Saturday, April 24, 2004

MTV Autograph Session Turns Into "Mall Brawl"

The appearance of a MTV reality show star at a Tri-state mall turned ugly after fights broke out among the hundreds of kids gathered at the event Friday night.

Police were called to break up the mayhem at Northgate Mall in Colerain Township.

Fans had come to the mall for an autograph session with one of the stars from MTV's "The Making of the Band."

The fighting broke out around 8:30 p.m.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office says no arrests were made.

Friday, April 23, 2004

The Sports Network - NASCAR Nextel Cup

Rudd wins Aaron's 499 pole
Talladega, AL (Sports Network) - Veteran Ricky Rudd grabbed the pole for the Aaron's 499 Nextel Cup race at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway. The No.21 Wood Brothers Ford driver circle the tri-oval in 50.089 seconds (191.180 m.p.h.).

The victory was Rudd's first of the season and 29th of his "Cup" career. The win was also the first for the Wood Brothers team since Buddy Baker won the pole at Atlanta in 1984.

"It couldn't be a better day for the Wood Brothers," said Rudd. "We were fastest in practice, but we didn't really know how fast we could run because we had a little help."

The qualifying time was nowhere near the record of 212.809 m.p.h. set in pre- restrictor plate days by Bill Elliott (1987). Jeremy Mayfield won last year's pole with a time of 51.349 seconds (186.489 m.p.h.).

Starting on the front row with Rudd will be Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s Michael Waltrip. The No.15 Chevrolet posted a time of 50.143 seconds.

Series points leader and defending champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. (50.311) and Joe Nemechek (50.371) will start in row two.

"I would have liked to start on the pole, but you know we have our best car in the museum at Daytona," said Earnhardt Jr.

Earnhardt Jr. earned four straight victories at Talladega between October 2001 and last April, including a sweep there in 2002. His streak was broken when he finished second to his teammate Waltrip last fall. Earnhardt Jr.'s sweep in 2002 is one of six sweeps at the track since it began hosting races in 1969. While "Junior" is the only driver to win four consecutive races at Talladega, his father is the only driver to sweep the season races twice (1990 and 1999).

DEI has scored 10 victories in the 13 restrictor-plate races since the spring of 2001. Earnhardt Jr., has scored six times, while Michael Waltrip earned four of those victories (three at Daytona and last fall's race at Talladega).

Other prominent starters include: Jeff Gordon (11th), Kurt Busch (22nd) and Matt Kenseth (31st).

Starting is not quite as important at Talladega as some other tracks. Eight of the last 10 races here have been won from starting positions of 13th or worse.

"Talladega is like a big chess game," said Jamie McMurray. "It's one of those races that is more a mental game than anything else."

Rudd will make his 55th start at Talladega, which will tie Darrell Waltrip for the second most starts by any driver at the Alabama track. Dave Marcis had 61 starts, the most of any driver. While Marcis and Waltrip have both posted victories at Talladega, Rudd has yet to take the checkered flag out front at one of the fastest track on the NASCAR circuit.

The race is scheduled to begin on Sunday at 1 p.m. (et).


Cycling: Armstrong Wins Two Stages of Tour de Georgia
VOA Sports

Five-time reigning Tour de France cycling champion Lance Armstrong has won the first and second portions of a two-stage race, improving 22 spots in the overall standings and moving into fourth place in the Tour de Georgia.
The crowd cheered Thursday as he won the 126-kilometer leg from Carrollton to Rome in 2:41:42 hours. But Armstrong still trails overall event leader Ivan Dominguez of Cuba by sixth-tenths of a second. Dominguez placed second for the third straight stage.

Armstrong also took the 30-kilometer time trial, beating German Jens Voigt by 22 seconds. The next stage Friday is a 224-kilometer ride from Dalton to Dahlonega. The tour ends Sunday just outside Atlanta.


STATIC-X To Appear At RADIO CONTRO EXPO - Apr. 23, 2004

STATIC-X will appear at the RCX (Radio Control Expo) on Saturday, April 24 at 4:00 p.m. They will be signing autographs and chatting with the crowd. They will be appearing in the Team Associated booth, slot 602.

The Convention Center is located in Anaheim, California, right across from Disneyland. For show information, go to www.rcx.com and www.rccaraction.com.

As previously reported, STATIC-X filmed a video for the song "So" in Los Angeles earlier this month. "So" comes off the group's third full-length album, "Shadow Zone", which came out last October through Warner Bros. Records. The follow-up to 2001's "Machine" was produced by Josh Abraham (STAIND, LIMP BIZKIT, UNWRITTEN LAW) and features a session appearance by drummer Josh Freese of A PERFECT CIRCLE and THE VANDALS fame. The group, who split with original drummer Ken Jay early last year, have since recruited a full-time replacement in the shape of Nick Oshiro (ex-SEETHER).

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

NBA.com: LeBron Goes Inside

April 21 -- After Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James was named got milk? Rookie of the Year for 2003-04, he joined Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Magic Johnson for a live interview during halftime of Game 2 of the New Jersey-New York first-round series.

Ernie: "LeBron James only the third rookie, joining Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan, to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. Looks good on the resume. The top pick in the draft is the got milk? Rookie of the Year."

Charles: "I could have got them numbers if they put me in the game."

Ernie: "The 19-year-old LeBron James joins us now live from New York. LeBron, congratulations. Let me ask you something. You know there is a lot of debate about whether this award should go to you or Carmelo Anthony, who is your good buddy. He's in the playoffs, you're the Rookie of the Year. Would you swap?"

LeBron: "You know to tell you truth, I would. It's kind of heartbreaking, you know watching all these games and not being a part of it. You know, I would swap the Rookie of the Year award to be in the playoffs."

Magic: "Hey, this is Magic, LeBron. First, congratulations. I lost out to Larry Bird my rookie year. I know I was disappointed. What would you say to Carmelo right now because you are friends. What would you tell him?"

LeBron: "To tell you the truth, I really thought it was going to be co-Rookie of the Year. I think I did my part and you know Carmelo really had a sensational season. He played beyond what I thought he might play and I think he played beyond where he thought he was going to play also. To get it unanimously was really a shock to me, but you know my support is with Carmelo the whole way. I've been talking to him through the playoffs and everything, so he knows that I'm behind him all the way."

Charles: "Well, LeBron. Number one, congratulations. I thought it should have been co-Rookies of the Year also. Let me ask you this. They started you out at the point. I think eventually they're going to put you at the three and leave you there. What do you think is your best position?"

LeBron: "I think you said it. The two guard or the three, the small forward, would be the best position for me. You know, I think Paul Silas really, you know, he set it up perfect for me. He gave me the opportunity and I was able to take advantage of it. Wherever it is the Cleveland franchise needs me to be, the next couple of years for us to progress, I think I'll be there for the taking."

Kenny: "Congratulations, again. This is Kenny, LeBron. One of the things that you guys went through this year were a lot of changes and a lot of different personalities coming in and out. Next year, you're the Rookie of the Year. You're basically the franchise player. You might have a say in what we need next year for the Cleveland Cavaliers to get over the hump. What would be your input?"

LeBron: "Tell you the truth, the Jet. If you really looked at our team this year, we had a lot of guys that could penetrate and get to the hole very easily. You know we had two dominating inside forces with Carlos (Boozer) and Z (Ilgauskas). I think what we really need like you had in Houston, the Jet, and what Chuck had in Phoenix and in Philly and what Magic had when he was with the Lakers, is a guy that can stretch the defense when I penetrate and when Jeff McInnis penetrates. And add me a three-point shooter you know."

Charles: "How big an influence was Chubby Silas?"

LeBron: "I think he was a big influence. Once again, he gave me an opportunity. You know, Paul Silas stresses it, if you're going to go out and produce for him, he's going to play you. And that's all I needed to hear because pretty much I knew I could play this game of basketball. I just needed an opportunity and he was able to give it to me."

Magic: "You did everything this year. What do you feel you have to improve on next year to improve?"

LeBron: "I think. It's a lot in my game. I think from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, I improved my jumpshot a lot. But, I think I want to improve it a lot this summer. Lateral movement. I want to be one of the best defenders in the league, also. Because that could create fast breaks for our team and that's when we are at our best."

Ernie: "LeBron James, congratulations from all of us here as the got milk? Rookie of the Year. Well deserved and we look forward to more of the same in the years to come in the NBA."

LeBron: "Thanks, Ernie."

Magic: "And keep smiling man."

LeBron: "I will, Magic. You taught me that."

Ernie: "He's the master."

Sign of times: Yankees a tough autograph

Because they are the New York Yankees, the most famous baseball team in the world, they travel surreptitiously. Their road hotels? A classified secret -- to keep away their legions of admirers.

Yet word leaks out. And so at 10 a.m. Tuesday, several autograph seekers had gathered across the street from the main entrance of the Westin on Michigan Avenue.

Inside, the lobby was nearly deserted. Flash Gordon sat alone, waiting on a cab to grab some lunch -- or perhaps a late breakfast -- from Carson's. Where were the mobs of adoring fans one would expect to find in the lobby of the Yankees' hotel? Where were the giggling teenage girls, waiting for a glimpse of Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez? Where were the little kids who would jump at the chance to meet a Yankee, any Yankee? Where were the grownups, who, God help them, could not pass up a chance to see the Yankees in person?

Maybe they didn't know where to find the Yankees. Or maybe they had learned to stay away.

''Years ago, we used to let people in [off the street] to get autographs,'' a veteran doorman said. ''Not anymore.''

Many professional teams stay at the Westin while in Chicago. Fans and autograph seekers are banned from the lobby and are not allowed to congregate in front of the hotel. They must keep a safe distance. That goes double when the Yankees are in town. If the hotel doesn't shoo people away, the Yankees' security personnel will.

Rich Henry, Gary Dudkowski and ''Big Mike,'' 30-somethings from the south suburbs, stood across the street Tuesday, waiting for autographs. They knew from experience not to enter the hotel or even stand too close to it. They had come to the Westin frequently over the years to collect autographs. They think the Atlanta Braves players are the nicest. They think the Boston Red Sox and Yankees are the least nice -- or at least the most difficult to get an autograph from. But there are exceptions.

''Jason Giambi is nice,'' one of the guys said about the Yankees first baseman.

They saw Giambi on Monday night at Rosebud on Rush. He was eating dinner with actor George Clooney. While one listener contained her inner shrieks -- George Clooney! -- the guys suddenly took off, running across the street. Yankees manager Joe Torre had emerged from the hotel. Quickly surrounded by six or seven people, Torre, wearing dark sunglasses and no coat on this chilly, sunless day, signed his name for everyone, then took off at a brisk pace.

Big Mike had been hoping to get Torre's autograph. His friends were happy for him. Big Mike didn't even crack a smile.

"I don't show my emotions,'' he said. "But I'm happy. He stopped and signed for everyone, didn't he? That was pretty classy of him.''

Yankees broadcaster Charley Steiner emerged from the hotel with a cup of coffee in one hand and a cell phone in the other. He stopped to chat. Looking at the autograph seekers across the street, Steiner said a much larger crowd typically awaits the Yan- kees when they travel.

Steiner was asked if the small crowd, which now numbered about 11, meant the Yankees have lost some luster. They did lose the World Series, after all. Not to mention three of four to the Red Sox from Friday to Monday.

"They're still like the Beatles,'' Steiner said. "I guess Derek is the cute one. And A-Rod must be John Lennon. But if Jeter is Paul and A-Rod is Lennon, then Hideki Matsui was Paul and John put together when the team played in Japan [in March]. That really was unbelievable.''

Rest assured, Steiner continued, the Yankees have lost none of their luster. The team's elaborate security provisions on the road, which Steiner was not at liberty to discuss, are still necessary. In some cities -- Boston and Baltimore came to mind -- they're imperative. In those cities, separating the Yankees from the public can require police lines. Even then, fans can't always be kept at bay. The Yankees cannot hope to stop all the attention that comes their way; they only can hope to contain it.

Steiner also offered a theory about Rodriguez's slow start at the plate this season. After he went 1-for-17 against the Red Sox, his average dipped to .160.

''There is a vibe, an aura, about the Yankees that is just different,'' Steiner said. "It doesn't matter if you're a good, great or adequate player, it takes a while before you're comfortable.''

The Red Sox series, played in Boston, was also the first time Rodriguez had experienced "primal boos,'' Steiner said, adding that "I think the pinstripes are feeling a little heavy for A-Rod right now.''

Neither Rodriguez nor Jeter was spotted Tuesday. But Gabe White, Miguel Cairo and Tony Clark were. Mike Mussina was, too. And Mussina became a big hit.

On his way out of the hotel at lunchtime, when the autograph seekers approached him, Mussina responded, ''On my way back,'' setting off a modest frenzy among the seekers.

"The Cubs might go to the World Series, hell might freeze over, Mike Mussina might actually sign an autograph!'' Mike Gomez, a veteran autograph hunter, yelled a tad sarcastically.

When Mussina came back, he signed several autographs, instantly raising his stock with this group.

"He kept his word,'' said Henry, who has been collecting autographs for about 30 years.

By then, around 1:30 p.m., about 20 people had assembled, and nearly all were grown men.

''I started getting autographs at Comiskey Park when I was a kid,'' said Bryan Petrulis, 31. ''I told myself I wouldn't still be doing this all these years later. But it's an addiction, I guess.''

The group watched with chagrin as first Giambi, then Gary Sheffield, hopped into cabs.

The anticipated squealing teens had yet to materialize, but Jessica Fowler, 11, and her sister Kinsey, 8, were waiting quietly for autographs along with their dad, Derin. The Fowlers, who live in St. Charles, had shopped at the American Girl store that morning and were going to U.S. Cellular Field for the White Sox-Yankees game that evening. In the meantime, they hoped to see Jeter and Matsui, Dad's favorites.

"We do this five or six times a year,'' said Fowler, who typically brings his 13-year-old son along but had saved this day for his daughters.

The girls, shivering in hooded jackets, said they were having fun.

It started raining in midafternoon, and several of the guys took cover under an awning adjacent to the hotel entrance. Not for long, though. Yankees security quickly emerged from the building and curtly told them to move.

Soon after, ropes went up around a second hotel entrance, and the first of the Yankees' two chartered buses pulled up to the curb. At about the same time, three girls -- Christine Relic, 12, Autumn Zumdema, 13, and Morgan Osness, 13 -- jumped out of a car and ran over to the ropes. Relic held a camera, and Zumdema wore a Yankees cap. Osness' dad waited in the car. The group had driven to the city from Woodstock and was on its way to the game at the Cell.

When asked which Yankee they most hoped to see, all three girls yelled, as if on cue, "Derek Jeter!''

"He's cute,'' Zumdema said.

"I love A-Rod, but I play shortstop and I love Jeter,'' Osness said.

"I want to take his picture,'' Relic said.

They didn't seem to mind the security rope that held them back or the watchful security guards. They were this close to the Yankees, and that's all that mattered.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

nbc4.com - Entertainment - Autograph Believed To Be Lennon's Last Goes On Auction Block

What is believed to be the last autograph John Lennon gave is now for sale.

The late former Beatle drew a picture of himself and Yoko Ono and signed it as he was leaving the Record Plant Studio in New York on Dec. 9, 1980.

The autograph was for Rabiah Seminole, a switchboard operator at the studio. Fifteen minutes later, Lennon was shot outside his New York apartment.

It's believed to be the last autograph he signed. The one he signed for his killer, Mark David Chapman, was six hours before he died.

The autograph is being sold through the auction Web site Moments in Time. The opening bid is $325,000.

Seminole told the British Broadcasting Corp. that she doesn't want to capitalize on Lennon's death, but she knows he was a nature lover and he'd approve of her selling it to benefit her horse sanctuary in Virginia.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Music | Cobain's guitar fetches $117,500

Fans recently marked the 10th anniversary of Cobain's death
A guitar belonging to the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was auctioned for $117,500 (£65,000) on Saturday.
The guitar was said to have been one of his favourites, and was the first of his instruments to go on sale since his death 10 years ago.

It was expected to be sold for $100,000 by Heritage Galleries in Dallas, Texas.

The piano on which Sir Elton John wrote Your Song and Tiny Dancer fetched $164,500 (£91,500) and one of Sir Elton's jumpsuits sold for $26,337 (£14,650).

The sale in Dallas Market Hall contained more than 1,700 lots made up of instruments, photos, autographs, posters, toys and general music memorabilia.

Cobain purchased the guitar in San Francisco in 1990 and sold it in 1992.

The right-handed guitar was modified to be played by a left-handed person and is the only known example of a Mark IV-style Mosrite Gospel.

Also sold were a signed 1963 poster of The Beatles for $17,625 (£9,800) and Sir Elton's Hollywood Walk of Fame star award for $15,312 (£8,500).

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