Saturday, December 04, 2004

APPPARENTLY, THE PROTECTION OF GOD MIGHT NOT BE ENOUGH: Fred Durst pulled gigs because of the fear of terrorism. Madonna pulled out of gigs in Israel because she was afraid of terrorists (although, oddly, she was happy to suggest everyone might like to go there on holiday). But you might have thought the Mormon Tabernacle Choir would have had enough courage to consider a trip abroad, right? Apparently not - they've just axed their plans to tour overseas next year because they're not entirely convinced they'd be protected from the whims of the crazed. And what hotspot had they been booked to play? Um... England and Wales.

THE PUBLIC HAVE SPOKEN: We're not sure that the Record of the Year proves anything much, other than the effectiveness of a redial button on a Nokia mobile, but if it's to be believed, Thunderbirds by Busted is the greatest record of the year. The ITV show this evening dragged this list of five records up:

1. Busted - Thunderbirds
2. McFly - Five Colours in Her Hair
3. Anastacia - Left Outside Alone
4. Will Young - Leave Right Now
5. Katie Melua - Closest Thing To Crazy

We're not entirely certian we want to live in Britain any more. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that Closest Thing To Crazy is only from this year; it seems to have been round stinking the place up for years. Maybe it's just that it's been used in so many bloody trailers that it's like it's started to feel like the Queen's face on the coins.

JOHNNY MARKS OWNS CHRISTMAS: ASCAP, the American royalties society, produces a list of the most-performed Christmas songs - a top 25 - which shows that Johnny Marks is the most successful Christmas song-writer in the world, ever, as he has three entries in the chart (Rudolph, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree and A Holly Jolly Christmas. We've never heard the last one, but who are we to question the wisdom of ASCAP?

And if you need a little reassurance that Christmas traditions are in place, the youngest song on the Top 25 is a quarter of a century old - Wing's Wonderful Christmastime.

The chart in full:
1. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) Mel Tormé. Robert Wells)
2. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin)
3. Winter Wonderland (Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith)
4. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie)
5. White Christmas (Irving Berlin)
6. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne)
7. I'll Be Home For Christmas (Walter Kent, Kim Gannon, Buck Ram)
8. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (Johnny Marks)
9. Little Drummer Boy (Katherine K. Davis, Henry V. Onorati, Harry Simeone)
10. Jingle Bell Rock (Joseph Carleton Beal, James Ross Boothe)
11. Silver Bells (Jay Livingston, Ray Evans)
12. Sleigh Ride (Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish)
13. Feliz Navidad (José Feliciano)
14. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (Edward Pola, George Wyle)
15. Blue Christmas (Billy Hayes, Jay W. Johnson)
16. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree (Johnny Marks)
17. Frosty The Snowman (Steve Nelson, Walter E. Rollins)
18. A Holly Jolly Christmas (Johnny Marks)
19. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (Tommie Connor)
20. It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas (Meredith Willson)
21. Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) (Gene Autry, Oakley Haldeman)
22. Wonderful Christmastime (Paul McCartney)
23. Carol Of The Bells (Peter J. Wilhousky, Mykola Leontovich)
24. Santa Baby (Joan Ellen Javits, Philip Springer, Tony Springer)
25. This Christmas (Donny Hathaway, Nadine McKinnor)

GIFTED: It's the time of year when Music Choice knock together a survey about music, and this year they're warning people that dodgy CDs will get a bloke dumped. The survey warns men that a small square packet containing the following artists will result in being binned off:

Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Phil Collins, Wet Wet Wet

Which makes sense. On the other hand, these are deemed to be bands who will delight a lady and keep you inside her tender embrace:

Damian Rice, Robbie Williams, Joss Stone, Westlife, Usher, Elton John

On the other hand, if our partner expressed a desire to own a Westlife CD, we'd be hugely unlikely to even bother going Christmas shopping for them.

ONE MAN, ONE VOTE, ONE TRACK, ONE ALBUM, ONE VISION, ONE NATION, ONE PEOPLE, ONE VOLTA: The Mars Volta have announced their intention to release an album with one track on it early in the new year. I guess it'll make it easier to select the single. Frances The Mute will last for a full 77 minutes.

This shouldn't be confused with a Blue album, where there are many tracks, but just one idea.

ANOTHER SWEEP FOR EVIDENCE: We're not sure if the idea was merely to wind him up, or so the police could have another go on the big dipper, but there's been another raid for evidence on Neverland.

Friday, December 03, 2004

POLLY PLAYS EXTRA: As a warm-up to her Morrissey support, PJ Harvey is going to do a quickie at the Royal Court - the London one, mind; December 11th.

THEY DO REALISE THEY'LL HAVE TO SING, DON'T THEY?: It's only taken a year and a half, but Girls Aloud have decided to go on tour. We're sure the implications of this have been explained to them, so we can only assume they're ready for this big, exciting leap. Kimberley Walsh:

"We've been itching to do this for a long time. But we decided to wait until we had two albums worth of songs to perform before we took to the stage. The time is right for us to give the fans a show they deserve. We're so excited."

That's what the delay has been, then - they've been waiting until there were enough songs around for them to sing. Not because most venues doubted they'd be able to pull a cracker come Christmas, much less a crowd. We do wonder how new bands manage to fill their shows, though: some groups go on tour before they've recorded any albums at all.

BUT THIS TIME HE REALLY MEANS IT: We thought it was kind of cheesey when the likes of Westlife started to say "we'll carry on as a band if the single makes it to the Top 10...", but Pete Doherty has taken things to a whole new level - promising to kick the crack if the new single goes top ten this week. So, there you are, then: if you don't buy Killamangiro it'll be your fault if he's found dead in a ditch.

We're not sure we totally believe Pete, either: "If you give me a sudden injection of extra cash, I promise I shan't be spending it on the crack cocaine..."

A DIFFERENT KIND OF BLUE: I don't like it. 6Music has done an overhaul of its website. It's in eye-gouging aquamarine. Ow, my beautiful eyes.

MEGAMAN IN COURT: So Solid's Megaman didn't quite appear in court on murder charges earlier today - Dwayne Vincent was connected to court via video link. He's been remanded in custody pending a further appearance on January 19th, where he will enter a plea on charges relating to the death of Colin Scarlett last month. A bail application is expected to be heard later today.

I'M A POLITICIAN, BUY ME: Krist Novoselic, once of Nirvana, has learned the lessons of politics swiftly and well: he's worked out that you're biddable, and so he's put himself up for sale on Ebay. We did wonder at first how it was allowed - Ebay in the US have a rule forbidding the sale of foodstuffs - but apparently when he says you can have lunch, it's with him, not of him. The cash will go to People For The American Way. At time of writing, the bids are up to USD1,650.

DON'T LISTEN TO ME: Bob Dylan has tried to shake-off his role as a seer and a prophet, telling a TV audience that he isn't a spokesperson for anyone or anything. Except of course Victoria's Secrets, who he took a small cash payment from to become spokesperson for their brand. Clearly, if his generation really want him to be their voice, they'll need to put together a financial package and talk to his agent.

iT HAD TO HAPPEN: We didn't think Apple could get away long trying to charge more for a download in the UK than in Germany or France - and now the Office of Fair Trading has got involved, referring the pricing structure to the European Commission. Apple's position has been to mutter that CDs are more expensive in the US, which doesn't really explain how they justify refusing UK consumers to purchase their tracks from the German server, and that the "real comparison is to be made with the price of other track downloads in the UK." So, it's okay to rip people off if everyone's doing it? Doesn't that sound oddly like the way a Cartel would work?

SINGEROBIT: Kevin Coyne, singer-songwriter, has lost his battle with lung fibrosis. He was 60. A talented painter and writer as well as a musician, Coyne was born at the end of the war in Derby. In 1961, he enrolled at Derby College of Art, after which he spent some time working as a drug counsellor in Soho - something which would provide him with a rich store images and tales for his creative careers. His big musical break came with discovery by John Peel and a spell at the DJ's Dandelion label, befire moving on to Virgin in 1973.

In 1981, Coyne had a nervous breakdown - brought on by too much booze and too much work - and as part of the recuperation process relocated to Germany. The country was to become home for the rest of his life. Although growing in reputation as a writer and painter, Coyne continued to make music - including the special project Burning Head (each of which came with an exclusive artwork) and The Adventures of Crazy Frank.

A hook-up with Brendan Croker in 2002 led to the acclaimed Life Is Almost Wonderful and more recently Coyne had established his own llabel, Turpentine Records. Sadly, he'd only had the chance to release one album, Donut City, before the diagnosis of lung fibrosis caught up with him.

Coyne's place in pub trivia was assured in 1971. The Doors, suddenly discovering their tubby singer Jim Morrison had died, approached him and offered him the front man job. Coyne claimed later his reason for turning them down was a dislike of leather trousers.

THE CORRECT USE OF IPODS: You'll recall a few years back U2 got into a bit of a grump with Negativland, believing that a little sample and some artwork might "confuse" U2 fans. Now, bringing the batttle up to date, Negativland have created a U2 vs Negativland special edition iPod. It's the usual iPod U2 special edition, only it also comes pre-loaded with Negativland albums too. Ebay have it

We've also just come across this interview where The Edge found himself being interviewed by Negativland - of course, you know, the band wouldn't have reacted like that, but it was the label, and what could they do, it's not like Island's biggest artists have any influence... To be fair to Edge, though, he does talk through the implications; even, at one point, when the phone goes down, he rings back to continue the conversation.

[Thanks for the Ebay watching to Fergus]

THE CORRECT USE OF IPODS: You'll recall a few years back U2 got into a bit of a grump with Negativland, believing that a little sample and some artwork might "confuse" U2 fans. Now, bringing the batttle up to date, Negativland have created a U2 vs Negativland special edition iPod. It's the usual iPod U2 special edition, only it also comes pre-loaded with Negativland albums too. Ebay have it

We've also just come across this interview where The Edge found himself being interviewed by Negativland - of course, you know, the band wouldn't have reacted like that, but it was the label, and what could they do, it's not like Island's biggest artists have any influence... To be fair to Edge, though, he does talk through the implications; even, at one point, when the phone goes down, he rings back to continue the conversation.

[Thanks for the Ebay watching to Fergus]

Thursday, December 02, 2004

... AND THEN SHE DROVE INTO THE ROSE GARDEN: Lynn Anderson, who is best known for that song "I beg your pardon I never promised you a rose garden" from ages ago has added another name to the long list of country artists charged with DUI. A concerned citizen called the cops when they spotted her car zooming all over Interstate 35W; by the time the police arrived they had to wake her up to see if she was drunk. (She had pulled over onto the hard shoulder, we ought to point out). This was at 7 am.

... AND THEN SHE DROVE INTO THE ROSE GARDEN: Lynn Anderson, who is best known for that song "I beg your pardon I never promised you a rose garden" from ages ago has added another name to the long list of country artists charged with DUI. A concerned citizen called the cops when they spotted her car zooming all over Interstate 35W; by the time the police arrived they had to wake her up to see if she was drunk. (She had pulled over onto the hard shoulder, we ought to point out). This was at 7 am.

OUR FRIEND'S IN THE NORTH: Pete Doherty plans to play a set of four gigs in the North (and, um, Birmingham), all on New Year's Eve. Pete Doherty, the booziest night of the year, a scramble across the country: what could possibly go wrong?

ANOTHER SUCCESS FOR THE BRITISH MEDIA: Today's front pages. Can you spot the difference?

OUR FRIEND'S IN THE NORTH: Pete Doherty plans to play a set of four gigs in the North (and, um, Birmingham), all on New Year's Eve. Pete Doherty, the booziest night of the year, a scramble across the country: what could possibly go wrong?

ADVENT-URES IN HI-FI: If you've forgotten to pick up an advent calendar in the all fun of the autumn, you could try using the Ordinary Boys online version. There's a treat, and/or a chance to meet the band behind every door, and a door for everyday between now and Christmas. We're not sure, but we're beating 24 will have a crack-addled Santa behind it.

208 TO RETURN?: RTL is talking about the possibility of reviving Radio Luxembourg - although, to be honest, it could just be teasing Wirelist members by saying it will. The idea is to resurrect the concept of broadcasting radio from a legal transmitter in one country with output targetted at another - something that more or less ran out of steam ten years or more ago when a looser hand at the UK regulatory authorities opened up a wider range of stations broadcasting to the UK, from the UK. This time it'll be digital rather than medium wave, but it's hard to see what the attraction would be in a UK radio market already offering a really broad range of services anyway.

LADY WITH THE LITTLE DOG: If Britney Spears is as pregnant as ever newspaper seems sure she is, how come she's gone out shopping for a chihuahua?

Photographers: Hey, Britney... what are you going to call your little lapdog?
Britney, puzzled: Sometimes I call him Kevin, sometimes 'honey...'

NICE TO KEEP A SENSE OF PROPORTION: Madonna has had a guy turn up delivering letters to her house a couple of times - so, rather than thinking "That'll be the postman, then", she's now convinced she will be shot, just like John Lennon. It really has become the standard response to seeing someone skulking around your wheelie-bin, hasn't it? "Ooh, clearly I'm going to be shot like John Lennon."

It's true there are uncanny parallels between the two - Madonna was born in New York and now lives in England; Lennon was born in England and moved to New York. Both married someone who quickly abandoned any pretence to being an independent person and adopted the role of 'spouse of...', sometimes knocking out a truly rubbish piece of art/film work that people pretended to like to avoid upsetting their more important partner. Both claimed to be spiritual and interested in a simple life while living in several elaborate houses. Both had an involvement in some classic pop moments but didn't really do anything worthwhile much more than five years into their careers.

Madonna is apparently "too scared" to leave her house right now (the odd trip out to do a five million advert shoot aside).

WRITE THESE DOWN: If ever words looked likely to come back to haunt someone, it's surely Hilary Duff's claim that she'll never get caught out like Ashlee Simpson:

"I've definitely felt pressure, but the band and me are all live so I feel really comfortable about that, that that could never happen to me. But I have felt pressure before because in Europe they want you to lip-synch on their TV shows and it's really hard to stand your ground because there it's so normal. Like in Paris people do it all the time. I'm actually friends with Ashlee and people are giving her such a hard time but, I don't know, I just think it sucks."

We find it hard to believe that anyone in European television much wants Hillary Duff to appear, much less lip-synch, and we're not really sure if Duff means synching sucks or Ashlee being attacked for it sucks. But we do love the idea that simply everyone in Paris synchs, darling. Mitterand never gave a speech without at the very least a guide track laid down first.

THAT EXPLAINS A LOT: In a bid to try and reposition himself as a bit of a bad boy, Brian McFadden has not just been growing a beard - expected to turn into something manly sometime round February on current growth rates - but he's also been talking up his drinking. He's now claiming to have gone to a rehab clinic "twice", apparently since Kerry McChipShop went back to Warrington. Since two stints of rehab seem unlikely in such a brief period, we can only presume he went to the clinic once to ask if they had a carjack he could borrow, and once to return it.

McFadden says that he was drunk all day, every day, while he was writing his album, which is astonishing. We used to write stuff when we were drunk and by the time we'd sobered up we couldn't make any sense of it at all, apart from (normally) the words "very important" and some exclamation marks - and although we do agree that McFadden's album sounds like the work of a man who might have had a sherry trifle inside him, we're a little surprised that someone who was drunk "all day, every day" to such an extent they needed two drying out periods was able to produce a coherent album during that period.

MISSING THE STORY: Surely the real significance of the news that - despite TRL, GM-TV and god knows what other appearances, Nadia's single has yet to clock up its 2000th sale isn't that it's doing poorly (frankly, 2000 sales is more than it deserves) but it's currently sitting at 22 in the midweek charts. A thousand and some odd sales, and it's within spitting distance of the Top 20? The Hollywood team making that movie about how the Alarm "tricked" their way into the Top 30 might want to find out exactly how many records the band sold to do that.

DAD AS VINYL VI: In other words, David Sylvian's been remixed - there's going to be a new version of all the stuff on Blemish released as Good Son v The Only Daughter at the end of January. Remix work includes stuff by Ryoji Ikeda, Burnt Friedman, Readymade FC, Joshihiro Hanno as well as others.

OH, PISS: We'd spent the morning happily planning what we would do when - close enough to catch Chris Martin's eye, we'd slowly reveal something written on our hands. This joy had come from the news that Coldplay were meant to be about to embark on a series of small club-level venues to soft-launch the new album. But the news appeared in The Sun, and, like much of News International's output, it wasn't actually accurate. The label says that the 'Play will be in the US when they're meant to be doing the uni gigs. But why should that be a problem? Why not send any bunch of wan chaps to do the gigs - it's not like anyone knows what a coldplay looks like, is it?

EMOH-OH...: Lou Barlow is heading for London town - he'll be playing the Borderline on December 17th in support of the new Emoh album. Emoh. Do you see?

STUNT TO COVER MICHAEL JACKSON IN BLOOD FLOPS: Tiresome old hack ("performance artist") Istvan Kantor has been arrested while attempting to spray blood over a Michael Jackson sculpture. He was caught in the Hamburger Bahnhof gallery before he squeezed some blood over Paul McCarthy's rendering of Jacko and Bubbles. The blood went over a wall instead. Everybody went home.

MAYBE COACHELLA 2005: According to Undercover, this is going to be next year's Coachella line-up:

April 30th
David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, PJ Harvey, Coldplay, Interpol, The Faint, Franz Ferdinand, Polyphonic Spree, Boards of Canada, TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Squarepusher, Clinic, French Kicks, Secret Machines, Phoenix, Beep Beep, Dogs Die In Hot Cars, Death from Above 1979 and The Helio Sequence.

May 1st
REM, Tears For Fears, Wilco, Modest Mouse, Bright Eyes, Jimmy Eat World, Mos Def, Badly Drawn Boy, The Streets, Spoon, Cake, The Postal Service, The Shins, Sleater-Kinney, Rilo Kiley, Radio 4, Doves, Iron and Wine, The Arcade Fire, Moving Units.

Tears For Fears? Tears For Fears?

MINE, ALL MINE: The government will be pleased to hear that this bunch are about to become a small business:

Yep, Korn have done their time with Sony and now intend to release future stuff through their own label. They might even manage to make enough cash from music without having to licence - well, any old tat:

NEVER MIND THE VISAS: Surely a more pressing question for the Home Secretary is quite what the relationship between the police and the BPI was for the Scottish raid on pirates - the reports read almost as if the BPI is directing these operations:

The BPI’s anti-piracy investigator for Scotland, Pat Ferguson added:

“We’ve done smaller raids in the region before, but nothing on this kind of scale. Plus, it serves as a far bigger deterrent when we’re able to raid their houses. The most determined pirates have nothing but contempt for the law and would be out flogging fakes days after being bailed if we didn’t seize their means of production.”

Still, at least it's a laugh seeing a voicepiece for a cartel of four of the biggest companies in the world using a phrase like "seizing the means of production".

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

HE INCREASES THE NUMBER OF BLOGS BY EXACTLY ONE: We like the look of what's going on over at PopText - "because life is too short to listen to Snow Patrol"; and if you like music that knows what a chorus is for, so will you.


...or is it Kelly Jones?

MORE BITTER THAN THAT STUFF THAT MAKES TODDLERS SPIT OUT BLEACH: Astonishingly, Robbie Williams and his team have already started moaning about 'Brits snubs' before the shortlists are even out:

A friend of Williams confides, "The Brits bosses make the rules up as they go along. Last year (03) we were told the Knebworth live album was not eligible.

"This year (04) there's probably some other technical rule which allows them to keep Robbie away. But he's the UK's biggest male star and should get the recognition he deserves."

... leaving aside that the Brits are supposedly about creativity rather than sales (that's what the Charts are there to measure), why does Robbie think the rules should be different for him? And having released pretty much the same best of album twice - once live, once studioed - does he really think he's due a prize for being creatively at his peak?

AND THEY MIGHT HAVE SOME GAY FRIENDS I CAN MEET: It must really suck being the Scissor Sisters, as every act (with the possible exception of Buju Banton) cosies up to you in a bid to get some reflected glory ("some opportunity to create artistic cross-fertilization"). No sooner had they made some excuse about having to go to bed early because of the window cleaner coming in the morning to get rid of Elton John than Will Young pops up:

'Pop Idol' champ Will Young hopes to work with the Scissor Sisters on his next album, a source tells Ann Montini of Sky News. "I just love their style and craftsmanship - it’s really very now."

Yes, although if they keep hitching their cart to anyone passing with a record company chequebook in their pocket, they'll become 'somewhat yesterday' and then 'extraordinarily then' quite quickly.

DO FEMALE FIRST EMPLOY SUBS?: It's one thing to report that Justin Timberlake went skinny dipping with fans, but are aware exactly what they're implying here?:

The CRY ME A RIVER singer was taking a break from filming an upcoming video in Palm Springs, California, and decided to engage in some raunchy water sports with the stunning models

STUNT BAND ANNOUNCE STUNT: In a bid to try and interest people in a well-worn joke, the brains behind the Gorillaz are holding an international talent contest throught the web to fin... oh, you've already lost interest, haven't you? Did you know Syd Little's published his second autobiography in five years? Oddly, the first one (Little Goes A Long Way) was all gloomy about how his children came to grisly ends, but this one is apparently an "inspirational" story. Little's quite big on the God circuit these days, like Cannon and Ball oddly enough. Hang about, here comes Damon Albarn, we'd better pretend we were interested in his band or he'll have a hissy fit... and the whole thing with take 23 weeks to work through before an eventual winner is crowned.

EMPTY SOULS MAKE THE MOST NOISE: The Manics are planning to launch their next single, Empty Souls on January 3rd. It's already being played on The Amp, we noticed last night - can anyone tell us if it's meant to sound that wretched or if they've just got a duff copy?

DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME OF YEAR IT IS, JANICE?: It's Poll Time... the booths are open for the Libertines Aw... sorry, NME awards. Use your vote wisely.

KAZAA VERSUS THE MUSIC INDUSTRY: What is, of course, most amusing about the battle the Australian music industry are fighting in court against Kazaa is the sheer level of effort, money and people ARIA have investing in chasing after a peer network already in decline. Yes, they may have come up with a fair point when they asked in court yesterday if you can block child porn sharers, why can't you block copyright infringers (although surely the answer there is 'do you really believe there's a moral equivalence between someone offering a picture of a three-year old being anally raped and someone diddling Phil Collins out of a third of penny royalties?'), but... fighting Kazaa? What, do they intend to fly back in time with a court judgement to when Kazaa was the threat to them?

AN APPLE FOR THE STARVING: Apple have flexed their muscles, and now Do They Know It's Christmas is available on iTunes. What's interesting is that Apple have won: it's costing 79p. Band Aid will get GBP1.49 for each download, because Apple have said they'll make a donation of 70p for each copy they sell (tax-deductable, cheers), but what this really shows is the immense sway Apple have in the music industry - they've faced down Ure, Geldof and their competitors to keep their 79p a pop deal solid. They're offering DTKIC for less than anywhere else, but giving the same cash to charity. It's quite a good place for them.

KYLIE WANTS TO BE SEE-THROUGH: Poor Kylie - the pressures of being the most famous woman on the planet (mini-size category) are getting to her, and she dreams of fading into the background. Perhaps she should ask Dannii for some tips, as she's managed it alright?

Kylie says that even when she tries diguise, she's still spotted:

"Once I wore a dark wig and a baseball cap and people went 'Oh there's Kylie, in a dark wig and baseball cap."

Maybe you should have covered your arse up.

THE FAMILY COMPLETE: As seemed kind-of-likely, the family Ravenscroft are going to finish the John Peel biography. Sheila and the children are going to add material and personal anecdotes to the work. "He was very excited about the book" explains Sheila, "it would be a shame not to finish it." It's due out October 2005.

CROW "STALKER" CLARIFIES POSITION: Ambrose Kappos, the 38 year-old who has just been cleared of burglary and stalking charges after a spell of putting the spooks into Sheryl Crow, has issued a statement to make things seem a lot clearer, in case you were wondering:

Outside court, Kappos said he believes he was "delusional" when he thought he was communicating telepathically with Crow.

"Clearly there was no telepathy," Kappos said, adding two unhappy marriages, an infatuation with Crow and other emotional difficulties created the "perfect storm" psychologically, and caused his behavior.

He said he was "still looking for love, and if I can find a really good woman who can stir my emotions the way Ms. Crow did" a relationship would be possible.

That's great news, eh, girls? Especially now it's clear that he won't expect you to communicate directly into his head - you can just phone him up. Has anyone got Amy Winehouse's number?

WHAT DO YOU CALL A GUY WHO BUYS LOADS OF BEAUTY PRODUCTS BEFORE CLAMBERING ON BOARD A NAVY SHIP?: Eminem, it seems. He's been caught out buying sixty thousand pounds worth of make-up before his HMS Belfast date: it's alright, though, because " he thinks the brand's scientific spin [M:ACTIV] makes it a bit more macho."

Here's just a little of that blokey spin:

"Premature ageing is the scourge of all women’s lives. Pollution, sun exposure, smoking, drinking, poor nutrition and inadequate water intake all contribute to tell-tale signs of early ageing. Even those with a healthy lifestyle are not immune and eventually their collagen fibre structures will reduce. Now, with the UK launch of M ACTIV skincare, there is an active weapon.."

Yeah, that sounds like something they use after a cue-balling down the snooker hall, doesn't it?

CROW "STALKER" CLARIFIES POSITION: Ambrose Kappos, the 38 year-old who has just been cleared of burglary and stalking charges after a spell of putting the spooks into Sheryl Crow, has issued a statement to make things seem a lot clearer, in case you were wondering:

Outside court, Kappos said he believes he was "delusional" when he thought he was communicating telepathically with Crow.

"Clearly there was no telepathy," Kappos said, adding two unhappy marriages, an infatuation with Crow and other emotional difficulties created the "perfect storm" psychologically, and caused his behavior.

He said he was "still looking for love, and if I can find a really good woman who can stir my emotions the way Ms. Crow did" a relationship would be possible.

That's great news, eh, girls? Especially now it's clear that he won't expect you to communicate directly into his head - you can just phone him up. Has anyone got Amy Winehouse's number?

PRESENT ARMS: Following on from the reactivation of the Weddoes a couple of months ago, the arse-end of winter will be lit up by the first Wedding Present tour in eight years:

* Belfast Spring and Airbrake (February 16)
* Galway Cuba (17)
* Cork Cypress Ave (18)
* Dublin Village (19)
* Liverpool Academy (20)
* Manchester Academy (21)
* Colchester Arts Centre (22)
* Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms (23)
* Brighton Concorde 2 (24)
* Oxford Zodiac (25)
* Sheffield Leadmill (26)
* Bristol Fleece and Firkin (27)
* Birmingham Academy (28)
* Nottingham Rescue Rooms (March 1)
* Newcastle University (2)
* Dundee Reading Rooms (3)
* Glasgow King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut (4)
* Stoke Sugarmill (5)
* Leeds Metropolitan University (6)
* Norwich Arts Centre (7)
* Northampton Roadmenders (8)
* London Forum (April 6)

The venues might not be as large as Oasis are playing, but doesn't that list just make you feel all cheered up?

BRANSON PICKS UP THE RITTER: Repackaged double album going-ons in Josh Ritter's future, as V2 picks him up and plans to reissue a sumptuous new edition of Hello Starling - the new material coming from a live set he did in Dublin.

OH GOOD GOD: There's nothing wrong with the odd Elvis tune, but we're not looking forward to RCA's plans to carpet bomb Britain with an Elvis single every week- a different re-release each Monday between January 3rd and April 25th, from All Shook Up to - inevitably - Junkie XL's A Little Less Conversation remix. Part cash-in, part attempt to fix Presley's chart record, the really nauseating thing is that it's only going to be a matter of time before The Beatles respond in kind.

SHHHHHHHH: It's not often you get to see a bona fide rock-goth god talking a library (of course, it's not often you get to hear anyone talking in a library as - no matter how laid-back and welcoming the staff, there's always a woman who smells of dogs stood by the Large Print Romances section will "shhh" anyone who tries to communicate) so it might even be worth getting to Australia where Nick Cave is going to do a talk about his lyrics in the State Library of New South Wales on December 19th.

In other Cave news, Cave's written a screenplay for The Proposition, a Guy Pearce movie that's currently going in to production. We're guessing it's not a rom-com.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

MUSIC TELEVISION: Oddly, last night, getting home from the news that BBC One no longer thought that Top of the Pops was a mass audience proposition, much of that evening's BBC One was music-based.

First of all, there was Spooks, which seems to have abandoned all pretence at being a stab at realism. For some reason, MI5 was instructed by Captain Darling from Blackadder to get involved in the investigation of the kidnap of a rock couple's baby - the actual reasons made no sense; it was the sort of plot twist that got the cast of Are You Being Served running a hotel; or the characters from Golden Girls running a hotel; or... but you get the point. We were also asked to believe that this couple were the leading lights of the British grunge movement - which would mean they'd be like, who, exactly? They were obviously basing them on Kurt and Courtney, but if they really wanted a major figure from the British grunge scene, it'd probably have to be one of Swervedriver, right? Suspend your disbelief far enough to believe there was an English Kurt (and, in the end, the "Kurt" figure did blow his head off) and then you'd be asked to swallow that a baby kidnap drama involving them would force a ministerial resignation down the news agenda. Oh, and that "Kurt" was given a knighthood. For services to the music industry. And yet, oddly, despite Kurt having all this status and media weight, none of the Spooks had actually heard his music until there was a ho-ho, isn't it noisy moment. The whole set-up was so sloppy and ill-considered it was as if they'd written an episode about Westminster and made the fictional PM a Lord and called the lower house the Senate.

A quick break for the news, and then it was George Michael: My Struggle, or whatever they'd decided to call his self-justification. George seemed to think he was some sort of political prisoner: his career harmed by Walk The Dog rather than the run of very average albums. There were surprising appearances by Andrew Ridgeley - now looking rather grey around the temples, in as far as there is any hair there at all; he has an air of Alexei Sayle as The Young One's landlords. Shirley (as in Pepsi and) has turned into a slimmer version of Corrie's Eileen Grimshaw; and David Austin is still around - chubbier than the days when This Boy Loves The Sun comes out, but still part of George's inner circle. It's odd that George attempted to justify axing Andrew on the grounds that "if I was going where I believed I was, we couldn't hang out any more", but still managed to find a role for David.

The best moment, though, came when Boy George accused George Michael of a lack of dignity. Boy George, we should point out, had coloured his neck in so as to appear slimmed down.

CHRIS DE BURGH RIDES TO THE AID OF DEMOCRACY: The people of Ukraine might feel a little bit pissed off with the quality of the "stars" who are about to launch a campaign on TV to protest against their munged election. Indeed, such is the b-list sheen of the people caling for a re-run or similar of the Presidential election, you might suspect it's actually a State plot to try and make the opposition look like schmucks: there's going to be Sting, Joe Cocker, Dolores from the Cranberries... never mind turning their back on the challenger, that's enough to make the Ukrainians try to get Andropov back.

MAKE HER BRING THAT FAMOUS FACE: An unusual rock sick list entry, as the stress of making their fourth album makes Garbage's Shirley Manson break out in pereira dematitis:

"They have no idea what causes it but the doctor asked me if I was under stress."

"I've now got to take a course of antibiotics to rid myself of it because if I only stick to the topical cream it will take me six months to get over it."

"I've completely stopped looking at myself in the mirror because what stares back at me is utterly horrifying. It's better to just live in blissful ignorance."

NOT WHOLLY, MOLY: There was an odd foot put wrongly by the usually wise Holy Moly mailout at the arse-end of last week:

From Mark Thompson's weekly memo to staff:
"Congratulations and many thanks to everyone involved in Children in Need on Friday.

There were so many highlights: Rolf, Kylie, Trinny and Susannah in Walford, Bananarama. And as for Duran Duran – well, it’s the thought that counts isn’t it?"

Would that be Duran Duran that are due to appear on your Lottery show tomorrow night Mark?

Tell him where to stick it, Nick.

Erm... no, that wouldn't be that Duran Duran, HM. It would have been the "Duran Duran" made up from various BBC News journos dressed up in leather that Mr. Thompson broke off from getting bits of the Beeb valued for to have a snicker at.

RECORDBIZOBIT: Record industry boss Artie Mogull has died in LA. Mogull by both name and nature, he held executive positions at Warner Bros. Records, Capitol Records and MCA Records; he would eventually buy United Artists Records. The 77 year-old was still active during his later years; early in 2004 he launched another label, Insane (fake indie labels had been his speciality in the last decade or so).
Since his first steps in the music industry in 1949 - as a member of Tommy Dorsey's entourage - Mogull built a reputation based on a strong instinct for the nascent talent. Most impressively, he signed up Bob Dylan's publishing early on; although his idea of how to best use people's natural abilities wasn't always quite so acute. He had a stand-up row with Laura Nyro during a demo taping as he insisted that she should stick to cover versions and other people's songs.
His interests ran way beyond American artists - over the years he'd work with ELO, Deep Purple, Olivia Newton John and Helen Reddy. In the process, he'd built up a massive stack of anecdotes about the demands and tantrums of his charges, such as this classic about Paul Anka:
"...The day after Elvis died, my V.P. of Marketing walked into a meeting and announced RCA had orders for $100 million worth of Presley albums. To be funny I said, "Christ, there's our solution, let's shoot Paul Anka". Everyone laughed....Now skip three weeks, it's 3.30am and I'm fast asleep. The phone rings, it's Anka, the story has circulated back to him and he's in a rage. But when you've been at this (the record business) as long as me, you can think in your sleep. I waited for him to spout his rage and then said, ' Paul, you a fucking idiot. Do you realise you were the only artist I could think of whose death would warrant those kind of sales ?'. 'Jesus Christ', he said, ' I never thought of it that way'. The artist's ego had reared its head".
Mogull died on November 25th from heart failure.

MINDY SAYS 'YES' TO DRUGS CHARGES: Mindy Mccready has pleaded guilty to obtaining painkillers with a wonky prescription.

McCready was fined four thousand bucks and will have to perform 200 hours of community service. Plus, she'll not be able to purchase aspirin without the store clerk making a weak gag.

NORTHERNERS GO FURTHER SOUTH: As there seems to be no end of people happy to pack a picnic basket and get Mrs. Griggles from number 45 to watch the dog, Oasis have added another date to their 2005 tour: they'll now be playing the Southampton Rose Bowl on July 6th. There's room for extra dates there, too, if anyone's interested.

LET'S TREAT THEM AS SANE: Judge Melville has snorted and slammed the door on the Jackson defence request to have his accusers given a mental check as part of the pre-trial work. Slightly more sinisterly, it turns out the Jacko team want to see the gynaecological records of the boy's sister - Melville is going to allow them to make a request as part of a range of demands, but surely there's no way that's anything other than icky and iffy?

SOMETIMES, SELF-AWARENESS SNEAKS UP ON YOU: It's possible Matt Busted will regret not having his quotes read back to him. Trying to sum up the boredom Busted feel when another fan gets her chest out for them to sign, Matt sighed:

"I never knew I'd see so many boobs. At first I was shocked but now it's just like 'Oh look, there's another pair of breasts.'
"Girls always get them out for us to sign and don't get at all embarrassed about it. The crowd at our concerts is full of tits."

Maybe, Matt, but they're still three IQ points ahead of the McFly audience.

YOU CAN BANISH A LOT OF SHADE WITH THAT RIGHT THERE: Well, it never really looked like Band Aid 20 was going to fall flat on its arse, but just to confirm the soft, sentimental side of the British public, Do They Know It's Christmas sold 72,000 copies on the first day. We wonder how many of those CDs will be going towards the band aid dilemma site, which attempts to find a solution to the age-old problem: not buying shit music, not wanting to look like a Scrooge and avoid helping charity. Their answer is to buy ten copies and destroy them. Although the problem with that - he said, adopting a serious face - is that you're attempting to help the poorest of the planet by demonstrating how great it is to live a country where you can destroy items produced and transported at great cost to the planet's scarce resources. You could just give your money direct to charity.

IT'S LIKE SOME SORT OF SUPERGROUP: In London town for thanksgiving, Conor Deasy of the Thrills leaped up on stage and helped The Concretes out with their Christmas single, Warm Nights. He did not bring green bean casserole.

TALKING OF EMINEM: We doff our cap in the direction of, which manages to work the phrase "equally interested in him" into a story about Eminem and Robbie Williams meeting in the gym. It really does sound like the start of some unpleasant slash, doesn't it?

HIP PRIEST: We wonder if a man so disdainful of the Grammies will be interested in the latest honour bestowed upon him: nutso culters the Raelians have made Eminem an honorary priest. Officially, the Raelians have given him the dubious honour because he's mocked President Bush in public (by which reckoning, they'll need to have a massive robing room for the ceremony), but we suspect there's something else attractive about Em for them. Being obsessed with cloning (they're the gang who claim they've made a human clone, but have, erm, lost what they did with it or something), they probably love the video for the Real Slim Shady with all the em-a-likes coming off the conveyor belt.

SECRET (ALBEIT NOT SECRET) GIG: Secret Machines, much-approved-of-round-here, are going to be warming up for their Interpol support slots with a headline gig at the Scala in London next Monday (6th December)

The Interpol/Secret Machines dates are:
15th BRISTOL Academy
16th BIRMINGHAM Academy
17th GLASGOW Academy
18th MANCHESTER Academy
19th NOTTINGHAM Rock City

Monday, November 29, 2004

MONEY WHERE IT COUNTS: It's heartening to hear that Capital are planning to invest £1.5m in Xfm and Choice over the next six months. It's perhaps a little disappointing, though, that while Choice gets improved programming, Xfm's share of the cash is going to be blown on advertising.

BOOK NOW FOR SUMMER 2005: Melvin Benn reckons that two of the three headliners for next year's Reading Festival are booked (and, of course, for next year's Leeds, too). He's not at liberty to reveal any details of course - because, erm... if people knew... you know... then they'd know.

The Virtual Festivals interview with Benn also considers the bottling of 50 cent:

VF: Were you surprised by his aerial bottling bombardment? It was certainly a passionate reaction from the crowd.
MB: Well it was an oddity and I was surprised, yes. We have had hip-hop acts for many years at both Reading and Leeds, in fact it’s unusual for us not to. It’s important to reflect different types of music but for some reason it just didn’t work for 50 Cent. Maybe it was because he was billed just before Green Day. Perhaps we should have put him before The Darkness.

VF: Well at least it got him dancing. Will it change your booking policy?
MB: Not really no. It’s had a bearing and we’ve taken notice but we’ll still be looking to include an element of hip-hop. I can’t see why that will change. Maybe we need to be a bit more careful to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

... all of which seems to imply, again, that it's still seen as the rock crowd having a problem with hip-hop; why can't they even start to think about if it was simply 50 Cent the crowd had a problem with?

HEY, APPLE - DONTCHAKNOWITSCHRIZMAZTYME?: You won't be able to get Do They Know Its Christmas on iTunes: Apple politely told Band Aid it either sold for 79 pence, like everything else, or it didn't sell on the system at all. Band Aid elected to hold out for GBP1.49, and is holding out still.

AN INSIDE JOB, YOU SAY?: Curiously, the police are working on the basis that the theft of all that jewellery from the Osbourne house might have been an inside job rather than a chance break-in. It's almost like the cops think the thief somehow knew the layout of the Osbourne bedrooms in advance.

The X-Factor cast and crew are being interviewed, as many of them have spent time at Casa Ozzy during the making of the series, although they're surely too busy with musical crimes to be adding anything else to their schedule.

ACTUALLY, THE WORD 'DOOR' IS SUPERFLUOUS HERE: Pity the troubles of those with more famous spouses:

Us Weekly quotes former Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro complaining, "I may as well be a doorknob. I get shoved out of the way so people can get close to her [wife Carmen Electra]."

Although, actually, don't doorknobs get twisted rather than pushed?

VALUE OF CAREER MAY GO DOWN AS WELL AS UP. CHECK SMALL PRINT: Have you been wondering what Kym Marsh is up to these days, besides waiting for a call from that ice-dancing rip off of Strictly Come ITV is planning for new year?

She's washed up - a phrase we use advisedly - on the shores of the Office of Fair Trading, promoting a campaign to encourage people to shop around for credit. We're sure her involvement in the campaign will benefit people who are able to remember who she is, and are also able to make sense of the APRs EPRs and legal details on credit forms.

GOOD NEWS FOR MUSIC - BAD NEWS FOR HOLLYWOOD: So it seems that the reaction to her first single, Screwed, has been so terrible (really, really terrible: even her flunkies have requested compassionate leave rather than have to pretend to enjoy it) that Paris Hilton has decided to jack in the music industry for good. Instead, buoyed by some positive comments on her acting, she's going to concentrate on that, instead. We're not sure what positive comments she's had - perhaps people who've seen The Simple Life have told her she really, really, acts like she's dumb as fuck; maybe she's misunderstood the sarcasm when people say "Yeah, Paris, I saw the porn video - you obviously didn't know you were being filmed..."

BACK IN BUSINESS: Long-hiatusing music blog rockcritics daily has gone live again.

COCK AND COXON: Who should stumble into view during Graham Coxon's gig in London at the weekend but young Pete Doherty - the coolest, coolest man in the world, ever IDST. They did Time for Heroes together, Doherty wearing a white vest and leather jacket (sounds like his uniform from an earlier career, that, doesn't it?)

BOB NOT SO HARDY: Coming over a little George Bush Snr in Japan: Franz Ferdinand's Bob Hardy, who fell ill during the band's tour and left the others to play an acoustic set. The band did say if anyone was pissed off by the lack of bassist in the set, they could get half the price of the ticket back. Although, generally, the words "we've not got the bassist with us" is a cause of celebration.

A TERRIBLE THING TO BLAME ON AN OLD LADY: Gwen Steffani has said her style is influenced by her mam and grandma. Gwen describes the dressing-up she did guided by her gran:

"I used to make corset-style drop-waists with a cheerleader skirt. Underneath I wore my boxer shorts, fishnets and Dr Martens."

Apart from sounding like a phone-sex line trying too hard to please,what's really puzzling us about this is were Grammy Steffani would have kept her pension book.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE MAD TO STALK GEORGE MICHAEL...: But it might well be the case. The woman who's been popping up in George Michael's garden is having tests to see if she's mentally competent - we don't think by this they mean she's being sat in a room while doctors say "He's gay. And orange. Are you insane? - and according to Ananova, Police are treating it as a possible 'John Lennon' case. Presumably they're afraid that Michael might start releasing songs about how spiritual he is.

Oddly, the stalker - Lucy Nowak - is alleged to have broken into George's house "and stolen his secret email address", which seems to be a curious way of putting things, as if George came in and there was a big gap in the corner where he used to keep his secret email in a cage.

George says he's so fed up with all this stalkering business he's going to live like a recluse for the next ten years - straight after he's done a big BBC One interview about his boyfriend dying, and a live gig at the centerpiece of Radio 2's Christmas schedules, and finished having to issue press releases about how he's going to be a recluse.

IT'S NOT FRIDAY. IT'S NOT SEVEN O'CLOCK. AND IT'S NOT NUMBER ONE ANY LONGER: Well, at least it's not shunting down as far as BBC Three, but Top of the Pops is being kicked off BBC ONE to Sunday nights on BBC Two from springtime.

It could be a good move for the show, really: no longer having to fight against Coronation Street for attention (unless Roly Keating decides to bury it at 7.30) and no more having to have its not-that-bad three million audience compared with EastEnders - although it's perhaps fair to point out that the Enders can only manage about six million when it's up against Emmerdale, so pulling three million against the most popular programme in Britain is actually a really good performance.

On the other hand: there's a threat of more pissing about with the format, and however well it does, there's going to be a sense of demotion about the show. Roly says he wants to make the programme "bigger and better" - and a lot of his work at BBC Four has shown he can handle programmes with pedigrees with a certain amount of respect, but we'd like to see some firm proposals. And, of course, the programmes.

FORMER POP STAR SHOCKED TO DISCOVER SHE ISN'T ADORED: Oddly, depite having signed up for the TV programme where faded stars trade eating bugs for publicity, Natalie Appleton has walked out of IACGMOOH because she was asked to eat bugs.

The sweet thing is that she seems to think we - us, the public - have let her down somehow:

As hosts Ant and Dec revealed she had been voted to face another ordeal, Nat said: "Shall I get my coat? I might as well have come here on my own. Thank you England."

It's a terrible shame when you have to rely on Sophie Anderton taking up the slack for you.

HOW LONG IT TAKES TO LICK A WOUND: It may have passed you by; it certainly passed us by, but Matt Bianco released an album this year. Yep, the same Matt Bianco who hitherto had only survived in people's memories as a result of that Saturday Superstore incident. Can no band stay split up any more?

BLIMEY: U2 do seem to bring out the most overblown in subeditors, but we think the Undercover mailout might have excelled all previous records with this:

U2 Bomb Explodes
U2 didn't dismantle their atomic bomb in time. It has exploded onto the
Australian chart.

GETTING IN TOUCH WITH HER SPIRITUAL SIDE: Planning a big holiday trip: Christina Aguilera. And she's decided to take a trip to India, because she feels the need to douse herself in spiritualism and culture:

"India has always captured my imagination with its myriad cultures and spiritualism. I am looking forward to my visit with great enthusiasm to feel the colour and vibrancy of this great country."

So, where is Christina going to go to experience this culture and vibrancy? Calcutta? Delhi? Maybe in the shadow of the Taj Mahal? Erm... no, she'll be enjoying the Real India, Sahara Amby Valley Lake City, a place where the apartments are sited in partnership with the PGA to ensure they overlook the golf course, without interfering with the golf course - spiritual balance, you see? Happily, there's also a committee who have to approve any applications to live in the "city", thereby ensuring that the wrong sort of colour, vibrancy and culture is kept outside.

THEY'RE HAVING A MEETING? OKAY, PASS THAT SUET PUDDING: Ruslana's brave decision to go on hunger strike in support of the thousands sleeping in sub-zero conditions in central Kiev as a protest against the fiddling of the Ukranian election looks a bit less brave now she's called it off. "There are positive developments" said Ruslana, ordering a large sandwich, some fries and a big salad. Now, while we're not having a go, the "significant development" that lead her to the drive-thru window was merely the Ukranian government saying "Yes, there does seem to be something fishy here" - which was merely symbollic and not actually any sign that the result itself was going to be set aside.

Ruslana has promised that if need be, she'll swing back into action:

As soon as the situation comes to a head again, I will immediately resume the hunger strike and only drink tea and water."

Providing, of course, it's not at a meal time.

ROCK-TURNED-POLITICO SICKLIST: Laid low with a mystery illness: Peter Garrett, once of Midnight Oil, now an Australian MP. He'd been swimming off the coast of Sydney, came ashore, and collapsed. Nobody knows why. Garrett's always been keen on environmental problems - now he's gotten one of his very own.

WHEN THEY STARTED A LABEL WITH DRUGS MONEY, IT WAS MOIDER: If you're having trouble keeping up with who's been charged with what as the investigation starts to unpick Murder Inc's murky links, the New York Daily News have produced a simple guide to the story.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

TEN OUT OF TEN?: We really wouldn't want to give the impression that we don't believe a word of The News of the World's story about Robbie shagging an Argentine model. We do believe the words "count", "every" and we think on balance we might believe the word "lobby." But guff like this:

"I give Robbie 10 out of 10 for his love-making. He was incredibly warm and caring. He made sure I was satisfied and I lost count of how many times he brought me to the height of pleasure.

"Over 3 hours we made love in every position imaginable. He had tremendous stamina. It was a night I'll never forget."

- well, it's quite a curious statement from a woman who by her own admission "speak[s] very little English", isn't it?

CAN THE WANG CHUNG REUNION BE FAR OFF?: I'm not sure if I really did read this on DJ Martian's page, or if my life is just flashing before my eyes: there's going to be a new Shriekback album?

IT'S A TOUGH JOB, BUT...: You'd hate to have to be Police Major General Wisut Wanichbutr from Bangkok: while most people were planning to spend their Saturday night flicking through an improving novel, he was having to swallow hard and watch a DVD of a sex party to determine if it featured local pop star Joey Boy. The cop admitted that even if it did feature him, it was unlikely there would be any charges that could be brough, but that wasn't going to stop him investigating.

The police major general promised today that he would view the CD 'in close detail and from all sides' to determine whether or not the young singer had broken the law, in if so, in what way.

But let's not assume this is just an excuse for watching some rumpo on work time, of course. Justice must be seen to be done, especially in slow-mo and freeze-frame. If he puts the Kleenex on expenses, though, he'll be pushing it.

HAPPY ENDINGS: Great news: Bret Michaels has been reunited with his stolen guitar. It's been handed in to a Chicago radio studio. Bless.

HAPPY ENDINGS: Great news: Bret Michaels has been reunited with his stolen guitar. It's been handed in to a Chicago radio studio. Bless.