- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Honoring Hancock

Jazz-fusion legend Herbie Hancock has been in town this week, keeping a busy schedule.

Yesterday, he donated keyboards and other personal memorabilia to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

This morning, the National Endowment for the Arts will honor the 63-year-old keyboardist with the prestigious Jazz Masters Fellowship. The ceremony, open to the public, starts at 9 a.m. and takes place at the Nancy Hanks Center at 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

At tonight’s Wizards game, Mr. Hancock will join local students from the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz, which he chairs, for a halftime performance.

After that, NEA Chairman Dana Gioia will again present the Jazz Masters award.

“We are pleased to recognize Herbie Hancock as one of our national treasures,” Mr. Gioia said in a statement.


Actor Billy Bob Thornton and the late singer-songwriter Warren Zevon lived around the corner from each other in West Hollywood in the ‘80s, but the two became friends because of a common problem: obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Mr. Zevon spotted Mr. Thornton one day at his mailbox, taking out letters and putting them back in, over and over.

“‘Oh, you have that, too,’” Mr. Thornton remembers Mr. Zevon saying.

The two stayed pals until Mr. Zevon’s death from lung cancer last year, Mr. Thornton said at a recent press conference in San Antonio for the upcoming movie “The Alamo.” For his final album, “The Wind,” Mr. Zevon recorded “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” in Mr. Thornton’s basement.

“I’ve never seen anyone face death with more courage,” Mr. Thornton said.

Down with the show

There goes Guns N’ Roses again, canceling high-profile gigs.

According to Billboard magazine, the troubled rock band has called off its scheduled May 30 headlining appearance at the Rock in Rio festival in Lisbon, Portugal.

Axl Rose says it’s not his fault this time; he’s blaming guitarist Buckethead.

“The band has been put in an untenable position by guitarist Buckethead and his untimely departure,” Mr. Rose said in a statement.

“During his tenure with the band, Buckethead has been inconsistent and erratic in both his behavior and commitment — despite being under contract — creating uncertainty and confusion and making it virtually impossible to move forward with recording, rehearsals and live plans with confidence.”

Hmmm. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Remember Austin

Actor Jason Patric appears to be playing to type. In “The Alamo,” due in theaters April 9, he plays Texas hero Jim Bowie, whom the movie displays as a hard-drinking bad boy.

In Austin, Texas, on Monday, two days after the San Antonio premiere of the film, Mr. Patric wound up in a scuffle with a policeman who claims the actor refused an order to move away from a street corner.

Mr. Patric was arrested on a charge of public intoxication and jailed for several hours, Reuters News Agency reports, but he is crying foul.

Publicist Michelle Bega said the actor did nothing wrong and had to be treated for “substantial physical injuries” after the skirmish.

“He was passively standing on the street corner when the police officer suddenly lunged at him,” Miss Bega said in a statement.

New Zealand-bound

Speaking of legal troubles, singer James Brown just temporarily solved some of his.

The New Zealand government greenlighted a visit from the Godfather of Soul despite a string of criminal convictions that normally would ban him from the country.

Mr. Brown, 70, received a special-event work visa to perform a “one night only” show in the northern city of Auckland today, according to the Associated Press.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from staff and wire reports.

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