FORMER DOORS MEMBER SUES OTHERS IN GROUP
One of the surviving member of the Doors is suing the other members for use of the band's name. John Densmore, former drummer and a charter member, says there was an agreement with the estate of Jim Morrison that use of the name "Doors" could only take place in conjunction with performances by original members. That effectively means, according to the suit, when replacements are added to augment original members, the new group is not the Doors. Meanwhile, the band's original keyboard player Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robert Kreiger have been touring, adding former Cult member Ian Astbury, to take the old Morrison role, and Stewart Copeland, formerly with the Police. The group, according to published reports, is scheduled to play a Los Angeles venue this weekend. Manzarek and Kreiger have told international media they think Densmore's suit is frivolous. After all, they say, they have been performing under the name "the Doors, 21st Century."
ADDITIONAL HONORS FOR WILLIE'S 70TH
One-of-a-kind entertainer Willie Nelson is about to celebrate his 70th birthday and a slew of recording artists is putting out tribute albums. Additionally, Columbia is about to release another kind of tribute to the venerable troubadour. It will consist of older Nelson albums, re-released until a total of 10 are on store shelves. Among the old big-selling standards to be re-pressed are: "Willie Nelson & Family Live," "Pancho and Lefty," "San Antonio Rose" and "Always on My Mind." CMT says other re-releases are slated for later in the year, including: "To Lefty From Willie," "Honeysuckle Rose," "Tougher Than Leather" and "Greatest Hits & Some That Will Be." As we reported some time ago, the folks at Sugar Hill Records will release next week a set called "Crazy: The Demo Sessions." These mostly are never-before released demonstration tracks Nelson taped to send to singers in an effort to sell his compositions. The most famous among them was, "Crazy," which he wrote for Patsy Cline. One of the tracks that will appear on the CD was only recently discovered.
BON JOVI AIMS TO PLEASE THE FANS
The rock group Bon Jovi is set for a new national tour and also has projects in line it says are very "fan-friendly." According to published reports, the group begins its latest circuit at State College, Pa., this weekend. The members also are actively involved in what they are calling a series of innovate projects that will "interface" with the fans. These, though, many not be officially announced for another year. The group's latest recording project involved the taping of more than three and a half hours of music, all done in an intimate setting without electrical instruments -- all acoustic. That concert was shot with 10 cameras and will be distilled into a DVD that might be ready for the next holiday season. Billboard.com says the band is torn between putting out a compilation to celebrate its 20th anniversary or doing something special when it eventually -- and it could be soon -- reaches the "100 million albums sold" milestone.
TWO U.S. BOYS INVITED TO JOIN VIENNA CHOIR
A pair of young Cincinnati boys has been invited to join the prestigious Vienna Boys Choir. Donald Smith, 13, and Ryan Slone, 11, are members of the Cincinnati Boychoir. They recently traveled to Austria to enroll in the Vienna Boys Choir school there. The institution, founded more than 500 years ago, is the longest-standing musical organization of its kind in the world. In recent years the choir has made frequent trips to the States to perform at a variety of venues and has increased its contacts with American boys choirs. The two singers are members of the same school and live in the Cincinnati suburb of West Chester. Before leaving, Smith told the Cincinnati Enquirer when he was told about his assignment he was "ready to bounce off the walls." Meanwhile, Slone says he's collecting everyone's e-mail address so he can keep in touch while in Austria. The Vienna choir was first founded six years after Columbus discovered America.
WHOOPI RETURNS TO BROADWAY
Funnywoman Whoopi Goldberg is opening on Broadway in a revival of August Wilson's great play "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." She is joined by the incredible actor Charles Dutton. Despite some controversy swirling around the production and Goldberg's penchant for the irreverent, gossip columnist Liz Smith say the comedienne-actress was calm and restrained during a recent luncheon interview at a Manhattan eatery. Goldberg discounted reports Dutton was a hellion during rehearsals. She told Smith the actor "never walked off, never screamed, never behaved in an inappropriate manner." She says what few disagreements the pair had were branded "temper tantrums" by the time they were reported in the news. Some weeks ago Dutton was quoted as saying he does not think the revival can hold a candle to the original Broadway production. Goldberg agrees, but not with the same force: "Well, he's right," she quipped. "It'll never be the wonderful thing that it was ... it'll be something else." What that something else is, she hopes, is something wonderful. According to Whoopi, Dutton is now more mature and "richer" in his acting style and should do a better job than he did 18 years ago in the original production.
LEANN RIMES ESCAPES INJURY IN CAR CRASH
Los Angeles police report a car carrying LeAnn Rimes was struck by a drunk driver his week but Rimes was not badly hurt. The incident happened at the intersection of Hollywood and Gower, just a block or so from Hollywood and Vine. Rimes, according to country.com, had just finished participating in the filming of an episode of the series "American Dreams" when the car in which she and her husband were riding was struck by another vehicle. The second car reportedly ran a red light. Both Rimes and her husband were taken to a nearby hospital. They were treated for minor injuries and released. The driver of the other car was arrested for driving under the influence.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 519
Here is today's question: "If you could spend a year in any foreign country, what country would you choose and why?" Put YEAR in the subject line and send to email@example.com via the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 514 (COIN)
Last week we asked about your love or hate for the new dollar coins. From a random dip into the e-mail inbox, here is what you said:
-- 65 percent of respondent did not like the coins.
-- 35 percent said they wish the Mint would print more.
Some noted when Canada brought out its first $1 coin it stopped printing paper money and that is what this country should do. Our special thanks to several coin collectors who wrote expansive letters explaining the flap to us in more detail. More on that later. TOMORROW: More of your thoughts. GBA