- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Off the hook

The state of Arkansas is prepared to pardon Keith Richards for being a reckless driver, 31 years later.

The state Parole Board in Little Rock approved an application for clemency submitted on behalf of the Rolling Stones guitarist by Gov. Mike Huckabee on July 3. Mr. Huckabee has until 30 days from Tuesday to sign it, clearing Mr. Richards’ record.

Mr. Richards was arrested July 5, 1975, as he, band mate Ron Wood, a security guard and a fan traveled from Memphis, Tenn., to Dallas. The group had stopped in Fordyce, Ark., for lunch, then got back on the road with Mr. Richards driving.

A Fordyce officer saw the car swerve — Mr. Richards said later he bent to adjust the radio — and stopped the vehicle. Police said they smelled marijuana and took the four to City Hall.

Mr. Richards was charged with reckless driving and possession of a concealed knife, and the fan was charged with possession of a controlled substance. The knife charge was dropped, and Mr. Richards pleaded guilty to reckless driving and paid a $162.50 fine.

Fran Curtis, a Stones publicist, said she knew nothing about the application for clemency. Messages left for Mr. Richards’ manager, Jane Rose, weren’t returned.

Mr. Huckabee, who plays bass guitar in a band called Capitol Offense that performed for the Republican National Convention in 2004 in New York City, said he got the idea for a pardon when he realized that Mr. Richards’ impression of Arkansas “was marred by a misdemeanor traffic stop.”

During a Stones concert in Little Rock in March, Mr. Richards, 62, asked whether anyone in the audience was from Fordyce, adding, “I used to know the chief of police there.”

Usher’s new role

R&B superstar Usher soon will be crooning a Broadway melody. The multiplatinum recording artist and five-time Grammy winner will take over the role of conniving lawyer Billy Flynn in the long-running musical revival of “Chicago,” producers Barry and Fran Weissler announced Friday. “Being on Broadway allows you to connect to audiences in a whole new way that’s different from music and movies,” Usher, 27, said. He opens Aug. 22 in “Chicago” and will appear through Oct. 1.

Though “Chicago” will mark his Broadway debut, Usher has acted in TV shows and several films, including last year’s “In the Mix.”

Mercury taps Monkeys

Internet sensation Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and the 1980s act Scritti Politti were among those short-listed Tuesday for the Mercury Prize, Britain’s most prestigious music award.

Twelve albums among 200 entries were nominated for the prize, to be awarded Sept. 5, Agence France-Presse reports. Antony and the Johnsons won last year’s prize.

Arctic Monkeys’ “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” smashed the British record for the fastest-selling debut album in January. The indie foursome built up a devoted fan base by making their early demos free to download from the Internet before releasing a record — circumventing the corporate music industry route to the top of the chart.

Mr. Yorke, who has sold millions of albums with Radiohead, was nominated for his debut solo album, “The Eraser.”

Scritti Politti’s “White Bread, Black Beer,” its first album since 1999, was a surprise choice. The band had a string of hits in the 1980s, but its frontman Green Gartside, 51, soon retreated to a cottage in Wales.

‘Hot Feet’ hit street

“Hot Feet” will dance no more.

The Broadway musical created by director and choreographer Maurice Hines to the music of Earth, Wind and Fire will close Sunday after a disappointing 97-performance run, Associated Press reports.

The $8 million musical, which made its debut at the National Theatre in March, has been playing to meager houses at the Hilton Theatre since opening there April 30. Last week, the show grossed just $273,533, filling less than 40 percent of the seats.

“Hot Feet,” loosely adapted by Heru Ptah from Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Red Shoes,” features Vivian Nixon as a young dancer who gets a chance to work with a manipulative producer.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide