Organizers of the July 7 Live Earth shows are just about to start announcing who’s playing on which of the seven continents.
These are the climate change awareness concerts being produced in conjunction with former Vice President Al Gore stemming from his film, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
God only knows that the trash generated by seven megaconcerts should be a sight to behold, but I suppose there’s some plan for all that.
I am told the Rolling Stones will be headlining the U.K. show at Wembley Stadium, along with Madonna (she’s British, you know). Other acts for Wembley should include the Red Hot Chili Peppers (they’ll do London, not Philadelphia), as well as Metallica, James Blunt and Block Party.
There’s a rumor that Spinal Tap, the famous fictitious rock band, is going to play at one of the shows, as well.
The concerts sound like a good idea, and there’s no doubt that Paul McCartney, U2, The Who and a variety of other acts will be signing on in the next couple of weeks (it’s unclear who will go down to Antarctica for that show).
The Police are signed on for Philadelphia. But so soon after Live 8 in July 2005, the producers of the shows are going to have to come up with something really unusual to top that event’s Pink Floyd reunion if they really want to get the public’s attention.
Meantime, it should be interesting to see what the presidential hopefuls do to capitalize on the Live Earth concerts. For example: Even though Gore distanced himself from the Clintons during the 2000 presidential elections, Hillary Clinton seems to be warming to the former VP’s newfound popularity.
At her Hollywood fundraiser on Saturday night, Clinton spoke glowingly about Gore and his recent testimony on Capitol Hill. Her camp says she’s going to be talking more about his policies and possibly reaching out to him.
Yesterday I told you that on Friday, jailed Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano remarried his ex-wife, Kat, in a magistrate’s court. The couple had been divorced for five years after 18 years of marriage.
Since the divorce, Kat Pellicano has been the source of numerous stories for various journalists writing about her ex-husband (not me, sorry).
Attending the wedding were reporters from The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, as well as The Associated Press and People. So far, only the Associated Press writer, the esteemed and incorruptible Linda Deutsch, bothered to file a story about this unusual situation.
People is weekly and may not have had a place to put it. But both Timeses? It’s a little weird for The New York Times’ David Halbfinger and Alison Weiner, considering they’re involved in a mini drama investigation concerning leaks in the Pellicano case.
Last night I asked Chuck Phillips of the LA Times — who used to write great music biz pieces for the paper — if he’d actually been to the wedding. He said he’d “stopped by.”
Why hadn’t he filed a story?
“A lot of things happen in Pellicano,” he said.
When I suggested that this might be a big deal, and that the newly minted Mrs. P. would likely not testify in her hubby’s fall trial, Phillips — who won a 1999 Pulitzer at the Times for beat reporting on corruption in the entertainment industry — replied, “If there is a trial. There are a lot of holes.”
This seems like a surprising answer. The federal prosecutors brought a massive indictment against Pellicano, with lots of evidence already supplied.
It seems hard to believe they would come this far and not proceed to trial. But the LA Times is so far lukewarm on the Pellicano trial. Its coverage, as the only actual newspaper in the area, has been haphazard at best.
I always say, the problem in Los Angeles is no tabloid press. Without a Daily News or New York Post, much occurs that is never covered.
For example, when the O.J. Simpson case broke and Mark Fuhrmann’s participation in it became a scandal — as well as other cops — the Times pretended there had never been trouble with the department concerning racism (as well as sexual harassment) when clearly there had been. A tabloid press would have been there to remind them.
What’s clear, according to my sources, is that Kat Pellicano will not testify in the trial that’s set for this fall. She will invoke spousal privilege. I’m told she’s so in need of cash influx that she was persuaded by Pellicano to remarry, her silence rewarded by big bucks.
This means that her testimony in front of a grand jury two years ago is out the window. Prosecutors must be tearing their hair out.
After O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson and Robert Blake, it’s pretty clear that Hollywood is a good place to get yourself into trouble if you’re famous. A year after Pellicano was indicted on 110 counts of fraud and wiretapping, his case looks like it’s headed in the same direction.
“American Idol” is headed to New Orleans the weekend of April 14. Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and an "Idol" team will be filming in the Mississippi delta and working with Hurricane Katrina survivors for “Idol Gives Back,” a pair of special shows that will air 10 days later.
Meanwhile, Abdul was a guest at that Clinton fundraiser on Saturday. She came as the guest of Suzan Hughes, the third wife of late Herbalife founder Mark Hughes.
Abdul laughed when I asked her about this season's controversies. “People don’t know how smart I am,” she concurred when I mentioned her savvy.
She said she thinks Sanjaya Malakar, the kid with the hair, will go on a little longer before he’s excised from the competition. And Paula? She will just keep on keeping on, friends.
In other “Idol” news, it looks like Elliott Yamin’s gamble has paid off. I told you a few weeks ago that Sony/ATV Music had signed the former “Idol” player, made an album and was releasing it through Hickory Records, an indie label. It looks like the self-titled CD will finish around No. 3 for the week with about 100,000 copies sold.
The Yamin news isn’t bad, considering the rest of the music business is as dead as it could be. Shares of Warner Music Group, for example, were selling at $16.67 yesterday, down from around $24 on Jan. 1.
On Friday, the company hit a 52-week low of $15.91. It’s not that I wish WMG bad fortunes, but from the release schedule it seems they have nothing coming out under the Warner’s name for at least the next four weeks, except for a minor act called Static X.
Maybe the Warner Music people are just tired and frustrated. Among tomorrow’s releases are perfectly good albums by Macy Gray, Heather Headley, newcomer Mika, Tim McGraw, R&B crooner Joe and rockers Good Charlotte.
My prediction: With the exception of the latter, unless their record companies really grease the wheels, these albums will go unheard on regular radio. The business is in a stranglehold, and no one will do anything about it.