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Is Aerosmith auditioning a singer?

By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe staff / November 21, 2009

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Is Aerosmith already auditioning replacements for their wayward frontman? Band members Brad Whitford and Joey Kramer said this week they would consider carrying on without Steven Tyler, and according to a tipster, they were serious. So serious, in fact, that Aerosmith may be flying in a singer from Venezuela for an audition. A source close to guitarist Joe Perry called the rumor rubbish, but word out of South America is that Aerosmith wants a look-see at a long-haired screamer named Paul Gillman. According to his MySpace page, Gillman has fronted a couple of popular heavy-metal bands - Arkangel and the eponymous Gillman - that have sold out stadiums in Venezuela. Judging from video clips, Gillman, who’s at least 10 years younger than the members of Aerosmith, has a big voice capable of belting out the band’s material. The source close to Perry insisted it’s not true and told us the guitarist has “never heard of the guy.’’ Fans are skeptical that Aerosmith could be commercially successful without Tyler, but Perry and the others sound increasingly determined to press ahead. And there’s ample precedent for using replacement singers: Van Halen hooked up with Sammy Hagar after David Lee Roth; Journey hired singer Arnel Pineda after Steve Perry; and Judas Priest toured with Ripper Owens after Rob Halford left. It remains to be seen what Aerosmith will do.

‘People Speak’ premieres in N.Y.

The stars of the new documentary based on Howard Zinn’s book, “A People’s History of the United States,’’ gathered for the New York premiere the other night. Called “The People Speak,’’ the doc highlights the lives and letters of agitators, activists, soldiers, and slaves. Starring the likes of Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Marisa Tomei, Kerry Washington, Viggo Mortensen, Danny Glover, Lupe Fiasco, Q’orianka Kilcher, Allison Moorer, and Mike O’Malley, it debuts on the History Channel Dec. 13.

Shout-out from Cruise

Boston made a big impression on Tom Cruise. The A-list action man yesterday posted a note on his website, thanking fans for their “warmth and hospitality’’ while shooting “Knight & Day.’’ (Director James Mangold’s thriller has since set up shop in Salzburg, Austria.) “To the wonderful people of Boston,’’ the actor writes on TomCruise.com. “We absolutely love Boston and will treasure our memories of the freedom trail, the Duck Tours, the museums, restaurants, gorgeous parks and, of course, our unforgettable runs around the St. Charles River (sic). It was an autumn to remember!’’ Cruise was out and about during his time here, occasionally dining with wife Katie Holmes at Abe & Louie’s and Bricco, and strolling with daughter Suri. “On behalf of the cast and crew of ‘Knight & Day,’ we thank you for being so accommodating, patient and understanding throughout our filming. By lending us the beauty of your city you’ve made this film something truly special. Words can only begin to express our appreciation. I’d like to give a very special ‘shout-out’ to our local crew who were impeccable. It was a great pleasure working with you.’’

Night moves

Designer Cibeline Sariano strutted her stuff the other night at “Fashionably Late,’’ the semi-regular runway show at Liberty Hotel. Actually, it was the models who did the strutting after Sariano got them dressed.

‘The Game’ lives on

For some folks, the Harvard-Yale football game is circled on the calendar. So it is with Kevin Rafferty, a Harvard grad whose father and grandfather played football at Yale. Rafferty is the director of the acclaimed documentary, “Harvard Beats Yale 29-29,’’ about the dramatic 1968 game that ended in a tie when Harvard scored 16 points in the final 42 seconds. Before today’s game at the Yale Bowl, Rafferty will be outside signing copies of the DVD and his book of the same name. (He’ll be joined by Brian Dowling, Yale’s QB in 1968, and Garry Trudeau, who used Dowling as the inspiration for the character BD in “Doonesbury.’’) “I’d done a lot of political stuff,’’ says Rafferty, who’s best known for his 1982 documentary “The Atomic Cafe.’’ “But when my daughter was accepted at Yale, it made me think about my college days and The Game, and I made this movie.’’

BU hosts Buckley

Tony Award-winning actress Betty Buckley dropped by the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at BU this week to check out an exhibition of her personal papers at Boston University. Buckley, who may be best known for playing Dick Van Patten’s wife on “Eight Is Enough,’’ spoke about her life and illustrious career.

Union Oyster House ‘travels well’

Travel writers are keeping tabs on Union Oyster House. In recent days, owner Joe Milano has hosted Jeff Greenwald, author of “Shopping for Buddhas and the Size of the World,’’ Pauline Frommer, author of “Pauline Frommer’s Travel Guide,’’ Tony Wheeler, founder of Lonely Planet Publications, and Rolf Potts, author of “Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel.’’

Shannon is sharp

Ray Allen’s wife, Shannon, wowed the crowd at a fund-raiser for the Ray of Hope Foundation the other night. The missus lent her impressive pipes to French Lick, the classic-rock cover band whose drummer is Celts CEO Wyc Grousbeck. On hand were Paul Pierce, Rasheed Wallace, GlenBig Baby’’ Davis, J.R. Giddens, C’s coach Doc Rivers, president Rich Gotham, alum JoJo White, and the evening’s host, Matt Siegel of Kiss 108.

Crowded house

The Celts were expecting a few VIPs last night, including Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer, Pats Tully Banta-Cain, Chris Baker, and Brandon Merriweather, Ambassador to Spain Alan D. Solomont, and Revs player Taylor Twellman.

Read the Names blog at www.boston.com/namesblog. Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.

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