Wednesday, April 2, 2003
No infernal racket
London -- Paul McCartney may turn down the volume to avoid disturbing Pope John Paul II when he plays to an expected 300,000 fans outside Rome's Coliseum in May.
Organizers of the free concert said that the former Beatle may drop some of his louder rock numbers, including "Back In the U.S.S.R." and "Live And Let Die," so the concert won't disturb the 82-year-old pontiff at his quarters in the Vatican nearby.
"We have been advised by Italian contacts that the show could keep his holiness the pope up all night," said tour promoter Barrie Marshall.
A spokesman for McCartney said, "We don't want to tone down the rock and roll element in the set -- we reckon the pope may actually enjoy a boogie. But we don't want problems with the neighbors."
Director goes ape
Wellington, New Zealand -- "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson is going from tiny hobbits to a giant ape for his next film, a remake of "King Kong."
Jackson plans to use a field on the outskirts of the New Zealand capital, Wellington, as a stand-in for New York City. Work is scheduled to begin late this year, Universal Studios announced.
"I'm making movies today because I saw this film when I was 9 years old," Jackson said. "It has been my sustained dream to reinterpret this classic story for a new age."
The original "King Kong" from 1933 starred Fay Wray as a beautiful actress who becomes the object of a gigantic ape's affections.
Museum hits the happy trail
Victorville, Calif. -- Well-wishers bid "happy trails" to the Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum, which is moving to Branson, Mo.
The museum, which closed its doors Sunday, hopes to open in Branson for the Memorial Day weekend.
Rogers -- known to Western movie fans as the "King of the Cowboys" -- died in 1998 at 86. Evans, who wrote the couple's theme song, "Happy Trails to You," died in 2001 at 88.
"We've been here 36 years in the high desert, so it's a little bit rough," said son Dusty Rogers.
Madonna's peace offering
Los Angeles -- Madonna avoiding controversy? What's this world coming to?
Only days before it was set to premiere on VH1, Madonna has decided to scrap her explosive "American Life" music video out of "sensitivity and respect" for armed forces in Iraq, "who I support and pray for," she said in a statement.
"I have decided not to release my new video," she explained. "It was filmed before the war started, and I do not believe it is appropriate to air it at this time."
Besides her sensitivity to how those in the military may react, the singer cited "the volatile state of the world" as her reason for withdrawing the clip.
"I do not want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret the meaning of this video."
The video, which included scenes of war, features Madonna in military garb on a fashion runway alongside camouflage-clad dancers.
The clip concludes with her lobbing a hand grenade at a smiling President Bush look-alike, who uses it to light a cigar.
The "American Life" single is due for release April 14, while the album of the same name will be out April 22.