Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rock News

--A  class action lawsuit claiming breach of racketeering and consumer protections laws has been launched against Lady Gaga. The suit, filed by 1800LAWFIRM, claims that the singer did not turn over all money raised from the sale of wristbands to help Japanese earthquake victims.  In addition, the suit also claims Gaga overcharged consumers for shipping and handling to inflate the donation totals, which she claims were around $3 million. An attorney for 1800LAWFIRM, Alyson Oliver, said in a statement. "Our intention via this lawsuit is to uncover any improprieties committed by Lady Gaga and appropriate the full donations assumed to the victims in Japan." There has been no comment thus far from Lady Gaga's camp concerning the suit.

--An eight-foot statue of rock pioneer Chuck Berry has been approved for display in in St. Louis Missouri, despite a letter of protest by local residents. The statue, which depicts a young Berry playing his guitar, met with complaints that the musician was a "felon and not a friend to women,"  in a petition signed by over 100 local residents. However, the owner of the University City Council, who own the land where the state is slated to stand, is disregarding the protest and plan to go ahead with the installation.

--The iconic red-and-black leather jacket worn by Michael Jackson in the video for the song "Thriller" has sold at auction for $1.8 million dollars. The buyer, Texas gold trader Milton Verret, says he plans to tour the jacket as a fund-raiser for children's hospitals across the country. Plans are already underway to display the jacket at Dell's Children's Hospital in Austin, Texas.

--Oren Moverman, co-writer of the 2007 Bob Dylan biopic "I'm Not There," has been hired to pen a movie based on the life of enigmatic Beach Boys' front man Brian Wilson. The filmmakers have acquired the rights to Wilson's life, as well as permission to use his music in the film. The film is part of a number of projects surrounding the 50th anniversary of the forming of the band, also in the works are a possible reunion with all surviving members and the release of the uncompleted Pet Sounds follow-up album Smile, which was abandoned in 1967 due to Wilson's fragile mental state  (Wilson released his own, rerecorded, version of the album in 2004)

--Reggae star Buju Banton has been sentenced to 10 years in a federal prison for conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine. Banton was busted by an undercover DEA agent in 2009 after he was recorded claiming he "could broker cocaine sales." Though Banton lated claimed he was "only bragging," the recording was enough to secure a conviction, which carries a minimum 10 year sentence under federal law. Banton's lawyers are hoping to get the singer assigned to a Florida prison, so he can remain close to his family.   

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