Stop The Presses!

Jan. 28-Feb. 4: Hospitalize Me, Baby, One More Time

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

OK, we're beginning to think we should just retitle this blog That's Really Britney and be done with it.

Yes, we do read all the complaints on our messageboard, claiming we cover Britney too much week after toxic week. And whether you readers choose to believe this or not, we actually do take heed of such comments (particularly the intelligent, grammatically correct, expletive-free ones) and regularly struggle with the editorial decision to keep reporting on Britney's breakdown. Are we only making her downward spiral revolve at an even unsafer speed by contributing to this press frenzy? Are the details of her curb-crying episodes and faux English accents MUSIC news, really? Do people even want to read about Britney anymore? Should we just take Chris Crocker's teary-eyed advice and leave Britney alone? These are the questions that race through our media-addled brains every time we sit down to write this column. Honestly.

But the fact is, Britney Spears IS news. Period. Her life, tragic and bizarre as it may be, has long been an open book--or open blog, as it were--and us not writing about it won't make her problems magically disappear. And just because we write about her increasingly erratic behavior doesn't mean we are condoning it, glamorizing it, or making fun of it. (OK, in the past we have made fun of Britney, but lately there's not been much to laugh about where she's concerned.)

Anyway, although we do cover other artists (we even had an official Britney-Free Week a couple months ago...though people on the messageboard complained then, too), there are some wacked-out weeks, like this one, when we simply cannot ignore the elephant in the room. Or the Britney in the hospital, to be more specific.

OK, this concludes our multi-paragraph disclaimer. Moving on to the big story this week: Britney Spears is back in the psych ward. It's her second involuntary psychiatric hospitalization in the space of a calendar month, following her Dr. Phil-invaded stint at Cedars-Sinai on January 3. The troubled tabloid star was whisked off to the UCLA Medical Center on Thursday for observation, though it's currently unclear who (Sam Lufti? Adnan Ghalib? Lynne Spears?) called for a police-escorted ambulance this time. Hopefully it was someone who had her best interests--and not her fortune or future publicity--at heart.

Meanwhile, Amy Winehouse, who's basically become the British version of Britney (in terms of the amount of blog pixels and tabloid ink devoted to her daily), has also checked into a hospital. In a scene right out of VH1's Celebrity Rehab, apparently Amy became seriously dehydrated after vomiting while going through detox. We hope Amy gets well soon too, especially since she still plans to perform on the Grammys next weekend. Stay hydrated, Amy!

All right, time for some good news, about another pop star who thankfully only seems to be admitted to hospitals when she is expecting. Yes, we're talking about Gwen Stefani, whose husband Gavin Rossdale confirmed this week that she is pregnant with baby #2. This means little Kingston will soon be joined by a bouncing baby brother (Princeton?) or sister (Queenston?). We send our congrats to Gwen--as well as to the Dixie Chicks' Martie Maguire, whose own pregnancy news was announced on the same day as Gwen's (and was subsequently almost completely eclipsed).

Well, Gwen's delicate condition obviously puts a kibbosh on those rumors that No Doubt would be reuniting to play Coachella. But quickly following up 2007 (a year reunion-heavy year that featured the resurgence of Led Zeppelin, the Police, Van Halen, and the Spice Girls, among others), this early '08 week has already brought news of two big reunions. First, Scott Weiland will be going out on the road with his on/off Stone Temple Pilots bandmates this summer. We'd LIKE to think this would free up Velvet Revolver's Slash, Duff, and Matt to rejoin Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin for a proper Guns N' Roses reunion, which in a domino effect would then allow current GNR bassist Tommy Stinson to get back together with his old band, the Replacements. Now that would be one awesome Coachella main-stage lineup!

But all that is probably highly unlikely, so we'll just take solace in the knowledge that New Kids On The Block are also getting back together (not at Coachella, of course--but still cool). Sure, maybe they're more like Old Dudes On The Block now, and judging from Jordan Knight's grumpy-grandpa behavior on The Surreal Life a few seasons ago, he's no barrel of sunshine these days...but who knows, maybe they still have the right stuff. It'd be even more awesome if Donny Wahlberg's brother got Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch back together to be NKOTB's opening act, but chances are Mark's busy these days...

And finally, in one last bit of reunion news, Jimmy Page has gone on record saying he is willing to play more Led Zeppelin concerts. Now, that won't happen until at least September, because of Robert Plant's commitment to tour with Alison Krauss, but it may very well not be too long since Zep rock 'n' roll once again!

And thus concludes another surreal, and sometimes sad, week in rock 'n' pop. Do come back next Friday for more headspinning headlines (hopefully about artists other than Britney), and until then, goodnight and good music.


1) Britney Admitted - The fallen pop star is back in the hospital.

2) Hey Baby! - Gwen Stefani is pregnant again.

3) Old Dudes On The Block - Reunited boy band NKOTB are hoping they still have the right stuff.

4) Amy Winehouse's Husband Speaks Out - Blake Fielder-Civil fears his wife only has "months to live."

5) Stone Temple Pilots' Return Flight - Weiland and company are reuniting as well.

6) Dixie Chick Back On The Nest - Martie Maguire is having another baby.

7) The Tour Remains The Same? - Jimmy Page hints at future Led Zeppelin dates.

8) Israel To Finally Let It Be? - More than 40 years after the Beatles were banned from Israel, Paul and Ringo have been invited to play at the country's 60th-birthday concert.

9) Material Girl - Madonna is officially the richest woman in music, according to Forbes.

10) Shortlist Awards Finalists Announced - Feist, the Arcade Fire, M.I.A., Justice, LCD Soundsystem, Wilco, and Spoon are among the hipster nominees.

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