- The Washington Times - Monday, October 2, 2006

Avril spits it out

Avril Lavigne has agreed that spitting at the paparazzi probably is not a good thing to do.

The singer issued a statement apologizing after she and her husband, Deryck Whibley of Sum 41, clashed with some pesky photographers in Los Angeles, Associated Press reports. The couple wed in July after two years of dating.

According to reports, Miss Lavigne spat in two separate incidents last week. She later apologized for her “behavior with the paparazzi.” In the apology, posted on her Web site, Miss Lavigne says she “meant no offense” to her fans. She says she will always go out of her way for fans. She also says her behavior was “a reaction to the persistent attack from the paparazzi” and explains “it’s trying at best dealing with their insistent intrusions.”

In trouble again

George Michael was arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana after police found him slumped over the steering wheel of his car in London, authorities said yesterday.

According to AP, Mr. Michael was arrested after police responded to complaints that a car was blocking an intersection in North London at 3:22 a.m. Sunday. He received a caution for possession of cannabis and was released on bail on a charge of being unfit to drive. He has a November court date.

Mr. Michael rose to fame in the 1980s as half of the duo Wham! before starting his solo career.

Police earlier had warned Mr. Michael for possession of cannabis in February. In April, he hit three parked cars. He later acknowledged in an interview that he was a “terrible driver” and said he had been trying to maneuver out of a parking spot.

The ABCs of opera

Bored by opera? Can’t understand the words? Placido Domingo wants to change your mind.

The celebrated tenor and general director of the Washington National Opera is working on a book for non-opera fans, “The Joy of Opera,” to be published in 2009 by W.W. Norton, AP reports.

“Opera for so many people remains a mystery, a curious and strange art form when it really should be much more part of our everyday lives,” Mr. Domingo says.

According to W.W. Norton, Mr. Domingo will “draw upon his extensive repertoire to reveal how opera works on both sides of the curtain, how it is best experienced and savored, and why it is ultimately transcendent.”

‘Cocaine’ revival

Eric Clapton is playing “Cocaine” in concert again.

The recovering drug addict and alcoholic, who founded the Crossroads Centre addiction recovery center on the Caribbean island of Antigua, stopped performing the song, written by J.J. Cale, when he first got sober.

“I thought that it might be giving the wrong message to people who were in the same boat as me,” Mr. Clapton told AP. “But further investigation proved … the song, if anything, if it’s not even ambivalent, it’s an anti-drug song. And so I thought that might be a better way to do it, to approach it from a more positive point of view. And carry on performing it as not a pro-drug song, but just as a reality check about what it does.”

Mr. Clapton’s band shouts out “dirty cocaine” during the song.

He also said he missed playing “Cocaine,” with its signature guitar riff, “just purely from a musical point of view.” The guitarist, 61, is on the North American leg of his world tour which stops at the Verizon Center Oct. 10. His duet CD with Mr. Cale, “The Road to Escondido,” is

scheduled for release Nov. 7.

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

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