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.
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:
TODAY marks the anniversary of Joe Meek’s death. The first British independent record label, genius producer and thorough crackpot departed this Earth on 3rd February after committing suicide after murdering his landlady at his home studio on Holloway Road.
And ever a fan of the occult, it only seems right to contact Meek on the date of his death, rather than birth. Meek, who ‘contacted’ Buddy Holly beyond the grave and got a hit out of it, was a studio wizard, as avant garde with his approach to pop music as Aphex Twin was in the ’90s.
ON This Day – February 3 1959: Charles Hardin Holley – aka Buddy Holly – 22, Jiles P Richardson – aka the Big Bopper – 28, and Richard Valenzuela – aka Ritchie Valens – 17, were killed when their single-engined Beechcraft Bonanza planed crashed shortly take-off from Clear Lake, Iowa.
Pilot Roger Peterson, 21, also lost his life.
The triumvirate’s last show has been at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, where their memory lives on:
Holly had only recent gone solo, breaking up with the Crickets.
On February 1 1959, the stars played Green Bay, WI, Ballroom.
They had been a sensation. Buddy Holly and the Crickets made an appearance on the Arthur Murray Dance Party on December 29, 1957. It was unusual to see a band like the Crickets performing on the show.
“Now, if you haven’t heard of these young men, then you must be the wrong age because they’re rock and roll specialists. Now, no matter what you think about rock and roll, I think you have to keep a nice open mind about what the young people go for. Otherwise the youngsters won’t feel that you understand them. Now, if we’re ready for our rock and roll specialists, we have…Buddy Holly and the Crickets!”
WHEN disco hit its stride in the mid to late Seventies, it transcended language and boundaries. Perhaps, the secret of its success was that the criterion was so damn simple: Can you dance to it? If the answer was “yes”, chances are, you have a disco hit on your hands.
While ABBA and The Bee-Gees propelled the genre into the stratosphere, there were plenty of other good (and not-so-good) disco tracks being churned out across Europe that deserve to be resurrected. Here are 9 interesting, odd, and awesome gems rescued from obscurity. Enjoy.
Dschingis Khan – “Dschinghis Khan” (1979) Germany
I wonder what the Mongol overlord would have said if he knew he’d one day be the subject of a peppy German disco track. I can’t predict his exact words, but I’m sure it would have ended with a beheading or evisceration of some sort. I suppose one day they’ll be dancing to songs about Pol Pot and Idi Amin.
Albert’s Negrita – “That’s The Ball” (1976) Germany
I think there’s something wrong with me. I actually really, really like this. The song makes no sense whatsoever, it’s alarmingly repetitive, and involves no musical talent or skill whatsoever. Maybe I’ve just listened to one too many disco songs, or maybe I’m coming down with a bad fever – whatever the reason, I dig this track. I don’t know a thing about it, except that it sounds like it comes from a German porno. And if it wasn’t, it should have.
Penny McLean – “Lady Bump” (1975) Austria
Was this a prelude to Fergie’s humps, her lovely lady lumps? In typical disco fashion, the lyrics are wonderfully bad:
They call me lady bump lady bump
It’s no lie – aaaaaaaah
Lady bump, lady bump –
Just the music takes me high.
Actually, the “aaaaaah” should read “AHHHHHH!!!!!!” – Penny really lays a eardrum shattering screech to that bit.
Svenne & Lotta – “Funky Feet” (1976) Sweden
Deciding it sounded too much like “Dancing Queen”, ABBA opted to include this on their album, sending it to fellow Swedes, Svenne & Lotta, instead. This is truly a piece of disco dynamite, but one can’t help but wonder what Frida and Agnetha could have done with it. Their vocals would have sent this track to another dimension of disco heaven.
The Duskeys – “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” (1982) Ireland
I can’t help it. This just makes me want to put on a tight gold lame leisure suit, do a line of cocaine, and hit the discothèque.
Oh, wait. This is Irish disco. Make that – drink a pint of ale then hit the discothèque… then do a line of cocaine. (Glad we cleared that up.)
Sophie & Magaly – “Papa Penguin” (1980) France
“I Am The Walrus” is easily one of the most complex songs ever recorded, and “Papa Penguin” is easily one of the simplest. I guess you could say they are the Walrus and Penguin are Polar opposites……. Get it? Polar? (insert crickets chirping)
Chilly – “For Your Love” (1978) Germany
Who would have guessed a Yardbird classic would translate so well to disco? I understand this may be utterly offensive to rock purists; but, if you even have a passing appreciation for disco, you’ll have to agree this is solid gold. I would admit that I enjoy it more than the original, but I like to avoid being verbally assaulted whenever possible.
Raffaella Carra – “Pedro” (1980) Italy
The song itself is nothing particularly special; however, the male dancer outfits in this music video are special indeed. And by “special” I mean “hilariously awful”. They look like flamboyantly gay superhero private detectives who work in Willy Wonka’s factory. If that description makes no sense, have a look. All will become clear.
Jumbo – “City Girls” (1977) Germany
I included this song simply because the album cover is one of the greatest artistic creations ever conceived. Before you leave this article, I recommend you stare at this cover for a minimum of ten minutes, and let its awesomeness wash over you. When it changes your life forever, don’t forget to leave a comment at the bottom of this post. I don’t ask for much – your eternal gratitude is more than enough.
FLASHBACK to September 22 1952: As with many other screen star who lives in the goldfish bowl called Hollywood, Robert Mitchum likes to escape the public gaze whenever possible on hunting and fishing trips. For the twin purpose of privacy and mobility on his jaunts he designed and built a super luxurious house-truck. In his custom land- cruiser Mitchum can enjoy all the comforts of home wherever his fancy takes him. Here the motion picture actor leaves his driveway with two of his children; Jim (11) and Chris (8). Mrs. Mitchum and their daughter Pertine, who remained behind, wish them farewell.
DID you hear the news that Philip Seymour Hoffman has died? When did you hear it? Was it a couple of days ago?
Was it about the same time you heard that Vin Diesel was dead?
Or Jessica Simpson had died?
Or any of these famous faces?
On February Vin Diesel’s rep told one and all: “He joins the long list of celebrities who have been victimized by this hoax. He’s still alive and well, stop believing what you see on the Internet.” Hoffman’s rep said thd same.
What kind of a pillock makes up stories about people being dead and then solves the mystery as a scoop? Is this mentally negligible dolt they having second thoughts about their hobby now that one of their targets has died?
Philip Seymour Hoffman has died. He was a great actor – one of the finest of his generation.