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AGENCY & MANAGEMENT NEWS: Steve Nice Forms Nice Management

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Steve Nice has left New West Records, where he was a promotion executive, to form Nice Management. His first two acts are UK bands Idlewild and Starsailor, both for U.S. representation.

Nice began in the record industry in 1966 in artist relations at A&M Records. He then moved to Capitol Records' college radio department, where he first worked with both Idlewild and Starsailor as well as Radiohead, Coldplay and Ed Harcout. He joined New West Records in 2004 and worked in AAA and alternative radio promotion. — Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Corgan, Chamberlain Sign With Frontline

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Billy Corgan has given away a clear signal that he is en route to rebuilding the seminal rock group Smashing Pumpkins, as the band has reportedly signed a management deal with Jared Paul and Paul Geary at Irving Azoff’s Frontline Management.

Billboard reported that Corgan and Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin will begin work on a new studio album soon, the first since the band’s swan song, “MACHINA/the machines of god.”

Original guitarist James Iha and bassist D’arcy Wretzky are reportedly not participating in the reunion, but sources say multi-instrumentalist Billy Mohler, who formerly played bass for The Calling and appeared on Chamberlin’s 2005 solo album “Life Begins Again,” will be involved in the project.

The band is already being rumored as a featured headliner at this summer’s Lollapalooza, scheduled for August 4-6 in the band’s hometown of Chicago, and they are expected to his the road some point later this year.

“As long as Billy has Jimmy, he can make the essential Pumpkins record, I’m sure,” former Pumpkins bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur told Billboard. She added that she is not involved in any reunion plans, but “my services are always there to play my favorite songs. If D’arcy is not available, I’m always happy to be second in line.”

Rumors of a reunion have circulated since the band first broke up, but Corgan stunned fans last summer by taking out a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times announcing his intentions to “renew” and “revive” the band, on the same day that his solo album, “The Future Embrace” was released.

In December, Billy teased fans on his MySpace site with the promise of a surprise. He said it “all will be announced soon enough. Hold on to your horses. After all, good things surely [come] to those who wait. Don't you just love the suspense?” –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

Former Wham! Manager Pens Book On Breaking The Band

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Former manager Simon Napier-Bell did the unthinkable and brought a pop music group into communist China in the 1980s – a PR coup that helped make Wham! into one of the biggest groups in the world. With an obsession for everything relating to the 80's, Napier-Bell has penned, " I'm Coming to Take You to Lunch: A Fantastic Tale of Boys, Booze, and how Wham! Was Sold to China (Wenner Books, 293 pages, $14.95).

Napier-Bell tells the fascinating tale of Wham's rise to fame – from the first time he met the two young musicians Andrew Ridgely and a budding George Michael in London to his wild romp around the world that brought the British duo to international stardom. Through wild tales of traveling to China more than 20 times in three years and dealing with an extraordinary assortment of people from heads of government to seedy CIA operatives, Napier-Bell takes readers on a Far Eastern adventure detailing how he accomplished his diplomatic feat to launch a band.

Napier-Bell briefly managed the Yardbirds in 1966 post Giorgio Gomelsky and co-wrote Dusty Springfield's hit "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" also in 1966. He produced a few records, discovered and managed Marc Bolan and managed Japan and London. He claims to have spurned Julio Iglesias before discovering Wham!

This is Napier-Bell's third book, having previously written "Black Vinyl, White Powder," and "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me." Strangely though, for a tome about rock icons, there are no photographs in the book except one of the author. Napier-Bell lives in Thailand. — Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen