so long for the next batch of photos.

Be sure and listen to all the new VVTG entries as you peruse the band members' photo albums.


September 17, 2003

Okay, I just got the go-ahead to make this major news announcement.  So here it is:

Venice will be releasing a live concert DVD!  It will be a full show, and it will go on sale by the end of the year both overseas (in Pal) and in America (in NTSC).  Full 5.1 stereo sound, multi-camera, really professionally done.

Now for the part that only concerns the Dutch fans.  This DVD will be taped on Monday, October 27, 2003, at the concert at the Koninklijk Theater Carré in Amsterdam.  This show is already on sale, but there are plenty of tickets left.  If it's within driving distance for you, go buy yourself some seats right now!  Because the setlist for this show is going to be different from the rest of the tour.  And besides, it's your chance to be a part of Venice history, and to dance and sing and go crazy and be a part of showing the rest of the world just how much audiences enjoy a great Venice show.  So what are you waiting for?  Buy your tickets now!


September 12, 2003

Well, the major news announcement I promised remains unconfirmed, as details are still being worked out.  Hopefully I'll be able to talk about it early next week.

In the meantime, has everybody checked out "The Simpsons: Season 3" DVD yet?  If you listen to the commentary for the Michael Jackson episode, "Stark Raving Dad," they talk about Kipp Lennon quite a bit.  They never mention Venice, though.


September 8, 2003

A number of people have told me that they're having trouble printing the DVD cover.  So here's a tip.  Don't print this picture directly from Internet Explorer.  The browser program resizes it, and all you'll wind up with on your printed page is a corner of the picture, blown up to superhuman size.  What you should do instead is save the picture to your hard drive, and then print it through Windows, or a program like ACDSee or Photoshop.  Hope that helps!  
Here's the link again.

Many of you may have noticed that Venice Central has been down several times over the last week.  We've been having major server problems.  We are dealing with them, and we hope to have this problem resolved shortly.

Great news for LA fans!  Venice has added one more show in September, prior to their pre-Christmas hiatus.  They'll be performing for one hour at the Abbot-Kinney Festival at 5:00pm on Sunday, September 28.  Further info is here and on the Tour Dates page.

Lastly, fans in Holland should keep checking back this week for a major surprise announcement.


September 6, 2003

Introducing,
Venice Store.

And a huge congratulations to Michael Johnson for singlehandedly putting the entire thing together.  If you see him at the Canyon Club tonight, be sure and give him a hearty pat on the back for a job well done.


September 4, 2003

The "Blue Paint" music video DVDs go on sale tonight and Saturday night, and they'll be sold in thin jewel cases with no cover art.  That was done so that the band could keep the price low.  However, if anybody would like cover art, we're offering it free of charge, right here at Venice Central.  Full credit for this goes to my brother Aaron Levitz, for designing and constructing the whole thing, and to Steven Radice, for his always brilliant cartooning work.

Currently, we've only made art for DVD longboxes.  (Hopefully we'll get jewel case sizes online shortly.)  Download the DVD longbox cover here.  Print it on good, thick paper, if you have it.  Don't change any dimensions.  It should be the proper size already.

Because the average printer paper is larger than the dimensions of a DVD box, you're going to need to cut it smaller with a scissors or paper knife.  Along the outside of the entire picture, you'll see three edges where it's obvious where to cut. (Look for the color change to light blue, and a border line along the white.) The fourth edge is just past the cartoon, where your printer will not print. So you'll have to create this fourth border line yourself. To do so, pull out the paper from some other commercial DVD and lay it down, lined up on top of this one, and with a pencil, draw a light line along that edge. Then cut along the four sides, slip it into an empty DVD box, (which I believe you can purchase cheaply at Best Buy, Tower Records, etc.) and you're good to go.

Bring it with you to tonght's and Saturday's concert.  There's plenty of room on there for autographs.

In other news, I've just learned that the German radio station WDR2 will broadcast the Ringfest festival this Sunday, September 7th, from 20:00 to 24:00, on their program, "Soundfiles."  Venice fans who are not in Germany can listen over the internet from here.  (Click on the fourth picture block at the top of the page, underneath the word "Programmvorschau.")  (Pacific Standard Time: 11am-3pm)  Venice's set at this show consisted of the following songs: "End of the World," "Most of Us," "Blue Paint," "Landslide," "Circle of Life," "Welcome to the Rest of Your Life," "Baby's Calling," "One Quiet Day," "The Family Tree" and "Think Again."  Speaking of "Think Again," it's the #1 listener requested song on "Soundfiles" this week.


August 28, 2003
I've learned that both the "Blue Paint" DVDs and the "Blue Paint" VHS tapes will all retail at $10 each when they go on sale at the Belly Up and Canyon Club shows.  At that low price, you can afford to buy copies for all your friends!  I've posted some sneak peek video clips
over here.  Check 'em out!

And now, a random thought from Pat Lennon.


August 22, 2003

I've seen an advance of Venice's new "Blue Paint" DVD, and it looks great!  The video is very crisp.  Perfect television quality, and far better than the multimedia file that Sony released on the German CD-single, which I know a lot of Americans have imported.  And infinately better than the streaming version that Sony posted on Venice Vibes, which I know most American fans have watched.

But what really makes this release is the special features.  The 9 minute making-of documentary shows the guys at their most hilarious.  The slideshow is put together very creatively, with a background that pulsates to Chris Horvath's "Blue Paint Dance Remix," and pictures that fly in and out in fun and creative ways.  Mark's two audio commentaries are very informative, and the full band commentary will have you laughing out loud.  There are even several easter eggs, all of which are pretty easy to find.  All in all, it's a very nice package.

The DVDs will go on sale at the Belly Up and Canyon Club shows in two weeks.  (Also on sale at those shows will be VHS tapes that contain the video, the making-of and the slideshow.  No commentaries, no easter eggs, no menus.)

There have been several people who misunderstood the tounge-in-cheek sarcasm of the news entry I posted this morning, so I've now replaced it with the following, with hopes that what I'm saying is clearer:

Since this is an official webpage, my public, posting-on-the-internet-for-everyone-to-see stance is that I am required to support Venice's agreement with Sony to only sell this DVD in America.  Therefore, it would be completely wrong of me to direct your attention to posts like this one over here.  So I'm not going to.  And yes, that is indeed a link that it is my duty to tell you not to click on.

Everybody got it now?



August 12, 2003

Well, my son's been making me read Dr. Seuss to him all morning long, and now I can't stop talking in rhyme.  But anyway, here's the news:

"The Simpsons: Season 3"
Will be released on DVD
On August 26th of the year 2003

This season's very choice!
The songs make you rejoice
There's one Kipp Lennon sings in his Michael Jackson voice

More pleasing to your ears
The best song they've done in years
Is when Kipp sings "Flaming Moe's" and it spoofs the theme from "Cheers."

And I will watch it in a box
And I will watch it with a fox
And I will watch it in a house
And I will watch it with a mouse...


July 30, 2003
The dates for Venice's first German club tour, October 5-14, 2003, are now printed on the
Tour Dates page.


July 25, 2003
Highlights from the Sommerhit festival, including a performance from Venice, will be broadcast on German television on July 31st, from 20.15 to 21.15.  Info is
here.  Thanks to Frits for the info!

Also, Venice will perform at Ringfest in Cologne on August 15.  Details are posted on the Tour Dates page.


July 15, 2003

Billy Bob Thornton's second album, "The Edge of the World," will be released on Sanctuary Records on August 5th.  Kipp, Mark, Michael and Pat sing backup on several tracks.



July 9, 2003

I have two exciting announcements to make about Venice's "Blue Paint" music video.  The first is that if you haven't seen it yet, you can now watch it over the internet at
Venice Vibes.  From the main page, click on "Deutsch," and then click "Videos," and there you are.  Thanks to Xenia Floor for the tip!

The bad news is that the quality of this stream isn't very good.  Fortunately for the U.S. fans, I have a second announcement!

Venice is currently at work on a DVD and VHS release of the music video.  The DVD will contain exciting bonus features:  An 8 1/2 minute behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the video, entitled "Making Blue Paint;" a photo slideshow containing over 50 behind-the-scenes pictures, set to a brand new exclusive dance remix of the song produced by Chris Horvath; and three separate audio commentary tracks - one with the full band, and two with Mark Lennon alone.  (There's so much to talk about, one 4 minute run-through wasn't enough time.)  The plan is to have the DVDs and VHSs on sale at the Belly Up and Canyon Club shows in September, and then available through mail order after that time.  Sadly, this release is for NTSC televisions only, and will not be shipped outside of America.  This is due to a compromise the band was required to make with Sony (who owns the song), where the label now owns the video in Europe and can do whatever they want with it there, and the band owns the rights in the United States and can do whatever they want with it here.

The band funded this video almost entirely out of pocket, and all proceeds from these DVD and VHS sales will go towards recovering that investment.  So be sure and buy lots of copies for all your friends.  It's a good cause.


July 8, 2003
Two California shows have just been announced.  Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach on Thursday, September 4, and Canyon Club in Agoura Hills on Saturday, September 6.  These will be the last shows in America until "Viva Las Venice" in December.



July 4, 2003
Click here to download the band's invitation to "Viva Las Venice."


June 24, 2003
There's nothing like Steven's drawings to really bring a smile to your face.  Here's a brand new one,
"One Word."


June 22, 2003

I usually keep personal items off of this webpage, but this is one I feel compelled to report.  About three hours ago, I got a phone call from my mother telling me that my father just had a heart attack and died on the spot.  It's a staggering surprise.  Just this morning he was here with us, happily playing with my kids.  He was two weeks away from turning 60, with a clean bill of health from a recent doctor's visit.  He was a great man, and we loved him very much.  Kind and generous, always looking out for all of us, pitching in help, emotional or financial, wherever it was needed.  We didn't even have to ask, he would just be there, doing everything he could to solve our problems.  I can't even begin to imagine what it's going to be like living without that umbrella of sanctuary.  My wife, who lost her own father when she was very young, thought of him like her own dad, and I know he felt the same for her.  My kids loved him, and it was so sweet to see him enjoying every second of being a grandfather.  For the past few hours, the phone has been ringing off the hook with condolences from friends and family who's lives he's touched.  It's comforting to know how many people he's affected.  He will be greatly missed by all of us.


Jerry Levitz
1943-2003


June 16, 2003

Venice has been confirmed as the opening act for The Beach Boys at the following shows in Germany:

July 10 - Museumsplatz - Bonn, Germany
July 12 - ZMF - Freiburg, Germany
July 13 - Tollwood - Munich, Germany
July 15 - Was'n Stage - Stuttgart, Germany
July 16 - Tempodrom - Berlin, Germany
July 17 - Stadtpark - Hamburg, Germany

I'll get those posted on the Tour Dates page just as soon as I get a chance to look up their addresses and webpage URLs.

In other news, if you haven't seen Venice Vibes' new look yet, go check it out!  The site is now also available in German.


June 7, 2003
And here's one taken May 5th at Haarlem:

Kipp, Neeltje, Martijn Swier (mgmt/guitar tech), Marty, Pat, Nick Bult (keys), Michael, Jamie, Pete, and then Mark and Mark in the front.  Thanks to Martijn for providing this shot.


May 29, 2003
Here's a nice shot of Venice with the heads of their new German record label, 105 Music.

From left to right: Heins, Pat, Kipp, Sandra, Mark, Michael, Roman.


May 27, 2003

The German release of "Welcome To the Rest of Your Life," on the record label 105 Music, contains a bonus 16th track, the Volendam recording of "The Family Tree."  This is a bare bones studio version, exactly the way they perform it live.  Acoustic guitar and voices only.

Also released in Germany is the CD single of "Blue Paint," which contains the "Blue Paint" music video as a multimedia file.  Fans in Germany and Holland should definitely go pick up a copy.  Fans in America, however, should be advised against ordering an import, because the band is preparing to self-release the video here in the states on DVD and VHS, and it will contain at least one fairly sizeable bonus feature not found on the German CD single.....


May 23, 2003

To register for "Viva Las Venice,"
head here.  Bring a friend.  Bring twelve!

In other news, Venice fan Jochen Junker informs me that the Baden Baden show that was reported on this page on April 30 is scheduled to air on SWR1, June 6, 2003, from 10:30pm to midnight (European time -- it'll be 1:30pm to 3:00pm in Los Angeles).  You can tune in from anywhere in the world by listening to SWR1's internet cybercast via the station's webpage.


May 8, 2003

Well, the band isn't around to confirm it, and management hasn't sent me any notification, but reports on the community mailing list and on
this webpage claim that Venice is performing for one hour in Hamburg, Germany tomorrow (May 9) at the Hamburger Hafengeburtstag (Hamburg's harbor birthday) at the stage of radio ENERGY 97.1 at 17.30 (5.30pm).

Another unconfirmed report was posted to Venice Talk, that Venice will be on television tonight, at 8.25pm, on TV Noord Holland.

Being out here in America and out of contact with the band and management, I'm unable to verify either story.  But because news of these events is posted on both of their respective webpages, my guess is they're probably pretty valid.


May 7, 2003

Bel Air Travel has announced details for "Viva Las Venice."  And here they are:

We have finally worked out (most of) the details for the 4th annual Venice "Cruise" -- this year, it's a "land cruise" to Las Vegas.

Details follow:

Dates: Dec 7-10, 2003
Location: Harrah's Las Vegas (right on the world famous strip)
Optional bus roundtrip available (locations TBD based on where people are coming from in the LA basin)

Package includes: 1 hour open bar cocktail reception party, 2 Venice shows in the world-reknowned Clint Holmes Theatre, Q&A/autograph session, commemorative t-shirt, all the camaraderie and love only a group of Venice fans (and the Lennons) can give.

Price(s): $329pp includes the bus; $269 not including bus
3rd/4th in a room (age 13+) $294 with bus, $234 without
3rd/4th in a room (age <13) $259 with bus, $199 without

There is $30pp room tax/hotel charges on the first two in a room, and $20pp on any 3rd/4th in the room.

You MUST stay at the hotel to participate (Las Vegas residents only can call us to discuss if they prefer not to stay in hotel); this is necessary to cover what the hotel is doing for us with the showroom, etc.

Flyers will be printed and available soon.  We need to make a guarantee to the hotel in the next few days, so we would appreciate hearing from you soon.  A $50pp deposit reserves space; deposit is non-refundable after June 1 (full details will be in the flyer).

You can call 301-262-3170 or (preferably) email venice@fanclubcruises.com.  We recently moved locations and are experiencing some phone uncertainties, so we would really appreciate emails.  You can also email me at dondavidoff@aol.com.

We look forward to seeing you in Vegas!

Donald Davidoff
Fan Club Cruises

Dutch and other out of town fans: You can fly directly into Las Vegas International Airport, or you can choose to fly into Los Angeles and participate in the bus trip.  We will also have rates available for people wanting to arrive earlier or stay later in Las Vegas (bus option is NOT available for these people).



May 6, 2003

Yesterday, I reported that German radio station WDR2 will broadcast a Venice concert recorded in Hamburg on March 11th.  Apparently radio station NDR2 will
re-broadcast the same show on the following day, Monday, May 12, starting at 9:05pm.  (12:05pm Pacific Standard Time here in Los Angeles.)   And it also looks like "Carry On" and "I Want You Back" have been added to the playlist.  Live internet cybercast will be accessible via the station's webpage.


May 5, 2003

On Sunday, May 11, from 11:05pm to midnight in Germany (which is 2:05pm to 3:00pm Pacific Standard Time in America, if my calculations are correct),
German radio station WDR2 is going to broadcast highlights of a Venice concert that was recorded on March 13 in Hamburg.  The set will consist of "If I Were You," "I'm Not Myself," "Sweet Aloha," "The Family Tree," "The End of the World," "Most of Us," "Blue Paint," "Baby's Calling," "Welcome to the Rest of Your Life" and "Think Again."

This news comes to us from Danish fan Bob, who also informs me that European satellite dish owners with dishes pointed at 19,2 East can pick up WDR 2 on ASTRA 1C frequency 11.053 MHz H. Audio frequency 7.38/7.56 MHz (Analog signal).  Everyone else can tune into the cybercast over here.


May 4, 2003
Venice's performance tomorrow at the Bevrijdingspop Festival in Haarlem will be cybercast via the internet.  You can tune in
here.  (Click on the word "Livestream" over on the left.)  They're scheduled to perform from 7:20pm to 8:10pm, Holland time.  (Which is 10:20am to 11:10am in Los Angeles's Pacific Standard Time.)  I'm not sure whether the event will be broadcast live or tape delayed, but you can use the following schedule to figure out where they are in the program:

12:15 - 12:45 Cereal
13:00 - 13:15 NPO
13:20 - 14:00 Haarlem Hip Hop Symfonie
14:10 - 14:30 Moordgasten
14:45 - 15:15 Panjabi MC
15:30 - 16:00 Di-rect
16:10 - 16:40 GZA Genius
17:00 - 17:50 Jaga Jazzist
18:10 - 19:00 Dusminget
19:20 - 20:10 Venice
20:30 - 21:20 Ellis Hooks
21:40 - 22:30 Relax
22:50 - 23:50 Terrence Trent D'Arby



May 3, 2003

Venice's "Two Metre Sessies" album has gone gold in Holland!  As a reward, Kipp, Mark, Michael and Pat were each given their own plaque, along with a life-sized statue of their lighting designer, Marty Carrillo.

Thanks to Marius Suiker for the photo.


April 30, 2003
A few days ago, Venice performed in Germany at a club called Baden Baden.  The concert was recorded for a German radio program, "SWR Live."  Reportedly, the set consisted of If I Were You, I'm Not Myself, Not Down Anymore, Circle of Life, The Family Tree, End of the World, Sweet Aloha, Welcome To the Rest of Your Life, Think Again, Most of Us, Baby's Calling, The Man You Think I Am, Starting Here Again, Blue Paint, One Quiet Day, Love the One You're With, I Want You Back, Feelin' Alright, Desperado, Brown Eyed Girl and Kiss.

"SWR Live" airs on German radio every Friday night from 10.30pm to midnight.  Venice's concert (probably edited down) will air in three or four weeks.  If you don't live in Germany, you can listen over the internet by clicking here.  (Webpage is here.)  When I know the exact date, I'll post it.


April 21, 2003

Venice has confirmed that instead of having a cruise this year, they will be participating in a four day Las Vegas fan event.  The cost should be considerably cheaper to you, and will still include a couple of concerts, Q&A, autographs, etc.  It's confirmed for Sunday-Wednesday, December 7-10, at Harrah's, 3475 Las Vegas Blvd. South.  Please don't call the hotel to book your room -- You'll need to book through Bel Air Travel or else you won't be allowed into the private Venice events.  I'll post those details as soon as I have them, probably next week sometime.

Also confirmed, Pine Mountain Logs at the Belly Up Tavern on May 23, and Venice/Pine Mountain Logs at the Topanga Days Festival on May 26, if they can manage to stay in town long enough.  (They're heading back to the Netherlands right around that time.)  Also, Venice will headline a show in the "Sings Like Hell" series at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara in early December.  Exact date TBD.


April 15, 2003

Due to scheduling conflicts, James Raymond has had to drop out of Venice's tour.  In his place will be Dutch keyboardist
Nick Bult, who is best known in the Netherlands as a member of the band Ten Sharp.  Rounding out the band on this trip will be Jamie Wollam and Mark Harris on drums and bass.


April 9, 2003

All you Venice fans in Holland will definitely want to catch the band on their next Netherlands tour, which begins at the end of this month.  Joining Venice on keyboards will be none other than CPR's James Raymond!  That should make for a pretty amazing series of shows!



April 3, 2003

The show that was scheduled to take place at Pepsi Stage in Amsterdam on Thursday, May 1, has moved to Melkweg on that same night.  All tickets for the original venue will be honored.  But if you can no longer attend, refunds will be provided at the point of purchase.

The following night's show at Muziekcentrum Vredenburg is now sold out.

Venice's latest album, "Welcome To the Rest of Your Life," will be released in Germany on Sony's label, 551 Music, on May 5th.  Their first single in Germany, "Blue Paint," will be released on April 17th.  Already, "Blue Paint" has entered the German radio airplay list this week at #200, only one week after its promotional release.  To accommodate all the new and upcoming German fans, Sony's official webpage, VeniceVibes, will become tri-lingual, adding a parallel version in German, sometime next week.

A lot of people have been e-mailing me to ask when they'll get to see Venice's new music video for "Blue Paint."  While I'd love to be able to post it here at Venice Central, I'm not even going to try asking for Sony's permission until after it's decided what they're going to do with it.  Venice wants to offer copies for sale, but negotiations have to take place first, because currently the band owns the video but Sony owns the song.  Until that's all worked out, I can't do anything, because I'm certainly not going to give away for free something that the band might be able to sell.  I can tell you that it is everyone's intention to make sure the fanbase has access to it in one way or another.  As soon as I hear anything more, I'll post it here.

Finally, visitors to Venice Central on April Fool's Day were greeted on the main page with the following image:

Gotta love Photoshop!


March 20, 2003
Some new Holland tour dates have been posted on the
Tour Dates page.

For those of you in the Los Angeles area, I can't stress enough, don't miss this Saturday's Canyon Club show!  It's the world premiere of Venice's first music video in 12 years, "Blue Paint."  It's the first show in town in three months, and it might be at least that long before the next one.  The band is on a high after their Edison win, so the energy and vibe will be through the roof.  Not to mention that fan favorite Tim Moyer will be playing a solo acoustic set as the opening act.  This is a show you won't want to miss, so head on down, and bring all the friends and relatives you can stuff into a car.

Finally, I'd like to re-print a letter that Michael Lennon posted to Venice Talk earlier this week, filling us in on the Holland/Germany trip the band just returned from:

As you problably can imagine, the trip was a huge success.  Winning the Edison was mind blowing.  Having the race track closed for a private race between band, crew, label, manager and friends was a blast.  I took 3rd out of 15.....Not bad!!!  Recording the two meter sessions was not as smooth as usual.  There were some technical problems at the studio which made things a bit difficult.  However, we ended up using two of the six songs that we recorded.  Obviously, it was not as personal as the past shows we did with JD but it was nice to try something different.  Then off to Germany to meet our new label, 105 Music, which is through Sony.  Wow, what a great bunch of people they are.  They are so excited about this project and are so nice to us.  The first night we had a great dinner together then went for a walk right by where the Beatles used to play in Hamburg.  The next day we did the showcase to a packed house of press and industry, and of course our loyal Dutch fans kicked some ass as well.  The label was thrilled with our performance and also thrilled with the response they got from the industry and press folks.  The next day we woke for a 10am start of a long day of press interviews and photos.  It's nice to be wanted.  Every interviewer that was at the show just loved it.  They said it was nice to hear and see "handmade" music again........No technology, just real people playing real instruments and singing songs about real life.  It was a tiring but very fun day.  From there we took the bus back to Amsterdam, woke up the next morning and flew home.  Good to be home but looking forward to returning April and May.

Hope you feel updated!!!  Thanks for all the support and see you soon,

Michael


March 13, 2003

This Sunday, Holland television station Veronica will broadcast Venice's brand new "Two Metre Sessies" special, which was taped last week and will feature songs from the latest album, "Welcome To the Rest of Your Life."



March 8, 2003

Michael Lennon just wrote to tell me that his hotel computer won't connect to Venice Talk, so he's asked me to pass this along for him:

Dear Friends of Venice,

We are so proud to win this prestigious award.  We would not even have been nominated for this if our fans didn't support our music over the years.

The only drag about that night was that we had a complete acceptance speech planned to thank everyone involved in our success, especially our fans.  Well, when they spun the stage around to have us perform "Blue Paint," he handed us the award and we were shocked.  Suddenly, they started shouting from the side of the stage, "Go!  Start!  Now!"

Anyway, we were able to thank no one.  So now I am writing to you all to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  We are so lucky to have so many friends in the Netherlands.  I think we will have to bring the statue to the gigs in April and May.  You deserve to see it.  Wish we could make copies for each of you.

Anyway, goodbye for now.  Off to Germany in a few days.  Wish us luck.

Michael


March 6, 2003 - Update

Woohoo!  Venice won their Edison Award!!!!!  Congrats to all involved.



March 6, 2003

The Edison Awards are tonight.  As you recall, Venice is nominated for Best International Artist, competing against U2 and Coldplay.  They'll be performing at the ceremony, so if you live in the Netherlands, be sure to tune in to the broadcast, and tell all your friends to do the same.


February 18, 2003
Steven Radice, who drew all of the illustrations on this website, has recorded his own fan cover of Venice's "Cool Me Down," singing and playing all the parts himself.  Check that out
here!


February 14, 2003


February 12, 2003

I just got an e-mail from a Venice fan in San Diego who tells me that David Crosby did a live phone interview this morning on KPRI, where he spent quite a bit of time raving about how great Venice is.  If anyone out there taped this interview or can get ahold of a recording, please contact me at
matt@venicecentral.com.  I'd love to post that here at Venice Central.  Thanks!


February 11, 2003

Thanks to everybody who came down on Saturday for the video shoot.  You guys did a great job, and apparently the footage looks fantastic.

Venice finished shooting their "Blue Paint" video at around midnight last night.  We spent 16 hours at the Canyon Club shooting greenscreen and a bar scene (in which I worked as an extra, though my back was to the camera and I doubt you'll see my face).  I don't want to go into too much detail and spoil any of the surprises, but I will say that everything looks really cool, and Mark Lennon did an excellent job as a director.  (I heard him say several times during the day that this is the happiest he's ever been in his life.)  You'll be able to see the results for yourself sometime next month.  The plan is to give the video a world premiere screening at next month's Canyon Club show.  So try to make it if you can!

And yes, the secret is already out that I spent both production days with the band, shooting my own behind-the-scenes footage for this webpage with a mini DV camcorder.  I got over 3 hours of material (including lots of direct-to-camera band commentary and general joking around), and I need to edit that down into something presentable.  I'm not sure when I'll have the time to do it, but I've already decided that I'm not going to post anything until after the video itself has premiered, so at least that gives me some time.


February 6, 2003

Hey everybody, sorry to do this to you, but tomorrow's call time has changed yet again.  This one's much easier, though.

The permit office has informed us that nobody's allowed to park in the neighborhood parking lots near to the Venice Pier until 9am.  That includes the crew and the band.  Nobody's allowed to get there any earlier than 9am.  So we'd now like to ask that everyone try to get there at 9am on the dot and be ready to jump out of your car and start filming immediately.  The shot involves minimal setup, so we should be ready to go the minute enough people arrive.

Sorry to do this to you, but it was beyond our control.  We'll see everybody at 9am tomorrow morning!

Also, we're still a little low on volunteers, so if you have any friends or family members who'd like to join you and have the necessary clothing


February 5, 2003
The start time for Saturday's music video shoot has been changed.  Now we'd like everybody there at 8:30am.  (That's 8:30 in the morning, just in case you're not reading carefully.)  You'll be brought onto the set at 8:45am, and shooting will begin at 9:00am.  In addition to the helicopter shot, we're going to get some regular ground shots that feature the crowd, and the plan is to wrap at this location at 10:30am.  11:00am at the latest.

I've been asked to request that you please don't bring cameras, please don't ask for autographs, and please keep your conversations on the set to a minimum.   We have a tight schedule, and everyone working needs to concentrate on their jobs in order to get the work done quickly.

We're still a ways off from filling this RSVP list.  Please sign up if you can, and sign your friends up too!


February 4, 2003

Following are the details for this weekend's "Blue Paint" music video shoot, and your chance to participate as extras.  Please read the following carefully.

The shoot will take place this Saturday morning, February 8, at 8:30am.  (Call time has been adjusted on the 5th so no wrong, confusing information is present on this page.)

The location is the Venice Pier, in Marina Del Rey, all the way at the end of Washington Blvd.  Please do not walk onto the pier until we're ready to shoot.  Just hang out with the other fans in the vacinity until you're called onto the set.  Your wardrobe should let us know who you are.

You must arrive wearing a red shirt (any shade of red is fine, but it must be solid red, not predominantly red with other colors in the design) and a blue jacket or over-shirt (again, any shade of blue, but it must be solid blue).  If you have any extra shirts or jackets, please bring them, just in case somebody else shows up without.  And if you have any solid blue or solid red hats, please bring those as well.  The idea is that everyone will be wearing their blue jackets (and blue hats), but then all at the same time, everyone will remove them and reveal a sea of red underneath, mirroring the lyrics of the song: "Blue paint is chipping from my heart, and pretty soon it's gonna be a luscious shade of red."  The cameraman will be in a helicopter flying overhead.  You might be asked to lean forward so that it looks like there are more people in the shot.

Please be aware that you will not be paid or fed for your work, and you will be asked to sign a release form giving permission for your likeness to be used.  Volunteers must be age 16 and over only.

You may want to bring an extra jacket for when we're not shooting.  It gets pretty cold in the morning.

Due to weight restrictions on the pier, we are limited to 125 extras only.  Please only RSVP if you are 100% certain you will attend.  It is vital that our head count be accurate.

To RSVP, please send an e-mail to matt@venicecentral.com, with the subject header of "Music Video RSVP."  Let me know how many people you're bringing (including yourself), and also tell me your name, and the names of everyone coming with you.

You might want to move quickly, because after we hit 125, the RSVP list will be closed.


February 3, 2003

Venice fan Annelies Hofmann has recorded three Venice covers, and you can listen to them
here.

I still don't have the info for this coming weekend's music video shoot, but I hope to have it posted tomorrow.

To those of you who have just made their way to this webpage after reading the Entertainment Weekly article, welcome.  You can find an audio clip of Venice's studio version of "Landslide" over here, a great video clip of the band performing the full song over here, and a bad quality camcorder shot of Stevie Nicks singing the song with Venice over here.  After you've checked those out, I hope you'll stick around and listen to some of the band's original music as well.  You'll be glad you did.

Interestingly, there is a second Venice reference in this issue of Entertainment Weekly, though the other one is a little hidden.  On page 35, their #16 favorite Simpsons episode is "Flaming Moes," and the write-up refers to, quote, "a 'Cheers' parody that includes a sobering theme song ('Liquor in a mug/Can warm you like a hug')."  As any Venice fan knows, this song was sung in the episode by Venice's Kipp Lennon.


January 31, 2003
I've just learned there's a bit of a surprise in this week's "Entertainment Weekly" magazine.  In an article rating all of the different recorded covers of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide," they talk about Venice's version from "Spin Art," and award them a respectable B-.  There's even a picture of the band!  Nice!!

Thanks to Jeff Eckert for the tip.


January 30, 2003

The third single from Venice's "Welcome To the Rest of Your Life" CD will be "Blue Paint."  The song has been remixed for this release, giving it better stereo separation and a couple of other finesses.  But the best news is that the band will be shooting a music video, and if you live in the Los Angeles area, you're invited to be in it.  Details are still being worked out, but it's looking like the shoot will take place in Venice Beach (probably on the pier) sometime over the next weekend, February 8 or 9.  Volunteers will be needed for a single shot, and you'll be required to bring your own wardrobe, consisting of a red shirt (any shade of red is fine, but it must be solid red, not predominantly red with other colors in the design) and a blue jacket or over shirt (again, any shade of blue, but it must be solid blue).  If you don't show up wearing these two articles of clothing, you will not be allowed into the shot.  Volunteers must be age 16 and over only.  You'll just be needed for a couple of hours.  And you will not be paid or fed.  Once the exact date and time are worked out, they'll be announced here on the News Page at Venicecentral.com, along with an e-mail address to RSVP to.  Please do not RSVP unless you're certain that you can be there with the correct wardrobe, because it's vitally important that we know how many people to expect.  Thanks!



January 23, 2003

As far as I've been able to confirm, the rumors appear to be true, and Venice will indeed play at Vredenburg in Utrecht on May 2nd, with tickets going on sale this Saturday morning.  Get 'em while they're hot!



January 13, 2003

Venice has been nominated for an Edison Award, the Dutch version of the Grammy's.  The category is Best International Artist, and their competition is U2 and Coldplay.  The winners will be announced during a nationally televised ceremony from the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam on March 6th.

In other news, if you happened to catch VH1's "100 Moments That Rocked Television" tonight, #84 was entitled "Michael Goes Mental," and it told the story about Michael Jackson guest starring on "The Simpsons" and the episode's song, "Happy Birthday, Lisa."  Harry Shearer stated, "We're reading the script, again the final read-through, there comes a point where this 300 pound mental patient starts to sing.  Michael sits back, and this wiry white guy sitting next to him starts singing.  And I said, 'What's the deal here?'  She said, 'I think we paid just enough for the talking Michael Jackson, but not enough for the singing.'"  Of course, he was talking about Venice's Kipp Lennon, who sang the song on that episode, even if neither Shearer nor this special's producers were aware of that particular detail.  I expect that the show will be repeated many times throughout the month, so try to catch it if you can.


January 5, 2003

A new Venice webpage has debuted.  It's in Dutch, and looks very nice.  Check it out
here!