Hero at any altitude

London -- Admirers of Sir Edmund Hillary lined up early Tuesday and braved the rain for a chance to meet the conqueror of Mount Everest.

Hillary -- who with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was the first to scale the world's highest peak on May 29, 1953 -- spent an hour signing copies of his books at a central London store.

The 83-year-old New Zealander smiled broadly as he initialed copies of his books, "High Adventure" and "View From The Summit."

In a new foreword to "High Adventure," first published in 1955 and reissued this spring, Hillary wrote that "ever since I reached the summit of Mount Everest 50 years ago, the media have classified me as a hero, but I have always recognized myself as being a person of modest abilities."

"My achievements have resulted from a goodly share of imagination and plenty of energy," he added.

Singer pleads innocent on drugs

Burbank, Calif. -- Stone Temple Pilots lead singer Scott Weiland pleaded innocent to two felony charges of possession of heroin and cocaine.

The 35-year-old musician, who entered his plea Monday, is due back in court July 11 to set a preliminary hearing date. He's free on $10,000 bail.

Weiland, of Los Angeles, was arrested May 17 after a police officer pulled him over for allegedly driving without headlights on and said he saw drugs in the car.

He previously was arrested for investigation of cocaine and heroin possession and served jail time in 1999 after repeatedly violating his probation and failing to complete drug rehabilitation programs.

Honky-tonk road show

Oxford, Miss. -- Country music stars Marty Stuart and Merle Haggard announced the kickoff of a summer concert tour they say will be part tent show and part honky-tonk.

The Electric Barnyard Tour opens July 6 in Sierra Vista, Ariz. Also scheduled to perform are BR549, Connie Smith, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage and The Old Crow Medicine Show.

Stuart, 44, said the road show was created with the idea of bringing big-name entertainment to areas that seldom host such events.

The tour will include stops in California, Oregon, Washington, Iowa, Illinois, Georgia, Kentucky, Virginia, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.

Love is eternal

New York -- Fearless predictions: The sun will come up tomorrow. And Courtney Love will not be able to keep her mouth shut.

According to the New York Post, the actress-singer, 38, told Vanity Fair writer Steve Garbarino she's still in love with Edward Norton and that her former beau will never marry Salma Hayek.

Love says her will leaves everything to Norton and nothing to Frances Bean, her 11-year-old daughter by Kurt Cobain. As for Latina bombshell Hayek, Love says Norton "can barely understand half of what she's saying."


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