ROCK 'N' ROLLING IN IT His peeps aren't saying why Steven Tyler and his wife, Teresa, are splitting after 17 years, but one thing's for sure, it isn't about money. The new issue of Rolling Stone ranks rock 'n' roll's top 50 moneymakers of 2004, and the Boston band makes the list. Although Aerosmith earned just $450,000 per show last year -- about half of what it made on its last tour -- it still raked in $16 million last year, placing 35th out of 50 acts, down 10 spots from the previous year. (Prince finished No. 1 in 2004, earning an impressive $56.5 million.) In a statement released Sunday, Tyler's publicist Mitch Schneider said only that the Tylers, who have a 16-year-old daughter and a 13-year-old son, are ''a family trying to work through a difficult time."
DREAM COMES TRUE The Sox spring training facility was truly a field of dreams Saturday for James Denton, the actor who plays plumber Mike Delfino on ''Desperate Housewives." In Fort Myers, Fla., to be grand marshal of a parade over the weekend, Denton found himself at the Sox home away from home. ''I thought it was kind of strange that they'd want to show me the parade route . . . Then we pulled in, and I saw the Oprah bus, and I knew something was up," Denton said, referring to Oprah Winfrey's Wildest Dreams Bus. (Seems the actor told the talk show host his dream was to take batting practice with a Major League club.) How'd he do? ''Nice hit," Sox hitting coach Ron Jackson said at one point. ''That one would've almost been off the wall at Fenway." ''Yeah, almost," Denton said as he continued taking his cuts.
NAME-CALLING Give Alex Rodriguez a break. So what if the Yankees' third baseman can't remember the correct name of a certain Sox starter? ''Brandon is a great pitcher," A-Rod told the Globe's Gordon Edes, talking about Bronson Arroyo. C'mon, the guy was just confused. He must have been thinking of Brandon Walsh, Jason Priestley's character on ''Beverly Hills 90210." Or maybe he's a big fan of child actor Brandon Cruz from ''The Courtship of Eddie's Father." Or who can forget the late actor Brandon de Wilde's emotional scene in ''Shane" when the freckle-faced kid yells, ''Shane! Come back! Come back, Shane!" Anyway, iPod, you're forgiven.
FW: GATES What began as a joke, something to amuse his friends, has become an online phenomenon. ''Yeah, it's been pretty hectic," acknowledged Geoff Hargadon, creator of ''The Somerville Gates," a tribute to Christo's much-hyped ''Gates" in Central Park. Haven't seen his adorable 3.5-inch-tall gates? Check 'em out at www.not-rocket-science.com/gates.htm. Earthlink estimates that Hargadon's site has had more than 2 million hits during the past few days, and e-mail responses are streaming in from museums, artists, art historians, and, of course, Somerville residents. ''Somebody from [Somerville mayor Joseph Curtatone's] office called . . .They want to do something," said Hargadon, who's taken to calling himself Hargo, at least for a while. On Saturday, Hargo and his wife, Patricia La Valley, traveled to New York to see the real deal. And? ''Very few people are indifferent to 'The Gates,' " he said. ''Some people love them, and some people object to them . . . I happen to be someone who loves them."
GUEST LECTURE Named for James Zafris, longtime Berklee College of Music trustee, the annual Zafris lecture series has featured some notable speakers, among them Beyonce Knowles's dad, Matthew; legendary record label head Walter Yetnikoff; and Hilary Rosen, who at the time was president of the Recording Industry Association of America. This year's choice? Phoenix Media CEO Stephen Mindich, who will muse Friday about the state of the music business and then chat with Newbury Comics founder Mike Dreese.
EAT UP Competitive eater extraordinaire and Belmont native Jason Conti tried for a world record last night on ''The Late Show With David Letterman" by eating 44 dozen oysters. Couldn't stay awake to see the gruesome end? Well, ''The Houdini of Cuisini," as Conti likes to call himself, managedto choke down 459 of the 528 oysters.
VIP VISITOR The great Julie Harris attended Sunday's matinee performance of Edward Albee's ''Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" at the Wilbur Theater, and afterward went backstage to visit with stars Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin. Harris said she enjoyed the production.
Globe correspondent Maureen Mullen contributed. Names can be reached at email@example.com or at 617-929-8253.