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ARTIST NEWS: Koko Taylor Recovering From Surgery (Click on More to view all articles)

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Koko "Queen of the Blues" Taylor is recovering from surgery to correct a gastrointestinal bleed. The surgery was performed on November 2 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. According to Dr. Angelo Costas, her primary care physician, Taylor, 75, "is greatly recovered from the surgery." She has just been moved to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and is expected to return home by Christmas. Her doctors anticipate a full recovery. She hopes to begin performing again in late winter or early spring of 2004. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Ex-Elvis Guitarist in Stable Condition

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Guitarist Scotty Moore, who played with Elvis Presley for over a decade and helped shape some of Presley's most memorable tunes, was in serious but stable condition Wednesday following brain surgery, hospital officials said.

Moore, 71, was admitted to Baptist Hospital last week after doctors found a subdural hematoma, an accumulation of blood between the brain and the skull, said his longtime companion, Gail Pollock. The surgery was Friday.

Pollock said in a statement posted on Moore's Web site that doctors think he'll be able to play guitar again after physical therapy.

Moore teamed with Presley and bassist Bill Black in the early days of rock 'n' roll to record "That's All Right (Mama)" for Sun Records in Memphis.

Moore continued with Presley until 1968, his guitar riffs helping define other Presley hits like "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Hound Dog." Moore was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.


On the Net:

Moore's site

Diana Krall Marries Elvis Costello

TORONTO (AP) — Jazz chanteuse Diana Krall has tied the knot with her beau of one year, Elvis Costello, in a wedding held outside London.

The pair was married Saturday night in a ceremony held at Elton John's castle, the Globe and Mail reported Tuesday.

The approximately 150 guests, who included Paul McCartney and Canada's consul general to New York, Pamela Wallin, were sworn to secrecy.

Krall, 39, and Costello, 49, live in New York and also have a home on Vancouver Island.

Krall's management company, Sam Feldman and Associates, did not return a call, and her music label declined comment on the report that the pair was married.

The marriage is a first for Krall. Costello's previous two marriages ended in divorce.

Joe Bonamassa Takes Blues In The Schools Program Nationwide

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Following the overwhelming response of the "Blues In The Schools" seminars, a program developed by the Blues Foundation ( to help perpetuate the heritage and legacy of blues music to new generations of music fans, blues artist Joe Bonamassa will extend his "Blues In The Schools" participation and perform in sixty additional cities nationwide, from January-April of 2004.

In tribute to 2003 "Year of the Blues," Bonamassa released his first full-blooded blues album, Blues Deluxe on August 26. While touring in support of Blues Deluxe, Bonamassa is making "Blues In The Schools" appearances whenever his tour schedule will allow it. His BITS appearances take the teenage students on a 45-minute journey tracing the evolution of blues music from the field workers in the Delta region during the late 1800's up to present day styles. Joe made ten BITS appearances in six cities this fall and the response was astounding.

Tony Dingess, director of Instrumental Music at Meigs High School, said: "I have to tell you that after 26 years as a music educator and having been a part of countless clinics and workshops, Joe's presentation was by far the best thing we have done for our students here at Meigs. He is a rare thing, totally unassuming, yet enormously talented. My students and I were spellbound by his message. Joe Bonamassa is welcome at Meigs High School any time the road brings him this way."

Peter Markes, a music instructor from Edmond North High School, agreed: "The nature of orchestra is such that we work toward constant performance deadlines. With that said, it is rare that I find an opportunity worth changing the class routine. We need everyday that we can get with instruments in the students' hands. However, Joe Bonamassa's presentation was unbelievably worth the time. Not only did it open the students to another world of music aurally, but they actually had a chance to see and hear what makes blues music. If I had another chance to bring in Joe to my classroom, I would do it in a heartbeat."

Born on May 8, 1977 (coincidentally Robert Johnson's 66th birthday), Bonamassa has been playing guitar since the age of 4. At 12, BB King discovered the young prodigy sparking the beginning of his career. Joe would go on to catch the attention of some of the world's most respected performers, touring with King as well as with John Lee Hooker, Joe Cocker, Peter Frampton, George Thorogood, Los Lobos, Jonny Lang, among others.

Anyone interested in having Bonamassa bring his "Blues In The Schools" presentation to your city, please contact Stan Koron at 913-649-0383 or by e-mail at –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Ozzy Osbourne Hurt in ATV Accident & Osbourne Blames Doctor for Drugs

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ozzy Osbourne was seriously injured Monday in an accident on the grounds of his estate in England and underwent emergency surgery, a spokeswoman said.

The 55-year-old rock star was riding a "quad bike," or all-terrain vehicle, on his Buckinghamshire property when the accident occurred, according to publicist Cindy Guagenti.

His injuries were not considered to be life-threatening, she said.

An examination showed Osbourne broke his collarbone, six ribs and a vertebra in his neck, according to Guagenti. He was in surgery Monday evening at an undisclosed English hospital.

The operation was intended to lift the collarbone, which was believed to be resting on a major artery and interrupting blood flow to his arm. Surgeons also were trying to stem "some bleeding into his lungs," Guagenti said.

Osbourne was taking a day off from promoting the United Kingdom release of "Changes," a duet with his daughter, Kelly, when the accident occurred.

Guagenti's office said no further information was immediately available.

"The Osbournes," the MTV reality show featuring the rocker, wife Sharon and their children, started production about a month ago on its third season, scheduled to begin Jan. 13.

It was not immediately known how the accident would affect production or how or whether it might be included in the series, an MTV spokeswoman said Monday.

On Saturday, a story on the Los Angeles Times Web site reported Osbourne's claim that he was overprescribed a variety of powerful anti-psychotic and tranquilizing drugs by a Beverly Hills doctor.

Osbourne said he developed a 42-pill per day habit that accounted for his odd behavior on the hit MTV show, including scenes in which Osbourne was seen mumbling, falling and appearing disoriented.

Last month, Osbourne told a British newspaper he'd been sexually molested as a child and suffered emotional effects from the abuse long into adulthood.

Osbourne Blames Doctor for Drugs

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rocker Ozzy Osbourne claims he was overprescribed a host of powerful anti-psychotic and tranquilizing drugs by a Beverly Hills physician, leading to a 42-pill-per-day habit that also accounted for his perplexing behavior on the hit TV series "The Osbournes."

Osbourne's claim, supported by credit card records and other receipts, was reported Saturday on the Los Angeles Times' Web site.

The 55-year old rock star said he was prescribed Valium, Dexedrine, Mysoline and other powerful drugs, which medical experts asserted were, on its face, not proper for any one patient to take at one time.

Osbourne's doctor, David Kipper of Beverly Hills, has been investigated for overprescribing drugs to other celebrity patients, the newspaper reported.

The California Medical Board moved to revoke Kipper's license last week, accusing him of gross negligence in his treatment of other patients. No action has been taken.

Kipper did not immediately return calls to The Associated Press seeking comment. He declined comment in the Times article, saying in a statement that "ethical and medical privacy laws" barred him from discussing patient care.

"I have only good wishes for Mr. Osbourne and for his family and for their good health," the statement said.

Kipper's attorney, John Harwell, told the newspaper: "I can tell you that virtually every allegation you are reporting is inaccurate, incomplete or … false."

Osbourne and his manager-wife, Sharon, believe the amount of drugs given to the rocker caused his oft-disoriented behavior on "The Osbournes." The show depicted many instances of Osbourne, glassy-eyed and mumbling, falling or acting in a stupefied, bizarre fashion.

"I was wiped out on pills," said Osbourne, who fired Kipper in September, more than a year after becoming his patient. "I couldn't talk. I couldn't walk. I could barely stand up. I was lumbering about like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. It got to the point where I was scared to close my eyes at night afraid I might not wake up."

Osbourne claimed he originally sought Kipper's assistance in June 2002 to kick a dependence on prescription narcotics, and was successfully treated with a 10-day detoxification regiment. But he turned to Kipper again when his wife was diagnosed with colon cancer, and soon was ingesting a host of pills that were allegedly used to treat his anxiety and depression.

Medical experts who reviewed Osbourne's prescription records said they could not make definitive judgments without examining Osbourne and knowing his medical history. But the doctors said the battery of medications prescribed by Kipper appeared excessive for any patient.

"The amount and potency of drugs being prescribed to this patient was outrageous," said Dr. Greg Thompson, director of the Drug Information Center at County USC Medical Center.

Kipper charged the couple $650,000 for his services until they fired him three months ago, the Times reported. The medications he prescribed cost them an additional $58,000.

Kipper carries a Screen Actors Guild card and has had bit parts in several films, including "As Good As It Gets," "Jackass: the Movie" and "Shallow Hal."

Sharon Osbourne said the family decided to fire Kipper after she and her husband attended a Chicago Cubs game, where the singer slurred his way through a rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." The scene was replayed repeatedly on national TV.

Osbourne's music fame began in the late 1960s with Black Sabbath, a British rock quartet. He began a solo successful career in 1979.

In March 2002, MTV launched its unscripted series about Osbourne's home life, portraying him as the doting patriarch of a dysfunctional family. The show was an immediate sensation, attracting record audiences for a cable show and spawning a multimedia cottage industry of books, DVDs, a clothing line, playing cards and other merchandising spin-offs.

Osbourne said he liked Kipper but realized he was under the spell of his doctor and prescription drugs.

"Looking back on it now, I see Dr. Kipper as sort of a friendly villain," Osbourne said. "He comes off as a really nice guy — that is, until you get the bill."

Osbourne Resting After Emergency Surgery

LONDON (AP) — Ozzy Osbourne was on a ventilator in intensive care Tuesday after fracturing several bones including a neck vertebra in a quad bike accident, but a doctor said the injuries are "not a major problem."

Sharon Osbourne flew into Heathrow Airport early Tuesday afternoon to join her rock star husband at the hospital.

"Apparently he was on his quad bike and he hit something and he fell and the bike landed on top of him," she told reporters at the airport after arriving on a flight from Los Angeles.

"I've not heard how he is since last night. I haven't managed to speak to him on the phone and I am going straight to hospital to see him."

Osbourne was hurt while riding a quad bike, or all-terrain vehicle, on his Buckinghamshire property in southern England.

The 55-year-old was "stable and comfortable" after emergency surgery that restored the flow to a blood vessel damaged in Monday's accident, said Dr. Dick Jack, the medical director at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough, west of London.

"He's still on a ventilator in the intensive care unit. He was seen on the ward round this morning and he is fine," Jack said.

"When he was admitted, he had a fractured left collarbone, he had some damage to the blood vessel that is underneath it, he had eight fractured ribs on the left side and, in addition to that, an entirely stable fracture to one of the vertebrae in his neck," Jack added. "This is not a major problem."

The accident occurred while the singer was taking a day off from promoting the British release of "Changes," a duet with his daughter, Kelly, his London publicist Planet Publicity said in a statement.

The song, released Tuesday, is a likely contender for the Christmas No. 1 spot in Britain's singles charts _ a hotly disputed distinction that fuels big speculation in the British media.

Osbourne, who grew up in Birmingham, in central England, rose to stardom with heavy metal group Black Sabbath in the 1970s before launching a solo career.

His fame grew hugely after he became the subject of hit reality TV series "The Osbournes." The MTV show featuring the rocker, wife Sharon and their children Kelly and Jack started production about a month ago on its third season, scheduled to begin Jan. 13.

It was not immediately known how Monday's accident would affect production or how or whether it might be included in the series, an MTV spokeswoman said.

Osbourne last month postponed a planned European tour until next year because of the effects of medication he's taking for tremors.

On Saturday, a story on the Los Angeles Times Web site reported Osbourne's claim that he was overprescribed a variety of powerful anti-psychotic and tranquilizing drugs by a Beverly Hills physician.

Osbourne said he developed a 42 pill per day habit that accounted for his odd behavior on the hit MTV show, in which he has been seen mumbling, falling and appearing disoriented.

The rocker blamed a Beverly Hills physician, David Kipper, for overprescribing the drugs. Kipper has been investigated for overprescribing to other celebrity patients.

On Monday, actor-director Danny DeVito issued a statement in support of Kipper. DeVito said he and his wife, actress Rhea Perlman, and other family members have relied on Kipper's care for more than 20 years.

Calls to Kipper's office Monday were not returned.

Earlier this month, Osbourne told a British newspaper he'd been sexually molested as a child and suffered emotional effects from the abuse long into adulthood.

'Idol' Winner Studdard To Release CD

NEW YORK (AP) — >"American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard gets his turn to reclaim some of the spotlight from friendly singing rival Clay Aiken when his album, "Soulful," is released Tuesday.

With his oversized frame and booming, soulful voice, Studdard would seem to be a tough guy to overshadow. Yet ever since he captured the TV talent contest last May, he's been upstaged by his twig of a runner-up, Aiken.

Aiken's single, "This is the Night/Bridge over Troubled Water," released at the same time as Studdard's "Flying Without Wings/Superstar," was tops in sales. Rolling Stone magazine put Clay on its cover first. It was Aiken who sang at the World Series and Miss America pageant. And Clay's album was rolled out first, becoming an instant best seller in October.

Now Studdard finally gets his turn when his disc is released by J Records.

The apparent popularity disparity has some fans of the "Velvet Teddy Bear" — as Studdard has been dubbed — in a tizzy. But ask the man himself, and he responds with a shrug.

"Everybody has their time in the spotlight, and it's Clay's time to shine right now," the 24-year-old told The Associated Press during an interview in his hotel suite. "He has his album out that's selling tremendously well, and I'm proud of him.

"Of course, I would want to have the same success. Every artist wants to be a multiplatinum-selling artist, so I'm looking forward to selling a lot of CDs as well, but I'm not going to hate on Clay just because he's doing his thing."

Studdard's thing is primarily R&B with a little hip-hop and gospel, unlike the pop-centric albums from Aiken and last year's "American Idol" winner, Kelly Clarkson.

"I'm not a pop artist, so I think that's like the difference between me and the rest of the artists that have left the 'American Idol' thing," said Studdard.

The Birmingham, Ala. native doesn't veer too much from the formula that established him. Clive Davis, J Records' founder and the executive producer of "Soulful," says it was important to stay true to Studdard's R&B roots.

"I saw the pride in the black community, that this was the first 'American Idol' who was a black person, so therefore we wanted to honor and do right by Ruben," he said.

However, he took pains to note that he felt the album would have pop success.

"Every so often, you do get an artist who is multi-format, and I think Ruben can be that kind of artist," Davis said.

The hefty Studdard was an early favorite in the competition with his powerful, soulful tenor, which recalled greats like Luther Vandross. He became so popular that even the clothing he wore with the Birmingham area code, 205, became a hot seller.

Yet when the competition was finally decided, he faced stiff competition from Aiken, who in many ways seemed Studdard's polar opposite — a white, lanky guy with a nerdy image and a voice made for Broadway.

Out of nearly 24 million votes cast by telephone, Studdard won by only 130,000. The margin was so slim, some Aiken fans demanded a recount. And when the pair toured with other "Idol" contestants, it seemed Aiken's popularity continued to soar while Studdard faded into the background.

Dave Karger, who wrote a cover story on Aiken for Entertainment Weekly, says one reason the media seemed to be more enchanted with Aiken was personality.

"He's much chattier than Ruben, and I think from a media point of view, he has proven himself to be a more appealing interview subject," Karger said. "Ruben … is much more reserved, and just much more quiet, and I think because of that, people in the media have assumed that he has nothing to say."

Indeed, it's hard to get anything too revealing out of Studdard. Though polite and charming, he reveals only what he needs to during an interview, giving short answers in his low-key manner.

He admits he's "always just in chill mode. … Some reporters think I'm real soft spoken and all this other stuff, but that's just who I am. Everybody wants you to change, to acclimate to them. Especially with the media. Everybody's like, 'Ruben's too soft spoken. He should talk up!'"

Both Studdard and Aiken are on record labels run by Davis, a veteran hitmaker, who says that he's shipping 1.4 million copies of Studdard's album in anticipation of a smash: "The orders for Ruben are slightly higher for what they are for Clay."

"Clay was everywhere because Clay had an album out," said Davis. "We knew that we were building a major album for Ruben. There's no show that Clay was on that Ruben will not be on."

Studdard also says that as the winner of the competition, he had more commitments than Aiken, giving the runner-up more time to do other interviews and boost his profile. Also, "I was on the cover of Rolling Stone too," Studdard says.

Studdard also has something Aiken does not: a Grammy nomination, for best male R&B vocal performance.

But if Studdard is annoyed, upset or worried about the attention Aiken has received, you'd never know it. He refuses to be baited into a rivalry with his friend.

"People always ask me if I'm upset that Clay's on (the covers). No I'm not upset. If I was the runner-up, I'd want to be on all the magazine covers too, and people would be just as pissed off at me doing stuff," he says. "It is a media thing. It's been given way more hype than it should have ever received."

Oncologist Punished For Discussing Ex-Beatle's Case

NEW YORK (AP) — The state Health Department has reprimanded a Staten Island oncologist for talking to the press about his patient George Harrison without the ex-Beatle's consent.

Harrison, 58, died of cancer in Los Angeles on Nov. 29, 2001.

Dr. Gilbert Lederman signed an order last month with the department's Board for Professional Medical Conduct, accepting his censure, reprimand and $5,000 fine, documents show. The order takes effect Dec. 5.

The radiation oncologist at Staten Island University Hospital treated Harrison shortly before he died.

The board said Lederman "revealed to news agencies, magazines and television, personally identifiable facts … obtained in his professional capacity." Lederman had told The New York Post that Harrison remained in Staten Island for two weeks getting outpatient treatment after checking out of the hospital.

He described the rock star as "quiet and dignified" and that "he believed death was a part of life. He was not fearful of death."

Harrison, youngest of the four Beatles, was diagnosed with lung cancer and a brain tumor in 2001.

Lederman used a technique for treating large and advanced tumors known as fractionated sterotactic radiosurgery, which attacks tumors with high doses of radiation while leaving surrounding healthy tissues intact.

State Health Department spokeswoman Kristine Smith declined to comment on the case. Under state law, physician misconduct includes revealing patient information without the patient's prior consent.

Lederman's attorney Anthony Scher said it was "a very very mild penalty for what the Health Department recognized was a relatively minor mistake." It has no effect on the oncologist's continued practice, he said.

"Dr. Lederman mentioned information about a patient which he thought was very positive information, nothing the patient would not want said," Scher said. "But from a very technical point of view it was prohibited."

Springsteen To Donate To High School Band

ABURY PARK, New Jersey (AP) — Bruce Springsteen is providing some season's greetings for a high school marching band.

Springsteen and other musicians performing three benefit shows at Convention Hall this weekend will donate some of the proceeds to the Asbury Park High School band. The money will go toward buying uniforms and instruments for the band, which was resurrected two years ago with seven members and now boasts a lineup of 25 musicians.

The band also has been told that Springsteen — who earned his reputation playing clubs in Asbury Park — will donate 30 instruments. That has band members excited because the instruments they now play are in constant need of repair, the Asbury Park Press of Neptune reported Friday.

Officials said each band member also will get a complimentary ticket for either Saturday or Sunday's show, and the band will be allowed to set up a table to collect contributions from concertgoers at all three shows.

Springsteen and his fellow performers are not the only ones showing their holiday spirit. Many city residents, business owners and high school alumni also plan to provide money and other support for the band. School district officials had planned to spend $16,000 on band uniforms, but they stopped the order after learning that the district would not receive an expected boost in state aid.

Besides the band, another beneficiary of the concerts will be the Asbury Park Blue Bishops Junior Pee Wee football team. They are raising money to play in a national championship tournament in Florida next week and team members, who range in age from 8 to 11, will be able to collect donations at the shows.

Sen. Clinton, Ex-President Up for Grammys

WASHINGTON (AP) — In one of the more unexpected political matchups of the year, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is going head-to-head against liberal pundit Al Franken — for a Grammy.

Clinton, the Democratic senator from New York and former first lady, was nominated for a Grammy Thursday for the audiobook version of "Living History," the best-selling tome on her time in the White House.

She has already won a 1997 Grammy for the audiobook of "It Takes a Village." Now, she'll be competing with Franken, talk show host Bill Maher, actor Don Cheadle and poet Nikki Giovanni.

"That's tough competition," said Clinton, noting her husband, former President Bill Clinton, also was nominated for a Grammy.

"I'm glad he's not my competition," she joked.

The former president is nominated for an audiobook he recorded with Mikhail Gorbachev and Sophia Loren.

"Living History" has sold nearly 1.5 million hardcover copies. It is expected to be released in paperback next spring.

Clinton said recording the audiobook was "very, very hard work… It's done so precisely, you have to be careful about breathing too hard."

Third And Final Season Of The Chris Isaak Show On Showtime

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — The third and final season of the Showtime Original Series The Chris Isaak Show will premiere on January 8, at 10:00 PM ET/PT. Joining Chris Isaak in new episodes of the critically-acclaimed series are special musical guests Gloria Estefan, Michelle Branch, Bret Michaels (Poison) and Brian McKnight. Also making an appearance this season is Cy Young Award-winning Oakland A's pitcher Barry Zito. Thirteen all-new episodes of the hour-long show will air on Thursday nights at 10:00 PM ET/PT in the program's regular time slot. The show, which the Los Angeles Times praised by saying, "No series is more charming or effortlessly amusing," repeats on Fridays at 11:30 PM ET/PT.

"Chris is a fantastic talent and we wish we could convince him to keep doing the series, but we understand his desire to focus more on his music and other things in his life." says Robert Greenblatt. Showtime's president of Entertainment. "At least we were able to get him to share his witty sense of humor and wonderful musical abilities with us for three highly entertaining seasons."

Part comedy and part reality, The Chris Isaak Show is an irreverent behind-the-scenes look at the life of a rock star. The series features Chris, his real-life band members: Kenney Dale Johnson (drummer), Hershel Yatovitz (guitar) and Rowland Salley (bass), and an ensemble of created characters including Kristin Dattilo as Yola, Chris' sexy manager; Jed Rees as Anson the keyboardist and Greg Winter as Cody, Yola's nemesis at the management company.

On January 8, "The Family of Man" premieres, guest starring Bret Michaels. An old Indian artifact that Isaak finds at his cabin in the woods may cost him his land, so he agrees to perform at the nearby Indian casino, hoping to enlist their support. "Candidate," guest starring Michelle Branch, premieres on January 15. When Isaak's favorite free parking spot at the public beach is designated a red zone, Isaak vows to fight for civil liberties and, with the support of Branch and his band, enters the election race for parking commissioner.

On January 22, "Let The Games Begin" premieres, guest starring Barry Zito. Isaak revels in his newfound friendship with star baseball player Barry Zito until he discovers that Zito can do just about everything better than he can. Isaak makes his directorial debut with an episode titled "Home Improvement" January 29 with Brian McKnight guest stars. Pressured by his friends to improve his homely house, Isaak decides to install a state-of-the-art steam room, but quickly comes to regret it.

"The Little Mermaid" premieres on February 5. When Isaak disregards Mona's advice to return the extra $20 dollars he got from the automatic teller, she mysteriously vanishes from her lair. On February 12, "A Little Help From My Friends" premieres, guest starring Gloria Estefan. Isaak is in for a shock when Estefan arrives to perform with him but secretly plots to break up his band.

The series is executive produced and written by Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writers/producers Diane Frolov &Andrew Schneider ("Northern Exposure," "Dangerous Minds") and executive produced by Chris Isaak and Phoenix Entertainment's Arnold Messer and Mike Medavoy.

Each episode of The Chris Isaak Show gives audiences a unique window into the life of an everyday guy with the not-so-everyday job of a rock star. Set in San Francisco, the show features Isaak performing in concert and on tour, but the real focus of the series continues to be the other 22 hours of the day when he's not on stage.

In addition to this season's special guests, the Chris Isaak Show has attracted guest stars over the years such as Bridget Fonda, Minnie Driver, John Corbett, Stevie Nicks, Trisha Yearwood, Gavin Rossdale (Bush), Adam Arkin, Green Day, The Goo Goo Dolls, Shelby Lynne, Steven Jenkins (Third Eye Blind), Sophie B. Hawkins, Paul Stanley (KISS), Bai Ling, Caroline Rhea, Joseph Bologna, Kathy Griffin, Joe Walsh, Vince Neil, Lisa Loeb and others. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen