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MUSICAL FINGER FOODS

Death, Promotions, Mergers—Just Another
Day In Paradise
FRENCH FRIED MERGER?
Vivendi Chairman Jean-Marie Messier, already criticized by his homies for hanging too closely with Americans and Canadians, has not yet given sufficient guarantees that his company's planned merger with Seagram respects French broadcasting laws, declared Culture Minister Catherine Tasca. She said the merger created problems for legal limits applying to pay-TV unit Canal Plus. French law bans any company in Europe from owning over 49% of a French TV channel and any non-European firm from holding more than 20% (hitsdailydouble.com, 7/10). "Foreign interests [in Vivendi Universal] would be considerably higher than 20%," Tasca said. "Messier has given several responses [to government queries] but they are responses that, until now, are not legally sufficient." Reached Tuesday while on the Universal Studios Tour, Messier said, "They're French. They didn't even let you fly over their air space during a war," he offered. "What did you expect would happen here?… Hey, is that the ‘Psycho' house? Can I buy it?"

FUNNIER THAN WEIRD AL YANKOVIC
Punk rocker-actor-poet Henry Rollins has scored his first-ever TV special, "Live And Ripped From London," which will debut Aug. 11 on Comedy Central. The show culls material from Rollins' "Think Tank" spoken word tour last year. "It's storytelling and live-on-the-spot editorializing, not so much a poetry performance or straight-up comedy thing," says the tattooed and muscular Rollins. "I also kick the shit out of retarded hecklers who incessantly rant about Black Flag. Tune in."

WILSON TO FETCH DRY CLEANING
"I'm Just A" Bill Wilson
has been promoted to Senior VP, Worldwide Marketing for BMG Entertainment, reporting to Kevin "We've Got A Great Big" Conroy, the company's Chief Marketing Officer and President, New Technology. In his new role, Wilson, who since February 1999 has served as VP, Worldwide Marketing, will manage BMG's International Marketing and Priority Artist Marketing activities. In addition, he will continue to oversee Partnership Marketing and Online Marketing. "Bill has played a key role in developing our integrated approach to marketing our artists," said Conroy. "Besides, nobody makes a run to Starbucks any quicker."

SPIN DOCTORS
SpinRecords.com has entered into the subscription music service arena. The online music company has developed a worldwide service that will allow users to obtain unlimited digital downloads of SpinRecords artists for $4.95 a month. Subscribers will also have access to live and previously unreleased tracks, live and archived concert webcasts, and music festivals. The service is set to launch Saturday (7/15). The revenue generated from the subscription service will be pooled, with 60% of profits divided among the Web site's artists based on how many of their songs are downloaded. "It's a natural progression for the company," said an insider. "Certainly, it's not a last-ditch effort to make money so we can stay afloat."|

VOLLACK NOT POLLACK
As expected, Lia Vollack has been promoted to Executive VP, Music Creative Affairs at Columbia Pictures. Vollack, who was Senior VP of the division, will be filling the spot vacated by her former boss, Burt Berman, who was named President, Paramount Pictures' music division last month (hitsdailydouble.com, 6/23). She will report to Columbia Pictures Chairman Amy Pascal. Vollack's leap was first reported by HITS Magazine's soundtrack swami Jeff Rabhan (hitsdailydouble.com, 7/5). "All this time I thought she was Pollack's sister," he said. "P, V, it sounds the same to me. Who knew?"

A NEW DEFINITION OF "STAGE DIVING"
Iron Maiden
guitarist Janick Gers took a serious fall during the band's recent show in Mannheim, Germany. According to the British metal band, the accident happened just after Maiden came out for an encore. Gers lost his footing during a guitar solo and fell more than 10 feet off the front of the stage, landing on concrete. He was knocked unconscious, sprained his back, had severe bruising and received a gash across his forehead, which required stitches. "While he was falling, he was overheard screaming, ‘But… these go to eleven," an attendee said.

ROCK MUSIC TAKES LIVES
A couple of Milwaukee-area music events ended tragically July 9 for two concertgoers who were found dead outside venues for the Milwaukee Summerfest and a Phish concert in nearby East Troy, WI. Justin Boehlke, 17, was killed by a train near the Summerfest site after allegedly being ejected from the festival by security officials for being intoxicated. At about the same time, at a concert a few dozen miles away, an Indiana man was run over and killed as he apparently slept on the ground outside Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy. Michael Moore, 30, was found dead in a parking lot at the venue just hours after a Phish concert ended.

TAGS: yes
UMG'S VALUATION NEARS $55B
Day one begins. (9/23a)
SAVE THE DATE: GRAMMY NOMS REVEALED 11/23
Whoa, that's early. (9/21a)
A HARD DAY’S
HITS LIST
Stars across the board (9/21a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
THE LUCIAN DECADE
A history lesson from I.B. Bad (9/23a)
SIR LUCIAN TURNS IT UP
As UMG goes solo, Grainge discusses leading the band. (9/20a)
HITS' 35TH ANNIVERSARY
A chronicle of the inexplicable.
GRAMMY: ALBUM OF THE YEAR
We make yet more predictions, which you are free to ignore.
2022 TOURS
May we all be vaxxed by then.
ROCK'S NEW CHAPTER
Power pop, global glam and the return of the loud.
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