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Just as a lot of big stars are pouring into London for Friday night's George Harrison concert, I can tell you the news: Ringo Starr has recorded a tribute song to the late ex-Beatle for his next new album.
The song is co-written by Eric Clapton and features Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. There's no title yet, but the song will be part of the album due out in March of next year.
Meanwhile, all of the aforementioned, as well as Billy Preston, Ravi Shankar and Tom Petty, have been busily rehearsing their parts for the Friday-night show at the Royal Albert Hall organized by Harrison's widow Olivia.
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This should be some bash, with all proceeds going to charity. Hopefully an album and DVD will also result from this historic show.
But if there is an album, one would have to wonder what label it would be on. No one in the Harrison camp can be happy about the paltry sales this week of his posthumous CD. Brainwashed sold only 73,000 copies and barely made the top 20.
Now, I know that George Harrison isn't Shania Twain (who sold a whopping 860,000 copies of her new CD to the American public this week) but couldn't Capitol Records have turned this into an event? Was there any marketing plan here at all? I think it's a tragic embarrassment that George's last album, released a year after his death, was virtually ignored.
I'm not the only one who feels this way either. A Beatle insider — not Paul or Ringo, but someone who's part of the inner circle — bitterly complained to me about Capitol's failure. They did nothing, he said to me. It's like it never even happened.
Well, we'll make sure from London on Friday that Harrison's life is remembered properly.
In the world of show business, divorces are pretty common. I mean, who could live with these people?
Yesterday, Nicolas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley went for theirs after little more than three months of wedded something. You have to wonder: She's been married to Danny Keough, who's the father of her kids, to Michael Jackson and to Cage.
How much therapy will those kids have to be in? I guess with Elvis' royalties they can afford to have a live-in shrink. Oh, wait! They're Scientologists, so no therapy. Are we clear on that?
As for Cage, I'm not surprised. He's a contender for the Oscar in the upcoming movie Adaptation. He plays twin brothers and could conceivably be the fifth entry after Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson and Michael Caine.
Cage's competitors for that fifth slot are Tom Hanks, Campbell Scott, Robin Williams and Al Pacino (for Insomnia, remember???). His marriage, with its attendant publicity, would have been quite the liability under the glare of publicity.
Meanwhile, Elvis Costello, doubtful a picnic to live with, has separated from his wife, former Pogues bassist Cait O'Riordan, after 16 years. O'Riordan was like Costello's Yoko Ono, a Grim Reaper in person with seemingly no sense of humor.
But then again, how much could she take? Nearly every Costello album has some reference to his one-time love of his life, bombshell model/writer/rocker Bebe Buell.
His current album, When I Was Cruel, has a cover picture of two bumble bees. Get it? Bee Bee. You can't keep doing stuff like that to a woman who doesn't like to laugh.
On his even more recent release, Costello leads off with Charlie Chaplin's classic Smile (Though Your Heart Is Breaking). Poignant, and pointed. As usual.
Spotted last night at the hot new Almeida restaurant in the north London neighborhood of Islington: British actor Toby Stephens and a hot brunette, making out before hopping into a shiny sports car and buzzing away.
Don't know the name? You know the face. He plays James Bond's new nemesis in Die Another Day. No one bothered him last night. But they will soon, trust me.