Billboard Bits: McCartney, White Stripes, AIDS Benefits

News on Paul McCartney, White Stripes, AIDS Benefits

PaulSources say Sir Paul McCartney will return to North America for another run on his Drivin' USA tour, with 23 more arena dates in late September and October. According to Amusement Business, the initial 27 shows grossed more than $53 million and drew more than 407,000 people. All but four shows were sell-outs.

"We're enjoying it so much that we think it would be a pity to shelve it," McCartney said in late April about the possibility of future shows. "We're starting to think of doing [another tour] toward the end the year, but we don't know where yet."

As previously reported, the tour will be chronicled by a documentary home video. "This tour is going so well, we thought it might be nice to capture it all," McCartney said.

-- Ray Waddell, Nashville

WhiteBassist Steve McDonald of rock act Redd Kross has taken it upon himself to join garage rock favorites the White Stripes. Sort of. In actuality, McDonald has launched an "online performance art project" on Redd Kross' official Web site that finds him adding bass to songs from the guitar-and-drum duo's breakthrough album "White Blood Cells" (Sympathy for the Record Industry).

McDonald, who has also altered the album's cover art to include himself dressed in the White Stripes' traditional red-and-white garb and a new title -- "Redd Blood Cells," is posting MP3 files of the songs in installments on the site. The latest two tracks to receive his treatment are "The Union Forever" and "Same Boy You've Always Known." The installments come with McDonald's notes on the project, which he says is intended as an homage.

"It's not as if I wanted to take a shot at a band that dared make my instrument irrelevant," he says. "I really love their approach, so I just see this as taking being a fan to another dimension."

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.

CrenTwo AIDS benefits planned in conjunction with the Major League Baseball (MLB) all-star game have been canceled due to "unforeseen circumstances," according to organizers. The events, planned for July 7 at Chicago's Vic Theatre and July 8 at Milwaukee's Rave, were spearheaded by former baseball pitcher Jack McDowell and were to feature his band Stickfigure, R.E.M.'s Mike Mills, Cracker, Letters To Cleo singer Kay Hanley, Marshall Crenshaw, and singer/songwriter Steve Poltz.

Proceeds were to have benefited the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Refunds are available at point of purchase.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.


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