TRACKING THE JOHNSONS

Just last week, the publicist for Don Johnson, 40, and Melanie Griffith, 33, was telling us the couple's 1½-year marriage (their second to each other) was on solid ground (PEOPLE, Feb. 11), but that hasn't stopped the Hollywood rumor mill. Especially when Don was subsequently spotted on Jan. 24 leaving a 50th-birthday party for Tri-Star Pictures head Mike Medavoy with ex-girlfriend Barbra Streisand, 48.

Naturally Barbra's spokesman insisted there was nothing extraordinary about the exit. "Don and Barbra have been friends for a long time," says publicist Lee Solters. "All he did was escort Barbra to her car. She left alone and met her new boyfriend, [composer] James Newton Howard." (Howard did the film score for Pretty Woman and has signed to do Streisand's The Prince of Tides.)

And where was Griffith during all this? According to the Johnsons' PR man, Elliot Mintz, "Melanie arrived back in Los Angeles the next day [after completing Shining Through with Michael Douglas]. She and Don hosted a small Super Bowl party at their home on the 27th and then left together on a 10-day vacation, arm in arm."

We'll keep you posted.

BEATTY LIVES UP TO HIS REP

Stephanie Seymour had yet to be born when Warren Beatty starred in the classic 1967 bank-robbing tale Bonnie and Clyde. Today the 22-year-old Seymour can be seen on the cover of Playboy's March issue, in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S latest swimsuit issue—and on Beatty's arm.

Beatty, 53, brought Seymour to the same Medavoy party attended by Johnson and Streisand. One of our better-informed Beatty watchers says, "Warren and Stephanie are hot and heavy right now." Given his track record, we expect things will become cooler and lighter soon enough.

VAL KILMER WANTS TO SING

Although the sound track for The Doors will feature only the vocals of Jim Morrison and his original bandmates, there are moments in Oliver Stone's forthcoming movie about the dead rocker when actor Val Kilmer, who portrays Morrison, will actually be singing some of the Lizard King's lead vocals.

But is the 31-year-old Kilmer's singing really good enough to persuade a record company to sign the actor to his own recording contract?

We will soon find out. At press time, Kilmer's agents at the Creative Artists Agency were, according to our sources, "shopping" Kilmer—the singer, not the actor—to various record companies, including Virgin and even the Doors' own label, Elektra, though an Elektra source told us the company had little interest in signing him.

PAULA ABDUL IS FLYING HIGH

Ordinarily, when you hear about someone taking flying lessons, you assume he or she is up in a plane. Not so singer Paula Abdul, 28, who is being taught to fly, Peter Panstyle but with straps and pulleys, by Vladimir Kehkaial, the Soviet aerialist who is currently on tour with the popular French-Canadian circus Cirque du Soleil.

A source close to Abdul says the singer was "so taken" with Kehkaial's airborne act when she saw the very charming Cirque in Los Angeles late last year that she signed on for lessons. Now, this same source says, "she plans to incorporate a lot of what she's learning" in her July concert tour.