- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Willie’s new digs

After decades of nearly constant touring, Willie Nelson has had to go to great lengths to find a new place to play.

So he’s opening his own theater.

The veteran country nomad will unveil Willie’s Place Sept. 26 at Carl’s Corner truck stop, about 50 miles south of Dallas and about 15 miles from Mr. Nelson’s birthplace, Abbott, Texas, Associated Press reports.

Mr. Nelson and longtime friend Carl Cornelius began building Willie’s Place six months ago to take “roadside attraction” to a whole new level. Leon Russell, Pauline Reese and James Hand are scheduled to play the truck stop, which Mr. Cornelius says will be a year-round venue with 850 seats and an 80-foot stage.

Ocean’s billions

“Ocean’s Eleven” star George Clooney says he’s taking on a new role — hotelier — in a planned $3 billion resort, casino and condominium project in Las Vegas.

The resort, to be called Las Ramblas after a popular strip in Barcelona, will be developed by Related Las Vegas and Centra Properties with Mr. Clooney and nightclub owner Rande Gerber helping plan and design the hotel, restaurants, entertainment venues and casino, the groups say.

“We’re clearly putting more than just our names to this project — we’re investing financially and creatively to develop an idyllic environment that reflects our personal tastes and interests,” Mr. Clooney told Reuters news agency.

He adds that he and Mr. Gerber, who is married to supermodel Cindy Crawford and operates clubs in New York and Los Angeles, hope to lure Hollywood pals such as Brad Pitt to Las Ramblas.

Pot luck

If at first you don’t succeed, get tried, tried again.

Singer Art Garfunkel, who pleaded guilty last year to pot possession in upstate New York, was charged again Sunday after a marijuana cigarette reportedly was found in the ashtray of his car, New York State Police said.

Mr. Garfunkel, 63, who lives in Manhattan, was charged after being pulled over for failing to stop his vehicle at a stop sign, the Daily Freeman of Kingston reported yesterday.

Upon approaching Mr. Garfunkel’s car, a trooper noticed a strong odor of marijuana, and a subsequent search turned up a joint in the ashtray, the newspaper reported. He was issued a ticket and is due back in Woodstock Town Court on Sept. 22.

In January 2004, Mr. Garfunkel was charged with marijuana possession after state police stopped his limousine for speeding in the Ulster County town of Hurley, which is near Woodstock some 55 miles southwest of Albany.

Country honors

Glen Campbell, the group Alabama and pioneering black Grand Ole Opry musician DeFord Bailey, who died in 1982, will become the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Nashville-based Country Music Association says.

Their formal induction will take place Nov. 15 during the 39th annual CMA Awards show from Madison Square Garden in New York City, CMA director Ed Benson tells Reuters.

Free advice

Gwyneth Paltrow to ex-fiance Brad Pitt: You should have kept your mouth shut.

The Oscar-winning actress, whose engagement to Mr. Pitt was called off in 1997, tells Time magazine: “It would have been a lot easier on Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston now if they had not talked to the press about each other and everything to begin with.”

Miss Paltrow, 32, has a 15-month-old daughter, Apple, with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, whom she wed in 2003.

“Our marriage is between us,” she says. “If we decide to continue being together or not, it’s our business.”

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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