It does something to your sense of balance to see Matt Lauer chatting with Keith Richards before 9 a.m. But there they were -- all of the Stones, in fact, talking about the end of their latest world tour. Matt said he couldn't help noticing Keith's hands -- all mangled and bent and well worn. "I've got worse hands than Mike Tyson," said Richards and then laughed that great, gravelly laugh of his. Other news is that Mick Jagger isn't feeling burned out after this tour and Ron Wood is successfully on the wagon. Charlie is still unflappable. You've got to love the Stones. They are in their 60s but they're still boys in a band having more fun than anyone else.
Sexy rock star Kylie Minogue is shocked, shocked at the amount of sex in pop music. In an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel she said some of the new videos make her blush. Meanwhile, she is out promoting her new single, "Slow," which has a video showing cutie Kylie in a snug outfit lazing about between two scantily clad gentlemen. But, she says, "I'm just lying there and not doing anything exciting ... My ideal of eroticism is more Brigitte Bardot." A fascinating tidbit in the same article is a statistic: "Researchers at the University of Colorado found that use of the word 'love' in songs had reached an all-time low." What researchers and why are they researching that? (BBC)
I'm pulling for Robert Downey Jr. because he's so witty, talented and bullshit-free. Now that he's also drug-free and in love, reports are that he gave a big fat engagement ring to longtime girlfriend Susan Levin -- a producer on his latest film "Gothika." Go, Robbie. (WENN)
Somebody stop Michael Jackson before he adopts again! The baby-dangler told radio host Rick Dees that he wants to add seven more kids to his current collection of three so he can have "more kids than his father did" (nine). Don't get Freudian on us, M.J. (MSNBC)
"Hustler" publisher Larry Flynt insisting that the photos he's set to publish of a certain rescued female soldier frolicking topless with some male colleagues before shipping off to Iraq -- for which he's said to have shelled out a six-figure sum -- are, in fact, Jessica Lynch: "You think I'm going to publish nude pics that aren't her? I like owning my company." (N.Y. Daily News)
Almost as litigious as David Gest!: Catherine Zeta-Jones' lawyer in a letter sent to media outlets denying that Jones has lost weight via the Atkins diet, as was apparently reported in several publications: "In essence, my client is being made to look as if she's more concerned about her outward appearance than she is with serious health concerns. Nothing could be further from the truth." (The Smoking Gun)
Royal innuendoes, continued: Readers may recall from yesterday Camilla Parker Bowles' unfortunate comment to the press about Prince Charles not "stooping so low" as to take part in a rumored -- and denied -- gay sexual liaison with a member of his staff. Now a Fix reader sends in this headline from News 24: "Ex-servant backs up Charles."
Best of the Rest
Page Six: New York club Plaid flubs party-hosting duties, loses staffers and celeb standing; Sean "Puffy/P. Diddy" Combs ordered to disclose personal financial information in child-support suit; Pink hangs out in sauna and steam room fully clothed; Gen. Wesley Clark mentions Outkast in Rock the Vote TV spot, surprising Outkast's label, Arista; Boy George said to have posted a personal ad for a fella on gaydar.co.uk, says his "favorite types" are "builders, clubbers, firemen, footballers, geeks, laborers, married men, military (uniforms), policemen, preppies, punks, short guys and tall guys"; Alex Kuczynski set to return to N.Y. Times Sunday Styles duties after taking leave to write book on plastic surgery.
Rush and Molloy: Atkins spokesman Richard Rothstein on Catherine Zeta-Jones' diet dis: "I would like to see Catherine's medical degree"; "Terminator 3" star Kristanna Loken on the politician she's most attracted to: "Physically? Hillary Clinton. That was a joke"; "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell writes backstage-gossip book including the shocking disclosure that runner-up Clay Aiken wears shoes that are a size too big because he doesn't like his toes to touch the tips; Ben Affleck sells Beverly Hills home, may be moving in with Jennifer Lopez. Also selling real estate: Sharon Stone, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Guy Ritchie, the latter possibly to Britney Spears; Tom Cruise almost gets head lopped off in stunt gone wrong; Stephen Glass exposer Adam Penenberg writes book on Ford-Firestone debacle, sells film rights to Michael Douglas; Nathan Lane embraces his "Producers" understudy/replacement Brad Oscar, says, "By the way, Andy Warhol called: your 15 minutes of fame are up."