George Michael, Billy Idol, and Sean Lennon made music news for the week of September 7, 1998

By Tom Sinclair
Updated September 11, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

I Want My Ex
Rumors are swirling around the offices of Sony Music that George Michael, currently under contract to DreamWorks, is interested in returning to the Sony fold, home of his former label, Columbia Records. It would be an odd twist, considering Michael famously lost a lawsuit in 1994 in which he sued Sony, alleging restraint of trade and failure to promote his 1990 album, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1. But in light of the ho-hum performance of Michael’s 1996 DreamWorks debut, Older (which barely went platinum), the singer may have decided that Sony chief Tommy Mottola is the father figure he needed after all. Sony and Michael are mum, but word is the subject of his return was broached while he was recording new tracks for a hits album set to be released by Sony in November. A DreamWorks spokesperson denies that Michael plans to jump ship: ”The original deal allowed him to do the greatest-hits album for Sony but [stipulated that] thereafter he would be fully on DreamWorks…. There is no truth to the rumor.” Hey, George, wake them up before you go-go.

Idol Chatter
No doubt hoping to inject a bit of (semi-charmed) life into his nascent comeback album on Glen Ballard‘s newly formed Java label, bleached and faded ’80s rocker Billy Idol recently reached out to Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind. ”Billy called me up and asked me if I would write him some songs and maybe produce something,” says Jenkins, who agreed to ”help him out.” Jenkins stresses the arrangement is informal. ”Whatever we record might end up coming out four years from now, or it could be the first single on the record. I don’t know at this point.”

Pride of Place
It’s not exactly A Hard Day’s Night, but when Sean Lennon was offered the chance to appear on an episode of Melrose Place, he said, ”Sure.” Lennon will be featured on the show’s Sept. 14 season premiere performing three songs. Says Lennon: ”It was a profoundly spiritual experience.”