'Sex & the City' Off Camera

sex-the-city

Kim Cattrall has a startling message for her "Sex and the City" co-stars: She's just not that into you.

"We've never been friends," Cattrall says in an interview with Piers Morgan on Britain's ITV. "We've been colleagues, and in some way it's a very healthy place to be."

Cattrall, 61, earned five Emmy Award nominations for her role as Samantha Jones, the sexually adventurous publicist on HBO's hit sitcom "Sex and the City" and in two subsequent feature films.

Plans for a third movie, however, have reportedly been "torpedoed" by Cattrall's "diva demands," including an inflated salary and a guarantee that the studio would green-light films she wants to produce.

Cattrall flat-out denies the allegation.

"I never asked for any money, I never asked for any projects," she insists. "To be thought of as some kind of diva is absolutely ridiculous."

Photo: HBO

By Kevin Haynes |

You're Lookin' at Country

loretta-lynn

Loretta Lynn stole the show at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville Sunday night by making her first public appearance since suffering a stroke in May.

The 85-year-old "First Lady of Country Music" (seen here last year) stepped on stage to sing the praises of Alan Jackson, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame along with the late Jerry Reed ("When You're Hot and You're Hot") and songwriter Don Schlitz ("The Gambler").

Lynn recalled meeting Jackson at the start of his career and predicting he would be a star. "You haven't let me down," she told him Sunday.

The legendary "Coal Miner's Daughter" later helped close the show by joining Jackson, George Strait and Connie Smith to sing "Will the Circle Be Unbroken."

Lynn is scheduled to release her 41st studio album, "Wouldn't It Be Great," in 2018. The album was originally supposed to come out in August, but that plan and a series of tour dates were scuttled when she had a stroke at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennesse, on May 4.

"This record is so special for me," Lynn said when the delay was announced. "It deserves me at my best."

Photo: Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Throwback: Lulu

lulu

The song that moved to the head of class 50 years ago this week was a real Lulu: "To Sir With Love," the theme from the popular movie starring Sidney Poitier as a teacher who wins over a rowdy high-school class in London's rough East End. Lulu, then 19, played one of his grateful students.

The sweet thank-you note spent five weeks at No. 1 and was hailed by Billboard as the year's top single. Curiously, it wasn't nearly as successful in Lulu's native England, where "To Sir With Love" was relegated to the B-side of a No. 11 hit called "Let's Pretend."

Lulu, who also sang the title song of the 1974 James Bond adventure "The Man With the Golden Gun," went on to love other notable sirs. They include David Bowie, Davy Jones of the Monkees and Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, who she married in 1969 and divorced four years later. From 1977 to 1997, she was married to hairdresser John Frieda.

Photo by Jim Gray/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

On Fame and Tragedy

george-michael

When George Michael finished narrating a documentary about his life at the end of 2016, little did he know he was also signing off on his obituary.

"George Michael: Freedom," premiering October 21 on Showtime, chronicles the highs and lows of the British singer, who died of heart failure on Christmas Day last year. He was 53.

"This is the story of just how fame and tragedy intervened," says Michael. His rise to fame at the dawn of the 1980s with Andrew Ridgeley in Wham! and subsequent success as a solo artist is dampened by what he calls "the darkest, most frightening time of my life" in the mid-1990s, when Michael lost a boyfriend to AIDs and his mother to cancer.

He also claims his signature solo album, 1987's "Faith," was his pitch "to stand up next to Madonna, Michael Jackson and Prince." The pose of an international showman, however, conflicted with the desires of a self-described "real homebody" who would "much rather be taking my dog for a walk."

The celebrities, friends and admirers interviewed range from peers Elton John and Stevie Wonder to record mogul Clive Davis and supermodels Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Kate Moss.

Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Thriller Night

michael-jackson

A new CBS special, "Michael Jackson's Halloween," combines the tricks of modern animation with the treat of the King of Pop's classic hits.

The one-hour tale premieres October 27 at 8 p.m. ET.

The story begins with a chance encounter between two millennials who soon embark on "an unexpected, magical adventure of personal discovery" at the mysterious This Place Hotel at 777 Jackson Street. The grand finale is described as "a spectacular dance extravaganza" led by an animated Jackson.

Character voices are provided by veterans of CBS' prime-time stable, including Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory"), Brad Garrett ("Everybody Loves Raymond"), Lucy Liu ("Elementary") and Christine Baranski and Alan Cumming of "The Good Wife."

Jackson's association with Halloween began, of course, with 1982's "Thriller," the bestselling album of all time. The title track — rife with eerie sound effects like a creaking door and howling winds as well as a voice-over by horror master Vincent Price — inspired a 14-minute video directed by John Landis ("Animal House"). The MTV sensation is now listed in Guinness World Records as the most successful music video ever.

Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage

By Kevin Haynes |

Wenner Cries Foul

Jann Wenner, Publisher Of Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner wishes he could roll back his decision to authorize a new biography about him, "Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine," by veteran magazine writer Joe Hagan.

Instead of "a nuanced portrait about my life and the culture Rolling Stone chronicled," says Wenner, the 547-page book that hits shelves October 24 is "something deeply flawed and tawdry, rather than substantial."

Not true, says Hagan. "He signed off on all of it," he tells the New York Times.

Wenner, 71, apparently believes Hagan, 46, focused way too much on sex and drugs and not nearly enough on rock and roll. "Sticky Fingers" digs into the magazine magnate's "complicated homosexuality," notes the Times, as well as his "drug use, sexual escapades, familial friction and frequent feuds."

Wenner, who pulled the plug on two previous biography attempts, personally invited Hagan to write the book in 2013, granting dozens of interviews and arranging access to luminaries like Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney.

Now he hates the end result almost as much as the "cheap" title. At least Wenner can take consolation in the sympathy expressed by some fellow music industry titans.

"I believe Jann was entitled to expect a little more empathy from his biographer," says Jon Landau, an early Rolling Stone writer who is now Bruce Springsteen's longtime manager. "To me it's a question of degree and tone, and while I can see it from Joe's point of view —and there is no doubt that Joe is a serious writer and journalist—I think the final product is simply not as fair to Jann as it could have been."

David Geffen feels Wenner's pain too. He authorized a biography back in 2000, but later reconsidered. "At the end of the day," he says now, "you have no one to blame but yourself when you agree to be the subject of a book."

Photo: Bettmann Archive

By Kevin Haynes |

'Rocket to Russia' Relaunch

1977, Los Angeles, Ramones

Russia is back in the news—this time, in a good way.

"Rocket to Russia," the Ramones' third album, is being reissued as a deluxe 40th anniversary box set of three CDs and one LP.

Available November 24, the limited edition of 15,000 units will be individually numbered and packaged in a 12 x 12 hardcover book.

All 14 songs from the original 1977 album by the pioneering punk "brothers" are remastered on the first disc, which also includes a rejiggered tracking mix by Ed Stasium, who engineered and mixed "Rocket to Russia" 40 years ago.

Disc 2 features 24 rare and unreleased rough mixes of songs like "Rockaway Beach," "I Wanna Be Well" and the Ramones' memorable cover of "Do You Wanna Dance?" Other highlights include the demo for another cover song, "Needles and Pins," an alternate take of "It's a Long Way Back to Germany" with a lead vocal by Dee Dee Ramone and a radio promo by Joey Ramone.

However, ardent fans of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers might be especially interested in Disc 3: a previously unavailable multi-track recording of a Ramones concert in Glasgow, Scotland, on December 19, 1977. The 25 tracks span the band's first three albums and include anthems like "Blitzkrieg Bop," "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" and "Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment."

The "Rocket to Russia" relaunch, timed for Record Store Day's Black Friday event, coincides with the 40th anniversary reissue of another landmark punk album, "Blank Generation," by Richard Hell and the Voidoids.

A limited edition of 5,250 two-CD sets and 4,500 double LPs will be available. Hell is the punk poet who co-founded Television in 1973 with Tom Verlaine. The art punk rockers were a mainstay at CBGB in the '70s and, like the Ramones, one of the seminal bands in the defiant genre's history.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Final Chapters

sam-shepard

Like a true renaissance man, Sam Shepard was a working artist 'til his dying day.

The New York Times reports that the prolific playwright and actor completed work on his second novel, "Spy of the First Person," less than a week before he died July 20.

The story of a man coping with a debilating illness will be published by Knopf in December.

Shepard, 73, began writing the book by hand, despite the complications of Lou Gehrig's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the muscle-weakening illness that claimed his life. He later shifted to a tape recorder, dictating text that would be transcribed by his daughter, Hannah, and his two sisters.

Patti Smith, a former girlfriend and close friend, also contributed to the cause, helping Shepard edit the manuscript.

"In searing, beautiful prose, Sam Shepard's extraordinary last work leaps off the page with its immediacy and power," says his longtime editor. "Vivid, haunting and deeply moving, it is an unflinching expression of the vulnerabilities that make us human, and an unbound celebration of family and life.

Shepard is the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of the 1978 Broadway drama "Buried Child" and 43 other plays, including "True West," "Fool for Love" and "A Lie of the Mind."

He also acted in more than 50 movies, earning an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in 1983's "The Right Stuff." His other films include "Frances," starring then-wife Jessica Lange, "Steel Magnolias," "Black Hawk Down" and "The Notebook."

Shepard's only previous novel, "The One Inside," was published in February.

By Kevin Haynes |

A Supreme Honor

diana-ross

Diana Ross is coming out again, big time.

The 73-year-old Supreme will be presented with the American Music Award of Lifetime Achievement at the 2017 American Music Awards November 19 at Los Angeles' Microsoft Theatre.

The festivities will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. on ABC, which is producing the show in conjunction with Dick Clark Productions.

"It was Dick Clark who said, 'Music is the soundtrack of our lives,'" Ross noted in a statement. "So true. I am so excited to be receiving this honorable award."

Signed to Motown Records in 1962, the Supremes scored their first No. 1 hit two years later with "Where Did Our Love Go." Their next four singles also topped the Billboard Hot 100. By 1969 Diana Ross & the Supremes had notched 23 consecutive Top 40 singles; 12 went to No. 1, including "You Keep Me Hanging On," "Love Child" and their final chart topper, "Someday We'll Be Together."

As a solo artist, Ross racked up 27 Top 40 singles from 1970-81. Among them were six No. 1 songs, including "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Touch Me in the Morning" and the disco hits "Love Hangover" and "Upside Down." The anthemic "I'm Coming Out" peaked at No. 5 in 1980.

Ross and fellow Supremes Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Five years later, the Guinness Book of World Records named Ross the Most Successful Female Singer of All Time.

Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Come Down in Time

Elton John to Putin: I will show you gay people victimised under Russian law

Elton John is cashing in "The Million Dollar Piano."

The 70-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer announced he'll pull the plug next spring on his long-running show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

The final 14 performances will be staged from April 28 to May 19, 2018. Tickets will be available October 22 at 10 a.m. PT.

"The Million Dollar Piano" opened at the casino's Colosseum in September 2011, a lucrative follow-up to Sir Elton's first successful residency there, "The Red Piano," which showcased 243 performances from 2004-2009.

John is in the midst of a fresh stretch of "Million Dollar" shows through November 4. He'll then return February 9 through March 2, 2018 before the spring finale. In the end, he will have performed a total of 207 nights over a seven-year span.

By Kevin Haynes |

Having the Time of Her Life

2017 Billboard Music Awards - Show

Cher will reign among the dancing queens in a new movie, "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again," a sequel to the 2008 musical inspired by Abba.

This will be the first film appearance by the 71-year-old singer and actress since she lent her voice to the 2011 comedy "Zookeeper."

No word yet on what kind of character Cher will play in "Here We Go Again," but she tweeted a photo of a pair of star-spangled platform boots over the weekend, adding a kiss emoji.

Cher joins a parade of "Mamma Mia!" returning cast members, including Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried and Julie Walters.

Production is already underway. The film is being written and directed by Ol Parker, who wrote the screenplay for 2011's "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and its 2015 sequel, "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."

Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for dcp

By Kevin Haynes |

Throwback: 'I'll Be There'

jackson-five

If you have any doubt that time flies, just look over your shoulders, honey. "I'll Be There" soared to the top of the pop charts on this day 47 years ago, the Jackson 5's fourth consecutive No. 1 hit in less than a year—and their last.

Michael Jackson was just 12 years old when he sweetly offered a pact to bring salvation back. (His ad-lib about looking over your "shoulders" gave props to the Four Tops' 1966 hit "Reach Out I'll Be There.")

The ballad, co-written by Motown founder Berry Gordy, held on to No. 1 for five weeks until its spell was broken on November 21, 1970, by another family band's biggest smash, the Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You."

"I'll Be There" was a calculated change of pace for the Jackson 5, who had been typecast as a "bubblegum soul" act. Of course, that bubblegum was pretty tasty. Their first three singles all blew up to No. 1 earlier in 1970: "I Want You Back," "ABC" and "The Love You Save."

But "I'll Be There" was bigger than all of them, selling more than 6 million copies worldwide. It's also been covered over the years by artists ranging from Andy Williams to Mariah Carey, who earned a Grammy nomination for an arm-swaying live version that soared to No. 1 in 1992.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Man With the Golden Gun

frank-sinatra-getty

Now we know why Frank Sinatra had no problem doing things "My Way"—he was packing serious heat.

An upcoming biography, "The Way It Was: My Life with Frank Sinatra," claims that Ol' Blue Eyes liked to travel with a golden Uzi. The submachine gun was reportedly a gift from Prime Minister Golda Meir of Israel.

Author and Sinatra crony Eliot Weisman says the weapon almost caused an international incident when a customs agent in Verona, Italy, boarded the crooner's private jet and asked if he had anything to declare. No one mentioned the Uzi stashed in the floor, but the customs agent didn't walk away empty-handed—Sinatra agreed to pose with him for a Polaroid.

"The Way It Was" comes out October 24.

By Kevin Haynes |

Just for Laughs

The Dick Van Dyke Show

Smile a little smile for Rose Marie, the 94-year-old comedian and actress who returns to the spotlight in a new documentary, "Wait for Your Laugh."

The film, opening November 3 in New York, chronicles the longest active career in show business, from her days as a toddler in vaudeville to memorable star turns on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "The Hollywood Squares."

The documentary's highlights include Rose Marie's home movies, behind-the-scenes footage from the set of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and interviews with that show's leading man as well as its creator, Carl Reiner.

"This is no bullshit," Reiner recently told a preview audience. "This is the finest documentary about anybody that I have ever, ever seen."

After opening in New York, "Wait for Your Laugh" will premiere November 10 in San Francisco and November 17 in Los Angeles before making its way to theaters in select cities nationwide.

Photo by CBS via Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Up Ahead in the Distance

The Eagles

Welcome to the refurbished "Hotel California."

The Eagles are belatedly celebrating the 40th anniversary of their landmark album with a deluxe edition that you can check out any time you like beginning November 24.

The $99 set features two CDs, an LP-sized hardbound book and a Blu-Ray audio disc offering new advanced-resolution stereo and multichannel mixes as well as a 5.1 Dolby Digital surround-sound mix first issued in 2001.

The original 1976 album's nine songs are remastered on one CD.

Disc 2 features 10 live tracks recorded at the Los Angeles Forum in October 1976, two months before "Hotel California" was released. The album's two future No. 1 singles—the title track and "New Kid in Town"—are showcased, along with earlier hits like "Take It Easy," "Witchy Woman" and "One of These Nights."

Technically, the 40th anniversary set is coming out just shy of the 41stanniversary of "Hotel California," which opened for business in December 1976. "But nothing really hit the charts until '77, so we're not really that late," drummer Don Henley told the Los Angeles Times. "We're fudging it a little bit."

In addition to the deluxe package, "Hotel California" will be reissued as a single CD and a 2-CD expanded edition that includes the original album and the live tracks.

Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns via Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Author! Author!

Screening Of Sony Pictures Releasing's "Inferno" - Arrivals

If not for his father, Tom Hanks never would've learned to type, a skill that sparked his lifelong obsession with typewriters and his first book, "Uncommon Type: Some Stories," available October 24.

"Typing was the one requirement my dad had for me, going to school," the 61-year-old actor tells the New York Times. "He said, 'goddamn it, you'll take a typewriting course!' I think that was the sum total of my dad's advice to a young man."

"Uncommon Type" features 17 short stories populated by characters like an Eastern European immigrant who brings his family to New York to escape civil war and a bowler whose string of perfect games makes him an ESPN sensation.

And, yes, typewriters play a key role in every story, just as they're part of Hanks' life. More than 300 vintage models are on display in the bookcases of his office in Santa Monica, California.

Hanks was initially determined to write each story on a different typewriter, but that plan didn't quite work out. "I only made it about five pages in," confesses Hanks, who succumbed to the convenience of a laptop computer.

Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

By Kevin Haynes |

Shower Power

Screaming Mouth From Psycho

Long before "Jaws" spoiled romps in the surf, "Psycho" shattered the solitude of the shower. Now, a new documentary focuses entirely on one of the most famous scenes in Hollywood history, Janet Leigh's bloody demise in Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 thriller.

The cryptically titled "78/52," opening October 13, refers to the number of camera setups and editing cuts required to compose the three-minute bloodbath at the Bates Motel.

"The scene provoked massive gasping and screaming upon its release," The Hollywood Reporter points out, in part because it marked the first time the star of a movie was killed off so early.

"78/52" also zooms in on the art of manipulating an audience to the point that everyone thinks they've seen something that wasn't shown on the screen. Director Karyn Kusama notes that the infamous shower scene is "the first expression of the female body under assault" on film. The slashing death seems even more gruesome than it actually is because of the close-ups of Leigh's bare skin, the killer's knife, and the swirling drain of blood in the tub.

"The hypnotic film-geek documentary," says Variety, "is an ingenious and irreverent master class" in moviemaking and "an enthralling act of film criticism. It celebrates one of the greatest movies ever made…"

That's high praise. But it probably won't stop anyone from locking the bathroom door before stepping into the shower.

Photo: Bettmann Archive via Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Roger That

Photo of John ENTWISTLE and Roger Daltrey and WHO

More than 50 years after singing "I Can't Explain," Roger Daltrey now thinks he can.

The 73-year-old singer has finally completed his memoir, which will be released next fall.

"It's taken three years to unpack the events of my life, to remember who did what when and why, to separate the myths from the reality," Daltrey says, adding another especially enticing teaser: "to unravel what really happened at the Holiday Inn on Keith Moon's 21st birthday."

He's referring, of course, to the infamous night in 1967 when the carousing drummer blew up the toilet in his Flint, Michigan, hotel room and drove a Lincoln Continental into the pool. Holiday Inn responded by banning the Who from staying at any of the chain's hotels.

With stories like that, Daltrey hopes to deliver "more than just another autobiography."

"I've been lucky enough to live in interesting times," says Daltrey, who's also working on his first solo album in 25 years and heading out on tour at the end of the month. "I've witnessed society, music and culture change beyond recognition. That I'm still here to tell my tale when so many others around me didn't make it is nothing short of a miracle."

Photo by David Warner Ellis/Redferns via Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

People Get Ready

curtis-mayfield

Lionel Richie is dancing on the ceiling now that he's nabbed the right to produce a biopic about "Superfly" singer Curtis Mayfield.

"It's an honor for me to bring the life of one of my idols and friend to the screen," says Richie, noting that he's "working closely" with Mayfield's widow, son and estate. "[I] couldn't be happier to be moving forward on this amazing project about a one-of-a-kind music genius."

No word yet on who will write the screenplay, direct or star in the movie.

Mayfield was just 14 when he and Jerry Butler co-founded the Impressions in 1956. Their biggest hit, 1965's "People Get Ready," became an anthem of the Civil Rights movement.

As a solo artist, he is best remembered for writing and singing the soundtrack to the 1972 blaxploitation flick "Superfly." The title track and "Freddie's Dead (Theme From Superfly)" were Top 10 hits.

Mayfield was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, with the Impressions in 1991 and on his own in 1999.

The soul singer was paralyzed from the neck down when lighting equipment fell on him during a 1990 concert in Brooklyn. He died of complications from type 2 diabetes in 1999 at 57.

Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Call of the Wild Side

Photo of Lou Reed

Lou Reed's walk on the wild side began long before the punk pioneer thrashed and sneered his way to stardom.

"Lou Reed: A Life," a new biography by veteran Rolling Stone contributor Anthony DeCurtis, recounts Reed's turbulent childhood and "secret life" in "the crotch of Long Island." Growing up near Jones Beach in the 1950s, Reed was the kid who knew where to score marijuana and hung out in a gay and lesbian bar near Hofstra University. His parents attempted to "cure" him of bisexuality by authorizing electroshock treatments at 17.

Reed's anger would stoke his personality for the rest of his life. (He died of liver disease in 2013 at 71). His obsession with sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll fueled his music with the Velvet Underground and as a solo artist, including songs like "Walk on the Wild Side," "Sweet Jane" and "Heroin."

DeCurtis' sweeping 500-page bio has already wowed other rock titans. Bono sings the praises of "this sublime and subtle book," noting that DeCurtis is "one of the few music critics Lou Reed read and whose company he enjoyed."

"Read this book," says R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, "and explore the f*cking genius that was Lou Reed."

Early reviews are equally enthusiastic. "Lou Reed: A Life," says one critic,"is easily the richest and most nuanced depiction of Reed ever written."

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |