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THE DAILY DISH

Not so Motley ...
Former Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee said he's finding his experience at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to be a lot of work.

In a recent news conference, Lee said he loves horticulture, but finds chemistry to be unbelievably hard.

Another shock: Learning he had to wake at 6 a.m. to be at Memorial Stadium for drum practice with the school's band.

"This is the total fish-out-of-water experience for me," Lee said. "I didn't have the opportunity to go to college. I was busy touring since the age of 17. So this is completely strange and bizarre, but a lot of fun and a lot of work."

Lee, 42, is attending classes and activities during the filming of an NBC reality show, "Tommy Lee Goes to College." Filming began in early October.

"It's the real deal," Lee said of his studies. "I'm playing catch-up since we jumped in (during) the middle of the semester."

Fall of the Rising ...
It's good to be the Boss.

Less than a month after the New Jersey city of Asbury Park broke ground on a waterfront redevelopment project, Bruce Springsteen rendered his verdict on a planned condominium called the Rising, the same name as his Grammy-winning album and song.

The Boss called the name a "mistake." Almost immediately the developer agreed to change it, City Manager Terry Reidy said.

Reidy said the turnabout was sparked by a letter the rocker wrote to a local weekly newspaper, and praised Springsteen, who lives nearby, for his continuing devotion to Asbury Park.

Springsteen, a Monmouth County native who rose to fame playing Asbury Park clubs as the city's fortunes declined, wrote that he agreed with the newspaper's assessment that "it's time for a little originality on the waterfront."

"First, 'The Rising' was written in the shadow of Sept. 11 and should remain connected to the heartbreak and courage of that day," Springsteen wrote in a letter to the triCityNews.

Mandy mania ...
Barry Manilow is a little freaked out to see tens of thousands of people singing along with him.

"Most of the nights I look up, and there are between 10,000 and 15,000 people out there," the entertainer told the Denver Post. "They can't all be fans from the '70s."

"I just have to believe there's another generation that has either been brainwashed by their parents or have discovered this catalog of music on their own," he said.

Manilow said he wants to remind today's listeners that pop music requires great songwriting.

"Now what the singers are given is a good groove, a great-sounding record, some slang and free rein to try and make it as interesting as possible," he said. "They do a brilliant job, but I feel that the craft of songwriting has taken a nose dive."

Bugging Bjork ...
Beyonce Knowles is turning into the Mothra of merchandising. And that has Icelandic rocker Bjork in a snit.

Bjork has begged the R&B star to stop her shameless shilling.

"I love her voice," Bjork said in a recent interview. But "I'm really (bleeped) off she's doing all of those commercials. (It's) like selling your soul to the devil."

But, having touted Pepsi and Popeye's, Lucifer's disciple is now getting in bed with McDonald's. The Destiny's Child singer feels no remorse about the burger chain sponsoring her group's tour "Destiny Fulfilled ... and Lovin' It."

"That's what I ate every day when we were recording," she tells the London Sun.