Glenn Miller Orchestra trombonist dies at 95
Paul Tanner, a trombonist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra who later played a space-age instrument on the Beach Boys hit “Good Vibrations,” has died. He was 95.
His stepson, Douglas Darnell of Youngstown, Ohio, says Tanner died of pneumonia Tuesday morning at an assisted-living center in Carlsbad.
Tanner performed with Miller from 1938 to 1942. During his long career, he also worked as a movie-studio and ABC musician in California, and performed with stars ranging from Tex Beneke to Henry Mancini and Arturo Toscanini.
He also helped develop the electro-theramin, a keyboard-style electronic instrument inspired by the theramin. He provided its eerie sound on several Beach Boys recordings, including “Good Vibrations.”
Tanner also was a music professor at UCLA for 23 years and helped write several books.
Few hints given about ‘Star Wars’
A newly announced “Star Wars” sequel was on everyone’s mind when J.J. Abrams took the stage Wednesday at a Las Vegas video-game conference, but he made only a sideways mention of the film he has been hired to direct.
The reference was a throw-away joke from his last franchise reboot.
The director played a scene from his 2009 “Star Trek” film to illustrate the importance of embroidering films with subtle details, and freeze-framed on a shot of a familiar “Star Wars” robot peeking from space junk.
“So they’re looking at all the debris that’s out there, and curiously, it’s R2D2,” he said, drawing a roar of laughter.
Abrams has given die-hard fans few clues about his vision for the seventh live-action “Star Wars” film.
Makeup artist behind Yoda dies at 98
Stuart Freeborn, a pioneering movie makeup artist who created creatures for “2001: A Spacey Odyssey” and the “Star Wars” films, has died. He was 98.
LucasFilm said Wednesday that Freeborn had passed away, “leaving a legacy of unforgettable contributions.” It did not provide additional details on Freeborn’s death.
“Star Wars” director George Lucas said in a statement that Freeborn was “a makeup legend” whose artistry will live on forever.
For “Star Wars,” Freeborn helped create wise Jedi knight Yoda — a diminutive green figure whose features were partly inspired by Albert Einstein and partly by Freeborn himself — and 7-foot-tall wookie Chewbacca.
MTV taps ‘Buckwild’ for a second season
MTV says reality show “Buckwild” about some wild young West Virginians will be picked up for a second season, MTV announced Wednesday.
The show is filmed around Sissonville and Charleston. It has drawn criticism from many quarters, including the state’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, for what some see as a negative portrayal of the state’s young people.
In December, Manchin asked the network to cancel the show, saying it profits off of “poor decisions of our youth” and portrays ugly, inaccurate stereotypes