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Tyler Going Solo?

Steven Tyler | Laura Linney | Beatles vs. Apple Computer

Aerosmith's Tyler: Going Solo?

He's 56 years old and he's about to be a grandfather, so maybe it seems like a good time for Steven Tyler to go solo.

I've heard rumblings from the Aerosmith camp in recent weeks that Tyler, the group's lead singer, is starting work on his first individual album ever.

This might be good news to some, but evidently not to the other members of the band.

When he heard about it, lead guitarist Joe Perry, who's suffered through thick and thin with Tyler for more than 30 years, apparently wasn't so keen on the idea.

"He went crazy," my source says, and that's a kind way of restating the original wording.

Of course, Tyler needn't feel shy about trying to make an album on his own. Every other rock star from a big group has done the same thing, from Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey. And let's not forget Ringo Starr.

I mean, even J.C. Chasez from 'N Sync has a record out, and you don't hear Joey Fatone complaining!

Tyler, in fact, has done very little collaborating with outside musicians over the years, which is kind of a shame. I heard him sing with Sam Moore and Valerie Simpson at Dan Aykroyd's 50th-birthday party two years ago, and he was sensational.

Aerosmith could use the jolt from a Tyler solo hit anyway. Their most recent long-playing outing, "Honkin' on Bobo," billed as a blues record, was a sales disappointment. The group's last hit single, "Jaded," was in 2001.

On the positive side, Tyler and ex-flame Bebe Buell will become grandparents this winter when daughter Liv has her first child with husband Royston Langdon.

Tyler, by the way, will be on the lookout for songs from the best writers in the business. So if you know a songwriter, now's the time to make your plea.

The man has eclectic taste, as we know. Aerosmith's 1998 hit, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," was written by schlockmeister Diane Warren, of all people. You never know what's hip until the checks start coming in!

Laura Linney: Out for Oscar Again?

You know Laura Linney: She was just nominated for an Emmy for her work on "Frasier" as Charlotte, the matchmaker for whom Frasier moved to Chicago at the end of the series. She was also nominated for an Oscar two seasons ago in "You Can Count On Me."

This past spring, she was such a hit on Broadway in the play "Sight Unseen" that now the producers are talking about returning with Linney this winter in order to qualify for Tony Award consideration.

Now Linney has two movies about to come out: "Kinsey," directed by "Gods and Monsters"' Bill Condon, and "P.S." by Dylan Kidd, who previously made the hit "Roger Dodger."

The buzz is strong on both. In "Kinsey," Linney co-stars with Liam Neeson, and I'm told that role alone would have been enough to put her in contention for awards.

Last night I happened to see the first screening of the Kidd film, which is very quirky and perfect for film festivals and art houses.

More importantly, Linney stands out in the lead role of a 39-year-old divorcée going through a midlife crisis. I don't know if Kidd intended this, but you rarely see a woman struggling with these issues as a sexual being.

Linney's mixture of WASP-y sensuality and sarcasm works like a charm as her character faces a number of unusual revelations and choices. Don't be surprised if "P.S.," based on a novel by Helen Schulman, gets picked up by a distributor at the Toronto Film Festival next month and is released in time to coincide with Linney's other successes.

If Linney makes it to the Oscar finals, by the way, she will be in good company with other potential nominees such as Meryl Streep ("The Manchurian Candidate"), Gwyneth Paltrow ("Proof"), Reese Witherspoon ("Vanity Fair"), Julia Roberts and Natalie Portman ("Closer"), and Kate Winslet ("Finding Neverland"), among others.

Apple Continues to Taunt the Beatles

Don't think that just because you haven't heard anything lately, the feud between the Beatles and Apple Computer is over. Far from it.

As Apple's iPod gives birth to a new version, and its iTunes is contracted for in new forms, a massive lawsuit is indeed underway in Britain and in California, brought by the Beatles, aka Apple Corps/Apple Records, against the computer manufacturer.

Six years ago, Apple Computer paid a huge settlement to the Beatles and signed papers promising never to have a music company with the Apple name.

The Beatles formed Apple Corps, a record company, in 1968, and have had the Apple logo on all of their releases since then.

Early in Apple Computer's life, president Steve Jobs signed one agreement with Apple Corps' fearless, take-no-prisoners leader Neal Aspinall. When Jobs violated that agreement, the newer one was signed.

Now, Aspinall and the Beatles' various lawyers — who keep Beatles master recordings off the Internet and out of movie soundtracks, among other things — feel their case is getting better by the day as Jobs continues to breach their very specific agreement.

Will the two sides ever sing "We Can Work It Out"? The answer is: Yes, for money, and lots of it. More than you can imagine.