Saturday, April 23, 2005


Spontaneous (actually, carefully planned and controlled) enjoyment and delight broke out at Hamburg Area High School in Pennsylavania after Dee Snider helped the kids there beat a bid to band rock concerts. Apparently the school authorities feared that rock music would lead to injuries, and probably teenage pregnancies. A petition was got up, and Snider lead the kids to victory. To mark the lifting of the ban, Snider turned up and did the 1984 Twisted Sister hit We're Not Gonna Take It.

Which is a valuable lesson about seizing political power: you might get it, but you might not like the consequences so much.


50 Cent seemed to realise that making a record about the time he and his cronies beat up a couple of guys at a Washington Radio station was pushing his luck a bit - when the video for the song appeared for the frist time on BET Mr. Cent suggested it was apologia, not braggadoccio:

"This is my public apology. To all the people at Radio 1, I'm being sincere; we're sorry about what happened in D.C. It'll never happen again."

Unfortunately, one of their victims isn't entirely convinced by what, to him, seems to be an attempt to make some money and rep off the back of the violence, and so Kwasi Jones is suing 50 Cent. Apparently, the trouble started because 50 Cent was wearing one of those twattish bluetooth earpieces (because, yeah, lifting a phone out of your pocket might waste valuable microseconds when you could be conversing):

Kwasi claims the rage erupted after The Game's manager thought the DJ was making fun of his hi-tech earpiece by making a "Star Trek" Vulcan sign.

Kwasi says they escaped into an office, but when he went back to get a cell phone, the beating resumed.

"Next you know I'm being choked from behind very, very hard, to point where I'm blacking out," Jones said. "But just to be choked like that, you know it was intentional. I think it was to kill me."

Ole' half buck is still facing criminal charges over the incident, but turning it into a song has brought a civil case. Lawyers for Jones are seeking USD280 million dollars for "assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence for both the alleged beating and the song."

280 million? That's a hell of a lot of distress... and you could buy a lot of bluetooth headsets for that.

Get the 50 Cent look:

You too can look like you're off of Star Trek


Apparently, Lindsay Lohan doesn't mind being burgled, providing nobody gets killed in the process:

Lindsay says she's just happy no life was taken from the home, which she leases, only replaceable possessions.

Apparently the thieves drank several bottles of her very expensive vodka before making off with two enormous televisions and a DVD player. Police are asking anyone in New York offered large television sets which might have been recently dropped, repeatedly, being sold by guys with massive hangovers, to get in touch.


As a politician in Las Vegas, you'd have thought that Mayor Oscar Goodman would have had enough experience of what sleazes we, as a species, actually manage to be when given the opportunity. But it turns out the behaviour of people when free tickets for a Weezer and Red Hot Chilli Peppers gig were made available surprised even him. Shockingly, the free tickets for the centennial celebrations found their way onto Ebay. Just moments after they'd been handed out. Goodman shakes his head over the misery of it all:

"You get a couple of bums who take advantage of the situation, and what starts off as a very nice gesture ... turns into a sleazy methodology of trying to make a buck from it."

Of all the cities to have their anniversary besmirched by such seedy behaviour, too. It'd be awful if people came away with the sense that Las Vegas' sole raison d'etre is to shake down cash out of people who are only there to shake down cash. For Goodman, though, this behaviour has just spoiled everything:

"It's so unfair because the centennial committee wanted to present this very special event available to everybody free of charge."

Friday, April 22, 2005


We're not entirely sure where the truth lays about the Hoxton scrap between Pete Doherty and fanbs of Crazy Girl. It sounds like Pete was grandstanding and attempting to shift the gravity arounf himself, at least according to Crazy Girl's Tiff McGinnis:

“Apparently he (Doherty) knew somebody in the first band and was jamming with them but we were meant to go on,” claimed Crazy Girl’s lead singer Tiff McGinnis. “So we went on and he kept coming on stage to grab the mic, and all of his (friends) were trying to grab the mic too. When they realised they weren’t going to get to come on stage some chick grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed us and all of our equipment,” McGinnis explained. “And then I went to hit her and him (Doherty) and a fight broke out.”

Hmm. Someone single-mindedly determined to stink up the stage "jamming" and getting stroppy when the band people have paid to see try to get on?

McGinnis claims her guitar pedals got doused with water, but the venue's suggesting we all move along, as there's nothing to see here:

“The security acted the way they should have done, and Pete Doherty was asked to leave,” said the 333’s owner Vicki Pengilley. “The bouncers behaved impeccably as they always do. They reacted when they should have done and how they should have done. I know it was unfortunate that it messed up the gig, but there wasn’t a problem. The police weren’t called and they won’t be.”


Will Shar Jackson ever shut up? We know she must still be really pissed off about Kevin Federline dropping her for the beloved Britney, but she seems to have decided that this has given a chance to carve out a niche as a Britney expert. Even though she talks absolute piff:

"A baby is not a dog. You can't just put it away. I know she (Spears) says she's had experience with kids, but let me say this: 'You have not had experience until you have one of your own... I don't know if Britney realises how hard it will be."

So... erm, Brit shouldn't have a kid because she's had no experience with kids? And she won't have had that experience until she's had a kid of her own?

We think everyone would be a lot happier if, instead of just handing out snippy advice, Shar Jackson and Britney wrestled instead. Perhaps in jam.


The NME isn't likely to run a politician front page this election, but it has carried out an interesting survey for the current issue, which discovers that 73% of NME readers intend to vote on May 5th. A further 6% are expected to turn up at their village hall on May 6th looking a little confused. (This compares with the turnout amongst the NME's target demographic last time round when only 39% actually could get their pretty firm buttocks down to cast a vote.)

If nobody other than NME readers turn up on Thursday week, Charles Kennedy can look forward to being Prime Minister - apparently, 37% of NME readers would be voting Liberal Democrat. Oddly, there's still 17% support for the Tories, too. The sound you can hear is Steven Wells, who has killed himself purely so that he can allow his body to spin in its grave.

Perhaps the real death of the radical image of the NME reader, though, is assured by their decision that, allowed to pick any rock star they liked to run the country, they'd have Chris Martin selecting a cabinet faster than you can think of.

Good god, then even the subjects of George W Bush would take the piss out of us.


At least Madonna had a vaguely convincing excuse for trying to turn herself into a children's writer - she did have kids of her own, so it's not beyond the rules of science that she might have spent enough time with them to create a world that she knew delighted them and elected to share those tales with a wider world. Plus, she had a cash-hungry cult eager for money to keep happy. But why is Mariah Carey going to write children's books?

Presumably she wanted to be an author, and someone told her you should write the sort of books you enjoy reading. And someone else told her that 'magazines with me in' wasn't actually a type of book.

The best thing about her plans - for a series called Automatic Princess - is that she thinks we should be impressed with her commitment to writing:

The way I do things, I need to be involved. I wouldn't just be like, 'Here's a concept, go run with it.'

"It's still something I really want to do, and I'm going to do, and I'm going to start getting that into production soon."

(It's important to be able to write crisp, clear sentences when you're working for children). So, Mariah isn't one of these authors who, erm, gets someone else to do the writing for her, then. Or, at the very least, she intends to keep an eye on the person doing the writing.


Not in Berlin, at least this year: The Love Parade has been cancelled for the second year running; this time because they can't find anyone willing to sponsor the event. They're still hoping they can resurrect it next year, according to the Parade's Sabine Bremermann:

"We will do everything we can, in co-operation with the city-state of Berlin, industry and the media, to find a way to make a comeback the year of the World Cup."

God loves an optimist. We do love that Germans seem to have reclassified 2006 as "the year of the World Cup".

Meanwhile, in the UK, Creamfields somehow is coming back again this year, for whatever reasons they think it's needed. The Liverpool Echo is excited by the line-up; although Faithless, Basement Jaxx, Pete Tong and Lisa Lashes hardly is the most thrilling musical menu we've seen. Still, tickets are only a loss-making £51.50.

Younger readers might be interested to know that Cream was once a quite important nightclub which would play dance music. Dance music was a type of music that people did when rock was in hospital for a couple of months.


One of the reasons for record labels suing their own customers is the fear that people might come to view music online as being free by right; we're told the BPI and the RIAA are worried if you can get music for free in some places, it'll stop you paying for music elsewhere. Meanwhile, the free CDs from newspapers are under attack from the same quarter for pretty much the same reason.

And yet, EMI have happily set up, and are trumpeting, a deal to allow the Gap to give away free Joss Stone downloads.

We're sure there is some sort of coherence to the big label's behaviour. No, really, we bet there is.


Jerome Barra is a bit of a lucky bloke - he had been due to appear in court to answer charges that he shot Ray Davies in the leg, but Davies says that he's too busy touring to go to New Orleans to testify. Michael Howard is expected to launch his condemnation of this softness on gun crime at about 9.00 this morning.


Thanks to Peter T who responded to yesterday's mention of the Belle & Sebby Don't Look Back gig with details of when Mudhoney will be doing Superfuzz Bigmuff - the KoKo on September 16th; he also mentions there's rumours of Dinosaur Jr doing Bug and... and here's where we cross out fingers and promise to be good... Sonic Youth doing Daydream Nation.


While The Tears continue to mop up the last of their dates in proper venues, for those of you too tight to pay to actually see them can get your jollies for free at three instores:

April 25th - Virgin, Oxford Street London 6pm
26th - Virgin, Brighton 5.30pm
29th - Rough Trade shop, London 5.30pm

They're like refugees, you know.


We're sorry to hear that Haymarket is closing Rip&Burn, the music downloading magazine (although the online version is going to remain, well, online). It was always a curious title - it clearly wanted to be a conventional music magazine, which meant the whole "iPod generation" schtick was more a distraction than a focus. We were going to suggest that a magazine which appeared to fetishise the format over the content of what they were writing about would always struggle, as the outward appearance would be offputting to all but the techies who would probably be disappointed by the content about what they'd call content. But we suppose Spiral Scratch did exactly the same thing for the days when music came on vinyl.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE RUMOURS: and the sexiest women in pop, apparently

According to the Girls Aloud website, Nadine Coyle isn't on the point of quitting the band:

"I have absolutely no intention of leaving the girls and going solo.

"What sane person is going to want to leave the biggest girl band in the country?. The story was a load of rubbish and I didn't even bother reading it."

Well, if it was us we'd probably stay in for a couple more weeks to see if there's any redundancy pay-offs in the offing, what with the other rumours that the band aren't going to be allowed to produce another under-performing album and are about to be broken up. Shanghai Automotive has offered to buy the intellectual propety if any turns up.

In other Girls Aloud news, the new FHM 100 Sexiest poll reckons that not only is Cheryl Tweedy the sexiest woman in music, but she's also second only to Kelly Brook in the entire world.

Yes, they voted Kelly Brook at number one, which I think says everything we need to know about the validity of the electorate.

Stripped of the non-musical, this is how FHM readers believe the sexiest women in pop stack up:

1. Cheryl Tweedy (FHM pos 2)
2. Britney Spears (6)
3. Sarah Harding (8)
4. Beyonce Knowles (9)
5. Charlotte Church (10)
6. Rachel Stevens (13)
7. Lindsay Lohan (14)
8. Jennifer Ellison (17; stretching the "non-musical" point here)
9. Christina Aguilera (20)
10. Louise Redknapp (21)
11. Jennifer Lopez (22)
12. Jessica Simpson (30)
13. Joss Stone (33)
14. Nadine Coyle (35)
15. Kylie Minogue (37)
16. Delta Goodrem (39)
17. Holly Valance (42) (Still? And how come the ex-Neighbours bunch come together, eh?)
18. Kimberley Walsh (44)
19. Christina Milian (55)
20. Mariah Carey (58)
21. Billie Piper (61)
22. Nicola Roberts (77)
23. Anastacia (81)
24. Danni Minogue (84)
25. Dido (86) (we suspect by the time you're out of the 60s, it'd just take a book of stamps and an afternoon to get yourself into the chart)
26. Jamelia (89)
27. Frankee (91) (Yes, you do - she did that answer record to Eammon last year. Long memories, FHM readers)
28. Hilary Duff (95)
29. Avril Lavigne (98)


Still not really got to terms with the idea that Gomez won the Mercury Prize back in 1998 when, really, they'd have been hard pressed to get a good review in the Southport Visiter. Anyway, they must have invested the prize money wisely, as they can't be living off the earnings from subsequent sales, can they?

Anyway, if you're a Gomez fan, you'll probably already be aware of the live album [US release]:

Gomez Out West
. It's the closest thing to a closest-thing-to-Greatest-Hits, we guess; there are two CDs and they really make you wait for the good tune, as Whippin' Picadilly is the last track on the second disc.


Doubtless there are those of you who will need to go off and spend a moment or two settling down at the merest hint of a story uniting Paula Abdul and pissing. But apparently, kegeling isn't Adbul's thing, not with her weak bladder:

Many of her days as a choreographer for the Laker Girls cheerleaders were spent urinating all over the floor whenever she was amused.

She says, "I should have stock in (adult diaper company) Depends. (I would) laugh so hard when we did routines, I would pee on the Forum floor...

"The ball boys would have to go (and clean it up). It was awful."

You wouldn't have been wanting to have her above you in the cheerleader pyramid, would you?


We really wish that we'd spotted this: Music For America have picked up the news story about Bush's iPod and spotted that he's been, you know, breaking the law:

However, one little piece of the article really got my attention. I'll doth quoteth it here. "The president also has an eclectic mix of songs downloaded into his iPod from Mark McKinnon, a biking buddy and his chief media strategist in the 2004 campaign.". Read that again. No, seriously, read it again. Does his chief media strategist encourage, wait, no, file-sharing?. Did our law-abiding President steal music? Because, I just checked iTunes, and My Sharona, Circle Back, and Joni Mitchell all cost some money and shouldn't be able to be transferred onto the President's iPod from his biking buddy.

Now, since the RIAA maintain their lawsuits aren't about scrabbling a few quid out the hands of the poor but to raise awareness of the "issues", what better way to focus everyone's minds on the evils of filesharing than suing the president? Unless, of course, they're actually really relaxed about everyone sharing music after all.

Tshirt: I'll Share Files Until They Tell Bush To Stop.


Special one-off shamble shows ahoy, with the news that Belle & Sebastian are taking part in a special show at The Barbican on September 25th, when they'll be playing If You're Feeling Sinister from start to finish. It's part of the Don't Look Back season of gigs being lovingly made by the people behind All Tomorrow's Parties - also scheduled for the season are Mudhoney doing Superfuzz Bigmuff, Date and venue to be confirmed.

It is, however, twenty five quid to get in to see B&S; you can buy tickets at the Barbican - although the price does suggest the later stages of a frenzied session on Ebay to us.

We've not seen ours in years:

We would not have known this without the divine Ms Rae


Ah. We'd kind of wondered if there could have been a format more crushing to the ego than Hit Me Baby One More Time. VH1 has created one - remaking, which not only drags the washed-up and half-forgotten out of their retirement, but then forces them to have plastic surgery as well.

Taylor Dayne has been through it, although she wasn't that jazzed by the surgery and injections of poison botox - she was doing it for the cash, and the kids:

“What was I thinking?” Dayne asks defensively. “I was thinking my kids got to have a good week at Epcot Center. I was thinking, it’s paying my bills. I’ve grinned and beared a lot of crap … .”

Never mind what Dayne was thinking, what on earth was the programme's creators thinking? More normalisation of plastic surgery served up as entertainment. On the other hand: Noel Gallagher wants to look ten years younger...


American Head Charge guitarist Bryan Ottoson has been found dead on the band's tour bus.

Police reports suggest that Ottoson may have overdosed on prescription drugs; Ottoson was reported to have been drinking heavily before the tour bus left Jessup in Maryland; his body was discovered Tuesday morning when the bus pulled in to North Charleston, South Carolina.

Formed by Martin Cock (actually Cameron Heacock) and Chad Hanks, AHC grew from a chance meeting in a Minnesota rehab facility, which would set the tone for the band's course. The band quickly developed a reputation for onstage and offstage excess, as Ottoson acknowledged in an interview with Crave magazine:

I don’t think it was a conscious decision, we didn’t sit down and say were going to focus on the music more and not have the excess and people playing naked and all that, we just kind of kept it in our heads that we wanted it to be about the music a lot more this time, because I think we got pigeon holed into a shock rock band which I don’t think we are. I understand why we got that, but I think we’re much more about the music at heart, so we have definitely been a lot more focused on performance and not being a jackass on stage. We are still pretty crazy on stage, we kind of wanted it to be scaled down but we get bored and we can’t help our selves and we just do whatever the fuck we do. I almost got knocked out on stage the other day, and Karma got arrested for allegedly kicking a security in the card that was fucking with some people or something. So it’s starting to get a little crazy again. We just do what we do and end up being fucking weirdos I guess.

The band's official website biography ends on what now seems a fate-tempting note:

In the end, Order prevails - if just barely - which is a good thing for American Head Charge and their ever-growing legion of fans. If Chaos had come out on top, this dangerously self-destructive but supremely talented band would've surely imploded, leaving nothing but wrecked gear, lost souls and mangled body parts. Instead, with all their limbs still attached and pulsing with the endorphins of catharsis, AHC will spend 2005 on the road - and this time, hopefully, not the road to perdition.

The remaining members of the band have pulled out of the next few dates of the shared tour with Mudvayne, Life of Agony and Bloodsimple, but understandably they've yet to decide on a long-term plan.


One of the most under-rated bands of recent years (or rather, one of those bands whose reputation gets lost under the weight of an out of proportion hit, like Cornershop), the Boo Radleys are about to release a two disc retrospective, Find The Way Out. And they've even bought the loveliest designer in music, Steve Wood, back on board to do the designwork and got stuff from the rare pre-Creation days, so it's not just a record company wodging a load of old tracks into any old packaging. Splendid.


We'd wondered for a while why they called the Mirror gossip column 3am - but we're starting to get it. It's chock-full of the sort of stuff you come up with at 3am in the morning when you're pushing for a deadline and will take whatever you can get. Amongst today's items: Charlotte Church spills some drink on her blouse; Jessie Wallace from Eastenders looks at a picture of David Beckham in a restuarant and - to be honest, we like this one - the turning of "Noel Gallagher goes to see Coldplay" into Chris/Noel slash fiction:

At a secret Coldplay gig on Tuesday night, Martin couldn't stop looking up at his Oasis rival in the VIP section of the Round Chapel in Hackney, East London.

In fact, during the band's encore Chris could hold back no longer and risked serious injury by climbing up to the second-floor balcony to give Noel a hug.

There was a problem, though:

"You could tell from his face he hadn't quite thought about getting back to the stage. In the end he plucked up the courage to jump," said our source.

"It would have been a downbeat end to the show if he'd broken both legs."

It really would have been a pisser if Chris Martin had smashed both his own legs, as we've spent the last three weeks in negotiations with Crusher Nobbs to get the job done.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Of course, up until now, the BPI has had little evidence that it was losing any money as a result of illegal downloading, so it needed to come up with something to prove it wasn't just being vindictive. So, it commissioned and paid for a survey which, surprisingly, came up with a staggering figure for the level of loss: Six hundred and fifty million pounds lost - lost to the music industry as a result of downloading.

Crikey, that's a lot.

How did they come up with the figure? Erm... TNS surveys got 10,000 people aged between 12 and 74 to keep track of what they spend on music. Then, it compares the total spend by downloaders with what they would have expected them to spend if their spending patterns were typical of the market as a whole, subtract one figure from the other, and bingo - 650 million quid.

Except, there's a couple of big problems here: first of all, why is the survey matching the "downloaders" spending to "market trends" rather than the non-downloaders spend? Surely they'd make a better control group?

Second, the BPI doesn't explain exactly what constitutes a downloader - presumably they had to self-identify, which probably means that anyone who follows the music world with half an eye would have pretended not to be downloader at all. And does someone who was a downloader in 2003 still count as a downloader in 2004? Even if they've given up?

Third: The 'downloaders' behaviour seems to be based on the 18% of the sample TNS reports as being downloaders - although some of these are actually using legal services (were these still factored into the figures? And was money spent on actual downloads counted as part of their music spend?)

Fourth: There are other reasons why the level of cash spent by the downloaders might have fallen. Since they're the ones with the best access to the internet, isn't it possible that their 33% fall in music spend between 2002 and 2003 could almost entirely be explained by the comeptitive prices of music CDs for sale through Amazon, CD Wow, and so on?

Not much of this is addressed by the BPI. Still, they got an eyecatching headline figure, which is all that counts, isn't it?


We know the popular image of gay men is of a blokes who love a tragedy, but even so, are they going to be that arsed by Kelly Osbourne bumbling her way through a single song at G-A-Y?

Image hosted by


It's been a little while since we heard from Charlotte Church's mother, but she's broken her silence to whine about the paparazzi and how they keep Charlotte's profile buoyant despite her not actually having done anything noteworthy for years ("makes Charlotte's life miserable.")

Mrs Church branded the paparazzi "absolute scumbags" who harassed her daughter "morning, noon and night".

According to quoting 5 Live she said: "I've been with Charlotte when we've been pushed, stamped on, anything to get that photo. I have no respect for them whatsoever, I don't see it as a job."

And of course she's right to have no respect for them. What sort of person chooses a career where their income is purely dependent upon leeching off the profile and success of a young woman?

To try and help take the pressure and press focus off Charlotte, old mother Church decided to give Five Live a bunch of gossip about who her daughter has been shagging:

"She wouldn't listen, I knew it was going to happen. She knew it was going to happen with Steven, I think, but not so much with Kyle."

The press are even more keen, Mrs Church said, since Charlotte and Gavin got together.

"When they are together it's an absolute nightmare."

Yes, that should stop the press hanging out outside her front door, Mrs. C.


We wonder if it's time for Noel Gallagher to be breaking out the Retinox and the Bosweloids - apparently he tells video directors to try and make Oasis look ten years younger. Presumably he means ten years younger than they look at the moment, rather than ten years younger than they actually are. Although what's the point? Make Liam look like he was born ten years later than he seems to have been, and you're still barely into the paeolithic era.

Noel doesn't like making videos:

"I fucking loathe videos. This is not the reason why I started a band, to stand on a video stage all day and mime a song 500 times, knowing that when you get to the end of the 499th, you're thinking, 'I don't even fucking like this song anymore, it's stupid.' But it's a necessary evil for me."

Odd that it takes 500 listens for Noel to become sick of an Oasis song - we find the average for us is somewhat less (about 499 times less, to be accurate). The thing, though, Noel, is that it's in no way an necessary evil at all - you don't need to make videos, and you don't even need to release records. A necessary evil is when a guy who works down a sewer has to wade through shit to get to work because he need the wages. You're free to stop at any time. In fact... that would make everyone happy.

Noel also has more to say ab...


Singer John Fred Gourrier has died at the age of 63. Known as John Fred, his greatest moment came in 1967 when his parody of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Judy In Disguise (with Glasses) knocked The Beatles off the number one slot in the US.

Although his greatest hit, it wasn't Fred's first - as a teenager, he'd recorded one of his own songs, Shirley, with Fats Domino's band and had a hit with that. It was Domino who had inspired him to become a musician:

"It changed everything about me," Gourrier recalled in 2002. "Back in 1953, we were hearing Bing Crosby and those guys. You just didn't hear what Fats was doing. It completely floored me and I was sold, that record right there."

Self-confessed "white boys playing black music", they won themselves a fan in the ultimate rock star:

"Wayne [Cochran, a friend] knocks on the door," Gourrier remembered. "He says, 'Hey, E! I got a guy from the South that wants to see you!' So Elvis says, 'Well, if he's from the South, bring him on in here.' So Wayne says, 'Elvis, I want you to meet John Fred.' Elvis stopped and said, 'John Fred and the Playboys -- 'Boogie Chillun'.'"

While his national fame didn't last, Gourrier remained a legend in his home town of Baton Rouge, regularly playing fourth of July events and hosting a rock and roll radio show on the local radio.

Gourrier's death was due to complications following a kidney transplant. He was 63.


The death has been announced of Laura Canales, the first big female star of Tex-Mex tejano music.

Born in Kingsville, she had the good fortune to be just the right age and in just the right place to ride the first wave of tejano, which fused keyboards to Mexican polka. Originally a member of Snowball and Company, Canales enjoyed enormous success in her home state of Texas and - more importantly - carved a place for women amongst the otherwise male-dominated tejano scene.

Known variously as "the barbaba Streisand of tejano", "the queen of the tejano wave" and "the grand dame of tejano music", Canales died from complications after gall bladder surgery. She was 50.


It's taken them three decades, but Pink Floyd have finally paid up for the second-most famous wail in popular music. ("Woooooooooaaaahbodyform" being the number one, of course.) The band have come to an agreement to pay Clare Torry for her vocal work on The Great Gig In The Sky off the Dark Side of the Moon. She'd originally got about thirty quid for her trouble; Rather than merely claim Roger Waters was a tight-fisted bastard, Torry had sought more on the novel grounds that she'd used a unique vocal technique for the tune, and so had a right to the shares of the copyright.

The size of the settlement has not been announced.

You can now enjoy with a clear conscience:

... although you can't skin up on the CD format as well. We're told.


Having had a very public marriage and a very public suicide attempt, Gail Porter's now going public with trying to explain what was going on when she took her overdose. (Was coming off Prozac, didn't really know what she was doing, and so on).

The desire to share your mental state with newspaper readers might be a sign that it's still not back to full health. All the best, Gail, but maybe take a break from the publicity circuit for a while...


You wouldn't want to be General Motors this morning; not only have you got a USD1.1bn loss to cope with (unlike in the UK, American manufacturers make losses due to trading conditions being poor and not merely because the directors have awarded themselves a splendid renumeration package); GM's Opel brand has pissed off Tom Waits by using a soundalike in one of their ads:

"In answer to the many queries I have received: No, I did not do the Opel car commercial currently running on TV in Scandinavia. I have a long-standing policy against my voice or music being used in commercials and I have lawyers over there investigating my options. But I got to tell you, it doesn't look good. This is the third car ad, after Audi in Spain and Lancia in Italy.

"If I stole an Opel, Lancia, or Audi, put my name on it and resold it, I'd go to jail. But over there they ask, you say no, and they hire impersonators. They profit from the association and I lose time, money, and credibility. What's that about?

"Commercials are an unnatural use of my work... it's like having a cow's udder sewn to the side of my face. Painful and humiliating."

So, having your music used in ad is like having bovine boobs stapled to your head. Explians a lot about Moby, doesn't it?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


... and even Charlotte Church might find the reception down the Vatican way a little chillier than it used to be. (Oh, alright, she's hardly likely to get as far as Rome airport these days without someone in purple lobbing a bottle of holy water at her and waggling a big cross in her direction). But - surprisingly, when he looks so much like a cabaret singer - the new Pope, Benedict XVI (or Cardinal Ratzinger as he was before he won the top job in a high stakes game of Hungry Hippos this afternoon) doesn't like the rock music:

At the Eighth International Church Music Congress in Rome in 1986, for example, Ratzinger blasted rock music as a “vehicle of anti-religion”. He said rock and roll is a secular variant of an age-old ecstatic religion, in which man “lowers the barriers of individuality and personality” to “liberate himself from the burden of consciousness”. Rock is thus “the complete antithesis of Christian faith in the redemption”.


We're quivering with anticipation with the news that Dinosaur Jr's Freak Scene is getting re-released on June 6th - will there also be a resurrection of the bowlderised version which replaces "don't let me fuck up, will you?" with "don't let me freak now, will you?" for airplay friendliness.

If this late 80s revivalism keeps up, the New Fast Automatic Daffodils will be touring by Fresher's Week.


Of course, there's no real excuse for Apple's lack of forward planning about what will happen to iPods when they move beyond their useful life, and the Green Guide campaign to get Apple to adapt the design to make it greener is welcome, and we hope Apple respond.

On the other hand, are iPods quite the environmental disaster suggested? Compared with the piles of plastic, tonnes of material, wasted products and other petrochemicals and various resources consumed by the production of physical CDs, surely the iPod (and other electronic music devices) are much, much more ecologically friendly? Sure, there's much more to be done, but it's a massive step in the right direction. And whatever happened to all those cassette tapes, eh?


To be honest, we had been hoping the BPI would prove to not really have its heart in the insane policy of prosecuting its own customers for a practice that still has to be demonstrated to be a threat to its members, but there's a growing sense that the BPI guys are really enjoying crushing people. Once again, Geoff Taylor seems to have got a little caught up in the excitement and implied that not filesharing isn't good enough - they really want people to be prosecuted for not buying their products:

"If you want to avoid the risk of court action, stop filesharing and buy music legally."

(And, of course, he's pushing the lie that filesharing itself is in some way shady, when, of course, it's only sharing some files that is a problem).

But then it gets even better: Taylor attempts to suggest that music sharing is on a par with those other electronic bugaboos, the groomer and the predatory paedo:

"The risks of allowing children unsupervised access to the internet are well-known," said Mr Taylor.

"To that long list should now be added the very real possibility of legal action if music is uploaded to the internet illegally.

"The safest thing that parents can do is check their computer regularly and disable any file-sharing software."

But... file sharing isn't an illegal activity, and a lot of Taylor's members are even exploring ways of using filesharing to boost their bottom line by stripping out distribution costs for digital music - this attempt to try and get parents to fear the very word filesharing could prove to be a bit of a long-term cock-up.


If you're going to have a rock and roll accident, it should probably involve a plane or a car, just in case it's fatal. It should also be tragic. Unfortunately, Justin Hawkins falling off a giant doughnut isn't going to work up any sort of sympathy, and, despite the horror ("All the skin was stripped off my knees and I tore the big muscle in my right leg. It turned out I'd cracked two ribs too. I was as pale as a ghost and nearly passed out."), it's hard to hear of the story without, well, slightly smirking.

Image hosted by
... and if you come round here again, Hawkins, I'll set my danish pastry on you, too...


We're agog with this news from the The Rocky Mountain Collegian about the visit of a singer:

In an attempt to bridge the gap between the gay community and the community at large, Sacha Sacket, a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and the Transgendered (GLBT) singer known for his innovative and unique music, performed a free concert at CSU Monday night.

Blimey - Sacha is gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered? All at the same time? That's ticking a lot of boxes.


What's most striking about the tale Tom Jones tells of his thoughts of suicide prior to It's Not Unusual hitting the charts is how different it would have been if he'd been trying to make it in 2004 rather than 1964:

He said he was not getting any success in London - but just weeks later he was at the top of the chart with It's Not Unusual.

Tom told Wales on Sunday: "For a split second I thought, 'Aww, f*** it, if I just step to the right it'd be over'.

"I felt so down because I didn't know what to do. That very rarely happens to me.

"I didn't want to go back to Wales without proving myself. I wasn't making any money."

But the singer said thoughts of his young wife Linda and son Mark back in Wales stopped him from killing himself.

He said: "Things flash through your mind. What about your wife? What about your son? What about your mother and father? How would they feel?

"But for that split second - that's as low as I've ever got. Just before It's Not Unusual."

Nowadays, of course, his label would have dropped him ages before he'd have got to record It's Not Unusual. No wonder the underground is always being suspended due to people jumping.


On the historic occasion of the downloads being added to the physical sales chart, The Times decided they needed to explain to their readership what was going on:

TEENAGE girls relaxed their grip on the pop charts yesterday as rockers and clubbers soared up the first rundown that combines downloads with CD singles.

The sightings of the likes of The Alarm and Status Quo enjoying Indian summers in the singles charts recently - not to mention the Block of Elvis - would suggest teenage girls have long since given up their control of the charts. And clubbers are about to get their tastes reflected fairly for the first time - that's good, as it's not like the last ten years has seen the top ten cluttered up with songs constructed mainly out of the hookline from a 70s classic and some sweat, is it?

The British music industry has hailed the “All New Singles Chart” as the saviour of the hit parade, which evolved from sheet music and 78s but has become increasingly irrelevant after the downloading-induced collapse of CD sales.

By "The British music industry", of course, they mean the press offices of the literally several companies which control the business.

Although the Top 40 entered a new digital era, the most popular song across CD and downloads, was Is This the Way to Amarillo? the revived hit by Tony Christie, the 61-year-old crooner. The new chart included sales from 25 leading online retailers including iTunes, Napster, myCokemusic and Woolworths. At a stroke the addition of downloads doubled the volume of the singles market. There were 383,000 single-track downloads sold last week, compared with 393,000 physical singles.

"across CD and downloads" should read "even taking downloads into account."

The Official UK Charts Company (OCC) said that the new rundown would be more representative of Britain’s musical tastes. About 90 per cent of downloaders are male and over the age of 25, so they dilute the impact of the adolescent girls who traditionally secured the top spots for the latest manufactured boy bands.

But replacing a chart which shows what mainly young girls are buying with a chart which shows what mainly older blokes are buying surely doesn't represent Britain's musical tastes any more accurately? It'll perhaps reflect more fairly the songs that people are most prepared to pay for, but that doesn't actually have very much to do with the musical tastes of the country - something that the chart has never done, otherwise Dvorak's A New World Sympathy and Abba would always be in the top ten.

Razorlight, the NME- endorsed rock band favoured by students, enjoyed their biggest hit yet. Somewhere Else entered the chart at No 2 — the band’s website had directed fans to the iTunes music store.

NME-endorsed? Get with the programme, boys - the NME annoints, it doesn't endorse. We love the implication that without the inclusion of downloads Razorlight would have been nowhere, rather than, erm, at number three - which would still have been their biggest hit ever.

Gorillaz, the animated hip-hop band created by Damon Albarn, Blur’s singer, were the greatest beneficiaries of the new countdown. Their Feel Good Inc single soared from No 197 to land with a bang at No 22 as a result of its appearance as an iTunes download several weeks before its official release as a CD single.

In other words, the download sold more than a single that doesn't (quite - thanks, Simon) exist.

Basement Jaxx, a dance act preferred by older clubgoers, saw their Oh My Gosh single boomerang back into the Top 30 on the back of download sales. Dance music is a popular iPod choice, often as an accompaniment to a gym session.

See? It's not just flim-flam, there's sociology, too.

Stereophonics, the Welsh rockers, scored the top-selling download of the year with Dakota. The song would have dropped out of the chart on CD sales alone but instead enjoyed a seventh week in the Top 40 — an early sign that genuine hits will have more longevity in the rundown.

We're not quite sure why when the Stereophonics has a top ten record, it's a "genuine" hit, but when a boyband does, in some way that isn't a genuine hit at all.

Eleven tracks are marginally higher owing to their download popularity.

Some songs marginally higher in the chart. A brave new world.


What would get firing up its computer at two in the morning? The first public meeting of Pete Doherty and Carl Barat in almost a year is what. Although the pair move in the same circles and such a meeting was inevitable, that first bumping into each other was always going to be strange. It took place at an unamed "North London pub" - which narrows it down; presumably the actual pub's details have to be kept secret in case someone tries to sell it on Ebay. The pair chanced across each other, hugged, chatted, hugged some more, snorted each other's crack*; disappeared into a back room where they pulled each others clothes off for rampant origami boy sex for three hours** and recorded four tracks towards a new album*** before going their separate ways a few minutes later.

We think that's probably all there is to it, although does promise:

For more news on Barat and Doherty’s reunion, stay tuned to NME.COM

- so we don't know if they're hoping to bring details of what they were drinking or anything.

* - this one didn't actually happen
** - nor did this one, actually
*** - this is also unconfirmed right now


The Sun returns to it's Neuter Rock The Vote campaign this morning, and after the Joss Stone and pouting Trev Kavanagh launch, they've actually barked up some vaguely-of-interest to younger people participants - Chris Martin and, erm, Will Young. What's scary, though, is that they look almost identical:

Monday, April 18, 2005


It's a be-quick-or-it'll-sell out announcement: The Bravery are touring the UK and Ireland like this -

* Southampton Guildhall (November 18)
* Birmingham Carling Academy (19)
* Manchester Apollo (21)
* Glasgow SECC (23)
* Dublin Ambassador (25)
* Belfast Ulster Hall (26)
* London Carling Brixton Academy (28)

This, then, is a fairly-big tour just before Christmas. You won't get as close to them, though, until the 2011 reunion tour.


There was a lot of self-congratulation amongst the Glastonbury press that this year's festival is taking the pulse of where music is right now, man (i.e they've booked the Kaiser Chiefs). We're not quite sure how having The La's playing fits in with that, but you'd have had to have had a heart of stone to not at least be curious what they're going to be like now, with Mavers off the smack (thanks, in part, to ear accupuncture) and Power pocketing cheques from letting the Cast back catalogue appear in commercials. Hmm - put like that, it doesn't sound that tantalising.

They're warming up with a mini-tour of Ireland:

* Cork Savoy (June 6)
* Dublin Ambassadors Theatre (7)
* Belfast Mandela Hall (9)


There's some brilliant news for those of us of a certain age, as Alex Shepherd has bought up the old Jericho Tavern, which had been limping along miserably as an It's A Scream, and returned it to its indie perfection. You can't always go back home, but sometimes you just might. So, that's Oxford sorted then. Now, who wants to resurrect Planet X in Liverpool?


Confusing "flash mob" with "street team", Fred Durst - excuse me while I sip on my Hatorade - has issued instructions to his fans:

Its time for a flash mob people. The mp3 is out there. Burn that shit to audio cd...spread the word. Bring it to Radio stations, music stores, friends, family...SPREAD THE FUCKING WORD.

To everybody else: if you see anyone trying to drop off a Limp Bizkit mp3, call the police immedeatly. Do not approach them - they may be dangerously stupid.


That must be a bit of a blow - Sting, who's never been known to turn down a spot of grandstanding on someone else's garden, has taken to hiding behind the sofa when Carlos Santana pops round to ask if he'd like to take part in a duet.

Even more depressing for Santana, Sheryl Crow - someone so desperate for publicity she'd probably let Celine Dion do her with a strap-on for a cable channel ("providing they show a shot of the new CD") - also made some vague noises about being busy and not having the time.

In fact, so desperate to find someone to hook up with is Carloa that he's doing a duet with Michelle Branch.


Well done to Peaches Geldof, who bristles with indignation and righteous anger when people dismiss her as little more than a second-gen celeb, suckling fame out of her parent's nipples. Peaches doesn't think that's fair at all:

"I don't think you can say I'm exploiting being well known.

"Look, what my father did was really amazing but I don't want to be just another celebrity daughter."

And let's tip our hat to her for doing so well on her own - why, she's got a programme on Sky One later this month, called Peaches Geldof: Inside The Mind of a Teenager. And it's all down to her - she persuaded the indie production company to make and pitch it. You can't accuse her of riding on Daddy's coat tails.

Image hosted by TinyPic

Although it is made by Ten Alps, whose co-founder and non-executive director is, um, Bob Geldof. But that's just a coincidence, of course.


After five years, Kylie Minogue has decided she no longer has a place in her organisation for William Baker.

It was William who saw the potential for putting Kylie's tight little pair of buttocks into skintight lame hotpats for the Spinning Around video. Now, alas, they are going are their spearate ways - both the buttocks, and Kylie and William, as Kylie decides she needs a bit of decorum and decency in her life.

It's a little harsh on William: the man who made the arse who made her fortune.


We had hoped that the story circulating about Britney Spears demanding free stuff from Starbucks was down to her attempting to undermine the multi-national coffee chain by scrumping muffins. But apparently she goes up to the counter and pulls the 'do you know who I am?' stunt.

The cashier said: "I told her you still have to pay. Sorry."

Personally, we'd have pushed our luck - you now, a Frappaccino is worth a kiss; a spot of rubbing for a biscotti; unfortunately we're not able to detail here what we'd be expecting in return for a muffin and a grande eggnog latte, but suffice to say we might need some cinnamon dusting.


Gloria Gaynor's happiness to play virtually any gig which is offered to her threatened to get her into some sort of trouble, as a nasty scheduling conflict saw her booked to play Dubai in the United Arab Emirates about a week after her (for her) fairly high profile pro-Israel rally performance in Paris. But despite the attempts in the media to find a swell of anti-Gaynor feeling amongst Muslims in the UAE, the results are probably going to be more disturbing for Gaynor than that: they don't know her, and don't care:

Abdul Samia Abdul Basir, 22, said he did not know who Gloria Gaynor was, but even if he did he wouldn't care that she performed at the "Isra l je t'aime" rally.

If they hate you, it's bad. If they don't care, it's worse.


People who Reuters call, splendidly, "chart prognosticators" (i.e people who are a little to free with the information they're meant to keep to themselves) are predicting that not only is Mariah Carey's new album going to shoot in at number one in the US, but she's selling more albums now than any of her other titles managed in the first week.

Having said which, of course, we're still only talking about 350,000 copies sold; it's a measurement of how deep her hardcore fanbase is - the question is: can she sell beyond them? This'll give her a good chance. Which means we could be in for four more years. America, not for the first time, we're very disappointed in you.


There's something wonderfully touching about the The Sun suddenly deciding that it's going to be in charge of Rock The Vote UK, its supposed attempt to persuade the young people to vote. And who is the face at the figurehead of the push to get under 25s out to vote? Joss Stone.

The whole thing would be hilarious if it wasn't so vapid. The paper's only journalist, Trevor Kavanagh, for some reason has been despatched to write this call to arms. Although Kavanagh is good at what he does (printing on Mr. Murdoch's papers such words as delight Mr. Murdoch), what he does isn't writing fluffy celeb-obsessed stuff for the more vapid end of The Sun's readership. So he starts off attempting to explain the importance of voting by throwing in something The Kids can relate to:

In 1989, millions celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Communism because it gave THEM the chance to vote for the first time in 70 years.

Trevor, a kid who knows what that means is probably connected enough to be planning to vote anyway. Otherwise, it's meaningless. Someone who's eligible to vote for the first time this May would have been seven years old or younger when the Berlin Wall came down - they'd struggle to remember Gary Barlow, never mind Communism.

He also chooses to throw Iraq in, as well:

IN January the world watched in awe as eight million Iraqis braved terrorist slaughter to take part in the country’s first general election for a lifetime.

In some parts of the ravaged country, turnout was a staggering 90 per cent.

Women in tears were determined to have their first-ever say in the greatest event in the democratic calendar.

Yet in Britain on May 5, millions will stay home and watch EastEnders or go to the pub rather than decide how — and by whom — their nation is governed.

Hmm. But didn't the world equally watch in awe when millions of these supposedly lazy young people marched through the streets of London in protest at the fuck-up UK politicians were about to help make in Iraq? Could it be that a lot of the people who aren't going to vote aren't actually staying at home because they're lazy, but because their first experience of participating in the nation's life was of the government ignoring a clear public expression of opinion?

And those who are more interested in Eastenders than politics - can anyone suggest a newspaper which might have helped the gorming-up of the country? (The other stories above the fold on the Sun website this morning are Coronation Street at the BAFTAs, Paula radcliffe doing some weeing, Wayne Rooney being given money for playing football, the launch of FHM High Street Honeys, and two - yes - election stories, one of which is actually a page three girl getting her tits out and the other is a nasty lie about the number of "illegal immigrants".)

And, really, is this the best way to try and get people interested in the political issues?

It's not just Joss Stone, though: there's, um, Noel Gallagher. And apparently Jennifer Ellison.

Of course, you do have to take your hat off to the Sun. As they point out, the US Rock The Vote campaign got an extra 1.4 million voters out last year. Clearly, the Sun is worried that someone might organise the same sort of thing here, which could harm Trev and Rupe's beloved Tory consensus. What better than pre-empting anyone else coming along and organising youth than by wheeling out some awful, clapped out old singers like Gallagher and middle-aged dinner party tunesmiths like Joss Stone to spike the guns of an effective Rock The Vote in the UK?

Sunday, April 17, 2005


To be honest, we do half-like the idea that Ted Nugent is promoting: he wants National Rifle Association members only to hang out with other NRA members - after all, it wouldn't be a bad thing if they did never mix with people who aren't so obsessed with the idea of having slaughter-machines abouth their houses; the rest of us could go about our lives a little bit safer with all the gun owners off having their own barbecues in their own little world. But then you listen to the blunted logic of Nugent, and it's just clear that these people shouldn't be allowed to have butter knives, much less dangerous guns. He got nothing but whoops for his ">NRA speech:

"Let's next year sit here and say, 'Holy smokes, the NRA has 40 million members now,'" he said. "No one is allowed at our barbecues unless they are an NRA member. Do that in your life."

Nugent sang and played a guitar painted with red and white stripes for the crowd at Houston's downtown convention center.

He drew the most cheers when he told gun owners they should never give up their right to bear arms and should use their guns to protect themselves if needed.

"Remember the Alamo! Shoot 'em!" he screamed to applause. "To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot 'em."

It's interesting that NRA types are really hung up on the bit of the constitution about bearing arms; less bothered about all that fair trial business.


So, the downloads are now folded into the old style gojng-to-a-shop charts, and so things will be different. The world we knew we have left behind. From today, everything must change.

What is the sound of the chart in this new, connected digital world? Tony Christie "and" Peter Kay are at number one for the fifth week. Razorlight, at number two, are where they would have been. Elvis has, as everyone expected, had his re-release hit by the influx of electrosales - but only down one place, to number four. There have been winners and losers further down the chart:

22. Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc (gained 175 places [compared with shop sales only chart])
27. Basement Jaxx - Oh My Gosh (gained 18 places)
34. Stereophonics - Dakota (gained eight places)

Obviously, it's worth remembering that down past the top ten, the sort of sales returns are so low adding a few dozen sales can have an enormous effect on chart placings. So Basement Jaxx tootling up a few slots is hardly worth rushing to the newsroom for. But what of Gorillaz, leaping up 175 places? Well, yes, that would be noteworthy. Except the single isn't available in shops yet, so its 197 position in the shop sales chart isn't actually that unexpected.

What about the losers?

30. Melanie C - Next Best Superstar (lost five places)
32. Daft Punk - Robot Rock (lost five places)
33. Elvis Presley - Crying in the Chapel (lost nine places)

Again, then, the world isn't exactly going to be spinning off into the darkness of space as a result of this. Some minor reshuffling down in the lower end of the Top 40.

It seems, then, that the Chart Company have managed to pull in the supposed chart revolution and turn it into something that won't upset anyone much in the larger boardrooms tomorrow morning. Their masters will be delighted. Unfortunately, that means the new chart is set up in such a way as to completely render the point of including downloads neutered. What was meant to be a kick up the arse has become a slap on the back.


As if the Michael Jackson court case hasn't been star-studded enough already, with tales of Macauly Culkin being touched and that weatherman bloke (we even understand that Jackson himself used to be a fairly popular singer, with a part on Quincy Jones' Thriller album), now Larry King is going to be called upon by the defense team to talk about a conversation he had with Larry Feldman which the defense team hopes will help them make their case that this is all about the accuser's family making some cash. And show what a lot of famous friends Michael has, many of whom he's not meant to have copped a feel from.

This week's action has involved Thomas Mesereau and the accuser's mother having stand-up cat fights in the courtroom. The prosecution would probably be delighted that she got her Neverland is all about "booze, pornography and sex with boys" quote in, but the squawking and the fighting with Meserau won't have looked good to a jury. Sure, it also made Mesereau look ridiculous, but that won't bother him, what with his reputation not being weighed by the jury. Not, of course, that dragging Mrs Avrilo into a screeching row would have been a tactic or anything.


There's a big my drug and sex shame intervew with Pete Doherty in this week's News of the World, which in the past could only have meant one thing: a dealer expecting a settlement. This time, though, it looks like the NOTW has just paid writer bloke Pete Walsh to use chunks of his book about the Libertines. But what have the News of the World got for their money? A "confession" that Pete was a rentboy (can you count it as an exclusive confession if anyone who's interested has heard the tales a thousand times?) and the usual ho-hum hijinks on the road. And Pete sold drugs, apparently. Who knew?

We love the little warning the paper sticks into its copy, though:

Read on, but prepare to be shocked...

Curiously, of course, this article is framed not as a 'isn't Doherty awful?' piece but as a warning to Kate Moss:

Sorry Kate, just when you thought he couldn't get any worse, Doherty confesses... I sold drugs and serviced old queens!

Although, presumably, Kate would have known all the stuff in the book anyway (if she's even interested any more).

The real shock, of course, is to discover that the NOTW is still living in 1903 when it comes to the idea of men having sex with other men - they're "old queens", "pervert gay punters"; it gives the paper an unsolveable ethical condundrum when it reaches the point in the book where Doherty fleeces a customer:

"I was working in a bar, selling drugs, working on a building site, writing poetry in the graveyard shift at The King's Head—and I was spunking off old queens for, like, 20 quid. I did it a couple of times, yeah. I remember once being taken back to this mews house in Chelsea, right old fucking badger he was. It was a bit daft actually. As he slept I locked him in his room, tied a pair of trousers over his head and nicked all these American dollar bills out of his drawer."

Without a hint of shame at his revolting crime, Doherty then joked: "He's probably still there, with a hard-on, listening to Classic FM."

There is nothing more terrible than forcing a man to wake up with his head in his own trousers and Simon Bates blaring out in the corner of the room. But why is the NOTW so outraged? Surely this "gay pervert" deserved everything he got; wasn't he an old man preying on young boys like the NOTW is supposed to be saving us from? That's the trouble with false moral outrage - if it's not really based in anything ethical, it becomes difficult to know how you're meant to be honking.

The best bit of the article are actually chucked away at the end, when Carl tells how he came home one day when he and Pete were still flatsharing:

"I came back to the flat and found the record contract carelessly left out on the table. And I thought maybe Pete had been reminiscing, cherishing and pondering how far we'd come. I went to pick it up and saw the back of it where my signature was and realised that it was sort of embossed. Then I found a cheque missing from the joint account cheque book—and he'd had himself a grand. Of course he was oblivious to being in the wrong when I approached him on this and made out that I was being a greedy fool."

Oddly, the NOTW seems not that bothered by this sort of betrayal. Stealing from your mates is fine, providing there's no sex involved.


It probably helped that he had the piss ripped out of him by Doonesbury - Zonker Harris tried to walk across "his" beach - but label boss David Geffen has finally given up trying to keep people off the sand in front of one of his houses.

Unlike his friend and former employee Madonna, who somehow managed to keep us proles off what she claimed was her land by wittering away about how her privacy was more important than historical access, Geffen has found the courts in California have been reluctant to allow him to claim rights to keep messy and noisy public off a footpath across his grounds.

There's a curious little detail here: Back in 1983, Geffen cut a deal with local authorities in which he promised to allow access to the land in return for being allowed to expand his Xanadu-esque estate. We wouldn't suggest anyone take this as the standard value of a music industry chief's promises: good only if you're prepared to spend twenty-two years fighting the bastards through the courts.


More car trouble for DMX. You'll recall he was caught speeding a few months ago, just after he'd fessed up to driving round Kennedy Airport with sirens and a trunk full of crack. And then there was the time he was caughtdriving without a licence. After all that, you'd have thought most people would be content to hail passing cabs and have done with, but not DMX. He's now been involved in the sort of accident which usually only happens to little old ladies driving big Ford Anglias they've had since their husband retired from the civil service: the chump managed to rear-end a car in New York. Which rolled forward and - oh, my sitcom angels - smashed into the back of a police car. Two cops ended up having treatment for minor injuries, and DMX wound up giving his details to traffic cops again.