- - Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pete Townshend calls iTunes a ‘digital vampire’

The Who’s Pete Townshend on Monday branded Apple Inc.’s iTunes a “digital vampire” that profits from music without supporting the artists who create it, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Townshend said that faced with the Internet’s demolition of established copyright protections, iTunes should offer some of the services to artists that record labels and music publishers used to provide. Those include employing talent scouts, giving space to enable bands to stream their music and paying smaller artists directly rather than through a third-party aggregator.

The guitarist was delivering the first John Peel Lecture, named in honor of the influential British radio broadcaster, who died in 2004.

Mr. Townshend asked if there was any reason iTunes “can’t provide some aspect of these services to the artists whose work it bleeds like a digital vampire” to make money.

ITunes declined to respond to Mr. Townshend’s comments.

Mr. Townshend said consumers, as well as the industry, needed to change their attitude to digital music.

“It would be better if music lovers treated music like food and paid for every helping rather than only when it suited them,” he said. “Why can’t music lovers just pay for music rather than steal it?”

Rihanna’s exhaustion forces cancellation of Sweden show

Organizers say Rihanna was forced to cancel a show in the Swedish city Malmo at the last minute after falling ill.

According to the Associated Press, Live Nation spokesman Kristofer Akesson said Rihanna didn’t feel well Monday and tour organizers contacted a doctor, who concluded the singer was suffering from severe exhaustion and “was not capable of carrying out the concert.”

The singer apologized to fans on Twitter and posted a picture of her arm attached to an intravenous drip.

Mr. Akesson said Rihanna is in Stockholm now and he expected her to perform there as scheduled Tuesday evening.

Jackman’s one-man show breaks box-office record

Hugh Jackman is doing what he does best — selling tickets.

The Broadway League said the Tony Award-winning performer’s one-man show pulled in more than $1.2 million at the box office during eight preview performances last week, the Associated Press reports.

“Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway” beat out Daniel Radcliffe’s “How to Succeed in Business” and the all-star cast of Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies” for the week ending Sunday.

In Mr. Jackman’s show, he and an 18-piece orchestra perform songs from his stage and film career, including his star turn in “The Boy from Oz.” The show opens Nov. 10.

Mr. Jackman’s pull broke the Broadhurst Theatre’s box-office record, beating “700 Sundays” starring Billy Crystal, “Hamlet” with Jude Law and “The Merchant of Venice” starring Al Pacino.

Motley Crue’s Neil to avoid trial on battery charge

Motley Crue singer Vince Neil will plead guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly-conduct charge, pay a $1,000 fine and avoid trial on charges that he poked his ex-girlfriend in a confrontation in March at a Las Vegas resort lounge, his lawyer said Monday.

According to the Associated Press, a more serious misdemeanor charge of battery constituting domestic violence will be dropped against Mr. Neil when the 50-year-old rocker enters his plea Monday in Las Vegas Justice Court, defense attorney David Z. Chesnoff said. He said the allegation of physical contact would be dismissed.

“Mr. Neil is sorry he raised his voice,” Mr. Chesnoff said.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal first reported Monday that Clark County District Attorney David Roger also confirmed the agreement. Mr. Roger did not immediately respond to messages from the Associated Press.

Mr. Neil, who lives in Las Vegas, could have faced up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted on each charge.

He was accused of poking the chest of Las Vegas entertainment reporter Alicia Jacobs in a casino comedy club on March 24 and of cursing and pointing at Miss Jacobs and two friends sitting with her.

Miss Jacobs told the AP she was glad Mr. Neil was taking responsibility for his actions.

“I’m glad the story is over and the book is closed,” she said.

James Earl Jones heads all-star Broadway cast

James Earl Jones will have some big-name help when he returns to Broadway.

According to the Associated Press, producers said Tuesday that Angela Lansbury, Candice Bergen, John Larroquette and Michael McKean will join Mr. Jones in “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man” in the spring.

The play debuted on Broadway in 1960 and was nominated for six Tonys. It tells the story of two politicians vying for the presidential nomination.

It will have its first preview on March 6, with an official opening set for April 1 at a Shubert theater to be announced.

Miss Bergen starred in “Murphy Brown” and was on Broadway in “Hurlyburly.” Miss Lansbury was last in a revival of “A Little Night Music.” Mr. Larroquette won a Tony Award in “How to Succeed in Business,” and Mr. McKean is in “King Lear” at the Public Theater.

Compiled from web and wire reports

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