- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 4, 2004

Vintage Laurel

Agence France-Presse

Rare photographs and souvenirs that once belonged to Stan Laurel — the thin wispy half of classic film’s Laurel and Hardy comic duo — went for a higher-than-anticipated 24,000 pounds sterling ($43,098 in U.S. currency) at auction Thursday.

Auctioneers Anderson and Garland in London had estimated the collection owned by Mr. Laurel’s nephew, Huntley Jefferson Woods (his mother Beatrice was Laurel’s sister), at 5,000 pounds ($9,162.50).

It includes memorabilia from the actor’s life since his birth in Ulverston, northwest England, to his heyday in Hollywood as part of the best-known comic duo in film history. He died in 1965.

Mr. Woods’ collection included rare photos of Mr. Laurel without Oliver Hardy, from the age of 10, as well as shots at Newcastle’s Empire Theatre during the comedy pair’s British tour in 1952.

Newly single

New York Post

Oscar-nominee Chloe Sevigny(“Boys Don’t Cry”) has split with her longtime boyfriend, Matt McAuley of the band A.R.E. Weapons.

“It just wasn’t working out,” an unnamed friend of Miss Sevigny told the New York Post.

The breakup was “mutual,” the friend said.

Scotty has Alzheimer’s

E! Online

James Doohan is battling his latest opponent with typical Scotty tenacity.

The 84-year-old “Star Trek” veteran, who held together the Enterprise against repeated Klingon attacks through his tenure on the original TV series and in several big-screen movies, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, his son, Chris Doohan, confirmed Friday.

Chris Doohan said his father is relaxing in retirement in Washington state with his wife, Wende, and the daughter he beamed up when he was 80. Chris Doohan said his father, at this time, has been more slowed by Parkinson’s disease and diabetes than Alzheimer’s, the incurable, progressive neurological disorder that affected Ronald Reagan


Associated Press

Anniversaries often bring reunions. And to mark the 20th anniversary of “Purple Rain,” Prince reunited with some of the players in his musical past Morris Day and The Time, guitarist Wendy Melvoin and former protege Sheila E — who performed her 1984 hit, “Glamourous Life.”

“This hasn’t been done like this in a long time,” said veteran musician Larry Graham, formerly of Sly and the Family Stone and Graham Central Station, who performed at Friday’s kickoff of the Essence Music Festival before 50,000 fans at the Superdome in New Orleans.

The show started out on a bizarre note. Prince, onstage in a disguise of a straight-haired wig, hat and beard, played the guitar on inline stakes as relatively unknown performers danced or sang around him.

Mr. Day and The Time, billed as the opening act to Prince, emerged later. Mr. Day, who starred with Prince in the groundbreaking 1984 film “Purple Rain,” joined his preening sidekick Jerome Benton as they sang old hits like “The Bird” and “Cool.”

Other surprise guests included Chaka Khan, who joined Prince to sing “I Feel For You,” a cover of his song that she made a monster hit in the 1980s; and old school rapper Doug E. Fresh.

Mere coincidence

Associated Press

The rock band whose pyrotechnics sparked a fire that killed 100 people was booked to play an outdoor concert yesterday coinciding with St. Petersburg, Fla.’s nearby Fourth of July fireworks show.

Great White’s concert was set to begin an hour before the fireworks were set to begin three blocks away — a backdrop that club owner and concert promoter John Claude Bodziak considered ironic when booking the date.

“I don’t want people to get the wrong idea, that I arranged for this date,” Mr. Bodziak said.

“July 4th was the only date left.”

The Feb. 20, 2003, fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, R.I. started shortly after Great White’s performance began. Pyrotechnics used by the band ignited soundproofing foam placed near the stage, and the fire spread through the wooden building within minutes.

Among the 100 who died were the band’s guitarist, Ty Longley. Nearly 200 other people were injured. The band no longer uses pyrotechnics in its shows.

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

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