Billboard Bits: Seven-Year Rule, Bobby Brown, Hatfield

News on Seven-Year Rule, Bobby Brown, Juliana Hatfield

The California Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday (June 18) passed "legislative intent" language on a bill that would repeal the music industry's exemption to the state's "seven-year rule" on personal services contracts, Billboard Bulletin reports. The vote on the "spot bill," which allows the labels and artist sides to keep negotiating without the committee making a final vote on the legislation, moves the bill out of the judiciary committee to the Senate floor, where it is expected to pass on Monday.

"What this means is that the spot bill moves forward out of the Senate and into the Assembly," says California Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Culver City), who introduced the original bill in January. He adds that the labels and artists' groups are expected to keep trying to negotiate a resolution. However, he says that if this does not happen by the time the Assembly goes to vote on the spot bill "in a few weeks," he will reinstate the original language calling for the repeal of the industry exemption.

Recording Industry Association of America negotiator David Altschul says Senate Judiciary Committee chairwoman Martha Escutia "made it very clear ... that neither party should construe the action today as a victory or a loss, and that she wants us to keep working toward a compromise." He says he is optimistic about a resolution. Recording Artists Coalition co-counsel Jay Cooper says, "We very definitely feel there is room to go forward. Our next step is to continue talks with the label side."

-- Melinda Newman, L.A.; Bill Holland, Washington, D.C.

Bobby BrownR&B performer Bobby Brown is in a Virginia hospital to have an infection treated, a family spokesperson said. Brown was traveling with his wife, singer Whitney Houston, in their tour bus when they stopped at a hospital in Fredericksburg, Va., because Brown was running a fever.

Brown was given antibiotics through an IV, according to his publicist, who did not know what kind of infection he had. Brown and Houston were traveling from Atlanta, where Houston was recording an album, to their home in New Jersey.

Meanwhile, Brown's former group, New Edition, has regrouped without him and will kick off a summer tour June 28 at the House of Blues in Las Vegas. The group will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year, and is expected to celebrate with a new album. Brown will take part in the anniversary in some way, although the extent of his role is unknown, according to reports.

-- AP & Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

Rolling StonesSinger/songwriter Juliana Hatfield plans to hit the road in August in support of her greatest-hits collection, "Gold Stars 1992-2002," due June 25 from Zoe/Rounder. As previously reported, the former Blake Babies principal will be supported on the tour by Blake Babies drummer Freda Love and guitarist Heidi Gluck.

The trio has been recording an album in Bloomington, Ind., to be released under the moniker "Some Girls." Songs from this record, alongside material from Hatfield's six-album solo career, are expected to be performed at the August shows, which begin with an Aug. 1 date in Hoboken, N.J., and are set through Aug. 10 in Chicago. More dates are expected to be announced.

Here are Juliana Hatfield & Some Girls' tour dates:

Aug. 1: Hoboken, N.J. (Maxwell's)
Aug. 2: Philadelphia (North Star Bar)
Aug. 3: New York (Knitting Factory)
Aug. 5-6: Somerville, Mass. (608)
Aug. 8: Columbus, Ohio (Little Brother's)
Aug. 9: Indianapolis (Patio)
Aug. 10: Chicago (Double Door)

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.

Copyright 2002 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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