The Dude Abides Again

big-lebowski

Feeling out of your element? Wish you could find a rug that ties the whole room together?

Well, dude, break out your bowling shoes and pour yourself a White Russian: "The Big Lebowski" will celebrate its 20th anniversary by returning to the big screen in August, if only for two days.

Click here to find the neartest theater and buy tickets.

The Coen Brothers' hilarious 1998 ode to bowling and social misfits will strike select screens nationwide on August 5 and 8 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time.

The quirky cult favorite stars Jeff Bridges as an Eagles-hating slacker and bowler whose living room rug is pulled out from under him in a case of mistaken identity.

The cast also includes John Goodman as a Vietnam veteran with a hair-trigger temper, Steve Buscemi as their puppy dog bowling partner, and John Turturro as their most lascivious rival on the lanes. There are also memorable performances by Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ben Gazzara, Sam Elliott, Tara Reid and David Huddleston.

Alternative rock icons Flea and Aimee Mann have cameos as nihilists.

The special screening is part of Turner Classic Movies Big Screen Classics series, coordinated in conjunction with Fathom Events.

Beware of marmots.

By Kevin Haynes |

True Brit

downton-maggie-smith

M'lords and ladies, you are cordially invited to attend a night at the movies with the residents and staff of "Downton Abbey."

"Welcome back to Downton!" read the proclamation on Twitter. "We're thrilled to announce that #DowntonAbbey is coming to the big screen. Film production begins this summer."

The popular PBS series about a family of British aristocrats, their household servants and their ornately appointed estate is returning with the principal cast intact. Stars committed to the reunion include Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery and the inimitable Dame Maggie Smith, 83, a two-time Emmy Award winner for her portrayal of the sharp-witted Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley.

"Downton Abbey" creator Julian Fellowes has written the screenplay, which will be directed by Brian Percival, who helmed the series pilot and several episodes.

"Julian's script charms, thrills and entertains," said producer Gareth Neame in a statement, "and in Brian Percival's hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen."

No word yet on the plot or the prospective premiere date.

"Downton Abbey" ran for six seasons on PBS, from 2011 to 2016. A hit with critics and TV viewers alike, the melodrama earned a total of 69 Emmy Award nominations—a record for a series produced outside the United States. It won 15 times, including the Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie in 2011.

By Kevin Haynes |

Country Proud

roger-miller

Like Engine Engine #9 coming down the railroad line, the long-awaited all-star homage to country legend Roger Miller is now within earshot.

The first two songs from "King of the Road: A Tribute to Roger Miller," a two-CD set available August 31, are now being streamed online.

Dolly Parton and Alison Krauss team up for a duet on Miller's "The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me," a heartstring-tugging ballad that was a No. 2 country hit for crooner Eddy Arnold in 1966.

And Brad Paisley has fun with Miller's first huge hit as a performer, the tongue-in-cheek "Dang Me," which topped the country charts and peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964.

The other artists contributing to "King of the Road: A Tribute to Roger Miller" range from Ringo Starr ("Hey, Would You Hold It Down?") and Huey Lewis with Asleep at the Wheel ("Chug-a-Lug") to Loretta Lynn ("Half a Mind"), Emmylou Harris ("Husband and Wives," a duet with Jamey Johnson) and a trio of country outlaws, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard on "Old Friends."

A singer-songwriter whose wit and wisdom landed him in the Country Music Hall of Fame, Miller won 11 Grammy Awards in a career that began in 1964 and was cut short when he died of lung and throat cancer in 1992. Miller was 56. Miller also won the 1985 Tony Award for Best Score for "Big River," which was honored as the year's best musical.

By Kevin Haynes |

Toto's Tale

toto

An animated spinoff of "The Wizard of Oz" is in the works at Warner Bros.

The Hollywood studio reports it has hired British screenwriter Mark Burton to adapt "Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of Oz," the 2017 children's book that tells the fantastical story from the point of view of Dorothy's dog.

Burton's screenwriting credits include the 2006 Academy Award-winning "Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" and 2011's "Gnomeo & Juliet."

Warner Bros.' other animation projects include a new movie based on the Dr. Seuss classic, "Cat in the Hat."

By Kevin Haynes |

A Hard Day's Fright

pattie-boyd-george-harrison

For Pattie Boyd, loving a Beatle was "Something," but their fans were something else.

The model and photographer met George Harrison on the set of "A Hard Day's Night" in 1965, married him a year later and inspired his timeless love song on 1969's "Abbey Road" album. But the public didn't always share their love story, which ended in divorce in 1977.

Boyd, now 74, remembers one "absolutely terrifying" experience at a London theater, where the Beatles were wrapping up a performance shortly after she met Harrison.

"George told me that I should leave with my friends before the last number," Boyd, 74, recalls in a Harpers Bazaar interview with freelancing superstar Taylor Swift. "So before the last song, we got up from our seats and walked toward the nearest exit door, and there were these girls behind me. They followed us out, and they were kicking me and pulling my hair and pushing us all the way down this long passageway."

The unruly fans also told Boyd how they felt about her: "We hate you."

Fortunately, Boyd reports, that kind of vitriol has vanished over the years.

"It was such a long time ago, and the fans haven't held on to the same antagonistic feelings toward me," says Boyd, who was also the muse for two classic hits by second husband Eric Clapton, "Layla" and "Wonderful Tonight."

"Actually, they seem happy that I'm sharing the photographs I took. One time I was having an exhibition, and these girls turned up dressed like me in 'A Hard Day's Night.'"

It was "adorable," Boyd says, a far cry from the kicking, hair pulling, and hate mongering that marred her first encounter with Beatles fans.

All you need is love.

Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

You Got Lucky

tom-petty

The waiting is gonna be the hardest part for Tom Petty fans eager to discover the riches of "An American Treasure," the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's first posthumous album.

The career-spanning four-CD box set—which won't be available until September 28, more than two months from now—will feature 60 previously unreleased tracks, including live cuts and alternate versions of some of Petty's greatest hits.

A two-CD option will also be released.

"An American Treasure" was amassed by Petty's wife, Dana, his daughter, Adria, and two members of his longtime backing band, the Heartbreakers: guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboard player Benmont Tench.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers celebrated their 40th anniversary last year with an extensive tour. On October 2, one week after the final show, he collapsed after an accidental overdose of prescription painkillers at his home in Malibu, California, and later died at a nearby hospital. He was 66.

Photo by Jeff Daly/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

By Kevin Haynes |

Clooney 'Recovering'

george-clooney-4

George Clooney's latest hit is one he'd rather forget. The 57-year-old actor was struck by a car today while riding a motor scooter on the Italian island of Sardinia.

Clooney—who "slammed" into the car's windshield, according to a police officer who arrived at the scene of the accident—was taken to a local hospital, where he was reportedly treated for "a slight trauma to the pelvis and bruises to one leg and an arm."

He was then released, accompanied by his wife, Amal. "He is recovering at his home and will be fine," said a spokesman.

The accident occurred while Clooney was traveling to the set of the Hulu series he's shooting in Sardinia.

The driver of the Mercedes-Benz sedan that hit the two-time Academy Award winner called for help and remained on the scene until police and an ambulance arrived.

By Kevin Haynes |

Throwback: 'Satisfaction'

Photo of ROLLING STONES

It was 52 years ago today that we were driving in our car, and a man came on the radio and played a new No. 1 single, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." Here, to mark the anniversary of the first time a Rolling Stones single topped the charts, are some fun facts:

· Keith Richards woke up in a Florida hotel room with the song title and a three-note guitar riff in his head. He recorded it on a nearby tape deck and went back to bed.

· Richards hated the fuzzy guitar effect that became the song's signature. He wanted to replace it with a horn section.

· The musical genesis of "Satisfaction" can be traced back to two songs, according to Richards: The guitar lick reminds him of "Dancing in the Street" by Martha and the Vandellas, while the title comes from Chuck Berry's "Thirty Days," which includes the line "I can't get no satisfaction from the judge."

· Mick Jagger wrote the rest of the lyrics, a dig at the commercialism he saw running rampant in the U.S.

· The Stones performed the song live for the first time on the ABC show "Shindig!" on May 20, 1965.

· The single was No. 1 for four weeks in the summer of '65, until it was overtaken by "I'm Henry VIII, I Am" by Herman's Hermits.

· "Satisfaction" was No. 2 on Rolling Stone's 2004 list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time." It finished behind a record that was released just two months later in July 1965, Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone."

· The B-side of the single was a song you probably haven't listened to lately: "The Under-Assistant West Coast Promotion Man."

Photo by GAB Archive/Redfern via Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Remembering Tab Hunter

tab-hunter

Tab Hunter was the last of the Hollywood golden boys, an actor who parlayed his surfer boy good looks into a movie and music career in the 1950s and then enjoyed a surprising renaissance in the '80s that would continue for the rest of his life.

Hunter, whose sudden death at 86 Sunday night has been attributed to a blood clot that led to a heart attack, was signed by the same agent who discovered chiseled heartthrobs like Rock Hudson, Robert Wagner, Mike Connors ("Mannix") and Chad Everett "(Medical Center").

Nicknamed "The Sigh Guy," Hunter made his movie debut in 1950's "The Lawless" and recorded the 1957 single "Young Love," which succeeded Elvis Presley's "Too Much" as the No. 1 song in the country for six weeks.

A year later, he starred in perhaps his best-known movie, "Damn Yankees!," an adaptation of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. Hunter's co-stars included original cast members Gwen Verdon and Ray Walston.

He was the grand prize in "Win a Date With Tab Hunter" contests and seen in public with starlets like Sophia Loren, Natalie Wood and Debbie Reynolds. But Hunter was homosexual, at a time when gay stars were under great pressure to keep their sexuality hidden from the public. His secret that wouldn't be officially revealed until he wrote his 2005 memoir, "Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star." Ten years later, he narrated the critically acclaimed documentary based on his bestseller.

By then, there was a generation of movie goers who knew him for co-starring with the drag queen Divine in two movies, 1981's "Polyester," directed by John Waters, and 1981's "Lust in the Dust." Hunter also played a substitute teacher in 1982's "Grease 2."

His death was announced on Facebook's Tab Hunter Confidential page. "SAD NEWS: Tab passed away tonight three days shy of his 87th birthday," said the message. "Please honor his memory by saying a prayer on his behalf. He would have liked that."

By Kevin Haynes |

The Vinyl Renaissance

Album Cover For "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"

Vinyl album sales are back in the groove, up nearly 20 percent so far this year.

The music medium that nearly went extinct after the advent of compact discs in the 1980s continues its impressive comeback at a time when the vast majority of music is streamed or downloaded and CD sales continue to diminish.

Nielsen Music reports that 7.6 million LPs were sold in the first half of 2018, a 19.2 percent increase over the same period last year. Vinyl now accounts for 18.7 percent of all physical formats, including CDs and cassettes, and 11. 2 percent of the 68 million albums sold in the past six months.

The vinyl surge continues the upward trend of the past 12 years.

Not surprisingly, some of the bestselling LPs are titles that were released during vinyl's heyday in the 1960s, '70s and early '80s.

The top 10 selling vinyl albums in the past six months include Michael Jackson's "Thriller," Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours," Prince and the Revolution's "Purple Rain" and the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

The bestselling LP to date in 2018 is "Boarding House Reach" by Jack White, formerly of the White Stripes.

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Elvis Costello Sidelined

elvis-costello-shutterstock

Battling "a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy," Elvis Costello has "reluctantly" decided to cancel the final six dates on his summer tour of Europe.

Costello, 63, revealed that he had "a single surgery" earlier this year that had seemingly "defeated" the cancer that, though unspecified, appears to be related to the prostate. "Six weeks ago my specialist called me and said, 'You should start playing the Lotto,'" he joked today in a statement on his website.

However, the projected three- to four-week recovery forecast has not panned out as hoped. "The spirit has been more than willing," said Costello, who performed last night in Amsterdam, "but I have to now accept that it is going to take longer than I would have wished for me to recover my full strength."

"My apologies go to our ticket holders," he added, "but I would rather disappoint our friends [at the six remaining concert sites] by not appearing than press on with a show that is compromised and eventually puts my health at risk."

Costello and his band, the Imposters, launched the tour last month in support of "a magnificent new record" that will be released October 1.

The U.S. leg of the tour, dubbed "Look Now and Then…It's Elvis Costello & the Imposters," is scheduled to begin November 2 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the first of 20 dates in 33 days.

Costello concluded his statement with a health advisory aimed at men. "Gentlemen, do talk to your friends—you'll find you are not alone," he said, an apparent reference to prostate cancer. "Seek your doctor's advice if you are in doubt or when it is timely and act as swiftly as you may in these matters. It may save your life. Believe me, it is better than playing roulette.

Photo by Tracey Paddison/Shutterstock

By Kevin Haynes |

Throwback: 'Sussudio'

phil-collins-1985

Paul McCartney had "Scrambled Eggs," the placeholder lyric that led to "Yesterday." Phil Collins had "Sussudio"—and stuck with it.

For some music fans, the nonsense word was like nails on a blackboard, a piece of gibberish that detracted from an otherwise catchy song about a schoolboy crush.

For Collins, however, "Sussudio" turned out to be solid gold, the second of his three No. 1 hits in 1985, exactly 33 years ago today. ("One More Night" topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks that spring; "Separate Lives," a duet with Marilyn Martin, followed suit in November.)

Collins, then 34, claims he was just fooling around with a drum machine when inspiration stuck. "I started to sing into the microphone and this word came out, which was 'sus-sussudio,'" he later explained on VH1's "Storytellers." "I went back and tried to find another word that scanned as well as 'sussudio' and I couldn't find one."

The rest is history or stupidity, depending on your point of view. The backlash was amped up by critics who pointed out the synth-heavy tune's similarity to Prince's "1999."

Collins shrugged off that barb too. "It was influenced by Prince, of course, and was the first time I worked with dance synth programmers," he pointed out.

Besides, he added, you should've heard the original version of "Sussudio"—it sounded even more like His Purple Highness.

"I'm a big fan," Collins said.

Photo by Brendan Monks/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Reaching Nirvana

dave-grohl

If Dave Grohl has his way, the video of an impromptu tribute to Nirvana will some day be released so fans can experience a gig that he remembers as "amazing."

"It was something else," Grohl says in a Rolling Stone interview. "Someday, I'm sure everybody'll see it."

The spontaneous show took place at a small club in Brooklyn, Saint Vitus, hours after Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the nearby Barclays Center in 2014.

The Foo Fighters guitarist returned to his old job as Nirvana's drummer for 19 songs, joined by bassist Krist Novoselic and guitarist Pat Smear.

Among the onstage guests for a performance that Grohl describes as "cathartic": Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, St. Vincent, Lorde and Joan Jett, who sang some of the late Kurt Cobain's best-known songs, including "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "All Apologies" and "Breed."

"When we realized that we were going to do it, I just called the people from my production company and said, 'We need to film this," Grohl recalls, "and we loaded some cameras in there and shot it without knowing what would ever come of it.

"But it would be a shame," he adds, "for that evening to be only a memory."

Stay tuned.

By Kevin Haynes |

Nico: The Last Act

Nico Live In Rotterdam

Long after her 1960s glory days with Lou Reed's Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol's Factory, the sulky-voiced German singer known as Nico hits the road to redemption in a new biopic, "Nico, 1988."

In theaters August 1, the film has racked up a perfect 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Writer-director Susanna Nicchiarelli "dives deeply into the life of a tragic but remarkable woman," says the Hollywood Reporter, "an unpleasant, hurtful junkie plagued with memories and regrets."

Danish actress Trine Dyrholm stars as the once breathtakingly beautiful chanteuse who toured Europe extensively after the release of her sixth and final solo album in 1985, "Camera Obscura." The former heroin addict was also trying to rekindle a relationship with her estranged son.

A month after her final concert in West Berlin in June 1988, Nico was vacationing on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza with her son when she decided to go for a bike ride and score some weed. She suffered a heart attack on the road, struck her head and died later that night, three months shy of her 50th birthday.

By Kevin Haynes |

Top Son

top-gun

Like father, like co-pilot.

"Top Gun: Maverick" has tapped Miles Teller to play the son of Goose, Tom Cruise's ill-fated wingman, in the upcoming sequel to the 1986 blockbuster.

Variety reports that Teller, 31, was one of three actors to audition for the part last week. Best known for starring roles in "The Spectacular Now" and "Whiplash," Teller will ride shotgun with Cruise in the high-flying drama about the rise of drone technology and the demise of dog fighting.

His character's father in "Top Gun," Goose, was played by Anthony Edwards of "ER" fame.

"Top Gun: Maverick" will fly into theaters just over a year from now, on July 12, 2019.

By Kevin Haynes |

Sheryl Crow Plans Final LP

sheryl-crow

Sheryl Crow's next studio album will be her last.

"I've sort of made the decision in my head that the record that comes out next year will be my last full album," the 56-year-old singer-songwriter said in an interview on the "Kyle Meredith With…" podcast.

Crow said she has decided to forego "fully realized conceptual albums" in favor of releasing "really pertinent songs that feel immediate." Case in point: "Wouldn't Want to Be Like You," the surprise single she released last week with Annie Clark aka St. Vincent.

"Albums are… a little bit of a dying art form," Crow said. "People are more interested in singles. So…I'll just start putting songs out. That feels good to me."

The new album, as yet untitled, is "already in the can," she reported. Crow described her 11th and final studio release as "a very collaborative record" with Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, the Eagles' Don Henley and Joe Walsh, and, curiously, the late Johnny Cash.

Crow is on tour this summer celebrating the 25th anniversary of her debut album, 1993's "Tuesday Night Music Club," which featured the Top 10 hits "All I Wanna Do" and "Strong Enough."

Her most recent album, "Be Myself," was released last year.

Photo: Michael Hurcomb/REX/Shutterstock

By Kevin Haynes |

Bittersweet Memories

Photo of Whitney HOUSTON

"I Will Always Love You" appears to be the early takeaway from "Whitney," a new documentary about Whitney Houston, the powerhouse pop star whose dream life was ravaged by addiction and ended in tragedy in 2012.

The film, opening July 6, is "a joyful celebration of her gifts," says Entertainment Weekly, even as it "homes in on the personal fault lines and betrayals that led her to disappear almost entirely and unrecognizably into addition."

Director Kevin Macdonald ("The Last King of Scotland") reportedly had "unprecedented access" to family members and friends as well as the hairdressers, bodyguards and agents who had a front-row seat to Houston's meteoric rise to fame in the 1980s and her catastrophic demise. The most highly decorated female artist of all time, according to the Guinness Book of Records, had cocaine in her system when she drowned in her hotel bathtub at the age of 48.

"Ultimately, Macdonald has given audiences a potent assessment of one of the most tragic stories in pop history," says Gerrick Kennedy of the Los Angeles Times, "one that, sadly, could have been different had Whitney had the room to be Whitney."

The Guardian's Guy Lodge notes that "Whitney" is eerily reminiscent of 2015's "Amy," the Academy Award-winning documentary about British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, who was 27 when she died of alcohol poisoning in 2011.

"'Whitney' returns us to the experience of watching complete self-destruction—of a voice, of a career, of a woman," Lodge writes, "and being powerless to halt any of it, to offer any care that she might notice or feel."

"As the crystalline opening notes of 'I Have Nothing' cued the closing credits," he adds, "I cried, again…"

Photo by David Corio/Redferns

By Kevin Haynes |

Surgery 'Went Perfectly'

penn-teller

Spinal-fusion surgery today in Las Vegas worked like magic for Raymond Teller, the short, silent partner in Penn & Teller.

"Surgery all done. Went perfectly," the 70-year-old magician reported this afternoon on Twitter. "I'm groggy but happy."

His taller, chattier co-worker, Penn Jilette, was equally ecstatic. "Perfect! No problems!" he tweeted. "Now @MrTeller just has to recover and take it easy and we'll be back and bad August 18th! Whew!"

Penn & Teller cancelled a show Friday night in Biloxi, Mississippi, because of Teller's back woes, "the lingering result of hanging from straitjackets and climbing in and out of boxes for more than 40 years," one report noted. The pain resulted in just the fourth cancellation of a Penn & Teller show, claimed Jilette, 63. It also prompted Teller to immediately move up the surgery that had been scheduled for mid-July.

The duo had planned a hiatus from their long-running Vegas show at the Rio's Penn & Teller Theater, beginning July 10. They now intend to return to the stage August 18.

Their TV show, "Penn & Teller Fool Us," kicked off its fifth season on the CW network last week. All episodes were taped last spring.

Photo: Andy Kropa/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

By Kevin Haynes |

Throwback: Sinatra

frank-sinatra

It was 52 years ago today that "Strangers in the Night" doobie-doobie-doo'ed its way to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, giving Frank Sinatra his first No. 1 single since 1955's "Learnin' the Blues."

The romantic ode to love at first sight sold more than 1 million copies and introduced the then-50-year-old crooner to a younger, Beatles-obsessed generation—in fact, "Strangers in the Night" knocked "Paperback Writer" out of the No. 1 spot.

Featuring a relatively unknown Glen Campbell on rhythm guitar, it went on to become the title track of Sinatra's most successful album to date and later won four Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.

Everyone, it seemed, loved "Strangers in the Night"—except Sinatra. "I don't want to sing this," he sneered after seeing the sheet music. "It's a piece of shit."

He grudgingly performed it during concerts to appease audiences, though Sinatra never shied away from letting everybody know exactly how he felt about his final No. 1 hit as a solo artist. (His duet with daughter Nancy Sinatra, "Somethin' Stupid," would later top the charts for four weeks in the spring of 1967.)

"That's the worst fucking song I ever heard," he told a Las Vegas crowd. "If you like that song, you must be crazy about pineapple yogurt."

He even allowed his disdain to creep into ad-libbed lyrics on stage. "Wond'ring in the night," he once sang, "Just where my pants is…"

By Kevin Haynes |

An American Classic

meryl-streep-oscars

Big stars, "Little Women."

Academy Award winners Meryl Streep and Emma Stone are reportedly set to star in a new movie based on Louisa May Alcott's beloved 1868 novel about four sisters growing up in the wake of the Civil War.

The proposed remake would be directed by Greta Gerwig, the Oscar-nominated director of the recent coming-of-age hit "Lady Bird."

Gerwig has supposedly already recruited that film's star——Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, an Academy Award nominee for Best Actress——and co-star Timothee Chalamet, who earned a Best Actor nomination this year for "Call Me By Your Name."

If casting goes as planned, Streep would play Marmee March, the mother of four teenage girls in a small town in Massachusetts: Meg (Stone), Jo (Ronan), Amy (Florence Pugh) and Beth (to be determined). Chalamet would play Theodore "Laurie" Laurence, the rich boy next door.

"Little Women" has proven to be fertile ground for Hollywood. Winona Ryder starred in a critically acclaimed 1994 film, PBS produced a three-part miniseries that aired this spring, and ABC is reportedly working on an update that would land the March sisters in modern times. Earlier adaptations of the novel include George Cukor's 1933 version (Rotten Tomatoes score: 92 percent), which starred Katharine Hepburn.

By Kevin Haynes |