- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Stone mystery

British director Stephen Woolley doesn’t buy the official line that Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones’ death in 1969 was an accident. In his new movie, “Stoned,” he makes the case that Mr. Jones was murdered.

“I am convinced. I don’t think it was alcohol or drugs,” Mr. Woolley told Agence France-Presse after a screening of “Stoned” at a film festival in the Spanish resort of San Sebastian. It also has been exhibited at the Toronto Film Festival.

According to official investigations, Mr. Jones accidentally drowned in his pool, but Mr. Woolley believes differently after having “contracted private detectives to meet people who were there that night.”

He leans toward claims that Mr. Jones was killed by Frank Thorogood, a builder’s supervisor who was working on the musician’s home at the time of his death and who reportedly confessed to the crime on his deathbed 25 years later.

Good Fortune

After trying out various singers on its reality television show, the Australian rock band INXS has chosen Canadian vocalist J.D. Fortune as its new frontman.

The retooled band, according to Epic Records, will immediately head into the studio with producer Guy Chambers to finish work on a new album, currently titled “Switch,” due Nov. 29.

“J.D. has a slightly dangerous edge and will bring a sense of spontaneity to our live show,” INXS guitarist Tim Farriss says.

“In addition, he has both the star quality we were looking for and is an inspired lyricist. I think he’ll grow with us on all levels. We’re a complete band once again.”

Kenny OK

Less than a week after Renee Zellweger filed for an annulment from Kenny Chesney, the country music star assured fans, “I’ll be OK.”

“I’m all right. I’m good. There have been better times, but I’ll be OK,” Mr. Chesney told Country Weekly magazine.

In court papers filed Sept. 14, according to Associated Press, Miss Zellweger listed “fraud” as the reason for the split after four months of marriage.

“I hit everything so hard this year,” Mr. Chesney said. “I had the biggest tour I’ve ever done, I had a record to finish that was real important to me, and, of course, I had something new in my personal life and I was trying to do that, too. It really ended up being too much.”

Name that novel

In an unusual publishing gambit, the paperback edition of Tom Wolfe’s most recent novel, “I Am Charlotte Simmons,” will be printed without the title on its cover — just its author’s famous name in giant letters.

“We are using Tom Wolfe’s name as a brand, rather than the title of the book,” said Tanya Farrell, publicity director for Picador USA, which is printing more than 2 million copies of the 738-page novel. “He is an icon himself,” she told Reuters news agency.

The book — the 74-year-old writer’s panoramic attempt to describe the state of higher education in America — sold more than 775,000 copies in hardcover, making it the 11th best-selling novel of 2004.

Bad Guy

Fans booed Madonna and her filmmaker husband, Guy Ritchie, at the London premiere of his new movie, “Revolver,” after the couple hustled down the red carpet without signing autographs.

Meanwhile, the movie’s star, Jason Statham, spent almost an hour signing autographs in Leicester Square.

Asked why he didn’t give Madonna a role in “Revolver,” Mr. Ritchie raised the specter of his 2002 turkey “Swept Away”: “Do you think they would let me get away with that? I did that last time; it didn’t work.”

Compiled by Scott Galupo from staff, Web and wire reports.


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