The members of Led Zeppelin are getting serious about a plagiarism lawsuit over their Stairway To Heaven hit by hiring top entertainment lawyer Helene Freeman to represent them. Freeman, who litigated a series of victories for Justin Timberlake's former boy band 'N SYNC, has signed on to defend Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones in a copyright infringement claim filed by a lawyer representing late Spirit guitarist Randy California.
Francis Malofiy filed a complaint in May (14), arguing that the opening notes of Stairway To Heaven are too similar to notes from a song written by his late client's 1968 song Taurus - and that California deserves credit for at least inspiring the track.
Page dismissed the lawsuit as "ridiculous", but it appears he's taking it seriously - and now Freeman has until 22 September (14) to answer the late California's claims via his estate attorney.
Hollywood costume designer George L. Little has died, aged 63. He passed away at his home in Los Angeles on 29 August (14).
Little's big break in Hollywood came in 1979 when he served as a costumer for Francis Ford Coppola's classic war epic Apocalypse Now, and he went on to work with other acclaimed directors like Tony Scott (Crimson Tide), Sam Mendes (Jarhead), Barry Levinson (Bugsy), and Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty).
Little's credits also include Red Dawn, About Last Night..., The Pelican Brief, Striptease, Galaxy Quest, Transcendence, and the upcoming reboot of The Fantastic Four.
In 1988, Little was nominated for an Outstanding Costume Design Emmy for his work on TV movie Lincoln, starring Sam Waterston.
Veteran British rockers Status Quo have stripped down and posed naked for the cover of their upcoming acoustic album. Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt, both 65, decided to take their new record, Aquostic (Stripped Bare), literally by posing completely naked with only their guitars covering their private parts.
Singer-turned-photographer Bryan Adams willingly took the shot for his friends, and Rossi admits going nude didn't exactly come easy.
He tells the Daily Mirror, "I sometimes get nervous before going on stage, but walking out in front of Bryan Adams with just a guitar to protect my modesty took some doing; I expect he was scared too.
"It makes for a great album cover but I'm definitely keeping my clothes on for the rest of my Quo career."
The band reimagined 22 of their songs for the stripped down album, including Rockin' All Over The World, Down Down and Pictures of Matchstick Men.
The news of the new album, to be released in October (14), comes after the duo was forced to halt a European tour after Parfitt underwent surgery to fix a complication related to his quadruple heart bypass in 1997.
Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis has become a wanted man after skipping a court date relating to a recent altercation at his former office in Los Angeles. The adult filmmaker and reality TV star was taken into custody in May (14) after fighting with a security guard and a member of staff at the Girls Gone Wild headquarters, which he is banned from entering due to a restraining order against him.
He was due to attend a hearing in a California court on Thursday (28Aug14), but he was a no-show, prompting the judge to issue a warrant for his arrest.
Francis is facing a slew of misdemeanour charges, including battery, making criminal threats, trespassing and disobeying a court order, reports TMZ.com.
Bosses at Francis' company filed for bankruptcy last year (13) and the soft porn business was reportedly taken over by a new owner.
Veteran British rockers Status Quo are set to hit the stage for the first time without longtime member Rick Parfitt to resume their European tour as the singer/guitarist recovers from heart surgery. The group had to cancel six shows earlier this month (Aug14) when Parfitt was hospitalised in Pula, Croatia.
He returned to the U.K., where he subsequently underwent an operation to have a stent inserted to correct a problem with a graft that had become furred since it was inserted during his quadruple heart bypass in 1997.
Parfitt, 65, was due to rejoin the group and head back out on the road this week (ends15Aug14), however, he has been left with no choice but to sit out the next gig in Clumber Park in Worksop, England on Friday (15Aug14) after doctors ordered him to rest.
Freddie Edwards, son of bassist John 'Rhino' Edwards, will fill in for Parfitt for the one-off show - the first time he has missed a gig with the band since he joined in 1967.
Parfitt says, "Obviously I'm really disappointed to be missing this show but I'm pleased that Freddie will be able to step up and help the band out whilst I'm recuperating.
"I know all the Quo fans will make him welcome and I'll be back onstage soon."
Quo co-founder Francis Rossi adds, "It will certainly be strange performing without Rick, but Freddie performed with me when I did my solo tour so I know that he's got what it takes - and, of course, he's part of the Quo family."
Parfitt is expected to be fighting fit in time for the band's next scheduled concert at Holkham Hall in Norfolk, England on 23 August (14).
"I’m so bored by it that I don’t get involved. My main issue has been child abuse... (and) he’s not a guy that I would associate with either the abuse or the cover-ups, so I lost interest... While I don’t think he's (Pope Francis) an a**hole, I have to laugh at people’s attempts to say that he’s bringing reform to the church as long as female ordination and the sexual abuse of children are equated." Sinead O'Connor has no interest in the new Pope.
Actress Kristen Bell and her Veronica Mars castmates have reunited for a new web series spin-off of the hit cult TV show. Months after an historic fan-funded Veronica Mars movie hit cinemas in March (14), the cast of the teen detective drama have signed on to appear in a digital series called Play It Again, Dick.
The web series will feature show regular Ryan Hansen, who will play a version of himself, as he attempts to put together a spin-off for his character, Dick Casablancas.
Filming recently wrapped on the eight-episode series, and a number of familiar faces will appear in the spin-off, including Bell, who will return as the titular character and also play an exaggerated version of herself.
Also playing both themselves and their onscreen alter egos are Jason Dohring, Enrico Colantoni, Percy Daggs III and Francis Capra, who all starred in the Veronica Mars movie.
"It's a beautiful country and the people are extraordinary. They have such a wonderful literary tradition, one of warmth and humour. Also, Irish ice cream is among the best in the world, which no one knows." Moviemaker Francis Ford Coppola is a big fan of Ireland.
British rockers Pulled Apart By Horses have become the latest musician to brew up their own beer. The Epic Myth stars have teamed up with tastemakers at the West Yorkshire Revolutions Brewery in their native north-west England to create the pale ale they've called Blood, which features hints of blood oranges and tea.
Guitarist James Brown says, "The idea of people drinking our 'Blood' is so exciting for us! It's the kind of thing you talk about a lot but never usually happens, so because this has become a reality we really want to celebrate it!"
The beverage, named after their upcoming album, Blood, will be launched at the end of the month (Aug14).
They join the likes of Iron Maiden, Status Quo's Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi, Motorhead and Mastodon, who all boast their own brand of beer.
A Columbia, Maryland concert event co-founded by producer/DJ Diplo ended in tragedy on Friday (01Aug14), when a man died from a drug overdose and 20 others were hospitalised for substance abuse-related ailments. Police have launched an investigation into the passing of Tyler Fox Viscardi, 20, who was pronounced dead at a local hospital after attending the Maryland stop of the Mad Decent Block Party.
A slew of other gig-goers also had to be treated for drug overdoses, while cops issued 50 citations for underage drinking, and arrested three people for various violations.
Diplo, one of the performers at the annual touring bash, has since taken to Twitter.com to express his sorrow over the tragic death of Viscardi and the other incidents which marred the show.
He writes, "Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by yesterday's event. we are truly devastated."
Concert promoter Seth Hurwitz adds, "Our hearts go out to the family (of Viscardi) as they face the unimaginable. As a parent, it makes me horribly sad beyond words to think of a tragedy like this.
"We can spend every minute of the day making perfect sense to our children regarding the obvious perils of drugs, but sometimes it is impossible to convince them that this is relevant to their world."
Pop duo Sleigh Bells and electronic producer Dillion Francis were among the other performers at the Merriweather Post Pavilion on Friday.