Les Paul's original prototype for his Black Beauty guitar has been snapped up at auction for $275,000 (£171,875). The Les Paul Custom black electric guitar went up for sale at the Arader Galleries in New York City on Thursday night (19Feb15) and the winning bid was placed by a representative for avid collector Jim Irsay, the owner of American football team the Indianapolis Colts.
With the cost of the buyer's premium, he paid a total of $335,500 (£209,688).
Jazz and blues star Paul collaborated with Gibson experts in 1954 to create the six-string instrument, which is widely considered the most significant electric guitar ever made. He subsequently gave the prototype to his longtime assistant Tom Doyle, who placed it up for sale.
A Gretsch Dark Eyes guitar belonging to Chet Atkins also went up for auction, drawing bids of up to $26,000 (£16,250), but after failing to reach the undisclosed bid minimum, it was listed as unsold.
Paul is credited as one of the pioneers of the electric guitar, while Atkins was recruited as a design consultant for instrument giant Gretsch at the height of his music career in the 1950s.
Paul passed away in 2009 at the age of 94.
Rocker Tom Petty relived his 1987 house fire while writing new song All You Can Carry and insists he's grateful nobody close to him was killed in the blaze. An arsonist set fire to the American Girl singer's Encino, California home, almost destroying the place.
Firefighters were able to salvage the basement recording studio and the original tapes stored there, as well as Petty's Gibson Dove acoustic guitar.
Petty, who later rebuilt the house, recalled the moment he realised he had to flee while he was creating tracks for his new album Hypnotic Eye.
He tells Billboard magazine he had seconds to grab something and left the burning house with a Hohner bass guitar.
Petty says, "I grabbed that and went, 'Hell, is this going to happen to me twice in my life, where everything I own is just wiped out?' And then I thought, 'Well, I'm OK with that - because things come back, but people don't'."
The 1987 blaze was the second house fire Petty had survived.
Petty's ex-wife Jane put the Encino property on the market last year (13).
Tom Hiddleston has defended his portrayal of country music legend Hank Williams in a new biopic, insisting he understands the "huge responsibility" to fans and has been practising his music skills every day. The Thor actor will play the tragic star in I Saw The Light, a new film which will chronicle Williams' meteoric rise to fame and his untimely death at the age of 29 in 1953.
However, the casting of a Brit in the role has sparked debate among fans, and drawn criticism from late star's grandson, Hank Williams III, who insisted an American actor should have been picked by casting bosses.
Hiddleston has now spoken out to assure fans he will do everything he can to make sure Williams' story is accurately portrayed.
He tells Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, "The film is about the man behind the myth, the power of his music, the sheer voltage of his talent and charisma, and his formidable demons... Hank's life has a tragic arc, but in simple truth, he was a genius: a star that burned twice as bright and lived half as long. It's a huge role for me and a huge responsibility. I'm going to give it everything I've got."
The actor also insists he is working hard to improve his musicianship and has been practising with Grammy Award-winning country star Rodney Crowell.
He adds, "I've already started singing and playing every day... He (Crowell) came down to visit me over the Easter weekend in Toronto where I was filming... and we jammed for a day or so. It was so exciting... It was spine-tingling just to spend a day playing some of Hank's greatest hits... with such a gifted musician. He's already expanded my vocal range and given me a few pointers about adapting my own tone to sound like Hank. Rodney has furnished me with his beautiful J45 Gibson (guitar) to practice with. And he'll be on hand throughout the shoot."
A Rome cafe which has featured in films like The Godfather Part Ii and To Rome With Love is facing closure. The Antico Caffe della Pace near the city's Piazza Navona has been a celebrity haven for decades, but financial issues have prompted the owners to move on.
Reports suggest the property bosses, who run the building that houses the cafe, are keen to turn the site into a hotel.
A petition launched by locals will be handed to local lawmakers in an effort to save the place, and have it listed as a historic landmark.
As well as featuring in films shot in and around Rome, the Antico Caffe della Pace has hosted celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, Mel Gibson, Madonna and the late Grace Kelly, while Pope John Paul II was a frequent guest.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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The Hollywood Film Festival and Awards are just one stop among many for those seeking the ultimate Oscar prize – in the last three years, director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) and the ensemble cast of Argo were honored and would later take home Oscars. We're taking a look at the numerous award shows in past seasons and their correlation to the main event in February. To see the infographic and the awards shows before the Oscar, read the story at Studio System News!
Since 2011, Hollywood's major studios have averaged 20 major releases based on books, though the numbers climb when you factor in mini-majors and independents. The 2014 schedule, so far, is teeming with avidly awaited adaptations like Divergent, Hunger Games’ third entry, Gone Girl, Fifty Shades of Grey, and the third Hobbit film. For a look at some of 2013's book-to-film successes and more of what to expect next year, read the full story at Studio System News!
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With the days getting shorter and the nights getting colder, here's a timely look at five of the best songs to mourn the passing of the summer season.
The Cure – "The Last Day Of Summer"
Never exactly a ray of sunshine at the best of times, The Cure's Robert Smith appears to be suffering an early case of seasonal affective disorder ("but the last day of summer never felt so cold") on this heartbreakingly melancholic tale of a relationship turned sour.
Buffalo Tom – "Summer"
Adopting something of a YOLO approach, Buffalo Tom rallied against the type of people who initially promise to lead a life of adventure during the summer months, only to spend every single day holed up in their bedrooms on the Internet.
Belle & Sebastian – "A Summer Wasting"
In sharp contrast to Bill Janovitz and co., twee indie-pop stalwarts Belle & Sebastian actively celebrated the seven weeks they spent doing nothing but reading books and walking alongside rivers on this standout from 1998's The Boy With The Arab Strap.
Kirsty MacColl - "The Last Day Of Summer"
Perhaps best-known for her gutsy contribution to Christmas classic "Fairytale Of New York," the late Kirsty MacColl switched her attention to the other major holiday season with this sweetly sung ode to an end of summer unrequited love.
The Doors – "Summer’s Almost Gone"
Taken from The Doors’ third studio album, Waiting For The Sun, this mellow psych-rock ballad perfectly encapsulates the uncertainty which many feel when the freedom of the summer draws to a close ("where will we be when the summer’s gone?").
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Some celebrities just can't handle it. Whether it's the paparazzi, personal assistants, or an entire religious group, when a celebrity targets you with their wrath, it's never pretty. And this particular group have had their fair share of temper tantrums and rants. Some have survived and moved past the error of their ways, some committed atrocities so severe their careers have never survived, and some just can't get out of the habit of being publicly angry. Here are the five angriest celebrities in Hollywood.
Mr. Baldwin, tell us how you really feel about the paparazzi. And the New York Daily News. And the media in general. Just kidding. We know. Some of his outbursts include assaulting two NY Daily News photographers for taking pictures of him and his wife, Hilaria Thomas, hurling homophobic slurs at a Daily Mail reporter on Twitter after the site reported that his wife had been tweeting during James Gandolfini's funeral, grabbing a female New York Post reporter and telling her "I hope you die," and his infamous voicemail to his then-11-year-old daughter, Ireland, in which he called her a "thoughtless little pig." Whew. We suddenly feel stressed.
British actor Christian Bale is usually in good spirits, but when he loses his cool, he really loses it. During filming of his 2009 movie Terminator Salvation, Bale flipped out during a scene when the director of photography walked through the set one too many times. The unsuspecting fellow was checking the lights when Bale laid into him for four f-word-strewn minutes, during which he said, "I'm gonna kick your f*****g ass." Although this was his most infamous incident, Bale was also accused by his mother and sister for allegedly assaulting them in 2008, and he even scuffled with guards in China for denying him entrance when he visited Chinese civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng. At least his intentions were good.
Where to begin with this guy? Fox News host Bill O'Reilly just loves to shout at the camera and at other people on air. More than one video of him blowing his gasket have gone viral. The most famous one is from his Inside Edition anchoring days when he refused to read whatever was pre-written for him and famously yelled, "F**k it! We'll do it live!" and then seamlessly went into his closing statements. In 2010, O'Reilly's comments about Muslims and 9/11 angered The View hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar so much that they walked off the set. This March, a debate between O'Reilly and liberal political commentator Alan Colmes escalated into a shouting match with the host calling his guest a liar repeatedly. Sigh. The list just keeps going, but I'm sure this gives you more than enough of an idea.
Anti-Semitic remarks, racial slurs, homophobic quotes, and domestic violence. Mel Gibson has done it all. In 2006, Gibson was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and went on an anti-Semtitic rant at the arresting officer, yelling, "F*****g Jews. . . . The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." There was already speculation over Gibson's anti-Semitic views after his controversial film The Passion of the Christ's negative depiction of Jews, and this incident only confirmed what all of Hollywood was already suspecting. Then Radar Online obtained tapes of Gibson arguing with his estranged wife Oksana Grigorieva and the world was witness to just how vile Gibson can be. The actor called Grigorieva a b***h, c**t, whore, and gold digger, and threatened to burn the house down. There were also racial slurs involved.
Russell Crowe is yet another middle-aged Hollywood actor who could use a little anger management. After a hotel concierge at the Mercer Hotel in New York City was "unhelpful" and gave him "attitude" when Crowe asked to make an international call, the New Zealander threw the phone at his face. He was arraigned on charges of second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. In addition to the infamous phone incident, Crowe was also in an angry confrontation with a TV exec after part of his BAFTA speech was cut short, and he's also been known to get abusive with photographers and journalists. Maybe he and Baldwin should hang out, but only if they go to guided meditation.
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A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of illegally accessing personal information about a number of A-list celebrities, including Beyonce, Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. Luis Flores was taken into custody in Lake Mary, Florida on 7 August (13) over allegations he used Hollywood superstars' private details to steal their money and credit cards.
The 19 year old was apprehended alongside Kyah Green, 41, who told authorities Flores is her son.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, agents allegedly discovered wire transfer evidence in their apartment, as well as a flash drive full of information about Top Gun icon Tom Cruise, Beyonce and U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, among others.
The pair stands accused of phoning up credit card companies and pretending to be their famous targets, changing the addresses on the accounts and asking for replacement cards to be mailed to their apartment.
Green has been released on bail, while Flores is being held without bail in the Seminole County Jail.
Mel Gibson, Ashton Kutcher, Bill Gates, and Kardashian's mother Kris Jenner were also allegedly among the high-profile victims.