- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Elton’s fashion tips

Attention, rock ‘n’ rollers: Elton John is sick of your tattoos and piercings.

Mr. John, who will perform at the third Fashion Rocks concert Sept. 7 at Radio City Music Hall, says he would like American bands to adopt the cutting-edge, glam-rock style made popular by his peers, Associated Press reports.

“It’s been a thing the British have always been very good at, with Bowie, myself, T. Rex, the Who, Queen. … We all embraced that side of it,” Mr. John, 59, tells Fashion Rocks magazine, on newsstands Tuesday.

“And I think it’s good that some American bands are beginning to do that, but it’s still very rare for bands to make a real effort. So when you get groups like the Killers and Scissor Sisters who come along, it’s thrilling. I’m so over the tattoos and the T-shirts and rings through the noses. It’s not pretty, it’s not pleasant, it’s not exciting. Please stop it now.”

Mr. John says his theatrical style, made famous in his ‘70s heyday, was meant “to give people a bit of fun” while he sat at the piano for long sets.

Gibson charged

Mel Gibson was charged yesterday with misdemeanor drunken driving, having an elevated blood-alcohol level and having an open container of liquor in his car, AP reports.

The three counts were filed by Los Angeles County prosecutors five days after the actor and Oscar-winning director was pulled over on Malibu’s Pacific Coast Highway for speeding. He also unleashed anti-Semitic comments at the arresting deputy.

The open container violation, for a bottle of tequila reportedly found in his car, is an infraction of the vehicle code. The charges did not mention Mr. Gibson’s self-described “belligerent behavior” toward the deputy or any claims of speeding. Arraignment was set for Sept. 28 in Malibu Superior Court. If convicted, Mr. Gibson faces up to six months in jail, the district attorney’s office said.

The Sheriff’s Department said Mr. Gibson was stopped at 2:36 a.m. Friday after being seen speeding at 87 mph in a 45 mph zone. Authorities said his blood-alcohol level tested at 0.12 percent. A California driver is legally intoxicated at 0.08 percent. According to a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity, the sheriff’s report says Mr. Gibson told the arresting deputy “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world” and asked him, “Are you a Jew?”

Mr. Gibson has issued two public apologies since then, and his publicist, Alan Nierob, has said the actor-director was in an ongoing program for alcohol abuse before the arrest and has entered another on an outpatient basis.

Eatery disses Janet

Janet Jackson has been banned from the fancy Paris restaurant Arpege, the New York Post reports.

The pop star was able to get a reservation at the small, expensive place only because of her fame. The owners had to move fashion designer Christian Lacroix to a dining room downstairs to free up a table for Miss Jackson, “but she bailed out and didn’t bother to call to cancel,” an unnamed witness told the newspaper.

A representative for Miss Jackson says the singer never had a reservation.

Dog mauls Elvis’ bear

A guard dog ripped apart a collection of rare teddy bears, including one once owned by Elvis Presley, during a rampage at a children’s museum.

“He just went berserk,” said Daniel Medley, general manager of the Wookey Hole Caves near Wells, England, where hundreds of bears were chewed up Tuesday night by the 6-year-old Doberman pinscher named Barney.

According to AP, during the attack, Barney ripped the head off a brown stuffed bear once owned by the young Mr. Presley and also left fluffy stuffing and bits of bears’ limbs and heads on the museum floor. Mr. Presley’s bear, named Mabel, was made in 1909 by the German manufacturer Steiff.

The collection, valued at more than $900,000, included a red bear made by Farnell in 1910 and a Bobby Bruin made by Merrythought in 1936. The bear with Elvis connections was owned by English aristocrat Benjamin Slade, who bought it at an Elvis memorabilia auction in Memphis, Tenn., and had loaned it to the museum.

“I’ve spoken to the bear’s owner and he is not very pleased at all,” Mr. Medley said.

Greg West, a security guard at the museum, said he spent several minutes chasing Barney before wrestling the dog to the ground.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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