In a lengthy new interview with Billboard, Cher revealed she has had to "hide my telephone" since Donald Trump was elected president, because the popular social media service is "like a drug. It creeps into your life, and you have to say, 'Time to put a stop to this. I'm a grown-up.'" But Cher's commitment to mature silence never seems to last long, especially if Trump does something egregious. "The president is cheating and getting away with it, and using the White House to make money, and he's going to take health care away from people, and people are going die," Cher says. "It's outrageous. You feel like you're screaming 'Fire!' and no one's listening." Cher also had strong opinions about the Democrat party: "The Democrats f---ed up so bad in their message, and how old [the leadership] is. You've got to pray that old people die before young people can get involved with the party. I told Hillary [Clinton] she should have a group of millennials give their ideas about government." Cher, who has 3.3 million Twitter folowers, has been dubbed as "the world's most beloved Twitter user" by Buzzfeed.com, and coined her own 140-character language, full of emojis, CAPS LOCKS and insults. The diva, who turns 71 on May 20, continues her Classic Cher Tour, as well as her residency at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which dates back to her "Farewell Tour" in 2002. - Billboard, 5/18/17...... In 1992, Peter Gabriel helped found the WITNESS organization after seeing the effect that the videotape of the Los Angeles Police Department's beating of Rodney King had on the country. Now the prog rock legend has written a new essay for Time magazine about the importance of "video justice" to document human rights violations. "The value of video footage lies not just in its existence, but in the inability to deny what is captured for posterity," Gabriel writes. "Timely, accurate and impartial information is the most powerful force we have to protect the fundamental rights of all people. Now more than ever, there are more bystanders willing to step forward and speak truth to power. And, as ever, they need your help to do it." - Stereogum.com, 5/17/17...... The first ever music video from Chuck Berry for the late rock & roll legend's song "Big Boys" from his upcoming posthumous LP CHUCK has debuted on the NPR.com website. Directors Matt Bizer and Curtis Wayne Millard say they had one goal in mind when shooting the video, which features an elaborate dance sequence at a high school sock hop. "Chuck Berry tunes are a good time and they tell stories that everyone can relate with, so we wanted to stay true to that. When we where shooting the video, Chuck Berry was still with us and during post-production we found out he had passed on. We did not know how to really process it all. In a way, I think we are still processing the entire experience." CHUCK, Berry's first album in four decades, is due June 16 via Dualtone Records. - Billboard, 5/17/17...... Barry Manilow has been forced to cancel two concerts in Los Angeles and Chicago on doctor's orders because of sprained vocal cords. Manilow, 73, was to perform on May 14 at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and at Allstate Arena outside Chicago on May 17. A message posted on his Facebook page on May 14 said Manilow was ordered to rest, and he is "very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause." The Chicago show has been rescheduled for July 29 and the Los Angeles show for Aug. 4. Manilow is touring behind his latest album, This is My Town: Songs of New York. - AP, 5/14/17...... In a May 18 interview with a BBC Radio 6 music show, late Beatles producer George Martin's son Giles Martin confirmed that the iconic quartet's 1968 double-LP the "White Album" is next in line to be given the deluxe re-mix treatment. Giles, who recently worked engineer Sam Okell to re-mix the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album in stereo, said "the 'White Album', which will be the next release -- that was when they started becoming properly indulgent." "There are so many takes of 'Sexy Sadie', for instance. The efficiency went slightly out the window," he said. Martin further explained his motivation to re-mix early Beatles material -- both giving collectors something to get excited about and modernising the band's appeal. "My motivation -- when I tell my kids or grandkids about this album that changed the face of pop music, you want them to put it on a go, 'Yeah, I get it!' rather than, 'This sounds a bit old'" he said. - New Musical Express, 5/18/17...... In other Beatles news, Apple Corps has announced plans on Twitter to open a Beatles "pop-up shop" in Liverpool on May 25. The shop, which will be open through June 11, will celebrate the 50th anniversary re-release of the band's seminal Sgt. Pepper's album and will be located at 1 Mathew Street in the group's hometown. The address is notable because it is just a few doors down from 10 Mathew Street, location of the legendary Cavern Club, the venue where the Beatles honed their craft in their early days. A second tweet promised "lots of exclusive products," encouraging Beatles fans to arrive at midnight on the first evening to be the first to buy the anniversary edition of the album. Several special reissue packages of CD and vinyl versions of Sgt. Pepper's will be released on May 26 featuring new audio mixes of the legendary album and a special super deluxe six-disc set full of unreleased outtakes. - Billboard, 5/17/17...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, Paul McCartney has shared a photo on Twitter of himself in costume for the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. News of Macca's cameo appearance in the film first came in March, and while details of his role are under wraps, the IMDb lists his role as "Jail Guard 2." His appearance, which was filmed after the main shoot had been completed, has been described as "an extra big set-piece scene," which is reportedly "built around" McCartney. Dead Men Tell No Tales, in which Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow with Javier Bardem joining the franchise as the film's main villain, hits theaters on May 26. - NME, 5/13/17...... The Eagles' member Don Henley revealed during a radio interview with Dallas sports station KTCK that Deacon Frey, son of late Eagles vocalist/guitarist Glenn Frey, will play with the Eagles on their Classic East and Classic West festival dates in July. When one of the KTCK interviewers casually mentioned that Frey's son was playing with the band, Henley responded, "Well, I'm not supposed to say that... There's going to be an official announcement in a few days, but let's just do it here." Henley continued: "Glenn's son Deacon is a very talented young man, and he seems to be up for the task. He's enthusiastic about it and he's been working real hard on it, and he's gonna do it with us. And I think that's appropriate." The Eagles, along with Fleetwood Mac, Journey and more, will headline both the Classic West (July 15-16 at L.A.'s Dodger Stadium) and Classic East (July 29-30 at New York's Citi Field) festivals this summer. - Billboard, 5/16/17...... Meat Loaf traveled to Toronto, Canada, on May 15 to meet the cast of the brand new "Bat Out of Hell - The Musical" for the first time and join them briefly onstage for a four-song mini-set. The show, starring Andrew Polec as Strat and his love interest Christina Bennington as Raven, is based on Meat Loaf's massive-selling 1977 album of the same name, and was originally conceived by its songwriter Jim Steinman for the stage in 1975. In fact, it was performed once, under the name "Neverland," in 1977. It had its world premiere at the Opera House in Manchester, England, earlier in 2017 and opens in London's West End at the Coliseum June 5. The North American premiere will be in Toronto, starting Oct. 14. - Billboard, 5/16/17...... Country music legend Loretta Lynn is recovering at a rehabilitation facility after being released from the hospital after suffering a stroke earlier in May. According to a post on the 85-year-old Lynn's website, the singer/songwriter is now "doing great." "Loretta wants to thank everybody for their prayers love and support. Loretta has been moved from hospital facility in to rehabilitation and we're happy to report she is doing great," the message reads. Lynn suffered from a stroke on May 4 at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. She was then admitted into a Nashville hospital with the expectation she would make a full recovery. Her doctors have advised her to stay off the road while she recuperates and upcoming scheduled shows will be postponed. - Billboard, 5/15/17...... Billy Joel played to a packed Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on May 13, his first performance in Los Angeles since May 2014 when he played three nights at the Hollywood Bowl. The 68-year-old pop songsmith opened the show with "Movin' Out, then slapped down a quick, convincing snack of Led Zeppelin's "Rock & Roll" in his 1980 hit, "You May Be Right." Other highlights were "Vienna," which has become a stealth crowd favorite nationwide, and "Zanzibar," before which Joel mused "So this is where the Dodgers ended up," adding that once they moved, "I became a f--king Yankees fan -- now I'm a Mets fan and I miss the Dodgers." After renditions of "Scenes from An Italian Restaurant," his self-declared favorite, and his signature "Piano Man," Joel closed the show with "You May Be Right." - Billboard, 5/15/17...... E Street Band guitarist/vocalist Steven Van Zandt releases his new solo album, Soulfire, on May 19. The set hearkens back to Van Zandt's classic first solo album of gritty, greasy, horn-accented '60s -style rock and soul, Men Without Women, and fans of his work with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes and Gary U.S. Bonds will also appreciate updated versions of "Love on the Wrong Side of Town," "I Don't Want to Go Home" and "Standing in the Line of Fire." "Soulfire is a collection of stuff I've done in the past," Van Zandt recently told Billboard. "Each song is an element of who I am: There's a doo-wop song on the album; a blues song, R&B and some jazz. For people who are going to be hearing me for the first time, it's an introduction to who I am. For those who are familiar with my work, Soulfire is a return to how most people identify me, which is that soul-meets-rock thing." - Billboard, 5/16/17...... Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne reportedly renewed their wedding vows over the second weekend in May in an intimate ceremony held in Las Vegas. The ceremony comes following a turbulent year for the pair, who split briefly in 2016 after the Black Sabbath frontman admitted to having had an affair with a hairstylist. Sharon and Ozzy apparently both cried during their vow renewal, with Sharon, 64, forgiving her husband for his previous indiscretions and thanking him for "coming home." Ozzy told Hello! magazine that "for me, this was actually our real wedding day." "This is the one that I will remember," Ozzy told the publication. "Sharon and I have been through so much, and this honestly feels like a new beginning." Meanwhile, Sharon also explained that she now feels closer to Ozzy, 68, than ever before. "It was hard to rebuild the trust, but I can't imagine my life without Ozzy," she shared. "The ceremony was just beautiful. We've fallen in love all over again." - WENN.com, 5/17/17...... Lionel Richie delivered a graduation address to more than 1,000 graduates at the Berklee College of Music on May 13 at the Agganis Arena in Boston, after accepting his own honorary degree from the institution. Richie talked about choosing songwriting versus performing as a career, telling the graduates: "You are sitting in prime seats to tell the world what's on your mind." The former Commodores member was among five music-industry professionals who received an honorary degree of doctor of music. - AP, 5/14/17...... In a new interview with the UK's Vice.com, Blondie singer Debbie Harry confessed that she'd "had several" stalkers during Blondie's 43-year-long career. "I've had a couple of ex-boyfriends who didn't understand the "ex", and that was problematic," Harry explained further, adding: "On the fan level, I've never had anything really seriously bad. But there was one guy who wrote to me endlessly -- I had shopping bags full of letters from him. And the handwriting was very tiny and cramped and I couldn't even read them. So I handed them over to a detective and the guy was contacted. It turned out he was this tragic guy who had gone off his meds and nobody was paying any attention to him, so he wrote to me." Harry also voiced her opinion on drugs, saying "dependency on an illegal substance outlives the fun thing really quickly; it gets to be a real drag." Blondie released its 11th album, Pollinator, on May 5. - New Musical Express, 5/15/17...... Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has revealed that he's working on new music with Brian Eno and Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never ."Last week I wrote words and a melody over a track that Daniel Lopatin sent me, so I change depending on the situation," Byrne said of his songwriting process. "Lyrics are best when the writing is not obvious -- when they appear to be naturally occurring." When asked if he and Brian Eno would be recording more music together, Byrne responded; "Brian helped me a LOT on a record I'm finishing up now." - NME, 5/13/17...... Actor Powers Boothe, the Emmy-winning star of Sin City and Deadwood and who first rose to prominence playing the role of the notorious 1978 Guyana tragedy cult leader Jim Jones, died in his sleep of apparent natural causes on May 14. He was 68. Boothe, who grew up on a farm in Texas, began his acting career in the theater, playing a number of Shakespearean roles including Henry IV. He made his Broadway debut in the late '70s in "Lone Star & Pvt. Wars." In 1980, he won an Emmy for lead actor in a limited series or special for playing cult leader Jim Jones in CBS' Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones. He won that award during an actors strike and chose to cross the picket line to accept his trophy, saying, "This may be either the bravest moment of my career, or the dumbest." Boothe also was nominated two ensemble SAG Awards, first in 1996 alongside the cast of Nixon and then again in 2007 with the cast of Deadwood. He gained a reputation for playing villains with memorable roles in the action film Sudden Death (1995), Bill Paxton's Frailty (2001) and the nefarious Senator Roark in Sin City (2005). He also portrayed Alexander Haig in Nixon (1995) and a sheriff in another Oliver Stone film, U Turn (1997), and was unforgettable as the wicked gunman Curly Bill Brocius in Tombstone (1993). Perhaps his most famous villain role was Cy Tolliver, the ruthless saloon owner on Deadwood. More recently, Boothe took on the role of Gideon Malick as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, debuting the role on The Avengers and reprising it on ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He also spent three years as the lead in HBO's Philip Marlowe, Private Eye from 1983 to 1986. "It's with great sadness that I mourn the passing of my friend Powers Boothe. A dear friend, great actor, devoted father & husband," actor Beau Bridges tweeted after hearing of Boothe's passing. A rep for Boothe said that a private service will be held in his home state of Texas, with a memorial celebration under consideration as well. - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/14/17.
The Rolling Stones announced on May 9 they'll be launching a 2017 fall European tour on Sept. 9 in Hamburg, Germany, also visiting Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Holland, and Denmark before wrapping with two nights in Paris, France on Oct. 19 and 22. Frontman Mick Jagger says he's "so excited to be touring Europe this autumn and returning to some familiar places and some we've never done before." Jagger apologized to UK fans for not including dates there in a tweet on May 11, noting that there was a "lack of available venues because of sporting fixtures" and that the band "hopes to be there in 2018." Dubbed the "No Filter Tour," the jaunt follows the band's 2016 South American tour, which included a first-ever performance of Cuba. - AP, 5/9/17...... Prog-rockers Procol Harum say they'll be announcing a series of 50th anniversary concerts in the near future, and in a new Billboard interview founding member Gary Brooker reflected on the band's iconic 1967 track "A Whiter Shade of Pale," which has become a perennial selection on Greatest Songs list and a frequent soundtrack choice for movies (The Big Chill, The Commitments, New York Stories). "When it was written and I was singing it, just the piano and vocal, I thought, 'This is different'," Brooker says. "It was a good song and the recording came out very well, so that was job done. And of course it was a smash hit around the world straightaway, which is even more fantastic. But I never even thought 10 years ahead, let alone 50. I never thought that far in front at all." Brooker added that it's "still a mystery to me" why the song has such an enduring appeal. "There's people that have picked up the song along the way. And if I hear it myself on the radio, it always sounds different to all else that is going on in 2017, just like it sounded so different to everything else in 1967. It still sounds different," he said. Procol Harum released its latest album, Novum, earlier in 2017. - Billboard, 5/12/17...... The Ben & Jerry's ice cream company has announced a new flavor, "One Love," in honor of reggae legend Bob Marley on the 36th anniversary of his death. The company says a portion of proceeds from the limited-batch banana-flavored ice cream with caramel and graham cracker swirls and fudge peace signs will benefit a youth empowerment program in Jamaica. B&J says in a press release that the flavor was created in partnership with the Marley family and that Marley's "One Love" is "very connected to the kind of company we want to be. We don't do it through music, we do it through ice cream." Marley joins a long legacy of musicians who've been honored with their own B&J flavors, including Elton John (Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road), Queen (Bohemian Raspberry) and the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia (Cherry Garcia, Chocolate Cherry Garcia). In 2016, Ben & Jerry's released Satisfy My Bowl, a delicious mash-up of banana ice cream with caramel and cookie swirls with choclatey peace signs in honor of the 30th anniversary of Marley's iconic Legend album. - Billboard, 5/12/17...... A California appeals court ruled on May 8 that a long-gestating Jimi Hendrix concert film of a series of 1969 performances at London's Royal Albert Hall could someday see a wide release. The court ruled the owners of the rights to the film didn't violate a joint production deal by refusing to accept a limited distribution offer. "For almost a half-century, the two parties (or their predecessors) who own the rights to this film and its accompanying soundtrack have been lost in a purple haze of false starts and litigation," the decision began. In 2010, Experience Hendrix and The Last Experience agreed to produce the film for theatrical release -- but the deal fell apart over distribution and that prompted a lawsuit in 2011. - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/10/17...... Brian Wilson is extending his Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary World Tour with new dates in the UK, Europe and North America. The Beach Boys legend performed 99 shows around the world in 2016 in celebration of the seminal 1966 Pet Sounds LP turning 50, and reps for Wilson say after ticket sales to this final Pet Sounds Tour were exceptional, he decided to commit to 20 more concerts in North America and another 22 shows across Europe. "We never expected this reaction so we will continue to perform this album for people as long as they ask us to," Wilson said in a statement. The tour, which kicked off in Auckland, New Zealand in March 2016, continues May 9 at BJCC Concert Hall in Birmingham, Ala., and will skip across the Atlantic for a run of summer dates, then return for a batch of U.S. fall shows. As it stands, the tour will wrap on Oct. 14 at Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, Calif. - Billboard, 5/9/16...... Officials in St. Louis say they're planning to convert Chuck Berry's home at 3137 Whittier Street into a museum and to create a cultural district around it in honor of the late rock & roll legend. The city has begun to solicit bids for the project in north St. Louis where Berry lived for eight years in the 1950s and wrote many of his biggest hits, including "Maybelline," "Roll Over Beethoven," "Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Johnny B. Goode." The museum would anchor a "Chuck Berry Cultural District," to honor Berry, who died in March at age 90, and the area's African-American heritage. Berry, a lifelong resident of St. Louis, moved from the one-story red brick home in 1958, but he continued to perform regularly at a club not far from his 1950s home until shortly before his death. The city has owned the home since 2010, though it is currently is disrepair. Developers have until July 10 to submit ideas. - AP, 5/9/17...... The Federal Bureau of Investigation is actively investigating whether Randall Miller, director of the ill-fated Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider, was wrongfully prosecuted and incarcerated for his alleged role in the death of 27-year-old camera operator Sarah Jones. After the fatal accident on Feb. 20, 2014, prosecutors in Georgia charged Miller, who then took a plea deal for criminal trespassing and involuntary manslaughter. Miller was supposed to serve two years in prison, but only served about half that time thanks to problems later found with the plea agreement. He was released in March 2016, and at the time, those close to Jones expressed outrage. The Film Allman production company has been in litigation with New York Marine and General Insurance Company, which it accuses of sabotaging the film, and according to new court documents Film Allman says the topics of interest for the FBI include "probable civil rights violations" of the director and "the possible wrongful prosecution and incarceration of Mr. Miller." - The Hollywood Reporter, 5/10/17...... Queen guitarist Brian May is lashing out at British Prime Minister Theresa May after the PM's announcement on May 9 that she would allow Conservative MPs a free vote on whether to bring back fox hunting if the Conservatives win the snap General Election on June 8. May also said that she remains in favour of fox hunting. The announcement prompted May to take to social media to register his disgust with the politician's latest views. "It's official today," May posted. "The battle lines are now drawn. This awful woman will bring back blood sports, unless we stop her in her tracks," he added. May, long a champion of animal rights, has previously said that he wasn't totally "anti-Tory," and has praised animal rights advocates Henry Smith and Tracey Crouch. - New Musical Express, 5/10/17...... The NBC television network announced on May 10 that it has ordered a live production of the Broadway musical "Jesus Christ Superstar," with a premiere date of Easter Sunday, 2018. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, who wrote the music and lyrics, respectively, for the 1971 rock opera, with exec produce with Marc Platt, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. "Jesus Christ Superstar" was originally conceived as a concept album that hit #1 on the Billboard charts, and eventually made its way to the stage in 1971. It is based on the final week of Jesus' life, and features other historical figures in prominent roles including Judas Iscariot, Mary Magdalene, Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas, Annas, Peter, Simon Zealotes and King Herod. The musical has since been revived multiple times, most recently in 2012, and also produced a film in 1973. Live broadcasts have proven to be big business for the networks ever since NBC's "Sound of Music" grabbed 18.5 million viewers in 2013. - Billboard, 5/10/17...... Barry Manilow was honored with the 2017 BMI Icon Award during the 65th Annual BMI Pop Awards in Los Angeles on May 9. "I'm so honored to receive this award," said Manilow, who also congratulated all the songwriters in the room. "Even though I love producing, arranging and performing, my heart is in composing music -- and you guys know what I'm talking about." Manilow joined the ranks of such previous BMI Icon honorees as Nile Rodgers, Stevie Nicks, Paul Simon and Carole King. - Billboard, 5/10/17...... In a new interview with UK's The Guardian paper, Kinks frontman Ray Davies opened up about his Brexit fears, saying the UK's impending departure from the EU is "bigger than the Berlin Wall." "It's going to be a shift of gigantic proportions," Davies said. "Bigger than the Berlin Wall, like regrowth and replacement after a war. Hopefully we don't have a war or a huge crisis, but we're going to go through an immense change. We're reassessing our culture, our sensibilities, the way we react to other cultures. It's an imploding culture." On the subject of US Pres. Donald Trump, Davies said that he's "bumped into him a few times and it was all right... Like bumping into a bloke in a bar. It's hard to criticise and judge." Davies was recently knighted by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace for services to the arts. He previously received a CBE from Queen Elizabeth II in 2004. - NME, 5/11/17...... A Minnesota judge said on May 10 that he'll take a request that Prince's six siblings be declared his lawful heirs under advisement. Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide said in January he wouldn't declare the heirs of the late rock superstar until appeals run their course for others whose claims of heirship have been rejected. But lawyers for Prince's sister and five half-siblings don't want to wait, saying any further delays will increase costs to the estate and impede its efficient administration. Eide said Wednesday he'll take their request under advisement. Prince left no known will when he died of an accidental painkiller overdose in April 2016. - AP, 5/10/17...... Roger Waters performed "Deja Vu," the new single from his forthcoming album Is This the Life We Really Want?, on CBS's The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on May 8. Backed by an orchestra, the Pink Floyd co-founder also performed the album's lead single, "Smell the Roses." Is This the Life We Really Want? is due on June 2, and will be Waters' first solo album in 25 years. - NME, 5/9/17...... In other Pink Floyd-related news, Chicago's Trump Tower is set to be "obscured by pigs" inspired by the band's 1977 Animals LP for one day this summer. Architect Jeffrey Roberts is behind the stunt and first announced the installation, called "Flying Pigs On Parade," in Nov. 2016. As Architectural Digest reports, each pig is 30 feet by 15 feet and will be tethered to a barge on the Chicago river. Roberts also plans to move them to other cities in the US with buildings owned by Trump. "In 1977, Pink Floyd rendered their musical interpretation of the allegory into the concept album 'Animals' in response to social-political conditions in late-70s Britain," Roberts said of the project on its official website. "Like Orwell's book, the interpretative messages of 'Animals' have unfortunately become highly relevant again." A date is yet to be confirmed for the pigs to be put in place, but the project's website says Roberts is "negotiating a float date in late summer." - NME, 5/8/17...... Olivia Newton-John announced on May 9 on her Facebook page that she'll be postponing her May concerts due to what her management is calling "a bad issue" with her sciatica health condition. "Once the dates are rescheduled we will post the new dates ASAP. Apologies for any inconvenience," the message read. Newton-John had eight Midwest dates scheduled between May 10"20. She has more concerts planned for June and later in the year. - Billboard, 5/9/17...... The HBO premium cable channel has announced its planning a new movie about Fantasy Island cast member Herve Villechaize HBO Films has given the green light to My Dinner with Herv, a Sacha Gervasi movie starring Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) and Fifty Shades of Grey's Jamie Dornan and executive produced by Dinklage, Sacha Gervasi and Steven Zaillian. Written by Gervasi based on a story by him and Sean Macaulay and directed by Gervasi, My Dinner with Herv centers on an unlikely friendship that evolves over one wild night in L.A. between a struggling journalist, Danny Tate (Dornan), and actor Herv Villechaize (Dinkage), the world's most famous gun-toting dwarf, resulting in life-changing consequences for both. - Deadline.com, 5/9/17...... Michael Parks, a prolific character actor who found early fame in 1960s countercultural roles and later became a favorite of directors including Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith, died of as yet undisclosed causes on May 9 in Los Angeles. He was 77. In a career that spanned six decades, Parks acted in more than 100 films and TV shows, with many of his early starring roles in such anti-establishment '60s-era films as Wild Seed, The Happening, with Anthony Quinn, and Bus Riley's Back in Town, alongside Ann-Margaret. Parks also starred as a disillusioned, motorcycle-riding newsman in the 1969 series Then Came Bronson. For the series, Parks, who recorded a number of albums throughout his career, sang the popular closing theme song, "Long Lonesome Highway," which became a Top 20 hit in the US. Although the series lasted only one season, it featured an amazing number of guest stars from past legends to unknown future legends, plus almost every character actor who ever appeared on television. Parks found perhaps his most famous parts in the 1990s thanks to the interest of such independent filmmakers as Tarantino, Smith and Robert Rodriguez. Each turned to Parks again and again for meaty supporting roles. Tarantino cast him in multiple roles in both parts of Kill Bill and his Death Proof half of 2007's Grindhouse. He also played the Canadian drug runner Jean Renault on David Lynch's ABC TV series Twin Peaks. "Michael was, and will likely forever remain, the best actor I've ever known," Kevin Smith wrote on Instagram. "I wrote both 'Red State' and 'Tusk' for Parks, I loved his acting so much. He was hands-down the most incredible thespian I ever had the pleasure to watch perform. And Parks brought out the absolute best in me every time he got near my set." Parks was briefly married while 16 years old to Louise Johnson, with whom he had a daughter. He is survived by his wife, Oriana Parks, whom he married in 1997, and his son. - AP, 5/10/17.