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Digest: Russell Brand Wants to Star in 'Rock of Ages'; Michael Jackson's Estate Sues Memorabilia Site

Also: The Flaming Lips plan several projects — and Creed's music prevents wolf attack

January 21, 2011 11:00 AM ET
Digest: Russell Brand Wants to Star in 'Rock of Ages'; Michael Jackson's Estate Sues Memorabilia Site
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage for David Lynch Foundation

Russell Brand Wants to Star in 'Rock of Ages' Movie
Comedian Russell Brand is reportedly seeking a role in the movie adaptation of the Eighties rock musical Rock of Ages. According to Deadline Hollywood, Brand wants to play the rock club boss Lonnie in the musical, which features songs by Bon Jovi, Poison, Journey and Pat Benatar. Tom Cruise is also reportedly seeking a role in the film. [Deadline Hollywood]

Michael Jackson Estate Sues Memorabilia Site
Michael Jackson's estate sued Howard Mann, a businessman who had teamed with the singer's mother to sell "official" memorabilia on the website jacksonsecretvault.com. The estate is charging that Mann and his partners are violating the late singer's copyright and misappropriating his likeness. [Reuters]

The Flaming Lips Are Extremely Productive
The Flaming Lips will be very busy in 2011. In addition to starting up a monthly series of free MP3s, the group have announced a collaboration with chillwave artist Neon Indian and are working on a vinyl box set of their first five Warner Bros. records due out on Record Store Day, April 16th. On top of  that, the trio is working on a new version of their album Zaireeka designed to be played simultaneously on four cellphones instead of four CD players. [Pitchfork]

Creed's Music Saves Norwegian Boy From Wolves
Walter Eikrem, a 13-year-old boy in a small Norwegian town, reportedly scared off a pack of wolves by blasting Creed songs over his mobile phone. Who knows what would have happened if the boy chose to instead play music by Wolf Parade, Wolf Eyes or Wolfmother, or God forbid, Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf." [NME]

MORE: Katy Perry Launches 'California Dreams' Tour; Will Smith Wants 'Annie' Remake With His Daughter and Jay-Z

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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