For The Record: Quick News On Wade Robson And Michael Jackson, Da Band, Gwen Stefani, Paris Hilton & More

While many of Michael Jackson‘s friends have been speaking out on his behalf, very few of the ones who were his friends when they were children have said much to the media, except for Wade Robson and Corey Feldman. Robson, who met Jackson as a 5-year-old and slept over at Neverland Ranch, told Australian reporters that “nothing strange happened.” “I never had that experience, and I hope it never happened to anybody else.” Robson had been interviewed by investigators during the previous 1993 allegations about his relationship with the singer. Meanwhile, Feldman, who talked to CNN’s Larry King earlier this week, said that while he shared a room with Jackson “a couple of times,” they never shared a bed. “[Jackson] was so much of a gentleman, he actually offered his bed and allowed me to sleep in his bed and he took a cot. And he slept in the cot,” Feldman said. “Everything I have ever seen about him has been kind-hearted to children. I’ve never seen him act in any inappropriate way to a child. Never with me.” …

Phil Spector told his chauffeur the night Lana Clarkson was found dead in his mansion, “I think I killed somebody,” according to police records recently obtained by the Los Angeles Times. Spector pleaded innocent to murder charges last week and was ordered to return to court January 23 for a preliminary hearing. … Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil has been summoned to court to face battery accusations stemming from an incident at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Mound House, Nevada, on July 10 when he allegedly attacked a prostitute. He’s due in court on April 22. Though the singer has yet to enter a plea, his attorney told the Reno Gazette-Journal, “Celebrities are always targets for this type of behavior. If there ever was an opportunity where someone was being an opportunist, it certainly was this case.” If convicted, Neil would face a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. …

P. Diddy has something special planned for the third and final season of “Making the Band.” “[Da Band] are about to move into my house,” he said at the Vibe Awards. “That’s how crazy we are going to make it. Y’all thought what’s been on camera is [crazy], it’s been so crazy off camera that I’ve got to move them in my house.” … The Neptunes are nearly finished with the second N.E.R.D. album, but have taken a break to work on Gwen Stefani‘s solo album. “She’s very beautiful and she’s incredible as an artist and she’s been here for many years and she’s got so many more to go,” Pharrell Williams said. …

Clay Aiken will officially graduate from UNC Charlotte on December 20. Guests must have tickets, printed with a bar code to prevent the use of counterfeits, to get into the ceremony. … Rich party girl Paris Hilton continues to plug away at positioning herself as a pop star. The hotel heiress, who has been working on recording a dance-pop album, has enlisted the help of JC Chasez and his producer Rob Boldt. Whereas Hilton’s producer Romeo Antonia had described her voice as a cross between Jessica Simpson and Beyoncé, Boldt described her music as “old Prince, old Michael Jackson,” according to Rolling Stone. Chasez has reportedly written a song for Hilton, who as of yet has no label deal. …

Coldplay‘s Chris Martin is in the studio collaborating on an untitled track with the Streets. The material could possibly appear on Mike Skinner‘s 2004 follow-up to last year’s Original Pirate Material. … Just as Madonna‘s second children’s book, “Mr. Peabody’s Apples,” is set to debut at #1 on the The New York Times‘ bestseller list, she’s got another book on the way — but this time, it’s not for kids. “Nobody Knows Me,” available at Madonna.com, is a limited-edition, 52-page book of rare and unseen photographs for her more devout fans, with commentary by the Material Mom. The book is available for pre-order through December 30, and will ship in January. Madonna is scheduled to appear on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” Wednesday night (November 26). …

Meat Loaf is recovering in a private location in London after undergoing heart surgery this week to treat an irregular condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome. The 56-year-old singer was rushed to a hospital Monday after collapsing onstage at London’s Wembley Arena. … Phish, the band not familiar with the term “short and sweet” judging by the length of its concerts, have issued three triple-disc sets, each containing a different show from this year. The CDs are available at phish.com and select independent record stores. The band embarks on an eight-show trek Friday, and those shows will eventually surface on the band’s download site, livephish.com. …

On December 12, you can rock and roll all night with Kiss when the special “Kiss Symphony, Alive IV in Concert” comes to pay-per-view cable. The program is a live broadcast of the band’s concert in Melbourne, Australia, with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, all 60 members of which will be wearing Kiss makeup. … AT&T has given legendary New York nightclub the Bottom Line a chance to keep the music alive via a $100,000 sponsorship. Due to non-payment of back rent, New York University, the club’s landlord, has taken the club to court for potential eviction. …

Music is — no surprise — Musiq‘s first love, but he is hoping to cross over into movies. “Mostly behind the screen, that’s where my love is, but I’ll definitely [act], whatever role’s right for me,” he said. … R&B singer Sharissa, who duets with Wyclef Jean on his Preacher’s Son LP, is making an album with the Haitian star. She also just finished a duet with R. Kelly called “Love a Thug,” due in a couple of weeks. …

11.25.03

As a warm-up for Tuesday’s (November 25) Madison Square Garden headlining concert in New York, Jay-Z played the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts, on Sunday. Jay was backed by a live band, directed by the Roots?uestlove, for large portions of the set, which included a string of songs from his debut LP, Reasonable Doubt.

Beyoncé, Clay Aiken, Evanescence, Foo Fighters and Shania Twain will join No Doubt and Sting as performers at the 2003 Billboard Music Awards, taking place December 10. The show will air live from Las Vegas on FOX. … Justin Timberlake plans to share the love on his upcoming NBC special — by inviting the Black Eyed Peas to join him on a performance of their song “Where Is the Love?” The one-hour show, “Justin Timberlake: Down Home in Memphis,” will feature a personal tour of his hometown, highlighting Memphis’ musical legacy. The show airs Friday at 8 p.m. ET. …

With Bizzy Bone back in the fold, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are at full strength and hoping to drop their next album in the summer — once they’ve secured a record deal. In the meantime, Bizzy and Layzie are pressing on with a duo LP called Forever Young, which they plan to release in the spring. … Who wouldn’t want to wake to the soothing sounds of Public Enemy‘s mouthpiece Flavor Flav shouting, “Yeahh boyee!,” “Get up and get, get down,” and “Rock that Sh–, homie!”? For $85, you can drift through dreamland under Flavor’s watchful eye with the Legends Flavor Flav Talking Alarm Clock. Only 500 limited-edition versions of the miniature rapper holding his trademark clock necklace are available at www.ecko.com and at selected retailers. …

Kate Pierson of the B-52′s has opened a hotel in the Catskills area in upstate New York called Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel. The eight-unit house features rooms and suites in “mind-blowing mid-century modern/space age/rocket-your-socks-off decor,” according to the motel’s Web site. … Alanis Morissette‘s follow-up to 2002′s Under Rug Swept is expected to drop in February. Titled So Called Chaos, the LP promises to include everything from soft ballads to dance music to pure rock. Before then, the singer will do a quick turn in the off-Broadway play “The Exonerated,” from December 2-7 in New York. She’ll portray Sunny Jacobs, a woman freed from death row after her murder conviction is overturned. …

Feliz Navidad from Carlos Santana. On December 16, a collection of unreleased and remixed tracks from the Supernatural and Shaman recording sessions will be available on Ceremony – Remixes and Rarities. The disc, limited to 100,000 copies, will include the new songs “Curacion (Sunlight on Water),” “Truth Don Die” and “Manana.” … The members of Matchbox Twenty, who just released the EP titled EP, are taking off with other projects. Singer Rob Thomas, drummer Paul Doucette and rhythm guitarist Adam Gaynor have each been working on solo projects, while lead guitarist Kyle Cook is laboring away on an album with his band the New Left. The projects are expected to surface next year. …

The organizers behind the Milwaukee Metalfest are planning on taking their show on the road and migrating south. Jack Koshick and Rob Grohl are working on a Florida Metalfest, to be held in the St. Petersburg area, March 6 and 7. No bands have been confirmed as of yet. … Iron Maiden will play just eight shows in North America next year to support their latest album, Dance of Death. The group will perform two dates in Canada, starting January 20 in Montreal, before playing four gigs in New York (January 23-27), and finishing up with two shows in Los Angeles (January 30 and 31). …

“Jambands,” a new book written by Jambands.com founder Dean Budnick, is all the schooling you need to firmly grasp the musical inspirations of the noodle-dance, the closed-eye headshake, and the “I’m catching butterflies that aren’t really there” boogie. Due January 6, the book, packaged with an accompanying live album, documents the rise of the scene from the days of the Grateful Dead to their successors, including Moe, the Disco Biscuits and Robert Randolph & the Family Band. … On her new album, Educated Guess, Ani DiFranco ups the ante of her “do it yourself” aesthetic to “do everything yourself.” For the first time in her 14-year career, the folksy punk balladeer performed all the production duties — from recording and to the final mixes — herself. Educated Guess, the follow-up to Evolve, is due January 20. …

CNET Networks has purchased online music outlet MP3.com from Vivendi Universal for an undisclosed amount of money. On December 2, the site, which hosts music from over 250,000 largely unsigned acts, will shut down completely. It will be relaunched next year as a music-information site, and will no longer provide downloads. …