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Rock News Two: The week in pop

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International   |   June 29, 2002 at 3:00 AM
WHO BASSIST JOHN ENTWISTLE DIES

John Entwistle, bassist for the rock group The Who, died on Thursday in Las Vegas. He was 57. Entwistle's death came on the eve of the kickoff of a U.S. tour by The Who, with the first date scheduled for Friday night at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas.

Entwistle wrote quirky songs for The Who, including "My Wife," "Boris the Spider," "Heaven and Hell" and "Fiddle About." Entwistle released several solo albums and was also an acclaimed illustrator who did the cover art for "The Who By Numbers."


EMINEM HOLDS ON TO BILLBOARD TOP SPOT

Eminem maintained a stranglehold on the No. 1 position in Billboard's Top 200, holding off new entry Papa Roach and Korn.

"The Eminem Show" was rated the top selling album of the week for the fifth week in a row. Papa Roach debuted at No. 2 with "Lovehatetragedy," knocking Korn's "Untouchables" down to the three spot.

Wycvlef Jean debuted at No. 6 with "Masquerade" and Our Lady Peace debuted in ninth place with "Gravity." "The Osbourne Family Album" plunged from 13 to 35 in the listings in its second week on the chart.


BRITNEY TAKES BITE OF THE APPLE

Britney Spears invited New Yorkers into her new restaurant, NYLA, at an official opening night party.

The bistro at the Dylan Hotel on Manhattan's tony east side aims to capitalize on the teen pop queen's celebrity, but relies on the culinary reputation of Spears' home state, Louisiana.

Chef Michael Perselay is featuring southern staples like fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, crabcakes and duck and wild mushroom etouffee.

The restaurant's title draws attention to the connection between New York and Louisiana and is co-owned by Morris Moinian, who is not concerned about Spears' appeal to potential patrons of legal drinking age.

"It's a lounge, an alcohol environment, and our target is young executives from 25 to 40 years old," Moinian told the New York Times.


JOEL DID IT FOR ALEXA

Billy Joel told People magazine his 10-day rehab stint at a Connecticut hospital was a Father's Day gift to his 16-year-old daughter Alexa.

"I told my daughter that I recognized having a problem," said Joel. "And my gift to her for Father's Day was going to be cleaning up my act."

Joel said he was depressed because medical problems forced him to cancel a tour with Elton John in March.

"I've been touring for 30 years and only had to cancel a handful of shows in my life, so I took this really hard," Joel said. "I then began what I ultimately realized was a prolonged period of overindulgence."


R. KELLY PLEADS INNOCENT

R. Kelly still believes he can fly -- away from charges he videotaped himself having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Kelly pleaded innocent to 21 child pornography charges in Cook County Court in Chicago.

"I can't talk right now," Kelly, 35, said after the court appearance, but lawyer Sam Adam maintained his client's innocence.

"I haven't seen the tape," Adam said, "but I know the FBI has been wrong 100 times in the last year." Kelly currently is free on bail pending his next court date on Aug. 7.


RAPPER KHUJO LOSES LEG

Goodie Mob rapper Khujo lost his leg as a result of injuries suffered in a car accident in Atlanta. Khujo lost his right leg below the kneecap from an accident after he left a recording session.


PRINCE HOSTS XENOPHOBIA

Prince hosted the third annual week-long opening of his Paisley Park home studios to fans in Minneapolis for Xenophobia, an event which included live performances, moderated discussions, musical workshops, and exclusive listening sessions for new music.

Blues guitarist Bernard Allison, who will release his second album for Tone-Cool Records, "Storms Of Life," on Aug. 13, was one of the featured performers. The album was produced by yet another renowned Minneapolis music powerhouse, David Z.

During Xenophobia, Prince and his New Power Generation band performed each night of the week. Other special guests included Norah Jones, Musiq, Maceo Parker, Victor Wooten, Rachelle Ferrell and Sheila E.

According to Allison, who like Prince is a Twin Cities resident, "I've seen Prince many times in concert. A lot of people don't realize that along with the blues I was exposed to at home with my dad, I listened to a lot of music by Prince. He actually came out to see me play with Koko Taylor back in 1983, and I considered that the highest honor. He's an amazing musician."


MIKE TYSON'S NEXT OPPONENT?

It may be difficult to imagine Boy George in a fistfight but apparently he engaged in one at a London nightclub. The former Culture Club clothes horse has a hit play on London's West End, "Taboo," but not enough juice to demand entry to the members-only section of the exclusive Soho club Suite Sweet. When he was turned away, George punched the club's manager, Andy Thompson, reportedly breaking his nose. Somebody call Don King.


STARS CUT FEES TO APPEAR IN BOB DYLAN FILM

Penelope Cruz, Jessica Lange, Jeff Bridges, Christian Slater, John Goodman and Mickey Rourke will work for the minimum rate to appear in Bob Dylan's British Broadcasting Corp.-funded film, "Masked and Anonymous," according to the Daily Telegraph.

Set in a post-apocalyptic landscape where law and order has broken down, the film stars Dylan as an aging rock star released from prison for a day to play one last concert in the hope of saving the world. The soundtrack will feature at least 30 minutes of Dylan's music.

Cruz will play a prostitute in the film, and Bridges a journalist. Jessica Lange will be a concert promoter and Goodman the singer's agent. Larry Charles, who co-produced the hugely successful TV show "Seinfeld," will direct.


SPRINGSTEEN SINGLE RELEASED TO RADIO

"The Rising," the title track from Bruce Springsteen's new album scheduled for a July 30 release, was released to radio after a two-day preview on AOL Music.

Three other songs are scheduled for similar two-day AOL previews. "Lonesome Day" will be available July 8, "Into the Fire" July 15 and "Mary's Place" on July 22.

Springsteen debuted another song on the album, "My City of Ruins," at the Tribute to the Heroes telethon last September.

Springsteen and the reunited E Street Band will tour in support of the album beginning in early August.


THE JOEY RAMONE WAY

Fans of punk pioneer Joey Ramone are petitioning New York to have the section of the Bowery in front of the punk club CBGBs re-named "Joey Ramone Way." Ramone died of lymphoma last year one month short of his 50th birthday.

The lobbyists include rocker "Handsome" Dick Manitoba, former Ramones manager Danny Fields, downtown club owner Trigger, Joey's mother Charlotte Lesher, brother Mickey Leigh, Marky Ramone, Amy W, Punk magazine founder John Holmstrom and "X Files" actor Dean Haglund.

"Every time I hear the crowd shout 'Hey Ho Let's Go' at Yankee Stadium, I think of my friend Joey who is no longer here," Manitoba said. "Someone who gave the world so much great music should have one great party thrown in his honor every year."

The second annual Joey Ramone birthday bash brought in more than $5,000, with net proceeds being donated to the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

The Charm School, The Star Spangles, Coyote Shivers, The Bullys -- with Mickey Leigh sitting in on bass for guitarist and New York firefighter Johnny Heffernan who died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 -- members of The Independents and The Queers, Furious George and HotSocky all played at the bash.

Donations may be sent to: In Memory of Joey Ramone, Lymphoma Research Foundation, 111 Broadway, 19th floor, New York, N.Y., 10006; or see lymphoma.org.

© 2002 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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