Former Brian Jonestown Massacre guitarist Jeffrey Davies has been dealt a blow in his battle over the band's song copyrights after his case was dismissed by a California judge. The rocker, who joined the group in the 1990s, has been locked in a legal dispute with frontman Anton Newcombe over the ownership of a number of tracks released prior to his departure in 2002.
Newcombe filed papers seeking an injunction against Davies last year (13), acknowledging that the guitarist was the co-writer of just three tunes, including Monster and Straight Up and Down, but the disgruntled ex-member challenged the allegation, insisting he also helped to pen three others and was the sole lyricist for two additional tracks.
In Davies' counterclaim, he accused Newcombe and his attorney Barry Simons of conspiring to defraud him out of royalties to Brian Jonestown Massacre songs, including his share of royalties for Straight Up and Down, which is used as the theme tune to the opening credits of hit period crime drama Boardwalk Empire.
However, U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins ruled in Newcombe's favour last week (ends22Aug14) and threw out Davies' charges of misappropriation, conversion and accounting, while also declaring that he had failed to provide enough evidence to support his accusations of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy.
But Davies' fight isn't over yet - the judge is allowing the rocker 14 days to file an amended suit.
Keanu Reeves is set to make his TV producing debut with an adaptation of book compilation Rain. The Matrix actor will also star in the hour-long series, which will be based on Barry Eisler's bestselling book, according to Deadline.com.
Rain will centre on a half-Japanese, half-American assassin, who has the ability to make his targets' deaths look like they were caused by natural causes.
Keanu says, "As a huge fan of Barry's work, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to bring his iconic character and incredible world to life."
Veteran entertainers Barbra Streisand and Barry Manilow are bringing the likes of Elvis Presley and Whitney Houston back from the dead to feature on their respective duets albums. The Funny Girl icon has been working on Partners for the past two years and on Monday (11Aug14), she unveiled the cover art for the project, revealing a collaboration with the King.
Details about the duet have yet to be released, but he won't be the only big name featured on Partners - Streisand has also headed into the studio with Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Lionel Richie, Babyface and Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, as well as her younger contemporaries Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Blake Shelton, John Mayer and John Legend.
Her singer son Jason Gould, whose father is actor Elliott Gould, will also make an appearance on the September (14) album after previously joining his famous mum onstage during her U.S. and European tours in 2012 and 2013.
Meanwhile, Manilow has also headed down the collaboration route for his next release, which will be fully comprised of duets with late legends.
In a message on his Facebook.com page, the singer reveals he wasn't completely sold on the idea of another all-star duets album, so he decided to draw inspiration from beyond the grave.
He writes, "I came up with a weird idea: What if I could make duets out of my favorite songs by artists that are no longer with us? What if I could I actually sing with John Denver, Whitney Houston or Judy Garland?
"Well, after months of creating brand new duet arrangements of famous songs done by these legendary artists, I did. I actually sang with them. And we're just about done with the album...
"The album is a miracle. It's been a huge undertaking, musically and technically.
"It was an honor singing with Whitney (I ran for the Kleenex when I heard her voice!), Dusty Springfield, Louis Armstrong and more. I hope you'll like this one. I'm very proud of it. The release date is sometime in late October."
Singer Sinead O'Connor is glad she has never met her comedy crush Dave Chappelle, because she fears any liaison would have landed her behind bars. In a revealing new Billboard interview, the Irish star, who insists she's single despite the fact she is still married to her fourth husband - of 16 days - Barry Herridge, confesses funnyman Chappelle has toppled Iron Man Robert Downey, Jr. as her top guy.
She tells the publication, "(My infatuation with Downey, Jr.) is all about lust. He's gorgeous, and I think I could love him. But Dave Chappelle, I actually love.
"I'd have to abandon Robert if it came down to him and Dave. I watch Chappelle on the telly (TV), and I'm just like a Justin Bieber fan. He is a genius with balls the size of Alaska. I can identify with that. My own balls are quite large.
"As we say in Ireland, he's a ride. It means that if he were a bike, I'd be riding him around the country because he's so gorgeous."
O'Connor has never met her crush, which she insists is a good thing, adding, "I would be in jail now for sexual assault."
The new owners of Johnny Cash's former Tennessee home are planning to turn the old place into a rehab centre. The sprawling Hendersonville pad the late country icon and his wife June Carter Cash called home for over three decades is to be turned into a retreat for women suffering from eating disorders, according to the Tennesseean newspaper.
The Old Hickory Lake estate was purchased in March (14) from a company owned by musician Barry Gibb and his wife, Linda, and now sources tell the publication the new owners, Lakehouse Holdings, LLC, have launched a bid to revamp the place as a medical centre and recovery home.
The future of Cash's former home will be discussed at a public Hendersonville Regional Planning Commission hearing in early September (14).
Gibb and his wife bought the seven-bedroom property in 2005. It was gutted by a fire in 2007.
Singer B. Simone is reportedly set to play late R&B star Aaliyah in a big screen biopic. Nickelodeon regular Alexandra Shipp has been tapped to replace Zendaya Coleman in an upcoming TV movie based on the singer's short life, but Aaliyah's uncle and former manager, Barry Hankerson, is working with author Zane on a second film, which may also feature actors Terrence Howard and Wood Harris, according to S2S magazine.
A source says, "We're in a position where we can do the feature film and we can do the music. I think if we do our due-diligence, people will watch the TV movie and still say, 'I need to see the feature film'."
Coleman pulled out of the TV project in June (14) after she was bombarded with negative comments surrounding her casting.
Aaliyah was just 22 when she died in a plane crash in 2001.
Die Hard actor James Shigeta has died at the age of 81. The Asian-American actor passed away on Monday (28Jul14), but the cause of his death has yet to be revealed.
The Honolulu-born star studied acting at New York University before joining the United States Marines and serving during the Korean War.
His career initially started in Japan as a recording artist, but had his big break in 1959 noir film The Crimson Kimono. The following year, he won the 1960 Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer along with George Hamilton, Troy Donahue and Barry Coe.
He went on to become the top Asian-American actor in the 1960s, starring in such films as Walk Like a Dragon, Cry for Happy, Bridge to the Sun, and Paradise, Hawaiian Style with Elvis Presley.
Another one of Shigeta's memorable roles came in 1961, in the feature adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway hit musical Flower Drum Song.
Later in his career, he went on to appear in hit movies such as Lost Horizon, Midway, Cage, Disney's Mulan, and Die Hard, in which he played ill-fated executive Joseph Takagi.
Shigeta also had roles on the small screen, including drama Medical Center, Little House on the Prairie, Fantasy Island, T.J. Hooker, The Love Boat, Magnum, P.I., Simon & Simon and Murder, She Wrote.
Open Road Films via Everett Collection
Actress Rooney Mara has replaced Jessica Chastain in an upcoming film adaptation of award-winning book The Secret Scripture.
The Zero Dark Thirty star had been attached to star as a younger version of Vanessa Redgrave's lead character Roseanne in the project earlier this year (14), but she has since bowed out and now Mara will take over the role.
The film is based on Irish author Sebastian Barry's 2008 book of the same name, about a 100-year-old woman in a mental hospital who recounts her traumatic childhood in a secret memoir.
My Left Foot's Jim Sheridan will direct the movie, which will also star Jeremy Irons and Jack Reynor.
Production is due to begin in Ireland in September (14), according to Deadline.com.
Prison Break star Wentworth Miller is set to play the villain on the TV adaptation of comic book series The Flash after signing up to portray Leonard Snart. In the popular DC Comics, Snart's alter-ego, Captain Cold, is the leader of the Rogues, and a dastardly enemy of The Flash.
Grant Gustin will portray Barry Allen, who becomes the speedy superhero, on the show, which will debut in America later this year (14).
Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, Jesse L. Martin, Candice Patton, Robbie Amell and Tom Cavanagh have also joined the cast.