Boxer Manny Pacquiao had a very special visitor check out a training session in Los Angeles on Thursday (13Mar14) - folk rock legend Bob Dylan. The fighter was preparing for his upcoming rematch with welterweight champion Timothy Bradley at coach Freddie Roach's Wild Card Boxing Club when the Lay Lady Lay singer, a longtime boxing fan, phoned and asked if he could stop by with a friend.
Pacquiao's spokesman Fred Sternburg tells RollingStone.com, "I've never seen the place take an aura like this, and I've been going to that gym for nearly a decade. We were all awestruck.
"Manny sparred eight different rounds with two different fighters while Dylan was there. He stayed for an hour and sat on a bench that you'd use to lift weights. Before and after the sparring, Dylan posed for photographs with anyone that asked and signed autographs... He accommodated everybody and smiled the whole time. But, my God, it was Bob Dylan! It was like seeing one of the apostles."
Even Pacquiao got in on the action, tweeting a photo of himself with the singer/songwriter.
He wrote, "After BOB DYLAN watched me train today, Freddie Roach said, 'I think a hard rain's a-gonna fall on Timothy Bradley'," referring to one of the singer's classics.
Pacquiao will be hoping the visit from Dylan will bring him luck when he steps into the ring with Bradley in Las Vegas on 12 April (14).
Singer/actor Jared Leto showed his support for the citizens fighting for political change in Ukraine at his band 30 Seconds To Mars' concert in Kiev on Wednesday (12Mar14). Last month's (Feb14) violent clashes between anti-government protesters and police in the capital city failed to keep the Closer to the Edge hitmakers away from Kiev, where they were booked for two shows at the Sports Palace.
The band arrived in Kiev on Tuesday (11Mar14) and took the stage at the venue on Wednesday night (13Mar14), when Leto offered his support to those fighting for a new nation.
The Oscar winner said, "You guys are in the midst of something really beautiful and it may be difficult, but there's no price too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
"And I want to let you know, I understand other bands have cancelled their shows, but there was no f**king way, no f**king way 30 Seconds to Mars wasn't going to be here in this beautiful city, in this great country here tonight."
Leto then dedicated a song to the "true believers out there," and even waved the Ukraine flag while leading the audience in a 'Glory to Ukraine!' chant.
Prior to the concert, Leto was spotted visiting Kiev's Independence Square to pay his respects to the protesters who died in the violent clashes with local police, which claimed the lives of more than 80 people.
Leto's visit to the Ukraine comes less than two weeks after he mentioned the country's freedom fighters in a moving acceptance speech at the Oscars following his win for Best Supporting Actor for Dallas Buyers Club.
He said, "To all the dreamers around the world watching this tonight in places like the Ukraine and Venezuela, I wanna say we are here, and as you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live the impossible, we're thinking of you tonight."
30 Seconds to Mars played their second Kiev concert on Thursday (13Mar14), and are heading to Russia for four shows, beginning on Friday (14Mar14).
Dave Grohl has given his Foo Fighters bandmate Taylor Hawkins' side project a big boost by joining the group in the studio. The former Nirvana star features on one track on The Birds of Satan's self-titled debut, which will be released in April (14).
Foo Fighters and Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear is also a guest on the album, which was reportedly recorded in less than a week.
Joining drummer Hawkins in the new band is Wiley Hodgden and Mick Murphy.
Alternative rockers Sunny Day Real Estate are set to mark Record Store Day in April (14) by releasing their first new material in 14 years. Singer Jeremy Enigk, bassist Nate Mendel, drummer William Goldsmith and guitarist Dan Hoerner rose to fame in 1994 with its debut project Diary, but split just a year later (95).
They reformed in 1997 without Mendel - who had joined the Foo Fighters with Goldsmith - and released two albums in 1998 and 2000, but parted ways again in 2001, before all four members teamed up for a reunion tour in 2009.
They reportedly started working on a comeback album, but the project fell through and by 2013 they had drifted apart again.
However, the rockers have since managed to complete work on a new track and they will unveil Lipton Witch on 20 April (14) as a special seven inch record.
Lipton Witch will be their first new offering since 2000's The Rising Tide.
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
There was a time in the early '90s when Liam Neeson had developed into an actor of great repute. Roles in films like Schindler's List, Nell, Michael Collins, and Rob Roy showed him to be a powerful performer, capable of infusing characters with tenderness without sacrificing their manly characteristics.
As all actors do, Neeson branched out and diversified his roles, going from the fantastical in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace to comedy in Love, Actually to comic books in Batman Begins. But then there was the surprising success of Taken, a film with only modest expectations that ended up grossing $145 million in the U.S. alone.
Since then, Neeson has reprised his Taken role as Bryan Mills, retired CIA agent who is a bad guy's worst nightmare, in one sequel and presently filming another. Now he's starring in another action yarn: Non-Stop, in which he plays an air marshall on a quest to stop a killer on a plane. Neeson has found a groove and new level of fame playing tough guys that kick butt and take names… but the Irish actor should consider dialing back the action hero bit. In simplest terms, there doesn't need to be a Taken 4.
It isn't as though Neeson was ever too far from a fight scene; even in some of his Oscar-worthy work his characters were fighters. Neeson is a big guy so it's not hard to imagine casting him in roles that let him put his physical attributes to good use. But, we also don't want Neeson turn into Bruce Willis either. Willis can be a capable actor if he wants to be, but too often he smirks his way through a role as though his inner-John McClane might spring out at any moment. That's exactly what Neeson has to guard against: playing every role with just a twinge of Taken's Bryan Mills in it.
Not one to be completely pigeonholed, Neeson has continued doing a variety of roles, including lending his voice to the Bad Cop/Good Cop character in the blockbuster The Lego Movie and playing a Western bad guy in Seth MacFarlane's upcoming comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West, as well as reportedly filming a cameo in the Entourage movie. Taking diverse parts is one way to keep from getting stuck in an action rut, but it's not everything.
The actor recently signed on to reteam with his Gangs of New York director Martin Scorsese in Silence, where he'll play a Jesuit priest trying to bring Christianity to feudal Japan… and that's a good start. Continuing to work with A-List directors in challenging roles should always be a regular part of Neeson's career.
Neeson is such a likable actor and person that we're willing to forgive him missteps like Battleship and The A-Team, but we also want to see more of him being the actor that was nominated for an Academy Award for playing Oskar Schindler. He doesn't owe that to his audience; he owes that to himself.
"The first day was quite crazy. I mean, I had two fighters and I was calling them the 'N' word... and it was tough... It took a long time to adjust to it. You never quite felt comfortable." Leonardo DiCaprio struggled with his racist character in Django Unchained.
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and Slipknot's Corey Taylor are among the stars who have contributed to a new record by supergroup Teenage Time Killer. The band is the brainchild of Corrosion of Conformity rockers Mike Dean and Reed Mullin. Other contributors include former Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri and Randy Blythe of Lamb of God.
Foo Fighters star Dave Grohl is set to become a dad again - the rocker's wife is pregnant with the couple's third child. The former Nirvana drummer wed Jordyn Blum in 2003 and they are already parents to daughters Violet, eight, and Harper, five.
Mark Wahlberg's brother Jim is running in the 2014 Boston Marathon Run to benefit the movie star's Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, which raises funds to help inner city youths, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester. The proud The Fighters star is encouraging fans to sponsor his sibling by linking to Jim's Fundraise.com account on his Twitter.com page.
Rock legends Styx, Foreigner and former Eagles star Don Felder are teaming up for a U.S. tour. The trio of acts will hit the road for The Soundtrack of Summer trek, which kicks off in Oklahoma in May (14).
Styx guitarist James Young tells Billboard.com, "I look at it like we're a bunch of old heavyweight fighters getting together. It's very exciting to be out there together, 30 years after we all had number one albums and everything. And having (Felder), who was an obvious contributor to the writing side of the Eagles and does lots of Eagles songs in his show, that will make a nice complement.
"It has the potential to be the most successful of anything we've ever done with us in a co-headline position like this."
Styx previously toured with REO Speedwagon and Ted Nugent in 2012.