10 Years On

TEN YEARS AGO THIS WEEK

Allan Jones

HAPPENINGS TEN YEARS TIME AGO

March 19-25

The Eagles' 1976 compilation, Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, reaches sales of 24 million, equalling those of the previous all-time best seller, Michael Jackson's Thriller.

Bruce Springsteen's record label, Columbia, consider legal action against a radio station in Portland, Orgeon, for distributing an unofficial mix of "Secret Garden", the ballad featured in the movie Jerry Maguire. A DJ concocted his own version of the track with sampled dialogue from Cameron Crowe's film, and allegedly sent copies to 100 other stations.

Doors founder Ray Manzarek signs a deal worth an estimated $1 million with Puttnam publishers to write his autobiography, in which he says he'll "put the record straight" and correct what he claims were "errors and fabrications" in Oliver Stone's 1991 movie.

Harold Melvin, leader of Philadelphia soul legends The Blue Notes, dies of a stroke, aged 57. Best known for the hits "Don't Leave Me This Way" and "If You Don't Know Me By Now", the group's lead singer was actually Teddy Pendergrass, who was constantly mistaken for Melvin himself.

John Travolta is to perform a duet with Carly Simon on her new album, Film Noir. The pair last worked together on the 1985 film Perfect, in which Simon, playing herself, threw a drink in the actor's face.

Country singer Jimmy Buffett is suing a Maui restaurant, Cheeseburger In Paradise, for trademark infringement. The holiday paradise eaterie shares its name with a 1978 Buffett hit.

The English Patient is top dog on Oscar night, with nine awards, including Best Picture and a Best Director gong for Brit Anthony Minghella. Not bad for someone who started his career on TV's Grange Hill. Top acting prizes go to Geoffrey Rush (Shine) and Frances McDormand (Fargo), while ''You Must Love Me'' from Evita gets the Best Original Song nod.

Not long out of rehab, Robert Downey Jr quits John McNaughton's low-budget noir thriller Wild Things, after being asked to foot the bill for a six-figure insurance premium levied on the production because of the actor's drug abuse history. He is replaced by Matt Dillon.

Muslim scholar Jefri Aalmuhammed is taking legal action against the producers of Malcolm X, the 1992 Spike Lee movie on which he served as "technical director". Claiming he was initially promised an onscreen writing credit alongside five others, including David Mamet and Alex Haley, Allmuhammed suit says his on-set duties included translating Arabic into English, acting as voice coach for Denzil Washington, and rewriting entire scenes.

Jim Carrey bounces back from the critical and commercial failure of The Cable Guy by topping the US box office with Liar Liar, it's $31 million opening weekend the second biggest in March history.

Reverend W Awdry, the creator of children's favourite Thomas The Tank Engine, dies at the age of 85. Abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning has also daubed his last canvas, passing away at 92.

Hale-Bopp, the comet said by astrologists to resemble a 25-mile block of ice, makes its closest ever approach to Earth.


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