- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Commander slowhand

Guitar god Eric Clapton set aside his “rebellious streak” yesterday to become a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE.

The 59-year-old singer-songwriter described the honor — conferred by Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace — as the “icing on the cake” of his career.

Mr. Clapton acknowledged he would have found it hard to accept the honor as a young man.

“I had a rebellious streak in me,” he told Associated Press. “As a kid I would not have been able to accept this. I was very immature about the way I looked at that. I was against the establishment.

“Now I have grown up, I really think it is an important thing to be able to set an example of some kind.”

Monument’s up

Just a few miles from the surf and sand the Beach Boys celebrated, Hawthorne, Calif., the city where Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson grew up, will dedicate a monument.

California Historical Landmark No. 1041 will be dedicated on May 20, according to Associated Press.

The Wilson home was razed to make room for the Century Freeway, so the monument will sit at the end of dead-end 119th Street next to a sound wall built to mute traffic noise.

The effort to get landmark status for the Wilson home site was led by Harry Jarnagan, a construction engineer and Beach Boys fan from Tracy, Calif. In August, the California Historical Landmark Commission approved Mr. Jarnagan’s application.

Passing the torch

Pierce Brosnan conceded that his days as James Bond are over, mentioning fellow Irishman Colin Farrell as a possible successor.

Just who will fill 007’s shoes has been the subject of intense speculation for months, according to Reuters News Agency.

Mr. Brosnan fulfilled his four-film contract with “Die Another Day” in 2002, although Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which owns the film franchise, has not ruled him out for a fifth picture.

Speaking to reporters at the London premiere of his new movie “After the Sunset” Tuesday, Mr. Brosnan left his fans in no doubt.

“They contracted me for four; it was a great time, a great 10 years, but there will be someone else, of that I’m sure,” he said.

“Whoever the next guy is, fair play to him.”

While conceding that a number of actors could play the suave British agent, Mr. Brosnan singled out Mr. Farrell, who is 23 years his junior.

“He’ll eat the head off them all,” he said.

‘Incredible’ expectations

Expectations for Pixar Animation Studios’ latest computer-animated creation, superhero satire “The Incredibles,” are running, er, incredibly high.

It may seem odd, then, that Pixar entrusted the film, its first centered on human characters, to a director with just one feature (the commercially unsuccessful “The Iron Giant”) under his belt.

Brad Bird, who directed and conceived “The Incredibles,” about a retired superhero depressed by life, says he is feeling the pressure of great expectations even though he’s not worried about maintaining Pixar’s hot box office streak — five smash hits from “Toy Story” to “Finding Nemo.”

“It’s ridiculous … If this thing makes $1 less than ‘Nemo’ on its opening, somebody’s going to say, ‘It’s the beginning of the end for Pixar,’” Mr. Bird told Reuters News Agency.

Copacetic couple

The Simpson-Lachey firm reports all is well.

Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, stars of TV and pop music, celebrated their second wedding anniversary Oct. 26. Work-wise, the couple is set to tape a new season of its MTV reality season and will star in its second ABC variety show in December.

Sure, Miss Simpson tells People magazine, they get into arguments.

“What married couple doesn’t?” the 24-year-old singer says. “You don’t want to marry somebody who’s just like you. So there are always going to be conflicts. That’s what compromise is all about. It means that we’re communicating.”

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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