The Wonderful World Of Rock

Now that Kurt Cobain’s been dead for 10 years, he’s official retro territory. And that means that he’s fair game for movies. A made-for-TV movie was supposed to come out a while back, but I haven’t heard about that one lately so I kind of assumed that it was too bad to release and that Kurt got off the hook. Apparently not, though, as Gus Van Sant’s latest film, “Last Days,” chronicles the shy and tortured grunge rocker “Blake,” who commits suicide under the pressure of stardom after avoiding friends and record execs attempting to stop him.

Despite the similarities between the true story and the film, Van Sant has maintained that his movie does not represent Cobain’s actual demise, much like “Elephant” wasn’t actually about Columbine killers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. I suspect the main reason for that would be that those two kids are far too ugly to have a widely accepted film made about them.

Van Sant also made sure to mention that “Last Days” makes no claims as to the causes of Kurt’s death, and displays no conspiracy-theory interpretations of the event. “He’s like a Shakespearean Hamlet, reflecting on his personal ghosts and demons,” Van Sant said to, “and while I don’t know what his were, I’m imagining what they might have been.”

While this may make some people feel more comfortable about this film, including Courtney Love and Kim Gordon (who will even be in it), others, such as Love’s nemesis Dave Grohl, have taken the opposite view, seeing it as perhaps the latest in a long line of Love-sanctioned invasions of Cobain’s privacy. The film is scheduled for release on July 22.

It turns out that Ozzy Osbourne’s husk of a body wasn’t wasted by drinking and drugs after all. After assuming for years that the shakes he suffered from were drug-induced, Ozzy has found out that he has a disease of the central nervous system called parkin disease, which will have to be remedied with an increased regimen of daily drug use. “I’d always assumed it was the booze and stuff,” Ozzy said in an MTV interview. “Now I’ve found it all stems from the family. It’s called parkin but it’s not Parkinson’s. Anything to do with the central nervous system has the word ‘parkin’ in it. A doctor in Los Angeles tried to tell me I had multiple sclerosis. And I believed him until I had a second opinion. When I told my sister, she said, ‘Not you as well? Mum had that and Auntie Elsie and your grandma.’ I’m like, ‘Thanks for fucking telling me.’ Me walking around thinking I’ve got some drug paralysis.”

After being cleared of Parkinson’s two years ago, the aging rocker, along with pretty much everyone else in the world, had assumed that 30-plus years of hard substances had contributed to his confused and unintelligible persona.

Despite the objections of a number of Texas senators, it looked like everything was set for a stretch of Texas Highway 130, part of the Central Texas Turnpike Project, to be renamed “Willie Nelson Turnpike” in honor of the country music luminary. Except as it turns out, Willie don’t go for that.

In a letter to State Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos dated April 13, Joel Katz, a lawyer for Nelson, said the singer was honored by Barrientos’ initiative, “however Willie simply does not feel that the naming of a toll road in his honor comports with his world view on either a personal or an artistic level.”

Really, do you know how hard it is to dig up toll change every 10 miles and keep the bong lit? Hella hard.

However, in Canton, Ohio, the city council voted with almost no opposition to naming a part of a street for soul superstars The O’Jays. The street will be called The O’Jays Parkway. Eight council members voted for the change, with two abstaining and one voting against renaming the street. According to The Associated Press, Councilman Greg Hawk, who grew up on Mahoning Road, abstained from Monday night’s vote, saying he would have trouble explaining to his 83-year-old mother that he changed the name of the street where he was born.

The street, formerly named for a Delaware Indian word meaning “salt lick,” will now be named for a funk band’s hot licks. I’m sure Willie’s cool with that one.

Eminem’s label, Eight Mile Style, has agreed to an undisclosed financial settlement with Apple Computer over the use of one of the rapper’s songs. Apparently Apple sought Em’s approval for the use of “Lose Yourself” for an iPod ad, but then ran with it anyway when rebuked. The ad featured a 10-year-old singing the Oscar-winning song and ran for three months in 2003.

According to lawyers, both parties had reached mutual satisfaction concerning the lawsuit, with Apple promising the body of the 10-year-old will never be found and Eminem promising to never act again.

Looks like Dwight Yoakam’s finally getting his. The country music star and B-list actor wore cowboy boots with his cap and gown when he got an honorary doctorate from Ohio Valley College in Vienna, Va. After the ceremony, during which Dwight only nodded off twice and told a tasteless joke about a horse, a rabbi and the U.S. flag, he took time to speak with each graduate and gave them autographed pictures. An elated Yoakam said of the ceremony and the graduates, “Both these boys seem real smart, and I’m hoping one of them can read this diploma to me.”

Vienna Mayor David Nohe gave Yoakam the key to the city. “I’ll use it wisely,” Yoakam told the mayor. “It’s all about the designated driver.”