• Dancing Queen

    She used to be just a girl. Now she's just "Gwen." Thanks to megahits with Eve and Moby, a hot clothing line (L.A.M.B.), a fantasy wedding to longtime boyfriend Gavin Rossdale, and her film debut (as '30s movie star Jean Harlow, opposite Leo DiCaprio, in Martin Scorsese's Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator), the No Doubt singer has transformed into a one-name pop icon and multimedia brand-the kind you read about in supermarket tabloids, fashion bibles, and rock magazines alike. With every door in the music industry open to her as she plotted her solo debut, Love Angel Music Baby, Stefani went shopping for producers (Dr. Dre, Andre 3000, and Linda Perry among them) and emerged with a truly eclectic homage to the '80s pop disco of her adolescence.

  • Rebirth of the Pixies

    THEYBLASTED OUT OF NOWHERE WITH A BRILLIANTLY SURREAL SOUND THAT INFLUENCEDA GENERATION OF FUTURE STARS, FROM KURT COBAIN TO THOM YORKE. THEN THEYSPLIT BITTERLY, WITH PROMISES TO NEVER REUNITE. SO HOW DID THE GREATESTBAND OF THE LATE '80S BECOME THE HOTTEST BAND RIGHT NOW? HERE'S THECOMPLETE STORY OF THE PIXIES--IN THEIR OWN WORDS. InHeaven and in the Pixies' dressing room at Paris' Parc des Princesstadium, everything is fine. Last night, at the city's Zenith club,guitarist Joey Santiago totaled his cherished Gibson Gold Top Les Paulreissue during a freak-out solo on "Vamos." But as the sun sets overthe 50,000 fans, the 39-year-old is looking ahead-arrangements arealready being made to buy an original-and bopping around the plushwhite space, blasting Donovan's dippy "I Love My Shirt" from thestereo.

  • Iced T in the Park

    Imagineattending Ozzfest or Bonnaroo in the middle of November and you'llunderstand the difference between a Scottish summer rock festival andan American one. It was so overcast and cool at July's annual T in thePark in Balado (26 miles north of Edinburgh) that Pink needn'thave bothered with her pre-show nipple tweaker (yes, she has one;supposedly it gets her pumped). "I've never played a festival thisbig," she told us backstage. "I'm a little nervous. But getting 60,000people riled up at the same time is fun. It's like, 'Fuck, let's rockout! Let's drink some beer!'"Yes, let's. The Pixies weren't the only legends reuniting for T this year. So were the Wu-Tang Clan, sadly minus Ol' Dirty Bastard. "We all had chances to go out and experience our own things," the RZAtold us, "whether it was movies or TV or albums, and we know we shouldcome together and do one more strong Wu-Tang campaign.

  • Thinking Inside the Box

    Okay, quick history lesson: A decade ago, rock was rock and clubmusic was club music, and the two didn't mix on the dancefloor. Squeezebox, New York City's legendarily trashy,gay rock'n'roll dance party changed all that."Squeezebox will go down in history like CBGB and Max'sKansas City!" famed transsexual rocker Jayne Countyscreamed from the stage at the party's ten-year anniversarybash at Don Hill's nightclub in May. Then she launched intoher tender ballad "Prostitute in a Parachute." In thebasement dressing room, wigs were fluffed and cocktails slurped asone of the go-go dancers rocked out with his...well, it was therefor all the VIPs--Johnny Knoxville, Kate Moss, theStrokes' Albert Hammond Jr., Boy George,Sean Lennon and new girlfriend Elizabeth Jagger--tosee. "I will never recover," joked Lennon. "Isthat Boy George over there?" he asked (in a thickLiverpudlian accent).

  • Shorty-Short Shorts! Backstage Pass with Kings of Leon

    Kings of Leon have made the most of their downtime while recordingtheir second album in L.A. When not out nightclubbing, the hirsutesouthern-rock quartet have been frightening old ladies. "We'reliving in an apartment-style hotel," drummer Nathan Followillexplains. "It's got a tennis court on the roof, so we can stay inshape. We're absolutely horrible at tennis, but we like to put onour little shorty-short shorts and gross out all the women layingby the pool." Kingsof Leon have made the most of their downtime while recording theirsecond album in L.A. When not out nightclubbing, the hirsutesouthern-rock quartet have been frightening old ladies. "We're livingin an apartment-style hotel," drummer Nathan Followill explains. "It'sgot a tennis court on the roof, so we can stay in shape.

  • Sharp Dressed Manskap

    We're not very incognito." Howlin' Pelle Almqvistfeels two-dozen eyes on him as he chews his muffin. His hair is adeep chestnut hue usually reserved for horses or wigs. The way itframes his high cheekbones and 90-degree jawline gives him an airof regal arrogance, like Mick Jagger in the 1970 filmPerformance. That is to say, the 25-year-old lead singer ofthe Hives looks like the perfect rock star. It's hard not tostare at him, especially as he and his older brother, guitaristNicholaus Arson (also dreamy in a close-cropped, haunted Ian Curtisway) are clad head to toe in matching ensembles: black trousers,black button-down shirts, black socks, white patent leather shoes,and white zip-up windbreakers. Call it Hives workwear. We'renot very incognito." Howlin' Pelle Almqvist feels two-dozen eyes on himas he chews his muffin. His hair is a deep chestnut hue usuallyreserved for horses or wigs.

  • Intimate Portrait: Melissa Auf der Maur

    As bass player for two of the biggest bands of the '90s,Melissa Auf der Maur softened Courtney Love's serrated edgesin Hole, then provided equilibrium to the Smashing Pumpkins afterD'Arcy left due to drug problems. With the release of herself-titled solo debut (featuring contributions from Queens of theStone Age's Josh Homme as well as former bandmates EricErlandson and James Iha), Auf der Maur, 32, is finally ready forsome self-indulgence. You're in a strange position. Technically you are a veteran rock'n'roller, but you're also an unproven new artist.I know! But after I left the Pumpkins, I wanted to start over fromscratch. I tried to return to this state of being a 20-year-old who waswriting music for the first time. I heard you put all the money you made from Hole and the Pumpkins into this new record instead of having a label pay for it.Yes. Every penny.

  • These Things Take Time

    You don't expect Morrissey to walk into the lobby of theBeverly Hills Hotel wearing dark aviators. It's one of thoserare Los Angeles afternoons when the Santa Anas blow the smog outover the Pacific and glorious sunlight blankets the city. Youdon't expect Morrissey to walk into the lobby of the Beverly HillsHotel wearing dark aviators. It's one of those rare Los Angelesafternoons when the Santa Anas blow the smog out over the Pacific andglorious sunlight blankets the city. We exchange greetingsand make our way past the Polo Lounge (the hotel's landmarkrestaurant/bar), down a carpeted staircase, and through a gilded,underground mini-mall with rows of shops selling alligator valises andsilk cravats. When we step out into the garden, Morrissey smiles.

  • We Got the Beat-down: Which rock stars are secretly tough?

    When it comes to rock stars, being a badass and being tough are two separate things. Keith Richards is probably the baddest rock'n'roll badass of them all, but we're pretty sure we could dismantle him in a bar fight.(Take away the skull ring and the pirate regalia and you're facing a scrawny, middle-aged Englishman raised on war rations.) Often it's the least likely rockers whom you most want to avoid. Last December, Jack White beat up Von Bondies singer/guitarist Jason Stollsteimer, proving that just because you like to color-coordinate your clothes and cover Burt Bacharach doesn't mean that you can't hospitalize somebody. The following list exposes a few of rock's secret toughies.

  • The Fits and the Fury

    I wanted to hit Craig Nicholls. I had determined that theVines' 27-year-old leader was a hopeless, infuriatinginterview subject, and I had traveled 8,000 miles to conduct amajor question-and-answer session in which he'd directlyrevealed...almost nothing. There are al-Qaeda detainees at CampDelta who are more likely to give up information to theirinterrogators. Iwanted to hit Craig Nicholls. I had determined that the Vines'27-year-old leader was a hopeless, infuriating interview subject, and Ihad traveled 8,000 miles to conduct a major question-and-answer sessionin which he'd directly revealed...almost nothing. There are al-Qaedadetainees at Camp Delta who are more likely to give up information totheir interrogators. But one's desire to hurt Craig Nichollseventually subsides.

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