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Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   Dec. 11, 2001 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

CREED

Hoping to see Creed during its upcoming tour? Better get your tickets fast. Seats for concerts in 13 markets went on sale last weekend, and shows in six cities -- Houston, Dallas, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Grand Rapids, Mich., and Boston -- sold out in less than an hour. Tickets for concerts in Detroit and Birmingham, Ala., were all snapped up within hours.

The other markets -- which include Atlanta, New Orleans, Toronto, Milwaukee and Bossier City, La. -- are expected to sell-out within a week.

"The band's draw at the box office is staggering," said Creed's booking agent Ken Fermaglich. "To place over 150,000 tickets on sale without confirming any support attraction and have them basically disappear is a bright spot in an otherwise tough environment."


PAUL MCCARTNEY

Paul McCartney has joined the line-up for Tuesday's concert honoring U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

The star-studded event in Oslo, Norway, marks the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize, which this year has been jointly awarded to the U.N. and Annan. Britain's Press Association News reports McCartney will share the bill with such acts as Destiny's Child, Wyclef Jean, Natalie Imbruglia and Anastacia.

The concert is being hosted by actors Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson and will be opened by Norway's Crown Prince Haakon.

McCartney, who will play songs from his new album "Driving Rain," said it's a "privilege" to perform for Annan.


BIG COUNTRY

Former Big Country lead singer Stuart Adamson has not been seen in several weeks -- prompting his manager and ex-wife to issue appeals for him to contact them.

The 43-year-old Adamson -- who was born in Manchester, England, but now lives in Nashville -- has battled alcoholism in the past. He disappeared a couple of years ago, forcing his band to cancel a number of shows opening for Bryan Adams.

Adamson's manager, Ian Grant, says he's hired a detective to look for Adams. He says two American fans have also volunteered to look for him.

Adamson was last seen Nov. 15. A week earlier, he'd left a note for his son saying he'd be

"back by noon Sunday."

(Thanks to UPI's Mike Cooper in Atlanta)


SYSTEM OF A DOWN

When they're not being stereotyped as an "Armenian band," the members of System of a Down are often dubbed "political," or "the new Rage Against the Machine" -- when in reality they've released as many sad, abstract and funny songs as they have overtly political pieces. "A lot of people misinterpret our lyrics," guitarist Daron Malakian tells LA Weekly. "There are people who know 'Toxicity' came out a week before Sept. 11, yet they insist we're singing about the attacks. They're thinking our lyrics are prophecies -- they're taking us too damn seriously!"


TUPAC SHAKUR FILM

MTV Films is making a documentary on the life of the late rapper Tupac Shakur.

"It is only fitting that the Tupac story will mark our first foray into feature film documentaries," said Van Toffler, President, MTV: Music Television, MTV 2 and MTV Productions. "Tupac was an undeniable force in music, Hip-Hop culture and with our audience. He continues to sell millions of records and remains one of the most popular artists on MTV."

The film will be executive produced by Shakur's mother, Afeni Shakur, and directed/produced by filmmaker Lauren Lazin.

A title soundtrack from Amaru/Interscope Records will be released in conjunction with the film and the first official biography of the rapper's life will be released (date forthcoming) from Pocketbooks/MTV Books.

Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in Sept. 1996. His murder remains unsolved.

(Web site: mtv.com)


WILLIE'S SONG GETS BOTTLED

For years Willie Nelson has opened his concerts with a rousing rendition of "Whiskey River." Now a Kentucky distiller says it's coming out with a bottled version of the song, Old Whiskey River bourbon.

The company, Heaven Hill Distilleries of Bardstown, says it will also have a major hand in funding future Nelson tours. A big merchandising blitz is planned to kick off the brand. Marketing, according to the news provider country.com, includes bandannas, T-shirts, hats and Nelson-style braids.

Several months ago, in a pre-kick off event, Nelson accepted the first bottle off the labeling line. He also met with farmers in the area who grow the grains used in the bourbon.

By the way, Nelson's next touring event is Jan. 22, when he will begin a three-night gig at New York's Irving Plaza venue. His latest album, "The Great Divide," is due out in February.

(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)

© 2001 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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