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Today's Top Rock News Stories From Across the Web
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Screech Sex Tape Sellout
TMZ reports: The release of the Screech sex tape was no accident. 

Dustin Diamond previously shot down TMZ's report that he was involved in the release of his infamous sex tape, but now admits to Details magazine that he was in on it from it the start. 

He explains in the interview that someone was threatening to let the tape loose, so he called up Red Light District and struck up a deal with them to beat the "sleaze guy" to the punch and make some money. "We backdoored them," he says ... bringing back all those icky "Dirty Sanchez" memories. Thanks a lot. [see full story for more]- Click Here for the Full Story 

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Sony Racism?
CMJ reports: Former BMG marketing rep Tamieka Blair is expected to file a racial discrimination lawsuit against Sony BMG Music, alleging her wrongful termination upon the merging of Sony and BMG in 2004, according to Billboard.

The suit follows on the heels of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) finding that Blair was "a victim of race discrimination" last fall when an investigation by the EEOC revealed that 42 percent of African American employees of the sales enterprise unit were involuntarily terminated after the merger.[see full story for more]- Click Here for the Full Story 

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Chris Aylmer RIP
blabbermouth.net reports: Former SAMSON bassist and founder member Chris Aylmer passed away last week after a long illness. Chris founded the band with Paul Samson, and not only suggested the band name, but was also responsible for young drummer Clive Burr completing the trio. Chris was in SAMSON from 1977 until 1984, and also played on the 1993 album and tour, and the 1999/2000 shows.[see full story for more]- Click Here for the Full Story 

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Opeth Vs Fans
blabbermouth.net reports: OPETH frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt has slammed the "new breed of idiot OPETH 'fans'" for questioning the abilities of the group's current drummer, Martin Axenrot (BLOODBATH, WITCHERY, NIFELHEIM), when compared to that of Axenrot's predecessor, Martin Lopez.

Lopez officially left OPETH in May 2006 after being plagued by illness and anxiety attacks, which forced him to miss several of the band's tours. Åkerfeldt stated at the time, "However sad I and the rest of the band feel in light of Lopez's departure, I want to thank him for his incredible work with OPETH and immense dedication to the band. We recorded some classic stuff together and he obviously had an enormous impact on our sound. I now feel very excited to hear the material of his own band. In the meantime, OPETH fans can rest assured that we'll continue jamming it out with Axe and we all have high expectations about our coming musical ventures."[see full story for more]- Click Here for the Full Story 

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Ozzy Plans Raw CD, Slammed Metallica
blabbermouth.net reports: Unlike 2001's slickly produced "Down to Earth", the last album of original Ozzy material, the new disc promises to be a rawer and heavier affair. Recorded with the same band that backed Osbourne on his scattered 2006 Ozzfest dates - Zakk Wylde on guitar, Mike Bordin on drums, and former ROB ZOMBIE bassist Rob "Blasko" Nicholson - the album has no official producer, although longtime Mutt Lange protégé Kevin Churko is serving as the engineer. "Kevin's working the machines and helping me with the songwriting," said Osbourne. "He really knows what he's doing with the ProTools, which is good because I can't work the f***ing thing. I can barely work a light switch!"

"We just went in and jammed out the riffs, just like how they made 'Back in Black' and all the SABBATH record," said Wylde. "I don't need Bob Rock there to tell me what to do, like that 'Vagina Monologues' band METALLICA. When you know where you're going, you don't need to ask for f***ing directions! It sounds like classic Ozzy - there's piano ballads, there's an acoustic thing, and then there's the heavy s***. From the beginning, Oz kept saying to me, 'Zakk, we need another 'No More Tears' - we've gotta piss all over that f***in' record. This thing's gotta be able to hang with 'Diary of a Madman'!'"[he's not done, see full story for more]- Click Here for the Full Story 

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Murder One Split
blabbermouth.net reports: MURDER ONE, the British band featuring vocalists Paul Catten (ex-MEDULLA NOCTE) and John Loughlin (RAGING SPEEDHORN), bassist Jules McBride (ex-PULKAS), guitarists Mark Seddon (ex-MEDULLA NOCTE) and Dan Marshall, and drummer Jamie Airns, has issued the following update:

"Today and for the long, forseeable future, MURDER ONE have called it a day. No argument, no bulls*** 'musical differences'....we just cannot continue. We're bold enough to say... 'No-one gives a f*** about the band any more!'... and we can deal with that.[see full story for more]- Click Here for the Full Story 

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DimeVision Vol II
blabbermouth.net reports: According to Revolver magazine late PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott's longtime partner, Rita Haney, and videographer Bobby Tongs have started to sift through footage for the follow-up to the DVD "DimeVision - Vol 1: That's The Fun I Have". The disc should be ready for release in the summer. "I can't wait to see it," Dimebag's brother and former PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN bandmate Vinnie Paul Abbott says. "I'm sure it'll include stuff that I didn't even know about. Like, I knew Dime did a lot of crazy, f***ed-up s***, but I didn't know about the fireworks he lit in the house until I saw the first videos. I don't know how he didn't burn his house down."[see full story for more]- Click Here for the Full Story 

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Jacko 100K Drug Suit
TMZ reports: TMZ has learned that a Beverly Hills pharmacy claims Michael Jackson ran up a $100,000 tab for prescription meds, but never paid. 

TMZ has obtained the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, by drugstore to the stars Mickey Fine Pharmacy. The store, which often delivers its wares via motorcycle, alleges they had an oral agreement with Jackson to pay for any prescriptions they filled. The pharmacy claims Jackson made his last payment to them in mid-2005. According to the documents, the pharmacy made "repeated requests for payment." Perhaps Jacko thought that "oral agreement" was related to how to take the pills.[see full story for more]- Click Here for the Full Story 

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Abdul: Straight Up or Drunk? 
TMZ reports: Paula Abdul's press tour to promote the new season of "American Idol" spun out of control today when she landed in the Pacific Northwest.

Paula's curious "appearance" on Seattle's Q13 FOX Morning News took a fast nose dive as the pint-sized Idol judge slurred and giggled her way through the interview. Anchors Lily Jang and Carmen Ainsworth kept it together as Abdul bobbed and weaved for the camera. 

For what it's worth, Paula's rep tells TMZ that it is "much ado about nothing." He says the station had "technical problems with the satellite and her sound was dropped not once but twice. Paula was in a small room by herself with only a cameraman. Paula was distracted and confused by the station dropping the sound. She did not know what was going on." [yup satellites and dropped sound can now make you appear wasted! Just like on American Idol] - Click Here for the Full Story 

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Honeydrippers CD Nixed
pr-inside reports: Rocker ROBERT PLANT has ditched plans to record a new 2007 album with his standard covers band the HONEYDRIPPERS following the death of Atlantic Records co-founder AHMET ERTEGUN.

Ertegun, who died last month (DEC06), was the catalyst for the project, and planned to help Plant put the album together. It would have been the first Honeydrippers release for more than 12 years.

But Plant now says he doesn't have the motivation to continue with his recording plans, following the death of his friend.[see full story for what he plans to do instead]- Click Here for the Full Story 

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V2 Now V0
Reuters reports: Indie record label V2 North America, home to such acts as the White Stripes, Moby and the Raconteurs, laid off its staff Friday and will primarily become a catalog label. 

The label's parent company, Sheridan Square, also plans to focus on digital distribution. About 35 people, including president Andy Gershon, are believed to have lost their jobs as part of the restructuring.[see full story for more]- Click Here for the Full Story 

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Heads Roll At EMI
AP reports: Music company EMI Group PLC announced the departure of two top executives Friday and said it expects revenues to fall at its music division after disappointing Christmas sales. Its shares dropped more than 7 percent. 

EMI Music Chief Executive Alain Levy and Vice-Chairman David Munns will leave the world's third-largest music company with immediate effect, EMI said. 

…Bridgewell Securities said the latest report confirmed fears that EMI relied too heavily on "blockbuster" album sales. [see full story for the details on that… ] - Click Here for the Full Story 

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Can't Beat Em, Sue Their Kids
AP reports: Less than a month after the recording industry dropped a music piracy case against its best-known opponent, it has won a default judgment against her 20-year-old daughter. 

Federal Judge Stephen Robinson ordered Michelle Santangelo to pay $750 for each of the 41 songs she is accused of downloading illegally - a total of $30,750 - because she failed to respond to the record companies' claims.[see full story for more]- Click Here for the Full Story 

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Pirate Bay Island?
TuneLab reports: Swedish file-sharing website thepiratebay.org is planning to buy its own nation in an attempt to circumvent international copyright laws. The group has set up a campaign to raise money to buy Sealand, a former British naval platform in the North Sea that has been designated a 'micronation', and claims to be outside the jurisdiction of the UK or any other country.... According to a website set up to secure the purchase of Sealand, The Pirate Bay plans to give citizenship of the micronation to anyone willing to put money towards the purchase.[see full story for more]- Click Here for the Full Story 

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