As Alice Cooper prepares to release his 27th album, Paranormal, on July 28, the rock legend told the UK's New Musical Express that he "hates politics with a passion" and he has no desire to use it for commentary on the current political climate. "I know people incorporate politics into rock n' roll -- and I think that the antithesis of rock n' roll is politics," Cooper said. "That would be like me singing the Dow Jones report. When my parents would talk about politics I'd go into my room and put The Yardbirds on as loud as I could, because I couldn't care less about it. And now politics and rock n' roll are in bed together." He continued: "I don't know if it's fair for a rock star to tell his fans for who he's voting for. I just don't think that's fair, because he's using his popularity. What he's saying is that his audiences are sheep and they don't have a brain of their own, so I refuse to do that. The only thing I got political in was doing 'Elected' and that was a total satire on Alice Cooper running against Richard Nixon.... But who wants that job? It doesn't pay very well and I wouldn't take the pay cut." In June, Cooper announced that he and his original Alice Cooper Band will kick off a tour of Ireland and the UK on Nov. 8 in Dublin. - New Musical Express, 7/21/17...... Speaking of rock and politics, Randy Newman says he wrote a song about Pres. Donald Trump for his upcoming album, Dark Matter, but it was too "vulgar" to include. Newman says that in addition to a hilarious song called "Putin" -- with lyrics about how Russian dictator Vladimir Putin puts his pants on one leg at a time (and can power a nuclear reactor with the left side of his brain) -- the album almost included a track about Trump. "I did write about him. But the language was too vulgar. It felt too easy," he said. "The song was 'My dick's bigger than your dick/ It ain't braggin' if it's tru / My dick's bigger than your dick/ I can prove it too/ There it is! There's my dick/ Isn't that a wonderful sight?/ Run to the village, to town, to the countryside/ Tell the people what you've seen here tonight.'" But Newman said it just didn't seem like the right call. "I just didn't want to add to the problem of how ugly the conversation we're all having is, so I didn't put it out." But the singer/songwriter says he still has faith in people. "I've found that if you sit next to somebody and start talking they'll be pretty good. I've had no reason to feel differently," he said. Newman has just released the second single from Dark Matter, which hits stores on Aug. 4, called "Sonny Boy," a tribute to Chicago Blues great "Sonny Boy" Williamson. Newman tells a true story of Williamson, tracing his ascent in the Chicago music scene to his untimely end at the age of 34, and becomes "the only bluesman in heaven." He has released the song in a lyric video, a format that works when coupled with his clever and verbose style. - Billboard/Spin.com, 7/20/17...... Veteran producer Quincy Jones took the stand in the Michael Jackson royalties trial on July 20 in Los Angeles, peppering his testimony about his producer agreements with Jackson with colorful bits of music history. Jones, 84, said he considered 800 songs for Jackson's masterpiece Thriller album, noting finding songs is a producer's number one job. "A great song can make the worst artist in the world a star," he said, adding that making music requires extreme love, respect and trust. "I've never in my life done a record for money or fame." Jones, who is suing MJJ Productions, a company controlled by Jackson's estate, says he's owed tens of millions, his share of posthumous profits resulting from the exploitation of songs he produced. Jones told the crowded courtroom he met the King of Pop while working on The Wiz, and went on two produce his first three solo albums, Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad. Jones' attorneys argue his written agreements with Jackson clearly state that he's entitled to a share of licensing revenue when the songs he produced are used in films and other projects, while attorneys for MJJ argue the contracts make it clear Jones is only entitled to a share of record sales and anything he was paid beyond that was an act of kindness by Jackson. Jones says that Jackson "absolutely" did right by him creatively, but whether he did financially is open to debate. When asked why he didn't complain about his share of profits while the singer was alive Jones said, "I cared more about him as a human being than about the money." Closing arguments for the trial are expected to begin on July 24. Meanwhile, on July 21 Sony/ATV Music Publishing announced an extension of its worldwide administration pact with Mijac Music, the publishing company that owns all of the songs written by Michael Jackson. Founded by Jackson in 1980, the Mijac catalog also includes iconic songs written by funk icon Sly Stone and legendary soul hitmakers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. Terms of the deal extension were not disclosed. - The Hollywood Reporter/Billboard, 7/21/17...... The Who warmed up for their forthcoming residency in Las Vegas with a pair of performances on NBC's The Tonight Show on July 19. Surviving members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey powered through a rendition of their 1967 classic "I Can See For Miles" and their early '80s number "You Better You Bet" as a web exclusive. Townshend even let rip with one of his trademark windmills. The Who's residency at Caesars Palace runs from July 29 to Aug. 11. - Billboard, 7/20/17...... After members of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church staged a protest outside his concert in Wichita, Kan., on July 19, Paul McCartney posted a meme on Twitter mocking the group, who brought with them signs and placards that said things like "MAN'S JOB: OBEY GOD" and "BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS." After the show, Macca tweeted a doctored image of some of the protestors, where someone had changed some of their signs to read "We can work it out," "I wanna be your MAN!" and "All you need is LOVE." "Thanks Westboro Baptist Church for the warm welcome!" read the post's caption. - NME, 7/20/17...... In other Beatles-related news, Ringo Starr turned 77 on July 7, and the famous drummer held a press conference at Capitol Records in L.A. where he held his annual celebrity-packed "Peace and Love"-themed birthday bash. Among other things, Ringo talked about how he almost recorded a country album in Nashville in 2016 with former Eurythmics star Dave Stewart. Starr said he and Stewart tried to knock together a few songs before they arrived in Nashville, but he shelved the idea when he had the opportunity to tour last year. One of the songs, "So Wrong for So Long," is featured on his forthcoming album Give More Love, which arrives on Sept. 15 via uME. Ringo also talked about his tweeting habits. "Twitter, that's the one I do myself," he said. "But I do it at a reasonable hour [laughs]. Sometime in the afternoon, when I've been up for a while. And I love the emojis. It started, like, thanking people for coming to the gig." Ringo added that he'll take his All-Starr Band back out on the road in October, starting with eight dates at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. - Billboard, 7/17/17...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, the infamous Mark Chapman-owned copy of John Lennon's Double Fantasy album is once again up for sale. Auctioneers Moments In Time have a firm $1.5 million starting bid for the LP that Lennon signed for Chapman minutes before he was murdered by Chapman in Dec. 1980. The album, which also features an enhanced Chapman fingerprint and NYPD crime evidence designation, first sold for $150,000 in 1998, and has had several other owners since. - 7/19/17..... Fleetwood Mac will be honored as the 2018 MusiCares Person of the Year, organizers announced on July 19. The two-time Grammy-winners are being honored "in recognition of their significant creative accomplishments and their longtime support of a number of charitable causes," including MusiCares, which offers health and human services to the music industry. Proceeds from the 28th annual benefit gala, which will be held at Radio City Music Hall in New York during two nights before the 60th annual Grammy Awards, will provide support for MusiCares. Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the MusiCares Foundation and the Recording Academy, described Fleetwood Mac as "a legendary and influential group of artists whose music has provided the soundtrack for music lovers around the world." Drummer Mick Fleetwood issued a statement saying that "it's a tremendous honor to be the first band to receive the MusiCares Person of the Year award.... We are very appreciative of this recognition." Meanwhile, Fleetwood Mac capped the Classic West festival at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on July 16 with a poignant closing set. Opening with "The Chain," the band then performed "You Make Loving Fun" and deeper cuts like "Dreams," "Second Hand News" and "Rhiannon," "Sara" and "Landslide." They closed the set with the rousing "Go Your Own Way" and "Don't Stop." - The Hollywood Reporter/Billboard, 7/19/17...... Judas Priest has released a new mobile game, "Road to Valhalla," via the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The game players to use song stems from Priest's 2016 Battle Cry live album to create new songs to battle characters from Priest's songs and album art to advance through the game until they reach the mythical Valhalla. Priest favorites such as "You've Got Another Thing Comin'," "Breaking The Law," "Electric Eye," "Turbo Lover," "Painkiller" and, of course, "Halls Of Valhalla" are featured as part of the game, which was developed by Babaroga in partnership with the band, Trinifold Management LLC UK and Sony Music Entertainment. "It's like a little microcosm of that world we've created with the characters over these years that come to life in a very good way," frontman Rob Halford says. "The people that made it did a fantastic job, 'cause you don't want people to go, 'Oh, that's cheesy.' Halford adds the band has nearly finished its next album, the follow-up to 2014's Redeemer of Souls, and it's expected to hit stores in the spring of 2018. - Billboard, 7/19/17...... A limited edition picture disc of David Bowie's iconic song "Heroes" is set to be released on Sept. 22 to mark the song's 40th anniversary. "Heroes" is the latest in a long line of Bowie vinyl repressings, following the singer's death in Jan. 2016. Earlier in July, a huge new box-set of his 1977-1982 releases, New Career In a New Town, was unveiled. - NME, 7/19/17...... Kenny Rogers has invited his "Islands in the Stream" duet partner Dolly Parton to take part in his final performance onstage ever, a farewell show at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Oct. 25. Rogers and Parton have been performing together for more than 30 years since "Islands in the Stream," written by the Bee Gees, became a pop crossover platinum hit in 1983. Rogers, 78, said it's been more than a decade since he performed with Parton for a CMT special. "I think we owe it to her to let her go on with her career, but we owe it to me to do it one more time, and we're going to do that," Rogers said after a July 18 press conference. Other performers for the farewell show are Little Big Town, Flaming Lips, Idina Menzel, Elle King, Jamey Johnson and Alison Krauss, with more names to be announced. In Sept. 2015, the Country Music Hall of Fame member announced his intention to retire from performing after one final tour. - AP, 7/18/17...... Eagles frontman Don Henley headlined the annual Oceana Backyard Benefit in L.A. on July 17 at the home of veteran manager Keith Addis, who moonlights as president of the eco-charity Oceana's board of directors. "I haven't done a backyard [concert] in a while. Two nights ago I was at Dodger Stadium. Careers go so fast in Hollywood," joked Henley. Henley performed an array of hits "spanning 42 years," he said from the stage. Others in attendance included Bill Murray, who also performed a selection of show tunes, Anjelica Houston, Mary Steenburgen, Ted Danson and Sam Waterston. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/18/17...... The favourite song of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has been revealed and it is, suitably enough, ABBA's "Dancing Queen." BBC DJ Chris Evans made the claim as he recounted how a friend had been invited to a posh banquet at Windsor Castle. At one point, the DJ reportedly dropped "Dancing Queen" -- with a huge smile spreading across the monarch's face when she heard the track. Evans says she then immediately made her way to the dance floor, before telling guests: "I always try to dance when this song comes on, because I am the Queen, and I like to dance." Quite understandably, guests were taken back by the surreal occasion, with one reportedly remarking: "My goodness me, there is the Dancing Queen." - New Musical Express, 7/21/17...... Beach Boys member Mike Love has released a video of the classic BB tune "Do It Again." The music was recorded live during the band's performance on PBS' A Capitol Fourth on July 4 in Washington, D.C., while the video was filmed during the afternoon in the group's hotel. Featured on the harmony-heavy song are Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray, with John Stamos playing drums. Love says he considers the new "Do It Again" "a reincaration" of the original song. "It's been born again," he says. "I couldn't be happier. We just had the greatest time and neatest time together doing this whole thing." Love says that he and the band have known Pres. Donald Trump for decades, and that "he's been nothing but nice to us." 'We have fans and friends of all different political affiliations, so I don't use our stage as a place to deal with all that [political] stuff," Love says. Not that I don't care about things; I'm very much into the environment and against war. But the Beach Boys is about having fun and getting away from all of that for a while, so I don't use it as a pulpit to express my views." - Billboard, 7/18/17...... Actor John Heard, perhaps best known as the dad of Macaulay Culkin's character in the '90s Home Alone films, died on July 22 after undergoing back surgery recently. He was 72. Although his death is still under investigation, no foul play is suspected. Heard began his acting career on the stage in the 1970s before making the leap to the screen, and his breakthrough role came alongside Jeff Bridges in Cutter's Way. His other bigscreen credits include The Trip to Bountiful, Big, The Pelican Brief, Miami Vice and Modern Family, among many others. On TV, Heard earned an Emmy nomination for best guest star in a drama series in 1999 for his role as Detective Vin Makazian on HBO's The Sopranos, and recently, he appeared on WGN's TV drama Outsiders and CBS' MacGyver. Heard was briefly married to Superman actress Margot Kidder and later had a child with Oscar-winning actress Melissa Leo. He had two other children with second wife, Sharon Heard. He is survived by children John Matthew, Annika and Max Heard. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/22/17.
The first of the Eagles' "Classic West/East" summer festivals was held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on July 15, with special guests Bob Seger, Vince Gill and late Eagles member Glenn Frey's son Deacon Frey helping the iconic '70s band through its two-and-a-half-hour set. The Eagles started their show as they had so many times before: standing shoulder-to-shoulder with a beautifully blended a cappella version of "Seven Bridges Road." Guitarist Joe Walsh then announced "We are the Eagles from Los Angeles," as if the band needed an intro, then said: "We're back, and we're back for our family, and you are part of our family. This one's for you, Glenn. You're in our hearts, and the music goes on. Let's give a warm Eagles family welcome to Deacon Frey." Frey and Gill traded off lead vocal duties on several of Glenn's biggest hits, including "Peaceful Easy Feeling," "Already Gone," "Lyin' Eyes," "Tequila Sunrise," "Take It to the Limit" and "New Kid in Town." Bob Seger, who met Frey as a backup singer in the 1960s in their native Detroit, surprised the crowd to perform a song he co-wrote with the band, 1979's "Heartache Tonight." "This is for Glenn!" Seger hollered after Henley introduced him as "one of the most beloved figures in American rock and roll music." The 23-song set also included "One of These Nights," "Life in the Fast Lane" and a two-part encore, "Hotel California" and "Desperado." Also performing on day one of the Classic West was Steely Dan, with longtime associate Larry Carlton filling in for guitarist Walter Becker, who fell ill before the show. Day two of the Classic West fest, held the following evening, featured performances by Fleetwood Mac, Journey and Earth, Wind & Fire. The Eagles will also headline the Classic East shows, set for July 29-30 at New York's Citi Field. - Billboard, 7/16/17...... The Doobie Brothers member John McFee, who was also once a member of the San Francisco band Clover which is best known as Elvis Costello's band on his 1977 debut album My Aim Is True and for also featuring Huey Lewis and several members of Lewis' future band, has announced he is re-recording songs from both of Clover's late '70s albums with help from his former bandmates as well as Costello. "It's cool for me. It's something I've always wanted to do," the multi-instrumentalist says. "We had done two albums for the Fantasy label that we were never happy with because we were too young to really know how to make records, and Fantasy assigned a producer to work with us who was a brilliant guy and a nice person and fun to work with but had never produced a record before. We felt like we had some good songs, some good ideas, but we weren't happy with the records. So this is a chance to do it again." Meanwhile, the Doobies are currently on tour with Chicago for the summer, and the group has also been in the studio starting work on a new album -- its first since the country-flavored Southbound in 2014. The group has recorded four songs so far -- two written by Tom Johnston, two by Pat Simmons -- with current keyboardist Bill Payne from Little Feat on board. "We're looking to get a new project going and hopefully get it out probably some time early next year," McFee says. "It sounds kinda like the Doobie Brothers; what's cool is from the inside sometimes it's hard to always judge exactly what's going on and everything, but I know that our family and stuff, when they heard it they went, 'Wow, this really sounds like classic Doobies.'" The Doobies also participated in the aforementioned Classic West concert in L.A. on July 15, and will play a Classic East show on July 29 in New York. - Billboard, 7/14/17...... The inaugural Loudwire Music Awards, sponsored by the hard rock/heavy metal website Loudwire.com, will take place on Oct. 24 at the Novo Theater in Los Angeles and pay tribute to Black Sabbath guitarist Toni Iommi. Iommi will be honored with the Courage Award, which recognizes both his musical output and his bravery in his battle with cancer. The guitarist was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2011, and is currently in remission. Going forward, the award will be called the Iommi and presented to future generations of courageous artists. Iommi's hand also served as the original mold for the official Hand of Doom trophy that will be presented to all winners and honorees. "Of all the funny things that I've done in my life, this was another one. I was asked if I would do a mold of my hand so that they could make it into an award," says Iommi. "I was very honored." Visitors to the Loudwire.com site will be able to vote for several award categories, including album and song of the year, beginning Aug. 15. - Billboard, 7/13/17...... Poco founding member Rusty Young is preparing the release of his first ever solo album, Waitin' For the Sun, which includes a track called "My Friend" that pays tribute to his Poco bandmates. "That's about the band and 50 years and just talking to the guys that have been in that band," Young says about the track, which features Poco alumni Richie Furay and Timothy B. Schmit on backing vocals. "It's just an overview of the whole thing, looking back on this last 50 years -- not just for me, but for all of us. The guys have all done really well... We've been down a long road together, so I want to write about that." Waitin' For The Sun, due out Sept. 15, was produced by longtime Poco bassist Jack Sundrud and recorded in Nashville. Other members of Poco, including Jim Messina and George Grantham, also appear on the set. Young has also announced he'll be touring behind the album, as well as continuing to play Poco shows -- with details of a 50th anniversary Poco celebration to be announced soon. - Billboard, 7/14/17...... A former roadie who used to tour with Queen in the 1980s has revealed to the UK paper The Guardian that there is "other material Queen recorded with Bowie that never got released" and he was there in the studio when it happened. In June, Queen guitarist Brian May hinted that there were leftover tracks from their time in the studio around their 1981 collaboration "Under Pressure," saying "not all of what we did in those sessions has ever come to light, so there's a thought." Now roadie Peter Hince says that "they performed some original songs they did together and also covers... They were just jamming in the studio and it all got recorded -- 'All the Young Dudes', 'All the Way from Memphis' and various rock classics." Hince continued: "There's stuff with Freddie and David singing together -- proper full-length rock'n'roll tracks. Raw, but good." Queen, with Adam Lambert filling in for late frontman Freddie Mercury, will kick off a fall tour of the UK on Nov. 25 in Dublin. Meanwhile, Queen has posted on its official website that a long-in-the-works biopic of the band is "finally happening." Queen's Roger Taylor and Brian May, who are serving as executive music producers, said that Mr. Robot actor Rami Malek, who has been cast as Mercury, "has great presence and he's utterly dedicated to the project.... He's completely living and breathing Freddie already, which is wonderful." Director Bryan Singer will begin pre-production in late July, and principal photography will start in London as soon as mid-September. - New Musical Express/Stereogum.com, 7/14/17...... John Lennon's customized 1964 Rolls-Royce Phantom V, which is currently on display in the province of British Columbia, will return to the U.K. later in July for public display to help celebrate the 50th anniversary re-release of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. It will be part of an automotive design exhibition "The Great Eight Phantoms" coordinated by Rolls-Royce and Bonham's auction house, to celebrate the unveiling of Rolls-Royce's latest flagship, the Phantom VIII. It will join stellar examples of the unbroken series of Phantom automobiles dating back to the mid-1920s, the longest running model name in automotive history. Lennon bought the 6,600 lb. luxury car in Dec. 1964, and it was in this vehicle that the Beatles visited Buckingham Palace in 1965 to receive their Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) medals from Queen Elizabeth II. In 1967, the car was given a psychedelic paint job which included colorful bursts and swirls inspired by Romany gypsy caravan designs, as well as the zodiac. Lennon took the car to Buckingham Palace again in 1969, when he publicly returned his MBE to the Queen in protest over the British military's involvement in the civil war in Nigera and support of the American war in Vietnam. Lennon brought the car to the U.S. in 1970 and loaned it out to other stars including Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones, but tax issues caused him to donate it to the Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design for an exhibition. It was sold at auction in 1985, some years after his death, to the Canadian entrepreneur Jimmy Pattison, for $2.3 million. Pattison ran the chain of Ripley's Believe it or Not museums and displayed it there as the World's Most Expensive Car. He later donated it to the province of British Columbia for display. - Billboard, 7/12/17...... Country music legend Loretta Lynn, who was was hospitalized in May after she suffered a stroke, has announced she is canceling her summer tour and postponing a new album as she recovers from her illness. "My new album, Wouldn't It Be Great, was originally scheduled to come in August this year. I now want to wait to release it next year because this record is so special for me," Lynn said in a statement. "I'm just letting everybody know that Willie [Nelson] ain't dead yet and neither am I, and I can't wait to see all of you on the road!" - Stereogum.com, 7/12/17...... '70s reggae legend Jimmy Cliff has premiered the video for "Life," his latest single. Shot in his native Kingston, Jamaica, the video includes residents of different ages singing, playing dominoes and celebrating "Life" with the ever-youthful Cliff. "Shooting the 'Life' video there was like walking back in time, I grew up in west Kingston and many of the producers from back when I started out were around those areas," Cliff says. "Going back there now, everybody knew me, everybody put their best into the video so there was a lot of excitement and I really felt great shooting the video there," he added. "Life" is taken from Cliff's forthcoming album, which he describes as "socio-political, inspirational or about relationships." "The album actually reminds me of The Harder They Come because these are the kinds of songs you either need to write a movie to or find a movie for," says Zoe K. Espitia of Zojak Worldwide Records. "I have never heard anything like it." - Billboard, 7/12/17...... A rare collection of unreleased Michael Jackson songs are set to be auctioned in a public sale of rock and pop memorabilia starting July 19. Jackson's unreleased songs, which are said to be of "master quality," will be part of the Gotta Have Rock and Roll online sale, which will also include items from Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, Beyonc, the Rolling Stones and U2. Lot #236 ("Michael Jackson Personally Owned Unreleased Last Album") promises that all the tracks are "master quality" and while the first three songs ("Monster," "Breaking News" and "Stay") have been released before with different mixes on the 2010 posthumous album Michael, the other nine songs are reported to be previously unreleased. According to Rolling Stone, organizers said they expect the final bid to potentially reach $1 million, though the owner will not have rights to the songs and cannot distribute or reproduce them. Other Jackson items in the auction include a stage worn and signed "Smooth Criminal" white fedora, an MJ-worn Trump Plaza baseball hat, one of the singer's teddy bears, his Star Wars sleeping bag, a "Best Daddy in the World" Oscar statuette gifted to MJ from his children, and a pair of the singer's worn colorful boxer shorts. - Rolling Stone, 7/12/17...... Actor Mark Hamill and his fellow late Star Wars cast member Carrie Fisher were named as Disney Legends during a ceremony on July 14 at the company's biannual fan convention, the D23 Expo in Anaheim, Calif. "I wish Carrie were here," Hamill said as he accepted the award. "She would be making me laugh and be off camera extending her middle finger -- one of her favorite gestures. But, she would also want us to be having a good time and not be sad." Hamill, 65, reprises his role as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which will be released December. Fisher also appears in the film as Skywalker's sister, Leia Organa, a princess-turned-general. Fisher died unexpectedly in December 2016. - AP, 7/15/17...... Martin Landau, the chameleon-like actor who gained fame as the crafty master of disguise in the 1960s TV show Mission: Impossible and later capped his long and versatile career with an Oscar for his poignant portrayal of aging horror movie star Bela Lugosi in 1994's Ed Wood, died on July 15 of unexpected complications during a short stay at UCLA Medical Center. He was 89. Mission: Impossible, which also starred Mr. Landau's wife, Barbara Bain, became an immediate hit upon its debut in 1966. It remained on the air until 1973, but Mr. Landau and Bain left at the end of the show's third season amid a financial dispute with the producers. The pair later starred in the British-made sci-fi series Space: 1999 from 1975 to 1977. Born in New York, Mr. Landau studied drawing at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and worked for a time as a New York Daily News cartoonist before switching careers at age 22. He had dabbled in acting before the switch, making his stage debut in 1951 at a Maine summer theatre in "Detective Story" and off-Broadway in "First Love." On Broadway, Mr. Landau won praise for his work in "Middle of the Night," which starred Edward G. Robinson. He toured with the play until it reached Los Angeles, where he began his film career. His big screen credits also include Cleopatra (1963), The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), The Hallelujah Trail (1965), and Nevada Smith (1966). On TV, he appeared in episodes of The Twilight Zone, The Untouchables, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Maverick, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Wagon Train, I Spy and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Mr. Landau and Bain had two daughters, Susan and Juliet. They divorced in 1993. - AP, 7/16/17...... Director George Romero, known as the "Father of the Zombie film," died on July 16 after a battle with lung cancer. He was 77. The Pittsburgh-born Romero made the 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead for $114,000, thus spawning an unrelenting parade of zombie movies and TV shows. His 1978 sequel Dawn of the Dead was made for $1.5 million and grossed $55 million, and he followed that by writing and directing Day of the Dead (1985), Land of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead (2007) and Survival of the Dead (2009), a decomposing body of work that earned him the nickname Father of the Zombie Film. Night of the Living Dead, the story of seven strangers trapped in a farmhouse besieged by a lynch-mob posse of staggering zombies, premiered at the Fulton Theater in Pittsburgh on Oct. 1, 1968, and quickly caught on as a staple of midnight screenings around the country. But most of the profits eluded the investors because of a mistake by the distributor. "We lost the copyright on the film because we put it on the title," Romero said. "Our title was Night of the Flesh Eaters; they changed it to Night of the Living Dead." Glimpses of the man himself can be seen in many of his films, and he had a cameo as an FBI agent in Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs (1991). Thanks to Romero, Pittsburgh has been called the "Zombie Capital of the World" and each year hosts an event called Zombie Fest, complete with a brain-eating contest. - The Hollywood Reporter, 7/17/17.