Saturday, December 06, 2003

WE'VE HAD LOTS OF LETTERS: So, we return to the No Rock mailbag, and big thanks to Alan C who contributed a few times while we were off trying to not look too much like a pretty boy in front of them there Texans:

Just heard about this on 6Music:

"Black girls only want your money cause they're dumb chicks," Slim Shady raps. "Never date a black girl because blacks only want your money, and that s -- ain't funny ... black girls and white girls just don't mix, because black girls are dumb and white girls are good chicks."

[from NY Daily News and The Souce]

Eminem tried to bluster it out by saying he was young and just broken up with an African American girlfriend, of course, and only now has gotten round to saying sorry for the whole thing - which is dreadful news management on his part; especially since The Source had been saying "Oh, we're going to play people this tape of you being a jerk, Emmy" for a while beforehand. The only reason we can suppose here that Eminem didn't rush out a "Look, The Source have gotten hold of some jerk-off thing I did when I was broken hearted; it's not pretty, but it's not me" statement is because he was sat there shitting himself going "What have they got? The racist stuff? The tape of me being cornholed by Al from the football team? My evidence to the Warren Commission?" But leaving it for a fortnight before going "Oh, yes, it is actually something I should apologise for" is so botched as remind us of the days when the Tories were losing ministers on a fortnightly basis.

Next, Alan on the Q listings that put One at number one:

What *is* this Best Song crap anyway? Went to the website to see if the terms were defined, but that seems to be a heap of shit with no content other than a reminder not to buy the magazine if you're between thirteen and forty-five:
Hates ghosts, loves Arnold Schwarzenegger.

They came, they saw, they mucked about.

Partying hard with mermaids, Metallica and Mini-me.

Born in the same town as Bugs Bunny.

--so I'm none the wiser. But "Smells like teen spirit" is a *recording*(and a *phenomenon*) before it's a great *song*, surely? Are they talkingabout the arrangement, or the song underneath? Oh, shit. I forgot that the copy will be: blah blah Bikini Kill blah blah deodorant blah blah Generation X anthem blah blah from the opening four chords and drum smack blah it is *THE* quiet-and-loud song blah blah the volume belies a craftsmanship hitherto unrevealed until Tori blah blah there's even a jazz version now

I mean, I've not read it. It'll probably turn out that the piece on TeenSpirit is Ian MacDonald's last piece of writing, and brilliant. Somewhere must have the criteria... oh, right. It's a Special Edition.

``Our writers and experts weren`t asked to name the most historic songs of all time - rather it was the songs they enjoy hearing; songs you can use every day, whether that be on your Walkman or your brand new iPod.``

Oh, I see. I think.

It`s a great tune but despite being over ten years old we haven`t had time to get bored of it. It`s inspirational, it makes people feel good, but it also feels profound - all the more so when you hear Johnny Cash`s recent cover version.

...which makes it like a meant-straight version of Marcello Carlin's "best single ever made as of today". It's certainly tracks and not songs, then.


Bought it now. It's not a chart in the sense that the songs don't go in any order, since Mike Streets's best drinking songs run sequentially for 5, also Ricky Gervais's Office Party songs... and so on. Meaning that it isn't the result of a big poll, which might at least have let some interesting oddities in the lower hundreds. Sigh.

Of course, the reaction of The Sun, which damned the whole exercise as "geeky" and launched its own poll of it's own readers to come up with another chart - Imagine at 1, Bo-Rap at 2, we're guessing - makes us feel a lot more warm about the Q thing. This week, Bizarre has also got round to publishing its reader's best songs ever listing, and they - despite being 16-34 year old men buying a magazine dedicated to pictures of tug-of-war fatalities and women in bodices - plumped for Imagine as the Greatest Song of All Time. Mind you, people who lack the cojones to buy FHM and so pretend they're interested in the sub-standard Forteana of Bizarre (I only buy it for the auto-trepanation illustrations) would probably be convinced that Lennon's ho-hum is a work of genius.

Then... a couple of days later came this:

...although if there's one site you're not presumably going to have missed
through being offline, it's Michael Jackson's official rebuttal platform

Also, LOTR star, Viggo Mortensen releases his debut rock album, Pandemoniumfromamerica, Westlife say Simon Cowell bullied them into recording their cover of the Barry Manilow song, Mandy, and the oldest member of pop group Hanson is being treated in hospital for a blood clot in his right arm brought about by strumming his guitar too much.
bon voyage
bon jovi

Three of these things scare me, but Westlife - bullied? C'mon guys, what's he going to do to you if you say no? It's not like you need the money, is it? The only way a band who's sold so many records as you have could be bullied is if they'd signed some really, really stupid contract which meant they earned pennies while... oh, hang on a moment... [drops some coins into upturned cap and presses on]

It was a good reminder that I need to go back to the April 9th 1986 Smash Hits and dig out the interview with Bryan Adams which says that he "went to see Supertramp in London as 'special guest' of Charles and Di and he was late because he missed the bus!" and released a track called "Diana" as a b-side "dedicated to 'our lovely' Princess herself!". I mean, it's especially interesting if they were fucking *then*.

Morrisey's lines "So rattle my bones all over the stones, 'cos I'm only a beggarman who nobody owns" was in fact pinched from Thomas Noel's 1841 poem

Fuck. I remember this really clearly, and barely anything else specific from that issue. The memory is of sitting in the car on the way home from going to the shops one Saturday explaining that it was okay because the songwriter had then said "see how words as old as sin / fit me like a glove". I'm not sure my parents cared much.

There's a two page spread on Hispanic Music, which we guess must have seemed like a great idea at the time

Fuck. Same again. So is this the same time as they did the covermount tape called The Latin Kick? I remember doing a Googlesearch for that a coupla years back, fascinated by what would now seem damned bold, unless of course there was an industry push to get that stuff going (twelve years too early). Nothing came up. Enough!

In retrospect, you'd have to assume that Diana - which at the time seemed to be a wry lament of a missed chance - is a slightly sneery jibe at Charles; okay, the chorus isn't "You know when she comes home and she reeks of Molson and Maple Syrup? That's me, that is", but there's something about how "some english guy got there first", which knowing that they did know each other makes you wonder: what "there" was he talking about?

I'm not sure if The Latin Kick was a covermount, or one of those seemingly endless tapes that they used to flog through half-page adverts - a habit which seems really endearing now, the idea of the nme staff sitting about cooking up The Last Temptation of Elvis, and Indie City and so on, and doing little more than the publishing equivalent of turning up at a carboot sale and flogging them from a cardboard box.

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