May 11, 1999
Today's buzz stories:
LONDON (CNN) -- The Beatles can't seem to let it be.
A spokesman for Paul McCartney and Apple Records says a previously unreleased single from the Fab Four -- as well as a restored version of the "Yellow Submarine" -- are to be released later this year.
Geoff Baker says the single, about three minutes in length, features all four artists singing. Other details are being kept under wraps.
He says the 87-minute "Yellow Submarine" film, first released in 1968, is being restored and is getting a remixed soundtrack. The new version is expected to replace the seven instrumentals on the original soundtrack with previously unreleased Beatles tracks.
And some people just know how to party: Billboard reports that when the remaining Beatles throw a bash for 100,000 people later in the year, the star guests will be paying tribute ... to their hosts.
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Even as United States President Bill Clinton appealed on Monday to Hollywood honchos to reduce violence on film and TV, the WB television network was busy announcing that the two-part season finale of its popular series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" will deal with students arming themselves.
The network says it will air the episode, although it pulled an April 27 segment, "Earshot," in which the title character (Sarah Michelle Geller) discovers her fellow students' involvement in a mass-murder plot. That show would have aired seven days after 15 students, including the two gunmen, died at Columbine High in Littleton, Colorado.
The WB says that the April episode was shelved out of sensitivity to the Littleton, Colorado, massacre that left 15 people dead.
But no such reticence is evident around the upcoming two-parter, titled "Graduation Day."
"We are airing the episodes. There are no plans to pull them," says Julie Kingsdale, a spokeswoman for the youth-oriented network owned by Time Warner Inc. -- which also owns the Cable News Network news group including CNN Interactive.
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- A judge has ordered actor Dennis Hopper to shell out another $475,000 to colleague Rip Torn, in Torn's defamation lawsuit against Hopper, according attorneys for both parties.
An earlier ruling, upheld on appeal, required Hopper to pay a first $475,000 in compensatory damages. This time, it's punitive damages. A judge found that Hopper "acted with malice when he made false and defamatory comments" about Torn in 1994 on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," according Torn's lawyer, Robert Chapman.
Torn says Hopper slandered him by telling Leno that Torn had pulled a knife on him in a restaurant while the two were discussing Torn's potential role in the 1969 film Hopper directed with Peter Fonda, "Easy Rider." The part went to Jack Nicholson.
Torn's version of the story is that Hopper is the one who pulled a knife. Hopper has since said the incident had nothing to do with the question of Torn being in the film.
Hopper's attorney says an appeal, this time, is unlikely.
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- You might know Reginald Dwight better as Elton John. And you may also know Chris Gaines much better as hugely successful country crooner Garth Brooks.
But Brooks hopes you'll indulge him with what theater artists call a "willing suspension of disbelief."
To whet viewer appetites for "The Lamb" --a film thriller starring Brooks as the fictional rock idol Gaines -- Capitol Records is releasing a CD titled "In the Life of Chris Gaines" in October. The CD makes no mention of the country star singing the songs.
"Chris Gaines exists," Brooks said Monday. "If you go for the ride, the music seems to fit. If you're not buying it, that's the pitfall."
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Modern-rock musician Beck has filed a countersuit against Geffen Records, charging the label with copyright infringement for releasing an album without his permission and paying him nothing for it, according to Billboard.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in Los Angeles' U.S. District Court, alleges that Beck's 1998 "Mutations" was originally slated to be an independent-label album. The album topped out at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 charts.
Beck's countersuit follows the April 26 filing of a breach-of-contract suit against Beck by Geffen and Bong Load Custom Records. Both companies say he breached his contracts with them. Bong Load isn't a defendant in Beck's countersuit.
No comment on the countersuit from Geffen -- a spokesman says the label doesn't talk about pending litigation.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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