Loog Oldham decides to leave one stone unturned

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The Independent Online

Chronicling the life and (very wild times) of the Rolling Stones has become a crowded market these days, what with both Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood planning to release their memoirs.

The pair supposedly fell out recently when Wood announced he would beat his bandmate to the punch by releasing his book first next month.

Still, at least they won't have to worry about a third tome that threatens to dilute further the hype, which was due to be released by their colourful former manager Andrew Loog Oldham.

Oldham's memoir, Stone Free, was originally slated for a release some time later this year.

Now Oldham, who has written two well-received books, Stone and 2Stoned, on his former band, has, apparently, scrapped the book after falling out with his publishers, Random House.

"Unfortunately, the third book has now been abandoned," says a pal. "It was going to be about the nature of hype in the music business, but it seems he had some strong disagreements with Random House about it. At the end of the day, Andrew doesn't need to put himself out, as he's in big demand over in the US for lectures."

Oldham, who resides in Bogota, Colombia, has clearly managed to calm his temper in his old age. When he once had a disagreement with the Stones' record company, he claims to have threatened to have one its executives thrown into the Thames wearing a pair of concrete boots.

Mozza's no fan of Beckham's Galaxy

Proof (if ever it were needed) that Morrissey, the former frontman with The Smiths, really is a miserable old so-and-so. The gloomy singer, who is about to embark on a tour of the US, was recently spotted watching a football match between David Beckham's new side, Los Angeles Galaxy, and their Californian rivals, Chivas USA. According to my mole, rather than cheer on his fellow countryman's team, Mozza – who lived in LA for the best part of a decade – not only opted to support Chivas but had also taken the trouble to buy one of their replica team strips. Sure enough, he got his wish and Galaxy were walloped 3-0.

Beckham, who was also sitting in the stands because of a meddlesome ankle injury, could be forgiven for expecting rather more support from the Mancunian warbler. Morrissey has always been known as a fan of the former England captain's old club, Manchester United.

Grin and bear it, Mario

The mild-mannered photographer Mario Testino does not immediately strike you as the competitive sort. But he is, it seems, quite prepared to get involved in a bout of petty of one-upmanship with his fellow Peruvian, Paddington Bear.

"I love Paddington. He is my main rival to being Peru's biggest export," said Testino, right, at the Vogue Italia photo exhibition, sponsored by Peroni.

However, when I informed him that Paddington would soon be honoured with his own Hollywood film, Testino changed his tone.

"I can't believe it. They're making a whole movie out of him?" he asked, incredulously, adding: "Well, I am not sure how many other Peruvians know who he is. Anyway, look at my photos. Don't they look nice?"

Old friends

When the frosty Vogue editor Anna Wintour makes a rare visit to London, she' s usually in and out of here faster than a New York minute.

This week, however, she appears to be taking her time. Wintour is currently in town to attend the memorial service for fashionista Isabella Blow, and was front row for Monday's catwalk show by the edgy British designer Christopher Kane.

She was even spotted that same evening enjoying a leisurely supper at the Mayfair eatery Bellamys in the company of Saga magazine's editor, Emma Soames.

Sadly, it seems that Wintour won't be jacking in her high-powered life in New York to write for the over-50s title. I'm told the pair are merely long-term lunching partners.

Viggo is a marked man

Viggo Mortensen has done little to quell the fears of London's jumpy Russian population. The Hollywood star, best known for his role in Lord of the Rings, plays a Russian gangster in his latest movie Eastern Promises, which was filmed in the capital last year.

The role required him to sport 43 Russian tattoos, which were applied during a gruelling four hours in make-up. He realised just how authentic the body art was when several Russian youths in a London pub mistook him for a member of the Russian mafia .

"They were looking at my hands and suddenly stopped talking," he says "It was right when the Alexander Litvinenko poisoning happened in 2006, and I looked very shady. So I got up and left. They were probably freaked out."

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