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Showbuzz

April 8, 1999
Web posted at: 4:56 p.m. EDT (2056 GMT)

Today's buzz stories:

Tyson

Tyson Records? Former champ to contend in music ring

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Mike Tyson might be behind bars, but that's not stopping him from making business deals. The former heavyweight champion, serving a one-year sentence for assaulting two motorists, is teaming up with Def Jam records to create his own record company, according to the Daily News. Tyson Records is to feature rap and rhythm-and-blues music and already has signed two singers -- a 16-year-old pop artist named Doni and an 18-year-old named Centrell, the News said. "Mike Tyson has always been looked upon as a magnet for talent," said Def Jam President Lyor Cohen. "The promotional opportunities are endless."

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The Flying Other Brothers Band

Gore gets support from former Grateful Dead

SAN JOSE, California (CNN) -- Former members of the Grateful Dead are supporting Vice President Al Gore's presidential campaign. They played, with help from Gore's wife Tipper, at a $1,000-a-plate fund-raiser for Gore's presidential bid. "He's an old friend," guitarist Bob Weir said. "He's a real human being and we're going to support him." Weir and percussionist Mickey Hart now lead the Flying Other Brothers Band. Mrs. Gore got behind the conga drums Tuesday night, beating along to a rendition of Bob Dylan's "Queen Jane," a song with cynical lyrics about political pandering and disloyalty. "She'll be the first lady with rhythm," Hart said.

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Smith

Disney drops 'Dogma,' but Weinsteins still involved

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Disney is dropping its involvement with the Kevin Smith film "Dogma," saying it disparages Roman Catholics and shouldn't be released under its label. The movie, currently in production, was to be released by Miramax Films, which Disney owns. But now, because of the controversy, Miramax chiefs Bob and Harvey Weinstein say they'll buy the film rights to Smith's religious satire for about $11 million. They plan to sell domestic rights to a third party and negotiate with international distributors. "Disney is a target that's too vulnerable in a situation like this," Harvey Weinstein says in Thursday's Los Angeles Times. "They make family movies and a protest could hurt them unnecessarily."

It's not the first time Miramax has been at odds with its parent company. In 1994, the company released the British film "Priest" -- about a homosexual Catholic priest -- and "Kids" was released under an NC-17 rating by Miramax in 1995. Both caused controversy that put an uncomfortable spotlight on Disney. In "Dogma," Ben Affleck and Matt Damon play angels who try to return to heaven after being banished. The film also stars Chris Rock, who plays a trash-talking 13th apostle. Among the picture's plot elements: a female descendant of Jesus working in an abortion clinic; a Skeeball-obsessed God; a Christ figure giving a thumbs-up salute.

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Knievel

Robbie Knievel going for Grand Canyon jump

PHOENIX, Arizona (CNN) -- In the 1970s, Evel Knievel tried to jump the Snake River Canyon. Now his son Robbie is feeling grand -- as in Grand Canyon. Robbie Knievel, 36, is scheduled to perform a motorcycle jump April 29 over part of the canyon on the Hualapai Indian Reservation west of Grand Canyon National Park. It will be broadcast live on Fox. The jump, if successful, is expected to break Robbie's own world record of 223 feet. It's to take him over part of the canyon that's 1,200 to 2,500 feet deep.

Knievel, 36, gained notoriety in April 1989 when he jumped the fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, a jump that had nearly killed his father 21 years earlier. Knievel the elder, who talked about jumping the Grand Canyon but could never get permission from park officials.

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The Rolling Stones

Stones' Jagger, Watts taking in the sights

CLEVELAND (CNN) -- While thousands of fans have been turning out for Rolling Stones concerts as they tour the United States this spring, it seems the Stones are doing some sight-seeing themselves. Mick Jagger toured the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo RainForest, while Stones drummer Charlie Watts took in the Western Reserve Historical Society's Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum during the band's stop in Cleveland last week. Zoo spokeswoman Sue Allen said Jagger spent about two hours at the rain forest exhibit Wednesday, accompanied by a small group. Watts took in the historical society's museum on Friday. Kermit Pike, the society's chief operating officer, told Watts he probably hadn't expected to meet so many fans at a historical society museum. Watts' reply: "Well, we're getting historical ourselves."

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