AND NOW HERE'S THE NEWS: Remember Patti Smith, one of the key figures in the mid-'70s punk movement? Smith has been in retirement for years, but she's due to go into the studio early next month (with producer Jimmy Iovine) to make her first album in nearly eight years. She'll be joined by at least several members of her original band, including guitarist Lenny Kay, as well as her husband, Fred (Sonic) Smith, one of the original members of the MC5. . . . We love Pia Zadora as much as anybody, but we have to admit we were taken aback by the news that the pop thrush has met with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, perhaps the hottest production duo around (Janet Jackson and the Human League), about being at the helm of her next record. . . . Jimmy Page has announced that he's leaving the Firm, his short-lived supergroup. Page plans to begin work on a solo album early next year. It's unclear whether the Firm will continue, though member Andy Fraser has apparently been writing songs with ex-Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers, prompting speculation that Rodgers might take Page's place. . . . Belinda Carlisle is following up her recent chart success with a new song, "Dancing in the City," which will appear on the sound track to Whoopi Goldberg's next film, "Burglar." . . . And the Dead Kennedys have just released a new album called "Bedtime for Democracy." Produced by Jello Biafra, the record features such originals as "Hop With the Jet Set," "Rambozo the Clown" and "Lie Detector," as well as a raucous cover version of Johnny Paycheck's "Take This Job and Shove It."