- The Washington Times - Monday, August 16, 2004

Gone Phish-in’

When Chuck Donnaday and Jenn Mertenn left New Jersey for Vermont, they knew the going would be slow.

They never imagined a 30-hour wait in traffic, though.

That didn’t faze the Jersey duo and the estimated 70,000 fans who converged on tiny Coventry, Vt., for the final performance of Phish, a two-day event.

“It’s Phish, and it’s the last show,” Mr. Donnaday said. “I had to be here.”

Phish announced in May that it would break up after the weekend’s festival at a 600-acre airport in northeastern Vermont, the jam band’s home state.

Reaction to the end ranged from anger to acceptance among the band’s faithful flock.

“They are not the same band that people saw in ‘95. Bands evolve,” said D.C. resident Alex Segal.

“It is not that they owe the fans, this [music] is their job, and it is up to them if they want to quit.”

Jumping, singing and dancing, the crowd basked in the music as Phish performed. The feverish melee paused only for the gentle pulsing of Page McConnell’s organ, signaling the band’s transition into the soft instrumental “I Am Hydrogen.”

Phish’s final set was scheduled to conclude early yesterday.

George Lanum with wire dispatches

Day in court

Reuters News Agency

A judge yesterday set a Sept. 30 trial for troubled rocker Courtney Love on charges of illegally possessing prescription painkillers.

Beverly Hills Superior Court Judge Elden Fox told Miss Love, 40, the felony trial would begin that day or as many as 10 days later.

The charges stem from an incident last October in which the former Hole lead singer was rushed to a hospital for what police described as a “medical emergency.”

Hours earlier, she had been arrested and released by police who said they found her breaking windows in the middle of the night outside the Los Angeles home of her former boyfriend.

Miss Love, the widow of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, also faces a felony assault charge arising from an altercation with another woman in April in Los Angeles.

Spotlight justice

Associated Press

Rapper Snoop Dogg was slapped with a lawsuit filed nearly seven years ago, while performing Wednesday in Virginia.

Music promoter Patricia Ann Richardson filed a $1 million lawsuit against the rap star in 1997, claiming the entertainer tricked her into picking up three packages filled with marijuana at a motel.

Miss Richardson’s attorney, Joseph Kaestner, was unable to deliver the papers to the rapper, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, because he appears infrequently in Virginia.

The lawyer arranged for a major in the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Department to serve the lawsuit on Snoop Dogg when he appeared for a concert. The rapper has 20 days to file a formal response to the claims.

Miss Richardson was not arrested but was searched, handcuffed and questioned at a Petersburg police station, according to the complaint.

Snoop Dogg recently starred in the films “Soul Plane” and “Starsky and Hutch.”

Sorry, wrong number

E! Online

While not quite as memorable as Jenny’s “867-5309” immortalized by Tommy Tutone — a number that led to many a crank call — Alicia Keys’ song “Diary” is wreaking similar havoc.

The song, Miss Keys’ latest single from her multiplatinum-selling “The Diary of Alicia Keys,” contains the lyric: “Oooo baby, if there’s anything that you fear/Come forth and call 489-4608 and I’ll be here.”

Miss Keys was there, years ago in New York at 347/489-4608. Big Apple fans who dial the number now get a special message from Miss Keys, although the voice mailbox is nearly always full.

Problem is, Miss Keys’ fans in Georgia, which also has the 489 exchange, are also calling the number, much to the chagrin of J.D. Turner of Statesboro. The retired pastor has the dubious honor of having the same phone number Miss Keys references in her Top 10 multigenre hit.

Miss Keys’ publicist, Lois Najarian, says the singer did not mean to “target” Mr. Turner.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web, wire and staff reports.

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