Stephen M. Silverman
April 07, 2004 01:00 PM

HIRED: Brad Pitt has an overseas gig, narrating a music documentary about the life of British singer-songwriter Nick Drake, who died in 1974 at age 26, reports Reuters. The program will air on BBC Radio 2 in May. “I was introduced to Nick Drake’s music about five years ago, and am a huge admirer of his records,” Pitt said in a BBC statement. Drake had little commercial success from the three albums he recorded during his lifetime, but in the years after his death — from an overdose of antidepressant drugs — his music has become increasingly popular.

DIED: Paul Atkinson, 58, who played guitar in the British invasion band The Zombies (“Time of the Season”) and later became a successful music industry executive who signed such acts as ABBA, died Thursday, reports the Associated Press. In January, Atkinson received the Recording Academy’s President’s Merit Award at a tribute concert in his honor at L.A.’s House of Blues.

QUOTED: “There are so many gossipy, inaccurate things that have surrounded my life for so long I don’t pay attention. It’s just another goofy story.” — Bruce Willis, 48, to The New York Times, on the rumor that he’ll be best man at the wedding of his ex-wife Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher

SURVIVED: Ernando Amaya, a Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus performer, has survived a high-wire fall at New York’s Madison Square Garden with relatively minor injuries. Amaya fell about 25 feet in front of some 10,000 people, crashing to the mats on the ground, say reports. He was returning to the high-wire platform when he slipped and fell, suffering injuries to his right elbow, back and chest. He’s listed in stable condition at a hospital.

BUSTED: A bus driver from Tennessee transporting crew and equipment for Britney Spears’s concert tour led police on a brief pursuit Monday and later failed to appear in court on charges of speeding and disobeying police, authorities in New Hampshire tell AP. State Police Sgt. B.P. Mathews said driver David Raines, 51, appeared to be pulling over at one point, but continued driving for another 10 miles, until he was stopped after pulling off the highway. Mathews said Raines was arrested but allowed to continue on to deliver the crew and equipment to Manchester, N.H., where Spears was due to perform Tuesday night.

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