Actor/director/writer/producer Garry Marshall, a beloved figure in show business responsible for such TV hits as Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy as well as helming such bigscreen blockbusters as The Flamingo Kid, Beaches, Pretty Woman and The Princess Diaries, died on July 19 from complications of pneumonia following a stroke at a hospital in Burbank, Calif. He was 81. Born in the Bronx, N.Y., on Nov. 13, 1934, Mr. Marshall broke into showbiz in the late 1950s as a joke writer, eventually earning his way to becoming a writer on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar. In 1970, Mr. Marshall adapted his first TV hit, The Odd Couple, from the Neil Simon play with writing partner Jerry Belson. He went on to create the sitcoms Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley (which starred his sister, Penny Marshall) and Mork & Mindy (which introduced the world to Robin Williams). The following decade, Mr. Marshall turned his talents to feature films, finding his first hit with The Flamingo Kid in 1984, followed by Overboard (1987) and Beaches (1989). His 1990 film Pretty Woman propelled Julia Roberts to stardom, and 2001's The Princess Diaries made Anne Hathaway a household name. Then came the celebrity-filled, holiday-themed comedies: 2010's Valentine's Day, 2011's New Year's Eve and this year, Mother's Day. Mr. Marshall also had several memorable acting credits, starring in '90s films such as Soapdish and A League of Their Own and serving as micro-managing network president Stan Lansing on TV's Murphy Brown. More recently, he appeared on episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Bojack Horseman and Hot in Cleveland. He remained prolific even in his final years, having recently finished a rewrite of Pretty Woman for the Broadway-bound musical. "He loved telling stories, making people laugh, and playing softball, winning numerous championships," read a statement sent by his rep. "Even at age 81, he had a record this year of 6-1 pitching for his team." "Rest In Peace .. Thank you for my professional life. Thank you for your loyalty, friendship and generosity," Happy Days star Henry Winkler tweeted upon hearing the news of Mr. Marshall's passing. Mr. Marshall is survived by his wife of 53 years, nurse Barbara Sue Marshall; two sisters, Ronny Hallin and Penny Marshall; three children, Lori, a writer, Kathleen, a theater producer, and Scott, a film and TV director. - USA Today, 7/20/16.
The 2014 Fender Stratocaster played by Eric Clapton at his 70th birthday concert in 2015 is expected to raise more than $20,000 for charity when it goes under the hammer in a live auction in Dallas on July 23. Currently owned by Johnny Nicholas of the country group Asleep at the Wheel, the Clapton-autographed guitar was intended to benefit Nicholas's wife Brenda, but, sadly, she passed away from leukemia in June. All proceeds from the Dallas-based Heritage Auction will now go toward Leukemia research. - TMZ.com, 7/16/16...... After bowing out of Yes's 2016 European tour in the spring to undergo surgery to repair an injured disc in his lower back, drummer Alan White says the operation has had a "very positive result" and that he hopes to "be back in good form and ready to rejoin the Summer YES Tour in the near future." "I'm eager to be on the road with the band but also need to ensure my recovery is complete before doing so," White tweeted on July 18. Yes will kick off the American leg of the tour on July 25 in Lancaster, Penn., with drummer Jay Schellen (Hurricane, Asia, World Trade) filling in for White until he can recover. The tour is set to wrap on Sept. 18 in San Diego. - Billboard, 7/18/16...... Queen has issued a statement saying that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's use of their 1977 classic "We Are the Champions" during Day 1 of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 18 was "unauthorized" and "against our wishes." "An unauthorised use at the Republican Convention against our wishes," the band tweeted on July 19. Also on the same day, Queen's publishing company, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, weighed in: "Sony/ATV Music Publishing has never been asked by Mr. Trump, the Trump campaign or the Trump Organization for permission to use 'We are the Champions' by Queen. On behalf of the band, we are frustrated by the repeated unauthorized use of the song after a previous request to desist, which has obviously been ignored by Mr. Trump and his campaign." Sony/ATV went on to say that the band "does not want its music associated with any mainstream or political debate in any country," and that it does not want "We Are the Champions" "to be used as an endorsement of Mr. Trump and the political views of the Republican Party." "We trust, hope and expect that Mr. Trump and his campaign will respect these wishes moving forward," the statement concluded. In June, Queen guitarist Brian May had cautioned the Trump campaign to refrain from using the rousing ballad, saying "permission to use the track was neither sought nor given... We are taking advice on what steps we can take to ensure this use does not continue." - Billboard, 7/19/16...... In related news, the '60s pop band The Turtles is threatening to sue the Republicans for using its No. 1 1967 smash "Happy Together" as the GOP kicked off its convention earlier in the day. Turtles lead singer Howard Kaylan tweeted on July 18 that "We never approved this use... Now we call the laywers." In addition to Queen and The Turtles, several other musicians -- including Adele, Neil Young, the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and REM -- have refused to let the controversial politician use their music at his rallies. Meanwhile, cover of David Bowie's "Station to Station" by the house band at the convention, led by GE Smith of Saturday Night Live fame, has also raised eyebrows by some. The traditionally conservative audience was treated to the "Station to Station" lyric "It's not the side-effects of the cocaine / I'm thinking it must be love." - Billboard/New Musical Express, 7/19/16...... Paul McCartney was joined onstage by Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir during Macca's concert at Boston's Fenway Park on July 17 for jams of Wings' "Hi, Hi Hi" and the Beatles' classic "Helter Skelter." Weir's Dead & Company had just completed a two-night stand at the same venue, and Weir stuck around to perform with the Beatles legend for the first time ever. After the Boston gig, McCartney's One on One summer tour continued to Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Penn. - Billboard, 7/17/16...... In other McCartney news, a letter from Paul to the late Prince sold at auction for $14,822 on July 17. In the letter, McCartney greeted Prince as "Dear Princely person" and asked his fellow musician to help him set up the Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts. Sir Paul wrote that he was contacting "friends and all good people" asking for donations. He also told Prince: "One of these days you'll have to come and teach a class some moves!!" It is unknown if Prince made good on McCartney's request, as the vast majority of Prince's contributions to charity were made anonymously. Meanwhile, former Police frontman Sting has recorded a tribute to Prince as part of his first straight pop album in 17 years. Sting is putting the finishing touches on 57th & 9th, which will include "50,000," a ballad written the week Prince died in April. The album is named after the intersection in New York where Sting is recording 57th & 9th, which is produced by Sting's new manager, Martin Kierszenbaum. - NME, 7/19/16...... Alice Cooper says he's "tired of the rhetoric -- the mudslinging -- the media frenzy" going on in the current political scene in both the US and the UK, and is launching simultaneous campaigns to become both President and Prime Minister, respectively. On his just launched website aliceforprimeminister.com, the '70s shock-rocker outlines his manifesto, which includes "Getting Brian Johnson back in AC/DC, a snake in every pot, no more pencils no more books," and "adding Lemmy [Kilmister] to Mt Rushmore." Other amusing points include "a ban on talking during movies in theatres" and a "ban on taking selfies, except on a designated National Selfie Day." "He is asking his fellow Americans, his British friends and all those around the world who are disillusioned with their leaders, to join The Wild Party," according to a press release. "Alice Cooper is tackling the everyday concerns discussed among his fellow woman and man - the ordinary, decent hard working (and rocking) people he meets and entertains every day while performing nearly 100 concerts a year around the world." To accompany the campaign, the Coop has recorded a new version of his classic track "Elected," which originally came out in 1972. - New Musical Express, 7/15/16...... Diana Ross's summer tour hit the legendary Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on July 15, for her first L.A. performance in nearly three years. Descending from the ceiling of the Bowl stage on a swing while singing her smash single "I'm Coming Out," the Supremes legend then tore through a hits medley of "More Today Than Yesterday," "My World Is Empty Without You," "Baby Love," "Stop! In the Name of Love," "Come See About Me" and "You Can't Hurry Love." Ross also treated the crowd to a salute to the late Billie Holiday and the Holiday biopic Lady Sings the Blues in which she starred, performing "Don't Explain" and "Good Morning Heartache." Ross dedicated the latter tune to her former love and Motown label boss, Berry Gordy. She encored with a cover of Gloria Gaynor' "I Will Survive," "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)," and a reprise of "I Will Survive." Ross played a second show at the venue the following night. - Billboard, 7/16/16...... Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Heart, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and Cheap Trick kicked off their co-headlinging Rock Hall Three For All Tour at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in suburban Detroit on July 14. All three bands have a touring history together -- tour headliner Heart and Cheap Trick date back to the '70s, and Heart and Jett have hit the road together extensively during the past couple years. "We all know each other and like each other, so it's cool," Heart's Ann Wilson said. Though the three acts did not collaborate at all during their sets, they made a point of paying homage to their own heroes as well as showcasing their respective repertoires. Cheap Trick payed homage to The Move with "California Man," Joan Jett covered Sly & the Family Stone's "Everyday People," and Heart paid tribute to Led Zeppelin with covers of "Immigrant Song" and "Misty Mountain Hop." The tour runs through Sept. 23. - Billboard, 7/15/16...... Speaking of Led Zeppelin, the band has announced it will release The Complete BBC Sessions, a 33-track album featuring a song not heard since it was first broadcast on Auntie Beeb in 1969, on Sept. 16. The release features a 3-song session from March 1969 that was taped from AM radio in Europe who came forwrd with the recording and restored to releaseable quality by Zeppelin's Jimmy Page. Also included is the first broadcast version of "Stairway To Heaven," aired in April 1971 from BBC Paris Cinema in London's Regent Street, as well as the only performance of "Sunshine Woman," which the band never recorded. The first version of The BBC Sessions was released in 1997, but the new edition adds a disc of eight previously-unreleased songs as well as the rare "White Summer," previously only available on the 'Led Zeppelin' box-set. The other 24 songs have been remastered by Page and engineer John Davis. The album will be available as a 2-CD/4-LP standard edition, 3-CD/5-LP deluxe edition, digital download, and a deluxe box-set. - New Musical Express, 7/19/16...... In a new interview with the UK's Radio Times, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards vowed his iconic band will continue until their death, saying it's what the best bands do. "They're not really bands if they don't last; they're groups," Richards says. "We're a band and a real band sticks until it dies. These bands, they become big, but they're generational, just for their one decade. They literally go when their testosterone goes." In the same interview, the musician also said that the Stones "are still hoping to release their best music," 52 years after they released their self-titled debut LP in 1964. Richards also criticized the Beatles as live performers: "Musically, The Beatles had a lovely sound and great songs. But the live thing? They were never quite there." He added that he enjoyed being friends with the band, but that he "excommunicated" them when they fell under the influence of mystic leader Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1967. "They wanted somebody else to take them away. They didn't want to be God any more, so they plugged it all onto the Maharishi," he said. The Stones previously announced that they are continuing to work on their first studio album since 2005's A Bigger Bang, and have hinted it may be the first covers album of their 52-year career. - NME, 7/19/16...... Performing during a Kiss concert in Bozeman, Montana on July 16, Gene Simmons took a tumble onstage as the band closed its set with "Rock and Roll All Nite." After falling backwards, the 66-year-old Simmons was soon picked back up by security staff and didn't appear to be hurt. - NME, 7/18/16...... Steven Tyler's song "Hold On (Won't Let Go)" has been named the official song for the Professional Bull Riders, a Colorado-based bull riding organization, and the song will be used on CBS television broadcasts of live bull riding events. Tyler cut the song for his new debut solo album, We're All Somebody From Somewhere, and was so enamored with the results that he flew out to the Nevada desert to shoot the video for the CBS intro. Tyler has just kicked off a 19-city solo tour of the US titled the "The Steven Tyler... Out on a Limb Tour." - Billboard, 7/15/16...... Jeff Beck is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his solo career in 2016, with a new album called Loud Hailer, a new book titled BECK01, and a summer tour with one of his favorite fellow guitarists, Buddy Guy. Beck will formally celebrate his golden anniversary on Aug. 10 with a blowout show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, with Guy, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, and other special guests to be announced. His 11-song LP Loud Hailer features vocalist Rosie Bones and guitarist Carmen Vandenberg, and uses a decidedly different approach than his instrumental-dominated predecessors. "What it allowed me to do was become more of an accompanist, so not to do an album of guitar recitals," Beck says. In his book BECK01, Beck documents his dual love of music and vintage hot rods, which he rebuilds at home in England. "I don't like the idea of somebody hoisting their hobby on somebody, but when I thought about it I thought maybe there's enough people who're interested in seeing how they all came together," Beck says. Details about the book are available at www.jeffbeckbook.com. - Billboard, 7/15/16...... Alan Vega of the trailblazing electronic duo Suicide died in his sleep on July 16. He was 78. Born in Brooklyn in 1938, Vega formed Suicide with multi-instrumentalist Martin Rev in 1970. Inspired by a Stooges concert in New York in the early 1970s, Vega -- who had worked as an artist and sculptor for several years -- incorporated Stooges frontman Iggy Pop's confrontational, audience-baiting tactics into the group's act. Suicide's 1977 self-titled debut is widely considering one of the seminal albums of electronic music, and was hailed by such critics as Lester Bangs. Suicide was among the earliest users of synthesizers and drum machines, and the duo ushered in a new sound that would evolve and endure for decades. The group performed at such legendary NY music venues as CBCG and Max's Kansas City during the mid-'70s, alongside such artists as the Ramones and Blondie, and had been scheduled to headline California's Desert Daze festival in October. Bruce Springsteen paid tribute to Vega in a post on his Facebook page, calling him "one of the great revolutionary voices in rock and roll." - Billboard, 7/17/16...... Bonnie Brown, one of the three siblings of the country trio The Browns, died on July 16 in Little Rock, Ark., of complications of lung cancer. She was 77. With older siblings Jim Ed and Maxine Brown, The Browns helped define the Nashville sound of the 1950s and '60s. They were inducted in 2015 into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum after Jim Ed's death earlier that year. After scoring a No. 1 hit "The Three Bells," the group disbanded in 1968 as Jim Ed and Maxine pursued solo careers. All three reunited in the '80s and again in 2006 for a PBS special Country Pop Legends. Offstage, Bonnie Brown notably once broke up with a young Elvis Presley "because he was, she said, a lousy kisser." - AP, 7/16/16.
According to a report in the U.K. paper The Sun, Mick Jagger is about to become a dad for the eighth time, as his current girlfriend Melanie Hamrick is reportedly three months pregnant. Jagger, 72, and Hamrick, a 29-year-old ballet dancer, have been dating for the past two years. A source close to the couple says they're "surprised and happy" for the impending arrival, and that Mick isn't "fazed" by the news, even though he already has seven children with four other women, including four kids with his former longtime partner, supermodel/actress Jerry Hall. Jagger and Hamrick were first noticed together on a hotel balcony in Switzerland in June 2014, just three months after Jagger's fashion designer L'Wren Scott tragically committed suiced. In May, Jagger's Rolling Stones bandmate Ronnie Wood and his wife Sally Humphreys became the parents of twin girls. - WENN.com, 7/14/16...... Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry was hospitalized on July 10 after having a health scare as he was performing with the superband Hollywood Vampires during their performance at the Coney Island Ampitheater in Brooklyn. Perry, 65, was forced to leave the stage as the band performed a cover of Spirit's "I Got a Line on You." After the incident, fans and fellow artists tweeted their support for Perry, who is said to be in stable condition, including Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, who on July 13 said he is "really concerned" about his longtime bandmate. "It's starting to scare me a little bit," said Tyler. "I know they're putting out nothing, but he's recovering, he's really good, he fainted, exhaustion. But I know my brother. He's just about the only other guy that's as passionate about his art as I am," added Tyler, who is on the road promoting his new album We're All Somebody From Somewhere. Tyler also noted that he "knows how to maintain my career, my health" [but] "I don't think [Joe] knows how to... I think he's out there and someone's overbooking him." Perry is currently off the Hollywood Vampires tour, though a statement was released promising that he'll "rejoin his fellow Vampires on stage again soon." In addition to Perry, the Hollywood Vampires is comprised of Alice Cooper, Ian Hunter, Johnny Depp and Matt Sorum, and the band was forced to cancel a July 11 televised performance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. In other Aerosmith-related news, Steven Tyler's daughter, actress Liv Tyler, gave birth to her third child, a daughter named Lulu Rose, on July 9. Tyler is engaged to sports agent David Gardner, and the couple are also the parents of a one-year-old son, Sailor Gene. Tyler, 38, also has an 11-year-old son, Milo, from her marriage to British rocker Royston Langdon. - Billboard/WENN.com, 7/13/16...... Late soul superstar Marvin Gaye's three children have given their blessing to a planned documentary on Gaye called Marvin, What's Going On? that will focus on his 1971 classic LP What's Going On. "We would like to express our excitement about the upcoming documentary feature film about our father and the creation of his amazing 'What's Going On' album," Gaye's children -- Nona, Marvin III and Frankie Gaye -- told Variety in a statement. "We are proud that his relevance remains intact, and we look forward to being a part of this cinematic journey." The documentary, which is being developed by Noah Media Group and Greenlight, will be "the defining portrait of this visionary artist and his impeccable album," according to the documentary's producers. It is expected to begin shooting later in 2016 in Detroit, Los Angeles and Washington, and feature never-before-seen footage as well as interviews with Motown's "top stars." - Billboard, 7/14/16...... In addition to his groundbreaking musical talent, late rock icon David Bowie also had a keen eye for fine art and modern British classics, and he amassed a collection of more than 400 objects d'art over his lifetime. Now Sotherby's Fine Art Auctions has announced it will publicly display the Bowie-owned paintings by "many of the most important British artists of the 20th Century" in November before putting them under the hammer in a three-part sale. The "Bowie/Collector" collection will be exhibited from Nov. 1-10 at Sotherby's in London, with review exhibitions also to be held in New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. "Art was, seriously, the only thing I'd ever wanted to own," Bowie told the New York Times in 1998. "It can change the way that I feel in the mornings." Meanwhile, Bowie's final album Blackstar, which was release on Jan. 8 and only two days before his death, has been named the best selling vinyl LP of 2016 to date. According to the vinyl publication The Vinyl Factory, Blackstar has sold 57,000 copies on vinyl so far this year, ahead of Adele's latest effort 25, which has sold 36,000 vinyl copies. - Billboard/NME, 7/14/16...... Pink Floyd's David Gilmour played his first ever concert at the historic Pompeii Ampitheatre in Italy on July 10. The 2,600 strong crowd was treated to an audio visual spectacle featuring lasers, pyrotechnics and a setlist featuring songs from throughout Gilmour's career, including the Pink Floyd classics "The Great Gig in the Sky" and "One of These Days" as well as selections from his latest solo album, Rattle That Lock. The ancient Roman stone ampitheatre was famously buried in ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, and only uncovered after the Second World War. In 1971, Gilmour and the other members of Pink Floyd played there, with no audience present, for their 1972 concert film Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii. Gilmour's 2016 Rattle That Lock World Tour will continue in Italy, Germany, France and Belgium before wrapping with a five night stand at the Royal Albert Hall in London. - New Musical Express, 7/11/16...... An unexpected power cut during a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert in Paris on July 11 forced the New Jersey rocker to keep the crowd entertained by signing autographs and chatting with fans in close proximity to the stage, even joining his bandmates for an impromptu conga line. Once power was returned to the AccorHotels Arena after 20 minutes, The Boss launched into a rendition of his 1984 hit "Dancing in the Dark." The concert was the first of two gigs at the venue, with the band also performing there on July 13 before heading to Rome on July 16 to continue the European leg of his The River tour. - NME, 7/12/16...... Meat Loaf says he's signed up to a diet and fitness regime after he recently collapsed on stage during a gig in Canada. Meat Loaf, whose real name is Marvin Lee Aday, was playing a concert in Edmonton, Alberta when the incident occurred. He had previously cancelled shows in Moose Jaw and Calgary earlier in the week due to illness. "I'm okay. Weak. I've gotta go to physical therapy," Meat Loaf told Classic Rock magazine. "I had back surgery and knee surgery within the last two years, and the knee surgery failed, so I haven't been able to work out on tour." He added that he is now on a diet and has "lost getting close to 20 pounds now... So we're trying to watch out for my health and make it easier onstage." Meat Loaf says he plans to lose another 15 before he takes his tour to the U.K. behind his forthcoming album, Braver Than We Are. - New Musical Express, 7/11/16...... The lyrics of Stevie Wonder's song "As" were quoted by Dallas Police Chief David Brown during a memorial service for five Dallas police officers who were fatally shot by a deranged gunman on July 7. Chief Brown said, among other lyrics: "Just as hate knows love's the cure, you can rest your mind assure that I'll be loving you always." Brown received a long, loud standing ovation from those in attendance. The five who died were shot during a protest against the police killings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Nine officers and two civilians were injured in the attack. Three days later on July 10 during a concert in the UK in Hyde Park for the British Summertime Festival, Stevie Wonder urged his fans to choose "love over hate" and expressed dismay over the troubles in the world. Wonder played his 1976 Grammy-winning album Songs in the Key of Life during the show, and at the start he told fans he loved them all in these difficult times, and asked them to live in positivity. "The songs and the words that we talk about, those conditions still exist in the world and that hurts my heart," he said. The Motown icon played for over two hours to a sellout London crowd of 65,000 people, closing this year's British Summertime series. - AP, 7/12/16...... Stuart "Woody" Wood, the guitarist with the recently reunited Bay City Rollers, announced on July 9 on his Facebook page that his concert later that evening at Scotland's T in the Park Festival in Perthshire would be his last with the band. Wood, 59, reunited with orginal BCR vocalist Les McKeown and bassist Alan Longmuir in Dec. 2015, and the three were reportedly working on new music with manager John McLaughlin. "Hi All...just to say TITP is my last gig," Wood posted on his Facebook page. "Disappointed is an understatement but outwith my control. Details will follow in due course...love as always,Woody x." Wood later denied rumours that his exit was due to health problems or otherwise. Les McKeown is set to release a new collection of music, Les McKeown: The Lost Songs, on Aug. 22 through iTunes and will continue to tour throughout the year with his group. - Billboard, 7/10/16...... British pop star Cliff Richard is reportedly planning a comeback after recently being cleared of charges of historical sex offences by U.K. authorities. A source close to Richard said the musician is "going to release his new album this year now that he's cleared his name... He's had it on hold for years now throughout this ordeal." In June, the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that Richard would not face charges after their investigation, which began in 2014, yielded "insufficient evidence to prosecute." "I have always maintained my innocence, co-operated fully with the investigation, and cannot understand why it has taken so long to get to this point," Richard said at the time. - NME, 7/12/16...... Organizers of the Rewind 80s Festival have announced the lineup for the 2016 edition of the annual concert series. The three star-studded festivals will include headline performances from such '80s acts as Adam Ant, Rick Astley, ABC, Big Country, Leo Sayer, Thomas Dolby and The Beat at Rewind Scotland, which takes place from July 22-24. For Rewind North, which occurs on Aug. 5-7, headliners include Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey, UB40, Go West and Nik Kershaw. The Rewind South edition, taking place on Aug. 19-21, will feature Lloyd Cole, Rick Astley, Adam Ant, Marc Almond and Roland Gift, among others. - Noble PR, 7/12/16...... Chaka Khan released a statement on July 10 announcing that she and her sister, Yvonne Stevens, also known as Taka Boom, have both entered a drug rehabilitation program to battle their addictions to prescription drugs. Khan, 63, said the recent death of Prince motivated her to seek treatment and that said she has been battling an addiction to the same medication that led to Prince's untimely death on Apr. 21. "Unfortunately, I will miss concert appearances over the summer," she said. "However, it's vital that I put my health and well-being first. I know that I am disappointing some of my fans, but I also know they would want me to recover and be well and healthy." Khan said that she and her sister "agreed we would take this journey together and support each other through the recovery." The Grammy-winning Khan had one of her biggest hits with the Prince-penned song "I Feel For You," and the two were longtime friends. An autopsy found that Prince died of an overdose of fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller. - AP, 7/10/16...... The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced on July 12 that it was closing the books on the unsolved case of the '70s hijacker known as D.B. Cooper, reasoning that its crime-fighting resources would be better used elsewhere. The famous case began on Nov. 24, 1971, when when a dark-haired man who called himself Dan Cooper, dressed in a business suit and tie and believed to be in his mid-40s, boarded a Northwest Orient Airlines flight in Portland, Oregon, bound for Seattle. After take-off, the man handed a flight attendant a note claiming he had a bomb in his briefcase and opened it to show a mass of wires and red sticks, according to the FBI's account of the incident. The aircraft safely landed in Seattle, where the man freed 36 passengers in exchange for $200,000 in cash from the airline and four parachutes, but kept several crew members aboard as the plane took off again, ordered this time to fly to Mexico City. At some point during that flight, at an altitude of about 10,000 feet (1.9 miles), the man executed one of the most flamboyant getaways in criminal history, leaping out of the back of the plane into the night with a parachute and the ransom money. Whether Cooper survived the jump over a rugged, wooded landscape somewhere between Seattle and Reno, Nevada, has never been confirmed, and his true identity has never been established. The FBI said that evidence obtained during the course of the investigation "will now be preserved for historical purposes at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C." - Yahoo News, 7/12/16...... Oscar-winning director Michael Cimino, best known for the 1978 Vietnam war epic The Deer Hunter, died on July 2 at age 77. Preceding Apocalypse Now and Platoon, the acclaimed The Deer Hunter was one of the earliest big-budget studio films to earnestly grapple with the war in Vietnam and starred Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and John Savage as three steelworker best friends from blue-collar Pennsylvania who go off to Vietnam and are all indelibly scarred in their own ways. Cimino's 1980 film Heaven's Gate, on the other hand, was a $44 million financial flop that turned the hot writer-director into a bruised and buried scapegoat. - Entertainment Weekly, 7/10/16.