Stop The Presses!

July 7-14: Plane Hard Facts

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

 Other dangerously bearded rockers on the red-alert list include E of the Eels,ZZ Top, and Iron & Wine's Sam Beam.
We here at That's Really Week already knew that flying in this post-9/11 era pretty much sucks for us regular coach-class folk. But we assumed that all the A-list rock stars up in first class, with their fancy hot towels and champagne flutes and stewardess-administered footrubs and whatnot, were still flying high, so to speak. However, this week we found out we were wrong, when two musicians from extreme opposite ends of the musical spectrum both found themselves in turbulent travel situations. First there was Metallica's James Hetfield, who while en route to Live Earth was stopped and questioned by authorities at London's Luton airport--and they weren't asking the obvious questions, like, "How come your band hasn't made a decent album since Metallica?" or "What the eff were you thinking when you did that classical record with Michael Kamen?" No, it seems these guards didn't even realize who James was; they just took one look at his lush beard and got suspicious. Talk about a hairy situation! (Sorry, couldn't resist that one.) Fortunately, Hetfield suffered through one of the more awkward "don't you know who I think I am?" moments of his career, convinced security personnel he was actually a bona fide rock star, and was finally allowed on his merry way. We just hope ZZ Top are so lucky next time they fly...

The Idol rests his controversial feet of Clay.
The other big airplane scandal of the week surprisingly came from Clay Aiken--arguably one the nicest, squeaky-cleanest contestants in American Idol history, whose greatest faux pas up until now had been daring to sully Kelly Ripa's face with his allegedly unsanitized hand. Well, OK, it wasn't quite as scandalous as R.E.M.'s Peter Buck drunkenly pelting a British Airways attendant with a yogurt carton. But apparently Clay did have the gall to prop his Aiken feet up on a female passenger's armrest, causing the irate woman to give him "a minor shove," according to FBI Special Agent Gary Johnson. Who knows why the FBI had to get involved in this case when they could have been...um, seeking out terrorists, or at least making sure no passengers pack toiletry bottles larger than 3 ounces in their carry-ons. It's a wonder Rosie O'Donnell didn't get involved too, just like she did with that Kelly Ripa incident a few months back. But further intervention probably isn't necessary: "The flight crew was able to resolve the situation," Agent Johnson assured us concerned citizens, letting us all breathe a little easier, knowing our skies are safe from Idol-related personal-space-invasion threats once more. Yep, that's our tax dollars at work, right there...

All right, we'd like to continue for a few more paragraphs, but we've got a plane to catch. Wish us luck; after a week like this, we're probably gonna need it. But assuming our beards or feet don't arouse any FBI suspicion, we will be back next Friday with more amusing, confusing, and downright excitement-oozing music news. So see you then...

THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 STORIES:

1) Sad But True - Metallica's James Hetfield is hassled by airport security because of his "Taliban-like" beard.

2) Bad Boy, No Wife - Diddy and his babymama have officially split.

3) Beyonce Fans Feel The Burn - Concertgoers are injured by the Naughty Girl's errant fireworks display.

4) Lionel Richie & His Unborn Grandchild: Not Exactly Endless Love - Nicole's dad has some serious doubts about grandfatherhood.

5) Hey Hey, You You! I Don't Like Your Plagiarism! - Avril Lavigne is accused of ripping off songs by the Rubinoos and Chantal Kreviazuk.

6) Aiks On A Plane - American Idol Clay Aiken flies the not-so-friendly skies.

7) The End, Again - A new theory about Doors singer Jim Morrison's death is examined.

8) Spector Of Death - A witness testifies that Phil Spector said "all women deserve a bullet in their head." Yikes.

9) Bet On Back To Black - Bookies start taking bets on whether Amy Winehouse will actually turn up to her gigs.

10) Might As Well Face It, He's Addicted To Love - Known drug addict and semi-known rock star Pete Doherty is reportedly a sex addict now, too.

written by Lyndsey Parker 7/14/07

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