POP MUSIC : Concerts by 2 Live Crew, Basia, Soul II Soul Canceled

Next Sunday's scheduled appearance by 2 Live Crew at Iguana's in Tijuana has been canceled.

No, it's not because the promoter suddenly got cold feet about booking the controversial rappers, who have become something of a scapegoat for Moral Majority angst ever since a federal judge in Florida on June 6 declared their most recent album obscene.

The group's leader, Luther Campbell (a.k.a. Luke Skyywalker), is ill, forcing the cancellation of 2 Live Crew's entire West Coast tour.

Two other highly publicized local pop shows were also canceled last week.

The second of Basia's two sold-out concerts at the Civic Theatre downtown was canceled at the last minute when her celebrated pipes failed. When the pop singer arrived in town Thursday afternoon, promoter Bill Silva said, "she already wasn't feeling well, but that night's show went off without a hitch."

Friday night's show didn't. Ottmar Liebert had just finished his opening set when Silva was told by Basia's stage manager that the singer's condition had suddenly worsened and she wouldn't be able to perform.

"She was trying to do her vocal warm-ups and couldn't get any sound at all," Silva said.

The concert has been rescheduled for Nov. 16. Refunds are available at the site of purchase; tickets may also be exchanged for the same seat on the new date.

Meanwhile, earlier Friday, the folks at Avalon Attractions decided to call off Soul II Soul's Sunday night appearance at San Diego State University's Open Air Theatre because of poor ticket sales.

"There was definitely a great lack of support by San Diegans," said Avalon's David Swift. "I wish I knew why; I guess if we knew why it didn't work, we wouldn't have booked it in the first place. It's just one of those things that happens."

Understandably, the Soul II Soul concert will not be rescheduled.

Noted Los Angeles record producer Michael Lloyd was in San Diego last Thursday for a series of meetings with Children's Hospital and Health Center executives about the upcoming benefit album of Christmas tunes by big-name pop stars he has volunteered to produce.

The press was invited, and, although Lloyd had previously said he wouldn't announce contributors until October, speculation that the project might be in trouble prompted him to break the news a little early.

Already, Lloyd said, he has firm commitments from eight of the 20 acts he's hoping to include on "The Christmas Album . . . A Gift of Love." Among them are Fleetwood Mac ("The First Noel"), Barry Manilow ("Ave Maria") and Fifth Dimension alumnus Marilyn McCoo (a new song, "Every Day Is Christmas"). America, Belinda Carlisle, Wayne Newton, Andy Williams and Christian heavy-metal band Stryper have also agreed to contribute a song each, either a traditional Christmas carol or a newly penned original.

Throughout the summer and early fall, Lloyd said, he'll take these eight acts--and at least four more--into the studio to record their respective contributions. The remaining cuts on the album will be previously released Christmas tunes other pop heavyweights have put out in the past. The more obscure the better, Lloyd said.

"The list I have available is endless," he said. "I'm looking at several different versions of 'Winter Wonderland,' 'The Christmas Song' and 'Little Drummer Boy,' trying to find the ones that have long been out of print, that you rarely, if ever, hear on the radio."

Coincidentally, that same day, expatriate San Diego singer- songwriter Stephen Bishop was at The Studio in Kearny Mesa, recording his version of "The Christmas Song" for another upcoming benefit album of Christmas tunes by big-name pop stars, "The Stars Come Out for Christmas 1990." Helping out on the sessions was Little River Band bassist-singer, and fellow local, Wayne Nelson.

Last year's inaugural "Stars" album raised more than $160,000 for Children's Hospital. Producer Steve Vaus was subsequently asked to do a second benefit Christmas album for the hospital, but when he requested a production fee, he was given the boot in favor of Lloyd, who offered to donate his services.

Vaus decided to do a follow-up anyway. He selected a new beneficiary, the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, and promptly began working on "The Stars Come Out for Christmas 1990," which, unlike Lloyd's project, is already nearing completion.

The album's big-name contributors, aside from Bishop, include the Commodores, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Randy Travis, Don McLean, Barbara Mandrell, Kim Carnes and Kenny Rankin.

LINER NOTES: Five local bands will be doing their bit for the homeless at Sunday's "Rockin' for Comic Relief" benefit concert at the Time Machine in Escondido. Proceeds go to the San Diego Health Care for the Homeless Program. Appearing will be Dr. Feelgood and the Interns of Love, Roughneck Posse, Nemesis, the Barking Spyders and Shondra and the Source. The music starts at 5 p.m.; tickets are $10 and are available at the Time Machine, the Logan Heights Family Health Center in Barrio Logan and Dimension Cable outlets in Escondido, Vista and Oceanside. . . .

The ad in last Thursday's Reader for Depeche Mode's third show (July 31) at the San Diego Sports Arena proudly announces, "Making History in San Diego. Unprecedented 3 Night Stand!" Promoter Bill Silva must have a short memory: Just three years ago, Neil Diamond also made an "unprecedented" three-night stand at the arena--only then, it really was. . . .

More than a dozen local rock 'n' roll and heavy-metal bands will perform at this weekend's "Summer Jam '90," a two- night music festival at the La Paloma Theater in Encinitas. Appearing Friday night will be Cyclone Sound, Dirty Blonde, Wildside, X-Factor, Secret Society, Rampage, Gun Shy and Mae Dae. On tap for Saturday night: Young Gunns, Bad Blood, Hung Jury, Toxic Bunnies, Pystol Whip, Morley Grey and Snake Eyes. . . .

Johnny Mathis, who was in town last Monday and Tuesday for a two-night stand at Humphrey's on Shelter Island, was so impressed with his hotel-suite dressing room that he spent the night there--while a considerably more posh suite that had already been reserved for him sat empty. "He especially liked the kitchen, where he prepared all his meals after stocking up on groceries at the local Von's," said promoter Kenny Weissberg. . . .

Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. for Public Enemy's Aug. 26 concert at the San Diego Sports Arena. Also on the bill: Heavy D and the Boyz, Digital Underground and Kid 'n' Play. . . .

Best concert bets for the coming week: "World Beat Tour '90," featuring Jimmy Cliff, Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Egypt 80 with Imo and Lucky Dube, Thursday at the Open Air Theatre at SDSU; Stan Ridgeway, Thursday at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach; the Judds with Lionel Cartwright and McBride and the Ride, Friday at the Sports Arena; Commander Cody, Friday at the Belly Up Tavern; Rosie Flores, Friday at the Casbah in Middletown; Buck Owens, Sunday at Leo's Little Bit O' Country in San Marcos, and the Georgia Satellites, Sunday at the Belly Up.

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