- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Gun play

Prosecutors may introduce evidence in Phil Spector’s murder trial to try to show the famed music producer had a history of threatening women before he was charged with killing a B-movie actress in his home two years ago.

In his ruling Monday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry P. Fidler acknowledged that allowing the evidence was “a dangerous path to go down,” but concluded the incidents seemed to illustrate the state’s theory, Associated Press reports.

Deputy District Attorney Doug Sortino had argued before the ruling that Mr. Spector used guns to threaten or intimidate people in “an ongoing course of conduct that happens again and again and again.”

Outside the courthouse, Mr. Spector insisted he “never pulled a gun on these women.”

Mr. Spector is charged with murdering Lana Clarkson at his Alhambra, Calif. mansion in early 2003. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on $1 million bail.

Monument’s up

Original Beach Boys Brian Wilson and Al Jardine unveiled a monument to the group on Friday, on the site of the Hawthorne, Calif. home where Mr. Wilson and his late brothers, Carl and Dennis, grew up.

The two-hour dedication ended with performances of “In My Room” and “Surfer Girl” by Mr. Wilson and his current band.

“This was a big thrill,” Mr. Wilson told Rolling Stone magazine afterward.

“I was thinking about all my memories — my mom and dad and my brothers, my childhood, my high school experiences, my piano, my organ and my hi-fi.”

According to Rolling Stone, the house at 3701 W. 119th St. was razed in the mid-‘80s to make room for a freeway. The monument, which stands on what was the home’s front yard, features a stone carving of 1963’s “Surfer Girl” album cover and a plaque designating the site as a state landmark.

Rock’s vox populi

What’s up with British music fans?

Hits by the Beatles and the late John Lennon failed to make a list of the top five songs of the past five decades chosen by BBC listeners.

In rating hits dating to the 1950s, Radio 2 listeners chose “Angels” by Robbie Williams, “West End Girls” by the Pet Shop Boys, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, “Space Oddity” by David Bowie and “You Really Got Me” by the Kinks.

“The listeners have voted, and the Beatles are out,” Radio 2 music editor Colin Martin told Agence France-Presse.

Stars in the ‘City’

Brittany Murphy was star-struck when she saw pop star Madonna at the British premiere of the film-noir thriller “Sin City.”

The Material Mom arrived with her husband, British filmmaker Guy Ritchie, for Monday’s screening in London’s Leicester Square.

“It’s probably the second time I’ve ever been star-struck in my life,” Miss Murphy, a “Sin City” co-star, told AP. “She’s my idol. If I meet her at the party, I will shyly and meekly shake her hand.”

Gaga over Katie

First Tom Cruise was head over heels about his new girlfriend, Katie Holmes. Then he was giddy. Now, he’s just plain batty.

“I can’t be cool. I can’t be laid-back,” AP quotes an exuberant Mr. Cruise as saying during Monday’s taped appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

A starry-eyed Mr. Cruise got down on his knees and repeatedly jumped up on the couch like a Robin Williams comedy act, saying that his love for Miss Holmes was “beyond cool.”

Will he propose? His answer did more than leave the door open. “I’m going to discuss it with her,” the twice-divorced Mr. Cruise told Miss Winfrey. “Honestly, I haven’t (had this kind of experience before).”

The actor, 42, and Miss Holmes, 26, were first photographed together in Rome last month. Their relationship, which was earlier announced by their publicists, has caught the celebrity gossip world by storm.

Mr. Cruise will star in Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds,” which opens next month. He was previously married to Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman, and dated Penelope Cruz for several years.

Miss Holmes, who starred on television’s “Dawson’s Creek,” has an upcoming blockbuster of her own, “Batman Begins.” She and actor Chris Klein recently called off their engagement after dating for five years.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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