Thursday, March 13, 2003

Beastie Boys offer free song on Web site to protest war

Veteran rap trio The Beastie Boys have a new recording, its first in four years, and it's a song of protest.

"This is a statement against an unjustified war," Beastie frontman Adam Horovitz said.

In "In a World Gone Mad" -- available for free at -- the group suggests to President George W. Bush that "You and Saddam should kick it like back in the day/With the cocaine and Courvoisier."

China limits '40 Licks' hits when Rolling Stones perform

Beijing -- The Chinese government has ordered the Rolling Stones to cut four of their best-known hits from next month's mainland shows.

The band, which is scheduled to perform April 1 in Shanghai and April 4 in Beijing with frontman Mic Jagger, will not be allowed to play tunes "Brown Sugar," "Honky Tonk Woman," "Beast of Burden" or "Let's Spend the Night Together," Chen Jixin, head of Beijing Time New Century Entertainment, a concert organizer behind the two China dates, said Wednesday.

The four songs, all of which include sexual references, were originally cut from the mainland release of the band's "40 Licks" compilation album by China's culture ministry, Chen said.

The album was released by EMI Records China earlier this year. It was the first Rolling Stones album to legally hit the China market; pirated Stones' CDs are widely available in Shanghai and Beijing.

The band had no immediate comment Wednesday.

'All in the Family' producer plans to co-write 'South Park' episodes

Los Angeles -- Archie Bunker, meet Cartman.

Norman Lear, the Emmy-winning producer of "All in the Family," said Wednesday he would collaborate on several episodes of the Comedy Central satire "South Park."

Among the subjects he hopes to mock on the show are the U.S. push for war in Iraq, reality TV shows and immigration.

Lear, 80, is best known for such politically charged comedies in the 1970s as "All in the Family," "Sanford and Son," "Maude" and "The Jeffersons," which confronted issues such as abortion, racial prejudice and anti-Semitism.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who created the cartoon world of "South Park" and voice most of the characters, said they became friends with Lear by appearing alongside him on panels to discuss censorship and the challenges of producing controversial programming.

Ex-Spice Girl settles slander case

London -- Former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham has agreed to pay $88,000 in damages to settle a slander case brought by owners of a sports memorabilia shop, their lawyer said.

The singer also apologized to owners Tim and Glynis McManus, and their son, Anthony, for accusing them of selling a fake autograph by her soccer star husband David Beckham, attorney Michael Skrein said Tuesday.

Skrein said Beckham -- known as Posh Spice -- had apologized for the "hurt and damage" she had caused the family, and would give them a set of merchandise signed by her husband.