The Washington Area Music Association, gearing up for its second Wammies awards show Oct. 20 at the Kennedy Center, is sponsoring a big free concert on Labor Day at the Sylvan Theater. The concert, from noon to 7 p.m., will feature a wide range of Washington bands, including Laurence Beall and the Sultans, B-Time, Radiant, the Slickee Boys, GrazzMatazz, Beyond Words, Ayre Rayde and the Uptown Rhythm Kings with special guest Mark Wenner. Those attending are asked to bring a can of food, which will be donated to the Community for Creative Non-Violence.
Rocking and Suing
That much-publicized suit blaming heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne for the death of 19-year-old John D. McCallum was dismissed earlier this month in Los Angeles by Superior Court Judge John L. Cole. McCallum's family had charged that listening to Osbourne's "Suicide Solution" and "Paranoid" for five hours on headphones had prompted their son to kill himself. Osbourne adamantly denied the charges, pointing out that "Suicide Solution" was in fact an antisuicide song.
In dismissing the suit, Cole ruled that lyrics are protected by First Amendment guarantees of freedom of expression, but he did leave open the possibility of appeal on the family's charge that a low-noise hum on the record may have weakened John McCallum's ability to resist messages in the lyrics.
Also on the legal front: Rhode Island promoter John Russo's $20 million breach of contract suit against the Jacksons is moving ahead. All of the Jackson brothers are expected to make in-person depositions at federal court in Los Angeles, though Michael Jackson asked for a waiver so he could give his deposition at home (the judge said no, adding that Michael Jackson deserved no special treatment, which must have sent a little shock wave through the Jackson compound at Encino). Russo contends that the Jacksons reneged on a firm deal that would have allowed him to promote their much-ballyhooed Victory Tour in 1984. That tour was eventually promoted by Chuck Sullivan, who reportedly lost millions of dollars and a good deal of his health before it was finished.
Michael Jackson, meantime, continues work on his new album amid reports that he will allow Pepsi, with which he recently signed a multimillion-dollar endorsement deal, to use one of the tracks from that upcoming album as the basis for a commercial.
Headed for the Hall of Fame?
The sophomore class, in the form of 10 new inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, will be announced in September. The list of nominees includes 40 people who first recorded at least 25 years ago; they are elected not necessarily for their commercial success but for their lasting influence on the genre. For those who'd like to test their acumen against the panel of musicologists, industry veterans and rock 'n' roll experts who do the voting, here's the list, which includes Washingtonians Bo Diddley and Marvin Gaye:
Johnny Ace, LaVern Baker, Hank Ballard, Bobby (Blue) Bland, Ruth Brown, Solomon Burke, the Coasters, Eddie Cochran, King Curtis, Bobby Darin, Dion, Duane Eddy, the Flamingos, Aretha Franklin, Bill Haley, B.B. King, Ben E. King, Gladys Knight, Little Willie John, Frankie Lymon, Clyde McPhatter, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Esther Phillips, Gene Pitney, Lloyd Price, Jimmy Reed, Smokey Robinson, Del Shannon, the Supremes, Joe Turner, Tina Turner, Gene Vincent, Muddy Waters, Mary Wells, Chuck Willis and Jackie Wilson.
Odds and Ends
Now that David Crosby is out of jail and in a halfway house program, look for a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young reunion tour. Crosby's use of drugs was the one major impediment to such a tour . . . When John Fogerty comes to Merriweather Post Pavilion Sept. 12 as part of his first tour in 14 years, don't expect him to sing any Creedence Clearwater Revival classics: Because of a legal dispute, Fogerty won't perform them. In fact, one of the reasons it took so long to get him on the road after his comeback album of 1985, "Centerfield," was that he didn't feel he had enough new songs for a full show. With his new album, "Eye of the Zombie," due out in a couple of weeks, Fogerty apparently feels he's got the makings of a show . . .
Among those trying out for the resuscitated "Monkees" television show: original (but absent from the reunion tour) Monkee Michael Nesmith's son, Jesse, and the sons of Donovan, Frankie Avalon and Bobby Darin . . . And the new lead singer for Toto is Joseph Williams, son of famed film score composer and conductor John Williams . . .
One hits, the other misses: Now that Wham! is no more, Andrew Ridgeley is apparently going to devote himself to acting and Formula 3 car racing. Maybe he should stick to acting -- in England recently, he crashed his car, for the sixth time in eight races.