HITS Daily Double
"I am very sorry for the incident and, of course, very embarrassed about the whole thing."
—--R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, on his UK "air rage" arrest


Peter Buck, Scott Stapp, Eminem and ODB Kick Ass And Take Names
As our close personal friend Pat Benatar always said, "Love Is a Battlefield." She also said "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." Today’s artists are taking the messages of both songs to heart, if the following developments are any indication.

Elton John’s close personal friend Eminem pleaded no contest to weapons charges in Michigan today, less than two weeks into his probation for carrying a concealed weapon. This case stems from charges that Eminem pulled a gun on an "associate" of the Insane Clown Posse last summer. After the rapper pled no contest to charges of carrying a concealed weapon and brandishing a firearm in public, Judge Denise Langford Morris said that she didn’t expect Em to get any jail time, saying that after listening to some ICP, his actions were understandable. Defense attorneys said that they expect probation, to run concurrently with his other probation, to be handed down June 5.

Not so lucky with the legal system is Ol’ Dirty Bastard. He entered a guilty plea Thursday (4/19) to a drug charge stemming from a 1999 arrest in New York, reports MTV.com. On July 31, 1999, New York police found ODB (born Russell Jones, aka Big Baby Jesus) in possession of 20 vials of crack cocaine. By pleading guilty, the unpredictable Wu-Tanger should avoid the maximum penalty of seven years in prison, and prosecutors will also drop the bail-jumping charges, which would have tacked on as much as three more years to the sentence. ODB now faces two to four years in jail, according to a spokesperson from the Queens County district attorney's office, who identified himself by his Wu-Tang name, Wizened Visiting Ghost Chef.

Rappers are often hardcore. Rockers? Not quite so much. Two days after being busted for allegedly getting drunk, disobeying an aircraft commander and assaulting two members of the crew on a British Airways flight from Seattle to London, R.E.M.’s Peter Buck offered an apology and posted bail in court today.

"I am very sorry for the incident and, of course, very embarrassed about the whole thing," said Buck in a statement. "We’ve got this new record coming out and after six or seven of those cute little bottles of Ketel One, I realized I needed to do something to give us some street cred. Also, air rage is still kinda in." Buck will be back in court June 18. He will be allowed to continue R.E.M.’s promotional tour, for the band’s new album "Reveal," which streets May 15--as you'll no doubt read in Billboard Bulletin, eventually.

Some guys will only fight one-on-one, as demonstrated by reports surfacing about a bar fight involving Creed’s Scott Stapp a week ago. According to published accounts, the singer was at a club in St. Augustine, Florida when someone badgered him, reportedly saying, "You should’ve stuck with Pearl Jam." Stapp and the man screamed at each other before Stapp reportedly punched the man in the face, much as Eddie Vedder would have done. The crowd broke it up and no charges were filed. Said Stapp, "I was going to turn the other cheek, but Jesus never had to deal with this Pearl Jam crap."