Today's Millennium Stew --------
by Matt Markovich
``Rave Un2 The Year 2000,'' which will be taped Saturday night at the Artist's Paisley Park studios in Chanhassen Minnesota and will air worldwide on New Year's Eve.
The Artist and his band, the New Power Generation, will be the concert's main attraction, along with cameo appearances by retro rocker Lenny Kravitz, gospel legend Mavis Staples, fellow Minneapolis funk pioneers The Time, and the ex-Prince's mentor, bassist Larry Graham, and members of Graham's old band, Sly and the Family Stone.
An invitation-only list of what the Artist's New York press representative describes as ``family and friends'' will make up the audience at Saturday's taping (VH1 is auctioning off 20 pairs of tickets at www.vh1.com). He also said he's not worried about Y2K, and that Saturday is the last time he'll perform his party-on-the-edge-of-the-apocalypse anthem, ``1999.''
---Other New Year's Eve performers making news include Barry "you got to get it together, baby" White. Citing exhaustion, ultra-smooth soul singer Barry White has cancelled the remaining twelve dates of his European tour with Earth, Wind and Fire including his New Year's Eve gig in Brussels Belgium . He is currently on route to San Diego for a health checkup.
And soon to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, singer/songwriter, Bonnie Raitt, is confirmed to perform in San Rafael, California on New Year's Eve. San Rafael's Millennium Party 2000 celebration on Dec. 31, 1999, will take place at the Plaza on Main Street from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. She'll be joining local boy Huey Lewis and his old News in a New Year's Gig that could the best one in the San Francisco area.
--- Here's a story of an inn-keeper who didn't gouge customers and look what happened. Saying they didn't try to gouge the public with extravagant prices, San Antonio downtown hotels say they're full up on New Year's Eve. Reed Pullan says the two huge Marriott hotels he manages have sold out their New year's packages. Ernest Malacara says the same is true at the Menger Hotel near the Alamo. Both credit San Antonio's huge New Year's Eve celebration, and the fact that they are not charging thousands of dollars for rooms and packages. Many other hotels have found it necessary to scale back their prices.
---And finally, the following must be taken with ball in cheek.
JustBalls.com, the largest ball store in the world, joyfully has announced that all of its sports, fitness and toy balls are Y2K compliant. The announcement was made after the Princeton, NJ based company initiated an exhaustive warehouse-wide inspection of every ball in its vast inventory. Customers are now assured that balls purchased at JustBalls.com will not malfunction as a result of the calendar change that will take place one second after 11:59:59 p.m. on December 31, 1999.
In order to address the presence of non-Y2K-compliance, JustBalls.com immediately contacted top management from the Company's 60 vendors and convened the Y2K Millennium Ball Symposium.
"We're all in this ballgame together," said a spokesman for a leading manufacturer, "and JustBal