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Odds & Ends: The Rolling Stones, Whitney Houston, Jason Aldean and Riverbend Music Center

02:01 PM Friday 3/2/12 |   |

The Rolling Stones will issue a photo book commemorating the band’s 50th anniversary; New Jersey funeral home director says he didn’t give Whitney Houston’s coffin photo to tabloid; country star Jason Aldean traded his guitar for a baseball bat and glove earlier this week; and Cincinnati’s Riverbend Music Center becomes the first outdoor music venue to install a synthetic lawn.

Gosh, Keith Hasn’t Changed A Bit

Although there still isn’t any confirmation that The Rolling Stones will tour this year to commemorate 50 years of being rock’s bad boys, the band will issue a photo book guaranteed to take fans down memory lane.

Published by Britain’s Thames & Hudson, “The Rolling Stones: 50” will land on shelves July 12, the half-century anniversary of when the band debuted at London’s Marquee Club in 1962.

Many of the photos in the book are from the archive of newspaper Daily Mirror, which reportedly has the largest Rolling Stones newspaper photo collection on the planet. The book itself totals 700 photos, 300 of them in color, Reuters reports.

“This is our story of 50 fantastic years,” the band said in a group statement. “We started out as a blues band playing the clubs and more recently we’ve filled the largest stadiums in the world with the kind of show that none of us could have imagined all those years ago.”

While a photo book is nice, a tour would be better. After all, Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ron won’t be young forever.

Mystery Photographer

By now you’ve probably seen that photo of Whitney Houston resting in peace in her coffin gracing the front page of this week’s edition of the National Enquirer.

As to the identity of the photographer who snapped the picture, well, that hasn’t yet been revealed.

Whigham Funeral Home owner Carolyn Whigham told the Star-Ledger her Newark, N.J., business “had no role in this shameful betrayal.” However, Whigham, along with two pastors say they know who did the deed, but won’t disclose the person’s identity. All three people say it’s up to the Houston family to reveal the mystery photographer.

Whigham did say she believes the photo was taken at her funeral home Feb. 17, the day before Houston’s funeral.

Batter Up!

Not only did Jason Aldean spend Thursday morning in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., working out with the Atlanta Braves, but the baseball team’s manager said he was pretty doggone good.

A lifelong fan of the Braves, Aldean is friends with catcher Brian McCann, third baseman Chipper Jones and pitcher Tim Hudson. On Thursday Aldean was at the Braves’ spring training camp for the filming of a TV reality show called “Day Jobs” that will air on Great American Country this fall.

How did Aldean do?

“He’s the best celebrity I’ve seen,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said, according to a post on the team’s website. “We get a lot of celebrities coming through here to do a lot of this stuff. He’s by far, the best I’ve been around at doing that kind of stuff.”

Evidently Aldean didn’t feel his performance was all that impressive.

“I told them I felt a lot like Willie Mays Hays (from the movie “Major League),” Aldean said. “I hit a lot of pop ups. I started to drop down and do some pushups.”

  • Jason Aldean

    CMA Awards, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn.
    November 9, 2011

    (Jason Moore)

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Fake Grass At Riverbend

Concert fans opting for lawn seats at Cincinnati’s Riverbend Music Festival will be in for a new experience this summer. The venue is the first amphitheatre in the country to install a synthetic concert lawn.

Costing $750,000 and taking 16 weeks to complete, the synthetic lawn was made possible via the Patricia and J. Ralph Corbett Riverbend Endowment established for the continued improvement of the venue.

The benefits of having a synthetic lawn range from venue workers and concert fans not having to deal with mud after a rainstorm to reducing Riverbend’s carbon footprint, mainly because workers no longer have to water or fertilize the area. The synthetic lawn fabric, backing and fibers are 100 percent recyclable.

The fake grass will get the reality test when the Riverbend Music Center launches its 2012 season with Brad Paisley May 20. To commemorate the synthetic lawn, Riverbend will give the first 1,000 attendees a free lawn chair to use throughout the season.


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