A California Superior Court judge ruled on Monday that neither heavy metal band Slayer nor the music industry can be held liable in the 1995 murder of a 15-year-old girl by three teenage boys, Billboard magazine reports. The ruling stated that there was insufficient proof that the band's music influenced teenagers Jacob Delashmutt, Joseph Fiorella, and Royce Casey to rape and murder Elyse Pahler on July 22. In their defense, the boys claimed that Slayer's lyrics had instructed them to stalk and kill Pahler as "a virgin sacrifice to Satan."
Tyler falls ill, but plans to extend tour
After embarking on their Just Push Play tour in June and playing at Washington D.C.'s United We Stand--What More Can I Give benefit concert on Oct. 21, Aerosmith has been touring pretty much nonstop. Excessive touring is what may have caused front man Steven Tyler to suffer from a temporary breakdown last weekend that forced the band to scrap two shows from their tour. According to SonicNet.com, shows in Pittsburgh at the Mellon Arena on Saturday and one at the Air Canada Centre on Monday were canceled. No word yet as to when the shows will be rescheduled in the future. Although their Just Push Play tour doesn't end until Dec. 17, the band's publicist told SonicNet.com that the band is hoping to extend the tour through the end of January.
Billy Corgan returns with "Zwan"
After playing a tearful final show at Chicago's Metro theatre last Dec. 2, the former vocalist for the Chicago-based rock group, Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan, will return to the music business with a new band, Zwan. According to Reuters, Zwan will reunite Corgan with former Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, former Chavez' singer/guitarist Mathew Sweeney and a bass player who goes by the name of "Skullfisher." Corgan seems to be staging a low profile return; Zwan will play small venues in Los Angeles and San Diego later this month, the concert hotwire site, Pollstar, reports.
Courtney Love: Unplugged in the restroom
Courtney Love must really want to get back into the music business. The rocker was forced to finish her set early at her Oct. 26 opening gig for Jane's Addiction because of a strict Hollywood Bowl house curfew established under local noise ordinances, Tas Steiner, Love's publicist, told Reuters on Monday. The gig was arranged to give the unnamed label executive a chance to hear Love, who was backed by a new band, play songs the audience never got to see her perform. "Courtney was disappointed," Steiner said. "She only got to do two of the four new songs that she was planning on singing. She ended up taking an acoustic guitar with her band into a restroom offstage and singing a few songs for a major label president." Love has added those four songs to a demo tape that she's been shopping to record labels while she presses on with her lawsuit against Universal Music Group to end her current recording contract.
Stone Temple Pilots record single for charity
The Stone Temple Pilots have recorded a studio version of the Beatles' "Revolution" and will donate proceeds from the single's Nov. 27 release to the Twin Towers Fund, which provides relief to families affected by the Sept. 11 attacks, the band's official Web site reports. The group first performed the track at TNT's John Lennon Tribute on Oct. 2.
Red Hot Chili Peppers, AC/DC, NIN to release live DVDs
The Red Hot Chili Peppers will release a 70-minute concert DVD/ VHS titled Off the Map on Dec. 4. According to a Warner Brothers press release, the show will feature 18 songs captured in Portland, Ore., in September 2000, featuring the hit singles "Californication," "Under the Bridge" and "Give It Away."
Also on Oct.4, AC/DC will release their Stiff Upper Lip Live (VHS/DVD), capturing a recent 21-song concert and including an extra 140 minutes of special features, Billboard.com reports.
Nine Inch Nails has postponed the scheduled Dec. 4 release of their Nine Inch Nails Live: And All That Could Have Been release on CD, DVD and VHS until Jan. 22 of next year. Vocalist Trent Reznor told Launch.com that the delay was due to production snags in the DVD mastering process. "We edited the film, mini-DV ourselves and learned how to mix in sound and set the studio up in surround. I think it has a home-made quality to it that's interesting that we wouldn't have gotten if we went to a film company just to do it," he said. The collection was filmed on NIN's last tour, Fragility v2.0 and features songs like "The Wretched," "Head Like a Hole" and "Closer."
Anne Robinson, host of TV's The Weakest Link, has become one of the UK's highest TV earners, the BBC reported. Robinson took home an estimated 6.5 million pounds last year, beating out Hollywood stars Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sean Connery and Michael Caine.
The legal battle for the Grateful Dead guitars may finally be coming to an end. According to Reuters the legendary rock group has reached a tentative settlement with guitar maker Douglas Irwin that will allow him to auction off two guitars he built for Jerry Garcia. In turn, Grateful Dead Productions will have the right to match the highest bid so that the guitars can be kept together as a collection.
Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes settled a lawsuit against Sandals Resort International over commercial use of a rendition of their song "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", The Associated Press reports. Medley and Warnes alleged that performers were coached to mimic their voices, leading to the impression that the duo endorsed the Sandals resort. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
A three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal ruled Thursday that programs like DeCSS, which removes the encryption from DVDs so they can be copied, are pure speech and therefore protected under the First Amendment. The ruling means Internet sites can post DeCSS on the web--a major blow to Hollywood studios hoping to contain the spread of the DVD hacking programs, Variety reports.
Producer Peter Guber's former chauffeur has been sentenced to one year in county jail for first-degree residential burglary, grand theft by embezzlement and receiving stolen property, The Associated Press reported. Sammy Archer III was arrested on May 3 after he tried to sell a 1937 Picasso ink-on-paper drawing valued at $100,000. A Christie's auction house employee found the work listed as stolen on a police Web site.
Michael Jackson asked ABC to cut his performance from the United We Stand concert special set to air Thursday night because of his own concert special planned later this month on CBS. According to The Associated Press, Jackson was to appear as one of several performers at the end of the show.
Former Smashing Pumpkins singer Bill Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin have started a new band, Zwan, Reuters reported. Zwan also features Matthew Sweeney, the former singer/guitarist from Chavez, and a bass player identified as Skullfisher. The group will play three small club dates in the Los Angeles area later this month.
Screen Actors Guild elections will proceed Friday despite polling irregularities, Variety reported. The union has decided to postpone a request to impound ballots due to alleged violations of procedure until after the elections. Results will be announced as early as Friday night; the key race is between Melissa Gilbert and Valerie Harper for president.
Danny DeVito is teaming up with Simpsons writers Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein for an ABC comedy pilot, Variety reported. The series is being targeted for early spring or fall 2002.
Top U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers denounced plans by the Federal Trade Commission Thursday to allow public television stations to use some of their new digital airwaves for commercial purposes, Reuters reported. The federal government, as well as corporate and philanthropic underwriters currently fund public television stations which do not run advertisements.
Thomas Jane and Tom Sizemore will star in Castle Rock Entertainment's feature adaptation of Stephen King's The Dreamcatcher. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project goes into production in January in Vancouver.
After 13 years on the road and 22 million albums sold worldwide, the Smashing Pumpkins bid farewell to their fans Saturday with a blistering 4 1/2-hour show in Chicago on the very same stage they made their debut on Oct. 5, 1988.
The band’s retirement show took place at the Metro, a 1,100-capacity club where the band first got it start –- led by a tall, lanky guitarist named Billy Corgan, Reuters reports. The band broke their show up into four separate “acts,” with a clown prancing around on stage to circus music in between.
“Welcome to the last gasp of the Smashing Pumpkins,” Corgan said at the outset of Saturday's show.
The Pumpkins played a musical collage of all their hits from the past decade, starting off the show with “Rocket” and continuing with such memorable hits as “Cherub Rock,” “Today,” “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” and older favorites such as “Rhinoceros” from their 1991 album “Gish.”
The Smashing Pumpkins is one of the last influential bands from the early 1990s when guitar-driven rock reigned on radio stations. Corgan decided earlier this year to retire the band after album sales began to slip and semi-facetiously cited competition from manufactured pop stars of the moment such as Britney Spears.
Joining Corgan on stage Saturday were drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, guitarist James Iha and touring bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur. D’Arcy, the band’s original bassist, left the band early this year. Saturday’s concert ended after midnight with Corgan thanking his fans, shedding tears and hugging his roadies.
But the fans who attended the show didn’t go home empty-handed. They each received a free copy of a previously unreleased recording from the band’s first Metro show. Meanwhile, Corgan said he will mostly likely take a year off before he considers writing more music.
LOVERBOY GUITARIST MISSING: The guitarist for the 1980s rockers Loverboy was swept off his boat and into the cold Pacific Ocean on Thursday and is feared dead, The Associated Press reports.
Scott Smith, 45, was heading to Southern California on his 37-foot sailboat off the coast of San Francisco when presumably a wave knocked him into the frigid water. He was about four miles off the Bay Area’s Ocean Beach, an area where the sea floor shallows and wave heights can grow tremendously.
The Coast Guard spent two days searching a 133-square-mile area but came up empty-handed, petty officer Carl Hausner said. Smith was wearing tracking pants and two sweaters but no life jacket when he went into the 52-degree water. Hausner said the average person could not survive more than 2 ½ hours in such conditions.
Loverboy released their first album in 1980 and hit the top of the charts with such hits as “Working for the Weekend,” "Lovin' Every Minute of It" and “Turn Me Loose.”
A RIVALRY HAS ENDED: Pop stars will be pop stars. After a heated rivalry fanned by reports by several British tabloids, Oasis’ Liam Gallagher and pop singer Robbie Williams have put an end to their long-running feud, Reuters reports.
“We've patched up our differences. I don't really want to go into it, but we've had a chat and come to the conclusion it had got really silly,'' Williams said in a British tab.
Last month Williams stormed out of an awards ceremony in London after Gallagher took to the stage and accused Williams of being homosexual.
``At the start it was quite a laugh and then it just became too destructive,'' said Williams, whose solo hits have included ''Angel'' and "Millennium." ``It wasn't nice, so I'm really pleased that I've spoken to Liam,'' he added.