They’re here, a good six weeks before their supposed due date. Vivienne Marcheline and Knox Leon are not the twin girls that every tabloid predicted, but they are the fraternal twins that Angelina Jolie told this column about and they’re here earlier than announced, as this column predicted.
But now the fun starts. Two magazines are fighting for the rights to the official first photographs of the Jolie-Brad Pitt twins.
Both People and OK! want ‘em, and it’s the bidding war of all time.
People would seem to have the inside track, since they’ve participated with the couple in numerous photo shoots of their kids for millions that Jolie and Pitt have then turned over to charity.
But OK! is serious about being Baby-Shoot Central. They’ve plunked down their millions for shots of tots belonging to Jamie Lynn Spears, Matthew McConaughey and Jessica Alba.
But nice as those celebs are, they aren’t the A-list. Vivienne and Knox are the biggest names in the baby world since Shiloh and Suri. The competition is dizzying to see who gets bragging rights. The couple’s decision will likely be motivated simply by money and not by which publication they like to read.
The money — which could top $15 million — will likely be used to fund the couple’s two charitable organizations: the Jolie-Pitt Foundation and the Make It Right Foundation. The latter is Pitt’s group that’s dedicated to rebuilding New Orleans.
It’s not taking away anything from Jon Bon Jovi’s amazing performance in Central Park last night to say that Richie Sambora almost stole the whole show with one song.
The occasion, of course, was Bon Jovi’s ebullient free concert in the park put together by Randy Phillips and AEG Live, and sponsored by a bunch of people like Bank of America (they had huge white balloons with their logo emblazoned on them bouncing around).
My old pal Mark Shimmel from Arista Records was there as part of the team to film the show for TNT.
There weren’t many celebs in the crowd as most were spending another summer Saturday in the Hamptons or Europe. But director Penny Marshall was rocking out (and crabbing too, ‘natch), and designer Kenneth Cole was spotted in the crowd.
And the crowd could not have loved the show more, except for Jon Bon Jovi. The rocker with the movie-star looks had a gigantic smile plastered across his face for the full two hours of his unyieldingly athletic, knockout show. If you want to lose weight, just reproduce Bon Jovi’s work out from one of his shows. He must lose 10 pounds a night!
He also sings and sings and sings. Bon Jovi’s songs may not be particularly topical — they’re love songs — but they are wordy, old-fashioned, constructed numbers with real choruses and verses. And he sings almost all of it — from the declarations of “It’s My Life” to the cha cha of “Keep the Faith.” And in between he throws in snippets of “Shout” and “Twist and Shout.”
But then there’s Richie, sporting a fedora, looking and sounding healthier than ever. And maybe it will come out in the filmed version of the show, but his lead vocal on “I’ll Be There for You” (not the "Friends" theme!) was the surprise highlight of the night. Richie has a beautiful, rich, R&B-like voice, very different from Bon Jovi’s. When it’s showcased, the fans go wild. And that was the case last night.
One interesting thing about Jon Bon Jovi: his songs and his performance just keep getting better with every year. You can’t say that about most rockers. But songs like “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” “Keep the Faith” and “Have a Nice Day” are two decades newer than his original material and better built to last.
Bon Jovi is a scrapper, too. Cast a little in Bruce Springsteen’s long shadow, he’s like the New Jersey Tony Bennett to the Boss’s Frank Sinatra. Unlike Bennett, though, Bon Jovi hasn’t had to wait — thank goodness — until his predecessor kicks the bucket to reap his deserved rewards.
Only Peter Cook would invite reporters to breakfast after his insane divorce trial and stunning loss this week. The one-time convicted cocaine dealer and admitted Internet porndog certainly seems to have become addicted to his celebrity status, but those 15 minutes are just about up. Again: new architecture clients are advised to keep him away from their kids’ computers while he has his protractor out. ...
Henry Winkler — The Fonz! — got knocked on one of those celebrity blogs for “not having a career.” Hello? We should only be so lucky! The wealthy and successful Winkler has had a stunning career since his “Happy Days” as a producer and occasional actor. Among his biggest credits: executive producer of “MacGyver” and all its subsequent spin-offs. ...
The announcement of Bobby Murcer’s death just about broke my heart and those of every New York Yankee fan. The genteel centerfielder was a superstar to us in the early 1970s and he never stopped being loved. When team captain Thurman Munson died in 1979, it was Murcer who not only eulogized him, but literally went to bat for him. In the game following the funeral, Murcer used Munson’s bat and drove in five runs.
The irony of all was that Murcer — who’d arrived with Munson in 1969 to restart the Yanks — had left in 1974 for the San Francisco Giants. He missed the Yankees’ pennant win in ’76 and back-to-back World Series in '77 and '78. His return in June 1979 was incredibly exciting because it signaled a reunion with Munson. But less than two months later, it was all over.
Why have so many ballplayers of Murcer’s era died of brain cancer? Apparently there’s a theory among some players that it’s no coincidence. The victims may have had commonalities regarding specific ballfields and chemicals used there to maintain them. This may be an inconvenient truth that’s worth looking into by not just Major League Baseball but the NFL as well. ...