Sunday, January 14, 2007

Music news and notes 1/14/07

By Art Shimko

-- Music news and notes from the past week...

-- Due to a restructured business plan focusing on catalog releases, 35 V2 employees were let go on Friday, including the label's president Andy Gershon by the company that owns it, Sheridan Square. Part of the deal states that the label will keep The White Stripes catalog but won't be releasing any new music by them or other label artists like Moby and the Raconteurs, V2 will instead be involved with the gospel genre.

-- With legal wrangling involving his estate and burial site, the body of James Brown lies in a sealed casket in his Beech Island, SC home. While trustees of Brown's will and Brown's children are determining a burial site, Tomi Rae Hynie, Brown's partner, is waiting to gain access into his home which she says shared with him and her 5-year-old son. The house has been locked since Brown died on December 25. Meanwhile, Jacque Hollander is continuing a lawsuit against Brown claiming he raped her at gunpoint in 1988, she seeks $106 million in damages.

-- Paul Francis Gadd AKA Gary Glitter may get an early release for good behavior from the Thu Duc detention center in Hanoi where he's been serving a three-year prison sentence after being convicted for molesting two Vietnamese girls. If Glitter's sentence is reduced he'll be out in May, 10-year-old girls beware.

-- On Wednesday George Michael (surname: Panayiotou) plead not guilty to charges of pot possession and being unfit to drive stemming from an arrest last September in North London. His attorney Keima Payton entered the plea as Michael was not in court, and argued that the blood samples taken the night of his arrest aren't legal therefore a hearing set for March 7th will determine if the samples are deemed inadmissable.

-- In a rather odd story, Yoko Ono's chauffeur Koral Karsan is seeking $2 million from her and is also pursuing a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ono, saying that "My wife has now left me because of the relationship between you and me," in a letter he wrote to her. Karsan says that if he doesn't receive the money from Ono he will reveal information "quite frankly will astound the world." This includes:
Recordings of Ono's son, Sean Lennon, telling his girlfriend that his father was "a wife-beating (expletive)."

_ Ono's "political statements against the British and U.S. governments."

_ Ono's "numerous critical comments about your son, daughter, the Beatles and your friends" including Rolling Stone publisher Jan Wenner, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and others.

Isn't fame grand??

-- Auction for Handwritten Beatles Lyrics

-- Ringo's Liverpool home may be preserved

-- Burt Bacharach's daughter commits suicide

-- Pete Kleinow, steel guitarist for West coast country-rockers The Flying Burrito Brothers, died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease on Jan. 6 at age 72. Kleinow also had a career as an award-winning animator: Mr. Kleinow also won acclaim as an animator, special effects artist and director of commercials in television and film. His credits ranged from the original “Gumby” series — he wrote and performed the theme music as well as designed cartoons — to the movies “Under Siege,” “Fearless” and “The Empire Strikes Back.” He won an Emmy award in 1983 for his work on the television mini-series “The Winds of War.” Kleinow is survived by daughter Anita, his wife, Ernestine; another daughter, Tammy, and three sons, Martin, Aaron and Cosmo.

-- A panel of 600 industry figures selected Van Halen, Grandmaster Flash, R.E.M., Ronettes and Patti Smith to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame this year, the induction ceremony takes place on March 12 in New York.

-- Eric Clapton plays the Shanghai Grand Stage on January 20th, ticket prices range from $230 for stage-side seats to $38 for the upper balcony.

-- Bonnaroo Music Festival wants to buy Tennessee farm for permanent site

-- Model seeks divorce from Marilyn Manson

-- Elvis-Nixon Meeting Has Fans Shook Up

-- New Stamp Honors Ella Fitzgerald

-- Buddy Guy moving Chicago blues club

-- Whitney Houston gear goes up for auction

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