Sound Bites: Metallica, Aerosmith, AOL-Time Warner

We Can't All Be Metallica

No one, apparently, can resist the lure of the name Metallica. The band threatened a lawsuit against Kim Hodges of Waco, Texas, because he called his furniture store "Metallika," according to The Associated Press. Hodges, a fan of the rock band, promptly changed the name. Metallica's lawyer told the AP, "When we find out about things like this, we actively protect the band's trademark rights." No kidding. Last week, the band filed suit against a perfume calling itself Metallica, and it settled a suit earlier this year with Victoria's Secret, which was also marketing Metallica-named cosmetics.

Aerosmith Prepares Spring LP

Though it will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum this spring, Aerosmith didn't want to be mistaken for a relic. The rock outfit has been recording at Joe Perry's studio outside Boston and has 20 songs in the can, with titles such as "Jaded," "Beyond Beautiful," "Under My Skin," and "Avant Garden." The band is producing the album — as yet untitled — itself. "We didn't want to do a color-by-numbers with a big-name producer," says Perry. "My stomach would get in a knot when we were considering other producers. Now it feels more organic. We didn't have to reproduce our energy, which is what usually happens when you work with a big outside producer. We just let go, and the sparks flew."

AOL, Time Warner Merger Approved

The Federal Trade Commission has approved the largest corporate merger in U.S. history: Internet giant AOL's takeover of media conglomerate Time Warner, of which record giant Warner Bros. is a major division. The planned union also needs the blessing of the Federal Communications Commission, though insiders consider that very likely. The FTC placed certain stipulations that the companies must meet before they merge. Primarily, these restrictions ensure that Time Warner will not use its cable holdings to force consumers to use America Online for high-speed Internet access. Critics of the deal feared that AOL — and through it the content of Time Warner — would be forced on consumers. Among other things, this would open the possibility that these AOL subscribers would be exposed preferentially to Warner Bros. artists, such as Madonna, Faith Hill, R.E.M., and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.