Celebrity Skin Peel

A one-stop guide to the latest round of pop-star foolishness and bad behavior

Live Fast, Die Young: The latest alcohol-related tragedy in the rock world sadly hit one of the most promising chick-punk bands to come out of L.A. in the past year. Bianca Halstead (more commonly known as Bianca Butthole), lead singer/bassist of Betty Blowtorch, who was famous for stunts involving fire and bare asses (not necessarily at the same time), was just beginning to garner national exposure following the band's midyear release of its debut, Are You Man Enough?. Ironically, she wasn't imbibing at the time of her death, but was hit by a drunken driver in New Orleans on December 15 just hours after performing with Nashville Pussy. Dammit, why do the good ones always go too soon? . . . December also saw two other rock 'n' roll demises. Death front man and founder Chuck Schuldiner finally succumbed to brain cancer after a three-year battle, and Stuart Adamson, singer for '80s band Big Country, was found dead in a Hawaii hotel, presumably of alcohol poisoning, after having disappeared for several weeks.

Hall of Lame?: And finally, in the "who really cares?" department. . . . For the dozen or so people who still care about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this year actually has some cool inductees, with Tom Petty, the Talking Heads, Isaac Hayes, Chet Atkins and the Ramones (which, unfortunately, was most likely a sympathy vote because of Joey's death) on the list. Despite the improvements, the board again proved it is a bunch of old farts by excluding Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Gram Parsons, AC/DC, Black Sabbath and the Sex Pistols. . . . Up 'n' comers Puddle of Mudd suddenly dropped out of a potentially career-making tour with Creed, giving no explanation whatsoever. The rumors are rampant, however, that a certain flaccid biscuit named Fred, who signed the Mudd boys to his Flawless Records imprint -- and who has an ongoing hard-on for Creed singer Scott Stapp -- had something to do with it. Sheesh, talk about shooting yourself in the foot. . . . Last and certainly least, paint-by-numbers punks Sum 41 have copped more than just the music from mentors like Blink-182 and Green Day. Their latest de rigueur prank while on the road involves throwing bags of excrement at passing cars. . . . And how was your week?

Courtney Love: Engaging in legal fisticuffs with the former members of Nirvana.
Courtney Love: Engaging in legal fisticuffs with the former members of Nirvana.
Britney Spears: Not a girl, not yet a PETA activist.
Herb Ritts/Jive
Britney Spears: Not a girl, not yet a PETA activist.

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