R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck is a "southern gentleman" who has never been rude to anyone, the band's lead singer Michael Stipe told a London court today (March 27). Stipe appeared as a character witness at the "air-rage" trial of Buck, who is accused of going on a drunken rampage aboard a trans-Atlantic British Airways flight last April.
Country veteran Merle Haggard has scheduled a spring tour in support of his second Anti Records album, "Roots, Vol. 1." The trek will get underway April 11 at the Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson, Ariz., and close May 19 at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash.
Napster will get a close look at major record label documents that reveal the underpinnings of their business agreements in forming the online music ventures MusicNet and Pressplay, a California federal judge ordered yesterday (March 26). The song-swapping network is looking for evidence of copyright misuse to bolster its legal defense and limit damages in the record labels' copyright-infringement suit against it.
Pearl Jam will complete work next month on its seventh and final studio album under contract with Epic, according to the band's official Web site. As previously reported, the set is being co-produced by the band with Adam Kasper, who worked with Pearl Jam on its albums "Vs." and "Vitalogy." The as-yet-untitled set is due early next year.
Queen guitarist Brian May didn't think it would be appropriate to take part in a musical based on his band's history, despite how ready-made for the stage its flamboyant and tragic story may be. In fact, May said yesterday (March 26) in London that he would have been "embarrassed" to see his band's story put to song. The less humiliating compromise was to transport Queen's music to a fictional "Planet Mall" for a piece of musical theater that writer Ben Elton described as the "'Matrix' meets the Arthurian legend meets 'Terminator 2'."
A Los Angeles woman has filed a civil suit against Celine Dion's husband, accusing him of raping her in a Las Vegas hotel two years ago. Yun Kyeong Sung Kwon wants to overturn a settlement reached with Rene Angelil in June 2000. She says that the agreement was made under mental duress and the conditions they agreed upon have not been met.
Modern rock outfit Sevendust will headline the fourth Cutty Whiskey Rock the Boat tour, which kicks off Wednesday (April 3) and is currently booked through May 23 in Kansas City, Mo. The trek will feature support from Reveille, Soil, and Breaking Point at various stops (see itinerary below). Last year's Rock The Boat tour was headlined by Cold; past headliners have included Godsmack, Fuel, 3 Doors Down, and Our Lady Peace.
Epic is planning a late May/early June North American release for U.K. rock quartet My Vitriol's debut album, "Finelines." The set was released to critical acclaim internationally last year by Infectious, and spawned several hit U.K. singles, including "Grounded" and "Cemented Shoes." My Vitriol just completed its first North American tour with two shows last night (March 25) in New York.
Fatboy Slim (real name: Norman Cook) was the big winner at the inaugural DanceStar USA Awards, held Sunday night in Miami. Slim picked up the best international act honor and the best video trophy for the inventive "Weapon of Choice" clip, which features actor Christopher Walken.
A rift between singer Jello Biafra and the members of his former band, Dead Kennedys, is growing wider with more legal action. Biafra's attorney has filed suit in Alameda (Calif.) Superior Court, alleging his former bandmates are recording new music with a Biafra impersonator. The real Biafra, whose birth name is Eric Reed Boucher, also alleges his former bandmates used his name, picture, and identity to promote new live recordings and performances.
Dorothy DeLay, a Juilliard School violin teacher and musical powerhouse whose students over a half-century include such luminaries as Itzhak Perlman and Midori, died Sunday of cancer at her home in Upper Nyack, N.Y. She was 84.
After countless delays and rescheduled release dates, Lauryn Hill's "MTV Unplugged" album will finally see the light of day May 7 via Columbia. The two-disc set runs 106 minutes and features entirely new, solo acoustic songs that may wind up on Hill's sophomore solo album.