Holograms of late hip-hop icons Ol' Dirty Bastard and Eazy-E have not been able to save touring rap festival Rock The Bells - event promoters have reportedly scrapped the remaining dates due to poor ticket sales. This weekend's (28-29Sep13) event at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. has been cancelled and reports suggest the planned festivities at New Jersey's Meadowlands Racetrack, scheduled for 4 and 5 October (13) have also been axed.
According to XXLmag.com, the festival bosses will take a $3 million (£2 million) loss.
The touring festival kicked off earlier this month (Sep13) with two events in California featuring J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar and Kid Cudi.
Headliners Wu-Tang Clan appeared with a virtual Ol' Dirty Bastard and a hologram of Eazy-E joined Bone Thugs-N-Harmony onstage.
On Thursday, Sopranos creator David Chase was called to say goodbye to his muse and friend James Gandolfini, by delivering a eulogy for the man who headlined his immersive dramatic television series for six seasons. Gandolfini died suddenly last week at age 51, leaving brilliant writer Chase to, as he admits, struggle over the construction of an appropriate summation of his feelings about the man who immortalized Tony Soprano.
Humble forewords aside, Chase managed to craft a speech that, delicately and powerfully, illustrated the kind of man Gandolfini was in his eyes and the sort of relationship the two shared. Covering the full range of the rapport between the Jersey-born men, Chase's stories ranged from funny to sad to monumentally touching.
Chase introduces his eulogy with the darkly comic, a memory about Gandolfini raining blows upon a Sopranos set refrigerator:
one day toward the end of the show — maybe season 4 or season 5 — we were on the set shooting a scene with Stevie Van Zandt, and I think the set-up was that Tony had received news of the death of someone, and it was inconvenient for him. And it said, "Tony opens the refrigerator door, closes it and he starts to speak." And the cameras rolled, and you opened the refrigerator door, and you slammed it really hard — you slammed it hard enough that it came open again. And so then you slammed it again, then it came open again. You kept slamming it and slamming it and slamming it and slamming it and went apeshit on that refrigerator. And the funny part for me is I remember Steven Van Zandt — because the cameras are going, we have to play this whole scene with a refrigerator door opening — I remember Steven Van Zandt standing there with his lip out, trying to figure out, "Well, what should I do? First, as Silvio, because he just ruined my refrigerator. And also as Steven the actor, because we're now going to play a scene with the refrigerator door open; people don't do that." And I remember him going over there and trying to tinker with the door and fix it, and it didn't work. And so we finally had to call cut, and we had to fix the refrigerator door, and it never really worked, because the gaffer tape showed on the refrigerator, and it was a problem all day long. And I remember you saying, "Ah, this role, this role, the places it takes me to, the things I have to do, it's so dark." And I remember telling you, "Did I tell you to destroy the refrigerator? Did it say anywhere in the script, 'Tony destroys a refrigerator'? It says 'Tony angrily shuts the refrigerator door.' That's what it says. You destroyed the fridge."
Later, following a somber memory about Gandolfini's crisis of faith, Chase delves into his understanding of the inner workings of the tirelessly complex man:
The paradox about you as a man is that I always felt personally, that with you, I was seeing a young boy. A boy about Michael's age right now. 'Cause you were very boyish. And about the age when humankind, and life on the planet are really opening up and putting on a show, really revealing themselves in all their beautiful and horrible glory. And I saw you as a boy — as a sad boy, amazed and confused and loving and amazed by all that. And that was all in your eyes. And that was why, I think, you were a great actor: because of that boy who was inside. He was a child reacting. Of course you were intelligent, but it was a child reacting, and your reactions were often childish. And by that, I mean they were pre-school, they were pre-manners, they were pre-intellect. They were just simple emotions, straight and pure. And I think your talent is that you can take in the immensity of humankind and the universe, and shine it out to the rest of us like a huge bright light. And I believe that only a pure soul, like a child, can do that really well. And that was you.
Finally, Chase concludes his speech with a sweet, heartrending proposal for how he'd conclude "this episode," saying goodbye to James (and Tony) in the way that comes most naturally to him. And it really hits home:
You know, everybody knows that we always ended an episode with a song. That was kind of like me and the writers letting the real geniuses do the heavy lifting: Bruce, and Mick and Keith, and Howling Wolf and a bunch of them. So if this was an episode, it would end with a song. And the song, as far as I'm concerned, would be Joan Osborne's "(What If God Was) One Of Us?" And the set-up for this — we never did this, and you never even heard this — is that Tony was somehow lost in the Meadowlands. He didn't have his car, and his wallet, and his car keys. I forget how he got there — there was some kind of a scrape — but he had nothing in his pocket but some change. He didn't have his guys with him, he didn't have his gun. And so mob boss Tony Soprano had to be one of the working stiffs, getting in line for the bus. And the way we were going to film it, he was going to get on the bus, and the lyric that would've one over that would've been — and we don't have Joan Osborne to sing it:
If God had a faceWhat would it look like?And would you want to seeIf seeing meant you had to believe?And yeah, yeah, God is great.Yeah, yeah, God is good.Yeah, yeah, yeah.
So Tony would get on the bus, and he would sit there, and the bus would pull out in this big billow of diesel smoke. And then the key lyric would come on, and it was
What if God was one of us?Just a slob like one of us?Just a stranger on the busTrying to make his way home.
And that would've been playing over your face, Jimmy. But then — and this is where it gets kind of strange — now I would have to update, because of the events of the last week. And I would let the song play further, and the lyrics would be
Just trying to make his way homeLike a holy rollin' stoneBack up to Heaven all aloneNobody callin' on the phone'Cept for the Pope, maybe, in Rome.
We thank Alan Sepinwall at HitFix for transcribing the eulogy. You can read Chase's full speech here.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter | Follow hollywood.com on Twitter @hollywood_com
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Former mythology professor Grant (Gordon Pinsent) has been in love with--and married to--gorgeous spirited Fiona (a radiant Julie Christie) for more than 40 years. After some turbulence earlier in their marriage (Grant wasn't always as faithful as he is now) they've spent the last two decades in their own private haven a rustic Canadian cottage that lends itself to cross-country ski treks and intimate dinners. But their idyll is shattered when Fiona starts forgetting simple things--like what "wine" is called; they soon discover she's suffering from early onset Alzheimer's. Against Grant's desperate protests Fiona checks into a retirement facility called Meadowlands. There as Grant watches from the sidelines heartbroken she develops feelings for a fellow patient Aubrey (Michael Murphy). Ultimately Grant must figure out the best way to prove his love. Away From Her is the kind of movie that succeeds or fails almost wholly on the strength of its cast--happily in this case it's the former. Christie is all elegant grace as Fiona from her beautiful mane of white hair to her impeccable sense of style. But she's impulsive and approachable too with an earthiness that grounds her. Her sense of fun and joy is clear from the sparkle in her eyes--when that sparkle starts to dim the audience like Grant mourns its loss. As Grant Pinsent is both stoic and achingly vulnerable; he can't bear watching Fiona slip away but he also can't bring himself to cause her any more pain. In the supporting cast Kristen Thomson is refreshingly forthright as Kristy the Meadowlands nurse who always tells Grant the truth and Olympia Dukakis is believably brassy as Aubrey's wife Marian who's not quite ready to give up on life. Sarah Polley has spent plenty of hours in front of the camera but Away From Her marks the Canadian actress' feature directorial debut. She's obviously learned a lot from the talented filmmakers she's worked with particularly Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter) whose aesthetic is similarly spare and minimalistic. Although her long lingering close-ups (Christie's skin is remarkably clear; Pinsent is quite craggy) occasionally feel indulgent Polley has a knack for using light and landscape to evoke the essence of her subject matter: love marriage and loss. It helps that she had good source material to work from; the movie is based on acclaimed author Alice Munro's short story "The Bear Came Over the Mountain." For a first-time feature Away From Her is impressively assured tackling tough topics with sensitivity empathy and the confidence of experience.
Singer Mariah Carey, hospitalized July 25 for a mental breakdown, was apparently concerned--in part--that her former hubby, Sony president Tommy Motolla, was conducting a smear campaign to derail Carey's career. After reading an extremely negative review of her new single "Loverboy" in Billboard, Carey hired a San Francisco private eye, Jack Palladino, to investigate whether Motolla was using his influence to sway critics in his direction, according to the New York Post's PageSix.com. Carey, 31, still recovering from the breakdown, is reported to be too fragile to promote her new film, Glitter, which is scheduled to debut Aug. 31.
James Hetfield, Metallica's energetic singer/guitarist, has offered his appreciation to devoted fans following his July 19 admittance to a drug rehab facility. Hetfield, 37, entered the facility for alcoholism and "other addictions," Rolling Stone said. Hetfield, in his statement on the official Metallica Web site, said: "It's a great feeling to have the support and comfort for me as a person from all the friends I've made out there. Thanks very much, it means a lot." Hetfield's stint at the facility will delay the recording of their latest album--the first since 1997.
On Friday, bad boy Dennis Rodman was cited for allegedly speeding in Newport Bay, Calif. in his 47-foot boat, Sexual Chocolate. Authorities said the former NBA defensive great was going 20 mph in a 5 mph zone, and forced Rodman to dock his boat nearby. Several boaters had been complaining about Rodman's antics on the water prior to his citation, according to The Associated Press.
Former Dogg Pound member Daz Dillinger (whose real name is Delmar Arnaud) is suing Death Row Records and hip-hop giant Suge Knight for breach of contract, Launch.com reports. Dillinger claims that Death Row and Knight failed to properly compensate him, swindling Dillinger out of millions of dollars while he worked for them from 1993 through 1999. His suit claims: "[Death Row and Knight] collected tens of millions of dollars in record sales and royalties. They violated agreement after agreement, each time promising to honor the new one."
Alan Jardine, who founded the Beach Boys, will no longer be legally allowed to tour under the name "Beach Boys Family and Friends," as he did in the late '90s. An U.S. District Court recently ruled that Jardine could not use the name, as it's currently in use--in part--by Beach Boy Mike Love's touring band. "We are happy with the result," said Brother Records International attorney Mike Flynn. "This terminates [Jardine's] entire case." Jardine did not comment on the ruling, but his attorney, Jeffrey Benice, said the case would be appealed.
One day after canceling her highly anticipated concert at the Meadowlands due to laryngitis, Madonna frustrated New Yorkers yet again when her automobile entourage jammed traffic near Central Park. The cars were awaiting the pop diva's emergence from her apartment, though commotion soon escalated behind the entourage, enraging Manhattan motorists, the New York Post's PageSix.com reports.
A longtime stalker of actor/comedian Jerry Lewis was found dead in his jail cell in Las Vegas' Clark County Detention Center. According to the New York Post's PageSix.com, the man, Gary Benson, 57, died in his sleep. Benson had been stalking Lewis for years, and had already spent six years in prison for his psychotic obsession.
The man who brought Zorro to life in the '50s TV series, Guy Williams, has received a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Over 7,000 fans donated funds to pay for the star, which was accepted by his son, Guy Williams, Jr., AP reports. The elder Williams died in 1989.
The Writers Guild of America has voted Citizen Kane's screenplay as Hollywood's greatest written work, with Casablanca coming in No. 2. Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction grabbed the top spot as the most overrated screenplay in history, AP reports. Surprisingly, both Citizen Kane and Casablanca also wound up on the most-overrated list's top 10.
The Cranberries are offering free tickets to a string of upcoming semi-acoustic performance, but those who wish to receive the goods must email the quartet--in 30 words or less--why they feel they should snag a free pair. The bizarre promotion is an effort to hype up The Cranberries' upcoming album Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, Rolling Stone reports. The band's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The five shows in question are all to be held in Los Angeles, starting Aug. 14.
The Brogans arrive at their new home in Meadowlands. They meet their neighbors, Jack Donnelly a handy man, Brenda an outgoing and bubbly woman and Dr. York. All the neighbors have potentially devastating secrets.
Episode 2. Episode 2
(AIR DATE 06/24/2007)
Mark's experimentation with cross-dressing ends in a brutal attack and Danny is reeling from his own murderous rage.
Episode 3. Episode 3
(AIR DATE 07/01/2007)
A local cop, Wintersgill, becomes suspicious of Jack Donnelly's absence and begins investigating his disappearance. Meanwhile Danny and Mark struggle to keep Jack's murder a secret.
Episode 4. Episode 4
(AIR DATE 07/08/2007)
Danny and Wintersgill play psychological games. Mark fights with his neighbor Brenda and Evelyn discovers something that affects both her past and her future.
Episode 5. Episode 5
(AIR DATE 07/15/2007)
Ormond is framed for Jack's murder. Evelyn asks Dr. York to lie about Danny's fertility test results. Meanwhile, Zoe starts investigating Jack's death with the help of Tom Tyrell, a former journalist.
Episode 6. Episode 6
(AIR DATE 07/22/2007)
Samantha visits her dying father revealing more of the history behind Meadowlands. The romantic triangle between York, Abigail and Evelyn takes a turn. Meanwhile Danny tries to figure out the truth about Cape Wrath.
Episode 7. Episode 7
(AIR DATE 07/29/2007)
Danny tries to escape from Meadowlands with his family. Meanwhile, York demands sexual favors from Evelyn in return for keeping her secret.
Episode 8. Episode 8
(AIR DATE 08/05/2007)
Danny's relationship with his children is revealed. The location of the Meadowlands is revealed and Danny gets help on his escape plan.