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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk FH's Avatar
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    SLASH/DUFF/IZZY/MATT Project: New Song Posted Online! - Nov. 24, 2002

    A brand new song written and performed by the new band of former GUNS N' ROSES members Slash (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass), Izzy Stradlin (guitar), and Matt Sorum (drums) has been posted online at this link

    The recording in question — tentatively dubbed "Pleasin'" — features lead vocals courtesy of GRAYSON MANOR frontman Brad Cox, who auditioned for the vacant singer position in the group several weeks ago but evidently didn't land the much-coveted gig.

    Cox reportedly wrote the lyrics and melodies for the track, which is one of more than 40 songs the as-yet-unnamed band has penned since forming earlier in the year. A different version of the track — complete with a new title — is expected to surface on the group's upcoming CD, due sometime in late 2003/early 2004.

    The band — who are still on the lookout for a suitable lead vocalist — had previously auditioned a number of well-known candidates, including ex-BUCKCHERRY frontman Joshua Todd, PSYCHOTICA's Pat Briggs, LIT's A. Jay Popoff and former NEUROTICA singer Kelly Shaefer.

    Although Izzy is said to be involved in the writing process for the group's upcoming debut album, he will not be touring with the band, who have now officially recruited McKagan's LOADED bandmate Dave Kushner as a session guitarist for all live appearances in support of the CD.

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk FH's Avatar
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    Former SKID ROW Frontman, Ex-GUNS N' ROSES Members Make Music Together - Nov. 23, 2002

    Former SKID ROW frontman Sebastian Bach is collaborating on new material with ex-GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan, Bach revealed during a recent interview with Norway's Metal Express. It is presently unclear if the songs will surface on Sebastian's upcoming solo CD or if they will be used for a separate project.

    When asked by Metal Express if he would consider taking up the lead vocalist position in the new band formed by Slash, McKagan and fellow ex-GN'R members, guitarist Izzy Stradlin and drummer Matt Sorum, Bach responded, "Yeah, I would definitely do that if they asked me. We're writing songs right now, so you never know what's gonna happen. If I was to join them, it would be a new band."

    When pressed about the possibility of rejoining his former SKID ROW bandmates following a very public and nasty split several years ago, the singer was more non-committal.

    "No, not at the moment," he said. "They have nothing to offer me, really. If they were to come up with a good song, I would consider it. But not at the moment, no."

    [ November 24, 2002, 06:44 AM: Message edited by: FH ]

  3. #3
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    GUNS N' ROSES: 'Chinese Democracy' In Stores By June - Nov. 23, 2002

    GUNS N' ROSES' long-awaited new album, "Chinese Democracy" should be in stores by June, according to keyboardist Dizzy Reed.

    "There are just a few odds and ends left to do - a couple of finishing touches, a couple of vocals — and we need to mix it," he said.

    In the meantime, GN'R — long MIA, except for a handful of one-off gigs — are mounting their first North American tour since 1993.

    On the eve of the band's performance in The Palace in Detroit, Michigan on Thursday, Nov. 21, frontman Axl Rose gave a 15-minute interview to local radio station 101 WRIF ("Detroit's home of rock and roll"), during which he discussed the upcoming album, the new members of the group and his former bandmates.

    The following is a transcript of the interview:

    Q: It was definitely a shocker to see you there on the MTV Video Music Awards. How long did it take to get that whole thing rolling?

    Axl Rose: "Well, they were in negotiations about trying to figure out how long we could do something and where it would be at the show for, actually, somewhere near the beginning of that little mini-tour we did. And then we didn't have what we were doing on stage worked out until the day of the show."

    Q: So that whole GUNS N' ROSES medley – is that what you had worked out or just the whole…?

    Axl Rose: "Yeah, that thing. 'Cause it wasn't for sure that we were playing until the day before the show."

    Q: Now, tell me about the reaction from people. They must have been blown away there, huh?

    Axl Rose: "People were pretty shocked. Yeah, definitely (chuckle)."

    Q: You must have been pretty fired up. How did you feel going back out there on stage, live TV and all that stuff? You must have been a nervous wreck all that day.

    Axl Rose: "Well, no, I wasn't bad, but everything tends to go wrong in my world. Like, even going to soundcheck, the people wouldn't let me down the street to go to the building. And then, the day of the show, they didn't let us go down that street. I had to get out of the car, run past the police, and they're telling me I have to stop, and I'm like,' I've gotta sing.' And the best part was, as I'm running down the street, I had to run past all the people lined up to get into the building, and they're going, [puts on dumb rock fan voice] 'Hey, there goes KID ROCK.' I thought that was pretty funny."

    Q: Why wouldn't the police let you [walk down the street to get into the building]? I'm kind of lost on that.

    Axl Rose: "Because they're lost. Just confusion, lost, don't know what's going on, people not having people's names on the list, not knowing what passes to check, all that kind of crap. So, just usual stuff going wrong for no reason."

    Q: So what you're telling me is, Axl Rose had to sneak into the MTV Video Music Awards?

    Axl Rose: "Yeah, basically. I had, like, police chasing me down the street, and then our security and MTV had to clear it with them, but… It was very interesting.

    Q: I guess the big question is, where have you been? Where has Axl Rose been for the last 10 years? What have you been doing? Just mellowing out, getting stuff ready to go, or…?

    Axl Rose: "Nah. Basically, I just don't go looking to promote myself on every little thing until there's some kind of product, or something to put out that I think is worth it. And we've been working on this band and trying to get things right for a long time. If I go to, like, do interviews or anything like that, it just gets turned around by so many people around the world who don't have anything better to do than to try to shoot anything down, and that was just too draining to deal with everybody else. It's interesting… In L.A., there's places that I go to all the time, but since I did the MTV thing, I go to the same place, and suddenly there's paparazzi, and it's like 'Axl's out.' Well, I was here last weekend, and you guys didn't care. I used to live behind the Tower Records on Sunset, and I lived right behind Spago, and if you wanted to, you could go down and stand there and all the paparazzi would take your pictures and stuff — it's just dependent on if you wanted to. I mean, I never did that, but you drove by it every day. There's other people there that would purposely go there to get their photos taken and stuff. It's not my world."

    Q: You've played a couple of gigs here and there – you played some huge ones down in South America, and you've done some small ones here in the States in Vegas, right?

    Axl Rose: "Yeah. Well, this band did not come together by a bunch of guys meeting each other in a bar or down on a corner in their old neighborhood, so it's taken a long time to pull these guys together and then have them develop a chemistry with themselves. When we did our first show in Vegas, Robin and Buckethead didn't know each other at all. You've got two lead guitar players trying to kill each other with their abilities. It's like when I tried to bring Zakk [Wylde] and Slash together – that didn't go too well [laughs]."

    Q: Oh, really? You tried to bring Zakk and Slash together once?

    Axl Rose: "Yeah, it was fun to watch. It was like watching a giant snake with a Tyrannosaurus Rex. So it was pretty exciting – I mean, we had a good time, I don't if they did."

    Q: When was this?

    Axl Rose: "That was '95."

    Q: Are they talking at all now, or you don't know?

    Axl Rose: "I think they can be cordial to each other, that whole kind of thing, but when they're actually playing, it gets that kind of alpha male thing going, like 'Who's the real lead guitar player?'

    Q: Another question I have for you… Do you think GUNS N' ROSES are still relevant after a long layoff? Obviously, you're selling tickets for the shows, people are really jonesing for GUNS N' ROSES still, and you haven't done anything in, like, at last seven or eight years.

    Axl Rose: "Yeah, I think the relevancy, really… At the end of the day, it's gonna really depend on… Well, for a bit of the nostalgia thing, you have the songs… we're playing a lot of the old material. For new excitement, you have the performance of these particular players. But at the end of the day, it's also really gonna stand on the new songs when we put out a new record, and if that's considered relevant or not, and if that's considered not selling out just to be relevant. So it'll really all hinge on that, and we feel really confident about the music that we're working on, and I think that when it does manage to find its way into the light, the timing will be perfect, 'cause, like this MTV thing, and the touring right now, that's all working really well."

    Q: The reason I ask you that is because I see younger people in early '20s, late teens, fired up to see GUNS N' ROSES.

    Axl Rose: "Yeah, they are. And also, the new performers… The band and the show is a really exciting thing. I like the soundchecks and the rehearsals before the shows watching this thing, because watching these guys is amazing. I mean, GUNS N' ROSES, I was in that band 'cause it was my favorite band – I loved watching all the player in that band. And watching this band is just as exciting, or more, for me. Plus, having what I feel is a better personal relationship with the individuals in the band makes it more exciting for me. And people have been commenting on noticing that on watching the shows a lot."

    Q: You said a couple of minutes ago, "when the new record comes out", as if you're a little skeptical about that.

    Axl Rose: "Nah, I'm not skeptical about, like 'if' [the album will come out]. I'm just saying the 'when' thing is when we decide that it's completed. There's a lot of things that… we come up with new ideas that we're working on as we go, and it is a really, really slow process, because it's kind of left more to ourselves in trying to figure it our where… What I've seen in this industry is that, if a record company… I don't know. There seems to be a lot more support for getting things done with newer bands, and it's got a lot to do with contracts being, you know, they don't have to spend as much money on the band, and they're trying to get it out there, and the next thing you know, they've sold a couple of albums and then they don't care about that band anymore and they move on and that band falls apart. It doesn't seem like there's a lot of support for bands that have been around. That's my experience. So in putting this thing together, in a lot of ways, I've had to do way more jobs in it than I'm supposed to — I've had to be manager, A&R man, producer, sole lyric writer, and a lot of [other] things, where GUNS N' ROSES, to me, what I worked really hard at was making it a collaborative effort, and it was a lot of people involved. This is a collaborative effort with the players, but the players aren't exactly sure what it should be to try to win over the world GUNS N' ROSES style. So that's kind of my responsibility. It took a long time, but now it's working, and I think we'll have the right record, and when we do drop the record, the plan is to drop the record, have a bunch of extra tracks, about a year or so down the road drop another record and drop a third record. This is a three-stage thing and we'll be touring for a real long time."

    Q: So the time off didn't affect you — you didn't like it too much, you don't wanna [give yourselves] more time off.

    Axl Rose: "We've been collecting lots of songs, so there won't be lots of time off — we'll just keep touring."

    Q: Since we last heard from GUNS N' ROSES, there's been a new President, reality TV, KID ROCK, EMINEM, LINKIN PARK — I mean, things have changed so much. Has any of this stuff influenced you at all?

    Axl Rose: "Well, basically, life, yeah. [laughs] Yeah, everything that's going on you think about, and there's a lot of different influences in music, so we try to move the music forward. There's a lot of misconceptions, because I wasn't gonna get in a one-on-one war with the old guys, because I felt that all that would do was gonna promote their albums and bring attention to that, and I didn't want to help that at all. The reality was that I was basically going to do most of Slash's songs in particular, and work on those with him, but basically, anytime we got anything that would be halfway near something that was gonna be either successful because it completely kicked ass or was just strong in any way, then it was backed away from, and I believe that this has a lot to do with trying to keep the material down, for his own personal reasons, keep his own material down. There was a lot of stress… That's basically why Izzy and these guys, none of them really wanted to do the big shows."

    Q: What kind of shows did they wanna do?

    Axl Rose: "Well, from day one, Izzy always wanted to be about the size of THE RAMONES and do, like, 2,000 seaters, so there was always a little battle there. And then the other guys had to be on so many substances to really be able to deal with that crowd. And to his credit, Slash could play great guitar on a lot of drugs, but there was a reason he would be that whacked out to be on stage. There was a lot of stress to deal with."

    Q: Tell me one of your fondest moments from the METALLICA/GUNS N' ROSES tour, because that was probably one of the biggest tours of the 1990s.

    Axl Rose: "I was definitely very excited about how that went — as far as how it went for us. And we got to see a lot of people backstage, we threw some really huge parties that were a lot of fun."

    Q: I was at one one time and you walked right by me and you went right into a hot tub with all these chicks. So that ain't too bad, huh?

    Axl Rose: "[laughs] No, that's not too bad."

    Q: I remember some of the parties. You guys had a different theme in every city, if I'm not mistaken, right?

    Axl Rose: "Yeah, that was a lot of fun."

    Q: I heard in Indianapolis you had, like, cars, and the one I was had go-go dancers and was, like, psychadelic, or something like that.

    Axl Rose: "We had a casino with ice sculptures somewhere."

    Q: So what are your plans for this year? You're doing the tour. You got a New Year's Eve date yet?

    Axl Rose: "Yeah, I think we're doing San Jose — San Francisco, basically."

    Q: 'Cause I heard something about the Las Vegas thing again.

    Axl Rose: "Well, we are doing Mandalay Bay right before then. But basically, the larger venues in Vegas wanted to stay dark on New Year's, 'cause they want people in there gaming. So we wanted to play a larger place in Vegas, so that's why we ended up doing San Francisco."

    Q: I guess it's sort of a generic question, but how's the tour going so far?

    Axl Rose: "It's going great, it's going great. I mean, it got started off exceptionally weird, but I guess [true to] GN'R style, and then from that point on… We've been really happy. All the guys are happy, you can sense that the people in the band are getting excited about what they see that we could turn this thing into, because we know what the material is that we are working on. And right now you have people just kind of stunned and watching, but I'll be excited when there's newer songs out there so then you've got some of that frenzy happening."

    Q: Are you doing any new stuff on the tour?

    Axl Rose: "We do about 4-5 songs that we've done at the various shows, but we're still holding our big guns back."

    To hear the interview in Window Media streaming audio, click here.

  4. #4
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    NYPD BIG UNDER FIRE IN AEROSMITH 'GOT A GUN' SCANDAL

    By PHILIP MESSING and MURRAY WEISS
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    November 24, 2002 -- A top NYPD official is being probed for helping rockers Steven Tyler and Joe Perry obtain pistol licenses in return for alleged VIP treatment at an Aerosmith concert and ritzy after-party, The Post has learned.
    Deputy Inspector Benjamin Petrofsky, the former head of the NYPD License Division, is the target of two probes into the circumstances that enabled Tyler and Perry to receive "carry permits," which allow the rockers to legally possess concealed handguns in the Big Apple.

    The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau is trying to determine if Petrofsky violated departmental regulations when he cut through red tape to help Tyler and Perry, sources said.

    The Manhattan district attorney's office is reportedly examining whether or not, in return, Petrofsky got "illegal benefits" - a ticket to the show, backstage access and a limo ride to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famers' post-concert party.

    Petrofsky, reached by The Post on Friday, declined to comment on the allegations, except to insist he had done nothing improper.

    Sources said the flap arose in the fall of 2001 when Tyler, Aerosmith's lead singer, and Perry, the band's lead guitarist, approached the NYPD License Division for gun permits, sources said.

    At the time, the rockers - whose fame and wealth has attracted stalkers over the years - already held gun licenses in Massachusetts and several other states, a source said.

    Most applicants are required to show up at Police Headquarters to detail why they deserve a license, demonstrating they carry large sums of cash, work in dangerous jobs or had been the brunt of credible threats.

    But insiders say some celebrities and other powerbrokers have quietly had the bureaucratic process streamlined for them.

    On Nov. 12, 2001, Petrofsky, then a captain, allegedly traveled to Madison Square Garden with another cop to fingerprint the duo before an Aerosmith concert that night.

    Both rockers were soon issued carry permits, though an NYPD spokesman declined to say what guns they're licensed to carry.

    The Internal Affairs probe was jump-started when a sergeant in the unit, Steve Oteri, secretly recorded the co-worker who accompanied Petrofsky bragging about their momentous night out, a source said.

    Petrofsky was reassigned to the Intelligence Division when the investigation began, but since then has been promoted to deputy inspector.

    He later admitted to investigators that he attended the Aerosmith concert, but only after paying an acquaintance for his ticket. The acquaintance, whose name is being withheld, spoke with The Post, insisting Petrofsky did not take a limousine ride nor attend a party.

    "He's a family man with five lovely kids, and the suggestion that he did anything improper is absolutely preposterous," said another friend, Bo Dietl, a former NYPD detective.
    “I made some mistakes tonight but we sing and play our f***ing instruments. Accept no substitute “ Tom Petty at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center July 3, 2002

  5. #5
    On Fire
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    Originally posted by FH:
    SLASH/DUFF/IZZY/MATT Project: New Song Posted Online! - Nov. 24, 2002

    A brand new song written and performed by the new band of former GUNS N' ROSES members Slash (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass), Izzy Stradlin (guitar), and Matt Sorum (drums) has been posted online at this link

    The recording in question — tentatively dubbed "Pleasin'" — features lead vocals courtesy of GRAYSON MANOR frontman Brad Cox, who auditioned for the vacant singer position in the group several weeks ago but evidently didn't land the much-coveted gig.

    Cox reportedly wrote the lyrics and melodies for the track, which is one of more than 40 songs the as-yet-unnamed band has penned since forming earlier in the year. A different version of the track — complete with a new title — is expected to surface on the group's upcoming CD, due sometime in late 2003/early 2004.

    The band — who are still on the lookout for a suitable lead vocalist — had previously auditioned a number of well-known candidates, including ex-BUCKCHERRY frontman Joshua Todd, PSYCHOTICA's Pat Briggs, LIT's A. Jay Popoff and former NEUROTICA singer Kelly Shaefer.

    Although Izzy is said to be involved in the writing process for the group's upcoming debut album, he will not be touring with the band, who have now officially recruited McKagan's LOADED bandmate Dave Kushner as a session guitarist for all live appearances in support of the CD.
    Good music, but I don't like the vocals. Did this guy say, "I'm waiting for her to lick my balls?"

    [ November 24, 2002, 11:38 AM: Message edited by: Dr. Love ]
    I've got the cure you're thinking of.<br />------------------<br />Remixed! Van Halen covers done by my band: <br /><a href="http://miraclefingers.synaesoft.com/Dreams.mp3" target="_blank">Dreams</a><br /><a href="http://miraclefingers.synaesoft.com/Panama.mp3" target="_blank">Panama</a><br /><a href="http://miraclefingers.synaesoft.com/Unchained.mp3" target="_blank">Unchained</a><br /><a href="http://miraclefingers.synaesoft.com/AtomicPunk.mp3" target="_blank">Atomic Punk</a><br /><a href="http://miraclefingers.synaesoft.com/SomebodyGetMeADoctor.mp3" target="_blank">Somebody Get Me a Doctor</a><br /><br />NEW: Burning Tires and Dr. Love:<br /><br /><a href="http://miraclefingers.synaesoft.com/HearAboutItLater.mp3" target="_blank">Hear About It Later</a>

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    21 Jump Street to the Big Screen
    Monday, November 25, 2002 12:59 CST

    Paramount Pictures will bring 21 Jump Street, the series that launched Johnny Depp's career, to the big screen. It will be scripted by series co-creators Stephen J. Cannell and Patrick Hasburgh.

    The series, which ran from 1987-1990 on Fox and one subsequent season in syndication, has an easily updatable premise for a film that should have strong youth appeal. A group of fresh-faced police officers are assigned the nightmarish undercover duty of returning to high school to crack crimes and bust drug dealers infiltrating the hallways. The narcs were played by Depp, Peter DeLuise, Holly Robinson Peete, Dustin Nguyen and Richard Grieco.

    Cannell, whose series creations include "The A-Team," "Wiseguy" and "The Commish," will produce the film with Douglas Rosen.

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    Birds of Prey Ending with a 2-Parter
    Sunday, November 24, 2002 11:17 CST

    Gotham Clock Tower tells us that the Birds of Prey series will end with a 2-parter that will change things forever and has the show go out with a bnag.

    According to the site, the 2-parter will most likely be combined into a big two-hour movie when it airs.

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    POWERMAN 5000 Set Tentative Release Date For New Album - Nov. 24, 2002

    POWERMAN 5000 have reportedly set May 20, 2003 as the tentative release date through Dreamworks Records of their as-yet-untitled new album, which was recently completed at a Los Angeles studio with producer Joe Baressi (who had engineered the group's platinum 1999 album, "Tonight the Stars Revolt!").

    The CD — the group's first with new bassist Siggy Sjursen and drummer Adrian Ost — is said to feature a more melodic and experimental direction for the group, who took advantage of the extra time during pre-production to expand their musical horizons.

    "The energy between me, [guitarist] M.33, [guitarist] Adam12 and AD7 [Adrian] is undeniable, so expect a less programmed, more 'live' sound," frontman Spider One recently stated. "My vocals are more catchy and melodic - I'm singing much more than I ever have, which is cool. I've had a lot of shit on my mind these last few months, and it's all coming out in my lyrics."

    POWERMAN 5000 were scheduled to drop "Anyone for Doomsday?" — their projected follow-up to "Tonight…" — on Aug. 28, 2001, but just two weeks before the release date, the band announced they were heading back into the studio to record new songs for the album. The group's scheduled headlining tour was cancelled, and the album release was postponed indefinitely.

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    Hard rockers Staind will release the follow-up to their 2001 breakthrough Break the Cycle next summer. They recently finished recording seventeen songs for the album with producer Josh Abraham, who also worked on Cycle, in Los Angeles.
    Guitarist Mike Mushok says he and his band mates have moved a step beyond their trademark angst this time around, and the result is a more balanced set. "There's definitely songs that are very aggressive," he says, "as well as songs that have the potential to be softer, and everything in between . . . I think the songwriting is better than the last record. Lyrically, we have three records out there where there's somebody singing about a lot of problems they had and subjects that weren't always the most uplifting. Now, [singer Aaron Lewis] is at a place where there isn't anything really bad going on in his life. He's not going to be singing about skipping through tulips, though."

    A couple of the songs, according to Mushok, are "atmospheric" and "spacey." "They're more open," he says. "There's one song in particular where there's this harmonic part that's really simple, and it's a six-and-a-half minute song that really takes you somewhere. There's one other song that Aaron wrote about his daughter Zoe Jane. It's a really very gentle, pretty song."

    Also likely to make the final track listing is a tribute to late Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley, for now titled simply "Layne." "Aaron started singing the lyrics, and I came up with a riff that reminded me of something that might have been out of that era," Mushok says. "The harmonies are very reminiscent of Alice in Chains. It's Aaron honoring him by saying how Layne helped him through stuff with his lyrics."

    JENNY ELISCU and AUGUSTIN SEDGEWICK
    (November 22, 2002)

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    Word has it that Boston's Corporate America album has only sold 44,000 copies to date, and re-orders are weak. Supposedly, a tour in 2003 is now in question.
    Melodicrock

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    Moviegoers made James Bond's Day this weekend.

    Die Another Day lived up to expectations, notching an estimated $47 million to easily top the box office and scoring the best-ever opening in the 40-year 007 franchise.


    The 20th official movie in the series and the fourth with Pierce Brosnan as the suave British secret agent (with an assist from the first Oscar-winning Bond babe, Halle Berry) jinxed any hopes Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets might have had to hold the top slot for a second straight week.

    Die Another Day averaged $14,182 at 3,314 theaters, according to preliminary studio figures Sunday, compared to an $11,230 average at 3,163 for the previous Bond adventure, The World Is Not Enough, which opened with $35.5 million in November 1999.

    MGM, the studio behind the PG-13 Bond adventure reported that nearly half the movie audience was female and that, even more importantly for the future of the profitable series, there was good response for the roughly one-third of the audience under 25.

    "There's a great deal of pressure on franchise pictures, especially when you have 19 movies before you," Peter Adee, MGM head of marketing, told the Associated Press. "You can't just have an aging audience. Young men and women are embracing the Bond franchise unbelievably well. That puts us in a great place to set up the next movie."

    Meanwhile, the $42.3 million conjured up in second place by the second movie in the boy wizard franchise was enough to push Chamber of Secrets' current total gross to $148.5 million, making it the 18th movie to pass the $100 million mark this year.

    The Potter pic averaged $11,507 at 3,682 sites. The 52 percent fall from its opening week marked a sharper drop-off than the second-week decline experienced by the first of J. K. Rowling's magic tales, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which was averaging $15,856 this time last year in 3,672 theaters. But that was over the Thanksgiving weekend, so Warners has hopes that next weekend, after too much turkey, audiences will once again get hooked by Harry's spell.

    In competition with the major-league clout of Bond and the world-famous magic of Harry, the third flick in Ice Cube's modestly budgeted, self-generated homie franchise did pretty (choose your own expletive) good in many fewer theaters. Friday After Next, an X-mas time caper, bagged an estimated $13 million in third place

    But Kevin Kline's Dead Poets Society-esque The Emperor's Club was practically disbanded. It opened in seventh place with just $4 million.

    The Emperor's Club barely edged out My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which pulled in another $3.8 million this weekend in eighth place. Already the biggest indie film ever and highest-grossing romantic comedy, Greek hit the $200 million mark Tuesday and now stands at $204.7 million in its 32nd weed of release.

    New Line's R-rated Friday After Next averaged $8,084 at 1,616 theaters. Universal's PG-13 The Emperor's Club only $5,025 at 809 sites.

    The highest per-screen averages were scored by movies opening in limited release.

    Sony Picture Classics' Talk to Her, Pedro Almodovar's odd tale of two men who learn to confide in each other because the women they love are comatose, had a very loud and clear debut, averaging $52,500 at two theaters for $105,000.

    Also making noise was The Quiet American, Phillip Noyce's adaptation of Graham Greene's novel about love and politics in 1952 Saigon. The R-rated Miramax release, which is already earning Oscar buzz for Michael Caine as a world weary journalist, averaged $18,500 at six theaters to earn $111,000.

    The third limited opening, MGM/UA's Personal Velocity--a triptych of emotional tales directed by Rebecca Miller and starring Kyra Sedgwick, Fairuza Balk and Parker Posey--also did sound business, averaging $15,356 at two sites to earn $30,712.

    Overall, the combined gross for the top 10 movies was nearly $145 million, down about 10 percent from last weekend, but up 3 percent for the same time last year--when there was Thanksgiving and Harry Potter, but no Bond.

    Final figures are due Monday. Here's a recap of how Exhibitor Relations tallied the studio estimates:

    1. Die Another Day, $47 million
    2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, $42.3 million
    3. Friday After Next, $13 million
    4. The Santa Clause 2, $10.3 million
    5. 8 Mile, $8.7 million
    6. The Ring, $7.6 million
    7. The Emperor's Club, $4 million
    8. My Big Fat Greek Wedding, $3.8 million
    9. Half Past Dead, $3.3 million
    10. Frida, $2.4 million

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    More than a decade after the height of the Seattle rock explosion, Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains are long gone and Mudhoney have become a cult band. Pearl Jam are the last man standing.

    And despite their best efforts to maintain a low profile, their Riot Act debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, selling more than 165,000 copies. No one could be more surprised than guitarist Mike McCready.

    "I'm amazed that people are even still wanting to listen to us," he said. "With all the other music out there and the shifting times, I'm surprised that people still consider us relevant. I'll hear us on classic rock radio stations and I'll go, 'Oh, my God, we're getting old!' I'm just grateful to still be around."

    McCready credits Pearl Jam's longevity to their chemistry and work ethic. And taking breaks from the band hasn't hurt any either.

    "We tend to stay out of each other's lives as much as possible when we're not working," McCready said. "We see our different friends and just get away from each other so when we get back together everything is fresh. When we all met in the studio this time it felt like coming home."

    Riot Act is more of a foot-to-the-floor rock record than 2000's Binaural. "Save You," "Ghost," "Get Right" and "Green Disease" are loose and stormy, expressing the band's interest in up-tempo garage rock, and slower tracks like "Love Boat Captain" and the single "I Am Mine" are scruffy and galvanic. Drummer Matt Cameron, who assisted with songwriting, provides technical heft, keeping the beats tight when his bandmates start to sprawl, and producer Adam Kasper encouraged Pearl Jam to keep their arrangements sparse and rocking.

    Although none of the songs on Riot Act directly addresses the events of September 11, McCready said the tension and tone of the album was colored by the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.

    "The events that have happened since then were weighing heavily on our minds or had changed us emotionally and psychically," he admitted. "So there are some darker themes on this record and that's probably indicative of where some of those harder songs came from also."

    Almost half the cuts on Riot Act are augmented with keyboards by frontman Eddie Vedder's friend Kenneth "Boom" Gaspar, who provides an additional dimension.

    "When there's keyboards you have to kind of play less on guitar," McCready said. "But having more keyboards was something I always wanted since [having producer] Brendan O'Brien play on 'Betterman.' It was a conscious effort to bring another sound into the equation."

    McCready said that, for him, "I Am Mine" is most indicative of Pearl Jam's current frame of mind. It may be a somewhat melancholy bar room song, but it glimmers with hope and optimism.

    "It was more about the positive theme that in between life and death I have my mind, and that's the only thing I can control. Everything else is pretty much out of control, but that's all right. I can live. I think the song has a very positive feeling to it. The way the song's written and the way Eddie sings it, it feels like we're back and we're still relevant."

    The second single from Riot Act will likely be "Save You," written mostly by McCready. Built around a high-octane rhythm, the song starts out in overdrive and doesn't relent.

    "It just came from a guitar riff that I had," McCready said. "When we got together to work on the record, I brought in two ideas. One idea I worked really hard on and I thought it was really cool. I showed it to [guitarist] Stone [Gossard], and he goes, 'Um, you got anything else.' And so I went, 'OK, sh--. And I played him the 'Save You' riff, and he seemed excited about that."

    Pearl Jam will play charity benefits at the Key Arena in Seattle on December 8 and 9, then the group will head to Australia and Japan before touring the U.S. next spring. The band is negotiating to bring Audioslave and Sleater-Kinney on tour, but nothing's been confirmed yet, McCready said.

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    Despite outcry over Michael Jackson dangling his infant son over a hotel balcony during his visit to Germany, Berlin police say that they're not pursuing criminal charges against the pop star.

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    About the only thing Eddie Vedder, Metallica, U2 and Tom Waits have in common is that they're all fans of the Ramones and they're all featured on We're a Happy Family: A Tribute to the Ramones.

    The disc, due in February, was spearheaded by Rob Zombie and features a variety of acts playing songs by the legendary New York punk band. Since the pioneering group relied on three-chord riffs and basic instrument skills, it's not hard to cover the Ramones, but it's hard to cover the Ramones well.

    Many of the covers on We're a Happy Family are pretty faithful to the originals. Offspring's "I Wanna Be Sedated" could almost be mistaken for the Ramones themselves. While the band is a tad tighter than the Ramones typically were, vocalist Dexter Holland sings in a voice that sounds remarkably like Joey Ramone.

    Similarly, Rancid's bombastic "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" is reverentially delivered with the speed and power of a blender on "puree," and Green Day cleanly blast through "Outsider," demonstrating they have a grasp for both East Coast and West Coast punk.

    Though U2 vocalist Bono sings "Beat on the Brat" in a tender, lovestruck voice, his bandmates tear into the cut with vigor and ferocity. And while Garbage give "I Just Wanna Have Something to Do" a modern electro sheen, they perform the song in a way that's instantly recognizable.

    Not surprisingly, singer/songwriter Pete Yorn plays "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" with passion and sensitivity; surprisingly he rocks it up to the point where it's just as powerful as Metallica's version of "53rd & 3rd."

    Other songs on the record bear a less direct resemblance to the Ramones. "Red Hot Chili Peppers" turn "Havana Affair" into a pepper pot of scribbley guitar, meandering basslines and Anthony Kiedis' distinctive vocals. Rob Zombie reconfigures "Blitzkrieg Bop" into a churning beast of effects and lunging guitars.

    Marilyn Manson's neo-gothic take on "KKK Took My Baby Away" is even more extreme, filled with breathy, moaning vocals, industrial percussion and an effect that sounds like a synchronized military march.

    However, the winner of the most unusual Ramones interpretation is Tom Waits, who along with Primus' Les Claypool converts "Return of Jackie and Judy" into a ramshackle, twisted blues rocker with cigarette-scarred vocals.

    Eddie Vedder and punk band Zeke contributed two songs to the album — a melodic but pounding version of "I Believe in Miracles" and a room-shaking rendition of "Daytime Dilemma (Dangers of Love)."

    Other acts with songs on We're a Happy Family are the Pretenders, Kiss and Rooney

    —Jon Wiederhorn

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    Beach & Christensen Developing Turok Adaptation
    Monday, November 25, 2002 10:48 CST

    Zap2it spoke to Adam Beach ("Smoke Signals") who says he's working together with "Attack of the Clones" star Hayden Christensen on a Turok: Dinosaur Hunter adaptation.

    With pal Hayden Christensen ("Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones" ) as producer, he's working on adapting the computer game and comic book "Turok: Dinosaur Hunter" for the screen.

    "There's a new 'Turok' where he's a college student," Beach says. "His uncle has died, and he learns about the responsibilities of a Turok and jumps into it when his family is threatened. A Turok is a warrior who is the protector of Earth from other dimensions. It's a place called the Lost World, and in that Lost World, they're trying to defeat the one enemy who wants to consume all of the worlds. Turok is the warrior on Earth who is fighting these people.”

    " His duty is to get these dinosaur beings ... and send them back to their own world."

 

 

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