Inqlings | A show on rock 'n' robbin'

Posted: June 26, 2007

Rock-and-roll rip-offs?

Havertown's Denny Somach has been shopping an idea for a radio/TV/Internet series called Cold Cases of Rock 'n' Roll, which will explore musical thievery through the years.

Somach, a classic-rock expert and WYSP alum, pitched the concept to Sirius satellite radio. Howard Stern, a classic-rock freak, got wind of it.

Somach is due at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow on Stern's show (Channel 100). Stern particularly is piqued by Led Zeppelin, which has been accused of lifting its early-1970s chestnut "Stairway to Heaven" from a jam tune released three years before called "Taurus" by Spirit, a psychedelic band fronted by a dude named Randy California.

"I just present all the evidence," says Somach, adding that only a few cases ("He's So Fine"/"My Sweet Lord") end up in court. That doesn't stop fans from debating them.

In a recent short appearance on Stern, Somach fielded a call from a crestfallen listener who heard the "Taurus"/"Stairway to Heaven" evidence and said: "That was my wedding song. Does that mean my wedding's not legal?"

Briefly noted

Another Philly-themed sports movie role for cheesesteak czar/thespian Tony Luke Jr. He's playing the father of an Immaculata basketball player (Meghan Sabia) in Our Lady of Victory. Luke stole scenes in Invincible, in which he played a green-caped knucklehead trying out for the Eagles.

Was that actor Vin Diesel tooling around the Parkway on a motorcycle over the weekend? His rep offered only "no comment."

Melrose Park author Gail Greenberg has made it to the finals of an international contest to choose 12 contestants to go to Colorado next month to compete in the Next Internet Millionaire reality show. She's hunting for votes at www.NextInternetMillionaireGirl.com.

Gov. Rendell and his wife, Midge, took in Saturday's Kenny Chesney show at Lincoln Financial Field from a private box - and the state trooper guarding them was diligent about keeping fans away so they could watch. Philly was represented by Loree Jones, the city's new managing director, who gave Chesney a mini-Liberty Bell.

Former 76er Allen Iverson has settled his $109,568 Pennsylvania tax lien, a rep for the Revenue Department says. AI had owed $88,953 in unpaid personal income tax for 2003 plus interest, penalty and fees, as I reported May 31.

Mob scenes

Is there more life for Tony Soprano? Nah, says Joe Gannascoli, who played Gino and later the gay mobster Vito on the HBO series. Gannascoli will be at Eastern State Pen in Fairmount for Friday night's screening of The Untouchables, part of Welcome America. "I think [James] Gandolfini's done with the character," says Gannascoli, who will sign autographs and sell copies of his book A Meal to Die For, a cookbook/novel loosely based on his pre-acting life as a chef in New Orleans, Boston, New York and L.A.

The Continental in Old City, a former diner, was full of Sopranos fans about 11 o'clock Saturday night. Owner Stephen Starr put on the Journey song "Don't Stop Believin'," which played over the finale, set in a diner. A great cheer went up. (Starr should have shut off the lights, to complete the effect.)


Contact columnist Michael Klein

at 215-854-5514 or mklein@phillynews.com. Read his recent work at http://go.philly.com/michaelklein.

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