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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


Rocks and Roll

"But I would not feel so alone:/Everybody must get stoned." -- Bob Dylan, "Rainy Day Women No. 12 and 35"

Concerts in Buenos Aires last week were quite a bitch for pop-rocker Meredith Brooks. She was hooted off the stage on two consecutive nights, accompanied by a hail of stones, fruit, bottles, dirt clods and tampons, The Associated Press reports.

Meredith, a singer of searing honesty in the angry Alanis Morrisette mode, best known -- well, only known, in fact -- for her anthem of self-affirmation, "Bitch," was opening for the Rolling Stones in front of 70,000 people evidently uninterested in the affirmation of anything other than the gaudy display of patented Stonesrock they'd paid top dollar to see.

Although she was nearly blinded by a clod the first night (the police didn't get his name), Brooks -- who with searing honesty refuses to divulge her age, except to say she's "thirtyish" -- was game enough for another go the next night; she even wore an Argentinian soccer jersey to woo the fans. But after one song -- "Bitch" -- the boos and brickbats flew again. She then bolted from the stage, and the tour.

Mick Jagger said he was "so sorry," about the incident, but didn't let it stop the Stones' billion-dollar juggernaut for a moment. He simply replaced Brooks with yet another singer of searing honesty given to angry self-affirmation -- Bob Dylan -- and the tour rolled on.

Survival Instinct

Another Stone -- though not exactly a rolling one these days -- was making news this week, according to the inquiring minds at Agence France Presse.

Sharon Stone revealed to a breathless world that she is considering a reprise of her one and only smash hit movie, "Basic Instinct," in which she played a femme fatale who might possibly be a maniacal ice-pick killer. (And you know how hard it is to kill those pesky ice picks.)

Stone, in Paris to promote her latest film, the literally dead-in-the-water futuristic sci-fi undersea flop, "Sphere," said she was reading the script of the "Basic" sequel and finding it "fabulous."

"I thought it would be idiotic and dreadful," she added, obviously having confusing it with the original.

Stone became famous, of course, when she crossed her long legs in a short skirt without benefit of underwear in one scene of the sweaty 1992 thriller. Producers reportedly want her to stretch her considerable acting abilities in the sequel: they may ask her to cross her long legs in a short skirt without benefit of underwear while reciting T.S. Eliot. Gotta draw in that art-house crowd too, you know.

Head Case

And speaking of heavy-duty '60s counter-culture icons (like Sharon Stone), the old Easy Rider himself wound up on the wrong end of a whopper lawsuit last week, Reuters reports.

Dennis Hopper lost an appeal in a defamation suit and now must pay fellow actor Rip Torn almost $500,000 for remarks made on that veritable epicenter of authentic radical cool: "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

Appropriately enough, "Easy Rider," Hopper's landmark 1969 film, was the topic of the expensive conversation. Hopper told Leno that while he was auditioning Torn for the part of a drunken Southern lawyer, Rip became so enraged he pulled a knife on Hopper in a restaurant. (The part eventually went to Jack Nicholson.)

Torn, a veteran of an earlier counterculture (he was blacklisted during the McCarthy years), did not take kindly to Hopper's flashback; he sued him for "hatred, ill will, malice, revenge and oppression," commonly known as slander.

And now that Torn has triumphed in the appeal, the two brother thespians will go back to court -- to assess further, punitive damages against the loquacious Lenoist, Hopper.

Courtly Love

"To be sure, you know no actual good of me. But no one thinks of that -- when they're in love." -- Miss Bennett to Mr. Darcy, "Pride and Prejudice."

It might not have been the most auspicious time and place to pitch woo, but John Royster obviously thought it was worth a shot. So he sent a series of love letters to Judge Leslie Crocker-Snyder during the past few months -- while she was presiding over his trial for murder.

The swain was charged with killing one woman and brutally beating two others during a week-long spree of violence in 1996, AP reports. But he was apparently softened by the sight of Crocker-Snyder.

"Dear Leslie," he wrote, as the evidence against him piled up, "if you weren't attracted to me, you wouldn't run out and run back in the courtroom in front of me so I can see your delicious body, or wear that cute black choker around your neck for me."

While there was much more post in this vein ("Give in to your desire to be with me"), in the end the fair maiden was unmoved. She sentenced Royster to life in prison without possibility of parole, adding that he was "an incurable and dangerous monster."

Ship of Fools

Gee, it worked so well the first time!

A Swiss-American consortium announced this week that it plans to construct a full-size, $480 million replica of the passenger liner Titanic and sail it across the Atlantic on the 90th anniversary of the great ship's tragic sinking, The Daily Telegraph reports.

What's more, Titanic II will carry a full complement of replica idle rich, the developers said. Tickets for a berth on the boat will range anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 apiece (lifeboat reservations included). No dirt-poor, way-cute, happy-go-lucky street artists need apply, obviously.

The promoters hope to set sail from Southampton on April 10, 2002, and follow the original ship's exact route (but not, presumably, into that big iceberg).

"The whole world is keen on Titanic now," said consortium official Annette V?lcker, displaying a remarkable grasp of the longevity of pop-culture phenomena. "We are appealing to people who have seen the film and want to touch the reality."

Yes, but drowning sort of cuts down on your repeat business, doesn't it?