ROCKING INTO THE HALL
Call it punk or new wave, music that dominated the 1980s is now starting to dominate the annual ballot for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. In the year following the induction of the Ramones and Talking Heads, the ballot now includes first-time nominees The Clash, The Police, the Patti Smith Group and Elvis Costello and the Attractions, as well as second-time nominees the Sex Pistols. Hard rock is represented too, with nominations for AC/DC and Black Sabbath, and Southern rock pioneers Lynyrd Skynyrd are on the ballot as well. The ballot also features pop favorites Abba, the disco band Chic, early electronica specialists Kraftwerk and a handful of classic rock acts -- including the Dells, MC5, the Righteous Brothers and Steve Winwood. The hall is expected to announce its 2003 inductees in December.
KELLY OSBOURNE OUT OF THE PICTURE
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kelly Osbourne ("The Osbournes") has dropped out of "Freaky Friday," which would have been her feature film debut. The daughter of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne had been set to co-star with Annette Bening and Lindsay Lohan ("The Parent Trap") in a remake of the story about a mother and daughter who magically trade identities for one day. Kelly Osbourne was to have played the daughter's best friend, who is also the lead singer in a band. Christina Vidal ("Welcome to the Dollhouse," "Life with Mikey") will reportedly take over the role. Citing sources, The Reporter said Kelly Osbourne dropped out for personal reasons. Sharon Osbourne has been undergoing treatment for colon cancer.
WHAT GOT INTO NICK NOLTE?
The New York Daily News carried a report Thursday suggesting that Oscar-nominated actor Nick Nolte was under the influence of drugs when a California Highway Patrol officer arrested him Wednesday on suspicion of DUI. The paper quoted Capt. Dan Bower as saying that "it probably wasn't alcohol." CHP spokesman Leland Tang said the officer who stopped the 61-year-old star of "Affliction" and "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" observed the actor's car weaving across lanes in Malibu. According to Tang, the officer said Nolte "seemed completely out of it ... he was drooling, droopy eyes." The paper reported that Nolte -- a recovering alcoholic and former drug abuser -- recently claimed he shot heroin to add realism to his upcoming movie "The Good Thief." Director Neil Jordan wouldn't confirm or deny the claim, but said it was "a stupid idea."
SQUEAKY WHEEL GETS GREASE
Gossip columnist Liz Smith reports that rocker Melissa Etheridge got something that Billy Joel, Eminem, Lenny Kravitz, Van Morrison and Sammy Hagar have -- just by speaking up on her own behalf. During a recent appearance at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, Etheridge yelled out to the crowd: "I've played the Hard Rock three times already. What does a girl have to do around here to get her own chip?" According to Smith, the crowd went wild and casino executives are getting a personal limited-edition chip ready with Etheridge's image on it. Supposedly, the celebrity chips are collectible and have sold for upwards of $2,000 on e-Bay.
JOHNNY U -- ENTERTAINER, FOLK LEGEND
Fans of the movie "Diner" may recall that one of writer-director Barry Levinson's character made his prospective bride pass a quiz on the Baltimore Colts before he would walk her down the aisle. Such is Levinson's love of the team that the late Johnny Unitas quarterbacked to three NFL championships. Writing in the Los Angeles Times Thursday, Levinson said that -- apart from athletic ability and leadership qualities -- what made Unitas great "in my mind and those of the people of Baltimore, was that he was a working-class hero. There was nothing flashy about him. He had the high-top shoes, the crew cut. His attitude wasn't 'I'm super cool.' He just went out and did the job." Levinson -- the Oscar-winning director of "Rain Man," "Wag the Dog" and "Good Morning, Vietnam" -- said "it wasn't about showmanship" for Unitas, just about getting the job done. "If you would apply it to film," said Levinson, "it would be Clint Eastwood, that kind of quiet stoicism." Unitas was an unheralded NFL reject when he arrived in Baltimore in 1956, but went on to a Hall of Fame career -- and became an indispensable part of any argument about who was the greatest quarterback ever. Within hours of Unitas' death on Wednesday, Baltimore football fans were already circulating a petition -- addressed to the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL and the Baltimore Stadium Authority -- calling for Baltimore Ravens' stadium to be renamed Johnny Unitas Memorial Stadium.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 414
Today's question is: "Do you recycle? If so, what items?" Put RECYCLE in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org via the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 409 (DISNEY)
Last week we asked about your favorite Disney movie. Not to my surprise more than 40 percent said that "Jungle Book" was No. 1 on their Disney list. From the random sampling we pulled, only one "modern-day" Disney film got a single vote ... "The Lion King." The old classic "Song of the South" (1946) got a surprising number of votes. Some asked if it's still available. Well, it's extremely hard to find, because by today's standards the movie can seem racist, particularly because of the stereotyping of the lead character, Uncle Remus, played by James Baskett. There are a lot of bootleg copies out there, so it's still possible to see it. The songs are great and it's wonderful to see the performance of Oscar-winning Hattie McDaniel as Aunt Tempy. "Bambi" also received some votes as did "Old Yeller." Nice to see a live-action film among the favorites. TOMORROW: Thoughts about cell phones.