Thursday, July 31, 2008

Newly discovered Beatles tape up for sale


A tape recording of The Beatles chatting and breaking into giggles during an early recording session is to be sold next week in England.

Cameo Auctioneers said Thursday that the reel-to-reel tape was recorded in 1964 and was recently found by a man in northern England while he was clearing out his father's attic.

On one part of the half-hour tape, John Lennon and Paul McCartney repeatedly collapse in laughter as they try to complete the ballad "I'll Follow the Sun."

"There are lots of false starts where the band can't get it together," said Alan Pritchard, head of the auction house's entertainment department.

The tape also features versions of songs including "I Feel Fine," "I'm a Loser" and "Don't Put Me Down Like This."

The tape is expected to sell for 8,000 pounds to 12,000 pounds (US$16,000 to US$24,000) at an auction in Midgham, about 45 miles (75 kilometers) west of London, on Tuesday.

'Designer Vaginas' Blacklisted in Australia


Cosmetic surgery to "rejuvenate" the vagina has been blacklisted by Australian gynecologists who say more women are being injured by the dangerous procedures.

Top female sexual health specialists say they are seeing an increase in women with scarring, infections and altered sexual sensations after undergoing vaginal surgery.

Most have had labioplasty operations, to change the external appearance of the vagina or, less commonly, to narrow the vagina or "amplify'' the female G-spot.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has issued a position statement on the trend, labelling it dangerous, expensive and unwarranted.

"The college is particularly concerned that such surgery may exploit vulnerable women,'' the statement said.

Dr. Ted Weaver, chairman of the college's women's health committee, said there were now a number of clinics, mostly in Sydney and the Gold Coast, offering these treatments.

Most of the operations cost at least $10,000, an "extraordinary amount of money,'' Weaver said.

"We feel these operations might prey on people with insecurities and fears who actually need psychological help,'' he said.

"They are also not very anatomically-based and have the potential to cause serious harm.''

Many college members had treated patients with scarring, permanent disfigurement, infection and altered sexual sensations, some of whom required reconstructive surgery, he said.

There was concern that women seeking the most common operation, the labioplasty, did not understand there was a huge variation in how women's external genitalia look.

"In one case we heard of a man bringing in a Brazilian pornographic photo and saying: `Make my girlfriend look like this','' Weaver said.

"We don't think it is ethical behavior to agree to do that.''

G-spot augmentation, where collagen is injected into the vaginal wall to enhance sexual pleasure, was also controversial.

"It is often not clear where the G-spot is or if it even exists at all in some women,'' he said.

"So the procedure is done without that being verified, often causing problems in sex.''

Daniel Fleming, president of the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery, said the vast majority of people who undergo labia and vaginal surgery were "very happy'' with the result.

"If there's a problem (the gynecologists) need to submit the evidence so we can find out why it's happening and if any particular group of doctors is implicated in the alleged increased complication rate,'' Fleming said.

Debbie Harry: 'Madonna hurt Blondie comeback'

from -By Simon Reynolds, Entertainment Reporter
Debbie Harry has claimed that Madonna's pop success prevented the Blondie comeback from taking off.

The 63-year-old admitted that she was "kind of shocked and not very happy" about Madonna's dominance of the pop scene.

Harry quit touring in the mid-'80s to help bandmate and then-boyfriend Chris Stein fight the genetic disease Pemphigus. When Blondie reunited in 1997, Madonna was firmly established as a best-selling artist.

WENN quoted Harry as saying: "I had been performing all along, with one or two solo albums. But we could not get back with Blondie because of legal problems. We had publishing issues, messy record company deals, management problems.

"But I think that is one of the things that Madonna was very smart about. That is something she can be commended for."

However, the 'Atomic' singer added that she had no problems with Madonna, noting that she "listens to me for inspiration and I have to take that as a compliment".

Fergie 'thrilled' to play a prostitute

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Fergie is excited about adding the role of a prostitute to her acting portfolio.

The Grammy-winning singer has been cast as Saraghina in "Nine," a big-screen adaptation of the Tony-winning musical. She will perform the saucy song "Be Italian" with Guido, played by Daniel Day-Lewis.

"She's basically a prostitute on the beach," Fergie told The Associated Press in an interview. "She introduces him to the world of sexuality. It's a very strong song. I'm just thrilled I get to play a character. I'm singing, but I'm not singing as myself. I'm going to be singing as a character, and that's what's really exciting to me."

Fergie, 33, joins Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench and Kate Hudson in "Nine," directed by Rob Marshall ("Chicago"). Filming is set to begin in October. Fergie, whose real name is Stacy Ann Ferguson, had minor roles in the "Poseidon" and "Grindhouse" movies.

"I'm speechless," she said of the opportunity to work with the film's A-list talent. "I'm definitely going to be a sponge on set. I want to pick up on everything that all these brilliant actors are bringing to the table. I'm probably going to be the quietest that I've ever been while working just because I want to watch and learn."

She was in Las Vegas on Monday to debut her two new shoe lines at the World Shoe Association show in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Fergie, who released her hit-packed solo album "The Duchess" in 2006, said she's now in the studio working on a new album with the Black Eyed Peas, their first new record since 2005's "Monkey Business."

"It's a new sound," she said. "We're going into the future. We're not doing the same old thing. We're not trying to copy what's out there on the radio. We're being artistic and pushing the envelope."