Rocker James Kottak has been released from jail in Dubai after serving time behind bars for insulting Islam during an alleged airport meltdown last month (Apr14). The Scorpions drummer was sentenced to a month in prison in the United Arab Emirates after he was convicted on 29 April (14), but, according to a message posted on the band's official Facebook page on Wednesday (07May14), he has been released early.
The statement reads: "James Kottak boarded a plane out of Dubai and arrived in the US last night. He will have to find the time to sort out his problems."
Kottak's legal troubles began on 3 April (14), when he was arrested after reportedly verbally attacking passengers at Dubai airport, allegedly calling them "non-educated Muslims", raising his middle finger and flashing his backside while intoxicated.
According to The Gulf News, the drummer told prosecutors, "I don't remember saying these words and I did not flash my middle finger... There is no way that I would say such a phrase about Muslims, whether I was drunk or not... I confess to drinking alcohol but I refuse the other two charges, I did not do them."
Kottak also denied taking down his trousers, adding, "This is not true. I just lifted my shirt up to show the tattoo on my back."
In addition to his jail sentence, Kottak was fined 2,000 dirhams ($545) for drinking alcohol without a license.
Rocker James Kottak has been jailed in Dubai for insulting Islam. According to The National newspaper, the Scorpions drummer will spend a month behind bars in the United Arab Emirates after he was convicted on Tuesday morning (29Apr14).
Kottak was arrested after reportedly raising his middle finger, flashing his backside at passengers and being under the influence of alcohol while in transit at Dubai airport on 3 April (14).
He was en route from Russia to Bahrain for a Scorpions gig. He failed to make it to the 5 April concert.
According to The Gulf News, Kottak admitted to drinking but denied the other charges.
Police reports suggest the drummer verbally attacked passengers, calling them "non-educated Muslims", before dropping his trousers and flashing his middle finger at them.
In court, the rocker told prosecutors, "I don't remember saying these words and I did not flash my middle finger... There is no way that I would say such a phrase about Muslims, whether I was drunk or not... I confess to drinking alcohol but I refuse the other two charges, I did not do them."
He also denied taking down his trousers, adding, "This is not true. I just lifted my shirt up to show the tattoo on my back."
In addition to his jail sentence, Kottak was fined 2,000 dirhams ($545) for drinking alcohol without a licence.
He has been in custody since his arrest and this time will be deducted from his sentence.
Kottak has been a member of the Scorpions since 1996.
Motorhead, Anthrax and Metallica are among the heavy metal heavyweights paying tribute to late rock icon Ronnie James Dio on a new album. The three acts have joined the likes of Killswitch Engage, Scorpions and Tenacious D to rework Dio's classic tracks for the upcoming release, This is Your Life, which will help raise funds for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund.
Produced by Dio's longtime manager and wife Wendy, the album's highlights include Metallica's nine-minute Ronnie Rising Medley, which features snippets from the late rocker's Rainbow recordings, and a new version of Starstruck recorded by Motorhead and Saxon frontman Biff Byford.
The album will be released in April (14).
Dio lost his battle with stomach cancer in 2010.
Alfonso Ribeiro's wife Angela has jetted out to Australia ready to be by his side as fears grow for the actor following three meltdowns during his stint in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star has broken down in tears three times within a week as the pressure of life under 24-hour watch in a rainforest takes its toll.
He wept within hours of entering the camp when he was forced to confront deadly scorpions and leap from a helicopter, and two further emotional moments have left some viewers fearing for his state of mind.
Ribeiro, who became a father just weeks before entering the British survival show, was seen earlier this week (ends29Nov13) weeping and telling his fellow contestants, "I don't know how much more I can take. I don't want to quit but..."
Now it has emerged his wife Angela travelled to Australia on Sunday (24Nov13) with their one-month-old son Alfonso, Jr. - known as 'AJ' - so she is ready to welcome her husband the moment his stint in the jungle ends.
In a post on Twitter.com before setting out on the trip, she wrote, "Packing then heading to the airport. Very ready to see my hubby - hopefully sometime this wk (week). Hoping my lil' AJ does well on his 1st flight."
After arriving Down Under she added, "AJ & I are happy to be on the same continent as (Ribeiro) as we are hoping to see him soon!"
Ribeiro is among a group of stars - including Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington, former Westlife singer Kian Egan, and six-times world snooker champion Steve Davis - who are spending three weeks camped in an Australian rainforest. They have to take part in daily stomach-churning endurance tests to earn food for their campmates.
Actor Alfonso Ribeiro broke down in tears within hours of beginning his stint on jungle-based reality TV show I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! when he was forced to confront deadly scorpions and leap from a helicopter. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star has joined contestants on the British TV hit, in which celebrities face their biggest fears while spending three weeks camping in an Australian rainforest.
The 2013 series of the endurance contest launched on Sunday (17Nov13) and Ribeiro's nerves began to show within minutes.
He was seen trembling with fear and saying he was "really, really nervous" as he prepared for the contestants' traditional skydive into the jungle and admitted after landing safely that it had been "quite possibly the scariest thing I've ever done in my life," adding, "I didn't like that."
However, his first day in the camp went from bad to worse when he took part in a trial to win food for his teammates and had to solve a puzzle while 75 scorpions crawled over his head, face and body.
After winning the task, Ribeiro was seen wiping tears from his eyes and fighting to control his emotions as he said, "That was, er... tougher than I thought."
Former Westlife singer Kian Egan reportedly received treatment from medics for several cuts to his body he suffered while racing his rivals across an island at the start of the contest.
Other stars taking part in this year's (13) U.K. series include six-times world snooker champion Steve Davis and Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Rebecca Adlington.
Def Leppard rocker Joe Elliott has paid tribute to Grammy Award-winning studio engineer and producer Mike Shipley following his death. Shipley was best known for his work with 1980s hard rock and heavy metal bands like Aerosmith, Van Halen, Scorpions, Ratt, Winger, Whitesnake and Def Leppard, and made a name for himself by mixing and producing anthologies and greatest hits albums for the likes of The Cars, Starship and Cheap Trick.
No further details about his death were available as WENN went to press, but Def Leppard frontman Elliott was among the first to pay tribute, saying in a statement, "I'm devastated to hear of the passing of Mike Shipley. He was a fantastic engineer and a good guy. Nothing got past him if it wasn't up to scratch, hence Leppard's nick name for him, 'bat ears'. From the High & Dry album in 1981 to the last thing we did together, 1993's Two Steps Behind he was a joy to work with. RIP Shippers."
Winger frontman Kip Winger adds in a post on Facebook.com, "He was a dear friend. Mike was a kind, generous, funny, supremely talented and skilled person. He taught me how to really make a record... This is a tragic loss to the world to say the least. I'll miss you Mike."
Thomas Dolby, who worked with Shipley on his 1984 album The Flat Earth, took to Twitter.com on Friday (26Jul13) to write, "Very shocked and sad to hear that Mike Shipley, mix engineer on The Flat Earth and Steve McQueen was found dead yesterday."
Other stars to offer up tributes to Shipley include Lisa Loeb and Michelle Branch, who called him "a nice guy and great talent".
Shipley received a Grammy Award for his work on Alison Krauss & Union Station's 2011 album Paper Airplane.
Johnny Depp left The Lone Ranger co-star Armie Hammer feeling queasy after he agreed to put a large, live scorpion in his mouth. The Social Network star admits he was amazed with just how far his sidekick would go to perfect a scene, and he learned Depp is always willing to try something dangerous even when the cameras aren't rolling.
Hammer tells the new issue of Playboy magazine, "We had these scorpion handlers on set for this freak show kind of scene. Now, these scorpions were so massive that you'd barely be able to fit one into a cereal bowl (and) after the scene, we went to check out the dudes who handle them and one of the handlers just opened his mouth and one of the scorpions crawled out.
"I was like, 'OK, I'm good!' and I walked the hell away, but Johnny said, 'I want to try that!' and just shoved it into his mouth."
However, despite his taste for danger, Depp was a true pleasure to work with, according to Hammer: "He's a total character - a bohemian and an artist in the truest sense."
Revered Vanilla Fudge drummer Carmine Appice is offering rock fans the chance to join him onstage at his first Rockaholics Metal Fan Camp. Appice, who has also performed with Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck, will host the fan experience at the Full Moon Resort in the Catskill Forest Preserve, New York at the end of August (13).
He'll be joined by 'camp counsellors' like singer/guitarist Eric Bloom, Scorpions star James Kottak and Twisted Sister guitarist Eddie Ojeda.
A release about the weekend camp reads: "Rockaholics camp sessions will feature road warrior stories, musical performances by individual artists, Q&As, and more - ending with nightly jam sessions featuring the camp's celebrity counselors."
Carmine also plans to stage a Carmine Cookoff, inspired by his Cooking With Carmine YouTube.com segments.
Johnny Depp has had an extinct sea creature named in his honour. British scientist David Legg, from Imperial College London, recently discovered the 505 million-year-old fossil, a distant ancestor of lobsters and scorpions which had scissor-like claws, and decided to call it Kooteninchela deppi after drawing inspiration from the actor's classic movie Edward Scissorhands.
He explains, "When I first saw the pair of isolated claws in the fossil records of this species, I could not help but think of Edward Scissorhands. Even the genus name, Kootenichela, includes the reference to this film, as 'chela' is Latin for claws or scissors.
"In truth, I am also a bit of a Depp fan and so what better way to honour the man than to immortalise him as an ancient creature that once roamed the sea?"
As would befit a show about traveling the world, The Amazing Race has taken us (and of course its contestants) to a number of very cool places in its 22 seasons. Relatively unexplored regions of Southeast Asia. The Australian Outback. But I have to say that last night's expedition to the Kalahari Desert bordering Botswana, has to rank with the coolest legs the show has ever produced. For one thing: BUSHMEN. For another: BUSHMEN LULLING SCORPIONS TO SLEEP WITH THEIR MOUTHS. I already know, with six days to go, that the sight of that will be the most rewarding thing I see on TV this week.
Before teams could start debating whether it was spelled "desert" or "dessert," though, they had to get the hell out of Vietnam. Where fifty years ago this would have been achieved via airlift, everyone instead made their way to a travel agent who secured their 6000 mile flight to Maun, Botswana. Sensing a boring segment here, producers had added a wrinkle to the clue — teams needed to identify where, exactly, the city of Maun was located before they could enter the travel agency. But smartphones or, in this case, Internet cafes have rendered obstacles like this meaningless. In the end it was just an excuse to play Country Bumpkin Music Cue #3 while Chuck & Wynona took turns guessing at Maun's country. "Kenya? Turkey? The Czech Republic?" Family Guywould have kept them reciting country names for another five minutes, but thankfully the twosome soon settled on Botswana. And with that? All teams were off on the same flight.
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A few puddle jumpers waited in Maun to carry everyone, and their Lion King jokes, to an airfield in the Kalahari. The small plane size meant just two teams could fit on each (three on the third), which offered a brief but welcome look at who thinks what of who at this point in the game. Bates & Anthony? All over Caroline & Jennifer, or in Bates' words "12s out of 10." Not even Spinal Tap offers that high a rating! The country singers, in turn, admitted to crushes on their hockey playing travel companions. Newlyweds Max & Katie were not feeling the same way about flight-mates Meghan and Joey, who they'd hoped would be "literally anyone else." But that's every odd-couple pairing. Eventually they have to love each other, Joey's maniacal need for attention and Katie's weirdo desire to keep her intelligence a secret just a hurdle to overcome.
Then the Bushmen showed up and turned what was hovering at a solid "B" into "A++ would recommend your services to anyone." It all started nonchalantly enough. Teams had thrown their stuff into seven waiting FORD ESCAPEs, barreling into the desert. But what should appear, like a loin-clothed mirage? Bushmen, of all shapes and sizes, lined up for what we could only hope was more than just window dressing. They stood patiently while teams read their clues. And those clues said we were getting a BUSHMEN TEAM TAGALONG. You know when you've wanted something all your life without being able to articulate or even identify what that something was? For me it's Bushmen piled into the back of a product-placed Ford. But we'll get to that.
First, one representative from each team traipsed off into the desert with a team of Bushmen to dig for and capture a scorpion. Which, minus the inherent freakiness in handling that particular insect, isn't much of a challenge. But that's missing the sand-filled forest for the acacia trees — NONE of this episode was about "challenge" or "competition." No, the Kalahari leg was about cultural exchange. For instance: the Bushmen see a lion stalking just outside their camp perimeter. What do they do? Jump into a tree with the skill of an indigenous Mario brother, while a totally confused Caroline tries to understand what's going on below. Or take the traditional method for calming an agitated, strike-ready scorpion: cradling the thing just inside your mouth while you run it back and forth like a harmonica. By what process of trial and error the Bushmen arrived at this particular trick is question for another day.
Once teams had successfully trapped their scorpion, they were off to the Detour. But not without their trio of Bush Bros, who hopped in the backseat like they were being carpooled to peewee soccer. "Yes, we're probably undoing almost 20,000 years of delicate environmental conditioning," van Munster thought to himself, "but it's seriously going to be funny as hell." Anyway, they offered much-needed support for the two Detour routes: "Fire" in which teams — you guessed it! — started a fire; and "Fowl," where teams had to construct a trap meant for the local guinea fowl. Of which we didn't see any, come to think. Maybe that lion (king) ate them all?
Standard fare for a non-dramatic leg. Bates & Anthony, Jennifer & Caroline, Joey & Meghan, and even Chuck & Wynona fairly well mowed down their chosen Detour. Only Max (did we learn before he was a cigar salesman? There is such a thing as too perfect a job) & Katie really struggled to make fire. Maybe they'd never seen an episode of Race's more raw sister show, Survivor? Eventually they gave up and hopped over to "Fowl," where Mona & Beth were similarly behind. One team seemed to surge. Then another. Editing would suggest they finished at roughly the same time, and that Mona & Beth momentarily doomed themselves when they went back to their car (instead of running to the finish line) but this was a false cut — they were always ahead.
Tired, too smart, lacking cigars, Max & Katie made their way to the Pit Stop (here the Meno a Kwena Safari) in seventh place. But wait. Could that be a glint in the all-seeing eye of Phil Keoghan? YES! For the second episode in a row the last place team was not eliminated, but left to race another day. "Honeymoon in Africa!" crowed an elated Max. "That tent's gonna be rockin'." Dude, we were doing so well there for a second and you just killed it forever.
[Photo Credit: CBS]
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