Celebrity news & gossip from the world’s showbiz and glamour magazines (OK!, Hello, National Enquirer and more). We read them so you don’t have to, picking the best bits from the showbiz world’s maw and spitting it back at them. Expect lots of sarcasm.
EVERYBODY knows that Mary Quant invented the mini-skirt. Except she didn’t. In reality nobody really knows for sure who produced the diminutive garment first. Some say it was John Bates, famous for dressing Diana Rigg so memorably in The Avengers, while others say it was the French designer Andre Courreges, although Quant would later write: “Maybe Courreges did do mini-skirts first, but if he did, no one wore them.” There’s no doubt, however, that skirts were getting shorter each year in the early to mid-sixties but this was almost certainly to do with technological advances that enabled tights to be produced relatively cheaply more than anything else. Although Mary Quant is often credited with inventing, or at least popularising, coloured and patterned tights too.
THE greatest unanswered question of human life is, paradoxically, about death.
What follows our duration on this mortal coil?
APART from sex scandals and tapping people’s phones, there’s little more the newspapers like doing than reporting on non-news. Now, that’s not to say they write about things that some might find uninteresting, but rather, stories about things that the stars won’t be doing.
So what’s the latest?
SINGER IceJJFish sings On The Floor in the manner of the Bar Mitzvah boy who voice broke mind verse.
It’s out latest instalment of World’s Got Talent. Previous hits for the compilation album are here.
ON January 19, 1984, 16-year-old Tracy Nolan met top pop act Duran Duran. Smash Hits magazine was there to record the “Special Night Out”.
Things we learn:
FOR some reason, it became a thing of pride for 1970s rock musicians to look as homeless and ungroomed as humanely possible. We may have chided the ’90s grunge bands for wallowing in filth, but that was nothing compared to the unwashed hordes of unkempt ’70s rock bands.
WATCHING Manchester United’s Premier League match with (there’s only one ‘f’ in) Fulham, Anorak was struck by a figure in the crowd. Seated alongside Sir Alex Ferguson was flame-haired crooner Mick Hucknall. We couldn’t help but notice that Hucknall looks a lot like the late comedian Charlie Drake. His catchphrase was ‘Hello, my darlings’. It’s known that Hucknall has a way with the women, too. Can they be related?
THIS might be the world’s worst Beatles tribute. In 1977, Rolling Stone Magazine booked Ted Neeley (Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar), Patti Labelle, Ritchie Havens, Yvonne Elliman (she was Christ’s Mary Magdalene) and more for A Day In The Decade, a rendering of A Day In The Life. The show begins with Neeley (bigger than Jesus?) singing about himself getting out of bed, dragging a comb across his head, looking up, realising he was late…
RETRO tunes on retro machines: Ed Cobb’s Tainted Love played by 13 Floppy Disc Drives and one Hard Disk Drive. Stand down the kazoo orchestra:
WHEN Pharrell Williams stepped out at the Grammies in a big hat, the fashion world cooed and ahed. America’s Headwear Association named Williams Hat Person of the Year. (Sadly, Williams has not been inducted into the 2014 Headwear Hall of Fame – this year’s honours go to Sophia Loren, Diane Keaton, Queen Elizabeth II, Bruno Mars, Spike Lee and Elton John. But next year, he is surely a shoo-in for the cloche corridor.)
OF course, The Fab Four’s time in America is very well documented. No-one needs to know more about the whole Bigger Than Jesus thing and George Harrison’s ‘spotty youths’ comment when he visited the hippies on the West Coast.
However, less well documented are the mop-top knock-offs that The Beatles created. Garage bands and frat beat groups sprung up all over America after the mop tops played Ed Sullivan.
So, here’s 10 of the best American Beatle Bands or Fab Four rip-off records… and by the way, being a Beatle rip-off band is no bad thing at all! Feel free to chime in with your own!
1. The Byrds
The Byrds hit the jackpot when they took Dylan’s folk music and turned it into a Beatle beat. Perfect for the US market – homegrown lads (not like those British Invasion swine!) making Dylan’s nasal drawl more palatable. ‘Feel A Whole Lot Better’ is the choice here, but in fairness, it could’ve been picked from two dozen songs!
ALFRED Hitchcock once remarked that every person understands fear, because everyone was once a child. “After all,” he declared, “weren’t we all afraid as children?”.
According to the authors of Monsters under the Bed and Other Childhood Fears (Random House; 1993, page 1), “childhood is a time of many fears” and children between the ages of six and twelve “experience an average of seven different fears.”
HOW do you follow Cop Killer and date night with the well upholstered Coco Austin? If you’re Ice-T you create an audiobook for Dungeons & Dragons.
In Ice T’s Final Level Podcast, the rapper tell how unprepared he was got the job.
“They didn’t tell me this was a motherfu**in’ Dungeons & Dragons book… [it’s] some of the most crazy, deep, deep nerd shit.Motherfu**ers talk like Yoda. They were talking about ‘pegasuses’ and ‘pegasi.’ That’s horses with wings. This motherfu**er got a sword that talks to him… Motherfuckers live in places that don’t exist, and it comes with a map. My God.”
REMEMBER Cee Lo Green? All happy and smiley and the voice of songs like Crazy and F- You? Well, Green it seems, is a bit of pest around the ladies and has again been called to deny that he’s up to no good with them.
The latest thing he’s refuting is that he spiked a women’s drink with ecstasy in LA. Popping Molly is one thing. Popping Molly into someone’s bolly while they’re not looking is something else entirely.
THEY had one job. Just write a single sentence about a movie. It’s not quantum physics. After millions of dollars spent and many months of filming and editing, it comes down to the humble tagline writer to simply scrawl a few words together. Alas, this task is often too much to bear, and a movie poster is forever besmirched by a woefully inadequate blurb which undercuts all the hard work. Perhaps it’s not so easy to condense an entire film into a few words; whatever the case, here are a few examples where tag lines fail.
Loose Shoes (1980)
There won’t be a dry seat in the house.
Three Hats For Lisa: Swinging London And Sid James Gives The Greatest Musical Performance In Cinema History
IS this the greatest musical performance in cinema history?
Joe Brown, French-born Sophie Hardy (who played the eponymous Lisa Milan), Sid James, Una Stubbs and Dave Nelson hit the big screen – in colour – with the 1964 release of Three Hats For Lisa.
YouTuber RetrunerMan reveals the plot:
It’s a Swinging London romp as Joe (Johnnie) tties to help Lisa Milan, played by Sophie Hardy, to find three typically British hats for her collection. Probably not too difficult, only she wants to steal them instead of buy them. Oh, and one is a coppers helmet!
BETWEEN 1976 and 1984, Woody Allen was the 2D star of Stuart Hample’s comic strip Inside Woody Allen.
WHATEVER happened to… Ryan Paris, the singer born Fabio Roscioli in Rome who gave full throat to the 1983 smash hit single, Dolce Vita?
Before creep shots, there was this video of women walking about minding their own business. Ryan Paris was the embodiment of the City of Love:
FLASHBACK to 02/11/1957: The McCormick Skiffle Group were, from left to right, Billy McCormick, Frank Healy, Wesley McCausland, Edward McSherry, and James McCartney.
LETTERS of note: Paul McCartney wrote this letter in 1960 to a possible drummer for the Beatles for the band’s trip to Hamburg. The wold-be drummer should go to the Jacaranda Club – the Liverpool venue first to host the Beatles.
“They’re Dead. They’re All Messed Up” – How George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead Recreates the Unrest of 1968
THE AMC original TV series Mad Men (2007 – ) set its latest season against a disquieting historical backdrop: the turbulent events of the year 1968.
Specifically, Matthew Weiner’s award-winning period drama book-ended the season with allusions to two classic genre films from that year: Franklin Schaffner’s Planet of the Apes and Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby.
Both are excellent selections that showcase, respectively, global and spiritual apocalypse.
Yet there is another film — one released on October 1st, 1968 — that also represents perfectly the turmoil of America during that season: George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.
Today — due in large part to another AMC series, The Walking Dead (2010 – ), which is now airing the final portion of its fourth season — the zombie is arguably more popular a monster than ever before in genre history. Since Night of the Living Dead is its acknowledged spiritual and historical antecedent, the original film is thus eminently worthy of a re-watch in 2014.
TO the Dave Lee Travis trial. The former BBC Radio DJ known as the ‘Hairy Cornflake’ is in court answering 13 counts of indecent assault and one of sexual assault. He denies any wrongdoing. Cue The Chuckle Brothers, Barry (left) and Paul Elliott, who arrived at Southwark Crown Court in London, as witnesses. They sensed the mood perfectly: