Tom Cruise: Disliked More Than Madonna? | Springsteen's Rock Out at Last Police Show | Warner Still Out of Tune; Movie Shock; Betsey johnson Has the 'Eyes'; Weekend Etc.
Madonna has millions of fanatic fans, but not so many that want to know about her dirty laundry.
According to Nielsen’s Book Scan, the book “Life with My Sister Madonna,” by the publicity-seeking pop star’s brother Christopher Ciccone, has been a resounding flop. Total sales: 35,000.
To make matters worse, Madonna is less disliked, let’s say, by people willing to fork over $20, than Tom Cruise. Andrew Morton’s biography of Cruise has sold 50,000 copies, according to BookScan.
The Cruise book, of course, had real revelations about his connection to Scientology, raised questions about his relationships and even the conception of baby Suri.
The Madonna book, on the other hand, was a gloss on life with the world’s most heat-seeking diva. There was a lot of promise, but not so much delivery about sex, drugs or rock 'n' roll.
One wonders now if Ciccone thinks it was all worth it. Whatever fee he got from Simon & Schuster for ratting out his sis had to be split with British celebrity muckraker Wendy Leigh.
Leigh has several of these “tell-nothing” books under her belt, so it’s likely she got a nice piece of change to formulate Ciccone’s bland recollections into something that sounded salacious. If Ciccone netted less than $500,000 just to bash Madonna publicly, which is probably the case, after taxes that can’t seem like enough to have been cut off from his $100 million sister for life.
Simon & Schuster can’t be too happy, either. The net take on sales of 35,000 for a celebrity bio is pretty low once all costs are deducted — like printing a book with a lot of pictures and then paying lawyers to make sure Ciccone didn’t get sued.
Of course, there’s always the theory that Madonna let brother Christopher publish the book with the philosophy that all publicity is good, and it might help ticket sales for her tour. Ciccone’s book came exactly at the moment that Madonna was rumored to be divorcing because she was rumored to be having an affair with New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez. That story, you may have noticed, disappeared as quickly as it started — which was right after rumors that Madonna’s tour wasn’t selling well.
Bruce Springsteen and wife Patti Scialfa, not to mention their three big teenagers, were just a few of the A-list guests at Thursday night’s final Police show at Madison Square Garden.
You might like to know that Bruce stood through the entire show, that’s how much he enjoyed it. He couldn’t get enough!
After the show, in a private party in Sting’s Turkish-style dressing room, Bruce reminisced about sharing the stage with Sting over the years. “Remember that show in 1983?” he said. “It was the best.”
Debbie Harry of Blondie fame was another special guest in the audience, as was Leonardo DiCaprio, who came with his mom, and James Gandolfini, who got hot dogs for his girlfriend before the show started. New York City Mayor Bloomberg came backstage to take pictures with Sting, Andy and Stewart since the show was a total donation to PBS.
And what a stroke of genius to have the B52’s open the evening. The Garden was completely packed early in their rocking, party-hard set, so the roar from the audience was thunderous when the Police took the stage for “Message in a Bottle” with the New York Police Department marching band.
Sting spoke eloquently from the stage right after that, thanking his bandmates for this reunion tour.
“We nearly strangled each other,” he joked.
As a nice touch, the band offered a video tribute of everyone in their crew during the final number, “Next to You.”
After the show, Sting told me that during “Can’t Stand Losing You,” the sound offered up from the audience really scared him.
“When I said, 'OK, this is the last time we’re going to do this,'” he recalled, “and everyone sings the Ee-oh part, you could really feel this powerful wave come up from the floor. It was unbelievable!”
The show, which lasted a little over two hours, included all of the Police’s hits and even some surprises. The group opened the show with Eric Clapton’s “Sunshine of Your Love,” which they’d been practicing for a few days.
Sting’s daughters Kate, Mickey and Coco did some go-go dancing on stage during “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic.” The show ended with a bit of opera, and members of the crew who’d tricked up a “fat lady” float on the stage, and then the Looney Tunes theme music indicating “That’s all, folks!”
Thursday's quarterly phone conference concerning Warner M. Group was the usual desultory experience. Here’s the big news: they lost only $9 million in this quarter, as opposed to last year, same time, $17 million.
Of course, this year, Edgar Bronfman didn’t throw away $30 million on a failed scheme to promote concerts in the Hamptons. Madonna and Nickelback are gone. Insiders are laying odds about who’s next. Anthony Kiedis told me the other night that for the moment, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are staying put. “I know, everyone’s left but us,” he said. ...
A lot of movie insiders are talking about a new film called “Bottle Shock.” Not only are audiences loving it, but this indie feature comedy about how the winemakers of Napa Valley got respectability is really independent! The producers put their own money into it, and are distributing themselves.
Bill Pullman, Alan Rickman, Freddie Rodriguez and Eliza Dushku are among the stars —and the film is very charming, kind of a “Sideways” with a twist. Last week, Savanna’s restaurant in the Hamptons sponsored a premiere dinner for the film, with L.A. Reid, Princess Yasmin Khan and philanthropists Don and Katrina Peebles on the eclectic guest list. (The Peebles are getting around: they hosted their own cocktail party last month for Russell Simmons and Aretha Franklin.) ...
Betsey Johnson is still the most creative designer in the world. Her fashion shows are legendary. Now Betsey is designing eyewear — glasses, to us — for GruenEyes. They are completely nuts and just great. ...