Beatles Artwork Unveiled: The only known piece of artwork created collaboratively by the four Beatles will be unveiled at New York’s Whitney Museum on Tuesday. Called “The Dead Sea Scrolls of Rock & Roll,” the felt marker, colored pencil and ink work was created for the program book of the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival and contains a message of peace from the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Owned by artist Tom Wilkes, the work has been reproduced in an edition of 1,000 lithographs, with up to 20% of the proceeds going to environmental and human rights groups. The original work will be shown at an entertainment industry gathering in Los Angeles Dec. 16, before traveling to Japan and Europe.
* ‘The’ Michael Jackson Story?: The buzz is already out about the January issue of Vanity Fair, which features a 12,000-word account of the “fall” of Michael Jackson, who faces charges from a 13-year-old boy that the pop superstar molested him. The story, written after two months of investigative reporting by special correspondent Maureen Orth (who was scheduled to appear on “Larry King Live” Tuesday night), features on-the-record interviews with Jackson’s friends and employees, as well as those on both sides of the ongoing criminal investigation and pending civil suit. One insider describes a tearful Jackson pleading with the boy’s mother to allow him to sleep in the boy’s bed, saying, “You’ve got to think of me as a brother.” The issue hits L.A. newsstands Tuesday.
* Guitarist Sues Over TV Show: Micki Free, the lead guitarist for the pop band Shalamar, has filed a $1-million libel lawsuit against Paramount Pictures, claiming he was victimized and defamed by the syndicated TV show “Hard Copy.” Free’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit claims he was depicted as a “deadbeat dad” in a March episode in which a camera crew followed investigators specializing in tracking down fathers who don’t make child support payments. The suit says the crew taped Free, in his underwear, answering the door when the investigators tried to arrest him. Free says he pleaded with police officers that he had made child support payments. Free alleges trespass, invasion of privacy, slander and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Lloyd Webber’s Mother Dies: The death of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s mother in England on Tuesday will not affect the composer’s plans to attend opening night of “Sunset Boulevard” at the Shubert Theatre on Thursday, a spokesman said. Lloyd Webber spoke to 72-year-old Jean Lloyd Webber, who had long battled cancer, on Monday, and she was “adamant that he not change his plans,” said the spokesman. Lloyd Webber now plans to return home on Friday, and the funeral will be held next week.
* ‘Beauty’ on Stage Gets Praise: Walt Disney Productions’ first major stage musical, “Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ ” has opened in Houston to generally glowing reviews. “Hilariously rambunctious, exhilaratingly effervescent, dazzlingly spectacular” were among the descriptions tossed out by the Houston Post. Although critics from Variety and the Dallas Morning News had a few complaints, they each noted that the production is “more beaut than beast.” It’s scheduled to open on Broadway in April.
Premiere Set for Dennehy Series: ABC will debut Brian Dennehy’s new psychiatric drama series, “Birdland,” on Jan. 5, the network announced Tuesday. “Birdland” will air Wednesdays at 10 p.m., a time slot now occupied by the low-rated “Moon Over Miami,” which will go on hiatus after Dec. 29. In “Birdland,” Dennehy plays a maverick yet compassionate psychiatrist who sometimes bends the rules for his patients.
Anchor John Beard’s move from KNBC-TV Channel 4 to KTTV-TV Channel 11 seems to be paying off for the local Fox station. During Beard’s first broadcast Monday, Channel 11’s ratings shot up 35% from the station’s average during November sweeps. . . . KCET-TV Channel 28 will celebrate what would have been legendary rocker Jim Morrison’s 50th birthday tonight by broadcasting footage from a 1968 Doors concert at the Hollywood Bowl. The 10 p.m. program, part of the station’s December membership drive, features appearances by former Doors members Ray Manzarek, John Densmore and Robby Krieger. . . . Director Steven Spielberg has been named Celebrity of the Year by cable’s E! Entertainment Television, recognized for both the blockbuster “Jurassic Park” and the soon-to-be-released “Schindler’s List.”