Archive for Saturday, November 9, 2002

People

November 9, 2002

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Motown house band reaps honors

New York - It was like an old-time Motown revue at the Apollo Theatre as Mary Wilson, Ashford & Simpson, Mario and others sang in tribute to the Funk Brothers, the musicians behind the hits at the legendary music label.

"They're responsible for my life," said Wilson, who worked with the Funk Brothers in the 1960s as part of The Supremes and performed with them Thursday night.

The Funk Brothers were the house band for Motown Records, and were responsible for making the Motown sound an international brand, yet most people don't know their names or their importance.

A new documentary, "Standing in the Shadows of Motown," seeks to rectify that. The film had its premiere at the Apollo on Thursday, with the surviving members of the Funk Brothers present: Bob Babbitt, Johnny Griffith, Joe Hunter, Joe Messina, Uriel Jones, Eddie "Chank" Willis and Jack "Black Jack" Ashford.

Eminem riding high and silent

Detroit - Eminem, clad in a black sweat shirt with "Detroit" splashed on the front in white letters, was walking so fast he might as well have been running.

He breezed past the screaming crowd and throngs of local media, but didn't say a word.

He didn't have to - the night was his. The local kid who conquered the world of popular music with catchy songs and clever lyrics brought Hollywood home to Detroit.

The feature film "8 Mile," starring Eminem, had its Detroit premiere Thursday night at the Phoenix Theatres on, appropriately, 8 Mile Road. It opened nationwide Friday.

"I'm happy to see Eminem doing his thing on the big screen," said Obie Trice, who has rapped on Eminem records and whose own hip-hop album is due out in 2003. "Motown is finally coming back. It's not an R&B; thing but a hip-hop thing."

Pinter wins royal recognition

London- Queen Elizabeth II presented British playwright Harold Pinter with the Companion of Honor accolade for his services to literature.

Pinter, 72, received a gold oval badge worn by members of the exclusive order during a brief ceremony Wednesday at Buckingham Palace. The award, founded in 1917, is conferred on men and women for services of national importance.

Regarded as one of Britain's greatest postwar playwrights, Pinter is a notable figure on the British left, and his work has become increasingly political.

He once turned down an offer of a knighthood, and he attacked Prime Minister Tony Blair for the NATO bombing of Serbia.

Rocker's absence leads to melee

Vancouver, British Columbia - Thousands of irate fans rampaged outside a downtown venue after a Guns N' Roses concert was canceled because lead singer Axl Rose failed to appear.

Police used pepper spray Thursday night to disperse the crowd surging around GM Place. There were no reports of injuries.

A band spokesman said bad weather in Los Angeles held up Rose's flight to Vancouver. The spokesman said a concert scheduled Friday at the Tacoma Dome, about 30 miles south of Seattle, would go on as planned.

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