Bruce Springsteen sets a ticket-selling record
Plus, Results from Cannes; Scary Spice is working on a solo album...with Prince; and wrestler Blue Blazer falls to his death during a WWF match
CONCERT KING Bruce Springsteen set a record on Saturday when he sold out 15 shows (that’s about 300,000 seats) at the Continental Airlines Arena in his home state of New Jersey in 13 hours. The band originally planned only five shows but kept adding them as the ticket lines surged. (The concerts begin July 15 and end August 12.) But there’s no hurt feelings from the previous holder of the record: It was Springsteen, who sold out 11 shows at the Meadowlands in 1992.
CANNES RESULTS Sunday night’s awards ceremony at Cannes was marked by many surprises. ”Rosetta,” a French film done in the verite style, was the surprise winner of the top prize — the Palme d’Or — even though it was screened only the day before, which is considered a bad slot for the competition, and films by Pedro Almodovar and David Lynch were considered favorites. Another French film, ”Humanity,” which had been widely criticized at the festival, ended up winning not only the Grand Jury Prize, but also best actor and actress honors, prompting the shocked crowd to boo. Almodovar’s win for Best Director was one of the few noncontroversial moments, because his film ”Todo Sobre Mi Mama” was the critical favorite of the festival.
RECORDING Mel G., a.k.a. Scary Spice, is now in Minneapolis, where she’s working on a solo record at The Artist blah blah blah Prince’s Paisley Park studios, according to MTV News. It’s not clear whether the Artist is actually helping with the album, but famed producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are working on it. But don’t expect to hear the results soon: Scary says that she’s waiting until after the release of a new Spice Girls album (which they’ll convene to record in August) and after Sporty Spice’s solo record, now in the works, to release her efforts.
PASSING WWF wrestler Owen Hart, who battled under the name Blue Blazer, fell to his death while being lowered into a ring from the ceiling of a sold-out Kansas City arena Sunday night. It’s not clear whether the cable that Hart was descending on snapped or he became unhitched, but he plummeted and fatally hit his head on one of the padded metal corners of the ring. Paramedics performed CPR on Hart while the show stopped for 15 minutes. He was brought to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, and the show continued.
CASTING Looking for an actor to play a bald genius? Who else would you go to but Patrick Stewart? The ex-”Star Trek” chief is in negotiations to play the X-Men’s hairless and telepathic mentor, Professor Xavier, in Bryan Singer’s live-action version of the comic book…. Ice Cube has recruited comedians D.C. Curry and Mike Epps to join him in ”Next Friday,” the sequel to his 1995 comedy ”Friday.”
CALMING DOWN Jerry Springer is temporarily showing some responsibility: Either that or he’s just laying low. In the wake of politicians’ recent cry for less violence and sex on TV, original ”Springer” shows set to air this week with such titles as ”I’m proud to be a prostitute” and ”My daughter wants to be an adult film star” were pulled and replaced with less controversial repeats like ”Female body-builders” and ”Street kids update.” The subbing shows are from the 1993-94 season, before Springer’s guests started brawling regularly. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Springer is turning away from his racy, headlock-filled episodes for good: Last year after his show faced criticism, his producers vowed they would cut out the fights, but the hair-pulling gradually returned.
OUT OF THE VAULTS A never-before-heard single by George Harrison called ”In the First Place” from 1968 has been discovered and will be released. Harrison wrote and recorded the song for the cult British movie ”Wonderwall,” but never submitted it to the director, Joe Massot; when Massot was remastering the film for a rerelease he discovered the lost tape and persuaded Harrison to let him use it on the director’s cut. However, Harrison said that he only wanted a producer’s credit for the song, and that the artist on the song should be listed only as ”Remo Four,” which was the backup band that played on it.
DEPARTING John Henson is all talked out. The post-Kinnear host of E!’s ”Talk Soup” for more than four years is leaving for a deal with ABC to develop specials and ”comedic reality” shows. No farewell date will be announced until E! can find a replacement.