Checker, famous for "The Twist," turns 60 today, and
perhaps it's the weight of that occasion that prompted him
recently to take out a full-page ad in Billboard complaining about
Checker demanded that the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland put a statue of himself
in the courtyard. "I want my flowers while I'm alive. I can't
smell them when I'm dead. I will not have the music business
ignore my position in the industry." (Checker has not yet
been voted into the hall of fame.)
Hall of fame President Terry
Stewart said the request was not reasonable. "The idea that
we could elevate one individual with a statue out front would
suggest I would have to do likewise for all the rest of the people
in the pantheon."
Meanwhile, 35 years after Country
Joe and the Fish made "I-Feel-Like-I'm- Fixin'-to-Die
Rag" the anti-Vietnam War anthem, Babette Ory, descendant of
the composer of the 1926 instrumental "Muskrat Ramble,"
is suing for copyright infringement. Joe McDonald, a.k.a. Country
Joe, has put a copy of the legal complaint on his Web site.
SOMETIMES WE DO GET ALONG: Bill
Clinton and Al Gore are friends again, and Washingtonian magazine
provides word of another rift mending. George McGovern and Thomas
Eagleton haven't been friends since 1972, when McGovern, running
for president, kicked Eagleton, his vice presidential nominee, off
the ticket after it was learned that Eagleton had received
Recently reading Stephen Ambrose's
"The Wild Blue," which described McGovern winning a
Distinguished Flying Cross for flying B-24 bombers during World
War II, Eagleton was moved to send McGovern a congratulatory
letter. McGovern responded in a friendly manner and another Great
Divide was bridged.
Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind celebrated his birthday on
Saturday night chez Bill and Vanessa Getty, who threw a bash that
included the singer Seal, Minnie Driver, Amanda De Cadenet (who
used to be Keanu Reeves' girlfriend and seemed to be a contender
for the post of first lady of the honoree), and such local
favorites as Stanlee Gatti, producer Jason Carmer,
Munro and Xandra Castleton, Naked Barbies singer Patty Spiglanin
and Industrial Light & Magic special-effects man Scott
The birthday boy --
whose age was something of a mystery -- was heard discussing
Gustav Mahler with Michael Tilson Thomas, but nonetheless, his
true roots showed. When he arrived a half-hour late, Driver
cracked, "Well, he is a rock star, isn't he?"
P.S. Elsewhere on the
blowing-out-the-candles scene, MTT himself tossed a birthday bash
for Supervisor Mark Leno recently that practical Leno converted
into a kickoff for his Assembly campaign.
P.P.S. Driver, who appears in
magazine ads for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, stayed there over
the weekend, along with Seal, Stevie Nicks and Sheryl Crow.
ART STAR: Bonnie Grossman, whose
Ames Gallery in Berkeley is packed with old-fashioned but
fashionable kitchen gear, says that 50 or 60 of her objects were
used in "The Deep End." Most prominently featured in the
film, however, were collages spotted by the moviemakers when they
came to the gallery. They were made by artist Sy Grossman, who is
also a jazz musician, retired gastroenterologist and husband of
FINALLY: Prince Edward's Ardent
Productions Ltd. issued a formal statement and apology after it
was caught shooting footage for "A-Z of Royalty" at St.
Andrews University, Prince William's school. All footage shot was
returned to Buckingham Palace, said the statement, and did not
contain pictures of William.
The company said it "utterly
respects the need for him to be left alone to undertake his
studies in private."
A visit from a founder
'She'd come in like royalty, have
the unit polished. . . . She'd hover like a blow-up doll at one
end of the wing and go out the other. It was, like, 13 Hail Bettys,
and she'd go home."
-- Ozzy Osbourne recalling Betty
Ford's visit to the Betty Ford Center, in Blender magazine.
Nuggets o' gossip welcomed by
Leah Garchik at (415) 777-8426 or firstname.lastname@example.org.