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Published: Fri, April 27, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

newsmakers

Ex-tour saxophonist for Killers found dead

LAS VEGAS

A saxophone player who toured with The Killers has been found dead in Las Vegas in an apparent suicide.

The Clark County coroner’s office confirmed Thursday that 33-year-old Thomas Christian Marth was pronounced dead of a gunshot wound to the head Monday. He was found in the backyard, though it’s unclear whose.

A tweet from the band’s official Twitter account earlier this week announced Marth’s passing, saying the band’s prayers are with his family and that “there’s a light missing in Las Vegas tonight.”

Band spokeswoman Jen Appel says Marth was not a full member of the Las Vegas-based rock band but played saxophone on their 2006 album “Sam’s Town” and their 2008 album “Day & Age.”

He also played on the band’s tour for “Day & Age.”

‘Ecotopia’ author dies in Calif. at 83

SAN FRANCISCO

The film scholar who wrote the 1975 cult novel “Ecotopia” that inspired generations of environmentalists and readers yearning for an ecologically sustainable society has died in California. Ernest “Chick” Callenbach was 83.

His wife, Christine Leefeldt, said Thursday he died of cancer April 16 in Berkeley.

Callenbach self- published “Ecotopia,” in which a new, environmentally conscious nation comprised of Northern California, Oregon and Washington existed. The book sold nearly 1 million copies and was translated into a dozen languages.

Callenbach grew up on a farm in Williamsport, Pa., and moved to California, where he worked as an assistant editor for UC Press. He founded Film Quarterly in 1958, a magazine he led for 33 years.

He also wrote “Living Cheaply with Style,” offering advice to those seeking a simpler life.

Jones postpones shows due to health

NASHVILLE, Tenn.

Doctors are ordering George Jones to postpone all tour dates through May 20 to recover from an upper respiratory infection.

A statement from Jones’ publicist, Kirt Webster, says the 80-year-old singer is resting at his home near Nashville. He spent about a week in the hospital last month receiving antibiotics for the infection.

Jones is delaying his entire Canadian run in May as well as a show in Caruthersville, Mo. He already had postponed concerts April 20 and 21 in Minnesota and South Dakota.

The Country Music Hall of Fame member posted a video on his website Wednesday thanking fans for their prayers and the “wonderful ways” they have stood by him. He said he was on his “way back for sure,” adding that he only needs time.

Fans gather at home of late Levon Helm

WOODSTOCK, N.Y.

By the busload, hundreds of friends and fans of Levon Helm’s are traveling to his Woodstock home to say goodbye to the influential singer and drummer for The Band, who died of cancer last week.

Thursday’s public memorial is at the barn where Helm had his Saturday night Midnight Ramble concerts in New York’s Hudson Valley. His closed coffin was surrounded by flowers and flanked by his drum kit at one end and a piano at the other.

After a private funeral today, Helm will be buried in Woodstock Cemetery next to Rick Danko, The Band’s singer and bassist who died in 1999.

Helm, Danko, Garth Hudson, Robbie Robertson and Richard Manuel’s first album as The Band was 1968’s “Music From Big Pink.” Songs including “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “Up on Cripple Creek” are rock standards.

Vegan life wasn’t easy for DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres may be an outspoken vegan today, but a life without meat or dairy wasn’t always easy for her to, er ... digest.

Raised in New Orleans and Texas, the talk show host says she always had a healthy appetite for sausage-laden red beans and rice, as well as for thick, juicy steaks. She first tried to quit meat 15 years ago, she said in a telephone interview, but lasted only six months.

“I’ve always called myself an animal lover. And yet I ate them,” she said. “Until four years ago I would be driving past these cows on pastures, and think ‘What a lovely life that is,’ and I’d go and order a steak. It takes a click, just one light bulb, and you’re like ‘I can’t do that anymore.’”

The click that lit that bulb for DeGeneres came by way of chicken four years ago. “Someone mentioned ‘If you knew what chicken looked like or you knew how chicken was made, you’d never eat it again,”’ said the Emmy award-winning comedian. “Something snapped.”

Since then, DeGeneres and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, have purged their diet of all animal products, including milk and eggs.

Vindicator wire services


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