Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Elvis 30th Anniversary Bike Being Auctioned on eBay

Posted By on Tue, Dec 18, 2007 at 4:00 AM

After selling the first 29 "Elvis Presley Signature Motorcycles," Harley-Davidson and Elvis Presley Enterprises put the 30th bike up for auction on December 8th.

The bikes, which recreate the personalized 1957 black Harley that Presley once owned, were created in honor of the 30th anniversary Elvis' death this past August.

Only 30 bikes were created. Each motorcycle retails at $57,888, but the first one sold for a whopping $100,000 ($40,000 of that was donated to the American Diabetes Association).

The eBay auction will close on January 8th, Elvis' birthday. Proceeds from the auction will benefit Presley Place, a transitional housing provider for homeless families in Memphis. For more, go here.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

ABC Covers FedEx's "Biggest Night"

Posted By on Mon, Dec 17, 2007 at 4:00 AM

ABC News has a nice piece online today about FedEx's biggest night, coming up later this week.

Here's a sample: You think Santa has a hard job delivering millions of packages on a single night? Well, he only does it once a year. FedEx does it every day.

FedEx is constantly moving packages around the world. At any given moment a container of fresh fish from Japan might be heading to a sushi restaurant in New York while a crate of car parts from Detroit travels to a mechanic in Houston.

Getting millions of packages from point A to point B -- and having them arrive on time -- is a mammoth challenge on the quietest of days. But no day compares to today, when those items are moving across the planet in addition to all of your Christmas gifts. It is expected to be the busiest shipping day in FedEx's history ...

Read it here.

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Scalia's Funny Side

Posted on Mon, Dec 17, 2007 at 4:00 AM

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made a strong case for being the wittiest member of the court in a speech at The Peabody Monday to the Memphis Bar Association.

Scalia, often called the court's most conservative member, was as informal and engaging as a talk-show host or politician. He spoke without a prepared text and punctuated his remarks about the Constitution and other topics with one-liners.

He said the view that the Constitution is "a living organism" is "idiotic" and compared it to clichés about the stock market having a mind of its own.

"The stock market is not a mountain climber and the Constitution is not a living organism," he said.

He referred to abortion, same-sex marriage, and the death penalty in the framework of his "originalist" view of the Constitution.

"It provides what a Constitution always provides, and that is rigidity," he said.

He jokingly referred to his wife as "sort of a right-winger" and said that although he was confirmed 98-0 by the Senate 22 years ago, "I couldn’t get 60 votes today."

--John Branston

Friday, December 14, 2007

"I Am Legend": Not Worth the Wait

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Attention all fans of 28 Days Later, Children of Men, Twelve Monkeys, The Descent, Signs, The Road Warrior, Night of the Comet, and/or Richard Matheson fiction: Do I have a film for you to avoid: I Am Legend. (Independence Day devotees, your movie is waiting.)

I Am Legend is the long-gestating adaptation of the 1954 Matheson sci-fi/horror novel of the same name. Previously brought to film as Vincent Price's The Last Man on Earth and Charlton Heston's The Omega Man, I Am Legend has been linked for years to moviemakers such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ridley Scott, and Michael Bay ...

Read the rest of Greg Akers' Memphis Flyer review here.

Peter Holsapple at Otherlands Tonight

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Great news for audiophiles and fans of classic guitar pop: Peter Holsapple is in Memphis to play an intimate show at Otherlands Coffee Bar tonight, Friday, December 14th.

Holsapple's name may not be a household word, but it should be. In the 1980s, as the bed-headed and bespectacled singer/songwriter for North Carolina's The dBs, Holsapple bridged the gap between Big Star's lush power pop and the Replacements' thoughtfully ragged barroom rock ...

Read more from this week's Flyer.

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Gest as Minnelli

Posted on Fri, Dec 14, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Less than a week after Liza Minnelli collapsed while onstage, her ex David Gest hit the stage himself last night looking like his former wife.

From the Daily Mail: "David was starring as the 'Tranny Granny' in the Twisted Carol panto, but his short black wig and dramatic eye make-up made the similarity to his famous former lover rather striking.

"Tranny Granny"? Wow! All we can say, is: David, we miss you and want you back in Memphis.

Read the Daily Mail story here.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

John Prine at The Orpheum; Tickets Go on Sale Friday

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Those of you who missed John Prine's last Memphis appearance have a second chance.

The gravelly-voiced singer with a cult-like following sold out his last Orpheum show, and we suspect this time will be no different. Tickets for his March 7th show go on sale Friday morning at 10 a.m. at The Orpheum Theatre ticket office and at all Ticketmaster locations.

Prices range from $39.50 to $49.50. Call 901-525-1515 for more info.

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"Rocket 88" -- A Tribute to Ike Turner

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Ike Turner's death yesterday at 76 has been duly noted in the press. The words "wife-beater" were in every obituary, a result of his wife Tina Turner's revelations after the breakup of their relationship.

That episode in Ike Turner's life defined him in the minds of many. But the man was a genius -- a songwriter, guitarist, and piano player with few equals.

His Kings of Rhythm teamed up with Jackie Brenston in Memphis to record what's generally acknowledged to be the first rock 'n roll song ever.

Here's a nice video tribute. Rest in Peace, Ike.

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Memphis MoveOn.org Delivers Petition to Congressman Cohen's Office

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2007 at 4:00 AM

About 20 people gathered in front of the downtown federal building at noon today to deliver a petition urging Congressman Steve Cohen to affirm that President Bush has no congressional authority to attack Iran.

The demonstration, sponsored by MoveOn.org, was part of a national campaign in which hundreds of similar events took place around the country. Over 160,000 people nationwide signed MoveOn's petition. Locally, volunteers gathered 200 signatures from Cohen's district.

The petition drive was sparked by President Bush's recent remark that "Iran is still dangerous" despite new findings by the National Intelligence Estimate saying Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003.

The petition asks Cohen to support House Joint Resolution 64, which says the 2002 authorization of force against Iraq does not give Bush the authority to wage war in Iran.

Though Cohen was not present to accept the petition, members of his staff accepted the papers. They said the petition will be sent to Cohen's Washington D.C. office.

"President Bush is talking about World War III and it's really scary," said local MoveOn organizer William Shepherd. "Someone needs to express the will of the American people. Evidence shows that most people are against attacking Iran."

--Bianca Phillips

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

County Commission Committee Urges No More "Letters of Intent" for Bass Pro/Pyramid Deal

Posted By on Wed, Dec 12, 2007 at 4:00 AM

A County Commission committee has approved a resolution asking Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton not to sign another letter of intent with Bass Pro for The Pyramid if nothing further with the company develops before the January 31st deadline.

The commission is looking at a proposal for an $250 million redevelopment plan with an indoor amusement park and a hotel proposed by the Ericson Group.

The city and county have signed three letters of intent already with Bass Pro. The county has something of a gentleman's agreement to let the city be the lead agency in negotiating for a new use for The Pyramid.

Commissioner Mike Ritz expressed the commmittee's concerns: "The city may want to extend the letter of intent some more ... How do we keep that from happening?"

The resolution will come before the full County Commission on Monday.

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Ike Turner: RIP

Posted on Wed, Dec 12, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Ike Turner, whose role as one of rock's critical architects was overshadowed by his ogrelike image as the man who brutally abused former wife and icon Tina Turner, died Wednesday at his home in suburban San Diego. He was 76.

"He did pass away this morning" at his home in San Marcos, in northern San Diego County, said Scott M. Hanover of Thrill Entertainment Group, which managed Turner's musical career.

There was no immediate word on the cause of death, which was first reported by celebrity Web site TMZ.com. T

urner managed to rehabilitate his image somewhat in his later years, touring around the globe with his band the Kings of Rhythm and drawing critical acclaim for his work. He won a Grammy in 2007 in the traditional blues album category for "Risin' With the Blues."

But his image is forever identified as the drug-addicted, wife-abusing husband of Tina Turner. He was hauntingly portrayed by Laurence Fishburne in the movie "What's Love Got To Do With It," based on Tina Turner's autobiography.

In a 2001 interview with The Associated Press, Turner denied his ex-wife's claims of abuse and expressed frustration that he had been demonized in the media, adding that his historic role in rock's beginnings had been ignored.

"You can go ask Snoop Dogg or Eminem, you can ask the Rolling Stones or (Eric) Clapton, or you can ask anybody — anybody, they all know my contribution to music, but it hasn't been in print about what I've done or what I've contributed until now," he said.

Turner, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is credited by many rock historians with making the first rock 'n' roll record, "Rocket 88," in 1951. Produced by the legendary Sam Phillips, it was groundbreaking for its use of distorted electric guitar.

But as would be the case for most of his career, Turner, a prolific session guitarist and piano player, was not the star on the record -- it was recorded with Turner's band but credited to singer Jackie Brenston.

And it would be another singer -- a young woman named Anna Mae Bullock -- who would bring Turner his greatest fame, and infamy. Turner met the 18-year-old Bullock, whom he would later marry, in 1959 and quickly made the husky-voiced singer the lead singer of his group, refashioning her into the sexy Tina Turner. Her stage persona was highlighted by short skirts and stiletto heels that made her legs her most visible asset. But despite the glamorous image, she still sang with the grit and fervor of a rock singer with a twist of soul.

The pair would have two sons. They also produced a string of hits. The first, "A Fool In Love," was a top R&B song in 1959, and others followed, including "I Idolize You" and "It's Gonna Work Out Fine."

But over the years they're genre-defying sound would make them favorites on the rock 'n' roll scene, as they opened for acts like the Rolling Stones.

The densely layered hit "River Deep, Mountain High" was one of producer Phil Spector's proudest creations. A rousing version of "Proud Mary," a cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival hit, became their signature song and won them a Grammy for best R&B vocal performance by a group.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Memphis Police Bust Marijuana "Grow House"

Posted By on Tue, Dec 11, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Memphis police officers got a few tips on how to grow pot at a bust near the Galloway Golf Course on Friday.

Eight "how to" books on growing weed indoors were recovered from the home of 58-year-old Marquis Archibald. Apparently, Archibald followed through on his avid reading habits: Police also nabbed 48 pot plants and over three pounds of harvested marijuana.

The bust came after the MPD's Organized Crime Unit received an anonymous complaint about a possible "grow house." Archibald allowed officers inside his home, where they discovered a marijuana growing set-up with an irrigation system and heat control in a shed attached to the residence.

Three handguns were also discovered hidden underneath a cat's play-box.

Archibald was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance. — Bianca Phillips

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Presley Clan Hits Led Zep Concert

Posted By on Tue, Dec 11, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Three generations of Presley women and their entourage went to the Led Zeppelin concert in London Monday. TMZ was there and shot pictures. Then they wrote snark.

"After exhausting London's supply of black eyeliner, Scientolostars Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley, her daughter Riley Keough and borefriend Ryan Cabrera (yes, the same Ryan Cabrera who dated Ashlee Simpson!) -- in wannabe Johnny Depp drag -- came to life and hit up the Led Zeppelin concert in London on Monday. Stairway from heaven!"

For more on this lovely event, go to TMZ.com. And don't overlook the comments. Priceless. And, hey, is that Jerry Schilling in the background?

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Rev. Billy C. Wirtz to Perform on Beale This Week

Posted By on Tue, Dec 11, 2007 at 4:00 AM

The crazed boogie "preacher" Billy C. Wirtz is returning to Beale Street this week, joined by Memphis' own Victor Wainwright.

The duo, whose act is called "Pianist Envy", will rock Wet Willie's Wednesday-Friday.

To see and hear a little Wirtz in advance, check out his wacky website.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

New Film, Public Forum on West Memphis 3 Set for Tuesday in Little Rock

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2007 at 4:00 AM

There will be a public forum and a screening of a new film on the West Memphis Three case Tuesday night (Dec. 11) in Little Rock. The event is being held on the 33rd birthday of Damien Echols, who is on death row for the murders despite what forum organizers are calling "strong scientific evidence of his innocence."

Tuesday night's event will include a film screening on the case and the new evidence, a question-and-answer session on the case, and the campaign to help free the three men who were convicted in 1994.

The meeting will also include a letter-writing session and petition-signing targeting Arkansas Governor Mike Beeebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.

“Evidence = Innocence. Arkansas Take Action!” is a campaign that started in late November to harnesses community support for the West Memphis 3.

"We have been overwhelmed by public support over the last two weeks, and this event will bring together existing supporters while reaching more people who want to learn how they can help correct this grave injustice," said Capi Peck, a small business owner in Little Rock who is coordinating the campaign.

"As we celebrate Damien's birthday and enjoy the holidays with our friends and families, we are more hopeful than ever that justice will finally prevail in this case.”

The meeting will be from 7-10 p.m. at the Market Street Cinema, 1521 Merrill Drive, Little Rock. Donations of $10 per person to attend the screening will benefit the West Memphis Three Defense Fund. For more info go to the organization's website.

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