Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

In the Know / A LOOK AT THE WEEK AHEAD

Metallica Finds Itself at Odds With Fans

May 15, 2000

Is Metallica still one with its fans? The group famed for its bond with its supporters may be facing a revolt--and it may begin today with 20,000 fans who are fighting back against the band's campaign against the controversial online company Napster Inc. Those people were among more than 300,000 whom the band identified as online scofflaws who allegedly used the Napster site to trade Metallica music in violation of copyright law. (Napster acts as the link between the computers of thousands of users and allows them to search and pluck free music from each other's MP3 collections.) Now those 20,000 have reportedly filled out online forms in which they declare (under penalty of perjury) that they did not trade unauthorized songs, a move that would put each of them back online with Napster--where they can stay unless Metallica opts to sue them individually. Would the band do that? Metallica's management declined comment, but the situation has already put the band in an unusual spot. From doting on fanzines to inviting audiences to freely tape its concerts, Metallica (which plays the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on July 15) did all the things that led to lush album sales and sold-out tours long before its music reached radio. The love affair with its fans even prompted VH1 on Sunday to devote the first episode of a series called "Fanclub" to the group's faithful. But how healthy is the relationship amid the Napster sparring? The Internet is on fire with embittered Metallica fans clogging message boards at sites such as KNAC.com. "Our traffic has doubled since this started and the sheer amount of anger and heat is unbelievable," says Lonn Friend, a hard-rock authority who edited Rip magazine, worked in A&R for Arista Records and is now editor in chief of KNAC.com, the Internet incarnation of L.A.'s famed (and now defunct) hard-rock radio station. "This issue has completely blown this band's foundation, the fans that have followed them up from the underground days. . . . Now they look at Metallica and they see them as part of other side, the Establishment."

At Cannes, the Little Filmmaker Who Could

The Cannes Film Festival is famous for its glittering parties, its stars parading up the red carpet, its topless ingenues posing for the paparazzi, and its movie deals negotiated over cigars and drinks at swank restaurants fronting the French Riviera. And then there's the Cannes as depicted in Phyllis Stuart's new offbeat documentary, "I Think I Cannes," which will be screened at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in West Hollywood. (The festival itself ends Sunday. Shot with a video camera and three years in post-production because she ran out of money, the film is an underdog's tale a la "Roger & Me" of trying to cover the 50th Cannes Film Festival in 1997. Denied credentials, she forges ahead anyway, battling French bureaucracy and Hollywood's tightly controlled publicity machine. Stuart gets ejected from one premiere because her camerawoman, Marie Pedersen, is deemed to be wearing subpar shoes. She worms her way into a Woody Harrelson photo shoot with help from E! Entertaiment, only to be tossed out by eagle-eyed publicists from Dennis Davidson Associates (although she does manage to film Woody's derriere). She then wangles an invitation to AmFAR's celebrity-studded party for AIDS research by telling officials she wants to cover their party--only to get ejected by publicists for Dennis Davidson Associates. Separated from her film crew without purse or keys, she has to climb two stories just to get into her room. About to give up, she spots a notice that police are looking for a woman who has lost a passport. Recognizing the woman as the wife of director Fred Schepisi, she tracks the director down. He is so happy that he introduces her to Dennis Davidson, who invites her to a party at his villa, where she goes swimming as his underlings, who spent the entire festival tossing her out of parties, privately fume. Is this a Hollywood story or what? Asked what amazed her most about Cannes, she said, it was running into Michael Moore ("Roger & Me"), who turned down her request for an interview, saying, "I'm not here! I'm not here!" Said Stuart: "He wouldn't talk to me. I was so insulted."

The Political Issue in MTV's Sights

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|