Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Manager Who Discovered Kiss Dies

Bill Aucoin, who discovered the rock group Kiss and helped build them into a musical and merchandising juggernaut, died Monday in Florida. He was 66.

Aucoin died at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center in Aventura of surgical complications from prostate cancer, said Carol Kaye, a family spokeswoman.

A former television cinematographer, Aucoin discovered Kiss in New York City in 1973 and helped launch the makeup-wearing, fire-breathing quartet into a moneymaking machine.

He financed the band's first tour on his personal American Express credit card when money was tight, but he was well rewarded when the band's popularity exploded in 1975 with the hit "Rock And Roll All Nite."

"He was the fifth Kiss," said drummer Peter Criss, who had Aucoin serve as the best man at his second wedding. "If it wasn't for Bill, there would be no Kiss."

Aucoin first saw the band at a showcase gig at New York's Diplomat Hotel, then brought it upstairs to meet with record company executive Neil Bogart, who signed it as the first act on his Casablanca Records label.

Criss said Aucoin had an eye for what was visually striking and recognized the vast merchandising potential of rock bands in a way that few others could. With Aucoin's help, Kiss became as famous for the vast array of products bearing their likeness — including belt buckles, Halloween costumes and makeup kits, action figurines, vitamins and even a Kiss pinball machine — as they were for their music.

By 1978, they were voted the No. 1 band in America in a Gallup poll.

"He was a genius," Criss said. "Anything you could do, he could do bigger."

After parting with Kiss in the early 1980s, Aucoin managed Billy Squier and Billy Idol.

He is survived by his longtime partner, Roman Fernandez, and two sisters, Betty Britton and Janet Bankowski.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

A tribute from fans, a lawsuit from dad

LOS ANGELES – On the day Michael Jackson's fans paid their respects with tears, tributes, songs and dance, Jackson's father filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the doctor charged with giving his son a lethal dose of drugs.

Joe Jackson's visit to a federal courtroom in Los Angeles, while thousands of people were filing through the gates of a nearby cemetery to mourn the man they call the King of Pop, punctuated once again just how brilliantly the star that was Michael Jackson's life had burned, and how suddenly it had been extinguished.

"The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, Gone Too Soon," proclaimed a 100-foot banner spread out near the entrance to Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale on Friday to mark the first anniversary of Jackson's death.

"He's been my idol all my life since I can remember. I feel like I haven't had closure," said Erick Dominguez, who traveled more than 80 miles from his home in Victorville to the Los Angeles suburb to pay his respects. As he spoke, the 37-year-old sales representative, his eyes hidden by sunglasses, began to weep. He was joined by mourners from Italy, France, Spain, Norway and numerous other parts of the world.

Several of Jackson's relatives also visited the cemetery, going to its mausoleum, where Jackson's body is entombed and which is off limits to the public. Brother Tito shook hands with fans as he arrived, and brother Jermaine rolled down a window and waved as the family left in a fleet of luxury vehicles. As they departed, fans released a flock of white doves.

"It was a beautiful sight," said one of the mourners, Courtland Llauger.

In Jackson's hometown of Gary, Ind., hundreds cheered as the entertainer's mother, Katherine Jackson, unveiled a memorial to her son in the front yard of the modest home where he grew up.

"This past year has been very hard on the family," she told the crowd. "If it wasn't for the help of all of you, we wouldn't have made it through."

Jackson died June 25, 2009 at age 50, just before he was to begin a comeback tour. Dr. Conrad Murray has pleaded not guilty to felony involuntary manslaughter. Authorities say Murray provided the entertainer with a mix of sedatives — including the powerful anesthetic propofol — that killed him.

Jackson's father filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the physician Friday, seeking more than $75,000. The complaint accuses Murray of professional negligence and contends he tried to conceal his administration of propofol after Jackson's death. Propofol is normally administered only in hospital settings. Murray had been providing it in the bedroom of Jackson's rented mansion in Los Angeles to help him sleep after the physically grueling rehearsals the performer had been putting himself through to get in shape for his comeback.

Murray attorney Charles Peckham said in a statement he expected his client's innocence to be "proven in a court of law."

Away from the courtroom, numerous tributes to Jackson, both poignant and joyful, unfolded throughout the day.

In Japan, hundreds met at Tokyo Tower to honor Jackson with a candlelight vigil, a gospel concert and more. Some got a chance to see some of his possessions, including costumes from his tours and even a 1967 Rolls-Royce Phantom that he used to drive around Los Angeles.

"I don't know what to say. Seeing all his things makes it all come back to me," said Yumiko Sasaki, a 48-year-old Tokyo office worker who said she has been a Jackson fan since she was 12. "It makes me so sad to think that he is gone. He was wonderful."

In New York City, crowds gathered at Harlem's fabled Apollo Theater, where Jackson and his brothers rocketed to fame as the Jackson 5, winning amateur night in the late 1960s. His pictures were hung outside and a sidewalk plaque honored the singer alongside such other Apollo legends as James Brown and Smokey Robinson.

In Santa Barbara's wine country, people showed up throughout the day at Neverland, the playland home where Jackson once lived with his own zoo and amusement park. There, by the front gates, they danced, listened to music and exchanged hugs and tears.

In cyberspace, people also paused to remember Jackson. Among them was Mariah Carey who said via Twitter that she was marking the day by watching the video "You Are Not Alone."

"Love and prayers to MJ 'King of Pop,'" she tweeted. "You will be remembered forever. We miss you."

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ed Hardy Make-up

When done watching click here to scroll down.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Amanda Bynes Retires?

Amanda Bynes claims that she is retiring from acting. She definitely hasn't been acting because she has not starred in a film since 2007.

Amanda must have realized that her career wasn't going anywhere so she has decided to quit acting at age 24.

"Being an actress isn't as fun as it may seem," she wrote on her Twitter page. "If I don't love something anymore, I stop doing it. I don't love acting anymore, so I've stopped doing it."

"I know 24 is a young age to retire but you heard it here first I've #retired," she added.

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Monday, June 07, 2010

Did Ex-wife Shannon Kill Gary Coleman?

Sounding defensive, Shannon Price, actor Gary Coleman's ex-wife fuels the suspicion that she may have contributed to Gary's recent death. Adding to that is their rocky relationship and possibly Gary's estate. However, that estate may not be worth much at all. Over the course of his Diff'rent Strokes career, Coleman earned roughly $18 million. Coleman's parents set up a trust fund for the money, but wrote themselves into the agreement as paid employees. When the court dissolved the trust, his parents' share was said to be worth only $770,000, while Coleman himself reportedly saw only $220,000. Coleman successfully sued his parents and managers, but for nowhere near the amount he had earned during the course of the show; reports of the settlement ranged from $1.8 to $3.8 million. Unless Gary was careful with that money there truely may be little in the bank. As this plays out, time will show if Shannon had any involvement in Gary Coleman's passing.

Gary Coleman’s ex-wife said on “Good Morning America” Monday that she would take her own life before ever harming him and that the couple had actually been planning to renew their wedding vows until health issues intervened.

Shannon Price, who arrived for the interview in a wheelchair, also described the moments leading up to the fall that eventually resulted in Coleman’s death.

"I asked him if he could make me some food," she told the ABC show. "He went down there (to the kitchen) and I heard this big smack. I went down there and found him in a pool of blood.

"People can say whatever they want. I know the truth," she said. "I would never hurt my husband, ever."

Price and the former child star, who died May 26 of an intracranial hemorrhage, married in 2007 when she was 22 and he was 40. They divorced in 2008 but she said they planned to remarry.

"We decided that (divorce) wasn't what we wanted,” she told GMA. “We just had a disagreement. After we filed and it went through we decided that wasn't the right choice."

Health issues delayed their vow renewals, she said, adding, "I have had a lot of health issues. I have seizures, I have anxiety. I miss my husband a lot. I can barely get around. It's been a trial."

Coleman had a lifelong history of health problems, including congenital kidney disease that resulted in two kidney transplants, and heart surgery complicated by pneumonia last fall.

"We discussed death a few times and he always said he would be very unfair if he left me and I really respect that," Price told GMA, "because I loved him and he loved me and we just can't live without each other."

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Kylie Minogue - All The Lovers

Kylie Minogue's new song All The Lovers.
See and hear it here.

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