Stop The Presses!

Nov. 26-Dec. 3: Birth, Death, And Jacko

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

Well, it's been another sad seven days here at That's Really Week--and no, we're not talking about Melanie Brown losing on Dancing With The Stars, though sure, that was a bummer. No, we're referring to much more serious matters here: the untimely and shrouded-in-mystery deaths of two very different, but equally deceased, rock stars.

First there was the tragic passing of Casey Calvert, the 25-year-old guitarist for Dayton-based emo band Hawthorne Heights, whose dead body was discovered on Hawthorne Heights' tour bus in D.C. on the second night of the band's tour. Sadly, Hawthorne Heights were already quite familiar with adversity: In 2005, an auto accident killed their tourmate, John "Beatz" Holohan of Bayside, on the unfortunately named "Never Sleep Again" tour; then, in 2006, Hawthorne Heights very publicly and bridge-burningly split from their label, Victory Records. However, this latest setback is obviously the group's worst yet. Posting on their official website, they stated:

"Today is probably the worst day ever. It's with our deepest regrets that we have to write this. Casey Calvert passed away in his sleep last night. We found out this afternoon before soundcheck. We've spent the entire day trying to come to grips with this and figure out as much as possible. At this time we're not sure what exactly happened. Just last night he was joking around with everyone before he went to bed. We can say with absolute certainty that he was not doing anything illegal. Please, out of respect to Casey and his family, don't contribute or succumb to any gossip you may hear. We don't want his memory to be tainted in the least. Casey was our best friend. He was quirky and awesome and there will truly be no others like him! His loss is unexplainable. As soon as we know more we will let you know."

The other big death of the week was that of Kevin DuBrow, the zebra-pants'd lead singer of '80s hair metal band Quiet Riot, who was found dead in his Las Vegas home at age 52. True, Quiet Riot had been pretty, well, quiet as of late (their 2006 album Rehab failed to generate as much excitement or publicity as the Amy Winehouse song of the same name), and rumors/vicious tell-all Behind The Music interviews indicate that Kevin may not have been, um, the nicest man in metal (we didn't know him personally, so we'll refrain from repeating some of the less-than-flattering things we've heard said about the allegedly cantankerous frontman). But regardless, Kevin and Quiet Riot will always have a place in music history, because their 1983 release Metal Health was the very first heavy metal album to top the pop charts. Not only did Metal Health sell more than 6 million copies, it did what seemed impossible at the time: It actually ended the jillion-week run at #1 for Michael Jackson's Thriller, temporarily knocking it to the #2 spot. Plus, Quiet Riot's smash-hit cover of the rock 'n' roll anthem "Cum On Feel The Noize" and equally misspelled subsequent single "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" resurrected the career of the Slade, the '70s glam band that originally recorded both tunes. So that's got to count for something.

Casey and Kevin, you shall be missed.

OK, moving on to lighter news--perhaps not coincidentally related to the aforementioned Michael Jackson. It's already been a pretty monumental year for band reunions so far (the Police, the Sex Pistols, Crowded House, Rage Against The Machine, Van Halen, the Verve, the Jesus & Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, the Spice Girls, Led Zeppelin, etc.), and now Michael's brother Jermaine is confirming longstanding rumors that the Jackson 5 will soon launch their own comeback tour. And yes, Jermaine claims the most infamous, reclusive, Elephant-Man-bone-collecting, oxygen-tent-sleeping, single-glove-wearing Jackson sibling will take part in this reunion. "We feel we have to do it one more time. We owe that to the fans and to the public," Jermaine told Britain's BBC, adding, "[Michael] has to [participate], he is a Jackson. He was at the meetings. Michael will be involved." Granted, Jacko doesn't bear much of a family resemblance to his notably darker-complexioned, broader-nosed brothers anymore...but this reunion would be a true nostalgia-fest nonetheless. Therefore we really hope it happens. C'mon, Jacksons--we want you back!

Oh, by the way--you didn't think we'd get through this column without a little bit of Britney Spears news, did ya? Nope, nary a week goes by that this more-wacko-than-Jacko chick makes headlines, and this week is no exception, as an InTouch Weekly cover story claims she's four weeks pregnant with baby number three. Meanwhile, her supposed babydaddy, music producer J.R. Rotem (perhaps the most speculated-about J.R. since Dallas's "Who Shot J.R.?" cliffhanger), has denied this pregnancy rumor, telling rival tabloid People that there is "absolutely no truth" to the story. However, InTouch is sticking to its original report, releasing a transcript of a supposed text-message exchange in which J.R. confirms that oops, Britney got knocked up again.  

This pregnancy report comes hot on the heels of last week's rumor, published in British tabloids, that Britney wants to adopt Chinese twins. We just really, REALLY hope that all these rumors are just that--rumors. Sorry, but this woman SHOULD NOT PROCREATE, ADOPT, OR EVEN BABYSIT until she gets her shiz together, all right? Has she forgotten that baby-on-lap scandal? The almost-dropping-Sean-on-his-head scandal? Or how about the fact that a judge deemed Kevin Federline a fitter parent than her? All we can say is, if she really is pregnant again, that same judge better appoint a Social Services worker in the delivery room, ready to whisk that baby away to safety the instant it exits Britney's womb. Because let's face it: a Chinese orphanage would probably be a safer haven than the Spears household right now. Heck, Michael Jackson's home would probably be a more child-friendly environment right now.

And finally, in happier baby news: Congratulations to Usher and new wife, Tameka Foster, who welcomed their first child, a boy, into the world this week. We do think it's a little megalomaniacal that Usher chose to name his son, well, Usher--but hey, it's a good name and it's good news. We've got a feeling Usher and Tameka are going to be great parents...hey, maybe they can adopt Britney and J.R.'s baby, if that rumor turns out to be true, That is, unless Brad and Angelina get to Britney's baby first...

OK, that's it for now, but do come back next Friday for more amusing, confusing, bemusing, and downright excitement-oozing music news.

 

THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 STORIES:

1) Quiet Riot Silenced - Singer Kevin DuBrow dies at age 52.

2) Hawthorne Heights Hit A New Low - Their guitarist passes away on their tour bus.

3) Baby One More Time? - Britney Spears is rumored to be pregnant with J.R. Rotem's lovechild.

4) Usher Says "Yeah!" To Fatherhood - The singer's boo gives birth to their baby.

5) This IS A Scene - Turns out the "sex tape" starring Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz is really just a staged scene from an upcoming motion picture.

6) Akon Charged In Fan-Tossing Case - Guess authorities took his "Sorry, Blame It On Me" song quite literally.

7) Jacksons Back In Action? - A Jackson 5 reunion tour is reportedly in the works.

8) Red Hot House - The Chili Peppers' Flea loses his home in a Malibu fire.

9) Ex-Lynyrd Skynyrd Drummer No Longer A Free Bird - Artimus Pyle is arrested after failing to register as a sex offender.

10) Lily Allen's Got Heart - The Brit pop star revamps her lifestyle after a heart-murmur health scare.

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