ART ALEXAKIS OF EVERCLEAR HAS MS
UNDATED (AP) — Everclear frontman Art Alexakis (al-ex-AH’-kis) says he found out three years ago that not only did he have multiple sclerosis, but he had had it for 10 to 20 years without knowing it. Alexakis issued a statement saying he discovered he has MS after a car accident three years ago, when he sought medical help for what he thought was a pinched nerve. A battery of tests revealed suspicious marks on his spinal cord. Alexakis says the diagnosis explains why he’s had problems with walking, balance, memory and temperature sensitivity, which he had chalked up to getting old. Alexakis says he gives himself injections three times a week. His doctor told him as long as he stays on his medication, he can live into his 80s. He’ll be 57 in two weeks. Alexakis, who has been open about his addiction problems, says he went public with his MS so people didn’t think he was drinking or on drugs again.
RANKING ROGER OF ENGLISH BEAT AND GENERAL PUBLIC DIES
LONDON (AP) — Sting says Ranking Roger of The English Beat and of General Public was part of the “explosive clash of cultures” of the mid-1970s in England, and he will be missed. Ranging Roger died Tuesday at the age of 56. He had suffered a stroke last year and had recently been diagnosed with two brain tumors and lung cancer. Neville Staple of The Specials says he had been privately visiting Ranking Roger over the past two weeks but “the fight of the lion’s fire has gone out.” Mike Mills of R.E.M. tweets they opened for English Beat on multiple tours so they could “watch, listen and learn.”
058836-r-497:76-(General Public, performing “Tenderness”)-”(music fades)”-English Beat founder ‘Ranking Roger’ Charlery dies at 56 (27 Mar 2019)
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SHAKIRA AND CARLOS VIVES TESTIFY IN “LA BICICLETA” DISPUTE
MADRID (AP) — Shakira and Carlos Vives will have to wait nearly three weeks to find out if they’re guilty of ripping off another songwriter with their 2017 song “La Bicicleta (la bee-cee-CLAY’-tuh),” which translates to “The Bicycle” in English. Shakira and Vives testified yesterday in a Madrid court in a lawsuit filed by Cuban-born singer-producer Livan Rafael Castellanos. He claims “La Bicicleta” copies lyrics, rhythm and melody from his 1997 song “Yo te quiero tanto (yoh tay kee-AYR’-roh TAN’-toh).” Spanish news agency Europa Press reports Shakira testified the song is different in melody, music and subject manner, and her song is a salute to her homeland of Columbia. Castellanos tells The Associated Press music experts support his plagiarism claim.
“BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY” CENSORED IN CHINA
BEIJING (AP) — Audiences who see “Bohemian Rhapsody” in China do not see Queen singer Freddie Mercury telling his longtime female partner he’s not straight, because that scene is cut. When Mercury tells the rest of Queen he has AIDS, in the Chinese version, the dialogue drops out. Censorship of sensitive subjects is common in China. LGBT content is considered less taboo in Chinese society than other subjects, but same-sex relationships are not portrayed in mainstream media. Even Rami Malek, who played Mercury in the film, is subject to censors. Chinese video site Mango TV livestreamed the Oscars in January and subtitled Malek’s comment about “gay man” to read “special group.”
STING BRINGS “THE LAST SHIP” TO LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Being on stage for eight performances a week for a stage production is not that taxing for Sting, because he’s used to singing two-and-a-half hours a night in concert. Sting appears in his production “The Last Ship,” which played in New York in 2014 and is now running in Los Angeles. Sting says the show is more mentally demanding than physically demanding. He says while he can rest in his dressing room when he’s not in a scene, he still has to remember his lines, his other actors and what his character is about. Having said that, though, Sting says he’s having the time of his life.
058876-a-0-(Sting, musician)-“create this character”-Sting takes “The Last Ship” to LA (28 Mar 2019)
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ROXY MUSIC ORIGINAL MEMBERS WILL PERFORM AT ROCK HALL INDUCTION
NEW YORK (AP) — Bryan Ferry will perform with original Roxy Music members Andy Mackay and Phil Manzanera at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction tomorrow. Brian Eno and Paul Thompson are not attending because of other commitments. Roxy Music’s induction performance also will include other musicians who have played in the band or with Ferry over the years.
WANDA JACKSON RETIRES FROM TOURING
UNDATED (AP) — At the age of 81, rockabilly pioneer Wanda Jackson has decided maybe it’s time to slow down. Jackson announced on Facebook she is retiring from touring, solely for health and safety reasons. The statement says it’s not the end, “just the beginning of a new chapter.” Jackson has been touring for more than six decades.
By Margie Szaroleta