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MUSIC NEWS ROUNDUP

Laughing In The Face And Behind The Back Of Death
GUESS WHO'S NOT GONNA DRIVE YOU HOME
Former Cars bassist and singer Benjamin Orr died of pancreatic cancer Tuesday (10/3) in Atlanta. He was 53. According to MTV News, Orr was surrounded by family and friends when he passed shortly before midnight. Orr co-founded the Boston-based new wave pioneers in 1976, singing lead on hits including "Drive" and "Just What I Needed." After the Cars' 1988 split Orr launched a solo career and led his own band, Big People, up until his final performance on Sept. 27. Big People will hold a memorial performance Friday (10/6) at the Tabernacle in Atlanta—not to be confused with the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. You can drink Cokes inside this one.

CHAPMAN PAROLE DENIED
New York State parole officials rejected a bid for freedom Tuesday (10/3) for ex-Beatle John Lennon's killer, saying Mark David Chapman hadn't lost his need for publicity, a drive that fueled his "most vicious and violent act." It was the born-again Chapman's first attempt for parole stemming from the December 1980 shooting death of Lennon. Chapman won't be eligible for parole for two more years. "Your most vicious and violent act was apparently fueled by your need to be acknowledged," the board said. "During your parole hearing, this panel noted your continued interest in maintaining your notoriety." Chapman replied, "Well, I did want to re-read Catcher In the Rye again."

TALK ABOUT THE PASSION
Athens-Clarke County (GA) Commissioners voted overwhelmingly to save an abandoned train trestle featured on an R.E.M. album cover, after an onslaught on fan support. Fans throughout the world e-mailed county lawmakers in protest of the planned demolition of the structure. The trestle, which was pictured on the band's 1983 "Murmur" album, is one of a series of landmarks treasured by R.E.M. fans. Said R.E.M. manager/attorney Bertis Downs: "We have great fans. It's neat that people care that much about our little part of the world." The fans are reportedly now banding together to buy a jarful of kidney stones passed by Mitch Easter while producing the "Reckoning" LP.

PUMPKINS TO SMASH IN SOUTH AFRICA
The Smashing Pumpkins have added a South African leg to their farewell tour with dates picking up when their European trek ends. The band has scheduled shows Nov. 11, 12 and 14 in Centurion, Durban and Cape Town. Frontman Billy Corgan announced earlier in the year that the band would split at the end of 2000. "South Africa has money," Corgan said. "What better place to call it quits and get rich at the same time."

SYSTEM OF A DOWNER
System of a Down
ran into a bit of trouble when a member shouted the phrase, "Let's Get Ready To Rumble" at a recent concert. The band received a threat of legal action by attorneys representing Michael Buffer, of WWF and boxing fame, who owns the copyright to the catch phrase. At the Baltimore stop of the Summer Sanitarium tour, System of a Down guitarist Daron Malakian screamed, "Let's get ready to rumble!" The dastardly deed was caught on tape by MTV, broadcast on the channel and seen by a Buffer associate. System of a Down joins such illustrious copyright infringers as Oliver North and Don Imus, who have also had their hands slapped for unauthorized public use of the registered saying. "Lesson learned," said Malakian. "I will also refrain from such saucy terms as ‘Who wants some pie?' and ‘Where are my pants?' just in case someone has claimed the legal rights to them as well."

FUNNY, THAT LARIAT LOOKS LIKE AN I.U.D.
Mariah Carey
is expected to take on a role many little girls, and some perverted men, dream of—Wonder Woman. According to the British paper The Daily Star, the diva has been offered a role in the big-screen remake of the '70s TV hit. According to the paper's source: "Mariah is so excited about her film career. But she's been most delighted to have been offered the role of Wonder Woman. She has a great sense of humor so a role like this would suit her better than a serious one. Plus, Mariah can fit into the costume perfectly." Carey is currently at work on the movie, "All That Glitters," in New York. Shooting is expected to take nine months.

SOURCES INSIDE MY HEAD CONFIRM THIS NEXT PIECE
Source and UPN are continuing their foray into fine family programming on Saturday (10/7) with the premieres of "The Source Sound Lab" and "The Source: All Access." "Sound Lab" is a weekly hip-hop music and dance program. Brandy's younger brother, Ray J, will serve as host, with Busta Rhymes special guest hosting the first three episodes. Nelly, Prodigy and Mos Def are slated to perform. "All Access" is a one-hour entertainment magazine show hosted by Naughty By Nature's Treach and actress Lisa Raye ("The Players Club," "The Wood"). The show will profile celebrities in music, sports, fashion, and acting. Upcoming episodes will include L.L. Cool J, Lil' Kim and Wyclef Jean. The shows coincide with the launch of Source's self-defense equipment, which will feature official boxing gloves, body armor and switchblades.

WMG KEEPS GROWING:
A $6B FISCAL '22
Cooper sets the table for Kyncl. (11/23a)
SONG REVENUE: TURKEY TROT
The Lipmans are thankful for their superstars. (11/25a)
THE LENNY BEER
PRE-HOLIDAY ALBUM
...with all the trimmings (11/25a)
NOISEMAKERS: A THANKFUL BUNCH
The kids are alright. (11/25a)
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS FROM STEVE COOPER
All good things come to an end. (11/23a)
GRAMMY SEASON
Artists sound off on the prospect of being nominated
CATALOG ECONOMICS
They're changing the game... for some.
VOTING AGAINST FASCISM
You're helping with the runoff, right?
IS IT CHRISTMAS YET?
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