News and Notes
Blue Laws You know rock & roll is growing up when it starts getting kudos from ”the Establishment.” Last month, English Heritage, a historical society that has erected its distinctive blue plaques at the homes of such famous London residents as Winston Churchill and Lord Byron, made Jimi Hendrix the first rock legend to receive the honor. The decision raised more than a few eyebrows. London’s stiffer upper lips were aquiver not only because the accolade was bestowed on a lowly rock musician (”What’s next? A plaque to Oasis?” commented Clive Aslet, editor of the patrician monthly Country Life) but also because Hendrix was a Yank — and Britain has more than its share of rock legends. According to English Heritage’s Elain Harwood, other musicians just weren’t ”dead enough. You have to be dead for at least 20 years to get a blue plaque,” she explains. Hendrix, who died in 1970 at the age of 27, was one of the few greats eligible. — Gabriele Marcotti
Cutting Edge The X-Files strikes again? Not exactly. Crash-landing in stores Oct. 27 is Alien Anatomy ($19.95), an Operation-style game from Beverly Hills-based toy company WPF that capitalizes on America’s obsession with UFOs but doesn’t draw its inspiration from the usual suspects. According to WPF president Paul Cleveland, 52, the game — in which kids slice and dice a 14-inch, Day-Glo green, moon-eyed alien on an autopsy table — was sparked by ”memories of my childhood outside of Roswell, N.M. We were talking about new products and the old image of an alien flashed across my mind. By the end of the next day, I had finished a rough sculpture.” Now he’s planning an entire line of operable, kid-friendly space creatures. ”Let’s face it,” says Cleveland, the mastermind behind He-Man toys, ”if aliens are anything like the baddies from Independence Day, we might as well have fun with them. Before they kill us.” — Kipp Cheng
Mob Scene It used to take the Feds and a couple of stoolies to find out where the Mob hangs. Now, just follow the signs. Drivers all over L.A. are doing double takes at little fluorescent posters featuring the single word Mafia over an arrow. What gives? Moviemaking, of course. The signs point cast and crew to the various location sets of Jane Austen’s Mafia, a Godfather-esque parody directed by Jim Abrahams (Hot Shots!) and starring Christina Applegate and Lloyd Bridges. Says a source at Touchstone Pictures: ”We couldn’t figure out why we were getting so many curious set visitors. Then we looked at the signs.” It sure beats waking up with a horse’s head in your bed. — David Hochman
Sure, he plays a dorky, easy-going Everyman on ABC’s The Drew Carey Show, but in his new book, Dirty Jokes and Beer, the hefty comedian showcases the significantly more seedy side of his psyche. Here’s a sampling of some of the book’s off-color and oddball offerings.
— Amount of money Carey paid a woman to take her shirt off in New Orleans during Mardi Gras: $100
Dirty Jokes and Beer